Tuesday, November 4, 2008

That's all for now...


Is this nation now under the thrall of a terroristic, America loathing, Islamic socialist, or a pragmatic left of center politician with cool charisma? Time will tell. Let's hope the red baiting neo racists can temporarily put country first and give the man a chance.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

DRILL BABY DRILL

Remember President Bush's State of the Union address in 2006 (Bush Says 'America Is Addicted to Oil' ). In the same speech, President Bush also called for training 70,000 math and science teachers to improve the nation's competitiveness. I wonder what a President Palin would do?

And now for something completely different

I received an email hyping Sean Hannity's Fox News expose tonight that will reveal "the Truth" about Obama's "racist" spiritual leader and terrorist mentors.
John Cleese has penned a few lines to the fair and balanced journalist:
Ode to Sean Hannity by John Cleese
Aping urbanity
Oozing with vanity
Plump as a manatee
Faking humanity
Journalistic calamity
Intellectual inanity
Fox Noise insanity
You’re a profanity Hannity

Smears and loathing on the Internets

I've been reading a lot of conservative blogs the past week. Seems Obama is not only a liar socialist and terrorist, he also hates hard working white people. Obama is heading up a shadowy campaign to stuff the ballot boxes Chicago style through the DNC goon squad and "community organizers" like ACORN. Oh, and liberals hate America and are judgemental hypocrites who mock real life heroes like Joe the Plumber.
It doesn't matter that Joe doesn't belong to the plumber's union, have a plumbing license, earn $250,000, or would get a tax cut under Obama's proposal. Joe says Obama is a socialist.

Of course the old McCain sometimes resurfaces. A few weeks ago McCain gave his Democratic opponent a little praise when a supporter accused Obama of being an untrustworthy "Ay-Rab."
On Larry King Live last week, Senator McCain admitted Barack Obama is not a socialist. Then it was back to smear tactics as usual. In the same interview McCain claimed that Obama is associated with yet another terrorist professor, Rashid Khalidi. Liberals blogs gleefully pointed out that McCain directed nearly a half million dollars to Khalidi's Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank.
It's the same story regarding McCain's claims of Obama supporting voter fraud by his association with ACORN. McCain was for it before he was against it. Read the story here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Four years too late

Senator McCain took President Bush to task in the Reverend Moon's Washington Times :

"Spending, the conduct of the war in Iraq for years, growth in the size of government, larger than any time since the Great Society, laying a $10 trillion debt on future generations of America, owing $500 billion to China, obviously, failure to both enforce and modernize the [financial] regulatory agencies that were designed for the 1930s and certainly not for the 21st century, failure to address the issue of climate change seriously," Mr. McCain said in an interview with The Washington Times aboard his campaign plane en route from New Hampshire to Ohio.
"Those are just some of them," he said with a laugh, chomping into a peanut butter sandwich as a few campaign aides in his midair office joined in the laughter. 

More Corporate welfare

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Who watches the watchmen?

NY times headline: Greenspan Concedes Error on Regulation
...a humbled Mr. Greenspan admitted that he had put too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets and had failed to anticipate the self-destructive power of wanton mortgage lending.

“Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief,” he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Meanwhile, appearing on Bill Moyer's journal, economist James Galbraith said,
"Here in the United States the capacity to handle the crisis exists. What we need is a government that's willing to use that capacity, that believes in it... Regulation is not a burden on business. When it's done properly, it's a framework which favors the more efficient, the more progressive, the more satisfactory elements of business that are prepared to work within the guidelines set by a larger public purpose."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Small town, pro-American fashion

Was it Dick Nixon that boasted of his wife's decent Republican cloth coat? Read all about hockey mom Sarah Palin's $150,000 wardrobe, courtesy of the Republican Party. Just the day before, I received a letter from Governor Palin inviting me to join the Republican National Committee with a 2008 campaign contribution. Individuals may contribute up to $28,500 to the RNC per year!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Powell Endorsement

A few weeks ago conservatives were forwarding a viral video of a Palin-McCain march in Manhattan. The marchers were jeered and suffered rude gestures from annoyed New York "liberal elites." The video was part of the Democrats as intolerant fascists and socialists campaign in full swing. 

