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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level on: November 07, 2013, 04:20:41 PM
"I'm not advocating limits, just exercising my own free speech to call them out on their chicanery.  ('the use of trickery to achieve a political, financial, or legal purpose')  smiley"

I just laughed out loud. Literally. Well played, Doug.
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level on: November 07, 2013, 11:23:20 AM
One of my favorite parts of this forum is finding common ground, even among much disagreement.

In this case, ccp, you and I have two:

"BTW BigDog, I was never against campaign finance reform.  It does bother me how wealthy people, corporations, wealthy lobbyists can outright control or influence elections." You and I are of like minds on this subject.

"...Doug who is one of my favorite posters over the years." And here too.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply, ccp.
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / War Powers (drones) on: November 07, 2013, 09:53:32 AM
This might go here: http://www.lawfareblog.com/wiki/the-lawfare-wiki-document-library/war-powers/

I'm not sure there is a "perfect" thread for this.
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level on: November 07, 2013, 09:49:43 AM
"...the Democrat operatives didn't favor the Libertarian."

In a three horse race, the Dems most certainly did favor the Libertarian... over Cuccinelli. So they gave him money to speak their mind. I'll ask you the same question I pose to ccp: Why do you want limited campaign funding now?

Can't a Democrat give as much money to any candidate of his/her choice, in an effort to maximize freedom?

"Proponents like me of unlimited money in politics generally..."

Are you suggesting to me that the majority of those who want to give unlimited monies to candidates want all the information to be made public? Do you have evidence for this position? Do the Koch brothers? Warren Buffet? The people who are actually giving this money?

I didn't see "subterfuge" in your first post, but thanks for adding the definition.

And, for the record, Doug: I sincerely hope by now you know that I do not believe that you have a "small mind." I greatly enjoy and appreciate our exchanges.
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level on: November 07, 2013, 09:37:52 AM
"Why would do you think someone would run say as a Libertarian when he clearly is not, rather than say an "independent"?"

Because the Libertarian Party can get on a ballot much easier than an independent.

Did the Libertarian Party disavow Sarvis?

"Why would someone who was a major supporter of Obama fund this guy to the tune of 70% of his campaign funds through bundled donations?"

Because he was freely speaking his mind? Why do you want limited campaign funding now? Maybe if McCain-Feingold had not been overturned....
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lawfare and targeted killing on: November 07, 2013, 09:27:21 AM
http://www.lawfareblog.com/wiki/the-lawfare-wiki-document-library/targeted-killing/
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level on: November 07, 2013, 07:48:48 AM
"Yes it was crooked that Dems funded him [the faux-Libertarian]...". I don't follow you here Doug. It is simply free speech. How is that crooked?

My thinking is that a straight line in politics would be to advance and support issues, positions and candidates that you honestly favor, and a crooked path would be to use lies, deceit and subterfuge.  This strategy clearly falling  within the latter.

Your thinking is now that money equals speech?

Goodness, no. But yours is, and I still don't see why spending money in the manner above is seen as crooked. Perhaps I am unclear what a "straight line in politics" means. It seems to me that Dems clearly favored the libertarian.
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level on: November 06, 2013, 04:46:27 PM
"Yes it was crooked that Dems funded him...". I don't follow you here Doug. It is simply free speech. How is that crooked?
209  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / UC officer has affair with drug dealer on: November 06, 2013, 01:31:15 PM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2488154/Tempe-cop-Jessica-Dever-Jakusz-sex-drug-dealer-resigns.html
210  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / kids in the cage... on: November 06, 2013, 01:28:58 PM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2487527/Inside-world-child-cage-fighting-Boys-trained-attack-MMA-arenas.html
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / LAX Shooting Suspect Indentified on: November 01, 2013, 05:00:18 PM
I apologize for the source, having recently learned that quoting the Huffington Post is always a mistake.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/01/paul-anthony-ciancia-lax-shooting-suspect_n_4194156.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

From the article:

Law-enforcement officials tell NBC News that that Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, entered the airport around 9:20 a.m., Pacific Time, and opened fire inside Terminal 3. The Associated Press also reported that authorities named Ciancia as the suspect.
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / JJ on "drone courts" on: November 01, 2013, 05:31:16 AM
http://jnslp.com/2013/08/06/a-drone-court-some-pros-and-cons/
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The FOX News vast right wing conspiracy on: October 31, 2013, 03:28:13 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2013/10/30/how-fox-news-made-republicans-more-republican-and-democrats-more-republican-too/?wpisrc=nl_cage

From the article:

As the election drew near, Republicans in districts with Fox News became more likely to vote with their party, and Republicans in districts without Fox News less likely to vote with their party.  Democrats, however, behaved the opposite.  Democrats in districts with Fox News became less likely to vote with other Democrats.
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The judiciary and free speech on: October 31, 2013, 12:48:06 PM
George Will: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-the-judiciary-and-free-speech/2013/10/30/1da4119c-40bb-11e3-9c8b-e8deeb3c755b_story.html?wprss=rss_george-will
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: October 31, 2013, 06:25:23 AM
"The other point I question is racist 'realignment'." But not realignment?


"Is Powell not the poster person for Republican in name only charge?" Then there sure are a great number "poster" people. And so what: that wasn't the point of the article GM posted.

What is a "total" realignment?

And, originally all I said was that there was a party realignment after a claim that "nothing had changed" in electoral politics. GM, in his typical fashion, took that much farther and made claims of racism for an entire political party. I didn't see you comment on that claim, Doug.

"Some of us were Republican before and after that, and at least claim to not be racist." But this isn't the case with Democrats? Again, if the claim that an entire party is racist is wrong, why didn't you take GM to task for painting the entire Democratic party in an ugly light. Why only step in now?

When there is a claim that insults the intelligence of a great number of (insert race here) people, then the claim is racist.

Nothing excuses sexism, but illustrating a point of sexism doesn't sweep something else under the rug.


216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: October 30, 2013, 09:02:22 PM
And then you post articles which ignore that:

A) the first black Supreme Court nominee was a Democrat
B) and was nominated by a Democrat
C) and that the presidential candidate that phoned Coretta Scott King to support her jailed husband was a Democrat
D) that the first black Secretary of State left the Republican party, after his aide pointed out that the GOP is "full of racists": http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election-2012/powell-aide-gop-full-racists-article-1.1193673
E) that suggesting that the vast majority of blacks could be so easily "fooled" Democratic party is demeaning to people's intelligence, and is itself racist
F) suggests no actual knowledge about other components of history and politics, such as the incentive to stay with party, even after a realignment, due to seniority norms and benefits in Congress
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: October 30, 2013, 08:52:39 PM
No. Republicans have always been anti-slavery from the start and helped shape America for the better. The civil rights legislation the republicans pushed through despite the efforts of dems made this a better nation.

