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Total number of comments: 59 (since 2013-11-28 15:54:47)

C to the third power

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  • US Public Worried about ISIL, Putin-- But Climate Change is Real Challenge
    • That seems to be a really perceptive comment.

    • America has a whole stew of supposedly high quality universities.
      These schools such as the ivy league schools and Stanford and MIT and a few others select what are apparently the highest quality of high school graduates in the country,
      The graduates of these elite universities often go on to high paying jobs and or write best selling books about how to be a high achiever.
      I was wondering today. Do any of them really know anything important at all? I have very little first hand experience knowing what type of people make up the legal and economic elite of America.
      I see them on TV a lot. I read about them a lot. But I have never read or watched TV with them let alone gone out with them on one of their yachts.
      When the number of graduates of these elite schools is totaled up it would be a quite high number. I imagine that we are talking about at least 25,000 graduates each year.
      What do they think about America? Do they think that it is royally screwed up? If not what does that say about them?
      If they do think that America is royally screwed up do they ever wonder what in the world is going wrong?
      The people who made it in to these schools were clearly better at answering the questions that they were asked on tests than I was. So they must have been better abstract thinkers than I was around the age of 20.
      Yet when one looks at what problems people in the USA seem threatened by it seems to me that one of two conclusions is in order. One possibility is that all of these brilliant thinkers have had no influence on the vast majority of people who did not go to school with them. A second possibility is that leadership brilliance that these schools claim that they endow has been used to move themselves to higher levels achievement rather than the nation to higher levels of achievement. If that was the case were they all in on it or only a portion of them? If was not all of them did those who were not in on the joke that was being played on the rest of us realize what was going on?
      If not why not? They are supposed to be brilliant? If they did what did they do to stop it? If they tried but were unsuccessful was it because there were to few of them? Or were there enough of them they were just not smart enough to get the job done? Is there defense that those who were not operating with good faith were outsmarted by those who were?
      I do not understand how a nation can fear a bigot on the other side of the planet more than it can fear a bigot in the back yard. Do the graduates of our elite universities have a defense for the level of achievement that they have attained? Someone explain it to me.

  • Mitch McConnell caught Promising Billionaires he'll Enrich them at our Expense
    • I wonder how much students in Europe nied to pay for university tuition each yeer.

  • Can You pass the Iran Quiz?
    • I suspect that for most newspapers truth takes a back seat to this so called "balance" which sounds a lot like, the truth must rest near the middle of the two extremes. Does the truth usually rest near the middle of two extremes? Can a newspaper editor or a reporter recognize their own extreme positions? If they did would they be ashamed that they had been holding and perpetuating an extreme position?
      I saw this quote by Herman Hesse yesterday. It was in German but roughly translated it was those who want to find the source need to go against the current. (or stream). The source of a stream is the most extreme end of a stream. I wonder if that fits into Kabbalah at all.

  • The New Jim Crow: Has the Right finally Repealed the Civil Rights Act?
    • If I were a political platform I would have about 20 planks. One of those planks would be to institute a very progressive income tax. I consider myself a person concerned about the situation of the African American community in the USA today.
      People that I have respected did not struggle to free African Americans so that they would be second class citizens.
      Sadly I do not have any specific ideas for how to change the situation. I guess on the positive side that would mean that I would be open to what ideas others have. So I wonder if any readers would like to offer specific suggestions as to how to create positive changes in this regard. With a progressive income tax and a government that did not place a high priority on a balanced budget the money should be available to implement some good ideas. Maybe the best ideas do not even take much money.

  • Arab-Americans take on hate
    • It is clearly not appropriate to make scape goats out Muslims or Arabs as a whole group of people. But the job of scape goat is a legitimate job that people should be drafted for.
      Those with the lowest draft numbers should be Generals.
      The second lowest draft numbers should be Bankers.
      The whole list would take 3 or 4 hours to read.

  • Iraq: Christians Say Terror Drove Them From Mosul
    • That would make me wonder if the source of the false report is an agent working for people who wants to discredit the ISIS internationally. Where did the comment by RBTL go?

    • I just saw that it is being reported that the ISIS is calling for the genital mutilation of women. I wonder if this is scare mongering by the western media. I wonder how the leaders of this group think they are going to be able to carry out a policy to enforce a custom that was rarely followed in the region, from what I have read.

  • The World Asks: Is Israel Targeting Civilians in Gaza?
    • I think that a little review is in order. Some people complain that the tactic of calling someone a Nazi as a tactic to describe their behavior is over used. The jist of the argument is that the Nazis killed millions of people and to call a group who has only killed thousands nazis weakens the term.
      I disagree. Trying to define the word Nazi very narrowly does a disservice to those trying to improve the world. The word Nazi should be defined in a way that captures the essence of Nazism. My understanding of what a Nazi is, is one that believes that one should take from others before others take from one self. Therefore a Nazi is not only one that takes part killing six million Jews, or that takes part in invading a foreign country that did not attack the invading country, but even one who uses deceit or power to take advantage of other people.
      The slum lord, the meth dealers, the CEO that refuses to pay a livable wage, the editors that print the lies of those in power,
      those that try to prevent farming with crops that have not been patented, are all examples of Nazis. There are lots of them in the world today. It does not help to try to humor them and call them something less than what they are.

