“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

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Israel - Neither a Friend Nor an Ally of the US


  1. Except for our most recent poster above, my Though Experiment assumes we all love our daughters. Granted some here don't have daughters but sons. Just substitute an imagined daughter for your son.

    All decent fathers will do and choose whatever may be the best course of action for the well being of their daughters and the future of their daughters.

    This is a given, a premise of the Thought Experiment which will continue tomorrow and wrap up this week.

    Cheers !


  2. .

    To be honest, I've heard all the arguments from both sides on the 'net neutrality' issue and I still don't know if I'm for it or against it. I guess we now have it and when I heard that I thought, 'hey, all right', then I read articles like the following and I think 'oh shit'.

    Obamanet Shows Its Fangs

    The FCC levies a $100 million retroactive fine, and the political favor-seeking is under way.

    C levies a $100 million retroactive fine, and the political favor-seeking is under way.
    Federal Communications Commisison Chairman Tom Wheeler testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. ENLARGE
    Federal Communications Commisison Chairman Tom Wheeler testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Photo: Lauren Victoria Burke/Associated Press
    By L. Gordon Crovitz
    June 21, 2015 5:28 p.m. ET

    ‘No, no, no, no!” Tom Wheeler shouted at the moderator. The Federal Communications Commission chairman was speaking at an Internet industry conference in March, soon after the FCC voted to regulate the Internet. His bureaucrats, he insisted, would never set rates, rule on tariffs or otherwise treat the Internet like an old-fashioned utility.

    Make that “Yes, yes, yes, yes!”

    The regulations went into effect earlier this month, and the Washington Post last week got word about the first federal complaint to be filed. A company that streams live video wants regulators to set the price it pays to transport its content—at zero.

    The complainant is Commercial Network Services, whose video streams travel smoothly over networks thanks to the multibillion-dollar industry that provides the connections through content-delivery networks and peering and transit services. These “fast lanes” make the Internet possible by ensuring bandwidth-hogging uses such as video don’t slow everything else down. Netflix and YouTube, which at peak times use most of the Internet’s bandwidth, even built their own proprietary fast lanes. The FCC now claims authority over the entire system, and Mr. Wheeler’s assurances to the contrary were known to be false when he made them.

    Among Mr. Wheeler’s whoppers: He claimed in Wired magazine: “There will be no rate regulation.” The FCC’s fact sheet on the new regulations repeated the claim, adding that “broadband providers shall not be subject” to rate regulation and that the new rules don’t include “utility-style rate regulation.”



    1. The NSA fella, that retired General, he lied o Congress and was never indicted ...

      No harm, no foul?

  3. .

    The Syrian Druze Covering Their Bets

    A major minority sect in Syria doesn't want to fight for an imperiled regime, and could be critical in deciding the next phase of the civil war.

    A quiet insurrection against the Assad regime has been building for the past year in the Syrian province of Sweida, home to the bulk of the country’s minority Druze population. The rebellion reached a crescendo this week when a prominent religious figure declared that the Druze were no long obliged to serve in the Syrian Arab Army—a development that poses a major threat to the teetering regime of Bashar al-Assad, which has long been losing soldiers to defections and desertions and more recently been losing ground to an increasingly more organized and effective rebel force...



  4. .

    What’s the True Cost of Free Trade?

    The price for deals like TPP is paid in forced migration and the refugee crises that are rolling around the globe.

    If there’s one thing more disconcerting than Republicans opposing Barack Obama at every turn, it’s the rare occasion when they actually agree with him. True, the gridlock resulting from their dysfunctional obstinacy is unproductive. But there is something comically reassuring about the predictability of their childlike tantrums. If Obama said Rachel Dolezal was white, the GOP would swear blind she is black.

    So when Obama recently teamed up with congressional Republicans to try to ram through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) against the wishes of the labor unions, his own party, and the progressive movement in general, he was modeling the kind of bipartisanship we could all do without.

