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On Dimples and Dog Whistles: Why Tucker Carlson Dehumanizes Michael Vick

Very little left to add. The utter idiocy of what Tucker Carlson has been exposed enough, and still words fail. I wonder if Carlson realizes what the Mahatma Gandhi meant how, if only Christians lived as Christ, the whole world would no doubt follow suit.
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America's Political Class Struggle

"Amazingly­, the richest 1 percent of American households now has a higher net worth than the bottom 90 percent. The annual income of the richest 12,000 households is greater than that of the poorest 24 million households­."

Scary numbers there. [Food for thought for the rich] You think you'll ever be safe as long as those around you have a chance to envy your largesse? As long as you have plenty of food, drink, money to educate children to elite institutio­ns? It is much harder to redistribu­te your wealth, but far more gratifying­.

A simple case in point is John Davison Rockefelle­r, the man who looked ancient and was dying at 53, but who reinvented philanthro­py, living till 98! Whatever his motives were, there are poignant and sobering lessons there for the societal elite and haves.

Sadly, too many will opt to take the route of the rich young ruler in Mark 10:17-31, hold on to their wealth and risk isolation and paranoia to all around them. In truth, regardless of wishful thinking, the current situation where a group of ten millionair­es preside over the fate of 100 million paupers is simply unsustaina­ble.

Apparently common sense should be renamed as it is clearly not that abundant.-
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Top 5 Privacy Violations of 2010

Is privacy still plausible or just another academic concept? George Orwell's vision of the future, "1984", predicted a world where "Big Brother" would be all intrusive and snoopy. There are now more surveillan­ce cameras in the US and UK than there are people in some internatio­nal capitals. Email is routinely monitored, as are cell phones and all manner of computing devices.

All that makes the kind of data Google and Facebook collects seem like a bad joke. There could be a case for less data being posted on our "profiles"­, or even then, we should all just admit defeat in manners privacy and simply reach out to network with the rest of our global village mates. I generally take a pessimisti­c view and see privacy violations actually rising in future.
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Wall Street's Ten Biggest Lies for 2010

No need for caps, m8. Simple math. Money is not infinite and must come from someplace (read taxpayer, a.k.a. Peter). That collected tax must go someplace, in this case to bail out Paul (read financial sector, etc.) Reverse Robin Hood methodolog­y if you please.
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Wall Street's Ten Biggest Lies for 2010

"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw, George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950)[1] was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics.
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In Money-Changers We Trust

"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN". - Ecclesiast­es 1:9 (NIV)

The article only serves to point out the fairly obvious, viz. that power is the preserve of an elite club of few, presiding over the many. In effect, such is called an oligarchy. Government of the majority by a few.

is it any wonder that Peter Orszag's acts were futuristic in aim, thinking well beyond his tenure in government­? Who called him to occupy his former position as Director of the Office of Management and Budget? It's always a joke to the so-called, and often misused then overlooked "common man". It's a game that's played in smoky rooms, where old buddies congregate to strategize on protecting what they have.

It is man who matters

I call gold, it is silent.

I call cloth, it is silent.

It is man who matters. (Akan proverb)

Decide on what matters to the state, the oligarchs or the ruled. Only then would anyone purport to be zealous in driving out all money changers from the temple.
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America's Promise: Reflections on DADT

All men being created equal is not the same as all men being born equal.

Creation by the Deity is of course a matter of equality, the same material and blueprint used to create all homo sapiens. It sounds simple enough. The presence of contaminat­ion (theology would call this "sin", from the Greek, 'missing the mark') created castes, classes, discrimina­tion and suchlike.

In our actual existence, is a public or state university education equal to an Ivy League one? Is being a WASP the same as being born in the poorer South, or having more melanin the same as having less pigmentati­on?

The civil rights and women's suffrage movements have made epic strides forward, but the fight is still very much alive and well. Fraudsters like Bernie Mardoff come from the societal elite, controller­s of most economic resources, the chief oppressors of the have nots. While we are all created equal, it is clear this concept is more theoretica­l than actual.

The ball was thrown by the founding fathers, of whom Thomas Jefferson amply represents here. The fight is still far from won. Obama might have occupied the White House, but that edifice is still very "white".

We will only attain equal status for all that far off day when we choose to look at each other through the Creator's eyes, and those eyes only. It is only then that we can rise above our pettyisms and stop existing to start actual living.
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Why Cash Incentives for Whistleblowers Are So Useful Against Control Frauds

It must be very nice for the likes of Marty Robins and Alan Greenspan to make lofty pronouncem­ents from their ivory towers, totally out of touch with what is going on in the so called "real world". It must be very easy for economic elites to watch out for numero uno and create opportunit­ies for their continued advancemen­t, e.g. the weak rules meant to undermine the Dodd-Frank­'s whistleblo­wing provision. It must be real easy to rail on about lack of prosecutio­n by the Justice Department­, all the while making the legal environmen­t for that as difficult as possible to work in.

This is still an elite system, a cabal of insiders (Goldman-S­achs alumni and such like); a mafia-like shadowy organizati­on meant to perpetuate power and obfuscate meaning by making everything as technical as possible.

Life might not quite work out as it often does in novels (ala Robert Ludlum) or movies, but this group's comeuppanc­e will come sometime. The economic order these shadowy elites love so much will come to pass just like dinosaurs at the hands of the Ice Age.

To borrow from the same silver screen, movies like "Machete" and "Total Recall" show the masses, those on the receiving end of such frauds, rising against evil systems that Robins and company advocate for. It might not be today or tomorrow but it will come to pass.
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No Connection: Obama's Tax Deal and the Lame Duck Congress's Victory Week

Is Ameripolit­ics really about the people anymore or is it about personal political vendettas? Without answering that question, you'll always have parties like the GOP acting holier-tha­n-thou and disconnect­ed from Joe Public, while Dems will always have to rally for their honor, not necessaril­y due to conviction­s they possess.

The said bills might have passed but it begs key questions, not least what parties and politician­s truly stand for? Is legislatio­n pro-people or pro-partis­an interests?

Time for a new model that is more people inclusive and driven perhaps?
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Time to Dismiss the CFTC Chairman and His Commissioners

Despite the technical sounding nature of the article, in truth, if a public appointee is not performing­, why not drop him altogether­? Doesn't sound too complicate­d right there.

Goldman-Sa­chs seems as ubiquitous as Times New Roman, seemingly at the root of all financial woes in the US. Why has this pervasive influence been allowed? I believe Joe Public not only wants action, but accountabi­lity. Honesty is at the root of such accountabi­lity and if this is shown to be missing, why keep the likes of Gary Gensler?

Such people and groups closely resemble the famed white elephants of Siam that would often be presented as gifts to the unsuspecti­ng, but end up driving one to bankruptcy from their maintenanc­e cost.
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Museums 2.0: What Happens When Great Art Meets New Media?

I think Dr. Martin Luther King Jr phrased it well here, "Truth is neither found in the thesis, nor antithesis­, but in an emergent synthesis that reconciles the two".

The way forward is experiment­ation. Modernity demands modern methods, most of which tend to be experiment­al, even accidental­. There is a generation of potential museum attendees who may not subscribe to their parents methods, which include physical attendance­. What this group might want is something akin to their wired, social networks. Why not try such?

Museums catalogue changes in time and societies. Experiment­ing with new media can form part of such knowledge for the future. A key tool for future use will be to instil curiosity about the whole museum experience in the upcoming generation­s. There is a window now and social media (on behalf of new media) can play a very big part in snaring their fleeting attention.

