Let's take a look at the odds to be vice-president, only among the Democrats, as posted by BetUS sportsbook, keeping in mind that you can't win until you get nominated:
BetUS 2008 Election Political Odds May 8, 2008
Next United States Vice President
Hillary Clinton +600
Barack Obama +900
John Edwards +2200
Bill Richardson +700
Ted Strickland +2000
Dennis Kucinich +3500
Bill Clinton +8500
Kathleen Sebelius +800
Evan Bayh +2000
Wesley Clark +4000
Claire McCaskill +1600
Joseph Biden +3000
Christopher Dodd +3000
Jim Webb +1200
Michael Bloomberg +2000
Al Gore +1600
Mark Warner +4500
Anthony Zinni +3000
Bill Nelson +3000
The Surge and Beyond
Former CENTCOM Commander Anthony Zinni discusses the future of Iraq and more
BY ERIC PATERNOT Harvard Political Review
Gen. Anthony Zinni (Ret.) served in the United States Marine Corps for 35 years, including a three-year stint as Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which deals with operations in the Middle East and North Africa. Since retiring he has become one of the most prominent military critics of the Bush Administration’s handling of the War in Iraq. During a recent visit to Harvard, Zinni sat down with the HPR to reflect on his career and discuss his views on the troop surge and the overall future prospects for Iraq.
Harvard Political Review: Do you feel that thus far the American troop surge has acted as a viable step toward achieving stability in Iraq? Why or why not?
Gen. Anthony Zinni: Well, I think that we should have had a larger number of troops involved from the beginning. The idea would be not to let the insurgency get any traction by controlling the population, protecting resources, and controlling the border. The surge is obviously late, but it was probably the best we could do. I think it has had some successes. Certainly any time you secure more troops you secure more area, pushing potential insurgents out of that area and undermining their ability to influence the people there. With extra manpower you prevent their ability to make the government look weak. I think the surge coincided fortunately with the Sunni awakening and with the Shia militia cease-fire. Also, General Petraeus masterfully handled the surge in terms of where he put troops and moved them around. But all this aside, the surge is a tactical decision. You don’t resolve people’s problems simply by achieving security; security buys you time, but something has to go on in that time.
HPR: And that would be the foundation of political legitimacy and a political process?
AZ: Right. The end must be that the Maliki Government gets sufficient room and space to make critical decisions: sharing federal authority with local authorities, achieving de-Baathification, and fostering political reconciliation. There needs to be political legitimacy, political responsiveness, and democratic systems structured in such a way that they are “off to a good start.” We are coming towards the end of the surge, no matter how you cut it. If the time comes when we have to draw it down, will Iraqi forces be able to fill the void? We are still awaiting the answer to this question.
HPR: As commander of CENTCOM what have you learned about the region that was under your control? What is America doing wrong there and can the damage be repaired?
AZ: Well I think the biggest lesson I learned was that in order to understand the region—any region—you have to have a depth of understanding of the culture. You need to understand its history. In my region for example, if you do not understand Islam, colonial history, Bedouin society, or even the desert, then you will not understand how its inhabitants will function and think. You are not able to see the conceptual differences between the way we do business and the way they do business, or between their approach to free will and our approach to free will. Sometimes we interact with them by applying a Western style of cultural template and that does not work. That said I do not think it is hard for the damage to be undone, because most of the people do not want to have a negative relationship with the United States or the West.
HPR: Even if we continue to support dictators in the region?
AZ: You have to remember that we are trying to impose democracy. But in some societies what might work best is some kind of a constitutional monarchy–not pure democracy, in a sense. Many people in the Middle East are looking for some say in the government, but they do not want to lose the monarch. You are not going to find too many people in the Gulf States who want to lose the Emir. At the same time, they are going to want a parliament. That is what I mean by cultural understanding—going into some of these places and saying that we are here to promote representative government, and not necessarily a democracy modeled in our image.
Hillary's the favorite. Interesting. I thought there might be too much bad blood between them. Maybe not.ReplyDelete
Gonna be McCain/Romney.ReplyDelete
What are the thoughts on Powell?ReplyDelete
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Close-in supporters of Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign are convinced he never will offer the vice presidential nomination to Sen. Hillary Clinton for one overriding reason: Michelle Obama.ReplyDelete
The Democratic front-runner's wife did not comment on other rival candidates for the party's nomination, but she has been sniping at Clinton since last summer. According to Obama sources, those public utterances do not reveal the extent of her hostility.
