Open Thread 31 January 2016



This entry was posted in Open Thread. Bookmark the permalink.

161 Responses to Open Thread 31 January 2016

  1. cynic says:

    Is that Sanders offering everyone a free gift, with Trump coming up behind him?

  2. Kutte says:

    It seems to me there is general agreement, that the war of
    attrition on ISIS is successful and there will be some
    offensive starting in the not so far future. Once the collapse starts,
    it seems possible to me, that the tortured souls of the neocons might
    take one last gamble and invade Syria under the pretext of
    fighting ISIS, and stay on as unwelcome “liberators”. This
    would prevent the Syrian government from taking complete
    control, and give the neos something to bargain with. I would be
    interested in your opinion on this matter.

  3. Vaclav Linek says:

    This probably is more suitable for the Athenaeum,
    but the search for Planet 9 has been in the news:
    It sure brings out the kid in me;
    this is what I grew up on:
    Vaclav Linek

  4. turcopolier says:

    IMO the neocons no longer have enough weight to cause the US to invade Syria from Turkey. I don’t believe Obama would do it. If he does there will be a lot of warning signs. This would require a couple of divisions, a lot of air to be re-positioned and the ever present logistics apparatus. pl

  5. Ken Roberts says:

    Vaclav … Yes, me too. The paper of Batygin and Brown is at but I found it tough reading.
    Last Thursday I had a chance to ask one of the experts in planetary astronomy, and he said that there has been work going on along those lines by several people for a while, but Caltech leaped ahead with a press release.
    The simulation software which Batygin and Brown used is called mercury6, I believe. In looking for that, I found “rebound” which is a research-quality package for simulating planetary orbits, particle cloud aggregation, and such. Rebound runs on lots of simple systems. I got it running on Raspberry Pi, but without the graphics — have to do graphics later after simulation run over. So there is lots of scope for doing your own fiddling around.
    The basic idea of Batygin and Brown (and others) is, I think, to notice that the orbits of far-out solar system objects (Sedna-type planetoids) tend to be more aligned than would randomly probable. Hence the guess that there is a “herding” large planet, much as Jupiter herds the asteroids. Then to run Monte Carlo simulations, putting a random mass-10-earths planet into far-out orbit, and ask if that is compatible with the observed Sedna-type orbits, or would have disrupted them in a few 100 Million years.
    The tallies that lead to statement that 0.0007 percent probability that such a “planet nine” does not exist, are not something that I’ve delved into — might be worth getting more data first. This is not like the deduction of Neptune’s orbit from Uranus anomalies. It is much more a “try random guess and see if it fits”. Open to amateurs, and also open to developing new methods for orbital calculations, I would think. Probably actively being worked on. I think there is much interesting re this topic, but beyond the press release.
    One related topic is what could be the source of a mass-10-earths major planet so far out. Angular momentum issues. Would revise solar system evolution models, probably.
    Best wishes,

  6. Jack says:

    What is your forecast for the result of the Iowa caucus tomorrow? My swag is Trump and Hillary come on top.

  7. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    If you’re still interested in planets and their discovery, you would likely enjoy a recently published book I read last week: “The Hunt for Vulcan,” by Thomas Levenson. Vulcan was the name given in the mid-19th century to a hypothesized planet the existence of which would have explained an anomaly in the orbit of Mercury. Observations had shown that the perihelion of its orbit precessed by 565 arc seconds per century, and Urbain-Jean-Joseph le Verrier, a French theoretical astronomer whose previous work had led to the discovery of Neptune, had determined that all but 38 of those arc seconds were due to the influence of other known planets. He also computed an orbit for a hypothetical planet that would explain the anomaly. It was close to the sun well inside Mercury’s orbit and therefore most likely invisible under normal conditions. Several expeditions were mounted to search for it within the few minutes of the totality window during solar eclipses over the course of several decades, but to no avail. After these successive failures the science community lost interest in Vulcan until Albert Einstein came along. The anomaly was ultimately explained by his general theory of relativity. That theory was validated during a solar eclipse in 1919 when the phenomenon of gravitational lensing, which it predicted, was indeed observed. The author is the head of the MIT science writing program and it shows. He elaborates these events in considerable detail, yet his writing is accessible to the general reader.

  8. Matthew says:

    Col: And if we brought a couple of divisions into Turkey, wouldn’t the Russians do the same in Syria?
    I don’t see how the Russians could back down. March of Folly….and all that.

  9. crf says:

    In Malaysia the President, Najib Razak, has been involved in a long-running scandal of bribery and corruption. It involves (guess-who?) Saudi Arabia. The Saudis say they gave the President a literal gift of 680 million dollars (yes …) for being a great guy.
    Malaysia is a very interesting country. It is majority Sunni muslim, but with large minorities, including industrious and well-educated Chinese-Malaysians. There has been for some time relative peace and harmony. The country’s prosperity had been based on petroleum (Petronas), but it has had a long standing policy of diversifying the economy, and maintaining an educated populace. I’ve long thought that Malaysia ought to serve as a role-model for muslim-majority countries, especially those with significant minorities. Mahathir Mohamed was the long serving President, until 2003, and is regarded by many as a key architect in Malaysia’s economic and social prosperity. (He has run, for quite some time, a very interesting blog.)
    The bribe-like gift by the Saudis to the country’s embattled prime minister ought to cause the US to re-examine its policy towards Malaysia. I think the United States have made a serious mistake in letting relations with this country slide so severely. The first jolt was under Bill Clinton, during the Asian economic crisis. Mahathir came out against the IMF, and for capital controls, and was proven right when Malaysia weathered that economic storm better than its neighbours.
    The diplomatic snubbing has for some time now been over the long-standing travails of Anwar Ibrahim: he had been a member of the ruling party, and likely destined for the premiership when he was charged with Sodomy.
    Mahathir’s blog:
    A little story on the Sodomy conviction of Anwar Ibrahim:

  10. VietnamVet says:

    You are correct. Also, for a division force invasion with armor, Turkey’s assistance is required. Turkey would only agree if they take part. Without Russia’s concurrence, the invasion would immediately start a World War.
    Libya is an alternative war which could be justified to stop the flow of migrants into Italy. If a regional Middle East holy war isn’t sufficient for the war parties, North Africa and the Balkans will do fine; not to mention, the pivot to Asia.

  11. turcopolier says:

    All that would go into Obama’s “commander’s estimate,” and for that IMO he would not do it. pl

  12. YT says:

    Dude, you live o’er yonder?
    Yes, there ARE worse countries till I read this.
    They’d better start learning how to respect those minorities you spoke of before assuming the mantle of ‘model country’ for the rest of ’em ragheads.

  13. Fred says:

    Nice caption photo. Surf and Turf. I hope he’s got some Blanton’s open so the golden haired fellow can relax after a hard day’s work.

  14. Fred says:

    Sander’s is turning a new leaf in the new millennium. Out with the tax and spend liberalism, in with the spend and spend liberalism.

  15. YT says:

    Ah… Cynic (I love your online nom de guerre),
    we Ching Chongs have a saying from an old book:
    “the mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind”;
    i.e. to pursue a narrow gain while neglecting a greater danger.
    Reminds you of US policy, yes?

