Space Cadet: Iraqi Transport Minister Proclaims That Sumerians Traveled To Pluto Thousands of Years Ago

It is good to see, after hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars and thousands of U.S. lives, Iraq is in stable governmental hands.  We have previously discussed the rampant corruption in the Iraqi government where billions of our aid has simply disappeared.  However, there is also the problem of sheer lunacy.  That would be the problem with Kazem Finjan, Iraq’s Transport Minister, who has claimed that  the ancient Sumerians travelled to Pluto in spaceships thousands of years ago.  It appears that Finjan was not content with the claim of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan that Muslims discovered America.  He had to go beyond the Earth to the farthest reaches of the solar system.  

Finjan explained that the ancient civilization of Sumer created the first airport for travel to Pluto.  One Egyptian researcher said that people were stunned but “I don’t think anyone was brave enough to contradict him.”

Up until now, the Sumerians were credited with developing pottery and agricultural techniques, but it appears that they set their sights higher. It is not clear whether the Sumerians spacecraft was also made of pottery.

Yet Finjan is quoted as saying that the “first airport” was created by the ancient Sumerians and “Sumerian spaceships used to launch from here towards the other planets.”  He also insists that all of the “angels” were actually Sumerian.

He would know. After all, he is the Minister of Transport.

 

108 thoughts on “Space Cadet: Iraqi Transport Minister Proclaims That Sumerians Traveled To Pluto Thousands of Years Ago

  1. For those of us who understand that part of the world, it is just tragic to be witness to this–All I could do was laugh–lunacy is too kind a word!! I’ll share another bit of lunacy as well….the so-called former President of Iran, Ahmadinejad (or what I have referred to in my writings over the years as idiot NE JAD) wanted to be Iran’s first Astronaut. One of the senior Nasa Directors (who is an Iranian-American) offered to facilitate this–there was only one provision–he had to gather up all his minions around him and the ticket will be one way with no return🙂 He had the nerve to think about running for President again–until Khameini told him No.

  2. Actually, this is a possibility. For those of you who have been to Horseshoe Canyon, Utah, there are pictographs older than Sumer showing what appear to be astronauts in jet packs.

  3. It is good to see, after hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars and thousands of U.S. lives, Iraq is in stable governmental hands.
    Well… do we need to compare ours with theirs?

    We have previously discussed the rampant corruption in the Iraqi government where billions of our aid has simply disappeared.
    Uh… before that money disappeared, where did it come from? That money disappearing is not a knock on the Iraqis, it is a knock on those who gathered it, hid it, transported to Iraq and made it disappear.

    However, there is also the problem of sheer lunacy. That would be the problem with Kazem Finjan, Iraq’s Transport Minister, who has claimed that the ancient Sumerians travelled to Pluto in spaceships thousands of years ago.
    The man may very well be a lunatic…however, unless one can disprove his argument, it gets to stand.
    In my book, if man had gone to the moon in recent ages, I see no reason man has not gone to Pluto in past ages.

    • There is no “if”. No American astronaut has traveled farther into space than low earth orbit.
      The Apollo Moon landing hoax is the most costly propaganda hoax in history. Billions of taxpyer’s dollars enriched many corporations and individuals (e.g. former WW2 Nazi general Werner van Braun) – so Corporate welfare queens made out like bandits — and we footed the bill.

  4. It’s quite likely true, because Mohammed travelled to heaven and back on his magic horse Burak (yes, the same name as you-know-who; Mohammed’s magic horse is revered in Islam and Obama’s father, step-father, half-sister, and most likely his mother, were Muslim). In any event, Mohamjed hopped on the white horse in Medina and they flew to Bethlehem and then Jerusalem, where they visited the birthplace of Jesus (whom the Muslims view as a prophet). Then they went on a longer journey to heaven, where Mohammed visited with earlier prophets, including Moses, Abraham and Jesus. Then they flew home. So amazing things happen in that part of the world. Or, they could all be smoking some really good hashish….I don’t know.

  5. C’mon. Pluto wasn’t around that long ago, so the Sumerians could not have visited Pluto back then. They visited Barney the Dinosaur instead. And don’t forget that King Solomon reigned for 40 days and 40 nights, while Noah was building the Ark.

