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51  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Terrorist nation OTMs have crossed border. Some have been caught 2.0 on: November 25, 2015, 12:18:05 PM
Pasting Doug's post from the Immigration thread here as well:
52  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Partners in peace-- what could go wrong? on: November 25, 2015, 12:16:50 PM
53  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Judicial Watch: State Dept rushed approval despite security concerns on: November 25, 2015, 12:09:14 PM
54  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Putin takes total control of the air? on: November 25, 2015, 11:58:20 AM
Putin has announced he is putting in his extremely potent anti-aircraft system into Syria. 

As best as I can tell, this means short of total war the US (and Turkey, and France) is now denied the airspace.

From our side , , , crickets , , ,
55  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / New Russian bomb in action? on: November 24, 2015, 11:44:17 PM
Reliability completely unknown
56  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / DBMA Training Camp with Top Dog, Lonely Dog, and yours truly on: November 24, 2015, 09:42:07 PM
Let the Howl Go Forth:

On a date yet to be determined, sometime in the year 2016 there will be a DBMA Training Camp with Top Dog, Lonely Dog, and yours truly.

Stay tuned!!!
PG Crafty Dog
57  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Martin Luther King: WOW!!! on: November 24, 2015, 08:40:36 PM
58  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: November 24, 2015, 08:39:08 PM
We live in interesting times!
59  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Case for Sen.Ted Cruz on: November 24, 2015, 08:38:28 PM

D. Goldman makes his case in favor of Ted Cruz.
Dave's Top 10 Reasons to Vote for Ted Cruz

A month ago I predicted a Cruz-Rubio ticket. Now that Cruz has overtaken Carson to run neck-and-neck with Trump in the Iowa Quinnipiac University poll, Cruz is looking a lot like a winner. Here are my top 10 reasons to back him.

10. He really knows economics--not the ideologically-driven pablum dished out at universities, but the real battlefield of entrenched monopolies against entrepreneurial upstarts. As Aweesh Agarwal and John Delacourt reported in this space, he did a brilliant job at the Federal Trade Commission: "Cruz promoted economic liberty and fought government efforts to rig the marketplace in favor of special interests. Most notably, Cruz launched an initiative to study the government’s role in conspiring with established businesses to suppress e-commerce. This initiative ultimately led the U.S. Supreme Court to open up an entire industry to small e-tailers." Anyone can propose tax cuts. It takes real know-how to cut through the regulatory kudzu that is strangling America enterprise.

9. He really knows foreign policy. He is a hardline defender of American interests, but wants to keep American politics out of the export business. That's why neo-conservatives like Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post and Kimberly Strassel at the Wall Street Journal keep sliming him. The Bushies started attacking Cruz a year ago, when he stated the obvious about the Bush administration's great adventure in "democratic globalism": "I think we stayed too long, and we got far too involved in nation-building…. We should not be trying to turn Iraq into Switzerland." He's not beholden to the bunglers of the Bush administration, unlike the hapless Marco Rubio.

8. He really knows the political system. As Texas Solicitor General he argued nine cases before the US Supreme Court and won five of them. How many other lawyers in the United States have gone to the Supreme Court nine times on points of Constitutional law? The best write-up I've seen on brilliance as a Constitutional lawyer came from the liberal New Yorker--grudging praise, but praise nevertheless. Some of his legal work was brilliant, displaying a refined understanding of separation of powers and federalism. If you want a president who knows the mechanism of American governance from the inside, there's no-one else who comes close to Cruz.

7. He's an outsider, and America needs an outsider. The public thinks that Washington is corrupt, and it IS corrupt. The banks are corrupt, the defense industries (with their $1.5 trillion budget for a new fighter plane that won't fly) is corrupt, the tech companies (run by patent trolls rather than engineers) are corrupt, the public utilities are corrupt. The American people want a new broom. But it helps to put it in the hands of someone who knows his way around the broom closet.

6. Trump and Carson aren't serious candidates. Carson is an endearing fellow who has no business running for president: apart from his medical specialty, his knowledge of the world is an audodidact's jumble of fact and fantasy. Donald Trump inherited money and ran a family business: never in his life did he have to persuade shareholders, investors, directors, or anyone else to work with him. At best, he knew how to cajole and threaten. It's been his way or the highway since he was a kid, and that's the worst possible training for a US president.

5. Cruz is in but not of the system. The distinguished conservative scholar Robert P. George mentored him at Princeton and the flamboyant (but effective) liberal Alan Dershowitz taught him at Harvard Law School. Both agree he was the smartest student they ever had. An Ivy League education isn't important unless, of course, you don't have one: to run the United States, it helps to have dwelt in the belly of the beast. Cruz came through the elite university mill with his principles intact, and a keen understanding of the liberal mentality.

4. He's got real grit--call it fire in the belly, but Cruz wants to be president and wants us to want him to be president. Determination is a lot more important than charm, where Cruz won't win first prize. When it comes down to it, Americans don't want a charming president, but a smart, tough and decent one. Marco Rubio, the Establishment's last hope after Jeb Bush's belly-flop, is instantly recognizeable as the tough-guy hero's cute younger brother. Either Cruz or Fiorina would fill out the ticket.

3. He knows how to run a real campaign as opposed to a flash-in-the-pan media event. Cruz has boots on the ground, an organization of people who believe in him and raise money at twice the rate of Rubio--with an averge $66 donation.

2. He's a true believer in the United States of America. His love for his country and belief in its prospects are impassioned and unfeigned. He's ambitious, but his ambition stems from a desire to serve, where he believes that he is uniquely qualified to serve.

