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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s Wars: Five years after the start of Syria’s tragedy – and within six months of this, remember, the regime itself trembled and the Western powers, flush with dangerous pride after destroying Gaddafi, predicted the imminent fall of the Assad dynasty

NOTE:  

Foreign policy is an incredibly important part of any administration; while the Democratic primary has been focused mostly on domestic issues, there are pressing global issues unfolding. Presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, has been touting her diplomatic expertise as a former Secretary of State to bolster her resume as she introduces her vision to the American people. Clinton has been boasting about her support for the Syrian opposition in the past, her visceral hatred for President Assad, and promoting a no-fly zone. However, this very same chain of events happened in both Libya and Iraq (both of which Clinton supported) with total disasters following. Her policies are not too different from the neo-conservatives she claims to oppose. MORE HERE


https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/30011/ | Al-Masdar News


Syrian civil war: West failed to factor in Bashar al-Assad’s Iranian backers as the conflict developed

Five years ago, we were high on Arab revolutions, and journalists were growing used to 'liberating' Arab capitals



Just before I left Syria last month, a tall and eloquent Franco-Lebanese man walked up to me in a Damascus coffee shop and introduced himself as President Bashar al-Assad’s architect. It was his task, he led me to understand, to design the reconstructed cities of Syria. 

Who would have believed it? Five years after the start of Syria’s tragedy – and within six months of this, remember, the regime itself trembled and the Western powers, flush with dangerous pride after destroying Gaddafi, predicted the imminent fall of the Assad dynasty – the Syrian government is preparing to rebuild its towns and cities.

It’s worth taking that embarrassing trip down memory lane to the early spring and summer of 2011. The US and French ambassadors visited Homs to sit amid tens of thousands of peaceful demonstrators calling for the overthrow of the Assad government. EU diplomats were telling the political opposition not to negotiate with Assad – a fatal mistake, since the advice was based on the false assumption that he was about to be overthrown – and journalists were gathering with rebels in eastern Aleppo for the inevitable march of liberation on Damascus.


The Assad regime, came the message from the Washington think-tanks and mountebank “experts”, had reached – a cliché we should all beware of – the “tipping point”. La Clinton announced that Assad “had to go”. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius declared that Assad “did not deserve to live on this planet” – although he failed to name the galaxy to which the Syrian President might retire. And I complied with an Independent request to write Assad’s obituary – for future use, you understand – and still it moulders in the paper’s archives.

Looking back, it’s not difficult to see where we all got it wrong. We were high on Arab revolutions – Tunisia, then Egypt and then Libya – and journalists were growing used to “liberating” Arab capitals. We forgot that their dictators were all Sunni Muslims, that they had no regional super-power support – the Saudis could not save Hosni Mubarak in Egypt but Shia Iran was not going to allow its only Arab ally, Alawite-Shia-led Syria, to fall. At first, the Syrian Baath party and the regime’s internal security agents behaved with their usual inane brutality. Teenagers who wrote anti-Assad graffiti on the walls of Deraa were tortured, the local tribal leaders abused – and a deputy minister dispatched to apologise for the government’s “errors”. But torture was so much an instrument of state power that the intelligence apparatus knew no other way to resolve this unprecedented challenge to the regime’s authority.

The government army was ordered to shoot down demonstrators. Hence the brief but ultimately hopeless dawn of the “Free Syrian Army”, many of them deserters who are now slowly returning to the ranks or drifting off home with the regime’s tacit permission. But there were signs from the very start that armed groups were involved in this latest manifestation of the Arab awakening. 

In May 2011, an Al Jazeera crew filmed armed men shooting at Syrian troops a few hundred metres from the northern border with Lebanon but the channel declined to air the footage, which their reporter later showed to me. A Syrian television crew, working for the government, produced a tape showing men with pistols and Kalashnikovs in a Deraa demonstration in the very early days of the “rising”.




This did not prove the Gulf-Turkish “terrorist conspiracy” which the Syrian regime now “revealed” to the world. But it did demonstrate that from the start – when ordinary Syrian families felt it necessary to defend their families with firearms – guns were available to the opposition. And once the government’s own loyal militias were given free rein to attack the regime’s enemies, the massacres began. In one Sunni village east of Latakia, a Western news agency reporter discovered that almost every civilian had been slaughtered.
The Assad regime, came the message from the Washington think-tanks and mountebank “experts”, had reached – a cliché we should all beware of – the “tipping point”
The sectarian nature of Middle East civil wars has always been manipulated. For 100 years, the West has used the confessional nature of society in the region to set up “national” governments which were, by nature, sectarian – in Palestine after the 1914-18 war, in Cyprus, in Lebanon, in Syria – where the French used Alawites as their “force speciale” – and, after 2003, in Iraq. This not only allowed us to portray Middle Eastern people as essentially sectarian in nature but permitted us to forget the degree to which minorities would naturally lend their support to local dictators – not least the Christians (Maronites, Orthodox, Armenian Catholic, Melkite, and so on) of Syria. 

