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1401  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: SB county is kind of deserty, right? on: March 19, 2012, 04:57:04 AM
That was very, very cool.

1402  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / J. Thomas discussed at USC on: March 18, 2012, 12:45:29 PM
http://lawweb.usc.edu/news/article.cfm?newsID=3848

"One of the tenets of academia is the encouragement and cultivation of a variety of ideas and opinions for open discussion and debate.

 So imagine being shunned by academic institutions for writing a book on a figure unpopular with one political group, however large.  Now imagine that some of these institutions are law schools and the figure in question is a United States Supreme Court Justice.

 This is the quandary in which Scott Douglas Gerber has found himself over his entire academic career.
“For good and bad, I’m forever linked with Clarence Thomas,” Gerber told a classroom full of USC Law students recently...."
1403  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: NSF grants on: March 16, 2012, 08:20:10 PM
Did you see my post that said "[t]here is also the possibility that there will be discoveries that benefit the long term longevity of the species that are not prone to business interests, which tend to be more short term, nbottom line in orientation.  The astronomical discoveries, for example."

Which can only be gained through large gov't agencies?

And the road to demise can also be paved with limited knowledge. 

"I don't know, but there is good to come out of the NSF grants."

Sure there is, but at what cost? The road to crushing national debt is paved with good intentions.
1404  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 16, 2012, 01:02:47 PM
An alteration was made to the post.  My apologies for the confusion/lack of information.

From a site that calls itself "News that's almost reliable"?

I'd like to see some confirmation of this before taking it seriously.

1405  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: NSF grants on: March 16, 2012, 01:00:18 PM
And the road to demise can also be paved with limited knowledge. 

"I don't know, but there is good to come out of the NSF grants."

Sure there is, but at what cost? The road to crushing national debt is paved with good intentions.
1406  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mitt relates to the black community on: March 16, 2012, 10:58:49 AM
A satirical look at Romney's ability to connect with an audience.

http://www.freewoodpost.com/2012/03/13/mitt-romney-i-can-relate-to-black-people-my-ancestors-once-owned-slaves/
1407  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: NSF Grant Funding on: March 16, 2012, 10:25:07 AM
I don't know, but there is good to come out of the NSF grants.  There is also the possibility that there will be discoveries that benefit the long term longevity of the species that are not prone to business interests, which tend to be more short term, nbottom line in orientation.  The astronomical discoveries, for example.

From the Newt Gingrich thread (Guro suggested the energy policy thread, but I think it fits better here; will move if necessary):

I can't say that I have a good grasp of the internal workings of the NSF's grant process and the degree of political graft that may or may not be involved in the awarding of said grants, however given the abuses well documented under this administration and our dire economic condition, I'm wanting the USG out of the grant business altogether.

This, admittedly, does not address the manner in which NSF grants are awarded.  Here is a list, of 577, of NSF funded findings.  I think some of them may be of interest.

http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/

I wonder what the cost in government buildings/infrastructure/pay/benefits/pensions plus interest on the national debt breaks down to on a per discovery basis?
1408  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / USSC justices as book authors on: March 16, 2012, 05:58:24 AM
A list of 351 books by Supreme Court justices:

http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/03/351-books-by-supreme-court-justices/
1409  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / NSF Grant Funding on: March 16, 2012, 05:38:12 AM
From the Newt Gingrich thread (Guro suggested the energy policy thread, but I think it fits better here; will move if necessary):

I can't say that I have a good grasp of the internal workings of the NSF's grant process and the degree of political graft that may or may not be involved in the awarding of said grants, however given the abuses well documented under this administration and our dire economic condition, I'm wanting the USG out of the grant business altogether.

This, admittedly, does not address the manner in which NSF grants are awarded.  Here is a list, of 577, of NSF funded findings.  I think some of them may be of interest.

http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/
1410  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 16, 2012, 05:33:13 AM
Also from the Santorum thread:

Saintorum wants to ban hardcore porn.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/rick-santorum-wants-ban-hardcore-pornography-222833811.html

Silly me, I would have thought this to be a matter for the pursuit of happiness, the 9th Amendment (privacy), and the 10th Amendment (States Rights), not the Feds.

