“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

Monday, March 27, 2017

CENTCOM Headquarters (Where It’s Always Groundhog Day)

“Fifteen years after launching a worldwide effort to defeat and destroy terrorist organizations, the United States finds itself locked in a pathologically recursive loop; we fight to prevent attacks and defend our values, only to incite further violence against ourselves and allies while destabilizing already chaotic regions..." Major John Q. Bolton, a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghan Wars

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Words Not to Die For | TomDispatch

U.S. Marines are, for the first time, deploying to Syria (with more to come). 

There’s talk of an “enduring” U.S. military presence in Iraq, while additional U.S. troops are being dispatched to neighboring Kuwait with an eye to the wars in both Iraq and Syria.  Yemen has been battered by a veritable blitz of drone strikes and other air attacks.  Afghanistan seems to be in line for an increase in American forces.  The new president has just restored to the CIA the power to use drones to strike more or less anywhere on the “world battlefield,” recently a Pentagon prerogative, and is evidently easing restrictions on the Pentagon’s use of drones as well.  U.S. military commanders are slated to get more leeway to make decisions locally and the very definition of what qualifies as a “battlefield” looks like it’s about to change (which will mean even less attention to “collateral damage” or civilian casualties). President Trump may soon designate various areas outside more or less official American war zones -- since the U.S. Congress no longer declares war, they can’t truly be official -- as “temporary areas of active hostility.” That will grant U.S. commanders greater leeway in launching attacks on terror groups in places like Somalia.  In fact, this already seems to have happened in Yemen, according to the New York Times, opening the way for a disastrous Special Operations Forces raid there that caused the death of a Navy SEAL and possibly nine Yemeni children (the youngest three months old), while evidently accomplishing next to nothing.

In other words, in the early months of the Trump era, U.S. wars and conflicts across the Greater Middle East are being expanded and escalated.  This isn’t exactly a new process, and isn’t yet at the level of either the failed Iraqi Surge of 2007 or the failed Afghan one of 2010.  Still, you might think that the almost instant failure of that Yemen raid would have rung a few familiar warning bells in Washington when it comes to escalating America’s wars in the region.  If so, you would evidently be oh-so-wrong.  The history of the last 15 years tells us that in Washington such setbacks couldn’t matter less. At the moment, the generals who have headed down these very paths before are evidently recommending to an eager new president that it’s the height of wisdom to head down them again.
As TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich, author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East, points out today, this is now business as usual in militarized Washington in the twenty-first century.  It’s so much the law of the land that the Pentagon has developed the perfect language for masking, perhaps to itself as much as others, just how dismally familiar this process actually is. Tom
Prepare, Pursue, Prevail! 
Onward and Upward with U.S. Central Command 
By Andrew J. Bacevich 
By way of explaining his eight failed marriages, the American bandleader Artie Shaw once remarked,  “I am an incurable optimist.” In reality, Artie was an incurable narcissist. Utterly devoid of self-awareness, he never looked back, only forward. 
So, too, with the incurable optimists who manage present-day American wars.  What matters is not past mistakes but future opportunities.  This describes the view of General Joseph Votel, current head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).  Since its creation in 1983, CENTCOM has emerged as the ne plus ultra of the Pentagon’s several regional commands, the place where the action is always hot and heavy.  Votel is the latest in a long train of four-star generals to preside over that action. 
The title of this essay (exclamation point included) captures in a single phrase the “strategic approach” that Votel has devised for CENTCOM.  That approach, according to the command’s website, is “proactive in nature and endeavors to set in motion tangible actions in a purposeful, consistent, and continuous manner.” 
This strategic approach forms but one element in General Votel’s multifaceted (if murky) “command narrative,” which he promulgated last year upon taking the helm at CENTCOM headquarters in Tampa, Florida.  Other components include a “culture,” a “vision,” a “mission,” and “priorities.”  CENTCOM’s cultureemphasizes “persistent excellence,” as the command “strives to understand and help others to comprehend, with granularity and clarity, the complexities of our region.”  The vision, indistinguishable from the mission except perhaps for those possessing advanced degrees in hermeneutics, seeks to provide “a more stable and prosperous region with increasingly effective governance, improved security, and trans-regional cooperation.”  Toward that estimable end, CENTCOM’s priorities include forging partnerships with other nations “based upon shared values,” “actively counter[ing] the malign influence” of hostile regimes, and “degrading and defeating violent extremist organizations and their networks.” 
At present, CENTCOM is busily implementing the several components of Votel’s command narrative across an “area of responsibility” (AOR) consisting of 20 nations, among them Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.  As the CENTCOM website puts it, without batting a digital eyelash, that AOR “spans more than 4 million square miles and is populated by more than 550 million people from 22 ethnic groups, speaking 18 languages with hundreds of dialects and confessing multiple religions which transect national borders.”
According to the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, an AOR is the “geographical area associated with a combatant command within which a geographic combatant commander has authority to plan and conduct operations.” Yet this anodyne definition fails to capture the spirit of the enterprise in which General Votel is engaged. 
One imagines that there must be another Department of Defense Dictionary, kept under lock-and-key in the Pentagon, that dispenses with the bland language and penchant for deceptive euphemisms. That dictionary would define an AOR as “a vast expanse within which the United States seeks to impose order without exercising sovereignty.”  An AOR combines aspects of colony, protectorate, and contested imperial frontier. In that sense, the term represents the latest incarnation of the informal empire that American elites have pursued in various forms ever since U.S. forces “liberated” Cuba in 1898. 
To say that a military officer presiding over an AOR plans and conducts operations is a bit like saying that Jeff Bezos sells books.  It’s a small truth that evades a larger one.  To command CENTCOM is to function as a proconsul, to inhabit as a co-equal the rarified realm of kings, presidents, and prime ministers.  CENTCOM commanders shape the future of their AOR -- or at least fancy that they do. 
Sustaining expectations of shaping the future requires a suitably accommodating version of the past.  For CENTCOM, history is a record of events selected and arranged to demonstrate progress.  By testifying to the achievements of previous CENTCOM commanders, history thereby validates Votel’s own efforts to carry on their work.  Not for nothing, therefore, does the command’s website include this highly sanitized account of its recent past:
“In the wake of 9-11, the international community found Saddam Hussein's continued lack of cooperation with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions regarding weapons of mass destruction unacceptable. Hussein's continued recalcitrance led the UNSC to authorize the use of force by a U.S.-led coalition. Operation Iraqi Freedom began 19 March 2003. 

