“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Friday, April 06, 2012

Crony capitalism crippled the institutional polity in this country.

I have gone from opposing single-payer in general, ACA in particular, to moderately supporting the Obama bill. With or without ACA, low income seniors are and will remain the most vulnerable demographic.

The Bush Prescription legislation was passed with a wink and a kick in return for Democratic support of his administration's military "engagements in the ME. The degree of truth in what has become dogma among many on the modern Right is of marginal relevance when one considers the lobby distribution by industry. Pharma is at the top, spending almost a third more than the no. 2 competitor, which is insurance, with BCBS at the top.

Here is the link:


Top Industries

Or pick an industry from an alphabetical list
or organized by sector & industry of all 121 profiled.
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products$2,323,394,297
Electric Utilities$1,555,710,459
Business Associations$1,290,793,552
Oil & Gas$1,223,869,210
Misc Manufacturing & Distributing$1,067,685,931
Hospitals/Nursing Homes$1,000,453,611
Civil Servants/Public Officials$956,045,810
Real Estate$920,866,353
Securities & Investment$903,207,613
Health Professionals$882,840,942
Air Transport$835,111,074
Misc Issues$735,782,671
Telephone Utilities$707,395,875
Telecom Services & Equipment$663,480,550
Defense Aerospace$598,337,813

Crony capitalism crippled the institutional polity in this country. A little larceny never hurt anybody, but we're way beyond that. Choose your own favorite visual for excess. 

USA has a strong institutional structure that can be salvaged with some tweaks (term limits) and some fresh blood on the inside. Maybe Marco Rubio is our savior. Maybe not. What is more likely is that the next generation of Washingtonians will be *slightly* better - across the board. One can make a cultural argument that humanity is improving in some sense. (I'm also conditionally supportive of shifting some power back to the states but that too has problems.) 

What I like about the "democracy ain't easy" statement is the deeper and fairly profound assertion that humanity will be at each other's throats for some considerable distance into whatever is left of our future. It's what we do. There will be no perfect and no final solution for anything. Democracy isn't a spreadsheet app. The perfect being the enemy of the good etc.


Getting back to the action plan, I am convinced that the absolute best thing Washington can do to "course correct" is overhaul the tax code. The trickle-down along multiple vectors would be incalculable. I'm not sure this group can do it but prioritizing tax code reform and following through with implementation would unleash the "animal spirits" in a way that would make the Chinese spit in their tea cups.

Healthcare is not insoluble but it is does qualify as "high maintenance" to use that elegant phrase of endearment.

I would like to see one of two paths take hold. If SCOTUS upholds the mandate, then the healthcare provider enterprises should be highly regulated using an architecture similar to the quasi-private-public models of many utilities. 

Alternatively, if the mandate is struck down, then Medicaid should be offered as an option, along with competitive insurance "exchanges" to bring some market-forced cost control into the private healthcare providers (the latter is already part of the current ACA.) 

Both approaches should emphasize prevention, which is more important than I initially thought, particularly in controlling obesity-related chronic disease (also part of the current ACA which I initially scorned), and criminal prosecution. There will never be a perfect or permanent solution for fraud but proper emphasis can make that particular career choice more unattractive.



  1. I do not believe that Washington can be changed. It is malignant and corrupt to the core. It is all about money, big and small money.

    Hopefully, anonymous is correct and I am wrong.

  2. This is not my post. It is from an anonymous commenter.

  3. You have to watch the entire video and listen to the final line to appreciate the irony and the cynicism. Only in America.

  4. The best line from Anonymous:

    "Crony capitalism crippled the institutional polity in this country. A little larceny never hurt anybody, but we're way beyond that. Choose your own favorite visual for excess."

  5. In the US Freedom of Speech is almost absolute. It will take either a constitutional amendment or a unique agreement by contenders to bring about change. In the meantime we will have chaos with unions, corporations, and rich patrons having a disproportionate influence.

  6. Thanks Deuce and Rufus.

    It's important that this country be made to work. I guarantee nobody will like the alternatives, except for a small handful.

