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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Florida
Home country: USA
Current location: USA
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 24,477

About Me

Small business owner, former professor and university administrator... former expat (lived in UAE for 10 years).

Journal Archives

Who Funded the Sunni Warlords in Iraq? the USA Did...

Gen. Petraeus' policy (and Maliki's arrogant incompetence) have led directly to the the Sunni warlords and ISIS knocking on the door of Baghdad:

We were paying the warlords off to the tune of around $150 Million per year....

This strategy has combined with other developments -- especially the fact that so much ethnic cleansing has already occurred and that violence in civil wars tends to ebb and flow, as the contending sides work to consolidate gains and replenish losses -- to bring about the current drop in violence. The Sunni sheiks, meanwhile, are getting rich from the surge. The United States has budgeted $150 million to pay Sunni tribal groups this year, and the sheiks take as much as 20 percent of every payment to a former insurgent -- which means that commanding 200 fighters can be worth well over a hundred thousand dollars a year for a tribal chief. Although Washington hopes that Baghdad will eventually integrate most former insurgents into the Iraqi state security services, there are reasons to worry that the Sunni chiefs will not willingly give up what has become an extremely lucrative arrangement... http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/63398/steven-simon/the-price-of-the-surge

ISIS is Being Exploited in the Media as a Bogeyman- Iraq in on the Brink of Full-Blown Sectarian War

Here are some key points to keep in-mind from the Brookings Institute:

It’s a Coalition, not a Single Group. First, ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is essentially the “lead dog” of a larger Sunni militant coalition—hence my preference for the latter, more accurate description. ISIS has been fighting in conjunction with a number of other Iraqi Sunni militant groups. Effectively the entire rogue’s gallery of Sunni militias from the 2006-2008 civil war have been revived by Prime Minister Maliki’s alienation of the Sunni Arab community since 2011. AQI, the Naqshbandis, the Ba’th, Jaysh al-Muhammad, Ansar al-Sunnah, and all of the rest are back in operation in Iraq, in at least tacit cooperation with a number of Sunni tribes.

These groups are key members of the Sunni militant coalition. They have done a great deal of the fighting, dying and occupying. Often they are indistinguishable from one another to outsiders or even Iraqis who are not themselves Sunni militants.

Many of these groups are the very same ones that were bribed by Petraeus in his policy with the Sunni warlords...

Another thing to consider is this that ISIS is essentially a militia, NOT A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION.

These are Militias First and Foremost, Terrorists only a Distant Second. Here as well, Prime Minister Maliki and his apologists like to refer to the Sunni militants as terrorists. Too often, so too do American officials. Without getting into arcane and useless debates about what constitutes a “terrorist,” as a practical matter it is a mistake to think of these groups as being principally a bunch of terrorists.

The problem there is that that implies that what these guys mostly want to do is to blow up building or planes elsewhere around the world, and particularly American buildings and planes. While I have no doubt that there are some among the Sunni militants who want to blow up American buildings and planes right now, and many others who would like to do so later, that is not their principal motivation... http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/up-front/posts/2014/06/14-iraq-military-situation-pollack

Everyone needs to do a re-boot and quickly forget what the misinformation the MSM and the right-wing hawks have been dishing out this week.

Almost makes you wonder how many millions of taxpayer dollars are flowing to Iraq right now to stop the Sunni march on Baghdad... trust me, it's happening.

Florida (of Course), Vampire Wannabe Running For Congress (GOP, of Course)

Of course he is running against Ted Yoho (R) who is more of a closet zombie...

Jake Rush, Under the Surface

What the slick video does not mention is that Rush – as “Chazz Darling,” “Staas van der Winst” and a host of other roles – was a long-time member of the Mind’s Eye Society, otherwise known as “Camarilla.”

Mind’s Eye, or MES, is a nationwide community of gothic-punk role-players who come together to take on personas of vampires and other supernatural beings (known as Kindred), dealing with night-to-night struggles “against their own bestial natures, hunters, and each other.”

MES has a number of different sects, with names such as Vampire: The Requiem; Vampire: The Masquerade; Changeling: The Lost; Geist the Sin Eaters; New World of Darkness and Werewolf the Forsaken, among others.

Using various “domains” — through both table games and “live action”— Rush participated as dozens of “characters,” with names like Darling, van de Winst, Johan Gambrys, Zane Daily, The Kriesler, Archbishop Kettering and more...