Of course, people from Colin Powell's generation can remember marches too. Marches that involved dogs and fire hoses, police batons and prison time. People like Powell might also be familiar with rallies and crowds shouting about black folks in even more negative terms suffered by the Neo Cons marching through the Upper West Side. Besides his being made into a stage prop by the second Bush administration, it's possible Colin Powell is sincerely alarmed by the McCain campaign's embrace of old style Republican racist and red baiting politics.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another one...

Savage Dragon has Obama's back. So does Christopher Buckley. Check it out here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Joe who?

My plumber must be doing something wrong, since he charged me only $100 to get toothbrushes out of the upstairs toilet (his girlfriend actually got them out since her hand was slender enough to reach into the pipe and pull them out. ) Tooth brushes can't be snaked out, so you've got to detach the bottom and lift the toilet up. Take note future parents.
See Joe the Plumber debate Obama here:



Addendum, October 19th
Turns out Joe will probably benefit from Obama's "socialist" tax proposals.
You can see one plumber's association of Obama here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

Obamanomics


Good news for Obama, er, if you have any respect for economists. The Economist magazine did an unscientific poll of economists and found that 80% of those responding believed Obama would do better than McCain at assembling an economic team.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Latest Obama Ad

There are no atheists in foxholes, and no libertarians in financial crises, at least in the Bush administration and the McCain and Obama campaigns.


http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/im46?source=sem-da-csmedia

Friday, September 26, 2008

Round 1

From a purely political view, I'd say McCain did slightly better tonight than Obama. Obama is no Dan Quayle or Sarah Palin, but Senator McCain managed to question the preparedness of the Junior Senator from Illinois quite frequently during the second half of the debate, putting Obama on the defensive. McCain's rosy picture of the Iraqi surge will probably appeal to anyone on the right side of the fence, even though Iraq continues to be the most dangerous place in the world. On the economy, McCain wasn't as effective. When he said something like "a lot of us saw this train wreck coming" I did a double take. This was the guy who was cheerleading for Bushonomics until a few weeks ago. He also said he had been fighting pork barrel spending for years. Apparently he wasn't very successful, since he cited a figure saying wasteful spending has tripled over the last few years.
Correction, I just glanced at Factcheck.org
McCain said special appropriation earmarks had “tripled in the last five years,” but he was wrong, since they have decreased sharply.

Deal...or no deal?

John McCain wants to stop campaigning, put politics aside and seek a bi-partisan solution to the $700 Billion bailout. Of course his campaign "implied" that Barack Obama was at fault for the meeting devolving "into a contentious shouting match."
Obama contends that a US President needs to handle several problems at once, so a debate and working on how to give away $700 Billion of borrowed money should be possible, but McCain is demonstrating he can multi-task. When asked if tonight's debate will go forward, McCain said, "I understand how important this debate is and I'm very hopeful, but I also have to put the country first." It's amazing how Senator McCain can be bipartisan, temporarily halt running for president and still question his opponent's patriotism and devotion to country.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080926/ap_on_el_pr/candidates_debate

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Economics Lesson

Easy to understand analysis of the bailout...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Does anybody ever read the platforms?


