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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: social justice wars , SJ warriors, gender warriors , victimhood on: Today at 08:51:50 PM
Jonah Goldberg has a GREAT clip defining SJ on the Prager University FB page.
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: Today at 08:51:07 PM
http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/comic/stroke-of-luck/
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Grannis gives his Sit Rep: on: Today at 08:49:05 PM
I've been following the markets throughout the past week, but can't come up with any new or informed observations about what's happening. However, there's nothing wrong with a recap of how I see the economy and the markets, so here goes:

The economy is likely continuing to grow at a disappointingly slow pace, but we might see some modestly stronger GDP numbers in the second half as compared to the first half of the year. There are several reasons for sluggish growth, but monetary policy is not one of them. Tax and regulatory burdens are excessively high; confidence is still lacking; and business investment is weak despite strong corporate profits. Risk aversion, a lack of confidence, and weak investment have sapped the economy's productivity. More recently, the tremendous uncertainty surrounding the November elections—which could give us even higher tax and regulatory burdens and four more years of sluggish growth under a Clinton presidency, or reduced tax and regulatory burdens and four years of stronger growth under a Trump presidency—is most likely convincing risk-takers that it is better to wait until next year before deciding to undertake new investments, and that in turn is contributing to keep growth weak, especially this year.

The Fed has not been "stimulative;" rather, the Fed has been accommodating the world's almost insatiable desire for money and safe assets with its Quantitative Easing program. Short-term interest rates are not artificially low, and thus they are not artificially inflating the prices of risk assets and/or bonds. Interest rates are low because the economy is sluggish, inflation is low, and the market holds out very little hope for improvement in the years ahead. Rates are low because the world's demand for safe assets is very strong. In particular, the very low level of real yields on TIPS, combined with relatively low implied inflation, strongly suggests that the market is very pessimistic about the long-run outlook for economic growth. The Fed is not too tight, because real yields are very low and the yield curve is positively sloped. Deflation exists primarily in the durable goods sector, and China has been one of the driving factors behind ever-cheaper prices for the electronics that have boosted our standard of living—there is nothing wrong with that.

Stocks are no longer cheap, but neither are they obviously expensive. The current PE ratio of the S&P 500 (~20) is above its long-term average, but not excessively high considering how low interest rates are on notes and bonds. Key indicators of systemic risk (particularly swap spreads) are relatively low and stable, and this—combined with the absence of tight money—suggests that the risk of recession is low for the foreseeable future. The unusually wide spread between the yield on cash and the yield on risk assets is a compelling reason to stay invested.

The dollar is reasonably valued against most other currencies, according to the Fed's Real Broad Dollar Index, and my analysis of the dollar's PPP value against other major currencies is largely in agreement with this. Raw industrial commodity prices are neither very high nor very low, but they have been trending higher this year and this suggests some firming in the global economic outlook—which, like that of the U.S., has been unimpressive of late, if not a bit troubling.
 
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: Today at 03:21:40 PM
second post

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/donald-trump-bill-clinton-gennifer-flowers-presidential-debate
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Free to flee on: Today at 12:04:48 PM
http://www.dailywire.com/news/9401/ma-supreme-court-black-people-can-run-police-if-frank-camp#
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Eric Hoffer on: Today at 09:52:33 AM

There is a fact that stares us in the face but which we refuse to see; the inverse relation between grievance and protest. The less justified the grievance the more violent the protest. When the wrong is tangible and obvious the protest will be limited and specific. It is when the wrong is vague or even fictitious that the protest is likely to become revolutionary, to be directed against the Establishment, the power structure, and the whole way of life of a society.

- Eric Hoffer, The Destructive Rush for Happiness, column, 1968
7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Helprin: The Gathering Nuclear Storm on: Today at 09:47:37 AM
I have repeatedly banged the table around here that one of the worst things that Obama has done is to bring an end to the era of nuclear non-proliferation.

Though I find the following unfair in some respects to Trump, on the whole it is an intelligent discussion of a matter of profound importance to our national security.  I was unaware of just how bad our trajectory is viz the Chinese and Russians is.

Also, I would note that there is no discussion of the Iran and North Korea.  I would note that as Iran develops its' ICBMs, it continues to move forward with its nuke program.  Even if it should turn out it is sort of respecting the Obama-Kerry deal (which expires in what, 12 years?) it seems logical to me to assume they are off-shoring their efforts to a joint venture with North Korea.