“Following the defeat of both the Taliban regime in Afghanistan (9 November 2001) and Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq (8 April 2003), CENTCOM has continued to provide security to the new freely-elected governments in those countries, conducting counterinsurgency operations and assisting host nation security forces to provide for their own defense.”
Setbacks, disappointments, miscalculations, humiliations: you won’t hear about them from CENTCOM.  Like Broadway’s Annie, down at headquarters in Tampa they’re “just thinkin' about tomorrow,” which “clears away the cobwebs, and the sorrow, till there's none! 
(Give the Vietnam War the CENTCOM treatment and you would end up with something like this: “Responding to unprovoked North Vietnamese attacks and acting at the behest of the international community, a U.S.-led coalition arrived to provide security to the freely-elected South Vietnamese government, conducting counterinsurgency operations and assisting host nation security forces to provide for their own defense.”) 
In fact, the U.N. Security Council did not authorize the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  Indeed, efforts by George W. Bush’s administration to secure such an authorization failed abysmally, collapsing in a welter of half-truths and outright falsehoods.  What much of the international community found unacceptable, more so even than Saddam’s obstreperousness, was Bush’s insistence that he was going to have his war regardless of what others might think.  As for celebrating the “defeat” of the Taliban and of Saddam, that’s the equivalent of declaring “game over” when the whistle sounds ending the first quarter of a football game. 
More to the point, to claim that, in the years since, CENTCOM “has continued to provide security to the new freely-elected governments” of Afghanistan and Iraq whitewashes history in ways that would cause the most shameless purveyor of alt-facts on Fox News to blush.  The incontestable truth is that Afghans and Iraqis have not known security since U.S. forces, under the direction of General Votel’s various predecessors, arrived on the scene.  Rather than providing security, CENTCOM has undermined it. 
CENTCOM Headquarters (Where It’s Always Groundhog Day) 
Even so, as the current steward of CENTCOM’s culture, vision, mission, strategic approach, and priorities, General Votel remains undaunted.  In his view, everything that happened prior to his assuming ownership of the CENTCOM AOR is irrelevant.  What matters is what will happen from now on -- in Washington-speak, “going forward.”  As with Artie Shaw, serial disappointments leave intact the conviction that persistence will ultimately produce a happy ending.  
Earlier this month, Votel provided a progress report to the Senate Armed Services Committee and outlined his expectations for future success.  In a city that now competes for the title of Comedy Central, few paid serious attention to what the CENTCOM commander had to say.  Yet his presentation was, in its own way, emblematic of how, in the Age of Trump, U.S. national security policy has become fully divorced from reality.  
General Votel began by inventorying the various “drivers of instability” afflicting his AOR.  That list, unsurprisingly enough, turned out to be a long one, including ethnic and sectarian divisions, economic underdevelopment, an absence of opportunity for young people “susceptible to unrest [and] radical ideologies,” civil wars, humanitarian crises, large refugee populations, and “competition among outside actors, including Russia and China, seeking to promote their interests and supplant U.S. influence in the region.”  Not qualifying for mention as destabilizing factors, however, were the presence and activities of U.S. military forces, their footprint dwarfing that of Russia and China. 
Indeed, the balance of Votel’s 64-page written statement argued, in effect, that U.S. military activities are the key to fixing all that ails the CENTCOM AOR.  After making a brief but obligatory bow to the fact that “a solely military response is not sufficient” to address the region’s problems, he proceeded to describe at length the military response (and only the military response) that will do just that.  
Unfortunately for General Votel, length does not necessarily correlate with substance.  Once upon a time, American military professionals prized brevity and directness in their writing.  Not so the present generation of generals who are given to logorrhea.  Consider just this bit of cliché-ridden drivel -- I could quote vast passages of it -- that Votel inflicted on members of the United States Senate.  “In a region beset by myriad challenges,” he reported,
“we must always be on the look-out for opportunities to seize the initiative to support our objectives and goals. Pursuing opportunities means that we are proactive -- we don’t wait for problems to be presented; we look for ways to get ahead of them. It also means that we have to become comfortable with transparency and flat communications -- our ability to understand our AOR better than anyone else gives us the advantage of knowing where opportunities exist.  Pursuing opportunities also means we have to take risk -- by delegating authority and responsibility to the right level, by trusting our partners, and being willing to trust our best instincts in order to move faster than our adversaries.” 
In third-tier business schools, bromides of this sort might pass for “best practices.”  But my guess is that George C. Marshall or Dwight D. Eisenhower would award the author of that paragraph an F and return him to staff college for further instruction. 
Frothy verbiage aside, what exactly does General Votel propose?  The answer -- for those with sufficient patience to wade through the entire 64 pages -- reduces to this: persist.  In concrete terms, that means keeping on killing and enabling our “allies” to do the same until the other side is finally exhausted and gives up.  In other words, it’s the movie Groundhog Day transposed from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to Tampa and then to Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries where the bodies continue to pile up. 
True, the document Votel presented to Congress is superficially comprehensive, with sections touting everything from “Building Partner Capacity” (“we must be forward-leaning and empower our partners to meet internal security challenges”) to creating a “Global Engagement Center” (“The best way to defeat an idea is to present a better, more appealing idea”).  Strip away the fluff, however, and what’s left is nothing more than a call to keep doing what CENTCOM has been doing for years now. 
To see what all this really means, practically speaking, just check out CENTCOM press releases for the week of March 5th through 10th.  The titles alone suffice to describe a situation where every day is like the one that preceded it:
As the good nuns used to tell me back in parochial school, actions speak louder than words.  What the CENTCOM commander says matters less than what CENTCOM forces do.  What they are doing is waging an endless war of attrition.

