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Total number of comments: 73 (since 2014-02-06 16:59:28)

Two of spades

Showing comments 73 - 1

  • Iran's Khamenei blames Early English Learning for Unrest, Bans Classes
    • I found your comment exceptionally interesting. Especially since he, I guess that means Khamenei, mentioned German.

    • This is quite an interesting ruling. I would have said, "The obviously better solution is to outlaw the teaching of English period and mandate the teaching of Arabic instead."

  • Tehran Police say Iranian Women won't be arrested over Dress Code
    • This is an interesting developement. Though being forced to go to a class could certianly be seen as a type of house arrest for at least as long as the class lasts. Then of course there is the threat of legal action against repeat offenders.
      But I can imagine one other possible snag. It has been a long time since I read an English translation of the Koran while attending Islamic study sessesions led by a Palestinian Muslim with a Phd in Astronomy but as I recall the Koran says that women should or maybe it was must cover their TOP. Yes the Islamic word was translated not as head not as hair not as breasts but TOP. If that is a correct translation then it is a brilliant choice of words. It emphasises that Islamic women should dress modestly but it does it in a way so that it can be interpreted in a changing social context. It could easily be understood to mean that women should cover their head in the 7th century Egypt or that women should cover their breasts in 21st century Tehran.
      But accepting the Koran as the best way for humans to live with out questioning further leaves another question unasked. That is, is modesty really the best policy for a society? And does modesty mean that women should hide their curves while body building men can show off their muscles? Or does modesty mean that we should we be willing to keep wearing clothing that might have a small stain or two or a small tear or two and not be worried that people will think that we are lazy slobs because we are to poor to be able to buy a stainless or untorn piece of clothing. Or does modesty mean that everyone has to wear the same color of clothing, or the same uniform so that no individuality is expressed to attempt build solidartiy among all the members of a society?

  • Egyptian parliament moves to make atheism a crime
    • The click to edit program is to short. It can just make matter worse than not editing at all.

  • Will Americans finally start fighting back against tax cuts for the rich?
    • That unofficial republicans won two senate elections is not a reason to celebrate. Huge numbers of Americans still have not figured out that in the USA there is only one party with two parts. There is the overt Republican faction and the covert Republican faction. One faction pushes the excelorator to the floor and steers hard to the right. The other faction lets off on the gas a bit and steers half right, so that the overt Republicans can accuse them of being commie pinko lovers of Uncle Joe, rather than proper lovers.

  • Yes, America, there is a Class War, and you Just Lost It
    • 300 million heavily armed people with no system of command and control count for nothing, even if they could agree on what they wanted or did not want.

  • Puerto Rico: On top of Everything Else, GOP Tax Bill is Racist
    • Both siderism has not been proven bankrupt to me. You list a number of things that the democrats are defending. From my perspective that list is made up of things that the Democratic Party is only pretending to defend.
      From my perspective not all Democrats are in on the con. None the less the con of two parties competing with each other is an extraordinarily good con. The con is so good because it is very hard to imagine the details of how the con is actually coordinated in an apparently changing environment.
      E V E N if I am overly syndical and American democracy really is more real than the World Wide Wrestling Federation it would still be true that if some people tried to arrest only Republicans and or ban only the Republican Party they would meet even more resistance than if they banned both parties. The first ban would be viewed as an underhanded partisan attack by godless commies against the off spring of America's greatest generation, attempting to eventually turn America in to a provence of Russia, or Iran, or maybe even North Korea.
      If the second ban were actually enacted, I would be willing to bet 100 dollars, which is a lot of money for me, that this ban would be viewed by almost everyone as an even handed intervention by authorities that are going to restore the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, or John F. Kennedy.

    • Dear Grumpy Great Grandpa,
      If people who agree with your comment about outlawing the Repulbican party were to gain 5 seats on the Supreme Court and 67 seats in the Senate and 300 seats in the House, and 34 govenorships and the Republican Party was outlawed there would still be a civil war in America.
      If on the other hand BOTH of the major corrupt pariies were outlawed there would be a huge sigh of relief in America from hundreds of millions of people and everyone would go to back to work just as if nothing important had happened.
      Yes it is true that realistically, currently, only the Democratic Party would have a chance in hell of getting those type of results in through a democratic process. They certainly would not outlaw themselves.
      But if we wanted to imagine a situation in which the Republicans could be outlawed, say a massive victory by the Greens, or Libertarians, this winning power would have to outlaw both parties.
      If we were to indulge ourselves, and smoke a lot of pot, we might imagine a scenaria in which perhaps at some point in the future the vote is very divided up and through luck or perhaps even cheating the Greens or Libertarians achieve these formal results. if that were the case and the new leadership wanted to actually act on your suggestion Republicans would be enraged that their party alone had been outlawed. But if the Democratic Party were simultaneously outlawed Republicans would be molified, and vice versa.
      Is it not true that the overwhelming majority of the voters do not vote for someone that they like they vote against someone that they do not like.

  • Germany: Immediate Danger of Mideast War if Trump dumps Iran Deal
    • My guess is that Trump as the spokesperson for the DOD will just spend four years villifying Iran to keep America focused against fake overseas threats while looting America at home and creating enough poverty and mass stupidity (fake patriotism) to maintain enough recruits for the military.

    • First of all Gabriel is not likely to be the FM much longer as the SPD will not stay in a Grand Coalition with the CDU/CSU.
      But even if Germany did take the side of Russia and China and I imagine Turkey as well, how would that work? The German leadership was really annoyed when Trump said that NATO was obsolete. Now are they going to suddenly agree with Trump and say NATO is obsolete? Does that mean that the German leadership will admit to the Russian Leadership that Germany and the USA bear responsiblity for the breakup of the Ukraine? Does that mean that the Germans will stop giving visas to Americans? Does it mean that Gemany will give automatice politcal asylum to Americans seeking to escape the USA?
      How will Germany work with Turkey against the USA when Turkey is even further along down the road to facism than the USA is. I will say that Erdogon at least has a good reason for his paranoia. Not everyone gets a bomb dropped on the hotel that they were just staying at.
      Anyways when I hear Merkel AND Germany's top General say that Germany will fully side with Iran including arresting every US service menber in Gemany if neccessary then I would put some credence to the story.

