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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America on: June 19, 2012, 11:16:08 AM
I agree, there are no "present day Christian crusades".  But did you read the promises the Pope made?  No virgins, but He promised that God would grant them a full remission of their sins if they died while on crusade.  It was an orgy of death.  Yet I don't hold all Christians to blame.

I am not "trying to draw any moral equivalency between Christianity or Judaism and Islam."  I am merely pointing out that I disagree with your article; IMHO Islam itself is NOT the problem.  Radicals in any religion are the problem.

And you are right, I know little of the Islamic books, nor am I particularly interested, but I do know my Bible.

Maybe you couldn't find them, but here a just a few passages saying, "slay the unbelievers wherever you find them."  I found a lot more, the number was rather overwhelming.   smiley

Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Christianity in History on: June 19, 2012, 10:44:05 AM
Islam itself is NOT the problem.

"In his speech on November 27th, Pope Urban used highly abusive language when referring to the Muslims, calling them an 'acursed race' who defiled holy places and abused Christians. He implored the men of Europe to leave their families and possessions and go to the Holy Land to fight for its liberation from Muslim control. If they did so, they would become a living sacrifice to God. He promised that God would grant them a full remission of their sins if they died while on crusade.

The results of the Pope's call had quick and long lasting results. Filled with zeal at the prospect of liberating the Holy Land and motivated by the promise of instant entry into heaven, thousands of men responded to the call. A series of crusades were sent to the Holy Land. It was an orgy of killing.  Emperor Alexius had hoped only a few mercenary troops would be sent, however, the enormity of the response created new problems as Alexius was unable to keep the Crusaders under his control.

After short-lived 'people's crusades' which only succeeded in turning the opinion of Eastern Christians against the Western ones, the First Crusade succeeded in conquering Jerusalem and setting up four small Christian states. After these initial successes, the Crusader's fortunes dwindled until they lost the Holy Land entirely."
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Romney's Dancing or is his tongue just tied? on: June 19, 2012, 10:27:48 AM
"Romney doesn’t want to come out against leniency for those brought here illegally when they were under 16, who have since graduated high school or served in the military and are now under 30. He is trailing by as much as 3 to 1 among Hispanic voters. He got himself in a box during the Republican primaries by taking a hard line on illegal immigrants, calling on them to “self-deport” and vowing to veto the DREAM Act, among other things. He wants to edge back toward the center, but Obama has just blocked the easiest path, which would be wrapping himself around whatever Rubio proposes.

I thought the president’s move—an obvious election-year gambit--would spark an explosion on the Republican right. But the reaction has been muted, even on Fox News. That tells me that in purely political terms, Obama has outmaneuvered the opposition by putting a young face on the politically divisive immigration problem. Hence the Romney two-step."
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 18, 2012, 03:41:32 PM
You say brilliant with repetition yet never address the objections raised or questions posed. 

Tedious is putting it kindly.

Doug, did your read my second most recent link?  I think it addresses that issue about the "legality" of his actions.
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Romney on: June 18, 2012, 02:21:02 PM
It's seems Romney has quite the dilemma.   shocked
What's he going to do?

The rock and the hard place......

Even the Republican blogs are taking him to task.....

Obama did nothing illegal, although I do admit it was a stretch, nevertheless brilliant.
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 18, 2012, 11:40:43 AM
Actually, if we "enforced the law" all 12 million illegal immigrants would be arrested and returned to their country of origin.  "Enforce the Law" doesn't only mean tighten the border, although from all accounts Obama has done that.  Illegal immigration across the border is down albeit for various reasons but including increased enforcement.

Law enforcement on all levels selectively enforces the law.  As for precedent, Bush did something very similar.

Even as you point out, why not let educated illegals and/or ones who have served in our military have a path citizenship?

It was a brilliant move by Obama.  If the Republicans don't like it; repeal it if Romney is elected.  But Romney doesn't know how to react.   shocked
Negative reaction is just sour grapes; Republicans don't have a good answer.

207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Knudsen on: June 18, 2012, 10:55:18 AM
If I recollect it was Doug who pointed out the outstanding job that Knudsen did on behalf of FDR and America.

Here is a nice article and reference to a recent book on the subject.
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: June 18, 2012, 10:24:42 AM
The devil is going to be in the details.  This will be interesting.

Unfortunately (I say this only because I had hoped for a workable solution instead of smoke and mirrors) you are right.

"Lawmakers barely make the deadline to pass a state budget before their pay was affected, but details on cuts to social services still need to be worked out.",0,1794728.story

209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 18, 2012, 09:10:00 AM
I suppose the law and the punishment is the same whether you are spying for an enemy or spying for an ally, probably not contemplated in the law.

I don't have enough information to know what I think of the Jonathon Pollard case, but in that I hope we are in cooperation with Israel on intelligence and defense matters it would seem this is a case more suitable for a Presidential pardon than most of Hugh Rodham's bought friends.

Doug, do you know of any crime, anyone more hideous and destructive to our country than a traitor?
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 18, 2012, 09:04:30 AM
Doug, rather than finding a practical solution, the Republicans in the last year and a half have been moving to the right of this issue.  The best they can do is say, "we should enforce the law".  What does that mean?  As I said, does that mean "round up 12 million illegal immigrants and deport them all."  Republicans offer no solution.