--------------------------------------------------------

by Mark Helprin
Sept. 23, 2016 6:11 p.m. ET
189 COMMENTS

Even should nuclear brinkmanship not result in Armageddon, it can lead to abject defeat and a complete reordering of the international system. The extraordinarily complicated and consequential management of American nuclear policy rests upon the shoulders of those we elevate to the highest offices. Unfortunately, President Obama’s transparent hostility to America’s foundational principles and defensive powers is coupled with a dim and faddish understanding of nuclear realities. His successor will be no less ill-equipped.

Hillary Clinton’s robotic compulsion to power renders her immune to either respect for truth or clearheaded consideration of urgent problems. Theodore Roosevelt’s secretary of state once said that he was “pure act” (meaning action). Hillary Clinton is “pure lie” (meaning lie), with whatever intellectual power she possesses hopelessly enslaved to reflexive deviousness.

Donald Trump, surprised that nuclear weapons are inappropriate to counterinsurgency, has a long history of irrepressible urges and tropisms. Rather like the crazy boy-emperors after the fall of the Roman Republic, he may have problems with impulse control—and an uncontrolled, ill-formed, perpetually fragmented mind.

None of these perhaps three worst people in the Western Hemisphere, and few of their deplorable underlings, are alive to the gravest danger. Which is neither Islamic State, terrorism, the imprisoned economy, nor even the erosion of our national character, though all are of crucial importance.

The gravest danger we face is fast-approaching nuclear instability. Many believe it is possible safely to arrive at nuclear zero. It is not. Enough warheads to bring any country to its knees can fit in a space volumetrically equivalent to a Manhattan studio apartment. Try to find that in the vastness of Russia, China, or Iran. Even ICBMs and their transporter-erector-launchers can easily be concealed in warehouses, tunnels and caves. Nuclear weapons age out, but, thanks to supercomputing, reliable replacements can be manufactured with only minor physical testing. Unaccounted fissile material sloshing around the world can, with admitted difficulty, be fashioned into weapons. And when rogue states such as North Korea and Iran build their bombs, our response has been either impotence or a ticket to ride.

Nor do nuclear reductions lead to increased safety. Quite apart from encouraging proliferation by enabling every medium power in the world to aim for nuclear parity with the critically reduced U.S. arsenal, reductions create instability. The fewer targets, the more possible a (counter-force) first strike to eliminate an enemy’s retaliatory capacity. Nuclear stability depends, inter alia, upon deep reserves that make a successful first strike impossible to assure. The fewer warheads and the higher the ratio of warheads to delivery vehicles, the more dangerous and unstable.

Consider two nations, each with 10 warheads on each of 10 missiles. One’s first strike with five warheads tasked per the other’s missiles would leave the aggressor with an arsenal sufficient for a (counter-value) strike against the now disarmed opponent’s cities. Our deterrent is not now as concentrated as in the illustration, but by placing up to two-thirds of our strategic warheads in just 14 submarines; consolidating bomber bases; and entertaining former Defense Secretary William Perry’s recommendation to do away with the 450 missiles in the land-based leg of the Nuclear Triad, we are moving that way.

Supposedly salutary reductions are based upon an incorrect understanding of nuclear sufficiency: i.e., if X number of weapons is sufficient to inflict unacceptable costs upon an enemy, no more than X are needed. But we don’t define sufficiency, the adversary does, and the definition varies according to culture; history; the temperament, sanity, or miscalculation of leadership; domestic politics; forms of government, and other factors, some unknown. For this reason, the much maligned concept of overkill is a major contributor to stability, in that, if we have it, an enemy is less likely to calculate that we lack sufficiency. Further, if our forces are calibrated to sufficiency, then presumably the most minor degradation will render them insufficient.

Nor is it safe to mirror-image willingness to go nuclear. Every nuclear state has its own threshold, and one cannot assume that concessions in strategic forces will obviate nuclear use in response to conventional warfare, which was Soviet doctrine for decades and is a Russian predilection now.

Ballistic missile defense is opposed and starved on the assumption that it would shield one’s territory after striking first, and would therefore tempt an enemy to strike before the shield was deployed. As its opponents assert, hermetic shielding is impossible, and if only 10 of 1,500 warheads were to hit American cities, the cost would be unacceptable. But no competent nuclear strategist ever believed that, other than protecting cities from accidental launch or rogue states, ballistic missile defense is anything but a means of protecting our retaliatory capacity, making a counter-force first strike of no use, and thus increasing stability.

In a nuclear world, unsentimental and often counterintuitive analysis is necessary. As the genie will not be forced back into the lamp, the heart of the matter is balance and deterrence. But this successful dynamic of 70 years is about to be destroyed. Those whom the French call our “responsibles” have addressed the nuclear calculus—in terms of sufficiency, control regimes, and foreign policy—only toward Russia, as if China, a nuclear power for decades, did not exist. While it is true that to begin with its nuclear arsenal was de minimis, in the past 15 years China has increased its land-based ICBMs by more than 300%, its sea-based by more than 400%. Depending upon the configuration of its missiles, China can rain up to several hundred warheads upon the U.S.