  16. Fred says:

    But I’m sure this guy will come to the rescue.

  17. Lars says:

    The all too long silly season is starting to bear fruit starting tomorrow and some of it already seems overripe. To start this in IOWA is a big mistake. It is not even close to representing the nation.
    But with apologies to Sir Winston Churchill: Seldom has so much about so little been said by so few to the so many.

  18. Christopher Fay says:

    Print and spend, spend, spend, and we have to loot Social Security as we have no money Liberalism, Jeb/Hillary

  19. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Not according to MRW – all is well.

  20. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Actually, there were two independent claims of observation of Vulcan prior to Einstein’s theory of gravity.

  21. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You are seriously deluded about potential of Malaysia as a source of emulation by other Muslim countries.
    The Malay hate Chinese – because Chinese are smarter then them and more industrious and marry among themselves and are successful.
    Next in the hatred hierarchy are the Hindus – not as numerous – but equally successful.
    Next are the Buddhists….
    Malay wish for the fruit to fall on their lap….
    Once the oil is gone, I wonder what they are going to do, expropriate the Chinese?

  22. Threadzilla says:

    Col. Lang, I recently found your blog and am favorably impressed. I was wondering what you made of today’s global headline news of Turkey’s unchallenged assertion that a Russian warplane had entered its airspace again, and was warning Russia of consequences, with the NATO commander(?) backing Turkey up saying Russia has to respect NATO member airspace. Russia denies the incursion.
    Posturing during the peace talks? Preparing the ground of public opinion for another Turkish aggression? Russia baiting Turkey into a misstep? Other?

  23. turcopolier says:

    Happy to know you are favorably impressed. I will write about this tomorrow. pl

  24. Jack says:

    You clearly didn’t get the memo from MRW. Don’t you know that spend, spend, spend by government = nirvana. And totally disregard the boondoggles that Old Microbiologist noted. As long as government spends like a drunken sailor its all good!

  25. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Not to mention, as gets mentioned occasionally, Malaysia is the site of frequent legal scuffles for use of the word “Allah” by Christians to refer to God, which always struck me as pretentious attempts by the Muslim Malay to pick fights with religious minorities. Is there any other place where this sort of thing takes place, with the government taking an active role?

  26. Martin Oline says:

    I’m from Iowa and know the process, having been to many of them. I no linger live there but was forecasting Cruz to win the Republican nomination because the evangelical voters own the caucuses. Unfortunately, two weeks ago the Governor told the mainstream Iowa republicans he has influence over not to vote for Cruz because he is against Ethanol and that would hurt Iowa’s economy. The ones who will heed that advise are probably a small number of Cruz’s supporters, but I would guess they would gravitate to Rubio. I expect Cruz to still win. Last time the Republican winner wasn’t announced for 16 days, robbing Rick Santorum of any momentum he may have gained from it.
    The Democrat side is harder to call because it really depends upon turnout. There is a major storm coming in Monday night but I think it will strike after the Caucuses are underway. If it comes before I would say Hillary and during or after it will be Sanders. Regardless who wins the result will be discounted by the media because it will be basically a tie and the circus will move on down the road.

  27. Vaclav Linek says:

    Ken – The CBC radio program, Quirks & Quarks, linked to the paper and I took a peek, but I’m a combinatorist by nature and not an analyst/applied mathematician, so I kinda tend to shy away when I see papers like that. But your enthusiasm made me go back and look some more. It’s interesting how statistical approaches are being employed. I recall reading about software that finds correlations among orbits of NEOs and deduces a comet train that is then linked to a previously observed comet now broken up. Pretty neat stuff.
    Right now the (Wiki) estimate for the inclination of P9 is 30 +- 10 degrees, so that’s a pretty big search space and more data should hopefully narrow it down a bit and hopefully give more “solid” probabilities. I didn’t know one could easily get the software for these simulations, it starts to put the search for P9 into the realm of Seti@home home and GIMPS.
    Thanks for the info!

  28. Amir says:

    This exactly proves the CRF’s point. These intolerance is a Saudi import, especially in East-Asia. Islam spread there through traders and not conquest by sword and the character of it is also different… but Al Sauds can not let be.

  29. Amir says:

    I am flabbergasted by your generalization. Can you please give me some references for you completely baseless statements?

  30. Vaclav Linek says:

    ex-PFC Chuck,
    That sounds like a nice book to have (just got 2 new bookcases), I’ll add it to the to-read list. I found a book on the first observation of the transit of Venus a few years ago, but still haven’t read it, though did read “Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets” and a book I think was titled “Moon Hunters” but which I just can’t locate on the net amidst the piles of pulp residing there. I heartily recommend both,

  31. YT says:

    Oui, merci beaucoup, M. Makkinejad for speaking on behalf of the Wing Wongs in malaysia.
    The Hindus successful in malaysia?, I think not – I see plenty of ’em hanging on to dead-end jobs or struggling to make ends meet in singapore.
    RE: marry amongst themselves
    Who wants to marry xenophobic racists?

  32. Thirdeye says:

    Possibly related:
    Turkey’s in a position where they could either fold or double down.

  33. johnf says:

    I’d have thought this highly unlikely.
    As the Colonel has pointed out earlier, it need a major military operation to intervene successfully.
    Obama would reject this. Senior military officers would probably oppose this. The American people – as they opposed the bombing of Assad in 2013 – would reject this, and if one of the two presidential candidates is Donald Trump (which seems most likely) he would vociferously oppose this. If Sanders is the other candidate, that would be both candidates rejecting it.
    The neo-cons would stand isolated on the Plains of Zama. They would not survive.

  34. johnf says:

    Turkish-Russian Airspace Conflict as Ankara-backed Turkmen flee Syria
    by Juan Cole
    “As a result, some 600 Turkmen are said to have crossed the border from Syria into Turkey.
    …In essence, Russia had defeated a prime strategy of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, involving the taking of northern Syria by fundamentalist militias and ultimately the fall to them of the key port of Latakia, at which point the regime would have been finished. Ankara is frustrated, and the only purchase it has on Russian intervention is the complaint of airspace violations, given the dicey legal status of Turkish intervention in Syria and the unsavory alliances Turkish-backed groups have sometimes made.”

  35. IMO there might well have been [has been?] an AMERICAN CENTURY starting in August 1945 but if so it may well be ending [but not history] this February 1st, 2016, in Iowa! The sheeple have no clue as to how closely they are being sheared,

  36. LondonBob says:

    My source was talking about Libya and that all the parts are being put in place for some kind of concerted Western (UK, US, France, Italy) intervention against IS there, with advance parties were turning up on reconnaissance. The diplomatic ground is being set but there is no obvious sign of the first strikes though some IS held towns seem remarkably lacking beards in the street in the last day or two.
    Some interesting things are already going on. IS has sent some very senior figures from its Syrian/Iraqi base to Libya to prepare the ground for another heartland territory. Most notably one of their heads of internal security turned up a while back. IS has been calling for imports to go to Libya as much as Syria and Iraq. This has not, however, been smooth sailing with some locals not always enamored with the new guys throwing the weight around. A few senior IS officers in Libya also appear to have been assassinated by snipers in what appears to be a small campaign to kill them off.
    In reality IS is comparatively weak in Libya compared to the imagined Caliphate further east; numbers believed less than 10k. In territory terms the area held is small and well sandwiched.

