We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, August 22. 2015
The Suicide of the Liberal Arts - Indoctrinating students isn’t the same as teaching them. Homer and Shakespeare have much to tell us about how to think and how to live.
3 Americans praised for subduing gunman on European train
If you’re going to cheat, cheat smart.
How Many Families Were Broken This Week After the Ashley Madison Hack?
U. of Wisconsin official: Don’t treat shoplifting as a crime, community should decide what laws to enforce
Ten Things You Didn’t Know Were Racist
NY Times Races to the Bottom on Immigration
Hillary -- Don't Look Down!
The birds circling over Hillary Clinton
The Clintons stand where money, influence, and celebrity form a nexus.
Why is Trump holding a mega-rally in Alabama?
Countermoonbat Alliance: Trump + Cruz
Countermoonbat Alliance: Trump + Cruz
Macedonian police fire stun grenades to disperse migrants
Ten New Reasons to Worry About the Iran Deal
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps Plans Massive Ballistic Missile Test
Tracked: Aug 23, 09:58
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My guess is that Hillary's defence will ultimately rest on a variation of "I had nothing to do with it; someone in State sent me those emails, they're the ones you should go after".
And you know, she'd actually be telling the truth too. As Secretary of State, she herself would never have spent her time downloading and "air-gapping" classified information.
Some State Department "Doug Stamper" henchminion would have done that grunt work!
Stumbled across the Trump rally while channel surfing. He spoke for 45 minutes or so, mostly adlib, occasionally checking a few note cards. His ideas on immigration, trade, jobs, military, Iran, Israel and foreign relations were received enthusiastically by the 10,000 or so people in the stadium.
The Stupid Party is in trouble. Trump is charismatic.. He is a rock star. All of the other Republicans are too boring to live. He mocked Jeb Bush mercilessly. Carolyn Kennedy, too.
Some of the Republican establishment might be coming over to his side. Sen. Sessions was on the stage with him, and endorsed him.
Ed Rollins afterwards said Trump has a better than 50/50 chance of winning the Presidency. What a trip that would be.
"How many families were broken after the AM hack"--you mean, that weren't already broken before the hack? Walking dead.
Dare I as a meddling foreigner say this?
To the Clinton and Bush families: you're done, it's over, just go away.
For Donnny and Bruce
Gentlemen: I am trying to understand more clearly the outlines of the "women's network of influence". In the Protestant communities we have lost of hundreds of thousands of worshippers since 2000. Our churches are now totally controlled/operated by members of the fem/nazi network. (Boy, that even sounds bad writing it!) The problem we face is when white men (straight) won't stand up to the local female power (bullying) network. So that when a major executive in a large corporation won't stand up to a female executive--we all loose. So that when a white male refused to stand up to the take over of our churches we all lose. I need to know how, or if Jewish men stand up to the women in their local community of worship, or if/how they stand up to them in the workplace? Does it happen at all and if so is there a support system for these men in the Jewish community -- some tradition or system of shared respect of collaboration among equals that we did not have in the Protestant churches.
"3 Americans praised for subduing gunman on European train..."
There were over 500 passengers on that Thalys train.
Those Americans disrupted and defeated a terrorist attack by an Islamist (let's call a spade a spade). Had they and one or two other passengers not reacted as promptly, selflessly and courageously as they did, there would have been a massacre.
Oh, and for those who would quibble about drone strikes, more good news: Haji Mutazz, number two man in of the Islamic State, was knocked off by a drone on 18 August.
Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!
Perhaps true, but she set up the system that was outside the information security infrastructure. Also, they are finding information that anyone, especially a person with classifier authority should have recognized as "classified at birth". Yet, she never alerted the information security officers of the leak.
Scott Adams has an interesting take on Trump and why he is confusing the politicals, pundits and politicians alike. And how amusing that the creator of Dilbert seems to see through the Trump dust better than most?