Ludendorff Would Have Approved 
“Punch a hole and let the rest follow.”  
During the First World War, that aphorism, attributed to General Erich Ludendorff, captured the essence of the German army’s understanding of strategy, rooted in the conviction that violence perpetrated on a sufficient scale over a sufficient period of time will ultimately render a politically purposeless war purposeful.  The formula didn’t work for Germany in Ludendorff’s day and yielded even more disastrous results when Hitler revived it two decades later.
Of course, U.S. military commanders today don’t make crude references to punching holes.  They employ language that suggests discrimination, deliberation, precision, and control as the qualities that define the American way of war.  They steer clear of using terms like attrition.  Yet differences in vocabulary notwithstanding, the U.S. military’s present-day MO bears a considerable resemblance to the approach that Ludendorff took fully a century ago.  And for the last decade and a half, U.S. forces operating in the CENTCOM AOR have been no more successful than were German forces on the Western Front in achieving the purposes that ostensibly made war necessary. 
To divert attention from this disturbing fact, General Votel offers Congress and by extension the American people a 64-page piece of propaganda.  Whether he himself is deluded or dishonest is difficult to say, just as it remains difficult to say whether General William Westmoreland was deluded or dishonest when he assured Congress in November 1967 that victory in Vietnam was in sight.  “With 1968,” Westmoreland promised, “a new phase is now starting.  We have reached an important point when the end begins now to come into view.”
Westmoreland was dead wrong, as the enemy’s 1968 Tet Offensive soon demonstrated.  That a comparable disaster, no doubt different in form, will expose Votel’s own light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel assessment as equally fraudulent is a possibility, even if one to which American political and military leaders appear to be oblivious.  This much is certain: in the CENTCOM AOR the end is not even remotely in view. 
What are we to make of this charade of proconsuls parading through Washington to render false or misleading reports on the status of the American empire’s outer precincts? 
Perhaps the time has come to look elsewhere for advice and counsel.  Whether generals like Votel are deluded or dishonest is ultimately beside the point.  More relevant is the fact that the views they express -- and that inexplicably continue to carry weight in Washington -- are essentially of no value.  So many years later, no reason exists to believe that they know what they are doing.
To reground U.S. national security policy in something that approximates reality would require listening to new voices, offering views long deemed heretical.  
Let me nonetheless offer you an example
“Fifteen years after launching a worldwide effort to defeat and destroy terrorist organizations, the United States finds itself locked in a pathologically recursive loop; we fight to prevent attacks and defend our values, only to incite further violence against ourselves and allies while destabilizing already chaotic regions..." 
That is not the judgment of some lefty from Cambridge or San Francisco, but of Major John Q. Bolton, a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghan Wars.  Within that brief passage is more wisdom than in all of General Votel’s 64 pages of blather. 
I submit that Bolton’s grasp of our predicament is infinitely superior to Votel’s.  The contrast between the two is striking.  The officer who wears no stars dares to say what is true; the officer wearing four stars obfuscates.  If the four-stars abandon obfuscation for truth, then and only then will they deserve our respectful attention.  In the meantime, it’s like looking to Artie Shaw for marriage counseling.  
Andrew J. Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular, is the author most recently of America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History.
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, John Feffer's dystopian novel Splinterlands, as well as Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt's latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.
Copyright 2017 Andrew J. Bacevich



    “This is the market reacting to Donald Trump’s failure to implement one of his major campaign promises,”
    Bart Wakabayashi, State Street

    Investors see the failure of the U.S. administration to secure the votes needed to pass the health-care bill as a “harbinger of things to come,” said Mr. Wakabayashi. “They see it as a lot of opposition to his policies. They see general risk on trade and fiscal policy, and a lot of promises we may have to revisit and cross out some of them.”

    Foreign-currency investors may now see the dollar falling toward the ¥108.20-level as they take short positions, Wakabayashi.

  2. USA's efforts in the mid east went to hell the moment O'bozo was elected, and took the troops out, a fact not even mentioned in the above article.

    Nevertheless ISIS is nearly defeated now in Iraq, and Raqqa in Syria is next.

    I suggest the article is political posturing and has nothing to do with military reality or analysis.

  3. Iraqi military leaders have halted their push to recapture west Mosul from Islamic State as international outrage grew over the civilian toll from airstrikes that killed at least 150 people in a single district of the city.