That is ridiculous.

Obama, the American people have been waiting for some movement.  In the interim, Obama has reduced immigration at the border.  Obama has been enforcing the law vigorously deporting criminals.  So now he has decided not to focus on a small group, i.e. students; he did not include millions upon millions who hope not to be deported.  Like the cop on the street, given limited money and allocation of time, he can decide how to enforce the law.  Where to set priorities.  It's been done before. 

Romney if elected can repeal that executive order the first day.  Whoops  huh Romney is awful quiet on that subject when asked it that is what he will do?   shocked

If you want to see a professional flip flopper, look at what Romney says on various issues.
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 17, 2012, 09:14:27 PM
George Tenet (Director of the CIA) said he then told Clinton that it was “the wrong thing to do” and that “if Pollard is released, I will no longer be the director of central intelligence in the morning.”

The President's willingness to consider clemency for Pollard so upset the intelligence community that its leaders took an unusual step: they began to go public. In early December, four retired admirals who had served as director of Naval Intelligence circulated an article, eventually published in the Washington Post, in which they argued that Pollard's release would be "irresponsible" and a victory for what they depicted as a "clever public relations campaign."

He is a despicable traitor that was lucky to only get life imprisonment.  Perhaps he should have been sentenced to death like the Rosenbergs were for being traitors.  Further, interestingly enough, much of the information Pollard had ended up in Russian hands; remember this was the Cold War. 

As for the military option never being on the table; well good.  We do NOT need another war in the middle east and war wit Iran would cost us greatly.  And frankly, I don't think
the majority of Americans want war with Iran either.  Or Korea, or....  anyone else for that matter.  The repercussions for America would be devastating. 
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 17, 2012, 08:51:40 PM
C'mon JDN, as already noted in this thread Marco Rubio was at work on this with both sides of the aisle-- which is probably why Baraq decided to blow off his previous concerns that he was not allowed to do what has he done here-- blow off his responsibility to enforce our laws.  Apparently this seems to be of little interest to you.

Perhaps Rubio was working on this; an uphill battle in the Republican party.  Romney sure isn't in favor of anything close to what Obama has done.  Nor is Santorum.

And he didn't blow of his responsibility to enforce our laws; or are you saying that the President should "enforce our laws" and round op 12 million illegal immigrants and deport them all?
That's ridiculous.

Obama gave the best and brightest a possible future here.

Good move by Obama.  Romney seems rather speechless in his response so far.  When asked if he will repeal Obama's order if elected, Romney jumped into the bus with no further questions being allowed.   shocked

213  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DBMA 2012 Summer Camp on: June 16, 2012, 11:16:41 PM
Is there a one or two day price if someone is not interested in all three days?  For example, no offense, I have no interest in day one.

Day two and three sound quite interesting.
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jonathan Pollard on: June 16, 2012, 11:12:34 PM
"The next time an Israeli official petitions the U.S. government to release American traitor Jonathan Pollard from prison, we should tell our friend and longtime ally in an unequivocal tone: He will die in an American prison, so stop asking!"
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 16, 2012, 09:44:03 PM
4) Roughly 100% of the voters are going to see this as a cynical political ploy to win votes though many with a direct family, neighbor or friend stake in it will see that as worth it.  The Hispanic vote was only 9% of the total 2008 vote and Obama won 67% of them.  Hispanics make a crucial difference in certain swing states.  Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona come to mind."

Most Americans support this kind of program.  Hispanics OVERWHELMINGLY support this kind of action. As pointed out by Doug, that's important in "crucial swing states".   What do the Republicans suggest?  Rounding them all up after they finish school and sending them back to Mexico? I think it's a realistic program that most Americans will support and it will win Hispanic votes in key states. Smart move by Obama.

As a side note, although the subject is avoided, it is also a road to citizenship.  Once you have a Green Card, citizenship is not that hard to obtain.  Further, once you are a citizen, you can sponsor other relatives....
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Immigrants as Entrepeneurs in CA on: June 15, 2012, 10:34:20 AM
California leads U.S. in immigrant entrepreneurship, study finds
Immigrants own 33% of California's small businesses, the highest share in the U.S., and make up 27% of the state's population.,0,3694166.story
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Are American Jews waking up? on: June 15, 2012, 10:06:56 AM
Are American Jews Waking Up?
"This week, a Gallup poll showed that President Obama’s support level among American Jews had dropped from 74 percent in 2008 to 64 percent. That drop is twice as large as the drop for any other racial or ethnic group."

Actually the answer is probably "No".  
"WASHINGTON – Jewish support for US President Barack Obama has increased slightly, according to a poll released by Gallup Friday, though both Democrats and Republican seized on findings to bolster their party’s claim on Jewish voters.

Jewish voters back Obama over Romney by a 64-29 margin, up from the 61-28 margin found by an American Jewish Committee survey from March of this year."
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Amnesty on: June 15, 2012, 09:42:59 AM
Obama administration stops deporting young immigrants

The policy change affects certain young illegal immigrants
Only those younger than 30 who came to America before the age of 16 qualify
They must be successful students or have served in the military, with clean records

Washington (CNN) -- The Obama administration said Friday it will stop deporting young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children if they meet certain requirements.

