The best news item of the week comes from a Twitter hashtag. Islamic State militants have launched a new marketing campaign promising to conquer Rome. Italians have filled the feed with travel advice.
A few samples:
You could lose hours reading through these. Enjoy.
Here is a link to a live Huffpost interview with one of the people involved in creating a documentary on “Hate in America”. It’s about 9 min. long. Al Jazeera teamed up with the Southern Poverty Law Center to produce the documentary.
A different take on the situation:
I agree, Objv. As much as we all want to treat ISIL with as little notice as possible, they are a serious, dangerous organization. They are an enemy of th e world and need to be carefully watched and eliminated asap.
These Italian tweets are the absolute best (and right) way to dispense with ISIS – mocking. While ISIS is guilty of terrible barbarism and needs to be crushed, ultimately, they’re nothing but an insect to be scraped off the bottom of our collective shoe. The less said about those animals the better.
The ISIS tweets are so ridiculous that I pondered whether someone had somehow hacked their account and were making them sound like cartoon villains. I just laughed when I read them.
Paul Wolfowitz is trying to play down the fact that 17 of Jeb’s foreign policy advisors are from his brothers team.
In an interview airing Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, host Gloria Borger asked Wolfowitz how Bush could “be seen as his own man when the people who are advising him promoted a foreign policy that in retrospect has largely been regarded as flawed and unpopular.”
“You’re painting [with] an awfully broad brush there,” said Wolfowitz, who served as deputy defense secretary under George W. Bush and also worked under the senior Bush and Reagan. “A lot of people in that group, and actually including myself, who participated in the Reagan administration, which I think was a very successful foreign policy: Secretary [George] Shultz, Secretary [James] Baker—there’s a pretty wide range of views there but in any case he is his own man.”
Let me point out to Mr Wolfowitz that claiming that some of these people were also part of the team that brought us arms for hostages, Central American death squads, and Iran Contra does not really make people feel better. The arrogance of these jerks.
The arrogance and hubris of these gutless draft dodging cowards as Wolfowitz (and Cheney and Armitage and yes even George W. Bush) who refused to serve, even when REQUIRED during THEIR time of war but have no qualms sending young men and women to their deaths in waging unnecessary warfare when they assume power.
This alone should put the fear into Americans in allowing the same old unrepentant cowards into power again under another Bush reign to unnecessarily slaughter more young Americans (and other citizens of the world) in their imperialist megalomania.
Jeb Bush: George W. Bush, repeat. And, we all know how that 8 years turned out.
BTW, read that at the weekend retreat for GOP members of Congress that one of the keynote speakers was: (drum roll here) Dick Cheney. KEYNOTE! Seems Republicans just won’t learn.
Hang on to your seats, brothers and sisters! The “more of the same” bandwagon is getting ready to roll.
Jeb Bush is finally starting to be revealed as columnists dig into his political history. Here’s a good take from Salon. Jeb ended affirmative action while FL Gov. by EXECUTIVE ORDER! My, my, those E.O.s keep appearing….and there must be something different when a Republican employs them…..Obama needs to go to the GOP Executive Rule Seminar so he can get it right (-: More moderate than Cruz, yes. Moderate? NO Way.
So, I was talking with my son about the similarities between the religious right in the states and religious fundamentalism in the middle east. It seems that the consensus is that we cannot change the minds of the those of the right in the US, but must wait till they die, essentially. If that is true do we have to wait a generation or two till the fundamentalists disappear in the middle east? Assuming we could start now replacing the Saudi funded madrassas.
At one time I thought that changing a mind about deeply held beliefs was impossible. But I was very wrong. By simply stating a contrary opinion sometimes changes can happen.
Is it possible to create changes faster here, can we speed up the opening of the American mind?
I believe Obama’s death panels were an attempt to hasten the demise of religious fundamentalism in the US by expediting their departure from this mortal coil, but alas, Palin saw through the devious plan.