You can read the full text of the political parties' platforms here:
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/platforms.php



For a side by side summary of the Democratic and Republican Party Platforms, go here:
http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/issues/party-platforms/index.html

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Freakonomics

Steven D. Levitt, author of Freakonomics, had this to say on his blog:
"As an economist, I am supposed to have something intelligent to say about the current financial crisis. To be honest, however, I haven’t got the foggiest idea what this all means. So I did what I always do when something related to banking arises: I knocked on the doors of my colleagues Doug Diamond and Anil Kashyap, and asked them for the answers."
Head over to the Freakonomics blog for an explanation of what's happened with the latest econocataclysm:
http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/18/diamond-and-kashyap-on-the-recent-financial-upheavals/

Saturday, September 20, 2008

2 quotes

Paul Begala on Real Time with Bill Maher...
"McCain actually owns 9 homes, not 7. I've checked the property records-9 homes in 3 time zones, AND a private jet, and he says the guy who was raised by a single mother on food stamps is an elitest? That's insane!"

Leonard Nimoy on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me...
...about a year and a half ago I was at a political event and one of our current campaigners for the office of president of the United States saw me approach and he gave me the vulcan signal -and it was not John McCain.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mission Accomplished

From MISSION ACCOMPLISHED (or How we Won The War In Iraq) by ChristopherCerf and Victor Navasky
"The conflict is...going to be relatively short."
-John McCain, March 23,2003
"I would argue that the next three to six months will be critical."
-John McCain, September 10 2003
"We will probably see significant progress in the next six months to a year."
-John McCain, December 4, 2005
"There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods today. The U.S. is beginning to succeed in Iraq."
-John McCain, March 26, 2007.
The next week, McCain did go for a stroll in Iraq, accompanied by 100 American soldiers, three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead. McCain and his colleagues also wore body armor.
"The next six months are going to be critical."
John McCain, September 12, 2007
Meanwhile, Watergate reporter Bob Woodward has a new book out. An article in The Washington Post suggests that "the surge" was not what reduced the violence in Iraq from apoclyptic to mere our of control. At least least three other factors were:
"as important as, or even more important than, the surge." They include "a series of top-secret operations that enabled them to locate, target and kill key individuals in groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Sunni insurgency and renegade Shia militias, or so-called special groups," paying off the "so-called Anbar Awakening," and Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's order to "his powerful Mahdi Army to suspend operations, including attacks against U.S. troops."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Trotskyist McCain: WORKERS UNITE!

John McCain on the Today show, reported in the NY Times:
“Well it’s obviously true that the workers of America are the fundamentals of our economy, and our strength and our future. And I believe in the American worker, and someone who disagrees with that – it’s fine. We are in crisis. We all know that. The excess, the greed and the corruption of Wall Street have caused us to have a situation which is going to affect every American. We are in a total crisis.’’
Mr. Lauer asked if there was something wrong with the fundamentals of the economy that was causing the difficulty.
“There’s nothing wrong with the workers of America,’’ he said. “I believe that they’re the fundamentals. You may not, others may not. I think that the worker of America is the reason that we’ve been the preeminent economy in the world for a long, long period of time. America is in crisis today.’’
“We need a 9/11 commission, and we need a commission to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it,’’ he said. “And I know we can do it and how to do it.”

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/16/mccain-calls-for-commission-to-study-wall-street-woes/?hp

Sunday, September 14, 2008

snl's bullseye

Gov. Sarah Palin's Quaylefication has begun...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Big Iraq Attack


While on vacation in Wisconsin, I asked about military families and how they felt about President Bush as Commander in Chief. Back in the nineties, I remember hearing folks from Wisconsin complaining how President Clinton had ruined the military by underfunding it and the "don't ask don't tell" policy. Now cheeseheads tell me that they send food to their people in Iraq. They won't criticize the present administration like they did Clinton's, but their kids are "hungry all the time" with only one hot meal a day. If Obama wins, it will be nice to hear Bush Republicans suddenly notice that our troops are receiving inadequate medical care, aren't properly equipped and trained, and aren't having their basic needs met.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

lipstick on a pig

It's only offensive if we're talking about a conservative woman, not that harpy Hillary...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why we fight

A year ago Alan Greenspan wrote "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil" in his memoir, The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World .
If that is true, then maybe we've lost the war in Iraq...
Iraq Cancels Six No-Bid Oil Contracts
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/11/world/middleeast/11iraq.html