    The TPP is a deal among the United States and 11 other nations in Asia, Australasia, and the Americas that has been negotiated mostly in secret and that would lower tariffs, gut regulations, depress wages, and wreck the environment, all in the name of “free trade.” The first attempt at passing it through Congress failed after a Democratic rebellion. As of this writing, Obama was working with Republicans to try again.

    The TPP is an appalling initiative on its own terms. Labor unions and others are right to point out that it will hurt American workers. Moreover, Obama’s pursuit of it is as clear a betrayal of his candidacy as one is likely to find. When running for president in 2008, he said: “I voted against CAFTA [the Central American Free Trade Agreement], never supported NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement], and will not support NAFTA-style trade agreements in the future.” Former Labor Department secretary Robert Reich has described the TPP as “NAFTA on steroids.”

    But left there, the analysis of the TPP’s flaws would be entirely solipsistic. The fact that it will be bad for America isn’t actually the worst thing about it. When viewed through the wider lenses of underdevelopment and migration, the pact illustrates much of what is wrong with the neoliberal global framework the West has erected over the last 30 years.

    Given Congress’s refusal to pass comprehensive immigration reform, what the TPP helps build is a world in which capital is free to roam wherever it pleases, while borders remain closed to people. While machines and money may scour the globe in search of cheaper labor, weaker unions, and looser regulations, people are stopped from crossing borders in search of the kind of work that might pay them enough to feed their families.

    It’s a system in which economic and military power go hand in hand. “The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist,” The New York Times’s Thomas Friedman once wrote. “McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the builder of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.”

    (continued below...)

    1. .

      ...Such is the huge gated community that is now the West, spreading chaos and deprivation with its economic and foreign policies and then retreating into its fortified laager to repel those who attempt to flee the mayhem it has wrought. “Free trade,” when dictated by corporations and defined by the powerful, is actually anything but free—and the cost is ultimately paid in human lives.

      You can see them perish in rickety vessels on the Mediterranean, having been fleeced by unscrupulous traffickers in Libya—who are thriving thanks to the nation’s near-total collapse following the bombing four years ago—only to be repelled by European nations.

      You can see them in Mexico, where, thanks to NAFTA, corn production collapsed when farms and smallholdings withered against competition from US agribusiness.

      But it is perhaps most starkly evident right now in Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.

      In June 2009, five years after the United States ousted Haiti’s democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, its Parliament passed unanimously a law raising the minimum wage to $5 a day. David Lindwall, the deputy chief of mission there for the United States, believed this new rate “did not take economic reality into account,” and so worked with factory owners and contractors to push the hourly rate down to 31 cents.

      With poverty in Haiti so endemic, entrenched, and enduring, people already had few options. In 2005, I went to Dajabón, a town in the Dominican Republic that borders Haiti, where it was possible to buy a Haitian child for $100.

      “Half of all Haitians struggle to eat even once a day,” Helen Spraos, Christian Aid’s Haiti representative, told me. “Once they reach rock bottom, the one way they can provide for their children is by sending them to live in the cities or in the Dominican Republic. There at least they may be fed and have some prospects for making a living.”

      Many were used as slaves and prostitutes, or were exploited in the sugar fields. Now the Dominican Republic is poised to expel anyone born there to undocumented Haitian parents, deporting them to Haiti, a country many have never even seen.

      Neither the West in general nor the United States in particular is uniquely responsible for all of these woes. But when rich nations simultaneously rig trade and raise barriers to migration, they both exacerbate the misery beyond their borders and create the conditions for bigotry to flourish at home. “Globalization, being a force without a face, cannot be the object of ethnocide,” points out Arjun Appadurai in Fear of Small Numbers. “But minorities can.”

      It is not poor migrants from the Global South who are undercutting Western wages. It’s big business and those legislators who want to let the rich move their money wherever they wish, while preventing the poor from moving their families where they must.