Through clenched teeth, “Palin”
Unarmed, how great that you and your son can talk about things like this. That’s a big part of the solution to most problems, don’t you think? I hope the “death do us part” philosophy isn’t the solution to extremism but neither do I believe there’s any way to “speed up the process” for opening the American mind. I’m betting on our young people who are more inclusive and accepting of greater social, cultural and racial diversity. The Middle East is such a different culture and its best solutions should come from within. America’s record is poor in trying to change foreign cultures from without.
The proliferation of social media accelerates public and private discourse on different views. I don’t see how simply stating a contrary opinion will bring about change, but if it starts a civil conversation, that’s positive.
Here’s a link to an article from Salon that speaks to the struggle in Muslim countries with Islamic extremism. Theirs is the more difficult fight.
My point about a contrary opinion pertains to a face to face conversation. In my youth, when an elder stated something racist or otherwise foolish and hateful, I would sometimes nod, mumble or change the subject. My thoughts would be, how do I change such deep hateful opinions.
Later in life, I would state my disagreements and was surprised how the other person who was used to a nod or mumble, would sometimes change their opinions. Not necessarily quickly and sometimes not at all. But that it happened at all surprised me.
But that was in face to face conversations. If you can’t interact with someone, you can’t possibly change a mind.
If, in the middle east, we could somehow replace some of the religious training with a more secular… What am I talking about, our own school system has moved to religious “Academies”.
In the same way getting one liberal half hour show on Fox News called the “Bullshit Detector” is not going to happen.
Still thinking about what I can do.
“I was talking with my son about the similarities between the religious right in the states and religious fundamentalism in the middle east.”
I hope you included the “people-in-cages-and-set-them-on-fire” part. And the “videotape-the-beheading-of-an-innocent” part. The two groups are so similar, I don’t understand why we spend money fighting in the middle east when we could kill the same sort of people right here at home much cheaper.
I feel sorry for your son.
Don’t be so smug, Doug. Some of those good God fearing Christians in this country were lynching Black people with methods just as barbaric not all that long ago.
I daresay his son is going to do just fine.
Doug, our conversations usually are about the future and green technology. And so was this conversation, in a way.
Beheadings or burning people alive did not come up. We were discussing a more nuanced point about time required to change minds among a religious subset. I know he understands the world enough to have this conversation. That both groups attend schools that do not allow a complete look at the world. The implication that both groups are lacking information. Both groups consider information from outsiders the devils work. Listening to infidels is a sin. So it is hard to change a mind. But the Fox News demographic is getting older every year. So he would have understood that I was not advocating killing anyone. He would have got the joke that Homer made.
I would have been disappointed if he had started making the comparisons you bring up. He knows that the majority of even fundamentalists in the middle east don’t burn people in cages. And he knows its been a few years since people in the bible belt stopped hanging and or burning people alive.
He groks this. He also knows that fundamentalists in this country vote for people like themselves or people that talk the talk. Its a “fundamental” truth. In the meantime they elect people that are not capable of governing us, IN MY OPINION. They also support a “Republican” cable network and talk radio that sells them reverse mortgages and gold and medicated body powder. Shows that reinforce what they already “know”.
Thanks for your concern, though. It is good to see that some people still have empathy for others.
Way to go, Unarmed. Those who aren’t capable of civil discourse don’t recognize the benefits or the opportunities, or, the message. It’s always easier to tell others to attack the message, not the messenger than to practice it.
Unarmed, civil conversations present tremendous opportunity when they occur. Problem today is that doesn’t happen very easily or often. But, kudos to you for engaging with your son on important issues. I agree that education offers the greatest opportunity to help people change views, but still feel that America hasn’t done a great job in attempting to “democratize” foreign countries. Our form of government, at its best, may not work in a country that has so little civil structure and hard-line religion that not only functions as government but as the moral authority. We are not handling that division very well in America.
It’s important that America continue to stand for Democratic ideals even as we struggle to live by them. We have a lot of work to do on our own soil but can inspire. That’s the beauty of expanded technological communication. At least there is some opportunity for people everywhere to see another way of life – with all its warts and benefits.
As for military engagement in the Middle East, I agree that we should focus our resources on domestic problems and stop being our “brother’s keeper”. Diplomacy should trump military action as a first step whenever this is possible.
