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   PoliticsPolitics for Pros- moderated

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To: Brian Sullivan who wrote (528991)1/25/2013 5:36:25 PM
From: Alan Smithee
   of 763140
With health insurance, at least in Washington State, there is a question on the policy application "have you used tobacco products in the past 12 months." If one is a smoker, that fact will likely be reflected in prior medical records. Answer "no" and your benefits will be in doubt.

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To: LindyBill who wrote (528965)1/25/2013 5:46:03 PM
From: Maurice Winn
2 Recommendations   of 763140
Perhaps it's big government thinking which creates the problem. Big Government people treat "civilians" as serfs or cattle to be milked or sheep to be fleeced. But in olde-style tribal places, civilians and warriors are part of the same thing.
Even as French troops worry about killing civilians, it is unclear who the civilians are and where their sympathies lie. Ethnic, religious and regional rivalries, as well as old and unsettled vendettas, also are posing obstacles. . .
So Islamic Jihadist soldiers [called terrorists in the silly western world lingo] have the support of most of their Moslem "civilians". Hence the cheering in Islamic Jihad land when the Twin Towers collapsed and thousands of infidels died.

"Winning hearts and minds" is not such a simple thing as going in and "taking out the terrorists" so the happy serfs can go back to being little economic nodes of whatever the invaders decide should boss them around [even if it's a gerrymandered "democracy"].

It's not surprising that "defeating the terrorists" is such hard work.


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To: Brian Sullivan who wrote (528991)1/25/2013 6:36:58 PM
From: D. Long
   of 763140
You sure can lie about smoking on your health insurance application. You just mark "no" where it asks if you smoke tobacco products.

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To: SteveinTX who wrote (528984)1/25/2013 7:31:15 PM
From: sm1th
   of 763140
Made me think something has gone rotten at the company.

It happened after Boeing bought McDonnel Douglas and changed from being primarily a maker of planes for commercial customers to being primarily a defense contractor.

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To: Ish who wrote (528949)1/25/2013 8:49:56 PM
From: Farmboy
   of 763140
I was in my local Wally World today, and I believe they had one in stock. Know it was a lever action Marlin, but not sure of the caliber.

Guess anything that goes 'bang' is in high demand these days.


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From: LindyBill1/25/2013 8:59:36 PM
4 Recommendations   of 763140
Hillary lip-synced more than Beyoncé


Syndicated columnist

If I'm following this correctly, according to one spokesperson for the Marine Corps Band, at Monday's Inauguration Beyoncé lip-synced to the national anthem but the band accompanied her live. However, according to a second spokesperson, it was the band who were pretending to play to a tape while Beyoncé sang along live. So one or the other of them was faking it. Or maybe both were. Or neither. I'd ask Chuck Schumer, the master of ceremonies, who was standing right behind her, but he spent the entire performance staring at her butt. If it was her butt, that is. It might just have been the bulge of the Radio Shack cassette player she was miming to. In an America with an ever more tenuous grip on reality, there's so little to be sure of.

Whether Beyoncé was lip-syncing to the band or the band were lip-syncing to Beyoncé is like one of those red pill / blue pill choices from "The Matrix." Was President Obama lip-syncing to the Founders, rooting his inaugural address in the earliest expressions of American identity? ("The patriots of 1776 ... gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.") Or maybe the Founders were lip-syncing to him as he appropriated the vision of the first generation of Americans and yoked it ("preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action") to a statist pitch they would have found utterly repugnant.

The whole event had the air of a simulacrum: It looked like a presidential inauguration, but the sound was tinny and not quite in sync. Obama mouthed along to a canned vocal track: "We reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future." That's great! It's always reassuring to know the head of state is going to take issue will all those people wedded to the "belief" that America needs either to shove every granny off the cliff or stake its newborns out on the tundra for the wolves to finish off. When it comes to facing the music, Obama is peerless at making a song and dance about tunes nobody's whistling without ever once warbling the real big numbers (16 trillion). But, like Beyoncé, he's totally cool and has a cute butt.

