I post article because I believe they will be of interest, not because I agree with every—or even any—opinion in them.
Sanctions and Strategy (Long but educational) http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20091123_sanctions_and_strategy?utm_source=GWeekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=091123&utm_content=readmore
Excerpt: The difficulty of creating effective sanctions raises the question of why they are used. The primary answer is that they allow a nation to appear to be acting effectively without enduring significant risks. Invading a country, as the United States found in Iraq, poses substantial risks. The imposition of sanctions on relatively weaker countries without the ability to counter the sanctions is much less risky. The fact that it is also far less effective is compensated for by the lowered risk. In truth, many sanction regimes are enforced as political gestures, either for domestic political reasons, or to demonstrate serious intent on the international scene. In some cases, sanctions are a way of appearing to act so that military action can be deferred. No one expects the sanctions to change the regime or its policies, but the fact that sanctions are in place can be used as an argument against actions by other nations. This is very much the case with Iran. No one expects Russia or China (or even many of the European states) to fully comply with a sanctions regime on gasoline. Even if they did, no one expects the flow of gasoline to be decisively cut off. There will be too many people prepared to take the risk of smuggling gasoline to Iran for that to happen. Even if the U.S. blockaded Iranian ports, the Caucasus and Central Asia are far too disorderly and the monetary rewards of smuggling are too great of an incentive to make the gasoline sanctions effective. Additionally, the imposition of sanctions will both rally the population to the regime as well as provide justification for an intense crackdown. The probability of sanctions forcing policy changes or regime change in Iran is slim.
Inspector General: Rhee visited me to intervene for Johnson http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Inspector-general_-Rhee-intervened-for-Johnson-8577747-71924762.html
Excerpt: On June 27, 2008, Michelle Rhee, head of the Washington, D.C., school system, paid a visit to Gerald Walpin, who was inspector general of the government volunteer organization AmeriCorps. At the time, Walpin was investigating a California private school known as St. Hope, which was founded by Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star and friend of Rhee's who was running for mayor of Sacramento. St. Hope had received about $850,000 in AmeriCorps money, and Walpin's investigators were looking into charges that Johnson had misused those funds by assigning paid volunteer tutors to run errands for him and wash his car, as well as making them take part in political activities. In the course of the investigation, some young female AmeriCorps volunteers also charged that Johnson had made inappropriate sexual advances toward them and offered one of them $1,000 a month to keep quiet.
The True Costs of Health Care Reform
This chart shows the costs for the first tens years the bill is in effect, not the ten year from now, which include four years of taxes but no healthcare.
The Death Blow to Climate Science
The question is, was the stuff posted altered? Excerpt: Someone hacked in to the files of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) based at the University of East Anglia. A very large file (61 mb) was downloaded and posted to the web. Phil Jones Director of the CRU has acknowledged the files are theirs. They contain papers, documents letters and emails. The latter are the most damaging and contain blunt information about the degree of manipulation of climate science in general and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in particular.
'Too high a price'
Excerpt: Meeks, who chairs the Illinois Senate Education Committee, has been in a war with the Chicago Teachers Union since he had some tough things to say about public education in a Tribune essay and in a speech at Rainbow Push. The CTU responded with a vow not to give him another dime in campaign money until he apologized. Meeks promptly wrote a check for $4,000, giving back every dime the union had already given him. No apology. You have to love this guy. He's genuinely looking out for kids and doesn't back down to pressure. Back to the video. It shows the top lawyer of the National Education Association, Bob Chanin, speaking at the NEA's annual meeting in July. Chanin was retiring. This was his swan song. Chanin makes unmistakably clear what the highest priority is for the union. Hint: It's not the education of your kids.
