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Old 2013-01-18, 15:57   Link #25801
synaesthetic
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The commercial in question is stupid and tactless. Of course the threat level for the President's children will be higher. The President naturally has more enemies than any average person, of course.

The NRA just does what they usually do... lobby for gun manufacturers. I wonder if they would have even half as much power as they do now, if the government armories were never shut down or privatized...
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Old 2013-01-18, 16:02   Link #25802
AnimeFan188
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Throw the bums out: 75 percent back Congress term limits:

"Sure, voters sent a majority of incumbent members of Congress back to
Washington in November 2012. But a new Gallup poll finds that 75 percent of
Americans support imposing term limits on lawmakers in D.C."


"What about the Electoral College? Do away with it, 63 percent of Americans say,
according to Gallup. That’s down from 80 percent in 1968."


See:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/t...-politics.html
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Old 2013-01-18, 16:07   Link #25803
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimeFan188 View Post
Throw the bums out: 75 percent back Congress term limits:

"Sure, voters sent a majority of incumbent members of Congress back to
Washington in November 2012. But a new Gallup poll finds that 75 percent of
Americans support imposing term limits on lawmakers in D.C."


"What about the Electoral College? Do away with it, 63 percent of Americans say,
according to Gallup. That’s down from 80 percent in 1968."


See:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/t...-politics.html
instead of term limits, getting rid of congressional districts would be better.
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Old 2013-01-18, 16:26   Link #25804
Vexx
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Term limits are just the American band-aid for blame-shifting. At some point, we have to assume that more than half the voting public in a district is just as crazy as the likes of Michele Bachmann.

Gerrymandering the districts goes back almost 200 years and both parties have engaged in it. One way to stop it is to develop an algorithm to map the population districts and take it out of human hands. Right now, the controlling party in each state has far too much influence over the line drawing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiki ref
The word gerrymander (originally written Gerry-mander) was used for the first time in the Boston Gazette on March 26, 1812. The word was created in reaction to a redrawing of Massachusetts state senate election districts under the then-governor Elbridge Gerry (pronounced /ˈɡɛri/; 1744–1814). In 1812, Governor Gerry signed a bill that redistricted Massachusetts to benefit his Democratic-Republican Party. When mapped, one of the contorted districts in the Boston area was said to resemble the shape of a salamander. The term was a portmanteau of the governor's last name and the word salamander. The redistricting was a notable success: in the 1812 election, both the Massachusetts House and governorship were won by Federalists by a comfortable margin (costing Gerry his seat), but the senate remained firmly in Democratic-Republican hands.[1]
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Old 2013-01-18, 16:54   Link #25805
SeijiSensei
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The Electoral College always seems an absurdly anachronistic structure until you begin to consider the logistics of how an election based on only the popular vote would work. How would you have begun to conduct a recount in 2000?

I'm more concerned about the Republican efforts to abolish winner-take-all electoral votes in the states they have most heavily gerrymandered like Pennsylvania and Ohio. In PA, the Democrats won a slight majority of the popular vote for Congress, but took only five of the eighteen House seats. The Republicans in these states want to award electoral votes on a Congressional-district basis as a few states like Maine do today. I'd be happy to accept such a switchover if all states drew district lines by a nonpartisan process like California and New Jersey use, but that won't happen in my remaining lifetime.
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Old 2013-01-18, 17:39   Link #25806
mangamuscle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
The Electoral College always seems an absurdly anachronistic structure until you begin to consider the logistics of how an election based on only the popular vote would work. How would you have begun to conduct a recount in 2000?
Go back to paper votes and create a federal electoral credential and you are set to get rid of the electoral college. Recounts would be slow as molasses, but IMO beats the alternative and makes every single vote equally worthy no matter in what state it was cast.
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Old 2013-01-18, 17:40   Link #25807
kyp275
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OSI body scanner to be removed from airports

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=29691
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...-airports.html

$300 million down the drain for... well, lulz naked pics?
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Old 2013-01-18, 17:42   Link #25808
Yu Ominae
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Something out of Algeria.

Quote:

Foreigners still caught in Sahara hostage crisis

ALGIERS/IN AMENAS, Algeria (Reuters) - More than 20 foreigners were still either being held hostage or missing inside a gas plant on Friday after Algerian forces stormed the desert complex to free hundreds of captives taken by Islamist militants.

More than a day after the Algerian army launched an assault to seize the remote desert compound, much was still unclear about the number and fate of the victims, leaving countries with citizens in harm's way struggling to find hard information.

Reports on the number of hostages killed ranged from 12 to 30, with anywhere from dozens to scores of foreigners still unaccounted for.

Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, eight of whose countrymen were missing, said fighters still controlled the gas treatment plant itself, while Algerian forces now held the nearby residential compound that housed hundreds of workers.

Leaders of Britain, Japan and other countries expressed frustration that the assault had been ordered without consultation. Many countries were also withholding information about their citizens to avoid helping the captors.

Night fell quietly on the village of In Amenas, the nearest settlement, some 50 km (30 miles) from the vast and remote desert plant. A military helicopter could be seen in the sky.

An Algerian security source said 30 hostages, including at least seven Westerners, had been killed during Thursday's assault, along with at least 18 of their captors. Eight of the dead hostages were Algerian, with the nationalities of the rest of the dead still unclear, he said.

Algeria's state news agency APS put the total number of dead hostages at 12, including both foreigners and locals.

Norway's Stoltenberg said some of those killed in vehicles blasted by the army could not be identified. "We must be prepared for bad news this weekend but we still have hope."

Northern Irish engineer Stephen McFaul, who survived, said he saw four trucks full of hostages blown up by Algerian troops.

The attack has plunged international capitals into crisis mode and is a serious escalation of unrest in northwestern Africa, where French forces have been in Mali since last week fighting an Islamist takeover of Timbuktu and other towns.

"We are still dealing with a fluid and dangerous situation where a part of the terrorist threat has been eliminated in one part of the site, but there still remains a threat in another part," British Prime Minister David Cameron told his parliament.

A local Algerian source said 100 of 132 foreign hostages had been freed from the facility. However, other estimates of the number of unaccounted-for foreigners were higher. Earlier the same source said 60 were still missing. Some may be held hostage; others may still be hiding in the sprawling compound.

Two Japanese, two Britons and a French national were among the seven foreigners confirmed dead in the army's storming, the Algerian security source told Reuters. One British citizen was killed when the gunmen seized the hostages on Wednesday.

Those still unaccounted for on Friday included 10 from Japan and eight Norwegians, according to their employers, and a number of Britons which Cameron put at "significantly" less than 30

France said it had no information on two Frenchmen who may have been at the site and Washington has said a number of Americans were among the hostages, without giving details. The local source said a U.S. aircraft landed nearby on Friday.

The attackers had initially claimed to be holding 41 Western hostages. Some Westerners were able to evade capture by hiding.

They lived among hundreds of Algerian employees on the compound. The state news agency said the army had rescued 650 hostages in total, 573 of whom were Algerians.

"(The army) is still trying to achieve a ‘peaceful outcome' before neutralizing the terrorist group that is holed up in the (facility) and freeing a group of hostages that is still being held," it said, quoting a security source.

MULTINATIONAL INSURGENCY

Algerian commanders said they moved in on Thursday about 30 hours after the siege began, because the gunmen had demanded to be allowed to take their captives abroad.

A French hostage employed by a French catering company said he had hidden in his room for 40 hours under the bed, relying on Algerian employees to smuggle him food with a password.

"I put boards up pretty much all round," Alexandre Berceaux told Europe 1 radio. "I didn't know how long I was going to stay there ... I was afraid. I could see myself already ending up in a pine box."

The captors said their attack was a response to a French military offensive in neighboring Mali. However, some U.S. and European officials say the elaborate raid probably required too much planning to have been organized from scratch in the single week since France first launched its strikes.

Paris says the incident proves that its decision to fight Islamists in neighboring Mali was necessary.

Security in the half-dozen countries around the Sahara desert has long been a pre-occupation of the West. Smugglers and militants have earned millions in ransom from kidnappings.

The most powerful Islamist groups in the Sahara were severely weakened by Algeria's secularist military in a civil war in the 1990s. But in the past two years the regional wing of Al Qaeda gained fighters and arms as a result of the civil war in Libya, when arsenals were looted from Muammar Gaddafi's army.

Al Qaeda-linked fighters, many with roots in Algeria and Libya, took control of northern Mali last year, prompting the French intervention in that poor African former colony.

The Algerian security source said only two of 11 militants whose bodies were found on Thursday were Algerian, including the squad's leader. The others comprised three Egyptians, two Tunisians, two Libyans, a Malian and a Frenchman, he said.

The plant was heavily fortified, with security, controlled access and an army camp with hundreds of armed personnel between the accommodation and processing plant, Andy Coward Honeywell, who worked there in 2009, told the BBC.

The apparent ease with which the fighters swooped in from the dunes to take control of an important energy facility, which produces some 10 percent of the natural gas on which Algeria depends for its export income, has raised questions over the value of outwardly tough security measures.