    The attack on the Mosul Jadida neighbourhood is thought to have been one of the deadliest bombing raids for civilians since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Rescuers were still pulling bodies from the rubble on Saturday, more than a week after the bombs landed, when the US-led coalition confirmed that its aircraft had targeted Isis fighters in the area.

    They carried out the attack on 17 March “at the request of the Iraqi security forces”, and have now launched a formal investigation into reports of civilian casualties, the coalition said.

  4. .

    “Fifteen years after launching a worldwide effort to defeat and destroy terrorist organizations, the United States finds itself locked in a pathologically recursive loop; we fight to prevent attacks and defend our values, only to incite further violence against ourselves and allies while destabilizing already chaotic regions..." 

    Some people call this political posturing but then those same people are also dumb as a rock.


  5. .

    I suggest the article is political posturing and has nothing to do with military reality or analysis.

    Military criticism from the guy who argues we need to keep troops in Afghanistan 'for the women'. We have been there 14 years. How are those women doing now?

    But not to worry. Reports are that we will be keeping a US force there for the foreseeable. Rumor has it the women there are celebrating their good fortune.


  6. .

    “Fifteen years after launching a worldwide effort to defeat and destroy terrorist organizations, the United States finds itself locked in a pathologically recursive loop; we fight to prevent attacks and defend our values, only to incite further violence against ourselves and allies while destabilizing already chaotic regions..."

    I think Major Bolton's statement regarding the WOT should be expanded by a number of years even before there was an official WOT.

    The last time the US waged a defensive (using a very broad almost euphemistic definition of defensive) war was Gulf War I under G.H.W. Bush. We waged it under UN auspicious along with a number of coalition partners against Hussein when he invaded one of our allies. We got in, won the war quickly, and for the most part got out. But even there, we left a lasting memory of our presence in the form of depleted uranium and undetonated munitions lying in wait for someone to stumble on. This is how we win friends and influence people.

    Then started our long line of wars of choice for humanitarian intervention and regime change, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, etc., all of which did zip to reduce the terror threat to the US and many would argue increased it.

    USA's efforts in the mid east went to hell the moment O'bozo was elected, and took the troops out

    The credulous will buy the CYA stories put out by those who gave us the clusterf**k known as Iraq War II. They buy the story that we actually won the war, comical if it wasn’t so pathetic. You know when after entering a war that lasted twice as long as WWII, a war of choice based on phony intel, a war where the official justification was changed numerous times to accommodate the deteriorating situation, a war where nearly 5,000 US troops were killed and 50,000 wounded, a war which when the final total comes in will likely cost the US $4 - $6 trillion, (and I won’t mention the 500,000+ Iraqi civilians killed and 3 – 4 million turned into refugees since our neocon apologists merely consider these raghead collateral damage not to be mentioned); given all this, when our war analyst ignores the civil war that was going on in Syria and can still point to Obama’s pulling out the troops in 2011 in a plan negotiated by and signed off on by G.W. Bush, as the point where the ME ‘went to hell’, you know you are dealing with a neocon/GOP apologist willing to embarrass himself for political purposes, either that or he is really, really stupid.

    As we are talking about the WOT, it is important to note that there was no al Qaeda in Iraq until 2004 when a cell moved there from Afghanistan in response to Bush’s war. It went through a number of name changes in Iraq before expanding to Syria and splitting there into al Qaeda and ISIS factions.



    1. {...}

      Nevertheless ISIS is nearly defeated now in Iraq, and Raqqa in Syria is next.

      More foolishness from our military analyst. Many here, including the military analyst as I recall, pointed out that ISIS couldn’t be defeated in Iraq/Syria. No one expected the ‘caliphate’ to persist. The idea was a good marketing and recruiting tool for ISIS, but few took the idea that a bunch of rag heads in pick-up trucks could maintain a conventional war against the world’s great powers for any great length of time. Again, it was predicted here that at some point ISIS would merely revert to the asymmetrical war it is capable of waging.

      Nearly defeated? No doubt ISIS no longer ‘controls’ the large swaths of territory in Syria/Iraq that it did but it is still in those areas though with a smaller (and likely more sustainable) presence. In the mean time, despite their losses, they have expanded to a half dozen other countries including Libya and Yemen. More importantly, they have adopted new techniques using social media that has extended their range and influence so that they now can incite attacks around the world including in the US. Using ‘lone wolf’ attacks they are employing a technique that is almost impossible to predict and stop.

      Also, not to be forgotten is that as we concentrate on ISIS we have allowed other radical groups to expand and grow in influence. For instance al Qaeda is back. They now control nearly a quarter of the land area in Yemen.

      I suggest the article is political posturing and has nothing to do with military reality or analysis.

      Right, Major Bob. Noted.


    2. That's General Bob to you, Buck Private.

  7. .


    Regarding the central theme of the main articles above, I agree that those who head up CENTCOM leave something to be desired. Those daily CENTCOM reports that used to be posted here were jokes. Only the most credulous would buy the propaganda that was included there.

    Those in command of the AORs have proven to be predictable, incompetent in certain areas, and seemingly incapable of the success they claim they are about to achieve. IMO, much of this is the result of attitudes and a mindset instilled in them as they rose through the ranks of the military. Part of it is simply the faux-optimistic projections and CYA attitude of most executives when they are asked to put forth their five year plans.

    Despite the failings of some of these guys, I can't blame everything on them. They are given an almost impossible task and in some cases we see the Peter Principle at play.