  37. rjj says:

    Oh HELL. It’s an election promise. The check’s in the mail. [ribaldry deleted]

  38. Tel says:

    “I don’t believe Obama would do it.”
    Agreed on that one. Especially right in the middle of what looks like a difficult election for the Democrats.
    The Neocons in the past have not been bothered in the slightest by throwing their temporary allies under the bus and looking for something else to get involved with (remember Saddam Hussein was their boy for a while back when they were selling him helicopters equipped with harmless errr crop dusting equipment).

  39. YT says:

    Aye, Prof. Kao.
    I doubt any govt on this Terran partakes in such shameless acts.

  40. Old Microbiologist says:

    I keep wondering why they bother to collect taxes. They print so much money to fund inane wars and weapons systems that don’t work why not just fund everything like college education, health care, retirement, $3000 a month income to every American, free homes, etc. using printed money. It cannot matter if the debt is $$20 trillion or $100 trillion. There is no way we are ever going to pay any of it back so why not just go nuts and fund everything for free?
    I know it sounds ridiculous but basically this is where we are at.

  41. Old Microbiologist says:

    Related to unit rolled US government spending and massive debt, I find my self in the precarious position of having 3 US government pensions (Army, civil a service, and social security) and all my cash in US equities of which 2/3 are in IRA’s all in US accounts. I live overseas and it is difficult, if not impossible, to move large sums of cash to foreign accounts without some kind of bizarre retribution from the FBI and IRS.
    If the US government collapses I am screwed just like most Americans and I am fairly certain that not only will the FDIC not honor their commitments, but the US government will confiscate assets above a certain amount like happened in Cyprus.
    The larger question is where to put assets for protection should the potential collapse occur. Europe is equally screwed as is China. Switzerland is already charging negative interest rates. Gold will collapse as it always does. Russia is tempting as Sperbank is paying 10% interest but the Russian government has done this confiscation of assets and issuing a new devalued currency twice. In a way the potential for this to happen in the US and the effects would be far worse than what happened to the Soviet Union. Actually, this is a very interesting subject and there are a lot of potential answers none of which hold up after a major collapse. Any ideas? Bitcoins?

  42. Old Microbiologist says:

    Those who pay attention might have noticed after the shoot down of the plane by Turkey, Russia beefed up its forces along the border with Georgia and have been having fun over the Black Sea jamming US Intel and missile platforms. It looks to me like any aggressive action into Turkey would be met with a move into Georgia and Armenia and subsequently Turkey. Of course, this would mean World War III so I believe the neocons see that as a chess move blocking this. Iran would also get involved and we must observe China’s interests in the ME as well.
    Libya, of course, is a different gambit.

  43. Nancy K says:

    I think it might be trump bragging about how big his is and Hillary coming up behind him. Notice the small smile on her face, she knows hers is bigger.

  44. LeaNder says:

    “.. if not impossible, to move large sums of cash to foreign accounts without some kind of bizarre retribution from the FBI and IRS.”
    Money laundering laws that make no sense in your case? If what you write is correct.

  45. LeaNder says:

    Seems, we share some type of a pessimist long-term outlook.
    On the other hand, the intellectual extreme right, I have been observing via their central weekly during the last two 20th century decades profits a lot from the chaos in politics post Cologne Sylvester via the “Alternative for Germany”.
    Russia starts mobilizing the so-called Russian-Germans that Kohl brought into Germany.
    Let me give you a crazy example.
    There is a small town of 45.000 citizen, 10.000 with the above Russian background. They are instigated against the 900 refugees the town has taken in recently.
    You think they are right?

  46. turcopolier says:

    you were doing pretty well until you got to the part of your argument that concerns the Iran-Iraq War. I was a participant in the US part of that. I have explained endlessly that the fantasy concerning the US relationship to Saddam and the materiel which we supposedly provided to the Iraqis is wrong, all wrong, the product of a lot of half assed journalists and ignorant scholars passing BS back and forth between them. 1- it was only at the insistence of the Saudi government that the US provided air targeting materials to the Iraqi air force in the last year of the war. There were a great many people among those nostalgic for the US/Iran relationship and among the AIPAC crowd who then considered like their Israeli friends that Iraq was their greatest and most dangerous enemy. These people continuously expressed their opposition to doing anything for Iraq and managed to limit what the Saudis wanted the US to do. 2 – 98% of all the material possessed by Iraq came from the Warsaw Pact countries or the PRC. As an example the Iraqi Army had at least 1,000 heavy equipment transporters (HET) (low boy truck used to transport tanks, APCs, artillery, etc.) Of these HETs about 25 had been sold to Iraq by a US company. The rest all had been built in East Germany. Iraq had NO, I say again NO combat aircraft, artillery, or armored vehicles built in the US. their equipment was all bought with Iraqi, Saudi and Kuwaiti money in country to country deals. The US did not broker any of it. Furthermore the implication that the Iraqis flew back and forth spraying chemical weapons on the Iranians or Kurdish towns is just ludicrous. if you knew anything about actual warfare you would know that. Iraqi weapons were delivered by aircraft bombs and artillery shells. pl

  47. Ken Roberts says:

    Vaclav … Thanks! That wiki article is amazing — immense amount of info assembled by diverse people and published in only 12 days. Your SETI and GIMPS mentions are appropriate, I think. Best wishes, kr.

  48. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Give the high productive capacity, that is actually a possibility but not a sound one.
    Men cannot hold neither their liquor, nor their drugs, nor their leisure.
    They must be kept under a tight leash of soberity and work in order to prevent them from harming themselves and harming others.
    That is why make-work has to be created and sustained all over the world.
    The more rational thing, as you have suggested, would be to send hundreds of millions of people home, give them a decent stipend, and tell them that they are not needed.
    That is not a humane thing to do, however.

  49. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Like this Indonesian who told me that “Al Salam Aleikom” was reserved for Muslims.
    And the Jewish teacher who expelled my sister from Hebrew Language class because only “Only Jews should learn Hebrew”.

  50. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to All,
    Danish police have set up 34 checkpoints at Copenhagen airport’s Kastrup station. This station is the last stop before crossing the Oresund bridge by rail. One hundred and fifty security staff are now stationed there at a cost of $144,000 a day. Rail commuters exit train, go through checkpoints and reboard. Those without proper identification are refused entry into Sweden.
    Last year some 35,000 unaccompanied minors sought asylum in Sweden. Half were between 16-17 years old. Twenty three thousand were from Afghanistan. Most had no identification.
    Sweden has announced that it will deport between 60,000-80,000 persons whose applications for asylum have been evaluated and rejected.
    Of the thousands of refugees deported since 2010 either voluntarily or involuntarily, 40,000 simply disappeared into Swedish society and remain unaccounted for.
    Suddenly big changes coming. Surprising. Necessary. Sad.