  • Baghdadified: The Militarization of US Cities and Police
    • during editing my comments at the end of a reply to super 390 got gargled. What I mean to say was that leaders in the Democratic Party could reach millions of people and point out how dispicable Trumps calls for NFL owners to fire protesting players were but as far as I know they have failed to do so. They are either complete idiots or they have motives that having nothing to do with truth, justice and sacred American values.

  • How "ghost soldiers" could frustrate Trump's plans for Afghanistan
    • Would it maybe easier if the Pashtuns and Tajiks simply agree to a divorce?

  • Weathering the Violence of Climate Change
    • What on Jupiter would better policies to better manage human migration look like?

  • What to do with Confederate statues?
    • Tip the statues on thier side. Then build new statues of any one of the tens of thousands of white men from slave states that joined the union army with the boots of the new statues on the necks of the old statues.
      In addition to that new statues need to be built on evey side of every school in the USA, public or private. Wait in addition on every side of every police station in the USA.
      The statues would be any four from the following list:
      1. Thomas Paine
      2. Tecumseh
      3. Harriet Tubman
      4. John Brown
      5. Susan Anthony
      6.Carrie Nation
      7.Eugene Debs
      8.Medgar Evers
      9.James Zwerg
      0.Cesar Chavez
      ß.Ehren Watada
      !.Chelsa Manning
      Bad habits need to be replaced by good habits. Out with honoring the bad in with honoring the good.

  • The Mask Is Off: Trump Is Seeking Pretext for War with Iran
    • It would be consistent with recent history if Trump declared Iran in non compliance and then create the evdence that they are in non compliance. Much of the media that people actually watch or read will repeat this created evidence over and over again. A few will cast doubt on the evidence. The tide of propoganda will support the president. The emplooyees of the main stream media are prepared to obey any order to disemminate any claim made by the US government no matter how foolish it is. The low level workers want to keep their jobs. The department heads want to get a promotion and the network heads have been vetted for their loyalty.
      Once consent has been manufactured the military is in a position to give the orders to do anything that it wants. As the contractor from Syria said in his/her comment here a few days ago. There is not any order that the members of the US military are not prepared to carry out.
      IF the Pentagon wants a war with Iran they can easily make it happen.

  • UN Report: Muslim Youth going to fight in Syria mostly not Motivated by Islam
    • the graph above about the importance of peer pressure is confusing because the circle shows 5 colours. yet the explination of what the colours in the circle mean show six colours underneath the circle.

  • Saudi, slamming Qatar for Extremism, arrests Model for wearing Skirt in Public
    • Dear Derick,
      The US may no longer be flying F-15s with the stars and bars insignia out of bases in Saudia Arabia. But the US still has lots of assets inside of Saudi Arabia.
      The purpose of these assets is not to help the Saudi ruling criminals oppress their population though. The purpose of those assets is to make sure that those Saudi druling criminals continue to persue policies that support the objectives of the US MIC.
      Of course this does not get said publically because it can not be verified. But then when it comes to reporting what is true and not reporting what is not true consider this.
      In WW 2 the Germans got about one third of the iron ore that they used during the war from Sweden. Another large percentage came from Spain. Also consider that outside of uboats the Germans had no navy to speak of. In addition Franco the leader of Spain did not at all want to get involved in the 2nd world war. These two assertions are easily verifiable.
      Add all this up and it means that once the US got involved in the war the western allies could have defeated Germany so fast it would have made the Russians do summersaults.
      Why western leaders chose not to is a longer story.
      So if those important truths from the second world war can be buried any important truths can be buried to those who are not looking for them.
      When I combine this pattern of western institutions burying important information and the pattern of policies that the Saudi government pursues I come to the conclusion that the Saudi government has no more independence than a state in the United States. My conclusion is certianly not widely supported in the world's institutions..
      Could it be possible that many people actually share my conclusion, but simply do not find it helpful to make their thoughts on the matter public?

  • Trump's Ally: Saudi Arabia's drive for Aristocratic Hegemony in the Middle East
    • "that way of proceeding however did not justify a military coup."
      Of course it did.
      The legitimacy of a government is not determined by who supports it or how many people support it. The legitimacy of a government is determined by what it does. Some implications of this understanding are that the ends (usually) justify the means. A second implication is that there is no point in trying to legitimize institutions that have a monopoly of coercive power in a given geographical region. Any such attempt will be based on subjective reasons not objective reasons. So of course to say that the legitimacy of a government is determined by what a government does not who supports it or how much support that it has is just as subjective as to say that a government gets its legitmacy "from the people".
      The bottom line is that the current regime in Egypt is not legitimate. But it is more legitimate than the MB was. (In my subjective opinion, as a self proclaimed qualified world juror, based on the evidence that I have seen so far)

  • It isn't just Trump: The American System is Broken
    • The American system did not break just recently. It has been broken since at least 1963 if not since 1948 or 1942 or 1913 or 1890 or 1866 or 1838 or 1789 or 1776. It did not get fixed at any of those earlier times. Why is now different? Who is different now?

  • Only Putin is happy with Trump's NATO Bull-in-China-Shop Catastrophe
    • Right on Bill! Not only that but the whole Ukrainian crisis is the fault of the EU. The EU went to the Ukraine offering the government there billions of Euros in bailouts. Yet just months before it refused to bail out a much smaller country that was already an EU member, Greece. Nor did the EU have money for the hard pressed Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. There were of course strings attached to this money which were unacceptable to the leadership of the Ukraine at that time. But Ukrainians were desperate and also desired closer ties to the west anyways. So they toppled the government.
      The EU was wrong to offer money to the Ukrainians in the first place. If the EU had money available to give away it should have been given away to those who were already in the EU.
      Those who are now citizens of the EU have nothing to gain from closer ties with the Ukriane. The Ukraine can offer the EU nothing that we do not already get enough of from Poland and the Ukraine.
      This whole crisis was just dreamt up to push the borders of NATO and the EU up to Russias borders and to create tensions with Russia to create bigger profits for the defence industries of Europe and the US.
      It does not matter that many Ukrainians, even a majority, would gladly support such a project. They have no right to become part of a criminal conspiracy. (which is what NATO is)
      Putin has shown great restraint in this conflict. If I had been in his place I would have ordered the Russian Army to invade the entire Ukraine. Well except maybe for that part of the Ukraine that lies west of the Donau River!