Married Couples Face Extra Tax in Healthcare Bill
Excerpt: Senate Democrats’ health care bill would create a new marriage penalty by imposing a tax on individuals who make $200,000 annually but hitting married couples making just $50,000 more. That’s one of 17 new taxes imposed by the bill, which also creates a levy on elective plastic surgery – some call it “botax” – and places a 40 percent excise tax on those who have generous health care plans. “If you have insurance, you get taxed. If you don’t have insurance, you get taxed. If you need a life-saving medical device, you get taxed. If you need prescription medicines, you get taxed,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, who is leading the fight against the bill…
Wilding of Sarah Palin
Excerpt: Fear of rape became a constant dread, and I sought a solution that would help shield me from danger. The answer: seek safe harbor within the Democratic Party. I even became an activist for feminist causes, including violence against women. Liberalism would protect me from the big bad conservatives who wished me harm. Like most feminists, it was a no brainer to become a Democrat. Liberal men, not conservatives, were the ones devoted to women's issues. They marched at my side in support of abortion rights. They were enthusiastic about women succeeding in the workplace. As time went on, I had many experiences that should have made me rethink my certainty. But I remained nestled in cognitive dissonance -- therapy jargon for not wanting to see what I didn't want to see. One clue: the miscreants who were brutalizing me didn't exactly look Reagan-esque. In middle and high schools, they were minority kids enraged about forced busing. On the streets of New York City and Berkeley, they were derelicts and hoodlums. Another red flag: while liberal men did indeed hold up those picket signs, they didn't do anything else to protect me. In fact, their social programs enabled bad behavior and bred chaos in urban America. And when I was accosted by thugs, those leftist men were missing in action. What else should have tipped me off? Perhaps the fact that so many men in ultra left Berkeley are sleaze bags. Rarely a week goes by that I don't hear stories from my young female clients about middle aged men preying on them. With the rationale of moral relativism, these creeps feel they can do anything they please.
How Sarah Palin might win the White House
Excerpt: Gallup polls over the past 60 years show that no president with an approval rating under 47 percent has won reelection, and no president with an approval rating above 51 percent has lost reelection. (George W. Bush's approval rating in the weeks before the 2004 election hovered around 50 percent.) The 2012 election will be primarily about our current president and whether voters are satisfied with the country's direction. Who the Republican candidate is, and his or her qualifications and abilities, will matter only if Obama's approval rating is between 47 and 51 percent going into the fall of 2012. Interestingly, in the latest Gallup poll Obama's approval rating was at a precarious 49 percent.
Petition to Senate for Tort Reform http://www.protectpatientsnow.org/site/c.8oIDJLNnHlE/b.5616279/k.258A/Newsletter.htm
Only way to really bring down costs, but hopeless with the Lawyers Party in charge.
Navy SEALs Face Assault Charges for Capturing Terrorist http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,576646,00.html
Whose-side-is-he-on alert. Excerpt: Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told FoxNews.com. The three, all members of the Navy's elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called an admiral's mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.
A domestic Islamic threat is real, and the FBI is unprepared to fight it. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704888404574547571230575110.html
Excerpt: Moreover, President Barack Obama's determined effort not to mention Islam in terrorist discussions—which means that we must not suggest that Maj. Hasan's murderous actions flowed from his faith—will weaken American counterterrorism. Worse, the president's position is an enormous wasted opportunity to advance an all-critical Muslim debate about the nature and legitimacy of jihad. European counterterrorist officers know well that jihadists can appear, self-generated or tutored by extremist groups, inside Muslim families where parents and siblings lead peaceful lives. Security officials live in fear of the quiet believer who quickly radicalizes, or the secular down-and-out European who enthusiastically converts to a militant creed. Both cases allow little time and often few leads to neutralize a possible lethal explosion of the faith….The great Muslim reformers of the last 200 years have all been intellectually deeply intertwined with the West. The West has stimulated every single great modern Muslim conversation. The abolition of slavery, the study of science, public schools and widespread literacy, the widely felt and growing need for constitutional and representative government—and less meritorious subjects like socialism, communism and fascism—came about because of Westernization. The Westernization, moreover, was usually driven by Muslims themselves. This "globalization" has not always been appreciated on the Muslim side. Britain's imperialistic doggedness against the slave trade was deeply resented by Muslims who, like American Southerners, saw slavery, as sacred. Devout Muslims often go ballistic when Westerners and secular Muslims push hard for an expansion of women's rights. Militant Islam is a response to the unstoppable Westernization of Muslim society.
The computer I’m borrowing while traveling has started locking up when I try to paste a blurb from a story on the Internet. Sorry—but if interested, you’ll have to click the link on the rest.
Solving whose problem? By Thomas Sowell, PhD. http://townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2009/11/24/solving_whose_problem
The ever-readable Sowell on politicians and the housing collapse.
Global Warming faithful starting to question http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/even_monbiot_says_the_science_now_needs_reanalyising
Under the veil: faces disfigured by acid—please read http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler/2009/11/23/under-the-islamic-veil-faces-disfigured-by-acid/
If this just happened ONCE in the world from a Christian fundamentalist, women world wide would howl with rage forever. But this is from Islam, and the feminists are silent.
We have been betrayed
By the politicians we elected? Gee, news flash.
How to get those embarrassing “Obama ‘08” stickers off
Save the Mosquito!
This is a joke….I think. In America today, it’s hard to be sure.
Satire by the Onion
What’s the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? An optimist thinks Obama is the Messiah. A pessimist thinks Obama is the Mahdi.