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 Author Thread: Rockabilly?
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 4 (view)
Posted: 1/10/2011 9:51:17 PM
Do yourself a favour and go over to YouTube and type this in :

The Tielman Brothers 1960 NL-TV Rollin Rock indorock.

Ever see a drummer do a solo while walking around his drum kit ?

1960 , on a Dutch Television show, and it's an amazing piece of showmanship from the entire band. If I ever come across a time machine, I'm going to go back to the stage door at that Dutch TV station and sign these guys up for a showt at the Apollo Theatre and be a milionaire.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 12 (view)
Marred Twain and Huck Finn - racist or educational?
Posted: 1/8/2011 5:46:28 PM
Both those books were ones I enjoyed immensely as a young boy, and still flip through. Revising history isn't going to do anything other than making people forget what really happened. I do agree it's rather ironic that any rap artist can use the word at will in his art, and one of America's greatest authors can't ?
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 3 (view)
i love government cheese!
Posted: 11/7/2010 10:03:51 AM
I've always wondered about how cheese can be labelled as unhealthy there, when the USA is far from the highest per capita consumer of it.

Top cheese consumers - 2008
(kilograms per person per year)

Greece 30.0 (2006)
 France 24.6
 Iceland 23.8
 Germany 22.1
 Switzerland 21.41 (2009)
 Italy 21.4
 Finland 19.1 (2007)
 Austria 18.7
 Sweden 18.4 (2007)
 Netherlands 17.3
 Czech Republic 16.3
 Norway 15.4 (2007)
 United States 15.0
 Canada 12.37
 United Kingdom 12.3 (2007)

The problem is more the overall diet Americans are exposed too, not cheese itself.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 1029 (view)
Can men and women be friends without sex?
Posted: 11/4/2010 5:27:41 AM

1) Can men and women come together with the express purpose of a non-sexual relationship? Sure, but why bother? I have no need for a "friend" who won't back me up in a bar fight...

So you only hang out with people at least as strong as you are, who are able and willing to fight strangers ?

Must cut down on the numbers, I'd guess.

2) Can a man be friends with a woman after he's expressed romantic interest in her, and she has made it clear that she does not reciprocate (i.e., she's savaged his ego and wounded his pride, and is offering "friendship" as a consolation prize... )? Probably not.

Here, we agree.

3) Can a man and a woman go from a sexual relationship to a non-sexual relationship that involves close friendship? Absolutely not (you'll hear from women who say they're "best friends" with their former lovers; very little questioning is required to discover that their definition of "friends", is what most men would classify as "people whom it wouldn't be worth beating up"... Seriously, many of women's so-called "friends", are what guys would call "passing acquaintances").

That's possible, if the reasons for breaking up are accepted equally and validated by both parties. Rare, but it happens.

It happend to me only once, though.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 45 (view)
The Stewart/Colbert rally 10/30/10
Posted: 10/30/2010 5:25:58 PM
It looks like it pulled off what it wanted to accomplish, which is to show the truth in what Bill Clinton once said : "There is nothing wrong in America that can't be fixed with what is right in America.".

One of the funniest moments came with the introduction of singer and Muslim convert Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens. Islam began to sing "Peace Train", only to be interrupted by Colbert, who said ,"I am not getting on that train", before bringing on heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne to sing his 1980s hit, "Crazy Train". The O'Jays later sang "Love Train".

But if there was one group the rally did take genuine aim at, it was the American media. That has long been the true aim of much – if not virtually all – of Colbert's and Stewart's comedy. They have relentlessly gone after the mainstream media, accusing it of laziness, elitism and pandering to power, and generally holding it responsible for a dumbing down of American life.

Colbert's whole stage persona is one gigantic clown act aimed at conservative news pundits. It is no wonder, they say, that young people like the thousands on the Mall barely know what a newspaper is and never watch the evening network news.

"It is a sad commentary that the two most important news shows are on the Comedy Channel," said Cohen. "In their comedic format they are doing what journalists should be doing."

Stewart: "We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is -- on the brink of catastrophe, torn by polarizing hate. The truth is, we work together to get things done, every damn day. The only place we don't is here [he points to the city] or on cable TV. But Americans don't live here, or on cable TV."

Stewart: "There are terrorists and racists and Stalinists and theocrats, but those are titles that must be earned. You must have the resume. Not being able to distinguish between a real bigot and ... Rick Sanchez is an insult not only to [Sanchez] but to racists who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate."

Stewart: "Unfortunately, one of our main tools in delineating the two is broke. ... The country's 24-hour Political Pundit ... Panic Conflictionator did not cause our problems, but its existence makes solving them that much harder. ... The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems and bring them into focus to illuminate the issues -- or they can use that glass to light ants on fire and host a week of shows on the Dangerous Flaming Ant Epidemic. If we amplify everything, we hear nothing."

Stephen Colbert joins Jon Stewart onstage, comes up from his underground Fear Bunker like a Chilean miner, only he's dressed like Evel Knievel, and waving a Chilean flag. He pretends to release bees to send the crowd into a panic.

And perhaps rhe best part is that it was done in a "so American" type of way.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 22 (view)
The one place in America where Americans have almost zero rights is ?
Posted: 10/30/2010 3:38:43 PM

you should be sentenced to three weeks of managing people and actually running a business. you will quickly change your whiny tune, i guarantee.

Been there, done that.

I was a director of production, and am currently the VP of my union local.

I'm also one of the most productive employees, based on stats, always in first or second spot.

Your eight hour day, forty hour week, and child labour laws, were the result of unions and other "socialists".

The eight-hour day movement or 40-hour week movement, also known as the short-time movement, had its origins in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, where industrial production in large factories transformed working life and imposed long hours and poor working conditions. With working conditions unregulated, the health, welfare and morale of working people suffered. The use of child labour was common. The working day could range from 10 to 16 hours for six days a week.

Robert Owen had raised the demand for a ten-hour day in 1810, and instituted it in his socialist enterprise at New Lanark. By 1817 he had formulated the goal of the eight-hour day and coined the slogan Eight hours labour, Eight hours recreation, Eight hours rest. Women and children in England were granted the ten-hour day in 1847. French workers won the 12-hour day after the February revolution of 1848. A shorter working day and improved working conditions were part of the general protests and agitation for Chartist reforms and the early organization of trade unions

Almost 20 percent of employers today require all employees to agree in advance not to go to court if the company violates their legal rights, and to take their dispute to a private arbitration system selected (and sometimes run) by the employer..If you don't agree, you don't get the job. Some of these programs are fair. But others are kangaroo courts in which employers may handpick the arbitrators and deny employees the right to have a lawyer, or whose rules don't require the arbitrator to follow the law.

Even if what they are doing is illegal, you agree that it's not a legal issue - and use a system that may let them hold all the cards...

.... you completely neglect the second half of the equation here: that many see government as the enemy of liberty, all the while defending the employer's prerogative to do whatever they want as long as they pay their employees competitively

That's the focus point here, really.

The same American that wants to have a safe flight in a plane, but who thinks those new security cameras or physical pat downs are highly intrusive might be someone who has to urinate into a cup (in front of a witness, no less) to keep their job.

If you survive this gauntlet, the drug test is waiting for you. No sensible employer wants to hire a drug abuser, but drug tests can't tell if someone is an abuser, only that someone used drugs at some point in the past. If you've ever smoked marijuana at a party, you could be in for trouble. When your body metabolizes something you ingest, the chemicals it creates (called metabolites) stay in your body for days, or even weeks.Even if you've never touched drugs, you're not safe. Some employers use cheap tests that mistake Advil, Sudafed, NyQuil, and other over-the-counter medications for illegal drugs. Even if proper testing is used, labs often make mistakes. A study by the Centers for Disease Control found that 37 percent of drug test results were wrong; the samples labeled positive were actually clean. And don't count on having any privacy for the test; some employers have "urination monitors" watch everyone while they fill the cup to make sure nobody is cheating

- ibid

Now there may be no actual reason for such a test, as one might have for someone driving or operating a vehicle - or someone with an admitted problem that's being monitored.

You may not have even ingested the substance in question at all, it could be "second hand smoke" from a concert or party.

It might even be a false positive, because the company used the cheap test to save money.

Guess what ? No more job, and a work record that indicates illegal drug use.

Or for drinking a beer socially.

Best Lock Company in Indiana fires workers for social drinking because its president believes drinking alcohol is a sin.
- ibid

He does know they served wine at the Last Supper, I presume?

And the Eucharist in the Catholic Church ?

Let's hope your boss isn't some whacked out Calvinist.

In 1989, Daniel Winn, an employee at the Best Lock Corporation in Indiana, admitted to his superiors that several years earlier he had a few drinks in a bar with friends. Mr. Winn was promptly fired on the basis of Best Lock's policy that its employees cannot drink alcohol under any circumstances.

The early Americans adopted the Bill of Rights to limit the government's involvement in their lives and modern Americans demonstrate the same unwillingness to tolerate intrusion whether by government or by employer. According to a 1990 poll by the National Consumers League, 81% of Americans believe that an employer has no right to refuse to hire an overweight person. 76% believe employers have no right to refuse to hire a smoker. 73% believe employers have no right to require an employee or applicant to change their diet.

Now contrast those types of numbers with this "OK, go ahead and tread on me" acceptance of this level of control over your life by your boss.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 13 (view)
The one place in America where Americans have almost zero rights is ?
Posted: 10/28/2010 6:17:17 PM

MG's MAIN point, as I see it, is that your employer determines your quality of life and limits your liberties far more than the government does directly, yet government is seen by many as the enemy of liberty.

That's exactly it, backed up with citations to prove it.

As I pointed out with one of those citations, your Constitutional rights end when you punch in - if your boss wants to do that.

Did you know you could be fired for not removing a political sticker from your car — or even having a beer after work? Lewis Maltby says it's more than possible — it's happened. His new book, Can They Do That? explores rights in the workplace.

As he tells NPR's Ari Shapiro, "Freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment — but only where the government is concerned.

"What most Americans generally don't know is that the Constitution doesn't apply to private corporations at all."In terms of monitoring its employees, the list of things a corporation can't do is a short one — it's basically confined to eavesdropping on a personal oral conversation, Maltby said. "Anything else is open season."

Lewis L. Maltby, President

A nationally recognized expert and prolific writer on human rights in the workplace, Maltby is the founder
and president of the Institute. As a senior private sector executive, Maltby learned that human rights and
corporate efficiency are not only compatible, but mutually reinforcing. He left the corporate world in 1988
and founded the National Workplace Rights Office of the American Civil Liberties Union. In 2000, Maltby
and his ACLU staff realized the need for an independent organization to fight for human rights on the job
and created the National Workrights Institute.

Do not think you're protected by the First Amendment.

You can't help but sympathize with an employer who's trying to improve the bottom line, but allowing employers to take over everyone's private life to improve the bottom line is just not legitimate.

-Lewis Maltby

Lewis Maltby
Lewis Maltby, an expert in employment law, is president and founder of the National Workrights Institute. The former head of the ACLU's national workplace rights office, he is quoted frequently in the media.

Maltby, president and founder of the National Workrights Institute, provides chilling insight into personal rights in the workplace and existing laws, which, with rare exception, side with employers. Such liberties as freedom of speech, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, protect us only from governmental intrusions and do nothing to safeguard us from private enterprise. Maltby relays shocking stories of employer abuses, including tracking employees through cell phone GPS locators, placing hidden cameras in restrooms, and asking potential employees for details on everything from religious beliefs to sex lives. A staggering 20% of employers now require employees to agree before being hired not to go to court if the corporation violates their legal rights. Maltby shows employees how to protect themselves as much as possible under the existing laws and urges them to fight for bringing the Bill of Rights to apply to the private sector.

A group of women at a storage company with no legal recourse after discovering a hidden camera installed by their manager in the women's restroom

A longtime employee dismissed for having a beer after work, because his boss believed drinking was a sin

<div class='quote'>

Talk about Big Brother ?

That's from someone with the legal background to say it, not some tin foil wearing psycho.

If one looks at the real quality of life one has, it's far more dependant on your boss than anyone you elect to any office.

Anyone that speaks out about it is seen as attacking something basic and "normal", as we've just seen here. If one did the same thing on a political thread, on an "anti-government" rant, they'd generally be applauded by many.

That's what's so fascinating to me. It's partly explainable by American historical cultural memes, and corporate media control over perspective.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 10 (view)
The one place in America where Americans have almost zero rights is ?
Posted: 10/28/2010 2:38:28 PM

Not because of government rules, regulations, taxes, and wages because of social lifestyle making it too expensive to do business here, but because they are so evil.

Yet those very same companies do business here in Canada , and many other "socialist" countries, and make a tidy profit doing it.

No one notices the irony.

Even better, they get Americans, like you, to pay towards helping them out - with "wealthfare".

And they compensate me for it.
That's the nature of capitalism.
You have something I want, I have something you want. If I want what you have, then I have to meet your demands. Free market capitalism means if I don't want to meet your demands then I can probably find someone that doesn't make them.
I don't have to work there.
I have the right to leave and find work somewhere else at any time. I can "at will" take off.
I can refuse that employer completely, so that employer has absolutely no control over me.

Not quite as easy as it sounds, for most people in the workplace. It's especially ironic given the economic climate today.

My boss can't fire me for having a political sticker on my car, and yet I live in a society where (compared to the USA) there's a distinctly different model of what "free speech" is defined as.

Fly was correct in seeing the aim of the post, which was to point out just how much control your boss holds over you, as compared to that phantom menace from government many American's fear.

So where is there more freedom? Having the ability to choose between employers, being able to choose which one you will sacrifice your rights to get what you want from them, and the ability to leave at any time?

I'm free to leave my job at any time, as are most people without specific contracts stating otherwise. I can choose any employer I want that will hire me. That's pretty universal, actually, in Western democracies.

America isn't special in that regard.

As a Canadian, I have a minimum two weeks paid vacation time a year, as well as two additional ones from my company (after thirteen years of service).

If I was a new parent, could get a total of 35 weeks of parental leave (which could be shared and split with the mother), paid for by unemployment insurance.

A pregnant woman can leave work eight weeks before the expected birth date, and get fifteen weeks total maternity leave.

What's important to note here is that these things like these help make better families, and better societies.

If a society doesn't value children and families, (except in name only) are we surprised when that same society has problems ?
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 1 (view)
The one place in America where Americans have almost zero rights is ?
Posted: 10/27/2010 10:27:12 PM
Well, I'd say that one area is something that most Americans never even think of.

They often complain about government and it's power, and protest vigorously to stop any possible change, but there is one place where every American is under far more control every single day of their adult lives.

Guess where ?

It's in their workplace.

Let me explain...

Americans have NO legal right to vacation time, a great exception to the rule in Western democracies.

In the last five decades the average U.S. family has gradually moved toward several incomes and no vacations. Per year, the average American works 5 weeks more than the average Briton, and 12 weeks more than a German. Meanwhile, our social safety net, job security, access to health care, pensions, quality of life, and vacation time have all declined.

A report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research says that among the 21 richest countries in the world, the U.S. ranks last in the legal right to paid vacation time. It is fatiguing just to look at their charts. "The United States is in a class of its own," the report says. "It is the no-vacation nation."*aid=3175*time=pm

Your boss can literally fire you "at will" , in many places.

At-will employment is a doctrine of American law that defines an employment relationship in which either party can break the relationship with no liability, provided there was no express contract for a definite term governing the employment relationship and that the employer does not belong to a collective bargaining group (i.e., has not recognized a union).

Under this legal doctrine:
“ any hiring is presumed to be "at will"; that is, the employer is free to discharge individuals "for good cause, or bad cause, or no cause at all," and the employee is equally free to quit, strike, or otherwise cease work. ”

Several exceptions to the doctrine exist, especially if unlawful discrimination is involved regarding the termination of an employee.

Good luck winning that case, btw.

DISPUTING DISMISSAL: What happens if you think you have been fired for a bad reason?

If you are a private-sector employee not under contract in the U.S., there are not many legal options to pursue unless you can prove a civil rights violation.

"Private-sector employees don't have rights" [i/]in the U.S., said Charles Craver, a professor specializing in employment law at George Washington Law School. An employee can be fired for any reason.

For any legal reason, that is. Workers cannot be dismissed for being whistleblowers, and federal law prohibits employers from dismissing or discriminating against workers because of their sex, national origin, religion, race, color, age or disabilities, for example.

You can also sue an employer for violating an employment contract, and there are certain state-by-state definitions of wrongful termination.

But even a dismissal that would be illegal -- because of one's sex, say -- can be hard to prove.

"The courts have cut back on wrongful termination cases," said Steve Paskoff, president of HR consultancy ELI and a former attorney with the government's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. "You want to have 'smoking gun' facts."

Hope you have a lot of cash for the lawyers...

Your boss can make you sign a contract that binds you to doing things or not doing things, like drinking - even responsible social drinking.....if you really want that job.

Today, most Americans are more vulnerable to having their rights violated by their employers than the early Americans were to having their rights violated by the government. Yet because the Constitution does not limit their authority, private employers are free to violate the civil liberties of their employees. Nationwide, the American Civil Liberties union receives more complaints about abuses by employers than about abuses by the government:

* In California, a job applicant was denied a job because he refused to answer questions about his sex life on a "psychological test." At least million job applicants are required to take such tests every year.

* In Pennsylvania, an employee was fired because he pointed out serious safety defects in his employer's products At least 200,000 Americans are unjustly fired every year.

* In Indiana, an employee was fired because she smoked cigarettes in her own home. At least 6,000 American companies now attempt to regulate off-duty smoking and other private behavior.

