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 on: July 31, 2014, 10:54:31 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
Why would anybody trust the US again?  We abandoned Iraqis who helped us just like we abandoned the Kurds and just like we abandoned S. Vietnamese who helped us.
Shimon Peres on CNN saying he trusts Obama and Kerry?  Oh common!   Give me a break. 

Add to that Polish Foreign Minister saying alliance with US is worse than no alliance because of any false sense of security [that comes from our leader's lips moving].

The answer: Make promises carefully and keep them.  Then repeat for a half century or so until people begin to believe us.  Same goes for enforcing our borders, embracing free trade and free markets, backing up the dollar, etc.

 on: July 31, 2014, 10:38:18 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Winds of War, Again
One wishes Barack Obama and John Kerry more luck in Ukraine and the Middle East than Neville Chamberlain had in Munich.
By Daniel Henninger

July 30, 2014 6:56 p.m. ET

If it's true that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, then maybe we're in luck. Many people in this unhappy year are reading histories of World War I, such as Margaret MacMillan's "The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914." That long-ago catastrophe began 100 years ago this week. The revisiting of this dark history may be why so many people today are asking if our own world—tense or aflame in so many places—resembles 1914, or 1938.

Whatever the answer, it is the remembering of past mistakes that matters, if the point is to avoid the high price of re-making those mistakes. A less hopeful view, in an era whose history comes and goes like pixels, would be that Santayana understated the problem. Even remembering the past may not be enough to protect a world poorly led. To understate: Leading from behind has never ended well.

In a recent essay for the Journal, Margaret MacMillan summarized the after-effects of World War I. Two resonate now. Political extremism gained traction, because so many people lost confidence in the existing political order or in the abilities of its leadership. That bred the isolationism of the 1920s and '30s. Isolationism was a refusal to see the whole world clearly. Self-interest, then and now, has its limits.

Which brings our new readings into the learning curves of history up to 1938. But not quite. First a revealing stop in the years just before Munich, when in 1935 Benito Mussolini's Italy invaded Ethiopia.

A woman in the Sudetenland, as Germany's troops arrive, 1939. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Before the invasion, Ethiopia's emperor, Haile Selassie, did what the civilized world expected one to do in the post-World War I world: He appealed for help to the League of Nations. The League imposed on Italy limited sanctions, which were ineffectual.

One might say this was one of history's earlier "red lines." Mussolini blew by it, invading Ethiopia and using mustard gas on its army, as Bashar Assad has done to Syria's rebel population. Mussolini merged Ethiopia with Italy's colonies in east Africa. The League condemned Italy—and dropped its sanctions.

In defeat, Haile Selassie delivered a famous speech to the League in Geneva. He knew they wouldn't help. As he stepped from the podium, he remarked: "It is us today. Tomorrow it will be you."

In 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, not unlike John Kerry today, shuttled tirelessly between London and wherever Adolf Hitler consented to meet him to discuss a nonviolent solution to Hitler's intention to annex the Sudetenland, the part of Czechoslovakia inhabited by ethnic Germans. Hitler earlier in the year had annexed Austria, with nary a peep from the world "community." Many said the forced absorption of Austria was perfectly understandable.

One may hope Mr. Kerry and President Obama have more success with their stop-the-violence missions to Vladimir Putin, Kiev, Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Tehran, Afghanistan and the South China Sea than Neville Chamberlain had with Hitler, who pocketed eastern Ukraine—excuse me, the Sudetenland—and then swallowed the rest of Czechoslovakia, which ceased to exist.

But here's the forgotten part. After signing the Munich Agreement on Sept. 29, 1938—an event now reduced to one vile word, appeasement—Chamberlain returned to England in triumph. Many, recalling 1914-18, feared war. Londoners lined the streets to cheer Chamberlain's deal with Hitler. He was feted by King George VI. At 10 Downing Street, Chamberlain said the words for which history remembers him: "I believe it is peace for our time."

