Posts by Dr. Frank fan

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  • Obama angers hedge funds

    05/02/2009 5:57:29 AM PDT · 25 of 40
    Dr. Frank fan to libstripper

    As a general rule these hedge fundie geniuses donated to Obama and voted for him big time. For them to turn around and act all surprised and hurt at his actual policies is quite hilarious. Are all their other predictions equally good?

  • Vladimir V. Putin: Neo-Con

    08/26/2008 3:49:49 AM PDT · 41 of 42
    Dr. Frank fan to Bokababe
    The permanent battery of Patriot Missiles that Poland demanded as part of the deal to put that missile defense system there and the American troops at the missile station 115 miles from the Russian border is just "Russian insanity-level paranoia"?

    Patriot missiles are surface-to-air missiles. They intercept targets in the air. (Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept Of Target). Pray tell, how could these be used offensively against Russia?

    If Russia doesn't ATTACK POLAND?

    Please square that circle. PLEASE. I'm all ears.

    Does Russia have a God-given right to attack Poland? That's what she seems to think. Is that what you think?

    If not then HOW IN THE HELL does a Patriot missile, which intercepts AIR TARGETS, represent a "threat to Russia"?

    This is the kind of illogical propagandistic nonsense I have to listen to from bloviated Russian politicians. Do you have to parrot it?

    we have now personally guaranteed that the US wiill come to Poland's defense if Russia (or anyone) attacks them

    Again: how is this a "threat to Russia" IF RUSSIA DOESN'T ATTACK POLAND?

    Why does Russia want to attack Poland? Why does Russia need to attack Poland? Is it Russia's manifest destiny to attack Poland?

    Since when is Poland "part of the USA"?. Did I miss the debut of the 51st State? Poland?

    Presumably you are unfamiliar with the concept of "allies".

    Largest friggin nuclear arsenal in the world, a million soldiers on active duty, exports 30% of the worlds armaments, and we just need "to deal with them", like Russia is some piss ant Balkan backwater nobody.

    Actually, Russia is a backwater. "Mexico with nukes" as the saying goes. (Again: Have you been there?)

    That nuclear arsenal - how up-to-date is it?

    Those "million soldiers on active duty" - you realize these are primarily unmotivated draftees from villages who could not bribe or college their way out, right?

    Actually, Russia told us loud and clear that we were breaking all the rules of international law when we unilaterally decided to push for Kosovo independence and we ignored them. They flat-out told us that we were destroying the international order in unilaterally recognizing Kosovo, and we ignored them.

    Why does Russia care whether or not this piece of some other country got recognized? Oh, right: they own the countries around them. Right?

    They told us that eventually this could force their hand with S. Ossetia and Abkhazia, and we ignored them again. Well, we are not ignoring them now, are we?

    No, we are not. Your point? That this all transmogrifies Russia into being correct? Sorry no.

  • 9-year-old boy told he’s too good to pitch

    08/25/2008 7:28:19 PM PDT · 54 of 83
    Dr. Frank fan to Ben Chad
    Mr. Rogers generation.

    That's unfair to Fred Rogers.

    But seriously, I'm from Mr. Rogers' generation as well (dude lasted a long time), and when I was playing Little League, if there was a kid who was dominant with the fastball (which there were - I still remember names), and some grownup started whining about how that kid was pitching "too fast", I would've thought that grownup was crazy.

  • 9-year-old boy told he’s too good to pitch

    08/25/2008 6:56:19 PM PDT · 42 of 83
    Dr. Frank fan to Hildy
    P.S. Although, reading the article, the chronology is not clear; did the league suggest he move up an age-bracket before "they first told Vidro that the boy could not pitch after a game on Aug. 13"? Or only after, and after the mother raised a fuss? I guess I still reserve judgment on this.
  • 9-year-old boy told he’s too good to pitch

    08/25/2008 6:46:21 PM PDT · 39 of 83
    Dr. Frank fan to Hildy
    Still stand by your comments?

    No, I stand corrected. I didn't click through & read the article. (I miss the days when FR didn't have to excerpt :)

    I still think 40mph isn't "too fast" in the first place, and the whole issue need not have been raised. The forfeiting also seems like a rather stupid reaction. But if the option of moving up in age-bracket was given, and the kid/parents refused it, I have to wonder why.

  • 9-year-old boy told he’s too good to pitch

    08/25/2008 6:27:28 PM PDT · 30 of 83
    Dr. Frank fan to Hildy
    They are nine year olds...the ball is being thrown TOO fast

    "Too fast" for what? Among the objects of the position known as 'pitcher' in the game known as 'baseball' is to throw the ball as fast as you can, so that the batter is less able to put the ball into the field of play. This kid is apparently playing the game of baseball correctly, to the best of his ability.

    Where do you get your conclusion that he's throwing the ball "too fast"? Again, 40mph is not really all that fast. And so what if he's throwing it "too fast"? Then the batters who face him will strike out. And?

    This is a part of the game called 'baseball'. Parents who didn't want their kids to potentially experience this shouldn't have signed them up to play baseball. I suggest 'tumbling' or perhaps 'rhythmic clapping class' instead.

    And on the other end, why play in a league you are far too good for. .... PUT HIM IN A LEAGUE HIS SKILLS BELONG’s good for him and it’s good for the other kids.

    I liked the earlier poster's idea of bumping him up to a higher age-level. But that's not what this league did, to their utter discredit and shame.

  • 9-year-old boy told he’s too good to pitch

    08/25/2008 6:02:41 PM PDT · 16 of 83
    Dr. Frank fan to Jim Noble
    If this kid's birth certificate (his REAL one) says he's nine, and he pitches two perfect games in a row, he should move up and pitch to kids who can hit him. That's not socialism - that's instructional level sports.

    It's also an intelligent, reasonable solution as opposed to the one actually implemented.

  • 9-year-old boy told he’s too good to pitch

    08/25/2008 6:00:47 PM PDT · 15 of 83
    Dr. Frank fan to Hildy
    So, the whole league needs to disband because this woman doesn’t get her way?

    The whole league doesn't need to disband at all. They could, for example, let the kid and the kid's team play the damn baseball games as originally scheduled and stop being such ninnies.