  • Obama needs Europe in responding to MH17 Crash, but NSA Spying a Bar
    • I find sabre rattling over the shooting down of this airliner a complete waste of ink. No matter who shot the plane down it was clearly an accident. Neither side in this conflict has any interest on in wasting their precious surface to air missiles on aircraft that do not have anything to do with the conflict. So trying to make something out of this seems to me a complete lack of bad faith. Furthermore Germans at least have learned something from the shooting down of the KAL aircraft in 1983 and that is all of the background information behind that incident such as the military maneuvers that had been held near Soviet territory shortly before the KAL plane was shot down and that a US spy plane was operating in the area when the KAL plane was shot down.
      So clearly the US gov. will only tell the world what it wants the world to know not what the world should know.

  • Israel, Gaza and the Fatal Spirit of Versailles
    • That is a good point Bill. I had forgotten about Oskar Schindler when I made that statement. I retract my previous statement.
      I think it was influenced by viewing to many prison programs recently and being reminded about the Aryan Nation and KKK.

    • While I do not have any problem with the main point of the article I have a problem with some of the supporting points.
      Spreading these mistakes can only have bad consequences.
      The first bad idea is that it was the harsh treatment of Germany
      after the 1st WW that contributed to the rise of the Nazis. I do not need to say much about that because it was covered by other commentators above. what has not been mentioned in this regard is the imperialistic mindset that permeated the minds of leading Europeans in the 20th century.
      The second thing that seems fishy is that there were Nazis without blood on their hands after the Second World War.
      I find that a highly objectionable point of view. After the second Second World War there were no innocent Nazis there were only Nazis who were useful or no longer useful in the conflict that was about to develop between other two somewhat less nasty alternatives to the Nazis.
      Compared with the carnage of World War Two Europe has been relatively peaceful for 70 years. Is WW2 a good standard by which peace should be measured?

  • Dear America: You're in the Army Now
    • Even the push to get NATO forces to bomb government forces during the Libyan Civil War was a very short sighted position that pays in to the hands of the US MIC. Sure the war in Libya was stalemated and lots of people were dying. Those are the kind of conditions that are needed to lead to a negotiated settlement. In the short run overthrowing Gaddafi no doubt saved some lives. But interventions like the one that happened in Libya make it easier to get launch air strikes now in Iraq because the bar for intervention has been lowered.
      Perhaps legitimate "excuses" can be made for having supported NATO intervention in Libya that are part of some larger game of Go with Chinese rules. But if that were the case the truth needs to eventually be told. Eventually... not today not tomorrow.

    • I see a theme repeated in American history over and over again.
      That of a peace loving president keeping a raging right wing war loving American mob of Generals and Colonels from going to war, or from waging total war in a war that is already in process.
      First there was Truman firing MacArthur, Then there was Eisenhower telling the British and French and Israelis to get out of Egypt. Then there was Kennedy preventing war during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Then Johnson prevented a war against Israel by claiming that the attack on the USS Liberty was an accident, (and built the myth of Israeli independence in the process) Then Nixon went to China. Then Carter did not bomb Iran. Then Reagan did not bomb Iran. Then Bush did not occupy Iraq. Then Clinton made love not war and saved Serbia from destruction which allowed the birth of several new nations. Then Bush did not bomb Iran again. And now we have the peace loving Obama leading our nation to peace in lieu of people like John McCain.
      So we have a 65 year pattern of "reasonable" American presidents acting reasonably despite the wishes of of other powerful extremists in the American government trying to take more aggressive actions.
      But does that not raise a question. Why is it that after 65 years there are still so many lunatics in powerful positions in the US government that the US president can take an extremely right wing position and still look like a moderate when compared with shrieking powerful voices in American society.
      Is this state of affairs the natural state of affairs of a democratic society? Or is this state of affairs a condition that has arisen as a result of the deliberate choices of people who are not interested in educating but of fooling others. Who would these people be that would want to fool others?
      The President of the United States in clearly not one of them is he? The leaders of the military are only servants of the people.
      The leaders of the military certainly can not have more influence than say Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch and the Koch brothers are clearly as bad as they come, correct?

  • US Solar Energy Grew A Mind-Boggling 418% From 2010-2014
    • I have to wonder if what is really driving US government policy now is to do anything anything at all that will keep reporting on the state of the environment and the future prospects of the environment out of the news cycle. When people are distracted by what is happening in the Ukraine or with the Iranian nuclear program or with disputes over Jeruselum they are less likely to ask why serious measures were not taken sooner and who was asleep at the wheel.