    • No the US did not annex Iraq. But what was the original plan?
      Obviously they would have not dared to officially annex Iraq as millions of US citizens had not been living there for generations. But who could be so trusting as to think that the plan was something other than make Irak the El Salvador (Panama, Haiti, Guatumala, take your pick) of the Middle East.

  • Trump in Absolute Monarchy during Iran's Election
    • No, back in those days it was the king of Guatemala, the king of Haiti, and the king of of one of the many west African countries, whose name I forget at the moment, that had the gall to elect a leftist Prime Minister.

    • An Ipad costs around 300 Euros. A small inexpensive car around 10,000 Euros. People who have fairly new gasoline or diesel cars are not going to trade them in for a new electric car, even if they see a refueling infrastructure already in place, until their fairly new car is a fairly old car.
      Furthermore that fairly old car will not get dropped off at a recycling center. It will be resold to someone who can only afford to pay 1,000 Euros for a car. A car that will perhaps be a second car for the family. That means that a gasoline powered car produced in 2016 will likely still be on the road in 2030. Heck coal powered trains built more than 100 years ago are still used in some areas of the world. I heard that a coal powered train uses 150 pounds of coal to travel one mile.
      Then there is the airline industry that big expansion plans.
      Ditto for the cruise line industry and shipping companies.
      If electric cars make a dent in automotive fuel consumption and the price of fuel drops airline ticket prices will drop causing more people to take a long distance vacation. That will send a message to the travel industry to build even more hotels than the industry had previously planned.
      The way that I see it there was no way that the global warming problem was going to be fixed with out massive government intervention in the world's economy. Do I need to point out that intervention is a euphamism for oppression.
      The world that we live in today was one created largely through the free choices of large numbers of people, who had and have disposable income. Yet the system that evolved was and continues to be totally unsustainable and huge numbers of people have not even figured that out yet.
      My guess is that the people who could have taken a baseball bat to the whole mess did not want to because they would have ended up looking like Joseph Stalin to the hundreds of millions of people with disposable income.

    • In addition to your correct comment the idea that there will be the infrastructure to support tens of millions of electric cars before 2030 in any country in the world that has tens of millions of cars seem to be a word of fiction. I doubt that even Norway will have the infrastucture to support tens of thousands of electic cars before 2025. Not only that I have to wonder how much energy will be used manufacturing millions of electric cars that are even the size of a Smart car.
      But there is something funny about all of this. Trump and the American Miltary are going to protect us from Iranian sponsored terrorists. Therefore there is no need to worry about anything else.

  • Palestinians shocked at craven UN climbdown from report on Israeli Apartheid
    • I always thought it funny that so many people thought that a two state solution could be a permanent solution to the problem. We need a more permanent solution to our problem.

  • Wind Power Juggernaut Really doing for 100K Workers what Trump only Promised
    • Super 390, that seemed to be a response to the comments that I made just above yours even though it was not labeled as such. I wanted to thank you for your comments which as always are well formed and well informed.

    • Wow I was not aware that solar panels could get so efficient as to power a (Smart) car from just the panels on the roof. I also was not aware that the battery to power the car at night would get so small that it could be classifed as small.
      I think that I had read though that the raw materials to make the most advanced batteries is currently found in only a few places. Even if we find more of these materials, say on the sea bed they are still not renewable. The quantities of these raw materials, what ever they are, may seem large now, yet to the people of the 18th century the forests of N. America and the Amazon seemed large. It did not take all that long to dispose of them. Therefore it seem wise to me that private autos be at least discuouraged. OK people living in Rural areas need them so they should be able to have them. By keeping the number of automobils small the raw materials that would otherwise be used to make 8 to 12 billion people mobil could be used for other purposes if it were neccessary. Furthermore if the electrical grid was decentralized, and in addition if the vehicles of public transportation could drive themselves there is no reason that rural areas would have to stay underserved by public transportation.

    • I was just doing some thinking about the electric car craze in which the thinking is that we will all be driving battery powered cars in 25 or 50 years. I think that such a dream is an evolutionary dead end.
      First of all the raw materails needed to make these batteries is lilmited and non renewable. So although the world might be able to sustain battery powered cars for some decades after that it will face a new crisis.
      What seems to be a better bet for a really permanent solution to our problem is an interconnected system of electric trains, subways, and streetcars. These modes of trainsportation can use direct access to the electric grid without the need of batteries as an intermediary. Furthermore since the chance of collision with these types of modes of travel is so much lower than with automobiles, as least the humanly driven kind, that the trains themselves do not even have to be built with steel. They could be built with renewable bamboo. Hex whose to say that with a little experimentation that a company could build a train out of bamboo even safer than one made out of steel due to the flexible nature of bamboo. Then only the motor might need to be built out of steel.
      OK I just remembered seeing a program about German trains being built with carbonfiber it might be tough for bamboo to top that.

  • It's Racism, Stupid. America's Persistent Racial Wealth Divide
    • I interpret the meaning of the question about discrimination asked in para. four differently than the author of this article does. To me the question means what is more important in preventing African Americans in acheiving economic parity with whites, is it the laws that are holding African Americans back or the individual decisions of white people to hire or not hire African Americans and if so what kind of jobs. I suspect that it is the millions of decsions made by white people that over the decades which have been even more important in creating these conditions than the laws themselves.
      I have doubts though that the true level of wealth of families in America is accurately measured by these studies though. First off I bet that these studies do not show the value of someone's social security payments or military pensions, because these payments are not transferable to one's children I bet that the payments from these sources would simply be counted as income.
      If these payments were valued by determining how much wealth one would need to recieve a 100 dollar a month payment from social security I would guess that in absolute terms this racial wealth gap would grow even more. Yet in percentage terms I think the gap would narrow. Many people in the USA of all races recieve a military pension. Yet percentage wise African Americans are more likely to retire as NCOs rather than commissioned officers. Commissioned officers recieve a bigger pension but I doubt if they are generally ten times bigger. The same assessment would apply to social security payments.
      Another factor to consider is local costs of living. Of course one could say that generally living in lower costs areas should not be used as an arguement to say that African Americans can get by with less wealth in order to maintain their standard of living in they should for examply become unemployed because lower costs areas usually have a lower quality of life. I think local quality of life arguement cancels out local cost of living arguement to some extent but does it completely cancel it out?
      If I am correct is understanding the meaning of the question in paragraph four and I am correct in figuring that individual decisions are an important factor then one should conclude that although more socialism in economic policies in the USA would make things better for African Americans those policy changes alone will not be enough to for African Americans to achieve parity with whites. The problem is caused not only by racsism or only by class warfare it is both.
      The economic disparity between African Americans and whites in the US should actually be THE civil rights issue at this time in the USA. All the other civil rights problems are wrapped up in this one.

