“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

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Flyover country


This is a map of all the states I have been to.  Pink means I was just passing through or maybe spent a night. Orange means I've spent a few days there checking it out, Yellowstone or Glacier Park or Mt. Rushmore.  Blue means I set my feet up there for a longer spell. Green means I've lived there.  There's a white hole in the west, Nevada, because I don't gamble or rent whores, and I didn't do Mardi Gras in Nawlins either. Minnasocold and the Northeast corridor I've given a clean miss.  

More than 100,000 people have enrolled in a private health plan since Obamacare's insurance marketplaces opened on Oct. 1, the federal government announced Wednesday.  But the disparity across states was striking. The 14 states (plus D.C.) that created their own marketplaces accounted for nearly 80,000 of those sign-ups. HealthCare.gov, which serves the other 36 states, totaled less than 27,000.


  1. Fixes to Obamacare have little impact on Utah

    Jason Stevenson, education and communications director for the Utah Health Policy Project advocacy group.

    He said people looking for new plans can use the federal health insurance marketplace (healthcare.gov) to shop for a new plan and determine their eligibility for financial assistance. In the meantime, those who have received cancellation notices can purchase short-term, monthly insurance coverage "to give you extra time," Stevenson said.

    Holding the entire Affordable Care Act responsible for recent glitches and hold-ups, he said, is unfair.

    "It hasn't been working well and it really has been hurting our ability to enroll people here in Utah, but it is not the entire game out there," Stevenson said. "There's a lot happening in the insurance marketplace in Utah and across the country where the Affordable Care Act is working."

    He said the way the Affordable Care Act has played out so far "mirrors the rollout of many other large government programs."

    "There are a still a lot of people in the pipeline to get more affordable, higher quality insurance," Stevenson said, adding that recent negativity doesn't reflect the good things brought about by the relatively new law.

    Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday during his monthly news conference on KUED Ch. 7 that a bipartisan solution to problems with health care reform needs to be found. But he warned that it won't be easy.

    “One you lose confidence, once you set a trajectory, it’s hard to get that trust back and that confidence,” the governor said.

    Herbert said the president has an opportunity to bring Republicans and Democrats together because “everyone seems to agree there are fixes that need to be made.”

    The governor also called the rollout of the health care law “an abysmal failure” and said it is hurting the economy.

    “Clearly the biggest problem I see is with the economic impact. The uncertainty of what the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, is doing to the private sector is a big concern,” Herbert said.

    That uncertainty, he said, is “having a significant negative impact on the marketplace. I think we all — any rational person — says this rollout has been an abysmal failure.”

    Herbert also said he is still considering whether to expand Medicaid coverage in Utah, an option under the Affordable Care Act. He said he expects to make a decision before the start of the 2014 Legislature in late January.

    "It's a very complex issue. It's easy for people to have a knee-jerk, do this or do that, or don't do this or don't do that, without understanding all the ramifications or complications," the governor said in a brief interview.


  2. That uncertainty, he said, is “having a significant negative impact on the marketplace. I think we all — any rational person — says this rollout has been an abysmal failure.”

    But the penalty phase, where the IRS dings your tax return because you didn't sign up, THAT will go like clockwork.

  3. No need to travel to Mexico, to get the "Cure"

    Doctor accused of selling false hope to families

    LINDEN, N.J. — On the last day of his life, Josia Cotto's parents gave him a choice.

    The 6-year-old boy had been fighting an inoperable brain tumor for 10 months. When his mother, Niasia Cotto, found him in his bed, unresponsive and unable to open his eyes, "we knew there was nothing else that we could do," she said.

    An ambulance took Josia to a hospice room at a local hospital. His parents covered him in a soft, blue-and-white blanket, hugged him and held his small hand for the last time.

    "We told him the choice was his, whether to keep fighting or be in peace with God," said his mother. "He chose."

    Josia's parents would have paid any price to save him.

    A Texas doctor, two months, earlier, had given them one: $25,000 upfront, by cash or check.

    Clinging to hope, the Linden, N.J., couple took Josia to see Stanislaw Burzynski, a Houston doctor claiming to be able to do what no one else can: cure inoperable pediatric brainstem tumors.

    Virtually any other doctor might have recited the same sad statistics: Although doctors can now cure 83% of pediatric cancers in the U.S., there is usually no hope for kids with Josia's tumor. Perhaps 5% survive five years.

    Burzynski — an internist with no board certification or formal training in oncology — has said publicly that he can cure half of the estimated 200 children a year diagnosed with brainstem tumors. The Cottos were told that treatment could cost over $100,000, mostly out of pocket, because insurance plans often refuse to cover Burzynski Clinic treatments.

    Burzynski, 70, calls his drugs "antineoplastons" and says he has given them to more than 8,000 patients since 1977.

    He originally synthesized these sodium-rich drugs from blood and urine — the urine collected from public parks, bars and penitentiaries.

    Although they've been made in a lab since 1980, they still carry a distinctive and unpleasant odor. And while the experimental drugs have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Burzynski has described them like the holy grail of cancer therapy: safe, natural and highly effective. He has also prescribed them as a treatment for AIDS, lupus and other conditions.

    1. Back in about 1980 60 Minutes did an expose of Mexican MDSO, which Americans rushed to buy too. It's just like WD-40.

  4. How any sane person could ever vote for a Democrat again after this is beyond comprehension. The Democratic Party has done real damage to the lives and health of tens of millions of individuals.

    THEY BELONG IN JAIL, not holding public office.

    1. Oh it's not over yet, Obama still has THREE YEARS to drag liberalism even further down into the dust.


    2. “Don't hate the media; become the media.”


    3. Golly, Kemp, that is why we have this thing in the United States ....
      What we call ....


      The winners write the Laws, deciding what is appropriate and legal and what is illegal..

      Fancy that.

    4. Fudd Busters InternationalSat Nov 16, 10:44:00 AM EST

      The ACA, a lot less disruptive of people lives than involving the US in another War, in the Middle East.

      This whole ACA dust up, does not even amount to a riffling wind in the pages of history.
      Not a single death so far reported due to the failure of he Federals to develop a state of the art web site.

      Obama has 600,000 deaths to go, before it becomes 'serious'.
      An Anonymous poster has told US so.

      Contributors that make inane statements like that, Kemp, that 600,000 dead Americans are but a wind riffle...
      We call those kinds of contributors Fudds, Kemp.
      Watch out for them.

  5. There was definitely a "Lack of Resolve" on Mr Obama's part.
    He did not have the fortitude to ...
    . . . . . . Stay the Course . . . . . .

    Chaos ensues after insurance cancellation reversal

    David Isenstadt has spent the past six weeks working 12-hour days, seven days a week, trying to reach all of his insurance clients with canceled policies to switch them to new policies. Now this.

    President Obama's announcement Thursday that consumers can keep insurance plans that don't meet the Affordable Care Act for a year will only create chaos, insurance brokers, regulators and carriers say.

    "To make a possible change like this now will only cause more confusion and compound the problems that the ACA is causing" on Jan. 1, says Isenstadt, who owns New England Insurance Group in Guilford, Conn.

    The insurance industry is none too pleased that the onus is now on them to satisfy consumers who are outraged about their policies being canceled. Insurers and insurance commissioners don't have to let people extend their plans, but "it will no longer be implementation of the law that is forcing them to buy a new plan," the White House said in a fact sheet.

    The head of the insurance industry's trade group says extensions could lead to higher premiums, just the effect Obama's announcement was intended to prevent.

    "Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers," Karen Ignagni, CEO of American's Health Insurance Plans, said in a statement.

    And Washington state's insurance commissioner came out quickly declaring he won't allow insurance companies to extend policies.

    "In the interest of keeping the consumer protections we have enacted and ensuring that we keep health insurance costs down for all consumers, we are staying the course," Commissioner Mike Kreidler said in a statement.

    One thing's for sure: No one really knows how this will play out.

    1. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/14/insurers-consumers-react-health-insurance-cancellation-reversal/3536321/

    2. "it will no longer be implementation of the law that is forcing them to buy a new plan," the White House said in a fact sheet.

      It will be Fox News and Bush that are making them do it.

  6. What has happened to Pussy Riot's Nadya?

    (CNN) -- Why is Vladimir Putin scared of 24-year-old Nadya Tolokonnikova? What have his people done to her? Why won't they let her family contact her?

    Nadezhda (Nadya) Tolokonnikova, the Russian artist and activist who leads the provocatively named punk rock band Pussy Riot, was thrown into a car by Russian prison authorities three weeks ago, according to Amnesty International.

    After an international campaign, including an Amnesty International petition, the office of the Russian ombudsman now says that authorities have confirmed suspicions that she is on her way to a prison camp in Siberia, thousands of miles away from her husband and her small daughter, with an Orwellian claim that the move aims to "promote her resocialization."

    Tolokonnikova and Pussy Riot became a thorn in Putin's side with their performance pieces, when they wore the colorful face-covering balaclavas that became their trademark, and launched into routines that were clearly meant to outrage. Their work had a cutting political message.

    Tolokonnikova is a political prisoner. And now, in the worst tradition of Soviet Russia, Tolokonnikova, a musician, wife and mother, has been thrown into Russia's Gulag system.

    The timing of Tolokonnikova's disappearance helps explain its motivation. The government is punishing her and her family and trying to intimidate her because, incredibly, even in prison she has not stopped pointing out the excesses of the regime.

    On September 23, she went on a hunger strike to protest the brutal conditions experienced by her and her fellow prisoners at the infamous women's prison camp in Mordovia. Before she started her hunger strike, she wrote a letter explaining the reasons for her protest.

