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Sunday, September 02, 2012

OTP - September 2012 - Because it’s Labor Day after all

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:22 PM | 8483 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   7901. rr Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4248006)
This might be an urban thing.

Yep. There are a couple of streets with several small locally-owned businesses near where I live, and they do fairs/promotions/nights/park-and-walks etc and work together to draw from the neighborhood customer base.
   7902. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4248007)
MillerCoors has Blue Moon. AnheiserBusch has Shock Top. Etc, et al.

Hey, my mother's favorite beers!

This topic seems to have veered off from the "better off" discussion, but #### it, I'll throw my hat in.

Financially: Roughly equivalent or a little worse. Still saddled with massive college debt and still no full-time employment, but I've taken steps to fix that and hopefully something good happens soon. This has little to nothing to do with the President, since most of my problems are of my own doing.

Personally: Much better off, since I have an amazing girlfriend of a year now and I didn't four years ago. Again, not much to do with the President, although I did meet her at my crappy part-time job that I wouldn't have if I had a desired full-time job. Sometimes there are silver linings when things are seemingly going poorly! Relatedly, I also now have a certain amount of humility that I didn't really have four years ago, and I think I'm a much better person due to some of the struggles I've had and personality changes I've made to fix them.
   7903. Lassus Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4248011)
When I want aged, dead plants soaked in water, beer is the way to go.
   7904. PreservedFish Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4248012)
JFK BLOWN AWAY WHAT ELSE DO I HAVE TO SAY
   7905. Morty Causa Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4248018)
   7906. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4248019)
Looks like we got to the Kumbaya part of this thread finally.
   7907. Lassus Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4248020)
Also, I like Billy Joel, but listening to We Didn't Start the Fire is proof of a diseased mind.
   7908. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4248024)
So what in heck is "the Fire" and why do we want to fight it?

P.S., looking through the link in #7905. I always thought he was singing about "trouble in the sewage."
   7909. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4248026)
I hate We Didn't Start The Fire. Awful song.

My beer is not listed (Yuengling). We buy it at Costco.

I think Romney needs a plan that he can define easily (A contract with America) 10 easy points to hammer that "will turn the economy around". Even with that and a great debate performance, he is in trouble.
   7910. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4248028)
It would be terrible if it was like this all the time, but for a Friday morning with the campaigns in a lull and waiting for the debates - bring on the odd off topics.

I like Billy Joel (though I feel like he is condecending to me while singing on most of his songs), but We didn't start the fire is not his best song. I do like the game of going through references. Games without Frontiers is another good song for that as is that Prince song I cannot remember the name of right now (and am too lazy tolook up).

EDIT: CostCo is awesome. Beer is nasty (but I don't drink any alcohol, so what do I know).
   7911. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4248033)
So what in heck is "the Fire" and why do we want to fight it?


No one knows. How could they. They weren't there when it started. It's been always burning. Since the world was turning.

NOW THIS ####### SONG IS IN MY ####### HEAD YOU ####### ASSHAT #############! GODDAMNIT!
   7912. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4248034)
Conor Friedersdorf, writing
in The Atlantic:

A new report published by the international law clinics at New York University and Stanford grapples with dead innocents. But it also highlights interviews with people living through the drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas. They are human reminders that America's drone campaign affects not only those hit by missiles, whether rightly or wrongly, but also innocents all around them.

Our drones are attacking the community where they live.

The American public is told by the Obama Administration that drone strikes are surgical. Precise. That they "limit collateral damage." And that civilian casualties are rare. Is that the truth?

Does it adequately capture reality?

Ponder a few interviews from the report -- decide for yourself.

All these stories take place in Northwest Pakistan's tribal areas, a remote part of the country filled with poor people. Most are guilty of nothing at all. A minority are militants. Even among them, almost none poses an imminent threat to the American homeland. Just traveling to the nearest major city requires a journey of hours or even days spent traversing multiple military checkpoints. There are Taliban, some of whom pose a threat to U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and other bad guys fighting the dodgy Pakistani government. Some locals sympathize with the bad guys. Many others want no more to do with them than you want to do with the nearest street gang to your house. Why haven't you eradicated it? That's why they haven't gotten rid of the militants.

An interview with a typical mother is as good a place to begin as any. She described what happens when her family hears an American drone hovering somewhere overhead. "Because of the terror, we shut our eyes, hide under our scarves, put our hands over our ears," she told her interviewer. Asked why, she said, "Why would we not be scared?" Said a father of three from a different family unit, "drones are always on my mind. It makes it difficult to sleep. They are like a mosquito. Even when you don't see them, you can hear them, you know they are there."

Said a day laborer, "I can't sleep at night because when the drones are there ... I hear them making that sound, that noise. The drones are all over my brain, I can't sleep. When I hear the drones making that drone sound, I just turn on the light and sit there looking at the light. Whenever the drones are hovering over us, it just makes me so scared." Added a politician, people "often complain that they wake up in the middle of the night screaming because they are hallucinating about drones."

Would you have nightmares if they flew over your house?

"When children hear the drones, they get really scared, and they can hear them all the time so they're always fearful that the drone is going to attack them," an unidentified man reported. "Because of the noise, we're psychologically disturbed, women, men, and children. ... Twenty-four hours, a person is in stress and there is pain in his head." A journalists who photographs drone strike craters agreed that children are perpetually terrorized. "If you bang a door," Noor Behram said, "they'll scream and drop like something bad is going to happen." Do your kids?

The terrified parents react there as they would here. Many pull their kids out of school, fearing they'll be killed by drones if they congregate in big groups. Kids make the same decision for themselves: "The children are crying and they don't go to school," says Ismail Hussain. "They fear that their schools will be targeted by the drones."

Faheem Qureshi is still just a teenager.

Back in 2009, he was the sole survivor of the first drone strike that President Obama ordered. He was "one of the top four students in his class before the drone strike fractured his skull and nearly blinded him," the report states. He's struggled ever since. "Our minds have been diverted from studying. We cannot learn things because we are always in fear of the drones hovering over us, and it really scares the small kids who go to school," he told his interviewer. "At the time the drone struck, I had to take exams, but I couldn't take exams after that because it weakened my brain. I couldn't learn things, and it affected me emotionally. My mind was so badly affected."

Of course, it isn't just parents and children who are affected.

Safdar Dawar, who leads an organization of tribal journalists, gave a superb description of what life is like for every innocent person in North Waziristan: "If I am walking in the market, I have this fear that maybe the person walking next to me is going to be a target of the drone. If I'm shopping, I'm really careful and scared. If I'm standing on the road and there is a car parked next to me, I never know if that is going to be the target. Maybe they will target the car in front of me or behind me. Even in mosques, if we're praying, we're worried that maybe one person who is standing with us praying is wanted. So, wherever we are, we have this fear of drones."

