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17101  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Book partially written by Obama's science czar on: August 25, 2009, 10:05:36 pm
The website might not be "credible", but he did say some amazingly stupid things in the book.  He had good reasons for his idiocy...and it was a long time ago, but still.
17102  General Politics / Economics / Re: Does Ben Bernanke Deserve Another Term as Federal Reserve Chairman? on: August 25, 2009, 04:57:54 am
He should be in jail with a lot of white collared company.  You Republicans and Democrats get dumber by the day.
17103  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should private military contractors be outlawed? on: August 24, 2009, 11:25:15 pm
Yeah, I'm not a fan of them being used in combat....seems like a road we shouldn't be going down.  Especially offensive operations.
17104  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Israel on: August 24, 2009, 09:17:53 pm
Life improving in the West Bank.link
Quote
Ever since the collapse of the Oslo peace accords in 2000, and the horror-show violence that followed, there has been only one thing to say about the West Bank: Nothing ever changes here, except for the worst. That is just not the case anymore — much to my surprise.

For Palestinians, long trapped between burgeoning Israeli settlements and an Israeli occupation army, subject to lawlessness in their own cities and the fecklessness of their own political leadership, life has clearly started to improve a bit, thanks to a new virtuous cycle: improved Palestinian policing that has led to more Palestinian investment and trade that has led to the Israeli Army dismantling more checkpoints in the West Bank that has led to more Palestinian travel and commerce.

Because the West Bank today is largely hidden from Israelis by a wall, Israelis are just starting to learn from their own press what is going on there. On July 31, many Israelis were no doubt surprised to read this quote in the Maariv daily from Omar Hashim, deputy chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Nablus, the commercial center of the West Bank: “Traders here are satisfied,” said Hashim. “Their sales are rising. They feel that life is returning to normal. There is a strong sense of optimism.”

Make no mistake: Palestinians still want the Israeli occupation to end, and their own state to emerge, tomorrow. That is not going to happen. But for the first time since Oslo, there is an economic-security dynamic emerging on the ground in the West Bank that has the potential — the potential — to give the post-Yasir Arafat Palestinians another chance to build the sort of self-governing authority, army and economy that are prerequisites for securing their own independent state. A Palestinian peace partner for Israel may be taking shape again.

The key to this rebirth was the recruitment, training and deployment of four battalions of new Palestinian National Security Forces — a move spearheaded by President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad of the Palestinian Authority. Trained in Jordan in a program paid for by the U.S., three of these battalions have fanned out since May 2008 and brought order to the major Palestinian towns: Nablus, Jericho, Hebron, Ramallah, Jenin and Bethlehem.

These N.S.F. troops, who replaced either Israeli soldiers or Palestinian gangs, have been warmly received by the locals. Recently, N.S.F. forces wiped out a Hamas cell in Qalqilya, and took losses themselves. The death of the Hamas fighters drew nary a peep, but a memorial service for the N.S.F. soldiers killed drew thousands of people. For the first time, I’ve heard top Israeli military officers say these new Palestinian troops are professional and for real.

The Israeli Army’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, has backed that up by taking down roughly two-thirds of the 41 manned checkpoints Israel set up around the West Bank, many since 2000, to stifle Palestinian suicide bombers. Those checkpoints — where Palestinians often had to wait for two hours to just pass from one city to the next and often could not drive their own cars through but had to go from cab to cab — choked Palestinian commerce. Israel is also again letting Israeli Arabs drive their own cars into the West Bank on Saturdays to shop.

“You can feel the movement,” said Olfat Hammad, the associate director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, who lives in Nablus and works in Ramallah. “It is not a burden anymore to move around to Ramallah for business meetings and social meetings.” Nablus recently opened its first multiplex, “Cinema City,” as well as a multistory furniture mart designed to cater to Israelis. Ramallah’s real estate prices have skyrocketed.

“I have had a 70 percent increase in sales,” Maariv quoted a Nablus shoe store owner as saying. “People are coming from the villages nearby, and from other cities in the West Bank and from Israel.”

But men and women do not live by shoe sales alone. The only way the Palestinian leadership running this show can maintain its legitimacy is if it is eventually given political authority, not just policing powers, over the West Bank — or at least a map that indicates they are on a pathway there.

“Our people need to see we are governing ourselves and are not simply subcontractors for Israeli security,” Prime Minister Fayyad told me. Khalil Shikaki, a leading Palestinian pollster, added that Abbas and Fayyad want “to be seen as building a Palestinian state — not security without a state.” That is why “there has to be political progress alongside the security progress. Without it, it hurts them very much.”

