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1501  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ability to fight 2 wars a thing of the past on: January 05, 2012, 06:34:11 AM
http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/202465-obama-to-unveil-defense-strategy-review-at-pentagon 
1502  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama and the recess appointment on: January 04, 2012, 10:51:39 AM
http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/banking-financial-institutions/202285-report-obama-will-recess-appoint-consumer-bureau-nominee


President Obama plans to circumvent Senate GOP opposition and recess-appoint his nominee to head a new consumer bureau, two senior administration officials told The Hill.

White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer confirmed the recess appointment of Richard Cordray on Wednesday on Twitter after the move was first reported by The Associated Press.

"We Can't Wait: Today in Ohio, President Obama will announce the recess appointment of Consumer Watchdog Richard Cordray," Pfeiffer tweeted.

Obama will recess-appoint Cordray to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Senate Republicans en masse voted to block the nomination in December and have sought to prevent congressional recesses by holding pro forma sessions every few days during longer breaks.

The White House believes the pro forma sessions are a "gimmick" and that the president has the power to make a recess appointment despite them, according to the AP report.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate were quick to blast the White House move.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Obama "arrogantly circumvented the American people" and said the decision "fundamentally endangers" Congress's ability to check the "excesses of the executive branch."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the effort an "extraordinary and entirely unprecedented power grab ... [that] would have a devastating effect on the checks and balances that are enshrined in our constitution."

He also hinted that a legal challenge could be in the works, adding he expects "the courts will find the appointment to be illegitimate."

A House GOP aide told The Hill that lawmakers might not have standing to file a lawsuit over the appointment, but a business affected by the agency would. So if a financial institution "gets clobbered by the agency," it could sue to challenge the nomination, the aide said.

The CFPB was created as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and is charged with enforcing a variety of financial consumer protection laws. However, it cannot fully realize its power until a director is in place.
1503  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iowa is not a GOP kingmaker on: January 04, 2012, 10:49:16 AM
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57351053-503544/iowas-bad-track-record-for-picking-gop-winners/
1504  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bachmann done on: January 04, 2012, 10:48:13 AM
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/202269-bachmann-cancels-sc-events-announces-press-conference
1505  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iowa stereotypes on: January 03, 2012, 07:25:32 PM
Be sure to watch the video.  It's pretty funny.

http://caucuses.desmoinesregister.com/2012/01/02/iowa-nice-made-for-laughs-busting-stereotypes/
1506  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Which states get the subsidies? on: January 03, 2012, 07:19:40 PM
The data is a bit dated, but interesting nonetheless.  Which states recieve the most federal subsidies (per dollar contributed)?

http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/266.html
1507  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Zbigniew on post US supremacy on: January 03, 2012, 07:10:11 PM
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/01/03/after_america&wsi=b5f246b28c1db26c&ei=cioDT7TzAqLIwAKqrOlX&wsc=bf

Not so long ago, a high-ranking Chinese official, who obviously had concluded that America's decline and China's rise were both inevitable, noted in a burst of candor to a senior U.S. official: "But, please, let America not decline too quickly." Although the inevitability of the Chinese leader's expectation is still far from certain, he was right to be cautious when looking forward to America's demise.

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For if America falters, the world is unlikely to be dominated by a single preeminent successor -- not even China. International uncertainty, increased tension among global competitors, and even outright chaos would be far more likely outcomes.

While a sudden, massive crisis of the American system -- for instance, another financial crisis -- would produce a fast-moving chain reaction leading to global political and economic disorder, a steady drift by America into increasingly pervasive decay or endlessly widening warfare with Islam would be unlikely to produce, even by 2025, an effective global successor. No single power will be ready by then to exercise the role that the world, upon the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, expected the United States to play: the leader of a new, globally cooperative world order. More probable would be a protracted phase of rather inconclusive realignments of both global and regional power, with no grand winners and many more losers, in a setting of international uncertainty and even of potentially fatal risks to global well-being. Rather than a world where dreams of democracy flourish, a Hobbesian world of enhanced national security based on varying fusions of authoritarianism, nationalism, and religion could ensue.

Related

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
8 Geopolitically Endangered Species

The leaders of the world's second-rank powers, among them India, Japan, Russia, and some European countries, are already assessing the potential impact of U.S. decline on their respective national interests. The Japanese, fearful of an assertive China dominating the Asian mainland, may be thinking of closer links with Europe. Leaders in India and Japan may be considering closer political and even military cooperation in case America falters and China rises. Russia, while perhaps engaging in wishful thinking (even schadenfreude) about America's uncertain prospects, will almost certainly have its eye on the independent states of the former Soviet Union. Europe, not yet cohesive, would likely be pulled in several directions: Germany and Italy toward Russia because of commercial interests, France and insecure Central Europe in favor of a politically tighter European Union, and Britain toward manipulating a balance within the EU while preserving its special relationship with a declining United States. Others may move more rapidly to carve out their own regional spheres: Turkey in the area of the old Ottoman Empire, Brazil in the Southern Hemisphere, and so forth. None of these countries, however, will have the requisite combination of economic, financial, technological, and military power even to consider inheriting America's leading role.

