When I respond, or seek responses, I think of the Internet Republic and the people [[whump]] and the places who have made our water world Eden brave and free and fair. Permitted, required, and impossible. Stand alone or stand with, whose choice to what degree [[Thn/]] O[[thn/]]ne water world Eden under "We the people" – created by whom?

“Middle of nowhere” xref: comment two weeks ago Sunday re: “God forsaken place (s),”

Romney has distinguished himself from Obama, but perhaps in ways he did not immediately intend.

From a tactical point of view, Romney has faltered at times in trying to prove that he has the policy expertise, personal skills and cultural intelligence to represent the country abroad.

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Mitt Romney enraged Palestinians by saying a better “culture” explains Israel’s economic dominance in the latest remark on his overseas tour that critics are calling a gaffe.
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At the same time, Romney has tried to follow an unwritten rule of American campaigning: Don’t criticize the president while on foreign soil.

But he has struggled with another unwritten rule — one that applies to travel more generally: It is also a bad idea to criticize foreigners while on foreign soil.

He started by insulting the conservative leader of Britain, the United States’ closest ally, by questioning the nation’s readiness for the Olympics. Prime Minister David Cameron shot back that Salt Lake City, where Romney organized the Winter Olympics in 2002, is in “the middle of nowhere.”

xref: “God is everywhere God wants to be – there are ‘God forsaken’ places,”

God is not a ‘slave’ to any notion we might have about God – God is 100% independent and totally free to accept or reject permission from God’s own self to create, or not create.

The two things we have found it logically impossible for God to do is to be 100% less than God.

1. Thus we find no small gods, because God is 100% independent, but small gods depend upon their being a larger God, or other small gods.

2. And only a small no about the one God, because we, creation, are less than God, but we depend upon God to create and sustain us.

“Middle of nowhere” xref: comment two weeks ago Sunday re: “God forsaken place (s),”

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Romney wailing wall photo; xref: “Because of your hat?”

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Syria; xref: “Syriana” – the movie

Syrian rebels seize rural territory while Assad forces focus on major cities

View Photo Gallery — Conflict in Syria: Violence continues to escalate between government and opposition forces in the war-torn country.

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By Liz Sly, Published: July 31

AL-BAB, Syria — War came late to this little farming town set amid rolling hills in the Syrian countryside east of Aleppo, where the absence of upheaval was long construed as an implicit signal of support for the government led by President Bashar al-Assad.

But once the battle started in May, it unfolded at lightning speed, at least by the standards of a revolt that is dragging into its 17th month. Residents are celebrating their near-complete victory over regime loyalists after the town’s last army garrison fled Sunday, its food supplies gone and its morale shredded.

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From mixed-up national flags to counterfeit national uniforms.

With that, al-Bab became the farthest point in a swath of rural territory stretching south from the Turkish border toward the city of Aleppo that has slipped beyond government control in recent weeks.

The unraveling of the regime’s authority here in this northern province has been overshadowed by the battles for control of the cities of Homs, Damascus and, most recently, the provincial capital Aleppo, where government forces are waging a full-scale offensive to recapture neighborhoods seized by rebels in recent days.

But even as Assad’s forces have poured resources into sustaining their hold on major population centers, they have steadily been losing control of the countryside, in a series of seesawing battles that have not yet proved decisive but that appear to be giving the momentum to the rebels. The story of the battle of al-Bab, an overlooked front in a war of many fronts, suggests that the government’s hold here was always more fragile than had been thought and that it has become significantly more so in the past few weeks.

This was a corner of the country that was assumed to be neutral in the conflict, a mostly Sunni enclave whose aloofness from the mayhem elsewhere helped sustain the government’s claim that it still commanded the loyalties of significant sectors of the population beyond its Alawite support base.

That the province of Aleppo was slow to join the uprising was due more to the government’s determination to prevent it from doing so than to a lack of resolve by its people, according to Ammar Osman, 29, an activist with the Coordination Union for al-­Baba City and Its Suburbs. With more than 4 million inhabitants, Aleppo is the most populous and prosperous of Syria’s 14 provinces, and its location on the border with Turkey endows it with strategic significance beyond its role as the country’s commercial and agricultural center.

“The regime was very tough here. They put in a lot of security forces. They know they can’t afford to lose Aleppo,” said Osman, who spent 45 days in jail last year for his efforts to organize protests.

