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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Obama Ending the insanity of the Cuban Blockade bypassing Congress

A Xmas Card from Ash:





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106 comments:

  1. Well, we made another holiday video.

    www.asphaltpotato.com

    Merry Christmas , Happy Hanukkah and all that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      Great stuff, Ash.

      Very nice.

      Merry Christmas.

      .

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Ash. Chag Sameach and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

      Delete
    3. Not bad, Noble Spud. Wish you'd printed the lyrics though, my ear, you know.

      Where'd you pick up the suntan? On a Quba Tourism LLC jaunt to Cuba?

      A Noble effort.

      Merry Christmas to you and yours.

      Delete
    4. That was nice Ash!

      Merry Christmas,
      Happy Hanukkah!

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. >>>The general in command of US forces involved in the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria said on Thursday he thought it would take a minimum of three years to achieve a turning point against the group.

      Asked at a Pentagon briefing about progress on the ground, Army Lieutenant General James Terry said that the first US air strikes had taken place only four months ago and counseled patience, estimating it would "at least take a minimum of three years."<<<


      "at least take a minimum of three years" --- and that's just for a turning point.

      Some of us my not live to see the end of this fight.

      Delete
    2. So what?

      Who really cares about Syria?
      Why?

      What is the US national interest that is being served, if we were to bring the conflict to a hasty conclusion, if the US could?
      What is the risk to reward, what is the cost benefit?

      Delete
  3. >>>>Once again, I turn to Aquinas. In defense of the death penalty, he wrote that the reason it is necessary to kill a criminal is not simply to punish him, but to protect society “to safeguard the common good.” When the good are “protected and saved by the slaying of the wicked, then the latter may be lawfully put to death.”

    If, according to Aquinas, the good can be saved through killing the wicked, then it would seem to follow that the good can be saved through interrogative torture, which is a lesser evil than killing. If we’re willing to kill in war to protect our homeland, why are we not willing to inflict temporary pain on a terrorist to save lives? The people who are killed on the battlefield will never walk again, they will never feel the sun on their faces, or eat a hot meal, or touch another human being. The terrorist who has been tortured will—and those he has threatened will, too.<<<<


    Foreign Policy

    Yes, Christians Can Support Torture
    Majorities of Christians support the use of torture in some instances. And they’re not bad Christians for doing so.

    http://thefederalist.com/2014/12/17/yes-christians-can-support-torture/

    Good long well reasoned article.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      As to Aquinas and the death penalty, as I recall, he was dead long before DNA testing was discovered. The didn't call it the 'Dark Ages' for nothing.

      Yes, Christians Can Support Torture
      Majorities of Christians support the use of torture in some instances. And they’re not bad Christians for doing so.


      No one is questioning their Christianity merely their humanity. I would place them in the same class with those who use The Federalist as their Bible.

      I understand there is a small cult in Idaho that falls into that category.

      .

      Delete
    2. .

      Good long well reasoned article.

      Lordy, what a dolt.

      .

      Delete
    3. I don't believe brutality should be used when we could use the power of BACON!

      Delete
  4. .

    Listened to the video and didn't like it.

    Zealots of the left are just as unpleasant as those from the right. Mr. Gatner is a bit too fervid for my taste.

    When I first heard Obama planned on normalizing relations with Cuba, I was all for it. To deal with regimes as autocratic and undemocratic as Cuba's while waging a sixty year embargo against that island seems at best hypocritical. Worse, the whole exercise appears to me to have been unproductive. Sixty years later, Cuba is still sending doctors and soldiers to Africa and South America and the only people who seem to be suffering from the embargo are the Cuban people. And even that seems unproductive if we assume our motives included regime change. The Castros will rule Cuba until they die (which could be any day now).

    I haven't changed my mind on normalizing relations with Cuba; however, the more I hear about the deal we cut the less I like it.

    Mr. Gatner states unequivocally that the US was forced into this deal because of progressive change in the countries of South America and the region. This is of course absurd. The US didn't have to make this deal and the more I remember or am told about the 'Miami Five' the more unpalatable it becomes.

    I don't know enough about the deal itself to condemn it at this point but it does appear less than optimal.

    As for Mr. Gatner, it's unlikely I will be inviting him over for cocktails any time soon.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'd think our first instinct should be to help the Cuban people as a whole. This doesn't seem to do that. If anything it strengthens the regime. McDonald's Hamburgers may be the big winner on our side. And shady tourist groups.......

    Maybe in the long run......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really don't like the idea of a Castro invited to the White House --


      White House open to Castro visit........drudge

      Delete
  6. I knew Obama wasn't going to be a Lame Duck during his last years in office.