Said Fahad Mirza, "We can't go to the markets. We can't drive cars. When they're hovering over us, we're all scared. One thinks they'll drop it on our house, and another thinks it'll be on our house, so we run out of our houses." Some refuse to leave their houses. Funerals are sparsely attended. Friends no longer visit one another's homes. Yet no one ever feels safe anyway.



The report.
   7913. Lassus Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4248035)
Sign O' the Times, title track. Within the top 10 albums of the past 50 years, easy.
   7914. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4248037)
When I want aged, dead plants soaked in water, beer is the way to go.


We can't all live off of chamomile and our own since of quaint precociousness, son.
   7915. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4248038)
Sign O' the Times. Title track. Within the top 10 albums of the past 50 years, easy.


Yup. Thanks! Great album. Not sure top 10, but it is very good.
   7916. PreservedFish Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4248041)
Sign O' the Times. Title track. Within the top 10 albums of the past 50 years, easy.


It's great, but I hate that the production is so dated.
   7917. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4248043)
It's great, but I hate that the production is so dated.


QFT.
   7918. Lassus Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4248049)
Dated? The album came out in 1987. Could you be more specific in your criticism?

Oh good lord that's 25 years ago. I need to sit down.
   7919. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4248052)
Dated? The album came out in 1987. Could you be more specific in your criticism?

By that I mean the production is kind of tinny and "digital" in a bad way (and in the way so much production was around then). It's also mastered sort of quietly, or has always seemed so to my headphone covered ears.

That said, U Got The Look could be a hit right now. And my criticism doesn't make the album itself any worse or Prince any less the man.
   7920. Lassus Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4248054)
On a more serious note, it seems time for me to really figure out what I think of this drone warfare.


Joe C - gotcha.
   7921. PreservedFish Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4248055)
Yes, what Joe C says. By dated I mean that it sounds like it's hampered by 80s stylistic choices that sound bad today. Not that it's old - there are lots of old albums that sound gorgeous today.
   7922. bunyon Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4248056)
There is no way to wage war without harmingn innocents. You have to decide going in if killing innocents is worth achieving your goal.

I don't see how you come up with that in our drone war but there are times it will. The idea of a "clean" war is bullshit. War is hell. Which is why we shouldn't fight them exept as a last resort.

Or to get rid of people who don't like beer.
   7923. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4248057)
I think health care (insurance) is a bit like congress. People like their own, but don't like the system as a whole. Between the fear of change and the dislike of the "system" (but they love their Doctor) it is very hard to come up with something that works politically.

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but until I turned 65 health insurance was one disaster after another. Premiums kept going up and up, as did deductibles, and worst of all, the paperwork was totally incomprehensible to anyone not familiar with the jargon. When my wife I applied for Kaiser Permanente after becoming thoroughly disgusted with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, we were both turned down because of preexisting conditions, even though both of those conditions had been stable for years and were completely controllable going forward. (The irony is that my shop manager, whose premiums I paid, got into Kaiser by a bureaucratic mistake, even though my overall health is far better than his.)

Since turning 65, I've had one colonoscopy, one endoscopy (both recommended every 5 or 10 years for those over 65), four annual checkups, about a dozen eye checkups (to monitor glaucoma), and a few other checkups to see about a throat condition (negative) and a mole my regular doctor said to check (also negative).

Total premium cost for Medicare and a supplement that covers everything that Medicare doesn't: About $250 a month, up from about $230 in 2009. Total co-pays or out-of-pocket: Zero. Total paperwork required: None. Could I keep my previous doctor? Yes.

Multiply that pre- and post-65 experience by several tens of millions of other geezers, and you'll begin to see why there's little love for regular insurance companies and lots of love for Medicare. My sense is that most people's love for their own insurance companiy is directly proportional to the type of plan that they can afford, and to the amount of help they can count on in filling out the endless number of appeals for denied coverage.

And BTW when I had my most recent annual checkup just a few days ago, my doctor said that Medicare had recommended not having routine stool tests, EKG and PSA prostate screening for those with no apparent symptoms, none of which I had. So it isn't as if no efforts are being made to contain costs. Perhaps this would fall into the category of "death panels" or "reduced coverage", but somehow it didn't come across as anything more than common sense.
   7924. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4248058)
Oh good lord that's 25 years ago. I need to sit down.


I have coworkers who are younger than this album.
   7925. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4248060)
If sounding dated is going to be a judgement for music, then 90% of the White Album is going to be dated.
   7926. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4248061)
There is no way to wage war without harming innocents. You have to decide going in if killing innocents is worth achieving your goal.


True, but this is an argument to end the war, not to justify the death of innocents. With that said, I think for me, personally, the most horrific aspect of our current drone war - and I'm on record publicly as being against the thing entirely at this point - is the constancy of it in these people's lives. It seems counterintuitive, but the worst part of it isn't the random bombs dropping from the sky, but the otherwise "normal" and "peaceful" days where these people have to go about their lives with the buzz of our drones hovering in the skies above them constantly. Step back an imagine that if you can. You can't sleep because of the buzz of the killer robots hovering in the night sky. You can't go to the market without thinking "is the guy next to me on a kill list" again while the buzz of the killer robots hover in the sky above you. It's constantly there, a literal buzz of this hovering killing machine, like an angry mechanical wasp-god, constantly reminding you that every aspect of your life is at its whim. It can kill you at any time, for any reason, and you can't even see it. All you can do is listen to it's constant droning sound from miles above you. Waiting. With your death in it's wings.

This is as immoral and evil as torture.
   7927. PreservedFish Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4248064)
If sounding dated is going to be a judgement for music, then 90% of the White Album is going to be dated.


I don't think the White Album sounds dated at all. (Well, maybe some of it, but it isn't really an issue).
   7928. Greg K Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4248065)
EDIT: CostCo is awesome. Beer is nasty (but I don't drink any alcohol, so what do I know).

