“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

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Amtrak Regional 188 was traveling to New York from Washington, D.C., and carrying about 238 passengers and 5 crew members when the train derailed at around 9:30 p.m. ET

An Amtrak train bound for New York City derailed north of Philadelphia on Tuesday, killing at least five people and injuring at least 65 others.
Six were critically hurt, officials said.
The Amtrak Regional 188 was traveling to New York from Washington, D.C., and carrying about 238 passengers and 5 crew members when the train derailed at around 9:30 p.m. ET.
"It is an absolute disastrous mess," Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter told reporters after visiting the scene of the crash. "Never seen anything like this in my life." He said there were cars "completely overturned, on their side, ripped apart."
The front of the train was going into a turn when it shook, witnesses said. Two sources told NBC News the train went off the track at a point where a 70 mph stretch goes into a 50 mph curve, but they cautioned it is too early to know whether the curve or speed were factors.
"We were rolling along nice and smooth and then all of a sudden we were on our side," passenger Don Kelleher told NBC Philadelphia.
All six train cars and the engine derailed in the crash and some cars fell on their sides, flinging passengers and luggage around, survivors and officials said.
"Chairs inside the train became unscrewed and suitcases were falling on people," said Max Helfman, 19, who was returning home to New Jersey when the train car he was in flipped over.
"My mother flew into me and I literally had to catch her," he said. "People were bleeding from their head. It was awful."
Janelle Richards, an "NBC Nightly News" producer, was on the train and said all of a sudden she heard a loud crash and people flew up in the air. There was a lot of smoke as passengers began trying to get out of the car — a man was able to force a door open in the rear just enough to get out, she said.
Police swarming the Port Richmond area where the crash occurred were telling people to get back. There was a fear that the train car may tip over or that the tracks might still be dangerous, Richards said.
"Everyone was moving as far away from that train as they could as more and more people were filing out," she said.

Image: Rescue workers climb into the wreckage of a crashed Amtrak train in PhiladelphiaBRYAN WOOLSTON / REUTERS
Rescue workers climb into the wreckage of a crashed Amtrak train in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday.

Port Richmond is one of five neighborhoods in what's known as Philadelphia's River Wards, dense rowhouse neighborhoods located off the Delaware River.
Area resident David Hernandez, whose home is close to the tracks, heard the derailment. "It sounded like a bunch of shopping carts crashing into each other," he said. The crunching sound lasted a few seconds, he said, and then there was chaos and screaming.
Firefighters called out a four-alarm response to the "mass-casualty event," and hundreds of firefighters and police officers responded to the scene. Several people were trapped in train cars and had to be freed with hydraulic tools, Philadelphia Fire Department Deputy Commissioner Jesse Wilson said.
"I've never seen anything so devastating. They're in pretty bad shape," Wilson said of the train cars.
"You can see that they've completely, completely derailed from the track," he added. "They've been destroyed completely. The aluminum shell has been destroyed, and they've been overturned completely. It is a devastating scene."

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Railroad Administration said it is sending teams to the crash site.
The investigation is in its early stages, but there is nothing to suggest the derailment was anything other than an accident at this time, according to a NTSB spokeswoman.
Amtrak said anyone with loved ones who may have been on the train can call 1-800-523-9101 for information. Amtrak said in a statement that "we are deeply saddened by the loss of life."
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said the state would assist in any way it can. "Anything the state can do to help, we stand ready to do that," he said.
Patrick Murphy, the Philadelphia region's former representative in Congress, was on the train and said was helping people. He was tweeting photos of firefighters helping people in the wreckage. "Pray for those injured," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.


  1. The Twilight of American Trains

    How did U.S. passenger rail fall behind its European and East Asian counterparts?

    1. Thirty-nine minutes into his southbound ride from Wilmington, Delaware, to Washington, D.C., Joseph H. Boardman, president and CEO of Amtrak, begins to cry. We're in the dining car of a train called the Silver Star, surrounded by people eating hamburgers. The Silver Star runs from New York City to Miami in 31 hours, or five more hours than the route took in 1958, which is when our dining car was built. Boardman and I have been discussing the unfortunate fact that 45 years since its inception, the company he oversees remains a poorly funded, largely neglected ward of the state, unable to fully control its own finances or make its own decisions. I ask him, "Is this a frustrating job?"

      "I guess it could be, and there are times it is," he says. "No question about that. But—" His voice begins to catch. "Sixty-six years old, I've spent my life doing this. I talked to my 80-year-old aunt this weekend, who said, 'Joe, just keep working.' Because I think about retirement." Boardman is a Republican who formerly ran the Federal Railroad Administration and was New York state's transportation commissioner; he has a bushy white mustache and an aw-shucks smile. "We've done good things," he continues. "We haven't done everything right, and I don't make all of the right decisions, and, yes, I get frustrated. But you have to stay up." A tear crawls down his left cheek.

    2. It's easy to love trains—the model kind, the European kind, the kind whose locomotives billow with steam in black-and-white photos of the old American West. It's harder to love Amtrak, the kind we actually ride. Along with PBS and the United States Postal Service, Amtrak is perpetual fodder for libertarian think-tankers and Republican office-seekers on the prowl for government profligacy. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush repeatedly tried to eliminate its subsidy, while Mitt Romney promised to do the same. Democrats, for their part, aren't interested in slaying Amtrak, but mostly you get the sense they just feel bad for it. “If you ever go to Japan," former Amtrak board member and rail die-hard Mike Dukakis told me, "ride the trains and weep."
      It's true: Compared with the high-speed trains of Western Europe and East Asia, American passenger rail is notoriously creaky, tardy, and slow. The Acela, currently the only "high-speed" train in America, runs at an average pace of 68 miles per hour between Washington and Boston; a high-speed train from Madrid to Barcelona averages 154 miles per hour. Amtrak's most punctual trains arrive on schedule 75 percent of the time; judged by Amtrak's lax standards, Japan's bullet trains are late basically 0 percent of the time.

      And those stats don't figure to improve anytime soon. While Amtrak isn't currently in danger of being killed, it also isn't likely to do more than barely survive. Last month, the House of Representatives agreed to fund Amtrak for the next four years at a rate of $1.4 billion per year. Meanwhile, the Chinese government—fair comparison or not—will be spending $128 billion this year on rail. (Thanks to the House bill, though, Amtrak passengers can look forward to a new provision allowing cats and dogs on certain trains.)

      A few decades ago, news of another middling Amtrak appropriation wouldn't have warranted a second glance; passenger rail was unpopular and widely thought to be obsolete. But recently, Amtrak's popularity has actually spiked. Ridership has increased by roughly 50 percent in the past 15 years, and ridership in the Northeast Corridor stood at an all-time high in 2014. Amtrak also now accounts for 77 percent of all rail and air travel between Washington and New York, up from just 37 percent when it launched the Acela in 2000.