And the top reason to vote for Ted Cruz is:

He can beat Hillary Clinton. Not just beat her, but beat her by a landslide. Mrs. Clinton isn't that smart. She looks sort of smart smart when the media toss her softballs, but in a series of one-to-one, nowhere-to-hide Presidential debates, Cruz would shred her. Cruz was the top college debater in the country. He knows how to assemble facts, stay on message, anticipate his opponent's moves and neutralize them. He's a quarter-century younger than Mrs. Clinton, smarter, sharper, and better prepared. He's also clean as a whistle in personal life and finances, while the Clintons could reasonably be understood to constitute a criminal enterprise.
60  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stratfor predictions on drones on: November 24, 2015, 08:14:38 PM

    As infrastructure becomes more congested over the next decade, unmanned aerial systems will be increasingly used to manage supply chains. 
    This transition will occur in stages as regulations adapt to technology and technology adapts to regulation, making it unlikely that much-anticipated home deliveries will be among drones' first commercial uses.
    Automated and unmanned aerial delivery systems will face congestion and chokepoint problems of their own, mostly caused by regulation rather than physical infrastructure.


Moving goods from one place to another isn't always as simple as it sounds. Intricate supply chains are often needed to coordinate transit across different countries, incorporating various modes of transportation. Every so often, new technologies come along that revolutionize how we send goods to other places. In the 20th century, it was the advent of container shipping; in the 21st century, it was the rise of a global marketplace made possible by the Internet, which changed shopping behaviors in the developed world and increased the demand for rapid delivery.

Now, as existing infrastructure struggles to keep up with the rising congestion that comes with growing demand, new technological developments are on the horizon that could help relieve some of that burden and improve the efficiency of global supply chains. Within the next five years, drones could become widely used to help transport goods. But rapid advancement and keen industry interest aside, the realities of regulation and technological constraints will limit the role of drones in delivering goods to customers in the United States, at least in the short term.
Overcoming Regulatory Hurdles

In 2012 the U.S. Congress instructed the Secretary of Transportation to "establish requirements for the safe operation of [unmanned] aircraft systems in the national airspace system." Three years later, the Federal Aviation Administration responded by releasing its proposed rules of operation. The 195-page document, published in February, contained both laudable and questionable stipulations, but one overarching concern received the most attention: safety.

For any new airspace regulation, the FAA is required to consider three criteria: the safety of the aircraft, the efficient use of airspace and the protection of people and property on the ground. Based on the proposed regulations, FAA officials are going to great lengths to ensure drones can operate safely around other aircraft and people, even when pilots are far away. The new rules, if passed, would require operators to keep drones within their line of sight throughout the entire flight. (The regulations likely will not be finalized until late 2016 or early 2017 because of a lengthy commenting and revisions process.)

Both the U.S. airspace system and the Federal Aviation Administration that oversees it were built on the assumption that pilots control aircraft from onboard. The line-of-sight requirement reflects the FAA's long-standing rules on determining right-of-way in the air, which mandate that operators stay vigilant "so as to see and avoid other aircraft." In modern manned aircraft, cockpit and control tower technologies have advanced enough to enable planes to stay separated and avoid hazards without needing the pilot to maintain visual continuity. The development of technologies that provide an equal level of safety assurance, be they autonomous piloting, networked control or other advances, will be critical to making drone flight feasible in congested urban areas.

A Gradual Development Process

Since its February announcement, the FAA has been working with industry partners to test technologies that could satisfactorily overcome the discrepancies between current regulations and drones' potential uses. To this end, six test sites have been set up across the United States, where certain companies can look for ways to address safety concerns under three specific use scenarios in a controlled environment. Those scenarios are maintaining line of sight in urban areas where bystanders are present; operating in rural areas where observers extend the operator's "sight"; and operating in isolated areas beyond the operator's line of sight. In May, the tests led to the first FAA-approved drone delivery when a medical clinic in rural Virginia received much-needed supplies from an unmanned aircraft. And just this week, companies conducted the first approved long-distance drone flight in the United States and began testing a new avoidance system technology that will help operators "see and avoid" obstacles even when the aircraft are far out of their visual range.

Alongside these trials are, of course, the widely publicized tests that private sector behemoths such as Amazon, Wal-Mart and Google are performing. Amazon is primarily focusing on developing technology to guarantee safe and quick home deliveries as well as the battery capacity to make such devices feasible. Wal-Mart is also hoping to someday use drones to make home deliveries, but for now the retail giant is trying to figure out how to use unmanned technology to manage inventory at distribution centers and deliver goods from warehouses to stores. Google, meanwhile, has been working with NASA engineers to create an autonomous air traffic control system for drones while tackling — no surprise — the problem of unmanned home deliveries. All three of these companies have the ambitious timeline of bringing their drones into commercial operations by 2017.

The outcome of the various tests will determine how and where the first generation of commercial drones is used in the United States. So far, it appears very likely that drones will improve efficiency in warehouse operations in the near future. Deliveries in rural areas, especially to set locations such as warehouses, stores or lockers, also seem to be a real possibility. While these uses would not increase speed or efficiency in the final stages of delivery — bringing goods directly to people's front doors — they would improve other phases of the supply chain. In addition, they would give companies a controlled environment in which they could test even more advanced delivery systems.

Still, none of the trials have managed to simultaneously address the problems of bystander safety and maintaining line of sight — both of which are concerns in urban environments. Therefore, it is unlikely that urban deliveries will be among the first tasks of commercial drones. Instead, companies will first use drones to make warehouse and stockyard operations run more smoothly and then turn their attention toward rural deliveries. Urban operations will probably have to wait until the second or third phase of development.

