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Oh sure, now that they are under attack, they want the US back in. But no, while we were there, they did nothing to let us know who was friend or foe… The US can’t help everyone. We should help those who help us; and draw the line against those who cheered when we lost men.

We did our best. We tried to fix your nation. But you, created havoc. You knowingly hid insurgents after they attacked us. You sheltered and condoned their actions.

So suffer bitches…

Oh, we know they are bad guys. That is why we tried to bolster your army and it was, it was trained by the best military in the world.. And what did you do? You sneaked terrorists in in uniform, to blow us up. You knew who they were… You aided and abetted them.

Wars cost money, and in case you haven’t been reading the papers, money is something we don’t have. If we spend it, it needs to be on those who by their actions are worth it…

You made your bed. Now lie in it.. You don’t need or deserve help from us.. Maybe after you see what it is like to have your sons and daughters killed, for nothing, you will have a better understanding of what we and one trillion dollars tried to do…

You could have been so great. But you wouldn’t tell us who was friend and who was foe…
Enjoy your fate. Enjoy your slogans. A lot of good they will do you when you’re dead.

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The plural of Vanilla Ice would be pronounced ….. Vanilla Ice’s (or ISIS)…
They ran out of Vanilla in the Syrian desert….

Tough group, aren’t they? If they walked down my street like this, I too would hide….

Throw this in Cheney’s face next time he or anyone associated with the word neocons opens their mouth….

Beside Biden’s this is one of the best predictions ever made of the Mid East……

(Senator Barack Obama (D-Il), then an Illinois state senator, delivered these remarks in October 2002 at the Federal Plaza in Chicago.)

“I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil.

I don’t oppose all wars. My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton’s army. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil.

I don’t oppose all wars. After September 11, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this administration’s pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again.

I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power…. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors…and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.

I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars. So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the president.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure that…we vigorously enforce a nonproliferation treaty, and that former enemies and current allies like Russia safeguard and ultimately eliminate their stores of nuclear material, and that nations like Pakistan and India never use the terrible weapons already in their possession, and that the arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil through an energy policy that doesn’t simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil.

Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.”

=======

Wow! What goes around comes around…. It is haunting how by simply subbing the word Syria for Iraq, how truly this 11 year old statement applies to the situation today….

Syrian Resistance FlagSyrian Flag We are a tired generation… We grew up with ‘Nam.  Which ever side we were on during the battle here in America over that police action, or war, looking back after it was done, …. we all knew it was wrong….

After that we thought all war was wrong, and unfortunately took some of that angst out on those who least deserved it:  those coming back from the steamy jungles of hell…..

Against our will a certain president soon sent Marines into Beirut;  what happened then reinforced our belief that an American war was unjustifiable and that all other means must be utilized to prevent American war from ever happening again….  Against our will, we propped up a Nicaragua dictator against some rebels.  Against our will, we sold arms to Iran to use for paying for our support for that Nicaragua dictator, since a Congress elected by the American people, flatly said no to supporting him in Nicaragua…  We found a way to do it anyway….

I remember Senator Rudman, (R-NH) saying at the hearing while addressing Oliver North,… “The American people have the RIGHT to be wrong.”

Oliver North had been insisting that even when Americans flatly say NO, one still must do what one deems is necessary, that whatever one deems necessary, is the highest moral truth.  “Sometimes one has to go above the law!”  was actually said by the defense at this hearing.  Only one good thing came out of those hearings:  we all were introduced to Fawn Hall.

But then…  The Brits quickly regained the Faulklands. Then came Grenada, which went off without a hitch.   Then Panama, which was successful and almost painless.  Then came General Schwartzkopf.  The 4th largest army in the world, was routed in hours, and in days, had been completely mopped up.  Then came the Balkans.  We were on a roll.  We’d finally nailed down the successful formula of how to win in battle.

Today we say Iraq is a failure.  But that was so not so just after the invasion.  Inside Baghdad, the pulling down of Saddam’s statue, the victory of capturing Saddam, the ability of us to hand out billions of American dollars, initially gave this campaign the luster of looking like another success story…

Until we tried to steal their oil.  The standard global rate of dividing oil revenues is that the US gets a 20% cut for the development, and Iraq would get to keep 80% because it is after all, their resource.  That is how we deal with Nigeria.