The vast majority of American employees, of whom there are 100 million in all, are governed by a doctrine called "employment at will." This doctrine, a relic of 19th century anti-labor laws, gives employers the unfettered right to fire workers at any time, for any reason, whether grave or frivolous. Indeed, one can be fired for no reason at all. An estimated 200,000 employees at least, are unjustly fired in the United States each year.

It is the prevalence of the employment-at-will doctrine that empowers employers to impose unwarranted urine tests and intrusive "personality" and "integrity" tests on their employees. The power to fire at will permits employers to suppress their employees right to free speech.

Are there any laws that protect employees' rights?
There are federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination against individuals on the bases of race, religion, sex, national origin, age and disability. However, these laws require only that employees be treated equally. Employers are, therefore, free to do whatever they wish to their employees as long as they do so in a non-discriminatory manner.

A few other federal and state laws provide some protection against specific abuses, such as urine testing, polygraph testing and retaliation against whistle blowers. But these laws are extremely limited. The fundamental human rights of free expression, privacy and due process are still largely unprotected in the American workplace.

The Fourth Amendment, which protects the privacy of citizens from "unreasonable searches and seizures," gives some protection to public sector employees against their employers' prying eyes. In general, a government employer cannot search the person or belongings of an employee in the absence of any suspicion that the particular employee has done something illegal. With respect to urine testing for drugs, however, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that government employees can be required to take such tests, even if the employer does not suspect drug use, if the person's job is "safety sensitive," or involves carrying weapons or having access to classified information.

Private sector employees, on the other hand, have virtually no protection against even the most intrusive practices. In all but a handful of states, an employee can be required to submit to a urine test even where nothing about the employee's job performance or history suggests illegal drug use. If the employee refuses, he or she can be terminated without legal recourse. Employees can be subjected to "sniff" searches by dogs and searches of their lockers desks, purses, and even their cars if they park in the company parking lot. Both job applicants and employees can be required to answer extremely intrusive questions about their private lives and personal beliefs on "psychological," "personality" and "integrity" tests.

The advent of computer technology has made possible even more sophisticated forms of spying in the workplace. More and more employees are being subjected to electronic surveillance through video display terminals, observation by hidden cameras installed in work areas and locker rooms, and monitored telephone calls. With few exceptions, these increasingly widespread practices are legal.

Can employers discriminate on the basis of employees' lifestyles?
One of the emerging issues in the American workplace is the attempt by employers to control certain private habits and proclivities of their employees that have no relationship to job performance. Fat people are victims of lifestyle discrimination and a growing number of companies are refusing to hire smokers--even those who smoke only in their homes. A few employers exclude people with high cholesterol levels, or high blood pressure, and those who engage in such risky hobbies as scuba diving and hang gliding. Others impose lifestyle restrictions: One Oregon company bars workers who fail to participate in the company's exercise program from attending company picnics; a Pennsylvania company prohibits its managers from riding motorcycles!

Did you know you could be fired for not removing a political sticker from your car — or even having a beer after work? Lewis Maltby says it's more than possible — it's happened. His new book, Can They Do That? explores rights in the workplace.

As he tells NPR's Ari Shapiro, "Freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment — but only where the government is concerned.

"What most Americans generally don't know is that the Constitution doesn't apply to private corporations at all."

In terms of monitoring its employees, the list of things a corporation can't do is a short one — it's basically confined to eavesdropping on a personal oral conversation, Maltby said. "Anything else is open season."

And outside the workplace, personal blogs or social media pages on services like Twitter or Facebook offer no refuge.

Asked if workers can be fired for things they write on those sites, Maltby said, "Absolutely. Happens every day."

But not all snooping is meant to be malicious, Maltby said. For instance, a boss who suspects an employee might be about to quit, or is perhaps moonlighting for a competitor, might seek out the worker's personal blog.

The worker might not have been doing any of the things the boss had feared — instead, "your boss sees you blowing off steam about him, takes offense — and you get fired."

And workers have very little legal protection against being fired, said Maltby, who is also the president and founder of the National Workrights Institute.

"I've been getting calls from people for 20 years who've been abused in all sorts of ways," Maltby said. "When I tell them, 'Sorry, you don't have any legal rights,' they literally don't believe me," Maltby said.

Companies need the freedom to run their businesses the way they want — and fire people who are seen as doing a bad job. But, Maltby says, those decisions should be based on legitimate business rationale.

Asked how some practices can persist even though a majority of workers are against them, Maltby points to a key flaw in the job market: workers' need for stable income. The need to pay for things like a home mortgage or a child's education tends to complicate matters.

"It sounds nice in theory to say, 'Walk away, and look for another job,' " Maltby said. "But in practice, most people just can't take that risk. They just put up with it."

They can make it very difficult to unionize, a cardinal sin of the highest order.

Walmart ?

Guess the only place in the world ALL Walmart workers are unionized.


In August 2006, Wal-Mart announced that it would allow workers at all of its Chinese stores to become members of trade unions, and that the company would work with the state-sanctioned All-China Federation of Trade unions (ACFTU) on representation for its 28,000 staff. However, the All-China Federation of Trade unions has been criticized because it is the only trade union in China and as a tool of the government, ACFTU has been seen as not acting in the best interest of its members (workers), bowing to the government pressure on industry growth and not defending workers' rights

Meanwhile, back at home.....

The 2004 report by U.S. Representative George Miller alleged that in ten percent of Wal-Mart's stores, nighttime employees were locked inside, holding them prisoner.

Wal-Mart has advised all stores to ensure the door keys are available on site at all times.

You can even profit of a dead employee, or at least you could at one time....

Until the mid-1990s, Wal-Mart took out corporate-owned life insurance policies on its employees including "low-level" employees such as janitors, cashiers, and stockers. This type of insurance is usually purchased to cover a company against financial loss when a high-ranking employee (i.e. management) dies, and is usually known as "Key Man Insurance." Critics derided Wal-Mart as buying what they called "Dead Peasants Insurance" or "Janitor Insurance." Critics, as well as the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, charge that the company was trying to profit from the deaths of its employees, and take advantage of the tax law which allowed it to deduct the premiums. The practice was stopped in the mid-1990s when the federal government closed the tax deduction and began to pursue Wal-Mart for back taxes.

In America, they can pay you so low a salary that your family is on social assistance, one area where "more government" is a GREAT idea.

Because Wal-Mart employs part-time and relatively low paid workers, some workers may partially qualify for state welfare programs. This has led critics to claim that Wal-Mart increases the burden on taxpayer-funded services. A 2002 survey by the state of Georgia's subsidized healthcare system, PeachCare, found that Wal-Mart was the largest private employer of parents of children enrolled in its program; one quarter of the employees of Georgia Wal-Marts qualified to enroll their children in the federal subsidized healthcare system Medicaid. A 2004 study at the University of California, Berkeley charges that Wal-Mart's low wages and benefits are insufficient, and although decreasing the burden on the social safety net to some extent, California taxpayers still pay $86 million a year to Walmart employees.

Corporations have more power over Americans, so much so, that it would be a government's wet dream to match it.

Now, for those of us outside of America, these seem quite unbelievable, but they are all true.

Now the interesting thing here is this "fear" of government control, and seemingly zero awareness that your employer can literally have almost total control over you - and it's not something people protest about or even mention much.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 56 (view)
Obama, Bush's worst plus his own.
Posted: 10/25/2010 9:34:59 PM

I disagree. When a certain person is given a known free pass, that is exactly the sort of profile that terrorists will seek to exploit. Putting myself in the position of a terrorist, I would think of ways to plant explosives on the elderly and young if I knew they were beyond being searched at the airport.

For the most part, there is no such thing as an "obvious non threat" at an airport.

Agree, 100 %, as does El Al.

EVERY single person on board will be examined and talked to - no exceptions.

But Israeli security experts argue that such profiling has helped thwart potential attacks.

They point to an attempt in 1986 by a Jordanian to send his Irish girlfriend on to an El Al flight with a bomb concealed in her hand luggage without her knowledge.

The woman, Anne-Marie Murphy, was preparing to board an Israel-bound flight at London's Heathrow airport, when she was quizzed by a ticket agent trained to screen passengers.

Since the agent thought her story didn't add up, screeners re-examined her baggage, which an X-ray had cleared and found seven pounds of explosives in the lining.

That plane, and those passengers, didn't become a news headline because El Al knows what it's doing - from experience.

From one passenger's trip:

Over the years I'd heard about all kinds of EL AL security precautions that they take; some turned out to be true, some false. No matter which North America airport you check-in you will see armed gunmen in the far corners. It was no different at Pearson International Airport Terminal 3.

"Look Into My Eyes"

All passengers get vetted before they even get to the airport (they run passengers names in databases and follow up -- unlike the U.S. State Department). Every passenger gets questioned before they even reach the check-in desk by unarmed security agents. The thirtyish, clean cut, skinny Israeli who greeted me was super friendly but looked at me so deep into my eyes that I felt powerless. In fact, if for some reason he wanted to lay me out on the floor he probably could've with one swift kick to my jaw. But instead he just asked basic questions like: "Who packed your bags?" "Where did you pack them?" "Have they been in your possession the whole time?" "Did anyone give you anything to bring to Israel ... ?"

Out of all the interviews I read recently, security experts agree that our biggest mistake when trying to spot terrorists is not looking into their eyes. I guess after some intense training these guys can detect the good from the bad by just observing. After this encounter I believe it.

THAT's how it's done, properly.

They also don't pay people minimum wage, and give them "training sessions" - which means most times watching a DVD ...once.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 36 (view)
Is Faith an Intellectual Short Cut to the Big Answers?
Posted: 10/22/2010 11:57:29 AM

However, it strikes me that this society again has not taken up this mantle, to make EFFORT in the name of tolerance. That's not your personal failing, or my personal failing. It's not just down to religious people, or atheists. It's down to everyone. So there is no blame here, except an equal apportion of blame for all of us. But equally, there is an equal apportion of benefits for everyone, because we can see that when we make the effort to find room for everyone's views, about how much better everything gets.

As long as everyone stays within their walls, and does no harm to others, why must we try and change them ?

As long as they avoid pushing their belief/non-belief on us, why shouldn't we do the same to them ? Is that too much to ask of anyone ?

Diversity makes us better, not worse. Tolerance, as Scorp said, is something we all need if we are to move forward together.

Maybe we should make compassion a teachable subject in school ?

His Holiness concluded that it was clear that scientific and technological development was no guarantee for happiness and reiterated his call for scientists to increase attention to the inner mind.

The first session was on “The Role of Compassion in Education and Wider Societal Context” with Prof. Linda Darling Hammond, Professor of Education, and Dr. Philip Zimbardo, Professor of Psychology Emeritus, both of Stanford University, as panelists.

It focused on the place of compassion, both in individuals’ lives and in larger societal contexts, such as understanding across peoples and cultures as well as the future course of education.  It examined how compassion and altruism can be brought into social and educational systems and what the benefits might be. Dr. Hammond spoke about experiments in some schools in Palo Alto where the students were given education in compassion and how this has positively impacted them.

The Second session was on “Research and Experiments on Compassion” with Dr. Karl Deisseroth, Associate Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Dr. Bill Harbaugh, Professor of Economics, University of Oregon, and Dr. Brian Knutson, Associate Professor of Psychology, StanfordUniversity.

This session saw the presentation of findings from CCARE’s research on the neural, genetic and behavioral mechanisms associated with compassion, altruism and other pro-social emotions.  It explored the evolutionary origins of mammalian nurturing as well as neuropsychological and neuroeconomic models of compassion.
The third session was also on “Research and Experiments on Compassion” with the following panelists. Dr. Phillipe Goldin, Research Associate, Department of Psychology, Stanford University;  Dr. Erika Rosenberg, Consulting Scientist, Center for Mind and Brain, University of California, Davis; and Dr. Jeanne Tsai, Associate Professor of Psychology, Stanford University. Subjects raised included the potential of altering the brain through altering of genes.

This session saw the presentation of CCARE research projects on the effects of cultivating compassion through affective training.  It examined how cultivating qualities of compassion is possible and introduced a secular protocol for Compassion Cultivation Training developed by Dr. Thupten Jinpa, Adjunct Professor, Religious Studies, McGill University, and Visiting Scholar and Executive Committee, CCARE, Stanford University,  for CCARE.

The fourth session was on “Exploring Scientific Questions for Future Research on Compassion and Altruism” with Dr. James R. Doty, Dr. Paul Ekman, Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, University of California, San Francisco.  In this session the panelists touched on some of the issues raised in earlier panels. They talked about a proposed standard of measuring compassion and the need for more discussions on this.

Science and faith can co-exist happily, and both can learn from each other, if both are wise.

A Collaboration Between Science and Religion
January 14, 2003
 By His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

These are times when destructive emotions like anger, fear and hatred are giving rise to devastating problems throughout the world. While the daily news offers grim reminders of the destructive power of such emotions, the question we must ask is, what can we do to overcome them?

Of course such disturbing emotions have always been part of the human condition - humanity has been grappling with them for thousands of years. But I believe we have a valuable opportunity to make progress in dealing with them, through a collaboration between religion and science.

With this in mind, I have, since 1987, engaged in an ongoing series of dialogues with groups of scientists. Organized by the Mind & Life Institute, they have been on topics ranging from quantum physics and cosmology to compassion and destructive emotions. I have found that while scientific findings offer a deeper understanding of such fields of knowledge as cosmology, it seems that Buddhist explanations can sometimes give scientists a new way to look at their own field.

Our dialogue has provided benefits not just for science, but also for religion. Though Tibetans have valuable knowledge about the internal world, we have been materially backward partly because of a lack of scientific knowledge. Buddhist teachings stress the importance of understanding reality. Therefore, we should pay attention to what modern scientists have actually found through experiment and through measurement the things they have proved to be reality.

Generally speaking science has been an extraordinary tool for understanding the material world, making vast progress in our lifetime though of course there are still many things to explore. But modern science does not seem to be as advanced regarding internal experiences.

In contrast, Buddhism, an ancient Indian thought, reflects a deep investigation into the workings of the mind. Over the centuries many people have carried out what we might call experiments in this field and have had significant, even extraordinary, experiences as a result of practices based on their knowledge. Therefore, more discussion and joint study between scientists and Buddhists scholars on the academic level could be useful for the expansion of human knowledge.

On another level, if humanity is to survive, happiness and inner peace are crucial. Otherwise the lives of our children and their children are likely to be unhappy, desperate and short. The tragedy of 11th September 2001 demonstrated that modern technology and human intelligence guided by hatred can lead to immense destruction. Material development certainly contributes towards happiness - to some extent - and a comfortableway of life.   But this is not sufficient.  To achieve a deeper level of happiness we cannot neglect our inner development.  I feel, for example, that our sense of fundamental human values has not kept pace with powerful new developments in our material abilities.

The spiritual methods are available, but we must make these acceptable to the mass who may not be spiritually inclined.  Only if we can do that will these methods have the widest of effect.  This is important because science, technology, and material development cannot solve all our problems. We need to combine our material development with the inner development of such human values as compassion,tolerance, forgiveness, contentment and self-discipline.

So what's the alternative ?

Looking down at anyone and everyone that believes as being somehow less intelligent, less worthy, or even a problem to you ?

Forcing people not to believe ?

Somehow thinking that better teaching will turn everyone into an atheist in a few generations ?

That isn't going to happen, so we best start thinking about other solutions, ones that call for tolerance of each other's differences.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 51 (view)
Teabagger Tempest: Exciting Senate Races
Posted: 10/22/2010 11:15:27 AM

Even if she was a witch, what happened to all this "religious tolerance" that the left preaches over and over?..

Well, being a "socialist" (which, in modern day right wing America, means anyone that's ever thought for two minutes that the working/middle class person shouldn't be worse off than they were last year) is the new scarlet letter.

"Dabbling in withcraft" ..... not so bad.

Well, first off, all Christians are progressives.

"Progressive" is not a word you want to use around Tea Party types, as one popular poster here in the political forums has so often reminded us.

And people like Glen Beck.....

The Progressive conception of government, on the other hand, was quite the opposite; Progressives had an “evolving” or a “living” notion of government (yes, we get the term “living constitution” from the Progressives), and thus wanted government to take on whatever role and scope the times demanded.  The Progressives reasoned that people of the founding era may have wanted a limited government, given their particular experience with George III, but they argued that people of their own time wanted a much more activist government, and that we should adjust accordingly. 

Quite simply, the Progressives detested the bedrock principles of American government.  They detested the Declaration of Independence, which enshrines the protection of individual natural rights (like property) as the unchangeable purpose of government; and they detested the Constitution, which places permanent limits on the scope of government and is structured in a way that makes the extension of national power beyond its original purpose very difficult.  “Progressivism” was, for them, all about progressing, or moving beyond, the principles of our founders.   

Who were the Progressives, and why are they important? 
R.J. Pestritto
Shipley Professor of the American Constitution at Hillsdale College

Not so long ago in America, even suggesting someone was a witch (something you couldn't really "disprove" to any doubters ) was enough to get them tried and possibly burned alive.

Even writing a novel about a fictional witch could get someone in serious trouble with the Christian Right in modern times :

Perhaps all of this sounds a bit scary, but nothing to be concerned about. Potter fans say that this world is just make-believe and has no bearing on the real world. While a few Christians don’t even like to read or see classics such as Sleeping Beauty, Lord of the Rings, or Chronicles of Narnia due to the mere presence of evil, most Christians recognize the good vs. evil element as being clearly delineated. Evil is evil, and good is good, and good is promoted while evil is not.

But in the Potter series, the line is not so clear. The “good” guys practice “white magic”, while the bad guys practice the “Dark Arts”. Readers become fascinated with the magic used (explained in remarkable detail). Yet God is clear in Scripture that any practice of magic is an “abomination” to him. God doesn’t distinguish between “white” and “dark” magic since they both originate from the same source.

