War with Iran

I re-post this here so to solicit comments and discussions about the topic.

After reading this piece – a piece that I am in great agreement with – I am very disturbed.

Rozeff articulates in this essay parts of  my Theory of Hegemony, where I suggest that it is always the actions of the Hegemonic power that is the causation to political events and not the Weaker power – the Weaker power always and only can react to the actions of the Hegemonic power, and cannot be the cause.

Therefore, just as he points out, whether there is war or not is completely dependent on the action of the US/Israel.

And – as also he points out – those that are charged with the rational calculation of losses are not, themselves, at risk in such a war.

Therefore, I believe There will be War.

When Might War Between the U.S. and Iran Occur?

 by Michael S. Rozeff

Which state, the U.S. or Iran, more likely wants a war with the other? It’s the side that thinks it benefits from such a war. That side is the U.S. If this war begins, it will be entirely because the U.S. wants it and has decided that the time is right to instigate it or elicit actions from Iran that provide excuses for instigating it. Any U.S.-Iran war will be entirely the doing of the U.S.

Here’s how we know this.

Iran has nothing to gain because it will lose such a war, its power being so much less than the U.S.

This is why Iran has tolerated, so far and to a remarkable degree, the intrusions of U.S. subversions and covert activities in Iran, the assassinations of scientists, the computer disruptions, the embargos, the sanctions, the U.S. warships, the U.S. threats, and the U.S. troops being placed nearby.

By contrast, the U.S., in the view of the neoconservatives who are running foreign policy, stands to gain quite a lot, namely, undisputed hegemony over the Middle East, control of a country perched on central Asia, control of oil, support for Israel, and a rise in global dominance more generally.

Therefore, when and if such a war starts, no matter by what incidents it is triggered, we can be 100% certain that the U.S. has caused and precipitated this war because it, not Iran, is the state that foresees the benefits of such a war.

There are costs, however, and these are restraining the U.S. from instigating this war at this time. These include war costs of several kinds, since Iran is not a pushover. Iran, if pushed into a war by the U.S., can respond in nearby regions, such as Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudia Arabia, and the Persian Gulf. It can conceivably draw Russia into the war, or perhaps Pakistan. The U.S. will win a war with Iran, but it does not expect an easy win. If it did, it would already have started the war. The war on Libya was a recent warm-up exercise that shows what air power can do in this day and age, but Iran’s forces are more formidable.

We can expect that military advisors to the U.S. will tend to be against war with Iran because of these costs, but that under enough pressure they will yield. Another cost is that oil will rise in price steeply, and this will derail economic activity in Europe, the U.S., and elsewhere. Economic advisors to the U.S. will tend to be against war with Iran for this reason, but they too will yield under enough pressure because, like the military leaders, their positions are secure and others will bear the responsibility of starting such a war.

The U.S. will attempt to restrain Israel from causing a war on its own until the U.S. leadership thinks that these costs have become bearable and/or that the U.S. is in a position to beat Iran rather quickly and not have to endure a long war.

Since Iran does not want war with the U.S. and since its forces are what are deterring the U.S., Iran has a powerful incentive to build up its military forces in ways that deter the U.S. and make an easy victory unlikely. This is why Iran issues threats of its own, so that the U.S. will think twice and continue to hold off from attacking Iran, which Washington is ready to do as soon as it thinks the costs of doing so are bearable. This is why Iran continues to develop its missile capabilities. This is also why it makes sense for Iran to take the necessary preparatory steps toward developing a nuclear warhead that can be carried on a missile. No doubt it understands how to manufacture a nuclear bomb and has come a long way in understanding how to ignite explosives simultaneously so as to create the nuclear explosion within. The U.S., in a very real way, is causing Iran to pursue this nuclear development course if only to prevent a U.S. attack and to preserve its own power as a state. And certainly the sanctions imposed by the West for many years now and the concurrent threat of U.S. attack are causing Iran to bolster its military forces so as to deter the U.S.

And so when might war break out between the U.S. and Iran? It depends on this balance of costs that the U.S. bears and that depends on actions by Iran. But this is all assuming rationality in the war-making process. It is possible at any time that a leader in Washington or in Israel will cast aside rational calculation and decide that now is the time or the time has come, or make a decision based on some trivial detail or happenstance or incident whose significance he or she mis-estimates. Similarly, it is possible that Iran’s leadership will miscalculate or perceive themselves as being backed into a corner where war is the only way out.

The U.S. keeps raising the ante, and that dashes hopes for an eventual peaceful resolution. There is no way that Iran can appease the U.S. If it gives in on one thing, the U.S. will simply demand more and then more and more. The U.S. behavior toward Gaddafi shows what happens when a weak state attempts to cooperate with the U.S. Iran will not do likewise. Its leaders are on record as recognizing U.S. behavior going back for decades. They will not back down. The only hope for a continued standoff is, ironically, that Iran make itself strong enough to deter the U.S. and Israel.

Comments

  1. :)

  2. Hello Black Flag!

    I’ve not been around here much lately.

    We are at war with Iran now. Yes, it is being caused by the former United States of America that officially died on 12/31/2011 with passage of the NDAA.

    • Hi BF and Birdman! And Anita, Kathy, VH. ;) I haven’t been around much either.

      This is off topic BUT, BF, it reminds me of something you said a couple of years ago re hyperinflation. I think this is a warning sign….
      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/supercommittee-runs-america-urges-end-zero-bound-demands-issuance-negative-yield-bonds

      • some comments from ZH:
        francis_sawyer
        Vote up!1
        Vote down!0
        @MsCreant

        …IF they want bank runs (& your conclusion is correct)…

        Then the only motivation I can conceive of for doing so is that they are planning to re-issue the currency… IOW ~ mattress cash for everyone… ZAP re-issue the NEW DOLLAR (& tell everyone that they can come back and get new dollars for their old ones… devalues, of course)…

        Am I crazy here?… Just trying to follow your logic… maybe I veered off…
        reply
        Wed, 02/01/2012 – 11:02 | 2116470 new Mr Lennon Hendrix
        Vote up!1
        Vote down!0
        I think we will see all the crazy shit happen in lockstep. Rally to 14k, Europe falls off the cliff, Bernanke “saves” America with a bank holiday, savers lose $$$, stocks go up again, and the world is saved

        an udate (article): http://www.zerohedge.com/news/here-comes-treasury-floater

        • It is TEOTWAWKI if Birdman and Cyndi P both show up on the same day :)

          Now can someone please put these two articles into plain English…specifically should I get some more gold or hold cash in my mattress?

  3. One of the things, I have always questioned about your theory -is that you seem to assume that people and countries will follow your idea of what is reasonable when they make their decisions-you don’t give any credence to the fact that others may not use the same measure to determine what actions are reasonable. Anyway, your opinion on this mans thoughts.

    January 11, 2012
    defining ideas
    Will Iran Really Start a War?
    by Victor Davis Hanson (Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow)
    History teaches that the saber rattling of lunatic regimes should be taken seriously.

    For much of last December, Iran seemed schizophrenic. As the European Union and the United States finally seemed to agree on implementing tough new sanctions against the theocracy, Tehran threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz and thereby choke off 40 percent of the world’s petroleum leaving the Persian Gulf. At times, the mullahs bragged of new centrifuges coming on line; at other moments, they issued warnings to the American navy to pull one of its huge aircraft carriers out of the region—or face the consequences.

    Just when some sort of international crisis seemed inevitable, once again Iran issued a clarification, denying any desire for war—only to issue more threats against the U.S. navy the next day, along with boasts of pressing ahead with its nuclear program. What are we to make of these serial, but seemingly empty threats of war, so reminiscent of North Korean bluster? Of course, there are plenty of examples in history to remind us that the constant saber rattling of failed states leads nowhere except to temporary tension and convenient rises in commodity and oil prices. But there also are enough other instances of unexpected attacks to suggest that the lunacy of lunatic regimes sometimes should be taken seriously

    For much of October 1950, Chinese communists let it be known that they would invade the Korean peninsula should the Americans keep up their victorious march northward to the Yalu River. Gen. MacArthur, the American theater commander, in response assured his superiors that these near constant threats were absurd. As he pointed out to a worried President Truman in a meeting on Wake Island on October 15, 1950, the Americans had clear conventional and nuclear air superiority, which, along with far more armor and artillery, would lead to a vast slaughter of the vulnerable Chinese Army.

    Few political observers took seriously the serial threats of Mao Zedong, who was facing massive rebuilding in war-torn China and still worried about the permanence of his recently victorious communist government. And yet by mid-November the first brigades of some 500,000 “volunteers” poured into North Korea and sent American forces reeling in what would prove to be the longest retreat in U.S. military history—an attack completely unanticipated by all American and European intelligence agencies.

    During the late summer of 1973, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat threatened to invade the Israeli-held Sinai peninsula, after boasting earlier that he was prepared to lose a million Egyptians, if need be, in the attempt. How crazy was that—given the Egyptians had recently kicked out their major arms supplier, the Soviet Union, and suddenly had neither a nuclear umbrella to hide under nor a steady supplier of key replacement military parts? In addition, the humiliation of the recent 1967 Six-Day War had taught the Arabs just how foolish it was to start a war with a militarily superior Israel. And there was no assurance that hated rival Syria would ever coordinate with Egypt to ensure a two-theater war against Israel. Nonetheless, the Egyptians invaded on October 6, 1973—to the shock of Israel, the United States, and the United Nations.

    What are we to make of Iran’s serial, but seemingly empty, threats of war?

    For much of late 1981 and early 1982, the Argentine military junta—facing unprecedented domestic criticism and economic crisis—let it be known that it might annex the “Malvinas” or British Falkland Islands, convinced that a supposedly corrupt Britain would do nothing, and an even more corrupt U.S. would simply accept the verdict of the battlefield. Yet few believed Gen. Galtieri’s threats, especially given the vast imbalance of power between Britain and Argentina—until Argentina did the unimaginable and foolishly invaded the islands in early April 1982.

    Through the summer of 1990 Saddam Hussein had warned foreign diplomats, the U.S. ambassador, and much of the Arab world that he might invade and annex Kuwait (Iraq’s “19th Province”)—alleging that his rich neighbor had not, as supposedly promised, forgiven Iraq’s vast debt after the war with Iran, and was cheating on agreements over oil production. Almost no one believed that Iraq, wasted by a near-decade long war with Iran, would be so foolish as to start another one with the Sunni, Arab-run Kuwait. But Saddam did just that and gobbled up Kuwait in a matter of days—convinced that the Arab world, the UN, and the U.S. would do little in retaliation.

    The common theme of these modern examples of unforeseen preemptive wars is clear enough: empty, even foolhardy threats of war are not always so empty. The Korean War, the Yom Kippur War, the Falklands War, and the First Gulf War all share a variety of commonalities that are relevant to the ongoing tension with Iran—aside from the fact that these invasions eventually proved costly for the aggressors.

    First lesson: fear makes all dictators unpredictable. What may seem to outsiders as a terrible choice may be merely a bad choice to a paranoid dictator, set against the far worse alternative of doing nothing and thereby losing power altogether. Mao Zedong’s communist revolution had only recently won over China, and he was convinced that at any moment American-backed Chinese forces from Formosa would invade the mainland and destroy his fragile hold on power—especially as UN forces routed North Korean client communists and neared the Manchurian border. The United States had no plans to go into Manchuria to overthrow Mao, but he was nonetheless convinced that a preemptive war might be his only insurance that they would not. In that context, war in Korea was not the worse of all possible choices for Mao.

    Fear makes all dictators unpredictable.

    By 1972, Anwar Sadat was facing an economic disaster in Egypt. Worse still, he was under terrible pressure from the Arab world after the humiliating defeat of 1967. He also had just rid his country of the Soviet advisors who had both armed Egypt and helped to prop up his ruined economy. He needed to do something dramatic to win back public opinion and to prove that Egypt could make needed reforms and free itself from the Soviet Union. Sadat also needed to prove that he really was as magnetic as the late Nasser. Again, most thought Sadat had plenty of choices other than invasion; Sadat, however, thought he had few or none.

    Public furor over the dirty war in Argentina and the crumbling economy were beginning to doom the military junta in Buenos Aires, as protests and open defiance were now commonplace occurrences for the first time in a decade. General Galtieri concluded that something desperate was needed to unite the country and turn public attention away from the dismal economy and growing reports of massive executions in Argentina’s recent ‘dirty war.’ For Galtieri, reclaiming the Malvinas seemed as smart a move as it did stupid to most others.

    By 1990, Iraq was broke. A devastating eight-year war with Iran had cost a half-trillion dollars and 500,000 casualties—with almost nothing gained in return. Civil unrest was on the rise. Saddam Hussein—like Mao, General Galtieri, and Anwar Sadat—was once again looking for enemies to win back public opinion. And Kuwait possessed neither the manpower nor armaments of Iran. For Saddam, a short war could win back what a long war had recently lost.

    These ostensibly stupid invasions have another shared feature—the attackers felt there was nothing immediately stopping their aggression. The Chinese communists were not convinced that the Americans were fully committed to Korea. They had studied carefully the earlier astounding North Korean successes against the Americans, at least from June to the Incheon landings of September that only recently had turned around the war. But even then, Gen. MacArthur had bragged that he would get most Americans home by Christmas. Mao felt the Americans would put up little resistance and simply flee southward and then home.

    Is Iran foolhardy enough to attack the U.S. Navy?

    By 1973, Israel was suffering from the “victory disease.” It chose to forego a preemptive strike on the eve of the Egyptian invasion, and did not fully mobilize its reserves until the war was raging. During the Nixon administration, a rift had grown with Israel over its supposed intransigence about ceding back the spoils of 1967, a source of general unrest that the Soviets were capitalizing on with their Arab clients. Moreover, Sadat’s new stockpile of Soviet anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles had convinced him that the vaunted Israeli air forces were suddenly vulnerable—and he was proved right on that count for the first few days of the war. In short, Sadat believed, wrongly as it later turned out, that the Israel of 1973 was not the same Israel of 1967.

    Why would Argentina conclude that it could get away with attacking the maritime island power of Britain? In the trivial sense, some backbenchers in Britain’s Parliament had begun talking about negotiating over the “Malvinas,” while the British government, as a goodwill gesture, had redeployed a tiny minesweeper from the Falklands. More importantly, the Argentines were convinced that the new British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, did not have the proverbial cojones to fight a distant war against macho generals in Argentina. All that sounds as crazy now as it was seen to be profound in 1982.

    In the summer of 1990, the American Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, offhandedly remarked to Saddam Hussein that Americans did not have an interest in the border disputes of Arab nations. She thought that was an obvious, matter-of-fact statement of the reality that the United States was too busy to adjudicate a few miles here and there of murky post-colonial Arab borders. But to Saddam, it signaled a green light that he could go into Kuwait without the retaliation of U.S. bombs. And he was further convinced that his battle-hardened Iran-Iraq War veterans would make mincemeat of the soft soldiers of the rich and pampered Gulf sheikdoms.

    There was a final consideration: none of these aggressors believed that if they were to lose, Western powers would invade and remove them, or use their overwhelming nuclear and conventional forces to destroy their regimes. They were right on that count too: Mao eventually lost over a million Chinese, but was never bombed by the U.S. air force. The United States called off Israel’s pincer movement into Egypt and its planned destruction of the trapped Egyptian Third Army. Britain never sent missiles into Buenos Aires, and the UN coalition pushed Saddam out of Kuwait, but not out of power.

    Does all this mean that Iran may be foolhardy enough to attack the U.S. Navy or its weak Arab allies—given its possible assessment that either there would be no American response, or at least not enough to endanger the survival of its regime? The new embargo may, after all, strangle its economy and rising domestic unrest might soon put an end to the regime. Meanwhile, provoking Persian Gulf tensions could make Iranian oil both expensive and essential. And does the theocracy interpret the Obama administration’s exit from Iraq, its current negotiations with the Taliban, and its failed serial efforts at reset diplomacy with Tehran as a sort of weakness that might presage a tepid U.S. response?

    An Iranian attack on a U.S. vessel would be an insane act that would ensure that Iran paid a heavy price for its folly—or so we think. But to Iran, there are other considerations, with ample historical precedent, that make what we consider to be unthinkable perhaps not all that unthinkable at all.

    http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/104566

  4. V.H.

    One of the things, I have always questioned about your theory -is that you seem to assume that people and countries will follow your idea of what is reasonable when they make their decisions-you don’t give any credence to the fact that others may not use the same measure to determine what actions are reasonable. Anyway, your opinion on this mans thoughts.

    That is not true of my position at all.

    My position is and always been: the HEGEMONY acts, the WEAKER react.

    I am not attributing reason or irrationality at all to either behavior – the reaction may be as bizarre as might be the hegemonic act that started the whole ball rolling.

    The point of my theory: do not demand Iran “stop” doing whatever it is doing.
    It is doing this BECAUSE of hegemonic effects, not to incite the hegemony to act.

    It other words, if you want to change the behavior of Iran, the US must radically change its behavior FIRST.

    This change will change the hegemonic effect on the weaker power and the weaker power will choose differently.

    I do not agree with your 3rd party article. As Rozeff said in my post, Iran knows the history of American behavior in the region, and no amount of appeasement will end American intrusions – the best is to deter American intrusions.

  5. “This change will change the hegemonic effect on the weaker power and the weaker power will choose differently.”

    This seems to me, to be making an assumption based on YOUR reasoning that the only reason Iran wants nuclear weapons is as a deterrent-which may be true-but then again it is an assumption-what do you base this assumption on?

    • V.H.

      YOUR reasoning that the only reason Iran wants nuclear weapons is as a deterrent-which may be true-but then again it is an assumption-what do you base this assumption on?

      Because Iran – surrounded by nuclear armed nations of Russia, Israel and Pakistan – they made zero inclination to have one.

      However, the moment the US hegemony extended its grip even deeper into the Middle East – only then has the conversation around nuclear weapons began.

      The threat of aggression by nuclear armed nations did not exist – and, Iran’s potential to be nuclear armed also did not exist.

      The threat of aggression by the Empire of the USA – Iran is entertaining the dialogue around nuclear weapons.

      There is a blunt-obvious connection.

  6. Okay you say there is a correlation with something the US did-that caused talk of nuclear weapons-what was this action -and were there any other developments that correlate in the same basic time frame?

    • V.H.

      -what was this action -and were there any other developments that correlate in the same basic time frame?

      Invasion of Iraq after the Invasion of Afghanistan.

      Please go to your atlas and look where Iran is, where Iraq is, where Afghanistan is…

      …then plant a US flag in the Indian Ocean, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, ….

      Then think… what do you think any nation would begin to think – if they were surrounded by hostile nation?

  7. I can certainly see where any nation would not like a war going on right next to them-but I do not just dismiss what came before the Iraq war. 911-yes I know you dismiss this-most people do not-the attack on Kuwait by Iraq-all these and probably others I don’t know about contributed to this currant mess-All I really know is I don’t want to go to war.

    • V.H.

      No, it is more than that.

      The invasion of Iraq was purposeful so to position military forces on the 2nd front of Iran.

      You -as most Americans do – remain blissfully unaware of the last time US contrived the overthrow of Iranian democracy in the 50’s.

      All I really know is I don’t want to go to war.

      Thus, the only hope you have is that Iranians arm themselves to the teeth so that the rational cost upon the US is too high to go to war.

      The death-spiral: such an arms race will probably end in war.

      • I actually wish, I was sure what is the right course to take-I am not-I just find that I am not satisfied with knowing just what America did-I also need to know Why they did it. Your arguments never seem to include that part of the equation-because you just automatically blame the hegemonic power-so I have trouble agreeing with you because I feel I only have part of the story.

        • V.H.

          I also need to know Why they did it. Your arguments never seem to include that part of the equation-because you just automatically blame the hegemonic power-so I have trouble agreeing with you because I feel I only have part of the story.

          The Hegemony demands control over certain resources of the region.

          They have demand this control since 1912 – the demand has not changed.

          It is ALWAYS the Hegemony who starts.

          WEAKER POWERS DO NOT ATTACK STRONGER POWERS except for an existential existence of a threat to that weaker power!

          Why?

          Because the Weaker Power will almost always be destroyed if it attacks a Stronger Power.

          So the only time they will attack is when they believe they will be destroyed, thus the rational calculation ends with the same conclusion – destruction – and therefore, opening a small window of survivability is the only choice left (that is, attacking a larger power)

          But the FACT of the matter is both cases is created by a Hegemony – it created the existential threat.

          Now, I know you want to place “blame” somewhere else:

          – but that is demanding that we should blame rock for why it falls – so to “balance” the blame away from gravity. You then continue to blame the rock for the damage of the impact beneath its fall – again, attempting to dismiss the causative roll of gravity.

          • I definitely would rather America was perfect and never to blame-but alas, I simply cannot deceive myself that much, no matter how much I would love too-but on the other hand, you will never convince me that she is always to blame simply because the US is powerful. I will agree that the weaker power must take into account the actions of the more powerful-but I simply do not believe that fact defines who is guilty of bad behavior.

            But we have had this discussion before-so I think I will get off here and get ready for bed. Have a good night BF and lets both hope war does not come-because one thing we both can agree on-the news lately is disturbing

            • V.H.

              I definitely would rather America was perfect and never to blame-

              No one says this.

              It is recognizing cause and effect.

              Failure to recognize this will doom you to imagine God’s and Demons instead of human action.

              you will never convince me that she is always to blame simply because the US is powerful.

              Never said that.

              I said:
              The Hegemony ACTS and the Weaker REACTS

              • To the first part-Say What????

                To the second part-we must have a problem with communication-because I could of sworn you have equated reacting to the hegemony as the reason for all bad that happens-not sure how you can say that isn’t placing all the blame on the hegemony.

                Now I really am going to bed. :)

              • V.H.

                No ma’am.

                You are the one assign “good” and “bad”

                I am assigning CAUSE and EFFECT.

                You nod your head, and look at a situation you assign (judge) to be bad.
                I point to my calculation.
                You do not like the conclusion.

                So you attempt to dispute the cause and effect – not your assignments, nor argue that the action that created the cause should be chosen better

              • Okay BF, I do see a slight difference in word choice-So I will restate-you lay the blame or the credit for the good or bad outcome at the feet of the hegemonic power based on cause and effect-is that better?

                I will admit that the conversation was a little bit about what we should do in Iran and part a disagreement with your hegemony theory. But it wasn’t my intention to use my disagreement about your theory in order to diss your conclusions. Which was why I kept saying I am unsure of what we should do about Iran-and I suspect -we could always do things better in retrospect.

              • V.H.

                Okay BF, I do see a slight difference in word choice-So I will restate-you lay the blame or the credit for the good or bad outcome at the feet of the hegemonic power based on cause and effect-is that better?

                No.
                Again, you are mentally “stuck” in trying to assign your emotions over top of an event.

                A tree falls.
                You assign some emotion (fear/disappointment) to this, and then proclaim your own emotional as if it …somehow… determines the factual outcome.

                It appears you cannot come to grips that conflict between two humans (or by extension, human institutions) always starts with one side doing something.

