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25101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Washington to Madison, 1786 on: August 07, 2011, 01:02:14 PM

"No morn ever dawned more favorable than ours did; and no day was every more clouded than the present! Wisdom, and good examples are necessary at this time to rescue the political machine from the impending storm." --George Washington, letter to James Madison, 1786


25102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Wilson, 1791 on: August 07, 2011, 12:58:17 PM


"It is the duty of parents to maintain their children decently, and according to their circumstances; to protect them according to the dictates of prudence; and to educate them according to the suggestions of a judicious and zealous regard for their usefulness, their respectability and happiness." --James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791
25103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jefferson to Madison, 1784 on: August 07, 2011, 12:56:07 PM


"Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 1784


25104  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pravda: Blurring the lines on: August 07, 2011, 11:11:43 AM

WASHINGTON — The United States is expanding its role in Mexico’s bloody fight against drug trafficking organizations, sending new C.I.A. operatives and retired military personnel to the country and considering plans to deploy private security contractors in hopes of  turning around a multibillion-dollar effort that so far has shown few results.

The United States is assisting Mexican police forces in conducting wiretaps, running informants and interrogating suspects.
In recent weeks, small numbers of C.I.A. operatives and American civilian military employees have been posted at a Mexican military base, where, for the first time, security officials from both countries work side by side in collecting information about drug cartels and helping plan operations. Officials are also looking into embedding a team of American contractors inside a specially vetted Mexican counternarcotics police unit.

Officials on both sides of the border say the new efforts have been devised to get around Mexican laws that prohibit foreign military and police from operating on its soil, and to prevent advanced American surveillance technology from falling under the control of Mexican security agencies with long histories of corruption.

“A sea change has occurred over the past years in how effective Mexico and U.S. intelligence exchanges have become,” said Arturo Sarukhán, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States. “It is underpinned by the understanding that transnational organized crime can only be successfully confronted by working hand in hand, and that the outcome is as simple as it is compelling:  we will together succeed or together fail.”

The latest steps come three years after the United States began increasing its security assistance to Mexico with the $1.4 billion Merida Initiative and tens of millions of dollars from the Defense Department. They also come a year before elections in both countries, when President Obama may confront questions about the threat of violence spilling over the border, and President Felipe Calderón’s political party faces a Mexican electorate that is almost certainly going to ask why it should stick with a fight that has left nearly 45,000 people dead.

“The pressure is going to be especially strong in Mexico, where I expect there will be a lot more raids, a lot more arrests and a lot more parading drug traffickers in front of cameras,” said Vanda Felbab-Brown, a counternarcotics expert at the Brookings Institution. “But I would also expect a lot of questioning of Merida, and some people asking about the way the money is spent, or demanding that the government send it back to the gringos.”

Mexico has become ground zero in the American counternarcotics fight since its cartels have cornered the market and are responsible for more than 80 percent of the drugs that enter the United States. American counternarcotics assistance there has grown faster in recent years than to Afghanistan and Colombia. And in the last three years, officials said, exchanges of intelligence between the United States and Mexico have helped security forces there capture or kill some 30 mid- to high-level drug traffickers, compared with just two such arrests in the previous five years.

The United States has trained nearly 4,500 new federal police agents and assisted in conducting wiretaps, running informants and interrogating suspects. The Pentagon has provided sophisticated equipment, including Black Hawk helicopters, and in recent months it has begun flying unarmed surveillance drones over Mexican soil to track drug kingpins.

Still, it is hard to say much real progress has been made in crippling the brutal cartels or stemming the flow of drugs and guns across the border. Mexico’s justice system remains so weakened by corruption that even the most notorious criminals have not been successfully prosecuted.   

“The government has argued that the number of deaths in Mexico is proof positive that the strategy is working and that the cartels are being weakened,” said Nik Steinberg, a specialist on Mexico at Human Rights Watch. “But the data is indisputable — the violence is increasing, human rights abuses have skyrocketed and accountability both for officials who commit abuses and alleged criminals is at rock bottom.”

Mexican and American officials involved in the fight against organized crime do not see it that way. They say the efforts begun under President Obama are only a few years old, and that it is too soon for final judgments. Dan Restrepo, Mr. Obama’s senior Latin American adviser, refused to talk about operational changes in the security relationship, but said, “I think we are in a fundamentally different place than we were three years ago.”

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



Page 2 of 2)



A senior Mexican official, speaking on condition of anonymity, agreed. “This is the game-changer in degrading transnational organized crime,” he said, adding: “It can’t be a two-, three-, four-, five- or six-year policy. For this policy investment to work, it has to be sustained long-term.”

Enlarge This Image
 
The New York Times

 
Several Mexican and American security analysts compared the challenges of helping Mexico rebuild its security forces and civil institutions — crippled by more than seven decades under authoritarian rule — to similar tests in Afghanistan. They see the United States fighting alongside a partner it needs but does not completely trust.

Though the new United States ambassador to Mexico was plucked from an assignment in Kabul, Afghanistan, the Obama administration bristles at such comparisons, saying Mexico’s growing economy and functioning, though fragile, institutions put it far ahead of Afghanistan. Instead, administration officials more frequently compare Mexico’s struggle to the one Colombia began some 15 years ago.

Among the most important lessons they have learned, they say, is that in almost any fight against organized crime, things tend to get worse before they get better.

When violence spiked last year around Mexico’s industrial capital, Monterrey, Mr. Calderón’s government asked the United States for more access to sophisticated surveillance technology and expertise. After months of negotiations, the United States established an intelligence post on a northern Mexican military base, moving Washington beyond its traditional role of sharing information to being more directly involved in gathering it.

American officials declined to provide details about the work being done by the American team of fewer than two dozen Drug Enforcement Administration agents, C.I.A. officials and retired military personnel members from the Pentagon’s Northern Command. For security reasons, they asked The New York Times not to disclose the location of the compound.