There shall not be found among you anyone who …practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.”
Deut. 18:10-14

Furthermore, if one were to use the reasoning that such objectionable material can be included in fantasy literature, then “that line of reasoning would tell you that you could include in fantasy any violence, pornography, whatever you wanted, and still defend those books by that very same statement.”

The problem is, witchcraft is not fantasy; it is a sinful reality in our world.

“J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, has gone through an awful lot of research. She is very accurate (otherwise we would have witches all over the country and the world saying ‘this is not a true representation of our religion.’) This is a true representation of witchcraft, and the black arts, and black magic. And yet we have people that say this is merely fantasy and harmless reading for our children. Actually, what makes this more dangerous is that it is couched in fantasy language, and children’s literature, and made to be humorous, and beautifully written and extremely provocative reading. and it just opens up children to want to have the next one. This is what is so harmful.”

Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged studies elements of Rowlings’s imagery and writings, including the use of the “Potter” name in Pagan religion , shapechanging , meditation , human sacrifice , feminine power, Wicca (the religion of witchcraft) , the tools, spells and curses used in witchcraft , Christian youth and their involvement , communicating with the spirit world, reincarnation, situational ethics in witchcraft, the lightning bolt as a power symbol, broomsticks and witches’ hats as phallic symbols, dabbling in divination and sorcery, recruitment, teaching children dark arts, Scholastic Inc.’s involvement, and more.

We can be sure that this video by Jeremiah Films, while probably the first of its kind to deal with Harry Potter from a biblical cautionary perspective, will not be the last. The Christian Booksellers Association’s 13,000 member annual meeting in 2000 had a noticeable lack of anything Potter.

“Clara Sessoms, who manages Living Water Christian Books in Marion, Ind. [says] ‘I don’t think people fully realize what they’re dealing with, and I think anyone who knows anything about spiritual warfare knows those books can open the door to spiritual bondage.’ ‘And I think it’s worse that children are the target,’ said Jessica Ruemler, a buyer for Living Water. ‘It opens the doors for young minds. You put sorcery in, what do you expect to get out?’”

Many concerned parents agree. According to the American Library Association, the best-selling Harry Potter series topped the list of the nation’s most frequently challenged books for two years in a row. Author John Andrew Murray believes that…

“With the growing popularity of youth-oriented TV shows on witchcraft—‘Sabrina, the Teenage Witch;’ ‘Charmed;’ ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’—a generation of children is becoming desensitized to the occult. But with Hollywood’s help, Harry Potter will likely surpass all these influences, potentially reaping some grave spiritual consequences.”

The weird part about this is that "Bewitched" was a popular show in the 60's, and forty years later watching an episode of Sabrina will perhaps get you cast into a pit of eternal fire.

Now someone who actually is on record as once "hanging around" with witches gets a mulligan.

American politics 1970 -" I am not a crook."
American politics 2010 - "I am not a witch."

On the other hand, she's not a socialist or progressive.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 20 (view)
Need VERY simple, yet healthy meal ideas!!!
Posted: 10/21/2010 10:06:46 AM
The only thing you really have to worry about is cooking some types of beans safely with a crockpot.

Raw kidney beans, and some other beans, contain the toxin phytohaemagglutinin, which is destroyed by boiling for at least ten minutes, but not by the lower temperatures of a slow cooker, so dry beans must be boiled prior to slow cooking to avoid poisoning. Even a few beans can be toxic, [and beans can be as much as five times more toxic if cooked at 175°F (80°C) than if eaten raw, so adequate pre-boiling is vital. Cases of poisoning by slow-cooked beans have been published in the UK; poisoning has occurred in the USA but has not been formally reported.

The other thing is that dried spices work better than fresh ones, if cooking long periods of time. If you do add fresh spices, add them late in the process.

Seasoning Your Slow Cooking
A successful slow cooked dish will ultimately involve the perfect combination of herbs, spices, and seasonings. When using herbs, it is best to select dried options. These respond better to the long, moist cooking process than their fresh counterparts. Thus, they will impart more flavor into your dish. If you do want to use fresh herbs, you should not add them until the last thirty minutes of cooking. Additionally, not all herbs are equally potent. Therefore, you will want to use certain varieties in larger or smaller amounts than others. As a general rule, spices such as parsley, marjoram, and basil are fairly light, while ginger, rosemary, and sage are stronger. Bay leaves are also a strong herb, and only one to two of these are needed for soups and stews.

Using Spices in Slow Cookers
Spices, like dried herbs, should be added at the beginning of cooking. However, some varieties, particularly chili spices, may become bitter if cooked too long. Therefore, these should be added roughly halfway through cooking. In general, whole spices are better suited to slow cooking than ground varieties. This is because the whole spice will have time to cook and release its flavor when used in the slow cooker. In contrast, ground spices are often preferred in other types of cooking where a long heating time is not viable. Some popular whole spices include cumin, coriander, peppercorns, and cinnamon sticks. To save time, you can simplify your dish by adding a pre-selected spice mix. Look for varieties specifically suited for slow cooking to get the best flavor.

Also, don't make my mistake, and try to splurge a bit on your first crockpot with additional features. I bought a simple one, and I am probably going to wind up getting a second one soon. On the other hand, having two isn't that a bad idea, if you want to make two types of dishes at the same time

I do love cooking, but cooking for one is (for me anyway) the only time I feel kind of lonely. This way it's a bit like having your own personal cook. You just decide on ingredients, toss them in, and go about your day while all the work is done for you. Clean-up time is reduced too, with only one dish used most times.

Another great device is a food dehydrator, which you can use to dry things like fruits and vegetables for cheap and easy storage. No need to worry about freezing food, or using up fridge space either. That works well with a slow cooker, as you can prepare batches of things to throw in to your slow cooker in advance.

You can save money too, by buying things when they are cheaper.

One more thing to consider is a yogurt maker, which is also not expensive. Simply boil milk, let it cool, and then add a spoonful of yogurt from a commercial product into each container. After that, it's just a matter of waiting overnight to awake to fresh, healthy yogurt.

Saves a ton of money, too.

Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 15 (view)
Need VERY simple, yet healthy meal ideas!!!
Posted: 10/20/2010 10:07:35 PM

I hate cooking. I've been eating pre-prepared meals now for quite some time. My boyfriend and I are trying to eat healthier, which means cooking meals. So I bought a 12-pack of chicken breasts, divided them and froze them in baggies. Now what?

If you hate cooking, one godsend is to go and buy yourselves a good Crockpot.

All one has to do is do a bit of research, and you'll find tons of great ideas for tasty inexpensive meals. Most of the time it's a matter of simply throwing everything into the pot, setting the timer, and coming back hours later to a great meal.

Inexpensive cuts of meat become tasty melt-in-your-mouth treasures.

Crockpot Chicken with Dijon Mustard

4 to 6 boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 can 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup
2 teaspoons cornstarch
dash black pepper

Wash chicken and pat dry; place in slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients and spoon over the chicken. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

Crockpot chicken Dijon serves 4.

Just one example of just how simple it can be to eat quite well.

Total prep time is just minutes, and you basically cannot screw it up.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 31 (view)
Is Faith an Intellectual Short Cut to the Big Answers?
Posted: 10/20/2010 9:54:18 PM

Simple. "Wishing" is expressing a hope or preference that the one you love doesn't succumb to their illness. "Praying" is turning that wish into a direct request of intercession to the individual's conceptual version of "God."

Like Scorp, I don't see a wish as simply a hope or preference. If you know the person, that's an automatic assumption. You don't want them suffering, quite obviously.

It's an actual effort to try to make it change for the better somehow, by your direct intervention and thoughts.

In my mind, that's a kind of "secular prayer".
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 1 (view)
Why be just/fair/good/etc ?
Posted: 10/20/2010 9:44:07 PM
Perhaps not the best title for a thread, but it arises from a discussion in another thread where a poster suggested we divert to a separate one to discuss it in more detail.

So be it...

If we remove "God and religion" (and I hate using those words for the above stated reason of their volatility in discussions) from humanity, what's left ?

Why would one want to assist others, at their own expense ? Why care about anyone else, especially those not in your circle of friends and family ?

Why not just do anything and everything possible to make sure YOU succeed, "immoral" or not ?

Lie, steal, cheat ?

If you are going to simply rot in a box, why not do everything you can to make sure you have the most comfortable existence possible, even at the expense of others ? Who cares about them, anyway ?

I love to see a serious discussion about those questions.

Ultimately these boil down to one question, namely, "Why be just/fair/good/etc.?"

Start a thread, I will participate.

So, my premise is that religion (at it's best) may provide a "justification" for at least some people to not harm others while being self-centered. Obviously, that same reigion can be misused to harm others, as we so often see.

One also has to realize that even religious people can be hypocritical, or even non-enlightened.

So, if we indeed live in a Godless universe, and just rot in box at the end of our lives - why not just do everything possible to enrich yourself, and your family and friends ?

As long as you don't get caught, and wind up in jail, who really cares about what happens to any strangers you negatively impact upon while getting everything you justly deserve ?
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 45 (view)
Teabagger Tempest: Exciting Senate Races
Posted: 10/20/2010 9:31:20 PM

I'd be surprised if anyone in Congress knows all the Amendments off the top of their head, so she'd fit right in.

You're probably right.

Maybe all people running for Congress should have to take an exam, something like a US citizenship test, and have the results publically posted for all to see.

It's also true people can make dumb mistakes if tired or stressed, like the Obama "57 states" comment. ( I always figured that was due to campaign fatigue and some Heinz ketchup bottle imprinting itself temporarily. )

They may take an oath to protect and defend it, but they run roughshod over it every day.

Well, the electorate keeps letting them do it by not standing up against it.

It is strange that she wouldn't remember the 14th since a lot of Tea Partiers have been talking about modifying it. The 16th is a big one too and should be the primary target for anyone calling himself or herself a conservative. She's technically correct about the phrase "separation of church and state" not appearing in the Constitution, but the concept being there is unmistakable.

The part that's most troublesome is how she reacts, and that she's clueless about a very important part of the Constitution. She's no soccer mom" suddenly thrown into politics without any preparation.

In 2006, she ran in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Delaware, finishing third. In 2008, she was the Party's nominee for the U.S. Senate general election, losing to the incumbent, Joe Biden by 65% to 35%.

'Donnell first became involved in politics in 1991 when she worked the polls for the College Republicans. She was a youth leader for the Bush-Quayle campaign and attended the 1992 Republican National Convention.The following year she worked for three months in Washington D.C for the anti-pornography organization, Enough is Enough. She then spent two years working in the communications office of the Republican National Committee (RNC) in Washington D.C.Disappointed that the Republican Party had shifted its emphasis away from pro-life issues after the 1994 election, she quit the RNC and went to work for one year as a spokesperson for Concerned Women for America, a conservative Christian group that seeks to bring biblical principles into public policy and lobbies against abortion and against sex education in public schools.

In 1996 O'Donnell attended the Republican National Convention in San Diego, moved to Los Angeles, and founded The Savior's Alliance for Lifting the Truth, serving as its President. The SALT lobbied the U.S. Congress on moral issues and promoted Christian values, including sexual abstinence before marriage, to the college-age generation. In the 1990s, O'Donnell took a public stance against masturbation, calling it "sinful" and equating it with adultery.

Some commentators have noted her comments are consistent with official Roman Catholic doctrine, which condemns masturbation and other forms of non-procreative sex. O'Donnell made a number of high-profile television appearances as a representative of The SALT. She appeared on MTV's Sex In The 90's, advocating sexual "purity". and was a regular guest panelist on Politically Incorrect, appearing in 22 episodes. In a 1996 discussion on CNN, O'Donnell advocated the teaching of creationism in public schools, and criticized Darwin's theory of evolution, on the ground that it is "merely a theory," or "a myth" and asserting that "there is just as much, if not more, evidence supporting [creationism]."

In the late 1990s O'Donnell moved back to Washington, D.C., where she continued her advocacy work. In 1998 she published an article in Cultural Dissident entitled, "The Case for Chastity". In 2003 she wrote an article, "The Women of Middle Earth" for the Catholic Exchange.'Donnell

She's obviously familiar with media and politics, simply by her biography, there can be no doubt on that.

It's certainly something (like those other two amendments) that she should have been prepared to discuss, and she'd be stupid not to have prepared for those parts in a tight race. Especially given her focus on religious matters, and being potentially in the running for a seat in Congress - it's a valid point to debate/challenge her on.

In that venue, of all places ?

To walk in totally blank on the subject, and even (it seems) to initially have "mocked" the idea and think the crowd is "with her" is simply astounding.

Then to somehow try to defend her gaffe on the technicality of those exact words not being there ?

Coons is by no means a master debater (Hey, isn't O'Donnell against that too? ) , but this is like watching Stevie Wonder in a heavyweight boxing match with Ali... in his prime.

Not exactly Lincoln vs Douglas.....

And then this ?

MODERATOR: Give me a name, Christine, of someone in the U.S. Senate, across the aisle that you're comfortable working with.
O'DONNELL: [Pause] Well, she's not a senator any more, but I would definitely have to say Hillary Clinton. [...]

COONS: One of the real risks as we go forward, is that if we elect someone who literally cannot name a single currently serving senator in my party with whom she would work -

O'DONNELL: Senator Lieberman!

COONS: Someone who has no experience crossing the biparistan divide.

Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 43 (view)
Teabagger Tempest: Exciting Senate Races
Posted: 10/20/2010 3:27:19 AM

Coons is still leading in the polls, but his margin shrunk by 10 points after the debate.

Should be a lot better soon.....

Christine O'Donnell received a lesson on the Constitution at Delaware's Widener Law School Tuesday, but unfortunately for the Republican Senate candidate it came during a debate with Democrat Chris Coons.

On the issue of whether creationism should be taught in public schools, a highly skeptical O'Donnell questioned Coon's assertion that the First Amendment calls for the separation of church and state.

"The First Amendment does?" O'Donnell asked during the Tuesday morning debate. "Let me just clarify: You're telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?"

Watch the heated interaction, after the jump:
Coons responded by quoting the relevant text: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."
"That's in the First Amendment?" a still skeptical O'Donnell replied smiling, as laughter could be heard from the crowd.

Earlier in the debate, O'Donnell flat out asked, "Where in the Constitution is separation of Church and State?" - a question that Coons did not appear to take seriously.

Matt Moran, campaign manager for Christine O’Donnell, said in a statement that O'Donnell "was not questioning the concept of separation of church and state as subsequently established by the courts. She simply made the point that the phrase appears nowhere in the Constitution. It was in fact Chris Coons who demonstrated his Constitutional ignorance when he could not name the five freedoms contained in the First Amendment.”

Unfortunately for O'Donnell, the Tea Party-backed candidate also stumbled over the Fourteenth and Sixteenth Amendments when asked if she would support repealing them.

"I'm sorry, I didn't bring my Constitution with me. Fortunately, senators don't have to memorize the Constitution. Can you remind me of [them]?" O'Donnell said.

Some Republicans and members of the Tea Party movement have advocated repealing the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment that grants citizenship to every individual born in the United States and the Sixteenth Amendment that created the Federal Income Tax.

Members of the Tea Party movement have also called for a repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment – the provision that calls for direct election of U.S. senators. O'Donnell was aware of that amendment and said she supported it.

God, people watching LCD candidates on LCD TV's......

"I'm sorry, I didn't bring my Constitution with me.Fortunately, senators don't have to memorize the Constitution.

Yeah, they just swear like an oath or something to it.....and that document IS the one thing everything else in the country bows to.

It is America, for all intents and purposes.

To be unaware of the separation of church and state aspect of it, a fairly major part of American political history ?

Oh God.......

Thomas Jefferson ?

Yeah, I used to watch his show on TV as a kid ....(starts singing "Moving on the East side...." )
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 56 (view)
The Legend: Jimi Hendrix
Posted: 10/20/2010 2:56:44 AM

I would add that his death has a lot of influence on his reputation.. I mean you look at people King Crimson, Rush, and Metallica for instance, and people love to talk about how much their old stuff is better than their new stuff. Some of the veterans were out there huge in their day, but even with them making new music, they have pretty much fallen into obscurity. It puts new meaning to quitting while you're ahead.

Well, many musicians die (some quite young), and it does work a bit like a fly trapped in amber - you are preserved in a frozen state, and unable to ruin your legacy. I'll give you that.

On one hand, at fifty you won't be writing/performing the same things you typically wrote at twenty.

As for Hendrix's popularity, you have to also understand just how quickly he came and went and place it in context.

From start to finish, he was in the mainstream public eye for only roughly four years - maximum. In terms of his age, that spanned his life from age twenty-three to twenty-seven.

He was also starting out at a time of massive competition from other established rock groups, and major upcoming ones. Those were his direct competitors in the marketplace.

He sold perhaps ten million records while alive, and now sells perhaps three or four million a year. He only released four albums, containing forty six tracks. He had only one Top Ten hit (All Along The Watchtower). Black radio stations wouldn't play his "too white" music, and most mainstream white ones wouldn't play his "too black", hippy music.

The number of official live dates he did, between October 1966 - Sept 1970 ?

1966 - 2
1967 -29
1968 - 49
1969 - 43
1970 - 34

157 total - and a few of those are live TV and radio shows.

That's four years total time, roughly, and yet so much accomplished as a legacy.

People have this slavish devotion to what they first liked, and anything that even remotely strays from that seems is automatically not [as] good.

There's certainly a part of that that's true, for some.

How many of you older generation people (or people in your social circles) will tout how much you love bands like Lead Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Rush, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and the other acts that came out of the 60s, and are quick to dismiss any of the newer acts?

