Tuesday, September 02, 2014


Today on his radio show:
"We won in Iraq"
His point was that Pres. Obama is throwing a marvelous victory.


This important post from Coates should be on a blog:


In 1995, Henry Kissinger was looking back nostalgically at the Cold War because it was a much simpler global political arrangement:
"The danger of nuclear war diminishes, but the incidence of other wars increases," he told about 1,000 people at the annual fund-raising event at Temple Adath Israel.
Ironically, the United States' approach to a new foreign policy has been complicated by the end of the Cold War, he said.
"In my day, you could say, if it's good for the Soviet Union, it's probably bad for us," said Kissinger, 71, who served as secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford, from 1973 to 1977. "It was a good rule of thumb.
In 2014, he still is looking for a Simpler World Order:
Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order
The concept that has underpinned the modern geopolitical era is in crisis
By Henry Kissinger
Updated Aug. 29, 2014 12:04 p.m. ET
Wall Street Journal

The economic system has become global, while the political structure of the world remains based on the nation-state. Economic globalization, in its essence, ignores national frontiers. Foreign policy affirms them, even as it seeks to reconcile conflicting national aims or ideals of world order.

A third failing of the current world order, such as it exists, is the absence of an effective mechanism for the great powers to consult and possibly cooperate on the most consequential issues.

The contemporary quest for world order will require a coherent strategy to establish a concept of order within the various regions and to relate these regional orders to one another.

Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course. But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.
The mention of American Exceptionalism is Kissinger's way of pandering to the Baggers & Neo-Cons and amounts to a renunciation of true Liberalism.

The Philadelphia Inquirer
MAY 11, 1995 Thursday WEST EDITION
LENGTH: 653 words

Monday, September 01, 2014


(h/t Barry Ritholtz)

it's worth posting because of all the conservative talk about "the makers" vs. "the takers."  From Pew Research:


I first heard about wage theft about 40 years ago from a friend who wasn't paid for overtime at a McDonald's in upper upstate NY and it seems that this has been happening for decades. 
More Workers Are Claiming ‘Wage Theft

AUG. 31, 2014

The lawsuit is part of a flood of recent cases — brought in California and across the nation — that accuse employers of violating minimum wage and overtime laws, erasing work hours and wrongfully taking employees’ tips.

Julie Su, the state labor commissioner, recently ordered a janitorial company in Fremont to pay $332,675 in back pay and penalties to 41 workers who cleaned 17 supermarkets. She found that the company forced employees to sign blank time sheets, which it then used to record inaccurate, minimal hours of work.

Commissioner Su of California said wage theft harmed not just low-wage workers. “My agency has found more wages being stolen from workers in California than any time in history,” she said. “This has spread to multiple industries across many sectors. It’s affected not just minimum-wage workers, but also middle-class workers.”

“This is just not acceptable,” Mr. Weil said. “You can’t threaten people to lose their jobs because they are asserting rights that go back 75 years.”


(see here) maybe "Face the Firing Squad" would be appropriate considering all her lies and mistakes since 2000:
- Pletka was willing to deny funding to the IAEA just to prevent the Palestinians from getting a seat on it.
- Pletka has defended the American use of torture.
- Pletka falsely accused Chuck Hagel of being an anti-Semite.
- Pletka refuses to acknowledge the implications of not finding WMD in Iraq.
- Pletka refused to acknowledge the success of Operation Desert Fox.
- Pletka denounced the 2007 NIE on Iran as purposely deceptive.
- Pletka denounced the 2006 report by the Iraq Study Group that concluded Iraq was on the verge of disintegrating.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


The inconsistencies in the Bible are symptomatic of general problems with old writings and certainly not limited to the West.  For example, there most likely wasn't a Lao Tzu, the purported author of the Tao Te Ching and the Analects of Confucius were written down by his followers after his death and some were written by their disciples.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


(h/t The Raw Story)

I have previously posted some of the textual issues in the Old Testament and today I found several in the New Testament:
Father Dan's Easter Quiz:

1. Who first came to the tomb on Sunday morning?
a. one woman (John 20:1)
b. two women (Matt. 28:1)
c. three women (Mark 16:1)
d. more than three women (Luke 23:55-56; 24:1,10)

