Tuesday Morning Open Thread

Open thread.

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    Request to BTD: please explain (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:24:06 PM EST
    (in the context of U.S. military incursion into Libya) why you support current and past U.S. military incursion into Afghanistan.  Thank you.  

    Holy Batman :) (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:29:59 PM EST
    He's fried about Libya today.  You are brave :)  He's going to link to the write up he did and tell us all how stupid we are :)

    I never saw a definitive write-up re why (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:37:52 PM EST
    BTD supported and supports U.S. military incursion into Afghanistan.  Did I miss it?

    I just looked for one (none / 0) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:40:45 PM EST
    Lots of diaries on things that the President said and then BTDs take on it.  A significant one from December of 2009 after an Obama speech on Afghanistan.

    That one is always linked to when (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:01:35 PM EST
    I ask for more detail.  Doesn't satisfy my insatiable curiousity!

    I (none / 0) (#36)
    by lentinel on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:44:14 PM EST
    just think we should have invaded Germany, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. And we should have bombed the hell out of Florida.

    That craps table is a little rich for my blood (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:46:54 PM EST
    ' Know what (none / 0) (#39)
    by lentinel on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:51:22 PM EST
    you mean.

    I'm going into hiding.


    And check out Columbia. Lots of (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:00:41 PM EST
    teenagers dead.

    I googled too (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:52:03 PM EST
    Too Funny, I found this one blogger who was mad at TalkLeft during the primaries....how shocking huh?  And they called BTD Big Tent Dumbass, for some reason that just cracks me up.  Not because he is, it just cracks me up in a silly people sort of way :)

    I think this post from last night (none / 0) (#55)
    by ruffian on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:24:21 PM EST
    goes toward answering it. In Afghanistan the goal is coherent, whether or not you agree it is worth the effort. Or even possible.

    Short shrift. Keep thinking, (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:29:24 PM EST
    if we or Afghans are negotiating with Taliban, should we still be there? And, if aQ is no longer in Afghanistan, shouldn't we be gone by now?

    I think he made a point (none / 0) (#88)
    by Politalkix on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 05:54:05 PM EST
    that military incursion to Afghanistan had to be supported because of our national interest in keeping loose nukes in Pakistan from falling into terrorist hands.

    Using the BTD "coherency" :-) standard (that he is applying in Libya) on BTD's position regarding the war in Afghanistan one can ask
    (1) N. Korea and China have nukes. Both countries have spread nuke technology to other countries. So why Afghanistan and not N. Korea or China? Cmon BTD, we have a lot of work to do to make sure that all loose nukes in any part of the world have to be secured. So when are we starting a war in China, N. Korea and former Soviet republics that have loose nukes?
    (2) If we could not start in war in every country that had loose nukes, why did we go to Afghanistan and Pakistan (akin to the odd argument that if massacres by every dictator cannot be prevented, no attempt should be made to prevent one that can be)
    (3) Obama said that he was sending troops to AfPak to eradicate Al Qaeda and Taliban threats but also said that he would co-opt the Taliban wherever possible in Afghanistan's govt. So what was it? Was the Taliban and Al Qaeda going to be eradicated or co-opted? Did anyone see the coherency that BTD saw?
    (4) If the Al Qaeda and Taliban sought refuge in Pakistan and the President said that he was not going to take whatever it took to eradicate them in Pakistan (including bombing Pakistani cities and sending ground troops), did it mean that the AfPak mission lacked coherency because it was going to do too little? How did BTD support it?
    (5) Did anyone see the coherency that BTD saw in dealing with Karzai?


    we certainly are (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:41:35 PM EST
    an opinionated lot.

    oh hey (none / 0) (#129)
    by CST on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:21:43 AM EST
    reviewing the old threads today at lunch, I guess I missed out on some fun Libya action, which is just as well since I don't know what I think.

    I did see sucker punch though!  And I agree with your take.  It was funny I went with my sister and neither one of us really knew what it was about, honestly you talking about it here is why I suggested it.

    We didn't really know what to think, other than we liked it.

    It's following the trend I've noticed in movies lately (or maybe it's just the ones I've been seeing) in that it was original, non-formulaic, and I didn't see the ending coming.  Refreshing.  Then again, all the previews I saw were for sequels, including Pirates of the Carribean version 267 - can't we just let that ship drown already?


    Are we going to talk about whether the (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:46:48 PM EST
    mission in Libya may be in violation of the UN mandate - or dangerously close to it - or are we just taking the position that unless the UN calls it out, everything's being done within the parameters set?  The administration doesn't seem to think we're pushing the envelope, but I wouldn't expect them to take any other position.