    The rebuttal argument to Abramoff is that he is little more than a petty thief compared to the "grim and determined" socialist force behind the historic progressive movement introduced by FDR and the New Deal programs (the "beast that needs to be starved".) I blame Ron Paul for filling the conservative void left by Bill Buckley with a radical libertarian strain that hates all form of government. Not without reason.

    Those of us who still "believe" in government as a necessary evil won't go there - to the Ron Paul space but the naked hubris and raw contempt of the best educated post-WWII generations, many of whom landed on Wall St, not by accident but by design, leaves me livid. The Democrats were no match for this group and the Republicans, as I indicated, were AWOL, flirting with radical and borderline anarchic ideas such as Ron Paul's platform.

    I don't concern myself too much with the historic meta-picture. Unlike others (who I suspect have discovered a convenient banner to raise for personal opportunistic gain) I doubt radical socialism can survive in this country. But a corrupt state? That we have. And it is more serious - and dangerous - than a handful of Bernie Sanders trying to look out for his constituents.



    Spotlight on Social Security & Seniors
    · Without Social Security, nearly half of Americans age 65 and older would live
    in poverty.
    · For two-thirds of the elderly, Social Security provides the majority of their
    income. For one-third, it provides nearly all their income.

    Did you know? Social
    Security is an extremely
    efficient program, with
    administrative costs of only
    0.9% of total expenditures!


    Social Security isn't the problem (it needs to be realigned with the modern demographic.) Nor is ideology a particular threat. This country has balanced its share of radical screamers without imploding. One could argue it's what we do best in America. The problem is corruption and stupidity, Abramoff style. We need a period of Victorian disapproval.

    David Rubenstein of The Carlyle Group calls our tax code "disgraceful." That says it all.

    1. ...but why blame Ron Paul for what someone else does not do? I blame George Bush, of course.

    2. Back in 2000, when Governor Bush was running for President and was "an oil man", he thought that Mexico was Canada's biggest trading partner,

      And had no idea that the oil sands in Alberta even existed!

      And he got two fucking terms!

      What a Republican!

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. .

      Quoting David Rubenstein on 'crony capitalism' or the tax code is apt but in this case highly ironic.

      It's been a few years since I read about the special deals written into the tax code specifically for the Carlyle Group (possibly in The Iron Triangle by Dan Brody) but anyone familiar with the Carlyle Group and how it operates recognizes David Rubenstein is the poster boy for crony capitalism.


    5. The operative word being 'disgraceful.'

  7. Hopefully, anonymous is correct and I am wrong.

    Take away the playground by shifting power back to the states. It's not perfect but, like Iraq and the Titanic, it reshuffles the deck chairs.

    Prior to 2008, I would have given good odds that this country would pull through - 80/20 on that order. Now I am not so sure. For a normal little squirt like me to get a glimpse of that depth of arrogance was a game-changer.

  8. Awful jobs report. More efficiency in labor use? Big slowdown in healthcare hiring.

  9. Again, Anon, Excellent Post.

    I think I'm going to make a pot of coffee before I wade off into the water this morning. I have a theory, half-baked though it is, that will irritate a few of the regulars. I need a bit of sustenance to handle the derision, I'm afraid.

  10. Okay, here goes; it's all about oil (I'll bet that surprised you, huh?) :)

    The World runs on it, and the supply quit growing in 2005. Chaos ensued/is ensuing/will ensue.

  11. The World has changed for the bottom two quintiles in America. Probably, the bottom three quintiles in Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

    The World is in transition.

  12. We're borrowing money to maintain an unmaintainable lifestyle. That didn't work out so well for Greece, but maybe we're different, right?

  13. Here's the thing, if you make a couple of hundred thousand a year $5.00 gasoline won't be much of a bother. But, if you make that couple hundred thou selling things to Bubba, that Bubba can do without, the building might be starting to feel a bit "drafty."

  14. All through history, when things got really tough, the rich immediately declared war on the poor. This is the first law of human nature. It has Not changed, and it will not change.

  15. Credit is of utmost importance to a growing enterprise. However, if you're borrowing $8 Million to crack rocks to retrieve $7 Million worth of oil so Bubba can drive a pickup that gets 13 mpg a little longer, it may not be such a hot idea.