The election-year policy change will cover people younger than 30 who came to the United States before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military, the Department of Homeland Security said.
It also will allow those meeting the requirements to apply for work permits, the statement said.
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: June 14, 2012, 10:19:29 AM
"The recent economic crisis left the average American family in 2010 with no more wealth than in the early 1990s, erasing almost two decades of accumulated prosperity, reducing their net worth by almost 40%."

It's the middle class that seems to be paying the most.  The rich?  

"In the words of Warren Buffett, "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning.",0,1109673.story
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Movies on: June 14, 2012, 12:06:05 AM
I watched an excellent movie, made in 2008,, rather moving, "The boy in the stripped pajamas". It says a lot....
I highly recommend. 
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Not bad for a CA Democrat - Governor on: June 13, 2012, 10:09:50 AM
By Anthony York, Los Angeles Times
June 13, 2012

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown demanded Tuesday that lawmakers cut deeper into state spending, and welfare in particular, before they move a budget to his desk.

As majority Democrats presented their spending plans in both the Assembly and Senate, the governor released a statement declaring, "We're not there yet, " and said the proposal being pushed through the Legislature is fiscally irresponsible.

"The Legislature has agreed to some tough cuts, but the budget before the committees today is not structurally balanced and puts us into a hole in succeeding years," Brown's statement said. "We need additional structural reforms to cut spending on an ongoing basis, including welfare reform that's built on President Clinton's framework and focused on getting people back to work."

Lawmakers have a June 15 constitutional deadline to pass a budget. Under a law approved by voters in 2010, legislators' pay will be docked for every day after that until a budget is passed.

Legislative leaders and the governor are also eager to show voters they can get their work done on time and responsibly in a year when they will be hitting up California voters for billions of dollars in tax increases on the November ballot.

The major difference between the two sides remains Brown's proposal to cut welfare benefits by $880 million. Democrats in the Legislature have balked at the governor's call to reinstitute and tighten work requirements for some welfare recipients with young children, which were suspended two years ago in a cost-saving move.

They also bristle at Brown's call to reduce some monthly welfare checks by as much as 27% for a single parent with two children.

Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) called Brown's focus on welfare "a surprising and odd choice of an issue to stake your ground on," and said the governor's proposed changes would devastate some of the state's neediest.

"Reform that encourages people to go back to work is great," he said. "But reform that hurts middle-class and poor people living on the edge is not what we should be doing."

Republicans, meanwhile, are siding with the governor.

"He's wanting to change the culture from just welfare to more of a culture of work," said Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-Hemet) of Brown. "I just don't understand Democrats for not supporting the governor on this one."

Steinberg reiterated Democratic lawmakers' pledge to pass a budget by week's end, whether or not they reach a deal with Brown. He said the state's books could be balanced without the welfare reductions.

"Over the last few years, cuts have been a necessity," he said. "They are not a virtue."
222  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Crime and Punishment on: June 12, 2012, 10:27:10 PM
Yes, it was "PC's point precisely that there is a correlation..."

However, with all due respect to PC, I was hoping that in his reading he came across supporting documentation.  For example, has crime rate dropped greater in states with "pro self defense laws" as a percentage versus other states?  Is there ANY validation of PC's opinion?  I am not attacking his opinion, frankly, I may subjectively agree, but I don't know if that opinion has any basis.  If yes, then this is powerful.  But if there is no substantiation, then it's all conjecture without basis of fact.  An interesting opinion however....
223  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / I'ld do the same - self defense with good reason on: June 12, 2012, 12:01:58 PM
A Texas father caught a man sexually assaulting his 4-year-old daughter and punched him in the head repeatedly, killing him, authorities said.

The father was casually acquainted with the alleged abuser, said Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon.
The girl was left inside the family's house during the social gathering, while other members of her family were tending to horses, the sheriff said.
The alleged abuser was known for his horse-grooming abilities, Harmon said.
The father returned to the house, caught the man in the act, and stopped him by striking him in the head several times, Harmon said.
The man was pronounced dead on the scene, while the daughter was taken to a local hospital in Victoria, Texas, for examinations before being released.

The incident took place Saturday.
Harmon described the girl as "OK besides the obvious mental trauma."
Asked whether they would press charges against the father, the sheriff responded, "You have a right to defend your daughter. He acted in defense of his third person. Once the investigation is completed we will submit it to the district attorney who then submits it to the grand jury, who will decide if they will indict him."
Harmon described the dad as "very remorseful," adding that he didn't know the man was going to die.
Authorities were withholding the deceased man's name while they notified next of kin. Officials did not know immediately if he has a prior criminal history.
Lavaca County Precinct Judge Alene Lyons, who is coordinating information in the case including autopsy results, said Monday
that a preliminary autopsy report indicated the victim "died from blunt-force head and neck injuries."
"It will take six weeks to get the full report back because they also did a toxicology report," Lyons said.
224  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Crime and Punishment on: June 12, 2012, 11:55:10 AM

Forgive me, but your effort at a point here is tedius.  Does the correlation prove cause and effect?  No, but it sure as heck raises the question, as no doubt the question would have been raised had crime rates risen.

