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Damansarajaya

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Member since: Mon Mar 10, 2014, 05:36 PM
Number of posts: 625

Journal Archives

Obama vs Clinton in 2008

Something to remember is that Obama polled in the low 20's against Clinton throughout 2007 until about January of 2008, when he surged upward.

See the graph at the link:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/democratic_presidential_nomination-191.html

The implication for the Sanders' campaign is clear.
Posted by Damansarajaya | Thu Jul 16, 2015, 01:27 PM (46 replies)

Frontline "Escaping ISIS" shows failure of Bush Iraqi Invasion

Although the purpose of the documentary was to show the plight of hundreds if not thousands of Yazidi women and girls who have been taken prisoner by ISIS, the implication is exactly what we critics of the Iraqi War warned of so many years ago--once Saddam Hussein is knocked off, what does Iraq look like?

Those of us who remember what happened to French Indo-China after the US pulled out of its futile war there had a pretty fair model to use for Iraq. Indo-China turned into "the killing fields" as factions fought for dominance and victorious war-lords terrorized the population into submission and wreaked vengeance on its former foes.

In the even more unstable Middle East, we see the same scenario writ large.

This documentary, although not explicitly making the connection, shows exactly what's happening now that Ba'athist government has been overthrown. The Sunni faction of the military refuses to fight for the Shia leaders of Iraq, who have treated the Sunnis like shit for the past ten years. The Kurds have declared autonomy in the north, which Turkey fears because of its own large Kurdish minority. The Christians, with congregations going back to the very beginning of the movement 2000 years ago, have been virtually extirpated. Syria is completely embroiled in a confused civil war, so much so that the US government can't seem to decide which side to support or oppose.

Meanwhile, the over-arching rationale by which the Iraq invasion was justified--fighting Islamic terrorism--has been stood on its head as we watch ISIS seize one Iraqi town after another toward their ultimate goal of an Islamic caliphate, something that could have never happened under Saddam Hussein.

Bush's elective war in Iraq has had exactly the worst effects that anti-war critics predicted it would have: massive loss of life, a power vacuum leading to horrific factional strife, an increase in terrorist influence and control of the region, and many hundreds of thousands caught up in famine, pestilence, and displacement.

Last night's film put a human face on what we through our participatory democracy have set in motion in the Middle East.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/foreign-affairs-defense/escaping-isis/watch-on-slave-market-day-isis-trades-women-for-cash-weapons/
Posted by Damansarajaya | Wed Jul 15, 2015, 10:52 AM (3 replies)

Question--Did Team Bush ever turn over a whole shit load of e-mails?

The RepubliCons are combing through Hillary Clinton's e-mails . . . okay, good and fine.

So where're all the e-mails from the Bush years? Are they out there somewhere?
Posted by Damansarajaya | Wed Jul 1, 2015, 11:14 AM (35 replies)

Anybody else find it odd that Roof was arrested without incident?

This is a known mass murder, a terrorist, armed and dangerous.

He's arrested without a mark on him.

Ditto for Timothy McVeigh, Mark Chapman, John Hinckley Jr., the Unabomber, BTK, and Ted Bundy.

Meanwhile we've seen what happens to unarmed blacks: Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Freddy Gray, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Icarus Randolph, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker . . .
Posted by Damansarajaya | Fri Jun 19, 2015, 12:10 AM (50 replies)

The real reason "cowardly" Iraqi troops cave before ISIS . . .

It's very simple: Sunni troops refuse to fight for a Shia gov't that treats them and their group like shit.

It's exactly what we anti-invasion folks warned against when we marched 2 million strong to stop the impending war, the invasion would de-stablize the region, cause Iraq to splinter, and make terrorism worse.

(quote) After all U.S. forces left in 2011, the Iraqi army basically fell apart because of the cronyism and corruption that took place under Nouri al-Malaki, Iraq’s prime minister from 2006 to 2014.

Those sectarian splits caused by Malaki’s government sapped the Iraqi forces “will to fight” to save Ramadi from being overrun by ISIS last month, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said. While training can give troops the skills needed to prevail on the battlefield, training can’t teach will. Nonetheless, U.S. troops who trained Iraqi forces the first time around say Iraqi forces, given decent leadership, are good fighters. (unquote)

http://time.com/3916866/isis-iraqi-army-training/

(quote) California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, argued that more troops could "aggravate" the threat that ISIS already poses and risk further escalation of the fight.

He argued that the U.S. will not be able to sustain any victories in Iraq unless the government is able to resolve its political differences.

During the Iraq War, "We won Ramadi but it didn't stay won because the political problems that preceded the first Iraq war haven't been solved and that is the Sunnis have not been brought into the government (unquote)

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/defense-sec-carter-iraqi-forces-showed-no-will-to-fight-isis-ramadi/

(quote) US military man, General John Allen – officially the US' Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter IS – had been trying to contact the tribal factions and leaders who were his friends and allies when he was a soldier in Anbar, the source said. Allen was also the brains behind Iraq's “Awakening Movement”, a group of Sunni Muslim fighters, funded and formed by the US government, to get Al Qaeda out of their hometowns, post 2003.