  16. As I've said before, of all the "Developed" countries, the U.S. might be in the best shape. We have the most "low-hanging" fruit.

    We have, already, by changing our driving habits, slowly increasing the fuel efficiency of our fleet, and by adding a million barrels/day of biofuels to the mix, managed to cut a Truly Remarkable 4 Million bbls/day from our oil consumption.

    We, also, have some very oil-intensive overseas adventures that we can wind down.

    Although it's hard to make a case that we're "growing," in light of the huge amount of government borrowing, one could at least argue that we are, perhaps, treading water (unless your name is "Bubba," of course.)

  17. Fucking anon says x anon says y. Anon is one confused hypocrite!!

    The contradictions are glaring yet you all lap it up.

    1. .

      So what's the deal Ash? A little too much black tea this morning? You should switch back to the green or oolong.

      When I read your first sentence, I thought Bob had arrived.


    2. .

      All Anon did was offer an opinion Ash. No need to get upset. Deuce disagreed with one of the conclusions Anon drew. I share Deuce's credulity. I also question a couple of the points Anon made as well as the historical perspective he/she offers.

      That being said, Anon pointed out one of the key issues we have in this country, crony capitalism, a problem that goes beyond the politics of either side. It is a problem I don't see being resolved in the forseeable future. The current Supremes support it (Citizens United) and the pols who benefit from it support it. That's why in the absence of a major upheaval in this country things are unlikely to change. More radical solutions such as term limits or returning power to the states are highly unlikely since before they are turned over to the states for a vote, Congress would have to approve it by a two-thirds majority (two-thirds of the state legislatures could propose one but that has never happened). Why would the boys in DC cut off their gravy train?

      We talk about 2008 being the worst downturn since the great depression, but what has it really changed? ZIP. There have been some token moves to change things but nothing substantial has really changed. You and I may have got hurt on our home, job, or in the stock market, but the big boys, those making the decisions that got us into this mess, weren't hurt. They are doing better than ever. Those changes that were implemented are slowly being watered down (see Obama's bill signing yesterday). Nothing has changed. The trends continue and we can expect another meltdown later in this decade.

      No to get anywhere near a 'real' change in this country we will need a near catostrophic meltdown whether due to domestic or geopolitical reasons. Ten percent unemployment? That means 90% are still moving along fat, dumb, and happy albeit complaining. Heck, Europe has been living with that unemployment rate for years before 2008. Eastern Europe has 2 to 3 times that rate. Some countries in Africa and the ME are even higher.

      No, we will require something big to change our direction.

      We can define the problem although you'll get divided opinions on whose fault it is. But while defining the problem is important, the more important thing is finding possible solutions. We can offer up solutions as Anon did. However, a solution can only work if it's implemented. Given the current state of affairs in this country as well as the trend lines, I like Deuce, am not optimistic.


    3. .

      Getting back to the action plan, I am convinced that the absolute best thing Washington can do to "course correct" is overhaul the tax code

      This was the most convincing argument in the overall post. Since both parties have argued for a change to the code, there may even be a chance that we may get it. I say that as one who is cautiously optimistic. Unfortunately, all we have received from both parties so far is words. Ryan's new budget talks in generalities as does Obama. The sides are worlds apart on the mechanics of how to pay for the lower marginal rates and what deductions with be hacked. While optimistic, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see only minor token changes take place.


    4. .

      One more minor observation on the comment that

      What is more likely is that the next generation of Washingtonians will be *slightly* better - across the board.

      On what can we base this? Obviously, not on history. It was pointed out that the Occupy Movement wasn't spontaneous. True, but it was inevitable. It was a reaction just as the Tea party movement was a reaction. While the Occupy movement isn't offering any candidates I am aware of, we have seen what has come of electing a significant number of Tea Partiers. It hasn't been pretty.

      The current top leadership in Congress has been there forever. That is gradually changing. But do we see anything different? If you want radical leadership all you have to do is look at Paul Ryan. On the Dem side they are electing guys like Al Franken.