    I ask in all seriousness, since, as I understand it, the mission is restricted to "civilian protection."  Are "civilians" the people just trying to go about their daily lives, or are they the rebels with guns?  Does going after Gaddafi's forces fall within the stated mission?  I'm assuming the answer there is "yes" as long as those forces are threatening civilian populations.  Are we taking the position that just because Gaddafi's forces have the ability to harm civilians, pretty much anything we do that takes those forces out, or affects their ability to function, is okay?

    At what point does the mission that's been explained to the American people become a mission we said we weren't going to get involved in?  How much "creep" do we allow before the mission has officially -or unofficially, changed?

    As you can see, I have no answers - just questions.  Questions that didn't get answered in the president's remarks last night.

    Does anyone know the answers?  

    Clinton: "we can arm the rebels." (none / 0) (#64)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:58:17 PM EST
    From the Guardian:

    Hillary Clinton has paved the way for the United States to arm the Libyan rebels by declaring that the recent UN security council resolution relaxed an arms embargo on the country.

    As Libya's opposition leaders called for the international community to arm them, the secretary of state indicated that the US was considering whether to meet their demands when she talked of a "work in progress".

    The US indicated on Monday night that it had not ruled out arming the rebels, though it was assumed this would take some time because of a UN arms embargo which applies to all sides in Libya.

    But Clinton made clear that UN security council resolution 1973, which allowed military strikes against Muammar Gaddafi's regime, relaxed the embargo. Speaking after the conference on Libya in London, Clinton said: "It is our interpretation that [resolution] 1973 amended or overrode the absolute prohibition of arms to anyone in Libya so that there could be legitimate transfer of arms if a country were to choose to do that. We have not made that decision at this time."

    Someone's got to help me out here: does arming rebels fall into the category of "limited" mission?  Is this the "humanitarian" part of the mission?

    I've got to say that I am getting a very bad feeling about this.


    Arming the rebels (none / 0) (#65)
    by star on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 04:08:59 PM EST
    Is a very dangerous precedent. Look were arming Taliban got us? With out knowing the nature of the beast, understanding their culture, we blindly sided with and aided and abetted Taliban.close to 500billion dollars was channeled to fight soviets via pak and Taliban. What did that get us? there was whole scale massacre and carpet bombing by soviets in Afghanistan. Our interference could have truly been called 'Humanitarian'.
    Soon as they were free of soviet menace, the first thing Taliban/Alqaida/mujahids/binladen and co did was to nominate us enemy No1. at that point , USA had done them no harm,only helped and propped them up in-spite of the atrocities they were committing on their own people.

    What makes us so sure that we will not repeat the same mistake in Libya. What makes us think these rebels are going to LOVE us for destroying their country from the air. especially after Gaddafi is gone (if he is gone in reasonable time), then the new govt, has to rebuild and reconstruct their civil and political infrastructure with out supervision from the same forces, who invested millions of dollars worth of tomahawk missiles in that country.

    This whole thing is a mess - totally unnecessary. anyone cutting this president slack please imagine for a minute if it was a republican president doing this instead of Obama..


    Interesting article (none / 0) (#67)
    by Farmboy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 04:13:39 PM EST
    The request for arms came from Mahmoud Shammam, the media spokesperson for the Libyan rebels. According to the reporter, "Clinton's remarks came after the Libyan Transitional National Council used the London conference to issue a plea to be armed."

    "We have not made any decision about arming the rebels or providing any arms transfers. So there has not been any need to discuss that at this point." said Clinton.

    And this quote from Clinton adds: "This coalition military action will continue until Gaddafi fully complies with the terms of 1973, ceases his attacks on civilians, pulls his troops back from places they have forcibly entered and allows key services and humanitarian assistance to reach all civilians."

    Glad to help you out.


    In (none / 0) (#94)
    by lentinel on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 06:55:13 PM EST
    the quote by Clinton she sounds exactly like Bush.



    I'd like my $50 back. (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 06:59:56 PM EST
    She is a hawk (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Madeline on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 10:54:48 PM EST
    always was and is.  Remember she voted for the Patriot Act.

    She was my choice in 2008 anyway. I just reframe it as Warrior Woman!


    Obama says maybe (none / 0) (#96)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 07:04:02 PM EST
    US President Barack Obama hasn't ruled out arming Libyan rebels as they seek to make territorial gains and overthrow Muammar Gaddafi.