On the topic of closed loops and deficiencies in education, and so as not to leave anyone out…
Off Topic: You know all those wingnut claims that Climate Change scientists are paid by “liberal sponsors”? Guess what? As usual, it hypocritically boomerangs on the willfully ignorant wingnut climate deniers.
It appears their number one poster boy for a “legitimate scientist” climate change denier (who is NOT a climate scientist, by the way), just got busted by a FOI request. And shock of shocks, wingnut climate change denier got paid to play by the coal and oil industries, and of course the Koch brothers. He even had specific climate change denial papers specifically and individually commissioned (for pay) by the industry.
Busted. The truth shall set you free. And wingnuts will forever be in bondage to their willful ignorance.
This is the paper Soon et. al. wrote that rekindled the attack on him: http://wmbriggs.com/public/Monckton.et.al.pdf
If the science is correct, does it matter who paid for it? (This paper, btw, was personally funded). Would you like to debate the scientific merit of the paper or just engage in personal attacks like your friends at the Times?
“If the science is correct, does it matter who paid for it? ”
That statement applies even more to the denier side. I’d love to have a dollar for every accusation of scientists being in it just for the government grant $ ( much was never as lucrative as some people seem to think).
Ever hear of confirmation bias Doug?
I imagine it would be even more prevalent if whoever funded your “research” demanded, excuse me, “expected” a certain outcome. Or the supply line dries up.
Which is why they are considered unethical. Of which apparently Doug has no concern for as long it reinforces HIS confirmation bias.
“If the science is correct, does it matter who paid for it?” Why, Douglas, that seems to have been the singular criticism of those “government-funded” scientists who publicize their politically motivated alarmism. Are you suggesting, perhaps, that maybe their data is correct regardless of who paid for it?
Incidentally, you have linked to a supposedly “personally funded” paper published by the “Science China Press.” The senior (last) author, William Briggs is a statistician of limited renown who apparently believes that an average is a complex statistical model without merit.
The problem with Dr. Soon is that the payment he received for his “research” – he failed to report. This was pointed out quite specifically in the article. Here’s an excerpt from Bubba’s NYT link that describes the disclosure violations:
NYT: “newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon’s work has been tied to funding he received from corporate interests….He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.”
Believe what you will on climate change/global warming. But if the “scientist” being cited is not divulging his funding sources as is ethically required, everything the good doctor offers up is tainted.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see him lose his part-time position at the Smithsonian Institute but he probably won’t lack for job offers from Heritage or other conservative climate deniers.
In the meantime, those of us who are deeply concerned about the seriousness of the changes in our oceans and air are fighting the battle in behalf of those who care and those who deny there’s a problem at all. And, I’ve got a real problem with that. As long as we share this planet, we share responsibility to do what we can to protect it for ourselves and future generations.
Doug, it certainly sounded like you were well on your way to making the argument that government-funded scientists faced pressure to produce results that supported one side or the other in the same way that industry-funded scientists might. In my experience, government agencies are quite agnostic regarding the outcome of the research as long as it’s good science. But because science relies on repetition and independent verification it is often not immediately clear whether something is not good science. The peer review process is only so effective at weeding out bad papers. In my field, when I read a paper that acknowledges an NIH grant, I know that study has been conducted without pressure from the funding agency. That doesn’t mean it is right, of course, and there are other less obvious sources of bias. When I see a paper on the benefits of lowering cholesterol that was funded by the makers of statin drugs, then I’m a little more skeptical. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, of course, but it’s the reason behind disclosure of conflicts on interest. When a group fails to disclose funding sources, then that is a huge red flag because it looks like they’re actively trying to hide something.
Funding may lead to bias, no doubt. But the argument is worthless no matter which side it comes from. Attack the message, not the messenger. If you can’t prove the message wrong, you have nothing. Unfortunately for warmists, real world results don’t correspond to their beloved models or to the dire predictions that have been made over the past thirty years. They have no option but to personally attack anyone who points that out. As far as I can tell, nobody has pointed out any flaws with “Why Models Run Hot.”
