Egypt Is Looking Really Bad Open Thread

I don't have any observations that are not obvious. This is a really dangerous situation moving rapidly.


If anybody has anything bright to say about it, please be my guest.


If not, be my guest anyway and write about something else.

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Two Birds With One Stone

M Scott Eiland's picture

Problem One: Nerd rage apocalypse over Ben Affleck being chosen to play Batman in Superman/Batman team-up movie.

Problem Two (for Patriots fans, anyway): Patriots get the crap beaten out of them in preseason game by Lions--the dreaded "Tebow, Tebow, Tebow" chant had popped up before game end.

Solution: Dump Affleck out the airlock and induce Tom Brady to retire to play Batman. Patriots consequently suck on an epic level (Tebow or no Tebow) in 2013 and draft first in 2014. Patriots draft Johnny Football and The Hoodie obtains a large potato sack and a two by four for use should JF's attitude problems resurface. Everyone wins!

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

BD in San Diego

Bird Dog's picture

On Monday, we started our college road trip at OSU in Corvallis (nice campus), spent the night in Eugene, then traveled down to the Bay Area to see my bro and a couple of other colleges. I don't think the (OSU) campus is too small for BD's and Hank's daughters.

St. Mary's College was really small and really Catholic, and we had the experience of accompanying the weirdest tour guide I ever saw. Cal Berkeley was simply awesome. Its a lot like the UW but with much better weather. Their rowing program competes for the national championship every year and I can see why. No doubt Miss BD will encounter some culture shock when she sees the full frontal liberalism there.

BTW, Miss BD made enormous strides at crew. She started as a novice last February, then was bumped to the top boat in late April. Over the summer, she went to a summer rowing camp at the UW, and was selected for the club nationals boat, ranking first on the port side. At nationals, they came in third. Given all that, she is a recruited athlete, and Cal invited her for an official visit, as have Univ. of San Diego, Gonzaga, Tennessee, San Diego State, Oregon State, St. Mary's and Univ of Portland. Yes, we're proud parents.

Today we're checking out USD and SDSU, then we'll decompress at a beach house. Despite all the driving (and a U-joint that went tits up), it's been an awesome, memorable and educational trip. Tomorrow we're going to the beach (any maybe meet some friends at Splash Mountain), then off to Palm Springs for my niece's birthday. Good times.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Very Nice


Always happy to hear it when Forvm regulars are having a good time.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

I'll pass it on


when I have lunch over there today.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

By the way...


Lunch was great. Black truffle soup, milk-fed pork loin with plum sauce, and the highlight was ice cream that was made table-side with liquid nitrogen. Great texture... very velvetty.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

"milk-fed pork loin"? That

mmghosh's picture

I had pork chops the other day from a pig that had lived on our urban scavengings.  


Who can claim which is the right way to live?  But still, milk-fed pork?

You don't have suckling pig in India?


It's pretty big in Spain... they call it cochinillo. Basically, a pig young enough to not have been weaned yet.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Aha, suckling pig.

mmghosh's picture

Now I get it.  Always delicious, the tradition here is whole roast suckling pig (via Chinese immigrants).  Pork is ordinarily eaten as a curry or vindaloo - I will put up a recipe sometime.


My imagination - a hog on a milk bottle - runs away with me occasionally.

Your imagination is fine


Feeding adult hogs cow's milk from a bottle/trough is very common.

The link is broken, but

mmghosh's picture

since we can google, we learn that milk is essential for hogs.

The digestive system of pigs is similar to that of humans. It is helpful to think of this when feeding the pigs. They are monogastrics, which means that they have only one stomach compartment. They have neither a rumen (like sheep, goats and cows) nor a large cecum (like horses), and consequently they lack the microbial population needed to digest fibrous materials, like hay and grass. They can eat a bit of roughage, but not as much as a horse or cow, and growing pigs need to have well-balanced high quality protein. Unlike ruminants and horses, pigs cannot survive on pasture and hay.

I must learn not to question the wisdom of Westerners, however evil they may be.  Or at least check before commenting!

For all I know


That might be what they meant, but I imagined suckling pig.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Why not?


One assumes it was really the pig that was milk-fed,  not the loin itself,  although those CIA people can do amazing things.


But really,  what's unusual? Pigs are mammals,  and there's likely a lot of milk out there that the very picky USDA won't release for human consumption based on some technicality or other.

Weekend Night Jazz Album


Hey, it's Friday night over here.





Really made my afternoon listening to it...

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Glad you liked it, MA


I've gotten as much enjoyment out of that album as any other.


Monk is in such great form and the whole album is innovative, playful, and cool through and through.

Don't forget to remember

brutusettu's picture

Traffic laws are said to be just suggestions.


Look both ways before crossing one-way streets.

uh oh, who are conservatives going to root against here?



uh oh, who are conservatives going to root against here? the gun grabbers or the gangsta rappers?

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Being a rapper myself, I'm going to side with


my lyrical brothers. Peace bi**hes, I'd have stuck to selling 20oz bottles of soda.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 


M Scott Eiland's picture

Nicholas Selby is not content to stand on the shoulders of giants--he's ready to take a running jump off of them into eternity. As long as his spirit and that of those who think like him endures, I have no fear for the future of the human race, whatever setbacks await us:

Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible. -- Albert Einstein

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Many murderers get fewer years


Manning did something worse than merely intentionally killing his fellow man - he intentionally challenged powerful interests.

Well Yes, But this is What Makes for Me His Descent into Madness



...all the more...wasteful, and I chose this word carefully.


This was a lost moment where things in the world might have pivoted to a better place...but it matters not, Chelsea he/she is now, and reduced to a blip as has Snowden been relegated to the Zoo of the quirky, ineffective and not much mattering.


To see this all perfectly for the powers that be...has been an object lesson to me.


Best Wishes, Traveller (and very nice to see you again)

I Don't Think Snowden Is Done Yet


Snowden has proven smarter and more resourceful, and way more methodical, than Manning. His initial contact with Greenwald through Laura Poitras was extraordinarily careful.


And Greenwald is still plowing through the material, in a very deliberate way.


All of them are outside the United States, in three different countries. So, barring outright assassination, there isn't a lot the spooks can do. I would not put murder past them in terms of ethics, but the blowback would be considerable, while more copies of the material exist so it would not even solve that problem. Besides Wikileaks, Snowden is sophisticated enough to have the ability to set up machines that would release the raw data upon his death.