                One party MUST ACT FIRST.

                This is the essence of human action.

                Your fight with your husband does not occur spontaneously.
                He decided to go with his buddies, and he came home drunk. THIS IS THE ACT
                Your anger at him missing the dinner you made is a response to this act.
                The back/forth continues until some resolution (he gets the dog house) …but this all a consequence of the first act

                You want to leap into the middle – at a point where you can shove your finger in blame to a side that fundamentally can never be the First Actor

              • What?????????????? One acts the other reacts-got it. But unless your suggesting that the shouldn’t interact because it causes a reaction-than the consequences of said actions is important. And if my husband goes out and gets drunk and misses dinner-irritates me I have an abundance of reactions I can have. But if I decide to shot him are you really trying to say that this consequence isn’t the point just the fact that he was the one who acted and I only reacted-no big deal that I overreacted-it’s his fault for pissing me off.

              • V.H.

                One acts the other reacts-got it. But unless your suggesting that the shouldn’t interact because it causes a reaction-than the consequences of said actions is important.

                There is no possibility of NOT reacting because not reacting is called Surrender.

                If you do not react to his drunken behavior, you have accepted -that is,Surrender- to it – and you can expect he will continue such a behavior unabated.

                This is the same in international affairs.

                Iran has but two and only two options against the provocations of the Hegemony.

                (1) Surrender
                (2) Resistance

              • Unless I went out and cheated on him, which caused him to go out and get drunk. Then I reckon he would be the one who had the right to shoot me.

                Now we can do this all day-but if you want to discuss your theory -fine-if you want to discuss Iran and the specific actions and reactions based on the past history of both -fine But if you want to just dismiss Iran’s actions because to you they are just reactions. I’m not interested.

              • V.H.

                But if you want to just dismiss Iran’s actions because to you they are just reactions. I’m not interested.

                Now I know you did not read the post, but merely skimmed it.

                As soon as your eyes saw “Iran” your mind went blank.

                You begin adding your emotionalism, which is completely created by propaganda of your State, with the support of the Main Stream Media.

                I repeat here:
                Similarly, it is possible that Iran’s leadership will miscalculate.

              • Actually, I read every word BF-I simply do not accept your hegemony theory and trying to discuss the right or wrong of past and future actions when you are using this theory as the basis of your reasoning-making any comment I make that references Iran’s actions moot -to you-makes it a waste of my time to even try.

              • V.H.

                -I simply do not accept your hegemony theory

                Then most certainly you believe in magic, Santa Claus and bunnies that lay eggs.

                It is a FACT that cause creates effect.

                It is a FACT that one must ACT before another REACTS.

                It is a FACT that weaker powers do not dominate stronger powers.

                It is a FACT that stronger powers dominate weaker powers.

                To argue against these facts is futile.

                Your need to dispute these facts is because you cannot accept the conclusion these facts deliver.

  8. A video I would have made, if I had such talent:

    “Why, I could just murder you”

    • It’s a GREAT video … except I have a difficult time seeing Obama as anything more than an extension of the money rules segment that preceded it … or the government created by the wealth to protect itself.

      So do away with government, but allow people to form their own communities based on whatever floats their boat … and when those who insist on ruling through money start the process all over again (capitalism), make it real clear they can’t own other people via economics … or the other people may take the tagline serious and just murder them.

      It is a GREAT video.

  9. Good morning BF…….you know that I will not leave this one alone but am hampered at the moment in answering, but answer I will.

    I will sign off saying…that this article is so full of BS I wish I had time to address it now but I do not……however, rest assured…this afternoon.

  10. Flagster,

    I understand your viewpoint and agree to an extent. I think it falls short on some points.

    “Invasion of Iraq after the Invasion of Afghanistan.” Yes we did, and be it right or wrong, we also were honest in our intentions, change their governments and leave. Iran has drawn out our exit by constantly inciting violence in both countries. They promote terrorism. They aid in the killings of innocent women, children and men who have nothing to do with any conflict. We are leaving anyway. Iraq’s government may be short-lived, as a result and Iran can claim victory for driving us out. Is that their reason for giving bombs to militants they train and sending them into markets to kill as many ordinary people as they can, so they can claim “victory”? So killing people is just propaganda for them?

    Afghanistan, rinse and repeat. But that leaves out their own internal problems. Their oppressive government has it’s share of protests. That says a lot when you consider protesting there is likely to get you killed. Having an enemy to point to may be the easiest way to focus the masses attention outward, not inward.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009%E2%80%932010_Iranian_election_protests

    I do agree the US is the primary actor at this time. We will not be threatened if/when they get their first A-bomb. Why then should we be the first to act, attack them in the name of “peace”? The new sanctions amount to economic warfare. Iran could avoid this by allowing UN inspectors. As VH noted, Saddam could have avoided the invasion. Choices are being made by multiple parties. I think the US and Europe hope the sanctions will cause enough internal stress that then causes revolt. We, the world, will force starvation on them until they overthrow their government, or they allow inspections to show they are not developing a nuclear bomb. Both sides could choose a peaceful path.

    • LOI

      ” Yes we did, and be it right or wrong, we also were honest in our intentions

      What bullshit!

      The whole affair was a lie from start to finish.

      The invasion of Afghanistan was to “get OBL”. But! They let him go, and overthrew the Taliban instead, to install their own puppet.

      The invasion of Iraq was a complete fabrication and lie – to control the oil and open a 2nd front.

      Your claim that this was “honest” is utterly perverse.

      • Black Flag,

        Your response seems a bit testy. Aren’t you the calm, collected, thoughtful one here? “utterly perverse”
        You calling me a “pervert”? Well I may be but my wife likes me that way, so not likely to change.

        “What bullshit! Gee, that’s the nearly the same thing D13 said to you.

        The whole affair was a lie from start to finish.” Hmmm, did we leave after overthrowing their government that was hostile, sponsoring terrorism, ignoring UN mandates?

        http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/10/a-look-at-us-presence-in-iraq-after-troops-leave/

        Are we still meddling? Yep. Not sure the “peace loving” liberals aren’t worse.

        • LOI,

          Black Flag, Your response seems a bit testy.

          Not really.
          I am enforcing an academic view point over top of the emotionalism surrounding the issue.

          There is Hegemony/Weaker power
          There is Act/React
          There is a Cause/Effect.

          If you do not like the effect created by the reaction, it is pointless to argue that the fault lies with the Weaker power

          If you want a different effect, it can ONLY be obtained by an action of the Hegemony, which will create a different reaction of the Weaker Power, which will create a different effect.

          • Flagster,

            You are completely wrong!

            “Black Flag, Your response seems a bit testy. Not really.”

            Your first response to me was profanity. ” What bullshit!”
            That is an emotional response, not a thoughtful, reasoned response.

            “I am enforcing an academic view point over top of the emotionalism surrounding the issue.”

            Seems like we’ve debated the actions of some “academic’s” here, like those in the Obama administration trying to run our economy. All hail the mighty academics!!!!

            “I am enforcing a view point”
            So you are trying to “force” your viewpoint on me? Good luck with that….and I thought you were opposed to the use of force? Remember, anything you say, can and will be used against you. Hehehehahahah

            • LOI

              Flagster, You are completely wrong! “Black Flag, Your response seems a bit testy. Not really.” Your first response to me was profanity. ” What bullshit!” That is an emotional response, not a thoughtful, reasoned response. “I am enforcing an academic view point over top of the emotionalism surrounding the issue.” Seems like we’ve debated the actions of some “academic’s” here, like those in the Obama administration trying to run our economy. All hail the mighty academics!!!! “I am enforcing a view point” So you are trying to “force” your viewpoint on me? Good luck with that….and I thought you were opposed to the use of force? Remember, anything you say, can and will be used against you. Hehehehahahah

              I await a coherent reply

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                Actually I think we’ll Khadaffi Assad in Syria first. Pulled out the embassy staff. That’s interesting. Notice I am using Khadaffi as a verb now, a whole new way of the USA doing business.

        • LOI

          No, the US has not “left” – it has executed a substitution.

          There are still bases there that are still manned by US military.

          The occupation has changed from Army to “contractors”.

          The embassy -larger than Vatican city- is still there.

          their government that was hostile, sponsoring terrorism, ignoring UN mandates?

          For a moment there, I though you were referring to Israel

  11. Seriously, if we’re so worried about other countries obtaining and possibly nukes, why not bomb everybody else and get it over with?

    Answer: Because we’d get bombed right back and the powers that be are unable as of yet to guarantee their own safety.

    Conclusion: Iran should do whatever it wants for its own purposes, to include deterence. Haven’t we lost enough yet trying to “influence” other nations with our military. See Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq and Afghanistan for starters … oy vey

  12. Charlie, Iran signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. No take backs…… “after three years of rebuffing U.N. calls for answers.”

    Iran’s top diplomat offered Monday to extend the current visit of U.N. nuclear inspectors and expressed optimism their findings would help ease tensions despite international claims that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.

    The comments by Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, reported by Iran’s official news agency, underscored efforts to display cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency team and downplay the expectations of a confrontation atmosphere during the three-day visit that began Sunday.

    The IAEA mission is the first to Iran since a report in November that suggested some of the Islamic Republic’s alleged experiments — cited in intelligence documents — can have no other purpose than developing nuclear weapons. The current inspection team includes two senior weapons experts, hinting that Iran may be prepared to discuss specific points on the claims it seeks to develop warheads after three years of rebuffing U.N. calls for answers.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/01/30/iran-offers-to-extend-un-nuclear-inspection/?test=latestnews#ixzz1kxLteDVP

    • Charlie, Iran signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. No take backs…… “after three years of rebuffing U.N. calls for answers.”

      No take backs? Says who? I think that’s up to Iran to make that decision, not the rest of the world (or anybody else) who doesn’t have Iran’s interest as their top priority.

      I wouldn’t allow an inspector on my porch, never mind inside my house. There’s no warrant that permits one country from inspecting another country without the permission of the country about to be inspected. If they (Iran) aren’t permitting inspectors (for whatever reason) the rest of the world has to live with it. Unless it chooses to bomb Iran and then you need to take another look at that very excellent video. We dropped more bombs on an innocent nation (Cambodia) during our “police action” with Vietnam than we used in the entirety of WWII–Fact.

      What exactly did that get us?

      • Charlie

        No take backs…… “after three years of rebuffing U.N. calls for answers.” No take backs? Says who?

        Exactly right!

        India repealed its participation to the NPT 24 hours before exploding its first bomb.

        S. Africa repealed its participation to the NPT a few months before it exploded its first bomb.

        The NPT is a voluntary treaty – more like a proclamation. It has no real force unless you participate, but as participation is voluntary, the moment you do not want to abide by it, you dismiss it.

        Its existence was to be able to obtain the benefits of nuclear energy from the nuclear powers without having to pay a lot for it.

        The deal was: don’t make a bomb, and US/Britain/France/Russia will build you nuke reactors.

        Iran takes the deal, but US reneges – and you wonder why Iran and the rest of the NPT participants are raging.

        It is the reneging of the US that creates the conditions for the NPT members to actually want to obtain nukes.

  13. My position is and always been: the HEGEMONY acts, the WEAKER react

    Your theory doesn’t stand up to these kind of circumstances. In this case Iran or others are the hegemony. I realize you are speaking about countries not groups but these kind of problems can lead to war also.:

    http://www.raymondibrahim.com/10989/muslim-persecution-of-christians-december-2011

    • Anita

      Your theory doesn’t stand up to these kind of circumstances.

      **blink**

      In this case Iran or others are the hegemony.

      How do you make such a calculation?
      By what measure?

      How many military bases does Iran have outside of Iran? (zero)
      How many does the US have in Iraq alone? (34!)

      How many aircraft carriers does Iran have? (zero)
      How many nuclear weapons does Iran have? (zero)
      How many intercontinental bombers does Iran have (zero)
      How many blue ocean battle groups? (zero)

      I realize you are speaking about countries not groups but these kind of problems can lead to war also.: http://www.raymondibrahim.com/10989/muslim-persecution-of-christians-december-2011

      This is not a geopolitical problem that will lead to World War III

      • I’m saying that many hard feelings are based on religion. A person’s faith shouldn’t be a reason for killing..but when such killings don’t get condemned by “the state” look where we end up.

        • Anita,

          killings don’t get condemned by “the state” look where we end up.

          I think you believe the “State” cares about killing innocent people!!

          You are trapped in an illusion.

          The State prohibits an individual killing another individual – not because the State loves you – but because such an act, should it be accepted, challenges the State’s monopoly on killing innocent people

          This is a core understanding of the psychology of the State.
          It has no qualms regarding killing innocent people, nor to its theft, or any of its human crimes.
          It is the worse criminal of humanity – it has killed more people, and stolen more loot than all individual criminals combined by orders of magnitude.

          So to believe the State has compassion is a deadly human disease.

          The State acts against individual theft and murder, etc. so to maintain is MONOPOLY in doing such acts – it cannot ever allow any competition in these matters since it would give an opportunity to the competitor to overthrow the State and seize its legitimacy

          If any State turns a blind eye to a crime it is because such crimes enhances the State’s position in society and the State sees it as a benefit to its own power and not a threat.

          So, here in this case, the State builds itself upon a religious dogma. When others attack those that would deny such dogma, the State sees the attacker as an ally and not a threat

          This occurs in every State, including yours.

          • Anita,

            Here is an example in your own country, from another blog:

            A classic strategy of politicians who are facing a tax revolt is to shut down services that voters regard as crucial. The police are favorites. They become sacrificial lambs.

            The politicians say that they just cannot find anything else to cut. So, they use the police as the sacrificial lambs. This pressures voters back down.

            The latest big city to adopt this tactic is Detroit, It will not be the last. The city will close a number of Detroit’s police stations for 16 hours a day.

            Will citizens be able to report crimes? They can leave a message on a recording machine. They can log in on the police department’s Website.

            The city will lay off 100 police officers.

            Criminals in Detroit will have a field day. That is basic to the the politicians’ strategy. They use the criminals as accomplices to carry out their program of terrorizing citizens. The criminals whip the voters into line.

            So, you can see the strategy in every government everywhere.
            When criminals enhance State power, criminals run unmolested.
            When criminals threaten State power, criminals are smitten.

            The difference of the attitude of the State is not measured on your safety or security but totally measured on the rise or fall of State power

            • I’m with you here. Maybe you don’t like my reference to faith as a comparison. Take gun control for example. The good guys give up their guns but the bad guys still have them. Put that on an international scale..If the USA backs totally away from Iran is Iran still peaceful? NO. They still want to wipe Israel off the map.

              • Anita

                .If the USA backs totally away from Iran is Iran still peaceful? NO. They still want to wipe Israel off the map.

                This is a total lie.

                First, 300 years of evidence shows that Iran has no interest in extending its borders.

                The review of history of the last 200 years shows that Iran has been the victim of international intrigue not instigator.

                Iran was Israel’s best ally in the region up until the end of the Shah.

                Iran become Israel’s enemy when Iran became the USA’s “enemy”.

                Iran’s rulers and government have repeatedly said that they have no stake in the existence or lack of existence of Israel. They have stated, however, that the conflict in Palestine DOES effect their region, and they are angry at the hypocrisy of the US in this affair and the duplicity of Israel in this affair.

                Whether Iran is peaceful after the US withdrawal is moot. The region is not the United States. It is up to that region to organize themselves.

                As already provided, Iran -compared to its possible adversaries – is a weak power. Saudi, alone, is bigger. Israel, alone, is bigger.

              • Anita, Israel has a stockpile of nuclear weapons (which everyone conveniently ignores), if Iran were to “wipe Israel off the map” what would happen to Iran?

          • BF

            You are once again assigning human cognition and purpose to an inanimate object, well actually an organization, comprised of hundreds and thousands of “individual” people.. All of whom have their own personal values, biases and weaknesses.

            In my view you fail when you describe the STATE as some thinking and deliberate THING independent of the people who are part of it and those who support it, by what ever means.

            For example, the STATE does not outlaw killing innocents so that IT can maintain a monopoly.

            It outlaws killing innocents because the citizens DON”T condone Killing Innocent people. Whether misguided or not, they create Govt to eliminate the Vigilante mentality and the chaos that would ensue from people administering justice on their own.

            It is Because Govt is a monopoly on the use of force that People support the formation of Govt. They want OBJECTIVE administration of Justice according to their laws.

            Now we can certainly discuss how this “goal” has and will fail due to the corruption of mankind, but we can’t claim that Govt creates itself and then acts deliberately JUST to be able to KILL INNOCENT people.

    • BF

      Care to share the title and metrics for your citations?

      How much someone spends on something, or their share of global expense is NOT a measure of Hegemony.

      • JAC,

        You can do the addition and division yourself, the numbers are completely available to you.

        This is a graphing of data, not the data itself.

        And, YES IT IS!

        There is an absolute direct correlation between military capacity and the spending on military.
        There is an absolute direct correlation between military capacity and the ability to maintain foreign bases.
        There is an absolute direct correlation between the establishment of foreign bases within a region and its hegemony within that region.

        You do not need 55% of the entire world’s military spending to maintain bases in your own country, but you most certainly need that spending if you are maintain a global empire

        • BF

          So are the graphs depicting “military spending”???

          As I said, when you post graphics it is helpful if you include the LEGEND.

          You say I am wrong then you agree with me. Good grief.

          Expenditure is not a measure of Hegemony.

          It is WHAT is done with the expenditure.

          Obvious correlation does not make a definition.

          • JAC

            is helpful if you include the LEGEND

            *cough*

            The chart, and the slices are LABELED, thus a legend is not necessary.
            The 2nd has the axis labeled (nation, dollars spent).

            What you are missing I do not know.

            Expenditure is not a measure of Hegemony.

            Of course it is, as I have already provided the reasoning.

            Human action is praxalogical.

            That is, it can only be derived by observation and reasoning.
            There is no experiment capable of testing.

            The observation is direct and irrefutable.
            The global hegemony is perfectly clear.
            Regional hegemonic powers are perfectly clear.

    • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

      What do the pie charts look like prior to 1940?

  14. Me and BF on the same side …

    I’m checking carbon dioxide levels right now.

  15. I just finished reading a book on the “Six Day War”. I was not aware that Egypt was fighting a war with Yemen at that time. I think the Arab nations need Israel, the US and other western nations as enemies to keep them from constant war with each other.

    http://www.army.mil/professionalWriting/volumes/volume2/march_2004/3_04_3.html

    • LOI

      “constant war”

      Yes, that may be true. But, then, let’s extend the thinking.

      That means Israel is the cause that is unifying the Arabs – and it is arguable that maintaining discourse among this group will also prohibit its ability to extend the reach of its violence – ie: keep it local.

      As that is true, the strategy of Israel as an violent antagonist and the hawk in the region is completely counter-productive.

      And as that is true, the strategy of involving US hegemony in the region to support Israel is even worse a strategy

    • I think Israel’s strategy is to survive. The Arab nations have only been agreeable to the Jews existence as slaves or subjects. They will not agree to an independent nation for Jews. I am not saying I agree with the US or Israel. But they are pretty much damned whatever they do with Iran’s “Supreme Leader” calling for Israel’s destruction. I still think part of it is to avoid what has/is befalling others….

      http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/01/27/new_un_draft_resolution_gives_syria_15_days_to_comply

      • Just an observation, don’t really know enough history to comment much-but can we even discuss the craziness of the world without looking at the UN and all the other “world” organizations that have been created-which do nothing but interfere and cause conflict-not to mention their efforts to take away countries Sovereignty, under the banner of world peace.

        • V.H.

          Yes there are hundreds of spoons the spinning and swirling in the soup pot.

          Does make it nearly impossible to see who/where/what.

          The answer:
          take your spoon out of the soup pot.

      • LOI

        I think Israel’s strategy is to survive.

        If that is their goal, then their choice of strategy is a disaster.

        They are not stupid.
        They know which strategy to choose.

        They choose this one.

        Their goal is not to survive.

        Their goal is to dominate and expand.

        But they are pretty much damned whatever they do with Iran’s “Supreme Leader” calling for Israel’s destruction.

        It is amazing how a lie never dies.

        • “Their goal is to dominate and expand.”

          Hmmm, the Arabs rejected the UN resolution in 48″ and attacked Israel, and were defeated.
          The Six Day War, Egypt kicked out the UN peacekeepers and occupied the Sinai Desert, closed the straight to all Israeli traffic, cutting off their oil supply. Israel attacked Egypt, but stopped at the Suez Canal. Jordan attacked and they took the West Bank, but stopped from taking all of Jordan. Syria had been shelling Israeli villages from the Golan Heights. They took the heights and stopped. In all three instances, they could have taken their foes capitols. They could have destroyed the governments that had brought the conflict to a head. Nasser had attacked Yemen, then became incessant on the Arabs destroying Israel.

          The Jews had agreed to two states. They had even agreed to sharing Jerusalem. The Jews have the clearest, longest claim to that land, but have shown willingness to share and co-exist in peace. The Arabs refuse peace unless it is Jews living in an Arab state. The Jews cannot have their own state. The broad definition of Zionism is simply a land for the Jews. How many times do we hear about the evil racism of Zionism? Wanting their own land is evil? Land that has been taken from them countless times by armed conquest?
          from wikipedia

          Jewish, Muslim and Christian groups invoke religious arguments for their uncompromising positions.[3] Contemporary history of the Arab–Israeli conflict is very much affected by Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious beliefs and their interpretations of the idea of the chosen people in their policies with regard to the “Promised Land” and the “Chosen City” of Jerusalem.[4]

          The Land of Canaan or Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel) was, according to the Torah promised by God to the Children of Israel. According to biblical studies, the Israelites ruled that land from the 13th or 14th century BCE to the 1st century BCE (with short periods of foreign rule), remaining an ethnic majority of the population in the area until the 7th century CE.

          Muslims also claim rights to that land in accordance with the Quran.[7] Contrary to the Jewish claim that this land was promised only to the descendants of Abraham’s younger son Isaac, they argue that the Land of Canaan was promised to all descendants of Abraham, including his elder son Ishmael, from whom Arabs claim descent.[7] Additionally, Muslims also revere many sites holy for Biblical Israelites, such as The Cave of the Patriarchs and the Temple Mount, and in the past 1,400 years have constructed Islamic landmarks on these ancient Israelite sites, such as the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Muslims also believe that Muhammad passed through Jerusalem on his first journey to heaven.
          (note, this has been shown to be a fabricated story to justify their claim to Jerusalem)

          Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, claims that all of the land of Palestine (the current Israel and Palestinian territories) is an Islamic waqf that must be governed by Muslims.[8]

          • LOI

            Your history is cherry-picked and skewed.
            ‘Nuf said.

            • Likewise I’m sure. Remember when Arafat walked out on the peacetalks? Israel was willing to give him 95% of the territory demanded for peace. He/they chose violence. And this is funny to me, that I have come to your side on most of this, that the US should not be pushing Iran. Add to that, just as the US policy before WW2 brought us into conflict with Japan, not who was right/wrong, but cause and effect. And now we are doing the same thing with Iran. It is economic warfare. I think it’s a poor policy.