China, invariably mentioned as America's prospective successor, has an impressive imperial lineage and a strategic tradition of carefully calibrated patience, both of which have been critical to its overwhelmingly successful, several-thousand-year-long history. China thus prudently accepts the existing international system, even if it does not view the prevailing hierarchy as permanent. It recognizes that success depends not on the system's dramatic collapse but on its evolution toward a gradual redistribution of power. Moreover, the basic reality is that China is not yet ready to assume in full America's role in the world. Beijing's leaders themselves have repeatedly emphasized that on every important measure of development, wealth, and power, China will still be a modernizing and developing state several decades from now, significantly behind not only the United States but also Europe and Japan in the major per capita indices of modernity and national power. Accordingly, Chinese leaders have been restrained in laying any overt claims to global leadership.

At some stage, however, a more assertive Chinese nationalism could arise and damage China's international interests. A swaggering, nationalistic Beijing would unintentionally mobilize a powerful regional coalition against itself. None of China's key neighbors -- India, Japan, and Russia -- is ready to acknowledge China's entitlement to America's place on the global totem pole. They might even seek support from a waning America to offset an overly assertive China. The resulting regional scramble could become intense, especially given the similar nationalistic tendencies among China's neighbors. A phase of acute international tension in Asia could ensue. Asia of the 21st century could then begin to resemble Europe of the 20th century -- violent and bloodthirsty.

At the same time, the security of a number of weaker states located geographically next to major regional powers also depends on the international status quo reinforced by America's global preeminence -- and would be made significantly more vulnerable in proportion to America's decline. The states in that exposed position -- including Georgia, Taiwan, South Korea, Belarus, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, and the greater Middle East -- are today's geopolitical equivalents of nature's most endangered species. Their fates are closely tied to the nature of the international environment left behind by a waning America, be it ordered and restrained or, much more likely, self-serving and expansionist.

A faltering United States could also find its strategic partnership with Mexico in jeopardy. America's economic resilience and political stability have so far mitigated many of the challenges posed by such sensitive neighborhood issues as economic dependence, immigration, and the narcotics trade. A decline in American power, however, would likely undermine the health and good judgment of the U.S. economic and political systems. A waning United States would likely be more nationalistic, more defensive about its national identity, more paranoid about its homeland security, and less willing to sacrifice resources for the sake of others' development. The worsening of relations between a declining America and an internally troubled Mexico could even give rise to a particularly ominous phenomenon: the emergence, as a major issue in nationalistically aroused Mexican politics, of territorial claims justified by history and ignited by cross-border incidents.

Another consequence of American decline could be a corrosion of the generally cooperative management of the global commons -- shared interests such as sea lanes, space, cyberspace, and the environment, whose protection is imperative to the long-term growth of the global economy and the continuation of basic geopolitical stability. In almost every case, the potential absence of a constructive and influential U.S. role would fatally undermine the essential communality of the global commons because the superiority and ubiquity of American power creates order where there would normally be conflict.

None of this will necessarily come to pass. Nor is the concern that America's decline would generate global insecurity, endanger some vulnerable states, and produce a more troubled North American neighborhood an argument for U.S. global supremacy. In fact, the strategic complexities of the world in the 21st century make such supremacy unattainable. But those dreaming today of America's collapse would probably come to regret it. And as the world after America would be increasingly complicated and chaotic, it is imperative that the United States pursue a new, timely strategic vision for its foreign policy -- or start bracing itself for a dangerous slide into global turmoil.

1508  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharpton "anchor" on: January 03, 2012, 07:03:07 PM
This is disappointing.  Thanks for posting.

The *establishment guy*, Sharpton may take over the time slot for Uygur:

"too establishment"
"challenge power"

****Al Sharpton Close to Anchor Deal at MSNBC
 
Reuters  Jul 21, 2011 Say hello to Al Sharpton and goodbye to Cenk Uygur for MSNBC's 6 p.m. time slot. According to The New York Times's Brian Stelter, a deal is "imminent" to have the civil rights firebrand anchor his own show, following Uygur's six-month tryout. Stelter says the deal comes as "MSNBC and other news channels have been criticized for a paucity of minority hosts in prominent time slots." Uygur was offered a contract to host his own weekend show but declined saying to viewers on his web show The Young Turks that MSNBC was too "establishment." He explained, “I didn’t want to work in a place that wouldn’t let me do my kind of show, that wasn’t interested in my kind of show, that didn’t want to challenge power."