Dismiss ? Again, some will. Sometimes it's simply because how fractured the music scene has become.

I can see the talent in a Radiohead, Phish, or even Eminem (especially with the last CD). One of the problems discovering new artists is simply the massive fracture of the marketplace and huge volume of acts. Unlike in my time, there's little radio exposure for these people, and getting to hear them live is not often easy.

Getting back to this :

It was an amazing era for the evolution of music. But it's definitely not the end-all-be-all. Quite frankly, I've heard "Stairway to Heaven," "Hey Jude," and "Voodoo Child" so many times, I could puke.

The key here is listening to someone that was around before then, and who experienced the change. I do remember what radio and TV sounded like before the Beatles arrived, don't forget.

The rock and roll period had died (except for it's influence on those musicians who were about to start changing music), and it was a rather insipid period of music for younger ears.

Billboard Top 100 - 1962
01. Stranger On The Shore » Mr. Acker Bilk
02. I Can't Stop Loving You » Ray Charles
03. Mashed Potato Time » Dee Dee Sharp
04. Roses Are Red » Bobby Vinton
05. The Stripper » David Rose
06. Johnny Angel » Shelley Fabares
07. The Loco-Motion » Little Eva
08. Let Me In » Sensations
09. The Twist » Chubby Checker
10. Soldier Boy » Shirelles
11. Hey! Baby » Bruce Channel
12. The Wanderer » Dion

Quite frankly, I've heard "Stairway to Heaven," "Hey Jude," and "Voodoo Child" so many times, I could puke.

But you never heard it (thanks to your age) in the proper context of what came before it - and how different they really were when you placed it against what came before (or hadn't yet come before).

Most of that music, if you were lucky enough to have a Top Ten radio station in your town, was "formula" type dance music, typically written by professional songwriters and performed by people hired to do it. The market was heavily racially segregated, and crossover artists were exceptionally rare.

If you were lucky (I never was), you'd huddle under your blanket in bed with that transistor radio pressed up against one ear and (barely) hear some of the great music coming out of black radio stations - and a lot of static.

You would hear Broadway stuff, as well as film musical scores played on regular AM radio - no FM.

TV (when it was on the few channels available in black and white) showed little in the way of pop music, unless it was Chubby Checker twisting - and maybe Ray Charles on a really good night. Don't forget some of us can remember seeing a test pattern on the TV until about noon.....and TV played the national anthem and went off the air at about 11 pm.

You had mono battery powered transistor radios......... and stereo ????? What's that ?

So one day you are sitting there innocently on a Sunday night, and Ed Sullivan has this new group called "The Beatles" on.

They have female length "long hair", speak with funny accents, and there's more screaming going on than at a Hitchcock film festival.

My dear old Mom was sitting there with a puzzled expression on her face, somewhat akin to someone first seeing the Sex Pistols...

For me (and millions of other kids) it was like suddenly realizing just how fantastic music could be for the first time.

(I also remember the first news clip of Hendrix I saw, on my tenth birthday, smashing his guitar at Monterey. Mom was horrified at that "wild man" going apparently crazy. )

So hearing these songs after that, after being exposed to all that followed, is not the same experience.

In some ways, it's like describing what living in a world without electric power is, I guess.

Now......GET OFF MY LAWN !!!!!!
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 39 (view)
Genuiness and Guarding our Hearts
Posted: 10/19/2010 9:13:35 PM
I don't know if this is going to be really relevant, but (when I was dating) I reached this moment of epiphany that changed my outlook about my approach to relationships. I used to wonder "where will this path lead" , and imagine possibilities/problems. I found that was a bit like putting the cart before the horse.

I fretted about upcoming dates, what to wear, how it would go, you name it....

The one wonderful spring day, I just let it all go. I went for a date with this lovely woman, and I just focused on meeting and getting to know this new person. I didn't give any thought to anything other than "now" , and what was right in front of me.

Once I started focusing "on the moment" , I found I enjoyed the experience (and life) much more.

Kind of a "que sera sera" change in perspective.

The secret is enjoying where you are now, and with that comes a lot less pressure on everyone involved.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 52 (view)
The Legend: Jimi Hendrix
Posted: 10/18/2010 10:26:27 AM

I have no issue with stripping an artist of their legendary status when determining their greatness, or at least their virtuosity.

One also has to consider things like that artist's impact on the world when they were present, and (especially in the case of Hendrix) the impact on his peers. People like Clapton and Beck were guitar gods, rock and roll legends. They were sought out for interviews, they had groupies galore, and just the simple act of walking down the street could get you mobbed by adoring crowds.

Then, almost like the movie Amadeus, this total unknown walks into the room, and you suddenly realize you aren't as great as you thought you were. That's the key here, to understanding Hendrix's impact on rock music.

As Halftime mentioned, Beck stops playing guitar for a year. Clapton walks off stage muttering " You didn't tell me how %$%$%$%$% good he was ! "

Chris Squire has this great clip on YouTube about meeting Hendrix very early on in England. He walks in to see The Experience rehearsing, and Hendrix still teaching the bass line to Purple Haze to Noel Redding. He's about to perform at this theatre, and Hendrix is on the same bill. He looks out in the crowd, and sees pretty much every single one of Britain's top musicians out there. the Stones, Beatles, Clapton, etc...

He sits on a piano , the only place he can find, and watches both the show and the reaction of rock's royalty to it. They are all , like the audience, overwhelmed by what they see in front of them.

I can't think of any other unknown artist that's done something like that, honestly.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 22 (view)
Is Faith an Intellectual Short Cut to the Big Answers?
Posted: 10/17/2010 7:28:56 PM

Therefore I ask - "Is faith a catapult that bypasses the work of discovery, allowing one to (colloquially) arrive at the finish line sooner?"

The problem is that once you start to use words like faith and religion, the water starts to get muddy.

If you believe, in a pure spiritual sense, that all religion centers in kindness, compassion, and seeing yourself in others, then you can do no harm while having that belief. The best testament to a person's beliefs is how they live their life.

If we remove "God and religion" (and I hate using those words for the above stated reason of their volatility in discussions) from humanity, what's left ?

Why would one want to assist others, at their own expense ? Why care about anyone else, especially those not in your circle of friends and family ?

Why not just do anything and everything possible to make sure YOU succeed, "immoral" or not ?

Lie, steal, cheat ?

If you are going to simply rot in a box, why not do everything you can to make sure you have the most comfortable existence possible, even at the expense of others ? Who cares about them, anyway ?

Now, you can argue that people can think of others while also being atheists or agnostics, and some enlightened people certainly are.

If you are one of those people, I'll ask you a question.

Have you ever had someone very close to you get sick, or suffer ? When that occurred did you consciously "pray" for them (secularly) , meaning to try to somehow wish for them to improve somehow ?

If you have, what's the difference between that "wish" , and a prayer ?

Neither one fits into a totally logical and rational world, and makes little sense wasting energy over.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 498 (view)
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 10/17/2010 6:44:51 PM
I don't see any overlap between religion and science either, they are separate enities, serving different purposes. It's the same with art and science, in the sense of an analogy.

Bohr’s discerning conviction was that the invisible world of the electron was essentially a cubist world. By 1923, de Broglie had already determined that electrons could exist as either particles or waves. What Bohr maintained was that the form they took depended on how you looked at them. Their very nature was a consequence of our observation. This meant that electrons weren’t like little planets at all. Instead, they were like one of Picasso’s deconstructed guitars, a blur of brushstrokes that only made sense once you stared at it. The art that looked so strange was actually telling the truth.

It’s hard to believe that a work of abstract art might have actually affected the history of science. Cubism seems to have nothing in common with modern physics. When we think about the scientific process, a specific vocabulary comes to mind: objectivity, experiments, facts. In the passive tense of the scientific paper, we imagine a perfect reflection of the real world. Paintings can be profound, but they are always pretend.

This view of science as the sole mediator of everything depends upon one unstated assumption: While art cycles with the fashions, scientific knowledge is a linear ascent. The history of science is supposed to obey a simple equation: Time plus data equals understanding. One day, we believe, science will solve everything.

But the trajectory of science has proven to be a little more complicated. The more we know about reality—about its quantum mechanics and neural origins—the more palpable its paradoxes become. As Vladimir Nabokov, the novelist and lepidopterist, once put it, “The greater one’s science, the deeper the sense of mystery.”

The fundamental point is that modern science has made little progress toward any unified understanding of everything. Our unknowns have not dramatically receded. In many instances, the opposite has happened, so that our most fundamental sciences are bracketed by utter mystery. It’s not that we don’t have all the answers. It’s that we don’t even know the question.

This is particularly true for our most fundamental sciences, like physics and neuroscience. Physicists study the fabric of reality, the invisible laws and particles that define the material world. Neuroscientists study our perceptions of this world; they dissect the brain in order to understand the human animal. Together, these two sciences seek to solve the most ancient and epic of unknowns: What is everything? And who are we?

This world of human experience is the world of the arts. The novelist and the painter and the poet embrace those ephemeral aspects of the mind that cannot be reduced, or dissected, or translated into the activity of an acronym. They strive to capture life as it’s lived. As Virginia Woolf put it, the task of the novelist is to “examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day…[tracing] the pattern, however disconnected and incoherent in appearance, which each sight or incident scores upon the consciousness.” She tried to describe the mind from the inside.

Neuroscience has yet to capture this first-person perspective. Its reductionist approach has no place for the “I” at the center of everything. It struggles with the question of qualia. Artists like Woolf, however, have been studying such emergent phenomena for centuries, and have amassed a large body of knowledge about such mysterious aspects of the mind. They have constructed elegant models of human consciousness that manage to express the texture of our experience, distilling the details of real life into prose and plot. That’s why their novels have endured: because they feel true. And they feel true because they capture a layer of reality that reductionism cannot.

You cannot analyze a piece of art, and predict it's popularity ahead of time.

You can't program a computer to create a song, paint a painting, write a poem or a novel either - with any hope of much success, compared to a human creation.

Novels are fictional stories, yet people can (and do) find value in them. Art, many times, is "useless" (at least in the minds of some) if you look at it in a totally rational and logical way.

Something that one person loves, another hates. Sometimes, years later, that may suddenly change.

No one is arguing that art should be banned, are they ?

What I've come to appreciate is that the human mind is a complex thing, and it's not totally "logical" in the way it functions. To go too far into that "Spock" mode means we ignore the "other side" we all have as human beings. That does us a great disservice,'s not really "us".

The scientific method relies on logic, and dissection of information and data into things that can be explained by experiments and theories in repeatable ways. To me, I see that a bit like dissecting a frog into it's c0mponent parts.

Quite important to understanding "what" a frog is, and how it functions, without any doubt.

Unlike that frog, at least so far as we understand frogs today, we are far more than a bunch of assembled parts that do things that keep us alive and moving. We have emotions, something that also defies logic (many times) almost by definition. If we were indeed totally logical and rational beings all the time, what type of world would we live in now ?

Perhaps far more advanced, but also perhaps far less beautiful and fulfilling.

Someone with a million dollars in the bank can feel lonely and worthless - while someone else with far less may be perfectly happy.

Science itself isn't perfect, as viewpoints shift with things like time and technology. What was right at one time, is now sometimes wrong thanks to that progression.

Both creationists and scientists face the same dilema over the start of our existence. What existed one second "before" that moment, and how did it come to be ? That's a question that may never be answered by either camp, honestly.

I think part of this debate centers in the way we see religion today, and that's changed quite a bit in my lifetime.

Religion used to be something that was for you and your family, and to never be imposed upon others. Fanatics have radicalized religion, and sought to use it as a weapon against others. That dogmatic side has grown, many times. When faced with logical scientific questions, that dogma has reacted by simply strengthening, and not weakening. That's a normal reaction, I think.

Now you could argue that this was the case in the past too, and you wouldn't be far wrong.

When I was younger, these two camps seemed to agree to live in different realms, and accept each other fairly well. Perhaps it's like everything else today, and showing the efforts of more and more polarization upon us.

I do think there's a need for spiritual considerations, and I avoided using the word "religion" simply thanks to the perjorative sense of the word it's so often associated with.

Look at a country like the Netherlands, where organized religion has fallen out of favor generally. It's quite a secular society, quite "left wing" (by American standards, anyway), and yet even among many " non-religious" people there is a still a spiritual belief.

Even one quarter of non-believers "pray".

A 2007 research God in Nederland, based on in-depth interviews of 1132 people concluded that 61% of the Dutch are non-affiliated. Fewer than 20% attend church regularly. Similar studies were done in 1966, 1979 and 1996, showing a steady decline of religious affiliation. That this trend is likely to continue is illustrated by the fact that in the age group under 35, 69% are non-affiliated.

However, those who are religious tend to be more profoundly religious than in the past.

Religious belief is also regarded as a very personal affair, as is illustrated by the fact that 60% of self-described believers are not affiliated with any organised religion. There is a stronger stress on positive sides of belief, with Hell and the concept of damnation being pushed into the background. One quarter of non-believers sometimes pray, but more in a sense of meditative self-reflection.

As I've alluded to before, this spiritual need may in fact be an expression of something inate that helps to hold back that reptilian brain from acting in ways that would risk society and survival of the species. At it's best, it's seeing ourselves in others, and acting compassionately towards them.

Are those that argue that all religion is simply some silly misguided superstition also going to invalidate someone like the Dali Lama ?

All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.

If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion.

If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it.

Dalai Lama

Those are the words of someone I personally consider highly spiritual, and it's a message that science cannot invalidate.

If more "religious people" followed it, there'd be less of a call for religion to be invalidated.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 19 (view)
Stating odds of life at Gliese 581g 100% optimistic
Posted: 10/17/2010 5:29:28 PM
It may not even be there, based on peer review.

Steven Vogt, the researcher who led the team that announced the Gliese 581g discovery (and the utterer of the now-infamous “chances for life on this planet are 100 percent” line, which he clarified was a statement of personal belief rather than of scientific evidence), based his discovery on a mix of his work at Hawaii’s Keck Observatory and previously published data.

But the publishers of that old data used by Vogt, who collected it using Chile’s High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS), have come out with new data which lacks evidence for Gliese 581g.

Per Dynamics of Cats:

Ray Jay reports on social networks:

” ?”We cannot confirm it [Gliese 581g] in our HARPS data” – Francesco Pepe (Geneva team) at IAU 276 in Torino.”

PS: additional oral reports from the meeting.

HARPS statement is stronger than “we don’t see it” – they find that if they force a solution they get a negative signal appearing, implying the planet is not there, not just that they are not sensitive to it.

50% more data since 2008 published series.

This could get interesting.

(More technical details at Dynamics of Cats.)

This initial lack of evidence for the planet’s existence doesn’t yet prove that it doesn’t exist, and a definitive conclusion one way or the other may be a ways off: Such are the difficulties of determining the existence of a planet 20 light-years away based on minute fluctuations, much less surmising that that planet does or doesn’t contain life. But it certainly puts a damper on things, especially if HARPS’ statement is indeed “stronger than ‘we don’t see it.’” Yet again, a reminder that before we get swept up by the triumphal popular science claims of the press, the science-science claims need to be on firm footing, and that’s no small feat.

There are reports from Torino about HARPS observations of Gliese 581(g)

Vogt et al reported on additional possible planets in the multi-planet low mass Gliese 581(g) system.

In particular they showed a ~ 3 sigma detection of a possible 3+ earth mass planet in a circular orbit with an orbital period consistent with a temperate surface.

The paper used a combination of historic Keck data, published HARPS data up through 2008 and new high cadence Keck data.
There was some concern when the paper came out that the False Alarm Probability was underestimated (see Cumming et al for discussion of False Alarm Probability estimates and general considerations ).

The two new planets reported by Vogt et al, were both coming in close to the detection threshold and there have been problems disentangllng closely packed multi-planet systems, due to aliasing and harmonic contamination. Gliese 581, in particular, has had a couple of claims about its planets backed out before.

What everyone in the community was waiting for is what the HARPS group could say, since they ought to have a couple of years more data, presumably with high cadence also, and very high velocity precision.

I think the first step would be to actually get a solid peer review of the data completed, before populating said planet with life forms.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 28 (view)
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/17/2010 5:16:58 PM

I'm very skeptical of the claim about the number of synapse declining. How did the source of this claim manage to count them? Last I heard, the technology wasn't capable of seeing that much detail.

A lot of the claims made by researchers about babies are DEDUCTIONS they have made from their test results. This is because they can't ASK babies to confirm the information. That doesn't mean that NONE of their deductions are valid, but it DOES mean that one must be very cautious about accepting them as given.

The statement "Our minds just aren't designed to deal with so much information in the long run, so between years four and six the number of synapses in our neurons gets trimmed by more than 2/3rds. " is an excellent example of a PHILOSOPHICAL JUDGMENT MASQUERADING AS A SCIENTIFIC CONCLUSION. We REALLY need to watch out for THESE things.

Well, research synaptic pruning.

Over the first few years of life, the brain grows rapidly. As each neuron matures, it sends out multiple branches (axons, which send information out, and dendrites, which take in information), increasing the number of synaptic contacts and laying the specific connections from house to house, or in the case of the brain, from neuron to neuron. At birth, each neuron in the cerebral cortex has approximately 2,500 synapses. By the time an infant is two or three years old, the number of synapses is approximately 15,000 synapses per neuron (Gopnick, et al., 1999). This amount is about twice that of the average adult brain. As we age, old connections are deleted through a process called synaptic pruning.