Political Reporters Cover a Business Candidate
That is just one of several good, recent, posts on Trump. Not supporting, just exploring Trump's use of persuasion and negotiation skills. I agree, Trump is defining the ground for this election and probably setting himself up to be kingmaker. He's doing this by exploiting the unmet need of the populace for clear talk and real hope. Things the regular politicians couldn't get past their handlers.
"Perhaps true, but she set up the system that was outside the information security infrastructure."
No, she didn't. She simply set up her own email server system. Anyone can do that and it makes perfect sense that the Clintons - as a corporation - might have such a capability.
The key issue remains how classified material came to be on that system. And I'm betting that could be her ultimate plan of defence.
I completely agree that the questionable probity of a Secretary of State doing what she has done ought to have destroyed Clinton's bid for the presidency right there. But it hasn't yet. The question is: will it?
(Heck, courtesy of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, all kinds of people - including me - have US-classified materials on their hard-drives and servers.)
Ten New Reasons to Worry About the Iran Deal
First, the Associated Press (AP) reported that it saw a copy of a draft agreement between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran, which has now been made publicly available. According to two anonymous officials, the text does not differ from the final confidential deal between Iran and the IAEA regarding Parchin, the site of Iran’s nuclear weaponization program. Startlingly, according to the document, IAEA officials will rely on Iran’s own experts to take a limited number of environmental samples, videos, and photographs for review by the Vienna-based nuclear watchdog. Moreover, the IAEA would only be granted a single visit to the site “as a courtesy” by Tehran.
If accurate ...
Oh gee whiz, didn't even get past the first one. That AP story has already been 'corrected'.
Rest assured, though, the story will continue to reverberate in the right wing echo chamber that Obama, and every major western country, has given Iran the bomb so their own countries can be nuked, all part of a nefarious plot to seize power by people who are already in power.
Hillary -- Don't Look Down!
While the Clinton server did have a current security certificate, email is generally not secure unless encryption is used on both ends, and therefore is not normally used for classified information. Some classified information may have been sent by email, probably because it wasn't marked, or because there were discussions that may have involved classified information, though sometimes that same information is available through non-classified sources.
The primary responsibility is for record-keeping, and the law charges Clinton with deciding what is pertinent and what is not.
You would think after going to prison for Whitewater, and then being hung for treason after Benghazi, that Clinton would have learned her lesson.
Would it be true to say that all the candidates, Except Trump, have handlers?
Did Churchill, Truman or Lincoln have handlers?
re Ten Things You Didn’t Know Were Racist
Since they have no gone to degrees of separation to determine what is racist, I am surprised the production of cotton hasn't been banned.
After all, slaves had to tend cotton for all those years.
And while we are at it, shouldn't we ban fried chicken and watermelon as well?
feeblemind: I am surprised the production of cotton hasn't been banned.
Not safe for work. Frankly, just not safe.
re: Ten Things You Didn’t Know Were Racist. After following the links and reading who is making all these allegations I have to say: David Simon, Ron Rosenbaum, Eliot Bronstein, Naomi Klein, why do well-off Jews hate the goyim so much? Or is it racist to point that out? Perhaps they being racist by labeling everything (and by inference everyone else) racist. Yes, I know Jews aren't a race but neither are Hispanics. Don't they have something better to do, like burn some books they don't like or something?
"You would think after going to prison for Whitewater, and then being hung for treason after Benghazi, that Clinton would have learned her lesson."
"Did Churchill, Truman or Lincoln have handlers?"
Though we might not recognize them as such, they probably did.
The Corker bill requires that all side agreements be disclosed. Obummer new the contents of this agreement but refused to release the text of the agreement. Why, if there's nothing to hide?