America must nurture this virtuous cycle: more money to train credible Palestinian troops, more encouragement for Israel’s risk-taking in eliminating checkpoints, more Palestinian economic growth and quicker negotiations on the contours of a Palestinian state in the West Bank. Hamas and Gaza can join later. Don’t wait for them. If we build it, they will come.
Can we at least all agree that this is a good thing?
17105  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should private military contractors be outlawed? on: August 24, 2009, 08:41:40 pm
Now, I don't know what dead0man is doing. Chances are he's cheaper because he's so shoddy at it. Tongue Kiss
I fix the expensive stuff.
Quote
I certainly can't see why the army would want to leave security functions to private contractors, unless it's to lower security standards and/or the working classes' pay (and common soldiers are working class).
I'm not sure why base protection has been outsourced, well, I'm sure it's cheaper, but still, it seems kind of silly to have civilians protect the military.  The cops that pull your over on base are still military, just not the gaurds that check your ID when you enter the base.
17106  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should private military contractors be outlawed? on: August 24, 2009, 08:33:17 pm
Hi, I'm a defense contractor!  When my job was "military", it was a 40 man shop, with another 10 -15 "higher ups" running the show.  It cost the DoD a LOT of money.  Now that it's civilian run, it's a 10 man shop with 2 higher ups.  This saves money.  It costs a lot of money to send a guy to school for 10 months, then give him OJT for a year.....especially if he gets out of the military 24 months later.

Civilians are guards at the gate now.  They vacuum the halls at night, cut the grass during the day, fix the expensive stuff when it breaks.

"private military contractors" do a lot of things MUCH cheaper than the govt can, we want to end all that because of what one contractor did during a war?

Uh, how about the fact the PMCs in New Orleans during Katrina confiscated firearms from the population? Or that they were hired to raid medical marijuana clinics under Bush? Not things that I think a libertarian would be very fond of.
Where did I say I agreed 100% with everything every military contractor did anywhere?  Did you even read what I typed?  You made a retarded theory of yours into a poll, clearly not thinking it through.  I explained why you're at idiot and you come back with this?  Maybe you're not ready to discuss things with big people yet?
17107  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Theory on Phil on: August 24, 2009, 09:31:26 am
The best policy is to treat the web as any other encounter with other people. So, use the same type of language and same ideas that you would in those encounters, and you should be fine in any future endeavor. That includes politics, business, or personal affairs. I hope those from the forum who have met me in person would agree that I'm the same person online as offline.
This times 10.  The Internet isn't anonymous.  A lot of people assume it is.
17108  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should private military contractors be outlawed? on: August 24, 2009, 09:21:53 am
Hi, I'm a defense contractor!  When my job was "military", it was a 40 man shop, with another 10 -15 "higher ups" running the show.  It cost the DoD a LOT of money.  Now that it's civilian run, it's a 10 man shop with 2 higher ups.  This saves money.  It costs a lot of money to send a guy to school for 10 months, then give him OJT for a year.....especially if he gets out of the military 24 months later.

Civilians are guards at the gate now.  They vacuum the halls at night, cut the grass during the day, fix the expensive stuff when it breaks.

"private military contractors" do a lot of things MUCH cheaper than the govt can, we want to end all that because of what one contractor did during a war?
17109  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Monthly Obama Forum Approval - August 2009 on: August 23, 2009, 11:24:40 am
leaning towards somewhat disapprove for the first time
That's where I'm at as well.  His shine is wearing off and he is finding out why Presidents seem to age a decade for every year in the Oval Office.
17110  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Lockerbie bomber may be released on: August 23, 2009, 11:19:53 am
It came as Gordon Brown faced fresh pressure after shocking claims by Libya that the release of the bomber was linked explicity to trade deals benefiting Britain.
<ahem>
What are the odds this is related?

Quote from: BP.com 29 May 2007
BP Agrees Major Exploration and Production Deal with Libya

BP's single biggest exploration commitment," says BP group chief executive.

BP and its Libyan partner, the Libya Investment Corporation (LIC), today signed a major exploration and production agreement with Libya's National Oil Company (NOC). The initial exploration commitment is set at a minimum of $900million, with significant additional appraisal and development expenditures upon exploration success.