    He's an Activist through and through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's his time to play Dictator.

      Delete
    2. All that power with time running out....
      What to do next?

      Delete
    3. You never know.

      Maybe he'll give Alaska back to the Russians..........

      Delete
    4. One less Republican state.....

      Delete
    5. Louisiana back to the French.

      Senate deadlock, Biden breaks the tie.

      Delete
    6. That's not right. He'd have to give away two more Republican states to make a tie, wouldn't he?

      Delete
    7. That, or give Texas to Mexico.
      Or both.

      Delete
  7. Braying for Battle: The Long Love Affair Between Donkeys and the Military

    The drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan has triggered a rise in the use of donkeys as the “new helicopters” by Afghan troops, who are being forced to rely on the ancient animals for transport instead of the modern tools of war brought in by the United States. “You are the richest and most powerful country in the world. Of course you can afford helicopters. The best we can do is donkeys,” Qamuddin, a 16-year-old donkey handler, told the Washington Post in 2012. “Without donkeys, there would be no Afghan army.”

    This is what several hundred billion in development costs buys: the highly trained Afghan Army...comforting thought...

    ReplyDelete
  8. While trying to read my way through a rare bout of insomnia, I came across this quote from Simon Schama's, "The Embarrassment of Riches", which I highly recommend to those attracted to semi-Annales School history. It is from Cicero and may be germane to understanding our current foundering state of affairs:

    The first community is that of marriage itself; thereafter in a family household with children, in which all things are common. That is the first principle of a town and thus the seed of a common state.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It ought to be pointed out that "common" refers to a fully integrated cultural paradigm and not communistic materialism.

      Delete
  9. Breaking: Gaza rocket explodes in southern Israel, no injuries

    Mr. Netanyahu, Israelis wait to see whether "investigation" is equivalent to "thundering response". The blustering is becoming tedious, never the best light in which to be seen prior to an election. While the world may deplore you for nailing the savages, the vast majority of Israelis will applaud...decision time...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Israel should embrace Palestinian statehood and declare the rocket attack as an act of war. Since statehood is a fact, occupation is nonexistent. And it time to destroy the aggressive nation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      At that point, all Israel would be doing was occupying another country.

      .

      Delete
    2. No, under international law, if attacked, the country that was grieved is allowed to "take" lands as conquered.

      It's time to settle the fight.

      If the Palestinians want a state, no strings attached, they may create it with what they have.

      If they seek to attack Israel?

      Then, they are the aggressor and by all rights, Israel may annex lands conquered, without population.

      :)

      Delete
    3. The good news? no nation (including Israel) has a right to be a nation if they cannot act like one.

      They must control the borders, population and resources.

      OR:

      Territory, population, government and be independent.

      According to International Law
      The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States 1933 defines the state as a territory, with a permanent population, a government, and a capacity to enter into relations with other states. [1]
      The permanent population in the state does not precede an internationally recognized and defined territory over which the population is permanent.
      [1] Hugh M. Kindred et al., International Law , 12-13.

      Recognition of Sovereignty
      The capacity to enter into relations with other states requires international recognition of a domestic sovereign authority, or the “rulers” who assume this authority in order to secure the supreme jurisdiction over the territorial state.
      The dynamic that mobilizes the state internationally is the recognition of its sovereignty as embodied in the “rulers” who are recognized as sovereigns possessing the authority to make law domestically and internationally.

      Delete
    4. Recognition
      Recognition grants the state and its sovereignty a character of international legitimacy and consequently, a capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign-states.

      Definition of Recognition in International Law
      Recognition has been described as
      “ the free act by which one or more states acknowledge the existence on a definite territory of a human society politically organized, independent of any other and is capable of observing the obligations of international law.”

      Delete
    5. Israel and the Palestinian Territories
      The General Assembly’s partition of mandated Palestine into two states, a Jewish state, and an Arab state in Resolution 181.
      In resolution, 181 both territorial entities the Arab state and the Jewish state were recognized as territorial states by the General Assembly. Israel was recognized internationally as a sovereign nation-state. Sovereignty over the Palestinian territories was not recognized by international powers.
      United Nations General Assembly “Resolution 181 (II)”, Chapter 4 F. A/RES/181(II)(A+B) (29 November 1947).

      Delete
    6. So once "Nationhood" or "Statehood" is envied for the arabs of the Gaza and West Bank?

      That implies they are independent and Sovereign, that they are RESPONSIBLE…

      Hence a rocket attack FROM the Nation of Palestine is an act of war.

