Member since: Sat Jan 5, 2008, 07:45 PM
Number of posts: 40,691
Number of posts: 40,691
Bombs in the house: Residential area becomes a war zone
The bombs that exploded in a busy Bangkok street yesterday were intended for "foreign nationals" in Thailand, national police chief Priewpan Damapong said. Another Iranian suspect was arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport hours after the incident as he was about to leave for Malaysia. He is one of three suspects thought to be involved.
The United States and the United Kingdom yesterday reissued their travel warning for their nationals in response to the blasts. Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak blamed the series of explosions on Iran. Mr Barak was quoted in The Jerusalem Post as saying the bomb blasts were part of an attempted terrorist attack perpetrated by Iran.
"The attempted terror attack in Thailand proves once again that Iran and its proxies continue to operate in the ways of terror and the latest attacks are an example of that," Mr Barak said while on a state visit to Singapore. The incident came one day after near simultaneous attacks on Israeli diplomats in Georgia and India. Israel pointed the finger at Iran for the attacks but Teheran denied responsibility.
more at the link
Posted by grantcart | Tue Feb 14, 2012, 08:33 PM (0 replies)
In Thailand we usually celebrate holidays and birthdays by going to the temple or to an orphanage and 'making merit' by either feeding the monks or feeding the kids.
Currently in El Centro and with my dog in his last months due to cancer my wife has agreed to give up our apartment and we are living together in primitive conditions.
We are waiting for last month's commissions to be deposited in our account and it is now 15 days late and we are on fumes.
So don't have a lot planned for Valentine's Day and our last few bucks until we get paid.
So we take the Golden Retriever to El Centro's main park where we go once a day to let him run while I do my walk and we feed the ducks, geese and pigeons.
They have one large pond and a smaller pond that is slightly elevated that has a little fountain in it. By running the fountain they get a flow of water that helps keep it clean.
As we walk past the smaller pool we see 4 pieces of gold flashing in the water.
We discover 4 carp and one catfish swimming in only about two inches of water.
They are under attack by seagulls who have already picked apart 3 other fish.
The fish are swimming on their sides trying to move and avoid the seagulls that are starting to gang up on the last 5 fish.
The fish have only minutes left.
I get the plastic bag that had the bread for the ducks and geese and walk through the mud and reach the water, miracuously without falling into the mud.
The seagulls retreat and the fish actually swim into this plastic bag. My wife picks up two by hand. I know this sounds strange but it actually appears that the fish understand we are there to help (maybe because they get fed food in a park pond they are not afraid of people).
We carry the 5 fish to the larger pond and release them.
And this was really the best way for us to spend our Valentines Day together, finding a small little way to make merit together.
No commercialism, no cheesy cards, just my wife and I wading into the mud and celebrating the miracle of life with some fellow earth travellers watched by our dog, Champ, who loves the whole adventure.
And that is the end of the story, every word of it true.
But there is a post script. It is unrelated (in my Western objective thinking) or completely related (in my wife's hightened Thai Karmic perception) depending on your point of view to the following.
We cleaned off the mud and got back to our room.
On my email is a note from a large union that has agreed to accept a proposal we have been sending back and forth for three years. The local board has sent it to the membership for election. If it goes through it could generate what would normally be about 6 months worth of income, and it would significantly reduce the cost of some benefits for that union. As I told you it is completely unrelated to the story above and in no way am I suggesting that little acts of merit making ever have any direct impact on the mundane profane world. Just don't try and convince my wife of that.
Posted by grantcart | Tue Feb 14, 2012, 05:25 PM (6 replies)
Three explosions rocked Sukhumvit 71 in Bangkok on Tuesday afternoon, badly injuring an Iranian man who lost both his legs.
Another man was arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport after police discovered explosive materials in a house rented by three Iranians in Soi Pridiphanomyong 31.
Four other people were injured in the blasts.Government spokeswoman Thitima Chaisaeng said police reported the house was being used to make bombs and had uncovered a cache of C4 explosives and remote control detonating devices.She said a bomb went off inside the rented house and two of the three men fled.