But the officials said the compound had been modeled after “fusion intelligence centers” that the United States operates in Iraq and Afghanistan to monitor insurgent groups, and that the United States would strictly play a supporting role.

“The Mexicans are in charge," said one American military official. “It’s their show. We’re all about technical support.”

The two countries have worked in lock step on numerous high-profile operations, including the continuing investigation of the February murder of Jaime J. Zapata, an American Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.

Mexico’s federal police chief, Genaro García Luna, put a helicopter in the air within five minutes after receiving a call for help from Mr. Zapata’s partner, the authorities said. Then he invited American officials to the police intelligence center — an underground location known as “the bunker” — to work directly with Mexican security forces in tracking down the suspects.

Mexican officials hand-carried shell casings recovered from the scene of the shooting to Washington for forensics tests, allowed American officials to conduct their own autopsy of the agent’s body and shipped the agent’s bullet-battered car to the United States for inspection.

In another operation last week, the Drug Enforcement Administration and a Mexican counternarcotics police unit collaborated on an operation that led to the arrest of José Antonio Hernández Acosta, a suspected drug trafficker. The authorities believe he is responsible for hundreds of deaths in the border city of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, including the murders of two Americans employed at the United States Consulate there.

While D.E.A. field officers were not on the scene — the Mexicans still draw the line at that — the Americans helped develop tips and were in contact with the Mexican unit almost every minute of the five-hour manhunt, according to a senior American official in Mexico. The unit, of about 50 officers, is the focus of another potentially ground-breaking plan that has not yet won approval. Several former D.E.A. officials said the two countries were considering a proposal to embed a group of private security contractors — including retired D.E.A. agents and former Special Forces officers — inside the unit to conduct an on-the-job training academy that would offer guidance in conducting operations so that suspects can be successfully taken to court. Mexican prosecutors would also work with the unit, the Americans said.

But a former American law enforcement official familiar with the unit described it as one good apple in a barrel of bad ones. He said it was based on a compound with dozens of other nonvetted officers, who provided a window on the challenges that the Mexican police continue to face.

Some of the officers had not been issued weapons, and those who had guns had not been properly trained to use them. They were required to pay for their helmets and bulletproof vests out of their own pockets. And during an intense gun battle against one of Mexico’s most vicious cartels, they had to communicate with one another on their cellphones because they had not been issued police radios. “It’s sort of shocking,” said Eric Olson of the Woodrow Wilson Center. “Mexico is just now learning how to fight crime in the midst of a major crime wave. It’s like trying to saddle your horse while running the Kentucky Derby.”
25105  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Blurring the lines on: August 07, 2011, 11:11:05 AM
En mi opinion hay que tener en cuenta que el NYTimes es aliado a Presidente Obama; osea no esta' 100% digna de fe:



WASHINGTON — The United States is expanding its role in Mexico’s bloody fight against drug trafficking organizations, sending new C.I.A. operatives and retired military personnel to the country and considering plans to deploy private security contractors in hopes of  turning around a multibillion-dollar effort that so far has shown few results.

The United States is assisting Mexican police forces in conducting wiretaps, running informants and interrogating suspects.
In recent weeks, small numbers of C.I.A. operatives and American civilian military employees have been posted at a Mexican military base, where, for the first time, security officials from both countries work side by side in collecting information about drug cartels and helping plan operations. Officials are also looking into embedding a team of American contractors inside a specially vetted Mexican counternarcotics police unit.

Officials on both sides of the border say the new efforts have been devised to get around Mexican laws that prohibit foreign military and police from operating on its soil, and to prevent advanced American surveillance technology from falling under the control of Mexican security agencies with long histories of corruption.

“A sea change has occurred over the past years in how effective Mexico and U.S. intelligence exchanges have become,” said Arturo Sarukhán, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States. “It is underpinned by the understanding that transnational organized crime can only be successfully confronted by working hand in hand, and that the outcome is as simple as it is compelling:  we will together succeed or together fail.”

The latest steps come three years after the United States began increasing its security assistance to Mexico with the $1.4 billion Merida Initiative and tens of millions of dollars from the Defense Department. They also come a year before elections in both countries, when President Obama may confront questions about the threat of violence spilling over the border, and President Felipe Calderón’s political party faces a Mexican electorate that is almost certainly going to ask why it should stick with a fight that has left nearly 45,000 people dead.

“The pressure is going to be especially strong in Mexico, where I expect there will be a lot more raids, a lot more arrests and a lot more parading drug traffickers in front of cameras,” said Vanda Felbab-Brown, a counternarcotics expert at the Brookings Institution. “But I would also expect a lot of questioning of Merida, and some people asking about the way the money is spent, or demanding that the government send it back to the gringos.”

Mexico has become ground zero in the American counternarcotics fight since its cartels have cornered the market and are responsible for more than 80 percent of the drugs that enter the United States. American counternarcotics assistance there has grown faster in recent years than to Afghanistan and Colombia. And in the last three years, officials said, exchanges of intelligence between the United States and Mexico have helped security forces there capture or kill some 30 mid- to high-level drug traffickers, compared with just two such arrests in the previous five years.

The United States has trained nearly 4,500 new federal police agents and assisted in conducting wiretaps, running informants and interrogating suspects. The Pentagon has provided sophisticated equipment, including Black Hawk helicopters, and in recent months it has begun flying unarmed surveillance drones over Mexican soil to track drug kingpins.

Still, it is hard to say much real progress has been made in crippling the brutal cartels or stemming the flow of drugs and guns across the border. Mexico’s justice system remains so weakened by corruption that even the most notorious criminals have not been successfully prosecuted.   

“The government has argued that the number of deaths in Mexico is proof positive that the strategy is working and that the cartels are being weakened,” said Nik Steinberg, a specialist on Mexico at Human Rights Watch. “But the data is indisputable — the violence is increasing, human rights abuses have skyrocketed and accountability both for officials who commit abuses and alleged criminals is at rock bottom.”

