Posts by Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Ignore Cruz And Trump — Scapegoating Muslims Is An Un-American Response To The Brussels Attacks

    03/22/2016 9:01:53 PM PDT · 70 of 79
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Steelfish

    Another BOHICA moment, i.e., another opportunity for feckless Eurocrats to wring their hands over the dangers of Islamophobia.
    So “British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow’s Train Bombing” is now joined by “Belgian Cabinet Minister Says Tomorrow’s Train Bombing Is All Our Fault”.

    So “we” have to work on it. That means you, the Flemish frequent flyer, poking your head up from the rubble at the airport concourse. And you, the Walloon strap-hanger blinking into the dust and chaos and wondering where the lower part of your left leg went. You are going to “have to work on” it, harder and harder and harder.

    Just how are they going to work on it? In Brussels, the terrorists blew up the area outside the secure zone. Which was entirely predictable.

  • "I Guess It's Food Stamps": 400,000 Jeopardized As Giant State Pension Fund Plans 50% Benefit Cuts

    02/19/2016 2:35:32 PM PST · 115 of 126
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Rusty0604

    “Someone would have to be an idiot to buy those bonds.”

    Perhaps someone like the manager of the pension fund or retirement plan that you or your family members are relying on.

  • FBI outlines reasons why six Southwest Airlines passengers were arrested and charged in Amarillo

    09/01/2015 7:31:04 PM PDT · 42 of 55
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to E. Pluribus Unum

    “Lawsuit by CAIR and multi-million dollar settlement to follow.”

    Not likely. There may be a lawsuit, but I doubt if CAIR will care. From the names and other identification, these punks are probably ethnic Chaldean Christians.

  • Susan Sarandon Wants Andrew Jackson Replaced With a Woman on the $20 Bill

    03/26/2015 7:25:00 PM PDT · 162 of 166
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to drewh

    Hetty Green
    While Green’s husband Edward pursued investments as a sort of “gentleman banker”, Hetty Green began parlaying her inheritances into her own astonishing fortune. She formulated an investment strategy to which she stuck throughout her life: conservative investments, substantial cash reserves to back up any movement, and an exceedingly cool head amidst turmoil. During her time in London, most of her investment efforts focused on greenbacks, the notes printed by the U.S. government immediately after the Civil War. When more timid investors were wary of notes put forth by the still-recovering government, Hetty Green bought at full bore, claiming to have made US$1.25 million from her bond investments in one year alone. Her earnings on that front were to fund her great subsequent rail-bond purchases.

  • This Map Shows America’s Most Armed Counties. #1 Might Surprise You.

    01/18/2015 1:58:32 PM PST · 38 of 89
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to hlmencken3

    As firearms ownership is increasingly politicized, and owners duck intrusive survey takers, measures of ownership will only become less reliable.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    “There is no definitive data source from the government or elsewhere on how many Americans own guns or how gun ownership rates have changed over time. Also, public opinion surveys provide conflicting results: Some show a decline in the number of households with guns, but another does not.”

    “The General Social Survey (GSS), conducted roughly every two years by the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, with principal funding from the National Science Foundation, provides a widely-used look at the rate of gun ownership over time. The GSS data show a substantial decline in the shares of both households and individuals with guns. When the GSS first asked about gun ownership in 1973, 49% reported having a gun or revolver in their home or garage. In 2012, 34% said they had a gun in their home or garage. When the survey first asked about personal gun ownership in 1980, 29% said a gun in their home personally belonged to them. This stands at 22% in the 2012 GSS survey.”

  • Pelosi, Dems 'fully aware' of CIA interrogation techniques, says former agency official

    12/14/2014 5:42:32 PM PST · 15 of 16
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Kaslin

    Wretchard and friends have an interesting thread on this topic.
    From his two “most liked” comments:

    A refusal to apply torture must ultimately rest on taboo. The taboo need not be a religious, but it must be founded on a belief secular or otherwise so unyielding that it amounts to the same thing. Unless such an absolute prohibition undergirds a society then resistance to its use will collapse when expediency demands it.

    A commitment not to torture has to be maintained in situations demanding the greatest sacrifice. If you are only opposed to torture when you have little or nothing to lose, then you are really like a fair-weather patriot, your commitment is worth nothing in a lurch.

    Societies without a core belief system cannot resist applying torture when their elites are threatened. Every Marxist Leninist regime in history has not only employed, but was dependent on torture. A society which has talked itself into repealing the taboo on infanticide cannot resist the temptation to apply torture for long, once the elites decide to push that narrative. If you will kill a child you will torture your enemy.

    If you press a liberal into explaining why he is opposed to torture he will ultimately be driven back on a half remembered but traditional prohibition rooted Christianity, Judaisim, or perhaps some humanistic philosophy. Something he learned in grade school to which he has a sentimental attachment. But if he reconsiders it coldly, he has no reason to maintain it.

    And they won’t. Should some terrible attack ensue; or should it threaten some sacred modern narrative like feminism or gay rights; or should it endanger celebrities or politicians; if someone put a nuke under Congress then they will say what Feinstein and Rockefeller told the CIA after 9/11. “Take care of it.” Take care of it and don’t tell me what you did.

    All that moral opposition to torture will vanish in a puff of smoke once their own hides are at stake, because come to think of it, their First Commandment is Thou shall not put any God before saving my ass.

    The impulse to resist applying torture is irrational in the way patriotism is irrational. It springs from some fundamental belief that we should die for a country we may not even like. Because we live here. Because we were born here. And I don’t torture because it says somewhere in the Good Book or some book that “don’t do it”. If you can’t feel an impulse to fight for your country, you won’t find the impulse resist the temptation to torture once the chips are down.

    A lot of the opposition to torture is superficial. It is based on guilt. But a little whiff of grapeshot gets rid of a lot of guilt. Fear does that. Yet for a civilization to survive it has to have a select number of non-negotiable taboos. Tell me, what is taboo to our great leaders? Which among them would fear to endanger their immortal soul or its secular equivalent?

    Let me say for the record what I have said before. That if I were president I would openly approve a degree of coercion, including sleep deprivation, drugs and psychological pressure. And sign it. But I would not under any circumstances, authorize torture in the Gestapo or NKVD sense. No thumbscrews, bone breaking, ice water dunking, etc. Why? Because that’s me. That’s religious conviction speaking there.

    And having disauthorized torture I would take a deep breath go to the public and say: “You folks don’t necessarily share my conviction. Please understand that people are going to die because I won’t authorize this torture, because it works sometimes. I want you to know that. To understand what this choice implies.