And by constantly reminding readers and viewers of the Alawite “domination” of Assad, we journalists ourselves fell victim to our own reporting. We forgot – or did not care – that perhaps 80 per cent of the Syrian government army were Sunni Muslims who would, over the next four years, be fighting their co-religionists in the opposition militias and – by 2014 – struggling against them in the al-Qaeda/Nusra alliance and in Isis.

6-DAMASCUS-Valery-Sharifulin-Getty1.jpg
Residents of Damascus taking advantage of the ceasefire between the Syrian army and rebels

In Lebanon, the Syrian army was a deeply corrupting influence, its soldiers indisciplined, its officers often involved in dodgy business and real estate deals. But the Syrian army that found itself fighting for its life after 2012, especially when the Nusra and Isis suicide squads began to cut into their ranks – ritually chopping off the heads of their military prisoners by the dozen – became a different creature. 

As ruthless as ever, its soldiers fought to survive – I suspect they even began to like fighting – and many of their frontline generals, when I met them, turned out to be Sunni Muslims as well as Alawites. In other words, the real backbone of the one institution which could save the Syrian state – was not an Alawite-Christian alliance but a Sunni-Alawite-Christian military force – out-gunned and out-manned after 60,000 dead, to be sure, but still capable of holding the line if it was reinforced with new armour and air power.

Enter Vladimir Putin. The Syrians within Assad’s current frontiers – less than half of the land mass, but including well over 60 per cent of the Syrian people – have adopted a phlegmatic approach to the Russians. Their Sukhoi jets strike at villages and towns beyond the front line – and Moscow has adopted exactly the same tactic of denying civilian casualties in air strikes that the Americans and British and French have for so long been using in their own “anti-terror” war in Syria and Iraq.

All civil wars generate their own special propaganda. When the Sunnis of Madaya were starving under siege by Syrian troops, the fact that their village was held by armed opposition groups was largely deleted from our stories. When Shia villages like Zahra and Nubl, both defended by government militiamen, were besieged by al-Nusra for three-and-a-half years, their “liberation” was scarcely mentioned. 
Questions over Syrian Kurds' links to Assad and Russia
And then there are the “red lines”. Assad used gas on his own people in Damascus, we all believe – after all, the UN report said so. But in fact the UN conclusions did not say that. This does not mean that the Syrian government did not use gas, or would not be prepared to use gas – there are no “good guys” in civil wars – but that UN proof was ultimately lacking.

Today, there are only two serious military forces with “boots on the ground” to fight Isis and al-Nusra and the other Islamist gangs: the Kurds and the Syrian army. And the latter, reinforced by Russian air power, are now – for the moment at least – winning. I’ve even seen a new poster on the streets of Syrian cities. It shows Bashar al-Assad and, right alongside him, the face of Colonel Suheil al-Hassan, the “Tiger” as the army call him, the country’s most successful military commander, the “Rommel” of Syria. 

He is also a ruthless man – I’ve met him – but now we find his image, that of a Syrian officer, alongside that of Assad. We should pay attention to these phenomena. The army expresses its loyalty for Assad. But, every time Assad speaks, he shrewdly begins with praise for the “martyrs” of the Syrian army.
Is that why French and American intelligence officers are now reaching out again – from Beirut, of course – to their former contacts in the Syrian intelligence service? Is that why US Secretary of State John Kerry now suggests that the Americans may talk to Assad again? 

On principle, I don’t like armies – whomever they work for. But that doesn’t mean we can disregard them. Nor can Assad.

108 comments:

  1. Always vote for a buffoon, political opportunist and solid bribery and business man before a bribe taker, neolib and Criminal.

    from the 'Sayings of an Idaho Bigfoot Hunter'

    ReplyDelete
  2. Whoa, Philly Fed got up out of the dirt this month. 12.4 First good number in almost a year.

    Jobless Claims stayed good.

    Highlights

    The labor market is steady and solid based on jobless claims data where initial claims came in at 265,000, up 7,000 in the March 12th week but still near record lows. The March 12th week is also the sample week for the monthly employment report and a sample-week to sample-week comparison with the prior month shows little change.

    The 4-week average, at 268,000, also shows little change. These readings offer the first indications for a solid March employment report.

    Turning to continuing claims, where data lag by a week, solid conditions are also holding. Continuing claims in the March 5 week rose 8,000 to 2.235 million with the 4-week average down 10,000 to 2.243 million. A comparison with the month-ago trend shows slight improvement in what is another positive indication for the labor market.

    There are no special factors in today's report, one that underscores the Federal Reserve's confidence in the strength of the labor market.

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    1. Philly Fed

      Highlights

      Yesterday's industrial production report offered surprisingly good news on the factory sector during February with today's Philly Fed report offering similar news for March. The Philly Fed's general conditions index has emerged from a long negative run with a much stronger-than-expected March reading of plus 12.4.

      Importantly, strength is confirmed by new orders which literally surged to plus 15.7 from minus 5.3 in February. Contraction in unfilled orders is now only marginal at minus 1.9 which is another good sign.

      Shipments are especially strong, at 22.1 for a nearly 20-point gain and hinting at another strong month for the manufacturing component of the industrial production report. Employment is still negative, at minus 1.1, but is improving from prior readings. Price readings are still weak though selling prices are back in the positive column at a modest plus 3.5.