So, you posted an article as evidence that noted that there was a realignment, but don't believe it yourself?

You are genuinely amazing, GM.



I guess your academic indoctrination is disrupting your ability to read. You can't seem to grasp that the geneational cohort and demographics shift occurred and not the leftist lie that the racist democrats became republicans.


Man, you are so fing right. Except for the part where the article you submit as evidence fing says that there was a fing realignment.

"Under FDR, the Democrats successfully assembled a daunting, cross-regional coalition of presidential voters. To compete, the GOP had to develop a broader national outreach of its own, which meant adding a Southern strategy to its arsenal. In 1952, Dwight Eisenhower took his campaign as national hero southward. He, like Nixon in 1960, polled badly among Deep South whites. But Ike won four states in the Peripheral South. This marked their lasting realignment in presidential voting."
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / powerful pictures on: October 30, 2013, 02:07:10 PM
Not a thought piece so much as thoughtful:

http://nedhardy.com/2013/06/14/powerful-pictures-18-pics/
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US commandos were poised for raid to capture Benghazi suspect on: October 29, 2013, 06:56:28 PM
http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/29/first-on-cnn-us-commandos-were-poised-for-raid-to-capture-benghazi-suspect/?hpt=hp_t1


From the article:

When U.S. commandos grabbed a former al Qaeda operative in Tripoli this month, American forces were just hours away from potentially launching a more dangerous covert raid to capture a militia figure facing charges in the deadly Benghazi terror attack, U.S. officials tell CNN.

U.S. special operations forces were ready, if ordered, to enter Benghazi and capture Ahmed Abu Khattalah, a leading figure in the Ansar Al-Sharia militia. But the mission never materialized.

The United States believes Ansar Al-Sharia was behind the September 2012 armed assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans

220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Committee Open Hearing Potential FISA Changes HPSCI Chairman Mike Rogers Opening on: October 29, 2013, 01:38:11 PM
The Committee will come to order.

I’d like to welcome our first panel today:  Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, National Security Agency Director General Keith Alexander, and Deputy Director of the NSA Chris Inglis.

Following the first panel, we will move immediately into the second panel of non-government experts who are all very knowledgeable on FISA and privacy issues.
Today’s hearing will provide an open forum to discuss potential amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and possible changes to the way FISA applications are handled by the Department of Justice and the NSA.  I hope that all of our witnesses will give clear answers about how proposals under consideration in Congress would affect the NSA’s ability to stop terrorist attacks before they occur.  

As a starting point, we first need to consider why America collects foreign intelligence.  The United States began collecting foreign intelligence even before we were a nation, when George Washington sent Nathan Hale covertly into New York to try to understand what British plans were during the Revolutionary War.  

In 1929, the Secretary of State shut down the State Department's cryptanalytic office saying, "Gentlemen don't read each other's mail."   The world was a dangerous place back then, with growing and aggressive military threats from Japan and Germany, both bent on world domination.  Those threats eventually dragged us into a world war that killed millions.   We didn’t have the luxury of turning off intelligence capabilities as threats were growing back then, and we can’t afford to do so today.

Today, we gather foreign intelligence to help understand the plans and intentions of our adversaries, such as North Korea and Iran.  We collect foreign intelligence to learn about terrorist plots before they happen, as well as to learn about rogue nations developing the most dangerous weapons.

Every nation collects foreign intelligence.  That is not unique to the United States.  What is unique to the United States is our level of oversight, our commitment to privacy protections, and our checks and balances on intelligence collection.  China does not ask a FISA court for a warrant to listen to a phone call on their state-owned and censored network.  The Russian Duma does not conduct oversight on the FSB.  But America has those checks; America has those balances.  That is why we should be proud of the manner in which America collects intelligence.

The world is more connected today than ever before. This allows terrorists and spies to hide in civilian populations all over the world.  They use the Internet and telephone networks of our enemies and our allies.  They are just as likely to be found in terrorist safe havens as in allied nations overseas.

We cannot protect only our homeland.  Americans live all over the world and our businesses set up shop all over the world.  We have embassies in more than 150 countries; we have military bases in dozens of countries to protect our interests and allies; we bring stability to chaotic areas; and we help secure the global economy.  That is why collecting foreign intelligence is so important.

In July during floor debate, I committed to working with other Members to bring increased transparency and additional privacy protections to NSA’s counterterrorism programs.  

Our challenge is to build confidence and transparency while keeping our intelligence services agile and effective against our adversaries.  

One change we are considering would require the Attorney General or his designee to make the reasonable, articulable suspicion (or “RAS”) determination that a particular phone number is related to a terrorist and may be used to search the bulk telephone records data.  This process would move the RAS determination outside of the NSA, and is similar to the way an FBI investigator works with an Assistant United States Attorney when trying to find the person responsible for a crime.

We are also looking at providing more transparency into FISA Court orders whenever possible.  Reforms to the statute could include requiring more court orders to be declassified or publicly released in redacted form.

Additional transparency into the process may also be helpful.  For example, we could put into statute the process and standards for how information incidentally collected about U.S. persons who are not the targets of our programs is handled and require more public reporting on the number of times that happens.  

The recent debate over NSA programs often misses the fact that the 215 and 702 collection programs are conducted wholly within the bounds of the law and are approved by the FISA Court.  More transparency can help share that outstanding track record with the American people.

Some proposals pending before Congress, however, would effectively gut the operational usefulness of programs that are necessary to protect America’s national security.
For example, ending bulk collection under the business records provision would take away a vital tool for the FBI to find connections between terrorists operating in the United States.  We can’t ask the FBI to find terrorists plotting an attack and then not provide them with the information they need.  If we didn’t have the bulk phone records collection back in 2009, we may not have known there was a plot to attack the New York Subway system until bombs went off on the subway platforms.  
In the words of the 9/11 Commission Report, before 2001, narrow-minded legal interpretations “blocked the arteries of information sharing” between the intelligence community and law enforcement.    We cannot go back to a pre-9/11 mindset and risk failing to “connect the dots” again.  

I look forward to having a frank discussion about your perspectives on potential changes to FISA and how those changes could impact our ability to disrupt terrorist plots before they happen.  

