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Friday, January 04, 2013

Democracy in Iraq: A Confidant of Al Dawa Sectarian Party of Maliki said, that orders were issued from the so cold office of the commander in chief of the armed forces, to the commanders in Mosul, Samara and Almuthanna, to execute anyone who raises his voice in the demonstrations, and their corpses will not be delivered to their families.




US Sponsored Sectarian Iraq Regime: Prime Minister Maliki issues Order to Shoot to Kill
Global Research, January 03, 2013

A Confidant of Al Dawa Sectarian Party of Maliki said, that orders were issued from the so cold office of the commander in chief of the armed forces, to the commanders in Mosul, Samara and Almuthanna, to execute anyone who raises his voice in the demonstrations, and their corpses will not be delivered to their families.
 Many tribes from the South are pouring into Anbar to join the growing protest against Maliki and Iran. All the participating groups are calling for the expulsion of Maliki and all who are part of the political process .

Tens of thousands of Sunni Muslims blocked Iraq’s main trade route to neighboring Syria and Jordan in a fourth day of demonstrations against Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki
On the meantime Saleh Al Mutlaq, the deputy prime minister attempted to go to the platform to talk to the protesters, he was prevented to do so, the protesters threw stones, shoes and full water bottles at him, he was forced to leave, his bodyguards  started shooting directly at the people, some were wounded and one young man was killed, a commemoration will take place in his honor in the rally.
Demonstrations are still going on strongly in Mosul and other parts of Iraq. A huge rally is taking place in Kirkuk where Arabs, Kurds and Turcoman are participating
Another young man, Sardi Dhiab Sardi Aljanabi, a demonstrator,  was executed in Siniyeh, a town, in the district of Biji.
Maliki issues an order to shoot to kill
A Confidant of Al Dawa Sectarian Party of Maliki said, that orders were issued from the so cold office of the commander in chief of the armed forces, to the commanders in Mosul, Samara and Almuthanna, to execute anyone who raises his voice in the demonstrations, and their corpses will not be delivered to their families.

_____________________________________________




ON THE last day of 2012, a year after the last American troops left Iraq, ending nearly nine years of military occupation, at least 36 Iraqis perished in a wave of bombings and shootings across the country that targeted policemen, government officials and ordinary people of varied sects. According to Iraq Body Count (IBC), a meticulous mainly American and British monitoring group, the overall toll in deaths of civilians due to political violence last year was 4,471, slightly more than the year before. On average, there were 18 bombings and 53 violent deaths a week. Iraq is hardly a country at peace.
Yet the monthly toll in 2012 fell steadily and markedly after June. The violence was also increasingly concentrated in a few areas: 43% of the deaths counted by the IBC were in two of the country’s 18 provinces, Baghdad and Nineveh, which abuts Syria and has Mosul at its hub. The rest of the country may be more peaceful than at any time since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Iraq’s main oil-producing areas, in the south, are generally free of trouble, with exports boosted to 2.8m barrels a day, the highest rate for three decades.
Yet few Iraqis are celebrating. That extra money has yet to improve public services or to raise family incomes appreciably. The underlying violence still amounts to what the IBC terms “an entrenched conflict”. Worse, the factors that feed the strife are still at play. In particular, Nuri al-Maliki, the tough Shia Muslim who has been prime minister since 2006, shows increasingly authoritarian, sectarian and democracy-sapping tendencies, ruthlessly ousting or outmanoeuvring rivals, and using underhand methods to impose his will. He is widely viewed as a would-be dictator, tolerant of corruption, reliant on the backing of Iran and willing cynically to stir up strife between Iraq’s minority of Sunni Arabs and its Shia majority, or with Iraq’s fiercely autonomous Kurds in the north, to maintain his grip on power in Baghdad.
A recent wave of protests across the mainly Sunni areas to the north and west of Baghdad, including strikes and sit-ins, has sharpened sectarian strife. Sunnis were particularly outraged last month when the bodyguards of the Sunni finance minister, Rafi al-Issawi, were arrested.
That provoked memories of a similar episode a year ago, when Mr Maliki’s men jailed, tortured and sentenced to death the guards of the vice-president, Tareq al-Hashemi, another leading Sunni, accusing them of being part of a death-squad that was targeting Shias. Mr Hashemi fled to the Iraqi Kurds’ capital, Erbil, and now resides in Turkey. He was later sentenced to death in absentia. A serious illness that has recently befallen Iraq’s mainly ceremonial president, Jalal Talabani, a Kurd who has sometimes acted effectively as a mediator above the sectarian fray, has further jangled Iraqi nerves.
Sunni grievances go deep. Long dominant until Saddam Hussein’s fall (he was executed in 2006) and having suffered the brunt of violence during America’s occupation, Iraq’s Sunni Arabs reckon they are now deliberately marginalised. Addressing a crowd in the town of Ramadi, west of Baghdad, Mr Issawi complained that Sunnis were being “ghettoised”. Districts where they still predominate in Baghdad had, he said, been turned into “giant prisons ringed by concrete blocks.”
The civil war next door in Syria, with its increasingly bitter sectarian flavour, has not helped. While Iraqi Sunni groups, including some tied to al-Qaeda, lend arms and fighters to Syria’s rebels, Mr Maliki’s government quietly aids Bashar Assad’s embattled regime. Sunni Iraqi insurgents who once attacked Americans are targeting Iraqi Shias and people connected to Mr Maliki’s government. The recent Sunni protests have also gained sympathy from Muqtada al-Sadr, a fiery Shia cleric whose powerful popular movement has grown increasingly critical of Mr Maliki.
Perhaps in an effort to win backing across the Arab sectarian chasm, Mr Maliki has been raising the stakes with the Kurds, who claim areas, including the city of Kirkuk, that have large non-Kurdish populations. The oil ministry in Baghdad fiercely opposes the increasingly successful efforts of the Kurds to persuade foreign companies to exploit oil in their own region.
Iraq is still a violent mess. Its democracy, imposed by the Americans, looks fragile. And the prospect of real harmony between the three main ethnic and sectarian components—Arab Shias, Arab Sunnis and Kurds—looks as distant as ever.