              Sticks and stones
              may break my bones
              but words
              will never hurt me

              Iran has said many things that should cause us to doubt their peaceful intent. So what?
              We are not harmed. But they appear to be collecting more and bigger sticks and rocks.
              Again, for us , so what? We have might and distance, enough that they are little threat to us, unless we keep pressuring them to act. Japan was foolish to attack the US. But they did. Iran would be foolish to attack the US, but they might anyway. History has shown madmen and zealots can achieve things thought impossible. Lesson there, don’t play with crazy people, like the Pres. of Iran. No matter what, it will not end well.

              Israel and Saudi Arabia might be in a different position. They should decide that, not the US. Be interesting to sit back and watch, knowing neither wants Iran to have the bomb, who would pull the trigger first?

              • Economic warfare is alive and well. China is the master of it. Better than we are. i do not know if using economics is right or wrong. it is used against the United States on a consistent basis.

                Are you saying that economic sanction is pushing Iran to a shooting war? How and why?

            • Here are excerpts from the most truthful analysis the NYT-WaPo Axis has ever published. It’s called, “Will Israel Attack Iran?” and written by Ronen Bergman, a very skilled analyst for Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. Bergman quotes two people, PM Bibi Netanyahu, and his Labour Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak. They are from different parties, but both served as paratroops in combat. Both have made good and bad decisions. And both consider themselves responsible “in a very direct and concrete way for the existence of the State of Israel — indeed, for the future of the Jewish people.”

              … Barak laid out three … questions

              1. Does Israel have the ability to cause severe damage to Iran’s nuclear sites and bring about a major delay in the Iranian nuclear project? And can (Israel) withstand the inevitable counterattack?

              2. Does Israel have … support, particularly from America, for carrying out an attack?

              3. Have all other possibilities … been exhausted, bringing Israel to the point of last resort?”

              And then the punch line:

              For the first time … some of Israel’s most powerful leaders believe that the response to all of these questions is yes.

              The “most powerful leaders” are obviously Netanyahu and Barak. Between them they represent a majority of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesseth.

              Barack Obama has been playing chicken with Israel on a second Holocaust. That is grossly irresponsible, but it’s no particular surprise for the worst foreign policy president in American history. Obama has been just as destructive to the Arabs by supporting the anarchy, warfare, and economic destruction of the perversely misnamed “Arab Spring.” And by failing to keep the faith with our allies all over the world, Obama has weakened confidence in the United States from Asia to the Eastern Europe. But in national security, as in finance, confidence means everything.

              Obama has essentially lost the Middle East, where nobody now trusts us. The Saudis are furious at Obama for failing to protect them against Iranian nukes, which are much closer to their shores than they are to Israel.

              Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/01/israel_to_iran_its_crunch_time.html#ixzz1l2kShEyl

              • Good morning, LOI…….you posted “Obama has essentially lost the Middle East, where nobody now trusts us. The Saudis are furious at Obama for failing to protect them against Iranian nukes, which are much closer to their shores than they are to Israel.”

                How right you are. Perception is everything in the Arab world. EVERYTHING!!!!…..the US foreign policy is not even a paper tiger anymore…it is a bygone product. If Obama is successful in a second term, you will see a huge explosion of hegemony……not by the US…….but China and Iran.

            • Brotherhood would cancel Camp David Agreement, says Hezbollah official
              Author: Haitham Dabbour

              Tehran — Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood will eventually cancel the Camp David Agreement, despite the group’s announcement that it respects international agreements Egypt has signed, said Amin al-Sayed Ibrahim, head of Hezbollah’s political council.

              Speaking to the “International Conference on Islamic Awakening and the Youths,” Ibrahim said that the Egyptian military, so as not to lose its clout, would never allow the Brotherhood to write the constitution or even form a constituent assembly to write the constitution.

              Following their electoral victories in Parliament, Egypt’s most organized political group has offered assurances that it would respect the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

              When asked early this month whether Washington believed that the Islamist party would uphold the treaty, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that the party “has made commitments to us in this regard.”

              Ibrahim said that the current unrest in Syria is a conspiracy and not a revolution, as western media claims. The Egyptian delegation clashed with him over the remarks.

              “The Syrians transfer arms to the Palestinian resistance,” he said.

              Over 1,200 young people from Iran as well as 73 other countries are participating in the two-day conference, Iran’s Fars news agency reported on Monday.

  16. :|

  17. Bob

    Re: Israel’s nukes.

    It would seem to me that the potential threat of a few nukes is greatest to the country that is geographically the smallest.

    Now, if Israel retaliates to an attack by Iran, what do you suppose happens next?

    If Iran has enough nukes to deter an Isreali attack, whether first or retaliatory, then how does Israel respond to increased gorilla warfare supported by Iran???

    Don’t get me wrong here. I am all for letting them sort it out among themselves.

    It just seems to me that the potential outcome is often “over simplified” and tied up with pretty ribbons. Seems the outcome is more likely to be much uglier.

    • JAC asks: Now, if Israel retaliates to an attack by Iran, what do you suppose happens next?

      D13: What would you do JAC? Retaliate or take it? The US will do nothing. It will not attack Iran on Israels behalf. I do not think Iran will attack Israel at all….Russia and China will not allow it. Iran is a puppet.

      • d13

        I personally would do nothing if Israel responded to an attack with an equal or much greater counter attack.

        Now on the major points:

        I wouldn’t have our troops stationed all over the middle east and I wouldn’t be trying to dictate to them how to live their lives.

        I would leave Israel to fend for itself and figure out how THEY want to make peace happen, if at all.

        I would maintain our “friendship” with Israel, but not declare some Alliance that forces us to be attached at the hip. Stand up for them in the national arena of diplomacy when they deserve it, and chastise them when they deserve it.

        I would make it clear to Iran that any, and I mean ANY, attack on the USA would be met with their annihilation. That is the LEADERSHIP.

        I happen to think that Ron Paul is about 95% correct on the foreign policy issues. I disagree with him on “no need for the CIA”. We should not use them to topple, or otherwise manipulate Govts of other countries. But we need them to identify, assess and destroy “threats” to the USA. Those accusing Paul of promoting “isolationism” are dupes for the status quo. There is nothing “isolationist” about trading with everyone, with friendly to all and favorites to none.

        Now I have a few questions for you, given your worldly travels and knowledge.

        Do you think Islam can bind a global, or at least hemispheric, action by numerous Nations against the rest of the world?

        In other words, is there truly an Islamic War against the world, or part of the world, and if so can it really be maintained via the unifying force of Islam itself???

        Can it really overcome clan, tribe and other national identities in a lasting way?

        • I meant to ask if YOU were attacked but I am in agreement with you. If Israel is attacked, let them work it out but also do not hamper them.

          Your points are well taken and correct.

          JAC asks: Do you think Islam can bind a global, or at least hemispheric, action by numerous Nations against the rest of the world?

          Ok, you are asking about Islam, the religion. I think it can bind hemispheric to a degree but not local. Generational, radical Islam, is running into trouble. It takes the older clerics to bind. The younger ones are becoming less oppressive and more liberal. However, in Iran, for example, younger clerics are beginning to be exiled or assassinated..but that is not limited to Iran. The same is now happening in Yemen and Egypt…soon Syria and Ethiopia. This Muslim Brotherhood is a pariah and is the assassination arm.

          Is there an Islamic War? Great question and needs to be answered very carefully. The answer is no….and then again…yes. Not against the world, however. If there is a war, it is within itself. Again, it boils down to the hard liners and the preservation of the old established religion. But against the world……I do not think so. I am still assuming you are talking the religion, per se.

          Practicing Islamist will always revere Islam, the religion. Shiites and Baath and Kurds, etc, will always practice the same religion of Islam but their clan or tribal issues are not centered around religion. Think about the American Indian….they all believed basically the same way but they fought against each other all the time. For territory, for honor, for prestige…but never was it a religious war.

          The issue since the 1970’s is that the real religion of Islam has been hijacked by the hardliners and the fundamentalists……and they have taken over. Islam, by itself, is no worse nor better than any other organized religion. They have a silent majority that are afraid to speak out because of retribution.

  18. Error, error, error!

    It is a FACT that weaker powers do not dominate stronger powers.

    Gandhi vs. the UK …

    I think you meant stronger powers start shit vs. weaker powers …

  19. Sorry-I had to post this article-I’ve been trying to make the same point for days using discrimination laws. Unfortunately, everyone seemed to believe i was simply worried about the elimination of religion from our society instead of seeing the big picture I was trying to highlight. But this article does a much better job of saying what I was trying to say.

    Religious Liberty and Civil Society
    By Yuval Levin
    January 30, 2012 12:02 P.M.
    Comments
    19
    When even E.J. Dionne can’t quite bring himself to defend the Obama administration’s assault on religious liberty, you know the president must have a real problem. In his column today, Dionne tries his best to avoid making his point too clear. He spends most of his time laying out all the nice things Obama has said to liberal Catholics and only then turns to how Obama has now utterly betrayed them. But the point is straightforward: The president is willing to pay lip service to religious liberty, but when it comes time for action he wants to enforce the agenda of the radical left and to push civil society out of the government’s way. Dionne will presumably forgive the president as soon as he mentions income inequality again, but other religious voters who took a chance on him might not.

    And they’re right to be angry and worried. The particulars of what the Obamacare insurance mandate rule does, and the unwillingness of the administration to exempt religious employers, are just stunning. Religious institutions are basically going to be fined for holding views regarding contraception, sterilization, and abortion that are different from the Obama administration’s views. For instance, Notre Dame University, which employs more than 5,000 people, is going to be given the choice of either expressly violating its religious convictions or paying a $10 million fine to the federal government. It’s bad enough that any employer with a moral objection has to spend his money this way, but it is especially egregious to compel religious institutions to do so.

    As many have noted around here, the fact of the administration’s willingness to do this sheds light on its hostility to (or at the very least its contempt for) religious liberty. But it’s not quite that simple. This incident (and especially the nature of the exemption that the administration was willing to grant, which is essentially an exemption for actual houses of worship but not for other religiously-affiliated institutions) also sheds light on a very deeply rooted problem in our tradition of religious liberty itself—a problem that should cause those of us inclined to seek recourse in “conscience protection” and religious exemptions to pause and think.

    The English common law tradition of religious toleration, which we inherited, has always had a problem with religious institutions that are not houses of worship—i.e. that are geared to ends other than the practice of religion itself. To (vastly) oversimplify for a moment, that tradition began (in the 16th century, and in some respects even earlier) with the aim of protecting Protestant dissenters and Jews but (very intentionally) not protecting Catholics. And the way it took shape over the centuries in an effort to sustain that distinction was by drawing a line between individual religious practice (in which the government could not interfere) and an institutional religious presence (which was given far less protection). Because Catholicism is a uniquely institutional religion—with large numbers of massive institutions for providing social services, educating children and adults, and the like, all of which are more or less parts of a single hierarchy—this meant Catholics were simply not granted the same protection as others. Obviously the intent to treat Catholics differently has for the most part fallen away since then, but the evolved legal tradition is very much with us, and it is not a coincidence that it always seems to be the Catholic Church that gets caught up in these situations when the government overreaches.

    The inclination to resort to an argument for “conscience protection” when this happens is quite natural and understandable—the language of freedom of conscience is the essential vocabulary of our legal tradition of religious liberty. But it is problematic in instances like this precisely because that tradition itself is problematic in instances like this. Does an institution have a conscience? Does it make sense to speak in highly individualistic terms like conscience when discussing threats to religious liberty in our civil society? Is it right to ask for individual exemptions—accepting as a narrow and revocable favor from the state a freedom that until now was understood as a broad restriction on the power of the state—when the question on the table is really the basic character of our society?

    In this sense, what is at issue in the controversy over the administration’s rule is not just the question of religious liberty but the question of non-governmental institutions in a free society. Does civil society consist of a set of institutions that help the government achieve its purposes as it defines them when their doing so might be more efficient or convenient than the state’s doing so itself, or does civil society consist of an assortment of efforts by citizens to band together in pursuit of mutual aims and goods as they understand them? Is it an extension of the state or of the community? In this arena, as in a great many others, the administration is clearly determined to see civil society as merely an extension of the state, and to clear out civil society—clearing out the mediating layers between the individual and the state—when it seems to stand in the way of achieving the president’s agenda. The idea is to leave as few non-individual players as possible in the private sphere, and to turn those few that are left into agents of the government. This is the logic of a lot of the administration’s approach to the private economy, not just to civil society. It is key to the design of Obamacare (which aims to yield massive consolidation in the insurance sector, leaving just a handful of very large insurers that would function as public utilities), of significant portions of Dodd-Frank (which would privilege and protect a few very large banks that would function as public utilities while strangling all the others with red tape), and of much of the regulatory agenda of the left. And it is all the more so the character of the administration’s approach to charitable institutions. It is an attack on mediating institutions of all sorts, moved by the genuine belief that they are obstacles to a good society.

    This approach is especially noxious and pernicious when it is directed at religiously affiliated institutions—both because they deserve special standing and because they do some of the hardest and most needful work of charity and care in our society. We should use every available means to protect those institutions from this mortal danger, and that certainly includes resorting to the language of conscience and exemption. But as we do so, we should not forget that we are dealing with an instance of a larger and deeper danger, and we should do what we can to combat that danger in its own terms. It is perhaps the gravest threat to freedom in American life today.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/289647/religious-liberty-and-civil-society-yuval-levin

  20. Interview with Michael Oren, author of “The Six Day War”.

    What changes took place in your outlook by the time you had completed your book?

    “Prior to my work on the 1967 war, I believed the politics in the Middle East-as elsewhere in the world-were the product of rational decision making, a reflection of cogent analyses on the part of Arab and Israeli leaders. Today I know differently. Of all the insights I gleaned from my research-the extent of the Egyptian war planning, for example, or the depth of Israeli fears-none altered my thinking more than the realization that politics in the Middle East are, more often than not, random and unpredictable, arbitrary in their course and potentially explosive in their outcome.

  21. Read this in a comment-thought it was funny :)

    Here’s the difference : Your out 100 yards in the water drowning.

    Conservitve : will throw you a 50 yard rope and tell you to swim for it
    .
    Liberal : will throw you 200 yards of rope and then let go of it and move on to a new cause .

    Libertarian : Sorry this information BLACKED OUT by the MSM .

    Like
    Reply

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/30/in-a-gop-bloodbath-libertarians-win/#ixzz1l3YGFyP8

  22. AZ Woman Barred From City Council Race Because She Can’t Speak English Proficiently Files Appeal

    Posted on January 31, 2012 at 8:26am by Jonathon M. Seidl Jonathon M. Seidl

    Alejandria Cabrera Appeals Being Removed From Ballot for English SkillsPHOENIX (AP) — A woman who was barred from running for a city council seat in Arizona because she doesn‘t speak English proficiently has appealed the judge’s ruling to the state’s highest court.

    Lawyers for Alejandrina Cabrera said they want the matter settled by Wednesday because election ballots will start being printed Thursday. Officials said, however, that the state Supreme Court hasn’t set a briefing schedule as of Monday night.

    Yuma County Superior Court Judge John Nelson ruled last week that Cabrera’s name be stricken from the March ballot for San Luis City Council.

    The case has brought national and international attention to the southern Arizona city after Mayor Juan Carlos Escamilla filed a court action asking for a determination on whether Cabrera has the English skills necessary to serve a four-year term on the council.

    State law requires elected officials to know English, but Cabrera‘s attorneys claim the law doesn’t define proficiency in the language.

    Cabrera told the Yuma Sun that she needs to improve her command of English but said her language skills are adequate for serving the border city of San Luis, where Spanish is used as often as English. She also told the newspaper that she will keep campaigning during the appeal.

    Cabrera, who last year launched two unsuccessful attempts to recall Escamilla as mayor, was one of 10 candidates who filed petitions to run for the council.

    Nelson’s ruling was based on tests administered by a sociolinguistics expert, as well as her inability to respond to questions posed to her in English at last week’s hearing in Yuma. The removal of Cabrera from the ballot also stemmed from a Dec. 14 complaint made by former mayor Guillermina Fuentes that Cabrera isn’t fluent in English, according to The Sun.

    Fuentes claimed she has acted as an interpreter for Cabrera.

    Sociolinguistics expert William Eggington presented the court with results of three different tests he administered to Cabrera, who graduated from Kofa High School in Yuma. One measured her English-speaking skill, another was to determine if she reads the language, and the third was to assess her level of English comprehension.

    Eggington‘s report said Cabrera’s English skills did not meet the level of language proficiency needed to serve on the council.

    Cabrera’s lawyers said the action against their client was politically motivated because of her efforts to recall Escamilla. Cabrera began circulating petitions to recall the mayor in April after the council hiked utility rates and approved the layoffs of 12 city employees as part of spending cuts.

    Should english proficiency be a requirement for office?
    Yes, that’s a no brainer
    No, we don’t have an official language
    Let the voters decide when the candidate runs

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/az-woman-barred-from-city-council-race-because-she-cant-speak-english-proficiently-files-appeal/

    I say Yes

  23. The Associated Press reports: :)

    The nation’s leading breast-cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is halting its partnerships with Planned Parenthood affiliates — creating a bitter rift, linked to the abortion debate, between two iconic organizations that have assisted millions of women.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/289798/taking-back-pink-planned-parenthood-news-precious-reporting-kathryn-jean-lopez

  24. Good Afternoon, friend BF….. There are some aspects in this article that have some relevance. So, here goes.

    It is important to understand who wrote the article. Michael Rozeff needs to stick with what he knows and that is economics. One only needs to read his articles to see that he is anti-war, anti-state, and pro market. Nothing wrong, in general, with these three topics but I suggest reading several of his articles….especially: Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs Domination. His anti-war stance centers around the fact that there is no need for war regardless of the circumstances and that all war is derived from carefully orchestrated circumstance to benefit the aggressor, which is always the United States or its allies. His anti-state stance does not refer to the collection of states in the United States but, rather, a state = country. His strong suit is economics and I think he should stay right there. He is a strong advocate of Ludwig Von Mises, Austrian school of Economics, and quite regularly lectures there. His writings can be found on LEWROCKWELL.COM.

    Now, to the article that BF submitted and where I find faulty logic. Remember, I am no different than Mr. Rozeff, other than, I am not a professor of Economics trying to write about world affairs on strategy and how bad the US seems to be in his eyes, which is the mantra of most academia. So, I will respond with my opinions and these are my opinions. Academia needs to stick with its theories and quit playing in bizzaro world where it is not qualified to play.
    It is important to remember that the author of this article has already made up his mind that the United States is at fault regardless of the circumstances. BF has made up his mind that hegemony alone is the root cause of reaction. They both have made up their mind that all circumstances are the result of the United States and nothing that anyone says is going to change it. So, his, Rozeff’s, conclusion is inevitable and no amount of reversal of the United States will change this author’s mind.

    Rozeff states: “Which state, the U.S. or Iran, more likely wants a war with the other? It’s the side that thinks it benefits from such a war.”
    D13: This is a no brainer. ANY WAR is going to be whoever thinks it benefits from it. No one, whether violent or peaceful, tries to attain something unless they think they are going to benefit.
    Rozeff states: “Any U.S.-Iran war will be entirely the doing of the U.S.”
    D13: If one wishes to believe US hegemony is a reason, then define hegemony. Because hegemony can be anything from economics to trade to military conquest. Therefore, anything that the United States does or has done…..will be hegemony. Definition of HEGEMONY – 1: preponderant influence or authority over others : domination. 2: the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group. So you see, anything can be classified as hegemony.
    Even the definition of influence is not sacrosanct. So, it is an open ended argument. The United States, even if it was completely neutral and practiced isolationism, its mere size and political or economic influence will be considered hegemony….in order to blame the United States. There are hegemonic powers all of this world but the US is singled out because it is the big boy on the block for now. China is hegemonic, Russia is hegemonic, Germany is hegemonic, Venezuela is hegemonic, Cuba is hegemonic….all in their own rights and all trying to extend power militarily, or economically, and/or politically. The United States is quick to be blamed when Russia and China, who do so quietly, are vying for the same ME oil and oil rights. But I am sure that the blame will be the US for starting it first….which is untrue.

    Rozeff states: “Therefore, when and if such a war starts, no matter by what incidents it is triggered, we can be 100% certain that the U.S. has caused and precipitated this war because it, not Iran, is the state that foresees the benefits of such a war.”
    D13: Preposterous. Just read the statement and it speaks for itself. It is going to be 100% the United States fault regardless. The United States has NO REASON to attack Iran. Nuclear weapons? Why would the United States attack Iran for its nuclear weapons? Iran has no delivery system. The United States will not attack Iran. It has no reason to do so….and before we go further, attack is defined as invading Iran with a ground force military for the purpose of occupying. Not firing in response to being fired upon in international airspace or waterways. The presence of the United States in international airspace or waterways is in no way a provocative act. No different at all than the presence of Russian aircraft in International airspace on US borders or Russian warships routinely patrolling within three miles of Galveston Island or within three miles of Miami Florida or conducting missile drills off Washington DC. THERE SIMPLY IS NO DIFFERENCE. Does one automatically assume that Russia is going to attack and, therefore, are we justified in sinking their ships? Of course not.

    Rozeff states: “This is why Iran has tolerated, so far and to a remarkable degree, the intrusions of U.S. subversions and covert activities in Iran, the assassinations of scientists, the computer disruptions, the embargos, the sanctions, the U.S. warships, the U.S. threats, and the U.S. troops being placed nearby.”
    D13: Item by item ….(1)” intrusions of the US in subversion and covert activities”….speculative at best. This is cold war stuff revisited from the 60’s and 70’s. (2) “assassinations of scientists”….good fodder for those that wish to believe that the United States has and is sponsoring assassinations. (3) “ computer disruptions”….again, speculative at best. Conspiracy theorists love this stuff. (4)embargoes/sanctions…. Yep, this does happen as has happened by various countries against others all over the world and not just the US. Effective in some cases…not effective in other cases. My opinion of embargoes and sanctions is that it is not an effective measure to use unless it is militarily derived… this is to mean that I agree with embargoes and sanctions of weapons and weapons parts, etc. (5) “US warships and US Troops being placed nearby”…..yep, this does and has happened. Having a warship in international waters is not a provocation. It is no different than China or Russia sailing their ships all around the world and the South China Seas and the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. It is done all over the world by all those navies that have the capability. Russia and China, mainly. North Korea to a much lesser extent, North Vietnam is challenging all the time in its arena, even Iran is challenging in its arena. (6) “US threats”….this one I will agree that happens when it is not necessary…some call it sabre rattling….I have never agreed with this measure as it sounds like a school yard bully. When you are the biggest kid on the block, you do not need to advertise it. Everyone already knows it.