      This report confirms similar strength in Monday's Empire State report and should raise talk that the worst may be over for the factory sector, where weak exports and demand for energy equipment have taken a long toll. The Philly Fed is very closely watched and could have an impact on today's trading.

      Philadelphia Fed

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  3. Missouri proves that, minus some insane third party bid by Republican establishment insiders, Hillary is toast -



    March 17, 2016

    An Encouraging Look at Missouri’s Primary Numbers

    By Jack Cashill


    In the twentieth century, no state better predicted the outcome of a presidential election than Missouri. Only once -- oddly enough in 1956 -- did Missouri voters not vote for the man who would be elected president. Although the state has been drifting right in recent years, it still has a Democratic senator and governor.

    So the outcome of Tuesday’s primary still has some predictive power. In two highly contested races, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each prevailed by less than one-half a percentage point.

    The Democratic secretary of state and U.S. Senate challenger, Jason Kander, proudly announced that voter turnout was a record 38.86 percent. Not surprisingly, he did not say which party was responsible for that record. In fact, 60 percent of the voters voted Republican. That is a margin of 300,000 in a turnout of 1.5 million. Trump and Cruz each received 70,000 more votes than Hillary Clinton.

    There is good news in these numbers for both Trump and Cruz. If Cruz had taken 52 percent of the vote that had gone to candidates other than him and Trump -- and that seems highly likely -- he would have won the primary. In fact, if 53 percent of those who voted for Marco Rubio had voted for Cruz, that would have been margin enough to win.

    For Trump, if every Democrat who turned out Tuesday voted for Hillary in the general election, he would need to capture only 44 percent of the Republicans who voted against him to carry Missouri in the general election. For sure, some of those anti-Trump Republicans will not vote at all, but only a tiny fraction would actually vote for Hillary.

    As Missourian Harry Truman proved true for the ages, elections are not won at polls. They are won at the ballot box.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/03/an_encouraging_look_at_missouris_primary_numbers.html#ixzz43AhXQDVq

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    1. 'Hillary is toast' - don't that sound, really, quite wonderful ?

      We'll finally be rid of the Clintons......

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. .

    Idaho BobThu Mar 17, 02:59:00 AM EDT

    I can't recall the phrase 'counter-scheduling' nor do I quite get what it's meaning is exactly.



    It was a tease. It was assumed, evidently incorrectly, that you would open the link and find out what it meant. Here...

    Bill Clinton’s odious presidency: Thomas Frank on the real history of the ’90s

    The author explained the term as follows

    Clinton’s wandering political identity absorbed both his admirers and biographers, many of whom chose to explain it as a quest: Bill Clinton had to prove, to himself and the nation, that he was a genuine New Democrat. He had to grow into presidential maturity. And the way he had to do it was by damaging or somehow insulting traditional Democratic groups that represented the party’s tradition of egalitarianism. Then we would know that the New Deal was truly dead. Then we could be sure.

    This was such a cherished idea among New Democrats that they had a catchphrase for it: Clinton’s campaign team called it “counter-scheduling.” During the 1992 race, as though to compensate for his friend-of-the-little-guy economic theme, Clinton would confront and deliberately antagonize certain elements of the Democratic Party’s traditional base in order to assure voters that “interest groups” would have no say in a New Democrat White House. As for those interest groups themselves, he knew he could insult them with impunity. They had nowhere else to go, in the cherished logic of Democratic centrism...


    Examples of the application of the counter-scheduling strategy include the crackdown in crime even though at the time major crime was dropping, minimum sentencing laws, drug laws favoring non-minorities, a huge growth in the construction of prisons, welfare reform, the deregulation of telecom, the deregulation of derivatives, the deregulation of the banks, gutting Glass-Steagall, the last two leading to 'too big to fail', pushed and passed NAFTA in opposition to labor, he tried to gut social security but failed, and he witnessed the bursting or the dot-com bubble as he walked out of the White House.

    {...}

    .

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    1. .

      Hillary, as one of Bill's key advisors helped implement the 'counter-security' strategy...

      Once Clinton was in the White House, counter-scheduling mutated from a campaign tactic to a philosophy of governance. At a retreat in the administration’s early days, Bill’s chief political adviser, Hillary Clinton, instructed White House officials how it was going to be done. As Carl Bernstein describes the scene, Hillary announced that the public must be made to understand that Bill was taking them on a “journey” and that he had a “vision” for what the administration was doing, a “story” that distinguished good from evil. The way to dramatize this story, the first lady continued (in Bernstein’s telling), was to pick a fight with supporters.
      You show people what you’re willing to fight for, Hillary said, when you fight your friends—by which, in this context, she clearly meant, When you make them your enemy...


      .

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    2. .

      ...helped implement the 'counter-scheduling' strategy...

      .

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  6. Thank you, Quirk.
    ********

    AP: Kerry determines ISIS is committing genocide in Iraq, Syria

    Kerry has done the right thing and should be praised.

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  7. One article read recently suggests Trump announce he will appoint Cruz to the Supreme Court, and make Kasich his VP.

    Good idea except I suspect Trump is looking for a female VP.