      And yet, despite this outpouring of popular demand, despite the clear environmental benefits of rail travel, despite the fact that trains can help relieve urban congestion, despite the professed enthusiasm of the Obama administration (and especially rail fan-in-chief, Joe Biden) for high-speed trains—despite all of this, Amtrak, which runs a deficit and therefore depends on money from Washington, remains on a seemingly permanent path to mediocrity.

      What gives, exactly? Why can't Amtrak create any momentum for itself in the political world? Why is the United States apparently condemned to have second-rate trains?

    3. Part of the answer, of course, is geography: Density lends itself to trains, and America is far less dense than, say, Spain or France. But this explanation isn’t wholly satisfying because, even in the densest parts of the United States, intercity rail is slow or inefficient.

      In an effort to solve the riddle of American passenger rail's stubborn feebleness, I spent a couple months seeking out train obsessives around the country. During these conversations, I heard no shortage of ideas for fixing Amtrak. But perhaps the place to start is in Washington, where Amtrak clearly feels mistreated by its bosses in the federal government. "I think they lost their way a long time ago," Boardman says of Congress. "I don't understand how they don't understand. It's an absolutely necessary service, and it should be much better than it is." Later during our trip, as he shows off a brand-new luggage compartment aboard theSilver Star, he elaborates. "Maybe it's about the kid who gets bullied," he says. "Once they start bullying you, they can't stop."

      IN 1970, the Nixon administration did a massive favor for freight-rail companies by relieving them of their long-standing mandate to offer passenger service, which had become unprofitable and unpopular since the advent of commercial aviation and interstate highways. Amtrak (briefly, unfortunately "RailPax") was the nationalized rail service President Nixon created to inherit those routes. Despite the long odds of it ever managing to land in the black, it was designated a "for-profit" corporation.

      Anthony Haswell, a train devotee who was instrumental in Amtrak's creation—in 1967, he had founded a political lobby called the National Association of Rail Passengers, or "NARP"—suspects the for-profit designation was just a ploy to doom Amtrak down the road. "There was no question that it would probably not pay for itself," Haswell told me. "But the Nixon administration and other conservatives thought that once it was demonstrated that it wouldn't pay for itself, it would be abolished."

      Amtrak did keep losing money, but Congress kept paying for it. (Haswell, disgusted with all the losing of money, eventually became a vocal critic of Amtrak.) The tension between Amtrak's for-profit mandate and money-losing reality has always dogged it. In 1997, Congress mandated that Amtrak become self-sufficient by 2002 or get liquidated. It didn't and it wasn't. That same year, a government-commissioned group called the Amtrak Reform Council floated the idea of contracting out the operation of the Northeast Corridor—the one part of Amtrak that actually makes a profit—to private bidders. This didn't happen, either. Three years later, the board of directors—who are appointed by the White House and confirmed by the Senate—fired then–Amtrak president David Gunn, an iconoclastic public-transit guru who had openly admitted the company would never be profitable. ("The only good thing about the board they put in," Gunn says today, "is that they were so incompetent, they couldn't even kill the place.")

    4. The recurring ambivalence in Washington about Amtrak's right to exist has mostly precluded the government from drafting a plan to dramatically improve train travel. For a brief moment in 2009, however, that seemed to change. President Obama, who would promise to link 80 percent of the country to high-speed trains, used his stimulus legislation to award more than $8 billion to the cause, nearly $7 billion of which would go to California, Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio for what were billed as bullet-train proposals. (Congress tacked on $2.1 billion more in subsequent years for high-speed rail.)

      But by early 2011, it was all falling apart. Two new tea-party-backed governors in Wisconsin and Florida, Scott Walker and Rick Scott, promptly gave back the money. Ohio's new Republican governor, John Kasich, did the same. (In fairness, the proposed Ohio train, which was projected to travel between 40 and 50 mph, wasn't by any sane definition "high-speed.")

      Granted, all that rejected cash has been diverted into other perfectly worthy projects that will probably make certain trains go marginally faster. For instance, a $450 million injection should help the Acela boost its top speed from 135 mph to 160 mph on one 24-mile stretch between Trenton and New York City. Dozens of other incremental projects across the country, featuring terms like "obsolete signaling systems" and "hazardous materials shipments," received cash as well.

      Still, none of this represented the dramatic step into a new era of train travel that Obama had initially promised. The only surviving project that represents a major leap forward is the ambitious 220 mph Los Angeles–to–San Francisco train—and that project now faces countless challenges. Cost estimates have ballooned, construction isn't slated to finish for another 15 years, and prominent Democrats, including the state's lieutenant governor, have turned against it. Before a scheduled phone call with Jeff Morales, CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority (a public entity, but one that is separate from Amtrak), a public-relations person sent me a link to a number of fact-sheets. One of them claimed the project would be funded with tens of billions of federal dollars. I asked Morales how that could be, considering the Obama administration granted it just $3.3 billion. "At the time, there were some assumptions in place," he said, clarifying that the project would in fact be paid for by revenue from state bonds and California's new cap-and-trade law. "We probably ought to update that."

    5. Who’s to blame for this sad state of affairs? It depends whom you ask. To conservatives, America has a second-rate train system because the government is running it. Republican Rep. John Mica of Florida, a longtime Amtrak skeptic, told me it was both a "Soviet-style" and "third-world" passenger service. If by "Soviet-style," he meant that labor costs are out of whack, it's true that a 2009 report by the Amtrak Office of Inspector General found the company's infrastructure workers to be 2.3 times more expensive annually than their European counterparts. And if by "third-world," he meant that Amtrak is often bumbling and incompetent, it's true that Acela's cars were originally built four inches too wide, preventing them from handling curves with any deftness. (The problem was eventually solved.)

      To liberals, however, the problem is that the government hasn't invested nearly enough. After all, countries that boast more advanced systems support their trains with public subsidies that Amtrak could only dream of. (Britain's private rail network, for instance, received roughly $8 billion from the government last year.)

    6. In November 2011, Robert Dove, a managing director at the Carlyle Group, the D.C.-based asset-management firm, delivered a presentation to the annual meeting of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association (USHSR), a lobbying-cum-cheerleading group formed shortly after Obama's election. Dove began his slide show with the usual embarrassing stats about America's high-speed-rail ineptitude (290 million annual high-speed-rail passengers in Japan; 3 million in America). He went on to estimate that for the Northeast Corridor alone to facilitate legitimate bullet-train travel, up to $117 billion in improvements were necessary. (Amtrak itself, in a 2012 plan that will probably never come to fruition—New York to Boston in 94 minutes!—put the number at $151 billion.) "You will not find the private sector willing to come in at the construction stage or the development stage," he warned. For that, the government would have to pick up the tab. Only at that point would you "find people like me very, very willing to come in and buy it." In other words, to get to the conservative dream of a privatized Amtrak, you would first have to pursue the liberal path of spending a massive amount of public money.