…but if you want to go there, the former IPCC head wrote a porn novel:
and won’t be attending a major meeting due to a sexual harassment charge:
Hey, this is fun!
“Attack the message, not the messenger. ”
Credentials count. If someone making a claim dies not have the credentials, pointing that out is fair game.
“”…but if you want to go there, the former IPCC head wrote a porn novel”
So what does writing porn have to do with scientific credibility? Not to mention that it’s perfectly legal to do. Sexual harassment isn’t, but it also has zilch to do with scientific credibility.
Not disclosing funding is a reasonable red flag, however. You seem to have no clue about which failings/transgressions/controversial pastimes are relevant to the topic, and which are not.
“As far as I can tell, nobody has pointed out any flaws with “Why Models Run Hot.””
Then you don’t know how to use Google. Here’s one example of someone who has pointed out a few minor flaws, such as the fundamental basis of Briggs’ and Soon’s assumptions. But there have been quite a few of these.
More basically, however, you’re arguing that scientists that receive governmental funding are inherently biased in one direction (and that direction has been constant across multiple U.S. administrations and across multiple countries) but that those who receive funding from the kind-hearted folks at Exxon-Mobil, the Southern Company, and the Koch Foundation (and “accidentally” fail to disclose it) are not, or, at least, are less biased. You are, of course, welcome to believe whatever you wish, no matter how patently absurd.
“the argument is worthless no matter which side it comes from”
That’s a rather opinionated statement, don’t you think Doug? Do you not subscribe to the Socratic questioning method? If you do, then both the message and the messenger are critical to the decision process. Intelligent people consider both, and from both sides of the proposition. That’s what’s missing in your flat dismissal of global warming. You’re ignoring the science (which comprises the majority view) that differs from your opinion. If we didn’t occupy the same world, it wouldn’t matter to me.
People with your viewpoint are negative drags on environmental stewardship. What would it hurt to acknowledge that climate change is occurring (we can argue the degree and causes separately) and that we as individuals and as a world can and should do all we can to responsibly slow and change those things under our control that are impacting our air and water quality?
” you’re arguing that scientists that receive governmental funding are inherently biased in one direction…but that those who receive funding from the kind-hearted folks at Exxon-Mobil, the Southern Company, and the Koch Foundation (and “accidentally” fail to disclose it) are not, or, at least, are less biased.”
You must have me confused with someone else. I didn’t say a anything of the sort.
“What would it hurt to acknowledge that climate change is occurring”
I have never denied that change is occurring. Of course the climate is changing. Always has, always will. What I deny are the chicken little scenarios that have been proven false time and again.
“…and that we as individuals and as a world can and should do all we can to responsibly slow and change those things under our control that are impacting our air and water quality?”
Air and water pollution are a completely separate topic. I’m not sure why you keep bringing them up when the topic is AGW.
Doug, For me this subject is related to another thread you commented on. I recently have been reading another blogger who is adamant that warming is at least stalled. So I have changed my mind. Now I don’t know if there is man-made global warming. I am not a scientist.
BUT, I still know that buying a gallon of gasoline puts a little bit of money into a madrasas, and the limited info graduate is not productive and he determines becoming a martyr is his only choice. In a way we are paying for our antagonists.
I still know that buying gallon of gasoline also builds a pipeline that leaks and ruins the water supply here in the states.
I still know what burning coal does to people downwind from the powerplant.
So, in my opinion we should move as quickly as possible to non carbon energy. Because of global warming, I don’t know. It doesn’t matter either way, does it.
“…we should move as quickly as possible to non carbon energy. Because of global warming, I don’t know. It doesn’t matter either way, does it.”
I tried to make the same point, although I am a believer in global warming. What difference does it make? Whatever we as humans can do to mitigate negative changes in our environment, we should do. Why waste all the time and energy fighting when we could actually accomplish something positive for the world and the future? So petty.
Doug, when I refer to air and water changes (please do not mis-represent my comments), I mean ALL of them. Those caused by pollution and those which are a by-product of climate changes, to use your preferred lingo. You missed my point entirely if you separate the two. Man can and should take whatever steps possible to change anything we control that adversely impacts our air and water. PERIOD. You are denying science which is your opinion, not fact, but you are certainly entitled to your opinion.
