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1 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 5:39:43pm

Very accurate analysis. There's no need for further elaboration.

2 CuriousLurker  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 5:44:44pm

re: #1 Bob Levin

Okay, thanks. It seemed very sensible, but I wasn't entirely sure that I hadn't missed some glaring error. I've learned a lot by being here for the past 18 months or so, but I'm still learning about domestic politics. And foreign policy? Yikes, the dynamics of that is one giant ball of tangled up string.

3 CuriousLurker  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 6:14:05pm

Hmm, now not I'm not sure how far I should trust STRATFOR. This article seems reasonable enough, but then there's this and this:

STRATFOR's client list is confidential, but the company's publicity list includes Fortune 500 companies and international government agencies.

Considering what's been going on with the so called counter-terrorism "experts", I've become real leery of these groups.

4 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 7:06:54pm

re: #3 CuriousLurker

They're probably like anyone with an opinion, which they evidently charge quite a bit of money to give.

But you used the word 'trust'. I would use the word 'helpful'. Is this article helpful in understanding the current situation in American politics? Is Barry Rubin's article helpful in understanding the Middle East?

Friedman's article is very helpful. It's not saying anything we don't already know. But it's not the be all and end all of analysis. It beats the hell out of newspaper opinion pieces, though.

Rubin's article is not helpful in understanding the Middle East, just like sportswriters are not helpful in understanding your team. Three game losing streak, they stink. Followed by a three game winning streak, I told you all along to have confidence in the team.

STRATFOR is probably very helpful (or they'd be out of business) for companies involved in minerals, mining and such. You've got to know the politics of the area, the dirty politics of an area, if you're going to set up a mine. So environmental groups probably can't stand STRATFOR.

Keep posting links, it should be interesting.

5 researchok  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 7:09:57pm

In my opinion, Stratfor bats .500. It is what it is.

As far as Obama goes, in addition to current realities, he also has the future to consider.

Does he want to be the US President who allowed for the formation of another tyrannical regime in the Middle East?

That there are tyrannies and oppressive regimes in the region is not news- but we had nothing to do with their creation.

As long as Hamas is unrepentant in it's commitment to violence, bigotry and racism it seems to me we are obligated to do what we can to block anything that might aid or assist their agenda.

We are not conflating politics with religion. We are opposed to anyone regime for who tyranny and repression are forms of political expression.

I have said it before and I will say it again: The biggest victims of Arab world tyranny are the Arabs themselves. They have been held back and used as pawns for decades.

6 CuriousLurker  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 7:31:57pm

re: #4 Bob Levin

Thanks. I was starting to panic a little bit, so it's good that you talked me down by reminding me that I don't necessarily have to trust them for their information to be helpful in better understanding the political scene.

Friedman's article is very helpful. It's not saying anything we don't already know. But it's not the be all and end all of analysis. It beats the hell out of newspaper opinion pieces, though.

QFT

Regarding the Rubin article, I have a feeling that one's going to get ugly.

Keep posting links, it should be interesting.

I signed up for their newsletter. As I noted on one of my other recent pages that used one of their articles, I heard about them via Bruce Schneier's newsletter and I DO trust him on security matters, so I'l suspend judgment until I see what else they have to say

7 CuriousLurker  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 7:37:34pm

re: #5 researchok

Okay, I feel a little bit better now that some liberals are up-dinging the Page. There for a while it was like, "ZOMG, why are only conservatives liking this??!11!" LOL

When it comes to the "experts" it's kinda once bitten, twice shy, y'know?

8 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 7:43:58pm

re: #7 CuriousLurker

Peer pressure? Really? ;-)

9 CuriousLurker  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 7:46:28pm

re: #8 Bob Levin

Heh, I was worried that they knew or saw something I didn't.

10 Interesting Times  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 7:48:58pm

re: #7 CuriousLurker

Okay, I feel a little bit better now that some liberals are up-dinging the Page. There for a while it was like, "ZOMG, why are only conservatives liking this??!11!" LOL

The funniest thing is when you look at a page with 0 dings, only to discover - upon checking the number - that it got a pile of updings from one group, and an equal number of downdings from another :)

As for the article itself, this part bugs me:

About 47 percent of the public voted for someone other than Obama. It was certainly a solid victory, but it was neither a landslide nor a mandate for his programs.

I get what he's saying, but it reminds me of Bush's obnoxious "I have political capital and I'm gonna use it!" swagger after the 2004 election - where his margin of victory was a lot smaller than Obama's. Apparently, it's typical of the media to grossly overestimate GOP/rightwing mandates and grossly underestimate liberal ones. Never mind political labels - look at the specific policies the public supports.

11 CuriousLurker  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 7:56:20pm

re: #10 publicityStunted

LOL, yeah, sometimes the dings get split right down the middle.

As for the article itself, this part bugs me:

About 47 percent of the public voted for someone other than Obama. It was certainly a solid victory, but it was neither a landslide nor a mandate for his programs.

I get what he's saying, but it reminds me of Bush's obnoxious "I have political capital and I'm gonna use it!" swagger after the 2004 election - where his margin of victory was a lot smaller than Obama's. Apparently, it's typical of the media to grossly overestimate GOP/rightwing mandates and grossly underestimate liberal ones. Never mind political labels - look at the specific policies the public supports.

Yeah, that made me twitch a little too for the same reason, but since I didn't detect any anti-Obama snark I just let it go as the number is correct.

12 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 8:21:58pm

re: #10 publicityStunted

I took that to mean that politicians tend to mistake a simple victory for a mandate. How many times have we seen this in just the last few years?

And this is weird, because it's the advisers job to let the politician know exactly what their constituents are thinking. Unless your employer/political-office-holder is some sort of narcissistic....

Forget it. I just answered my own question.

13 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 8:23:49pm

re: #9 CuriousLurker

That's peer pressure. I believe the term in Asian Philosophy is 'giving away your eyes'. ;-)

14 CuriousLurker  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 8:42:17pm

re: #13 Bob Levin

As in "don't trust your lying eyes"—i.e. instead of trusting my own eyes to see things correctly, I'm "giving them away" by depending on others to see for me (or something along those lines)?

I can't help it sometimes. I still feel like a novice at this political stuff.

15 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 8:50:21pm

re: #14 CuriousLurker

As in "don't trust your lying eyes"—i.e. instead of trusting my own eyes to see things correctly, I'm "giving them away" by depending on others to see for me (or something along those lines)?

Yep.

I can't help it sometimes. I still feel like a novice at this political stuff.

A quote from one of my favorite movies: "What choice you got, son?"

Do. Not. Give. Away. Your. Eyes. Just make sure you can see where you get things wrong. And then change. Be the Willow Tree.

16 CuriousLurker  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 8:54:21pm

re: #15 Bob Levin

Good advice. Thanks. ;)

17 CuriousLurker  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 9:02:26pm

re: #15 Bob Levin

P.S. You forgot to call me Grasshopper.

18 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 9:07:49pm

re: #17 CuriousLurker

Fine. Barkeep! A Grasshopper for the lady.

19 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 9:10:47pm
20 CuriousLurker  Tue, Sep 20, 2011 9:17:17pm

re: #19 Bob Levin

Nah, you didn't have to. I didn't become Muslims till I was in my late 20's.


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