Synaptic pruning eliminates weaker synaptic contacts while stronger connections are kept and strengthened. Experience determines which connections will be strengthened and which will be pruned; connections that have been activated most frequently are preserved. Neurons must have a purpose to survive. Without a purpose, neurons die through a process called apoptosis in which neurons that do not receive or transmit information become damaged and die. Ineffective or weak connections are "pruned" in much the same way a gardener would prune a tree or bush, giving the plant the desired shape. It is plasticity that enables the process of developing and pruning connections, allowing the brain to adapt itself to its environment.

The brain is a bit like a muscle, and it has to be used. This neuroplasticity is what accounts for people being able to overcome things like strokes - if proper rehabilitation is done.

Even something like meditation may influence it.

Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin, has led experiments in cooperation with the Dalai Lama on effects of meditation on the brain. His results suggest that long-term, or short-term practice of meditation results in different levels of activity in brain regions associated with such qualities as attention, anxiety, depression, fear, anger, the ability of the body to heal itself, and so on. These functional changes may be caused by changes in the physical structure of the brain.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 2 (view)
Mississippi mud pie
Posted: 10/14/2010 10:35:57 PM
I was first exposed to this at a local Tex-Mex restaurant, the real baked version.

It was so good I wrote a fingerpicked solo guitar piece, called Mississippi Mudpie Rag.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 26 (view)
Posted: 10/14/2010 10:32:02 PM
For winter/fall, one of the best soups ever, Dutch Erwtensoep, aka "Snert".

Ingredients for about 3 litres (6 to 12 persons)
500 gram (2 1/2 cup) split peas
1 piece of gammon with bone, or pork hock, about 500 gram (1 pound), or spareribs, or two pig's trotters
100 gram (3 ounces) streaky bacon or Dutch "sauerkraut bacon": streaky pork, salted but not smoked, preferrably with rind
1 smoked sausage
2 large onions, chopped not too small
1 large carrot
2 leeks  
1 celeriac
2 potatoes
1 bunch celery
pepper and salt to taste
2 litre (8 cups/4pints) water to start with
bread or rye bread (pumpernickel), with -if you can get it- slices of "katenspek" (lightly streaked pork, first boiled and then smoked black)

Rinse the split peas in a sieve under the running tap. Split peas don't need soaking in water. Bring water to the boil with the peas, gammon and bacon. Let it boil and skim off the floating scum. Pour all water off, rinse peas (and meat) again and put them back on the fire with clean water.

Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables:
Cut the skin of the celeriac, peel the potatoes, and dice celeriac and potatoes. Peel the carrot and dice it. Cut the leeks and wash them. Add the vegetables to the pan and let simmer until the peas are done (one and a half to two hours, the split peas must be broken).

Take the meat out of the pan, remove rind and bones, and cut in small pieces. Return the meat to the pan. Wash the sprigs of celery, and chop or cut the leaves. Twenty minutes before the end of cooking, add the whole smoked sausage and the celery. Taste, finish off with pepper and salt.

The pea soup is still fairly liquid. Let it cool completely and reheat it the next day, or freeze in portions. When you want to freeze the soup, add the smoked sausage when reheating, or divide the sausage in equal quantities over the portions.

Rehating the soup
Take care when you reheat the soup to do this very gently and stirring frequently, to prevent a thick black crust forming on the bottom of the pan. To heat smaller amounts, use the microwave. Another way to heat a large amount of snert is placing the whole pan (with ovenproof handles!) in the oven at 120dgC/250dgF. But even then, stir the soup once in a while.

To serve
In large bowls, with bread. Older cookbooks (nineteeth century) prescribe toasted white bread, later cookbooks rye bread (pumpernickel), with katenspek (cooked and smoked bacon) or other cooked and smoked streaky bacon. And no one will punish you if you use French bread instead of rye bread.

It's even better the next day, and it should be so thick a spoon will stand up as straight as a Coldstream Guard when stuck into it.

Unlike most pea soups, the last minute addition of that smoked sausage gives a haunting taste to the end product that would make Stephen King proud.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 6 (view)
deli rolls and wraps
Posted: 10/14/2010 10:24:18 PM
A major Canadian restaurant chain (Tim Horton's) has just started a breakfast menu that features scrambled eggs (plus bacon or sausage) in a wrap. I tried one the other day, and it was quite good.

Far better than McDonalds fare, no comparison at all .

Portable breakfast, anyone ?

Even made at home, less washing up after breakfast is not a bad thing to consider.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 9 (view)
The '9/11 Mosque' in Perspective
Posted: 10/14/2010 10:13:04 PM

And what if all your life (or at least the past 20-30 years) 90% arsonists = jewish based on what you were taught at school, in the movies, in the papers, and in the news?

Key word = "what you are taught".

Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil by Group, From 1980 to 2005, According to FBI Database

According to this data, there were more Jewish acts of terrorism within the United States than Islamic (7% vs 6%). These radical Jews committed acts of terrorism in the name of their religion. These were not terrorists who happened to be Jews; rather, they were extremist Jews who committed acts of terrorism based on their religious passions, just like Al-Qaeda and company.

Yet notice the disparity in media coverage between the two. It would indeed be very interesting to construct a corresponding pie chart that depicted the level of media coverage of each group. The reason that Muslim apologists and their “leftist dhimmi allies” cannot recall another non-Islamic act of terrorism other than Waco is due to the fact that the media gives menial (if any) coverage to such events.If a terrorist attack does not fit the “Islam is the perennial and existential threat of our times” narrative, it is simply not paid much attention to, which in a circuitous manner reinforces and “proves” the preconceived narrative. It is to such an extent that the average American has no image of his head of any Jewish or Latino terrorist; why should he when he has never even heard of the Jewish Defense League or the Ejercito Popular Boricua Macheteros? Surely what he does not know does not exist!

The Islamophobes claim that Islam is intrinsically a terroristy religion. The proof? Well, just about every terrorist attack is Islamic, they retort. Unfortunately for them, that’s not quite true. More like six percent. Using their defunct logic, these right wingers ought now to conclude that nearly all acts of terrorism are committed by Latinos (or Jews). Let them dare say it…they couldn’t; it would be political and social suicide to say such a thing. Most Americans would shut down such talk as bigoted; yet, similar statements continue to be said of Islam, without any repercussions.

The Islamophobes live in a fantasy world where everyone is supposedly too “politically correct” to criticize Islam and Muslims. Yet, the reality is the exact opposite: you can get away with saying anything against the crescent. Can you imagine the reaction if I said that Latinos should be profiled because after all they are the ones who commit the most terrorism in the country? (For the record: I don’t believe in such profiling, because I am–unlike the right wing nutters–a believer in American ideals.)

Study: Threat of Muslim-American terrorism in U.S. exaggerated
January 6, 2010

(CNN) -- The terrorist threat posed by radicalized Muslim- Americans has been exaggerated, according to a study released Wednesday by researchers at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A small number of Muslim-Americans have undergone radicalization since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the study found. It compiled a list of 139 individuals it categorized as "Muslim-American terrorism offenders" who had become radicalized in the U.S. in that time -- a rate of 17 per year.

That level is "small compared to other violent crime in America, but not insignificant," according to the study, titled "Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim-Americans."

To be included on the list, an offender had to have been wanted, arrested, convicted or killed in connection with terrorism-related activities since 9/11 -- and have lived in the United States, regardless of immigration status, for more than a year prior to arrest.

Of the 139 offenders, fewer than a third successfully executed a violent plan, according to a Duke University statement on the study, and most of those were overseas. Read the report:"Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim-Americans"

"Muslim-American organizations and the vast majority of individuals that we interviewed firmly reject the radical extremist ideology that justifies the use of violence to achieve political ends," David Schanzer, an associate professor in Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy and director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, said in the statement.

But it is the Muslim-American communities themselves who play a large role in keeping the number of radicalized members low through their own practices, according to the study. Leaders and Muslim-American organizations denounce violent acts, for instance, in messages that have weight within communities.

In addition, such communities often self-police -- confronting those who express radical ideology or support for terrorism and communicating concerns about radical individuals to authorities. Some Muslim-Americans have adopted programs for youth to help identify those who react inappropriately to controversial issues so they can undergo counseling and education, the researchers said.

"Muslim-American communities have been active in preventing radicalization," said Charles Kurzman, professor of sociology at UNC, in the statement. "This is one reason that Muslim-American terrorism has resulted in fewer than three dozen of the 136,000 murders committed in the United States since 9/11."

However, "since 9/11, there has been increased tension among Muslim-Americans about their acceptance in mainstream American society," the study said. Muslim-Americans report feeling a stronger anti-Muslim bias from the media as well as from day-to-day interactions.

"While Muslim-Americans understand and support the need for enhanced security and counterterrorism initiatives, they believe that some of these efforts are discriminatory, and they are angered that innocent Muslim-Americans bear the brunt of the impact of these policies."

Steps can be taken to minimize radicalization among Muslim-Americans, the study said. The most important is encouraging political mobilization among Muslims, which helps prevent radicalization and also demonstrates to Muslims abroad "that grievances can be resolved through peaceful democratic means." Policymakers should include Muslim-Americans in their outreach efforts, and public officials should attend events at mosques, as they do churches and synagogues, the study recommended.

Also, Muslim-American communities should widely disseminate their condemnation of terrorism and violence, and those statements should be publicized, the study said. Law enforcement has a role to play as well, by making efforts to increase the level of trust and communication with such communities. This could include the cultivation of Muslim-American informants, the study suggested, a policy that could be developed and openly discussed with community leaders.

Governments can promote and encourage the building of strong Muslim-American communities and promote outreach by social services agencies, the study said. "Our research suggests that Muslim-American communities desire collaboration and outreach with the government beyond law enforcement, in areas such as public health, education and transportation."

And the Muslim-American community can promote enhanced education about its religion and beliefs, the study said. Increased civil rights enforcement can also be an important tool.

However, policies that alienate Muslims may increase the threat of homegrown terrorism rather than reducing it, the study said.
"Our research suggests that initiatives that treat Muslim-Americans as part of the solution to this problem are far more likely to be successful," said Schanzer.

Label all Muslims as terrorists, and reject them in American society, and you'll force them right into the hands of the extremists.

You are far more at risk of violence from someone you know, statistically, than from ANY Muslim-American, or any other stranger.

Among male homicide victims in 2007, 16% were murdered by a family member or intimate partner. Of male
homicide victims, 2% were killed by a spouse or ex-spouse and 3% were killed by a girlfriend or boyfriend. Over half (54%) were killed by others they knew, and 29% were killed by strangers.

About 40% of the victims of nonfatal violence in the workplace reported that they knew their offender.

For murder victims, 43% were related to or acquainted with their assailants; 14% of victims were murdered by strangers, while 43% of victims had an unknown relationship to their murderer in 2002.

Two thirds of murders of children under the age of 5 were committed by a parent or other family member.

Here's a rather long list of domestic terrorist groups :

Militant Extremists in the United States

Are right-wing domestic terrorists still active?
Yes. Attacks by left-wing or special-interest groups were the most common until the 1990s, when right-wing terrorists began staging more attacks aimed at civilians. The FBI says that the Oklahoma City bombing was carried out by far-right extremists who feared increased UN involvement in domestic policies, opposed stricter gun-control laws, and were enraged by “several confrontations between members of right-wing groups and law enforcement officers at Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho.” A right-wing extremist, Eric Robert Rudolph, was also responsible for the 1996 Olympics bombing in Atlanta that killed two and injured more than one hundred. The decline of right-wing terrorist attacks since 2001 could be attributed to extremists’ anger shifting toward foreign entities and away from the U.S. government, the Los Angeles Times reported in March 2008.
The FBI reports that eight of the fourteen terrorist acts prevented between 2002 and 2005 were planned by right-wing groups. /The others ranged from an anarchist plan to bomb a Coast Guard station, a prison-gang attempt to attack military and Jewish targets around Los Angeles, and a few people who attempted, individually, to establish ties with al-Qaeda.

What is special-interest terrorism and how often does it occur?
Special-interest terrorism is perpetrated by the “extreme fringes” of social movements, such as animal rights, environmental, and antinuclear groups. According to the FBI, one of the most visible movements in the last ten years is termed “ecoterrorism.” Groups like the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front target facilities and materials that are perceived to be harmful to the environment or animals. Extremists advocating for better treatment of the earth and animals were responsible for twenty-three of the twenty-four terrorist attacks during 2002 to 2005. Environmental extremists are suspected of the early March 2008 arson that destroyed several new, unoccupied luxury homes near Seattle.[/]

Which type of extremism poses the greatest threat to the United States?
Although environmental extremists were responsible for nearly all the domestic terrorist attacks between 2002 and 2005, right-wing extremists are still considered the most dangerous to the United States, says the SPLC. Right-wing extremist attacks are planned to target people, and if successfully carried out, intend to kill many civilians. Ecoterrorist attacks, on the other hand, aim to sabotage the infrastructure of businesses and corporations that endanger the earth; the groups do not aim to kill massive amounts of people.

The FBI says right-wing extremists have the potential to carry out the most deadly domestic attacks since they have a tendency to amass weapons and explosives and have “a propensity for violence.”b] Increasingly, right-wing terrorism threats come from what the FBI calls the “lone wolf” terrorist in the FBI Strategic Plan 2004-2009.
Such an individual is a fringe member of a formal extremist group but acts alone instead of carrying out a group-planned attack. Despite limited funding, solo attacks can be deadly and are difficult to detect.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 95 (view)
Is Fox News Evil or Stupid?
Posted: 10/14/2010 9:31:04 PM
['quote]..then they could stand armed with weapons and intimidate at polling places on election day without any repercussions whatsoever as has already been proven.

One man, a Black Panther connected individual, holding a nightstick ?

The one that was fairly quickly stopped by police and then sent away from the polling station ?

Someone that didn't seem to "intimidate" anyone ? People did seem to walk in without problems.

O.K. , not great, but far from a "wave" of events.

As opposed to :

Nearly 350 right-wing protestors crowded a New Mexico town’s busiest intersection yesterday to protest President Obama’s supposed anti-gun agenda and the "government takeover of our health care system." While the event mostly looked like any other recent right-wing rally - complete with signs reading "replace the communists in DC" and "the sky is falling! A black man is president!" - what set this protest apart was that there "were plenty of handguns and rifles displayed."

The local Tea Party and a group called the Second Amendment Task Force (2ATF, a reference to the ATF, which enforces gun laws) encouraged people to bring guns to the event in Alamogordo, NM, in order to "put a positive light on gun ownership," said 2ATF’s founder Dan Woodruff. While the two protests were technically separate, they were planned together for the same day in adjacent locations. Otero Tea Party Patriots coordinator Don Omey said he was "proud" of the gun-toters. "That’s what we need to turn some minds around," Omey said. Under New Mexico law, it’s legal for anyone over the age of 19 to open-carry a holstered firearm in most public places.

And while there was no violence during the event, one protestor wearing a Tea Party shirt said his loaded gun was a "very open threat" to anyone who might "try to take over the country completely as a socialist communist [state]."

Alamogordo, New Mexico-This past Saturday about 300 real Americans, in real America showed up to express their dismay of President Barack Obama with the usual flag waving, sign carrying and gun toting. They were concerned with guns, health care, taxes and oh yeah, did I mention guns.

According to the New Mexico Independent’s Chris Dudley “organizers encouraged attendees to bring firearms”. The organizers were “Otero Tea Party Patriots, the Alamogordo Second Amendment Task Force and the Sons of Liberty Riders, a motorcycle rights organization. Protestors were encouraged by the organizing groups to bring guns to the protest.”

Since when did it become “patriotic” to bring guns to a political rally? At this anti Obama gun toting patriotic political rally, it was encouraged.

This past summer at two Presidential town hall meetings guns were present, first at New Hampshire where one man was shown carrying a side arm holding a sign that reads; "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants,"  a quote from Thomas Jefferson. The Secret Service said that the State laws prevented them from doing anything, the Secret Service also said another man was arrested for carrying an unlicensed gun before the start of New Hampshire town hall .

At the second Presidential town hall meeting in Arizona more guns showed up, and again the Secret Service said that there was nothing that they could do. About a dozen men showed up packing guns openly. One of those men, this man, who at the time refused to give his name is a member of an extremist church, the church of the Faithful Word Baptist Church who’s Pastor Steven Anderson prays for President Obama to die, and has given several sermons asking for him to die.

It's simple, anyone who shows up where the President will be cannot carry a gun, you know, it sounds so simple, sounds sensible, sounds like something that even the Secret Service themselves would understand, which I am sure they do. The Secret Service needs to make their own point about guns at political events , if you show up with guns where the President will be in attendance, at the very least you and your gun will be locked up until the President has left

At those two town halls, the Secret Service said that there was nothing that they could do other than watch, because those States laws allowed them to carry fire arms, that may be true, but, the Federal government is constantly usurping State laws, so you can't tell me that when the President is in town his safety doesn't override Bubba's right to stand outside the building with a gun where the President is.     

It’s time  for the "Tea Party" to act like adults and to start using common sense, political events are NOT events that you brings your guns too, it is not patriotic, it is foolishness.

Remember when wearing the wrong T-shirt could get you arrested at a presidential rally ?

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A couple arrested for wearing anti-Bush T-shirts to the president's July 4 appearance at the West Virginia Capitol filed a federal lawsuit yesterday alleging their First Amendment rights were violated.

Nicole and Jeff Rank were removed from the event in handcuffs after revealing T-shirts with President Bush's name crossed out on the front. Nicole Rank's shirt had the words "Love America, Hate Bush" on the back and Jeff Rank's had "Regime change starts at home" on the back.

Their lawsuit was filed in federal court in Charleston by American Civil Liberties Union attorneys. It names Gregory Jenkins, deputy assistant to the president and director of the White House Office of Presidential Advance, and W. Ralph Basham, director of the U.S. Secret Service, as defendants.