    “We’re giving up an advantage which is why it is morally hard. We are trading off something in the world we know in exchange for some value which may not even exist.

    “If you don’t like the tradeoff, I understand that too. If you object, I’ll resign and gladly too. I can only promise you this: if you go along I’ll make sure that if my own son were taken to be killed and I had the power to compel his kidnapper to reveal his whereabouts to me and save him, that I am prevented from making an exception. That even if he were on the phone saying, daddy, daddy, save me, that I would lift a finger against his grinning kidnapper.

    “Because I am determined that if this price should be paid then should not ask someone to make a sacrifice I will not myself undertake.”

    “Are well on board here? Are we all willing to make the pact that if our sons or daughters were facing a horrible death; and torture could reveal their locations, that we would not do it?

    “If not, then let’s sign on to torture now. Own up to it like men. Because otherwise we’re not serious. Let’s do all the necessary torture ourselves and not outsource it to Pakistan or Egypt. But if you are determined to avoid it, then be serious about it, like the Christians of old were, and take what comes, furnace or lions den. Because that was the choice and they chose the lion’s den. Take what comes or our morality isn’t worth a damn.

    “If you want to be a saint or a hero, prepare to pay the price. That’s the way it’s always been. Any politician who promises you both convenience and a good conscience is damned liar.”

  • Did the historical Jesus exist? A growing number of scholars don’t think so

  • Dissolving the Institution of Marriage: Liberals are coming out & acknowledging their true agenda.

    06/07/2014 3:15:32 PM PDT · 10 of 20
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to SeekAndFind

    An LGBT activist’s testimony:

    In 2004 Gessen was married in the U.S. to Svetlana Generalova, a Russian citizen who was also involved in the LGBT movement in Moscow. By the time Gessen returned to the U.S. from Russia in December 2013, she was married to Darya Oreshkina. Gessen is, however, opposed to the existence of marriage at all, and advocates for the fundamental change of the institution of marriage, including her three children being legally able to have five parents.

    Gessen has three children, the older two being a boy, Vova, and a girl, Yolka, both of whom are U.S. citizens. Vova was born in 1997 in Russia and was adopted by Gessen from an orphanage in Kaliningrad for the children of HIV-positive women. “At the time,” she has written, “no other Russian citizen would have adopted him, so great was the fear of AIDS, and so rare were adoptions generally.” Yolka was born to Gessen in the U.S. in 2001. A third child, a son, was born to Oreshkina in February 2012.

  • Church Members Mistreat Homeless Man in Church, Unaware It Is Their Pastor in Disguise

    12/06/2013 4:13:01 AM PST · 32 of 45
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to 21twelve

    Yes, congregations should be attentive to the whole counsel of God, which includes awareness of the perverse nature of fallen men (e.g., John 2:23-25). Having practices that filter out the grifters and frauds from access to church beneficence is not a slam on the poor any more than having security measures and audits in banks and other repositories of wealth is a display of undue suspicion of the well-to-do. People from both groups need to be accountable.

    Giving cash to beggars is easier than inviting them home or to a nearby eatery for a meal together, but is reinforcing bad behavior, not helping them. Likewise for shelling out cash to clever con artists, when it could be directed to those truly in need by doing some simple verifications of the sort you mention.

  • VA sued for harassing Christian chaplains

    11/11/2013 2:59:20 AM PST · 13 of 13
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek
  • VA sued for harassing Christian chaplains

  • Edward Snowden is a patriot

    08/12/2013 12:01:55 AM PDT · 104 of 170
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to fabian; Chgogal

    “We live in an age of terrorism, with mass murder being able to be stopped by listening into cell phone data...then that makes sense. How is that hurting any law abiding citizen? If we have a city go up in an nuclear explosion, don’t worry, we are all going to lose far far more rights! The very fact that Snowden went to our enemies speaks volumes, does it not?”

    Your government has declared that YOU are the enemy, and has been gearing up to “COIN” you for some time now. What Snowden illuminated was just one element in the construction materials for your incarceration, 21st century style:

    [from the link]:
    The so-called war on drugs was the casus belli for the militarization of the local police forces in the U.S., although it took time to effect the evolution far and wide. Near the end of the campaign in Iraq, the favorite think tank of the left, the RAND Corporation, published a report in 2009 entitled Does The United States Need A New Police Force For Stability Operations? In it, Seth Jones, et. al., conclude:

    Weighing all considerations, the researchers concluded that the best option would be a 6,000-person hybrid force headquartered in the U.S. Marshals Service. The personnel in reserve status could be employed in state and local police forces so they would be able to exercise police functions in a civilian population daily and could be called up as needed.

    The Marshals Service was deemed to have many of the requisite skills. However, its training and management capabilities would need to be expanded to take on this large mission, and it would have to recruit additional personnel as well. The annual cost, $637 million, is reasonable given the capability it buys. The cost savings in relieving military forces of these duties could be greater than required to create the SPF.

    The Military Police option was attractive for a number of reasons, especially its capacity, training, and logistical capabilities, but its inability to engage in policing activities when not deployed was a major stumbling block. The Posse Comitatus Act precludes military personnel from exercising police functions in a civilian setting, and legislative relief might be difficult to get.

    Not to be outdone or left behind, the military establishment has weighed in with papers advocating the use of U.S. troops for a similar mission on American soil. One example, causing me forever to lose any respect for Small Wars Journal, was entitled Full Spectrum Operations In The Homeland: A Vision Of The Future, and SWJ followed this up later with Political Violence Prevention: Profiling Domestic Terrorists. The former paper advocated the use of U.S. military troops for stability operations in America, while the later paper advocated the use of human terrain systems for profiling “domestic terrorists” (I discussed these papers here).

    Just to ensure that we all knew that the full force of the think tanks was behind this effort, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point published Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far Right (via Western Rifle Shooters Association). Several observations may be made at this point. First, while the seeds for military operations on American soil by police and/or U.S. troops had been planted long ago, watching war occur for a decade across our television screens caused a change in those whose predilections would point them in the direction of waring on American soil.

    This is how it is to be done, it was easy to conclude. Social science with a gun: community involvement, town meetings, law enforcement knowledge of everyone all of the time, biometrics to track people (and especially men of military age), door kicking and killing as punitive measures, all sanctioned by the authorities and fully approved. A new mission. No longer will we merely perform constabulary duties. We must rebuild our cities, bring stability, and ensure that the centralized planners work with the military leaders to guide us all. The example has been set, and we’ve watched it unfold before our eyes for ten years. It has been paraded across our television screens for years, and now we know how to do it.