Even when drones begin operating regularly in urban environments, a number of problems will confront the U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle network. The United States has the busiest and most complex airspace in the world, meaning congestion will still be a problem. The introduction of thousands of new airborne vehicles will put further stress on an air traffic control network that is already spread too thin and a national airspace system that is already at or over capacity in many places. Transportation and supply chain technologies allow countries to overcome their geographic constraints; in this, drones are no exception. But like their predecessors, unmanned aerial vehicles will not come without their own limitations, nor will the transition be seamless.
61  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: November 24, 2015, 07:57:36 PM
Nice find GM!
62  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: November 24, 2015, 07:56:24 PM
Now that IS interesting!
63  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: November 24, 2015, 07:54:47 PM
Hard to see Rubio, the candidate with far and away the best numbers against Hillary as the "loser" candidate-- seriously Pat?  Especially when Trump is down within a point or two of Christie in his numbers against Hillary  evil

Look, I think I "get" Trump just fine.  I've repeatedly said many good things about him.  I also agree with the high floor, low ceiling analysis of his numbers. 
64  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rebels blow up Ruski copter with US made TOW missile? on: November 24, 2015, 02:11:21 PM
65  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: November 24, 2015, 02:07:04 PM
 shocked shocked shocked
66  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam, theocratic politics, & political freedom on: November 24, 2015, 02:01:25 PM
Not a stupid piece but the far better call IMHO is to establish safe,no-fly zones over there and to keep them there.
67  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia, Turkey, Caucasus, Central Asia on: November 24, 2015, 01:58:59 PM
My initial read is that whereas the Russians felt free to march into our HQ in Baghdad and give us one hour to get the fk out of their way, they now know better with the Turks.  This ain't the first time they fuct with Turkish airspace and they were warned plenty this time.
68  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: November 24, 2015, 01:56:59 PM

We are all on the same page with regard to GOPe and the deep and vast discontent with it; I'm not sure why you seem to think otherwise , , ,


Herewith my current take on things.

I have defended Dr. Ben here from what I perceived to be unsound attacks, but always withheld my "support"-- wanting to see more.   Now that I have seen his foreign affairs, he no longer is a contender for my support.  Last night on The Kelly Show, he was given a chance to counter the damage done by his foreign affairs advisor.  He repeated other folks ideas ("Go after their money, go after their oil, build a coalition") but it was the final straw for me when he spoke of giving "the Iraqis" another chance/more arms and training and into the coalition.  IMO there no longer is such a thing as Iraq and the government of Baghdad Shiastan is a pawn of Iran.

I hope he stays in for a while though-- I am very much looking forward to his launch of his health care platform to replace Obamacare; it could well be the one around which the Reps should rally!

Rubio took on Charlie Crist when doing so seemed a huge overreach.  As a first time senator he has decided to run for President when his mentor Jeb was considered a shoo-in for the GOPe, thus giving up what was likely to be a secure a Senate seat.  Don't let the baby face fool you, the man does not lack for killer instinct in taking on the GOPe.   Note too his perfectly timed naming Hillary a "liar" in the debate.  

His whole message is quite Tea Party and quite American Creed.   Watched him this morning on FOX and was, as usual, very impressed with his political skills.  Extremely seamless in his ability to turn around questions designed to put him on the defensive and take the initiative (e.g. Aren't you like Baraq in being an inexperienced first term Senator?)  He has adjusted his immigration policies to something I am quite comfortable with (listen to what he is actually saying now) and stands to serve the Reps well with Latinos without compromising national integrity.  (Contrast Prop 187 here in CA where we "won" and became a permanent Dem state by so doing)  His repeated prescience on international issues gives him a good foundation from which to take on Hillary on her one pretense to competence and experience.

Tax policy is good but could be much better.

I'm digging Cruz a lot too.  I agree with Art Laffer's analysis of his tax proposal, as best as I can tell it is the best in the field and, UNLIKE TRUMP AND HIS PROPOSAL, he can defend and advocate it well.   Superb ability to keep track of Hillary's twists and turns, evasions, deceptions, and lies.  He too has what it takes to take her on and take her down in debate.  There's more, but I'm running out of time right now.

Trump? I've already said what I think and heartily second Doug's two immediately prior posts.  Love his attitude and think he has served the country and Reps well by shaking things up and leading the way when it comes to speaking fearlessly, but stupidities like thinking it was fine to have Putin handle Syria will give Hillary, who already maneuvers to put daylight between her and Baraq,  plenty of room to present herself as an experienced mature hand at the helm.  The accumulation of stupidities like retweeting unvetted data will bite him, and therefore us should he be candidate, in the ass.

Bottom line-- for me right now a toss up between Cruz or Rubio.
69  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris: Obamacare is dying in front of our eyes on: November 24, 2015, 01:24:51 PM
70  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: November 24, 2015, 12:58:28 AM
I was under the impression that Rubios favorability ratio was better than that but overall I think Doug's point about Trump's ceiling is quite sound.

Only one candidate going up against Hillary scores 50% and that is Rubio.  I know Pat sees Rubio as GOPe because GOPe can support him (especially over Trump!) but when Rubio ran and won for Senate it was scored as a Tea Party triumph.  He's only been in Washington a few years and has earned respect for his foreign policy chops.  Contrast Trump who a few weeks ago thought it OK to hand off the Middle East to Putin with nary a thought as to the Axis that Putin is forming.

I caught Trump on O'Reilly tonight and O'R was giving him some good advice about not re-tweeting unvetted data and Trump's attitude was "Whatever".   Within the Rep primaries he can get away with this because of the depth of Rep voter anger, but in the general it looks to be a different story.  There's a reason that his margin over Hillary is only 1-2 points greater than Christie.
71  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris on: November 23, 2015, 05:23:46 PM
72  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Crybully on: November 23, 2015, 05:12:49 PM
73  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: November 23, 2015, 04:24:42 PM
Trump does NOT have 35% except maybe in some online polls which are pure GIGO.

Rubio has 50% of the American people against Hillary with an 8% margin, Trump quite a bit less than that.  Hell, Chris Christie does as well against the Empress Dowager of Chappaqua as Trump!
74  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Thanksgiving from Wesbury on: November 23, 2015, 04:21:22 PM
If the US were in the middle of an economic boom, like in the mid-1980s or late-1990s, it would be very easy to be thankful in the week ahead. Instead, a cornucopia of complaints seems to accompany what has been a plodding economic recovery, what we call the Plow Horse Economy.