    2. >>It’s a system in which economic and military power go hand in hand. “The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist,” The New York Times’s Thomas Friedman once wrote. “McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the builder of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.”<<

      And you really believe this, Quagmire ?


    3. Make sure to watch 'the funniest shit ever'

    4. Including the game show question 'name that animal penis'

    5. And 'sex with a trapeze artist'

    6. Not excluding 'The Gay Knight'

    7. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson again illustrating the gutter in which his mind resides

  5. >>To data-mine Shakespeare is, as the Earl of Worcester might have said, “to o’er-walk a current roaring loud / On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.” Boyd and Pennebaker’s study, in other words, has not been universally lauded. Although the experts with whom I spoke were generally excited by the linguistic evidence of the play’s authorship, several were dismissive of the attempts to draw up a psychological profile of the playwright. Ron Rosenbaum, the author of “The Shakespeare Wars,” also questioned the study’s over-all mission. “It’s so savagely reductive to attempt to reduce literature to some algorithm,” he told me. “The way to understand Shakespeare is to continually reread him.” As proof of his argument, Rosenbaum gave the example of “A Funeral Elegy,” a poem that was initially attributed to Shakespeare, with the help of a database called Shaxicon, and then, on the advice of an altogether less algorithmic human reader, reattributed to John Ford, the author of the play “’Tis Pity She’s a Whore.” But Gary Taylor, an editor of the complete Oxford Shakespeare, sees something more than academic principle at play. “Many great writers and literary critics chose to concentrate on English because they hated math,” he told me.<<

    June 19, 2015
    The Shakespeare Algorithm
    By Alastair Gee


  6. Fistfight breaks out at Yemen peace talks
    By Robert Spencer on Jun 21, 2015 04:23 pm
    Fistfight breaks out at Yemen peace talks
    “Muhammad is the apostle of Allah. Those who follow him are merciful to one another but harsh to unbelievers” (Qur’an 48:29). This kind of thing (and there is so much more of it) in one’s holy book can lead to an endemic culture of violence. “Fistfight breaks out at Yemen peace talks,” Reuters, June 18, […]
    Read in browser »

    share on Twitter Like Fistfight breaks out at Yemen peace talks on Facebook Google Plus One Button

    Spain: Car driven at 235 km per hour “hiding Islamic State suspect”
    By Robert Spencer on Jun 21, 2015 04:06 pm
    Spain: Car driven at 235 km per hour “hiding Islamic State suspect”
    “The 22-year-old and two other young men, all second- or third-generation Algerians born in France, were seen by helicopter doubling the speed limit in an open-top Mercedes Cabrio.” Nice car for poor, disadvantaged people who are harassed, marginalized and discriminated against to have. “Car driven at 235 kilometres per hour ‘hiding Islamic State suspect,'” thinkSPAIN, […]
    Read in browser »

    share on Twitter Like Spain: Car driven at 235 km per hour “hiding Islamic State suspect” on Facebook Google Plus One Button

    Islamic Republic of Iran: 74 lashes, prison for eating in public during Ramadan
    By Robert Spencer on Jun 21, 2015 03:27 pm
    Islamic Republic of Iran: 74 lashes, prison for eating in public during Ramadan
    Here again we see the empire of fear that is so much in evidence also in Saudi Arabia and the Islamic State, and everywhere Sharia is implemented. “74 lashes, prison term for anyone caught eating in Iran during Ramadan,” NCRI, June 21, 2015 (thanks to The Religion of Peace): NCRI – Anyone in Iran caught […]
    Read in browser »

    share on Twitter Like Islamic Republic of Iran: 74 lashes, prison for eating in public during Ramadan on Facebook Google Plus One Button

    Islamic State offers female slaves as top prizes for Qur’an competition
    By Robert Spencer on Jun 21, 2015 03:10 pm
    Islamic State offers female slaves as top prizes for Qur’an competition
    They’d almost have you thinking that all this had something to do with Islam. They’d almost have you thinking that they’re aware that the seizure of Infidel girls and their use as sex slaves is sanctioned in the Qur’an. According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, […]
    Read in browser »

    All this, and more, at Jihad Watch today -


    1. No Big Macs during Ramadan in Iran, where they are fighting daily for civilization, or its 74 lashes on your bare brown butt.