    Cruz would make a good choice to replace Scalia.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Obama and the Clintons (and Kerry) (and the Europeans) OWN Libya and it's refugees

    Assad with iran (and Hezbollah's help) and now Russia OWN the 360,000 dead and 12 million refugees of Syria (and the 1 million wounded)

    lol

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    1. ISIS is beginning to get a little traction in Tunisia.

      Delete

  9. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

    This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

    The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

    Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

    It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

    There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.


    Farewell Address
    George Washington, of no party whatsoever

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    1. The irony is that Washington's objections were ignored by his vice president, John Adams, who succeeded him. Adams was elected in 1797 as a member of the Federalist Party, led by Alexander Hamilton, while James Madison, our fourth president, was elected as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party. Hamilton and Madison evidently ignored their own objections as well as those of Washington.

      Dissolving political parties in this country is by no means a simple matter. It would mean, for example:

      1.Eliminating the requirement that voters register under a party affiliation.
      2.Doing away with party affiliation by elected or appointed office holders.
      3.Redefining criteria for deciding passage of legislation, at national and state levels.
      4.Eliminating primaries/caucuses to declare a winner for each competing party in national as well as state elections.
      5.Eliminating political conventions along with the concepts of delegate and party standard bearer.

      One can only guess how the electoral system in this country would have evolved had Washington's advice been heeded. Is it too late to do that now? Points two through five entail sweeping changes, but point one seems straightforward and a good place to start.

      Under a no-party system, it is doubtful that the following would have been elected president of the United States:

      •A wealthy playboy from Massachusetts.
      •A peanut farmer from Georgia.
      •A philandering governor of Arkansas.
      •A community organizer from Chicago.

      On the other hand, the following probably would have been elected president under a no-party system:

      •A general who led the Allies to victory during WWII.
      •A governor of California.
      •A naval aviator who fought during WWII.
      •A governor of Texas.

      Finally, under a no-party system, it is doubtful that a former secretary of state who was being investigated by the FBI for potential breaches of national security while in office would be taken seriously as a candidate for the presidency. On the other hand, it seems clear that Donald Trump (and perhaps Ted Cruz) would easily be elected president of the United States.
      http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/03/what_george_washington_thought_of_political_parties.html#ixzz43Aq7u4n9

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    2. And a highly decorated bomber pilot from WWII. Hint B-24

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    3. Instead we elected Richard Nixon.

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    4. Alas, I don't see how the logistics of a no-party system would work. It would seem to so favor the self funded rich, like Trump, and in Senate and Congressional elections too.

      Those not able to self fund would form groupings of donors, would they not ?, the beginnings of again, political parties.

      Might work well in small towns. Out this way sometimes councilmen/women attach a party label to themselves, sometimes not, and nobody cares one way or the other anyway. You're actually just voting for you acquaintances and friends, and enemies, those you like and dislike.

      The higher up the political scale you go, the more murkier the idea seems, to me.

      Delete
  10. Unlike Bush and McCain, he didn’t crash.

    When he campaigned as the Democratic candidate for the presidency on an anti-war platform in 1972, Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota would not allow his staff to publicize his wartime heroism. McGovern flew 35 combat missions as pilot of a B-24 Liberator in Italy during World War II, and received numerous combat awards.

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  11. .

    Can the GOP Hold Onto the Senate

    The current election cycle was shaping up as a difficult one for Republican senators even before Donald Trump became the leader in the battle for the GOP presidential nomination.

    Just as Democrats were exposed in 2014 and lost nine Senate seats and their majority, Republicans have 24 seats to defend in 2016 versus only 10 for Democrats. And this is a presidential year, when Democratic turnout is usually far stronger than for midterms. In 2008 and 2012, the last two presidential election years, Democrats picked up Senate seats (a net of 10), while Republicans had substantial gains from the last two midterms in 2010 and 2014 (a net of 15).

    In 2014 Republicans had many targets, as Democrats were defending seats in seven states Mitt Romney won in 2012: North Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, South Dakota, Montana, and Alaska. Republicans also picked up an open seat in Iowa and won Colorado, two Obama states from 2012.

    In 2016, the picture is almost reversed. Republicans are defending seats in seven states Obama won in 2012: New Hampshire, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa. One big difference between 2014 and 2016 is that six of the Democratic seats Republicans won in 2014 were in states Romney had won by 14% or more (only North Carolina had been a narrow Romney victory by 2%). In 2016, only one of the Republican seats -- Mark Kirk’s in Illinois -- is in a state that is deeply blue, a 17-point Obama win in 2012. In the other six states, Obama won by 7% or less...


    What are the 5 most vulnerable GOP seats...

    .

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  12. .

    Does anyone else think, as I do, that the GOP is nutz for holding up confirmation hearings on Garland, Obama's choice for SCOTUS?

    It is starting to get crazy now and I suspect it will come back to bite them in the ass.

    .

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    1. Garland is a big gun grabber. With him the 2nd Amendment is dead.

      They ought to hold hearings and just vote him down now.

      That' one reason I'm voting for Trump.

      He carries.

      Delete
    2. Deuce once said:

      "An armed bar is a polite bar"

      I think it may have been the title of a thread.