But that’s why it’s even more important than ever to be thankful for the things that are going right with the US economy. In particular, even as our overly large government continues to grow larger, with more spending, more entitlements, and more regulation – all of which bog down the economic growth rate like mud in the fields. It has been a battle between entrepreneurs and their wealth creation, versus government and redistribution. So far, the entrepreneurs have kept the economy moving forward.

Think of all the massive changes in the past several years. As it turns out, we really can drill our way to lower energy prices. Ubiquitous apps have made life much easier and increased productivity for workers, parents, students, travelers. And the list of new benefits seems to never end. Death rates for cancer patients are way down. Innovation in food production continues to soar. Driverless cars, while not here yet for regular consumers, continue to improve and wind their way down the long road toward mass production. It’s the cornucopia of invention we should celebrate.

Instead, it's monetary policy and the political world that journalists seem to obsess about; particularly those on business TV. These sources of “information,” or what could more accurately be called “econo-tainment,” instead dwell on every zig and zag of politics, and very often dubious narratives intricately woven by some short-seller.

But it’s because of the innovations, because of businesses that have found a way to charge ahead despite every obstacle put in front of them, the economy has moved forward.

In certain ways, this decade resembles the 1930s. Not in the sense that our economic situation is like the despair of the Great Depression; not even close. But in the sense that amid general dissatisfaction with the economy and a very bad policy set from Washington, important positive innovations were still happening. Jet engines, photocopiers, ballpoint pens, helicopters, and nylons were all invented in the 1930s, making life better for decades to come.

So when you pause to be thankful later this week, think for moment of the innovators who have been toiling away to make our lives better. Yes, they don’t do it just for the heck of it; yes, they want to enrich themselves along the way. But whether they help themselves or not, where would we be without their efforts? Happy Thanksgiving!

75  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: November 23, 2015, 04:08:09 PM
Good point to make-- hope we see more of it!

And here's Ted's most recent promo clip:

Tangential observation:  Amazing how much of the candidates campaigns are requiring little to no money , , ,
76  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Laffer on Cruz and Rand Paul's tax proposals on: November 23, 2015, 03:49:16 PM
Pasting this here as well from the Presidential thread.
77  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: November 23, 2015, 03:44:36 PM
IIRC McDaniels in MS made some pretty unpleasant cracker statements, I can understand why the party would not want its' name stained by him.

Pat, we understand that Trump gives you a thrill running down your leg  evil but please do consider that good people of good intent can have good reasons for doubting him , , , 
78  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Islam in Belgium on: November 23, 2015, 03:39:23 PM
Belgian Breeding Ground Fuels New Terror Wave
by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
November 23, 2015
 Time was, thoughts of Belgium led to thoughts of rich, dark chocolate, of Old Master painters and delicate, handmade lace.

Now it brings a different image: of Islamic jihad and men armed with Kalashnikovs, and of secret meetings of Muslim youth plotting a new attack against the West. The country is in lockdown today, facing what authorities believe is an "imminent attack." On Sunday, police raided 19 homes in and around Brussels, and made 16 arrests. Brussels continues to be the focus of their action.

There is good reason for this. The Nov. 13 massacres in Paris, we've since learned, were planned in the Brussels district of Molenbeek, sometimes called "little Morocco" for its large Moroccan immigrant population. The attack on Charlie Hebdo also was planned there, along with the foiled attack on a Thalys high-speed train between Brussels and Amsterdam. Mehdi Nemmouche, who killed four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum in May 2014, spent time there.
But it isn't only Molenbeek, and it isn't only recently. Belgium has been a hotbed of radical Islam for more than a decade, breeding organizations like Sharia4Belgium – one of the most influential "Sharia4" groups globally – and the now-defunct Arab European League (AEL). The goal of the AEL, founded by the Lebanese-Belgian Dyab Abou Jahjah in 2001, was to form a "sharocracy" in which sharia and democracy ruled together across the West. The organization was based in Antwerp, where Jahjah and his friends also celebrated the attacks of 9/11 with laughter. "We couldn't hold our joy," he recalled later in his autobiography.

Other signs of radicalism, also connected to Jahjah, soon followed; in 2002, Jahjah helped orchestrate riots in Borgenhout, outside of Antwerp. And in 2004, after establishing a Dutch arm of the AEL, he declared, "I consider every death of an American, British, and Dutch soldier a victory."

Jahjah was hardly alone. By 2006, Belgian journalist Hind Fraihi, herself a Muslim, discovered that books teaching Muslims to fight infidels were being freely distributed by radical imams who preached jihad in local mosques. Other books she found in Belgium included Guide For Muslims, a Dutch publication that encourages Muslims to throw homosexuals from tall buildings and to beat their wives. A Washington Post profile of Fraihi cited other books she found, including some that "advised readers to learn to communicate in symbols and secret code, and offered tips on how to do that."

But the largest influence on Belgian Muslims, and the source of much of their extremism, was the creation of Sharia4Belgium in 2010. Thanks to that group, Belgium boasts the largest number of Muslims per capita who have joined the Islamic State and its jihad. According to the Wall Street Journal and others, "dozens" of Sharia4Belgium members have made the pilgrimage to Syria, and dozens more have been detained before they could make the trip. Three of them, all women, were arrested in May 2014, around the time of the Jewish Museum shooting. They were part of a larger group of 40 Belgians planning to join the jihad, and most of them had Sharia4Belgium ties.

This should not have been surprising. By 2012, Belgium's security service director Alain Winants determined that "radical Islam forms the greatest threat" to the country. Salafism, he told Belgian daily de Morgen, is gaining followers who have built up a parallel community with its own values, its own banks, justice system, and educational program.

Sharia4Belgium's founder, Fouad Belkacem, was tried and convicted in September 2014 for supporting terrorism, along with dozens of other Sharia4Belgium members, some of whom are still on the Syrian battlefields. But by then it was too late. The group, with its active Dutch- and French-speaking recruiters in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and – most of all – the Internet, had already infiltrated the minds of untold numbers of other Belgian youth.