      • Al O’Heem – Pluto is a recent discovery, not creation. It has been there as long as the other planets, we could just not see it without a decent telescope.

        • The intended humor in my message was a reference to the animated character Pluto being a recent creation and not being able to be visited by ancient civilizations. I am aware that the planet Pluto has been around for a longer period of time.

  6. Po’s onto the real issue: billions of US dollars unaccounted for.

    Let’s see. Apart from the payoffs going to Ahmed Chalabi, if most of the remainder was bribe money going to the families of innocent people killed during the US invasion and control of Iraq, let’s say we generously handed over $2,000.00 (far more than we actually have given) for each reckless kill and the funds totaled a mere $10B (of the hundreds of billions of dollars unaccounted for):

    $10,000,000,000.00 / $2,000.00 / reckless kill = 5,000,000 reckless kills

    That’s within standard military tolerances, wouldn’t you think? After all, they’re savages orbiting Pluto, so they’re not worthy of the care we take of our own families.

    • Agreed, dam… however, we must include in the accounting the hundred/thousands of millions that funded the surge (paying various clans NOT to attack the US forces and allies…) plus the funding of the sadr brigades that massacred countless Iraqis…
      Our tax dollars, taken under our nose, and still unaccounted for…
      But, hey, chump change next to the $6.5 Trillion the pentagon still cannot track.

  7. Pottery, advances in farming techniques, and space travel.

    Right.

    When you deal with corrupt, uneducated regions, you get corruption and embarrassingly ignorant statements like these.

    This is also why so much of the billions we sent to Haiti is unaccounted for. With that kind of money, the country should be a tsunami-hurricane-proof ultra modern meticulously planned Disneyland. It’s not a large country. Instead, we still have hopeless people living in shanties who are getting hammered yet again by a hurricane, amid a cholera outbreak.

    I think the next time we send aid anywhere, it needs to go in briefcases handcuffed to our people’s arms, who handle the entire thing without a dime going through local hands, until it reaches local mouths.

    You cannot expect corrupt countries to suddenly find ethics, even with both hands and a map.

  8. And may I add, that a cholera outbreak indicates that human feces have contaminated their water system.

    Brilliant use of aid funds, everyone. Someone with aviator glasses and a beret has got to be living large.

    • “When you deal with corrupt, uneducated regions, you get corruption and embarrassingly ignorant statements like these.”
      —————
      By that standard, anyone who believes in God falls into that category…which means most of the US…eh karen?

      As usual karen goes way off in her argumentation. Not only is she glossing over the fact that the money that went to Iraq was not legitimate money , ie was corrupt money, and that the iraqis are NOT the ones who disappeared it but the US did, she is doubling down for relating it to Haiti where the same thing happened.
      In both cases it was US money brought in by US government and spent by US government agents, in most cases in order to further US government/corporations interest.
      Haiti did not use the bulk of the money that came in because they they wasted it, they simply did not see it. Everyone around the reconstruction effort made money, everyone but the Haitans that is.

      And if you want to go beyond the money, either country is in such dire straits it is in BECAUSE of the US. Read up on what the US did to Haiti, including coups and supporting a blood thirsty dictator, Duvallier. And also read up on the “work” the Clintons did to further ruin Haiti.

      So rather than keep blaming the victim for her victimization, karen, have the decency to assign blame where blame lays, at your feet.

  9. Right.

    If you follow the blog, you will note that whenever Professor Turley writes an article critical of an Islamic country, Po gets quite offended, can get rather personal, and makes strange accusations, especially with me. (Like it’s my fault that Haitian aid was mishandled.)

    Here is one of his meltdowns in the article on the execution of a 7 year old boy for cursing:

    https://jonathanturley.org/2016/05/10/isis-executes-seven-year-old-boy-for-cursing-after-death-sentence-by-sharia-court/comment-page-1/#comments

    It’s just the typical pattern. How dare anyone criticize an Islamic country or representative for anything, etc, etc. Not constructive or interesting.