Algerian officials said the attackers may have had inside help from among the hundreds of Algerians employed at the site. The attackers benefited from bases and staging grounds across the nearby border in Libya's desert, Algerian officials said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said those responsible would be hunted down: "Terrorists should be on notice that they will find no sanctuary, no refuge, not in Algeria, not in North Africa, not anywhere.... Those who would wantonly attack our country and our people will have no place to hide."

WARNING OF MORE ATTACKS

The kidnappers threatened more attacks and warned Algerians to stay away from foreign companies' installations, according to Mauritania's news agency ANI, which maintained contact with the group during the siege.

Hundreds of workers from international oil companies were evacuated from Algeria on Thursday and many more will follow, said BP, which jointly ran the gas plant with Norway's Statoil and the Algerian state oil firm.

The overall commander of the kidnappers, Algerian officials said, was Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a one-eyed veteran of Afghanistan in the 1980s and Algeria's bloody civil war of the 1990s. He appears not to have been present.

Algerian security specialist Anis Rahmani, author of several books on terrorism and editor of Ennahar daily, told Reuters about 70 militants were involved from two groups, Belmokhtar's "Those who sign in blood", who traveled from Libya, and the lesser known "Movement of the Islamic Youth in the South".

Britain's Cameron, who warned people to prepare for bad news and who canceled a major policy speech on Friday to deal with the situation, said he would have liked Algeria to have consulted before the raid. Japan made similar complaints.

U.S. officials had no clear information on the fate of Americans. Washington, like its European allies, has endorsed France's military intervention in Mali.

(Additional reporting by Ali Abdelatti in Cairo, Eamonn Mallie in Belfast, Gwladys Fouche in Oslo, Mohammed Abbas in London and Padraic Halpin and Conor Humprhies in Dublin; Writing by Philippa Fletcher and Peter Graff; Editing by Andrew Roche)
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Old 2013-01-18, 19:14   Link #25809
AnimeFan188
Senior Member
 
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Sheikh and You Shall Find:

http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/...find/#comments


Here's a quote from the comments section:

"We are in a very interesting period. Many establishment figures, from both the
Republican and Democratic sides of the aisle, privately understand that the
system is in crisis. But having risen so far in the system, they cannot bring
themselves to face the the implications of that realization.

Some are afraid to openly come out; still others are waiting for the moment to
take the risk. Probably they’ll make their move when the danger of doing nothing
outweighs the risk of taking a chance.

But the mortuary makeup that the press applied on the economic crisis and the
foreign policy catastrophe in the runup to the president’s reelection is wearing
thin. The ghastly pallor is now apparent. But at the same time the inner circle has
become convinced of its invincibility and is acting arrogantly, recklessly and above
all, stupidly.

It’s like standing next to a boiler and watching the rivets work loose as the
pressure increases. The game is now about what to do when she blows. This kind
of renewal has traditionally happened in America every 70 or so years — 3
generations — and the time is about right for yet another sea change."



If American politics is due for a once-in-70-years sea change, I wonder how it
will all pan out?
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Old 2013-01-18, 20:21   Link #25810
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Betweem wisdom and insanity
U.S., China in deal on U.N. North Korea rebuke; Russia to back it
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...90H16W20130118
Quote:
The United States and China have struck a tentative deal on a draft U.N. Security Council resolution condemning North Korea for its December rocket launch, U.N. diplomats said on Friday, and Russia predicted it would be approved by the council.

The resolution would not impose new sanctions, but would call for expanding existing U.N. sanctions measures against Pyongyang, the envoys said on condition of anonymity. They added that China's support for the move would be a significant diplomatic blow to Pyongyang.
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Old 2013-01-18, 21:30   Link #25811
DonQuigleone
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Age: 26
The big problem is that congressmen spend more time fund-raising then they do legislating, or guess what, learning about the issues.

Maybe there should be a federal law limiting fund raising to the 3 months before an election.

Also, put congressmen on longer terms. 2 year terms mean that a congressman is barely in his office and he's already having to worry about reelection.
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Old 2013-01-18, 23:34   Link #25812
GundamFan0083
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
The NRA just does what they usually do... lobby for gun manufacturers. I wonder if they would have even half as much power as they do now, if the government armories were never shut down or privatized...
That is a good question.
I wish the armories were still there.
Used to be you could buy directly from them through the CMP, and the NRA was a big supporter of the CMP back in the day.
That helped raise revenue for the government, and allowed citizens access to military arms.
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Old 2013-01-19, 08:16   Link #25813
KiraYamatoFan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
U.S., China in deal on U.N. North Korea rebuke; Russia to back it
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...90H16W20130118

The United States and China have struck a tentative deal on a draft U.N. Security Council resolution condemning North Korea for its December rocket launch, U.N. diplomats said on Friday, and Russia predicted it would be approved by the council.