  • 9-year-old boy told he’s too good to pitch

    08/25/2008 6:00:05 PM PDT · 14 of 83
    Dr. Frank fan to Teflonic
    Pathetic. Nauseating. Almost makes me think OBL was right - we are weak, a paper tiger. "Too fast"

    You know what? I gotta say, 40mph isn't even all that fast. When you go to batting cages, is it even possible to find a machine that pitches that slowly?

    These are 9-year-olds and can't even face 40mph?

    Just pathetic.

  • Vladimir V. Putin: Neo-Con

    08/25/2008 5:49:09 PM PDT · 39 of 42
    Dr. Frank fan to Bokababe
    NATO was chartered as "a defensive organization" (against the SU during the Cold War), but it broke its own charter in 1999 with the 78 day NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia. That told everyone that NATO was no longer about "defense of NATO nations" -- it was a military force for world government.

    And so you think that a Russian belief that NATO would engage in offensive operations against Russia is warranted? Because I think it is insanity-level paranoia. I guess that's where we disagree.

    ["Defensive anti-missile-defense sites in Poland?"] That's like saying, "Don't mind the gun that I have pointed at your head, it's only for defense."

    No, it is not. Read up on the defensive missiles in question. They have no effectiveness as an offensive weapon (unlike a gun).

    Putin IS the real Russia. And like it or not, that is what we need to deal with.

    Well, sure. Now he's overreaching Russia's rights and authority and we need to deal with that. Sure.

    If anyone is truly concerned about the people of Georgia, the Ukraine and that neighborhood, then we need to partner with Russia to make it safe

    This presupposes that Russia is interested in "making", and will, "make" those countries "safe". The evidence suggests otherwise.

    based on rule of law,

    "Russia" and "rule of law" do not belong in the same sentence.

    Have you ever been to Russia? Do you know anything about it at all?

    If we keep pushing and encircling Russia in this needless game of chicken, sooner or later we are going to have a military confrontation.

    We are not "pushing" Russia and we are only "encircling" Russia in the sense that one's neighbors' fences "encircle" one's property. A person has no right whatsoever to complain about neighbors putting up fences on their own fricking property, "encircling" or not, and the same applies here.

    The neocon visceral hate of things Russian, is going to push us there.

    I'm at the point where virtually all sentences containing the word "neocon" force me to lower my estimate of the author's IQ by 20%. Suffice it to say that I'm not a "neocon", whatever that is, nor do I hate "things Russian", which you would know to be a laughable claim if you knew me.

    The real problem is the romanticization and excusal of "things Russian", including the paranoid imperialism prevalent in her foreign policy, that is dangerous. Because it leads people to advocate for unlimited appeasement of and bowing down to any and all Russian supposed grievances and claims to dominance over her neighbors.

    There is a difference between understanding why Russia did what it did, and defending Russian actions.

    Sure. By any reasonable reading, the author of the above article is squarely on the latter category.

    Georgia is so far into our pocket, that she wouldn't have dared make the move she did without us OKing it.

    Any even cursory reading of various news sources will reveal that the US tried to discourage the Georgian action.

    As I said before, Communism is not an ethnicity, it is an ideology

    Not sure what this has to do with anything. No one here is talking about "Communism".

    [more "neocon" babble deleted]

    There goes another 20%...and another...

  • Vladimir V. Putin: Neo-Con

    08/24/2008 5:18:56 PM PDT · 27 of 42
    Dr. Frank fan to Bokababe
    It's not "Russophilia". It's recognizing that Russia doesn't want -- and won't tolerate -- potential threats on their doorstep anymore than we would -- or did in 1962.

    It's Russophilia to think that Russian claims to dictate what neighboring countries do or don't do in pursuit of their self-defense have merit. Well, if it's not Russophilia, I don't know what it is - stupidity? evilness? - Russophilia was in fact the best spin I could put on it.

    Of course Russia doesn't want potential threats on their doorstep. I too 'recognize' that. But what "potential threats" would those be in this case? Nato, a defensive alliance? Defensive anti-missile-defense sites in Poland? I recognize that to hear Russian politicians talk, it's unclear that the Russian language has a word for 'defense' as distinct from 'offense' - but the English language certainly does, and you've demonstrated that you read/understand English, so go ahead, explain to me how any of these defensive measures add up to a "potential threat" to Russia.

    As for recognizing that Russia "will not tolerate" these occurrences, well I recognize even that too. My point however would be that they are wrong not to tolerate it, have no right not to tolerate it, and need to learn this sooner or later. Your point, I take it, is that it's perfectly okay for Russia to create lists of innocent activities by neighboring sovereign countries which they "will not tolerate", and throw tantrums when the rest of the world en masse doesn't obey those lists. Again, if this attitude of yours towards Russia doesn't come from some sort of Russophilia, I am unable to credit what can possibly lie at its root.

    It's also coming up with potential alternative solutions for the US to deal with Russia, other than blowing it -- and potentially us -- off the planet.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I haven't seen anyone here suggest blowing Russia off the planet. What are you talking about?

    I'm all for solutions that don't involve blowing Russia off the planet. This need not involving, er, blowing Russia however. It's possible to form the accurate and moral judgment "Russia is in the wrong" without being a planet-blower-offer. Does this weird Russia-subservience come simply from fear, then? You're afraid that if you were ever to admit that Russia was in the wrong about something - no matter how power-grabbing and imperial - that might lend credence to the blow-them-off-the-planet solution that everyone else is supposedly pursuing? Is that it?

    How does all this posturing with Russia really benefit America?

    What "posturing with Russia"? Russia's done an evil crappy power-grabbing thing and goddamit anyone with a brain and an ounce of integrity ought to be able to recognize it and say so. "How does it benefit America" to say so? I don't know how to answer that specifically; on a broader and more ethereal level though, I guess I like to think that free individiuals exchanging ideas and judgments and truths based on morality and justice benefits America. You?

    And are there better and more intelligent strategies than continual political and possible military confrontation?

    Maybe, but even if there were, that wouldn't make Russia right. Are you unable to separate the issues (1) whether Russia is right and justified in what she's doing and (2) whether we out to 'make a deal' with her out of realpolitik? Because they are really separate issues, you know.

    Or are we just going beat our chests like apes at each other until somebody blinks?

    "beat our chests like apes"? I'd really like to understand what you're talking about, but you seem to be making up out of whole cloth about 50% of what you're purportedly responding to. This makes it difficult. It seems to happen in all such threads in which I encounter this type of Russophile. Why is that?