Oy fg vey.

This is interesting.  Do you not find the 1st amendment a suitable place for the necessary protections? 
1411  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 16, 2012, 05:30:27 AM
From the Santorum thread:

Funny how many aging hippies are suddenly 10 amd. advocates when the feds raid their "medical" marijuana shops.

That is at least as funny as the conservatives who are states rights advocates until the issue is drugs. 
1412  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DOG BROTHERS T-SHIRT DESIGN CONTEST on: March 15, 2012, 08:58:37 PM
Was a winner announced?  When will the new tees be in the store?
1413  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DBMA 2012 Summer Camp on: March 15, 2012, 08:56:21 PM
Guro, are there more details (firm dates; location; cost)? 

With the Winter Camp coming up this weekend my focus is there.  More here next week.
1414  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: March 15, 2012, 08:16:21 PM
What do you think of things like NSF grants for R&D?
1415  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 15, 2012, 06:33:45 PM
Doug, my state will go for the GOP.  And I won't be voting for President Obama. 
1416  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: March 15, 2012, 06:27:45 PM
GM, first of all, I never said or implied it was the same thing.  I noted that, and I quote me: "President Obama is hardly the only person to 'tout' algae as an alternative to oil."  Second, there are several things that are different about it.  Since you clearly view me as a simpleton, I couldn't possibly begin to imagine what more highly evolved mind is thinking.  When you explain it, please use small words.  I would note though, that when Gingrich says what he says about the algae he acts like Obama is retarded.  My point is that there is a possibilty that there is a viable use. 


"President Obama's response to soaring gasoline prices has been touting algae-powered cars...".

President Obama is hardly the only person to "tout" algae as an alternative to oil.

Exxon Sinks $600M Into Algae-Based Biofuels in Major Strategy Shift: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/07/14/14greenwire-exxon-sinks-600m-into-algae-based-biofuels-in-33562.html

Algae Oil in China: http://www.algaeindustrymagazine.com/algae-business-algae-oil-in-china/


BD, there is an important distinction between the US Gov't funding algae as energy vs. Exxon. Can you tell me what it is?
1417  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: March 15, 2012, 04:40:10 PM
"President Obama's response to soaring gasoline prices has been touting algae-powered cars...".

President Obama is hardly the only person to "tout" algae as an alternative to oil.

Exxon Sinks $600M Into Algae-Based Biofuels in Major Strategy Shift: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/07/14/14greenwire-exxon-sinks-600m-into-algae-based-biofuels-in-33562.html

Algae Oil in China: http://www.algaeindustrymagazine.com/algae-business-algae-oil-in-china/
1418  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 15, 2012, 01:55:04 PM
An interesting find, DMG.
1419  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 15, 2012, 01:53:59 PM
I think you are right.

A better measure would be the poll numbers from the swing states.  A national poll doesn't tell you as much as much, since there are only a few states that are really up for grabs.  This may be another election, no matter the winner, where the electoral college faces some serious derision. 

True, and from memory there are multiple key states that went blue in 2008 that are now showing serious kool-aid hangovers.
1420  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 15, 2012, 10:23:37 AM
A better measure would be the poll numbers from the swing states.  A national poll doesn't tell you as much as much, since there are only a few states that are really up for grabs.  This may be another election, no matter the winner, where the electoral college faces some serious derision. 
1421  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Entry Standards/Indiana "Castle Doctrine" rethought on: March 14, 2012, 09:00:32 PM
The source doesn't matter much, GM.  The fact that the state legislature is considering overturning the bill is the issue.  

But, if you prefer, here is the legislative history: http://e-lobbyist.com/gaits/IN/SB0001

Here is a story noting the involvement of Indiana GOP and the NRA: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/03/02/indiana-house-approves-bill-that-allows-homeowners-to-kill-police-officers/

Here is the bill information itself, from the Indiana legislture's website: http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo?year=2012&session=1&request=getBill&doctype=SB&docno=0001
1422  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Entry Standards on: March 14, 2012, 07:33:04 PM
"If you are a citizen, and using force against a LEO, the odds of this turning out well for you is slim and none."