Perhaps I wasn't clear.  I am not disagreeing with the premise.  I am a concealed carry advocate myself.  I was hoping in PC's reading that he might have come across some scholarly articles indicating a direct correlation, or even an indirect correlation.
225  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Crime and Punishment on: June 12, 2012, 08:34:55 AM
 No mention of restoration of gunrights in most States and pro self defense laws being enacted.

Is there any provable correlation? 
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: June 09, 2012, 09:43:31 AM
Money matters; Walker spent almost ten times more.  Other issues matter too...
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: June 07, 2012, 10:20:41 AM
"Something needs to be done besides just raising taxes."
Wow JDN.
You just hit a triple.
If you said something needs to be done instead of raising taxes that would have been a homerun. grin

Well, at least I'm in scoring position.   smiley.

But like baseball, going for the fence is not always the best idea.  Compromise (a dirty word I know most here think) is in order.  I'm glad that term limits were extended, giving CA legislators time to develop relationships and work on solutions, rather than only focusing on partisan politics.  I acknowledge that their is waste.  Further, benefits for all public employees including police and fire need to be reigned in.  I think it's wrong for take away benefits already earned, but for the future.....  I'm old enough to remember when working for IBM or BofA meant you had a job for life.  Well, that's not true anymore.  Times change.  Business have been leaner and more productive.  Government needs to do the same.  Just throwing money at the problem is NOT a solution.  That said, sometimes additional money is necessary.
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: June 07, 2012, 10:02:37 AM
Actually, I always liked him.  In today's political climate, I think he would be a great governor of CA.  He would have some momentum on his side.  Something needs to be done besides just raising taxes.

229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: June 05, 2012, 11:36:42 PM
For all the criticism here, actually, the dollar looks pretty strong lately.  We have our problems, but IMHO they are a lot less than the rest of the world.  Others seem to agree.
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Goldberg: the folly of recalls on: June 05, 2012, 09:19:15 AM
I'm not a big fan of recalls either......


Goldberg: The folly of recall elections

Recalls are a lousy way to punish failure -- or, in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's case, success -- in implementing political agendas.

Jonah Goldberg

June 5, 2012

It should surprise no one that I'm opposed to the recall of Scott Walker, the Wisconsin governor whose fate will be decided Tuesday. But that's only in part because I support what he's been trying to do in the Badger State. I'm also against recalls as a matter of principle.

In 2003, I was one of the few conservatives opposed to the recall of Gray Davis, arguably the worst California governor in modern memory.

Davis didn't deserve to stay in office, but the voters of California deserved to keep him. Democracy depends on accountability, not just for individual politicians but for their parties and programs.

As I noted in 2003, former New York Mayor Ed Koch summed up the principle nicely. During the disastrous tenure of his successor, David Dinkins, Koch was asked whether he would run again. Koch replied: "No! The people threw me out, and now the people must be punished."

That logic applies even more for recalls. If California had had its fiscal reckoning in 2004 or 2005, the state — and the country — would be much better prepared to deal with its economic problems than it is now. The Democratic Party in general, and the public sector unions in particular, would have been held accountable for their manifest failures, and instead of replacing Davis with a nominal Republican, voters would have been given a clearer choice.

This isn't to say that both parties deserve equal shares of blame. Davis' successor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, at least tried to break the union stranglehold on state government with his 2005 referendums. But he failed, thanks in no small part to the determination of government unions doing whatever it took to retain power. The California Teachers Assn., for example, spent $57 million defeating Schwarzenegger's reforms, even mortgaging its headquarters in Sacramento for the effort.

There's constant caterwauling these days about the need for Republicans to become more moderate, more socially liberal, more focused on pragmatic solutions to our country's problems.

That's what California had in Schwarzenegger, a proud Republican of the Nixon-Rockefeller persuasion, married to a Kennedy no less. And California voters chewed him up and spit him out, preferring to stay on the destructive course set by public sector unions and their interest group allies.

Wisconsin's governor is no Schwarzenegger. Walker ran as a full-spectrum conservative promising to take on the political machine. "I was the original'tea party'in Wisconsin," he declared in 2010. The effort to remove Walker from office is not an attempt to hold him accountable for his failures — as it was with Gray Davis — but to punish him for his successes.

Walker has turned a deficit into a projected surplus while cutting property taxes. The state economy seems to have turned a corner, posting modest job gains. His union reforms have proved sufficiently popular that his opponent in the recall, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, isn't even talking about them anymore (perhaps because Barrett used the new laws to save his city millions).

Perhaps most telling, now that government workers aren't forced to pay union dues, membership has dropped precipitously. The ranks of the Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employeeswere cut nearly in half in less than a year, according to the Wall Street Journal. What does it say when rank-and-file members don't even think it's worth paying the dues to belong?

Polls have Walker the narrow favorite Tuesday, but his opponents have made it clear they will do everything they can to win the ground game by getting voters to the polls. I am cautiously optimistic that voters of Wisconsin will see the folly of demanding a do-over at precisely the moment the state needs to stay the course.