      I am not optimistic.


    5. On what can we base this?

      That statement was largely a reaction to the idea that a "savior" will rise in the east to lead us out of the wilderness. Unfortunately, much of the population still seems to be looking for a modern Kennedy that we can adore and respect, explains the Perry phenomenon.

      The other thing I was considering was the historic arc of the dynastic families. The Kennedy's went from Joe to the current generation of grandkids who are heavily invested in environmental causes. I think we'll see something similar from the Bush kids, and maybe Chelsea and the Palin girls, but there's also the possibility they'll go the route of Meaghan McCain.

      (While OM was obviously orchestrated, so was the Tea Party, despite persistent claims that it was a grass roots spontaneous movement.)

      But yes, the Reset rumblings are getting louder.

    6. RE Ryan

      Someone was opining yesterday that Romney is in danger of a Quayle Moment if he picks a VP to smooth things over with a skeptical conservative base as did GHWB.

  18. Replies
    1. .

      I see we had similar thoughts, Ruf; although with regard to Ash, mine might be a little more appropriate.



    2. :) I'm feeling unusually magnanimous this morning.

    3. Oops, I didn't see your first reply to Ash. I was thinking you might have something a little more radical in mind. :)

  19. I need a bit of sustenance to handle the derision

    Here's a little introductory derision until the A Team warms up.

    Rufus you ignorant slut - WiO

    Rufus the Cherokee hick from nowhere with nothing but gas and a daily bellyache - bob

    Cocksucking MoFo - WiO

    Rufus, half-baked, full-blown, cooked, steamed, stewed, filleted, with a side of hashed taters and boiled hominied homilies - Quirk

    Rufus you dumb fuck - WiO

    1. .

      Anon (whichever the one you are), if you insist on stirring the pot, please do so without misattributing quotes to Quirk.


    2. Actually, I thought that

      "half-baked, full-blown, cooked, steamed, stewed, filleted, with a side of hashed taters and boiled hominied homilies"

      was pretty spiffy. :)

    3. .

      Sorry Ruf, but you know I wouldn't take credit for someone else's work even if it is spiffy.


  20. How about doing some work and take apart the ideas and constructing a rebuttal?

  21. You go Ash, you carry the day bro, I've a real estate deal needs attending to, hooraw.

    You folks might recall though for you give anon a big medal Sarah Palin has been talking about crony capitalism for years.

  22. And Bill Bradley said the system was broke long, long ago.

  23. Rufus Panels talked about here


    1. After looking at Drudge one must quickly add before one goes how wonderful it is to see Chavez jetting about seeking some medical system that works. Cuba evidently didn't. He ought to swallow his pride and head to Mayo but he won't.

  24. Agree with all of it except this part:

    We're borrowing money to maintain an unmaintainable lifestyle.

    Depends on who you mean by "we."

    Failure of the welfare state is one theme - a dominant one in modern conservative thought. Obviously truth - to a degree - for some of the modern states, notably Europe and the self-inflicted problems of the EU, etc etc etc.

    That is *not* what happened to this country. Anyone who makes the claim has an Agenda.

    The argument is old but it is consistently resonating with just over half of the population - it's Bush's fault. The $1T to $3T ME wars and the $2T bailouts from the 2008 financial collapse, coupled with the second tier effects of an expensive and unfunded prescription drug bill, out-of-control healthcare costs, and loss of lower to middle class manufacturing jobs due to export. The interest alone is crippling the budget.

    It's a toxic brew. The feds have some explaining to do but their worst failing was absence of leadership (not much different at the state level either.) Didn't have shit to do with the welfare state or whining petulant "tit suckers" (except at the corporate level where tit-sucking has been raised to a fine art called Tax Law.)

    It's all about the tax code. Clean up that mess and then continue with the parlor room debates over ideology.

    1. Yeah, I cut that one kind of short. What I have in mind is that the bottom quintiles are going to have to find a way to use less oil, and still remain productive.

      We tried to pretend that Bubba could live in a $250,000.00 house, and drive a new 12 mpg 4X4, and it just wasn't true. The house deal blew up, and the four by four deal is in the process of blowing up.