  • "Get out of my Country!" White Terrorist Shoots Asian-American Engineers in Wake of Trump Visa Ban
    • also has a site set up to raise money for Ian G.
      It has already met its goal but I hope people keep giving money until it reaches 1 million dollars.

  • The real Victors in Judges' ban on Trump's Ban: US Universities
  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German
    • Really not all that much has changed. The conservative side of the democratic party, which includes the Clintons, are every bit as evil as the Republicans. They are partners in crime.
      What causes me not to want to get out of bed anymore is that America lost a rare chance for real change in 2016. I really have no way of knowing how large that chance was. Whatever the odds were they were lost. Now the world will continue to move in the wrong direction for another eight years.
      It is tempting to believe that such widespread political neglegence is proof of a cosmic conspiracy against the planet. If that were the case then then we could say to ourselves that there is a purpose for this nonsense, even if that purpose lies in another part of the multiverse.

  • Are the Muslim Khans better Americans than Donald Trump?
    • I made a mistcake. I was going to let your remarks about my butt pass and I had previously written a reply to your comment. I now think that this reply is the more important one. I have written something along these lines before. It was a while back though.
      In the eyes of my God, qbapiamachacuckoo, who in the pantheon of Gods is so low ranking that the untouchables of India have much more respect among the Brahmin than my God has in the heavens, courage is highly overrated. qbapiamachacuckoo says to me that it is 10,000 times better to die as a dispised coward than a highly honored leader of a democratic empire.
      Now you can choose your God or you can choose my God. But, you can not choose both. You can choose your Saints or you can choose my Saints, some of whom I listed above.
      You can not choose both.

    • Dear William,
      I am glad to see that you are amazed. My comments about McCain were not only about McCain. He was just a surrogate for BlackFive, which in turn is just a surrogate for McDonald Trump which is in turn just a surrogate for something else which is in turn just a surrogate for something else.

    • I am surprised that I need to spell it out again. With my first attempt I tried to use some humor that clearly went over your head. To put it in plain Human like McCain many people would have chosen to stay behind. The percentage of people with a military background who would have chosen to stay behind would have been even higher.
      When he chose to stay behind he did not demonstrate any courage or character beyond normal. Perhaps there are other things that he has done in his life that demonstrate courage or character. I have not read his biography nor do I have any desire to. I doubt that the courage and character that he has demonstrated in his life would hold a candle to Medgar Evers, James Zwerg, Chelsa Manning, Thomas Paine, John Brown, Stan Goff, Ehren Watada, Russel Means, James Reeb, Daniel Elsburg, Viola Liuzzo, Ceaser Chavez, Phillip Berrigen, Daniel Berrigen, Eugene McCarthy, Hubert Humphrey, Cynthia Mckinney, and every Coast Guard Lifeguard in the USA, every member of the Saint Patricks Brigade, and every small town volunteer fireman on planet earth.
      After I have read the biogrphies of all of these people I might consider reading the biography of McCain before I read the one about Joseph McCarthy.

    • Baloney, lots of Russian and Iranian military officers would make that decision. If lots of Russian and Iranian officers would make that decision can it be said to have been a heroic decision?
      Not that it is (was) or is not (was not) the best decision, let alone a heroic one. There are (were) lots of considerations.

  • Long Knives in Ankara: Victorious Erdogan begins Purge of Judiciary, Army
    • What Erdogan is doing to the military is perfeclty perdictable. What he is doing to the judiciary is, hmmm. the word escapes me. well, smart, at least in the short term.
      Now he will have more than 2,000 fierce critics with no doubt reasonable amounts of financial assets floating around Turkey. Will he be able to dampen their anger by giving them unimportant but decent paying jobs in other sectors of the economy? Will he pay 2000 squads of goons to keep these former judges under 24 hour survelience? Will he send them to Germany? I think that the Marx Brothers made a movie, called Utopia that tries to anwer these questions.

  • Turkish People Power foils attempted Coup
    • This attempted coup reminds me of the one in Spain in 1980 or 81. Yesterday I asked myself some questions related to the similarities. Is it possible that Erdogan was not silienced during the first minutes of the coup because he was tipped off? One or some of the coup plotters could have betrayed the plot. Or, the NSA might have tipped Erdogan off. If either of these is the case then the scenario that Errdogan was caught by surprise while on vacation was actually carefully constructed disinformation. It was designed to give him the appearance of being in God's favor.
      BUT, and this is a really really big one, what if he really was caught by surprise? The implications of that MIGHT be big.
      Would he blame anyone for being caught by surprise if that were really the case? Will he ask himself did my intellegence agencies fail me? Will he ask himself, did any of these intellegence agencies of my supposed allies pick up indications that there was a plot against me and not share that information with me? If he suspects that the answer to this last question is yes what will he do about it? Will he change course in a way that pleases those who might have withheld information so as to rebuild damaged bridges or will he cut out the bridge supports leaving only the appearance of bridges intact?

    • Übrigens, why would we call it a junior officers revolt when there reports that 5 Generals and 30 Colonels were among those rrested?

  • Did Trump-Style Islamophobia break up the European Union?
    • I am really glad that the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. I have been listening to the English complain about the EU for more than 20 years. I was and am feed up with it. It was as if they thought that they were being taxed without representation. I hope that the people of Scotland now reconsider their independence question and vote to leave the UK.