Before turning the floor over to our witnesses, I recognize the Ranking Member for any opening comments he would like to make.
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Survivalist, Prepper/prepping issues on: October 29, 2013, 01:37:00 PM
Do you know?
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Graham Slams Hold On ALL Nominations Til Admin Names Benghazi Folks on: October 29, 2013, 10:00:49 AM
http://breakingdefense.com/2013/10/sen-graham-slams-hold-on-all-nominations-til-admin-names-benghazi-folks/

From the article:

In a broad exercise of the senatorial privilege of temporarily stopping a nomination, known as a “hold,” Sen. Lindsey Graham announced this morning that he will not allow any Obama administration nominations to proceed.until he is told the names of those he calls the “Benghazi survivors.”
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Survivalist, Prepper/prepping issues on: October 29, 2013, 09:32:50 AM
It was short, but I disagree that it was superficial. There are plenty of links that add to the discussion. It is worth noting that there is much divide about whether an internet shutdown would dramatic. And it is worth noting that despite all the discussion of cyberwar/terrorism/attacks there hasn't really been much one happen yet.
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: October 29, 2013, 06:06:47 AM
No. Republicans have always been anti-slavery from the start and helped shape America for the better. The civil rights legislation the republicans pushed through despite the efforts of dems made this a better nation.

So, you posted an article as evidence that noted that there was a realignment, but don't believe it yourself?

You are genuinely amazing, GM.
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: October 29, 2013, 06:05:32 AM
Republicans like LBJ?

226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nat Geo imagines cyber attack on: October 29, 2013, 06:01:54 AM

An interesting, and pretty short, discussion of why the Nat Geo program is unlikely to happen and the author's view of why cyberwar is a faulty description:

http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/2013/10/duck-and-cover-when-cyber-doomsday-comes.html
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: October 28, 2013, 08:56:47 PM
But you do recognize that the party realignment happened, yes?
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NSA: read in tandem on: October 28, 2013, 08:49:41 PM
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/10/28/were_really_screwed_now_nsas_best_friend_just_shivved_the_spies

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/obama-nsa-spying-foreign-leaders-report-98928.html#ixzz2j1SCxnem

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/obamas-in-the-dark-defense-98994.html
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: October 28, 2013, 04:36:45 PM
I'm a little confused here, GM. I said that you ignore party realignment. You say I propagate a myth, and then, in an effort to prove me wrong, include as evidence an article that explicitly says that there was a shift in party alignments between the creation of the KKK and the present?

"Under FDR, the Democrats successfully assembled a daunting, cross-regional coalition of presidential voters. To compete, the GOP had to develop a broader national outreach of its own, which meant adding a Southern strategy to its arsenal. In 1952, Dwight Eisenhower took his campaign as national hero southward. He, like Nixon in 1960, polled badly among Deep South whites. But Ike won four states in the Peripheral South. This marked their lasting realignment in presidential voting."

"Of course, it was harder for Republicans to win in Deep South states where Democratic-leaning black electorates were larger. But even when we account for that, the GOP became the dominant party of white voters much earlier in the Periphery than it did in the Deep South."





The lie is that today's republicans are yesterdays racebaiting democrats. The dems use race hatred today just as they've always done. The republicans have always been anti-slavery, once it was plantations, now it's big government feeding on captive voting blocs.

That's not what you seemed to say earlier. And now it is a lie, not a myth? I thought you said words have meaning?
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: October 28, 2013, 11:38:58 AM
I'm a little confused here, GM. I said that you ignore party realignment. You say I propagate a myth, and then, in an effort to prove me wrong, include as evidence an article that explicitly says that there was a shift in party alignments between the creation of the KKK and the present?

"Under FDR, the Democrats successfully assembled a daunting, cross-regional coalition of presidential voters. To compete, the GOP had to develop a broader national outreach of its own, which meant adding a Southern strategy to its arsenal. In 1952, Dwight Eisenhower took his campaign as national hero southward. He, like Nixon in 1960, polled badly among Deep South whites. But Ike won four states in the Peripheral South. This marked their lasting realignment in presidential voting."

"Of course, it was harder for Republicans to win in Deep South states where Democratic-leaning black electorates were larger. But even when we account for that, the GOP became the dominant party of white voters much earlier in the Periphery than it did in the Deep South."



231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / podcast on Fukushima on: October 28, 2013, 11:25:45 AM
http://www.scienceforthepeople.ca/episodes/fukushima

Description:

This week, Rachelle Saunders spends the hour discussing the disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactor. She'll examine the impacts on the environment,  public health and the reputation of nuclear power, with Dr. Charles Ferguson, president of the Federation of American Scientists, and former project director of the Independent Task Force on U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Dr. Rob Tarzwell, specialist in nuclear medicine and psychiatry, and creator of the One Minute Medical School video series.
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: God Bless my Dad on: October 28, 2013, 11:21:32 AM
With bowed head and respect in my heart, Doug.



One of a many who interrupted their young adult lives to go defeat Adolf Hitler and Nazism, he served under General Patton behind front lines in a medical crew- in England, France and Germany including the liberation of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.  I didn't know until now, looking for dates and info in his documents, that his unit received a long list of awards and medals. 

Joining his own father in dental practice, he served generations of patients for 63 years and taught in the University Dental School for a quarter century.  He skied in the mountains and played golf and tennis with us through age 88.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/startribune/obituary.aspx?n=george-d-macgibbon&pid=167737425&fhid=4427
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How Jon Stewart became President Obama’s biggest problem on: October 28, 2013, 11:19:07 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/10/22/how-jon-stewart-became-president-obamas-biggest-problem/
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: HufPo: "Tea Party Racism" on: October 28, 2013, 11:14:05 AM
There is no myth, GM. You know better than that.

A major effort is going on to smear the TP with the racism label.  Here is one example-- what is the best way to respond to this sort of attack?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/24/tea-party-racist_n_4158262.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=825792b=facebook

The dems have used racial hatred since they founded the KKK. Nothing has changed.

Except of course the party realignment.

You trying to fall back on that myth the dems push to hide their shameful past and present?
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: October 28, 2013, 11:12:45 AM
Gotcha. Thanks for the reply.

BD,

"I don't follow you here. The Tea Party is supposed to be the libertarian wing of the GOP, is it not?

CCP,

I don't see the Tea Party as the wing of another party.  It is a separate party and I don't see it as the Libertarian wing though it is closer to that in ideology.

My point is that the jerk who made this statement runs for three different parties.  If he could get elected he would be just fine being a Democrat.  And we would not have heard it from the Huffington Post.

In any case the Tea Party does indeed need to vet its candidates better.   No disagreement about that. 
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: October 28, 2013, 08:30:21 AM
Of course no Party needs this.

The Tea Party should expel him for life.   

The Tea Party and Republican parties have to move the topic beyond race; the agenda is all Americans.

BTW BD, the guy once ran as a Democrat and now calls himself a libertarian.