    2. Unless, and until, of course, that 4X4 is getting 30 mpg, or so, on some other, more affordable, fuel such as ethanol.

    3. I'm sorry to say, for the sake of sparks, that we're pretty much on the same page. Giving up the third or fourth house in the Hamptons is not the same as balancing a gas vs food bill. Which is why the obsessive public debate over ideology leaves me cold. The street thuggery of urban gangs and the Beltway thuggery of corporate lobbyists have done more damage to this country than any wild-eyed "grim and determined" socialist rebel with polished prose and a fondness for Dorothy Parker.

  25. As for taxes: The government would raise an absolutely insane amount of money just by going back to the Clinton era tax rates, and closing the "overseas" subsidiary scam.

  26. Anon has posted so much crap over the yeas that hoping for coherence in an anon posting is like sifting through bob's posts looking for the lucid one.

  27. "According to World Net Daily, Monckton said that "it appears that the document was cobbled together in layers, pointing to evidence that three date stamps and a registrar's stamp were superimposed on it from another document." If there were a single, original document to verify the president's Hawaiian birth, why "go to all that trouble, he reasoned.""

    Showered, dressed, almost out the door -

    Look at this Layers of Deceit

    Isn't that what deuce was saying?

    If only he would stick with his areas of expertise.

    (though the whole exercise misses the main point, no citizen father)

  28. If anon wants serious consideration he/she needs to have the confidence to post UNDER a consistent name.

  29. Let's be honest, Bob. Your main objection to Obama is, as you so eloquently put it yesterday, that he is a "blacky-whitey."

    Or, as you posted every five minutes for almost 24 hrs after he was elected: NIGGER! NIGGER!! NIGGER!!! NIGGER!!!! NIGGER!!!!!

    You're a backward, old, racist asshole, Bob.

    It's just as simple as that.

  30. For some reason we haven't been reading much about this:

    Second Foreclosure Tsunami on the way

  31. "
    Top officials in Israel are charging that national-security leaks coming from the U.S. government are undermining Israel’s military options against Iran. “The problem is the Iranians are certainly paying close attention to these reports,” a senior Israeli official told The Daily Beast. “We are concerned about the leaks and we hope they are not intentional.”

    The latest such leak appeared March 28 on Foreign Policy magazine’s website, claiming that Israel had been granted secret access to airbases in Azerbaijan near Iran’s northern border. The piece was sourced to senior U.S. diplomats and military-intelligence officers.

    In Washington the article was referred to in a conference call on March 30 between leaders of the American Jewish community and Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, according to notes of the call provided by a participant in the meeting. The first question McDonough was asked during the meeting was whether the Foreign Policy story was leaked to “undercut Israel.”

    Stupid me, I thought the US Congress decided when the US should go to war. Instead we have a cabal of unelected objecting to the spoiling of their plot with a foreign power to make a sneak attack on a sovereign nation. Silly constitutional trivia. We have “leaders of the American Jewish community” conferencing with a National Security Advisor, complaining that someone in the US Government is going to spoil the secret attack on Iran, an attack that may drag the US into war.

    Leaders of an American Jewish Community? Tribal leaders? This is an outrage.

    1. Stupid me, I thought the US Congress decided when the US should go to war. Instead we have a cabal of unelected objecting to the spoiling of their plot with a foreign power to make a sneak attack on a sovereign nation. Silly constitutional trivia. We have “leaders of the American Jewish community” conferencing with a National Security Advisor, complaining that someone in the US Government is going to spoil the secret attack on Iran, an attack that may drag the US into war.

      Leaders of an American Jewish Community? Tribal leaders? This is an outrage.

      Tell that to the people of Libya.

      Many a war is started by the President without consent by Congress.

      One standard for all, not just one standard for Israel.

      Israel is it's own nation and if it chooses to declare war it's it's business.

      Whether America is so called "dragged" into a war is nonsense.

      America has it's OWN agenda.

      As things stand now with Obama? He will back the Moslem Brotherhood and Iran before the ex-ally Israel.

      America, under the leadership of Obama is siding with Islam.