      Good luck..

      Delete
    7. Nations come and nations go, Israel and the Jews had to wait 2000 years to get their nationhood reborn…

      Who knows once the newly created nation of Palestine is born how long it will last…

      Delete
    8. AND if the newly minted Palestine JOINS the ICJ?

      I hope Israel presses war crimes charges against the Hamas and PA

      Delete
    9. .

      No, under international law, if attacked, the country that was grieved is allowed to "take" lands as conquered.

      :o)

      Nonsense.

      .

      Delete
    10. .

      Resolution 181?

      Inoperative, as it was never adopted by the UNSC.

      .

      Delete
    11. .

      When speaking of international law, international consensus is one of the key factors considered. As far as I know, Israel is the only country in the world that doesn't consider the occupied territories occupied territories.

      .

      Delete
    12. Nor by the rogue Zionists that declared independence unilaterally in contradiction to UN Resolution 181.

      Delete
    13. The reality, which you may well know.

      The General Assembly passed on 29NOV1947 - Reslution 181, which RECOMMENDED that the ...

      Recommends to the United Kingdom, as the mandatory Power for Palestine, and to all other Members of the United Nations the adoption and implementation, with regard to the future Government of Palestine, of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union set out below;

      Requests that

      The Security Council take the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation;


      The Security Council consider, if circumstances during the transitional period require such consideration, whether the situation in Palestine constitutes a threat to the peace. If it decides that such a threat exists, and in order to maintain international peace and security, the Security Council should supplement the authorization of the General Assembly by taking measures, under Articles 39 and 41 of the Charter, to empower the United Nations Commission, as provided in this resolution, to exercise in Palestine the functions which are assigned to it by this resolution;

      The Security Council determine as a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression, in accordance with Article 39 of the Charter, any attempt to alter by force the settlement envisaged by this resolution;

      The Trusteeship Council be informed of the responsibilities envisaged for it in this plan;

      Calls upon the inhabitants of Palestine to take such steps as may be necessary on their part to put this plan into effect;

      Appeals to all Governments and all peoples to refrain from taking any action which might hamper or delay the carrying out of these recommendations, and

      Authorizes the Secretary-General to reimburse travel and subsistence expenses of the members of the Commission referred to in Part 1, Section B, Paragraph I below, on such basis and in such form as he may determine most appropriate in the circumstances, and to provide the Commission with the necessary staff to assist in carrying out the functions assigned to the Commission by the General Assembly.


      The "Plan" was never voted upon, by the Security Council, and the inhabitants of the area did not sign on, either.
      The Resolution was ignored by all the parties. The Israeli UNILATERALLY declared an independent state on 15MAY1948
      Seems that no one accepted Resolution 181, concurrent to its passage, the Plan was never implemented..

      On 11MAY1949 the UN accepted the state of Israel as a member.


      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_UN_resolutions_concerning_Israel_and_Palestine

      http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm

      Delete
    14. Jerusalem to be an International City, administered by the UN.

      Israel has pissed upon UN Resolution 181, from its inception as an illegitimate state.

      Delete
    15. .

      Palestinians Roll the Dice at the UN

      http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/12/18/the-palestinians-decide-to-roll-the-dice-at-the-united-nations/

      .

      Delete
  11. Oh, and this tidbo is for Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, another example of the Rat Doctrine shining through.
    Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition air power combining to defeat the Daesh, again.

    It is being described as one of the most significant victories so far against ISIL militants in Iraq. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters say they have now freed hundreds of people trapped around Sinjar Mountain after breaking a siege that lasted four months.

    US Interests continue to b advance through effective application of the Rat Doctrine

    http://www.euronews.com/2014/12/19/iraqi-kurds-celebrate-breaking-of-isil-siege-around-sinjar-mountain/

    ReplyDelete
  12. The Pentagon finally beginning to understand how to use language to effect the message.

    The Pentagon has begun referring to ISIS—which is also know as ISIL, for the Islamic State in the Levant—as Daesh, after prodding from its allies.

    In Arabic, Daesh and ISIL sound alike, although “daesh” literally means “to crush underneath the foot,” Terry said.
    “Our partners, at least the ones that I work with, ask us to use that, because they feel that if you use ISIL, that you legitimize a self-declared caliphate, and they feel pretty strongly that we should not be doing that.”


