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Saturday, April 20, 2013

“We had an interesting discussion about why fewer students are coming to, particularly from Japan, to study in the United States. And one of the responses I got from our officials, from conversations with parents here, is that they’re actually scared. They think they’re not safe in the United States and so they don’t come.” — Secretary of State John F. Kerry, interview with CNN, April 15, 2013



Kerry’s comments, made in an interview as he ended a 10-day around-the-world trip, spawned numerous headlines, including this one from CNN:  “Kerry: Foreign students ‘scared’ of guns in U.S.”
In the interview, Kerry specifically cited Japan, noting that it has highly restrictive gun laws and thus relatively few deaths from gun violence.  “They think they’re not safe in the United States and so they don’t come,” he said, before noting that he was “out of politics” and so no longer involved in the debate.
Yes, but he is Secretary of State now, so his words resonate around the world. What do the facts show?


The Facts

The Institute of International Education, which promotes international education, tracks both the number of students who study in the United States and where U.S. students study abroad. Its annual report also provides country by country assessments of the changes in numbers.
For 2011, IIE said that the number of international students rose nearly 6 percent from 2010, to nearly 765,000. The increase was primarily because of a 23 percent jump in students from China. There was also a 50 percent increase in students from Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, among other top nations, there were slight declines in students from India and South Korea and Canada, and 6 percent declines in students from Taiwan and Japan, the sixth and seventh place countries, respectively. But none of the country reports list fear of gun violence as a reason. Instead, economic woes — such as impact of the global recession in Asia — are listed.
For Japan, the country report says:
The number of Japanese students on U.S. campuses decreased by 14% in 2010/11 following a general trend of decline since its peak in 1997/98. From 1994/95 until 1998/99, Japan was the leading sender of students to the U.S. but has since fallen to seventh due to surges in students from India, China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, the effects of a rapidly aging Japanese population and other factors including the global economy and the recruiting cycle of Japanese companies.

In other words, this decline has been going on for 15 years — ever since the Japanese economic boom stalled.
 State Department officials said that Kerry was simply repeating something he had heard anecdotally while attending an event with youth associated with “Tomodachi,” a public-private partnership that seeks to build  U.S.-Japanese ties in the wake of the 2011 earthquake. The public transcript of the event does not show anyone speaking about fears of gun violence, but at one point U.S. Ambassador John Roos said:

Mr. Secretary, one thing, a statistic that’s concerning that we’re trying to reverse, the number of Japanese students choosing to study in the United States has declined by over 50 percent in the last 10 years. The number of students in the U.S. coming to Japan has been flat but at a lot number. So many of these students who are looking to connect to the United States are part of a broader effort to reverse that trend.
.

 Apparently, then, someone said something to Kerry off camera. In the transcript of his interview with CNN, Kerry referred to “a couple of quiet conversations with a few officials… one of the responses I got from our officials, from conversations with parents here, is that they’re actually scared.  They think they’re not safe in the United States and so they don’t come.”
State Department spokesman Patrick H. Vendrell, who provided the transcript, explained: “He was just relaying an anecdote he had heard from some folks in Japan — not stating it as definitive causal relationship or fact, just reporting what people had told him.”    


The Pinocchio Test

As Kerry’s predecessor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, can attest, it is sometimes difficult to make the transition from the Senate to chief U.S. diplomat. Simple musings that would go unnoticed in the Senate corridors may now have international consequences.
 In this case, Kerry heard some anecdotal information; apparently, a parent or two had said something to a U.S. diplomat. And then Kerry repeated the anecdote on CNN, adding that foreign students are “actually scared” of U.S. gun violence, and that quote went around the world. He also appeared to say that “fewer students are coming” to study in the United States.
But the hard data shows that more students overall are studying in the United States — and that the decline from Japan has been ongoing for more than a decade because of factors that seem much more compelling (such as money woes and fewer students) than an anecdotal fear of gun violence.
By some measures, this should be a Four-Pinocchio error. But Kerry’s new at the job and just learning the impact of his words, so we’ll keep it at three. He should realize he has a vast State Department that can vet his facts before he repeats a a similar anecdote.

Three Pinocchios

170 comments:

  1. Secretary of State John Kerry plans to announce more non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels today at a meeting of groups fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad, as U.S. lawmakers press the Obama administration to provide military help for the insurrection.

    The latest assistance could include humanitarian supplies, military vehicles, night-vision goggles and communications equipment, according to an administration official who asked not to be identified before the plan is announced. That type of aid falls short of the weaponry or military engagement sought by some Democratic and Republican members of Congress.

    Administration officials acknowledged in April 17 congressional testimony that efforts to unify the opposition’s political factions haven’t succeeded and that their understanding of rebel military forces has deteriorated as extremist groups fighting Assad, such as the al-Qaeda-linked al- Nusra Front, have gotten stronger.

    “We’re trying to get everybody on the same page,” Kerry told the House Foreign Relations Committee. Opposition groups have been hamstrung by infighting, policy differences and personal rivalries, reducing their ability to provide a viable alternative to the regime.
    “We are working very, very closely with the Syrian opposition, with the Syrian military coalition, and with our core partners,” Kerry said.
    The same day, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that, in distinguishing moderate rebel military groups from radicals, it’s “actually more confusing on the opposition side today than it was six months ago.”

    ’More Concerned’

    Dempsey had urged arming the opposition, along with former Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    “Now that we’ve seen the emergence of al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham, notably,” Dempsey said April 17, referring to Islamist groups, “and now that we’ve seen photographs of some of the weapons that have been flowing into Syria in the hands of those groups, now I am more concerned than I was before.”


    HAT TIP: Q

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    1. .

      I believe someone else posted the article. I merely commented on it in an acerbic way.

      One more example of Kerry appearing the fool.

      .

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  2. We need more meddling in the Murderous East


    Secretary Kerry will travel to Istanbul, Turkey, on April 19 to meet with key partners and members of the Syrian Opposition Coalition to further explore ways that the international community can support the opposition and accelerate a Syrian-led political transition.

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    1. .

      Kerry has already shown his naivete in his recent attempts to bring about reconciliation between the two countries.

      Now he attempts to double down on the Turkey card.

      .

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    2. What nonsense!

      The US and the UK are very much on the side of the rebels, who are themselves guilty of atrocities, including the executions of civilians who don't back them! They even want to give them weapons. The only thing holding them back is that other countries aren't, rightly, enthusiastic towards illegal "regime change" as the US and the UK are.

      Kerry is desperate to arm the rebels despite their appalling crimes and the links of some to Al Qaida. THAT is who they want to arm.
      “Kerry appeared to advance the US position on Syria by suggesting an "enclave break-up" could only be prevented by getting "everybody on the same page with respect to what post-Assad Syria will look like".

      Who is Kerry to speak of "post-Assad Syria". He has no authority to speak of such things or to get involved. What is needed here is dialogue and balance not the usual hypocrisy of the West.

      What Kerry means by getting everyone "on the same page" is everyone towing the American/UK line. He also happens to be insisting, perhaps he is too stupid and arrogant to understand this, that those who currently back Asad don't have the right to do that. There's a name for that sort of position.

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  3. Now that Boston is no longer in Chechen terroristic lock-down, we can get down to the US business of not minding our own business.

    Hearts and minds. Led by John Kerry.

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  4. US military deaths in Afghanistan under Bush - 575

    US military deaths in Afghanistan under Obama - 1532

    Tens of thousands of US military injuries and physical maiming under Obama.

    And it goes on and on.

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  5. And the latest from our disastrous strategic liability:

    18 April 2013 Last updated at 11:06 ET

    In an exclusive interview with the BBC, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said only direct military threat can stop Iran's nuclear programme.

    Mr Netanyahu warned that Iran was close to acquiring nuclear weapons and was close to "crossing the red line".

    On peace with the Palestinians, Mr Netanyahu said it was time to sit down and negotiate a lasting solution.

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    1. .

      I have had nothing good to say about Kerry since he has become SOS. Let me correct that now even if it is only with a back-handed compliment.

      In a recent quote, Kerry said that the window is rapidly closing on the opportunity to negotiate a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestineans. He set it at one to two years at the most. This is a minor step forward in that it at least recognizes that a window exists for negotiations. What he fails to recognize, however, is that that window closed decades ago.

      That Bibi says he wants to sit down and negotiate? Trinkets for the natives.

      .