Mexican and American officials involved in the fight against organized crime do not see it that way. They say the efforts begun under President Obama are only a few years old, and that it is too soon for final judgments. Dan Restrepo, Mr. Obama’s senior Latin American adviser, refused to talk about operational changes in the security relationship, but said, “I think we are in a fundamentally different place than we were three years ago.”

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



Page 2 of 2)



A senior Mexican official, speaking on condition of anonymity, agreed. “This is the game-changer in degrading transnational organized crime,” he said, adding: “It can’t be a two-, three-, four-, five- or six-year policy. For this policy investment to work, it has to be sustained long-term.”

Enlarge This Image
 
The New York Times

 
Several Mexican and American security analysts compared the challenges of helping Mexico rebuild its security forces and civil institutions — crippled by more than seven decades under authoritarian rule — to similar tests in Afghanistan. They see the United States fighting alongside a partner it needs but does not completely trust.

Though the new United States ambassador to Mexico was plucked from an assignment in Kabul, Afghanistan, the Obama administration bristles at such comparisons, saying Mexico’s growing economy and functioning, though fragile, institutions put it far ahead of Afghanistan. Instead, administration officials more frequently compare Mexico’s struggle to the one Colombia began some 15 years ago.

Among the most important lessons they have learned, they say, is that in almost any fight against organized crime, things tend to get worse before they get better.

When violence spiked last year around Mexico’s industrial capital, Monterrey, Mr. Calderón’s government asked the United States for more access to sophisticated surveillance technology and expertise. After months of negotiations, the United States established an intelligence post on a northern Mexican military base, moving Washington beyond its traditional role of sharing information to being more directly involved in gathering it.

American officials declined to provide details about the work being done by the American team of fewer than two dozen Drug Enforcement Administration agents, C.I.A. officials and retired military personnel members from the Pentagon’s Northern Command. For security reasons, they asked The New York Times not to disclose the location of the compound.

But the officials said the compound had been modeled after “fusion intelligence centers” that the United States operates in Iraq and Afghanistan to monitor insurgent groups, and that the United States would strictly play a supporting role.

“The Mexicans are in charge," said one American military official. “It’s their show. We’re all about technical support.”

The two countries have worked in lock step on numerous high-profile operations, including the continuing investigation of the February murder of Jaime J. Zapata, an American Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.

Mexico’s federal police chief, Genaro García Luna, put a helicopter in the air within five minutes after receiving a call for help from Mr. Zapata’s partner, the authorities said. Then he invited American officials to the police intelligence center — an underground location known as “the bunker” — to work directly with Mexican security forces in tracking down the suspects.

Mexican officials hand-carried shell casings recovered from the scene of the shooting to Washington for forensics tests, allowed American officials to conduct their own autopsy of the agent’s body and shipped the agent’s bullet-battered car to the United States for inspection.

In another operation last week, the Drug Enforcement Administration and a Mexican counternarcotics police unit collaborated on an operation that led to the arrest of José Antonio Hernández Acosta, a suspected drug trafficker. The authorities believe he is responsible for hundreds of deaths in the border city of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, including the murders of two Americans employed at the United States Consulate there.

While D.E.A. field officers were not on the scene — the Mexicans still draw the line at that — the Americans helped develop tips and were in contact with the Mexican unit almost every minute of the five-hour manhunt, according to a senior American official in Mexico. The unit, of about 50 officers, is the focus of another potentially ground-breaking plan that has not yet won approval. Several former D.E.A. officials said the two countries were considering a proposal to embed a group of private security contractors — including retired D.E.A. agents and former Special Forces officers — inside the unit to conduct an on-the-job training academy that would offer guidance in conducting operations so that suspects can be successfully taken to court. Mexican prosecutors would also work with the unit, the Americans said.

But a former American law enforcement official familiar with the unit described it as one good apple in a barrel of bad ones. He said it was based on a compound with dozens of other nonvetted officers, who provided a window on the challenges that the Mexican police continue to face.

Some of the officers had not been issued weapons, and those who had guns had not been properly trained to use them. They were required to pay for their helmets and bulletproof vests out of their own pockets. And during an intense gun battle against one of Mexico’s most vicious cartels, they had to communicate with one another on their cellphones because they had not been issued police radios. “It’s sort of shocking,” said Eric Olson of the Woodrow Wilson Center. “Mexico is just now learning how to fight crime in the midst of a major crime wave. It’s like trying to saddle your horse while running the Kentucky Derby.”




87700
25106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / C clip rant and analysiss of the downgrade on: August 07, 2011, 10:45:00 AM

"But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 1789




========

I just can't imagine why , , ,

http://www.youtube.com/embed/VtVbUmcQSuk

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


US Debt: Moody’s AAA / S&P AA+
 
 
Moody’s reaffirmed its AAA-rating on US government debt last week, while Standard & Poor’s lowered it a notch to AA+.  The US now has a split rating from the largest agencies.  The bond market, even though it is not open right now, was well aware that a downgrade was possible, but will still lend 10-year money to the US government under 2.6%.  In fact, after the US was put on credit watch by S&P in mid-July, US yields fell, they did not rise.  

Ten-year interest rates, on Friday, were lower in the US than in Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, or Norway – all AAA-rated countries.  In other words, S&P is leading the markets here, not following, as it normally does.  For example, it did not lower its AAA rating on low-income, low credit score, no-doc, no-down-payment loans to homebuyers until the market crashed and became absolutely illiquid.

This downgrade of the US was based, not on an ability to pay bond-holders, but in consideration of the political turmoil the US has just gone through (over the debt deal) and the potential for more political turmoil in the months and years ahead.  None of this is new to the market and the US is still the world’s reserve currency, which means actual default is virtually impossible.

