Thursday, September 20, 2012

Iraqi traffic policemen, taking a short break from their regular duties, volunteer to help municipal workers with paving a road in Baghdad, from this morning

40 comments:

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Nice.

Seriously. :)

Freddie Starr said...

Lynnette in Minnesota ate my hamster.

scripture for healing said...

Let's continue to pray for healing especially in Iraq

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
I was having a little trouble with that picture.  Cops ‘volunteer’ to pick up a rake and spread tarmac for the city road crews?  Didn't seem right in my mind; didn't seem to match especially with what I've come to expect to of Iraqi police, from what I've heard of Iraqi police.  And then it struck me…
We're probably not talking about anything similar to my nearest local municipal police department; certainly not the County Sheriff's department..  ‘Traffic cops’ in Baghdad probably don't even work for ‘the police forces’.  They probably work for the Baghdad Public Works or Baghdad Public Streets Dept. or some such entity as that.    They may well even be dispatched out of the same building complex as the truck driver who dumped the tarmac there.   Those guys handlin’ the rakes don't appear to be packin’ sidearms, for instance.

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M said...

It would be very interesting with a detailed report on life in Baghdad right now, since it seems to be off the radar of the mainstream media.

Is the capitol divided along sectarian lines? Is there much suspicion between different sects/groups? Are there many roadblocks still in place ir is it returning to a more normal state? Have the blast walls come down? Are services uch as water and electrcity improved, or is it still an ongoing problem for people? Etc.

Marcus said...

^me

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Hi Pete :)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Re:  American politics

Romney has decided to release a Romney-written ‘summary’ of his tax status for the past 20 years with highlights as selected by Romney.
I can't for the life of me figure out how this could possibly be seen as a good idea from inside the Romney camp.
Even Republicans can't figure this one out.

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Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Just FYI...

I do not believe that we will entirely transition to alternative forms of energy by 2030. At least not if the global economy continues to drag. Free markets are a huge catalyst for that type of change. That prediction in 2010 was a little premature.

Also, it is highly unlikely that the US government paid oil companies to stay out of Iraq. Private oil companies will go where there is money to be made. And if that is not easily done they will look elsewhere, like North Dakota.

Interesting insights into the way that Iraqis were thinking, though.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

P.S.

To make the assumption that the world will act to try to reverse the effects of the build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is to ignore the disfunction of bodies like the United States Congress. So, this is really no incentive to switch quickly to alternative forms of energy.

Or, in other words, we're toast. Sorry.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "That prediction in 2010 was a little premature."

Which prediction was ‘that’ prediction?  Ya lost me here.  (I'm likewise at a loss over the ‘US government paid oil companies to stay out of Iraq’ allegation; that also seemed to rise outta no where.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Thomas Friedman writes about a supposed Muslim 'backlash’ against the recent uproar over the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ trailer.  I hope he really sees what he thinks he sees.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Re:  American politics
(an entirely editorial comment)

I noted back in July I think it was, after he'd locked down the Republican nomination, that when Romney took a week-ten days or so off of the campaign trail to vacation with his family, just disappeared for the week, his polling numbers actually went up.  I can't help noticing that he's back on the campaign in earnest now, out in public almost every day, and his favorability numbers seem to be dropping.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Which prediction was ‘that’ prediction? Ya lost me here.

Oh, sorry, Lee. That comment was really addressed to the Blogmiester. In the course of researching another matter I happened to run across a paper written by someone who used to work for the Iraqi Oil Ministry. I found it interesting and I thought it was something Zeyad would be familiar with.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I have always had a great deal of respect for Thomas Friedman's writing. His analysis is usually well balanced.

I too took heart at the response of people in Libya to the militia activities. And these articles that Thomas Friedman noted are a positive step in the region. You can't change behavior if you are afraid to discuss it.

If the result of the Arab Spring is to empower more people in the Middle East to be more comfortable with those types of discussions, it is indeed a start. I wish them well. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I can't help noticing that he's back on the campaign in earnest now, out in public almost every day, and his favorability numbers seem to be dropping.

lol! I suspect there is a very good reason for that.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "I thought it was something Zeyad would be familiar
      with.
"

That don't tell me a lot, but okay.  I'll let it go at that.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Leaving Iraq for a moment and returning to Afghanistan, I just discovered something that I wasn't aware of before. Pity I didn't know about it when Bruno brought up Hekmatyar in the other comments section.