And still, no one seems to be watching.

This is due in part to limits of Belgium's intelligence facilities. While German intelligence, for instance, is currently stretched to its limits trying to track potential terrorists, Der Spiegel reports that Belgium's threat has long since exceeded the its own intelligence capabilities.

Indeed, according to Dutch NOS TV, "the central counterterrorism unit of the [Belgian] police department has only one employee tracking radical [Islamic] activity on the Internet. And she only works part time." The result, notes Der Spiegel, is that "many Muslims who have become radicalized or received military training and may even have been traumatized are returning home from Syria without anyone checking on them whatsoever."

Moreover, Belgium's disorganized police system – with six authorities for 19 districts in Brussels alone – coupled with a chaotic government and the European capital's convenient location at the midway point between Amsterdam and Paris –combine to help French and Dutch Islamists take refuge there. Two of the Paris attackers, the French-born Bilal Hafdi and Brahim Abdelslam, were among them.

As recently as last month, an exploratory committee determined that Belgian police had failed to notice, let alone monitor, a "jihad camp" set up by Kurdish PKK members and Sharia4Belgium in the Ardennes.

But the truth is, the country's "capabilities" are only part of the problem: political timidity and correctness carry a good share of the blame. Suspicious behaviors are too often overlooked for fear of being called "racist," Alain Winants told de Morgen in 2012. That viewpoint has since been echoed in Belgian editorials since the Paris attacks, with journalist Luckas Vander Taelen noting that Molenbeek's mayor had once called a journalist "Islamophobic" for reporting on the radical Islamic books being distributed there. "There are no problems here," the mayor insisted at the time.

Since the Nov. 13 attacks, however, Belgium has rounded up dozens of jihadists, with nine raids leading to nine arrests on Thursday preceding Sunday's additional raids. The speed with which these terrorists were located suggests that authorities were aware of them prior to the events in Paris. So why weren't they captured earlier? Was it a matter of incompetence? Or a kind of narcissistic concern over image, a fear, as Winants suggests, of being seen as "racist?"
Hopefully, Belgium has now learned its lesson. The fight against terrorism is not a popularity contest. It's a contest we fight for our lives.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.
79  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / No punches pulled here , , , on: November 23, 2015, 02:51:56 PM
80  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: California on: November 23, 2015, 10:37:27 AM

We would LOVE to have you!

81  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A different take on the zero refugees by Saudi Arabia et al on: November 23, 2015, 10:36:24 AM
Putting aside the tendentious tone of the author, does he have a point?
82  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: November 22, 2015, 11:05:02 PM
What I said was there is a big difference between Rubio & Cruz and Hillary.

83  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: California on: November 22, 2015, 09:17:35 PM
DDF-- the choice you made is not for everyone  grin

PP:  That may well be the case for me too, but for now this is where it makes most sense for me.
84  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: November 22, 2015, 09:12:32 PM
No difference between Hillary and Rubio or Cruz?!?  What the hell are you smoking Pat?!? cheesy  I know Trump is your guy, but the bottom line here is he is willing to put the good of America second to his own vanity.  THERE IS NO WAY HE WINS A THREE WAY RACE!!!

FWIW IMHO as the number of contenders goes down we will see most of the votes that were going to them go to someone other than Trump.  

The simple fact is that that Rubio, Cruz, Carson, and Bush (!) do better against Hillary than Trump and given the stakes in this election for the future of our country it is a rational thing to want to go with the candidate most likely to win.  This is an election for the job of most powerful person on the planet-- and, as the saying goes, "Politics ain't bean bag" and Trump needs to dig down and find some character and realize that the country is more important than the man in his mirror.

Certainly he gets some things right, but he has not defended his tax plan, his grasp of the Middle East is devoid of understanding that Putin is building an axis of Iran, Shiastan Iraq, Alawitestan Syria, Hezbollah Lebanon, and Russia.   Until quite recently he held many positions that were an anathema to us here.  There are good and honorable reasons to prefer someone else to him.

PS:  Watched the Walters interview.  Liked his children-- which speaks well of him.

85  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What a fg narcissistic sh*t!!! on: November 22, 2015, 06:15:57 PM
"Fornicate America-- I'm The Donald and my personal grievances matter more than the America I want to make great again."

 angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry


By Laura Meckler
Nov. 22, 2015 5:00 p.m. ET

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump suggested Sunday that he would be open to running for president as an independent if he concludes Republicans aren’t treating him “fairly.”

The real-estate tycoon made his comments on ABC when asked about a Wall Street Journal article published online Friday that reported an effort by Republican establishment figures to unite to knock Mr. Trump out of the race.

The group plans a “guerrilla campaign” backed by secret donors to “defeat and destroy” his candidacy, the Journal reported.

The notion of an independent Trump bid worries many Republicans, who fear he would siphon votes from the GOP nominee and help elect a Democrat.

Asked if he would reconsider his vow not to run as an independent, Mr. Trump didn’t give a direct answer. “Well, we’ll see what happens,” he said. “It will be very interesting. But I’m leading every poll by a lot. It’s not even a little bit anymore, it’s a lot.”

Nationally, Mr. Trump is favored by 27.5% of Republican voters, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average, with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 19.8% and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 12.5%.

Asked again if he was open to an independent run, he repeated, “Well, I’m going to have to see what happens. I will see what happens. I have to be treated fairly. You know, when I did this, I said I have to be treated fairly. If I’m treated fairly, I’m fine. All I want…is a level playing field.”

Mr. Trump’s loyalty to the GOP was questioned after the first Republican presidential debate in August, when he was the only candidate unwilling to promise support for the party’s eventual nominee. He put those questions to rest in September when he signed a GOP loyalty pledge, vowing not to run as an independent.

Allison Moore, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said: “All of the candidates seeking the Republican nomination have pledged to run as Republicans and support the nominee.”

Democrats were outright gleeful at the prospect of an independent Trump run next fall.

