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Total number of comments: 17 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:06)

alex

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  • Scrooge Republicans prefer Pentagon White Elephants to Food Stamps for Poor Children
    • Those People, Cadillac welfare Queens, 47% Moochers, Able bodies lulled to lives of dependency. The Takers.

      Demonizing the poor with catchy slogans is what the GOP is really good at.

  • Elites Stick together against Us: Feinstein Slams NSA Merkel Tap
    • Agreed. Cases will work their way to the Supreme Court. Those politicized justices can hopefully resolve the conflict between the Patriot Act's broad cover to collect info vs the 4th Amendment's precedence that private conversations are to remain private. Congress certainly wont enter those waters.

    • Mark Shields on PBS Newshour Oct 25, 2013:

      "Is that the kind of thing we did because we could do it? I mean, did anybody ask, should we do it, is it the right thing to do?

      I just think it's -- there is something -- the technology is so fascinating, it kind of takes over and it leaves prudential judgments in the dust."

  • The American Genocide Against Iraq: 4% of Population Dead as result of US sanctions, wars
  • Now the NSA has your Little Black Book
    • The Patriot act allows it. Congress approved it.

      Its hard to see the current SCOTUS finding a pathway to rescind parts of the law let alone accepting a challenge in the first place - the votes are not there. Plus I have doubts an aged jurist fully understands the intricacies of this type of communication. They are hardly civil libertarians either.

      The Executive & Legislative might be ameniable to tone down the laws language only with a public outcry of massive proportions brought about by some single really embarrassing constitutional violation. Again low chances of that happening. Opinion polls already show disapproval of surveillance efforts. And this disapproval didnt translate into much debate the last time the Act came up for review.

      But for the sake of argument, lets say the Patriot Act is somehow thrown out the window its scope is curtailed. The government can still use pre 9-11 "super warrant" capabilities: a judge who seldom rejects claims and is available at all times of day plus accepts retroactive application (given some reasonable time limit). In addition they can still bring a lot of pressure upon content providers by many other means, like FCC licence renewal difficulties, fines for something or other, etc.

      They may not have the right but realistically curbing the Patriot Act will take many many years.

  • Dear Tea Party: The Gov't Shutdown is Hurting White People, Too
    • Imagine a white landless laborer in the Reconstruction era. He may have just come off the battle field having defended a slave system that gave him no direct benefit. And now he must compete economically with what he would see as a morally inferior, lower class of men: former slaves.

      Politicians and preachers capitalized on this economic uncertainty in an environment of post civil war collapse. Integration was out of the question. The social and economic hierarchy was to be kept in check via voting taxes, segregated everything, and a threat of violence from klans. The isolation of former slaves helped to unify poor whites with the 1% of the day.

      Not much has really changed in 150 years.

      The modern day Republican party spends a lot of time reinforcing the idea of an economic threat coming from "those people", immigrants included, who might just leapfrog ahead with undeserved free gov'ment assistance in the form of health care or a welfare check.

      The bait was taken in 1860 and many responded by giving their own life. Again the bait will be taken now because keeping “those people” down is more important than anything else.

  • Would Israel's Netanyahu really Drag US into war with Iran?
    • Netanyahu is revealing his ideal situation but I dont think it will play out this way.

      Sure he has the US congress in his back pocket, no matter which party is in the majority. And sure it helps to have a compliant Executive. But Iran is no pushover - they're unlikely to be silenced by what would likely be the most massive Israeli campaign ever conceived of. I get the feeling this is Iran's own ideal situation, and they'll be waiting for it.

      The fact that Netanyahu tries so hard to bring the US into his fight shows that he knows he CANT act alone. He is standing on the edge making big threats all the while praying that sane minds talk him down. Convincing evidence that Iran has da bomb cant just be agreed upon in a backroom deal where the US has Israel's back. An open public discussion must be had. Yes, spin comes later. However if the Syria bombing debate tells us anything, its that in the aftermath of Iraqi WMD it will be harder to sway a majority of public opinion. The skeletons of Rumy/Cheney have gone nowhere.

      And Nety is no foole. By threatening destruction he is still putting pressure on Obama and future Executives to continue the economic blockades in the hopes of extracting rewards he really wants. And this certainly helps him domestically. Maybe he is impersonating the John Kerry of late August.

  • Is Iran out of the US War Queue? The Twilight of the Hawks
    • Dr Cole, you are at your best on this subject. This is why I keep coming back to your blog.

  • Top Ten things Americans need to Know about Syria if they're going to Threaten to Bomb It
    • Excellent summary Dr Cole. The key four-legged-stool is your item #4: high birth rates, economic malaise, drought conditions, and political unresponsiveness.

  • How Putin Saved Obama, Congress and the European Union from Further Embarrassing themselves on Syria
    • I really have to smirk at how Obama may come out smelling like a rose. He had "no more quagmires" Kerry cheer leading on one hand and a do-nothing GOP congress on the other hand acting completely out of character as peaceniks of the hour.

      Domestically he gets credit for cowboy diplomacy, something that used to be the bain of all dems and plays to the moderate GOP types. Also he gets credit for "finding" a new approach so his Nobel lays tarnished but not broken.