91 comments:

  1. The death toll in Syria has risen to 60,000 in the French, UK and US supported civil war against Assad.

    The Muslim Brotherhood rules Egypt.

    Blood revenge reigns in Libya, and the crown jewel of Arab democracy and the trillion dollar US mission of intervention, Iraq.

    We are broke and the ass hats in Washington, still serving their Neocon masters, keep up the campaign of interference and destabilization in the Middle East.

    Paybacks will be a bitch.

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    1. Fuck paybacks. I despise their inability to govern, but I'm damned if I'm afraid of these little shits. Intellectually, emotionally, cognitively, culturally, in every way, they are "living" in the past. Their time will run out when a sufficiently large generation of educated young people decide they've "had enough of this shit." Communications and technology. That TV sale to al-Jazeera runs both ways.

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    2. I also wonder if Maliki isn't doing the right thing in the long run. People used to grouse that Saddam was an "evil tyrant" and in one breath reverse course by noting that Strong Man rule was the only thing capable of keeping the peace among what is essentially a collection of tribal societies who would rather kill each other than have a modern confab. Much has been noted about the tendency towards lying among these groups. I suspect that might be true.

      Maliki is probably bringing a better face to an old Saddam approach for the sake of stability, from which the slow process of building a population that can understand and implement self rule.

      Then again he could be ruthlessly killing his own people (some of whom might need it.) My guess is that the West has told him they want the killing to stop. How he manages that is his business. The Modern Way.

      I have no way of knowing.

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    3. .

      And I've heard pigs can fly.

      .

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  2. What could possibly go wrong?

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  3. (Reuters) - A suicide bomber driving a car killed at least 27 Shi'ite Muslims at a bus station in the Iraqi town of Mussayab on Thursday, police and medics said, as they were gathering to return home from a religious rite.

    The attack, which also wounded at least 60, underlines sectarian tensions that threaten to further destabilize the country a year after U.S. troops left.

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  4. The conflict in neighboring Syria, where a Sunni majority is fighting to topple government backed by Shi'ite Iran, is also whipping up sectarian sentiment in Iraq and the wider region.

    Although violence is far lower than during the sectarian slaughter of 2006-2007, a total of 4,471 civilians died last year in what one rights group described as a "low-level war" with insurgents.

    No group claimed responsibility for Thursday's attacks, but Iraq is home to several Sunni insurgent groups including a local branch of al Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq, which often targets Shi'ites, seeking to re-ignite sectarian strife.

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  5. There were 4,287 US killed in Iraq. We know how they are doing. The families, who knows?

    30,182 US personnel were wounded in the Neocon experiment. No figures are available as to how many actual Neocons are in this group.

    Among the combat wounded from all the military services are 1,572 patients with major limb amputations, including 486 wounded troops with multiple amputations. These numbers do not include those who suffered the loss of fingers or toes.

    Most of the amputees, 83 percent, have lost one or both legs, mostly from the blast of improvised explosive devices. These deadly homemade bombs are also the cause of most of the genital wounds suffered by 1,410 U.S. troops.

    If you believe Pentagon figures, 50,159, were wounded in the past decade of US military action since 911. Others, overwhelmingly foreign non-combatants, are in the hundreds of thousands.

    Had enough of this shit yet?


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  6. A lot of actual veterans have:

    US veterans account for only 10 per cent of the adult American population, they represent 20 per cent of the suicides. The US Veteran Affairs (VA) claims that the veterans experience a 21 per cent higher suicide rate than the general public.

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  7. The “evil-doers” in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been able to inflict such massive casualties as have resulted from suicides by US veterans. In no single year did the US lose more soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan that it does now to suicides. More veterans commit suicide in a given year than the total number of US soldiers (4,490) who have died in Iraq since 2001.

    The suicide dead have had more than they can tolerate of this continuing slaughter brought to us by our rulers and masters in DC and their sponsors that pay to play in the endless US sponsored ME wars.