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  6. AIPAC applauds the passage of a Senate “resolution standing with Israel against Iranian nuclear threat”:

    WASHINGTON — AIPAC praises the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for adopting today Senate Resolution 65 - a strong bi-partisan statement that the United States will stand by Israel if our ally feels compelled to take military action in its own legitimate defense against the threat from Iran. The resolution specifies that the United States should provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to Israel “in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.”

    The resolution also reiterates that the policy of the United States is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and to take such action as may be necessary to implement this policy. The resolution urges the President to strengthen enforcement of sanctions on Tehran.

    Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sponsored the resolution. Now ready for floor action, Graham-Menendez , has garnered broad bi-partisan support in the Senate with 79 co-sponsors. The Committee action comes at a critical moment when Iran has repeatedly rebuffed diplomatic efforts and has continued its march to attain nuclear weapons capability.

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has sent a very clear and enormously important message of solidarity with Israel against the Iranian nuclear threat – which endangers American, Israeli, and international security. AIPAC urges the full Senate to act expeditiously to adopt the resolution.

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  7. US Senators give carte blanche to Israel to drag the US into an optional war with a sovereign nation.

    Bought and paid for by the fifth column of the US Republic.

    That is your lives and wealth these people are fucking with. What have they done for you lately?

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. Making enemies of the boogey man just beyond our borders will mire us in the on-going destruction and violence we all live with in the here and now. Thank you for providing this forum in a circle of trust!!

      Blessings on all

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  8. Here is some of the mentality that allows this to happen

    05/29/2011

    Do U.S. disasters come after anti-Israel gestures?



    Is the U.S. being hit with natural disasters when government takes anti-Israel stands?

    In the wake of the horrible tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri and left such destruction, people are again asking if these disasters could be reltaed to Israel.

    Here is some interesting food for thought and related links on this topic. (This post is an email from Lanny Swamm of North Carolina):

    On Thursday, May 19 President Obama made the statement that Israel should withdraw to the pre Six Day War borders. The next day I told my mother, "Wait and see. Within three days there will be a major disaster of some kind in the United States." At 6:00pm on Sunday, May 22 Joplin, Missouri was practically destroyed with many dead and missing.

    I have a book (Eye to Eye) by Bill Koenig (www.watch.org), a former White House press agent under the Bush Administration that documents this has been the case for the past several administrations; any time the US pressures Israel to give up land for peace or tries to divide Jerusalem, within 72 hours there is a major disaster in the US.

    Dan Bohler (www.propheticwa tchman.com) has prophesied that if the US is successful in dividing Jerusalem, a great earthquake will cause the Great Lakes to spill into the Mississippi River making the Mississippi 35 miles wide, dividing the US. This is serious business. I urge you to read and sign the petition below and pray.

    Stay in the blessing,
    Lanny Swaim
    www.lannyswaim.com

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    2. ”Even if Democrats and Republicans bicker on every other issue, AIPAC leaders seemed constantly eager to stress that one thing on which the parties can come together is unswerving devotion to Israel.” Gregory Levey, “Inside America’s powerful Israel lobby,” Salon , March 16, 2007.

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    3. Friends don't let friends attack their Naval vessels and kill their sailors.

      Friends are not always standing at your door, with their hand out.

      Strategic partners?
      Where were the Israeli in Gulf War I or Gulf War II?
      Hiding under their beds.
      They were neither strategic, nor partners.
      They needed US aid, to hide.
      An awfully one sided "partnership", all give and no take, from the US perspective.

      US history? Seems an accurate rendition of it, to me.

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    4. Friends do not steal your technologies, then sell them to Charlie Chi-com.

      Delete
  10. The answer is simple and summed up well by professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer in their book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy .

    ”Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state?” the article asks. "One might assume that the bond between the two countries was based on shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, but neither explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the US provides.

    "Instead, the thrust of US policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the 'Israel Lobby.' Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country—in this case, Israel—are essentially identical.”

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  11. Israel has a population of approximately 7.7 million, less than New Jersey. It has unemployment rate of 6.3%. It is wealthy.

    Israel receives more US aid than any other nation and has received more US aid than all countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean combined. Over one billion people. Why is that?

    AIPAC

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    1. Economist tallies swelling cost of Israel to US
      By David R. Francis, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor / December 9, 2002

      Since 1973, Israel has cost the United States about $1.6 trillion. If divided by today's population, that is more than $5,700 per person.


      This is an estimate by Thomas Stauffer, a consulting economist in Washington. For decades, his analyses of the Middle East scene have made him a frequent thorn in the side of the Israel lobby.

      For the first time in many years, Mr. Stauffer has tallied the total cost to the US of its backing of Israel in its drawn-out, violent dispute with the Palestinians. So far, he figures, the bill adds up to more than twice the cost of the Vietnam War.

      And now Israel wants more. In a meeting at the White House late last month, Israeli officials made a pitch for $4 billion in additional military aid to defray the rising costs of dealing with the intifada and suicide bombings. They also asked for more than $8 billion in loan guarantees to help the country's recession-bound economy.

      Considering Israel's deep economic troubles, Stauffer doubts the Israel bonds covered by the loan guarantees will ever be repaid. The bonds are likely to be structured so they don't pay interest until they reach maturity. If Stauffer is right, the US would end up paying both principal and interest, perhaps 10 years out.

      Israel's request could be part of a supplemental spending bill that's likely to be passed early next year, perhaps wrapped in with the cost of a war with Iraq.

      Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid. It is already due to get $2.04 billion in military assistance and $720 million in economic aid in fiscal 2003. It has been getting $3 billion a year for years.

      Adjusting the official aid to 2001 dollars in purchasing power, Israel has been given $240 billion since 1973, Stauffer reckons. In addition, the US has given Egypt $117 billion and Jordan $22 billion in foreign aid in return for signing peace treaties with Israel.

      "Consequently, politically, if not administratively, those outlays are part of the total package of support for Israel," argues Stauffer in a lecture on the total costs of US Middle East policy, commissioned by the US Army War College, for a recent conference at the University of Maine.

      These foreign-aid costs are well known. Many Americans would probably say it is money well spent to support a beleagured democracy of some strategic interest. But Stauffer wonders if Americans are aware of the full bill for supporting Israel since some costs, if not hidden, are little known.

      One huge cost is not secret. It is the higher cost of oil and other economic damage to the US after Israel-Arab wars.

      In 1973, for instance, Arab nations attacked Israel in an attempt to win back territories Israel had conquered in the 1967 war. President Nixon resupplied Israel with US arms, triggering the Arab oil embargo against the US.

      That shortfall in oil deliveries kicked off a deep recession. The US lost $420 billion (in 2001 dollars) of output as a result, Stauffer calculates. And a boost in oil prices cost another $450 billion.

      Afraid that Arab nations might use their oil clout again, the US set up a Strategic Petroleum Reserve. That has since cost, conservatively, $134 billion, Stauffer reckons.


      {…}

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    2. {…}



      Other US help includes:

      • US Jewish charities and organizations have remitted grants or bought Israel bonds worth $50 billion to $60 billion. Though private in origin, the money is "a net drain" on the United States economy, says Stauffer.

      • The US has already guaranteed $10 billion in commercial loans to Israel, and $600 million in "housing loans." (See editor's note below.) Stauffer expects the US Treasury to cover these.

      • The US has given $2.5 billion to support Israel's Lavi fighter and Arrow missile projects.

      • Israel buys discounted, serviceable "excess" US military equipment. Stauffer says these discounts amount to "several billion dollars" over recent years.

      • Israel uses roughly 40 percent of its $1.8 billion per year in military aid, ostensibly earmarked for purchase of US weapons, to buy Israeli-made hardware. It also has won the right to require the Defense Department or US defense contractors to buy Israeli-made equipment or subsystems, paying 50 to 60 cents on every defense dollar the US gives to Israel.

      US help, financial and technical, has enabled Israel to become a major weapons supplier. Weapons make up almost half of Israel's manufactured exports. US defense contractors often resent the buy-Israel requirements and the extra competition subsidized by US taxpayers.

      • US policy and trade sanctions reduce US exports to the Middle East about $5 billion a year, costing 70,000 or so American jobs, Stauffer estimates. Not requiring Israel to use its US aid to buy American goods, as is usual in foreign aid, costs another 125,000 jobs.