On Edit: IT isn't that he was a roleplayer, it is the fact he is trying to 'bury' that past for the family values crowd.

Fla. poll: Clinton leads Bush, Rubio in matchups (2016 Presidential match-ups)

Clinton has leads against Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio in a survey of nearly 1,600 registered voters by Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 points.

Clinton leads Bush 49 percent to 43 percent and Rubio 51 percent to 41 percent. Her lead among other potential Republicans is wider. ... http://www.news4jax.com/news/fla-poll-clinton-leads-bush-rubio-in-matchups/-/475880/24219878/-/j9hvah/-/index.html

Interesting... There is very little electoral math that can grab an electoral win without Florida for the Republicans...

Robots are stealing your job: How technology threatens to wipe out the middle class

...Automation is destroying jobs, but in contrast to past history, new jobs are not being created in adequate compensation for what’s lost, (a point all too well underlined by the latest jobs report). “The Second Machine Age” reexamines this relentless march of the robots, but in the context of a technological landscape in which change is accelerating significantly faster than what could even have been imagined just a few years ago.

The emergence of Big Data, the exponential growth unleashed by decades of Moore’s Law (more and more computing power for less and less cost), and the logic of what the authors call “recombinant innovation” — the mixing and matching of our powerful new tools into a bewildering array of even newer, even more powerful tools — have replaced hype with a bewildering new reality. We’re headed somewhere new at high speed, and with no apparent ability to put on the brakes... The key economic fact is that technology can make the pie bigger, it can make the economy richer, but it doesn’t necessarily help everybody, in fact some people, even the majority of people, can be made worse off, even if the pie grows bigger.

That’s not what happened for the past 200 years, with the first machine age, but it does seem to be what’s happening now. In the second machine age we have a bigger pie but also more concentration of wealth. The median income is now lower than it was in the 1990s... http://www.salon.com/2014/01/17/robots_are_stealing_your_job_how_technology_threatens_to_wipe_out_the_middle_class/

This article really plays into the economics I have been spending time thinking about lately. What if we no longer have an economy that can be based on unit labor (i.e. automation makes work value too cheap)? The two biggest political/economic systems of the 20th Century were Capitalism and Communism... At their heart, both these systems are based on UNIT LABOR. This is also part of our problem... as a society, we simply don't know how to organize ourselves yet. No system can give us guidance. The center cannot hold...

Three Cheers for Harry Reid and the Senate Dems

for Finally Growing a Pair...

My only worry is that they didn't include Supreme Court nominees... Now the Repubs will simply block any possible Obama nominee WELL, JUST BECAUSE they still can no matter how 'moderate' the candidate might be.

Teabagger Narrative is: The Senate Sold Us Out

From the lips of Cruz... no doubt it will bounce around RW talk radio in the coming days.

Great news for Dems... could mean lots of Republican Senators and Sen. candidates get some heavy primary opposition from the Teahadists...

=Dems maintain control in the Senate (if it was ever realistically in doubt)

Teabag Endgame is Impeachment, Will They Risk Default to Try It?

Remember what Palin said just yesterday:

"It’s time for the president to be honest with the American people for a change. Defaulting on our national debt is an impeachable offense, and any attempt by President Obama to unilaterally raise the debt limit without Congress is also an impeachable offense," she wrote... http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/palin-obama-is-flirting-with-impeachable-offenses

I don't give her credit for being quite that clever, so this must be the talking point bouncing around the Teaparty echo chamber.

What I am worried about is that this reflects the end-game for the teabaggers who will try to throw-in any monkey wrench into the works to make it happen? Certainly, they were responsible for today's rejection of the Reid/McConnell plan.

Palin all but telegraphed how they want to proceed... the only question is their enough corporate leverage on the more moderate republicans to raise the ceiling before they force the President's hand on whether, or not he would invoke the 14th Amendment

Republican Caucus Agrees to NOTHING this Morning (Spkr. Boehner's news conference)

in addition to accomplishing nothing, did anyone catch the body language between Boehner and Cantor? In addition to the nation being on the precipice, we are seeing the Republicans fracture and stab each other in the back before our eyes.

At least that part is fun to watch

Just watched the raw video from NBC on Roku, deliberate provocation today

Police and journalists outnumbered the police who were pushed against a fence. One teahadist deliberately assaulted an officer.

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