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  8. THE VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS DO NOT WANT ANY MORE OF THESE FREAKING WARS. Look what they got us - thousands dead, 10x that wounded and trillions in debt. Meanwhile, we are shipping pallets of cash to these countries and giving them away to the warlords so they won't shoot our troops. These warlords could care less about democracy - but here comes the US and we are going to change everything. Look for the money. There are a lot of people making money from these wars and there are a lot of congressmen who get money to support these wars. This has got to stop! Iran is not going to bomb anybody - the country would turn to glass in one day. This war-mongering is a BIG REASON an amateur like Obama is sitting in the White House today - the Republican Party is eager for war while Americans are not. And the GOP continually wonders why it lost. Because they are not connected to the average American....

    ReplyDelete
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    1. .

      Correct to a point.

      But with Obama you merely have Bush light. There may be fewer American dead under Obama; but his ham-handed foreign policy and constitutional abuse are guaranteed to continue creating more enemies for the US.

      They are all the same.

      .

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    2. Time for The Question: Given King for a Day, what would you have done, aside from blow up the place (Washington not the ME?)

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    3. .

      Hard to tell if the King for a Day question was directed to Anon and the Bush regime or my comment and the Obama regime.

      They are both tough in their own ways, Bush because of the unknowables that existed and Obama because of the clusterfuck he was faced with.

      With Bush, the big ones would have been easy. There would have been no Iraq war. I was opposed to it months before we invaded. With Afghanistan, given the intransigence of the Taliban, I would have probably done the same thing Bush did; however, given my disdain for the neocons and their philosophy, I would not have been involved in nation building and would have been out of there long before Obama or anyone else had to worry about it.

      As for Ash's question below on Iraq as one might apply it to Afghanistan, my answer would be in any 'defensive' war, the pottery barn rules to not apply. And frankly, a defensive war is the only one I would be involved with.

      As far as domestic economics, it would have been tougher only because of the things I didn't know or even think about at the time. As far as the drug benefit and the tax decreases, I was against them at the time but not enough to get excited about. I was opposed to them on philosophical grounds, the fact that we were spending all of this money while waging a couple of wars. The fact that the war effort was being financed by off-budget special allocations was especially galling. It was almost as bad as the fact that Bush was putting political considerations ahead of the welfare of the troops.

      Since I was working during those years, I wasn't aware of some of the macro challenges that were coming in the economy. The derivitives issue didn't surprise since the Economist was running stories on the $ trillions at risk starting a few years before the crash. However, I was unaware of some of the other issues tied to it such as the housing bubble.

      In the end, I pissed and moaned about a lot of these things, the tax cuts the drug benefit, at the same time I was enjoying the benefits. It's hard to say what I would have done as king for a day with the power to actually address some of these things.

      I speak to Obama in the next post.

      .




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    4. Directed more at you, Quirk, but any response is fine by me.

      ...however, given my disdain for the neocons and their philosophy, I would not have been involved in nation building.

      I remember the 2000 election, not so much for the hanging chads and the allegations of voter fraud, although I will always have my doubts about GWB, but also for the "shrill" response of professional Democrats to the neocon's among GWB's pre-election foreign policy advisers. IOW, the Dems knew what was coming and they tried to warn an ignorant population, of which I was one. At the time, I didn't know a neocon from a neutron. Ten plus years later, looks like the Democrats were correct - again.

      I blame Cheney more than GWB, but inside consensus is that the "youngster" couldn't win against Gore without "adults" on the team, with or without a side dish of voter fraud.

      Delete
    5. ...I was unaware of some of the other issues tied to it such as the housing bubble.

      And collapse of the financial regulatory institutions, revealing with crystal clarity to those not paying attention, of which I was also one, the corruption of Washington through the expedient simplicity of the revolving door of crony capitalism. "House of cards, dude"

      Delete
    6. And Medicare Part D being a less than subtle give-away to allow GWB to pursue neocon visions in ME. Or so it is claimed in hindsight.

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    7. .

      With regard to King for a Day and Obama, once again the easy one first, foreign policy.

      First, Iraq. No problem here, a formal plan was in place to end the US occupation by the end of 2011 before Obama took office. He followed the plan and the last 4000 US troops were pulled out in December, 2011. With Afghanistan, he has followed the same failed policies as Bush. I would have begun plans for a quick (within 18 months) withdrawal of US troops. With regard to OBL, I would have let the CIA and Military Intelligence agencies continue doing their jobs until he was found.

      I would not have gone into Libya, Syria, or Jordon either with troops on the ground or surreptisiously. I would not be sending arms to anonymous 'resistance fighters' who I knew nothing about. With regard to the Arab Spring and foreign relations in general I would deal with the de facto administration ruling any given country. If another faction takes over, I would deal with them. Dealing through third parties is to my mind ridiculous. We should be dealing directly with Castro as well as Iran for example.

      And when I say 'dealing' with, I mean it in the sense of you reward you friends and punish your enemies. If they do you dirt, you smite them and leave them to sort out the rubble. There are no pottery barns; there is no explaining to some UN commission. You do what you have to do. It is more important to be respected than to be liked.