    "I'm not ruling it out. But I'm also not ruling it in. We're still making an assessment partly about what Gaddafi's forces are going to be doing," Obama said in an NBC interview on Tuesday." link

    Criminy (none / 0) (#97)
    by shoephone on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 07:07:12 PM EST
    Here comes the mission creep...

    Do you ever get the feeling that (none / 0) (#101)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 07:31:29 PM EST
    the "rebels"are our guys?  Never miss an opportunity to seize on a crisis (in Libya or, more accurately, in the Arab world) to do what you always wanted to do (cf. Richard Cheney--let's get Saddam).

    BTW, EBay is not a good place to (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 12:05:02 AM EST
    sell an U.S. military spy planes.

    A foreign national was indicted yesterday for allegedly illegally importing an unmanned spy plane into the U.S., and then trying to resell it on eBay.

    According to a press release from the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement service, Henson Chua of the Philippines was indicted and charged by a grand jury in Tampa with violating the Arms Export Control Act and smuggling. Chua is accused of importing an RQ-11B "Raven" Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) from the Philippines into the U.S., which is listed on the U.S. Munitions List as a defensive item, "without having first obtained from the U.S. Department of State a license or written authorization." He then "aided and abetted the attempted export" of the same UAV. link

    I don't know about you but the "Raven" looks a lot like those remote control planes my son and grandsons used to play with.


    "Someone's little girl... (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by sj on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 05:41:03 PM EST
    ... was taken from the world tonight"

    Today my son had to put down his sweet, sweet funny Chocolate Lab.  I guess that makes her my granddog.  I love my dogs, but a better dog than his girl you will never meet.

    As strong as you were, tender you go.
    I'm watching you breathing for the last time.
    A song for your heart, but when it is quiet,
    I know what it means and I'll carry you home.

    so sorry (5.00 / 3) (#87)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 05:42:29 PM EST
    Please give your son (5.00 / 3) (#100)
    by Zorba on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 07:28:14 PM EST
    our condolences.  

    Our pets wend their way into (5.00 / 3) (#102)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 07:35:13 PM EST
    our hearts and bring us so much joy.  It is, indeed, a hard day for your son.  My best.

    As the "mother" of two labs, my heart is (5.00 / 3) (#104)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 07:42:06 PM EST
    crying for your son; I know he has some wonderful memories, and they will be a comfort to him - and to you - but that light going out, not seeing those big brown eyes looking at him with love and trust and joy, that just plain hurts.

    I'm so sorry for your loss.


    Thank you all (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by sj on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 08:10:13 PM EST
    He's taking it harder than he thought he would (although not harder than I thought).  I've been weepy all day myself.

    And, I sit with my dog now--and, we cry too. (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by christinep on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 08:54:15 PM EST
    It's a hard day (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by sj on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 10:13:47 PM EST
    She's an old girl but I'd hoped to see her one last time.  I won't be going back to Colorado until this summer.  I remember the day we got her.  He got his Sophie and I got my little girl Tessa at the same time.  Tessa, the Happy Dancer and Mighty Hunter, a poodle-schnauzer gone now these three years.

    I couldn't be there, but we just Skyped her a proper wake.


    Thinking of you and your son tonight. (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by vml68 on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 10:54:35 PM EST
    Having lost three of my companions over the years, I can imagine how hard today and the next few days will be.

    Godspeed Sweet Sophie (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 11:16:00 PM EST
    When I was a kid I only ever had one dog of my own at a time, but I was blessed with two very special ones.  Now I get to have more than one and they are each so loving and loyal and true in their individual way.  No matter how crappy the day may be, they are always there.  They are such wonderful creatures to get to share life with, there is no finer friend or truer love.  My thoughts are with your son tonight.

    Oh, so sorry for you all (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 10:44:46 AM EST
    Sooooo hard. Hang in there everyone. Hug a dog pronto.

    PJ Crowley explaining his comments on (5.00 / 3) (#86)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 05:42:28 PM EST
    Bradley Manning, in the Guardian (bold is mine):

    But I understood why the question was asked. Private Manning's family, joined by a number of human rights organisations, has questioned the extremely restrictive conditions he has experienced at the brig at Marine Corps base Quantico, Virginia. I focused on the fact that he was forced to sleep naked, which led to a circumstance where he stood naked for morning call.

    Based on 30 years of government experience, if you have to explain why a guy is standing naked in the middle of a jail cell, you have a policy in need of urgent review. The Pentagon was quick to point out that no women were present when he did so, which is completely beside the point.

    Our strategic narrative connects our policies to our interests, values and aspirations. While what we do, day in and day out, is broadly consistent with the universal principles we espouse, individual actions can become disconnected. Every once in a while, even a top-notch symphony strikes a discordant note. So it is in this instance.