    Second, in order to effect this revised mission, they must have the same tactics, same military hardware, and the same doctrine. Police involving the community sounds warm and acceptable to the uninitiated, but it has a dark underbelly. The carrot and stick approach requires that they perform as COIN troops, as forces of occupation, to enforce their will. War is, after all is said and done, the use of violence to enforce your will.

    And this history of COIN in America has indeed been violent, partly because of the paradigm which guides the mission. I know something about the mission because my son is a former Marine and conducted operations in Fallujah in 2007. He performed counter-sniper operations, cleared rooms with an M4, cleared rooms with his Squad Automatic Weapon, performed satellite patrols, and operated an M2 aboard a helicopter targeting insurgents as they crossed over the Euphrates River into Fallujah after checkpoints had locked down the city. Marine Corps 2/6 went into Fallujah hard in the summer of 2007, but there’s an interesting instance that demonstrates how SWAT teams operate in America. [ more at the link]

  • A Drunk Trying to Make the Next Lamp Post [Hey, Jim Wallis, look at Detroit]

    07/20/2013 7:52:38 PM PDT · 21 of 21
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to GeronL

    “of course Obie will bailout DET-roit”

    Perhaps, if so, he can point to the NY City 1975 precedent and several others.
    During the 1970s, New York City became over-extended and entered a period of financial crisis. In 1975 President Ford signed the New York City Seasonal Financing Act, which released $2.3 billion in loans to the city.

  • The Disappearing First Time Home Buyer

  • Crackers, please…

    06/28/2013 3:00:43 PM PDT · 105 of 113
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to NotYourAverageDhimmi

    < Who cares if Trayvon Martin called George Zimmerman a “creepy ass cracker”? White grievance-mongers, that’s who >

    Why should black grievance-mongers like Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Kanye West have a lock on the market in peddling grievances? It’s such a lucrative gig after all, and it’s time to spread the wealth around according to the current grievance-monger in chief who helped to kick of this episode and the resulting show trial, half-black BO. So, monger away, and ignore caviling members of the in-the-tank-for-BO punditocracy like Walsh. They’re just jealous that the field is not left to them in an increasingly crowded market place as their market share dwindles to the vanishing point.

  • 4 GOP hawks who support the NSA

    06/18/2013 2:10:48 AM PDT · 14 of 14
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Abakumov

    Tories, not American conservatives.

    Questioning the abuse of our government is not questioning its legitimacy, and by using the wrong word, perhaps purposefully, perhaps through ignorance, Gerson exposes his real concern. He is attempting to suggest that it is patriotic to love, trust and obey your government over your blessed country.

    Therein lies the parallel between Bush Loyalists and the Obama Administration. Big government, obese government, is legitimate and worthy of defense because both parties are seeking the ability to exert control over the people.

    The flags are too similar.

    < Because this is still the “last best hope of earth,” not a police state. Because Americans have fought and died for this country, and to turn on it in this way is noxious. It is dishonest. And it is dishonorable. >

    Finally, Gerson mentions the country, but uses the blood of patriots to scold those warning of the bill of particulars against the Crown.

    The only person dishonest and dishonorable here is Michael Gerson, self-aggrandized, impenitent Loyalist.

  • Bodies Pour In as Nigeria Hunts for Islamists

    05/08/2013 6:32:27 AM PDT · 10 of 15
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to LibWhacker

    “Accused, often on flimsy or no evidence, of being members or supporters of Boko Haram . . .”

    ‘The slime at the NYSlimes can wring their hands all they want, but this is how you fight terrorists.’

    Be careful what you applaud - - it could come back to bite you.

  • How to combat flak from Christians for teaching biblical sexual ethics

    04/10/2013 2:27:28 AM PDT · 6 of 7
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Linda Frances; Fester Chugabrew; Morgana

    Homosexual perversion is to heterosexual perversion as gnats are to camels. I strain the gnats out my food too, but it’s the mountains of camel dung that present the more serious challenge.

  • Gun-control advocates say Obama is too late

    01/18/2013 5:25:24 AM PST · 5 of 15
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Scooter100

    I don’t know about your numbers, but BO and the devoted gun grabber set have certainly sold a lot more weapons in recent weeks than any weapons marketer’s paid-for ad campaign could have accomplished in several years. If only they could collect a regular commission on their sales they would be as loaded as a Mega Millions lottery winner.

    I think it’s a mistake, though, to tag the gun-grabbers as solely “leftist/liberal”. I have plenty of liberal acquaintances who are also staunch NRA members based on both their valuing the freedom to defend themselves, and opposition to disarming the general public. The real divide is between those who trust their neighbors more than they trust state institutions, and those who are devoted to centralization and expansion of state power as long as they can claim their share of the loot such power concentrations accumulate for the adherents to whatever faction is currently in control of the levers of power.

    Likewise, it’s a mistake to think about BO in terms of his real or alleged affiliations, i.e., “Muslim” or “Liberal” or “Marxist/Communist”. BO is an indifferently educated (despite his Ivy League credentials) narcissist, whose basic allegiance is to BO. As these disappointed civilian disarmament zealots are noting, he does not share their zealotry for this (or most any) issue. He does have an enthusiasm for golf and posh vacation expeditions however, which he can indulge from his perch on the Imperial Presidency roost our polity has been erecting for nearly a century now. I wonder if he will bring back the Nixon “Palace Guards” uniforms for the Secret Service cadre assigned to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave? Even if only to ‘twist the knife’ in his political adversaries, which is another hobby he seems to enjoy.

  • Can a $1 Trillion Coin End Debt Ceiling Crisis?

    01/05/2013 2:54:26 PM PST · 44 of 44
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Red in Blue PA

    Quite possibly they are serious... and if so it highlights a peculiarly Inner Beltway delusion: that the “Debt Ceiling” is something that can be fixed by law or regulation. The reason for a ‘legal’ debt ceiling is to avoid the debt ceiling that really counts: the one imposed by bond and currency markets. When the ‘legal’ debt ceiling loses credibility through stunts like this proposal, the US dollar and US debt denominated in dollars will be discounted just like the debt of fiscally incontinent European states like Greece, Portugal, Italy, and Spain.

    A review of 20th century examples:

  • Gun Restrictions Have Always Bred Defiance, Black Markets

    12/25/2012 3:17:26 PM PST · 10 of 25
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Wolfie

    “Better to ask what a handgun can do against a drone.”