As we shrink our nuclear forces and fail to introduce new types, China is doing the opposite, increasing them numerically and forging ahead of us in various technologies (quantum communications, super computers, maneuverable hypersonic re-entry vehicles), some of which we have forsworn, such as road-mobile missiles, which in survivability and range put to shame our Minuteman IIIs.

Because China’s nuclear weapons infrastructure is in part housed in 3,000 miles of tunnels opaque to American intelligence, we cannot know the exact velocity and extent of its buildup. Why does the Obama administration, worshipful of nuclear agreements, completely ignore the nuclear dimension of the world’s fastest rising major power, with which the United States and allies engage in military jockeying almost every day on multiple fronts? Lulled to believe that nuclear catastrophe died with the Cold War, America is blind to rising dragons.

And then we have Russia, which ignores limitations the Obama administration strives to exceed. According to its own careless or defiant admissions, Russia cheats in virtually every area of nuclear weapons: deploying missiles that by treaty supposedly no longer exist; illegally converting anti-aircraft and ballistic missile defense systems to dual-capable nuclear strike; developing new types of nuclear cruise missiles for ships and aircraft; keeping more missiles on alert than allowed; and retaining battlefield tactical nukes.

Further, in the almost complete absence of its own “soft power,” Russia frequently hints at nuclear first use. All this comports with historical Soviet/Russian doctrine and conduct; is an important element of Putinesque tactics for reclaiming the Near Abroad; and dovetails perfectly with Mr. Obama’s advocacy of no first use, unreciprocated U.S. reductions and abandonment of nuclear modernization. Which in turn pair nicely with Donald Trump’s declaration that he would defend NATO countries only if they made good on decades of burden-sharing delinquency.

Russia deploys about 150 more nuclear warheads than the U.S. Intensively modernizing, it finds ways to augment its totals via undisguised cheating. Bound by no numerical or qualitative limits, China speeds its strategic development. To cripple U.S. retaliatory capability, an enemy would have to destroy only four or five submarines at sea, two sub bases, half a dozen bomber bases, and 450 missile silos.

Russia has 49 attack submarines, China 65, with which to track and kill American nuclear missile subs under way. Were either to build or cheat to 5,000 warheads (the U.S. once had more than 30,000) and two-thirds reached their targets, four warheads could strike each aim point, with 2,000 left to hold hostage American cities and industry. China and Russia are far less dense and developed than the U.S., and it would take more strikes for us to hold them at risk than vice versa, a further indictment of reliance upon sufficiency calculations and symmetrical reductions.

Russia dreams publicly of its former hold on Eastern Europe and cannot but see opportunity in a disintegrating European Union and faltering NATO. China annexes the South China Sea and looks to South Korea, Japan and Australasia as future subordinates. Given the degradation of U.S. and allied conventional forces previously able to hold such ambitions in check, critical confrontations are bound to occur. When they do occur, and if without American reaction, China or Russia have continued to augment their strategic forces to the point of vast superiority where one or both consider a first strike feasible, we may see nuclear brinkmanship (or worse) in which the United States—startled from sleep and suddenly disabused of the myth of sufficiency—might have to capitulate, allowing totalitarian dictatorships to dominate the world.

Current trajectories point in exactly this direction, but in regard to such things Donald Trump hasn’t the foggiest, and, frankly, Hillary Clinton, like the president, doesn’t give a damn.

The way to avoid such a tragedy is to bring China into a nuclear control regime or answer its refusal with our own proportional increases and modernization. And to make sure that both our nuclear and conventional forces are strong, up-to-date, and survivable enough to deter the militant ambitions of the two great powers rising with daring vengeance from what they regard as the shame of their oppression.

Mr. Helprin, a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute, is the author of “Winter’s Tale,” “A Soldier of the Great War” and the forthcoming novel “Paris in the Present Tense.”
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Arming the Kurds on: Today at 09:36:34 AM
Russian and Syrian regime forces renewed their offensive against the besieged city of Aleppo on Friday, killing 27 civilians in air and ground bombardments. But this time the Obama Administration isn’t taking the outrage lying down. Behold Ben Rhodes, warning the Kremlin that there are limits to the White House’s diplomatic patience after Russia flouted another cease-fire by bombing a humanitarian aid convoy.

“The question is whether or not we just walk away from the table completely at this point,” the deputy national security adviser said this week, “or whether or not we do some more diplomacy and consultation to determine whether or not there is some path forward.”