In the Times article Uygur says that in April MSNBC president Phil Griffin “called me into his office and said that he’d been talking to people in Washington, and that they did not like my tone.” According to Uygur, Griffin didn't like him criticizing President Obama so extensively. On his web show, he offered the words of one of his fans to explain his feelings: “Watching Cenk on The Young Turks is like watching a tiger in the wild; watching him on MSNBC is like watching a tiger in a cage.” Nice imagery.****



1509  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fire Hydrant: Howls from Crafty Dog, Rules of the Road, etc on: January 03, 2012, 07:01:45 PM
I love this idea, Kostas.  As the Pack and Tribe grow, I think that continuing a sense a community is imperative for their continued strength and growth.  Good work!
1510  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / RIP Ranger Anderson on: January 01, 2012, 06:54:35 PM
http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/01/9875731-ranger-fatally-shot-at-mount-rainier-national-park
1511  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Y2K12 failure in Denver? on: January 01, 2012, 06:52:47 PM
http://overheadbin.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/01/9878326-chaos-as-guests-locked-out-of-rooms-at-denver-hotel
1512  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: January 01, 2012, 06:06:26 AM
GM, my point is that some of the best people in STEM have liberal arts degrees, or at least degrees from a LAC.  It also is the case that many people who earn a liberal arts degree are employed in something outside their area of study, but are often better at their job because of the liberal arts degree. 

I'd tend to agree with some stipulations that more education is better...

I'll settle for this.  Happy New Year, GM.  You helped make 2011 more interesting and informative.  Looking forward to 2012!
1513  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: December 31, 2011, 06:48:32 PM
GM, my point is that some of the best people in STEM have liberal arts degrees, or at least degrees from a LAC.  It also is the case that many people who earn a liberal arts degree are employed in something outside their area of study, but are often better at their job because of the liberal arts degree. 
1514  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: December 31, 2011, 06:29:05 PM
Ever hear of Maui Jim sunglasses?  Guess who owns the company. 

I have several students making serious money starting out, in a first job.  Economics, political science, history, English and many other liberal arts majors can produce money makers.  Of course, some people major in something just because they enjoy it.  I even have a couple criminal justice majors, who I am sure will make mad cash. 

"There are liberal arts colleges which to produce RNs.  My college just began a program, with the best medical school in the country, because the med school wanted liberal arts trained nursing students.  Something about the ability to write, learning ethics and the ability to think critically... especially when coupled with a high quality science background." 

Cool. the other students at those liberal arts colleges can say that some of the people they went school with got good paying jobs right after graduation. Nice! Them and Newt will really alter the average income for liberal arts grads!
1515  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: December 31, 2011, 06:50:35 AM
There are liberal arts colleges which to produce RNs.  My college just began a program, with the best medical school in the country, because the med school wanted liberal arts trained nursing students.  Something about the ability to write, learning ethics and the ability to think critically... especially when coupled with a high quality science background.  

And, did you see how much a historian can make?  Newt is bringing back the bank for liberal arts majors!
1516  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: December 30, 2011, 09:02:50 PM
I agree that education and real estate investments have some similarities.  May I suggest some others?  1, as with a home you will be living in, be sure you are comfortable with the environment you will be studying in.  2, you DO own your education.  And the idea that you can't make off of it is silly.  It is also silly to suggest that liberal arts degrees do not provide marketable skills.  3, like a home, if you want to increase the resale value you need to cultivate your investment.  If you buy a house, then don't mow the yard, let the roof go to shit, and don't fix the front step your investment is going to reap rewards like you want.  Likewise, if you invest in an education and you drink and f%#@ your way through school, rarely go to class, fail to turn in assignments in a timely fashion and view 30 pages per class of reading as an arduous chore (especially since Jersey Shore is on), you didn't really learn any damn thing no matter what your major is. 

Liberal arts colleges do a damn good job of training students for the "real" world.  Are students willing to pay the price (in non-monetary terms) to recieve the training?  That is the great question in the next few decades.   
1517  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: December 28, 2011, 06:57:11 AM
Thank you for the follow-up, Doug.  We agree more than I thought based on your first post related to the BW interview with President Obama. 
1518  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: December 27, 2011, 01:55:22 PM
I admit to enjoying a cheap shot here - deservedly - at someone who travels at taxpayer expense to tell the nation that anyone who opposes him wants dirtier air, dirtier water, rewards only to the rich, etc. 

