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151  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / NSA busted for spying on Americans on: July 13, 2015, 02:33:59 PM
152  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More in a similar vein on: July 13, 2015, 02:24:05 PM
second post

153  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Chapo Guzman escapes and threatens Donald Trump. on: July 13, 2015, 02:15:38 PM
154  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Education in prison reduces recidivism on: July 13, 2015, 01:58:28 PM
155  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iran says it can destroy the White House in under 10 minutes on: July 13, 2015, 01:04:18 PM
156  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: July 13, 2015, 12:31:08 PM
Glad to see the discussion here but while I am in Germany on a small computer I will not have time to respond, but I hope you guys will continue to do so.
157  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Jeb Bush on: July 13, 2015, 12:17:36 PM
Jeb's Misstep Shows Problem With His Candidacy


Published on on July 12, 2015

When Jeb Bush said that "people have to work longer hours and, through productivity,
gain more income for their families," he was doing much more than flubbing his
lines. He was flagging a basic reason not to nominate him.

Bush claimed that his remarks were taken out of context. And they were. He was
discussing the large number of Americans who are working part time and urging them
to seek full-time work. He should have gone on to attack the Obamacare law for
incentivizing part-time employment by requiring only employers of full time workers
to get them health insurance.

But, nevertheless, the very fact that he fell into this blooper illustrates the
problem. When people who are known for their wealth, like the Bushes and the Romneys
of the world, say things that seem out of touch, they are not given the benefit of
the doubt. Ask Marie Antoinette about her "let them eat cake" comment that some
historians say she never said. Or ask Bush Senior how his passivity in the face of
the 1991 recession was interpreted.

Class warriors in the Democratic Party are constantly on the lookout for such
remarks by rich Republicans. Mitt Romney had a point in saying that Democrats had a
lock on 47percent  of the vote. He was wrong only in that he included Medicare,
Social Security, and Veterans Benefits in his stat. If he left them out and spoke
only of the 35 percent on means-tested entitlements, he would have had it exactly
right. But it cost him the election nonetheless.

How did Jeb come to make such a gaffe? He probably got an economics briefing that
cited part-time work as a cause of low incomes. He naturally drew the interpretation
that people need to work longer hours. Someone with more street experience would
realize that very few of the part-time workers actually want only part-time work. In
2014, 7.3 million Americans worked part time but wanted full-time jobs. The briefer
forgot to mention that.

But Jeb doesn't realize the situation of part-time workers, so he flubbed the comment.

It will happen again and again. You cannot substitute good briefings for real
158  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Mexico's Drug War on: July 11, 2015, 05:04:03 PM
159  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pentagon prepares for mass civil breakdown on: July 11, 2015, 05:00:41 PM
160  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: July 11, 2015, 03:48:30 PM

I found it plausible in that in concurs with my sense of man overwhelming the health of our oceans.
161  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / The many causes of America's crime decline on: July 11, 2015, 03:46:36 PM
162  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pope rejects creationism on: July 11, 2015, 02:20:22 PM
163  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / 70% decline in sea birds?!? on: July 11, 2015, 02:02:06 PM
164  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / American College of Pediatricians says gay marriage not best for children. on: July 11, 2015, 08:59:50 AM
165  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Oregon allows 15 year olds to get sex change without parental consent. on: July 11, 2015, 08:55:05 AM

  cry cry cry angry angry angry angry angry angry  Reads like some Clintonesque evasions to me but , , ,
166  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WArrenand McCain intro bill to restore Glass Steagall on: July 11, 2015, 08:44:31 AM
Very interesting.  My first response is to agree.

At the least I hope the Rep candidates do not give any stupid or tone deaf answers-- better yet I think would be to support it.

167  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: July 11, 2015, 01:18:01 AM
Also worth noting is the big general who in testimony today/yesterday to Congress when asked who were the biggest dangers to the US said:

1) Russia
2) China
3) North Korea
168  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / A different interpretation of the Civil War on: July 10, 2015, 11:43:39 PM
169  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Price of Tyranny & Totalitarianism on: July 10, 2015, 11:29:53 PM
170  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Climate Wars on: July 10, 2015, 11:15:57 PM
171  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: July 10, 2015, 11:08:51 PM
Reads to me like the bond holders pay the piper.
172  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: July 10, 2015, 05:36:57 PM
Dear Reader (and those of you with better things to do),

There have been times in the past when I’ve gotten crosswise with certain segments of the conservative base and/or with the readership of NATIONAL REVIEW. And, because, like the Elephant Man, I am a not an animal but a human being, I have always had at least some self-doubt. That’s as it should be. People who share principles should not only hear each other out when they disagree; they should be able to see each other’s points and hold open the possibility that one’s opponents have the better argument.

This is not one of those times, at least not for me.

I truly, honestly, and with all my heart and mind think Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters are making a yuuuuuuge mistake. I think they are being conned and played. I feel like a guy whose brother is being taken advantage of by a grifter. I’m watching helplessly as the con artist congratulates him for taking out a third mortgage.

Anger Is Not an Argument

Now, before I go on, let me clarify a few things. I get it. The base of the party is angry. They’re angry about Obama’s lawless chicanery on immigration. They’re angry about the GOP’s patented inability to cross the street without stepping on its own d*ck and then having to apologize for it. They’re angry that the Left’s culture warriors are behaving like an invading army that shoots the survivors even after they’ve surrendered. They’re angry that Republicans have to bend over backward so as not to offend anyone, while Democrats have free rein (and at times free reign) to do and to say as they please.

Enter Trump, stage left. He makes no apologies. He’s brash. I can understand why some see him as a breath of fresh air. If you want to give him credit for starting a worthwhile debate about sanctuary cities and illegal immigration, fine. I think that argument is way overdone, but certainly reasonable enough.

Maybe you just like him. On that, we can respectfully disagree, as there is no accounting for taste. Perhaps you just like his musk and the way it assaults your nostrils, which is fitting, given his line of cologne. Fine.

I, on the other hand, find him tedious, tacky, and trite. He’s a bore who overcompensates for his insecurities by talking about how awesome he is, often in the third person. Jonah can’t stand that.

You see the next Teddy Roosevelt and all I see is someone who talks big and carries a small schtick.

‘Sup Britches?

In words George Will shall never write, this is a good moment to talk about my pants. Earlier this week, Donald Trump attacked Charles Krauthammer and me. By the way, I don’t blame Trump one bit for his hostility. I’d hate me too, if I were him. Still I do marvel at how this supposed Master of the Universe can be unnerved by such criticism. If it takes so little effort for me to set up shop in his head, by all means, let’s give him thermonuclear weapons.