  • Vladimir V. Putin: Neo-Con

    08/24/2008 4:42:53 PM PDT · 24 of 42
    Dr. Frank fan to Bokababe
    It's really hard to know where to begin, but I'll just pull out one point because it exemplifies the upside-down nature of the thinking behind this sort of thing:

    But offering NATO membership to parts of the former Soviet Union, like Georgia, threatens Russia's right to control its own borders and no nation can tolerate that.

    Nato membership for Georgia, of course, has nothing to do with Russia's right to control its own borders either way. (News flash: Georgia is not situated inside the borders of Russia.) The problem is not Russia's desire to control Russia's borders, the problem is her desire to control other nations' borders.

    This is symptomatic of a broader problem that starts and ends with a wrongheaded Russian attitude about her "near abroad" that is utterly devoid of merit: if Russia doesn't want Georgia or Ukraine to enter Nato, they shouldn't. If Russia doesn't want Poland to have missile defense, she shouldn't. If they do anyway, well, why, that's threatening Russia!

    Idiocy. Sheer paranoid arrogant idiocy.

    The author however has swallowed the kool-aid necessary to accept this Russian imperial-overlordship attitude towards her neighbors and embraces the logic inherent in it, which is presumably how her brain can produce (without exploding) absurd conclusions such as offering Nato membership to Georgia = Russia can't control her own borders. In response to such a claim there is little one can do but point to its self-evident imbecility; further discussion is not warranted.

    What warrants further discussion is why a certain faction of the West (Buchananites for example) is prone to romanticize and fall for Russian maximalist claims to neo-imperialism in the first place. What is attractive about this point of view, this pointing at a faraway authoritarian oil regime and saying 'yes it is only right and proper that she controls all her neighbors if she wishes, and we shouldn't stop her because she might get mad at us, when we'd like to be her friend'. Where does this fantastical Russophilia come from?

  • Vladimir V. Putin: Neo-Con

    08/24/2008 4:05:10 PM PDT · 17 of 42
    Dr. Frank fan to Bokababe

    Author: Fantasist

  • The Long and Short of It at Goldman Sachs (they short what they sell)

    08/24/2008 6:57:51 AM PDT · 5 of 31
    Dr. Frank fan to dennisw
    If banks didn't "short what they sell" they'd be unhedged and naked-long. They're supposed to "short what they sell". I'm not sure what Stein's point is.

    Reading between the lines, it sounds like what he's basing this part of the article on boils down to Goldman having shorted a ton of ABX (more than pure hedging would require - as if that's possible to know in such a market..) long before the rest of the market caught up to subprime realities. Well, perhaps so. If so, that's called foresight and the will be rewarded for it.

    As for the conspiracy theory about the Kanzius paper, I do not even understand what Stein is trying to say exactly. Sometimes Stein's mind seems to lose its sharpness.

  • Ukraine leader makes NATO bid on Independence Day

    08/24/2008 5:18:27 AM PDT · 5 of 9
    Dr. Frank fan to HAL9000
    In a congratulatory message to mark the day, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called on Ukraine not to spoil their historically close ties.

    For Ukraine to seek to defend itself threatens to "spoil" their "close ties" with Russia.

    You know, the "ties" according to which Russia owns Ukraine and can attack her at will. Those "ties".

  • Tbilisi admits misjudging Russia

    08/24/2008 5:02:57 AM PDT · 52 of 61
    Dr. Frank fan to spetznaz
    [What 'keyboard warriors'? I haven't seen anyone in this thread propose military action against Russia. Again, what are you talking about?] Maybe not on this thread,

    Right, so you agree.

    but when this nonsense started over in S.Ossetia there were a bunch of FReepers (including some I respected) who were talking about the need for the US military to rapidly dispatch A-10 Warthogs and B-2 Stealth Bombers into the region.

    But what does this have to do with the issue at hand (=is Russia right or wrong)? Because Freepers in some other thread advocated military action, and you don't (I'm guessing), that makes Russia....right? No. Yet that was the tack taken by L.J.

    As I've said multiple times now, some need to learn to separate the issues (1) is Russia in the right and (2) should the US have a military response.

    [more irrelevant stuff about posts you read in other threads from other Freepers and disagreed with, deleted]

    iii) There is no 'good side' in this fight ....the Russians were in the wrong, but the Georgians are not the saints people were making them out to be.

    Who's making Georgians out to be "saints"? Oh, nevermind, I can guess - probably someone in some other thread.

    While I agree with you there's no 'good' side necessarily, that doesn't mean one side can't be way more in the wrong than the other. I think most people here know which side that is, even some of the ones pretending not to.

  • We Should Have Trampled on Georgia (RUSSIA LOYAL TO KREMLIN)

    08/23/2008 3:57:42 PM PDT · 17 of 32
    Dr. Frank fan to TigerLikesRooster
    1. The Russian people - as during the Cold War - hear completely one-sided news. There is no free press.

    2. The Russian body politic has a history of paranoia/conspiracy theorizing. This is not to say that Russian individuals lack intelligence or hospitality. It's when they get together that the Stupid comes out. My theory is that this sort of dichotomy is true of any culture that evolved in harsh climates (see also: Arabs).

  • Tbilisi admits misjudging Russia

    08/23/2008 11:12:41 AM PDT · 42 of 61
    Dr. Frank fan to LIBERTARIAN JOE
    GWOT, Iraq, Afghanistan (duh)... because any war, even when it's necessary, is too many (duh)... because each one makes me poorer and less safe (duh)

    1. Which offensives/battles are under way in the "GWOT", whatever that means as separate from Afghanistan and Iraq?

    2. Which offensives/battles are under way in the Iraq "war"? (Which in reality has been over for years now; at present we have a military garrison that does training and some counterinsurgency, not a "war"...)

    3. How exactly are any of these "wars" making you "less safe"? Less safe than what? How did you measure your "safety"? What unsafe things have happened to you since or as a result of any of these wars (or former wars, as in the case of i.e. Iraq)?

    You're right... having our military forces in an area (on Russia's border) where active fighting is taking place could never draw us into conflict, could it? I mean, wars never start accidentally, do they?

    Whether we get drawn into the conflict is a separate matter from making a judgment over who's right/wrong. Why are you unable to separate the two?