How do you feel about the franking privilege?  Or the (until recently) common use among presidential candidates to accept public funding?  Do you take the same offense when GOP candidates use taxpayer funds to get (re)elected?
1519  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: December 27, 2011, 11:29:17 AM
I certainly meant no offense to you, Guro.
1520  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: December 27, 2011, 11:20:55 AM
ccp: Doug said this: "Perhaps he didn't hear the last part of the question: "...Mr. President"!"

And, my response included this: "While I agree that the response may violate the spirit of the question...".

Is there really a problem here?


BD,
Interesting you noted how Walters addressed Obama.

Is that what Doug was pointing out?

My impression from the post was to first think at how obnoxiously self loving Obama is.

Of all things the only thing he even considers changing about himself is he wishes he took up an instrument.

The narcissism this answer reflects is astounding.  It suggests he thinks he is perfect except he never took up rap.
1521  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: December 27, 2011, 11:16:14 AM
Kwanza is not religious based, so there is no contradiction in celebrating it and Christmas.  30 million people worldwide, in a report I read recently, observe Kwanza.  It is based on values, culture and family... something I would think we can agree is valuable. 
1522  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential: Getting to know the candidates - Barack Obama on: December 27, 2011, 11:07:35 AM
I think you are being overly critical here, Doug.  While I agree that the response may violate the spirit of the question, it isn't like an interviewer is going to address the sitting POTUS by his first name. 

Deep Thoughts with Barbara Walters:  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be Mr. President?

"I deeply regret not having learned a musical instrument."

Perhaps he didn't hear the last part of the question: "...Mr. President"!

Something we agree on.  I wish his career had taken a different turn as well.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/12/26/obama_one_thing_id_like_to_change_about_myself_is__learn_an_instrument.html
1523  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: December 27, 2011, 11:03:31 AM
Give me a list of nations, historically, with a moral imperative similar to the US.

And I am not making the argument that the US should have invaded Iraq at the end of the Gulf War (and Guro you do recall correctly).  But don't pretend you've never heard the argument, ccp.  The argument HAS BEEN MADE.  

"The U.S. has a moral imperative that few, if any, other nations have or have ever had historically.  It kills me when politics undermines the actions we take.  If we are to have a moral purpose in the world, we need to have a credible committment to act responsibly."

First, I don't agree that few if any other nations have ever had.  Many nations have had over thousands of years.  

Second, politics has actually forced us to be extemely poltically correct in foreign policy.  WE ahve already gone to extraordianry lengths to protect the life and limb of non citizens at much cost to us.

"and arguably the lack of invasion of Iraq under GHW Bush"

Wow.
1524  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: December 26, 2011, 12:14:49 PM
I did compromise, JDN.  You aren't going to get me to make a claim that the US lacks a responsibility to Iraq.  Short term outlooks come back to bite countries in the ass in the long term.  See: the end of WWI; the end of US support in post-Soviet Afghanistan; and arguably the lack of invasion of Iraq under GHW Bush.  Countries that lack long term vision make mistake after mistake after mistake. 

Bigdog, thank you for your response.  On the analogy, let's try to compromise.  I'm glad you agree "they aren't blood".  I would go further and say Iraq is not "adopted".  We adopted Hawaii and Alaska.  They have
become part of our "blood" family and if attacked, we will respond with the full fury of our ability stopping at nothing to defeat our immediate blood family's enemy.

Rather, I look upon Iraq as at most a 7 year old foster care child.  "Foster care is temporary care provided to children who have been removed from their home due to abuse or neglect. Foster parents are responsible for the day-to-day care of a child, ..."  "Foster care is a temporary situation, and is dependent on this child's family circumstances. This can range from days to months, or even years. The main goal is to safely reunite a child with his or her family."

Iraq will never be our "blood family" nor does any American intend to "adopt" Iraq.  Out of the goodness of our heart, like to a foster child, we will provide short to immediate term care.  But they are not our long term responsibility.  Our goal is to make them independent.  After eight years, like from a foster child we can with honor walk away after all that we have done for Iraq.  And while I hope for their best, like a foster child, I bare no future responsibility for Iraq other than to say I tried my best; the same I would say if I  was a foster parent.

As to time, I appreciate your point, however for America, the Revolution and even the Civil War are ancient history.  Further, I would ague that "time" seems to have accelerated.  Changes are happening more frequently.  I am not criticizing Edinburgh's concept of time (I spent a lovely month in Edinburgh), but the world is changing much faster than that small town.  Eight years is a long time for a mere foster child relationship.  It was too long in Iraq.



1525  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: December 26, 2011, 06:20:08 AM
JDN: I take no offense, but I appreciate your sentiment.  My analogy might be better with 7 year old adopted triplets.  They aren't blood, but they are your responsibility because you chose to take responsibility for them.  