The third man, identified as Saeid Moradi, followed and tried to hail a taxi, which refused to stop. Police said he threw a bomb at the taxi, injuring the driver, and ran off. He then was spotted by police and threw a third bomb at them, but it bounced off a tree and blew his legs off. He was rushed to Kluaynamthai Hospital.
Posted by grantcart | Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:23 AM (11 replies)
Now that the Republicans have abandoned the "National Security, Keep the wars going, Take out the Al Queda, Effective management of Government, Extending health care, Combating climate change, Stewards of the Economy, Fairness in Taxation, Equality in Marriage, Fairness to Minorities, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Real Job Creation, and just about every reasonable thing that the US Government has done in the last 30 years arguments in the campaign, and instead embraced efforts to expand the US Government into the field of preventing access to women that want to control unwanted pregnancies, we should assume that;
Hysteria about teaching Evolution is up next.
By May we should have regressed in public dialogue to challenging the heliocentric cosmology of the galaxy and to be fair and balanced we should atleast present the other theory of an earth based cosmology so that students can make up their mind.
That will last a couple of weeks and then we will be faced with the question of "who really should be occupying Jerusalem". Its been such a long time since we had a really really earnest Crusade.
By the general election Republicans will have worked their way back to "Were the Inquisitions really THAT bad, there was no gang problem in 1501".
Posted by grantcart | Tue Feb 14, 2012, 10:47 AM (20 replies)
edited to add that this LBN thread shows that ARG poll shows the exact same number as PPP
Michigan is where Romney was born and raised and where his dad was Governor.
In 2008 it was
Now PPP is projecting
Ron Paul 24%
Newt Gingrich 11%
It confirms a larger trend that Romney is getting less support than he did 4 years ago and only appeared to be the front runner when there were more candidates running. As the field narrowed he stayed in place as others passed him by.
Rick Santorum's taken a large lead in Michigan's upcoming Republican primary. He's at 39% to 24% for Mitt Romney, 12% for Ron Paul, and 11% for Newt Gingrich.
Santorum's rise is attributable to two major factors: his own personal popularity (a stellar 67/23 favorability) and GOP voters increasingly souring on Gingrich. Santorum's becoming something closer and closer to a consensus conservative candidate as Gingrich bleeds support.
Santorum's winning an outright majority of the Tea Party vote with 53% to 22% for Romney and 10% for Gingrich. He comes close to one with Evangelicals as well at 48% to 20% for Romney and 12% for Gingrich. And he cracks the 50% line with voters identifying as 'very conservative' at 51% to 20% for Romney and 10% for Gingrich.
Santorum's benefiting from the open nature of Michigan's primary as well. He's only up by 12 points with actual Republican voters, but he has a 40-21 advantage with the Democrats and independents planning to vote that pushes his overall lead up to 15 points. Santorum is winning by a healthy margin in every region of the state except for Oakland County, where Romney has a 40-26 advantage, and the area around Lansing where Paul actually has an advantage at 30% to 27% for both Romney and Santorum.
PPP is also advising that when it comes to who will be a stronger candidate against Obama Santorum is outperforming Romney. So if Romney is losing the electability argument then what is he going to run on?
A loss in Michigan would be a huge disaster for Romney. I doubt that he would continue to get the huge checks he did before as the big pockets are going to start questioning the investment.
On Intrade Obama continues to run about 60% for Presidential election and Romney about 30%.
If Romney can't take Michigan where will his 'firewall' be?
The Republican primaries differ from the Democratic ones in many respects but one is very important, they give much more reward to their traditional base so that the South, for exampole, has a much larger power position than in the Democratic primaries.
Bad news keeps on rolling for ole Mitt Romney.
Posted by grantcart | Mon Feb 13, 2012, 07:43 PM (14 replies)
I was born in Cathollic hospital and sent my daughter to a Jesuit college (although both were basically secular institutions) so I grant that the Catholic Church has had some benefit to society, and there are millions and millions of devout Catholics that cast a much greater shadow than the Church hierarchy ever has.