      • Israel has blocked some major US arms sales, such as F-15 fighter aircraft to Saudi Arabia in the mid-1980s. That cost $40 billion over 10 years, says Stauffer.

      Stauffer's list will be controversial. He’s been assisted in this research by a number of mostly retired military or diplomatic officials who do not go public for fear of being labeled anti-Semitic if they criticize America’s policies toward Israel.

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    3. Nothing has changed since 2002 except that it gets worse. Now the US Senate, beholden to an unregistered foreign lobby, AIPAC, whose sole purpose is to intimidate the US Government into unquestioned support for Israel, has succeeded in getting the US to rubber stamp a war with Iran, should Israeli politicians decide to start one.

      The US support for Israel in the 1973 war cost the US over $300 billion due to the Arab oil embargo. You can argue whether that support was justified. You cannot argue the cost to the US.

      There is no justification for a nuclear power, Israel, attacking a nonnuclear power, Iran, and expects the US to get involved and pay for it. It would truly cost the US trillions of dollars.

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    4. That does not include Loans and loan guarantees to Israel.

      Want to have some fun?

      Check on the amount of “loans” and “loan guarantees” made to Israel. And find any that have been paid back as opposed to forgiven. Good luck.

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    5. Paid back, bythe Israeli?

      You are kidding, right?

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    6. They are blood sucking leaches, those transplanted Europeons, living in the Levant.

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    7. This article is from 2003, but supplies a framework of understanding.
      From Slate, not some biased anti-Israeli source.

      Israel has already received nearly $10 billion in loan guarantees from the United States since 1992, and while it has yet to default on any of those loans, this new round of guarantees is intended in part to help Israel pay off the old debt. Which means the United States could be stuck with a bill ranging anywhere from zero to $9 billion plus interest.

      ... because Israel's annual revenues top out at $40 billion, any tweaks to a $9 billion aid package could shake up the country's economy.


      So, in 2003 the Israeli were rolling over the guaranteed debt. They had not paid the guaranteed loans down, and needed their debt limit increased.
      The US complied.

      In 2012 the Israeli needed another debt limit increase, the US complied, with no limitations due to the sequester solution to the US debt limit travails.

      During meetings of the U.S.-Israel Joint Economic Development Group, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Israeli Finance Ministry Director General Doron Cohen signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a new framework for administering the recently extended U.S.-Israel Loan Guarantee program at an event in the Diplomatic Room of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.


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  12. .

    John Kerry follows the tradition of many of our recent Secretary of States.

    Shooting from the lip.

    Powell, Rice. Remember Hillary's Russian Reset fiasco or her painfully 'clever' "We came, we saw, he died."

    .

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  13. Late Friday, the FBI finally admitted that it had interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older Boston Marathon bombing suspect who was killed by police early Friday morning. The FBI reversed itself after the Tsarnaevs’ mother, Zubeidat, told Russia Today that her son had been monitored by the FBI on Skype, and actually spoke with him “every step of the way.” She said, “They used to come [to our] home, they used to talk to me ... they were telling me that he was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites… they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step...and now they say that this is a terrorist act!”

    CBS News correspondent Bob Orr said that the FBI conducted the investigation into Tsarnaev after requests from a foreign government – likely Russia -- but could not uncover any ties between Tsarnaev and any foreign terrorist entities.
    CBS reports that the FBI likely ran a background check, including foreign communications and overseas travel. He was finally interviewed personally by the FBI.

    This is the latest in a pattern of late intelligence from the FBI. They missed the boat on 9/11; they had a bead on Major Hasan Nadal prior to his terror attack at Fort Hood; they even interviewed Carlos Bledsoe, man who murdered a soldier at a recruitment post in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2009.

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    1. The FBI, like all police agencies, do not stop crimes. They try to arrest criminals after the crimes are committed.

      This Tamerian fella, had not broken any laws. There was nothing illegal he had done when interviewed by the FBI.
      Obviously he was not intimidated by being under observation.

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    2. .

      When seconds count, the police are only minutes away. True enough.

      However, it makes one ponder. Under Bush, the DHS was formed, a vast and expensive redundancy spread on the top of numerous other organizations themselves committed to the same redundancy. The DHS budget amountsa to around $43 billion per year.

      One has to ask, what are we getting for all that moolah, besides the arrogance and the inconvenience of the TSA, besides the curtailing of civil rights and the loss of privacy.

      It would be interesting to see a list of their successes, a list that showed how all the money spent, billions of transmissions monitored, and rules bent, actually prevented terrorist attacks here in the U.S., in other words what we have gained from the money spent and the rights degraded.

      .

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    3. I do not think, Q, that the Federals domestic anti-terror is at all cost effective.
      Most of the borrowed money spent, wasted.

      As we spoke of the other day, Obama had slashed a domestic project by $11 million. You said it was an insignificant cut, boobie tried to blame the Patriot Day bombing on the spending cut and thus by extension, President Obama.

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    1. Number one: When faced with factual assertions and bereft of a factual rebuttal, you go into full AIPAC mode and claim that the assertions are based on “hatred of Jews”. You play the eternal victim card.

      Number two: We just witnessed two radicalized Muslims bring a major US city to a halt, probably at a cost of $500,000,000 with two IEDs made from stove top pressure cookers. IMO, the official overreaction to three murders and other injuries has come to the attention of every crazed religious fanatic on the planet and has become a template to due incredible damage to the US economy. I can picture ten shopping malls on a Black Friday in ten American cities.

      Number three: The motivation is perceived US meddling in Muslim lands the Middle East and South Asia.

      Number four: Netanyahu, through his network in AIPAC, has been doing everything he can to have the US start and pay for a war with Iran. He wants the US to get involved in Syria to further destabilize The ME to the benefit of Israel. That is a matter of record and current news.

      Number five: This has happened before with Iraq:

      AIPAC beats the drums of war

      By Dana Milbank,March 05, 2012, Washington Post


      A barbershop quartet performed for participants in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee as they took the convention center escalators to Monday’s meeting of the pro-Israel lobby. But once inside the hall, the AIPAC attendees heard the sound of war drums.

      “Iran’s nuclear program continues to march forward,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the crowd of thousands Monday night. “My friends, Israel has waited and waited for the international community to resolve this issue. We’ve waited for diplomacy to work. We’ve waited for sanctions to work. None of us can afford to wait much longer. As prime minister of Israel, I will never let my people live in the shadow of annihilation.”

      It’s beginning to feel a lot like 2003 in the capital. Nine years ago this month, there was a similar feeling of inevitability — that despite President George W. Bush’s frequent insistence that “war is my last choice,” war in Iraq was coming. Now Israel is moving toward a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear program, and American leaders are coming before AIPAC this week to give their blessings.

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    2. The real obsession is the extra-legal intimidation, immoral and un-American activities of AIPAC and the damage being done to the US by this toxic obscene relationship between an intrusive foreign power and the corrupt US Congress.

      You throw around the term blood libel. The only blood is American blood and the blood of innocents throughout the ME suffering because of the continuing outrage of perpetual war cheered on by AIPAC and some corrupt carreer Israeli and American politicians.

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  16. .

    Referencing the discussion on the previous stream regarding empire and U.S. troop postings in foreign countries, this...

    President Hamid Karzai is determined to curb CIA operations in Afghanistan after the death of a US agent and 10 Afghan children in a battle he believes was fought by an illegal militia working for the US spy agency...

    One of these groups was involved in a battle with insurgents in a remote corner of eastern Kunar province in early April that left several Afghan children dead, Faizi said. Karzai has fired the provincial head of intelligence in connection with the incident.

    The US citizen who died during the battle was advising the Afghan intelligence service, and the airstrike that killed the children is believed to have been called in after he was fatally injured...

    While the US is expected to keep a few thousand soldiers in Afghanistan [after 2014], bolstered by troops from Nato allies, Obama has also made clear there is "zero option" of a complete US withdrawal, as happened in Iraq.



    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/19/hamid-karzai-curb-cia-afghanistan-operations


    .

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    1. Iraq, Q, was not covered by the 14SEP01 AUMF. That and the Iraqi the US empowered did not want US there.

      Afpakistan is a different war, totally different legal imperatives and goals.

      If you wish to have the US withdraw, totally, from Afpakistan, the 14SEP01 Authorization would have to be repealed.

      Good luck, with that political project.

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    2. .

      I do want all the troops out of Afghanistan but that was not the reason I put up the post.