    As I have been preaching ...
    But those Zionists that would accept al-Qeada operatives taking power in Syria, they will continue to use language that legitimizes Daesh.
    Watch and see ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Taking the Crisis Out of ISIS

      http://time.com/3641742/isis-pentagon-isil-daesh-kurds-iraq-syria/

      Delete
  13. A fascinating paragraph in a David Remnick profile of former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul pronounced Barack Obama's foreign policy leanings mysterious, inscrutable, and almost hypocritical:


    Obama’s advisers and the Washington policy establishment have all spent countless hours trying to square the President’s admiration of George H. W. Bush and Brent Scowcroft—classic realists—with his appointments of interventionists like McFaul, Rice, and Samantha Power. In the end, one leading Russia expert, who has worked for two Administrations, told me, "I think Obama is basically a realist—but he feels bad about it."

    This goes to show mostly that the Washington policy establishment engages in a lot of tedious conversations. It's pretty clear to me that Obama is a realist and senior officials in the administration don't feel bad about it at all. Nor should they. Obama's actually quite good at it — as this months' opening with Cuba and simultaneous collapse of Russia's economic and strategic situation shows.

    To its detractors, realism is a policy of cynicism — one that, in the name a cold-hearted national interest, leaves on the table a bounty of humanitarian gains ripe for the plucking.

    The more generous view is that realism is a policy of limits. A recognition that for a moral foreign policy to do any good in the world it must be feasible, and that even the mightiest empire the world has ever known faces daunting challenges when it attempts to remake the domestic politics of foreign countries. A recognition that the long-term ability of the United States to do any good for anyone hinges on maintaining domestic strength and advancing foreign goals in cost-effective ways.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Ukraine, for example, Obama has not opted for the path of maximum punishment for Russia. He has opted instead for the path of punishing Russia as hard as possible at minimum cost to the United States. Russians are paying a far higher price for the conflict than are Europeans, and Americans are paying a lower price still. Putin hasn't had a change of heart, but Ukrainian forces have the upper hand and Russia is becoming both a pariah and an economic basketcase. Steady gains at minimal cost don't make for great speeches, but they do put American influence on a sustainable basis.

      Meanwhile, the rapprochement with Cuba is already paying dividends in terms of America's relationships with Mexico, Brazil, and even Venezuela with no conceivable downside to American interests. All it took was an ounce of political courage. If we manage to muster more and end the embargo, we'll see even more in the way of concrete economic and political payoffs.

      In the Middle East, things are of course messy.

      But it's a mess that is not incompatible with our main objectives in the region. Israel is more secure than ever. Not just beneath its Iron Dome but because Hamas has been cut off from Iranian patronage, and Hezbollah is too busy fighting the Assad regime's enemies in Syria to open a northern front against the Jewish state. The Syrian civil war itself is a humanitarian disaster. But in a war between a vicious government and a rebel cause full of its own vicious jihadis, a brutal stalemate that sucks up resources is an acceptable outcome for the United States. The damage of the war, though real, has little direct impact on America and the costs of attempting to dive in and resolve the situation would have been prohibitive.

      Delete
    2. ... a war between a vicious government and a rebel cause full of its own vicious jihadis, a brutal stalemate that sucks up resources is an acceptable outcome for the United States. The damage of the war, though real, has little direct impact on America and the costs of attempting to dive in and resolve the situation would have been prohibitive.

      Soon allen will come and tell us this quote is not here ...

      {;-)

      Delete
  14. Pakistan Army strikes back hard after school massacre by Taliban

    Retaliation after the killing of more than 130 children in Peshawar targeted the Khyber tribal region along the border with Afghanistan. The Army claims at least 77 Pakistani Taliban were killed.

    ReplyDelete
  15. In the Persian Gulf, key US allies such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are perfectly secure from external aggression, pumping oil in peace even as the progress of solar power and fracking reduces our long-term dependence on these questionable regimes.

    Which brings us to Iraq. A policy of assisting Kurdish forces against ISIS while doing only a little to help the Iraqi government reconquer the rest of the country packs a lot less emotional punch than a stern declaration of America's commitment to fighting this truly evil group would.

    And yet it's the right call. The Kurdistan regional government is friendly to the United States, is viewed as legitimate by the Kurdish population, and has demonstrated considerable fighting skill in the past. A relatively small amount of American military assistance should be able to secure their continued autonomy, a useful and humane objective that is achievable at low cost. For the Iraqi government to entirely reconquer its lost Sunni hinterland, by contrast, would be considerably more difficult. It is also not entirely clear what the point would be, in terms of concrete American interests. It's far from obvious that a strong unitary Iraqi state is in the interests of the United States or reflects the desire of the Iraqi people.