    Rozeff states: “The U.S. will win a war with Iran, but it does not expect an easy win. If it did, it would already have started the war.”
    D13: Iran is no threat to the United States militarily. But the statement above is pure folly. The United States has no reason to invade Iran. None. Not for the oil….not for the nukes. If Iran invades another country that is an ally, then you can expect a response from the US. But, as BF alludes to, Iran will not invade, so there is no worry, There is no provocation to compel Iran to invade another country or even fire upon another country. Simply being in the area does not compel Iran to do anything except in Iran’s mind.
    The US would win a relatively easy war with Iran with far less casualties than Iraq. Their air defense is swiss cheese and their missile capability is minimal at best. They have no Navy that could not be sent to the bottom in one hour. There is absolutely no need to invade Iran with any ground troops whatever as there is no need to occupy……even for oil.

    Rozeff states: “Since Iran does not want war with the U.S. and since its forces are what are deterring the U.S., Iran has a powerful incentive to build up its military forces in ways that deter the U.S. and make an easy victory unlikely.”
    D13: Iran can build its forces all it wants. It is not a deterrent to US forces at all. It will not be tested anyway….not the ground forces and not because of superior forces or fighting ability. Ground forces would not be needed.

    Rozeff states: “The U.S., in a very real way, is causing Iran to pursue this nuclear development course if only to prevent a U.S. attack and to preserve its own power as a state.”
    D13: This is nonsense. Iran is not a stupid country. Developing nuclear capability has always been a goal since the over throw of the Shah. Iran has every intent to intimidate its neighbors because of its size and its religious goals and controls. Its development of nukes is not in response to Israel nor the US but is a necessary power move for the region and would occur even if the United States and Israel ceased to exist. Iran does not have peaceful intent and never has. It has to compete with India and Western Europe.

    Rozeff states: “But this is all assuming rationality in the war-making process. It is possible at any time that a leader in Washington or in Israel will cast aside rational calculation and decide that now is the time or the time has come, or make a decision based on some trivial detail or happenstance or incident whose significance he or she mis-estimates. Similarly, it is possible that Iran’s leadership will miscalculate or perceive themselves as being backed into a corner where war is the only way out.”
    D13: I am in agreement here….the key word is rationality and BOTH countries (and it is not limited to the US or Iran) are prone to make really stupid mistakes and errors through inept leadership or religious conviction. But rational thinking has nothing to do with the rest of the article. Perception is all important as perception drives the thoughts of everyone. Perception will over-ride rationality at every turn.

    NOTE: I am not giving the United States and its decisions a free pass. I was not in support of the Iraq War nor Afghanistan and I fought in both. I am, also, not a coward nor an anarchist. (Do not fret BF, I do not associate one with the other). I do not always agree with my leaders nor my government. Most of you know that. I am going to say, that perception is everything. A Russian warship in the Gulf of Mexico does not mean that Russia is going to attack. It does not mean that it is trying to intimidate or goad the United States into a violent response. I see the positions of Russian nuclear subs off our coast every time I look at the “big board”. This does not invite a response. Consequently, an American Carrier Group in the Persian Gulf or the Straight of Hormuz does not “invite” response just as it does not invite a response in the South China Sea. A Chinese destroyer patrolling off of Taiwan does not invite a response even if it used to be a Chinese territory. It also does not mean an invasion is imminent. Going to war with Iraq, as stupid as it was, does not mean it is a preparation for and invasion to Iran. That is ludicrous….tactically correct…but ludicrous.
    This whole world plays one-upmanship all the time. The US is a neophyte compared to the rest of the world. I would invite everyone to look pre-1776. I would suggest one take a look at the Asian rule prior to that time. Take a strong look at the Persian and Roman empires and their respective hegemony. I would suggest to take a look at China and its hegemony PRIOR to the birth of the United States. I would suggest that everyone delve into the hegemony and the role of Japan pre and post the birth of the United States. England (Great Britain) once ran under the sun never sets on the Empire. There were several lessons to be learned from history and the fledgling United States learned well albeit misguided at times. So, the United States has no first right claim on hegemony. It is at the bottom of a long list.
    In this world, there will be no peace among nations. Only tolerance. There is no peace in Iraq nor will there be. The clans and tribes will continue to fight each other in the future just as they have for 5,000 years. There will be no peace in Afghanistan. There is no peace in Vietnam as two million Montgnards have been systematically exterminated . There is no peace in North Africa nor the African continent. I have already stated and stand by my convictions that Iran wants control of as much of the old Persian Rule it can get and will attempt do so through intimidation and terrorism. The error of the United States….giving Iran the target for bluster. Get away from there…patrol the Straight and say nothing. Just shut up. There will be no closing of the Straight of Hormuz….Iran dies by its own hand. Any firing of anti-ship missiles simply because of presence….is a stupid decision for Iran to make but it is Iran’s to make…..not an intimidation by the US. If the US wanted Iran… it could have done so long before now.

    • “Economic warfare is alive and well. China is the master of it. Better than we are. i do not know if using economics is right or wrong. it is used against the United States on a consistent basis.”

      Agree and China and India have stated they will ignore the sanctions, so they will fail to sway Iran and only cause the rift to widen.

      “Are you saying that economic sanction is pushing Iran to a shooting war? How and why?”

      Yes. We view them from our perspective, outside looking in. What is their general quality of life? The average person there, are they suffering shortages and discomfort? Food and medicine, has the cost gone up and availability declined? When people suffer, are unhappy, they tend to act out. Iran almost had it’s “Arab Spring”. Their “wise” rulers might think a little dust up with the great Satan will focus the people’s rage outward instead of inward.

      (2) “assassinations of scientists”….good fodder for those that wish to believe that the United States has and is sponsoring assassinations.”

      Without any proof, I suspect Israel. They have carried out assassinations in the past.

      “Russian warships routinely patrolling within three miles of Galveston Island or within three miles of Miami Florida”
      I thought we had a 12 mile limit, anything within that limit is in US territory?

      • President Reagan by proclamation extended US territorial waters from three nautical miles to 12….however, it is not a global recognition because it was not endorsed nor passed and put into the Constitution. It is NOT unusual to see Russian Warships rounding the tip of Florida (Key West) from the shore heading to the gulf. It is not unusual to have Russian warships cutting and steaming through fishing nets in the gulf of the shores of Louisiana and circling and playing chicken with oil rigs in the gulf. We shadow them with helicopters and subs of course.

        As to Israel….who knows. I suspect the Mossad myself. And, I also do not think that it was sanctioned by Obama or his administration and correctly so. This type of cloak and dagger stuff should have disappeared when the cold war disappeared but the “cold war” is being re-instituted. HOwever, this is one time, I am glad that Obama lacks the cajones.

        The rulers of Iran squashed their Arab Spring…..very effectively and forcefully. As to the sanctions, they are proven not to work but the sanctions do not hurt the heirarchy. It is only the rulers that can wage war….I submit that the normal Iranian knows what the problems are….they are unable to act on it. They cannot start war….and I doubt will support one.

        • It seems to me the US is talking this up instead of trying to ease tensions. And our media love to bang that drum. The attempted assassination of the Saudi, who really believes Iran’s government was behind that? I don’t think they are that smart, but I sure don’t think they are that stupid? Now a certain Senator from California, I could believe she would screw up a simple thing like that…….

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/iran-is-prepared-to-launch-terrorist-attacks-in-us-intelligence-report-finds/2012/01/30/gIQACwGweQ_story.html

          • “The attempted assassination of the Saudi, who really believes Iran’s government was behind that?”

            I really don’t have a problem with that. Iran had a gain and a point to make. The Saudi Minister is on record as saying that the Saudis will turn up production if Iran tries to cut off oil. That is reason enough and to make it happen on US soil…..it is a black eye.

            The Senator from California could screw up a one car funeral.

        • D13

          Good morning Colonel. Hope all is well in the land of Texas.

          Great rebuttal, by the way.

          I do disagree with you on one point. That being the brass of Mr. Obama. He is the type of leader who acts upon what he deems as politically pragmatic. The Dems and the Progressives in particular have shown no distaste for war. They are simply more random about which wars they view as “righteous”, generally meaning those that have no real National Interest.

          In summary, I think Mr. Obama completely capable of rattling the saber and goading Iran into doing something stupid. If it suits his, and his advisers, view of what is politically necessary or useful.

          Now I will give you this. It is not Courage tempered with Wisdom in his case. But he certainly has the cojones to ACT if he thinks it will suit him.

          Also, just wanted to raise one point that fits your major rebuttal. That is when the leadership of a nation state has goals that are not necessarily “peaceful” in the first place. Who is the Big Boy doesn’t matter and their actions are based on furthering their own “goals”.

          So if, for example, the religious nature of the Iranian leadership is such that they believe they can summon the 12th Imam, they may be willing to start WWIII. I think it unwise to assume that the leadership of some of these countries are not suicidal, or at least capable of this.

          Hope all is well with you and family.

          • JAC,

            Good points! I also think the type of conflict we would see is different. Just as Clinton was happy to fire billions of dollars of missiles, Obama was OK with attacking Libya. It didn’t matter that hundreds or thousands might die, US lives were at very low risk. Remote warfare has no consequences to a liberal president. The media can be counted on to spin the coverage and excuse his actions.

  25. gmanfortruth says:

    :roll:

  26. Director Clapper: War mongering or hiding the truth?
    Kerry Patton

    During Congressional testimony this week, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper explained that U.S. intelligence believes Iran is prepared to launch terrorist attacks inside the United States in response to perceived threats from America and its allies. Is this a cry for military engagement or is something else taking place that is not being fully revealed to Congress? It could be both.

    In the past week, undisclosed sources close to U.S. intelligence have revealed three separate accounts of Iranian terrorist assets attempting to infiltrate the United States and prepare to launch terrorist attacks. Most recently, information entailed two of the three scenarios comprising the U.S. southern border in which cells of Iranian assets were staged in Mexico patiently waiting the call to action. This report came 24 hours prior to Argentina’s anti-terrorist Federal Special Operations Group, known as T4, intercepting a three-man Hezbollah cell following information provided by Israel and American intelligence. They found documents and maps in the terrorists’ possession.

    The earlier of the three scenarios which was received late last week entailed a cell of Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guard operatives entering Canada in an attempt not to attack the United States home front, but rather our northern neighbor.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/02/director_clapper_war_mongering_or_hiding_the_truth.html#ixzz1l9BiHK90

  27. Buck the Wala says:

    Any thoughts on the “Paying a Fair Share” tax bill? Sen. Whitehouse introduced the bill today.

    • Buck

      Conceptually it is ABSOLUTE Bull Shit!!!

      Class envy and socialist populism at its most vial.

      I have not seen the details of the actual bill. For example what value is used to determine if they “earned over 1 million”????

      Whitehouse claims this doesn’t change the tax code. WTF????????????? Of course it changes the tax code.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Sorry JAC, but I call BS on your claims of class envy. It is not class envy to request a fairer tax code that does not favor the rich at the expense of the middle class.

        But on to your points, from my understanding the determination of ‘$1 million’ looks at all income from all sources (earned and unearned; regular and capital gains). This doesn’t change the tax code in the least; it works within the existing tax code. Basically, tally all income and deductions and complete your tax return. If your total income is more than $1M and your effective tax rate is under 30%, you pay the larger 30% figure.

        • Buck

          Of course it is ENVY.

          The minute you use the word FAIR in context of what one has and another doesn’t, when the rules apply equally already, that is using Envy and populism to foment anger against one group.

          Prove that the current tax code favors the rich “at the expense” of the middle class. You can’t do it using general groups or categories. You have to find a few individuals who meet certain criteria within the code. Then as usual, the LEFTISTS expand this to an entire “GROUP”, as in RICH or MILLIONAIRS.

          Don’t believe me??? Here is the 2009 data from IRS.

          Income Group Effective tax rate (% of AGI)

          .1% 24.28
          1% 24.01
          5% 20.46
          5-10% 11.36
          10-25% 8.25
          25-50% 5.56
          Lowest 50% 1.85

          This Special Tax is ABSOLUTE BULL SHIT.

          You still didn’t address the question. Total Gross Income??? Total Adjusted Gross Income??? Total Taxable Income????

          Of course it changes the Tax Code. You can’t change the effective tax rate without changing the tax code. How freakin absurd is that argument.

          Now I think I will contact my friends in D.C. to propose a new Bill that will impose a mandatory 35% effective tax rate, on gross income, of all those who make their living in the financial services industry who happen to also have law degrees and who work in estate planning.

          When they confiscate your last dollar just remember that YOU started it, and after all it is FAIR.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            sigh.

            Fine, I will concede that perhaps ‘fair’ is not the right word and probably should not be used in the title of the bill. But no, this is not envy and has nothing to do with envy. Sorry, but I’m just sick and tired of being told I envy and/or hate the rich — probably a bit like the way you must feel when people tell you that you must be racist for opposing Obama and supporting the tea party.

            The current tax code most certainly favors the rich. “At the expense of the middle class” may be pushing it a bit, so let’s forget that part of the equation and just focus on the current tax code favoring the rich.

            You want to argue this changes the tax code, go for it. We are clearly using different definitions of the term here. To me, the tax code, in its entirety, is not being changed at all. This proposal works alongside the existing tax code to provide for a minimum tax for those earning in excess of $1M. As for what constitutes ‘income’ for purposes of this proposal, as I said, I’m not entirely clear on that, but based on my understanding, it is total gross income from all sources. Haven’t had a chance to read the full proposal/bill yet.

            • “The current tax code most certainly favors the rich.”

              What an absurd comment. 47% of Americans pay no income tax. Some are given a refund for taxes someone else paid! Note I do not say they pay no taxes, if they work, they do pay SS and such. Is that the next “fair” tax change, SS only paid for if your income is over $30K? Then it gets raised to 60 or 80? Remember both parties like the tax code complex (I remember you agreeing with that) so they can pick who gets the breaks. Remember Harry Reid has shielded gold mining companies paying the same rate oil companies do, and then insist the oil companies aren’t paying enough. How many of them are bought and paid for by WallStreet? Unless you go for a flat or fair tax , they will still play the same game, crony capitalism.

              Did you look at the link I posted to Gman? Having to alter the welfare cards so they can’t be used at strip clubs and casino’s. Tell me again about what’s “fair”! 70% of those living in poverty, in a two person home, could raise themselves out of poverty by one or a combination of both working a total of 40 hours a week.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                47% of Americans pay no income tax because they do not make enough money to support themselves. Not exactly a statistic I would like to fall into.

                I am ok with a complex tax code — keeps me in business afterall! But I do support changes to that tax code, as I have also often said here. My own argument for changes would be to add additional tax brackets.

                Regarding the issue w/ welfare cards and strip clubs, I agree there is some abuse in the system and we should work to end that abuse (as it is taxpayer money), but I also see this as a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ sort of thing. So much backlash against the poor in this country, a presumption of misdeeds, etc.; which is a real shame. For instance, the whole debate over mandating drug tests — costs much more than it saves, demonizes the poor and labels them as nothing more than lazy, drug-addicted, freeloaders.

            • Buck

              You may not envy the rich. But THIS proposal along with the political rhetoric surrounding the Millionaires and the Rich is IN FACT based on Envy. It is designed to foment hatred against one group for the sake of keeping another group in political power.

              The ethical concept/principle that supports this entire effort is the same one that supports executing red headed, left handed people because thy live off the rest of us.

              When you sanction evil you will get evil. No matter how much you claim fairness on your side.

              It seems to me you have supported the idea of using the Tax Code to modify behavior. Yet when people do what the code is supposed to allow them to do we want to condemn them for doing it.

              Perhaps a breathing tax on all the LAWYERS would be more beneficial to society. :)

              • Buck the Wala says:

                JAC,

                I do not wish to condemn those for using the tax code for what it allows them to do; I wish to make certain changes to provide for a fairer (again, not the best word) code. See the difference?

                As for your arguments of this proposal being based on envy — if anything it is your (by your, I mean the GOP) claims of ‘Class Envy'; ‘Hating the Rich'; ‘47% pay no taxes'; etc. etc. etc. that is fueling class warfare in this country. This proposal is NOT based on envy, by any definition of the word.

            • Buck

              Definition of Envy: “Envy (also called invidiousness) is best defined as a resentful emotion that “occurs when a person lacks another’s (perceived) superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it.”[1]” (wikipedia)

              Want to try again????

              This is exactly what the entire collection of political rhetoric and policies is about. It is in fact the emotion that is required for Tyrants to take power. It is the heart of the Communist Manifesto. It is PURE EVIL.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                no, no, no, no, no.

                And, for good measure, SIGH!

                This is NOT what the debate is about. Your belief that this debate is borne out of envy of the wealthy simply does not make it so.

        • Brain having trouble with this one-okay-In the end the person would have to pay 30% on their adjusted income if all their income from any source is over a million dollars. So all the government would have to do to make this move moot, for their rich friends ,in the future is allow more deductions. So instead of looking at the actual tax code and fixing it-they want to come up with this BS. In the meantime the semi- rich people who have a once in a lifetime windfall-such as cashing in their investments for retirement or selling their home-will automatically have to pay more-even though they don’t really make a million a year. Is there something I’m missing here?

          • Buck the Wala says:

            From my understanding, deductions would not matter for purposes of imposing the 30% minimum tax. But I’m not 100% on this. Gonna try to find time later today or tonight to actually read the whole proposal.

            But for the semi-rich getting a once in a lifetime windfall, yes, they would have to pay 30% minimum in taxes for that year. I don’t have a problem with this. A $1M windfall is pretty sizeable and is not going to happen for the average joe selling his house or cashing in on certain investments.

            • Buck

              A 1 million dollar Capital Gain is ABSOLUTELY within the realm of reason for any Farmer/Rancher who happens to sell all or some of his land. Even in this depressed market.

              Just like the Left: YOU don’t have a problem taking THEIR money.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                And then for that single year, said farmer will pay more in taxes. Ok?

              • Buck

                OK?

                NO…………IT IS NOT FREAKIN OK!!!!

                Rancher works his entire life making just enough after taxes to feed his family and build his ranch.

                Now he retires and sells his ranch. So you want to take an extra 1.5 million of his 10 million gain because YOU think that is OK???

              • Buck the Wala says:

                YES! Absolutely!! Rancher would pay 30% in taxes here.

            • Buck

              YOU: “As for your arguments of this proposal being based on envy — if anything it is your (by your, I mean the GOP) claims of ‘Class Envy’; ‘Hating the Rich’; ’47% pay no taxes’; etc. etc. etc. that is fueling class warfare in this country.”

              What an absurd argument. The Left has been vilifying the Rich or some other group for decades in an effort to support their view of “social justice” or whatever the new catch phrase is. So when somebody calls them on their class warfare rhetoric you now claim it is the defender who is the cause of the war.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Once again, and for the last time (as sooner or later I’ll need to get back to work this afternoon!), it is most certainly not class warfare nor villifying the rich, to point out the tax loopholes that the wealthy get to take advantage of and arguing for fixes to those loopholes. It goes to the very heart of the argument for a progressive tax rate — those that make more, can afford to pay more in taxes. It has nothing to do with hatred of the rich nor with envy of the rich.

              • Buck

                The Capital Gains rate applies to ALL Americans. It is NOT only available to the Rich.

                So exactly how is this tax break ONLY favoring the RICH??? How can it be considered a “loophole” for the Rich????

              • Buck the Wala says:

                True, the capital gains rate applies to all americans; the loophole comes in the ability of the wealthy to reclassify income to take advantage of these lower rates (See: Romney, carried interest).

                Much like having progressive tax rates with ordinary income, I would propose putting into place progressive capital gains tax rates (or pehraps a phase out of the preferential tax rate afforded capital gains based on overall income).

              • Found this on carried interest-now ya’ll need to discuss it-so I’ll understand better what I just read. :)

                January 31, 2012 4:00 A.M.
                Understanding Carried Interest
                Is there a tax loophole that benefits fund managers?

                By Alan D. Viard

                Mitt Romney’s release of his tax returns has pushed the arcane issue of “carried interest” — the share of an investment fund’s profits given to its managers as payment for their services – back into the headlines. Critics have renewed their calls to tax the carried interest as ordinary income. Unfortunately, the populist rhetoric used by some critics can obscure the facts about how carried interest is actually taxed.

                Some critics assert that all carried interest is taxed at the lower 15 percent that applies to capital gains and dividends. They complain that these funds are able to “turn” ordinary income into capital gains and dividends by paying managers in carried interest rather than salary, and that the funds are exploiting a special loophole not available to other firms. Looking at how carried interest works reveals that none of these things are true.

                Advertisement
                A private-equity, venture-capital, or hedge fund may earn various types of income — interest, short-term and long-term capital gains, dividends, and profits from non-corporate business holdings. These funds are organized as partnerships, with both the managers and the investors as partners. As a partnership, the fund is not directly taxed on its income. Instead, each partner is taxed on his share of the fund’s income — whether or not he removes it from the firm.

                The managers pay the same tax rate on income from the fund as they would pay if they had earned the same income on their own — channeling the income through the partnership doesn’t change the tax rate. Managers pay 15 percent tax on any carried interest that reflects long-term capital gains or dividends earned by the fund, as they would on any long-term gains or dividends they might earn on their own. But managers pay ordinary income-tax rates on any carried interest that reflects short-term gains, interest, or non-corporate profits earned by the fund. The tax rate depends on the kind of income the fund earns — not all carried interest gets the 15 percent rate.

                But, should any of it get that rate? Critics point out that, if the fund had paid its managers a straight salary, the salary would have been taxed as ordinary income. They argue that the fund should not be allowed to “turn” ordinary income into capital gains or dividends simply by paying the managers carried interest rather than salary.

                But that’s not what’s going on. The way the fund pays its managers can’t change the total amount of capital gains and dividends or the total amount of ordinary income the fund has earned. Paying carried interest rather than salary simply reallocates the two types of income among the two types of partners — it gives managers more of the gains and dividends and less of the ordinary income while giving the investors less of the gains and dividends and more of the ordinary income. Nothing gets turned into anything else.

                To be sure, this reshuffling of income usually produces net tax savings. The managers pay less tax because they get more of the lightly taxed gains and dividends. And the investors are often pension funds that don’t have to pay tax no matter how much ordinary income they’re given.

                Critics don’t explain, though, why these tax savings are improper. The funds and managers aren’t exploiting a special loophole — they’re following the same tax rules that apply to everyone else. Because all partnerships may choose how to allocate their income among their partners, any partnership is free to allocate gains and dividends to partners who work rather than those who invest. The funds certainly have good business reasons to pay carried interest rather than salary — that arrangement gives managers the most powerful incentives to maximize performance. And managers who receive carried interest face the same risks as the investors.

                These complicated issues could be avoided under a consumption tax or a better-designed income tax. Starting from today’s system, it’s hard to identify a single “right” rule for how partnerships should be allowed to allocate income. But critics have failed to make a good case for imposing special restrictions that would prevent private-equity, venture-capital, and hedge funds from using the tax rules that apply to other industries. Any tax changes that are adopted should apply throughout the economy and should be based on facts rather than populist rhetoric.

                http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/289610/understanding-carried-interest-alan-d-viard

              • Buck the Wala says:

                VH:

                Your question: Why should carried interest be taxed as ordinary income?