"BTW BD, the guy once ran as a Democrat and now calls himself a libertarian."

I don't follow you here. The Tea Party is supposed to be the libertarian wing of the GOP, is it not? He says he is a follower of Ron Paul, who ran as a Republican. Strom Thurmond ran as a Democrat too....
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Failed Tea Party Candidate, Calls For Assassination Of Obama, First Daughters on: October 28, 2013, 08:27:58 AM
Tea Party problems: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/20/jules-manson-obama_n_1161044.html

From the article:

"Assassinate the f----- n----- and his monkey children," Manson commented on his own post, according to a screen shot uploaded by Facebook group "Americans Against the Tea Party" and relayed by Your Black Politics blog.

Quoting huffpo is always a mistake.

Always? Really? Is it because they use quotes you don't like?
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: HufPo: "Tea Party Racism" on: October 28, 2013, 08:27:27 AM
A major effort is going on to smear the TP with the racism label.  Here is one example-- what is the best way to respond to this sort of attack?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/24/tea-party-racist_n_4158262.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=825792b=facebook

The dems have used racial hatred since they founded the KKK. Nothing has changed.

Except of course the party realignment.
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Failed Tea Party Candidate, Calls For Assassination Of Obama, First Daughters on: October 28, 2013, 07:07:47 AM
Tea Party problems: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/20/jules-manson-obama_n_1161044.html

From the article:

"Assassinate the f----- n----- and his monkey children," Manson commented on his own post, according to a screen shot uploaded by Facebook group "Americans Against the Tea Party" and relayed by Your Black Politics blog.
240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Benghazi on 60 Minutes on: October 27, 2013, 06:36:28 PM
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57609479/benghazi/

MARC:  Just in case this somehow disappears down the road, here is the content:

The following script is from "Benghazi" which aired on Oct. 27, 2013. The correspondent is Lara Logan. Max McClellan, producer.
60 Minutes Overtime
Voices from the Benghazi investigation »

When Chris Stevens was killed in Benghazi, Libya, on the anniversary of September 11th last year, it was only the sixth time that the United States had lost an ambassador to its enemies. The events of that night have been overshadowed by misinformation, confusion and intense partisanship. But for those who lived through it, there's nothing confusing about what happened, and they share a sense of profound frustration because they say they saw it coming.

Tonight, you will hear for the first time from a security officer who witnessed the attack. He calls himself, Morgan Jones, a pseudonym he's using for his own safety. A former British soldier, he's been helping to keep U.S. diplomats and military leaders safe for the last decade. On a night he describes as sheer hell, Morgan Jones snuck into a Benghazi hospital that was under the control of al Qaeda terrorists, desperate to find out if one of his close friends from the U.S. Special Mission was the American he'd been told was there.


Morgan Jones: I was dreading seeing who it was, you know? It didn't take long to get to the room. And I could see in through the glass. And I didn't even have to go into the room to see who it was. I knew who it was immediately.

Lara Logan: Who was it?

Morgan Jones: It was the ambassador, dead. Yeah, shocking.

Morgan Jones said he'd never felt so angry in his life. Only hours earlier, Amb. Chris Stevens had sought him out, concerned about the security at the U.S. Special Mission Compound where Morgan was in charge of the Libyan guard force.

Now, the ambassador was dead and the U.S. compound was engulfed in flames and overrun by dozens of heavily armed fighters.

Although the attack began here, the more organized assault unfolded about a mile across the city at a top secret CIA facility known as the Annex. It lasted more than seven hours and took four American lives.

Contrary to the White House's public statements, which were still being made a full week later, it's now well established that the Americans were attacked by al Qaeda in a well-planned assault.

Five months before that night, Morgan Jones first arrived in Benghazi, in eastern Libya about 400 miles from the capital, Tripoli.

He thought this would be an easy assignment compared to Afghanistan and Iraq. But on his first drive through Benghazi, he noticed the black flags of al Qaeda flying openly in the streets and he grew concerned about the guard forces as soon as he pulled up to the U.S. compound.

Morgan Jones: There was nobody there that we could see. And then we realized they were all inside drinking tea, laughing and joking.

Lara Logan: What did you think?

Morgan Jones: Instantly I thought we're going to have to get rid of all these guys.

Morgan Jones' job was training the unarmed guards who manned the compound's gates. A second Libyan force -- an armed militia hired by the State Department -- was supposed to defend the compound in the event of an attack. Morgan had nothing to do with the militia, but they worried him so much, he could not keep quiet.

Morgan Jones: I was saying, "These guys are no good. You need to-- you need to get 'em out of here."

Lara Logan: You also kept saying, "If this place is attacked these guys are not going to stand and fight?"

Morgan Jones: Yeah. I used to say it all the time. Yeah, in the end I got quite bored of hearing my own voice saying it.

Andy Wood: We had one option: "Leave Benghazi or you will be killed."

Green Beret Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Andy Wood, was one of the top American security officials in Libya. Based in Tripoli, he met with Amb. Stevens every day.

The last time he went to Benghazi was in June, just three months before the attack. While he was there, al Qaeda tried to assassinate the British ambassador. Wood says, to him, it came as no surprise because al Qaeda -- using a familiar tactic -- had stated their intent in an online posting, saying they would attack the Red Cross, the British and then the Americans in Benghazi.

===================================

Lara Logan: And you watched as they--

Andy Wood: As they did each one of those.

Lara Logan: --attacked the Red Cross and the British mission. And the only ones left--

Andy Wood: Were us. They made good on two out of the three promises. It was a matter of time till they captured the third one.

Lara Logan: And Washington was aware of that?

Andy Wood: They knew we monitored it. We included that in our reports to both State Department and DOD.

Andy Wood told us he raised his concerns directly with Amb. Stevens three months before the U.S. compound was overrun.

Andy Wood: I made it known in a country team meeting, "You are gonna get attacked. You are gonna get attacked in Benghazi. It's gonna happen. You need to change your security profile."

Lara Logan: Shut down--

Andy Wood: Shut down--

Lara Logan: --the special mission--

Andy Wood: --"Shut down operations. Move out temporarily. Ch-- or change locations within the city. Do something to break up the profile because you are being targeted. They are-- they are-- they are watching you. The attack cycle is such that they're in the final planning stages."

Lara Logan: Wait a minute, you said, "They're in the final planning stages of an attack on the American mission in Benghazi"?

Andy Wood: It was apparent to me that that was the case. Reading, reading all these other, ah, attacks that were occurring, I could see what they were staging up to, it was, it was obvious.