The Federal Reserve has said that the downgrade by S&P has absolutely no impact for risk-based capital ratios.  The Fed will still apply a 0% risk-weighted capital requirement on Treasury debt.  Some investors (funds, plans, or other investment vehicles) could be forced to alter their portfolios because of investment guidelines.  However, most investment committees knew this downgrade could happen and also have the flexibility to change these guidelines relatively easily.  In other words, forced selling (or buying) of Treasury, or other, types of debt will likely be benign.  S&P left the short-term debt rating at A-1+, its highest, which means money market funds will not be affected.  We do not look for any kind of major market disturbance.

The equity markets had a rough week and could still be jittery on Sunday night and Monday morning.  Short-sellers will likely try to take advantage of this event.  However, the S&P downgrade alters nothing about the economy or corporate profitability in the short, medium or even long- term.  We still hold to our comments from last week that the markets are over-reacting to fears about the economy, the debt deal, or European financial issues.  (Link)

In the end, while we agree with S&P’s sentiment about the direction of US spending patterns, we do not agree with the S&P downgrade.  We believe that S&P is entirely too pessimistic about the ability of the US to pay its debts and solve its problems.  History shows that this country has found a way to alter course before problems became a full-blown crisis.  In fact, the US economy was in much worse shape during the late 1970s and early 1980s.  Elections of the early 1980s changed the country’s course then, and a boom of unprecedented magnitude ensued.

If this move by S&P helps the US get more serious about cutting spending, then it will have been a very positive development.  If it influences the political environment by pushing the US to a more conservative set of fiscal values it will be even more positive than that.  There is a titanic battle of economic and political philosophy taking place in the US today.  S&P wants to be a player in this battle, but in the end it will have a relatively minor role.
 
25107  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fire Hydrant: Howls from Crafty Dog, Rules of the Road, etc on: August 07, 2011, 12:29:14 AM
Back in LA.  Will need a few days to settle in and start working on backlog.
25108  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Prayer and Daily Expression of Gratitude on: August 05, 2011, 11:58:41 PM
Grateful for a good day with a good friend and to have met some of his family.
25109  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fall Dog Brothers Open Gathering of the Pack 9/18/11 on: August 05, 2011, 11:53:05 PM
Remember the Dog Brother Parable of the Cherry cheesy
25110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: August 05, 2011, 11:16:50 PM
The logic is impeccable cheesy
25111  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Fragmentacion de los narcos on: August 05, 2011, 10:57:25 PM

http://insightcrime.org/insight-latest-news/item/1359-mexico-upstart-gangs-eat-into-cartel-hegemony

87621
25112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 05, 2011, 10:55:33 PM
I'm not really comfortable with that last line at all.

As I have previously posted, the alleged Medicare cuts are in payments to providers, not beneficiaries and as such are a scam for the reasons I discussed at the time, while the cuts to the military will be real and vast.  My prediction:  The Reps will fold again, agreeing to raise tax rates in order to defend the military and achieve the psuedo-cuts to Medicare.  I find little reason to assume that tax rate increases will actually increase revenues and may well serve to depress economic activity further, thus setting off a vicious spiral of higher govt costs (e.g. food stamps, welfare, unemployment, etc) and lower revenues due to declining economic activity.
25113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fragmentation on: August 05, 2011, 10:47:32 PM
http://insightcrime.org/insight-latest-news/item/1359-mexico-upstart-gangs-eat-into-cartel-hegemony
25114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: August 05, 2011, 09:15:51 PM
GM:  You would have been one hellacious law school professor when it came to devising questions for exams!
25115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Tao of Sex on: August 05, 2011, 09:13:29 PM
Agreed 100%.  So, how to apply that to the question presented? i.e. What to do in the interregnum between puberty and marriage?  Celibacy?  Or?
25116  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / A Blast from the Past on: August 05, 2011, 06:17:20 PM
The Days Before A Fight
February 13, 2009 By admin Leave a Comment
written by Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny

The days before the fight are always a powerful crucible. I have a non-martial art teacher who when someone seeks to leave a situation that makes them uncomfortable says, “Whatever you do, keep on being here in this moment.” I may not have the quote exactly right, but I hope I have the gist of it.

Scientist Konrad Lorenz’s book “Behind the Mirror” addresses the evolutionary biology of consciousness. There is a passage in the book wherein he describes how a cat at play will seamlessly string together unrelated behaviors/movements from stalking prey, fighting a rival, bluffing a predator, courtship, killing prey etc. He then points out that the instant that the cat is stressed (e.g. the appearance of a rival) this ability disappears.

Many martial arts discuss how there are different mindsets/qualities with which one can defend/fight. Often the names are a bit poetic; Fire, Water, Wind, Rock, Earth, etc. but the point is made that the more realized the fighter is, the better his ability to fluidly shift between them. In the intense adrenal state of a fight, this can be a very good trick to actually do, yet as Lorenz’s point about the cat makes clear, the state of Play is the state where this happens best. (“What Is Play?” in evolutionary biological terms is an interesting question in its own right.) Thus, the best fight is where the fight is play. Thus in Dog Brothers Martial Arts we say

“Do not have a Way as you Play. Fight the Way you Play. Let your Fight be Play” (c)

The Learning that takes place in the adrenal state is some of the deepest and highest that there is. (The adrenal state of course can be triggered by many things, not only immediate physical danger; criticism by loved ones, humiliation, etc etc.) The greater the adrenal state, the profounder the Learning. The greater the state of Play, the better the result. The more that one can move in both directions simultaneously, the better. “The greater the dichotomy, the profounder the transformation. Higher consciousness through harder contact.” (c)

Woof!
Guro Crafty
25117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Tao of Sex on: August 05, 2011, 05:49:50 PM
Some worthy targets for our sarcasm there, but lets return to the question presented in terms of our own culture, yes?
25118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 05, 2011, 02:50:44 PM
Sounds like American civilational confidence to me grin, not brutal ruthlessness of the sort by Chinese in the article that you posted.   