I had a CostCo haggis a month or so ago. I can honestly say it was the finest haggis I ever ate.
   7929. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4248066)
NOW THIS ####### SONG IS IN MY ####### HEAD YOU ####### ASSHAT #############! GODDAMNIT!
Turn your energies toward composing "We Didn't Start the SABR" to the same tune.
   7930. zonk Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4248073)

True, but this is an argument to end the war, not to justify the death of innocents. With that said, I think for me, personally, the most horrific aspect of our current drone war - and I'm on record publicly as being against the thing entirely at this point - is the constancy of it in these people's lives. It seems counterintuitive, but the worst part of it isn't the random bombs dropping from the sky, but the otherwise "normal" and "peaceful" days where these people have to go about their lives with the buzz of our drones hovering in the skies above them constantly. Step back an imagine that if you can. You can't sleep because of the buzz of the killer robots hovering in the night sky. You can't go to the market without thinking "is the guy next to me on a kill list" again while the buzz of the killer robots hover in the sky above you. It's constantly there, a literal buzz of this hovering killing machine, like an angry mechanical wasp-god, constantly reminding you that every aspect of your life is at its whim. It can kill you at any time, for any reason, and you can't even see it. All you can do is listen to it's constant droning sound from miles above you. Waiting. With your death in it's wings.

This is as immoral and evil as torture.


Well, it's a trade off really...

My objections to the 'drone war' are more confined to the command & control structure - I'm not saying it should be strictly military, but I don't particularly care for the fact that the CIA is essentially sitting at the joystick.

But - I do understand this objection.

The 'trade-off' - in cold terms - is that "non drone wars" can't go after as many specific targets without being modern day Genghis Khan type hordes laying waste to vast areas and people. On the other hand, 'the drone war' CAN go after more specific targets, but subjects more innocents to the terror of war.

It comes down to "more dead" or "more terror".
   7931. Greg K Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4248074)
Also speaking of beer and not drinking it...I was just in Bavaria when Oktoberfest kicked off last week. My friend I was there with doesn't drink, so it was a bit of an odd experience.

Worth noting as well...if you're travelling in a train in the direction of Munich during this festival taking the 9am train does not allow you to avoid standing room only wall-to-wall drunken Germans in their rustic get-ups. Which I have to say, look quite fetching on the females (not that most of them need the help), and appears to make going to the bathroom very difficult for the males.
   7932. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4248076)
It order to shop that way you need choices. I never would set foot in a WalMart when I lived in Boston. We had a little market called DeLuca's, plus the local grocery chain, and more boutiques and restaurants than you could count, of course. When I was living in Farmington ME we quickly realized that WalMart evasion was going to be a losing tactic. I came to grow fond of it: great prices on home goods and groceries, and you can get your car fuses while you're at it. It also was one of the biggest employers in town and people seemed reasonably happy to be working there. When I moved back to the tri state area I almost blew a gasket in the check out line at Whole Foods. Luckily there's a WalMart nearby. Go WalMart!
   7933. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4248077)

My beer is not listed (Yuengling). We buy it at Costco.


Yes! Couldn't get it in Maine, but I enjoyed a brace (or maybe a hat trick) of Yuenglings at Star Tavern last night. On a related note, Star Tavern is the best goddamned pizza on earth (bar style, at least).
   7934. JuanGone..except1game Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4248082)
I had a CostCo haggis a month or so ago. I can honestly say it was the finest haggis I ever ate.


YOU LIE!!!

Seriously, that is hard to believe. Have you never eaten at a good pie shop in Edinburgh or Glasgow? It's hard to get a decent frozen pot-pie, so I don't know how you could get a good haggis one. I don't mean to ruin the mood here and turn this into a Joe/Sam debate but you need to retract that statement NOW!!
   7935. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4248085)

True, but this is an argument to end the war, not to justify the death of innocents.


Not trying to be flippant or snarky here, since this is an issue I wrestle with, but what would you propose? I can see several alternatives:

* Sustained military intervention with boots on the ground into Waziristan from bases in Afghanistan: A totally horrific idea that I would hope nobody would seriously consider.

* Current war of drones/special forces/CIA intel with minimizing risk to American forces being top priority

* Stopping the drone program and attempting to rebuild ties with Pakistani security forces and in general aiming for a very 'soft', police-style campaign, necessarily dependent heavily on Pakistani cooperation

* Deciding we've hit them as hard as we can hit them without doing more damage than it's worth, Bin Laden is dead, so we will withdraw forces and focus on defense, keeping the military in readiness in case we have reason to believe another 9/11-type strike is coming, and accepting the danger that we might not find out in advance.

None of these seem particularly attractive, even ignoring domestic political considerations.
   7936. PreservedFish Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4248087)
I am guessing that it was the first haggis he'd ever eaten?

I made haggis from scratch last year for Burns night. I couldn't get all the perfect ingredients - I used beef bung instead of sheep's stomach - but it was pretty damn good.
   7937. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4248096)
Not trying to be flippant or snarky here, since this is an issue I wrestle with, but what would you propose? I can see several alternatives:

* Sustained military intervention with boots on the ground into Waziristan from bases in Afghanistan: A totally horrific idea that I would hope nobody would seriously consider.

* Current war of drones/special forces/CIA intel with minimizing risk to American forces being top priority

* Stopping the drone program and attempting to rebuild ties with Pakistani security forces and in general aiming for a very 'soft', police-style campaign, necessarily dependent heavily on Pakistani cooperation

* Deciding we've hit them as hard as we can hit them without doing more damage than it's worth, Bin Laden is dead, so we will withdraw forces and focus on defense, keeping the military in readiness in case we have reason to believe another 9/11-type strike is coming, and accepting the danger that we might not find out in advance.

None of these seem particularly attractive, even ignoring domestic political considerations.

Whichever option we pick: when is it OVER?
   7938. BDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4248097)
Wow, an interesting collection of topics. Sorry I haven't been in the thread much lately – I need to respond to Bitter Mouse's very thoughtful comments on life and games at some point – but I have been working, and going to ballgames, and participating in local government like a good liberal :)

My assorted cents' worth:

I am way better off personally than in Sept. 2008 and hilariously, disastrously, worse off financially. Which shows that money really isn't everything.

Oh, and beer. I am happy to drink a major-brewery beer if it's good, and they do have the resources to do a good one sometimes. There was a Michelob organic ale available briefly awhile back that I really liked. But local draft beer is always the way to go, even if it can be uneven in quality; the best is always better than mass-produced stuff. At the Ballpark I have Rahr's Texas Red. There's a relatively new brewery in Garland, Texas, called Lakewood, which does a very nice hoppy IPA. A good time to be alive.

Bavaria … I am amazed that young Bavarians wear that gear. Unironically? It doesn't seem possible; or I'm missing the point, granted.

I go to Germany every year, and have come to enjoy the beer (I go mostly to the north, thus not to the wine regions, which is a shame.) In the US, I don't like most of the German-style lagers and pilseners. They seem watery and tasteless (though there are exceptions; if you can get Victory Prima Pils, from Downingtown PA, it's a very nice interpretation). But in Germany, these are outstanding beers, local, on tap, light, crisp, bitter. I try a different one in every town I go to. By contrast, in Hamburg a few months ago I had a Ratsherrn Pale Ale, which tries to emulate American craft ales. The jury's out. Not bad, but etwas stimmt nicht.
   7939. Greg K Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4248101)
YOU LIE!!!

