Monday, September 16, 2013

The Republi-CON "The Government Should Spend Like a Family" Myth

This Republi-con analogy works only if the family can print money, "owns lots of tanks, operates a giant insurance conglomerate, can borrow money at extremely low rates, and is" immortal.

Read the Washington Post, What if a typical family spent like the federal government? It’d be a very weird family.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Invasion and Occupation or Ignoring and Hoping Are Not the Only U.S. Middle East Options

UPDATE V:  Republi-cons incoherent Syria policy: 'we don't want to take out the guy who gasses children because someone bad might take over.  "So, just to recap, Rand Paul says no diplomacy, but we can’t do nothing, but no to the president’s plan and no to regime change."  Watch the Colbert Report, America's Got Serious Reservations About This - Syria - Rand Paul.    

UPDATE IV:  "I keep reading about how Iraq was the bad war and Libya was the good war and Afghanistan was the necessary war and Bosnia was the moral war and Syria is now another necessary war. Guess what! They are all the same war.

They are all the story of what happens when multisectarian societies, most of them Muslim or Arab, are held together for decades by dictators ruling vertically, from the top down, with iron fists and then have their dictators toppled, either by internal or external forces. And they are all the story of how the people in these countries respond to the fact that with the dictator gone they can only be governed horizontally — by the constituent communities themselves writing their own social contracts for how to live together as equal citizens, without an iron fist from above. . .

In short, the problem now across the Arab East is not just poison gas, but poisoned hearts. Each tribe or sect believes it is in a rule-or-die struggle against the next, and when everyone believes this, it becomes self-fulfilling. . .

But, please do spare me the lecture that America’s credibility is at stake here. Really? Sunnis and Shiites have been fighting since the 7th century over who is the rightful heir to the Prophet Muhammad’s spiritual and political leadership, and our credibility is on the line? Really? Their civilization has missed every big modern global trend — the religious Reformation, democratization, feminism and entrepreneurial and innovative capitalism — and our credibility is on the line? I don’t think so.

We’ve struggled for a long time, and still are, learning to tolerate 'the other.' That struggle has to happen in the Arab/Muslim world, otherwise nothing we do matters."

Read The New York Times, Same War, Different Country

UPDATE III:  "President Obama’s anticipated strikes against Syria have some on the Christian right proclaiming Biblical prophecy and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Easy there, writes scholar Candida Moss, we’ve been here before."

Read The Daily Beast, Sorry, Evangelicals, Syria Will Not Spur the Second Coming, which explains "some problems with the theory" and notes that "[t]he conquest of Damascus already happened. At least seven times," and "Christians have been predicting the Second Coming and end of the world since the Apostle Paul."

UPDATE II:  And don't forget to study up on those end time delusions.

Read Mother Jones, Oh Magog! Why End-Times Buffs Are Freaking Out About Syria.  

UPDATE:  Forget 'shock and awe.  "The right strategy is 'arm and shame.'"

Read The New York Times, Arm and Shame.

"Iraq was unquestionably costly and painful to the United States — in dollars, in political comity and, above all, in lives, both of Iraqis and Americans. It hasn’t turned out, so far, as we war supporters hoped. Yet in the absence of U.S. intervention, Syria is looking like it could produce a much worse humanitarian disaster and a far more serious strategic reverse for the United States. . .

The tragedy of the post-Iraq logic embraced by President Obama is that it has ruled out not just George W. Bush-style invasions but also the more modest intervention used by the Clinton administration to prevent humanitarian catastrophes and protect U.S. interests in the 1990s. As in the Balkans — or Libya — the limited use of U.S. airpower and collaboration with forces on the ground could have quickly put an end to the Assad regime 18 months ago, preventing 60,000 deaths and rise of al-Qaeda. It could still save the larger region from ruin.

The problem here is not that advocates of the Iraq invasion have failed to learn its lessons. It is that opponents of that war, starting with Obama, have learned the wrong ones."