Anyway, I'm tired of going round the mulberry bush on this one.  I think my point has been made and so move on.
25119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 05, 2011, 02:48:27 PM
Gerrymandering has quite a bit to do with re-election rates. 

If we are going to continue this, lets take it to the election thread
25120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NJ's Christie on: August 05, 2011, 02:44:23 PM
A hyperventilating tone here, but interesting nonetheless:

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/08/chris-christie-backs-hamas-linked-judge-pick-blasts-crazies-after-appointing-muslim-judge-the-sharia.html

25121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 05, 2011, 01:08:19 PM
What poll is that?  I've seen that Baraq has dropped from 48 to 40% in the last few months , , ,  I'd also be curious to cross check the data from other polls regarding the Tea Party
25122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: August 05, 2011, 12:50:39 PM
IMHO the matter of people getting kicked out of their insurance due e.g. to a job loss and while having what then becomes a pre-existing condition is a genuine problem. 

If we could REPLACE what we have now with a simple base plan that would then put this whole matter to rest, off the top of my head that would be a reasonable compromise.  The problem is that with progressives if you give an inch they come back looking for a mile see e.g. "Don't ask, don't tell" or "civil unions".
25123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Tao of Sex on: August 05, 2011, 12:45:31 PM
"he thought it was important to marry kids quickly, by 18 or 19. He thought it was a failing of western culture that people think you have to build your fortune before you are married - that you should build it together."

That is not a stupid thought-- though it presents questions about choosing unwisely and either having to live with it or divorce (which I gather can be rather easy for the man to do in Islam) or in the case of Islam, marry an additional wife or three.


25124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Tao of Sex on: August 05, 2011, 11:55:32 AM
Although I think the preceding piece makes a fair and profound point, it also misses another point, equally fair and profound:

The human animal hits puberty at an increasingly early age.  I lack the knowledge to say precisely what the average age is, but for the purpose of this conversation lets start by saying 14.   So, if someone waits to marry until after college and establishing a career, they can easily be looking at 10 years or considerably more before marrying and having children.   Is it realistic, is it healthy to go for over ten years without sex?
25125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury: Bull or Bullish-2 on: August 05, 2011, 11:47:54 AM
Data Watch



Non-farm payrolls increased 117,000 in July and revisions to May/June added 56,000
To view this article, Click Here

Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist
 Robert Stein, CFA - Senior Economist

Date: 8/5/2011






Non-farm payrolls increased 117,000 in July and revisions to May/June added 56,000,
generating a net gain of 173,000, more than doubling the consensus expected gain of
85,000.

Private sector payrolls increased 154,000 in July. Revisions to May/June added
49,000, bringing the net gain to 203,000.  July gains were led by professional &
business services (+34,000), health care (+31,000), retail (+26,000) and
manufacturing (+24,000). Government payrolls declined 37,000.

The unemployment rate declined to 9.1% in July (9.092% unrounded) from 9.2% in June
(9.182% unrounded).

Average weekly earnings – cash earnings, excluding benefits – increased
0.4% in July and are up 2.6% versus a year ago.

Implications:  Private-sector payrolls rebounded sharply in today’s report,
rising 203,000 including upward revisions to May and June. Part of the rebound is
due to the auto sector, with jobs at automakers and autos/parts sellers increasing
17,000 in July. Hiring was solid elsewhere in the manufacturing sector, and at
retailers, and private health companies. In the past year private payrolls have
increased 150,000 per month. We think this trend will accelerate in the second half
as the economy recovers from Japan-related disruptions. Another strong part of
today’s report was that average hourly wages increased 0.4% in July and are up
at a 3.5% annual rate in the past three months. Some short-sellers may focus on the
fact that payrolls declined 1.23 million when not seasonally-adjusted. But
that’s a highly misleading number. The drop is almost all due to state/local
public school teachers, which fell 1.26 million. Not seasonally-adjusted
private-sector payrolls fell only 4,000, which for July is stronger than in nine of
the past eleven years. The only legitimately negative part of today’s report
was that household employment, an alternative measure of jobs, declined 38,000 and
is up only 63,000 per month in the past year. Usually this measure of jobs leads
payrolls in recoveries. It may be lagging this time as smaller firms are more likely
to remain credit constrained than their larger counterparts. In other recent news,
new claims for unemployment benefits dipped 1,000 last week to 400,000. The
four-week moving average fell to 408,000 versus 440,000 in May. Continuing claims
for regular state benefits increased 10,000 to 3.73 million.
25126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The Tao of Sex on: August 05, 2011, 05:18:33 AM
I kick this thread off with an essay that expresses values that I most certainly did not live as a single man and as a single man I would have laughed at it, but the older I get , , ,
====================

Body language
The body has a language of its own, and the sexual revolution is founded upon a lie.


Recently in Public Discourse, I challenged readers to defend the sexual revolution on the grounds that it has conduced to the common good. No one took up that challenge. It would be, I suppose, rather like asking someone to defend the forced collectivization of farms in the Ukraine, while speaking to ten thousand people in Kiev. It is not going to happen.

Still, I might have given the impression that the sexual revolution is to be rejected on utilitarian grounds. Since I believe that utilitarianism is a serpent that consumes itself—that it is a disutility to believe in it—I’d like now to base my opposition on something far more fundamental than, say, the harm of wrecked families and bursting prisons. The sexual revolution is a house built upon sand. It is founded upon a lie.

Let us consider the one form of sexual behavior that almost nobody defended before the sexual revolution, and that almost nobody opposes now: fornication. A few pastors may take the sin seriously, but mostly we all shrug and say, “Everyone’s going to do it, so there’s no sense making a fuss over it.” And yet what we are talking about is deeply destructive, because it is fundamentally mendacious. When we lie, we harm not only those we deceive. We harm ourselves. If we continue in this deception, we become hardened liars, in the end perhaps deceiving no one but ourselves. The thief knows he is stealing. The liar ceases to know that he is lying, and is trapped in the emptiness of unmeaning. The thief crucified at the side of Jesus knew he was a thief, and repented. The liars walking freely below no longer recognized their lies, and did not repent.