      Hey, that really REALLY hurts !

    2. (In Israel women can eat Big Macs any time they wish)

    3. Nothing to say about even one of Geraldi’s charges and divert to Big Macs. Nothing.

      Well done, you are a first class Aipacker. Not a smidgeon of indignation to anything done to the country you love so much and subsidizes you and your farm.

      I will recommend you to your big chance to stand and serve as a 2nd Lt. in The GOP Likuds Force.

  7. From WXYZ in Detroit (love those call letters)

    1 dead, 11 shot at birthday party on Detroit's west side


    Semi-automatic weapons used. 400 in boisterous crowd.

    Republicans are rumored by local Democrats to have been the instigators......

    1. Again, Robert "Draft Dodger Peterson illustrates for us the fantasy world in which he resides.
      When reality does not provide fodder for his political hyperbole, he just makes it up.

    2. Away on a probation violation, asshole ?

      Or working on your super secret national security project off the Coasts of Panama ?


      Either way, most everyone was ecstatic to have you gone for awhile.

      Since you have immediately taken up following me about, as usual, I'll call it a day.

      The Bar will go back to being the cesspool it has always been when you are present.


    3. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson right back at us with his fantasies and wild lies.

      When reality will not bend, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson just makes up his own.

  8. Russian President Vladimir Putin said U.S. President Barack Obama’s strategy to counter Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in Iraq has been “lamentable” and resulted in “tragic” consequences.

    “The United States supports Iraq, supports … the army. With two or three strikes ISIL has captured so many arms … (that) now ISIL is armed better than the Iraqi army. And all this is happening with the support of the United States,” Putin said.

    And, despite pressure from the U.S., Putin pledged full support for President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria. The U.S. has supported rebels seeking to oust Assad and trained moderated Syrian opposition groups to fight ISIL.

    “Our fear is that Syria could plunge into the same situation as Libya and Iraq,” Putin said.
    “We don’t want that … in Syria.”


  9. Ronald rules.

    In 118 countries, including all of Eurasia.

    With the help of the US Air Force, of course.


    1. Ronald rules Russia, China, India.....

    2. All under the thumb of US Imperialism and the US Air Force !

      And liking it too, what with the new McSteak sandwiches, a favorite of our Quagmire.


    3. Ronald MacDonald is the face of Empire ...

      You stated a week or so ago that you, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson stood with he French ...
      Surrender Monkey that you are ...

      THEY rammed a car into the local McDonald's, set it alight, and scarpered. In the daylight, the charred skeleton of the roof now hangs precariously beside the empty children's slide. Across the road, riot police face a group of hooded youngsters outside the treeless estate of Les Tarterêts. Amid this destruction, a billboard on what remains of the roof carries a painfully incongruous message: “What you were not expecting from McDonald's”.



    4. French capital says 'non' to new McDonald’s

      International fast food giant McDonald’s is struggling to expand in the French capital, with the city rejecting its latest request to open a new franchise in the picturesque Montorgueil neighbourhood.



    5. A lawmaker from France’s ruling Socialist Party has accused McDonald’s of ignoring a tax-reducing pact and pocketing millions. But the hamburger giant has rebuked the MP, saying it is being unfairly singled out.

      (Notice they do not claim the accusation is wrong)

      In 1999, French sheep farmer and activist José Bové won national and international attention for taking the fight to US-based hamburger giant McDonald’s. That year, Bové and his farmer’s union comrades dismantled a McDonald's under construction in the small town of Millau, in southern France, to protest US-imposed tariffs on Roquefort cheese.