“But it was surprising,” the source said. “Most of them [General Allen's former allies] refused to cooperate with us. And some of them are actually now living outside of Iraq because of the previous Iraqi government's policies.”

When the IS group took control of certain Sunni Muslim-majority areas in Iraq, long running disputes with, and locals' anger towards, the Shiite Muslim-led government in Baghdad meant that at first, the IS fighters were welcomed. Many locals in these areas saw them as liberators from the Iraqi army – which was heavily Shiite Muslim and which Sunni locals had accused of treating them unfairly, beating, imprisoning and arresting them - and basically “occupying” the Sunni-majority areas.

For both the locals, the various Sunni Muslim armed factions and the IS group, there was a common enemy: the government in Baghdad. (unquote)

http://www.niqash.org/en/articles/security/3558/Sunni-Muslim-Militias-Decide-They-Won't-Fight-With-IS---or-The-US-Alliance.htm
Posted by Damansarajaya | Fri Jun 12, 2015, 01:46 PM (16 replies)

An appeal to move away from "identity politics" to achieving goals . . .

"This new understanding of social justice politics resembles what University of Pennsylvania political science professor Adolph Reed Jr. calls a politics of personal testimony, in which the feelings of individuals are the primary or even exclusive means through which social issues are understood and discussed. Reed derides this sort of political approach as essentially being a non-politics, a discourse that 'is focused much more on taxonomy than politics (which) emphasizes the names by which we should call some strains of inequality ( . . . ) over specifying the mechanisms that produce them or even the steps that can be taken to combat them.' Under such a conception, people become more concerned with signaling goodness, usually through semantics and empty gestures, than with actually working to effect change.

"Herein lies the folly of oversimplified identity politics: while identity concerns obviously warrant analysis, focusing on them too exclusively draws our attention so far inward that none of our analyses can lead to action. Rebecca Reilly Cooper, a political philosopher at the University of Warwick, worries about the effectiveness of a politics in which 'particular experiences can never legitimately speak for any one other than ourselves, and personal narrative and testimony are elevated to such a degree that there can be no objective standpoint from which to examine their veracity.' Personal experience and feelings aren't just a salient touchstone of contemporary identity politics; they are the entirety of these politics."

http://www.vox.com/2015/6/3/8706323/college-professor-afraid
Posted by Damansarajaya | Thu Jun 4, 2015, 12:20 PM (0 replies)

JFK on the role of religion in politics

(because this is from a speech by a candidate running for office, I think copyright rules wouldn't apply)

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew— or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you — until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.

Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end; where all men and all churches are treated as equal; where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice; where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind; and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.

That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of presidency in which I believe — a great office that must neither be humbled by making it the instrument of any one religious group, nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. I believe in a president whose religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by him upon the nation, or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.

*****

Since JFK believed in faith as a "private matter," can we agree that cheap jibes at someone's belief in a "sky god" or mocking cartoons of someone else's prophet is not something to be celebrated or encouraged among a community dedicated to inclusiveness, tolerance, and diversity.
Posted by Damansarajaya | Sun May 10, 2015, 01:39 PM (15 replies)

WSU statistician sues seeking Kansas voting machine paper tapes

http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article17139890.html

A statistician at Wichita (Kansas) State University is seeing the same unexplained skew for Republican candidates in Kansas's last election as Francois Choquette and James Johnson found in 2008 and 2012.

The pattern is bizarrely consistent--as the size of the precinct increases, the skew from Democratic to Republican vote increases. This would be a logical effect of a vote flipping algorithm. For instance, if small precincts flipped too many votes, they might end up with a zero or negative vote total, which would be proof positive of election fraud. Much less dangerous is flipping more votes in districts with more votes cast.

*****

"A Wichita State University mathematician sued the top Kansas election official Wednesday, seeking paper tapes from electronic voting machines in an effort to explain statistical anomalies favoring Republicans in counts coming from large precincts across the country.

"Beth Clarkson, chief statistician for the university’s National Institute for Aviation Research, filed the open records lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court as part of her personal quest to find the answer to an unexplained pattern that transcends elections and states. The lawsuit was amended Wednesday to name Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Sedgwick County Elections Commissioner Tabitha Lehman.

"Clarkson, a certified quality engineer with a Ph.D. in statistics, said she has analyzed election returns in Kansas and elsewhere over several elections that indicate “a statistically significant” pattern where the percentage of Republican votes increase the larger the size of the precinct."

The biggest cities in the state, Kansas City (Kansas), Lawrence and Wichita, have bigger precincts and normally vote MORE DEMOCRATIC. To find that they vote more Republican compared to smaller districts shows that something really unusual and unexplained is occurring.