Anyway, when asked about me, he said:

I’m worth a fortune….I went out, I made a fortune, a big fortune, a tremendous fortune… bigger than people even understand….Then I get called [a failure] by a guy that can’t buy a pair of pants, I get called names?

As the intern said to Bill Clinton, this puts me in a weird position. I don’t like to brag, but I’m actually quite adept at buying pants. I don’t enjoy it. But I can do it. It never occurred to me to put it in my bio or anything — “Jonah Goldberg is a senior editor of NATIONAL REVIEW, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a successful pants-buyer” — but maybe I should.

Now, I will say that I sometimes choose not to wear pants, and not just because I’m so fond of my spaghetti-strainer codpiece (which affords me the satisfaction of telling really attractive women, “Hey, my eyes are up here. Thank you very much.”) But these are my choices. If I want to identify as a pantless American, who are you to say otherwise?

More to the point, what I find so gaudy about Trump is his constant reference to the fact that he made a lot of money, and his expectation that it somehow makes him immune to criticism or means that he’s a better person than his GOP competitors, never mind yours truly.

The Trump-Pets Blare.

Moreover, I find it horribly disappointing that his fans like this about him. If you met someone in real life who talked this way, you would think he’s a jerk. But somehow he’s awesome when he does it on TV?

His biggest fans disappoint in other ways as well. I marvel at how they can simultaneously despise Obama’s arrogance but revel in Trump’s. (I chuckle at all of the people who tell me he’s a heroic truth-teller for “telling it like it is” and “calling it as he sees it” but who at the same time fume at me when I tell it like it is about Trump and call it as I see it.)

But most grating of all are the people who sincerely think he should be the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

On this, I’m afraid we’re going to have to disrespectfully disagree. First of all, he’ll never be President of the United States. I won’t go into all of the reasons I think this, but a few off the top of my head: his enormous negatives, even among Republicans; the Midas’s hoard of oppo-research material that surely lurks beneath the surface; and his comments about women, which alone would turn the gender gap into a chasm. To borrow a line from Mark Steyn, a President Trump would have more ex-wives than the previous 44 presidents combined

But my objection isn’t to the political analysis of Trump supporters. It’s their judgment of the man that stews the bowels.

The Purest RINO

Which gets me back to the grifter thing.

I’ve written many times about how I hate the term RINO because conservatives should consider themselves Republicans in Name Only. The Republican Party is a vessel, a tool for achieving conservative ends. It’s nothing more than a team. Conservatism is different. It’s a body of ideas, beliefs, and temperaments. The amazing thing is that Trump is both a RINO and a CINO. I’m sure he has some authentic and sincere conservative views down in there somewhere. But the idea that he’s more plausibly conservative — or more loyally Republican — than Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, or any of the others is just flatly absurd. It is vastly more plausible that he is a stalking horse for his dear friend Hillary Clinton than he is a sincere conservative.

Trump supporters need an intervention. I want to sit them down at the kitchen table, reach into a manila envelope, and pull out the proof that he’s a fraud. The conversation would go something like this:

Immigration: You seem to think he’s an immigration hardliner, and he’s certainly pretending to be. But why can’t you see through it? He condemned Mitt Romney as an immigration hardliner in 2012 and favored comprehensive immigration reform. He told Bill O’Reilly he was in favor of a “path to citizenship” for 30 million illegal immigrants:
Trump: You have to give them a path. You have 20 million, 30 million, nobody knows what it is. It used to be 11 million. Now, today I hear it’s 11, but I don’t think it’s 11. I actually heard you probably have 30 million. You have to give them a path, and you have to make it possible for them to succeed. You have to do that.
Question: Just how many rapists and drug dealers did Donald Trump want to give green cards to?

Abortion: In 1999 he said, “I’m totally pro-choice. I hate it and I hate saying it. And I’m almost ashamed to say that I’m pro-choice but I am pro-choice because I think we have no choice.”

Man, it’s like he’s channeling Thomas Aquinas there.

Now he says he’s pro-life. But I’ll spare the mocking on this because at least he’s flip-flopping in the right direction, and I don’t like to second guess peoples’ professed religious convictions.

Obamacare: The man wrote in his own book and said elsewhere that he was in favor of Canadian-style socialized medicine — which would put him to the left of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and on pretty much the same page as Bernie Sanders.

Hillary: Speaking of her, Trump praised Hillary Clinton and her healthcare reform plan — in 2007! She attended his (most recent) wedding. He donated to her campaigns and to the Clinton Foundation. In 2008, he couldn’t get his head around the fact that Obama didn’t pick her for VP. “I’m a big fan of Hillary. She’s a terrific woman. She’s a friend of mine.”

Economics: People tout the guy’s business record. But he represents almost exactly what his supporters think he opposes. He’s a crony capitalist par excellence. He gives to whatever politician can grease the skids for his next deal — and he makes no apologies for it. He’s an eminent domain voluptuary. He abuses bankruptcy laws like a stack of homemade get-out-of-jail-free cards.

Parlez vous Conservative?

The most troubling defense is this claptrap that he “tells it like it is.” Well, first of all, no he doesn’t. He tells it the way you want to hear it, which is an entirely different thing. He is like William Jennings Bryan, only his cross of gold has an all-you-can-eat buffet under it, and looks remarkably like a capital “T.”

'The people of Nebraska are for free silver, and I am for free silver,' Bryan announced. 'I will look up the arguments later.' That is Trump’s approach. He’s saying what understandably angry people want to hear him say.

He reminds me a lot of Mitt Romney, at least in one respect. I always said that Romney “spoke conservatism as a second language” (a line some people ripped off, btw). That’s why Romney called himself a “severe conservative,” talked about how he “likes to fire people,” and anathematized the “47 percent.”
Trump is even less truly conservative, but he’s trying to speak in an even grubbier dialect of conservatism. And, having grown up in the tabloid politics of New York, he’s better at faking it.