      Dove's plan might be more realistic if we conceived of Amtrak as a piece of infrastructure—like a bridge or a tunnel—rather than as a for-profit corporation that can't quite turn a profit. "This is a public service," argues Andy Kunz, president of USHSR. "Our highways don't make a profit. Our airports don't make a profit. It's all paid for by the government." (Together, the Highway Trust Fund and the Federal Aviation Administration receive about 45 times what Amtrak does, through subsidies and gas taxes.)

      That line of thinking isn't persuasive to everyone, evidently. In 2008, the last time a major Amtrak reauthorization was passed, Congress introduced a game-changing new rail policy: The law stipulated that, on all routes except for long-distance and Northeast Corridor trains, the states had to pay for trains' operating costs, while the feds would still handle the bulk of any needed investments. In theory, this was a good idea. Not only did it get more potential funders and political partners involved, but it was probably more fair. "Otherwise," as Railway Age contributing editor and Amtrak maven Frank Wilner puts it, "the federal government is robbing St. Petersburg to pay St. Paul, extracting a handling fee as the money flows through Washington."

      The state-federal collaboration has worked out nicely in places like Virginia, where Amtrak service has improved and ridership has shot up. But in other states, it has led to services being imperiled. Several weeks ago, Indiana narrowly avoided the suspension of an Indianapolis-to-Chicago train, while state legislatures in Illinois and Oklahoma may force Amtrak to shutter certain trains. The new federal-state partnership is, on one hand, "a real area of growth," says Sean Jeans-Gail, vice president of NARP. "But it's also a threat to a lot of lines, because now you have 23 battlegrounds."

    7. Likewise, the most recent House reauthorization bill, which has not been marked up yet by the Senate, contains a handful of subtle measures that take aim at Amtrak's less popular offerings. One mandates that all Northeast Corridor profits be funneled back into the Northeast Corridor, rather than money-losing routes. Another mandates that food service—a frequent congressional punching bag—run a profit within five years. Since it's basically impossible to make a profit on food service on long-distance trains—and impossible to run long-distance trains while starving passengers—some see this as a poison pill intended to shutter those trains. "If it really leads to food service coming off of long-distance trains," says one rail labor-union official, "that could start a death spiral."

      A death spiral may be the worst-case scenario; but the best-case scenario for Amtrak these days isn't anything to get excited about, either. "We're definitely going to be in a holding pattern when it comes to Washington," says Brookings Institution transportation scholar Robert Puentes. "You see this throughout all the infrastructure and transportation funding. … We're not seeing anything but the status quo. Probably the best we can hope for is the status quo."

    8. Perhaps the biggest philosophical question facing Amtrak is where it should and shouldn't exist. Nearly everyone agrees that Amtrak makes sense in the Northeast Corridor, where high demand helps explain the steep ticket prices we all kvetch about. Indeed, sober-minded decrees from the likes of Wonkblogand The Economist frequently suggest retooling Washington-to-Boston service while amputating unprofitable, molasses-slow long-distance trains. But where does that leave the more rural parts of the country—places like the Gulf Coast?

      For decades, Amtrak ran a long-distance train from Los Angeles to Jacksonville called the Sunset Limited. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina washed out the tracks from New Orleans to Florida. The service was never restored, and the Gulf Coast has been without rail travel for nearly a decade now.

      In March, I spent a day in Mississippi with Dr. Paul Nelson, a 48-year-old Biloxi physician and avowed rail nerd who seems to have befriended the entire Gulf Coast political establishment in his effort to bring back Amtrak. Nelson (who asked that I identify him as "Dr. Paul Nelson, concerned Mississippian") isn't remotely concerned with the sort of fiscal tabulations that consume Washington. He readily concedes that Amtrak could never turn a profit in the South—but he is after a different cost-benefit equation.

    9. by coincidence this article appears on The Atlantic


    10. With Smart Cars, I doubt there is a future for most trains. Ironically The Northeast Corridor from Washington to NYC is an exception. It is a very efficient mode of travel, but like most things, we piss our money away on The Middle East instead of using it for useful infrastructure in the US.

    11. How much infrastructure could be built with the money trashed with the F-35 program?

    12. How much infrastructure could be built with the money trashed with the F-35 program?

      Under Obama America spent 800 BILLION PLUS....

      The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Pub.L. 111–5), commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act, was an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009 and signed into law on February 17, 2009, by President Barack Obama.

      $831 billion between 2009 and 2019.

      Is money really the issue?

      I think not...

      The cost to develop and build the Joint Strike Fighter fleet rose 1.88 percent over the past year because of delays in the production line and failures of the engine producer to bring down costs, said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer.

      The cost of the program rose by $7.4 billion to $398.58 billion in 2012-year dollars, according to the Pentagon’s Selected Acquisition Report that is released each year to Congress. The increase in costs means tax payers will end up paying $162 million for each fifth generation fighter jet by the end of the program at the current rate.

      Even though the Pentagon will spend $162 million per aircraft based on current estimates, it doesn’t cost that much today to roll an F-35 off the production line, Bogdan said. Instead, it costs $112 million and he’s hoping to lower the price per jet to a range of $80–84 million by 2019 when full rate production increases to larger numbers of aircraft.

      So really it's not an issue of one program, or one middle eastern war...

      It is what we do with the money we spend.

      This year's TAX receipts by the feds will break all records...

      they are collecting more taxes and yet still Obama runs deficits....

      Maybe looking at HOW we spend our allocated resources is the issue...

      Social Security, unemployment and labor makes up 33% of our budget, military 16%


  2. I've taken Amtrak from Spokane east, on the northern route, over the Bitterroots and the Rockies.

    It wouldn't take much fooling with a little railroad track to put the whole train into a 2,000 feet deep river gorge going over those high bridges.

    I'd rather drive.

    The reason Amtrak doesn't turn a profit is everybody else would rather drive, too.


  3. Ramadi suffers shortage of fuel and gas after ISIS seized Ramadi Gas Plant, says Anbar Council
    By Amre Sarhan

    Apr 30, 2015

    (IraqiNews.com) Anbar – On Thursday, an official source of Anbar Provincial Council announced, that the residents of Ramadi city are suffering from a fuel and gas crisis after ISIS’s seizure of Ramadi Gas Plant and its neighboring fuel station in east of Ramadi.

    Member of Anbar Provincial Council Azal Obeid Dahi stated in an interview for IraqiNews.com, “The residents of Ramadi city and its surrounding areas are currently suffering from a fuel and gas crisis due to lack of oil derivatives in the center of the city,” pointing out that, “The ISIS militants had seized Ramadi Gas Plant and its neighboring government fuel station in east of Ramadi.”

    He added, “These sites became areas of confrontation between the security forces and ISIS.”