    Most of these guys have spend their entire careers in the military; yet they are put in a position that requires expertise in diplomacy, economics, finance, procurement, budgets, logistics, public relations, politics, sociology, a deep knowledge of social and cultural differences between countries and regions, different religions, different ethnic groups, and numerous other specialties as well as at least a competent military ability. It's easy to see where they might come up short.

    I also give them slack in another area. I would assume any front line commander would ask for as many resources as he can get to help him achieve the task he has been assigned.

    What was left out of the analysis was the blame that should be assigned to the politicians who determine the overall objectives that the CENTCOM Commander is tasked to achieve. Those military objectives are developed by civilian leaders. They have responsibility not only for the objectives but also for auditing the performance of the military commanders. Unfortunately, it is often these political decisions that are our biggest problem and many of them have less to do with US interests than with corporate and political interests.

    It is interesting to note that there is a third group, the political appointees that head DOD and JCS, those that head up the military but have a more objective view than those on the ground in the AOR. It's interesting to note that this group often has more nuanced views than the other two groups. For instance, Mattis has gone on record criticizing Trump's budget priorities that increases military spending while cutting State Department budget by nearly 30% as he argues that diplomacy is important for without it the only option you have left is war. This aversion to war by these guys seems to be pretty widespread. Gates, for instance, opposed the Libyan intervention. Even Donald Trump wanted out of Iraq as soon as Sadaam was defeated.

    This aversion to war is not restricted to the US. While the pols in Israel were arguing for confrontation with Iran and rejection of the Nuclear agreement, the military there were arguing the opposite, that it was a good deal and actually reduced the chances of a confrontation with Iran.


  8. The beginning of the Islamic death cult was the beginning of their holy war against everything. Especially reason.

    That crap has been around too long to ignore anymore.

    Destabilize the chaotic regions?
    The regions were already destabilized.
    Chaotic minds and beliefs create a destabilization of their own lives.

    So which is the islam, Sunni or Shia?
    They don't even come to agreement.

  9. By the way Deuce, my daughter is having a blast down in Costa Rica!

  10. To summarize our cosmic situation: there is truth and way; or doctrine and method; or divine word and human response; or ultimately, God's outspiraling descent (↓) and our inspiraling ascent (↑). Looked at this way, truth as such is already a descent, just as knowing it is already an ascent.

    Truth as God rings true to me

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Why haven't you gone underground by now, ash, joined a political cell, fighting for the freedom to speak your own mind in your own adopted country, ash ash ash ?

      Quirk would have done so long ago.

      He wouldn't put up with the kind of indignity you allow yourself to suffer daily.

      What are you, a slave ?

  11. .

    Chaotic minds and beliefs create a destabilization of their own lives.

    Religious beliefs tend to become secondary when you are trying to avoid bombs.


    1. 'Religious beliefs tend to become secondary when you are trying to avoid bombs.'

      Really dumb comment there, Quirk.

      And from the man who fought Rommel, and later secured the Brenner Pass.


  12. Sessions Announces Crackdown on Sanctuary Cities...

    Barred From DOJ Funds....DRUDGE

    Is Detroit a Sanctuary City ?

    Kind of depends on who you ask.

    The City Manager of course says 'no'.

    1. Is Detroit a sanctuary city? Depends on who you ask



  13. Thinking of Detroit, and the coming of summer, and Quirk


    Fight the heat, Quirk, with Rocky Mountain Tumblers, stay cool, calm and collected while the city simmers, and slouches towards violence....

  14. Marilyn Mosby is in deep shit.

    Don’t look now, but that lawsuit against Marilyn Mosby is still moving forward


    Right where she should be....


  15. Just filling in time while waiting for the next dozen or so installments of Quirk's epic 'Characteristics of Fascism' rant, lifted from the pulp fiction writer 'Umberto' somebody or other.

    I'm beginning to worry Quirk may have been arrested again, but so far no bail bond call....

    Good riddance to a terrorist Jew killer and left-wing hero.

    March 27, 2017 Ari Lieberman

    In an anti-climactic finish to a legal saga that has dragged on far too long, the case of the United States versus Rasmea Odeh has finally come to an end. Under the terms of a plea agreement worked out between justice department officials and Odeh, the terrorist fraudster who lied when filling out her naturalization papers will be required to plead guilty to violating 18 U.S.C §1425(a) which criminalizes knowingly procuring naturalization contrary to law. She will also be stripped of her U.S. citizenship and deported but will not have to serve jail time.

    In 1969, Odeh was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a foreign terrorist organization designated as such by the U.S. State Department. In February of that year, Odeh, acting in concert with additional members of the terrorist PFLP gang, planted two bombs in a Jerusalem supermarket and additional explosive devices at the nearby British consulate office.

    The bombs at the consulate office caused only minor property damage but one of the bombs at the supermarket claimed the lives of two Israeli university students – Leon Kaner, 21, and Edward Jaffe, 22 and injured nine others. The second explosive, insidiously timed to go off upon arrival of first responders, was miraculously detected and diffused by security personnel.

    On March 1, 1969 Odeh and the other members of the terror cell were apprehended. She confessed to her role almost immediately. There was also an abundance of physical evidence linking her to the crime. Odeh received a life sentence but was released in a prisoner swap after serving just 10 years – five years for each life she took.

    After living in Lebanon and then Jordan, she made her way to the United States, joining her father who was already in the country. In 1995, Odeh filled out an application for an immigrant visa and alien registration and falsely checked off “no” when asked if she was ever convicted of a crime.

    In 2004, she applied for U.S. citizenship and fraudulently filled out naturalization papers in connection with her application, lying about her membership in the PFLP and her past arrest record and incarceration. She orally repeated the lies to a Department of Homeland Security officer.

