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Posts posted by cinzia

  1. "Unregulated free markets" don't exist in the US. I think that's what Conquistador is getting at. There's still some legislation in place, some of it better regulated than others.


    There's surely been an erosion of regulation in the finance, banking, mortgage, credit card, oil, and some manufacturing industries, creating a perfect storm leading up to the international financial crisis.


    As gaberlunzi and HDB illustrate, going into detail on all that would take a book, not a single post on TT.


    I agree wholeheartedly with Conquistador's conclusion that politicians are self-interested and probably always have been. It seems to me that we do have a new problem in that the balance has changed between public and corporate/special interest influence on our legislators. This has been helped along by decisions such as Citizens United, as well as an easily distracted and disinterested populace.


    When we have the kind of income inequality that we have today in the US, coupled with high unemployment and a large deficit, people naturally look around to see how we got there. We got there incrementally, and it's not possible anymore to point at any one issue, like corporate deregulation, that took the whole structure down and could fix the problem quickly and painlessly.


  2. Really? You resurrected a thread that's been dormant for 4 months, only to proclaim you haven't read the other posts and then make a suggestion that's already been made? :blink:


    How did you find this thread, anyway? You must have gone looking; I'm curious what the search terms were.


    Anyway, it's true that people get all worked up about photos of their kids being taken without their consent. I just took over a Facebook page for my daughter's elementary school, and there was uproar over the notion that anyone could post photos of kids on the page without the parents' consent or permission. (The FB page has been in existence for a few years already, but there's been no discussion or policy regarding its use until now.)


    Though I will unquestioningly remove photos at request, I also wonder what people think is being done with blurry iPhone photos of distant, clothed children. As icky as it is, if someone is going to have a wank over kids, I'd sure rather it be done in front of a computer screen in the privacy of their own home than in a public playground.



    Try reading the entire link...


    Try reading the bill (my bolds.)



    There are two separate indefinite military detention provisions in this bill. The first, Section 1021, authorizes indefinite detention for the broad definition of “covered persons” discussed above in the prior point. And that section does provide that “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.” [This is the Feinstein Amendment mentioned in the link from The Hill.] So that section contains a disclaimer regarding an intention to expand detention powers for U.S. citizens, but does so only for the powers vested by that specific section. More important, the exclusion appears to extend only to U.S. citizens “captured or arrested in the United States” — meaning that the powers of indefinite detention vested by that section apply to U.S. citizens captured anywhere abroad (there is some grammatical vagueness on this point, but at the very least, there is a viable argument that the detention power in this section applies to U.S. citizens captured abroad).


    But the next section, Section 1022, is a different story. That section specifically deals with a smaller category of people than the broad group covered by 1021: namely, anyone whom the President determines is “a member of, or part of, al-Qaeda or an associated force” and “participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.” For those persons, section (a) not only authorizes, but requires (absent a Presidential waiver), that they be held “in military custody pending disposition under the law of war.” The section title is “Military Custody for Foreign Al Qaeda Terrorists,” but the definition of who it covers does not exclude U.S. citizens or include any requirement of foreignness.


    That section — 1022 — does not contain the broad disclaimer regarding U.S. citizens that 1021 contains. Instead, it simply says that the requirement of military detention does not apply to U.S. citizens, but it does not exclude U.S. citizens from the authority, the option, to hold them in military custody. . . .


    The only provision from which U.S. citizens are exempted here is the “requirement” of military detention. For foreign nationals accused of being members of Al Qaeda, military detention is mandatory; for U.S. citizens, it is optional. This section does not exempt U.S citizens from the presidential power of military detention: only from the requirement of military detention.



  4. What's the point of that link? Senator Feinstein has introduced a bill to counteract the language of the legislation that just passed the Congress (known as the NDAA 2012.) That legislation contains specific language allowing US citizens to be detained on suspicion of terrorism, without charges or trial. President Obama says he'll sign it.


    Feinstein's bill, co-sponsored by a bunch of Democrats and a couple of Republicans, including Rand Paul, hasn't been brought up for a vote in even one chamber, and we don't know if it ever will. I don't think it has much of a chance, personally, because it was passed with the members knowing the NDAA language included American citizens arrested on US soil. There will be resistance to the notion of a vote on this single issue.


    Unless it passes, the NDAA legislation stands.


    It's you who's WRONG, at least for now. I hope Feinstein's "Due Process Guarantee Act" passes, though the very idea that such legislation should ever be necessary in the United States is ludicrous. The Senate hasn't had a chance to gather comments on the bill, since it was just introduced. I'm guessing some of the Senate resistance to it is going to involve that "it's not necessary, because the Constitution guarantees those rights that Congress just attempted to legislate away."


  5. OWS might be harmful to business interests, sure. Corporations, banks, and labor unions in America are now "people," by decision of the US Supreme Court.