  51. YT says:

    Thirty-hundred a month would come in very handy for some of my American associates, some of whom are really running on empty…

  52. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Paul Craig Roberts put up a must-read post a few days ago that highlights the degree to which the enabling and support financial predation by Wall Street has long been a core element of US foreign and domestic policy. Roberts has been shrill since about the time of the Bush 43 crew’s invasion of Iraq. However he is no flaming radical. He was an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration.

  53. YT says:

    G…damn, I meant “I doubt ANY other [govt] partakes in the same [shameless acts].”
    Butter fingers on these [slippery] electronic screens.

  54. LeaNder says:

    OM, what makes us associate larger potentially expansionist interests? Or assume them. Concerning Turkey, all I registered here is the Turkmen rumor. Apart from a larger established geo-political gamble?
    All I registered during the last decade are “preventive activities” (I have no idea to what extend, they may have been justified from either party’s perspective narrative-wise), plus rumors, e.g. concerning Turkey’s expansionist interests.
    But yes, no doubt I have a limited historical grasp, know nothing about how policy–e.g. the United States’s as the “Western” dominant player–is formed, and as should be obvious by now, don’t know much else.
    I have to admit that considering the comments of some players here expansionist geo-political interests was associatively on my mind.
    Not sure, to what extend this needs war. Beyond the ones we already have, including that the anger post Afghanistan and Iraq war quite possibly won’t go away and I have no idea how to deal with it. Never mind success in war in the respective places.

  55. Charles Michael says:

    Three participants having recommended this link, I had a look at it.
    Well, I am somewhat reluctant on going to far in interpreting assembled but selectionned facts to build a theorical situation with too much of a psychological profiling in it.
    Erdogan is more engaged in reasserting its interior power and restoring its image by punisching the kurds inside; that’s divide and rule. He won this reelection this way.
    The idea that Turkey military largely dependant of US would agree to start a full invasion in Syria is not credible IMHO.
    The idea that any major European Nato member would follow Turquey in such an adventure is an absurdity.
    Erdogan is perfectly aware of ownmade isolation.

  56. rjj says:

    Tried to find the cautionary image on The Interwebs. No success. Is there a source? Would like a poster. It resonates … but can always make do with “the mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind” for which thank you, YT.

  57. Cortes says:

    Apparently Foreign Minister Lavrov’s annual press hootenanny/ review of 2015 has not had much MSM airtime, here is the Saker’s link to it. Simultaneous translation is juddering (been there, other language) but from what G. Doctorow says in a piece linked to in an earlier posting here, by “annamaria ” seems to be accurate.

  58. Poul says:

    New front maybe starting up north of Aleppo.
    Interesting to see that the government forces are not pushing towards the besieged Shiite villages, Nubl & Zahraa, but northwards.
    Is there a race to the border between the government and the Kurds?

  59. Babak Makkinejad says:

    They need to consult history books to lean about Italians & Mussolini against Libyans & Omar Mukhtar.
    Put another way, can NATO states establish legitimate authority in what used to be Libya?
    I think not.

  60. turcopolier says:

    What does “legitimate” mean? pl

  61. J says:

    Representatives of the Russian and American military departments held a videoconference aimed at prevention of air incidents in Syria

  62. Babak Makkinejad says:

    “Legitimate” means Authority that is acceptable to Libyans.

  63. LeaNder says:

    Question to members of the SST community.
    At one point in time someone around here sent an assessment from an economical point of view considering Turkey. The writer apparently was quite pleased about this specific article. And yes, it was interesting.
    What caught my attention, was a slightly more complex angle on Kurdish Sufism, at least this is how I remember it. The only vague dots I could connect in this context mentally, was my more general impression, no doubt possibly misguided, that from a “Western” perspective dealings with Islam and its diverse schools, never mind politics giving it power, Sufism was part of the “solution” to the present problem.
    Anyone around here recalling it, ideally, whoever sent it?
    And without doubt, this is a rather vague description.

  64. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Evidently you have never had any discussions with Chinese Malaysians.
    Government coerced them to adopt “Muslim” names; that is just one example.
    But, Malaysia, is FOW – Friend of West – and thus beyond reproach.

  65. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You do not understand, “Tolerance” is not natural to human societies, it has to be cultivated over decades and centuries.
    If you think that there were idyllic times of religious tolerance before Wahhabi doctrines, you would be ill-informed.

  66. YT says:

    I apologize if my words may hurt your feelings, but methinks the Indochinese region was better off just sticking to its ol’ Hindoo/Buddhist roots…
    These monotheistic beliefs are ‘messianic’ & proselytize by slandering/destroying the age-old beliefs of others (e.g. Zoroastrianism in Iran olde).
    Even if they were spread by trade back-in-the-day, in this day-&-age however…

  67. YT says:

    Yes… I tried your greeting a very, very long, long time ago on some Bangladeshi chaps & there was a look of awkwardness on their very faces.
    I shan’t ever again, ever (henceforth).
    Apparently “peace” is only reserved for those not from the Dar al-Harb/Dar al-Kufr.

  68. charly says:

    Russia is already in Armenia and i expect that there are a lot of stay behind units in Georgia to make it even useful

  69. YT says:

    No worries… I love sharing my Chink culture.

  70. Fred says:

    “The more rational thing, …. give them a decent stipend, and tell them that they are not needed.
    That is not a humane thing to do, however.”
    You’ve just described the major failure of the US welfare system.

  71. FkDahl says:

    That being said, and it is easy to verify regarding weapons or chemicals, the US still gave Iraq very important support by making his oil exports off limits to Iranian strikes, according to Robert Fisk. Iraqi oil was shipped via Kuwait on tankers under US protection.

  72. FkDahl says:

    Turkish artillery caught in flagranto as they say:
    (taken from Moon of Alabamas post today)

  73. Fred says:

    “To start this in IOWA is a big mistake. It is not even close to representing the nation.”
    You suggest (perhaps) California, New York, Texas, Florida…? Of course that would essentially pit the coasts and South against the rest of the Republic and a large minority of citizens would promptly be at the mercy of the majority. That’s the whole reason for the compromise that led to the electoral college. Doing away with that just enacts the tyranny of the majority the founders knew would occur.

  74. turcopolier says:

    “It easy to verify” Are you threatening me? I was head of US DoD intelligence for the ME then. What were you? Yes Iraq shipped its oil in Kuweiti bottoms. They did that because Kuwait wanted them to do it. They were allies. pl

  75. LeaNder says:

    Babak, sometimes it is really hard to distinguish in human/ethnic contexts, or try to figure out to what extend the declared enemy is only a figment of our “mirror mind”…
    Your argument reminds me of a rather surprising biographical detail or incident in India by a “highly emotionally concerned” commenter on Mondoweiss in my larger struggles with him.
    To return to your allusion, concerning lust and desire, more indirectly, whatever kept him from advancing in the highly complex Indian religious scenario, or the community long after–as far as I recall–the death of the respective guru. What do you think was his lust and desire, never mind he met his Israeli wife there? And what dots helped him in the aftermath to deal with his experience.
    I agree, this is a bad example. Supposing of course it was a real biographical detail, but it felt like it was.

