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These are answers that kindj has provided in Politics

Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 06/04/07 - Peshmerga babes on patrol

Check out this recent posting by Gateway Pundit


Female pershmerga, the Kurdish security force, show off some moves during a hand-over ceremony from US forces to the Kurdish regional government in the northern city of Arbil. Reponsibility for security in Iraq's three northern provinces -- Sulaimaniyah, Arbil and Dohuk -- was given to the Kurdish regional government today.(AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye)

kindj answered on 06/04/07:

Oh, yeah!

I might change my position of females in combat roles if more of ours looked like theirs or the Israelis.

But alas, it is not to be.....

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 05/25/07 - Bush Hails Carter as Best Former President

by Scott Ott

(2007-05-20) — Just a day after former President Jimmy Carter told reporters that the Bush administration is “the worst in history” the current White House resident called Mr. Carter “the best former president ever.”

“I know that President Carter and I have had our differences,” said Mr. Bush, “But I think most Americans will agree with me that he’s a terrific ex-president. Things have never been better since Jimmy Carter left office.”

Mr. Bush pointed to an array of improvements, including a stable growing economy, lower taxes, reduced inflation and unemployment and increased American strength and preparedness — all of which he associated with Mr. Carter’s years as a former president.

“I think history will judge President Carter’s post-White House tenure favorably,” said Mr. Bush, “As a former president, Mr. Carter has overseen the nation’s longest period of expansion and growth in opportunity.”

kindj answered on 05/25/07:

>>Things have never been better since Jimmy Carter left office.”<<

Wonder if anyone in the MSM caught that subtle little slam.

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 05/23/07 - So there is no war on terror?

John Edwards is sure to get a boost from the moonbattery after giving his speech to the Council on Foreign Relations today.

"We need a post-Bush, post-9/11, post-Iraq military that is mission focused on protecting Americans from 21st century threats, not misused for discredited ideological purposes...by framing this as a war, we have walked right into the trap the terrorists have set—that we are engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations and a war on Islam."

I'm certain he must have just missed something here.

kindj answered on 05/23/07:

Edwards may not believe himself to be at war with the terrorists, but it sure looks like the terrorists are at war with us.

Either Edwards or the terrorists are wrong. Any guesses on which one?

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 05/19/07 - Vigilantes:



Could vigilanty societies help law enforcement clean up drug traffic?

HANK

kindj answered on 05/21/07:

As much as I understand the motivation to go vigilante from time to time, overall it is not such a good plan.

In your scenario, we are looking at cleaning up drug traffic. OK, fine. How will we determine who is a bona fide doper and who is a DEA agent that's in deep?

After we clean up the drugs, what's next? Prostitution? OK, fine. Then what? After a time, the lines will become hazy as to who or what constitutes a criminal, then the lines will go away completely, opening the door to elimination of whoever isn't living according to my (their) rules.

Then who will speak for me? As a wise man said,

"First they came for the Communists
but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out;
Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists but I was not one of them, so I did not speak out;
Then they came for the Jews
but I was not Jewish so I did not speak out.
And when they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out for me."
Martin Niemoller, 1892-1984

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 05/17/07 - The latest Democrat petition

Tell President Bush: Bring our troops back home
With our National Guard and Reservists bogged down in a civil war in Iraq, we're less secure here at home. Without the capability to respond to emergencies, we're more vulnerable to the next natural disaster.

Send a message to President Bush and tell him to bring our troops home, where we need them to keep America safe


Don't they mean bring them home where they can do no more harm, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, Haditha ... surely they don't mean to do as their drive is called, Protect our states. If so, when are they going to crack down on illegal immigration?

kindj answered on 05/17/07:

I'll tell him to bring the troops home.


Just as soon as their job is done.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 05/09/07 - Fort Dix

Here is my reply to Fred's post about Fort Dix.

What do you think of this??????????????????????????? arcura 05/08/07
6 Arrested in Alleged Fort Dix Murder Plot
Tuesday, May 08, 2007

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. — Six Islamic militants from Yugoslavia and the Middle East were arrested on charges of plotting to attack the Fort Dix Army post and "kill as many soldiers as possible," authorities said Tuesday.
In conversations secretly recorded by an FBI informant over the past year, the men talked about killing in the name of Allah and attacking U.S. warships that might dock in Philadelphia, according an FBI criminal complaint.
"This was a serious plot put together by people who were intent on harming Americans," U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie said Tuesday. "We're very gratified federal law enforcement was able to catch these people before they acted and took innocent life."
One suspect reportedly spoke of using rocket-propelled grenades to kill at least 100 soldiers at a time, according to court documents.
"If you want to do anything here, there is Fort Dix and I don't want to exaggerate, and I assure you that you can hit an American base very easily," suspect Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer said in one conversation secretly recorded by a government informant, according to the criminal complaint.
"It doesn't matter to me whether I get locked up, arrested or get taken away," a suspect identified as Serdar Tatar said in another recorded conversation. "Or I die, it doesn't matter. I'm doing it in the name of Allah."
Another suspect, Eljvir Duka, was recorded saying: "In the end, when it comes to defending your religion, when someone is trying attacks your religion, your way of life, then you go jihad."
White House spokesman Tony Snow said Tuesday there is "no direct evidence" that the men had ties to international terrorism.
The FBI was tipped off in January 2006 when a shopkeeper alerted agents about a "disturbing" video he had been asked to copy onto a DVD, according to court documents. The video showed 10 men in their early 20s "shooting assault weapons at a firing range ... while calling for jihad and shouting in Arabic 'Allah Akbar' (God is great)," the complaint said.
Six of the 10 men on the tape were identified as those arrested in the plot. They were arrested Monday trying to buy automatic weapons from an FBI informant, officials said.
Christie said one of the suspects worked at Super Mario's Pizza in nearby Cookstown and delivered pizzas to the base.
"What concerns us is, obviously, they began conducting surveillance and weapons training in the woods and were discussing killing large numbers of soldiers," said Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd.
The six were scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Camden later Tuesday to face charges of conspiracy to kill U.S. servicemen, said Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey.
Four of the men were born in the former Yugoslavia, one in Jordan and one in Turkey, officials said. All had lived in the United States for years. Three were in the country illegally; two had green cards allowing them to stay permanently; the other is a U.S. citizen.
Besides Shnewer, Tatar and Eljvir Duka, the other men were identified in court papers as Dritan Duka and Shain Duka. Checks with Immigration and Customs Enforcement show that the Dukas were illegally in the U.S., according to FBI complaints unsealed with their arrests.
Five of the men lived in Cherry Hill, a Philadelphia suburb about 20 miles from Fort Dix.
"They were planning an attack on Fort Dix in which they would kill as many soldiers as possible," Drewniak said.
A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because documents in the case remain sealed, said the attack was stopped in the planning stages. The men also allegedly conducted surveillance at other area military institutions, including Fort Monmouth, a U.S. Army installation, the official said.
By March 2006, the group had been infiltrated by an informant who developed a relationship with Shnewer, according to court documents. The informant secretly recorded meetings in August in which Shnewer said he and the others were part of a group planning to attack a U.S. military base, the complaints said.
Shnewer named Fort Dix and a nearby Navy base, explaining that the group "could utilize six or seven jihadists to attack and kill at least one hundred soldiers by using rocket-propelled grenades" or other weapons, the complaints said. The Navy base was not named in the papers.
Fort Dix is used to train soldiers, particularly reservists. It also housed refugees from Kosovo in 1999.
The base has been closed to the public since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and has heavily armed guards at entrances, yet the main road through neighboring Cookstown cuts through the base and is accessible to the public.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Forgetting the flippant answers you've received ;security at domestic bases have been low and they were vulnerable to the very type of plot that was being attempted. The jihadists had accumulated and were seeking a pretty impressive arsenal for the attack . Since they planned it to be a 'suicide ' attack ,they could've inflicted alot of casualties .And of course it would've been a P.R. boost to jihadistan to attack a base on U.S. soil.
But any attempt of additional security gets criticized by the ususal suspects .



After 9/11, the Pentagon began developing a database of people and groups in the United States that it deemed to be potential threats to defense facilities or workers. It drew widespread criticism when news reports revealed that some of the data included people who had been monitored at anti-war rallies. Last month the Pentagon's intelligence chief recommended the program be shut down.It is possible that the names of the plotters were on that list .

Thier plot was in fact detailed .Here is the charges Read attachment B . The jihadists had been active working on this plot since 2005. They saved money to buy weapons, and subsequently purchased them. They had maps of Fort Dix – one of them used to deliver pizza there. He also knew how/where to cause power outage on the Fort to make attack easier. They trained in the Pocono Mountains in PA. They wanted to kill as many GIs as possible .


Who knows ? It is very easy to ridicule the authorities after a plot is broken up and claim it was not a serious as it is being portrayed. But had the plot been carried out to conclusion the same people would've been ridiculing the ineffectiveness of the security measures taken.
The same people would've scoffed at the notion of terrorists using fertilzer as a weapon; until a plotter proved it could be done. Now in the UK jihadists have plotted to blow up venues including a nightclub in London using basic materials such as flour and hair bleach . Sounds dumb and implausable but ignore it at your peril .

kindj answered on 05/09/07:

I won't repeat the already given--and good--answers.

Instead, I'll say that at least THESE scumbags have managed to scrape up a microscopically thin layer of respectability in that they wanted to attack a military target and military personnel, and not civilians.

Oh, and

>>Three were in the country illegally;<<

Sure am glad the liberals have reassured me that illegal immigration is NOT a security concern, and that I'm just being a racist and a facist by supporting very tough border laws.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 05/07/07 - Breaking news?

Surely you've heard about the 'scandal' that is Fred Thompson playing a racist role on TV 19 years ago. Huffpo even had this 'scandal' link on their website as "breaking" news (thank you Google cached search) with minx' headline of "Fred Thompson's Campaign Ends In Racist Fireball: LAT Discovers Videotape of Him Using Anti-Semitic Smears, "Fondling" Mein Kampf.

How pathetic.

kindj answered on 05/08/07:

This goes even farther than the proverbial "grasping at straws." That's the BEST dirt these losers could dig up on Thompson?

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 05/04/07 - Republican debate

Well ,what do you expect when you have a rabid Democrat operative moderate a Republican debate packed with 3 serious candidates and 7 ankle biters ? You can read the transcript if you must . But here are some of the highlights :

to Romney (by far the strangest question in a night of them): What do you most dislike about America ?

to McCain : What's the difference between Shia and Sunni ?

to another candidate : How many Americans have been killed or wounded in Iraq ?

to Rudy: is there anything you learned ,or regret during your time as Mayor in your dealings with the African-American community ?

to Trancedo : will you work to protect woman's rights as in fair wages and reproductive rights ?

to Huckabee : do you believe global warming exists ?

to Gilmore : is Karl Rove your friend ?

to all : Does Rove deserve a pardon ? (Ron Paul really screwed this one up )

to all :how many of you believe in evolution ?

the dumbest question of the night :Would it be good for America to have Bill Clinton back in the White House ?


Kudos to all the candidates for knowingly stepping into a hornets nest ,the Dems. did not have the testicle fortitude to step up and answer questions from Fox (and Ihave no doubt Brit Hume would've elevated the playing field compared to Matthews ).Overall their answers were good (except Ron Paul is a joke .....He looked more like a Kossack than a libertarian).Rudy's answers seemed muddled at times .Romney and McCain seemed suprisingly comfortable .

But I can't help but think that Fred Thompson came out the big winner by not participating .

kindj answered on 05/04/07:

Too much BS to really address there, so I'll just pick my favorite as a prime example of the "fairness" and "objectivity" of the leftorator:

>>will you work to protect woman's rights as in fair wages and reproductive rights ?<<

As stated, it's a simple "yes" or "no" question. However, if the answer is "yes," then women's wages are protected, but all of a sudden the standard conservative issue of limiting abortion is compromised. If the answer is "no," then Trancedo is AGAINST fair wages and workplace rights.

It's along the same line as some pre-employment questions I've been asked on a "confidential" survey. For example:

"Has your use of illegal drugs or alcohol impaired your work?" If yes, I'm a doper/drunk who can't work. If no, I'm just a doper/drunk.

or

"Have you stopped beating your wife/kids?"

No kidding. These were actual questions that I actually refused to answer. When I explained to the interviewer how they fit the bill for entrapment, he just looked very confused.

I didn't get that job. Wouldn't have taken it if it was offered, if the HR department is THAT messed up as to be virtually illiterate.

On the up side, at least now I know what became of that HR rep. He's a moderator for debates.

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Question/Answer
tropicalstorm asked on 05/02/07 - hotels taking Bibles out

of drawers and replacing them with An Inconvenient Truth.

California taking mom and dad out of books because some kids now have one parent or two same sex parents therefore promoting heterosexual behavior.

Pittsburgh delays smoking ban largely because of lawsuit by Mitchels restuarant (which happens to be where the Lawyers and Police go for lunch during court)

What next besides the threat of a ban on my barbque grill?

kindj answered on 05/03/07:

I don't know what's next, but I'm in favor of banning political correctness!

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 05/02/07 - Global warming or just breaking wind?

Experts: Rice Farming Huge Source of Methane Emissions

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Associated Press
BANGKOK, Thailand —

As delegates to a climate conference here debate how to reduce greenhouse gases, one of the problems — and a possible solution — lies in the rice fields that cover much of Thailand, the rest of Asia and beyond.

Methane emissions from flooded rice paddies contribute to global warming just as coal-fired power plants, automobile exhausts and other sources do with the carbon dioxide they spew into the atmosphere.

In fact, the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meeting this week in Bangkok concludes that rice production was a main cause of rising methane emissions in the 20th century. It calls for better controls.

• Click here to visit FOXNews.com's Natural Science Center.

"There is no other crop that is emitting such a large amount of greenhouse gases," said Reiner Wassmann, a climate change specialist at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines.

"Methane emissions are unique to rice," he said. "If Asian countries are exploring possibilities to reduce greenhouse gas, they have to look at rice production. I'm not saying it's the biggest source, but in Asia it's a source that cannot be neglected."

It's the bacteria that thrive in flooded paddies that produce methane, by decomposing manure used as fertilizer and other organic matter in the oxygen-free environment. The gas is emitted through the plants or directly into the atmosphere.

A molecule of methane is 21 times more potent than a molecule of carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas.

Although carbon dioxide is still the bigger problem, representing 70 percent of the warming potential in the atmosphere, rising levels of methane now account for 23 percent, reports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

After decades of atmospheric buildup, methane — also emitted naturally from wetlands and from other manmade sources, such as landfills and cattle farming — has leveled off in the past few years.

Some scientists credit changes in rice production, and some also trace it to repairs in oil and gas storage facilities that can leak methane.

A 2005 study by U.S. scientists focused on China, which produces a third of the world's rice and where rice fields have shrunk by 24 million acres in the past decade as farmers shifted to other crops and abandoned marginal land.

The study also found that nitrogen-based fertilizer has replaced manure, and many Chinese farmers are using less water on their fields.

For Asians, modifying rice production might prove easier and cheaper than some of the other fixes proposed in the IPCC draft report, such as switching from coal to solar, wind power or other renewable energy sources.

But despite the recent leveling off, the EPA projects that global methane emissions will rise again, as rice fields expand with growing populations.

Wassmann said few countries have followed China's example, instead ignoring such solutions as periodically draining their fields or shifting to locations that need less water.

Scientists say such measures pose the same challenge for poor countries as proposals to introduce environmentally friendly tilling methods or capping methane from livestock manure: Farmers often lack the funds and know-how to shift away from techniques in use for generations.

"In the developing world, you really have to think first and foremost about providing population with food," said Pete Smith of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, lead author of the IPCC report's section on agriculture. "You can't start thinking about climate mitigation if you have to feed your family."

Thailand, the world's largest rice exporter, shows both the promise and limitations of trying to make the industry greener.

Most large mills here burn leftover rice husks for power — a more climate friendly source than coal or oil — and are increasingly selling excess power back to the state.

"Instead of letting it rot in the fields and produce bad gas, we burn it and make use of it," said Rut Subniran, executive chairman of the Patum Rice Mill and Granary outside Bangkok. "This is good for the country because it can reduce our oil imports. It's good for the environment."

But a few miles away, impoverished rice farmers have largely ignored government calls to periodically drain their fields to help reduce methane emissions.

Busy harvesting the latest crop, some blamed tradition and habit, but others said draining the fields was just too costly.

"The government has told us how rice paddies release methane," said Adisak Wantayachiwa, who farms 28 acres north of Bangkok. But most farmers "don't want to pay the cost of draining their fields," he said. "They would just rather keep them flooded."

----------------

So... technology is not solely responsible for global warming. Agriculture, specifically rice paddies, which are a main source of a staple food product in most third world countries, are a major source of greenhouse gasses.

So, what are we to do. We can't use technology because it causes carbon dioxide, and we can't farm because it causes methane. Can't raise cows, pigs or chickens either... they are also major sources of methane production. We also have to cork our own butts, since we also fart methane. How will we live?

That is the idiocy of the whole eco-movement. They try to get us to change our lifestyles based on their biases, with no scientific proof to back up global warming or the greenhouse effect. But in order to comply with the restrictions they would have on us, we literally would have to kill ourselves off.

Between you and me, if it came down to a choice of possibly dying off in a few hundred thousand years or definitely dying off now, I'll choose the first option. But that's just me; I'm selfish that way.

Elliot

kindj answered on 05/02/07:

Methane, huh?

Boy, have I been contributing to global warming today!

Beef enchilada day in the cafeteria...

Watch for my next post here in a few minutes. It sheds some very interesting light on the global warming "theory."

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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 04/26/07 - Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch

For quite sometime I have been hammering on the head of some of our colleagues on these Q&A boards that Government Administrations all over feel no repulsion whatsoever about lying to us in the most deliberate and obnoxious way. I have read today this article which seems to show that I am not totally wrong:

Quote:

The searing congressional testimonies from the family of Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch may sound the long overdue death knell for mainstream American public support for the Bush administration and its criminal war.

Tuesday, one unwilling and outraged war poster child and the agonized family members of the other stood before Congress, looked the Bush administration in the eye, and said, “Enough.”

Kevin Tillman, who served with his brother, accused the Bush administration of intentional deceit.
The accounts of the Tillmans, Lynch, and their fellow soldiers lay bare the fact that the Bush administration engaged in an elaborate and deliberate criminal cover-up of Tillman’s fratricide, as well as Lynch’s ordeal, to deceive the American people.

In what can only described as post-facto rape, the administration hijacked the images of Tillman and Lynch for war propaganda, fabricated elaborate pro-war fantasies around both, and then flooded the media with these pro-Bush, pro-war falsehoods.

The violation of Tillman will prove to be even more grotesque and appalling if investigations determine that Tillman’s disapproval of the war contributed in any way to his death.

An historic turning point has been reached. The American people who embraced the Pat Tillman/Jessica Lynch lie will “get” the Pat Tillman/Jessica Lynch truth, now that it has been honestly and heroically presented.

Now the tidal wave begins.

Piece by piece, the Bush administration’s criminal construct is finally being undone. The Bush administration, and its “war on terrorism” (in its present incarnation), will not recover from this mortal blow.

By Larry Chin
Online Journal Associate Editor

Apr 26, 2007, 00:40”

Unquote:

Your comments, please.

Curious98

PS:
BTW. The above case is making a lot of noise in Europe and we are wondering what the Bush Administration is going to say in their defence.

kindj answered on 04/26/07:

What "truth" are we looking for, anyway?

The fact of the matter is that a whole lot of US and western European citizens find the ACTUAL truth distasteful, and interferes with the mind-numbing pacifist sensations that enable them to get through the day without a lot of thought and worry.

The ACTUAL truth is that evil must be pursued and fought against, or it will pursue YOU.

The ACTUAL truth is that the terrorist scumbags of ALL stripes are busy dying in Iraq right now. Otherwise, they'd be busy dying in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Orlando, London, Madrid, Bern, et al. Oh, and by the way, they'd be taking a hell of a lot more INNOCENT people with them than they already are.

Does anyone really want to go back to the bad ol' days of fallout shelters in the backyard and atomic drills? If the terrorist criminals are not held at bay, that's EXACTLY what we'll get. Except we won't even have the small courtesy of a ten-minute warning by NORAD, because the subhuman slime will detonate his package on-site, with no warning.

There is no worse feeling than to look at a huge tragedy with the knowledge--the CERTAINTY--that you could have done something, but didn't. You had the chance to act, and didn't. And now more people--mothers, fathers, CHILDREN--are dead.

Just because the truth is not pleasant, does that exempt a person from the responsibility to act on it?

Which is the greater lie: For Bush to ALLEGEDLY lie about aspects of the war on terror, or for civilians (who, incidentally, don't have access to the same intel resources as gov't folks) to lie to themselves about the necessity of it?

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 04/26/07 - Rosie v Crow

When told about Sheryl Crow's idea about saving the earth by reducing the number of toilet paper sheets you use ,Rosie made perhaps here most profound contribution since she went on 'The View ' . She said have you seen my ass ?




It is not clear from the photo if she is demonstrating the size of her ass or her mouth in above photo

kindj answered on 04/26/07:

>>It is not clear from the photo if she is demonstrating the size of her ass or her mouth in above photo<<

It makes little difference, as the same matter spews forth from both.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 04/23/07 - More on Cheryl Crow

When it comes to Sheryl Crow's touring requirements, if it's Tuesday, this must be Bombay. Gin that is. The rock star's performance contract includes specific day-to-day instructions on what kind of booze Sheryl needs in her dressing room For each show, Crow requires 12 bottles of Grolsch beer, 6 bottles of "local" beer, and a bottle each of "good Australian Cabernet" and "good Merlot." As for the harder stuff, promoters are directed to purchase specific booze depending on what day of the week the concert falls, as the below rider excerpt reveals.

Additionally, when the global warming warrior hits the road, her touring entourage (and equipment) travels in three tractor trailers, four buses, and six cars. Now that's a carbon footprint!

Additional requirements found at The Smoking gun

kindj answered on 04/23/07:

Remember the term "limosine liberal?"

Add another one to the already too-long list.

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 04/23/07 - Someone finally asks the question

after Hillary gave the answer...

Could a Vote for Hillary Be a Two-For-One Deal?

    It's something none of the other presidential contenders has to think about: If Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., wins, she's the only candidate who would have a first gentleman — Bill Clinton — available to take on duties.

    And of course he's not just any guy; he's a former president.

    Campaigning in Iowa this weekend, Clinton said she couldn't think of "a better cheerleader for America" than her husband and wants him to help rebuild international friendships.

    The senator has been careful not to suggest that a vote for her is a two-for-one deal the way her husband did in 1992.

    But she has made it very clear that she will, as she says, put her high wattage husband to work as a sort of wandering ambassador of good will.

    "I love her very much and I think she would be a great president," Clinton said last week about his wife. "And all presidents need help. They need all the help they can get."

    It makes sense. When he was president, he loved to travel. With the development of his foundation, his globe-trotting has only intensified.

    "What makes Bill Clinton special is he wouldn't just [be] viewed as the the spouse of a president, he would be viewed as a…former world leader in his own right," said Wall Street Journal writer John Fund.

    Hillary Clinton is not talking about a formal post for the ex-president; family members are not allowed to be members of the Cabinet. But even an informal role could be tricky.

    "Bill Clinton has so much prominence and such charisma, he's in danger of overshadowing everyone around him," Fund said.

    Some wonder if there would be conflicts of interest. Since he left the White House, Clinton has raked in roughly $40 million for speaking engagements in 36 countries, including China, Colombia, Australia and Saudi Arabia.

    Last year, top officials in Dubai called him for advice on how to proceed with a deal to control U.S. ports, just as his wife was fighting against the very same deal.

kindj answered on 04/23/07:

>>as a sort of wandering ambassador of good will.<<

I thought that was the function that Jones, Lewinski, et al were serving.

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 04/23/07 - How committed are you?

Since stopping global warming is all the talk now, how committed are you? Rocker Sheryl Crow makes the following suggestions:

    Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating. One of my favorites is in the area of forest conservation which we heavily rely on for oxygen. I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required. When presenting this idea to my younger brother, who's judgment I trust implicitly, he proposed taking it one step further. I believe his quote was, "how bout just washing the one square out."

    I also like the idea of not using paper napkins, which happen to be made from virgin wood and represent the height of wastefulness. I have designed a clothing line that has what's called a "dining sleeve." The sleeve is detachable and can be replaced with another "dining sleeve," after usage. The design will offer the "diner" the convenience of wiping his mouth on his sleeve rather than throwing out yet another barely used paper product. I think this idea could also translate quite well to those suffering with an annoying head cold.


Reportedly, Sheryl touched Karl Rove over the weekend and he objected, can she not figure out why?

Someone mentioned an Army directive on conserving toilet paper from the sixties this morning that might be helpful in deciding which way to vote:

    Take one square of toilet paper, fold it in half and then in half again so you have an equal square, tear off one corner to create a hole for your middle finger for traction.


OK, so who's in, one square of toilet paper per sitting?

Wearing snot on your sleeves, yes or no?

Bonus question, does anyone know what Sheryl's guitars are made of?

kindj answered on 04/23/07:

I gave a real answer over on the "Everyone Hates Christianity" board, but wanted to add something here.

I shall immediately write Ms. Crow and tell her how just now, in the teacher's lounge, I saved quite a bit of TP by using a few pages from a "Rolling Stone" magazine that was in there. From all the ripped out pages, I daresay I wasn't the first.

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 04/18/07 - Iran-made arms seized in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON -- U.S. forces recently intercepted Iranian-made weapons intended for Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, the Pentagon's top general said Tuesday, suggesting wider Iranian war involvement in the region.

It appeared to be the first publicly disclosed instance of Iranian arms entering Afghanistan, although it was not immediately clear whether the weapons came directly from Iran or were shipped through a third party.

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that unlike in Iraq, where U.S. officials say they are certain that arms are being supplied to insurgents by Iran's secretive Quds Force, the Iranian link in Afghanistan is murky.

"It is not as clear in Afghanistan which Iranian entity is responsible, but we have intercepted weapons in Afghanistan headed for the Taliban that were made in Iran," Pace told reporters over breakfast.

He said the weapons, including mortars and C-4 plastic explosives, were intercepted in Kandahar province within the past month. He did not describe the quantity of the materials or say whether it was the first time U.S. forces had found Iranian-made arms in Afghanistan.

Asked about Pace's remarks, a Pentagon spokesman, Army Col. Gary Keck, said he had not heard of previous instances of Iranian weaponry being found in Afghanistan but he was not certain this was the first time.

Iran has had an uneven relationship with Afghanistan over the years. During the wars of the past quarter-century -- the 1979-89 Soviet occupation, the subsequent civil war, Taliban rule starting in 1996 and the 2001 U.S.-led invasion -- millions of Afghans, particularly from the western provinces, took refuge in Iran.

In a statement responding to Pace's comments, the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, a coalition of Iranian opposition groups, said the Quds Force has been active in Afghanistan for years.

Mohammad Mohaddessin, chairman of the Iranian group's foreign affairs committee, said, "Export of fundamentalism and terrorism to neighboring and Islamic countries has been one of the pillars of the clerical regime's foreign policy -- something that the Iranian resistance has warned about for the past two decades."

Perhaps we need to export a little something to Iran?

kindj answered on 04/18/07:

Now wait just a dang minute! According to MaryChouxan, AMERICA is the source of ALL evil guns in the world! How can this "Iranian made firearm" of which you speak even be a POSSIBILITY? After all, she is the self-proclaimed end-all, be-all on wisdom and intelligence!

But nevertheless, is anyone really that surprised that Iran would be helping out in any location that is fighting us?

Hell, I knew they would jump in the fight--one way or another--the minute our first round went downrange.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 04/16/07 - I finally figured out the cause of global warming.

I have done a study of this issue, and I have come to the conclusion that the Liberals are right. Global Warming is indeed a man-made occurance. Furthermore, it is the fault of the Federal Government of the United States, just as the Libs have been saying for years.

The cause of global warming?

Taxes.

After having done a study of the issue, I have come to the conclusion that there is a positive corallary between taxes and temperature records.

First of all, just as temperatures have been going up for years, taxes have been going up as well. So there is the first correlation.

But the evidence is much stronger than that. I have done a review of Federal tax receipts as a percentage of GDP for the period of 1946 - 2006. I have also done are review of temperature records to obtain the average temperatures for the month of April (tax month) in Albany, NY. While temperature records for Federal tax collections were complete, the temperature records for Albany were missing 9 years worth of information. Nevertheless, despite the incompleteness of the data, I continued my study. (After all, if the pseudo-scientists who make claims of global warming can do so with huge amounts of data lacking, so can I.)

My study led to the following conclusion. Over the past 60 years, tax receipts as a percentage of GDP have gone up by 190 basis points. If we eliminate the years for which we do not have temperature records, the increase in taxes as a percentage of GDP increases by 210 basis points. During the same period, temperatures for the month of April have increased an average of 0.03 degrees Celcius. This shows a clear correlation... taxes up, temperatures up.

Furthermore, there were 23 cases where both temperatures and percetage of GDP moved in the same direction. That is, when taxes as a percentage of GDP went up, the temperature went up, and when taxes as a percentage of GDP went down, temperatures went down. That's 23 out of 51 times when there was congruity between the movement of taxes as a percentage of GDP and temperatures in Albany. This shows a clear correlation between taxes and global warming.

Since US Federal taxes are a function of the US government, temperature change must also be a function of the US government. This would mean that the US government is at fault for Global warming, just as the Liberals have stated.

There are two clear solutions to global warming. The first would be to increase GDP while holding taxes at their current level. We need to increase the productivity of the United States so that taxes become a smaller percentage of GDP, thus driving environmental temperatures down. Of course, this would require an increase in our industrial performance and capacity. But since we have now proven that industrial emmissions aren't the real cause of global warming, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

The second solution would be to hold GDP steady, but lower taxes. This too would result in taxes being a lower percentage of GDP. This might sound easier than the first solution... after all, it just takes a vote of Congress to make that happen. However, in reality, getting Congress to agree to lower taxes is never an easy task. It is easier to build thousands of new industrial plants than it is to get Congress to cut taxes. Nevertheless, it might be time for Congress to take the hard actions necessary to protect the world from tax-driven global warming. The US government has a responsibility to act.

Below are the data used to come to the above conclusions.

.......Taxes..%Chng..Albany..Chng in
Year...% GDP...GDP.. Temp....Temp.
1947...16.5...-1.1...6.4.....-0.7
1948...16.2...-0.3...8.5......2.1
1949...14.5...-1.7...9.1......0.6
1950...14.4...-0.1...6.3.....-2.8
1951...16.1....1.7...8.6......2.3
1952...19......2.9...10.2.....1.6
1953...18.7...-0.3...8.0.....-2.2
1954...18.5...-0.2...8.9......0.9
1955...16.6...-1.9...9.8......0.9
1956...17.5....0.9...5.8.....-4.0
1957...17.8....0.3...9.4......3.6
1958...17.3...-0.5...9.5......0.1
1959...16.1...-1.2...9.1.....-0.4
1960...17.9....1.8...9.8......0.7
1961...17.8...-0.1...6.8.....-3.0
1962...17.6...-0.2...8.7......1.9
1963...17.8....0.2...7.9.....-0.8
1964...17.6...-0.2...8.0......0.1
1965...17.0...-0.6...N/A
1966...17.4....0.4...N/A
1967...18.3....0.9...N/A
1968...17.7...-0.6...N/A
1969...19.7....2.0...N/A
1970...19.0...-0.7...N/A
1971...17.3...-1.7...N/A
1972...17.6....0.3...N/A
1973...17.7....0.1...9.2
1974...18.3....0.6...8.9.....-0.3
1975...17.9...-0.4...4.9.....-4.0
1976...17.2...-0.7...9.9..... 5.0
1977...18.0....0.8...8.6.....-1.3
1978...18.0....0.0...6.2.....-2.4
1979...18.5....0.5...7.7......1.5
1980...19.0....0.5...8.9......1.2
1981...19.6....0.6...9.1......0.2
1982...19.1...-0.5...7.2.....-1.9
1983...17.5...-1.6...8.0......0.8
1984...17.4...-0.1...8.8......0.8
1985...17.7....0.3...9.6......0.8
1986...17.4...-0.3...10.4.....0.8
1987...18.4....1.0...10.3....-0.1
1988...18.2...-0.2...8.0.....-2.3
1989...18.4....0.2...6.9.....-1.1
1990...18.0...-0.4...9.5......2.6
1991...17.8...-0.2...10.6.....1.1
1992...17.5...-0.3...7.0.....-3.6
1993...17.6....0.1...9.0......2.0
1994...18.1....0.5...9.0......0.0
1995...18.5....0.4...6.7.....-2.3
1996...18.9....0.4...7.9......1.2
1997...19.3....0.4...7.0.....-0.9
1998...20.0....0.7...9.5......2.5
1999...20.0....0.0...8.6.....-0.9
2000...20.9....0.9...7.4.....-1.2
2001...19.8...-1.1...8.7......1.3
2002...17.9...-1.9...9.9......1.2
2003...16.5...-1.4...7.0.....-2.9
2004...16.3...-0.2...9.3......2.3
2005...17.6....1.3...10.1.....0.8
2006...18.4....0.8...10.0....-0.1

Average Change 0.19..........0.03

Hey, it makes about as much sense as any argument the pseudo-scientific knuckleheaded environ-mental cases put out.

Elliot

kindj answered on 04/16/07:

Well, I'm not sure. You know how that undersea water pressure kills brain cells..... :) :)

Really, though, I did a comparison back in college on the relationship between gun deaths and the price of figs in the Mediterranean to demonstrate much the same point.

I don't remember a lot about economics beyond supply and demand and the law of diminishing returns, but I remember a couple of things that, paraphrased, look like:

Just because B followed A doesn't mean that A caused B.

and

Just because two things appear to operate together doesn't mean they actually do.

I'm sure you have a much better grasp of those theories than I do, but they seem to apply.

Good work! When are you going to print? I say you call a CNN press conference, just to watch 'em squirm.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 04/12/07 - Some humor

A college professor, an avowed atheist, was teaching class one day when he shocked several of his students by flatly stating that there is no God, that the expression "One Nation Under God" is unconstitutional, and that he was going to prove that God did not exist. Addressing the ceiling he shouted: "God, if you are real, then I challenge you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you 15 minutes!"

The lecture hall fell silent. You could have heard a pin drop. Ten minutes went by. Again he taunted God, saying: "Here I am, God. I'm still waiting."

Just before the 15 minutes came to an end, a guy who had been in Special Forces and was now a civilian, newly registered in the class, walked up to the professor, hit him full force in the face, and sent
the man ass over teacups from his lofty platform, knocking the professor out cold! At first the students were shocked and babbled in confusion.

The young ex-Green Beret looked around the room, sauntered over to a seat in the front row, and sat down. He waited silently for the professor to recover. The class fell silent, too.

Eventually, the professor regained consciousness. Clearly shaken, he looked around the room until he spotted the young man who had hit him sitting in the front row, a broad grin splitting his face. When the
prof regained his senses sufficiently enough to speak, he yelled: "What's the matter with you? Why did you do that?"

"God was busy," the young ex-SF trooper drawled, "so He sent me."

--------------

Hard pressed on my right.
My center is yielding.
Impossible to maneuver.
Situation excellent.
I am attacking.

--------------

Rules for gunfighting...

USMC
1. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
2. Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.
3. Have a plan.
4. Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won't work.
5. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
6. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with a Ř."
7. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.
8. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral and diagonal movement are preferred.)
9. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.
10. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
11. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
12. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
13. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating or reloading.
14. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.
15. And above all ... don't drop your guard.

Navy SEAL
1. Look very cool in the latest sunglasses.
2. Kill every living thing within view.
3. Return quickly to looking very cool in latest beach wear, check tan lines.
4. Check hair in mirror.

US Army Rangers
1. Walk in 50 miles wearing 95 pound ruck while starving.
2. Locate individuals requiring killing.
3. Request permission via radio from "Higher" to perform killing.
4. Curse bitterly when mission is aborted.
5. Walk out 50 miles wearing a 95 pound ruck while starving.

US Army
1. Select a new beret to wear.
2. Sew combat patch on right shoulder.
3. Reconsider the color of beret you decide to wear.

US Air Force
1. Have a cocktail.
2. Adjust temperature on air-conditioner.
3. See what's on HBO.
4. Determine "what is a gunfight."
5. Send the Army.

US Navy
1. Go to Sea.
2. Drink Coffee.
3. Launch airplanes and cruise missiles.

-------------------

A General died and went to Heaven. At the pearly gates he was met by St. Peter. He told St. Peter right away, "If there are Special Forces Soldiers in Heaven, I don't want to go in because I hate SF." St. Peter said, "Don't worry about it because no Special Forces made it to Heaven."

So the General went on into Heaven and began looking at all the wonderful sights, when all of a sudden he spotted something that he just couldn't believe.

There before his eyes was a 6' 5" 275 lb. muscle-bound specimen of manhood wearing a Green Beret. Not only that, this guy had a 4 day growth of beard, scuffed up jungle boots, big, fat cigar in his mouth, an M-60 in one hand, a Claymore in the other, bandoleers of ammo across his chest and numerous hand-grenades hung all over him. The General called over St. Peter and said, "I thought you said there weren't any of them Special Forces guys in Heaven...there's one right over there."

St. Peter looked where the General was pointing and said, "That's God, he's not Special Forces qualified, he just likes to pretend he is."

---------------

Back in Viet Nam, there were two fine Special Forces soldiers, Jeff and Dave.

One day, the two were enjoying a strong sarsaparilla in the Delta Hilton, when a SOG man walked into the bar with an NVA's head under his arm. The CO shakes
his hand and says, "I hate NVA! Last week the SOB's burnt an A-camp to the ground, shot up the troops, and killed some Indig troops." The CO then says, "If any man brings me the head of an NVA, I'll give him one thousand dollars."

The two Special Forces soldiers looked at each other and walked out of the bar to go hunting for an NVA. They were stalking around in the jungle for a while when suddenly they saw one. Jeff, in order to be silent, threw a rock which hit the NVA right on the head. The NVA fell down, but landed seventy feet down a ravine.

The two troopers made their way down the ravine and Dave pulled out a knife to claim their trophy.

Suddenly, Jeff said, "Dave, take a look at this." Dave replied, "Not now, I'm busy." Jeff urgently tugged him on the shoulder and says, "I really think you should look at this." Dave says, "Look, you can see I'm busy. There's a thousand dollars in my hand." But Jeff was adamant. "Please, take a look at this."

Dave looked up and saw standing at the top of the ravine were five thousand NVA. He just shook his head and said, "Oh my goodness, we're gonna be millionaires!"

------------

Elliot

kindj answered on 04/13/07:

I thought you said there were going to be jokes.

These all sounded pretty true-to-life to me.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 04/12/07 - U.S. Navy Directive 16134 (Inappropriate T-Shirts)



The following directive was issued by the commanding officer of all
naval installations in the Middle East, (obviously directed at the
Marines.)

"To: All Commands Subject: Inappropriate T-Shirts

Ref: ComMidEast For Inst 16134//24 K All commanders promulgate upon receipt.

The following T-shirts are no longer to be worn on or off base by any military or civilian personnel serving in the Middle East:

"Eat Pork or Die" [both English and Arabic versions]

"Shrine Busters" [Various. Show burning minarets or bomb/artillery shells impacting Islamic shrines. Some with unit logos.]

"Napalm, Sticks Like Crazy" [Both English and Arabic versions]

"Goat - it isn't just for breakfast any more." [Both English and Arabic versions]

"The road to Paradise begins with me." [Mostly Arabic versions, but some in English. Some show sniper scope cross-hairs.]

"Guns don't kill people. I kill people." [Both Arabic and English versions]

"Pork. The other white meat." [Arabic version]

"Infidel" [English, Arabic and other coalition force languages.]

The above T-shirts are to be removed from Post Exchanges upon receipt of this directive. In addition, the following signs are to be removed
upon receipt of this message:

"Islamic Religious Services Will Be Held at the Firing Range at 0800 Daily."

"Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?"

All commands are instructed to implement sensitivity training upon receipt.


kindj answered on 04/12/07:

I need a link! I gotta buy ALL of these!

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 03/31/07 - The John Doe Manifesto

By Michelle Malkin

Note: Earlier this month, six publicity-seeking imams filed a federal lawsuit against US Airways and the Metropolitan Airports Commission in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The Muslim clerics were removed from their flight last November and questioned for several hours after their suspicious behavior alarmed both passengers and crew members. Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten reported last week that the imams, advised by the grievance-mongers at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, also plan to sue "John Does" — innocent bystanders who alerted the authorities about their security concerns. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., has introduced legislation to protect John Does who report suspicious behavior from legal liability. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty; talk show host Michael Reagan; Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, who heads the American Islamic Forum for Democracy; and Minnesota lawyer Gerry Nolting have all stepped forward to offer free representation to the imams' targets.

Dear Muslim Terrorist Plotter/Planner/Funder/Enabler/Apologist,

You do not know me. But I am on the lookout for you. You are my enemy. And I am yours.

I am John Doe.

I am traveling on your plane. I am riding on your train. I am at your bus stop. I am on your street. I am in your subway car. I am on your lift.

I am your neighbor. I am your customer. I am your classmate. I am your boss.

I am John Doe.

I will never forget the example of the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 who refused to sit back on 9/11 and let themselves be murdered in the name of Islam without a fight.

I will never forget the passengers and crew members who tackled al Qaeda shoe-bomber Richard Reid on American Airlines Flight 63 before he had a chance to blow up the plane over the Atlantic Ocean.

I will never forget the alertness of actor James Woods, who notified a stewardess that several Arab men sitting in his first-class cabin on an August 2001 flight were behaving strangely. The men turned out to be 9/11 hijackers on a test run.

I will act when homeland security officials ask me to "report suspicious activity."

I will embrace my local police department's admonition: "If you see something, say something."

I am John Doe.

I will protest your Jew-hating, America-bashing "scholars."

I will petition against your hate-mongering mosque leaders.

I will raise my voice against your subjugation of women and religious minorities.

I will challenge your attempts to indoctrinate my children in our schools.

I will combat your violent propaganda on the Internet.

I am John Doe.

I will support law enforcement initiatives to spy on your operatives, cut off your funding and disrupt your murderous conspiracies.

I will oppose all attempts to undermine our borders and immigration laws.

I will resist the imposition of sharia principles and sharia law in my taxi cab, my restaurant, my community pool, the halls of Congress, our national monuments, the radio and television airwaves, and all public spaces.

I will not be censored in the name of tolerance.

I will not be cowed by your Beltway lobbying groups in moderates' clothing. I will not cringe when you shriek about "profiling" or "Islamophobia."

I will put my family's safety above sensitivity. I will put my country above multiculturalism.

I will not submit to your will. I will not be intimidated.

I am John Doe.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Very timely in light of Tom's EU post I think. I won't back down, and you?

kindj answered on 04/02/07:

Never have, never will.

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 03/30/07 - None dare call it pork

The Senate passed their version of the Iraq Surrender Act . Just like the House version it is loaded with bribes .This time they seem to prefer sugar beets and Christmas Trees . Washington Compost has an article that details some of the $20 billion in pork .

Specifically, it includes $40 million for a Tree Assistance Program that provides help for Christmas trees and ornamental shrubs. Also in the Senate's version of the Iraq bill: $24 million for sugar beets, $3 million for Hawaiian sugar cane, $13 million for the Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Program, $100 million in compensation for dairy losses, $165.9 million for fisheries disaster relief, and money for numerous other "emergencies."

Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Program ????

Notable in the article is the absense of the word "pork" .Instead the phrase of choice is “pet projects.” I guess the Lamb retention project means that the Democrat Senators have decided to adopt a Lamb as a pet.

Dana Millbanks is not alone in shunning pork .Andrew Taylor also has commentary where the word "pork " is never used . Headline : Conservatives Oppose Pet Projects .(Harry Reid will adopt Mormon Crickets as his pets)

So there you have it:
Republican earmarks =pork
Democrat earmarks =pet projects
Republican lobbyists are...lobbyists
Democrat lobbyists are activists .




kindj answered on 03/30/07:

Perhaps we should change the term to "mutton" and/or "Yule," instead of "pork." Plus that way, we won't run the risk of inciting radical Muslims to jihad.

It's all in the wording for these people, rather than in the substance.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 03/30/07 - You gotta love her...

Fresh off her sparring match with the Donald, Rosie O'Donnell sides with Iran and talks up the 9/11 conspiracy. From The View yesterday...

    ROSIE O’DONNELL: Alright we’re going to take a break and come back and talk about the situation in Iran with the soldiers, the British soldiers who were in international waters. The British say they were in the right waters and the Iranians say no they were in our waters, and so it begins.

    JOY BEHAR: Do you think people are now clicking us off because you promoed that?

    O’DONNELL: Well, I don’t know, but we're going to talk about it and I'm sure it will make the news.

    O’DONNELL: Here’s the problem with what you just said, "us," because it's now Britain and the United States pretty much against the rest of the world. How did this happen?

    O’DONNELL: It's just it’s very hard in America when anyone from the mid-east has been so demonized that no matter what, it's impossible for some people to believe that the Iranians in any way could ever do anything ethical in any capacity. They are not people. They have somehow been dehumanized to the point where they’re not people who they’re just the enemy, the terrorists.

    MARCIA GAY HARDEN: That digresses from what the real issues are. You worded a war on terror, personally that is propaganda.

    O’DONNELL: Exactly, Marcia. Thank you.

    HARDEN: I don't like the wording of it.

    O’DONNELL: Right, because it makes people into evil and good.

    BEHAR: This guy Amanidajaja (sic), whatever his name is. He is a bad guy, he is a very bad guy. He stated explicitly he wants to wipe Israel off the map. This guy is a bad guy.

    O’DONNELL: I'm not saying he's a good guy and I want him over for breakfast. No I’m not. I’m saying that in America we are fed propaganda and if you want to know what's happening in the world go outside of the U.S. media because it's owned by four corporations one of them is this one. And you know what, go outside of the country to find out what's going on in our country because it's frightening. It’s frightening.

    HASSELBECK: So you think we're being brainwashed as a whole country? I think not. I think it’s a media

    O’DONNELL: Democracy is threatened in a way it hasn't been in 200 years and if America doesn't stand up we're in big trouble.

    HASSELBECK: Do you believe that the government had anything to do with the attack of 9/11? Do you believe in a conspiracy in terms of the attack of 9/11?

    O’DONNELL: No. But I do believe the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel. I do believe that it defies physics for the World Trade Center Tower Seven, building seven, which collapsed in on itself, it is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved, World Trade Center Seven. World Trade Center one and Two got hit by plains. Seven, miraculously, for the first time in history, steel was melted by fire. It is physically impossible.

    HASSELBECK: And who do you think is responsible for that?

    O’DONNELL: I have no idea. But to say that we don't know it was imploded, that there was implosion in the demolition, is beyond ignorant. Look at the film. Get a physics expert here from Yale, from Harvard. Pick the school. It defies reason.


So according to Rosie, it's the US and Britian against the rest of the world, which means 'we' have no standing in the current Iranian/UK standoff, we've 'demonized' everyone in the mideast - they're not human - just terrorists ("Don't fear the terrorists. They’re mothers and fathers"). We would also have to go outside of the US to learn about all the 'frightening' things happening here (which might explain why she has "no idea" who attacked us on 9/11).

Rosie also accuses the British of instigating this whole hostage affair on her blog:

    False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities.

    the british did it on purpose
    into iranian waters
    as
    US MILITARY BUILD UP ON THE IRANIAN BORDER

    we will be in iran
    before summer
    as planned

    come on people
    u have 2 c
    i know u can


Why give this woman any attention? She's dangerous, so here's hoping more people will 'click her off.' She could use some time off to work on juvenile poetry anyway.

kindj answered on 03/30/07:

This is only my opinion, but I have this feeling that if Billiary had been in office when 9/11 came, that it WOULD'VE been Al Quada beyond a shadow of a doubt. And woe be to the conservative that might suggest that the gov't had a hand in it, as they would be dismissed and villified immediately.

Rosie, Moore, Baldwin, and their ilk are so completely blinded by their abject hatred of anything conservative that they delight in spewing whatever vile rumour they've heard (or made up) out of their filthy sewers whenever they see a camera.

And yet, WE'RE the ones that have fallen for the "propaganda?"

>>it's impossible for some people to believe that the Iranians in any way could ever do anything ethical in any capacity.<<

While she accuses Americans (us evil bastards) of lumping all Iranians into the same bucket, quite the opposite is true. Most Americans are quite well aware of the conditions in Iran, and the abuses heaped on the masses by the ruling faction. MOST Americans DO know that there's a world of difference between the typical Iranian citizen and the lunatic cohort that's running the show, and have sympathy for the helpless subjects.

She, however, appears to be guilty of her own accusations of stereotyping, for she cannot CONCEIVE of any difference between relatively peaceful denizens of the country and the idiot in charge, implying that ALL Iranians are this or that.

Hypocrisy: Just another tool of the unthinking.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 03/28/07 - Bauer v. Bond

James Bond on Jack's Turf: Taunts Bauer Again, Calls Him "Rubbish"
-- New York Times headline, February 30, 2007

After months of transatlantic bickering and tabloid name-calling, the public feud between Jack Bauer and James Bond has taken on an ugly new coloring. The battle for espionage bragging rights, now affecting U.S.-UK relations, has become a classic barroom brawl, as the clandestine torture tactics championed by both principals is bandied about in television spots, print articles, and YouTube videos the world over, aided and abetted by the New Media Youth.

In an effort to calm the dispute, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a statement yesterday calling on the two men "to begin acting like gentlemen again. Their countries expect a certain degree of decorum from them, not adolescent temper tantrums." She added, "This is not, and never was, a competition." In London, Conservative Party leader and Calvin Klein model David Cameron struck a more partisan note. "Brits know about a stiff upper lip," he said, "and Commander Bond will show Mr. Bauer just what that means."

At U.S. detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, this "spy war" is all too real. Detainees are terrified that the celebritized "torture tactics" championed by Mr. Bauer might tsunami their peaceful Caribbean retreat. A statement released through an ACLU-court-appointed-human-rights-free-of-charge lawyer said, "We prisoners of conscience worry we will lose our three daily, politically correct squares in an effort to boost the tough guy image of Jack Bauer." The Bond-leaning EU and ICC are considering sending "food troops" to the base to ensure that religiously ordained, and nutritious, meals are in fact still being served.

Despite mounting pressure from both governments to "hold the high ground," neither man appears willing to resist upping the ante. Commander Bond made a pre-emptive appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman Monday night, one day after being snubbed at the 79th Annual Oscars in Los Angeles. Asked by Letterman if he was Mr. Bauer's moral as well as tactical superior, Bond responded, "I don't try to have it both ways, Dave. I make decisions and let the chips fall where they may" -- a none too subtle allusion to Mr. Bauer's rather conflicted decision-making patterns. Letterman clearly understood, telling his guest, "That would imply you think Jack Bauer hasn't defended his country to the best of his ability." Bond merely smiled his famous "come hither" smile.

And with that, the fists began to fly again. Bond had to engage an extra security detail to escort him from the CBS Studios through the gauntlet of angry Bauer sympathizers arrayed outside.

To respond to Bond's accusations, Mr. Bauer immediately booked himself on a special world telecast sit-down with Ms. Oprah Winfrey, or Oprah, as she is popularly known. He said of the quarrel with Bond, "I am just a simple man with simple tastes. I believe in God. I believe in the love of a woman. I believe that good always triumphs over evil, and I believe in ice hockey." "But," Oprah prodded, "now that Congress is cutting funding to Homeland Security, won't that affect your ability to get your job done in order to protect us?" "I don't need fancy pants cars, watches, and the rest of it to do my job," Mr. Bauer intoned.

In a rare evening edition of the Guardian, 007 snapped back, "I can get down and dirty with the best of them, too!" Poll numbers, however, suggest that Bond is losing favor, even among his strongest demographic, the prep school educated Alpha male set. To bolster support for the MI6 agent, the BBC is putting together a special report entitled, "Men of the Shadows: Why the British Provide More Comforts and Resources to Special Forces Than the Yanks," to air on BBC Prime, a channel not available in the United States, but popular in India and points farther west.

As the feud rages on, pro-Bauer and pro-Bond websites and blogs are popping up all over the Internet, with Wall Street hearing rumors that should the clash continue, Google or MySpace will attempt to buy out a majority on one side in order to capitalize on the awesome advertising opportunities opening up as the entire world watches and waits for the next blow to land.

You Decide -- Who Is Tougher? Jack Bauer or James Bond?

Amy K. Mitchell is managing editor of The American Spectator.

kindj answered on 03/28/07:

Jack is a badass's badass.

Bond is a spoiled rotten "metrosexual" who doesn't have enough testosterone to even get Jack through the beating of one suspected terrorist.

The only time Bond was worth a whistle in the wind was when he appeared in the body of Sean Connery.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 03/28/07 - Rising oceans

The real cause behind the threat of rising oceans...

kindj answered on 03/28/07:

And here I've thought for all these years that it was me taking a leak over the side of the boat that was doing it.

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/28/07 - what to do!

with San Francisco's ban on plastic garbage bags
what are the alternatives for people walking their dogs
and obeying the law to clean up after Rover?
Now I guess you have to walk with the dog chain in one hand and a super dupper pooper scooper and something to bag it in in the other. A paper bag doesn't sound very good of an option.
I think we should come up with an invention here.

kindj answered on 03/28/07:

Having lived in the Granola State--San Francisco itself specifically--for several years, I can say with all certainty that they are a species all their own. Literally anything goes--with the notable exception of anything resembling a Judeo-Christian code of ethics. Their tolerance doesn't reach THAT far.

You know they outlawed (or to use the favorite liberal buzzword--"banned") pet "ownership" several years ago. Now, a person must agree to be an "animal guardian" instead. Trivial difference, really, but beaucoup bucks was spent on changing that title.

All the while, people went hungry all over the city.....

Beautiful area of the country, and a really neat city. Too bad it's populated by all those Kalifornians.

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Itsdb asked on 03/23/07 - Remarks by the President on the Iraq War Emergency Supplemental

THE PRESIDENT: Today I'm joined here at the White House by veterans, family members of people serving in combat, family members of those who have sacrificed. I am honored that they have joined me here today.

Here in Washington, members of both parties recognize that our most solemn responsibility is to support our troops in the war on terror. Yet, today, a narrow majority in the House of Representatives advocated its responsibility by passing a war spending bill that has no chance of becoming law, and brings us no closer to getting our troops the resources they need to do their job.

The purpose of the emergency war spending bill I requested was to provide our troops with vital funding. Instead, Democrats in the House, in an act of political theater, voted to substitute their judgment for that of our military commanders on the ground in Iraq. They set rigid restrictions that will require an army of lawyers to interpret. They set an arbitrary date for withdrawal without regard for conditions on the ground. And they tacked on billions for pet projects that have nothing to do with winning the war on terror. This bill has too much pork, too many conditions and an artificial timetable for withdrawal.

As I have made clear for weeks, I will veto it if it comes to my desk. And because the vote in the House was so close, it is clear that my veto would be sustained. Today's action in the House does only one thing: it delays the delivering of vital resources for our troops. A narrow majority has decided to take this course, just as General Petraeus and his troops are carrying out a new strategy to help the Iraqis secure their capital city.

Amid the real challenges in Iraq, we're beginning to see some signs of progress. Yet, to score political points, the Democratic majority in the House has shown it is willing to undermine the gains our troops are making on the ground.

Democrats want to make clear that they oppose the war in Iraq. They have made their point. For some, that is not enough. These Democrats believe that the longer they can delay funding for our troops, the more likely they are to force me to accept restrictions on our commanders, an artificial timetable for withdrawal, and their pet spending projects. This is not going to happen. Our men and women in uniform need these emergency war funds. The Secretary of Defense has warned that if Congress does not approve the emergency funding for our troops by April the 15th, our men and women in uniform will face significant disruptions, and so would their families.

The Democrats have sent their message, now it's time to send their money. This is an important moment -- a decision for the new leaders in Congress. Our men in women in uniform should not have to worry that politicians in Washington will deny them the funds and the flexibility they need to win. Congress needs to send me a clean bill that I can sign without delay. I expect Congress to do its duty and to fund our troops, and so do the American people -- and so do the good men and women standing with me here today.

Thank you for your time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How many Democrats have complained that Bush did not supply our troops with adequate armor and other supplies? Recently?

Edward M. Kennedy and Chris Dodd

Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Senator Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) and others

Harry Reid

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)

John Murtha

How many others? Pardon my French, but how the hell do Democrats reconcile slamming the President for not supplying adequate armor while either endorsing or voting to cut the funding they need to survive?

The President is absolutely correct, not only has the Democratic majority in the House ... shown it is willing to undermine the gains our troops are making on the ground, they're more than willing to cut their throats, too.

kindj answered on 03/23/07:

>>how the hell do Democrats reconcile slamming the President for not supplying adequate armor while either endorsing or voting to cut the funding they need to survive?<<

By hoping upon hope that the American people have a very short memory.

Which most of them do.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 03/22/07 - Some prices of common products (approximations only)

Jack Daniels Bourbon =$94.90 per gallon

1792 Bourbon = $149.90 per gallon

Reposado Tequila = $139.90 per gallon

Balvinie Single Malt Scotch Whiskey = $179.90 per gallon

Crappy domestic merlo = $29.90 per gallon

Crappy domestic beer = $23.09 per gallon

Sparkling water = $18.90 per gallon

Pantene Pro V shampoo with conditioner = $41.50 per gallon

Listerine mouthwash = $26.52 per gallon

Toothpaste (cheap stuff) = $42.45 per gallon

Evian bottled water = $11.43 per gallon

Tropicana Orange Juice = $7.99 per gallon

Coca Cola = $6.20 per gallon

Gatorade sports drink = $14.56 per gallon

Pet Promise canned dog food = $16.25 per gallon


And the cost of gasoline at the pump averages about $2.57 per gallon (nationawide average as of 3/19/07).

What in the hell is the big issue with gas prices. Why is everyone in such an uproar over the high cost of gas or the profits that oil companies are making? Your shampoo maker is making more per gallon than your oil company is. Why isn't anyone talking about the high price of shampoo and the shampoo company profits that should be taken away from them?

Elliot

kindj answered on 03/22/07:

And it's the best $94.90 I've spent in a loooong time!

Especially when I spend another $6.20 for the Coke to mix it with.

Yeah, I know. Gettin' older......

DK

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tomder55 asked on 03/22/07 - Fred Thompson continues to impress

Here is part of his commentary tha the delivered on the Paul Harvey show this week .

Southern Exposure

By Fred Thompson

We are all very well aware of the fact that we have an illegal-immigration problem in this country. As usual, we avoided the problem for as long as we could and when we couldn’t avoid it any longer we were told that, indeed, somewhere between 12 and 20 million people had somehow come into this country unnoticed.

It’s like we went overnight from “no problem” to a problem so big that it now defies a good solution. It’s become one of those “there are no good choices only less bad choices” that Americans are becoming all too familiar with.

We know that the overwhelming majority of illegals come across the Mexican border. Fortunately, we’ve got someone who is all too willing to tell us what we should do about it — the president of Mexico Philipe Calderon. President Calderon doesn’t think much of our border policies. He criticizes our efforts to secure the border with things such as border fencing. He says that bottle necks at U.S. checkpoints hurt Mexican commerce and force his citizens to migrate illegally in order to make a living (and of course send money back to Mexico). He apparently thinks we should do nothing except make American citizens out of his constituents. Calderon also accused U.S. officials of failing to do enough to stop the flow of drugs in to the United States. Mexican politicians gave President Bush an earful of all of this during his recent trip to Mexico.

I think its time for a little plain talk to the leaders of Mexico. Something like:
hey guys, you’re our friends and neighbors and we love you but it’s time you had a little dose of reality. A sovereign nation loses that status if it cannot secure its own borders and we are going to do whatever is necessary to do so, although our policies won’t be as harsh as yours are along your southern border. And criticizing the U.S. for alternately doing too much and too little to stop your illegal activities is not going to set too well with Americans of good will who are trying to figure a way out of the mess that your and our open borders policy has already created.
My friends, it’s also time for a little introspection. Since we all agree that improving Mexico’s economy will help with the illegal-immigration problem, you might want to consider your own left-of -center policies. For example, nationalized industries are not known for enhancing economic growth. Just a thought. But here’s something even more to the point that you might want to think about: What does it say about the leadership of a country when that country’s economy and politics are dependent upon the exportation of its own citizens?



— Fred Thompson is an actor and former United States senator from Tennessee.

© PAUL HARVEY SHOW, ABC RADIO NETWORKS

kindj answered on 03/22/07:

Fred rocks.

He seems quite intelligent, and also politically savvy.

You don't find that combination too often.

DK

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/20/07 - animal rights nuts gone nuts?

Kill tame bear, say animal nuts

March 20, 2007

ANIMAL-RIGHTS activists have called for a zoo’s baby Polar bear to be KILLED — because it relies on humans.

Knut became a superstar after he was rejected by his mother at birth last December.

His twin brother died after just four days.

The hand-reared polar bear touched the hearts of the nation and became the symbol of Berlin Zoo.

He was even photographed by star snapper Annie Leibowitz for an international campaign.

But extremists in Germany claim Knut’s cuteness is against his own “animal rights” and he should be put to sleep.

Activist Frank Albrecht said last night: “The hand-rearing of Knut is a breach of the animal protection code.

“He’ll rely on humans forever and this cannot be right.”

Zoo director Wolfram Ludwig added: “He will not be a proper Polar bear. But it is too late to kill him now.”

Thousands of tourists flock to see Knut fed by a baby’s bottle every day. He was voted the city’s top citizen in a TV poll.

Wolfgang Apel, of the German Animal Protection Society, said: “We must be careful with Knut but killing him is not the answer.“


knut
)





kindj answered on 03/21/07:

Hmmmmmmm.......

>>“He’ll rely on humans forever and this cannot be right.”<<

Couldn't the same be said for the millions of 2nd and 3rd generation welfare recipients?

Is it OK if I offer the same solution to THAT problem?

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/07/07 - someone on yahoo asked can my trailer court
do this too???

BOSTON (Reuters) - More than 30 Vermont towns passed resolutions on Tuesday seeking to impeach
President Bush, while at least 16 towns in the tiny New England state called on Washington to withdraw U.S. troops from
Iraq.

Known for picturesque autumn foliage, colonial inns, maple sugar and old-fashion dairy farms, Vermont is in the vanguard of a grass-roots protest movement to impeach Bush over his handling of the unpopular Iraq war.

"We're putting impeachment on the table," said James Leas, a Vermont lawyer who helped to draft the resolutions and is tracking the votes. "The people in all these towns are voting to get this process started and bring the troops home now."

The resolutions passed on Vermont's annual town meeting day -- a colonial era tradition where citizens debate issues of the day big and small -- are symbolic and cannot force Congress to impeach Bush, but they "may help instigate further discussions in the legislature," said state Rep. David Zuckerman.

"The president must be held accountable," said Zuckerman, a politician from Burlington, Vermont's largest city.

After casting votes on budgets and other routine items, citizens of 32 towns in Vermont backed a measure calling on the U.S. Congress to file articles of impeachment against Bush for misleading the nation on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and for engaging in illegal wiretapping, among other charges.

Five Vermont towns passed similar resolutions last year.

The idea of impeaching Bush resides firmly outside the political mainstream.

The new Democratic-controlled Congress has steered clear of the subject, and Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold's call last year to censure Bush -- a step short of an impeachment -- found scant support on Capitol Hill, even among fellow Democrats.

Vermont's congressional delegation has shown no serious interest in the idea.

'SOLDIERS HOME NOW'

Sixteen Vermont towns passed a separate "soldiers home now" resolution calling on the White House, the U.S. Congress and Vermont's elected officials to withdraw troops from Iraq.

"The best way to support them is to bring each and every one of them home now and take good care of them when they get home," the resolution said.

It was unclear how many towns had put the resolutions to a vote, and the results of all the town meetings in the state of about 609,000 people may not be known for days.

Residents of Burlington were voting on a separate question calling for a new investigation into the September 11 attacks.

Voters were asked to circle "yes" or "no" to the question: "Shall Vermont's Congressional Delegation be advised to demand a new, thorough, and truly independent forensic investigation that fully addresses the many questions surrounding the tragic events of September 11, 2001?"

Doug Dunbebin, who gathered signatures to get the issue on the ballot, said questions linger about September 11, when hijacked plane attacks killed nearly 3,000 people at New York's World Trade Center, at the
Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

A group known as Scholars for 9/11 Truth believes the events of that day were part of a conspiracy engineered by the U.S. government and that it took more than two planes to bring down the Twin Towers in New York.

Vermont's new U.S. representative, Peter Welch (news, bio, voting record), a Democrat, said there was no need for a further investigation.

kindj answered on 03/07/07:

The city council of Santa Cruz, CA did the same thing. Really ticked off a lot of residents, even the ones opposed to the war. It was refreshing to read about liberals and conservatives getting on the same sheet of music for once when they asked the city council why they are wasting time on something they have zero effect on, when there's still crime in the city and holes in the streets.

Basically, the good citizenry of Santa Cruz, a quite liberal little town, gave a collective and bi-partisan b****-slap to their own city council for wasting time and tax dollars on something so colossally ignorant.

DK

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Itsdb asked on 03/01/07 - Is there no shame?

I heard this PSA entitled The Gift (Windows Media File) on the radio at lunch. You hear these innocent little children saying things like...

    "I'm getting a catcher's mitt"

    "I'm getting ice skates"

    "I'm getting a jigsaw puzzle"


And then...

    "I'm getting dying coral reefs"

    "A blue bicycle"

    "A walkie-talkie"

    "I'm getting a severe drought"

    "A cool black skateboard"

    "I'm getting melted ice caps"
    "A killer heat wave"
    "A shrinking glacier"
    "I'm getting a devastating flood"


    Now wait for the voiceover...

      "Adults are generous. We're even giving kids global warming ... but it's not too late.


    Isn't that child exploitation? It isn't enough to hammer us with global warming stories every day? Do they have to take sweet sounding children, tease you with what sounds like a kid describing a birthday present and then hit you with "I'm getting dying coral reefs?"

    The media can't even tell the truth, they have to manipulate and scam - and then everyone wonders why some of us are skeptical. Take this for instance, the headline in the Daily Mail on February 1st, Global warming sees polar bears stranded on melting ice. They cling precariously to the top of what is left of the ice floe, their fragile grip the perfect symbol of the tragedy of global warming.



    A recap from a 2004 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution expedition shows another picture of these bears with the caption, Mother polar bear and cub on interesting ice sculpture carved by waves.

    From "I'm getting a catcher's mitt" to "I'm getting a devastating flood," and from "Mother polar bear and cub on interesting ice sculpture carved by waves" to "Global warming sees polar bears stranded on melting ice." Is there no shame with these people?

    kindj answered on 03/01/07:

    Hypocrisy is the ultimate invader, respecting no side, no cause, no political party, no religion.

    It's the ultimate in equal opportunity.

    I like it on the rare occasion when I see conservatives calling out their own on their hypocrisy or even immoral or criminal action.

    Keep waiting to see the same thing happen on the liberal side. So far, nothing. But I'm not giving up ALL hope.....

    DK

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Itsdb asked on 02/28/07 - You gotta love those moonbats

Several people have noted comments from yesterday's Huffington Post entry on the alleged "targeting" of Cheney (which at least have since been removed):

    "Cheney's spokeswoman said he was fine."

    "F**K" - by geoman77

    "So Cheney is personally responsible for the deaths of 14 innocent people...and then he waddles off to lunch!! What a piece of sh*t" - by fantanfanny

    "They missed! Too bad" - by DinahM

    "You can't kill pure evil. Like an exorcism you have to drive a stake through it." - by Caeser

    "If at first you don't succeed..." - by tented

    "Better luck next time." - by TDB

    "What a different world we would be living in today if they had succeeded." - by pakiman47

    "Dr Evil escapes again...damn" - by truthtopower01

    "Who'd have thought that Afghanistan would make such a valiant attempt to save the United States of America?" - by DumbFireman

    "Another 14 people dead, and their blood is literally on Dick's hands." - by micdago

    "All this naive talk about Cheney "dying" ... He's SATAN, for Christ's sake!! Even if the bomb did get him, he would just come back as another right wing war monger.." - by neoconcriminals

    "If Cheney was seized by the Iraqi government, tried, convicted, and hung by the neck until his freakin head popped off, then I wold say Iraq is making "remarkable progress." - by lornejl


I wonder if that's the kind of "meaningful dialogue" the left wants us to have with Iran?

kindj answered on 02/28/07:

And they belong to the party of "peace, love, and tolerance," huh?

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Itsdb asked on 02/27/07 - FYI: the facts

Sometimes you just have to report the facts. On the first gun control question Paraclete said to me, "Strange how so many people want out, what are you doing over there?"

Good question, but the rate is not much different in Australia. Total suicides in the US for 2004 were 32,439 - .011% of the population, roughly 11.05 per hundred thousand.

In Australia for 2004, total suicides were 2098 - .0104% of the population, or roughly 10.4 per hundred thousand. Official Australian stats here (pdf) and official US stats here.

The latest statistics compiled by WHO reveal it's much grimmer in the former Eastern Bloc and much of western Europe including Belgium, Finland, Switzerland, Austria and France with its 17.6 suicides per hundred thousand people. Japan was 10th with 23.8 per hundred thousand and Lithuania led this tragic statistic with 42.1 per hundred thousand.