      I posted as a further example of my contention the U.S. is in fact an empire (as explained in the previous stream) and that it continues to expand its footprint around the world.

      .

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    3. mea culpa, Q.

      I fully agree that the US is in fact an empire.
      It is indisputable that the US continues to expand it's global footprint, militarily to be sure, but more importantly from a practical sense, culturally and economically.

      Delete
  17. .

    The City of Boston. What can you say?

    From the WaPo,

    In Boston and its suburbs, nearly unprecedented shutdown is surreal


    The kinetic and salty city of Boston, which got its proud nickname from Oliver Wendell Holmes in the 19th century, came to a standstill Friday while an army of heavily armed police hunted for a skinny 19-year-old in a gray hoodie...

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

    Fox said the closest recent parallel might be in London after the July 7, 2005, transit system attacks that killed 52 passengers and four bombers, and injured more than 700 others.

    London was badly disrupted, with trains and buses out of service, and schools and many businesses were closed. But the city was back on its feet almost immediately, with a sentiment summed up by Ian Blair, then the head of Scotland Yard. “If London can survive the Blitz,” he said, “it can survive four miserable bombers like these.”

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

    Bernard Ohnemus, 80, was awakened by one of those calls at 6:45 a.m. at his home in Waltham. He received a second call an hour later, with a recording urging people to keep an eye out for “a brown-eyed, brown curly-haired white male in a gray hoodie.”

    Ohnemus said he and his wife, Pat, were spending the day cleaning up the house and keeping up with events on television.

    “I’m looking at all of these SWAT guys and I’m thinking to myself, if they ever want to put down an insurrection, they have an army here,” he said. “You don’t realize how many cruisers there are.”


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/in-boston-and-suburbs-shutdown-is-surreal/2013/04/19/1a5c93a4-a90a-11e2-b029-8fb7e977ef71_story_1.html


    I was amazed that an entire city would be shut down over a 19 year old perp, but like Onemus I was metagrabolized by the force that was put out on the streets. Impressive and, in another sense, a little scary.

    .


    ReplyDelete
  18. Black tinted window SUVs. Black combat vehicles. Black helicopters. Black clad storm troopers. Black helmets. Black art. Black theatrics.

    We have all the trappings of a Hollywood portrayed police state.

    For good or for evil, it is a police state with technology unthought of a few years ago and don’t kid yourself, this professional force will do the bidding of their masters.

    ReplyDelete
  19. TAMPA, April 20, 2013 – 19-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev is in custody. Assuming that Tsarnaev is indeed guilty of these crimes, a very real threat to public safety has been taken off the streets. That’s the good news.

    The bad news is that the Tsarnaev brothers have taken the last vestiges of a free society in America down with them.


    The Bill of Rights was already on life support before this tragedy. Before the dust settled after 9/11, the 4th Amendment had been nullified by the Patriot Act. The 5th and 6th Amendments were similarly abolished with the Military Commission Act of 2006 and the 2012 NDAA resolution, which contained a clause allowing the president to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens on American soil without due process of law.

    Americans had already grown accustomed to having their persons and papers searched at the airport without probable cause and without a warrant supported by oath or affirmation. After a brief, politically-motivated backlash against the Bush Administration, Americans similarly resigned themselves to the government tapping their phones, reading their e-mails and generally spying on them wherever they went. Things were already very, very bad.

    They just got a lot worse.

    Not only did the militarized domestic law enforcement complex put the City of Boston under martial law, but nobody seems to have found it out of the ordinary, much less outrageous. Yes, a few journalists like libertarian Anthony Gregory raised a finger. But, for the most part, nobody seemed to mind that the entire city was under military siege, complete with paramilitary units in full battle gear, battlefield ordinance and tanks. Tanks!

    {…}

    ReplyDelete
  20. {…}
    How did we get here? 238 years ago to the day, the inhabitants of the very same city started a war and seceded from their union over a mere infantry brigade attempting to disarm them. Now they cheer those who violate their rights much worse than the British ever did.

    When Lee Harvey Oswald was similarly suspected of killing a police officer after assassinating the President of the United States, Dallas was not put under martial law. No tanks rolled through the streets.

    Oswald was armed at the time of his arrest and attempted to shoot the arresting officer, whose thumb stopped the hammer of Oswald’s pistol from discharging the weapon at point blank range.

    It is noteworthy that the military siege was called off several hours before Tsarnaev was captured. In the end, he was found and taken into custody by the same methods that any other criminal has been for most of U.S. history.

    So, there was no cause and effect relationship between the state show of power and the apprehension of the suspect.

    Now, the DOJ has announced that Tsarnaev will not be read his Miranda rights, citing the “public danger” exception in the 5th Amendment. But the language in the amendment doesn’t remotely apply to this situation, nor is it even related to the protection against being a witness against oneself. It reads,

    “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    First of all, Tsarnaev is not in the Army, Navy or militia. Even if he were, the language would only have applied if Tsarnaev had been observed with the bomb in his hands just before committing the crime.

    The exception gives law enforcement the power to arrest him without first getting a Grand Jury indictment under those circumstances. It doesn’t release the government from the prohibition against compelling Tsarnaev to be a witness against himself after his arrest, which is the basis for Miranda.

    If Tsarnaev is guilty, then the public danger was over once he was arrested. The government has no authority to waive any of its obligations for due process. He should be read his rights and allowed to remain silent without molestation. He should have an arraignment where he is given the opportunity to hear the charges against him and enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If he is unable to afford a lawyer, one should be assigned to him at public expense.

    His guilt should be decided by a jury of his peers, not the government or the media.

    The Bill of Rights was written for Dzhokar Tsarnaev. It wasn’t written for those suspected of violating minor violations.

    The Boston Marathon bombing was a particularly heinous crime. No one with a pulse could help but feel deeply for the parents of an eight-year-old boy killed by this senseless act or the others killed or permanently maimed. Most red-blooded men would have liked nothing better than to have been the one who found Dzhokar Tsarnaev, praying he’d resist arrest.

    Those are perfectly healthy feelings, but the awful power of the state is not supposed to be set loose based upon feelings. It is supposed to be restrained by reason. God help us if we forget.

    Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.


    Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/reawakening-liberty/2013/apr/20/bill-rights-was-written-dzhokar-tsarnaev/#ixzz2R14d80MH
    Follow us: @wtcommunities on Twitter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      The sheeple do what they are told and say "Baa". The refrain comes up from the flock, "Do what you have to do no matter the cost nor the rights I have to give up but just protect me from the terrorists. Please."

      I also have to laugh at those that say military tribunals are preferable to civil trials, the assumption being, I guess, that the terrorists will get less breaks under a military tribunal.
      I say terrorists because that is what they are all called by the sheeple even though a third of the prisoners in Quantanimo (the most expensive prison in the world) were designated eligible for release years ago, and even though most there were taken into custody after 2006 and probably won't be tried anywhere as 'terrorists'.

      But speaking of Quantanimo, the govenment's record in dealing through military tribunals can only honestly be call piss-poor. In over a decade, there has been only a handful of convictions. Worse, two of those convictions, Hamdan and al-Balhul, were recently overturned by recent court decisions. In addition, it is expected that because of the decisions the other convictions could also be overturned. We have seen how long the Ft. Hood tribunal is taking. The trials of KSM and his four key coconspirators have been languishing for 10 years and are still in the pre-trial stage. Even once the trial begins it will probably takes years to finish.

      On the other side, look at what has happened in the civilian courts. Moussaoui, the '20th highjacker', tried and convicted to life for conspiracy. The Times Square bomber tried, convicted, and sentenced to life within a year. The 'underwear bomber' was tried convicted, and sentenced to life within a year.

      According to the Center for Law and Security at NYU, Miranda has not proven a hindrance in the civil courts and their win rates in terrorisms trials is now around 90%.

      I suspect the kid will be charged shortly for while witholding Miranda warnings may help the FEDS in checking possible connections these guys might have, it can also complicate things for them down the road. Withholding the Miranda warning and not charging him does nothing to his constitutional right not to incriminate himself. It would be bull to see the kid get away on some technicality.

      .

      Delete
    2. Hell, it's Boston, cradle of revolution.

      Hell, Sheriff Joe has a self-propelled howitzer, numerous armored cars.
      He is celebrated across the country, by those that care.