2. She (they) came
a. while it was still dark (Matt. 28:1; John 20:1)
b. after the sun had risen (Mark 16:2)

3. The woman (women) came to the tomb
a. to anoint the body of Jesus with spices (Mark 16:1-2; Luke 24:1)
b. just to look at it (Matt. 28:1; John 20:1)

4. The women had obtained the spices
a. on Friday before sunset (Luke 23:54-56; 24:1)
a. after sunset on Saturday (Mark 16:1)

5. The first visitor(s) was/were greeted by
a. an angel (Matt. 28:2-5)
b. a young man (Mark 16:5)
c. two men (Luke 24:4)
d. no one (John 20:1-2)

6. The greeter(s)
a. was sitting on the stone outside the tomb (Matt 28:2)
b. was sitting inside the tomb (Mark 16:5)
c. were standing inside the tomb (Luke 24:3-4)

7. After finding the tomb empty, the woman/women
a. ran to tell the disciples (Matt. 28:7-8; Mark 16:10; Luke 24:9; John 20:2)
b. ran away and said nothing to anyone (Mark 16:8)

8. The risen Jesus first appeared to
a. Mary Magdalene alone (John 20:14; Mark 16:9)
b. Cleopas and another disciple (Luke 24:13,15,18)
c. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (Matt. 28:1,9)
d. Cephas (Peter) alone (1 Cor. 15:4-5; Luke 24:34)

9. Jesus first appeared
a. somewhere between the tomb and Jerusalem (Matt. 28:8-9)
b. Just outside the tomb (John 20:11-14)
c. in Galilee - some 80 miles (130 Km) north of Jerusalem (Mark 16:6-7)
d. on the road to Emmaus - Miles (11 Km) west of Jerusalem (Luke 24:13-15)
e. we are not told where (Mark 16:9; 1 Cor. 15:4-5)

10. The disciples were to see Jesus first
a. in Galilee (Mark 16:7; Matt. 28:7,10,16)
b. in Jerusalem (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:33,36; John 20:19; Acts 1:4)

11. the disciples were told that they would meet the risen Jesus in Galilee
a. by the women, who had been told by an angel of the Lord, then by Jesus himself after the resurrection (Matt. 28:7-10; Mark 16:7)
b. by Jesus himself, before the crucifiction (Mark 26:32)

12. The risen Jesus
a. wanted to be touched (John 20:27)
b. did not want to be touched (John 20:17)
c. did not mind being touched (Matt. 28:9-10)

13. Jesus ascended to Heaven
a. the same day that he was resurrected (Mark 16:9,19; Luke 24:13,28-36,50-51)
b. forty days after the resurrection (Acts 1:3,9)
c. we are not told that he ascended to Heaven at all (Matt. 28:10, 16-20; John 21:25; the original Gospel of Mark ends at 16:8)

14. The disciples received the Holy Spirit
a. 50 days after the resurrection (Acts 1:3,9)
b. in the evening of the same day as the resurrection (John 20:19-22)

15. The risen Jesus
a. was recognized by those who saw him (Matt. 28:9; Mark 16:9-10)
b. was not always recognizable (Mark 16:12; Luke 24:15-16,31,36-37; John 20:14-15)

16. The risen Jesus
a. was physical (Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:41-43; John 20:27)
b. was not physical (Mark 16:9,12,14; Luke 24:15-16,31,36-37; John 20:19,26; 1 Cor. 15:5-8)

17. The risen Jesus was seen by the disciples
a. presumably only once (Matt. 28:16-17)
b. first by two of them, later by all eleven (Mark 16:12-14; Luke 24:13-15,33,36-51)
c. three times (John 20:19,26; 21:1,14)
d. many times (Acts 1:3)

18. When Jesus appeared to the disciples
a. there were eleven of them (Matt. 28:16-17; Luke 24:33,36)
b. twelve of them (1 Cor. 15:5)


The state of Arizona has been on a roll over the last few months with several prominent cases of corruption, stupidity & malfeasance and fraud. Let's start with the worst:
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signs order abolishing state's CPS agency
abc15.com staff, wire reports
2:58 PM, Jan 13, 2014
10:31 PM, Jan 13, 2014
news | state

PHOENIX - During her State of the State address, Governor Jan Brewer announced that she has abolished the state's Child Protective Services department and has replaced it with a new division.

The move comes in response to an internal investigation that revealed 6,000 reports of child abuse or neglect were never investigated.