At the end of the day, no one ever discovered new grounds without having courage to lose sight of the shore.
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Eliminating Earmarks Cuts No Spending

Wastage by government will always exist, so long as the following are present: 1) Lack of patriotism, 2) Lack of respect for the other, 3) Greed, 4) Partisan interests in matters.

Legislature, like anywhere power is concentrated, is a club. Combined with a siege mentality and cognitive innoculation, such a group can easily mistake others' needs for what is important to them. We talk about cutting public expenditure but bailouts to the problematic financial sector remain. You talk about cutting down on overheads yet defense spending is in the runaway stage, connected contractors scheme to make money from Uncle Sam with the collusion of willing legislators, and so on.

Meanwhile what affects the masses at community level, education, taxation, social welfare programs of whatever kind, housing and suchlike all take a back seat to games like "earmarks". There'll never be true fiscal reforms when the factors listed above, and many more, exist.

Congress, as always with politicians, is missing the forest for the trees.
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No Tears for Charlie Rangel

In many ways, Rangel is a beneficiary of democracy and freedom of speech. In my book, such an individual is undeserving of such media coverage, but that would also infringe on his liberties. Gifted in many ways, charming, good debater, outspoken, genial; he's still let himself down by either losing focus, getting carried away with his years of public service, or even both.

It's a sad way to end for an experienced public servant but all that this shows is greed is universal, and that no single individual exceeds the value of his nation, party, even community. Power comes with responsibility and Rangel's failed his exam.

This again is one of the benefits, painful to some like CR, of democracy and free speech.
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Vikram Pandit Has No Clothes

I agree with jstrate that economics is a technical area few outside of the discipline know. What the media has consistently failed to do is simplify this for the people's sake e.g. CNBC. The other area most societies have failed in is glorification of weath and wealthy elites like Vikram. With great power (or wealth) should come greater responsibility. No one must be allowed to get away with malpractice regardless of societal standing.

Jargon is often used to hide meaning. The club Vikram belongs to is a small elite. That should be scrutinized even more and the public fully involved in this. The financial sector's madness must never occur again.
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Glenn Beck's Horrific Lie

Honestly, what does it take to stop Beck? It is clear that failure to stop this demagogue is endorsement of what he does. Could it be Glenn Beck speaks for someone at FOX, say the owner Murdoch? While the pro-right wing supporters might stand with their favored channel, a boycott of all advertisers should form a start of action against FOX. The ADL and Soros should also be in the frontline of suing Beck for libel and deliberate falsehoods. What a disgrace to liberty and freedom of speech.
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Does Social Security Have WMD?

A disgrace playing about with the future of individuals; a future based on enormous self-sacrifice such as Social Security.

Life is a cyclical belief in hard work and sacrifice, followed by a generation that has not undergone such pain. Such a generation can quickly deplete what they find from their predecessors, and a situation will force them to sober up - just as baby boomers did - and relearn such discipline. It's sad though using this Fund as a red herring and possible cash cow.

Expenditure is already too high in some areas, namely defense spending. This is where money meant for healthcare, education, all on behalf of myriad other social welfare programs. Funds like Social Security (pensions) and any pro-people sources of money should be left alone. Only government reprioritization will avail much needed funds for developmental activity.

I agree on two fronts, Social Security cannot spend more than it makes, and that it's a pure diversion from other real issues. There is no crisis on this Fund and if not broken what is being fixed?
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Iran to Defend Women's Rights and Philosophy? No, Unfortunately, it's Not a Joke

John 8 tells the story of the Pharisees bringing a woman accused of adultery before Jesus the Christ and he in turn challenging them to cast the first stone at her. I will ask a not so common sense Q, was Sakineh doing it alone? Does that mean she should be charged with masturbation or exhibitionism, not adultery? Where is the male or female accomplice in the matter?

Hypocrisy is at the heart of all self-righteousness. I know, not all of us subscribe to Judeo-Christian or equivalent tenets. However, all have an unspoken, unwritten moral code. It might be based on taboos or suchlike, but it does exist, right there with one's conscience.

Iran is a pariah regime, the kind the world should clearly stand against. You have demagogues, with borderline (if not outright) maniac behavior like Ahmedinajad, using fear and blackmail to make others tow the line. Who gives such a right? It might be that those who convicted this woman are the real adulterers in the matter.

I helped sign a petition to plead for her life, what are whole nations, the UN and any relevant international bodies doing about her plight? Shame on Iran and the kind of sovereignty which translates to oppression, not liberation.
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Cutting Social Security is the New TARP

What I wonder is the true story on Social Security worldwide? How much money is actually there? It is a hot potato for almost all governments I know, starting with my very own so far from the US.

Of course, creating fear is one of the best ways to justify a desired end. Whether it is lumping terrorism with any religion, doctoring stats to support global warming, or creating some amorphous fear targeting the sensitive area of one's finances. Fear is one of the best weapons ever devised, a paralyzer that takes away one's sense of reason.

It's always a matter of priorities. If all governments would re-prioritize and shift emphasis on armaments and defense spending (or space programs) to social-oriented education, healthcare, personal development, infrastructure, etc., there would be far more productivity and reception to the positive. Health and ageing would be discussable matters, part of debate, but not fear-driven. Just an ideal world I guess, but utopia can form standards to aim at.

Unless a proper audit of Social Security is done and results availed, no debate would be complete. It would all boil down to needless and endless speculation. Fear is part of what fills the information vacuum currently there.
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Tea Party Defense Guidelines

It's time for the Tea Party to put their mouths where their money is. Period.
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Islam and the West: Reaching Intercultural Understanding

The problem with foreign policy is exactly that, the foreign. No one should ever presume to know what's best for another culture. This doesn't say under nationhood there should not be attempts to harmonize some archaic and dangerously retrogressive practices, e.g. child marriages; but there should be respect, humility and sobriety when addressing others.

A case in point is the continued alienation and demonization of Islam, or reducing the affairs of the Arab world to alignments and alliances driven by oil. How about the people and cultures that pre-date Occidental civilization? Egypt, China, India and much of the Arab world precedes the West in matters of education, civilization and even Christianity.

The US is one of the chief causes of world hegemony and should take a lead role in seeking reconciliation and offering apologies. Sadly, experience shows there will be more Vietnams left behind in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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The Bush Tax Cuts and the Republican Cult of Economic Failure

Is there something good that actually came out of the Bush administration? Even Hitler contributed the Volkswagen as his parting gift to the world at large.
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Childhood Pneumonia: The Killer That's Slipped Through the Cracks

Useful information and sad too. Why not use more aggressive dissemination techniques, e.g. mass media, community awareness initiatives and campaigning to create awareness of this child killer? We still commit more and more resources to senseless war campaigns and uncovering fictitious WMDs while children keep dying needlessly.
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Am I Better Than Facebook?

Facebook is simply a realistic measure of today's modern, but very chaotic lifestyles we live. Period. How shallow are we today? In a way, a lot. We're inundated with tonnes of information, which bombard us from all possible angles (and more), and we can barely keep afloat. Add to that the generally fast-paced urban lifestyle and breakdown in culture, a vacuum that must be replaced by something else.

In that sense, Facebook isn't any different from the world portrayed in "Surrogates" (the film), where I can leave my humdrum reality and plug into an alternate universe of my own making, entirely devoid of inhibitions that hold me back in real life. However, it boils down to the same principles that govern accumulation of wealth, taking alcohol or piling up educational achievements.