      That action made Bové a hero of the worldwide anti-globalisation movement that views international corporations like McDonald’s as the enemy of small, locally-owned and run businesses.

      But more than a decade later, McDonald’s has a new nemesis in France, even if the escalating row is far less ideological in scope.

      Thomas Thévenoud, an MP with the ruling Socialist Party, has blasted McDonald's for allegedly ignoring a pact between restaurants and the French government, and pocketing millions of euros in additional profits since 2009.

      Three years ago, the conservative government of ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy struck an agreement with restaurant owners that lowered their value added tax (VAT) from 19.6% to 5.5 % and was meant to boost their business.

      In exchange, the eateries – which include high-end restaurants to small bistros to fast-food joints – pledged to lower the price of some items on their menus and invest a significant part of new profits in hiring additional cooks and wait staff.

      Nevertheless, Sarkozy reset the restaurant VAT at 7% in January 2012, five months before President François Hollande thwarted his re-election bid in May.

      Thévenoud has now penned a damning report to France’s National Assembly on the tax-lowering measure – one that claims restaurants largely failed to hounour their part of the bargain, recommends the agreement be scrapped completely and points a supersized finger at McDonald’s France.



    6. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson has forgotten all about eating his daily dose of "Freedom Fries".

      He has no friends, no morals, no inner core values, just his own self interests.
      Or he would not be siding with the "Surrender Monkeys", now, as they pommel Ronald MacDonald.

  10. .

    (In Israel women can eat Big Macs any time they wish)

    But they can't divorce their husbands unless he agrees.


    1. It's a little more complex than you might imagine, Quagmire.


      Israeli women are signing prenups to guarantee getting a divorce

      An Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony [Pixabay]
      17:29 Thursday 26 March 2015
      Israeli women are signing prenups to guarantee getting a divorce

      Only men can issue a divorce, so rabbis are working on a loophole to help women trapped in broken marriages

      On this evening’s Right Hook, George was asking should every couple tying the knot be first wrapping themselves in the bureaucratic red tape of a prenuptial agreement? In 2015, is marriage really the best system of union in the modern world, or should there be supplementary ones – something like ‘friends for life’, where a prenup is a mandatory and legally binding?

      Joining George live in studio was Josepha Madigan, a family-law expert with Madigans Solicitors, who took him through the dos and don’ts of saying I do:

      While we might think of prenuptial agreements as a prudent approach to beginning a married union, in Israel and among the global Jewish community, women are striving to sign prenups to ensure that they can get divorced.

      Last month, legal expert and rabbinical leaders met in Jerusalem to begin to draft contracts creating a loophole to allow Jewish women to file for divorce – referred to as a get in Hebraic tradition, and which can only be carried out by men in a Jewish court of law.

      According to Halakha, Jewish laws, husbands are able to refuse to issue a get and grant their wives a religious divorce, an act which essentially leaves Jewish women chained to their broken marriages. In the eyes of Jewish culture, these women, referred to as aguna, are regarded as still being married, despite their relationship being separated, and are unable to remarry.

      But now a group of Orthodox rabbis, known as the Tzohar, is striving to tread the line between Israel’s civil marriage laws and the strict adherence of Halakha, by conceiving a new sort of prenuptial agreement – which would, in place of determining the dissolution of assets, compel husbands to grant their wives a divorce, and to bring some resolve to the aguna phenomenon.

      “No one deserves to stay chained in a terrible marriage with a knife at their throat,” said Rabbi David Stav, Tzohar chairman.

      “This agreement can and should become the norm in Israeli society to ensure that the end of a marriage and separating from your partner will be treated with respect and dignity,” he said.

      The proposed prenup agreement also carries weight in Israeli civil law, because, whether religious or not, women who choose not obtain a get through Jewish law courts remain legally bound to their marriage in the civil courts as well. All births, deaths, and marriages are under the control of the Halakha courts, operating under the auspices of the state.