However its actions of trying to take away the liberty of women to make their own religious decisions about their own bodies at related institutions (most of whom have only a slight connection to the Church today) may be many things but it is not a blow for religious freedom, it is rather an attempt to instill orthodoxy in its own members who are employees and coercion for non member employees in a policy that it is no longer able to get acceptance by persuading the merits of the case.
But when the Catholic Church Hierarchy starts to inject itself into the public debate about 'religious liberty' it is time to establish some historical context,
the Catholic Church has never been on the side of religious liberty and isn't on the side of religious liberty in this case either
First let's get rid of the current situation;
Prohibitting people from buying contraceptives is not an exercise in religious liberty.
If they are non Catholic employees you are restricting their religious creed on the subject.
If they are Catholic employees then you are trying to enforce a heirarchical interpretation of the proper Catholic orthodoxy, but again this is not extending religious liberty, it is enforcing religious orthodoxy.
But the Catholic Church arguing for religious liberty on this particular case has the hutzpah of Lyle and Eric Menendez pleading for mercy because they are orphans after they killed their parents.
Let's recall some of the high points of the Catholic Church and religious liberty
Up until the late 1800s the Catholic Church, for example, restricted access to the Bible so that they could enforce THEIR interpretation of orthodoxy, some examples
It wasn't until 1870 that it was legal for a commoner to own a bible in Italy.
Pope Pius IX (1846-78) in November 1846 issued an encyclical letter in which he denounced all opponents of Roman Catholicism, among which he included “those insidious Bible Societies.” He said the Bible societies were “renewing the crafts of the ancient heretics” by distributing to “all kinds of men, even the least instructed, gratuitously and at immense expense, copies in vast numbers of the books of the Sacred Scriptures translated against the holiest rules of the Church into various vulgar tongues...” What a horrible crime! Distributing the Scriptures freely to all people! It was Pius IX who had himself and his fellow popes declared “infallible” at the Vatican I Council in 1870.
Pope Gregory XVI (1831-46) ratified the decrees of his predecessors, forbidding the free distribution of Scripture. In his encyclical of May 8, 1844, this Pope stated: “Moreover, we confirm and renew the decrees recited above, DELIVERED IN FORMER TIMES BY APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY, AGAINST THE PUBLICATION, DISTRIBUTION, READING, AND POSSESSION OF BOOKS OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES TRANSLATED INTO THE VULGAR TONGUE
Pope Leo XII (1823-29) issued a bull to the Bishops in Ireland, May 3, 1824, in which he affirmed the Council of Trent and condemned Bible distribution. “It is no secret to you, venerable brethren, that a certain Society, vulgarly called The Bible Society, is audaciously spreading itself through the whole world. After despising the traditions of the holy Fathers, and in opposition to the well-known Decree of the Council of Trent, this Society has collected all its forces, and directs every means to one object,--the translation, or rather the perversion, of the Bible into the vernacular languages of all nations. ... IF THE SACRED SCRIPTURES BE EVERYWHERE INDISCRIMINATELY PUBLISHED, MORE EVIL THAN ADVANTAGE WILL ARISE THENCE, on account of the rashness of men”
It was during the reign of Pope Pius VII (1800-1823) that the modern Bible society movement began. The British and Foreign Bible Society was formed in March 1804, the purpose being “to encourage a wider circulation of the Holy Scriptures without note or comment.” . . .. He characterized this practice as a “most crafty device, by which the very foundations of religion are undermined,” “a pestilence,” which he must “remedy and abolish,” “a defilement of the faith, eminently dangerous to souls.” Pope Pius VII also rebuked Archbishop Buhusz of Mohiley in Russia because of his endorsement of a newly formed Bible society (Kenneth Latourette, The Nineteenth Century in Europe, p. 448). The papal brief, dated September 3, 1816, declared that “if the Sacred Scriptures were allowed in the vulgar tongue everywhere without discrimination, more detriment than benefit would arise” (Jacobus, Roman Catholic and Protestant Versions Compared, p. 236).