    • 83 M I L L I O N automobils with internal combustion engines were sold worldwide in 2013. 65 million of these will probably still be in use by 2028. 2013 was a record year. Do the world's automakers plan on issuing an environmental recall for any of these new vehicles? Do any of the automakers have a plan for producing all electric cars with in 2 years? If not we can probably expect 80 plus million vehicles next year.
      What this means is by 2040 if not sooner the most frequent causes of death will no longer be cardio vascular problems and
      cancer but dying as a result of homicide and starvation and thirst, heat stroke and suicide. Ok cholera might make a big comeback too.
      Millions of men and some women too will murder men women and children so that their children can live for two more days.
      Of course American survivalist will be staying cool for a while in their undreground bunkers as they watch their food stocks dwindle, and thier crops shrivel. Then they will rejoice as they look forward to their expected ascencion in to heaven while they watch the rest of us lazy bastards decsend to hell
      A few people around the Great Lakes or Lake Bikhali might survive for a decade or two or three longer than the rest of us but it is not going to be pretty.
      It is time for us lazy heathens to start looking on the bright side. Our extinction is a short term loss. Many children will die as a result. But in the long run far far fewer children will die.
      No one will ever again be so depressed that they committ suicide. No one will regret the extinction of mankind.

  • Top 5 Reasons Solar Energy will Save the World
    • I remember reading here on IC several months ago a comment written by someone that said that there couldf not be a "burb" of methane from the Artic Ocean for a long time because the Methane is found hundreds of feet under ground.
      Yet yesterday Robert Hunzicker reported on Counterpunch.org in an article titled Ripley's Believe it or Not, climate Change Version, that in December of 2013 ice could not form over part of the Artic Sea because the methane gas bubling up prevent the ice from forming.
      Furthermore it was reported that there were two huge ocean to atmosphere methane "burbs" on Febuary 24th 2014. Most scientist say that there is a better chance of an aquatic dinasour sinking a 100 foot long South African fishing vessel (as reported on the Discovery Channel) than there is of a methane burb of the type reported. Is Robert Hunzicker trying to mislead us or are others trying to mislead us? i have to recuse myself from sitting on this jury.

  • In Illinois, 91 Communities are now Powered 100% By Green Electricity
  • Ukraine Crisis Shows Urgency of Green Energy: Russian Nat'l Gas Blackmail
    • Louis Proyect replied that the report that I mentioned above was removed because it was propoganda and he provided me with a link to the Guardian with the full story.

    • Before I left the house this morning I had the opportunity to read an article on German Yahoo that I consider to be very very important. According to the article a taped phone conversation between the EU foriegn minister and an Estonian official (might have been Latvian) was released in which the EU F.M. Catherine Ashton was heard saying that the massarce in Kiev that led to the fall of the Ukrainian government was actually the fault of the opposition. I really do not think that the EU foreign minister would make such a charge in private phone conversation unless she had evidence that it was true.
      This is clearly a game changer. It means that the democratically elected government in the Ukraine was over thrown under false pretenses. Maybe that government was led by corrupt people but removing corrupt people from power is what elections are for. The only exceptions are when the electoral process is disfunctional.
      The reason that I consider this very important is that it makes Russian behavior in the aftermath of this governmental over throw seem much more reasonable than it is portrayed in the western media. I must say that I owe Putin an appology for calling him a turkey for grossly over reacting to events in Ukraine.
      What readers should also know is that when I wanted to re read this report a 3 pm this after noon local time the report had disappeared. I googled it and I could not find any mention of it. Was this report removed because it contained false propoganda or was it removed for damage control. I suspect the later. If that is true it too was an over reaction because only a select few people who would read such a thing would understand its significance.

  • Paranoia strikes Deep: Russian Media Propaganda Feeds Ukraine Crisis
    • None the less I think the question of why the EU is talking to Ukraine about membership is still a valid question. What can the Ukraine do for the EU that Poland is not already doing for us. What can the EU do for Ukraine that it should not be doing for the Greeks and Spanish and Portugese and Romanians and Bulgarians and Serbains and Albanians and Macadoneans first.
      I read today that the EU is going to give the Ukrainians 11 billion Euros. Where did this money come from? If it was just sitting around why was it not given to those countries that I listed above last year or last month? If they just created the money by making a computer entry why was this money not created last year or last month a dispursed to those who needed then? If the EU can create 11 billion for the poor people of Ukraine why not create 11 billion for the poor people of Somalia?
      I say that the people of Europe and the USA are being hoodwinked. Our leaders will say that we the citizens have consented to the tratment that they have recieved. I say that politcal mental retards do not have the capacity to give consent, not to imply that you Edward are one of the mental retards that so many inhabitants of western countries are. The readers should think of what the consequences to that are.

    • Why did the leadership of the EU even begin talks with the government of Ukraine about membership in the EU or about loans. If the EU has more money to give should that money not go to Greece or Spain? If it is time for the EU to enlarge (ha ha) should talks not be with Serbia, Macidonia, and Albania?

  • Not to Reason Why: A New Crimean "War"?
    • Nap,
      I did elaborate but my comments did not make it past the moderator. I do not want to try again.