    "When they send you off to Mordovia," she wrote, "it is as though you're headed to the scaffold." She described the sadistic punishments, the unceasing slave labor; the horrors of daily life. She told the story of a woman who was beaten to death in the third unit, "the third," she explained, "is the pressure unit where they put prisoners that need to undergo daily beatings."

    The women, she said, work 17 hours a day with four hours of sleep and a day off every month and a half. The administration views the prisoners as free labor for the mass manufacturing of police uniforms, she noted, asking pointedly, "Where does the money they get for them go?"

    Even from prison Tolokonnikova was able to rattle the system. Her critique of the prison system made waves, even as her health declined. After 10 days on hunger strike she was transferred to the prison hospital. When she stopped the strike, expecting to be moved to a more humane prison, she was returned to the same labor camp and she restarted her hunger strike.

    Then she vanished.

  7. Prison authorities say Tolokonnikova is in transit, on her way to a new facility.

    Her husband, Peter Verzilov, says he had good reason to believe his wife is being sent to a prison colony deep inside Siberia, probably the worst place on Earth to spend the winter. B

    There is reason to fear for her health, after her lengthy hunger strike, and to worry about how she is being treated by correctional authorities.

    The country's human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, says he has been told by prison officials that she is in "satisfactory" health, in transit to a new prison.


    1. They better hope and pray the girl remains alive and healthy, lest Rolling Stone magazine write a less-than-glowing story about their favorite Strong Man.


  8. Lessons of Zimbabwe

    Mahmood Mamdani

    It is hard to think of a figure more reviled in the West than Robert Mugabe. Liberal and conservative commentators alike portray him as a brutal dictator, and blame him for Zimbabwe’s descent into hyperinflation and poverty. The seizure of white-owned farms by his black supporters has been depicted as a form of thuggery, and as a cause of the country’s declining production, as if these lands were doomed by black ownership. Sanctions have been imposed, and opposition groups funded with the explicit aim of unseating him.

    There is no denying Mugabe’s authoritarianism, or his willingness to tolerate and even encourage the violent behaviour of his supporters. His policies have helped lay waste the country’s economy, though sanctions have played no small part, while his refusal to share power with the country’s growing opposition movement, much of it based in the trade unions, has led to a bitter impasse. This view of Zimbabwe’s crisis can be found everywhere, from the Economist and the Financial Times to the Guardian and the New Statesman, but it gives us little sense of how Mugabe has managed to survive. For he has ruled not only by coercion but by consent, and his land reform measures, however harsh, have won him considerable popularity, not just in Zimbabwe but throughout southern Africa. In any case, the preoccupation with his character does little to illuminate the socio-historical issues involved.

    1. Many have compared Mugabe to Idi Amin and the land expropriation in Zimbabwe to the Asian expulsion in Uganda. The comparison isn’t entirely off the mark. I was one of the 70,000 people of South Asian descent booted out by Idi Amin in 1972; I returned to Uganda in 1979. My abiding recollection of my first few months back is that no one I met opposed Amin’s expulsion of ‘Asians’. Most merely said: ‘It was bad the way he did it.’ The same is likely to be said of the land transfers in Zimbabwe.

      What distinguishes Mugabe and Amin from other authoritarian rulers is not their demagoguery but the fact that they projected themselves as champions of mass justice and successfully rallied those to whom justice had been denied by the colonial system. Not surprisingly, the justice dispensed by these demagogues mirrored the racialised injustice of the colonial system. In 1979 I began to realise that whatever they made of Amin’s brutality, the Ugandan people experienced the Asian expulsion of 1972 – and not the formal handover in 1962 – as the dawn of true independence. The people of Zimbabwe are likely to remember 2000-3 as the end of the settler colonial era. Any assessment of contemporary Zimbabwe needs to begin with this sobering fact.

      Though widespread grievance over the theft of land – a process begun in 1889 and completed in the 1950s – fuelled the guerrilla struggle against the regime of Ian Smith, whose Rhodesian Front opposed black majority rule, the matter was never properly addressed when Britain came back into the picture to effect a constitutional transition to independence under majority rule. Southern Rhodesia became Zimbabwe in 1980, but the social realities of the newly independent state remained embedded in an earlier historical period: some six thousand white farmers owned 15.5 million hectares of prime land, 39 per cent of the land in the country, while about 4.5 million farmers (a million households) in ‘communal areas’ were left to subsist on 16.4 million hectares of the most arid land, to which they’d been removed or confined by a century of colonial rule. In the middle were 8500 small-scale black farmers on about 1.4 million hectares of land.

    2. This was not a sustainable arrangement in a country whose independence had been secured at the end of a long armed struggle supported by a land-hungry population. But the agreement that Britain drafted at Lancaster House in 1979 – and that the settlers eagerly backed – didn’t seem to take into account the kind of transition that would be necessary to secure a stable social order. Two of its provisions, one economic and the other political, reflected this short-termism: one called for land transfers on a ‘willing buyer, willing seller’ basis, with the British funding the scheme; the other reserved 20 per cent of seats in the House of Assembly for whites – 3 per cent of the population – giving the settler community an effective veto over any amendment to the Lancaster House terms. This was qualified majority rule at best. Both provisions had a time limit: 1990 for land transfers based on the market principle, and 1987 for the settler minority to set limits on majority rule. The deal sustained illusions among the settlers that what they had failed to achieve by UDI – Smith’s 1965 declaration of independence from the UK – and force of arms, they could now achieve through support from a government of ‘kith and kin’ (as Smith called it) in Britain. In reality, however, the agreement drew a line under settler privilege.

      The inadequacy of the Lancaster House provisions for the decolonisation of land ensured that it remained the focus of politics in independent Zimbabwe. The course of land relations and land reform in Zimbabwe has over the years been meticulously documented by Sam Moyo, a professor who directs the African Institute of Agrarian Studies in Harare. Transfers during the first decade of independence were so minimal that they increased rather than appeased land hunger. The new regime in Harare, installed in 1980 and led by Mugabe and his party, Zanu, called for the purchase of eight million hectares to resettle 162,000 land-poor farming households from communal areas. But the ban on compulsory purchase drove up land prices and encouraged white farmers to sell only the worst land. As the decade drew to a close, only 58,000 families had been resettled on three million hectares of land. No more than 19 per cent of the land acquired between 1980 and 1992 was of prime agricultural value.

    3. As the 1980s wore on, land transfers actually declined, dropping from 430,000 hectares per annum during the first half of the decade to 75,000 hectares during the second. The greater land hunger became, the more often invasions were mounted; in response, Mugabe created local ‘squatter control’ units in 1985, and they were soon evicting squatters in droves. At this point Zimbabwean law still defined a squatter in racial terms, as ‘an African whose house happens to be situated in an area which has been declared European or is set apart for some other reason’. By 1990, 40 per cent of the rural population was said to be landless or affected by the landlessness of dependent relations.

      When the Lancaster House Agreement’s rules on land transfer expired in 1990, the pressure to take direct action was intensified by two very different developments: an IMF Structural Adjustment Programme and recurrent drought. Peasant production, which had been a meagre 8 per cent of marketed output at independence in 1980, and had shot up to 45 per cent by 1985, declined as a result of the programme. Trade-union analysts pointed out that employment growth also fell from 2.4 per cent in the late 1980s to 1.55 per cent in the period 1991-97. The percentage of households living in poverty throughout the country increased by 14 per cent in five years. There was now widespread squatting on all types of land, from communal areas to state land, commercial farms (mainly growing tobacco), resettlement areas and urban sites.

      The demand for land reform came from two powerful groups at extreme ends of the social spectrum yet both firmly in Mugabe’s camp: the veterans of the liberation war and the small but growing number of indigenous businesses, hitherto the main beneficiaries of independence under majority rule. At the end of the liberation war in 1980, 20,000 guerrillas had been incorporated into the national army and other state organisations, and the rest – about 45,000 – had had to fend for themselves. They found it difficult to survive without land or a job, which is why land occupations began in the countryside soon after independence.

    4. Mugabe and the Zanu leaders tended at first to dismiss complaints from veterans as expressions of resentment on the part of the rival liberation movement, Joshua Nkomo’s Zapu, which had been marginalised in 1980. But after Zanu and Zapu signed a unity accord in 1987, former fighters from both groups became involved in land agitation. Their most significant joint initiative was to form a welfare organisation, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) in 1988, which called for pensions to be paid and land redistributed. It soon gained a large membership drawn from most sections of Zimbabwean society and from the two ethnic groups – the Shona majority and the Ndebele – which had defined Zanu and Zapu respectively. Its members, about 200,000 of them, came from a variety of classes, employed and unemployed, urban and rural, with positions in different branches of the state and party and the private sector. Although their strength lay in the countryside, the war vets formed the only alliance that was both independent of Mugabe and Zanu-PF, and could claim to have national support, giving them a decisive advantage over the better organised but urban-based trade-union federation in the power struggle that would shortly tear the country apart.

      War vets were among the first targets of Structural Adjustment, when its effects began to be felt in 1991. Entire departments and ministries that had been heavily staffed by ex-combatants were disbanded and the stage set for a series of high-profile confrontations between veterans and government. Mugabe accused the vets of being ‘armchair critics’ at the inaugural conference of the ZNLWVA in April 1992; they went on to organise street demonstrations, lock top government and party officials in their offices, interrupt Mugabe’s Heroes’ Day speech in 1997, intervene in court sessions and besiege the State House.