    As in Syria, stalemate between Sunni-held and Shiite-held territories could be ugly — but an acceptable form of ugly. Don't expect to hear it in a Rose Garden speech, but the main oil fields are down south near Basra in firmly government-held territory.

    Meanwhile, democracy marches on. The Arab Spring has mostly been a disappointment, but the new regime in Tunisia is real enough. Indonesia is poised for its first peaceful, orderly, transition of power to an opposition presidential candidate. China is friendless in East Asia. "We'll do what we can, when we can do something useful on the cheap" doesn't quite have the glorious ring of JFK's vow to "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship." But it does have the advantage of being a sustainable, sensible approach to 21st century world affairs.

    And it's working.

    Workin'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And, to date, no civilian U.S. deaths to Ebola,

      and no military deaths to ISIS.

      What a disaster.

      Delete
    2. If the Boy Genius O'bozo hadn't taken the troops out too soon we wouldn't be in this pickle.

      Say that to yourself 100 times, Rufus.

      Maybe it will get through the fog.

      Delete
    3. What "Pickle?"

      How about, I just repeat "You're a Moron" a hundred times?

      Delete
    4. Our pilots are bombing in Iraq, rather than Nevada, and New Mexico,

      and the price of oil is $55.00 / Barrel;

      that's some pickle.

      Delete
    5. The 101st is back in Kentucky, and the 2nd Marine Division is back at Camp Lejeune.

      "It's a disaster," I tells ya.

      Delete
    6. Working -

      >>>The general in command of US forces involved in the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria said on Thursday he thought it would take a minimum of three years to achieve a turning point against the group.

      Asked at a Pentagon briefing about progress on the ground, Army Lieutenant General James Terry said that the first US air strikes had taken place only four months ago and counseled patience, estimating it would "at least take a minimum of three years."<<<


      "at least take a minimum of three years" --- and that's just for a turning point.

      Some of us my not live to see the end of this fight.
      ...................

      We are another day closer to July 4th, 2015.

      Delete
    7. It's certainly a disaster for many in Iraq.

      It could have been avoided.

      Got to go to work........

      ......you keep 'thinking' Rufus.

      Later

      Cheers !!

      Merry and Happy Everything !

      Delete
    8. The Stock Market is at an all-time high,

      and inflation is running about 1%

      Quelle Horreur!

      Delete
    9. A 30 yr. mortgage is running about 3.9%,

      and take-home pay is increasing about 6.6%.

      What'll we do, what'll we do? :)

      Delete
    10. Yes, this could all have been avoided. We could have American Troops getting killed, and maimed in Iraq.

      Tens of Thousands of killed, and maimed American troops aren't enough for the "Draft Dodger" Contingent - Bob, Cheney, et al.

      Delete
    11. Have taken my shower.

      You see, Rufus, I did not dodge the draft. I got a high draft card number.

      There was very little violence in Iraq when O'bozo pulled the troops out.

      I've said endlessly I was for going into Afghanistan, but I was pretty much neutral about Iraq.

      Now we have thrown all that effort away. And without American troops it's gonna stay that way.

      I'm on record with Quirk - let them kill one another then.

      It's a sad ending though to the adventure (the mis-adventure)

      The Iraq Veterans must be thinking 'why' right about now.

      Later...

      Ho, Ho, Ho !

      Delete
    12. Bob,

      I was unaware that you were a draft dodger. :-)

      Given that the war you allegedly dodged and those who caused it have both been thoroughly excoriated here, despite ignorance of its actual cost in American life, I fail to see the importance of your lottery ticket to hell. Moreover, when a compulsive liar and sniveling coward makes such a claim, you are on sound ground. By the way, if you are 55-56, how did you dodge the American draft?

      Delete
    13. My Niece says I LOOK 55-56.

      I am 68.

      Born in 1946.

      Delete
  16. Israel might find some good material in UNSC Resolution 1373.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In reality, any law is only as good as the intent and means to enforce it. Israel should act accordingly.

      Delete
    2. Here wisdom speaks its final word and true
      None is of freedom or life deserving
      Unless he conquers it anew

      ___Goethe, "Faust"

      Delete
  17. The United States unilaterally declared Independence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ... unlawfully, at the time ... proving that victory is the adored mother of all good things ...

      Delete
    2. ... for example ...

      TREATY OF WESTPHALIA

      CXVI.
      That the Places which have been restor'd, as, well Maritime as Frontiers, or in the heart of the Country shall from henceforth and for ever be exempted from all Garisons, introduc'd during the Wars, and left (without prejudice in other things to every one's Right) at the full liberty and disposal of their Masters.