    • KRMCN's decsion to post his comments about Turkey here on the post about Ukraine was a wise stroke of genius. What this bold action demonstrates is that the future of the masses of people in Turkey and the masses of people in the Ukraine are best served by not becoming part of the European Union.
      As it presently operates the European Union is bad news. If it were not for the existance of the United States and Iran everyone would recognize the EU leadership for what it is,
      an Axis of Finanicial special interests collaborators ruling a confederation with an aging population a few natural resources.
      The people of Turkey and Ukraine would be best served by joining economic blocs of countries that are loaded with natural resources. In the case of Turkey that means Iraq and Iran, and Kurdistan. In the case of Ukraine that means Russia and Kahzikstan and Azerbijan.
      Of course no one can say for sure how history will play out. None the less even if these countries join these other resource rich nations and things do not work out well they would never be able to say that things would have worked out better if they had joined the EU. So, the populations of these countries should ask this question, do I want to marry a young country with a large endoument or do I want to marry an old country with lots of wrinkles.
      I am so glad that KRMCN moved the discussion in this direction before I did. She/he is a real radical pioneer.

  • Racializing Politics: We don't say "Slav" Democracy troubled in Ukraine, why Talk about "Arab" Failures?
    • When you have a large number of people who are poor now and want to live like Germans, not in 30 or 40 years but tommorrow, what are the chances that the new rulers, no matter who they are, are going to things the way that they should be done, which is how Warren Mosler, Michael Hudson and Marshall Auerback would do them?

    • At this point in time it would not surprise me if more than 50% of the population of people living in countries that are currently part of the EU thought that the EU itself was a bad idea.
      Those western oriented Ukrainians must be totally out of touch with what is going on in the EU. For the life in me I can not figure out why they think that if their country became part of the EU they would end up living like Germans and not as Greeks.

  • Israel to Implant 9-Storey Ultra-Orthodox Seminary in Palestinian East Jerusalem
    • I remeber when resistance to the United States and Israel was lead by organizations inspired not by by the Quran but by the Manifesto. I get the impression that reminding people of that today is illegal because no one wants to be reminded of that.

    • What on earth is a price tag attack?

  • We're all Living in the World Dick Cheney Made
    • I wish that the psychologist Erich Fromm could have had the chance to write a book analyzing Richard Cheney.

  • Brokers of Deceit: Massive US Aid to Israel has Enabled a Colonial Project
    • I have been reading that the US has been giving Israel 3 billion in military aid per year since the late 1980s. I find it hard to believe that the military aid has not increased along with inflation. This is one reason that I think that the real amount of US military aid to Israel is even higher. Many people think that the US aggression budget is acrtually higher than what is officially listed as. If the US under repoerts how much it is actually spending on aggression would it not be reasonable to beleive that the US also under reports how much it provides to the Israelis to committ aggression.
      I do not think that it would take a forensic account to prove that the Israelis are lying about how large their defence budget actually is. I really doubt that they could afford to accumulate that amount of military hardware that they have accumulated on only 12 billion dollars a year. Military aquistions are not the only thing that their defence budget has to pay for.
      The whole story is BS BS BS B5 BS BS BS BS BS.

  • "The Iranians are Coming!" Derangement Syndrome over 1 Destroyer in Atlantic
    • Will Fox News correctly point out that the explosion of the ball bearing factory in New Hamphsire was only the first shot of the Iranian corvette that is sailing towards the coast of New Hampshire. As this boat gets even closer to North America even more of the USA will come with in range of the secret weapons that are operated by the extrordinary crew of the Iranian corvette the Kontiki.
      Fortunately for the USA not all of the bugs have been worked out of these secret weapons. According to unnamed sources in the Iranian Military Industirial complex, the impact point of this attack was not at all the point that had been targeted. The targeted point was close to Charlestown Maryland but the crew put in the coordinates for Charlestown New Hamphire. Because of an at this time unkown problem the weapon ended up quite far off that target. fox news reporters believe that the number of these long range super weapons to be limted to no more than 5. Charles City Iowa is remored to be high on the target list due to the large concentration of heavy industry in that area.

  • Obama as Unreliable Narrator on Climate Action: from SOTU to NSA spying at Copenhagen
    • Joe from Lowell,
      I am not up to date on world or US energy production statistics.
      Your claim that the US is a leader in renewable energy seems plausible to me if you are refering to total megawatts produced. But if we are talking about the percentages of energy produced by renewables I would find your claims very suspect.

  • Syria Conference Roiled by Shouting Matches, Insults
    • I think that each side in the Syrian Civil War should try to reach an agreement with the other sides that will meet only their most minimal expectations with no intention of actually keeping to the agreement for very long. The point would be to lick their wounds and rebuild their military forces for now and prepare to relaunch to civil war at some point in the future when it appears that their side would have the military upper hand. Outsiders should be glad to get such an agreement because things on the ground could change until that some point in the future arrives. Something could happen in the mean time that would change the strategic balance in the contest. At that point one side may be able to impose its will on the battlefield quickly.
      It seems to me that each side in the civil war has it outside backers. I would hope that they can all recognize that at the moment the war seems to be stalemated so they should ask themselves, why not save the further destruction of the country for the moment which will have to be rebuilt no matter who wins.