How is fornication a lie? The body has a language of its own. Although in one culture to nod means “no” while in another it means “yes,” the meanings we express with our bodies are not entirely arbitrary—indeed, are in some ways not arbitrary at all. The smile, the laugh, the embrace, the bow, the kiss, are universal. When Judas approached Jesus, that he kissed Him made his treachery all the more despicable; it was a betrayal, sealed with a sign of intimate friendship. When the boys in Huckleberry Finn prick their fingers to mingle blood with blood, we know they are engaging in a boyish but also solemn ritual of kinship. If a certain boy—say, Tom Sawyer’s sissified brother Sid—were to engage in it while withholding his allegiance, thinking, “This is an interesting thing to do for now, and we’ll see where it leads,” he would be making a mockery of the rite. He would be lying.

I know someone who at age nineteen was deeply lonely. He had always been awkward around girls, and unsure of his body. During his first year away at college, he fell in love with a beautiful young woman. She had been raised without any religious faith, and without any sexual scruples. He lost his virginity then. He knew, in the back of his mind, that he and she could not possibly raise any child that might be conceived; and he was too intelligent to believe that contraception could be entirely reliable. He also knew, again in the back of his mind, that he wanted to marry her, but that she probably would not want to marry him. He knew that his parents would not approve of what he was doing. Yet it felt good, and for a time he was not lonely, or at least he did not feel his loneliness so keenly.

What the naked body “says” when man and woman expose themselves to one another, not as patients to a doctor but as lovers, can be paraphrased thus: “This is all of me. I am entirely yours. I am giving you what is most intimately mine. You are seeing me, and touching me, as no one else now can. I love you.” Then the act of intercourse itself, the marital act—what does it say? What must it say, whether we will or no?

This is the act that spans the generations. The man gives of himself, something of his inmost being, the very blood that courses in his veins, from his father and mother and their parents before them. The woman receives that gift, taking it into herself, to be united with her own blood, from her father and mother and their parents in turn. It is nonsense to pretend otherwise. Indeed, the man and the woman who are fornicating while taking contraceptive steps know quite well that they are doing what brought themselves into being, because otherwise they would not strap on the barrier or swallow the pill. They are attempting to reduce an act that is transtemporal to something pleasurable for the moment.

And yet, somehow, they cannot even persuade themselves. I recall, at one of those useless meetings that my alma mater held for freshmen, we were supposed to discuss the morality of sex. There wasn’t much discussion, and there wasn’t much morality. The students concluded that as long as the sex wasn’t “mechanical,” that is, as long as it involved some real feeling, it was all right. Then one granny-glassed bearded freshman spoke up. “I don’t see anything wrong with mechanical sex,” he said. “It can be fun for both parties.” People looked at him with disapproval, but no one had anything to say, and the meeting ended.

Well, machines do not have sexual intercourse. Even the cool, abstracted actions the young man recommended could not be engaged in coolly and abstractedly. One must feign passion, even if one does not feel it. One must pretend to be making love, not like. One must appear at least to be giving all. One must be nude, even if not naked—unclothed, even while burying one’s intentions and feelings under a mountain of blankets, along with the meaning of the act, which is not simply dependent upon intentions and feelings in any case.

It will not do to say, “As long as people are honest with one another, fornication is all right.” The point is that they cannot be honest with one another in that situation. The supposed honesty of detachment, or deferral, or temporizing, or mutual hedonism, only embroils them in a deeper lie. The body in the act of generation says, whether we like it or not, “I am reaching out to the future, to a time when there will be no turning back.” The body, naked to behold in love, says, “There is nothing of mine that I do not offer as yours. We complete one another, man and woman.” Such affirmations transcend the division between the private and the public. They are therefore only made in honesty by people who are married—who have acknowledged publicly that they belong forever to one another and to the children they may conceive by the marital act.

No one but a sadist could say, “I feel no love for you, but am using your body as a convenient receptacle, for the sake of the pleasure. Afterwards I dearly hope you will not trouble me with your continued presence.” Is that too strong? What about this? “I like you very much, and yet I have no intention of spending the rest of my life with you, or even the rest of this year.” Or this? “Let’s pretend we are married, but let’s not actually get married, because I might change my mind about you.” Or this? “I am bored, and you are here.” Or this? “You are very good looking, and we will get married, maybe, someday, not too soon, and if we do conceive a child, we’ll deal with it then, I don’t know how.” Or this? “I don’t love you, but maybe if we do this a few times I can fool myself into thinking so.” Or this? “I want to love you, but I know you are too selfish to love me in return, or I’m not worthy of your attention, so I’ll do what you like, and hope.” Or this? “I am drunk, so nothing of what I do or say means anything.”

We do not say these things aloud, because to be candid in this way is to admit deception. It is to admit not that we think highly of sexual intercourse, but that we think little of it. It becomes trivial to us, though we dare not say so. What happens, then, to people who make a practice of lying to the people they are lying intimately with? We do not feel pity for those we deceive. We feel contempt. Our hearts are hardened. We look upon the frequent results of the fornicative lie—a passionate attachment to ourselves on the part of the deceived, or children—as affronts to our freedom. We resent them. After years of deceiving and being deceived, we conclude that people are not to be trusted; we become not prudent but circumspect, not wise but cynical, not strong but callous.

“If you’re not with the one you love,” they sang at Woodstock, cheering the evil of fornication, “love the one you’re with.” A lie on both ends, that, and cold to the core.

Anthony Esolen is Professor of English at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island, and the author of Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child and Ironies of Faith. He has translated Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata and Dante’s The Divine Comedy. This article was first published in Public Discourse and is reproduced with permission.