To whether or not—when it comes to the Administration’s Syria policy, that’s always been the question. President Obama dithered for months over whether to call on Bashar Assad to step aside, first deciding in favor of it only effectively to reverse himself last year. He struggled with the question of whether and to what extent to arm a credible opposition force, only to spend a half-billion dollars training a handful of fighters. He drew a red line against the use of chemical weapons, but whether to enforce it was another matter.

More recently, Mr. Obama has been of two minds over whether to oppose Moscow’s intervention in Syria, or join it in a mutual effort against Islamic State. He’s also unsure of whether to provide Syria’s Kurds—by far the most effective U.S. ally in the war—with the weapons they would need to evict ISIS from its Syrian capital in Raqqa. Whether it’s worth alienating Turkey by doing so is another White House puzzle.

All this is causing some presidential misgivings, not least because Mr. Obama knows he’ll be judged harshly for his Syrian abdication. In an interview for Vanity Fair, Mr. Obama told historian Doris Kearns Goodwin that Syria “haunts me constantly,” and that he asks himself what a Winston Churchill or Dwight Eisenhower might have done in his place. Yet he continues to insist that he got all the big calls right. Regrets, he’d have a few—if only he could think of what they might be.

If Mr. Obama is really looking for a Churchillian answer to Syria’s dilemmas, he could arm our Kurdish friends, destroy the Assad regime’s air force and its armor reserves, and redraw the map of Syria to take account of the new dividing lines of a broken country. Instead of dispatching John Kerry on more negotiating dead ends with Russia, he could also impose further economic costs on Moscow for its Mideast adventurism.

None of this would require deploying U.S. ground troops in large numbers to Syria. But it might warrant restoring Winston’s bust to the Oval Office where it belongs.
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: September 23, 2016, 10:11:44 PM
Those six reasons could make a good list of talking points for Trump in the debate.
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / PP: Fast tracking immigrants for votes; Texas drops from refugee program on: September 23, 2016, 10:07:45 PM
Fast-Tracking Immigrants for Votes
 

In light of the recent revelation that at least 858 individuals and maybe twice that many who had been slated for deportation were accidentally granted citizenship, one would expect that the Department of Homeland Security would be working overtime to shore up its vetting process and do its due diligence to reassure Americans that it will work carefully to prevent such a blunder from happening again. The DHS is indeed working overtime — not to get all its paper finger print records digitalized, but to processes as many immigrant citizenship applications as possible before the election.
An email from a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field office chief stated, "The Field Office due to the election year needs to process as many of the N-400 cases as possible between now and FY 2016." The email continued by "encouraging" employees to take advantage of overtime opportunities in order to meet the processing goal. The level of disconnect is simply stunning. In a letter sent to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) stated, "Your department seems intent on approving as many naturalization cases as quickly as possible at a time when it should instead be putting on the brakes and reviewing past adjudications."
The real problem is a mindset. Last week, one of Hillary Clinton's campaign staffers sent around a tweet quoting Donald Trump: "No one has the right to immigrate to this country." The staffer responded by writing, "We disagree," and said that Trump would have kicked his family out for immigrating from Libya. Whether this ends up being Clinton's official policy is almost irrelevant. This staffer revealed an attitude espoused by many on the Left: The U.S. has no right to reject or limit people from immigrating to America, whereas immigrants have an unfettered right to come here. This globalist, open-borders mindset is the main reason it has been so difficult to get Democrats on board with stopping illegal immigration. This fact is made even more obvious by their refusal to refer to illegal immigrants as "illegal," preferring the moniker "undocumented" immigrant. The truth is, Trump is exactly right that any sovereign nation is obligated to its citizens to regulate immigration, whether this be through limits or prevention. No non-citizen has the right to demand the privilege of citizenship, and to claim that such rights exist is to do violence to the rights of actual citizens.
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Texas Puts Refugee Program on Notice
 

The Obama administration plans to resettle 110,000 refugees into the U.S. over the coming year, but Texas is having none of it. The Lone Star State, which saw an influx of some 7,000 refugees over the last 12 months, has announced plans to sever its participation in the Obama administration's refugee program.
The Washington Free Beacon explains that the reason has to do with a lack of safeguards: "Texas officials drafted a plan that would require federal national security officials to provide assurances that none of the individuals being resettled pose a terror threat. The administration has declined to approve this plan."
Gov. Greg Abbott says, "Despite multiple requests by the state of Texas, the federal government lacks the capability or the will to distinguish the dangerous from the harmless, and Texas will not be an accomplice to such dereliction of duty to the American people. Therefore, Texas will withdraw from the refugee resettlement program. I strongly urge the federal government to completely overhaul a broken and flawed refugee program that increasingly risks American lives."
Abbott is right to be concerned. Around 30,000 migrants from terror hot spots managed to infiltrate the southern border last year. Barack Obama can insist, as he did this week, that "refugees are subject to more vigorous screening than the average tourist." But why should we believe anything he says? Earlier this year, Hillary Clinton asserted, "I think we've done a really good job securing the border."
How good? Well, a newly uncovered DHS memo says, "Refugee fraud is easy to commit, yet not easy to investigate." In fact, "bad actors ... have exploited this program." You don't say. Remember that next time Democrats say we have nothing to worry about.
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's fustercluck in Afpakia on: September 23, 2016, 10:01:14 PM
Foreign Policy is definitely a Democrat sympathizer, so , , ,