    The Pentagon has said that it is playing the Manning case by the book. The book tells us what actions we can take, but not always what we should do. Actions can be legal and still not smart. With the Manning case unfolding in a fishbowl-like environment, going strictly by the book is not good enough. Private Manning's overly restrictive and even petty treatment undermines what is otherwise a strong legal and ethical position.

    When the United States leads by example, we are not trying to win a popularity contest. Rather, we are pursuing our long-term strategic interest. The United States cannot expect others to meet international standards if we are seen as falling short.


    I stand by what I said. The United States should set the global standard for treatment of its citizens - and then exceed it. It is what the world expects of us. It is what we should expect of ourselves.

    This is someone who does not agree with what Manning is accused of doing, but who nevertheless understands the bigger picture.

    Kristof on MSNBC (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:06:14 AM EST
    last night eloquently saying what some of us were trying to say yesterday with varying success.  shorter version:  I would rather inconsistently save some lives than consistently save none.

    well put.

    I need some dark humor (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 11:25:30 AM EST
    Warning: might, um, offend some people (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 11:28:23 AM EST
    One more: from the Larry the Cable Guy Roast (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 11:33:32 AM EST
    I lied: Jeff Ross roasts Drew Carey (none / 0) (#4)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 11:56:17 AM EST

    I swear, no more.  Gotta go work.


    Other dark humor going around, (none / 0) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 12:24:24 PM EST
    speculation on Secretary Gates replacement.  Names like Leon Panetta (with General Petraeus heading for his CIA spot) , Joe Lieberman, Sam Nunn, Chuck Hagel, John McCain and Arnold.

    Cut to the chase... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 12:34:46 PM EST
    and appoint Obama's BFF from over at GE.

    He'd outsource (none / 0) (#115)
    by cal1942 on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 10:40:08 PM EST
    the entire military but we'll still have to pay for it all.

    Arnold. Now that's thinking outside (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 12:56:58 PM EST
    the box.

    Arnold (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 01:08:46 PM EST
    wouldn't need a whole military complex - he could take on dictators all by himself.  :)

    Think of the money we could save!


    But would he need to touch his boots (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 01:14:46 PM EST
    to the ground?  

    Nah (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 01:16:45 PM EST
    All he'd have to do is stare at them through sunglasses and say, "I'll be back."

    They'd run away screaming.  :)


    Hey, I would (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 01:31:59 PM EST
    A declassified touching of boots to ground (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 01:30:12 PM EST
    Gotta be a Republican (none / 0) (#25)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:17:40 PM EST
    to emphasize the fact that Democrats are weak when it comes to defense of the country. John McCain (or his clone Lieberman) would be a great pick since his bomb, bomb Iran policies are just what this country needs.  

    Mr. Ross... (none / 0) (#79)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 05:09:55 PM EST
    is the current king of the roast...pick any clip with "Ross" and "Roast" in the title and you will laugh.

    "I've seen younger faces on cash" he goes...the boy is good.


    RIP indeed (none / 0) (#76)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 04:55:38 PM EST
    Giraldo's gone and Dennis Leary's Bill-Hicks-grave-looting-as* is still here, doing increasingly obnoxious voice-overs for the auto industry's latest version of Cialis-on-wheels..

    Daily Kos (none / 0) (#5)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 12:22:01 PM EST
    is going to begin hosting Tom Tomorrow and all his comics.  Awesome!

    Meanwhile, in not-awesome news, this Fox idiot was among the first to stir up the socialism charge as part of a concerted effort to elect McCain.  Will he be fired?  Probably not.

    I must've missed it.. (none / 0) (#81)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 05:23:05 PM EST
    did the Right ever stop red-baiting - as an essential part of it's very limited repertoire - some time after the bombing in Haymaket Square?

    True... (none / 0) (#125)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 10:48:41 AM EST
    and apparently over 100 years later, Dems still can't deflect it.

    and Lloyd Dangle (none / 0) (#82)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 05:29:07 PM EST
    If you think your luck is bad... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 01:26:16 PM EST
    check this uber-sob story.

    Innocent man does 20 years for a rape he did not commit...gets released via DNA testing, gets engaged to his high school sweetheart 30 years later, finds a job, waiting on his fat settlement check and better days...then dies on his new job in a mining accident.

    Talk about some bad, bad luck...but at least he got a taste of the freedom he was wrongly denied before he passed.