Seems the level of distress is pretty equal in Australia and the US, where Americans are apparently 60% happier than the French.

Another thing Paraclete claimed was, "The British Home Office reports that in the nine months following the handgun ban, firearm-related offences in England and Wales dropped by 13%.

A British citizen is still 50 times less likely to be a victim of gun homicide than an American."


Since the UK introduced the supposed "toughest gun control laws in the world," gun crime has doubled according to the Telegraph.

Even more facts for you. In 1994, the year before Texans were given the right to carry concealed weapons, there were 129,838 incidents of violent crime among our population of 18,378,000.

In 2005 that number fell to 121,091 incidents of violent crime among our population of 22,859,968.

Our population grew by 4,481,968 while incidents of violent crime fell by 8,747 since we were allowed to carry concealed weapons. Murders FELL from 2,022 in 1994 to 1,407 in 2005.

It's difficult to compare statistics with Australia as they are categorized differently, but while the level of homicides in Australia has remained fairly level the number of assaults have risen from 114,156 in 1996 to 158,629 in 2003, an increase of almost 30%. Sexual assaults rose from 14,542 in 1996 to 18,237 in 2003, an increase of almost 23%.

Just thought you all should know.

kindj answered on 02/27/07:

And given the complete lack of efficiency and motivation of our local PD to actually go out and fight REAL crime, I feel much better about having the means, the training, and most of all the RIGHT to defend myself.

One small example from earlier this year:

A man is in my alley, beating on my back fence, pulling on boards, and otherwise trying to wreck the thing, apparantly with the notion of coming in.

Yes, I could have simply gone outside and waved a .357 attitude adjuster in his face, but being the lawful citizen I am, I opted to give my local PD the first chance.

Bad idea.

When I called, the dispatcher said, and I quote, "If he actually makes it IN to your yard, give us a call."

?.......?.......?

After a disbelieving pause, I responded to her that if he DID make it into my yard, I would no longer require the services of a police officer, and that they should just send the ME to gather whatever remains there were and cart them off.

THERE'S your police department at work.

Now, with that being the prevailing attitude in my area, just who the hell IS responsible for my safety? Same as it's always been: ME.

DK

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tomder55 asked on 02/26/07 - The despicable AP..

...has hit a new low....if that were possible . At first sight this hit piece by Glen Johnson looked like a parody article out of Onion .

Though Mitt Romney condemns polygamy and its prior practice by his Mormon church, the Republican presidential candidate's great-grandfather had five wives and at least one of his great-great grandfathers had 12.

Polygamy was not just a historical footnote but a prominent element in the family tree of the former Massachusetts governor seeking to become the first Mormon president.

Romney's great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, married his fifth wife in 1897. That was more than six years after Mormon leaders banned polygamy and more than three decades after a federal law barred the practice.

Hannah Hood Hill, Romney's great-grandmother, was the daughter of polygamists. She wrote vividly in her autobiography about how she "used to walk the floor and shed tears of sorrow" over her own husband's multiple marriages.


Of course it stands to reason that if Romney's great-grandfather and great-great grandfather had multiple wives that Romney approves of the practice.He has already condemned the practice of poligamy so what exactly is the issue here ?

Of course the answer is that the AP is trying to create a rift between Romney his growing support amongst the Christian conservatives.

One has to wonder how deeply the AP will dig into Barak Obama's Muslim roots if they are willing to probe 4 generations into the past.

There are plenty of questions that Romney needs to address in this campaign .I don't think his great grandfather's marriages need be one of them .


kindj answered on 02/27/07:

Why not? After all, conservative white guys (especially SOUTHERN conservative white guys) are still being held responsible for slavery. It's only liberals and scumbags who are not responsible for their actions, nor the actions of anyone around them or connected to them.

By the way, you know what the penalty is for having two wives?


It's having two wives!

DK

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Question/Answer
rusty asked on 02/27/07 - Iraq


What are your opinions about the war in Iraq? Do you think that it should be wrapped up and the President should focus on our current problems over here?

kindj answered on 02/27/07:

To make a VERY long explanation short: I'm in favor of the strategy and tactics behind the war in Iraq. Personally, I would've picked Iran and the "drawing out" place of the terrorists, but it seems to be working quite well in Iraq for now.

As to the timeline, the people must remember that we are not fighting WW2 all over again. There are no clearly defined, uniformed, enemy forces that, once seen, can be eliminated. This is guerrilla warfare, and it's brutal. The US military is equipped to fight it, but much of the time the idiots in the press and the armchair generals don't understand what it takes to win a war of this type.

I think the President should see this thing through to the end, in whatever form the "end" may come. There are adequate resources to deal with whatever domestic problems we have over here. That's the whole "delegation" thing: The entirety of foreign and domestic policies and happening are simply too much for one person to handle, hence the appointment of people who are charged with the day-to-day running of these things.

DK

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paraclete asked on 02/24/07 - Is Japanese militarism on the rise again?

Let's face it folks to we have more to fear from a resurgent Japan than from Iran or North Korea. What purpose can Japan have for spying on the rest of the world?


Japan completes set of spy satellites

From correspondents in Tokyo

February 24, 2007 06:31pm


JAPAN launched its fourth spy satellite today, improving its ability to monitor potential threats including North Korea, whose missile and nuclear tests have spooked the region.

An H-2A rocket, delayed three times by bad weather, finally lifted off from the southern island of Tanegashima, carrying a radar satellite that will join two optical satellites and another radar satellite already in operation.

With the full complement of four satellites, Japan will be able to monitor any point on Earth once a day, government officials have said.

Japan's spy satellite program was initiated after North Korea launched a ballistic missile in 1998 that flew over Japan.

The program was delayed in 2003 when a rocket carrying two satellites veered off course and had to be destroyed in a spectacular fireball.

North Korea ratcheted up regional tensions last year when it conducted a nuclear test in October after a salvo of missile tests in July.

In January, China destroyed one of its own satellites by firing a ballistic missile at it, in an experiment that sparked criticism around the world.

Japan's space scientists have long complained that the country's technical prowess has fallen behind because of a 1969 parliamentary resolution limiting the use of space to peaceful purposes.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party is likely to soon submit a bill that would ease regulations and allow non-aggressive military use of space.

The rocket launched today was also carrying an experimental optical satellite, aimed at improving the level of detail obtained from the next generation of satellites.

At present, Japan's satellites can distinguish objects a metre or more in diameter, whereas US military satellites are said to be able to do so for items one-tenth as large.






Copyright 2007 News Limited. All times AEDT (GMT +11).

kindj answered on 02/26/07:

Having lived in Japan, and having had extensive relations with what passes for their "military," I can say with almost one hundred percent certainty that any fears of Japan becoming "militaristic" or "imperialistic" again are unfounded.

They have a civil defense force, which on a good day might be able to stop an amphibious invasion from, say, Mexico. They just don't have the military manpower or equipment to mount a proper defense against most threats, much less take the offensive. Hence, their reliance on a strong US presence on the islands, which we gladly provide. Japan is one of the few places I've been that is totally comfortable with US military presence, and the relationship between the members of the military and the society is a good one, with very few problems reported, especially compared with other places in the world where we're based.

I feel that these launches are defensive in nature, with the goal being early warning. They may be trying to ONE DAY have a military force that is capable, in and of itself, of carrying out a proper defense. But I just don't see the Japanese as trying to regain their former imperial status.

DK

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Question/Answer
_JacquelineA asked on 02/23/07 - gun control


I recently came across some information that really seems to be more anti-american propaganda than actual fact.

I really find it amusing that people in other countries immediatly decide they can pass judgement on the United States concerning gun control while ignoring facts.

The Death Rate in the US is 167,184 for all forms of death.

Gun related deaths in 2004, latest numbers available: 29,569
Stabbings: 2,799
poisoning: 30,308
suffocation: 14,043
Total: 47,150

Now these are the INTENTIONAL deaths, or to put it acurately, people wanted to kill someone.

Unintended Firearm Deaths: 649

So, if you non-americans really want to criticise the US for allowing its citizens to purchase guns, at least use the right information.

One more thing, in the cities that have made it illegal to own handguns have seen a rise in gun related crimes.... so gee, you tell me, is gun control the way to stop violent crimes?

By the way, strangely enough, world wide, for every 10,000 people in a population, the rate of violence increases, until it hits around a half million people, then it goes up expotentially.

One last thing, at least in the United States, we are NOT under the constant video surveilence by dozens of cameras per block as in some cities!

kindj answered on 02/24/07:

You are absolutely correct.

If you want some good facts, backed up by hard, reliable data, go to:

http://www.gunfacts.info

DK

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Question/Answer
_JacquelineA asked on 02/23/07 - extremely angry!!


I would like to let everyone know that i did not post the last topic titled frustrated. My roommate's younger sister who is eleven had gotten onto this page because i keep myself automatically signed-in and posted lyrics to some stupid song. i would like to just delete it but am not sure how..

kindj answered on 02/23/07:

Go up to the top of the screen, find the icon called "members," click on it. Now find your question, and just click on the word "remove" on the right side of the screen.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 02/23/07 - I think Hell may be freezing over.

The following two articles may indicate the end of the world as we know it.

--------------

Barry aims for gun-ban hiatus
By Gary Emerling
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
February 7, 2007

D.C. Council member Marion Barry yesterday introduced legislation that would suspend the District's 30-year ban on handguns, providing gun owners a 90-day period to register weapons they would then be allowed to legally own.

"We are in the midst of a gun-violence epidemic," said Mr. Barry, Ward 8 Democrat. "We need to see gun violence as an emergency in the District of Columbia."

Mr. Barry's bill, which only applies to pistols, would allow D.C. residents with no criminal record to register guns for 90 days from the law's enactment. After the 90-day period, current gun restrictions would be reinstated.

Barry spokesman Keith Perry said the bill is "an acknowledgment that people do have guns" in the District and would help police better track weapons used in the commission of crimes.

The District has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation and restricts ownership of most guns that were not registered before 1977. Privately owned rifles and shotguns must be kept at home and stored unloaded, disassembled or bound by a trigger lock or a similar device.

Mr. Barry's proposal would increase the penalties for possessing an unregistered weapon in the District from a maximum of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

A second offense could result in 30 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, according to the bill.

Mr. Barry, who was robbed at gunpoint in his Southeast apartment in January 2006, cited statistics that said police had confiscated 2,656 guns last year, with 51 percent of those weapons being seized east of the Anacostia River.

A recent Metropolitan Police Department report on homicides from 2001 to 2005 states that 901 of 1,126 homicide victims, or about 80 percent, were fatally shot.

Mr. Barry, who served four terms as D.C. mayor, also referenced the recent shooting deaths of D.C. teenagers Cynthia Gray and Taleshia Ford, both 17, in urging support for the measure.

"We all get outraged ... and we all go home," Mr. Barry said. "Nothing is done to get the guns off the streets of Washington, D.C."

Mr. Barry's bill was co-sponsored by council members Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat; Kwame Brown, at-large Democrat; and Tommy Wells, Ward 6 Democrat. It was referred to the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary.

Mr. Brown acknowledged that the bill "needs some working and flushing out" but that it was a proactive approach to taking guns off of city streets.

"To me, it's the end result," he said. "How do we get guns off the streets of the District of Columbia, get public input and find out how we can make the streets safer?"

Phil Mendelson, at-large Democrat and chairman of the public safety committee, said he had reservations about aspects of the bill. He said the 90-day period during which people who have owned illegal guns can register their weapons seems "counterproductive."

"The intent is right, to deal with gun violence," Mr. Mendelson said. "The amnesty thing, I think, goes against the need to reduce the number of guns in our city." He said the bill would likely be considered during the course of a larger hearing on gun violence.

Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said yesterday the organization was not sufficiently familiar with Mr. Barry's bill to give an opinion on it but that the measure could be a tough sell in the District.

"It seems like a real uphill struggle for Mr. Barry to get a lot of broad support for something like this," Mr. Hamm said. "Washington, D.C., is suffering from a lot of gun violence lately and to say, 'Let's bring more guns into the equation as a solution,' doesn't sound like it makes a great deal of sense."

Chris W. Cox, chief lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, also said Mr. Barry's proposal was a surprise and that the organization would study the bill.

"Obviously, we support efforts to allow law-abiding residents of the District to own firearms," Mr. Cox said. "And we will continue in those efforts."

Congressional attempts to repeal the District's gun ban in recent years have been criticized as attacks on the District's right to home rule.

In 2004, the House of Representatives voted in favor of repealing the city's restrictions on gun ownership and registration, even though the measure was opposed by the District's mayor, 13 council members, the police chief and the city's congressional delegate. The bill was not brought to a vote in the Senate.

A federal appeals court heard arguments in December about whether the District's decision to prohibit residents from owning guns is a violation of the Second Amendment. That decision is pending. A U.S. District judge rejected the argument, brought by six D.C. residents, in 2005.

------------------

NUCLEAR & GREEN
By PATRICK MOORE

February 23, 2007 -- AS co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace, I once opposed nuclear energy. But times have changed, and new facts of compelling importance have emerged - and so my views have changed as well, as have those of a growing number of respected, independent environmentalists around the world.
There are few places where nuclear power makes as much sense or is as important as in New York. Indeed, the state is a microcosm of the challenges America and the world face to have ample, clean and reasonably priced electricity. As such, I strongly support renewal of the license for the Indian Point nuclear plants in Westchester, which provides 30 percent or so of the electricity used in the New York metro area.

Let me explain.

Climate change is now high on the global agenda, and I believe nuclear energy holds the greatest potential to arrest the dangers we face from global warming. It is the only non-greenhouse-gas-emitting power source capable of effectively replacing fossil fuels and satisfying growing demand.

Hydroelectric is largely built to capacity. And while other key renewable energy sources will play a growing role, wind and solar power are unreliable and intermittent. They simply can't provide "baseload" electricity - especially in densely populated areas like downstate New York.

And with Mayor Bloomberg's 2030 Commission projecting the growth of the city's population by 1 million over the next few decades, New York's power needs can't be expected to shrink.

Worldwide, nuclear energy is one of the safest industrial sectors. Here in North America, no one has been harmed in the entire history of civilian nuclear-power generation. Indeed, it's proven safer to work at a nuclear power plant than in the finance or real-estate sectors.

Nuclear energy is already the No. 2 source of electricity in the United States; it accounts for nearly 30 percent of New York state's electricity.

Another environmental benefit: Nuclear power plants improve air quality by reducing smog.

Downstate New York arguably has the worst air quality of any region in the country, thanks to high levels of ozone and particulate pollution.

The five boroughs and four other New York counties - Nassau, Orange, Rockland and Suffolk - are in violation of both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ozone standards and its regulations on fine particulate matter.

It is well established that this pollution has harmful health effects, especially for children and the elderly. This needs to be addressed now.

Because of the many environmental and economic benefits, dozens of business associations, labor unions, community groups and others support Indian Point license renewal.

Nuclear energy also makes economic sense. The cost of producing nuclear energy in the United States is on par with coal and hydroelectric. That's a very important consideration in New York, which has the country's second-highest elec- tricity costs. This impacts the poor and elderly, in particular, and makes it difficult for the business sector to operate efficiently as well.

What about nuclear waste? The notion is misleading. This used fuel is not waste. After its first cycle, spent fuel still contains 95 percent of its energy. Future generations will be able to put this valuable resource to work, powering the country.

Nuclear energy is not a silver bullet - it alone can't meet all of our energy needs. But the path toward cleaner air lies in the reduction of fossil fuels in favor of a mix of nuclear and renewable energy.

A growing consensus among environmentalists, politicians, industry and labor groups, academics and community leaders strongly supports a move in that direction.

Nearly 70 percent of Americans think more needs to be done to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. I believe nuclear energy is well positioned to help achieve this goal and bring New York in line with the federal Clean Air Act.

The time for fresh thinking and renewed leadership on New York's energy needs is now.

Patrick Moore co-founded Greenpeace and is chair and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. in Vancouver, British Columbia and an adviser to the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (area-alliance.org).

-----------------

Holy crap!!! Ubber-lib Marion Barry is calling for a moratorium on the DC gun ban!?!?!? Patrick Moore, the chief enviro-mental-case himself, is supporting nuclear power?!?!?

Add to that the fact that a recent poll showed that Americans overwhelmingly support the troop surge, and we've got a Twilight Zone moment in the making.

And if you add Paraclete agreeing with Dick Cheney, it becomes too absurd even for TV.

What the hell is going on? Liberals are actually agreeing with my positions. I must be doing something wrong?

HHHHHEEEELLLLPPPP!!!! Somebody get me out of this crazy nightmare!!!!!!

I think I need some brain-floss.

Elliot

kindj answered on 02/23/07:

Wait, wait, wait....

>>"We are in the midst of a gun-violence epidemic," said Mr. Barry,<<

How can this be? By liberal democrat's logic, banning guns should have REDUCED gun violence!!!

Personally, I'm suspicious. Registration provides the means for confiscation.

As to the nukes, what can I say? Maybe logic is the unstoppable force that can overcome (eventually) the almost-immovable object that is the liberal mindset.

Maybe light bulbs are starting to come on. That's encouraging, since I never really thought either of the above individuals possessed even the light socket for a bulb.

DK

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Question/Answer
_JacquelineA asked on 02/22/07 - frustrated............


i am so sick of these black men treating women like thier peaces of shit.. i am going to go ahead and paste this song that appeals to me.. please give you comment and opinions on it!!!!

"Papa'z Song"
(feat. Wycked)

Daddy's home...

[2Pac]
Heh, so?
You say that like that means somethin to me
You've been gone a mighty long motherfuckin time
for you to be comin home talkin that "daddy's home" shit (nigga)
We been gettin along fine just without you
Me, my brother, and my mother
So if you don't mind, you can step the FUCK off, POPS.. fuck you!

[2Pac]
Had to play catch by myself, what a sorry sight
A pitiful plight, so I pray for a starry night
Please send me a pops before puberty
the things I wouldn't do to see a piece of family unity
Moms always work, I barely see her
I'm startin to get worried without a pops I'll grow to be her
It's a wonder they don't understand kids today
so when I pray, I pray I'll never grow to be that way
And I hope that he answers me
I heard God don't like ugly well take a look at my family
A different father every weekend
Before we get to meet him they break up before the week ends
I'm gettin sick of all the friendships
As soon as we kick it he done split and the whole shit ends quick
How can I be a man if there's no role model?
Strivin to save my soul I stay cold drinkin a forty bottle
I'm so sorry...

[Chorus]
I'm so sorry
for all this time (I'm so sorry)
for all this time
for all this time (don't lie)
I'm so sorry
for all this time (so, sorry)
for all this time
for all this time, so sorry baby!

[Wycked]
Moms had to entertain many men
Didn't wanna do it but it's time to pay the rent again
I'm gettin a bit older and I'm startin to be a bother
Moms can't stand me cause I'm lookin like my father
Should I stay or run away, tell me the answer
Moms ignores me and avoids me like cancer
Grow up rough and it's hard to understand stuff
Moms was tough cause his poppa wasn't man enough
Couldn't stand up to his own responsibilities
Instead of takin care of me, he'd rather live lavishly
That's why I'll never be a father;
unless you got the time it's a crime don't even bother
(That's when I started hatin the phony smiles
Said I was an only child)
Look at mama's lonely smile
It's hard for a son to see his mother cry
She only loves you, but has to fuck with these other guys
I'm so sorry...

[Chorus]
I'm so sorry
for all this time
for all this time
for all this time
I'm so sorry
for all this time
for all this time (so sorry)
for all this time, so sorry baby!

[2Pac]
Man child in the promised land couldn't afford many heroes
Moms was the only one there my pops was a no-show
And ohh -I guess ya didn't know
that I would grow to be so strong
Lookin kinda pale, was it the ale oh pops was wrong
Where was the money that you said, you would send me
talked on the phone and you sounded so friendly
Ask about school and my welfare
but it's clear, you ain't sincere hey who the hell cares
You think I'm blind but this time I see you comin, Jack
You grabbed your coat, left us broke, now ain't no runnin back
Ask about my moms like you loved her from the start
Left her in the dark, she fell apart from a broken heart
So don't even start with that "wanna be your father" shit
Don't even bother with your dollars I don't need it
I'll bury moms like you left me all alone G
Now that that I finally found you, stay the Fuck away from me
You're so sorry..

[Chorus]
I'm so sorry (so sorry)
for all this time (so, so sorry)
for all this time (I'm so so sorry)
for all this time (fuck that!)
I'm so sorry
for all this time (no)
for all this time (so sorry)
for all this time, so sorry baby!

[Tupac - impersonating his father]
I never meant to leave but I was wanted
Crossed too many people every house I'd touch was haunted
Had to watch the strangers every brother was in danger
If I was to keep you breathin, had to be out of range-a
Had to move, one to lost my name and pick the number
Made me watch my back I had no happy home to run to
Maybe it's my fault for being a father livin fast
But livin slow, mean half the dough, and you won't get no ass
Hindsight shows me it was wrong all along
I wanted to make some dough so you would grow to be so strong
It took a little longer than I thought
I slipped, got caught, and sent to jail by the courts
Now I'm doin time and I wish you'd understand
all I ever wanted was for you to be a man
and grow to be the type you was meant to be
Keep the war fightin by the writings that you sent to me
I'm so sorry...

[Chorus w/ variations til end]


kindj answered on 02/22/07:

Gotta echo Steve on this one. I, too, have seen many a sorry excuse for a father in ALL shades of color. My stepson is hispanic, and his "dad" is a real POS. I like Keanu Reeves' line in the movie "Parenthood:"

"You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car - hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father."

While I personally dislike the tasteless drivel that is rap music, I do understand that it is the language of the group these "artists" are targeting. If a crude message can bring about positive change, then I'll tolerate the profanity.

DK

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 02/18/07 - Iraqui Civilians:



Are ALL the Iraqui CIVILIANS armed? It seems to me that they should be killing some of the insurgents themselves.

HANK

kindj answered on 02/20/07:

I doubt that they are all armed. Remember, for 30 years they lived under the regime of a dictator. I don't know for absolute certain, but I feel pretty safe in saying that Saddam did not allow private ownership of firearms by the Iraqis. It's kinda hard to be a dictator when you have an armed population (a lesson America would do well to remember).

Yes, I think they should be picking up the fight.

No, I'm not sure of the best way to go about ensuring that it happens.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 02/08/07 - The Troops Also Need to Support the American People

By William M. Arkin

    I've been mulling over an NBC Nightly News report from Iraq last Friday in which a number of soldiers expressed frustration with opposition to war in the United States.

    I'm sure the soldiers were expressing a majority opinion common amongst the ranks - that's why it is news - and I'm also sure no one in the military leadership or the administration put the soldiers up to expressing their views, nor steered NBC reporter Richard Engel to the story.

    I'm all for everyone expressing their opinion, even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army. But I also hope that military commanders took the soldiers aside after the story and explained to them why it wasn't for them to disapprove of the American people.

    Friday's NBC Nightly News included a story from my colleague and friend Richard Engel, who was embedded with an active duty Army infantry battalion from Fort Lewis, Washington.

    Engel relayed how "troops here say they are increasingly frustrated by American criticism of the war. Many take it personally, believing it is also criticism of what they've been fighting for."

    First up was 21 year old junior enlisted man Tyler Johnson, whom Engel said was frustrated about war skepticism and thinks that critics "should come over and see what it's like firsthand before criticizing."

    "You may support or say we support the troops, but, so you're not supporting what they do, what they're here sweating for, what we bleed for, what we die for. It just don't make sense to me," Johnson said.

    Next up was Staff Sergeant Manuel Sahagun, who is on his second tour in Iraq. He complained that "one thing I don't like is when people back home say they support the troops, but they don't support the war. If they're going to support us, support us all the way."

    Next was Specialist Peter Manna: "If they don't think we're doing a good job, everything that we've done here is all in vain," he said.

    These soldiers should be grateful that the American public, which by all polls overwhelmingly disapproves of the Iraq war and the President's handling of it, do still offer their support to them, and their respect.

    Through every Abu Ghraib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform, accepting that the incidents were the product of bad apples or even of some administration or command order.

    Sure, it is the junior enlisted men who go to jail. But even at anti-war protests, the focus is firmly on the White House and the policy. We don't see very many "baby killer" epithets being thrown around these days, no one in uniform is being spit upon.

    So, we pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?

    I can imagine some post-9/11 moment, when the American people say enough already with the wars against terrorism and those in the national security establishment feel these same frustrations. In my little parable, those in leadership positions shake their heads that the people don't get it, that they don't understand that the threat from terrorism, while difficult to defeat, demands commitment and sacrifice and is very real because it is so shadowy, that the very survival of the United States is at stake. Those Hoovers and Nixons will use these kids in uniform as their soldiers. If it weren't about the United States, I'd say the story would end with a military coup where those in the know, and those with fire in their bellies, would save the nation from the people.

    But it is the United States, and the recent NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary - oops sorry, volunteer - force that thinks it is doing the dirty work.

    The notion of dirty work is that, like laundry, it is something that has to be done but no one else wants to do it. But Iraq is not dirty work: it is not some necessary endeavor; the people just don't believe that anymore.

    I'll accept that the soldiers, in order to soldier on, have to believe that they are manning the parapet, and that's where their frustrations come in. I'll accept as well that they are young and naïve and are frustrated with their own lack of progress and the never changing situation in Iraq. Cut off from society and constantly told that everyone supports them, no wonder the debate back home confuses them.

    America needs to ponder what it is we really owe those in uniform.
    I don't believe America needs a draft though I imagine we'd be having a different discussion if we had one.


I feel like the guy that commented on this column who wrote, "what I would really like to say is...not (or should not be) printable."

So our "confused," "mercenary" troops who are fighting not only for us and the Iraqis but their own lives, that are rightfully frustrated with the obscene, disgusting rhetoric coming from the war critics just need to be taken aside and given a good talking to before going back to base to enjoy their "obscene amenities?"

Whatever, says Mr. Arkin, who is in his response to the critics of his column said "I intentionally chose to criticize the military and used the word (mercenary) to incite and call into question their presumption that the public had a duty to support them. The public has duties, but not to the American military."

The good news I suppose is this poor little victim is taking a recommended hiatus from his column ... while giving his critics the one-finger salute of course.

kindj answered on 02/08/07:

Typical elitist, write-from-the-safety-of-an-office-in-America-with-a-security-guard, pseudo-intellectual, hypocritic crap.

"Tolerance." "Unity."

Words the left tosses out like candy at a parade. But when the rubber hits the road, they're the most intolerant and divisive group of all.

How subtly he thinks he's working! How craftily he believes he sows the seeds of dissent and discord between the "people" and the "military."

News flash, a$$hole! The American military IS the American people! You want to see diversity at work? Don't look to the EEOC--look at Uncle Sam's boys and girls. You want results-oriented, mission mentality? Don't go to IBM--go to Ft. Bragg. You want to see (mostly) friendly internal rivalry and competition, but an organization that will band together as one against any who rise up against it? Forget about GE--go instead to Misawa MAF.

I guess that's why we were forbidden to talk to the press unless expressly ordered to (on a volunteer basis), which was declined, anyway. Besides, by the time they got through bleeping out the surplus of profanity, there wouldn't be much usable anyway.

For what it's worth, we were often called mercenaries by our own superiors. They told us that we were paid good money to kill people and destroy things, so it fit.

I don't know about that, but it didn't really bother me much.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 01/30/07 - Where is the war on terror?

Most members of the Democratic leadership have denounced the war in Iraq as not really part of the global war on terror. Nancy Pelosi in particular has argues that Iraq is not part of the war on terror, and others, like Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and more have followed suit. (The fact that the majority of Muslim terrorists in the world are currently fighting in Iraq doesn't seem to sway them at all.) They claim that oth Shia and Sunni Muslims are being alienated by the war.

During the war between the terrorist organization Hezbollah and Israel this past summer, much of the same Democratic leadership called on Bush and Rice to negotiate a peace agreement between the two parties, saying that Israel fighting Hezbollah was not helpful to the global war on terrorism. They claim that not negotiating with Hezbollah alienates Shia Muslims.

For a while now, Democrats have criticized Bush for not regularizing diplomatic relations with the terrorist organization Hamas in the Palestinian Authority. They claim that not having open dialogue with Hamas is bad for the global war on terror because it alienates Palestinians.

Now we are hearing criticism of the posibility of open war with Iran, and criticism of Bush not negotiating with Iran. They claim that this is bad for the global war on terrorism, because it alienates Shia Muslims.

So the fighting in Iraq isn't good for the GWOT. Neither is fighting against Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran.

So where, exactly, is the appropriate place to fight the GWOT, according to the Democrats? Where do the Democrats, (who want us to believe that they support the GWOT but not the war in Iraq, and claim that they support the troops but not the war in Iraq), want us to fight the GWOT?

Just wondering.

Elliot

kindj answered on 01/30/07:

It's really quite simple, I think.

Iraq wasn't playing ball with the US and the UN, being in flagrant violation of MULTIPLE resolutions (WMD's being only ONE). Therefore, by the UN SC's OWN resolutions, use of force to ensure compliance was not only allowed, it was MANDATED.

It only stands to reason that every scumbag terrorist in the world would flock to wherever we're fighting to join in the "cause."

Personally, I'd rather have them there than here.

My first choice for a battleground would've actually been Iran, but at that time, we didn't have nearly as much probable cause as we have now. But the fact remains that the terrorists are wrapped up in operations over THERE, and not over HERE.

The WOT is fought everywhere. Anywhere free people recoil against the horror of terror tactics and pays a little more attention to their environment is a place that is less safe for a terrorist.

This is a TEAM EFFORT by requirement, and we've already seen what happens in countries that decide they don't want to be on the team anymore.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 01/26/07 - Saph made an great point about the rules of engagement

The current ROEs for Baghdad ;including Sadr City, have seven steps that must be satisfied before our troops can take the gloves off and engage the enemy with appropriate violence .

(1) You must feel a direct threat to you or your team.

(2) You must clearly see a threat.

(3) That threat must be identified.

(4) The team leader must concur that there is an identified threat.

(5) The team leader must feel that the situation is one of life or death.

(6) There must be minimal or no collateral risk.

(7) Only then can the team leader clear the engagement.

If we can find what they are then you can be sure the jihadists /insurgents whatever know them also.

Hopefully General Petraeus has revised these rules to read :
(1) kill the enemy wherever you find them
(2) see rule # 1

kindj answered on 01/26/07:

Nice to see the PC police are on the job, even on the battlefield.

My comments:

1. >>You must feel a direct threat to you or your team.<<

Pardon me, but you're stationed IN A WAR ZONE!!! When do you NOT feel a "direct threat?"

2. >>You must clearly see a threat.<<

Nice. So as long as you don't actually SEE the scumbag with an RPG, he's free to fire from the building at will. Never mind the exhaust trail coming from the 3rd floor; wait until you actually SEE the threatening person.

3. >>That threat must be identified.<<

See number 2.

4. >>The team leader must concur that there is an identified threat.<<

Well gosh! Hopefully the team leader wasn't blown away by the initial "announcement" that is the threat.

5. >>The team leader must feel that the situation is one of life or death.<<

Nice and subjective--perfect fodder for armchair wannabes. Again, if the team leader dies, then...? Does the squad wait until the chain of command is clearly established, or do they fan out, hit the dirt, and return fire--worrying about lawyers at home later?

6. >>There must be minimal or no collateral risk.<<

Great!! So as long as the scumbag surrounds himself with civilians, he can do as he pleases.

7. >>Only then can the team leader clear the engagement.<<

So how many men have died while 1 through 6 were taking place? If I had a team leader that actually DID these steps in the midst of an ambush or attack, I'd frag his a$$.

I wasn't old enough for Vietnam, but to hear my uncles tell it, this is starting to sound REAL familiar.

No wonder the left is calling it "another Vietnam." THEY'RE they ones who turned it into that situation!

"If you don't learn from the past...."

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 01/23/07 - Army 2nd Lt. Mark J. Daily

Sunday, October 29, 2006
WHY I JOINED
Current mood: optimistic

Why I Joined:

This question has been asked of me so many times in so many different contexts that I thought it would be best if I wrote my reasons for joining the Army on my page for all to see. First, the more accurate question is why I volunteered to go to Iraq. After all, I joined the Army a week after we declared war on Saddam's government with the intention of going to Iraq. Now, after years of training and preparation, I am finally here.

Much has changed in the last three years. The criminal Ba'ath regime has been replaced by an insurgency fueled by Iraq's neighbors who hope to partition Iraq for their own ends. This is coupled with the ever present transnational militant Islamist movement which has seized upon Iraq as the greatest way to kill Americans, along with anyone else they happen to be standing near. What was once a paralyzed state of fear is now the staging ground for one of the largest transformations of power and ideology the Middle East has experienced since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Thanks to Iran, Syria, and other enlightened local actors, this transformation will be plagued by interregional hatred and genocide. And I am now in the center of this.

Is this why I joined?

Yes. Much has been said about America's intentions in overthrowing Saddam Hussein and seeking to establish a new state based upon political representation and individual rights. Many have framed the paradigm through which they view the conflict around one-word explanations such as "oil" or "terrorism," favoring the one which best serves their political persuasion. I did the same thing, and anyone who knew me before I joined knows that I am quite aware and at times sympathetic to the arguments against the war in Iraq. If you think the only way a person could bring themselves to volunteer for this war is through sheer desperation or blind obedience then consider me the exception (though there are countless like me).

I joined the fight because it occurred to me that many modern day "humanists" who claim to possess a genuine concern for human beings throughout the world are in fact quite content to allow their fellow "global citizens" to suffer under the most hideous state apparatuses and conditions. Their excuses used to be my excuses. When asked why we shouldn't confront the Ba'ath party, the Taliban or the various other tyrannies throughout this world, my answers would allude to vague notions of cultural tolerance (forcing women to wear a veil and stay indoors is such a quaint cultural tradition), the sanctity of national sovereignty (how eager we internationalists are to throw up borders to defend dictatorships!) or even a creeping suspicion of America's intentions. When all else failed, I would retreat to my fragile moral ecosystem that years of living in peace and liberty had provided me. I would write off war because civilian casualties were guaranteed, or temporary alliances with illiberal forces would be made, or tank fuel was toxic for the environment. My fellow "humanists" and I would relish contently in our self righteous declaration of opposition against all military campaigns against dictatorships, congratulating one another for refusing to taint that aforementioned fragile moral ecosystem that many still cradle with all the revolutionary tenacity of the members of Rage Against the Machine and Greenday. Others would point to America's historical support of Saddam Hussein, sighting it as hypocritical that we would now vilify him as a thug and a tyrant. Upon explaining that we did so to ward off the fiercely Islamist Iran, which was correctly identified as the greater threat at the time, eyes are rolled and hypocrisy is declared. Forgetting that America sided with Stalin to defeat Hitler, who was promptly confronted once the Nazis were destroyed, America's initial engagement with Saddam and other regional actors is identified as the ultimate argument against America's moral crusade.

And maybe it is. Maybe the reality of politics makes all political action inherently crude and immoral. Or maybe it is these adventures in philosophical masturbation that prevent people from ever taking any kind of effective action against men like Saddam Hussein. One thing is for certain, as disagreeable or as confusing as my decision to enter the fray may be, consider what peace vigils against genocide have accomplished lately. Consider that there are 19 year old soldiers from the Midwest who have never touched a college campus or a protest who have done more to uphold the universal legitimacy of representative government and individual rights by placing themselves between Iraqi voting lines and homicidal religious fanatics. Often times it is less about how clean your actions are and more about how pure your intentions are.

So that is why I joined. In the time it took for you to read this explanation, innocent people your age have suffered under the crushing misery of tyranny. Every tool of philosophical advancement and communication that we use to develop our opinions about this war are denied to countless human beings on this planet, many of whom live under the regimes that have, in my opinion, been legitimately targeted for destruction. Some have allowed their resentment of the President to stir silent applause for setbacks in Iraq. Others have ironically decried the war because it has tied up our forces and prevented them from confronting criminal regimes in Sudan, Uganda, and elsewhere.

I simply decided that the time for candid discussions of the oppressed was over, and I joined.

In digesting this posting, please remember that America's commitment to overthrow Saddam Hussein and his sons existed before the current administration and would exist into our future children's lives had we not acted. Please remember that the problems that plague Iraq today were set in motion centuries ago and were up until now held back by the most cruel of cages. Don't forget that human beings have a responsibility to one another and that Americans will always have a responsibility to the oppressed. Don't overlook the obvious reasons to disagree with the war but don't cheapen the moral aspects either. Assisting a formerly oppressed population in converting their torn society into a plural, democratic one is dangerous and difficult business, especially when being attacked and sabotaged from literally every direction. So if you have anything to say to me at the end of this reading, let it at least include "Good Luck"

Mark Daily
...............................................

The letter above was posted on his myspace site . Army 2nd Lt. Mark J. Daily was killed in action Jan.15 in Mosul along with three other soldiers when an IED hit their vehicle.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain (Abraham Lincoln)

kindj answered on 01/23/07:

>>In digesting this posting, please remember that America's commitment to overthrow Saddam Hussein and his sons existed before the current administration and would exist into our future children's lives had we not acted. Please remember that the problems that plague Iraq today were set in motion centuries ago and were up until now held back by the most cruel of cages. Don't forget that human beings have a responsibility to one another and that Americans will always have a responsibility to the oppressed. Don't overlook the obvious reasons to disagree with the war but don't cheapen the moral aspects either. Assisting a formerly oppressed population in converting their torn society into a plural, democratic one is dangerous and difficult business, especially when being attacked and sabotaged from literally every direction.<<

Quite possibly the finest summary I've ever heard.

May God shower a multitude of blessings upon this man in Heaven for his thoughtful service and sacrifice. I pray comfort for his family.

If I were allowed a gun at school, a 21-gun salute would be sounding now.

This man, those thoughts, those actions---THAT, my friends, IS America!

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 01/23/07 - Ever heard anything like this?

This may be a bit long, but...

    "The puppeteers who pull Bush's strings are pulling the strings of the evangelicals, as well as the rest of the homophobic, xenophobic scum who listen to Rush and Sean, looking for somebody to be better than." -AlreadyRaptured

    "Bob...everything you wrote was valid..except the part where you opine that one day W could tell the truth..he lives in a constructed world..he IS Pinnochio and his nose reaches well into the innards of the neo-cons who pull his strings." -halsey

    "The thing about the Bush presidency is that it governs for the benefit of very narrow group of family and friends. These folks who are the power behind the Bush presidency don't give a rip about the rest of us or the future of the nation." -Carol Davidek-Waller

    "The agenda is to occupy Iraq as a staging area for invasion and occupation of other middle-eastern countries such as Iran and Syria. This is not news, and this is not a secret. This is the published plan of the PNAC, which pulls the strings on most of Bush the Fool's foreign policy." -Natureboy

    "What we know for sure is that Bush is beholden to the Christian right..." -Katha Pollitt

    "it’s not fiscal conservatives to whom Bush is beholden, but the religious right who seem to forgive all other sins against the movement this president makes as long as he pays lip service to their pet causes." -Derek Phillips


Get the point? Good...

    New Coalition Aims To Keep Democrats Loyal to Populist Issues

    By JIM KUHNHENN
    Associated Press
    January 23, 2007

    WASHINGTON — Looking to instill discipline among Democrats, a coalition of labor, trial lawyers, and liberal groups is launching lobbying and campaign organizations this week to keep Democratic lawmakers from straying on populist issues.

    Democrats who don't hew to this agenda could find themselves facing well-funded primary opponents — an aggressive strategy to counter moderate and conservative blocs within the party.

    The groups have organized as two entities — a lobbying wing called They Work For Us and a campaign arm called Working for Us PAC.

    "Our PAC will encourage Democrats to act like Democrats — and if they don't — they better get out of the way," Steve Rosenthal, one of the coalition's main organizers, wrote in a memorandum describing the organization.

    The new effort is emerging as House Democrats conclude the first stage of their legislative agenda — a two-week rush of legislation that had wide appeal within the party and even among Republicans.

    "Now, we move into issues like improving access to health care, fighting jobs moving overseas, protecting rights of workers to organize," Mr. Rosenthal, who is a leading labor political strategist, said in an interview. "It's really going to take a very strong effort for Democrats to keep people in line."

    Mr. Rosenthal founded America Coming Together, a political organization that mobilized Democratic voters in the 2004 presidential election.

    In addition to Mr. Rosenthal, the two groups are led by some of the most influential organizers in labor and liberal politics, including the secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union, Anna Burger; the executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action, Eli Pariser, and a senior vice president at the American Association for Justice, formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association, Linda Lipsen.

    The lobbying arm is organized as a nonprofit organization and already has raised $200,000 toward a goal of more than $3 million for the next two years, Mr. Rosenthal said. It would concentrate on certain key congressional districts to pressure moderate or conservative Democrats to vote with the party's leadership.

    The labor wing of the Democratic Party has been especially frustrated by Democrats who have voted in favor of trade deals that union leaders said hurt American workers by driving jobs overseas. The new political action committee, Mr. Rosenthal said, would be ready to recruit more liberal Democrats to run against them.

    "If Democrats in Congress don't stand strong and fight for the goals we are supposed to share, then progressives need to agitate so they will, or work hard to replace them," said Donna Edwards, a member of the They Work for Us board who unsuccessfully challenged Democrat Al Wynn, a 14-year House veteran from Maryland, in last year's Democratic primary.

    Keeping the party unified won't be easy for the House speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, as she moves ahead with the rest of the Democratic agenda. Many of the new Democratic lawmakers elected in November replaced incumbents in typically Republican districts. That could make it difficult for many to support some of the party's stances on economic and social issues.

    Mr. Rosenthal said the new coalition would not single out members with moderate to conservative constituencies. Instead, it will target lawmakers who coalition organizers believe are out of step with their voters.

    "We're not trying to force people to the left of their districts," he said. "We want to make sure that Democrats primarily represent their districts."


Let me get this straight, Bush is just a puppet whose strings are pulled by, take your pick; big business, insurance & drug companies, neocons, the religous right, PNAC, etc., but it's critical that someone pull the Democrats' strings? It's outrageous for Bush to listen to an evangelical but MoveOn, ACT, and co. can beat straying Democrats into submission for the liberal cause? How much have we heard about "the Bush regime" and its silencing dissent, or as one blogger put it about Republicans, "they will walk in lockstep right off the cliff, taking the country down with them?"

So much for bipartisanship and open minds, eh?

kindj answered on 01/23/07:

To those who care enough to expend a little energy for research (such as yourself), the Dem's hypocrisy is screaming for notice. Of course, who carries the message that the masses hear? The MSM. Think they'll pick up on this? Not a chance.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 01/22/07 - President Bush deserves the Nobel Peace Prize

ot at least some recognition for accomplishing what the UN and others have attempted by bribes and soft champagne diplomacy . First it was Libya ,and now it is North Korea who has decided that ...in the words of General Omar Bradley ;“If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.”

According to the report :North Korea has reportedly agreed to halt nuclear activities including operations at a reactor in Yongbyon, and allow on-site monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency as the first steps to abandoning its nuclear program. The agreement came during a meeting of the chief nuclear negotiators of the U.S. and North Korea that ended Friday in Berlin, sources said.

All this of course remains to be seen and we would need to be constantly vigilant lest he think he is dealing with a President who would grant incentives without insisting that the NORKs keep their end of the bargain . Still ,President Bush insisted on the format for negotiations and despite all the critics harping ;it looks like something significant has been achieved .



kindj answered on 01/22/07:

Very, VERY cool!

North Korea scares me almost as much as Iran. Any movement in the direction of non-aggression by them is a good thing.

Assuming, of course, that they can be trusted.

Where's the praise from the "fair-minded" and "truth-loving" left?

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 01/16/07 - "Womb politics"

Is that what we get - with the exception of Condi of course - for elevating so many women to such exalted places as senator and Madame Speaker, womb politics? A regular contributor to this board - who shall remain unnamed - posted about the lack of a rational, objective basis for Christianity. Let's apply that premise to politics.

We have of course already heard that the new Speaker is 'a grandmother.' Hillary has pointed out that "We've never had a mother who ever ran or was elected president...", and in the now infamous Boxer exchange we're aware that Mother Barbara is not going to pay a price over Bush's 'surge' in Iraq.

Is the Democratic party's strategic 'surge' nothing more than an emotional appeal? What have they offered in the way of a rational, objective plan for this country? Is ANY of it based on anything more than an appeal to the emotions of the American public? Is it even possible for those of us who get it to persuade the American public on the real consequences of failure in Iraq or is America doomed by the left's lack of fortitude and substance? I mean seriously, when the party of the underdog, affirmative action, tolerance, feminism tosses the highest ranking (single) black woman in the history of the nation under the bus, what would they do to you?

Steve

kindj answered on 01/16/07:

The hypocrisy is astounding, isn't it? But the far left has exposed itself in an irreversable fashion, at least if enough people are smart enough to see it.

You see, it was NEVER about this group of people or that one, it was ALWAYS about an agenda, and who would best carry that agenda out.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 01/10/07 - Terrorists strike West Texas

***Breaking news***

By Karen Smith Welch

A tail-flicking terrorist cell knocked out power to Texas and New Mexico Xcel Energy customers 616 times in 2006.

Most were suicide missions.

"As far as I know, no squirrel ever survived the encounter with a power line," Xcel spokesman Wes Reeves said.

Amarillo customers found themselves the victims of 211 of those strikes last year.

Animalistic attacks on the power grid continued Tuesday when a suicide squirrel took out electric service to 4,564 customers in southwest Amarillo.

"The squirrel did not make it - one fatality," Reeves said.

This time, the perpetrator hit Xcel's Southwest 34th Avenue substation, shorting out the system and causing a 26-minute outage for neighborhoods within a mile in all directions, Reeves said.

"I'm always blaming my problems on a squirrel," he said. "It's kind of a utility spokesman's ongoing joke."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gotcha.

kindj answered on 01/10/07:

On Dec. 22, a squirrel--obviously under mind control of al-Quada--martyred him/herself on a main power line that serves our mall.

I gotta admit, though--the thought of all those white Suburban driving, Junior League-ing women who spend their entire existence figuring out how to spend all the money their husbands make running around screaming in the dark kinda made me grin a bit.

Bet they loved the smokers then! After all, who else would carry a lighter?

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 11/30/06 - That darn global warming

Hurricane season ends quietly

By JESSICA GRESKO Associated Press Writer
2006 The Associated Press

MIAMI The mild 2006 Atlantic hurricane season draws to a close Thursday without a single hurricane striking the United States - a stark contrast to the record-breaking 2005 season that killed more than 1,500 people and left thousands homeless along the Gulf Coast.

Nine named storms and five hurricanes formed this season, and just two of the hurricanes were considered major. That is considered a near-normal season and well short of the rough season government scientists had forecast.

"We got a much-welcome break after a lot of the coast had been compromised in the last several years, but this is a one-season type break," said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In May, scientists predicted 13 to 16 named storms and eight to 10 hurricanes, with four to six of them major.

The 2005 hurricane season was the busiest on record, with 28 named storms, including 15 hurricanes, four of which hit the United States, including Katrina and Rita.

Bell urged people not to become complacent about the next season, which starts June 1. Forecasters say the Atlantic is still in an active hurricane period that began in 1995 and could last another decade or more.

This year, a warm-water trend known as El Nino developed more quickly than expected in the Pacific, squashing the formation of storms in the Atlantic and creating crosswinds that can rip hurricanes apart. At the same time, upper-level air currents pushed most hurricanes out to sea, away from the U.S. mainland.

Only two storms, Tropical Storms Alberto and Ernesto, hit the U.S. mainland in 2006. Neither caused significant damage.

The season effectively ended with Hurricane Isaac, the last named storm, which dissipated Oct. 2.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was just April when experts predicted 2006 will have about nine hurricanes (average is 5.9); 17 named storms (average is 9.6), 85 named storm days (average is 49.1); 45 hurricane days (average is 24.5); 5 intense (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.3) and 13 intense hurricane days (average is 5.0).

The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 55 percent above average.


I guess they missed that one. Btw, here in Amarillo, TX we have 7 inches of snow on the ground, it's about 18 degrees, the wind chill last night was 15 below zero. it was predicted we would receive a 'light dusting.'

With all those incorrect predictions, especially the 'sky is falling' predictions on the 2006 hurricane season, what makes any of these global warming 'experts' think they can predict this alleged threat?

kindj answered on 11/30/06:

Well, Steve, I don't know much about the whole "global warming" hoopla, but I sure DO know that it ain't feeling any warmer around here today!

The drive this morning from L to Plainview was downright scary at times. Blowing snow dropped visibility to flat ZERO on a few occasions, which is what I call "A Bad Thing" when I'm driving on an interstate.

How y'all doing up there?

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 09/26/06 - If I were you - I'd move!


Hello Wingers:

You think Bush has made you safer. Youre wrong very wrong!! He is endangering the future of your country and your family.

He has categorized Saudi Arabia, the prime financier and propagator of jihad, as its ally. It has labeled Egypt, the epicenter of jihadist propaganda and incitement, a paragon of moderation and a stalwart ally.

Then there is Pakistan, which created the Taliban and has served as a refuge for Osama bin Laden since November 2001. Pakistan, too, is labeled a great ally, as are the Europeans and the Russians.
Bushs refusal to acknowledge the difference between its enemies and its allies was most pronounced last week in the president's meetings with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Musharraf signed an accord with the Taliban that gave the group control over the Pakistani territories of north and south Waziristan. This agreement, which also involved Pakistan's release of some 2,500 Taliban and al-Qaida fighters from prison, is the Taliban's and al-Qaida's greatest victory since September 11, 2001. Musharraf's decision to hand Waziristan over to the Taliban and al-Qaida makes clear that he is a major enemy of the US.

But Bush refuses to acknowledge this fact. Bush met with Musharraf in the White House and praised his leadership and his strong alliance with the US in fighting al-Qaida.

Likewise, Abbas has gone out of his way in recent months to forge an alliance between Fatah and Hamas on Hamas's terms. He agreed to form a unity government with Hamas that would unify their terror forces under one command to better wage war against Israel. He agreed that Hamas would not recognize Israel's right to exist. Fatah itself, which he commands, has committed more attacks against Israel than Hamas in recent years, and was involved in the cross-border attack on Israel in June where Cpl. Gilad Shalit was abducted. Under the agreement he offered, Fatah would maintain its terrorist agenda.
And yet, rather than announce that the US will have nothing to do with Abbas, Bush invited him to the White House and praised his commitment to peace.

From my perspective, I think weda done better with a KNOWN flipflopper.

excon

kindj answered on 09/26/06:

I say it's not much different as far as my personal safety is concerned.

The things I can control, I still control.

The things that are out of my control are still out of my control.

No politician can change that.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 09/25/06 - I am probably stepping over the PC line here...

but this is too good to pass up.

The Hebrew word for "monkey" is "kof".
The Hebrew word for "cloud" is "anan"

Does that make Kofi Anan "The Monkey of the Clouds"?

Hey, I didn't make up the language. Don't shoot the messenger.

Elliot

kindj answered on 09/26/06:

Did you see that big, red line about a mile back there with the word "STOP" written on it? Yeah, that was the PC line.

But charge ahead bravely. Despite others who can't see past the words into the actual meaning, I find it pretty darn funny, too, and won't hesitate to pass it along to other folks.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 09/20/06 - Truth, Justice... and the comics.

From Malard Filmore over the past two days:

9/19/06




And 9/20/06



Can you think of anything more funny than the truth? These two cartoons capture the essence of the two greatest problems in international relations today.

Comments?

kindj answered on 09/21/06:

Good stuff. Gonna print them out and post them over the copiers in the teacher's lounge.

DK

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Question/Answer
MarySusan asked on 08/30/06 - ISLAMO-THEISM

The Bush Propaganda and Noise Machine had a tough decision naming the religious terrorists. They are Islamo-Theists but, of course, that moniker was a no-starter. There was no way that the Bush Christian Republican Theist Party could use the word Islamo-Theists; it would remind every American that Bush was running a Theist Party of his own. A Theist Party that was attempting to turn the American Government into a virtual Dictatorship, a Fascist-Corporate State.

The solution, the same as all the Propaganda put out by the Bush Crime Family....call your opponents WHAT YOU ARE! Usurp the word.

That is the genesis of the incorrect term Islamofascists.

CORRECTLY, THEY ARE ISLAMO-THEISTS.

kindj answered on 08/30/06:

Just out of curiousity, what nifty little label to you assign to Christians who do NOT support Bush or the Republican party? There's quite a few of them, as an obviously informed person such as yourself certainly must know.

What about atheists and agnostics who are Republicans and support Bush? I know a few up at the university. What do you brand them?

What about my conservative Jewish friends who are Bush supporters? I think we all know of at least one. What broad-sweeping category do you assign him to?

The "peace and love" party which ostensibly despises such labeling seems to use it quite often for those with whom they disagree. Kinda funny to me how those who purport to despise "profiling" and "stereotyping" do it with ease when it suits their needs.

"The Bush Crime Family." A great label. I assume that in your use of the term, you must be able to assert personal knowledge of each and every member of the Bush family, past and present. Otherwise, such a label would be, well....deceit.

Since you know FOR A FACT that everything that comes out of the White House and the Governor's Office in Florida is a spin of the truth (or even an outright lie) as the word "propaganda" denotes, I suppose that in real life you must be a quite high-ranking intelligence officer yourself, to be privy to such information. How 'bout de-classifying some juicy stuff and sharing it with us illiterate and uninformed drones? We'd love to hear it.

So much ado over a mere label, while ignoring the unmasked and pure evil which the label seeks to identify.

As for me, I say "A rose by any other name...."

DK

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ROLCAM asked on 07/24/06 - UN official: Israel action illegal !!


THE United Nations' top humanitarian official yesterday accused Israel of violating international law, as at least ten more civilians died on both sides of the Lebanese border and diplomatic efforts to end the conflict intensified.

Do you consider it illegal ?

kindj answered on 07/24/06:

First of all, I care far more about the horse excrement on the bottom of my left boot than I do about the UN's opinion on ANYTHING.

Second, it seems rather hypocritical for the UN to declare Israel's RIGHT to self-defense (which sometimes requires a good offense) as being "illegal," while still busily sweeping under the rug the whole oil-for-food debacle/scam.

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Question/Answer
.Choux. asked on 07/06/06 - Disaster Everywhere One Looks, Thanks Bush Crime Family!

"From deteriorating security in Afghanistan and Somalia to mayhem in the Middle East, confrontation with Iran and eroding relations with Russia, the White House suddenly sees crisis in every direction.

North Korea's long-range missile test Tuesday, although unsuccessful, was another reminder of the bleak foreign policy landscape that faces President Bush even outside of Iraq. Few foreign policy experts foresee the reclusive Stalinist state giving up the nuclear weapons it appears to have acquired, making it another in a long list of world problems that threaten to cloud the closing years of the Bush administration, according to foreign policy experts in both parties.

"I am hard-pressed to think of any other moment in modern times where there have been so many challenges facing this country simultaneously," said Richard N. Haass, a **former senior Bush administration official** who heads the Council on Foreign Relations. "The danger is that Mr. Bush will hand over a White House to a successor that will face a far messier world, with far fewer resources left to cope with it."
Washington Post dot com.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&


What a mess Bush has created in foreign affairs!

Let's see, perhaps things are better at home...

illegal immigration, they are flooding over our southern border

federal deficit, Oy!

government spending, plan D Medicare, what a fiasco!

Price of gasoline, sky high!

pollution of all kinds, *cough*

approval of the president, about 30%

on and on and on....

kindj answered on 07/07/06:

Afghanistan has always been a place of unknowns. Afghanis have always been notorious for shifting alliances to whoever can support them best at the time.

N. Korea has been a problem for many, many years. I went there for an operation under Daddy Bush. It was a yearly thing, back when the old man was in charge there. Every year (around March, I think), he would have grand illusions about "liberating" the South again, and begin to mass his troops, armor, and artillery on the Z. So us and the rest of the world would mass our troops, armor, and artillery on the south side of the Z. After a few weeks, he would back down, and we would leave. This was going on before Daddy Bush, in went on during Clinton, and it'll go on after Junior Bush. There's some other internal issues in N. Korea that we have no real ability to combat, but I think I'll post on that topic separately.

We had a confrontation with Iran during the Carter administration, and basically he did nothing. Reagan got elected, and the hostages were freed pronto. Iran, since the seventies, has been a loose cannon. Bush's existance has nothing to do with that.

The eroding relations with Russia have nothing to do with Bush, either. When they "elected" Putin, they took a massive step backward toward the bad ol' days of the USSR. Putin used to run the KGB, and some of his ideas and desires would've made Stalin sick. Why he's in power today is a mystery to me.

You're dead on concerning immigration. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Bush (and others) have seriously dropped the ball on our Southern border.

Deficits come and deficits go. Big deal. Deficit fluctuations are the norm, as the economy shifts. Between monetary and fiscal policies designed to stimulate or slow the ecomomy (depending on what's needed), the deficit is bound to flex in turn as well.

Medicare and SS have always been a mess, ever since their creation. No new news here.

Price of gasoline has very little to do with Bush, and what control he has, the dems won't let him exercise, such as drilling into known oil-rich sites. He can't force the overseas sellers to reduce prices without going to war, which is an option you don't like anyway. For what it's worth, VP Cheney opened a major door with one of the -stan countries who is willing to sell us a boatload of oil very, very cheap. When that deal comes through, will you give the administration credit?

As far as pollution goes, it still stands that the US is down on the list of polluters.

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 07/05/06 - Superman

seeking truth justice and all that stuff


best line from 'Kill Bill vol 2 :

An essential characteristic of the superhero mythology is, there's the superhero, and there's the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When he wakes up in the morning, he's Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic that Superman stands alone. Superman did not become Superman, Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red "S", that's the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears, the glasses, the business suit, that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He's weak, he's unsure of himself... he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race.

You know more about this stuff than I do . Is there another superhero who is born a superhero and like superman wears the guise of a normal 9-5 person ?

kindj answered on 07/05/06:

Elliot already hit the high points. In fact, I think most of the mutants are that way.

Wonder where The Hulk fits into that? He's kind of an individual in that way, I guess.

Haven't seen the new S-man yet, hopefully this weekend. It's a toss-up between that and the new Pirates movie. Ms. Knightly, mmmmmmmm!! I hear Johnny Depp's in it, too.

I was always a bigger fan of Batman, myself. Superman, while definitely cool, always struck me as just a little too goody-two-shoes. Batman, on the other hand, was a gen-u-ine badass with a massive bankroll, a take-no-s**t attitude, and ALL the cool toys. Sorta like E said above, less of a pretty boy, "aw shucks" kinda guy and more of a "gotta job to do, and sometimes that job gets dirty" sort of a hero.

DK

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 06/29/06 - Putin does a 180

"Today's New York Times carries the following headline: "Putin orders death for killers of Russians in Iraq."

The story tells of Putin's decision to have Russian military intelligence target the terrorists who killed four of its embassy employees in Iraq. This is the same Putin and the same Russia that has repeatedly criticized Israel for its targeted killing of terrorists, even "ticking bomb" terrorists who are planning imminent attacks.

The Russian Foreign Minister condemns Israel's killing of Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, who was the head of the terrorist organization Hamas and who had pulled the trigger on numerous terrorist attacks. In fact, Putin invited Hamas official to Moscow as his state guests.

According to the BBC article Rantissi Killing: World Reaction, "Russia has repeatedly stressed the unacceptability of extrajudicial settling of scores and 'targeted killings'."

Except, it seems, when its own citizens are murdered by terrorists -- then it is fine to do what it condemns Israel for doing.

The rest of the world is no different: condemning Israel for what they themselves do with impunity.

The time has common to end this double standard.

(I know this posting will stimulate the usual anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, and anti-Dershowitz fulminations, along with some thoughtful responses. The knee-jerk reaction to anything I write about Israel simply confirms my point about the double standard.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Nice to see Putin come to his senses. :)

kindj answered on 06/29/06:

>>Nice to see Putin come to his senses. :)<<

I agree.

What more is there to say?

When it happens "in your own yard" the perspective changes a bit, it seems.

DK

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 06/29/06 - Gerrymandering

Taking a move from the Republican play sheet, states that are likely to go to Democratic governers(NY, NJ, ILL, NJ) in November are likely to call for redistricting, draw new boundaries for congressional districts in order to increase the number of Democratic representatives by perhaps as many as 40 representatives.

Texas Republicans are already in the process of planning to redistrict for the benefit of the Republican party.

Apparently, there is nothing in the Constitution about when redistricting can occur. Redistricting can occur at any time, any number of times.

Comments?

kindj answered on 06/29/06:

Here in TX, we just got done with that. The SC OK'd it, with the exception of one district where they felt the Hispanic vote would be "watered down."

From what I understand, it's usually only done on the 10 year interval, but can be done at other times. The how's and why's I don't fully understand, but if it's like most things political, it's to protect someone's power.

I know that the other states have been watching with great interest to see what the SC would say. Since they gave it their OK, I figure we'll see more doing it, both Dems and Reps.

Gonna be an interesting year, politically!

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 06/29/06 - The Cindy sheehad diet

From Michael Moore's web

Dear Friends,
GSFP and Code Pink are sponsoring a hunger strike for peace which begins July 04, called Troops Home Fast Some of us like Dick Gregory and Diane Wilson will be fasting until the troops come home from Iraq, and some, like me, will be fasting for a specified time. My fast will begin on 7/04 and end on the last day of Camp Casey: 09/02.

We are announcing the fast from Washington, DC on 07/04 and having our last supper on 07/03 in Lafayette Park.

If you can join us in DC on the 3rd and 4th, or fast in solidarity with us on that day, or any other time, please let me know.

Also, Jodie Evans is throwing me a birthday party at Bus Boys and poets on the 3rd of July from 9pm to 11pm....our last food will be before midnight that day....please come to my party, if you can!!!

Love and peace soon,
Cindy



she could lose that spare tire .but I imagine she feasts on the publicity ...a regular news hog.

who knows ? Maybe the diet will be more effective than the Saddam Diet


kindj answered on 06/29/06:

So when is Moore's fast time?

From 07/04 8:00 until 07/04 8:01?

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 06/29/06 - It is now official

The Supreme Court has just bestowed due process on illegal combatants. Hamdan will not be subject to a tribunal ;the court says it violates the Geneva Convention .If we want to try it will have to be though a circus trial like we had for Zacarias Moussaoui . But I do not see anything in the court's decision that says we cannot continue to detain him .If it is the Geneva Convention that is the standard then certainly the wars in Afghanistan ;Iraq or jihadistan are far from over .

It doesn't help to have our court system, half of our politicians, and most of the media on the side of the enemy.


kindj answered on 06/29/06:

I don't toss around the word "treason" lightly, but I'm beginning to wonder if that shoe doesn't fit a whole mess o' folks...

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 06/29/06 - It is now official

The Supreme Court has just bestowed due process on illegal combatants. Hamdan will not be subject to a tribunal ;the court says it violates the Geneva Convention .If we want to try it will have to be though a circus trial like we had for Zacarias Moussaoui . But I do not see anything in the court's decision that says we cannot continue to detain him .If it is the Geneva Convention that is the standard then certainly the wars in Afghanistan ;Iraq or jihadistan are far from over .

It doesn't help to have our court system, half of our politicians, and most of the media on the side of the enemy.


kindj answered on 06/29/06:

I don't toss around the word "treason" lightly, but I'm beginning to wonder if that shoe doesn't fit a whole mess o' folks...

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 06/29/06 - The NY Slimes editorial policy

During the cartoon jihad the NY Slimes made an editorial decision to not publish the offending Mohammed cartoons because he and his staff concluded after a "long and vigorous debate" that publishing the cartoon would be "perceived as a particularly deliberate insult" by Muslims. "Like any decision to withhold elements of a story, this was neither easy nor entirely satisfying, but it feels like the right thing to do."

I guess if the American people were offended enough when they disclosed classified covert operations against terrorists ,that their offices were threatend to be stormed, maybe they would fear the consequences . Not that I am advocating it ;it's just that now we see what motivates them to restrain and curb their exercise of absolute feedom of the press.Maybe Bush should order that the details of any classified program be cloaked in the guise of a Muslim cartoon.

I am sure that the founders wrote the 1st amendment the way they did because they assumed a certain maturity and the ability of the press to self-regulate . Certainly by the example above the Slimes is capable of the discipline. Heck ;even Murky Murtha tried to talk them out of publishing it ! I guess national security secrets in a time of war do not come up to the level of offending Muslims (although I dare say they would have no hesitancy of posting cartoons offensive to Christians ).

I am not sure what punitive actions the Executive can dish out to them . Certainly any prosection would be challenged on 1st Amendment grounds but I am sure they can be hauled into the FBI and compelled to disclose their sources . The leakers are not subject to the same 1st amendment protections and aiding them would be obstruction of justice and contempt (18 USC 1510 and 18 USC 402). Who knows ? Maybe the provisions of the 1917 Espionage Act and Section 798 of Title 18, the 'Comint statute' would hold up in court;but I think going after the leakers is a more effective strategy .Besides ,I think that idiot Keller would welcome being prosecuted under the Espionage act.

There are other punitive actions that the White House could take . There is as an example nothing that guarantees the Slimes access to the press pool at the White House . They could make it a policy to not discuss anything with a Slimes reporter and persons in the White House could be disciplined for violating the policy .Payback is a bitch and without access the Slimes ceases to be the' paper of record ' .

kindj answered on 06/29/06:

Amazing as it may be, it seems pretty evident whose side the Times is on.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lt. Tom Cotton writes this morning from Baghdad with a word for the New York Times:

Dear Messrs. Keller, Lichtblau & Risen:

Congratulations on disclosing our government's highly classified anti-terrorist-financing program (June 23). I apologize for not writing sooner. But I am a lieutenant in the United States Army and I spent the last four days patrolling one of the more dangerous areas in Iraq. (Alas, operational security and common sense prevent me from even revealing this unclassified location in a private medium like email.)


Unfortunately, as I supervised my soldiers late one night, I heard a booming explosion several miles away. I learned a few hours later that a powerful roadside bomb killed one soldier and severely injured another from my 130-man company. I deeply hope that we can find and kill or capture the terrorists responsible for that bomb. But, of course, these terrorists do not spring from the soil like Plato's guardians. No, they require financing to obtain mortars and artillery shells, priming explosives, wiring and circuitry, not to mention for training and payments to locals willing to emplace bombs in exchange for a few months' salary. As your story states, the program was legal, briefed to Congress, supported in the government and financial industry, and very successful.


Not anymore. You may think you have done a public service, but you have gravely endangered the lives of my soldiers and all other soldiers and innocent Iraqis here. Next time I hear that familiar explosion -- or next time I feel it -- I will wonder whether we could have stopped that bomb had you not instructed terrorists how to evade our financial surveillance.


And, by the way, having graduated from Harvard Law and practiced with a federal appellate judge and two Washington law firms before becoming an infantry officer, I am well-versed in the espionage laws relevant to this story and others -- laws you have plainly violated. I hope that my colleagues at the Department of Justice match the courage of my soldiers here and prosecute you and your newspaper to the fullest extent of the law. By the time we return home, maybe you will be in your rightful place: not at the Pulitzer announcements, but behind bars.


Very truly yours,


Tom Cotton
Baghdad, Iraq
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Personally, I think Lt. Cotton should pay the Times folks a personal visit--with photos--upon his return home, which will hopefully be soon and safe.

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 06/28/06 - 'We're About to Enter the ླྀs Again'

By Randy Hall
CNSNews.com Staff Writer/Editor
June 28, 2006

(CNSNews.com) - America is about to revisit one of the most turbulent decades in its history, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean told a religious conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. "We're about to enter the ླྀs again," Dean said, but he was not referring to the Vietnam War or racial tensions.

Dean said he is looking for "the age of enlightenment led by religious figures who want to greet Americans with a moral, uplifting vision."

"The problem is when we hit that ླྀs spot again, which I am optimistic we're about to hit, we have to make sure that we don't make the same mistakes," Dean added.

Anger over the Vietnam War and the country's escalating racial tensions made the late 1960s one of the most painful eras in American history. Republican Richard Nixon was elected president in 1968, following the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Sen. Robert Kennedy, as well as the riot-marred Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Later in his speech Tuesday, Dean appeared to backtrack. "I'm not asking to go back to the ླྀs; we made some mistakes in the ླྀs," he said. "If you look at how we did public housing, we essentially created ghettoes for poor people" instead of using today's method of mixed-income housing.

Another mistake Democrats made in the ླྀs, Dean acknowledged, was that "we did give things away for free, and that's a huge mistake because that does create a culture of dependence, and that's not good for anybody, either," he noted, a reference to the Great Society welfare programs created by Democratic President Lyndon Johnson in the mid-1960s.

"Those mistakes were not the downfall of our program," Dean added. "They helped a lot more people than they hurt. But we can do better and we will do better and our time is coming."

Alternating between references to the "McCarthy era" of the 1950s, which he accused the Bush administration of reviving, the decade of the 1960s and the current era, Dean explained that he was "looking to go back to the same moral principles of the ཮s and ླྀs."

That was a time that stressed "everybody's in it together," he said. "We know that no one person can succeed unless everybody else succeeds."

Dean's comments Tuesday came at a religious gathering convened in the nation's capital to discuss ways of eliminating poverty. After stating that America "is about as divided as it has been probably since the Civil War," Dean declared that "we need to come together around moral principles, and I'm talking about moral principles like making sure no child goes to bed hungry at night."