                Simple answer: For the fund manager, this partnership income represents compensation for services, not a return on investment. No income tax is paid by the manager on the value of the interest when it is received. The carried interest therefore represents a form of deferred compensation rather than a share in the partnership’s capital gains income.

                But, as much fun as this has been today, I’m heading out. Hopefully there will be time to continue this tomorrow. Have a good one!

            • The point being, what is “fair” when it comes to taxes imposed and benefits handed out. Is it fair, right or proper for a person to be given free housing, food, clothing for their entire life? Are the entitled to life’s basic necessities? And what is now considered necessary? If they have a TV, do they “need” cable? A car and phone? All medical bills, no cost to them, since they don’t work, they can’t afford $10 or $100 bill. And since it’s “free”, abuse is common. Headache and cold medicine are “free” at the Dr’s office, but expensive at the drug store.

              And since you have “rich” people, the more they make, the more they can afford to give. Of course, a farmer with a bumper year might want to buy more land, expand his production, but you took that extra income and gave it to the poor people, who have too much pride to work at McDonald’s. Remember Regan would only work part time since his extra income was all taken in taxes. The more you take away the rewards people earn, the more people will stop trying to excel. You can’t “raise” the poor up, so instead, you lower the rich. And there ends the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Welcome to your mediocre nation where no one wins, so everyone looses.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            VH, from a quick scan of the proposal — charitable deductions would still apply. Not sure what, if anything, else though.

            • Maybe I’m wrong but don’t a lot of really rich people create charitable foundations in order to reduce their taxes. Not talking bad about these foundations-just find it odd if it’s the only deduction that counts.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Sure, many wealthy do create charitable foundations, which if structured properly would count for the charitable deduction. They would still be able to keep this benefit.

                The reason to an extent, in my mind, is the government’s desire to encourage charitable donations.

            • Buck

              “The reason to an extent, in my mind, is the government’s desire to encourage charitable donations.” Yep, the Govt wants to keep charity.

              But lets tax those Rich people more. Yep, the Govt doesn’t want investment……….it wants more Govt and Charity.

              Hooray………..now that is so much more FAIR and EQUITABLE and JUST. :( :(

  28. I noticed a side dialogue regarding the economy, so I’ll way in here.

    The measure of my short to mid economic forecasting centers around observing the The Baltic Dry Index

    It is a measure of freight rates for shipping.

    This measures the demand for shipping – higher indexes means lots of ships needed to haul goods, a low demand, few ships needed.

    It is easy to understand why – higher indexes means “a lot of sales of good” that need to be moved to the consumer, and of course the opposite with a lower index.

    The index has collapsed – and we are -today- sitting at the 52-week low.

    When freight rates fall this fast, there are only two explanations (1) a huge fall in demand for commodities; (2) a huge increase in the number of ships.

    Bizarrely, the financial media are saying it’s #2. They blame ship companies that ordered lots of ships before 2008.
    If this is the case, that would mean an increase in the shipping world by 30% – unimaginable!

    Further, if this capacity existed, the rates would fall steadily, and not like tripping down a cliff.

    Why is the index falling so fast? It collapsed in less than two months!

    So, I suggest it is the first, a decline in demand

    But what cause?

    Imminent recession.

    Where?

    China.

    The world is waiting for a popped bubble in China. I think it has arrived.

    This decline has happened overnight.

    Demand has dried up without warning or shipping capacity has.
    The former seems more likely on such short notice.
    There is no other index that matches this for a decline.
    Manufacturers are appear to be putting on the brakes.
    They are preparing for falling consumer demand.

    So should you.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/BDIY:IND

    • BF-if one was doing business with a company in China-reduced shipping cost good-what effect might this have on prices of product?

      • V.H.

        BF-if one was doing business with a company in China-reduced shipping cost good-what effect might this have on prices of product?

        Good question.

        Your costs will go down. Shipping prices are going lower as there is lots of empty ships.

        The actual cost of your Chinese production will go down – recession in China means the same as if it occurs here; unemployment, business closures, too much inventory, fire sales.

        The impact of a recession will be much more dangerous in China then here politically … they are poor, and can’t get much poorer without seriously threatening starvation – which leads quickly to political unrest.

    • Hi BF,

      I’ve heard that about the BDI. I’m a faithful ZeroHedger now ;) But didn’t you say something about negative interest rates being a precursor to hyperinflation? It seems to me that these new FRN (Fluctuating Rate Notes) are just that. If investors realize that they’ll be losing money, won’t they just spend their cash rather than ‘invest’? I’ve read that after the MF Global theft many small investors are heading for the door so to speak, so why would they get back in the stock market? Why would they buy these new instruments knowing they’d lose money?

      • Cyndi,

        Hi BF, I’ve heard that about the BDI. I’m a faithful ZeroHedger now ;) But didn’t you say something about negative interest rates being a precursor to hyperinflation?

        Correct.

        It seems to me that these new FRN (Fluctuating Rate Notes) are just that. If investors realize that they’ll be losing money, won’t they just spend their cash rather than ‘invest’?

        Correct

        I’ve read that after the MF Global theft many small investors are heading for the door so to speak, so why would they get back in the stock market? Why would they buy these new instruments knowing they’d lose money?

        Because they are mentally trapped in a Keynesian mindset, hence, there is no way out for them.

        The ‘smart’ money is utterly lost. They have no idea what to do, when to do it, or where.

        They are (and will) continue to do the same things.

        Heck, a small announcement that Greece will not default, but negotiate a reduced principle to be repaid sent the stock market soaring. “Greece didn’t default”!

        But that is a default when you cannot repay your principle!

        So these guys are cheering for merely renaming a financial word representing a financial fact to be something else!

        Do not follow the smart money.

        Follow the course you are on.

        Yours is the long term outcome, and do not be bothered by the short term/mid term sways other than taking opportunities as they appear, such as stocking up on fire sale goods.

        Do as you are doing, and not assume this short term price reductions is a long term phenomena.

        • Thanks BF! As hard headed as I can be sometimes (well okay, all the time) you managed to get through in a good way! Thanks for the feed back.
          :)

    • BF….good call. Agreed.

  29. Buffets REAL Rule

    I urge ya’ll to read this. Bwahahahahaha

    http://electriccityweblog.com/?p=14065

    • So the next time you hear Buffet pimp for the president or the president invoke the “fundamental unfairness” that Buffet’s (underpaid) secretary suffers remember that Buffet’s incentives might have nothing to do with fairness at all and, likely, everything to do with increasing size of his own estate with the help of the tax code. I suggest that one never takes Warren Buffet at face value. The only thing one needs to know is that higher marginal and capital gains taxes are the more money Buffet makes. And making more money is Buffet’s real rule.

  30. Hee Hee-I’d say smoker’s revenge-but we all use sugar. But no -they ain’t talking prohibition-just make it so expensive only the rich can afford it. But they aren’t pushing their idea of morality-their just talking about controlling our actions through our pocket books.

    Bitter? Calif. Researchers Now Want Sugar Controlled Like Alcohol and Tobacco

    Posted on February 1, 2012 at 4:08pm by Becket Adams Becket Adams

    Bitter: Calif. Researchers Now Want Sugar Controlled Like Alcohol and Tobacco

    Dr. Robert Lustig (photo courtesy: UCSF)

    Should sugar be controlled like alcohol and tobacco? That’s what a group of researchers from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) seem to think.

    Drs. Robert Lustig, Laura Schmidt, and Claire Brindis argue that sugar’s potential for “abuse,” coupled with its “toxicity and pervasiveness in the Western diet,” make it a primary culprit in a worldwide health crisis, according to the UCSF website.

    “We are in the midst of the biggest public health crisis in the history of the world,” Dr. Lustig said. “And nobody even gets it. Nobody understands how important this is because they don’t consider it ‘public health.‘ They consider it ’personal responsibility.’”

    They argue that the health hazards associated with sugar consumption are similar to those of alcohol — which they note is made from distilling sugar.

    And although some researchers have already pointed out that worldwide consumption of sugar has tripled during the past 50 years, therefore possibly leading to an “obesity epidemic,” Drs. Lustig, Schmidt, and Brindis believe that obesity is just one possible symptom of sugar’s toxicity, which goes further than simply being high in calories.

    Watch Drs. Lustig, Schmidt, and Brindis discuss their research via UCSFPublicAffairs:

    “As long as the public thinks that sugar is just ‘empty calories,’ we have no chance in solving this,” Dr. Lustig said, according to the The Daily Mail.

    “There are good calories and bad calories, just as there are good fats and bad fats, good amino acids and bad amino acids, good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates,” he added, “But sugar is toxic beyond its calories.”

    They argue that sugar contributes to 35 million deaths each year from illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Therefore, they argue, curbing the consumption of sugar could potentially save millions of dollars each year.

    “There is an enormous gap between what we know from science and what we practice in reality,” Dr. Schmidt said, “In order to move the health needle, this issue needs to be recognized as a fundamental concern at the global level.”
    Bitter: Calif. Researchers Now Want Sugar Controlled Like Alcohol and Tobacco

    Dr. Claire Brindis (photo courtesy: UCSF)

    Dr. Brindis said that the public needs to be better informed about the dangers of sugar with a “wide approach” similar to that seen with tobacco and alcohol, the Daily Mail reports.

    What kind of “wide approach”?

    They suggest levying special sales taxes, controlling access, and “tightening licensing requirements” on vending machines and snack bars that sell high sugar products in schools and workplaces.

    Furthermore, among Dr. Lustig’s more “radical proposals,” to quote Christopher Wanjek of LiveScience, is banning the sale of sugary drinks to consumers under age 17.

    “We’re not talking prohibition. We‘re not advocating a major imposition of the government into people’s lives,” Dr. Schmidt said.

    “We’re talking about gentle ways to make sugar consumption slightly less convenient, thereby moving people away from the concentrated dose. What we want is to actually increase people‘s choices by making foods that aren’t loaded with sugar comparatively easier and cheaper to get,” she said.
    Bitter: Calif. Researchers Now Want Sugar Controlled Like Alcohol and Tobacco

    Dr. Laura Schmidt (photo courtesy: UCSF)

    In a UCSFPublicAffairs YouTube video, Dr. Lustig flirts with the idea of taxing the desire out of consumers and compares it to the government’s approach to cigarettes.

    “No one’s really talking about how much tax will it take to reduce consumption,” Ludstig said, “We saw this with cigarettes. We basically had to raise the price of a pack up to $11 in New York City to get people to actually stop smoking. And they finally decided: ‘You know what? The craving just isn’t worth it.”

    “So the question is how much taxation would you have to do to a can of soda to get somebody to say ‘You know? I really don’t need to do that’?” Lustig asked.

    Dr. Lustig argues that although no one is prepared for a cigarette-style tax increase on soda today, we may see that type of action taken tomorrow.

    “There have been a lot of other public health campaigns, which initially seemed to be very radical, but today they seem extremely mainstream,” Dr. Brindis said.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/bitter-calif-researchers-now-want-sugar-controlled-like-alcohol-and-tobacco/

    • CA is so broke I am surprised there is not a grandmother’s tax. If it is a sin, tax it, if it gives pleasure, tax it, if its useful, tax it, if it pollutes, tax it, if it breaths, tax it, if it makes money, tax it twice….. Gov. Brown has a 1%er tax and sales increase tax coming up on the ballot this fall. Not to mention all the fee increases we have seen. CalPERS only made about 1% on their retirement investments last year so now they want the state to make up the difference. Of course the public employee unions still do not want to give up their cushy retirement programs. Why should they when they can work mucho hours of overtime the last couple of years and retire at over 100% of salary.

      So now a sugar tax. How sweet it is to live in CA. Why not a fruit and nut tax to go with it?

  31. gmanfortruth says:

    Dear Abby,

    My husband has a long record of money problems. He runs up huge credit-card
    bills and at the end of the month, if I try to pay them off, he shouts at
    me, saying I am stealing his money. He says pay the minimum and let our
    kids worry about the rest, but already we can hardly keep up with the
    interest. Also he has been so arrogant and abusive toward our neighbors that
    most of them no longer speak to us. The few that do are an odd bunch, to
    whom he has been giving a lot of expensive gifts, running up our bills even
    more. Also, he has gotten religious. One week he hangs out with Catholics
    and the next with people who say the Pope is the Anti-Christ, and the next
    he’s with Muslims.. Finally, the last straw. He’s demanding that before
    anyone can be in the same room with him, they must sign a loyalty oath. It’s
    just so horribly creepy! Can you help?

    Signed,

    Lost

    Dear Lost,

    Stop whining, Michelle. You’re getting to live in the White House for free,
    travel the world, and have others pay for everything for you.
    You can divorce the jerk any time you want. The rest of us are stuck with
    the idiot for at least another year!

    Signed,

    Abby

  32. Got a challenge handed to me. I am told it is so easy to get these food stamp cards, that I can do so over the internet and telling the truth about salary and you are not even required to submit a social security number. I am going to check this out. A friend of mine showed me a debit card for food from the government and he reported a six figured income and was not required to submit proof of income nor a ssn number. He was awarded two hundred dollars per month. He also went to the local newspaper and media and they did not want the story and neither does Fox nor CNN nor MSNBC. Great system we have if true. (sarcasm intended)

  33. Buck the Wala

    Per my understanding, experience with partnership and S-Corp distributions, and the article V.H. cited………………

    My response to Your response to V.H.

    “Your question: Why should carried interest be taxed as ordinary income?

    YOU: Simple answer: For the fund manager, this partnership income represents compensation for services, not a return on investment.

    JAC: Sorry but NO. The income represents what ever type of income it is, cap gains, ordinary, interest etc. It is the managers return for making good decisions. Just as Stock Options and the gains associated are reward for driving up the Company’s value. YOUR desire to turn this into “earned income” does not change the reality of what it is.

    YOU: No income tax is paid by the manager on the value of the interest when it is received.

    JAC: Sorry, but FALSE. The “carried interest” received by the manager is TAXED to the Manager when he/she receives the income. The tax applies depends on the type of income being distributed. Because it is not wages it is not subject to payroll taxes but I would think they should still have to pay quarterly estimates. The full tax is due when the manager files his/her 1040 return.

    YOU : The carried interest therefore represents a form of deferred compensation rather than a share in the partnership’s capital gains income.

    JAC: FALSE. The classification of the “carried interest” depends on the classification of the income that is distributed.

    I have commented on SUFA before about the underlying cause of all this consternation about Managers and other “Investors” getting Cap Gains treatment on so much income. All that is needed to slow this down is to REINSTATE the ONE YEAR plus ONE DAY rule for Long Term Gains.

  34. From Kent’s blog. Why “Why Libertarianism is Wrong” is wrong.
    If you have not read this yet, please do. It is well worth your time to better understand a true Libertarian.

  35. Good morning counselor……You knew I would have to weigh in here somewhere. Been pretty busy with border issues.

    You say “47% of Americans pay no income tax because they do not make enough money to support themselves.” Sorry but will have to argue here. Who makes the subjective decision on who makes enough. The only fair tax that I will agree to is everyone pays tax….and I mean equal tax. It is not the dollars that matter and your statement that the rich must pay more because they make more just makes me cringe and I will have to agree that it is class envy and class warfare. We are creating a dependent upon government generation. So, raise the tax if you want and make it fair. No progression. EVERYONE pays. You want 30% with no deductions….then make it that way but make it where NO ONE gets a deduction for anything and get off this “they do not make enough money to support themselves crap.” With a flat tax…the more you make, the more you pay. Pretty simple. This 47% needs to pay 30 percent just like me. I do not like supporting them and creating a welfare state as you want to do as this is a dis-incentive to work. Why should they. They pay no tax and get refunds on what they have paid in payroll taxes…..but that is ok…take it from the more rich. Sorry if a flat tax hurts your business as a planner but that would be the breaks of the game that you are forcing everyone else on. I resent….absolutely resent paying for someone else. There is no moral conviction that says I should UNLESS I wish to be charitable…..which I do, probably more than you..to the tune of around 50,000 every year to the Shriner’s Burn Center and the Shriner’s Crippled Children Center….and no I am not a Shriner. I like their work but I am tired of paying for cell phones and flat screen TV’s and subsidizing flaky home loans, and flaky car loans, and electricity subsidies and food subsidies to the able bodied but lazy and I submit that is most of the welfare state. Return control to the States and let the States decide whom is destitute and the reasons for it and what should be done about it.

    If you caught my other post, I am trying something to see if it is true. If I qualify for food stamps and other subsidies and can do so with a phone call and online without submitting a SSN…and even a qualifying interview..then our system is broken and it is not just a few who are scamming the system……but, is it a moral indignation if I can make significant money and still take advantage of a government program? Why would I not want to do that…it is free money. And you cannot argue that it is not….for I am thinking like the other 47%. I personally know a lot of people that take the welfare system and the entitlement system, and put their income purposely at the level to qualify for all this garbage with the attitude of….why not? It is there. TO me, that has everything to do with moral character, but the entitlement programs create dependency that erodes moral character.

    I do not like what I have seen as far as what could qualify as CG…..I do not like the fact that Repubs and Dems alike can take a 10,000 issue and turn it in to 100,000 in 60 days…we all know this is bullshit. But correct the system that allows this….do not say WELL…we will just tax them more. THAT does not fix the system. But in fixing the system make it fair. Everyone pays…..not just the more affluent. THAT,sir, is class envy and class warfare…..and I know you do not agree with that but it is what it is.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      D13,

      I paid a total of $186.00 in federal payroll taxes this year (does not include fica/medicaid) and I got a federal refund of $1600.00. Since I am married and have 2 kids, and my wife is a “stay at home mom” this is what happens. If I made about $10,000 less than I do now, I could qualify for food stamps as well!

  36. D13

    Congrats on the fine crop of players that Texas signed yesterday. Number 2 in the country is really a great accomplishment. You beat everyone else except your nemesis ALABAMA.

    http://footballrecruiting.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1326581

    • Alabama is not now nor has ever been a nemesis, however, I do not follow recruiting at all. It is where I graduated from and will support my school….no matter where they are in the standings. Until the BCS is done away with, the SEC will always get the nod as long as the voters and the papers reside on the East Coast….but here is hoping your 2012 season is successful.

      • d13

        Boise State signs three running backs and three or four linemen from TEXAS.

        Also new Quarterback from FLORIDA.

        I noticed that TCU’s recent success must be helping as they also got some top talent.

      • “Alabama is not now nor has ever been a nemesis”
        “SIGH” Such denial.

        You have me all wrong, I am a Bama fan though and though, and am a big SEC fan but I really like the following teams in no particular order:
        Texas
        Penn State
        BYU
        Florida State

        Pull for them anytime they play someone out side of the SEC.

        • Denial? Come now…….Until the loss in which Texas’ quarterback was taken out of the game with a late hit in the back,,,,,,,,1902-Texas 10, Alabama 0
          1915-Texas 20, Alabama 0
          1922-Texas 19, Alabama 10
          1947-Texas 27, Alabama 7(Sugar Bowl)
          1960-Texas 3, Alabama 3(Bluebonnet Bowl)
          1964-Texas 21, Alabama 17(Orange Bowl)
          1972-Texas 17, Alabama 13(Cotton Bowl)
          1981-Texas 14, Alabama 12(Cotton Bowl)

          so Texas record vs Alabama is 7-0-1

          Hardly a nemesis.

  37. Listen to this video and tell me how someone can say with a straight face that the Tea Party is racist. He is interviewing a black Tea Party candidate. His on air language is bad, Imus got fired for saying nappy haired.

    http://news.yahoo.com/radio-host-loses-female-gop-candidate-stupid-m-164432955.html

  38. Attorney General Eric Holder vigorously denied a “coverup” by the Justice Department over “Operation Fast and Furious,” telling a House panel investigating the botched gun-running program that he has nothing to hide and suggesting the probe is a “political” effort to embarrass the administration.

    “There’s no attempt at any kind of coverup,” Holder told lawmakers well into a hearing about whether he had been forthright in responding to requests of the House Oversight and Government Relations Committee led by Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

    “We’re not going to be hiding behind any kind of privileges or anything,” he said.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/02/02/holder-says-no-one-punished-yet-during-testimony-on-controversial-fast-and/#ixzz1lFbet37H

    • The head of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division and Attorney General Eric Holder’s highest-ranking deputy, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, called Operation Fast and Furious and gun walking a “terrific idea” in emails to now-former Acting Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director Ken Melson back in late 2009, according a report released by Republican staff of the House Oversight Committee.

      On Dec. 3, 2009, Melson wrote to Breuer, “Lanny: We have decided to take a little different approach with regard to seizures of multiple weapons in Mexico. Assuming the guns are traced, instead of working each trace almost independently of the other traces from the seizure, I want to coordinate and monitor the work on all of them collectively as if the seizure was one case. . . We should meet again just to catch up on where we are in our gun-trafficking issues and we could talk about the above idea as well. Let me know what you think.”

      Breuer responded on Dec. 4, 2009, writing, “We think this is a terrific idea and a great way to approach the investigations of these seizures. Our Gang Unit will be assigning an attorney to help you coordinate this effort.”

      According to the Republican Oversight Committee staffers’ report, Breuer — Holder’s number two — assigned a prosecutor to help ATF handle Fast and Furious. That attorney, according to the report, was Joe Cooley.

      This information comes as Democrats on the Oversight Committee say there is no evidence that suggests any senior political appointees of the Obama administration or in the Justice Department knew about, or approved, gun walking or Fast and Furious.

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/02/holder%e2%80%99s-no-2-in-2009-gunwalking-fast-and-furious-a-%e2%80%98terrific-idea%e2%80%99/#ixzz1lFcURJvV

    • A U.S. Justice Department source has told The Daily Caller that at least two DOJ prosecutors accepted cash bribes from allegedly corrupt finance executives who were indicted under court seal within the past 13 months, but never arrested or prosecuted.

      The sitting governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, his attorney general and an unspecified number of Virgin Islands legislators also accepted bribes, the source said, adding that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is aware prosecutors and elected officials were bribed and otherwise compromised, but has not held anyone accountable.

      The bribed officials, an attorney with knowledge of the investigation told TheDC, remain on the taxpayers’ payroll at the Justice Department without any accountability. The DOJ source said Holder does not want to admit public officials accepted bribes while under his leadership.

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/01/bribery-compromised-officials-leave-indicted-financial-crime-suspects-free-from-prosecution-under-holders-doj/#ixzz1lFd0qluV

    • The Washington Post, The New York Times, the New York Daily News, the Chicago Tribune, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Reuters, the Associated Press, and countless others along with their political backers routinely characterize the Fast and Furious murders as part of “a botched ATF sting operation that went awry,” “an ill-conceived operation,” “a witch hunt,” “political fodder,” “deeply flawed,” “horrible screw-up,” “bad judgment,” and a “Republican red herring.”

      Various big media outlets that ran 120 stories of Herman Cain’s alleged sexual dalliances from November 2 to November 15 didn’t see a need to enlighten the masses about Fast and Furious. The number of times “F and F” was mentioned in the same time span? One.