      CXXVIII.

      … And that on condition that by the Subscription of the abovesaid Ambassadors and Deputys, all and every one of the other States who shall abstain from signing and ratifying the present Treaty, shall be no less oblig'd to maintain and observe what is contain d in this present Treaty of Pacification, than if they had subscrib'd and ratify'd it; and no Protestation or Contradiction of the Council of Direction in the Roman Empire shall be valid, or receiv'd in respect to the Subscription and said Deputys have made.

      Delete
  18. QuirkFri Dec 19, 10:27:00 AM EST
    .

    When speaking of international law, international consensus is one of the key factors considered. As far as I know, Israel is the only country in the world that doesn't consider the occupied territories occupied territories.


    To the extent that "feelings" matter in the creation and implementation of law, you are correct. I would use "expediency", as you might understand; it more truthfully captures the essence of political prostitution.

    As any state, Israel must make its decisions based upon a strategic analysis of the facts as it sees them. Israel is drawing toward a final solution of its own with reference to Judea and Samaria. This election may see that solution move closer to implementation. Of this you may be certain, Israelis will not trade security for a hat full of promissory feathers. The world will learn to live with that, just as it has learned to live with North Korea and Iran.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. "When speaking of international law, international consensus is one of the key factors considered."

      This puts International Law up to a vote of third world countries, many Moslem.

      Delete
    2. Correctamundo, Anonymous!

      That is truly the American Way ... Writ Large ... on a Global Scale ...

      That is what is meant by "All men created are equal", it was not a call to battle for the proposition that some are more equal than others. The Democracy Revolution is advancing out of Yorktown to the four corners of the earth.
      You had better get in step!

      Delete
    3. The Founders knew well that under existing law all men were NOT created equal, as even a glimpse of the Constitution would make abundantly clear.

      I thought all prospective citizens were obliged to study American government and pass a competency examination before the grant of American citizenship. I stand corrected.

      Delete
    4. .

      You will note, I wasn't the one who raised the issue of international law. My comments were merely a response to your bud's bogus comments involving international law.

      As to

      To the extent that "feelings" matter in the creation and implementation of law, you are correct

      I would suggest you learn the difference between 'feelings' and consensus, thought, or judgment. People emotionally involved with an issue may have 'feelings' on it but feelings are not a prerequisite for reaching consensus. Thought, judgment, and opinion are the only legitimate basis.

      .

      Delete
    5. English is my mother tongue, Sir.

      Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father.
      ___Chesterton

      Delete
    6. .

      English is my mother tongue, Sir.

      What a sad indictment.

      .

      Delete
  19. In 1948 Jordan annexed the "international" city of Jerusalem (corpus separatum), expelled its Jews, and desecrated most Jewish sites, all contrary to international law as that was espoused by the UN. Jordan maintained its unlawful possession until ousted by Israel in 1967.

    Israel will hold Jerusalem until such time as angels are seated in the UN. For those who see things otherwise, come and take it. If you win, well, you get to write the history, including the law. If you lose, you may cease to exist. That is the nature of war -- always has been, always will be. I make no excuse for self-preservation or the harsh measures oft used to secure self-preservation. Being the only country in the world to have used nuclear weapons in war, the US has set the precedent, presumably after careful, prayerful study of the moral implications. That other nations are now so armed indicates that governments got the message. On this matter, Israel will refuse to accept a uniquely subordinate position among the worlds' nations.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ash!
    Who ever produced that Mr Potato Head video that Deuce has posted, they did masterful work.

    Thanks for sharing it!

    ReplyDelete
  21. .

    The American Black Widow, highly ranked intelligence official guilty of innumerable acts of incompetence kicked upstairs to the level of general and still at CIA insistence unnamed.

    The NBC News investigative reporter Matthew Cole has pieced together a remarkable story revealing that a single senior officer, who is still in a position of high authority over counterterrorism at the C.I.A.—a woman who he does not name—appears to have been a source of years’ worth of terrible judgment, with tragic consequences for the United States. Her story runs through the entire report. She dropped the ball when the C.I.A. was given information that might very well have prevented the 9/11 attacks; she gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward; she misinterpreted intelligence in such a way that it sent the C.I.A. on an absurd chase for Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Montana. And then she falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked...

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/unidentified-queen-torture

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One would think that Matthew Cole knows her name, and could write a blockbuster story, if the New Yorker is accurate.

      Delete
  22. Re: Consensus

    The first case of a consensus to my certain recollection was that reached by Adam, Eve, and the Serpent.