I don't want to credit Snowden too much. He did have the benefit of Manning's example. He grasped that he would have no real recourse if he did not flee. He might have been fooled into believing otherwise had Manning not existed. But still, he is clearly faring several orders of magnitude better. Manning has been psychologically broken.


Spooks will be spooks, and that's fine, it's their job to be paranoid, sometimes even beyond reason.


But our politicians, especially Obama, have been such a disappointment, presiding over gross violations of the Bill of Rights. He deserves impeachment, as bush did before him. A sad note on our political environment today.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

"very nice to see you again"


Thanks. I moved to Seoul about 3 weeks ago. Nice city.

I don't think it helped that Manning and Snowden were odd

mmghosh's picture

people (but then, I suppose, "normal" people - people like us - would not risk their jobs for principle), even non-violently.


But you are right, the demonisation was slickly done.  Especially the co-opting of the liberal voice.  I note that Daily Kos played down these issues, compared to Firedoglake.

Snowden's not that odd


and he hasn't really been in the media much, so I haven't seen much personality demonisation.


Sure he's been called a traitor, but not a freak.

Hard to say if he killed anyone, but there are two


narrative's here.  The popular media driven one of innocent cherub moved by conscience to leak classified material.  The other is that the guy was a punk trying to stir up trouble.  That second narrative was easy for the prosecution to show on documented incidents alone, throw in character statements from his co-workers, one of whom he assaulted and that narrative wins out.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

35 years for just being "a punk trying to stir up trouble"?

mmghosh's picture

I think not, sir. That is yet another narrative.  There is a reason why Snowden's exile is not front and centre news.

Yet another narrative? Isn't that what I said?


He was charged, found guilty and sentenced.   His sentencing could have been influenced by a number of factors, one working against him was that he appears have generally acted like an a$$hole.  Is this being a factor something that is particularly hard to understand?  I think dropping 3/4 million pages of classified material was probably the more important issue but it wouldn't be the only thing a judge (in this case) considers when sentencing.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

"generally acted like an a$$hole"

mmghosh's picture

where is the evidence for this, and how is it relevant?


What about those who shot up the rescuers of wounded men off the street kerb? (they weren't carrying RPGs, incidentally.)  Does the revelation of a crime of this magnitude carry a sentence of 35 years?  Remind me what the premises of the invasion of Iraq were again?  Such things are irrelevant only if one wants them to be irrelevant.

Mghosh, the language!!!! I'm offended.


I kid, I kid and I apologize for the tone in my earlier response.  I was half in a rush and on a subsequent reading I realize that I may have come off as abrasive.  Truly, it wasn't my intent.

Anyway, it's relevant because it undermines the argument that Manning was acting out of a sense of conscience or duty.  The basic facts are established, Manning knowingly collected classified information and passed it to an unauthorized source.  What's left are questions of motivation and character.  I disagree that there isn't evidence suggesting he was an a-hole.  There are numerous cases of him being a discipline problem in the workplace, most notably, striking a female enlisted soldier.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

red herring


I'm not willing to pretend this Draconian sentencing was significantly influenced by vague "who's an A-hole and who isn't" sensibilities.


This was about torturing and throwing the book at someone who challenged the power of the state, non-violently, and as far as the prosecution was able to prove, w/out any life that was lost as a result.


There's a real problem with libertarians in the US being unconcerned about concentration of state power when national security is at issue. Your comments exhibit that.  

Real problem? If only.


Yeah,  the alleged unconcern of a fraction of a 1.5% segment of the population that has no significant political influence is a real problem.  Look, man, there is one person in the US who could give Manning his freedom before noon tomorrow, and his name is not Cuddly, and he is not a libertarian.


But anyway, your phrase "concentration of state power" is interesting, assuming that's what you really mean.  I could easily see calling it "abuse of power" and in one respect "illegal",  but was there some authority invoked that you think the government in general shouldn't have,  or some authority that should have been more diffuse rather than "concentrated"?


Personally,  I don't think the gov't should be able to hold people in pretrial detention for years at a time, so I'm with you there. 


I think the sole point of pretrial detention should be to ensure the person is available for trial, not punishment. In this case it was clear they went to some effort to make sure the detention was punishing well before Manning had been proven guilty of anything.  However, that's already illegal.  What's your proposal to make officials obey the law?  If you want to literally, physically take that power away from the state, you're requiring that they not possess three shifts worth of guards and a jail cell, because that's all the resources it takes to do what they did to Manning.


35 years is too harsh and maybe he shouldn't have got any time at all (although yanking his clearance and giving him a bad conduct discharge from a service he seemed to have a problem with, seem to me well justified).  But I assume that you believe in general the gov't should have the power to have some military and diplomatic secrets and penalize people who fail to keep them, so it seems to me you're complaining about the way the power was used rather than it being too concentrated.


Or maybe I'm just nitpicking a throwaway phrase.




Well, that's not exactly true


I do think his punishment was excessive.  Perhaps it's interesting to read a whole bunch of "Yeah, what he said." sort of comments, but I'd rather put out a different perspective, if for nothing else then the sake of discussion.  I think there are two things commonly not accounted for when discussing his sentencing.  The first is that he really has no defense when it comes to character or motivation, he is easily painted as a punk.  Second, the sheer volume of documents released indicates that he really had no idea what he was releasing.  IOW, had he released a classified chow hall menu indicating how stupid the classification system was, or specifically released war crimes information 'people got a right to know' he could claim that he was taking some sort of stand on principle, but that's not what he did.  Lastly, I don't think it's at all inconsistent to 1) think the guy is an a$$hole rather than a hero, 2) did the crime w/o good motive but still think his sentencing is too harsh.  I don't know what's particularly un-libertarian about that.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Suppose the judge


had a list of 36 documents Manning had revealed,  and was going to assess 1 year on each of them,  but then decided the no-RPG-video was proper whistleblowing,  and deducted that one,  and thus came up with the total of 35 years.  Would that make you happy?  I assume not.


You are arguing that committing one laudable act cancels out some other indiscriminate illegal actions.  The 35 years was not (at least officially) due to that one video,  it was for the whole package.



Which is Why Manning Should Have Fallen on His Sword Proudly


....none of this I had psychological problems defense.