Eventually, I suspect, this will be the cause of his undoing. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know about conservatism, and at some point he will say something that even his biggest fans will recognize as a damning revelation about the real man beneath the schtick. The only question is whether he implodes before or after he does permanent damage to the GOP’s chances in 2016.
173  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH: Psychologists shielded US torture program on: July 10, 2015, 05:24:46 PM
Psychologists Shielded U.S. Torture Program, Report Finds

Friday, July 10, 2015 3:43 PM EDT

The Central Intelligence Agency’s health professionals repeatedly criticized the agency’s post-Sept. 11 interrogation program, but their protests were rebuffed by prominent outside psychologists who lent credibility to the program, according to a sweeping new report.
The 542-page report, which examines the involvement of the nation’s psychologists and their largest professional organization, the American Psychological Association, with the harsh interrogation programs of the Bush era, raises repeated questions about the collaboration between psychologists and officials at both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon.
Read more »

174  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: July 10, 2015, 12:37:18 PM
175  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Time for Jews to leave France? on: July 10, 2015, 12:34:11 PM
176  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Interview with Steve Emerson on: July 10, 2015, 10:38:18 AM
Interview: Present ISIL Middle East paradox?
by Jaime Ortega
The Daily Journalist
July 6, 2015
Steven Emerson

He is considered one of the leading authorities on Islamic extremist networks, financing and operations. He serves as the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, one of the world's largest storehouses of archival data and intelligence on Islamic and Middle Eastern terrorist groups. Emerson and his staff frequently provide briefings to U.S. government and law enforcement agencies, members of Congress and congressional committees, and print and electronic media, both national and international. Since 9-11, Emerson has testified before and briefed Congress dozens of times on terrorist financing and operational networks of Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and the rest of the worldwide Islamic militant spectrum.

1) Abu Sayyaf was killed a month ago, how will that affect ISI operations in IRAQ and Syria?

I think the effect will be short lived. ISIS is an organization that has actually learned from the demise of core Al Qaeda. Its leadership structure is only superficially in the form of a pyramid. But those intelligence specialists tell that ISIS has learned the lessons from the demise of the core Al Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan by building in redundancy into parallel layers of leadership. So that if one leader goes down—killed or captured—his area of jurisdiction, whether it be ISIS finances or ISIS arms acquisitions or whatever, is not fatally affected. This by the way is one of the reasons why ISIS has remained so resilient in the face of some punishing US led strikes, albeit mostly ineffective. Its an asymmetric terrorist group that has created a symmetrical fighting organization—think of a conventional fighting force like the US Army which has multiple levels of built in leadership redundancy—that btw, is also fighting a symmetrical war unlike other terrorist groups. The only asymmetrical aspect of the ISIS strategy—and I don't mean to be callous here—is the headline grabbing horrific decapitations and executions of hundreds and hundreds of those it has designated the enemy which it has captured, ranging from Yazidi men to western journalists to Arab soldiers to Shiite civilians.

2) ISIL just captured Ramadi, and are trying to expel Syrian Armed Forces from Palmyra what message does that send to the those countries that support logistically and militarily govern by Haider Al-Abadi and Al-Assad?

Well, they have already as you know captured Palmyra and have gone on to carry out a massive killing spree in the city of Syrian soldiers who did not make it out as well as other "enemies" it designated. But I am not so sure of what your question means. If you are asking me, what is the effect of iSIS victory in Palmyra on those that support Al-Assad, frankly that is limited to only a few entities: Iran, Hizbollah and Russia. And we see that both Iran and Hizbollah have just redoubled their support of Assad's regime in the belief that ISIS has made too many inroads. If I have misinterpreted your question, let me know.

3) If ISIL theoretically defeated Syrian Armed Forces, and controlled mayor cities in Syria, will Jabat-Al-Nusra oppose an Islamic Caliphate govern by Al-Baghdadi? Would they fight each other, despite greeting their rhetorical alliance combating western forces?

Well, you raise a very interesting question that used to be very hypothetical but given the losses by Assad recently, is not so hypothetical any longer. It is my belief that if the Syrian Armed Forces were defeated, Jabat Al Nusrat would never concede that ISIS had achieved that victory but rather that Al Nusrat itself—not ISIS– was either mostly or partly responsible for the victory. Hence, Al Nusrat would never recognize ISIS as the dominant military and political conqueror of a "liberated" Syria. And since Al Nusrat is an outgrowth and effective franchise of Al Qaeda, it would not agreed to ISIS political dominance of territory that Al Nusrat has occupied or has sought to liberate. For the past year or so, we have witnessed a very tentative cease fire between ISIS and Al Nusrat, who prior to that had been fighting each other with vicious ferocity. But that defacto cease fire I believe would cease to exist if ISIS declared itself the sole political and military heir to the territory of a liberated Syria. And in that scenario, it is my belief that would be a "settling of accounts" between Al Nusrat and ISIS much as we witnessed in Afghanistan in the 1980's between the 7 different Mujahideen factions once they victoriously ousted the Soviets.

4) The US, and NATO, have financially supported Kurdish Pashmerga Troops, to help fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, but without ground troops are western forces doing enough?

In an answer, no. Vietnam taught us the limits of air power. Air power alone cannot win wars. Boots on the ground are also required. Without American and other Nato boots on the ground, I just don't see enough firepower by the valiant Kurds.

5) There is intelligence suggesting Recep Erdogan is supporting ISIL, with the help of Intra-Secret/Service-Intelligence in Pakistan because of their former ties with Saddam's Bathist party who is entwined with ISIL fighting Kurds. Is this possible?

You have now entered the Middle East "Twilight Zone" (remember Rod Serling's television series from the 1960s'?) where anything is possible and nothing is impossible. The only thing that I know for sure is that Erdogan has dragged his feet in joining the coalition against ISIS; he has refused to clamp down on the infiltration route to ISIS thru Turkey; he has refused to crack down on the illegal sale of black market oil by ISIS thru Turkish middlemen; he hatred for the Kurds is so visceral that he will do anything it seems to hurt them even if it means helping ISIS although indirectly; and finally because ISIS ultimately is the final perfection of the embodiment of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group whose values and belief system Erdogan religiously enforces (sometimes leading critics to charge him with being a self anointed Calif), then yes, anything is possible.

6) Is their a race between Al-Qaeda and ISIL to regain more power in the Middle East? The control of Lybia is not only ISIL's target, but also Al-Qaeda's?

Forget Al Qaeda. They are not looking to control the Middle East anymore. At this point they are looking only to hang on to franchises that are now defecting to ISIS. ISIS is the new kid on the block. ISIS is the only player in this race. Just look at the attacks in Saudi Arabia last week and in Tunis three weeks ago. And in northern Algeria. Al Qeda in Yemen is AQ's only remaining star franchise.

7) Is there any other group outside of ISIL and Al-Qaeda who can present a serious hazard to western targets like the US or Europe?

I don't see any other transnational group other than Hizbollah with the capabilities of hitting US or Europe. And Hizbollah's threat is totally controlled by what Iran wants. And since Iran wants a deal with the sanctions lifted, Iran is going to play nice for the time being. But don't expect that to last forever. And don't expect Hizbollah to retire into an old age home even while it is still a player to be reckoned with via Israel. Remember until 9-11, Hizbollah was the terrorist group that had killed more Americans than any other terrorist group.