    Related links:

    ISIS seizes Anbar’s share of fuel and medical supplies


    1. Date line of Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson's "News" ...
      Two weeks ago. ...
      By Amre Sarhan - Apr 30, 2015

    2. Jack "I LIE, Distort and misdirect" Hawkins's never said anything trustworthy.

    3. Yup, two weeks ago. That why I put it up. It was the latest news I could find this morning about Ramadi.

    4. Jack Hawkins does not speak, "O"rdure, he writes.

      Usually he quote others, ISraelis are his preeminent source.
      He really gets mileage from what comes from Bibi, as well as the President of ISrael, a man named Reuven Rivlin


    5. “The tension between Jews and Arabs within the State of Israel has risen to record heights, and the relationship between all parties has reached a new low,”
      he said.

      “We have all witnessed the shocking sequence of incidents and violence taking place by both sides.
      The epidemic of violence is not limited to one sector or another, it permeates every area and doesn’t skip any arena.
      There is violence in soccer stadiums as well as in the academia.
      There is violence in the social media and in everyday discourse, in hospitals and in schools.”

      “I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings.

      Have they forgotten how to converse?”

      - Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel

      Racism - that is "Occupation"
      Hate - that is "Occupation"

      A dearth of interesting ideas - that is "Occupation"

    6. Are you then an occupiers as well?

      You hate Zionists, Jews and Israel.

      You LIVE on land that is not yours.......

      Hold a mirror up to the blog's Professional Jackass....

      the infamous Jack "I never met a lie I could not repeat" Hawkins.....

    7. America is occupying lands, as is Russia, China, England...

      Almost every nation on the planet has border disputes...

      India and Pakistan.....

      Turkey and Cyprus...

      Only Israel is an issue for the blog and the jew hating world

  4. Interesting Deuce's flips and flops...

    yesterday he trashes the bible, today posts the line....

    Pray for those injured...

    Pray to WHOM?

    1. :)

      There must not be any atheists in train wrecks.

    2. There are Gods other than those in the Bible.

      The ISraeli trash the Torah, every day.

      Tel Aviv devotes about $100,000 — more than a third of its international marketing budget — to drawing gay tourists. Though no exact figures exist, officials estimate that tens of thousands of gay tourists from abroad arrive annually.

      "We are trying to create a model for openness, pluralism, tolerance," Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai told The Associated Press. "Live and let live — this is the city of Tel Aviv."

      The city's first openly gay-owned hotel was opened recently and numerous city-backed travel sites direct gay visitors to the hottest clubs, bars and resorts in town.

      "We've long recognized the economic potential of the gay community. The gay tourist is a quality tourist, who spends money and sets trends,"
      said Pini Shani, a Tourism Ministry official who has been involved in the campaign.

      "There's also no doubt that a tourist who's had a positive experience here is of PR value. If he leaves satisfied, he becomes an Israeli ambassador of good will."



    3. Judged by deeds, not words


    4. What is “Occupation”Wed May 13, 09:23:00 AM EDT
      Interesting Deuce's flips and flops...

      yesterday he trashes the bible, today posts the line....

      Pray for those injured...

      Since you have a reading comprehension problem:

      Patrick Murphy, the Philadelphia region’s former representative in Congress, was on the train and said was helping people. He was tweeting photos of firefighters helping people in the wreckage. “Pray for those injured,” he said.

    5. ...The Associated Press contributed to this report

    6. It's your blog, you posted the sentence..

      If it is MEANINGLESS why report it?

    7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    8. Jack HawkinsWed May 13, 10:21:00 AM EDT
      There are Gods other than those in the Bible.

      The ISraeli trash the Torah, every day.

      Tel Aviv devotes about $100,000 — more than a third of its international marketing budget — to drawing gay tourists. Though no exact figures exist, officials estimate that tens of thousands of gay tourists from abroad arrive annually.

      Jack "I HATE GAYS" Hawkins speaks to him hatred

      Jews, Israel and Gays...

    9. I hope that makes it easier for you.

    10. If you are going to quote me. It better be accurate.

    11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. An American Jewish fellow writes ...

    On the night of August 24, 2005, Israeli troops shot dead three teenage boys and two adults in a West Bank Palestinian refugee camp. An army communique claimed the five were terrorists, killed after opening fire on the soldiers. An investigation by Israel's leading human rights organization, B'Tselem, and its leading newspaper, Haaretz, found, however, that the teenagers were unarmed and had no connection with any terrorist organizations, while neither of the two adults was armed or wanted by the Israelis.
    In a recent study entitled One Big Prison, B'Tselem observes that the crippling economic arrangements Israel has imposed on Gaza will remain in effect. In addition, Israel will continue to maintain absolute control over Gaza's land borders, coastline and airspace, and the Israeli Army will continue to operate in Gaza. "So long as these methods of control remain in Israeli hands," it concludes, "Israel's claim of an 'end of the occupation' is questionable."

    The respected organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) is yet more emphatic that evacuating troops and Jewish settlements from inside Gaza will not end the occupation:
    "Whether the Israeli Army is inside Gaza or redeployed around its periphery, and restricting entrance and exit, it remains in control."

    Control - that is "Occupation"

    1. Norman G. Finkelstein

      The inability to converse - that is "Occupation"

    2. \
      ...children are shackled during court appearances and made to serve sentences in Israel. UNICEF stated these findings "amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture".

      Cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of children - that is "Occupation"


    3. Yes "children", just like Trayvon was a "child"...

      Jack "I LIE, Distort and Mislead" Hawkins's opinion on Israel Jews and Zionism is always deceitful...

    4. Jack "I LIE, Distort and Mislead" Hawkins has made it clear to the readers that he does not want the Jewish Nation State of Israel to exist. He has hundreds of times called the Jews "frauds", "imposters" and Nazis...

      But it he who is the modern day "nazi" calling for the destruction of Israel and it's people...

      So Jack?

      Your distorted posts of nonsense, put to the test? FAIl as usual..

      Cause you are WEAK....



    5. The respected organization Human Rights Watch (HRW)


      Now that's oyxmoronic....


      Human Rights Watch investigator accused of collecting Nazi memorabilia

      Tension between the Israeli government and Human Rights Watch, the international body that has been critical of the Israeli military's tactics in Gaza, has intensified over revelations that one of the watchdog's investigators is a collector of Nazi memorabilia.

      Marc Garlasco, a former Pentagon intelligence officer, has reported for Human Rights Watch on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the two Israeli wars in Lebanon and Gaza. He is described as the watchdog's senior military expert.

      It has now emerged that he is also an avid collector of German and American wartime memorabilia, including awards badges handed out to soldiers working in the anti-aircraft Flak units. He is the author of a 430-page book on the Flak badges of the Wehrmarcht, and a regular contributor to two internet bulletin boards used by military collectors under his moniker Flak 88.