    Consensus is highly overrated, usually by those too morally confused, fearful, or ignorant to form a personal opinion grounded on something more substantial than how diner was digested overnight; seeking comfort and validation from the proximity of the flock. Predators love such congregations, as do inquisitors, it seems.

    Some of the greatest evils perpetrated by one group of humans upon another were affected by consensus – giving “Come together, right now, over me” a whole different spin. The “expropriation” of tens of millions of acres of treaty land granted the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole nations comes to mind, as well as the consensus opinion that they should be marched into Oklahoma in the dead of winter or the heat of summer without provisions better used elsewhere. The loss of life was regretted, I am sure, but the privileged consensus had spoken, and that was that. Why, what could a man do – other than profit from it, of course?

    While apocryphal, it also was an axiomatic consensus of opinion shared by Sheridan, Grant, the War Department, and the Congress that “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.” That the dead Indian would be left to rot on mineral rich land had nothing to do with the morality of the public consensus, needless to say, demanding protection from the ignoble brutes standing in the way of the civilizing consensus and their insatiable needs.

    Goodness me, I could reference thousands and thousands of consensuses equally as grim and devoid of any recognizable moral certitude. But, as is well known, usually by a consensus, a modern, thinking man cannot be imposed upon by abstractions as anachronistic as either morality or certitude. Why, it is a brave new world out there.

    It should come as no surprise that I generally find consensus as nothing more than a form of alternative conflict resolution by avoidance and/or subterfuge. Charitably, I will grant that delusion and the madness of crowds have some part to play.

    ReplyDelete
  23. QuirkFri Dec 19, 10:27:00 AM EST
    .

    When speaking of international law, international consensus is one of the key factors considered. As far as I know, Israel is the only country in the world that doesn't consider the occupied territories occupied territories.



    The territories are DISPUTED.

    That is what is in the language of the UNSC resolutions, not "occupied"

    Language is precise.

    What change it?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. .

      Not sure what UNSC resolutions you are speaking of specifically but any designation describing the territories as 'disputed' has nothing to do with their 'status' under international law.

      Under international law the territories fit the definition of 'occupied'. And despite some negative views expressed here on the concept of consensus, there seems to be broad consensus amongst the international community that the West Bank and Gaza currently are occupied territories. In fact, other than Israel, I am not aware of another major state that says they are not 'occupied territories'.

      The Palestinian territories or occupied Palestinian territories (OPT or oPt) comprise the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip.[7][8][9][10] The boundaries of the territories, subject to future negotiations, are generally regarded by the international community as being defined by the Green Line. The term "Palestinian Territory, Occupied" had been utilized by the UN and other international organizations between 1998 to 2013 in order to refer to the Palestinian National Authority; it was replaced by the UN in 2013 by the term State of Palestine.[11]

      Israel occupied the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War of 1967, which had been earlier occupied by Jordan and Egypt respectively, and has maintained control of them since.

      In 1980, Israel officially annexed East Jerusalem and considers the whole of Jerusalem to be its capital. The annexation was condemned internationally[12] and declared "null and void" by the United Nations Security Council.[13][14] The Palestinian National Authority, the United Nations,[15] the international legal and humanitarian bodies[16][17] and the international community [18][19] regard East Jerusalem as part of the West Bank, and consequently a part of the Palestinian territories. The Palestinian National Authority never exercised sovereignty over the area. Israeli sovereignty, however, has not been recognized by any country, since the unilateral annexation of territory occupied during war contravenes the Fourth Geneva Convention.[20][21]


      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_territories

      .

      Delete
  24. Cursed work over, I have formed a consensus of one to go to the Casino.
    ...................

    allenFri Dec 19, 11:50:00 AM EST

    Bob,

    I was unaware that you were a draft dodger. :-)

    Given that the war you allegedly dodged and those who caused it have both been thoroughly excoriated here, despite ignorance of its actual cost in American life, I fail to see the importance of your lottery ticket to hell. Moreover, when a compulsive liar and sniveling coward makes such a claim, you are on sound ground. By the way, if you are 55-56, how did you dodge the American draft?
    Bob OreilleFri Dec 19, 05:43:00 PM EST

    My Niece says I LOOK 55-56.

    I am 68.

    Born in 1946.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BobSun Jun 22, 01:42:00 PM EDT

      When did I ever say I was a scholar??

      I don't recall saying that.

      I have a college degree in English Lit. from U of Washington.

      To avoid being drafted in part. ...

      Delete
    2. Student deferment, War Criminal, dead beat dad, professional asshole, and liar extraordinaire.

