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Poll_Blind

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 23,862

About Me

NOTE: Anyone can join Democratic Underground. They can claim anything. Democratic Underground gives no warranty that the people with which you interact on Democratic Underground are Democrats or even Progressives. They may be Republicans, other political agitators or merely the mentally-unstable, heavily intoxicated or deranged personalities whose behavior is best described as "shit-stirring assholes". Furthermore, reading the first two sentences again, realize that their irrational, inflammatory or destructive behavior may appear to be supported by other individuals or even the bulk of respondents to a given post. However, always applying the above paragraph to certain phantasmagoric situations you may witness in given threads in our fora, you are best served by believing only those ideas that you agree with to be real and the rest, highly suspect.

Journal Archives

PLEASE READ-> House panel: Don't even think about more base closings

From USA Today:
House panel: Don't even think about more base closings
It wasn't enough for lawmakers to refuse approval of additional rounds of base closings; they have voted to stop the Pentagon from spending any money on even considering the idea.

The Military Times reports the House Armed Services Committee, which omitted the Pentagon's request to authorize two more rounds of base closings in the 2013 defense authorization bill, added a provision to the bill that would specifically bar spending any money next year "to propose, plan for or execute" the base closing and realignment process. The 44-18 vote came Wednesday.

Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., who offered the amendment, said the five previous rounds of base closing have shown there are upfront costs in the process, which would come at a time of declining defense budgets. Base closings, he said, "could cost billions of dollars and thousands of jobs."

There was never any doubt that in an election year the committee would block base closings, but Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, the committee's ranking Democrat, said Wittman's restriction goes too far. "It prevents them from even looking at and talking about what they might do," he said.


This little story might otherwise have gone unnoticed today but I think its implications are terribly important. Think about it- we're living though a time in America where austerity cuts (whether they're called that or not) are affecting the lives of almost every American at every age: From education and nutrition for the young to the security net for the old, and everyone else in between.

And yet behold the neat little wall these insects are attempting to construct around the military in order to prevent those same cuts from affecting it.

Please consider this, not just in the specific context in which it is presented, but as a view port into our future under austerity cuts and how you and I will become more and more affected by them while the Military Industrial Complex will safely remain cocooned behind legislative walls.

Some might see this as an isolated event. I see it as prophesy.

PB

US warns tourists against 'immodest attire' in Jerusalem

From YNet:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4185277,00.html
US warns tourists against 'immodest attire' in Jerusalem
The US State Department is concerned over recent violence exhibited by extremists in Israel's haredi community and has published a travel recommendation for tourists: Do not walk around dressed immodestly in haredi neighborhoods for fear that extremists would assault you in the street.

--snip--

The travel recommendation follows on the heels of statements made by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who, speaking at the Saban Conference two months ago, expressed her shock that some busses in Jerusalem allocated separate seating areas for women.

"It's reminiscent of Rosa Parks," she said, referring to the black American woman who refused to give up her seat to white passengers in the 1950s.

Referring to the decision of some IDF soldiers to leave an event where female soldiers were singing, she said it reminded her of the situation in Iran.


Full text of warning can be found HERE on Travel.State.GOV. It's both heartening that Clinton would call a spade a spade on this matter and disheartening that it's reached a point where the State Department had to officially warn Americans traveling about it.

It does remind one of Iran. All religious extremists seem to begin their tyranny with oppression of women.

PB

African Union Opens New Headquarters Funded By China

From Radio Free Europe:
African Union Opens New Headquarters Funded By China
African Union leaders have inaugurated a new $200 million headquarters that was funded by China as a gift.

The Chinese government fully financed the construction of the 20-story tower overlooking a conference center in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa

--snip--

China's top political adviser, Jiao Qinglan, said the gift is a "symbol of deepening relations."

He said China is Africa's largest commercial partner and Chinese investment there amounts to $13 billion.





Hrmm....

PB

A bit of beautiful singing and Harry Anderson performing The Old Shell Game



Ahhh...beautiful.

PB

What if the Iranians start killing scientists?

From Haaretz:
What if the Iranians start killing scientists?
Israel's official response to news of the assassination last week of Iranian nuclear scientist Mustafa Ahmadi Roshan was a deafening silence. The unofficial response was a wink. The day before, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, grinning slightly, spoke about "unnatural events" that were delaying Iran's nuclear program. The Israeli self-congratulation was obvious.