      Several pro-Israeli bloggers have latched on to Garlasco's hobby, questioning whether it is appropriate for a human rights investigator involved in the Middle East. They have unearthed one blogpost in which Flak 88 writes: "That is so cool! The leather SS jacket makes my blood go cold it is so COOL!"

      In another Garlasco is shown in a photograph wearing a jumper bearing an Iron Cross. A correspondent comments on the picture: "Love the sweatshirt Mark [sic]. Not one I could wear here in germany [sic] though (well I could but it would be a lot of hassle)."

      A Nazi LOVER is a Senior fellow of the HRC



      Try again Jack...




    6. More than 1,500 Palestinian children have died at the hands of Israeli forces since 2000,
      Datelined April of 2014.

      Killing over 2 Palestinian children per week - that is "Occupation"
      That's a week, "O"rdure.

    7. http://rt.com/news/1500-palestinian-children-dead-629/


    8. Amira Dotan, a spokeswoman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry ...

      “Yes, we knew there were children, but we had to kill the terrorists.”

      Like other Israeli officials and spokespersons, Dotan believe that these actions were justified so as to protect Israeli lives.

      “If we hadn’t killed those Palestinian children, then the terrorist would have killed three or four times as many Israelis.”

      Dateline - April 13, 2004

      Killing children to save lives -that is very Orwellian

      It is also "Occupation"

    9. Killing children - that is "Occupation"

    10. America has killed far more "children" than Israel ever has

      Jack do you cry for the dead Japanese babies? The dead babies of Iraq? the dead babies of the natives?

    11. Jack HawkinsWed May 13, 10:57:00 AM EDT
      More than 1,500 Palestinian children have died at the hands of Israeli forces since 2000,
      Datelined April of 2014.

      Killing over 2 Palestinian children per week - that is "Occupation"
      That's a week, "O"rdure.

      How many African American KIDS die each week in America Jack?

      Is not their poverty and situation America's fault?

      President Obama THINKS SO...

    12. What Mr Obama does, "O"rdure does not begin to answer the question posed
      What is "Occupation"

      That is the question that has been put forward, it the question that will now be answered.

      Killing Palestinian Children - that is "Occupation"

    13. Jack HawkinsWed May 13, 12:11:00 PM EDT
      What Mr Obama does, "O"rdure does not begin to answer the question posed
      What is "Occupation"

      That is the question that has been put forward, it the question that will now be answered.

      Killing Palestinian Children - that is "Occupation"

      Now the interesting thought...

      IF palestinians were losing 2 kids a WEEK to Israeli forces, you'd think after 20, 40, 70, 90 WEEKS of killing the palestinians would have LEARNED to keep their children away from Israeli forces... Not USE them as human shields, keep them far from the fight...

      At least MOST humans would have learned that....

      But not the Palestinians...

  6. Of all the recent economic news, and stats, this is kinda the most interesting (and, by far, the least commented upon):

    YOY Import Prices - Down 10.7%

    YOY Export Prices - Down 6.3%

    Import/Export Prices

    1. Rampant and uncontrolled inflation, is it just over the horizon?

      Or is it deflation that is the real economic worry of the early 21st century?

    2. That's the interesting question, isn't it. :)

    3. I bought a dozen Grade A Large Eggs for $1.09 at Aldi's, the day before yesterday.

    4. My entire life the boogie man has been inflation...

      Is that the "Last War"?

      “Generals always fight the last war” ("Economists fight the last depression")

      ’Generals always fight the last war” means that military strategy often focuses on what has happened rather than what will happen. “There is a tendency in many armies to spend the peace time studying how to fight the last war” was cited in 1929 and “peacetime generals are always fighting the last war” has been cited in print in 1937. During World War II in the early 1940s, the saying was quite frequently used.

      An economics version of the military saying—“economists fight the last depression”—also became common in the 1940s. The “fight the last war’ saying has been used in government and in business.

      Entry from December 26, 2010


    5. No the International Warcrimes Tribunal has been your boogie man....

  7. And now for some good popcorn eating news

    Some 250 Hizballah dead in Qalamoun battle. Nasrallah pushes Lebanese army to enter Syrian war


    1. Israel prefers Daesh (al-Qeada) in Syria, over the Alawites, Christians and their Kurdish allies

      Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren told the Jerusalem Post that Israel so wanted Assad out and his Iranian backers weakened, that Israel would accept al-Qaeda operatives taking power in Syria.

      “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.”
      Even if the other “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.


    2. Even an Ill wind can blow some good.

      (IraqiNews.com) Baghdad – Hezbollah Brigades in Iraq announced on Wednesday, repelling an ISIS attack southeast of Fallujah from four axes, confirming that the clashes are still ongoing.

      The brigades said in a statement received by IraqiNews.com, “We managed to repel ISIS attack on the Structures Complex southeast of Fallujah of four axes,” pointing out that, “ISIS used three car bomb in the attack.”

      “The clashes are still ongoing until now,” Hezbollah Brigades added.

      The military operations continue in Al-Anbar province to hunt down ISIS elements and liberate the remaining areas of the province from ISIS’ grip.

      Action around Fallujah

    3. Apparently Jack still cannot understand ENGLISH very well....

      Jack cuts and pastes: Jack HawkinsWed May 13, 12:12:00 PM EDT

      Israel prefers Daesh (al-Qeada) in Syria, over the Alawites, Christians and their Kurdish allies

      IN my response of HEZBOLLAH losing 250 troops...

      Sorry Jack, Hezbollah is a Lebanese faction of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard..

      Not part of the Alawites, Christians and their Kurdish allies

      Try again...



    4. ANY time Hezbollah loses fighters/terrorists its a good thing...

      After all Hezbollah have murdered more American GIs than any other terror group on the planet...

      Jack LOVES Hezbollah

  8. Kick rat's ass out for lying, juvenility, repetitiveness, boorishness, and stupidity.

    1. bob Thu May 27, 12:52:00 AM EDT

      But I did rip off the bank for $7500 hundred dollars, when I was on my knees, and fighting for my economic life, on my aunt's credit card. But that wasn't really stealing, just payback. …

      Just like a meth head, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, tries to justify his crime by saying that the loot was owed him, by the people or institution he ripped off.

    2. Notice Jack doesn't provide a LINK?

      No context?

      Just out of context slander.....

      WEAK Jack WEAK...

      Go eat your Wheaties....


    3. You really want the link?

      That is no problem, amigo


    4. That'd be

  9. May 13, 2015
    Signs of panic in the Clinton War Room
    By Thomas Lifson

    For more than a quarter of a century, the Clintons have followed a strategy for overcoming the scandals that arise out of their personal greed and sexual misbehavior, one that always worked – until now.

    The pattern is familiar. Dismiss the charges as lacking factual basis (“there is no evidence of…” as opposed to actually denying the truth of the charge); viciously attack the person making the charge in defamatory language (“what happens when you drag a hundred-dollar-bill through a trailer park”); use lawyerly language to convey a lie in terms that can be defended in ways that offend common sense but hope to avoid perjury charges sticking (“I did not have sexual relations with that woman…”); and the clincher: wait for the media to tire of the story and the low-information voters to forget about it.