  76. steve says:

    Sanders proposes paying for universal healthcare through tax increases, as well as tuition-free university education, again through tax increases.
    Every other modern nation has universal healthcare, and all German universities are now tuition free. Are we that exceptional that we’re incapable of enacting some forum of universal healthcare?
    If nothing else, you could say that the world’s largest controlled experiment has been ongoing for the past 40 years–when Canada enacted universal health and the US didn’t.

  77. PirateLaddie says:

    Like your choice in photos. Also, I think you are more on target regarding the true meaning of the original photo.
    Americans as poor pudknockers, grinning and holding a prize that just fell into their hands (unearned, as it were). Meanwhile, coming up from behind, the Russian bear, ready to correct the situation. The river would be the Tigris, Euphrates or any other that fits the scenario of America meddling in others waters.

  78. steve says:

    “U.S. abuzz over winter ritual in which deluded serfs of Iowa province gather to determine whose leash they shall wear for next four years.”
    —DPRK news service
    Well, I guess I’ll trudge on over to the middle school this evening and do my duty.

  79. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    YT, As someone who grew up in western, messianic monotheism I couldn’t agree more.

  80. LeaNder says:

    You always surprise me. But yes, occasionally I cannot “hold my liquor”, my biological system repels intake, although my father trained me for the challenge in confronting circles of men.
    Apart from that. I agree it may well be that “the West” dealt with whatever it considered “the Third World”, has to somewhat deal with a economical imbalance. … and it may not look nice.

  81. cynic says:

    According to a story I saw about how prudent noble families in Europe invested their wealth over centuries, the magic formula is one third land, one third art and one third money. Of course, from time to time the functions of money may be performed by cigarettes or bullion or whatever is the most desired trading good locally.

  82. walter says:

    Put your money into a basic business that people will always need like farming, housing, transportation, energy…not the not securitized assets (stock), but the underlying productive business… Put your money into your own home/residence/land and make it awesome and grow in value

  83. cynic says:

    Thank you, O fount of Eastern wisdom. On other sites which allow little photos, I use a picture of Diogenes.One can’t help but admire someone who could successfully tell Alexander the Great to step aside. Of course if only I was the man I used to be, Obama and Netanyahu shouldn’t be much of a problem and America’s policies might swiftly be amended. Ha! Ha!

  84. Old Microbiologist says:

    I was being facetious but you make some good points and these are going to be very relevant in the near future as robotics makes labor increasingly unnecessary. That will lead to massive unemployment or underemployment and will require stipends to sustain Americans so they can continue unabated consumerism. Without consumption the entire house of cards collapses. But without jobs the people who consume will have no economic means to do so. Only communism could function with make work jobs. But then, we wouldn’t need oligarchs any more.
    My main point is that Congress prints money ad infinitude without near term consequences for all the wrong reasons. It will not end well.

  85. rjj says:

    That is a headache-inducing question.

  86. Lars says:

    There are ways to rotate between small states, mid size states and large states to create a better system to elect someone to one of the most important positions in the world. Few future presidents have come out of winning the IOWA caucuses, but plenty of losers have.

  87. YT says:

    Yes… My poor “brethren” in Indonesia, Myanmar, Philipines, Cambodia, etc. have not Chink names.
    Hell, some of ’em can’t even speak their mother tongue.

  88. cynic says:

    Here’s an interesting article from Veterans Today which suggests that small is the new big.
    The reason that the Russians fired those long range, nuclear capable, cruise missiles may have been to demonstrate to the Americans that they could see their ICBM’s and their new toys and still raise them further.
    ‘In the next major war, hair trigger mini-nukes will be launched in preemptive attacks to decapitate the targets’ ability to retaliate. All forward bases, command centers and air war facilities will be destroyed in the first attack, which would then have the targeted countries prostrate, except for those who have a traditional ballistic missile deterrent, which they would have to make a quick decision to use while they still could.
    That is the purpose of NATO’s push to the Russian border and the earlier Bush regimen to get into the Caucasus to eventually get their missile shield close enough to Russia to hit a retaliatory ballistic missile strike while the rockets are still in the launch phase; this would allow the wreckage to be spilled all over Russian territory….They were showing the Western countries who have decapitation mini-nuke cruise missiles ready to go that the Russians also have them;..’
    It’s also interesting that the Russians, who have not traditionally been a naval power are improving their navy, whilst Britain can’t get sufficiently powerful engines for its destroyers, and the latest American ships are in danger of turning turtle if they leave a bathtub. Things are changing.

  89. cynic says:

    Anything ‘liberated’ from the Russians will be very dearly acquired.

  90. LondonBob says:

    Reluctantly I believe we do have to intervene there, and I do hope they do their research first and get it right this time.
    As if by magic today articles and segments all over the news here about the need to intervene in Libya before IS establishes itself.

  91. cynic says:

    It’s good, if not always clean, fun. Enjoy it!
    Treat it as a sporting event, in which you can cheer one team and boo the other, make bets and get into arguments. When its over there will have been a slight rearrangement of the snouts around the trough, but nothing to greatly change what policies will be followed or much affect the lives of the voters. Those matters are decided at a higher level. Only about a year ago a study was published by a couple of academics showing that the American public has negligible influence on public policy. Its the same elsewhere. Political lobbying by powerful interests and corporations,on the other hand, brings gigantic returns on the bribes spent. As they say, ‘if voting changed anything it would be illegal’. All the same, the chance of occasional political upsets adds spice, and enables the plebs to vote with glee.

  92. Old Microbiologist says:

    You mistake my comment. Russia has zero plans for expansion but has every plan for immediate retaliation. This is business as usual for Russia. I think Murphy’s Law is given high respect in Russia. Also, Russia has generally not invaded a foreign country without either an invitation (Afghanistan and Syria) or provocation (Germany, Georgia, Crimea). Poland (1920 and 1939) is an exception as are Sweden and Finland under Nevsky in the 13th century and Finland again in WWII. On he other hand they have never been successfully invaded (by Western forces). The Mongols are the exception.
    However, if Turkey were to move into Syria and start fighting Russian soldiers the response would be swift and overwhelming. I do not believe NATO would support Erdogan but you never can tell with these whackos. Listen to General Breedlove’s speeches and you get my meaning. That name is something right out of Doctor Strangelove but we can’t blame him for that.

  93. Babak Makkinejad says:

    All German universities are also – and have been for decades – uniformly mediocre.

  94. LeaNder says:

    Except, maybe that the market and speculation has entered all the needs everyday citizen need in their daily survival routines. Maybe longer ago, I don’t have the expertise to put this in context.
    I discovered more as a side-effect–asked to look into the political power of on “leverage capital firm”–plus a startup sponsored via “management outsourcing” in the larger entertainment industry.
    Mind you, whoever asked me to look into it, got highly disinterested once I got interested in the larger subject, I was asked to study.
    No doubt, food and games may be a secure investment over the centuries.

  95. cynic says:

    Gadhaffi correctly said that he was protecting Europe from a third world invasion. He thought that would protect him when he did things TPTB did not like, such as planning a gold-backed currency. Now we see an Islamic invasion of Europe, promoted and organized by people like Soros and their stooge EU politicians and bureaucrats. It is clear whose interests prevail.