      He investigated Obama's birth certificate, then, by happenstance, got over $4 million in out of State re-election contributions. What he does not spend, he keeps when he retires, if he ever does.

      The Gitmo detainees should be given criminal trials, or released. That can only happen when the War on Terror ends. That happens when the 14SEP01 AUMF is repealed or the President declares the threat of international terrorism over.

      Delete
  21. Replies
    1. Follow your bliss.

      Delete
    2. Do what you want, and the hell with the rest of it.

      Delete
    3. No, you can't do that. Can't do anything that harms someone else, unless they have attacked you.

      Delete
  22. Yes, yes, surely we should be supporting Iran with loans and stuff, instead of Israel. After all we give lots of stuff to Egypt. Why not Iran? Iran is so much more our cultural cousin, so to speak. Something kind of aryan about some of them, even. Cousins often want to kill cousins. Nothing odd in that. The Israelis are not like us at all. They don't want to wipe us out.

    Never mind that their wonderful book is in most of our homes and motels.

    We should be studying the Koran instead. Then we would end up being more like those heroes of the day, the Chechen Brothers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meanwhile CAIR agents are lounging around inside the White House, making merry with Obama.

      This is obviously as it should be, common values and all that stuff.

      Delete
    2. We should not be studying any of them. We should be living and celebrating the unique privilege of being alive, once.

      Delete
    3. We should be living and celebrating the unique privilege of being alive, once.

      We should be doing that, for certain.

      One life at a time.

      I maintain, an intelligent reading and study of the Bible can do exactly that, it is not a children's book.

      Delete
    4. We should study the Koran too, so as to try to better understand how some groups can hold such hateful ideas and ideals.

      Death is better than life, they say.

      The Bible says, life and death are put before you, choose life.

      Delete
  23. DARTMOUTH (CBS) – The UMass Dartmouth campus was evacuated on Friday out of an abundance of caution after the school learned that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Marathon bombings suspects, was a sophomore there and lived on campus.

    University officials confirmed that Tsarnaev lived in a dorm on campus.

    Fellow students described Tsarnaev as both a “pothead” and a soccer fanatic. Two of his classmates told WBZ-TV that he was on the soccer team, but missed practice on Monday and they hadn’t heard from him since.

    Two other students, however, said they had seen him on campus after the bombings – once on Tuesday, and once on Wednesday.

    One student actually asked him for a ride home because he lived in the same Cambridge area as the student.

    That student said Tsarnaev agreed to give him a ride.

    Students said Tsarnaev had a reputation as being a terrible driver and some were afraid to ride around campus with him.

    He was also described as quiet and studious. Classmates say he never talked politics.


    What a strange nation we have become. Terrorists tweeting on the run, giving people rides, my God.

    I suggest it might be best if we didn't have foreign students at all from certain countries.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Except, he is a U.S. Citizen. A graduate of the Boston School System.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Many are likening it to a "Snow Day."

    ReplyDelete
  26. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now quot is telling us that ...

      ... "Hitler was right, my dad was wrong"

      quot is going off the deep end.
      First he compares Rabbis in Brooklyn to horse fuckers, then he compares Israel to Egypt.

      Now he says he thinks Hitler was right.

      How bizarre.

      Delete
    2. Of course that is the exact opposite of what WiO is saying, but what would that matter to you?

      Delete
    3. Of course you compared Brooklyn Rabbis to horse fuckers.
      Just yesterday

      We read it, you own if, forever. I'll keep reminding you.

      You said that ...
      Hitler was right, your father was wrong.
      Just today.

      We read it, you own it.
      And will be reminded of it, daily, forever.

      Delete
    4. Reference the murder of civilians.

      When and where were those alleged statements made?

      We all know when you compared Rabbis to horse fuckers. That was yesterday.
      We all know that you said ...

      Hitler was right, your father was wrong

      What you think Deuce should do with your personal mission statement, well, who cares.
      Your personal proclamation that ...
      Hitler was right ...

      Well, that is bizarre.

      Delete
  27. The most interesting aspect of the whole deal, in my opinion, was their lack of understanding of "Cameras."

    They seemed totally oblivious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's odd. They seem not to have cared at all whether they 'got away with it', or not.

      Growing up in this world of cell phones and the internet, they had to have known about cameras.

      They must not have cared.

      Delete
  28. Quirk:

    "We have Thomas Jefferson talking about it to Madison in 1809,

    "...we should then have only to include the North in our confederacy, which would be of course in the first war, and we should have such an empire for liberty as she has never surveyed since the creation: & I am persuaded no constitution was ever before so well calculated as ours for extensive empire & self government."

    The nation was originally formed in fighting against an empire. It then grew by picking up the pieces from the Spanish emoire as it fell apart. It grew further by purchasing huge swathes of land from a struggling French empire. It moved west in our version of meeting the 'white man's burden'. It purchased Alaska from the Russians. It stole the southwest and California from the Mexicans. It picked up odd pieces like Hawaii and the Phillipines. It gutted Panama for the canal. We still possess Guam and Puerto Rico. We installed puppet regimes in Cuba and Argentina and throughout the ME and even is SE Asia. As was noted in the video, we have hundreds of military bases around the globe, pockets of the U.S., islands where through force agreements U.S. laws rule independent of the laws of the host country.

    We created euphemisms from the beginning. We called it 'Manifest Destiny'. Others called it Empire building.

    Some here argue that it can't be empire building if we get no tangible gain from it. Childish prattle. No one said empire building had to be conducted intelligently. Besides, we have seen that someone always gains, in this case, the military industrial complex Ike warned about, as well as, other entities and individuals positioned to dip their beak.


    ---

    Should we have only kept Virginia, given it back to England, or directly to the injuns?

    Had we not been in Hawaii, they'd be speaking Japanese.
    Likewise, Gaum, the Phippines, Australia, China, etc.
    (I wish Japan controlled China now)
    Then there was that Hitler guy, Stalin, etc.

    In 1959 the residents of Hawaii voted overwhelmingly for Statehood.

    History.

    Because it's going to shit now, should we omit history, or re-write it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quirk must be driving round and round and drinking again.

      Delete
    2. He's out Mt. Rushmore way, on a campaign to return it to it's natural state.

      Delete
    3. He's out there to see if he can get his incorruptible face up there with all the other 'dicks'.

      Delete
    4. I have to say, those faces up there are impressive, but out of place. The rocky crags out that way are amazing. And should have been left alone.

      Delete
    5. When that's done, he's gonna resurrect king Tut.

      Admit it, he's on a higher plain.

      Delete
    6. Couldn't we start by having a Picture of that incorruptible face posted here?

      A Daily Inspiration.

      Delete
    7. ...for us Dicks down here.

      Delete
    8. He is definitely far above us dicks.

      A picture would be wonderful, to see what a Superior Man looks like. Maybe he could post his address, and we can all go on pilgrimage there.

      Delete
    9. Don't forget to re-arrange your toilet when we get the coordinates straight from The Source.

      Delete
    10. Thank you for reminding me.

      Delete
    11. .

      Get your heads out of each others asses, boys, and as Mad Magazine would say try to Thimk.

      Doug pulls a quote from two streams back and starts shooting from the lip ala John Kerry while ignoring the context in which it was written. Did he bother to check on the context? I hope not. If he did rather than just uttering meaningless non-sequiters, he evidently has elected to display the obtuse, chattering whine of the sheeple defending America from what they with their misguided but instinctive fuzzy logic consider an attack.

      Of course, my post wasn't an attack. It was merely a simple declarative that the U.S. is an empire and has been since its inception. I offered no judgments merely facts. My post was offered up in response to previous posts by those who argued that the U.S. wasn't an empire. But instead of responding within the context of the original and offering up arguments disputing the fact that the U.S. is an empire, Doug offers up such mewling observations as

      In 1959 the residents of Hawaii voted overwhelmingly for Statehood.

      Then there was that Hitler guy, Stalin, etc.

      Had we not been in Hawaii, they'd be speaking Japanese.



      Inane and off subject. Pathetic.

      And Bob, noted here mostly for not being the sharpest tool in box, chuckles softly and says, "That's right, Doug. You go girl." The only intelligent comment he made in the whole stream was, "He is definitely far above us dicks. While that is not saying much at least it has the advantage of being true.

      While I realize it requires the reading and comprehension skills of a grade school student, if you two queens want to comment on my posts at least try to do it within the context it was written.