By ANDREW E. KRAMER and CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
Published: September 10, 2008
An Iraqi plan to award six no-bid contracts to Western oil companies, which came under sharp criticism from several United States senators this summer, has been withdrawn, participants in the negotiations said on Wednesday...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Taxes part 3: Rich old men


Warren Buffett, who is sometimes the richest man in the world, complains that taxes on the rich are too low. He pays a tax rate about half that of his secretary's: most of Buffett’s income is from dividends and capital gains, and is taxed at a 15% Federal rate, as opposed to a Federal rate more than twice that for upper middle class families. He supports Obama.


Meanwhile, the AP reported that Alan Greenspan says the country can't afford tax cuts proposed by John McCain — at least not without a corresponding reduction in government spending.

Bizarro am vote Republican for change!


Doublethink: The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

The Associated Press reported tonight that Republican John McCain accused the Republican Party of indulging in a spending spree and passing on "huge IOUs and perplexing issues to future generations instead of fixing them as they had promised."
"'Change is coming, change is coming,' McCain promised..."
So don't forget to throw the bums out this November, and vote a straight Republican ticket. That'll show those Washington Fat Cats!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

ABCs

I know an unmarried couple struggling with the abortion issue. Both man and woman were a little wild as teenagers, and each ended up having a daughter. Both baby girls had to be raised by someone else. Three years ago they were thrilled to have a daughter together that they could raise as their own. A second pregnancy followed, but my friend was laid off his HVAC job for the summer, and his partner's latest checkup showed the possibility of Down Syndrome. He had second thoughts, she was outraged and was determined "not to kill it." A few weeks later she was feeling weak, went to the emergency room and discovered the leukemia she had once as a child had reappeared. My friend and the doctors brought up the possibility of abortion. His girlfriend refused and for a while was refusing to have her leukemia treated. My friend protested that if she were to die, he would be a single dad raising two children, one with a high probability of Down Syndrome. His girlfriend again accused him of being selfish. To date, she's been in the hospital for over a month and been getting treated for her cancer while still pregnant. My friend has a new job working for a wealthy property owner (but no benefits) and spends his time working, caring for his daughter and staying at the hospital.
If you believe that human life begins at the moment of conception, you'll probably see the logic behind his girlfriend's reasoning. I on the other hand, see no reason to assume human life begins the moment the sperm enters the egg. Others argue that any form of birth control, including condoms, is anti-life and immoral. Who decides what's right? Possibly the Supreme Court, if McCain-Palin win this election.

We're number 42!

A nation's infant mortality rate is the number of newborns who die within the first year of life divided by the number of live births during a year.
According to the 2008 CIA World Handbook, the United States has a rate of 6.30 per 1000. Countries with lower rates are:

41 Cuba 5.93 2008 est.
40 Isle of Man 5.62 2008 est.
39 Italy 5.61 2008 est.
38 Taiwan 5.45 2008 est.
37 San Marino 5.44 2008 est.
36 Greece 5.25 2008 est.
35 Monaco 5.18 2008 est.
34 Ireland 5.14 2008 est.
33 Canada 5.08 2008 est.
32 Jersey 5.01 2008 est.
31 New Zealand 4.99 2008 est.
30 United Kingdom 4.93 2008 est.
29 Gibraltar 4.91 2008 est.
28 Portugal 4.85 2008 est.
27 Australia 4.82 2008 est.
26 Netherlands 4.81 2008 est.
25 Luxembourg 4.62 2008 est.
24 Guernsey 4.53 2008 est.
23 Liechtenstein 4.52 2008 est.
22 Belgium 4.50 2008 est.
21 Austria 4.48 2008 est.
20 Denmark 4.40 2008 est.
19 Slovenia 4.30 2008 est.
18 Korea, South 4.29 2008 est.
17 Israel 4.28 2008 est.
16 Spain 4.26 2008 est.
15 Switzerland 4.23 2008 est.
14 Germany 4.03 2008 est.
13 Czech Republic 3.83 2008 est.
12 Malta 3.79 2008 est.
11 Andorra 3.68 2008 est.
10 Norway 3.61 2008 est.
9 Anguilla 3.54 2008 est.
8 Finland 3.50 2008 est.
7 France 3.36 2008 est.
6 Iceland 3.25 2008 est.
5 Macau 3.23 2008 est.
4 Hong Kong 2.93 2008 est.
3 Japan 2.80 2008 est.
2 Sweden 2.75 2008 est.
1 Singapore 2.30 2008 est.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2091rank.html