  96. Babak Makkinejad says:

    None of the political prerequisites of such an intervention are there; are Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, South Africa, Nigeria on-board with yet another “Whiteman invasion”?
    Is there a UNSC mandate?
    Is there any political program for the future of Libya that is believable – say like the Atlantic Charter?
    This will end baldy, I can already envision the call: “Labyek ya Mokhtar”

  97. LondonBob says:
    Be interested to see if this could be expanded upon by anyone…
    Encouraging anyway.

  98. Threadzilla says:

    The Buddhists are the Chinese, the Chinese are the Buddhists in Malaysia.

  99. cynic says:

    The Turks have a poor record against Russia, That’s why their frontier is so much further south than it used to be!
    No doubt Erdoghan would love to start a war and embroil NATO, relying on the Americans to pull his chestnuts out of the fire and vanquish his foe. Only a few days ago Emperor Netanyahu sent his provincial pasha Biden to talk to the Sultan, with what results remains to be seen.With any luck the Golfer-in Chief will reject their plans to let a new radiation hazard spoil his golf. I imagine that the golfing facilities in a radiation and bomb-proof bunker under a mountain would not be up to scratch.
    It was rumoured, even before the Turks foolishly shot down that Russian plane, that Putin had warned Erdoghan that if he caused much more trouble, the Russian military would help their friends in the Turkish military to overthrow him. What would be a convenient time for Russia to gain a friend and take Turkey out of NATO? Probably not whilst the Americans are in the midst of a periodical political frenzy, but the Sultan’s lease on power may be shorter than he hopes.

  100. Babak Makkinejad says:

    That is why all countries need a variety of public works projects to keep money circulating and people purposefully employed.
    For US, I should think that a modest project to build a space station at L-5 could be very useful; while the engineers and technicians are working on the spaceship and space-station at the Space Port, the former welfare recipients could be working at keeping the grounds clean and spiffy etc.

  101. cynic says:

    Is Libya by now an outdated concept? Isn’t it rapidly devolving back into it’s previous tripartite tribal based divisions? In any case, if ISIS wins they may want it to be absorbed into their Caliphate rather than remain as Libya.

  102. cynic says:

    Wasn’t there an investigation by the American military which concluded that the villagers had been gassed by Iran, not by Saddam Hussein’s forces?

  103. charly says:

    Liberating Nubi & Zahraa is a secondary goal. Primary goal is to cut the road to Turkey. For that it is not necessary to cut the road near Nubi & Zahraa. Cutting it 20 km north of them works to and is easier.

  104. steve says:

    I don’t see the connection. Are you saying that the German schools are free because they are mediocre?
    Not sure what your criteria for “mediocre” is, but I do note that on one ranking list of 600 plus world universities, 12 out of 42 German universities are ranked above such prestigious and pricey US schools such as Georgetown, Vanderbilt, and Tulane.
    The rest appear to be clustered evenly between the top half and the bottom half.

  105. I think Dimitry Orlov has some good ideas on how to avoid the worst during/after collapse

  106. Thirdeye says:

    Turkey is pushing the envelope with artillery firing into Syrian territory. The incident occurred in the Turkmen mountains, in the area where SAA retreated from the village Nawara near the border. It is also near two “refugee camps” on the border that have been identified as Al Qaeda/FSA supply depots. So far, not a peep from the US or NATO, in contrast with their quick response to the alleged recent intrusion of a Russian aircraft into Turkish airspace.

  107. Thomas says:

    “Turkey’s in a position where they could either fold or double down.”
    The Sultan would be wise to choose the former because if he chooses the latter any of his enemies with capability to precipitate his demise have the ultimate alibi, “it was Caliph Ibrahim’s Daesh Detachment”.

  108. rjj says:

    In Bay and NC Triangle areas the Chinese “churches” (more like urban church-based community centers) do outreach to these bretheren of the diaspora in the form of services in English. Some even offer Chinese language classes for their children.

  109. charly says:

    Those list show how good the institution scores, not how good it is for the student to study there. Besides a large part of university is not what you learn but who you learn and the vocational part is often local (I doubt you can study German law anywhere but Germany) or plainly faculty based.(Being good in Law doesn’t mean you want a doctor that studied there)

  110. VietnamVet says:

    Yes, the bear is coming.
    It is time I jump in the ethnic mash-up. The greatest failing of globalists, besides their greed and contempt for the under-classes, is their drive to dissolve borders and to have the world sing in perfect harmony. Except, this is psychotic. Mankind distrusts “others” for good reason. It is built into our genes. The British birthed the perfect ethnic test tube in Malaysia. The Malays got to rule. The Chinese could make money. Indians would have to make do the best they could. English speakers occupy a semi-western Asian world separate from the native monolingual cultures.
    The globalist’s world is falling apart for three reasons; monotheistic evangelism, the burgeoning hatreds from the forever wars and the great recession. Switzerland and Japan have introduced negative banking interest rates. Refugees are flooding Europe. Fear and humiliation are powerful irrational forces. If Turkey invades Syria, a World War starts. An expanded war against the Islamic State in Libya beckons. There is no fear of clashing with the Russians there.
    In the next weeks we shall see if the American electoral revolt has steam or if the elite can turn it off before they get burned. I admit that it is impossible for me to listen to Donald Trump or Sarah Palin; but, they are speaking directly to disenfranchised middle America. They are revolutionaries; admitted or not. Ted Cruz is an apparatchik.

  111. Valissa says:

    Thanks for the link! Quite fascinating… with some interesting comments from former DIA boss Gen. Michael Flynn. The neocons were dissed and Trump’s style is being touted as “Reagan-esque realpolitik.”
    For ease of discussion, here’s the key excerpt regarding Trump’s FP stance:
    Trump’s advisers also claim that Trump’s wide-ranging foreign policy proposals, which include renegotiating the U.S.-Japan alliance treaty and outsourcing the Syria problem to the Russians, all fit into an easily understandable set of three “organizing principles” that form Trump’s governing doctrine on foreign policy.
    “One, we want to take a very clear worldview in our foreign policy, dealing with the national interest, and let that be our organizing principles. Two is that we want to make sure that we engage in free markets, but we want those markets to be fairer as well. And three, if we do not have strong economic recovery, we can’t do the other two,” said Clovis. “If that’s not a Trump doctrine, I don’t know what is.”
    The practical application of that doctrine plays out in several ways. Trump’s narrow definition of “national interest” does not include things like democracy promotion, humanitarian intervention, the responsibility to protect people from atrocities or the advocacy of human rights abroad. Trump believes that economic engagement will lead to political opening in the long run. He doesn’t think the U.S. government should spend blood or treasure on trying to change other countries’ systems.
    … The Trump campaign thinks of this approach as pragmatic and realistic. Like classical realists, Trump wants to deal with states and governments, not non-state actors or international organizations.

  112. Thirdeye says:

    Major campaign underway to cut Al Qaeda/FSA supply routes north of Aleppo.
    Things seem to be moving pretty quickly in comparison to what we’ve grown accustomed to.