  • Egypt: Youth Remember Martyrs, Reject both Army and Muslim Brotherhood
    • So what I would like people, especially any Egyptian that might read these comments, to conclude, is that the methods that the different factions competing for power in Egypt use is not nearly as important as what they will do with that power once they have it.
      Which side will impose a steeply progressive income tax rate in Egypt.
      Which side will regulate work places to potect worker safety.
      Which side will inspect agricultural products to ensure a safe food supply.
      Which side will will do its best, while unfortunately being trapped in a world wide system of exploitation, to ensure a livable wage for Egyptian workers
      Which side will be more clever in attempting to destroy the world wide system of exploitation.
      Which side will support sustainable energy, agricultural and environmental policies.
      Which side thinks that fairness in process is more important than fairness in result.
      Which side really understands the last question.

    • Those sealth stalinists provided a very good example of how to take power and the Khomenists of USA have provided a very good example of how to keep power once you have it. Democrats and Libertarians have really foolish views of human nature. I do agree with democrats that there is such a thing as the general welfare. I do agree with the democrats that it should be the goal of who ever is ruling to try to maximise the well being of a country`s population. I do not agree that elected leaders of Canada or Sweden or Norway or France or Germany have done any better than Vietnam or Cuba in this reguard.
      Those westernized countries might have a higher UN human development indexes but they have achieved these levels more because they have had more to work with and have been geographically luckier and have cheated more than the Socialist countries ever did or could have.
      Power is achieved through deception. Power is kept through deception. I am not going to offer you any supporting evidence for such an assertion. If the reader does not already believe it evidence will be rejected.
      In the stable countries of this world real democracy only occurs for at most a few dozen people. Of course Rush Limbaugh or Sara Palin could resist but when their salaries depend on not resisting their minds will build a fortress of psychological defences to convince themselves that they are fair and honest servents of a fair and honest system.
      Although I think that democracy is like gold, only a fool would want any. I do think that who ever rules a country has to be on the look out for political talent and stake out a wide tent for genuinely politicaly motivated people who are interested in really figuring out what serves the general welfare. Such people should get specialized training and be allowed to take part in the processes the determine the rules that the members of a society will be expected to live by. If that is a large percent of the people so much the better.
      One litmus test to determine whether or not some one might be qualified for such consideration is whether or not they think that someone has a right to privacy. Those who think that they do are clearly not yet qualified for certification.

  • Whites and African-Americans in America by the numbers
    • By the way your stats on average and median white net worth do not make any sense. Because multimillionaires and billionaires skew the numbers it is to me self evident that the average net worth would have to be higher than the median net worth. Yet the median numbers that you posted are much higher than the average numbers. It seems to me that someone screwed up with their numbers, No?

    • The amount of racism might be hard for some whites to grasp because they live in areas where there are very few minorities and therefore do not have the opportunity to observe many interracial interactions.
      When I was young I thought African Americans were mostly paranoid. Over time there were eye opening experiences, such as the 20-20 Report many years ago that showed with a hidden camera white couples and black couples applying to live in the same appartment complex. The black couples were often told that there were no vacancies when there were in fact vacancies.
      Another reason that it was hard for me to accept racism as being widespread is because it so irrational it was hard for me to understand how a well educated person could hold racist views. Even now the only way that I can make sense of racism is to understand it as an insidious tactic of class warfare to prevent unity and trust amongst people who have a common interest in changing society.
      In fact I would being willing to speculate that the reason that Fred Hampton was murdered by the police and William Kunstler was not was a Psy Ops tactic as William Kunstler was the most dangerous threat to the illegitimate system of power.
      When I was young a black man was four times more likely to be in prison than a white man. At that time a black man was also four times more likely to live below the poverty line.
      To me that was evidence that in America there was a correlation between poverty and crime. Earlier today I read at counterpunch.org that now a black man in America is eight times more likely than a white man to be in prison. I do not know what the current comparison of poverty rates are.
      The reason that I point this out is not to see if the correlation of poverty and crime is still true. It is to publically ask another question. Do things happen because we in America are ruled by idiots who are making things up as they go along, or are we ruled by intellegent sociopaths
      who have a 5 year plan and a 30 year plan for where they want the society to be at that time.
      If we are ruled by idiots who are just playing to win 2 year and four year election cycles black men could just be unintentional victims of fate be crushed by uncontrolable historical trends in which huge numbers end up in prison not because they are black but because the historical legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws left them economically disadvantaged. If we are ruled by intellegent sociopaths there could be more to it. Have I become irrationally paranoid?

  • UK's Channel 4 Schools US Media on How to cover NSA, Snowden
    • The scientists at Onion Magazine say that Earth is a prime time crime drama broadcast in a parrallel universe. But if that were true the woman who recently gave an official government briefing to the press in which she condemned the Russians "for giving Snowden a Platform" would have instead not have said what she was told to say but she would have told the truth and mocked the so called leaders of our country for being the lying sociopaths that they are. Then she would have quit before she could get fired and written a book and made a lot of money and then flew to Costa Rica with her money and lived happily ever after while watching watching the second American Revolution on Russia Today the only kind of accurate news source one can get on TV.