    The glue that holds this together is charming Billy, the smiling, charismatic guy so likable that he even charmed Newt Gingrich when the latter was speaker and primary political opponent of the president following the disastrous 1994 congressional election that handed control of the House to the Republicans after roughly four decades of seemingly permanent Democrat dominance. But Bill is no longer at the top of his game: those decades of stress, little sleep, skirt-chasing, and whatever substances he may or may not have used are now taking their toll, and heart surgery now makes robust health an elusive goal. Besides, the star of the show is now Hillary, who does not have her husband’s charm, though she seems to think it ought to be hers as marital joint property.

    But the strategy has stopped working. And a veteran sagacious observer of the Clintons, Jonathan Tobin, writing at Commentary, sees signs of panic.

    … their bold talk about no one believing the book isn’t convincing anyone. The drip, drip, drip of scandal stories from a variety of news outlets inspired by Peter Schweizer’s muckraking book has kept the allegations in the news rather than it fading away. As a result, the Clinton “War Room” that has been assembled to trash Schweitzer and dismiss the book is starting to show the initial signs of panic. When longtime Clinton family retainer Lanny Davis called the book and those exploring its charges an example of “McCarthyism” during an appearance on C-Span, it was clear that Hillary’s friends have officially jumped the shark in their efforts to silence the nation’s unease about the former First Family’s conduct.

    1. The context of Davis’s rant is the fact that even after weeks of news organizations seeking new Clinton Cash angles to explore, it appears they aren’t close to running out of material. Over the weekend, Politico began to unravel the complicated ties between Bill Clinton’s speechmaking business and Hillary Clinton’s State Department. According to their reporting, State Department officials vetted some of the former president’s speeches. While that isn’t evidence of criminal conduct, it does show how closely connected Hillary’s staff was to Bill’s fundraising and speaking business affairs, something her defenders routinely deny. And while questions remain about the Clinton’s involvement in the egregious sale of 20 percent of the country’s uranium reserves to Russia, a lot of reporting about their dubious role in vetting disaster relief for Haiti and the way Hillary’s brother profited from their work was being dug up by both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. (snip)

      Like other Clinton Cash critics, Davis kept repeating that there are no “facts” in the book. But this is absurd. The book is full of facts about the suspicious donations to the foundation and huge honorariums paid to Bill Clinton from foreign donors who had business before the State Department while Hillary was running it.

      I think the MSM refusal to drop the matter and focuse on sliming the Clinton critics, their usual practice in the past, is the critical diffrence. And I attribute this change of behavior to two related factors:

      The self-enrichment of the Clintons’ post-presidency is just too grotesque to stomach. Especially given the unending self-pitying justifications (“dead broke” and “have to pay the bills”). Most media types below the Brian Williams (cough, cough) level consider themselves underpaid compared to their intelligence and talents. Seeing the Clintons become mega-rich by influence-peddling (and everyone but Lanny Davis understands that $500K for a speech is a payoff, not fair compensation for a riveting speech) just doesn’t sit that well.
      Hillary is seen as sell-out, and she is blocking the path of current lefty heartthrob Elizabeth Warren. The media want her to retire to her money bin and let Liz work her Cherokee magic on the economy.

      I only hope that the panic spreads slowly enough to keep Hillary as the nominee. That would be the most entertaining and productive scenario I could imagine.


    2. Hillary is about as inevitable to become President as I am.

      Well, I exaggerate considerably, but she isn't a cinch.

      I love reading about 'The Troubles of Hillary' in the morning.

      Always makes the coming day seem easier somehow.

  10. And it is not even Memorial Day, yet.

    Isis deputy leader Abu Alaa Afri 'killed in Iraq air strike' officials claim

    Business Insider reports the same news ...
    Iraqi Defense Ministry: An airstrike just killed the second-in-command of ISIS

    1. One KILLED, 9,000 more signing up...


    2. So if we kill the 2nd in command doesn't the 3rd in command become the 2nd in command???

    3. Jack's getting weaker by the hour...


    4. Jack's totally wore out, plumb tuckered, exhausted with it all, poor fellow, and doesn't know what to do.

  11. Only 12 days left until Iraq with be ISIS Free, according to the World Famous Prediction of our very own 'military expert', Jack Hawkins, aka desert rat.

    He is now in the grasping at straws stage..........

    1. Denials of one sort or other most probably will soon begin to appear.

  12. Jack HawkinsWed May 13, 12:11:00 PM EDT
    What Mr Obama does, "O"rdure does not begin to answer the question posed
    What is "Occupation"

    That is the question that has been put forward, it the question that will now be answered.

    Killing Palestinian Children - that is "Occupation"

    Does that also include the SYRIAN and Iranian KILLING of Palestinian Children?


    1. "Occupation" is an ISraeli preoccupation, "O"rdure.

    2. The question of
      What is "Occupation" does not have any relevancy to Syria.
      It is contained to the the Occupied Territories of Palestine/ISrael

    3. There is no OCCUPATION of Palestine.

      IT is a state...

  13. Fox News is reporting via The Wall Street Journal that the train was going 100 mph at the time of the accident, twice the limit for that section of railway, which is 50 mph, and that the Engineer is clamming up.

    Immediately the suspicion of drugs and/ or alcohol pops into the mind.

    Watch Fox or be perpetually behind the news.

    1. Hmmmm...one would think some of the passengers would have said, "my but it seemed we were going so fast".....but then maybe some have......anyway Fox has reported via the Wall Street Journal, usually a reliable source.

    2. I was sort of suspecting terrorism at first.......the jihadis like blowing up trains and subways.....

    3. Anywhere that a lot of innocent people congregate is always a prime locale for the jihadis.

  14. How difficult is it to put a simple speed control device on a train ?

    Fox seems to be sticking with the Wall Street Journal story.

    Philly sources are saying that the Engineer is not talking and was last seen leaving with a lawyer, according to Fox News.

    Actually, breaking right now, some guy is on Fox saying the trains do have speed control devices of some kind and this may have failed.

    "Positive train control" device was supposed to be installed by 2015. Maybe it was never installed....or turned off.....

  15. .

    The state-owned oil company of Azerbaijan secretly funded an all-expenses-paid trip to a conference at Baku on the Caspian Sea in 2013 for 10 members of Congress and 32 staff members, according to a confidential ethics report obtained by The Washington Post. Three former top aides to President Obama appeared as speakers at the conference.

    Lawmakers and their staff members received hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of travel expenses, silk scarves, crystal tea sets and Azerbaijani rugs valued at $2,500 to $10,000, according to the ethics report. Airfare for the lawmakers and some of their spouses cost $112,899, travel invoices show.