  113. LeaNder says:

    Sorry, OM, reread it. I understand now what I struggled with. “aggressive action into Turkey would be met with a move into Georgia and Armenia and subsequently Turkey”
    An “aggressive action” by Turkey would be met by a series of moves by Russia?
    It feels this is mainly a power poker between the US and Russia. Although supposedly another Russian airplane entered Turkish airspace.
    NATO’s top man via Wikipedia: “General Breedlove has no actual combat experience.” … Replaying the cold war? Not the best of times to do so.
    But I don’t like Russia’s propaganda wars in the refugee crisis either, e.g. 13 year old German-Russian girl raped by refugees in Berlin…

  114. FkDahl says:

    I was obviously nowhere near the Middle East, and I do not understand how you could derive that I was threatening you. I just think that the oil shipments were more important for Iraq’s ability to continue the war than what kind of tank they had.

  115. turcopolier says:

    Your remarks implied that the US was the enabler for the Iraqi war effort. That was not the case. The Gulf Arabs paid for the materiel needed by Iraq to fight the war. Iraqi oil exports were actually a minor factor in funding the war. Kuwait and SA paid for the war. Iran knew that and for that reason sought to force Kuwait into stopping the flow and funding by attacking Kuwaiti tankers. That caused the re-flagging event. Are you so ignorant of military matters as to think Iraq could have successfully fought the war without the mass of materiel (including tanks)? you don’t think it matters what kind and quantity of materiel the Iraqis had? You could check the numbers? What a joke. What do you have? A lot of crap in university libraries? pl

  116. YT says:

    LOL!, RE: “O fount of Eastern wisdom.”
    Thanks for making my day.
    Yes, sadly… many things (e.g. belligerent foreign policy of several nation-states, “merkel’s millions,” etc.) are destined to have repercussions like a major train wreck (on a scale global).
    Don’t “put yourself down” because of age, sir.
    I doubt even if the Omega was back, he’d be able to solve all or trounce all the evils of this earthly realm (alone)…

  117. Fred says:

    What I like about that (tax and spend) plan is the domino effect of the spending. The students get a great big check which when cashed promptly goes to a university will then reward those well compensated administrators (check their job growth and compensation over the past couple decades btw) and the professoriate, minus what said students hold back for the rent and a spring break fling or four. What are the requirements for this upwards of $100,000 of largess? Work? Bah. Just vote the Bern! You live, you deserve; and somebody else deserves the bill. What are you going to do when you have your degree from XYZU? I’m glad you asked because just in time for graduation, I mean re-electilon, there going is to be a new new jobs program. Paid for by tax increases on those poor saps who didn’t go to college (that’ll teach the bastards) and all those (greedy) capitalist business owners. Sounds just like the ’60s.

  118. Fred says:

    It is up to the individual states to change the primary election dates.

  119. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I believe France also enabled Iraq.

  120. turcopolier says:

    That is true. France sold Mirage attack aircraft, trained the crews and did the staff advice. These were about 15% of the Iraqi air force. The Gulfies paid for this. pl

  121. Fred says:

    The truth shall set you free. Which is why the Guardian has ended comments in articles where commenters do not agree with the paper’s bias:

  122. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Yes, there were. But they couldn’t be verified in the observations of subsequent eclipses. Levenson goes into this part of the history in considerable detail.

  123. Kilo 4/11 says:

    This video made me miss “BIRTH CONTROL”, my old M109. Shooting over a mountain – a five or six bag shot – H&I fires at 0300, waking up the whole hill – yes indeed!

  124. Jack says:

    We may yet get there! Just look at Japan with a quadrillion yen in government debt, the BoJ “buying” a massive amount of newly issued government debt while the 10y JGB trades at 5 basis. And with all that they’ve got no growth. If that ain’t wacky???

  125. Lefty says:

    NASA for decades has employed many engineers who would otherwise be flopping around at loose ends. They’re higher level welfare recipients, but also arguably a capability the country would like to maintain.

  126. Jack says:

    I’m an optimist. I don’t believe there will be a systemic collapse. Many things will start falling apart well before any kind of institutional collapse. IMO, we’ll see increasing volatility in asset prices as the government and central banks around the world have destroyed the price mechanism through their interventions. We’ll get back to sanity after this period of faith-based policies are completely discredited.
    When I see the research work in molecular biology, computing, communications, autonomous systems and materials I am very hopeful about our future. But…..we’ll have to get through this period of crazy in politics and socio-economic policies. That could be very painful. IMO, the biggest risk in the world today is instability in China and the Borg here at home. It’s a testament to our fellow citizens that we have allowed the Borg to go off the rails.

  127. Ulenspiegel says:

    “All German universities are also – and have been for decades – uniformly mediocre.”
    That is correct. However, the fact that you use this argument means you do not understand the issue.
    Germany does not have excellent universities, actually never had. The point you miss is, that the quality of the important product, PHD students, graduate students, is not determined by the quality of the university but of individual institutes.
    You can have avarage universities, each with a few excellent institutes, and produce per capita the same number of excellent PHD students than countries like USA or UK with some light tower universities.
    Or do you really believe that the ranking on level of universities reflect the reality in journals or graduates? Then you would be really naive.
    Don’t get me wrong, excellent universities are nice to sell the product university, but are of course not essential for providing opportunities for domestic students.
    The other more phenomenological approach is to check economies of various countries: Do you see a correlation between the low quality universities in Germany and her economic performance? 🙂

  128. Ulenspiegel says:

    Babak uses a metrics that he does not understand. One could do a simple gedankenexperiment:
    We pool all US university institutes and draw new universities. Suddenly we would see a very German picture: no real outliers.
    However, the output of these new universities would be the same as in the current situation.
    Yes, some US and UK are better than their German or Austrian counterparts, the avarage is very likely not.
    Another aspect that is obviously lost in the university ranking is actual impact of universities on real world economy in various countries. Here other factors play a role, do you have institutes that provide a bridge between univerties and industry etc. To Oxbidge is fine, but does in some fields not help you when you are lacking a Fraunhofer society. 🙂

  129. LeaNder says:

    Isn’t there something like comparative law by now? It should exist on a European level, apart from the EU’s legal frame, or international law.
    I have to admit that while looking into some US cases the book that attracted me about American law was from Ox/bridge.

  130. LeaNder says:

    Lobbying no doubt is a central item, but are there other important deceleration effects, from whatever political angle?
    If there are, the president, while I love the leash comment, may not have the ability to move matters as far, as some what.

  131. Lars says:

    That is certainly true, but the national parties have a lot of influence in the process. A better system could have better results and get us better candidates.

  132. LeaNder says:

    Lars, I watched a historical introduction in why it starts there. Let’s see. In this case I hope people bet too much on historical precedents.
    Maybe in spite of its specific history, by now it has some mythical influence on people’s minds and later voter decisions. … But let’s see.
    Not all hope lost for Tyler, anyway.
    In any case, as far as I am concerned as interested observer, too soon to tell.