    In 2013, Odeh secured employment as an Obamacare navigator in Illinois, a job that required her to assist people with healthcare options, but her employment was terminated once federal authorities commenced proceedings against her. In October 2013, she was indicted on charges relating to securing citizenship under false pretenses....


  16. "How many Americans does it take to keep President Trump and his family in the lifestyle to which they are accustomed? 

    Well, think of it this way. The Washington Post this week had a scoop on the Secret Service requesting an additional $60 million in its next budget: $27 million to protect the president’s wife and son in their three-floor penthouse at Trump Tower in New York, where they live instead of the White House, and $33 million for additional travel costs.
    The average family of four in the United States pays about $4,000 a year in federal income taxes. That means the entire tax bill for 15,000 families for the year will go toward these additional protection measures for Trump. And the Secret Service is just a slice of the overall expense. Figure in costs incurred by authorities in Florida and New York, the Pentagon and others, and costs related to the Trump sons’ international business trips, and we’re well over $100 million a year.
    That’s the annual federal income-tax bill for some 25,000 American families. Each trip Trump takes to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, where he has gone most weekends since his inauguration, is estimated to cost taxpayers in excess of $3 million. "


    Hypocrites - bald faced and unashamed!

    1. He has to go to Mar-a-Lago cause the Secret Service can't secure the fence around the White House, being underfunded as they are....

      It's a matter of life and death, and you bitch about a few stinking bucks.

      And what's it to you ? You're not even an American.

      It's none of your business and yet you obviously want the man dead.

      Shame on you.

    2. "The taxpayer subsidisation of Trump’s rich-and-famous lifestyle is but one of the bait-and-switch manoeuvres by Trump, who said during the campaign that “I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done.” The man ran as a populist and is governing as a plutocrat."

    3. Ash repeats Fake News:

      AshTue Mar 14, 11:25:00 AM EDT

      You guys bitched and moaned about Obama's travel expenses yet with respect to Trump - silence. Hypocrisy?

      "Trump’s first month of travel expenses cost taxpayers just less than what Obama spent in a year"



      Anyone that believes those travel figures is a fool:


      Air Force One costs 230 thousand an hour.

      Hawaii is 10 and a half hours, that's over 2.4 million each way = 5 million round trip.

      Then there are the C-17's for the limos, Air Force One Helicopter, etc etc.

      Million dollar bills for the secret service digs and transportation, meals, etc.

      ...and the famous his and hers 747's to Hawaii, the Hamptons, and wherever.


    4. "The Washington Post reports that those three trips “probably cost the federal treasury about $10 million, based on figures used in an October government report analyzing White House travel, including money for Coast Guard units to patrol the exposed shoreline and other military, security and staffing expenses associated with moving the apparatus of the presidency.”"


      Gee, guess what? The coast guard etc were not included in Obama's Hawaii vacations.

      Can always rely on Think Progress and WaPo for REAL, not FAKE "news."

      DougTue Mar 14, 04:31:00 PM EDT

      "The Secret Service also reserved rooms at the Moana Surfrider resort on Waikiki Beach, and the Ala Moana Hotel, which cost a total of $40,249.48 and $671,895.99, respectively."
      ...plenty of Military bases that could have housed them.


  17. The fact is, Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush... increasingly are treated in a manner way beyond royalty in a stunning display of the decadence that has engulfed DC and much of the nation.

  18. "I would rarely leave the White House because..."

    Pure bullshit, obviously.


    Do you really want to argue that Obama, and Michele, especially, did not upchuck different, but similar bullshit "proving" they have a bond with the downtrodden?

    1. I left out that they always take at least TWO 747's, meaning the total for those two planes alone is around ten million roundtrip to Hawaii, putting the lie to the Think Progress numbers.

    2. If you want to nullify the hypocrite charge simply do an honest accounting of keeping King Trump in the comfort, luxury, and safety he is accustom to.

    3. oh, and Doug, while you are in the weeds counting the bucks consider that the Obama's went to Hawaii, what, once a year? Trump is down to Florida every weekend, Melania needs Trump Tower protected, and...

    4. You're just jealous you don't have a butler.

  19. Doug 10,000 points

    Ash 0 points

    Doug has shown Ash up to be:

    A Hypocrite- bald faced and unashamed!

    1. (I think of Ash as a flaming assed hypocrite, bald faced and unashamed, a thoughtless Proto Ur-Fascist of the worst kind, {the concept comes from the writings of one 'Umberto'} proud of the suppression of free speech in his adopted land whose photo ought to be on all the walls of the Post Offices of the USA !)

    2. I don't understand his "point" @ 05:11:00 PM EDT

      My point is all of them should be given a lifestyle allowance similar to Truman's, and if they can afford more on their own, so be it.

    3. I call that sensible, and agree with you.

    4. .

      Just figure it this way. Every time Don Jr. or Ivanka takes a business trip, you are paying part of their business expenses.

      I call that sensible...

      Of course, you do.

      In his first two months, Trump has played golf between 10 and 12 times, each time with his entire retinue of SS with him and causing untold expense and inconvenience to whatever jurisdiction or municipality he is in.

      Some suffer more than others. Of the first 60 days of his presidency, Trump has spent a full one third of them lounging at one or the other of the Trump properties, certainly good for his bottom line (sorry, for his son's bottom line, cough) but these are not the cheapest places to visit, certainly not on the scale of the local Marriott.


    5. 'My point is all of them should be given a lifestyle allowance similar to Truman's, and if they can afford more on their own, so be it.'