  • Trump's Foreign Policy is just GOP Boilerplate, only more Confused
    • That a country of 150 million 70 year old alcoholics and drug addicts, who could not drive safely if their life depended on it, with an average life expectancy of 55, could even be a threat to Monaco let alone a country in the EU, such as Estonia, is completely preposterous. The media in the US has been frightening the American people with a Soviet then Russian boogeyman for decades.
      Have you ever seen Youtube videos of how Russians drive. If you pay close attention you will see even those not having accidents are not having accidents through pure luck. It should be clear that the only people that the Russians are capable of threatening are other Russians.
      Without the use of nuclear weapons NATO could defeat Russia in 20 minutes. Putin has improved things since coming to power. It was 10 minutes before he took power.
      Furthermore the exact same thing could be written about Iran except that the the average age would be 15 and it would be described as a country of drug addicts and alcoholics, who could not find their way from their bedroom to their living room unless their are looking through a video camera.

  • Why Burqa Veils Are Illegal In Some Countries
    • The last time that I checked devout balanced well mannered children become that type of adults that are exactly designed for service to an empire not a republic.
      Furthermore a woman does not need to wear a Burqa to raise children that can question authority, know when the adults around them are feeding them a line of BS, and have compassion for those less fortunate than themselves, and have the wisdom to know how to fix a problem and not make it worse.
      Since settng the example of wearing a burqa is such an incredibly bad example to set for children it is all the evidence that sane people need to to see that the parents of children growing up in households in which the mother is wearing a burqa need to be removed from that home.
      Any husband that would insist on his wife wearing a burqa needs to be imprisoned for spouseal abuse.
      The leaders of a society are responsible for helping to develope the members of a society (and vice versa) therefore they are responsible to prohibiting behaviors that are detrimental to that goal. If a woman is arrested for burqa wearing she can try to win a jury nullification aquital.

    • The reasons the French Parliament banned the burqa are sound. If there are women who would rather not leave their home for fear of arrest, government social workers need to make contact with these women and treat their phobia of being seen in public without a Burqa. If such treatment is unsuccessful what conclusion could possibly be drawn other than these women are unfit mothers.
      Not only should all children be removed from their custody,
      for the safety of the children, these women should be involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution to cure them of their delusions.
      Yes I am fully aware that such tactics would have made Stalin proud. I really do not care. The idea that every tradition of every culture needs to be respected is bull.
      Once upon a time there might have been a time and place that burqas made sense. Now wearing burkas make no more sense than the old Chinese custom of binding women's feet.

  • Turkey's Pres. Erdogan demands Germany prosecute comedian over satirical poem
    • FYI I recieved a letter today from a German Peace Organization run by the Mennonites claiming that Turkey is attacking the PKK and taking no precautions what so ever to shield civilians from colateral damage.

  • Climate Godzilla Stirs: Heat and CO2 Records 'Obliterated'
    • Ok. let us say that reports that methane is currently being released in large amounts from the northern trundas are eggagerated. Has anyone figured out how much methane would be released from those parts of the trunda that come in contact with sea water once the sea level rises say 15 centimeters? What about once sea level rises 30 centimeters?
      I imagine that the sea water would thaw out those parts of the trunda that it comes in contact with. I wonder how spongy the trunda is. If it is spongy I would it not soak up even more sea water and thaw out even parts above sea level?
      I have seen film footage of helicopters flying over the artic region and looked at maps of the area. It does not appear to be very high ground.

  • Climate change will kill more Italians and Greeks than Syrians
    • WTF? If this is how many people will die per million humanity will not even notice global warming. These figures are so low not even Africans would notice global warming as a threat to their lives. Something is amiss.
      This repört appears on a day that it was headlined on Yahoo that temps. in the northern hemisphere were 2 degrees C above pre industrial levels. For Feb. These reports went on to claim that temps. this much above average would not likely continue.
      Well, the graph that was posted here on IC a few days ago would seem to indicate otherwise.

  • Is Iran the most Stable Country in the Mideast 37 Years after its Revolution?
    • Mira, look, it is reali not all that complicated. If Iran wants to reamain stable for the next 37 years it has to choose between two courses of action with reguards to ecomomics. It can follow the path set forth by the ecomomics department of the University of Kansas City as expounded by such ecomomists as Michael Hudson and Warren Mosler. Or, it can follow the advice of those ecommists who have developed Parecon who are led by Michael and Robin Hahnel.
      In the short run there is really only one choice. That is to implement the polocies set for by Michael Hudson and his team.
      Like everyone else, the Iranians will probalby chose to ignore my advice. If they do what I expect them to do, then Khameni will not really be in charge of the Islamic Republic all that much longer.

    • It is completely unethical for any revolutionary leader to give young people the idea that they should be striving for greater democracy in a just society, if we understand democracy as allowing the masses to determine national economic policies. If democracy is understood as allowing for freedom of speech, or freedom of the press, a reasonable degree of tolerance can be granted.
      The masses of people are completely untrained in understanding economic dynamics. In fact history shows that the masses have great difficulty in figuring out what is good for them. Any person in a position of power who would tell the masses that they deserve to have a say in how their society is run is a flat out liar. Even giving the expectation that freedom of speech or the press should be absolute is very irresponsible. A wealthy man should not be allowed to spread dangerous ideas just because he owns a printing press or TV station.
      Only those who have recieved a life time of proper training in philosophy, economics, sociology, psychology, and military matters is potentially qualified to sit on a Central Committee and decide what national policies will be.
      The problem of humanity is that those who become the experts can not be trusted anymore than the masses. HIstory has shown that the experts almost always use their expertise and their positions at the top of massive institutions to take advantage of the masses. The masses are defenceless. Even though they may know that they are getting screwed they are totally incapable of determining who the people are that are qualified to lead thier society.
      The solution to this problem does not lie in the mistaken idea of one man one vote. That concept is just a euphamisim for one idiot one vote.
      There is no solution for preventing nut cases from comming to power. There is a solution for preventing nut cases from being able to do any damn stupid thing that they want to.
      The solution is jury nullification. It is in the jury box that the citizen of a nation can carry out the sacred duty of protecting the nation from stupidity. In the jury box the jury should not only be allowed to decide if a person actually did with what (s)he is charged with but whether or not the law itself is a just law.
      The jurors will not get to hear sound bites or slogans but will get to hear a complete and comprehensive explination of the issue from two opposing attornies. Some juries will make bad decisions. But, over the long run quasi dependable patterns will emerge.
      Of course I know that people do not like to be told that they are idiots, politcally speaking. Of course I know that attacking the idea that democracy is obviously a form of government better than all the others is attacking a sacred cow. Yet it is the duty of a responsible person to say what is true not to say what people want or expect to hear.
      I am capable of explaining in great detail the theoretical reasons that one man one vote does not work worth a shit. I am also capable of explaining in great detail why one dollar one vote (libertarianism) does not work worth a shit either. I could do the same for socialism, theocracy, or even anarcho-communism. That would make the post much to long however.
      The important thing for you the reader to remember is the next time you see tanks in the streets toppling a government, it is in your best intrests to cheer. If those on top of the tanks promise to implement jury nullification and abolish the Federal Reserve cheer very loudly.