      After the Lancaster House Agreement had expired, the government tried to occupy the middle ground by shifting from the ‘willing buyer, willing seller’ formula with a new law, the Land Acquisition Act of 1992, which gave the state powers of compulsory purchase, though landowners retained the right to challenge the price set and to receive prompt compensation. By the late 1990s, market-led land transfers had dwindled to a trickle. So had British contributions to the fund set up to pay landowners, with a mere £44 million paid out between 1980 and 1992, much less than anticipated at Lancaster House.

      When New Labour took over in 1997, Clare Short, the minister for international development, claimed that since neither she nor her colleagues came from the landed class in Britain – ‘my own origins are Irish and as you know we were colonised not colonisers,’ she wrote to the Zimbabwean minister of agriculture and land – they could not be held responsible for what Britain had done in colonial Rhodesia.

    5. This effective default coincided with a rise inside Zimbabwe of demands for compulsory acquisition. Veterans led land occupations at Svosve and Goromonzi in 1997, clashing with Mugabe and Zanu-PF. They were joined by local chiefs and party leaders, peasants and spirit mediums (who had played a key role in the liberation war against Ian Smith). The next year, a wave of co-ordinated land occupations swept across the country, with veterans receiving critical support from the Indigenous Business Development Centre (IBDC), an affirmative action lobby set up in 1988 by members of the new black bourgeoisie. From now on, two very different elements huddled under the war vets’ banner: the landless victims of settler colonialism and the elite beneficiaries of the end of settler rule.

      It was largely for his own purposes, but also as a response to pressure from squatters, occupiers and their local leaders, as well as from sections of the new black elite, that in 1999 Mugabe decided to revise the constitution drafted at Lancaster House.

      Two major changes were envisaged: one would allow him to stay in power for two more terms and would ensure immunity from prosecution for political and military leaders accused of committing crimes while in office; the other would empower the government to seize land from white farmers without compensation, which was held to be the responsibility of Britain.

      The proposals were put to a referendum in February 2000 and defeated: 45.3 per cent of voters were in favour. But only a little more than 20 per cent of the electorate had cast a vote. The urban centres of Harare and Bulawayo were three to one against adoption; voting in the countryside was marked by large-scale abstentions. Post-colonial Zimbabwe had reached a turning point.


    6. Some people talk of morality, and some of religion, but give me a little snug property. 

  9. Lessons of Zimbabwe
    Mahmood Mamdani

    Very early on, the colonial bureaucracy had translated the ethnic mosaic of the country into an administrative map in such a way as to allow minimum co-operation and maximum competition between different ethnic groups and areas, ensuring among other things that labour for mining, manufacture and service was not recruited from areas where peasants were needed on large farms or plantations.
    These areas, as it happened, were mainly Shona and so, unsurprisingly, when the trade-union movement developed in Rhodesia, its leaders were mostly Ndebele, and had few links with the Shona leadership of the peasant-based liberation movement (Mugabe belongs to the Shona majority). I remember listening to the minister of labour in Harare in 1981 complain that workers had failed to support the nationalist movement. When I suggested that it might be useful to turn the proposition around and ask why the nationalist movement had failed to organise support among workers, there was silence.

    The Shona-Ndebele divide so conspicuous in the two guerrilla movements produced great tension after independence between the mainly Shona government and the mainly Ndebele labour movement, with Mugabe’s ferocious repression in Ndebele areas in 1986 remaining the bloodiest phase in post-independence Zimbabwean history.
    The slaughter in Matabeleland was followed by a ‘reconciliation’ that paved the way for a unity government in 1987, but Zanu-PF leaders thereafter suspected all protest – from whatever source – of concealing an Ndebele agenda.

    1. By the time Mugabe put forward amendments to the Lancaster House constitution, an impressive alliance of forces – not only trade unions, churches, civic and NGO groups, but white farmers and Western governments – was arrayed for battle. The Movement for Democratic Change was formed a few months before the 2000 referendum, to campaign for a ‘no’ vote. The coalition was diverse, containing, on the one hand, public sector workers trying to roll back the tide of Structural Adjustment; on the other, uncompromising free-marketeers such as Eddie Cross, the MDC secretary of economic affairs and a senior figure in the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, who was intent on privatising almost everything, including education.

      The veterans reacted to the defeat of the constitutional proposals by launching land occupations in Masvingo province. This prompted a split in the ruling party. With Mugabe out of the country, the acting president, Joseph Msika, told the police to torch the new squatter shacks. This was consistent with Zanu-PF policy: in the early days, Mugabe had been praised as a ‘conciliator’ by the international community for ensuring the security and property of those whites who remained in Zimbabwe, and evicting black squatters. Two decades later the position had changed: the support of the whites was no longer so important to Mugabe, and he was under enormous pressure from the veterans. With much to gain from casting his lot in with the rural insurgency, he returned from his trip and announced that there would be no government evictions.

      As land occupations spread to every province – 800 farms were occupied at the height of the protests – the split in the government and party hierarchy deepened. Inevitable tension between the executive and the judiciary undermined the rule of law; the executive sacked a number of judges, replacing them with others more sympathetic to land reform, and enacted pro-squatter legislation.

    2. ‘Fast-track’ land reform was now underway. The types of land that would be acquired compulsorily were specified by the government: unused or underutilised land, land owned by absentees or people with several farms; land above a certain area (determined by region) and land contiguous with communal areas. The white owners of around 2900 commercial farms listed for compulsory acquisition and redistribution were given 90 days to move out. Government directives specified that ‘owners of farms marked for redistribution will be compensated for improvements made on the land, but not for the land itself, as this land was stolen from the original owners in the colonial era.’

      The closing date for ‘fast-track’ land acquisition – August 2002 – came and went, but occupations continued unimpeded until mid-2003, and on a diminished scale for a year or so after that. Chiefs fought for land for their constituents and for themselves, and so did their counterparts in the state bureaucracy and the private sector. In Matabeleland, a minority of pro-MDC chiefs were sceptical of land reform, but later submitted claims. The black elite made a brazen land grab in direct contravention of the ‘one person, one farm’ policy, provoking a hue and cry in society at large and within the ruling party; the government set up a presidential commission to determine the facts.

      Crucially, in 2005 the government passed an amendment declaring all agricultural land to be state land.
      Land was seized from nearly 4000 white farmers and redistributed:
      72,000 large farmers received 2.19 million hectares and 127,000 smallholders received 4.23 million hectares.

    3. What land reform has meant or may come to mean for Zimbabwe’s economy is still hotly disputed.

      Recently there have been signs that scholarly opinion is shifting. A study by Ian Scoones of Sussex University’s Institute of Development Studies – in collaboration with the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape – challenges some of the conventional wisdom in media and academic circles within and beyond Zimbabwe.

      The problem with this wisdom is that certain highly destructive aspects of reform – coercion; corruption and incompetence; cronyism in the redistribution of land; lack of funds and an absence of agricultural activity – have come to stand for the whole process.

      In particular, Scoones identifies five myths:
      that land reform has been a total failure;
      that its beneficiaries have been largely political cronies;
      that there is no new investment in the new settlements;
      that agriculture is in ruins; and that the rural economy has collapsed.

      Researchers at PLAAS have been quick to point out that over the past eight years small-scale farmers ‘have been particularly robust in weathering Zimbabwe’s political and economic turmoil, as well as drought’. Ben Cousins, the director of PLAAS and one of the most astute South African analysts of agrarian change – who had previously argued that the land reform would destroy agricultural production – now says that the future of Zimbabwe lies in providing small farmers with subsidies so that food security can be achieved.

      According to researchers at the African Institute for Agrarian Studies in Harare, new farms need to receive subsidised maize seed and fertiliser for a few seasons before achieving full production.
      Some might give up during this period, but not many – partly because the land tenure system doesn’t allow land sales; only land permits or leases can be acquired.

    4. Zimbabwe has seen the greatest transfer of property in southern Africa since colonisation and it has all happened extremely rapidly. Eighty per cent of the 4000 white farmers were expropriated; most of them stayed in Zimbabwe.

      Redistribution revolutionised property-holding, adding more than a hundred thousand small owners to the base of the property pyramid. In social and economic – if not political – terms, this was a democratic revolution. But there was a heavy price to pay.

      The first casualty was the rule of law, already tenuous by 1986.
      When international donors pressured the regime in the run-up to the parliamentary elections of 2000 by suspending aid and loans – a boycott favoured by the MDC and the unions – the government simply fixed the result in its favour. In the violence that followed, more than a hundred people died, including six white farmers and 11 black farm labourers.

      Some of the violence was government-sponsored and most of it state-sanctioned. The judiciary was reshaped, local institutions in rural areas narrowly politicised, and laws were passed which granted local agencies the powers necessary to crush opponents of land reform.

      Denouncing his adversaries in the trade unions and NGOs as servants of the old white ruling class, Mugabe authorised the militias and state security agencies to hound down opposition, as repression and reform went hand in hand. In 2003, the leading independent newspaper, the Daily News, was shut down. While jubilant government supporters applauded the sweep of the revolution in agrarian areas, the opposition denounced the repression that accompanied it.

      Land reform had been ruthless, but in 2004, the violence began to abate.
      There was noticeably less violence surrounding the parliamentary elections of 2005.

    5. The second casualty of the reform was farm labourers.
      There were about 300,000 in all, around half of them part-time. Fast-track reform resulted in a massive displacement of these workers, who were traditionally drawn from migrant labour. Nearly a fifth came from neighbouring states and were regarded with suspicion by peasants in communal areas; even if they’d been born locally, they were often seen as foreigners and denied citizenship rights.