1mime sez: “I am a believer in global warming”
Just curious. How many more years of no warming would it take for you to question your belief?
Doug: “Just curious. How many more years of no warming would it take for you to question your belief?
Mime: Let me redirect your question Doug. How many more years of global warming would it take for you to question your belief?
Mime: Doug, I would love to be wrong about global warming and you be correct about climate change. My concern is not politically motivated; it is informed by scientists whose life work involves this topic. It’s informed by the melting of our glaciers & polar caps, rising sea levels (yea, I know how little you think of that), the absorption of CO2 into our oceans in amounts which are increasing the acidity of these vast bodies of water; the increase in global temperatures by over .5% in the last 30 years; the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels which are expected to surpass 900 ppm by 2100 (almost four times the pre-industrial level of 280 ppm). These are not my deductions. They are scientists’ research.
I am not a scientist but I make an effort to understand the research of scientists. These are not all of the issues scientists are concerned about but it is quite enough to convince me that man is contributing to global changes by burning fossil fuels and the lungs of our world, our forests. I want to get out in front of the problem by supporting a transition to alternative forms of energy and do what I can to impact those areas within my control – which are few.
How about you?
Here’s an interesting compilation of data looking at the pros and cons of the global warming issue if you are interested in reading it. There is a world of data out there but this is pretty good for the layman, which I admittedly am.
“How many more years of global warming would it take for you to question your belief?”
Obviously, a couple of decades of rising temperatures is not enough to convince him. I suspect a couple more decades won’t help either.
Turtle – Yeah, probably falling on deaf ears, but – it’s a good mental exercise, no?
Scott Walker continues with the “I don’t know” strategy:
Don’t like “gotcha questions”? Then show some guts and call out the people asking them. Tell them that it’s silly and counterproductive and adding to the toxic discourse to rag on the President for having grown up in a different background, and I’d rather talk about MY plans and why people should vote for ME.
(Assuming of course he actually has plans.)
Walker – reminds me of “the emperor has no clothes”. He is the single most self-orchestrated politician out there. He has no original moral convictions unless they serve to bolster his Presidential aspirations. Research his life from high school forward and you will see that this shell of a man will do anything, say anything if it furthers his personal goals. He is much like Cruz in this except that Cruz brings such an incredible narcissism which towers over other political aspirants.
He won’t comment because that’s politically safer. Forget core principles. All he can hang his hat on is fighting teachers unions and winning. Look into his budget shenanigans where he controls by dissolving cost centers and eliminating departments and shifting dedicated funds in a crass political manipulation. The ultimate shell game. What a pathetic individual.
What’s really sad to me is that anyone with Walker’s limitations should even have a shot at the presidency. That’s scary.
You are soooo correct 1mime. Walker obsequiously sucks up and tosses red meat and whiplashes and spins on a dime to pander to whatever constituency he feels will literally buy him his megalomaniacal aspirations for ultimate power. Pander sucker, er “target” of the moment? Evangelical Christian Talibanists in the Republican primaries.
Walker evolves……..the King of Pander
Doubt this will get a lot attention here with our “all Muslims are terrorists” wingnuts. For a country of people who brag about being the “free and the brave” a lot of them are really cowardly people living in constant fear of the next boogie man.
There is no excuse for ignorance in the age of the internet. I see the RWNJs/ trolls constantly bitching about where are all the Muslim condemnations for 9/11 or the mall attack in Kenya or the ISIS beheadings, etc., etc., etc. Anyone who bothers to Google search will find plenty of examples of just that. Easy for the fingers, but apparently it requires more thinking than some people care to do.
I saw this on CNN this morning. So much for the hue and cry of the right that no Muslims have ever stood up to or condemned the extremist. A pox on all their houses.
Maybe someone here knows enough law to answer this- is it possible to charge any US citizen who fights with ISIS, or even sends them aid, with treason? After all, the bastards consider themselves to be at war with us and the rest of the civilized world.