Copyright 2011 the Witherspoon Institute. All rights reserved.
25127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: August 05, 2011, 04:34:13 AM
10-4.
25128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education/Parenting on: August 05, 2011, 04:33:12 AM
Forward  smiley
25129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pakistan's conundrum with the Taliban negotiations on: August 05, 2011, 04:31:52 AM


---------------------------
August 5, 2011


PAKISTAN'S CONUNDRUM WITH THE TALIBAN NEGOTIATIONS

On Wednesday, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman
said a political settlement in Afghanistan was not possible without assistance from
Pakistan. Separately, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Javid Ludin said Kabul wanted
Islamabad to bring the senior leadership of the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating
table. Both statements were made in Islamabad on the sidelines of a meeting of the
three countries.

These remarks represent the first time that either Washington or Kabul has openly
and directly sought Pakistani help in the efforts to negotiate with the Afghan
jihadist movement. Thus far, the Americans and Afghans have only demanded that the
Pakistanis crack down on Afghan Taliban operating in their territory. Pakistan has
long awaited the time when the U.S. government would engage in this policy shift.

"Any American search for Pakistani involvement in the Afghan reconciliation efforts
cannot be separated from this wider atmosphere of tensions."

 
From Islamabad's point of view, it made no sense for the Americans to keep pressing
Pakistan to use force against the Taliban when the Americans themselves would
eventually have to seek a political settlement. The Pakistanis have questioned why
they should have to fight the Afghan Taliban and lose their leverage over the
Islamist insurgents, especially while Islamabad fights its own Taliban rebels.
Therefore, Pakistan is likely pleased that the Americans have finally sought its
involvement in efforts to talk to the Afghan Taliban.
 
Islamabad, however, cannot be completely confident that things are moving in its
preferred direction. The United States seeks Pakistani assistance in the
reconciliation efforts toward the Taliban at a time when the American-Pakistani
relationship is mired in unprecedented tensions. The U.S. drive toward unilateral
military and intelligence capabilities in Pakistan has fostered mutual mistrust and
animosity.
 
Any American search for Pakistani involvement in the Afghan reconciliation efforts
cannot be separated from this wider atmosphere of tensions. While Washington may
have decided to involve Islamabad in the Afghan political settlement process, there
remains a disagreement over the definition of who among the Taliban is capable of
reconciliation. Though Kabul has asked Pakistan to encourage top Taliban leaders
toward the bargaining table, it is unlikely that the likes of Taliban chief Mullah
Mohammad Omar or the most prominent regional Taliban commander, Sirajuddin Haqqani
(both have enjoyed complex relations with al Qaeda), will be acceptable to
Washington as negotiating partners.
 
Also, the degree of influence Pakistan holds over senior Afghan Taliban leaders is
questionable. Over the past decade, the fragmentation and metamorphosis of the
Taliban phenomenon on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border have led to a waning
of Pakistani influence over the Pashtun jihadist landscape. The insurgency inside
Pakistan has weakened Islamabad's position; it remains to be seen to what degree
Islamabad can deliver vis-à-vis the Afghan Taliban.
 
This waning could explain why the Pakistanis have openly said that they do not seek
a Taliban comeback in Afghanistan and Islamabad. Islamabad has been trying to
diversify its sphere of influence in its western neighbor, working to improve its
relationship with the regime of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. With relations with
Kabul still uncertain and Pashtun influence perhaps softening, Pakistan may find it
difficult to nudge the Taliban toward a power-sharing deal with the Karzai regime.

The United States appears to have finally moved toward involving Pakistan in its
talks with the Taliban. However, it will be awhile before the appropriate conditions
(in which substantive talks could take place) can be created.
25130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 05, 2011, 04:30:46 AM
So, you are advocating brutal ruthlessness within the US?
25131  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: KALI TUDO (tm) Article on: August 05, 2011, 04:20:38 AM
 cool
25132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 04, 2011, 08:07:15 PM


"Still remaining is that somehow you continuously give the impression to people of above average IQ, above average education, above average reading skills, and greatly overlapping POVs that you are advocating that we do things in the US the Chinese way or some analog thereof.  Why is that?"
25133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury does not flinch on: August 04, 2011, 07:02:34 PM
Research Reports
           
           
            Dow Down 500, But Fundamentals Still Strong To view this article, Click
Here
           

            Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist

            Robert Stein, CFA - Senior Economist

            Date: 8/4/2011
             
            Major stock market indices are down 4-5% today as investors move into
panic mode.  There is no single piece of news driving the sell-off;
rather the market seems to be gathering downward momentum on its own.
Selling is creating more selling.
             
            Like 1987, the sell-off does not appear to be driven by fundamental
factors.  In fact, the fundamentals suggest the market is undervalued
and getting more so as it drops.  Many investors assume (or wonder) if
the sell-off is indicating deep economic problems.  However, there is no
evidence that this is true.
             
            The Federal Reserve is still running a very accommodative monetary
policy.  Money supply data shows no contraction – M1 is up 13.8%
and M2 is up 8.3% at an annual rate over the past thirteen weeks.  The
Fed is holding the funds rate near zero, while nominal GDP is rising
near a 4% annual rate recently and “core” inflation is at
3%.  In other words, interest rates are very low in comparison.
             
            If you are worried about a cut in government spending –
don’t be.  Federal spending in 2011 is still rising and according
to the OMB and CBO it will rise each and every year over the next 10
years.  If you are worried about the size of government and think the
budget deal was terrible – you shouldn’t.  Supertanker
America is turning and government spending as a share of GDP is
scheduled to fall by about 2% of GDP over the next 10 years.
             
            Corporate earnings are rising rapidly.  According to Bob Carey, First
Trust’s Chief Investment Officer, with about 80 companies left to
report, S&P 500 earnings are up 20% over last year and the S&P
500 P-E ratio (on forward earnings) is roughly 12.  The market is cheap.
             