6) Pope Leo X (1513-1521), who railed against Luther’s efforts to follow the biblical precept of faith alone and Scripture alone, called the fifth Lateran Council (1513-1517), which charged that no books should be printed except those approved by the Roman Catholic Church. “THEREFORE FOREVER THEREAFTER NO ONE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO PRINT ANY BOOK OR WRITING WITHOUT A PREVIOUS EXAMINATION, TO BE TESTIFIED BY MANUAL SUBSCRIPTION, BY THE PAPAL VICAR AND MASTER OF THE SACRED PALACE IN ROME
In England, too, laws were passed by the Catholic authorities against vernacular Bibles. The Constitutions of Thomas Arundel, issued in 1408 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, made this brash demand: “WE THEREFORE DECREE AND ORDAIN THAT NO MAN SHALL, HEREAFTER, BY HIS OWN AUTHORITY, TRANSLATE ANY TEXT OF THE SCRIPTURE INTO ENGLISH, OR ANY OTHER TONGUE, by way of a book, libel, or treatise, now lately set forth in the time of John Wyckliff, or since, or hereafter to be set forth, in part of in whole, privily or apertly, upon pain of greater excommunication, until the said translation be allowed by the ordinary of the place, or, if the case so require, by the council provincial”
The Council of Toulouse (1229) FORBADE THE LAITY TO POSSESS OR READ THE VERNACULAR TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE (Allix, Ecclesiastical History, II, p. 213). This council ordered that the bishops should appoint in each parish “one priest and two or three laics, who should engage upon oath to make a rigorous search after all heretics and their abettors, and for this purpose should visit every house from the garret to the cellar, together with all subterraneous places where they might conceal themselves”
and so on excerpted from http://www.wayoflife.org/files/4ef3f30d5ea4253059dc014c8c9f6db3-79.html
Posted by grantcart | Mon Feb 13, 2012, 11:41 AM (8 replies)
Rick Santorum suggested on Sunday that Mitt Romney's campaign may have rigged a straw poll of conservative activists by paying the entrance fee for supporters.
Romney beat Santorum by 7 points Saturday in a straw poll of almost 3,500 attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Santorum pointed out that Ron Paul had won the poll in both of the past two years "because he just trucks in a lot of people pays for their ticket, they come in and vote and then leave."
"I don't try to rig straw polls," Santorum said on CNN's State of the Union.
Paul actually came in last on Saturday, having declined to address the conference or to activate his base for the straw poll. But Santorum said that wasn't the case with Romney.
"You have to talk to the Romney campaign and how many tickets they bought," Santorum said. "We've heard all sorts of things."
The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment
ahem Mr. Santorum, "Citizens' United"
Do I have to connect to dots?
Hmmm how about a syllogism. Confused? sill o gism. No notnot that kind of gism.
Never mind, her it is.
"Romney buying the CPAC straw poll is the same as Citizens United is to what?"
Nothing? Seriously? is to bbbbbbbbbbbuuuuuuyyyyyiiiiiiinnnnnnggggg the ggggggggeeeeeeeennnnnnnnn
Oh for fucks sake Santorum
"Romney buying the CPAC straw poll is the same as Citizens United is to BUYING THE FUCKING GENERAL ELECTION"
Idiots cannot even put two fucking two together.
Posted by grantcart | Sun Feb 12, 2012, 12:12 PM (7 replies)
Friedman likens the Republicans to somebody playing scrabble where all the letters you have left are unplayable duds. Sometimes its better passing than trying to make out some convoluted word out of a bunch of wacky letters. Pretty funny and accurate analogy. Right now the key Republicans are searching through their dictionaries trying to figure out some possible word that you can make up out of a bunch of unplayable letters.
WATCHING the Republican Party struggling to agree on a presidential candidate, one wonders whether the G.O.P. shouldn’t just sit this election out — just give 2012 a pass.