The Republican governor said she was ending the agency's oversight by the Department of Economic Security by executive order, saying the recent scandal "broke my heart and makes me angry."

"Enough with the uninvestigated reports of abuse and neglect. Enough with the lack of transparency. And enough with the excuses," she said.
This tragedy makes the little girl with the Uzi almost insignificant.

Only a little less disturbing is the incompetence at the State's medical licensing board:
Head of Arizona medical board resigns abruptly
Alia Beard Rau, The Republic | azcentral.com 4:54 p.m. MST August 29, 2014

Five months after the Arizona State Medical Board hired a replacement for ousted Executive Director Lisa Wynn, its new director has abruptly resigned. The board regulates and licenses physicians in Arizona.

According to a statement from board chairman Dr. Gordi Khera, Lloyd Vest resigned Wednesday, effective immediately.

Vest, 60, was hired in March to replace Wynn, who was fired days after the release of a lengthy ombudsman report that found she and the board's former deputy director were not fully vetting doctors' education, work history and disciplinary actions. Wynn denied wrongdoing, saying state officials sanctioned her actions as part of an effort to speed and modernize licensing practices.


Last week I heard an ad for solar power from this company on Limbaugh's show from KNST (Tucson) and I didn't understand the rationale behind putting that ad on a show that is against solar power.  According this DKo's post, other solar companies have also paid for ads on Limbaugh's show so I think we can chalk these instances up to another case of Free Market Fairy Fail.  It's been pretty clear to me that radio advertisers don't pay much attention to the shows they sponsor and in fact don't really know how effective radio ads are for their product or service.

Friday, August 29, 2014


FlushFools at DKos has an informative Rush Limbaugh that shows his ratings decline in several markets:
Even the sycophantic Talkers Magazine has begun to stop covering up Limbaugh's ratings decline:

As recently as February 2014, Talkers had Fats at 14.00+ and in 2012, 15.00+


was a neo-conservative newspaper, at least as far as the editorials go, and today we have some evidence that it's still a neo-con outlet because of this article:
Why Obama’s ‘we don’t have a strategy’ gaffe stings
By Aaron Blake August 29 at 6:30 AM
Only a neo-conservative warmonger can seriously think that this honesty about a tough problem is a gaffe. BTW, POLITICO isn't any better.


only a small minority of Americans report "a lot" of sympathy for Palestinians:
in spite of evidence like this:


(h/t Bob Gricycle)

I first learned about the decline in wage growth for the bottom 99% from David Cay Johnston and this graph shows the essential problem:


According to this article in The Economist, the total of bankster fines & penalties is at least $132.8 Billion:

Thursday, August 28, 2014


(h/t Atrios)

Too many Americans think like these people:

- In another part of town, Donald Storm thought about the war as well, particularly the sacrifices that soldiers made securing a country that’s now in a new stage of chaos.
“I feel a great sense of loss, but it just didn’t occur now,” Storm said. “It occurred when we started telling people our plans” to leave.
Storm is speaking as the former top official of the Kentucky National Guard, a man with 37 years in the military who saw 14 of his citizen-soldiers die in Iraq and another in Afghanistan.
“It’s disappointing. It’s disappointing,” he said. “I don’t think anybody associated with the operations in Iraq thought we could just leave these folks and they would have the infrastructure or anything else to sustain without some kind of help in the long term.”
“You either win a war or you lose a war,” he added. “You don’t just walk away from it.”

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/08/27/237898_for-kentucky-town-that-gave-much.html?sp=/99/100/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

- At the AMVETS Post 116 south of town, a wall is adorned with photos of fatigue-clad soldiers. One shows a young Joe Gross, perched atop an anti-aircraft gun named “Whispering Death.”
“They’re doing what they did in Vietnam,” he said. “We’ve got the might. But politics is what’s killing everything.”

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/08/27/237898_for-kentucky-town-that-gave-much.html?sp=/99/100/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

- Among those veterans are young ones such as Adam Campbell, who was severely wounded in Afghanistan, eventually spending 280 days in a hospital bed recuperating and undergoing five surgeries.
“I honestly feel we pulled out of Iraq too soon,” he said. “It was something done to gain political favor. All the loss we had, all the guys who made tremendous sacrifices. And for what?”