    Thanks for the downer, :) (none / 0) (#15)
    by republicratitarian on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 01:33:05 PM EST
    I'm kidding, at least he got 2 1/2 years of the good life. Better than dying an innocent man in prison.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 01:40:53 PM EST
    it could always be worse, even in this case from the "it could be worse" file.

    His heirs better get that 500 large from the guilty people of Nebraska...thats all I'm saying.  Or a prisoners charity or something...I want that check cut!  Add a zero or two even!


    My money says no one else gets a dime (none / 0) (#38)
    by republicratitarian on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:51:16 PM EST
    A heinous crime... (none / 0) (#50)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:14:30 PM EST
    going unpunished?  Say it ain't so!

    Where o' where is the "tough on crime" brigade when you really need them:)


    Sounds like (none / 0) (#52)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:17:43 PM EST
    They should go after the co-defendants.

    Not really, the article said the DNA evidence (none / 0) (#62)
    by republicratitarian on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:52:09 PM EST
    was not a match to any of the defendants.
    The evidence pointed to a man from Oklahoma that died in 1992.

    I'm curious what the other defendants got in their pleas.  


    Reuced sentences (none / 0) (#63)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:57:22 PM EST
    I googled the story because I was curious (none / 0) (#66)
    by republicratitarian on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 04:12:19 PM EST
    Looks like 4 of the defendants gave false confessions. They were fed details of the crime by investigators. All were pardoned. Joseph White just had the worst ending of the bunch, so far.

    Then go after the investigators too. (none / 0) (#69)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 04:16:49 PM EST
    Follow the money... (none / 0) (#77)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 04:55:44 PM EST
    "the people" as in "the people vs." bankrolled the entire crime spree, lent it legitimacy...if not for "we the people" none of this would have happened...there is your culprit.

    I know we like to kid ourselves that we have nothing to do with such tragedies when they occur...but we're the kingpins of this particular brand of crime wave.  


    I Second the Downer Motion (none / 0) (#21)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:06:56 PM EST
    Life's a crap shoot. Read Philip Roth's (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 01:37:58 PM EST

    How come Libya can't be a crap shoot? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 01:48:32 PM EST
    I just wanna roll the dice man :)

    What makes you think it isn't... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:00:31 PM EST
    one of the most volatile games currently going in the casino pit called Earth...biggest bets, biggest swings.

    I accept that it is for the most part (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:04:38 PM EST
    The whole thing to include what I can add or not add to it :)  Living is good if I can get a few days of a semi-controlled chaos.

    This ain't a video game! (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:14:52 PM EST
    Cue Charlie Buk... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:18:45 PM EST
    I am ashamed to be a member of the human race but I don't want to add any more to that shame, I want to scrape a little of it off.

    "Horses don't bet on people and neither do I."

    I'm pretty sure there's video crapshoot (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:19:35 PM EST
    Non Political Question (none / 0) (#22)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:14:11 PM EST
    There is trend going on in Houston and I am curious if it's just my city of others.

    On my home I pass by at least two human beings in some kind of costume holding a sign for taxes, or cash checking, and even Little Caesar's Pizza.

    It bugs me to no end, some are in gorilla costumes, or dressed like Uncle Same, and even the Little Caesar dude.

    In Houston yesterday it was 85, but these guys are out there year round, even when the scales hit 100.  On one hand, maybe they are glad to have a job, but it just seems so demeaning that I can't imagine putting someone in a costume on a busy corner and make then jump around with the sign.

    Is this happening in other cities ?  I just don't ever remember seeing this until about 3 years ago.

    Slow day and I am tired of politics.

    I read somewhere these moving ads (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:16:11 PM EST
    were making $15/hour.  But, that was a couple years ago.  Probably down to minimum wage now.  

    If I ever have to dress like an idiot (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by CoralGables on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 04:21:36 PM EST
    for minimum wage, I'd prefer to be Billy the Marlin...and I'll start Friday.

    It would allow me (none / 0) (#107)
    by CoralGables on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 08:07:50 PM EST
    to get my dorsal fin in the door before they open their new stadium next season.

    I've seen them for years (none / 0) (#28)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:24:00 PM EST
    Some of them really have fun with it.  Listen to ipods, dance, wave at people, etc.

    I saw a chicken once standing there for a new chicken place.

    Mostly teenagers, but some older folks (meaning, "older than teens").


    I see the human placards... (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:25:00 PM EST
    in NY too...it does seem like a tough demeaning gig, but no more so than say playing Goofy at Disney.  There are certainly worse gigs...

    Even (none / 0) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:34:54 PM EST
    in my town which is no large city by any means they have them. one particular one is wearing a statue of liberty costume (a guy to boot). I can't ever remember what he's advertising though.