But Brenner announced that we’d flip that to pay for the war, and that Iraq would be allowed to keep 20% because we liked them so much, and we’d only, by our good graces, take 80% of the revenues. 24 hours after letting that cat out of the bag, the first IED went off under a US military vehicle…  Before week was out, the total was in the hundreds.

The luster was gone.  We were an invading army, something  we have not called ourselves since WWII.  We always saw ourselves as the policeman who leaves as soon as order is restored…

Afghanistan likewise, got worse.  Then Pakistan.  Then Yemen.  On the diplomatic front  instead of doing no harm, .. we could do no good.  Then Libya costs us an ambassador who was running guns through Turkey.  He shouldn’t have been there; it should have been a low level staffer with security clearance.

This baby boomer generation knows that war is wrong.  We know from experience. The only time it can be employed successfully, is a) when the whole world is united behind you, b)  you go in and get out, and c) you have a structure that stays in place long after you are gone.

The only time it goes badly… is every other scenario.

Which brings us to Syria.  Syria has no importance to anyone.  (They couldn’t even defend the militarily advantageous Golan Heights in ’67!)  Which is why we let the Russians have them.

People are going to die in Syria if a):  Assad wins, b):  the rebels win, or c):  no one wins. The only thing changing upon this wars outcome, is which side will be massacred at war’s end.  Hence the battle for survival over there now.

So by having the US intervene or not, we are choosing which side gets to kill the other after the hostilities die down.

The weakest argument for going in still left with standing, is that they used chemical weapons.  In WWI, the British, French, and Germans all used chemical weapons.   Are chemical weapons really worse than being burned alive?  Or asphyxiated as a bomb blast sucks all the oxygen out of your lungs and the room?  Or a milk jug sized piece of jagged metal shrapnel ripping and leaving a hole through your body?  Or a mine being stepped on?  I’m trying to think why chemical weapons are so much worse, except for the fact that we’ve been told” they are so much worse”?

A causality is a causality.

We understand “why” some say we should go into Syria.  Because if we do not respond to chemical weapons in a big way, someone else will become confident and use theirs.  There is only one way to keep the genie inside the bottle, and that is to never leave a opening for it to escape….

We also understand “why” one of our beloved School districts had a policy that suspended, and expelled those who brought weapons to school!  Not just guns, but knives too. After all, the argument for punishing Syria, applies to soon-to-become high school felons too.

But, there came a time when the response generated by a policy, actually became the crime,   You remember the little boy expelled who brought a cake to school, and his grandmother thoughtfully sent a knife knowing teachers usually don’t have utensils in their classrooms.  The teacher actually cut the cake, served it, thinking nothing of it.. it was someone higher up, reviewing the situation, who said, “wait, that can be interpreted as a breach of regulations.  Let’s make an example out of this little boy”.  He was suspended and could have been expelled, except it eventually became news and public outcry was solidly on his side.  The policy makers were laughed out of town.

Which is why, if you are making this decision, you need to stall.  Acting quickly and decisively is equivalent to acting on rumor and innuendo.   So what if Syria lied and shot the gas cannisters off?

Does a military strike create enough excellent good will to neutralize this bad act?

Ironically what is best for the US in this situation, is for Assad to stay in power, to have a zealous change in heart, to work closely with the USA to get his economy working, to becoming a partner in that region with the US, and to signing a treaty with Israel, as did the Egyptians many, many years ago…

What is worse for us, is if the jihadists win, push out the moderates and take over the reform movement (they always do), then go to war with Israel, Jordan and Turkey.  Making ourselves into the evil empire will only create more explosions everywhere, flare-ups which would not have occurred had we taken the Jedi way, and used the “Force” in our possession, to make events on the ground turn our way and happen in our favor….

Realistically such a rosy scenario probably can’t happen; but if it did, were this to come about, there would be no doubt: Obama would be lauded as the best president we’d ever see in our lifetimes.  The cost of failure is so low that it just might be worth the try.