A race to arms

On April 20, as bloodshed was accelerating elsewhere and the province of Aleppo was beginning to stir, everything changed in al-Bab. On that day, troops opened fire on a protest for the first time, killing seven people. Among them was Ammar Najjar, 20, an engineering student who had led calls for peaceful protests in the town.

His father, Kamal, wept last week as he recalled his son’s death. “He only asked for freedom from tyranny. This was his weapon,” he said, pulling his son’s camera phone from his pocket.

Syria; xref: “Syriana” – the movie

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xref: airport pa announcements

VIEW FROM ASIA JULY 31, 2012, 12:12 AM3 Comments
China Assails U.S. ‘Arrogance’ in Report on Religious Freedom

Rooney Chen/Reuters
Female Taoist priests attended music courses this month at the Jade Spring temple in Shaanxi Province.
HONG KONG — The United States has issued its annual report on religious freedom around the world, taking particular aim at repression and crackdowns in China, North Korea and Myanmar. China shot back that the report was “full of prejudice, arrogance and ignorance.”

“More than a billion people live under governments that systematically suppress religious freedom,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in remarks summarizing the new report.

“New technologies have given repressive governments additional tools for cracking down on religious expression,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Members of faith communities that have long been under pressure report that the pressure is rising.”

In terms of religious freedom as a human right, she said, “the world is sliding backwards.”


#SecClinton: We will continue to advocate for religious freedom. This is a bedrock priority of our foreign policy. go.usa.gov/G1Y
31 Jul 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
The report noted a rising tide of anti-Semitism around the world, “manifested in Holocaust denial, glorification, and relativism; conflating opposition to certain policies of Israel with blatant anti-Semitism; growing nationalistic movements that target ‘the other’;

xref: airport PA announcements which warn you to not accept anything from unknown people vs. “Please return to the baggage scanner and rescan your bags together so you can be sure about your new friend,”

and traditional forms of anti-Semitism, such as conspiracy theories, acts of desecration and assault, ‘blood libel,’ and cartoons demonizing Jews.”

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Politics of layoff notices

As ‘fiscal cliff’ looms, debate over pre-Election Day layoff notices heats up
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By Zachary A. Goldfarb, Published: July 31

The deep federal spending cuts scheduled to take effect at the start of next year may trigger dismissal notices for tens of thousands of employees of government contractors, companies and analysts say, and the warnings may start going out at a particularly sensitive time:

Days before the presidential election.

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Economic pictures: Amid signs that the U.S. economy is slowing, the government will release its latest job data Thursday and Friday: initial unemployment claims and employment numbers for July.
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By law, all but the smallest companies must notify their workforce at least 60 days in advance when they know of specific job cuts that are likely to happen.

Obama administration officials say that the threat of layoffs is overblown and that Republicans are playing up the possibility rather than trying to head it off. The Labor Department said Monday that it would be “inappropriate” for contractors to send out large-scale dismissal notices, because it is unclear whether the federal cuts will occur and how they would be carried out.

Republicans reacted with fury, saying it is the White House that is playing politics.

“The president is focused on preventing advance notice to American workers that their jobs are at risk and on perpetuating uncertainty,” said Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

The prospect of widespread layoff notices before Election Day — potentially hitting the swing state of Virginia hardest — underlines how the looming “fiscal cliff” at the end of the year is shaping the economy and politics many months in advance.

Economists say the threat of deep cuts in domestic and defense spending, coupled with automatic increases in taxes, is already a drag on economic growth and a source of enormous uncertainty for businesses, which are holding back on hiring and helping to keep the nation’s unemployment rate above 8 percent.

Republicans have seized an opportunity to attack President Obama over the planned cuts to defense spending, while Obama is pointing at the GOP, saying he will not roll back the spending reduction without Republicans agreeing to higher taxes on the wealthy to help tame the nation’s debt.

The far-reaching reductions in domestic and defense spending, along with the sharp tax increases, will take effect automatically at the start of the new year unless Obama and Congress act.

Although both sides want to stop the spending cuts, a deal seems unlikely until after the election.

A key defense industry group representing some of the largest contractors said it is reviewing the Labor Department’s new guidance, but the group said it still considers it possible that layoff notices will be sent to a large number of employees.

The giant defense contractor Lockheed Martin, which has more than 20,000 workers in the Washington area, has said it may notify more than 100,000 employees of potential layoffs ahead of the election. Lockheed said Monday that it is reviewing the new guidance. EADS, a major European defense contractor with U.S. operations, also has said it may notify employees of layoffs.