  • Brotherhood, Army risk Civil War: 30 Dead, Hundreds Wounded
    • I agree. Having a President is a stupid idea in the first place. Hardly better than a heriditary monarch. Having a Prime Minister may not solve anything though. If the prime minister holds power with the permission of only one or two parties he is in power until the next elections.
      A better way is to have a Central Committee of 11 to 15 members in charge of the executive branch of government. Even if all of the members are from the same party there will be much more input in to a discussion of what policy position to take.
      On the question of whether or not the Putsch should or should not have happened, I think that it is much more important what a goverment does once it is in power than how it takes power. There is NO LEGITIMATE WAY TO TAKE POWER INCLUDING ELECTIONS. Legitimacy comes from doing the right thing, even if it is unpopular, which means that legitimacy is not neccissarily something that can be determined at the time. You will know in 30 40 or 50 years whether or not something was legitimate, until new historians give a new ruling 40 years after that.

  • GE's 'Brilliant' Wind Turbines offer Cheaper Energy than Coal, Gas, & have Battery Storage
    • But has anyone asked the Arabs if they want to power Europe?
      Mavbe they would perfer to have losts of electricity for Egypt and Morocco and places in Between and if possible then Jordan and Syria and Lebanon and so forth and if there is any left after that Nigeria and Zaire and places to the south of the Sahara.
      The Sahara is a good reason that Europeans should be nice to Arabs rather than Americans. What can the USA offer Europe other than threats and problems? A good example for example?

  • Top Ten Ways US TV News are Screwing us Again on NSA Surveillance Story (Iraq Redux)
    • I have to wonder what percent of law enforcement officials read Informed Comment. I have to wonder if any of what you just wrote would matter to any law enforcement official.
      If the past is any guide they will just continue to do what they are told to do by those that hire them.

  • Iran's New President is on a Collision Course with the Supreme Leader (Kadivar)
    • I agree with Sham E. if Khameni had really wanted someone else to be Pres. he would have asked some of the other candidates reported to be hard liners to withdraw so that they would not have split the votes of those who did not vote for Rhohani. Of course now that the election is over we can see that such a tactic would not have made any difference but that could not likely have been predicted ahead of time, no?

  • Mueller: FBI Drones on US Soil, used 'Minimally' (Young Turks)
    • I was just reading on Counterpunch that over 300,000 Americans were spied on last year by the government based on open sources. The author said no doubt far more that the government has not admitted to.
      Well for once the government has made a step in the right direction. America needs to be ruled by a big brother or at least a big nanny. With a population of over 300 million by my count that means there are around 270 million criminals to check up on. I arrive at that figure by counting the child molestors, the wife beaters, the Klan members, the rapists, the war criminals, the dangerous drug pushers,
      the white collar criminals (also known as the financial sector), the con men (also known as the advertising industry, and the telephone marketing industry) the thieves, the murderers. Only a few percent of the US population is currently locked up. Learning who is up to what is the first step to putting the other 98% where they belong.

  • NSA-Verizon Surveillance: Welcome to the United States of Total Information Awareness
  • Falsely Accused Pot Mom Released in Mexico; Case Argues for Decriminalization
    • What percent of people arrested for possession of Marijuana or intent to sell Marijuana actually spend time in prison? If we are arresting 600,000 people a year for possesion but of marijuna but only 50,000 people are in prison for such a crime what happens to the others? I also wonder if there is a racial bias in the enforcement of these laws.

  • A Forever War that Dares not Speak its Name (Bacevich)
    • Company Men versus Real Men.
      Eternal internal war gives plenty of possibilities to test men and seperate company Men from Real Men. Company Men move up and make good money and acheive possitions of influence. Their children go to prestigous universities. When they retire they get a nice retiremen salary for the rest of their lives in addition to a nice government job or private sector job if they do not want to spend their time fishing or raising tobacco.
      Real Men get washed out. They get sent in to the wilderness, if not to prison. War is quite an opportunity to mold the charachter of a nations future leaders.

  • CIA Whistleblower who revealed Torture is still in Jail; Torturers walk Free
    • I think that there is a sinister purpose behind this torture that goes beyond just torture as a deterent to those that would oppose the US MIC. The CIA agents and others who take part in torture are being tested to see where their loyalties lie. They are also being trained. Trained to do things that the chain of command in the CIA want them to do not things that they should be doing. They are essentially being inocculated with a Zombie virus.
      The whistle blower said that Americans are better than this.
      Well obviously he is wrong. If Americans were better than this it would not have happened. That America has made torure a routine policy is just one reason among many that
      I hope that in the not to distant future there is a transfer of power in America that is not peaceful transfer of power.
      Without a non peaceful transfer of power there would be no reason to believe that there has been real change in the power structure of the USA. No accountability is just more business as usual.
      Such a cancellation of the democratic process would amount to a collective punishment for the American people. That is
      supposed to be forbiden by some regulation somewhere. But the American people have collectively earned a collective punishement.

