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  • Reply to: One Hundred Years of Open Thread   13 min 16 sec ago

    we agree 100%.


    I wager that the GOP will be going full-metal-neocon come 2016 though. And I also wager that view will be getting more and more popular in the USA over the next six or eight years.

  • Reply to: One Hundred Years of Open Thread   18 min 20 sec ago

    too humble to identify and protect the rights granted in the Constitution.


    The justices did not discuss specific NSA programs. ... Scalia, a leading conservative justice, said the court was not the best body to decide major national security issues because of its lack of expertise. ... "The institution that will decide that is the institution least qualified to decide it," Scalia said.


    If Scalia is determined to remain ignorant and unqualified to perform the duties of his job, he should recuse himself from any cases involving the NSA.

  • Reply to: One Hundred Years of Open Thread   23 min 56 sec ago

    Everyone has reasons for what he does, no matter how evil those deeds might be.  I'm sick of the USA wading into everyone else's civil wars.  If I'm also sick of Russia's revanchist madness, I'm sick of Ukraine's inability to come to terms with its ethnic Russians.  If your tax dollars are spent on settling disputes, the gears of the American military are now worn down, the transmissions of ten thousand vehicles filled with dust and metal shavings, the bores of a million rifles shot out.  A generation of troops with more combat stripes on their Class A uniform sleeves than are good for anyone now returns to a society which barely remembers them when they went off to war. 


    It's time for the USA to hunker down, tend to its own wounded and let the rest of the supposedly civilised world deal with these perpetual crises.  The USA never wanted to run the world, anyway.  American diplomacy is inept and toothless, our ambassadors a bunch of carpetbaggers and fundraisers, our intelligence services are out of control.  If we cast a long shadow, let the world now see who the Americans are are in our absence.  I am through taking sides with those who are not our our side.

  • Reply to: One Hundred Years of Open Thread   41 min 34 sec ago

    necessarily result in taking sides in overseas disputes. I agree with you that common humanity and decency ought to prevail everywhere, and that decent, simple people should ignore the violent fools and evildoers among us. But they don't, and we don't, and sitting on our hands is not an option.

  • Reply to: Open Thread!   45 min 8 sec ago


  • Reply to: One Hundred Years of Open Thread   1 hour 6 min ago

    To Ahmed S. Bokhari

    Nature within her inmost self divides

    To trouble men with having to take sides.


    I've long since quit Taking Sides in anyone's wars.  The kingdom of God lies within the hearts of men and women of goodwill.  It will never have a flag or a seat at the UN. 


    Christus factus est pro nobis oboediens usque ad mortem.

    Mortem autem crucis.

  • Reply to: Open Thread!   2 hours 32 min ago

    Rape is a more extreme form of bullying.  Turns out rape isn't really about sexual gratification.  It's about power, control, humiliation and revenge.  Saxby Chambliss' abhorrent remarks are not one whit different from this LPS memo about bullying - please don't attempt to dissect them away from each other.  That's a sitting US senator, not some pencil-neck little school administrator.  And he is not alone.  The Right Wing has closed ranks around the military culture of rape.  Those evil rationales and bumptious excuses for the inexcusable should produce howls of rage from the Right Wing but they don't.  We might ask why, but that's a pointless question, they just do.  It is in the nature of the Right Wing to defend Our Boys in Uniform and if the Girls in Uniform are violated, well, you know, hormones.  Etcetera.


    The fallout from this idiotic little memo reflects a far deeper problem.  I've always said the hallmark of evil is that it always comes making excuses for itself.  The good in the world is a bit tongue-tied and its rationales are easily attacked.  Where it stands up to evil, we are asked to compare the mileage of the arguments.  Rape in the military is a particularly despicable betrayal - why then isn't anyone calling for Saxby Chambliss' head to roll?  Since I am asked to consider percentages of those hereabouts who are defending these teachers - and not even Pranky is doing that - he's saying this sort of OUTRAGE is a Right Wing shibboleth - which percentage of the Right Wing hereabouts will now rise to demand the heads of Saxby Chambliss and Jeff Sessions and the rest of what I can only deem Particularly Despicable Betrayers and Excuse-Makers ?

  • Reply to: One Hundred Years of Open Thread   2 hours 59 min ago


    This seems appropriate for Good Friday...and a recognition of the persecution of Christians that awaits them if Assad is deposed.


    Interestingly, I can support the Russian Position against that of the US/Saudi Arabia (for whom the US is a sockpuppet) in Syria, and yet fully and coherently support the Ukraine/US/EU against the open aggression of a Militant and Expansionistic Russia in Europe.


    Best Wishes, Traveller



  • Reply to: Open Thread!   5 hours 6 min ago

    Fox News Channel and some other news outlets are working their little hearts out to undermine ACA (ACA has less letters, it should be ACA when typed, Obamacare when spoken, it will save time)




  • Reply to: Open Thread!   10 hours 32 min ago

    Though I was talking more about garden variety bullying than actual rape of female soldier--which I tend to think represents a particularly despicable betrayal by those members of the military who perpetrate it. I'd suggest that even if my hypothetical memo specifically excluded rape and only referenced simple bullying, the usual suspects (Amanda Marcotte, et al) wouldn't let this go with a lame apology and promise to do better in the future, nor should they. Just for the record, I view this as a "all bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs" situation. A lot of liberals--as evidenced here and elsewhere--find this to be horrific and are making no excuses for the school (at most, perhaps wondering if it is a bad egg or two that can be dealt with, which is how I interpreted Jordan's remarks). However, I'd venture a guess that 99%+ of all who are offering any defense at all for the school here are liberals. YMMV as to the significance of that.