Sexism BAD!

Flip flop...

Friday, September 5, 2008

WE"RE NUMBER ONE!!!


WE'RE NUMBER ONE!!!


liar liar

AP Headline Thursday evening:

Palin: Democrats spreading misinformation and lies
Factcheck.org summary of Palin's Speech:


Sarah Palin’s much-awaited speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night may have shown she could play the role of attack dog, but it also showed her to be short on facts when it came to touting her own record and going after Obama’s.
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/gop_convention_spin_part_ii.html

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Taxes part 2

A Updated Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plans: Executive Summary - August 28, 2008
Author(s): Roberton Williams, Howard Gleckman
Published: August 28, 2008
Abstract
Both John McCain and Barack Obama have proposed tax plans that would substantially increase the national debt over the next ten years, according to a newly updated analysis by the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. Compared to current law, TPC estimates the Obama plan would cut taxes by $2.9 trillion from 2009-2018. McCain would reduce taxes by nearly $4.2 trillion. Obama would give larger tax cuts to low- and moderate-income households and pay some of the cost by raising taxes on high-income taxpayers. In contrast, McCain would cut taxes across the board and give the biggest cuts to the highest-income households.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/publications/url.cfm?ID=411750

Monday, August 25, 2008

Shiite hits the fanatics

A day after I posted my Iraq rant, the Los Angeles Times came out with an article about how the Shiite led Iraqi government is seeking to disband the CLCs of Sunni fighters.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/iraq/complete/la-fg-sons23-2008aug23,0,565841.story
Sons of Iraq under arrest, sent into hiding
The article concludes...
If disbanded, their leaders warn, the groups could revolt."In the event that the U.S. military and government don't live up to their promises, it could turn back to a violent form of resistance," said Abu Abed, a leader Adhamiya. "Every action breeds a reaction."

Of course, if you find the whole Shiite/Sunni division confusing, don't feel bad.

Tax Facts Part 1


An unfair Obama ad using dated and out of context quotes to portray McCain as clueless on the economy is debinked on Factcheck.org. Of course, McCain doesn't seem to be distancing himself from the Bush policies that contributed to the current recession.
There's also an article about McCain misrepresenting Obama's tax proposals again. And again, and again.
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/more_tax_deceptions.html
Claims that Obama supports raising taxes on "families" making $42,000 and would "raise taxes on middle class," are all false. In reality, Obama's plan has tax cuts for middle-income taxpayers and would increase rates on family incomes above $250,000 or with individual incomes above $200,000.
More articles from Factcheck:
Wind Power Puffery
McCain's talks about"renewable energy," but his energy plan offers little to support it.
Obama's Overstatement
An Obama ad claims McCain's campaign got $2 million from "Big Oil." The total is only a mere $1.3 million.
McCain's Small-Business Bunk
He claims 23 million small-business owners would pay higher tax rates under Obama. He's wrong. The vast majority would see no change, and many would get a cut.
The $32,000 Question
The McCain campaign falsely claims that Obama voted to raise income taxes on individuals earning "as little as $32,000 per year."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ron Paul on the Great Republican Neo-Con

Why the Republican party is no longer the party of conservativism. Fox news cut this part of the debate out during its rebroadcast.