Cool If ISIS takes down Assad's regime, then it will be a battle between Al-Nusra, Ahrar- Al-Sham and ISIS because in Nov 2014, they started to attack each other. In case ISIS battled Al-Qaeda, and that is a high possibility, out of the two who would win? Who would receive more support from Qatar, Kuwait, KSA, Turkey and Pakistan? And who would be more successful in unifying with other jihadist groups like Ansar-Al Islam, Ansar Al-Sharia, Al-Tawid al Jihad, besides other smaller faction groups in the Middle East?

Already, ISIS has been battling the Taliban and winning their skirmishes as Taliban forces have been defecting to ISIS. Now when you raise the question of who would win in an Al Qaeda-ISIS confrontation, its hard to see that direct confrontation emerging at this time because the core Al Qaeda in Afghanistan has been decimated. What remains is Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS has not ventured forth into Yemen at this point. So the only possible convergence of a confrontation between AQ and ISIS would be between AQ surrogates, like Al-Nusrat and Ansar Al Sharia (not really a surrogate of AQ though). In this case, I think that ISIS would win hands down.
As for receiving support from those countries you mentioned, well you have to remember that ISIS is Sunni and so are those are countries overwhelmingly Sunni. Yet, there is no doubt that ISIS has been taking the battle to these Persian Gulf potentates, even though they are Sunni, because they are seen as Western puppets and committing apostasy. The question has been—ever since the US formed the Sunni coalition—how fierce will these Sunni oil rich regimes fight ISIS. Saudi Arabia certainly showed its military capabilities and willingness to flex it muscles going it alone but going against Iranian backed Shiites, a far more easily political target among its dominant Sunni population that ISIS.

Even though these Arab regimes have participated nominally in the joint US led coalition against ISIS, their participation has been quite wanting. In the case of Turkey, well its got so many conflicts of interests regarding its own interests visa-vis the players in the ISIS/Syria/Kurdistan/Iran spectrum that Turkey cannot be counted on to be a serious combatant against ISIS. Turkey despises the Kurds and sees their victories as threats to Turkish national security. Turkey also maintains good relations with Iran. And Turkey does not want to pick a fight with ISIS. Conversely ISIS has not shown any real desire to confront Turkey head on or destabilize it unlike ISIS' attitude towards Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Jordan, Libya and even Egypt.

As for who would be more successful in unifying the groups, all you need to do is watch how the once-AQ dominated brigades in the Sinai switched over ISIS as did Al Shabab and Boku Haram, certain Libyan factions like we now are seeing with Ansar al Sharia. Military momentum and Islamic ascendancy are certainly with ISIS and those two are as powerful magnets among certain Muslim populations as is the force of gravity in the earth's atmosphere.

9) Democracy does not to suit well the Middle East. Is this because politics will never take over religion? Is western democracy an illusion to reach in the Middle East?
Well, I would never use the term never. Remember the Protestant Reformation took hundreds of years and cost hundreds of thousands of lives. It just seems at the present time that the stars of democracy are not in alignment for many countries in the Middle East. But I would not put the blame on religion or claim that this is a permanent status.

10) A lot of children seem to adopt religious radicalism with danger. Will the hate towards the west ever change the minds of these Middle Eastern children, of is frantic radicalization a process that cannot be achieved by democracy?

I am not so sure of your question here. There is good reason to associate religious radicalism with danger. And that doesn't just apply to Islam but applies to all religions. All religions, not just Islam, have their fanatics and killers.

Yet, Islamic terrorism is responsible for an average of about 65 to 70% of all international terrorism annually for the past decade according to US intelligence studies published by NCIS. Why the disproportionate amount of terrorism within the Islamic world? And when one looks at the state sponsored media and educational curriculum being studied in Islamic schools, not only in the Muslim world but also in the west, outside educators, ngo's and investigators have found a frightening level of continued incitement, conspiratorial allegations against the West and glorification of terrorist violence (rather than an emphasis on pluralism and non violence and equality) that is a natural breeding ground for violence.

When the Palestinian Authority names and honors public squares on the West Bank in the memory of the most horrific terrorists who carried out mass murders, what does that tell the youth? When groups like CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, tell followers in the United States that the FBI is responsible for more "terrorism" than Al Qaeda, what does that invoke in the minds of its followers? When the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, like Sheik Yousef Al Qardawi, issue fatwas saying its religiously ok to kill Americans and Jews, it doesn't take a genius to figure out the consequences. And when Muslim dissidents are murdered in the streets—let alone apostates—because they were condemned as blasphemous for their views, what lesson is drawn by the next generation? You ask whether democracy can reverse this radicalization? I am not so sure. I think we in the west make a huge mistake in equating civil society with democracy.

11) History has shown that in 1258 the brutal seizure of Mongols in Baghdad, gave lasting peaceful effects in the region up to 200 years. We have adopted democracy, but an Iron fist seems to be a better alternative to the sectarian violence shown in the Middle East. Has the issue of extermination, historically seen in 12th century by mongol troops ever been presented in congress as an alternative to defeat global Yihadist to secure national and international interest worldwide?

Whoa, this may be above my pay grade. If we equate modern day authoritarianism (eg the Mubarak regime, the Qaddafi regime) with what you call the "Iron Fist," there is no doubt that as they say in the American Express commercials, "membership has its privileges." I personally am not a fan of authoritarianism over democracy but we have to be real here: In the 1930's, Hitler used democracy to obtain power. So democracy in and of itself without the corollary values of an open pluralistic society is not a viable answer to sectarian violence. If anything, we have witnessed the tragedy of the Arab Spring turning into the Arab Winter because the nascent democratic movements were turned into violent jihadist power plays, leaving most of the populations more disenfranchised and more oppressed than even under their previous authoritarian rulers. But you have raised a civilization question that has never been answered and may never produce a final answer. .

- Will the issue of extermination be seriously examined only after another 9-11 strikes the United States?

Remember what Winston Churchill said right after Czechoslovakia was taken over by the Germans in 1938 with full complicity of Britain and France, " Democracies act only when there is blood on the street." How right he was.

12) What is the best issue to resolve the problem?

I don't have one. Sorry. I can only tell you that we in the west are being been eviscerated by the adopted and delusionally progressive notions of multi-culturalism where no set of moral values is greater than any other. I totally disagree. I believe that the values of western civilization, of the separation of church and state, of gender equality and secularism are values that are morally superior to other sets of value systems. Of course, I will be charged with chauvinism, maybe even "fascism" for saying such a thing. But that proves my point.