Seriously, that is hard to believe. Have you never eaten at a good pie shop in Edinburgh or Glasgow? It's hard to get a decent frozen pot-pie, so I don't know how you could get a good haggis one. I don't mean to ruin the mood here and turn this into a Joe/Sam debate but you need to retract that statement NOW!!

Preserved Fish nailed it.

I did have some amazing fish in Glasgow once.

EDIT: for the record I actually did thoroughly enjoy the CostCo haggis. I can imagine that a "real" one would be really, really good.
   7940. Darren Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4248104)
I thought liberals were supposed to be a bunch of elitists but that doesn't square with that beer list.
   7941. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4248106)
Victory Prima Pils

Victory's a good brewery. Their Imperial Stout is very good.
   7942. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4248110)
* Deciding we've hit them as hard as we can hit them without doing more damage than it's worth, Bin Laden is dead, so we will withdraw forces and focus on defense, keeping the military in readiness in case we have reason to believe another 9/11-type strike is coming, and accepting the danger that we might not find out in advance.


This. I am perfectly fine living with the absurdly low possibility that someone from Warzistan might come kill some of us one day. I'm tired of Americans behaving like a bunch of cowering pussies.

Get out. Now. If actionable intelligence comes up later, act on it. (Drones aren't that hard to deploy; they don't need to be in the sky every day.) If someone kills Americans sometime in the future, find out who did it and go get them.
   7943. zenbitz Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4248116)
@7935 - d. of course.

When faced with four options all roughly equally unlikely to solve your problem (Islamic terrorists), you pick the one that kills the fewest people.

This is, of course, always the danger with Democratic presidents. They can kill and maim with impunity because under no circumstances will the opposition party (of law and order & hawkish foreign policy) ever, EVER call them on it. The LIBRUL media might - but it's irrelevant because the class of people that's uniformly disgusted by war and slaughter are (almost) uniformly lefty-democrats anyway.

Of course, it could spur a Green/Lefty party split... but EVEN IF IT DID cause all sorts of outrage in SF, Portland, Brooklyn, and Austin, TX - those states are not in play.

The reverse of this, of course, is when Republicans increase domestic pork spending.

Just to short-circuit - yes I know there are Libertarian and other right-wing isolationists -- some in this thread. Politicians pandering to them is about as productive (for the politicians) as pandering to the Vegan vote.
   7944. PreservedFish Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4248123)
When faced with four options all roughly equally unlikely to solve your problem (Islamic terrorists),


This part seems tough to evaluate.
   7945. BDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4248124)
Victory's a good brewery

The first time I had their beer was at CBP in Philadelphia earlier this year, a Hop Devil. (Amazing beer selection at CBP, BTW.) Their Hop Wallop is just what the name would indicate, too.
   7946. zenbitz Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4248126)
My favorite beer is one with N2 bubbles instead of CO2. Stouts if there is no other option.

I find this makes for a much better prediction of quality of beer drinking experience than anything else. The next best predictor is freshness of keg.

But I also don't like Belgian Ales. I like Weiss beers but they upset my tummy.

If I drink bottled beer then I just get whatever amber/brown/hoppy thing that's a notch above Sam Adams. Although in my dotage I find that a lager (even lite beer) or bud lime AKA "man soda" is quite refreshing on a hot day after strenuous exercise.
   7947. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4248127)
Well if we're discussing small/local stuff and beer... anyone in the Bay Area should keep an eye out for Dying Vines, a supersmall brewer specialising in english/west coast mashups. They just started doing retail kegs (Ledgers, Berkeley) but don't bottle.

Brewdog (scotland)'s Punk IPA is also excellent, and their recent run-in with Diageo is pretty funny:

BrewDog, which owns seven pubs including a venue in Camden, north London, had been ordained "Bar Operator of the Year" by a panel of independent judges. But minutes before the award was due to be handed over, the winner was suddenly swapped to another company on the shortlist.

A representative from Diageo, who has not been identified, was allegedly overheard threatening to withdraw the drinks giants' sponsorship from future BII awards if BrewDog was declared the winner.
   7948. zenbitz Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4248130)
@7944 - well "roughly" is doing a lot of work in my statement. But honestly - you cannot even predict the DIRECTION of the effect of each of those choices, let alone the magnitude. They cannot be rationally evaluated based on probable outcome. Now, what they can and ARE evaluated on are "which plays better at home".

   7949. The Good Face Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4248131)
* Deciding we've hit them as hard as we can hit them without doing more damage than it's worth, Bin Laden is dead, so we will withdraw forces and focus on defense, keeping the military in readiness in case we have reason to believe another 9/11-type strike is coming, and accepting the danger that we might not find out in advance.


This. I am perfectly fine living with the absurdly low possibility that someone from Warzistan might come kill some of us one day. I'm tired of Americans behaving like a bunch of cowering pussies.

Get out. Now. If actionable intelligence comes up later, act on it. (Drones aren't that hard to deploy; they don't need to be in the sky every day.) If someone kills Americans sometime in the future, find out who did it and go get them.


And somehow Sam and I are in agreement.

I'm no pacifist. There are times when violence is perfectly acceptable to me, but our drone war, and our Afghan adventure in general, fails to meet any reasonable threshhold. We're terrorizing a populace and killing a few local scumbags (and whoever's unfortunate enough to be near them) who are no real threat to us. How is this making us any safer? If anything, we're harming our ability to gather useful intelligence on any potential future attacks by spreading fear and hatred among the people best able to provide us such intelligence.
   7950. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4248134)

When faced with four options all roughly equally unlikely to solve your problem (Islamic terrorists), you pick the one that kills the fewest people.


Granting that we aren't solving Islamic terror any time soon, is it worth it to engage in a cost-benefit analysis? Or do we say that we can't judge the probabilities, so we won't try?

If your military advisor says that the chances of a 9/11-level attack over the next 10 years is 10% with drone attacks, and 20% without, do you give any weight to that? Do we multiply 10% by 3,000 and say it's worth it as long as we kill fewer than 300 people doing so?

Again, may sound like I am being flippant, but I am not. Trying to figure this out myself.

My initial reaction is to say that our priority ought to be to save American lives, and if we can be reasonably sure that a policy will save American lives on average, we ought to follow that policy unless there are significant countervailing reasons. Of course, we could then debate what those countervailing reasons might be.