"I'm talking about moral principles like making sure everybody in America has health insurance just like 36 other countries in the world," he added. "This is a moral nation, and we want it to be a moral nation again."

As one method of accomplishing that goal, the DNC chairman called on Congress "to raise the minimum wage until we have a living wage in this country." He dismissed criticism of a minimum wage hike as "economists' mumbo-jumbo."

"We're simply asking to give the people who are working for minimum wage the same raise that Congress has had every year for the last 20 years," he said.

Dean also stated that the Democratic Party helped give people "the opportunity to become middle class" during the 1960s.

"I do think that empowering people to help themselves is what we should be doing in the 21st century," he added, stating that the Democratic Party now emphasizes the value of work.

"If you work hard, you ought to be able to support your family," the DNC chairman noted, and "in America, you need the opportunity to work hard, and that means some level of support from government -- no handouts, but some level of support so that you really do have a genuine opportunity to contribute to the country."

The DNC chairman pointed to President Bush's tax cuts as a major obstacle to what he called "tax fairness." He also criticized the Republican Congress for being "the biggest 'big government' government we've ever had," though he did make at least one positive comment about the GOP.

"How about if I'm a wild-eyed radical liberal who is willing to say the conservatives had some good ideas?" Dean told his audience. "But let's go back and make what we wanted to work, using some of their ideas to make sure that the mistakes don't get made again," he added.

"It's nice to see that Howard Dean's hostility to the religious community ends when people of faith vote Democrat," Republican National Committee spokesman Josh Holmes told Cybercast News Service.

Holmes added he was not surprised that "Howard Dean's political perspective is derived from a 1960s counterculture view of the world. What is surprising -- and disturbing -- is that he can urge a massive expansion of government and denounce the Democrat mistake of creating a 'culture of dependence' in the same speech."

"He may want to revisit that mistake to update his talking points and the Democrat policy manual," Holmes said.

Before leaving Tuesday's conference, the DNC chairman thanked those in attendance for giving him "a big lift."

"I came in the wrong door when I first got here," Dean said. "I came in the back, and everybody was talking about praising the Lord, and I thought, 'I am home. Finally, a group of people who want to praise the Lord and help their fellow man just like Jesus did and just like Jesus taught.' Thank you so much for doing that for me."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pardon me, but - BWAAAAAA HAAAA HAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaa!

So much to discuss I don't know where to start...anyone care to take a stab at it?

kindj answered on 06/28/06:

>>Dean said he is looking for "the age of enlightenment led by religious figures who want to greet Americans with a moral, uplifting vision."<<

Yet, when devout Jews, Christians, and others try to do just that, we are dismissed as the "radical religious right." Make up your mind, Howie.

>>"If you look at how we did public housing, we essentially created ghettoes for poor people"......."we did give things away for free, and that's a huge mistake because that does create a culture of dependence, and that's not good for anybody, either," he noted, a reference to the Great Society welfare programs created by Democratic President Lyndon Johnson in the mid-1960s.<<

Sounding a bit Republican-ish.

>>Dean also stated that the Democratic Party helped give people "the opportunity to become middle class" during the 1960s.<<

Yeah, most notably the upper class.

>>"we need to come together around moral principles, and I'm talking about moral principles like making sure no child goes to bed hungry at night."

"I'm talking about moral principles like making sure everybody in America has health insurance just like 36 other countries in the world," he added. "This is a moral nation, and we want it to be a moral nation again."<<

That all sounds good, and there's not a person in this country who wouldn't want to be a part of that. Trouble is, who gets to write the definitions, and what METHOD will be attempted to make it happen? Therein lies the difference.

>>stating that the Democratic Party now emphasizes the value of work.<<

Now that IS a switch. So by his own admission, the Dems did NOT value work prior to now, and facilitated the overwhelming population of pimps, whores, and welfare brats that now run amock throughtout America. Thanks, guys!

>>"It's nice to see that Howard Dean's hostility to the religious community ends when people of faith vote Democrat," <<

I think that sums it up quite nicely, for Dean and the liberals as a whole.

DK








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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 06/28/06 - Where exactly...

...does the left stand on anything?

"It's time to bring them home." -John Murtha

"Last month, I introduced Senate Joint Resolution 36 which calls for the withdrawal of our combat troops from Iraq by the end of this year." -John Kerry

"We say bring the troops home now!" -Cindy Sheehan

Finally, Republicans have their own cut'n'run plan

    By Molly Ivins
    Fort Worth Star-Telegram
    Salt Lake Tribune

    AUSTIN, Texas - And then along comes Cut'n'Run Casey. We spend all last week listening to cut'n'run Democrats talking about their cut'n'run strategy for Iraq, and the only issue is whether they want to cut'n'run by the end of this year or to cut'n'run by the end of next year, and oh, by the way, did I mention that Republicans had been choreographed to refer to the Democrats' plans as cut'n'run?

    As Vice President Dick (''Last Throes'') Cheney said Thursday, redeployment of our troops would be ''the worst possible thing we could do. . . . No matter how you carve it - you can call it anything you want - but basically it is packing it in, going home, persuading and convincing and validating the theory that the Americans don't have the stomach for this fight.''

    Then right in the middle of Cut'n'Run Week, the top American commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., held a classified briefing at the Pentagon and revealed his plan to reduce the 14 combat brigades now in Iraq to five or six. And here's the best part: Rather than wait 'til the end of this year or, heaven forefend, next year, Casey wants to start moving those troops out in September, just before whatever it is that happens in early November. They don't call him George W. Jr. for nothing.

    One has to admit, the party never ends with the Bush administration. The only question about Cut'n'Run Week is whether they meant to punctuate a weeklong festival of referring to Democrats as the party of ''retreat'' and ''the white flag'' with this rather abrupt announcement of their own cut'n'run program. Was it an error of timing?

    I say no. I say Karl Rove doesn't make timing mistakes. This administration thoroughly believes the media and the people have a collective recollection of no more than one day. Five days of cut'n'run, one day off and BAM, you get your own cut'n'run plan out there.


"Instead of offering real strategies for success, Republicans continue to play politics with this war. When it comes to Iraq, the only schedule that matters to Republicans is the U.S. election schedule" -Nancy Pelosi

So do they want the troops home or not - or just not in time to give Republicans an election boost? What kind of chutzpah does it take to demand Bush bring the troops home - so long as it's either immediately or after the election? Sounds to me like more evidence that the left is more concerned with power than the lives of our military heroes.

Steve

kindj answered on 06/28/06:

The left stands wherever it can find a foothold to slam the conservatives. To hell with what's best for our troops, our country, or the fledgling hopeful democracy of Iraq--let's make sure Bush gets ZERO credit for anything, and put forth the most evil, vile motives for whatever good he does.

>>This administration thoroughly believes the media and the people have a collective recollection of no more than one day.<<

It's funny she says that, as the long-term memory loss has always been the domain of the liberals. "Never mind that it didn't work in the XX's, let's try now!" "Wait a minute, WHAT didn't work in the XX's?"

Almost like a bad Three Stooges act.

Molly Ivins ceased to impress me the moment she put pen to paper or opened her mouth. Having an education and knowing big words does not make someone SMART. A theory her and her like-minded cronies prove over and over on a daily basis. Trouble is, those that listen to them are in the same prediciment, so the lesson is lost.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 06/27/06 - For Board Member, excon

Today, it was revealed that Republican radio mouthpiece, Rush Limprod was detained for bringing *Viagra* into the country without a prescription in his name.

What is an unmarried man doing with a sexual enhancement product. Isn't the Republican Party the party of high Christian morals? Isn't it still a sin to have sex in any other way except with one's spouse?

I imagine the right wing Christians here will rush(pun intended)to condemn Mr Limprod.

NOte: He confessed to being addicted to hillbilly heroin(Oxycontin) and is involved in a court case related to that addiction.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


OK, line up and give him heck!

kindj answered on 06/28/06:

First off, I'm not a lawyer, but I'm not sure that a crime was committed. Many states (if not all?) allow for a doctor to write a prescription in such a way that the patient's name doesn't appear on it, usually for privacy reasons when the medication could be rather embarrassing to the patient.

As to the painkillers, I thought that issue was done with. It's in the courts, and will be dealt with. I am no fan of illegal drug use, but I see people weekly who have been convicted of such things and given probation or some other light sentence provided they do some sort of rehab.

I don't think the Republican party is the "party of high Christian morals." I think that most Christians tend to vote Republican because the party aligns itself more closely with socially conservative agendas, which more closely mirror the Christian perspective. For what it's worth, I know many a Christian who votes Democrat, because they feel that the more liberal agenda fits the bill better. But to say that Christianity and the Republican party are one and the same is a stretch that rapidly exits reality.

But back to ol' Rush. He's a conservative commentator, nothing more. I haven't researched him enough to know what his faith life is like, so I will not accuse him of betraying Christian principles which he may or may not hold for himself.

I will say this, though. If he is found guilty of a crime, then he should pay the price for the crime. He's preached that line enough himself, he should stand ready to face the consequences of his actions should there be any.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 06/26/06 - Making The Connection

From the Weekly Standard "Scrapbook", 7/3/06.

"When we went to Beirut, I said to President Reagan, 'Get out.' Now, the other day we were doing a debate, and they said, 'Well Beirut was a different situation. We cut and run.' We didn't cut and run. President Reagan made the decision to change direction because he knew we couldn't win it. Even in Somalia, President Clinton made the decision, 'We have to, we have to change direction.'... We need to change direction. We can't win a war like this.... At some point you got to reassess it like Reagan did in Beirut, like Clinton did in Somalia. You just have to say, 'Okay, it's time to change direction.'"

--- Rep. John Murtha, unrging a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, "Meet the Press," June 18, 2006.


"We have seen in the last decade the decline of the American government and the weaknesses of the American soldier, who is ready to wage cold wars and unprepared to fight long wars. This was proven in Beirut when the Marines fled after two explosions. It also proves they can run in less than 24 hours, and this was also repeated in Somalia... After a few blows, [the Americans] ran in defeat.... They forgot about being the world leader and the leader of the new world order. [They] left, dragging their corpses and their shameful defeat."

--- Osama bin Laden, ABC News interview, May 28, 1998.

Anyone get the point yet? It was the very cases that Murtha points to as examples of "reassessment" and "changing direction" that led OBL to believe that we had become weak, and that we could be defeated on 9-11. And now Murtha wants us to make the same mistake again, which will only lead to more 9-11s.

And people wonder why I say that Murtha is anti-soldier. The actions that he is proposing are going to get more soldiers killed. The very fact that he is proposing them at all emboldens the enemy and is getting soldiers killed.

If Murtha really cared fo the soldiers, he'd shut the hell up and let them get on with the job of winning the war. But he doesn't. Instead he claims that they don't have the ability to win the war (despite the fact that they keep proving him wrong) and keeps accusing them of war crimes without any proof of what actually occured. THAT is anti-military, anti-soldier rhetorric, and it is endangering the troops.

Elliot

kindj answered on 06/26/06:

It's because somewhere along the way, he's lost his testicular fortitude, and succumbed to the stereotypical "lazy elitist" mentality that is becoming far too common in America.

In short, he's long since forgotten the meaning of words like honor, duty, and sacrifice.

It's a poor analogy, but it's like the lowest ranking NFL team refusing to play the highest ranking one, because they fear defeat.

It's like the schoolyard bully, only picking fights he knows he can win.

Shamefully, it's like the police in so many of our cities, content to hand out tickets for speeding and avoiding the bad areas (crime-ridden areas) of town because it's "too hard" and "too costly" to actually fight REAL crime.

It's like seeing a large man raping a schoolchild, and not doing anything about it, because of fear. Nevermind that taking action would enable the child to escape relatively unharmed, and nevermind that the average person really has no idea how they would fare in a fight. No, FEAR is the rotten stench pervading American society today.

Those that cannot understand that last example are exactly those who cannot understand the greater problems, here and abroad, because they have no sense of honor, no sense of personal sacrifice, and have no idea what the "greater good" really is.

What Burtha is forgetting is that our soldiers are 100 percent VOLUNTEERS, and none of them are stupid. They knew the way the world was turning long before they raised their right hands and took that oath. They knew that should war come, it would be unpleasant, and bear no resemblance to the wars of our fathers and grandfathers. Yet they volunteered anyway.

"Hit and run" strategies on the global scale in the long run get far more people--military AND civilian--killed than showing a little steel and facing the challenges and winning.

But that's America today, in large part. As soon as it gets unpleasant, as soon as it gets hard, as soon as people get tired of waving their little flags, then all of a sudden it's "let's get out."

Nutless bottom feeders like that fill me with the urge to defecate, to quote the Big Butt Judge in Pink Floyd's "The Wall."

D "I clang when I walk" K

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 06/21/06 - Matthews doesn't think Ann Couter is good looking

well that is where the political content has devolved to . From his round table discussion :

MATTHEWS: Do you find her physically attractive, Tucker?



CARLSON: Im not going to answer that, because the answer, I dont want to hurt anybodys feelings. Thats not the point.

MATTHEWS: Positively.

COSBY: Dont ask me that question.

MATTHEWS: Mike, do you want to weigh in here as an older fellow. Do you find her to be a physically attractive woman?

BARNICLE: Im too old to be doing that. I had enough fights in my life.

MATTHEWS: OK, Rita, do you find her to be a physically attractive woman?

COSBY: Ill throw it back to you, Chris, do you find her attractive.

MATTHEWS: You guys are all afraid to answer. No, I find herI wouldnt put herwell, she doesnt pass the Chris Matthews test.


Gotta wonder how many women find him attractive ?


[shown here with Zell Miller Challenging him to a duel]

What I find interesting however is that the big fuss about her book was the brief mention about the Jersey widows .There is much more material than that to inflame the sensibilities of the usual suspects to which there has hardly been a peep of outrage by the Kossack bloggers or the press .

Here are some of the better quotes in the book :

In 1992, the Court ruled it "unconstitutional" for a Reform rabbi to give a nonsectarian invocation at a high school graduation ceremony on the perfectly plausible grounds that Rhode Island was trying to establish Reform Judaism as the official state religion. (Opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy.) Yes, those scheming Jews have had their eyes on the Ocean State for as long as I can remember.


Whether it is building prisons, mandatory sentencing, three-strikes laws, or the death penalty, if it has to do with punishing criminals, Democrats are against it. Liberals prefer treatment, rehabilitation, alternatives to prison, even creative alternatives to prison -- but not prison! That would be "blaming the perpetrator."


Between 1995 and 2005, the prison population grew by 30 percent, meaning an additional half million criminals were behind bars, rather than lurking in dark alleys with switchblades. You can well imagine liberals' surprise when the crime rate went down as more criminals were put in prison. The New York Times was reduced to running querulous articles with headlines like "Number in Prison Grows Despite Crime Reduction" and "As Crime Rate Drops, the Prison Rate Rises and the Debate Rages."


Public schools are forbidden from mentioning religion not because of the Constitution, but because public schools are the Left's madrassas... At least the crazy Muslims get funding from Saudi Arabia for their madrassas. Liberals force normal Americans to pay for their religious schools.


In another interview, [the Rev. Richard John] Neuhaus told a reporter that political corruption had "been around ever since that unfortunate afternoon in the garden." The reporter mulled it over before asking, "What garden was that?" In defense of the American educational system, every single one of these reporters knew how to put on a condom.


No matter what else they pretend to care about from time to time - undermining national security, aiding terrorists, oppressing the middle class, freeing violent criminals - the single most important item on the Democrats' agenda is abortion. Indeed, abortion is the one issue the Democratic Party is willing to go to war over - except in the Muslim world, which is jam-packed with prohibitions on abortion, because going to war against a Muslim nation might also serve America's national security objectives.


Fox News isn't even particularly conservative, though it is recognizably American. I believe the one verified atrocity committed by Fox News was the wearing of American flag lapel pins after 9/11. Assuming - against all evidence - that Fox News is every bit as conservative as CBS is liberal, it is still just a small beachhead in a universe of liberal-speak. But the mere existence of one solitary network that doesn't toe the party line has driven the Left insane.


Call me old-fashioned, but a grief-stricken war mother shouldn't have her own full-time PR flack. After your third profile on Entertainment Tonight, you're not longer a grieving mom; you're a C-list celebrity trolling for a book deal or a reality show. At that point, you're longer mourning, you're "branding."


Liberals creation myth is Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, which is about one notch above Scientology in scientific rigor. It's a make-believe story, based on a theory that is a tautology, with no proof in the scientist's laboratory or the fossil record - and that's after 150 years of very determined looking. We wouldn't still be talking about it but for the fact that liberals think evolution disproves God.


The preposterous conceit that the fossil record has produced a mosaic of organisms consistent with evolution except for the occasional "gap" is absurd. Evolution is nothing but a gap. It's a conjecture about how species might have arisen that is contradicted by the fossil record and by nearly everything we have learned about molecular biology since Darwin's day.


The only religious belief driving opinions about evolution is atheism. God can do anything, including evolution. But the value of Darwinism for atheists is that it is the only way they can explain why we are here. (It's an accident!) If evolution doesn't work out for them, they'll have to expand on theories about extraterrestrials or comets bringing life to earth.


Hitler's embrace of Darwinism is not a random fact, unrelated to the reason we know his name. It is impossible to understand Hitler's monstrous views apart from his belief in natural selection applied to races. He believed Darwin's theory of natural selection showed that "science" justified the extermination of the Jews.


Liberals subscribe to Darwinism not because it's "science," which they hate, but out of wishful thinking. Darwinism lets them off the hook morally. Do whatever you feel like doing - screw your secretary, kill Grandma, abort your defective child - Darwin says it will benefit humanity! Nothing is ever wrong as long as you follow your instincts. Just do it - and let Mother Earth sort out the winners and losers.


kindj answered on 06/21/06:

OK, I gotta say that I am having some doubts about Matthews' sexual orientation if he doesn't find Ann the least bit attractive.

I mean c'mon: she's good looking, she's conservative, she has a moral base that is firmly grounded, and she's a shooter! What's not to like?

Gotta pick up the book.

If only it had one of those pages in the middle that fold out.....

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 06/16/06 - Let the hand wringing begin

House passes politically charged Iraq resolution

By Vicki Allen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a vote charged with election-year politics, the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a symbolic resolution that wrapped the Iraq conflict into the war on terrorism and rejected a deadline for U.S. troop withdrawal.

The House voted 256-153 for the resolution that sparked two days of emotional debate as Republicans sought to depict Democrats as weak on terrorism while Democrats decried President George W. Bush's policies that they said led to chaos in Iraq and detracted from the fight against al Qaeda.

"Will we fight or will we retreat? That's the question that's posed to us," said House Majority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican. "Defeating repressive radical terrorists and their allies is our defining task of the 21st century."

But in impassioned debate, Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, erupted in anger at Republicans who talked about continuing the fight in Iraq.

Murtha, a Vietnam veteran and defense hawk who rocked the Congress last year when he turned against the war, said it was "easy to stay in an air-conditioned office and say I'm going to stay the course." He added, "That's why I get so upset when they stand here sanctimoniously and say we're fighting this thing. It's the troops that are doing the fighting."

Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Senate Rejects U.S. Troop Pullout in Iraq

By LIZ SIDOTI

WASHINGTON - Congress plunged into divisive election-year debate on the Iraq war Thursday as the U.S. military death toll reached 2,500. The Senate soundly rejected a call to withdraw combat troops by year's end, and House Republicans laid the groundwork for their own vote.

In a move Democrats criticized as gamesmanship, Senate Republicans brought up the withdrawal measure and quickly dispatched it for now on a 93-6 vote.

The proposal would have allowed "only forces that are critical to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces" to remain in Iraq in 2007.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Comments?

kindj answered on 06/16/06:

OK, so the House passes it with almost a 2-1 margin, and the Senate passes it with about a 9-1 margin.

How in the world are the liberals gonna say that "it's all the Republicans?" Clearly, a great many Democrats are supportive, as well.

Hardly reflective of the MSM's ooze of late...

DK

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 06/07/06 - Will You do Despicable Things Just For Money?

"NEW YORK (AP) - The group of outspoken 9/11 widows who pushed for the commission to investigate the attacks are ``self-obsessed'' and act ``as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them,'' conservative author Ann Coulter charges in her new book.

Coulter appeared on NBC's ``Today'' show on Tuesday and reiterated her stance, saying the women used their grief ``to make a political point.''

In her book, Coulter said, ``I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much.''

The women are Kristen Breitweiser, Lorie Van Auken, Mindy Kleinberg and Patty Casazza of New Jersey. Coulter refers to them as the ``Witches of East Brunswick,'' the New Jersey town where two of them live.

``Having my husband burn alive in a building brought me no joy,'' Van Auken told the Daily News in Wednesday's editions in response to Coulter.

``She sounds like a very disturbed, unraveled person,'' Breitweiser said."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Would you do or say anything despicable in order to make money???? Ann Coulter would. :)










kindj answered on 06/07/06:

You crack me up, "jack."

I actually AGREED with you, at least nominally. I also noted that I would prefer to withhold judgment until I had read her comments myself.

Still, three stars.

So what you are demonstrating with your actions is that you could care less what a person says about the CURRENT topic at the CURRENT time, you have an axe to grind with certain individuals overall, regardless of the correctness of their words or the thoroughness of their answer.

Liberalism in action, for all to see. The party of "peace and love," so infused with hatred for certain types of individuals.

If that's the liberal notion of "tolerance," I want nothing to do with it.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 06/07/06 - Will You do Despicable Things Just For Money?

"NEW YORK (AP) - The group of outspoken 9/11 widows who pushed for the commission to investigate the attacks are ``self-obsessed'' and act ``as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them,'' conservative author Ann Coulter charges in her new book.

Coulter appeared on NBC's ``Today'' show on Tuesday and reiterated her stance, saying the women used their grief ``to make a political point.''

In her book, Coulter said, ``I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much.''

The women are Kristen Breitweiser, Lorie Van Auken, Mindy Kleinberg and Patty Casazza of New Jersey. Coulter refers to them as the ``Witches of East Brunswick,'' the New Jersey town where two of them live.

``Having my husband burn alive in a building brought me no joy,'' Van Auken told the Daily News in Wednesday's editions in response to Coulter.

``She sounds like a very disturbed, unraveled person,'' Breitweiser said."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Would you do or say anything despicable in order to make money???? Ann Coulter would. :)










kindj answered on 06/07/06:

It DOES sound a little harsh. I'll have to reserve judgment, though, until I've had a chance to read her book myself.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 06/07/06 - An Inconvenient Quiz

Sitting here during an inconvenient cool spell in NY the week that Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth' was released in this market I came across this quiz . Your task is to determine if the below quotes were from Al Gore or from the Unabomber .


...................................................
1."The twentieth century has not been kind to the constant human striving for a sense of purpose in life. Two world wars, the Holocaust, the invention of nuclear weapons, and now the global environmental crises have led many of us to wonder if survival - much less enlightened, joyous, and hopeful living - is possible. We retreat into the seductive tools and technologies of industrial civilization, but that only creates new problems as we become increasingly isolated from one another and disconnected from our roots."

2."Again, we must not forget the lessons of World War II. The Resistance slowed the advance of fascism and scored important victories, but fascism continued its relentless march to domination until the rest of the world finally awoke and made the difference and made the defeat of fascism its central organizing principle from 1941 through 1945."

3."It is not necessary for the sake of nature to set up some chimerical utopia or any new kind of social order. Nature takes care of itself: It was a spontaneous creation that existed long before any human society, and for countless centuries, many different kinds of human societies coexisted with nature without doing it an excessive amount of damage. Only with the Industrial Revolution did the effect of human society on nature become really devastating."

4."Modern industrial civilization, as presently organized, is colliding violently with our planet's ecological system. The ferocity of its assault on the earth is breathtaking, and the horrific consequences are occurring so quickly as to defy our capacity to recognize them, comprehend their global implications, and organize an appropriate and timely response. Isolated pockets of resistance fighters who have experienced this juggernaut at first hand have begun to fight back in inspiring but, in the final analysis, woefully inadequate ways."

5."Among the abnormal conditions present in modern industrial society are excessive density of population, isolation of man from nature, excessive rapidity of social change and the breakdown of natural small-scale communities such as the extended family, the village or the tribe."

6." All pre-industrial societies were predominantly rural. The Industrial Revolution vastly increased the size of cities and the proportion of the population that lives in them, and modern agricultural technology has made it possible for the Earth to support a far denser population than it ever did before."

7."The positive ideal that is proposed is Nature. That is, wild nature: those aspects of the functioning of the Earth and its living things that are independent of human management and free of human interference and control."

8."Any child born into the hugely consumptionist way of life so common in the industrial world will have an impact that is, on average, many times more destructive than that of a child born in the developing world."

9."And tragically, since the onset of the scientific and technological revolution, it has become all too easy for ultrarational minds to create an elaborate edifice of clockwork efficiency capable of nightmarish cruelty on an industrial scale. The atrocities of Hitler and Stalin, and the mechanical sins of all who helped them, might have been inconceivable except for the separation of facts from values and knowledge from morality."


10."The modern individual on the other hand is threatened by many things against which he is helpless: nuclear accidents, carcinogens in food, environmental pollution, war, increasing taxes, invasion of his privacy by large organizations, and nationwide social or economic phenomena that may disrupt his way of life."

11."Industrial society seems likely to be entering a period of severe stress, due in part to problems of human behavior and in part to economic and environmental problems."


12. "What does it say about our culture that personality is now considered a technology, a tool of the trade, not only in politics but in business and the professions? Has everyone been forced to become an actor? In sixteenth century England, actors were not allowed to be buried in the same cemeteries as 'God-fearing folk,' because anyone willing to manipulate his personality for the sake of artifice, even to entertain, was considered spiritually suspect."

kindj answered on 06/07/06:

OK, I'll give it a shot:

1. Bomber

2. Bomber (if it's AlGore, then he's a total hypocrite. Again.)

3. AlGore

4. Algore

5. AlGore

6. Bomber

7. Bomber

8. AlGore

9. Bomber

10. Bomber

11. AlGore

12. Bomber

How dat?

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 06/07/06 - An interesting political science excersize.

Hello all.

A few of you may have figured out from my screenname that I'm a comic book collector (alright I'm a geek, but I don't give a $h!t).

This summer, Marvel Comics is having an event called "Civil War" that will be running through several of the titles. Here's the concept:

The series will center upon a newly enacted Super-Human Registration Act, an act which splits notable superheroes within the Marvel Universe. This will result in two super-powered factions forming, and will build to the titular Civil War, into which themes from current events will be weaved, although writer Mark Millar has noted "The political allegory is only for those that are politically aware. Kids are going to read it and just see a big superhero fight."


According to the New York Times article on the story, "The story opens with a reckless fight between the New Warriors, filming a reality television show, and a cadre of villains. The battle goes awry for the heroes, resulting in villain Nitro creating an explosion that takes out all but one of the New Warriors, a local school, and the surrounding neighborhood. This event crystallizes a government movement to register all super-powered beings as living weapons of mass destruction.The subsequent Registration Act will divide the heroes into two camps, one led by Captain America, the other by Iron Man." Iron Man takes the side of supporting the Super-Human Registration Act, and Captain America will be against. Some people have already taken sides as well. In New Avengers: Illuminati, Mister Fantastic took Iron Man's side on the bill, but Doctor Strange was against it. Black Bolt's alliegence is still inconclusive, due to his inability to communicate vocally. Marvel has said that the Fantastic Four will be divided. All that is confirmed is that husband and wife will be divided and that Invisible Woman will be among those who are against the bill. Along the way, Marvel will unveil its version of Guantnamo Bay, enemy combatants, embedded reporters and more. The question at the heart of the series is a fundamental one: 'Would you give up your civil liberties to feel safer in the world?' "

The above was taken from a Wikipedia article on the Civil War storyline, citations eliminated.

So, here's the question: do you support the Superhuman Registration Act (SRA), or are you against it?

There are several arguments both for and against the SRA.

Pro:
1) Right now, there are too many people who are untrained in police activities who are making mistakes that could get themselves or others killed. The SRA calls for uniform training and oversight of anyone who wants to be a "costumed vigilante" so that they don't make those kinds of mistakes and risk hurting people... as the New Warriors did in their search for ratings for their reality TV show.

2) Cops and soldiers are trained and regulated. Why shouldn't superheroes be similarly trained and regulated if they are doing the job of cops and soldiers.

3) The rules would only apply to those who are actual superheroes. Those who have superpowers but who do not wear costumes and fight crime need not register (at least according to my understanding of the SRA). So there is no issue of profiling or rules that apply to a specific class or group of people. People can choose whether they wish to participate or not, but if they choose not to, any costumed superheroing they do would be illegal... the same as if you owned a gun illegally without registering it.

4) Government resouces and superheo talent could be properly pooled to help get the job of stopping supervillians done more efficiently. If superheroes had the NSA's electronic spying ability and the CIA and FBI's intelligence gathering capabilities at their beck and call, they could stop supervillians before they put their plots in motion.

5) Superheroes who sign in under the SRA will get government benefits and salaries like any government employee, which is good for the superheroes, especially those who are not well-off like Spiderman and Luke Cage.

Anti:
1) It is tradition fo costumed heroes to remain anonymous, even to the government. (This is the weakest of all the anti-SRA arguments in my opinion.)

2) As Captain America puts it, how long will it be before the government starts deciding who the badguys are? The point of the superhero is to be above political considerations of government agencies.

3) If all superheroes are registered, who will do the "black" stuff that the govenment can't acknowledge doing? The type of stuff that Wolverine does on his own? If all the heroes work for the government, disavowing them is not an option.

4) The SRA restricts the individual liberties of the heroes.

5) Although the identities of the heroes would be kept top secret, if someone got their hands on that information, it could endanger the families and friends of the heroes.

6) Working for the government would actually make their jobs harder: has there ever been a project that the government didn't complicate with red tape and politics and committee meetings?

And I am sure that there are other arguments on both sides of the issue that I haven't thought of or read yet.

What is your opinion on the matter? Is the SRA a good thing or a bad thing. The superheroes are split down the middle on the issue, and it is going to result, as the storyline's name makes clear, in a civil war among the superheroes.

As the tagline for the series says: "Which side will you choose?"

Elliot

kindj answered on 06/07/06:

OK, now I get it. Hey, you picked the best superhero for your name. Me and my 8 year old, Jake, are both Wolverine freaks. If the hair on my head wasn't rapidly abandoning me, I would totally trim my beard and hair a la Wolverine.

Well, you know me, so you probably know that, despite some fairly compelling arguments from the pro side, I've got to ultimately come down on the anti side.

While I realize we're dealing with fantasy, there are some real-world applications that can be brought in.

Registration is merely the first step toward regulation, which is a step on the road to elimination. See the battle for the 2nd amendment on this one.

What is it about real-world vigilantes that gives the bad guys such fear? No one knows who they are! The cops, for the most part, drive around in marked cars, and even their unmarked ones are generally obviously police cars (DEA being the exception). The cops usually wear uniforms, or are otherwise obviously policemen, due to grooming standards.

Your vigilante, on the other hand, could be any one of a thousand people you see every day on the street. The sulking hulk of a neanderthal on the corner may be the guy that hears everything that goes on, and mutilates the punks that are about to break into Mr. Smith's Kwik-E-Mart. The little bald headed, bespectacled geeky looking guy may be the ex-military sniper that's taking out drug dealers on the street at night from 500 meters out.

That's why I like Texas' (and other places) concealed handgun laws. The punks simply don't know who around them is legally armed. Uncertainty is not a criminal's friend.

I say use that uncertainty to the advantage of law and order. Sometimes a little carnage and disorder is necessary to get the bad guys, but sometimes "procedure" lets many, many bad guys get away.

I could really open up a can of worms by speculating upon how long American citizens will tolerate ineffective police departments before they begin to solve their own problems, but that's probably best put on another thread.

DK

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 06/06/06 - Combating Racism

Some real ugly stuff is going on here, so I have to speak up.

I have known many fine middle class black people, professionals and CHRISTIANS.....many black working class people, CHRISTIANS, all kinds of African Americans.

I have known poor black people and poor white people....it's about surviving for poor people no matter what color.....


jack

kindj answered on 06/06/06:

As have I.

Not only HAVE I known such people, I CURRENTLY know many such people.

Your point was....?

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 06/06/06 - The UN is beyond contempt

this is a followup to Clete's posting about the massacre of E.Timor police by their army while they were under the escort of UN "peace keepers".

It appears that the UN is conducting a cover up of the incident .

An email from the UN's deputy representative in Timor, Pakistani General Anis Bajwa, had been circulated to all staff, including employees evacuated to Australia, directing them not to assist AFP detectives investigating the worst atrocity since the violence of 1999.

First they denied that the e-mail existed ,but then when confronted with the evidence ,UN spokesman Bob Sullivan admitted it had been circulated .An now when cornered said the UN would now cooperate in the investigation.

This incident was not a mistake by a bunch of teenaged soldiers .A senior UN commander on the scene ignored the advice of his advisers. This caused an incident that threw an entire country into civil war. Then they tried to cover it up ;and when caught first denied it ,and finally cooperate when there is nowhere else to hide .If that aint the UN in a nutshell I don't know what is .

For the record ,the Aussie troops have rules of engagement that prohibit them from firing on looters. Therefore the looters and arsonists pretty much ignore the Aussie troops and go about their business. When all the dust is settled the second guessers will claim that the Aussies did not do enough to prevent looting ...but if they took action necessary to prevent it then the nay-sayers would simularily object to their strong-armed tactics (sound familiar ?)

It is reported that John Howard will go to Dili to see the sitaution first hand .I wish him a safe trip ;he is already having to defend his position in the media who started asking when the troops would leave shortly after they had landed . The unenvious fact is that Australia needs to be there until a stable governement is established but they also apparently need to walk a fine line so as not to be accused of manipulating East Timor's politics to solve the problem.

If Australia wants to get a grip on the security situation of E. Timor then they should abandon any illusion that the UN will act promptly on a resolution . They should instead get a coalition of the willing from ANZUS and wrest control away from the UN.

kindj answered on 06/06/06:

!!!!!!!GASP!!!!!!

The UN covering something up?!?! Say it ain't so!

Why, I thought they were the solution to all the problems of the world, especially the problem of that bad ol' bully, the US!

It's probably the Bush administration behind all of this, you know. Bush is probably sending them messages like, "Hey, y'all better cover this thing up, or I'll, like, send Dick Cheney hunting over there," or something like that.

Because we all know that the peacekeepers were vicious American servicemen/killers, who probably "snapped" due to the constant strain of peacekeeping (and having to wear those gay blue berets). Oh, sure, they may have all had ID's from another nation or two, but that's just more smoke and mirrors and deception by the US.

DK

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 06/02/06 - Sexual Bombshell Hits Washington

It has been announced today from two reliable sources that George Bush is having a sexual affair with Condoleeza Rice.

I'm trying to remember, when was the last time a sitting president had a mistress. John F. Kennedy?

kindj answered on 06/02/06:

Well, IF it's true, then that kinda puts to bed (so to speak) any allegations that Bush is racist against blacks.

DK

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 06/01/06 - Let's see how I can do on this one?

1) Bush intentionally misled Americans to convince them to go to war in Iraq.

True.

2) Bush pressured intelligence agencies to bias their judgments.

True

3) Promoting democracy in the Middle East is a postwar rationalization.

True

4) Saddam's WMD's were the only justification for war with Iraq.

True

5) Because no WMD's were found, Saddam posed no threat.

True

6) Saddam's WMD's have been accounted for.

False.

7) The war in Iraq was all about oil.

True.

8) The US and the CIA 'created' Osama bin Laden.

True

9) "George Bush doesn't care about black people".

True

10) Liberals are more tolerant than conservatives.

False

Generally speaking this is what the world believes with or without justification.

kindj answered on 06/02/06:

>>Generally speaking this is what the world believes with or without justification.<<

And therein lies the problem. Beliefs without proofs. Opinions with no basis. Feelings over intelligence.

DK

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 05/22/06 - One out of 136

WASHINGTON - "Prisons and jails added more than 1,000 inmates each week for a year, putting almost 2.2 million people, or one in every 136 U.S. residents, behind bars by last summer.


The total on June 30, 2005, was 56,428 more than at the same time in 2004, the government reported Sunday. That 2.6 percent increase from mid-2004 to mid-2005 translates into a weekly rise of 1,085 inmates.

Of particular note was the gain of 33,539 inmates in jails, the largest increase since 1997, researcher Allen J. Beck said. That was a 4.7 percent growth rate, compared with a 1.6 percent increase in people held in state and federal prisons."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Comments?

kindj answered on 05/22/06:

We'll have to wait and see, but I'm sure it's somehow Bush's fault.

Seriously, though, I think it just shows how more and more people are thinking themselves exempt from the law, simply on the basis of "they can't tell ME what to do," or blatant stupidity, or both.

It would be interesting to see how those numbers break down by demographic, though. Like inner city v. suburbs, wealthy v. poor, and so on.

And what were the nature of the crimes? And of the sentences? How many were DWI's who were in the drunk tank for 24 hrs and released? How many were prostitution stings, where they were held for processing and bailed out?

While it's alarming to see 1 out of 136 Americans in this statistic, I think there may be a bit more to the story.

DK

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 05/22/06 - Merciary Army?

NEW YORK "Little known to the American public, there are some 50,000 private contractors in Iraq, providing support for the U.S. military, among other activities. So why not go all the way, hints Ted Koppel in a New York Times op-ed on Monday, and form a real "mercenary army"?

Such a move involving what he calls "latter-day Hessians" would represent, he writes, "the inevitable response of a market economy to a host of seemingly intractable public policy and security problems."

The issue is raised by our "over-extended military" and inability of the United Nations to form adequate peace forces. Meanwhile, Americans business interests grow ever more active abroad in dangerous spots.

"Just as the all-volunteer military relieved the government of much of the political pressure that had accompanied the draft, so a rent-a-force, harnessing the privilege of every putative warrior to hire himself out for more than he could ever make in the direct service of Uncle Sam, might relieve us of an array of current political pressures," Koppel explains, tongue possibly in cheek."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What about a merciary army?

kindj answered on 05/22/06:

What about it?

Believe it or not, there are other countries who have a particular interest in Iraq, but for whatever reason cannot feel free to offer above-the-table support (most likely due to what such support would do to their chances of re-election/re-appointment). So they send in the mercs.

We have done it, and most likely still do.

They've always been there, since the first caveman offered an antelope leg quarter to Zug to take out the caveguy who was hitting on his cavegal.

I say BFD, it's a non-issue.

DK

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Question/Answer
fredg asked on 05/11/06 - Tax Rebates

Hi,
According to the National News Networks, the President of the US, some Democrats, and Most Republicans, are now going to extend the "Tax Rebates" to Americans!
This is trying to replace the National News with something "good", while forgetting about the other things, such as Iraq, $8,000,000,000,000 (YES, Trillion) National Debt of the United States!
These tax rebates would be as follows: forgive me if I'm off a few dollars:
annual income of less than $100,000 = rebate of from $46 to $400 for the year.
Annual income of over $100,000 = rebate of around $3,000.
Annual income of One Million = around $4,000.
Annual income over One Million = $41,000 approx.
The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. For most of use, it means a little extra gas money, but not too many gallons worth!

If you are earning less than $100,000 per year (which is 95% of Americans!); you will probably get back $46 for the year!

This ploy by the Republics is to get re-elected in November in the United States.
Question: Since the President's approval rating is now down to about 31%, and the Republicans' ratings are below 25%, do you think this ploy will work??
fredg

kindj answered on 05/11/06:

Guess it depends on how you look at it.

I took some averages, and came up with the following:

If a family made $50,000, then if they get a $400 rebate, that $400 is equal to .8% of their income.

If a family made $500,000, and they get a $3,000 rebate, that equals .6% of their income.

If a family made $1,000,000, and they get a $4,000 rebate, that equals .4% of their income.

Over $1,000,000, it varies, depending on exactly how much they made, assuming the $41,000 rate is fairly constant.

So it seems to me, that the less a family made, the greater the percentage of their income they get back.

And that's unfair how?

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 05/10/06 - and it takes James Bond to work it out?

INVASION USA
Osama's exploits south of border
Al-Qaida in league with Mexican radicals in plot to penetrate U.S., says MI6 report
Posted: May 10, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

Editor's note: The following story is adapted from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, the premium, online intelligence newsletter published by the founder of WND.

By Gordon Thomas
2006 WorldNetDaily.com

LONDON Britain's secret intelligence service, MI6, has established the first proof al-Qaida is playing a major role in the new Cold War between North and South America with Osama bin Laden's terror network seeing itself in league with Mexican subversives in infiltrating the U.S. border.

The evidence emerged as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez swash-buckled into London after scoring a win in yet another venomous battle with Washington for influence and economic advantage across the Latin American continent.

Chavez is in London to meet the capital's anti-Bush mayor, Ken Livingstone, and other prominent British opponents of the war in Iraq. His arrival coincides with the downward spiral politically of Prime Minister Tony Blair largely over his continued support for Bush.

Downing Street will monitor the Chavez visit closely not least because he controls the western hemisphere's largest supply of oil reserves. As oil prices soar, Chavez has used the extra profits to reinforce his position with his electorate. He said last week he would seek "indefinite" re-election beyond the constitutional limit of 2014.

Chavez, a 51 year-old paratrooper, descended on London this week and was boosted by the knowledge that his rapidly expanding clout in Southern America could soon see a dramatic shift of power after elections in Peru, Nicaragua and Mexico.

This would result in a standoff between Western oil companies worried about rising oil prices and South American oil producers' new-found enthusiasm for threatening foreign companies with a further hike.

In the words of a MI6 memo, the situation "is a new and dangerous threat to stability that is also being exploited by al-Qaida."

Details of al-Qaeda's penetration into Latin America emerged from documents discovered during recent anti-terrorist operations in Pakistan to try and locate Osama bin Laden.

The documents included evidence that al-Qaida has established links with the Colombian terror group, FARC, and the Shining Path, SL, in Peru. They also reveal al-Qaida's links with thousands of Muslim students in the Dominican Republic.

Another Pakistani document shows the links between al-Qaida and Mexico's Popular Revolutionary Army, EPR. The documents reveal that al-Qaida sees EPR as collaborators in attacks in Mexico on foreign targets "especially those of the United States and Britain." It also says that EPR can play a key role in allowing al-Qaida operatives to enter the United States through the busiest land crossing in the world Tijuana.

Another document reveals that along Peru's border with Chile "a large Arab community is providing substantial sums of money for al-Qaida."

But the closest links al-Qaida has are with Venezuela. Exploiting Chavez's latest tirade against the Bush administration, al-Qaida is firmly entrenched in the country.

Before flying to London, Chavez said: "The axis of evil is Washington and its allies around the world who go about threatening, invading and murdering. We are forming the axis of good."

The godfather of that axis is Fidel Castro, Cuba's leader for 45 years. But in support is Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia who last week promised: "I am going to be a nightmare for Washington."

In coming presidential elections the candidates are Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, Peru's Ollanta Humala and Andres Lopez of Mexico. The Mexican populist likes to see himself as a mirror image of Chavez and has labelled the country's outgoing president, Vincente Fox, "a puppy of Bush."

The documents discovered in Pakistan have become of prime concern to MI6 given Britain's substantial holdings in Latin America. These could be seriously damaged by what one MI6 officer called "Chavez and his rogue's gallery of sinister wannabees and corrupt opportunists."

Chavez has so far spectacularly avoided Washington's efforts to curb his ambitions. He has warned Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, "I sting those who rattle me."

It is over threats like that MI6 analysts try to decipher how far Chavez will allow al-Qaida to be his sting master.

Already MI6 say that Venezuela is now one of the main conduits for trafficking drugs to Europe and al-Qaida is a major player.

From Venezuela the drugs are taken by high-speed ocean-going boats to Africa's West Sahara. The cargoes are run ashore north of the town of Dakhia and trucked overland through Morocco into southern Spain. From there they are smuggled into France, Germany and Britain.

Deep inside their headquarters overlooking the River Thames, the MI6 analysts work in a room that is accessed by a swipe card, the codes of which change regularly.

The room houses the Terrorist Attack Assessment Center. Inside its computer-lined walls and state-of-the-art communications, analysts sit at workstations around the clock. TAAC is directly linked to the Pentagon and the CIA. Both have their versions of TAAC.

The MI6 department regularly updates its director general, John Scarlett. He is the quintessential English spymaster. In his customized suits and hand-stitched cotton shirts, he has a touch of the James Bond about his sartorial elegance.

He is taking a close interest in the documents that indicate how al-Qaida sees Latin America as a continent where it can expand its activities.

MI6 analysts have established that the documents are the work of Ayman al-Zawahiri, a founder member of al-Qaida and accepted by Western intelligence services as its prime strategist next to bin Laden.

Al-Zawahiri studied in Paris and London to become a recognized authority in behavioral psychology. After graduating from Cairo University he traveled widely.

An MI6 file confirms a Mossad profile of the heavily bearded psychiatrist that he is arrogant and takes an obsessive pleasure watching film of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 when he first emerged from the shadows to sit alongside bin Laden.

Both MI6 and Mossad believe al-Zawahiri made several visits to Latin America during the last decade.

As Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin first reported in 2003, Pentagon officials have confirmed human smuggling rings in Latin America are attempting to sneak al-Qaida operatives into the U.S.

Before the U.S.-led coalition attacked Iraq, the U.S. State Department offered congressional testimony that both al-Qaida and the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah were taking firm hold in "America's backyard."

Mark F. Wong, the State Department's acting coordinator for counterterrorism, told the House International Relations Committee about the threat posed by both groups in Latin America.

Yet, then the matter seems to have been dropped perhaps for diplomatic reasons, perhaps for political reasons.

But in 2003, G2 Bulletin reported authorities in Silvio Pettirosi International Airport in Asuncion, the Paraguayan capital, reported the arrival of a growing number of visitors carrying European passports, but undoubtedly appearing to be more Middle Eastern than anything else.

Some of these "Europeans" could not even speak the language of their so-called mother land.

There was very little doubt most of these visitors went on to find their way to the triple border region where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet. This region, often described as a lawless area, is nicknamed by some intelligence station agents as "The Muslim Triangle meeting zone."

Intelligence experts have been warning since the late 1990s they had noticed a tendency among Islamic terrorists to operate from Paraguay, a landlocked country in the heart of South America, with a territory slightly smaller than California, and with geographic extremes perfect for hiding illegal activities.

G2 Bulletin reported in 2003 the terrorists using Argentina are organized in active cells around the country with safe houses in neighboring Paraguay. An Argentinean document seen by G2B describes part of the drug-smuggling trail, as well as that of weapons and people. These elaborate trails run through a web of border crossings pointing also to the complex cooperation between various "smuggling experts." These belong to jihadi organizations such as al-Qaida, joining forces with local drug lords, developing and oiling their smuggling mechanism all the way to Mexico aiming ultimately to hit the U.S.

The Argentinean intelligence service assessment, privy among others, to European and Middle Eastern agencies, has reached a significant and grave conclusion, according to G2 Bulletin. It claims since 9/11 and the partial success in the war against terrorism, mainly in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Central Asia, the jihadi pendulum is tilting more and more toward South America. The reason terrorist cells in Paraguay, whether active or dormant, can continue to grow and flourish, is because of widespread corruption in South America.

The lawlessness and disorder in Paraguay, enabled operatives of such terrorist groups as al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas to feel safe, even in the heart of Asuncion. These organizations, and probably more, turned Paraguay into a logistical base, as one local journalist told G2 Bulletin: "It's easy. At this stage our country is not engulfed in a civil war or guerrilla campaign and, therefore, security forces are more prone to financial kickbacks."

The terrorists even get some official support in Latin America, according to some sources. As WorldNetDaily reported, a Venezuelan military defector claims Venezuela's Chavez developed ties to terrorist groups such as al-Qaida even providing it with $1 million in cash after Sept. 11, 2001.

Air Force Maj. Juan Diaz Castillo, who was Chavez's pilot, told WorldNetDaily through an interpreter that "the American people should awaken and be aware of the enemy they have just three hours' flight from the United States."

Diaz said he was part of an operation in which Chavez gave $1 million to al-Qaida for relocation costs, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

London-based intelligence expert Gordon Thomas is the author of "Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad"and a regular contributor to Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin. This report includes background reports from previous G2 Bulletin dispatches.

Related offers: Get "Secrets of the Invasion," the May issue of Whistleblower magazine, which dissects the real reasons for Washington's tolerance of a porous border and millions of illegal aliens living and working inside America.

kindj answered on 05/10/06:

Seems to me that this scenario is pretty much what us "pro-border security" types have been saying for a long, long time.

Wonder if anyone's listening yet?

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 05/09/06 - Coalition Forces Discover Key Al Qaeda Documents during April raid.

According to Centcom :

During an Apr. 16 raid in the Yusifiyah area, Coalition Forces discovered a large amount of documents and videos ranging from plans to critiques including al Qaida in Iraqs strategy in Baghdad, and how the terrorist organization lacks leadership, military capability and Iraqi support.

After discovering these documents, the translated versions were sent to Coalition Forces leadership for analysis, said a Multi-National Force spokesman. Specifically, the al Qaida author of the Baghdad Strategy and the Baghdad State of Affairs is unknown, but officials assess he is of significance within the terrorist organization.


The related translated document is here

Point 4 . is of particular interest :

The policy followed by the brothers in Baghdad is a media oriented policy without a clear comprehensive plan to capture an area or an enemy center. Other word, the significance of the strategy of their work is to show in the media that the American and the government do not control the situation and there is resistance against them. This policy dragged us to the type of operations that are attracted to the media, and we go to the streets from time to time for more possible noisy operations which follow the same direction.
This direction has large positive effects; however, being preoccupied with it alone delays more important operations such as taking control of some areas, preserving it and assuming power in Baghdad (for example, taking control of a university, a hospital, or a Sunni religious site).
At the same time, the Americans and the Government were able to absorb our painful blows, sustain them, compensate their losses with new replacements, and follow strategic plans which allowed them in the past few years to take control of Baghdad as well as other areas one after the other. That is why every year is worse than the previous year as far as the Mujahidins control and influence over Baghdad.


The terrorists at least think we are winning n Iraq but they have had one proven success ....influencing the media coverage of the conflict .

AP managed to report on this ,but also managed to neglect to mention the documents references to al Qaeda's focus on the American press. I wonder why ?







kindj answered on 05/09/06:

Let's see if I can put a Michael Moore-ish spin on this, just so you can see what they'll say:

"Don't you know that the document in question is not an al Qaeda production at all, but is REALLY a fake document made up by the spooks at NSA, CIA, and DIA for the sole purpose of vindicating the President and the SecDef? I mean really, these al Qaeda guys are professionals, and there is no way they would ever put anything so damaging on paper. And on the off chance that is IS genuinely from an al Qaeda source, then it is obviously a major bit of disinformation to try to make the American pig-dogs think they are making progress. Can't you see that this Administration and it's warmongering military are hopeless buffoons, and are utterly incapable of doing even the smallest thing right? I mean really, even the Three Stooges or the Keystone Kops would handle things better."

Man, that made my stomach hurt. Well, hopefully you're better prepared now for the onslaught.

Of course, it has been curiously quiet since you posted this....

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 05/08/06 - Poll


Hello wingdudes:

Are you still one of the 33% who still support Bush?

I've taken the liberty of answering for you. Tell me if I'm wrong.

Its: yes
gade: yes
Wolverine: of course
labdude: who cares
kindj: I don't think so
tom: Him either anymore
Pdub: probably
Hank: yes
ladybug: dunno

Of course, I've left out any of you who I believe never did support him. Although, some of you might now. Choux? CeeBee? Clete? Beezle? Ben? Ronnie? Anyone?

excon

kindj answered on 05/08/06:

Yes, I support him.

I question some of his decisions and actions, but that's all part of being a responsible citizen and independent thinker.

Overall, I think he's done the right thing at least 70 percent of the time WITH THE INFORMATION HE HAD AT THE TIME OF HIS DECISION.

Of course, we call all sit back and armchair the guy to death. But let's face it: aren't there a lot of decisions that we'd all made differently if we'd had knowledge we have now at the time we made our decisions?

Plus, you've gotta figure that a lot of the Pres's info is not real accurate, or is filtered considerably. Someone said several weeks ago that the top "functional" (as opposed to figurehead) officials at CIA, DOJ, NSA, OMB, and all the other alphabet soup agencies are the people that were mid-level appointees/favor postings during the Clintonista regime. Don't know if that's true or not, but sounds reasonable to me.

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 05/05/06 - Aztlan

With all that we have been hearing about illegal immigrants demanding their rights, the mainstream meadia has been largely ignoring the "Aztlan" crowd... the Mexican-rights groups that demand the return of Mexican lands to Mexico, lands such as Texas, California, Nevada, and Utah, and parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. They too have had a very large presence in the various demonstrations, with slogans like "Mexico to the Mexicans" and "Get off Our Land", and other stuff.

I suggest that we put this out to the Aztlan crowd: we'll give back all the lands ceeded to the US by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in exactly the same condition that it was when we took it. We'll take every structure, every piece of machinery, every company, every hospital, every school, every job, with us when we leave. We will leave you with exactly what you had when you lost the war... an empty desert.

What say you? How excited are you to get a barren wasteland that you will have to build from scratch in order to get the least little income from? When you take that empty piece of land that is more burden than asset, will you then recognize that it was American ingenuity and sweat and determination that built everything that has ever existed there since 1848?

Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

I am sick of people demanding that America give up what it has worked for and earned to those who have not. American know-how built this country, made it the richest and most free country in the world for those who obey its laws. That know-how and determination has made many other countries richer as well, and provided goods and services thoughout the world. I am sick of people who have benefited from our generosity and ability putting us down as "imperialist pigs" or "usurpers" or any other thing.

Sorry for the rant. I just needed to vent.

Comments are appreciated.

Elliot

kindj answered on 05/05/06:

Good sentiments, but I'm not leaving. If they want what little land I have, they're gonna have to try and take it the same way they lost it the first time: by force.

They will not win this time, either.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 05/04/06 - Random thoughts...

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here and drink what comes out"?

Who was the first person to say, "See that chicken over there ... I'm gonna eat the first thing that comes out if its butt"?

Isn't Disney World just a people trap operated by a mouse?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet soup?

Can you get cornered in a round room?

Why do we wash behind our ears? Who really looks there?

Why don't the hairs on your arms get split ends?

If an atheist has to go to court, do they make him swear on the Bible?

Why is it illegal to park in a handicapped parking space but its ok to use a handicapped toilet?

In that song, she'll be coming around the mountain, who is she?

How come we say 'It's colder than hell outside' when isn't it realistically always colder than hell since hell is supposed to be fire and brimstone?

Why is it that if something says, "do not eat" on the packaging it becomes extra tempting to eat?

Why are people so scared of mice, yet we all love Mickey Mouse?

Wouldn't it be smart to make the sticky stuff on envelopes taste like chocolate?

Elliot

kindj answered on 05/04/06:

If "progress" means moving forward productively, then what must "Congress" mean?

How close does a fly get to the ceiling before turning upside down to land?

Why do we drive on a parkway, but park on a driveway?

Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?

How does a blind person know when they are done wiping their backside?

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 05/02/06 - Worth the read...

White Guilt and the Western Past
Why is America so delicate with the enemy?

BY SHELBY STEELE
Tuesday, May 2, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT

There is something rather odd in the way America has come to fight its wars since World War II.

For one thing, it is now unimaginable that we would use anything approaching the full measure of our military power (the nuclear option aside) in the wars we fight. And this seems only reasonable given the relative weakness of our Third World enemies in Vietnam and in the Middle East. But the fact is that we lost in Vietnam, and today, despite our vast power, we are only slogging along--if admirably--in Iraq against a hit-and-run insurgency that cannot stop us even as we seem unable to stop it. Yet no one--including, very likely, the insurgents themselves--believes that America lacks the raw power to defeat this insurgency if it wants to. So clearly it is America that determines the scale of this war. It is America, in fact, that fights so as to make a little room for an insurgency.

Certainly since Vietnam, America has increasingly practiced a policy of minimalism and restraint in war. And now this unacknowledged policy, which always makes a space for the enemy, has us in another long and rather passionless war against a weak enemy.

Why this new minimalism in war?

It began, I believe, in a late-20th-century event that transformed the world more profoundly than the collapse of communism: the world-wide collapse of white supremacy as a source of moral authority, political legitimacy and even sovereignty. This idea had organized the entire world, divided up its resources, imposed the nation-state system across the globe, and delivered the majority of the world's population into servitude and oppression. After World War II, revolutions across the globe, from India to Algeria and from Indonesia to the American civil rights revolution, defeated the authority inherent in white supremacy, if not the idea itself. And this defeat exacted a price: the West was left stigmatized by its sins. Today, the white West--like Germany after the Nazi defeat--lives in a kind of secular penitence in which the slightest echo of past sins brings down withering condemnation. There is now a cloud over white skin where there once was unquestioned authority.

I call this white guilt not because it is a guilt of conscience but because people stigmatized with moral crimes--here racism and imperialism--lack moral authority and so act guiltily whether they feel guilt or not.

They struggle, above all else, to dissociate themselves from the past sins they are stigmatized with. When they behave in ways that invoke the memory of those sins, they must labor to prove that they have not relapsed into their group's former sinfulness. So when America--the greatest embodiment of Western power--goes to war in Third World Iraq, it must also labor to dissociate that action from the great Western sin of imperialism. Thus, in Iraq we are in two wars, one against an insurgency and another against the past--two fronts, two victories to win, one military, the other a victory of dissociation.

The collapse of white supremacy--and the resulting white guilt--introduced a new mechanism of power into the world: stigmatization with the evil of the Western past. And this stigmatization is power because it affects the terms of legitimacy for Western nations and for their actions in the world. In Iraq, America is fighting as much for the legitimacy of its war effort as for victory in war. In fact, legitimacy may be the more important goal. If a military victory makes us look like an imperialist nation bent on occupying and raping the resources of a poor brown nation, then victory would mean less because it would have no legitimacy. Europe would scorn. Conversely, if America suffered a military loss in Iraq but in so doing dispelled the imperialist stigma, the loss would be seen as a necessary sacrifice made to restore our nation's legitimacy. Europe's halls of internationalism would suddenly open to us.

Because dissociation from the racist and imperialist stigma is so tied to legitimacy in this age of white guilt, America's act of going to war can have legitimacy only if it seems to be an act of social work--something that uplifts and transforms the poor brown nation (thus dissociating us from the white exploitations of old). So our war effort in Iraq is shrouded in a new language of social work in which democracy is cast as an instrument of social transformation bringing new institutions, new relations between men and women, new ideas of individual autonomy, new and more open forms of education, new ways of overcoming poverty--war as the Great Society.

This does not mean that President Bush is insincere in his desire to bring democracy to Iraq, nor is it to say that democracy won't ultimately be socially transformative in Iraq. It's just that today the United States cannot go to war in the Third World simply to defeat a dangerous enemy.

White guilt makes our Third World enemies into colored victims, people whose problems--even the tyrannies they live under--were created by the historical disruptions and injustices of the white West. We must "understand" and pity our enemy even as we fight him. And, though Islamic extremism is one of the most pernicious forms of evil opportunism that has ever existed, we have felt compelled to fight it with an almost managerial minimalism that shows us to be beyond the passions of war--and thus well dissociated from the avariciousness of the white supremacist past.

Anti-Americanism, whether in Europe or on the American left, works by the mechanism of white guilt. It stigmatizes America with all the imperialistic and racist ugliness of the white Western past so that America becomes a kind of straw man, a construct of Western sin. (The Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons were the focus of such stigmatization campaigns.) Once the stigma is in place, one need only be anti-American in order to be "good," in order to have an automatic moral legitimacy and power in relation to America. (People as seemingly disparate as President Jacques Chirac and the Rev. Al Sharpton are devoted pursuers of the moral high ground to be had in anti-Americanism.) This formula is the most dependable source of power for today's international left. Virtue and power by mere anti-Americanism. And it is all the more appealing since, unlike real virtues, it requires no sacrifice or effort--only outrage at every slight echo of the imperialist past.

Today words like "power" and "victory" are so stigmatized with Western sin that, in many quarters, it is politically incorrect even to utter them. For the West, "might" can never be right. And victory, when won by the West against a Third World enemy, is always oppression. But, in reality, military victory is also the victory of one idea and the defeat of another. Only American victory in Iraq defeats the idea of Islamic extremism. But in today's atmosphere of Western contrition, it is impolitic to say so.

America and the broader West are now going through a rather tender era, a time when Western societies have very little defense against the moral accusations that come from their own left wings and from those vast stretches of nonwhite humanity that were once so disregarded.

Europeans are utterly confounded by the swelling Muslim populations in their midst. America has run from its own mounting immigration problem for decades, and even today, after finally taking up the issue, our government seems entirely flummoxed. White guilt is a vacuum of moral authority visited on the present by the shames of the past. In the abstract it seems a slight thing, almost irrelevant, an unconvincing proposition. Yet a society as enormously powerful as America lacks the authority to ask its most brilliant, wealthy and superbly educated minority students to compete freely for college admission with poor whites who lack all these things. Just can't do it.

Whether the problem is race relations, education, immigration or war, white guilt imposes so much minimalism and restraint that our worst problems tend to linger and deepen. Our leaders work within a double bind. If they do what is truly necessary to solve a problem--win a war, fix immigration--they lose legitimacy.

To maintain their legitimacy, they practice the minimalism that makes problems linger. What but minimalism is left when you are running from stigmatization as a "unilateralist cowboy"? And where is the will to truly regulate the southern border when those who ask for this are slimed as bigots? This is how white guilt defines what is possible in America. You go at a problem until you meet stigmatization, then you retreat into minimalism.

Possibly white guilt's worst effect is that it does not permit whites--and nonwhites--to appreciate something extraordinary: the fact that whites in America, and even elsewhere in the West, have achieved a truly remarkable moral transformation. One is forbidden to speak thus, but it is simply true. There are no serious advocates of white supremacy in America today, because whites see this idea as morally repugnant. If there is still the odd white bigot out there surviving past his time, there are millions of whites who only feel goodwill toward minorities.

This is a fact that must be integrated into our public life--absorbed as new history--so that America can once again feel the moral authority to seriously tackle its most profound problems. Then, if we decide to go to war, it can be with enough ferocity to win.

Mr. Steele, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, is author, most recently, of "White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era," published this week by HarperCollins.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Comments?

kindj answered on 05/02/06:

I see what he's saying, and it seems to be simply PC run amock.

Personally, I find the notion that I should feel personally "guilty" over ANYTHING that occured before I was even born morally repugnant in itself. The very same people who loudly proclaim "innocent until proven guilty!" are all to ready to label you and I guilty of all sorts of things, simply on the basis of our ethnicity and/or our faith.

So yes, it's a shame when we even have to fight our wars under this ruse of collective guilt.

They want us out, but don't want us to use the tactics necessary for us to be able to leave under the conditions that we set up beforehand.

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 05/02/06 - Look who's irrelevant now!

Never put your head in a paper tiger's mouth


May 2, 2006

History has taught us that revolutionaries should be taken seriously, writes Gerard Henderson.

SOME Englishmen still go out in the midday sun. Others just do lunch. It seems that the English-born journalist and author Robert Fisk had elected to take the second option when he was interviewed live from Beirut on ABC TV's Lateline last Wednesday. At the conclusion of the program, presenter Tony Jones described the interview as "rather unusual". You can say that again.

Fisk's considered position on the West and the Middle East is set out at length in a 1300-page book, The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East (Fourth Estate, 2005). Yet those who saw Fisk's 11-minute interview with Jones may have got a clearer sense of his essential thesis compared with those who have waded through his recent tome. It was as if the commentator was somewhat relaxed on the job (so to speak) and, consequently, spoke with greater candour than would usually be expected from The Independent's man in Beirut.

Fisk began by saying that the likes of the al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, and the al-Qaeda in Iraq supremo, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, "don't actually matter". According to his view, they are "part of the bestialisation of those people we want to hate". He said "the organisation which bin Laden has created exists, so the individuals per se don't really matter much anymore".

One of the lessons of history is that revolutionaries should be taken seriously, since they usually do, or attempt to do, what they say they intend to do. This is true of Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis and more besides.

Bin Laden said he would attack the West, and has done so on many occasions. Zarqawi said he would wage an insurgency against the UN-approved government in Iraq and its Western allies (including the US, Britain and Australia). At present, Zarqawi and his fellow terrorists are waging war on soldiers and civilians in Iraq.

Yet, Fisk maintains, neither man actually matters anymore. Why? Well, according to this view, bin Laden and Zarqawi are essentially creations of, wait for it, the West. They are mere figures "to be hated and to be bestialised in front of the television screens" and depicted by Western TV producers as "the latest mad lunatic, the latest fanatic, the latest terrorist whom we have to be concerned about". It was as if bin Laden and Zarqawi had not chosen to send out their own video and audio revolutionary messages with the expressed intention they be reported on Western TV. But they have.

When Jones implied that Fisk might be underestimating the significance of Zarqawi's most recent revolutionary message, Fisk responded by positing the suggestion that "these people [are] being put out before us as caricatures to hate" by George Bush. So it's all Bush's fault, apparently. When Jones suggested that bin Laden was a problem, Fisk responded: "It's a problem for you, isn't it?" The response was in the affirmative. Whereupon Fisk quickly backtracked and acknowledged that it was a problem for him as well.

A similar confusion emerged when Fisk maintained the West is "helping to create the creatures of evil". Fisk gesticulated inverted commas when saying the word "evil" - implying that he did not necessarily believe the murderer Zarqawi was necessarily evil. Zarqawi's Iraqi civilian victims, and their families, would hold a different view, no doubt. When Jones argued that the West just could not ignore al-Qaeda in Iraq, Fisk again backtracked, declaring: "No; absolutely not; you're right."

There followed a Fisk "look, look, look, look" interjection and it was soon good night from Jones. And it was still lunch time in Lebanon. The acclaimed author of The Great War for Civilisation signed off by implying that the "injustice in the Muslim world" is due primarily to "Westerners".

In his recent book, Fisk describes war as "the total failure of the human spirit" and comments that he knows of an editor "who has wearied of hearing" him say this. The author then asks: "How many editors have first-hand experience of war?" Fair enough. But how many journalists have first-hand experience of government? For example, the fact is Britain and its allies had few options in 1939. It's difficult to see how a determination to stand up to Hitler can be equated with a total failure of the human spirit.

Fisk's position is much the same about World War I, in which his father took part. He argues that William Fisk fought "in the trenches of France because of a shot fired in a city he'd never heard of called Sarajevo". This is simplistic at best. William Fisk found himself in a trench on the Western Front because Germany invaded Belgium and France. The elected politicians of the day had to make a decision whether to resist German aggression or not. Journalists are not required to make such decisions.

Fisk stands in the tradition of the alienated Western intellectual. He has many fellow-travellers. The playwright Harold Pinter used the occasion of his 2005 Nobel Prize for literature address to question whether the West ever has any "moral sensibility". Pinter's discomfort with the US and Britain is so intense that he went so far as to support Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia.

Then there is John Pilger, who told the Green Left Weekly (November 3, 2004) that "while we abhor and condemn the continuing loss of innocent life in Iraq, we have no choice but to support the resistance".

There is a plausible case against the US/Britain/Australia policy in the Middle East in general - and Iraq in particular. But blaming the West for virtually all the problems and injustices in the Middle East is a cop-out. Especially since Arabs, Muslim and Christian alike are the principal victims of the attacks by radical Islamists. In ignoring this in his rather unusual, albeit brutally honest Lateline interview, Fisk demonstrated that he was, well, out to lunch.

Gerard Henderson is executive director of the Sydney Institute.

kindj answered on 05/02/06:

Sounds to me like Fisk is a prime example of one who's managed to educate himself beyond his own intelligence.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 04/27/06 - Series of Setbacks Threatens Morale of Religious Right .........


Series of Setbacks Threatens Morale of Religious Right
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos



Some Question Whether GOP Plan For Iraq Is Enough

WASHINGTON More than a year after "values voters" propelled President Bush to a second term in office, many religious conservatives say they are starting to feel undervalued, an emotion that could spell danger for congressional Republicans ahead of a contentious midterm election.

You can cut it with a knife, thats how upset they are, said Richard Viguerie, a long-time member of the social conservative movement, which is largely evangelical and considered to be the base of last year's presidential victory.

Among the disappointments cited are increased spending under the Republican-controlled White House and Congress, and a lack of focus on domestic issues dear to this voting bloc. Recent Capitol Hill scandals shadowing some of the "religious rights" brightest stars and a lost battle to save Terri Schiavo have also threatened the morale and strength of this political lobby, say leaders.

I definitely think there are morale problems and waning enthusiasm, said Gary Bauer, head of the Campaign for Working Families, a conservative political action committee.

Part of it, I think is were in a second term (presidency) and theres been no major progress on things that the base really cares about, said Bauer, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2000. There is sort of this simmering frustration out there that 'man, they want our votes on Election Day, but they are going to fight on 50 other issues before they get to our issues.'

Conservatives, however, do acknowledge two major morale boosts over the last year the confirmations of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.

Any disappointment was mitigated by John Roberts and Justice Alito. That is a huge thing for social conservatives, said Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. The president has fulfilled no campaign promises more faithfully than only nominating strict constructionalists and non-activist judges.

Still, Viguerie said the simmering frustration has heated up to the boiling point for many conservatives, some of whom are privately suggesting that the prospect of a Democratic win in November aint all that bad," and that a divided government would scale back growth and purge the Republican Party of its non-conservatives.