A footnote: Support is growing in Democratic ranks for Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland as vice president. He would bring to the ticket maturity (66 years old), experience (six terms in Congress) and moderation (rated "A" by the National Rifle Association). He is very popular in Ohio, a state Republicans must carry to elect a president.
I doubt Powell would want it, but who knows.
The gods Are Angry First Burma, now China.ReplyDelete
The value of thinking in terms of advancing positions is that it allows you to easily clarify complicated question . For example, Sun Tzu taught that every meeting between opponents (even meetings that didn’t result in conflict) changed their relative positions. So you avoid meetings that will damage your position and encourage meeting that will help your position. Simple. Right?ReplyDelete
For example, take Obama’s pledge that, if he is president, he will meet with America’s opponents like Iran’s Ahmadinejad unconditionally. While this sounds noble and civilized, it looks very different if you ask how such a meeting will change positions.
It would automatically give Ahmadinejad more credibility as a leader of Islamic extremism. It would give him a very public platform to attack America and Israel. It would give him an opportunity to demonstrate his “firmness” regarding terror or nuclear weapons in the face of a US president which could only further enhance his reputation in the region.
Okay, so how would such a meeting help America’s position? At least Neville Chamberlain returned from his meeting with Hitler with a worthless promise. We wouldn’t even get that much from Ahmadinejad because he is ONLY rewarded for “standing up to America.” So what is the point of Obama’s promise to do meet other than giving an enemy the opportunity to humiliate us. Anyone?
UPDATE: Obama’s people are now denying that he said that he would meet with Iran despite, you know, saying that he would.
Warrior Class Blog
Science = HitlerReplyDelete
Son of FuckYouStein!
Powell is also 72 years old.ReplyDelete
Definately a yesterday v tomorrow choice, for the voter, then.
Never has run for political office, before.
Not a lkely choice.
doug'll get a kick form the current westhawk thread, the crumbling of Mexico's soverignty along the frontier, with US.ReplyDelete
SecDef Gates was down there, trying to do ....
I get confused watching the DNA video. How is it possible that the theories on evolution and creation are at odds with each other? How could anyone understand DNA and still maintain the conviction that there is no God or a Creator?ReplyDelete
How does an intelligent person graduate from skepticism (agnostic) to the rather incredible claim of knowledge about the absence of a Creator?
Never have figured that one out, duece.ReplyDelete
7:27 and 7:29
What are you talking about?
2164th: How does an intelligent person graduate from skepticism (agnostic) to the rather incredible claim of knowledge about the absence of a Creator?ReplyDelete
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The existence of a Creator who doesn't himself have a Creator is rather extraordinary...everything we have ever seen in the world around us required a prior cause.
T, by definition: God always was, always will be, and will always remain the same. That set of conditions is supernatural and does not exist in our domain, ergo God is supernatural.ReplyDelete
Worlds outside of the natural are not of our realm. That does not mean that they do not exist. It is simply an unknown and an unknowable.
That which is known, hints at a strangeness that may indicate other realms. Wisdom comes from a humble deference to knowledge and the reluctant acceptance when the privilege is advanced.
"It is simply an unknown and an unknowable."ReplyDelete
I agree. But that's not what they teach in Sunday school.
"spinning fast as a jet engine"ReplyDelete
"It is simply an unknown and an unknowable."
Course, I'll pipe up with--'that's Emmanuel Kant'---and---'the Masters of the Spiritual Life say it can be known but only by the pure of heart', etc. :)
"the Masters of the Spiritual Life say it can be known but only by the pure of heart"ReplyDelete
And by total coincidence that pure of heart also happens to be a politician. :)
I'd be happy enough to know how the photons that enter my eye get changed to a bioelectricalchemical reaction that gets changed to a picture of the world that I daily rely on when making ice tea.ReplyDelete
Well, of course, Mat, and a Republican too.