    Must have really been putting in extra-credit hours at school (what grade?) to have missed the news, but yes - there's a war on and yes - the good old USofA has taken sides (wrong one) on a matter that's none of it's business and in an area outside our traditional sphere of interest.

    Let's say you're right that it's none of our business and outside our sphere of interest. This doesn't make the Russians in the right or add up to an argument that we have taken the wrong side. I still await a coherent argument from you as to why the Russian side is in the right.

    Anyone advocating any US interference in this conflict is advocating potential conflict with Russia.

    Who advocated US interference in this conflict? Certainly not me in this thread. My point in this thread has been to dispute those who claim that Russia is in the right - no more, no less.

    I've served in the armed forces of this nation, I'm a citizen of this nation, and I pay a very large amount of taxes... I say I have as much right to express my opinion on this matter as anyone else does.

    You have every right to express your opinion (who ever questioned that?). That doesn't make you correct to posture (with your keyboard, from your home, over your internet connection) as somehow an injured party should this or that foreign policy action be adopted, when in reality you are not and have not been tangibly affected.

  • Tbilisi admits misjudging Russia

    08/23/2008 11:00:44 AM PDT · 41 of 61
    Dr. Frank fan to sam_paine
    Putin was wrong. Saakashvilli was dumb. Putting us in a tough spot.

    It puts us in a tough spot regarding what (if anything) our nation's diplomatic/military/economic reaction ought to be, sure.

    But it doesn't and shouldn't put us in a tough spot when it comes to forming a personal judgment on the situation (which is what this thread has been about).

    I see there's an inability or reluctance among some to separate the two.

  • Joe Biden: "My state is the eighth largest black population in the country" (whoops)

    08/23/2008 10:07:06 AM PDT · 22 of 28
    Dr. Frank fan to doug from upland

    Thanks for explaining. Actually, the answer does kinda make sense given how stupid the question was.

  • Tbilisi admits misjudging Russia

    08/23/2008 10:03:17 AM PDT · 33 of 61
    Dr. Frank fan to LIBERTARIAN JOE
    My point is that, right or wrong, we have neither the moral authority or the legitimate national interest to be interfering in a conflict taking place on Russia's border, in a region that was, for most of the last century, part of Russia.

    1. "right or wrong"? So rightness/wrongness has nothing to do with moral authority? Bizarre. What does 'morality' mean then?

    2. This region was never "part of Russia". It was part of the USSR which was an empire controlled by Russia (and of course part of prior Russian empires led by czars). What relevance that has to whether it's ok for modern-day Russia to meddle and take over pieces of this region now is beyond me. One would think if anything it would go even more against Russia that she used to helm an empire which possessed this region - especially to a self-proclaimed libertarian.

    3 current wars, one of them global, and all three apparently never-ending, is three too many for me.

    What 3 "wars" are you talking about? Which one is "global"? And why is it "too many" for you - because of how much it's affecting you? How is that, precisely?

    Also, what does that have to do with anything, with whether Russia is right or wrong here? Whether Russia is right or wrong is a separate matter from whether the U.S. should participate in warfare on the matter (if that's what you're fearing).

    If you have to have another one [war],

    Nobody even said this. What are you talking about?

    Besides, whether there's a war re: Russia/Georgia isn't even open to debate. There is, whether we like it or not. Right? We can't make there not be a war there by nobly refusing to pass judgment on the participants. That's not how it works.

    how about all you keyboard warriors making this one a private one - as in get on a plane, fly over there and take on the Russians yourselves.

    What 'keyboard warriors'? I haven't seen anyone in this thread propose military action against Russia. Again, what are you talking about?

    How about you 'keyboard complainers' consider whether you have standing to do your complaining in the first place.

    Leave me and my wallet out of it.

    Nobody was proposing otherwise. You're almost as paranoid as Russia.

  • Joe Biden: "My state is the eighth largest black population in the country" (whoops)

    08/23/2008 9:54:29 AM PDT · 18 of 28
    Dr. Frank fan to doug from upland
    Can someone explain what he thinks he was accomplishing by making this (boring) observation?

    8th largest? There are 50 states. So, his state is in the top 16%. Whoop de doo. What does this even mean? Is it good, bad, how am I supposed to interpret it? "My state has the 8th largest ____" is virtually meaningless when there are only 50 states. There must be something I'm missing.

  • Tbilisi admits misjudging Russia

    08/23/2008 9:46:48 AM PDT · 30 of 61
    Dr. Frank fan to sam_paine
    So why did the Georgians take the bait without any kind of preparation for the snapping trap?

    I would think we would all be able to agree that the Georgians were unwise to take the bait from a position of weakness without simultaneously approving of or excusing the Russian behavior that set the trap in the first place.

  • Tbilisi admits misjudging Russia

    08/23/2008 9:38:57 AM PDT · 24 of 61
    Dr. Frank fan to LIBERTARIAN JOE
    Sorry, the nation (US) responsible for the near-total ethnic cleansing of Kosovo of it's Christian population, as well as the ethnic cleansing of the majority of the Christian population of Iraq does not have any moral or ethical authority to make judgments on this matter.

    Sure we do. Even if we were wrong then, that does not mean Russia is right now.

  • Tbilisi admits misjudging Russia

    08/23/2008 9:37:48 AM PDT · 23 of 61
    Dr. Frank fan to LIBERTARIAN JOE
    I think the answer to your question is very simple... the Russians have had enough of US/NATO encroachment into their neighborhood.

    How/why is Georgia 'their neighborhood'? Georgia is a different country from Russia. Whether NATO expands to include Georgia is not Russia's business. It is not 'encroachment' for NATO to expand to include a country that is different from Russia. Russia does not own Georgia. And finally, NATO is a (not even very effective) defensive alliance; Russia does not and would not have anything to fear from NATO including Georgia as long as she didn't attack Georgia. All of these statements are obvious facts.

    By sympathizing with the Russian contrary viewpoint you are conceding that Russia views Georgia as her property and that she has paranoid views about NATO 'encroachment'. In other words, you are conceding my point.

    Finally, it is either terribly naive or disingenuous of you not to mention the role the pipeline that goes through Georgia may play in Russia's motives here.

    Additionally, I think that the Russians have a legitimate concern that this encroachment poses a direct military threat to their nation.