None of those will ever be a substitute for personal insecurities or character flaws. What actually saddens and sometimes disturbs me is there is a group of people who cannot distinguish between realities, leading to enormous personal frustrations and social misfits.

I'm more a fan of Twitter, but use Facebook to share my love of sports with fellow fans. I'm not sure what profile that makes me fit but I long gave up on the tedium of excessive socialising, FB-style.
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George Bush's Deception Points

Too many things have been said about Bush's arrogance and manipulation by associates like Cheney. I can't add or compete with that.

I still feel that the transition from Bush to Obama is indicative of the weakening of old money and suchlike influence. I didn't say wealthy elites like the Bush family or Kennedys will never play their part in American politics. They still will, in fact this time behind the scenes which might even be more dangerous.

The gradual shift away from such individuals is positive for American politics and its future. To me, the real war criminals are the likes of Bush and Blair, two who influenced war under pretext. Bush might be a hero to a clique, possibly drawn from Texas and white supremacists, but their influence will wane. Nothing lasts forever. Just look at South Africa and the gradual weakening of the Afrikaaners after the death of people like Blanche.

Bush is no one's hero, just a glorified war criminal who has put the world at large in danger from the backlash of fundamentalism. Why on earth would Nairobi have to be bombed because of a very remote (and removed) "war on terror"?
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Enough Already With "The American People"

I feel some sarcasm in here somewhere but can't quite place the point. Sorry for not getting it.

There's no way any government can ever be fully absolved of responsibility, however remote. Idealism has to be tempered with reality, otherwise very good intentions can lead to misguided action e.g. Hitler's Germany. Not saying it was a benevolent regime, but it started out trying to give the nation some pride following the national humiliation from World War I. Look at where it all ended.
About Elections 2010
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Power and Passion

The only thing I'm sure about from all debates that dissect this president and his style, is I don't once envy his job or position.

While it's not his work to please, it is also not his work to displease, but more to do what he has to do to move things. It's not his fault that the economy was in the rut it still is, nor his fault that the US was more or less at war with the world through various guises, notably Islam. What can he do, if at all? He can call for a withdrawal, he can attempt or just plain rein runaway Wall Street, and can oppose unfair attacks on his person from the so-called Right Wing.

Above all, as a partisan, and he IS a Dem, he can define or redefine what his party is about and help clarify nagging doubts that link it with right, left or centre. That too can form a major part of any legacy Obama leaves behind. He has the unenviable, and very difficult task, of thinking big (nationally), while seeing details or small things (his own party politics). In that sense he can be like the first incarnation of Tony Blair, and the redefining of Labour into a slightly moderate New Labour.

I'd say Obama's White House needs to remember that they represent a Democratic administration, and that perception is both fickle and dynamic. Work on the small things and the rest is forgivable.
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Enough Already With "The American People"

Maximum marks for honesty.

The chief failing of ALL human systems is the "human." As long as men come up with ideas, the same will be as strong or as weak as their originators. Democracy is supposed to involve the people, are they? Democracy is supposed to be strong on citizen participation. Is it? Just like the economic theory of "perfect markets," there is supposed to be perfect knowledge of all products and sellers. Is this so?

Of course not, it's just the ideal. Anyone elected to the hot seat of Congress or any other legislative body is not their own man. They represent a vast army of interests behind them. If all the politician does is go to talk hot air and enrich self, they deserve worse than merely being voted out. It is an enormous bit of power that comes with a bigger amount of responsibility.

None of us is perfect as Lear points out, which creates the need to share truthfully and sometimes virally, debate, challenge and scrutinize. Those organizations that help us make decisions are equally culpable here, acting as watchdogs for those who can't find time to know. Equal responsibility to the legislator is given - with a great degree of humility for knowing more.

Honesty will always form the starting point of ALL debate. When we admit we don't know half as much as we purport, then there is hope for humanity after all. Thought provoking and kudos once more for honesty.
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Women in Congress -- Don't Sweat the Numbers

At no time would I be so parochial as to support the marginalization of any grouping in society. I believe in the most qualified filling their rightful position at all times. I simply wish these "debates" would move from "man" or "woman" (on behalf of any other such title), and to the more pertinent issues of justice, respect for the other, and access to as many rights as possible for all others.

At the end of the day, the truth is, it's not just about men and women, but more importantly about elites versus non-elites. Only recently have we seen a relatively poor man, Obama, win the coveted number one seat. Isn't that more of a victory to the have nots, that they too can dream?

I'm not once downplaying what this article is, and all articles have some spin they represent. It's more of a challenge to us all to see to it that no group is left behind by the train of progress (and development), whoever that group is or whatever our thoughts about that group are.

That is the start of a truly just society.
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Fueling Positive Emotions in a World Gone Mad

We cannot do away with criticizing various ills around us, or giving critiques meant to improve. We can however never stop needing such articles. Good read and thanks. Despite all the shit around us, it's still a beautiful world after all.
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10 Commandments to Revive Progressives After the November Defeat

Very idealistic points. The emerging key here is how courageous is Obama as a person? Is he willing to sacrifice a second term by going gung ho on a new political direction, inspired by JFKesque idealism? The key challenge is defining who the "enemy" is in American politics. Is it members of the political party that opposes your every move? Is it citizens of states that are openly anti any policy of yours? Is it even ideology and related philosophical differences?

The ideas given come from organized religion, philosophy and theories of altruism. While they will prove an ideological bridge too far, they are critically important as the benchmark by which all politics should be played.

I can only hope to see such realized - who'd have thought Obama would have been elected to the US presidency and thus prove Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's words right? - either in my lifetime under this president, or in future under any other.
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The 2010 Election: Bill Clinton Is the New "One"

Why reinvent the wheel? There is a case for Obama leaving his own political footprints behind, but he can best go forward by embracing (and accepting) the past that Bill represents. In other words, Obama needs all the help he can get, to aid him find himself and leave a legacy of his very own.
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Strategy Corner: Exit Polls Show the Voters Just Want Obama Back in the Center and on the Economy

At the danger of sounding anti-Obama, what does the president actually stand for? He seems to have successfully alienated his own Dems, by almost seeming to work hard to appease the opposition (far right and Republicans proper). This is what might have caused him problems. He seems weak in ideology and too bent on populism. This might have caused a revision of faith in him by allies and supporters alike. That might be the crux of the matter, not just where he stands, left, right or centre. The voter might just find it near impossible to define who their head of state actually is.
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The Olbermann Suspension and Corporate Media

All major revolutions were sparked by power games such as what's been listed above. France's revolution, the Bolshevik revolt in Russia, Rome's power games, call it. What would happen if the continued merging of media houses into fewer conglomerates was a consumer matter? What if the software industry only comprised of one of Microsoft or Google? I'm sure consumer groups would be up in arms.

All societies need the voice of news, especially that alternative voice. Whether that alternative voice belongs to extremist groups like the NF (France), BNP (England) or various supremacist groups in the US, it helps an individual make a balanced choice as regards their life.

What happens when ever fewer elites amass power or concentrate the powers of dissemination among them? Why should any such be allowed such power over other people?

The danger of right wing media outlets such as FOX is they shape policy, e.g. foreign ~, or policies towards government and taxation, all of which ultimately affects unsuspecting Joe Public. Joe Public in turn is robbed of the opportunity to choose for self.

If that's not a form of dictatorship, I shudder to find a relevant example.
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Planting the Seeds

The best solutions will always remain homegrown ones. A good example is neighboring Tanzania, where the founding father, the late Julius K. Nyerere, created a brand of socialism called Ujamaa. While it might have failed from an economic viewpoint, Ujamaa (collective socialism but with a distinctly Tanzanian flavor), united the country like few African states have - including my own, Kenya.