It wasn't enough that we are giving terrorists $150B and access to the oil market without even a suggestion they would change their behavior. It wasn't enough that the Iranian regime still chants "Death to America, Death to Israel". It wasn't enough that the inspection regime required almost a month of warning before an inspection took place. It wasn't enough that US inspectors were barred from any inspections. It wasn't enough that the arms embargo on Iran would be lifted. It wasn't enough that Iran already broke the deal when Quds Force commander, Soleimani, who is responsible for thousands of US deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, visited Putin in Moscow. And it wasn't enough that we are obligated to defend Iran nuclear sites against attack. But now, we find out that the UN is fine with Iran inspecting their own nuclear site to develop a baseline for further inspections.
Yeah, this is a GREAT deal!
mudbug: The Corker bill requires that all side agreements be disclosed.
The U.S.-Iran agreement charges the IAEA with inspections.
mudbug: the contents of this agreement but refused to release the text of the agreement.
The agreement between the IAEA and Iran is not something the U.S. controls.
mudbug: It wasn't enough that we are giving terrorists $150B
Just to be clear, it was their $150 billion.
mudbug: and access to the oil market without even a suggestion they would change their behavior.
They've agreed to intrusive inspections, and to pushing back their breakout capability to a year.
mudbug: It wasn't enough that the Iranian regime still chants "Death to America, Death to Israel".
So? They have reason to be angry at the U.S. It will take time to build a new relationship.
mudbug: It wasn't enough that the inspection regime required almost a month of warning before an inspection took place.
Inspections can be moved up when required.
mudbug: It wasn't enough that US inspectors were barred from any inspections.
The IAEA is charged with the inspections. The U.S. has used international inspections in order to spy, so it's not unlikely that the Iranians don't want Americans as part of the inspection team.
mudbug: It wasn't enough that the arms embargo on Iran would be lifted.
The arms embargo was always meant to be lifted once a deal on nuclear arms was reached.
mudbug: It wasn't enough that Iran already broke the deal when Quds Force commander, Soleimani, who is responsible for thousands of US deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, visited Putin in Moscow.
Perhaps, but Iran and Russia are cooperating on stopping Islamic State, so such a meeting may have occurred.
mudbug: And it wasn't enough that we are obligated to defend Iran nuclear sites against attack.
It's a standard clause. The international community will help Iran secure their nuclear materials from terrorist threats, but not from military attack.
mudbug: But now, we find out that the UN is fine with Iran inspecting their own nuclear site to develop a baseline for further inspections.
People keep talking about classified information but there is the other problem: official communication needs, by law, to be preserved and processed through official channels whether secret or not.
She ignored this.
Regarding the 'loser' kids article. I firmly agree that only the most outstanding should receive trophies but there is another level too.
Kids are notorious for signing up for sports, then dropping out. There is nothing wrong with a lesser item, certificate perhaps, acknowledging the kids that showed up for practice and stuck it out till the end of season. That's a valuable life lesson. In the adult world you don't get a certificate but you do get to keep your job.
"As a newspaper report explained, “To protect the other children’s self esteem, there are no MVPs."
Does awarding an MVP hurt their self esteem more than assuming they are too stupid to realize that some kids are better athletes than others?
Zach, you have too much faith in the major media. It's owned and operated by white men working for The Man! Fight the power!
Z: he agreement between the IAEA and Iran is not something the U.S. controls.
So what. Any side deals (e.g. IAEA-Iran) were required to be disclosed by the Corker bill. They were not and the administration did everything it could to keep them secret. The fact that the US doesn't control them is irrelevant to the bill signed into law by Obummer.
Z: Just to be clear, it was their $150 billion.
So what. Do you remember why we froze it? As I say, there has not been even a suggestion that they would change their behavior with regards to anybody so I ask again, why are we giving (back) $150B to people who have sworn to continue funding and supporting terrorism?
Z: They've agreed to intrusive inspections, and to pushing back their breakout capability to a year.
Not really that intrusive and having a breakout capability means they will have a bomb. What a happy thought!
Z: It will take time to build a new relationship.