The second point… which all us Viet-namers will well remember, is that you may win every engagement you participate in Syria, but you won’t win the war at home, and that… will suck all your energy away from all the good you plan to do before 2016.

It broke LBJ.  It broke Bush II.  Don’t let it break you….

Common Core took quite a few arrows into the heart with the release of New York’s Test Scores.   One of the huge questions being asked, is how did the Commissioner John King, know what the drop would be before the tests were given?

We are learning; new reports popping up every hour on how those scores were derived.  To understand the process, you must first be familiar with how regular grading scores are determined.  Most teachers when they score their tests assume that if a student can show that they understand 65% of the material, they can pass the class.  It is reality based.  Here is the material, you know this much, you shall pass because it is above the 65% threshold.  If you have a good class, you can pass all of them.

I hope you are sitting down.  The Pearson tests were taken, then graded.  After that was done,  they were then scored.  They were not scored on whether a person got the answer right or wrong.  They were scored on where the benchmarks should be.  A benchmark is that spot where a score of 1 then becomes a 2, or a score of 2 becomes a 3 and so on.

This is the story of how those bench marks were determined.  Close coordination was done with the College Board SAT’s.   The tests were going to determine which students were… or were not, college and career ready.

So how was the level where one is college-ready determined?.  It was decided to be at that level where there was a 75% chance that a student would receive a B- or above in ELA,  and writing, and a 65% chance that he would receive a C+ in math, in his first college course in those two subjects… Got that?  “That” is college ready.

Once that arbitrary level is set, and it is arbitrary.  Is a B- the same at Harvard as it would be in Michigan State?  is a B- the same if given by Professor X or Professor Y?   Anyone who has ever picked their college classes over the alleged difficulties of certain college professors, certainly knows that this method is very suspect.  But regardless of whether it makes sense, once the threshold is set, one can compare the SAT scores of those students and come up with a correlation.  The correlation  between these grades  and those SAT scores that would determine if one was college ready, happened at the score of 1550.

Now that you know how this score was determined, you can forever dismiss its validity.  That is not being snippy. That is a real assessment of the credibility these scores now have.

From the score of 1550, the next step was to determine how that works downward to the test scores of 8th graders who still have 3 years before they take the SAT. The Breakdown of that score was 560 Reading, 530 Writing, and 540 Math.

To those teachers gathered for the opportunity to cut the scores, the Pearson executives showed them all the data, then told them where the bookmark should be for a 3.  From there the groups determined where to draw the lines for a 1,2,3 and a 4. Then they went and did the 7th grade, then the 6th.  Each grade was determined by the previous one, all of which went back to comparing the 8th Grade to the SAT to be taken 3 years into the future.

They returned to the 8th grade, and re-walked through that process then, that was the cut turned into the commissioner.  Because he had given them the rubric  or guidelines upon which to make their judgment, he already knew ahead of time how the results would turn out.   Does that make sense?

Here is an first person account of what went on inside those cutting rooms…  and here is a humorous account with diagrams, which help a lot in understanding the twists and turns taken to determine this result.

Your test question now. Did you add the three individual scores I posted up above? Had you done so, you would have noticed that they came up to 1630 instead of 1550. It is 1630, significantly higher than the 2011 College Board’s index associated with a B- in college.

The above illustrates how one can manipulate the percentage of college readiness by hopping between the columns and changing the definition of “college ready” to suit oneself. If the State Education Department had increased or decreased the grade and/or the probability, the college readiness indicator would move up or down. In the end, they chose values that are extraordinarily high, producing an index that exceeds the College Board’s index for achieving a B- average.New Yorks score was already higher than the national average. 

From this assessment, comes the criteria that permanently classify a student, that fire a teacher, that close down a school, that wreak havoc in a district.  An assessment that has no basis in reality…

What does have a basis in reality?

Decades of research have shown that the SAT test can be an accurate indicator of IQ. Which is why, test prep classes rarely move the needle on the actual scores themselves.