The Israeli public did not question the wisdom of assassinating the Iranian scientists. In Israeli culture, which sanctifies security, such questions are seen as treason. If the hit was successful - the scientist was eliminated and the assassins disappeared - you don't ask questions.

But U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted on calling a spade a spade: She categorically denied all U.S. involvement in the latest assassination and even declared that the United States emphatically opposed the assassination of scientists. Her announcement was received with shock and even dismay in Israel. Where is the wisdom in making this kind of public statement, some asked; and in any event, it's hypocritical in light of the fact that President Barack Obama has killed more terrorists using unmanned aerial vehicles than his predecessors.

In order to understand the American criticism of the hits on the scientists, one must ask the questions that Israelis avoid: Do such killings do real damage to Iran's nuclear program? What could be the negative results of the assassination policy? Is it right to create a situation in which scientists (first nuclear scientists and then perhaps scientists in general and senior officials) become pawns in a war of assassinations and counter-assassinations?


In a nutshell: Now that it's started, where does it stop? And is it worth it?

Very good article, IMO.

PB

ATA: TOS-wise, is there a difference between these two quotes?

There isn't an ATA forum anymore so I'll ask this here:

What's the difference in how the Admins view the following examples in regards to the TOS?

"I disagree with Obama and so I will not vote for him"

and...

"You disagree with Obama and so you should not vote for him"

The reason I'm asking is partly because of this thread which, FWIW, managed to garner 74 recommendations. Some people chose to answer with counter-arguments which is what I'd expect. Some chose to answer in an ambiguous manner (i.e. "You shouldn't do anything you don't want to do."), also not particularly unexpected a response given the OP.

And then there were at least seven responses which answered the question of the OP, "Why should I endorse, or vote for, a President who signs this into law?", with the following actual quotes:
Stay home. nt

So don't vote for him, then.

Then don't do those things.

don't. he doesn't need your kind of support anyway.

Don't.

Then Don't Vote For Him- Stay Home or Vote for Someone Else

Stay the fuck home


I alerted on those as TOS violations and every jury allowed the individual comments to stand. But this isn't about juries, because juries don't enforce TOS violations: The Administrators do.

If a person were to explicitly state "I disagree with Obama and so I will not vote for him", I don't imagine they'd last much longer than the post. So, excerpted above are seven examples of "You disagree with Obama and so you should not vote for him" -from the same thread- which were allowed to stand by the Admins, weren't hidden or acted on that I could see.

With at least seven examples in just a single thread I'm wondering what's the difference TOS-wise between those two quotes at the top of my post?

If the response to a "Tell me why I should still support or vote for the President after (whatever)" is met with "Then don't", I don't see that helping DU's mission and it also (explicitly, as I quoted above) promotes people not voting at all on election day- when there are a lot more candidates the Democratic Party has on the ballot than just the President.

Thanks.

PB

“Any hope that the Obama administration would roll back the constitutional excesses of George Bush..

...in the war on terror was extinguished today." -Anthony Romero, President of the ACLU, 12/31/11

Full press release HERE.

Of all the things I imagined President Obama would do after taking office, the last thing I would ever have imagined is that he would validate and expand on the Bush administration's unconstitutional policies when it came to the War on Terra™. Should he be reelected in 2012, President Obama has "promised" us his administration will not abuse the authority granted in the NDAA.

Indeed, the hand that signs the bill into law is a part of the same body whose mouth swears us protection from it. Merciful. A greater mercy would have been to veto the bill but Congress might have overruled him so...why bother?

That's the New Pragmatism, isn't it? "Why bother?"

Still, it is a kind of protection. For the moment. But if he loses in 2012 or when a new president is chosen in 2016...what then?



PB

How dare you try to co-opt Santorum away from straight anal sex practitioners!

Did I say "practitioners"? LOL. I meant WIZARDS. At least the way I do it, baybee! Who knows what I'm talking about, WOOT WOOT?!



YEAH, YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!

A goddamned wizard!!!

Wait, what were we talking about, again?

Oh shit...yeah. Right. There ain't nothing gay about anal sex, so Santorum exists as a product of a any anal union.

Did I say "union"? LOL. I meant SPELL

BECAUSE I AM A WIZARD CASTING ANAL SPELLS! Who knows what I'm...