      • Indeed, nothing is happier than karen in islamophobic mud…
        Karen, address my points, if you can.
        I attack anyone unfair to anyone else… so start being fair and let’s see how it goes🙂

        It’s just odd to me that you ALWAYS side with the bully, always, the patriarchy, the murderer, the abuser of authority…and never with the victim. You twist reason and decency, morality and logic to find the victim the cause of her victimization.
        It fascinates and disturbs me greatly…

      • Nope. I have zero problem whatsoever with moderate Islam. I speak a smattering of Arabic and Farsi, have been to mosques, festivals, family events, studied Egyptian and Turkish dance, attended many Arabic music festivals, etc. Although I do still struggle with pronouncing that “gh” sound in my throat. There is certainly a lot that I enjoy and admire about Arabic architecture and history, such as the origin of my favorite breed of horse, the Arabian. (Mohammad was instrumental in the development of the lines of al-Khamsa.)

        I only have a problem with extremist Islam. My definition of extremist (any) religion is one where human rights are abused. In my research, Sharia Law abuses human rights, especially women and gays, everywhere that it is practiced. Even when it is merely used in family courts, I take issue with aspects, such as the treatment of women and adopted children.

        All religions that I am aware of go through reformations. Islam is no exception. Some find it painful or hurtful to call for reform. But when gay men are thrown off of buildings, that’s exactly what I believe needs to take place, reform.

        I am quite critical of extremist Islam, as well as extremist Christian cults (such as Yearning for Zion and the occasional lunatic fringe that features as the subject of Professor Turley’s articles.) I do not give Islam a special pass. If it’s moderate, it’s just another religion in the plethora of religions that have found a home here. If it’s extremist, I have a problem with it. Extremist Islam is currently the most expansive, warlike, global threat with a religious motivation. There are also secular threats (Russia…North Korea).

        Never did understand the pushback on criticizing extremism if it referred to Islam.

        Wrong is wrong in my opinion.

        • Yes, karen, EVERYONE criticizes extremist islam, everyone, including me…the problem however is that you claim to target extremist islam while never missing a chance to talk about all islam. There has yet to be one single instance where a post relating even very distantly to islam or muslims was offered where you did not crowbar in shariah law.
          Even when the issue is not islam, you manage to brign up islam, throw in the qualifier “extremist”, then go to town conflating all kinds of issues most of which relate very little, if at all with islam.

          For example, where in the muslim world do you know of gays being thrown off buildings but under Isis?
          If you acknowledge ISis has , at most, 30,000 fighters, how do you make the link between isis and the almost 2 Billlions who have never pointed the finger at gays, let alone throwing them off buildings?
          So you, like ayaan ali, in the name of a religion you constantly attack, are willing to usher it through a reformation it isn’t asking for on the extreme action of a percentage that exists in the margins on error?
          Logically then, I am waiting for you to call for the reformation of Christianity based on the lynching of gays in uganda. And yes, that lynching is called for in churches, based on laws funded and sponsored by pastors.

          Same thing in Israel. Will you call for the reformation of the talmudic law that forces women into wigs and forced pariarchy? That prevents their worshiping at the wall? That forces women out of the lives of the children when they non longer “behave”? That calls for the annihilation of arabs for being lesser, for the raping of arab women?

          I am still waiting for one single example of your taking of the side of the victimized over the victimizer…I have gone back the 100 years of contributions you have made to this site and cannot find one single example. Not one.

          Now if you still insist on discussing extremist islam, let us define it. What is extremist islam? Where does it operate? Ho long has it been in effect?

      • Right. Please go to Saudi Arabia and proclaim in the street that all gays and Jews should be given equal rights. Lead by example, and refrain from criticizing.

        What shall I write for your eulogy? This is for posterity, so make it pithy.

        • by the way, Saudi arabia is not Islam…there are almost as many muslims in china or russia than there are in Saudi arabia… any gay thrown off buildings in china?

          Thank you for proving my point, once again.

            • Exactly, they aren’t, which brings the question,what makes up Islam? And if Muslims make up islam, and the numbers of muslims in Russia/china approximate S. Arabia’s, why use one as the case in point for the whole religion and not the others?

              • Neither Russia nor China have a total population of Muslims that are the majority.
                Those Muslim minorities have not, and can not, establish Sharia law.
                Muslim majority countries that operate under Sharia law don’t all execute gays, at least for the first known offense.
                Russia and China are not the greatest examples of countries that resoect human rights, but I don’t think either country makes homosexuality a capital crime.