The fact that Nyerere tried shows there's life and ability to think and innovate. That remains the best way forward. No foreign government can fully appreciate the local viewpoint, as has been shown with the USA's misunderstanding and total misreading of the Arab-Jewish conflict throughout their involvement in the Middle East. All that's left behind is civil war (e.g. in Somalia, Iraq and now Afghanistan).

From a community development viewpoint, partnership goes a far longer way than imposing one's beliefs. The starting point is to listen, and this is an active process that doesn't allow the listener to speak. What do the locals want? What do they consider their core challenges? What do they value most and likewise hate? What are their myths and legends all about? Minus knowledge of these and more, no understanding can be got.

Where on earth, and through history, have conquests ever produced anything other than resentment from locals? The story's underlying premise is true. Allow the Afghans, on behalf of any other local people groupings, to actively influence and decide their futures. Only partner with them.
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Gratitude for the Life of Ted Sorensen

It is people like W. Edwards Deming and Sorensen who help me have continued faith in humanity. Greatness transcends religion, nationality and personal beliefs, which clearly their ideas have. We can all benefit from each other's thinking, the more different it is the better. I agree with Sorensen that humans have the power to change their circumstance, which we sadly ever take advantage of.

The value of sound is rarely appreciated till lost. This is too true and rarely confirmed except in hindsight.

Blessed [indeed] are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

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The Real Center of American Politics: A Reflection on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

A comedian and madman have something in common. They're able to laugh at self and society at large, and work outside the bounds of norms, all without repercussions that "normal" people would suffer.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert ARE the voice of reason here. When all rationality, education and experience has failed Joe Public, you need a neutral voice; a voice outside Washington and the so-called corridors of power to speak up. I still think this rally should have happened sooner.

The chief lesson I draw from Ameripolitics and this piece is humans, regardless of melanin content, remain the same. The nature of the beast is beastly, the environment notwithstanding. I wouldn't say Stewart is totally right, having benefited largely from the very things he makes fun of, but he might just be the right guy to make such fun.

All in all, it's a timely reminder to all people to wrest back power from the politicians and take active charge of the processes that will ultimately affect them.
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A New Appreciation for the "Rally to Restore Sanity"

Not totally sure about the issues in the article but no plea for sanity, peace or decency is ever too bad in my book. There is always need for that calm voice to try and make us sober up. Humans have a tendency to get carried away, and decisions made emotionally are rarely objective and good. It's a good read, all things considered, a sort of tension breaker.

Partisanship makes us too self-centred and non-objective. The Greek thinker Socrates astutely observed that, A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle." To echo Mohandas K. Gandhi, "Be the difference you want to see in the world." This might just be a start that can snowball like Rosa Parks' refusal to vacate her seat in Montgomery, Alabama.
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U.S. Government Witness Testifies Gitmo Prisoner's Religiosity Makes Him Dangerous

Is Dr. Welner really a scientist? In a nutshell, Khadr is a danger because of a theory he hadn't read (Dr. Sennels), relative lack of westernization or personal remorse, access to information provided by the very people who captured Khadr and labelled him a terrorist! Hmmm.

John Stuart Mill defined truth as what's left when all possibilities have been eliminated. Is that what Welner really got here?

Continued detention of people like Khadr has merely reinforced their martyr complex and created heroes from nothing. It must have also unwittingly added numbers to the jihadists cause. Quite the opposite of what the "war on terror" set out to achieve. Hounding a religious grouping is of course a key rouser of sympathy for their cause. Majority love the underdog, of which Islam is here.

Like the various wars being fought in Afghanistan and Iraq today, and predecessors like Vietnam and Korea, it is all pointless. All it has done is irreparably created enemies to the US interest, and that hostility is likely to keep fueling the very problems shown by the Khadr's of this world.

Insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results each time. If this clearly hasn't worked, why can't the US just try different tactics, e.g. dialogue? Assuming all Muslims are jihadists misses the point even before anything has began.
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The Tea Party and the Republican Party Are the Same

Factions have always existed, whether it's Hamas or within the PLO, or all manner of socialist leaning factions like the Baader Meinhoff and Japanese Red Army. I'm not linking terrorists with the "radical" Tea Party, but some similarities are also present.

The Tea Party seems bent on "redeeming" the Republican party's image, which, according to TP rhetoric, seems to have become soft. That might explain the ultra-conservative agendas currently being fronted by this party of traditional GOP members.

If you keep moving right of right, does it ultimately matter who is more on the right? A radical is just a modification of a more normal, mainstream supporter. I just think there's no deception, the Teas' are merely a variant of the GOP, but with a far more radical agenda. In a sense, their beliefs are retrogressive, not the values they stand for, but odd views about American purity, sovereignty and possibly immigration.

This Tea grouping goes back to early 2009, and was formed primarily to protest recent increases in government spending, particularly in President Obama's budget and economic stimulus package. That makes them non-Dems in principle, and coupled with their values, more right-wing. This duck certainly walks, quacks, and just looks like a duck.

I think by now the cat left the bag quite a while ago.
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Offense? Insult? The Firing of Juan Williams

We live in an age of increased sensitivity, mostly imagined. We see slights in just about anything fellow humans do, we hear it in what they say, and simply live life either being a victim or benefiting from such a state.

Do comedians know something about liberty that most of us sensitives don't? Comics routinely make fun of selves, their communities, leaders, and all manner of relatable topics, helping us confront such and be more aware of our immediate environments.

Again, I'm not saying Juan Williams firing wasn't in order, just wondering if his sentiments regarding Muslims isn't a storm in a tea cup.

While not condoning making racist statements or simply distasteful utterances in bad taste, there is still a case for us not taking ourselves too seriously and learning to keep open minds in all things. Someone observed that an open mind lends itself to infection, but it also plays a massive part in avoiding knee-jerk reactions that emanate from simple misunderstandings. A middle ground should be found.

After all, it was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr who spoke of truth being found, not in the thesis nor the antithesis, but in an emergent synthesis that reconciles the two. There is still a place for wit, banter, stereotypical jokes, all within an environment of maturity and reason.
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Digital Democracy in Doubt

The piece is a good expose, informing the reader of very real dangers of electoral fraud. However, some detail is lacking, e.g. what kind of software runs the said e-ballot boxes. It would be good to know if they make use of a Windows-like, hackable system or UNIX-like, more solid one.

Secondly, why can't measures be taken to rectify such problems, if the weaknesses are already well known? No one system is utterly foolproof, and I come from regions of the world where vote rigging, sometimes very crudely indeed, is rife.

There will never be excuse for lack of supervision to any system, whether labor- or machine-intensive. Human supervision must always be a key factor. All systems are as strong and as weak as their creators, and indeed, the chief weakness of all systems is the human.

The article is a good start but the problems so identified are rectifiable. At least a significant number of weaknesses have already been exposed.
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Foreclose on the Foreclosure Fraudsters, Part 2: Spurious Arguments Against Holding the Fraudsters Accountable

If the whole process of borrowing to buy houses is half as complicated as this article, then is it any wonder the ordinary homeowner failed to fully understand their transaction? I would assume this article makes the best possible attempt at simplifying the issue for the reader, yet it still ends up as is written.

Complex situations like what has been outlined end up creating the need for brokers, middlemen of sorts who act as the interface between the gritty unpleasants and the more sweet story sold to the end user.