    I think that is a paranoid (albeit typically Russian) view. Pray tell, who in NATO wishes to use Georgia to attack Russia? And for what purpose? Russia is a backwater ("Mexico with nukes" as the saying goes).

    For the same reason that I would oppose a hostile military power putting forces on the mexican or Canadian borders,

    Neither NATO nor the US is a 'hostile military power' to Russia as long as Russia doesn't attack other countries. Why do you/they think it is? This Russian paranoia is the crux of the matter. Either that or Russia (as often seems) believes it is her God-given right to attack neighbors at will, and considers any impediment to this right to be 'hostile'.

    For the same reason that I would oppose a hostile military power putting forces on the mexican or Canadian borders, I agree and support the Russian efforts, up to and including military response, to keep both the Russian border and the "near abroad" free of foreign military forces.

    In other words you agree with Russia's imperial designs on the region. Clearly you don't have an actual disagreement with the critics of Russia's behavior. You just think it's ok for Russia to be imperial. Glad we cleared that up,

  • Tbilisi admits misjudging Russia

    08/23/2008 9:23:25 AM PDT · 17 of 61
    Dr. Frank fan to LIBERTARIAN JOE
    Since it's South Ossetia in question, how about we ask the South Ossetians if the Russians were protecting their peace?

    South Ossetia is not and has never been a recognized country. This is still a diplomatically-recognized part of Georgia we are talking about.

    So let's imagine that the Mexican Army sent 'peacekeepers' into Southern California. Would you ask the 'Southern Californians' whether they approved of this, or would you ask the Americans?

    As long as they were aiding Confederate seperatists, it wouldn't bother me.

    Which part of that would require or entail giving them U.S. passports and stationing U.S. soldiers there?

  • Tbilisi admits misjudging Russia

    08/23/2008 9:16:35 AM PDT · 14 of 61
    Dr. Frank fan to sam_paine
    That is a good analogy. In your analogy, the US would be doing these things (issuing US passports to Mexican separatists (!), having a 'peacekeeper' troop presence there (which you neglected to add), etc) because they wished to eventually take over and assimilate that part of Mexico for some strategic reason. At the very least, others could be forgiven for interpreting the hypothetical US motives as such.

    Which is no different than how I and others interpret Russian motives here.

  • Tbilisi admits misjudging Russia

    08/23/2008 9:11:34 AM PDT · 12 of 61
    Dr. Frank fan to LIBERTARIAN JOE
    According to all the computer-chair warriors here at FR, it was the evil Russians who started the war.

    The Russians can be evil without having 'started' this particular incident. The two are not mutually exclusive. Besides, 'who started it' is a children's game; in the reality of geopolitics you can trace these things back forever and get nowhere (see also: Israelis/Arabs). Russia had troops in these regions, weaponry and tanks and invasion plans at the ready, but the Georgians 'started it'. Ok.

    Who 'started it' is less important than what the respective sides are actually doing and what ends they seek. What ends does Russia seek here, by your estimation?

  • China: Face transplant 'double success'

    08/23/2008 8:24:23 AM PDT · 5 of 8
    Dr. Frank fan to TigerLikesRooster
    Inevitable Face/Off movie poster coming in 5...4...3....
  • Icelandic Handball's Finest Moment

    08/22/2008 6:39:29 PM PDT · 5 of 19
    Dr. Frank fan to Leifur

    I’m not familiar with handball, but congratulations to Iceland and best of luck in the finals!

  • Why have Haliburton and Dick Cheney been demonized by the Socialist Left?

    08/22/2008 5:03:54 PM PDT · 18 of 27
    Dr. Frank fan to Hot Tabasco
    Well, I understand your point but on several occasions "Homer the Liberal softball guy" always comes out with the statement "over 3000 Americans killed....." yada, yada, yada then he is ignored.

    I don't even get it. Based on your description he still hasn't articulated a point. What's he even talking about re: 3000 Americans? 9/11? And what's the connection to Halliburton?

    Like I said, make him articulate a point first before worrying about how to respond.

  • Why have Haliburton and Dick Cheney been demonized by the Socialist Left?

    08/22/2008 4:31:40 PM PDT · 9 of 27
    Dr. Frank fan to Hot Tabasco

    The short answer is that it’s not worth your time thinking about, unless/until they can articulate what exactly their point is. Most people who say stuff about “Halliburton”, “Cheney”, etc. (along with, while we’re at it, “Patriot Act”, “Abu Ghraib”...) have no real idea what they’re talking about. These are buzzwords that short-circuit the thought process. Endeavor to make the people addicted to these buzzwords use their brains for a change.

  • SHOCK! Accurate MSM Headline: Democrats Ready to Turn the Country to the Left

    08/22/2008 4:18:51 PM PDT · 6 of 16
    Dr. Frank fan to kristinn
    Only thing I disagree with here is the idea that being "against the Iraq war" is a leftward position. Having been opposed to dethroning Saddam Hussein was not a "leftist" position. If anything it was a right-wing isolationist one.

    In the larger scheme, I also wonder when our language is going to catch up with reality and we stop speaking about "the Iraq war" in the present tense. What on earth is the statement "I am against the Iraq war" supposed to mean? It's like saying "I am against the French and Indian Wars". These events already happened. How can you "be against" them and even if you can, so what?

    Maybe if there were anything resembling active warfare in Iraq then there would be something to be "against". But there is not. There is a military garrison stationed in Iraq and they do some counterinsurgency and training. Is that "the Iraq war"? What is there to be "against"?

    Moreover, what violence there is in Iraq mostly takes the form of occasional, sporadic attacks on our troops. After all, people are fond of saying I can't say "the war" is over because there is still violence there. But if that violence is what makes "the Iraq war" not over, and you say you're "against the Iraq war", all you're saying want that violence to cease. Well guess what, so do I! I want those dead-end idiots who commit violence against our troops stationed in Iraq to knock it off as well. I guess I too am "against the Iraq war".

    So I guess all people really mean by being "against the Iraq war" at this point is that they are in favor of withdrawing that military presence, i.e. stationing those troops somewhere else (where? not sure). Indeed, it seems as if "the Iraq war" now means "the U.S. military presence in Iraq". But the problem there is, we've just heard that there's a tentative agreement whereby our military presence in Iraq will be scaled back by 2011. So there's nothing to be "against" in the first place; the military presence is going away whether one is "against" it or not.