  133. LeaNder says:

    “robbing Rick Santorum of any momentum he may have gained from it.”
    Interesting, Martin. Not only the arbitrary quote chosen.
    The momentum gained would be media attention on IOWA as a not to be ignored signal?
    Well, if so, I hope it is too close to tell in both political camps. Especially in mind, at least theoretically. 😉

  134. LeaNder says:

    “minus what said students hold back for the rent and a spring break fling or four.”
    I do not understand this passage. But I suppose you are referring to the breaks between studies, never mind, as trimesters in England or semesters in Germany. Meaning shorter summer then winter terms over here.
    I never studied in the US, but spring term, may fit from my perspective. There would be another summer break though.
    Not sure what “holding back rent” means though?
    To be quite honest, I understand your basic concerns. To the extend I understand them. Later elites, sponsored by the larger public, which pay for their education. But may in the end be exactly the ones that later get rid of them, considered collectively, on their studied mathematical economic laws. E.g. production is cheaper in China. And that is the usual factor.
    “I’m glad you asked because just in time for graduation, I mean re-electilon, there going is to be a new new jobs program.”
    Tell me.

  135. Babak Makkinejad says:

    A “head ache” you say; someone must have forgotten to mention that to Lord Cornwallis’ army or the men in Valley Forge.

  136. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your support of my statement & further comments.
    I do not think US has anything equivalent to the institutes that Germany has and that makes, in my opinion, Germany’s experience inapplicable to the United States (or United Kingdom).

  137. Babak Makkinejad says:

    And the electorate has no problems dishing out $30K or more to maintain 2,418,352 people in jails all over the United States but baulks at paying for the cost of 20,000 (US Citizen) students who graduate with a doctorate in US.
    A better usage would be to outsource the imprisonment to some low cost country like Gambia and hire more graduate student with the savings.

  138. Fred says:

    That is why we have expanded college and university employment and beat the drum for a dozen years of primary school that one “needs” a college degree to be “successful” in life.

  139. rjj says:

    it is interesting how and when people use the word “toxic.”
    Guardian needs to be “Rooted.”
    before the internet where I learned about Willie Donaldson and before the term app had been coined I had the visionary idea to develop a word processor utility for generating crank letters. Didn’t do it. Regret that.

  140. Babak Makkinejad says:

    It is world-wide phenomenon – this mindless expansion of tertiary education and its extension – as a birthright to all who seek a meal ticket – and the its attendant pernicious effects.
    Heard about a graduate with an MA in History who could only found a job as a secretary; crying everyday before going home – being ashamed of her employment.
    I suppose she expected a more prestigious position – at least a sort of junior executive….

  141. Babak Makkinejad says:

    What they have done has been to re-liquidate their companies; Japanese companies are carrying the lowest debt loads in the world.
    The strategy after 2008 was to turn private debt into public debt and then spend decades (may be centuries) paying off the public debt.

  142. Apparently the turn out in Iowa set a new record for the Republicans. 175K!

  143. Martin Oline says:

    They say history repeats itself. Perhaps that’s true, but someone said that it only harmonizes. The following story appeared through the Des Moines Register this morning and it should give conspiracy buffs some fodder. I don’t know if this story is going anywhere but you may find it interesting. Those interested in ” machine Politics ” will. The link is: I’ll try it after this posts and see if it works. The Register will pop up ads to try and get you to subscribe but you should be able to close those windows and read the story that the URL links to.

  144. annamaria says:

    A leader of opposition in Russia, Michail Kasyanov, was caught on a security camera during receiving money from the NATO officials.
    “Kasyanov, a former Communist party apparatchik and a Yeltsin appointed Prime Minister in 2000-2004, earned a nickname “Misha 2 percent” because this was the bribe he demanded from every business transition in the country… Since the video was taken by a hidden camera, the anti-government opposition started squealing like slaughtered pigs that it was taken through a sniper’s rifle viewer.” Western MSM has joined the squealing. Not a single word on the MSM about the illegality of taking money by the Russian Fifth Column from the official NATO representatives.

  145. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for correcting me.

  146. Tyler says:

    I’ve lost all hope for you a while ago. We’ll just have to pity each other from afar.

  147. Jack says:

    They’ll sure need centuries. With a declining population, with a growing number of seniors as percent of the overall population that also needs to be supported. Or they could also just go belly up! Happened many times before.

  148. Ulenspiegel says:

    With institutes I meant university institutes, in the USA and UK they are more concentrated in a few top universities, in Germany they are more uniformly distributed over all universities.
    The Max-Planck Society and other scientific societies provide additional institutes which run PhD programs or in case of the Fraunhofer Society bridge the gap between universities and industry, i.e. give smaller companies a chance to do research.

  149. The American Century now ended by documented six [6] coin flips in Iowa?

  150. Thanks for this very interesting link!

  151. YT says:

    You’re from this region?
    That definitely ain’t in English.

  152. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes thank you; I was thinking of the Max-Planck and Humboldt societies.

  153. Am I correct that about 25-39M non-resident U.S. citizens receive a Social Security check? There are some estimates that over 100k of these checks go to dead recipients!

  154. Is there a standardized SOFA [status of forces] agreement for US forces stationed anywhere in NATO?
    Is it accurate that up to 25-30M US citizens [holders of US passports] reside in the EU and/or NATO countries? Do they vote in US federal elections?

  155. Martin Oline says:

    Some at this site may be interested in this. I think it will be a developing story in the days ahead. I read this in the Des Moines Register Editorial this morning ( who endorsed Hillary ), I edited for brevity not meaning:
    What happened Monday night at the Democrat caucuses was a debacle, period.
    the refusal to undergo scrutiny or allow for a appeal reeks of autocracy….
    First of all, the results were too close not to do a complete audit of results. Two-tenths of 1 percent separated Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton….. larger margins trigger automatic recounts in other states.
    Second, too many questions have been raised. Too many accounts of inconsistent counts, untrained and overwhelmed volunteers, confused voters, cramped locations, a lack of voter registration forms and others problems.
    Dr. Andy McGuire, chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party, dug in her heels and said no.
    The whole editorial should be here:
    This is normally a pay site but by answering 2 questions you should be able to read the entire article. I am not a subscriber myself.

  156. Fred says:

    Welcome to party politics at the local level. If you’ve ever attended a party convention you’ll see this type of thing in action quite a bit. Win big (or at least big enough) or the machinery – including those “super delegates” – i.e. party officials are going to swing the results to their preferred candidate/outcome. I believe the Steve Sailor boxing analogy applies. When a light weight fights a heavy weight to a draw the light weight won. That should be the story. Hilary and the democratic establishment are facing a repeat of the 2008 primary.

  157. rjj says:

    strategic confusion and disruption in caucuses got Obama the nomination.
    thanks for the link.

  158. LeaNder says:

    Yes, odd chaos, and yes reminiscences. That there are only two players left, puzzles me more. Is it getting way to expensive?
    I vaguely followed the “machine-politics-suspicions, but this triggers more memories of Romney’s state-of-the-art system without anyone taking care of the people that had to handle it, knew how it worked.
    Strictly, I had the impression when I saw the results it said in small print something was still missing.
    Thanks, Martin.

Comments are closed.