    The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic, known as SOCAR, allegedly funneled $750,000 through nonprofit corporations based in the United States to conceal the source of the funding for the conference in the former Soviet nation, according to the 70-page report by the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent investigative arm of the House.

    [Congressional ethics committees protect legislators, critics say]


    The nonprofit corporations allegedly filed false statements with Congress swearing that they were sponsoring the conference. The findings have been referred to the House Committee on Ethics for investigation of possible violations of congressional rules and federal laws that bar foreign governments from trying to influence U.S. policy.



    1. House Ethics Committee will have all those involved shacking in their little booties, I am sure.

    2. Must be mostly Democrats involved or the House Ethics Committee wouldn't even be looking at it.

    3. Probably Democrats from the Detroit, Philly, Baltimore, Chicago, New York City areas would be my guess. Maybe some from California.

    4. Why guess, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, their names were published.
      It is no secret as to who they were.

      Are you so incompetent you cannot look before you comment upon the story?
      Four Republicans, six Democrats.

      Three from Texas, one from New York.

    5. “Think before you speak.
      Read before you think.”

      ― Fran Lebowitz,

      In this instance, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, you should think before you write.

    6. Mostly Democrats, just as I said, ratasshole.

      12 days till Memorial Day.

    7. But reading, that is fundamental to intelligent conversation.

      Obviously Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson has some type of reading disability.
      If it is not on the American Thinker website, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson does not read it.

      PolitiFact: Daily Show List of 50 Fox News Lies is Accurate

      The Daily Show put up a vine the other day showing, very rapidly, 50 lies from Fox News in a few seconds.

      PolitiFact examined all of them and found that all of them were, in fact, lies.
      All of them rated either “false” or “pants on fire” except one, which was rated “mostly false.”
      Bill O’Reilly isn’t the only one at Fox with a serious problem telling the truth. Here’s the vine:


    8. Go read the report that the leadership of the Islamic State is being decimated, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      Whether the entire organization is kaput, in Iraq, by Memorial Day of 2015 or 2025 does not make any real difference.

      What does matter, US troops are not fighting in Iraq.
      That is victory for the "Rat Doctrine" and all of your whining will not change that reality.

    9. Rat aka the Jackass likes to redefine the situation for his specific limited predictions...

      Jack has no real grasp of reality...

  16. .

    Obama Loses the First Battle of the Democratic Trade War

    With the Senate blocking a key bill from coming up for debate, the president’s biggest obstacle is his own party.

    Andrew Harnik / AP

    Obama Loses the First Battle of the Democratic Trade War

    With the Senate blocking a key bill from coming up for debate, the president’s biggest obstacle is his own party.
    Andrew Harnik / AP


    Russell Berman May 12, 2015

    On Tuesday, the Senate failed to overcome a Democratic filibuster blocking “fast-track” Trade Promotional Authority from coming up for debate. For the past week, President Obama’s toughest opponent in his uphill struggle with Democrats over trade legislation has been Elizabeth Warren, the progressive leader who continues to fight the president even though she doesn’t want to be president. But it turns out that the president’s most difficult obstacle is not Warren but Harry Reid, his erstwhile ally and the Democratic leader in the Senate.


    Reid has made clear for months that he would vote against Trade Promotional Authority, but there is a big difference in Congress between a legislative leader who opposes a piece of legislation and one who plans to use his power to kill it. Administration officials told me they were confident Reid wouldn’t actively try to torpedo the bill, pointing to a statement he made in December that he wouldn’t “stand in the way” of Obama’s push for trade deals with Pacific and European nations. But they grew more concerned watching Reid rally nearly the entire Democratic caucus, including several pro-trade senators, to block Mitch McConnell’s attempt to bring the fast-track bill to the floor...



    1. Hope that Harry Reid is successful at blocking the fast track process.

  17. Here is the Wall Street Journal story on the Amtrak train -


    Cheers !

  18. .

    Vatican to Recognize Palestinian State in New Treaty

    ROME — The Vatican said Wednesday that it had concluded a treaty to recognize Palestinian statehood, a symbolic but significant step welcomed by Palestinians but upsetting to the Israeli government.

    Formal recognition of a Palestinian state by the Vatican, which has deep religious interests in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories that include Christian holy sites, lends a powerful signal of moral authority and legitimacy to the efforts by the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, to achieve statehood despite the long paralyzed Israeli-Palestinian peace process...



    1. Cool, sooner the Palestinians have their "state" the sooner they will have to grow up....

      AND The sooner they will have to sit and compromise on borders, like every other nation on the planet...

    2. Or course they can ATTACK Israel again and LOSE more land...


    3. Of course unilaterally declaring statehood voids the oslo agreements totally...


      Just as joining with Hamas voids the oslo, wye and other agreements...


  19. .

    Word to the wise.

    Kim Jong-Un EXECUTES his defence minister with an anti-aircraft gun in front of hundreds of spectators - because he dozed off during a North Korean military ceremony

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3079172/North-Korean-defence-minister-executed-anti-aircraft-fire-disrespecting-leader-Kim-Jong-dozing-military-events-answering-back.html#ixzz3a3OptwOS
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook



    1. How Israel helped create Hamas


    2. The article below originally appeared in the French daily L’Humanit√© on December 14, 2001, translated to English by Global Outlook in 2002, and published by Global Research in March 2004.

      It shows how the so-called Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) was founded by Israel’s Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks (Mossad) with the strategic purpose to prevent the creation of a Palestinian State.



    3. Hamas is a result of "Occupation"

    4. There is no "occupation" of Gaza.

      It is deficit controlled by the lawful elected national representative of the Palestinians.

      Even if they are genocidal murderers...

      they own it

    5. What is "occupation"?

      Does America occupy other folks lands?

      Does China?

      Does Syria?

      Does Turkey, England, France, Spain, or Russia?

      there are disputes across the globe.

    6. Hamas is the result of the "Occupation" of Palestine.

      Hamas is "Occupation"

    7. Hamas is ISIS of Gaza....

      Your friends.

  20. Talk about your "Extreme Prejudice."


  21. In my almost seven decades shuffling through this vale of tears, the constant refrain has been: "If you want to see your future, look to California."

    The Golden State is building the High Speed Rail Line, and the Renewable Electric Infrastructure from which it will derive its power.

    Your state will, also (in 15 or 20 years, anyway.)

  22. An Audi drove itself from NY to L.A. a couple of days ago.

    And, now this?

    1. Elon Musk said that only computers would be allowed to drive cars in 2030 (human operators would be considered too dangerous.)

      Trains have, obviously, already crossed that threshold.

  23. In international law, a sovereign state is a nonphysical juridical entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states.[1] It is also normally understood that a state is neither dependent on nor subject to any other power or state.[2]

    So the Palestinians can declare and be recognized as a Nation State.

    Thus their very creation, of the lands they control define their statehood. there is NO Occupation.