    Tax preparation services (none / 0) (#34)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:38:26 PM EST
    They're all over.

    And let me tell you - standing in a costume is a better gig than having to clean the men's room at a Wendy's when you're 16 and female. (Part of my first job)


    Do you think being (none / 0) (#41)
    by me only on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:52:23 PM EST
    a 16 year old guy cleaning the women's bathroom is any better?  Not one of the female employees I worked with would even attempt emptying the trash box in the stalls.  It was like those things are a black hole in which things only had to go in.

    One upper. (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by me only on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 10:25:35 AM EST
    you guys are all (none / 0) (#126)
    by CST on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 10:52:16 AM EST

    For my summer job I was a valet at the ritz.  I got to drive porsches and benzes all day.

    Plus, talk about odds.  I was one of 4 women in a company of 400 people.  Now that's a minimum wage job we can all aspire to :)


    Summer job... (none / 0) (#127)
    by vml68 on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:02:58 AM EST
    What is this thing called a summer job?.... :-)!

    Two Upper (none / 0) (#132)
    by me only on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:20:27 AM EST
    No mas.

    No - those were disgusting too. (none / 0) (#42)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:57:18 PM EST
    But I have no brothers and my dad was always neat.

    Quite a shock!


    We do that on purpose (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 02:57:19 PM EST
    Because you guys are so afraid of what goes into them.  I like to ask my husband to get things out of my purse for me too, cuz one in the wrapper could touch his hand and it looks like he's fearing snakebite.

    I Know, I Can't Reply to Your Posts, but... (none / 0) (#57)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:26:10 PM EST
    ... the dishwasher in me in high school was 10 times more affraid of what actually went on in the men's bathroom, than what might happen in the lady's.

    I had to clean up numerous top deckers.  And every school had a mad ***, or a guy that took great pleasure in defecating anywhere but the bathroom.  I even read about them popping in from time to time at the workplace, not mine thankfully.

    And of course, the man's last bastion of total freedom, the porta-potty.


    Upper Deckers? (none / 0) (#78)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 04:59:40 PM EST
    Harsh...that kind of vengeance should be reserved for serious wrong-doing.  

    An action not to be taken lightly...serious business an Upper Decker....not to be over-used and abused like the taser.  


    Had to google this term. (none / 0) (#128)
    by vml68 on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:05:03 AM EST
    The things I learn on TL. Some of which I wish I could unlearn!!

    Now I'm NOT going to google. (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 12:15:26 PM EST
    Had the opposite reaction (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by sj on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 12:19:38 PM EST
    and did the google search.  Agree with both you and vml68.  Should never had done so and wish I could unlearn...

    While I have never cleaned any bathrooms (none / 0) (#47)
    by tigercourse on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:11:09 PM EST
    for a job, I would lay down a substantial amount of money betting that it's better to clean the women's bathroom.

    I'd take that action... (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:25:09 PM EST
    worst thing you'll find in the men's is some p*ss on the seat or a skidmark...I don't know what you gals do in the ladies' to make it look like a tornado hit.

    And a public service announcement from the industry...please flush nothing besides toilet paper and waste down the toilet.  No paper towels, no hygiene products, and definitely no rubbers...all that goes in the trash can.  The super thanks you in advance...believe me:)


    You would be surprised. (none / 0) (#49)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:12:12 PM EST
    Haven't won an internet bet yet! (none / 0) (#54)
    by tigercourse on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:22:10 PM EST
    I hear ya (none / 0) (#53)
    by ruffian on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:19:04 PM EST
    I cleaned many a men's room in my high school days as a maid.

    OK, Sometimes Sterotyping is Hard Not to Do (none / 0) (#46)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:04:33 PM EST
    I just figured in Houston it was Mexicans working for nothing.  I don't feel as bad, especially if they are making a descent wage.  $15/hr, seems crazy, but so does dancing around in a gorilla costume with a Vietnamese sandwich shop sign.

    And yes as someone mentioned, some of them seem to really make a show of it.  

    And I am pretty sure the Disney characters are unionized and highly trained people making a very good wage, sans the groper they seem to discover about once a year.


    Disney (none / 0) (#48)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:11:33 PM EST
    Looks like the average character gets paid about $9.15 / hour

    Oh yeah, happens here in Orlando all the time (none / 0) (#51)
    by ruffian on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:17:17 PM EST
    There is always one on the corner by my grocery store. He or she is out there mid-summer in 95 deg/95% humidity, as I'm sure it is in Houston too. I don't know how they do it.  