In reforming this system, why not start with greatly simplifying all that's entailed in it. Make it crystal clear, in as few steps as possible, with increased emphasis on eliminating the need for all these players - rating agencies, agents, etc.

Part of the said simplification is what the individual actors stand to gain and lose should they either do what's required of fail to do the same. I feel it will go a long way towards assisting in what looks, from my perspective, an uphill task cleaning up.
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Harry Reid, Sharron Angle, and the Role of Government in America

This is a gem, "...Reid, however, is in real trouble. Reid's opponent is Sharron Angle, another incurious, cookie-cutter, late-model neocon who demonizes that part of the federal budget that does not stimulate the Dow with every other word out of her mouth."

The beauty of democracy and the rich debates it fosters. The true winner here is still the citizen, the ultimate maker or breaker of this contest. A good read as usual.
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What on Earth Are America's Friends to Say?

At the point of redundancy, all wars in whatever forms are needless and rather juvenile - whatever pretext is used. What is the difference, other than cost, between a "simple" bar brawl and the "war against terror"? Hard to say.

It started out as a war against terror but is now more a means to "teach" western democracy to an "oppressed" people. Please! Regardless of who began it, and it's well known it isn't the Obama admin, just eat humble pie like in Vietnam, withdraw, and help the nations rebuild. Continued debate about this war is pointless. Soldiers on the frontline are human, they get tired and disillusioned and do things they'd ordinarily never do.

It's no justification for wrong acts, but only God knows what these young people have undergone. The scars from war will haunt their lives forever, just like all war vets today. This is just one more opportunity for bloodletting. End the whole nonsense and now!
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Chilean Transcendence

To start with, I'm really happy for the miners. Their situation kept us all on edge and I'm glad it turned out for the better. I can certainly relate to the Chilean situation with the trapped miners, during the 8th August 1998 bomb blast in downtown Nairobi. A national tragedy made us all forget our petty differences and unite as citizens of one nation. Unfortunately, such moments are few and far between and in no time at all the nation will descend into its routine pettyisms.

Just like the Jewish nation and the Holocaust, I pray Chile experiences a never again moment that makes all Chileans find more commonness than differences. I don't harbor much hopes of these, but even fleeting moments from time to time will go a long way towards helping out in this regard.
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Without Young People, Barack Obama Might Still Be a Senator

A good post with little anyone can add. Michael Jackson actually captured it best when he said the future is not ours to play with, but is borrowed from our children. They are the link between the now and the will be. Enough said I guess.
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Owning Our Identity

I believe all truly independent republics feature some variation of the right to self-determination. Israel is not exempt here. Does that word "Jewish" occupy the same emotional place as the word "Arab" or "Muslim," words that make reference to a people's characteristic or religion?

Is Netanyahu pro-ultra nationalists? I base that on this: "...Instituting a loyalty oath and demanding external recognition of a "Jewish state" is the next dangerous step in allowing the ruling coalition of ultra-nationalists and ultra-Orthodox to define who is Jewish, who is Israeli, and who is 'loyal.' " I haven't got that distinction clearly.

If Bibi is on the side of the radicals (ultra-nationalists and suchlike), then there is indeed a case for the electorate (citizenry) reminding him that he doesn't always speak for them. It is also good for Israeli citizens to guard against the continued international isolation such negative acts can cause to their already battered image.

However, the right to define themselves as they feel they ought to remains squarely with Israelis.
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Alec Baldwin, the Internet, and Me

The entertainment industry offers individuals a chance at greatness. It provides a popular platform to be seen and heard in a fresh, inspiring way. Few take it. One reason I really like Alec is his intelligence and outspokenness. He's refreshing in that seemingly brash, intelligent, full-of-sarcastic-wit way, a rarity in a life full of pretense. He is to me John McEnroe, with a little of that borderline maniac behavior, but with actual intelligence in speaking out. Class act.
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The Success and the Failures of the Religious Right

I'm with Ipanemagirl on this one. To add, I am a Christian, and unapologetically so, but I'll NEVER once defend underhand tactics, even from my own. The likes of Beck and Palin constantly negate the very message and standpoint they purport to represent, all with collusion of sympathetic media outlets like Fox. That is well documented.

Holding a dissenting view, or speaking outright against wrongs by people you respect and follow does not make someone bigoted. It only makes them different. If you'd take a look at many of the posts you feel are bigoted towards Christians you'd be pleasantly surprised at their refreshing honesty. No enmity here at all, nothing personal, just honesty and disappointed about lies and suchlike.
About Christianity
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Obama Sure Could Have Used Josiah Bartlett's Staff

A difficult call for the president here. It might be difficult to know what people really think in their innermost selves so blaming Obama here might be a bit too much. It might be to the president's credit that he took such sentiments in stride and has not made much of a fuss about it. Difficult call in my opinion.
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The Success and the Failures of the Religious Right

Past achievement can easily make us lose focus of present reality. You cannot take anything away from any religious movement, not even Islam with its uniting of disparate pagan Arab tribal groupings together. However, all in this life should have disclaimers; that pinch of salt, through which they should be judged.

The likes of Beck and Palin, and all those alarmist conservatives do represent the religious right, yet their use of lies of either induce fear or plainly libel individuals is well documented. It's arguable that their very actions have also led to erosion of beliefs among the populace. These cannot be justified on the basis of past achievement. It's factual that the founding fathers possessed religious beliefs, and that abolitionists and anti-slavery crusaders, the likes of Sir William Wilberforce too, but there are clear failings by this group in society.

Who practices intolerance more in America than the religious right? Who falsifies birth records of prominent figures like Obama if not this group? Who does the colloquialism "WASP" in Ameripolitics refer to? Who does the Fox network speak for? Who opposes immigrants and persecutes them in the guise of purifying the nation?

If the right is keen on judging anyone deemed different from them, why shouldn't they be subjected to similar treatment and standards?
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Palin, Beck, the Tea Party and the Big Lie About Saving "Children and Grandchildren"

One of the core things I find distasteful about the so-called Tea Party is use of alarmist tactics to either woo or keep their members. For a group basing its values and principles on the faith, isn't this clear manipulation? What would you call preying on the fears of others and selective use of facts - even distortion of the same? Right there, the movement is clearly bankrupt of integrity and that should inform any subsequent treatment of their message.

If a thing is wrong at the start, how does it end up being right inside and as it goes along? Just logical questioning.
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The Next Glass Ceiling

I love the name "Krystal Ball." I think you share your father's latent humor, "...Fortunately or unfortunately, my mother allowed him to name me and so he chose the name Krystal Ball."

Today's whore is eminently qualified to be tomorrow's trailblazer and ceiling-breaker. Take heart. I wish you the best in your endeavors.
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If You Like the Recession, You'd Love "Speaker Boehner"

Certainly not an economist but can fault those four elixirs (love the word). The obvious, spending is what moves economies and the money supply. Money as an organic commodity grows stronger when in economic motion. I stand to be corrected.

Cutting the wealthy group's taxes is downright weird. How about taxing all less to make them spend more of the extra income they find themselves with? All incentives should lead to less savings. Again I stand corrected. One more note about the rich. In which country do the monied form the larger part of any community or society? Why then would you reward a clear minority?

Who can outspend a government? Even I would like to know. Government spending has created towns from nothing. A good example is towns that are set up around military bases and educational institutions. How would cutting back on this help the greater economy?