Winston Churchill, in a speech to the House of Commons, dissented: "This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup." Hitler, as sometimes happens in history, had negotiated in total bad faith, with no interest in anyone's desire for peace. When World War II ended in 1945, it had consumed more than 50 million people.

The U.S.'s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, though fought by a dedicated professional military, are said to have turned America in on itself, as two big wars did to Europe. The idea is that Americans are tired of their world role now. But tireless men like Hitler always finds advantage in other nations' fatigue.

Some note the current paradox of the public's low approval for Mr. Obama's handling of everything from Iraq to Ukraine to Gaza, while the same polls show a reluctance to involve the country in those problems.

But there is no contradiction. The U.S. public's resistance reflects coldblooded logic: Why get involved if the available evidence makes clear that America's president won't stay the course, no matter how worthy the cause?

After returning from Munich, Neville Chamberlain told the British to "go home, and sleep quietly in your beds." After 1914 and 1938, one wishes it could be so now. Wars, in their causes and timing, are unpredictable. What is not impossible is recognizing the winds of war. Doing less than enough, we should have learned, allows these destructive winds to gain strength.

Write to

 on: July 31, 2014, 10:11:39 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ppulatie

To go with your Collections post about the 35%, here is some more numbers to put things into a better perspective. Per the Fed

33% of all people have no revolving debt.
33% of the people have less than $1000 in revolving debt.
The remaining group has all the rest of the revolving debt.

Dependent upon the source, the "average" revolving debt in the country is from $8k to $15k.  (The differences are based upon what is considered revolving debt.)  So if 66% of all people have $1000 or less in revolving debt, imagine what the real numbers are for those who hold all the debt.


 on: July 31, 2014, 09:53:55 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
It's right here.  Palestinians having babies up there with the highest rates in the world.   Many even point out it is to sacrifice them against Israel.   Where is the world condemnation of this?:

Palastinina birth rate explodes

April 21, 2002|By Tom Hundley Foreign Correspondent

SHUFAT REFUGEE CAMP, Israel — Married at 15, she gave birth to her first child less than a year later. Six months ago, she gave birth to her eighth. Fatima Shaher, 31, a Palestinian woman with dark eyes and an easy smile, loves children. She said she expects to have more.

In recent weeks, Israel has been unnerved by a ferocious wave of suicide bombs that has turned the simple act of boarding a city bus or eating in a crowded restaurant into an existential calculation. But some Israelis say that ticking beneath the surface of the violent confrontation between Arab and Jew, is a silent bomb, a demographic bomb.

Shaher and other Palestinian women are producing babies at one of the highest rates in the world. While Israelis are alarmed by the trend, Palestinians have mixed views. Some see it as their ultimate weapon; Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat once referred to Palestinian mothers as his "biological bomb." Others see the explosive birth rate as a catastrophe that will keep the Palestinians mired in poverty and despair.

Among Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the annual birth rate is 40 for every 1,000 of population; among Palestinians living in Israel, it drops slightly to 36 per 1,000. The birth rate among Jews across the region is 18.3 per thousand -- high by European standards but less than half that of the Palestinians.

At the moment, the population is evenly balanced between Arabs and Jews. But as the competition heats up for scarce living space and water resources, the Palestinians are on the brink of a population explosion that will swamp the Jewish populace in less than a generation.

The dry, narrow strip of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is already crowded with 9.7 million people. Arnon Sofer, a demographer at Israel's Haifa University, predicted last year that by 2020 the number of people living on the land will swell to 15.2 million, 58 percent of them non-Jews.

Similarly, a U.N. study predicts that by 2050 the population in the West Bank and Gaza will almost quadruple to almost 12 million.

Pointing to these numbers, Israeli leftists argue that the creation of a separate Palestinian state is the only way to guarantee the "Jewishness" of the Jewish state. On the Israeli right, the numbers have generated discussion of cruder measures. Among them, large transfers of Palestinians to neighboring Arab states, sufficiently crippling the instruments of Palestinian self-rule so that it poses no threat to Jewish domination, or imposing a "Chinese rule" that strictly limits the number of children Palestinian couples may have.