We're delayed a bit on our trip back east, but are going to Missoula today, hopefully to return, with a car load of sales tax free merchandise, including a digital camera. There will still be snow in the mountains. Missoula is only about three hours from here.ReplyDelete
Ever wonder why god supposedly turned Moishe's miracle staff into a snake and back into a miracle staff? Even wonder why it was that Pharaoh's priests knew it as a cheap trick and matched this cheap trick with one of their own?
2164th: T, by definition: God always was, always will be, and will always remain the same. That set of conditions is supernatural and does not exist in our domain, ergo God is supernatural.ReplyDelete
I am primarily a Godblogger, so this is interesting to me. But when it comes to the EB, I've been discouraged from diving into this topic by the extremely hostile reaction from Viktor Silo to my reply to his I.D. posts, and the failure of the Elephant Bar to post the topic I emailed in (which was complete with an image and everything). I'm thinking there's greener pastures somewhere.
Youz be heading today?
"Well, of course, Mat, and a Republican too."ReplyDelete
A Libertarian! :D
And he's not so pure of heart. He's got plenty of demons. But his spiritual mentor is always jovial, that SOB, and this makes him deeply uneasy, because he don't understand that secret, not even when he tries on his mentor's magic hat. :)
2164th: Worlds outside of the natural are not of our realm. That does not mean that they do not exist. It is simply an unknown and an unknowable.ReplyDelete
Things which do not interact with our world are exactly equivalent to things which do not exist. Neutrinos can pierce a light-year of lead because they almost do not exist...they interact very intermittently with our world. Suppose there was a brand of neutrino that didn't interact with our world at all. We would never detect it, it would never affect us, and we could validly say it didn't exist.
Ever wonder why --ReplyDelete
I have. And was mighty impressed.
Even wonder why -- I really haven't. But those guys knew alot, so I'm not surprised.
Youz be heading today?
Hostility to new ideas is not new. The only weapons to anyone on this blog are typed words and a well argued ideas. Discouragement is not a policy nor do I see much of it. I read the thread between you and Viktor. I did not see the part where he was trying to discourage you.ReplyDelete
I did see the comment that he felt your comments were too quick for a difficult piece of work. I read his piece three times. I needed to do that to understand it. A rebuttal on your part would certainly be welcomed by me.
In fact, am belting the girth now, and heading out the door. I want answers to all these questions when I get back! Later.ReplyDelete
"Things which do not interact with our world are exactly equivalent to things which do not exist."ReplyDelete
Is that true?
Things that do not interact = Things that do not existReplyDelete
is this also true?
Things that do not exist = Things that exist but do not interact
Things that exist but do not interact = Things that do not interact
"Even wonder why.."ReplyDelete
Yak, that's a typo. Sorry bout that.
Have a good safe trip. Don't drive at night. And if a skunk blocks the road, DO NOT swerve and endanger your passengers, drive him over.
"How does an intelligent person graduate from skepticism (agnostic) to the rather incredible claim of knowledge about the absence of a Creator?"
Ultimately you come down to "What does it mean to know" - Epistemology.
Basically unless you have good reason to assert something is true it isn't. i.e. Do you believe Blue winged dragons exist above the clouds? Are you being not-intelligent by asserting they do not exist?
If we accept your logic then it would be absurd to deny the existence of anything.
2164th: A rebuttal on your part would certainly be welcomed by me.ReplyDelete
I sent it off to the EB hotmail address and it disappeared forever, just like the ones I sent in the old days. As a work-around I've also asked to be put back on the barkeep staff again three times, and nothing doing. So I've been spending my time keeping up my own blog and teaching Katina and David to get their blogs going.
I did see the comment that he felt your comments were too quick for a difficult piece of work.
I've been talking about that very subject for literally a decade on IRC chat, where you must read quick, think quick, and type quick. The attack on the speed of my reply rather than the content was so out of left field I was left almost speechless.
Look at the DNA clip Ash. That exists. It is life. Your answer is that it just happened. Like a Blue winged dragons above the clouds appearing from nowhere, hidden by clouds, which also came from nowhere, all made by no one. Things from nothing.ReplyDelete
Things = No things
Which argument is absurd?