Spokesmen for Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics said last week they have not decided whether to do so, while a Boeing representative would say only that the company is planning for a worst-case scenario where the spending cuts occur. Two other large local contractors, Computer Sciences Corp. and SAIC, declined to comment.

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Redcoat mercenaries vs. “Minute Men” revolutionaries

by hundreds of soldiers.

The meetings yielded a list of about 30 possible responses

xref: 3, re: old, new, and third tests. xref: 10 re: pro-formas and ‘we can do business with you’.

, according to a senior official who was briefed on the deliberations — everything from withdrawing the Islamabad ambassador, to a flurry

xref: snow, xref: weather, xref: WMR, xref: Snowe, xref: Hale

of intensified drone attacks on Haqqani targets in Pakistan’s tribal belt, to American or Afghan commando raids on Haqqani hide-outs in the same area.

Descending into gang / tribal warfare vs. securing the perimeter of a safe haven and role model-ing islam and peaceful tribal life styles at their best. It is so boring and difficult to secure a preimeter, who all prefer the excitement of “hot man on man pursuit” [sound]; xref: the latent animus – animus attraction of man on man warfare vs. the animus – anima attitude of ‘zone’ defense.

“We looked at the A to Z of how to get the Pakistanis’ attention,”

xref: who is the alpha and omega

the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity, as did other American and Pakistani officials interviewed about the issue.

Yet there were no easy answers. Officials concluded that most options ran the risk of setting off a wider conflict with Pakistan’s nuclear-armed military.

Why? Why would Pakistan risk spending it’s nuclear assets on a few strikes and then be in a position where only conventional weapons would be left to defend themselves from India and the US? Is the US afraid dirty bombs already sneaked into the US by Pakistan would be used here?

“It came down to the fact that there wasn’t much we could do,” the official said. Other senior officials confirmed the broad details of his account; many noted that most contingency plans are never transformed into actions.

xref: increasing number of ‘security’ jobs which are actually non-productive welfare programs which pay whom to do what citizens are expected to do while they do productive jobs; xref; “Minute Men”, “Concord Bridge and the shot heard round the world”, etc.

At the heart of the conundrum is the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or ISI, and its new chief, General Islam.

xref: you CK

He is a largely unknown quantity in Washington, and much of this week’s trip is likely to focus on relationship building with American officials, including the director of the C.I.A., David H. Petraeus.

an alumnus of Princeton University and former U.S. military commander in charge of Iraq and Afghanistan under whom Stanley Chrystal quit via “Rolling Stone” magazine, and who was then demoted to field commander, and finally promoted up to CIA director, normally a civilian position, to move you, Leon Panetta, from Director of CIA over to Secretary of Defense, vacated by you, [door] Robert Gates.

But the tone has already been set by Congress: in the past month, both the House and the Senate have passed bills that urge Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to designate the Haqqani network a “foreign terrorist organization.”

Absolutely no chance who is steering Haqqani to sustain justification of US presence? Notice mission creep? From one celebrity villain, to tribal conflict mediator role, to nation building….

“The Haqqani network is engaged in a reign of terror,” said Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. “Now is the time for action, not simply paperwork and talk.”

Exactly what whom in the US military wants. Sufficient cause to justify action.
The US is currently supporting a system in Afghanistan in which the central federal government appoints the governors of each province. This is exactly the reason the US used to justify our revolution against England in 1776 – “No taxation without representation,”
The US is behaving more like the red coats of King George III, and the tribal people of Afghanistan and Pakistan are behaving more like the minute men and swamp fox of the American revolution.
The inability of the US to control our own borders, or secure perimeters of tribal lands is the difference between letting local self determination control an area vs. stirring up a hornet’s nest which justifies genocide against whom is most resistant.
=========Null Hypothesis//

Redcoat mercenaries vs. “Minute Men” revolutionaries

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“Lead us not into temptation…”

#290 of 290: William Hale (hinging0) Tue 31 Jul 2012 (03:05 AM)

The video, documenting a June 1 assault on Camp Salerno near the
border with Pakistan, was released in the past week as a publicity
blitz by the group behind the attack: the Haqqani network, a Taliban
affiliate whose leaders shelter in Pakistan.

Even as the United States begins a large-scale troop withdrawal from
Afghanistan, the Salerno attack, acknowledged at the time only in terse
official statements, and others like it have cemented the Haqqani
network’s standing as the most ominous threat to the fragile
American-Pakistani relationship, officials from both countries say.