      While I'm not certain about the statement, at least in some areas, I'll be damned if I will put up with having the Government take my few weapons away.

      I'll move to Montana, where their compact in joining the Union has a clause saying banning guns is a deal breaker, and gives them the right to secede peacefully.

      Delete
    3. Besides out here we need guns to fend off the Bigfoots.

      Delete
    4. Besides again, Judge Napolitano at Fox tells me the 2nd Amendment isn't about shooting deer, it's about shooting tyrants.

      Delete
    5. .

      First, it's about shooting elk, then it's about shooting wolves, and now it's about shooting tyrants.

      How can anyone take you seriously?

      .

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    6. It is idiotic that they won’t give him a hearing. Obama plays them like a country fiddler.

      Delete
    7. We don't have any elk, Quirk, but I'd LOVE to shoot a wolf, and have always dreamed of the celebrity of shooting a tyrant.

      I'd love to take out Un, for instance.

      And Mugabe.

      So I'll keep my guns, and go walking about around here almost always unarmed, and you go walking unarmed in Detroit at night, and I'm come your funeral.

      How do you like them apples ?

      Delete
    8. You've made a total fool out of yourself, yet once again, Quirk.

      "A well regulated militia being necessary for a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed..."

      Shooting tyrants is exactly what that means, you metro-oaf, you sheeple.

      Delete
    9. .

      You've got small hands and so does the horse you rode in on.

      .

      Delete
  13. Hmmm, didn't know that about Mr. McGovern. I agree with you, Quirk, it will be a bloody blood bath, for both sides, maybe like we have never seen.

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    1. .

      That is if Trump gets the nomination.

      I heard today that 95% of the delegates will be bound to vote for their designated candidate on the first vote. On the second vote, 54% of them will be unbound and able to vote for whichever candidate they want. On the third round, 81% will be unbound.

      This could present a danger for Trump since a good many of the delegates will be party officials and those active in republican politics at the state and local level, i.e. the establishment.

      Prior to a bloody blood bath between Trump and Hillary we may be able to see a bloody blood bath at the convention. First, Cleveland gets Johnny Manziel and now the GOP convention. It doesn't seem fair.

      .

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    2. If Trump is denied, the Republicans might as well fold up their tent.

      They won't stand a chance.

      Delete
  14. McGovern was a good man.

    "Get Clean With Gene"

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  15. .

    Sea World announces it will phase out their Orca exhibit. Good work by the humane society and other organizations, CNN (Black Fish), and the public.

    The good news is still being offset by stories like that reported the other day where 3 US zoos secretly hustled 18 elephants out of Swaziland to avoid lawsuits.

    .

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  16. Even as a kid I hated zoos and circuses.

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  17. I didn't like them either. But I liked riding the Ferris Wheel with my girlfriend, and how we laughed when an ape got a hard on. But Sea World doesn't seem so bad, and I don't think the Orcas are suffering so much. But if they're released, fine and dandy too.

    Think of the poor seals in the Ocean when the Orcas are released !

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  18. Replies
    1. Yup.
      ******

      Cooler heads have prevailed -

      WaPo: Conservative #NeverTrump confab dispenses with independent bid, focuses on convention


      posted at 2:01 pm on March 17, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

      So much for the Grand Old, er, New Conservative Party. After leading conservative activists floated the idea of running a movement conservative in an independent presidential bid ahead of a strategy meeting, cooler heads prevailed. The Washington Post’s Robert Costa reports that the group considered the option, but moved away from it for its impracticalities:


      A secretive group of Republican operatives and conservative leaders convened Thursday morning for more than three hours to discuss ways to unite the right against Donald Trump, with a presentation about the feasibility of mounting a third-party challenge as well as extensive deliberations about whether a coalition of anti-Trump forces could prevent the billionaire mogul from securing the party’s presidential nomination at the July convention in Cleveland. …

      Per three people familiar with the talks, the mood of the room was muted and downbeat. Attendees voiced frustration with the lack of coordination so far and wondered aloud whether Trump could be halted. The third-party scenario drew intense interest, but it also acknowledge that it would logistically and financially difficult with few major politicians willing for now to agree to take the political risk that such a run would entail.

      Instead, a consensus emerged by the end that the best option may be working in upcoming primaries to boost Cruz and hope to prevent Trump from securing a majority of delegates and making a convention stand-off the culmination of those efforts, the people said.....

      Hot Air

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    2. http://hotair.com/archives/2016/03/17/wapo-conservative-nevertrump-confab-dispenses-with-independent-bid-focuses-on-convention/

      Delete
  19. Early poll quoted by Hannity but can't recall the name has Trump up by 16% in California.

    I'd think he'd be able to take New York too.

    Arizona, Utah comin' up !

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  20. The Cochin International Airport in India is the first airport in the world to run completely on solar power. In the video above, learn about the airport and the effect it will have in reducing carbon emissions.

    Huffpost

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But not the planes, nor the buses or cars that bring people to the place...

      Delete
    2. .

      Peak Oil

      We may be nearing 'peak oil', in fact we may already have reached it; but is it anything to worry about? Is peak oil driven by supply as has always been assumed or is it now driven by demand or, if you like, reduced demand?