"What is at stake here transcends politics," Jeff Rank said at a news conference at the Capitol. "What is at stake is the right of all Americans — Democrats, Republicans and Independents, all Americans — to peacefully voice their dissent to their government."

He said although he and his wife had never participated in a political protest before, they believed the lawsuit was necessary because, "unless common citizens like ourselves are willing to stand and fight for their civil liberties, those very liberties our great nation was founded upon, ideals of freedom that keep us strong today, will wither and erode until they are gone forever."

The couple wants a judge to declare unconstitutional any policy that led to their arrest. They also are seeking unspecified monetary damages for emotional harm they suffered.

Spokesmen for the Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Justice, to whom a White House spokesman directed questions, refused to comment. Both said their agencies did not comment on ongoing litigation.

Trespassing charges filed against the couple by Charleston police officers after they were removed from the event were later dismissed because a municipal judge determined city trespassing ordinances do not apply to Statehouse grounds. City Council and Mayor Danny Jones have publicly apologized to the Ranks.

Jones, a Republican, has said the police officers who arrested the Ranks were told to do so by Secret Service agents.

How times have changed.....

People are sick of GUN CONTROL! Every day new Un-Constitutional laws are made up which INFRINGE upon every citizens unalienable right to strap on a gun!

February 22nd, Washingtons Birthday is the day we make a STAND AS A NATION! They can't arrest everyone! On the 22nd of February, the whole nation who believes in an unquestionable right to carry any firearm, openly or concealed etc needs to holster up and carry openly in defiance of the gun gestapo in DC!

On February 22nd, TAKE YOUR STAND AT YOUR STATE CAPITOL - HIGH NOON!!!!!! Show up STRAPPED OPENLY! It's time to take this country BACK!

This page is not to argue about more Gun Control - permits, or the sick mindset the government has conditioned most of the people with, this is about breaking those chains, yes breaking their ILLEGAL Gun Control Laws, and taking a stand on the 22nd!

SOME States have Un-Constitutional laws in place which forbid open-carry of firearms. Also, they may forbid carrying firearms at the State Capitol building (yet another Un-Constitutional Gun Control Law).

I would suggest in these states, that persons participating should consider carrying a RED GUN (Rubber training weapon), or possibly an AIRSOFT assault rifle. We are NOT trying to get people arrested- What we ARE doing is SENDING A MESSAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT THAT WE WILL NOT TOLERATE GUN CONTROL ANY LONGER!

This Group is exercising it's 1st Amendment right to Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Expression, and Freedom to Peacefully Assemble. Anyone who doesn't like it can lump it!

In the Sixties, Reagan and a lot of other older white politicians had ZERO problems banning guns in public - when blacks were carrying them.

Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 45 (view)
The Legend: Jimi Hendrix
Posted: 10/14/2010 8:59:15 PM

I will grant that Hendrix was revolutionary, but for him to be anywhere near the top 10 is pretty asinine IMO. His technique was straight up sloppy (even worse that Jimmy Page), and I personally think that no self-respecting musician should have issues reading music.

It depends on your definition of musicianship, basically.

In the end, Hendrix's music will be listened to for many years to come, and influence still more artists - some not even born yet.

He essentially created what we've come to refer to as heavy metal, in the popular sense, all by himself.

He "blew away" some of the top stars of the time, as an unknown guitarist, especially in England. That was because of his musicianship, showmanship, and the "total package" that he presented to his listeners both live and on records.

How many guitarists could take a Dylan song, and make it their own ?

Bob Dylan talks about Jimi Hendrix
The below is from a handwritten two pages by Bob Dylan for a 1988
N.Y.C. Hendrix exhibit .

"It's always nice when another performer takes one of your songs & does it. Usually someone has his own point of view on things & the lyrics correspond to what he's thinking, in some kind of way & the two meet up.

My songs were not written with the idea in mind that anyone else would sing them, they were written for me to play live & that is the short of end of it.

I knew Jimi slightly before he became a big star, never saw him much after that. Naturally there was a strong connection because we came from the same time, similar environments & had more or less the same likes & dislikes, attitudes & experiences.

When i first heard Jimi, he was basically a blues player but unlike-everybody else outside of the old-authentic guys, he was young & he was the real thing.

My songs are different & I don't expect others to make attempts to sing them because you have to get somewhat inside & behind them & it's hard enough for me to do it sometimes & then obviously you have to be in the right frame of mind. But even then there would be a vague value to it because nobody breathes like me so theycouldn't be expected to portray the meaning of a certain phrase in the correct way without bumping into other phrases & altering the mood, changing the understanding & just giving up so that they then become only verses strung together for no apparent reason, patter for a performer to kill time, take up space, giving a heartless rendition of what was it to begin with.

Jimi knew my songs were not like that. He sang them exactly the way they were intended to be sung & he played them the same way. He played them the way I would have done them if I was him. Never thought too much about it at the time, but now that years have gone by, I see that the message must have been his message thru & thru. Not that I could ever articulate the message that well myself, but in hearing Jimi cover it, I realize he must've felt it pretty deeply inside & out & that somewhere back there his soul & my soul were on the same desert.

I can't speak as a musician but as a songwriter. It's always a humbling feeling to know that other musicians like your stuff, especially if you really respect them. Audiences & critics give important feedback, but there's nothing like another performer doing what you're doing, to let you know if you're doing it well or not, if you're cutting thru, that maybe it really is worth all the time & trouble.

In all my years of being on stage, it still means more to me what other musicians & singers think & feel about my work than anybody else. Jimi was a great artist, I wished he would've lived, but he got sucked under & that's been the downfall of a lot of us. I feel he had his time & his place & he paid a price he didn't have to pay. It's not a wonder to me that he recorded my songs, but rather that he recorded so few of them because they were all his."

Bob Dylan
Copyright © 1988 Bob Dylan Special Rider Music

Read more:

That's a pretty incredible statement for a legendary songwriter to make, don't you think ?

I look at guitarists like Satriani, Jarzombek, Petrucci, Malmsteem, Di Meola, and a myriad of others, and I can't picture Hendrix even remotely in their realms of greatness. I see Hendrix more for his value as an entertainer and less of a guitar great. Of course, I'm thinking in more of terms of virtuosity and mastering of the instrument.

Without Hendrix ? Most of your list of "greats" wouldn't perhaps even be around today, and even they place Hendrix in a very special place musically.

Probably no Joe Satriani, at least as a guitarist.

Joe Satriani: how Jimi Hendrix changed my life

Later that evening, I had to tell my parents. We were a large family of seven. Dinner was progressing normally, the usual conversations, until I said basically the same thing I had told my coach: 'Jimi Hendrix died today and I'm going to devote my life to playing the electric guitar.' There was a long moment of awkward silence, as you might expect, which was followed by a lot of lively discussion.

"My family was sort of used to me saying crazy things, but this time I think everybody knew I meant it; that I had actually decided on a course for my life, so much so that my older sister, Carol, who had just started teaching art in school, said that she would donate her first paycheck towards getting me an electric guitar so I could begin my new life as a musician."

You would think that my parents would have tried to stop me, but they seemed to realize that my dedication to the guitar was unstoppable. And it all came from Hendrix. I even had a ritual: I would go into my room, light a candle to get into my 'Jimi Hendrix vibe' and I would practice and practice and practice. Before long, I grew to love the work. I loved that playing the guitar wasn't easy. It was pain, but it was my pain. And then it became joy. My joy.

"Here's something weird though: I loved Jimi's music so much that I would never perform it for people. Throughout my teens and playing in various bands, I refused to play Hendrix songs. I know that sounds strange, but Jimi's music was so special to me that it was like works of art that shouldn't be touched or altered. I didn't want to defile his magic in any way."

"I've picked apart Jimi's music and analyzed it so much over the years, and there's still things he did that astound and mystify me. When I watch footage of him playing at the Fillmore East, when he's playing Machine Gun, I'm blown away by his musical choices. And that's the thing: it wasn't about his gear, his guitar, it wasn't about what mic he was singing into it, it wasn't about anything but his own brilliance.

"I'm pretty sure you could have handed him any guitar and any amp and he would've blown the roof off the place no matter what. His impulses, his intuition, what he did one second to the next, how he moved his hands, knowing to play this note after that note…it was deep.

-Joe Satriani

Di Meola ?

Go over to YouTube :

al di meola in japan at a Jimi Hendrix tribute/with gumbi

Yngwie Malmsteen: ?

Jimi Hendrix was your inspiration to play the guitar?

Yngwie Malmsteen: Ok, to make this so it's proper, what happened was, I was the youngest kid in my family. My older brother and sister were really good musicians. And they started playing at a very early age. So, my brother played piano, drums, guitar, bass, accordion, everything. My sister played very good piano, sang. She still sings really good. She plays classical flute, in an orchestra, and all that stuff.

So, my mom really wanted me to be a musician. She gave me a guitar on my fifth birthday but I didn't start playing till I was seven. And the reason I wanted to start playing was because they showed on the news, "Today, Jimi Hendrix died." It was September 18, 1970. Then they showed him setting his guitar on fire at Monterey. I didn't hear any music, I just saw this guy burning his f++++ guitar, man. And I said, "That is soooo cool, man." So I took the guitar off the wall and started to play 'cause I wanted to learn. Then eventually I got into Deep Purple and that was the biggest influence.

Is that and the Deep Purple influence where the fascination with the Fender Stratocaster came from?

YM: Well the first time I saw Jimi Hendrix, you know, you've seen that Monterey guitar-burning clip, right?

Petrucci ?

If I had to describe this show in a word, it would be UNBELIEVABLE. John Petrucci, Steve Vai, and Joe Satriani were all awesome. They all blew me away. This was my first time seeing Petrucci and Vai, and my fourth time seeing Satriani. Konocti Harbor is a great venue. I had front row seats, but when I looked back behind me, I didn't see a bad seat anywhere. I was sitting just to the right of center stage. John Petrucci's mike stand was set up right in front of me. When Steve Vai came out, his bassist (Billy Sheehan) was right in front of me, and then Stu Hamm was right in front of me during Joe Satriani's set. The show started with John Petrucci.

The house lights went down and I heard Jimi Hendrix's Star Spangled Banner from Woodstock blaring through the speakers. Petrucci and his band walked out on stage as Hendrix's music was fading out. Petrucci played the ending of the Star Spangled Banner on his guitar, and then went into his set.

And there's an AMAZING Hendrix tribute show on tour now, that I MAY go see, if I can get tickets.

Featured artists performing music associated with the legacy of Jimi Hendrix include some of the best known and highly regarded names in contemporary rock and blues including Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Susan Tedeschi, Robert Randolph, Jonny Lang, Steve Vai, Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas, Eric Johnson, Ernie Isley, Living Colour, Chris Layton of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble and The Slide Brothers a/k/a Chuck and Darick Campbell of Sacred Steel.

In terms of format, the tour offers multiple opportunities for performers and audiences to witness unique collaborations such as Steve Vai performing with Living Colour, as well as the tour’s artists performing their favorite Hendrix signature songs including “Little Wing,” “Fire,” “Purple Haze,” “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” “Crosstown Traffic” and many others. As has been the case with previous Experience Hendrix outings, special guests are expected to sit in at many of the dates, making the concerts all that much more memorable for both new and veteran Hendrix fans. Past special guests have included Paul Rodgers, Joe Satriani, Hubert Sumlin, Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, Robby Krieger and others.

Notes Experience Hendrix Tour producer John McDermott, “The line-up for this tour reflects the breadth of Jimi’s ongoing influence that reaches down through the generations. The guests that have been attracted to participate are enthusiastic about the proposition of performing with their counterparts. That mindset underscores the fact that the Experience Hendrix tour is all about musical camaraderie and the recognition that Jimi Hendrix, undeniably, casts the longest shadow in the realm of great music and great musicians.“
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 24 (view)
Should New York Ban Using Food Stamps To Buy Sugary Drinks?
Posted: 10/14/2010 9:21:16 AM

In fiscal year 2009, New Yorkers received $2.7 billion in food stamp benefits and spent $75 million to $135 million of that on sugary drinks, the city said.

There still are many unhealthful products New Yorkers could purchase with food stamps, including potato chips, ice cream and candy. Officials said the proposal targets sugary drinks because they are the largest contributor to obesity.

Officials said stores that participate in the food stamp program would be responsible for enforcing the ban. They acknowledged the possibility that food stamp users could travel outside city limits to buy the prohibited drinks.

It's a flawed idea, with good intentions. A better way would be to promote better choices with education. There's too many holes in the idea to make it something that would accomplish very much.

I saw something a few years ago that showed the problem in action. In a supermarket, while I was shopping, I noticed these two women speaking as I passed by. One was some type of social worker, the other was someone on social assistance. The former was trying to show the latter how she could save some money and be healthier by preparing powdered juices (something like Tang) , or even by buying real juices at places like the dollar store.

That woman had two very young kids, and she was insisting that her two young kids "only drank" soft drinks.

It was kind of sad to see, in a way, since the only reason those two kids "only drank" soft drinks was because their mother had let them do so from the start, and had not made better choices for them.

The social worker didn't have much luck convincing her, so she gave up.

With that type of attitude present, a law isn't going to make much of a difference, I'm afraid.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 86 (view)
Is Fox News Evil or Stupid?
Posted: 10/12/2010 8:16:11 AM

You nor anyone can prove Fox news is evil or stupid anymore than I can prove it isn't.

How about something simple, something anyone rational can see right in front of their eyes ?

Ronald Reagan added 3.73 trillion dollars to the national debt.
George H.W. Bush added 1.74 trillion more.
His son added another 3.75 trillion.

Total 9.2 trillion.

That's twenty budgets in all, negative results in every single case.

Coincidence ?

In good economic times, for the most part, making those negative numbers even more shocking.

Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me twenty straight times, shame on me. Voodoo economics, indeed.

And media organizations like FOX are still promoting lowering taxes, and shocked and awed over the current budget deficit.

That first 9.2 trillion was created by good old conservatives (who apparently weren't great at conserving) and indeed by the " Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" of this modern Republican era.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 367 (view)
u can't have a plutonic friendship with opposite sex
Posted: 10/11/2010 5:15:23 AM

I don't write off women as friends...but here's the difference, I will call a guy friend and we'll just kick it me and him, play video games, watch movies, hit the gym, have a drink whatever you get the drift...

Same here.

As I mentioned earlier, that's precisely the reason why I've always had women friends.

They give me the opportunity to break out of "bro mode" .
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 7 (view)
Local sports - Unusual games played in your area?
Posted: 10/10/2010 3:56:52 PM
The "Coupe de glace" in Montreal, a series of bicycle races held in the middle of winter - on sheer river ice. Participants normally take a spare set of bike tires and drill screws into them for traction.

Go over to YouTube and check them out :

Ice Cup 2007 Montreal

There's also a couple of events at Quebec City's winter carnaval that qualify.

Red Bull Crashed Ice - Best Crashes!!

1)Go strap on some skates, helmets, and hockey pads.
2) Then race down a solid ice version of a roller coaster.
3) Be grateful you have government healthcare.

Time Lapse: 2009 Quebec Carnival canoe on ice race
Ice Canoe Race, Quebec City, Canada - Tim Van Horn

That's one I never missed watching when living there.

Get a canoe and try and cross between Levis and Quebec City in February.
Wind, - 0 degree temperatures, strong river current, and ice galore.


Bain de Neige - Snow Bath - Carnaval de Quebec

- 10 C, and you actually decide to slip into your bathing suit and roll around in the snow.


(Btw, alcohol does seem to help play a role in this one.)

In summer ?

River Surfing in Montréal on the St. Lawrence River - Québec, Canada

There's only one spot on the St. Lawrence river that provides the waves you need.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 200 (view)
Can a White person be African American?
Posted: 10/10/2010 9:20:52 AM
It's a natural and expected American cultural filter expressing itself, thanks to American history.

How can I back up that rather surprising statement to some who may doubt it ?

Well, there's no such thing as an African-Canadian, or African-(any-other-nation-you-can-think-of).

That's something that a foreigner notices much more than Americans do, thanks to that filter.

Here's an example from a Dutch stand-up comedian, Stefan Pop, who talks about it :

" I don't know all your taboos. I had this incident, I bought a bus ticket from the airport and this woman came up to me and said "Well, from whom did you buy the bus ticket."

So I said " From the black guy over there."

She said "WHAT !"

I said "From that black guy over there."

She said "WHAT, It's called African-American !!!!!!"

Like I was being racist by pointing out it's a black dude. I don't know a lot about English grammer, but I do know that the pronoun "it" cannot refer to an individual person. The pronoun "it" can only refer to another animal, or another group. So if anyone was being racist it's her, pointing out an individual with the pronoun "it".

Just try to point out your girlfriend with the pronoun "it".

No... just try to point out your girlfriend with the pronoun "it". Oh you want to meet my girlfriend ? It's called Monica.

The only reason I called him black was because he was black, and he was standing in an all white group.It was the most obvious thing to point him out with. I mean who'd point out a guy with no arms standing in the middle of a group of people with arms ... I won't tell you "Go over to the guy who ain't that good of a tennis player."

I mean, there's nothing wrong with pointing out the obvious.

That's how deep a cultural filter it is, and foreigners don't have it.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 26 (view)
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/8/2010 9:51:21 PM

I'll go out on a limb and say everything. We are born with a part of ourselves in touch with the collective unconscious. We quickly loose touch with this due to societal programming, er "teaching". Teaching involves grounding us in this reality, the conscious world, as it were, and we relegate the unconscious part of us to dreams, deja vu, paranormal phenomenon, etc.

This is close to, but not quite, something I've been thinking on for a long while.