YEAH! J knows what's going on here! Have your Mordenkainen's Disjunction memorized, ladies, BECAUSE THE WIZARD IS WALKIN'

PB

Yossi Sarid: Orthodox Judaism treats women like filthy little things

A word of clarification for those unfamiliar: In Judaism, the Torah are the first five books of the bible- Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy and is about 2,400-2,600 years old. The Talmud is a separate entity, a recording of discussions pertaining to Jewish law, and ethics by the most influential rabbis in Jewish history. It is the official "interpretation guide" for the Torah. Functionally, it is very similar to Islamic Shiria Law but unlike Sharia Law (which has regional interpretations), the Talmud contains contradictory opinion. AFAIK, there is no Christian analog to either the Talmud or Sharia Law, something we should all be thankful for.

The Talmud is between 1,500-1,700 years old and for the most part, the misogyny the author is attacking is from there, not the Torah.

Published today in Haaretz, Israel's oldest newspaper:
If you would like to know the source from which your brothers derive their brazen behavior, go over to the study hall and open a page of Talmud. It's true that the Torah has 70 faces, but the trend of these faces is clear: The source of the pollution is in halakha (Jewish law ) itself. What is happening in Beit Shemesh and its satellites is not "contrary to halakha," it is mandated by halakha. And the rest will be told to the grandmothers, daughters and granddaughters.

--snip--

A man must say three blessings every day during morning prayers: He thanks God "that He didn't make me a gentile, that He didn't make me a woman, that He didn't make me an ignoramus." And it's not proper to speak to a woman too much, since "all her conversation is nothing but words of adultery," and whoever talks to her too much "causes evil to himself and will end up inheriting hell." And let's not even talk about the fate of someone "who looks even at a woman's little finger."

The extremists who spit at women, who call themselves Sikarikim, learned their lesson 101 times and learned it well: A husband would do well not to let his wife go outside, into the street, and should restrict her outings "to once or twice a month, as necessary, since a woman has no beauty except by sitting in the corner of her house."

--snip--

And there are many similar halakhot, only a few of which we have collected here. Nor have we cited everything in the name of the ones who said them, for lack of space. The readers are invited to find the references on Shabbat - and to browse around - on their own; this is a good opportunity for study. We will direct your attention to Tractate Shabbat, which does a good job of summing up halakha's attitude toward women: "a sack full of excrement" with a bleeding hole.


Most other forms of Judaism disregard these hateful proclamations and focus on those parts of the Talmud which are more moderate. Or, put another way, when you read about American or Israeli Jews who force women to the back of a but or spit on or attack women they feel are dressed "immodestly" or a million other insane things, you can almost bet they follow an orthodox rabbi who draws on these hateful tracts instead of more moderate ones.

Which is also a nice reminder that the weakest link in Christianity, Islam, Judaism or any religion, are its priests.

PB

If you're using just that quote to interpret support for Paul your argument is not convincing.

"Ron Paul is far and away the most anti-war, anti-Surveillance-State, anti-crony-capitalism, and anti-drug-war presidential candidate in either party."

I agree with those assertions and I sure as shit don't support Ron Paul. This is another example of selective reading on your part, MineralMan. Taken on its face, those four points speak for themselves...but what they don't do is expound further. That's what you're doing: Filling a void with conjecture.

For instance, take the hypothetical sentence "The dictator was very effective." Selectively read, one could jump to the conclusion that it implies support even more than that rather dry quote you provided. But it doesn't. It's merely asserting that an observation, just like the quote you posted.

Another example, a real-example from 9/11 news coverage- though the quote I use is slightly paraphrased. An article proclaimed "Hijackers ram airplanes into World Trade Centers in spectacular attack!". Again, selectively reading and jumping to conclusions based on the use of the word "spectacular" one could wrongly infer that the attack was positively viewed by whomever wrote the story- which clearly wasn't the case.

Greenwald is merely stating what he believes to be fact. Again, I completely agree with the sentence's assertion as would a large percentage of Americans across the political spectrum.

What the quote doesn't do- and what you fabricate is the nonexistent "And that's why you should vote Ron Paul."

That's your inferrence, not Greenwald's statement. If you view information with that kind of filter, you're going to be doing a hell of a lot of shadowboxing both here and in real life.

PB
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