      There is speculation going around (which I see find kind of persuasive)that the lower oil prices we are seeing now may be around for quite awhile. There will always be a need for petroleum for chemicals, plastics, fertilizers, etc.; but with alternative energy sources, renewables, technology, mileage mandates, cultural changes, etc. all resulting in less demand, supply, especially given the weakening of OPEC and the need for hard currency by oil producers, says that supply is not now and likely won't be for well into the future a problem.

      Given the reduced demand and the trends, some believe that oil producers, especially Saudi Arabia, may be trying to monetize this resource while they can.

      .













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    3. .

      Sorry for the lack of commas. Sticky comma key.

      .

      Delete
    4. Yup, I've read that too. Saudi is selling while there is still a real market. That's to say, monetize resources.

      You want to sell the cattle before the herd dies and rots.

      Delete
    5. The Saudis are investing in farmland in Iowa, etc.

      My dad was always against this foreign ownership of our stuff.

      You were right again, dad.

      Delete
  21. ISIS booby-traps 25 Turkoman children after kidnapping them from orphanage

    (IraqiNews.com) Nineveh – Eyewitnesses in Nineveh Province revealed, that the so-called ISIS kidnapped twenty-five Turkoman children from an orphanage in Mosul, and took them to a training camp in Talafar District.

    ISIS booby-trapped the children to use them as human bombs against the Iraqi joint forces in the axes of Mosul.

    The eyewitnesses reported for IraqiNews.com, “The terrorist organization intends to booby-trap the children to blow them up on the joint forces that are progressing to liberate the province in the near future.”

    The witnesses added, “The children, who were kidnapped by ISIS from an orphanage, are ranging between ten to seventeen years old.”

    Iraqinews

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strikes in Syria

      Attack aircraft conducted two strikes in Syria near Hawl that struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 10 ISIL fighting positions.

      Strikes in Iraq

      Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

      -- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL weapons cache.

      -- Near Rutbah, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit.

      -- Near Beiji, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit.

      -- Near Fallujah, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL staging area and an ISIL mortar position.

      -- Near Hit, four strikes struck two ISIL weapon factories and destroyed an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL bomb and an ISIL supply cache.

      -- Near Kirkuk, a strike destroyed an ISIL machine gun position.

      -- Near Kisik, two strikes destroyed three ISIL beddown locations and four ISIL assembly areas.

      -- Near Mosul, nine strikes struck seven ISIL propaganda sites and two ISIL manufacturing factories.

      Delete
    2. Those goddamned bastards.

      Delete
    3. Nothing they didn't learn from Hamas

      http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/05/06/israeli-soldier-describes-hamas-immorality/

      Delete
  22. Goddamned bastards - look at this stuff -

    Acid attacks, poison: What Afghan girls risk by going to school



    Allie Torgan, CNN

    Story highlights
    'CNN Heroes: 10 Years On' is celebrating some of CNN's past heroes
    Razia Jan was made a CNN Hero in 2012, after opening a school in Afghanistan where girls can get a free education
    The school has taken measures to protect the girls from would-be attackers
    Many armed groups in Afghanistan oppose girls being educated

    Editor's Note: Razia Jan was honored in 2012 as a Top 10 CNN Hero. In December, seven twelfth graders became the first graduates of her girls school in Afghanistan. The young women have returned this year as mentors to the other students.


    Deh'Subz, Afghanistan (CNN) — Terrorists will stop at nothing to keep Afghan girls from receiving an education.

    "People are crazy," said Razia Jan, founder of a girls' school outside Kabul. "The day we opened the school, (on) the other side of town, they threw hand grenades in a girls' school, and 100 girls were killed.

    "Every day, you hear that somebody's thrown acid at a girl's face ... or they poison their water."

    There were at least 185 documented attacks on schools and hospitals in Afghanistan last year, according to the United Nations. The majority were attributed to armed groups opposed to girls' education.



    Razia Jan

    "It is heartbreaking to see the way these terrorists treat ... women," said Jan, 68. "In their eyes, a women is an object that they can control. They are scared that when these girls get an education, they will become aware of their rights as women and as a human being."......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/02/world/meast/cnnheroes-jan-afghan-school/index.html?eref=edition

      Delete
    2. An army of western volunteers ought to be raised to go to Afghanistan long term and at least protect Kabul.

      The women in Afghanistan just never catch a break.

      Raise up a whole new generation of women in Afghanistan who can fight and protect themselves, like the Kurdish women.

      Delete
  23. The Dow closed in Positive Territory for the Year, today.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Look for a real rise if Trump gets elected.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The GOP barons, the conservative mother fuckers that love the Constitution except for this part:

    Article. II.

    Section. 1.

    The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years,


    ...are taking the position that Obama can’t do his lawful duties in the last quarter of his term.

    When we were kids, we all learned in civics class that the US was unique in that the President was elected and served for four years and there was an orderly and lawful transition of power to the newly elected president. It was a thing to be admired that the President would take power on the day he is sworn in and cedes power at the specified ending of the sitting President’s term.

    There is no attenuation to the law. There is no diminishment of authority and duty. The term is binary. It switches on or off.

