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Posts posted by cinzia


    Actually cinzia and now Conky, Current TV is the new progressive station on cable that has a lineup of Cenk (of the Young Turks fame) at 7, Keith Olbermann at 8 and (former MI Governor) Jennifer Granholm at 9 (her show begins next month).


    Speaking of, did you see Cenk's anti-Obama raving, with Glenn Greenwald in virtual attendance, about the travesty of Obama's signing the NDAA? Greenwald had to calm him down.



    Is there a male counterpart of this concept, something like a penis enlargement surgery?


    Maybe I'm alone in this assessment, and I'm sure the ladies here will let me know if I am, but I don't go ogling clothed men's laps to try to discern penis size. My experience and understanding is that, at any rate, the size of a penis whilst erect is not correspondent with the size of the same penis whilst at rest. So said ogling would be a useless exercise anyway.


    Women's breasts are right out there for all to see, and they normally stay the same size unless the woman is lactating. So I don't think that there's a counterpart.


  3. By the way, if you have kids and haven't seen Arthur Christmas, it's good. I notice Cinema Muenchen is having a showing in the afternoon on the 24th. Cliched jokes about Germans guaranteed!


    Haven't figured out how you get an elf colony at the North Pole with mostly American, but also Indian, Scottish, and Irish elves, but maybe they're ex-pats.



    Michael Moore would correspond to Rush Limbaugh on the other side of the political spectrum. Both are fat and full of hot air and their followers tend to be very simplistic and frankly, not very bright. Moore's films about the healthcare system and gun control have influenced the political dialogue.


    Moore might correspond to Limbaugh ideologically, but Limbaugh is on right-wing talk radio stations 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. His show is the highest-rated talk radio show in the US. Nobody knows how many regular listeners Limbaugh has, but the estimate is around 15-20 million, probably more in election years. (I dare you to look at his website. Good god, he must still be with geocities.)


    Moore comes out with a single-issue movie once every two or three years, keeps a blog, and shows up at rallies organized by others.


    Influence-wise, they are not even close to comparable. But there is no other celebrity liberal personality I can think of who is as influential as Moore, so kropotkin is probably right to choose him for comparison.


    Speaking of talk radio, ever since Air America failed, conservative talk radio rules the political airwaves. This analysis from 2007 is a little dated, but there has been no new liberal or progressive talk radio station or personality established since then. Which is not surprising, since the Democrats are nominally in power now.


  5. Manning's lawyer wanted the presiding officer in the preliminary hearing, Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, to recuse himself over conflict of interest and witness handling. He works for the Justice Department.



    Almanza’s role in the Justice Department is also a potential issue, as they have a separate series of investigations into the WikiLeaks case as well and have a vested interest in the case returning a guilty verdict, with an eye toward bargaining down Manning’s prison time for testimony against Julian Assange.

    I have not read that Manning's attorney, David Coombs, was requesting a civilian trial.



    Current or erstwhile, cinzia, so that would include you and moctoj2 as well as HDB, at a minimum. All of you think the Republicans managed to more or less successfully obstruct Obama's agenda.


    To say that Republicans have successfully obstructed the Democratic agenda this term, especially in the House, is fact. A lot of Republican voters, especially those who identify with the Tea Party, are proud of that fact. One doesn't need to be an "Obama supporter" to see that.


    I would expect anyone labeled an "Obama supporter" to be voting for him in 2012. I will not be. Please take me off your list of "Obama supporters" and refer to me in future as a "left-leaning American." They are not the same thing.


    I'm as much an Obama supporter as kropotkin is a "Perot supporter."



    The other day in the bakery a bloke reached the sweetie jar off the counter and offered it to my son. I was not comfortable but didn't make a scene.


    Definitely not on. The protocol is to ask the parent quietly if it's all right that kid gets a treat, and only offer if the answer is affirmative.


    Though I had experiences in Munich pharmacies where they'd hand over hard candy to my toddler, without asking me, and tell me it was OK because it was sugar-free. Um, but not choke-free. :blink: Still, these people were only trying to be friendly, and given that unrelated people who are friendly towards little kids can be rare in Germany, I didn't like to discourage them.



    cinzia, Obama is signing the bill because it gives him more power, not because he is pandering to the electorate.


    The NDAA legally codifies power that he already assumed he had, yes. Also, neither he nor the Congress gives a shit anymore about whether those powers are granted by the Constitution or not.


    Nobody has to pander to an electorate that has already been prepared to accept what you want them to accept. Where does this "preparation" come from? Ah, the media/politicians who have steered public opinion in that direction.


    The whole system is working great for both parties. I no longer believe, as HDB apparently still does and I did formerly, that one party has The Good Of The American People At Heart, and the other doesn't. Neither does.


  9. I agree with HDB that what power people like Palin and Limbaugh have (and Michele Bachman, who's still in the running for President though she's not doing well) has to do with shifting the national conversation starkly rightward. There's no similarly strong influence going the other way.