I haven't suggested an answer to the eternal question of lifes origins. I have, however, suggested that one should have reasons to believe something.ReplyDelete
I always thought that if Hillary won - and won - Wes Clark would end up with a cabinet post. Most likely State. Can't see him as VP, certainly not Obama's.ReplyDelete
As a practical matter Wes "brings in" NATO and that whole herding cats
mentality - useful if you want to advertise a focus on Afghanistan.
As one DV put it: It doesn't matter who ends up in the WH; the advice given will be the same regardless and the advice will be acted upon in the best interests of the country. (Speaking of foreign policy.) You change out administrations, but you are dependent upon the bureaucracy, the permanent government, if you will. Alterations are enacted with, not in spite of, that larger and enduring entity which has no party nor platform.
But doesn’t each administration re-arrange, sometimes purge, that bureaucracy? I was under the impression that the Bush admin keenly did the opposite of what the Clintonian predecessors advised. The administration, of course, and evidenced by the current one, free to ignore advice given.ReplyDelete
I've just posted Viktor Silo's last of three parts on Darwinism v. Creation.ReplyDelete
I've just posted Viktor Silo's last of three parts on Darwinism v. Creation.ReplyDelete
Okay, I'm not going to get upset, I'm just going to quietly go. I thought you guys wanted some more help behind the bar, and I do have experience working here a number of months ago, but obviously things aren't the same anymore.
I wouldn't sweat it Ms. T. I would imagine you must toe the line to get above the fold. Tear Victor's post to shreds if you are looking for fun. I mean, if "The probability that matter would come together to construct an organism randomly is, statistically, nil." then what is the probablility god did it?ReplyDelete
What is it they say, beware of g(r)eeks bearing bare gifts. :)
"But doesn’t each administration re-arrange, sometimes purge, that bureaucracy?"ReplyDelete
I guess I was expecting you to read between the lines.
Principals and other political appointees are often, though not always, changed out. And new political appointees bring x number of staff and support with them, depending on office. It's the nature of the transition itself; it is NOT a purge. In the foreign/defense establishment specifically, the bureaucracy remains. And among its constituent parts, none is as powerful as the service chiefs.
You CAN take a dump in that in box; given this administration's experience, no one's going to.
Ash, I'm going to tear it apart on my blog, where, also, I posted my Intelligent Design article for the Elephant Bar that got "lost" (it should still be there, unless it rolled off the page, Miss Katz has it linked). I'll even wait til I get home to do it so V.S. can't complain about my Evelyn Wood speed-reading. Thanks for being there, ash. See you around.ReplyDelete
"You CAN take a dump in that in box; given this administration's experience, no one's going to."ReplyDelete
Or you can throw that box out the window and into the dumpster. Given the American talent and instinct in the business world, it's amazing that no one has yet taken this obvious step in dealing with this bureaucracy.
"Or you can throw that box out the window and into the dumpster."ReplyDelete
No. You can't. And that was just my point.
"No. You can't."ReplyDelete
Yes, you can. And that is my point.
And it doesn't take much imagination to do it.ReplyDelete
You guys are actually going to get into an argument over "The Magic-Man in the Clouds;" is that right?ReplyDelete
Darwinism vs Creationism or Immaculate Conception or Intelligent (kinda) Design or
Islam vs Judaeism, or Christianism
Protestant or Catholic Coffee or Tea?
Baptist, or Methodist Lutheran?
Southern, General? 7th Day Adventist? Sixth Day?
Premium? or Do you want cheese with that?
This couldn't have happened by accident, but God evidently did?
Which God did I get? Bill Gates' God? or the one that services those poor little dying Darfuri babies?
Can I switch?
Am I Really going to Hell? Or can I get out of it with a Death-bed conversion?
Maybe for our next trip we can discuss Hip-Hop, or something. I saw this really neat "Reality" Show the other night.
How about that Syesha, eh?
"I wouldn't sweat it Ms. T. I would imagine you must toe the line to get above the fold. Tear Victor's post to shreds if you are looking for fun. I mean, if "The probability that matter would come together to construct an organism randomly is, statistically, nil." then what is the probablility god did it?'
Ash, I thought you were better than this. I laid out a complete argument. Do you dispute the facts? Do you dispute the logic?