With this I completely agree.  And court decisions that gut the 4th amendment protections offered in the Bill of Rights, a series of amendments made becuase of the fear of an over reaching government, don't help this.  


An update on a heated discussion from nearly a year ago: http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=38839

"The text of SB 1 states that its legislative purpose "is to protect citizens from unlawful entry into their homes by law enforcement officers or persons pretending to be law enforcement officers. Both citizens and law enforcement officers benefit from clear guidance about the parameters of lawful home entry, which will reduce the potential for violence and respect the privacy and property of citizens."

To that end, the bill recognizes that an individual 'may use force … to prevent or terminate a law enforcement officer’s unlawful entry.'" ...

"SB1 is not an innovation; it simply restores an explicit understanding of Indiana’s "castle doctrine," which was subverted last year in the Indiana State Supreme Court’s Barnes v. State ruling. As a wire service report observed at the time, that ruling effectively nullified the core protections contained in the Fourth Amendment and the equivalent provision in the Indiana constitution, as well as protections and immunities recognized by "common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215." The 3–2 decision last May 12 held that Indiana residents have no right to obstruct unlawful police incursions into their homes."


1423  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 14, 2012, 08:00:41 AM
1.  I meant to write "first portion," which is " Conservatives attack the courts." And I do doubt this is under contention.   

2.  I am not writing about my beliefs, Guro.  I am trying to divine what Judge Wilkinson says, based on the article you posted and the little I know about him.  I was guessing based on the article, primarily, because the little I do know about likely dwarfs what most others know.  SO, based on the context of a 750 word article.

3.  The original intent, as we have discussed before, is difficult to divine.  I do not know how Wilkinson views original intent, though I suspect his book which I would like to read, sheds some light on this.

4.  Why since Marbury?  And talk about judicial activism!

5.  "I gather he thinks the courts should let the Congress slip its constitutional leashes because he thinks it makes for international competitiveness and that those that disagree are conservative activists?!?  This makes little sense to me."  Then that is a weakness in his article, not my attempt to explain it. 

6.  "It is the substitution of your own opinion for the law."  OK, that is a fine definition by me, but it doesn't mean that conservative judges don't do that. 


BD:

You know I have high regard for you, especially in this area, but I confess I just don't find this particular post very persuasive.

a)  "Judge Wilkinson says: “Conservatives attack the courts on one hand and seek to have them advance their activist agenda on the other.”  The portion of this view is not in contention, I would guess."

Umm , , , I DO contest  grin

b)  "“activist [judges] believe that that the proper role of the [c]ourt is to assert independent positions in deciding cases, to review the actions of other branches vigorously, to be willing to strike down acts the [judge] believes are unconstitutional…”.  Taken together, these definitions make sense, of course.  This is where I suspect Judge Wilkinson is coming from, especially as he notes the “debate over the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that individuals buy health insurance” and the erosion of longstanding understanding (read precedent) of the Interstate Commerce Clause."

Ummm , , , ever since Marbury isn't it precisely the job of a judge to defend the Constitution?  How is doing so "activist"?!?  Of course stare decisis deserves some respect, but the original intent of the ICC deserves even more. 

“It is tempting to shout states’ rights when deeply flawed federal legislation is enacted, but the momentary satisfactions of that exercise carry long-term constitutional costs. Badly conceived bills die a thousand political deaths — in the appropriations process, in the states, through electoral retribution, in the executive appointments of a succeeding administration and ultimately in amendment and repeal. However, if courts read the Constitution in such a way that it enables them to make Congress ineffectual, and instead to promote 50 state regulatory regimes in an era of rapidly mounting global challenges, the risks should escape no one. Making our charter more parochial while other nations flex their economic muscle seems like poor timing.”