Building on my previous arguments, fiscal policy over monetary policy becomes a no brainer. However, in my own mitigation, I clearly am nobody's economist.
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A Muslim's Defense of Geert Wilders

True democracy will always be an ass, rewarding and providing platforms to demagogues like Wilders, France's Jean Marie Le Pen and the British Nationalist Party. However, even such provide outlets for certain groupings in society, the disgruntled (and disillusioned), pessimistic, social illiterate paranoids. It merely proves that they too have a voice, as should anyone else for that matter.

Society as structured today, especially in an urban setting, provides the biggest ever test on tolerance and suchlike. We unconsciously hold our ways of doing things superior to any other offerings, creating ground for bigotry and the kind of xenophobia as Wilders and company seem intent on. Yet all this boils down to insecurities that humans are incessantly plagued with.

Jailing him makes him a martyr to his core constiuency, thus creating an undeserving hero. What is the alternative viewpoint on this one from his immediate society and what does the administration of the day think? Such views could have provided some different slant to this piece and allowed for better debate.

Democracy in summary is all about either having your cake or opting to eat the same.
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Obama Calls the Question on Geithner

Wow to the analysis. Sounds, from the article, that all the Obama administration was doing is apply band aid to severe wounds. Was it damage control or some attempt at finding solutions. Instead of apportioning blame as suggested by some, why not solve it first then discuss options when the whole mess is getting cleaned up? At this precise moment, who started the fire isn't as important as putting it out.

As pointed out, the US economy is in more trouble than 90s Japan, in the sense of massive debts and deficits especially from a trade point of view. Seems to me like Obama's regime is making an attempt to resolve this, beginning with an honest audit of what banks are really up to. Will the financial sector reforms eventually reach the privileged and seemingly untouchable Wall Street? That coupled with this veto might prove quite a blow to Geithner, a product (and beneficiary) of WS.
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<em>Shadow Elite</em>: The Small Government Lie - How <em>Both</em> Parties Stood By as Our Government Burned

Interesting area of debate. What should form government priority? The people from whom it gets its funding, yeah even the Gene Cranick's, or should it walk around with some list of taxpayers who will receive first priority in services? Is Cranick any less of a citizen as others who pay up their required fees? Should the ordinary citizen give up on the government altogether and seek own solutions to problems? Who is the government anyway? Isn't it the very Cranick whose house the fire department allowed to burn?

Government would ordinarily arrest Cranick for non-payment of tax, right? Why then should his house be allowed to burn just because he's not paid up the requisite fees? I don't envy the government in this one.

The citizen must come first and this is one area politics is totally incapable of dealing with. Thomas Browne: Government is too big and important to be left to politicians.
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Lou Dobbs, Hypocrisy and Corporate Power

Even hypocrites like Dobbs reveal some truths about the human condition. We are all beneficiaries of roads, bridges we never built, nor wells we never dug, but forgetting is a human speciality. It is even more so once we've benefited, and then the railing begins. Dobbs, like the political types in Congress and elsewhere might just be a reflection of larger society or even ourselves.

The US is one of the economies that have benefited from other cultures, mostly foreign, but it's not unique. All major empires did, at macro level, just like all of us do at micro level. Can any economy, leave alone the US, function minus such illegal workers? Even here, one might not employ a foreign national, but we do employ child labor. Isn't that just a variation of this theme?

Hypocrisy is so deeply ingrained in the human condition that it would be near impossible to start highlighting specific cases. If the question of what you're doing about it was posed back to you, how would you go about answering it?
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Glenn Beck Mocks Fire Victims, Reaches New Depths of Awfulness

I'm currently watching the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies, and keep connecting something to this seemingly ubiquitous Glenn Beck. Is Beck like Freddie Kruger, in the sense that once unmentioned he'll fade away? Maybe it's time this guy was given a media blackout. He's despicable and a lowlife.
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Religious People Must Rally to Restore Sanity

You're right Mikdow. Crusades weren't about religion, that was the pretext. Jerusalem, subject of interest by christianity and the Saracens, was a figurehead, point of reference, a bragging point. Whoever won it first would be able to call out checkmate and thus "win" over the loser.

People of similar religion in Ireland, used the divide into catholic and protestant was a justification to either support England (the colonizer and predominantly protestant) or stand on the other side (catholic).

Relgion in ancient Egypt was used to create a master ruling class, who would in turn enslave others (the ruled), a model replicated by Hinduism in India, with Brahmins (priest caste), over everyone else, and in particular the lower castes from where much of labor and taxes emanate.

I still call this unfortunate and totally lacking in genuineness. Humans always seem to desire fights, and it's double sad when the deity's name is used as one more excuse.
About Jon Stewart
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What Is Femininity?

For once a feminist article that is relatively non-threatening and sober. No offense.

Humans, let alone males and females, are different, period. Not superior or inferior, just different. We were created alike, born only with spit in the mouth, and all other accidents of birth notwithstanding, what works in us is more or less the same. We do possess different personalities, and that's valid, but human history shows the race getting carried away by differences rather than focusing on similarities.

It's never a competition, and the earlier we can ever figure that out the better for all concerned. What we lack most of all is honesty in dialogue. An interesting read to me.
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Religious People Must Rally to Restore Sanity

I'd be willing to bet more people have been killed under religion than any other single cause of human mortality.

It's sad that religion, which is the one thing that ought to unite humans is the chief divisor of society. The Latin word, "religare," means "to bind." That might serve to explain the ills wrought by religion. Religion often creates bondage - to dogma, rules and suchlike - as opposed to liberating the practitioner. Religious bigotry created segregation and apartheid, in the latter's case, the Dutch Reformed Church's own twisted theology claimed an African was only "five-eighths human," thus paving the way for justification of whatever would be done to them.

Maybe Dostoevsky was right in postulating that with the deity dead, all was justifiable. This is a pity. Let religion and education unite, not separate. This I'm afraid though is a bridge too far. You and I though can be the difference we want to see in the world (Mohandas K. Gandhi). It starts with each of us.
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The Force That Fights Deep-Pocketed Polluters and Wins

Power to the people should always precede all else. Heroes like Adams, a man I've never heard off, are the vanishing breed of idealists all societies need. Lonely callings like these need disciplined, intelligent and vastly informed practitioners and activists, with a burning vision that guides them.

Disappointing but unsurprised to learn about politics getting cozy with money to defeat bills of environmental concern like in California. In my own nation we have an instance where a tobacco company allegedly flew legislators to a luxury hotel and footed their bills. Result? Defeat of an anti-tobacco bill, and heavy watering down of its original contents.

Kudos to John Adams. Aluta continua!
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Why We Shouldn't Blame the Bullies for the Recent String of LGBT Suicides

I like the general thrust of the article but feel bullies must be blamed. All of us are culpable of something, even if it's the very adult tendency to plant such subtle thoughts in the younger generations minds.

Kids, as someone observed, are poor listeners, but extremely astute copiers. Much of their failings are traceable to actions committed or not. There are many a time when the adults who should know better are directly guilty. We say bad words in kids' presence, we stereotype people, use crude jokes that give them negative education about others, etc. There are however times we step back and do nothing. Just as bad as scenario one.

Apportioning blame is akin to pointing fingers. That is only step one. The next level is to apply the Golden Rule, and as Mahatma Gandhi observed, "be the difference you seek to see in the world."
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I, Sanchez

The chief problem with handling such a story is that "accidents of birth" (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr), race, religion (not purely one), culture and so on often cloud stories. The world needs more hip-shooters to call things as they are. An organization could well be staffed by seniors fitting a certain profile, but sometimes someone is needed to identify the Emperor as naked. Could be what Sanchez meant to say. I would much rather hear such honesty than be lied to by hypocrites.