      Are informed journalists who remain silent in the face of evil culpable for sins of omission? Are journalists who intentionally subvert truth and invert facts, allowing corrupt government officials to ride roughshod over the rule of law, complicit in the very crimes they’re covering up?

      Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/are_big_media_covering_up_fast_and_furious.html#ixzz1lFdcMVCS

  39. Dear Ayn Rand;

    Happy Birthday.

    I also want to once again thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Best Regards,
    JAC

  40. Opinion
    Happy Birthday, Ayn Rand — Why are you still so misunderstood?

    By Don Watkins

    Published February 02, 2012

    | FoxNews.com

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    Ayn-Rand-397.jpg

    Ayn Rand Institute

    Author Ayn Rand

    In the summer of 1921, a young Ayn Rand saw Moscow for the first time. “I remember standing on a square,” she would later recall. “And it suddenly struck me. . . . ‘How enormous it is, and how many people, and it’s just one city’ . . . . I suddenly had the concrete sense of how many large cities there were in the world—and I had to address all of them. All of those numbers had to hear of me, and of what I was going to say. And the feeling was marvelously solemn.”

    Today, on the 107th anniversary of her birth, it’s hard to doubt that the world has indeed heard of Ayn Rand. Her books—including titles like “The Fountainhead” and “The Virtue of Selfishness”—have sold nearly 30 million copies, with sales of her 1,100-page opus, “Atlas Shrugged,” surpassing a million copies in the last three years alone.

    Rand has clearly inspired millions. But a debate has emerged over the question of Rand’s political influence, with many commentators claiming her ideas have played a key role in shaping the political landscape. As former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend said in 2011, “Ayn Rand has a large and growing influence on American politics.”

    But to gauge Rand’s influence, we need to know more about her views than the sound bytes we’re typically offered.

    Rand is usually thought of as a political philosopher, but that is not how she viewed herself. “I am primarily the creator of a new code of morality,” she once said. Whereas previous moral codes bestowed sainthood on those who served and sacrificed for others, Rand’s morality extolled “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”

    This is the philosophy embodied by fictional characters such as Hank Rearden, the industrialist in “Atlas Shrugged,” who—in the tradition of Thomas Edison—creates a new metal that’s stronger and cheaper than steel, and who—in the tradition of countless entrepreneurs—struggles to produce his revolutionary product in the face of government obstacles. At one point, Rearden is brought to trial for violating the government’s economic edicts, and he proudly defends his right to produce and prosper:

    “I work for nothing but my own profit,” he says, “which I make by selling a product they need to men who are willing and able to buy it. I do not produce it for their benefit at the expense of mine, and they do not buy it for my benefit at the expense of theirs. . . . I made my money by my own effort, in free exchange and through the voluntary consent of every man I dealt with. . . . I refuse to apologize for my ability—I refuse to apologize for my success—I refuse to apologize for my money.”

    It is this moral outlook that underlies Rand’s advocacy of free markets, and it suggests where those looking for Rand’s influence on today’s politics can see it.

    Above all, you can see it in the moral outrage of the Tea Party activists, many of whom carry signs championing Rand’s works and ideas.

    Recall the Rick Santelli rant that started it all: “This is America. How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills, raise their hand? . . . . We’re thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July. All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m going to start organizing. . . . at the end of the day, I’m an Ayn Rander.”

    But what you don’t yet see is large numbers of people who have actually grasped the moral and political position Rand defined. Even among the Tea Party activists, there exists no positive, principled platform challenging today’s status quo.

    This is why you also find at their gatherings signs like “Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare.” Apparently, paying for your neighbor’s mortgage is bad, but paying for his health care is just fine.

    Rand has helped many people see that something has gone wrong in America. But they haven’t yet understood the source of the problem or Rand’s radical solution.

    A political movement truly shaped by Rand’s ideas would not flinch, as Republicans and Tea Partiers do, from charges that it is the mouthpiece of the rich and the mean-spirited. It would declare that it is a movement for all producers, proudly embracing the innovative rich, the ambitious poor, and everyone in between. If you earn your wealth through production and voluntary trade, a Rand-inspired political movement would affirm that it is yours by right.

    And instead of looking at programs like Social Security and Medicaid only from the recipients’ point of view, a Rand-inspired political movement would point to the great injustice committed against those who are forced to provide retirement and medical care to others. It would ask: by what right does the government seize wealth from some people so it can dole out unearned rewards to others? Nothing, it would declare, is more mean-spirited than depriving an individual of his property and liberty.

    In other words, a Rand-inspired political movement would be a principled movement. It would champion laissez-faire capitalism—the total separation of state and economics—as the only system that fully protects the rational and productive individual, securing his moral and political right to pursue his own happiness.

    To what extent has Ayn Rand shaped our political landscape? So far, not nearly enough.

  41. This is just …… weird!

    Japan Population Decline: Third Of Nation’s Youth Have ‘No Interest’ In Sex (VIDEO)

    The Huffington Post Mark Hanrahan First Posted: 01/30/2012 2:57 pm Updated: 01/31/2012 2:00 pm

    A startling number of Japanese youths have turned their backs on sex and relationships, a new survey has found.

    The survey, conducted by the Japan Family Planning Association, found that 36% of males aged 16 to 19 said that they had “no interest” in or even “despised” sex. That’s almost a 19% increase since the survey was last conducted in 2008.

    If that’s not bad enough, The Wall Street Journal reports that a whopping 59% of female respondents aged 16 to 19 said they were uninterested in or averse to sex, a near 12% increase since 2008.

    The survey paints a bleak picture for Japan’s aging population. The Associated Press reports that the national population of 128 million will have shrunk by one-third by 2060 and seniors will account for 40 percent of people, placing a greater burden on the work force population to support the country’s social security and tax systems.

    Many commentators in the Japanese and international media have laid the problem squarely at the feet of soshoku danshi — “herbivore men” — a term coined by pop culture columnist Maki Fukasawa in 2006. It refers to Japanese young men who have rejected their culture’s traditional definition of masculinity, and seemingly eschew relationships with the opposite sex as part.

    CNN spoke to a Midori Saida, a 24-year-old Japanese woman who described “herbivore men” as “flaky and weak.”

    “We like manly men,” she said. “We are not interested in those boys — at all.”

    BBC News spoke to one such “herbivore” man (see video above). The man, Yusaki Yakahashi said: “Building a relationship seems like too much effort. To get her to like me and for me to like her… I’d have to give up everything I do at the weekend for her. I don’t want to do that.”

    Another theory that seeks to explain Japan’s shrinking population is that Japanese youth spend too much time engaged with technology, living in virtual worlds or settling for virtual girlfriends rather than real ones.

    Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports that Japan’s government has undertaken a series of campaigns to encourage couples to have more children — including making companies insist that their staff leave work at 6 pm to increase child allowances — but according to Dr. Kunio Kitamura, head of the Japan Family Planning Association, “none of that is gong to have an impact if people are not going to have sex.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/30/japan-population-decline-youth-no-sex_n_1242014.html

    • I wonder if the cost of living in some of thier urban centers would preclude couples from making the decision to have children as well.

  42. I know its easy to beat up on the U.S. , but saying that Iran has nothing to gain ignores the whole aim of the Twelvers in charge of Iran who truly believes that starting war with the great satan in order to wreak havoc on the globe will usher in their messiah or mahdi or their twelfth iman. What could the U.S. want from war could possibly be greater tha ushering their messiah? ..oil,not quite, we have so much oil in Alaska alone not to mention offshore in and around the gulf and various other areas.
    U.S. warships and U.S. threats were mentioned next ,but irans warships in the Strait of Hormuz and its threats about troops being ready and of course irans threats to annihilate us and Isreal off the face of the map, did not illicit a mention.
    I had to stop reading just after the next point that no matter what happens to trigger a war it has to be 100% certain that its Americas fault.
    Not because of merit in starting a war, but by your percieved notion of who beniftis the most by a war determines who is to blame.
    To be fair and objective i will read the rest of the article in a less protective U.S. posture as to not be so defensive.
    You may be correct in blaming the U.S. as many in power like the progressives would love a war as much as iran as they know all it will take is just one more decent size prolonged war to bankrupt and collapse our teetering house of cards economy and America will crumble into third world oblivion via a hyperinflationary depression.. Iran has two big reasons in starting a war, ushering in their messiah which trumps all reasons on both sides and collapsing our system and rendering us helpless, these outweigh our reasons by a head and a neck.
    Its important that we all head out to the polls and vote for a candidate with a strong foreign policy platform as the next 3 to 18 months could change the globe forever. “The punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under the government of worse men”: Plato

  43. “Gunmen kidnap 2 American women and their Egyptian tour guide near a monastery in the Sinai Peninsula”

    So, It begins…….and it is an election year.

  44. Well we knew this was coming. Can’t win an election with high unemployment numbers so just change the calculation method.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/record-12-million-people-fall-out-labor-force-one-month-labor-force-participation-rate-tumbles-

    • “Which means that the civilian labor force tumbled to a fresh 30 year low of 63.7% as the BLS is seriously planning on eliminating nearly half of the available labor pool from the unemployment calculation”

      The “Labor Force Participation” chart is scary from Jan 08 to now

    • “Can’t win an election with high unemployment numbers so just change the calculation method. ” ~ and call it a Green shoot! ;)

    • Kathy

      Sometimes things are not what they appear to be. Deeper digging is required.

      From the BLS report for Jan:

      “The adjustment increased the estimated size of the civilian noninstitutional population in December by
      1,510,000, the civilian labor force by 258,000, employment by 216,000, unemployment by 42,000, and
      persons not in the labor force by 1,252,000. Although the total unemployment rate was unaffected, the
      labor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio were each reduced by 0.3 percentage
      point. This was because the population increase was primarily among persons 55 and older and, to a
      lesser degree, persons 16 to 24 years of age. Both these age groups have lower levels of labor force
      participation than the general population.”

      The “adjustment” referenced in this paragraph is the annual adjustment made in January to reflect changes in census data. This Jan the data was adjusted to reflect the new Census Data on the Entire US population, per the Census of 2010. In other words, the Total population increased by 1.5 million and the group not in the work force was 1.25 million of the 1.5 million, DUE to the NEW CENSUS DATA.

      Another thing to remember, when reading comments from folks like Zero Hedge. The DATA is not hard data. The numbers are based on “surveys” and then expanded to “estimates” based on Statistical analysis. So adjusting for changes in the population can have pretty big effects in the reported numbers depending on how it reacts with the statistical methods.

      My sources inside BLS have not reported any real “game playing” by the Administration as yet. If they tried to “change the methods” for political gain it could blow up in their face. Where the politics comes to play is in the Administrator’s Public announcements and testimony. Such as emphasizing certain numbers and not discussing others. But the data itself has been pretty much immune to political gamesmanship.

      Now, the one thing that does happen is changes in methods based on new science/statistical methods and economic theories/assumptions. These are driven by the Universities and think tanks. If the profession is dominated by Keynesians, then you get Keynes based analytics.

      Now with all that said, if you dig into the numbers they do reflect a flat line employment situation for the most part.

  45. Anybody want a sneak preview of Mr. Obama’s STORY about the economy this coming year??

    Deja vu’, all over again. OR Eerie Similarities.

    http://money.cnn.com/2002/08/07/news/economy/bush_cheney/

  46. Getting off the economics for a minute, and back to the “Middle East”.

    Re: The Iranian hatred for Israel,……………..kinda. :)

    The first references to the land of PALESTINE (from Wiki)

    Syria Palæstina was a Roman province between 135CE and 390CE.[1] It had been established by the merge of Roman Syria and Roman Judaea, following the defeat of the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135 CE. In 193 Syria-Coele was split to form a separate provincial locality. Syria Palaestina had become part of the splinter Palmyrene Empire for a brief period of 260-272 CE, but was restored under Roman central authority. Eventually the province became reorganized under Byzantium as part of the Diocese of the East, which included it as the provinces of Byzantine Syria, Palaestina Prima and Palaestina Secunda.
    Contents

    Earliest numismatic evidence for the name Syria Palæstina comes from the period of emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.

    Herodotus wrote in c.450 BC in The Histories of a ‘district of Syria, called Palaistinê” (whence Palaestina, whence Palestine).[2][3][4][5] In c.340 BC, Aristotle wrote in Meteorology about Palestine in a reference to the Dead Sea: “Again if, as is fabled, there is a lake in Palestine, such that if you bind a man or beast and throw it in it floats and does not sink, this would bear out what we have said. They say that this lake is so bitter and salt that no fish live in it and that if you soak clothes in it and shake them it cleans them.”[6] And in c.40 AD, Roman-Jewish writer Philo of Alexandria wrote of the Jews in Palestine: “Moreover Palestine and Syria too are not barren of exemplary wisdom and virtue, which countries no slight portion of that most populous nation of the Jews inhabits. There is a portion of those people called Essenes”[7]

    OK folks. Do ya’ll see anything funny, well er ironic, in this????

    The JEWS, aka Israelis, are Palestinians. Hahahahahahahahaha.

    One more little ditty, dealing with LONG HELD hatreds in the tribal warfare of the middle east.

    It was the PERSIANS (now Iran) who allowed the Jews to return to Israel (Canaan), from Babyon, and to rebuild the Temple Mount. This “support” of the Jewish people by Persian rulers continued until Alexander the Great took over the region.

    So if the Iranian people hold these long term grudges then why are they not expressing ABSOLUTE support for the Jewish people as well as for the OTHER Palestinians.

    • JAC

      expressing ABSOLUTE support for the Jewish people as well as for the OTHER Palestinians

      THEY DO

      But they will not support Jewish people OVER other Palestinians – which is what you really demand.

      The Iranian government has expressed, consistently, that they have no interest in what solution comes between Palestinians and Israelis.

      Their interest is in the justice and under no measure is the situation today just.

  47. Tom,

    I know its easy to beat up on the U.S. ,

    It is easy – because the US is involving itself in affairs that it should not, and placing troops in nations that are not the US.

    but saying that Iran has nothing to gain

    Iran has nothing to gain from a war it will most certainly lose.

    It is, bluntly, naive to think that losing a war that utterly devastates the nation is a “good thing” for Iran.

    ignores the whole aim of the Twelvers in charge of Iran who truly believes that starting war with the great satan in order to wreak havoc on the globe will usher in their messiah or mahdi or their twelfth iman.

    Utter nonsense.

    You posit the theory of “insanity governance” – that THEIR rulers are insane, but YOUR rulers are not.

    They are not insane – there is no success if they are not alive – there is no success if they are destroyed.

    What could the U.S. want from war could possibly be greater tha ushering their messiah? ..oil,not quite, we have so much oil in Alaska alone not to mention offshore in and around the gulf and various other areas.

    You seen only with one eye.

    US gets no oil from Iran.

    CONTROL of oil is the desire. It is controlling WHO gets Iranian oil is the key.

    U.S. warships and U.S. threats were mentioned next ,but irans warships in the Strait of Hormuz and its threats about troops being ready and of course irans threats to annihilate us and Isreal off the face of the map, did not illicit a mention.

    Because it is nonense!

    Iran has speedboats, no airforce capable of offensive attack and troops that have no effective offensive capacity.

    But it scares you….

    (PS: repeating the lie of “annhilation” approaches childishness – it shows you cannot critically think, and get your opinions from talking heads on TV)

    I had to stop reading just after the next point that no matter what happens to trigger a war it has to be 100% certain that its Americas fault.

    You attribute “fault” as a judgement – which makes understanding of cause/effect.

    Thus, you will offer dangerous solutions that support disaster.

    Not because of merit in starting a war, but by your percieved notion of who beniftis the most by a war determines who is to blame.

    You do not understand hegemonic action.

    • Black Flag, Maybe rulers on both sides are insane. :)
      There is an article from the other day that is up on the Drudge report today titled “Iran warns world of coming great event”
      They arent thinking about losing or worried about being devastated by our superior military power. They arent planning to use speed boats or motor scooters, they want the bomb and the capabilities to launch and detonate. They are thinking about EMP- ing our collective arses.
      We bomb them them back to the stone age with our fighter planes and bunker busters , they dust themselves off and go on without electricity and plumbing and modern gadgets(no big deal to them). They launch a nuke over America and we lose eveything electric from modern kitchen appliances to our means of transportation. I guess if you have a pre 78 vehicle and you have a strategic stockpile of gas in your out-buildings, you can get around for a while and a generator for the home, but many Americans arent prepared. Our country would be devastated and tens of millions would die from anything from freezing to starving to civil unrest as many kill others for their food,medicine and survival goods, not to mention all the sleeper cells of islamist extremist attending mosques all over America signaled to proceed.
      Both Khameini and mamood Ahmidenajad, two prominent figureheads as well as slews of other clerics and spiritual and military leaders espouse the anihilation agenda, not just talking heads on tv. you dismiss it as childishness instead of fanatiscism. They arent rational like you, they dont care if they get devastated in a war ,they would strap a bomb to their own children to see you dead, so yeah they do see war with us and the result of their country being devastated and yes many of them dead as a good thing as it will usher in their mahdi. They think they win the war with us as long as they launch a nuke they feel all the chaos and death and destruction that taking out our electric grid and slamming us back in the 1800 hundreds, will allow their mahdi to come on the world stage and the goals of a global caliphate will be met.
      So the race is on, can iran get a working nuke along with the capabilities to launch and detonate it or will Israel takes them out beforehand.

      • Tom, you got this all from an article (how irrational Iran’s leaders are)? Wow, maybe we should just bomb everybody …

        The problem is, you can probably find similar articles about North Korea and several other nation states. I use the term nation states because they are independent; seeking their own agenda, which realistically probably doesn’t involved having themselves exterminated in a nuclear holocaust (no matter what Drudge thinks).

        We have ZERO right to interfere with any nation state on the planet, including Cuba should they decide to install missiles again. It isn’t our business how or why Iran chooses to defend itself. It wasn’t our business in Iraq (Ooops, no nukes), nor is this insane 10 year war in Afghanistan proving anything aside from the fact we can’t win.

        The U.S. needs to address issues at home before it worries about the rest of the world. If Israel wants to add fuel to the fire of having itself consumed in a nuclear holocaust someday, it’s their business to do so, but we shouldn’t go near it. If Iran achieves the capability and fires on Israel, their “victory” probably wouldn’t be long lived (from retaliation). It’s a fact of our life these days that nuclear wars will probably result sooner or later, but feeding the fire more fuel by preemptive attacks just guarantees it’ll happen sooner rather than later.

        • Charlie,
          Actualy i got it from a novel, “The Twelfth Iman”, but the article of the day happened to cover everything from khameini to twelvers to EMP and just reiterates all what many prominent leaders and clerics are teaching and or brainwashing their masses to believe. They believe by bringing on destruction to themselves and the great satan and little satan will allow for their mahdi to announce his arrival. You and I might think they are crazy but wont be insane enough to launch and detonate a nuke. Unfortunately Israel doesn feel the same way. You dont have to worry about barry soetoro, aka barack hussein obama having the USA attack iran. However Israel will take out nuclear facilities and nuclear weapons . i have two question for you…if a crazy creepy man down the street threatens to get your wife and kids one day when you go to work
          do you notify the authorities or pay him a visit in person or do you tell your wife and kids not to worry , we dont want to escalate this and he hasnt actually done anything to us just yet?
          Why does a preemptive strike on irans nuclear facilities that are controlled by a devout twelver, guarantee nuclear war will happen sooner rather than later, i would think it would postpone their desired ambitions to later not sooner?

          • Tom

            You move from a total fiction story into believing it resembles reality.

            You watch far too much TV and Hollywood movies.

            • I guess its kinda silly, but i sorta think the book is ahead of our headlines. JUst a week or two ago another iranian nuclear scientist was taken out with a sticky bomb to their auto while in transport. Isaid to my buddy at work who told me of the event and i said to him , yeah nuclear scientist from iran were taken out in the book.

              • Tom

                I guess its kinda silly, but i sorta think the book is ahead of our headlines.

                So was “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”…. does not make it “true”.

                You have to ask yourself a question:
                “Why would rational men do “this”?

                Why would we assign “rational” to these men?
                Because they have succeeded in achieving political power.

                Insane men do NOT achieve a decent standard of living, let alone political power. They are sent to hospitals or live in the streets.

                RATIONAL men achieve political power.

                They observe.
                They calculate.
                They act.

                These are actions of sane men.-

                Do not stray from these facts.

          • Tom: Good and legitimate questions.

            if a crazy creepy man down the street threatens to get your wife and kids one day when you go to work do you notify the authorities or pay him a visit in person or do you tell your wife and kids not to worry , we don’t want to escalate this and he hasn’t actually done anything to us just yet?

            I’d most probably opt to pay the man a visit, but a visit (even if violence is threatened) guarantees me nothing. Unless I whack the guy (and go away for my efforts), the threat doesn’t change. Now, to put it in a proper perspective, we (or Israel) can’t whack all of Iran (or anybody). What happens after that is probably a guarantee of future retribution from a single state, never mind the cohesive affect such an attack would have on Islamic states (and people) everywhere for such an attack. It’s a lose-lose proposition, in both instances.

            2) Why does a preemptive strike on irans nuclear facilities that are controlled by a devout twelver, guarantee nuclear war will happen sooner rather than later, i would think it would postpone their desired ambitions to later not sooner?

            See answer to #1 above; we can’t kill them all and surgical strikes, it seems to me, would unify a lot more than one country’s angst against America. A thousand little retribution strikes (suicide bombers, etc.) can do at least as much damage as surgical strikes. I don’t see why or how any of the attacked would not want retibution.

            MY questions to you: If you were born an Iranian and/or Palestinian, do you think you’d be a terrorist (for whatever reason) or someone willing to be bullied the rest of your life?

            • Charlie,
              I think your corect that it would be a lose-lose for the US to strike as we would bring retribution upon us.
              On the other hand, Israel may strike as they see their whole existence in the middle east as one big viscious cycle of retribution carried out on them from players like Iran. Add a nuke over Israels head to the equation , would make it a no brainer for Israel to attack.
              Your question is tough :) If i were an Iranian i would probably be someone willing to be bullied for the rest of my life because of the constraints of sharia law.
              If i was palestinian , i would probably be a terrorist as thats what would have been force fed to me over my youth

              • Tom,

                Charlie, I think your corect that it would be a lose-lose for the US to strike as we would bring retribution upon us.

                Tom, you need to establish a reference for such a claim.

                The Elite can benefit quite extravagantly in such a “lose-lose” for you – you must measure from the base of violent projection and not merely your own circumstance.

              • If i were an Iranian i would probably be someone willing to be bullied for the rest of my life because of the constraints of sharia law.
                If i was palestinian , i would probably be a terrorist as thats what would have been force fed to me over my youth

                As to Palestine … I’m not so sure it’s just a matter of being force fed. We have certainly been sold several bills of goods from the time we were kids about America the great (not suggesting this isn’t a prosperous land–but I don’t remember reading anything about how American expansion actually occurred and at who’s expense). Founding Fathers in America are sanctified by many — not me. In Palestine, living under the conditions Palestinians do, terrorism (as we call it) is considered more a revolution (much the way ours was–except it isn’t just “taxes” Palestinians beef about. Not saying who is wrong, who is right, but Israel came into existence officially in 1948, a lot closer to modern times that preclude how we took American from our native people (no media, technology, etc.). It isn’t as easy to push people off their land today as it was back in the day, not without world condemnation (not to mention the religious zealotry).