Apparently while the program to supply the Afghan mujahedin during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was bankrolled by the CIA, it was actually Pakistan's President Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq, through the Pakistani intellegence service the ISI, that had control over which groups were on the receiving end in Afghanistan. It was also Zia-ul-Haq that was instrumental in setting up the madrassas.

Petes said...

R.I.P. Andy Williams.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Re:  American politics

The nation-wide conspiracy against Republicans is expanding.  In addition to paleontologists, cosmologists, climate scientists, and economists; generally, scientists and academics and eggheads of all persuasions, and of course, likewise in addition to the longstanding conspiracy between western liberals, Islamic facists and the American media, it has recently been discovered that America's major polling organizations are now conspiring to demoralize potential Republican voters in advance of the upcoming elections.  (This applies to polling organizations other than Rassmussen; even Gallup has now gone over to the dark side.  Why this will not lead to a fatal overconfidence among potential Democratic voters is, as yet, still a mystery.)

Petes said...

Samuel L Jackson has the overconfidence angle covered. Frighteningly bad taste if you ask me, but what do I know about tacky American politics.

Marcus said...

I agree Pete, bad taste indeed. Might work though.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Might work though."

I rather doubt we'll find out.  It's not the sort of thing I'd expect Obama will pick off of Utube and add to his campaign.

Petes said...

It might, Marcus ... getting about a quarter of a million hits a day so far.

Petes said...

Apparently white Americans would rather vote for Ahmadinejad than Obama ... according to an article from an Iranian press agency uncritically copied from a spoof in The Onion.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "…about a quarter of a million hits a day…"

Probably few of those need an additional incentive to turn out to vote.  If they're actually hunting out stuff on the net then they're likely voters already.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
        "…Apparently white Americans would rather vote for
      Ahmadinejad than Obama…
"

I was waiting for Bruno to maybe bring us that one.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Frighteningly bad taste if you ask me, but what do I know about tacky American politics.

Yes, but some people believe in the sledgehammer approach to getting people's attention. Scare tactics at their extreme.

For major changes to be enacted you would need to get the President and the Congress on the same page. Which would mean electing a majority of the same party, not just the President.

What is unfortunate is that the Republicans do have a point about not turning the United States into a welfare state and keeping us competitive internationally. They have just left that message to the extremists in their party to bend all out of shape.

We will not be able to afford a cradle to grave type of social safety net. There still has to be an incentive to maintain a dynamic workforce.

I was reading in the WSJ the other day about the taxes paid in various countries for their medical/retirement employee benefits. The countries listed were as follows(including both employee and employer paid taxes):

Ireland - 8.25%
Spain - 37.33%
Italy - 40.97%
France - 42.58%
Portugal(current)- 34.75%
Greece - 34.65%
Germany - 41.28%
Slovenia - 38.2%
US(current, but will likely go back up 2%) - 13.30%*

*The WSJ listed US employers as being on the hook for 9.7%, but as far as I know it is still 7.65%, which with the current employee contribution of 5.65% makes 13.30%. They might have been including something else.

Those are some huge numbers to have to pay. I can see why there were protests in Portugal after they proposed raising the employee contribution(from 11% to 18%) and lowering the employer contribution.

I still think eliminating the wage cap on Social Security is the way to go and raising taxes on the wealthier wage earners. And so far I haven't seen Romney proposing that.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I was waiting for Bruno to maybe bring us that one.

Perhaps he has been occupied elsewhere. :)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Re:  American politics
(entirely editorial comment)

I keep reading more and more right-winger web articles headlining claims of ‘bogus polls’ and ‘media deceptions’ and how Romney's still tied or maybe even a little ahead.  They're even making their way into semi-mainstream media outlets now.  I'm beginning to think the tea-baggers are setting up to claim the election was stolen and try to keep alive the idea that Obama is an illegitimate president.  (This is assuming Obama goes on to win, of course.)

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