  • What is Russia's Strategy in Syria & Why does Egypt Approve?
    • Words have different meanings to different people. This is what you said meant to me. I really really do not want the Baathist regime in Syria to be able to stay in power. I really really really do not want any of the current Islamic groups fighting the Baathist Regime to be able to achieve power.
      What this secretly means, and it could be so secret that you do not want to admit it to yourself, is that at least for a while longer you want the Baathist regime to stay in power. I am qualified to say this based on my training at H&R Block income tax school.

  • No, Donald Trump, Mideast wouldn't be more Stable under Saddam & other Dictators
    • How many people were there on the planet when Rumi said that? The world has 7 billion now and it is quickly headed to 10 billion unless something unexpected happens first. If the world does not change fast something unexpected is almost inevitable. Then no one will have the time to change themselves. At least not while still alive. As their corpses rot their pyhsical appearences will change very fast indeed.
      The message of social and political systems change needs to go out to those that are most resistant to it, first and formost law enforcement officers, second the clergy.

  • How Henry Kissinger created a world of bad guys Armed to the Teeth
  • A Majority of Iowa Republicans unsure Islam should be Legal, but Support Kim Davis
    • I really like your take on how the conservative mind understands social security, medicare, veterans benifits and the military industrial complex and the like. That really helped me understand how conservatives can appear to me to be such hypocrites and how they can not see what I see.
      I am not sure yet how to make use of this knowledge but I think I will eventually figure it out.

  • Pope Francis Endorses Iran Deal: Another Dilemma for GOP Catholic Candidates
    • I do not see a problem for Catholic politicians at all.
      Catholics have been letting what the Pope says go in one year and out the other for decades if not centuries.

  • UN: al-Assad, ISIL, al-Qaeda committing Mass Atrocities, Endangering Int'l Security
    • Some people have charged that the Free Syrian Army is, or perhaps one should say was, a creature or the CIA. Other people have gone to some trouble to try to discredit this line of thinking.
      I find it hard to overlook 50 years of CIA history. The CIA is an organization that makes a habit out of overthrowing governments that the leadership of the USA is not pleased with.
      When a woman says that a person has raped her the natural thing to do is to believe that it is probably true. A trial is needed to try to confirm the allegation of course as some women especially in the Jim Crow era were known to have lied.
      It is not hard to imagine that Prez. Assad had a lot of enemies inside of Syria dating back to his father's era.
      It is also not hard to imagine that Prez. Assad and his backers would think that those challenging his rule could be encouraged by the CIA. It is also not hard to imagine that anyone familiar with the stories of CIA involvement in the overthrown of governments in the past could suspect CIA involvement in Syria even before Assad started killing peaceful protestors.
      Therefore from the point of view of Assad and his supportes his attack on the protestors was a pre emptive attack. The attack was clearly a criminal act and a strategic mistake. Considering who his father was it was a mistake that he was probably destined to make. He is what his last name says that he is.
      None the less the civil war in Syria is a battle ground of the US Global War or terror against the planet. In this war Israel and Saudi Arabia are important US allies. The entire planet, including most of the US population are victims of this war of terror, but at the moment Iran, Russia, and Venezuela are the targets in the cross hairs. Assad would have fallen long ago were he not seen by Iran and Russia as an important Ally in their defence.

  • Is Israeli military using Barak in struggle w/ Netanyahu over Iran Deal?
    • Barak is spewing lies. The first thing that is totally off is that these comments portray Israel as an independent country.
      The second lie is about who it was that has been sabotaging some of the US attacks on Iran. The third lie is about when these attacks were sabotaged. The lie that they were dissuaded from launching an attack on Iranl because of joint military maneuvers does not even make the slightest bit of sense. Any one with a bit of sense would know that joint military maneuvers have a long lead time.
      So his lie would expect us to believe that they had initially planned an attack during a time that they knew that they would not go forward with an attack. Hahhahahhaha!
      So that would make it logical to conclude that Barak knew that these lies would be leaked out.
      So what is the real agenda of these lies? I will have to think about that for quite a while before I can come up with the likely answer.

  • Hard to get Good Help: Are US Generals just Incompetent?
    • The babble of Generals could be a sign that they do not have self awareness. A lack of self awareness is a charachteristic of a machine. Such statements would seem lke babble to anyone who has not accepted the idea that we are all struck inside of a computer simulation. But if we are inside of a computer simulation, it would certianly be possible thta the software running the simulation would give some "people" in the simulation an awareness of what they were doing and others no awarness of what they are doing because the computer itself, or somone outside of t ecomputer is maintaining the awarness of what they are doing. Such an explination would clarify why seemily literate people in high places can not learn even the most basic lessons of world history correctly. Or, how they can live with themselves after betraying their society day after day after day. These leaders not only have no awareness of what they are doing they have no awarness what so ever.
      I wonder if another potential clue that would give someone away as being an android that is run from outside our dimension of the universe, like a puppet, would be that they never make a spelling mistake or grammatical error because their writing is done by the computer running our simulation and therefore would automatically be error free.
      Now it is true that I do not know where in the heck that the computer which is running our simulated universe is located. But, I do know the password to get in once I find it.
      The password is 4-7-18-26-50 PB3.