If I cede ground to my critics, why should Hitler's Nazi ideology be deemed morally inferior at the very least to other western value systems? Radical Islamic values are not mine. Nor ought they be accepted by the high priests of morality in today's world as nothing more than religious fascism? The same goes with the Christian Identity Movement. But no one seems to have a problem recognizing the latter for that dangerous anti-civizational movement it is. Why it is so hard to recognize other values systems for the other regressive movements?
177  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Chinese market support moves are doomed to fail on: July 10, 2015, 10:30:44 AM
Memo to China: Your Market Moves Are Doomed to Fail
By Jason Zweig

In your heart, you probably hope the Chinese government will succeed in its stunning interventions this past week to stay the panic on China’s stock exchanges.

In your head, you should suspect it will fail.

There’s something poignantly human about every attempt to make markets behave as we all wish they would: always rising and making us richer, never falling and inflicting pain upon us.

Governments have been trying—and failing—to control markets for centuries. If the Chinese government succeeds, it will be the exception to that rule. If it fails, the results could be dire.

The Chinese authorities made a rising stock market such a priority that they encouraged local investors to buy stocks on margin, or with borrowed money, until total margin loans exceeded $320 billion. That was nearly 9% of the total value of Chinese stocks—and 10% greater than the gross domestic product of Hong Kong.

“Not only were Chinese investors not familiar with the downside risks of [trading on margin], neither were the regulators and policy makers,” says Zhiwu Chen, a finance professor at the Yale School of Management who studies the Chinese capital markets. “As a result of this recent experience, I do think China will go through much rethinking and slow down its efforts to open up its financial markets.”

Other governments have blazed, or bumbled along, the same trail.

After the bursting of the speculative South Sea Bubble in 1720, the British Parliament instituted Sir John Barnard’s Act, which, starting in 1734, banned trading in futures and options. Traders shrugged and kept on speculating; the law remained on the books, bereft and ignored, until it was finally repealed in 1860.

After Wall Street’s first crash, in 1792, the state of New York banned futures trading and short selling; speculators paid no heed. As populism swept the U.S. in the late 19th century after several market panics, state after state banned trading in options. But speculators traded anyway—even in crooked “bucket shops” if they had to.

Even the Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1750 B.C.) stipulated that traders who didn’t use the sales contracts mandated by the king “shall be put to death.” Speculators probably pulled their braided beards and found ways to evade the heavy hand of that government, too.

After the Japanese stock market collapsed in 1990, the government introduced “price-keeping operations,” buying billions of dollars’ worth of shares toward the end of the fiscal year. That swelled up the balance sheets of Japan’s biggest banks, which had enormous stockholdings—but it prevented the banks from cleaning up their bad loans. Even now, after a recent binge of stock buying by the Bank of Japan, the Nikkei 225 index lurks 49% below its record level, in 1989, of more than 38900.

In China, too, debt is the problem. “When a bubble pops, it’s leverage that almost always proves so corrosive and destabilizing on the way down,” says Lawrence White, professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business who specializes in financial regulation.

By leaving regulations on margin debt loose, the Chinese government is encouraging further speculation in stocks that may still be overpriced.

“If stocks remain above their fundamental value, then all [the Chinese government] is doing with these kinds of interventions is trapping capital rather than letting investors reallocate it to a higher use,” says Eugene White, an economist at Rutgers University who studies the history of financial booms and busts.

And, if that’s the case, this round of interventions may only end up necessitating more.

As of this Friday, stocks on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange traded at an average of 45 times their earnings. That price/earnings ratio is down from its high of 68.9 in June. But it’s still more than double the average P/E of 18.5 for stocks world-wide, according to the investment firm MSCI.

“There is a possibility that [Chinese policy makers] have overestimated their ability to manage this situation,” says Thomas Rawski, an economist at the University of Pittsburgh who has been analyzing the Chinese economy for more than 40 years. “The outcome depends on the psychology of the investors in these markets.”

And that can be fiendishly hard to control. Financial historian Larry Neal of the University of Illinois likens the Chinese authorities to John Law, the brilliant 18th-century financier who, serving the French government, simultaneously pumped up the value of that nation’s currency, national debt and stock market.

In late 1719, after investors turned euphoric and then panicked, Law stepped in to support market prices. As soon as he stopped propping them up, prices fell again. Then Law “decreed a markdown,” says Prof. Neal, “and that just destabilized everything.” The collapse of Law’s plan, now known as the Mississippi Bubble, wiped out his company’s stockholders and effectively stifled the financial markets of France for at least a century.

The economist Friedrich Hayek wrote that markets are a “marvel” at aggregating small insights from large numbers of people. The data or power to outsmart markets isn’t given to governments, he warned, “and can never be so given.”

The Chinese government regards markets as clay that can be molded. Instead, markets are like water: They always find their own level, no matter who or what tries to control them.

Roughly 1,000 years ago, King Canute demonstrated that not even the most powerful monarch can command the waters. Sooner or later, the Chinese government will learn the same lesson.

178  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gov. Rick Perry's history on the border on: July 10, 2015, 09:40:51 AM
179  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: July 10, 2015, 09:31:20 AM
Trump 2008: Bush Is Evil, Talk to Iran, Obama Cannot Do Worse Than Bush

You may have gathered that I remain a skeptic about Donald Trump. Trump fans look at us skeptics with incredulity that we could possibly object to their man, and his ability to “change the debate” and force the media to discuss topics like sanctuary cities. Those of us not so enamored with Trump pause at how that quality suddenly outranks all other qualities in a potential Republican presidential candidate — including consistent conservatism.

Permit me to remind you about Donald Trump’s assessment of President Bush back in 2008:

Bush has been so bad, maybe the worst president in the history of this country. He has been so incompetent, so bad, so evil, that I don’t think any Republican could have won.

Evil? Evil? Of course, in the same interview, Trump endorsed. . . diplomatic outreach with Iran.

You know, you can be enemies with people, whether it’s Iran, Iraq, anyplace else and you can still have dialogue. These people won’t even talk to him. It’s terrible.
Wait, there’s more! Check out his assessment of Obama!

VAN SUSTEREN: The new president-elect, what are your thoughts? Pretty exciting, it's always exciting when we have a change of power, a transition, but what are your thoughts.

TRUMP: It's very exciting we have a new president. It would have been nice if he ended with a 500 point up instead of down. It's certainly very exciting.
His speech was great last night. I thought it was inspiring in every way. And, hopefully he's going to do a great job. But the way I look at it, he cannot do worse than fBush. [Emphasis added.]

VAN SUSTEREN: We know how you feel about this.

TRUMP: It's not me, it's everybody. It's been a total catastrophe. That's what happened to Republicans. They got run are [sic] out of office because we have a president that's been so bad.

And he's been a catastrophe, there's no question about it. He got us into a war we didn't need. You look at the money, we're spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a war, and then people wonder why the economy isn't doing well.