                • Tom, there is no quorum required to establish shariah law. Think of shariah law as biblical law, or talmudic law. Anytime a group of people agree to live according to the rules of their faith, that is shariah/biblical/talmudic law. Thus, the Amish live under shariah law…so do orthodox jews…or ultra-conservative christians….or the mormons… So part of the muslim population in china or russia lives under some form of shariah law, as do their christian and jewish brethen.
                  If I decide to live my life according to the edicts of my faith, that is shariah law.

                  Now, there are a LOT of countries with a catholic constitution, especially in eastern europe and south america. And there are lot of Muslim majority countries that do not have a religious constitution and do not establish shariah law. That is MOST muslim majority countries. So countries where shariah law is the law of the land are the MINORITY in the muslim world.

                  But let’s step away from shariah law a little, as I said before, it is a tool karen uses to murk up the conversation. Most Muslims do not live under shariah law, do not agree on what it is and do not desire to live under it.

                  As for gay rights, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves… guess how many transvestites are murdered in the US?
                  How many laws are pushed discriminating against gays?

                  And as for human rights, which country leads the world in prison population?
                  Which one still uses the capital punishment even against judicial evidence?
                  Which one has, in the last 10 years alone, bombed and murdered more people than all other countries combined countries?
                  Which one leads the globe in children housed in adult prisons?
                  Which one justifies the murder of unarmed citizens by police officers?

                  • Po,
                    I’ve never heard the Amish religion descibef as “Sharia law, nor the countries with Catholic Constitutions” descibed as Sharia law countries.
                    The U.K. ‘s official church is the Anglican church, but I think it’s a strectch to fescribe Britons as living under “Sharia Law”.
                    I don’t know which countries have “Catholic Constitutions”, but you didn’t cite them.
                    With the exception of the Vatican, most Catholic-majority countries have secular governments.

                    • Tom, shariah law, as I said above, is not a constitution, it is merely religious jurisprudence. Whatever religious law the Amish use, is the equivalent of shariah law…as in: religious law. So any religious law applied anywhere and by anyone is shariah law= religious law.
                      Most, indeed, but any country with a religious identity has a religious bent. Including the US where folks keep claiming we are a christian nation.

        • Karen S.
          Po has a point that ISIS, and perhaps only ISIS, kills gays by throwing them off of buildings.
          Beheadings, hangings, or stonings are far more popular methods of execution in countries under Sharia laws.

          • good try, Tom, like which country?
            You keep making my point about Saudi arabia.

            Meanwhile, keep frying people on the chair and shooting them with a cocktail of drugs we deem too inhumane for even animals.
            This is more islam than Isis. Rumi and sufism have been around far longer than Isis…yet guess which one our friends side with to represent islam? Why I wonder.

            http://narrative.ly/whats-a-nice-jewish-boy-like-you-doing-at-a-mosque-like-this/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=10062016&utm_medium=email

          • tnash, look who’s calling the kettle black.

            Middle Eastern culture would probably be far closer to your standard of civility if we’d quite invading and slaughtering them. And you forget how many men, women, and children within the native tribes and African Americans we killed right here at home in our attempt at homogenization and slavery.

            The Moors, after invading the Iberian peninsula, were far more receptive to the Christians and Jews living among them, were relatively much more cultured and educated than Christians during the Middle Ages, and all lived for hundreds of years in relative harmony until 1492 when the Christians kicked everybody out unless they converted and started torturing alleged heretics to ensure they did.

            If we’re so highly civilized, why is everyone so hellbent on imposing our cultural norms on those in the Middle East, let alone while we’re stealing their oil? Or does the word “civil” really mean “conniving”?

            Enquiring minds . . .