    The President appoints Supreme Court Judges and the Senate has an obligation to advise and either confirm or dissent.

    The Republicans don’t care about anything accept for their power. Everything else they claim to be is suspect. They are transparently full of shit. They are phonies and they are stupid.

    They are going to get shellacked over this obstruction of considering Obama’s nominee to the Court.

    If it were Democrats doing it, the same would apply to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Find out about The Biden Rule, Deuce!

      Delete
    2. !!!!!!!

      You beat me to it.

      They can't, Deuce.

      IT WOULD BE A VIOLATION OF THE BIDEN RULE

      Delete
    3. Biden was a senator when he discovered that “rule”. He had no authority to make such an absurd statement. He was full of shit then and if he still believes it, he is still full of shit.

      Delete
    4. If there is logic or law in the Biden “rule” why not expand it to the first year of the presidency based on the premise that the President doesn’t have enough experience. You need to eliminate the second year as there is an upcoming congressional election. Year three is good but year four has another election and that complies with the Biden “rule”.

      Is it any surprise that the American are sick of these assholes?

      Delete
    5. There are a lot of stupid rules, but a rule is still a rule.

      The fact that Biden has always been full of shit makes no difference either.

      Hell, Deuce, the Democrats have, and would, do exactly the same thing if the roles were reversed.

      Delete
    6. That's just one reality Trump voters are sick of.

      Delete
    7. Because that would question the will and wisdom of the voters, Deuce, and the voters, we all must agree, (mustn't we ?), are always right.

      Delete
  26. re: SCOTUS

    Hasn't Quirk heard of the Biden Rule?

    ...or do you believe in one set of rules for the Dems, and the Bend Over rule so popular with Pubs for the past 50 years or so?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quirk ?????

      Heard of the Biden Rule ????????

      You got to be joking.

      Delete
    2. Quirk might know The Bribing Rule though:

      "Never make a bribe unless the benefits derived from the bribe exceed the costs of the bribe in money and damage to reputation

      Delete
    3. ".............."

      Delete
    4. Rubio's not got a lot of money.
      I'm hoping Trump can arrange a comfortable bribe.

      Delete
    5. A well greased bribe is a work of beauty.

      Delete
    6. .

      Rules are made to be broken, the law isn't.

      .

      Delete
  27. Orcas are oversized dolphins.

    Squeak squeak.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Name in The Hood: "Irrawaddy"

      Orcas are one of the 35 species in the oceanic dolphin family, with its closest relative being the Irrawaddy dolphin.

      Delete
  28. Since Google displays a bunch of left wing lies posing as fact, here is a more authoritative source:

    The New York Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/us/politics/joe-biden-argued-for-delaying-supreme-court-picks-in-1992.html?_r=0

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uncle Joe is always right.

      (the American Uncle Joe)

      Delete
  29. China expressed its opposition on Thursday to unilateral sanctions against North Korea, saying they could raise international tension.

    ...

    Asked whether China was worried the sanctions could affect "normal" business links between Chinese banks and North Korea, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said this was something China was "paying attention to".

    ReplyDelete
  30. The Democrats confirmed Kennedy in the last year of Reagan's 2nd term.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Romney lost women by 7 pts.

    How They Voted


    The WSJ Poll shows Trump losing women by 27%.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Women make up 53% of the Voters.

      To break even Trump would have to win men by approx. 65 - 35.

      Delete
    2. That was always my argument why Hillary was a lock against anyone.
      That was then.
      This is now:
      Millenials are not as enamored of Hillary as are many of us old farts.
      Bill's not the sex-object he once was, and is aging faster than me and Hillary combined.

      Trumps record so far is not terrible with GOP women so far, and will be better in the general.
      Hillary will get creamed in Missoura, and any number of often blue states.
      Trump will trash Hillary's disgusting "record."

      Unlike the GOP Pussies Deuce is calling for that have lost in the past, Trump hates Pussies.
      ...but not Pussey.

      Delete
    3. 2/3rds of the American People declare Hillary to be 'untrustworthy'.

      Delete
  32. Drunken Uncle Joe Biden Video

    See here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TBNeNHHXEY

    ReplyDelete
  33. The world’s eyes are on a two-day European Union summit on March 17-18, during which the details of a draft Turkey-EU deal, which aims at curbing the bloc’s worst migrant crisis since World War II, will be debated ahead of a possible deal.

    Turkey and the European Union reached a draft agreement on March 7 in another EU summit, during which the sides provisionally agreed to decrease the migrant influx into the EU in exchange for visa liberalization for Turkish citizens and a boost in Turkey’s accession talks to the bloc.

    According to the deal, Turkey would take back all of the migrants crossing to the EU from Turkey, whereas for each migrant Turkey takes, the EU would take one Syrian refugee from Turkey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doug is calling for an Ecuadoran Unit Summit.

      Delete
    2. .

      Doug and his bros will discuss the pros and cons of Equadoran units vs those from guys in other South American countries.

      .

      Delete
  34. They're not going to confirm the gun grabbing jerk anyway, so why waste the time on hearings ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Obama thought he had a chance, he would have nominated someone 20 years younger.