While I don't think the human brain at birth is that developed in what it perceives, I do think that as a child develops it may have some abilities to perceive things that are later "turned off" for various reasons. Part of this is due to teaching "rational" things, and another part may be that certain "switches' may be turned off simply because if they weren't the brain and senses might in fact overload with sensory data.

I've seen things that seem to indicate some possibility of this :

For instance, mind reading. It isn't really mind reading, but scientists have found that babies are able to read subtle facial expressions in the adults in their lives so acutely that it verges on supernatural.

In 2007, the team at the University of Washington Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences conducted an experiment with 18-month old toddlers found they become so sensitive to the subtlest psychological changes in a person's expressions that it might actually explain why they always cry when you come anywhere near them. They can feel the deep-seeded hatred for all things baby under that fake smile of yours.

This strange power even extends to animals, according to a Brigham Young study that discovered that babies under six months could match a dog's bark to its picture without ever coming into contact with the animal. Bizarre!

How about extreme eyesight? Another study, conducted on a herd of six and nine month old children found that the younger babies could discern between two different monkeys, while the older babies could not. This tells us that somewhere between six months and nine months, babies get stupid. How does that happen?

The thing is, adult brains are very busy and don't have time for such trifle things as actually "seeing" colors. From the time we acquire language (seven to nine months old), our brains start perceiving only the "idea" of a color rather than the real thing, unlike all the toddlers who see the world for what it really is. It's like us adults are living in a perpetual Matrix where everything we see is a lie, and all infant babies are Neo.

Babies also have hypersensitive hearing. Unlike adults that have developed the ability to filter out non-essential sounds, like air conditioners or our bosses asking us when this article will be ready, to babies, every sound is essential, and they can hear things happening in the next room as if it were happening right in front of them, hence all the crying.

Babies even have stronger brains than adults.
Humans are born with around 100 billion neurons, same as the number of stars in the Milky Way. However, without a large number of synapses, having lots of neurons is like owning an impressive gun collection with only peas and carrots to load them with. By age three, babies have around 15,000 synapses per neuron... three times as much as an adult in his prime.

Thanks to that, their supercomputer brains can constantly suck up data from their surroundings, then store, analyze and compare it relentlessly trying to understand the world they live in. The infant's capacity for gaining and processing knowledge easily surpasses that of a genius adult mind, making all babies giant nerds by nature. See? Your secret desire to punch them in the face has been perfectly natural all along!

But all good things must come to an end. Our minds just aren't designed to deal with so much information in the long run, so between years four and six the number of synapses in our neurons gets trimmed by more than 2/3rds.

Ever notice that infants don't have such weight problems? What's their secret? Why, a pile of borderline-magic fat, of course.
Around five percent (or six ounces) of all infants' body mass is Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT), or brown fat. Unlike the hideous "white fat" around your belly, chest, arms, neck and feet (seriously eat some vegetables), brown fat is specifically designed to take in calories and burn them for heat until our infants are hotter than Scarlett Johansson's *** that one time it caught on fire. It does so by cranking the babies' metabolism all the way up to 11, effectively turning them into adorable furnaces for surplus calories.

In an adult body, three ounces of brown fat would be enough to burn 400 to 500 calories of white fat a DAY, or around 10 pounds a year, just from sitting on your increasingly sexier behind. Unfortunately, people lose most of their brown fat before they hit adulthood while babies just sit there, stupidly sitting on top of an amazing experience they don't even deserve because they can't appreciate it.

That comment on neuorns and synapses may indicate that "shutting down" aspect I was referencing earlier . Between four and six they start to shut down, which might make some sense as they are becoming more and more aware of the world around them.

It may be a possibility that we are born supermen, but start to become more like Clark Kent as the world acts like kryptonite upon our brains.

Just look at some young autistic children, and you sometimes see some amazing abilities that may handicap them in some real world sense - but give them amazing advantages in doing highly specific things.

And that young brain can do some pretty amazing things, like learn Mandarin (or any other language) and start speaking it when the ability for speech appears. For a human adult to learn a foreign language, it's rather difficult, even when surronded by people speaking the language.

That's how every infant learns , before they even go to school.

Last year, Fei Xu and Vashti Garcia at the University of British Columbia proved that babies could understand probabilities. Eight-month-old babies were shown a box full of mixed-up Ping-Pong balls: mostly white but with some red ones mixed in. The babies were more surprised, and looked longer and more intently at the experimenter when four red balls and one white ball were taken out of the box — a possible, yet improbable outcome — than when four white balls and a red one were produced.

Interestingly, Gopnik stresses in her NY Times piece that the research on how babies brains work suggests that -- rather than loading our kids up with Baby Einstein and "smart toys" -- we should just allow them to play in their own way:

Babies’ intelligence, the research shows, is very different from that of adults and from the kind of intelligence we usually cultivate in school. Schoolwork revolves around focus and planning. ...

This approach may work for children over the age of 5 or so. But babies and very young children are terrible at planning and aiming for precise goals. ...

The learning that babies and young children do on their own, when they carefully watch an unexpected outcome and draw new conclusions from it, ceaselessly manipulate a new toy or imagine different ways that the world might be, is very different from schoolwork.

Pretty interesting concepts to ponder...
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 186 (view)
Can a White person be African American?
Posted: 10/8/2010 10:08:20 AM

This brings up several very interesting questions. Additionally, at what point in your heritage do you simply drop the racial reference and just become an American.

When that alarm clock rings, and Americans all wake up from their slumber and remember the common dream they just had ?

July 19, 1962
"We are simply seeking to bring into full realization the American dream-a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men no longer argue that the color of a man's skin determines the content of his character; the dream of a land where every man will respect the dignity and worth of human personality-this is the dream. When it is realized, the jangling discords of our nation will be transformed into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood, and men everywhere will know that America is truly the land of the free and home of the brave."

- DR. Martin Luther King

Well, after a couple of hundred years where the "other side" stamped some racial difference on your forehead (and removed all sorts of your rights) based on skin pigmentation, I'm ready to cut people some slack on their current self-definition and be patient in the meantime - hoping that we eventually all can place skin pigmentation at the same level of importance as eye colour.

On a strict technically scientific level, I do believe we all have a common African heritage, based on our current understanding of the fossil records we've discovered so far.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 50 (view)
Religion and literacy on dating sites
Posted: 10/8/2010 7:59:05 AM

I was intellectually offended that you suggested that I am like the majority of the rest of the people in the world.

I think that most people are OK... but I certainly don't think highly of most people in the world... meaning that... although I think most people aren't bad or evil... I certainly don't think highly of just anyone who is like all the others. I don't want to be attributed to the rest of the faces among countless other faces... thats kind of like being told you are just another pointless person that is just like the majority.

That's not what I meant to imply.

A very good friend of mine has an expression I really like :

"Don't forget you are unique....just like everyone else. "

I really do think that religious people a phony.

As I said, I've got some serious problems with organized religions from my experience too. Like politics today , one of the problems to be a member is that you seem to have to check off every single box in the applicable dogma to qualify. No debate is possible, and everyone that thinks any differently is not only wrong - but a heretic.

So I guess my reason for the term "spirituality" is an expression of this inability to find a dogmatic shoe that fits.

Those religions, as I've said, I see as filtered impressions of some basic truths that men have come to realize that seem to be common over various times and cultures. Those times and cultures have moulded these expressions into religions that are different.

And yet there's this common core of basic ideas that repeat.

Is that a reflection of some timeless universal truth, or our reptilian brain being restrained by some basic instinctive need for the protection of the species, expressed through this compassionate "group" ethic that these religions seem to have as common roots ?

You get bonus points for seeing the irony of these same religions being used for violence and hatred against others, when that same reptilian brain warps them.

Dalai Lama:"Every religion emphasizes human improvement, love, respect for others, sharing other people's suffering. On these lines every religion had more or less the same viewpoint and the same goal."

The Ethic of Reciprocity -- often called the Golden Rule in Christianity -- simply states that we are to treat other people as we would wish to be treated ourselves.

Almost all organized religions have such an ethic. It is normally intended to apply to the entire human race. Unfortunately, it is too often applied by some people only to fellow believers.

Twenty one religions offer up an almost identical version of "The Golden Rule", you know, that one that so many of them forget exists when they are pushing forward the agenda of their invisible friend in the sky that loves them far more than all those other heretics that must die ?

Those differences are cultural and historical, and somewhat logical. We are all moulded by them.

It's no surprise to me that an ancient agrarian society comes up with Buddhism, with it's views. A people in a desert country choose a crescent moon to be their religious symbol, while looking up at it hanging over a rather desolate landscape.

I also think that people who think they are "spiritual" are too... in an even more phony or ignorant way... in that they want to feel connected to a deity that doesn't exist.

Even when I was about six years old, and I saw those pictures of an old man sitting on a throne in the clouds, I thought it was more a reflection of us - than any "higher power." I don't see that "higher power" as something that looks like us, and never have.

If I had to label my belief structure at gunpoint , it would be Zen Buddhist/Diest Christian in it's roots...kinda....but I really hate labels like that when one is trying to describe something this complex. Those views are also influenced by those filters I have.

Now, as I've said, I've had some personal experiences that have influenced this "spiritual" view. Those experiences make zero sense in any logical/scientific/intellectual/rational way.

But they have happened....

One example that I've mentioned here of this was when I repeated a dream to my mother at five years old - which shocked her deeply to the point she still remembered it decades later.

In that dream, I described seeing something that I could not name, and described everything around me. I was a little child, holding an adult's hand, and looking up towards the sky in a very dense crowd. The perimeter of that circle was broken up with the serrated outlines of hats on the adult men and women that towered over me.

I described the exact location where we were, and the time of day.

There was this feeling of awe in the crowd, as everyone looked up at this wonderous "thing" (I had no name for it) hovering over us.

What had shocked her was that it was a picture perfect description, one that she could confirm in it's details, because she'd been there, as had my Dad, as teenagers (or close to it) . Forty thousand people turned out to see it. They had both never mentioned it to me, and I had no way of knowing it happened - or that such a thing even existed (at five year old).

To this day, I can remember that image I "saw".

What I'd just described was the visit of the British airship R-100, over Quebec City's Dufferin Terrace, July 1930.

I was born in June, 1957.

There were a few other personal experiences like that, in my early childhood, that shook some adults up when they saw them. Another was humming the funeral march twice, absent-mindedly, while playing at the age of about eight.

The first time I did it, the phone rang shortly after to advise us that my paternal grandmother had died unexpectedly.

The second time, a few weeks later, my father died a couple of hours later of a sudden massive heart attack in his mid fifties.

So these things, and some other experiences, have convinced me that ... "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

That's why I'm not so quick to dismiss things, as some others seem to be capable of.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 46 (view)
Religion and literacy on dating sites
Posted: 10/7/2010 8:35:57 AM

I'll agree with some of what what you've said here, that most religious people are phony... but what does "spiritual" mean?

A good question, and one that's not an easy one to explain in a short response.

For me a coldly logical/mathematical/scientific/intellectual view of existence is a great thing - but I also feel there's something more to it than just that.

That might be wrong, but it's simply how I honestly feel.

I'll say I'm a person who wants to know "why" we exist, I want a reason to be. I think there is a good and evil too, I have sense of justice...

but does spiritual mean superstitious? I'm not superstitious at all. I feel like thats what spiritual means... that someone is ignorant of something... that they are unknowing of their own soul.

I think that makes you like the majority of humanity, actually.

No, superstition is not related in anyway, in my opinion.

I've just seen the failure of organized religions too many times, and see them as typically too many times just reflections of our imperfect self and ego - rather than any "higher power" they claim to represent.

I've met some very spiritual people, personally. I've had some personal experiences that have caused me to have the beliefs I have.

I see all religions as simply reflections of the same basic viewpoint, heavily coloured by the filters imposed upon those things by cultures, time/place of creation, and Man's imperfections interpreting them.

It's something deeply personal, and there for you and your family only - never something to be imposed upon others.

There just may be a deep psychological need in the human brain for a counter balance to our reptillian brain that's contributed to this, that's played a vital part in the overall self-preservation of our species. That's a possibility, and it makes some sense to me.

I would wager that a reasonable person who feels as though they are a good person is more likely to be an atheist if they explore the knowledge of religion than others.

When Jefferson assembled the Jefferson Bible, he removed all of Jesus's divinity. That makes Jesus's actions and words perhaps more powerful and accessible to all - not less so. Even an atheist can read it, and perhaps even agree on how valid that message still is today.

In other words:

When someone says they are "spiritual but not religious", it means they are ignorant of politics and religion.

I disagree, for me the problem with both concerns dogma. I'm not a big fan of that in either politics or religion. One should be able to doubt or disagree with something, and be able to discuss and examine things without being branded a heretic and burned at the stake.

Atheist or believer alike....
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 10 (view)
Drone Attacks on Pakistan!!! Are They Helping?
Posted: 10/6/2010 9:30:49 PM

I agree with Dino and Montreal guy that drone attacks are playing a major role in containing the talibans and alqaeda forces. However, we have to look at what cost?

You are totally right in your worries.

We are talking here about state sanctioned extra-judicial killing - not something one ever wants to embark on. I'm hoping that this process has a built in self-examination of the targets and their real complicity in any membership or plots before any decision is made to fire - and potential innocent civilian deaths.

One of the encouraging things is the ruckus that the Taliban/AQ is raising over it, while NOT allowing independent observers in to view the targets hit. There's also quite a few summary executions being done by them of suspected spies. This tells me that they are quite effective in disrupting the threat.

There simply seems to be no other option, against this type of threat level , inside this region.

The implications of even one successful "Mumbai style" attack against a European target with conventional weapons is far greater than the probability of a WMD type of attack - and the psychological impact would be extreme.

Remember, to defend against every possible attack is almost impossible. They have to get it right just once, and no defense can ever be one hundred percent against a determined, organized, and intelligent attacker over a long enough of a time period.

Especially if intel is giving you all the signs of X group of people plotting an attack, then it cannot be ignored.

Also, independent research in the area seems to back up popular support :

March 5, 2009

But a survey of Pakistan’s tribal regions, released today in Pakistan’s Daily Times, tells a different story. "Over two-thirds of the people viewed Al-Qaeda and the Taliban as enemy number one, and wanted the Pakistani army to clear the area of the militants. A little under two-thirds want the Americans to continue the drone attack[s] because the Pakistani army is unable or unwilling to retake the territory from the Taliban," researcher Farhat Taj says.

58% disagreed that "anti-American feelings in the area increased due to drone attacks." 52% said the "drones are accurate in their strikes,"according to Taj. Only a minority — 45% — said the unmanned strikes spark "fear and terror in the common people."

There are people who are linked with the Taliban. Terrorists visit their houses as guests and live in the houses and hujras. The drones['] attacks kill women and small children of the hosts. These are innocent deaths because the women and children have no role in the men’s links with terrorists.

Other innocent victims are local people who just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Now, any public opinion poll of an area as rural and as underdeveloped as Pakistan’s tribal wildlands has to be viewed with a gimlet eye. And Taj’s group, the Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy, isn’t exactly a collection of impartial observers — here is a photo gallery from one of their many anti-Taliban protests. 

Spencer Ackerman cautions against reading too much into Taj’s data. "Forty-five percent of respondents who say that the drone strikes cause ‘fear and terror in the common people’ is a very large figure," he writes. "Just because it’s a narrow minority that lives in fear of having a missile descend out of nowhere is no excuse for profligacy in dropping one. That’s a number that doesn’t indicate a great margin for error. Indeed, overinterpreting that figure is pretty much what al-Qaeda hopes we’ll do."

Read More

Three US researchers, Matthew Fricker, Avery Plaw, and Brian Glyn Williams have written a paper on US drone attacks in Fata. It contradicts the widely held view in the media and academia that the attacks lead to large-scale civilian casualties. Their paper titled ‘New Light on the Accuracy of the CIA’s Predator Drone Campaign in Pakistan’ will be published in the Sentinel, the magazine of the US Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Centre.

The authors analysed media reports from a multitude of sources on the US drone strikes in Fata over the last 10 months and compared the coverage of each attack. Where the reported numbers of fatalities differed, the authors favoured the most detailed and updated accounts. Where questions remained, they favoured newspapers of record, always using the lowest plausible count of militants reported slain. All women and children under 13 were assumed to be civilian. In case it became impossible to determine whether a person killed was a militant or a civilian, they assigned that person to the category ‘unknown’. By systematically applying these simple rules to the available information, the authors concluded that as of April 1 this year, there have been a total of 127 confirmed CIA drone strikes in Fata, killing a total of 1,247 people. Of those killed only 44 (or 3.5 per cent) could be confirmed as civilians, while 963 (or 77.2 per cent) were reported to be militants or suspected militants.

The identities of the remaining 240 individuals who died in these strikes could not be ascertained, and consequently they were placed in the ‘unknown’ category. Even if every single victim placed in the ‘unknown’ category was assumed to be a civilian, the vast majority of fatalities would still be of militants. To be precise, the researchers arrived at a ratio of 3.4 militants for every civilian. The report is revealing because it leads to the conclusion that much of the reporting on these attacks in the Pakistani media and perception created among the general public as a result of such reporting is based on false assumptions — the main being that innocent civilians far outnumbered the militants who died as a result of the drone attacks.

Media reports say the attacks lead to large-scale civilian causalities and public opinion in Fata is against the attacks. The fact is that many understand that the attacks are needed to target the militants and that in most cases they manage to reach the intended target with great accuracy.

I have been questioning misleading reports about the drone strikes through my newspapers columns. But the misinformation continues to come out from both think tanks and media outlets. One recent example is a research report called ‘The Year of the Drone’ produced by a US think tank, called the New America Foundation. The report claims that 32 per cent of those who have died in drone attacks since 2004 have been innocent civilians. The report has been quoted extensively in the media often but is far from the truth, as the one that is to appear in the Sentinel clearly suggests. Furthermore, in a forthcoming research paper I intend to challenge and question the New America Foundation claim.