      Migrants and women (many employed as casual labour) were the weakest links in the rural mobilisation for land reform.
      Many were thought to have been encouraged by landowners to vote against the government’s constitutional proposals, and the anti-land-reform lobby certainly tried to organise farm workers, ostensibly to protect their jobs, but really to protect the white ownership of farms.

      When the workers rallied by the MDC, civil society activists and white farmers clashed with veteran-led occupiers, they came off badly. Occupiers held meetings to explain to workers what was at stake and eventually came themselves to distinguish between white farms, not only on the basis of size, proximity to communal areas, and the amount of unused land, but also on the basis of the farmer’s attitudes, particularly on race and towards his workers, and whether he had participated in the counter-insurgency during the independence struggle.

      Some of the 150,000 full-time farm workers threw in their lot with the occupiers, though usually not on the farms where they had been employed. About 90,000 kept their jobs on sugar and tea estates, and on new or already established tobacco and horticulture farms.

      About 8000 were granted land, but most were denied it on the grounds that they or their elders had come from foreign countries, though some were given citizenship. Many went from steady employment to contract or casual work; many others were forced to supplement their meagre incomes through fishing, petty trading, theft and prostitution.

      The best publicised casualties of the land reform movement were the urban poor who hoped to benefit from extending land invasions to urban areas. The veterans spearheaded occupations of urban residential land in 2000-1.

      Housing co-operatives and other associations followed their lead and set up ‘illegal’ residential or business sites.

      But the state feared that it would lose control over towns to the MDC if the land reform movement was allowed to spread and met these occupations with stiff repression, including Operation Restore Order/ Murambatsvina, a surprise military-style intervention in 2005 in which tens of thousands of families were evicted. Not surprisingly, those who opposed land reform in rural areas were the strongest critics of government efforts to stifle occupations in urban areas.


    6. Some people talk of morality, and some of religion, but give me a little snug property.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Lessons of Zimbabwe
    Mahmood Mamdani

    The final casualty was food production: Zimbabwe, once a food surplus country, is today deficient in both foreign exchange and food.

    In 2002-3, half the population depended on food aid: this was a drought year and the figures improved in 2004-5.
    The UN now estimates that nearly half the country’s 13.3 million inhabitants will once again be dependent on food aid in 2009, after another drought year. A million of these are poor, urban residents who can’t afford imported food. The rest are peasants, most of them hit by drought.

    Climate change is clearly a factor here, its role most obvious in marginal land: the communal areas worked by millions of small farmers.

    A 2002 World Food Programme study noted that there had been three droughts in Zimbabwe since 1982 and that the 2002 drought, which also affected several neighbouring countries in Southern Africa, was the worst in 20 years.

    The WFP estimated that 12.8 million people in the region would require assistance as a result of that drought and that in Zimbabwe alone, overall production would decline by 25 per cent, with cereal production down 57 per cent and maize, the staple in the diet of ordinary Zimbabweans, down by a devastating two-thirds.

    To separate out the effect of drought and that of reform – and thus to understand how land reform has hit production – one needs first to distinguish between three groups of agricultural producer:
    local white farmers, who were the target of the land reform;
    peasants with farms in communal areas;
    and foreign corporations, whose large farms (except for small tracts of unused land) remain intact.

    Harry Oppenheimer, for example, lost most of his private land, but his firm, Anglo American, kept its sugar estates, which it then sold to Tongaat Hulett, a South African firm with 15,000 hectares in Zimbabwe.

    In a nutshell, white commercial farmers focused on export crops, whereas communal farmers were the major source of food security.
    The production of tobacco, hitherto the main source of foreign exchange, is concentrated in large-scale commercial farms;
    it has seen the most severe decline, almost entirely as a result of land reform.

    Maize and cotton are peasant crops and have not really been directly affected by land reform, but have suffered badly from prolonged drought – maize production was down by 90 per cent between 2000 and 2003.

    In contrast, the production of crops – sugar, tea, coffee – grown mainly by the large corporate plantations has remained steady.

    1. Besides drought and reform, there is a third cause of declining production: the targeted donor boycott.

      Zimbabwe has been the target of Western sanctions twice in the last 50 years:
      once after UDI in 1965 (very ‘soft’ sanctions, which did not stop the country becoming the second most industrialised in sub-Saharan Africa by the mid-1970s) and again after Zimbabwe’s entry into the Congo war in August 1998.

      Zimbabwe’s involvement in the war was not well received in the West.

      Participants in the donor conference for Zimbabwe that year were decidedly lukewarm about committing funds.
      Britain announced a review of arms sales to Zimbabwe and, after the conference, again disclaimed any responsibility for funding land reform. The following year the IMF suspended lending to Zimbabwe, while the US and the UK decided to fund the labour movement, led by the ZCTU, first to oppose constitutional change and then to launch the MDC as a full-fledged opposition party. Its enemies have claimed that, by the late 1990s, the ZCTU was dependent on foreign sources for two-thirds of its income.

      Once ‘fast-track’ land reform began in 2000, the Western donor community shut the door on Zimbabwe.

    2. The sanctions regime, led by the US and Britain, was elaborate, tested during the first Iraq war and then against Iran.

      .In 2001 Jesse Helms, previously a supporter of UDI, sponsored the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery bill (another sponsor was Hillary Clinton) and it became law in December that year. Part of the act was a formal injunction on US officials in international financial institutions to ‘oppose and vote against any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit or guarantee to the government of Zimbabwe’.

      In autumn 2001 the IMF had declared Zimbabwe ‘ineligible to use the general resources of the IMF’ and removed it from the list of countries that could borrow from its Poverty and Growth Facility. In 2002, it issued a formal declaration of non-co-operation with Zimbabwe and suspended all technical assistance.

      The US legislation also authorised Bush to fund ‘an independent and free press and electronic media in Zimbabwe’ and to allocate six million dollars for ‘democracy and governance programmes’.

      This was fighting talk, Cold War vintage.

      The normative language of sanctions focuses less on the issues that prompted them in the first place – Zimbabwe’s intervention in the Congo war and the introduction of fast-track reform – than on the need for ‘good governance’.

      In citing the absence of this as a reason for its imposition of sanctions in 2002, the EU violated Article 98 of the Cotonou Agreement, which requires that disputes between African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the EU be resolved by the joint EU-ACP Council of Ministers.

      Clearly, the old paradigm of sanctions – isolation – has given way to a more interventionist model, which combines punishment of the regime with subsidies for the opposition. So-called ‘smart’ sanctions are intended to target the government and its key supporters.

      In 2002, the US, Britain and the EU began freezing the assets of state officials and imposing travel bans. Only four days after the EU imposed sanctions, the US expanded the list of targeted individuals to include prominent businessmen and even church leaders, such as the pro-regime Anglican bishop, Nolbert Kunonga.

    3. Nonetheless, sanctions mainly affect the lives of ordinary people.
      Gideon Gono, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, wrote recently that the country’s foreign exchange reserves had declined from $830 million, representing three months’ import cover in 1996, to less than one month’s cover by 2006.
      Total foreign payments arrears increased from $109 million at the end of 1999 to $2.5 billion at the end of 2006.
      Foreign direct investment had shrunk from $444.3 million in 1998 to $50 million in 2006.

      Donor support, even to sectors vital to popular welfare, such as health and education, was at an all-time low.
      Danish support for the health sector, $29.7 million in 2000, was suspended.
      Swedish support for education was also suspended.
      The US issued travel warnings, blocked food aid during the heyday of land reform and opposed Zimbabwe’s application to the Global Fund to Fight Aids – the country has the fourth highest infection rate in the world. Though it was renewed in 2005, the Zimbabwe grant is meagre.

      Agriculture has been affected too: scale matters, but no one disputes that subsidies are vital for agriculture to be sustainable, and sanctions have made it more difficult to put a proper credit regime in place.

      Despite the EU’s imposition of sanctions in the run-up to the parliamentary elections of 2002, Mugabe polled 56.2 per cent of the vote against Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC’s 42 per cent.

      There were widespread allegations of Zanu-PF violence and last-minute gerrymandering, with polling stations in urban areas – Tsvangirai’s electoral base – closing early and extra stations being set up in rural areas, where Mugabe’s support was assured.

      Nonetheless, it was clear that support for Zanu-PF was higher than in the pre-fast-track elections of 2000.
      Bush and Blair refused to recognise the outcome, but Namibia, Nigeria and the South African observer team, which had monitored the elections, concluded that the result was legitimate.

      Whatever the truth of the matter, the Africans could do little in the face of mounting Western pressure, from Britain especially: a three-member panel of Commonwealth countries – Australia, Nigeria and South Africa – was convened to consider the question of Zimbabwe. There were reports of intense pressure from Tony Blair on Thabo Mbeki. The panel suspended Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth for a year. Zimbabwe withdrew from the organisation.

    4. Stalinesque land "reform" in Zimbabwe, big box electronics store "reform" in Venezuela, tax "reform" in France, health care "reform" in the United States, I have little sympathy for self-inflicted misery.

    5. The arguments, which are not new, turn on questions of nationalism and democracy, pitting champions of national sovereignty and state nationalism against advocates of civil society and internationalism.

      One group accuses the other of authoritarianism and self-righteous intolerance;
      it replies that its critics are wallowing in donor largesse.

      Nationalists speak of a historical racism that has merely migrated from government to civil society with the end of colonial rule, while civil society activists speak of an ‘exhausted’ nationalism, determined to feed on old injustices.

      This fierce disagreement is symptomatic of the deep divide between urban and rural Zimbabwe.