    It is over.

    There can be border disputes.

    But the very act of Nation State declaration ENDs any claim to being "occupied".

    1. .

      Word games. You sound like the rat.


    2. Nonsense.

      The Palestinians have declared themselves a nation.

      SO be it.

      But it null and voids the previous agreements that included the direct and specific instructions that did not allow unilateral declarations of statehood.

    3. .


      Was Japan a 'state' even though it was 'occupied' by the US after WWII? Germany?

      Previous agreements? You have to be kidding. Bibi declared them dead back in 2001.

      Naw, you are just being silly, rat. Er, I mean WiO.


    4. Quirk, there are states that are "Occupied" like germany after ww2 and japan.

      israel does not occupy Gaza or 97% of the palestinian population or their cities that way.

      as for Bibi's declarations?

      The State of Israel has not declared the oslo agreements dead as of this moment.

      IF the continued violations by the PA reach the breaking point? then they will formally trash them.

      Dont slander me by calling me names. Discuss the issue rationally

    5. The Palestinians have redifined the term "occupation" to now mean lands held.

      This is contrary to all accepted definitions anywhere else in the world.

    6. .

      israel does not occupy Gaza or 97% of the palestinian population or their cities that way.

      They have occupied Palestine going on fifty years. The only one who doesn't seem to know it is you.

      But call it what you want. You can play the word games all you like. It changes nothing.


  24. Now it's time for the arabs of the lands called "palestine" to have THIEIR non-civil war....

  25. Execution via anti-aircraft gun - Rufus is right, there's extreme prejudice.

    My wife would like it.

    She often thinks of creative ways to off the bad guys, like John Wayne Gacy, for instance.

    Sometimes she makes up an option or two from which they may choose.

    She's law and order.

    Like Rufus, too, she doesn't know a thing about the rules of evidence, due process and procedure, or guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and certainly not a thing about cruel and unusual punishment.


    1. ... What you going to do, when she is institutionalized?


  26. US | Wed May 13, 2015 7:11pm EDT

    Derailed Amtrak train lacked latest U.S. safety controls

    WASHINGTON/PHILADELPHIA | By Patrick Rucker and Jarrett Renshaw

    The commuter rail route where an Amtrak train left the track on Tuesday was not governed by an advanced safety technology meant to prevent high-speed derailments, investigators said on Wednesday.

    A system called "positive train control" (PTC) automatically slows or even halts trains that are moving too fast or heading into a danger zone. Under current law, the rail industry must adopt the technology by the end of this year.

    The investigation into the cause of Tuesday's crash, in which seven people were killed, has only just begun but initial examination of the train's data recorders determined the train was traveling 106 miles per hour (171 km per hour) in a 50-mph (80-kph) zone.

    It would have been impossible for a train to reach such speeds if PTC had been in place, officials said.

    "Based on what we know right now, we feel that had such a system been installed in this section of track, this accident would not have occurred," said Robert Sumwalt, a board member of the National Transportation Safety Board.

    Amtrak has begun installing components of a PTC system but the network is not yet functioning, federal officials said.

    Amtrak officials did not respond to calls for comment.

    Federal rules require the national rail network to have an operating PTC system by the end of the year, though many lawmakers have endorsed rail industry appeals for more time to comply.

    In March, the Senate Commerce Committee voted to extend the deadline for implementing PTC until at least 2020. Both Republicans and Democrats supported the measure which will now go to the Senate floor.

    "This accident is exhibit A for ending the delays and getting positive train control in place," said Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat.

    The Association of American Railroads has said it wants PTC in place but blames logistical challenges like acquiring radio frequencies and placing transmitter towers for the delay.

    “This is not off-the-shelf technology; it has had to be developed from scratch,” said Ed Greenberg, spokesman for the trade group.

    Installing radio towers and other hardware at congested rail junctions, like the site of the Philadelphia accident, poses unique challenges, according to former and current officials.

    PTC control would go as far as overriding a train conductor who was exceeding posted speed limits, said Joseph Szabo, who stepped down in January as administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.

    "If there is a red signal you can't pass it, if there is a speed restriction, it will slow you down," he said of the override system.

    (Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball, Andy Sullivan, Bill Trott and Timothy Gardner in Washington; Editing by Eric Beech and Lisa Shumaker)


  27. How in the hell did the Engineer get going 106 mph in Philly anyway ?

    I got a drug/booze/meth feeling about this one.

    He's lawyered up already.

    And not talking.

    1. bob Mon Nov 16, 04:13:00 PM EST (2009)
      I have the feeling we're going to get hit again, and soon, and hard.

      The feelings of Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson are notoriously inaccurate.

    2. Jack, you are following me around again.

      Nothing else to do ?

      12 days to Memorial Day, Jack ass.

      That's not a 'feeling', that was your PREDICTION based on your military 'expertise'.

      Bwabwabwabwahahahahahhaha !!

      You're a fraud and a liar. 8 (EIGHT) people here have said so. Some have offered you help.

      Go follow Ash around for awhile.

    3. Only a good shooting Police officer prevented us from getting hit hard in Garland, Texas.

    4. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, you are starting another rambling rant.
      Most of the past posters, here at the Elephant Bar, all appreciated my contributions.

      bobal Mon Sep 01, 05:20:00 PM EDT
      Rat's a gentleman.

      With his own way of thinking about things.

      Habu has his own way of thinking about things too, but is so corrosive, that after a while you don't want to read him anymore.

      While with Rat, you are always eager to hear what he has to say.

    5. Sorry Rat, "most"?


      delusional as usual

      You are the reason MOST of the past posters FLED...

  28. Republican-controlled House Committee voted, THIS MORNING, to cut $270 Million from AMTRAC Budget.

    1. I think we ought to give up on Amtrak. It isn't worth it.

      People can fly, drive, or ride the bus.

    2. Why quit on Amtrak and not the FAA and the Federal Highway system, too.
      People ought to pay for using those systems, not have the costs borne by those that do not.

      End all the subsidies, or none.

      No reason for the government to be picking "Winners and Losers", or is there?

    3. AMTRAC has received 1.5 billion a year for the last 10 years.

      Why not raise ticket prices to cover costs and improvements?

    4. rat's ass, who must live in his mom's basement, has not heard of the fuel tax, isolated and quarantined as he is.......

      How is the super secret super important project you got going off the Coasts of Panama coming along these days, Jack ass ?


    5. It wasn't 'infrastructure' that caused this accident. It was a speeding engineer, perhaps on speed himself.

      106 mph ?


      I'm going in to Cabela's.

      Cheers !

    6. Reality was to much for Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      bobal Sat Sep 06, 09:21:00 PM EDT
      After an eight year law suit with most of my relatives, I've finally found some sanity on line.

  29. .

    The BBC reports,

    US House rejects NSA bulk collection of phone data


    However, civil liberties groups reject the House version as not going far enough.