      With regard to the Constitution, I would honor it. We have gone into the many ways Obama has gutted the Constitution so there is no point re-enumerating them. He expands exponentially on the legacy of Bush, the WOT, the Patriot Act, the NDAA, etc.

      On the domestic and economic side, I first have to admit Obama was handed a shit sandwich by the Bush administration. I agree with some of his initial steps but disagree with others. TARP was started under Bush and was necessary. No problem. However, IMO, the Stimulus Program should have been geared to more short-term stimulus efforts (by short-term I mean shovel ready). For example, I wouldn’t have put stimulus money out for research into mid- to long-term development programs. Instead, I would have put the money into things like infrastructure where jobs could be created quickly and there is an immediate need, bridges, roads, water systems, the grid.

      I wouldn’t have put it into FICA tax cuts. They were too small on an individual basis for people to notice.

      I wouldn’t have spent my first couple of years pushing for liberal wet dreams (Obamacare) rather than putting all my time and effort on the key things of interest to the American people, the economy and jobs. I would have had the DOJ and SEC investigating the various groups that got us into the financial mess with the ultimate goal of putting some of them behind bars.

      I wouldn’t as noted in the post I put up yesterday cater to the same corporations that I accuse the GOP of caving to. I wouldn’t denounce the rich while giving them huge tax breaks.

      Finally, I probably would have re-nominated Ben Bernanke as head of the FED; however, based on his continuing policies designed to benefit the large banks and Wall Street at the expense of the little guy and the elderly, I would not nominate him when his term ends in 2014.

      .

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    8. .

      I blame Cheney more than GWB, but inside consensus is that the "youngster" couldn't win against Gore without "adults" on the team, with or without a side dish of voter fraud.

      Cheney was loud and bumptuous, but Bush called the shots. He was too arrogant for it to be otherwise. Voter fraud? More conspiracy theory to any that reviewed the constitutional issues or bothered to read the post-election reports put out by major newspapers or independant agencies.

      .


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    9. Pretty much on the same page with Obama, FWIW, esp civil liberty encroachments grounded in national security, which were apparent almost immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attach. Almost immediately.

      Almost immediately. And so I wonder again.

      But also the health care issue, which a more insightful administration would have understood. In their defense - and this is a big defense, none of the finance/econ geniuses in Washington or Wall St understood Richard Koo's point about this recession being "different" because it was a balance sheet recession. By the time they collectively understood that, the policy drivers could not be reversed.

      My thought is that they will be "mitigated" or finessed, implication being that Obama's mistakes will not be as a bad as those committed by the GWB administration. Some dicks being worse than others.

      Dick Cheney, GWB and their neocon-centric foreign policy team were the wrost thing to happen to this country in a long time, not to mention the ME, which, it should not be forgotten, spawned its own homegrown set of malcontents and delusional miscreants.

      Delete
    10. .

      And Medicare Part D being a less than subtle give-away to allow GWB to pursue neocon visions in ME. Or so it is claimed in hindsight.

      I have never heard this one before and don't quite understand it. I always thought it was a blatant attempt to secure the senior vote in the upcoming election.

      .

      Delete
    11. Popular vote Bush: 50,456,002 Gore: 50,999,897
      Percentage Bush: 47.9% Gore: 48.4%

      When a vote is that close, facts become funny things

      This marked only the fourth election in U.S. history in which the eventual winner failed to win a plurality of the popular vote (after the elections of 1824, 1876, and 1888). Later studies have reached conflicting opinions on who would have won the recount if it had been allowed to proceed. [links available through wiki]

      Delete
    12. Cheney was loud and bumptuous

      Not according to what I have read. Cheney adopted the sotto voce manner of speaking so low that the listener had to move in to hear his words. An old trick. His personal style was polar opposite of "loud and bumptious."

      Delete
    13. I have never heard this one before and don't quite understand it.

      A BC allegation, from some of the more stable and (generally speaking) informed posters. The Republicans gave the Dems what they wanted in exchange for the Dems giving GWB his ME wars, or at least not opposing them. The two theories are not mutually exclusive.

      Delete
    14. An interesting anomaly in this year's election was that, overall, the Dems received a half a million more votes in "House Races" than did the Republicans, while losing the makeup of the house rather handily.

      That 3010 tea party wave arriving coincidentally with the decadal redistricting (gerrymandering) was a Really Big Deal.

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    15. .

      Again, rather strange. The Dems were all for an expansion of medicare benefits, but as I recall they were opposed to the GOP plan because of the way it was structured, a massive giveaway to the drug companies and completely unfunded. I also seem to recall that most Dems voted against the bill.

      And you will recall the extgraordinary lengths to which DeLay went to to secure the vote, a three hour vote, threats, bribes, and then it only passed by 1 vote. DeLay was subsequently censored for the manor in which he managed the process.

      .

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    16. .

      ...manner...



      I'm losing it.

      .

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    17. Wheels within wheels. I guess the modern catch-all phrase is "kabuki theatre."

      That was the response when I raised the subject of Medicare Part D as an example of GWB's irresponsible spending: "poor guy had no choice."

      A world waiting to be saved if only the right bargains can be struck.

      Delete
    18. The Iraqi invasion was March of 2003.