In 2004, 78 percent of evangelical voters, who made up 23 percent of the electorate, voted for Bush, according to exit polling. Evangelicals identified themselves as Republicans, 48 percent the largest numbers in recent history compared to 23 percent who called themselves Democrats.

If the last year has angered these voters, it hasnt stopped them from making noise, as evidenced by a recent summit of evangelical Christians and conservative Jewish activists in Washington, D.C. The summit produced a Values Voters Contract with Congress, demanding legislation that would address issues like keeping God in the Pledge of Allegiance, banning cloning and getting a constitutional amendment enshrining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

In terms of this bloc of voters it isnt so much that they are complacent, it's more that they are hesitant because they havent seen the results that they were promised, said William Greene, head of RightMarch.com, which participated in the March summit organized by Texas-based Vision America. RightsMarch.com also recently announced a new event with the Minutemen Project to highlight voter anger at unchecked illegal immigration.

Scandals Rattle the Base

While conservatives say they are disappointed by the inability of Congress to achieve their agenda, others suggest that recent Capitol Hill scandals have also taken their toll.

Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, a major supporter of conservative issues, announced earlier this month that he was resigning from Congress before the November election because he thought his legal problems were interfering with the Republican agenda in the House.

The former majority leader has been indicted on money laundering and conspiracy charges relating to the election of Republican Texas state representatives in 2002. Two of his former aides, Michael Scanlon and Tony Rudy, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in a federal bribery and fraud investigation involving convicted Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed and major grassroots organizer Focus on the Family have also been connected to Abramoff in Senate hearings and in news reports.

Marvin Olasky, a professor at the University of Texas and editor of the Christian WORLD magazine who helped create the faith-based initiative in the White House, has been very critical of Reed, who reportedly took $4 million from Abramoff to launch an anti-gambling campaign that would ultimately help Abramoffs Indian casino clients fend off a competing tribe's bid for a casino.

Olasky said that Reed has damaged the reputation of evangelical leaders and the movement. This internal stuff it zaps the energy of the movement, he said. Thats why transparency and honesty are so important.

Reed has responded to Olaskys criticisms on his Web site. I was not hired (by Abramoff) to lobby. We mailed direct mail letters and aired radio ads opposing illegal casinos, he wrote. Had I known then what I know now, I would not have undertaken the work ... I regret any difficultly it has cause the pro-family community.

Focus on the Family chief Dr. James Dobson flatly denies his group engaged in its own anti-gambling campaign at Reed's urging as part of his work with Abramoff. The group was using its muscle to fight illegal gambling period, say officials there.

Paul Hetrick, spokesman for Focus on the Family, said the virility of the grassroots organization has not been affected by the story.

Were not going to be the least bit intimidated, restricted or constrained by any external factors, said Hetrick.

Elsewhere, some conservatives suggest that fight in 2005 to keep Terri Schiavo alive in Florida, which drew Congressional Republicans into a failed attempt to legislate the situation, might have given them a black eye with the public. Comments from television evangelist Pat Robertson, who recently called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, also have not won widespread support.

Greene said he doesn't agree with those claims.

"I don't think it hurts the cause in terms of the issues the support is there no matter what people like Pat Robertson says," said Greene. As for Schiavo, "the folks that really form the base of the Republican Party feel just as strongly that she shouldnt be starved to death and that hasn't changed."

Land said he expects that values voters who are looking forward to a debate this summer over a federal marriage amendment and stem cell research will again be a strong force in the 2006 midterm election.

I dont see any big dip in morale, Land said. I think social conservatives are looking forward to 2006 and to the 2008 campaign. They feel the wind at their backs.

=====

Should the GOP be concerned?

kindj answered on 04/27/06:

I've heard this before, and again, I don't see any real areas of concern from my standpoint.

I'm "religious," though I prefer the term "Christian." Therefore, my PRIMARY allegiance is to God and everything that He has revealed as Truth thus far.

Secondly and in accordance with the first, my allegiance is to my family, whom I have been charged and privileged to be the head of.

Thirdly, my allegiance is to my country.

Already, the politics of this nation are taking a back seat to God and my family, which is how it should be, in my opinion.

That said, I cast my vote for the person or persons whom I feel will act MOST CLOSELY with my values and beliefs. Notice I did not say "will act PERFECTLY" with my values and beliefs. Whichever person or group aligns themselves the closest with my views is the one that gets my vote.

At the moment, the GOP is still leaps and bounds ahead of the liberal democrats in that area. Not perfect, far from it. Just better.

So if a candidate that I voted for violates the principles that caused me to vote for them in the first place, I: 1. Write them a letter expressing my disappointment, and suggest my opinion of a better route; and, 2. If their actions to the contrary of my beliefs add up too much, they don't get my vote again.

It's that simple.

Therefore, no. I see no reason for the rational, logical members of the GOP to be concerned. The fringe elements might be, but those on the fringe are ALWAYS concerned about something.

DK

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 04/25/06 - Nuclear Weapons Test, Nevada, June 2

Is this test to determine how effective small nuclear weapons might be in an invasion situation, say, such as Iran?

kindj answered on 04/25/06:

I don't know. Can you send me a link to your source?

For what it's worth, I would vehemently disagree with a nuclear approach to Iran. The loss of life would be devastating.

Besides, there's easier ways to do it.

DK

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 04/25/06 - Grounds for Impeachment-Brzezinski

"In an op-ed titled Do Not Attack Iran, former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski today makes the case against launching an air strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. First on his list:

In the absence of an imminent threat (with the Iranians at least several years away from having a nuclear arsenal), the attack would be a unilateral act of war. If undertaken without formal Congressional declaration, it would be unconstitutional and merit the impeachment of the President.

Most strikingly, Brzezinski wonders whether the Bush administrations current strategy is actually designed to deliberately encourag[e] greater Iranian intransigence and undercut chances of reaching a diplomatic solution:

How else to explain the current U.S. negotiating stance: the United States is refusing to participate in the on-going negotiations with Iran but insists on dealing only through proxies. That stands in sharp contrast with the simultaneous negotiations with North Korea, in which the United States is actively engaged.

At the same time, the United States is allocating funds for the destabilization of the Iranian regime and is reportedly injecting Special Forces teams into Iran to stir up non-Iranian ethnic minorities in order to fragment the Iranian state (in the name of democratization!).

Brzezinski is the latest in a long line of national security experts and others advising against a military strike in Iran. (Read our full list HERE.) But Brzezinski also makes a strong proactive case on Iran, calling for the Bush administration to sober up, to think strategically, with a historic perspective and with Americas national interest primarily in mind.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

kindj answered on 04/25/06:

Sometimes, but not often, I wish I were a foreign policy expert instead of just a former tool of foreign policy. But here goes, anyway:

>>with the Iranians at least several years away from having a nuclear arsenal<<

While that is certainly one estimate, other estimates (both domestic and foreign) make it more like MONTHS instead of years.

>>Brzezinski wonders whether the Bush administrations current strategy is actually designed to deliberately encourag[e] greater Iranian intransigence and undercut chances of reaching a diplomatic solution:<<

I'm not sure I see any potential gain in that, in either the political or military arena.


>>reportedly injecting Special Forces teams into Iran to stir up non-Iranian ethnic minorities in order to fragment the Iranian state<<

1. Key word is "reportedly." Special Ops don't talk about their assignments, and neither does anyone else. I may not know much politically, but I know for a FACT that the only Special Ops missions you hear about are the ones the SOCOM community and the Pentagon WANT you to hear about.

2. Pardon my crudity, but BFD. We've been doing that since the early eighties, and not just in Iran, either.

I do, however, think that the US should deal face-to-face with Iran. If we are as serious as we say we are about it, then we should honor our adversary enough to show up in person. I'm not a diplomat, but I know that a little honor goes a long way. Maybe not far enough, but a long way nonetheless.

DK

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 04/25/06 - Bush's Answer To High Gas Prices

From Yahoo news(how appropriate)

"Bush on Tuesday ordered a temporary suspension of environmental rules for gasoline, making it easier for refiners to meet demand and ***possibly*** dampen prices at the pump. He also halted for the summer the purchase of crude oil for the government's emergency reserve.

The moves came as political pressure intensified on Bush to do something about gasoline prices that are expected to stay high throughout the summer".

kindj answered on 04/25/06:

Though I'm a Bush supporter, I feel that this was a classic example of "saying something (which amounts to nothing) to make folks think you're doing something while doing nothing."

Don't know for sure how true it is, but I heard the other day that two-thirds of the cost of a gallon of gas was nothing but taxes; that if, in fact, the feds dropped all the taxes (which no one's asking them to do), that gas would be just slightly more than a dollar a gallon, and that's including the profits for the corporations.

So all this while I've been bashing the oil moguls, when in reality it's Congress that's screwing us. At least if what I heard is true.

So it seems to me that a better address by Mr. Bush might've gone a little like this:

"Ladies and gentleman (and I use those terms loosely) of Congress:

I'm prepared to offer you two choices:

1. Loosen (not drop altogether) the taxes on gasoline.

-or-

2. I can file an executive order reducing all of your salaries to the national median, cut your government expense accounts, eliminate all of your tax breaks, force you to work a 40 hour week ALL YEAR LONG, and YOU can fill up your Cadillacs and SUV's and limos at the same rate as your voters are paying.

You have one minute to cast your vote for one of my two proposals. The clock starts now."

Which is why I'll never be President.

DK

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 04/24/06 - reality imitating art -Delta Force revisited?

US deploys elite forces worldwide to spearhead terrorism battle

April 24, 2006

WASHINGTON: The US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, has approved the military's most ambitious plan to fight terrorism around the world and retaliate more rapidly and decisively in the case of a terrorist attack on the US, according to defence officials.

The long-awaited campaign plan for the global war on terrorism, as well as two subordinate plans also approved within the past month by Mr Rumsfeld, are considered the Pentagon's highest priority, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The plans envisage a greatly expanded role for the military - and in particular a growing force of elite special operations troops - to combat terrorism outside of war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Developed over about three years by the Special Operations Command, they reflect a beefing up of the Pentagon's involvement in domains traditionally handled by the CIA and State Department.

For example, the command has dispatched small teams of special operations troops to US embassies in more than a dozen countries in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, where they do operational planning and intelligence.

And in a subtle but important shift, the Pentagon gained the leeway to inform - rather than gain the approval of - the US ambassador before conducting operations in a foreign country.

The plans cover a wide range of military activities - from man-hunting and intelligence gathering on terrorist networks, to attacks on terrorist training camps and recruiting efforts, to partnering with foreign militaries to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries.

Together, they amount to a road map to conduct what the Pentagon now envisages as a "long war" against terrorism.

The Pentagon declined to comment on the plans.

■ The CIA has sacked a senior intelligence officer for leaking information about overseas prisons operated by the agency. A lie detector test on Mary McCarthy following a leak last November showed the possibility of deception, government officials said, and she later admitted speaking to reporters. The agency fired Ms McCarthy last Thursday.

The Washington Post

kindj answered on 04/25/06:

Clete:

You use the word "unilateral" like it's inherently a bad thing.

"Unilateral" is what's left when no other group has the testicular fortitude to act.

DK

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 04/24/06 - reality imitating art -Delta Force revisited?

US deploys elite forces worldwide to spearhead terrorism battle

April 24, 2006

WASHINGTON: The US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, has approved the military's most ambitious plan to fight terrorism around the world and retaliate more rapidly and decisively in the case of a terrorist attack on the US, according to defence officials.

The long-awaited campaign plan for the global war on terrorism, as well as two subordinate plans also approved within the past month by Mr Rumsfeld, are considered the Pentagon's highest priority, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The plans envisage a greatly expanded role for the military - and in particular a growing force of elite special operations troops - to combat terrorism outside of war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Developed over about three years by the Special Operations Command, they reflect a beefing up of the Pentagon's involvement in domains traditionally handled by the CIA and State Department.

For example, the command has dispatched small teams of special operations troops to US embassies in more than a dozen countries in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, where they do operational planning and intelligence.

And in a subtle but important shift, the Pentagon gained the leeway to inform - rather than gain the approval of - the US ambassador before conducting operations in a foreign country.

The plans cover a wide range of military activities - from man-hunting and intelligence gathering on terrorist networks, to attacks on terrorist training camps and recruiting efforts, to partnering with foreign militaries to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries.

Together, they amount to a road map to conduct what the Pentagon now envisages as a "long war" against terrorism.

The Pentagon declined to comment on the plans.

■ The CIA has sacked a senior intelligence officer for leaking information about overseas prisons operated by the agency. A lie detector test on Mary McCarthy following a leak last November showed the possibility of deception, government officials said, and she later admitted speaking to reporters. The agency fired Ms McCarthy last Thursday.

The Washington Post

kindj answered on 04/24/06:

It's a new age in warfare. The old rules and standards and tactics are long gone.

You see, the trouble is that the US military (as a whole) trains to fight the next war based on the last war. That worked pretty well for quite some time. Korea changed things up to a point, but Vietnam is where we learned that the old tactics don't work in every environment and conflict. We simply couldn't fight Vietnam like we did WW2. Too bad it took 'em so long to realize that.

Today, there are no real "front lines" or "rear areas." EVERYWHERE is potentially the front line.

Back in the early nineties, my favorite CO was leaving us to attend the War College. As he and I talked (which was one of the reasons he was so beloved, as he actually talked and listened to his NCO's and enlisted men), I put forth the opinion that Vietnam was not an aberration in warfare, that it would instead become the norm. I said that the wars of the future would no longer be fought by a million guys on this side going after a million guys on that side, with easily defined lines and mass tactics. Instead, I told him, the wars of the future would be fought almost exclusively by small bands of 10 to 20 sincerely bad mother******s, rooting out the bad guys and killing them where they stood.

He wrote me one day, about 3 or 4 years later. That was essentially what they were teaching senior leadership, and he remembered what I said, and wanted to let me know that the folks "in the know" were teaching the same thing.

He said the problem was that a lot of the senior leadership wasn't buying it for one, and that those who did buy into it would have one bastard of a time pushing it through the ignorant politicians heads when it came time to implement it.

But as to your question:

I've seen the movie(s), and while I love Chuck Norris, the movies were pretty much pure Hollyweird entertainment BS, and shouldn't be taken for anything else.

If Delta is deployed to various embassies overseas in preparation for whatever may happen, then that's not ignoring borders, as embassies are effectively US soil, so they have every right to be there.

To me, it just makes good sense, and I say "about time."

My only regret about it is that the word got out. The press has ruined more good operations lately than all the traitors combined.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 04/20/06 - Re :ethanol 85%

I am not familiar with all the science behind it ,but the ethanol that is processed is not pure 100% and there is some water in it that is subject to seperation in colder climates . The term "E85" is used for a mixture of 15% gasoline and 85% ethanol. It has an octane rating of about 105. This is down significantly from pure ethanol but still much higher than normal gasoline. It runs cleaner ;with better octane and; with the higher proces of gasoline ...cheaper. A no brainer in my book .

Given that it can almost completely make us energy independent I do not understand the reluctance of this country to switch .It would be the salvation of the domestic auto industry which already has flex fuel capable engines installed in light trucks. President Bush is ahead of the curve. He signed in the comprehensive energy bill a requirement to increase the production of ethanol and biodiesel from 4 to 7.5 billion gallons within the next ten years but as I have argued ;we need a Manhattan Project like urgency to this .

kindj answered on 04/21/06:

I just heard yesterday that Brazil is a 100% ethanol-using country. Every car now, every filling station has it.

So if Brazil can do it, why can't WE?

Sorry to be pessimistic, but I figure nothing will move on a large scale until Congress can get its collective self out of the oil mogul's pockets. I think the large oil companies have a stranglehold right now, because they know that Americans WILL drive, no matter the cost. Until we, as a nation, can somehow hurt the profits of the oil dudes, they will continue to have us under their thumbs.

Just my opinion, and I could always be wrong.

DK

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 04/18/06 - Got a problem with Iran, We know whose fault that is, don't we?

Iraq war empowers Iran: Beazley
From: AAP

April 19, 2006


MISJUDGEMENTS over the war in Iraq have handed enormous political power to Iran, federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley said

"The one thing that we know definitely has come out of the Iraq war so far is a massive increase in Iranian power," Mr Beazley said in Perth.

"They've got enormous political power as a result of our misjudgements in the war in Iraq.

"At the same time as that has occurred, we have got an argument with the Iranians about whether or not they should have nuclear weapons.


"Frankly they should not have nuclear weapons," he said.

kindj answered on 04/19/06:

Iran has been a pain in the rear since the late 70s, early 80s. Nothing new here.

Of COURSE they should not have nuclear weapons. Thank Bill Clinton and the Russians for filling in a few gaps on that notion.

But that's all water under the bridge now. The "now" question is, "what are we gonna do about it?"

Whatever we (the US) does, I'm sure we'll be wrong, just like always.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 04/19/06 - What else they said

Some of what you may have missed in the 'general revolt'

Batiste on CNN:

    Number one is we've got the best military in the world, hands down, period. All Americans should be very proud of their service men and women. They're doing incredible work all over the world.

    Number two is whether we agree or not with the war in Iraq, we are where we are and we must succeed in this endeavor. Failure is frankly not an option. Success to me is setting the Iraqi people up for self reliance with their form of representative government that takes into account tribal, ethnic and religious differences that have always defined Iraqi society. Iraqis, frankly, in my experience, do not understand democracy. Nor do they understand their responsibilities for a free society.

    Number three. When my family and I returned from Germany after three years with the Big Red One, we were struck by the fact that there's a lack of sacrifice and commitment on the part of the American people. The exception of those families with soldiers committed into this fight.

    And certainly, too many of these families truly understand the meaning of sacrifice. Most Americans only confront this issue by deciding what color of magnet on the back end of their SUV. I think that our executive and legislative branches of government have a responsibility to mobilize this country for war...

    (video clip)

    GEN. PETER PACE, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: We had then and have now every opportunity to speak our minds. And if we do not, shame on us because the opportunity is there.

    M. O'BRIEN: Have you spoken your mind internally on this?

    BATISTE: I think the world of General Pace. I respect him enormously, and I respect his words.

    M. O'BRIEN: But has that discussion gone on internally?

    BATISTE: Sure. Absolutely.

    M. O'BRIEN: Major General John Batiste, thank you for your time.


I guess they ran out of time after Batiste admitted the discussions the military supposedly didn't have the opportunity to have with their civilian bosses - had in fact happened.

Newbold in Time:

    Army General John Abizaid, head of Central Command, has been forceful in his views with appointed officials on strategy and micromanagement of the fight in Iraq--often with success. Marine Commandant General Mike Hagee steadfastly challenged plans to underfund, understaff and underequip his service as the Corps has struggled to sustain its fighting capability.

    To be sure, the Bush Administration and senior military officials are not alone in their culpability. Members of Congress--from both parties--defaulted in fulfilling their constitutional responsibility for oversight. Many in the media saw the warning signs and heard cautionary tales before the invasion from wise observers like former Central Command chiefs Joe Hoar and Tony Zinni but gave insufficient weight to their views. These are the same news organizations that now downplay both the heroic and the constructive in Iraq.


Remember how none of the generals cited military restructuring as a reason Rumsfeld should resign?

    Army Maj. Gen. John Riggs, who once headed an Army task force to transform the service's structure and weapons systems, said Rumsfeld should step down, citing an "atmosphere of arrogance."


No I'm sure the restructuring had nothing to do with it.

I bet there were no sour grapes with Riggs, who had nothing to with the Iraq war:

    Unlike the other high-ranking military critics to speak out recently, Riggs was not involved in the Iraq war. He left the military two years ago after a controversial Army decision to reduce his rank and force his retirement after an investigation found he created an "adverse command climate."


Zinni to CBS:

    We were much in line with Gen. Shinseki's view, says Zinni. We were talking about, you know, 300,000, in that neighborhood.


Does anyone recall that in February 2003 Shinseki "made clear that he was providing only his personal assessment of postwar needs, and that the final decision would be made by the commander of American forces in the region, Gen. Tommy R. Franks." Should the 'troop strength' critics aim at Franks instead?

Swannack on CNN:

    "Well specifically, Barbara, I agree with our national security objectives and the decision to remove Saddam Hussein, which was to create a stable Iraq and that subsequently will contribute to the stability of the Middle East.

    "The only other thing that I would like to add: I respect Secretary Rumsfeld. He served our nation well..."


Even though he should go...

Why did I have to search to learn what else was said? Is the call for Rummy's head the only newsworthy portion?

kindj answered on 04/19/06:

>>Is the call for Rummy's head the only newsworthy portion?<<

For the current MSM (and about half the people here), I'd say the answer is a resounding "yes!"

But there you are, clouding the issue with actual facts again...

DK

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 04/17/06 - How far should the "Don't criticise the President" movement go? Does censorship by the

If you are not for us you are against us
by Nick Farrell

US Marines stationed in Iraq are complaining that the US government is restricting access their access to websites too much.


Along with porn sites, on the Armys list of banned sites include mail sites such as Yahoo, AT&T, Hotmail. The censors are also blocking blogs and sites that do not agree with the current administration.

One marine wrote to a site called Wonkette to tell them that it was on the banned list. He said he didnt mind The Army blocking access to porn sites, because it was a government network but he and the troops were getting miffed that access to email and possibly-not-toeing-the-government-line websites was a bit much.

Apparently the censorship is being done by the USMC Network Operations Center in Quantico, VA.

They dont like it when troops want read minute-by-minute updates of Anna Nicole Smith's appearance before the Supreme Court or read birthday cards to disgraced lobbyists.

kindj answered on 04/18/06:

It has nothing to do with Bush. It does, however, have everything to do with OPSEC (Operations Security).

Whenever I would come home on leave, it was always amusing to see the letters that I occasionally wrote from whatever sh!thole I happened to be in, and how every so often, a word was either cut out or blacked out with marker. Kinda funny, really, since usually all I was doing was letting them know I was still alive, and asking how so-and-so was doing, and so forth. In my job, I had a better handle on security than the bozo mail readers did. Of course, I served under Republican Presidents, so that's probably suspect.

During the Klinton Regime, though, I had a buddy sending me mail from a lovely little African nation where there was a bit of trouble, and his mail was censored, too.

It's all part of the deal. Anything they think might be damaging to our interests (that's the interests of the soldiers as a whole, as well as the interests of the US military) will be cut out. Furthermore, they are perfectly within their rights to do so.

Freedom of speech IS NOT a top-secret security clearance, and all the wishing and moaning by the left and the media (same thing, pretty much) will not change that one iota.

DK

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 04/17/06 - Do you agree with Teddy??????????????...............

Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American ... There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag ... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language ... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

English as the sole language for schools, newspapers and other usage in this country was urged by Theodore Roosevelt in an address here tonight under the direction of the National Security League.

In voicing his approval of the recent proclamation by Gov. Harding, ordering that English be the only medium of instruction in public or private schools in Iowa, Roosevelt said:

"This is a nation not a polyglot boarding house. There is not room in the country for any 50-50 American, nor can there be but one loyalty to the Stars and Stripes."

kindj answered on 04/18/06:

I agree wholeheartedly.

Immigration itself isn't the issue. ILLEGAL immigration is the issue. Coming to the US to reap all the benefits, but have none of the responsibility is the issue. Coming to the US, yet maintaining your entire identity as one from another country is the issue.

As someone once said, "If you call yourself a hyphenated American, you're only half an American at best."

Our forefathers came here from all parts of the world, at different periods in history. The things that most of them had in common, however, were they hit the ground running, often looking for work while the rest of the family sought housing. They learned English either before coming, or as soon as possible afterwards. They participated full-force in the American culture, instead of denigrating it while celebrating their former culture. After all, if their former culture was so great, why did they leave?

But no, not today. Today, the modus is to infiltrate, rather than immigrate. Demand, rather than earn. Make every effort to stand out, rather than every effort to fit in.

I am all for those who want to come here to build a better life for themselves and their families. All I ask is for them to have enough respect for our laws to do it legally.

After all, if they don't respect the immigration laws, how much do you think they'll respect the rest of them?

DK

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 04/11/06 - Facing Facts !!




Sharon era comes to symbolic end in Israel.

Ariel Sharon's tenure as Israel's prime minister came to a symbolic end at a cabinet meeting that formally designated Ehud Olmert to replace the comatose stroke victim. Under Israeli law, Sharon will be categorised as permanently incapacitated and unable to serve as prime minister on Friday, 100 days after suffering his stroke. Olmert, deputy prime minister when Sharon fell ill, was named interim prime minister at the time.

What are your views on this matter ?

Are there any contingent laws in America like
this Israeli law ?

kindj answered on 04/11/06:

I don't know much about this Olmert fellow. Good, bad, neither?

I, too, worry for the future of Israel now. The timing could not have been worse. She needs a strong and able hand on the helm until this whole Iran thing is resolved.

As always, Israel and her people are in my prayers.

The US has contingency plans for such an event, as Elliot very capably spelled out. Hence the joke (maybe) about Dan Quayle being "impeachment or assassination insurance" for Bush Sr. But again, a whole lot of people sold Quayle waaaaaay too short.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 03/06/06 - Gotta love Ralph Peters.

Another great article from Ralph Peters.

DUDE, WHERE'S MY CIVIL WAR?
By RALPH PETERS - In Iraq

BAGHDAD

I'M trying. I've been trying all week. The other day, I drove another 30 miles or so on the streets and alleys of Baghdad. I'm looking for the civil war that The New York Times declared. And I just can't find it.

Maybe actually being on the ground in Iraq prevents me from seeing it. Perhaps the view's clearer from Manhattan. It could be that my background as an intelligence officer didn't give me the right skills.

And riding around with the U.S. Army, looking at things first-hand, is certainly a technique to which The New York Times wouldn't stoop in such an hour of crisis.


Let me tell you what I saw anyway. Rolling with the "instant Infantry" gunners of the 1st Platoon of Bravo Battery, 4-320 Field Artillery, I saw children and teenagers in a Shia slum jumping up and down and cheering our troops as they drove by. Cheering our troops.

All day - and it was a long day - we drove through Shia and Sunni neighborhoods. Everywhere, the reception was warm. No violence. None.

And no hostility toward our troops. Iraqis went out of their way to tell us we were welcome.

Instead of a civil war, something very different happened because of the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra. The fanatic attempt to stir up Sunni-vs.-Shia strife, and the subsequent spate of violent attacks, caused popular support for the U.S. presence to spike upward.

Think Abu Musab al-Zarqawi intended that?

In place of the civil war that elements in our media declared, I saw full streets, open shops, traffic jams, donkey carts, Muslim holiday flags - and children everywhere, waving as our Humvees passed. Even the clouds of dust we stirred up didn't deter them. And the presence of children in the streets is the best possible indicator of a low threat level.

Southeast Baghdad, at least, was happy to see our troops.

And we didn't just drive past them. First Lt. Clenn Frost, the platoon leader, took every opportunity to dismount and mingle with the people. Women brought their children out of their compound gates to say hello. A local sheik spontaneously invited us into his garden for colas and sesame biscuits.

It wasn't the Age of Aquarius. The people had serious concerns. And security was No. 1. They wanted the Americans to crack down harder on the foreign terrorists and to disarm the local militias. Iraqis don't like and don't support the militias, Shia or Sunni, which are nothing more than armed gangs.

Help's on the way, if slowly. The Iraqi Army has confounded its Western critics, performing extremely well last week. And the people trust their new army to an encouraging degree. The Iraqi police aren't all the way there yet, and the population doesn't yet have much confidence in them. But all of this takes time.

And even the police are making progress. We took a team of them with us so they could train beside our troops. We visited a Public Order Battalion - a gendarmerie outfit - that reeked of sloth and carelessness. But the regular Iraqi Police outfit down the road proved surprisingly enthusiastic and professional. It's just an uneven, difficult, frustrating process.

So what did I learn from a day in the dust and muck of Baghdad's less-desirable boroughs? As the long winter twilight faded into haze and the fires of the busy shawarma stands blazed in the fresh night, I felt that Iraq was headed, however awkwardly, in the right direction.

The country may still see a civil war one day. But not just yet, thanks. Violence continues. A roadside bomb was found in the next sector to the west. There will be more deaths, including some of our own troops. But Baghdad's vibrant life has not been killed. And the people of Iraq just might surprise us all.

So why were we told that Iraq was irreversibly in the throes of civil war when it wasn't remotely true? I think the answers are straightforward. First, of course, some parties in the West are anxious to believe the worst about Iraq. They've staked their reputations on Iraq's failure.

But there's no way we can let irresponsible journalists off the hook - or their parent organizations. Many journalists are, indeed, brave and conscientious; yet some in Baghdad - working for "prestigious" publications - aren't out on the city streets the way they pretend to be.

They're safe in their enclaves, protected by hired guns, complaining that it's too dangerous out on the streets. They're only in Baghdad for the byline, and they might as well let their Iraqi employees phone it in to the States. Whenever you see a column filed from Baghdad by a semi-celeb journalist with a "contribution" by a local Iraqi, it means this: The Iraqi went out and got the story, while the journalist stayed in his or her room.

And the Iraqi stringers have cracked the code: The Americans don't pay for good news. So they exaggerate the bad.

And some of them have agendas of their own.

A few days ago, a wild claim that the Baghdad morgue held 1,300 bodies was treated as Gospel truth. Yet Iraqis exaggerate madly and often have partisan interests. Did any Western reporter go to that morgue and count the bodies - a rough count would have done it - before telling the world the news?

I doubt it.


If reporters really care, it's easy to get out on the streets of Baghdad. The 506th Infantry Regiment - and other great military units - will take journalists on their patrols virtually anywhere in the city. Our troops are great to work with. (Of course, there's the danger of becoming infected with patriot- ism . . .)

I'm just afraid that some of our journalists don't want to know the truth anymore.

For me, though, memories of Baghdad will be the cannoneers of the 1st Platoon walking the dusty, reeking alleys of Baghdad. I'll recall 1st Lt. Frost conducting diplomacy with the locals and leading his men through a date-palm grove in a search for insurgent mortar sites.

I'll remember that lieutenant investigating the murder of a Sunni mullah during last week's disturbances, cracking down on black-marketers, checking up on sewer construction, reassuring citizens - and generally doing the job of a lieutenant-colonel in peacetime.

Oh, and I'll remember those "radical Shias" cheering our patrol as we passed by.

Ralph Peters is reporting from Forward Operating Base Loyalty, where he's been riding with the 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.


http://www.nypost.com/seven/03052006/postopinion/opedcolumnists/64677.htm

Hmmm... I wonder... could it be that the information we're receiving from the various mainstream news outlets are something less than fully accurate? Nah, they wouldn't do that, would they?

Elliot

kindj answered on 03/06/06:

There seem to be "checks and balances" on every facet of government. There's ways of holding corporations accountable, both morally and financially.

Why is there no provision for recourse against the media when they are found to be in blatent error, especially if and when they simply make something up?

Heresay is inadmissable in a courtroom. Why is it allowed in journalism?

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 03/02/06 - A great article.

This is probably the best, most honest article about the Danish Cartoon riots that I have seen, written by a Muslim. I've never heard of Nonie Darwish before, but I intend to keep an eye on her work. The article was found in the NY edition of Metro newspaper.

http://ny.metro.us/metro/blog/my_view/entry/Roots_of_the_recent_Muslim_rioting/1352.html

-----------------

Roots of the recent Muslim rioting
my view by nonie darwish

MAR 2

The ongoing controversy regarding the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad completely misses the point. Of course the cartoons are offensive to Muslims, but newspaper cartoons do not warrant the burning of buildings and the killing of innocent people. The cartoons did not cause the disease of hate that we are seeing in the Muslim world on our TV screens at night they are only a symptom of a far greater disease.

I was born and raised as a Muslim in Cairo, Egypt, and in the Gaza Strip. In the 1950s, my father was sent by Egypts President Gamal Abdel Nasser to head the Egyptian Military Intelligence in Gaza and Sinai, where he founded the Palestinian Fedayeen, or armed resistance. They made cross-border attacks into Israel, killing 400 Israelis and wounding more than 900 others. My father was killed as a result of the Fedayeen operations when I was 8 years old. He was hailed by Nasser as a national hero and was considered a shaheed, or martyr. In his famous speech announcing the nationalization of the Suez Canal, Nasser vowed that all of Egypt would take revenge for my fathers death. My siblings and I were asked by Nasser, Which one of you will avenge your fathers death by killing Jews? We looked at each other speechless, unable to answer.

In Gaza elementary schools, I learned hate, vengeance and retaliation. Peace was never an option, as it was considered a sign of defeat and weakness. At school we sang songs with verses calling Jews our dogs. Criticism and questioning were forbidden. Sadly, the way I was raised was not unique. Hundreds of millions of other Muslims also have been raised with decades of anti-West and anti-Israel blame and hate as a way to distract from the failings of their leaders.

Today, the Islamo-fascist president of Iran uses nuclear dreams, Holocaust denials and threats to wipe Israel off the map as a way to maintain control of a country where unemployment, prostitution and drug addiction are out of control. Indeed, with Denmark set to assume the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council, the flames of the cartoon controversy have been fanned by Iran and Syria. This is critical since the International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to refer Iran to the Security Council and demand sanctions. At the same time, Syria is under scrutiny for its actions in Lebanon. Both Iran and Syria cynically want to embarrass the Danes in order to achieve their dangerous goals.

But the rallies and riots come from a public ripe with rage. Is it any surprise that after decades of indoctrination in a culture of hate, people actually do hate? Arab society has created a system of relying on fear of a common enemy. Its a system that has brought them much-needed unity, cohesion and compliance in a land ravaged by tribal feuds, instability, violence and selfish corruption. Its time for Arabs and Muslims to stand up for their families. We must stop allowing Arab and Muslim leaders to use the West and Israel as an excuse to distract attention from their own failed leadership and their citizens lack of freedoms. What is needed is hope and not hate. Unless we recognize that the culture of hate is the true root of the riots surrounding this cartoon controversy, this violent overreaction will lead to a clash of civilizations that the world cannot bear.


Nonie Darwish is a freelance writer and public speaker who lectures to audiences worldwide about the need for change in Muslim society. She recently completed a cross-country Mothers for Peace tour for the Israel Project.


---------------

Ms. Darwish hits the nail right on the head. It's not about the cartoons, its about the culture of hate, taught to children from a very young age over decades.

Elliot

kindj answered on 03/02/06:

Great article with some potentially useful insights.

My question (to you and everyone else) is:

So what or whom are we supposed to believe? What is the REAL truth concerning Islam?

I have talked with many a Muslim who tells me that it is a religion of peace, perverted by corrupt leaders with sinister worldly agendas.

Others have said that Islam is to spread throughout the world. Peacefully if possible, but by the sword if not.

Now, I know that in Christianity and Judaism, there is SOME degree of difference over the meaning of some Scriptures, but NOT to the degree that we can't decide if we're peaceful or not.

I'm coming to the conclusion that any faith that is THAT ambiguous deserves whatever questions come its way.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 02/27/06 - Ecoterrorism

After watching Seinfeld last night I happened upon a program called Source Code on the Free Speech Network. The episode was discussing how the Bush administration and the Patriot Act had criminalized the "free speech" of environmental activists. After all, these people aren't terrorists, they're just engaging in "civil disobedience" as their preferred method of exercising their right of "free speech." One of those interviewed described how the Patriot Act was eroding our rights, right down to "freedom of thought."

The show then went on to inform us that "Former Animal Liberation Front Warrior Rodney Coronado" was indicted for making a speech. That of course got me curious.

So who is this Coronado guy? He's quoted in the above linked article above as saying activists are "doing the only thing they know to do and that is strike a match and draw a whole lot of attention to their dissatisfaction with protecting the environment" (but destroying a human's environment is apparently ok).

Coronado was found guilty of "Conspiracy to Impede or Injure an Officer of the United
States, Interfering with a Forest Officer and Depredation of Government Property" in December of last year. Coronado served four years in prison for his part in burning down an animal-testing lab at Michigan State University in 1992. The current charge, "the felony charge of demonstrating the use of a destructive device. Though he isn't charged in the fire, he gave the speech "as the University City housing complex smoldered from an arson 2 years ago," a $50 million arson job in the San Diego area where the Earth Liberation Front left a 12 foot banner reading "If you build it, we will burn it."

Should "Teaching people how to build explosives in order to commit violent crimes" or threatening "If you build it, we will burn it" be illegal, or is it protected free speech?

Is burning down a housing complex, spiking trees, setting lab animals free, etc. acceptable" civil disobedience"?

Is ecoterrorism really terrorism?

Steve

kindj answered on 02/28/06:

We have to remember the adage that says "your rights end where my nose begins."

THerefore, >>Teaching people how to build explosives in order to commit violent crimes<< and >>If you build it, we will burn it<< is speech that is threatening or designed to incite others to violence, which I believe is prohibited. I further believe that it's called assault. The way a police friend of mine explained "assault and battery" is like this: If I say I'm going to punch you in the face, that's assault. If I do it, that's battery.

>>Is burning down a housing complex, spiking trees, setting lab animals free, etc. acceptable" civil disobedience"?<<

No, it's not. It's destruction of private property and/or trespassing.

DK

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 02/24/06 - GOOGLE & CHINA:


"For the first time in what some fear will signal a growing trend, Google Inc. has banned and removed a mainstream news website from all its worldwide search engines, seemingly due to the website's reports on China's geopolitical affairs and military technology."

Source: Prison Planet.com (Propaganda Matrix)

Do you think this is a good move if it's true?

HANK

kindj answered on 02/24/06:

I guess my question is "why?"

"Geopolitical affairs and military technology" can be found on ANY nation, if one is willing to look.

Makes me wonder if Mr. Google is about to bid for a spot in Chinese business somewhere, and wants to grease the skids a bit.

Of course, it's a privately owned entity, so Mr. Google can do with it what he chooses.

Good move?

Probably not.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 02/24/06 - Interesting article from James Pinkerton of Newsday.

Bush won't fight ports deal

President's 'different standard' spin doesn't fly; U.K. looks sterling, UAE looks unfriendly

James P. Pinkerton

February 23, 2006

George W. Bush is ready to fight for the Dubai-buying-U.S.-ports deal. But a growing bipartisan grouping, in regard to that fight, is saying, "Bring it on."

Defending the proposed sale, Bush said Tuesday, "I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a great British company."

OK, I will step up. Let's begin by noting that the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates are different countries, with different histories.

For 400 years, England has been America's mother country and English our mother tongue. Yes, we fought a war or two against each other, but they were "cousins' wars," more akin to family feuds than wars of annihilation. And even during wartime, Americans have naturally looked to Britons for inspiration on law and culture; from William Shakespeare to the King James Bible to C.S. Lewis to J.K. Rowling, British letters have been America's letters.

And in the past century the U.S. and U.K. were shoulder to shoulder in two hot wars and one cold war. Few Americans can forget the oratory of Winston Churchill, who rallied English speakers against Nazism. (And who were the Arabs rooting for in World War II? Just asking.)

In the decades since, Washington and London have stayed close. The friendship between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher is the stuff of legend, but if anything, the bond between President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair is even stronger. So strong, in fact, that Blair's critics call him "Bush's Poodle." That's not nice, but it should still be a source of reassurance to Americans.

Now to the United Arab Emirates. First and most obviously, it's Arab. That's not a statement of racism; that's an observation about ethnicity and the culture that comes with it. Virtually all UAE-ers are Arab Muslims, and many probably watch Al-Jazeera TV, which serves up a steady diet of anti-American "newsaganda." That's the reality of multiculturalism on a planetary scale: People in different countries are different, see things differently, react to things differently. That's why consumers in the UAE eagerly joined in the boycott of Danish goods in the wake of the Muhammad cartoon controversy; The Associated Press reports that Denmark's exports to the UAE are down 95 percent.

Of course, it could be argued that public opinion doesn't matter much in the UAE because that country has never held an election. Freedom House, the human rights watchdog, labels the country "not free" - the lowest category. But even in dictatorial countries culture matters. The UAE was the hub of the BCCI scandal in the ྖs, which spun a web of money-laundering, embargo-evading and gun-running all the way to New York and Washington.

Later, the UAE had warm relations with the Taliban when it ruled Afghanistan and played host to the likes of Osama bin Laden. And nobody quite knows when and if all those cozy relationships were ever shut down; here's a headline in the Feb. 17, 2002, Washington Post: "Al Qaeda's Road Paved With Gold/Secret Shipments Traced Through a Lax System in United Arab Emirates." Indeed, the U.S. government is still trying to unravel UAE banks' relationships with terrorists, both Arab and Iranian.

So in challenging critics of the port deal, the president actually put the issue the wrong way. The critics aren't holding the U.K. and the UAE to a different standard; they are holding the two countries to the same standard. And according to that single standard, Britain and the UAE look different: The British look sterling, while the Arab Emirates look mottled, at best.

Bush pledges to fight to the bitter end on this issue, but I'll bet he won't. In the mordant phrase of conservative blogger Robert A. George, "'Dubai Ports World' is Arabic for Harriet Miers."

James P. Pinkerton's e-mail ad- dress is pinkerto@ix.netcom.com.
Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.

--------------------

Hmmmm. Interesting. Another case of "watch what he does not what he says"? Possibly. And Pinkerton seems to be right, considering that the deal has suddenly been put on the back burner as the Port Authority of NY's lawsuit is reviewed and congressional "leaders" (can anyone actually name a true "leader" in congress these days?) review the facts. So it may be that Bush decides not to fight for this deal after all.

Elliot

kindj answered on 02/24/06:

Maybe, maybe. But if >>"'Dubai Ports World' is Arabic for Harriet Miers."<<, then what is the Alito out there?

I agree with Pinkerton's assessment of the two nations, though.

Just curious if you know if this Pinkerton is in any way related to the Pinkertons of the private security business?

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 02/23/06 - more troubling news about the DPW deal

In addition to the 6 major ports that DPW will manange there are also 2 military ports included in the deal . Peninsula and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, or "P and O."manages the movement of heavy armor, helicopters, and other military materiel through the Texas ports of Beaumont and Corpus Christie .When the sale of P and O is finalized that contract will also be transfered to DPW.

This was pointed out by Frank Gaffney in yesterday's NY Sun.

He also raises questions about the CFIUS process given that many of the Presidents appointments to the Pentagon have been tied up by the Democrats in Congress.

He also brings up an excellent point about the financing of the sale.

The UAE evidently intends to raise nearly all of the $6.8 billion price for P and O on international capital markets. It must be asked: Who will the foreign investors be, and might they have malign intentions toward the U.S.?

.....................................

on a side note :Elliot was saying that Bush may have some other motive that will make him look smart when all is said and done. Here is one thought on that . Notice how this is the 1st time that Congress has united over anything since the 9-11 attacks ? It is partly his responsibility to get Congress working together to pass legislation ;something that he has at best a mixed record on . This deal was not proposed by Bush ;and he did not defend it until his threatened veto which may have been the move necessary to cement new legislation. Perhaps he never intended to have this deal consumated. He has essentially managed to unite conservatives and liberals on the subject of National Security.


kindj answered on 02/23/06:

I dunno, tomder. I'm not sure Elliot buys the whole "following Sun Tzu's advice" thing, either. I think he just put it out there as a maybe.

As for me, given Bush's inexcusable concern for border security even BEFORE 9-11, until shown differently, I will have to consider this port fiasco a tremendous blunder.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 02/22/06 - Russian Pairs
Russian Scaters


Hello:

What do you think of the Russians, Slutskya, and Pricknova?

excon

kindj answered on 02/22/06:

Don't really know. The winter Olympics don't really do it for me. I like some of the events, like the ski jumping and stuff, but most of those come on while I'm at work, which leaves me with the figger skatin' and something called "ice dancing," which looks a whole lot like figger skatin'. Don't care for either.

My wife loves the skating, though. Which means I'm usually in another room watching Lord of the Rings or Braveheart or something else appropriatly testosterone-fueled.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 02/16/06 - Young Moonbats Club at University of Washington

make a horrible decision.

The University of Washington's student senate (minutes of the meeting here ) rejected a memorial for alumnus Gregory "Pappy" Boyington of "Black Sheep Squadron" fame amid concerns a military hero who shot down enemy planes was not the right kind of person to represent the school.
Student senator Jill Edwards, according to minutes of the student government's meeting last week, said she "didn't believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce."

Ashley Miller, another senator, argued "many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men."

{btw ;he was Sioux ....and he did write a best-selling book but he was never really a rich man.He spent most of his last days wandering through Air Shows reliving the glory days, never in any grand luxury .}

Senate member Karl Smith amended the resolution to eliminate a clause that said Boyington "was credited with destroying 26 enemy aircraft, tying the record for most aircraft destroyed by a pilot in American Uniform," for which he was awarded the Navy Cross.

Smith, according to the minutes, said "the resolution should commend Colonel Boyington's service, not his killing of others."

The senate's decision was reported first by Seattle radio talk-host Kirby Wilbur of KVI, whose listeners were "absolutely incensed," according to producer Matt Haver.

Brent Ludeman, president of the university's College Republicans, told WND in an e-mail the decision "reflects poorly on the university."

"Pappy Boyington went beyond the call of duty to serve and protect this country he simply deserves better," Ludeman said. "Just last year, the university erected a memorial to diversity. Why can't we do the same for Pappy Boyington and others who have defended our country?"


I gotta wonder about the left coast sometimes . This comes after the news of San Francisco's rejection of the retired USS Iowa . Even Dianne Feinstein was perplexed by that decision . I see that it will find a home in Stockton Ca. I was going to suggest that I'm sure NYC would not mind at all docking it next to USS Intrepid ;USS Edson;and the sub USS Growler .

kindj answered on 02/16/06:

What a bunch of idiots. I'm sorry, but THIS is the mentality of the people training to someday run the country?

Did they ever ONCE stop to think about what they might be doing now if NOT for the service of men like Boyington?

This line kills me: >>Smith, according to the minutes, said "the resolution should commend Colonel Boyington's service, not his killing of others."<<

WTF?

And just what precisely do they think that extraordinary service to one's country involves? Growing pansies?

Growing pansies is exactly what they're doing at this institution, to my mind.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 02/13/06 - The Queer Muhammad: an experiment in tolerance

Dear (NEA Chairman) Dana Gioia:

I write to you today, not with a request, but with a demand. Ive been sitting back patiently while the NEA has been promoting anti-Christian art for a number of years. In fact, one could say that I have been supporting it, too, given that my tax dollars have been spent on this garbage. And maybe Ive been supporting it in another way by refusing to write you to express my frustration. That is, until now.

In the spirit of the separation of church and state, my demand is that you commission a painting fully funded with tax dollars that has one intention and one intention only: To offend Muslims everywhere.

This new painting will help the NEA avoid any accusations of state sponsorship of religion by insulting some religion other than Christianity. In the past, youve supported the Piss Christ and the Elephant Dung Mary. Now, Im asking you to fund the Queer Muhammad.

For this painting, I want the artist to put the Prophet Muhammad in a pink bathrobe. I also want him holding a little toy poodle. Finally, I would like you to feature him reading a copy of Playgirl magazine. If you want to get daring, you can also feature him French-kissing Salmon Rushdie. Or better yet, feature him French-kissing Jacques Chirac.

Regardless of the precise form it takes, I want five million reproductions of the Queer Muhammad in poster form. It may sound like a large order for a first printing. But heres what I intend to do with them:

First, Im going to staple a Queer Muhammad on the door of Barbara Streisand. Shes been a real pain in the ass throughout this whole War on Terror. I want to see whether she gains some respect for George W. Bush after Islamic fascists torch her Southern California estate all for expecting adherents to the religion of peace to be as tolerant of homosexuality as Hollywood liberals.

And, then, Im heading to the Upper West Side to place a Queer Muhammad on the door of Michael Moore. That fat joker will be begging Charlton Heston for a gun by the time the New York City Muslims throw their first Molotov cocktail.

Next, were off to Colorado to the home of Ward Churchill. After I place a Queer Muhammad on his home, Ill put one on his office door at the university. And, while Im at it, Ill hit the office doors of every anti-war professor in America.

I also plan to visit all those professors who have Darwin fish on their university office doors. For years, theyve been desecrating a sacred Christian symbol with impunity. Come to think of it, many have been desecrating an Old Testament religious symbol by using rainbows as a backdrop for those celebrate diversity bumper stickers. When they place those on their office doors, they do more than just promote acceptance of sodomy. They ridicule a covenant between God and Noah.

Maybe after the Muslim Student Associations begin ripping down the Queer Muhammad posters always leaving the Darwin fish intact - some of these professors will begin to realize that white Christian heterosexual males really arent so bad after all. And maybe some will realize that young Muslim males are the most dangerous demographic group on the face of the planet.

But the professors and the movie stars wont be the only ones included in my little experiment in tolerance and diversity. I want to make sure to include members of the gay community, too. Thats why the Queer Muhammad will be posted on the door of every gay bar in San Francisco.

Under my plan, when California Muslims attack these businesses, the gay political lobby will finally have some use for politically correct and seldom-used hate crimes legislation. It will also give that large segment of the gay population the ones who always need something to whine about something legitimate to whine about. And it will give Christians a break from the gay mission to invade and pervert the Christian clergy.

That will leave me with about four million Queer Muhammad posters for the most ambitious aspect of my plan. This involves hanging posters on the doors of every active member of the National Rifle Association. When the Islamic fascists begin hurling stones at the houses of NRA members, many of my brothers (and sisters)-in-arms will start heading for the nearest gun safe. I know I will.

Maybe a few of these violent Muslims will survive their attack on the First Amendment, after it is thwarted by the Second Amendment. If so, I have a special plan for the Islamic fascist survivors. This plan was inspired by my realization that so many members of the anti-war movement are also members of the pro-gay movement. Here it is, in all its leftist-inspired brilliance:

The NRA members whose homes were attacked will all petition local Democratic prosecutors, the media, and even their Democratic legislators to charge the fascists with hate crimes for attacking the image of the Queer Muhammad. This will draw a line in the sand for these Democrats. Will they side with the Muslims against the gays? Or will they side with the gays against the Muslims?

If things work according to my plan, we will be able to kill off a lot of these Muslim terrorists and simply claim self-defense. Even better, well cause significant division and strife among the American Left. After it all goes down, Ill head to my refrigerator instead of my gun safe.

Then Ill drink a nice, cold Carlsberg. Bottled and brewed by our allies in Denmark.

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and is a regular columnist for Townhall.com.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I love a good plan.

Steve

kindj answered on 02/14/06:

Oh, that is funny!

It would force these people's hands, though, to see if they really believe what they say they stand for, or if (as we all know) it's just so much smoke and mirrors.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 02/06/06 - Did you hear this?

Bolton Opens First Council Meeting - in Empty Room

By EDITH M. LEDERER, AP

UNITED NATIONS (Feb. 2) - U.S. Ambassador John Bolton presided over the U.N. Security Council for the first time on Thursday but failed to get the 14 members to show up on time or back his request for daily briefings on U.N. peacekeeping operations and global hotspots.

The United States took over the council's rotating presidency from Tanzania on Wednesday, and Bolton said he banged the gavel at 10 a.m. when members were supposed to begin meeting. "I was the only one in the room though," he lamented to reporters afterward. "We started just before 10:15 a.m."

President Bush waited until Congress adjourned to give Bolton a recess appointment as ambassador to the United Nations, bypassing the Senate after a standoff with Democrats who argued that the tough-talking conservative was unfit for the job. Since his arrival in August, in the throes of the U.N. oil-for-food scandal, Bolton has been demanding reform of the United Nations, especially its management.

Despite failing to get Thursday's council meeting to start on time, Bolton stressed his determination to improve the working methods of the U.N.'s most powerful body, including more regular, preferably daily briefings by the U.N. Secretariat on peacekeeping operations and other issues that could threaten international peace and security.

The Security Council's agenda depends on major global issues and demands in the 16 peacekeeping operations from Congo, Liberia and Sudan to Lebanon, Cyprus and Haiti.

"I think daily briefings constitute a form of intellectual discipline. Starting on time is a form of discipline," he said.

"The council is responsible for peacekeeping activities, and I think we need to do a better job of collective decision-making," he added.

Diplomats said other council ambassadors questioned the need for daily briefings and the ability of the overstretched U.N. peacekeeping department to organize them - and several demanded that any briefings be in all six official U.N. languages. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because Thursday's meeting was closed.

Bolton said the council would meet again on Friday to continue its discussion about working methods.

"It's not a bad idea," Greece's U.N. Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis said of modernizing the council's operation. "Maybe not on a daily basis, but it's not a bad idea. We have to do something to improve things."

Japan's U.N. Ambassador Kenzo Oshima welcomed new ideas for the council.

"The question is whether the frequency is right," he said. "But the idea of having some regular briefing, and some discipline in these matters is what everybody, I think, welcomes."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, for the spin...

John Bolton An Embarrassment on World Stage: Presides Over Empty Room!

@ 10:28 PM (3 days, 17 hours, 3 minutes ago)

John Bolton continues to show why he's such an embarrassment to the United States on the international stage.

Bolton couldn't even get confirmed to his position in the Republican-led Senate, and so to get his man, Bush resorted to a recess appointment of Bolton.

Today, in what amounted to a big "screw you" to Bolton by other diplomats, he presided over an empty U.N. Room. Bolton said "I brought the gavel down at 10. I was the only one in the room." He was trying to open his first meeting as head of the Security Council.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let's see, the UN has no teeth - or backbone - and Bolton wants the Security Council to do their job and stay on top of things. To Japan and Greece "it's not a bad idea," just don't expect us to be on time or even be there every day, it's just the Security Council for crying out loud.

To the 'progressives' it's an 'Embarrassment on World Stage' and a big 'screw you.'

If you ask me, and I know you didn't, I say go get 'em John, whip those people into shape. The embarrasment is that nobody but Bolton thought a Security Council meeting was important enough to show up.

What do you say?

kindj answered on 02/06/06:

Perhaps he could write resolutions that are in America's interests, and pass them himself, seeing as how there's no opposition in the room.

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 02/01/06 - Kerry the D student

said on NBC Today that 53 % of American kids do not graduate from High School . But Census Data tells a different story (83.6%). Katie Couric was grinning and bobbing her head the whole time .More on High School graduation rates here

But don't worry ;Kerry's got a plan . When he's President he intends to bring that number up to at least 84 %

kindj answered on 02/01/06:

What I didn't see was if that eighty-some-odd percentage included ONLY high school diplomas or if it also pulled in GED's, which are diploma-equivalents as far as the work world is concerned.

I still don't see where he gets 53 percent, though. According to the 2000 National Center for Education Statistics, only 36 percent had an education level of less than high school. That's still 64 percent who have at least high school education.

Of course, these figures, as any others, can be easily skewed by the inclusion (or better yet, exclusion) of some information.

In calculating dropout rates, for instance, it is easy to say that X percent of adults were high school dropouts. That X percentage in reality might be much, much lower if they included data on how many returned to high school or obtained a GED.

I'm always wary whenever a politician- any politician- starts throwing out statistics.

Numbers are just too easy to screw with, and the average person is not industrious enough to check out the numbers for themselves.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 01/31/06 - Help the cause

I'm thinking of starting a fund for all the disaffected and disenchanted libs out there. What should I call it, the GETOVERIT Fund?

Steve

kindj answered on 02/01/06:

I don't know what to call it, but hurry and register this toll free number before it gets snapped up:

1- 800- WAHHH- FREAKIN'- WAHH!

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 02/01/06 - Grade the speech(es)

So what did you think of the presentations last night?

I'd give the president an A- for presentation and an B+ for substance. He deftly rubbed a thumb in the eye of a number of critics last night - I enjoyed that.

I'd give Kaine a B- with a gold star for audacity. I actually liked some of what he said, particularly the part about "moving ahead by focusing on service, competent management and results." Who can argue with that?

His opening remarks were rather disingenuous though...

"I worked as a missionary in Honduras when I was a young man and I learned to measure my life by the difference I can make in someone elses life. Coretta Scott King embodied that value and tonight, as a nation, we mourn her passing. Our faith and values teach us that there is no higher calling than serving others."

Puhleeeeeease. No knock on Kaine, but the Democratic party would be hard pressed to show they 'embody' those values. The only time "faith and values" come into play is when it's to their political advantage. How did their shameless behavior in the Alito hearings and debate show the importance of serving others? You want to serve? Sit in front of us for a few days while we run you through the shredder.

The democrats in the chamber get an A+ for chutzpah. Giving themselves a standing ovation - need I say more?

Steve

kindj answered on 02/01/06:

Regrettably, I missed the speech last night. My youngest (3) was going on night number 3 of puking and pooping. Poor little guy is just exhausted and miserable. There's a really, really nasty bug cruising through our area, so y'all be on your guard and wash your hands often, take your vitamins, and all that jazz.

I found a transcript, but I'm so bleary-eyed this morning I can't hardly focus, much less comprehend.

I can say, however, that it most likely doesn't matter what he said or how he said it. He could've presented a miraculous policy/invention that would guarantee a stable economy/freedom from oil/world peace all within a month, and the libs would still find a reason to crucify him.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 01/31/06 - The real Hillary is finally emerging

Following Hillary's "plantation" remarks, she seems to be moving further away from her moderate incarnation and closer to her liberal base...

Americans are growing 'impatient" as they wait for a woman to be elected president, 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Saturday night.

"People are saying,' Well, at least we're ready,'" Clinton told interviewer Jane Pauley, as the two held a public chat for charity in San Francisco.

"There's a feeling that it's time," she added.

Then, in quotes picked up the New York Sun, the former first lady said she detected "a certain impatience" to see a female president following the election of women to similar roles in other countries.

Despite Mrs. Clinton's claims, a Gallup poll found last week that 51 percent of Americans had already made up their minds not to vote for her.

The top Democrat offered the comments after Pauley noted that President Bush had recently said she'd make a "formidable" candidate.

Mrs. Clinton declined to return the compliment however, and instead blasted Mr. Bush for mishandling the rebuilding of New Orleans after it was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

"I think that basically we are now watching a deliberate policy of neglect take root," Hillary complained.

She then suggested that the White House didn't want to rebuild New Orleans because "all those Democrats might come home."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anyone here with that feeling "it's time?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Mrs. Clinton said she suspected that the assignment of President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, to oversee the relief effort indicated that political mischief was afoot. "Cynical minds might suggest that the destruction of the Democratic vote in Louisiana was a mixed blessing. If you rebuild New Orleans, all those Democrats might come home..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whose cynical mind might she be referring to, her own?

Steve

kindj answered on 01/31/06:

>>Mrs. Clinton declined to return the compliment however, and instead blasted Mr. Bush......<<

Well, now. THAT'S not very "kind" or "tolerant." I certainly hope those love-n-peace liberals call her nasty remarks out, so they can prove how kind and tolerant they are.

>>Anyone here with that feeling "it's time?"<<

It might be time for something, but it sure ain't time for her.

Unless, of course, you mean it's time for her to go away quietly.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 01/31/06 - Conspiracy of the day

The following letter appeared in our paper today...

Skies not so friendly these days

Jan. 23 began as a sparkling clear day in Amarillo. It ended with a colorful sunset, thanks to "clouds" in the sky.

Those "clouds" came from airplanes spraying substances that don't dissipate quickly, as normal contrails do. Also, they came from many more airplanes than normally fly in and out of Amarillo. The "cloud" trails often appear in criss-cross patterns, always over populated areas.

This only could be happening with governmental approval, and perhaps sponsorship, which means our taxes are paying for it.

There are various theories about what's been going on. Type in "chemtrails" on the Internet, and you'll find a lot of information, much of it frightening.

A variety of explanations are presented. One possibility is that this is being done for our protection, albeit with harmful side-effects for some.

When I mention this "chemicalizing" of our skies to people here, most want to dismiss it. "I've got enough to worry about already" or "If the government condones it, it must be OK" seem to be the prevailing attitudes.

Why hasn't the government offered an explanation? As long as we're paying for it, it's our right to know what's going on. I invite others sharing this concern to contact me at mingls@arn.net.

Hunter Ingalls

Amarillo

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alrighty then. I guess I haven't been as on top of things as I thought as this conspiracy was new to me. So what of it? Hoax or reality? 'Chemtrails or Kooktrails? Are we now " Electro-Sensitive" thanks to "the so-called "Election" of the bush crime family?"

Steve

P.S. Hunter offered his email so I obliged him here also.

kindj answered on 01/31/06:

Is it those dang black helicopters doing the spraying?

What is this person rambling about? I haven't heard of such goings-on, myself.

Is it kinda down low? Like if they're getting a head start (for once) on spraying for mosquitos?

Methinks this person might've been licking the wrong kind of stamps....

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 01/25/06 - An interesting article

Save Haleigh

By Michelle Malkin

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com

I have a question for the hordes of bleeding-heart Hollywood stars who joined the "Save Tookie" brigade, who bowed their heads in prayer with ex-Crip gangster Snoop Dogg and the Rev. Jesse Jackson and pleaded to protect convicted Death Row murderer Stanley "Tookie" Williams, and who lobbied so hard for the government to err on the side of life.

Where are you now?

In Boston, an innocent girl was sentenced to death by the state. Her name is Haleigh Poutre. Last fall, she was hospitalized after her stepfather allegedly burned her and beat her unconscious with a baseball bat. Haleigh was kept alive by a feeding tube and ventilator. Doctors said she was "virtually brain dead." They said she was in a "persistent vegetative state." The medical professionals pronounced her "hopeless."

Less than three weeks after Haleigh's hospitalization, the Massachusetts Department of Social Services was raring to remove Haleigh's feeding and breathing tubes. Even her biological mother (who had been deemed unfit to care for Haleigh and whose former boyfriend was accused of sexually abusing the child) wanted her to be put to death. The only person who wanted Haleigh alive was her stepfather, who will likely be charged with murder if Haleigh dies.

Earlier this month, the Massachusetts' Supreme Court ruled in favor of killing Haleigh, saying it was "unthinkable" to give the power to make a life-and-death decision to the man accused of putting Haleigh in a coma. Instead, the court did something just as unthinkable: It handed over that power over life and death to the same child welfare agency that had failed time and time and time again to protect Haleigh from her abusers in the first place. According to the Boston Herald, a report by her court-appointed guardian showed that the Department of Social Services had received 17 reports of abuse or neglect involving Haleigh in the three years before her adoptive mother and stepfather were charged with pummeling her into a coma.

"State can let beaten girl die," the headlines trumpeted. But there was just one small complication for all of those who, for whatever reason, were in such a rush to "let Haleigh die:"

Haleigh is fighting to live.

As state officials prepared to remove Haleigh's life support, the supposedly impossible happened. She began breathing on her own, responding to stimuli, and showing signs of emerging from what the medical establishment had deemed her hopeless condition. Everyone had given up on Haleigh except Haleigh. ''There has been a change in her condition," announced a DSS spokeswoman, Denise Monteiro. ''The vegetative state may not be a total vegetative state."

Unbelievably, the state had weaned Haleigh off her breathing tube before the state supreme court had made its ruling but the government failed to inform the court of the development. Haleigh's medical records and the social service agency's brief remain sealed.

Politicians in Massachusetts are vowing full-scale investigations of the state's incompetent child welfare bureaucrats. But where's the accountability for the medical experts whose faulty diagnosis led to Haleigh's court-approved death sentence? Will they step forward and reveal themselves? Will they explain how they erred? Will they apologize?

It was The Experts' unequivocal assessments that led the court to declare Haleigh in "an irreversible vegetative state" and to assert that "the child could not see, hear, feel, or respond." Now, they admit they were wrong. And now, Haleigh's life depends on the whims of a hopeless government agency that didn't think the court needed to know that the child was breathing on her own.

Haleigh's story is a wake-up call to "right-to-die" ideologues who recklessly put such unlimited trust in the medical profession and Nanny State. With such uncertainty surrounding persistent vegetative state diagnoses, the presumption must be in favor of life. Yet, the "right to die" lobby's mantra seems to be: When in doubt, pull it out.

While Haleigh clings to life, I've pondered how we might help persuade the plug-pullers to delay the child's state-sanctioned death sentence. I propose nominating her for a Nobel Prize. It bought Tookie Williams five extra years.

Jamie Foxx and Susan Sarandon, will you join me?


--------------

Hmmm. This opens up a whole can of worms, doesn't it?

First of all, a girl who was determined to be in a "permanent vegetative state" turns out to be improving: breathing on her own, responding to stimuli, etc. Even her doctors are admitting they were wrong. What does this case do to the argument that doctors know best when a patient will not improve and should be allowed to die? What does this do to arguments against one more check of the patient's condition? In light of this case, was Congress right to demand one more judicial and medical review of Teri Schiavo's condition before her feeding tube wa removed? Would one more review of her condition hurt anything?

What does this case do to those who argue the case against capital punishment but in favor of abortion and assisted suicide?

What are the legal ramifications of the state making the determination in favor of assisted suicide? What if the state is wrong? (I find it interesting that the same people who argue against capital punishment on the basis that the government might make a mistake and kill the wrong person suddenly argue the infallibility of the government when determining in favor of assisted suicide.)

Seems to me that the case of Haleigh Poutre raises a lot of questions on BOTH sides of the political fence: the liberals who would allow family to determine assisted suicide, and the conservatives who would allow the government to be the final arbiter. And the conservatives who would argue against assisted suicide at all need to contend with the question of what if the patient really is suffering in an intolerable manner and really does want to die.

What are your opinions?

Elliot

kindj answered on 01/25/06:

This is a tough one, especially when looking for a reliable entity to have the final, educated say in whether or not to continue life support. We have unfit parents who should not even be allowed to have a pet, much less a child. We have a corrupt, overworked, and incompetent child "protection" agency, and a court that is obviously ill-informed, whether that be their fault or not is not relelvant.

Under other, more normal circumstances, I would say that the decision would belong in the hands of the family, who would have been fully informed by several medical professionals who would have conducted extensive independent testing. Ideally, the courts wouldn't even come into play. As a side note, this is exactly why I favor each and every adult having a "living will" or medical POA clearly stating their wishes under various circumstances.

Another variable that makes me nervous is that this is happening in Massachusetts, whose citizenry apparently think that Kennedy is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

All I can say is that I think we will be seeing more and more cases like this, and more and more the outcome will be determined by the government (see the authors referenced in my previous question). Why? Because we will let them.

In my opinion, God is the final arbiter of life. If He wants me to die, nothing on earth will stop it. If He wants me to live, nothing on earth will kill me. If the date of my passage plays no particularly significant role in His plans, He may allow the forces of this world to work as they may.

What strikes me as odd is the obvious hypocrisy of those who say that conservatives consider life to be cheap, because we dare enforce legal (not to mention Biblical) mandates in regard to violent people who visit death upon the innocent. Yet, we would be champions of all that is right and good if only we could see our way clear to destroy the unborn for any or no reason at all. You hit the nail on the head: "I find it interesting that the same people who argue against capital punishment on the basis that the government might make a mistake and kill the wrong person suddenly argue the infallibility of the government when determining in favor of assisted suicide."

This is what you get as soon as a bit of power is abdicated to the government that belongs in the hands of We The People.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 01/19/06 - Text of excerpts from Osama bin Laden tape

Al-Qaida leader appears to be addressing the American people

The Associated Press
Updated: 2:58 p.m. ET Jan. 19, 2006


The following is the text of the excerpts aired by Al-Jazeera television from a new audiotape from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. The excerpts were translated from the Arabic by The Associated Press.

Bin Laden appears to be addressing the American people:

My message to you is about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how to end them. I did not intend to speak to you about this because this issue has already been decided. Only metal breaks metal, and our situation, thank God, is only getting better and better, while your situation is the opposite of that.

But I plan to speak about the repeated errors your President Bush has committed in comments on the results of your polls that show an overwhelming majority of you want the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. But he (Bush) has opposed this wish and said that withdrawing troops sends the wrong message to opponents, that it is better to fight them (bin Ladens followers) on their land than their fighting us (Americans) on our land.

I can reply to these errors by saying that war in Iraq is raging with no let-up, and operations in Afghanistan are escalating in our favor, thank God, and Pentagon figures show the number of your dead and wounded is increasing not to mention the massive material losses.

....

And so to return to the issue, I say that results of polls please those who are sensible, and Bushs opposition to them is a mistake. The reality shows that the war against America and its allies has not been limited to Iraq as he (Bush) claims. Iraq has become a point of attraction and restorer of (our) energies. At the same time, the mujahideen (holy warriors), with Gods grace, have managed repeatedly to penetrate all security measures adopted by the unjust allied countries. The proof of that is the explosions you have seen in the capitals of the European nations who are in this aggressive coalition. The delay in similar operations happening in America has not been because of failure to break through your security measures. The operations are under preparation and you will see them in your homes the minute they are through (with preparations), with Gods permission.

Based on what has been said, this shows the errors of Bushs statement the one that slipped from him which is at the heart of polls calling for withdrawing the troops. It is better that we (Americans) dont fight Muslims on their lands and that they dont fight us on ours.

We dont mind offering you a long-term truce on fair conditions that we adhere to. We are a nation that God has forbidden to lie and cheat. So both sides can enjoy security and stability under this truce so we can build Iraq and Afghanistan, which have been destroyed in this war. There is no shame in this solution, which prevents the wasting of billions of dollars that have gone to those with influence and merchants of war in America who have supported Bushs election campaign with billions of dollars.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10927325/
---------


So, what do we have here? We have Bin Laden releasing a tape just days after the Pakistan attack in which a number of his highest-level supporters were killed. In the tape he makes two interesting comments. 1) That al Qaeda is planning a new attack on the USA, and 2) that he is willing to offer a truce to the USA under his conditions. And he tries to explain that the only reason that he hasn't attacked the USA yet is because his plans weren't yet complete, but as soon as they are, he will launch an attack against us.