      Nationalists have been able to withstand civil society-based opposition, reinforced by Western sanctions, because they are supported by large numbers of peasants.

      The tussle between these groups has even greater poignancy in former settler colonies than it had a generation earlier in former colonies north of the Limpopo, for the simple reason that the central legacy of settler colonialism – the land question – remained unresolved and explosive after independence.


  12. Gosh, that Ed person really types fast. Be nice if he typed his own shit.

    1. I just had a brainstorm. How about you post a link, and then put the highlights of the article in italics, under the Fair Use Doctrine instead of posting the whole frackin' article, which violates copyright laws, and might result in a DMCA take down.

    2. Better to have experts describe the situation, than not.

      Then take those poignant points and draw analogies o situations in other parts of the world, here in the Us and overseas.

    3. To see that attempts at gerrymandering in Ohio, USA, by the Republicans, follows the pattern set in Zimbabwe

    4. To study how a lack of land reform, after colonial exploitation sets the stage for despotism and repression.

    5. To see that it is not the ethnicity or the race or the religion of a post colonial polity that causes turmoil, ...
      but land that is the primary issue.

    6. One should lay a strong foundation, before constructing an edifice, Ms T.

    7. The issues that plague Zimbabwe are part of that foundation.

      The evidence has been presented, now various cases can and will be made, based upon that evidence.

    8. The link is at the bottom, the author's and title, at the top.

    9. Reading italicized type is more difficult to read than normal type.

      The data set to important to add any difficulty to understanding and comprehension

    10. Unfortunately Deuce hasn't given me the capability to moderate comments, otherwise I would have zapped those one-liners which did nothing but eat towards the 200 post limit. What I will do is allow Panama Ed to take the thread over 200 posts until the community rises up and corrects his evil ways.

    11. Community Pressure ...
      it has been so effective in stopping the misogynists, racists and bigots.

      It will have no effect on the format which is deemed most effective, even if inefficient..

    12. Content and messaging techniques, are more important than efficient data processing, Ms T.

      It is not the count, but the content, that matters.

  13. Let us review proper HTML technique, shall we?

    Bold text

    <b>Bold text</b>

    Italicized text

    <i>Italicized text</i>

    Link to evidence of Canadian vandalism

    Link to evidence of <a href="http://www.cleanposts.com/images/b/bd/Canadian-vandalism.jpg">Canadian vandalism</a>

    1. We are speaking to the importance of the content, Ms T ...
      Content which over whelms the importance of your 'formatting processes'

    2. I considered it a worthy investment of bandwidth if you could learn to cite, and not copy, entire articles.

    3. Come on, Teresita. You're the Queen of the "One-Liners."

      You're starting to do it Again.

    4. No community support for my objection? So be it.

  14. Now we can begin to apply the lessons learned in post colonial Rhodesia to the situation in post colonial Palestine and colonial Israel.

    To gerrymandering elections in the United States.

    It is going to be GRAND!

    1. The advantages and disadvantages of "Corporate Agriculture"

    2. The vital importance of Individual Property Rights vs Communal or Socialized Property.

    3. It is all there in the ....

      Lessons of Zimbabwe

      by Mahmood Mamdani


    4. Panama Ed Sat Nov 16, 12:19:00 PM EST
      Now we can begin to apply the lessons learned in post colonial Rhodesia to the situation in post colonial Palestine and colonial Israel.

      ...what a kidder...a man who must plagiarize the thoughts of other men...He knows nothing about Rhodesia, Palestine, or Israel.

      ...all that wasted scrolling just to find he is on the same old soap box, comrades, Israel...

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. The good news? Rat aka Panama does NOT BUILD anything.

      Doesn't create or innovate.

      He's just a waste of human cells.

      Meanwhile, I will build, create and innovate.

      As will the People of the Jewish State of Israel.

      Everyday a new idea, invention or innovation.

    7. In Israel, Jewish artifacts are being uncovered on a daily basis..

      Jewish mosaics, roads and mikvahs dating back thousands of years.

      An amazing uncovering of facts of the ground.

    8. Allen, to quote, and then give attribution is NOT "Plagiarism."

    9. And when they uncover artifacts from the Northern Kingdom, under Jeroboam and later, why, those are Jewish too. No matter that they were almost constantly at war with Judah. They were Semites weren't they? If you are anti-Reubenite or anti-Zebulonite, then you are anti-Jew.

    10. Jewish history, warts are all are Jewish history.

      Israel has plenty of it.

      After all very few places in the world are settled and lived on by the same peoples like Israel has been, Israel is the Jewish homeland.

      You don't have to like it, agree, be happy about it?

      Cause we don't really give a hoot about your opinion on the issue.

    11. As they say, it's above YOUR pay grade.

      I'd suggest you be organizing for relief for your peeps back in your native lands. (and I don't mean Seattle)

      You have your own heritage. I suggest you learn, live, embrace and tell us of that. Rather than comment and opine about Jewish history in Israel

    12. Now for some MODERN Israeli innovations?


      Electric trains for ALL the citizens and tourists that visit and live in Jerusalem

  15. If the EPA stuck to the volumes mandated by law, the amount of biofuel required would generate more ethanol than many engines can safely handle, officials said.

    A recent AP investigation found that corn-based ethanol's effect on the environment is far worse than the government predicted or admits.

    EPA proposes reducing biofuel mandate

    1. Fuel price controls worked for Nixon in fall of '73 too, dinnit? Gas lines. Though I was just 8 years old and preoccupied with one of these in the back seat of my daddy's Buick Riviera.

    2. I was trying to get to work.

    3. I wonder how epa gas mileage works when we are now diluting the gas with 10%? ethanol...

    4. Fudd was gambling at the Riviera.

    5. The AP story was total bullshit. They misquoted, took statements out of context, and just in general parroted the Saudi/Exxon line.

    6. We are mandating E85, but don't worry, if you like your engine, you can keep your engine.

  16. “There is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs,” Winfrey said Friday in an interview with the BBC. "And that occurs in some cases and maybe even in many cases because he’s African American. There’s no question about that, and it’s the kind of thing that nobody ever says but everybody is thinking it.”
    Oprah Winfrey says Obama victim of racism

    ...everybody...nobody...no question... Well, at least one somebody is.

    1. So when Bubba Clinton said Obama ought to keep his promise and let Americans keep their individual insurance plans after all, he was a racist.

  17. And, btw, Teresita, "bandwidth" is Free on google.

    Try to hold your authoritarian instincts in check this time. Okay?

    1. I missed the change in authorship here:

      Did she stage a Coup?

    2. Yeah, well, wait 'til later this afternoon when this thread goes over 200 posts, you'll see how "free" bandwidth is, in the context that I'm referring to.

    3. Then quit bitching when someone uses a precious "comment" to impart maximum information. If you don't like what's being written keep scrolling.

      We were doing just fine without you, Teresita, and we will do fine when you, inevitabley, throw a hissy, and storm out the door.

    4. You mean she left w/o answering my question?

  18. .

    Miss T does seem to be getting a little 'uppity' today.

    That's why it's not safe to give a woman too much power.


    (Although, all the points she made were good ones. For instance, there is nothing as annoying as having someone post an entire article stretched over 4 - 6 posts. Much easier to understand their point when they post a pertinent section, gives a few comments or an opinion, and provide a link, IMO. However, we have argued about this stuff quite a few times in the past and it's not likely to change.)


    1. .

      As for Rufus, the same comments he directed at T could be directed at him, or me, or anyone else here. At least, T took some initiative to help solve a problem.

      What's your contribution?


    2. I, also, didn't make comments about "uppity," or "giving women power."

      I simply referred to Teresita's (an individual's) past propensity for authoritanism, being thin-skinned, and storming out the door.

    3. We should judge others by the content of their character, not the thickness of their skin.

    4. .

      I didn't see a "problem."

      then you are blind, that or you don't bother posting here after the stream hits 200.


    5. Aren't we all eating through the posting zone in this interchange?

    6. Classic pot calling kettle behavior.

    7. .

      I, also, didn't make comments about "uppity," or "giving women power."

      T, unlike some assholes here, can take a joke.

      Others here would try to read something else into the comment and likely term me misogynist or even ...oooh...racist.


    8. You would have to establish a pattern, Q, a history of misogynist and racist comments, going back over years, to qualify as either

    9. .

      Naw, for some here, usually based on their political philosophy, it is the fallback position. Projection? Lack of counter arguments? Habit? Who knows?


  19. Americans Rate JFK as Top Modern President
    Kennedy also received highest average approval rating while in office

    Yes, his legislative agenda and foreign policy accomplishments were impeccable.

    1. If I'm not mistaken, he's brainless.

    2. He was issuing Silver Certificates, had the Federal Reserve System in the metaphoric "Crosshairs".
      Then he got shot, while in Texas.

      The Silver Certificates were withdrawn.

  20. Teresita,

    Everyone has hailed your work. You are doing a great job. Do not quit at the 50 yard line. Come back and let's play ball. PLEASE!!!

    1. But, leave the deleting to Deuce, and don't even think about "moderating."

    2. I still wanna know what happened to Deuce.

    3. This gonna turn out to be the biggest collection of short comments ever.

    4. Taking a well-earned vacation from the grind (and crazies) I imagine. :)

  21. .

    But, leave the deleting to Deuce, and don't even think about "moderating."

    Rufus does seem to be getting a little 'uppity' today, what with the 'moderating' and all.

    That's why it's not safe to give an old woman too much power.