      Israel’s Orthodox rabbis have given the prenup divorce clause their silent support, and it has been welcomed by aguna women like Dorit Stern, whose husband refused to offer her a get for six years......


      In Idaho one can get a divorce for $149.95, online.

      Israel may not be there yet, but any woman that really wants out can get out in Israel.

      In Detroit no one bothers to get married in the first place any longer, and Father's Day is know locally as The Day of Confusion.

    2. .

      You offer up speculative bull, opinions on what could be and what should be, and package it as a done deal.

      Israel may not be there yet, but any woman that really wants out can get out in Israel.

      The sentence doesn't make sense. You admit Israel isn't there yet but you say any women there can get the deal done.

      Lord, you haven't got a clue.

      Let me know when there is a major shift.

      There are other trends against it. For instance, the Haredi, currently at 12% of the population, is also currently the fastest growing sect amongst Israeli Jews, this because of the higher birth rate and because of conversion. It is not only the Israeli government that is moving right. The entire population is.

      The Arab population in Israel is not growing as fast as the Haredi but it is growing faster than the other Sabra.

      It's been predicted that before 2060 the Haredi and the Arabs combined will form the majority amongst Israeli citizens. Now a doofus like you likely wouldn't realize it but given these population trends, it is likely that the Israeli/Palestinian situation will be resolved long before that, likely long before Israeli Jewish women in general will be able to opt out of marriage simply by saying they want to, and likely in a way that won't be pretty.

      It's a little more complex than you might imagine, Quagmire.


      Go away, Obumble, and don't come back until you actually learn something.


  11. .

    Islamic Republic of Iran: 74 lashes, prison for eating in public during Ramadan
    By Robert Spencer on Jun 21, 2015 03:27 pm
    Islamic Republic of Iran: 74 lashes, prison for eating in public during Ramadan


    An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier was sentenced to 11 days in a military prison for eating a non-kosher sandwich and offering them to his colleagues, an Israeli military spokesman has confirmed.

    While the exact date of his punishment has not been released by the IDF, Israel Radio today reported that the soldier had taken sandwiches given to him by his grandmother, who he lives with on a kibbutz, to eat during a training operation.

    All IDF bases are kosher and bringing non-kosher food onto them violates the Israeli military's regulations as plates or surfaces where the non-kosher food has been eaten can no longer be kosher. Therefore, soldiers who maintain a kosher observance would not be able to eat on the base.

    Batshit crazy.

    EVERYONE in the ME is batshit crazy.

    Reason #14 why the US should not be there.


    1. .



    2. I instinctively dislike any culture that thinks their food is blessed.

    3. Which brings up the hot new issue of the Confederate flag.

      Where do you stand on this issue, Deuce ?

      You are of the stated opinion that the blacks should have been left to languish in slavery until John Deere, or the gods, freed them, that Lincoln started the War of the Northern Aggression, that the South should have been allowed to go its own way (perhaps allying with Germany in the Germanic Wars of the 20th C.), and that Lincoln got his rocks off fantasizing on the lithe dead bodies of young men.

      And yet you accuse me of having no sympathy with the victims of oppression !

      I am curious to know your current opinion regarding the flying of the Confederate flag.

      On a purely aesthetic level, I think it beats the Stars and Stripes in many ways. It is more visually pleasing, much more geometrically balanced, etc.

      Obviously I don't think it ought to be flow on the Capitol Grounds in South Carolina, and anywhere else on the people's property anywhere in the America of the United States.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. Speaking of changing symbols. Leave Hamilton alone and dump Jackson off the $20 bill.

  12. .

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is reportedly angered by the victory June 15 of Syrian Kurdish and rebel fighters over Islamic State (IS) forces in Tell Abyad, a Syrian town close to the Turkish border.