“The GOP can be very mean. If the Donald’s feelings are hurt by them, he absolutely should run as an independent!” said Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen.

Mr. Trump also said he would bring back waterboarding, the controversial interrogation technique that simulates drowning and that is considered torture by many. President Barack Obama barred waterboarding and other techniques at the start of his presidency.

To justify his view, Mr. Trump cited brutal acts by Islamic State. “They don’t use waterboarding over there; they use chopping off people’s heads,” he said on ABC. “I would bring it back. I think waterboarding is peanuts compared to what they’d do to us, what they’re doing to us, what they did to [journalist] James Foley when they chopped off his head. That’s a whole different level and I would absolutely bring back interrogation and strong interrogation.”

Opponents say the U.S. has an obligation to hold itself to a higher standard than its enemies do and that torture is ineffective and undermines American values.

Mr. Trump also repeated his claim, forcefully denied by authorities, that “thousands of people were cheering” in Jersey City, N.J., when the World Trade Center towers fell on Sept. 11, 2001. He made that claim at a Saturday rally.

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos told him that police say that never happened and that this has long been just an Internet rumor, but Mr. Trump didn’t back down.

“It did happen. I saw it….It was on television,” he said. “There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down. I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as…those buildings came down.”

Write to Laura Meckler at
86  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Big WSJ article on trends over the next 35 years on: November 22, 2015, 06:11:58 PM
87  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: California on: November 22, 2015, 06:06:29 PM
And governmental stupidity is unknown elsewhere? (though usually not in the same degree!!!)  cheesy

Mmmmm , , , have you noticed the swimming I get to do in October?  see e.g.  That I live in what may well be the world's capital for martial arts?  That people who want to train with me can combine their trip to train with me with training with other teachers?-- and that one of the major international and domestic airports is only 25 minutes away?  That the movie/TV/entertainment biz provides additional opportunities and resources?  That it is in the 70s today with clear skies?---  Contrast the rest of the country , , ,  That I can get clean, healthy, and exciting food most places I go?

A man could go further and do worse , , ,

88  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: November 22, 2015, 05:58:04 PM
89  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Working poor voting Rep on: November 22, 2015, 12:28:24 PM
90  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / So this is part of why the Denny family is getting fuct on: November 22, 2015, 12:13:37 PM
91  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pentagon expands inquiry into distortion of Middle East analyses on: November 22, 2015, 12:12:11 PM
92  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Immigration issues explained with gumballs on: November 22, 2015, 12:10:11 PM
93  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Clash within Civilization on: November 22, 2015, 12:05:22 PM
94  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / FOX poll one-on-one vs. Hillary on: November 22, 2015, 12:04:25 PM
THIS is what should have our attention!!!

40 to 42






95  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CNN mis-edits Trump? on: November 22, 2015, 12:00:20 PM
96  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Romney called this too on: November 22, 2015, 09:45:35 AM
97  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Predictions on the Evolution of War on: November 21, 2015, 11:08:31 PM
Here's some thinking on how warfare will change over the next twenty years.   

Fast forward 20 years (about the age of the WWW).  An aging, schlerotic EU has become the destination for over a hundred million refugees and migrants fleeing the densely populated killing fields of Africa and SW Asia. 

The rapidity of influx has led the EU to take extreme measures.   Tens of millions of these migrants/refugees are roughly housed in relocation camps all across Europe. 

Violence within these camps has risen steadily, leading to an EU-wide Islamic insurgency.

The soldiers sent to counter this insurgency are outfitted with autonomous weapons.  These weapons combine deep learning (making them very smart) and cloud robotics (allowing the military to rapidly share advances in training and technique) to provide these soldiers with capabilities far beyond what we've seen in previous wars.   

Here's an idealized example so you can get the idea.  A human/robot team advances down a street in an urban environment. 

   Big Data:  The autonomous weapons used by the team continuously scans the street in all directions.  These weapons can visually ID everyone on the street from a database of 3.5 billion people in under a second.  It also continuously analyzes the people, windows, etc. down the street looking for the visual signatures of concealed weapons and IEDs.  i.e. A car at the end of the street is resting a bit too heavily on its springs, indicating there may be explosives in it.  These weapons learned to do this based on billions of hours of combat and police training images/footage (aka Big Data). 

   Customized Training:  The human members of the team have trained the weapons to alert the team when it sees any electric vehicles demonstrating even the slightest bit of irregular behavior -- the rapid acceleration possible with autonomously driven electric vehicles can make them dangerous kinetic threats in three seconds.

   Cloud training:  The autonomous weapons with the soldiers with connections to military's cloud.  Fortunately, this connection to the cloud gave these weapons access to the certified methodologies for identifying and neutralizing a new DIED (drone IED) used by Islamic insurgents only yesterday.  This paid off.  The new DIED entered the street behind the team, and the systems new how to ID it, engage it, and neutralize its countermeasures flawlessly.  During the engagement, the human team member noticed a slight change in the behavior of the DIED -- it released its homemade cluster bomblets earlier than anticipated.  The data/footage of the engagement is tagged with a note to this effect and it is uploaded to the cloud in order to add to the approved methods for countering it. 

Of course, much of this capability might become open source and available to anyone smart enough to employ it.

98  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / JKD-Kali with the Dallas Cowboys on: November 21, 2015, 07:40:00 PM

Though the effort was led by Guro Dan Inosanto, this is Tim Tackett working JKD-Kali with the Dallas Cowboys. (late 1970s?) The connection was made by the friendship between college team mates Guro I. and Paul Ward, who went on to become the conditioning and strength coach for the Cowboys.