    1. The more things change ...
      The more they stay the same!

      Read that, somewhere, a couple times

    2. Sounds like a contradiction.

  22. UnitedHealth drops thousands of doctors from insurance plans: WSJ

    If memory serves, less than 1/4 of doctors belong to the AMA. As I have advised others, organize and play by your own rules. Any highly motivated group with a bone to pick can get things done. One complaint of MD's is the unrealistic time units set for treating patients: good medicine cannot be done in 7.5 minutes per visit. If doctors want good medicine, then, they are going to have to push back.

  23. Minnasocold and the Northeast corridor I've given a clean miss. T

    Just put on an extra layer of clothes to fend of the cold like the average Minnesooo-taxed

  24. The Model for Iraq was Ireland, 1692, Divide and Conquer as Imperial Rules
    By Conn Hallinan
    Global Research, February 20, 2007

    Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh’s revelations that the Israeli government is encouraging Kurdish separatism in Iraq, Iran, and Syria should ring a bell for anyone who has followed the long history of English imperial ambitions.

    It is no surprise that the Israelis should be using the tactic of “divide and conquer,” the cornerstone policy of an empire that dominated virtually every continent on the globe save South America.

    The Jewish population of British-controlled Palestine was, after all, victim to exactly the same kind of ethnic manipulation that the Israeli government is presently attempting in Northern Iraq.

    Following the absorption of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the British set about shoring up their rule by the tried and true strategy of pitting ethnic group against ethnic group, tribe against tribe, and religion against religion.

    When British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour issued his famous 1917 Declaration guaranteeing a “homeland” for the Jewish people in Palestine, he was less concerned with righting a two thousand year old wrong than creating divisions that would serve growing British interests in the Middle East.

    Sir Ronald Storrs, the first Governor of Jerusalem, certainly had no illusions about what a “Jewish homeland” in Palestine meant for the British Empire:
    “It will form for England,” he said, “a little loyal Jewish Ulster in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism.”

    Storrs’ analogy was no accident. Ireland was where the English invented the tactic of divide and conquer, and where the devastating effectiveness of using foreign settlers to drive a wedge between the colonial rulers and the colonized made it a template for worldwide imperial rule.

    Divide and Conquer Revisited

    Former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Menachem Begin normally take credit for creating the “facts on the ground” policies that have poured more than 420,000 settlers into the Occupied Territories.

    But they were simply copying Charles I, the English King, who in 1609 forcibly removed the O’Neill and O’Donnell clans from the north of Ireland, moved in 20,000 English and Scottish Protestants, and founded the Plantation of Ulster.

    The “removal” was never really meant to cleanse Ulster of the Irish. Native labor was essential to the Plantation’s success and within 15 years more than 4,000 native Irish tenants and their families were back in Ulster. But they lived in a land divided into religious castes, with the Protestant invaders on top and the Catholic natives on the bottom.

    Protestants were awarded the “Ulster privilege” which gave them special access to land and lower rents, and also served to divide them from the native Catholics. The “Ulster Privilege” is not dissimilar to the kind of “privilege” Israeli settlers enjoy in the Territories today, where their mortgages are cheap, their taxes lower and their education subsidized.

    The Protestant privileges were a constant sore point with the native Irish; although in fact, most Protestants were little better off than their Catholic neighbors. Rents were uniformly onerous, regardless of religion.

    Indeed, there were numerous cases where Protestants and Catholics united to protest exorbitant rents, but in virtually every case, the authorities successfully used religion and privilege to split such alliances. The Orange Order, the organization most responsible for sectarian politics in the North today, was originally formed in 1795 to break a Catholic-Protestant rent strike.


    1. The Model for Iraq was Ireland, 1692, Divide and Conquer as Imperial Rules
      By Conn Hallinan
      Global Research, February 20, 2007

      Ireland as Imperial Laboratory

      The parallels between Israel and Ireland are almost eerie, unless one remembers that the latter was the laboratory for British colonialism.
      As in Ulster, Israeli settlers in the Occupied Territories have special privileges that divide them from Palestinians (and other Israelis as well).
      As in Ireland, Israeli settlers rely on the military to protect them from the “natives.”

      And as in Northern Ireland, there are political organizations, like the National Religious Party and the Moledet Party, which whip up sectarian hatred, and keep the population divided.
      The latter two parties both advocate the forcible transfer of all Arabs Palestinians and Israelis alike to Jordan and Egypt

      Prior to the Ulster experiment, the English had tried any number of schemes to tame the restive Irish and build a wall between conquerors and conquered. One set of laws, the 1367 Statutes of Kilkenny, forbade “gossiping” with the natives. All of them failed. Then the English hit on the idea of using ethnicity, religion, and privilege to construct a society with built-in divisions.

      It worked like a charm.

      The divisions were finally codified in the Penal Laws of 1692, divisions that still play themselves out in the streets of Belfast and Londonderry.
      Besides denying Catholics any civil rights (and removing those rights from Protestants who intermarried with them), the Laws blocked Catholics from signing contracts, becoming lawyers, or hiring more than two apprentices.
      In essence, they insured that Catholics would remain poor, powerless, and locked out of the modern world.

      The laws were, in the words of the great English jurist Edmund Burke,
      “A machine of wide and elaborate contrivance and as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and degradation of a people as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man.”

      Once the English hit on the tactic of using ethnic and religious differences to divide a population, the conquest of Ireland became a reality. Within 250 years, that formula would be transported to India, Africa, and the Middle East.


    2. The Model for Iraq was Ireland, 1692, Divide and Conquer as Imperial Rules
      By Conn Hallinan
      Global Research, February 20, 2007

      Sometimes populations were splintered by religions, as with Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims in India. Sometimes societies were divided by tribes, as with the Ibos and Hausa in Nigeria. Sometimes, as in Ireland, foreign ethnic groups were imported and used as a buffer between the colonial authorities and the colonized.

      That is how large numbers of East Indians ended up in Kenya, South Africa, British Guyana, and Uganda.

      It was “divide and conquer” that made it possible for an insignificant island in the north of Europe to rule the world. Division and chaos, tribal, religious and ethnic hatred, were the secret to empire. Guns and artillery were always in the background in case things went awry, but in fact, it rarely came to that.

      It would appear the Israelis have paid close attention to English colonial policy because their policies in the Occupied Territories bear a distressing resemblance to Ireland under the Penal Laws.

      The Israeli Knesset recently prevented Palestinians married to Arab Israelis from acquiring citizenship, a page lifted almost directly from the 1692 laws.

      Israeli human rights activist Yael Stein called the action “racist,” and Knesset member Zeeva Galon said it denied “the fundamental right of Arab Israelis to start families.”
      Even the U.S. is uncomfortable with the legislation. “The new law,” said U.S. State Department spokesman Phillip Reeker, “singles out one group for different treatment than others.”

      Which, of course, was the whole point.

      Imperial Blowback

      As the penal laws impoverished the Irish, so do Israeli policies impoverish the Palestinians and keep them an underdeveloped pool of cheap labor. According to the United Nations, unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza is over 50 percent, and Palestinians are among the poorest people on the planet.

      Any efforts by the Palestinians to build their own independent economic base are smothered by a network of walls, settler-exclusive roads and checkpoints. It is little different than British imperial policy in India, which systematically dismantled the Indian textile industry so that English cloth could clothe the sub-continent without competition.

      Divide and conquer was 19th and early 20th century colonialism’s single most successful tactic of domination. It was also a disaster, one which still echoes in civil wars and regional tensions across the globe. This latter lesson does not appear to be one the Israelis have paid much attention to. As a system of rule, division and privilege may work in the short run, but over time it engenders nothing but hatred. These polices, according to Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, foment “terror,” adding, “In tactical decisions, we are operating contrary to our strategic interests.”

      The policy also creates divisions among Israelis. Empires benefit only a few, and always at the expense of the majority. While for example the Sharon government spends $1.4 billion a year holding on to the territories, 27 percent of Israeli children are officially designated “poor,” social services have been cut.


    3. The Model for Iraq was Ireland, 1692, Divide and Conquer as Imperial Rules
      By Conn Hallinan
      Global Research, February 20, 2007

      By playing the Kurds against Syria and Iran, the Israelis may end up triggering a Turkish invasion of Kurdish Iraq, touching off a war that could engulf the entire region. That Israel would emerge from such a conflict unscathed is illusion.
      Divide and conquer fails in the long run, but only after it inflicts stupendous damage, engendering hatreds that still convulse countries like Nigeria, India and Ireland. In the end it will fail to serve even the interests of the power that uses it. England kept Ireland divided for 800 years, but in the end, it lost.

      The Israelis would do well to remember the Irish poet Patrick Pearse’s eulogy over the grave of the old Fenian revolutionary, Jeremian “Rossa” O’Donovan:
      “I say to my people’s masters, beware.
      Beware of the thing that is coming.
      Beware of the risen people who shall take what yea would not give.”

      Conn Hallinan is a foreign policy analyst for Foreign Policy in Focus and a Lecturer in Journalism at the University of California, Santa Cruz.


    4. Excellent work, Conn. Truly educating. Great find.

    5. UC Santa Cruz:

      Probly a Doper.

    6. We should have divided Iraq, but we didn't.
      Turned the god awful place over Shia, and the Iranians.

      Should have created a Sunni homeland and a Kurdish one too.

      Rather than turn it over to the Shia.

      Doug, good pickup. Didn't notice that at first.

      Obvious doper from UCSC.

  25. So in Winfrey's view, it's older white people that are the problem, and once they die, racism ends.
    Unfortunately, with folks like her out there fanning the fires of discontent, they're inculcating new generations with racist thoughts thereby making it necessary for A LOT of generations to die off before this problem ever gets solved.