    The influx of more than 23,000 Syrian refugees to Turkey as a result of the latest fighting brings the total number to nearly 1.8 million, the most Syrians hosted in any country, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

    Fehim Tastekin wrote June 14, “Erdogan’s anger with the operation to oust IS from the region became evident when he said on June 11, ‘The West, which is hitting Arabs and Turkmens of Tell Abyad from the air, is sadly settling the PYD [Democratic Union Party] and PKK [Kurdistan Workers Party] terror organizations in their places.’”

    While it may be baffling to most observers to understand how anyone could consider the defeat of IS by non-government, non-Islamist Syrian forces a bad thing, the Turkish president’s responses are actually more consistent than not, as readers of this column know well. Erdogan had similar reactions during IS’ siege of Kobani last year. His Syria and Kurdish policies have contributed to the declining fortunes of his Justice and Development Party (AKP), which lost more than 50 seats in the parliamentary elections June 7, as analyzed here last week.

    Tastekin continued, “Erdogan claimed Kurds are being settled in areas abandoned by Arabs and Turkmens during the aerial bombing by the Western coalition. In September and October 2014, when IS was besieging Kobani, Erdogan's declaration — sounding like he was delivering good news — that 'Kobani is about to fall' infuriated Kurds. This may help explain his total loss of Kurdish regions in the June 7 elections. Now the question being asked is why Erdogan seems to be so concerned about the possible IS loss of Tell Abyad?”

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/06/erdogan-kurdish-threat-syria-isis-tel-abayd.html#ixzz3doYQyaVY


    1. Turkey out of NATO, Israel, Kurdistan, India into NATO !

      Alternatively, it's time for the Turkish military to begin to run things there again, as the Egyptian Army is now doing again, thankfully, in Egypt.

      OGF's Egyptian lady friend advised us, recall, that "Egyptians are simple, not ready for democracy".

      She, this bright well educated Egyptian lady, logically enough, likes Sisi and prefers rule by the Army to rule by the mob and the MB.

    2. She likes Life !, that is to say, to the prospect of being stoned to death in some desert hole in the ground for some idiotic 'infraction' of some moronic koranic 'law'.

      I will ask OGF to ask this lady whether she would rather live in Israel, or in Egypt under the MB.

      I will do this today, and if I get a reply, will incorporate the reply into my Thought Experiment.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Our good friends in the Iranian "parliament" seem to be acting out these days -


    Bans Nuclear Inspections......Drudge

    We need these people as allies.

    With allies like these we won't need any enemies.

  15. Evolution
    First Neanderthal-Human 'Love Child' From Israel

    Jan 28, 2015 01:00 PM ET // by Jennifer Viegas
    Play Video
    Neanderthals and modern humans likely met -- and mated -- in Israel 50,000-60,000 years ago, claims new research.
    Neanderthal Museum (Mettmann, Germany)
    Related Links
    Humans Vs. Neanderthals: How Did We Win?
    Who Didn't Have Sex with Neanderthals?
    Neanderthals Buried Their Dead

    The fateful first meeting -- and eventual mating -- between Neanderthals and our species happened in Israel 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, finds a new study.

    The key evidence, presented in the journal Nature, is a newly discovered fossilized skull of a Homo sapiens who co-existed with Neanderthals and likely was a human-Neanderthal "love child." To this day, people of European and Asian heritage retain Neanderthal DNA as a result of the ancient encounters.

    The partial skull, thought to have been part of a female human, has been named "Manot," after the cave in northern Israel where it was found. A high tech dating method determined that the skull is 55,000 years old.
    Photos: Are You Related to Neanderthals?

    Play Video
    Did We Eat All the Neanderthals?
    Did neanderthals go extinct because they were hunted and eaten by early humans? It's a grizzly, but possible explanation for their demise.
    DNews Video

    "Manot clearly shows that Neanderthals and modern human lived side by side in Israel for a long period of time," co-author Israel Hershkovitz of Tel Aviv University told Discovery News. "All recent genetic and archaeological studies predict that the interbreeding event between the Neanderthals and modern humans occurred between 50,000-60,000 years ago, and in the Near East."