  • California at the Cutting Edge of our new Mega-Drought Normal
  • As Glaciers Melt in Ecuador, Pope Francis challenges Technocrats, touts "Keeping" the Environment
  • Muhammad Cartoon Ad Blocked From DC Metro
    • The original intent of not drawing Mohammad was so that people would remember to worship God and not Mohammad. Yet the effect of this rule could be seen by non Muslims as having an effect exactly the opposite of that which was intended. Yet Muslims could reply we are not worshiping Mohammad by making a special rule that applies to him and no one else. We honor Mohammad we do not worship him.
      OK good, if a Sunni Muslim, especially a Salafist, can understand that then they are capable of understanding that Shias and Catholics do not worship saints they honor saints. If Sunni Muslims do not worship Mohammad then Secularists do not worship Plato, Thomas Paine, or Charles Darwin, or Kemal Attaturk, they might respect them.
      What this boils down to is that some Muslims, those who take offence from seeing Mohammad drawn, should learn is that freedom of speech is more important than God's messenger because to make Mohammad more important than freedom of speech hinders people from finding God.
      Sadly, I do not really expect any of those people who need to learn the lesson to actually learn it. I have seen a comparable problem in the USA with those who get really upset with flag burning. For such people in the USA the symbol is more important than what the symbol should stand for. If the stories that were recently printed here on informed comment are true, Mohammad put up with a lot of abuse during his early ministry with out retaliation. That sounds to me like a person who would not have wanted to become a symbol more important than the values that he wished to spread. Would he not say if he were here today that the values of truth and fairness are more important than my reputation?
      That question might seem like a good place to end my comments. But a further consideration must be included in the name of full disclosure. There can be limits on speech. Proposing aggression clearly is a legitimate limit.
      Speech that is insulting clearly is has not crossed the thresh hold of legitimate censorship. But there can be a legitimate exception to this rule. That is insulting speech which is promoted by the government. An example of this rule is the flying of flags which commemorate the confederidiocy from state government buildings.
      Is the display of a drawing of Mohammad on a city owned bus or subway the same as flying the stars and bars from a state capitol building? I will wait to see some responses before i try to answer that question myself.

  • Too Big not to Fail: The US Military's Missions Unaccomplished
    • What the imperialists will say is that this LTC (ret.) William Astore WAS only a LTC. Colonels are a dime a dozen and this particular one is outneutered 100.000 to 1.

  • 'Too Big to Exist': Sanders Introduces Bill to Break Up Big Banks
    • New trees growing in the same manure as old trees, subject to the same temptations and the same lack of oversight.
      If I understand the banking problem correctly the banks assets did actually vanish in to thin air because the so called assets were nothing more than pieces of paper saying that a house or a company was worth X amount of dollars when the house or company was really only worth 5% of X amount of dollars and the banks could no longer pretend otherwise. Therefore 95% of many so called assets just disappeared in to thin air. OK they did not really disappear because they were never there to start with but we live in a society that really likes to play make believe so badly that it ends up living a make believe reality. (to please the bosses)

    • Three Queens and a pair of Dunces. 05/07/2015 at 9:49 am

      This is smoke and mirrors. The banks should have become the property of the US government when they were bailed out. If the bill were successful the banks would still be owned and run by the same smelly people.

  • War with Iran, by the Numbers
    • Such numbers are making the mouths of America's leaders drip with anticipation.
      Such numbers are totally insignificant if not completely meaningless to a clear majority of the American Population.
      If that is what the numbers are we are in for a ground war.
      I would advise the Iranian Government to test a nuclear device at the earliest possible moment.
      The American government will use the mantra that our war is with the leaders of Iran not the people of Iran. Despite the needless and massive suffering that will be inflicted on the people of Iran.
      You just wrote nine reasons that make the leaders of the USA look forward to going to war with Iran.
      I have not felt this sick, or powerless, since I heard that units at Ft. Useless were being sent to the middle east in 2002.

  • Can You pass the Iran Quiz?
    • One very important thing was left out of this quiz. In the 1970s the Sha of Iran pushed for much higher oil prices for the OPEC nations. Not long after that he was overthrown. It is my impression that there are many Iranians who draw a connection between these two facts and conclude that the CIA was not only behind the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953 but in 1979 as well. The motive for this overthrow being that the Sha had betrayed the Americans. This is certainly not an unconvincing narrative. Perhaps others can comment on exactly how widespread this belief is among Iranians both inside and outside Iran. Some even take this story one step further and say that the US Government and the Iranian Government are actually partners in crime and that all the public disputes between them are just disinformation designed to keep the Iranian Government in power.

  • The New Jim Crow: Has the Right finally Repealed the Civil Rights Act?
    • Thank you for your reply. In addition to being interesting it caused me to notice that I contradicted myself in my previous comments. If our nations level of wealth would have been higher had we not been an empire then by implication it would mean that the OVERALL the wealth had been accumulated by hard work, efficiency and thrift. It would not show exactly who had been hard working, and thrifty or just dishonest.
      Whether our nations overall level of wealth was achieved honestly or dishonestly it was in either case made possible through the use machines powered by cheap but polluting energy.
      We were smart enough to make the machines. We were self interested enough to make sure that for several decades the energy resources not located in the USA went to power those machines rather than to build or power machines outside of the USA. As time passed more manufacturing was shipped out of the USA and the machines to build consumer products were built and run in other countries. Greater profits went to some in the USA and losses of profits went to many others.
      The American 1870s could be repeated all over again on a world wide scale.
      If America did not have an empire I can easily imagine one thing that would have been different. We would have had to have paid oil exporting countries more for their oil. That would have led to different economic dynamics in the USA, Europe and Japan, and also in the Middle East, especially the Arab Gulf states.
      I wonder how many people would be interested in speculating on how history would have been different if the USA had not overthrown the Iranian government in 1953 and gone on to become a world wide empire? I wonder if Juan would give us space for this thought experiment? Who nose where it might might Go. Although we are wandering off the subject of justice for African Americans we might be wandering in to the subject of justice for Africans.