    So I guess it just makes sense, from that point of view, that OWS is a "terrorist" organization. It's just terrorizing those other people, the banks, attempting to hit them in their cash-flow lifeline, instead of terrorizing flesh-and-blood people.


    Shit, let's lock 'em up indefinitely without trial.


  6. I wonder if there's a similar memo regarding OWS protesters in the US. Especially since our own Congress just passed a law codifying that Americans arrested on suspicion of "terrorism" on American soil can be indefinitely detained without charges or trial, at the pleasure of the President. Or, if granted the privilege (it's now a privilege, not a right) to be charged and tried, they can be turned over to the military for "justice."


    Classing peaceful protesters with AQ and other organizations that genuinely seek to harm civilians is not only dishonest, it's intimidating. I suppose that's why they do it.



    Just because getting them to sleep "independently" can be done doesn't mean it should be done or that there are not long term consequences for doing so. Maybe not...but I am going to err on the side of millions of years of evolution.


    Hence my point about taking into account your own and your child's personalities when you decide how you want to deal with the issue of bedtime. Everyone can come up with well-reasoned arguments for why their way is better and someone else's is not. Yours is quite reasonable, and of course millions of babies around the world are brought up that way with no harm done to anyone.


    I like my sleep, and I like not having a child in my bed. So I was very clear about putting the child down to sleep in her own bed (which for the early weeks was in my room) and letting her get to sleep on her own, for naps and for bed. I never had any trouble with her crying about being put down, as long as she was dry and fed, since she was used to it and could expect it (and at the same time every day.) It suited both our personalities (and Dad's) to do things the way we did, so it worked out. The child is 6 now, and she is still very close to, and affectionate with, me, even though we didn't sleep in the same bed. She's also an excellent sleeper who very rarely gets up in the middle of the night (maybe once a year) and never has trouble getting to sleep. (Yes, I realize that's due to natural luck in large part.)


    One note on looking ahead: I was glad not to have to deal with deciding when would be a good time to transfer the child to her own room and bed. Several of my friends have come up against that problem when baby number two came around, and Number One was a toddler who didn't understand or appreciate that Mom was kicking her out (her view) in favor of her new or impending sibling. Another friend had an 8-year-old daughter who was just not a sound sleeper and slept best in her parents' room, even if it was on the floor.


    As far as "teaching sleeping skills" (independent or not), it's pretty well accepted that getting to sleep and staying asleep is indeed a learned skill, and some people are better at it than others, even as adults. Any sleep clinician can tell you that. Whether you think of it consciously or not, the way you deal with bedtime is teaching your child something about how to get to sleep. Some kids learn that it's scary to try to go to sleep without a parent in the room, or even holding them. Other kids learn that they must have a bath and a bedtime story before they go to sleep. They learn this due to the parents' decision on how they are going to get to sleep.


  8. For a dissenting view of Hitchens that has nothing to do with his famous atheism, see this.


    I guess many people here are either willing to overlook, have forgotten about, or are unaware of his war-drum-beating on behalf of the "coalition governments" in the "War on Terror," including his enthusiasm for the use of weapons banned by many nations:



    [On the use of cluster bombs by the US in Afghanistan] If you’re actually certain that you’re hitting only a concentration of enemy troops…then it’s pretty good because those steel pellets will go straight through somebody and out the other side and through somebody else. And if they’re bearing a Koran over their heart, it’ll go straight through that, too. So they won’t be able to say, “Ah, I was bearing a Koran over my heart and guess what, the missile stopped halfway through.” No way, ’cause it’ll go straight through that as well. They’ll be dead, in other words.

    I appreciated much of Hitchens' writing, especially his expressions of disdain for current theocratic elements in Western government. But as the drums are now again coming to a crescendo, this time with Iran as target country, I'm glad Hitchens is unable to lend his voice to the cacophony.


  9. The best advice I ever got about establishing rituals/expectations for bedtimes, naptimes, etc. was to choose ONE method and stick with it. And choose early in the child's life, preferably. The most confusing thing for babies and young kids are when parents decide to "try" something, give it a couple of days, and then abandon it because it "didn't work." It didn't work, because it takes longer for a child to understand your expectation and get into a routine.


    Parents who take into account their own and their child's temperaments, and then make a deliberate and informed decision, will have success.



    You can be very attached as parents while still teaching independent sleeping skills.


    I love the way you put this. Good sleep is a skill which has to be learned.


  10. What catjones wrote, plus remember that if you want to work in Berlin in future, with some US experience and a US salary behind you, you'll be in a better position to negotiate a reasonable salary.


    You haven't really mentioned whether international experience is very important to the kind of career you want to have. Unless it's crucial, I'd be wary of a Berlin start-up with an unsatisfactory salary.


    Love the "bad boyfriend" analogy, by the way.