99  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Profli-gate: The Modern American Way of War on: November 21, 2015, 07:09:17 PM

The American Way of War in the Twenty-First Century
Roads to Nowhere, Ghost Soldiers, and a $43 Million Gas Station in Afghanistan
by Tom Engelhardt, November 13, 2015
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Originally posted at TomDispatch.
It’s a $cam!: The American Way of War in the Twenty-First Century
By Tom Engelhardt

Let’s begin with the $12 billion in shrink-wrapped $100 bills, Iraqi oil money held in the U.S. The Bush administration began flying it into Baghdad on C-130s soon after U.S. troops entered that city in April 2003. Essentially dumped into the void that had once been the Iraqi state, at least $1.2 to $1.6 billion of it was stolen and ended up years later in a mysterious bunker in Lebanon. And that’s just what happened as the starting gun went off.

It’s never ended. In 2011, the final report of the congressionally mandated Commission on Wartime Contracting estimated that somewhere between $31 billion and $60 billion taxpayer dollars had been lost to fraud and waste in the American “reconstruction” of Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, for instance, there was that $75 million police academy, initially hailed “as crucial to U.S. efforts to prepare Iraqis to take control of the country’s security.” It was, however, so poorly constructed that it proved a health hazard. In 2006, “feces and urine rained from the ceilings in [its] student barracks” and that was only the beginning of its problems.

When the bad press started, Parsons Corporation, the private contractor that built it, agreed to fix it for nothing more than the princely sum already paid. A year later, aNew York Times reporter visited and found that “the ceilings are still stained with excrement, parts of the structures are crumbling, and sections of the buildings are unusable because the toilets are filthy and nonfunctioning.” This seems to have beenpar for the course. Typically enough, the Khan Bani Saad Correctional Facility, a $40 million prison Parsons also contracted to build, was never even finished.

And these were hardly isolated cases or problems specific to Iraq. Consider, for instance, those police stations in Afghanistan believed to be crucial to “standing up” a new security force in that country. Despite the money poured into them and endless cost overruns, many were either never completed or never built, leaving new Afghan police recruits camping out. And the police were hardly alone. Take the $3.4 millionunfinished teacher-training center in Sheberghan, Afghanistan, that an Iraqi company was contracted to build (using, of course, American dollars) and from which it walked away, money in hand.

And why stick to buildings, when there were those Iraqi roads to nowhere paid for by American dollars? At least one of them did at least prove useful to insurgent groups moving their guerrillas around (like the $37 million bridge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built between Afghanistan and Tajikistan that helped facilitate the region’s booming drug trade in opium and heroin). In Afghanistan, Highway 1 between the capital Kabul and the southern city of Kandahar, unofficially dubbed the “highway to nowhere,” was so poorly constructed that it began crumbling in its first Afghan winter.

And don’t think that this was an aberration. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) hired an American nonprofit, International Relief and Development (IRD), to oversee an ambitious road-building program meant to gain the support of rural villagers. Almost $300 million later, it could point to “less than 100 miles of gravel road completed.” Each mile of road had, by then, cost U.S. taxpayers $2.8 million, instead of the expected $290,000, while a quarter of the road-building funds reportedly went directly to IRD for administrative and staff costs. Needless to say, as the road program failed, USAID hired IRD to oversee other non-transportation projects.

In these years, the cost of reconstruction never stopped growing. In 2011, McClatchy News reported that “U.S. government funding for at least 15 large-scale programs and projects grew from just over $1 billion to nearly $3 billion despite the government’s questions about their effectiveness or cost.”

The Gas Station to Nowhere

So much construction and reconstruction – and so many failures. There was thechicken-processing plant built in Iraq for $2.58 million that, except in a few Potemkin-Village-like moments, never plucked a chicken and sent it to market. There was the sparkling new, 64,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, $25 million headquarters for the U.S. military in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, that doubled in cost as it was being built and that three generals tried to stop. They were overruled because Congress had already allotted the money for it, so why not spend it, even though it would never be used? And don’t forget the $20 million that went into constructing roads and utilities for the base that was to hold it, or the $8.4 billion that went into Afghan opium-poppy-suppression and anti-drug programs and resulted in… bumper poppy cropsand record opium yields, or the aid funds that somehow made their way directly into the hands of the Taliban (reputedly its second-largest funding source after those poppies).

There were the billions of dollars in aid that no one could account for, and a significant percentage of the 465,000 small arms (rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, and the like) that the U.S. shipped to Afghanistan and simply lost track of. Most recently, there was the Task Force for Business Stability Operations, an $800-million Pentagon project to help jump-start the Afghan economy. It was shut down only six months ago and yet, in response to requests from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the Pentagon swears that there are “no Defense Department personnel who can answer questions about” what the task force did with its money. AsProPublica’s Megan McCloskey writes, “The Pentagon’s claims are particularly surprising since Joseph Catalino, the former acting director of the task force who was with the program for two years, is still employed by the Pentagon as Senior Advisor for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism.”

Still, from that pile of unaccountable taxpayer dollars, one nearly $43 million chunk did prove traceable to a single project: the building of a compressed natural gas station. (The cost of constructing a similar gas station in neighboring Pakistan: $300,000.) Located in an area that seems to have had no infrastructure for delivering natural gas and no cars converted for the use of such fuel, it represented the only example on record in those years of a gas station to nowhere.

All of this just scratches the surface when it comes to the piles of money that were poured into an increasingly privatized version of the American way of war and, in the form of overcharges and abuses of every sort, often simply disappeared into the pockets of the warrior corporations that entered America’s war zones. In a sense, a surprising amount of the money that the Pentagon and U.S. civilian agencies “invested” in Iraq and Afghanistan never left the United States, since it went directly into the coffers of those companies.

Clearly, Washington had gone to war like a drunk on a bender, while the domestic infrastructure began to fray. At $109 billion by 2014, the American reconstruction program in Afghanistan was already, in today’s dollars, larger than the Marshall Plan (which helped put all of devastated Western Europe back on its feet after World War II) and still the country was a shambles. In Iraq, a mere $60 billion was squandered on the failed rebuilding of the country. Keep in mind that none of this takes into account the staggering billions spent by the Pentagon in both countries to build strings of bases, ranging in size from American towns (with all the amenities of home) to tiny outposts. There would be 505 of them in Iraq and at least 550 in Afghanistan. Most were, in the end, abandoned, dismantled, or sometimes simply looted. And don’t forget the vast quantities of fuel imported into Afghanistan to run the U.S. military machine in those years, some of which was siphoned off by American soldiers, to the tune of at least $15 million, and sold to local Afghans on the sly.