The resolution would not impose new sanctions, but would call for expanding existing U.N. sanctions measures against Pyongyang, the envoys said on condition of anonymity. They added that China's support for the move would be a significant diplomatic blow to Pyongyang.
Wow. I can't wait to see how this will unfold. I think it's about time the DPRK government feels the pain of loneliness from all sides after bringing it on themselves.

Everyone knew you looked stupid when you first came in, Jong-Un. Now, you added proof you indeed are so by toying with everyone's patience.
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Old 2013-01-19, 09:24   Link #25814
ganbaru
books-eater youkai
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Betweem wisdom and insanity
Caterpillar writes off most of China deal after fraud
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...90H1C520130119
Quote:
Caterpillar Inc uncovered "deliberate, multi-year, coordinated accounting misconduct" at a subsidiary of a Chinese company it acquired last summer, leading it to write off most of the value of the deal and wiping out more than half its expected earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012.
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Old 2013-01-19, 12:54   Link #25815
Roger Rambo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
The Electoral College always seems an absurdly anachronistic structure until you begin to consider the logistics of how an election based on only the popular vote would work. How would you have begun to conduct a recount in 2000?
Recounts in Florida would not have been required if we'd been under the popular vote at the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
That is a good question.
I wish the armories were still there.
Used to be you could buy directly from them through the CMP, and the NRA was a big supporter of the CMP back in the day.
That helped raise revenue for the government, and allowed citizens access to military arms.
What was the reason for shutting down the government armories?
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Old 2013-01-19, 13:26   Link #25816
GundamFan0083
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Rambo View Post
What was the reason for shutting down the government armories?
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara is the reason back in 1968.
According to Ian Hogg's book "The Black Rifle", McNamara was "convinced" by the Colt firearms company to begin production of the SP-1 (later M16) and recinded Springfield Armory's contract to make the M14, he (McNamara) also closed down Springfield Armory which was the last government armory.
It aggravates me greatly because in Ian Hogg's book "Pistols of the World" he states that Samuel Colt (when he was alive in the 1800s) wanted to corner the market on manufacture of government arms, and his company did produce many of them in addition to the government armories for nearly two hundred years.
When the military industrial complex came to power in the 1950s, all of the remaining government armories were closed during the 1960s.
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Old 2013-01-19, 15:24   Link #25817
Roger Rambo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara is the reason back in 1968.
According to Ian Hogg's book "The Black Rifle", McNamara was "convinced" by the Colt firearms company to begin production of the SP-1 (later M16) and recinded Springfield Armory's contract to make the M14, he (McNamara) also closed down Springfield Armory which was the last government armory.
It aggravates me greatly because in Ian Hogg's book "Pistols of the World" he states that Samuel Colt (when he was alive in the 1800s) wanted to corner the market on manufacture of government arms, and his company did produce many of them in addition to the government armories for nearly two hundred years.
When the military industrial complex came to power in the 1950s, all of the remaining government armories were closed during the 1960s.
Which is really fucking sad, considering that Springfield armory had a reputation for designing high quality and reliable firearms.
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Old 2013-01-19, 15:53   Link #25818
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Rambo View Post
Which is really fucking sad, considering that Springfield armory had a reputation for designing high quality and reliable firearms.
QFT. Remember the Springfield 1903? It was used in both world wars - reliable, powerful and accurate. It being brought out of retirement in the second world war is probably the reason why bolt-action firearms survive until today as sniper rifles.
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Old 2013-01-19, 16:20   Link #25819
GundamFan0083
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Rambo View Post
Which is really fucking sad, considering that Springfield armory had a reputation for designing high quality and reliable firearms.
I agree, it is a sore spot for me also.
The M1911A1, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, M1A Thompson, and M14 were some of the finest firearms ever manufactured, and Springfield produced all of them at one time or another.
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Old 2013-01-19, 16:49   Link #25820
Roger Rambo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
I agree, it is a sore spot for me also.
The M1911A1, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, M1A Thompson, and M14 were some of the finest firearms ever manufactured, and Springfield produced all of them at one time or another.
Isn't it kinda telling that the US doesn't really seem to design that many new military issue small arms that aren't variants of existing designs. When you compare to how many new rifle designs that Springfield used to churn out, the productivity of the modern day military industrial complex in america to churn out high quality small arms doesn't seem all that impressive.
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