  • Should Memorial Day include Commemoration of Thoreau?
    • Just one last shot from me while there is still time.
      Captian Watada once said that you have to give higher ranking officers the benifit of the doubt but you do not have to give them a blank check. Over the past few weeks of pondering American history I now think that what Captain Watada said does not go nearly far enough. People in the military should not believe anything their chain of commnad tells them or do anything that their chain of command tells them to do unless the evidence supporting the chain of command is overwhelming.
      THe first step in repudiating bad behavior is not to keep repeating the same behavior over and over again. So it would seem to me that if Officers of the US military want to
      properly train an Army to defend a Republic and to maintain an empire they would train their subordiantes NOT TO TRUST their supirior officers and not even to respect them, but to be suspicious of their every move and to ask uncomftorable questions at every opportunity. Commanders should be challenged constantly from below and should be constantly harrassing those above them. With such policies we might actually produce some soldiers who are not complete idiots.
      Furthermore the Ameroican people should be taught the physical courage is not something to admire. It might be true that not every person has it. None the less human history shows that physcial courage is a commodity that is really not in short supply. For every person who has won a medal of homor there would have been dozens more who would have won it if they had not been killed first or if those who witnessed their actions had not been killed. So since
      Memorial Day just ended here. I can now close my post.

    • Of course not many soldiers or marines will disagree with you.
      Why did the USA have a military that did not self distruct when it was ordered to launch a blatant war of agression. But the people who had been leading and training the military before 2003 were not honorable leaders. They were dishonorable leaders who were produced by a dishonorable society when they were young who grew old to refine the the instruments of corruption and corrupt another generation of Americans. The military leadership was not alone in its crimial behavior. The press, the churches, the legal system, and so many other institutions had to collaborate
      to whip up a large number of Americans in to a frenzy of misplaced patriotism. This process has taken place over and over and over again in country after country through out history. What was so pathetic about the USA is that it leadership and very large percent of its people showed that they are incapable of learning the most basic lessons of history or learn to have even a basic understanding of how their own government operates. For a young recruit to have bought excuses for the war hook line and sinker is somewhat understandable. For a Major or Colonel to have fallen for such dribble is inexcusable.

    • No such public thinking seems unAmerican to me.

    • So, if I understand this correctly, from the point of view of a progessive, in 2003 those wearing a US military uniform were dishonorable, or at the least misguided.
      Wear as Bradely Manning would be honorable for exposing misconduct and trying to shorten a war. But for some reason progressives in the USA would lable anyone who would try to attack the prison where Bradely Manning was held and try to free him as misguided, if not dishonorable. Not that anyone
      in the world, let alone the USA, would try such a thing. (Ireland Excepted). Such public thinking seems a bit odd to me.

  • When Politicians promise 'Lower Taxes' they are promising Collapsed Bridges
    • The USA maintains a road to Key West.
      It could maintain a railroad to Key West.
      It could maintain a Ferry Service to Key West.
      Has anyone really done an indepth cost benifit risk analysis
      of the options from the point of View of the USA and from the point of view of the Conch Republic?

  • Renewable Energy in Marrakech: Solar Water Pumps & More (Video)
    • In the comments about lottery winnings something was overlooked that could just as well fit here. I am refering to the comments about instant gratification, saving, investment, and income which were all related. The point that Americans need to be paid more was raised.
      Well I think that the problem is someone different. Americans are somewhat less than 5% of the world's population yet they consume 25% of the world's resources. Ok we know that multimillionaire is going to comsume more resources than a millioaire who will consume more than someone who is affluent who will consume more than someone who is middle class who will cosume more than someone who is poor.
      Yet there is a limit to how many pounds of steak and lobster a person can eat. Even a billionaire tires of buying another house. Not every rich person collects cars like Jay Leno. There is no doubt that for the sake of the environment the rich need to cut back. Yet for the sake of the environment even the middle class needs to cut back. How neccessary is it to race a snowmobil across a frozen lake?
      The USA uses 25% of the world's resources yet will still do not have full emplyoement. Some people say that our unemployment rate is actually much higher than what we are told by the labor department. One of the critical points that is suppossed to be achieved by people buying things to meet their desires is to provide jobs to meet those desires.
      It seems to be working. We have created jobs to build cars, to build snowmobils and all terrain vehicles, we have created jobs to manufacture a multitude of things that range from very useful, to things that cater to the desire to indulge in an expensive, damaging, thrilling hobby. A new digital camera for example weighs very little. How many resources are used to make one compared to the benifits that it can deliver? I wonder what the (entire)costs benifits ratio of a camera or a cell phone is compared with something like sky diving or snowmobliling. I wonder what the cost benifit ratio of a camera is when compared with sitting in a traffic jam, or driving from Amsterdam to Barcelona for vacation.
      The industrial way of life is built on the idea that we will meet our needs. Then we will indulge our passions. When we run out of what we need to meet our needs OR indulge our passions we will take what we need from where ever we can find it. The costs that we CALCULATE we be paid by the end consumer. The costs that we DO NOT calculate will be by third parties. There is no need for us to concern ourself with that.
      If I am right about that then a misallocation of resources is occuring on at least one possibly two levels. First in not calculating all of the costs of resource extaction or
      in all of the costs of production. That would mean that
      we are not as rich as we thing we are. It would also mean that we are not as clever as we think we are. It would also mean that we are not as deserving as we think that we are. Second I would suspect that we are also not correctly calculating the true costs of production. If externalities ae not added in some people are unfairily benifiting.
      I have a question that I know that no one will answer. Even if we properly accounted for all of the costs of producing something is it OK for people to indulge in any passion that they can concieve of? Does the answer to that question depend of the timing of the indulgence? For example one might say that in a planet earth with 2 billion people racing 500 horsepower speed boats from Annapolis to Norfolk is acceptable but in a world with over 6 billion people it is not. Another might say, why should that matter? Those racing the speedboats from Annapolis to Norfolk did not create the extra 4 billion people. Those four billion other people should have had the sense to control their sex drive. If not that then at least use birth control. Such a person might add I would not complain about people racing speed boats from Buenos Aires to Montevidio or from Sydney to Perth why should others have a say in disrupting my passion. I pay for it fair and square.
      The world's population will probably go up to 10 billion. That means the population of the USA will be added to the world 10 more times. Why should those of us in the USA and Europe and Japan have to modify our behavior to account for the behavior of others that we can not control? Liberals are asking us to think small so that we can all try to fit. Conservatives say at what point do you stop worrying about what happens else where and just live your life. What if there rest of the world produces 6 or even 9 billion more people instead of 3 billion. Will you then try to make your self so small that you can then mail yourself through FedEx on vacation?
      I really do not know what the best answer is? Efficiency has its limits.