http://features.foreignpolicy.com/first-helmand-then-afghanistan/
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary's strategy on: September 23, 2016, 09:53:08 PM
Interesting implications here on many levels:

https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/09/22/hillary-clintons-new-colder-cold-war-russia-putin-election/

I suspect she will be making a play on Monday night along this line-- to show Trump's ignorance, to continue to add to her "bromance" line of attack (with mention of his not meeting with President of Ukraine) to ask if he bombs the hell out of ISIS as promised, won't that help the Russian-Iranian axis, etc etc

13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary's strategy on: September 23, 2016, 09:47:45 PM
https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/09/22/hillary-clintons-new-colder-cold-war-russia-putin-election/
14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: September 23, 2016, 11:33:57 AM
 shocked shocked shocked

Please post here as well.

http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1148.100

This forum's interest in this issue is longstanding.
15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: September 23, 2016, 11:27:26 AM
A thoughtful analysis DDF.
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: social justice wars , SJ warriors, gender warriors , victimhood on: September 23, 2016, 11:25:53 AM
I had "Inside NFL Football this Week" (something like that) as a weekly recorded program, but have deleted it.  I'm bummed but there it is.
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 23, 2016, 11:22:04 AM
"Almost. They don't believe in having people meddle in their affairs."

 smiley
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam - Education, Rebuttals and Counter-Terror on: September 23, 2016, 11:20:55 AM
Of the Ten Commandments, only one is against a thought-- "Thou shall not covet , , , "

Maybe God was trying to tell us something.
19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Senate passes unwritten bill?!? on: September 23, 2016, 11:18:18 AM
Washington at Its Worst: Senate Passes Non-Existent Bill
Commentary By Rachel Bovard, Daily Signal,  9/21/16

A 10-year veteran of congressional policy battles, Rachel Bovard is The Heritage Foundation’s director of policy services.

On Tuesday night the Senate voted to proceed to the Continuing Resolution (CR), a bill that will allegedly fund the government until Dec. 9.

The only problem is that there isn’t actually a bill yet.

There is no text. There is no agreement between Democrats and Republicans on what the bill will fund — Planned Parenthood, the Export-Import Bank, control of the Internet — all of it remains a mystery.

Yet the Senate voted 89 – 7 to proceed to this non-existent bill..

The Senate operates under complex parliamentary rules that require a series of votes in order to “proceed to” or “get onto” a bill. The vote Tuesday night was the first in what will be a series of votes on the continuing resolution or spending bill.

Despite Senate leadership’s protests to the contrary, a vote to proceed to a bill that’s not yet written is, in fact, a substantive act — particularly when there is so much at stake.

And Senate leadership tried to pitch this as simply a process vote. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s, R-Ky., communications director tweeted that this vote was “just procedural” and “not a vote on the CR” or on Zika funding. Various reporters tweeted that this was just a vote on a “shell bill,” and that the text of the continuing resolution would be crafted at a later date.

But the fact still remains: on Tuesday, the Senate voted to proceed to a bill that does not yet exist.

Forget not being able to read it, or not having time to digest the policy at hand. The bill does not exist.

Despite Senate leadership’s protests to the contrary, a vote to proceed to a bill that’s not yet written is, in fact, a substantive act — particularly when there is so much at stake. The continuing resolution will be the battleground for major policies, like whether or not Planned Parenthood will receive Zika funding, if the Export-Import Bank can send taxpayer dollars to fund Boeing deals with Iran, or if the U.S. will lose control of the Internet.

All of these deals have yet to be struck (although press reports suggest that Republicans have already caved to Democrats on Planned Parenthood funding). What the Senate did Tuesday was to give the go-ahead to Senate leadership to strike those deals on their behalf. Each of the 89 senators who voted to proceed to text that they’ve never seen yielded their authority to have input on the deal, to influence the outcome of a major funding bill.