    If you look for trouble you can usually find it.

    1. Sounds like a ZIONIST!

    2. The blacks should stop beating up Jews and white people.

      Stop the flash mobs.

      It's unbecoming.

  26. Replies
    1. If you had to scrape your next meal out of empty tin cans, you'd know what daily life is like for The Opra.

    2. "When they send you off to Mordovia," she wrote, "it is as though you're headed to the scaffold." She described the sadistic punishments, the unceasing slave labor; the horrors of daily life. She told the story of a woman who was beaten to death in the third unit, "the third," she explained, "is the pressure unit where they put prisoners that need to undergo daily beatings."

      The women, she said, work 17 hours a day with four hours of sleep and a day off every month and a half. The administration views the prisoners as free labor for the mass manufacturing of police uniforms, she noted, asking pointedly, "Where does the money they get for them go?""

      Life in Mordovia under the Pussy Riot Police is like a dream compared to The Opras miserable existence in her compounds in Santa Barbara, and on Maui.

  27. Mahdi Darius NazemroayaSat Nov 16, 04:13:00 PM EST

    The Yinon Plan: Order from Chaos…

    The Yinon Plan, which is a continuation of British stratagem in the Middle East, is an Israeli strategic plan to ensure Israeli regional superiority. It insists and stipulates that Israel must reconfigure its geo-political environment through the balkanization of the surrounding Arab states into smaller and weaker states.

    Israeli strategists viewed Iraq as their biggest strategic challenge from an Arab state. This is why Iraq was outlined as the centerpiece to the balkanization of the Middle East and the Arab World. In Iraq, on the basis of the concepts of the Yinon Plan, Israeli strategists have called for the division of Iraq into a Kurdish state and two Arab states, one for Shiite Muslims and the other for Sunni Muslims. The first step towards establishing this was a war between Iraq and Iran, which the Yinon Plan discusses.

    The Atlantic, in 2008, and the U.S. military’s Armed Forces Journal, in 2006, both published widely circulated maps that closely followed the outline of the Yinon Plan.

    Aside from a divided Iraq, which the Biden Plan also calls for, the Yinon Plan calls for a divided Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria.
    The partitioning of Iran, Turkey, Somalia, and Pakistan also all fall into line with these views.
    The Yinon Plan also calls for dissolution in North Africa and forecasts it as starting from Egypt and then spilling over into Sudan, Libya, and the rest of the region.

    Securing the Realm: Redefining the Arab World…
    Although tweaked, the Yinon Plan is in motion and coming to life under the “Clean Break.”
    This is through a policy document written in 1996 by Richard Perle and the Study Group on “A New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000″ for Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel at the time.
    Perle was a former Pentagon under-secretary for Roland Reagan at the time and later a U.S. military advisor to George W. Bush Jr. and the White House.

    Aside from Perle, the rest of the members of the Study Group on “A New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000″ consisted of James Colbert (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs), Charles Fairbanks Jr. (Johns Hopkins University), Douglas Feith (Feith and Zell Associates), Robert Loewenberg (Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies), Jonathan Torop (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy), David Wurmser (Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies), and Meyrav Wurmser (Johns Hopkins University).

    A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm is the full name of this 1996 Israel policy paper.

    In many regards, the U.S. is executing the objectives outlined in Tel Aviv’s 1996 policy paper to secure the “realm.”

    Moreover, the term “realm” implies the strategic mentality of the authors.
    A realm refers to either the territory ruled by a monarch or the territories that fall under a monarch’s reign, but are not physically under their control and have vassals running them. In this context, the word realm is being used to denote the Middle East as the kingdom of Tel Aviv.

    The fact that Perle, someone who has essentially been a career Pentagon official, helped author the Israeli paper also makes one ask if the conceptualized sovereign of the realm is either Israel, the United States, or both?


    1. Mahdi Darius NazemroayaSat Nov 16, 04:14:00 PM EST

      Securing the Realm: The Israeli Blueprints to Destabilize Damascus

      The 1996 Israeli document calls for “rolling back Syria” sometime around the year 2000 or afterward by pushing the Syrians out of Lebanon and destabilizing the Syrian Arab Republic with the help of Jordan and Turkey.

      This has respectively taken place in 2005 and 2011.
      The 1996 document states: “Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.”

      As a first step towards creating an Israeli-dominated “New Middle East” and encircling Syria, the 1996 document calls for removing President Saddam Hussein from power in Baghdad and even alludes to the balkanization of Iraq and forging a strategic regional alliance against Damascus that includes a Sunni Muslim “Central Iraq.”

      The authors write: “But Syria enters this conflict with potential weaknesses:
      Damascus is too preoccupied with dealing with the threatened new regional equation to permit distractions of the Lebanese flank. And Damascus fears that the ‘natural axis’ with Israel on one side, central Iraq and Turkey on the other, and Jordan, in the center would squeeze and detach Syria from the Saudi Peninsula.

      For Syria, this could be the prelude to a redrawing of the map of the Middle East which would threaten Syria’s territorial integrity.”

      Perle and the Study Group on “A New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000″ also call for driving the Syrians out of Lebanon and destabilizing Syria by using Lebanese opposition figures.

      The document states: “[Israel must divert] Syria’s attention by using Lebanese opposition elements to destabilize Syrian control of Lebanon.”
      This is what would happen in 2005 after the Hariri Assassination that helped launch the so-called “Cedar Revolution” and create the vehemently anti-Syrian March 14 Alliance controlled by the corrupt Said Hariri.

      The document also calls for Tel Aviv to “take [the] opportunity to remind the world of the nature of the Syrian regime.”

      This clearly falls into the Israeli strategy of demonizing its opponents through using public relations (PR) campaigns. In 2009, Israeli news media openly admitted that Tel Aviv through its embassies and diplomatic missions had launched a global campaign to discredit the Iranian presidential elections before they even took place through a media campaign and organizing protests in front of Iranian embassies.

      The document also mentions something that resembles what is currently going on in Syria. It states:
      “Most important, it is understandable that Israel has an interest supporting diplomatically, militarily and operationally Turkey’s and Jordan’s actions against Syria, such as securing tribal alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory and are hostile to the Syrian ruling elite.”

      With the 2011 upheaval in Syria, the movement of insurgents and the smuggling of weapons through the Jordanian and Turkish borders has become a major problem for Damascus.
      In this context, it is no surprise that Arial Sharon and Israel told Washington to attack Syria, Libya, and Iran after the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.

      Finally, it is worth knowing that the Israeli document also advocated for pre-emptive war to shape Israel’s geo-strategic environment and to carve out the “New Middle East.” This is a policy that the U.S. would also adopt in 2001.

    2. Mahdi Darius NazemroayaSat Nov 16, 04:17:00 PM EST

      The Eradication of the Christian Communities of the Middle East

      It is no coincidence that Egyptian Christians were attacked at the same time as the South Sudan Referendum and before the crisis in Libya.

      Nor is it a coincidence that Iraqi Christians, one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, have been forced into exile, leaving their ancestral homelands in Iraq.

      Coinciding with the exodus of Iraqi Christians, which occurred under the watchful eyes of U.S. and British military forces, the neighbourhoods in Baghdad became sectarian as Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims were forced by violence and death squads to form sectarian enclaves.

      This is all tied to the Yinon Plan and the reconfiguration of the region as part of a broader objective.

      In Iran, the Israelis have been trying in vain to get the Iranian Jewish community to leave.

      Iran’s Jewish population is actually the second largest in the Middle East and arguably the oldest undisturbed Jewish community in the world.

      Iranian Jews view themselves as Iranians who are tied to Iran as their homeland, just like Muslim and Christian Iranians, and for them the concept that they need to relocate to Israel because they are Jewish is ridiculous.

      In Lebanon, Israel has been working to exacerbate sectarian tensions between the various Christian and Muslim factions as well as the Druze.

      Lebanon is a springboard into Syria and the division of Lebanon into several states is also seen as a means for balkanizing Syria into several smaller sectarian Arab states.

      The objectives of the Yinon Plan are to divide Lebanon and Syria into several states on the basis of religious and sectarian identities for Sunni Muslims, Shiite Muslims, Christians, and the Druze. There could also be objectives for a Christian exodus in Syria too.

      The new head of the Maronite Catholic Syriac Church of Antioch, the largest of the autonomous Eastern Catholic Churches, has expressed his fears about a purging of Arab Christians in the Levant and Middle East.

      Patriarch Mar Beshara Boutros Al-Rahi and many other Christian leaders in Lebanon and Syria are afraid of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Syria.
      Like Iraq, mysterious groups are now attacking the Christian communities in Syria.

      The leaders of the Christian Eastern Orthodox Church, including the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, have also all publicly expressed their grave concerns. Aside from the Christian Arabs, these fears are also shared by the Assyrian and Armenian communities, which are mostly Christian.

      Sheikh Al-Rahi was recently in Paris where he met President Nicolas Sarkozy. It is reported that the Maronite Patriarch and Sarkozy had disagreements about Syria, which prompted Sarkozy to say that the Syrian regime will collapse. Patriarch Al-Rahi’s position was that Syria should be left alone and allowed to reform. The Maronite Patriarch also told Sarkozy that Israel needed to be dealt with as a threat if France legitimately wanted Hezbollah to disarm.

    3. Mahdi Darius NazemroayaSat Nov 16, 04:18:00 PM EST

      Because of his position in France, Al-Rahi was instantly thanked by the Christian and Muslim religious leaders of the Syrian Arab Republic who visited him in Lebanon. Hezbollah and its political allies in Lebanon, which includes most the Christian parliamentarians in the Lebanese Parliament, also lauded the Maronite Patriarch who later went on a tour to South Lebanon.