We're in a temporal dispensation where truth is rationed out like other resources, and the honest are punished for speaking truths out loud.

The little I know could be summed up by these words said by Rick Sanchez (about Jon Stewart on 01 October 2010): "...I’ll take the word bigot back; I’ll say prejudicial (sic) — uninformed...CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart."

I still feel there's too much sensitivity on matters of race. How about acknowledging that they do exist - we all knew that already - and embracing the next (and harder) step, learning from anyone who appears different. All have something to say, and it cannot be dismissed merely because of differences in melanin (skin pigmentation), or regions where we all hail.

In future, sack the Rick Sanchez's for professional misconduct or incompetence, not speaking out truths.
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US Bases Abroad Trigger Suicide Terrorism: Are There Other Options?

There are two principle things the US needs to critically revisit. One, the world has changed drastically since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and two, cultures are vastly different, with the Occidental (western) way of thought vastly differing from the Middle Eastern orientation.

Each of these is unique, not inferior or superior, and unless the local worldview's fully understood, such challenges as protests and feelings of occupation will justifiably persist. I am not once arguing that targeting bases for bombings is justified, but neither is occupation of a free and proud people.

To lose that tag of perceived arrogance, and that's what it is, perceived, the US should work more on partnerships and ensure win-win situations for all involved. Listening to local sentiments is the surest way to earn respect, with minimal imposition of American foreign policy. We all need all the allies we can muster, as they are the ones who come to our aid when we're down.

In this globalization environment, no one person or nation has solutions to all that afflicts people. Each offers something different, all of which together can be harnessed. The easiest step for the US to take would be withdrawal.
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Mormon Prophecy Behind Glenn Beck's Message

I'd be more worried about the fact that older Mormon prophecy, before the American Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, was pro-slavery and thus anti-abolitionism. In fact, the darker skinned negro was said to have been descended from the biblical nephilim (offspring of angels and human females, and fathers of giants like Goliath).

If it's from such history that this megalomaniac is borrowing his lessons from, there is all-round danger from more than just the White House and political goings on. Why can't Beck be stopped once and for all, the tenets of American democracy notwithstanding? Is there justification for continued character assassination and paranoid-driven and unfounded conspiracy theories? He's an insult to American thinking; a blot on the whole concept of Americanness, premised on liberty, freedom and universal brotherhood.
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Restoring the Balance

[Entirely from the viewpoint of an outsider to American politics] is it a Dem thing to lean more on Wall Street's help in the country's economic affairs? I see the article linking Carter, Clinton and now Obama to such a trend.

That said, I like this statement, "The old economic models are broken, and a little entrepreneurial populism is exactly what is needed now..." What I see as comprising the National Economic Council is lack of mavericks on board. There are lots of established politicians, especially Obama's kitchen cabinet, but less of mavericks like Lee Iacocca.

Iacocca managed to turn around a relatively small economy (in comparison to US's), Chrysler, and he no doubt used radical methods not necessarily taught in MBA classes. Aren't those the kind of ideas an economy like that of the US needs to jumpstart?

Does this Council feature non-Dems on board? This is not the time for partisan politics as economic meltdown is a reality for all Americans, not just from one political leaning.

What might be needed here is a radical group of true thinkers, unafraid to try. The world does need a fresh infusion of ideas in all spheres, politics, education, social relations, etc.

To quote Art Williams: "Before you are the best, you've got to be good. Before you're good you've got to be bad. But before you're bad you've got to try." Why not?
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Superman Does Not Exist and Teachers' Unions are Not the Villains

I generally love the ideas you've postulated, especially support for schools nationwide and parents, plus continual development. Ideas are dynamic and teachers should indeed keep up.

Just a side note, even Superman does have sidekicks to aid him. Cartoon buffs would link the man in a red cape to Batman and teams like the Justice League. He might have to shoulder much of the physical burden, but he does need skills from other super heroes.

I believe that is the article's underlying focus. If governments the world over were to turn inwards and obsessively think about their people first, funding devoted to the military and other expensive consumables would be massively reinvested in education, health and other social welfare initiatives. Therein lies much of the public funds needed to implement proposed point four above.

Of course it won't happen. The public wage bill is big, military conquest creates opportunities for political elites and contractors (jobs abroad) and bankers (who never lose anyway). Meanwhile an annual school dropout rate of about 364,000 goes unnoticed, all the while people wondering why the prison population keeps rising (check out Bill Gates' comment on Oprah last week in the article). Priorities.
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A Few Words About Barbara Boxer

Just one main Q, is Fiorina serious? Doesn't sound like it at all. For someone aspiring to such a seat, she's destructively honest (e.g. not having voted over half the time). There's also that element of patronizing the voter, as if they're stupid.

Fiorina's approach is lot like the "yellow journalism" era of the 1890s, when newspaper battles between Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal were at their peak, and all manner of discrediting tactics and misinformation was peddled about the other camp.

Why aspire to win by discrediting one's opponent? Of course, such an approach is right at the heart of most of debate. It doesn't make the practice right, but luckilytoo, the Californian voter is smart enough to make an informed choice on their preferred candidate.

I'm sure it must be about the track record, stupid.
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Why It's Foolish to Weaken the Dollar to Create Jobs

The world has become so interconnected that it's basically impossible to initiate an action, such as devaluing one's currency, without severe implications elsewhere. It might be high time the Fed realized such - assuming they don't know already.

With globalization, might it be time for jobs to be either exported or imported? I know, in the short-term it might create nightmare scenarios for Immigration and law enforcement, but it might be reflective of such international trends. Local economies might even benefit from other cultures and people's ideas.

While all such interventions as keeping interest rates low are going on, American companies, forced by their global uncompetitiveness, are being forced to export jobs abroad to lower production overheads.

It seems the US administration under the Obama administration is more conciliatory than previous regimes. Why not target strategic partnerships abroad, with win-win economic interests being the aim, in order to get more markets abroad and create jobs both in the US and in such partner countries?

Ceasar Augustus established the Pax Romana (historian Edward Gibbons' term), spanning 27 BC to 180 AD, where relative peace replaced military expansion and full time war. It might be time for such an approach, involving more consultancy. After all, the failure of military solutions (Vietnam, Gulf War, Afghanistan-Iraq-Pakistan), has antagonized former allies. A different approach is called for when it comes to economic matters such as trade.
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The Broken Global Banking System

Classic definition of a banker: "One who lends you a brolly when the sun is shining and wants it back immediately it begins raining."

Banking's description here is differs very little from the practice of shylocks and gambling. The latter is especially true because of using risk to create lending profiles and interest rates. Of course, the two practices mentioned have lots of unethical practices in them, notably extortion (and related blackmail), harassment of clients, illegal disposal of assets, etc. Is this much different from today's banking system?

How about collapse of much of America's banking sector, yet bonuses were still paid out to top managers! Was this a reward for work well done or even hard work? Is this article surprising in content?

Banking has changed, with poorer economies like Bangladesh and Kenya pointing out the way with their micro-economic models.The latter features mobile banking (M-Pesa in conjunction with trade sites like Kalahari and banks like Equity). Concepts like PayPal can help people who've not been using banks in the past to save when buying products.

Mobile banking is easily accessible, especially to younger generations, and is far more fun when marketing. These trends will eventually phase out anything resembling the banking of old.
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Trade War Is Here -- and We've Disarmed

This article sounds a bit like a coach accusing a rival coach of not playing by his own rules.