This is not just a procedural vote, and it is wrong to describe it as such. Voting to proceed to a bill is as much a substantive act as voting on the bill — different, but still substantive. In this case, the Senate voted to proceed to whatever backroom deal their leadership happens to strike.

As Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., explained his “no” vote to Congressional Quarterly, “We don’t have that text yet. It’s important that we do have that and we do know the direction that it’s going when we get to that spot.”

Lankford is right about why senators must have text before beginning any vote series, procedural or otherwise — you can’t approve the start of a process without knowing first where it’s going to end.

The McConnell-Reid era has witnessed a Senate that is less transparent, where individual members are less aware of their rights, and where there is a growing centralization of power in the Leader’s office. Tuesday’s vote was another step in that direction.

Individual senators are all equal in authority — with the same rights and the same access to the Senate rules. Senators would do well to keep that in mind next time their leadership says, “Trust us,” and tells them to approve moving forward on a bill they have yet to see.
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / George Soros: Why I am investing $500M in migrants on: September 23, 2016, 03:34:29 AM
http://www.wsj.com/articles/why-im-investing-500-million-in-migrants-1474344001
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 22, 2016, 09:09:47 PM
 cheesy cheesy cheesy
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Saudi Arabia & the Arabian Peninsula on: September 22, 2016, 09:01:27 PM
Please post in the Legal Issues in the War on Islamic Fascism thread as well.

FWIW, at present, I lean towards opposing this bill.
23  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Rap sheet on: September 22, 2016, 08:31:52 PM
http://conservativetribune.com/truth-crutcher-bad-for-media/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=PostUp&utm_campaign=ConservativeBrief&utm_content=2016-09-23

24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trey Gowdy at the tip of the spear defending the rule of law on: September 22, 2016, 04:35:57 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsjCYMXsYU8
25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / DHS says refugee fraud is easy on: September 22, 2016, 12:58:22 PM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/sep/22/dhs-memo-admits-refugee-fraud-easy-commit/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTUdWbU5EQTFNelV5TkRRMCIsInQiOiJyOGpnVmJqdkRrT0dpTU9SQ3MyblFHRUxzdzlZdlc2VDFMaTVvdUhOcVdIUE95MENkcjlRZVpVVHllTExxYlZ1aTdBMXNiWlVoWlViNmtrM0huXC9kYmkwY00xWHArcHM1MzZxTGp1d1J6MUk9In0%3D
26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam - Education, Rebuttals and Counter-Terror on: September 22, 2016, 11:00:31 AM
Something that has influenced my thinking greatly is "evolutionary psychology" in general and the writings of Konrad Lorenz in particular (after whom my son Conrad is named btw).

One of his most important books is "On Aggression".  Speaking quite simplistically about a subtle book, Lorenz says aggression (defined as intra and not inter species) has three purposes:  Territory; Hierarchy; and Reproduction.

In my own thinking in the case of humans I have added Predation.  Normally predatory behavior is inter species and thus outside the definition of aggression, but in the case of humans, much criminal behavior is predatory in nature (e.g. the money stolen is a form of food)

But I digress , , , 

In one of his final books, "The Waning of Humanness" Lorenz spoke of particular dynamic that he called "collective militant enthusiasm" in which a group whips itself into a frenzy for collective action against "the other".

Lenin-Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Islamic Fascism can all be seen as manifestations of this dynamic.
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 22, 2016, 10:49:47 AM
I thought Mexico/Mexicans didn't believe in meddling in other people's internal affairs , , ,  tongue

28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: September 21, 2016, 11:30:00 PM
Trump passed on the invitation of the president of the Ukraine to meet today.

If I have it right, Hillary accepted?

29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Epidemics of Insanity on: September 21, 2016, 09:10:54 PM
http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/213767/euripides-mao-and-qutb
30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America (and pre-emptive dhimmitude) on: September 21, 2016, 08:58:42 PM
Works for me!
31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sen.Ted Cruz on refugees on: September 21, 2016, 08:56:36 PM
http://www.redstate.com/brandon_morse/2016/09/19/ted-cruz-calls-end-us-refugee-program-light-terrorist-attacks/
32  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Why cops don't let suspects return to vehicles on: September 21, 2016, 08:46:46 PM
http://bearingarms.com/bob-o/2016/09/20/cops-dont-let-suspects-return-vehicles-murder-kyle-dinkheller/?utm_content=bufferf7a12&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Strong clip on electoral fraud on: September 21, 2016, 01:26:54 PM
https://www.facebook.com/nationalreview/videos/10157410268980093/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED
34  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Life of a Liberal Muslim on: September 21, 2016, 01:22:03 PM
https://newrepublic.com/article/136609/moral-hazard
35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam - Education, Rebuttals and Counter-Terror on: September 21, 2016, 01:14:12 PM
You'll find only agreement here!