      'I call that sensible and agree with you'

      Just figure it this way. Every time Don Jr. or Ivanka takes a business trip, you are paying part of their business expenses.

      I call that sensible...

      Of course, you do.

      Ol' hard drinkin' Quartz is in his pints again today and can't make any sense. He may have just gotten back from Ye Olde Mafia Berber Shoppe and a long sit with the boys

  20. Similarly, while reading Quirk at the top of the thread, I couldn't help but think of the contrast to the way things were done in World War II, versus the Morass of Waste and Obfuscation he describes.

    We've come a long way, baby.


    1. Problem is, both Ash and Quirk would be the first at full throat cries of WAR CRIMES !! if we just said the hell with them and reduced Raqqa to total rubble, like, say, Dresden.

      Even though a close calculation by Quirk's Human Suffering Calculating Machine might show that over the long run the total amount of human suffering was greatly reduced....

    2. Dresden is a nice place now, by the way.

      Few crazy muzzie running around is about it.

      Other than that, it beats Detroit.

    3. .

      More moronic bullshit.

      Of course WWII was worse. It was friggin World War II for god's sake. The fire bombing, dropping the bomb, the atrocities were all unconscionable.

      But you dolts use that as an excuse and justification for all that's followed? You think that WWII somehow excuses the unforced errors, the wars of choice, the millions killed and the tens of millions made homeless and turned into refugees by our greed and incompetence?



    4. You've been drinking.

      It's the gin talking, not the Human Suffering Calculating Machine.

      Go sleep it off.

    5. OUR greed ?

      I can't see I've gotten squat out of of it.

      YOU have ?

      How ?

      Whole thing has been a dead loss.

      (Right here is where you will predictably come in with your stuff about MIC....)

    6. Quirk:

      "But you dolts use that as an excuse and justification for all that's followed? You think that WWII somehow excuses the unforced errors, the wars of choice, the millions killed and the tens of millions made homeless and turned into refugees by our greed and incompetence?


      Hallucinogens at work.


    7. The way I figure it, Bob, is the Fire Bombing of Tokyo justifies the Cyanide Bombing of the family dog in Pocatello,



    8. Maybe they sell bottled water in Detroit from that other place in Michigan?

    9. .

      Two fat dumb fucks, sitting here making value judgments on which is less abhorrent the death of someone caught in the firestorm of an incendiary raid or vaporized by a a-bomb compared to some kid bleeding out in the street or a woman buried under tons of rubble from a drone strike.

      The way I figure it, Bob, is the Fire Bombing of Tokyo justifies the Cyanide Bombing of the family dog in Pocatello


      You demur, Doug? Then why the sarcasm? Then why the references to WWII? Why this...

      Similarly, while reading Quirk at the top of the thread, I couldn't help but think of the contrast to the way things were done in World War II, versus the Morass of Waste and Obfuscation he describes.

      Why the references to Dresden from your buddy and telling us what a nice place it is now, wiping away the unnecessary horror with a few parks and a Starbucks. So easy for the faux farmer as he plans his next trip to the casino.

      OUR greed ?

      I can't see I've gotten squat out of of it.

      That's the point. WE went there by 'choice' and came away with nothing, in fact, we came away with a hell of a lot less than we had when we went in. The people WE went there to save came away with a hell of a lot less than us, the ones that are still there, the ones who are still living. Fourteen years in Afghanistan and the place is worse than when we arrived and you argue we have to stay because of some quixotic 'save the women' meme. If you had a brain you would be really dangerous.

      But did everyone suffer in our ongoing wars of choice? Hell no. The usual suspects got rich or enjoyed nice careers as they always do. And you make excuses for all this bullshit.


    10. How do you know Doug is fat ?

      You don't know one thing about Doug.

    11. .

      So is that an admission you are fat?


  21. U.S.-Israeli teen (R) arrested in Israel on suspicion of making bomb threats against Jewish community centres in the United States, Australia and New Zealand over the past three months, is seen before the start of a remand hearing at Magistrate's Court in Rishon Lezion, Israel March 23, 2017.

    REUTERS/Baz Ratner


  22. Devin Nunes plot thickens, as his spokesman concedes he met source for surveillance claim at White House


  23. I wonder what would have happened over these many past decades if no outside power had given any guarantees to the Saudis ?

    Wait !

    Let's ask Quirk.

    He would know.

  24. Quirk, what would have happened over these many past decades if no outside power had given any guarantees to the Saudis ?

    You are turned to as you know all this stuff.

    Would there have been a big war between Iran and S Arabia, for instance ?

    Would S. Arabia still exist ?

    Should S. Arabia still exist ?

    Aren't there a bunch of Shiites in eastern S. Arabia ?

    How would all of this have impacted the price of gasoline in the world ?

    The cost of farm fertilizers ?

    Could there have been starvation in some more marginal countries ?

    Once you have answered all these questions I shall probably ask more, answers often provoking more questions, as is well known.

    Thank you

    1. .

      You're very questions show how clueless you are.

      You offer up a bunch of hypotheticals for which there are no answers. You talk about the current Iran but where would Iran be without US interference. It's true Iran was Islamic but it was a hell of a lot more moderate than the current government and there is no telling where it might have been today if the US had not overturned the democratically elected government there and installed the Shah who was subsequently replaced by the mullahs. Likewise, Iran was a little too busy worrying about Hussein and Iraq to be worrying about Saudi Arabia, well, that is until the US took out Sadaam and gave Iran a lot more 'flexibility'.

