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Douglas Carpenter

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Corry (Erie County), Pennsylvania 16407
Home country: USA
Current location: Saipan, U.S. Commonweath of the Northern Mariana Islands
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2005, 08:56 PM
Number of posts: 18,283

Journal Archives

What would be the most likely consequences of U.S. Military Strikes in Syrian?

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Mon Aug 26, 2013, 09:44 AM (23 replies)

Syria will let inspectors go to site of suspected chemical weapons attack, official says

Source: CNN

Syria has agreed to allow weapons inspectors full access to any site of a purported chemical weapons attack, effective immediately, Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad tells CNN's Fred Pleitgen.

As Western powers try to verify claims that Syria deployed chemical weapons last week in a Damascus suburb, the government is pointing the finger at rebel forces.

They are pointing it back, accusing the government of gassing hundreds of people to death.

United Nations inspectors in Syria, attempting to gather information, say that Syria has not permitted them to visit the site of the attack.

In the meantime, the Pentagon has sent four warships armed with cruise missiles to the region.

Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/25/world/meast/syria-civil-war/index.html?hpt=hp_c2
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sun Aug 25, 2013, 09:09 AM (11 replies)

I think we are fortunately still a ways from being an authoritarian state. And I am probably one

of the most vehement in denouncing the surveillance state. . In a real authoritarian states I would be in jail and so would most of the posters on this forum. We still manage to have many basic democratic forms and a fair degree of rule of law however corrupted the democracy may be and however corrupted the rule of law actually cashes out to be in the real world. Visit a real authoritarian state where the police and the intelligence networks really do act with impunity all the time and the courts really are a joke and you will see what I mean. And by the way I have spent close to half life in real authoritarian states - so I do have some perspective on the matter.

My concern and condemnation of the ever increasing surveillance industrial complex is not so much a concern that some agent X is observing my funny little ways so they can blackmail me into only saying nice things about the power structure - I am really not losing a whole lot of sleep about that. My concerns is the realization that this amount of total full spectrum information gathering combined with almost limitless possibilities of technological enhancements operating in secrecy with very little accountability is creating a very centralized institution that will inevitably became a dangerous power in its own right. Although we are still a long way from life in a real authoritarian state - I cannot imagine any scenario in which we can continue down this road of ever expanding surveillance capabilities operating with the most advanced computer technology the world has ever known in an atmosphere of largely unaccountable secrecy and not create an institution that is a dangerous power in its own right - perhaps operating outside of the control of the official state. This is what will almost certainly happen if the situation is not brought under control soon.
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:24 PM (14 replies)

Dentist attempting to clone John Lennon with a tooth - By Prachi Gupta for salon.com

Michael Zuk, proud owner of the musician's rotten molar, claims to be working with U.S. researchers in the effort

By Prachi Gupta for salon.com

(Credit: Neftali / Shutterstock.com)

A rotten tooth from the mouth of former Beatles member John Lennon has made its way into the hands of Canadian dentist Michael Zuk, who, in what sounds like the premise of a low-budget horror film, plans to use it to clone the famous musician.

In the 1960s, Lennon gave the extracted molar to his housekeeper, suggesting she pass it on to her daughter, a Beatles fan. In 2011, the tooth left the family and was auctioned off to Zuk for around $30,000.

In a press release, Zuk, who is described as a “dentist-tooth collector,” announces his plans to work with U.S. scientists to use the DNA from the rotten tooth to clone.

An article in Canada.com says that Zuk will work with researchers from Penn State, but the press release doesn’t offer any details on how the research will be conducted. Zuk simply opines that “If scientists think they can clone Mammoths, then John Lennon could be next.”

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Aug 22, 2013, 10:45 AM (4 replies)

Is not support for liberal western democracy an assumption of what it means to be a liberal or

progressive here on DU? Are there limits to how far one can go for advocating authoritarianism and still be welcomed on DU?

The advocacy for an authoritarian society has grown increasingly shrill lately - This OP is one of the most shocking examples:

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Tue Aug 20, 2013, 10:21 PM (1 replies)

Do NOT let the libertarian wing of the GOP lead the cause to rein in the surveillance state!

In 1968 many Americans voted for Richard Nixon believing that they were voting to end the war in Vietnam and bring the troops home. Wouldn't it be a terrible shame if in 2014 or 2016 many American voted Republican believing that the GOP was more likely to rein in the surveillance state that to a large degree they created?

Now that the American people are becoming increasingly aware of the intrusiveness of the surveillance state and the long term threat it posses to our liberty as a people and our viability as a democracy - the defense of the status quo or suggestions for only mild and cosmetic changes are necessary can only hurt the Democratic Party and strengthen our adversaries.

Is it not now the time for all progressive, liberals and Democrats to acknowledge that enormous mistakes were made and a policy that may very well have been supported in good faith - in the past - is not keeping us safer and does in fact threaten our viability as a free people in a liberal and western democracy?

Whatever one thinks of Edward Snowden or Julian Assange or Bradley Manning or Glenn Greenwald is irrelevant to the core issue of the need to rein in the Intelligence Industrial Complex - and to make sure that it is liberals, progressives and Democrats leading this battle cry to save liberal western democracy from this dangerous threat.

"It is not excessive to believe this growing, gargantuan, secret complex now represents the greatest threat to our freedom in the new twenty-first century." - - former U.S. Senator Gary Hart
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sun Aug 18, 2013, 10:32 AM (4 replies)

Narrated by Matt Damon: A Documentary on Howard Zinn: You can't be neutral on a moving train

This great documentary is now available in full on Youtube - a film documenting the life and work of this great historian and political activist who passed away on January 27, 2010

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sun Aug 11, 2013, 11:41 PM (11 replies)

See how well you'd fare on this 101-year-old quiz for Bullitt County, Ky., junior high students

You’re probably not smarter than an 8th grader from 1912

By Colin Schultz for the Smithsonian

In the early years of the 20th century, the students in Bullitt County, Kentucky, were asked to clear a test that many full-fledged adults would likely be hard-pressed to pass today. The Bullitt County Geneaological Society has a copy of this exam, reproduced below—a mix of math and science and reading and writing and questions on oddly specific factoids–preserved in their museum in the county courthouse.

But just think for a moment: Did you know where Montenegro was when you were 12? Do you know now? (Hint: it’s just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. You know where the Adriatic Sea is, right?)

Or what about this question, which the examiners of Bullitt County deemed necessary knowledge: “Through what waters would a vessel pass in going from England through the Suez Canal to Manila?” The Bullitt geneaological society has an answer sheet if you want to try the test, but really, this question is just a doozie:

A ship going from England to Manilla by way of the Suez Canal would pass through (perhaps) the English Channel, the North Atlantic Ocean, Bay of Biscay (possibly), Strait of Gibraltar, Mediterranean Sea, Suez Canal, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden/Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, Gulf of Thailand (may have been called Gulf of Siam at that time), South China Sea.

Read more: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2013/07/no-youre-probably-not-smarter-than-a-1912-era-8th-grader/#ixzz2bUqxoqE8
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Fri Aug 9, 2013, 02:10 PM (12 replies)

Franco Zeffirelli's 1972 classic "Brother Sun and Sister Moon" based on the life of Francis of Assis

A truly great movie - Franco Zeffirelli's 1972 classic "Brother Sun and Sister Moon" based on the life of Francis of Assisi - In English with Italian subtitles.

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Fri Aug 9, 2013, 09:51 AM (16 replies)

39 years ago today - Richard Nixon announces resignation - August 8, 1974

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Aug 8, 2013, 07:55 AM (15 replies)
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