      Sheikh Al-Rahi is now being politically attacked by the Hariri-led March 14 Alliance, because of his stance on Hezbollah and his refusal to support the toppling of the Syrian regime. A conference of Christian figures is actually being planned by Hariri to oppose Patriarch Al-Rahi and the stance of the Maronite Church.

      Since Al-Rahi announced his position, the Tahrir Party, which is active in both Lebanon and Syria, has also started targeting him with criticism. It has also been reported that high-ranking U.S. officials have also cancelled their meetings with the Maronite Patriarch as a sign of their displeasure about his positions on Hezbollah and Syria.

      The Hariri-led March 14 Alliance in Lebanon, which has always been a popular minority (even when it was a parliamentary majority), has been working hand-in-hand with the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the groups using violence and terrorism in Syria.

      The Muslim Brotherhood and other so-called Salafist groups from Syria have been coordinating and holding secret talks with Hariri and the Christian political parties in the March 14 Alliance.

      This is why Hariri and his allies have turned on Cardinal Al-Rahi. It was also Hariri and the March 14 Alliance that brought Fatah Al-Islam into Lebanon and have now helped some of its members escape to go and fight in Syria.

      There are unknown snipers who are targeting Syrian civilians and the Syrian Army with a view of causing chaos and internal fighting.

      The Christian communities in Syria are also being targeted by unknown groups.
      It is very likely that the attackers are a coalition of U.S., French, Jordanian, Israeli, Turkish, Saudi, and Khalij (Gulf) Arab forces working with some Syrians on the inside.  

      A Christian exodus is being planned for the Middle East by Washington, Tel Aviv, and Brussels.

      It has been reported that Sheikh Al-Rahi was told in Paris by President Nicolas Sarkozy that the Christian communities of the Levant and Middle East can resettle in the European Union.
      This is no gracious offer.
      It is a slap in the face by the same powers that have deliberately created the conditions to eradicate the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East. The aim appears to be either the resettling of the Christian communities outside of the region or demarcate them into enclaves. Both could be objectives.

      This project is meant to delineate the Arab nations along the lines of being exclusively Muslim nations and falls into accordance with both the Yinon Plan and the geo-political objectives of the U.S. to control Eurasia. A major war may be its outcome. Arab Christians now have a lot in common with black-skinned Arabs.

  28. Mahdi Darius NazemroayaSat Nov 16, 04:33:00 PM EST

    In this regard, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. National Security Advisor, explains why multiculturalism is a threat to Washington and its allies:

    “[A]s America becomes an increasingly multicultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues [e.g., war with the Arab World, China, Iran, or Russia and the former Soviet Union], except in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.
    Such a consensus generally existed throughout World War II and even during the Cold War [and exists now because of the 'Global War on Terror'].”

    Brzezinski’s next sentence is the qualifier of why populations would oppose or support wars:

    “[The consensus] was rooted, however, not only in deeply shared democratic values, which the public sensed were being threatened, but also in a cultural and ethnic affinity for the predominantly European victims of hostile totalitarianisms.”

    Ethnocentrism and Ideology: Justifying Today’s “Just Wars”

    In the past, the colonial powers of Western Europe would indoctrinate their people. Their objective was to acquire popular support for colonial conquest. This took the form of spreading Christianity and promoting Christian values with the support of armed merchants and colonial armies.

    At the same time, racist ideologies were put forth. The people whose lands were colonized were portrayed as “sub-human,” inferior, or soulless. Finally, the “White Man’s burden” of taking on a mission of civilizing the so-called “uncivilized peoples of the world” was used. This cohesive ideological framework was used to portray colonialism as a “just cause.” The latter in turn was used to provide legitimacy to the waging of “just wars” as a means to conquering and “civilizing” foreign lands.

    Today, the imperialist designs of the United States, Britain, France, and Germany have not changed. What has changed is the pretext and justification for waging their neo-colonial wars of conquest. During the colonial period, the narratives and justifications for waging war were accepted by public opinion in the colonizing countries, such as Britain and France. Today’s “just wars” and “just causes” are now being conducted under the banners of women’s rights, human rights, humanitarianism, and democracy.

    Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is an award-winning writer from Ottawa, Canada. He is a Sociologist and Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal. He was a witness to the “Arab Spring” in action in North Africa. While on the ground in Libya during the NATO bombing campaign he was Special Correspondent for the syndicated investigative KPFA program Flashpoints, which is aired from Berkeley, California.

  29. What's the good of life without some gambling and whores?

    1. “You painted a naked woman because you enjoyed looking at her,
      put a mirror in her hand and you called the painting “Vanity,”
      thus morally condemning the woman whose nakedness you had depicted for you own pleasure.”

  30. "He originally synthesized these sodium-rich drugs from blood and urine — the urine collected from public parks, bars and penitentiaries.

    Although they've been made in a lab since 1980, they still carry a distinctive and unpleasant odor. And while the experimental drugs have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Burzynski has described them like the holy grail of cancer therapy: safe, natural and highly effective. He has also prescribed them as a treatment for AIDS, lupus and other conditions.


    What they need do is grind up one of those urinal cakes, and mix that into the drink.

  31. It is refreshing to see quot posting to his intellectual level.
    He can almost count, correctly, it is so gratifying he gets the opportunity to show off in public.

    1. Yep, he and I are pushing the envelope, Rat

      You are a Rat. A first-class double-A-battery-run Rat.

    2. Thanks Rat for the comments.

      I see you have logged off of Panama Ed's persona long enough to try and insult me...

      But the real question is....

      How do you sleep at nigh KNOWING that you have committed genocide against innocent civilians in Guatemala?

      Must be hard, all those kids faces that you shot...

      You must remember everyone of those kills and have to relive them...

      All of those innocents dead because of you...

  32. There was a great movie about a guy who did wet ops for the government and how the faces of the dead drove him insane...

    Cant remember the title

    I'll look for it...

    I am sure it would give Rat the chills... Similar life experiences and all...

  33. Some one pointed out the other day that a lady must be 10 years ago or so at Belmont Club compared desert rat to hamsters running round and round a wheel, making enough electricity to light a forty watt bulb.

    Was a wonderful quote, I will go and see if I can find it.

    Only difference these days is Whacky is using multiple identities.

    Don't go Miss T. Whacky hasn't used the "f" word since you been here.

    I'll go quote hunting now.

  34. Hey Rat... Was this your squad??

    The paramilitary invasion of Operation PBSUCCESS (1953–54) featured El ejército de liberación, an army of liberation recruited, trained, and armed by the CIA, that was composed of 480 mercenary soldiers commanded by Col. Carlos Castillo Armas, an exiled, right-wing Guatemalan Army officer. The CIA’s invasion of Guatemala was part of a complex of diplomatic, economic, and propaganda campaigns meant to subvert the Árbenz Government. To disseminate propaganda and disinformation (black propaganda) that misrepresented the Árbenz Government as Communist, the CIA established Voz de la liberación (Voice of Liberation, VOL), a radio station that transmitted from suburban Florida, USA — whilst claiming to be in the Guatemalan jungle with the army of Col. Castillo Armas. Likewise, the liberationist propaganda and disinformation misrepresented the VOL as the spontaneous voice of domestic, counter-revolutionary Guatemalan patriots who opposed “the Communism of the Árbenz Government”.

  35. HERE IT IS !!!!!!!!

    The Quote of the Day, er, yesterday....

    allenSat Nov 16, 07:28:00 AM EST
    NanC used to count comments at the BC..

    In the interest of science I used to do the same. A physicist friend calculated that the comments given by desert rat in the course of a typical day created enough hot air to operate a wind turbine of sufficient size to light the usual 60 watt light bulb in a commode closet. Looked at another way, the same energy, hypothetically, would be created by 1000 hamsters turning a 6' diameter wheel at 1200 revolutions per minute. Unfortunately, so much heat was created by the friction of the wheel assembly that the cage litter suddenly exploded in a blinding flash of light, melting the poor hamsters into, for lack of a better comparison, large globs of Cracker Jacks with the distinct odor of caramelized rodent urine.

    Whacky has been passing enough gas each day to light up a casino. How many slot machines would all the rat-energy light up? Hundreds, perhaps. And all gone to waste.

    They might even hire the guy down there in Vegas.

    And he's been doing this FOR OVER TEN YEARS!!!!!


    And he calls his first wife crazy cause she split for Salvador the moment she was out of the maternity ward......

    1. Certified by a physicist too. Can't argue with that.

    2. Metaphor, simile, or analogy?

      "melting the poor hamsters into, for lack of a better comparison, large globs of Cracker Jacks with the distinct odor of caramelized rodent urine"

      Damned good, I say, O damned good!

  36. E.D.E.N. SouthworthSat Nov 16, 05:29:00 PM EST

    “It means that you two, the precious dimwitted duo, would be a pair of knaves if you had sense enough;
    but, failing in that, you are only a pair of fools!”

    1. You got it half right there Southwick.

  37. Again, don't go, Miss T.

    You've been given The Power.

    If Whacky uses the "f" word again, you can whack him.

    Delete him.......won't that be fun?!

    Whacking Whacky....

    Be WOMAN !!

  38. Knockout Game -


    A reaction is forming.

  39. Flyover Country: The only states I've really enjoyed are west of the Mississippi and east of the Cascades. When we go driving we always detour around the big cities too. Lots of nice country out this way.