      Delete
    2. IOW, it's all theater for the left wing media, and "some" in the blogosphere.
      :-)

      Delete
    3. That's exactly right.

      He would have nominated someone with 40 years left in him/her.

      Delete
  35. Priest on a Hoverboard:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXScGaSQtSk#t=11.194875

    ReplyDelete
  36. QuirkThu Mar 17, 08:04:00 PM EDT

    .

    Rules are made to be broken, the law isn't.

    .

    :):):):)

    Yup, that's why we have rules.

    :):):):)

    Aaah, Our Good Quirk, always one step away from criminality.

    Hillary just says the hell with it, break 'em both.

    "But, but, I thought the rule was made to be broken, Your Honor."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Issue:

      Is a rule Law ?

      Case# 8453875--2343

      United States Government vs. 'Quirk', address unknown

      Status:

      Appeal from lower court conviction

      Decided:

      Yes

      Guilty

      Sentence: 14 months

      Crime: Ignoring rules of the road, 5 counts of speeding, and drinking and driving

      Delete
    2. Heh heh heh

      Latest news from AP is that 'Quirk', address Michigan State Prison, is writing appeal to US Supreme Court, acting as his own 'jailhouse lawyer'

      Delete
    3. Acting 'pro se' to be exact.

      Delete
    4. .

      News Alert!!!!

      Supreme Court in an unanimous decision overturns decision by lower court in United States Government vs. 'Quirk'.

      The lower court ruling was overturned based on the fact it was decided in Idaho. The fact that no ruling out of an Idaho court has ever been upheld was offered as precedent.

      Justice Samuel Alito writing for the court offered his personal view, Idaho? Are you friggin nutz?

      The other seven justices roundly concurred and Assistant US Attorney General Nathan Thurm, acting counsel for the government, was laughed out of the courtroom.

      .

      Delete
    5. .

      Quirk applauded the SCOTUS ruling, knelt and kissed the ground, raised his arms to the sky and shouted, "America, what a country."

      .

      Delete
    6. :):)

      "What a country, Guilty as hell, Free as a bird" Quirk added, as he walked away laughing.

      Delete
  37. German magazine Der Spiegel said on Thursday it had withdrawn its Istanbul correspondent, Hasnain Kazim, after the authorities refused to renew his press accreditation.

    EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the talks with Turkey would not just focus on migration.
    "We have the internal situation in Turkey we are working on, being it the human rights and the rule of law issues, being it the necessary process with the Kurds to reopen spaces for peace," she said.

    ReplyDelete
  38. The death toll from Saudi-led air strikes on an outdoor market in north-western Yemen has risen to more than 100, a provincial health director and a UN official say, making it one of the deadliest attacks in the year-old war.

    ...

    The Saudi-led coalition strongly denies targeting civilians.

    ReplyDelete
  39. The U.N.'s humanitarian chief in Yemen said Wednesday that none of the warring parties there were fulfilling their obligations to protect civilians or facilitate humanitarian assistance.

    ...

    The spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Stephane Dujarric, said in a statement that the latest attack underscores the need for all sides to respect human rights laws amid the fighting. "Attacks directed against civilians and civilian objects, including populated markets, are strictly prohibited," he said.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Morocco ordered the United Nations on Thursday to pull 84 international staff from its Western Sahara mission after accusing U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon of no longer being neutral in a conflict over the disputed territory.

    ...

    Ban canceled plans to visit Morocco, his spokesman said on Wednesday.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Outside analysts said Moroccan leaders have been increasingly distrustful of Mr. Ban’s position on Western Sahara.

    “There is a belief that Ban Ki-moon has abandoned any veneer of neutrality,” said Anouar Boukhars, a professor of international relations at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md., and an expert on Western Sahara’s political history.

    Mr. Ban’s use of the term “occupation” to describe the territory, he said, was the “last straw that broke the camel’s back.”

    ReplyDelete
  42. Footage has emerged of a Japanese journalist who went missing in Syria apparently asking for Tokyo’s help in securing his release.
    The Japanese government said Thursday it was studying the video of Jumpei Yasuda, who has not been heard from since the middle of last year.

    ...

    In his last Twitter post on that day, he said: “I have reported what is happening through my blog and Twitter without disclosing where I am.” He added that unspecified “interference” with his reporting activities had increased substantially to the point that he might not be able to continue.

    ReplyDelete
  43. A video has surfaced appearing to show a missing Japanese journalist, reportedly held by an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, reading a message to his family and country.

    ...

    In December, media freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders retracted and apologised for a report it had issued that said Yasuda had been threatened with execution in Syria. The government said at the time it was seeking information.

    ReplyDelete
  44. New Orleans:

    Uber drivers are one step closer to being able to pick up passengers at the airport after the board overseeing Louis Armstrong International Airport voted Thursday (March 17) to move forward with a new fee structure for non-taxi transportation providers. Airport officials and providers still need to agree over how high that fee will be before pick-ups start.

    ...

    Details of the new rate structure have yet to be finalized. The airport is federally obligated to generate revenue and be self-sustaining, which means it can charge fees for use of or access to its facilities.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Did you know you can create short urls with LinkShrink and receive money from every visit to your short links.

    ReplyDelete