According to the College Board’s own research, the SAT is not such a great predictor of college grades. The correlation between the SAT and college grades is about .48, which means that its predictive power (r squared) is only 23 percent. High school grades are a better predictor of how students will do in college courses (nearly 30 percent). In addition, other research has found that high school GPA is three to five times more important in predicting college graduation than an SAT or ACT score. Even with all of that known, the State Education Department aligned students 3-8 scores with later performance on the SAT to create cut scores that give the illusion of being on the road to college readiness.

They created this report to justify their methodology.

If you connect the dots and read all of these links you will see that these scores were supposed to be low for a reason, a reason of politics,  They had the data and knew that the results would be scored low, that was their plan.

As they even state here, education did not fall apart; the students are not dumber; the teachers are not derelict; the schools are not failing.  They were just graded on a different curve, that’s all.

It was all done politically to show that large numbers of students did not meet the arbitrarily decided new standard of being college and career ready…

Yes, in even those in Third Grade.,

it is always nice to say “I told you so” even when it irritates those listening to have to hear it.   I apologize in advance for this is one of these moment.  But the first story I saw today, was one that i went on a limb to state and took flack for.  It has now come to pass.

in what now seems like a previous lifetime, when there actually were Conservatives on the blog circuit,  I stated that teeming up with the Chinese was our solution to stabalizing and getting out of Iraq.  I made the point that we’d lost the right to develop all of Iraq’s oil and would never get it being the oppressor;  we should use a third party as a front, and partner with them to at least get some access.

The oil barons all cried traitor…

Lol.  Well, today Reuters broke the story that Exxon was partnering with PetroChina to develop one of the massive oil fields near Basra.  As an aside to that story, it mentions that one of Iraq’s targets is to be outproducing Saudi Arabia by 2020.

it is always nice to always be right. 🙂   But just imagine if we’d done it back in 2007.

Did You Ask Me What It Was Like?
Right Click for Full Image.

Here is what we know.

Group of people put up money for film.   Allegedly  $5 million dollars.

Film gets made, and actors are later shocked to find their voices were dubbed over and that they were portrayed completely different from what was actually filmed.  Evidence is visible on trailer if you watch.

Film can find no Arabs who will play.  They use hillbillies and put on spray on tans ( rushed job; you can see where they missed)

Film gets edited , and  debuts in a theater in Hollywood, and all wait…  BOOM…. nothing happens….

Film finally debuts on website of that fake charlatan  who was in Florida burning Korans a little while ago.   That sets off search engine and the trailer hits Google.

That being a known, monitored anti-Muslim site, the film gets picked up in Egypt and goes viral.

Upset people riot.

Riot occurs in Libya, not where ambassador was, but at a consulate.  Ambassador goes to consulate and dies.

US announces that those attacking the embassy were not part of the riot, unless they created the riot as a diversion.

Romney criticizes Obama for causing the problem.

Romney defends his remarks despite the death of the ambassador.  Meaning did Romney, like John McCain over Georgia, have foreknowledge of the impending attack, and the ambassadors death was a freak accident, he stumbled in and discovered it was not an Islamic but a US operation?

Wishy Washy Romney,  is stuck, cannot give more fuel to the claim he doesn’t think before speaking, so he buttons down harder on his original remark….

The director who made the film is a fictitious person.  Some reports say he is in hiding, but,  a producer, Steve Klein who is now taking full responsibility for the film, has a history.

This Steve Klein is not what reports said.  This Steve Klein is the author of a piece  called “Eric Holder: The Ugliest of Things” which uses the trial of Gitmo holdees in a civilian court way back when, to call for the impeachment and imprisonment of the US Attorney General for violation of the Constitution.  This is a very provocative piece made to defend the insanity of right wing thinkers, and the element of provocation fits very well with this film’s provocative nature…  If put on a couch and analyzed Steve Klein would  be a person who has to shock and awe others  in order to consider himself worthwhile….. like a meth-head.

Steve Klein is connected to the whacky shell group called Courageous Christians United.  This strange group or eclectics  has a division that sparks hate with Muslims, a division that sparks hate with Jehovah’s Witnesses, and a division that sparks hate with Mormans.