The two countries are just getting back on track, after months of
grueling negotiations that finally reopened NATO supply routes through
Pakistan. Pakistan’s spy chief, Lt. Gen. Zahir ul-Islam, is scheduled
to arrive in Washington this week for talks with the Central
Intelligence Agency, in an early sign of a new reconciliation.

But the relationship still has a tinderbox quality, riven by
differences over C.I.A. drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt, the
Afghan war and, most contentiously, the Haqqani network. The arguments
are well worn: American officials say the Pakistani military’s
Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency is covertly aiding the
insurgents; Pakistani officials deny the accusation and contend the
Obama administration is deflecting attention from its own failings in

But a new boldness from the Haqqanis that aims at mass American
casualties, combined with simmering political tension, has reduced the
room for ambiguity between the two countries. Inside the
administration, it is a commonly held view that the United States is
“one major attack” away from unilateral action against Pakistan —
diplomatically or perhaps even militarily, one senior official said.

“If 50 U.S. troops were blown to smithereens by the Haqqanis, or they
penetrated the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and killed several diplomats —
that would be the game changer,” he said.

xref: “Lead us not into temptation,” – this provides motivation for
the US and / or whom – to attack our own troops / diplomats to create a
reaction that generates permission to attack on a scale who [dump
truck doppler] feels is necessary.

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Justification for military expenditure and control of US Government, mineral resource extraction, ground control, colonization via catastrophe – religion might be a useful tool for whom to motivate and organize whom, but it is not primary goal of whom is calling the shots

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Grinning for the camera, the suicide bomber fondly patted his truckload of explosives. “We will defeat these crusader pigs as they have invaded our land,” he declared as he revved the engine.

xref: *Seven Sisters* book re: history of U.S. and Western European oil companies exploitation of the oil and people of the middle east – required reading for Environmental Analysis (EA) in the first year of the MBA program at HBS. Also xref: the ENRON energy company out of Texas and the ENRON pension scandal, with U.S. Senator Phil Gram’s wife on the ENRON board of directors, hitting the A-1 pages the same day as 9 / 11. Also xref: images of US soldiers being baptized in pools of water dug in the sand during the Iraq invasion, and what else? The Winston Churchill quote removed from his statue outside the British Embassy in Washington, DC. And what else?

On the other hand, the US now has soldiers who are muslim and many minorities prefer to call me by my muslim name than my christian name.
==========Null Hypothesis//

Jesus was a carpenter, and the cross is made from the oldest house of God,” – After saying that in the Cathloic church across the street from the US Library of Congress south entry, Pope Benedict announced he would visit Washington, DC

Justification for military expenditure and control of US Government, mineral resource extraction, ground control, colonization via catastrophe – religion might be a useful tool for whom to motivate and organize whom, but it is not primary goal of whom is calling the shots for the U.S. and Western Europe, but religion and tribal homeland ares the primary motivation behind the indigenous people’s rejection of outside interferance – despite gross injustices in whose tribal systems which whose religion hasn’t yet resolved, and which who was, and is, on course to resolve, and which the US knew about, and jumped in to pre-empt and block whom from becoming a Lawrence of Arabia sort of cultural hero. But the show is not over yet. God willing, who hopes.

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Border disparities: why?

July 30, 2012, 11:28 AM990 Comments
Romney Comments on Palestinians Draw Criticism
3:12 p.m. | Updated JERUSALEM — Mitt Romney found himself on the defensive yet again on his overseas trip, this time after offending Palestinian leaders with comments he made at a breakfast fund-raiser here on Monday.

Speaking to roughly four dozen donors at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, Mr. Romney suggested that cultural differences between the Israelis and the Palestinians were the reason the Israelis were so much more economically successful than the Palestinians, without mentioning the impact that deep trade restrictions imposed by the Israeli government have had on the Palestinian economy. He also vastly understated the income disparities between the two groups.

In his speech, Mr. Romney mentioned two books that had influenced his thinking about nations — “Guns, Germs and Steel,” by Jared Diamond, and “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations,” by David S. Landes. Mr. Diamond’s book, Mr. Romney said, argues that the physical characteristics of the land account for the success of the people living there, while Mr. Landes’s book, he continued, argues that culture is the defining factor.

“Culture makes all the difference,” Mr. Romney said. “And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things.”

“As you come here and you see the G.D.P. per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000, and compare that with the G.D.P. per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality,” he said.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, called Mr. Romney’s remarks “racist.”

“It is a racist statement and this man doesn’t realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation,” Mr. Erekat said. “It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people.”