In other words, in the post-9/11 years, “reconstruction” and “war” have really been euphemisms for what, in other countries, we would recognize as a massive system of corruption.

And let’s not forget another kind of “reconstruction” then underway. In both countries, the U.S. was creating enormous militaries and police forces essentially from scratch to the tune of at least $25 billion in Iraq and $65 billion in Afghanistan. What’s striking about both of these security forces, once constructed, is how similar they turned out to be to those police academies, the unfinished schools, and that natural gas station. It can’t be purely coincidental that both of the forces Americans proudly “stood up” have turned out to be the definition of corrupt: that is, they were filled not just with genuine recruits but with serried ranks of “ghost personnel.”

In June 2014, after whole divisions of the Iraqi army collapsed and fled before modest numbers of Islamic State militants, abandoning much of their weaponry and equipment, it became clear that they had been significantly smaller in reality than on paper. And no wonder, as that army had enlisted 50,000 “ghost soldiers” (who existed only on paper and whose salaries were lining the pockets of commanders and others). In Afghanistan, the U.S. is still evidently helping to pay for similarly stunning numbersof phantom personnel, though no specific figures are available. (In 2009, an estimated more than 25% of the police force consisted of such ghosts.) As John Sopko, the U.S. inspector general for Afghanistan, warned last June: “We are paying a lot of money for ghosts in Afghanistan… whether they are ghost teachers, ghost doctors or ghost policeman or ghost soldiers.”

And lest you imagine that the U.S. military has learned its lesson, rest assured that it’s still quite capable of producing nonexistent proxy forces. Take the Pentagon-CIA program to train thousands of carefully vetted “moderate” Syrian rebels, equip them, arm them, and put them in the field to fight the Islamic State. Congress ponied up $500 million for it, $384 million of which was spent before that project was shut downas an abject failure. By then, less than 200 American-backed rebels had been trained and even less put into the field in Syria – and they were almost instantly kidnapped orkilled, or they simply handed over their equipment to the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front. At one point, according to the congressional testimony of the top American commander in the Middle East, only four or five American-produced rebels were left “in the field.” The cost-per-rebel sent into Syria, by the way, is now estimated at approximately $2 million.

A final footnote: the general who oversaw this program is, according to the New York Times, still a “rising star” in the Pentagon and in line for a promotion.


You’ve just revisited the privatized, twenty-first-century version of the American way of war, which proved to be a smorgasbord of scandal, mismanagement, and corruption as far as the eye could see. In the tradition of Watergate, perhaps the whole system could be dubbed Profli-gate, since American war making across the Greater Middle East has represented perhaps the most profligate and least effective use of funds in the history of modern warfare. In fact, here’s a word not usually associated with the U.S. military: the war system of this era seems to function remarkably like a monumental scam, a swindle, a fraud.

The evidence is in: the U.S. military can win battles, but not a war, not even against minimally armed minority insurgencies; it can “stand up” foreign militaries, but only if they are filled with phantom feet and if the forces themselves are as hollow as tombs; it can pour funds into the reconstruction of countries, a process guaranteed to leave them more prostrate than before; it can bomb, missile, and drone-kill significant numbers of terrorists and other enemies, even as their terror outfits and insurgent movements continue to grow stronger under the shadow of American air power. Fourteen years and five failed states later in the Greater Middle East, all of that seems irrefutable.

And here’s something else irrefutable: amid the defeats, corruption, and disappointments, there lurks a kind of success. After all, every disaster in which the U.S. military takes part only brings more bounty to the Pentagon. Domestically, every failure results in calls for yet more military interventions around the world. As a result, the military is so much bigger and better funded than it was on September 10, 2001. The commanders who led our forces into such failures have repeatedly been rewarded and much of the top brass, civilian and military, though they should have retired in shame, have taken ever more golden parachutes into the lucrative worlds of defense contractors, lobbyists, and consultancies.

All of this couldn’t be more obvious, though it’s seldom said. In short, there turns out to be much good fortune in the disaster business, a fact which gives the whole process the look of a classic swindle in which the patsies lose their shirts but the scam artists make out like bandits.

Add in one more thing: these days, the only part of the state held in great esteem by conservatives and the present batch of Republican presidential candidates is the U.S. military. All of them, with the exception of Rand Paul, swear that on entering the Oval Office they will let that military loose, sending in more troops, or special ops forces, or air power, and funding the various services even more lavishly; all of this despite overwhelming evidence that the U.S. military is incapable of spending a dollar responsibly or effectively monitoring what it’s done with the taxpayer funds in its possession. (If you don’t believe me, forget everything in this piece and just check out the finances of the most expensive weapons system in history, the F-35 Lightning II, which should really be redubbed the F-35 Overrun for its madly spiraling costs.)

But no matter. If a system works (particularly for those in it), why change it? And by the way, in case you’re looking for a genuine steal, I have a fabulous gas station in Afghanistan to sell you…

Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author ofThe United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture. He is a fellow of the Nation Institute and runs His latest book is Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.
100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Should "No Fly List" be a "No Gun Buy List"? on: November 21, 2015, 03:49:20 PM
Sen. Feinstein has proposed that the No Fly List become a No Gun Buy List.  Apparently the NRA and Reps disagree.

I must say that on its face her bill has a certain obvious logic AND opposing it may well be profoundly stupid politically.

Yes, yes, lots of people on the list don't belong there, but given what we know about how porous we are to bad people getting in, do we really want them sashaying in to the local gun store and arming themselves for major hits on America?  What would be left of the wonderful pro-gun political consensus that we have built in the last twenty years?

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