            • Po,
              Many are critical the human rights violations in Iran, Saudi Arabi, the Phillipines, etc.
              U.S. policy is “not hellbent on changing their culture”.
              Public, or occasional criticism by U.S. officials, does not equate to policies “hellbent on change”.
              They most recent example of departure from the above involved the removal of Gaddafi and Mubarek. An earlier example of U.S. attempt to change a government, and to a degree a culture, was the invasion of Afghanistan.
              Many Americans took exception to the 9-11 attacks, and the Al Quaeda/ Taliban alliance based.
              There was criticism about the Talibans’ rule, only 2 or 3 countries re ognized that regime, but there was no interest or incentive prior to 9-11 to topple the Taliban.
              Now this may just shock the hell out of you, but most Americans do not seemlessly connect the comquest of American Indian tribes, the characterististics of the Moors, to the 9-11 attacks.
              We are in a culture where people are free to manufacture bogus justifications for Islamic terrorism, so feel free. You’ve had more than enough practice on this site.

              • Yes, Tom, and the whole world is critical of the extra-judicial killing of citizens by american police.
                Us policy is the single greatest factor for changing a country’s culture for the worst. That simple. We have been at war for almost 90% of our existence. We currently have 1000 bases worldwide, and expanding, including in the Philippines.

                Departure of the above?
                We did not remove Mubarak from power, we supported him against the popular will of Egyptians. We helped remove his successor, democratically elected Morsi.

                We removed Ghaddafi from a very stable, thriving country and gave them this hell hole.
                We are working to remove Assad.
                We are pushing Russia into WW3…while going at china…

                We broke Iraq up, no link to 9/11…Invaded Afghanistan, made their lives harder than udner the Taliban… the drug trade is now out of control…

                AS for manufacturing bogus justifications, you have gone pro from mere amateur…
                At least have the decency to accept that the evil you send out will come back to you multiplied…and enjoy.

                • Po, We had a role in pushing out Mubarak.
                  You must have missed the “Mibarak must go” memo,from the Obama Aministration.
                  The Eggptian military got that memo, and did not wish to see cutoff of U.S. aid, trade sanctions, etc.

            • Actually, the Moors were not kind to Christians. They forcibly converted or enslaved them. That’s what the entire Muslim Expansion was all about. World domination of Islam. There were the infamous Barbary pirates who enslaved Christians. Forced them to get circumcised, too. I’ve read contemporary accounts of it. Even how one man was identified by the scarring on his penis from a forced circumcision in which I presume he didn’t hold very still.

              They did not live in harmony. European countries fought, in some cases, for decades to expel them.

              Muslims WERE more educated than Europeans in antiquity, however, and had made advances in art, philosophy, and mathematics.

              And we’re not stealing oil. We buy it on the open market. We don’t even get a coupon or a conquerer’s discount after going in to Iraq and Kuwait. We just buy it like everyone else. If anything, we’ve defended access to the oil markets. But if OPEC ever shuts us off, there’s not much we can do about it but go domestic or closer to home. That’s why after the 1970s, when people paid a fortune for gas, the poor walked, heating oil skyrocketed, etc, we diversified our energy portfolio to include more domestic production as well as Canadian. The oil embargo was a catastrophe for many people.

              And you are right that I wish we could impose our norms on other cultures. I wish they would give equal rights to women and gays, stop killing gay people, stop mutilating the genitals of 5 year old little girls in many countries, and a lot of other things. I think my way is kinder and more fair. You have the freedom to believe anything you want but you do not have the right to force your beliefs on others or harm others. That seems intrinsically fair to me. But you are right. Others think that forcible mutilation of 5 year old little girls is the good and right way to live, and the only good gay man is a dead gay man, and that a woman’s place is under the boot heel of her husband who may beat her at any time. And they wish THEIR way would spread to other areas.

              I also believe that you CANNOT force Western values or democracy or a value on human rights on other cultures. It’s got to come from within.

              Perhaps 24/7 pirate streaming of Flipper, Mr Rogers, the Brady Bunch, and other feel-good classics could make the world a better place. Lord knows we already get streaming of social media propaganda to join ISIS or other extremist hate groups.

              • Karen, what you say may be true, but it is, of course, irrelavent.
                Toddlers mishandling guns makes it and “the glass houses rule” make it omproper to point out thongs line this.
                “All such arguments boil down to saying that half a loaf is no better than none”.
                The false equivalent tactic on display in this thread is designed to pre-emept and minimize these little criticisms you dwell on, when maybe you should focus on attacks on transvestitesyo accomadate “halfloaf= none”.

          • Homosexuality is a capital offense in many Muslim nations. Now, stoning, that would be one of the worst ways to kill someone. A slow death by repeated blunt force trauma.