      Now the funny thing? The CONGRESS supports Israel. You know that place you diss all the time?

      You know the place that LIKES BIBI?

      The American Congress, both the House and the Senate, support Israel.

      Pity you and Obama dont....

      The only unelected cabal here is you and Obama whose elected status is quite questionable..

      Happy Passover..

      to all you folks that hate Israel?

      Go fuck yourselves.

  32. The audacity is breathtaking.

  33. Here is a profile in courage

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- A U.S. Navy F/A-18 fighter jet crashed in Virginia Beach, Va., according to media reports Friday. Both crew members safely ejected from the craft, according to reports. The jet crashed into an apartment complex near Birdneck Rd. around 12:30 p.m. Eastern time. There were no immediate reports of injuries on the ground.

  34. hmmm, looks like I'll be able to make the deal go but not till 4pm. What this means is there will be two more votes against our whiteyblackycommiefeloniousshitusurping president back in Ohio when the time comes.

    Obama's parent where a true work of art. Whitey was a thoughtless brain dead bimbo commie, and blacky was a thoughtless drunk commie. I read part of his thesis about agriculture in Kenya.

    It isn't for the faint of heart, or those with a little real knowledge of agriculture.

    Ruf you sad old halfwithalfbreed your red skin half cen't handle your cracker half's liquor and you are drinking agin.

    I'm culturalist. When really pressed, I have on occasion been forced to admit the kikes are really bright, and chinks too, but, basically what I like is pure heart and sense of humor. How many times have I said, I believe it is that which it judges.

    Deuce, give me a break, you put Ash up there with a dunce cap on cause he offended your not so well concealed Catholic sensibilities.

    Let's see

    Lord Monckton
    Sheriff Joe

    I really think they might be on to something, I wish Deuce would go over it again for us. It is certainly beyond me, that stuff about a forgery. But, it might be so.

    1. .

      I'm culturist.

      I bet you are. I assume you mean you are a culturist. Interesting but a little vague. In your case, it could mean anything from you're a farmer to you view various cultures as markers. However, even the latter is a bit vague. I guess in that sense you could say Jefferson was a culturist, but on the other hand, so was Hitler.

      Judging from some of your recent posts, it would be interesting to see where you fit on the continuum.


  35. By the way, it really is way past time for something other than a Eurocentric cracker Pope.

    1. Blogger took my post down where I was calling Ruf a halfwithalfbreed whose red half couldn't handle his crackerhalf's liquor. It was a work of art but not worth redoing.

    2. .

      Bob, are you sure it's only your prostate medication you have stopped taking?

      Evidently, you are starting to take those conspiracy blogs you visit seriously.

      Get a grip.


  36. Sheriff Joe
    Lord Monckton

    I report, you decide.

  37. I haven't had a smoke in six months.
    I haven't had a drink in six months.

    I'm clean.

  38. My experience is the only way to quit smoking after one has smoked as long as I had - the only way is the Intensive Care Unit and the Smoke Free Rest Home/Physical Therapy Center.

  39. You are computer savvy Quirk, try it


    I bumped into a You tube video this past weekend; a simple piece done by a young man who is a professional graphic designer. He downloaded the borth certificate from the WH site, opened it in Illustrator (as a PDF file, not needing to convert it), and showed the layers and the problems with the digitizing of signatures. All in real time with no edits.

    Until then, my concerns with Obama went beyond this issue, so I never paid it great heed. But, after watching this video, I went to the WH site. After all, I thought. This young man posted his video last year. Surely, if his claims are true, someone in the WH made changes he suggested, re-sampled the image, and re-saved it as a single layer.

    So, I downloaded the birth certificate, and opened it in my copy of Illustrator. And, there they were: all the layers, all the manipulations. This was 5 days ago.