      Medicare Part D didn't come along until the Winter of 2003.

      I'm having a hard time finding the BC tradeoff.

      I agree with Quirk. Bush was trying to win reelection.

      Delete
    19. Too literal by half.

      Conveniently ignoring the Wimpy Way: Gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger/taco/spinach salad/whiskey sour today.

      As if anybody here really knows.

      RWE was the poster making the allegation. Worked in the Pentagon 20 years. Struck me as a stable sort. Flys his own private plane. Not for flakes.

      I think it's a very plausible theory.

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    20. :) ReallY? I haven't ever noticed the absolute non-union of aviators and flakehood. In fact . . . . . . .


      Anyways, as you said, it can't be disproven, so what the hey.


      But, for me, I ain't buying it.

      Delete
    21. Howard Hughes notwithstanding.

      I took one flying lesson - the operative word is "one."

      One name: JFK Jr and the two women he took with him.

      A baseline level of sober responsibility required or you will be dead - any everyone with you.

      Now the water craft, is a different story.

      And I am buying it. I think it's 70/30 plausible, which in federal years is near certainty.

      Delete
  9. Iraq was truly a mistaken adventure. It is too bad most Americans were so gung ho to go in even though many warned of the likelihood of bad outcomes and the questionable morality of waging such a war of choice.

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    Replies
    1. But the USA did invade, occupy, and overthrow their government. Does not the USA now have a moral obligation to the people of Iraq? You broke it, you own it.

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    2. No@ ash, the US sid not break Iraq, we just did not fix Iraq. It was broken long before the US invaded it.

      Delete
    3. The ancient Sumerians were a remarkable people. They, basically, invented Democracy, Written Laws, the modern alphabet, a lot of math, and astronomy, etc.

      But, they had one fatal flaw. They couldn't quit fighting amongst themselves. The various City-States engaged in Constant Warfare between themselves.

      As a result, any marauding gang of pick-pockets, and pursesnatchers that happened through defeated, and occupied them (until the next such gang.)

      It seems, they just can't help themselves.

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    4. .

      No@ ash, the US sid not break Iraq, we just did not fix Iraq.

      Yea?

      Tell that to the hundreds of thousands killed and their families. Tell that to the millions that were turned into refugees. Tell that to the people still suffering from power and untility shortages. Right, message from the US to the Iraqi people, "We're just passing through. Nothing to see here. Move along."

      .

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    5. The ancient Sumerians were a remarkable people. They, basically, invented Democracy

      Ah, Jesus, sweet Jesus, dear, dear Jesus....

      have mercy on Rufus your unprofitable servant for he knows not what he says.

      Delete
    6. What they were into was burying the King, the Queen, the servants, the cattle, the kids, and the whole shebang, at the end of the revolution of Jupiter or Saturn.

      Time's up!

      This what comes from looking at the stars too long. The mind becomes cathected to a mythological image, and takes it too damn seriously. Some bright boy finally figured out that you could do a substitution, and the practice died out. So instead of King Rufus of Fool's Paradise going down into the pit, he'd substitute, say, Ash, and live another day.

      http://suite101.com/article/farout-revelations-on-the-great-deathpit-at-ur-a86021

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    7. Perhaps this is a 'democratic practice' we ought to take up.

      After eight years, the President, the First Lady, certainly the Secretary of State, all, the whole cabinet, including all the kids, and the lobbyists, and even the First Dog, go down in an unmarked pit.

      This renews the energies of the universe for another celestial cycle.

      Ain't deemocracieee great!

      Delete
    8. Why hell, that's plumb crazy, to call that democracy.

      And them fools didn't even have no real love for the stars.

      Smells of Vegas, to me.

      Buck

      Delete
  10. "Iraq is still a violent mess. Its democracy, imposed by the Americans, looks fragile. And the prospect of real harmony between the three main ethnic and sectarian components—Arab Shias, Arab Sunnis and Kurds—looks as distant as ever."

    ---

    Actually, it is much more distant than it was the day before Bremmer arrived to trash the gains made with the new, improved, Master FUBAR plan for Iraq.
    ...the die was cast then and there.

    ReplyDelete
  11. For entertainment value, only, far off-topic, a post I just proffered at
    "The Housing Bubble Blog"

    ---

    Daniel said:

    "For the life of me, as a prospective buyer I cant understand why listing brokers are so flakey. Maybe they are busy, I dont know."

    ---

    My guess is the "profession" naturally attracts flakes.

    Way back in 1981, we had a couple of acreages on the market in San Luis Obispo County.
    One had a hundred year old all redwood farmhouse which I had painstakingly dismantled, sandblasted, (to remove multiple layers of paint hiding the inch and a quarter thick redwood planks - some 18 inches wide) and rebuilt.

    The listing realtor, who lived ten miles away from the property, planned on not even personally being present to show the property to the folks who subsequently immediately made an all-cash offer!

    I paid her a visit, and she acted stunned about why I appeared upset w/her.
    I replied w/a full-throated:

    "Do your F...... Job!"
    (which brought a stunned silence to the office)

    She showed up, we sold the property, and when we had a buyer for the second piece of property (also listed by her) show up, I paid a visit to the buyer's realtor and arranged a deal which halved her commission.