Eight years is not a long time.  Americans, myself included, have this weird time frame issue that doesn't exist elsewhere.  I once heard a former reporter tell a story about meeting a Chinese diplomat, and asking if China was failing in the wake of WWII, Mao, being overshadowed by the Soviets, etc.  The diplomat replied that China remained strong, and that it had "only been a bad century."  I have a friend who attended the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.  He had a great time.  One of the things that struck him was that the university was divided into two campuses: the old campus and the new campus.  The new campus was something like 300 years old.  Americans have a short time vision.  We treat the Revolution and Civil War like they were ancient history.  (This view is seen in many people, in many different policy arenas, including racial equality, by the way, when it is argued that blacks have had sixty years to work toward equality, and the tone is that of incredulity or disbelief that inequality could remain pervasive, but I digress to make a point.)  Eight years is not long.  

There are things that Americans can change their minds about.  I can decide I don't like a brand of car, a pair of shoes, a way of eating, or a sport.  I cannot simply walk away from my adopted triplets.  We can change our minds about relationships (changes in our view toward Japan and Germany spring to mind), our domestic policy (welfare or health care), but we simply should not forego a responsibility that we chose to bear.  


With no offense, I usually agree with you Bigdog, but I'm not sure your analogy is applicable.  A better comparison would be if you now had 21 year old triplets at home.  Yes, you could tell them what to do (as my father always said, my house, my rules) but they are adults and are responsible for themselves.  As is Iraq.  We have been there eight LONG years.  Maybe they were mere children, but after eight years, they claim to be adults.  Thousands of Americans have died, THOUSANDS upon thousands more have been wounded.  And we have spent nearly a trillion dollars.  Enough is enough.  As you point out, Iraq is hardly a mature democracy at this point, NOR will it be in my lifetime.  Time for us move on.  

Further, with all due respect to the Iraqis, they are not Americans.  Again, using your analogy, Family is family; I would die for my seven year old triplets if they were threatened, but I'm not sure why Americans are dying in Iraq.  Why should Americans keep dying for someone who seems to hate us?  Because WE think the cause right?  Even though their freely elected government is clearly kicking us out?  I think after EIGHT LONG YEARS with little to show for it except thousands of American lives lost or injured and a trillion dollars gone, Americans have a right to wise up and change their mind and say enough....  What the heck are we doing in Iraq?  And that is just what happened.  America wised up.
1526  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: December 25, 2011, 09:25:53 PM
The cost of an action should not absolve a nation, of its responsibility.  I doubt seriously that anyone on this board would be as forgiving of a father who failed to pay child support because the cost to him undermined his standard of living.

The arguement that the voters play a role in pulling out of Iraq ignores the votes cast by American citizens in prior elections.  George W. Bush was elected in 2000.  He was also REELECTED in 2004, in large becasue of his willingness to invade and fight in Iraq.  Those elections cannot be ignored any more than current claims that Obama's election was a vote for change.  Again, whether or not you intended to make baby does not absolve you of the responsibilites that accompany your actions (and lack of quality decision making, if you feel that a mistake was made).  

The people of Iraq have been fighting for hundreds of years.  Iraq is hardly a mature democracy at this point.  Continuing on with my methaphorical comparison to parenthood, you wouldn't leave your seven year old triplets at home by themselves, even they asked you to do so.  And, yes, I am aware that this is unfair, in many ways, to the Iraqi people.  The comparison is just meant to simplify and explain.  Actions that some of you would never excuse under some circumstances you seem to be lining up to do so now.  

Here is the heart of my concern.  Electoral politics should not be the reason why we, as a nation, choose to engage or disengage internationally.  The U.S. has a moral imperative that few, if any, other nations have or have ever had historically.  It kills me when politics undermines the actions we take.  If we are to have a moral purpose in the world, we need to have a credible committment to act responsibly.  Period.  Regardless of party.  Regardless of election cycle.  And for anti-war folks to use an argument for reasons not to go to war, and then change arguments once we do really concerns me as citizen who wants my country to be the illustration of a responsible world power AND democracy.  
1527  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: December 23, 2011, 07:11:10 PM
That is awesome.  I liked the Second Amendment Primer put out by the NRA about 10 years ago. 
1528  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: December 23, 2011, 06:37:37 AM
BBG: Snowdon's book looks to be very interesting.  Thank you for sharing the review.  Had I written his first book, though, it would have been titled "Velvet Glove, Iron Lung." 
1529  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dems/liberals used to want to fix Iraq on: December 23, 2011, 06:25:15 AM
One of the things that seems lost in the U.S. leaving Iraq is that Democrats and/or liberals, including many anti-war activists who were opposed to the invading Iraq to begin with, recognized that upon invasion it became the duty, or even moral imperative, of the U.S. to improve the Iraqi situation.  Leaving prematurely, allowing for sectarian violence, no matter what public opinion says, is in my opinion shirking the duty of the nation.  While I realize that it was the Bush administration who invaded, this situation should not be ignored by a new administration.  I get so g&%d#%! pissed off at all the partisan finger pointing, Republican vs. Democrat, liberal vs. conservative bullsh!+ that goes on in Washington, state caps, and even here sometimes.  This is a question/issue that should be beyond the pale of partisanship and political ideology.  It is a moral question.  It should be the responsibility of the United States and the American people to do what is right.