            Economic data are not tanking.   Initial claims are at 400,000 (down
from 478,000 at the end of April).  Car and truck sales were up 6.9% in
July (over June) and chain-store retail sales were up 4.6% in July (from
last year) versus 2.8% year-over-year growth in July 2010.  Taken
together, retail sales appear to have increased by about 0.7% in July
even though gasoline prices fell.
             
            Yes, the ISM manufacturing index was just 50.9 in July, but that is the
24th consecutive month above 50 and is consistent with 2% or more real
GDP growth.  Finally, the ADP employment report showed 114,000 new
private sector jobs in July, which was the 18th consecutive monthly
gain.  In other words, there is absolutely no evidence of a recession at
this point.
             
            This leaves us at perhaps the best explanation for the decline: European
debt problems, specifically Italy.  It is clear that hot money is moving
as investors worry about money market funds and bank solvency.  The euro
is falling, European bond yields are rising, US Treasury yields are
plummeting and gold is up.  Italy says that it does not face imminent
default, but the market acts as if it may.
             
            European countries have spent themselves into a corner, but correcting
this mistake will be good for long-term growth, not bad.  While some
financial institutions may take losses, government debt itself is water
under the bridge.  It’s a sunk cost.  As a result, it has little
effect on the economy unless losses create financial contagion.  With
mark-to-market accounting now fixed to allow cash flow to be used to
value assets, the odds of contagion are minimized and the cost of
immunizing America from contagion would be small when compared to 2008.
             
            In the end, the sell-off looks as if it is more of a technical
correction in the market, not a fundamental change in direction.  This
does not mean that it will end soon.  Corrections run their course and
then end.  We wish we could trade each and every move in the market, but
we can’t and we don’t know anyone who can.  We are
investors, and the market is more undervalued right now than it was when
it opened for trading this morning.
             
25134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, et al, cf Yemen) on: August 04, 2011, 06:46:05 PM
 cry cry cry


With the world in such good and stable shape I guess we can cut the US military $500b rolleyes
25135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 04, 2011, 06:43:44 PM
"I take that as a badge of honor."

It is.  cheesy

Now please deal the the question presented without asking questions.  grin
25136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: August 04, 2011, 06:41:38 PM
As if that weren't enough, I saw a WSJ editorial today which explained that the purported Medicare cuts that will be paired with the $500B cuts of the US military in the event that the SuperCommittee does not come up with something passed by Congress and signed by Baraq will be in purported payments to PROVIDERS, NOT BENEFITS.  i.e. the law of supply and demand will be repealed and the health care system will be commanded to offer the same level of service for less money.  This is regularly done, AND UNDONE already.  (Perhaps our docs here can help flesh this out?) Bottom line:

a) BO gets past the 2012 election
b) the Bush tax rates will expire (as best as I can tell) but this will not be called a tax increase
c) Medicare will not be cut
d) the Reps will have to allow additional tax increases or allow the military to be decimated

We are so fuct  cry angry
25137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 04, 2011, 06:33:42 PM
Indeed!  I will be interested to see how he responds.
25138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: August 04, 2011, 06:32:53 PM
 cheesy cheesy cheesy

Hence my reaction upon realizing I had posted an article of Bircher origin.

That fact that I found the article agreeable of course is worth noting, but the fact also remains that I continue to find the Bircher brand quite problematic.
25139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 04, 2011, 06:19:32 PM
GM, we Jews have a tradition of answering questions with questions.  You are now under serious consideration for being nominated to the status of "honorary Jew"  cheesy

This is a nice way of saying you are still ducking the question. grin

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

Just saw your post #148.

Still remaining is that somehow you continuously give the impression to people of above average IQ, above average education, above average reading skills, and greatly overlapping POVs that you are advocating that we do things in the US the Chinese way or some analog thereof.  Why is that?
25140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: August 04, 2011, 06:12:02 PM
Thank you for that very informative read PC.
25141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, Inflation, US Dollar & other currencies, & Gold/Silver on: August 04, 2011, 06:00:53 PM
Switzerland, Japan, and Germany (i.e. pre-Euro) had this problem in the late 70s due to the Carter-Blumenthal economic policies.
25142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 04, 2011, 05:58:19 PM

I just came back from a very pleasant day hanging out with a good friend to see the Dow dived 500 today.  Uh oh , , ,
25143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: August 04, 2011, 05:53:35 PM
FWIW I Regard inforwars.com as a highly unreliable site and generally do not read anything that comes from there.  Surprised to see a true scholar like you surfing there BD. smiley
25144  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education/Parenting on: August 04, 2011, 05:50:07 PM
CW:  If you want to get snarky with someone, please do it via PM.  Thank you.
25145  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fall Dog Brothers Open Gathering of the Pack 9/18/11 on: August 04, 2011, 05:44:18 PM
Kaju:

Pretty Kitty will be returning around the 15th and will probably need a few days to settle in.
25146  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Security, Surveillance issues on: August 03, 2011, 11:21:26 PM
GM: Genuine question:  Is this not the natural evolution of what you advocate?  Or?
25147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 03, 2011, 08:52:34 AM
Put that way, we are in agreement but if I may, I think you need to appreciate that that you started out by giving the distinct impression that we should do things domestically the way the Chinese do.   I trust we are in agreement that there is/was/can be an American Creed approach to civilizational confidence from which the Chinese model differs quite a bit-- yes?
25148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 03, 2011, 07:53:22 AM
Obama's defeat.
25149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 03, 2011, 07:52:25 AM

"I try to explain things in a manner that might make sense to someone who thinks that war is like a stickfighting contest where you are friends at the end of the day."

Is that a fair description of the POVs that BD and I were bringing to the conversation to the conversation with you and why it took so many restatements of essentially the same question?  C'mon, , , ,

Anyway,  BD over to you on GMs question.
25150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Indonesia on: August 03, 2011, 07:45:17 AM
Who is Robert Kaplan?  When was the book written?
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