    She was morally outraged at this high crime, and acted like this was unthinkable, much less undoable.
    I reminded her that her contract w/us was almost ready to expire, and she could take it, or take nothing.

    She took it.

    I had already established what her true job description should have been.
    (starts w/"W")

    ...with the second sale I came closer to finding the true price of her "services."

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  12. Year built: 1954

    Nearly New!

    (priced right for the coming bankruptcy of the state)

    ...which will never come in RufusWorld tm

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  13. ...The best of all possible fiscal cliff deals would have included a guaranteed de-weaponization of the debt ceiling. Since the fiscal cliff deal did not include any such de-weaponization, America's credit and the global economy are still very much jeopardized by the dangerous lunatics who have threatened another round of hostage-taking.

    What can be done about it? Well, what about a magic trillion-dollar coin, wrought from platinum? Would that help?

    Actually, in an interview with Capital New York's Reid Pilifant, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) suggests that it is possible to mint just such a coin, stick it in the Treasury, and stick a fork in the coming debt ceiling crisis before it begins. "I'm being absolutely serious," Nadler told Pilifant, adding, "It sounds silly but it's absolutely legal. And it would normally not be proper to consider such a thing, except when you're faced with blackmail to destroy the country's economy, you have to consider things."

    Yes, it would be good to have some "things" you can do to save the planet from the debt ceiling psychopaths. But how does the magic platinum coin work?...


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/03/debt-ceiling-coin_n_2404653.html

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    1. I know Obama has stated that he wasn't interested in doing it, but I just wonder if he's not looking at the 14th Amendment, Section 4, and thinking, "Why Not?"

      Delete
    2. The "Debt Ceiling" legislation was passed in 1917 to put a limit on the President's ability to just go out and sell "War Bonds" willy-nilly.

      But, if you'll google the fourteenth amendment, and go to section 4, it's quite clear that the credit of the U.S. cannot be jeopardized.

      Delete
    3. .

      The coin deal is just as stupid as the idea of a debt ceiling.

      Tricks with mirrors, slight of hand, anything to avoid doing the job they were elected for. Who's to say minting a bunch of coins wouldn't destroy the faith and credit of the US even more than defaulting on our debts.

      There should be no debt limit. The dicks in OZ should just have the decency to do their jobs. The debt limit doesn't cover future spending it covers debt that has already been incurred.

      It's the stupidest argument I have ever heard.

      .

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    4. I agree, Q. I tell me dumbass brother his credit card limit is a limit! Not a goal!

      Everytime the debt limit is raised, that limit is treated like a goal by your dicks.

      Delete
    5. USA debt is not held by Visa.

      Or Mastercard.

      Or Diner's Club.

      Delete
    6. Our current "debt service" is $360 B/Yr, or just a tisch over 2% of GDP. Not an inconsequential amount, but hardly qualifying for "broke."

      Delete
    7. How much as the credit card interest rate declined from a peak of 21% (plus or minus)?

      Zero.

      Delete
    8. Lots of typos from my sticky-keyed laptop.

      Windows crashed two days ago. The recovery disk wouldn't work. Looks like the manufacturer (Lenovo, yes I am one of three people who bought a Think Pad) may have messed up with the recovery process, from what I read. I won't pursue buying a new set of recovery disks (laptop is only 3 years old almost to the day.) I had installed Ubuntu about a year ago so I booted up with that. Works really well, but the keyboard still sticks. At any rate, I installed Ubuntu on the other two machines, just in case. I was able to retrieve all documents, music and pictures from my backup disk so, really, loss is close to zero. This is the first time that a software failure preceded hardware failure. Not sure if that's progress.

      FYI.

      Ubuntu (Linux) is very intuitive to use, fast, and, from what I read, more secure than Windows can ever be.

      Delete
    9. Debt service as a percentage of the budget is a better indicator than comparing to GDP. Oh, I forgot, "Tax and Spend Democrats" (remember that terminology?) figure they can just raise more revenue (aka taxes).

      The US government will not go broke. The government can always print more money but as the dollar declines in value, the interest rates on the debt service could break the backs of US taxpayers.

      BTW - did you hear about the extraordinary number of $100 bills the treasury will print this year?

      Delete
    10. I'm going to stick with "debt service/GDP."

      Republicans are "tax and spenders," too; they just like to spend on different people (themselves,) and things (wars.)

      The "value of the dollar" is a double-edged sword. It's not something I would lose much sleep over.

      No, I haven't read anything about the number of $100.00 bills.

      Delete
    11. .

      And which do you prefer Anon, 'tax and spend' or "borrow and spend'? That's the only choices you have right now.

      .

      Delete
    12. .

      As for sticking keys, I understand rubbing alcohol and Q-Tips are good for getting Coke and Cracker Jacks off those keys.

      .

      Delete
    13. You and Bob have a future with your Frick and Frack routine.

      Delete
    14. And I'm sorry I shared a helpful techno-fix story with a group of snotty little bitches who obviously "don't need no steekin' help with nuthin."