      Lordy, two old nitwits enjoying a Saturday afternoon. Carry on boys.

      .

      Delete
    12. Find any comment of mine declaring we are not an Empire.
      I simply responded to all that convenient re-writing of history.

      Delete
    13. .

      Once again, what rewriting of history?

      .

      Delete
    14. .

      Sorry, Ive got a baseball game to watch. Let me know when you come up with something.

      .

      Delete
    15. .

      Why don't you and Bob put your heads together and see if you can come up with a complete functioning brain.

      I'm not optimistic, but what the hell, give it a try.

      :)

      .

      Delete
    16. You wrote as if our actions in and following WWII were for Empire Building alone.

      Leaving out our defensive response to the actions of Japan and Germany seems like a significant ommission.
      ...to this Dickhead.

      Delete
    17. .

      You continue to miss the point of the post which was America is an empire, we started building that empire from the beginning, we were an empire before WWII, we were an empire after WWII, and we continue to try to maintain that empire today.

      Now if it will make you happy for me to say that "Oh, by the way, from 1941 to 1945, America did a bang-up job defending the empire against Japan and the Nazis", I will be glad to do it since you you consider it a 'significant ommission'. However, I have to say that in IMO that feel good statement contributes nothing to the point of my post which I will now repeat one more time.

      America is an empire, we have been either building that empire or maintaining that empire since the early years of independance and continue through the present day.

      Now, if you would like, I can also mention that America was the first to put a man on the moon in 1969 and that our hockey team beat the Soviets in the 1980 Winter Olympics. Any others?

      .

      Delete
    18. .

      By the way, I reserve the term 'dickhead' for the dick worthy in Oz.

      Today, I merely followed you and farmboy Bob down into the miasma of insult this friendly neighborhood bar occasionally devolves into.

      .

      Delete
  29. "We installed puppet regimes in Cuba and Argentina and throughout the ME"

    ---

    Wasn't England somewhat involved in the ME.
    Even Barry knows that.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Beppe is headed for Rome, just like Mussolini once was headed for Rome -

    April 20, 2013
    Beppe Grillo calls for march on Rome in response to 'coup d'état'
    James Lewis and Justine Aristea

    Today Beppe Grillo's crypto fascist movement in Italy declared a popular revolt, using Grillo's weblog and twitter. Grillo's Five Star Movement now controls a plurality of the votes in the Italian parliament.

    Grillo's stated goal is to raise flash mobs to march on the Quirinale Palace in Rome, the target of Mussolini's victorious march of 1925.

    Notice the carefully posed "heroic" photo of the Joker, Beppe (Joseph) Grillo.

    Here is his statement.

    ROME -

    "There are decisive moments in the history of a nation.

    Today, April 20, 2013, is one of those. Italy is in a coup d'état.

    The enemies of change are willing to do anything. They are desperate.

    They decided to keep (President) Napolitano .... Four people ... met in a living room and decided to keep Napolitano...

    "... even in the darkest moments of the Republic there has never been an opposition so clear, so shameless between presidential Palace and citizens.

    (Grillo's Five Star Movement) is the hope of a new Italy.

    It is above all parties and incorruptible.

    We are therefore dangerous to the parties.

    Beppe Grillo is calling for demonstrations in Rome.

    In Piazza Montecitorio we expect to recover the stolen goods!

    This was announced on Twitter by the 5 Star Movement of Rome.

    The Five Star Movement alone cannot change the country. We need a popular mobilization.

    I will be before the House (of Parliament) tonight. We will remain for as long as necessary.

    We must be millions. Do not leave me alone or with four cats. More I cannot do.

    Today we will have a democracy or die as a country."



    The human race is ungovernable.





    ReplyDelete
  31. Let's see, Japan attacked us, and the rest of the world, and drug us into WWII. China, on the other hand, hasn't attacked anyone since . . . . . hell, I can't remember when. Ever?

    So, of course, you wish Japan controlled China.

    Sheesh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. China attacked Tibet. And would have attacked plenty of others too if they had the means, back in the day.

      China attacked Vietnam plenty in the past. It is simply not true that the Chinese are Buddhist pacifists or something. Taoists painting nature pictures.

      They have spent plenty of time attacking themselves, too. Group against group, all against all.

      Delete
    2. Todays Japan, and todays China.
      I've joined Quirk in the re-arranging history business.
      ...for the children.

      Delete
    3. .

      Re-arranging history?

      Please, spell it out for me. Exactly where have I re-arranged history?

      .

      Delete
    4. The first President Roosevelt sent the "Great White Fleet" to the Pacific to intimidate the Japanese. Roosevelt wanted the US to be held in esteem by the Japanese after he helped to negotiate the end to the Russo-Japanese War.

      The Treaty of Portsmouth formally ended the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05. The negotiations took place in August in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and were brokered in part by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.

      Delete
    5. Indeed, Teddy may have set the table for both WWII and the Korean Conflict, with the Treaty of Portsmouth.

      The Japanese asked U.S. President Roosevelt to negotiate a peace agreement, and representatives of the two nations met in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1905. For the sake of maintaining the balance of power and equal economic opportunity in the region, Roosevelt preferred that the war end on terms that left both Russia and Japan a role to play in Northeast China. Though excited by the Japanese military victories, Roosevelt worried about the consequences to American interests if Japan managed to drive Russia out entirely.

      The negotiations centered on access to ports and territories in Manchuria and Korea, control of Sakhalin Island, and the question of who was responsible for paying war costs.

      The chief aims of the Japanese negotiator included first control in Korea and South Manchuria, then the negotiation of an indemnity and control of Sakhalin Island. The Russians wanted to maintain Sakhalin Island, refused to pay a war costs indemnity to the Japanese, and hoped to maintain their fleet in the Pacific. The indemnity issue, along with the dispensation of Sakhalin Island, were the major sticking points in the negotiation, although given its financial straits in 1905, Russia was likely unable to pay an indemnity even if required by a treaty to do so.

      When negotiations reached an impasse, Roosevelt stepped in with the proposal that Russia “buy back” the northern part of Sakhalin from Japanese control. The Russians were adamant that they would not pay any amount of money, which would act as a disguised indemnity, when the territory ought to be theirs. After long internal debate, Japan eventually agreed to take only the southern half of the island, without any kind of payment. Theirs had not been a decisive enough victory to force the point.

      The Treaty ultimately gave Japan control of Korea and much of South Manchuria,


      And that set the wheels in motion ...
      Roosevelt sent the fleet ...

      The Japanese saw US as a power in the Pacific, just as Teddy wanted
      So they attacked US, when his 2nd cousin held the Oval Office.

      Delete
  32. I recommend 'Rat check out Playa de Los Cocos.
    When we were there, it was quite dusty, now they've got a nice paved road and everything is clean, green, and often cultivated.
    A little crowded now, but nothing like Maui.
    ...and NO traffic jams.
    If only I were young again.

    Puerto Vallarta is beautiful, charming, and inexpensive.
    But I've never been a Big City guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But I've never been a Big City guy.

      A dead giveaway sign of sanity.

      Delete
    2. Am I certifiable by the incorruptible one?

      Even a Sane Dick designation would be a step up.

      Delete
    3. I offer to sponsor you, though I only have an Insane Dick designation myself, and may not be much help with The Incorruptible One.

      Delete
    4. At least he allows you to Prattle on.
      ...like a childish Dick.

      Delete
  33. In America, all atrocities are not equal: Minutes after the Senate declined to support so-called gun control in the wake of the Newtown massacre, the president rushed ill-advisedly on air to give a whiny, petulant performance predicated on the proposition that one man’s mass infanticide should call into question the constitutional right to bear arms. Simultaneously, the media remain terrified that another man’s mass infanticide might lead you gullible rubes to question the constitutional right to abortion, so the ongoing Kermit Gosnell trial in Philadelphia has barely made the papers — even though it involves large numbers of fully delivered babies who were decapitated and had their feet chopped off and kept in pickling jars.

    Th Co-Exist Bombers

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/346146/%E2%80%98co-exist%E2%80%99-bombers

    Mark Steyn at his best. He is the kind of fellow we ought to accept into our country. I think he is a Canadian seeking refuge probably from the lack of free speech there. He seeks to become a citizen I believe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, we have to insure that Our Mass-Murderers are the best equipped Mass-Murderers in the world.

      And, we certainly wouldn't want to deprive any of our esteemed Felons, and Lunatics the right to join the Frenzy.