The Palestinians live under deep trade restrictions put in place by the Israeli government: After the militant group Hamas in 2007 took control of Gaza – home to about 1.7 million Palestinians – the Israelis imposed a near-total blockade on people and goods in Gaza. The blockade has been eased, and now many consumer goods are allowed in. But aid organizations say the restrictions still cripple Gaza’s economy. The West Bank, where 2.5 million Palestinians reside, is also subject to trade restrictions imposed by the Israelis.

In Gaza, according to the C.I.A., “Israeli-imposed border closures, which became more restrictive after Hamas seized control of the territory in June 2007, have resulted in high unemployment, elevated poverty rates, and the near collapse of the private sector that had relied on export markets.” The agency added that “changes to Israeli restrictions on imports in 2010 resulted in a rebound in some economic activity, but regular exports from Gaza still are not permitted.” And in the West Bank, “Israeli closure policies continue to disrupt labor and trade flows, industrial capacity, and basic commerce, eroding the productive capacity” of the economy.

On Monday afternoon, Romney campaign officials did not respond to a query about whether Mr. Romney believes that the blockade of Gaza or trade restrictions in the West Bank have had any dampening effect on economic activity in those areas.

Mr. Romney also understated the difference between per capita G.D.P. by a wide margin, suggesting that Israelis produce about twice what Palestinians do.

In fact, according to an estimate by the Central Intelligence Agency, in 2009 Israel had a per capita G.D.P. of roughly $29,800, while in 2008 — the last year the C.I.A. has numbers on their Web site for the Palestinians — the per capita G.D.P. of the West Bank and Gaza was $2,900.

Though Mr. Romney came to Israel to offer his support for the country, delivering a speech Sunday night in Jerusalem in which he offered a strong defense of Israel’s right to protect itself against the threat of a nuclear Iran, Mr. Romney also met Sunday with the Palestinian Authority’s prime minister, Salam Fayyad. In public, the two men made small talk about the London Olympics.

After Mr. Romney’s remarks drew criticism, his campaign said that The Associated Press had “grossly mischaracterized” the remarks by not providing the full context. For instance, the campaign said, after mentioning the per capita G.D.P. of Israel and Palestine, Mr. Romney also said: “And that is also between other countries that are near or next to each other. Chile and Ecuador, Mexico and the United States.”

The comments Monday are the second time that Mr. Romney has unwittingly offended a group of people in a part of the world he was visiting. When he arrived in London on the first stop of his trip, Mr. Romney set off a media firestorm when he seemed to cast question on the city’s preparedness for the Olympic Games.

Obama campaign officials criticized Mr. Romney’s latest remarks, describing them as the sort of thing that could make it more difficult for Mr. Romney to ever play a credible role in the Middle East peace process, which depends on having buy-in not from just Israelis but from Palestinian officials as well.

American credibility and influence in that arena depend on “us being seen as an honest broker,” said Colin Kahl, an Obama campaign foreign policy adviser who served as the top Middle East policy official in the Pentagon from 2009 to 2011. “But in this case, Romney fell off the tightrope pretty dramatically.”

“It was a really strange comment,” Mr. Kahl added, noting that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict encompasses “extraordinarily complicated and delicate issues and is not something you can just wing it on and expect not to make some mistakes, and Governor Romney made a big one.”

What is his repentance, forgiveness, and acceptance of forgiveness strategy? xref: which is worse? Who sins? Or who refuses to forgive who truly repents sin?
Where was WMR last sure he was doing things right?
What is the best way to make the point about border disparities? xref: “Domestic tranquility” re: outsourcing and enslaving. [Rough Whoo]

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Politicians 1, Journalists 0

“It almost looked like junk mail,” said Ms. Harkenreader, a tax accountant in Mountain Top, Pa., who said she did not love the overall law but was pleased at the unexpected windfall. “If this is part of Obamacare, I’m happy that somebody is finally coming down on the insurance companies and saying, ‘Look, let’s be fair here.’ ”

The law requires insurers to give out annual rebates by Aug. 1, starting this year, if less than 80 percent of the premium dollars they collect go toward medical care. For insurers covering large employers, the threshold is 85 percent.

As a result, insurers will pay out $1.1 billion this year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, with an average rebate of $151 per household. The highest average amounts are going to people in Vermont ($807 per family), Alaska ($622) and Alabama ($518). No rebates will be issued in New Mexico or Rhode Island, because all the insurers in those states met the 80/20 requirement.

Perfect know how to keep a secret whom.
xref: the way exploited workers would feel to get their portion of a rebated tariff returned to them.

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