Many Palestinian politicians, on the other hand, are heartened by the statistics, thinking that if they just hang tough, time is on their side. As the present crisis worsens in the occupied territories, the Palestinian population, especially its men, cling to this straw.

"When we used to have land, we had many children to help with the work. Now we are having many children to help us recover our land," said Muhammad Nofal, 45, an unemployed driver who has seven children. He and his family live in the Shufat refugee camp, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

"I have six sons, three for the struggle and three for me," he said, echoing the words of Arafat, who famously

 on: July 31, 2014, 09:43:57 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
Incompetence and anti-Semitism.  And...

Of course.  A rapid defense on Huffington Post.  Could anyone imagine the outcry if a Conservative slipped and said what was on her mind about a guest.   Taking this into context one must remember that her father is a definite Jew hater from the Carter years.  Perhaps she will apologize and of course bygones will be bygones.  As long as she is a liberal we know her heart is in the right place  wink:

 on: July 31, 2014, 09:08:31 AM 
Started by captainccs - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Fighting between Islamic State forces and Syrian Kurds in the northern Aleppo province has killed at least 49 people. Fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) reportedly seized several Islamic State positions in Ain al-Arab, near the border with Turkey. Meanwhile, Moner Mohammad Abusalha, a U.S. citizen who carried out a suicide truck bombing at a restaurant in northern Syria in May, returned to the United States for several months before the attack.

•   Hezbollah commander Ibrahim al-Haq has been killed during a mission in Iraq, suggesting the group, which is involved in fighting in Syria, is also participating in Iraq's conflict.

 on: July 31, 2014, 08:49:33 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by G M
Where is the hand wringing over muslims killed by others than Israelis?

 on: July 31, 2014, 08:40:58 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Palestine Makes You Dumb
To argue the Palestinian side, in the Gaza war, is to make the case for barbarism.
By Bret Stephens

July 28, 2014 7:29 p.m. ET

Of all the inane things that have been said about the war between Israel and Hamas, surely one dishonorable mention belongs to comments made over the weekend by Benjamin J. Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

Interviewed by CNN's Candy Crowley, Mr. Rhodes offered the now-standard administration line that Israel has a right to defend itself but needs to do more to avoid civilian casualties. Ms. Crowley interjected that, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Jewish state was already doing everything it could to avoid such casualties.

"I think you can always do more," Mr. Rhodes replied. "The U.S. military does that in Afghanistan."

How inapt is this comparison? The list of Afghan civilians accidentally killed by U.S. or NATO strikes is not short. Little of the fighting in Afghanistan took place in the dense urban environments that make the current warfare in Gaza so difficult. The last time the U.S. fought a Gaza-style battle—in Fallujah in 2004—some 800 civilians perished and at least 9,000 homes were destroyed. This is not an indictment of U.S. conduct in Fallujah but an acknowledgment of the grim reality of city combat.

Oh, and by the way, American towns and cities were not being rocketed from above or tunneled under from below as the Fallujah campaign was under way.
Enlarge Image

Ben Rhodes, a White House victim of the Palestine Effect. mandel ngan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Maybe Mr. Rhodes knows all this and was merely caught out mouthing the sorts of platitudes that are considered diplomatically de rigueur when it comes to the Palestinians. Or maybe he was just another victim of what I call the Palestine Effect: The abrupt and often total collapse of logical reasoning, skeptical intelligence and ordinary moral judgment whenever the subject of Palestinian suffering arises.

Consider the media obsession with the body count. According to a daily tally in the New York Times, NYT +0.63% as of July 27 the war in Gaza had claimed 1,023 Palestinian lives as against 46 Israelis. How does the Times keep such an accurate count of Palestinian deaths? A footnote discloses "Palestinian death tallies are provided by the Palestinian Health Ministry and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs."