Below is a link to an article dated from Oct., 2004 which includes the following, in regards to Iraq: "'Secretary of State Colin Powell told this president the Pottery Barn rule,; Kerry said, 'If you break it, you fix it.'... 'Now if you break it, you made a mistake. It's the wrong thing to do. But you own it. And then you've got to fix it and do something with it. Now that's what we have to do.'  http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/arts/17iht-saf18.html (even John Kerry got the responsibility of the US in Iraq)

I remember many, many anti-war activist/protester folks using the analogy before the invasion.  Now, though, and immediately in the wake of deposing Saddam, they wanted to get out.  BS then and BS now.  It IS the responsibility of the U.S. to make it right.  
1530  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A Prudent Response to Chinese Military Modernization on: December 19, 2011, 08:24:03 PM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lawrence-korb/defense-spending_b_1158413.html
1531  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: December 18, 2011, 05:30:59 AM
"Moral timidity and a hapless bureaucracy have wedged our doors tightly shut and the Iraqis who remained loyal to us are weeks away from learning how little America’s word means."

Thank you for posting this article, P.C.  It seems as though this has become a habitual pattern for our nation.  And this strikes as incredibly important.  As we engage China (and Iran and many others), like it or not we will need help and we will need to be trusted.  Do we mean what we say with Taiwan?  Japan?  The Philippines?  Others?  Even if the answer is yes on dealing with these particular countries, we will be seen by them (or China) as having a credible committment?  Or, is the fact that we do not honor our allies likely to lead to further doubt on the part of out natural and historic allies (and enemies)?     

1532  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 18, 2011, 05:16:20 AM
Woof Guro... I completely understand your position, and the reasons why you have this position.  And, I also believe in the importance of intellectual property. 

You asked the question, and I tried to find an article that addressed it with more specifics than the article you took to task. 
1533  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "A pornographer's wet dream" on: December 17, 2011, 07:52:40 PM
Ummm , , , what is wrong with SOPA?


This link may address some of your question. 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57344507-281/internet-is-for-porn-pops-up-during-house-sopa-debate/?tag=mncol%3BsubStories
1534  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: December 17, 2011, 02:52:40 PM
We still need a President.  Who then?

A Crafty/DougMacG ticket.  With GM as SecDef.   evil cool
1535  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Fraternity rape survey on: December 17, 2011, 12:13:56 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/17/us/vermont-rape-survey/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
1536  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Constitutional Showdown in the Philippines on: December 17, 2011, 11:53:48 AM
This is pretty interesting.  The article makes clear comparison of the situation today in the Philippines to the "Court Packing Plan" in the U.S. under FDR.

http://opinion.inquirer.net/19229/‘save-the-constitution-from-the-court…’
1537  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mother Jones on NDAA on: December 16, 2011, 07:54:52 PM
Mother Jones' take on NDAA:
http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/12/defense-bill-passed-so-what-does-it-do-ndaa
1538  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NDAA Set To Become Law: The Terror Is Nearer Than Ever on: December 16, 2011, 09:09:14 AM
http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-set-to-become-law-the-terror-is-nearer-than-ever-2011-12#ixzz1gf5oyjR6   angry angry huh sad

It turns out that destroying the American democratic republic was easy to accomplish, historians will write someday. Simply get the three major cable news networks to blather on about useless bull**** for a few days, while legislators meet in secret behind closed doors to rush through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), and its evil twin sister, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which is a clever name for an Internet censorship bill straight out of an Orwellian nightmare

And there is more on this, including Obama repealing his veto threat. 

Is our work here done, or is there a new beginning? 
1539  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment on: December 16, 2011, 08:39:59 AM
From GM: "Technology is a double-edged sword and one cannot decry it's ills while embracing it's goods. Say one of your kids has gone missing on a camping trip in the Sierra Nevadas. Given the choice, you you want the local Sheriff's Dept to have a small UAV with FLIR capabilities or not?"

I must confess to not understanding your point here, GM.  There is a major difference between use and misuse.  I appreciate trucks, for example, and decry their use in human trafficking.  I appreciate beer, and decry drunk driving (or other dangerous, derogatory behavior that often accompanies intoxication).  I appreciate guns, and decry their use school, workplace, domestic, terroristic shootings.  