I find this paragraph to be the most specious of all.  How on earth is limiting the Congress to the powers set to it in the Constitution constitute making the Congress “ineffectual”?!?  This makes no sense to me at all.   There are matters pertaining to the jurisdiction of the States, and there are matters that are properly federal.  This is on purpose and it is a good thing to have the competition of fifty laboratories of democracy in action.


“He is arguing that activist decisions (overturning precedent and congressional actions) devolve the economic prowess of the country, but returning the economies to the states in an increasingly global environment.”

Again, it is NOT activist to insist upon the Constitution.  PERIOD.   Not sure of the meaning of the second half of the sentence (or even if it IS a sentence ) but I gather he thinks the courts should let the Congress slip its constitutional leashes because he thinks it makes for international competitiveness and that those that disagree are conservative activists?!?  This makes little sense to me.


I will close by giving a concise definition of judicial activism:  It is the substitution of your own opinion for the law.

1424  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / STFU kid, even if I am wrong on: March 13, 2012, 10:33:48 PM
http://school.failblog.org/2012/02/28/homework-class-test-why-couldnt-he-just-be-complacent-and-dumb-like-everyone-else/
1425  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 13, 2012, 05:10:39 PM
As Guro has asked for a discussion of Judge Wilkinson's argument of conservatives undermining the Constitution, I will limit this reply to that area.  
First, it is important to recognize that Judge Wilkinson is highly regarded conservative judge.  He was a clerk for Justice Powell, was nominated for his position by President Reagan and was interviewed as a potential USSC nominee by President George W. Bush.


Judge Wilkinson says: “Conservatives attack the courts on one hand and seek to have them advance their activist agenda on the other.”  The first portion of this view is not in contention, I would guess.  Several of the participants on the forum bemoan the role that judiciary plays or played in reproductive cases, eminent domain and elsewhere.  Here it is important to have a definition of what constitutes judicial “activism.”  However, a definition is difficult to find.  Having looked at about a dozen books on my shelf, here is a sampling of the “definitions” or descriptions, but it is key to note that none of them limit activism to liberal jurists.  Reporter Richard Willing described judicial activism as “what the other guy does that you don’t like.”  In an effort to find more, I found one offered by Lawrence Baum (a serious judicial scholar at the Ohio State University), who says that “when judges choose to increase their impact as policymakers, they can be said to engage in activism.”  Lee Epstein (a serious judicial scholar now at USC law school) and coauthor Thomas Walker state that “activist [judges] believe that that the proper role of the [c]ourt is to assert independent positions in deciding cases, to review the actions of other branches vigorously, to be willing to strike down acts the [judge] believes are unconstitutional…”.  Taken together, these definitions make sense, of course.  This is where I suspect Judge Wilkinson is coming from, especially as he notes the “debate over the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that individuals buy health insurance” and the erosion of longstanding understanding (read precedent) of the Interstate Commerce Clause.  

I find this paragraph to be of interest: “It is tempting to shout states’ rights when deeply flawed federal legislation is enacted, but the momentary satisfactions of that exercise carry long-term constitutional costs. Badly conceived bills die a thousand political deaths — in the appropriations process, in the states, through electoral retribution, in the executive appointments of a succeeding administration and ultimately in amendment and repeal. However, if courts read the Constitution in such a way that it enables them to make Congress ineffectual, and instead to promote 50 state regulatory regimes in an era of rapidly mounting global challenges, the risks should escape no one. Making our charter more parochial while other nations flex their economic muscle seems like poor timing.”

One the primary reasons why the presidency has expanded its power is because of the speed of the decision making, viz. Congress.  Most people, liberal or conservative who accept the increasingly unitary presidency do so because they feel that the president can act more decisively, more quickly that the plodding legislature.  For historic examples see: T. Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase; A. Lincoln and the first few months of the Civil War; FDR and NIRA and others; etc. etc.  These are not without limitation, such as W. Wilson and forgetting the Senate’s role in treaty making and H. Truman and the seizure of the steel industry, but the march seems to be ever forward.  I think that Wilkinson is basically noting this, but in a different way.  He is arguing that activist decisions (overturning precedent and congressional actions) devolve the economic prowess of the country, but returning the economies to the states in an increasingly global environment.  
1426  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Girl forced to give access to her FB password on: March 13, 2012, 12:22:47 PM
http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/13/10657012-up-against-the-wall-should-district-be-allowed-to-demand-middle-schoolers-facebook-password#.T19jBCz3f8g.facebook