    If you have “boots on the ground”, you’re vulnerable - drones or no drones. And if you don’t have boots on the ground, drones will not give you control of the ground.

  • Christianity 'Close to Extinction' in Middle East

    12/25/2012 12:28:20 PM PST · 12 of 20
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to marshmallow

    Like the exodus of Christians when the Roman legions arrived to suppress rebellion in Judea and destroy Jerusalem, the departure of Christians from the Middle East, forced or voluntary, could be a kind of Isaiah 57:1-2 blessing, as the various factions of the Islamic ummah square off for their 21st century version of the slaughter motivated by odium theologicum (for devotees of the Marxist “religion of history”, think “Stalinsts vs Trotskyites” vs “Nazis”). With various WMD, chemical, biological, and nuclear, it probably won’t persist as long, but woe to those who are caught in the middle.

    LIFE AMONG THE BARBARIANS: “Timbuktu was a centre of Islamic learning from the 13th to the 17th centuries. It is a UN World Heritage site with centuries-old shrines to Islamic saints that are revered by Sufi Muslims. The Salafists of Ansar Dine condemn the veneration of saints. . . . The news that further monuments were being destroyed came one day after Islamists were reported to have cut the hands off two people.”

    MEANWHILE IN SYRIA - - the 21st century Middle East version of the 17th century European “30 Years War” cranks up with various Sunni states backing one set of factions (Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists), and Shia Iran and Iraq propping up the Assad regime’s forces.

    Nevertheless - - -

    “HAVE NO FEAR” - “2012 has been a spectacular year in terms of net global prosperity, accompanied by less hunger, less disease, and less war than ever before. . . . And hey, what about energy scarcity? Pfffft. Thanks to improved efficiencies and new technologies (a.k.a. hydraulic fracturing!), both our total fossil-fuel usage and carbon emissions are on the way down. What’s more, the sane thinking involving the threat of climate change is looking a lot less catastrophic than we have always been led to believe.”

  • New York newspaper faces backlash after publishing map of gun permit holders

    12/25/2012 11:02:35 AM PST · 49 of 94
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Nachum

    Here is a safe prediction - this move has shifted the odds towards greater rates of illegal ownership.
    Basis of this forecast: Gun Restrictions Have Always Bred Defiance, Black Markets - J.D. Tuccille
    and this study referenced in the above posting:

    The odds will shift even further in the wake of Governor Cuomo’s recent comments as otherwise law-abiding residents are reminded of previous use of registration records to confiscate the registered weapons in NY and CA:

    “Maybe gun owners are getting more ornery as time goes on. Or perhaps they’re just getting more distrustful of the authorities. In fact, American gun owners may have good reason to be skeptical of common assurances that registration records won’t ever be used for anything more than tracking lost and stolen weapons. In New York City, the center of agitation for tighter U.S. gun laws, the registration system for long guns such as rifles and shotguns, established in 1967, was used in the 1990s to confiscate previously lawful semiautomatic rifles.”

    “California state officials pulled a similar stunt, though with a shorter grace period. After the registration of so-called “assault weapons” subsequent to the passage of the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989, Attorney General Dan Lungren reversed official position in 1997 to declare one of the rifles considered legal and subject to registration just a few years earlier—the SKS Sporter—to be illegal. Owners who had complied with the law were forced to surrender their weapons or transfer them out of state.”

  • How About Banning Bullets? The Constitution Doesn't Say Anything About Those...

    12/25/2012 10:31:47 AM PST · 79 of 82
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to blam

    Why we should give crooked former securities analyst Henry Blodget the time of day, no less ventilate over his silly contribution to the people-control narrative is beyond me.

    More interesting and encouraging are testimonies like this:

    Gun Restrictions Have Always Bred Defiance, Black Markets - J.D. Tuccille|Dec. 22, 2012 1:00 pm

    and this study referenced in Tuccille’s piece:

  • Middle Class Net Worth Collapses to 1969 Levels

    12/03/2012 5:05:03 PM PST · 33 of 50
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to F15Eagle; warchild9
  • Middle Class Net Worth Collapses to 1969 Levels

    12/03/2012 5:00:55 PM PST · 31 of 50
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to warchild9

    I recently moved on (”Forward!”) from 30+ years in finance, last 23 of which was in a line whose customers are lenders of and investors in real-estate-backed loans. There were some who gave you that “need a bath”/”hold-on-to-your-wallet” sensation to be sure, but many others who were in it for the long haul and truly appalled at what the banksters pulled off in the decade leading up to the latest housing bust.

    Bill Black, an expert in sniffing out and prosecuting loan fraud, has their number: - - -

  • Middle Class Net Worth Collapses to 1969 Levels

    12/03/2012 4:21:11 PM PST · 25 of 50
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to ksen; warchild9; 21twelve

    “Half our country is living off the other half.

    Actually, 1% of our country is living off the other 99%.
    12 posted on Monday, December 03, 2012 4:51:48 PM by ksen”

    “Yes, I was being sarcastic in that post. It disturbs me that barring direct stories like this a large swath of FReepers do argue the way I just did but unironically.

    Example #1: The whole takers/makers meme.”

    Are you being sarcastic about the “1% vs the other 99%” too? Because that’s equally ludicrous. It’s true that a certain part of “the 1%” belongs in the “taker” category, but they make their way in the world by cultivating an ever larger audience of less ambitious “takers” who will settle for voting as instructed in return for crumbs from the tables of the “well-connected”. One wing of these ‘crony capitalists’ got together recently to compare notes and plan the next cycle of looting:

  • Middle Class Net Worth Collapses to 1969 Levels

    12/03/2012 3:27:37 PM PST · 22 of 50
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to ksen; 21twelve

    “Obviously that guy worked a lot harder than you, your kids and your grandkids. Only a red-card carrying communist would think otherwise.

    Stop being a taker 21twelve!!!”

    Hopefully ksen is being ironic rather than serious. The assumption that an executive of a failed TARP bailed-out bank “worked harder than” 21twelve and therefore earned his loot is unwarranted. A financial system which gives privileged TBTF institutions get-out-of-bankruptcy-free cards when their reckless managers bet the farm and lose is ALREADY “red”. This “when our bet pays off, the profits are ours; when our bet turns up snake-eyes we socialize the loss to the peons” system is communism for the well-connected. Such robbery by the TBTF bankster nomenklatura is called “hardly working”, not “working harder”, and is as reprehensible as any Red Soviet commissar’s racket.

  • ACLU-NJ Launches Smartphone App That Lets Users Secretly Record Police Stops

    07/04/2012 3:39:26 PM PDT · 21 of 25
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Kid Shelleen

    “Will the ACLU be liable if some pervert uses the App for nefarious activities?”