China (PRC) might be a WTO member but has a long history of failure to adhere to accepted norms elsewhere. This applies to human rights violations, but is there a reason it cannot extend to trade malpractices?

The mental orientation of the Chinese economy, ceteris pleribus, is socialism, with the people foremost in State planning of activities. All the nation's resources are shared out among the Chinese, as opposed to a more free market oriented, capitalistic economy like the US. Like the sports illustration, it is two vastly differing playing formations at work here.

A lesson for Congress and the US administrations, as China rightly focused on her interests, bipartisan wrangles allowed the "enemy" to sneak into the party and bond with guests, all the while unseen. Political chicken have come to roost and there's nothing the US can do to compel China to abandon her own interests.
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Tiger Woods Sex Video Sold, Alleged Mistress Claims

I can only admire her relationship with hubby. He's the tape's seller? And then her mom doubts James's story! Hilarious. :-)
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Why Companies Should Insist That Employees Take Naps

There's a similarity between societal attitude to sleep and the Victorian perception of sex. In both cases, the activities are underrated and misinterpreted. The former is seen as evidence of laziness while the latter is seen as evil, not for enjoyment and strictly for procreation only.

There's truth in the saying that more sleep means less conflict, war and most vices. Blessed too is the man who's too busy to worry in the daytime and too tired to worry at night, the latter because he's probably asleep.

The benefits here are endless, with better body growth, more relaxation, renewal of energy, and improved visual imagination (through the medium of dreams) and memory, included.

The Spaniards might just end up having the last laugh in this debate, their siestas an integral part of their cultural idiosyncracy and uniqueness.
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"Bernie's Tune": A Playlist for the Late Great Tony Curtis

Time. The great teacher who ultimately kills her students. RIP Tony Curtis.
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Washington Gets Tough on China, but Plays Patsy With OPEC

Didn't know the US can pass legislation to compel (make) another nation revalue its currency. What if China were to refuse? What then?

That aside, seems it's an economic battle between cheap imports and subsequent dumping in the American markets and oil, the lifeblood of macro economies. I understand OPEC's strategy of holding world nations by their economic balls, but the US? Doesn't the USA have some of the world's largest oil reserves or is she saving them for herself and future inward-looking closed economic activity?

Politics and economics. The US is more or less a debtor economy, owing unimaginable amounts to liquid China and Arab states, many of whom are buying heavily into the country, corporations, real estate, even sports teams.

Like all things, the US might just be undergoing the kind of decline civilizations have, as called by the historian and writer, Edward Gibbons. Interesting.
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You Would Think That Californians Had Learned Their Lesson by Now

No need for sarcasm mate because you've totally missed my point. What I meant is certain jobs, like the governorship, can benefit from an infusion of freshness. It would be ridiculous to equate administration with surgery or engineering. Many political solutions have failed, why not try out something new. It was only meant in that context.
About California Governor Race
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Liverpool Vs Sunderland AFC, 20100925

Following last season's controversial game at the Stadium of Light, in which Darren Bent scored from a deflection, would the lightning of controversy strike twice?

The game itself started at breakneck speed, with Torres controlling Gerrard's cross (from a free kick) on his chest and scoring in the second minute, only to be called for offside. The Spanish international would minutes later set up Dirk Kuyt for his first goal back from injury. Michael Turner touched the ball back to his keeper, Simon Mignolet, only for Torres to rush and pass to Kuyt for the Dutch international's game opener.

From a numbers point of view, the hosts out shot the hosts by three more shots, with two more on target than Steve Bruce's team, with a tie on corner kicks and same number of offsides, one. The crosses were 28 for the Reds to 23 for the visitors. Liverpool dominated possession, 54% to 46%, but Mignolet was the busier keeper, making three saves to Reina's one.

It seems there wasn't much to separate the two, right? Sunderland actually had the better overall play, with their passing mesmerizing most of the time, their movement proving a handful for LFC and all the while making it hard to know who the hosts were.

Roy Hodgson's team lined up in this 4-4-2: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky (Agger), Poulsen (Ngog), Meireles, Kuyt, Cole, Gerrard and Torres.


1. Glimpses of quality from Liverpool, at the beginning before Sunderland's equalizer from Bent's penalty, and towards the end from the time Gerrard made it two all.
2. This was Skrtel's best game in quite a while. He even dribbled past several Sunderland players only to produce a defender's shot - awful, actually - at the end!
3. Ngog's introduction livened us up, yet again.
4. While noting Poulsen's inability to seal up our midfield area, I also saw him drop deep to add an extra number to our back four. 
5. Meireles has deceptive movement and is far more forward thinking than Alonso of old. He has the potential to be a very useful link between our midfield and forward line.
6. There was notable improvement deep in the second half when Poulsen left and Ngog came in for him, and Agger for the injured Konchesky. The ball moved forward more and Agger could have twice won us the game with late headers.


1. Little or no attacking of the ball.
2. Seemingly zero desire to win second balls.
3. A porous midfield that kept allowing Sunderland to move at will. Our midfield's lack of bite was reminiscent of the first half of Istanbul 2005 and second half of Athens 2007!
4. Poulsen's notable lack of speed in closing down the opposition. I still note that both Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher have never been speedsters but compensate with a good sense of positioning. The game seemed to pass our new number 28.
5. As seen in point four of the Pros, Poulsen's dropping deep made the team lose shape and invite Sunderland attacks, often putting us in danger.
6. Which is Gerrard's favored position? Central midfield or in the hole behind our number nine? I would suggest pairing him in CM with Meireles and Cole, leaving Kuyt/Maxi/Pacheco/Jova on the flanks, and Torres/Ngog/Kuyt/Babel as our centre forwards.
7. Where is Lucas and Babel? Why too is Agger not a regular starter? These players will not improve by not being played. A bit obvious but true as they can prove game changers.
8. No bodies in the opposition box when we break. The team often played deep, as seen in previous games, leaving little threat to the Sunderland defense.
9. We seem set up to play deep, with our defense both static and ball watching at times. There was lots of backtracking instead of holding ground and hitting on the counterattack more. This resulted in being punished by Bent for his second goal of the game.
10. The jury's out on service to Torres. He did create the goals of the game, with his persistence winning Gerrard the excellent cross (with a hint of luck) from the right, from which the captain scored.
11. Did we need Babel's pace, especially in the second half? I thought Bruce used his striking options well, playing Beckford whose pace obviously troubled us, and introducing Gyan when Liverpool were tiring. Babel might have proved a useful substitution.
12. I also thought we needed Lucas's tactical knowledge and midfield solidity more than Poulsen. We would have had a more dynamic midfield going forward and better cover for our back four.
Points of controversy

Did Steve Bruce have a case for Kuyt's first goal? The referee, Stuart Attwell, indicated that Sunderland needed to retake their free kick from a position a bit behind where they meant to, at which point Michael Turner seemed to kick the ball behind.

However, Torres did take a look at the ref following Turner's action, to which he didn't receive a negative, and so kept going. Attwell's decision was supported by the Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO) and Graham Poll.

It might remain a talking point for years to come, just like the aforementioned beach ball from whose deflection Bent scored last time round at the Stadium of Light. There could also be a case that Torres was marginally offside for his goal, which would have been the Reds opener.

Random observation

I would call this game a nerve-wracking but entertaining watch. Unfortunately, Sunderland provided much of the entertainment value, with Bent's scoring from a pinpoint Onuoha

Overall I thought a draw was fair. A loss would have been harsh on either team. There could also be a case for someone who thought Captain Fantastic, Steven Gerrard, could have just reignited Liverpool's season.