If you disagree with me then make your case.
You do have intelligence, Ash? You have the ability to process information. You are of nature. Therefore, nature has intelligence. The fact that nature is intelligent and the possible consequences of this fact is what the entire series is about. I have said that it is speculation and do not claim it to be fact. I await your comprehensive arguments to the contrary.
"God" is simply the name given for the original something. Do you agree that there was an original something?
This original something is eternal. If anyone can make a case that this is not so then please do so.
Writing and thinking about these matters is extremely hard work. I will give you a hearing but I will not be trifled with. When I see a response from you that indicates that you have carefully read my work and thought about it then you will get a respectful hearing but not before.
Neither you nor Ash have addressed the main thesis. Until I am convinced otherwise, I consider the both of you to be nothing more than collegiate spitball artists.
Viktor Silo: Neither you nor Ash have addressed the main thesis. Until I am convinced otherwise, I consider the both of you to be nothing more than collegiate spitball artists.ReplyDelete
Okay, this will be my final post to EB, mainly because management passed me over for this guy. On the way out the door I will answer VS's article in detail, exactly as I have answered the first two.
Sometimes it acts like a wave, sometimes it acts like a particle. However, the fact remains, what energy is and what makes it go are a complete mystery.
Photons of energy are localized waves. Think of a single bird chirp. It has a specific frequency, but it is also a short finite package of sound lasting about a second.
There is randomness in the behavior of matter but material movements are not entirely random. They must obey the Laws of Physics.
Randomness is built in to the Laws of Physics. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle guarantees chaos at the very smallest scale.
There will be a range of possibilities and we make a calculation of the probabilities of one outcome over another.
Yet these probabilities have a very defined shape. The probability of finding an electron in a certain orbital renders a structure to that atom that determines its chemical behavior.
Matter, coming together to form an organism by chance is beyond calculation.
Matter doesn't come together to form an organism by chance, forensically, because the organism's species emerges in an environment containing pressures (including other organisms) which select out unsuccessful genetic recipes and reward successful ones.
The probability that matter would come together to construct an organism randomly is, statistically, nil.
True, if an organism were to form in a bare room with no energy input or food. But as I indicate above, organisms form in a biosphere. This makes the probability rise from nil to nearly one.
Nonetheless, the organism does come together. The only known force to interfere with the relative frequency with which an event occurs or is likely to occur is intelligence.
On the contrary, rainfall (or the lack of rainfall) will interfere with the relative frequency with which a successful crop will occur. But no one says the weather is intelligent.
To deny the role of intelligence in any theory of evolution is, at the least, short sighted.
If you define intelligence as a unique pattern of nucleotides which code for unique proteins which allow an organism to survive in its environment, then you are correct, but evolution does not deny the role of this intelligence.
In my opinion, this vast cosmological internet is The Mind of God.
That' very pretty. One could just as well call it "Gaea" and say the Earth itself is alive.
Evolution by chance only acquires abilities "on demand"; the process of random selection has no foresight. Clearly, humans are an example of anticipatory design.
You are correct that man is capable of creating civilization, but you have not provided evidence that civilization is a goal anticipated by a creator.
Darwinism is, in my opinion, a complete waste of time. It is nearly devoid of facts in its central thesis and is unsatisfying to boot. Creationism, while not literally true, has deep insight into the nature of things.
If you have evidence which falsifies the Standard Model of descent with variation (which you call "Darwinism"), then please indicate it for the others who remain in the Elephant Bar who give a flying rat's ass. As for me, I am finished.
This one contradictory statement is just one example of why I don't feel a need to offer a comprehensive rebuttal of your thesis:
"This original something is eternal."
e·ter·nal Audio Help /ɪˈtɜrnl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[i-tur-nl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective 1. without beginning or end; lasting forever; always existing (opposed to temporal): eternal life.
o·rig·i·nal Audio Help /əˈrɪdʒənl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[uh-rij-uh-nl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective 1. belonging or pertaining to the origin or beginning of something, or to a thing at its beginning: The book still has its original binding.
The sentance is self contradictory hence meaningless.
Ash got enmeshed in pronunciation aides in his sentances, and could not extricate himself.ReplyDelete