    “Will gun manufacturers be liable if some criminal uses their product for nefarious activities?”

    The answer to both questions should be the same. I vote for “no”.

  • Angry Turk's Message for Europe: "We are Coming"

    03/17/2012 6:43:45 PM PDT · 34 of 42
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to bayouranger

    Indigenous Europeans are losing the battle of the bedroom - having fewer children than needed for replacement of population, while the immigrant population has a greater-than-replacement birthrate. The takeover need not be violent; just let exponential growth and decay functions operate for a few decades, and the game is over.

    Likewise in the US - decades of high abortion rates and low birth rates for the indigenous population, combined with both immigration and high birth rates among immigrants, translates into replacement of indigenous with immigrant residents.

  • Nation of Islam Newspaper Attacks ‘Minion of the Synagogue of Satan’ Glenn Beck for Farrakhan

    03/11/2012 1:52:37 PM PDT · 15 of 16
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Nachum

    This dude has a history worth noting:

    Farrakhan Admission On Malcolm X

    Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan admits in a 60 Minutes interview broadcast Sunday and reported on Wednesday’s CBS Evening News that his incendiary rhetoric played a role in the 1965 assassination of civil rights leader Malcolm X.

    Farrakhan makes the statements to Malcolm X’s daughter, Atallah Shabazz, and 60 Minutes Correspondent Mike Wallace.

    “I may have been complicit in words that I spoke leading up to February 21 [1965],” Farrakhan tells Shabazz and Wallace. “I acknowledge that and regret that any word that I have said caused the loss of life of a human being.”

    Shabazz later issued a statement thanking Farrakhan for acknowledging his role and said: “I wish him peace.” However, she did not forgive him.

    Malcolm X was only 39 years old when he was killed. This month, he would have been 75.

    The former Malcolm Little was Farrakhan’s mentor in the Nation of Islam—for a time, they both believed that the white man was evil and that the black and white races should live separately.

    In 1964, Malcolm X revealed publicly that Elijah Mohammed, the leader of the Nation of Islam, was guilty of impregnating several of his teenage secretaries, in direct violation of his own preachings against sex outside of marriage.

    Farrakhan was outraged. He called Malcolm X a traitor and wrote, two months before the killing, that “such a man is worthy of death.”

    Three men with ties to the Nation of Islam were convicted in the slaying in the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem on Feb. 21, 1965.

    Shabazz, then 6, witnessed the shooting, as did Malcom X’s wife and other children.

    Farrakhan has denied ordering the assassination but later admitted to having “helped create the atmosphere” that led to it.

    A Nation, Divided
    the Nation of Islam

    1930…Temple of Islam founded in Detroit by W. D. Fard.

    1934…Elijah Muhammad takes control of 8,000-member group. Membership expands rapidly in the 1950s and 60s.

    1952…Malcolm X (Malcolm Little) becomes Muslim minister after release from prison.

    1963…Malcolm X suspended from Nation of Islam for comments on JFK assassination.

    1964…Malcom X breaks from Muhammad.

    1965…Malcolm X assassinated.

    1975…Elijah Muhammad dies. His son, W. Deen Muhammad, assumes leadership.

    1978…Dissident group headed by Louis Frrakhan, opposed to Muhammad’s integrationist leanings, breaks off and calls itself the Nation of Islam.

    1983…Farrakhan assists briefly in Rev. Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign.

    1995… Qubilah Shabazz accused of plotting to murder Farrakhan. Farrakhan organizes Million Man March.

    2000…Farrakhan and W. Deen Muhammad reconcile.

    (Source: Information Please, Encyclopedia Britannica)
    He was still speaking negatively about Malcolm X seven years ago.

  • Ann Coulter: Tea Party are hypocrites if they vote for Newt (Watch Video)

    02/05/2012 2:59:33 PM PST · 30 of 142
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to SeekAndFind

    It’s fascinating to see the billingsgate poured on Coulter because she won’t genuflect before Newt the chameleon. Meanwhile, Romney gets tagged as a closet Tea Party plant:

    The politics of our declining welfare/warfare state continues its downward spiral towards a crisis of legitimacy. It’s as though the passengers of the Titanic were being exhorted to elect a new captain after the collision with the iceberg, and the leading candidates being touted to replace the incompetent incumbent were the captain of the Exxon Valdez and the captain of the Costa Concordia. What a choice! Better alternative: edge toward the life boats and make sure your flotation gear is in place and in good working order.

  • Church-Burning Video Used to Promote Atheist Event at Ft. Bragg

    01/28/2012 8:35:08 AM PST · 18 of 18
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Dallas59

    “I dare them to show a burning mosque. Atheists are terrified of Islam.”

    The video actually does have a brief scene showing a Muslim crowd at one of the five-times-daily prayer sessions required of members of the Ummah, sandwiched in between clips of Nazi war newsreels showing bombings of cities and German troops in urban fighting around churches.. The synagogue burnings are probably from Nazi newsreels as well, perhaps associated with Kristallnacht . I’m not sure, but at least some of those church burnings look familiar, perhaps from newsreels of the period where Southern black churches were being bombed and torched by segregationist thugs determined to maintain white supremacy. If atheists want to be identified with such events, they have little to complain about when they try to blame religion for all the evil in the world, as if there isn’t plenty of blood on atheists’ hands as well. Mein Kampf is a monument to the influence of social Darwinism, and its author reportedly was outraged at the end, as the ‘1000 year Reich’ came crashing down around his ears at his own people for failing to live up to his ‘master-race’ rhetoric.

    Of course scoundrels seeking to whip up mob sentiment or war fever will appeal to whatever ideas are known to deeply influence their audiences, whether religious, patriotic, or fervor for class war (as was used so effectively in the Soviet Union and the PRC during the Cold War). This pattern is noted in several places in the Bible, from Paul’s indictment in chapter 1 of his letter to the Romans, explaining the reasons for the wrath of God against those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, to the parable of the wheat and the tares (in which the difficulty of separating out the faithful from the hypocrites is underlined).

    Anyone who came through the 20th century with an intact commitment to the bogus Enlightenment vision of a basically good humanity which would reveal its goodness once freed from the shackles of religious superstition had to be wearing the darkest of blinders to miss the global refutation of that vision in a three round world war which appears to have entered a fourth round as the 21st century opens.