My hope is that this new report will caution researchers around the world against the ‘conventional wisdom’ that drone attacks lead to large-scale civilian casualties and instant anti-Americanism in Fata, and encourage them to interact directly with local people.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 28th, 2010.

Now, if these figures hold up, it speaks of a high level of accuracy in targeting.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 38 (view)
Looking for new coffee!
Posted: 10/6/2010 9:06:14 PM

Vietnamese coffee in a can is as close as you will come to store bought meth, oh my my my that stuff will rock your socks off!

No, I think my vote for that would be greek coffee.A long time ago, I used to work in an area where there was a lot of Greek restaurants. One day at lunch I asked for a Greek coffee to finish off lunch. The waiter brought over a small expresso sized cup, and a large class of cold water.

After one sip of coffee, there was no need to tell me what the water was for. By the way, drinking the coffee grounds at the bottom is NOT recommended, unless you are trying to win some Olympic gold metal running record.

Imagine a similar effect to taking an expresso cup filled with instant coffee, and adding just enough liquid to make it drinkable.

My boss thought I'd done a line of coke, or something, when I got back to the office.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 32 (view)
UN Fact-Finding Mission Says Israelis Executed US Citizen Furkan Dogan
Posted: 10/6/2010 6:50:23 AM
I totally disagree with it.

That it's coming from the UN, and is this poorly done ?

If you go on YouTube you'll see both protester's video and IDF video. They show the same pictures of IDF troops sliding down one by one on that rope, and as each one arrives they are jumped by a mob armed with metal bars and at least one knife.

Here's what to look for on YouTube:

(protestor video)
Mavi Marmara - THE TRUTH - "Peace Activists" Attack Israelis
Flotilla Rioters Prepare Rods, Slingshots, Broken Bottles and Metal Objects to Attack IDF Soldiers
Mavi Marmara Passengers Attack IDF Before Soldiers Board Ship

(IDF video)
Israeli commandos being beaten while boarding the "Mavi Marmara" ship in the flotilla

One protester's video shows an IDF Seal being stabbed in the back.

Another IDF Seal is physically thrown over the railing to the deck below by a group of men.

Again, this was a legal boarding of a ship approaching a blockade - those protesters were protected by that martime law until the second the violent physical attacks started on their landing force.

That those men being attacked didn't pull their pistols and start firing immediately is a testimony to their discipline following the rules of engagement they were given initially. After a substantial delay, they request and receive permission to respond with deadly force.

At that point, especially given the low number of fatalities, these men still showed excellent fire discipline. Had they not, there would have been very many more bodies lying there after the firing stopped.

They are trained special forces people, in the middle of a violent mob attack with weapons, from a nation that's faced a lot of attacks.

An injured enemy lying on the ground cannot be captured or controlled in such a fast moving dynamic situation, and still poses a threat to you potentially. Will he come to in thirty seconds, and pull a weapon and injure you or a squad member ?

There's only one way to be sure he won't, if you cannot capture and control him any other way.

I'd love to see some of your outrage directed at these "non-violent peace protesters" and their illegal acts - and mob brutality.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 7 (view)
Drone Attacks on Pakistan!!! Are They Helping?
Posted: 10/6/2010 6:14:25 AM
By your reasoning monty, you would have no problems if the US decided to do Predator attacks on Canada if it harbored a few terrorists?

The difference with Canada would be that American ground forces could easily insert into almost any area and make an arrest, or Canadian ones could, and capture any such threat. This is the key difference.

In this area of Pakistan, even the government cannot enter into without a rather large invading force and heavy fighting. That kills even more innocent people, on both sides, and tips off any terrorist that force is on the way.

I ask you to imagine another reality, as you've asked me to do.

Thursday morning, twenty four hours from now......

BBC News
October 6th, 2010

Breaking News....

Live witness reports are streaming in of pitched gun battles and explosions in the streets of London, concentrated in two main areas, and with confirmation of dozens dead and hundreds wounded - many severely.

Initial reports state that several men with automatic weapons and grenades attacked the central London train station at it's peak rush hour and firing is still being reported between security forces and attackers.

Other reports indicate that a series of tour buses and tourists were attacked with grenades by another group, at a popular tourist attraction, with heavy loss of life.

More details to follow as we continue to follow this story....

Since there were warnings of this , and it still occurred, the public will want blood over it.

The President, that well known Muslim, will be ripped apart by people claiming he could have stopped this had he only had the courage to terminate these men's plan with a Hellfire missile - but he let these people (including American tourists) die instead.

Dozens of dead, hundreds of wounded, interviews with witnesses 24/7, burning buildings....

London's rail system interrupted, it's economy severely impacted upon for weeks/months....

Air travel volume drops substantially.

European tourism volume drops dramatically.

Economies start to suffer even more.

Hatred towards Muslims rise.

The late October elections will prove to have zero Democats elected - thanks in part to these attacks, and the way the extreme right will play them politically.

Is that scenario any better than the one you proposed ?

Mine's certainly more realistic, and based on real world events we've all seen.

Except, thanks to a well placed missile strike - that attack never occurs because the small group of men planning it die.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 5 (view)
Posted: 10/5/2010 9:00:13 PM
What if I were to show you an American ad that is an almost perfect analogy for this ad, that every American will get (and most non-Americans who are exposed to American culture will too), that causes zero problems for anyone - and no perceived threat.

It's really exactly the same message, if you think about it after watching it.

Why the difference ? Three reasons.

1 ) It's done by an American corporation
2) It's a non-politically sensitive issue
3) It's written "in American" , and by that I don't mean English, but culturally valid to an American audience.

See if you don't agree :,TerryTate2.wmv

Now, an almost perfect textbook example of a nudge in action, wonderfully done by the Germans. See if you can guess what it's about before it ends.

A nudge isn't meant to force you to do anything, it's simply giving you a chance to see something in a different way.

The problem with that 10:10 ad was that it wasn't a nudge, it was sawed off shotgun blast.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 4 (view)
Posted: 10/5/2010 8:48:40 AM
I just realized he's also the same man behind some of the darkest and most cynical humour that the British have ever probably produced in modern times.

Richard Whalley Anthony Curtis, CBE (born 8 November 1958) is an English screenwriter, music producer, actor and film director, known primarily for romantic comedy films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones's Diary, Notting Hill, and Love Actually, as well as the hit sitcoms Blackadder, Mr. Bean and The Vicar of Dibley. He is also the founder of the British charity Comic Relief.

Not surprising he went for the throat on the ads, I guess.

The problem is that in a show like Blackadder, it's incredibly funny. In an ad for climate change, that humour is lost - even to most Brits who would be on the floor if it was an ad for a product.

How many Americans would ever buy a beer that's promoted by an ad showing an American WW1 fly boy turned over to the Germans....because it's that darn good ?

Or this drunk driving ad, which is far too shocking for an American TV network to show - but incredibly effective for it's impact on getting the point it's trying to make ?

We've had similar ads run in Canada and Quebec.

Sometimes American ads get pulled too, remember that atomic bomb ad (Daisy) run against Goldwater ?
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 3 (view)
Posted: 10/5/2010 8:17:50 AM
It's called "Nudge" for a reason.....

"Nudges" impose no mandates. Instead, with canny combinations of framing, informing, and cheerleading, they can inspire free decisions to eat more broccoli, enroll in retirement accounts, and perhaps even rip apart fewer mountaintops. Though he was a mild-mannered law professor at Harvard at the time this interview took place, Sunstein recently became director of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. With Sunstein in the role of President Obama's "regulation czar," Americans should prepare to get nudged.

What is a "nudge"? And what in the world is libertarian paternalism?

A nudge is a small change in the social context that makes behavior very different without forcing anyone to do anything. The concept behind libertarian paternalism is that it's possible to maintain freedom of choice -- that's libertarian -- while also moving people in directions that make their own lives a bit better -- that's paternalism. We think it's possible to combine two reviled concepts. Once we put the two together we might start to have a philosophy that a lot of different people can sign on to.

Paternalism implies that there's some notion of what "good" is. How does anyone determine what's "good"? How do we determine what's good for the environment?

For most nudges, we're thinking of people's good by reference to their own judgments and evaluations. We're not thinking that the government should make up its own decision about what's good for people. The environment can fit within that framework to a substantial extent, but it has a wrinkle, which is that often when we buy certain goods or use certain energy or drive certain cars.…we inflict harm on others, so our own judgments about our own welfare aren't complete. We want nudges that do help people who are being nudged but also help people who are harmed by those who are not taking adequate account of the risks they are imposing on other people.

How can we expose those harms and the people committing them?

The nudge approach would be, for energy use in homes and automobiles, to make very clear to people what the costs of their activities are to they themselves. When we're driving cars, most of us don't have a concrete sense of what it's costing per year in gasoline to use a car with bad fuel efficiency. A nudge-like solution is to let bad actors, as we might call them, actually see the economic costs to themselves of what they're doing.

There are a lot of anti-nudges out there -- subsidies and tax breaks for all sorts of bad behavior. Don't we have to address those first?

We have a lot of bad nudges. People are seduced to smoke cigarettes, to buy certain high-polluting vehicles, to think about short-term goods without thinking about the long-term effects of their decisions for themselves or their descendents. So long as we have freedom of speech and a market economy, there are going to be bad nudges that we can't do anything about, but we can meet the bad nudges with good ones.

People don't want to be using more energy than other people...because they think they're losing money every month and they're not being good citizens. A lot of Americans are alarmed to find out that their energy is above the norm, if they see it. Companies all over the U.S. have been putting on their electricity bills a kind of rating of how people compare first with their neighbors and second with their efficient neighbors.

You do realize that the 10:10 campaign was pulled from the air, don't you ?

Viewers should feel No Pressure when they watch the series of commercials designed to promote climate change. Unlike the viewers, they will not be forced to join the environmental movement or die. The short films put out by 10:10 were considered by the producers to be a short message to get people to think about changing their behaviors.

The film’s violet images and confused message have sparked controversy, even though it has been pulled from U.K. theaters amidst a flurry of protests from citizens and the charities that originally backed the ad.

Shocking Nature Of The No Pressure Ads
The short film produced by Four Weddings and a Funeral Screen Writer Richard Curtis that has garnered the most attention shows a teacher asking students if they will do simple things to help reduce the global warming threat. Although the teacher assures the students that there is no pressure to join the movement, the teacher pushes a button that blows up the students who refuse to join her cause.

Two additional ads with the same measure show a soccer coach and a corporate executive pulling the same stunt. Although the leaders may assure people that there is no pressure to join, the outstanding message is to join in conservation efforts or die.

Unapologetic Apology
“Many people found the resulting film extremely funny, but unfortunately some didn’t and 10:10 would like to apologize to everybody who was offended by the film,” said 10:10 in a prepared statement. The attempt to use dark humor in the ads has been met with shock and disbelief from most viewers. The viewers are left to wonder exactly which people found the film funny.

Last week, 10:10 made available a short film. Following the initial reaction to the film we removed it from our website and issued an apology on Friday 2 October.

Subsequently there has been negative comment about the film, particularly on blogs, and concern from others working hard to build support for action on climate change. We are very sorry if this has distracted from their efforts.

We are also sorry to our corporate sponsors, delivery partners and board members, who have been implicated in this situation despite having no involvement in the film’s production or release.

We will learn from this mistake. Today I have written to supporters and stakeholders explaining that we will review processes and procedures to make sure it cannot happen again. Responsibility for this process is being taken by the 10:10 board.

The media coverage of the film was not the kind of publicity we wanted for 10:10, nor for the wider movement to reduce carbon emissions.

If people have been in touch with us personally about the film, we will be replying to individual emails over the next few days. Meanwhile our thanks go out to all those who support 10:10 and who work to combat the threat of climate change.

Eugenie Harvey
Director, 10:10 UK]

If you watch British ads and TV, you'll notice that they are not infrequently using dark humour.

How about a beer ad for Stella Artois that features the French turning over a British WW1 pilot to the Germans, to prevent a glass of beer from being wasted ?

There's many more examples of this, which reflects a far different cultural filter at work. Americans viewing such ads miss that entirely, thanks to their filters.

This one failed miserably, even among it's supporters.

The problem that's evident is that people are being nudged right now, sometimes in ways that are self-defeating to their own interests, by corporate ads.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 5 (view)
Drone Attacks on Pakistan!!! Are They Helping?
Posted: 10/5/2010 5:44:52 AM
If you have actionable, accurate, and timely intelligence that a threat exists, you then have two choices.

Ignore it, or act on it to try and remove the threat before it can attack you.

-BERLIN — German officials were tightlipped Tuesday about details surrounding a U.S. missile strike in Pakistan's rugged mountain border area that Pakistani officials say killed five German militants.

U.S. officials believe a cell of Germans and Britons are at the heart of a terror plot against European cities — a plan they link to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden — and are believed to be hiding in that region.
Germany's ARD public television cited unnamed sources Tuesday as saying that four of the Germans killed in the missile attack were of Turkish descent.

The Foreign Ministry said late Monday it was investigating the reports, but did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday on the militants' identities.

The strikes in Pakistan came on the heels of a U.S. warning for Americans traveling in Europe to be on alert for possible terror attacks, on suspicion that groups linked to al-Qaida were plotting to target tourist magnets in European capitals. Japan also issued a travel warning.

Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, however, insisted there was "no reason to be alarmist."
Konrad Freiberg, head of the German police union, told the Passauer Neue Presse in its Tuesday edition the travel alerts are to be taken seriously. He warned that ever more Germans are traveling to Afghanistan and Pakistan for militant training, "and a large number of them have returned and are living here."

British police used sniffer dogs to patrol subways on Monday, while soldiers and mounted police were dispatched to two major churches in Paris — Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur. French paramilitary troops were also seen patrolling around the Eiffel Tower — which has been evacuated twice in recent weeks for unspecified threats.

The U.S. missile strike in Pakistan killed five German militants taking shelter in a house in the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan, a known hub for foreign militants with links to al-Qaida, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The terror cell said to be behind the Europe plot — eight Germans and a Briton — were believed to have been in hiding in the region. A second Briton was killed in a U.S. strike last month.

See full article from DailyFinance:

One cannot go into such an area and make an arrest.

If those people are planning a future attack on you, then leaving them alone only magnifies the potential of attack if they somehow slip back into a Western country. Drone attacks can be, and have been, highly effective at taking out some pretty violent people, and preventing them from continuing to attack civilians.

German officials even closed down the Taiba mosque in Hamburg, quite an unusual step for them.

That was where the 9/11 hijackers met (now renamed) , and seems to be the epicenter of this new plot.

Not taking acts like this leads to the potential of more attacks, and increased pressure against Islam (mistakenly) in the end.

The reason Pakistan has fallen into step (finally) is that , for far too long, their security services had exceptionally close ties to people like Bin Laden and the Taliban.

Once innocent Pakistanis started to get killed by them, they finally began to actively support American and Western efforts to take out the threat.

At the same time, they have to publically push back against the suggestion they are actively helping them - or lose political support in their own country.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 49 (view)
Does Marriage Cause Alcoholism?
Posted: 10/4/2010 10:04:47 AM
And the same number of arguments involving issues long past - but not forgotten....
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 70 (view)
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 10/4/2010 6:38:18 AM

BTW, a musician doesn't have to be professional. There are many non-professional musicians who are more highly skilled than some professionals. Lots of musicians only play one style of music. That doesn't make them any less a musician.


That's how I see it, as well. I think, above all, a "musician" should be able to play live with any other musician he encounters rather easily, or at least with a little effort.

What I meant as that (in my opinion) , any musician should be able to at least try to play with others (no matter what their skill level or talent) so that they both enjoy the experience and make some pleasant sounds. That's what it's all about in the end, when playing with others.

Learning to play well with others is a particular musical skill that not all musicians cultivate. There's lots of solo musicians around. Just because they play solo does not negate that they are musicians.

Not at all, nor am I suggesting that. If they love music, then they should (if the opportunity presents itself) focus on the new opportunity to focus on finding some benefit working with others.

Insisting that musicians play all genres or play easily with others is, in my opinion, too narrow of a definition of who is a musician.

Music's a common language, which you can share with someone that doesn't even speak yours.

Is one who plays many genres and play with others, but poorly, more of a musician than a highly skilled musician who concentrates on one genre and does it really well?

Well, if that person can make something that sounds good (not typically by playing poorly, but more by seeing where he fits in) , and can do that across a variety of music styles is (to me) a more rounded musician - not to take anything away from those that focus on playing one style in solo efforts.

That includes playing where you can make it better, and not playing when you can't.

I think these limiting definitions are silly.

You've just proposed limits yourself, in your example of a person playing only one style solo.

There are all kinds of musicians. Old time, Irish, classical, jazz, rock, folk, African, Cajun, Zydeco, swing, medieval, new age, Caribbean, orchestral, bluegrass, country, Indian (American and East), Balkan, Turkish, Pakistani, Middle Eastern . . . name all countries, all styles, all time periods.

And each gives us something new to think about if exposed to it. It's like being at a cooking school, and finding out that there's an entire universe of spices and food products you've never even thought of using. It doesn't mean you have to be a master chef, but (if cooking with someone else) you see where you can overlap and compliment one another where the final dish is concerned.

Maybe you're the best rib cook in the world, but what it I use........saffron ?

You gonna tell me a musician has to do all of that?

They can try, can't they ?

Otherwise you're limiting yourself....

One rare DJ example of note that perhaps illustrates my point is that Aerosmith mash up with Run-DMC, which caused the world of rap and rock and roll to collide head on in a fusion that actually worked quite well - complimenting both.
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