You're joking, right?! They don't hate us because of anything we did, they hate us because we value (though less so now a days) freedom and pluralism. They hate us because we support Israel (though less so now a days). We basically gave away the store and they still hate us. They're not even willing to soften their rhetoric. And on what is this new relationship to be based? Mutual respect? Shared values? Mutual and constructive action? Dream on! This is a GREAT start to a new relationship!
Z: The arms embargo was always meant to be lifted once a deal on nuclear arms was reached.
Lifting the arms embargo makes Iran stronger. In fact, the whole deal makes them stronger. Who else does it help (other than Russia and maybe China)? Our allies? They don't think so.
Z: [WRT Soleimani visiting Putin against the intent of the deal] Perhaps, but Iran and Russia are cooperating on stopping Islamic State, so such a meeting may have occurred.
Not 'perhaps', they admitted that it happened. He was not allowed to travel under UN sanctions. I guess we know how much Iran values UN sanctions.
Z: [WRT to our promise to defend Iranian nuke sites from any attack] It's a standard clause. The international community will help Iran secure their nuclear materials from terrorist threats, but not from military attack.
Standard clause? What?! Are you saying we routinely promise to defend people who want to kill us? Did we make that deal with North Korea? Russia? Anybody? Even if you could prove it is common, that doesn't mean we have to do it this time. Do you think this makes any sense at all? If we and Israel have reason to believe they have a nuke and they are preparing to attack Israel, are we supposed to defend Iran against Israel? This is lunacy!
But the whole thing is another lunatic move by a lunatic administration.
Hopefully by the media giving out their names they won't become targets for other jihadis as their is a fatwa out for US service men by IS.
Truly brave men. Another jihadi loser.
Face it Bob, if Trump was a dem, he'd be the front runner, with the cachet of an entrepreneurial rogue promising 'hope and change' and if Hillary was a republican, she'd be unfit for office. And it would all be proof that the democrats were the 'reality-based party' and the republicans were the stupid party.
Drop the mindless party affiliation. Free yourself and see how hopelessly corrupt and self-serving both parties have become.
don't vote them in. or adhere to a traditional form of Christianity where the local congregation isn't in control of hiring its spiritual leadership or making up doctrine.
why would you worry about the vote of corporate officers?
Here’s how to make sure your kid grows up to be a loser
holy shi'ite, Harrison is a total asshat. so what if a kid gets a participation trophy, how on earth is that hurting anyone except the overly inflated egos of parents who had to walk to and from school uphill in blizzards?
I bet everyone here, except -- and you know who you are -- has a wall of trophies not earned in the NFL, NHL, NBA, or MLB. you should be ashamed of your failed grasp at excellence.
mudbug: So what. Any side deals (e.g. IAEA-Iran) were required to be disclosed by the Corker bill.
It's not a side-deal. The IAEA is an independent agency charged with the inspections. It obviously entails working with the governments involved.
mudbug: So what. Do you remember why we froze it?
International sanctions were imposed due to concerns about Iran's nuclear program.
mudbug: Not really that intrusive and having a breakout capability means they will have a bomb.
They already have the technology to build a bomb. They have agreed to not build a bomb during the term of the agreement, and to lengthen their breakout capability, giving the world time to respond if they break the agreement.
mudbug: They don't hate us because of anything we did
What world do you live in? The U.S. deposed Iran's democratically elected government in 1953, then imposed and supported a pro-Western dictatorship. They supported Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War, though Iraq was the aggressor, including the use of chemical weapons. Even recently, a major candidate for president of the United States openly advocated bombing Iran.
mudbug: He was not allowed to travel under UN sanctions.
Iran didn't agree to sanctions. Any fault would be with Russia. As Iran and Russia are cooperating on the fight against ISIS, no one raised objections.
mudbug: Are you saying we routinely promise to defend people who want to kill us?
Countries who abide by nuclear non-proliferation are always given help to secure their nuclear materials lest they fall into the hands of terrorists.
mudbug: Did we make that deal with North Korea? Russia?
Yes, and yes.