A 12-year-old Minnesota girl was reduced to tears while school officials and a police officer rummaged through her private Facebook postings after forcing her to surrender her password, an ACLU lawsuit alleges.
1427  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / JFK's planned 11/22 speech on: March 12, 2012, 09:16:44 PM
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Ready-Reference/JFK-Speeches/Remarks-Prepared-for-Delivery-at-the-Trade-Mart-in-Dallas-November-22-1963.aspx

"Above all, words alone are not enough. The United States is a peaceful nation. And where our strength and determination are clear, our words need merely to convey conviction, not belligerence. If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help."
1428  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Prisons on: March 11, 2012, 07:57:30 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-03-01/buying-prisons-require-high-occupancy/53402894/1

"At a time when states are struggling to reduce bloated prison populations and tight budgets, a private prison management company is offering to buy prisons in exchange for various considerations, including a controversial guarantee that the governments maintain a 90% occupancy rate for at least 20 years."
1429  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: UCLA Professor: Without Media Bias the Average US State Would Vote Like Texas on: March 11, 2012, 12:09:47 PM
Groseclose is an excellent source.  I look forward hearing more about the book, and reading it if I get the time. 

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1ca_1314455872


UCLA Professor: Without Media Bias the Average US State Would Vote Like Texas or Tennessee




Dr. Tim Groseclose is the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at UCLA. He has joint appointments in the political science and economics departments and has held previous faculty appointments at Caltech, Stanford University, Ohio State University, Harvard University, and Carnegie Mellon University.
 
Tim released the book Left Turn recently and was on Hannity with Senator Fred Thompson on Friday night to discuss the book.

http://www.timgroseclose.com/
1430  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: March 11, 2012, 08:35:34 AM
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/03/breitbartcoms-massive-barack-obama-derrick-bell-video-fail/254213/

As is often the case, we do not see eye to eye on this issue.  And that is fine.  I'll wait to see what the enormous "bombshell" is that Breitbart and Co. are planning for later in the week. 
1431  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: March 10, 2012, 11:14:32 PM
Because you missed an episode?  It has been available for three years, on the secret website of YouTube. 
1432  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: March 10, 2012, 10:18:17 PM
Here is a link to the show on YouTube posted 3 years ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpEpg12kEnc

Is your oversight of the episode a government conspiracy?
1433  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Derrick Bell on: March 10, 2012, 09:24:26 PM
"...there’s nothing new about the clip or Obama’s role in the controversy at Harvard Law School. In 2008, as a part of our quadrennial election special The Choice 2008,  FRONTLINE ran the same footage of the speech as a part of an exploration of Obama’s time at Harvard Law School, where he graduated in 1991. It’s been online at our site and on YouTube since then."  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/government-elections-politics/the-story-behind-the-obama-law-school-speech-video/

Here is the entire show: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/choice2008/view/

Sent to me by an internet friend:
=====================

Derrick Bell maintained throughout his life that racial minorities in the U.S. were a PERMANENTLY oppressed caste.  Bell endorsed a journal called "Race Traitor," which is dedicated to the "abolition of whiteness," and whose motto is "Treason to the white race is loyalty to humanity." Obama's mentor and campaign advisor from 2008 has admitted they intentionally hid this video from the media during the 2008 campaign.  Stay tuned - this is only the beginning of what Breitbart's staff has uncovered.