  • Reply to: Open Thread!   11 hours 6 min ago

    These don't look like reporters doing an on the spot report.

    First Rule Of Holes, people.

    Oh, and one "Israel Kalman" is cordially invited to die of a slow, wasting disease with none to give him comfort. It would be a kinder fate than the one he would consign bullied children to, given his druthers.

  • Reply to: Open Thread!   11 hours 20 min ago

    Though to be fair, even Lindbergh attempted to withdraw from the abyss when the Nazis went to war with his country, and apparently did his best to atone for the worst of his sins.


    On the other hand, Paul the Elder was apparently at least a tad careless about the sentiments that were published in a newsletter bearing his name. I tend to think that if attached to a more dangerous presidential candidate--or one less associated with bashing Dubya's foreign policy--that the online left would have utterly crucified someone with this record, rather than let Republicans have all the fun.

  • Reply to: Open Thread!   11 hours 34 min ago

    You have a point, but one might also posit that it wasn't so much Charles Lindbergh's embrace of domestic isolationists that tarnished his reputation, but his well-publicized enthusiasm for another set of friends altogether - an association he only dumped right after Pearl Harbor.


    Associations, I think, that neither Ron nor Rand Paul have sunk as low as. That I know of.

  • Reply to: Open Thread!   12 hours 2 min ago

    One can certainly argue that it isn't fair, but Paul the Younger has to deal with the baggage from his father as well as whatever enemies he manages to make on his own dime. Toleration of bigots is an accusation that has been thrown at Paul the Elder based on the whole newsletter thing, and embracing isolationism has definitely given both men a bit of nasty baggage that goes along with that. Charles Lindbergh was an American hero on the order that John Glenn later became before embracing the isolationist fools destroyed him--sinking the Pauls is small potatoes compared to that.

  • Reply to: Open Thread!   13 hours 12 min ago

    It's his non conservative view that the USA maybe shouldn't be bombing the ever loving crap out of other countries all day every day. The Jewish angle just adds the Israel-firsters to the holy rollers and war profiteers on the republican side. 


    Good night Aqua Buddha. The perm was off putting enough for me though. 

  • Reply to: Open Thread!   15 hours 14 min ago

    . . .gets enough comparisons with Charles Lindbergh and America Firsters from the late 1930's without injecting open anti-Semitism into the comparison.

  • Reply to: Open Thread!   15 hours 15 min ago

    Maybe I need a bit of clarification here--which part of this strikes you as defensible? How would they have "done this right" while still leaving some of it intact (because if the point is that an anti-bullying policy is a good thing, but this memo contributed zero good ideas towards implementing such a policy, it's sort of like defending a doctor against his choice to advise the use of a blowtorch as a wart removal tool by pointing out, "Well, removing warts is good, isn't it?")? What am I missing here from your POV as far as some positive good that would remain if all the crap was removed from this memo?

  • Reply to: Open Thread!   15 hours 19 min ago

    ...many years ago I was in charge of Night School at a large public school...I knew the school board, of course, and working in the large Admin Building I saw how very difficult it was, even in I was reflexively defending.


    ...the United States is a large will creates lots of interesting....situations.


    I was wrong, but understand, sorta, a little, what they were attempting, badly, to accomplish.


    I apologize.


    As has the school.


    Stuff happens.


    Best Wishes, Traveller



  • Reply to: Open Thread!   15 hours 26 min ago

    I don't have kids, and I don't know if you do, so I am in *no* way personalizing this. I'm trying a hypothetical exercise, and I'll start from my admittedly not actually having children viewpoint. I'm picturing having a kid around the age of the one whose parents received that memo, and realizing that at least some of the people running that school believed--no matter how quickly they disavowed the views when they aroused thundering outrage from apparently a a metric f***ton of parents--that this--telling children not to fight back, not to tell figures in authority, to actually *thank* the bullies for the bullying behavior--was the way their children should react to bullying. As a hypothetical parent, I think my reasonable reaction would be to believe that the school cared precisely *zero* about the well being of my children (unless my children were bullies, in which case the abuse would be indirect, in that it would help turn them into a bunch of sociopathic monsters), and wanting all responsible immediately removed from any position of authority over my children seems to me a compromise position, as opposed to violating Rule 5 repeatedly on their persons with a blunt object. Presumably, they're union members--they can expect to be getting a paid vacation while any due process is observed, so I don't find the "immediate" part of it unfair. The memo exists, and no one seems to be defending any of it (out of justified terror or otherwise), and I don't see any injustice into making sure no more harm is done while those who actually created the abortion and knowingly endorsed it before the uproar are separated from those who were merely crappy in their supervisorial duties.

    By the way, that was a well-constructed comment on your part and a useful contribution to this conversation. Thank you. :-)

  • Reply to: Open Thread!   15 hours 37 min ago