  • Ann Coulter: RE-ELECT OBAMA: VOTE NEWT! (Vote Mitt, Obama wins-Ann Coulter 2-12-11)

    01/25/2012 10:38:47 PM PST · 150 of 174
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Syncro

    Running Gingrich against Obama would be like campaigning to replace the captain of the Titanic with the captain of the Exxon Valdez or the captain of the Costa Concordia. Coulter is simply spotlighting the many ways that Gingrich is unfit to be at the helm of the ship of state in a time when, if it hasn’t already hit the iceberg, it’s headed straight for it.

    Compared to Bret Stephens, of course, she’s a cockeyed optimist:
    JANUARY 24, 2012
    The GOP Deserves to Lose
    That’s what happens when you run with losers.

    I’ve learned a lot from reading her columns and books over the years, despite the toxic rhetoric and her ‘take no prisoners’ debating style. Arguably, she is simply mirroring her adversaries’ toxic talk, even as they are so lamely and hypocritically “shocked, shocked” that a conservative has the nerve to call them out with rhetorical moves as outrageous as theirs.

    Newt a conservative? Read all of Coulter’s columns on the Newt again: Gingrich is all over the field, but can usually be found wherever the density of available money to rent political insiders is highest, or the hottest available woman may be found.

    Gingrich would be an empty suit, a hollow man, if he weren’t so full of himself (he truly resembles Obama in that way, though without a Michelle to trim his sails with the help of her own gargantuan ego and sense of entitlement). Another poster stated that he (she?) is praying for Newt. That is admirable and appropriate. It is also appropriate to pray for a better fate than Obama or Gingrich in the White House in 2013, although if the ship of state has already hit the iceberg (a real possibility given the fiscal wreck immediately ahead on the current course), it won’t really matter all that much.

    Perhaps it’s better to invest less effort in handicapping the next captain of USS Titanic, and give closer attention to checking out one’s flotation gear and drifting closer the life boats.
    (Don’t miss the reader feedback comments on this one; they’re illuminating and some are quite funny.)

  • Santorum: Obama wants Americans to go to college to become indoctrinated

    01/25/2012 9:26:10 PM PST · 19 of 20
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Sub-Driver

    Nearly every mention of Eisenhower’s 1961 farewell address refers to his “military-industrial complex” comments, but very few if any notice his comments a few sentences later in the same address:

    “Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

    A typical heading for the speech:
    “Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961”

    Maybe it’s time to give equal attention to these comments, as the Higher Education Bubble blows students (many of whom never get a degree) into over a trillion dollars of debt which cannot be erased even through bankruptcy?

  • U.S. Warns Israel on Strike

    01/14/2012 3:19:19 PM PST · 22 of 27
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to MaxMax

    “They will use that nuke to threaten and intimidate every country in the world by doing whatever they want.”

    The Iranian proponents of the nuke may think that, but if so they are in for a rude awakening (for details, see van Creveld’s analysis of nuclear proliferation). Despite the apocalyptic views of some factions in the Iranian mullah-ocracy, I suspect that the dominant factions have a much more realistic view of what they might accomplish by developing their nuke, starting with careful consideration of what happened to Libya’s Quaddafi after he renounced his WMD development efforts. They, like the North Koreans, will draw the obvious conclusion:
    The World Can Live With a Nuclear Iran
    By Martin van Creveld

    Though the possibility of nuclear confrontation between superpowers has greatly diminished since the end of the Cold War, the possession of nuclear weapons by states whose conflicts are unresolved could turn out to be equally threatening, notes Van Creveld ( The Transformation of War ). He here considers the likelihood of conflict between North and South Korea, China and Taiwan, China and India, India and Pakistan, Israel and the Arab states, as well as the nuclear status of other countries currently developing the scientific, technological and industrial infrastructure that would enable them to build weapons of mass destruction. Van Creveld begins this academic study by describing the basic characteristics of large-scale warfare as it evolved before the introduction of nuclear weapons and the effect of the latter on both the countries that possess them and on those countries threatened by them. Finally, he assesses the impact of nuclear proliferation on the future of war itself, including the configuration of the armies that would be prepared to wage it. For specialists.

  • U.S. Navy won't tolerate 'disruption' through Strait of Hormuz

    12/28/2011 11:42:08 AM PST · 47 of 116
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to ColdOne

    An interesting tagline to a recent HotAir posting:

    And Iran itself — which has enjoyed record oil profits over the past five years but is faced with a dwindling number of oil customers — relies on the Hormuz Strait as the departure gate for its biggest client: China.

    “We would be committing economical suicide by closing off the Hormuz Strait,” said an Iranian Oil Ministry official who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. “Oil money is our only income, so we would be spectacularly shooting ourselves in the foot by doing that.”

    Ahmad Bakhshayesh Ardestani, a political scientist running for parliament from the camp of hard-line clerics and commanders opposing Ahmadinejad, said it is “good politics” for Iran to respond to U.S. threats with threats of its own.

    “But our threat will not be realized,” Ardestani said. “We are just responding to the U.S., nothing more.”

    Besides, the UAE — whose exports would be most impacted by an Iranian blockade of the strait — will shortly complete a pipeline that bypasses Hormuz altogether. They can pump 2.5 million barrels a day through the pipeline, which would more than negate Iranian action.

  • U.S. Navy won't tolerate 'disruption' through Strait of Hormuz

    12/28/2011 11:19:54 AM PST · 40 of 116
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Georgia Girl 2

    “It would be like shooting fish in a barrel.”

    The Iranians don’t have to win a naval duel. They just have to block the passage, a task which could be made easier by provoking the US Navy to sink a lot of vessels in the strait. For a nation that used child-wave attacks against Saddam’s military in their Mesopotamian replay of WWI trench warfare, sacrificing their limited naval assets to block the strait would not be unthinkable.

    If the net effect is to block the passage of oil tankers through the strait, whether by sunk vessels which have to be removed, or laying down mine fields which produce sunk vessels which have to be removed, or land-to-sea missile attacks which sink vessels that have to be removed, then ‘mission accomplished’ from the Iranian perspective.

    Oil is fungible and both supply and demand are closely balanced and inelastic in the short run, so that spiking prices in Europe, where much of the Iranian oil currently ships, would translate immediately to spiking prices globally. The Iranian economy would be wacked too because of their low refining capacity, but if sanctions are already crippling their economy, they have less to lose than Europe and the rest of the developed world.

