The word of the post was "conflicted", not love or hate, but I take it to mean that Obama has a love/hate relationship with the country. In some sense, everyone has such a relationship, as there are both wonderful and terrible things about America to love or to hate(be conflicted about), which is nothing new. But, on balance, a deep love of country is one of the essential ingredients.Comment Posted By mannning On 14.03.2008 @ 20:42
I, for one, would not want as president any person that did not love our country, and that issue would be well up the list of qualifications; in fact, it is understood without question that a candidate for this office should and does demonstrate love of our country. It would be equally hard, if not harder, to prove that he could do the job given that he hates America, as least for me. The very fact that there is some question about it is a killer, without ever having to consider any other qualifications.Comment Posted By mannning On 14.03.2008 @ 20:29
This may be typical sensational scare reporting. The authors neglected a few of the niceties of accurate portrayal of scientific results, and they used a scare image to make a point that was unrelated to the actual studies. We do not know the main assumptions used, the basic data sets used, the sensitivity of the results to variations of input quantities, all of the physical factors accounted for, and the factors not accounted for in these "sophisticated" models, nor any estimate of the accuracy of the results. I am reminded of the Club of Rome efforts of some years ago that fell flat.
For me, the big question is simply who do we trust in the scientific world to get to the truth about climate change? Far too many so-called reputable scientists and scientific organizations have signed up to some of these rather shoddy studies, and the subsequent sensationalism, not to mention the increased flow of research funds their support garners.
Isn't it convenient that these study reports come out just as the convention of deniers is wrapping up?Comment Posted By mannning On 10.03.2008 @ 21:57
SShiell--good post. It accords with my understanding of the position of my friends at T.J Watson Research Labs.
Why are people so eager to draw trend lines on data that is corrupted or deficient? Perhaps to buttress an argument that isn't quite firm?Comment Posted By mannning On 4.03.2008 @ 22:48
From "War Against the Weak", by Ed Black
In the first three decades of the 20th Century, American corporate philanthropy combined with prestigious academic fraud to create the pseudoscience eugenics that institutionalized race politics as national policy. The goal: create a superior, white, Nordic race and obliterate the viability of everyone else.
How? By identifying so-called "defective" family trees and subjecting them to legislated segregation and sterilization programs. The victims: poor people, brown-haired white people, African Americans, immigrants, Indians, Eastern European Jews, the infirm and really anyone classified outside the superior genetic lines drawn up by American raceologists. The main culprits were the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune, in league with America's most respected scientists hailing from such prestigious universities as Harvard, Yale and Princeton, operating out of a complex at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island. The eugenic network worked in tandem with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the State Department and numerous state governmental bodies and legislatures throughout the country, and even the U.S. Supreme Court. They were all bent on breeding a eugenically superior race, just as agronomists would breed better strains of corn. The plan was to wipe away the reproductive capability of the weak and inferior.
Ultimately, 60,000 Americans were coercively sterilized â€” legally and extra-legally. Many never discovered the truth until decades later. Those who actively supported eugenics include America's most progressive figures: Woodrow Wilson, Margaret Sanger and Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Perhaps we should be wary of scientists with power.Comment Posted By mannning On 3.03.2008 @ 17:08
I do admire the intent of your post. One thing that makes me mad is to be stampeeded into some expensive steps with only the word of a non-scientist to go by, one that will profit from it at that.
There are also affidavits from whole groups (hundreds of members each, in fact) of scientists going both ways, with the majority jumping on the bandwagon, since it seems that most are looking for tenure or research grants. This is not a voting situation, however. Some scientists are more likely to be right than others; the trick is to recognize which ones--certainly not the loudest.
Interestingly, many of the older and more established scientists seem to think GW is simply a natural cycle, and there isn't much we can do about it. Stemming some percent of the 4% of CO2 in the atmosphere is not very practical, and may well be masked by other phenomena anyway, such as sun/cloud effects, they say.
Some scientists point to the historical fact that when the majority of scientists agree on a theory they are mostly found wrong, and especially so when there is a strong school opposed--- A. N. Whitehead.
It is perhaps unfortunate, but our nation is not run by scientists, but rather by politicians and wonks. It is these politicians that must decide who is right, and what to do. The scientists, all several thousands of them, need to come up with proofs and solutions, not votes, declarations and harrangues. This they have not as yet done adequately in my opinion.
Which leaves me in exactly the same place as Rick, standing on a pinnicle and afraid to take a step in any direction, especially not to spend and spend and spend...on the whims of bad scientists, bad science, and greedy politicians.Comment Posted By mannning On 3.03.2008 @ 16:37
This is the old saw of how many policemen do you need to ensure no crime. For some it is never enough, and for others it is always too many. The comprimise most often reached is in favor of far too few, such that you must wait many minutes for a cop to show up once called.
The obvious result is that if someone wants to rob you, or blow you to bits, chances are all the police are going to do is help pick up the pieces, and chase leads.
When the scale of such crimes reaches that of using nuclear, chemical or biological weapons on us, the number of victims rises kinda drastically. This in turn raises the demand for protection by citizens to the top of the scale. They will be served.
For many, the demand for retribution against the bad guys goes ballistic as well. No bad guys evident? Well, any sinning group will do at that time: say, Iranians, Syrians, Palestinians---all of the above for example. We lash out.
So we flail about with our weapons until someone says enough! We are avenged. Several trillion dollars of destruction and many hundreds of thousands of deaths later, we survy the scene.
How about next time we put in a few preventive measures around the world to stop these kinds of things before they become an orgy of destruction? Buy a few more cops, for God's sake! Buy a lot more! Buy many division's worth. And then use them! They are cheap by comparison to the death and destruction wrecked!
Look at Israel and Palestine: firing away at each other for revenge every day for at least a half century.
If you think our government could withstand the outcry for revenge, and take the hits without responding, I believe you are living in a dream world, a utopia without oxygen.
So does the other guy want his revenge...
How many cops does it take?Comment Posted By mannning On 2.03.2008 @ 23:47
For your information, Paul, I have dealt with many Muslims from Kuwait, Iran, Palestine, Egypt, and India, over a period of ten years. I cannot say that my dealings were encouraging in the least. Never met a more devious and sneaky crowd.Comment Posted By mannning On 29.02.2008 @ 22:19
The only passages from Leviticus that I recall have to do with homosexuality. Specifically rejecting it, in fact. Is that what you are referring to?Comment Posted By mannning On 29.02.2008 @ 22:03
Your point is slippery, Paul. It is said in the Haddith that when living in a non-Islamic land, Muslims are given permission to adapt and not make waves, until such time as they are called by the leaders to throw off their false robes and don the true robes of Islam, and then to undertake jihad. Until the time has come, Muslims can seem to be the most peaceful people. But we see daily in the news just how unpeaceful they are when called upon--men, women, and even children. The time will come in the UK, and it isn't far off.
Yes, it was a statement about Islam, that heightens the stakes for a true answer to the question here. No one has proved anything about Obama. Not yet. Or else your definition of proof is quite loose and hearsay-oriented. You WANT to believe, as do many. So you believe.
Of course it is necessary to vet every candidate, but McCain has a long lead of being investigated in depth for security clearances. Obama, not so long.Comment Posted By mannning On 29.02.2008 @ 21:59
I question strongly why anyone would object to a thorough investigation of candidates for the Presidency, least of all the candidates themselves. Unless, of course, they have something to hide...