    It's astonishing to me how intertwined hubris and stupidity are with this administration and everyone involved.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/04/the_rebirth_of_birthers_comments.html#comment-489247524#ixzz1rIX9rW4P

  40. Anonymous:
    Rufus, half-baked, full-blown, cooked, steamed, stewed, filleted, with a side of hashed taters and boiled hominied homilies - Quirk

    Rufus you dumb fuck - WiO

    You forgot, "Wasp, you lying anti-semitic cunt - WiO"

    1. When Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher divorced after a month of marriage, one of their mutual friends explained the breakup as "too much horsepower in one room." (I also heard some "other stuff" about Carrie Fisher.) You folks do have the sparkle. I'll give you that.

      Israel is a hot button subject. As some (borderline) insider history, I remember buddy larsen giving WiO a pass when he was posting as Porkrinds... at BC - excitable but good heart. Not for me to say but it sounds about right.

      Israel though ... and AIPAC. I floated the idea of moving Israel someplace else and got the expected response, not that it's particularly feasible. The interminable conflict is ... well. Tough issues. The Israeli leadership is not always helpful. (I also mentioned the conflict between Netanyahu and Petraeus - got a more equivocal and mixed response to that.)

  41. A candidate Deuce could love -

    Connecticut Senatorial Candidate Calls Opponent ‘Whore’ On Live TV
    by James Crugnale | 7:39 am, April 6th, 2012

    The battle over the Democratic nomination for Connecticut’s US Senate seat got ugly late Thursday when one candidate called another a “whore” during a heated debate on live television. Greenwich author Lee Whitnum ripped Congressman Chris Murphy over his pro-Israel stance.

    “I’m dealing with a whore here who sells his soul to AIPAC [The American Israel Public Affairs Committee], who will say anything for the job,” Whitnum said. She also referred to state representative William Tong as “ignorant.”

    RELATED: Michael Moore To Rush Limbaugh: ‘Who’s The Prostitute Now, Bitch?’

    “I’ve advocated for the candidates to be part of these debates,” Murphy hit back. “I might think twice about that with that kind of awful language being used on the airwaves.”

  42. are you the anon that was Ann?

    What is the use of referring to "I" when posting as anon? There is no consistency to your persona.

  43. The suggestion of putting Israel somewhere else reflects a very superficial understanding of the whole issue. The place has significance.

    1. How so? Kosovo had significance to the Serbs. Taiwan has significance to the Chinese. The Falklands to Argentina. Cyprus to Greece and Turkey, and remarkably Kuwait to the Iraqis. The Germans claimed Sudeten Germans gave them ancient claims to the Czechoslovak Republic . How can people that planted and tended olive groves for 1000 years have a subservient position to a European or Russian settlers that arrived ten years ago to Arabia? Why were the Boer and white Rhodesian land settlements wrong and Israeli settlements right? The Celtic arc surrounding England became an arc because on wave after wave of invasion? All these places have “significance”.

      DNA has identified that human beings have a blood link to the Rift Valley in Africa. Does that give you or me or anyone else a right to return to Kenya? Be careful with supercilious statements based on your superior understanding.

      Please explain to me the basis for superiority of one ancient claim based on myth over any other. You can’t because in reality it does not exist.

    2. deuce:
      Please explain to me the basis for superiority of one ancient claim based on myth over any other. You can’t because in reality it does not exist.

      How can people that planted and tended olive groves for 1000 years have a subservient position to a European or Russian settlers that arrived ten years ago to Arabia?

      Except that is not how Israel was created in the modern age.

      Your skewing of facts is worse than a palestinian.

      Your point that historic claims mean nothing is interesting.

      All historic claims are shit.

      Anyone who conquers the land is the rightful owner, unless it's the Jews.

      After all America doesnt have to listen to no stinking Injuns...

      As for the Olive groves that were tended for 1000 years by the local arabs? look at a map Einstein, MOST all of the land that is Israel was VACANT

      So the VAST majority of lands settled by the Jews were EMPTY of people

      Your facts are strange. You seem to think that after ww2 europe dumped a population on "palestine"

      You are lacking in knowledge.

      Most Jews after ww2 in europe were dead.

      Most of the Jews in Israel had settled there in their own villages from the late 18 hundreds.

      Then were not "displacing" arabs and their 1000 year old olive groves.