Our "mainstream" media has failed miserably to do its job with regard to vetting Obama.  Now the whole truth is finally coming out.  Of course already the mainstream media mantra regarding this is:  "There's nothing to see here.  No big deal.  Move along."


www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/03/07/buzzefeed-selectively-edits-obama-tape

Here is a profile of Professor Derrick Bell - just so you know exactly who Obama's close friends are, and what he really believes:


www.discoverthenetworks.org/printindividualProfile.asp?indid=2175

1434  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Is today the day? on: March 10, 2012, 11:18:40 AM
A WEEK and a half ago, the day after the school shooting near Cleveland, a student stood in the doorway of my Bronx college classroom. He was eating half a bagel with cream cheese. It was a month into the semester, 45 minutes into the class period. I didn’t remember ever having seen him before.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/10/opinion/teachers-need-trust-and-security.html?ref=opinion
1435  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bolton and Yoo opine on: March 10, 2012, 11:15:05 AM
OUTER space has become the next frontier for American national security and business. From space, we follow terrorists and intercept their communications, detect foreign military deployments, and monitor a proliferation of unconventional weapons. Our Global Positioning System gives us targeting and tactical advantages, spacecraft create image-rich maps, and satellites beam data around the world.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/opinion/hands-off-the-heavens.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=john%20yoo&st=Search
1436  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Riding the Dragon on: March 08, 2012, 08:51:59 PM
From the Norwegian Coast Guard to Israeli drone technicians, 8 surprising winners of China's massive military buildup.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/03/07/riding_the_dragon?page=full
1437  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Beat The Crap Out Of Cancer 2 on: March 08, 2012, 05:34:29 PM
Awesome!  Good work to all who participated!
1438  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 06, 2012, 09:25:49 AM
Look here:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/signed-legislation

"signed 203 pieces of legislation"

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

And I try to stay a bit informed.

No wonder it is so easy to bribe blocks of voters with other people's monies.
1439  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel and an Arab Justice on: March 06, 2012, 06:59:12 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/05/world/middleeast/anger-and-compassion-for-justice-who-stays-silent-during-zionist-hymn.html

Politics and the Israeli Supreme Court. 
1440  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / fallout of BP oil spill on: March 04, 2012, 06:52:16 PM
http://nationaljournal.com/energy/the-worst-may-be-yet-to-come-for-bp-and-its-partners-in-the-gulf-of-mexico-disaster-20120303?mrefid=freehplead_2
1441  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama at AIPAC on: March 04, 2012, 06:46:10 PM
http://www.nationaljournal.com/whitehouse/obama-plays-hawk-in-chief-on-iran-20120304?page=1
1442  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: James Q. Wilson on: March 03, 2012, 02:36:31 PM

This is a big loss. 
1443  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Moderation no More? on: March 01, 2012, 09:04:43 AM
http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_102/No-Room-for-GOP-Moderates-212765-1.html?ET=rollcall:e12343:80133681a:&st=email&pos=eam

With Sen. Olympia Snowe’s startling Tuesday announcement that she would retire, the GOP now must grapple with a key question: Did the centrist Republican lose interest in her Conference or did her Conference lose interest in centrist Republicans?

In the shadow of 2010’s conservative wave election, Snowe had become a “lone wolf” who was “adrift” in her own party, Republicans sources said. Snowe herself conceded Wednesday that she had been so focused on her re-election — and staving off a primary challenge since even before 2010 — that she had lost sight of why she was running in the first place.

Those close to Republican leadership insist that the Conference has not become inhospitable to moderates, but Snowe’s statements paint the picture of an establishment Republican frustrated with the direction of her party and unsure it will change anytime soon.

“It’s about the country and solving problems, and that was my final conclusion. ... If we cannot solve problems in this difficult time in our nation’s history, at what point would we? And whether or not that would change, that dynamic. And that’s the problem,” Snowe said Wednesday when asked whether a GOP takeover of the chamber in November would lead to more legislative productivity.

.... Continued on link
1444  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / People Aren't Smart Enough for Democracy on: March 01, 2012, 09:03:12 AM
So says this article:

http://www.livescience.com/18706-people-smart-democracy.html?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150565482731373_20634352_10150568265926373#fff6c3e6c6c2ad
1445  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / InterPol arrests 25 Anonymous hackers on: February 28, 2012, 09:02:39 PM
...in Europe and South America.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46563704
1446  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Anonymous on: February 28, 2012, 08:57:32 AM
In Attack on Vatican Web Site, a Glimpse of Hackers’ Tactics
By NICOLE PERLROTH and JOHN MARKOFF

SAN FRANCISCO — The elusive hacker movement known as Anonymous has carried out Internet attacks on well-known organizations like Sony and PBS. In August, the group went after its most prominent target yet: the Vatican.