What does this tell you?

What it tells me is that OBL needs to project an image of strength in order to bolster the flagging morale of his followers. That he is offering a truce under any conditions to the USA--- which he has lambasted in the past as "The Great Satan" and saying that we must be destroyed at any cost--- leads me to believe that HE is the one who needs a truce, and that HE is in trouble. Which doesn't mean that he won't strike at the USA if he can. He will certainly try, and he might succeed. Which would not be a sign that Bush is ineffective, just that no security measures can possibly be 100% perfect 100% of the time.

But what is to me the most interesting of all, is the fact that we now have a CREDIBLE THREAT FROM A CREDIBLE SOURCE of an impending attack against the USA. Should Bush bother getting wire-tapping warrants which will waste time and manpower, or should he just do what he has to do to protect the nation from a national security threat as authorized by the Constitution?

Comments please.

kindj answered on 01/20/06:

The image I got was that of a large man holding a bobcat by the tail. The man has the bobcat in a position where he can't do much harm to the man, other than maybe a few scratches. However, simply holding the bobcat isn't doing much good; the scratches still come, and they bleed and hurt. The only choices the man has is to release the bobcat, in which case the bobcat will most likely attack; or he can kill the bobcat, and stop it once and for all.

I think OBL is feeling a bit like that bobcat right now- he can still scratch and inflict harm, but knows the hammer is falling.

DK

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 01/18/06 - California Spying

AP:::""An alumni group is offering students up to $100 per class to supply tapes and notes exposing University of California, Los Angeles professors who allegedly express extreme left-wing political views.

The year-old Bruin Alumni Association on its Web site says it is concerned about professors who use lecture time to press positions against President Bush, the military and multinational corporations, among other things.

The site includes a list of what the group calls the college's 30 most radical professors.

"We're just trying to get people back on a professional level of things," said the group's president and founder, Andrew Jones, a 2003 UCLA graduate and former chairman of the student Bruin Republicans.

"Having been a student myself up until 2003, and then watching what other students like myself have gone through, I'm very concerned about the level of professional teaching at UCLA." ""



Comments?

kindj answered on 01/19/06:

Well, this is just a step toward formalizing a previously informal practice that has gone on forever.

I did it, and I bet any other person who went to college did the "networking" thing to learn about professors before taking their classes: what they liked, how were the tests, boring or not, or political/religious position.

Were we "spying?" Not really. Of course, we weren't getting paid for it.

Way I see it, alumni groups go a looooong way toward supporting the university from which they graduated (never could spell alma mater). I have no problem with them having a degree of say in what goes on with the university that THEIR money supports. In addition, most alumni groups are private entities, and can do as they please so long as no local, state, or federal laws are broken.

What is often forgotten is the fact that the people who pay the tuition are the consumers, and consumers have a RIGHT to be informed about the product they're purchasing. Colleges have long ago forgotten that the students are in fact customers. Colleges that remember that are gaining students faster than they can accomodate them.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 01/08/06 - Supporting the Troops?


Hello wrongwingers:

Yeah, I support the troops too. But, instead of putting a bumper sticker on my car (so my neighbors will think highly of me), I wrote to my congressmen and demanded they give the Marines the body armor they needed to save lives.

Well, they didn't. I dunno why. Maybe they needed the money for a submarine or something. And, your sons died.....

So, what are you GOING TO DO, about your governments laze fare interest in your sons lives? Put a bumper sticker on your car?

excon

kindj answered on 01/09/06:

I hate bumper stickers--they screw up the paint.

Good call on substance over style. One thing I've always wondered about "bumper sticker sloganeering" is what people expect to happen? Would a rabid anti-Bush, anti-war-in-anywhere, anti-military person see a cute little yellow ribbon with the words "support our troops" emblazened on it and have a radical change of heart? Unlikely.

I, too, write and call my elected elite and tell them what I want, and it isn't some blind "doing a good job, stay the course" letter. I tell them that the materiel situation is sorely in need of repair, for one. It seems that not much has changed since ྗ. In that year, I was ordering and drawing ammo and other toys for a recon mission my platoon was conducting. First thing the supply dork asked me was, "What's the nature and objective of your mission?" My response came with my typical use of tact and diplomacy: "None of your f***ing business, give me my &%$!@ order!" He tried to explain that he had set up "ready made" ammo and demo "packages" based upon the mission profile. I asked him who decided what went with which "profile," and he said that HE did. This clown had never walked one a day in his life, yet he felt free to call the shots on what the shooters in the field needed! The worst part was, he had support from his own chain of command, every last one of which was the fullest expression of the acronym REMF.

His chain of command also supported him when they discovered him later that same day taped to his cushy chair with about 30 yards of 100mph tape, and an appropriate amount of ammo and demo checked out by me, to me.

Yeah, I got in "trouble." I got a little wrist slap (never made it to my service record for some reason) and was punished with a 5 dollar fine, delayed upon return to civilization, and payable only in the form of the First Sergeant's favorite cold beverage.

But that's what we've got: the politicians, diplomats, lawyers, and REMF's running the show at the expense of the soldier. THAT'S what I write and call about. Get the reporters out of the units, fire all the lawyers, and let the troops do their jobs. And for crying out loud, give 'em the stuff to do it with! There's tons of Humvee armor in warehouses. Put it on the dang trucks! Get rid of those old M-60's that jam in the sand and bring in the 240G's! Give the SAW's to the insurgents, they're a waste of weight and ammo anyway. Get rid of the M-16's and bring back the M-14. Much better in the sand. Flood the ranks with M-2's. Increase by 200% the number of snipers.

That's my shopping list.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 12/14/05 - Medicare


Hello experts:

If you're on medicare and your hand doesn't work too well, your drugs are covered. However, if your penis doesn't work too well, those drugs are not.

What is the difference between your hand and your penis?

excon

kindj answered on 12/14/05:

For the record, I do NOT want to go on a clam dig with you....

As to the difference, I could actually say a lot about that. I thought about asking my wife, but was afraid I'd get a response like, "Well then, what's the difference between your hand and MY....." Well, you get it.

Personally, I think they should pay. Let's face it, for a great many men the ability to have a somewhat normal sex life IS in fact a factor in their overall mental health, and the gov't will pay for mental health drugs.

I say if a body part isn't operating up to specs, then it needs attention. If that attention is meds, well then, so be it.

The whole "function decreases with age" argumant ain't gonna wash, either. Our brains, hearts, lungs, muscles, kidneys, and so on all lose function as we age, yet the gov't pays for drugs to maintain their function at the maximum realistic level.

So why not take care of Big Jim and the Twins as well?

Recreation? In the eye of the beholder. (Damn, this whole response is littered with double entendres...) My Bible doesn't say anything about at what age a man should cease having relations. In fact, it seems to assume a lifelong ambition for the ability to do so, pregnancy being an altogether different issue.

The same people that will say it doesn't matter if it works or not due to advanced age are probably the same ones who would desire to prevent me from shooting a male lion or elephant who is past his breeding years.

As humans, sex is a part of our life. Our WHOLE life. As long as the desire and a willing partner remain, if it's broke--fix it.

DK

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Question/Answer
sapphire630 asked on 12/13/05 - Things that keep me puzzled

Loony(outta)toonies keep crying about how Bush's war is all wrong. Show the terrorists love, compasion, understanding, etc...etc...

How blind can one be to see the exact countries that wanted to stay nuetral (France, Australia, Canada, etc...) are getting bombarded by the very ones they wanted to please and appease?

WHY DON'T they attack the U.S.A.?

Is it Bush's FAULT?

kindj answered on 12/13/05:

I can't say for certain, but I think it might be very similar to the way a dog can smell fear, or a shark can smell blood in the water.

In both cases, sensing weakness, the predator will attack.

'Nuff said?

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 12/13/05 - New ABC/Times poll. Released 12/12/05

ABC and Time Magazine conducted a poll in Iraq. The results are rather surprising at least to some.

Here are some of the highlights:

1) 71% of Iraqis feel that things are going well in their personal lives. On the downside, only 44% feel that things are going well for the country overall. However, 69% of Iraqis expect things for the country overall to improve in the next year. (Among Sunnis, that number is only 35%.)

2) Average salaries are $263 per month, up from an average of $164 per month in February 2004.

3) 57% of Iraqis support the idea of a Democracy as their form of government. In mixed population areas 75% support Democracy. In Kurdish areas 63% support Democracy. In Shiite areas, support for Democracy is 45%. In Sunni areas, only 38% support Democracy.

Interestingly, 64% support Democracy in Iraq for 5 years from now including 55% of Sunnis.

4) Here is a breakdown of Shiite vs. Sunni opinions:

Own life good: Shiite: 86%, Sunni 43%
Things going well in Iraq: Shiite 53%, Sunni 9%
The USA was right to invade: Shiite 59%, Sunni 7%
Feel very safe: Shiite: 80%, Sunni 11%
Approve of the new Constitution: Shiite 82%, Sunni 27%
Confidence in the Iraqi army: Shiite 87%, Sunni 37%.

The contrast between the two groups is pretty stark, and it is clear that the Sunnis, who lost the most in the post-Saddam environment, are dragging down the poll numbers from other groups.

5) Local conditions in Iraq - % saying good. (Numbers in parenthesis are from a February 2004 poll)
Schools: 74% (72%)
Crime protection: 66% (53%)
Medical Care: 62% (51%)
Security: 61% (49%)
Clean water: 58% (50%)
Electricity: 45% (35%)
Jobs: 38% (26%)

6) Womens rights: % in favor.
Voting: 99%
As doctors: 99%
Driving: 84%
In national assembly: 80% (among Sunnis: 62%)
As governors: 51% (among Sunnis: 22%)
As president: 46% (among Sunnis: 21%)
As mukhtar (religious leader): 38% (among Sunnis: 6%)

7) Roughly half of Iraqis feel that US troops should stay in Iraq for some time. 31% say that they should remain until security is restored, 16% say they should stay until the Iraqi security forces can operate independently, and 5% say that they should stay longer. Only 26% say that US forces should pull out immediately, and another 19% say that they should pull out after the new government being elected this week takes office.

The full results of the poll can be found at http://abcnews.go.com/images/Politics/1000a1IraqWhereThingsStand.pdf

The facts on the ground seem to be somewhat different than what John Murtha, Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden and others on the left would have us believe. Contrary to what Murtha has claimed, 80% of Iraqis do not want the USA to pull out immediately. Contrary to what Kennedy and others have said, the Iraqis see improvement in their situations, and expect further improvements in the coming year. The majority see the advantages that Democracy has to offer and want a piece of that pie. Only a quarter of the population (mostly Sunnis) wants an immediate pullout of US troops.

Dont believe the rhetoric from the left. There is no quagmire, there has been significant progress, and there is optimism about the future in Iraq. Overall, an exceptional set of poll results. And especially exceptional considering who put the poll out in the first place. ABC and Time Magazine are not exactly known for their strong pro-war stances.

Elliot

kindj answered on 12/13/05:

Poll, schmoll. You know that if it didn't come from Aton's own mouth, then it simply ain't true!!

;)

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 12/08/05 - Death Penalty


Hello experts:

You know what I don't get? I don't get a society that can keep a guy in prison for 24 years (which is long enough for most lifers to serve their time and be released), and then kill him.

excon

kindj answered on 12/08/05:

So you agree that we should streamline the process for condemned inmates?

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 12/08/05 - Re-cap


Hello experts:

We've been arguing politics here for years. How're we doin? Has any argument made by anyone here changed your mind or had an impact upon you in ways you did not contemplate?

Although it might not seem like it, I have been swayed by arguments from kindj, tom, Its and yes, the Wolverine dude (don't tell him, though). Swayed - not convinced! I have not been swayed by anything gade or the labdude says.

Has any argument I've ever made swayed you? HANK, CeeBee, Choux, Pdub - any of those?

excon

kindj answered on 12/08/05:

I'm always impacted by new information from a different point of view. But I then have to assimilate it into what I already think and know, and look for contradictions. Then I have to do more learning and research to resolve the contradictions. So "swaying" is a rather lengthy process.

I have, however, begun to think about starting to want to reconsider the role of our law enforcement agencies in light of the Constitution, terrorism, and public interest, but haven't landed anywhere new yet.

DK

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 11/30/05 - CIA and Torture

There is a new book out by a former CIA agent that talks about torture methods they use. I listened to a discussion of common tortures(sleep deprivation, water, temperature, etc), but I never got the name of the book. Does anyone know the title?

kindj answered on 11/30/05:

Not sure about that one, but there's a fairly new one out by a historian that's making some waves. It's called "A Question of Torture : CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror" by a guy named Alfred McCoy.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 11/30/05 - Lobbyists, money and corruption



Hello experts:

You do know that the congress has been sold to the highest bidder. Lobbyists even write legislation. Lobbyists suck. I hope they ban 'em - ALL OF 'EM.

You?

excon

kindj answered on 11/30/05:

I'm not a political scientist, but it seems to me that in a pure representative democracy, the rep's would vote according to the wishes of the majority of their constituents. That might mean some online/phone/mail polling of their voters, but hey, they're the ones who ran, right? But it seems we elect them on their supposed platform, send them off, and don't have squat to do with them until re-election time. With the voters not holding them accountable on a day-to-day basis, that leaves them open to influence from every special interest lobby that's out there. Therein lies the problem: the elected officials aren't accountable to the voters at large anymore (if they ever were), they're accountable to the lobbyists who have them in their pocket.

Yeah, I see your point. But it's not the lobbyists fault, strictly speaking. It's the American people's fault, for not taking a more active role in the operation of our government. Lobby groups are simply filling in that vacuum.

DK

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Question/Answer
sapphire630 asked on 11/29/05 - Bush vows crack down on illegals

Is this the same type vow O.J. made to track down Nicoles *real* killers?

kindj answered on 11/29/05:

Considering Bush never took border security seriously as governor, and seems to care even less now, yeah, I'd say that's a pretty fair description.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 11/28/05 - Iraq - redux


Hello experts:

Im worried. More worried than I have been for a long long time.

Iraq is NOT Vietnam. We lost there - nothing happened. If we lose in Iraq, a lot will happen, and ALL of it bad. Because Bush has not outlined what VICTORY will look like (other than the democratization of Iraq - which aint gonna happen), ANY outcome other than that will be viewed as (and will be) a loss.

Because he wouldnt win (and it was a choice), a quagmire has, indeed, developed. We cant leave - and we cant stay.

Any of you wishful thinkers get a grip yet??? Probably not.

excon

kindj answered on 11/29/05:

You think we won't stay? I think different. I think we'll have US bases in the country for years and years to come, just like we did in other places. Japan still has bunches, as does Korea (although the way some of the SK's are acting makes me want to pull all of them out and let them stand alone for a while), Germany, Greece, Spain, Panama, etc. I think we will see merely a shift in our overseas presence, focusing less on Europe and more on Asia and the Middle East. Let's face it: we have bases where we have/had trouble spots. I see the majority of the troops coming home fairly soon (1-2 years), but I also see permanent bases there which will enter the registry as duty sites. Will they be combat roles? Hopefully not. Hopefully, once the Iraqis have their sh*t in one sock, all that will be required will be our presence.

What DOES worry me is that right now we can't seem to seal off the Syrian border, where daily masses of terrorists enter Iraq. And let's not forget Iran's helping hand, as well. We sit still and let them come to us. If we really want to STOP them, we should be going to them, and hitting them before they're in place and ready for us. But we all know why that option isn't the best right now.

And I don't think we're "losing," nor do I think we will lose. Every dead terrorist is one less threat to peaceful people all over the world, not just here in the US.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 11/15/05 - Just thinking...

I thought it curious that today our front page featured two stories by the AP. One spoke of Bush fighting back against Dems critical of his "misleading" the country into war, and one about the VA's failure to spend all they promised on research into the "thousands" of Gulf War vets suffering the effects of oil fires, nerve gas and other toxic substances.

Let me get this straight, thousands of gulf war vets still suffer from exposure to nerve gas and other toxic substances, but it was misleading to go after the man responsible?

Steve

kindj answered on 11/18/05:

>> Gulf War vets suffering the effects of oil fires, nerve gas and other toxic substances<<

But how can that be? After all, nerve gasses and "other toxic substances" might be weapons of mass destruction, which we all know don't exist in that area, and never have, right? It was all a big lie, right?

Somebody needs to do some proofreading and make sure they stay within their chosen agenda. The press is doing the President's work for him, and they don't even know it.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 11/18/05 - Greenies


Hello DEAer's:

I knew MLB was juiced. But I didn't know they were speeding too. Did you?

We're not talking about drugs that build up your bodies and make you stronger, yet leave you with a clear head. No, were talking about speed, greenies, amphetamine, dexies. These are simply illegal street drugs that get you high. It's not any different than cocaine.

So, where was the DEA? In the gettho busting the poor? They didn't know about the "greenies" in the locker room? Somehow, I think they did.

More BS from your friendly federal government.

excon

kindj answered on 11/18/05:

Remember that the DEA folks are first and foremost government employees, FEDERAL government employees, at that.

Therefore, which route is a fed going to most likely take: the one where they go into some inner city sh-thole and round up a bunch of middle to lower middle class punks where the DEA has full public support, in the name of "drug eradication?

Or, go into a locker room where the freakin' bat boy makes more per year than they do, and round up 40 or 50 multi-millionaire sports "heroes," and incur the wrath of the public?

Gee, I wonder what they'd do.....

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 11/11/05 - Veterans


Thanks, dudes.

excon

kindj answered on 11/11/05:

Rock on, ex.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 11/10/05 - lock and load !

so what happens in a country like ...oh lets say...France ;when they do not have 2nd amendment rights . read on :

Faced with widespread lawlessness, some people in France have started defending their property. In Seine-Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris rocked by several nights of unrest, a community group has started patrolling local properties armed with pepper spray and heavy flashlights.

ROTFL ;Here I was expecting shotguns, rifles or pistols to complete the sentence but then thought No, this is Europe and there must be laws against carrying firearms in public so I thought baseball bats would be the ticket.



kindj answered on 11/10/05:

Pepper spray and flashlights, huh? Yeah, that oughta do it.

If nothing else, it'll at least buy some time while the government decides when and where to surrender.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 11/10/05 - Prisoner Abuse


Hello experts:

Without going back to read your previous responses, I would bet that some of you (and you know who you are), said that the abuses at Abu Grahib were the result of just a few rouge lower level soldiers.

In light of the recent exposure of a chain of CIA prisons in Asia, and Cheney's attempt to exempt parts of the goverment from torturing, while Bush says that WE don't torture......

It is rather confusing, I know. I guess it is simpler just to deny the whole thing is happening and go out for a burger.

excon

kindj answered on 11/10/05:

I don't know if all of the soldiers were rouge, or if some were another shade of red. Kinda think they're ALL red now, though.

I was treated worse than those guys when I went through SERE school, and that was by fellow Americans, for the purpose of rendering similar enemy tactics less effective, if not totally ineffective.

I really don't see the abuse at that place, myself.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 11/10/05 - Ethics???


Hello Bush dudes:

If ethics AREN'T a problem at the white house, why would classes be undertaken now? Shouldn't senior government officials already KNOW about ethics in government?

I'll be interested in your spin on this one.

excon

kindj answered on 11/10/05:

To quote the Bard: "Much ado about nothing."

I'm almost done with my Master's in Counseling Psychology, and I've had to take not one, but TWO classes in ethics: one in practice, and one in research.

In addition, I only need two more classes to complete my Master's in Christian Ministry. I was required to take an ethics class in that, too.

Since my job involves the intake of all sorts of personal, sensitive information, we have twice a year (is that semi-annual or bi-annual? Never can keep all that straight) refreshers on privacy laws and protection of personal information. Why? Because handling sensitive personal information is best done ethically.

Way back when I was on active duty, we always got short courses in ethics, especially in dealing with foreign nationals, as well as other topics.

So the gubment twits have to sit through ethics classes, too. Never heard it before, but not really a surprise. As I said, mountain out of molehill here. Regular classes that I bet have gone on for years. Nothing more sinister than that.

Despite the fact that we live in a world that has become fundamentally unethical, courses and seminars in ethics are on the rise, even as unethical behaviors are. Could it be that "classes" don't work? Could it be a lax approach to holding firm on standards that is to blame?

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 11/08/05 - French Riots

"Projecte Quel Dommage is a spontaneous outpouring of blogger concern for our effete neighbors across the Atlantic, who are currently experiencing a greater rate of spontaneous Citroen fires than normal. Were going to create real change by holding up pieces of paper. Please show your support by joining this important cause."



Write the following on a piece of paper and hold it up to your computer screen.

So Long and
thanks for
the
Statue of Liberty



HeeHee

kindj answered on 11/09/05:

From what I understand, a never-before-seen meeting is taking place this week in France. Attendees will include all top French government officials, top law enforcement officials, and the highest-ranking officer from each of France's armed services.

Speculations abound, but sources close to the inside say that by the close of the meeting, they will have decided to whom exactly they should surrender.

DK

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 11/01/05 - What's Wrong with Bush?

Today, I watched Bush give a speech about America's preparation for the possibility of Avian Flu. He mispronounced words and stumbled in each sentence at the beginning of the speech. Just now, I ran into this essay by Nora Ephron; I think it brings up some interesting thoughts.

"What's wrong with the president? Is he fighting depression? Is he being medicated in some way that isn't quite working? What's up? I even bought a copy of one of the supermarket tabloids that alleged he'd started drinking again, but the article (like all articles in supermarket tabloids) was extremely disappointing; even the over-exciting picture of the President on the front page, holding a glass of wine, turned out to be an old irrelevant photograph of him making a toast at some banquet; there was no real evidence in the article that he was back on the sauce.

But I've been wondering about what's going on with W ever since he emerged from his bizarre groundhog-like vacation and responded to Hurricane Katrina as if he were under water. He had no affect at all. He was almost robotic. His meager vocabulary seemed to have shrunk even further. He conveyed no feeling for the victims -- and this was early on, way before anyone realized how many poor people were involved. It was strange. What's so hard about cranking yourself up for hurricane victims, especially when you think they're mostly white people who have lost their second homes on the Gulf Coast?

At the time I wondered if Bush was on Paxil or Lexapro, drugs that several of my friends are taking and that seem to have turned them into strangely muted versions of themselves. I asked my friend Rita, who's a shrink, but Rita is very careful about committing on subjects of this sort. She did point out, though, that sometimes, when the President talks, his mouth has a strange sideways twitch, which is apparently common in people who are on antidepressants. Actually it might have been my husband who said this, I can't remember.

But I started thinking about all this again on Sunday. On the Chris Matthews Show, there was some old footage of the president from last year's presidential campaign. He was outdoors, talking to a group of people in hard hats; he was energetic, focused, confident, on top of the world. Now you could easily counter: of course he was, it was a lovely day, he was surrounded by supporters, things were going well. But the President we're seeing these days is a completely different man.

He has, of course, a lot of reasons to be depressed -- no point in enumerating them, you know what they are. But most of all, I think he's depressed because the job has turned out to be so much more onerous than he expected -- he said as much to a friend of mine in September. "You have no idea," he said, "how hard these five years have been." This is a fairly breathtaking remark given the number of people who, thanks to this president, are now dead as a result of his five years in the Oval Office, but never mind.

The point is that it seems possible to me that when George Bush gave up alcohol in 1986, he dealt with the depression that often accompanies sobriety by becoming an obsessive exerciser. And that's what he's essentially done ever since. He's never held anything that could be confused with a job. Owning a football team is not a job. Even being governor of Texas takes only a couple of months a year, it turns out. So he was free to exercise.

But at some point this year, something happened and the exercise regimen stopped working. Bush started becoming depressed. My theory is that a certain amount of panic ensued, and more exercise was prescribed: hence, the afternoon on the bicycle in Maryland, and the reluctance to disturb an already disturbed, irritable man. (Interestingly, the incident happened just after the President returned from a four-day trip to Europe, which had not only required him to work several hours each day but undoubtedly interrupted his exercise routine.) Then came the vacation in August, the odd, sequestered vacation, a perfect time for the President's doctor to try medication, or change medication, or adjust medication. Then Katrina and the emergence in the fall of an unenergetic, irritable, muted, unfocussed President, the man you see today.



I think she is on to the truth. Bush exhibits symptoms of deep depression.....


Comments????

kindj answered on 11/01/05:

I'm wondering if it's simply possible that being the President is a pretty stressful job. I figure if I had all that on my shoulders and kept some of the hours that he has that after a couple of months I probably wouldn't be able to form a coherent sentence.

It seems like every President I've seen looks reasonably healthy when they start, but by the time their terms are done, they look like they've been run through the wringer. None have been exempt from that, as far as I know. I remember how robust and healthy Clinton looked at the beginning, but at the end of his terms, he looked like he had aged 25 years instead of only 8.

Makes me wonder why any sane person would ever want that job.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 11/01/05 - Alito - just another liberal.


Hello verywrongwingers:

Im a Constitutionalist, like you pretend to be. I would like a SC that would interpret the Constitution as it was written. If only we could get people like that.......... But, we dont.

The Fourth Amendment says that we should be protected from unreasonable searches The authority for any anticipated search, is a judge who issues the warrant, specifying the places and the person to be searched.

In Doe v. Groody (2004), Alito wrote that reasonable police officers could interpret the warrant to mean that they could search something different.

Gee, the Constitution doesnt give the cops any authority to do that. It looks like a NEW law to me. Looks like legislating from the bench, to me. Looks like cops have new authorities never written down by our founders. If the founders thought a judge should make that decision, then thats good enough for me.

But no. An activist judge is only ACTIVE if he makes law the right wing DISAGREES with.

Alito is as liberal as you get, if changing the Constitution to mean what you want it to mean is a liberal idea.

excon

kindj answered on 11/01/05:

On one hand, our legal system sucks big time. It takes forever to get anything to trial, and then it's subject to technicalities and virtually endless appeals.

But on the other hand, it's the greatest system there is. In most cases, the guy or gal who goes to jail or whatever is in fact guilty of the crime with which they are charged. But they still have the right to appeal for a variety of reasons, and can even challenge the legality and/or Constitutionality of the very law they were convicted under! Show me another system like that!

In this case, what we've got is pretty much as you say it is. We conservatives want crime to be controlled as much as possible, without resorting to police states and such. A source of constant frustration for peace officers and DA's is the restrictions on searches laid out in a highly technical and excrutiatingly detailed warrant. That's why officers and prosecutors like some judges more than others, as they will broaden the scope of the warrant in the hopes of finding the needed evidence.

However, I am fearful of the phrase "reasonable police officers." Mind you, I am fairly conservative, and do fall on the side of law and order, even when I think some laws are downright silly. BUT, I am hesitant to accept a loosely-worded decree like "reasonable police officers." I've never been a cop, but my brother was a U.S. Marshal, and I've worked with cops from the DEA right down to local agencies in fighting the so-called "drug war," something that should endear me to you. Since I was in the military at the time, I have a few questions about the legality of us knuckle-dragging ops-types working with US law enforcement, but I figured the powers that be knew what they were doing, and would cover my butt should something go wrong. Never had to find out, thank heavens. But from that mindset, I understand how frustrating it is to be sent out to do a job with one hand tied behind your back and a blindfold on, and hence I understand how that ruling might've been born. I think, however, that extending that authority to police officers might not be a great idea, and it doesn't take a genius to see why and how things could go terribly wrong. I've met cops, I've worked with cops, and I know cops. 99 percent are great people who shelve their personal agendas and frustrations to do the job to which they're assigned. But there is that element that is so hungry for a good bust that they look for loopholes and bendable rules and such.

In short, I see and share your concern on this issue.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 10/28/05 - Who


Hello experts:

So, what's a guy like me to do? I want a justice who will support states rights like Thomas and Rhenquist did (shame on you Scalia), and one who believes in the right of a woman to control her own body.

excon

PS> Yes, I want the right to control my own body too.

kindj answered on 10/28/05:

Yeah, good luck with that.

I'm all about state's rights, myself. Furthermore, I'll support the right of a woman (or man) to control their own body when the unborn child's right to life is also supported.

The ironic thing about Roe v. Wade is that the SC took so long, that Roe had her baby.
Can you imagine the "Roe" kid now? He's what, late teens, early twenties? I mean, at one point or another, we've all said to our parents: "I wish I'd never been born!" This poor kid has a mom that can say, "Yeah, you and me both!" Gotta be a great relationship between those two. Haven't we all had the feeling, even for a second, in our childhood that our parents didn't like us or didn't want us? Geez, how do you talk this kid down from THAT?

All humor aside, though. Aren't we lucky to have a system where the courts don't MAKE the laws, they just interpret the laws that Congress makes, and otherwise stays out of the picture?

Oh, wait a minute, that's right. I said "all humor aside." Sorry 'bout that.

We need someone to b!tch slap the courts back into their Constitutional place, is what we need.

Any volunteers?

DK

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Question/Answer
sapphire630 asked on 10/26/05 - Terrorists have their list

of things they find offensive that they want us to do away with. They find pigs offensive and England is to do away with piggy banks, Hollywood is offensive, women's rights are offensive, and creamation is offensive to name a few. What about 9/11 and the beheadings and all the things offensive to America. Why do Liberals concern themselves with pleasing the terrorists and not looking at the reality. Do they seriously believe terrorists can be *reasoned*** with?

When I was in High School (eons ago)a DJ played a record about a woman that took a dying snake home and warmed it up by her fireplace and nursed it back to health. Once the snake was healthy it turned and bit her and said you stupid woman.
The stupid woman sounds like the liberals logic to me.
I doubt the DJ remembers this record.
This DJ is now a local radio talk show host.
A little too right-wringer for me, but I'd rather listen to a right-wringer than a liberal-lefty-luie

http://www.warroom.com

kindj answered on 10/27/05:

Long ago, I used to work with Boy Scouts. Occasionally I would tell them this legend, ostensibly from Native American sources.

One day, a young brave was at the top of a snow-covered mountain, examining the land around him as instructed by his father. He was looking for herds, and also keeping an eye out for any unfriendly visitors. As he began the long trek to the base of the mountain where his people were, he happened upon a rattlesnake there in the snow.

The snake said to him, "Please, pick me up and put me in your coat and take me down to the warmer temperatures in the valley. I wandered up here chasing food, and now I'm in the snow, and too cold to move."

The brave said, "No. For I know you are a poisonous snake, and will bite me as soon as you warm up."

The snake said, "No, I won't. In exchange for your kindness, I promise I will not bite you, if only you will put me inside your warm coat and return me to a warmer place."

The brave eventually agreed. He picked up the near-frozen rattlesnake and placed him inside his coat, next to his skin, and began climbing down the frozen mountaintop.

As he descended, the air began to warm. The warm air along with the body heat from the young Indian began to warm up the rattlesnake. After a time, the snake could move freely again, and he bit the boy.

As the boy lay dying from the venom, he looked at the retreating snake and said, "But you promised..."

The rattlesnake said, "You foolish boy! You knew what I was when you picked me up."

Sounds kinda familiar to me.

DK

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 10/25/05 - POLITICAL SCIENCE:

Political science is the study of political behavior and the establishment and conduct of government. Anthropology is concerned with the physical and cultural origins and development of the human race. Do you think these two sciences bite off just a piece of the proverbial pie in terms of general principles that dictate the mental and physical activity in many of our lives?

HANK

kindj answered on 10/25/05:

Of course! There is no single "-ology" that encompasses the whole of human (or for that matter, animal and/or plant) activity, development, health, or society. Each subspecies of study focuses on one narrow "slice of the pie," as you put it.

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 10/21/05 - From the NY Post dated Friday 7/14/05.

NOW IT'S MURDER

By LARRY CELONA

October 14, 2005 -- A man who spent three years behind bars for a 1973 shooting that paralyzed a Puerto Rican teen during a race riot in Brooklyn was arrested last night for his death last year, The Post has learned.

Jos Colon, then 15, was left a quadriplegic after he was shot in the neck by Ralph Alini, now 54, on June 27, 1973, in Park Slope.

Colon died at age 47 in October 2004, and a hospital-ordered autopsy determined the death was a result of the shooting.

Detectives reopened the case and presented it to a grand jury, which indicted Alini on Monday.

Colon was shot during a racially fueled neighborhood feud that erupted when two Puerto Rican brothers were shot the night before in fighting between groups of Hispanics and Italians.

"The city was a powder keg, and the Police Department was worried that if an arrest wasn't made quickly, it would spread throughout the city," said retired Lt. Herbert Hohmann, who was part of the 1973 shooting investigation.

Alini and another man, Ralph Urrutia, were arrested shortly after Colon's shooting.



Both men were convicted, but on appeal, the convictions were overturned on a legal technicality.

Instead of retrying the case, the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office accepted a plea of three years each for reckless endangerment in 1978.

The men were released in 1981. Urrutia died shortly after that.

Alini, who has had no felony arrests since his release, and lives with his parents on Staten Island, is set to be arraigned today in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

Colon's family yesterday welcomed the news that Alini had been charged again.

Colon's sister Esther sobbed after hearing that Alini had been arrested.

"These are happy tears," she said. "Finally, someone is going to pay for what they did to my brother."

The Colon family said details of Jos's shooting had always been a mystery.

"It made no sense it should have never happened," said Esther. "We never knew [at the time] if anyone was arrested. I can't thank Detective Mike Menikotz [who worked the case] enough. He always updated me. He was a godsend."

Esther said her brother was like a father to her three sons.

"He was never bitter about what happened to him," she said. "He always had a smile on his face, and if you walked into a room before you got a chance to ask him how he was feeling, he was asking you how you were doing.

"He was just so loving and caring. I never saw so many people at a funeral as I saw at his."

At Alini's home last night, Ralph's brother, Joey, 49, said the family was in shock.

"My family's all nervous," he said, adding that his brother "is holding up bad."

"I think they got him for the wrong thing," he said. "They just took him and they didn't say nothing. They just said, 'We're taking you down to the 78th Precinct.' "

Joey Alini said their elderly parents, Salvatore, 87, and Connie, 80, were "very upset."

"My family feels very bad," he said. "He's a good guy."

Additional reporting by Tom Liddy

--------------

My question: would jailing Alini be considered double-jeopardy? After all, he did serve time for the assault, and the case was closed. And while Colon's death may have been caused by the injuries he suffered years ago during the shooting, Alini already did his time for the crime.

On the other hand, murder is a new charge, so double jeopardy may not accrue. Alini only served time for assault, not murder.

In Jewish law, there would be no case... a capital murder case requires the PROXIMAL cause of death to be the actions of the perpetrator, and that death must happen within 24 hours of the assault. In a case where death occured days, wekks, months or years later, it would not be considered murder. It would, however, be considered a crime and the perpetrator would be punished. But it would not be a capital offense.

Strange case. Comments, anyone?

kindj answered on 10/21/05:

That IS bizarre. It seems to me that, if he's convicted, this could set a dangerous precedent.

If I hit someone in a fight, and do whatever time I would do for A&B, and the person whom I hit dies 45 years later, and the quac....uh, ME determines that a floating bone chip from the cheekbone I hit 45 years ago caused a cerebral hemmorhage, am I liable for murder?

If you ask me, the lawyers are reaching here. I'm inclined to THINK that a judge would toss it out on 4th Amendment grounds, but as you say, murder is a whole new charge, and there's no statute of limitations on murder.

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Question/Answer
sapphire630 asked on 10/19/05 - God bless our Politically correct system

Don't ya just love it

Saddam refuses to cooperate with his court hearing because he doesn't recognise it and he gets them to cater to his ways. If I went into court acting the exact same way all I would get would be fined for contempt of court and whatever goes along with that
30 days I would suppose.

kindj answered on 10/19/05:

"Thirty days in the hole
That's what they give you.
Thirty days in the hole..."

M. Jagger and friends

Whoops! Ol' SH has ALREADY been in the hole! That's where he was found! Wonder what else they could do...

Maybe tomorrow he'll remember all the faces and the place and he'll recognise it then...

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 10/12/05 - Tracking sex offenders - Not!


Hello:

Ive been watching with morbid fascination at the fumbling in-ability of government to track sex offenders. Of course, tracking them doesnt work when we rely upon the sex offenders themselves, to do their own tracking.

But, lets for a minute, consider that tracking really does work. So what? Does the little girl, who was brutally raped, really care that the cops nailed the perp because they knew where he lived? No, she doesnt.

I propose the following solution: A tiny microchip could be implanted under the skin of a sex offender. An tiny alarm worn around the neck of children would/could go off when the sex offender comes within, say, 500 feet. Depending on the sophistication of the equipment, the individual offender can be identified. He can be tracked in real time from a satellite or helicopter. He could be disabled from a distance by the push of a button. I suggest that this technology is available today.

The civil libertarian in me doesnt see any conflict, either. How about you?

excon

kindj answered on 10/12/05:

I have a better solution:

Anyone who commits a sex crime against children will only know about the outside world from the month-old newspapers they're allowed to read.

Then, we don't HAVE to track them.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 10/11/05 - Didja see the Nwalins cops?


Hello Law and Orderites:


Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

If you think your cops are different,

Chortle, snort, hee, hee, hee

excon

kindj answered on 10/12/05:

Which is why I personally believe that the responsibility for my safety and that of my family falls to ME FIRST, with the cops' job being to simply clean up the mess afterward, and the courts' job is to prosecute whatever offenders may survive.

DK

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 10/06/05 - From Bush's Speech Today

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush sought Thursday to revive waning public support for the war in Iraq, accusing militants of seeking to establish a ``radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia'' with Iraq serving as the main front.

Islamic radicals are being sheltered by ``allies of convenience like Syria and Iran,'' Bush declared in a speech before the National Endowment for Democracy.

He said the United States and its allies had foiled at least 10 plots by the al-Qaida terror network in the four years since the Sept. 11 terror attacks - three of them in the United States - and he warned other nations not to support or harbor groups with al-Qaida ties."

Comments about these specific remarks??
Thanks

kindj answered on 10/06/05:

Well, I think he's wrong about a "radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia."
If we are to believe what these Islami-terrorists say, then that's just a start. They will not stop until they control the entire globe.

Syria I can see, Iran not so much. But hey, terrorism makes for strange bedfellows, I guess.

As to how many plots have been foiled I have no idea. It's certainly plausible. In reality, I suspect the number of terrorist plots of ANY organization that has been foiled would scare the daylights out of the average American, yet it's business as usual for that branch of our government.

The terrorism in Iraq will never stop. As long as they can slip in and out of neighboring countries, we'll never catch them all. The best solution is to train the Iraqis to the best of our ability and leave them to it. Otherwise, we'll be set up there for years and years to come. Some say that's exactly what Bush wants, but I'm not so sure.

DK

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 10/05/05 - Shocking Revelation

A foreign spy worked in the White House in the office of the Vice President....Al Gore and Dick Cheney's Vice Presidencies.

See the following article: ABC NEWS Oct. 5, 2005 "Both the FBI and CIA are calling it the first case of espionage in the White House in modern history.

Officials tell ABC News the alleged spy worked undetected at the White House for almost three years. Leandro Aragoncillo, 46, was a U.S. Marine most recently assigned to the staff of Vice President Dick Cheney.



"I don't know of a case where the vetting broke down before and resulted in a spy being in the White House," said Richard Clarke, a former White House advisor who is now an ABC News consultant.

Federal investigators say Aragoncillo, a naturalized citizen from the Philippines, used his top secret clearance to steal classified intelligence documents from White House computers.

In 2000, Aragoncillo worked on the staff of then-Vice President Al Gore. When interviewed by Philippine television, he remarked how valued Philippine employees were at the White House.

"I think what they like most is our integrity and loyalty," Aragoncillo said.

Classified Material Transferred by E-Mail

Officials say the classified material, which Aragoncillo stole from the vice president's office, included damaging dossiers on the president of the Philippines. He then passed those on to opposition politicians planning a coup in the Pacific nation.

"Even though it's not for the Russians or some other government, the fact that it occurred at the White House is a matter of great concern," said John Martin, who was the government's lead espionage prosecutor for 26 years.

Last year, after leaving the Marines, Aragoncillo was caught by the FBI while he worked for the Bureau at an intelligence center at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

According to a criminal complaint, Aragoncillo was arrested last month and accused of downloading more than 100 classified documents from FBI computers.

"The information was transferred mostly by e-mails," said U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie at the time of Aragoncillo's arrest.

Since that arrest, officials say Aragoncillo has started to cooperate. He has admitted to spying while working on the staff of Vice President Cheney's office.

Comments?

kindj answered on 10/06/05:

I read that this morning also.

I wish I could say I was shocked, but I'm really not. Surprised, yes, but not shocked.

This is proof positive that those professionals who inhabit the espionage industry are very, very good, and there is no nation, especially ours in the US, that can catch all of them.

I don't blame anyone, these guys are just good. What will the fallout be? Time will tell.

Here's another possibility though, even if it sounds James Bond-ish and outrageous: Whose to say just WHO placed him there? Perhaps it's a clandestine way of the US getting someone in a position to further US interests in a region without it being "official" US foreign policy.

After all, the watchword of the CIA has always been "plausible deniability."

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 10/05/05 - If youre easily offended, get out of the country

Oct 3, 2005
by Mike S. Adams

Dear David (pseudonym):

Thanks so much for writing www.DrAdams.org for assistance with your free speech problem. Sadly, you were the fourth college student to write yesterday with a claim that your university is attempting to nullify your speech because it made someone feel uncomfortable.

As I understand it, on Friday, September 23, you were asked by the Office of Residential Life to remove a poster you made and later displayed facing the quad at your school in Illinois. At a very liberal school, I know that you constantly have to put up with liberal views and very rarely get to hear a conservative argument in any classroom setting. I am sure you put up the poster expressing your discouragement with the conservative-bashing that you often have to face.

Initially, let me say two things about the poster you printed off your computer, which said If You Hate America or its Leaders, then Get the Hell Out.: 1) I would never display such a poster because I think it contributes to inaccurate stereotypes about campus conservatives, and 2) Because I disagree with the content of your speech, I am even more inclined to defend it.

I am also ready to assist you because of the specific reason given by the person who approached you from the Office of Residential Life. I believe they told you someone was offended by the poster.

Even though you indicated you are often offended by some of the signs and messages of certain organizations on campus, I am glad you have never asserted a perceived constitutional right to be un-offended. That means you have the moral high ground in this case, especially since the representative from the Office of Residence Life informed you that you could be expelled from college if you left the sign up.

Although I am certain the person who complained is simply trying to suppress your views, I am willing to bet that they are, in part, making an issue out of your use of the word hell. Of course, I have taken the time to investigate your school and have noticed that The Vagina Monologues has been performed on your campus.

Furthermore, I found the following poem in a recent school-sponsored publication:

Sometimes silence is a dragon,
festering, flecked with
pox, manholes from which men,
tipping their hats, emerge, spouting
prophecies in one-word barks

b**ch, whore,
C**t

and with a smile smug they shrink
below, swallowed safely by
Earths bowels only to
surface, when, spying
another pair of nyloned legs, they
fling their s**t and she
has to soak her shoes again.
Dragons rise to be slain,
I think, so pass word
on to the village: we must
band and roar like the tempest.

Certainly, your school cannot promote a very bad poem using the v-word, the b-word, and the c-word and then with a straight face ban the use of the word hell. So, heres what I want you to do, David. I want you to take your sign down and replace it with another one saying If You Hate America or its Leaders, then Get the Heck Out.

After you do this, your accuser will have to file a new complaint over the new sign. The new complaint will prove conclusively that he is really after the content of your speech, not its form. In other words, he does not care about the use of the word hell. After the second complaint is filed, I want you to comply again by taking down that second sign. Then, I want you to replace it with a third sign that reads as follows:

If you are easily offended by free speech, get the hell out of the country.

Having already established that hell is not offensive, we will then be able to see whether the complainant objects to the new idea reflected in the new poster.

If he does, he will be in the awkward position of making the following argument:

I think that speech decrying censorship is offensive and should be censored.

But if he does try to have this third sign removed, please comply once again.

Then, I would like for you to replace the third sign with a fourth and final sign that reads as follows:

This college is a bastion of censorship (or perhaps This college is run by intolerant and childish censors).

If they allow you to leave this fourth sign up, you will have won and the administration will wish they had never picked a fight with you. If they ask you to take it down, you should refuse to do so and go immediately to the press and to the alumni association. This is a win-win situation for you. It is also going to be (pardon the language) a hell of a lot of fun.

Oh, and one more thing, David. You wrote that the College Republicans at your school may be interested in scheduling (me) for a lecture and would like more information on how to do that. That is no problem. Just contact the Young Americas Foundation at www.yaf.org. In fact, I am already working on the speech. Heres how the first line will read:

If you are easily offended by free speech, get the hell out of college.

If this controversy is not resolved immediately after this column is published, we will name names and, of course, print phone and fax numbers. This is America, David. We will defeat these tyrants. Whether we do it the easy way or the hard way remains to be seen.

To be continued

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Maybe Bush should have picked Adams instead of Miers?

Steve

kindj answered on 10/05/05:

Pretty slick, that's for sure. I like the way he wants to force the university and/or the complainant to specifically define the issues they have a problem with. Like so many other political fights, I have a feeling that the truth, if and when it is exposed, will be rather ugly.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 10/03/05 - Chalabi on 60 minutes

I was watching the Chalabi segment on 60 minutes last night ( text here )and it occured to me that maybe the Chalabi snub a year ago was an elaborate misdirection intended to allow Chalabi to gain legitimacy among the Iraqi people who may have otherwise thought him to be a 'puppet 'of the United States .

He said in the interview of the Bush Adminstrations raids on his home :This liberated me in front of the Iraqi people, ..."It clarified my relationship with the United States. I am not beholden to the United States after what they did to me."....

I didnt sell out from any from the Iraqi people. My loyalty is primarily to the Iraqi people, not to the Americans, ....Im a democrat and I didn't give it away. I fight for things. Look at the constitution. The constitution is good. President Bush went on television saying it's a great document. It will change the Middle East.


other quotes :
(he) says that Iraq is a country full of hope with a constitution and freedom, despite the fact that many Americans have a picture of a country falling apart. We have brought down a totalitarian regime, and the United States helped us for that. It is a matter of patience.

And he thinks the chances of Iraq becoming a theocracy like Iran are very small. Close to zero.


Sounds like the type of leader we would want in Iraq.


kindj answered on 10/03/05:

Nation building is such a tricky, nasty game that a misdirection like that falls totally in the realm of possibility.

In any event, yes, he sounds like a fine leader for the country. Especially if he can actually pull off the things he says.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 10/03/05 - Harriet Miers .Is he another Stealth candidate ?

The press is announcing that Bush will select Harriet Miers as the next ass. Supreme Court justice. Assuming this is true ; have to admit I am a little flummoxed . I know very little about her. She was Bush's personal lawyer.

Her personal bio adds

Before joining the Presidents staff, she was Co-Managing Partner at Locke Liddell & Sapp, LLP from 1998-2000. She had worked at the Locke Purnell, Rain & Harrell firm, or its predecessor, from 1972 until its merger with the Liddell Sapp firm. From 1995 until 2000, she was chair of the Texas Lottery Commission. In 1992, Harriet became the first woman president of the Texas State Bar, and in 1985 she became the first woman president of the Dallas Bar Association. She also served as a Member-At-Large on the Dallas City Council.

Bush once publicly introduced Miers as a "pit bull in size 6 shoes." But I have no idea what he means by that . David Frum of NRO wrote :"Keep an eye on Harriet Miers, White House counsel. Miers was the first woman president of the Texas Bar Association, a co-managing partner of a 400-lawyer firm in Texas, a one-time Dallas city councilor, and by the by, the personal lawyer to one George W. Bush. She joined his staff as governor, served as staff secretary (Richard Darman's old job) in the first administration, and now oversees the White House's legal work."

I have a feeling that this appointment has more to do with cronyism more than Bush's stated desire to appoint 'conservative in the mode of Scalia and Thomas'.





kindj answered on 10/03/05:

Believe it or not, I find myself agreeing somewhat with Schumer:

>>Sen. Charles Schumer, the ranking Democrat on the Senate subcommittee for administrative oversight and the courts, said in a statement that we know even less about Harriet Miers than we did about John Roberts and because this is the critical swing seat on the court, Americans will need to know a lot more about Miers judicial philosophy and legal background before any vote for confirmation.<<

Of course, my question is since when does Schumer (or ANY member of Congress) really care what "Americans" think compared to what does their party line say?

However, I would also like a bit more information myself, as I'm not willing to back her unconditionally simply based on who nominated her. Of course, the Senate Minority Leader actually urged the administration to look at her. My question is "why?"

The "no judicial experience" thing intrigues me, though. Might that be not such a bad thing? I briefly entertained the idea of running for a small state office, since the average Joe is what USED to run for office, rather than the career politicians. Our mayor (who's a real piece of s...ummm...work), asked me publically how I thought I was qualified, having no political experience. I told him, publically, that electing professional politicians with all this "political experience" is what's gotten us INTO this mess to begin with. That statement alone got me about another 13 or 14 percent of the voter's support.

"Politics as usual" has gotten us the situation we've had for year. Might we say the same about "judiciary as usual?" A fresh perspective might not be bad. After all, when you really look at it, Constitutional Law was never intended to be all that difficult. Undergrads in certain college majors are required to take it, and none that I knew ever came out saying it was all that bad. Now, business law is another story altogether...

I dunno. I'm just going to have to see what information comes out about her. I am also concerned about the nomination being a "good ol' boy" nomination. After all, IF in fact judicial experience is that much of a factor, there must be several other potential candidates out there serving on benches right now. A judge out of the Northern District of Texas--Mary Lou Robinson--is a pretty tough lady, like Margaret Thatcher in a robe. This gal CANNOT be shaken. Of course, if I remember correctly, she only deals in criminal cases, so that might not be broad enough experience...

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 09/30/05 - This might explain it

during Katrina the news caught on tape N.O. police looting a store .According to a New Orleans police spokesman, they weren't actually looting ..

He rejected the use of the term "looting" but said authorities were investigating "the possibility of appropriation of non-essential items during the height of Katrina, from businesses."

ok then ......




kindj answered on 09/30/05:

Sounds like "how do you define the word 'is'", to me.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 09/30/05 - Bush has no clue!


Hello experts:

Heres a good example of why we are in deep, deep doo doo in Iraq. The president's confidante, Karen Hughes, has been on a "listening tour" of the Middle East. After meeting with Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, the academic center of Sunni Islam, she said it was a "wonderful meeting," because the two of them were able to talk "about the common language of the heart."

Hearing Hughes talk about Sheikh Tantawi, you could almost forget what he said in 2002, as translated from a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), when he called on Palestinian Muslims to "intensify the martyrdom operations against the Zionist enemy" men, women and children and described the barbarous slaughter as "the highest form of Jihad operations" and "a legitimate act according to (Islamic) law." Maybe that's the "spirit of love" Hughes was gushing about.

Then there was what Sheikh Tantawi said in 2003, also reported by MEMRI, when he called for jihad against U.S. forces in Iraq. "Jihad is an obligation for every Muslim when Muslim countries are subject to aggression," he explained. "The gates of Jihad are open until the Day of Judgment, and he who denies this is an infidel or one who abandons his religion."

Amazingly, even after everything we've been through, Bush, Hughes, and her advisors are still unaware of who is a terrorist and who is not.

excon

kindj answered on 09/30/05:

Maybe, maybe not. I'm fairly certain that various members in the administration have longer memories than that. I'm also fairly certain that Hughes' "meeting" with Tantawi was as much an intel gathering meeting as an "establishing relations" meeting. There are very few people who are actually stupid enough to honestly believe that Tantawi would change his overall worldview in less than two years.

What may have happened is that he saw his "allied" getting smeared all over the map, and getting very few dead Americans in return. And yes, in the overall numbers and in this guy's mind, 2000 is very few. Upon seeing this, he may have decided that a more sugary sweet facade might be in his best interests. I have zero doubt that his goal remains just exactly what it was earlier, only his approach has changed.

I have serious doubts and questions about the current status and competence of our intelligence assets, but I feel fairly certain that they're not buying his huggy-kissy BS for one second.

On the homefront, if the administration had started making noises about yet another dangerous enemy, what would the political naysayers do then?

He is either accused of taking nothing seriously, or everything too seriously.

I feel that the government as a whole, not merely the administration, will be watching this guy with keen interest. There's no need to splash that all over every newspaper in America.

DK

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/29/05 - Clinton gives Death Blow to IFC

"Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday dealt a crushing blow to the International Freedom Center planned for Ground Zero, saying she wants the project canned for failing to listen to the 9/11 families.

"I cannot support the IFC," Clinton declared last night in a strongly worded statement in response to an inquiry from The Post.

Her tough comments are Clinton's first significant remarks about the controversy raging at Ground Zero over the Freedom Center, which 9/11 families and other critics fear will become a center of anti-Americanism.

"While I want to ensure that development and rebuilding in lower Manhattan move forward expeditiously, I am troubled by the serious concerns family members and first responders have expressed to me," Clinton said.

"The LMDC [Lower Manhattan Development Corp.] has authority over the site and I do not believe we can move forward until it heeds and addresses their concerns."

The family members of victims, as well as unions representing the city's cops and firefighters, want nothing less than the Freedom Center being booted from Ground Zero.

Given her influence, Clinton's hard line could spell doom for the Freedom Center's hopes of remaining at the World Trade Center site.

Clinton spoke out the day after the IFC released a plan intended to save its spot at the site, but it was met with immediate opposition from 9/11 families.

Clinton won't support any plan unless the families and first responders back it, said her spokesman, Philippe Reines.

Many relatives of 9/11 victims denounced the Freedom Center plan as an insult to the 2,749 people who diedat the Twin Towers because it would paint them as a little more than a footnote to the world's march toward freedom.

The families, cops and firefighters say the IFC's plan to use hallowed land at Ground Zero to highlight poverty as a barrier to freedom diminishes the tragedy of 9/11.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also voiced concern yesterday and called for a compromise although he didn't state flat-out opposition to the Freedom Center.

"There's got to be a way to meet the families' sincere and real needs and build a center that honors the freedom that the victims died for. We hope that the LMDC will find some common ground quickly," Schumer said.

Gov. Pataki who wields strong influence over the LMDC, which will soon decide the Freedom Center's fate is traveling abroad and has yet to take a stand on the Freedom Center's latest proposal. Pataki has said thathe won't support any plan that offers a forum for anti-Americanism.

Clinton's opposition means that the anti-IFC push is now a bipartisan cause. Three New York Republicans Reps. John Sweeney (Saratoga), Peter King (L.I.) and Vito Fossella (S.I.) are already challenging it as a "blame America first" project.

Yesterday, the trio of Republicans formally requested a congressional oversight hearing as a step toward blocking the IFC from getting any of the $2.7 billion in federal funds allocated for Ground Zero.

"The whole thing was hijacked. If you asked people on the street what they wanted at Ground Zero, this would be the last thing that they wanted," Sweeney said."


I read up on the IFC.

We have to give Hillary her props!

kindj answered on 09/30/05:

You bet! Good for her!

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 09/28/05 - DeLay Indicted but Frist was First


Hello wrongwingers:

The Republicans is toast. You got a "Burning Bush", "Dr. Frist the First", and "I'm Delighted He's Indicted", Delay.

Now, If da Dems can only figure out what they're about, I wager they'll retake both houses of congress plus the White House.

excon

kindj answered on 09/28/05:

I personally think we should fire the whole lot of them--Dems and Reps alike--and start over with REAL people like us. We don't always agree here, but we're sure as heck not a bunch of silver spooners with personal agendas.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 09/27/05 - In Two Storms, Two Worlds Seen?

Monday September 26, 2005 10:31 PM
By TOM RAUM

WASHINGTON (AP) - Whatever the reasons, residents of heavily Republican Texas seemed to get better treatment from the government during Hurricane Rita than the mostly black, poor and Democratic victims of Katrina in Louisiana. The issue of race is likely to linger in the aftermath of the two big storms.

Government mistakes in the first storm, including failure to provide a means of evacuation for tens of thousands of New Orleans residents stranded in flooding low-lying areas, exposed racial and social fault lines.

These divides may be reinforced, rather than diminished, by the government's far more robust response to Hurricane Rita.

Texas is the president's home state, has a Republican governor and is the home of big oil. New Orleans before Katrina was heavily populated by poor blacks who vote Democratic.

With Katrina, ``poor folks were told to evacuate and they had no means to do it. In Texas, we had a different type of situation. But even there, the local, state and government failed those people,'' said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. ``Not to the extent they did with Katrina. But there's no question that affluency made a heck of a difference.''

President Bush, vacationing at his Texas ranch as Katrina approached in late August, was a whirlwind of activity this time. He bounded from one command post to another over the weekend to monitor Rita, first to Colorado, then to Texas and then to Louisiana. He went to the Energy Department on Monday for a briefing, and planned to visit storm-affected areas in Texas on Tuesday.

The evacuation of some three million residents ahead of Rita kept casualties tiny. Armies of rescuers, relief workers and U.S. troops swept through stricken areas. Officials at all levels of government could be seen working together.

It provided a marked contrast to the Katrina images beamed around the world: families stranded on rooftops, looters in devastated neighborhoods, refugees huddled in the Superdome and Convention Center, floating bodies, the president catching his first glimpse of the destruction two days after the storm from a window on Air Force One.

``Rita was Bush putting on a show,'' said David Bositis, a senior political analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a think tank focused on black issues. ``Bush and his people took a lot of heavy hits in their response to Katrina. They wanted to be sure that this time around they projected an image of effectiveness.''

Bositis said Bush's performance did next to nothing to improve his deeply unpopular image among blacks.

Bush and Republican party chief Ken Mehlman have worked to cultivate blacks, including overtures to black ministers, in hopes of giving the party a better shot at luring black votes in the future. Bush got 9 percent of the black vote in 2000 and 11 percent in 2004, according to exit polls.

The president met privately on Friday with NAACP President Bruce Gordon. ``They ... talked about ways we can work together on shared priorities,'' said Bush spokesman Scott McClellan.

Bush's advocacy of ``faith-based'' government initiatives and opposition to gay marriage resonated among some blacks in 2004, analysts suggested.

``Now, Katrina is a bellwether issue for a lot of people. And it means it's going to complicate his relationship with some of these ministers and their parishioners,'' said Ron Walters, a political science professor at the University of Maryland who specializes in black politics.

Many blacks ``have deep emotional questions'' on the treatment of storm victims, Walters said. ``A lot of these people are their kin. The social network of the black community is spread throughout the South.''

Bush, asked by a reporter on Monday about suggestions by some blacks that the administration is insensitive to the plight of urban blacks, said: ``I can assure you that the response efforts and now the recovery efforts are aimed at saving everybody.''

Still, he said, the hurricanes exposed Americans to a view of ``some poverty they had never imagined before. And we have to address that, whether it be rural or urban.''

In an AP-Ipsos poll earlier this month, three-fourths of blacks surveyed felt the government would have responded faster if the victims of Katrina weren't poor and mostly black; just 25 percent of whites felt that way.

Democrats have seized on the divide as political ammunition for upcoming 2006 midterm elections. ``Bush's failed leadership on African Americans,'' trumpets a Democratic National Committee press release.

Suggesting inflated rhetoric on both sides, Earl Black, a political scientist at Rice University in Houston, said: ``My view is that it's probably not wise for anybody to make too much partisan hay out of tragedies.''

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Damned if he does and damned if he doesn't again.

Why is the issue of race likely to linger? Could it be because the left wants it to linger? Why do a majority of blacks think the Katrina response would have been better if most of the victims weren't poor/black? Could it be because they've been told repeatedly Bush doesn't care about them? Did the response to Rita have anything to do with Bush's Texas ties, his Republican base there, his big oil buddies? Did affluency make a difference? What's the truth here...or does anybody even care?

Steve

kindj answered on 09/27/05:

So much spin here I'm getting dizzy. Did all levels of government fail to some degree? Yes. Again, yes. We've been over that, no need to beat the dead horse.

>>Government mistakes in the first storm, including failure to provide a means of evacuation for tens of thousands of New Orleans residents stranded...<<

WHICH government made the mistakes? Clarification would be nice here.

>>New Orleans before Katrina was heavily populated by poor blacks who vote Democratic.<<

So is Atlanta, GA and Detroit, MI. So what? Detroit burns it's own freakin' city every Halloween. Is that a white dude's fault, too?

>>With Katrina, ``poor folks were told to evacuate and they had no means to do it.<<

The means were there. They just weren't put into action by the mayor, WHO IS ALSO BLACK!! See how stupid this race card is getting?

One line says, "In Texas, we had a different type of situation. But even there, the local, state and government failed those people,'" A couple lines later, we read, "Armies of rescuers, relief workers and U.S. troops swept through stricken areas. Officials at all levels of government could be seen working together." Who wrote this, Michael Moore?


>>Bush and his people took a lot of heavy hits in their response to Katrina. They wanted to be sure that this time around they projected an image of effectiveness.''<<

They scream, "FIX IT!! FIX IT!! FIX IT!!" Then when they fix it, they say it's political pandering. What will satisfy these people?

>>The social network of the black community is spread throughout the South.'' <<

The social network of the white community is spread throughout the nation. The social network of the hispanic community is spread throughout the nation. The social network of Native Americans is spread throughout the nation. The social network of Asian immigrants is spread throughout the nation. Again I ask: So what? Out of one side of their mouths they're screaming about how we're all the same. Out of the other, they're capitalizing on differences. They really need to make up their mind.

>>the hurricanes exposed Americans to a view of ``some poverty they had never imagined before. And we have to address that, whether it be rural or urban.''<<

Where the hell have THESE people been? We've had poverty since the founding of this nation, and the only people that don't see it on a semi-regular basis are the super-rich country-clubbers and the Hollyweird elitist crowd (who hire bodyguards to protect them from the poor, who after all might be a criminal). 95 percent of America deals with poverty AT SOME LEVEL, IN SOME WAY every day! We see it as we drive to work. We see it in the people we serve at work (for those of us in social service). We see it on the news. We see it when Sally Struthers cries on some infomercial. And a pretty fair amount of us see it every damn day when we go home (universal "we").

Choux will disagree, and that's fine. But I've lived a while myself, and lived all over the country and all over the world. I've seen first-hand things that others only hear about.

I'm sick and tired of the racial crap. People scream that we're all alike, then as soon as something doesn't go their way, scream that someone or other is racist. They need to grow the hell up and take responsibility for their own lives, whoever they are.

You want to make a color blind nation? Take out every survey question, every application question, every college application question, every scholarship application question, any question anywhere that asks, "What is your ethnic background?" or "What is your racial group?"

As soon as they do that, I'll believe that someone really actually cares about making this a color blind nation.

But they won't.

DK




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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 09/23/05 - Roberts vote in the Judiciary committee

Even though John Roberts called Roe V Wade settled law ;and even affirmed subsequent abortion rights decisions as precedent . Even though these very announcements went further than other nominees who were accepted were willing to declare in testimonmy .Even though after the Democrats warned President Bush not to select an ideologue ;and he complied by picking Roberts who is universally recognized as a well qualified ,intelligent jurist .Even though the selection of Roberts will in no way change the balance of the court . Even with all this ;Roberts had 5 Democrat Senators who voted against his nomination in committee ;and a slew of them have announced that they will not vote for him in the full Senate vote .

Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy ;party heavy weights (in Teddy's case more ways than one) both voted against him . So did Schmuck Shumer ;Dicky Durbin ,and Dianne Feinstein ;no real suprises here . All 5 are completely out of touch ,and beholden to the special interests ;and bloggers who control the agenda of the Democrats . Kudos to Patrick Leahy (the ranking Democrat on the committee),Herbert Kohl and Russell Feingold who understand that what they are getting in Roberts is exactly what they asked for ....a moderate conservative .

I am a little suprised at Barak Obama .Obama went to the Senate floor to announce that he, too, will oppose Roberts' nomination. When the Congressional Black Caucus announced its opposition to Roberts , Obama, declined to take a position. But I guess he did not want to break ranks with fellow Ill. Senator Durbin .

Anyway . What I really find interesting is the Democrat split on this vote 5-3 . Does this represent a big division in the Democrats ? Could it be that there is a small 35 % or so of them that are not hopelessly beholden to Moveon.org ?

kindj answered on 09/23/05:

I was not surprised at all about Kennedy, Shumer, or Feinstein. However, I too was surprised at Obama's stance. What you say about not wanting to make waves on the homefront may be true, though.

In any event, it shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that what the ultra-liberals want is NOT a well-balanced, moderate individual. They want someone who will swallow their wacko agendas hook, line, and sinker, and the actual LAW be damned.

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 09/14/05 - Secure Defensible Borders ?

Israeli military sources said hundreds of weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank rockets and bomb components, have been smuggled over the last three days from the Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip.

The sources said Palestinian insurgents brought the equipment from Egypt in wake of the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

So far, more than 10,000 Palestinians have crossed the Gaza border and made their way to towns in eastern and northern Sinai. The sources said they included hundreds of operatives from Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, some of whom directed the flow of Palestinians into Sinai.

On Wednesday, Egyptian authorities continued to allow thousands of Palestinians to freely enter Sinai, Middle East Newsline reported. Many of the Palestinians were said to have made their to Rafah and El Arish. El Arish, the largest town in the Sinai, has been a major way-station for weapons smuggling to Palestinian insurgency groups.
"In the first moments of Israel's abandoning of Gaza they smuggled weapons," Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Yuval Steinitz said. "The ink on the agreement has not even dried and the Philadelphi route [Egyptian-Gaza border] is being used for massive weapons smuggling."

"I am not optimistic," Col. Yoav Mordechai, the outgoing military liasion with the Gaza Strip, said. "We are walking on very thin ice. One attack could result in major retaliation by the military."

The sources said the PA has ordered SA-7 surface-to-air missiles from Egyptian smugglers in the Sinai. They said the amount of weapons brought to the Gaza Strip this week exceeded the volume of that smuggled via tunnels in all of 2005.

"Many of these weapons, particularly the anti-aircraft missiles, had been stored in eastern Sinai, but could not be brought into the Gaza Strip at least not in large quantities because of our presence along the border," a source said. "These stockpiles are now being depleted."

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has warned that Israel would not honor its commitments to ensure the free flow of people and goods to and from the Gaza Strip unless its border with Egypt was immediately closed. Mofaz also ordered the military to reinforce its presence along the new border with the Gaza Strip.

"This [smuggling] not only harms us but Egyptian sovereignty," Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry's political-military division, said. "We have relayed our feelings to the Egyptians. They claim that they haven't completed their [border] preparations."

The military sources said many of these Palestinians could seek to infiltrate Israel from the Sinai.

"They are exploiting this for the smuggling of weapons and ammunition," Gilad said. "They could use this for attacks. If this continues for too long, it could mark a precedent."

[On late Tuesday, Palestinian insurgents hurled a grenade toward an Israeli military patrol in a kibbutz adjacent to the northern Gaza Strip. Hours later, Palestinian insurgents opened fire toward Israeli soldiers around the evacuated Jewish community of Kadim in the northern West Bank.]

PA officials have acknowledged that arms smuggling to the Gaza Strip has intensified. They said Egypt and the PA would impose order by the weekend.

Egypt plans to complete the deployment of 750 police commandos along the 14-kilometer Gaza-Egypt border by next week. But the sources said the military, despite a border security agreement signed earlier this month, doubts whether Egypt would stop the flow of weapons to the Gaza Strip.

At a counter-terrorism conference of the Herzliya-based Institute of Counter-Terrorism, Israel Navy deputy commander Rear Adm. Yuval Zur said the PA would use the new Israeli-approved port south of Gaza City to import large amounts of weapons. Zur said the PA has sought to obtain anti-aircraft missiles, medium-range rockets, assault rifles and ammunition.

"It [the Gaza port] will help the transformation from smuggling to import," Zur said on Tuesday.

....................................................

Do you think the Israelis made themselves safer by the Gaza withdrawal ?

another article from Gaza : describes the desecration and torching of Jewish Temples in Gaza . So now we have them destroying Temples in Gaza ;churches in Bethlehem ;and Buddist statues in Afghanistan . Imagine the world reaction and the Muslim reaction if a Mosque were simularily destroyed ?



kindj answered on 09/15/05:

Absolutely not. I thought it was a bad idea from the start and this simply confirms it.

>>They said Egypt and the PA would impose order by the weekend.<<

If the rate of weapons inflow is even half of what was reported, then by the weekend they will have more than enough for a major offensive against Israel. As usual, it's too little, too late.

Of course, I don't think that Egypt really wants to stop it.

If pressed, I'm sure the Palestinians would say that the weapons are for defense against Israeli aggression.

Haven't seen any cases of Israeli aggression myself. I HAVE seen some cases of retaliation and defense, however.

They got what they SAID they wanted, yet the attacks continue. Hmmmmmmm....could it be that their REAL goal is the one that they've stated all along, the "elimination of Jews from the face of the earth?"


DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 09/10/05 - Government - ALL of it


Hello Reds and Blues:

ALL government doesn't work. Why blame the state and local and not the feds? Why blame the feds and not the state and local dudes?

They would love to have you play that game, in the hopes that you won't recognize the reality of my first paragraph. They also hope that it will prevent you from noticing the poor.

To those of you playing one side or the other, is your politics showing?

excon

kindj answered on 09/12/05:

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: They ALL suck. True, some suck less than others, but even the lesser suckers still suck.

I say give us national security, help with the interstate infrastructure, have some basic laws that apply equally across the board with no favoritism, and then leave the rest to us.