OPEC is ripping us off left and right, the oil countries are just ripping us off left and right.

So you have wars, you have OPEC, all of this stuff. He didn't do anything about it. He sends Condoleezza Rice. She gets off a plane and waves to everybody and then leaves. It's ridiculous.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor Palin — do you think we'll see her back in 2012? What are your thoughts on that?

TRUMP: I don't know. There's a real question — she certainly made things interesting, but the question is, did she help? I met her a couple of times. She's really nice. I just don't know. I just have no answer for it.

And then here’s his thoughts on health care back in 1999. . .

TRUMP: I think you have to have it, and, again, I said I'm conservative, generally speaking, I'm conservative, and even very conservative. But I'm quite liberal and getting much more liberal on health care and other things. I really say: What's the purpose of a country if you're not going to have defensive [sic] and health care?

If you can't take care of your sick in the country, forget it, it's all over. I mean, it's no good. So I'm very liberal when it comes to health care. I believe in universal health care. I believe in whatever it takes to make people well and better.

KING: So you believe, then, it's an entitlement of birth?

TRUMP: I think it is. It's an entitlement to this country, and too bad the world can't be, you know, in this country. But the fact is, it's an entitlement to this country if we're going to have a great country.

And then, as you probably saw, Trump’s post-2012 comments on illegal immigration:

“Republicans didn’t have anything going for them with respect to Latinos and with respect to Asians,” the billionaire developer says.

“The Democrats didn’t have a policy for dealing with illegal immigrants, but what they did have going for them is they weren’t mean-spirited about it,” Trump says. “They didn’t know what the policy was, but what they were is they were kind.”

Romney’s solution of “self deportation” for illegal aliens made no sense and suggested that Republicans do not care about Hispanics in general, Trump says.

“He had a crazy policy of self deportation which was maniacal,” Trump says. “It sounded as bad as it was, and he lost all of the Latino vote,” Trump notes. “He lost the Asian vote. He lost everybody who is inspired to come into this country.”

The GOP has to develop a comprehensive policy “to take care of this incredible problem that we have with respect to immigration, with respect to people wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country,” Trump says.

Yet I see people comparing Trump to Reagan. Donald Trump has been a conservative for about ten minutes.
180  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: July 09, 2015, 10:28:31 PM
And so Iran says thank you very much for doing our work and now they bust their move?
181  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: July 09, 2015, 09:20:03 PM
Well maybe thinking about this question will guide us in how we get there.
182  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Kessler: Dearth of tech IPOs may mask trouble on: July 09, 2015, 06:49:40 PM

A Dearth Of Tech IPOs May Mask Bubble Trouble
Only eight companies backed by venture capital have gone public in 2015. That’s a long way from last year’s 115.
By Andy Kessler
July 9, 2015 6:49 p.m. ET

The latest bubble chatter in the tech industry came from Fitbit, the maker of high-tech pedometers. Fitbit went public last month at a $4.1 billion valuation, and the stock price has more than doubled. Is a company that made $132 million in profit last year worth almost $9 billion? Major Silicon Valley players don’t think so. Sam Altman, who runs the startup accelerator Y Combinator, called the market last month a “mega bubble” that “won’t last forever.”

But since fewer startups seem willing to submit themselves to the disclosure and discipline of the public markets, how would we know? The Wall Street Journal’s Billion Dollar Startup Club shows 100 private companies valued at more than $1 billion. Yet this year there have been only eight venture-capital-backed initial public offerings compared with 115 in all of 2014.

Aside from Tesla and a few others, most of the hot companies with eyebrow-raising values are staying private. Uber is rumored to be raising $2 billion in funding for a valuation of $50 billion. Blue Apron, which ships three million meal kits a month to hungry millennials, has taken in $135 million at a $2 billion valuation. Food-delivery companies Instacart and Delivery Hero are worth a few billion each.

Yet none is going public. The delay can perhaps be blamed in part on Sarbanes-Oxley, a 2002 law that beefed up oversight and made it more expensive to be a public company. There’s also the 2012 JOBS Act, which increased the threshold for public reporting to 2,000 shareholders from 500. Whatever the causes, there is no longer a rush to go public if companies can raise sufficient private capital. “Now, after the IPO, it’s much worse,” Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma put it in June. “If I had another life, I would keep my company private.”

As a shareholder and a lifelong bubble watcher, I’m disturbed. Public markets enforce discipline on companies and push them to improve. Look at Facebook. In the first full quarter after its 2012 IPO, the company disappointed Wall Street with only 14% of revenue from mobile—phones, iPads and other portable devices. Now mobile accounts for 98% of Facebook’s ad growth and almost 70% of its revenue. Markets rule.

That discipline can be tough. After its December IPO, Lending Club missed earning expectations and fell to $14 a share from $28. The stock price of the craft-selling website Etsy has halved in the two months since the company went public. The online advertising company Rocket Fuel went public in September 2013 at $29, soared three weeks later to $65 and is now $7.

But with Uber at $50 billion, surely we’re in a bubble? Remember: A bubble is not created by high valuations. A bubble is a psychological phenomenon in which investors are tricked—by the company or themselves—into believing that a profit stream is sustainable when it really isn’t.

Case in point is the dot-com bust of the late 1990s. Many companies told me at the time that Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley would take them public as soon as they could strike a deal with AOL. So AOL would invest on the stipulation that the company buy pop-up ads on various sites within AOL. Thus AOL turned its cash into sales. The madness stopped when companies ran out of money and AOL ran out of companies.

In 1999, Microsoft invested $250 million in the online ailment manual WebMD in exchange for WebMD paying $30 a month for thousands of physicians for dial-up Internet via, you guessed it, Microsoft’s MSN. Amazon invested $30 million in in exchange for paying $105 million over three years for a branded tab on Amazon. It all looked good, but it couldn’t last. It is no different from Bear Stearns using its balance sheet to spike mortgage-backed securities from 2005-08.

Today’s startups aren’t passing money in circles like this yet, though I suspect it will happen. With so many private firms holding wads of cash, the ability to use their balance sheets to drive sales will be too tempting. But without the disclosures required of public firms, this logrolling may be hidden from view. As such, Silicon Valley tycoons shouldn’t get jitters over big numbers. A deluge of IPOs would be just the sunshine needed to sustain this much needed reordering of the global economy.