The campaign against the Vatican, which did not receive wide attention at the time, involved hundreds of people, some with hacking skills and some without. A core group of participants openly drummed up support for the attack using YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Others searched for vulnerabilities on a Vatican Web site and, when that failed, enlisted amateur recruits to flood the site with traffic, hoping it would crash, according to a computer security firm’s report to be released this week.

The attack, albeit an unsuccessful one, provides a rare glimpse into the recruiting, reconnaissance and warfare tactics used by the shadowy hacking collective.

Anonymous, which first gained widespread notice with an attack on the Church of Scientology in 2008, has since carried out hundreds of increasingly bold strikes, taking aim at perceived enemies including law enforcement agencies, Internet security companies and opponents of the whistle-blower site WikiLeaks.

The group’s attack on the Vatican was confirmed by the hackers and is detailed in a report that Imperva, a computer security company based in Redwood City, Calif., plans to release ahead of a computer security conference here this week. It may be the first end-to-end record of a full Anonymous attack.

Though Imperva declined to identify the target of the attack and kept any mention of the Vatican out of its report, two people briefed on the investigation confirmed that it had been the target. Imperva had a unique window into the situation because it had been hired by the Vatican’s security team as a subcontractor to block and record the assault.

“We have seen the tools and the techniques that were used in this attack used by other criminal groups on the Web,” said Amichai Shulman, Imperva’s chief technology officer. “What set this attack apart from others is it had a clear timeline and evolution, starting from an announcement and recruitment phase that was very public.”

The Vatican declined to comment on the attack. In an e-mail intended for a colleague but accidentally sent to a reporter, a church official wrote: “I do not think it is convenient to respond to journalists on real or potential attacks,” adding, “The more we are silent in this area the better.”

The attack was called Operation Pharisee in a reference to the sect that Jesus called hypocrites. It was initially organized by hackers in South America and Mexico before spreading to other countries, and it was timed to coincide with Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Madrid in August 2011 for World Youth Day, an international event held every other year that regularly attracts more than a million Catholic youths.

Hackers initially tried to take down a Web site set up by the church to promote the event, handle registrations and sell merchandise. Their goal — according to YouTube messages delivered by an Anonymous figure in a Guy Fawkes mask — was to disrupt the event and draw attention to child sexual abuse by priests, among other issues.

The videos, which have been viewed more than 77,000 times, include a verbal attack on the pope and the young people who “have forgotten the abominations of the Catholic Church.” One calls on volunteers to “prepare your weapons, my dear brother, for this August 17th to Sunday August 21st, we will drop anger over the Vatican.”

Much as in a grass-roots lobbying campaign, the hackers spent weeks spreading their message through their own Web site and social sites like Twitter and Flickr. Their Facebook page called on volunteers to download free attack software and implored them to “stop child abuse” by joining the cause. It featured split-screen images of the pope seated on a gilded throne on one side and starving African children on the other. And it linked to articles about sexual abuse cases and blog posts itemizing the church’s assets.

It took the hackers 18 days to recruit enough people, the report says. Then the reconnaissance began. A core group of roughly a dozen skilled hackers spent three days poking around the church’s World Youth Day site looking for common security holes that could let them inside, the report says. Probing for such loopholes used to be tedious and slow, but the advent of automated tools made it possible for hackers to do this while they slept.

In this case, the scanning software failed to turn up any gaps. So the hackers turned to a brute-force approach — a so-called distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attack that involves clogging a site with data requests until it crashes. Even unskilled supporters could take part in this from their computers or smartphones.

“Anonymous is a handful of geniuses surrounded by a legion of idiots,” said Cole Stryker, an author who has researched the movement. “You have four or five guys who really know what they’re doing and are able to pull off some of the more serious hacks, and then thousands of people spreading the word, or turning their computers over to participate in a DDoS attack.”