The agreement was signed today in Sirt, Libya, by BP's group chief executive Tony Hayward and NOC chairman, Shokri Ghanem.
Man if only Bush the Lesser was involved somehow!  Then our UK friends would know which side to be on.  This...this is confusing!  I can empathize.
17111  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Best Place in the world? on: August 23, 2009, 11:12:33 am
I've never been, but by most accounts San Diego is an amazing place to live.  I'm sure there are places with just as good of weather and are more beautiful to look at, but none of them come with the convince of living near a major North American city.  Being so close to Tijuana and El Lay would be both huge pluses and huge minuses..so I can't let that sway me away.  I'm sure the people are annoying, but people are annoying everywhere.
17112  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Midwest August election on: August 22, 2009, 07:19:18 pm
Governor: Vepres

Lt. Governor: ilikeverin
17113  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: I predict this site will trend to the right on: August 22, 2009, 08:10:01 am
Romans Party Pantless
Retards Playing Parcheesi
Raccoons Picking Peaches
Rascals Promoting Pimping
Racists Pickling Polynesians
Runningbacks Playing (for) Pittsburgh
Racers Pulling Pistons
Rednecks Profiteering (from) Peppermint
Really Punk Pompoms
Radical Pinkos Protesting
17114  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / Re: Mock Senate race on: August 22, 2009, 06:19:17 am
L(oyal)
17115  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gov Paterson thinks its his race is why Dems are asking him not to run on: August 22, 2009, 03:50:04 am
He just can't see what it is about Obama that he can't copy other than being a black man and it makes him blind with rage.
17116  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gov Paterson thinks its his race is why Dems are asking him not to run on: August 22, 2009, 03:35:14 am
People use those forums?  Weird! Smiley


edit-and could I have butchered the title more?  sheesh
17117  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Gov Paterson thinks its his race is why Dems are asking him not to run on: August 22, 2009, 01:20:17 am
In reality, it's his sh**tty poll numbers.  link
Quote
Gov. Paterson blamed a racist media Friday for trying to push him out of next year's election - launching into an angry rant that left even some black Democrats shaking their heads.

"The whole idea is to get me not to run in the primary," Paterson complained on a morning radio show hosted by Daily News columnist Errol Louis.

He suggested that Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, the country's only other African-American governor, also is under fire because of his race.

"We're not in the post-racial period," Paterson said.

"The reality is the next victim on the list - and you can see it coming - is President Barack Obama, who did nothing more than trying to reform a health care system."

Paterson said the campaign against him is being "orchestrated" by reporters who would rather make the news than report it.

But critics said the governor should blame his own blunders.

"He's given the media more than enough to feed on with the incompetence shown in his administration," said state Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn), an African-American.

"To quote Michael Jackson, he should start with the man in the mirror," Parker said.

Even state Sen. Bill Perkins (D-Harlem), a black supporter of the governor, urged him to be more like Obama by staying "focused on the message."

Paterson has been the target of Democrats who fear his low approval ratings - 18% at their lowest and about 30% now - will endanger the party next year if he decides to run for his first full term as governor.
<snip>
17118  General Politics / Economics / Re: Will the Dow top 10k before the end of the year? on: August 22, 2009, 01:11:50 am
My magic 8 ball says "signs point to yes".
17119  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: Smid's Diplomacy Game Thread #2 on: August 22, 2009, 12:46:25 am
Fleet at Mar please and thank you
17120  General Politics / Economics / Re: Is home ownership stupid in general? on: August 22, 2009, 12:28:47 am
Clearly it depends on the individual and the life situation they are in (as a few have suggested).  There is no right or wrong answer here, but good job stretching it into 7 pages of bitch Smiley
17121  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: I predict this site will trend to the right on: August 22, 2009, 12:23:17 am
Thing is that most of the new Republicans are trolls.  You think of all these hacks who have no idea on real life and yes I know we have some but almost all of this flow seems to be people with no ideas or horrid ones.
That's because some of them are lefties in drag.
17122  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: I predict this site will trend to the right on: August 22, 2009, 12:22:41 am
The internet pushes a lot people towards liberty.  Read that as you will.
17123  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Israel on: August 22, 2009, 12:20:36 am
I know why...and I bet we disagree.  It's funny though.  Clearly blowing sh**t up isn't working..in fact, it's constantly made things much worse for them.  Yet they keep blowing sh**t up.  The West Bank has gotten the message (for the most part), but not the dumbasses on the strip.  Everybody's friend Iran is still trying to send them more sh**t to blow up, thankfully they have been blowing up in route lately.

Clearly more violence will solve all their problems.
17124  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: The "Gully Foyle Bashes Libertarianism" extravaganza. on: August 22, 2009, 12:06:39 am
That ain't my flavor of libertarianism.  Who wouldn't want more intelligent workers...in any field?  Smarter people do jobs better, even if they are way too smart for the job.  This would be especially important in jobs that deal with the public like this idiot libertarian is ranting about.  Just imagine how much easier flying would be if the TSA was made up of smart, efficient people.  Leave the dumbasses to clean toilets and dump french fries for us, give us the smart guys at the train station.
17125  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Petition to declare GMantis absent, thus making Lt. Gov. Vepres active Governor on: August 21, 2009, 11:24:32 pm
x dead0man
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