A couple of days later, it fell to the 45th president-in-waiting to encapsulate the ethos of the age in one deft sound bite: What difference does it make? Hillary Clinton's instantly famous riposte at the Benghazi hearings is such a perfect distillation that it surely deserves to be the national motto of the United States. They should put it on Paul Krugman's trillion-dollar coin, and in the presidential oath:

"Do you solemnly swear to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States?"

"Sure. What difference, at this point, does it make?"

Well, it's the difference between cool and reality – and, as Hillary's confident reply appeared to suggest, and the delirious media reception of it confirmed, reality comes a poor second in the Obama era. The presumption of conservatives has always been that, one day, cold, dull reality would pierce the klieg-light sheen of Obama's glamour. Indeed, that was the premise of Mitt Romney's reductive presidential campaign. But, just as Beyoncé will always be way cooler than some no-name operatic soprano or a male voice choir, so Obama will always be cooler than a bunch of squaresville yawneroos boring on about jobs and debt and entitlement reform. Hillary's cocksure sneer to Sen. Johnson of Wisconsin made it explicit. At a basic level, the "difference" is the difference between truth and falsity, but the subtext took it a stage further: no matter what actually happened that night in Benghazi, you poor sad loser Republicans will never succeed in imposing that reality and its consequences on this administration.

And so a congressional hearing – one of the famous "checks and balances" of the American system – is reduced to just another piece of Beltway theater. "The form was still the same, but the animating health and vigor were fled," as Gibbon wrote in "The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire." But he's totally uncool, too. So Hillary lip-synced far more than Beyoncé, and was adored for it. "As I have said many times, I take responsibility," she said. In Washington, the bold declarative oft-stated acceptance of responsibility is the classic substitute for responsibility: rhetorically "taking responsibility," preferably "many times," absolves one from the need to take actual responsibility even once.

In the very same self-serving testimony, the Secretary of State denied that she'd ever seen the late Ambassador Stevens' cables about the deteriorating security situation in Libya on the grounds that "1.43 million cables come to my office" – and she can't be expected to see all of them, or any. She is as out of it as President Jefferson, who complained to his Secretary of State James Madison, "We have not heard from our ambassador in Spain for two years. If we have not heard from him this year, let us write him a letter." Today, things are even worse. Hillary has apparently not heard from any of our 1.43 million ambassadors for four years. When a foreign head of state receives the credentials of the senior emissary of the United States, he might carelessly assume that the chap surely has a line of communication back to the government he represents. For six centuries or so, this has been the minimal requirement for functioning interstate relations. But Secretary Clinton has just testified that, in the government of the most powerful nation on Earth, there is no reliable means by which a serving ambassador can report to the Cabinet minister responsible for foreign policy. And nobody cares: What difference does it make?

Nor was the late Christopher Stevens any old ambassador but, rather, Secretary Clinton's close personal friend "Chris." It was all "Chris" this, "Chris" that, when Secretary Clinton and President Obama delivered their maudlin eulogies over the flag-draped coffin of their "friend." Gosh, you'd think if they were on such intimate terms, "Chris" might have had Hillary's email address, but apparently not. He was just one of 1.43 million close personal friends cabling the State Department every hour of the day.

Four Americans are dead, but not a single person involved in the attack and the murders has been held to account. Hey, what difference does it make? Lip-syncing the national anthem beats singing it. Peddling a fictitious narrative over the coffin of your "friend" is more real than being an incompetent boss to your most vulnerable employees. And mouthing warmed-over clichés about vowing to "bring to justice" those responsible is way easier than actually bringing anyone to justice.

And so it goes:

Another six trillion in debt? What difference does it make?

An economic stimulus bill that stimulates nothing remotely connected with the economy? What difference does it make?

The Arab Spring? Aw, whose heart isn't stirred by those exhilarating scenes of joyful students celebrating in Tahrir Square? And who cares, after the cameras depart, that Egypt's in the hands of a Jew-hating 9/11 truther whose goons burn churches and sexually assault uncovered women?

Obama is the ultimate reality show, and real reality can't compete. Stalin famously scoffed, "How many divisions has the Pope?" Secretary Clinton was more audacious: How many divisions has reality? Not enough.