   7951. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4248141)
If your military advisor says that the chances of a 9/11-level attack over the next 10 years is 10% with drone attacks, and 20% without, do you give any weight to that? Do we multiply 10% by 3,000 and say it's worth it as long as we kill fewer than 300 people doing so?

I fire that military advisor, because I can't be having my staff pulling numbers out of their butts like that.
   7952. zenbitz Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4248151)
If your military advisor says that the chances of a 9/11-level attack over the next 10 years is 10% with drone attacks, and 20% without, do you give any weight to that?


That better be an extremely impressive Powerpoint presentation. With lots of charts and graphs so I know it's serious.
   7953. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4248155)
As far as beers go I am a big fan of the dark beers such as Bass, Guinness , and Newcastle. My favorite domestic beer is the Gordon Biersch Martzen and I like the Spaten Oktoberfest for my German beer although I used to like Austria's Gosser but can't find it anywhere
   7954. Ron J2 Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4248161)
#7950 The problem that any serious analysis of the problem faces is that it's exceedingly difficult to tell whether or not you're increasing radicalization of those who are not being targeted (or those who lost somebody important to them either deliberately or as collateral damage). Many of the recent would be attackers in the West have specifically cited the drones as an important motivation.

Interestingly (to me at any rate), to get back to the point of civilian contractors running the drones, I've heard one reason is that the US military was judged too risk adverse.
   7955. BDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4248170)
it's exceedingly difficult to tell whether or not you're increasing radicalization of those who are not being targeted (or those who lost somebody important to them either deliberately or as collateral damage)

This. "The terrorists have won" is a cliché for good reasons. Terrorists don't always strike to achieve constructive political goals; in fact, it would be surprising if they did. Sometimes their motive is to bring about a reaction that breeds more terrorism. If you're a warlord commanding fanatical shock troops, you don't want to give up and become a dogcatcher in some new peaceful non-terrorist paradise. You want the #### to go on forever. The descent of drones and shells and patrols and occupying forces are just what you're trying to provoke.
   7956. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4248189)
Sure I go off for a while and this happens. Sorry for the long post.

Or to get rid of people who don't like beer.


Even rodents? With good excuses?

you pick the one that kills the fewest people.


Yes. A thousand time yes. Violence breeds violence (don't make me quote MLK again).

But honestly - you cannot even predict the DIRECTION of the effect of each of those choices, let alone the magnitude. They cannot be rationally evaluated based on probable outcome.


Yes you can. History has taught us that (see above) killing does breed killing. Reaching out and being generous (at the the very least doing nothing) is much preferable - because in the long run you can get peace. Violence is a short term solution to be used only in the last resort and then abandoned asap.

How is this making us any safer? If anything, we're harming our ability to gather useful intelligence on any potential future attacks by spreading fear and hatred among the people best able to provide us such intelligence.


And now I agree with The Good Face. Not exactly the first time, but close. But when you are right you are right.

So yeah, I am against "Drone War", even more than "regular war". It is just as destructive (arguably more so to civilians - like repeat strikes which kill people coming to rescue and help the wounded), but from the US it is all so clean and video game like. So we don't care and the cycle of violence keeps on and will come to bite us (US) in the butt eventually.
   7957. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4248199)
Well if we're discussing small/local stuff and beer... anyone in the Bay Area should keep an eye out for Dying Vines, a supersmall brewer specialising in english/west coast mashups. They just started doing retail kegs (Ledgers, Berkeley) but don't bottle.


My go-to beer of choice these days is Ed's Dortmunder brewed in house at 5 Seasons Westside, in the Brickworks, Marietta & Howell Mill, Atlanta. Even though they changed the name of it on the big board to Ed's German Style Lager because Falcons tailgaters apparently don't know what "Dortmunder" means.

Crawford also makes a wicked mean peated Scotch Ale.
   7958. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4248203)

For a while now, pictures purporting to show Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, modeling in 1950s bondage and fetish porn have been floating around the darker corners of the Internet. Now, though, they’ve made their way into a pseudo-documentary, Joel Gilbert’s Dreams From My Real Father, which is being mailed to voters in swing states, promoted by several Tea Party groups and by at least one high-level Republican. At the same time, Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book, Obama’s America—the first of all his works to hit the top spot on The New York Times bestseller list—has a chapter essentially calling Dunham a fat slut. If Obama is reelected, it’s hard to imagine where the right goes from here.

It’s tempting to ignore Dreams From My Real Father because it’s so preposterous. The movie claims that Obama’s actual father was the poet and left-wing activist Frank Marshall Davis, who Dunham met through her father, who was a CIA agent merely posing as a furniture salesman. “My election was not a sudden political phenomenon,” says the narrator, speaking as if he were Obama reading his autobiography. “It was the culmination of an American socialist movement that my real father, Frank Marshall Davis, nurtured in Chicago and Hawaii, and has been quietly infiltrating the U.S. economy, universities, and media for decades.”

Davis enjoyed taking nude photos of women, and the images said to be of Dunham, to which the director pays lascivious attention, are presented as evidence of their intimate relationship. “These photos were taken a few weeks before 1960, when mom was about five weeks pregnant with me,” the narrator says. “Frank then sold the photos to men’s mail-order catalogues.”

What matters here is not that a lone crank made a vulgar conspiracy video, one that outdoes even birther propaganda in its lunacy and bad taste. It’s that the video is finding an audience on the right. Gilbert claims that more than a million copies of Dreams From My Real Father have been mailed to voters in Ohio, as well between 80,000 and 100,000 to voters in Nevada and 100,000 to voters in New Hampshire. “We’re putting plans in place, as of next week, to send out another two or three million, just state by state,” he told me.

Gilbert won’t say who is funding this distribution, and there’s no way to verify his numbers. Had he not made other right-wing documentaries in the past, I might suspect that the whole thing is a brilliant conceptual art project about the limits of anti-Obama credulity. But the fact is, people are reporting receiving the disk in the mail. Tea Party groups and conservative churches are screening it. It was shown at a right-wing film festival in Tampa during the Republican National Convention, and by Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum Council in Missouri. Alabama GOP Chairman Bill Armistead recently recommended it during a speech, saying, “I’ve seen it. I verified that it is factual, all of it. People can determine.”


Charming ...
   7959. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4248205)
My initial reaction is to say that our priority ought to be to save American lives, and if we can be reasonably sure that a policy will save American lives on average, we ought to follow that policy unless there are significant countervailing reasons.


But your hedge gives away the game. Given the chance to say they're "reasonably sure" that blowing up villages of poor non-Americans half a world away and then crowing about how they're "keeping us safe from terrorism," any and every pol in the nation will do that.