Obviously the anti- Morman connection is perfect, for who would expect Mitt Romney of orchestrating this fiasco, if it got traced back to Steve Klein.  The smart money would bet that Klein’s group could be stoked to sponsor an anti Muslim film, and then those with the right connections could create the hassle in Libya that Romney needed to illustrate his lie which portrays that Obama is not truly the best president in foreign affairs we have ever had in our lifetime…  Everyone knows:  Flat out, he is.

That press statement of Romney was off; it didn’t make sense as pundits were quick to point out.  It was like it had been rehearsed way too many times,  and was just waiting for the right second, to be spit out…   “Ok, Romney, it just went down. Got confirmation; it’s a go..  in 5;   four, three, two, one. You’re on!…………………………………..”

The Republican Party is like a WWII bomber, missing its tail section and having both wings shot off..  It is going down……. They desperately needed a diversion to try to get the men out alive before it explodes on the ground.   Hey, fighter pilots… look over there.

This is a Swift Boat Attempt upon the current president. But instead of using film, a medium whose threads could be trace, they decided to use Muslims who have no accountability, and basically  pull out of the same play-book as 1980, and stage an embassy takeover to bring down Jimmy Carter and put Ronald Reagan (oh my… what a wonderful coincidence that the hostages get released as soon as Reagan ,pronounced as President of the United States of America, gets beamed to Iran…)  Oh, yeah that’s right.  It was Dick Cheney was authored that. With that much guilt, I’d have heart attacks too…

The link got pulled within the past three hours,  but earlier according to Google, one of  the backers of this $5 million film was Sheldon Adelson, who once backed Gingrich,  and then flipped to Romney.   Very soon we will know who the others were.

So the theory stands even though it is still being put together, that this event was caused by the same people supporting Romney, this event was orchestrated in order to make it appear that Israelis made the film and the United States sanctioned it.  Truth is, we do have a contingent of America that is very unchristian and actually do believe whatever they are told, (our Tea Party Contingent), just as Muslim leaders have similar headaches within their own borders.

The more one looks into all the pieces that came together and the smooth planning that seamed all the pieces together leaving no loose ends, even though the idea is far fetched, and as yet, still speculative….  it is fun putting the pieces together, even if later they turn out wrong…..

The theory that makes the most sense out of Romney’s ridiculous statement, is that he appears to have had fore knowledge and was uninformed at his speech that something had gone desperately wrong.

When you look at the evidence this is the only way it could be….  Just like our Commander in Chief’s birth certificate is a forgery . It’s the only way it could be… 🙂

“The events in Egypt and Libya show the failure of the Egyptian and Libyan governments to uphold their obligations to keep our diplomatic missions safe and secure and the regard in which the United States is held under President Obama in these two countries,” he told Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin. “It’s all part of a broader scheme of the president’s failure to be an effective leader for U.S. interests in the Middle East.”

Wrong… Wrong… Wrong

It was because of a movie.   A really bad movie… in fact.   I was offended by it.  Deeply so.

If  someone made a similar movie about Jesus,  the American Tea Party would have done exactly the same as did those Muslims.  They would have attacked a black church, killed the preacher and burned it to the ground.

The problem is the movie., not Obama.  A movie that was incidentally funded by groups also providing support to the Romney Campaign, and to the Republican Party.  The same benefactors.  As soon as the New Century Club’s  name come up,  it begs for a comparison to using public events to mold and formulate policy.  It now appears that the riots were staged as a cover up for the murder.

Delaware Liberal provided a list of those advising Romney on foreign policy.  Many of  those names  give credence to the unthinkable, that this event was staged by supporters of the Romney campaign, to make Obama look bad…….

It is obvious Romney is being advised by nuts.  People who are just nuts.  They are nuts on foreign policy. They are nuts on economic policy.  They are nuts on women.  They are nuts on religion.  Simply put, they are nuts.

How can anyone who is a real Christian, support these nuts?

Today’s joke:   Why did Romney’s staff scatter when the convention was over?  They thought they saw a squirrel…..