OK. So who runs the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza? Hamas does. As for the U.N., it gets its data mainly from two Palestinian agitprop NGOs, one of which, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, offers the remarkably precise statistic that, as of July 27, exactly 82% of deaths in Gaza have been civilians. Curiously, during the 2008-09 Gaza war, the center also reported an 82% civilian casualty rate.

When minutely exact statistics are provided in chaotic circumstances, it suggests the statistics are garbage. When a news organization relies—without clarification—on data provided by a bureaucratic organ of a terrorist organization, there's something wrong there, too.

But let's assume for argument's sake that the numbers are accurate. Does this mean the Palestinians are the chief victims, and Israelis the main victimizers, in the conflict? By this dull logic we might want to rethink the moral equities of World War II, in which over one million German civilians perished at Allied hands compared with just 67,000 British and 12,000 American civilians.

The real utility of the body count is that it offers reporters and commentators who cite it the chance to ascribe implicit blame to Israel while evading questions about ultimate responsibility for the killing. Questions such as: Why is Hamas hiding rockets in U.N.-run schools, as acknowledged by the U.N. itself? What does it mean that Hamas has turned Gaza's central hospital into "a de facto headquarters," as reported by the Washington Post? And why does Hamas keep rejecting, or violating, cease-fires agreed to by Israel?

A reasonable person might conclude from this that Hamas, which started the war, wants it to continue, and that it relies on Israel's moral scruples not to destroy civilian sites that it cynically uses for military purposes. But then there is the Palestine Effect. By this reasoning, Hamas only initiated the fighting because Israel refused to countenance the creation of a Palestinian coalition that included Hamas, and because Israel further objected to helping pay the salaries of Hamas's civil servants in Gaza.

Let's get this one straight. Israel is culpable because (a) it won't accept a Palestinian government that includes a terrorist organization sworn to the Jewish state's destruction; (b) it won't help that organization out of its financial jam; and (c) it won't ease a quasi-blockade—jointly imposed with Egypt—on a territory whose central economic activity appears to be building rocket factories and pouring imported concrete into terrorist tunnels.

This is either bald moral idiocy or thinly veiled bigotry. It mistakes effect for cause, treats self-respect as arrogance and self-defense as aggression, and makes demands of the Jewish state that would be dismissed out of hand anywhere else. To argue the Palestinian side, in this war, is to make the case for barbarism. It is to erase, in the name of humanitarianism, the moral distinctions from which the concept of humanity arises.

Typically, the Obama administration is hedging its bets. The Palestine Effect claims another victim


The Israeli military announced it has called up 16,000 reservists and Prime Minister Netanyahu vowed to complete the destruction of Hamas's tunnel network in Gaza. Netanyahu said, "We are determined to continue to complete this mission with or without a cease-fire." The military reported it has uncovered 32 tunnels, and that it would take "a few more days" to destroy that tunnels it has located. Additionally, a U.S. defense official said the United States has allowed Israel access to a weapons stockpile for a resupply of grenades and mortar rounds. In 24-days of fighting, an estimated 1,372 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, as well as 56 Israeli soldiers and three civilians. An Israeli strike on a busy market near Gaza City killed an estimated 17 people on Wednesday. Palestinians believed there was a temporary cease-fire in place, however Israel said that the area was a combat zone. The United Nations has accused Israel of violating international law for shelling a U.N. school on Wednesday that was being used to shelter refugees. U.N. officials said 20 people were killed and dozens were wounded in the attack. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has also accused Hamas militants of committing war crimes.

 on: July 31, 2014, 08:35:37 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
Why would anybody trust the US again?  We abandoned Iraqis who helped us just like we abandoned the Kurds and just like we abandoned S. Vietnamese who helped us.

Shimon Peres on CNN saying he trusts Obama and Kerry?  Oh common!   Give me a break. 

 on: July 31, 2014, 08:32:25 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
I agree this is outrageous that this guy uses pictures of a patient to promote himself.  How dare him!
That said who the heck would have had any clue who this woman was?  Now we all know who she is.

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