    Statue of Liberty (none / 0) (#59)
    by star on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 03:31:35 PM EST
    is always out by my GYM. I think it is for a tax place. My son enjoys waving out to him/her.

    Discussions of consistency v inconsistency (none / 0) (#68)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 04:15:08 PM EST
    in US foreign policy have taken some hairpin, if not pretzel-like turns.  It seems to me that if we are going to use "humanitarian" reasons for military intervention we need to be consistent for to do otherwise puts us into moral bankruptcy by  selecting the more deserving peoples to protect from ongoing or imminent massacre.

    The school of thought that " we can't help everywhere doesn't mean we can't help somewhere", especially those somewheres where it is easy or does not anger an ally, weighs the value of, and orders priorities for, the humans to be saved.   If, however, the reason for military intervention (which will in the process save or protect lives) is geopolitical or strategically important for our country, foreign policy can permit us a situational choice and thereby,  presents justifiable inconsistency.  

    False framing by KeysDan (none / 0) (#105)
    by Politalkix on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 07:54:17 PM EST
    KeysDan says "If, however, the reason for military intervention (which will in the process save or protect lives) is geopolitical or strategically important for our country, foreign policy can permit us a situational choice and thereby,  presents justifiable inconsistency."

    No Sir, there is no unanimity among Americans regarding the things that constitutes geopolitically strategic for our country. For eg: I think it is of strategic importance for us to let the price of oil go higher and higher so that we are forced to become less dependent on foreign oil and develop alternate energy technology in our country. However, many people in this blog would not take kindly to the situation of rising oil prices.
    Besides this whole argument about strategic choices regarding foreign policy and moral choices regarding domestic policy (Kissinger foreign policy and Mother Teresa domestic policy)has always appeared ludicrous to me. It is disturbing that it is so ingrained in some people in this blog.


    dog boarding (none / 0) (#70)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 04:21:33 PM EST
    Now what? Guess U.S. military (none / 0) (#72)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 04:23:38 PM EST
    will remain involved in Libya.  Got to stamp out terrorism whereever and whenever.  NATO chief fears alQuaida among Libyan rebels

    This is getting really complicated.

    Per Pentagon, U.S. has spent $500 million (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 05:22:22 PM EST
    in ten days and we don't know if the rebels are our friends or our enemies.

    ...we could have spent that money on many great things here at home. For example, we could have:

        * Provided private health insurance this year for over 42,000 families;
        * Provided 17,000 Americans with jobs;
        * Fully paid for about 10,000 students to attend four years at a public university;
        * Paid off the state of Oklahoma's projected 2012 budget short fall. link

    Fully funded (none / 0) (#111)
    by NYShooter on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 09:32:04 PM EST
    the investigation, and prosecution of the CEO's of the twelve largest TBTF banks.


    after the criminal prosecutions are safely relegated to history, and the mutants are shipped to prison for a long, long time, commence civil proceedings for the purpose of recovering the trillions of dollars of their ill-gotten gains.


    1. rule of law restored
    2. budget-balanced
    3. deficit-erased
    4. country returned to its rightful owners

    I know that Obama and Congress (none / 0) (#113)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 09:44:30 PM EST
    want to run everything in an uniquely American way (i.e. screw the people to benefit the corporations) but people just might prefer if they would go Dutch.

    The Dutch are upset with their bailed out bankers and their bonuses, and are not at all impressed with the threat that the banks can't find the right talent without bonuses.

    The bankers' response that high remuneration is vital to retain talent and prevent Dutch financiers from defecting to overseas banks is given short shrift by Polhout. He says: "Let them go abroad if they don't like it here, there are plenty of clever people who will take their place and work for less. Good riddance, as far as I am concerned."

    Moderate opinion in Holland seems united in its belief that banks which received state aid should not be shelling out bonuses. And Dutch parliamentarians are saying the same thing, demanding the government take immediate action. ING may have made a net profit last year of more than €3bn, but it still owes the taxpayer €5bn.

    So how did the Dutch win the day? They threatened to move their money from ING which forced the bank to reconsider the bonuses. link

    I (5.00 / 0) (#84)
    by lentinel on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 05:32:57 PM EST
    wonder not whether we are making enemies - I am just curious exactly who they might be and what they might consider doing.

    this has been (none / 0) (#73)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 04:27:54 PM EST
    the buzz for a while

    So--not to worry? (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 04:28:39 PM EST
    no (none / 0) (#75)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 04:34:38 PM EST
    just sayin.  this is not really news.

    Watching (none / 0) (#83)
    by lentinel on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 05:31:04 PM EST
    a movie called, "Fair Game".