“If an American joins an army engaged in hostilities against the United States, that’s considered an act of treason and punishable by death. The law also, obviously, doesn’t sanction membership in designated terrorist organizations, though the family of “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh has tried to argue that he was simply serving in the armed forces of another country and didn’t intend to aid al Qaeda or attack U.S. troops.”
” Since then, the government has had to prove that an individual joined a foreign army with the intention of relinquishing his or her U.S. citizenship. The army in question must be engaged in hostilities against the United States or the individual must serve as an officer.*
Interesting. So it looks like a treason charge is the much less complicated way to deal with these people, since revoking citizenship requires to state to prove more things. Then we have some stupid teenage girls who want to run away and marry ISIS fighters. They would certainly be giving aid and comfort to an enemy.
As for the student mentioned in that sorry, I hope his mom does find out. I’d be quite PO’ed and disappointed in him too.
Wellll, there is always GITMO.
I thought that question was addressed by Pres. Obama when they used a drone to kill the American who Had joined the Islamist movement. He got some flack (as always) about the whole “killing an American vs putting them on trial”, but, heck, the guy didn’t volunteer to stand trial and he wasn’t worth the loss of American lives trying to extricate him. Drones have their uses – and abuses.
For such cases I’d like to see them tried in abstentia. It’s not like we’d have any chance of taking such people by surprise, and I’d rather have this as legally proper as possible. Get convinced of treason in a court of law ( and joining a terrorists group is grounds for treason, IMO), and you are fair game for drones.
Fly, in a perfect world, I agree that Americans who join extremist terrorist organizations should be tried in a court of law whenever possible. But, sometimes circumstances require time-sensitive action and I support giving that decision-making authority to our President. The main thing is to not risk American lives by sending in troops to retrieve the American scum who has joined up with a terrorist organization. It’s a judgment call and should be carefully, cautiously made.
Oh, but,, they haven’t been introduced to the Mafia!
It just so happens that I’ll be in rome in a week. Damn. Well, if I’m kidnapped or killed while stuffing my face with penne putanesca, maybe Fox news will call me a hero!
Have a good time!
Much different response from the Italians versus the chicken little types here.
Isn’t the whole gun thing kind of a weird, unintuitive inverse relationship?
It seems the MORE guns you have, the more fearful you are, when one would think it was the opposite. Of all the Western countries, no one even comes close to America for both gun saturated culture AND fear. Other countries aren’t terrified of everything like Americans are.
Could it be, Rob, that Americans are obsessed with individualism and materialism?
Excellent article in Nation of Change “Planting Fear Into the American Mind”, which speaks directly to your question, Rob. A quote from the article:
“If you can instill fear into a society you can control its people.” Hitler knew this. So did Stalin and others before and after them.
“We need our guns to protect ourselves from the government.”
“Why would the government come after you?”
“To take our guns”
Don’t worry Bobo, America will soon be safe! The same team that orchestrated the Bush War in Iraq is on board with Jeb. I mean really, Paul Wolfowitz?!
I read that the other day and my heart skipped a beat. People talk about dynasties in politics and they mention Clinton/Bush. I for one do not ming so much if that dynasty is a positive one. Clinton gave us peace and one of the longest economic booms in our nation’s history. Bush gave us a failed economy and two wars. Jeb’s willingness to use his brothers failed advisors insures more of the same outcome .
By the way I do not consider the Clintons a dynasty. One person does not make a dynasty talk to me after Hillary is elected.
I like your Hillary Bravado, Turtles!
And, that’s just the military side of Jeb’s team. Can’t wait for the fiscal list.
Another point on the Bush foreign affairs team….you can bet the Hillary team is gonna be all over this at the right point in the campaign. What we don’t know much about yet, are Jeb’s social positions and how much of a fiscal conservative he is (except for bit in article where his wife had to lie about her shopping cause Jeb is so conservative in his dress.)
“I for one do not ming so much if that dynasty is a positive one.”
There’s an amusing typo. And yeah, given W’s legacy, I’m not down with a possible repeat. I think Jeb is the smarter one, but anyone who as advised W is on my political $&@# list.
1mime – thank you
Fly – yea, that Ming comment was probably the best typo ever.