I realize that I am jumping into an already established, ongoing debate.  If you prefer to not reply because of this, I understand.  
1540  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: What is college for? on: December 16, 2011, 08:35:10 AM
An interesting article from a philosophy professor on the purpose of college.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/what-is-college-for/

What is your take, BD?

You know I like college, GM. 
1541  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Programmer under oath admits computers rig elections on: December 15, 2011, 03:49:18 PM


Very interesting.  Paper trail!!!???
1542  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / WoW and CHUCK NORRIS!!! on: December 15, 2011, 12:32:03 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKaIlT_lK1s
1543  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / What is college for? on: December 15, 2011, 12:29:32 PM
An interesting article from a philosophy professor on the purpose of college.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/what-is-college-for/
1544  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / searchable USSC opinion website on: December 14, 2011, 04:45:20 PM
I recieved the following email from one of the authors who wrote the paper cited below.  The project looks interesting, to say the least.


I wanted to share an exciting legal language project that I think might be of interest to some you  http://legallanguageexplorer.com/  

In partnership with Michigan State University Law School  &  Emory Law School,  I am proud to announce the Beta Pre-Release of a Free New website designed to assist law scholars and students:   http://legallanguageexplorer.com/

Check it out and please feel free to share with others including blogs, your students, colleagues, etc.  We would love to get some web-traffic so we can identify bugs, etc. and make the site better for everyone.


HERE IS THE BASIC IDEA OF THE SITE:  
For Free, we offer you the chance to search the history of the United States Supreme Court (1791-2005) for ANY PHRASE  and get a frequency plot and the full text case results for that phrase.  Additional corpora such as US Ct. of Appeals Coming Very Soon!

We are just getting started here with this project and anticipate many features that will be rolling out to you in the near future.  We have announced it to world - so please feel free to share it with others.  

In addition, as we are still in Beta Pre-Release -- please feel free to send us your feedback / comments on the site.  Subject to resource and feasibility limitations, we are looking to make improvements to the site as we go.    


SCOPE OF COVERAGE:
In the current version, we are offering FULL TEXT results for EVERY decision of the United States Supreme Court (1791-2005).  We plan to soon expand to other corpora including the U.S. Court of Appeals, etc.
  

BASIC FEATURES:
Instant Return of a Time Series Plot for One or More Comma Separated Phrases.
When you access the site, the default search is currently interstate commerce, railroad, deed (with plots for each of the term displayed simultaneously).

Feel free to test out ANY phrase of Up to Four Words in length.

Here are just a few of our favorites:
Clear and Present Danger

Habeas Corpus

Custodial Interrogation

Due Process

Economics
Unconstitutional

Property

Privacy


FULL TEXT CASE ACCESS:

Each of the Phrases you search will be highlighted in Blue.  If you click on these highlighted phrases you will be taken to the full list of United States Supreme Court decisions that employ the selected phrase.  
Click to export the list to Excel or Click on an individual case and you will be able to access this case for free thanks to Carl Malamud at Public Resource.org (a Google Sponsored Public Interest Non Profit).

ADVANCED FEATURES:
  
Check out the advanced features including normalization (controlling for docket size) and alternative graphing tools.

PAPER:

Daniel Martin Katz, Michael J. Bommarito II, Julie Seaman, Adam Candeub & Eugene Agichtein, Legal N-Grams? A Simple Approach to Track the ‘Evolution’ of Legal Language in Proceedings of Jurix: The 24th International Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems (Vienna 2011)  available at  http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1971953

HELP / TUTORIAL:
Go Here and You Will Be Directed to a Brief Slide Based Tutorial Designed to Highlight Various Functions Available on the Site.  http://www.slideshare.net/Danielkatz/legal-language-explorer-com-tutorial  




1545  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Never Trust Anyone Who Hasn’t Been Punched in the Face on: December 14, 2011, 02:19:39 PM

Conservatives like to talk about the causes of Western Civilization’s downfall: feminism, loose morality, drug abuse, Christianity’s decline, reality TV. Blaming civilization’s downfall on lardy hagfish such as Andrea Dworkin is like a doctor diagnosing senility by an old person’s wrinkles. The fact that anyone listened to such a numskull is a symptom, not the cause, of a culture in decline. The cause of civilizational decline is dirt-simple: lack of contact with objective reality. The great banker-journalist (and founder of the original National Review) Walter Bagehot said it well almost 150 years ago:


Please share this article by using the link below. When you cut and paste an article, Taki's Magazine misses out on traffic, and our writers don't get paid for their work. Email editors@takimag.com to buy additional rights. http://takimag.com/article/never_trust_anyone_who_hasnt_been_punched_in_the_face/print#ixzz1gXgMcchx
1546  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Constitution Quest game on: December 13, 2011, 04:29:44 AM
This game may interest some:

http://www.constitutionquest.com/Home.html
1547  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The war between useless and useful on: December 11, 2011, 06:53:31 AM
May I ask what you consider to be "real world" skills or "useful" courses of study, GM?

http://classicalvalues.com/2011/11/the-war-between-useless-and-useful/

The war between useless and useful
November 28, 2011 11:56 am - Author: Eric


 

The Democrats have finally officially decided to dump the white working class.
 