See also http://madisonvoices.com/pdffiles/2008_2012_ElectionsResultsAnomaliesAndAnalysis_V1.5.pdf
Posted by Damansarajaya | Sun Apr 5, 2015, 08:32 PM (77 replies)

On the false dichotomy between race and gender issues and class distinctions:

I am far from an expert on these matters, so I'll defer to those who are:

A. Philip Randolph--a self-proclaimed socialist, he organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first mainly African-American labor union

From Wiki: "He met Columbia University Law student Chandler Owen, and the two developed a synthesis of Marxist economics and the sociological ideas of Lester Frank Ward, arguing that people could only be free if not subject to economic deprivation. At this point, Randolph developed what would become his distinctive form of civil rights activism, which emphasized the importance of collective action as a way for black people to gain legal and economic equality. To this end, he and Owen opened an employment office in Harlem to provide job training for southern migrants and encourage them to join trade unions." (original source: Pfeffer, Paula F. (2000). "Randolph; Asa Philip". American National Biography Online. Oxford U P. Retrieved 2013-2-27.)

Bayard Rustin--self defining as gay and socialist, Rustin is remembered for organizing the world-changing 1963 March on Washington.

Wiki defines his views as follows:

After the passage of the civil-rights legislation of 1964–65, Rustin focused attention on the economic problems of working-class and unemployed African Americans, suggesting that the civil-rights movement had left its period of "protest" and had entered an era of "politics", in which the black community had to ally with the labor movement. Rustin became the head of the AFL–CIO's A. Philip Randolph Institute, which promoted the integration of formerly all-white unions and promoted the unionization of African Americans. The Institute under Rustin's leadership also advanced and campaigned for (from 1966 to 1968) A Freedom Budget for All Americans, linking the concepts of racial justice with economic justice. Supported by over 200 prominent civil-rights activists, trade unionists, religious leaders, academics and others, it outlined a plan to eliminate poverty and unemployment in the United States within a ten-year period.

Diane Nash--raised into a family in which her step-father was a member of the Pullman Porter Union, Diane nearly single-handedly integrated Nashville's lunch counters by publicly asking the mayor of the city if he believed people should be treated unequally based on their race. He admitted that he didn't. (From Wiki) "In August 1961, Diane Nash participated in a picket line, which was protesting a local supermarket's refusal to hire blacks."

Malcolm X-- (Wiki) In his speeches at the Militant Labor Forum, which was sponsored by the Socialist Workers Party, Malcolm X criticized capitalism. After one such speech, when he was asked what political and economic system he wanted, he said he didn't know, but that it was no coincidence the newly independent countries in the Third World were turning toward socialism. When a reporter asked him what he thought about socialism, Malcolm X asked whether it was good for black people. When the reporter told him it seemed to be, Malcolm X told him, "Then I'm for it."

Martin Luther King, Jr-- “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights.

"Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone. . . Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote.” 1961

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2014/01/20/3177871/martin-luther-king-radicalism/ (ThinkProgress)

King pushed for a government-guaranteed right to a job. In the years before his assassination, King re-shifted his focus on economic justice in northern cities as well as the South. He launched the Poor People’s Campaign and put forth an economic and social bill of rights that espoused “a national responsibility to provide work for all.” King advocated for a jobs guarantee, which would require the government to provide jobs to anyone who could not find one and end unemployment. The bill of rights also included “the right of every citizen to a minimum income” and “the right to an adequate education.”

He was a critic of capitalism and materialism. King was a strident critic of capitalism and materialistic society, and urged Americans to “move toward a democratic socialism.” Referring to the now iconic Greensboro Lunch Counter sit-ins, he asked, “What good is having the right to sit at a lunch counter if you can’t afford to buy a hamburger?”

King also explicitly linked the problem of capitalism with the problem of racism. “When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered,” he argued in a speech at Riverside Church in 1967.

The reverend was very aware that this kind of challenge was even more dangerous than his work on segregation and civil rights. “You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can’t talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums,” he warned his staff in 1966. “You’re really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of industry. Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong with capitalism.”

*****

As far as protecting rights, I know of no better activist than the union in my workplace--it established zero-tolerance for pay inequality years ago on any basis: age, gender, race, or sexual preference. In a non-unionized workplace, employees are subject to firing by even disclosing how much they make to other employees.
Posted by Damansarajaya | Sun Mar 1, 2015, 06:01 PM (10 replies)

New Harvard Study Concludes Bleeding-Heart Liberals Beat Conservatives In Longevity All Day Long

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/01/29/new-harvard-study-concludes-bleeding-heart-liberals-beat-conservatives-in-longevity-all-day-long/

According to a new study, even with their ever-bleeding hearts, liberals are more likely to outlive conservatives in the United States.

Published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, the recent study’s results were actually quite a surprise considering past research. Formerly, it was believed conservatives in several other countries, including that unique breed of conservatives, the American Republican, were happier and healthier people who tended to live longer than their political rivals, those dreadful liberals.

According to University of Nevada-Reno community health researcher Roman Pabayo, previous American studies, however, failed to separate political ideology from party membership. Nor did prior studies compare death rates of those at similar education and income levels.

It turns out, those who identified as conservatives and moderates were more likely to have died by the next follow-up in the research by 6 percent over liberals who basically portrayed similar traits in their lives, such as age, income, and sex.
Posted by Damansarajaya | Thu Jan 29, 2015, 05:56 PM (3 replies)
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