Mr. Kessler, a former hedge-fund manager, is the author of “Eat People” (Portfolio, 2011).
183  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom on: July 09, 2015, 06:05:04 PM
184  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary's 5 lies on CNN on: July 09, 2015, 05:06:02 PM
Hillary's 5 Top Lies On CNN
Published on on July 8, 2015
A defiant Hillary Clinton granted CNN her first national interview since the release of her book, Hard Choices, more than a year ago.  Throughout the interview, Hillary was defensive, and seemed annoyed that she would be questioned about her emails and her trustworthiness.

So what did she do? Lie continuously.
Here's a list of her top 5 lies in the CNN interview:
1.  "I Never Had A Subpoena" (for her emails)
Benghazi Committee Chairman Gowdy issued the following statement immediately after the interview, contradicting Mrs. Clinton:
"Secretary Clinton...was personally subpoenaed the moment the Benghazi Committee became aware of her exclusive use of personal email and a server..."
The subpoena was issued on March 4, 2015.  In fact, Hillary's lawyer, David Kendall, acknowledged the subpoena in a letter to Chairman Gowdy asking for an extension of time until March 27, 2015.  Gowdy granted the extension of time in a letter dated March 19, 2015.

Click Here to read more.
On March 27, 2015, Kendall responded to the subpoena and told the Committee that Clinton had turned over all relevant meal's to the State Department and "wiped her server clean."
Her statement was a big lie.
2.  "I Had One Device" (for convenience)
The emails released by the State Dept. clearly show that Clinton used two devices -- both a Blackberry and an iPad for her emails.  Several of the emails indicate "Sent from my iPad."

Click Here to read more.
So the "convenience" story just doesn't fly.  Another lie.
3.  "Colin Powell Admitted He Did The Same Thing"
Colin Powell did not have a personal email server in his house.  And he certainly never admitted that he did.  No way.
Another Hillary whopper!

4.  "I Didn't Have To Turn Over Anything"
She certainly did.
The Wall Street Journal reported that in 2009, "the National Archives and Records Administration issued regulations that said agencies allowing employees to do official business on unofficial email accounts had to ensure that any records sent on private email systems are preserved in the appropriate agency record-keeping system."
This covered Hillary Clinton.  She claims that because she sent emails to people in the government email system, all is preserved.  But we don't know who she sent mail to.  And, as we have seen from the released emails, she sent plenty to people outside the government, like the ubiquitous Sidney Blumenthal.
The records showed that she didn't turn over at least 15 emails to Blumenthal that showed that she asked him to continue sending information to her.
5.  "People Should And Do Trust Me"
They don't and they shouldn't.
A recent CNN poll showed that 57% of the voters believe that Hillary is not honest and trustworthy.
And her obvious and continuous lies keep feeding that perception.

She says it's all the fault of the Republicans. Just like the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Hillary, we have your number -- and we definitely don't trust you.
The 2016 Buzz -- All The Latest News on the Candidates and Issues. 
185  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / If/when we defeat ISIS, then what? on: July 09, 2015, 05:01:49 PM*Editors%20Picks&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign
186  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: July 09, 2015, 04:58:27 PM
187  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: July 09, 2015, 08:49:32 AM
The Iranian Nuclear Paradox
Once an agreement is reached, a U.S.-Iran confrontation becomes more likely, more quickly.
By Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz
July 8, 2015 7:25 p.m. ET

The lines are clearly drawn in Washington on President Obama’s plan for a nuclear deal with Iran. As negotiations for a final agreement continue well past their June 30 deadline, most Republicans oppose the deal and Democrats will not block it.

Many critics claim to believe that a “good deal,” which would permanently dismantle the clerical regime’s capacity to construct nuclear weapons, is still possible if Mr. Obama would augment diplomacy with the threat of more sanctions and the use of force. Although these critics accurately highlight the framework’s serious faults, they also make a mistake: More sanctions and threats of military raids now are unlikely to thwart the mullahs’ nuclear designs. We will never know whether more crippling sanctions and force could have cracked the clerical regime. We do know that the president sought the opposite path even before American and Iranian diplomats began negotiating in Europe.

But hawks who believe that airstrikes are the only possible option for stopping an Iranian nuke should welcome a deal perhaps more than anyone. This is because the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is tailor-made to set Washington on a collision course with Tehran. The plan leaves the Islamic Republic as a threshold nuclear-weapons state and in the short-term insulates the mullahs’ regional behavior from serious American reproach.

To imagine such a deal working is to imagine the Islamic Republic without its revolutionary faith. So Mr. Obama’s deal-making is in effect establishing the necessary conditions for military action after January 2017, when a new president takes office.

No American president would destroy Iranian nuclear sites without first exhausting diplomacy. The efforts by Mr. Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to compromise with Tehran—on uranium enrichment, verification and sanctions relief, among other concerns—are comprehensive, if nothing else. If the next president chose to strike after the Iranians stonewalled or repeatedly violated Mr. Obama’s agreement, however, the newcomer would be on much firmer political ground, at home and abroad, than if he tried without this failed accord.

Without a deal the past will probably repeat itself: Washington will incrementally increase sanctions while the Iranians incrementally advance their nuclear capabilities. Without a deal, diplomacy won’t die. Episodically it has continued since an Iranian opposition group revealed in 2002 the then-clandestine nuclear program. Via this meandering diplomatic route, Tehran has gotten the West to accept its nuclear progress.

Critics of the president who suggest that a much better agreement is within reach with more sanctions are making the same analytical error as Mr. Obama: They both assume that the Iranian regime will give priority to economics over religious ideology. The president wants to believe that Iran’s “supreme leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hasan Rouhani can be weaned from the bomb through commerce; equally war-weary sanctions enthusiasts fervently hope that economic pain alone can force the mullahs to set aside their faith. In their minds Iran is a nation that the U.S., or even Israel, can intimidate and contain.

The problem is that the Islamic Republic remains, as Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif proudly acknowledges in his memoirs, a revolutionary Islamic movement. Such a regime by definition would never bend to America’s economic coercion and never gut the nuclear centerpiece of its military planning for 30 years and allow Westerners full and transparent access to its nuclear secrets and personnel. This is the revolutionary Islamic state that is replicating versions of the militant Lebanese Hezbollah among the Arab Shiites, ever fearful at home of seditious Western culture and prepared to use terrorism abroad.

Above all, the clerical regime cannot be understood without appreciating the centrality of anti-Americanism to its religious identity. The election of a Republican administration might reinvigorate Iranian fear of American military power, as the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 did for a year or two. But it did not stop Iran’s nuclear march, and there is no reason to believe now that Mr. Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who oversee the nuclear program, will betray all that they hold holy.

But a nuclear deal is not going to prevent conflict either. The presidency of the so-called pragmatic mullah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from 1989 to 1997 was an aggressive period of Iranian terrorism. If President Rouhani, Mr. Rafsanjani’s former right-hand man, can pull off a nuclear agreement, we are likely to see a variation of the 1990s Iranian aggression.