He should have gotten up and said the truth...What I did made no difference whatsoever anywhere in the world or in the behavior of the United States.


I did what was right for my country and what was right for the Army I serve also...The Truth is the only thing that could and has helped my brothers in arms was the release of these documents.


Soldiers are alive because of what I did.


You as the Court should have the courage to recognize this.








Well, no.


35 years for intentionally releasing classified documents.     The decision was whether prosecutorial discretion should have been used to drop/reduce charges based on his motives,  and in that case if the motive was not as claimed,  that is relevant.   I happen to think they're being unnecessisarily harsh,  but Manning's actions were definitely illegal.

Heh. I remind you that Sgt Gibbs may get parole after 9 years

mmghosh's picture

while others on the Kill Team got even less.  


We may never know what Sgt Gibbs did in Iraq where he learnt his trade, but after Mr Manning's revelations we can get a reasonable idea.  There will have been several Islamic terrorists created by the Stryker episode.  We will get the blowback, naturally. 

Gibbs was convicted of murder for inciting two soldiers to kill 15-year-old Gul Mudin as he worked in a field. The platoon commander gave a grenade to one of the soldiers, Jeremy Morlock, who threw it at Mudin. A second soldier, Andrew Holmes, then shot the boy. Gibbs played with the corpse of the teenager "as if it was a puppet", Morlock told the trial.


The staff sergeant was also convicted of shooting dead Marach Agha, a man sleeping by a roadside, and then planting a Kalashnikov next to the corpse to make it look as if he was a fighter. He kept part of the victim's skull as a trophy.

Gibbs was convicted on a third count of murder for killing a Muslim cleric, Mullah Adahdad, with a grenade and then shooting him. Two other soldiers, Morlock and Adam Winfield, have already pleaded guilty over their roles in the killing.


Gibbs and other soldiers collected fingers, teeth and other body parts as trophies. They also took photographs of themselves posing next to their dead victims. In one of the pictures Morlock is seen lifting Mudin's head by its hair for the camera and smiling.

Gibbs got off easy


but that's not particularly relevant.   For various reasons murderers sometimes get off the hook completely.  It doesn't follow that, in order to be consistent,  we're then morally obligated to never again punish anyone guilty of any crime less than murder. 


Again, if it were up to me, Manning would not be treated as a major war criminal or violent felon, given the overall picture.  But there's nothing unexpected about what happened.  The magnitude of the punishments available for this type of offense are made very, very clear to people who get security clearances.  I don't know Army procedures specifically but based on what civilians with clearances go through, I would guess that he had to sign about half a dozen times that he understood that the possible penalties included life imprisonment without parole, and death. 

It is relevant that Sgt Gibbs got off easy.

mmghosh's picture

Society has changed for the better, and whistleblowing on war crimes may, may act as a deterrent.  


The campaign against war crimes is a recent institution.  Consider that there was very little knowledge about Nazi extermination camps, or cannibalism by Imperial Japanese Army throughout the whole of WW2.  Even more recently, as Governor of Georgia, Mr Jimmy Carter organised American Fighting Men's Day to protest against the 3-year sentence passed on the soldiers implicated in My Lai - there was widespread opposition to the sentencing of the soldiers.


Violation of security clearances cannot be a defence when faced with direct evidence of a cover-up of a war crime.  In that case, Nazi war criminals should have been pardoned on the basis that they were only following orders.

A few things


1.  Deterrence....In the case of whistleblowing against the government,  the same people that you're trying to deter are the ones deciding what to do with the whistleblower.   So what did you expect?  If the administration had really wanted to stop committing war crimes, they could have just stopped them,  or prosecuted earlier ones, without waiting for Manning to "stop me before I kill again".


2. Manning did not limit his data dump to evidence of war crimes,  there were plenty of other things in there.  If he'd brought up the war crime evidence internally, and then revealed only that evidence when the higher levels failed to respond, I'd say no action should be taken against him.  But that's not what he did.


3. Carter probably regrets what he did now.   He's seen as a liberal now,  but that's not how he ran for president.


4. "Violation of security clearances cannot be a defence when faced with direct evidence of a cover-up of a war crime.  In that case, Nazi war criminals should have been pardoned on the basis that they were only following orders."  But they were.  Nazi war criminals whose crime consisted only in knowing about the Holocaust and failing to take action or report it,  were in fact pardoned, especially if they were enlisted soldiers at a level similar to Manning's.


I'm aware that the actual killers were pardoned in many cases

mmghosh's picture

others simply remained unknown, were killed later in the war or simply disappeared.  The individual murderers in the Einsatzgruppen, for example.  There are historically closer examples in Rwanda and Bosnia and indeed in what is happening right now in Syria, or in our NE states.


I maintain that this excuse ("happened before or in other places", "only following orders" and especially "not my business") cannot be used for persecution of whistleblowers (in the sense of "that is what they should have done and it would have been all right".


And my extraneous comments about the war, collateral murder references and so forth set out a context, in the light of which which Mr Manning's actions must be understood. I refer you to the LGF site where the commenters appear to have little understanding of or sympathy for context

Not even gonna look


at an LGF comment thread.  I looked at the article itself and assume it only gets worse in the comments.


Re Nazis: Maybe I misunderstood your earlier argument.   I thought your argument was that Manning had an obligation to violate the law if he gained knowledge of a war crime,  and that he couldn't get himself off the moral hook by saying he had to respect security classifications.   That's a respectable position.  Nevertheless,  in real life even Nazis got themselves off the legal hook if they only had knowledge rather than direct participation.


So (even ignoring the non-war-crime documents that constituted much of what he released) the conflict was between the law and his own conscience.   Not to belittle that,  but there is simply no chance he'd even theoretically be tried in an international war crimes court merely for remaining silent; even if the exact Iraqis who survived the no-RPG incident were personally running the ICC they wouldn't waste time going after someone at his level.

2 And 4 Are The Keys Here

M Scott Eiland's picture

If he had selectively revealed the alleged (at that time) war crimes (and any other alleged war crimes he was aware of) and nothing else (whether to Asshat or to, say, the New York Times), this sentence would be profoundly unjust. As is, he has a shot at being out of prison by his mid-thirties, where he will undoubtedly be comforted by his countless fanboys/girls regarding his fully just punishment for betraying his oath and his nation by performing a document dump of this country's secrets for his own ego gratification and sense of grievance. Hopefully, those who aren't willing to wear blinders to that degree will be there as well to give him the Jane Fonda treatment over the subsequent decades, as a deterrent for those who would emulate him.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

punk stirring up trouble


i guess that's worse than being a war criminal these days.