We have learned the U.S. already knew that this man, senior al Qaeda leader Abu Anas al-Libi was in Libya, tasked by the head of al Qaeda to establish a clandestine terrorist network inside the country. Al-Libi was already wanted for his role in bombing two U.S. embassies in Africa.

Greg Hicks: It was a frightening piece of information.

Lara Logan: Because it meant what?

Greg Hicks: It raised the stakes, changed the game.

Greg Hicks, who testified before Congress earlier this year, was Amb. Stevens' deputy based in Tripoli - a 22-year veteran of the Foreign Service with an impeccable reputation.

Lara Logan: And in that environment you were asking for more security assets and you were not getting them?

Greg Hicks: That's right.

Lara Logan: Did you fight that?

Greg Hicks: I was in the process of trying to frame a third request but it was not allowed to go forward.

Lara Logan: So why didn't you get the help that you needed and that you asked for?

Greg Hicks: I really, really don't know. I in fact would like to know that, the answer to that question.

In the months prior to the attack, Amb. Stevens approved a series of detailed cables to Washington, specifically mentioning, among other things, "the al Qaeda flag has been spotted several times flying over government buildings".

When the attack began on the evening of September 11, Amb. Stevens immediately called Greg Hicks, who was back in Tripoli.

Greg Hicks: Ambassador said that the consulate's under attack. And then the line cut.

Lara Logan: Do you remember the sound of his voice?

Greg Hicks: Oh yeah, it's indelibly imprinted on my mind.

Lara Logan: How did he sound?

Greg Hicks: He sounded frightened.

In Benghazi, Morgan Jones, who was at his apartment about 15 minutes away, got a frantic call from one of his Libyan guards.

Morgan Jones: I could hear gunshots. And I-- and he said, "There's-- there's men coming into the mission." His voice, he was, he was scared, you could tell he was really scared and he was running, I could tell he was running.

His first thought was for his American friends, the State Department agents who were pinned down inside the compound, and he couldn't believe it when one of them answered his phone.

Morgan Jones: I said, "What's going on?" He said, "We're getting attacked." And I said, "How many?" And he said, "They're all over the compound." And I felt shocked, I didn't know what to say. And-- I said, "Well, just keep fighting. I'm on my way."

Morgan's guards told him the armed Libyan militia that was supposed to defend the compound had fled, just as Morgan had predicted. His guards -- unarmed and terrified -- sounded the alarm, but they were instantly overwhelmed by the attackers.

Morgan Jones: They said, "We're here to kill Americans, not Libyans," so they'd give them a good beating, pistol whip them, beat them with their rifles and let them go.

Lara Logan: We're here to kill Americans.

Morgan Jones: That's what they said, yeah.

Lara Logan: Not Libyans.

Morgan Jones: Yeah.

About 30 minutes into the attack, a quick reaction force from the CIA Annex ignored orders to wait and raced to the compound, at times running and shooting their way through the streets just to get there. Inside the compound, they repelled a force of as many as 60 armed terrorists and managed to save five American lives and recover the body of Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith. They were forced to fight their way out before they could find the ambassador.

====================================

Not long afterwards, Morgan Jones scaled the 12-foot high wall of the compound that was still overrun with al Qaeda fighters.

Morgan Jones: One guy saw me. He just shouted. I couldn't believe that he'd seen me 'cause it was so dark. He started walking towards me.

Lara Logan: And as he was coming closer?

Morgan Jones: As I got closer, I just hit him with the butt of the rifle in the face.

Lara Logan: And?

Morgan Jones: Oh, he went down, yeah.

Lara Logan: He dropped?

Morgan Jones: Yeah, like-- like a stone.

Lara Logan: With his face smashed in?

Morgan Jones: Yeah.

Lara Logan: And no one saw you do it?

Morgan Jones: No.

Lara Logan: Or heard it?

Morgan Jones: No, there was too much noise.

The same force that had gone to the compound was now defending the CIA Annex. Hours later, they were joined by a small team of Americans from Tripoli. From defensive positions on these rooftops, the Americans fought back a professional enemy. In a final wave of intense fighting just after 5 a.m., the attackers unleashed a barrage of mortars. Three of them slammed into this roof, killing former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

Lara Logan: They hit that roof three times.

Andy Wood: They, they hit those roofs three times.

Lara Logan: In the dark.

Andy Wood: Yea, that's getting the basketball through the hoop over your shoulder.

Lara Logan: What does it take to pull off an attack like that?

Andy Wood: Coordination, planning, training, experienced personnel. They practice those things. They knew what they were doing. That was a-- that was a well-executed attack.

We have learned there were two Delta Force operators who fought at the Annex and they've since been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Navy Cross -- two of the military's highest honors. The Americans who rushed to help that night went without asking for permission and the lingering question is why no larger military response ever crossed the border into Libya -- something Greg Hicks realized wasn't going to happen just an hour into the attack.

Lara Logan: You have this conversation with the defense attache. You ask him what military assets are on their way. And he says--

Greg Hicks: Effectively, they're not. And I-- for a moment, I just felt lost. I just couldn't believe the answer. And then I made the call to the Annex chief, and I told him, "Listen, you've gotta tell those guys there may not be any help coming."

Lara Logan: That's a tough thing to understand. Why?

Greg Hicks: It just is. We--, for us, for the people that go out onto the edge, to represent our country, we believe that if we get in trouble, they're coming to get us. That our back is covered. To hear that it's not, it's a terrible, terrible experience.

The U.S. government today acknowledges the Americans at the U.S. compound in Benghazi were not adequately protected. And says those who carried out the attack are still being hunted down.

Just a few weeks ago, Abu Anas al-Libi was captured for his role in the Africa bombings and the U.S. is still investigating what part he may have played in Benghazi. We've learned that this man, Sufian bin Qumu, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee and long-time al Qaeda operative, was one of the lead planners along with Faraj al-Chalabi, whose ties to Osama bin Laden go back more than 15 years. He's believed to have carried documents from the compound to the head of al Qaeda in Pakistan.

The morning after the attack, Morgan Jones went back to the compound one last time to document the scene. He took these photos which he gave to the FBI and has published in a book he has written. After all this time, he told us he's still haunted by a conversation he had with Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, a week before the attack.

Morgan Jones: Yeah, he was worried. He wasn't happy with the security.

Lara Logan: And you didn't tell him all your worries?

Morgan Jones: No. No, didn't want to--

Lara Logan: Why not?

Morgan Jones: I didn't want to worry him anymore, you know? He's a nice guy. I sort of promised him he'd be OK.

Lara Logan: You think about that?

Morgan Jones: Every day, yeah.