    It dramatizes Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson - and the whole aluminum tubes - uranium from Niger bullsh*t scene that the Bush administration put over on us.

    There are clips of Cheney and Bush - and Condi Rice - all lying their heads off - and scaring us to death.

    Watching the clips -- they are sort of convincing. The only thing that you can rely on is your gut - and watching these people - your gut tells you that they are lying.

    But you're scared.

    In some way - things haven't changed.
    The b.s. that comes from our leaders is convincingly presented.
    But you just know that they are lying.

    How is the movie? (none / 0) (#89)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 05:54:25 PM EST
    I mean do you like it? Good acting? Good suspense?

    Yes... (none / 0) (#92)
    by lentinel on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 06:51:54 PM EST
    I liked it.
    Very good acting. Sean Penn and Naomi Watts.
    Really excellent.

    And it really exposes what went on without being preachy.

    It is scary.


    Another one of those WH blogger (none / 0) (#93)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 06:54:17 PM EST
    conference calls.  Today's on Libya:  link H/T TL sidebar.  

    Reality check (none / 0) (#99)
    by lentinel on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 07:24:18 PM EST
    SENDAI, Japan (AFP) - Japan said Tuesday the government is on "maximum alert" over a crippled nuclear plant where highly radioactive water has halted repair work and plutonium has been found in the soil.

    The water out of reactor two has measured 1,000 millisieverts per hour -- four times the recently-hiked total exposure limit for emergency staff, and a level that can cause radiation sickness with nausea and vomiting in an hour.

    The immediate challenge is to safely dispose of the massive amounts of contaminated water -- the tunnel near reactor two alone holds 6,000 cubic metres (212,000 cubic feet), more than two Olympic swimming pools.


    Meanwhile, in hearings on Capitol Hill about the safety of nuclear power....

    Top nuclear officials gave senators some tentative optimistic news, saying that the Fukushima plant appears to be in the early stages of recovery.

    Those are the folks in charge of protecting us.

    No need to worry, it is difficult (none / 0) (#103)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 07:40:48 PM EST
    but no risk to health or safety.  Meanwhile, back in Libya, we need to arm the "rebels" because the government forces might try to put down the rebellion with force and we can't take any chances.

    No need to worry (none / 0) (#112)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 09:36:24 PM EST
    Our government (EPA) will be protecting us by drastically raising the amount of allowable radiation in food, water and the environment.

    As Michael Kane writes:

    In the wake of the continuing nuclear tragedy in Japan, the United States government is still moving quickly to increase the amounts of radiation the population can "safely" absorb by raising the safe zone for exposure to levels designed to protect the government and nuclear industry more than human life. It's all about cutting costs now as the infinite-growth paradigm sputters and moves towards extinction. As has been demonstrated by government conduct in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of Deepwater Horizon and in Japan, life has taken a back seat to cost-cutting and public relations posturing.The game plan now appears to be to protect government and the nuclear industry from "excessive costs"... at any cost.


    In 1992, the EPA produced a PAGs manual that answers many of these questions. But now an update to the 1992 manual is being planned, and if the "Dr. Strangelove" wing of the EPA has its way, here is what it means (brace yourself for these ludicrous increases):

     * A nearly 1000-fold increase for exposure to strontium-90;
     * A 3000 to 100,000-fold hike for exposure to iodine-131; and
     * An almost 25,000 rise for exposure to radioactive nickel-63.

    The new radiation guidelines would also allow long-term cleanup thresholds thousands of times more lax than anything EPA has ever judged safe in the past. link

    I'm shocked . . . (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by nycstray on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 12:22:17 AM EST
    I tell ya :P

    watched them do this during the melamine prob after they discovered it got into livestock (chicken, think Ty$on iirc) feed and farmed fish . . . . please don't look at all the dead pets and keep on keep on movin' on please! And heck, they've already done it in Japan and nobody's keeled over yet . . . . must be safe.

    makes me wonder about the rain water that filled my buckets and pails in the garden, that I used today, since they are finding this sh*t on the other side of the country . . . so much for an organic garden . . .


    I would think (none / 0) (#133)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:36:44 AM EST
    there are probably a few thousand molecules of I-131 from Japan in each of your water buckets, if you wait 24 days it'll go down to a few hundred.  :-)

    That's (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 04:45:52 AM EST
    what they did in Japan.

    When the radiation exceeded the allowable limits, they raised the allowable limits.


    Diaries containing "Libya" in the (none / 0) (#106)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 08:06:42 PM EST
    title, posted today on DK:  link

    Does this number seem absurdly low?