      The US executive has a long history of foreign intervention (Yeman, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, Kosovo, Somalia, Afghanistan, Beirut, etc.) which has to put a nervous fear into the air. If Russia was so doubtful of US intentions then why did they jump so fast at the CW removal offer?

      And as we proceed, Obama still has plenty of leverage down the road if the CW removal process starts. He can hold Russia and Assad to account for it, since they so enthusiastically want to take credit for it. Ironically it brings the US closer to Assad & Russia by forming a commitment to work internationally.

  • The Kosovo Fallacy and Syria (Axworthy-Cole Debate)
    • Oh Governor Tim Pawlenty signed it. Well thank good ness. You know, he of the Rom-knee clan, a separatist breakaway tribe of the Financial Roundtables. You bet your darn Tooty da US interests are at steak over dere in dat place.

  • Israeli Gov't mocks 'Peace Talks' with announcement of 1200 New Squatter homes in Occupied Palestine
    • This is how it works. Israel does what it wants. All the parties at the negotiations are just playing along. The Israeli population and government have walled themselves off and will continue the subjugation at full speed The Palestinians hold no leverage and know it. The US congress acts like an Israeli client state. The US executive is beholden to swing state voters in Florida. Lastly the G-8 or G-20 or G-whatever standby knowing that crazy Jews are preferable to crazy Arabs, who, were it not for AIDS infected sub-Saharan Africa, would be the most destitute people on the planet.

  • Where has all the Water Gone? How Climate Change and Soaring Water Demand are Drying out the Southwest (deBuys)
    • I lived in Tucson from 1981 to 1995. Then, the city boasted of being the largest US city solely dependent on groundwater from wells. Mines and what little agriculture there was competed with golf courses for water shares. All the while the water table sunk further underground as the suburbs pushed further outward.
      Relief came, now Tucson relies partly on CAP (Central Arizona Project) canal water diverted from the Colorado. The inevitable drought has been kicked down the road a few years. The reason so many in Phoenix, Tucson, and Las Vegas still have green lawns is simply that its affordable. Bump up the rates slowly and what we see is slow adoption of more efficient water usage. Green grass gives way to xeriscape rock gardens. Citrus orchards that once dotted Phoenix are gone, leaving just their names on prominent suburban streets.
      Ultimately water rates will have to go a lot higher. Water intensive industries like semiconductor fabs or subsidized cotton farms may be the losers. Tourist rich golf courses with the means to survive, will.
      Capacity limits means human consumption takes precedence, everyone living there knows this. I still think there is a significant amount of room for more efficiency because there really is no alternative.

  • Israel's District 9: Its Biggest Ethnic Cleansing since 1948
  • Murderers where the Victim was White are Far more Likely to be Punished in US (Graph)
    • actually sentencing disparity is seen for black on white crime in non-capital cases as well. This is true throughout the US. The reason is that attorneys use and juries respond to the argument that a white victim in more valuable than a black. Plus it is often easy to portray a cross-over element to a black on white crime. The idea here is that blacks have unspoken boundaries, like their own neighborhoods, shopping centers, etc. (not to mention a marital boundary, but thats a different subject). Juries composed of a few older whites often respond to the unspoken idea of a black being out of his place when committing a "random" crime against a white.
      My good friend was part of a program at UT Austin law school where cameras were setup in jury rooms in a mock trial setting. The jurors didnt know their deliberations were being recorded and in fact didnt know the trial was a "training session" for younger lawyers. The cases were based on real evidence from previous trials, actors were used as witnesses. The stubborness, ignorance, and racial bias displayed by these jurors was incredible to say the least.

  • Argentina's President Kirchner: US Industrial Espionage gave me Chills down my Spine
    • Ohhhh Brasil is going to the UN. Well that should put a big scare in the US government. Brasil and Russia certainly and probably other countries of the region are well known for not only having lax laws regarding hacking but are so inept to begin with, they can't even control the privacy of their own institutions from internal invaders. Tons of malware originates from eastern Europe for a reason.and Kitchners spinal quaking that no one seems to care is akin to acceptance that the countries of the region regard the US efforts as inevitable and unstoppable. Considering the Brazilians governments poor response to their own citizens demands for transparency and economic justice it's no wonder they along with their monopolistic O Globo supporters would love to divert attention towards the US eavesdropping. I hardly think relations will change at all, espionage in all sectors of the economy and communications is the new normal, does anyone honestly think the whole system is going to disappear anytime soon?

  • Top Ten Ways US TV News are Screwing us Again on NSA Surveillance Story (Iraq Redux)
    • Excellent piece, one of your better posts.

      Although I still dont really get why Snowden went public. Do we really need a persona attached to the leaks to make them believable? Does he have so much stature and credibility to withstand the onslaught of media focus?

      The establishment media's ability to make the story about Snowden, instead of the NSA eavesdropping was a predictable outcome. His naivete must be taken into account for how the story has become a debate on his motives.

      My idol in this regard is deep throat, Mark Felt, 2nd at the FBI under Nixon. He enabled Woodward and Bernstein's reporting. He guided them with deft hand and clever footwork. In testament to his actions a president resigned in disgrace. The Washington Post's investigation is the gold standard of journalism to this day and every reporter including David Gregory knows it.

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