I'm much less optimistic about California, whose problems today dwarf those of Wisconsin when Walker took office. Jerry Brown, who signed collective bargaining for government workers into law in 1978, could be the perfect Nixon-to-China politician to fix the state's problems. But he's proving unable or unwilling to rise to the challenge.

Still, if he fails, he shouldn't be recalled. The people of California should be punished for their mistake. Perhaps they'll learn from it and find their own Scott Walker the next time around.
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: June 04, 2012, 02:07:27 PM
 smiley Agreed, "far more effective might be to kill off the mother before it happens again."

Other than the above, the article does raise some good points/questions as science moves ahead. 
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Next Roe v. Wade: Jennie McCormack on: June 04, 2012, 10:40:45 AM
It's only going to get even more complicated.
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The Single Mom Catastrophe on: June 02, 2012, 02:21:12 PM
The single-mom catastrophe

The demise of two-parent families in the U.S. has been an economic catastrophe for society.

By Kay S. Hymowitz

June 3, 2012

The single-mother revolution shouldn't need much introduction. It started in the 1960s when the nation began to sever the historical connection between marriage and childbearing and to turn single motherhood and the fatherless family into a viable, even welcome, arrangement for children and for society. The reasons for the shift were many, including the sexual revolution, a powerful strain of anti-marriage feminism and a "super bug" of American individualism that hit the country in the 1960s and '70s.

In its broad outlines, the story is familiar by now. In 1965, 93% of all American births were to women with marriage licenses. Over the next few decades, the percentage of babies with no father around rose steadily. As of 1970, 11% of births were to unmarried mothers; by 1990, that number had risen to 28%. Today, 41% of all births are to unmarried women. And for mothers under 30, the rate is 53%.

Though other Western countries also concluded that it was OK for the unmarried to have kids, what they had in mind as the substitute for marriage was something similar to it: a stable arrangement in which two partners, cohabiting over the long term, would raise their children together. The embrace of "lone motherhood" — women bringing up kids with no dad around — has been an American specialty.

"By age 30, one-third of American women had spent time as lone mothers," observed family scholar Andrew Cherlin in his 2009 book, "The Marriage-Go-Round." "In European countries such as France, Sweden and the western part of Germany, the comparable percentages were half as large or even less."

The single-mother revolution has been an economic catastrophe for women. Poverty remains relatively rare among married couples with children; the U.S. census puts only 8.8% of them in that category, up from 6.7% since the start of the Great Recession. But more than 40% of single-mother families are poor, up from 37% before the downturn. In the bottom quintile of earnings, most households are single people, many of them elderly. But of the two-fifths of bottom-quintile households that are families, 83% are headed by single mothers. The Brookings Institution's Isabel Sawhill calculates that virtually all the increase in child poverty in the United States since the 1970s would vanish if parents still married at 1970 rates.

Well, comes the response, maybe single mothers are hard up not because they lack husbands but because unskilled, low-earning women are likelier to become single mothers in the first place. The Urban Institute's Robert Lerman tried to address that objection by studying low-income women who had entered "shotgun" unions — that is, getting married after getting pregnant — on the theory that they represented a population roughly similar to those who got pregnant but didn't marry. The married women, he found, had a significantly higher standard of living than the unmarried ones. "Even among the mothers with the least qualifications and highest risks of poverty," Lerman concluded, "marriage effects are consistently large and statistically significant."

Women and their children weren't the only ones to suffer the economic consequences of the single-mother revolution; low-earning men have lost ground too. Knowing that women are now expected to be able to raise children on their own, unskilled men lose much of the incentive to work, especially at the sometimes disagreeable jobs that tend to be the ones they can get. Scholars consistently find that unmarried men work fewer hours, make less money and get fewer promotions than do married men.

Experts have come to believe that these are not just selection effects — that is, they don't just reflect the fact that productive men are likelier to marry. Marriage itself, it seems, encourages male productivity. One study by Donna Ginther and Madeline Zavodny examined men who'd had shotgun marriages and thus probably hadn't been planning to tie the knot. The shotgun husbands nevertheless earned more than their single peers did.

It's true that some opportunities — particularly well-paying manufacturing jobs — have declined for men. But a father's contribution to the family income, even if it's just $15,000, can dramatically improve the mother's lot, not to mention that of her — or rather, their — children. And it's still possible for families to move up to the middle class, despite the factory closings of the last few decades. Ron Haskins of the Pew Center on the States' Economic Mobility Project puts it this way: "If young people do three things — graduate from high school, get a job and get married and wait until they're 21 before having a baby — they have an almost 75% chance of making it into the middle class." Those are pretty impressive odds.

On the other hand, those who opt for single motherhood are hurting not just themselves but their offspring. The children of single mothers are twice as likely as children growing up with both parents to drop out of high school. Those who do graduate are less likely to go to college, even if you control for household income and the mother's education. Decades of research show that kids growing up with single mothers (again, even after you allow for the obvious variables) have lower scholastic achievement from kindergarten through high school, as well as higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse, depression, behavior problems and teen pregnancy. All these factors are likely to reduce their eventual incomes at a time when what children need is more education, more training and more planning. The rise in single motherhood was ill-adapted for the economic shifts of the late 20th century.