      Delete
    3. Vino Veritas, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, Vino Veritas.

      Your own words tell your tale.

      {;-)

      Delete
  25. "Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. Hanukkah lasts for eight nights...unlike Christmas, which lasts for two and a half months."

    ---Seth Meyers

    ReplyDelete
  26. What’s The Most Common Street Name In America?

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/whats-the-most-common-street-name-in-america/

    Guess before you peek.

    I got it right, ha ha !

    ReplyDelete
  27. Gas $1.85 at the Coeur d' Alene Casino station.

    Wow

    ReplyDelete
  28. For Quirk -

    Is Torture Always Morally Wrong?

    Safety is as much an American value as freedom.
    Barry Gewen

    December 19, 2014


    Almost five years ago, I wrote a piece for the journal World Affairs that in the current climate of recrimination would no doubt be considered “pro-torture,” though my aim was to look rationally at a subject that tends to elicit emotional outcries rather than careful thinking. The report of the Senate Intelligence Committee has provided us with an abundance of new information that wasn’t available before (“rectal feeding” has now entered the public discourse), but on the essential moral and philosophical issues, it really has nothing new to say. About these essential issues the arguments never change. I’d like to examine a few of them in the light of the Senate report and the public controversy that has ensued.

    Is torture morally wrong at all times and under all circumstances?

    Like all absolutist views, this one offers great comfort to its proponents because it absolves them of the necessity of thinking through both the complexities and ambiguities of particular situations and the actual consequences of their positions. Adherence to absolute principle trumps any reflection on how the real world works.............

    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/torture-always-morally-wrong-11897

    TAGGED: Threat Matrix, George Tenet, George W. Bush Administration,<<< Moral Absolutism>>>, CIA Torture Report, Central Intelligence Agency, Torture Memo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To repeat:

      >>>>Like all absolutist views, this one offers great comfort to its proponents because it absolves them of the necessity of thinking through both the complexities and ambiguities of particular situations and the actual consequences of their positions. Adherence to absolute principle trumps any reflection on how the real world works.............<<<<

      "absolves them of the necessity of thinking" is good.

      Delete
    2. Thinking, unlike drinking, is hard, after all.

      Delete
  29. The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit launched more than 100 non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and four Harrier airstrikes on Islamic State targets during a nearly nine-month deployment that focused heavily on crisis response operations in the Middle East.

    Much of the deployment also saw a company of Marines and 11 MV-22B Ospreys poised on 60-minute standby in Kuwait, ready to provide security reinforcements to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad if called upon, said MEU commanding officer Col. William Dunn in a Dec. 16 briefing at the Potomac Institute near Washington, D.C.

    "We held that posture, 60 minute strip alert, really for the duration of our deployment, until we were relieved by the 11th MEU," Dunn said.

    The deployment, which began in February and got a 21-day extension due to ongoing operational demands in and near the Middle East, often had the MEU's tenant elements tasked at maximum capacity.

    Marine Corps Times reported in September that the 22nd MEU had launched what may have a first airstrike on an Islamic State target, dropping ordnance from an AV-8B Harrier near the Haditha Dam. Dunn confirmed that the MEU had used Harriers to drop 500-pound bombs in four separate air strikes, though he wouldn't describe the location or effects of the strikes.

    As the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 approached, the unit was also asked to posture troops at the ready in case of an attack or other violent event. To do so, with all aviation assets tied up in Iraq-focused operations, required some legwork.

    The Mesa Verde, one of the three ships in the Bataan amphibious ready group supporting the MEU, moved into the Middle East area of operations long enough to offload its V-22s and Osprey equipment and take on CH-53E Super Stallions, before heading back toward Camp Lemmonier in Djibouti to stand ready there.

    "A couple times during this deployment, I did put in my [situation report] that we were 100 percent maxed out, 100 percent tasked," Dunn said. "Any additional tasking will require sequential adjustment to current tasking."

    Had the unit received an additional assignment, he said, it would have been up to the combatant commander to determine which missions took priority.

    In September, the MEU finally received the call to insert about 150 Marines into Baghdad aboard Ospreys to stabilize the embassy, part of a 350-troop plus-up requested by the State Department. Those Marines would stay there for the remainder of the deployment, when they were eventually replaced by troops from Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response Central Command.



    Dunn also revealed details of how . . . . .

    Hmm

    ReplyDelete
  30. Just got through watching "Sometimes A Great Notion" with the wife. Henry Fonda, Paul Newman.

    Had forgotten what a wonderful movie it really is........

    ReplyDelete