Josh Haner/The New York Times
Thomas L. Friedman
You know how in Scrabble sometimes you look at your seven letters and you’ve got only vowels that spell nothing? What do you do? You go back to the pile. You throw your letters back and hope to pick up better ones to work with. That’s what Republican primary voters seem to be doing. They just keep going back to the pile but still coming up with only vowels that spell nothing.
There’s a reason for that: Their pile is out of date. The party has let itself become the captive of conflicting ideological bases: anti-abortion advocates, anti-immigration activists, social conservatives worried about the sanctity of marriage, libertarians who want to shrink government, and anti-tax advocates who want to drown government in a bathtub.
Sorry, but you can’t address the great challenges America faces today with that incoherent mix of hardened positions. I’ve argued that maybe we need a third party to break open our political system. But that’s a long shot. What we definitely and urgently need is a second party — a coherent Republican opposition that is offering constructive conservative proposals on the key issues and is ready for strategic compromises to advance its interests and those of the country.
Without that, the best of the Democrats — who have been willing to compromise — have no partners and the worst have a free pass for their own magical thinking. Since such a transformed Republican Party is highly unlikely, maybe the best thing would be for it to get crushed in this election and forced into a fundamental rethink — something the Democrats had to go through when they lost three in a row between 1980 and 1988. We need a “Different Kind of Republican” the way Bill Clinton gave us a “Different Kind of Democrat
more at the link
As a fairly 'moderate' Democrat I am all for trying the 'crushing' them into sawdust option and see what comes out of it. Would be a lot better than the obstructionist idiots we have now.
Worth a try.
Posted by grantcart | Sat Feb 11, 2012, 10:28 PM (45 replies)
Everything seems to be going bad in a hurry for Romney;
PPP is showing Santorum leading in Romney's childhood home of Michigan (2008 had 51%), Is showing a weak third in Georgia and may get embarassed today in Maine.
Now PPP is showing that Santorum is becoming the consensus conservative candidate;
Riding a wave of momentum from his trio of victories on Tuesday Rick Santorum has opened up a wide lead in PPP's newest national poll. He's at 38% to 23% for Mitt Romney, 17% for Newt Gingrich, and 13% for Ron Paul.
Part of the reason for Santorum's surge is his own high level of popularity. 64% of voters see him favorably to only 22% with a negative one. But the other, and maybe more important, reason is that Republicans are significantly souring on both Romney and Gingrich. Romney's favorability is barely above water at 44/43, representing a 23 point net decline from our December national poll when he was +24 (55/31). Gingrich has fallen even further. A 44% plurality of GOP voters now hold a negative opinion of him to only 42% with a positive one. That's a 34 point drop from 2 months ago when he was at +32 (60/28).
Santorum is now completely dominating with several key segments of the electorate, especially the most right leaning parts of the party. With those describing themselves as 'very conservative,' he's now winning a majority of voters at 53% to 20% for Gingrich and 15% for Romney. Santorum gets a majority with Tea Party voters as well at 51% to 24% for Gingrich and 12% for Romney. And with Evangelicals he falls just short of a majority with 45% to 21% for Gingrich and 18% for Romney
Mitt its time to get out the money and start destroying Santorum.
Its what you do Mitt.
Just pretend he's Seamus.
Posted by grantcart | Sat Feb 11, 2012, 12:00 PM (30 replies)
OMAHA, NE -- Barack Obama called Mitt Romney's candidacy "ineffective" on the day that the former MA governor exited the presidential race.
Romney, who dropped out of the race for president today in Washington, said in his exit speech that the GOP must unify and not allow Democrats to allow the country to "surrender to terror."
"Well my reaction to Mitt Romney's comment that's the kind of poorly thought out comment that led him to drop out," Obama said during a press avail on his campaign plane. "It's a classic attempt to appeal to people's fears that will not work in this campaign. I think that's part of the reason he was such an ineffective candidate."
Nailed it then, still valid now.
You can take the candidate out of the ineffective but you can't take the ineffective out of the candidate.
Posted by grantcart | Sat Feb 11, 2012, 02:11 AM (3 replies)