      In 1948? The arabs sought the destruction of the Jews and lost...

      remember the arabs had destroyed the jews in the west bank in the early 19 hundreds in hebron, but who cares about jews that had tended their olive trees for 2400 years....

      much of the new wave of jews from 1949 to 1967 was from the arab/islamic world expelling the jews that had lived in iraq, iran and north africa for close to 2500 years.

      so thank the islamic world for pouring 700,000 jews into the new jewish state...

    3. much of the new wave of jews from 1949 to 1967 was from the arab/islamic world expelling the jews that had lived in iraq, iran and north africa for close to 2500 years.

      Since 1989, one million Russians have immigrated to Israel. That has nothing to do with WWII.

      Most of the Jews in Israel had settled there in their own villages from the late 18 hundreds.

      MOST all of the land that is Israel was VACANT

      So the VAST majority of lands settled by the Jews were EMPTY of people

      The Boers went to South Africa beginning in 1652, a territory far less densely populated than 19th century Palestine. The English came shortly after. They settled into empty nomadic lands and set up communities and farms. The territories were “given” to the settlers by Dutch and English colonial powers. It was after WWII that the UN gave English colonial territory first promised to Zionists in 1917 to European zionists. There was no Israel prior to that time. By your standards the Boers had greater standing than the Russians and Eastern Europeans have today in the created state of Israel.

      All this is interesting but my point is wider. The myths commonly accepted as facts by most people ignorant of the true historic facts about the region, burden the US with needless wars and responsibilities over what is nothing more than a political relic from hundreds of years of European colonialism. Israel is that last European colony. It was created because Europeans were contemptuous over the Jews and wanted them out of their hair and Palestine seemed perfect. It was an ill conceived idea and the outcome has been a disaster for the US still being played out to today. It is a subject where people suspend rational thought.

      Planting Israel in the middle of Arabia has proven as sensible as building Cairo Illinois on the on the Ohio River. The location of a territory for Europeans in Arabia has been a constant cause of chaos, wars and has cost the US taxpayer trillions of dollars. Pound for pound, Israel is the single largest political and military liability of any US ally.

      There are more people in the slums of Mexico than there are in all of Israel. The entire Continents of North and South America, cause less US lives lost in wars and less money spent for the military than Israel and the rest of the Middle East. The entire venture, including US meddling in the Middle East has corrupted US politics and preempted real US interests throughout the world. Israel is useless as an ally in the Middle East except in protecting Israel. The real calamity has yet to play out. If Netanyahu drags the US into a war with Iran, Israel will lose more than it gains because the US public will finally get it and say enough is enough.

  44. The Rose


    There are those to whom place is unimportant,
    But his place, where sea and fresh water meet,
    Is important–
    Where the hawks sway out into the wind,
    Without a single wingbeat,
    And the eagles sail low over the fir trees,
    And the gulls cry against the crows
    In the curved harbors,
    And the tide rises up against the grass
    Nibbled by sheep and rabbits.

  45. It isn't Bethlehem, it isn't Jerusalem, it's anywhere where the sea and fresh water meet.

  46. "The world's greatest snow-capped peaks, which run in a chain from the Himalayas to Tian Shan on the border of China and Kyrgyzstan, have lost no ice over the last decade, new research shows.

    The discovery has stunned scientists, who had believed that around 50bn tonnes of meltwater were being shed each year and not being replaced by new snowfall.

    The study is the first to survey all the world's icecaps and glaciers and was made possible by the use of satellite data. Overall, the contribution of melting ice outside the two largest caps – Greenland and Antarctica – is much less than previously estimated, with the lack of ice loss in the Himalayas and the other high peaks of Asia responsible for most of the discrepancy."

  47. Oh but they are melting all right Miss T, it's just the jet stream is dropping the resulting snow and rain on us here. Wettest March on record.

    By the way have a good Easter weekend, if you are not out worshiping some insects somewhere.

  48. And Passover to the Jewish people.

  49. In my timezone Christ is now harrowing hell, beginning with the crony capitalists of Congress, deceased.

  50. Life being all there is.....

    In my timezone Christ is now beginning the work of harrowing hell of the crony capitalists and the corrupt of Congress.