DK

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 09/10/05 - Sluggish Kitchen Sink Drain

(This isn't about politics, but plumbing doesn't appear on the home page, and if I leave it there, it will die a slow death).


Double sink in kitchen - each sink has a drain that U's into a common drain. When I run the water (either sink) it rises above the drain opening and slowly fills the bowl. Then, water off, the drainage is slow.

Over the last few days, I've tried two servings of Liquid Plummer (2 different times), and one of Drano. Neither has worked.

Thanks.

kindj answered on 09/12/05:

Go to your local hardware store, purchase a manual pipe snake for about 15 to 20 dollars. Unscrew fittings from underneath sink at the closest point to the sink. Run the snake as far as possible through all pipes. Be prepared to gag at the odor of what will come out. Once clog(s) are removed, tighten all fittings and flush sinks with boiling water (a quart or so each). Pat yourself on back for saving 50 to 70 dollar service call. Reinvest money into something nice for wife. She will not only admire you for your manly pipe-unclogging skills, but will see that you are a sensitive, 21st century kind of guy. Save snake for future occurances.

Try not to use that drain-o stuff, as it not only eats clogs (sometimes), but eats away at the walls of your pipes (all the time). If you have an older house with a main line that is clay or cast iron, drain-o is a very bad idea indeed.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 09/09/05 - Flight 93 Memorial

I just read that there is a bit of controversy brewing over the design of the flight 93 memorial .Some bonehead wants to make it with a row of maple trees in the shape of a crescent ,a so called "Crescent of Embrace" .In the fall during foliage change it will resemble a red Muslim crescent .

Is this really the sort of symbol we want commemorating the crash of Flight 93 .I'm pretty sure this is just an innocent oversight but really ... it looks more like a memorial to the hijackers to me.

kindj answered on 09/09/05:

It almost seems like the only people no one wants to offend are the perpetrators.

I agree with Choux: a living memorial is a GREAT idea. I'd prefer a cross, a Star of David, a regular star, an airplane, a circle, a square, an octagon, or even a skull and crossbones over the crescent.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 09/07/05 - Pretty quiet over here


Hello: excon to republi-cons:

Of course, I'M embarrassed, but I've always known Bush was a dufus. I think his remarks and actions over the last few days confirms that. This time, I think he's done for.

However, I've thought that before, and he's proved me wrong. What do you, the Bush supporter, think? Please don't spin it, like he can't prevent hurricanes... That's just dumb.

excon

kindj answered on 09/07/05:

It's hard to spin the facts when no one has the slightest idea about what the facts ARE. No one seems to be saying anything with substance.

Me, I've kept a bit of a distance from the political end of this, focusing instead on what I can do to help the victims. I figure I can blast the responsible (or irresponsible) parties once the smoke has cleared and we have a better idea of what REALLY went on.

I know we expect a lot of our Presidents, even more when they're not the guy WE voted for. I had a tendency to be pretty hard on ol' Bubba C., but still had to admit when he did stuff right.

They said we went into Afghanistan too quickly, without really considering everything. But we went into New Orleans too slowly, because perhaps they were considering options. I know, I know, that's two totally different things. Bad example.

Fact is, the state and local governments are responsible for the initial disaster relief plans, including prevention (as in "levees"). My understanding is that there were over 7,000 Louisiana Nat'l Guardsmen standing by in their armories, waiting to go. But no one gave the order. Since it's a state thing, the feds CANNOT order the state guards to do anything. I heard through the grapevine that Bush (or someone in his office) made a VERY strong suggestion that the governor get off her thumb and do little things like order the evacuation (or order the mayor to order it) and call in the guard to help.

New Orleans, like most large metropolitan areas, has an excellent public transportation system. So much so, in fact, that rather than fight the horrid traffic, many citizens (rich and poor) simply choose NOT to own cars. Being in full knowledge of this little tidbit, seems to me that the mayor had an OBLIGATION to activate that transit system as a means of evacuation. The fact that a whole fleet of city busses is standing in six feet of water is pretty good testimony that he did no such thing.

But no. They're there because Bush hates black people.

How much can we really lay at one man's feet? Sure, he's ultimately responsible for damn near everything, but responsible in mostly a symbolic way. He (like every other leader at any level) delegates to people whom he feels are trustworthy or who are elected. If those people don't do their jobs and screw over the President, then he picked the wrong people. But does that REALLY make him DIRECTLY responsible for the tragedy? Not so much. Yes, he played a part. But so did soooooo many other people, for many, many years.

Trouble is, Americans like to have one person. One person to raise up as a hero, and to hell with all those who helped that person make it possible. Or one person to blame for everything, and to hell with all the others who contributed to the failure.

Judging from the responses of some of our overseas friends, that mindset is not limited to America.

Less BS, more help. That's where I'm at today.

DK

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/06/05 - Fuel Saving Plan

Cut and Paste

On The Lighter Side

Newswire story Minot, Dakota

""Jundt was so determined to rein in his spending on gasoline that he got out of bed early and rode his 14-year-old quarterhorse mare to work.


Jundt lives 15 miles south of Minot and works as a mechanic at Goodyear Tire & Auto Service in the city.

He said he and his co-workers had been talking about rising fuel prices, and he joked that he would ride his horse to work if gasoline ever hit $3 a gallon.

His co-workers laughed, but when the price at the pump soared to $3.20 last week, Jundt headed for the barn.

He said he was only five minutes late riding his mare, Patty, to work.

While he worked, Patty waited patiently, eating hay out of the back of a truck.""



What are your plans to save on fuel prices? :=D

kindj answered on 09/07/05:

I, too, wish I still had horses. Trouble is, my job takes me on the highway for about 600 miles per month.

Soooooo, with much reluctance, I sold my truck. It hurts to even type those words. Maybe you have to be a Texas outdoorsman to fully understand.....

But I bought a small, 8 year old economy car that's in very good shape. Probably tripled my mileage.

Wish I could've kept the truck as well, but you gotta insure everything with wheels, and money's tight, so I kissed her goodbye....

Hey! I think I've got a song here! Maybe something like "I've Got the 'Ain't No Gas' Blues."

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 09/06/05 - Flight # 93

FYI

Next Sunday Discovery Channel will air a film about United Flight 93: "The flight that fought back."

Many of the passengers of Flight # 93 spoke by cell phones with family members after the plane was hijacked and learned of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and then the 33 passangers decided to attempt to retake control of the flight. The film alternates between a reenactment of the events with interviews with family members of the courageous passangers .

kindj answered on 09/06/05:

As disturbing as it may be, I think that anyone who can should watch it. It just might help otherwise short-memoried people remember what (not who) we're up against, and that it's unlike anything we've ever fought before.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 09/05/05 - Potholes


Hello experts:

In my view, the first job of government is to protect me from attack, and the second is to fix the potholes. This government has failed on the first two, and the rest doesn't count.

Please elect someone who get's that. The Republicans are too busy checking out my activities in the bedroom, and the Democrats are too busy making sure nobody gets rich.

Screwing who I want (as long as it's not a kid), and getting as rich as I want are none of the governments' business.

excon

kindj answered on 09/06/05:

Elect someone who gets that? First, we have to find someone even RUNNING that gets that!

Libertarians (or is it librarians...?) or the Constitution party is your best bet. But don't look for any frontrunners from either. America is too steeped in the two-party system for any changes now. Ironic, since this is the EXACT time for a change.

I think it comes down to fear: the known evil is better than the unknown one.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 09/01/05 - Why stop there?

It isn't just Bush's stoppage of flood control funding that's the problem, the blame game is flying much farther than that (my comments framed by ~~~~~):

Germany's environmental minister Jrgen Trittin tells us,"By neglecting environmental protection, Americas president shuts his eyes to the economic and human damage that natural catastrophes like Katrina inflict on his country and the worlds economy."

From Democraticunderground:

"Because he is so obsessed with plundering Iraq on the behalf of Halliburton, Monsanto, and all the rest, the National Guardsmen who would have been on hand to help their fellow Louisianians are located half a globe away. So is their high-water equipment, which would be better served in the streets of New Orleans than in the damaged marshes of southern Iraq...Impeach this Coca-Cola cowboy now."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hurricane strikes, impeach Bush - I see the connection.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Much of the action that occurs in the Atlantic during hurricane season is Bush's fault. If he'd paid attention to the environment at all, there would be about 50% less hurricane activity in the Atlantic..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If only he'd signed up for Kyoto Katrina would have been a late summer shower.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"...And if he paid more attention to the Gulf Coast, New Orleans wouldn't be sinking at the rate of 3 feet a century."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Guess he should have started on it back in 1905.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Time to face facts: Bush has declared a silent war on urban poor.

They will be dead by the time federal rescue efforts get there, and the end result will be one more red state.

There is no other logical explanation for the deliberate and consistent failure to take basic, adequate steps to help those in need.

You can't tell me that they couldn't have gotten a national guard contingent with some Deer Park trucks and standard food supplies by now.

It is simply unthinkable that these basic and obvious steps haven't been taken yet.

No food and water for three days = systematic elimination of urban poor.""

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Who is he going to flood next, DC's urban poor?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"If you can't win their votes let them die. It's all good in the end."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Vote for Bush or else, huh?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"By Monday, we ALL knew that this was a natural disaster of unprecedented proportion. We ALL knew that people were in grave danger and had no food and--more important--no WATER to drink.

What did Bush do?

He went to Arizona for a photo op.

He went to San Diego to (pretend to) strum a f***ing guitar.

He sat on his uncaring, ignorant, g*****n ass and did NOTHING.

For three more days, he did NOTHING.

Yesterday, like Rip F***ing Van Winkle, he finally wakes the hell up and decides to do a fly-by of the coast and start making a few calls to get some help down there . . . eventually.

We're about to see a huge second wave of casualties because of the inexcusable, unforgivable slow reaction of our president."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks Shakespeare, and by Monday we knew idiots like you would blame it all on Bush.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

President Death

Praise be to Nero's Neptune. The Titanic sails at dawn
And everybody's shouting "Which Side Are You On?" - Bob Dylan

How bad is it?

At least 20 oil rigs and platforms are missing in the Gulf of Mexico. "Over 91 percent of normal daily crude oil production in the Gulf - 1.5 million barrels - is now shut down, and more than 83 percent of natural gas production." Ten or more airports face closure on account of jet fuel shortages. Service stations, particularly in the South, are running dry, due to panic buying and pipeline ruptures.

And oh, yeah: the computer modeling of a hurricane expert at LSU suggests there are over 100,000 dead.

A baby dies at the Superdome. A "renegade" bus of refuges is turned away from their next football stadium of absurd resort. Police officers are lying shot on the street and helicopters are reportedly fired upon. A healthcare worker, trapped in a hospital, gets cut off on CNN when she breaks down and it gets uncomfortably real.

Fall was already going to be a time of crisis for the "King of Vacations." The Plame indictments, if there are to be any, are likely to come down in the next six weeks. The window to broaden the war was closing. What they needed this Fall was not a pretext. What they needed was a greater crisis.

Those who still think that politics matter will take what cold comfort they can get from the hit to Bush's popularity. But History has left them behind. Such a thing as popularity lost its relevance at least two stolen elections ago. There's no supply-side downside to the loss of life. The victims are mostly "marginal," of colour. Less mouths to shelter and feed. This century will see many more cullings, some allowed to happen, some made to happen, and some that just happen. And maybe something else.

If it's true - if it's more than hyperbolic metaphor to call certain forces demonic, and there is an occult hand in the glove of power - then we need to consider the magickal value of so many lives sacrificed. As I quoted previously, the Satanic Order of the Nine Angles' A Gift for the Prince describes how human sacrifice "releases energy":

...and it draws down dark forces or "entities." Such forces may then be used, by directing them toward a specific goal, or they may be allowed to disperse over the Earth in a natural way, such dispersal altering what is sometimes known as the "astral shell" around the Earth. This alteration, by the nature of sacrifice, is disruptive - that is, it tends toward Chaos. This is simply another way of saying that human sacrifice furthers the work of Satan.

What energies are being released today in the United States, and throughout much of the world, by the labours of the Cheney-Bush cabal? Why does death always dog their footsteps? And what else follows behind?

How bad will it get?

It won't be the water, but the fire next time."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And I thought Bush was a neo-con right-wing radical whacko Christian. Turns out he's satan?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And the left thinks conservatives are morons?

Steve

kindj answered on 09/01/05:

>>You can't tell me that they couldn't have gotten a national guard contingent with some Deer Park trucks and standard food supplies by now. <<

Spoken like someone who's never been part of a military mobilization before. ACTIVE DUTY troops can't get there that fast with what they need. Reserves are even slower. It's just the nature of the machine. Besides, I thought the military was evil, and NG troops weren't trained enough, anyway?

>>"Because he is so obsessed with plundering Iraq on the behalf of Halliburton, Monsanto, and all the rest, the National Guardsmen who would have been on hand to help their fellow Louisianians are located half a globe away.<<

Guess conservatives are psychics, too. Evil psychics, that's us all right.

>>"By Monday, we ALL knew that this was a natural disaster of unprecedented proportion. We ALL knew that people were in grave danger and had no food and--more important--no WATER to drink.

What did Bush do?

He went to Arizona for a photo op.

He went to San Diego to (pretend to) strum a f***ing guitar.

He sat on his uncaring, ignorant, g*****n ass and did NOTHING.

For three more days, he did NOTHING.

Yesterday, like Rip F***ing Van Winkle, he finally wakes the hell up and decides to do a fly-by of the coast and start making a few calls to get some help down there . . . eventually.<<

The help was on it's way loooonng before that. Private citizens, the state, the city, neighboring states...all had begun their relief preperation work.

Geez, this could go on and on, and probably will.

I haven't seen one LOGICAL argument put forth yet, much less one grounded in verifiable facts.

Typical. Emotion rules reality.

DK


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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 08/31/05 - George Stops Funding For New Orleans Levee

Tax cuts for his wealthy pals and huge budgets for his war in Iraq resulted in the Bush White House stopping funding for critically needed levee work in Lake Ponchatrain - you know, the lake that is now inundating New Orleans?

The elimination of previously agreed upon federal dollars for the work stopped in 2004 amid warnings of possible disaster by those who were there. Specifically, work at the now broached 17th St. levee.

Interesting story....

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001051313

kindj answered on 09/01/05:

People at all levels have known that New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen for YEARS. If memory serves correctly, funding for levee improvements have been on the federal "to-do" list for at least the last five administrations.

If it's time to start blaming, at least spread it around evenly.

DK

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/30/05 - Crisis on Southern BorderPat Buchanan's Take

Time to Impeach Bush per Pat Buchanan: "It is a mark of the cowardice of our leaders that they are so terrified of being called "bigots" they tolerate this criminality(of illegal aliens). The moral rot of political correctness runs deep today in both national parties.

A president like Teddy Roosevelt would have led the Army to the border years ago. And if Fox did not cooperate, T.R. would have gone on to Mexico City. Nor would Ike, who deported all illegal aliens in 1953, have stood still for this being done to the country he had defended in war.

The question of whether America is going to remain one nation, or whether our Southwest will wind up as a giant Kosovo separated by language and loyalty from the rest of America is on the table.

Where is Bush? All wrapped up in the issue of whether women in Najaf will have the same rights in divorce and custody cases as women in Nebraska. His legislative agenda for the fall includes a blanket amnesty for illegals, so they can be exploited by businesses who want to hold wages down as they dump the social costs for their employees health care, schools, courts, cops, prisons onto taxpayers.

Not only have Richardson(Gov of New Mexico) and Napolitano(Gov of Ariz) awakened they are on the front lines so, too, has Hillary Clinton, who has spoken out against illegal immigration with a forthrightness that makes Bush sound like a talking head for La Raza.

Why is a Republican Congress permitting this president to persist in the dereliction of his sworn duty?

George Bush is chief executive of the United States. It is his duty to enforce the laws. Can anyone fairly say he is enforcing the immigration laws? Those laws are clear. People who break in are to be sent back. Yet, more than 10 million have broken in with impunity. Another million attempt to break in every year. Half a million succeed. Border security is homeland security. How, then, can the Department of Homeland Security say America is secure?

Who can guarantee that, of the untold millions of illegals here, and the scores of thousands ordered deported for crimes who have disappeared into our midst, none is a terrorist waiting for orders to blow up a subway or mall and massacre American citizens?

Most of these illegals come to work to send money back to their families. They are not bad people. But because they are predominantly young and male, they commit a disproportionate share of violent crimes.

Why should U.S. citizens be assaulted, robbed, raped and murdered, and have their children molested, because their government will not enforce its own laws?

Is this not an indictment of democracy itself? What dictatorial regime would put up with this?

The Republican Party claims to be a conservative party. But what kind of conservative is it who, to cut a few costs or make a few bucks, will turn his family's home into a neighborhood flop house?

Twice, George Bush has taken an oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Article IV, Section 4 of that Constitution reads, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion."

Well, we are being invaded, and the president of the United States is not doing his duty to protect the states against that invasion. Some courageous Republican, to get the attention of this White House, should drop into the hopper a bill of impeachment, charging George W. Bush with a conscious refusal to uphold his oath and defend the states of the Union against "invasion."

It may be the only way left to get his attention, before the border vanishes and our beloved country dissolves into MexAmerica, what T.R. called a "polyglot boarding house for the world."

I'd like to get your comments on this incendary column. Thanks, sorry it is too long. Will avoid this in the future.



kindj answered on 08/31/05:

ex:

Then how do so many people immigrate here from Mexico legally? I see people EVERY DAY who have their INS cards, duly issued. I talk to them and their parents, who describe exactly how they came here, through the proper channels. Hell, there's a guy working in my office that grew up in Mexico, but moved here in the 60's, with no problem.

But besides all that, there is the security thing to think about.

Who looks more like a Mexican: a blonde-haired Canadian, or a Middle Easterner?

That's not racism, that's biological fact.

It's much easier for Middle Eastern terrorists to come across the southern border than the northern one.

Not that terrorist from the ME are the only terrorists, to be sure. That's why border security is a must.

DK

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/30/05 - Crisis on Southern BorderPat Buchanan's Take

Time to Impeach Bush per Pat Buchanan: "It is a mark of the cowardice of our leaders that they are so terrified of being called "bigots" they tolerate this criminality(of illegal aliens). The moral rot of political correctness runs deep today in both national parties.

A president like Teddy Roosevelt would have led the Army to the border years ago. And if Fox did not cooperate, T.R. would have gone on to Mexico City. Nor would Ike, who deported all illegal aliens in 1953, have stood still for this being done to the country he had defended in war.

The question of whether America is going to remain one nation, or whether our Southwest will wind up as a giant Kosovo separated by language and loyalty from the rest of America is on the table.

Where is Bush? All wrapped up in the issue of whether women in Najaf will have the same rights in divorce and custody cases as women in Nebraska. His legislative agenda for the fall includes a blanket amnesty for illegals, so they can be exploited by businesses who want to hold wages down as they dump the social costs for their employees health care, schools, courts, cops, prisons onto taxpayers.

Not only have Richardson(Gov of New Mexico) and Napolitano(Gov of Ariz) awakened they are on the front lines so, too, has Hillary Clinton, who has spoken out against illegal immigration with a forthrightness that makes Bush sound like a talking head for La Raza.

Why is a Republican Congress permitting this president to persist in the dereliction of his sworn duty?

George Bush is chief executive of the United States. It is his duty to enforce the laws. Can anyone fairly say he is enforcing the immigration laws? Those laws are clear. People who break in are to be sent back. Yet, more than 10 million have broken in with impunity. Another million attempt to break in every year. Half a million succeed. Border security is homeland security. How, then, can the Department of Homeland Security say America is secure?

Who can guarantee that, of the untold millions of illegals here, and the scores of thousands ordered deported for crimes who have disappeared into our midst, none is a terrorist waiting for orders to blow up a subway or mall and massacre American citizens?

Most of these illegals come to work to send money back to their families. They are not bad people. But because they are predominantly young and male, they commit a disproportionate share of violent crimes.

Why should U.S. citizens be assaulted, robbed, raped and murdered, and have their children molested, because their government will not enforce its own laws?

Is this not an indictment of democracy itself? What dictatorial regime would put up with this?

The Republican Party claims to be a conservative party. But what kind of conservative is it who, to cut a few costs or make a few bucks, will turn his family's home into a neighborhood flop house?

Twice, George Bush has taken an oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Article IV, Section 4 of that Constitution reads, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion."

Well, we are being invaded, and the president of the United States is not doing his duty to protect the states against that invasion. Some courageous Republican, to get the attention of this White House, should drop into the hopper a bill of impeachment, charging George W. Bush with a conscious refusal to uphold his oath and defend the states of the Union against "invasion."

It may be the only way left to get his attention, before the border vanishes and our beloved country dissolves into MexAmerica, what T.R. called a "polyglot boarding house for the world."

I'd like to get your comments on this incendary column. Thanks, sorry it is too long. Will avoid this in the future.



kindj answered on 08/31/05:

Illegal immigration is a problem that should be addressed by both sides of the aisle. Just the fact that her highness Miss Hillary is on board with it gives ample testimony to that fact. What good comes from illegal immigration? LEGAL immigration, however, should be protected at all costs. Even with all its problems, we still have one of the greatest nations on earth. Apparently quite a few others feel the same way.

However, the phrase "Most of these illegals come to work to send money back to their families. They are not bad people. But because they are predominantly young and male, they commit a disproportionate share of violent crimes" bothers me a lot, and not just because the writer contradicts himself in the space of one paragraph. It's a blanket indictment that, while it probably holds some truth, is unable to be authenticated.

You want in? Great! Come on! But do it right.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 08/28/05 - Oil


Hello experts:

With supplies stretched to the limit, what will happen if Katrina destroys some (all?) of the rigs just off shore from New Orleans?

Time to buy oil futures?

excon

kindj answered on 08/29/05:

I'd say start tapping other known resources for now.

But the best thing we could do is release the alternative fuel research from bondage and set it loose. Much of this technology is totally viable RIGHT NOW, but I think the major oil companies have the politicians thoroughly in their wallets and won't let it move forward the way it ought.

But we need a solution RIGHT NOW, so letting some of the reserve go would be a good move.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 08/28/05 - Oil


Hello experts:

With supplies stretched to the limit, what will happen if Katrina destroys some (all?) of the rigs just off shore from New Orleans?

Time to buy oil futures?

excon

kindj answered on 08/29/05:

I'd say start tapping other known resources for now.

But the best thing we could do is release the alternative fuel research from bondage and set it loose. Much of this technology is totally viable RIGHT NOW, but I think the major oil companies have the politicians thoroughly in their wallets and won't let it move forward the way it ought.

But we need a solution RIGHT NOW, so letting some of the reserve go would be a good move.

DK

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/24/05 - Americans Disgusted with Politicians

HE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
August 24, 2005

President Bush's job approval ratings are at their lowest point of his presidency as only 40% of U.S. adults have a favorable opinion of his job performance and 58% have a negative opinion, according to a Harris Interactive poll.

This is a decline from two months ago, when the president's ratings were 45% positive and 55% negative. The war in Iraq and the economy climbed to the top of a list of issues Americans say are most important for the U.S. to address. Social Security declined sharply.

At the same time, Vice President Dick Cheney's approval ratings slipped to 35% from 38% in June, while Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's approval ratings dropped to 40% from 42%. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is the only cabinet member whose approval ratings rose, to 57% from 52% in June.


Both Republicans and Democrats saw declines in their approval ratings. About one-third of adults gave a positive rating to Democrats in Congress, while 65% gave Democrats a negative rating. Republicans fared about as badly, with a 32% positive rating, down from a 37% positive rating in June.

Americans were also asked in the poll to name the two most important issues that the U.S. government needs to address. When considering the most important issues, 41% of those polled say the war is most important, sharply higher than 24% in June. The second most important issue is the economy, the poll showed.

Here are the results of the latest poll:
"How would you rate the job ______ are/is doing (excellent, pretty good, only fair, or poor)"

Comments.....

kindj answered on 08/25/05:

Like I said Choux, they ALL suck.

The only question come election times is who sucks the least at that time.

DK

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/18/05 - Senators Rated

Rick Santorum has the lowest net approval rating of any U.S. Senator, according to a poll by Survey USA. The survey reveals 42% approve of the job Santorum is doing, while 46% disapprove. The difference gives Santorum a 4% approval rating.

Survey USA collected results of fifty separate public opinion polls for Senators in all fifty states. The average approval rating was 56% and the disapproval rating was 32%.

The two highest rated Senators were the two Senators from Maine.

Barak Obama of Illinois rated third with an approval rating of 71%.

Looks like Santorum's senate seat is totally in jeapardy. A swing to the Democratic column.

Comments?

kindj answered on 08/19/05:

I'm not sure I understand exactly the methods.

Were they rating each senator by polling that senators constituents, or the nation as a whole for each senator?

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 08/18/05 - Iraq


Hello:

Those who support the war in Iraq firmly believe that it is a continuation of the War on Terror. Those against it don't see any connection between the two.

This isn't a minor difference of opinion. How can each side be so far from the other?

excon

kindj answered on 08/18/05:

I think the difference is twofold: short memory and short vision of the future.

Simply because it wasn't SH himself who stood up and said, "I sent the airliners," then people are quick to see no connection.

I may have doubts about the war's timing and the methods currently being used, but I am not against the effort at all. In my opinion and experience, it was only a matter of time before he (or someone working directly for him) struck at the US in a very blatent and undeniable way.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 08/17/05 - Help me understand


Hello experts:

Last night on TV, some right wing wacko, when asked about the bombings in Iraq, replied that it meant that we're winning.

What?? I've heard it before, and it still dumbfounds me. Tell me, please, what would winning the war in Iraq look like to you?

excon

kindj answered on 08/17/05:

Is this guy of the same family as the one in WW2 said (of the Japanese-Americans): "The very fact that there has NOT been sabotage is in itself an ominous sign."

That one always made me scratch my head.

Winning? I guess it would be:
1. When the Iraqi people are under a self-chosen government. No telling what political category that government would fall into, though.
2. When we get our guys the hell out and let the Iraqis deal with it.
3. When everyone in the whole world is sitting in a big circle, arms entwined, passing the opium pipe and singing "Kum Ba Yah."

Don't ask me for my timeline, 'cause it has something to do with this Jewish guy coming in the clouds with trumpets and stuff.

DK

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 08/16/05 - Foreign Workforce

How about America having a "license" for Foreign Workers to come to America and do the work that Americans don't want to do. Like, picking fruit, childcare, cleaning buildings and private residences, restaurant work, farming jobs, construction, cab driving, ....etc...

In countries like Qatar and Kuwait, most of the work is done by foreigners while the residents have all their needs taken care of.

Wouldn't this be a step toward helping the problem of our southern border as well as other illegal immigration? Bush has mentioned something like this.

kindj answered on 08/17/05:

Possibly, possibly. Depends on how it all played out, with accountability and security and all.

Of course, I think the underlying problem is exactly what you said: "...do the work that Americans don't want to do." Of the above jobs you mentioned, I've done five of them at one time or another. And no, I didn't particularly like doing them, but I liked not eating a whole lot less.

Americans have WAY too much false pride, and far too much of an entitlement mentality. Solve THAT, and you've gone a long way toward solving the other problem.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 08/14/05 - Iraq and GW


Hello experts:

I am against the war in Iraq. It is a diversion from our war on terror, which I support.

George Bush invaded Iraq. He's the guy in charge. He's making war policy. He's they guy who made the mistake. He's the guy I blame.

How could you possibly get from the above that I (or anyone who doesn't support the war in Iraq), doesn't support the troops? I cannot make any connection between the two ideas - not even if tried really hard.

excon

kindj answered on 08/14/05:

It's a rare person who is able to make the distinction, and most of those are guys (and gals, I guess) who've actually been on the ground and been simply a tool of foreign policy, and not a maker of it, as so many are too shortsighted and ignorant to see.

I have the highest respect for ANY fighting man from ANY nation, even if they're opposing me. I have more respect for the enemy combatants than I do for the cowards in my own country who take potshots at the troops from the safety and comfort of their living rooms.

I am NOT saying that I believe those people should keep their opinions to themselves. I am, however, saying that they should show a bit more respect for the people who are doing more than just talking.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 08/12/05 - Term Limits


Hello experts:

Your congress, no matter what they say about your sons and daughters in Iraq, and no matter what they say about spreading democracy in the Middle East, will play with the lives of your children, your safety, and your future, in order to get re-elected.

It's discussing.

Here's my message to them. Do the right thing - even if you have to find another job.

excon

kindj answered on 08/12/05:

F***ing A skippy!! I can get behind that.

Some of the old folks tell me that they remember their grandparents telling them that it actually used to be that way.

Can it be true?

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 08/10/05 - W


Hello experts:

I think W is going to go down as the worst president in history, even worse than Nixon. I think most of the people in the country agree with me, now.

Do you, even his ardent supporters here, have anything good to say about him? Come on, it's ok to change your mind.

excon

PS The problem is that the Democrats don't have anybody better. I like John McCain.

kindj answered on 08/11/05:

First off, I don't think what historians say makes much of a difference anymore, as most Americans have way too short a memory, and many just don't care.

Second, we have too damn many special interest groups these days, and at any given time, several of them are going to be angry with whatever administration is in office.

With that said, I'll say that while I voted for him, I am not nor ever have been thrilled about everything he's said or done. At the moment, I have some serious issues with him over education and border security, plus a few other smaller, less critical issues.

I am now having some problems with the war on Iraq. Not about whether or not it should've been waged, but more about the timing of it.

I still think he was the better man for the job during these times, however. After all, it's far better to have a faulty plan and modify it than to have no plan at all. And while he has been somewhat inconsistant on some issues, let's face it: Kerry DEFINES inconsistancy. Sure, Bush is from a wealthy clan, and has enjoyed all the privileges that entails. Anyone gonna tell me that Kerry or Kennedy grew up running down dirt roads barefoot? Please. It is the wealthy and the privileged that run this country now, regardless of affiliation, and to pretend otherwise is a fool's game.

Of course, all this pissing and moaning about the Presidents (past and present) is really a waste of time. It's Congress that wields the majority of the power, and folks would do much better to be very careful who they vote for in their states.

Well, at least Congress is SUPPOSED to have the majority of the power. They should use some of that power now to bitch-slap the Supreme Court back into its place, in my opinion.

DK

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Question/Answer
powderpuff asked on 08/11/05 - doing a good job?

Headlines News today

Serious about deportations:

British authorities said Thursday they plan to deport 10 foreigners who've been detained on suspicion of posing a threat to national security.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PAPERWORK MIX-UP
Deportation sought for couple in West Toledo
U.S. says pair here illegally since 1996....

In the predawn semidarkness of a small West Toledo apartment, Dae and Yung Jung stumbled toward the thumping at their front door.

Seconds later, officers in dark jackets emblazoned with Homeland Security crammed into the couple's living room demanding passports and drivers' licenses. Mrs. Jung was escorted to jail. Upstairs, the couple's son, Andrew, hid, stunned and baffled.

Dae Jung is a sushi chef; Yung Jung is a longtime school volunteer. Andrew, 14, is a U.S. citizen because he was born in Toledo while Mr. Jung was studying at the University of Toledo on a student visa.

Mrs. Jung has been behind bars in a string of Michigan prisons since U.S. Homeland Security officers raided the couple's home in February. Acting on deportation orders signed in 1996, they arrested Mrs. Jung but released Mr. Jung to care for Andrew.

Most frustrating for the Jungs' supporters is that the couple was never allowed court hearings into the matter.

At about 2:35 p.m. today, the Jungs will board Northwest Airlines Flight No. 25 for a 7,157-mile flight to Incheon, South Korea. Andrew, who plays violin with the Toledo Youth Orchestra and yesterday tried out for the golf team at Emmanuel Baptist, will remain in Toledo.

You can read more on the story behind the Jungs deportation at ---> http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050810/NEWS02/508100399&SearchID=73216928770131

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm pretty sure that there are bigger threats to our national security here, than the Jungs. Is our country doing its best to protect us, or is PC preventing us from finding the real threats? Are the British doing a better job of finding and deporting national security threats?




kindj answered on 08/11/05:

In my ever so humble opinion, the Brits are doing a much better job. However, they also have much, much more experience with terrorism on their own soil than the US does. They learned long ago how to turn some of their national security eyes inward, instead of all focusing outward. They've learned, as Americans should, that most times the greatest threat lies within the society. America needs to learn that, muy pronto.

However, the Jungs obviously needed to be arrested. To focus exclusively on Middle Easterners as a source of crime and terror is ludicrous at best, and suicidal at worst.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 08/08/05 - Lobbying


Hello sperts:

Lobbying should be outlawed. Is it true that congress wouldn't know what to do without 'em?

excon

kindj answered on 08/09/05:

I don't know if they'd know what to do without them or not, but I DO know they'd have to start actually living off their paychecks, and that would be fun to watch.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 08/09/05 - Security????? Pure, Unadulterated BS


Hello:

For some time, here, Ive been mentioning that ALL the security weve instituted, and ALL the billions weve spent on it, are wasted. Having been in the security industry, I know that people buy what makes them feel safer - not what actually makes them safer.

It's a pretty stupid thing to do. I dunno why we do it. Lets take the subway searches now going on in NY. In the highly unlikely event that a terrorist with a bomb is selected for a search, he can simply say no and exit the system with no questions asked. It has to be that way if the city is going to argue in court that the searches are voluntary (a dubious claim, given how important the subway is to the average New Yorker).

Upon leaving the subway, a terrorist unlucky enough to be picked for a bag check can try again at another station, hand his bag off to an accomplice, or detonate his bomb at a crowded location above the ground. It should not be hard to find one in New York City.

Im telling you, America: Stop being stupid!

excon

kindj answered on 08/09/05:

>>Im telling you, America: Stop being stupid!<<

Keep telling it, eventually someone may listen.

You are dead on about "feelings" over reality. "Style over substance," I like to call it, and it's the typical offering these days and the sheep who cannot or will not think for themselves lap it up like spring water.

Then they act so surprised as they lay dying.

I'm sure you've heard the expression, "Either sh*t or get off the pot!" We need to either get serious and practical about security or just freakin' forget it and spend the money somewhere else.

America today has not the slightest idea how to secure itself.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 06/29/05 - Seize Justice Souter's land !

Press Release
For Release Monday, June 27 to New Hampshire media
For Release Tuesday, June 28 to all other media

Weare, New Hampshire (PRWEB) Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.

Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Caf" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.

"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."

Clements' plan is to raise investment capital from wealthy pro-liberty investors and draw up architectural plans. These plans would then be used to raise investment capital for the project. Clements hopes that regular customers of the hotel might include supporters of the Institute For Justice and participants in the Free State Project among others.

# # #

Logan Darrow Clements
Freestar Media, LLC

Phone 310-593-4843
logan@freestarmedia.com
http://www.freestarmedia.com



Below is our letter to begin the development process.

Mr. Chip Meany
Code Enforcement Officer
Town of Weare, New Hampshire
Fax 603-529-4554


Dear Mr. Meany,

I am proposing to build a hotel at 34 Cilley Hill Road in the Town of Weare. I would like to know the process your town has for allowing such a development.




Although this property is owned by an individual, David H. Souter, a recent Supreme Court decision, "Kelo vs. City of New London" clears the way for this land to be taken by the Government of Weare through eminent domain and given to my LLC for the purposes of building a hotel. The justification for such an eminent domain action is that our hotel will better serve the public interest as it will bring in economic development and higher tax revenue to Weare.

As I understand it your town has five people serving on the Board of Selectmen. Therefore, since it will require only three people to vote in favor of the use of eminent domain I am quite confident that this hotel development is a viable project. I am currently seeking investors and hotel plans from an architect. Please let me know the proper steps to follow to proceed in accordance with the law in your town.



Thank you.


Sincerely,


Logan Darrow Clements
Freestar Media, LLC


kindj answered on 06/29/05:

I love it!! I hope it goes through and the good judge has to relocate. Then, I hope someone does it again at his new place, and so on and so on, until common sense and fairness returns to our land.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 06/15/05 - Ton-plus of marijuana recovered from big rig

Amarillo Globe-News
Publication Date: 06/15/05

An inspection of a truck Monday yielded aging onions and the biggest load of marijuana ever seized in the area.

During a routine inspection, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers discovered $5.9 million worth of marijuana stowed in the front of a trucks trailer, Trooper Wayne Beighle said Tuesday.

The rig was stopped on Interstate 40 in Wheeler County, a DPS news release said.

It was really a matter of being in the right place at the right time, Beighle said.

Officers searched the trailer after noticing the drivers paperwork wasnt in order, Beighle said.

Once inside the trailer, they saw that the load of onions wasnt properly secure and they were getting old contrary to the paperwork, which said the produce had to be delivered fresh, Beighle said.

Past the onions at the front of the trailer, troopers discovered 98 bundles of marijuana weighing 2,377 pounds, the release said.

Arrested and booked into the Wheeler County Jail in Wheeler on drug charges were Heriberto Armendariz of El Paso and Peter Werner Corzo of St. Compton, Calif., the release said.

The Amarillo Globe-News Online

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sorry ex, I guess those guys should have kept their paperwork in order - these troopers here are good.

Steve

kindj answered on 06/15/05:

Guess they're new dopers. The experienced ones avoid I40 and the Texas DPS like the plague these days, for reasons just like these.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 06/08/05 - From a white, Christian conservative...

Howard Dean continues unhinged...and I love it.

"You know, the Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people. They're a pretty monolithic party. Pretty much, they all behave the same, and they all look the same. ... It's pretty much a white Christian party,'' the former Vermont governor told a San Francisco roundtable Monday in reaction to a question about the lack of outreach to minority communities by political parties.

"Our folks have got to spend time in the communities,'' he said. "We want a very diverse group of people running for office -- African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos.''

He defended his comments with, "This is a diversion from the issues that really matter: Social Security, and adequate job opportunity, strong public schools, a strong defense."

GOP Chairman Ken Mehlman joked, "a lot of folks who attended my Bar Mitzvah would be surprised" he heads a Christian party.

"We gotta get ourselves beyond this point where when we disagree about politics, we call the other guy names."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

While I love to hammer away at people like Dean and the insulting, idiotic, intolerant things they say about me, there's more to my concerns here.

Diversion is a tactic used by both sides, but how does one justify such obvious hypocritical tactics? Dean is going around the country saying he "hates Republicans," they're "pretty much a white, Christian party," have "never made an honest living in their lives," but holding him accountable for these insults is "a diversion from the issues"?

Speaking of those issues, hasn't Bush been traveling the country trying to address Social Security? Isn't a "strong military" a cornerstone of the GOP?

Liberals are constantly ranting that the "Republican controlled congress" is avoiding "the issues that matter" while focusing on abortion, gay marriage and conservative judges.

Let me ask, are these issues that Republicans raised or were they forced on us?

Is it conceivable that the left has forced these issues to divert attention from "the issues that matter" that they don't have an answer for, or just stalling for the day they regain power?

How can Dean say "We want a very diverse group of people running for office -- African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos" while the Bush administration has held one of, if not the most diverse cabinet in American history?

How can he say that while his party has whined about and obstructed the nominations of a number of blacks and hispanics?

How can he say that while his own are warning a black judicial nominee wants to take us back to the days of the civil war?

Can someone help this white, Christian conservative understand the liberal mindset?

Steve

kindj answered on 06/08/05:

Steve,

I think the answer may be found in a response to something over on the other board some time ago. As I recall, it had something to do with some problem or other, and the typical reaction from those whom we know tend to lean to the left was something like "What has this government done for THEM?"

THAT'S the problem. When we have a nation of people who believe they are ENTITLED to what the rest of us have to work for, BAM! You get the modern liberal.

Man, I see it every day. I work for a non-profit agency, as I'm just by nature a do-gooder, trying to help people who need it and all that jazz. Not a day goes by, however, that I don't see at least one person who wants enough resources FROM OUR GOVERNMENT so that they don't have to work!! I mean, these people freakin' ASK me about that!! Lately, I've been asking them why they want that. I'll spare you the phonetically correct response and give you the gist: "Why should I have to work, when ol' so-and-so doesn't have to?"

I usually respond something like this: "Well, when I was college--which I paid my own way for--I was married with kids. My wife had to work, and I had to work, sometimes two jobs, and we still did without. Now, tell me again why you shouldn't have to work?"

Plus, it is my humble opinion that MOST (not all, but most) conservatives operate from some sort of moral and ethical base, and usually that takes the form of some type of faith. Typically, that faith is Judaism or Christianity, but more and more conservative members of other faiths--including Islam--are pitching their tents with the conservatives. Figure most of these faiths are pretty similar, at least as far as politics go. I mean, none of them favor abortion, rape, child molestation, or murder. In fact, they have pretty strict penalties laid out for such things in their writings. Now, when you operate from a base that is generally believed to come from an Almighty Deity (who I like to call God), that tends to make some folks squirm. It's hard to argue with God, after all. Or at least it used to be...

Now these issues of gay marriage, abortion, and conservative judges are another thing. I think those are issues that WE'VE pushed up there. In our battle to oppose certain things, we've required the feds to make a ruling one way or another, since nothing's getting solved at the state level, what with endless appeals and re-entry of cases.

It is kinda funny, though, to see the liberals whining about diversity in the White House when GW has, as you said, had the most diverse cabinet of all. Rice is an awesome lady, but I guess she isn't "black enough" (whatever that is) for some. Our new AG is another instance. I've heard from some of the big exec types on our board about how he's a "sellout" to la raza.

You just can't please some people.

See my clarification for some additional ammo.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 05/12/05 - Who is running the show?? The Secret Service, that's who!


Hello experts:

While Washington DC was under attack the president was on a bike ride and the Secret Service didn't tell him until he was done riding - a full 15 minutes into the attack. I say attack because, for all intents and purposes, we WERE under attack. It was only determined afterwards to have been an errant private pilot.

But, for those 15 minutes, somebody other than the elected leader, was making decisions for the country. Who was that? Were they doing it under Bush's orders? Isn't this kinda like his reading a story to some kids after he was informed about 9/11? Am I missing something here?

excon

kindj answered on 05/13/05:

As usual, Steve beat me to it.

I'm sure the Pres was pissed when the information he got was that old. If he wasn't, he SHOULD'VE been.

However, I don't know all the ins and outs about Capitol security and their plans. It sounds to me like what should've happened did happen, for the most part. Sure, there were glitches, but for the most part things seemed to go fairly well, as far as I know (which isn't far).

I think the Pres WOULD'VE taken control at such time as a threat was CONFIRMED (which in this country usually means right after a big explosion).

Still, the best part to me was to see those silver-spoon politicians running from their offices like six year old girls run from a big, scary spider.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 05/04/05 - Call your Representative to support H Res 167 !

H Res 167

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives with respect to Second Lieutenant Ilario Pantano, United States Marine Corps.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mr. JONES of North Carolina submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on

RESOLUTION
Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives with respect to Second Lieutenant Ilario Pantano, United States Marine Corps.

Whereas Ilario Pantano enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on August 23, 1989, through an early entry program at the age of 17;

Whereas Ilario Pantano fought honorably in Operation Desert Storm in 1991;

Whereas Ilario Pantano returned to the United States in 1991 as a corporal and again served his country honorably in Yugoslavia, Morocco, and the Mediterranean;

Whereas Sergeant Pantano separated from the Marine Corps with an honorable discharge, earned a bachelors degree in economics in three years, and spent eight years in the private sector as an energy trader and an entrepreneur in media and film;

Whereas, following the attack on the Nation of September 11, 2001, Ilario Pantano displayed courage, dedication to the Nation, and self-sacrifice by rejoining the Marine Corps and, after attending Officer Candidate School, was commissioned as a second lieutenant;

Whereas in March 2004, Second Lieutenant Pantano was sent to Iraq to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom;

Whereas, on April 15th, 2004, Second Lieutenant Pantano led a platoon in Mahmudiyah, Iraq, that apprehended two Iraqis who were suspected insurgents;

Whereas Second Lieutenant Pantano ordered the suspected insurgents to be detained, then ordered them to search their own vehicle in the event that it contained explosives;

Whereas the vehicle's seats were not bolted down, a tactic commonly used by insurgents to retrieve weapons, and nails and bolts were found in the trunk of the vehicle, items commonly found in improvised explosive devices;

Whereas, in response to threatening movements by the suspected insurgents, Second Lieutenant Pantano took action in self defense that resulted in their deaths;

Whereas accusations that Second Lieutenant Pantano's actions were something other than self-defense did not surface until almost two months after the incident in Mahmudiyah;

Whereas, in his Combat Fitness Report dated August 5, 2004nearly four months after the incidentSecond Lieutenant Pantano's superior officers gave the following evaluation of his performance from March through July, 2004:

His "progression as a young platoon commander and leader has been impressive".
"With a calm demeanor that spoke of confidence, Lieutenant Pantano has led his platoon into urban combat in Latafiyah and he also conducted conventional operations in Fallujah and Zaidon Province, Iraq".
He is a Marine who "leads from the front always and balances his aggressive style with true concern for the welfare of his Marines".
He was "ready for increased responsibility, " and was a soldier who the Marine Corps should "retain, promote and assign to challenging assignments": Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that

Second Lieutenant Ilario Pantano, United States Marine Corps, was defending the cause of freedom, democracy, and liberty in his actions of April 15, 2004, that resulted in the deaths of two suspected Iraqi insurgents and that subsequently have given rise to certain charges against him; and
the United States Government should dismiss all charges against Second Lieutenant Ilario Pantano arising from the actions referred to in paragraph (1).

......................................................
You can contact your Representative Here .[my Congressman is not on the list of cosponsors so he got a piece of my mind this morning.Imagine having constituents that were killed on 9-11 and not doing everything necessary to support the troops !]

The incident under investigation took place during what was at the time the bloodiest month of the war, when 135 U.S. troops died fighting an enemy that breaks every rule of war. They frequently attacked from mosques; deliberately killed innocent civilians, journalists, and aid workers; faked surrenders ; beheaded hostage captives. "The threat is from everywhere and all the time," Pantano said . Faced with a split second decision, he reacted with lethal force. Maybe the men were not going to do anything worse than run away;but to assume that is a good way to become a casualty .If Pantano is court-martialed and found guilty, the climate in Iraq will become even more dangerous as it is bound to inject a hesitancy of action.

Yesterday it was reported that there is low moral among the ranks of Zarqwai's thugs . Let's not give them any new hope.


kindj answered on 05/04/05:

Done.

It kills me, modern warfare (no pun intended).

Used to, you sent the troops out with pretty simple instructions: find the enemy, and kill him.

Nowadays, you have a team of reporters and worse yet--LAWYERS--standing by 24/7, always drooling over the chance to sit in hindsight judgement of better men than themselves, all from the comfort and safety of their big, plush offices.

Yet knowing this, the troops fight on.

God bless 'em, every one.

DK

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Question/Answer
purplewings asked on 04/23/05 - Moussaoui tells all. Will he survive?

Hardened and only 36 years old. What punishment to do you think befits his acts? Will the French government
support him? Will he be assassinated before revealing more of what he knows?

....or should America retrain and rechannel him into our own CIA or other secret government activities?

kindj answered on 04/25/05:

1. Remove him from this world and let the Judge decide what to do with him. In my opinion, the sooner (and more publically) he assumes ambient temperature, the better.

2. Who can read the mind of a Frenchman?

3. Quite possible. The only question is by whom?

4. Absolutely not.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 03/18/05 - Terri Schiavo

Why isn't starving someone to death considered an 8th Amendment violation ?No one can survive without food and water for more than a couple of weeks. She will die a slow painful death of starvation. Food and water is being described as life support. Yes ;and the dinner I ate yesterday was also life supporting. Should all people who cannot feed themselves be condemned to death ?
Why is it so important to deny Terri Schiavo her food? Convicted criminals, even captured terrorists are entitled to three square meals a day; Why isnt Terri?

Terri Schiavo was subpoenaed before Congressional Committees yesterday ;which should've put her protection into the hands of the Fed. Gvt.

Pinellas Circuit Court Judge George Greer ordered her feeding tube removed anyway. He is in contempt of Congress and should 've been arrested by Federal Marshalls immediately .

kindj answered on 03/21/05:

There are still a lot of unanswered questions surrounding this case. I myself have more than one reservation about her husband's role in all of this.

All that notwithstanding, all I know is that if I were to starve even a dog to death--even if it were in such a condition--I would be strung up by my...um...toes. And rightfully so.

It would seem that there are a great many groups out there--liberal, moderate, and conservative--that seem to have very flexible definitions of "life," depending on the circumstances they're debating at the time.

DK

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 03/14/05 - Briefly on Cable

This morning just after I got up, there was a story on cable news about how Israel will take out Iran's nuclear weapons plants if Iran continues to pursue nuclear weapons. Then, added, that diplomacy will continue with Iran..ie America paying them not to produce weapons.

Did I hear this correctly??

kindj answered on 03/14/05:

I haven't heard about that, but it wouldn't surprise me. After all, they've done it before to Iraq.

It's also no real big secret that the Israelies have sworn to take out the Answar Dam if Egypt acts in a hostile manner, thus putting all of inhabitable Egypt under 20 feet of water. Given that there's been no overt hostility to Israel by Egypt, it appears to work.

It ain't easy being the most hated nation in the Middle East...

DK

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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 03/14/05 - Press complaints


Im reading today in Le Journal de Genve that more than 50 USA press organizations, (amongst them the Associated Press, The Miami Herald, The Sun Sentinel, etc.) have gathered in what seems to be called the Week of Light, to protest for the changes carried out by the Bush Administration regarding freedom of information that, according to these entities, attempt against the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution.
Is it true?
Curious98

kindj answered on 03/14/05:

Yeah, I heard about that. It's just more of the same: elitist "journalists" (read: "political activists") who seem to think that the First Amendment is also a top secret security clearance.

It's long past high time they got their noses tweaked a bit.

DK

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Question/Answer
purplewings asked on 03/09/05 - A concept to make peace worldwide.

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/161/story_16163_1.html

I posted an interview from Beliefnet.com with Marianne Williamson, on the Spirituality Board today. It indicates an effort to legislate a Department of Peace. The suggestion being that terrorism is a disease that cannot be cut out by war or threats just as a doctor cannot cut out cancer once it has metabolized, so we must learn a better way to end it before it can get to that stage.

Who would be part of the Department of Peace?
The legislation as it has been offered by Congressman Dennis Kucinich calls for a peace academy as a complement to the military academy. At the military academy, we teach and learn the most advanced ways to wage war. At the peace academy, we would learn the most advanced ways to wage peace. Iraq is a tragic example of American effectiveness at waging war, i.e. destroying what we didnt want in the first days of the war, but our inability in the days and months following to wage peace.

Do you find this to have merit as far as Militarily or Politically? What about taxes or religious issues? I'd also like to have your answer on the Spirituality board, based on the Spiritual premise if you would.

Thanks so much.

PW

kindj answered on 03/09/05:

This is idiotic! Who came up with this? The same people that bitch and moan continuously about budget deficits. So yeah, let's create another SuperAgency to totally duplicate other existing agencies. For it is well known that the solution to ANY problem is simply more beaurocracy and more starched-collar Harvard boys tossing inane and unrealistic theories around.

I'm sorry, but in the world we live in, America's policy better be "Peace through Strength." Because THAT'S the only thing that these militant murdering jihad freaks even come close to understanding. Oh, so it's "glory" for them to die for their warped cause of Allah's jihad? Cool. Ammo and Semtex are cheap, and the list of "travel agents" who would love to arrange their departure to paradise is long and getting longer.

"Department of Peace," indeed. We already have one, and it's name is the Department of Defense. The State Department helps, because along with trying to find peaceful solutions, they also have a way of communicating the capabilities of the DOD should negotiations fail.

Besides, it has been said that war is simply aggressive negotiations.

DK

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 03/08/05 - Very concerned !!

What are you views about China's new attitude
towards TAIWAN ?

ROLCAM.

kindj answered on 03/09/05:

As Elliot said, it ain't nothing new. China is just doing their periodical obligitory saber rattling, probably (in my opinion) just to test the waters of global opinion, to see if other nations still care enough to do anything about it.

If the multi-national negotiations and talks move on, I think China will back down again.

Personally, I think they would've done far better by partnering with Taiwan years ago. Perhaps if they had, they wouldn't be in the economic crisis they're in now. But who can read the mind of an irrational system...

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 03/04/05 - MAN WHO GOT EICHMANN DIES

From the NY Post, 3/3/05

Peter Malkin, the Mossad agent who nabbed top Nazi official Adolf Eichmann on a Buenos Aires street in 1960, has died, Israeli media reported yesterday. He died in New York at 77.

The Mossad security agency tracked Eichmann to Argentina, and Malkin stopped him in the street. According to his memoirs, "Eichmann in My Hands," Malkin said to him simply, "Un momentito, seor" (just a moment, sir), before kidnapping him.

Those were the only words Maklin knew in Spanish, according to a Web site of the World Zionist Organization. He grabbed Eichmann's arm and wrestled him to the ground as another agent grabbed his legs, and they stuffed him into a car.

Eichmann was interrogated for 10 days in a safe house before being spirited to Israel on a plane that carried an unwitting diplomat, Abba Eban, later Israel's foreign minister, for a meeting with Argentine officials as a cover.

Eichmann headed the "final solution," the plan to exterminate Jews. AP


--------------

And now, for an Op Ed piece on Malkin, also from the Post, 3/3/05.

BETTER THAN BOND
BY ERIC FETTMANN

ZVI Malchin was not only the single greatest secret agent the state of Israel was lucky enough to produce, he was one of the most extraordinary people one could ever hope to meet.

The world knew him as Peter Z. Malkin, the man who on a cold night in 1960 kidnapped a factory worker named Riccardo Klement outside his ramshackle Buenos Aires home and brought him to Israel where he stood public trial as Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi official who saw to it that 6 million Jews were murdered efficiently.

Yet that was just one of hundreds of exploits undertaken by Malchin who died here Tuesday night at age 75 during more than a quarter-century with Israeli intelligence, first as an agent and, ultimately, as chief of operations.

Even today, nearly 30 years after his retirement, many of Malchin's most spectacular achievements remain hidden behind the veil of official Israeli censorship. But enough of what he did is publicly known to leave you in awe that one man could have accomplished so much.

Malchin unmasked Israel Be'er, one of the top aides to then-Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, as a Soviet spy. He bugged a meeting of Arab League heads of states. He uncovered former Nazi scientists who had gone to work for Egypt in the 1950s. He battled Palestinian terrorism in Beirut.

Even in retirement, he outdid active agents.

During the 70s, he went to Brazil in search of Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi doctor of Auschwitz. While there, he uncovered a Soviet agent who was bribing Brazilian army officers and buying U.S. Army materiel.

"He asked me to notify the CIA," recalled Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau, who frequently used Malchin as a freelance investigator. "I said he didn't have enough evidence. So he went back and did a black-bag job on the guy came up with his passport and his visa.

"I called Stanley Sporkin, then general counsel of the CIA. Within hours, the agency had sent people to New York to take the evidence. 'We know all about this guy,' Sporkin told me. 'We just had no idea where the hell he was.' "

How did Malchin know? "After all these years," he told Morgenthau, "I can smell them."

His career alone was exceptional enough. But Zvika, as he was known to his friends, was not some Hollywood stereotype of a secret agent.

Malchin was an artist, whose stunning paintings including a series of sketches done while he was interrogating Eichmann in Argentina in recent years have been exhibited in leading museums around the world. (He divided his time between Israel, Florida and New York he kept a studio here on the Lower East Side and lived in the East 30s.)

"Was being a painter my cover story for the Mossad, or was being in the Mossad my cover story for being a painter? Sometimes, I'm not sure, he joked." (His art can be seen as peterzmalkin.com.)

Malchin was a poet an irrepressibly funny and always eloquent observer of the human condition. He enthralled audiences around the world as a lecturer; they all wanted to hear how he'd captured Eichmann, but he had much more to say to them.

It's wrong, he would say, to call Eichmann a monster. After all, "a monster can be excused for his behavior. A human being, though how does a human being become a beast who can kill children, women, the elderly? The problem is not how a monster could do it, but how a human being did it."

"He was a brilliant analyst," said Morgenthau. "For him, information was always much more important than action." No doubt, that's what attracted early Israeli leaders to Malchin by age 13, he'd been recruited into the pre-statehood Haganah underground.

And though he saw more than his share of genuine dramatic action, Zvika had little regard for popular fiction's idea of a spy. "In 28 years, I never killed anyone," he said. "My most important weapon wasn't a gun it was my brain."

That, and his engaging, larger than life, personality which allowed him to talk his way out of some 40 arrests or detentions during his career.

Though he loved being acclaimed for his achievements, he didn't go seeking glory. He was a curious mixture of humility and pride who never demanded recognition, but was always happy to receive it.

You couldn't help being hopelessly charmed by such a man; everyone who met him wanted to spend more time with him. His friends, and I was lucky to count myself as one for more than 25 years, were fiercely loyal.

Last night, many of those friends gathered at the Park East Synagogue to say goodbye to a man who was literally a legend in his lifetime.

Today, he is headed on his final journey back to Israel, the country and people he served so well.

---------

I had the opportunity and privledge to meat Zvi Malchin at one of his lectures a few years back. Aside from being genuinely funny, and an eloquent speaker (in 3 languages that I heard), he was also a truly nice person.

We lost one of the good ones on Wednesday.

Baruch dayan ha'emes (Blessed is the True Judge--- this a a Jewish prayer/saying after learning of a death).

Elliot

kindj answered on 03/04/05:

I am confident that his rewards in Heaven will be many.

The world owes much to this man and to the legacy he left behind; namely, to ensure that superb agents like him are not needed in the future, because justice will be dealt swiftly and surely.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 02/23/05 - What's wrong with this picture?

NYC Kids Send Anti-War Letters to Soldier
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
By David Andreatta

The New York City Department of Education, red-faced over Brooklyn sixth-graders who slammed a GI with demoralizing anti-Iraq-war letters as part of a school assignment, will send the 20-year-old private a letter of apology Tuesday.

Deputy Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, who has a nephew serving in Iraq, plans to personally contact Pfc. Rob Jacobs and his family, said department spokeswoman Michele McManus Higgins.

"She knows how difficult it is to have a loved one in a war zone," Higgins said.

Jacobs is stationed 10 miles from the North Korean border and who has been told he may be headed to Iraq in the near future.

The GI got the ranting missives last month from pint-sized pen pals at JHS 51 in Park Slope.

Filled with political diatribes, the letters predict GIs will die by the tens of thousands, accuse soldiers of killing Iraqi civilians and bash President Bush.

Teacher Alex Kunhardt had his students write Jacobs as part of a social-studies assignment.

He declined to comment Monday on whether he read the rants before passing them along, but said he planned to contact Jacobs soon to explain the situation.

In an accompanying letter to Jacobs, Kunhardt had written that the students "come from a variety of backgrounds and political beliefs, but unanimously support the bravery and sacrifice of American soldiers around the world."

"Support" was not the word that came to Jacobs' mind when he read the letters.

One girl wrote that she believes Jacobs is "being forced to kill innocent people" and challenged him to name an Iraqi terrorist, concluding, "I know I can't."

Another girl wrote, "I strongly feel this war is pointless," while a classmate predicted that because Bush was re-elected, "only 50 or 100 [soldiers] will survive."

A boy accused soldiers of "destroying holy places like mosques."

Even one kid smitten with soldiers couldn't keep politics out of the picture, writing, "I find that many extreme liberals are disrespectful to you."

Uplifting letters from children are dear to soldiers, Jacobs said. He looks at a batch he got from a Girl Scout troop from his hometown of Middletown, N.J., whenever he feels lonely.

At the time the 21 JHS 51 letters were penned, Jacobs, who has been stationed in Korea for nearly a year, was told that he may be headed to Iraq. But no official order for deployment was given.

"If I were in Iraq and read that the youth of our nation doesn't want me to be there and doesn't believe in what I'm doing, it would mess up my head," Jacobs said.

Jacobs said he would welcome a letter from the Department of Education and the teacher.

"I want to think these letters were coached by the teacher or the parents of these children," Jacobs said in an interview from Camp Casey, Korea.

"It boggles my mind that children could think this stuff."

*******************************************************

I don't want to implicate the teacher...yet, but shouldn't he at least have told the kids hey, this guys is in Korea, not Iraq, that he is only doing his duty, and perhaps that the letters should be encouraging?

Do you think they were coached by parents, or that maybe the media had a role in influencing these kids, or that the mayor is right, who said something like we don't censor our kids? Can you imagine how this guy felt, expecting encouragement from home and being told by a sixth grader he is "being forced to kill innocent people"? What is wrong with this world???

kindj answered on 02/23/05:

Steve,

What is wrong with this world is the people in it.

We're looking at what, 11 year olds here? You gonna tell me they came up with this all on their own? You think they sit around at night watching CNN and "MEET THE dePRESSed?" Absolutely not, even if they are New Yorkers (sorry Elliot, couldn't resist). No, they are parroting the views expressed by parents and teachers, plain and simple.

Personally, I think this teacher should be talked to for not reading the letters before they were sent. Actually, I think he erred in his method of making the assignment. I personally think he should have made it an extra-credit assignment for students wanting to write encouraging letters to soldiers. If they had negative views, then he could've given extra credit for writing to the appropriate government official.

If you disagree with the war, blaming the soldiers is probably the most mindless tack one could take. That's like blaming the wrench for the mechanic's bad job on fixing your car.

It always mystified me when people would ask me what I thought of our actions in Panama and later Kuwait. I would usually tell them that I was just a tool of policy, not the policy maker. I might have an opinion, but it wasn't necessarily the roundest or best informed opinion. I only knew what I saw and what I was told.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 02/17/05 - Proposition


Hello experts:

I suggest that the Pharmaceutical Industry of today is equivalent to the Tobacco Industry of years past.

They are bald faced liars. They have foisted drugs upon us that are killing us, that they knew would kill us, and then they lied about knowing it. They are comprised of despicable human beings.

Will their friend in the White House protect them?

rexcon


kindj answered on 02/17/05:

It kills me (no pun intended) how every single problem this country has right now is laid at the feet of the sitting President. Did he personally create the FDA only 5 years ago? Of course not, they've been around for years and years. So have these problems. I think if you look you'll see a pattern of neglect in this area going back SEVERAL Presidents (Dem AND Rep) simply because We The People didn't MAKE it an issue for them.

If it's MADE a pressing, election-make-or-break issue FOR them, then and only then will they deal with it.

Drugs are not my area of expertise (but then, what is?), but I think that We The People may have created some of our own problems by DEMANDING that potentially helpful drugs be developed, tested, and marketed as quickly as possible, and that the companies complied, sometimes short-circuiting the testing and evaluation processes needed for our protection. Sure, it's also in the name of profit, but would that profit had come if it weren't for a market rabidly DEMANDING the product?

DK

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Question/Answer
sapphire630 asked on 02/16/05 - How can they win

when in a catch 22?
I forget the soliders name but they are trying him for murder because he killed 2 terrorists. It wasn't the incident in the mosque but a different one. They said he continued to fight for 3 months until a 'disgruntled fellow solider' complained.

What is the use of anybody enlisting and going to fight where they can end up charged with murder! It is stupid! If these people that cry murder are the same ones that cry to 'talk it out and make peace' why don't they go over there and do just that if it is that simple!?

kindj answered on 02/17/05:

I know the story you're talking about, and it is the height of stupidity.

It reminds me of that line from "Apocalypse Now," in which Martin Sheen's character muses the contradictory nature of his mission: "Charging a man with murder in this place (Vietnam) is like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500."

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 02/10/05 - The statements of Lt. General Jim Mattis

Hi everyone.

I was wondering what your feelings were regarding the statements made recently by Lt. Gen. Jim Mattis.

At a recent military conference in San Diego, he gave a speach in which he was discussing (among other things) the fact that the enemy s not yet broken, and their will to fight is still strong.

He said: "Don't patronize this enemy. They mean business. They mean every word they say. Don't imagine an enemy somewhere in the future and you're going to transform so you can fight him. They're killing us now. Their will is not broken."

He followed that with the following comments:

"Actually, it's quite fun to fight'em, you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up front with you. I like brawling."

The general then made clear who "some people" are. "You go into Afghanistan. You've got guys who slapped women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

Naturally there are now certain elements calling for Gen. Mattis' head.

---------------

Now... here's my take on it.

He's 100% right. War is terrible, but it can be fun too. Or perhaps not fun, but certainly satisfying.

I have never been in combat. But I have spent quite a bit of time learning how to fight. I have nearly 30 years of martial arts experience. Fighting IS fun. There's no time that you feel quite as alive as when someone is trying to hit you, and you are doing the same to them. There's the enjoyment of the technique itself, the block-and-counter properly executed, the kick that connects where it was supposed to. And there's the fear. There's nothing quite as exhilerating as when your opponent's attack ALMOST takes your head off. The adrenaline rush is AMAZING, and it feels GOOD. And of course, if you win, that's pretty damn cool too.

I've only been in two real fights in my life outside the dojo. Both times were much faster than any spar session in the dojo. They started and ended much quicker. But the adrenaline high was bigger too. Nothing focusses one's mind quite as well as death... or the possibility of it. (I think Ben Franklin said that, but I'm not sure. Whoever said it was right.)

So I can understand the idea of combat being fun and enjoyable, despite the horror. As big as that enjoyment is with hand-to-hand combat, I suspect that it's even more true in all-out war. And its all the more enjoyable if the sonofabitch you are killing actually DESERVES it.

Sherman said "War is hell". Years later, Patton said "War is hell, but G-d help me, I love it." He was right about that.

Perhaps the best saying ever on the subject was from Robert E. Lee. He said "It is good that war is so terrible, lest we grow too fond of it."

These military men understood that war is enjoyable. It is eerie to think that, but it's true. Being more powerful than your enemy is thrilling. Knowing that you hold the power of life and death in your hands is thrilling. A close miss by enemy fire is thrilling. And killing a man who is trying to kill you is thrilling.

Civilized people don't like to believe that war is fun. It's not PC to say it. Only savages get their rocks off on war. But it's true, and Mattis, a Marine's Marine understands that. Mattis is more than a soldier. He's a fighter. He's a LEADER among fighters. And right now we need more than just soldiers. We need fighters, and Mattis is one of the best.

Back in the Civil War, there was a particular general who was running up particularly high casualty rates. Someone demanded that Lincoln remove that general and replace him with another. Lincoln's response was "I can't spare this man; he fights."

That's my response to the PC crowd that want's Mattis' head: We can't afford to lose Jim Mattis. He fights. He's blunt, he's not PC, and he's not the type of guy to bring home to momma. But he understands war, and by G-d, the man can fight. We need him.

That's my opinion. What's yours.

Elliot

kindj answered on 02/11/05:

I've been looking at this for a few days now, ever since I first heard the general's comments. I'll try to post a coherent answer, but I am trying to recover from the flu, and my brain may still be somewhat addled. So no promises.

Speaking only for myself, I don't recall a damn thing about the battles being fun. I remember feeling numb, detached, terrified, nauseated, angry, frustrated, or paranoid, and sometimes all of those at once.

"Satisfying" may come a little closer, except for the fact that your target is merely a pawn, much like yourself, and the big guy with whom you have the issue is in the rear, quite well guarded.

But yet, the general's words still ring true. I know what he was saying, and I know that the English language simply doesn't have the words to describe what he was saying.

I, too, have dabbled in the martial arts, and know the exhileration that you speak of. Yes, that can be great fun. Even a street confrontation can be somewhat enjoyable, provided you're the one standing at the end.

I know that the word "fun" wasn't what he meant, but perhaps it's the closest word that there is. There's some primal urge, some instinct, that is quenched or satisfied when we are physically victorious over our enemy.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 02/09/05 - Time for Eason Jordan to resign

Eason Jordan is an upper level exec. at CNN(head of CNN's news division) . On Jan.27 he was on a panel discussion at a World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, Switzerland. There according to eyewitnesses including moderator David Gergen,panelist Rep. Barney Frank,and attendee Sen. Christopher Dodd ;Jordan claimed that American troops in Iraq have deliberately targetted and killed American and Western journalists .He claimed to have known of 12 cases where journalists had been killed by U.S. troops in Iraq and that they had been intentionally targetted . He offered no proof of this assertion ,and David Gergen ,who demanded proof ;had to cut his comments short because the the military and the government weren't there to defend themselves of these charges .

If there was any merit at all to these accusations one would think that the media would be all over this story . The press has been mum on it even though it is the buzz of the blogsphere( Hugh Hewitt has been on top of it from the beginning). Private efforts to obtain the video of the panel discussion have been blocked by the event organizers.[note : finally the Washington Post has an article on the event;and it is also now news in the New York Sun . Perhaps the story will gain momentum and make the weekend talk show circuit. .]


according to the Post:

Rep. Franks "..said he tried to get information out of Mr. Jordan so that he could forward it to the appropriate congressional investigative authorities. " I think Congress has demonstrated with Abu Ghraib that we will aggressively pursue reasonable allegations," he said. Mr. Frank said he has tried repeatedly over the past few days to get Mr. Jordan to provide evidence of crimes against journalists. He said Mr. Jordan promised to get back to him, "but I haven't heard anything yet,"

The Sun spoke of Jordon's possible motivation to these allegations:

Mr. Jordan's remarks might have shocked the American attendees, but they certainly played well among some in the audience. The Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens, who covered the panel for his paper, told the Sun that after the panel concluded, Mr. Jordan was surrounded by European and Middle Eastern attendees who warmly congratulated him for his alleged "bravery and candor" in discussing the matter.