The U.S. pulled out of Benghazi and al Qaeda has grown in power across Libya. When a member of our team went to the U.S. compound earlier this month, he found remnants of the Americans' final frantic moments still scattered on the ground. Among them Amb. Stevens' official schedule for Sept.12, 2012, a day he didn't live to see.
241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Dissident's Toolkit on: October 27, 2013, 05:51:46 AM
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/10/24/the_dissidents_toolkit

From the article:

Attracting participation is perhaps the most important of these tasks, since the ability to provoke defections and outmaneuver opponents often depends on whether the movement enjoys large and broad-based support. The most important singular factor for a successful campaign is its participation rate. According to the NAVCO data set, which identifies the outcomes of over 300 nonviolent and violent campaigns worldwide from 1900-2006, none of the cases failed after achieving the active and sustained participation of just 3.5 percent of the population -- and some of them succeeded with far less than that. Of course, 3.5 percent is nothing to sneeze at. In the United States today, this constitutes over 11 million people. But how do movements get this large in the first place, especially in countries where overt participation in a mass movement is highly risky?

One way organizers can grow their movement is by including tactics that are safer and therefore more attractive to risk-averse participants. For example, instead of relying solely on demonstrations or protests, many movements will allow people to participate through "electricity strikes" where people shut off their electricity at a coordinated time of day, or by banging on pots and pans in the middle of the night to signal the power in numbers. Engaging  in these types of actions may draw in more ambivalent people while also allowing them the opportunity to develop a sense of identity with the movement and its goals. In Chile under Pinochet, for example, outright demonstrations against the dictator were far too dangerous. In one instance, Pinochet was so threatened by the subtext of some popular songs that he banned public singing; it didn't take much. But when people began to bang on pots and pans, it let them demonstrate their defiance anonymously in the safety of their own homes. As the people's metallic clamor for change became louder and louder, anti-Pinochet organizers and their supporters became emboldened to press for more disruptive and overt action.
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Straight-shooter Swenson not done fighting on: October 25, 2013, 06:55:13 AM
http://www.stripes.com/straight-shooter-swenson-not-done-fighting-1.248659

From the article:

But Will Swenson doesn’t have a job.

He has been out of the Army and unemployed since 2011. Last week, his hair way past regulation length, he put on his dress-blue captain’s uniform long enough for President Barack Obama to drape the Medal of Honor around his neck. He has a college degree. He has the Medal of Honor. But he doesn’t have a job.

Support our troops.
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Football and the American Character on: October 25, 2013, 06:28:56 AM
This article could go on many threads, including at least the football, American History and Politics threads. It is a good read.

http://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/current (when a new edition is released, this article will be archived)

September 2013

John J. Miller
Director, Herbert H. Dow II Program in American Journalism
Hillsdale College


Football and the American Character

JOHN J. MILLER is director of the Herbert H. Dow II Program in American Journalism at Hillsdale College and national correspondent for National Review. A graduate of the University of Michigan, where he served as editor of the Michigan Review, he has also worked on the staff of The New Republic. A contributing editor of Philanthropy magazine, he writes regularly for newspapers and journals including the Detroit News, the Wall Street Journal, and National Review. He is the author of several books, including The First Assassin, a novel set during the Civil War, and most recently The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football.

The following is adapted from a luncheon speech delivered at Hillsdale College on September 9, 2013.



When we talk about football, we usually talk about our favorite teams and the games they play. The biggest ongoing story in the sport right now, however, is something else entirely. It’s not about the Bears vs. the Packers or Michigan vs. Ohio State, but rather the controversy over concussions and the long-term health effects of head injuries.

On August 29, 2013, the National Football League agreed to pay $765 million to settle a lawsuit involving more than 4,500 players and their families, who had claimed that the league covered up data on the harmful effects of concussions. Although medical research into football and long-term effects of head injuries is hardly conclusive, some data suggest a connection. A number of legal experts believe the NFL, which will generate about $10 billion in revenue this year, dodged an even bigger payout.

Football, of course, is much bigger than the NFL and its players, whose average yearly salary is nearly $2 million. Football’s ranks include about 50,000 men who play in college and four million boys who play for schools or in youth leagues whose pockets aren’t nearly so deep. A Colorado jury recently awarded $11.5 million to a boy who suffered a paralyzing injury at his high school football practice in 2008. How long will it be before school districts begin to think football isn’t worth the cost?

Earlier this year, President Obama waded into the debate. “If I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football,” he said. He also called for football “to reduce some of the violence.” Others have called for a more dramatic solution: Malcolm Gladwell, the bestselling author of The Tipping Point and other books, thinks football should go the way of dogfighting. He would like to see America’s favorite sport run out of polite society.

So football’s future is uncertain. But the past may offer important lessons. After all, football’s problems today are nothing compared to what they were about a century ago: In 1905, 18 people died playing the sport. Football became embroiled in a long-running dispute over violence and safety—and it was almost banned through the efforts of Progressive-era prohibitionists. Had these enemies of football gotten their way, they might have erased one of America’s great pastimes from our culture. But they lost—and it took the efforts of Theodore Roosevelt to thwart them.

On November 18, 1876, Theodore Roosevelt, a freshman at Harvard who had just turned 18, attended his first football game. Destined for great things, he was enthusiastic about athletics in general and eager to see the new sport of football in particular. So here he was at the second game ever played between Harvard and its great rival Yale.

As Roosevelt shivered in the cold and windy fall weather, he watched a game that was quite different from the sport we know today. There were no quarterbacks or wide receivers, no first downs or forward passes. Before play began, the teams met to discuss rules. What number of men would play? What would count for a score? How long would the game last? They were like school kids today who have to set up boundaries, choose between a game of touch or tackle, and decide how to count blitzes.

Harvard’s veterans agreed to a couple of suggestions proposed by Yale. The first would carry a lasting legacy: Rather than playing with 15 men to a side, as was the current custom, the teams would play with eleven men. So this was the first football game to feature eleven players on the field per team.

The second suggestion would not shape the sport’s future, but it would affect the game that afternoon: Touchdowns would not count for points. Only goals—balls sailed over a rope tied between two poles—kicked after touchdowns or kicked from the field during play would contribute to the score.

In the first half, Harvard scored a touchdown but missed the kick. By the rules of the day, this meant that Harvard earned no points. At halftime, the game was a scoreless tie.

After the break, Yale pushed into Harvard territory and a lanky freshman named Walter Camp tried to shovel the ball to a teammate. It was a poor lateral pass that hit the ground and bounced upward, taking one of those funny hops that can befuddle even skilled players. In a split second, Oliver Thompson decided to take a chance on a kick from about 35 yards away and at a wide angle. The ball soared into the air, over the rope and through the uprights, giving Yale a lead of 1-0. No more points were scored that afternoon.