            Although it’s true that there are other methods often used to kill homosexuals under Sharia Law.

            For instance, my father was visiting Saudi Arabia while working for our government. He was taken to Chop Chop Square, where he witnessed the beheading of two gay men.

            Po is just frantically, and fruitlessly, trying to explain to the world that extremist Islam is not a problem. Everything’s fine. Nothing to see here. You cannot complain about extremists killing people in location X because a gang member shot someone in location Z. Classic false logic. And there he goes with lunatic assertions, like I side with bullies and murderers. On another thread he boldly proclaimed that I wanted women to be raped. You get all kinds on the internet. What is that Egyptian saying about someone’s mind being like dirt on the bottom of a shoe? Moxxu gazma or something like that. Can’t spell Arabic.

            • karen, as I keep predicting…you get caught lying and falsifying, you attempt distracting with silly arguments and ad hominems…
              i don’t know, more people globally are killed by americans than by islamic extremists… that makes islamic extremism a lesser problem than american imperialism… no?

              Actually, more americans were killed by toddlers than islamic extremism…. at what point do we acknowledge toddler terror a bigger problem?

              And as usual, you bring an irrelevant anecdote that claims familiarity with the ME, which you then use to attempt diluting the bile of your hatred…

              Since you are bringing back old comments, let me reiterate one I made previously:
              I, Po, condemn unequivocally every act of extremism, islamic or otherwise, any act of violence, physical or psychological or emotional targeting civilians, men, women, children, animals, trees and water by anyone, anywhere,
              i do remember you refusing to make same statement despite everybody’s urging …would you now?

              • You are acting insane. You’ve called me a liar, accused me of siding with murderers and bullies, toddlers kill people…really unbalanced stuff. No one (rational) actually buys this. It comes across as really strange irrational behavior.

                I have repeatedly, and consistently voiced my objection to extremism religious or otherwise. I have commonly said that extremism ruins everything it touches, whether religious, political, etc. And in my example above, I mentioned Russia and North Korea as secular threats. Right now I am criticizing extremist Islam. Tomorrow I may criticize extremist politics.

                You have made a straw man argument.

                I think there is something wrong with you. Really. Sorry, but I can’t get involved with psychosis.

                • yep, as usual, karen refuses to condemn extremism under any of its forms…which means she supports some of it…unlike i who condemn it under ANY of its forms… typical fundamentalism! Typical extremist mindset!

  10. Sadly closed now: “But visitors to Interlaken today have a sight even more arresting to contemplate than the jagged peak. On the outskirts of town, a metallic geodesic sphere rises above a sleek collection of small, oddly shaped buildings, including two that look for all the world like the Great Pyramid of Khufu and Chichen Itzá’s Temple of the Feathered Serpent. The contrast with the Alpine landscape and quaint Swiss homes of Interlaken couldn’t be more jarring.

    Welcome to Mystery Park, a hybrid museum-amusement park and the ultimate expression of Swiss author Erich von Däniken’s contention that alien astronauts not only inspired the Egyptian and Mesoamerican pyramids but had their hands in virtually every ancient accomplishment from Stonehenge to the stone statues of Easter Island.”

    http://archive.archaeology.org/0401/abstracts/letter.html

    Karen,

    This isn’t an ignorant civilization. Here’s s guy from Europe that had a whole museum dedicated to aliens. And of course the History channel used to have “ancient alien astronaut theorists” on all the time. Who knows?

  11. Your alleged anger at our travails abroad are disingenuous at best. This guy (JT) profits off the Military Industrial Complex (he repped Congress and John Boehner)….

    Fake Libertarian, excellent opportunist who has found great success… The principles are bankrupt though.

      • That’s almost for sure. And JT claims he is in favor of “comprehensive immigration reform.” Although, JT should realize he is an immigrant, unless he is a Native American. That’s the Jonathan Turley Blog, saying what trump said about Muslims before he could get there. Hahaha academics are not that different from the businessman in the States.