      Delete
    2. Steyn:

      "“The official federal debt is $16 trillion dollars,” he said. “By the time you add up the state debt, local debt, the liabilities of the entitlements – in other words, if you had to do the same kind of accounting that the businesses are required to do in the United States, you’re looking at a real figure of about 10 times that.

      Editor's Note: 5 Signs Stock Market Will Collapse in 2013

      “Nobody has ever owed that much to anyone in the history of the planet and that’s why I disagree a bit when people start making comparisons with Greece or Portugal or Iceland or wherever because it isn’t that good because those countries, in the end, are just talking about a few rinky dink billions. I mean, Germany can bail out Greece. Germany can’t bail out the United States. Nobody can bail out the United States.!


      ---

      Rufus will disagree, since the liabilities of the entitlements can be written off with a stroke of a pen.

      Being insured by the Govt is far superior to private insurance and individual savings.

      Delete
  34. I didn't read all of that comment about the baby in the toilet. Didn't sound good, tho.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm watching a movie about Woody Guthrie - Bound for Glory.

    That Depression was a hell of a thing; and caused by good, Republican "sound money" policies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David Carradine was, actually, at one time, a pretty fair actor.

      Delete
    2. Prior to that auto-erotic accident.

      Delete
    3. I plumb forgot about that. :)

      Delete
    4. Turned into a Plumb Bob, of sorts.

      Delete
  36. How dumbed down has the US become?

    The Czech ambassador to the United States has put on record his alarm that during the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect so many Americans on social media appeared to confuse his own country - in central Europe - with Chechnya - a republic in south-west Russia.

    As the identities of Chechen brothers Dzokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev - the suspects in Monday's attack which killed three and injured over 150 - filtered across the internet, many people tweeted that the pair were from the Czech Republic.

    In a statement posted on his embassy's website, Petr Gandalovic said he was "deeply shocked by the tragedy," adding: "As more information on the origin of the alleged perpetrators is coming to light, I am concerned to note in the social media a most unfortunate misunderstanding in this respect. The Czech Republic and Chechnya are two very different entities.

    "As the President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman noted in his message to President Obama, the Czech Republic is an active and reliable partner of the United States in the fight against terrorism. We are determined to stand side by side with our allies in this respect, there is no doubt about that."

    The two countries are around 1,700 miles apart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. .

      Judging from the comments today from some of the regulars from out west and way out west, I would say pretty dumbed down.

      .

      Delete
  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I delete your comments because they are stupid, juvenile and mostly boring. You rarely have a logical argument. Your standard reply is to attack one’s character as you are entirely inept and ill equipped intellectually to frame a sensible point of view that can stand on its own. Don’t think of yourself as being important enough to censor. It is more akin to having graffiti removed.

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    Replies
    1. The only character that WiO attacks is Rat, who does a lot of character attacks himself, much more than anyone else. For instance, for months he called Trish 'Den Mother'. I don't know what the point of that was, but it certainly came over as a character attack.

      I always look to WiO for information on things Judaic, jihadi, and the wider middle east as a whole.

      He actually knows something about these topics.

      Everyone else basically passes gas.

      Delete
    2. If you thought "Den Mother" was a character attack, you are definately a boobie.

      Den Mother is a term of respect, dimwit.

      Have you never been involved with the Cub Scouts? You claim to have a son.

      The EB was, in that period, a bunch of rambunctious little boys, trish, the Den Mother.

      You are dumber than a rock.

      Delete
  39. Hegemony

    In the praxis of hegemony, imperial dominance is established by means of cultural imperialism, whereby the leader state (hegemon) dictates the internal politics and the societal character of the subordinate states that constitute the hegemonic sphere of influence, either by an internal, sponsored government or by an external, installed government. The imposition of the hegemon’s way of life — an imperial lingua franca and bureaucracies (social, economic, educational, governing) — transforms the concrete imperialism of direct military domination into the abstract power of the status quo, indirect imperial domination.[1] Under hegemony, rebellion (social, political, economic, armed) is eliminated either by co-optation of the rebels or by suppression (police and military), without direct intervention by the hegemon; the examples are the latter-stage Spanish and British empires, and the 19th- and 20th-century reichs of unified Germany (1871–1945).[7]


    This is probably more accurate than "Empire."

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    1. .

      There is nothing that says the U.S. can't be both an empire and hegemon. However, while I recognize that characterizing the U.S. as hegemon is accurate in a number of spheres (cultural, economic, etc.), I would argue that the characterization is not more 'accurate', as you put it, than characterizing the U.S. as an empire.

      If one ignores history, one might make your case. However, the U.S. has been around for over 230 years. Over that time, we have aquired vast territories through expansion, purchase, war and conquest to the point where if you go by the definition of empire, we are one, IMO. Though we haven't expanded that much geographically in the last half century or so, we have been involved in actions, military and otherwise, designed to help maintain that empire and expand both our power and our influence.

      .

      Delete
    2. Neither are mutually exclusive, as Q relates.

      .

      Delete
  40. I'll await the incorruptible one's ruling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      Come on, Doug.

      Give us a smile. One little happy face to show all is forgiven.

      Here, I'll start.

      :)

      .

      Delete
    2. Give us your address. Doug and I want to make haj.

      Delete
    3. .

      Not after your glowing commdents about WiO above.

      You guys just want to come here to blow up my rocks.

      .

      Delete
    4. We couldn't harm your head if we wanted to, which we don't.

      Your head is much too hard from all the rocks in it.

      Delete
  41. I don't have a quick temper. I just have a quick reaction to bullshit.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Gunfire breaks out among the mob of pot smokers in Denver.

    Heh

    Anxiety attacks.

    Mellowed out, then anxiety attacks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23070899/shots-fired-denvers-civic-center-after-pot-rally

      http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/shots-fired-at-denver-420-rally-in-denvers-civic-center-park

      'Pow pow pow pow pow, about seven times'...
      Police lack witnesses: 'Everybody fled. That's the problem'...
      SKATEBOARDER: 'I thought I was going through an anxiety thing'...
      'I couldn't make sense of what it was at first'...
      Cops there, but not arresting smokers...
      4/20 rally peaceful 'before shots'...
      VIDEO...(see above link)



      Nothing like a few gunshots to get the pot smokers off their asses..

      Delete
    2. Interview with 'Kyle', one of our budding scholars, here -

      http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/shots-fired-at-denver-420-rally-in-denvers-civic-center-park

      Delete
  43. Anyone want to take this bet:

    I bet that the SAT scores in Washington state and Colorado five years from now will show a decline from what they were in those states a couple of years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Update: Beppe Grillo's 'March on Rome' stopped -

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/04/beppe_grillo_calls_for_march_on_rome_in_response_to_coup_detat.html

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  45. Well, let's see; we conquered Iraq, spent a few hundred billion rebuilding their infrastructure (or, trying to,) left, and, now we buy oil from them just like everyone else.

    Ditto, Afghanistan (except, they don't really have much we can buy - other than heroin.)

    Someone mentioned Panama. We went down there, leased some land, built a hell of a money-making canal, and then gave it to them, and proceeded to pay transit fees just like everyone else.

    We kicked Hitler's ass, and then, when it looked like Stalin had serious designs on Europe, we leased some land, built bases, and stood him off - all on Our dime.

    Pretty much "same-o, same-o Japan."

    I don't know guys; if we're "empire-builders," we may not be very good at it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .


      Nobody said we were good at it, at least these days. On the other hand, getting Alaska for $7.2 million wasn't a bad deal.


      .

      Delete
    2. Does "buying land" qualify as empire-building?

      Delete
    3. .

      Of course, their was also 'ol James Polk.

      When Mexico refused to sell us California, he invaded south all the way to Mexico City. Having defeated Mexico, he offered them a token payment of $15 million for California, New Mexico, and an expanded Texas territory covering the rest of the southwest. It was an offer they couldn't refuse.

      Again, not a bad deal for the U.S.

      .

      .

      Delete
    4. Indeed, California is about the best case that you can make. However, we actually ended up making California, etal, states. Since a State is not a "Colony," about the best I can give you for that one is 1/2 credit.

      Delete
    5. .

      Does "buying land" qualify as empire-building?

      I should think so, especially when you set the terms along the same lines Don Corleone might do.

      .

      Delete
    6. .

      Since a State is not a "Colony," about the best I can give you for that one is 1/2 credit.