Over the course of the campaign’s final two days, Anonymous enlisted as many as a thousand people to download attack software, or directed them to custom-built Web sites that let them participate using their cellphones. Visiting a particular Web address caused the phones to instantly start flooding the target Web site with hundreds of data requests each second, with no special software required, the report says.

On the first day, the denial-of-service attack resulted in 28 times the normal traffic to the church site, rising to 34 times the next day. Hackers involved in the attack, who did not identify themselves, said through a Twitter account associated with the campaign that the two-day effort succeeded in slowing the site’s performance and making the page unavailable “in several countries.” Imperva disputed that the site’s performance was affected and said its technologies had successfully siphoned the excess data away from the site.

Anonymous moved on to other targets, including an unofficial site about the pope, which the hackers were briefly able to deface.

Imperva executives say the Vatican’s defenses held up because, unlike Sony and other hacker targets, it invested in the infrastructure needed to repel both break-ins and full-scale assaults.

Researchers who have followed Anonymous say that despite its lack of success in this and other campaigns, recent attacks show the movement is still evolving and, if anything, emboldened. Threatened attacks on the New York Stock Exchange and Facebook last autumn apparently fizzled. But the hackers appeared to regain momentum in January after federal authorities shut down Megaupload, a popular file-sharing site.

In retaliation, hackers affiliated with Anonymous briefly knocked dozens of Web sites offline, including those of the F.B.I., the White House and the Justice Department. At one point, they were able to eavesdrop on a conference call between the F.B.I. and Scotland Yard.

“Part of the reason ‘Op Megaupload’ was so successful is that they’ve learned from their past mistakes,” said Gabriella Coleman, an associate professor at McGill University who has studied Anonymous. Professor Coleman said the hackers had been using a new tool to better protect their anonymity. “Finally people felt safe using it,” she said. “That could explain why it was so big.”

In recent weeks, Anonymous has made increasingly bold threats, at one point promising to “shut the Internet down on March 31” by attacking servers that perform switchboard functions for the Internet.

Security experts now say that a sort of open season has begun. “Who is Anonymous?” asked Rob Rachwald, Imperva’s director of security. “Anyone can use the Anonymous umbrella to hack anyone at anytime.”

Indeed, in the last six months, hackers have attacked everything from pornography sites to the Web portals of Brazilian airlines. And some hackers have been accused of trying to extort money from corporations — all under the banner of Anonymous.

“Anonymous is an idea, a global protest movement, by activists on the streets and by hackers in the network,” the hackers said through the Twitter account. “Anyone can be Anonymous, because we are an idea without leaders who defend freedom and promote free knowledge.”
1447  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Tecumseh on: February 28, 2012, 08:54:29 AM
So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to foolsand robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weepand pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.
1448  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 27, 2012, 07:37:12 PM
I would guess one of three things:
1.  Question wording.
2.  One of the two polls happens to be outside of the confidence interval.
3.  The universe from which the respondents were selected.  For example, I will admit to looking at either since reading it originally, I think the Politico poll was taken from battleground states, or at least it was advertised that way.
1449  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: polls all over the place on: February 27, 2012, 12:06:09 PM
Rasmussen says that both Romney and Paul are leading Obama for the first time.

This is NOT what they report, however.  What they report, below all the headlines, is that "The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence."  This means a statistical tie.



Politico headlines Obama approval at 53% and kicking the behinds of all Republican comers.

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

I suspect Rasmussen is closer to the truth. 

To me Brock is getting more and more desperate.

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

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

I'll make that bet now.  How about the cost of one postage stamp?
1450  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Electoral organization on: February 27, 2012, 05:29:20 AM
This, primarily, focuses on the GOP presidential hopefuls.  It is a good discussion about the importance of the electoral organization, not just the "attractiveness" of a candidate.

http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_99/Presidential-Primary-Has-GOP-Nervous-212616-1.html?ET=rollcall:e12301:80133681a:&st=email&pos=epol
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