  • U.S. Navy won't tolerate 'disruption' through Strait of Hormuz

    12/28/2011 10:40:04 AM PST · 34 of 116
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to GonzoGOP

    An illuminating series of reports (too bad the shoe maker didn’t pay close enough attention to the quality of his own shoes - STRATFOR got badly hacked over the past weekend, and is still ‘down for maintenance’):

  • Ron Paul: A Cautionary Tale

    12/28/2011 9:28:16 AM PST · 36 of 37
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to runninglips

    “How could the armistice after WW I have been any more unstable?”

    The more interesting question is, “How could the end of the Great War have resulted in a more stable outcome if the US had stayed out?”

    With a stalemate rather than the rout enabled by US intervention, the British Empire and the French would not have been in a position to carve up the Middle East and impose a punitive reparations regime on a prostrate German state and collapsing Austro-Hungarian empire, a settlement whose dire effects JM Keyenes accurately assessed in 1919.

  • Ron Paul in 2009: “I Wouldn’t Have Risked American Lives” To End The Holocaust

    12/27/2011 10:48:48 AM PST · 69 of 178
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Lib-Lickers 2

    “but that’s really a moot point because this is about Ron Paul and the genocidal misery that will happen around the world if he has his way”

    “Will happen”, as though it hasn’t been happening quite regularly and independently of who occupies the oval office. This is a very bizarre perspective on what has been and what will be happening in the world, Paul or no Paul. Well, enjoy your virtual world. The rest of us will just have to plod along in the real world without you.

  • Ron Paul in 2009: “I Wouldn’t Have Risked American Lives” To End The Holocaust

    12/27/2011 10:43:42 AM PST · 68 of 178
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Ex-expromissor

    [ Psssst.... Nobody around here wants actual “facts” or a “logical” debate in response to the Anti-Paul flame throwers who dominate this forum. Now you HUSH and sit yer azz down... drink the G.O.P. Kool Aid... and go vote for Newt or Mitt... or whomever you are told to vote for by the machine. *-) ]

    Both corps of “the machine” inhabiting the Beltway have recently joined to codify the means for future presidents and the present occupant of the office to select you or me for “indefinite detention” at his discretion, not subject to judicial review. So screw the machine in all its manifestations.

    In truth, none of the candidates on offer are very attractive, including Paul, but for all the craziness attributed to him he is the least insane and certainly the least erratic of the bunch. Perhaps our polity is so far gone that the candidate selection process inevitably filters out all sane individuals early on. This election may be like voting for the next captain of the Titanic after it struck the iceberg. It might be better to focus on access to the lifeboats and donning flotation gear. As in Acts 27, sometimes the ship goes down but the passengers and crew manage to make it through. Now there’s a cheerful thought for the new year!

  • Ron Paul in 2009: “I Wouldn’t Have Risked American Lives” To End The Holocaust

    12/27/2011 10:20:21 AM PST · 58 of 178
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Bloody Sam Roberts

    [ The only intelligent answer to the question would have been, “I’m sorry. I deal in reality. Next question.” ]

    On the contrary, it was a quite reasonable hypothetical, a standard “gotcha’ that every candidate must expect to field from time to time, and Paul’s answer could have contained greater detail, but it covered the essential point: US presidents do not have the constitutional authority to deploy troops into combat without reference to a pressing national interest, whether the appeal is being made for Jews, Armenians, Tutsis, Kosovites, Libyans, or North Koreans. Our current and recent presidents have not always recognized that limit on their authority, at least not on a consistent basis. Vote for more of that if you like. Some of us prefer a candidate who will respect the limits of his authority.

  • Ron Paul in 2009: “I Wouldn’t Have Risked American Lives” To End The Holocaust

    12/27/2011 10:09:57 AM PST · 52 of 178
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Lib-Lickers 2

    “nobody knew there was a true Holocaust that had been occuring until the allies started liberating the death camps..”

    They knew earlier than that:

  • Ron Paul in 2009: “I Wouldn’t Have Risked American Lives” To End The Holocaust

    12/27/2011 9:59:21 AM PST · 36 of 178
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Nachum

    “No, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t risk American lives to do that. If someone wants to do that on their own because they want to do that, well, that’s fine, but I wouldn’t do that.”

    In other words, Paul would have made the same decision as the actual president at the time, FDR, made, e.g., ashcanning the proposed air attacks on the Auschwitz facilities,

    and the same decision that each of the allied powers made at the time the Ottomans were slaughtering the Armenians in round I of the 20th Century world wars,

    and the same decision that the Clinton administration made with respect to the massacres in Rwanda.

    And so your point is . . . what? That US presidents are bound to put US troops at risk to satisfy your sense of moral outrage at the behavior of the Nazis, or some other band of murderous thugs? Are you volunteering for a mission to root out the North Korean oppressors who are starving their population today? Or to suppress the various slaughters underway in Africa and the disintegrating Middle Eastern states? If you are divinely called to mount such a mission, more power to you. A US president doesn’t have such a mandate. Several have ignored that limitation on their authority, but Ron Paul seems unlikely to follow suit.

  • Ron Paul: A Cautionary Tale

    12/27/2011 9:30:55 AM PST · 14 of 37
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to steve8714

    “Except for the gold standard, Paul is William Jennings Bryan.”

    That is a fairly large exception. Moreover, viewing the consequences of Wilson plunging the USA into the European Great War (immediately after winning a second term on the slogan “He Kept Us Out of War”), and preventing a stalemate that would have forced the European powers to a less unstable settlement than the Versailles Treaty, WJ Bryan’s refusal to remain as Wilson’s SecState is not obviously mistaken.

    Far from “making the world safe for democracy”, Wilson and his vigilante supporters suppressed democratic dissent at home and contributed to the making of a “peace to end all peace” that led to a century populated with totalitarian states that took most of the century to reduce.

    At least Wilson did get a declaration of war on carefully specified enemies from Congress before proceeding, however, unlike the wars commenced in recent years, which have blurred into a ‘perpetual war’ with enemies that now include, by vote of a large bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress, US citizens on US soil with the definition of ‘enemy’ left to the discretion of the commander in chief.

    There is a difference between “isolationism” and “anti-interventionism” which critics of Paul seem incapable of grasping. Perhaps they don’t want to understand it. Another year or two of the consequences of break-the-bank interventionism may help to illuminate the difference.

    Financial Arbitrage Capitalism After 10 Years

  • Ron Paul: A Cautionary Tale

    12/27/2011 8:55:11 AM PST · 12 of 37
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to KevinDavis

    With a military establishment equipped and funded to higher levels than the next dozen powers or so in the world, the US is far from becoming militarily weak, except if we manage to go bankrupt from profligate use of it for minimal national benefit.