    Hershkovitz and other Israeli scientists, as well as anthropologists from the University of Vienna and the Max Planck Institute, Leipzig, used a barrage of high tech methods, including computer tomography, to study Manot in detail. They then compared this information with data on hundreds of other early human skulls to note differences and similarities.

    1. "The shape analysis shows very clearly that Manot was a modern human," co-author Gerhard Weber of the University of Vienna said. "It is interesting that the most similar skulls in our sample come from recent Africans on the one hand, and on the other hand from those modern humans that lived in Europe between 20,000-30,000 years ago."

      Manot is clearly much older than those Europeans, however, and even pre-dates the first known Homo sapiens in Europe by 10,000 years. This weakens theories that our species and Neanderthals first encountered each other in Europe.
      How Neanderthal DNA Changed Humans

      Given the timing as well as Manot's mixture of features, Weber suspects "it could be that Manot is one of the hybrids," meaning part Homo sapiens and part Neanderthal. Other archaic human species lived in Europe and Asia then as well, so additional interbreeding might have taken place between these groups.

      Manot is also important because it sheds light on a central migration route taken by our species out of Africa.

      At first it was thought that our direct ancestors traveled from Africa via a southern coastal route across the Red Sea to the Arabian Peninsula. Now the researchers suspect that Manot and her Homo sapiens predecessors traveled north from East Africa to the Nubian Desert before continuing on to the Sinai Peninsula and then to Israel.

      Weber believes that there were several prehistoric migrations of humans out of Africa and into Europe and Asia beginning well over 100,000 years ago. However, the "successful wave" -- the group that replaced/absorbed all of the others upon arrival -- happened closer to Manot's time.

      Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum supports the theory that Manot could represent the earliest known meeting and mating between our species and Neanderthals.

      Stringer told Discovery News that "it is the first modern human from western Asia that is well dated to the estimated time frame of interbreeding between early modern humans and Neanderthals."

      He added, "Manot might represent some of the elusive first migrants in the hypothesized out-of-Africa event about 60,000 years ago, a population whose descendants ultimately spread right across Asia and also into Europe."

      A footnote to the study is that the findings are being released during the week of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camp prisoners at Auschwitz.

      Weber said that "our collaboration between Israeli and Austrian anthropologists has been working extremely well for some years now, and is based on great mutual faith. Given the problematic position of Austrian anthropology in the past, this is a positive example of the developing relationships."


  16. .


    First Neanderthal-Human 'Love Child' From Israel



    1. Thought you'd like that.

      They named the 'Love Child':

      Quagmire Manot.

      After much cave and bedroom humping and bumping the painters Monet and Manet rose from this line.

      They were Frogs, like me, partly.

    2. .

      They were Frogs, like me, partly.

      I know I have accused you of not evolving; however, even I will admit you have likely evolved beyond the amphibian.


    3. .

      No, I wasn't smiling about the love-child part but rather the Israel part.

      Perhaps, I should have used this emoticon


      as I was surprised and shocked with the overall premise.

      Neanderthals and modern humans likely met -- and mated -- in Israel 50,000-60,000 years ago, claims new research.

      I realize the Discovery Channel is a serious source. The do after all bring us Shark Week each year. Still the article is a little confusion. Perhaps you can clear up a couple things for me.

      The first thing that caught my eye was the blonde girl and the neanderthal on the video. Now, I am assuming the cute blonde girl is the Israeli from 60,000 years ago and the big guy is the neanderthal? I hope I am correct in that assumption, but either way it raisees some additional questions; however...

      The second thing is that, if I understand it correctly, it is currently AM 5775, that is 5775 anno mundi, according to the Jewish calender. That being the case, are we saying the first coupling came about 46,900-56,900 years before David consolidated the Israeli occupied territory into a united kingdom, about 45,900-55,900 years before Abraham was born, and about 44,200-54,200 years before the creation of the world?