If we don't *know* that someone in that room is going to take action that would kill 100+ Americans, we should not bomb that room. Stop. Being. Such. Pansies. Freedom isn't free. Live with insecurity you gits.
   7960. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4248207)

Yes you can. History has taught us that (see above) killing does breed killing.


My views on violence are more nuanced (or more confused, take your pick). I prefer non-violent solutions. Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent, to quote Salvor Hardin. On the other hand, there are times in which violence can be constructive. Abraham Lincoln tried to save the Union with non-violence, and failed, then tried violence, and succeeded. A non-violent solution may have been preferable, but when I consider that such a solution would have meant the continuation of slavery (itself a form of continuing violence), I come out thinking that the violent solution was the best one available.

The Iraq war caused huge civilian casualties, and did not produce any useful results. I think the jury is out on drone strikes. Even using the estimates of drone opponents (and not the official statistics), the civilian casualties seem remarkably low compared to other forms of military intervention. So I think it's absolutely wrong that it's 'just as destructive' as regular war. It appears to be between 10 and 1000 times less destructive (wide range, I know, but I am being conservative). That doesn't mean it's justified. But I am uncomfortable concluding it's not worth it a priori.
   7961. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4248221)
My views on violence are more nuanced (or more confused, take your pick).


Hey I did mention (later in the post) violence has a place. It is a much more limited place though than what we see here in America.

Back in the 80s it was obvious that South Africa was going to be a nightmare and was very likely to escalate into a horror show rivaling the worst the Mideast could do. There a choice was made to (as much as possible) not try to use violence to "solve things".

Long standing disputes (like South Africa, India/Pakistan, the Mideast) can not be solved by violence. Hitler can only be solved by violence, but only if it is tempered by things like the Marshall plan and how we handled Japan after the initial "violence needing" problem is dealt with.
   7962. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4248223)
Even using the estimates of drone opponents (and not the official statistics), the civilian casualties seem remarkably low compared to other forms of military intervention.


"Official statistics" are absurd, in that *every single person killed in a drone strike is an insurgent or terrorist.* How do we know? Well, they were killed in drone attack on insurgents or terrorists, obviously!
   7963. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4248229)
So I think it's absolutely wrong that it's 'just as destructive' as regular war. It appears to be between 10 and 1000 times less destructive (wide range, I know, but I am being conservative).


This is not accurate from what I have read. I am not an expert and I bet there are a million ways this can be thought about. I am sure from the American perspective it is perhaps 1000 times less destructive. If we are only considering our perspective and the alternative is full on war with boots on the ground.

I think that is a terrible way to analyze the situation.
   7964. Morty Causa Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4248232)
Get Your Haggis!

However, this is what you want to eat instead of Haggis:

Cajun Ponce Bouree

There's the smoked ponce and the unsmoked. The Cajuns north of I-10 specialize in the smoked. The Cajuns south of I-10 do the unsmoked (and generally refer to it as a Chaudin; that's "show dan", the "dan" pronounced in the clipped French manner, not like the English proper noun).

Although the best smoked ponce (and smoked sausage and tasso) is at this place, also in Eunice, not at Mel's, although Mel's is good

Unfortunately, they don't ship, and, as far as I know, don't even wholesale to other--a very pure, very traditional place, the sausage is as good or better as any, the tasso is in a class by itself
   7965. Morty Causa Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4248237)
I can't speak for anyone but myself, but until I turned 65 health insurance was one disaster after another. Premiums kept going up and up, as did deductibles, and worst of all, the paperwork was totally incomprehensible to anyone not familiar with the jargon.


If you have an individual policy, you are in bad shape. For myself, and others I've spoken with, as well as the stats obtainable, the premiums from age 60 to 65 double. Then at 65, a person has to go to a supplemental policy. Usually these do not covered medication outside the hospital, unless you want to pay some exorbitant fee (which amounts to staying on the regular policy). With the new ACA, you need two supplemental policies, one for general medical care, doctor and hospital, and one for prescriptions. Which is much better, unless you have some expensive prescriptions, for after the deductible and copay, you still have to pay 5% of the cost of the medicine. This may not be much, unless your cancer drug, say, is $8,000.00 a month. That can put retirees, the poor, you know that 47% who are no-good bums, in a real bind.
   7966. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4248239)

Hey I did mention (later in the post) violence has a place. It is a much more limited place though than what we see here in America.


Correct, and I apologize if I oversimplified your position.


Long standing disputes (like South Africa, India/Pakistan, the Mideast) can not be solved by violence.


What about NATO intervention in Bosnia?


This is not accurate from what I have read. I am not an expert and I bet there are a million ways this can be thought about. I am sure from the American perspective it is perhaps 1000 times less destructive. If we are only considering our perspective and the alternative is full on war with boots on the ground.


The Guardian reports that: "between 2,562 and 3,325 people have been killed in U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan since June 2004, and between 474 and 881 of them were civilians."

If so, the 'hit rate' is 75% or higher. I consider that absurdly good. That's unprecedented in military history, if true.

   7967. JuanGone..except1game Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4248240)
Cajun Ponce Bouree


My dad, who was born in New Orleans, has mentioned this before though I've never tryed it. If its anything like Haggis, I'm sold.

Preserved Fish nailed it.

I did have some amazing fish in Glasgow once.


And Greg, all is forgiven. I know my Scottish friends would want me to defend their delicacy but its understandable if you haven't tried it before. If your ever in Edinburgh again, try the Peacock Inn. They sell unbelievable fish and chips, but they have this item called "The Whale" for those with a large stomach. Biggest piece of fish I've ever seen, and while I can be quite the eater, I probably only got through 60% of it on an empty stomach.
   7968. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4248241)
"What will I replace the ACA with? Nothing. Nothing at all. Rather, I will strive to reduce the... waste, fraud, and abuse... that is currently in the system. Most of you are happy with your health care and are worried the system will change for the worse. It won't."
Coming from the guy who championed RomneyCare and called for a national health care mandate, this is pretty rich.
   7969. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4248256)
"What will I replace the ACA with? Nothing. Nothing at all. Rather, I will strive to reduce the... waste, fraud, and abuse... that is currently in the system. Most of you are happy with your health care and are worried the system will change for the worse. It won't."
Coming from the guy who championed RomneyCare and called for a national health care mandate, this is pretty rich.


It would be, if it had been said by Romney. It wasn't. It was said by Ray, suggesting how he thinks Romney should answer the question.
   7970. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4248265)
Oh! In that case, Ray doesn't know who Mitt Romney is.
   7971. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4248290)
Oh! In that case, Ray doesn't know who Mitt Romney is.