Flip Flops

A conservative friend sent me an email of Obama's Top Ten Flip Flops, including taking money from special interests, waffling on illegal immigration, decriminalizing marijuana, NAFTA, handgun control, the death penalty, campaign financing, and the Iraq war. As every political science major knows,  every politician running for president(except for Reagan in 1980), addresses their base in the primaries, then moderates their rhetoric to appeal to the center and capture a majority.

Unlike Obama, McCain finds himself stuck on the right, due to his recent conversion to right wing positions on abortion, torture, immigration, right wing preachers, and the Bush tax cuts. Maybe McCain has got religion and seen the error of his moderate past, or he is so desperate to become President he's willing to give up his maverick straight talking identity. 

Obama excused his apparent contradictions by telling  Forbes magazine that "sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified. Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself."







Friday, August 22, 2008

What do you see when you look at Iraq?

Rorschach inkblot test
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Rorschach inkblot test (pronounced IPA: [ʁoɐʃax]) is a method of psychological evaluation. Psychologists use this test to try to examine the personality characteristics and emotional functioning of their patients... It has been employed in diagnosing underlying thought disorder and differentiating psychotic from nonpsychotic thinking in cases where the patient is reluctant to openly admit to psychotic thinking.[1]

If you listen to President Bush or Senator McCain, the SURGE has worked. Candidate McCain uses Senator Obama's opposition to both the surge and the entire Iraq war as an example of Senator Obama's poor judgement. Of course, as the US surged 30,000 more soldiers into Baghdad, the British got a new leader and got the hell out of Iraq. An un-surge. Americans forces engaged insurgents, increasing the number of Iraqi refugees to over 4 million as Iraqis fled the battles in Baghdad. As the reported violence went down in Iraq, the violence escalated in Afghanistan.

Was it President Bush's strategy of deploying more soldiers into Baghdad that lead to "progress" in Iraq, or was it something else? Other possibilities might be that Iraqis were running out of ethnic neighborhoods to cleanse. Iraq is now much more segregated along religious and ethnic lines. The definition of ethnic violence was also changed, so that someone shot in the front was no longer considered a target of the ethnic civil war and chaos, but merely a victim of crime. Then of course, there are the CLCs. The White House website described them this way :

"Concerned Local Citizens (CLCs) continue to play a key role in the decreasing trends of violence and improving stability across Iraq.
More than 130 different CLC groups are volunteering to support security in their neighborhoods, with more than 80,000 active members.
More than 10,000 Iraqis from the original Anbar Awakening were hired and now serve in the Iraqi Security Forces. "
The Congressional Research Service describes them differently, noting "the CLCs are made up of former insurgents."
The CRS noted that during the surge, U.S. commanders were turning over "informal security responsibility to 91,000 former militants called 'Concerned Local Citizens' (CLC’s) or 'Sons of Iraq' in exchange for an end to their anti-U.S. operations. "
According to Factcheck.org , the U.S. is paying about $16 million dollars a month to members of the Sons of Iraq. "General Petraeus emphasized during his testimony that the 'savings in vehicles not lost because of reduced violence — not to mention the priceless lives saved — have far outweighed the cost of their monthly contracts.'"
http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/is_the_us_government_paying_factions_in.html
Will the paychecks convince the Iraqis to embrace a western style democracy, or will the checks mysteriously stop coming after the first week of November when Obama wins?

McMortgage Crisis

Confession

During the Illinois primary, I switched parties and voted for Ron Paul. I felt fairly confident Obama would carry Illinois, and voted for the Republican who seemed the least hypocritical. This November I'll probably vote for Nader. If I lived in Florida, Ohio or another battleground state, I would vote for Obama. I'll also be voting for Democrats in the congress. If you're a Republican who is outraged at the Bush deficit, WMD lies, Iraq occupation incompetence, and Neo CON artistry, I urge you to vote for Ron Paul or Bob Barr if you can't bring yourself to vote for a Democrat.

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Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. -Margaret Mead