      Delete
    15. .

      Lighten up, Doris.

      As for the 'helpful techno-fix' it's kind of wasted on Bob or me. We are both computer illiterates. I'm using a cellphone that's at least a decade old and has no 'G's' whatsoever; and Bob's big achievement over the time I have known him is that he can now get his cat posted as his avatar (although I'm sure his daughter showed him how to do it).

      Loveno? Ubantu? You might as well be speaking some African dialect.

      Think Pad? I might have heard of that before.

      :)

      .

      Delete
    16. Yeah, it sounded African to me. :)

      I can honestly say, Doris, I never understood one word of that particular thing you wrote. (technofix?) Scares me to death just reading the word. :)

      Delete
    17. OK

      It was a borderline big deal loss to me that I managed to salvage at the last minute. Have to save all my pennies for health insurance and try not to get sick for five years.

      Delete
    18. .

      Bob, Rufus, and me, we guys ain't into that new-fangled stuff so much.

      It Can Be Dangerous

      .

      Delete
    19. :) Well, I'm sure glad you saved your stuff, Doris.

      But, some things are best left "untalked about." :)

      Old men scare easily. :)

      Delete
    20. Well, I don't think that's true but a lot does seem to depend on the subject matter, and sometimes the angular momentum.



      Delete


    21. I'm sure glad you saved your stuff

      That was the nothing part - simple backup which everyone should do periodically. Just attach a cable and push a button and your important stuff takes the magic carpet ride to a safe resting place. You boys got anything worth saving should be doing it.

      The other stuff didn't strike me as particularly complicated but the nomenclature may have been imposing or offensive. Ubuntu is a linux based operating system, an alternative to MS Windows, that can be downloaded (and installed) for free. (No clue about the naming.)

      Did I say it was free? If Windows fails (does a "blue screen") the hardware can still be used with linux (ubuntu) as the OS. That, as they say, is a very big deal.

      I'm using a cellphone that's at least a decade old and has no 'G's' whatsoever;

      I use a Tracphone that gives you 1000 minutes a year for $100. No land line required.

      Delete
  14. It hasn't happened yet, has it? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Referring to Doug's semi-annual "imminent California bankruptcy" comment.

      Delete
  15. The Debt limit has been reached. Now, it's back to "moving things around."

    I wonder how long it will be before the Administration gets around to informing all those people that are expecting tax refunds that those refunds will be indefinitely delayed?

    Probably, a bit after those same people have noticed that their paychecks just got 2% smaller.

    Fun times coming. ETA: PDQ.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "Fun times" - Boy, howdy!

    Keynes vs Hayek
    Conservative vs Liberal
    Atheist vs Religious
    Small Government vs Social Democracy
    Rich vs Poor
    Working vs Unemployed
    Man vs Woman
    Young vs Old
    Millenials vs Boomers
    Democrats vs Republicans
    Gun grabbers vs the 2nd Amendment

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, all those things are the ongoing "background noise." But, the "Signal," greatly amped up in the next couple of months, is going to be a generally pissed-off population that were Counting On the timely arrival of their annual "bail-out," the Tax Refund.

      The fact that the knowledge that the arrival of that bail-out is Not going to be "Timely," is going to hit at about time that Joe, and Jane realize that their paychecks are Twenty or Thirty Dollars less than before, is going to result in a Signal that's bouncing off the Walls.

      Somebody is going to start receiving some really grouchy communications from the great unwashed.

      Delete
  17. Replies
    1. .

      1. The Sun's Arch Rival

      2. The Chaos of Creation

      3. Orion over the Temple of the Serpent God.


      Sweet pics.

      .

      Delete
    2. The Ghost in the Shell

      And that sprinkler one.

      Delete
    3. See: Astronomy Picture of the Day for more beautiful photos, each and every day.

      Delete
  18. Economic Reforms under Raul Castro

    Cuban economy czar Marino Murillo told the assembly that the government is planning more measures to support and increase the ranks of independent workers and small business owners.

    Real estate broker, delivery person, antiques dealer and produce vendor will all be newly legalized private jobs in a country where the government has long dominated the economy and employed nearly the entire workforce.

    The self-employed "are gaining space," Murillo was quoted as saying by the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina.

    Economists have said Cuba needs to expand the number of allowable private enterprises, with an emphasis on white-collar work. Real estate has been a particular concern. Cuba legalized the buying and selling of property 12 months ago, but has yet to allow agents to facilitate transactions.

    Some 400,000 people now work in the private sector in 180 legally approved job areas, Prensa Latina said. That's up from 156,000 in late 2010, the onset of Castro's five-year plan to reform the economy with a dash of free-market activity.


    This is an internal matter of the party, to improve it," he said. "It needs a lot of improving in many senses, to adapt to the times we live in."

    Raul Castro is also first secretary of the Communist Party, the only political party on the island.

    Over the past year Cuba has opened up more of its largely state-controlled economy, expanding self-employment in sectors such as hairdressing and watch repairs.

    More than 357,000 people now have licences to trade, helping boost their income considerably beyond the average state salary of just $20 (£13) a month.