- And they are older ones, such as Bill Jones, who helps lead a local chapter of Disabled American Veterans. Pulling out of Iraq “was the worst mistake we could have ever done,” he said.

“I thought it at the time, and I still do,” he said over coffee at a Waffle House. “If you go and you spill your blood over there, and you come back and then it was all for naught – why did you go to start with? It doesn’t make any sense. Why sacrifice our men and woman in uniform if you’re not going to try to win the war?”

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


For years I have turned off my cell phone unless I was sure I was going to get an incoming call because I didn't want to be tracked by local, state or federal authorities. I really don't have anything to hide but I also really don't want to be a willing participant in the New Security State. I've suspected that turning off wasn't enough and now I know that's true:
Homeland Security Arms Local Cops With Super Spy Bug
By Peter Robison August 27, 2014
Bloomberg Business Week

The Tacoma News Tribune reported that police in Tacoma, Wash., bought—and quietly used for six years—surveillance equipment that can sweep up records of every mobile telephone call, text message, and data transfer up to a half-mile from the device.

Known as a Stingray and manufactured by Harris (HRS), a Pentagon contractor based in Melbourne, Fla., the device is small enough to be carried in a car. It tricks a mobile phone into thinking it’s a cell tower, drawing information, the paper said.

Is there any defense for phone users? Not really, says the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The technology can track phones even when they’re not making a call and often when powered down. The group says the only way to avoid tracking is to remove the battery, or to do something even more unthinkable: Leave the phone at home.


I expected that Western Europe would have the most religious diversity but I was terribly wrong.  Here are the top 20 countries for diversity according to Pew Research:

Country RDI Percent Christian Percent Muslim Percent Unaffiliated Percent Hindu Percent Buddhist Percent Folk Religions Percent Other Religions Percent Jewish
Singapore 9.0 18.2% 14.3% 16.4% 5.2% 33.9% 2.3% 9.7% < 0.1%
Taiwan 8.2 5.5% < 0.1% 12.7% < 0.1% 21.3% 44.2% 16.2% < 0.1%
Vietnam 7.7 8.2% 0.2% 29.6% < 0.1% 16.4% 45.3% 0.4% < 0.1%
Suriname 7.6 51.6% 15.2% 5.4% 19.8% 0.6% 5.3% 1.8% 0.2%
Guinea Bissau 7.5 19.7% 45.1% 4.3% < 0.1% < 0.1% 30.9% < 0.1% < 0.1%
Togo 7.5 43.7% 14.0% 6.2% < 0.1% < 0.1% 35.6% 0.6% < 0.1%
Ivory Coast 7.4 44.1% 37.5% 8.0% < 0.1% < 0.1% 10.2% 0.2% < 0.1%
South Korea 7.4 29.4% 0.2% 46.4% < 0.1% 22.9% 0.8% 0.2% < 0.1%
China 7.3 5.1% 1.8% 52.2% < 0.1% 18.2% 21.9% 0.7% < 0.1%
Benin 7.2 53.0% 23.8% 5.0% < 0.1% < 0.1% 18.1% < 0.1% < 0.1%
Hong Kong 7.2 14.3% 1.8% 56.1% 0.4% 13.2% 12.8% 1.5% < 0.1%
Mozambique 7.0 56.7% 18.0% 17.9% < 0.1% < 0.1% 7.4% < 0.1% < 0.1%
Macau 6.8 7.2% 0.2% 15.4% < 0.1% 17.3% 58.9% 1.0% < 0.1%
Mauritius 6.7 25.3% 16.7% 0.6% 56.4% < 0.1% 0.7% 0.3% < 0.1%
Cuba 6.5 59.2% < 0.1% 23.0% 0.2% < 0.1% 17.4% < 0.1% < 0.1%
Mongolia 6.5 2.3% 3.2% 35.9% < 0.1% 55.1% 3.5% < 0.1% < 0.1%
Netherlands 6.4 50.6% 6.0% 42.1% 0.5% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2%
Malaysia 6.3 9.4% 63.7% 0.7% 6.0% 17.7% 2.3% 0.2% < 0.1%
Burkina Faso 6.2 22.5% 61.6% 0.4% < 0.1% < 0.1% 15.4% < 0.1% < 0.1%
Japan 6.2 1.6% 0.2% 57.0% < 0.1% 36.2% 0.4% 4.7% < 0.1%