    You may ridicule their perceived influence, but it is significant in some areas. Conservative think tanks don't influence the public conversation as much as popular media/political figures do.


    I believe, for example, that without this shift rightward, the American public would not have so calmly swallowed the recent (bipartisan) NDAA legislation. Even the pepper-spraying of peaceful OWS protesters didn't cause much of an uproar.


    It's hard to imagine what kind of legislative or law-enforcement outrage would disturb significant numbers of Americans these days, when even Constitutional protections are being treated by lawmakers of both parties as privileges, and not rights.


  10. FYI, the US Transportation Security Administration is warning that snow globes are not allowed in carry-on luggage:



    TSA does not permit snow globes through the security checkpoint because they contain an undetermined amount of liquid. Snow globes are permitted in checked baggage.

    Not sure what the rules are when flying within Europe or internationally TO the US, but you might want to pack that snow globe in your checked luggage to be safe.


    There's advice on another thread about safely packing liquids.



    There is going to be a whole discussion now about whether or not there is a direct link with cancer. However, if there is only one proven case of there being a link with cancer so far (as has been cited) does anyone think that they would be recommending 30,000 women go under the knife again?


    Well, the article you linked cites 8 cases of cancer in women with the implants:



    More than 1,000 of the implants have ruptured, according to the French health and safety agency AFSSAPS, and eight women with the implants have developed cancer.

    I think all the hand-wringing over who is going to pay for this is totally silly. The company manufactured an unsafe product. Women who wish to have it removed from their bodies should have their expenses paid by the implant manufacturer. It's known as a "recall," and it's done all the time on faulty products.


    Edit: and have new ones implanted if they wish, also at the expense of the company at fault. Why is there even a question that the French health care system would have to absorb any costs?



    Point is, when you become a parent you have to delevop a thicker skin than a dinosaur.


    From a biological standpoint, a good time for this would be at the same time all your lovely shiny prenatal hair falls out. ;)



    These kids walked up, I had just spotted some unusual fish and I turned to them and said "hey, did you see that one over there? It's so cool!" and their mom leaped in, scowled "ferociously", and pulled them away in total horror as if I was brandishing a sword or napalm or something.


    My experience is that most people who talk to my kid in public will look at me for approval, or maybe to reassure me. Only if they don't have kids along, though. I talk to kids who aren't mine all the time, but I'd probably be more cautious about that if I weren't female.


    Obviously the better thing for that mom to do would have been to walk over and join in. If you had been some sort of weirdo, she would have been asserting her own control over the situation without scaring the kids. But I do think she was probably an exception. Most American parents don't mind if you talk to their kids.



    I have seen so many people who led feckless lifestyles in their youth and early adulthood who now complain about the fact that they can't ever reach the same level of luxury that others, who have worked their asses off to achieve, have achieved. If you didn't take advantage of the opportunities that others did, why do you suddenly feel you are owed the sames result.


    Forget about arguments based on who merits wealth and who doesn't anymore.


    There are also plenty of people who work their asses off in the US nowadays just not to become homeless or starve. And of course, there are plenty of people who don't work at all, but have inherited wealth.


    How hard you work is no indication of how much money you will earn. That's part of the inequality issue, as well. There are only so many hours available to work in a week, and one person may work those hours and earn a tiny fraction of what another person who works the same number of hours earns.



    The top one percent saw their incomes rise by 275 percent between 1979 and 2007, according to the Congressional Budget Office, while the bottom fifth of earners only saw their incomes grow by 20 percent during that same period. In addition, the total net worth of the bottom 60 percent of Americans is less than that of the Forbes 400 richest Americans. Perhaps even more shocking, the six heirs to the retail giant Walmart had the same net worth in 2007 as the bottom 30 percent of Americans.

    Clearly, these numbers didn't just accidentally come about as a result of a pure merit-based society.


  15. I'm waiting to see how my little niece turns out, speaking of "not letting them cry at all." I first met her in August, when she was about 3 months old. Mom is from Shanghai. Grandma was in attendance and had been in the States already for a couple of months. Dad (American) had yet to be allowed to change a diaper or do anything else to care for her.


    Every time that baby made a peep of any kind, her diaper was changed and she was fed. Like, every 15-30 minutes. She was never put down unless she was actually asleep. I guess this is what Grandma insisted on. Mom looked completely exhausted and told me privately she couldn't wait for her mom to go back to China, which was still TWO MONTHS off! According to her, babies in China are not allowed to cry. I wondered if that's true, or if Grandma was a psycho maniac whom her daughter just couldn't stand up to.


    I'd met Grandma before, and she seemed like a sweet lady to me, though she speaks no English and I speak no Shanghainese. But I think we have pretty much all learned that you have to push back sometimes against people who tell you what to do with your child.