Kay S. Hymowitz, the author of "Marriage and Caste in America," is a contributing editor at City Journal and a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. This piece is adapted from the spring issue of City Journal.

Los Angeles Times
234  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Condtioning for the stick on: June 02, 2012, 02:15:10 PM
PTP?  Sorry I don't know that acronym.
235  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Condtioning for the stick on: June 02, 2012, 02:04:44 PM

Some things to consider:

In my experience, which may or may not apply to you, many people tend to have their shoulders somewhat internally rotated.  If when you stand without thinking your thumbs point inward instead of forward (i.e. parallel to each other) then to some degree probably there is internal rotation of the shoulder joint.  This then means that the joint tends to become annoyed by use.  Rest will allow the inflammation to settle down, but if the alignment issue has not been dealt with, then returning to working out will tend to annoy it all over again.

Why does the shoulder joint get internally rotated?

Typically because the hips are tilted forwards.

Why do the hips tilt forwards?

Typically because the hip flexors are tight and the muscles complementary to them (glute and one of the heads of the hamstring) have lost the ability to execute peak contraction movements well.

There is more to this analytical framework, but perhaps those thoughts may serve to help you find the cause and solution of your particular issues.

That makes excellent sense.  If I recollect, you mentioned that you focused a lot on alignment.  Do you have any particular exercises or books on the subject that you

236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: June 01, 2012, 11:31:01 AM
I only use Apple products; what a marvelous company.  Excellent quality, design, and superb customer service.  Isn't that what it's all about?  We need more companies like Apple. 

I don't like/read ebooks, but it's my understanding that Apple actually opened up competition.  Before, Amazon had a monopoly. 

I hope they don't change.  Government interference with Microsoft was what killed them. 
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: May 31, 2012, 11:55:39 PM
While reading an article on a different subject (see below) I came across this number; amazing or at least I was amazed.....  It's a huge number.

"With roughly 11% of the state’s budget dedicated to incarceration, Maharaj said it made sense to commit more resources to the beat.",0,4607187.story

238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty/International Law on: May 31, 2012, 04:04:11 PM
Pretty impressive bipartisan (Republican) list of supporters.

The Law of the Sea Treaty
The U.S. has more to gain by participating in convention deliberations than by staying out.
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: May 31, 2012, 02:09:04 PM
I changed it for you...

The person paying on a 20 year old value is still probably paying in more than his cost for government services, just not his share of total costs.

240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: May 31, 2012, 12:09:17 PM
I understand that different states have different ways and different mixes of taxes.  What I object to is calling operating with the concept of book value a "subsidy".  It is a "subsidy" if someone holds a stock which has appreciated a lot without taxing them on the appreciation?

It IS a subsidy.  You get the same public benefits/services as someone who buys their house this year, yet because you bought you home years ago, you pay much much less.   Worse, IMHO this applies to businesses as well.  It has nothing to do with "book value".  Everywhere else in America, it's an annual percentage tax on current value to pay for public benefits like roads, schools, police, fire, etc. Each entity pays their proportional share based on current values; that's why we have assessors.  This holds true in every state except CA.

However, your analogy of a stock is different; if you want to talk capital gain tax,  the same applies to your house; or it should.  When you decide to sell it, you should pay a capital gains tax, yet in most instances (under $500,000 gain) it's tax free.  That too is another albeit different "subsidy".
241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: May 31, 2012, 11:08:37 AM

The State was happy to reap the unearned revenues of the property bubble, not giving a flying fcuk about all the people being driven from their homes-- until we the people passed Prop 13-- which limits increases to 2% a year.  

Oh the horror!  The outrage!  The indignity! The disrespect to the all-powerful, all knowing State of having to live with 2% revenue increases a year!  

The fg problem is that spending in CA increases far, far, far faster than population plus inflation. The solution is not the profound arrogance of driving people from their homes.  The solution is living within one's means.  

I think we agree to disagree, but I can't help think your attitude might be different if you weren't directly and substantially benefiting from Prop 13.  It has nothing to do with depreciation.  It's a simple tax to support the city and state in which you live.  Nearly every other state in America taxes residential and commercial property equally regardless of time of ownership.  If you want to live in a million dollar plus home neighborhood, great, but one should pay their fair share; don't ask the new neighbors to subsidize you and expect them to pay a lot more property taxes on exactly the same home you have just because they moved in after you.  If you can't afford to live there, don't. 

Texans on average pay more than double CA's property tax rate.  A lot of states pay double our tax rate.

Worse, people who have lived in their home AND businesses who have owned their building for a long time (or transferred it using a trust) don't even pay the average amount.   I bet if we raised our property taxes to the nations average, more important taxed every building the same percentage, we could lower our state income tax rate quite a bit.  Following the logic of some here, that might even generate new taxes....

I agree, if a person is old and poor, offer an exemption or discount.  But I know people who are quite wealthy, but since they have lived in their homes for a long time,
they pay far far less than their new neighbor.  It's often a subsidy for people who often don't need it.  Somehow, you think that's fair?