Jordon is the CNN exec. who was forced to admit that CNN withheld news of Saddam's murderous regime from Iraq pre-war so they could curry favor with Saddam Hussein.He has also in the past said that Israel targetted CNN reporters ;that American troops capture and torture journalists ,and with Peter Arnett ;falsely claimed Americans used sarin gas on our own troops in Laos .

Either Jordon should come up with proof of his charge ;or he should apologize to our troops and then step down .

kindj answered on 02/09/05:

Surely this person could be charged with some sort of slander or something. Force the truth to come out.

If his allegations are true, then an investigation should be started.

If they are false, then charges should be filed against him.

DK

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Question/Answer
darkstar asked on 02/03/05 - 12,000 for death compensation to our soldiers

When I heard that the usgov wants to change the death benifet for dieing while in service to our country is only $12,000 I was horrified. I couldn't believe that that was all our gov was willing to pay out to the families of these couragous men and women who risk their lives for our countries safty and place in the world....I mean come on, $12,000. That is such a slap in the face. I was glad to hear that a proposed increase to 100,000 was being considered. I think that is way more in line and maybe should even be higher than that. What are your feelings concerning this?

kindj answered on 02/03/05:

I think what we're forgetting is that every single soldier has the option to sign up for SGLI (Serviceman's Group Life Insurance, I think). The amounts run anywhere from 100K up to 250K that I know of, and it may have been raised again. The cost to the soldier is negligible, a few dollars per paycheck. If the soldier opts not to participate, that is his/her choice.

DK

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 01/25/05 - Iraqi Elections

Looks like the Iraqi Elections are going to be a huge success! *Phew* Many of the people have gotten behind the idea of voting and having a say in their government. Actually, loving the idea. (Per polls)I hope that this potential success will prove America right for being pro active in going after the causes of Islamofascism.

What are your thoughts about the upcoming elections?

kindj answered on 01/25/05:

I'm less worried about being proven right than I am about democracy taking hold with as little bloodshed as possible.

I hope that the terrorists are NOT successful with any plans they may have, and that people are allowed to vote--however they choose--in peace and safety.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 01/20/05 - Dirty Bomb in Boston .

Yesterday the news was a buzz with the rumor that a dirty bomb may have been planted in Boston .

The six (4 Chinese 2 Iraqis)are suspected of having come into the United States from Mexico, and may have headed to New York and then to Boston, the target of a planned attack that could involve a lethal substance, possibly chemical or biological or explosive, three law enforcement officials briefed on the threat said.

Earlier this week the Boston Herald reported that City Council President Michael Flaherty said he is taking the concerns East Boston residents have about a link between ruthless street gang MS-13 and al-Qaeda terrorists seriously, given the proximity the neighborhood has to passing LNG tankers. .........
``LNG tankers, given their slow speed and small area in which they have to navigate into Boston, are vulnerable to terrorist attack and therefore pose a serious public safety risk to many surrounding Boston neighborhoods,'' Flaherty said yesterday.


Consider the possibility along with this report from Jan. 6 .

A burgeoning East Boston-based street gang made up of alleged rapists and machete-wielding robbers has been linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, prompting Boston police to ``turn up the heat'' on its members, the Herald has learned.

MS-13, which stands for La Mara Salvatrucha, is an extremely violent organization with roots in El Salvador, and boasts more than 100 ``hardcore members'' in East Boston who are suspected of brutal machete attacks, rapes and home invasions. There are hundreds more MS-13 gangsters in towns along the North Shore, said Boston police Sgt. Detective Joseph Fiandaca, who has investigated the gang since it began tagging buildings in Maverick Square in 1995.

In recent months, intelligence officials in Washington have warned national law enforcement agencies that al-Qaeda terrorists have been spotted with members of MS-13 in El Salvador, prompting concerns the gang may be smuggling Islamic fundamentalist terrorists into the country. Law enforcement officials have long believed that MS-13 controls alien smuggling routes along Mexico.

The warning is being taken seriously in East Boston, where Raed Hijazi, an al-Qaeda operative charged with training the suicide bombers in the attack on the USS Cole, lived and worked, prosecutors have charged.

Also, the commercial jets that hurtled into the World Trade Center towers in New York City were hijacked from Logan International Airport.

``The terrorist aspect, especially when you think in terms of 9/11 and how intent these terrorists are, will turn the heat up on our efforts with MS-13,'' Fiandaca said. ............ The theory that Salvadoran criminals manage to smuggle people over the border was bolstered this month when two Boston men described as MS-13 leaders were spotted on the North Shore days before Christmas - a year after they were deported by Boston Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators for gang-related crimes.

or this from the http://washingtontimes.com/national/20040928-123346-3928r.htm >Washington Times

A top al Qaeda lieutenant has met with leaders of a violent Salvadoran criminal gang with roots in Mexico and the United States including a stronghold in the Washington area in an effort by the terrorist network to seek help infiltrating the U.S.-Mexico border, law enforcement authorities said. Adnan G. El Shukrijumah, a key al Qaeda cell leader for whom the U.S. government has offered a $5 million reward, was spotted in July in Honduras meeting with leaders of El Salvador's notorious Mara Salvatrucha gang, which immigration officials said has smuggled hundreds of Central and South Americans mostly gang members into the United States...........
Authorities said al Qaeda terrorists hope to take advantage of a lack of detention space within the Department of Homeland Security that has forced immigration officials to release non-Mexican illegal aliens back into the United States, rather than return them to their home countries. Less than 15 percent of those released appear for immigration hearings. Nearly 60,000 illegal aliens designated as other-than-Mexican, or OTMs, were detained last year along the U.S.-Mexico border.


And thanks to the Mexican government publishing its "how to" guide for illegally entering the country, we can only expect to see things like this on the rise. Who knows how many are already here?

The Intelligence Reform bill passed last month threw out proposed provisions to the bill that would have tightened immigration laws. This new secession of Congress should make border security a top priority .

kindj answered on 01/20/05:

I have regularly written, phoned, and talked personally with various members of our government at both the national and state level (living, as I do, in Texico), and have written the President numerous times. I, too, am gravely concerned about the leaky nature of our southern AND northern borders. Granted, a Muslim terrorist (not profiling, but isn't that who wants to kill us?) looks much more like a Mexican than a Candian, but BOTH borders are in serious need of attention.

I personally think that something is in order along the lines of Hadrian's Wall, the Great Wall of China, or the security fence/wall in Israel.

I am NOT OPPOSED to LAWFUL immigration. So before any of you prejudiced-toward-Southern-white-men-because-you-think-we're-prejudiced types have a stroke, please read and re-read the first sentence of this paragraph as many times as necessary before hurling venomous fireballs at me.

Now, as to the story itself:

Alarming, yes. But only to a degree. The way I figure, if the Boston Herald has THIS much information, how much more do our security types have? It's long past time to put away the notion of our national security people being the 21st century reincarnation of the Keystone Kops. When things happen, it's generally not because they couldn't get out of the bar long enough to stagger to their desks. Intelligence is a vague and ever-shifting business, and one where we're always on the defense, because of the drastic cutbacks in human assets. It's tough when all you can do is REACT. Much better when you can ACT.

I hope and pray that nothing happens, nonetheless.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 01/19/05 - UN

finding new ways to pick your pockets.
Sorta knew this was going to happen when the Oil for Food funds started to dry up.

kindj answered on 01/19/05:

Funny...I don't remember voting anyone from the UN into an official position within my government.

Nor do I remember ever saying "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Nations..."

Yet one more in a long line of reasons for the US to get out of the UN and chart its OWN course and have its OWN plans for charitible work around the globe.

We did it before the UN was formed, and we can do it without them.

DK

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Question/Answer
darkstar asked on 01/19/05 - larry summers

hi, i am not sure if that is the correct spelling of his name, he is the president of harvard. it was reported today that he said about women something like and i am paraphrasing here: "women have children and don't like to work as hard as men, women also lack apptitude in math and science."
it is a well known fact that asians score consistantley higher in math scores than any other race. i wonder while he didn't point out that white men just don't add up? my problem with all this is how stupid a statement comming from a supposedly well educated man. "woman have children and don't like to work as hard as men"....ever try having one and raising one larry? i have been both a professional and a mother and being a mother was/is definately harder than being a professional..."women lack apptitude in math and science"....get a clue larry, womens brains are different than mens! i believe i can achieve the same as the above average man since my iq is superior, but arrive there by a different path. different path dose not equate to lessor or lack! and there are something like 650 something male proffessors at harvard to 156 females...does this tell you something?

kindj answered on 01/19/05:

OK, you're the one! I've had this diatribe ready to go for weeks now, but no one had given me the excuse to launch it until now! Don't worry, you won't find that my opinion, while VERY critical, contradicts anything that I believe or have posted on the "other" board. That happens sometimes, you know. I let my anger get in front of my brain, and well.....never mind.

Here we go:

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and their kind (Ivy league ivory towers of prestige and wealth who contribute nothing of any more significance than any other university) are the walking, talking examples of what's wrong with higher education in this country. Insulated and isolated, they spew forth "facts" that may or may not apply to their little bubble of a world, and generally do NOT apply to the rest of the world, that world being the one which I like to call "real." They are "good ol' boy" clubs, nothing more, nothing less. And here you thought "good ol' boys" were only the regressive southern fried hicks. No, no. They exist everywhere, though they may talk and dress differently. However, this brand--this elitist, condescending, Ivy league brand--is as dangerous (maybe even more so) than the others.

See, higher education is what I currently do for a living. No, I'm not a professor (thank heavens!) but I may get my doctorate one day, if for no other reason than to coast the last ten years or so into semi-retirement. But I'm only in my late 30's, so that's a long way off. No, you may think of me as more of a recruiter and facilitator, though not for any one institution. I deal daily with admissions, entrance testing, financial aid, housing, and other stuff for essentially any university in the country. By the way, I hate my job.

Speaking of jobs (and knowing that I'm sounding schizophrenic with the topic-hopping), I put in anywhere from 40 to 70 hours per week at mine. No, there's no overtime pay. I also have a wife and three sons. My wife stays home with the youngest, who is 2 and a half. Everything they say about 2 year olds is true. I've stayed home with him for a day on several occasions, and found myself looking forward to going back to work, because my paying job was easier! So Mr. Summers or whoever he is can take that drivel, roll it up tightly, dip it in carpenter's glue, dip it in sand, and stick it right up his....you know.

Here's the facts: The Department of Education has countless programs aimed at getting people of ALL ages into college to earn their degrees. That's YOUR tax money, folks. "OK, that's great!" you say, "Shouldn't everyone have the opportunity to go to college if they want?" Sure they do, and I will not try to stop them. Trouble is, as a nation, we're becoming over-educated. Sounds crazy, but think about it. According to DoEd stats that I have right in front of me, 20 years ago, only 10-15 percent of the country had a four year degree. Right now, that number is passing 25 percent. One out of every four adults has a four-year degree RIGHT NOW. Then we wonder why we have to go to Mexico and overseas to find people willing to actually get their hands dirty making a living, and get people to do the redundant, manual labor.

Now, here's the other side. In Texas (and a bunch of other states) the various state governments have removed the cap on college tuition costs. What this means to you and I is that the colleges can now charge whatever they want. WHATEVER THEY WANT. OK, fine. Now this same DoEd that has all those programs to put people in college is NOT raising the grant amounts to keep up. In fact, they're not raising them at all! A lot of the state governments are actually CUTTING funding for higher education.

What is happening, in my opinion, is that the powers that be in this country are moving neither slowly nor stealthily to put higher education back into the hands of the wealthy and priviledged ONLY.

Seems like I'm contradicting myself, right? Not really. Yes, I think we're overeducating ourselves as a nation. That, in my opinion, is causing wages demanded by workers to rise, which is causing the companies to seek what is affectionatly called "outside labor."

What's the solution? For the nation as a whole to realize that a degree is not your ticket to success. That would require a re-defining of the term "success." Why do you think plumbers, electricians, and car mechanics bill something like 75 dollars per hour? BECAUSE THEY CAN! Because there's comparitively few people who are skilled in those areas! We need to be telling our young people that if they WANT to go to college, that's great! But if they DON'T really want to go, that there are other options out there for them. Not everyone has to be an MBA, for crying out loud! Heck, MBA's are a dime a dozen these days. If four year degree type things are not what you are interested in, DON'T DO IT! I love my car mechanic, he gets Christmas cards from me, Stacy (my wife) and the kids. I almost have my Master's Degree and this guy makes TWICE the money that I do, and usually gets home to his wife and kids before I do.

Yes, higher education should be open to all. All who WANT it.

It's OK not to want it.

Honestly, if I had it to do over again, I would've never set foot on the campus of the college I attended. I would have gone to the community college and gotten a two-year degree or certificate in something in health care, probably respiratory care or nursing.

Like I said, I almost have my MS, and we're starving to death. Granted, a lot of that is due to the fact that I am called into the type of profession that helps people where they are, and that usually doesn't pay much. I find it ironic that I get paid to help others achieve their dreams, while watching my own go down the toilet.

That's my rant, hope there's an answer to your question in there somewhere.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 01/13/05 - Trial Lawyers - Good Guys


Hello all you very bright and wonderful people: ((((very bright and wonderful people)))

Think frivolous lawsuits are the cause of skyrocketing medical costs???? Think again. A friend had an ingrown toenail clipped. It took 30 seconds. Her insurance company was billed $1,451.00.

I think the insurance companies are the bad guys, not the doctors or lawyers. Besides, I hate insurance. I bought plenty but never enjoyed any of it.

excon

kindj answered on 01/13/05:

>>Think frivolous lawsuits are the cause of skyrocketing medical costs????<<

THE cause? No. A cause? Yeah. Probably ranks 2nd or 3rd by my guess. The next highest (or lowest) cause would be the pharmaceutical companies, in my ever so humble yet not as informed as others opinion.

I have long said, however, that the insurance companies are our primary enemy when it comes to medical costs. Back when Billary was in office and screaming about health care reform, I was saying leave health care alone, it's the best in the world. What we need is INSURANCE COMPANY reform.

In my opinion, most insurance comes just very darn close to extortion.

DK

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Question/Answer
Yiddishkeit asked on 01/12/05 - Iraq: thoughts and questions...

According to Sec. of State Colin Powell, he believes that during 2005 our troops will gradually start reterning home. I hopeful that he is correct, but suspicious (more on this in the third paragraph)...what do you believe?


I think the upcoming Iraqi election is as big an oportunity for the insurgent terrorists to give a blood bath as is for the law abiding civilians to cast votes. I hope the election day does not have any violence so perhaps it will hasten our troops return back to the States, if possible. We need to do a very good job securing perimeters around areas of ballot casting. Your thoughts?


Now that the search for WMD's in Iraq has fairly concluded, does Pres. Bush need to explain to the America public why he was wrong...that is according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal)? Should we start looking elsewhere? If so, would that mean that the troops currently in Iraq that Powell thinks could be coming home in 2005 would actually be re-deployed for another hot spot role?


Here are some non-political orientated questions:

According to the news we are going to blast away at a comet of ice. I forgot where it's location is in conjunction to the earth, but the blast is supposed to leave a crater the size of the Roman Coliseum for research purposes. The impact is scheduled to occur on the Fourth of July. But more importantly, and this is just my opinion, that our government is interested in knowing if we can deter any comet that may be headed our direction in the future (of course if needed on a larger scale using nuclear explosives). I believe they are checking for accuracy and impact analysis in such an event. I know that in the very recent past the planet Saturn was hit by comets and it was devestating. Your thoughts?


Beltran has left my beloved Astros for the Mets. I was really hoping that we could re-sign him. Do the Astros have much of a chance of getting back in the playoffs next season?

Now...on to my beloved Cowboys. Oh forget it! I'm just disappointed in them. I have the draft to look forward to. Here's a better subject: Superbowl! My guess is that if Vick stays healthy I think the Falcons (the NFC) and either the Colts or Steelers (the AFC) will be in the Super Bowl...what teams do you think will play in the Super Bowl and why?





Bobby





kindj answered on 01/13/05:

Question 1.

I think you are dead on. The ability to defend ourselves from comets, meteors, and the like are surely on their minds. I think the "research opportunity" is merely a fringe benefit.

2.
Possibly. Still have a couple of good pitchers, and some pretty good bats, too.

3.
I, too, hang my head over the Cowboys. To remember their glory days of the seventies and see seasons like this are almost too much to bear.

Without having much to go on, I say the Falcons and the Steelers. I'll root for Falcons, but fear the Steelers will take it.

DK

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 01/12/05 - who said this?

the Fourth World War will be fought with sticks and stones.

kindj answered on 01/12/05:

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
Albert Einstein

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 01/12/05 - How will you mark the inauguration?

There are many alternative planned activities to mark the inauguration...

"The DC Anti-War Network (DAWN) has called for a permitted anti-war rally and march, and it has called separately for nonviolent civil disobedience die-ins to draw attention to the dead at the hands of the Bush Administration. These actions have been called for January 20, 2005. We invite the entire world to participate in these events, which have been endorsed by United for Peace and Justice."

Student Walkouts!

"College and High School students will be performing walkouts against the inauguration on both the 19th and 20th. These are likely to merge into larger actions. Get involved, organize with your friends!"

Anarchist Mobilization at the Inauguration

"All out for an anarchist mobilization against centralized power...at the 2005 Presidential Inauguration: Washington, DC - January 15-20th."

Washington DC counter-inaugural critical mass bike ride

"Plans are being drawn up right now to have the largest critical mass bike ride DC has ever seen."

Women's March and Funeral Procession

"Women's March and Funeral Procession, in the style of the New Orleans jazz funeral, to take place on January 20, 2005, in Washington, DC, to coincide with "Inauguration Day."

Billionaires for Bush auction off Social Security

"The always fun and photogenic Billionaires in tuxedos and ball gowns will carry out our president's mandate by auctioning off Social Security to the highest bidder, as well as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."

Turn Your Back on Bush

"This is a non-violent, mass action that will powerfully demonstrate the broad opposition that exists in this country to the presidency of George Walker Bush. We call on people to dress neutrally and line the parade route. As the presidential motorcade approaches many of us will simply turn our backs on him. We invite you to join us!"

Noise Against Fascism

"Noise Against Fascism is intended as a positive (albeit brutally loud) response to the inaugural activities otherwise fouling the air on January 20."

Billionaires for Bush Re-Coronation Inaugural Ball

"All the Excess, Twice the Greed

Bigger, Larger, More Unchecked!

The Billionaires for Bush will host a black tie ball to celebrate the re-coronation of the president we paid for.

Afro-funk Big Band Chopteeth!
Billionaires Follies Cabaret!
Swank Swing and Hip House DJ!
Three Floors of Dancing!

Tickets from $20, including advance internet purchases at $10 (restrictions apply). Top hats and tiaras available, but do dress to opress! Our website has tips on how to look wealthy."

Deliver a Spine to DNC Headquarters

"Call for Participation:
Deliver a Spine to DNC Headquarters Join the Backbone Procession to DNC Headquarters to Demand Progressives Not Be Taken For Granted."

No New Wars! March on the Neocons

"We will start at American Enterprise Institute and march on 11 total Neocon Institutes, all within a few blocks of each other. Bring your signs, props, puppets, noisemakers! Stop their next war: Syria, Iran, No. Korea??"

I will, as always, be celebrating my wife's birthday more than anything...but I would love to watch the "Deliver a Spine to DNC Headquarters." How about you? How will you mark the occasion?

kindj answered on 01/12/05:

Steve,

Sorry to hear about your wife's job loss. I'm getting some funny vibes about the way this new year is kicking off, and what that might hold for the future, but that's for another board and another day.

The one I liked the best was the one about the anarchists.

Pardon my ignorance, but isn't the idea of an "organized anarchist event" sort of an oxymoron?

Me? I'll just fill up my highly treasured Planet Hollywood stein with some ice cold Ziegen-bock (great beer, born and brewed in Texas. Sorry Elliot, you gotta come home to get that) and tip my glass to the man after he says his oath.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 01/10/05 - Voting vs Banking


Hello very well informed and especially smart people:

Here's one thing I don't understand. Oh, I don't understand plenty, but this one nears the top of my confusions:

If I'm able (along with a jillion other people) to deposit and withdraw money, either in person or over the internet, from my bank, and not lose a penny, and have an audit trail if I did, then I'm lost about why we can't count votes.

Somebody has a vested interest in keeping the present Swiss cheese system in play. I don't know who that would be, but somebody does. Do you know?

excon

kindj answered on 01/10/05:

It's my personal opinion that 99 percent of bankers and politicians fall into the same group as so many others--a group I like to call:

"Those who have absolutely no freakin' clue how people in the real world live."

Never been a politician, but I've been a banker, and after a few years I ran like I've never run before away from that trade.

I guess others do OK in it, but as for me, I felt like I was thrown into a den of thieves.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 01/10/05 - Terrorist caught planting a road side bomb.

Check out the Reuters photo and the caption below it .

It reads :"A suspected insurgent asks residents for mercy after they caught him planting explosives under civilian vehicles, at a busy area in Baghdad, January 3, 2005. Insurgents killed 17 Iraqi police and National Guards on Monday in another bloody spree of ambushes, bombings and suicide attacks aimed at wrecking Iraq 's January 30 national election. "

HELLO !!! If he was planting a bomb under civilian autos he is a TERRORIST not an insurgent !!!

Note the look on his face ;begging for mercy .

As Iraqi blogger Fayrous says :"Don't underestimate the Iraqi people. Iraqis will be the ones driving those terrorists out of their country."

kindj answered on 01/10/05:

Curious how even the labels the media (and others) apply can subtly shift the bias of a story.

DK

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 01/08/05 - Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich is planning a run for the Presidency as a Republican in 2008. He sure is one intelligent guy, I'll say that for him.
Will he make a good candidate?

kindj answered on 01/10/05:

I don't know, but I've decided to vote for Jimmy Buffett, as a write-in if nothing else.

It's time to put a REAL pirate into office!

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 01/07/05 - Teddy's Chappaquiddick flashback

From yesterday's Gonzales hearing :

KENNEDY: Well, just as an attorney, as a human being, I would have thought that if there were recommendations that were so blatantly and flagrantly over the line in terms of torture, that you might have recognized them. I mean, it certainly appears to me that water boarding, with all its descriptions about drowning someone
to that kind of a point, would come awfully close to getting over the border, and that you'd be able to at least say today, There were some that were recommended or suggested on that, but I certainly wouldn't have had a part of that, as a human being. But as I understand you are saying now that no matter what they recommended or what they discussed, there was not going to be anything in there that was going to be too bad or too outrageous for you to at least to raise some objection.

I guess he just missed the irony in his line of questioning .

kindj answered on 01/07/05:

"Water boarding?"

Gimme a break.

I got the water board in SERE school, BY MY OWN GOVERNMENT!!!

Guess what? It didn't kill me. In fact, done properly, it's actually relatively harmless. Provides a sensation of drowning when, in fact, the subject is in little to no danger at all.

Unpleasant? Yes, certainly. Torture? I hardly think so.

Of course, I was a surfer at the time, as well, so water in my sinuses was hardly a new sensation...

DK

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 01/06/05 - Kofi Demands

Today Kofi Annan demanded that all the countries who coillected money for the victims of the tsunami disaster in South East Asia turn that money over to the United Nations.

Comments?

kindj answered on 01/07/05:

Why?

Has he spent all his "Oil for Food" proceeds?

DK

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Question/Answer
sapphire630 asked on 01/05/05 - Bush slow?

Who beat Bush to send aid to the Tsunami victims?
Where was Koffi? Kerry? I think scary terry kerry still hasn't found her checkbook since she lost it before the Pittsburgh flood from Ivan. Is she going to make an appearance there to and say her famous 'I wish there were something I could do' and leave?
I bet the answers are as good as 9/11 (when Bush was accused of spending 7 minutes in the grade school) Clinton's excuse was he was in a paralized shock for 45 minutes.

kindj answered on 01/06/05:

Matt 6:1-4

1 "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
2 "So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
3 "But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you."

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 01/05/05 - Values????? - I say horse pucky!!!


Hello right wing uncivilized people:

Leaders of the nation that would impose democracy on Iraq at the point of a gun are plotting ways to deny fundamental human rights to detainees suspected of terrorism.

Your dude and his gang want to hold some of the detainees FOREVER without the inconvenience of a trial, let alone a conviction.

The Defense Department is asking congress to fund a 200 bed prison dubbed Camp 6 to hold detainees who would never go through a military tribunal because there is not enough evidence to convict them, even in a venue where convictions are easy.

Like I said earlier, if those are your "values", you can keep 'em!

excon

kindj answered on 01/05/05:

I won't argue the point with you, at least not until I see your source.

Where did you read this? Can you post the link? I'd like more info before I discuss this.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 12/31/04 - More on "American Stinginess"

Here's some additional information about the 'stingy' donations being made toward disaster relief in Asia.

(I will be using "banker's notation" in which "M" means "thousand" and "MM" means "million". It's just faster for me to type this way.)

US Government - $35MM to start, with more promissed.
American Red Cross - $28MM so far
Catholic Relief Services (Baltimore) - unknown... their web server was knocked down because they couldn't handle the volume of hits by donors.
Amazon.com - $4.8MM so far (donations are expected to surpass the $6.8MM donated for 9-11 relief).
Save the Children - $5MM so far, more expected
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - $3MM
Microsoft - unlimited matching funds donation program for employees. Whatever employees donate, the company will match.
America Online - $3MM raised so far from 53M donors. Additional $200M donated by the company. Will also match employee donations up to $50M.
eBay - setting up program to allow proceeds of sales to be donated to disaster relief.
Cisco Systems - $2.5MM
JP Morgan Chase - $3MM + matching of employee contributions.
CitiGroup - $3MM + matching of employee contributions
PepsoCo - $1MM
Pfizer - $10MM in cash + $25MM in medical supplies + matching of employee contributions
Johnson & Johnson - $2MM + medicine and medical supplies
Abbott Laboratories - $2MM + medicine and medical supplies
Merck & Co. - $250M + medicine & medical supplies
Bristol-Meyers Squibb - $100M + medicine & medical supplies.
Starbucks - $100M + $2 for every pound of Sumatra coffee sold during January.

And that's just to start... nor is this a very complete list. There are a lot of individual and corporate donors that are not on this list. These are just some of the big names.

I hope all people and corporations are this stingy with relief aid.

Elliot

kindj answered on 01/03/05:

Having immensely enjoyed over two weeks of vacation--a COMPUTER-FREE vacation, mind you--I just now jumped in on this. Oh, I saw it over on the Christianity board, but there's too much feces-tossing over there to suit me. In fact, my forays over there become less and less frequent as it becomes less forum and more battleground.

Anyway, I was in church yesterday after having been away, so I didn't really know the local and internal events of the last several days. I did find out, however, that our little congregation of about 200-250 ponied up several thousand dollars, in large part because of the generosity of a successful banker and a couple of insurance guys. I think the guy that owns the bank(s) is going to make a substantial "official" corporate donation, but so far it's been out of his pocket.

As for me, after I saw the devastation, all I could do was dry my eyes and look around the house for useful items to give to the Red Cross. It seems my financial life has always been "feast or famine," and we're in a famine right now. VERRRY lean Christmas. But that didn't mean that we didn't have food, blankets, batteries, etc. that could be sent.

I wonder if in all of those official calculations if they also add the value of the goods and services that people donate.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 12/01/04 - What dream?

In his latest column, Walter Williams pointed out this excerpt from a Black Commentator article of 2003:

"Condoleezza Rice is the purest expression of the race traitor. No polite description is possible."

The article also speaks of "Authentic Black opinion" and "Authentic Black leadership".

Can someone please explain this nonsense?

How does someone become a 'race traitor'?

How does using racially insensitive labels such as this benefit the cause of 'authentic blacks', whatever or whoever they are?

How does one distinguish between 'authentic black opinion' and 'inauthentic' black opinion, or 'authentic black leadership' and 'inauthentic' black leadership?

Is race a factor or can anyone be an 'authentic black'?

How does one justify blacks excluding other blacks from their own race, wasn't the 'dream' a colorblind society?

Steve

kindj answered on 12/02/04:

I find it interesting how various groups are fighting for equality, and screaming that race doesn't matter, that people are people, and it's unethical and just plain wrong to identify people and stereotype them based on something as irrelevant as skin color, then turn around and place race at the forefront of every thing they touch.

People are just people. There are people I vehemently disagree with that are white, hispanic, oriental, black, native American, whatever.

There are also people that I AGREE with that are in the same groups I just mentioned.

Not all Southern white men speak for me or think like I do, and that's OK. Hell, it's BETTER than OK.

So why can't the same be true for every group?

Such hypocrisy.

DK

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 11/22/04 - Condoleezza Rice, Part 2

Dawn Turner Trice
Impact of Rice's 'first' fizzles among blacks
Chicago Tribune
Published November 22, 2004

A good friend was at an airport in Nashville last week when she learned that President Bush had asked National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to become our country's next secretary of state.

Like Rice, my friend is a 50-year-old African-American woman who grew up in the segregated South, was very well educated and had opportunities that exceeded even her parents' grand dreams.

While still in the airport, my friend promptly typed an e-mail message to me on her Blackberry.

In short, it said: As a black woman, why am I not excited about Rice's historic achievement? If confirmed, she will be the first African-American woman to hold that post. Why am I not jumping up and down in the aisles?

Well, part of the reason a number of us aren't giddy with excitement is because Rice, however brilliant, however accomplished, is in lockstep with a president whose policies many African Americans--if you consider the 89 percent who voted against him--don't support.

So it's no wonder why some blacks haven't felt the spirit to jump up and down as a result of the nomination. What I think is probably more interesting--and something I sensed within myself and in the e-mail--is that we still want to jump.

We still want to experience that giddiness, that sense of pride we've felt in the past when people who look like us achieve some momentous first or some other measure of greatness. And we're disappointed when we don't.

Why do we want to jump? Well, why does any group want to jump?

Why do we as Americans find ourselves cheering for our countrymen in the Olympics when all we know we have in common with a particular athlete is that we live under the same flag?

The answer is connection. When a person with whom we feel a real connection accomplishes something, their achievement makes those common cells of our DNA tingle. We feel exuberant and uplifted. And while there are these inspirational veins that run throughout the body of the larger community, there are others that pump this feeling of excitement in a much more contained and localized way.

Catholics felt a great sense of pride when one of their own became president. The Latino community, I am sure, feels it when one of their own favorite sons or daughters takes their place in positions of leadership and power.

This connection doesn't come without a price, though. As we tie our hopes and dreams to those on the rise, it's hard to disentangle ourselves whenever they fall.

The African-American community long has been lifted by tying itself to its champions, leaders and heroes.

In a multimedia world, which often shows the black community in its worst light, we have stars and rising stars, from Oprah to Obama, that supply their own light and shine brightly.

And although we have learned the hard way that pinning our hopes on these bold but breakable human beings can be demoralizing when they fall, we are more willing than ever to do it again.

So why aren't we jumping up and down for our sister Condoleezza?

Despite what many may think, it's not simply because she's a Republican. While most blacks didn't announce it, the black community tied its heart to Rice's predecessor, Colin Powell.

He is a fiscal conservative who, despite his party's platform, supported gun control, abortion rights, affirmative action and separation of church and state. As a diplomat, he worked hard to put Africa on the map.

As Powell soldiered on in various Republican administrations, he may have marched with a different political party than most blacks are associated with, but we never felt he was walking away from us.

In the black community, we expect something in return from our leaders. And I don't mean in the way that, say, a Halliburton expects a little something-something from having a friendly face in the vice president's chair.

We expect our leaders to be role models for our sons and daughters. We want to be able to say, "You, too, can reach great heights and break through with hard work and perseverance." But if your children became all they wanted to be but forgot where they came from, would you be jumping up and down?

----------

dtrice@tribune.com.

kindj answered on 11/22/04:

So the real problem here is she had the unmitigated gall to break away from the group and actually live her own life, by her own beliefs and values. How dare she!!

Another question: why are they considering themselves to be "blacks" before being Americans?

Never mind, that's probably just the Bigoted Christian Redneck in me coming out.

DK

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Question/Answer
voiceguy2000 asked on 11/12/04 - Why Don't the Media Report The True Yasser Arafat?

Here is a more realistic assessment of Arafat. Why is it that world media aren't willing to face the truth about this depraved sociopath?

Andrew C. McCarthy
NRO Contributor

November 12, 2004, 8:27 a.m.

The Father of Modern Terrorism


The true legacy of Yasser Arafat.



For the last week of his life, the scuttlebutt about the Palestinian movement's centrifugal force concerned whether his impending demise was driven by AIDS, likely contracted, according to leaked foreign-intelligence reports, by his omnivorous, orgiastic sexual appetite. This as if, after three quarters of a century's worth of megalo-sadism, additional indicia of Yasser Arafat's throbbing depravity were somehow necessary. And so, evidently, they were. Thus is reflection on his life, a signal emblem of the late 20th century's triumph of terror and fraud over security and reason, as instructive about our times as it is about him.

A Thug's Life

About him, while there is much to say, there is little to glean. He was a thug. One of the most cunning of all time for sure, but quite simply a ruthless, thoroughly corrupt, will-to-power thug.

As is often the case in the modern information age, just about everything in his life is known and almost nothing in his proffered legend is true. The man airbrushed in Thursday-morning encomiums from Kofi Annan and Jacques Chirac (among others) as the courageous symbol of Palestinian nationalism was not really named Yasser Arafat, was not a native Palestinian, and tended to sit out warfare with Israel whenever conventional fighting was involved.

Although he occasionally claimed to have hailed from what are now the Palestinian territories, Muhammad Abdel Rahman Abdel Rauf al-Qudwa al-Husseini was actually born in Egypt in 1929, the fifth child of a well-to-do merchant. He was educated in Cairo, although, after his mother's death when he was four, he lived at least part of the time with an uncle in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem was then the heart of the territory known as Mandatory Palestine, which chafed under British rule as a result of a 1918 League of Nations mandate. The era, to put it kindly, was not the Crown's finest hour. Sowing seeds for recriminations that persist to this day, the Brits appeared during WWI to promise some or all of the territory alternatively to Arabs and to Jews, only to exacerbate matters by keeping Palestine themselves for three decades.

Arafat's formative years were thus spent in a milieu of sectarian violence, annealed in a hatred for Jews that, far from ever subsiding, propelled him. As an engineering student in Cairo during World War II, he was powerfully influenced by Haj Amin el-Husseini, the Islamic mufti of Jerusalem who was closely aligned with Hitler and schemed from Berlin to import the Fuhrer's genocidal program to Palestine. Indeed, as the New York Sun observed in an editorial last week, one of el-Husseini's biographers relates that Arafat was a blood relative of the mufti, who preferred him to another up-and-comer, George Habash (al-Hakim), among the fiercest of Israel's Nasserite enemies who eventually founded the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a frequent Arafat ally.

Nevertheless, though he may have been a local gun-runner, the 19-year-old Arafat refrained from combat in 1948, when, upon Israel's declaration of independence, it was attacked by the Arab League (Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon, and Iraq), which was defeated in the war still regarded by Palestinians and other Arabs as "al-Nabka" (the Catastrophe). Nor did he partake in the 1956 Suez War, although, as recounted last week by the Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens, he later claimed to have done so.

Raising Terror

While Arafat's mantel as the "Father of Palestine" is dubious given that he is singularly responsible for the failure of a Palestinian nation to emerge, his credentials as the "Father of Modern Terrorism" are solid. In the late 1950's, he co-founded Fatah, the "Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine." His mtier, and thus Fatah's, was the sneak attack on soft Israeli targets, the better to maximize carnage and fear. The first efforts were ham-handed: failed attempts in 1965 to bomb the national water carrier and the railroad. But the organization soon hit its stride, successfully attacking villages and civilian infrastructure. By 1969, Arafat was the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the umbrella group he never ceased to dominate after merging Fatah into it a year earlier. The PLO had a single purpose: the destruction of Israel.

Actually, make that two purposes. The PLO was also a fabulously profitable criminal enterprise. Though Arafat purported to have made it big in the engineering business in Kuwait, British investigators, as Stephens reported, concluded after a searching probe that his wealth stemmed from sidelines his organization maintained in "extortion, payoffs, illegal arms-dealing, drug trafficking, money laundering and fraud" that yielded billions. Throughout his career, moreover, Arafat proved a master at culling funds whether from levies on strapped Palestinian workers or gushing subsidies from starry-eyed European and American governments. From these, he skimmed millions and stashed them throughout the world including in Israeli banks keeping his wife on a lavish $100,000-per-month allowance in Paris while his people starved, and, of course, blamed Israel for their troubles.

By the late 1960s, the PLO had set up shop in Jordan, wreaking havoc in the kingdom. Arafat and his affiliates soon became innovators in a tactic later refined by al Qaeda: the civilian airliner as terror weapon. On February 21, 1970, the PFLP by then also under the PLO arch bombed SwissAir Flight 330 enroute to Tel Aviv, murdering 47 passengers and crew. Eight months later, on September 6, they attempted a spectacular atrocity: a quadruple hijack, which now appears an eerie harbinger of the tectonic bin Laden operation on another September day 31 years later.

As recalled in the riveting account of "Black September" by hostage David Raab, all the hijacked flights were bound from Europe to the United States. One, a Pan-Am 747, was taken to Cairo, where it was blown up on the tarmac just after the passengers were allowed to exit. A second, targeting an El-Al aircraft, was foiled in flight by Israeli sky marshals. But a TWA 707 and a SwissAir DC-8, with a combined 310 passengers and crew, were hijacked to a Jordanian dessert. The terrorists segregated Israeli, American, Swiss, and West German passengers for captivity releasing the others and threatened to kill the hostages and blow up the planes unless jailed militants were released. Under international pressure, King Hussein resolved to reassert control. War broke out on September 13. By the time it ended two weeks later, the hostages had been released, but over 2,000 people had been killed as Arafat and his terrorist band were driven out of the country.

In the first of his many rises from the ashes, Arafat relocated to Lebanon. Staging from there, the PLO embarked, almost exactly a year to the day later, on another of the late 20th century's most infamous murder sprees. On September 5, in the midst of the Munich Summer Olympic Games of 1972, eight PLO operatives (a wing of Arafat's Fatah group known as the "Black September" brigade) carried out a plan that enabled five of them to steal into the Olympic village, quickly murder two members of the Israeli team (the wrestling coach and a weightlifter), and take nine other Israeli athletes hostage. The terrorists demanded the release of 200 Arab prisoners and safe passage back to the Middle East. German authorities lured them, with their captives, to the airport, but a rescue attempt was badly botched. In the resulting battle, the Palestinians killed all nine Israeli athletes by grenade and gunfire, as well as murdering a German policeman. Five of the terrorists were killed in the struggle, but German authorities managed to capture the remaining three. True to form, Arafat's organization responded the following month by hijacking a Lufthansa jet and taking the passengers hostage. The Germans capitulated, releasing the killers.

Arafat, meanwhile, also kept Israel's support network, the U.S., in his sights. On March 1, 1973, another eight-member Black September cell raided the Saudi embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, taking as captives two American government officials, Ambassador Cleo Noel and the Charge d'Affaires George Curtis Moore, as well as a Belgian diplomat named Guy Eid. The terrorists demanded the release of Sirhan Sirhan in California (jailed for the 1968 slaying of Robert F. Kennedy), of Palestinians imprisoned in Jordan (including Black September's own Abu Daoud, who later claimed to be the master-planner of the Munich Olympics massacre), and of Palestinian women jailed in Israel. When they were rebuffed, the terrorists murdered Noel, Moore, and Eid, and then anxiously surrendered to the Sudanese authorities.

These murders, theoretically an act of war against the U.S., were never "solved" in the sense of convicting the man ultimately responsible. The FBI was reported to have reopened an investigation of them earlier this year, and at least one State Department spokesman has strangely claimed the link between Arafat and Black September was never conclusively established even as he acknowledged Black September's membership in Arafat's own Fatah faction.

Nonetheless, a number of Israeli and American intelligence officials have long maintained that Arafat personally ordered the killings by issuing a radio message, to wit: "Why are you waiting? The people's blood in the Cold River cries for vengeance" Cold River reportedly being a predetermined code directing the executions. Furthermore, in the kangaroo court that passed for a Sudanese prosecution, one of the terrorists, Salim Rizak, testified: "We carried out this operation on the orders of the Palestine Liberation Organization" while another witness, the Sudanese official who conducted interrogations, reported that the killers had taken their cues from radio messages emanating from Fatah headquarters in Beirut. Thus abound dark suspicions, not to mention an explicit allegation by former NSA official James J. Welsh, that Arafat's complicity was shunted aside for what was perversely perceived as the greater good of diplomatically cultivating him. Meanwhile, of the eight surrendering Black September terrorists, two were released immediately by the Sudanese due to purportedly insufficient evidence, while the remaining six were convicted, sentenced to life-imprisonment, and...released the very next day to the open arms of the PLO.

From his Lebanese perch, Arafat's rampage of Israel continued apace. On April 11, 1974, the PLO slaughtered eighteen residents of Kiryat Shmona in their apartment building. A month later, on May 15, Palestinian terrorists attacked a school in Ma'alot, murdering 26 Israelis, including several children. Then, in June, the PLO through the "Palestinian National Council" endorsed what it called a "phased plan" to obliterate Israel.

Weak-Kneed Appeasement

Seven years earlier, of course, Egypt, joined by Syria and Jordan, had foolishly launched yet another war of aggression against Israel. They were routed in the Six Day War of June 1967, at the end of which Israel's territorial holdings had drastically swelled to include the West Bank and East Jerusalem (taken from Jordan), the Suez and Gaza (from Egypt), and the Golan Heights (from Syria). It was understood that this expansion would not be permanent in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, Israel agreed eventually to withdraw from some undetermined portion of these territories in exchange for peace treaties that settled borders and acknowledged Israel's right to exist. In Arafat's 1974 phased plan, however, the PLO reaffirmed its rejection of Resolution 242 and committed itself to establish, in any ceded territory, a Palestinian state that would work toward Israel's destruction.

Adumbrating the global strategy for dealing with terror that would reign supreme through the quarter century leading up to the 9/11 attacks, the world reacted to Arafat's contemptuous belligerence with weak-kneed appeasement. The PLO was rewarded with observer status in the U.N., and on November 13, 1974, a triumphant and utterly unrepentant Arafat, holster strapped to his hip, addressed the General Assembly in New York City. By 1980, the European Economic Community recognized him as the "sole legitimate representative" of the Palestinian people.

Not that there weren't setbacks. In 1979, Israel had struck a historic peace deal with Egypt in which it agreed to a phased pull-out from the Sinai (completed in 1982) and acknowledged that there should eventually be some form of autonomy for the Palestinian enclaves of the West Bank and Gaza. With its southern flank calmed, Israel wearied of continuing missile attacks and other sorties launched against its northern communities from the PLO's Lebanese stronghold. Israel invaded in 1982, inducing Arafat to flee to Tunis.

From Killing Klinghoffer to "Nobel" Star

The PLO's bloodlust did not abate. In 1985, a cell identifying itself as the Palestine Liberation Front, led by Mohammed Abu al-Abbas, hijacked the Italian cruise ship, Achille Lauro. As his horrified wife looked on, the terrorists viciously shot a 69-year-old, wheelchair-bound Jew named Leon Klinghoffer, then tossed him overboard to die in the sea. Despite indications that the PLF was acting on instructions from PLO headquarters in Tunis, a State Department spokesman incredibly contended as late as 2002 that the PLF had been a renegade group broken off from the PFLP, and that Arafat was probably blameless in the Achille Lauro operation. But, aside from the fact that the PLO's website (for its U.N. mission) listed the PLF as one of its constituents, Abbas had actually been a member of Arafat's own PLO Executive Committee. More to the point, when Abbas died last year in Iraq (where he had been harbored by Arafat's staunch ally, Saddam Hussein), Arafat issued an official statement lavishly praising him as a "martyr leader" and "a distinguished fighter and a national leader who devoted his life to serve his own people and his homeland."

Not long after Achille Lauro, Arafat began in 1987 to blaze the path that, by the mid-1990's, sickeningly transformed him into a regular White House guest and a Nobel Laureate. As was his Orwellian wont, he started on the road to faux respectability with a terrorist barrage that became known as the First Intifada. (With Arafat, it had to be the First Intifada because there would, of course, be a Second.)

The siege was ignited by two unconnected events in the powder keg of Gaza: the December 6 murder of an Israeli, followed quickly by the tragic December 10 death of four Palestinians in a car accident which was falsely, but unrelentingly, hyped as a revenge killing. Skirmishes quickly broke out in Gaza, and careened through the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The violence, a roller-coaster of lulls and explosions, lasted over six years. In the first four years that is, the period before the ebb that marked the onset of the 1991 Gulf War Israeli defense forces responded to more than 3,600 Molotov cocktail attacks, 100 hand grenade attacks, and 600 assaults with guns or explosives, all of which killed 27 and wounded over 3000. Although the PLO was rivaled in the operation by militant Islamic groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Arafat's group dominated the so-called "Unified Leadership of the Intifada," using leaflets to direct the days and targets of attacks.

Israelis were not alone among the terror casualties. Arafat unleashed PLO death squads to kill numerous Arabs who were deemed to be collaborating with the enemy. In 1990, the Arabic publication Al-Mussawar reported Arafat's defense of the tactic: "We have studied the files of those who were executed, and found that only two of the 118 who were executed were innocent." As for those putative innocents, Arafat sloughed them off as "martyrs of the Palestinian revolution."

Even as the violence hummed, Arafat assumed his statesman's face for the West, to great effect. As the body count mounted in 1988, the U.N. granted the PLO's observer mission the right to participate, though not vote, in General Assembly sessions. In addition, the administration of George H. W. Bush held open the possibility of direct dialogue if Arafat would renounce terrorism and agree to be bound by Resolution 242. This he purported to do on December 16, 1988, claiming to acknowledge "the right of all parties concerned in the Middle East conflict to exist in peace and security...including the state of Palestine and Israel and other neighbors according to the Resolutions 242 and 338" and asserting: "As for terrorism...I repeat for the record that we totally and absolutely renounce all forms of terrorism, including individual, group and state terrorism." Like the Europeans, the U.S. officially recognized Arafat as the legitimate leader of the Palestinians.

The bankruptcy of these claims was revealed as the Intifada ensued and Arafat blundered by publicly aligning with Saddam both after the invasion of Kuwait and throughout Iraq's scud missile attacks on Israel. But just as it seemed he might finally fade away, the strongman caught a lifeline when Gulf War victory failed to carry the first President Bush to re-election. Bush's successor, President Bill Clinton, saw in the intractable Israeli/Palestinian conflict the chance for an enduring legacy, and saw in Arafat a viable "peace partner."

With Clinton as determined midwife, Arafat and the government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed the ballyhooed Oslo Accords of 1993. The Palestinian Authority was created, Arafat was appointed its chief executive, and a plan for eventual self-government by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza was set in motion. But euphoria over this seeming breakthrough blurred appreciation of both Arafat's innate mendacity and Oslo's patent failure to resolve key contentious issues, including final borders, the status of East Jerusalem, and the rights of Israeli settlers and Palestinian refugees under the delusion that Arafat would work in good faith toward a peaceful, comprehensive settlement with Israel over a five-year period.

The mega-murderer was suddenly statesman, star, and, in 1994, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize a once-coveted honor now, by his attainment of it, reduced to a joke best listed among his countless victims. Thanks to this peace partner, it soon became clear that Oslo was a charade, a case of a credulous American president choosing his honey over his lying eyes.

The Palestinian Authority reneged on its promises of democratic reform and establishment of the rule of law holding elections exactly once and never again after Arafat was overwhelmingly elected. Arafat also failed to honor, despite incessant pleading by Clinton administration figures, a commitment that the Palestinian National Charter would be amended to remove clauses calling for the destruction of Israel. The PA made a show of appearing to comply, disingenuously noting the provisions purportedly slated for nullification and calling for a new draft of the Charter to be produced. No revised Charter, however, was ever forthcoming. Meanwhile, what education system existed in the territories, much like Arafat's public statements in Arabic (always far more menacing than the English he spoke to the Western world), continued to instill hatred for Jews and calls for the demise of their state. Naturally, the terrorist activity also proceeded, with the PA ineffectual in halting it when not encouraging it outright.

There should have been surprise in none of this. As Stephens reports, in 1996, Arafat brayed to an Arab audience in Stockholm, "We plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion.... We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem." Asked about his plans on Egyptian television in 1998, Arafat explained that strategic pause was a venerable Islamic strategy, referring specifically to the "Khudaibiya agreement" in which the Prophet Mohammed made a ten-year treaty with the Arabian tribe of Koreish, but broke it after two years during which his forces used the security of the pact to marshal their strength and then conquered the Koreish tribe.

Such machinations were certainly no secret to the governments and media in the U.S., Europe and Israel itself. They knew precisely who Yasser Arafat was. But politically and culturally, hopeful hearts and good intentions were for them more essential than results on the ground the "process" always took precedence over the "peace." Thus, in the Wye River Accords of 1998, the Clinton administration and Israel, now led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, took the terrorist at his word when he promised, yet again, to crack down on terror, this time in exchange for a pull back of Israeli forces (which had entered the territories in response to terror attacks), the ceding of additional territory to PA control, and even the release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners many of whom had been incarcerated for terrorism offenses.

14 9/11s

The violence never stopped. Yet, with his presidency winding down in 2000 and desperate for an accomplishment that might balance a record besmirched by scandal, President Clinton boldly sought a final time to forge a comprehensive settlement. He brought Arafat and yet another new Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, to Camp David. Under intense U.S. pressure, Israel offered the creation of a Palestinian state over 90 percent of the West Bank and all of Gaza, with its capital to be in East Jerusalem. In a move comprehensible only if one accepts that Arafat was incorrigibly devoted to Israel's extermination in which case, it was entirely comprehensible Arafat rejected this stunning offer, with poison-pill insistence that millions of Palestinians be accorded a right of return to Israel.

The breakdown of negotiations resulted, like night followed day with Arafat, in a new round of terror: the Second Intifada, which continues to this day. This program has been pursued mostly by suicide bombings often including explosives strapped to children encouraged by the culture of shahada, or martyrdom, which thrived under Arafat's corrupt and dysfunctional leadership. In the main, attacks have willfully targeted civilians in busses, restaurants, shopping centers, synagogues, hotels and other public centers. Since 2000, approximately 900 Israelis, three quarters of whom were civilians, have been murdered. To extrapolate to American proportions, for a country the size of Israel this is the rough equivalent of over 40,000 dead or, as the Hudson Institute's Anne Bayefsky has calculated, about 14 9/11s.

Arafat's world, like everyone else's, radically changed on September 11, 2001. The Bush Doctrine, announcing a commitment to eradicate terrorists and terror supporting governments, did not immediately spell the end for the Palestinian strongman. He was, however, gradually marginalized and reduced to pariah status but for the markedly less frequent, and ineffectual, paeans from Europe, the Islamic world and the U.N.

The magic began to fail even his most trusted old tricks. For example, on December 16, 2001, with American forces suppressing terrorists in Afghanistan, an ostensibly chastened Arafat appeared on PA-controlled Palestinian television to warn Hamas and Islamic Jihad against "all military activities" against Israel, and to purportedly "renew" his "call to completely halt any activities, especially suicide attacks, which we have condemned and always condemned." This time, the ploy fell flat undercut, no doubt, after the Nobel laureate characteristically followed it up only two days later with a speech at a Ramallah rally the kind of red meat always conveniently ignored in the halcyon pre-9/11 days. "With God's help," he boasted:
next time we will meet in Jerusalem, because we are fighting to bring victory to our prophets, every baby, every kid, every man, every woman and every old person and all the young people, we will all sacrifice ourselves for our holy places and we will strengthen our hold of them and we are willing to give 70 of our martyrs for every one of theirs in this campaign, because this is our holy land. We will continue to fight for this blessed land and I call on you to stand strong.
The jig was up. Arafat's celebrity might be a product of the "international community" but his relevance was strictly made-in-the-USA, and America was no longer buying. The administration of President George W. Bush let it be known that Arafat would no longer be dealt with. When the president eventually proposed his "roadmap" to resume negotiations toward an eventual Palestinian state, he snubbed Arafat and made unconditional cessation of all Palestinian terrorism a nonnegotiable prerequisite. Critically, the administration also eased the restraints that had for decades compelled Israel to accord its sworn enemy so wide a berth.

Now under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Israel responded forcefully to the terror onslaught, including through high-profile "targeted assassinations" of Hamas leaders. Its forces tightened the noose around Arafat. Unable to leave his squalid Ramallah compound with any assurance that he'd either survive or be permitted to return, the "president" of what was more a racket than a government and decidedly not a nation remained holed up there for over two years until his evacuation to Paris, in extremis, in late October. There he died on Wednesday, one of history's most repulsive conmen and killers.

"The power of bad men," Burke famously observed, "is no indifferent thing." The power of this evil man informed an age the age of terrorism. The Israelis and Palestinians may never coexist peacefully, but as long as Yasser Arafat lived they didn't even have a chance.

Andrew C. McCarthy, who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Link to article.


kindj answered on 11/12/04:

>>Why Don't the Media Report The True Yasser Arafat?<<

Because they are scared to death that if they do, then the world will be forced to see him for what he really was. Then, they'll be forced to admit that the US and Israel are RIGHT.

And that, my friend, they just cannot have.

DK

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Question/Answer
Yiddishkeit asked on 11/08/04 - Experts please define the following...

What is a liberal?


What is a moderate?


What is a conservative?


What is the left?


What is the right?



Thank you,
Bobby






kindj answered on 11/09/04:

Liberal: Anyone to my left.

Moderate: Generally speaking, a fence-sitter who waits to see which way the wind blows before making a stand, and whose stand is ever-changing. Also, someone who consistently lives under the delusion that it's possible to please all of the people at the same time.

Conservative: Someone who generally agrees with me.

The Left: That group of people who attack problems from one perspective.

The Right: That group of people who attack problems from a different perspective.

It's all in the eye of the beholder. I will, however, freely acknowledge that all parties are advocating what they feel is the best solution to any given problem. Which is great, since that's how problems get solved.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 11/08/04 - Clues for the left...

Not that anyone on the left might learn something here, but nevertheless Kathleen Parker's column on Sunday is a must read for you liberals out there.



Who you callin' 'ordinary'?


Kathleen Parker


November 7, 2004


As stunned Democrats scratch the dry earth for signs and glance heavenward for clues to the strange universe that re-elected George W. Bush, it seems unduly cruel to withhold what Ordinary Americans have known all along.

Herewith a few hints: Michael Moore, Bruce Springsteen, P. Diddy, Paris Hilton, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Barbra Streisand, Jon Bon Jovi, Uma Thurman, Kirsten Dunst, Leonardo DiCaprio, Teresa Heinz Kerry, Ron Reagan, MoveOn.org, Dan Rather, the French -- and everyone else who would be speaking German today if not for the bravery and sacrifice of Ordinary Americans who are today held in such contempt by all of the above.

It's the elitism, mes frres.

Here's another clue: When courting voters in flyover states, one does not say: "I love you, stupid redneck morons." Especially not when sporting biking tights and straddling an $8,000 two-wheeler -- a dollar amount, incidentally, that many Ordinary Americans consider a life's savings.

Not that John F. Kerry ever said such, but he didn't have to. Preening in luxury and surrounded by celebrity friends contemptuous of the values ordinary Americans hold dear, he might as well have waltzed down Beale Street whistling Dixie.

Never has a politician been so out of touch with the voters whose goals he purportedly shares. Nor a party so out of tune with the nation's defining song: "God Bless America."

The folks who re-elected Bush not only voted for the man they felt best represents their interests, but also against a culture they see as alien and hostile. The Bush vote was equally a protest against Hollywood, an increasingly untrustworthy media and the puerile Michael Moore contingent.

What those three cultural entities have in common as viewed from America's heartland is an attitude of effete superiority that isn't just untenable, but despised. In Thursday's New York Times, cosmopolitan New Yorkers grappling with Kerry's unthinkable defeat, told the story.

Beverly Camhe, a film producer; Zito Joseph, a retired psychiatrist; and Roberta Kimmel Cohn, an art dealer, elite New Yorkers all, were stunned. In Joseph's words, Bush voters are "obtuse," "short-sighted," "redneck," "shoot-from-the-hip" religious literalists.

"New Yorkers are more sophisticated and at a level of consciousness where we realize we have to think of globalization, of one mankind, that what's going to injure masses of people is not good for us," said Joseph, as he shared coffee and cigarettes with Cohn at an outdoor caf.

The two-America divide isn't fiction after all. And the division, as nearly everyone has noted, is about values. But what the Democrats got wrong, and what the New York Times subjects seem to be missing, is that traditional values and sophistication are not mutually exclusive. Nor does sophistication equate to intelligence, we hasten to add.

People who believe in heterosexual marriage because the traditional family model best serves children and therefore society are not ipso facto homophobic. Americans vexed about our casual disregard for human life are not necessarily Stepford-Neanderthals. And, those people who believe in some power greater than themselves are not always rubes.


In small towns across the nation, especially in the Deep South, one can find plenty of well-traveled, multilingual, latte-loving, Ivy-educated Ph.D.s, if that's your measure of sophistication. But they're not snobs, nor do they sneer at people who pay more than lip service to traditional values. In fact, they often share those very values in quiet, thoughtful, deliberative ways.

The Democratic Party is now entering the post-election navel-gazing stage of self-recrimination and analysis. How did it lose the very people who are supposed to be its target constituents? The puzzle is not that the Democrats lost, but that they can't see how. Let me make it simple:

When Michael Moore, the unkempt, perennially juvenile propagandist is the face of your party, you lose the grown-ups. When a gum-smacking Ben Affleck is your most articulate celebrity spokesman, you lose regular folks too busy with bills and children to (a) give a rip what Ben Affleck thinks; (b) figure out who he is.

When the news media position, inflate or distort news to advance their political agenda, you lose fair-minded Americans who would rather go with an ordinary man who shares their values than with the pampered darling of the New York bistro set. In a nutshell.

Getting back to real America won't be an easy trip for many of those now seeking answers. As any of those evangelical Christians who voted for Bush will tell you, you have to believe before you can see.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Personally, I resent the arrogant elitism that not only dismisses my values and views but mocks them, considers me a bigoted homophobe, thinks I'm not smart enough to see the light of liberalism so therefore it's your duty to ram your ideology down my throat since I don't know any better, supplants the constitution with legislated morals from the judicial bench for my own good, condemns me as a right-wing nut job stooge of Jerry Falwell and tells me I must be more tolerant - while calling me a 'stupid redneck moron'. Other than that, I get along fine with liberals. :):)

Are there any liberals out there that get this, or do you believe Bush's election was a fluke, a fraud and/or we're just a bunch of stupid, redneck morons for voting for him?

kindj answered on 11/08/04:

Kinda funny, isn't it, what the far left thinks is "sophistication?"

On the rare occasion I drink coffee, I drink it black, from the pot in my kitchen. I don't even know where the nearest Starbucks is, or even if we have one here.

>Yet I've visited more countries, most of the time of my own choice and free will, than most of the "sophisticates" I saw on TV.

I don't drive a BMW, nor do I have any desire to. However, I do kinda like the look of the new Volvos. But I drive a 10 year old, four-wheel drive, a little raised up, SUV.

>Yet I can navigate the highways (and back roads) of this country with ease. I can drive just as easily in Houston traffic as I can down a farm-to-market road.

I don't wear silk suits or shop at Macy's, YSL, or any other high-priced store.

>Yet I have more formal education than a lot of the talking heads I see on TV, and more than even a lot of our elected officials.

"Sophisticated?" You can keep it.

Gimme what's REAL.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 11/04/04 - Indications?

As many of you expressed, I hope for (but wouldn't bet on) a more unified country. In just checking again on the Democratic Underground today, the forums are back up...and they are a hoot. (see, we like to laugh)

coloradodem2004 tells us, "I am seriously thinking about cutting Republicans I know out of my life.

I am so resentful right now and many of them are heartless whiners anyway. They are so full of themselves."

Some replies, or at least ones I could post:

BUSHOUT (1000+ posts) Wed Nov-03-04 11:46 PM

4. Do it. They need to realize this is about more than gay marriage.

This is about the health and safety of America and the world.

It's personal.

all_hail_gwb (892 posts) Wed Nov-03-04 11:48 PM

7. I already have!

Old friends (husband and stepford wife) of about 15 years. Rabid 'pukes. I will never speak to them again.

My in-laws. Haven't spoken with them in at least 2 years and now they get a 4 year extension.

They'll be missed!

The Great Escape (336 posts) Wed Nov-03-04 11:48 PM

8. I Agree...

I can't cut my Mom and Dad out. I just can't. But the other aunts and uncles and cousins and the occasional co worker I'd share a beer with. Well, I won't make a big production out of it but I'll just let them slip away. Why should I waste my beautiful mind worrying about something like that!"

reeree (38 posts) Wed Nov-03-04 11:53 PM

11. I take votes for W personally.

I get really resentful of my Republican friends. Especially my female Republican friends. I just want to yell at them, "How stupid can you be? Don't you realize your party hates you because you're a woman?" I only have about two Republican friends I care to continue talking to... we just can't talk about politics ever.

Thank god my dad hated W enough not to vote for him this year. (He abstained.) My mom voted for Kerry, specifically to avoid my wrath. Otherwise I would have had difficulty continuing to talk to my parents. It would have been like a personal blow, like they just hated me so much they decided to destroy the future for me.

Gloria (1000+ posts) Wed Nov-03-04 11:56 PM

14. I already don't talk to my brother or his fundie wife....and I'm now

finding it almost impossible to talk to my freeper mother. I am to the point that I've lost all respect for her."

Jen6 (1000+ posts) Thu Nov-04-04 12:22 AM

34. I am. Every last one

they are toxic.

But hey, at least Jackie97 still wants to communicate...

42. I don't think that's a good idea.

I have mixed feelings between wanting to give them hell and wanting to stay friends with them.

Here's the thing. Not communicating with them has gotten us nowhere all these years. Marching down the street and screaming at counter protesters hasn't made the situation better between us.

I think one of the ways to change this country for the better is to keep talking to them when we have it in us to again. We've got to try to change their hearts and minds. All conservatives are not alike. Some are just fiscal, some are just social conservatives. I think there might be a way to get through to some of them that voting for somebody like Bush in the future is wrong.

When Bush's hell comes down on us, they'll be right beside us. They'll need a shoulder to lean on, and it won't help us to push them away.

I'm resentful too, but I think we need to keep talking to them if we can.

Let's not let them chase us out of the country either. The last thing I want is a world superpower being controlled solely by conservatives.

*******************************************************

That's from the "Help and Support" forum...I haven't even checked out the "Fighting and Acrimony" forum - and they think we're full of ourselves?

Do we just write this off as venting a little, or a lot of frustration, or is this an indication of things to come?

Is this how the radical left really feels, willing to sacrifice friends and family over their agenda, unwilling to compromise but willing to tolerate anything but opposing points of view, unwilling to consider the notion they just might be wrong about a few things themselves?

I for one will never, by the grace of God, cut people out of my life because we don't think the same.

Steve

kindj answered on 11/04/04:

>>finding it almost impossible to talk to my freeper mother. I am to the point that I've lost all respect for her."<<

>>Old friends (husband and stepford wife) of about 15 years. Rabid 'pukes. I will never speak to them again.<<


>>My mom voted for Kerry, specifically to avoid my wrath.<<

And THIS is the party of peace and love? THIS is the party of the compassionate? THIS is the party of the tolerant?

The height of arrogance. The height of hypocrisy. The height of ignorance.

These are the people that want us to open more dialogue with unfriendly nations, rather than jump to sanctions or armed conflict. What deceivers! They complain bitterly about GW's alleged "deceptions" while they themselves are walking, talking, living, breathing deceptions themselves!

It is my fervent hope that this group of ignorant and arrogant double-speakers does NOT reflect the average Democrat.

DK

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 11/03/04 - Congratulations

to the members of the Board who supported Pres. Bush on a clear cut victory in yesterday's election. All our hopes are for a successful second term. Cordially, Choux

kindj answered on 11/03/04:

I posted on the Christianity board yesterday something to the effect of how we're all AMERICANS (in the US), and we're Americans first. It's a shame how people can get over politics sometimes. Rational debate goes out the window, and mud and bad names come in.

I really, really often wish there was a viable third party. Now THAT would liven things up!

Remember, it's "We the People," NOT "They, the Government." It's OUR country, not theirs. OUR voice directs them. Regardless of your politics, let no one silence you. Make your voice be heard, for it is through dissent and disagreement that better solutions come about.

DK

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Question/Answer
darkstar asked on 11/02/04 - whats your voting weather today?

election officials in ohio have stated that the weather affects the voter turn out....Whats your weather today? mine is rainy and foggy(nw ohio), infact it has remained that way here now for 3 weeks. And have you been out to vote today?

kindj answered on 11/02/04:

I'm just a little bit south of Steve, and since I have no windows in my office, I don't know how much snow there is. When I got here, there was about an inch, but that was 5 hours ago.

No fear, however. For you see, I drive one of those evil, gas guzzling, monstrous, small-car-destroying, environment-killing 4 wheel drive trucks (I just can't bring myself to say "SUV." Sounds too suburban for me). So my vote will be safely delivered.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 10/28/04 - State level elections

Hi all,

We've been paying so much attention to the Presidential race, that I haven't been watching the Senate, House and Gubanatorial races (except NY). Has anyone been watching these? Which way is the wind blowing in your area?

Elliot

kindj answered on 10/29/04:

The Congressional race in my district is, as far as I know, too close to call. Of course, even though it's Demo vs. Rep., a Texas Democrat is usually more conservative that a Massachussetts Republican.

I figure we'll be OK either way, but I still like the Rep better, mostly because he is not a career politician, and doesn't want to be.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 10/26/04 - What can we take seriously?

The Times is apparently devoting this week's headlines to boost the Kerry campaign. Yesterday, they led with the story of missing explosives in Iraq. Today they continue with the 'story', in which they quote Kerry as saying, "Now we know that our country and our troops are less safe because this president failed to do the basics...This is one of the great blunders of Iraq, one of the great blunders of this administration. The incredible incompetence of this president and his administration has put our troops at risk and put our country at greater risk than we ought to be."

The Times also quoted Edwards' attack on the President, "It is reckless and irresponsible to fail to protect and safeguard one of the largest weapons sites in the country. And by either ignoring these mistakes or being clueless about them, George Bush has failed. He has failed as our commander in chief; he has failed as president."

However, last night NBC reported the weapons were missing when the US arrived at Al Qaqaa, citing their embedded reporter that was with the troops when they arrived.

NBC News Said Explosives Were Gone When US Troops Arrived

By Susan Jones

CNSNews.com Morning Editor
October 26, 2004

(CNSNews.com) - NBC News reported Monday night that 380 tons of missing explosives were already gone when U.S. troops arrived at the Al-Qaqaa weapons installation in April 2003 - one day after Saddam's government was toppled.

NBC should know. It had a reporter embedded with the U.S. troops when they arrived at Al-Qaqaa in April 2003.

While the Kerry campaign blasted the Bush administration for "stunning incompetence" on Monday, many Bush supporters questioned the timing of Monday's New York Times report about the missing explosives -- coming as it did just eight days before the presidential election.

NBC News Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski suggested a political motive as well: In his report on the missing explosives Monday night, he quoted one official as saying, "Recent disagreements between the administration and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency makes this announcement appear highly political."

According to the New York Times, the IAEA said it had warned the Bush administration about the need to secure the Al-Qaqaa facility both before and after the war.

In a follow-up report on Tuesday, the New York Times did not mention the fact that NBC had an embedded reporter on the scene when the missing explosives were discovered -- the day after Baghdad fell.

Tuesday's New York Times report -- entitled "Iraq Explosives Become Issue in Campaign" -- covers how the Bush administration "sought to explain the disappearance of 380 tons of high explosives in Iraq that American forces were supposed to secure."

Bush's aides, the Tuesday article said, "tried to explain why American forces had ignored warnings from the International Atomic Energy Agency about the vulnerability of the huge stockpile of high explosives, whose disappearance was first reported on Monday by CBS and The New York Times."

The New York Times report portrayed the Bush administration as being on the defensive -- trying to "minimize the importance of the loss" of the military explosives.

The report noted that President Bush "never mentioned the disappearance of the high explosives during a long campaign speech in Greeley, Colo., about battling terrorism."

"There are certainly some questions about when the explosives were missing," Kerry campaign adviser Howard Wolfson admitted on Fox & Friends early Tuesday morning. But the Kerry campaign is not expected to let the matter drop.

In a press release late Monday night, the Kerry campaign accused the Bush campaign of trying to cover up its "failure" to secure the explosives.

"Instead of distorting John Kerry's words, the Bush campaign is now falsely and deliberately twisting the reports of journalists. It is the latest pathetic excuse from an administration that never admits a mistake, no matter how disastrous," Kerry-Edwards senior advisor Joe Lockhart said."

The NY Times failed to mention there is another side to this story. The NY Times also today published a story portraying Bush as a hypocrite regarding his faith, and 2 of their 3 editorials are anti-Bush. Has the media ever worked so hard at electing one candidate while destroying another as they have in this campaign? Will Kerry's headline and distortion driven campaign succeed, or will it backfire?

Steve
P.S. Bobby, if you need more context follow the links.

kindj answered on 10/26/04:

I've been reading all the same stories.

My paranoid, cynical guess is that they were going to "correct" their story with "new information" on Nov. 3rd.