      Pure semantics. You disappoint me.

      .

      Delete
    7. Then you're going to be even more disappointed when I deduct half of that half-point for the amount of time that has elapsed since the episode.

      There's just too much more recent experience that points in the other direction.

      Delete
    8. .

      More nonsense.

      Did we give Californis back? Texas? Did we offer them independance? Did we grant the South independance when they asked for it? Would we allow any of these state to withdraw from the union today?

      The footprint of this country expanded rapidly in the first 100 years and the growth slowed after that. To argue that we aren't an empire because our expansion slowed is a specious argument. Even Alexander the Great ran into problems when he hit India.

      The federal government draws revenue from the states the same way Rome drew grain from Egypt.

      Those hundreds of bases we have stationed around the world are all little pieces of the U.S. while we are there. Status of forces agreements we sign with the host governments assure it is so. The reason we still don't have troops in Iraq is that Iraq demanded that any remaining troops there had to be subject to Iraqi law.

      And before we get back to semantics and you say we can't be an empire because we don't have an emperor, I can say a rose by any other name is still a rose. You say some things have changed and in that you are right. We now have a president that claims the right to be judge, jury, and executioner not only for people around the world but also for citizens of the empire. Due to something called the Magna Carta, the monarchs of the British Empire in its heyday didn't claim that.

      .

      Delete
    9. Did we offer Texas Independence?!?

      Hell, they WERE Independent; they PETITIONED FOR STATEHOOD.

      As did California, Arizona, and New Mexico.

      Delete
    10. The Egyptians were Never Citizens of Rome.

      Delete
    11. We couldn't "agree" on the Status of Forces with Iraq, so we left.

      Some Empire.

      Delete
    12. I would say that All major players on the world stage probably have provisions under which the Chief Executive can conduct "Executive Action."

      Delete
    13. Do you think Ian Fleming created the "00" agents completely out of whole cloth?

      Delete
    14. .

      Early 1845 James Polk promises Texas he will support moving the historical Texas/Mexico border at the Nueces river 150 miles south to the Rio Grande provided Texas agrees to join the union. "The traditional border between Texas and Mexico had been the Nueces River...and both the United States and Mexico had recognized that as the border." (Zinn, p. 148) Primary Source: "We take nothing by conquest, Thank God", in A People's History Of the United States, 1492-Present, Howard Zinn, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

      From the same book,

      February, 1845 James Polk, on his inagauguration night, confides to his Secretary of the Navy that a principal objective of his presidency is the acquisition of California, which Mexico had been refusing to sell to the U.S. at any price.

      Read up on Manifest Destiny and then tell me you think California or Texas really had the ability to not join the U.S.

      .

      Delete
  46. Spanish conquistadors (conquerors) first arrived in the region now known as Texas in 1519, finding the region populated by various Native American tribes. During the period from 1519 to 1848, all or parts of Texas were claimed by six countries: France, Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States of America—as well as the Confederate States of America in 1861–65.

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    1. After Santa Anna's dissolution of the Constitution of 1824, issues such as lack of access to courts, the militarization of the region's government (e.g., response to Saltillo-Monclova problem) and self-defense issues resulting in the confrontation in Gonzales, public sentiment turned towards revolution. Santa Anna's invasion of the territory after his putting down the rebellion in Zacatecas provoked the conflict of 1836. The Texian forces fought and won the Texas Revolution in 1835–36. Texas now became an independent nation, the Republic of Texas. Attracted by the rich cotton lands and ranch lands, tens of thousands of immigrants arrived from the U.S. and from Germany as well. In 1845, Texas joined the United States, becoming the 28th state. Texas declared its secession from the United States in 1861 to join the Confederate States of America.

      They might have been bribed, but it's hard to make a case for "force." In fact, from what I've read, Texas was "failing" when they petitioned, and were accepted into the United States.

      Delete
    2. In fact, it looks like the only "real" title to that state is held by the various native Indian tribes that have inherited the area for at least several thousand years.

      Delete
    3. .

      The U.S. agreed to move the Mexican border 150 miles south to the Rio Grande if Texas agreed to become a state. After agreement, Polk sent an expeditionary force into disputed land historically occupied by Mexicans thus forcing Mexico to respond.

      If as you said Texas was failing, how long do you think it would have stood against Polk and manifest destiny had they not joined the U.S.?

      Likewise, as you just pointed out, Texas was restrained from suceeding from the union by force.

      .

      Delete
    4. .

      We couldn't "agree" on the Status of Forces with Iraq, so we left.

      Some Empire.



      I mentioned Iraq to point out what is included in a Status of forces agreement. According to Ron paul we have 900 separate military facilites in 160 different countries. You can get differnet estimate ranging from 761 to over 1000. But the point is that in each of them, U.S. personell are governed by U.S. law.

      .

      Delete
    5. Actually, Texas didn't just "Secede;" They joined the Confederacy (an outfit that just happened to be at war with the United States.) Although, that probably is a bit more nit-picking than I really want to get into - and, I guess, makes ezzackly zero difference.

      But, however tumultuous the times during the formation of the Republic, it is still awfully hard, I believe, to make the case that the United States is, today, in the "Empire" business.

      g'nite.

      Delete
    6. .

      As far as the Native Americans, I didn't mention them as I thought you might perceive as trivial that we took this country by force from the original inhabitants.

      .

      Delete
    7. the busybody business

      maybe even the bully-boy business

      for sure, sometimes, the "can't get out of our own way due to the stupidity of it all" business

      but, the "empire" business?

      it's a pretty weak case.

      Delete
    8. The point was: Mexico had a claim, but Spain did, also, as did France. Might as well just go back to the original, best claim.

      Delete

  47. The original inhabitants were the Solutreans. Ruf's Cherokee side is johnny come lately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quirk is an idiot. He is whinning about the Native Americans, and how 'their' land was stolen, land that they were continually 'stealing' from one another. What has played out in North and South America is exactly what has played out over long centuries everywhere since the beginnings of agriculture, the agriculturists slowly displace the hunter/gatherers. It happened in Europe when agriculture seeped up from the south, in Russia, in south America, in Mexico, in the United States, in Canada, everywhere.

      That is why Chief Plenty Coups is really something of a seer. He saw his own tribe losing out in the free for all of fighting over a diminishing resource, and made some wise decisions.

      It all paved the way for the rise of a Superman like Quirk, a SuperSalesMan, whose sole skill is in inducing someone to pay way more for something they don't need than it is really worth, and being a general ass.

      Delete
  48. My goodness where is the Cleaning Lady when we need her?

    My observations on the Iranian nuclear issue:
    The primary destabilizing influence in the Middle East is American foreign policy, not meaningless Iranian posturing. Iran is a reasonably advanced and prosperous country with some extremely unpleasant political views, but, then, so is Israel.

    Iran is not a theology, it's a state. And while it may be a very unpleasant regime that claims to be islamic, there is no evidence that it is deranged. In fact, all the evidence suggests that the Iranian regime is very much a rational actor interested in self-preservation - and therefore highly unlikely to ever launch a suicidal nuclear first-strike at Israel or the West.

    Basically, Netanyahu's prophesies of impending doom at the hands of a suicidal Iranian bogeyman are pure paranoid fantasy. The only plausible way in which Iran might end up firing a nuclear weapon is as a response to being attacked.

    In other words, attacking Iran, far from making the Middle East a safer place, could potentially trigger off the very catastrophe it is supposedly trying to avert.

    Since 1979, Iran has waged aggressive war on precisely zero occasions. In contrast, during the same period, Israel has launched aggressive attacks on its neighbors in Lebanon and Syria on several occasions, not to mention its routine acts of aggression against the Palestinian people. If any state in the Middle-East is deranged and unstable, it is Israel. So anyone who is serious about preserving peace in the Middle-East should start by opposing the continued sale of weapons to this dangerous, warmongering rogue state.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She took off to the stars with the secret, rich, mysterious, powerful men in dark suits, and it is too bad she didn't ask you along, because you are as dumb as a box of rocks.

      Delete

  49. City of Boston gave "subsidy" to Boston Marathon jihadists' mosque


    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/04/city-of-boston-gave-subsidy-to-boston-marathon-jihadists-mosque.html

    ReplyDelete
  50. ”…because you are as dumb as a box of rocks.”, rattled the thready voice from the quarry.

    ReplyDelete