                It’s one big jumble of a mess, that’s for sure … but Israel going after Iran will only guarantee more retribution against Israel sooner or later.

      • Tom

        Black Flag, Maybe rulers on both sides are insane. :)

        No.

        They are evil, but it is very serious and dangerous mistake to assume that means they are insane.

        When you gaze upon a politician, think The Joker in the Dark Knight.
        The scene where he confronts the crime bosses, and one yells “This creep is crazy!” – the Joker responds: “No…I .. Am… Not… Crazy”

        They are very rational and very evil.

        There is an article from the other day that is up on the Drudge report today titled “Iran warns world of coming great event” They arent thinking about losing or worried about being devastated by our superior military power.

        Gawd! Man!

        You fall for this rhetoric?!?!

        Stop watching MSM, it is consuming your mind…..

        They arent planning to use speed boats or motor scooters, they want the bomb and the capabilities to launch and detonate.

        Be serious.
        They have ZERO capacity to project any power outside their own borders.

        To believe that a country that doesn’t even have enough gasoline for their cars, zero nukes, zero aircraft carriers, zero air fueling capacity, zero AWACS, zero blue ocean fleet… is a threat to you is insane

        They are thinking about EMP- ing our collective arses. We bomb them them back to the stone age with our fighter planes and bunker busters , they dust themselves off and go on without electricity and plumbing and modern gadgets(no big deal to them).

        Really?

        Do you know anything about Iran???

        • Black Flag,
          Yes evil is a better term as they are hurrying the presence of the antichrist on earth, the full embodiment of evil.
          I really dont watch msm or cnn for over 20+yrs cant stand them. I do read the Drudge report, the Blaze, GBTV and listen to Rush and Levin
          Cant watch Fox anymore for at least a year, will turn it on for election night coverage though.
          I should have specified that the rulers dont care about not having electricity for their masses, as they will have it in their elaborate labrynths of bunkers. The masses will mind as there travels to work and to universities and the like will be halted, but to the leaders it is no big deal and they have the say. Iran is a very culturally affluent country, i do understand, and i bet the people dont really care for their leaders hard stance and urgency to blow things wide open but they dont have the freedoms that we have to express themselves.
          I have a question for you, i know they dont have enough fuel for their autos and no air fueling capacity and basically arent capable for carrying out the threats that im worried about from all out war with Israel to EMP. DO you think Irans evil leaders have their evil hook into the jaw of Russia and that Russia will or is or even has supplied them with the means to carry out their threats on us? Syria?

          • Tom

            Black Flag, Yes evil is a better term as they are hurrying the presence of the antichrist on earth, the full embodiment of evil.

            Religious fantasy and dogma plays no part in analysis, though may play a part in motivation.

            No matter how you want to cut the cards, there is no benefit for those that are dogmatically blinded to be dead before the rising of “whatever second/third/forth rising of some messiah”

            Therefore, do not depend your anaylsis on this.

            Remember, the Elite use dogmatic religion as a tool to manipulate the People … they do not necessarily believe this dogma themselves.

            (see: Cardinal Richelieu)

            Iran is a very culturally affluent country, i do understand, and i bet the people dont really care for their leaders hard stance and urgency to blow things wide open but they dont have the freedoms that we have to express themselves.

            Sorry, but your view is superficial.

            This is a people who, after WW2, resisted the imperialist designs of Soviet Russia, Great Britain

            and the US, and elected -democratically- a nationalist.

            He was overthrown by the CIA.
            The Shah was imposed on these People.

            Resisting decades of US interference and funding, these same People overthrew the Shah.

            To believe these same People cannot “overthrow” whatever oppression is upon them means you have not studied Persian history.

            Iran is a very mature, advanced culture. It is a serious mistake to think otherwise.

            I have a question for you, i know they dont have enough fuel for their autos and no air fueling capacity and basically arent capable for carrying out the threats that im worried about from all out war with Israel to EMP.

            I have a question for you:
            Why are you so worried about Israel?

            DO you think Irans evil leaders have their evil hook into the jaw of Russia and that Russia will or is or even has supplied them with the means to carry out their threats on us? Syria?

            Think about your question.

            Russia borders Iran.
            Russia is not worried by Iran.

            USA is 8,000 miles away from Iran.
            USA is worried about Iran.

            Now, answer this question:

            Why is what I say true?

            • Black Flag,
              To believe these same People cannot “overthrow” whatever oppression is upon them means you have not studied Persian history
              If these same people truly wanted to overthrow the oppression from there leaders, they would. But i dont think they all do,even people in a very mature, advanced culture hear things on tv,the radio,from elders,clerics and in classrooms about certain countries like the US and Israel , that builds an almost imbred hatred for these people. Many may actually support these rational leaders dreams of shoving Israel right out to sea,while others might not feel defending Israels right to exist is worth the capital or clout they would forfeit in doing so. Others are passive and dont want to stir up trouble in front of the wrongmembers of govt or leadrs of their mosque. While others fear retribution on themselves and families for taking a stance against the evils of their leaders, especially when it involves Israel they would feel way outnumbered and just keep quiet, hoping their gamble pays off and they bomb Israel before Israel bombs them.
              I bet you many do try to speak up and explain to their leaders thats its a lose-lose proposition to go to war, but their probably get shut out like congress gets shut out of functions that obama just wants to consult with his czars on.

              • Tom,

                But i dont think they all do

                ,

                Exactly!

                But unless you study their history, you do not know why they think this.

                When the US overthrew the democratically elected leadership and installed their puppet Shah, this created a situation where:
                (1) you were for the tyrant Shah
                or
                (2) you were jailed and tortured
                or
                (3) you were silent.

                This effect ensures the destruction of the “middle of the road” – there is no comprise here.

                If you destroy your enemies AND destroy the non-aligned… all that remains are the radicals.

                This was the US government strategy – and with no surprise, they created radicals.

                To believe the solution to this is more offensive action and destruction displays utter ignorance of cause/effect.

                Do not concern yourself with the myths and beliefs of Iran.

                They are 8,000 miles away.

                Why you think they are of any concern to YOU is -to me- bizarre.

                You should be very worried about those around you who seem to believe that a nation 8,000 miles away -who have no air force, army nor navy of any concern is such a threat to you.

            • Black Flag,
              Why am i so worried about Israel?
              Israel is one of just a few remaining countries that recognize islams ambitions of a global caliphate. They are one of a very select group who are not allowing their countries politically correct posture compromise their aim, like Denmark and England and France, and even to a lesser extent Egypt and Pakistan.
              These countries are losing their identities and culture as sharia law sweeps in and mosque keep replacing other faiths presence .
              Israel is one of a few countries that will have our backs when islamist first like members of cair and aclu and even our president,keep pushing the envelope for sharia law to be implemented and supercede our law.
              Of course i worry about Israel becuase of my faith in Gods chosen people as well and also that they will have our backs in defending religious freedom other than Islam or death by the sword

              • Tom

                Black Flag, Why am i so worried about Israel? Israel is one of just a few remaining countries that recognize islams ambitions of a global caliphate.

                Ok, let’s slice this up.

                The rest of the world – some 200 other countries – do not see Islam as any threat, and they must all be idiots… except the US and Israel.

                So, Israel – thrust into the middle of an Arab region – finds itself *shock* in the middle of an Arab region. And – to you – this is something that the US must fix.

                . These countries are losing their identities

                This is utter nonsense.

                You must be of one of these two minds:
                (1) The culture that is imported (Islam) is so ferocious and great and superior, it will overwhelm yours -even though you outnumber the Islamic’s 10 to 1.
                (2) Your culture is perverse, sick, immoral and weak that it takes only 1 out of 10 to destroy it.

                Which mind do you hold?

              • Tom,

                Of course i worry about Israel becuase of my faith in Gods chosen people as well and also that they will have our backs in defending religious freedom other than Islam or death by the sword

                You do understand that the Jews do NOT believe in Jesus, but the Muslims do.

                You do understand that the Jews believe that the Christians and the Muslims are the same – “gentiles” and as such are NOT guarding “your back”.

                You do understand that Jews in Iran have as much freedom as Muslims in Israel and less freedom than the Muslims in America.

  48. It’s about time!!!!!

    Here we go: Senate Republicans to join lawsuit challenging Obama recess appointments
    posted at 4:50 pm on February 3, 2012 by Allahpundit

    Welcome news on the merits, but I doubt Obama cares much. If he wins, then the Cordray and NLRB appointments are vindicated constitutionally, which will give him political cover to be even bolder with his executive power grabs. If he loses, then instead of whining endlessly on the campaign trail this year about the conservative “do-nothing Congress” (only half of which is controlled by conservatives, of course), he can whine about the conservative “do-nothing Congress” and the conservative courts that are allegedly rubber-stamping their
    obstructionism. All the more reason to re-elect him and let him appoint more judges.

    Which is to say, as in all things Obama, I don’t think he cares half as much about whether these appointments are upheld as whether the politics of it works out for him. And this should work out okay no matter what happens.

    Nearly 40 Senate Republicans say they will sign on to a court challenge of President Barack Obama’s appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board…

    “American democracy was born out of a rejection of the monarchies of Western Europe, anchored by limited government and separation of powers,” Texas Sen. John Cornyn said in a statement. “We refuse to stand by as this president arrogantly casts aside our Constitution and defies the will of the American people under the election-year guise of defending them.”

    The senators didn’t indicate which legal case they would join, but one lawsuit making its way through the courts includes a Jan. 13 claim by the National Federation for Independent Business and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. It argues that appointments to the labor board are unconstitutional. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced earlier this week that he would join that case.

    Here’s a PDF of the signatures. Not among them: Scott Brown, who’s more interested in cozying up to Obama in front of Massachusetts voters than lending his name in defense of separation of powers. Question for con law types: What are the odds that the courts will refuse to rule on this on grounds that it’s a nonjusticiable “political question”? My hunch is that they’ll rule because they’re being asked a straightforward interpretive question about a very specific constitutional clause: Namely, what’s a “recess” for purposes of Article II, Section 2? Whatever definition they lay down won’t necessarily shift power from the legislature to the executive or vice versa as a structural matter, it’ll simply be bright-line guidance for both branches on when the president can and can’t act unilaterally in the future. Michael McConnell, a perennial GOP Supreme Court candidate, also thinks the courts will take up the matter, but I’m interested in dissenting opinions if there are any.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/02/03/here-we-go-senate-republicans-to-join-lawsuit-challenging-obama-recess-appointments/

  49. So now the dems. are changing the definition of “a budget”-to suit themselves.

    Reid: No, I don’t plan to bring a budget to the floor this year
    posted at 3:40 pm on February 3, 2012 by Tina Korbe

    It’s been more than 1,000 days since the Senate has passed a budget, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is unconcerned. In fact, he says he has no plans to bring a budget to the floor in 2012, either. He argues the 2012 budget is already done because last summer’s debt-ceiling deal included a few spending caps. Essentially, Reid wonders: Why do we need a long-term spending plan when we can stumble into some spending caps here and there? The Hill was first to this story:
    “We do not need to bring a budget to the floor this year — it’s done, we don’t need to do it,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters on Friday, echoing previous statements from his office.

    Reid and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) argued that the debt-limit agreement in August directs spending for the next year and that Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) has already asked the heads of the subcommittees to write their bills for fiscal 2013.

    Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) has said he would probably mark up a budget resolution this year to appease ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), but Reid said he didn’t expect any floor action on any measure produced by the panel. …

    Schumer said it is a “total falsity” for Republicans to say that Democrats haven’t passed the budget: “we passed it on Aug. 2.”

    “They’re attacking us because they have nothing better to do,” Reid said. “They need something else to talk about.”

    If what Reid and Schumer are arguing is that the Senate doesn’t need to pass a formal budget resolution to enable the government to spend taxpayer money irresponsibly, then they’re right. For the past couple years, while the Senate Budget Democrats have sat on their hands, failing to submit a budget resolution to the full Senate, the Senate Appropriations Committee has still authorized ungodly amounts of discretionary spending.

    But if what Reid and Schumer are saying is that they’ve followed the law and submitted a budget resolution, then they’re flat-out wrong. The Congressional Budget Act requires the president to submit a budget to Congress by Feb. 1 every year. The Senate Budget Committee is to report a budget resolution to the full Senate by April 1. The House and Senate are to reach agreement on a concurrent budget resolution by April 15. Senate Budget Democrats haven’t submitted a budget since 2009.

    Here’s why it matters: The Appropriations Committee determines levels of discretionary spending. Approps don’t touch mandatory spending. But mandatory spending constitutes about 60 percent of all federal spending — and mandatory programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security drive our deficits and debt. Without the imposition of budget discipline, these programs grow on autopilot.

    By never submitting a budget, enacting a few discretionary spending caps as a part of the Budget Control Act (a.k.a. the debt ceiling deal) and punting to the Super Committee that also punted on entitlement reform, Democrats avoid any difficult discussion of how to ensure the solvency of our entitlement programs. With no plan of their own on the table, they’re free to shoot down anything Republicans propose.

    It’s no secret why no one wants to touch entitlements — but it is still the shame of Washington that nobody will.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/02/03/reid-no-i-dont-plan-to-bring-a-budget-to-the-floor-this-year/

    • Sympathies to your family Charlie. I have $20 worth of squares worth $50/qtr..lots of good numbers…I have to go with Brady..a Michigan man!

      • Thanks, Anita my love. It was heartbreaking at the wake today. Truly heartbreaking.

        My fear is Brady inside the gym may be unstoppable … as a Bills fan, a Cheatriot victory is my greatest nightmare. And it pains me to root for teams from Moonachie, New Jersey (the green team–Jets/aka Yets) or the blue team–Giants).

  50. BF says: You do not understand hegemonic action….I don’t know if anybody understands anything anymore……

    He affirmed that Iran had provided assistance to terror groups Hizbullah and Hamas, AP reported.

    “We have intervened in anti-Israel matters, and it brought victory in the 33-day war by Hizbullah against Israel in 2006, and in the 22-day war” between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, Khamenei was quoted as having said.

    He added, “From now on, in any place, if any nation or any group confronts the Zionist regime, we will endorse and we will help. We have no fear expressing this.”

    Khamenei said Israel was a “cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut,” and added that the U.S. would suffer defeat and lose standing in the region if it decides to use military force to stop the country’s nuclear program.

    “Iran will not withdraw. Then what happens?” he said. “In conclusion, the west’s hegemony and threats will be discredited. The hegemony of Iran will be promoted. In fact, this will be in our service.”

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/152408#.Ty28YlzLxtp

    • Anita

      I don’t know if anybody understands anything anymore

      It is very simple.

      The problem:
      You do not like the conclusion that the Hegemonic Theory offers

      You believe the US is some sort of half-angel/half-devil, and you grasp to the half-angel aspect whenever the word “Iran” is used.

      You are unwilling to set aside your emotionalism and brainwashing to get to the core of the situation.

      You are being manipulated into a war

      …… He affirmed that Iran had provided assistance to terror groups Hizbullah and Hamas,

      It is a fact that Iran is funding the opposition to Israel as equal as it is a fact that the US is funding opposition to Iran and Palestine.

      But, as you are in favor of America and not in favor of Iran, you believe the former evil and the latter good.

      • To be more clear:

        You favor whatever Israel does or the US does, and call it “good” – but you disfavor Iran in what it does which is no more or no less than what the US does, except in an order of magnitude LESS of a scale, but you call that “evil”.

        • Nope. I don’t trust any of them..that’s the problem. Not the USA, not Israel, not Iran, not the CIA, not Mossad, not Hezbollah, not Hamas, not Al Queda…none of them. I don’t trust any of them to not instigate trouble. The Middle East has been at war long before we were a country..that’s just how they roll. We (USA) are far from perfect but at least we (supposedly) (and I’m talking the 300 million..not the govt) preach peace. They (terror groups and therefore Iran) preach death. And they do so from childhood on. Given the choice of sides I’m with usA. I just trust them less. And even if we(USA) don’t instigate the trouble in the ME…just let Israel and Iran go to blows on there own…you know we’re going to have Israel’s back…who’s to say that we’re not going to end up with suicide bombers and car bombs right here in our streets just because we’re buddies with Israel. Then we have a real mess because that’s when our govt is really gonna step in to “help us” . That’s what scares me. I’m either dead or at camp FEMA.

          • Anita

            The Middle East has been at war long before we were a country..that’s just how they roll.

            This, and this alone, is the biggest problem.

            Anita, what you claim here is UTTER BULL

            They have not been at war “long before we were a country”!

            The US has been essentially at war from the day of its founding.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_military_operations

            Unending.

            And here you are, pontificating action on an other country 8,000 miles away as if you are some God’s blessed angel of peace.

            The American disease – called “self-blindness”. It is the disease of all empires, and it is fatal.

      • BF

        What you don’t seem to understand is that it is not that some of us choose the USA because we think the USA is good.

        It is simply that we recognize that the Iranian Govt is Bat Shit Crazy, it involving itself in the affairs of others for no reason than to expand its own power and YOU seem to see any of it.

        Why??????

        Perhaps it is because you can’t escape pinning ALL the Evil in the world on the chest of the USA.

        Perhaps you blinders and presumption of your “hegemonic theory” don’t allow you to see the possibility that you are WRONG.

        • JAC

          BF What you don’t seem to understand is that it is not that some of us choose the USA because we think the USA is good. It is simply that we recognize that the Iranian Govt is Bat Shit Crazy

          What you and the “we” that you seem to represent to do not understand is that the Iranian Govt. is NOT bat shit crazy.

          , it involving itself in the affairs of others for no reason than to expand its own power

          Bull shit.

          It is involved in affairs that are directly core to its sovereignty.

          Its adversaries are the ones involving themselves in affairs for no reason other than to expand their hegemony.

        • It is simply that we recognize that the Iranian Govt is Bat Shit Crazy, it involving itself in the affairs of others for no reason than to expand its own power and YOU seem to see any of it.

          JAC, since Pahlevi’s overthrow Iraq attacked Iran (not the other way around). Iran didn’t attack anyone nearby … not China, not India, not Vietnam, not Afghanistan, Not Iraq, North Korea … nor did they attack Europe or the United States.

          In my lifetime, the United States attacked North Vietnam, Cambodia (a neutral state), Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti.

          Which government is bat shit crazy?

          • Charlie

            I understand the history quite well.

            What is ignored is the use of “surrogates” in places that do not fit the argument that this is all about the USA being “present” in the middle east.

            Note that the argument is the mere presence, not just the “pushing people around” issue.

            Iran is involved in “surrogate” actions in northern and eastern Africa. Yet there is no USA occupation there. Iran is financing and supporting the use of “force” against Israel, but what happens between Palestinians and the Israeli’s should be of no concern to Iran. It is in fact an Arab/Hebrew issue going back thousands of years.

            Virtually all Govt’s are bat shit crazy Charlie. But some are more so than others. So the question is; Is Iran’s Govt one of those that is more so than others. I do not have a definitive answer. I can only go on history and the words they speak. It certainly appears that they want far more than just to live peacefully within their “borders” as a sovereign nation. My opinion is based on their use of religion as a motivator of hatred and the rationalization of violence against others in Iran and in the region. Lets not forget the atrocities being committed in Iran against its religious minorities.

            Now with all that, you will not find anywhere, where I have indicated the USA should do anything about the situation. Other than pull back to places where we are obviously welcome and are not being used to support tyrants (such as Saudi Arabia)

  51. JAC

    Perhaps it is because you can’t escape pinning ALL the Evil in the world on the chest of the USA.

    First, I have never claimed ALL evil is due to the US

    Second, and what you and others seem incapable of grasping is that the HEGEMONY acts – the weaker power REACTS.

    If this hegemony was Russia, the argument would be the same, unmoved. But you would be nodding “yea!”

    If this hegemony was China, the argument would be the same, unmoved. But you would be nodding “yea!”

    But this hegemony is USA – the argument remains unmoved. But, you -blinded by your nationalism- is shaking your head “NO! It is not “US” it is them!”

    This is the common, but predictable, failure of the People’s understanding.

    They attribute the worst to others, but the opposite of that to themselves.

    The US, …oh no! … cannot have motives of such evil!… because to agree to that would mean YOU are supporting that evil…and God knows, you would really, not really, ever do that!

    Therefore, everyone else must be evil, because in causation theory, you must be good.

    Thus, the USA will implode – the short, beacon of freedom will be snuffed out – and the scattered Remnant will light their dim candles in an continu9ng hope to enlighten a new pathway to real freedom and human prosperity and life.

    • BF

      When you start assigning certain behaviors or conclusions to ME, as you have done here, you do more to make my case than your own.

      As often happens, instead of putting forth a reasoned argument, your rants simply reek of arrogance towards others.

      The result is not the one you hope for.

      • JAC

        BF When you start assigning certain behaviors or conclusions to ME, as you have done here, you do more to make my case than your own.

        Nonsense.

        You pontificate some bizarre “religious fervor” will overrule rational calculation – you advocate that their leader ship is crazy – yet, 30 years of such leadership has not fermented the consequences you state.

        The argument – one of hegemonic action – is solid. Ignore it at your peril.

  52. gmanfortruth says:

    Iran will eventually be attacked. It will not be because of Iran’s actions, but the actions of The USA and/or Isreal. Both are using the corporate whore media to prepare the people for a false flag event that will be blamed on Iran. The worse the evnt, the better for our corrupt govt. Maybe a Jewish school will be blown up and blamed on Iran, as that action would piss off the masses. Too bad Iran will not have acted, but attacked they will get. Shameful.

    • Good morning, Gman…….where do you see this? I do not think Iran gets attacked in our lifetime…..no matter how many Jewish temples get blown up. Not attacked by us….and I will not accept an attack by Israel is an attack by the US.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Good Day Colonel :)

        I look at the past events that have led to wars in my lifetime and see this event occurring this year. Not sure why you don’t see us attacking Iran, afterall we joined in the attack of Libya for no reason. I hope we don’t attack them, that would be evil.

        On a lighter note, as a Dolphin’s fan, I’m with the Cannoli master today and a Giants fan. I hope it’s good game at least.

  53. Black Flag,
    No matter how you want to cut the cards, there is no benefit for those that are dogmatically blinded to be dead before the rising of “whatever second/third/forth rising of some messiah”

    How about being guaranteed to go live with allah and also you get 69 virgins all to yourself as a bonus :).

    Of course i worry about Israel becuase of my faith in Gods chosen people as well and also that they will have our backs in defending religious freedom other than Islam or death by the sword

    You do understand that the Jews do NOT believe in Jesus, but the Muslims do.
    Because i say that Israel will defend religious freedom, doesnt mean that i think Jews beleive in Jesus.
    The Jews believe Jesus was a great teacher and prophet and a righteous man, but not their savior. The muslims have him regulated as just another one of their prophets. Do you know why they dont just delete him from their text as he was the king of the Jews?