I think we all appreciate your concise presentation of facts and lines of analysis for persuading others.

Speaking of Muslim Brotherhood, a pet peeve of mine is how Huma Abedin's family connections to it are ignored , , ,  angry angry angry
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 21, 2016, 01:12:00 PM
http://www.wsj.com/articles/its-still-clintons-race-to-lose-1474413142

It’s Still Clinton’s Race to Lose
Only 38% of likely voters think Donald Trump is ‘qualified’ for the presidency.
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris: Bush 41 rehabs a Clinton , , , again on: September 21, 2016, 01:06:26 PM
http://www.dickmorris.com/bush-rehabbed-clintons-made-hillarys-candidacy-possible-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/?utm_source=dmreports&utm_medium=dmreports&utm_campaign=dmreports
38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / London Mayor against assimilation on: September 21, 2016, 10:06:38 AM
London Mayor Sadiq Khan to U.S. Immigrants: Don't Assimilate
by Raheem Kassam  •  Sep 16, 2016
Cross-posted from Breitbart
http://www.meforum.org/blog/2016/09/sadiq-khan-immigrants-shouldnt-assimilate
 
Originally published under the title "London's Islamist-Linked Mayor Tells U.S. Audience: 'Immigrants Shouldn't Assimilate'."
 
Sadiq Khan narrowly won London's mayoral election in May.

London's Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan has continued his pro-Hillary Clinton tour of the United States by declaring that immigrants into the West should not be forced to assimilate.  His comments come hot on the heels of the Chicago press exposing his connections to radical Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Mr. Khan, who was elected to be London's mayor in May 2016, has also used his trip to claim that Republican candidate Donald Trump is "playing into the hands" of the Islamic State.

His trip runs contrary to the U.S. visit from former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, who presented an upbeat message of defeating the political establishment on stage with Donald Trump.

Instead, Mr. Khan insisted: "One of the lessons from around the world is that a laissez-faire or hands-off approach to social integration doesn't work. We need rules, institutions, and support to enable people to integrate into cohesive communities and for the avoidance of doubt, I don't mean assimilation, I mean integration, and there's a difference."

He added: "People shouldn't have to drop their cultures and traditions when they arrive in our cities and countries."

The United Kingdom, and especially areas of East London which overwhelmingly voted for Mr. Khan, is currently suffering from Muslim ghettoisation, horrific employment rates for Muslim women, an internal debate surrounding the banning of the burka, and ongoing issues such as female genital mutilation, anti-Semitism, and homophobia within Muslim communities.


Under Mr. Khan's plans, none of these "cultures and traditions" would need to be dropped for Muslim migrants to Western countries.

According to VOA News, Mr. Khan called himself a "big fan" of Hillary Clinton, adding: "We play straight into the hands of those who seek to divide us, of extremists and terrorists around the world, when we imply that it's not possible to hold Western values dear and to be a Muslim."

Mr. Khan has been repeatedly criticised for connections with former Guantanamo Bay detainees, as well as known Muslim extremists in the United Kingdom.

His appearances have been widely covered by Britain's media, but are routinely ignored by the political establishment.  He has also pledged to ban images of women not covered up from advertisements on the London Underground (Tube).  Recently, Breitbart London revealed that Mr. Khan appointed an extremism-linked advisor to his City Hall team.

Raheem Kassam is a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum and editor-in-chief of Breitbart London.
39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / F-35 fuct on: September 21, 2016, 10:01:36 AM
http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a19199/pentagon-reports-puts-hard-limits-on-f-35s-combat-utility/
40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Elizabeth "Forked Tongue" Warren vs. Wells Fargo CEO on: September 20, 2016, 10:49:03 PM
https://www.facebook.com/CSPAN/videos/10154783268610579/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED
41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Prager: Thou shalt not covet on: September 20, 2016, 10:46:32 PM
https://www.facebook.com/prageru/videos/1010033059039550/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED
42  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Case Study: Hands up , , , and down? on: September 20, 2016, 10:37:31 PM
http://bearingarms.com/bob-o/2016/09/20/terence-crutcher-shot-hands-heres-definitive-proof/?utm_content=buffer87acc&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/09/20/latest-attorney-says-tulsa-officer-felt-threatened.html
43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th & 9th Amendments on: September 20, 2016, 10:24:31 PM
I'm guessing the courts that held for the FBI said something to the effect that by going to the site the defendants entered into the jurisdiction of the court issuing the warrant.
44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: September 20, 2016, 10:11:01 PM
Reasonably tight stops should handle that.