Such aggression has already begun. Revolutionary Guards are fighting in Syria and Iraq, and Iranian aid flows to the Shiite Houthis in Yemen. Wherever the Islamic Republic’s influence grows among Arab Shiites, Sunni-Shiite conflict grows worse. With greater internecine Muslim hostility, the clerical regime inevitably intensifies its anti-American propaganda and actions in an effort to compete with radical Sunnis and their competing claims to lead an anti-Western Muslim world.

Iranian adventurism, especially if it includes anti-American terrorism, will eventually provoke a more muscular U.S. response. The odds of Tehran respecting any nuclear deal while it pushes to increase its regional influence—unchecked by Washington—aren’t good.Mr. Obama may think he can snap back sanctions and a united Western front to counter nefarious Iranian nuclear behavior, but the odds aren’t good once European businesses start returning to the Islamic Republic. Washington has a weak track record of using extraterritorial sanctions against our richest and closest allies and trading partners. The French alone may join the Americans again to curtail Iran and European profits.

With a failed deal, no plausible peaceful alternatives, and Mr. Obama no longer in office, Republicans and Democrats can then debate, more seriously than before, whether military force remains an option. Odds are it will not be. When contemplating the possibility that preventive military strikes against the clerical regime won’t be a one-time affair, even a hawkish Republican president may well default to containment. But if Washington does strike, it will be because Mr. Obama showed that peaceful means don’t work against the clerics’ nuclear and regional ambitions.

Mr. Gerecht, a former Iranian-targets officer in the Central Intelligence Agency’s clandestine service, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. Dubowitz is the foundation’s executive director and heads its Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance.
188  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Stem cells to regenerate teeth on: July 09, 2015, 08:35:18 AM
189  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Carly Fiorina on: July 09, 2015, 12:29:38 AM
I can picture her being a really good VP candidate who would give Hillary hissy fits.
190  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Carly Fiorina on: July 08, 2015, 09:09:39 PM
Note:  one month old.
191  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / SERIOUS READ: Gilder calls for a return to the Gold Standard on: July 08, 2015, 09:03:55 PM
192  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: July 08, 2015, 04:16:57 PM
Very interesting , , ,

Bernie Hogties Hillary
Published on on July 7, 2015
With Bernie Sanders creeping up on Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential nomination -- closing to within 8 points in New Hampshire and holding her to 52 percent in Iowa -- the new and unanticipated threat he poses presents an important challenge to the former secretary of State. Unfortunately for her, she has no good choices.

Her current strategy of ignoring Sanders has failed abysmally. While she has been hiding from the media and avoiding questions about her emails, Sidney Blumenthal and Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation and her speaking fees, the Vermont senator has been catalyzing the left base with bold proposals. His advocacy of a reduced retirement age, a confiscatory top bracket on the income tax, a single-payer socialized medicine system and a $15 minimum wage, as well as opposition to free trade, have all generated an enthusiasm among liberals that has totally stolen the thunder of the first serious chance at a female president.

The humble act has failed. Clinton's listening tour has accomplished nothing. Carrying her own baggage, flying coach and driving to Iowa are all being dismissed as the gimmicks they are.

So how can Hillary Clinton counter the rise of Bernie Sanders?

She can't attack him without giving him more credibility than he has. All hope of dismissing him as an also-ran would evaporate when she mentions his name. Indeed, the more he appears as a harmless protest vote against the party establishment in general and the Clintons in particular, the easier it is to back him in the primary.

She can't attack his issue positions without alienating a big part of her base. Sanders, even without much polling, has identified new hot buttons to elicit a strong response from liberals. She doesn't dare oppose this new agenda for the left. She can move to the center once she has the nomination in hand, but not now.

Nor can she attack Sanders personally or go after his record. First, many liberals support him when he has strayed to the left, and second, she cannot give him the legitimacy of criticizing him. Personal attacks, such as on his sexual fantasies and writings of 40 years ago, look strained and artificial and like the product of an overly active negative researcher.

Her most likely approach is to say that Sanders can't win, raising fears among Democrats that he might steal the party's chances for victory. Just as the Clintons and the Kennedys torpedoed Howard Dean's candidacy in 2004 after he surged in the wake of his approval of a gay marriage bill in Vermont, so Hillary's people will warn of disaster if Bernie is nominated.

In a sense, Clinton will abandon the strategy of ignoring Sanders and try to fast-forward the campaign to a Sanders victory, warning of the consequences -- just as the Clintons did with Dean.

The problem is, Clinton can't know how the rebound off Sanders would carom. In a simple two-way zero-sum race between the two, his negatives are her positives. Perhaps her other opponents for the nomination, like former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, might be able to capitalize, however.

But what could paralyze Clinton is the prospect of Joe Biden entering the race. If the vice president makes it a three-way contest, her shots at Sanders will likely push votes to Biden. If the rap is Sanders can't win, what is the logic that says doubts about his electability will cause voters who once supported Clinton and have since abandoned her to move back to her? If Sanders can't win because he's too liberal, what makes anyone feel that Clinton can overcome her various scandals, particularly voters who themselves have dropped her precisely because of those scandals?

Clinton is stuck. And the more she appears to be stuck in the dilemma of how to handle Sanders, the greater is the likelihood that Biden jumps in.

If Biden does run, how does Clinton attack him without pulling President Obama into the debate as collateral damage? How can she go after the vice president without her attacks reflecting ill on the sitting and, among Democrats, wildly popular president?

Clinton's in a tough spot.
193  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / S. Williams on Marriage 1794 on: July 08, 2015, 02:01:15 PM
second post of the day

"Every thing useful and beneficial to man, seems to be connected with obedience to the laws of his nature, the inclinations, the duties, and the happiness of individuals, resolve themselves into customs and habits, favourable, in the highest degree, to society. In no case is this more apparent, than in the customs of nations respecting marriage." --Samuel Williams (1794)
194  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: July 08, 2015, 01:52:24 PM
195  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / DEm Congresswoman's felon husband heads up big non-profit on: July 08, 2015, 12:55:38 PM
196  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: on: July 08, 2015, 12:19:56 PM
"History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people." —Benjamin Franklin, Emblematical Representations, 1774
197  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Forfeiture strikes again on: July 08, 2015, 12:14:43 PM
198  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / WAshington Redskin logo loses in court on: July 08, 2015, 12:08:36 PM
199  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Kansas Gov's exec order on: July 08, 2015, 09:10:58 AM
200  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Photoshopped foto of Hillary with Confederate flag. on: July 08, 2015, 08:44:10 AM
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