In a letter to his mother the next day, Roosevelt gave voice to the frustration that so often accompanies defeat in sports. “I am sorry to say we were beaten,” he wrote, “principally because our opponents played very foul.”

More about Teddy Roosevelt and what he did for football in a moment. But first, let me discuss briefly why football matters.

Love for a college football team, whether it’s the Texas Longhorns or the Hillsdale Chargers, is almost tribal. In some cases the affiliation is practically inherited, in others chosen. Whatever the origin, football has the power to form lifelong loyalties and passions and has supplanted baseball as America’s favorite pastime. Yet it almost died 100 years ago. Over the course of an ordinary football season in those days, a dozen or more people would die playing it, and many more suffered serious injuries. A lot of the casualties were kids in sandlot games, but big-time college teams also paid a price.

Football isn’t a contact sport—it’s a collision sport that has always prized size, strength, and power. This was especially true in its early years, when even the era of leatherheads lay in the future: Nobody wore helmets, facemasks, or shoulder pads. During the frequent pileups, hidden from the view of referees, players would wrestle for advantage by throwing punches and jabbing elbows. The most unsporting participants would even try to gouge their opponents’ eyes.

The deaths were the worst. They were not freak accidents as much as the inevitable toll of a violent game. And they horrified a group of activists who crusaded against football itself—wanting not merely to remove violence from the sport, but to ban the sport altogether. At the dawn of the Progressive era, the social and political movement to prohibit football became a major cause.

The New York Evening Post attacked the sport, as did The Nation, an influential magazine of news and opinion. The latter worried that colleges were becoming “huge training grounds for young gladiators, around whom as many spectators roar as roared in the [Roman] amphitheatre.” The New York Times bemoaned football’s tendency toward “mayhem and homicide.” Two weeks later, the Times ran a new editorial entitled “Two Curable Evils.” The first evil it addressed was lynching. The second was football.

The main figure in this movement to ban football was Charles W. Eliot, the president of Harvard and probably the single most important person in the history of higher education in the United States. Indeed, Eliot hated team sports in general because competition motivated players to conduct themselves in ways he considered unbecoming of gentlemen. If baseball and football were honorable pastimes, he reasoned, why did they require umpires and referees? “A game that needs to be watched is not fit for genuine sportsmen,” he once said. For Eliot, a pitcher who threw a curve ball was engaging in an act of treachery. But football distressed him even more. Most of all, he despised its violence. Time and again, he condemned the game as “evil.”

One of Eliot’s main adversaries in the battle over football was Walter Camp, one of the players in the game Teddy Roosevelt watched in 1876. A decent player, Camp made his real mark on football as a coach and a rules-maker. Indeed, he is the closest thing there is to football’s founding father.

In the rivalry between Eliot and Camp, we see one of the ongoing controversies in American politics at its outset—the conflict between regulators bent on the dream of a world without risk, and those who resist such an agenda in the name of freedom and responsibility. Eliot and other Progressives identified a genuine problem with football, but their solution was radical. They wanted to regulate football out of existence because they believed that its participants were not capable of making their own judgments in terms of costs and benefits. In their higher wisdom, these elites would ban the sport for all.

Into this struggle stepped Theodore Roosevelt. As a boy, he had suffered from chronic asthma to the point that relatives wondered if he would survive childhood. His mother and father tried everything to improve his health, even resorting to quack cures such as having him smoke cigars. Ultimately they concluded that he simply would have to overcome the disease. They encouraged him to go to a gym, and he worked out daily. The asthma would stay with Roosevelt for years, but by the time he was an adult, it was largely gone. For Roosevelt, the lesson was that a commitment to physical fitness could take a scrawny boy and turn him into a vigorous young man.

This experience was deeply connected to Roosevelt’s love of football. He remained a fan as he graduated from Harvard, entered politics, ranched out west, and became an increasingly visible public figure.

In 1895, shortly before he became president of the New York City police commission, he wrote a letter to Walter Camp that read as follows:

I am very glad to have a chance of expressing to you the obligation which I feel all Americans are under to you for your championship of athletics. The man on the farm and in the workshop here, as in other countries, is apt to get enough physical work; but we were tending steadily in America to produce . . . sedentary classes . . . and from this the athletic spirit has saved us. Of all games I personally like foot ball the best, and I would rather see my boys play it than see them play any other. I have no patience with the people who declaim against it because it necessitates rough play and occasional injuries. The rough play, if confined within manly and honorable limits, is an advantage. It is a good thing to have the personal contact about which the New York Evening Post snarls so much, and no fellow is worth his salt if he minds an occasional bruise or cut. Being near-sighted I was not able to play foot ball in college, and I never cared for rowing or base ball, so that I did all my work in boxing and wrestling. They are both good exercises, but they are not up to foot ball . . . .

I am utterly disgusted with the attitude of President Eliot and the Harvard faculty about foot ball . . . .
   
I do not give a snap for a good man who can’t fight and hold his own in the world. A citizen has got to be decent of course. That is the first requisite; but the second, and just as important, is that he shall be efficient, and he can’t be efficient unless he is manly. Nothing has impressed me more in meeting college graduates during the fifteen years I have been out of college than the fact that on the average the men who have counted most have been those who had sound bodies.

As this letter indicates, Roosevelt saw football as more than a diversion. He saw it as a positive social good. When he was recruiting the Rough Riders in 1898, he went out of his way to select men who had played football. The Duke of Wellington reportedly once said, “The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton.” Roosevelt never said anything similar about football fields and the Battle of San Juan Hill, but when he emerged from the Spanish-American War as a national hero—and as someone talked about as being of presidential timber—he knew how much he owed not just to the Rough Riders, but to the culture of manliness and risk-taking that had shaped them.

Like Roosevelt, our society values sports, though we don’t always think about why—or why we should. My kids have played football, baseball, hockey, soccer, and lacrosse. As a family, we’re fairly sports-oriented. It has forced me to think about a question that a lot of parents probably ask at one time or another: Why do we want our kids to participate in athletics?

Many parents will point to the obvious fact that sports are good for health and fitness. They’ll also discuss the intangible benefits in terms of character building—sports teach kids to get up after falling down, to play through pain, to deal with failure, to work with teammates, to take direction from coaches, and so on.

It turns out that there really is something to all of this. Empirical research shows that kids who play sports stay in school longer. As adults, they vote more often and earn more money. Explaining why this is true is trickier, but it probably has something to do with developing a competitive instinct and a desire for achievement.