For decades, Democrats have suffered continuous and increasingly severe losses among white voters. But preparations by Democratic operatives for the 2012 election make it clear for the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class.
 
All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.
 
Bear in mind that the group that is being jettisoned was once the backbone of the Democratic Party, just as the big business/country club sets were once the backbone of the Republican Party.
 
I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but from what I’ve seen around here, the white working class is quite used to feeling abandoned. Liberals are seen as the sort of people who would never get their hands dirty and who disdain blue collar jobs of any kind, instead gravitating towards elite positions at universities or jobs in government or public policy where they can tell their inferiors what to do. While the universities are filled with the latter, local community colleges are inundated with white working class kids seeking to obtain for themselves what they failed to get from the public schools: basic literacy and numeracy — and job skills which are of actual use in the real world.
 
Aside from the irony that anyone with a high school degree should have to go to college in order to learn to read and write, a perfect example of a valuable real-world skill is welding. Public school teachers (who reflect the view of the educrat class) tend to hold such “dirty” and “dangerous” work in disdain, and they steer kids away from it. Guidance counselors attempt to push them into universities where they go into a lifetime of debt for worthless degrees that impart zero job skills. But some of the kids are smarter than that. They realize that if you have a skill that is worth something in the real world, you can actually feed your family.

 
They also know something that the Occupy movement (often holders of useless degrees) has missed: that the educational system’s institutional bias against promoting real world skills has led to shortages — in some instances not of jobs, but of skilled workers to fill them. Such as welders.

1548  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: More on laches on: December 11, 2011, 06:51:50 AM
Guro,
     I have come to the conclusion that, while I do not like the idea of tying laches into civil liberties questions, and while I am not sure that legally your argument makes sense (or does make sense), at this juncture it does not matter.  You have won, at least in the sense that there has been a massive police crackdown nationally.  So, as the OWS movement appears to be in its death throws, I think the answer has been illustrated, even if the question was wrong.  If the Occupy movement is resusitated as the weather turns, or they decide to try, try again whenever, I will revisit the discussion.


a.  Yes, but...

b.  Agreed.  What I am trying to figure out, at a snail's pace, is the role/applications/limits of the sub-national governments and laches.  I have read some cases, including one from a Carolina (I think), that says that laches is not applicable to the states.  And, albeit a different question, the fact the the circuits can/do/have applied laches differently in different circumstances MAY mean that that your argument is applicable some places but not others.  Basically, I've been doing a a fair amount of reading on the subject recently, and need some time to figure it out. 


BD: I just skimmed that so please forgive me if I have missed some points, but herewith my observations

a) First and foremost, the question presented is inapplicable to the point I am making.  Are we agreed on this?

b) I don't have the separation of powers problem that some of the circuits do.  Isn't this a matter of remedy of law and/or equity?  To borrow the analogy of one of my professors (the wonderful Willis Reese, who was the Reporter for the Restatement of Conflict of Laws IIRC and/or maybe another one too)  I may have the right under the law to play the saxophone, but under the equitable doctrine of nuisance I do not have the right to play it under your bedroom window at 0300.   What is the difference of this from saying that that statutorily provided term for the statute of limitations does not foreclose the equitable doctrine of laches from being applied to the behavior for which it is intended?


PS:  Upon reflection, I am going to guess that the Supreme Court case of which I have been thinking was US v. GM (or GM v US) and would have been between 1917 and 1980; though I would guess it to have been decided in the 1960 or 70s.
1549  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: December 09, 2011, 01:49:13 PM
OK, but since we don't know, there could be plans in the works.  This is the same president who smiled at jokes about his inability to find bin Laden as the plans to kill him were being launched.  This is the same country that was the target of Stuxnet (something I am confident pissed Iran off).  I get your concern/lack of confidence/etc. but...
1550  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gulf of Aden on: December 09, 2011, 01:46:17 PM
The Gulf of Aden may be the most important body of water that no one seems to have heard of. 

https://www.10million.org/he/Piracy%20and%20Terror%20in%20the%20Gulf%20of%20Aden%20
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