  • The Lotto Symbolizes the False Promises of Barracuda Capitalism, and it Won't make you Happy to Win
    • There is one thing that concerns me about every American with a job earning 75,000 dollars a year. We live in a global economy. There is one global economic pie. By world standards 75,000 dollars is a heck of a lot of money.

      I think a person has realize that everything that the US, or for that matter any industrialized country, imports whether it is oil or computers is oil or computers that can not be used by less developed countries to develope their populations.

      There is a concept known as misappropriation of resources.
      The American worker deserves to have a good life. But so does the worker in Kenya or Bolivia or Laos. T think that Bill would agree that people need to think about what material possesions are neccessary for a good life. I would
      suggest that the people who can teach us that are the Hutterite religous minority found in Canada and perhaps elsewhere.
      I came to the conclusion in 1985 that to lead a good responsible life in the Chicago area would require 50,000 dollars a year for a family of four. I bet that would be
      more than 75,000 in todays terms. But at that time my priorities were different.

      One the other hand if the economy was different. If the economy was geared to meeting the needs of the middle class rather than the affluent class then the price structure might be different than it is today. Under the conditions in which the ecomony was geared to meet the needs of the middle class 60,000 might be plenty good, without causing an obstical to the economic developement of less industrialized countries.

    • There seems to me to be a logical falicity with the idea that if everyone saved and invested more we would all be better off.
      First if every saved more they would buy less that would lead to an increase in inventory which would lead to a decrease in prices, and therefore profits, at first, and possibly if people kept on saving more a decrease in production and a redcution in employment, at least temporarily. Therefore at first dividends would be lower and return on investments would be lower.
      Second of all if people are bringing more and more money to bankers and the like and telling them to invest it there will be more and more money chasing at best the same amount of investments, Now as returns on investements drop and borrowers have to pay less investment might pick back up
      if the business climate is optomistic. But then again the investors will make less the more people that they are competing with to invest their money.
      Therefore the whole system only works when some people do it not every one, or when everyone does it a just the right level. This is all connected with the idea that in a finite world the stockmarket can continue to rise in the long run forever. To believe that you have to either be a Protestant Minister, a Catholic Priest, a Jewish Rabbi, a Muslim Imam, or an American Economist.(or have faith that mankind will develope fussion power and all mankinds material obsticals will mechanically disappear.):<)

  • Kenya gets Funding for Africa's Largest Wind Farm
    • I was just reading on the Guardian that over its life time a wind turbine will produce 20 to 25 times the electricity required to produce it. I also read that the life span of a wind turbine is 20 to 25 years. Then I read somewhere else that a refurbished wind turbine will have a life span of around another 15 years. Well to make it simple if we divide 25 by 25 we get one. That extra 15 can be either good or bad depending on the earlier factors. So if each year a wind turbine can deliver the same amount of power that was used to create it I can imagine tha wind power is much cleaner than fossil fuels and if the energy used to produce the wind the power came from 100% renewable sources
      it would be totally clean energy. But what I can also easily imagine is that wind power is not very concentrated
      energy. So while it is certainly a neccessary step in creating a sustainable planet, barring the development of nuclear fussion technology, it is not sufficient in recreating industrialized society as we know it today in North America and Europe.
      But I can imagine if the Kenyans think very carefully about their development, and avoid the mistakes of the 20th century, that wind energy could provide them with all the energy that they needed for what they deem to be really important. Hopefully the Kenyans will not deem a 20 mile commute to work on clogged freeways and air conditioning on a 32C(90F)degree day as really neccessary.

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