    You do understand that the Jews believe that the Christians and the Muslims are the same – “gentiles” and as such are NOT guarding “your back”.
    Is that the only reason to you that they could be guarding our backs? maybe their guarding our backs because they our defending democrasy and dont want it snuffed out of the world or a slew of other reasons
    .
    You do understand that Jews in Iran have as much freedom as Muslims in Israel and less freedom than the Muslims in America.
    Do Jews and Christians have their synagoges and churches in Iran? Do they get to own bibles and wear what their faiths require while going to all these religious functions ? Do they get to discuss openly their stories in their bible?
    Are muslims allowed to worship in Israel? DO they get to bring their quarons to their mosque in Israel?
    DO muslims have thousands of mosques all across America and can even buy a koran in bookstores all across this nation?

    Which mind do you hold? Both
    The second especially were the disease of politically correctness will collapse us from within,while they collapse us from outside

    • Tom

      Black Flag, No matter how you want to cut the cards, there is no benefit for those that are dogmatically blinded to be dead before the rising of “whatever second/third/forth rising of some messiah”

      You talking about the Christians and there Revelations?

      • Tom …. and that’s the point.

        Your Christian religion is a religion of death – it promotes it in their writings, and often in their actions.

        YET!

        You do not assign the same “insanity” pleas to YOUR leadership.

        Your world view is horrifically distorted.
        You apply different rational to people you do not know and act toward them as if they are different from you.

        Thus, you advocate action that will rebound upon you and be utterly disastrous.

        Iran has the largest Jewish population outside of Israel. Iran defends their religious rights.

        The problem you have a hard time grasping is that you assign religion to be their politics.

        You fear Muslims – thus advocate for war against Iran.
        Yet you forgot the Muslims already have nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them – Pakistan.

        So unless you are advocating nuking the world ……. but ironically that is exactly what you are advocating.

        • Black Flag,
          Yet you forgot the Muslims already have nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them – Pakistan
          Has Pakistans military been overrun by extremists and twelvers? Because not all muslims want to annihilate the great satan.
          and Israel.

          So unless you are advocating nuking the world ……. but ironically that is exactly what you are advocating.
          I dont want the world to be nuked, i dont even want a single nuke to go off. I just take the threats irans two most prominent leaders keep
          repeating about nuking Israel and then us.I thought it would be a wise but brave decision for Israel to take out their sites and equipment and buy the world another 6-10 yrs. It always worked before when Israel took out other muslim nations nuke facilities. I will study my position more and am willing to listen to alternative solutions thanks

          • Tom,

            Has Pakistans military been overrun by extremists and twelvers?

            No less or no more than anywhere else.

            I just take the threats irans two most prominent leaders keep repeating about nuking Israel

            They have said no such thing.

            .I thought it would be a wise but brave decision for Israel to take out their sites and equipment and buy the world another 6-10 yrs.

            If they do that, you -personally- will pay a huge and heavy price.

            It always worked before when Israel took out other muslim nations nuke facilities.

            Iraq and Syria – both attacks blatant acts of war – were on nations that had no real means to respond.

            Iran is not Iraq nor Syria and has serious means to respond.

    • Tom,

      Do Jews and Christians have their synagoges and churches in Iran?

      Yes

      Do they get to own bibles and wear what their faiths require while going to all these religious functions ?

      Yes

      Do they get to discuss openly their stories in their bible?

      Yes

  54. Anita and Tom….I suggest reading the following passage and then take the time to read about the Persian Empire. But….do not just relate to it for the past 300 years…you must take it back. You need to go as far back as 559 BC.It is quite interesting and gives the blue print for today.

    Khamenei claimed Iran, however, could only emerge stronger. “Iran will not withdraw. Then what happens?” asked Khamenei. “In conclusion, the West’s hegemony and threats will be discredited” in the Middle East. “The hegemony of Iran will be promoted. In fact, this will be in our service.”

    Read this passage VERY carefully…..then read some aspects of the Persian Empire. BF is quite right about the fact that this is NOT something new. This is a continuation of the past. The secret to Iran is not today…the secret to Iran is its past. It is a perfect road map. Why our leaders are stuck in the present is beyond me but they are wrong.

    BF is further correct that the United States entered into a series of “cold war” antics. The old USSR did the same thing….sponsoring assassinations, installing “friendly” regimes. and disruption of other “non friendly state” political organizations and so did and so does China (I think everybody is losing sight of China…but China has its own set of problems….their hegemonic acts are about to bring them down). Now, where BF and I will disagree is in the use of hegemony. He thinks that it is evil but I think both ways. Hegemony is inevitable. As I stated before, those that have the power of hegemony….use it. I know of no one that is not using it….Iran included. Even Khamenei claims it. Hegemony was around before the United States was even a thought and we, the US, do not own it. We are neophytes in the hegemony world. Beginners.

    We do not need to worry about Iran at all EXCEPT if it wishes to close international sea lanes. They have no right nor authority to do this nor can they. I have already posted a map last year of what was going to happen and it has happened but it is going further,,,faster…that I thought. But will Iran close the straight? No…..they cut their own throat. They actually need the straight more than the US. I am a believer in letting Israel handle its own affairs. Again, you must go to the past to learn about the mentality of Arab world. We are not going to pull out of other parts of the world, nor should we. We have “so called” allies in the ME region but the lack of resolve of this administration is threatening that which is why you have seen Syria and Egypt being controlled by the hegemony of Iran. So, it is a big game.

    Worried about the 12th Imam or hegemonic powers of Iran? Read the past history of Persia. Besides……why not let Russia worry about Iran? Iran’s long term goals are pretty simple. Expand to control the ME oil states. Iran is already threatening those states that will make up for the shortage of Iranian oil should Iran turn the valve. Therein, lies another problem. Oil, until we become independent using our own resources, is a national security threat. Iraq is about to fall back into the dark ages and so will Afghanistan. All we have done is help Iran along in its goal.

    Iran does not want the United States as a friend. It will NEVER want the United States as a friend and ally. Ok. I don’t care. We could pull completely out of the region and move all military weaponry 8,000 miles away and it will not influence Iran one whit. So what if Iran succeeds in organizing its caliphate dreams. Why do we care? I really hope that this happens as it will show whom is right and wrong. It will not harm us at all. BUT……………………………………….hegemony will not stop and hegemony is a lifeblood of all countries. The United States is not the largest hegemonic power today….it is number three and falling.

    Where BF and I will disagree, hegemony by definition, is not the reason that the United States is hated. Success breeds hate and envy.

    • d13

      As does the ambitions of tyrants.

      P.S.: The history of this goes even farther back. Start around 4,000 BCE. We see the various tribes and city states in a constant state of war and conquest. The later Persians were involved in these conflicts even then, although they were not the “conquering” empire/kingdom.

      • This is true but I think the real hegemony began with Cyrus. I could be wrong…but most was tribal until Cyrus.

        • d13

          Yes, as it relates to what we now call “Persia”, and Cyrus was the first known “Persian” King. But the various tribes/city states of western and southwestern “Iran/Persia” were part of and participated in the prior “Kingdoms”, including the Babylonian.

          Sometimes we all forget that the lines on the maps of “olden days” are estimates of territory “held by force or influence” and not the boundaries of a “NATION STATE” as we recognize it today.

          • Fair enough…..but the point is hegemony was alive and well then as now. We are not the first.

            • d13

              Absolutely CORRECT.

              I would add that ALL action is NOT reaction to Hegemony either.

              While our friend BF did not say this, it could be perceived by some from his explanations.

              The theory of “reaction” has to stop somewhere. Otherwise we could claim that EVERY action by ANYONE was a REACTION to some historic Hegemony.

              There is a better phrase I think that deals with the USA, and other powers, and their relation/effect on the behaviors of others. That is “Hyper Power”.

              This has “Global”, at least in perspective of the known world, implications whereas Hegemony seems a little more “nebulous” if you will.

        • d13

          Just wanted to clarify, so as to avoid the appearance of making comments similar to those I just condemned for Flag, that WE was rhetorical.

          I am NOT saying that you do not understand these historical contexts. I assume you were steeped in the history of the region as part of your “training”.

          • Did not take it that way, my friend…..actually in college I wrote a lengthy term paper on hegemony of the Persian Empire and another on the tactical mistakes during the Peloponnesian War. But, yes, I am pretty “up” on ME history and the Persian and Asian histories. Quite fascinating actually, as we still use military tactics developed back then.

    • I’m all for let them sort it out on their own. I just pointed out two things…the Middle East has been at war forever and I trust them less than the USA. This map looks like forever to me.

      http://www.mapsofwar.com/ind/imperial-history.html

      • Anita

        Middle East has been at war forever and I trust them less than the USA.

        This is factually WRONG.

        Anita, the ME at times has been in peace longer than the US has been a nation.

        To have such a serious disconnect between the historical fact and the advocating of violent action upon them, should such an opinion become so pervasive (and it is), will be a national disaster to the USA.

    • D13,

      Now, where BF and I will disagree is in the use of hegemony. He thinks that it is evil but I think both ways.

      No where did I say this

      Does no one read anymore?

      I specifically said – and in great detail to V.H. and Anita – that is was THEIR emotionalism attached to hegemonic action that THEY applied a label to it.

      I state again:
      Hegemony ACTS, Weaker powers REACT

      This occurs at all and every level of international action, from war to diplomacy to trade

    • D13,

      Iran does not want the United States as a friend.

      …right now.

      It will NEVER want the United States as a friend and ally.

      Nonsense.

      This was the same barf they said about Vietnam. Yet, within a generation, they are a trading partner.

      • Yes limited trading counties but there are thousands of us denied entry to this date. I am one of them.

      • Also, I truly believe that Iran and the US will never be trading partners nor friends in my life time and I plan to live a long time. Unless, there is a major change in the structure of Iran’s government….which I doubt. As I said previously, the US can pull out o the region entirely and it will not change Iran’s mind on anything.

        • D13,

          I do not agree.

          There is a tremendous amount of affinity between the Peoples of Iran and America.

          The day America retreats its Empire, I am quite confident that the Peoples of Iran will open their marketplace and happily accept US$ and business.

          • D13,

            There are good things that Iranians remember about the US too — like when Truman threatened war with Stalin unless Stalin retreated his army out of Iran at the end of WW2.

            That act gave rise to the democratic factions in Iran – they believed their democracy would be guarded by the US, not (as it was) undermined by it.

          • BF states: “There is a tremendous amount of affinity between the Peoples of Iran and America. The day America retreats its Empire, I am quite confident that the Peoples of Iran will open their marketplace and happily accept US$ and business.”

            I agree with the people of Iran. I do not believe that they follow their government willingly….The people of Iran will trade with Americans this very day, if the markets were open to them…….but they are not open and it is not the people that are refusing trade. It is the Iranian government. Those that had Western goods at one time remember them and want them but I firmly believe that the government of Iran has other designs as do the clerics. They, govt and clerics, do not want a free society and that is not me pontificating….that is what I am being told by recent Iranians that have defected to here. I am told, and this is not confirmed, that Iranian officials are blocking,to the best of their ability the freedom of travel to certain Western countries….even to the point that they are retaliating upon families left behind.

            But I will say that the people of Iran will trade and want trade with the US.

    • D13

      Success breeds hate and envy.

      BS Nonsense.

      Success breeds imitation.

      Intrusion and interference breeds hate.

      • Unfortunately BF, you are both right. Success does breed imitation. Success ALSO breeds hate and envy. As you well know, there are many parts of your stance on this topic that I agree with. However, ignoring the realities doesn’t make your stance stronger, it makes it weaker. Understanding that there are many in the ME who do actually resent the US for their success is a part of dealing with the situation as it really exists. Understanding that there are many in the ME who resent the US for the intrusion and interference is also part of dealing with the situation as it really exists.

        • Understanding that there are many in the ME who do actually resent the US for their success

          Politicians, Kings, Royalty or the peoples living under their thumb? I’m curious how you come to this.

          • It matters not Charlie. Just take a look at our own country. Successful is breeding hate and envy. It is doing so as we speak. I have been around awhile and even in the 60’s, I did not see the envy and hate level that now exists.

            However, this is another subject. Is not your position one of envy or hate concerning the affluent? Your statement “people living under the thumbs” seems to indicate this.

            • Successful is breeding hate and envy

              This is a GOP talking point (why USW used it first, I suspect). It is nonsense. Most people desire being rich as the only purpose in their lives. Success can be measured in more ways than cash. I have to laugh every time I read that bullshit (or hear it on television). The fact Mitt Romney has to resort to it (with all that bullshit about him not inheriting anything from his very wealthy father) is propaganda every bit as bad “all men are created equal”.

              Most people want the chance to live as happy a life as they can without having to win powerball. It has NOTHING to do with envy. That talking point is pathetic, quite frankly.

              Even on Pluto we laugh at that one.

              Under the thumbs suggests they are being squashed so that the 1% can flourish (without having to actually “earn” what they have). BF doesn’t equate economic slavery with how the very wealthy flourish by keeping hundreds of millions at their mercy. He believes the hundreds of millions have the same opportunity to be the 1%. If there are 330,000 million Americans and every one has the same opportunity and same desires (to not be envious of the very wealthy), than how come the 1% isn’t 100%?

              The answer is pretty obvious. Capitalism depends on the exploitation of the many for the few.

              And that’s why a government was formed … to protect the economic interests of the wealthy … and that’s why the government today represents the 1% and the 1% only. The rest is all one big sideshow.

              I envy no one who has more money or success than me. I even understand why they’re so patriotic (most of them) … but that doesn’t make the game not rigged. It is as rigged as any other game of 3 card monty.

              Go Moonachie Blue Team!

              • Charlie,

                than how come the 1% isn’t 100%? The answer is pretty obvious. Capitalism depends on the exploitation of the many for the few.

                No.

                True Capitalism – as a consequence of freedom – provides equal opportunity which THEN means inequality in outcomes.

                If you – as you do – demand equality of outcomes, you must use violence on some men to provide to others – those others who squander their opprotunity.

                You have this choice, Charlie – equal opportunity OR equal outcome. You cannot have both

  55. Success breeds hate and envy.

    Buon Giorno, Colonel (from the Canolli king his own self).

    Success breads hate and envy, true, but especially whan it was contingent on the exploitation of others to achieve.

    The United States is no different than any other nation state hellbound on expansion. And hell bound it has become, especially to those in the middle east … but we need not look any further than right here at home for people with beefs for our expansion …

    • A big Texas howdy to you this morning, Canoli King of the East……

      You stated “Success breads hate and envy, true, but especially whan it was contingent on the exploitation of others to achieve.” This is a true statement but ANY hegemony is contingent upon the exploitation of others, resources, finances, etc etc. Even the greater good countries you seem to like are just as if not more guilty of this.

      So, I am guessing that you are a giants fan today?

      • The Canoli man and all of Pluto, because our team, The Buffalo Bisons, stink to no end, spend our entire season rooting against the Cheatriots of Foxboro … therefore, by default, we are rooting for the Moonachie Blue Team …

        All governments are guilty of seeking their own interests, which is why Iran must not be attacked for looking out for its own interests. Or we all need to look out for our interest, develop the deadliest weapons we can as fast as we can and eliminate all our enemies (which is potentially everybody) … I know you see the insanity of that last bit, but that’s exactly what attacking Iran is … especially after how we’ve hurt ourselves with other absurd wars (Vietnan, Iraq & Afghanistan).

        Go Moonachie!

  56. @ BF…….you said “They have stated, however, that the conflict in Palestine DOES effect their region”

    I am open minded on this one…..how does the conflict in Palestine affect their region?

    • D13,

      It destabilizes the region, and attracts foreign powers into the region.
      Thrashing in the water attracts sharks.

      • Interesting analysis……But I think that I read between the lines that any Israel, peaceful or non, destabilizes the region. Am I correct?

        • D13,

          Israel, peaceful or non, destabilizes the region. Am I correct?

          No.

          A just, negotiated settlement with the Palestinians would stabilize the region – much like the Egyptian Peace Accord – as long as the zionist hawks do not use the settlement to further territorial expansion.

          That’s the issue: the zionists demand all of Ersatz Israel – all the way up into Lebanon…. until this group gets subdued, peace will be difficult since Israel will not want peace until they have the Ersatz.

          The problem: they cannot probably get that territory, and if they do, they most assuredly cannot hold it.

  57. gmanfortruth says:

    Super Bowl prediction time :) The Patriots get a lead at halftime but the Giants come back and win by 4 points, 35 – 31 on a late game TD pass.

  58. @ BF…..it is ironic……do you NOT see the hegemony of Iran or is it your belief that they are reacting to the US? I am not saying whether it is right or wrong….Iran can do as it pleases but I see them equally hegemonic if not more so. Extending influence whether politically, financially, or religiously….is still hegemony…especially if you literally threaten your neighbors. To threaten JIHAD for supplying the world with oil should Iran stop…..that is hegemony at its finest. That is extending their will upon their neighbors….and not in a national security interest.

    • D13,

      @ BF…..it is ironic……do you NOT see the hegemony of Iran or is it your belief that they are reacting to the US?

      In what matter?

      Iran is a large economic gorilla – so, economically, they command a lot.
      Militarily, however, they are a fraction of Saudi, and a fraction of Israel – they command almost nothing here.

      especially if you literally threaten your neighbors

      .

      They have not threatened anyone in 300 years.

      They have been threatened repeatedly.

      They respond to those threats with some of their own.

      This is surprising to you?

  59. Cheatriots go down again … how cool is that?

  60. Life style CHOICE-The word CHOICE is being so abused it’s past sickening.

    Bestiality brothels spur call for animal sex ban

    Published: 3 Feb 12 16:54 CET
    Share330

    Animal sex abuse is on the rise in Germany, with bestiality brothels being set up across the country, according to a state animal protection officer demanding stronger laws to protect mankind’s furry and feathered friends.

    Pervert-pleasing high-heeled mice stompers convicted of cruelty – Society (15 Nov 11)

    Madeleine Martin, the animal protection official for Hessian state government, said the law needed to be changed to make sex abuse of animals – known as zoophilia – a crime.

    “It is punishable to distribute animal pornography, but the act itself is not,” she told the Frankfurter Rundschau daily paper on Friday.

    “There are even animal brothels in Germany,” she said. Sex with animals was being increasingly seen as a lifestyle choice, and thus more acceptable.

    “The abuse seems to be increasingly rapidly, and the internet offers an additional distribution platform,” she said.

    She said the justice authorities had found it exceptionally difficult to convict a man from Hesse, who had offered pictures and instructions for animal sex abuse over the internet.

    “Zoophilia must be completely banned in the reformed animal protection law,” said Martin, referring to the governments plan to rework that section of the law.

    Sex with animals was banned until 1969, when the animal protection law was introduced, but failed to include a specific ban on zoophilia, the Frankfurter Rundschau said.

    Martin said the current legal situation makes it too difficult for authorities to intervene – an animal has to be shown to have massive injuries before the animal protection laws prescribe action.

    http://www.thelocal.de/society/20120203-40531.html

  61. Eloquence in Defense of Liberty

    Mike Adams

    Feb 06, 2012

    On January 27, 2012, the 6th Circuit issued a landmark opinion in Ward v. Wilbanks. It is the biggest federal court victory for campus First Amendment rights since my own victory before the 4th Circuit last April. What is striking about the Ward opinion is the thread of common sense running through every aspect of its analysis. Even more striking is the eloquence of the 6th Circuit as it defends fundamental religious freedom against a full-frontal assault from the LGBT community.

    Julea Ward was one of many counseling students being coerced into affirming homosexuality by a state-run institution. She did not seek to force homosexuals to change their conduct through religious-based corrective therapy. She simply sought to refer homosexual clients to other counselors when those clients demanded affirmation of their conduct. Eastern Michigan University sought to force Julea into a cruel trilemma by accepting one of the following options:

    1. Lie to clients by telling them she approved of their conduct, or

    2. Abandon her religious beliefs regarding sexuality, or

    3. Leave the counseling profession altogether.

    Julea’s preference was pretty simple: refer homosexual (and some heterosexual) clients to others more willing to affirm their conduct. For this she was expelled from the counseling program. Then the trial court granted summary judgment preventing Julea from having her day in court.

    Julea Ward appealed to the 6th Circuit and won a unanimous reversal. The judges concluded that a reasonable jury could have found that Ward’s professors ejected her from the counseling program because of their own personal hostility toward her speech and faith, rather than a policy against referrals. In other words, that was simply a pretext to punish her for her beliefs.

    The 6th Circuit judges wondered out loud just what Julea Ward did wrong. She was willing to work with all clients and to respect the school’s affirmation directives in the process. That is precisely why she asked to refer gay and lesbian clients (and some heterosexual clients) – but only if the conversation required her to affirm their sexual practices. After noting her compliance with the rule, the 6th Circuit raised interesting hypothetical questions. For example, would the ban on discrimination against clients based on their religion require a Muslim counselor to tell a Jewish client that his religious beliefs are correct? Would it require an atheist counselor to tell a person of faith that there is a God?

    After suggesting that the answer to both of those hypotheticals would be “no,” the 6th Circuit delivered a line certain to irreparably damage the self-esteem of the Eastern Michigan diversity crowd: “Tolerance is a two-way street. Otherwise, the rule mandates orthodoxy, not anti-discrimination.” In other words, the 6th Circuit accused the institution of promoting intolerance – the very thing it said it was committed to eradicating. Ouch.

    The 6th Circuit also noted that many of the faculty members’ statements to Ward raise a similar concern about religious discrimination. They noted that a reasonable jury could find that the university dismissed Ward from its counseling program because of her faith-based speech, not because of any legitimate professional or educational objective. They added, “A university cannot compel a student to alter or violate her belief systems based on a phantom policy as the price for obtaining a degree.” Government taxation and regulation of religious beliefs is a serious accusation. Now, the issue will go to a jury.

    One interesting aspect of the case is that the university did not even argue that its actions could withstand strict scrutiny. The 6th Circuit agreed adding “Whatever interest the university served by expelling Ward, it falls short of compelling. Allowing a referral would be in the best interest of Ward (who could counsel someone she is better able to assist) and the client (who would receive treatment from a counselor better suited to discuss his relationship issues).”

    This is all just plain common sense. Everyone was fine except for a handful of professors with too much time on their hands and too little tolerance for the idea that someone, somewhere, somehow did not share their claimed commitment to moral relativism. Or course, Julea Ward’s professors really do not believe in moral relativism. They believe they are morally superior to Julea and have the authority to levy taxes on her “inferior” belief system.

    For years, homosexuals have opposed the idea that they are sick, in need of change, and somehow capable of being cured by the counseling profession. Today, homosexuals promote the idea that Christians are sick, in need of change, and somehow capable of being cured by the counseling profession. Fortunately, the 6th Circuit is warding off their sanctimonious hypocrisy and narrow-minded assault on intellectual diversity.

    http://townhall.com/columnists/mikeadams/2012/02/06/eloquence_in_defense_of_liberty/page/full/

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