242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: May 31, 2012, 10:20:35 AM
Doug, I understand and agree with you comments about CA's problems.  Some are on the table, but they seem to be swept away as if they don't exist.  In reality, they do; a day or reckoning will come.  In the interim, to defend Brown, or whomever is Governor, they have one hand tied behind their back trying to fix the problem.  But something does need to be done and it's not to raise taxes (although I am in favor of the 2% on the rich, it's a bandaid on a serious wound, that will not make much of a splash nor does it address the true issues as you pointed out).

On your education post (last paragraph) I'm undecided.  Like your daughter, I too went to a public high school in the suburbs here in LA.  It is rated in the top 3 public high schools in CA and is among the best in the country.  100% go on to college.  People beg, use their uncle's address, they do anything to send their kids to this school district.  Yes, the children benefit, and indirectly since the school district gets money from the state, it benefits too from increased enrollment. 

But what about the schools in the inner city.  The poorer areas?  Who wants to go to those schools?  Who wants to work at those schools?  And if you take the cream, what's left?  Sure it costs double; I would want double to teach there.  I have friends who teach in my old area; the students are bright, polite and attentive.  It's an "easy" job.  In the inner city, I also have friends who teach, God bless them.  Rapes on campus happen, one friend was physically threatened if she didn't give a better grade, etc.....

But public policy has to take care of the good AND the bad.  The suburbs and the inner city.  I don't know the solution, LA Unified School District is trying under a new Superintendent, but it's not easy.
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: May 30, 2012, 10:54:12 PM
"I can't imagine moving to Iowa from CA"

The post was empirical, not imaginary.  It didn't say you would move; it said others already have.  A serious rebuttal would be to quote a study to the contrary or point out what is wrong with their methodology.  Nothing but silence on those scores.

JDN's reaction to be called out on condescension for the heartland is to pile on more of it.  What a shame.  Iowa jokes are big here.  Keyword is joke, not just snobbery - like you and the bitter clingers guy.  What part of half the unemployment rate and friendlier to business (and cleaner air, cleaner water, better education and lower crime rate) don't you get? That only applies to people out of work?  Okay, but by that definition it still applies to millions of people.  Of course they are too poor or too stupid to matter?  What wealth do unemployed people have is just more snobbery.  One thing each unemployed, willing-to-work person has is perhaps 1-5 million dollars or more of future earnings.

It is no joke here in the Twin Cities that the income tax rate across the border in South Dakota is zero.  Look at what they don't have culturally that we do... still jobs leave.  Not all jobs leave but some do.  3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing) fought for years with the state government over taxes, then expanded in a lower tax state:

Doug, you started this conversation with the lead line, "In order to truly raise taxes on the rich, you must first bar the exits."  That's a silly joke; or as you like to say, a "straw" something or another, and I pointed that out.  That is the sentence with which I disagreed.  The rich, the successful aren't leaving California.  High Tech brilliant people are moving into CA.  And many are getting rich.  Few if any are leaving.  CA is a fabulous place to live if you are smart and successful.

Yes, those unemployed represent "future earnings" but for now, they represent a negative drain. And the fact that they are unemployed, many for a long time says obviously they are not the cream.  So.....

Nothing wrong with Iowa I guess; I grew up in Wisconsin.  But better I think than Iowa.   smiley

And if I lived in the Twin Cities (lovely area/state - best of both; nature and culture) I can't imagine moving to Iowa or South Dakota unless they doubled or tripled my salary if even then.  But maybe that's it.  When you are unemployed, no one wants you, doubling or tripling is easy to do.

That said, I'm not looking for a fight (discussion).  smiley CA has it problems.  I have pointed out public employees need to be reigned in.  I agree regulations and wastage need to be addressed.  I have pointed out taxes need to be changed, not just for the rich, but for everyone, i.e. Prop 13.  You can't afford a house because the property taxes are too high; well that is because you are subsidizing the people who have lived here for a long time.  Ridiculous.  MN's property taxes are complicated, I'm sure you know far far more than me, but in summary it looks like over 1.5%.  It doesn't sound like much, but an additional .5% or more of total property value is a lot; especially when it's applied to every building, it's definitely a lot more than CA at 1.00% and worse, an even much much lower percentage for people who have lived in their home for a while.  Is that fair?  No wonder new housing is hurting in middle and lower class neighborhoods; they are subsidizing the long term residents. We could have lower income state taxes if long term homeowners and business, in comparison to new homeowners and new business, paid their fair share. 

244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the Republicans on: May 30, 2012, 02:07:05 PM

Actually that was my point; gaffes do happen.  Laugh or joke, even lightly criticize, but then oh well, let's move on. 

But give Obama the same break....
245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: May 30, 2012, 02:02:50 PM
Actually, I can't imagine moving to Iowa from CA and I don't live at the beach.

As for those striving for future wealth, just look at Apple, Oracle, Google, Facebook, and the thousands of successful high tech start ups.  I'll compare CA to Iowa any day if you trying to identify "those striving for future wealth." 

The ones that can't cut it are leaving.  The brilliant ones are doubling down.  And for sure, they aren't going to Iowa.   shocked
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the Republicans on: May 30, 2012, 01:44:20 PM
Speaking of gaffes  shocked
"But the Web was taking no shortage of presidential potshots Wednesday over Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s new mobile app, which embarrassingly misspelled “America.”
Yes, Internet. Welcome to AMERCIA."
247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: May 30, 2012, 01:38:29 PM
In order to truly raise taxes on the rich, you must first bar the exits.