    Many restaurants and food stalls are already privately operated
    Larger, privately run restaurants have also been permitted as Cuba attempts to slim-down the state payroll, and cut costs. The goal is to transfer up to 40% of the workforce into the private sector by 2015, where they'll pay taxes for the first time.


    Many moves - such as a decision to allow Cubans to buy and sell property - were approved during a rare Communist Party congress last April.

    That congress, Raul Castro said, was the "defining event".

    ReplyDelete
  19. Rufus Dufus Dumbass babbles on about debt service costs pretending the Some Magician Pulling the strings to the printing presses can keep interest rates artificially low indefinitely.

    ...and completely ignores the 85 Trillion in unfunded obligations already on the Books BEFORE OBAMACARE.

    I hereby nominate Rufus as Maximum Leader of Fool's Paradise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fourth.

      Chief Plenty Coups

      Delete
    2. Not hearing any dissenting opinions, it is declared, Rufus is hereby crowned Maximum Leader of Fool's Paradise.

      Delete
    3. I almost - almost - thought of putting Ash in consideration, to make it a real 'ass cart' race.

      Delete
  20. Meanwhile, the world marches on:

    The idea of building a greenhouse next to the Chatham ethanol plant is one the two companies have been working on for a while. Greenhouses require year-round heat, which adds up to 40 percent of the cost of operation. Natural gas boilers are used to produce hot water and CO2 is captured from boiler exhaust to help increase plant health and yield. A big challenge, however, is that the largest demand for CO2 is in the summer, which is also the time of the lowest demand for heat, DeVriers said. That problem is solved with working with the ethanol plant, which can supply the greenhouse with all the heat and CO2 it needs all year long.

    Another neat part of the story is that the farming operation produces corn and also includes a feedlot, he said. This means the company could deliver a load of corn to the ethanol plant, leave with distillers grains for its feedlot—all at the same time that heat and CO2 is being used to grow tomatoes in the greenhouse. “It’s an amazing story,” he said, adding that it’s beneficial for the local economy, the farming operation, the greenhouse and the ethanol plant. “I get goose bumps thinking about it,” he said. Once the project is proved out, DeVriers sees it as something that could develop into partnerships between other ethanol plants and greenhouse operations.


    Corn Pone Quarterly

    And, they haven't even gotten to the part, yet, about running the manure from the feedlot through an anaerobic digester, and powering the ethanol refinery with the resultant biogas, while, at the same time, producing a high grade fertilizer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They say it takes about 35 to 40 years for a plant to get truly "smart."

      Delete

    2. Everything is bigger in Texas, so naturally it set the larger wind integration record on its transmission system. Turbines across the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of the Lone Star State, set a new record by generating 8,638 megawatts (MW) of electricity on Christmas Day.

      The new ERCOT record represented 25.7% of the system’s total 39,847 MW load at the time, beating the previous record set just over a month earlier, when ERCOT integrated 8,521MW of wind energy on November 10th.

      {..}

      Everything is bigger in Texas, so naturally it set the larger wind integration record on its transmission system. Turbines across the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of the Lone Star State, set a new record by generating 8,638 megawatts (MW) of electricity on Christmas Day.

      The new ERCOT record represented 25.7% of the system’s total 39,847 MW load at the time, beating the previous record set just over a month earlier, when ERCOT integrated 8,521MW of wind energy on November 10th.

      Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1xZqe)
      Now that Congress has finally renewed the Production Tax Credit for 2013, wind’s booming growth will continue through the New Year. With 21,000 MW of new wind capacity under review and 2,400 miles of new transmission lines under construction in ERCOT, it’s not hard to see a scenario where wind could provide most of Texas’ electricity in the near future. Now, if congestion constraints can be alleviated in SPP, the entire region could gust toward a wind-powered portfolio.
      Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1xZqe)


      Everything is bigger in Texas, so naturally it set the larger wind integration record on its transmission system. Turbines across the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of the Lone Star State, set a new record by generating 8,638 megawatts (MW) of electricity on Christmas Day.

      The new ERCOT record represented 25.7% of the system’s total 39,847 MW load at the time, beating the previous record set just over a month earlier, when ERCOT integrated 8,521MW of wind energy on November 10th.

      Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1xZqe)
      Now that Congress has finally renewed the Production Tax Credit for 2013, wind’s booming growth will continue through the New Year. With 21,000 MW of new wind capacity under review and 2,400 miles of new transmission lines under construction in ERCOT, it’s not hard to see a scenario where wind could provide most of Texas’ electricity in the near future. Now, if congestion constraints can be alleviated in SPP, the entire region could gust toward a wind-powered portfolio.
      Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1xZqe)

      Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/01/04/new-wind-energy-records-set-on-ercot-and-spp-grids/#VKXrOtmZPhzo12gh.99
      Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1xZqe)

      Now for some Solar

      Delete
  21. Bardot threatens to follow Depardieu to Russia! drudge

    BB's got more sense than all the rest of frogs put together.

    ReplyDelete
  22. GM lives!

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/01/2012_gm_auto_sales_worse_than_any_bush_year.html

    ReplyDelete