  12. Po,
    You threw on a number of questions/ statements about “transvestites killed in America”, the U.S. prison population, etc.
    Killing gays or transvestites in the U.S. is illegal. Their murders are not the result of U.S. laws.
    There are penalties as well for bakers who refuse to provide them “wedding cakes”, or florist who refuse to do their weddings.
    Their is a distinction between the murder of gays, punishable by law in the U.S., and gays executed under government (laws).
    I’m not sure what country you live in, or if you understand that distinction, but I thought I’d point it out.
    The U.S. does have a high rate of incarceration, as well as a high crime rate, in comparison to many other countries.
    The last figures that I saw indicate that America has 3-4 times the rate of incarceration of the Phillipines, who employ “alternative methods” to keep their rate low.
    I’vs been meaning to check the rate for Venezuala as well; Caracas currently has the highest murder rate in the world.
    If their rate of incarceration is lower that that of the U.S., I don’t think it’s because of a superior criminal system.
    And the countries with rates of executions 20-70
    TIMES that of the of the U.S. may have lower rates of incarceration, for fairly obvious reasons.
    These variations need to be part of the discussion involving the number of Americans in prisons.

    • tom
      Hence the need to establish parameters about what is the scope of what we are discussing. There indeed is a difference between constitutional laws and popular actions, so are we comparing societies or are we comparing governments or are we comparing religions?
      And why are we comparing Saudi arabia and iran, the exception to the rule that Muslim societies are more tolerant and non-violent than non-muslim ones to the united states? Both are theocracies, one is a kingdom while the US is a democracy, so-called!
      Why not compare it to Turkey, which has a thriving gay population? Why not compare US to other islamic democracies?

      As for the high rate of incarceration in the US, sorry, not that simple. It is an extension of slavery, simply. Holding people in bondage in order to make money off their labor. It is well documented, look it up.
      War on drug, war on crime, for profit prisons, judges selling black kids to prisons, debtor prisons throughout the south…
      No other country in the world makes money out of imprisoning people. None!

      • Po…you CAN compare and contrast the characteristics of different Muslim majority countries.
        You can also continue,repeatedly, to understate, and “explain” Islamic terrorism
        …e.g., 1492, the Moors,etc.
        Po, you’re in no position to talk about “establishing parameters” about our exchanges.
        When you jump from the Moors, to 1492, to The Inquisition, to transvestites, to American prisons, etc., don’t go spouting off about establishing parameters.

  13. Steve
    You stated that “Middle Eastern culture would probably be closer to your standards of civility if we quiting and slaughtering them”
    It’s possible that U.S. policy will, at some future point, be one of isolation with respect to the Middle East.
    If there is another 9-11, maybe they “shame on us for causing anothef 9-11” mentality will predominate.
    Then, as you suggest, we can sit back and watch Middle East culture advance.

      • Steve,
        I’m actually more of “an internationalist”, definately not an isolationist.
        I have very little confidence in either Clinton or Trump in effectively dealing with Islamic terrorism.
        And I don’t think there’s been a productive debate, or a coherent set of foreign policy proposals, in this election cycle.
        There probably is an increasing minority of Americans whose preference would be a complete military withdrawal from the Middle East.
        I think that there are overoptimistic expectations about where that would lead.
        I’m not sure if, or how, the U.S. would extend “an olive branch” to Al Queda, ISIS, Boko Harem, Al Nursa, etc.
        Whoever is “calling the shots” for the next 4 years might, at some point, reach out to the “moderate elements” within these groups.
        Lotsa luck with that.

          • Po,
            Thanks. I read her foreign policy position.
            If Stein ever gets any kind of a forum with national exposure via interviews or debates, she could promote/ defend/ extrapolate her foreign policy proposals.
            A couple of things stand out to in her stated positions.
            She favors a declaration,of war against ISIS, and that the U.S. should take the lead in fighting ISIS (with U.S. allies).
            But she excludes the use of ground troops; to

            some degree, U.S. ground troops are already involved in
            the fight against ISIS. albeit not on a major ground combat role.
            (This smartphone screen just locked up, so some sentences may be repeated here.- I can’t see what I’vd written or proofread until I hit Post..then (and only then) I can view it.
            Anyway, Stein’s views on NATO are very similar to Trump’s views.
            It’s not clear to me that she supports continued NATO membership,even if other members step up their contributions.
            That’s a key issue that needs to be debated….without going over all of the questions that issue raises, I haven’t seen Trump or Clinton go beyond soundbite answers .
            If moderators and/ of interviewers do their job, Clinton and Trump will be pressed for more specifics on these issues.
            Stein’s position(s) might get some exposure, if she continues to get some time on CSPAN, etc.
            The “big stage” remains “the little pool” of 2 candidates.