Actually, the rich aren't leaving CA.  They have the money they want and they love CA.  Do you really think the rich are going to migrate to Iowa, the state the article uses
as an example?  shocked   And for 2.00% more in State taxes, they still won't leave CA. 
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: POTH: Shots heard, pinpointed, and located on: May 29, 2012, 11:01:17 AM
"Sam Sutter, the district attorney in Bristol County, Mass., called ShotSpotter “an extremely valuable tool” that had helped his office bring charges in four nonfatal shootings.  In my view legally,” he said, “what is said and picked up by the ShotSpotter recording does not have the expectation of privacy because it’s said out in public, and so I think that will turn out to be admissible evidence.”

What is being asserted here it that the government can film and record us any and everywhere.

Anyone here comfortable with that?

While I am not necessarily "comfortable with that" since I do a lot of photography, I know that if I am in a public place I'm free to shoot away regardless of the subjects objections.  I think "in a public place" the basic rule is no expectation or right to privacy.  Numerous court cases have supported this position. 

That said, I am not real excited about cameras, satellites, etc. recording my every move in public.  Others, like my friend argue, "Well, if I do nothing wrong, and it helps prevent crime, why not?  It won't affect me."
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Why monogamous? on: May 29, 2012, 10:45:14 AM
By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
May 28, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
The roots of the modern family — monogamous coupling — lie somewhere in our distant evolutionary past, but scientists disagree on how it first evolved.

A new study says we should thank two key players: weak males with inferior fighting chops and the females who opted to be faithful to them.

These mating strategies may "have triggered a key step in the very long process of the evolution of the family," said study author Sergey Gavrilets, a biomathematician at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. "Without it, we wouldn't have the modern family."

The mating structure of humans is strikingly different than that of sexually promiscuous chimps, in which a few alpha males dominate other males in the group and, by dint of their superior fighting prowess, freely mate with the females. Lower-status males are largely shut out from mating opportunities.

In addition, male chimps don't contribute to rearing their young — that is left to the female.

Some scientists believe that ancestors of humans had chimp-like patterns of mating and child-rearing. The transition to pair-bonding was a key step for our big-brained species, because our children take years and much energy to raise to independence. It's hard for a mother to go it alone.

How did the transition take place? It's not a simple question, Gavrilets said.

Dominant, promiscuous males have it good — they don't have to invest in their young because they'll have plenty of offspring regardless, Gavrilets said.

Males that help feed and protect a smaller number of offspring can also be very successful, reproductively speaking — but only if they can be sure who their children really are or if they provide for all the young in a group. Otherwise, the "providers" will be wasting their resources on offspring that are not their own, and there is ample opportunity for some males to cheat and not do their part.

Gavrilets wanted to see how we might have gotten from A to B. In his work published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he used mathematical models to test factors that scientists believe may have driven the transition to pair-bonding. These include mate-guarding (males hang around the females they've mated with so others cannot mate with them too) and provisioning (males offer food or other resources to a female in return for sexual favors).

His number-crunching found that these factors alone were not enough to move a species away from promiscuity. The models did work, though, with a few adjustments.

First, he stopped assuming that all males would act the same. Instead, he tested what would happen if only the low-ranking males in the group offered food to females in return for mating opportunities. These weaker males had less to lose by switching strategies because they wouldn't get very far through fighting anyway.

The other key change was realizing that these low-ranking males would select faithful females.

"When I factored those things in, then things start to happen with the formation of pair bonds," Gavrilets said. Pair-bonding ultimately swept through almost the entire group.

For all the talk of the free-love 1960s, he added, "people don't realize that the most important sexual revolution for our species happened much, much earlier — probably several million years earlier."

Owen Lovejoy, a biological anthropologist at Kent State University in Ohio, said the paper fits with his own thoughts on the evolution of monogamy.

Lovejoy, who edited Gavrilets' paper, said he had theorized for decades that monogamy could be traced to males providing food to females. In a 2009 research paper, he proposed that monogamy was already in place in a 4.4-million-year-old member of the human family, Ardipithecus ramidus, based on such features as a lack of large, slicing canine teeth that would signify a lot of male competition as well as an upright skeleton that would leave arms free to carry food.

But David Buss, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin and author of "The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating," said that although the paper offered a "plausible" explanation for what may have jump-started monogamy, it hugely simplified human sexual behavior.

Human mating behaviors, for men and women, are quite varied, he said — including not just committed, long-term pairing but a smorgasbord of other strategies such as casual sex, serial monogamy, having a long-term mate with sexual partners on the side, and combinations thereof.

The study also fails to address the possibility that males didn't move straight from promiscuity to monogamy but instead to an intermediate pattern of polygyny — guarding a number of females on a long-term basis, said primatologist Bernard Chapais of the University of Montreal.

Once polygyny was in place, it would have been much easier to move to monogamy without Gavrilets' assumptions about providing food and care, Chapais said.
250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Koch Bros $ at play? on: May 28, 2012, 09:32:30 AM
Compared to the Koch brothers money and influence, Soros is just a "poor" boy trying to do good.,0,3399955.story

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