    Odd - on the issue of alarm over Iranian nukes, for example, Peres and van Creveld, and a fomer USCC commander sound a lot like Ron Paul, and for that matter, so does the current Israeli PM Netanyahu;

    Of course, they could be wrong... (and many of the reader feedback comments to the Peres article say as much, in emphatic language). But the Iranian threat to the Gulf of Hormuz still seems to be a much more credible “nuclear option” in the event of a military operation against Iran than their precarious and oft-delayed nuclear weapons (and delivery systems) development project. Perhaps the fate of Libya’s former dictator (having apparently abandoned his nuclear ambitions and been rewarded with a US/NATO-backed insurrection that took him and his ruling faction out, to be replaced by a coalition of Sunni Islamic radicals) has heightened the Iranian mullah-state’s ardor for getting their own nuke - - but maybe the rest of us can put this lower on the ranking of ‘serious threats’? As the reviews of his book on nuclear proliferation note, van Creveld doesn’t let us off the hook on the possibility of nuke-based attacks from ‘somewhere’, but his case there has more to do with the erosion of the control mechanisms of developed states, as described in his “Rise and Decline of the State” : than the peculiarities of the apocalyptic outlooks of certain factions in the fractious and unstable Iranian polity.

    ‘Speculation of Israel’s nuclear arms deters Iran’
    12/27/2011 10:54
    President Peres says that mystery, rumors surrounding Dimona nuclear facility serve as a powerful deterrent.

    The World Can Live With a Nuclear Iran
    Opinion By Martin van Creveld
    Published September 24, 2007, issue of September 28, 2007.

    Since 1945 hardly one year has gone by in which some voices — mainly American ones concerned about preserving Washington’s monopoly over nuclear weapons to the greatest extent possible — did not decry the terrible consequences that would follow if additional countries went nuclear. So far, not one of those warnings has come true. To the contrary: in every place where nuclear weapons were introduced, large-scale wars between their owners have disappeared.

    General John Abizaid, the former commander of United States Central Command, is only the latest in a long list of experts to argue that the world can live with a nuclear Iran. Their views deserve to be carefully considered, lest Ahmadinejad’s fear-driven posturing cause anybody to do something stupid.

    Nuclear Proliferation and the Future of Conflict [Hardcover]
    Martin Van Creveld (Author)

    From Publishers Weekly
    Though the possibility of nuclear confrontation between superpowers has greatly diminished since the end of the Cold War, the possession of nuclear weapons by states whose conflicts are unresolved could turn out to be equally threatening, notes Van Creveld ( The Transformation of War ). He here considers the likelihood of conflict between North and South Korea, China and Taiwan, China and India, India and Pakistan, Israel and the Arab states, as well as the nuclear status of other countries currently developing the scientific, technological and industrial infrastructure that would enable them to build weapons of mass destruction. Van Creveld begins this academic study by describing the basic characteristics of large-scale warfare as it evolved before the introduction of nuclear weapons and the effect of the latter on both the countries that possess them and on those countries threatened by them. Finally, he assesses the impact of nuclear proliferation on the future of war itself, including the configuration of the armies that would be prepared to wage it. For specialists.

    From Kirkus Reviews
    A somewhat reassuring audit of the residual threat posed by nuclear weapons, from a military analyst whose previous predictions have proved chillingly prescient. With defense budgets in both the US and the erstwhile USSR in full retreat, van Creveld (History/Hebrew University, Jersusalem; The Transformation of War, 1991, etc.) focuses on the state of the atomic-arms art in a clutch of less-developed countries—China, India, Iraq, Israel, Pakistan, etc. Among other matters, his informed survey considers the impact of strategic circumstances on national nuclear policies, and provides estimates of each country’s atomic inventories. For various reasons, van Creveld concludes that the use of A-bombs or their tactical equivalents by Third World nations is effectively foreclosed. In the case of Pakistan, for instance, the author contends that the development of a nuclear arsenal has made its rulers ``simultaneously more confident of themselves and less adventurous.’’ Which is not to say that van Creveld believes the West to be home free. Indeed, he reiterates previous warnings as to the faltering capacity of even modern industrial powers to monopolize violence, let alone combat or contain terrorism, grass-roots insurgencies, and allied belligerencies. For the time being, however, van Creveld doesn’t see any danger of nuclear holocaust at the hands of the less- developed nations. A perceptive study that affords a measure of cold comfort on the score of deterrence.

  • The Real Prison Industry

    11/25/2011 12:19:11 PM PST · 17 of 35
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to DIRTYSECRET; Jonty30

    “I know a lotta guys that would volunteer to administer spankings-and then turn around and swap places.”

    Reminds me of the old joke:

    Masochist: “Beat me! Whip me now!”
    Sadist: “No, I won’t!”


    09/23/2011 9:14:58 PM PDT · 23 of 24
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to BfloGuy; JimSEA

    ‘I know there are a lot of “gold bugs” on FR but I can’t get beyond the fact that it really has little intrinsic value.’

    No commodity has “intrinsic value”. The characteristics of any commodity determine the subjective value assigned to it by buyers according to their current and prospective future needs. BfloGuy’s list of the characteristics of gold provides a good set of reasons for choosing gold over fiat currency units if the need is to preserve a portion of one’s wealth through a period of severe financial distress and potential communal turbulence, where the authorities who control fiat currency issue are creating new units at a rapid pace.

    If I am thirsty and water is in very short supply, a jug of drinkable water will have very high subjective value to me. I might even exchange its weight in gold or diamonds if I had them and were thirsty enough and could not foresee any other means of getting access. If I am not thirsty, and can foresee access to ample supplies of drinkable water, a jug of water may have negative value to me, if I am already weighted down with other things. Similarly with foods of various types. They will have zero to high value to me depending on how well fed I currently am, and the prospects for future access. Again, neither these or any other commodity has “intrinsic value” apart from buyer’s present and future needs.

  • Insult Obama? Not on this campus!

    09/23/2011 3:38:15 PM PDT · 36 of 50
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Dr. Bogus Pachysandra; Ed Condon; TexasPatriot1

    The consistently bad reviews over eight years is more an indictment of the school’s governance than this particular clearly wretched faculty member. If he behaved like this during his probationary period, he should have been fired. If not, and he ‘slipped by’ until he had tenure, he has clearly ‘retired on the job’.

    Not just this professor, but any school that collects tuition and harbors faculty like this should be avoided. Some good advice on optimizing the funds expended on acquiring a credential used to be posted for free, now it has apparently gotten enough traction that the author took down the site and sells the material as a “manual” : .