“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Spooks are nuts. Attacking hard drives with angle grinders?

mmghosh's picture

The compromise ultimately brought Paul Johnson, Guardian News and Media's executive director Sheila Fitzsimons, and one of its top computer experts, David Blishen, to the basement of its Kings Place office on a hot Saturday morning to meet two GCHQ officials with notebooks and cameras.


The intelligence men stood over Johnson and Blishen as they went to work on the hard drives and memory chips with angle grinders and drills, pointing out the critical points on circuit boards to attack. They took pictures as the debris was swept up but took nothing away.

Don't see how anyone


could think destroying a particular hard drive does anything,  especially when the Guardian already told them there were other copies elsewhere,  and they took the Guardian employees' word on which ones had the documents.  So,  it was just more "message sending".  


There must be something really awful about the UK in the unreleased portion of the documents.

It appears as if the tea


It appears as if the tea party is leveraging their primary power to force Congressional Rs into a fiscal standoff with Obama/Dems this fall.  It will be over the spending limit and/or budget.  Most sane folks think it won't work to defund ACA but it will undoubtedly screw up the financial markets and economy, at least in the short term.


So, my question to you, my learned and wise friends -


What can a person do to insulate their long term investments from this madness?  Less stocks?  Cash?  Gold (ha ha)?  Should I get brave and take a chunk to short?


Alternatively, is this uncertainty already baked in to the markets today?  Certainly people much smarter than me with far more money on the line know about the GOP's unfortunate circumstances.  My amateurish view is there will always be shocks to the markets no matter how foreseen -- panic and emotion are still big factors.

"Long-term investments"?


If they are really long-term, the answer is nothing. If you have stocks, hold on to them... the Republicans are crazy, but it's not like their actions are likely to significantly affect stock prices 20 or 30 years from now. And trying to time the market is a dummy's game.


If you're more than 30 (or even more than 20) years from retirement, I advocate a 100% broad-based, low-cost stock index fund, with some international and particularly emerging market exposure. Boring, I know, but I just can't see the logic of stock-bond blends that far out, and it's really hard to get a competitive advantage picking stocks. (I do and they've done well for me, but I can't bring myself to think that they've done well because I have a special something... that would be incredibly hubristic. I just got lucky probably.)

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

At Least We Are Giving Honest Answers, Wags....


....and I like your analysis and formulation.


For a normal, youngish, person.


Your looking at investment time horizon led me to this interesting (to me) insight:


Over the past year, because I have been very sick, (though understand there is nothing organically wrong with me, I am fine, just pain, un remitting, un relenting, which for me has made me very ashamed, and this has been the worst part, being angry with myself for being so weak when there is nothing wrong with me {except pain}) my time horizon for investment returns has been one week to maybe 3 months.


I thought older people were supposed to be conservative in their investment outlook?


Not me...short time gain, short time horizon, short time life?


Now, I can see myself holding for...6 months, maybe a year...because I know I will be here in a year...probably another 20, but at least one year.


So that is my time horizon for stocks and how it has expanded.


But 10 years out?


I can't see that far, but then I don't think that even at the best of times I could see that far...kind of a Vietnam thingy....every single day is a gift after being there.


And I do like them....every single


Best Wishes, Traveller

Get better, friend.  If


Get better, friend.  If getting physically better is out of the question, stay sane and happy.

I Be Well...But Still Very Superstitious....


....for such a nominally smart person, it is somewhat a shocking amazement how superstitious I am....I knock on wood, I toss salt over my right shoulder if I spill some, and I don't really want to talk too much my condition since I am, slowly!, recovering...I don't want to mess up this trajectory I am on.


Yes they will give me narcotics if I want, but I don't much want...I stick to fairly high dosages of my anti-eplipsy/anti convulsives that I take three times a day, religiously. They make me a little foggy, a little loggy, but there is a limit of what and how much one can put in one's brain....I seriously become a Zombie when I try to layer on additional drugs. But then, why not?, all of this has been like some unbelievable fantastical and terrible science fiction movie.


I'm thinking another 6 months maybe. I had re-hab this week which is why this is on my mind...for 10 months I have had to sleep on my left side and naked, no sheet, no blanket. I can, albeit with some difficulty, now sleep in a bed (!) and with a blanket, (it has been so vulnerable sleeping without any covering...that has been strange), I no longer scream when I take a shower,  so the Docs think I  am making a remarkable recovery, (they say, happily, "You haven't even been with us for a year! We have people that have been here for years...." Well....not me).


The law practice is and has been being closed down by me as quickly as possible...I am almost there on this task also.


So a little here, a little there...I be well.


Best Wishes, Traveller



Sorry about the pain. And I hear ya...


There's lots of possible objectives to investing. The reason people go to stock-bond blends (at a large opportunity cost) is that it makes them feel secure.


And I've known day traders that 'invest' to get the same charge that gambling addicts get.


Why do I own a couple of stocks on a buy-and-hold basis, rather than hold index funds as would be more rational? (It's Apple and Netflix that I own.) I guess there's a bit of the gambler in me. Perhaps I'm not quite as modest as my previous comment and I want some validation for an insight I have. Perhaps I'm a bit greedy and want the outsized returns that I know tech stocks sometimes give but the index won't. It's a whole soup of motivations, and it's good to look at them occasionally... if for no other reason than to be able to control those emotions.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Congrats on the Netflix Especially and the Recovery of AAPL Too


....I still don't have the guts for these kind of valuations.


But as you and many others have shown, No Guts, no Glory.


(I did short Netflix but got out without injury...I did try to short Tesla last week, but it is so heavily shorted no one could find any shares to sell me....such a



Netflix is trading at a very high multiple


Which is understandable given how much of its earnings are being diverted to growth investments. But Apple is low... ridiculously low. The S&P is trading at around 18x and Apple is trading around 12x. Think about that for a second... is it really plausible that Apple with its internationally dominant products in high-growth sectors is really going to grow slower than the economy at large? I think Apple is still a great buy.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

So You Talked Me into Buying Some AAPL Today....