    • That is a quite interesting link. Of all of the stats that get trotted out in the discussions on the subject of African American integration or lack of integration in American society the one that I think is most important is median wealth. A families median wealth is is a much more important indicator of the economic health of a family than income. For many families there can be significant variations in income from one year to the next.
      It is in the accumulation of wealth that American society has failed African Americans the most. It is not hard to understand the main reason behind this. It takes a decent amount of income just to be able to save money over the short term. (one month to one year) This amount would of course vary depending on ones location. It then takes even more money to save money over the long term. (one year to twenty years)
      The Republican implication is that African Americans have not as a whole played the cards in their hand well. My experience from observing people is that very few people make it through life playing the cards in their hand well.
      I would be interested in seeing the income table that you linked broken down by age. A household of two senior citizens for example will generally not have the same income as a couple in their 50s. Two senior citizens also usually do not need the income as a couple in their 50s.
      Another thing that is sad about this is the overall level of wealth accumulated in the USA was not accumulated due to honest hard work, efficiency and thrift. This level of wealth has been accumulated while the USA has been a global empire.
      The implications of that might not be obvious. It is possible that had we not been a global empire are nations level of wealth might have been even higher because we would not have squandered wealth on global wars. It is also possible that our level of wealth would have been lower because the benefits of the empire as a whole might have exceeded the costs. Who has done an honest accounting?
      One thing seems likely to me and that is neither the benefits nor the costs of this empire have been shared equally. The net benefits of some have clearly been much greater than others.

    • This is a good start to a needed discussion. I would like to make some comments about your second idea first. A lot of public housing is apartment buildings. So if the occupants of these apartments get ownership of them coops will have to be established to maintain the common infrastructure. Can these
      coops avoid bankruptcy when unemployment rates are so high in areas where most people live in public housing? In China everyone has a job and I imagine that in England during the Thatcher era the job situation was not as bad as it is in US inner cities.
      I saw a suggestion some time ago on the University of Kansas City Economics website that suggested that the US government can and should have a national job guarantee program. I do not remember any of the details of this proposal. There seems to be a Socialist implication to the suggestion which is fine by me but I can easily imagine that the US Republicans would tar and feather it as socialist even if that was not at all the case. One detail that I would have to wonder about with this suggestion is how do you get the people with the right qualifications to match the jobs?
      It has been reported that in Germany although there are job openings and many unemployed in Germany the skills of those
      who are unemployed do not match the skills needed to fill the jobs which are also difficult to fill with immigrant labor because most skilled immigrants from developing countries speak English as a second language not German and therefore have little desire to immigrate to Germany. Even though this proposal of giving public housing to the occupants needs some more work I think that eventually it should be adopted.
      Now about your first proposal to legalize drugs. I was a member of the Libertarian Party for about 20 years so I certainly have a lot of sympathy for this position. Now i am more of a fence sitter. My Grandfather was an opium addict.
      No one really cared. He was so old the attitude of the family was hey when you get to be that old you can do anything you damned well please because you are living on borrowed time anyways.
      The thing with illegal drugs is that most of them are harmful. So even if they were legal making a living out selling them is still dishonorable. I myself do not want to see the African American Community prospering through the sale of harmful drugs any more than I would want to see them prospering through prostitution or serving as mercenaries for corporate profits. I would not be ashamed for America if we were only talking about organically grown marijuana but even that is questionable. But just as we having a legal age for alcohol, perhaps we can have different legal ages for different kinds of drugs, for example 21 for marijuana, 60 for opium and cocaine, 80 for heroin, and 90 for those drugs even worse than heroin.
      Well I guess I should cut my comments off here or some people might get the impression that I am a mouth peace for George McGovern or Eugene McCarthy.

    • Yes I forgot to consider that when we build new things we are creating assets that have to have a value put on them something that the conservatives always fail to do and progressives often fail to do because they are so used to hearing conservative wailing about the phony size of the deficit. Of course we have a deficit when we refuse to acknowledge the value of all of the things that our money has built.

  • Dear America: You're in the Army Now
    • I see something much more insidious going on here.
      If George C. Marshall and the Generals and Admirals of their day had really believed that military officers were trustees of the nations liberty then we would not have the type of military that we have ruling America today, which is a southern confederacy military. If they had really meant what they said George C. Marshall and the other Generals and Admirals of his day would have chosen officers with the character to place the needs of American society ahead of the phony needs of the US military.
      Instead by 1947 or 1948 we already had the national security state. Since the end of the second world war we have had a military that has not be led by trustees but by parasites at best and mass murderers at worse.
      We had Genralisamo Eisenhower give us a warning about the threat that the military industrial complex posed to our nation in his farewell address. For that he was once a hero of mine.
      But I now see such comments in a different light. He was mocking the American people. He new that the military industrial complex was not a future threat because he new that they were already in control. Had he really believed that the military industrial complex was a potential threat to the American people he would have taken obvious steps to prevent it from posing that threat. Did Gen. Eisenhower or Gen. Marshall take any of the necessary steps to keep the military on a short lease? Is that answer to that question not obvious.
      That answer that is obvious is that in the US military there is and probably always has been one set of standards to show publicly and quite another set of standards to achieve covertly.
      Con men often publicly proclaim to be extremely religious people. They often perform acts of religious devotion. That is exactly what they are acts. The public behavior of con men and of high ranking US military officers is nothing more than an act designed to get people not to question the con.
      Generals might have designed the system but field grade officers maintain it.

  • The Real Scientists: CO2 higher than in past 800,000 Years & World is Getting Hot!
    • The Nazis made killing Jews a high priority in nineteen fourty four because it was the only thing of the many things that they wanted to do that was going well.
      The leaders of the USA have learned nothing since then. They spend their time worring about and blowing up middle eastern hillbillies because the know that is all that THEY are capable of doing and the refuse to recognize that there are (were) others that can do (could have) what needs to be done except win elections.

  • Camel Bones and Jerusalem: Archeology Shows Bible written Late, Full of Errors
  • Bush ordered NSA to spy on Germany's Schroeder over Iraq War Opposition
    • Wow that is cool, at least three foreign governments recieved products of that surveillance. I wish that I could have been so lucky. A fource multiplier to the fourth power.

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