But gosh, it leaked out a little early, huh?

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 10/25/04 - Political dilema

Guys,

I've got a real problem, and it's weighing heavily on me. I don't know what to do about it, and I'm looking for your advice.

You all know my political leanings. I'm a huge Bush partisan, and very anti-Kerry. I have agreed with Bush on most of the issues, with only a few notable exceptions.

But I am faced with a dilema of having to turn away from the Bush name on an issue that is important to me.

You see, I enjoy Heinz Baked Beans more than Bush's Baked Beans. I can't seem to get past this, and I'm afraid I have to cross party lines on this issue. I know... its terrible, but I can't help myself.

Is there any hope for me?

Elliot

kindj answered on 10/25/04:

You came to us with THIS? C'mon man! Live up to your conservative heritage and beliefs! Claim your right to independence! Stand on your own two feet!

Learn to make your OWN baked beans! Or better yet, forget that baking nonsense. What you do is get you a whole mess of fresh red beans, rinse 'em real good so you get the dirt and stones out, and put them suckers in a crock pot on medium or high heat, depending on how much time you have. While they're cooking, get you the bone out of Sunday's ham--you know, the one with all that meat dripping off of it--and throw that in there, too. Add one or two bay leaves, some garlic (fresh is best, but powder'll work in a pinch), and a little cayenne or chili powder (go easy here, too much spoils the flavor). Let those beans cook and cook, you'll know when they're done.

Just realized the pork thing may not work for you. Putting in some ground beef sausage or deer sausage is awesome, too.

When the beans are just almost ready, make you up a big ol' pan of cornbread, and make sure it's nice and sweet.

Break open your cornbread and pour those beans on top, grab a fork, put a tarp over anything you don't want food on, and dig in!

Then you can pull all the Bush and Heinz beans off your shelf and send 'em to people you don't like.

DK

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Question/Answer
purplewings asked on 10/24/04 - About voter registration.

Do we have to register yearly or is our card good for as long as live at the same address?

I can't remember.
PW

kindj answered on 10/25/04:

Depends on your state. Mine has an expiration date on it, though I'm not sure what it is-----better check, hold on......





Well, doesn't THAT just figure!! It expires Nov. 1st!


Just kidding.....

DK

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Question/Answer
purplewings asked on 10/23/04 - A proposal from the state of Texas.



Future of Texas
Please note that Texas is the only state with a legal right to secede from the Union (please refer to the Texas-American Annexation Treaty of 1848). We Texans love y'all, but we'll have to take action if Kerry wins president over Bush. We'll miss you too.

Texas has given all those complainers plenty of time to get used to the results. After seeing the whiners along the campaign route, the folks from Texas are considering taking matters into our their hands.

Here is our solution:

#1: Let John Kerry become President of the United States. (all 49 states.)

#2: George W. Bush becomes the President of the Republic of Texas. So what does Texas have to do to survive as a Republic?


1. NASA is just south of Houston, Texas. (We will control the space industry.)

2. We refine over 85% of the gasoline in the United States.

3. Defense Industry. (We have over 65% of it.) The term "Don't mess with Texas" will take on a whole new meaning.

4. Oil - we can supply all the oil that the Republic of Texas will need for the next 300 years. Yankee states? Sorry about that.

5. Natural Gas - Again we have all we need and it's too bad about those northern states. John Kerry will figure a way to keep them warm....

6. Computer Industry - We currently lead the nation in producing computer chips and communications: Small places like Texas Instruments, Dell Computer, EDS, Raytheon, National Semiconductor, Motorola, Intel, AMD, Atmel, Applied Materials, Ball Semiconductor, Dallas Semiconductor, Delphi, Nortel, Alcatel, Etc, Etc. The list goes on and on.

7. Health Centers - We have the largest research centers for cancer research, the best burn centers and the top trauma units in the world and other large health planning centers.

8. We have enough colleges to keep us going: U.T., Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Rice, SMU, University of Houston, Baylor, UNT, Texas Women's University, etc. Ivy grows better in the south anyway.

9. We have a ready supply of workers. (Just open the border when we need some more.)

10. We have control of the paper industry, plastics, insurance, etc.

11. In case of a foreign invasion, we have the Texas National Guard and the Texas Air National Guard. We don't have an army, but since everybody down here has at least six rifles and a pile of ammo, we can raise an army in 24 hours if we need it. If the situation really gets bad, we can always call Department of Public Safety and ask them to send over a couple Texas Rangers.

12. We are totally self sufficient in beef, poultry, hogs and several types of grain, fruit and vegetables and let's not forget seafood from the gulf. And everybody down here knows how to cook them so that they taste good. Don't need any food.


This just names a few of the items that will keep the Republic of Texas in good shape. There isn't a thing out there that we need and don't have.

Now to the rest of the United States under President Kerry:

Since you won't have the refineries to get gas for your cars, only President Kerry will be able to drive around in his 9 mile per gallon SUV. The rest of the United States will have to walk or ride bikes.

You won't have any TV as the Space Center in Houston will cut off your communications. You won't have any natural gas to heat your homes, but since Mr. Kerry has predicted global warming, you will not need the gas.

Signed,

The People in Texas



kindj answered on 10/25/04:

Don't let our politicians fool you. SOMEBODY has to go to DC, right? Better one of us than one of them, most of the time.

Like I said, don't let our pol's fool you. I was born here, and have lived most of my life here, except for those years when I was in the service. Most folks here don't give a hoot in hell about politics, and would just as soon have the fed's AND the state gov'ts out of our business.

We can take care of ourselves and our own quite well without their help, thank you very much.

DK

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Question/Answer
Yiddishkeit asked on 10/20/04 - Baseball...

I watched history tonight!

Sorry Yankee fans. I know how it feels my Astros lost earlier in the evening in extra innings and I think it's going to be very difficult to beat the Cards in a game seven especially since they have home field advantage.


Anyway the Red Soxs looked amazing in their come back and I believe they have the momentum and will finally win the World Series. I know it pains NY fans to hear this, but I'm afraid that whomever wins between the Cards and Astros are going to have the frustration of the Red Sox (1918) taken out on them. Of course I'm just guessing and anything could happen...my fellow baseball fans how do y'all think it will play out?


Bobby

kindj answered on 10/21/04:

If I were the skipper for the 'Stros, I'd probably start Clemens to hold them down while Bagwell and Co. ran up some runs. Then put Pettitte in around the 6th or 7th, so long as his elbow is still OK.

Then hope for the best.

If God does NOT happen to smile upon the Astros, I won't care so much about the series, but I have a tendency to root NL over AL most times, with the Rangers being one exception.

DK

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Question/Answer
sapphire630 asked on 10/20/04 - I learn something new everyday!

I didn't know deer hunters 'crawled on their bellies'
I thought only Little Egypt's 7 Kids (song by The Coasters) and reptiles 'crawled on their bellies'....but Kerry is looking forward to yet another photo ...oops deer hunting 'crawling on his belly' in Mahony County, Ohio.

kindj answered on 10/20/04:

I have done it, on rare occasions. You see, I don't believe in hunting being simply a matter of showing off marksmanship. I know I can hit a target 150-200 yards away, that's not the point of the HUNT.

The HUNT is to take on the game, on the game's own turf, and see if you can bring home the bacon, or the venison.

Therefore, I started out hunting with a .30-30 lever action, no scope, just plain ol' iron sights. 100 yards or less.

Later, I decided to try handgun hunting. Handguns aren't good for accuracy much beyond 50 yards, and that's kinda pushing it a little.

Now, I'm learning how to bowhunt. 25 yards average shot.

Needless to say, on occasion crawling on one's belly is the ideal (or only) way to stalk close enough to enable a good enough shot for a swift kill.

Also needless to say, less than 10 percent of the overall hunters hunt like I do. No patience, or lack of regard for the "fairness" of the hunt. Personally, I don't call that hunting, but slaughter by exceptional marksmanship.

Haven't seen the photo of Skerry, but would be interested to. If he has a rifle with a scope on it, betcha dollars to doughnuts the only "belly crawling" he's doing is in front of his wife for his allowance.

Hunt hard
Kill swiftly
Waste nothing
No apologies

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 10/19/04 - Messages for the children


Hello experts:

You know, whenever I hear that blankety blank sends the wrong message to our children, I know that they are about to take away a legitimate adult activity.

Should children be kept entirely in the dark about adult activities? Do you think that if you don't expose them to certain things that they won't learn about them?

Do you, like George Bush, not know whether homosexuality is a choice? Do you like the taste of sand with your head in the hole?

excon

kindj answered on 10/20/04:

I agree with Elliot mostly, which I'm sure is no great surprise.

However, lately (the last 5 or 6 years), I've been looking at the issue of "messages to children" in a much, much bigger scope when it concerns children's vs. adult's activities, and I hope my brain isn't too muddled this morning to make sense. I had a lousy weekend, and am picking up a stomach bug to boot. And of course, my work is FAR to important to the safety and freedom of the civilized world to DARE take a day off just to rest. At least, that's apparently how the boss feels. Damn, I hope this other job I'm looking at works out...

Anyway...

I spent a small part of my adult life in education, thinking that I would dearly love to mold the mush that fills young skulls into something resembling a living, thinking, human brain. I ended up throwing the finger to education very quickly however, but not because of the kids. Because of the parents and the educational "system" (which implies an organized approach to something, so I use it loosely) as a whole.

The problem as I see it goes far beyond what society is telling them about sexual roles, sexual activity, violence, and whatever else you want to throw in there. The trouble is that while the kids are in school (grades 1-12) they are getting more and more work dumped on them. Here in my state, the NORM, the BASELINE is a track that leads to what is called a "Recommended" high school track. There are currently three possible levels to work in and graduate with in our high schools: Regular, Recommended, and Distinguished or Advanced (depending on whose ISD you're in). Each level has increasing number of classes, and increasing difficulty of classes. The Regular track is now a "fall back position" for those who simply can't hack the upper two. The reason they're doing this is to prepare the kids for college, regardless of the FACT that only 65 percent nat'l average) of graduating seniors will begin college right after high school, and by the time it's all said and done, the percentage of people in America that have a four-year degree is STILL less than 25 percent. Criminy, the kids graduating with Distinguished are taking classes I didn't even attempt until my second year of college!! Preparation for these tracks is virtually mandatory, beginning in--no sh*t--3rd grade!!

So what our kids hear from the educational system (virtually their whole world during the school years) and from us parents (because who doesn't want their child to be the best and smartest person they can be?) is "This is serious stuff, you need to work hard, because you're adult life DEPENDS on this." There's more and more extremely difficult classes, and the kids are getting pushed harder and harder, with the powers that be always pointing toward their adult years.

The trouble is, this doesn't leave much time, either during the school hours OR AT HOME, to just be kids. Remember when you could choose X number of electives during high school? You can still do that here, but you're electives are things like calculus vs. trigonometry, 2nd year physics vs 3rd year chemistry, and so on. Art classes? Virtually GONE. Shop classes? Virtually GONE. Athletics overall (except the secondary--or primary, depending on how you look at it--religion: football) is on the decline. My oldest is BIG into the theatre department, and he's staying at school until 6 and 7 at night, because that's the demand of the class.

We're telling ourselves we're preparing our kids to be adults. We tell our kids constantly to "grow up," and when they complain that there's no time to play, we say "welcome to the adult world."

Everywhere they turn, they're being told to prepare for the adult world. When they say that the material is hard or requires a lot of study, they're told to grow up, that's the way the "real world" works.

There are so very many adult-type demands placed on them.

But yet, when they want to try smoking, drinking, or sex, we say "NO! You're too young for that. You're just a kid! That's ADULT stuff!"

Then we wring our hands at 11 at night, after we've finally gotten them in bed, wondering why they're so confused...

DK

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Question/Answer
purplewings asked on 10/19/04 - Funnyisms-but please not from the president of the USA!

I will stand up and struggle, as others have, to try to get that right balance between violence, and sex, and things.
- John Kerry - ABC News


"The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country."

- John F. Kerry


"This president always makes decisions late after things have happened that could have been different had the president made a different decision earlier."

- John Kerry in Washington Post


I don't own an SUV,'' said Kerry, who supports increasing existing fuel economy standards to 36 miles per gallon by 2015 in order to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil supplies.
Kerry thought for a second when asked whether his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, had a Suburban at their Ketchum, Idaho, home. Kerry said he owns and drives a Dodge 600 and recently bought a Chrysler 300M. He said his wife owns the Chevrolet SUV.
"The family has it. I don't have it,'' he said.
- John Kerry - Guardian Unlimited


"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."

- John F. Kerry


"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that one word is 'to be prepared'."

- John F. Kerry


"I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future."

- John F. Kerry


"The future will be better tomorrow."

- John F. Kerry


"We're going to have the best educated American people in the world."

- John F. Kerry


"I stand by all the misstatements that I've made."

- John F. Kerry


"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe."

- John F. Kerry


"Public speaking is very easy."

- John F. Kerry


"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls."

- John F. Kerry


"We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur."

- John F. Kerry


"For NASA, space is still a high priority."

- John F. Kerry


"Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children."

- John F. Kerry


"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."

- John F. Kerry


"It's time for the human race to enter the solar system."

- John F. Kerry

Thank you so much Mr. President for bring us such eloquence!


kindj answered on 10/20/04:

I don't care who you are or how much experience you have in public speaking, when the pressure's on and you're having to think on your feet, you WILL make mistakes or say things that make people go, "huh?"

Sometimes no matter how prepared you are, you get caught up in the moment and the passion you have for what you're speaking about and say some outrageous stuff.

I shudder whenever I listen to a recording of some of the more "impassioned" sermons I've done.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 10/14/04 - An Article I saw...

Hello all,

I first saw this article in the Houston Chronicle on Friday Oct. 8, 2004. I found it reprinted here.

I will first print the article here.

Then I'll rip it apart.

Your comments are appreciated.

-------------

Israel Wins the Debates
More of the Same
By TARIF ABBOUSHI

John Kerry and John Edwards used their debates with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to tell America that if the incumbents are re-elected, as far as Iraq goes we can expect 'More of the same.' Those four words exemplify the essence of the Democrats' argument for regime change in the U.S., a Kerry-Edwards mantra, if you will, that defines the Bush administration's plan for dealing with the debacle they got us into in Iraq. But there's another mantra that bodes equally ill for our efforts to win the peace in Iraq, one that is used by Democrats and Republicans alike to encapsulate their approach to dealing with the mother of all issues in the region: 'Israel has a right to defend itself.'

When John Edwards was pointedly asked to explain his party's plan for dealing with the Israel-Palestine conflict, he ignored the question to wax indelible about Israel's right to self-defense. Offered his opportunity to articulate the incumbency's position, Cheney could only agree with his opponent. It would be closer to the truth for both parties to acknowledge that their plans for Israel-Palestine are one and the same: whatever Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's foot-soldiers inside the beltway tell them it's going to be. At its heart, more of the same twisted logic that ascribes the right to self-defense to the occupier, but not the occupied.

A point of contention during the vice-presidential debate was John Edwards' barb that the Bush administration has outsourced the capture of Usama Bin Laden to Afghan warlords. But there is no arguing that it has outsourced the Israel-Palestine conflict resolution to Israel. After repeatedly asserting that he would do whatever it takes to ensure that Israelis and Palestinians comply with his peace plan, the much-vaunted but ill-fated 'Road Map', President Bush has shown he was only talking the talk. When it came time to walk, he toed Sharon's line--all the way around the illegal Israeli colonies on the West Bank.

Our leaders on both sides of the aisle trip over themselves to trumpet another of Sharon's hypnotic mantras: 'Israel has no partner for peace.' The truth is Sharon can find no Palestinian who will accept Israel's definition of peace: a Palestinian entity the contours of which are defined by Israeli settlements, the borders, airspace and aquifers of which are controlled by Israel, and the disjointed non-contiguity of which more resembles Apartheid South Africa's reviled Bantustans than any viable state in the world today. For all its despicable corruption and ineptitude, the Palestinian Authority would ink a peace deal tomorrow if Israel would withdraw from the territories it occupied in 1967, but that is a step Israel has never countenanced--not in Oslo, not at Camp David, not even as a theoretical response to the cessation of Palestinian violence. It is truly the Palestinians who have no partner for peace.

While it is refreshing to hear the Democratic team of Kerry and Edwards join Republican Senators John McCain, Chuck Hagel and Richard Luger in articulating self-evident truths about the quagmire in Iraq (and in doing so highlight the Bush administration's dastardly delusional denial) the truth is neither party has a hope of turning things around for America in the Middle East without first confronting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a manner that puts America's interests ahead of Israel's. Focusing on Iraq as the core issue of this election misses the point, for we cannot win the region's hearts and minds through a war conceived and championed by avowed pro-Israel zealots like Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and Richard Perle. The folly of their approach continues to unfold before us on a daily basis. In the bigger picture, it is perhaps best captured by President Bush's pre-war claim that the peace train to Jerusalem goes through Baghdad. How Jerusalemites must be praying to their sacred heavens that Bush's train never reaches their holy city.

During his debate with John Edwards, Dick Cheney cited Saddam Hussein's support for Abu Nidal and for the Palestinian suicide bombers as evidence of the deposed Iraqi dictator's links with terror. But Abu Nidal and the suicide bombers are enemies of Israel, not of the U.S. It is the Bush administration's neoconservatives that have succeeded in defining our enemies as Israel's enemies, and not, as is painfully clear, to our benefit. Unfortunately, both the Democratic challengers and the Republican incumbents define their future approach to Israel--and, unwittingly, its consequences for our nation--with the same dreaded four words: More of the same.

Tarif Abboushi lives in Houston. He can be reached at: TAbboushi@aol.com

-----------

Let's see... where to begin....

I know... let's start with some of the basic assumptions made by Mr. Abboushi.

1) That Palestinian terrorism (o terrorism by any other group of terrorists) can ever be justified.
2) That Israel (or any other country) should be forced to negotiate while under the gun of terrorism.

These two assumptions go hand in hand. Without them, Abboushi doesn't have a leg to stand on.

So let's be clear about this: Terrorism is NEVER justified. Deliberate attacks against non-combatants are unjustifiable without exeption. Furthermore, no country should negotiate with terrorists while under the influence of terrorism. To do so is a failure of the government to protect the security of the nation it governs. It doesn't matter whether we are talking about Israel or Africa. The rules and the responsibilities are the same.

3) Israel does not have the right to defend itself.

This assumption is made clear in the fourth paragraph when he lambasts Edwards for saying that Israel DOES have the right to defend itself, and lambasts Cheney for agreeing. Clearly Mr. Abboushi does NOT believe that Israel has the right to defend itself.

In this belief, Mr. Abboushi denies Israel the right of every soveriegn government in the world... the right to secure and safe borders, and the right to defend against attack from its enemies. Not only does Israel (and every other country) have the right to defend itself... it has the RESPONSIBILITY to do so. Anything less is a shirking of that responsibility to its citizens and a monumental failure of the government.

4) That the USA is under duress from Israel, and that Israel is forcing the USA to take actions that are counter to its own best interests.

Mr. Abboushi makes it very clear that he believes that Paul Wolfowitz, Gouglas Feith, David Wurmser and Richard Perle and other prominent no-cons are puppets of Ariel Sharon and are influencing the US government in directions that are not good for the USA.

First of all, if Israel has any influence over the USA, it is as an ally and a peace partner, and a partner in the war on terrorism. It is NOT as a master over a puppet state. It never has been, and it never will be.

Second, supporting Israel in its battle against terrorism is good for America for quite a few reasons.

a) Israel is the USA's only completely reliable and safe port of call in the entire region.
b) Israel is a partner in the war on terror. Anything that supports the elimination of terrorists is good for America and Israel.
c) Israel is an economic ally as well. Anything that can bring stability in the region and eliminate the terrorist threat is good for American business.

Plus, let us not forget that the "support" that Bush has offered Israel until now is simply a hands off policy rather than any affirmative support of any kind. That is the best type of support to give Israel... just stay out of their way, and let them do what they need to do. So the idea that Bush is "supporting" Israel against the Palestinian terrorists is ludicrous. What Mr. Abboushi REALLY means is that the Bush government has refused to oppose Israel, and that is what makes him so angry.

Then there are the factual problems with Mr. Abboushi's article.

I - Mr. Abboushi claims that "The truth is Sharon can find no Palestinian who will accept Israel's definition of peace: a Palestinian entity the contours of which are defined by Israeli settlements, the borders, airspace and aquifers of which are controlled by Israel, and the disjointed non-contiguity of which more resembles Apartheid South Africa's reviled Bantustans than any viable state in the world today."

Clearly, he has not seen the Sharon plan if he can say that. While it is true that some settelements will remain, most of the smaller ones are being disbanded... especially where it effects the congruity of Palestinian territories. Furthermore, the plan will open up Palestinain borders and airspace, and clarify Palestinian water rights. To say otherwise is a clear lie.

II - Then there is the claim that "For all its despicable corruption and ineptitude, the Palestinian Authority would ink a peace deal tomorrow if Israel would withdraw from the territories it occupied in 1967, but that is a step Israel has never countenanced--not in Oslo, not at Camp David, not even as a theoretical response to the cessation of Palestinian violence. It is truly the Palestinians who have no partner for peace. "

Actually, in September 2000, Ehud Barak offered Yassir Arafat 98% of the territories represented by the 1967 borders. The last 2% was withheld for security reasons, but other lands were offered in lieu of that 2%.

Arafat rejected the offer and pulled out of the Camp David talks. He didn't make a counter offer. He didn't debate the issue. He just rejected it and pulled out, claiming that Israel was being unreasonable in its negotiations.

Now I don't know about you, but if someone offers me 98% of what I'm looking for at the negotiating table in any business deal, I jump at it. I certainly DON'T try to pull out of the deal. Yet that is what Arafat did.

So for Mr. Abboushi to claim that Palestinians would "jump at the chance" to take a deal that brought them back to the 1967 borders, but that Israel has "never countenanced" such a deal is another clear lie. Even Clinton, who was at the time an unabashed Arafat supporter, said that Arafat pulling out of the negotiations after being offered the moon was insane and completely unreasonable. Sorry, but the facts are NOT what Abboushi claims they are.

Your comments are appreciated.

Elliot

kindj answered on 10/14/04:

>>Clearly Mr. Abboushi does NOT believe that Israel has the right to defend itself.<<

>>What Mr. Abboushi REALLY means is that the Bush government has refused to oppose Israel, and that is what makes him so angry.<<

Those two points a) sum up the article and b) get to the heart of the author's REAL problems.

Obviously a pro-Palestinian (and by extension pro-terrorists) piece.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 10/13/04 - Kerry on Terrorism

"We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance. As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life." John Kerry (published in this weeks N.Y.Times Magazine)

This statement best reflects the differences between Kerry and Bush's approach . Bush thinks it is war ;Kerry thinks you can handle terrorism like gambling ,prostitution and other victimless crimes.

kindj answered on 10/13/04:

Terrorism is more than a mere "nuisance." It is a crime against humanity akin (to my mind) to the Holocaust, the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the Bataan Death March, and any other atrocity one cares to mention.

To say that it is "criminal behavior" is like saying Charles Manson lacked social grace--it's an understatement to the fullest. Terrorism and everything that surrounds it (illegal arms deals, guns/money/drugs for drugs/guns/money, new federal agencies, privacy laws, threat levels both real and perceived, etc.) is the single biggest threat facing our planet today. Global warming, the environment, the so-called energy shortage, the economy---none of those mean a thing while we're worried about the very real possibility of our children being blown up in their classrooms or our families being held in a 737-turned-missile.

To look at the problem as anything other than paramount is totally irresponsible and shows a complete lack of reality comprehension.

It's a new kind of war, all right. New to the American people. But it's NOT new to our military. They've been training in counter-terrorism since at least 1986 that I know of, and most likely before that. The trouble is, the politicians won't turn them loose, at least not in the public eye.

People whine and cry that we've "abandoned" the search for OBL. BS! While I personally think that his scattered body parts have long since assumed ambient temperature, I also know that if this is not the case, that the hunt goes on. But it doesn't go on with battalions of troops stomping through the hills, stealthy as a herd of bison. Rather, it goes on with indigenous (sp? Never could spell that one right) personnel personally trained, guided, and most likely paid by US intelligence and Special Operations assets, along with a whole host of others countries' intel and SO assets. So long as he's alive or missing, he's a global threat, and the majority of the globe realizes this at least privately, if not publically, and is contributing to the hunt.

I get so weary of hearing lazy whiners moan about "how long" it's taking to fight the terrorists. The war on terror has only been going on for three years!! How long did it take to complete WW2? And that was a war we KNEW how to fight!

I have confidence that Bush is on the right track. For those who moan his domestic policies, I say this: Did you ever think that some things--in fact, MOST things--would be better off if the federal gov't got their grimy paws off of them? I mean really, what domestic program have the feds emplaced that has profited more than its cost?

It's kind of like rattlesnake hunting (all you greenpeace and PETA freaks leave me alone): It's pretty risky to try and smash the snake's eggs before you take out the momma and daddy snake.

Take care of the big problems first, then you're free to proceed with putting out the smaller fires.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 10/12/04 - Uhhh, dumb question!



Hello fiscal conservatives, I know you must be out there:

Uhhh, uhhh, we have a deficit, huh? A big one, huh? So, why are the Republicans giving business another 1.3 billion dollar tax break? Is this la la land? Did I wake up to the Mad Hatter being in charge?

excon

kindj answered on 10/12/04:

However, it's a fact that no nation has EVER taxed itself into prosperity.

DK

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excon asked on 10/08/04 - Finally!!!


Hello Experts:

I changed my mind. Bush is going down - big. I don't know how he squandered his lead, but he did. Maybe it's because he's a liar and a dufus???? Nahh.

excon

kindj answered on 10/08/04:

You know, I'm not even gonna answer your real question, because I'm so disgusted with the system right now. A strong third-party candidate would sure liven things up, though.

Glad to see you around again. Don't know where Elliot is....I sent him something a day or so ago asking if all was well, and haven't heard back yet.

DK

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Question/Answer
purplewings asked on 10/08/04 - If John Kerry should become President of the US,

What do you think, or just hope - he will do about the Iraqi situation, and about the Islamic terrorist who are so focused on the United States?

PW

kindj answered on 10/08/04:

I HOPE he would find all the terrorists of every ideological persuasion, and kill them.

I THINK he will go hat in hand to the UN, and pull the same stunt he did before Congress upon his return from Vietnam---malign, lie about, and betray his fellow Americans.

I think he will then return Saddam Hussein to power in Iraq, and issue a pardon for Osama bin Laden.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 10/06/04 - OBL

Does anyone know for sure that OBL was trapped in Tora Bora ? I can speculate with the best of them. Perhaps he was buried in a cave when a Daisy Cutter landed on his bunker. Perhaps he high tailed it out of Iraq at the onset of the war and is living in Iran directing operations of al Qaeda without the visibility he once used. Perhaps he flew to Vegas and is now an Elvis impersonator. Who knows? I would like to see the basis of this charge that Kerry and Edwards keeps repeating that we had OBL cornered ,and we let him escape.

For the record ;Tora Bora was a military victory .Daisy Cutters drove the al-Qaeda fighters out of their caves and when they came out Afghan Eastern Alliance fighters killed or captured the vast majority of them.It is true that some of them escaped through the Khyber Pass ,but it probable that these escapes would've occured no matter how many American boots were on the ground.

kindj answered on 10/06/04:

I saw him in a 7-11 in Little Rock, Arkansas.




No, wait a minute, that was Elvis.


I saw him in a cafe......

No, no...that was Jim Morrison.

Oh yeah! Now I remember! I saw him and a few of his cronies at open mike night at this little pub.....

Darn it! That was Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and John Lennon.

Nope. Don't know for sure about OBL.


But I'm patient....

DK

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Question/Answer
sapphire630 asked on 10/05/04 - Americans Dreams

common folk relating to common folk
another dose....
Kerry claims he relates to the common folk---plumbers, carpenters, etc...whether it is sailing in Mass, surfing in Cal, or shooting at a gun range in the mid west. I want to know what blue collar worker has the time or money to do these things he thinks he is relating to. Who is this common folK? Aren't they to busy trying to make the money and find the time to do these things

kindj answered on 10/06/04:

None of the politicians can "relate" to me or mine. As another so aptly pointed out, we're too busy trying to get both ends to meet in the middle to go galavanting around in our boats or spend countless hours on the golf course. We actually have to WORK for a living, and unlike them, if we don't work, we don't get paid.

I go hunting maybe 3 times in a year, and fishing maybe 7 or 8 times in a year. At most, that's 11 days out of 365. Sure, I could go more often, but that would mean more time away from my wife and kids. I already spend 10-12 hours a day away from them as it is.

"Relate to us." What a joke.

DK

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Question/Answer
sapphire630 asked on 10/05/04 - Scary Terry Kerry at it again

Now she came back to her Foxchapel home in Pittsburgh to visit nearby Sharpsburg after our flood from Ivan and she said, "I wish I were in a position to help"
I guess she spent all her millions on the Boston bash and couldn't even help even with a case of ketchup and a keg of Iron (Pittsburghs beer). I guess she doesn't own a pair of work pants or work boots either.
Help me with excuses for her, please!

kindj answered on 10/05/04:

There's the left for you!!

"DO SOMETHING!!! Just not with MY money..."

Figures...

DK

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Question/Answer
Bishop_Chuck asked on 10/02/04 - Vice Presidents

Ok, we all have views on the election. But have many of us, stopped to consider what the leadership would be like if either party was elected and shortly afterwards the President ( which ever one) would die ( not that we would want either one to).

Many Americans can't even tell you who the two men who could be president even is. Would we want either of these men ( the vice presidents) running our country.

kindj answered on 10/04/04:

I don't know much about Johnny Jr, but what I've seen from him doesn't do much for me. Looks to me just like another wanna-be good ol' boy, backslapping and slick talking his way into whatever he wants. In short, he appears to be just another spoiled brat for whom politics and the running of America is more like a role-playing video game than the serious business it is.

On the other hand, I actually met Dick Cheney in early 1990, when he was Secretary of Defense, and the man sat at my table for dinner at the NCO club, where myself and 8 other guys got to actually talk to him, not as a politician, but just as a man. The guy has an engaging, intelligent personality that doesn't always show up on camera. He seemed happy enough to just swap stories with us for a couple of hours. Keep in mind, at this time he was not actively campaigning for himself or anyone else, so I think I got a pretty true "snapshot" of the man as he really is.

I trust him.

Of course, I wish he'd taken better care of his heart, but like so many of us, he probably thinks that "If I knew I was gonna live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."

DK

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Question/Answer
Yiddishkeit asked on 09/30/04 - The first debate is historically the most watched...

I'd never seen Sen. Kerry debate before tonight and I was a bit surpised by how well he did. He controlled the room and for those who viewed the split screen shots of both candidates, witnesssed Pres. Bush losing his composure while Sen. Kerry was focused and steady.

Most of the spin doctor experts from both the Democratic and Republican camps agree that Sen. Kerry faired better. Personally I don't know if it will be enough to give Sen. Kerry an edge in this election, but I do believe the race is tightening. When the issues over economy come up in the next debate let's see how that plays out.


Bobby

kindj answered on 10/01/04:

I'm a bushman and a Bush man, and will continue to be so.

However, I was disappointed in the way Bush handled the debate last night. I understood what he was saying, and his points were pretty strong and OK, but his delivery was not at all good.

Plus, there were several openings that Kerry gave him that he either missed or ignored. I guess he knows more about what he's doing than I do, but I was still rather disappointed.

DK

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sapphire630 asked on 09/28/04 - ...uneducated? (stupid me)

Scary Terry Kerry says that Pittsburgh women are uneducated. She likes to go on and on about how she as a woman stands up for her right to be heard. I guess she lived in Pittsburgh less years than I have that she is intellectual enough to have her say and I having lived here for the most part of my 50 years makes me uneducated and should shut up.
If she is so educated and I am so uneducated I guess I should count my blessing for being stuck in stupid!

kindj answered on 09/28/04:

As an old country comedian often noted, "There are a whole mess of folks out there who are educated far beyond their own intelligence."

Makes sense to me.

There's a huge difference between a formal education and intelligence. Some of the dumbest SOB's I've ever seen have been standing in front of me at a podium, calling themselves Dr. so-and-so.

Make no mistakes: education is easy to get. Intelligence takes a little work, and sometimes to get intelligence, you have to put aside education.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 09/28/04 - Hep me - hep me; I'm conflicted


Hello all you people who have it all figured out, because I sure as hell don't:

George Bush will go down in history as the worst president (by far), that we've ever had. He's gotten us into some really big trouble that I'm not sure we're going to recover from.

But, he (along with his Christian right followers), are staunch supporters of Israel.

On the other hand, irrespective of whatever Kerry happens to believe at the moment, his party supports the Palestinians.

I'm a Jew and a democrat (no - not Democrat - democrat), and a defender of the only democracy in the Middle East.

Should I punt?

excon

kindj answered on 09/28/04:

No conflict here.

I'm going to paraphrase what Rockin' Steady Uncle Teddy (Ted Nugent) said a day or so ago:

"When youre on the wall of the Alamo, you dont disarm the best shot you have. GWB is the best shot we have. Period."

That kinda sums it up.

Stand for what you believe in, and if anyone tries to keep you quiet, that's what your middle finger is for.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 09/22/04 - Reuters caves to terrorists

Reuters' global managing editor acknowledges that Arab intimidation influences his agency's news coverage.

HonestReporting has repeatedly denounced media outlets' categorical refusal to call terrorists 'terrorists' in news reports (see our special report on this topic).

As Islamic terror continues to spread worldwide, one major news outlet decided that enough is enough it's time to call terrorism by its name. CanWest, owners of Canada's largest newspaper chain, recently implemented a new editorial policy to use the 'T-word' in reports on brutal terrorist acts and groups.

So when CanWest's National Post published a Reuters report on Sept. 14, they exercised their right to change this Reuters line that whitewashes Palestinian terror:

... the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which has been involved in a four-year-old revolt against Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank. (Jeffrey Heller, 9/13 'Sharon Faces Netanyahu Challenge')

to this, more accurate line:

... the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a terrorist group that has been involved in a four-year-old campaign of violence against Israel.

Reuters didn't like the adjustment, and took the unusual step of officially informing CanWest that if it intended to continue this practice, CanWest should remove Reuters' name from the byline. Why? The New York Times reported (emphasis added):

"Our editorial policy is that we don't use emotive words when labeling someone," said David A. Schlesinger, Reuters' global managing editor. "Any paper can change copy and do whatever they want. But if a paper wants to change our copy that way, we would be more comfortable if they remove the byline."

Mr. Schlesinger said he was concerned that changes like those made at CanWest could lead to "confusion" about what Reuters is reporting and possibly endanger its reporters in volatile areas or situations.

"My goal is to protect our reporters and protect our editorial integrity," he said.

Schlesinger with Reuters' news exec Stephen Jukes, who instructed editors not to call 9/11 'terror,' since 'one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.'

[Schlesinger repeated this statement in a recent radio interview with CBC, when he described the 'serious consequences' if certain 'people in the Mideast' were to believe Reuters called such men 'terrorists.']

This is a stunning admission Reuters' top international editor openly acknowledges that one of the main reasons his agency refuses to call terrorists 'terrorists' has nothing to do with editorial pursuit of objectivity, but rather is a response to intimidation from thugs and their supporters.

In every other news arena, western journalists pride themselves on bravely 'telling it as is,' regardless of their subjects' (potentially hostile) reactions. So why do editors at Reuters and, presumably, other news outlets bend over backwards to appease Islamic terrorists, using 'safe' language that deliberately minimizes their inhuman acts?

Scott Anderson, editor-in-chief of CanWest Publications, said that Reuters' policy 'undermine[s] journalistic principles,' and raised the key question: 'If you're couching language to protect people, are you telling the truth?'

An editorial in the Ottawa Citizen, one of CanWest's newspapers, spells out the issue in black and white:

Terrorism is a technical term. It describes a modus operandi, a tactic. We side with security professionals who define terrorism as the deliberate targeting of civilians in pursuit of a political goal. Those who bombed the nightclub in Bali were terrorists. Suicide bombers who strap explosives to their bodies and blow up people eating in a pizza parlour are terrorists. The men and women who took a school full of hostages in Beslan, Russia, and shot some of the children in the back as they tried to flee to safety were terrorists. We as journalists do not violate our impartiality by describing them as such.
Ironically, it is supposedly neutral terms like 'militant' that betray a bias, insofar as they have a sanitizing effect. Activists for various political causes can be 'militant,' but they don't take children hostage.

* * *

The CanWest/Reuters affair is remarkably similar to CNN's Iraqi cover-up from last year, when CNN's top news executive admitted that CNN's knowledge of murder, torture, and planned assassinations in Saddam's Iraq was suppressed in order to maintain CNN's Baghdad bureau. We asked back then:

Now that this senior CNN executive has come clean, it leaves us wondering: In what other regions ruled by terrorist dictators do the media toe the party line so as to remain in good stead?

We now have our answer in the Palestinian region. Reuters admits to regulating their language to appease the terrorists and that's an open admission of pro-Palestinian bias.

*******************************************************

Does fear of reprisal justify media sanitization of the issue of terrorism? Is fear why so many in the American media refuse to call terrorism what it is, or is it just old-fashioned media bias?

P.S. Kudos to CanWest.

kindj answered on 09/22/04:

Typical of the limp-wristed media types. They talk real tough until it's THEIR a**es that are being threatened, then they cave.

DK

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tomder55 asked on 09/22/04 - caving in to terrorism?

Earlier today there were reports from Baghdad that "Dr.Germ"Rahib Rasheed Taha ;and "Mrs. Antrhrax" Dr Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash were to be released from American custody in Iraq apparently a cave in to Zarqwai 's threat to behead another hostage if female prisoners were not released .Now thankfully the U.S. has announced that they are not being released....at least not immediately .
According to DEBKAfiles intelligence sources," Zarqawi has been tipped off that one of the two Iraqi scientists is on the point of breaking under questioning and spilling the beans on Saddams WMD to her American interrogators. He therefore interceded by seizing the three Western hostages, either to gain her release or scare her into holding silent.

Our sources also believe that Zarqawi has personal acquaintance going back five years with one or both the Iraqi women scientists. A poisons expert himself, the Jordanian terror master frequently passed through Baghdad in the years 1998 and 2002 on his way to the biological and chemical weapons laboratories made available to al Qaeda in the northern Iraqi town of Biyara. He may even have been supplied with equipment, materials and instruction manuals by those very women. The facility was located in an area controlled by Ansar al-Islam which it later transpired was an operational wing of al Qaeda. Zarqawi may be seeking their release so that they can be hired by al Qaeda to continue the biological weapons researches they performed for the deposed Iraqi dictator. ".

The issue of WMD remains an open question in my book .If there is any possibility that they could provide some answers ,then they should remain in custody . I feel for the families of the hostages but under no circumstances should their demands be agreed to.



kindj answered on 09/22/04:

You know, about a year ago I went to Puerto Rico for a business trip that lasted about 3 to 4 weeks. While I was there, my student loan servicing company called and said they heard I had relocated and wanted to update my address. I am not kidding. Of course I explained the situation to them and they were OK.

However, I wonder why we don't just turn the search over to the student loan people? I bet they could find these a**hole terrists in a couple of days.

DK

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 09/22/04 - Cowards attack soldier who was home on leave to rehab. from his wounds .

Foster Barton, 19, of Grove City, received a Purple Heart for his military service in Iraq. He almost lost his leg last month after a Humvee he was riding in ran over a landmine.

Barton said he was injured again Friday night in a crowded parking lot as he was leaving the Toby Keith concert at Germain Amphitheatre. The solider was injured so badly that he can't go back to Iraq as scheduled.

"I don't remember getting hit at all, really," said Barton, a member of the 1st Calvary Division. "He hit me in the back of the head. I fell and hit the ground. I was knocked unconscious and he continued to punch and kick me on the ground."

Barton and his family said he was beat up because he was wearing an Iraqi freedom T-shirt.

"It's not our fault," Barton said. "I'm just doing a job."

According to a Columbus police report, six witnesses who didn't know Barton said the person who beat him up was screaming profanities and making crude remarks about U.S. soldiers, Burton reported.

One witness, a friend of the alleged attacker, said Barton hit first. Police said they do not think that witness is credible since the six other witnesses said Barton was hit from behind.

Barton's mother said she has a message for her son's alleged attacker, who police said ran into the crowd after the incident and was not arrested.

"He needs our prayers, just like the insurgents, because he's a coward," Cindy Barton said.

After a two-week leave, Barton was supposed to return to Iraq Tuesday. But his broken nose will delay his return.

Barton is waiting for doctors to tell him when he can return to active duty. He said wants to go back as soon as possible because his unit was just attacked. Eleven soldiers were wounded and two were killed, he said.

http://www.nbc4i.com/news/3746350/detail.html

kindj answered on 09/22/04:

I have a T-shirt that I wear quite often that has the American and Israeli flags on it, and says something to the effect of "America and Israel/Partners in Freedom/Fighting Terror Together."

I get some nasty looks sometimes, especially when I'm around the university, which has a high liberal population (naturally) and a high Muslim population.

I don't know if the look on my face or what, but no one's attacked me physically or verbally about it.

I keep wearing and waiting, though. They can't hold themselves in forever! Hee, hee, hee...

>>Barton's mother said she has a message for her son's alleged attacker,<<

I, too, have a message for the attacker.

"Come here and stand in front of me like a man, instead of running into a crowd like a little scum-sucking, yellow-bellied, dripping syphillitic goat's penis."

I hope he reads this board.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 09/19/04 - The lesser of two evils.


Hello sperts:

Out next president will be either the man whose chief virtue is that he is not George Bush or the man whose chief virtue is that he is not John Kerry.

Thats just plain wrong. Are we missing anything? If we're not missing anything, and if what we see is indeed what we get, what does that tell us about the kind of people we have let ourselves become?

excon

kindj answered on 09/21/04:

Seems to me that people aren't doing their homework if that's the ONLY reason they're voting for X or Y. If that's the only reason they're voting, I think they might as well just stay home and not even bother. I always say that if a person doesn't vote, then they don't have the right to complain about an officeholder, but if these people vote strictly because someone isn't someone else, then they STILL don't have the right to complain, because that's just stupid and I can't stand hearing stupid people complain about things they know nothing about.

It's really not that hard to find out where a candidate stands on this issue or that, even in the case of Kerry. Of course, his stances are updated hourly to keep up...

DK

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Question/Answer
CeeBee asked on 09/16/04 - Attacks grow more sophisticated, ruthless

from the Chicago Sun-Times
September 16, 2004

BY KIM HOUSEGO

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The scale and sophistication of militant attacks in Iraq are steadily increasing, with coordinated strikes and complicated ambushes that increasingly hit their targets, officials and analysts said Wednesday.

The spike in bloodshed -- more than 200 dead in four days -- has stifled American hopes that the transfer of sovereignty and the prospect of a democratic vote in four months could take the steam out of the uprising and pave the way for a reduction in U.S. troops.

Instead, there are signs the Americans and their Iraqi allies are facing an enemy more determined than ever. Insurgents have learned from mistakes and shifted strategy, cooperating more closely with each other and devising new ways to put their relatively simple arsenal to treacherous use.

"More thought is going into the execution of the attacks," said Lt. Col. Paul Hastings of Task Force Olympia, which is trying to bring stability to a swath of northeastern Iraq.

Sustained onslaughts

Militants now follow up roadside bomb attacks with a deluge of rocket-propelled grenades instead of fleeing, or fire off mortar rounds to lure soldiers out of their base and into freshly laid mine fields, military commanders say.

In a July attack in Samarra, for example, militants detonated a car bomb and then hammered a military headquarters with a mortar barrage as troops fled the building. Five American soldiers died.

At least 47 people were killed in a car bombing in Baghdad on Tuesday targeting would-be police recruits, the deadliest single strike in the capital in six months.

"The enemy has been able to construct IEDs [Improvised Explosive Devices] that are more complex, include more rounds in the form of a 'daisy chain,' and tend to have a higher lethality," said Maj. Neal O'Brien of the Army's 1st Infantry Division.

O'Brien also said that an increase in the use of car bombs in the last two months coincided with an influx of foreign fighters with the bomb-making know-how in July.

"They graduated to more coordinated attacks," he said.

Analysts say the plethora of armed groups behind the insurgency are increasingly working together.

"As time goes on, various gangs get together and it does become more coordinated," said Judith Kipper, a Middle East expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. "Groups start small, get know-how and become more lethal over time."

Acts of desperation?

American commanders, however, insist the stepped-up attacks and the possibility of increased cooperation among militant groups are signs that the insurgents have realized time is running out for them with the onset of elections in January.

"There is a level of desperation associated with the anti-Iraqi forces. They absolutely don't want to see free elections and reconstruction projects work," Hastings said.

But the attacks have fueled a growing backlash against the United States and interim Iraqi Prime Minster Ayad Allawi.

"The situation is getting worse day after day and the Americans are still in the streets," said Kawakib Butris, 40, a supermarket worker in Baghdad.

AP


Will there ever be peace in this country? How? When?

kindj answered on 09/16/04:

I read that today, as well. I won't lie, it concerns me quite a bit.

I believe that Iraq should have the right to govern itself free of tyranny, but I wonder WHEN, not IF, that will actually happen.

I find myself wondering if these insurgents are being funneled in from neighboring nations, and if so, what to do about that.

I don't want to leave Iraq hanging out to dry, but I also want them in self-governance as soon as possible.

DK

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ETWolverine asked on 09/15/04 - To all conservatives...

I'll be out of touch for the next few days due to the Jewish holiday.

Hold down the fort while I'm gone.

Keep the faith...

And a Happy (Jewish) New Year to all of you. May G-d inscribe you all in His book for goodness.

Elliot

kindj answered on 09/15/04:

>>Keep the faith...<<

Man, I couldn't lose it if I tried.

Happy (if that's the proper greeting) Rosh Hashanah to you and yours.

May the One and Only God Almighty look with favor upon you for your faithful service and obedience to Him.

Dennis


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Question/Answer
Chouxxx asked on 09/15/04 - CBS to "Apologize"

shortly today for the forged documents presented on the nightly news re: Bush's National Guard Service. The appropriate response is for Dan Rather to resign(in disgrace).

Do you agree?

kindj answered on 09/15/04:

He doesn't have to, his credibility is critically damaged, if not destroyed, except to the most intellectually challenged among us.

I wish I wasn't out of touch until after 11 tonight, I'd kinda like to catch that.

DK

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ETWolverine asked on 09/14/04 - Dangerous ground.

I just read this article at Slate. I'm not sure what to think of it. Is torture ever an acceptable action by America for gathering intelligence information? In certain cases I might argue in favor of it, but as a POLICY, I don't think so.

What do you think? Your opinions are appreciated.

Does Torture Work?
Seymour Hersh evades the question.
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2004, at 2:01 PM PT

Seymour Hersh's new book, Chain of Command: The Road From 9/11 to Abu Ghraib, reveals our most intrepid investigative reporter working near the top of his game. Basically a compilation of the pieces that Hersh wrote for The New Yorker over the past few yearsexpanded, updated, and re-edited, in some cases significantly sothe book holds up as a cohesive tale and a searing indictment of the Bush administration: its chicanery with intelligence in the months leading up to the Iraq war, its inadequate planning for the war's aftermath, and its muffing of all the warsin Iraq, Afghanistan, and the broader war against terrorismever since.

There is, however, one gnawing equivocation in Hersh's otherwise forthright account. It comes in the first section, called "Torture at Abu Ghraib," which takes up over 70 pages of this 370-page book. Hersh blew the lid off the Abu Ghraib scandal last springthe photographs, the Taguba report, the cover-ups, the links up the chain of command (which, in his book, he extends all the way up to the Oval Office). But he has always skirted a vital question: Does torture work?

Hersh is not alone in his evasiveness. Liberals have a tendency to accept, all too eagerly, the argument that torture is ineffective, that it doesn't yield useful information, that a tortured detainee will tell his inquisitors whatever they want to hear. This is an appealing argument. If it's true, we don't have to wrestle with any moral or legal dilemmas. If torture simply doesn't work, all those difficult questions are moot.

But it is, in fact, very likely that, under some circumstances, with some detainees, torture does produce, in the parlance of the trade, "actionable intelligence." Torture to produce a confession ("Yes, I am a terrorist") almost certainly is useless; at some point of pain, many people would confess to anything. But torture to elicit specific information (Who told you to do this? Where did the meeting take place? Who else is in your cell? What are they planning to blow up tomorrow?) sometimes will doclearly, has donethe job. If it hasn't, many times over the centuries, then why do so many regimes engage in it? Some no doubt do it for the kicks, but they're not all purely sadists.

I do not mean to advocate torture. I mean only to suggest that it's time to start wrestling with those moral and legal dilemmas, to face them straightforwardly. If al-Qaida strikes the United States again, our leaderswhoever they arewill be tempted to resort to torture as a method of getting vital intelligence quickly, and we or they or someone should have mapped out crucial distinctions ahead of time: What is acceptable, what isn't; who should engage in it, who shouldn't; for what purposes is it legitimate, for what purposes isn't it; or whether we should decide, after an honest appraisal of its costs and benefits, that the whole business of torturehowever you define itis irredeemably beyond the pale.

It should be noted that the torture at Abu Ghraib appears to be utterly unjustified by any standards. Hersh clearly showsand the Schlesinger report has confirmedthat the vast majority of the inmates at Abu Ghraib were common criminals or total innocents rounded up in random sweeps who were subjected to no screening before their horrendous ordeals began.

But what about the inmates elsewhere, many of whom really were, and are, al-Qaida operatives? Hersh refers to a highly classified "special-access program"approved by President Bush and carried out by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeldthat involved, as he puts it, "snatching or strong-arming suspected terrorists and questioning them in secret prison facilities in Singapore, Thailand, and Pakistan, among other sites." What about the torturepresumably there's torture of one sort or anotherthat went on there? For the moment, forget about whether such techniques are proper. That's a separate though no less important matter, to be dealt with after this question is answered: Did they produce useful intelligence?

At one point, Hersh suggests that they did. He writes that, early on in the Iraqi insurgency, detainees weren't giving their American interrogators any substantive information. Hersh quotes a "former intelligence official" on what Stephen Cambone, the assistant secretary of defense in charge of the operation, did in response in mid-2003:

Cambone says, I've got to crack this thing and I'm tired of working through the normal chain of command. I've got this apparatus set upthe black special-access programand I'm going in hot. So he pulls the switch, and the electricity begins flowing last summer. And it's working. We're getting a picture of the insurgency in Iraq and the intelligence is flowing into the white world. We're getting good stuff.

Things went awry, Hersh's source goes on, because, when the order went out, too few soldiers were trained in what to do, and too many of their commanders looked the other way. But notice what the source said about the initial results: "[I]t's working. We're getting good stuff." So, is the problem Cambone's orders or the fact that the U.S. military didn't have enough people with the brains or training to carry them out with restraint?

The "former senior intelligence official" seems to suggest the latter. Hersh, summarizing his words, writes:

The SAP [special-access program] was useful as long as it was under the control of "good, well-trained guys. But politics got involved, and decisions were based on speed, and not patience."

Similarly, Hersh quotes a "Pentagon consultant" as saying of the Abu Ghraib torturers:

We don't raise kids to do things like that. When you go after Mullah Omar, that's one thing. But when you give the authority to kids who don't know the rules, that's another.

Again, the question is tacitly raised: What about when "you go after Mullah Omar"? Then is it all right to use extreme measures, if necessary?

In a later chapter, dealing with the failure of U.S. intelligence and especially the collapse of the CIA's clandestine service through the 1980s and ྖs, Hersh tells a tantalizing story about the Jordanian security service. In the mid-1980s, Abu Nidal's terrorist organization threatened the life of Jordan's King Hussein. The king told the service, "Go get them." In response, security agents seized close family members. Hersh continues:

The Abu Nidal suspect would be approached, given a telephone, and told to call his mother, who would say, according to one CIA man, "Son, they'll take care of me if you don't do what they ask." (To his knowledge, the official carefully added, all the suspects agreed to talk before any family members were actually harmed.) By the early 1990s, the group was crippled by internal dissent and was no longer a significant terrorist organization. "Jordan is the one nation that totally succeeded in penetrating a group," the official added. "You have to get their families under control."

Hersh doesn't explicitly endorse this method. But does he implicitly? Should he? Should we? He adds, "Such tactics defy the American rule of law, of course, and the CIA's procedures, and many experts doubt that they are even effective." Who are these doubtful experts, and what's their reasoning? Hersh's CIA source seems to think the tactics were effective. As for law and procedures, should they stand in the way of taking apart al-Qaida? It's a radical proposition for the U.S. government to start acting like the Mafia. Again, I don't have the answers. But it's time that we all began to ask the questions.

Fred Kaplan writes the "War Stories" column for Slate.

http://slate.msn.com/id/2106702/

Elliot

kindj answered on 09/15/04:

I skimmed the article quickly (I actually have work they want me to do this morning. Bastards!!) and really didn't see anything new. I'll tell you what I think, from my familiar, but not expert, point of view on this subject.

Let me justify "familiar," so folks will know where I am coming from. About midway through my active duty service, I had a knee and lower back injury from a parachute malfunction. Hit the ground kinda hard. Anyway, while I was on light duty, I was sent back to the school that I attended early in my service called Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE). This is hands-down the most hated school in the US military. In it, the students are placed in a survival situation in a simulated hostile environment for a period of several days. No food except what you can find, limited water, no weapons, nothing but your parachute and a canteen, and you're always being hunted. After several days of this, the students are captured by the bad guys. Keep in mind that you are already physically and mentally weakened. Now the fun really begins. You are taken to a POW camp, and are a POW (or war criminal) for a period of time. Wish I could tell you how long, but to be honest, I really don't remember. Feels like forever, though. While there, you are subjected to things that under any other circumstances would guarantee the person doing them a lengthy prison term at Leavenworth. It's all to train those people with either a high risk of capture or those with valuable intelligence in their heads (usually they're one in the same) how to resist interrogation and yes, torture. Ain't but one way to practice these things.

Anyway, I went there for a short time as an instuctor in the classroom phase, prior to the field exercise. So I learned and taught a thing or two about this stuff.

Physical torture is relatively ineffective for gaining any real useful information from most people. Most folks are going to hold out for quite a while, believe it or not, because there's only so much pain that can be dispensed before death. Physical pain can be overcome. If not, if the subject breaks, the information is often what the subject thinks the interrogator wants to hear. "Anything to stop the pain." It has been proven over and over that this sort of information is often unreliable, and the subject is usually only good for one shot. After that, they're a basket case and useless for further info.

Emotional and mental torture, however, have somewhat better effects, as a skilled interrogator can use these things to his advantage, taking the subject on an emotional and mental roller coaster ride until they don't know which way is up. Again, good, but only so long as certain conditions are met. I'll politely decline to state what those conditions are. The dorks at the Iraqi prison were trying this route, but they were NOT skilled and had NO business trying this. Reading one Army FM does not a skilled interrogator make.

Good interrogation involves a lot of things, and a fair amount of people to play various "roles" to the subject. It's a slow process, but empathy and kindness go a long, long way in acheiving success. It's cruel in a way, especially to read the reports afterward, but it's a kinder cruelty than the others. Yeah, I know, kind of a paradox.

To end, physical and emotional torture are techniques that may be employed, depending on the urgency of the situation being addressed. But for long-term intelligence, these don't work well at all. You also have to consider the ideology, culture, and ethnic background of the subject, as these can play a HUGE role. While physical interrogation might work great on say, a person from Holland (just a hypothetical, I don't really know), it most likely will have no effect on an Asian, and in fact, may only strengthen their resolve.

It's a touchy subject, and an unpleasant one. But so is failing to get info that could save countless lives.

DK

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Question/Answer
ETWolverine asked on 09/14/04 - Desperation indeed.

Hey everyone.

Over the past few days, a number of people (myself included) have posted remarks alluding to the deparation of the Kerry campaign.

Here's why they seem so desparate.

According to this, if the election were held today, Bush would win the election with 307 electoral votes to Kerry's 231.

Desparation? You betcha.

Elliot

kindj answered on 09/14/04:

Man, you beat me to it. I was just coming over here to post the same thing.

Looks like an actual scientific poll, too. I say "actual scientific" to differentiate from, say, a poll of students at UC Berkley.

DK

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 09/14/04 - Our Hero

The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired,
tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by
society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old
enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never
really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash
his father's; but he has never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student,
pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and
has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or
swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to
rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and 155mm howitzer. He
is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working
or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can
field-strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark.
He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and
use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can
apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to
stop or stop until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit
or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he
washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.
He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never forgets to clean his rifle.
He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If
you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food.
He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands.
He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice
the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all.
He has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short lifetime.

He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them. He has wept
in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.
He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid
attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who
haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist,
day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price
for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting
Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years. And, he has asked nothing
in return, except our friendship and understanding.

kindj answered on 09/14/04:

I've seen this before, and I love it. Thanks for posting it here for more people to see. Regardless of which political party anyone affiliates with, these guys and gals deserve nothing less than our support, our love, and our prayers. I've been a tool of policy, and I can't say that I always agreed with it or liked it. But I did it. Why? Because I said I would. If I can't keep my word, what kind of person am I?

By the way, I can spell OK, and always could. Never did like that part especially well.

DK

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Question/Answer
purplewings asked on 09/14/04 - Things yet to be said.

WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT TO TURN ON THE TV AND HEAR GEORGE W. BUSH OR JOHN KERRY GIVE THE FOLLOWING SPEECH?

My Fellow Americans:
As you all know, the defeat of Iraq regime has been completed. Since congress does not want to spend any more money on this war, our mission in Iraq is complete.

This morning I gave the order for a complete removal of all American Forces from Iraq. This action will be complete within 30 days. It is now to begin the reckoning.

Before me, I have two lists. One list contains the names of countries which have stood by our side during the Iraq conflict. This list is short. The United Kingdom, Spain, Bulgaria, Australi a, and Poland are some of the countries listed there.

The other list contains everyone not on the first list. Most of the worlds nations are on that list. My press secretary will be distributing copies of both lists later this evening.

Let me start by saying that effective immediately, foreign aid to those nations on List 2 ceases immediately and indefinitely. The money saved during the first year alone will pretty much pay for the costs of the Iraqi war.

The American people are no longer going to pour money into third world Hell-holes and watch those government leaders grow fat on corruption.

Need help with a famine? Wrestling with an epidemic? Call France.

In the future, together with Congress, I will work to redirect this money toward solving the vexing social problems we still have at home. On that note, a word to terrorist organizations. Screw with us and we will hunt you down and eliminate you and all your friends from the face of the earth. Thirsting for a gutsy country to terrorize? Try France, or maybe China.

To Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Yo, boys. Work out a peace deal now. Just note that Camp David is closed. Maybe all of you can go to Russia for negotiations. They have some great palaces there. Big tables, too. I am ordering the immediate severing of diplomatic relations with France, Germany, and Russia. Thanks for all your help, comrades. We are retiring from NATO as well. Bon chance, mes amis. I have instructed the Mayor of New York City to begin towing the many UN diplomatic vehicles located in Manhattan with more than two unpaid parking tickets to sites where those vehicles will be stripped, shredded and crushed. I don't care about whatever treaty pertains to this. You creeps have tens of thousands of unpaid tickets. Pay those tickets tomorrow or watch your precious Benzes, Beamers, and limos be turned over to some of the finest chop shops in the world. I love New York.

A special note to our neighbors. Canada is on List 2. Since we are likely to be seeing a lot more of each other, you folks might want to try not pissing us off for a change. Mexico is also on List 2. President Fox and his entire corrupt government really need an attitude adjustment. I will have a couple extra tank and infantry divisions sitting around. Guess where I am going to put em? Yep, border security. So start doing something with your oil.
Oh, by the way, the United States is abrogating the NAFTA treaty --- starting now. We are tired of the one-way highway.

It is time for America to focus on its own welfare and its own citizens. Some will accuse us of isolationism. I answer them be saying, "darn tootin."

Nearly a century of trying to help folks live a decent life around the world has only earned us the undying enmity of just about everyone on the planet. It is time to eliminate hunger in America. It is time to
eliminate homelessness in America. It is time to eliminate World Cup Soccer from America. To the nations on List 1, a final thought. Thanks guys. We owe you and we won't forget. To the nations on List 2, a final thought. Drop dead.

God bless America.
Thank you and good night.

Any comments?
PW

kindj answered on 09/14/04:

Call me cynical, call me bitter, call me whatever you want, but I've thought that this was a fine idea for quite a while. I first started getting little thought seeds about it when I returned from Panama in the late eighties. When I returned from Desert Storm, I looked around at my country and the so-called "world opinion" and thought to myself, "F*ck 'em, f*ck all of 'em." I was sorely tempted to become an isolationist myself and just cut myself off from it all. I remember reading a story when I was young called "The Man Without A Country" and wondered what was so bad about that. But then I returned home to my home state for a couple week's leave and learned that my country was still very much intact, the East and Left Coasts notwithstanding. No offense to my NY friends here, but you gotta understand that you guys on the coasts are NOT represented fairly by your media and money types.

I often wonder today if it's feasable to take a fully isolationist stance anymore. It's sure fun to think about, though.

DK

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Question/Answer
Chouxxx asked on 09/13/04 - Danger to the Republic

The real danger to the Republic is from the Right (crypto-Nazi's, Religious Zealots, lying spinners and angry men who are haters.

There is no danger from *Moderates* who have **accepted** the Liberal programs since the thirties:: laws to govern the money markets, social security, medicare, anti-pollution laws, VA housing benefits, and so on.

Have you no shame?
Angry crypto-Nazis here for the most part.



kindj answered on 09/13/04:

Prove it. C'mon, Chouxx, put your money where your mouth is and SHOW US PROOF!! Show us where the conservatives in this country are AGAINST certain economic buffers, social security (which the DEMOCRATS are robbing blind), ditto medicare. Show us where conservatives have not made progress in the environment. VA? You really think the DEMS care about our vets? Hell, they didn't care when they were on active duty, they sure don't care now!!

I guess the problem is the conservatives don't just talk about doing things, they implement plans to actually DO them, but then get blocked by liberal pansies, who would rather talk an issue to death while hugging trees and terrorists and wishing the bad ol' stuff would just go away.

Liberals are ALL TALK and no action. Oh, sure, they talk up a really good game, but there's no substance there, no reality.

Kinda like putting a thousand dollar saddle on a fifty dollar horse, to my mind. Looks real pretty, but there's no tangible value there, just feelings and impressions.

DK

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Question/Answer
Chouxxx asked on 09/11/04 - Why Trash Newspapers?

Americans get their information from television.

Proof::: How many millions and millions of dollars do political candidates spend on television time to get their "message" out??? And, compared to newspaper ads.

Newspapers are owned privately, not by the government. They can say what they want!!!!

And, for the information of all the crypto-Nazi-s on the Board, there are Liberal publications, like Mother Jones or Utne Reader. Big city newspapers are Moderate.

When you trash newspapers, you trash democracy.

Cordially, Choux

kindj answered on 09/13/04:

>>YOu all are crypto-Nazis-s, and I'm so sad and disgusted. <<

I'm sad and disgusted, too. I'm sad and disgusted at the depths that YOU will sink to when an anonymous person on an internet site actually has the sheer gall to disagree with you. I mean really, how DARE anyone else have the right to express their opinion? Especially a dissenting one?

"Freedom for all!!! (who agree with me)."

I personally think the only reasons no one's reported you for abuse lately are
1. It's just too damned entertaining to watch you flounder and resort to name-calling and self-righteous hand-wringing when confronted with legitimate facts, instead of emotion-based rumors; and

2) no one really feels all that threatened or abused anyway.

You see, we're all grownups here, as evidenced by the fact that we can all (except you, apparantly) have a reasonably civilized debate over something without getting our panties in a wad.

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 09/13/04 -
Dan Rather

Dan Rather is quoted in 2000 as saying :

'To err is human but to really foul up requires a computer'

How prophetic !

kindj answered on 09/13/04:

Indeed! There are already people saying that if Kerry loses, then his loss will be directly attributable to Dan Blather.

I, for one, don't agree.

If Kerry loses, his loss will be attributable only to Kerry.

Or to one of the Kerry's, anyway.

DK

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Question/Answer
Chouxxx asked on 09/11/04 - Why Trash Newspapers?

Americans get their information from television.

Proof::: How many millions and millions of dollars do political candidates spend on television time to get their "message" out??? And, compared to newspaper ads.

Newspapers are owned privately, not by the government. They can say what they want!!!!

And, for the information of all the crypto-Nazi-s on the Board, there are Liberal publications, like Mother Jones or Utne Reader. Big city newspapers are Moderate.

When you trash newspapers, you trash democracy.

Cordially, Choux

kindj answered on 09/13/04:

Actually for what it's worth, I trash pretty much ALL big media, be it newspapers, TV, or magazines! I'm a politically-correct, equal-opportunity trasher.

But wait a minute...

>>Big city newspapers are Moderate. <<

Is that why the NY Post (Elliot, correct me if I'm wrong on the rag) recently came out of the closet (as it were) and admitted it's liberal bias?

DK

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Question/Answer
voiceguy2000 asked on 09/10/04 - Tomorrow is 9/11

Tomorrow is 9/11/2004 -- the third anniversary of the unprovoked attack by Islamic terrorists on unarmed civilians in this country, designed for no other purpose than mass destruction and loss of life.

Daniel Henninger of The Wall Street Journal has written one of his better columns (and that is saying something) today, available at this link.

What I find myself wondering is this: Will media sources such as The Washington Post or The New York Times devote even a fraction of the space to commemorating 9/11/2001 that they devoted for days on end to photographs from Abu Ghraib prison? There seems to be a bizarre, self-imposed blackout on actually showing pictures of the 9/11 destruction in U.S. media -- you have to go to overseas sources for much of it. The same is true, for that matter, for photos of the destruction of that school in Beslan.

We are likely to see more coverage of the [almost certainly forged] documents concerning George Bush's 1972 National Guard service than we are of the historic attack on the United States that took place 3 years ago tomorrow.

There is something massively wrong with this, isn't there?

kindj answered on 09/10/04:

I don't think we'll see much, and what we will see will be spun so fast it will be blurry.

They're not going to show anything that reminds Americans that we are at war with an enemy more dangerous than any we've ever fought. They're not going to show anything that might remind Americans how all this started, and why we're doing what we're doing.

DK

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Question/Answer
Chouxxx asked on 09/10/04 - September **10** 2001

The following is a post from Askme made on the above date by a user whose last name was an anagram including the letters a-r-a-b. After the events of 9-11, I was drawn back to this post, and well....see what you think...

" 'End of Story'....

Greetings friends,

Death...do you ffear looking into his face?

"...a man once said t me, that death looks at us all (blurred) can do is smile back..."

How does it feel taking the ultimate last step into the unknown"

My theory of life and death is this:"

[The author's long discourse follows, I'll not post it now]

I felt that terrorists were using Askme as a message service and more.

What do you think of this internet post on the day before 911??

Cordially, Choux

kindj answered on 09/10/04:

I think if you still have that person's whole user name, I would send every detail to the FBI. Believe me, they have the means of tracking down information even older than that.

Couldn't hurt. Go to fbi.gov, and you'll find a link there.

DK

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 09/09/04 - And they think Cheney is mean?

How about these tidbits from the Kerry side...

James Carville, speaking of Zell Miller to Don Imus:

"They got that poor man in the twilight of his career and just used him...They said, 'Look, go up there and say this,' and they handed him a bunch of documents...They probably shot him up with something, you know. He just likes screaming at people."

Carville on Bush:

8/27/04 "Now, all this debate about whether President Bush is stupid or not or whether we should call the president of the United States stupid isn't for me. I'll stay away from the S-word, but I'll go right to the I-word. He's just ignorant...Now, Mr. President, I don't know if you're stupid or not, but I sure know this. You're ignorant big time."

Paul Begala on Bush:

8/18/04 "I think that's the kind of intelligence we ought to be talking about, the president's lack of intelligence."

8/20/04 "Why is he so gutless?"

8/25/04 "Bush was gutless..."

Bush has been called "cheap thug," "killer" and a "liar" at Kerry campaign events. He's been labeled by liberal columnists, celebrities and strategists, etc. a draft dodger, bigot, racist, dictator, moron, evil, terrorist threat, stupid, lazy, and my favorite by Margaret Cho, "one monkey head used Lipton tea bag."

Will the party of peace and tolerance please stand up?








kindj answered on 09/10/04:

You know, a few years ago I actually thought about getting into politics and maybe running for an office. I changed my mind, though.

I decided I'd rather go to Heaven.

DK

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Question/Answer
darkstar asked on 09/09/04 - when will the violence end?


this article was found in the onion newspaper this evening


WASHINGTON, DCGeorge Washington Memorial Hospital is struggling to deal with an influx of Republicans with concussions, broken bones, and internal injuries suffered during the recent stampede to discredit Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, emergency-room personnel reported Monday.


Above: Republicans race to disgrace Kerry on Capitol Hill.
"Triage is in utter chaos," paramedic Gerald Polder said. "This guy in a suit came in with multiple contusions, a subdural hematoma, and a broken nose. I asked how badly it hurt to bend his knee, on a scale of 1 to 10, and he said, 'I'm hurt worse than Kerry was when he got his Purple Hearts.' That's not helpful."

Polder said he has not seen so many right-wing injuries since the late ྖs, when hundreds of Republicans were hurt cl