  11. I think I've learned plenty, kropotkin. How many times have I written here that there are no differences anymore between the Dems and the Republicans, so it's futile to support either party at this point, unless you actually like the status quo?


    That said, it can't be denied that Bush started the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Patriot Act was passed under him. Those are Bush policies, and he'd get credit for them, instead of derision, if they hadn't created such a hash of things.


    The only plus to having the Republicans in power is that the Democratic Party functions as a more effective minority party than majority party. Many people have said today that such a policy as this, had it been introduced during the Bush Administration, would have created an uproar in the Dem ranks. Instead, hardly any legislators are saying boo about it. There IS no major Democratic opposition to this bill. Why? Because Obama asked for it, not some Republican president.


    That's no consolation to me now that Nobel Peace Prize laureate Obama has put his stamp of approval on indefinite military detention for American citizens arrested on American soil.


  12. Conquistador, you've touched on the biggest betrayal the Obama Administration has perpetrated on those who supported him for election in 2008.


    Most of his supporters considered it a GIVEN, so obvious as to be unspoken, that he would steer a radically different course on foreign policy and the WOT than Bush did. Instead, he has not only continued the Bush policies, especially with regard to the "imperial Presidency," but has gradually expanded them.


    This law only codifies a power that Obama had already assumed for himself as President.


    I sincerely hope the Nobel Peace Prize committee is hanging their collective heads in shame.



    Anybody following the National Defense Authorization Act with amendments which just passed through the Senate? It also referred to as McCain-Levin.


    It seems to declare the scope of "the battlefield" as worldwide and allows indefinite detention of US citizens without charges.


    Aaaaaand, drumroll . . . . . . Obama's going to sign it.



    Barack Obama has abandoned a commitment to veto a new security law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay. . . .


    The law, contained in the defence authorisation bill that funds the US military, effectively extends the battlefield in the "war on terror" to the US and applies the established principle that combatants in any war are subject to military detention.


    The legislation's supporters in Congress say it simply codifies existing practice, such as the indefinite detention of alleged terrorists at Guantánamo Bay. But the law's critics describe it as a draconian piece of legislation that extends the reach of detention without trial to include US citizens arrested in their own country.


    "It's something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration," said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch. "It establishes precisely the kind of system that the United States has consistently urged other countries not to adopt. At a time when the United States is urging Egypt, for example, to scrap its emergency law and military courts, this is not consistent."

    At the New York Times, Andrew Rosenthal argued earlier this week that the civilian court system has been much more effective than the military courts at actually trying and imprisoning "terror" suspects.



    [in the civilian system] Sentences are long, imprisonment conditions are tough, and recidivism rates are low. According to the Center on Law and Security, 87 percent of 204 people charged with serious Jihadist crimes since the Sept. 11 attacks were convicted and got an average sentence of 14 years.


    So the federal prison system seems to work, efficiently. Guantanamo does not. Which makes it all the more ridiculous that the Senate and the House have passed a bill that would take most of the anti-terrorism effort out of the hands of federal authorities and turn it over to the military. A bill, by the way, that the F.B.I., the intelligence agencies, the Justice Department and the Pentagon believe will hinder anti-terrorism efforts.


    I suppose the bill’s defenders would argue that, despite everything Scott’s article lays out, the military system is still better, because the president can hold prisoners at Guantanamo for as long as hostilities continue (meaning forever), without a pesky trial.


    But there is a price to pay for the military system, quite literally. According to Scott Shane’s article, a federal maximum-security inmate costs $25,000 a year. At Guantanamo Bay, each detainee costs $800,000 a year.

    I find this extremely troubling.



    There are definitely more important things in life than money or titles...


    Note that Elfenstar is pointing out that at the time she was paying back her loans, the Euros she was earning were worth more than the dollars the loan was in, and she could manage it. That may not hold true in the years to come.


    It's true that there are definite pluses for living in Europe, lifestyle-wise. Also, depending on what the OP wants to go into as a career, international experience can be a boost.


    But you still have to pay back the loans on schedule.



    But as I said before, I would never ever push someone to share my point of view. Either you like it or you don't. That's all


    And I have said before that whether you like it or not is immaterial to whether or not you consider it art. There's a lot of stuff I like that I wouldn't call art. There's no requirement that everything one likes be "art," or everything one dislikes be "not art."


  16. I'm more of a lute girl myself. Check out Scottish player Rob MacKillop's youtube channel for lute, theorbo, and guitar.


    By the way, if you're not already familiar with them, Scotland has a treasure of lute manuscripts written down in the early 17th century (known as the Balcarres, Weems, Rowallan, Skene, Straloch, etc.) Guitar and banjo (or lute! or piano! or harp!) players who want to try out some of the tunes can check out Rob's free transcriptions of 25 of them here (pdf.)