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From: LindyBill1/25/2013 9:18:05 PM
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More Great Moments in Failed Predictions
from Power Line by Steven Hayward
(Steven Hayward) A few days ago in “ Great Moments in Failed Predictions” John visited what Bjorn Lomborg called in another context “The Litany” of environmental doom and gloom culminating in the spectacular flameouts of Paul Ehrlich. As I noted in a recent spindle dump (Item #4), the “population bomb” turned out to be a wet firecracker. (I’ll add, in passing, that I have debated Paul Ehrlich twice, and believe it or not he is more edifying to debate against than anyone from the Sierra Club, or NRDC, or other corrupt lobby organization.)

Today Science magazine reports that the other great environmental scare of our time (after global warming, that is)—species extinction—is vastly overestimated. The full article is behind a subscriber paywall, but here’s some of the account in The Telegraph:

Professor Mark Costello, from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, said that globally, around one per cent of species are likely to be vanishing per decade rather than the five per cent figure some experts have proposed.

“Our findings are potentially good news for the conservation of global biodiversity,” said lead scientist Costello.

“Over-estimates of the number of species on Earth are self-defeating because they can make attempts to discover and conserve biodiversity appear to be hopeless,” he said.

“Our work suggests that this is far from the case.

“We believe that with just a modest increase in effort in taxonomy and conservation, most species could be discovered and protected from extinction.”

Co-author Professor Nigel Stork, from Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, said: “Surprisingly, few species have gone extinct, to our knowledge.

In other words, we have once again an environmental problem that is a normal problem, requiring sensible and strenuous effort to be sure (just like other normal problems), but not a world-ending problem that requires we surrender more power and wealth to government, which is Ehrlich’s default position to every crisis problem.

Now I know what you’re thinking, and no, I’m sorry, they’re going to have to do better than this. I’m not going to give out a coveted Green Weenie for just another failed prediction. Standards for giving a Green Weenie have risen.

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From: LindyBill1/25/2013 9:27:37 PM
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Sorry to see Rand Paul out there addressing the "Pro-life" crowd in DC today. It does help him with the nomination in 15.

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From: LindyBill1/25/2013 9:37:08 PM
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We are all riding high in the market. Guess people figure things are going to quiet down for a while and not get worse. Plus, what to do with your cash? We all know it's got to be in some kind of commodity, not greenbacks.

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From: LindyBill1/26/2013 12:12:32 AM
13 Recommendations   of 763140
This is the first in a series of posts on this subject. I will eventually have it to a major article size. To be found in the header under "My Philosophy."

The reason I have a problem with a lot people is because almost everything they believe is wrong.

Telling them this only upsets them. Where does their misunderstanding spring from? From misunderstanding of the the three basic questions of life. Rand did a wonderful job of explaining them.

Where am I?

How do I know it?

What should I do?

Where am I
is called, in Philosophy, METAPHYSICS. The study of the fundamental nature of the universe. Is this the real world or is there one beyond it? I agree with Aristotle in believing this is the real world.

How do I know it is called, in Philosophy, EPISTEMOLOGY. The study of the nature and scope of knowledge. Aristotle believed in the use of reason. Plato believed the Universe was beyond reason. I am a follower of Aristotle.

What should I do is called, in Philosophy, ETHICS. The study of a system of moral principles by which to live. It involves systematizing concepts of right and wrong conduct. Here Socrates and Aristotle defined it as self-realization, the awareness of one's nature and the development of one's talents, as the surest path to happiness. How should you live if you were alone on an island?

I consider those three principals to be the foundation of Western Civilization. It's also why I consider Aristotle to be the most important man who ever lived. Because he found and expounded those ideas. If you wonder why the people who grow up in Islamic and Asian cultures are so different from us, start with the fact that their cultures are not based on those three ideas.

This leads to dealing with others. Here most will immediately jump to the State. But I look upon it as:

How should I deal with other people? By the use of:

POLITICS. The study of the use of ethical behavior in dealing with others. What I use here is definition of property as "a person's life, and all non-procreative derivatives of it." You own yourself, your ideas and what you morally acquire. PROPERTY works the same way in politics that ENERGY works in physics. It's the basis for all discussion.

A moral action is one that does not interfere with anyone else's property.

I will continue from this point later.

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