...actually it was the Ichan/Nasdaq breakdown that gave me the impetious....but sitting waiting for the market to open again made me clearly realize how much like a gambling addiction this is/can be. ( I had much better things, much more necessary things to be doing).


But I sat transfixed waiting to just roll the dice and no different than craps...except I seem to have gotten in at a fairly good number.


We will see....this stock is so expensive that I am on margin, something I eschew, so I expect to make a tidy quick profit and leave because....philosphically I am just opposed to being on margin at all...let alone a spec as Apple may be.


But thank you.


Best Wishes, Traveller



Well, I have a 2-4 year time


Well, I have a 2-4 year time horizon on a big chunk...  For first home down payment.  That I'm not willing to give wholly to the NYSE gods so it is mixed with bonds...  So, it has enough exposure to GOP idiocy to make a dent when it matters.  Yes, retirement is in a graded retirement fund that is now almost completely stocks.


I hate playing the market, lost too much (for the time) in my early 20s.  Enough to take the fun out of it and to realize I'm risk-averse.

Yeah, I'm in a similar situation


Probably next year I'll buy a house.


I would probably blend stocks and cash. Think about it this way. One of the biggest risks you have is not the economy crashing, but the economy taking off.  Right now interest rates are at 4.5% or so, but if the economy really took off it could go to 7 or 8% easily, cutting the amount of home you could afford. Stocks could be a hedge against that... if the economy and interest rates take off, at least you'd have a bigger down payment that might let you put down some points on the loan, lowering your total payments.


Just a thought. Do what you're comfortable with, because you have to live with it.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Sounds awful


Feel free to tell me it's none of my business,  but are you taking all the pain killers the authorities will prescribe, or have you made a decision to hold off for one reason or another?

It s Only Money....But Then, It IS Money....



...I am a little too shocky to say much about the Markets...10 days ago I made cogent arguments for me to go all to cash...long term capital gains taxes be damned...but I didn't.


There was....just out of reach...a profit target I wanted, (isn't there always?), so I waited to my regret.


I got out of airlines by a miricle...a friend called from Florida with the just announced Justice Dept Decision against the LCC and AA merger...I sold all my airlines instantly.




Then I rested and got slaughtered in the big banks, big oil, refineries and assorted other holdings...


I don't have the money to lose...but it has been made abundantly clear that I am not a Master of the Universe...I watched Gilliad Science go from 64 to 56 in a terrible daily bleeding...of course I am in at the mid 40's but, I didn't have the balls to pull the trigger on my favorite and largest stock holding....I was and am, paralized.


Big talker, that's me.


The charts are bad...a sliding sideways until 2014....but I like what I like, there is a logic in what I am doing.


Some of my viral nerve damage...10 months in, is receding a little...nerve damage is the worst to recover from, but I can leave the house pain, but, yet, better by far.


So I want a different life, re-hab tells me to keep moving, hence I've been trying to build a solid bullet proof portfolio that didn't need my daily tending....




I'm keeping what I like stock-wise...but I sense now till early 2014 it is going to be very a rough time.


Good Luck,


Best Wishes, Traveller

Making The Obvious Joke So You Don't Have To

M Scott Eiland's picture

"Glenn Greenwald receives his Miranda warning, declines to remain silent."

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I litterally lol'd

TXG1112's picture

This is the funniest thing I've read on the forvm in a long time. Perhaps I'm in an odd mood, but I'm still chuckling every time I re-read it.


You win the internet for today.



--- I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own.

I Couldn't Find Another Mention Of It. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .or I'd have credited them. I'm rarely the first out of the gate to spot something that obvious, particularly a full day after the story broke.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Detained, tried to *lawfully* arrest the guy

brutusettu's picture

UK authorities probably have a copy of everything from the electronics.



Soon to follow, stories from British Ministry of Truth that in 45 minutes, after an order from Greenwald, his partner could build an AT-AT capable of tossing babies from incubators.




IIRC another article from firedoglake was musing that since 2 infamous low level staff released info that was even accessible able to an inordinately large number of  low level staff, that Russia, China, and any entity with a petty cash fund already paid to get the same info from other sources.  

And since the "classified" info wasn't treated as highly classified,  the NSA et al mainly just want to keep the info away voters and the public at large.  

Good God Brut, You know how to shut down a blog



There's not nearly all of the internet traditions in there

brutusettu's picture

Sure there's Star Wars, 1984, at least one typo, references to propaganda that helped kick off 2 separate campaigns in Iraq,  but where are the cats?

That was me.


My skill with electronic stuff is amazingly poor. I'm somewhere between fully qualified on a flashlight to criminally inept on a microwave.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Firedoglake has more on the Greenwald partner intimidation story

mmghosh's picture


It is interesting that a Brazilian was detained by the UK immigration authorities for being a partner of someone allegedly aiding supposed offences committed by a US citizen currently in Russia.  After the Morales episode, Mr Greenwald had better stay out of airspace controlled by the USA or its allies.


South America, a beacon of civil liberty?  Hard to imagine even 10 years ago.  But well done to the Brazilian authorities for standing up, and of course to the Guardian for paying for lawyers and costs.

Foolish Of Them

M Scott Eiland's picture

I am not a fan of GG in general, but "easily intimidated" is not a trait that anyone who is remotely familiar with his body of work would attribute to him, and no one with a spine reacts well to having their significant other threatened and/or maltreated. I suspect some minor officials may be thrown under the bus in the next few days in an attempt to cauterize this utterly unnecessary self-inflicted wound.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Ho Hum

M Scott Eiland's picture

Usain Bolt wins another sprint triple gold at the World Championships.

At the moment, no one seems to be remotely close to Bolt, and much of his closest competition is either currently suspended for PED usage (Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell), a previous offender (Justin Gatlin), or past their prime (Powell, possibly Gatlin). The rather unpleasant conclusion is that either Bolt is cheating and hasn't been caught yet, or--possibly worse in the long run--that Bolt has "Beamonized" men's sprinting, and once he retires the men's records for the 100, 200, and 4 x 100 may be completely out of reach for a generation or more.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

After the Lance Armstrong saga, any superhuman athletic feat

mmghosh's picture

will always carry the taint of possible drug cheat, so why not just allow it anyway?  Its not like modern athletes are trying to preserve some faux-amateur Olympian glow.  