BTW I would submit that 7 years is quite a bit more than "short term".  What % has the move been since the bottom?  Nearly 200%?  Let's face facts:   We predicted mass inflation, doom and gloom, and crashing prices for pretty much the last seven years.  The explanation by Grannis (and Wesbury) of the implications of the increase in banking reserves has proven correct.

Please read for precision here:  What I am saying is does not contradict that we agree that there are genuine risks of genuine catastrophe.  However, which course of action would make you richer:

Staying out of the market for these seven years in the belief of your powers of prophesy or profiting for the past seven years, and taking the risk that you will have to give a chunk of it back should there be a catastrophic crash that you missed?
 
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: September 20, 2016, 09:07:55 PM
Do note gents that people who followed his advice over ours are A LOT richer for it.

46  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: September 20, 2016, 09:06:55 PM
Indeed!

Important point here-- this is why her supporters like her!!! 

Even more important point-- we should be beating her to it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Big Lie on: September 20, 2016, 08:53:01 PM
http://www.gallup.com/opinion/chairman/181469/big-lie-unemployment.aspx
48  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Excerpt from PG Crafty's Stick Grappling DVD on: September 20, 2016, 08:51:59 PM
https://www.facebook.com/dogbrothersmartialarts/videos/791011847707543/?pnref=story

https://youtu.be/umOg10Lgs00
49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury notes negative implications of truck sales on: September 20, 2016, 07:49:08 PM
The Glass Half Empty To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Economist
Robert Stein, Deputy Chief Economist
Date: 9/19/2016

We get called perma-bulls, wrongly we think, because we were late to call 2008 a Panic, and because we've pushed back against the doom and gloom of the past 7 1/2 years. Time and again over the past several years, we've argued the Plow Horse economy would continue to grow.

Remember fears about adjustable-rate mortgage re-sets, or the looming wave of foreclosures that would lead to a double-dip recession? Remember the threat of widespread defaults on municipal debt? Remember the hyperinflation that was supposed to come from Quantitative Easing? Or how about the Fiscal Cliff, Sequester, or the federal government shutdown? Or the recession we were supposed to get from higher oil prices...and then from lower oil prices? How about the recession from the looming breakup of the Euro or Grexit or Brexit?

In the end, none of these were reasons to fear a recession or to bail out of stocks.

But this doesn't mean we are "perma-bulls." It doesn't mean we will never be concerned about the prospects for recession. Sooner or later, the US will have another recession. And even though we've consistently pushed back against others' recession theories the past several years, we are always on the lookout for recession theories that make sense.

And although we don't think a recession will happen anytime soon, there are some data we're concerned about.

In the past fifty years, one of the best signals of an impending recession has been medium and heavy truck sales. Anytime that's dropped substantially – and the 31% drop since June 2015 certainly qualifies – a recession has started within two years of the peak in sales. If that holds this time around, we'd be due for a recession starting by the middle of 2017.

Given the traditional role of these vehicles to the flow of commerce around the country, a drop should never be casually dismissed. So, normally the drop since mid-2015 would give us serious concerns about the economy.

This time, however, the drop in medium and heavy truck sales has come during a time of falling oil prices and less mining activity. In addition, sales before mid-2015 may have been artificially high due to a new regulation on trucks' antilock braking systems. Some sales appear to have been accelerated to avoid the new rule, which then went into effect. There have been other regulations on emissions that affected sales as well.

Another data series we're watching closely is what we call "core" industrial production, which is industrial production excluding utilities, mining, and autos, all of which are very volatile. The core measure is down 0.9% from a year ago. Normally a decline of nearly 1% only happens in recessions or right after they end, but it also happened back in January 2014, so we think it's important to wait and see. Once again, the absorption of lower oil prices and the huge drop in drilling activity in the energy sector may be holding down production.

If truck sales and core industrial production continue to show weakness it would certainly get more of our attention. But, for now, we think the weight of the data show continued Plow Horse growth.

Job growth continues at a healthy clip. Initial unemployment claims have averaged 261,000 over the past four weeks and have been below 300,000 for 80 straight weeks. Consumer debt payments are an unusually low share of income and consumers' seriously delinquent debts are still dropping. Wages are accelerating. Home building has risen the past few years even as the homeownership rate has declined, making room for plenty of growth in the years ahead.

Meanwhile, there haven't been any huge shifts in government policy in the past two years. Yes, policy could be much better, but the pace of bad policies hasn't shifted into overdrive lately.

In other words, our forecast remains as it has been the past several years, for more Plow Horse economic growth. But you should never have any doubt that we are constantly on the lookout for something that can change our minds.
 
50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: September 20, 2016, 07:39:57 PM
Maybe the banking thread  cheesy
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