    Will our language ever catch up to this I wonder?

  • Russia warns of response to US missile shield

    08/20/2008 6:39:35 PM PDT · 41 of 63
    Dr. Frank fan to Tommyjo
    What the Russian hotheads are saying is that in accepting the U.S. ABM base Poland has just earned itself some pre-targeted instant buckets of sunshine if an all out war breaks out and it goes nuclear.

    If so, the only question becomes,

    1. Are the Russians so dumb they don't understand that this would go without saying?, or

    2. Do they think we're so dumb we don't understand that this goes without saying?

    Again, your version of what Russia's saying would be like saying if Canada launches nukes against us, we'll launch nukes against them. Such a thing is probably the truth. But so? When was this not true? And why would anyone say this, because why would Canada launch nukes against us in the first place?

    Similarly, why would Russia emphasize that if they were in a war (against?) NATO, they would take out Poland's missile sites? so what? and why would "an all out war break out" between Russia and NATO of all things, in the first place? Wars just don't "break out" randomly for no reason, like acne. What exactly do the two sides have to fight a war over, besides Russia's recent idiotic behavior? This still boils down to Russia's paranoia. Poland doesn't want to attack freaking Russia, for crying out loud, and neither do we. Who the hell wants to attack Russia? Who the hell even wants any part of Russia?

    Either Russian leaders are very good at bluffing and pretending to be paranoid, or they are genuinely paranoid.

    Your interpretation of these statements from Russia is far more innocent (and rational) than the reality.

  • Russia warns of response to US missile shield

    08/20/2008 6:13:07 PM PDT · 26 of 63
    Dr. Frank fan to Tommyjo
    No. It simply means that Russia will take precautionary measures to target the systems when they are installed. Missiles will be allocated to take the system out in time of conflict.

    But that goes without saying. I mean, if it somehow ever came to pass that we were at war with, oh I don't know, Canada we'd take out their sites. If this were all that Russia were saying she wouldn't have said anything.

    The real answer is that 40% of Russia's foreign policy strategy is based on trying to say scary things so that other nations will do her bidding. Russia doesn't want these missile-shield sites installed in Poland (for whatever paranoid reason) and so, she is trying to say scary things in the hopes that Westerners will get scared enough that it won't happen.

    Whether it will work remains to be seen.

  • Russia warns of response to US missile shield

    08/20/2008 6:09:30 PM PDT · 23 of 63
    Dr. Frank fan to ken21
    and the euros don’t seem very concerned.

    Why would they be? As always, Russia is only reserving the right to kill Eastern Europeans in countries that don't really count. Western Europeans have never had much of an argument with this idea before; why would they start caring now?

    Actually, I've been surprised they've made as much noise about it as they have. I assume it's for show.

  • Russia warns of response to US missile shield

    08/20/2008 6:01:13 PM PDT · 15 of 63
    Dr. Frank fan to ken21
    how does a missle shield “threaten” russia? they have a right to kill us?

    Not us, necessarily, but their neighbors. That seems to be their position, yes: hindering their ability to kill their neighbors is a violation of their rights. This, in turn, gives them a right to kill us. It's quite simple really.

  • Russia's claim of Georgia genocide in South Ossetia hard to verify

    08/18/2008 4:40:12 AM PDT · 20 of 22
    Dr. Frank fan to RightFighter
    My advice* is to stay away from politics. There's no up-side. It's likely she gets her news from Pravda, Izvestiya, even Komsomolskaya Pravda, or similar Russia sources - or Russian blogs etc that are derivative of these - and this influences how her opinion is shaped. At the end of the day, such things are remote from one person and relationship. (Even if you changed her mind about the Russia-Georgia conflict, it wouldn't matter, right?)

    She is right about how things were never "as bad" - at least, that is probably the case if she grew up in Moscow. People know what their life experience has been.

    Also, if the comparison is to the late 90s when the ruble was devalued, it's very understandable to think things were never as bad as that.

    Finally, she is right that Putin is well liked. Things are stable and prosperous - what's not to like? The fact that it's basically all due to the world market for energy that Russia sits on, those aren't dots that the average person is likely to connect. Same basic reason why so many people were willing to give Clinton credit for the internet boom which he had nothing to do with.

    *I'm married to a Russian.

  • Russia's claim of Georgia genocide in South Ossetia hard to verify

    08/17/2008 6:18:51 PM PDT · 6 of 22
    Dr. Frank fan to justa-hairyape

    How could it be hard to verify? I read it on all the comment threads on all the blogs last week. It was right there in black and white, straight from the fingertips of Russian blog commenters. What more verification does one need?

  • Russia Imposed Conflict on Georgia – Saakashvili

    08/17/2008 2:03:17 PM PDT · 3 of 9
    Dr. Frank fan to Tramonto
    What seems to have happened is that Russian keyboard-warriors took control of what info was released for the first week or so, and pounded hard the talking-points. This explains why we kept hearing the same data points over and over - "most of whom have Russian passports", "Georgia started it", "2000 civilians dead".

    Our media, of course, did not feel motivated to question or investigate this spin on the events, because that spin by itself meshed perfectly well with their ingrained predisposition to welcome any news that (R)s do not.

    As more info gradually gets out following the initial propaganda blitz, we are likely to hear a rather different story. Our media will even publish it...on page 37.

  • Children Stealing Gold in Beijing

    08/17/2008 10:28:30 AM PDT · 13 of 139
    Dr. Frank fan to AJKauf
    The fact that China is so desperate to win Olympic medals - apparently deriving much of her self-worth from her performance at a once-per-four-years trivial spectacle - is an indication of her weakness. A strong country wouldn't invest so much of her hopes, resources, and efforts into such a triviality. Let alone engage in this sort of cheating.

    I enjoy tuning in to the occasional Olympic event from time to time, but at the end of the day I really don't give a rat's a** who wins. I have a life.

  • Georgia to become NATO member: Merkel

    08/17/2008 8:22:51 AM PDT · 3 of 60
    Dr. Frank fan to Grzegorz 246
    Holy cow (if true).

    Could this have been one of the few times where Russia got caught playing checkers, rather than chess?