Roosevelt was surely correct in believing that sports influence the character of a nation. Americans are much more likely than Europeans to play sports. We’re also more likely to attribute economic success to hard work, as opposed to luck. It may be that sports are a manifestation—or possibly even a source—of American exceptionalism.

When Roosevelt ascended to the presidency, football remained controversial and Harvard’s Eliot continued his crusade for prohibition. In 1905, Roosevelt was persuaded to act. He invited Walter Camp of Yale to the White House, along with the coaches of Harvard and Princeton. These were the three most important football teams in the country. “Football is on trial,” said Roosevelt. “Because I believe in the game, I want to do all I can to save it.” He encouraged the coaches to eliminate brutality, and they promised that they would.

Whether they meant what they said is another matter. Walter Camp didn’t see anything wrong with the way football was played. Harvard’s coach, however, was a young man named Bill Reid. He took Roosevelt more seriously, because he took the threat to football more seriously. Indeed, within weeks of meeting with Roosevelt, he came to fear that Eliot was on the verge of success in having Harvard drop the sport, which would have encouraged other schools to do the same.

At the end of the 1905 season, therefore, Reid plotted with a group of reform-minded colleges to form an organization that today we know as the NCAA and to approve a set of sweeping rules changes to reduce football’s violence. In committee meetings, Reid outmaneuvered Camp while receiving critical behind-the-scenes support from Roosevelt.

As a result, football experienced an extreme makeover: The yardage necessary for a first down increased from five to ten. Rules-makers also created a neutral zone at the line of scrimmage, limited the number of players who could line up in the backfield, made the personal foul a heavily penalized infraction, and banned the tossing of ballcarriers.

These were important revisions, and each was approved with an eye toward improving the safety of players. Yet the change that would transform the sport the most was the introduction of the forward pass. Up to this point, football was a game of running and kicking, not throwing. There were quarterbacks but not wide receivers. It took a few years to get the rule right—footballs needed to evolve away from their watermelon-like shape and become more aerodynamic, and coaches and players had to figure out how to take advantage of this new offensive tool. But on November 1, 1913, football moved irreversibly into the modern era.

Army was one of the best teams in the country, a national championship contender. It was scheduled to play a game against a little-known Catholic school from the Midwest. The headline in the New York Times that morning read: “Army Wants Big Score.” The little-known Catholic school was Notre Dame. Knute Rockne and his teammates launched football’s first true air war, throwing again and again for receptions and touchdowns. And they won, 35-14. Gushed the New York Times:

"The Westerners flashed the most sensational football that has been seen in the East this year. The Army players were hopelessly confused and chagrined before Notre Dame’s great playing, and their style of old-fashioned close line-smashing play was no match for the spectacular and highly perfected attack of the Indiana collegians."

A West Point cadet named Dwight Eisenhower watched from the sidelines. He was on Army’s team but didn’t play due to injury. “Everything has gone wrong,” he wrote to his girlfriend. “The football team . . . got beaten most gloriously by Notre Dame.”

With that game, football’s long first chapter came to a close. It had reduced the problem of violence, and the game that we enjoy today was born.

The example of Roosevelt shows that a skillful leader can use a light touch to solve a vexing problem. As a general rule, of course, we don’t want politicians interfering with our sports. The only thing that could make the BCS system worse is congressional involvement.

At the same time, our political leaders help to shape our culture and our expectations. They can promise a world without risk, or they can send a different message. As a father myself, I can sympathize with President Obama’s cautious statements about football. At the same time, his comments would have benefited from some context: Gregg Easterbrook, who writes a football column for ESPN, has pointed out that a teen who drives a car for an hour has about a one in a million chance of dying—compared to a one in six million chance for a teen who spends an hour practicing football.

Americans are a self-governing people. We can make our own judgments about whether to drive or play football—and when we make these choices, we can make them in recognition of the fact that although sports can be dangerous, they’re also good for us. They not only make us distinctively American, they make us better Americans.



 

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Copyright © 2013 Hillsdale College. The opinions expressed in Imprimis are not necessarily the views of Hillsdale College. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided the following credit line is used: “Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.”
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why the Death of the Tank Is Greatly Exaggerated on: October 25, 2013, 04:54:20 AM
https://medium.com/war-is-boring/751f5ccd091

From the article:

The spread of advanced guided weapons, especially to non-state forces such as Hezbollah, has made the battlefield more dangerous than ever. Which is why RAND analyst David E. Johnson, who has written several papers on the future of armor, believes that tanks are more necessary than ever. “My sense is that ATGMs have made the battlefield — be it irregular, hybrid or high-end war — too deadly for anything but tanks and similarly armored vehicles. As an Israeli told me when I was doing research on Hard Fighting: Israel in Lebanon and Gaza, nothing else can survive on the battlefield.”
245  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Unorganzied Militia: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: October 23, 2013, 09:37:47 PM
You are quite welcome, GM. Thanks for the first article.
246  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Unorganzied Militia: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: October 23, 2013, 08:36:00 PM
On that note, GM: did you see this?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/02/world/africa/during-siege-at-kenyan-mall-government-forces-seemed-slow-to-respond.html?_r=0

From the article:

When the first shots of automatic gunfire burst out, Raju, a member of a local gun club, was waiting in line in a bank at the Westgate shopping mall. He crouched down, pulled out his phone and feverishly pecked out a text message: “I am inside and I can confirm this is not a robbery.”

Within minutes, his fellow gun club members, neighborhood watch volunteers, off-duty police officers and other armed Samaritans rushed to the mall. They found no command center, no SWAT team — in short, no coordinated government response as heavily armed Islamist militants shot civilians at will
247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Appeals court limits GPS tracking on: October 23, 2013, 04:59:53 PM
http://www.scotusblog.com/2013/10/appeals-court-limits-gps-tracking/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+scotusblog%2FpFXs+%28SCOTUSblog%29
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What Churchill Can Teach Us About ... Killer Drones on: October 23, 2013, 02:08:36 PM
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/10/22/winston_churchill_military_technology_lasers_cyborgs_drones?print=yes&hidecomments=yes&page=full
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Drones/UAV/UAS on: October 23, 2013, 02:07:58 PM
Thanks for your continuing coverage of this subject for us BD.


You are welcome, sir.
250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 30th Anniversary of Beirut bombing on: October 23, 2013, 07:48:32 AM
http://marines.dodlive.mil/2013/10/22/30th-anniversary-of-beirut-bombing-survivor-shares-his-story/

From the article:

Oct. 23, 2013, marks the 30th anniversary of the Beirut Bombing.  241 American and 58 French service members were killed when two trucks filled with explosives crashed into the two barracks buildings. One of the 300 service members who lived in the building shares the story of the attack, his survival and how he lives with the memories.
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