Read the Washington Post, What the Iraq war taught me about Syria

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Alabamay Al Qaeda

UPDATE:  "A rapping jihadi from Alabama who ascended the ranks of Somalia's al-Qaida-linked extremist rebels and was on the FBI's Most Wanted list with a $5 million reward for his capture was killed Thursday in an ambush ordered by the rebels' leader, the militants said.

Omar Hammami, a native of Daphne, Alabama, who was known as Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, or "the American," died in southern Somalia following several months on the run after a falling-out with al-Shabab's top leader, the rebels said."

Read the Huffington Post, Omar Hammami Dead: American Jihadi Killed In Somalia, Reports Say.  

How did a small-town Alabama high school kid, "among the coolest, most gifted students in his class," grow up to become a leader in an African terror group linked to Al Qaeda?

Read The New York Times, The Jihadist Next Door.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fear, Anger, and Hatred: It's the Republi-CON Condition

UPDATE:  "Political conservatism and serious policy analysis can coexist, and there was a time when they did. Back in the 1980s, after all, health experts at Heritage made a good-faith effort to devise a plan for universal health coverage — and what they came up with was the system now known as Obamacare.

But that was then. Modern conservatism has become a sort of cult, very much given to conspiracy theorizing when confronted with inconvenient facts. Liberal policies were supposed to cause hyperinflation, so low measured inflation must reflect statistical fraud; the threat of climate change implies the need for public action, so global warming must be a gigantic scientific hoax. Oh, and Mitt Romney would have won if only he had been a real conservative."

Read The New York Times, The Wonk Gap.  

"Hate on, haters. It was what you were meant to do."

Read the Washington Post, Researchers take on crucial question: Are haters gonna hate?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Go Argonauts?

UPDATE V:  More than four year later, read the Pensacola New Journal, UWF to field football in 2016

UPDATE IV: Did UWF announce a new football program, or just announce that the university is thinking about it? Justin thinks that later:

"UWF holds a massive media event, gets everyone all crazy about college football coming to Pensacola and then their big chief announces 'I am authorizing the AD to look into the feasibility of pursuing our overall athletic program including football.'"

Looks like they will 'Maritime Park' this and the university will get football in about 20 years.

UPDATE III: I tried to get Terry to discuss this yesterday. Read the Pensacola News Journal, UWF ready for football, which states:

"Today there will be no more exploring the possibility. UWF is setting a course to pursue football and become the first NCAA Division II school to sponsor the sport in the state of Florida.

According to multiple sources, Bense will announce that UWF plans to begin the process of instituting football at the school during the Argo Arrival Kickoff Pep Rally. The pep rally is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at UWF Field House.

On Wednesday, UWF distributed a news release noting Bense would attend the event, which begins the annual welcoming process to campus for students, and "make an announcement about the future of UWF athletics and student life."

When contacted Wednesday, a UWF spokesperson said Bense had no comment on the subject. Gulf South Conference Commissioner Nathan Salant did not return a phone message left at his office in Birmingham, Ala.

If the Argonauts field a football team, they would become the seventh conference school in the sport, joining Delta State, North Alabama, Valdosta State, West Alabama, West Georgia and Shorter College."

UPDATE II: The secret is out, as Stephen has found, Gulf South Conference Commissioner Nate Salant states that he expects UWF to announce the addition of football "any day now." See GSC DigiNet, beginning at about the 3:50 minute mark.

Good job to Stephen the newshound!

UPDATE: After more than two years of speculation and discussion, UWF is planning a "special pep rally," and rumor has it the university will announce a football program. Read Rick's Blog, Buzz: UWF to announce football program.

Now all they need is a new school nickname!

For years there has been talk of starting a football program at the University of West Florida. Someone should just start a club football team like a student did at the University of Vermont. See The New York Times, A Year of Toil and Sweat, Then They Played a Game.

As I said before, it would be relatively easy, quick, and cheap. And if it proves popular, it would justify a varsity program.

Go Argonauts!


They could practice the Lateralpalooza.