From your comment, all the other 100m potential title holders take PEDs, so its hard to think that Bolt does not.  Perhaps the Maurice Greene times are the fastest non-enhanced times achievable.

I assumed it was Bolts size


I assumed it was Bolts size that gives him such an advantage...  Are any other sprinters near as tall?

He's A Prototype For A New Approach To Sprinting

M Scott Eiland's picture

Much like Earl Weaver had everyone calling him crazy when he turned 6'4" Cal Ripken into a shortstop (which was previously populated by much smaller, less muscular men who usually didn't hit much--the sole real exception before Ripken being Honus Wagner, who was 5' 11", bowlegged, and moved with the speed and grace of an angry grizzly bear). After a rocky start, Weaver was proven right, and Ripken was off on his Hall of Fame career, blazing the trail for other big men (notably A-Rod and Derek Jeter) to follow him at a position where they would not have been considered twenty years before. The conventional wisdom was that tall runners couldn't get out of the starting blocks fast enough to compete at the elite level of Olympic sprinting. And indeed Bolt is *not* an exceptional starter--the advantages he has in the other areas of his performance simply overwhelm that flaw, just as Ripken's power and strong throwing arm overcame his lack of the unearthly agility that a Rabbit Maranville or an Ozzie Smith brought to bear at shortstop. If a sprinter ever combines the raw speed and long strides of Usain Bolt with a leap out of the starting blocks that brushes the limits of a false start every time he begins another race, the low nines or even the unthinkable sight of a 100 meter time starting with an "8" may be seen.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

This is somewhat astonishing



And while I'm not saying that it indicates that Bolt is doping I'm pretty sure that if Jamaican athletes wanted to use PED's they stand little chance of being caught.


Leaving the PED issue aside long strides are only an advantage if one can also achieve a high stride rate. That's harder to do for taller people and is where Bolt is really unique.

18" x 20" ?


I'm sorry,  it's just not enough.  It could protect the most important stuff but then the guy could just shoot for the head or chest.

Ha!!!! I'm sure Eeyn agrees and greatly appreciates you




This might be a good time to clarify.  I assume I identified 'the most important stuff' correctly as the male anatomy. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Sorry Mmghosh, that's no excuse


in all probability you are a better english speaker than many of us native types.  Because I care, I'm providing you an example of just how bad English can be mauled.  Yes, the guy is an actor but he nails the second most disgusting accent/dialect of English in the known world.


Of course you ask what's the most disgusting English accent/dialect.  Darth shall provide.


I spent two years of my life being tortured by folks who spoke Dundalkese.  I consider it a major factor for my aggressive stance on gun ownership.


In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

"It don't kill him"

brutusettu's picture

I know what you mean. Body armor is made by women


"It's designed to protect the vitals".....,....I'm not a doctor or nothing but I'm going to say that the definition of vitals falls a litttle ...ahem....short.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Justified Contempt

M Scott Eiland's picture

Leading 2-0 going into the top of the ninth inning, Dodger manager Don Mattingly had decided that Clayton Kershaw would be through for the day after eight innings and one hundred pitches (3 hits, 1 walk, eight strikeouts--just another day's work for the best Dodger left hander since Koufax), and had closer Kenley Jansen heating up for the bottom of the ninth to face the hapless Phillies, who had just fired the most successful manager in their history and replaced him with Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg. However, the Dodger offense decided to stir and Juan Uribe launched a three run home run into the left field seats, putting the Dodgers up 5-0 and perhaps forever laying to rest the jokes about him falling for the hidden ball trick a few games back.

Seeing the lead move beyond the need for the Dodger closer, Mattingly sat down Jansen and sent Brandon League--the worst reliever remaining in the Dodger bullpen after their astonishing run of play began in late June--in for the ninth inning to face the Phillies. Short of walking his dog over to the Phillies' dugout and having it leave a steaming "present" for them on the sunflower-seed strewn concrete, it's difficult to conceive of a more contemptuous act that Mattingly could have directed at the home team. Given the fair amount of luck the Dodgers have enjoyed along with the high level of play they have delivered over the last (almost) third of the season, one might say it was tempting fate.

Sad to say for the Philadelphia faithful, the contempt proved justified, as League effortlessly dismissed the Phillies on eight pitches in the ninth to lock down the win. Dodgers 5, Phillies 0, as Kershaw wins his 12th game of the season, and the Dodgers win their tenth straight game as they take their record in the past fifty games to 42-8--now easily the best in the post WWII era over that many games. A reckoning may yet be coming, but not today--and Ryne Sandberg is probably wishing right now that they'd let ol' Charlie Manuel finish out the weekend before sending him packing.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

How about a lighter note for you engineers


An engineer crosses a road when a frog calls out to him, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess."


He bends over, picks up the frog and puts it in his pocket. The frog speaks up again and says, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week."


The engineer takes the frog out of his pocket, smiles at it and returns it to the pocket.


The frog then cries out, "If you kiss me and turn me back, I'll do whatever you say!"


Again the engineer takes the frog out, smiles at it and puts it back into his pocket.


Finally, the frog asks, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, I'll stay with you for a month and do whatever you say. What more do you want?"


The engineer says, "Look, I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that's cool!"

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

You asked for it


A gambler,  a lawyer,  and a DoD procurement officer walk into a bar in San Diego.


The gambler asks for a whisky, straight up.  The bartender sets it down and says it'll be $5.  The gambler brings out dice and offers to roll him for it. The bartender loses, shrugs, and moves on to the next guy.


The lawyer asks for a strawberry margarita.  The bartender sets it down and says $7. The lawyer gulps the drink, points out there's nothing in writing, and no way the bill will hold up in court.  The bartender shrugs and moves on to the next guy.


The procurement officer says he's accepting quotes for vodka, 120 proof, quantity 60 ml,  but first he'll need to see the bartender's DUNS number, CAGE code, and TIN.  The bartender complies.  The officer then asks for NAICS, PSC, and FSC.  The bartender complies.  The officer then whips out a laptop, and makes the bartender get online to do an ORCA certification.  65 hours later the bartender finishes.  He's irritated and tells the officer it'll be $1500.   Since the govt's paying,  the officer cheerfully hands it over,  and asks for his drink.


"Tough sh!t" says the bartender, "your drink is 12-14 weeks FOB Detroit".

Well played, sir. Well played. What bugs me is that


I knew most of the acronyms and I don't work procurement.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Drats. Missed again.