            Any she rules out the use of drones for either surveillance or strikes.
            She may have “refined” her proposal, but she wants the U.S. to declare war on ISIS, take the lead, etc.. .but no use of drones, no ground troops…then,it’s not clear if or how she would deploy U.S. forces.
            Her position on NATO probably goes a bit farther than what Trump has proposed. Essentially, pull out of NATO, especially if other member nations don’t step up their contributions.

            • I may have missed Stein’s position on how to handle Isis… I’ll read up on it. I have been attracted to her calls to stop waging imperialist wars… I also support her distrust of NATO, which is the main tool for wrecking the planet right now.

              I do hope she makes it to at least one debate, though I know it won’t happen. We would all gain for it.
              Johnson is out there…never thought he was a serious candidate to begin with, even less so now.

              • Po,
                Use of NATO for campaigns like Libya undercut that alliance’s credibility.
                But IF Putin’s goal is re-establisning the old USSR by rolling over former Soviet republics and teceng NATO members, then NATO’s stance, the extent of its commitments, and its continied existence all become critical issues.
                “Discretionary use” of NATO for campaigns like Libya involve foolish policy and foolish use of the NATO allaince; a major Russian push/ land grab Westward would be up issues actually related to NATO’s core purpose.

                • Agreed Tom, however, other than the anti Russia propaganda, there is really no reason to assume a russian land grab.
                  Nato, in order to justify its existence, needs to justify its existence…hence the narrative that Putin is the big bad wolf…or bear.

                  • Po,
                    The reclaiming of Crimea, and the Russian involvemen in the Ukraine conflict, do bring into question Putin’s long term game plan.
                    As does his view that the breakup of the USSR was a huge mistKw.

                    At this poing, I don’t thontheres a clear picture of Putin’s objectives. clear

                    • Tom, the consensus is that Putin did not have much to do with Crimea. Crimea is mostly Russian in language and culture and longing, and voted overwhelmingly to join RUssia.
                      As for the Ukraine, the non-mainstream consensus is also that it was NATO fomented, as spoke she Victoria Nuland, one of Obama’s amazons, in order to further stress Russia right on her borders.
                      Now the country is broken, run by oligarchs and neo-nazis….
                      Russia also has not done any concrete move to take over any of its neighbors…it has actually rejected
                      Moldova’s request to join her.

  14. When I saw the “Space Cadet” part of this column’s title, I initially thought the column was about Gary Johnson.
    Oncs he named Obi-Wan Kenobi as his favorite foreign leader ( see the Andy Borowitz article in The New Yorker), it was game over for the Libertarians’ prospect.

  15. Po,
    I followed the riots in Ukraine that forced out the PM.
    The coverage ,and portrayal of the nature of “the protests”, were covered differently by the BBC than in the American media.
    A LOT differently. Anyway,I didn’t follow the Crimean situation as closely…maybe there wasn’t as much coverage as events centered around Kiev.
    I think Russian troops entered Crimea the the thousands and took over Ukrainian military bases and government offices.
    I don’t temember any real combat/ battles, but the Russian military presence seemed to “help things along” in bringing about the referendum.
    I listen to an analyst last winter, who stated his belief that “Russian troops could be in Kiev in a week” if Putin was really serious about overrunning the Ukraine.
    Not sure if his analysis of the military balance and, especially, his analysis of Putin’s long term intentions are correct.
    But the guy’s views were well worth paying attention to.

    • Tom, one of the best analysts to follow regarding the Ukraine and Russia is Stephen Cohen of NYU. He has been rather prescient about much of what happened in that area.
      Another one is The Saker http://thesaker.is/, and also Dmitri Orlov http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/, among others. Though those latter two are of russo origins, they offer a counter balance that is intellectually honest.
      Paul Craig Roberts has also addressed that issue quite extensively…The bottom line is that we are being lied extensively by the administration and the MSM…including about the malaysian airplace that was blown out of the sky.

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