  • Silence on Georgia

    08/16/2008 7:53:25 AM PDT · 24 of 62
    Dr. Frank fan to elhombrelibre

    I think the basic calculation here is: The Left has observed that (R)s and conservatives don’t seem to like this action on Russia’s part. Therefore, the Left thinks it’s fine. I really don’t think it’s any more sophisticated than that.

  • When medical-device equipment gets sick

    07/19/2008 6:30:52 AM PDT · 7 of 21
    Dr. Frank fan to CarrotAndStick
    Can’t they keep these systems in isolation, away from any networks? Can’t the updates be delivered manually, directly shipped from the manufacturer? Images could be retrieved and saved on a peripheral ring of secondary computers, couldn’t they?

    Yes, yes, and yes. That's how it's done in my experience, or at least, that's how it's supposed to be done. I don't know what the VA is doing having these systems on non-private networks where worms/viruses could get to them.

  • Killing Jobs to Save the Climate [Euro Carbon Credits]

    07/18/2008 8:57:28 PM PDT · 16 of 24
    Dr. Frank fan to PLMerite
    Those schemes always make sense to people who aren’t actually subject to them.

    It's more than that. They make sense to the people who will profit from them.

    A lot of the constituency for "carbon trading" schemes and the like come from the financial sector. Banks are just drooling at the chance for a new cooked-up thingy to "trade" and profit from.

  • SPOILERS: 'Battlestar Galactica's' Adam And Eve?

    07/01/2008 5:09:24 PM PDT · 174 of 175
    Dr. Frank fan to boogerbear
    and since even the Cylons didn’t know what the Final Five were like there really wasn’t much reason to work on a test to find them.

    Facile, made-up rubbish.

    What made the humans so sure that they knew all 7 "non-final" models? Because the Cylons told them? What made them so sure the Cylons didn't know who the "final five" were? Because they told them? What made them so sure the total # was really 12? Because they told them? This is one of those "if humans really had these motives & thought this way, they are stupid" explanations.

    I see no reason whatsoever why humans wouldn't have had every motive in the world to just test all the people in their fleet once and for all and put the issue to rest. The only reason not to seems to be a TV reason (i.e. so the writers could stretch out the drama of who's-a-Cylon and, at a later time of their choosing, make some random people Cylons if the fancy struck them. Which of course is precisely what they did.)

    I’m sure once they got off NC all the testing on Cylons was geared towards immediate thing like figuring out the disease,

    Where on earth did you get this? Nothing like this was shown or supported on the show. You have (gasp) MADE AN ASSUMPTION not based on anything shown, thus violating the first rule of TV watching that you supposedly subscribe to.

    There’s no reason for them to look into some Cylon legend of “missing” Cylons that might or might not exist,

    The fact that they might exist is reason enough. Again, if BSG's humans really didn't think so they are stupid. Of course, I don't think they are stupid, because I don't think your explanation is the real one. The real explanation of course is sloppy writing. Your explanations here constitute bending over backwards to interpret that sloppy writing as charitably as possible. I am not so inclined, therefore the sloppy writing bothers me. That's where we are.

  • SPOILERS: 'Battlestar Galactica's' Adam And Eve?

    06/30/2008 8:13:32 PM PDT · 172 of 175
    Dr. Frank fan to boogerbear
    The autopsied a Cylon and probably intended to do more,

    But then dropped the whole thing

    they figured out the Cylon disease

    Another good point, how exactly did they figure out that this virus would give Cylons a disease and yet at the same time they still don't have a Cylon detector that would've picked up Tigh and the others? The former would require some actual biological knowledge of Cylons and in particular how Cylons differ from humans. Which would imply the ability to distinguish Cylons from humans. Which, in turn, would have meant they had the makings of a Cylon test right in front of them. And yet they never put this 2 and 2 together.

  • UK: Eco-towns do not offer 'sustainable living'

    06/29/2008 9:56:16 PM PDT · 5 of 9
    Dr. Frank fan to bruinbirdman
    These proposed 'eco-towns' sound like recipes for A Clockwork Orange.

    I'm always grateful for the stories like this that come from across the sea. However screwed-up I may think things are here sometimes, at least the U.S. government isn't planning to try to goad people into 'eco-towns'. (yet...)

  • SPOILERS: 'Battlestar Galactica's' Adam And Eve?

    06/29/2008 9:29:19 PM PDT · 170 of 175
    Dr. Frank fan to boogerbear
    No actually you DIED say otherwise. Your entire position is based on otherwise.


    Here’s the core problem, you’ve got a problem with how BSG gets from point A (the audience known differences between Cylons and humans) to point G (not having an easy biological test).

    Sort of. I'd rephrase this slightly: I've got a problem with BSG's stance on & presentation of Cylons in general. I see no real evidence that they are anything other than a certain type of human. More to the point, I don't even know whether BSG wants me to think they are biologically different from humans. (In fact, it's seemed likely for a while now that where they are going with the story is that Cylons will merge with humans at the end and form a new union and live together as...well, as humans, right?)

    The problem with all that is you would think they would have to be much different from humans, in order to be thought of and treated and empowered so differently, and everyone on the show certainly acts like Cylons aren't humans, but (paradoxically) no one on the show acts like they are biologically different from humans. Your explanation for that here is that they just haven't found the differences because they are teensy tiny subtle things, i.e. they're exactly like humans in every way 'sept for they got a couple extra little doohickeys, e.g. pointless enzyme sacs that make glowy-spine for no reason.

    I can go with your explanation but it seems magnificently dumb - it seems dumb that the robots would've made their humanoids like humans plus extra doohickeys, and in any event I'm not sure the 'enzyme sac' type things would be enough of a difference to call them inhuman in the first place. Or, I can reject your explanation and the problems remain. But to be honest, I really haven't the faintest idea what BSG's writers want me to think about it either way. It's just not clear and this is entirely due to the sloppy, haphazard and inconsistent way they've presented us with facts and properties of Cylons. The overall picture they paint is not clear or coherent and that's my basic problem. You're probably going to call that a 'mystery' and say I need to 'wait' till the end. I just don't think that's what you call it when facts are presented that don't mesh and contain no possible logical resolution.

    Bottom line it for me: do you think Cylons are biologically different from humans or not? Do you think they are humans or not? If not, why not? If they are, why does no one notice it? And how has the show made those answers clear?

    [...blah blah blah...] The real story is they’re just too damn busy staying alive. And if you have a problem with that, well TFB. Life sucks, get a helmet.