And I was reserving the one about the two defense contractors and the procurement officer in a plane with only two parachutes for the second round.


So what do you do,  if it isn't classified?

What I do is simple.


Ever have something go wrong and you need somebody to blame?  I'm the guy that gets blamed.  I'm a 73F Blame Reception Specialist.

Actually, my field is operational logistics.  The field is broad enough and has enough special assignments that what I do on a daily basis changes every  6-12 months.  That's generally the rule for all the operational fields.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

This and that on Egypt

Bird Dog's picture

An informative piece here. Some excerpts:

The Muslim Brotherhood is certainly not democratic. Its view of Egyptian politics in one in which it should control everything. For example, while it is willing to pursue power through elections, once it comes to office its goal is to establish and Islamic state in which it and its institutions control the Egyptian bureaucracy and institute its version of Islam while sidelining and oppressing all opponents.

“Moderate” is an even less accurate word in describing the Brotherhood. It’s designed to weed out moderates during the recruitment process. The process of becoming a Muslim Brother is a five to eight year ordeal where potential Muslim Brothers are vetted through five tiers of membership that tests their commitment to the cause and their willingness to take orders. Anyone who has second thoughts about the organization, the ideology, or their willingness to blindly do what they’re told, is out.

When the Brotherhood first emerged as the leading organization after the 2011 uprising, a lot of observers thought it would become more moderate when forced to actually govern, but what those analysts overlooked that is that the Brotherhood prevents moderates from becoming members and prevents members from becoming moderates.


But two things happened. First, we had a massive outpouring against Morsi due to his frankly undemocratic rule of the country and his bid to consolidate power for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Second, Morsi completely lost control of the state. By the time the protests started on June 30, he didn’t control anything. He didn’t control the police and he obviously didn’t control the military. He didn’t control any of the institutions of government, and it made his presidency untenable. So the military stepped in, somewhat reluctantly, first to respond to the protests and also to prevent impending state failure.

But once the army made the decision to step in, as reluctant as it may have been, it’s modus operandi unquestionably changed. It entered into a direct conflict with the Muslim Brotherhood, perhaps even an existential one. The military believes it not only has to remove Morsi, it has to decapitate the entire organization. Otherwise, the Brotherhood will re-emerge and perhaps kill the generals who removed it from power.


It has lost substantial public support. Think back to the early presidential elections in 2012. Morsi only won five million votes, which was 25 percent of the votes cast. That’s not a high number. It’s substantially lower than what the Brotherhood had won just a few months earlier in the parliamentary elections. So already by May 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood’s support shrunk back to its base which is only around five million people.

The Brotherhood’s power is not derived from mass public support and it never has been. It is derived from its exceptional organization capabilities on one hand, and the fact that the rest of Egypt is deeply divided and highly disorganized on the other. That’s still the case. I think if Egypt had free and fair elections today, the Brotherhood would still do well and might even win because nobody else is prepared to run in an election.

Of course, I don’t expect there will be free and fair elections ahead, and the nature of the Brotherhood is about to change because the military is decapitating it. It’s hard to see right now exactly who will emerge, but whoever emerges given the current trajectory will need significant military support.

Out of 82½ million, the MB has support from only around 5 million.

Goldberg on Egypt.

What the White House fails to understand is that the Egyptian military has very different ideas about what "reconciliation" should look like. Its goal is to destroy the Muslim Brotherhood, its traditional adversary, by killing as many Brothers as possible and by jailing or otherwise hounding the others. As for the surprise registered in the White House that Egypt's military rulers didn't listen to repeated American pleas for reconciliation and compromise: How hard is it to believe that Middle Eastern potentates promised one thing to the U.S., and then did something else entirely?

Egypt is 90% Islamic and 9% Christian, but the Christians and their churches are getting mistreated. Yes, Islam is the 21st century religion of violence and intolerance.


"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Mr Totten's argument is fantasy. "Only" 60 million citizens

mmghosh's picture

actually voted for Mr Obama, out of a US population of 300 million, so does that make Mr Obama's election illegitimate?  In fact, in all democracies, the actual number of people who vote are a fraction of the population.


As for the Egyptian Army stepping in "reluctantly", this contention is equally fantastic. Does the Army discuss these matters in public?  How is he to know?  


Military coups are usually a bad thing.

Out of 23.3 million voters...

Bird Dog's picture the first round, Morsi got 5.8 million. This should have told him he should have attempted reconciliation instead of a power grab. But he's a dyed-in-the-wool MBer. I never suggested that the election was illegitimate, only that Morsi should have presided as a representative of the Egyptian nation as a whole, not for his Islamist brethren. The polls couldn't be clearer that that's how he conducted himself.

You're going to have to show me where I endorsed this military coup.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

No, you didn't.

mmghosh's picture

I think you've made that pretty clear.  


But I think you are mistaken in your point about the MB's support being a minority.  They get a lot of support from the lower classes who are not articulate in polls or maybe vote in elections.


Which comes back to the point of democracy.  If Islamists are elected democratically, is that a bad thing?  What makes Islamist democracies particularly repulsive, as opposed to, say, Islamist monarchies such as the KSA?

Iran is a democracy,

Bird Dog's picture

but it's not free because it does not respect or uphold human rights, which is the real issue. The MB is an Islamist group that has shown that it does not care about rights, and the military isn't far behind. At the least, the military has pledged to hold elections in the near future. MB only had the popularity it had in the presidential election because the opponent was backed by the military. It was a no-win choice for the electorate.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009


mmghosh's picture

In Iran, secular parties are not allowed to participate in elections.  Even Sunni Muslims are forbidden AFAIK.


In Egypt, OTOH, the Dignity Party (left wing - Nasserist) got 20% of the 1st round vote coming in third.  So we could definitely conclude that the MB won an election democratically, following the rules, and the secularists lost out reasonably fairly.


That being the case, it seems strange that so much criticism is directed at the Muslim Brotherhood for being, well, Muslim - no?  That's what the people decided.  The secularists did their case a disservice by egging on the Army to a coup.  Which was Tawakkol Karman's main point, too.


But my question is really why ME Islamist democracies attract the Western fire that Islamist monarchies do not.  Turkey is another example.

It's mainly just words


"But my question is really why ME Islamist democracies attract the Western fire that Islamist monarchies do not.  Turkey is another example."