I think his best bet at this point is just to say that he was wrong, all wrong for thinking that Romneycare was a good solution, and with time he has seen from the Obamacare debate that both systems are not good for the country. Distance himself from it. Say he was for it before he was against it.

So he will be deemed a hypocrite. Yay. How is that worse than trying to dance and walk between raindrops by making fine distinctions? Just sell out.
   7972. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4248297)
It seems counterintuitive, but the worst part of it isn't the random bombs dropping from the sky, but the otherwise "normal" and "peaceful" days where these people have to go about their lives with the buzz of our drones hovering in the skies above them constantly. Step back an imagine that if you can. You can't sleep because of the buzz of the killer robots hovering in the night sky. You can't go to the market without thinking "is the guy next to me on a kill list" again while the buzz of the killer robots hover in the sky above you. It's constantly there, a literal buzz of this hovering killing machine, like an angry mechanical wasp-god, constantly reminding you that every aspect of your life is at its whim. It can kill you at any time, for any reason, and you can't even see it. All you can do is listen to it's constant droning sound from miles above you. Waiting. With your death in it's wings.

Replace "drones" with "gangs" (and "sky" with "streets") and this describes any number of U.S. cities, but I don't hear liberals screaming about that.

If Obama's numbers are to be believed, more people have been murdered this year just in Chicago than civilians have been killed in all U.S. drone strikes over the past several years added together.

Also, these claims about drones constantly "buzzing" overhead seem new. I thought drones operated at an altitude of roughly double that of a commercial airliner (i.e., 60,000 feet)? These articles make it sound like they're buzzing overhead 24/7 like a bunch of model airplanes, which seems like a counterproductive strategy. I thought one of the main attributes of the drones was that people didn't know they were present?

This. I am perfectly fine living with the absurdly low possibility that someone from Warzistan might come kill some of us one day. I'm tired of Americans behaving like a bunch of cowering pussies.
Stop. Being. Such. Pansies. Freedom isn't free. Live with insecurity you gits.

Says the guy who doesn't believe Americans have the right to firearms for self-defense. Great stuff.

"Don't be a pansy! Fight off that armed gangbanger with your hands!"
   7973. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4248299)
Yes. A thousand time yes. Violence breeds violence (don't make me quote MLK again).
Don't make me quote Heinlein in response.
   7974. PreservedFish Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4248302)
Step back an imagine that if you can. You can't sleep because of the buzz of the killer robots hovering in the night sky. You can't go to the market without thinking "is the guy next to me on a kill list" again while the buzz of the killer robots hover in the sky above you. It's constantly there, a literal buzz of this hovering killing machine, like an angry mechanical wasp-god, constantly reminding you that every aspect of your life is at its whim. It can kill you at any time, for any reason, and you can't even see it. All you can do is listen to it's constant droning sound from miles above you. Waiting. With your death in it's wings.


Is this accurate, at all? Do we know what the experience of living in this part of the world is like? For all I know, for the people in the population centers these drones are a very rare and very mild annoyance.
   7975. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4248303)
Once Romney washes his hands of Romneycare, he will be able to give Obamacare the full hearing it deserves. With wails of "but you are against it after you were for it!" being the main reply.

But it's not like Romney is leading in the polls anyway, so what does he have to lose?
   7976. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4248308)
But it's not like Romney is leading in the polls anyway, so what does he have to lose?


Strictly as a point of political strategy, I agree with this. He can't sit around and wait for things to turn around for him on their own. It's time for a high-risk, high-reward move.
   7977. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4248309)
I think his best bet at this point is just to say that he was wrong, all wrong for thinking that Romneycare was a good solution, and with time he has seen from the Obamacare debate that both systems are not good for the country. Distance himself from it. Say he was for it before he was against it.

I agree, and thought he would do this six months ago, even though he seems to still have a lot of affinity for Romneycare.
   7978. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4248312)
Also, these claims about drones constantly "buzzing" overhead seem new. I thought drones operated at an altitude of roughly double that of a commercial airliner (i.e., 60,000 feet)? These articles make it sound like they're buzzing overhead 24/7 like a bunch of model airplanes, which seems like a counterproductive strategy. I thought one of the main attributes of the drones was that people didn't know they were present?


I don't know, I think "omnipresent buzzing drones that occasionally blow up an entire block" sounds like a pretty effective strategy for terrifying a populace.

That's our goal, right?
   7979. Morty Causa Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4248315)
But it's not like Romney is leading in the polls anyway, so what does he have to lose?


Strictly as a point of political strategy, I agree with this. He can't sit around and wait for things to turn around for him on their own. It's time for a high-risk, high-reward move.


How about slut-slamming? It's going to be a race to the bottom.
   7980. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4248317)
Regarding drones: right now, there are three bills in the House, and one in the Senate, aimed at limiting domestic use of drones for surveillance.
Specifically, they do things like create a warrant requirement and exclude evidence collected through warrantless drones, with exceptions for border patrol or immediate danger to life or high risk of terrorist attack.

The four bills have a total of 57 sponsors and co-sponsors.
Party breakdown: 57 Republicans, 0 Democrats.
   7981. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4248318)
Is this accurate, at all? Do we know what the experience of living in this part of the world is like? For all I know, for the people in the population centers these drones are a very rare and very mild annoyance.


Well, you could read the report.

Chapter 3: Living Under Drones.

Here's more fun stuff:


There is now significant evidence that the US has repeatedly engaged in a practice sometimes referred to as “double tap,”[429] in which a targeted strike site is hit multiple times in relatively quick succession. Evidence also indicates that such secondary strikes have killed and maimed first responders coming to the rescue of those injured in the first strike. In a February 2012 joint investigative report, Chris Woods of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) documented that:

[o]f the 18 attacks on attacks on rescuers and mourners reported at the time by credible media, twelve cases have been independently confirmed by our researchers. In each case civilians are reported killed, and where possible we have named them.[430]

Since those findings were released, several more strikes have repeated this pattern, including a strike on July 6, 2012 in which three “local people” and “tribesmen . . . carrying out rescue work” were reportedly killed and two more injured in follow-up strikes.[431]

Those interviewed for this report were acutely aware of reports of the practice of follow-up strikes, and explained that the secondary strikes have discouraged average civilians from coming to one another’s rescue, and even inhibited the provision of emergency medical assistance from humanitarian workers.