    Good speech there. Shall I start a "slow clap"?

    Again, if BSG makes sense to you and raises no logical questions for you, then good for you. Go with God. To me it's a mess and can't be taken seriously as science fiction. It's really a fantasy program - a pretty well-made one - and at least half the time it's just used as a vehicle for thinly-disguised 'topics of the week'...kinda like what I understood The West Wing t'have been like.

  • SPOILERS: 'Battlestar Galactica's' Adam And Eve?

    06/29/2008 12:35:38 PM PDT · 168 of 175
    Dr. Frank fan to boogerbear
    But of course the fact that these guys are constantly running their asses off also indicates that while there might be more doctors than just them there’s not a lot and clearly not enough.

    never said otherwise

    and more importantly for having the spare man hours to do things like fully dissect a Cylon corpse.

    Now you're the one that's totally making assumptions. We've never been shown what Cottle does 99% of the time. For all you know he's been dissecting a Cylon corpse in his spare time. How do you know he doesn't?

    “Basic stuff” isn’t good enough.

    'Good enough' for what? You claimed there were only 3 doctors, I infer there are probably more, at the very least by retasking people and training them in the basic stuff. You said that's not 'good enough'. Again: for what?

    They need full service doctors and surgeons.

    They 'need' lots of things but if the best they can do is train an ex-historian to take peoples' temperature and look in their ears and (etc etc) then I reckon they'd do it. You think they wouldn't? Because it's 'not good enough'? Better to just let people go untreated?

    I suppose a “basic stuff” person might be good enough for Cylon dissection but they’d be busy doing the “basic stuff” so the real doctor can do real doctoring.

    Or, so he could dissect the Cylon. Again, division of labor. The whole issue here was you claiming there's not enough manpower because there's only 3 doctors. I reckon there are more. If those 'more' are doing doctoring that could free up Cottle or another 'real doctor'.

    Nobody in the fleet gets much in the way of down time, and that kind of dissection would be the kind of thing to do during otherwise down time.

    Says who? Again, why wouldn't it be a priority, why wouldn't someone have been put on it fulltime till it was completed? How many freaking man-hours does it really take to do an extensive dissection anyway? "Heart, check." Put the heart in a jar. "Intestines, check". Put them in a jar. And so on. Your whole stance here that every single person in the fleet with any medical knowledge has been SO BUSY this entire time that there simply hasn't been time to dig into the Cylon corpse and see if he's got cuckoo clocks or gills in there really just doesn't pass the smell test.

    Until the person can correctly diagnose a heart problem (or some other internal thing not treatable by anti-biotics) and prescribe medicine appropriately they aren’t a doctor.

    More to the point, such a person would be an undertrained doctor - a doctor trainee - or something along those lines, and thus would have to refer to Cottle a lot. Yeah...and?

    They’re at best an assistant, which can be handy, if you’ve spent any time in a hospital you know the assistants far out number the doctors, but the fleet needs doctors.

    And? They're making do with the best they've got. Aren't they? Sheesh, I thought that was your whole point. Now I don't even know what you're trying to say. I'm trying to imagine this reply: "You want to help out with the medical care? Sorry, the fleet needs doctors and although you could probably help out with a lot of stuff, you couldn't diagnose arrhythmia. So, go do something else, like be a reporter or PR person for one of the 'politicians'. We can never get enough of those."


    What of it?! There’s 50,000 humans left in the WHOLE universe, they’ve already established that they don’t have enough to create a proper breeding population unless they get really lucky and screw a LOT. Every one they lose is another step towards the end of all humanity. Letting people die because your “doctors” aren’t really doctors is simply not acceptable.

    If you leave someone UNTREATED because you don't have enough doctors and the people willing/available to work on the task aren't 'real doctors', that's letting people die. I'm sure their larger medical corps is less than ideally-trained, but what's the alternative exactly?

    Maybe the other defense lawyer did think of it, but it wouldn’t be the same coming from him. Some back of the house lawyer talking about all the nasty things they’ve done isn’t the same as one of the people who shot down the Olympic Carrier and jumped the fleet away from New Caprica (ie PARTICIPATED in the nasty things).

    You missed my real point there which was that in anything resembling a real trial, there's no freaking way they'd let a guy's defense lawyer not only get called up to the stand but then speechify. The whole scene was laughable, cooked-up drama.

    But as I said, I assume they are, in their copious spare time, teaching all the techs and nurses to be doctors. And they’re probably bringing new people in to backfill the nurse and tech positions. But it’s only been 3 years and they’re under extreme duress, not good conditions for extra training.

    Nevertheless, they have to make do. And so I'm quite sure that (at least in a real situation resembling these events) there would be many people who have been essentially acting as 'field doctors' for at least 2.5 out of those 3 years. Thus, there would be more than 3 doctors. Which was my initial claim, and which you've conceded anyway.

    Do you know what all those body parts look like when covered in blood and viscera? Really?

    Not really. But so? Maybe Cylon biology is sufficiently different that it could be recognized on a CT. There are things I'd notice on a CT as being "not right". This wouldn't require dissection at all. Or at least, I could then point it out to Cottle - "look there, what the heck is that?" - so he'd have an idea where to cut. But oh yeah I forgot he doesn't have a single minute to spare to cut open the Cylon.

    Anybody who doesn’t actually know on sight all nine isn’t going to be useful for determining what’s different about Cylons.

    Again, unless Cylon biology is significantly different. Which I guess you're saying it isn't (based on what?). In which case, I reckon Cylons are just humans (which was my initial point).

    Have you worked 12 to 16 hour days every day for the last 3 years WHILE fleeing for your life? Didn’t think so.

    Oh I see so that's what makes the difference. 12 hour shifts while not fleeing for your life = time to do extra stuff. 12 hour shifts while fleeing for your life = no single minute can possibly be spent slicing into a dead body and poking around. Got it.

    Dissecting the Cylon would definitely be a high priority, but not as high as living 1 more day, and for them living 1 more day is way past a full time job.

    I can't even envision what you think you're saying here. What exactly is it that Cottle currently has to do vis-a-vis "living 1 more day" that occupies literally all of his time so that a little slice n dice is out of the question? Based on your description there's no way he has time to light his cigarette or engage in conversations with people. But HE DOES do those things. Miraculous.