I think you have to look at US/EU tangible actions more than the press statements.


It's true that the KSA,  Bahrain, and Qatar get away without US comment on some fairly awful stuff,  while Turkey got a lot of criticism over Erdogan's handling of the protestors.  But criticism was all it was,  and part of that was because expectations were higher.  If you look at the big picture,  Turkey is a NATO member with all the preferential treatment, access to military technology, and joint training that involves.  


And in Egypt,  Morsi was still getting a few billion a year from us along with the very muted criticism, while the monarchies are paying us billions plus allowing bases.


PS I believe Sunnis in Iran can be, and are, elected to the parliament,  but aren't eligible to become President,  and of course aren't going to take any of the clerical positions.

The answer is neither

Bird Dog's picture

As in, neither Iran nor Egypt are electoral democracies.

The issue isn't that the Muslim Brotherhood, the issue is that they are intolerant, faux-democratic Islamists.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

I Am Halfway Coming to Think That Mr. Obama IS IN FACT...


...a secret Muslim.


Everywhere we intervene we are getting Islamist Governments and worse, Islamist Constitutions and Laws.


Accident or, intentional?


Mr. Bush would not insist or even push for a Humanist agenda because he himself was deeply religious and so a theocracy as an idea was not foreign to his nature; Mr. Bush did not recoil from the powers that Imams as I would, nor would he have my instinctual distrust of the religious ever participating in the civic square of a society.


Since Iraq, Afghanistan has an Islamic Constitution, so does Tunisia, Libya and now Egypt teeters between the secular (good) and the profane (religious).


I would like to see Obama actually articulate American values for Egypt...otherwise he is useless to me.


Best Wishes, Traveller

All of this has happened before and

brutusettu's picture

Obama gets the true Secret Muslim Atheist British Colony Kenyan Believers out + the cryptic ones, and Obama uses the crazies as talking head meat shields for something else that the crazies support but his voters won't.

30 Coptic Christian Churches Burned By the MB Last Night...nt



Video, Is Obama Going to Condemn This Anti-Christian Violence?


...our Mr. President Obama seems mighty quick to condemn and speak out against the forces trying to right Egypt...Obama easily slips into deploring the Violence in Egypt against the Muslim Brotherhood, but I haven't heard a word today about these Church Burnings by the MB condemned by my putative President.


If he is going to speak about matters that matter to the American People...this matters.


But from the White House I hear only the sound of crickets....a terrible, cowardly silence.




Can't argue with Will

Bird Dog's picture

He mails it in more often than not these dasy, but when he's on, he's spot on.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

After hearing short clips of Obama

brutusettu's picture

And with *people under* Reagan shipping weapons to Saddam and to the theocracy in Iran, all to hand money over to death squads.   And Reagan/Obama comparison should come to Will's mind too.


Also, when a graphic popped up showing foreign aid to countries, it looked like in part, an  "please accept this gift of billions of dollars for not attacking Israel" list.


Let's see if the TPers in the House come back for a vote to strip funding to a country in a prime spot to bloodily give land to Israel.

Can we call it a military coup now?

Bird Dog's picture

It wouldn't have been that hard, on Day 1, to call a spade a spade and suspend military aid. But no, this administration once again played cutesy with words and chose to be ineffectual and uncourageous. Enough is enough.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

So Bird Dog, Your Prefer to Re-Insall The Muslim Brotherhood?

(#307347) very liberal of you.


I never knew you were a champion of Islamist taking charge of a country of 90 million.


By all means, let us de-legitimatize the only current stabilizing force in Egypt.


Please defend this volte- face by yourself!


What interesting twists and  turns you make.


One might suspect that this convoluted dancing was just and excuse to get at Mr. Obama.


Best Wishes, Traveller

It's not either-or

Bird Dog's picture

Like the Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood had its shot and it failed. I have no problem with an upcoming democratic election that excludes the MB. Any future president is going to know that he's going to have to reconcile with and represent the different factions instead of ramrodding an Islamist ideology down citizens' throats.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

That's an oxymoron


A democracy that excludes participants is not a democracy, and can't be run with the legitimacy and consent of the governed that democracies enjoy.


I'm not saying there are good solutions, but that's not one of them.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Uh, no

Bird Dog's picture

Members of MB still have a right to vote, just not the right to form a political party. It's still a democracy, but it's an imperfect democracy as most are.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

It's not too far from there


to Stalinist one-candidate elections. Not a democracy.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs



"with Egyptian characteristics"

For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise - B. Franklin

And Where Are The "Sane Moderates" Who Will Do This?

M Scott Eiland's picture

Given all the BS we heard about the Muslim Brotherhood *not* being a collection of Islamist scum and enablers of Islamist scum turned out to indeed be BS, I'm inclined to be patient since Mr. Obama chose in his infinite wisdom not to immediately designate the coup a coup. A non-expansionist military government is less of a problem than one run by Islamic crazies with a hardon about Israel and anyone else who isn't a crazy Islamist.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Egypt has over 82 million people

Bird Dog's picture

And I thinks it's fair to say that Islamists were well overrepresented in the previous administration.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Nope, I guess not

Bird Dog's picture

Instead, Obama scolded the Egyptian interim government and canceled a joint military exercise. Whoop de do.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Maybe Egypt is Not So Bad as You Think...


....the streets are calm this morning.


I prefer a secular Assad to the cannibalistic heart eating Islamic Fundamentalists in Syria...again we are backing the wrong side in Syria as we did in Iraq in ousting Hussein.


I strongly prefer Gen Sisi said Mr Mansour to Muslim Brotherhood and Mohammed Morsi.


I sense that the Egyptian people know this in their heart of hearts also.


So things maybe aren't so  bad after all.


Best Wishes, Traveller

Hope You Are Right


But today's calm is just that, today's.


We'll see.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Here's my Thought and it is Just Mine, No One Need Agree....


...but in the balance of things I would prefer to have a Secular Society to a Democracy.


If I had to choose.


I would postulate that the Secular by necessity must precede the latter....but I don't know.


However, we have just watch Robert Mugabe be elected for the upteenth time in Zimbabwe.


This is the very definition of a Kleptocracy....though admittedly Secular, after a fashion.


My central point being that Democracy alone is no panacea to a Just Society.


Best Wishes, Traveller

This morning's news from Syria