[edit] Had to remove the rest of the quoted material, since it was causing the italics issue. But the report is worth reading, at least as much of it as you can stomach.
   7982. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4248320)
[edit]

   7983. spycake Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4248321)
First of all, Romney stated some time ago that he wants to repeal Obamacare, right? Or did I hear that wrong? I don't know if explicitly disavowing Romneycare too would add much. (Unless he did it with explicit lyrics, that would be cool)

Secondly, assuming that it's somewhat of a new move, this seems to be an idea to turn rightward. I don't think he needs to convince voters to his right not to vote for Obama, I think the problem is to his left (in the center). So a move to the center -- the Etch-A-Sketch approach -- may have been called for some months ago.
   7984. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4248322)
Is this accurate, at all? Do we know what the experience of living in this part of the world is like? For all I know, for the people in the population centers these drones are a very rare and very mild annoyance.


A speed trap on a two-lane blacktop is a rare and very mild annoyance. The clap is a rare and very mild annoyance. Having killer robots drop high ####### ordinance on you head is not a "rare and very mild annoyance." For ####'s sake.
   7985. BDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4248324)
It could be a rare, and devastatingly destructive, permanently traumatizing, surreally unsettling, indelibly enraging annoyance.
   7986. PreservedFish Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4248325)
I missed everything above that spoke about the Living Under Drones report. I see it directly contradicts my totally amateur supposition. Consider that comment retracted.
   7987. Ron J2 Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4248328)
#7984 Never thought about it the way you presented it in 7926. Have to say I find the argument compelling. It's easy for me to imagine it creating a water torture atmosphere.

And yes, from what I can tell steady drops of water that you can't do anything about will in fact drive a fair number of people crazy.
   7988. booond Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4248329)
Not sure where everyone's been, Romney's been saying he'd repeal it all along... no one cares.

June 2011

“If I’m elected president I will repeal Obamacare,” he says. “And also, on my first day in office … I will grant a waiver to all 50 states from Obamacare.”


June 2012

The Supreme Court upholds the Affordable Care Act, and by now Romney has locked up the presidential nomination. “Our mission is clear,” he says. “If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama.”
   7989. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4248339)
I think his best bet at this point is just to say that he was wrong, all wrong for thinking that Romneycare was a good solution, and with time he has seen from the Obamacare debate that both systems are not good for the country. Distance himself from it. Say he was for it before he was against it.
As people have pointed out, he's done this. Distancing himself from his previous achievements hasn't worked so far.

If you're arguing that Romney should be running as someone who isn't Mitt Romney, doesn't think like Mitt Romney and disagrees with everything Mitt Romney has ever done, then there's no reason to vote for Mitt Romney.
   7990. PreservedFish Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4248353)
Maybe I'm not up to date on my Romneyology, but IIRC his position is something like "Romneycare was right for MA, but I do not believe that it should be foisted on every state by the US gov't." So disowning Romneycare would indeed by a new tact.
   7991. Steve Treder Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4248368)
IIRC his position is something like "Romneycare was right for MA, but I do not believe that it should be foisted on every state by the US gov't." So disowning Romneycare would indeed by a new tact.

That's right, so it would be a new tack. (Nothing especially tactful about it.)

And while it's a good point that at this juncture, Romney's got to be willing to toss long bombs, I don't see how out-and-out calling Romneycare a mistake has even a chance of doing anything positive for him. "In my last elected office, my signature accomplishment was a blunder" isn't exactly a winning theme.

Yes, it's time to pull the dipsee-doodle end-around out of the playbook, but surely he's got a better one in there than this one would be. Not that one immediately comes to mind, to be fair.
   7992. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4248371)
#7984 Never thought about it the way you presented it in 7926. Have to say I find the argument compelling. It's easy for me to imagine it creating a water torture atmosphere.


What it amounts too, in no uncertain terms, is *terrorism.* Think of living in Manhattan on 9/12/2001, except every so often a jet buzzes a skyscraper. Doesn't actually hit it every time. Just once in a while. But it's always there, this sound of jets that you know could slam into the building next to you at any moment, day or night. That's what we are doing to Warzistan with our drone war. We are terrorizing them. We have become the monster.
   7993. BDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4248382)
Yes, it's time to pull the dipsee-doodle end-around out of the playbook, but surely he's got a better one in there than this one would be. Not that one immediately comes to mind, to be fair

For a moment there, I thought you were about to suggest Option J.
   7994. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4248383)
What it amounts too, in no uncertain terms, is *terrorism.* Think of living in Manhattan on 9/12/2001, except every so often a jet buzzes a skyscraper. Doesn't actually hit it every time. Just once in a while. But it's always there, this sound of jets that you know could slam into the building next to you at any moment, day or night. That's what we are doing to Warzistan with our drone war. We are terrorizing them. We have become the monster.

By this definition, any member of a street gang is a terrorist. I wouldn't mind going down that road, but I bet the lefties would.
   7995. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4248384)
7979...aye yi yi, the race (to the bottom) is over, with that article. Jeez. That is disgusting stuff.
   7996. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4248387)
By this definition, any member of a street gang is a terrorist.

*Points and giggles*


And any kid with a lemonade stand is already Warren Buffett.
   7997. Morty Causa Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4248396)
By this definition, any member of a street gang is a terrorist. I wouldn't mind going down that road, but I bet the lefties would.


Is there anything, Joe, that you wouldn't attempt to vindicate if someone you see as on the other side is doing the same or worse? Is that really how you live your life and establish your values?
   7998. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4248397)
I think his best bet at this point is just to say that he was wrong, all wrong for thinking that Romneycare was a good solution, and with time he has seen from the Obamacare debate that both systems are not good for the country. Distance himself from it. Say he was for it before he was against it.

So he will be deemed a hypocrite. Yay. How is that worse than trying to dance and walk between raindrops by making fine distinctions? Just sell out.


But it's not like Romney is leading in the polls anyway, so what does he have to lose?


Strictly as a point of political strategy, I agree with this. He can't sit around and wait for things to turn around for him on their own. It's time for a high-risk, high-reward move.

The only problem is that there's no possible reward at all. Is there a single imaginable voter who would switch from Obama to Romney after hearing something as blatantly desperate as this? At best he might gain a few Tea Party stragglers, but that's likely to be counteracted by a few independent or moderate stragglers who see the confirmation of the Etch-a-Sketch Romney.

It's been obvious since the day Romney's campaign began: He can't escape from the albatross of the GOP's Crazy Joe Davola base unless the economy completely tanked, and even then only if people could be convinced that Ryanomics was the solution. He sold whatever soul he had left by pandering to the yahoos in the primaries, and now he's discovering just how high the price was.
   7999. booond Posted: September 28, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4248398)
So disowning Romneycare would indeed by a new tact.


And stupid. His one worthwhile achievement is now a big error. What the #### qualifies him as president his hair?
   8000. BDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4248402)
Even if every member of a street gang was a terrorist, I don't see the point. So there are various people who do bad things, so …?
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