      Saudi Arabia? How do we know we, or for that matter the world, wouldn't have been much better off if Saudi Arabia hadn't just disappeared or been disappeared? They have been spreading their radical brand of Wahabbism throughout the world for decades, funding radicalism, al Qaeda, building mosques and madrasses where they spread their crazy philosophy, the same philosophy you cry about and excoriate here daily. You seem to forget who the players were who launched 9/11 or the results of that attack on our economy and our rights.

      Quirk, what would have happened over these many past decades if no outside power had given any guarantees to the Saudis ?

      Who gives a shit? What has Saudi Arabia ever done for us? Are they fighting ISIS for us? Hell no. You talk about oil. What did the Saudis do when the US was developing total energy independence through fracking? They tried to ruin our domestic industry by flooding the market with cheap oil. Maybe you have forgotten it was Saudi Arabia and OPEC that created the gas shortages here is the 8o's for political reason.

      SA hasn't done a damn thing for the US that wasn't already in their own national interests. We were only getting about 20% of our imported oil from SA and over the fast 15 years we could do without them altogether if we had to. Besides, oil is fungible. If Saudi Arabia wasn't there it would have been replaced by somebody who would be pumping that oil. Count on it.

      Don't bother with the rest of your questions if they are as stupid as these.


  25. Get help from your Magical 8 Ball if you need....

    Take a peek up your asshole if you need, and can't find an answer anywhere else...

    1. At least long enough to find out how all the above would have affected Israel, for instance, even Egypt....Europe....

      You'll be peeking up your asshole for weeks....

    2. One eyeball locked to the ol' 8 Ball, the other eyeball locked to....

      Perfect Image of Quirk Locked In Deep Thought....

    3. .

      More hypotheticals. Who gives a shit? What has Israel done for us except take our money. The same for Egypt. We have been paying them baksheesh for decades so they won't fight with each other.

      Because of the antipathy held for Israel by most of the countries in the ME, they have been unable to help us in any of our operations there. Egypt ignores us and our concerns except when they pick up their monthly welfare check.

      When we do something that is in the US' interests but don't fit the right wing politics of Israel rather than go through normal diplomatic channels they impose themselves into our political system.

      Please spare me the bullshit.


    4. More hypotheticals.

      Good God !

      THAT'S YOUR REPLY ????

      Jeeee....sus CHRIST !

    5. .


      Typical Bob. He gets gobsmacked then rather than responding to the opinions, he feigns...well I not sure what you would call that. Quite bizarre.


  26. Once all those captive countries of eastern Europe, under the gun of Soviet Russian Imperialism for so long, finally got the chance, they one and all came running as fast as their legs could carry them to the West, and to the MICS of the West....American, British, French....and now they are free, and run their own affairs.


    1. .

      Yea, well we didn't bomb their populations to dust during the cold war, destroying people and infrastructure alike.


    2. Thankfully, we and the Allies had sufficient military industrial complex power to keep the Rooskie from invading through the Fulda Gap.

      Here, MORON:

      Fulda Gap
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Theoretical attack routes through the Fulda Gap; the southeastern is Fulda, the northwestern is Alsfeld. The elevated land mass in between is the massif which comprises the Vogelsberg Mountains
      Fulda Gap is located in Germany 3/113/11 2/112/11 RHQ1/11CASCSSRHQ
      CSS 3rd Armd Div3rd Armd Div 8th Mech Div8th Mech Div 79th GTD79th GTD 27th GMRD27th GMRD 39th GMRD39th GMRD 57th GMRD57th GMRD 47th TankBrigade47th Tank
      Fulda Gap deployments ca. 1985
      RHQ – Regt Hq, 1/11 – 1st Squadron / 11th ACR, CAS – aviation, CSS – support
      Soviet units are 8th Guards Army, US units are V Corps
      G – Guards, MR – Motor Rifle, T – Tank, D – Division

      The Fulda Gap is an area between the Hesse-Thuringian border (the former intra-German border) and Frankfurt am Main that contains two corridors of lowlands through which tanks might have driven in a surprise attack effort by the Soviets and their Warsaw Pact allies to gain crossing(s) of the Rhine River. Named for the town of Fulda, the Fulda Gap was strategically important during the Cold War. The Fulda Gap is roughly the route along which Napoleon chose to withdraw his armies after defeat at the Battle of Leipzig. Napoleon succeeded in defeating a Bavarian-Austrian army under Wrede in the Battle of Hanau not far from Frankfurt; from there he escaped home to France. The route was also used by the U.S. XII Corps during World War II to advance eastward in late March and early April 1945.
      During the Cold War, the Fulda Gap was one of two obvious routes for a hypothetical Soviet tank attack on West Germany from Eastern Europe, especially East Germany; the other route was the North German Plain (a third, less likely, route was up through the Danube River valley in Austria). The concept of a major tank battle along the Fulda Gap was a predominant element of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) war planning during the Cold War, and weapons such as nuclear tube and missile artillery, the nuclear recoilless gun/tactical launcher Davy Crockett, Special Atomic Demolition Munitions, the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, and A-10 ground attack aircraft were developed with such an eventuality in mind.


      Not even you, Quirk, not even you, coulda stopped 'em, with The Military Industrial Complex getting your ass armed up good.

    3. withOUT the Military Industrial Complex getting your sorry stupid ass armed up good...

    4. You do realize, don't you Quirk ?, that Marxism/Leninism was a 'philosophy' with a world wide outlook, with this division in it....one group argued for building the perfect society first in Mother Russia, then forcing it on the rest of the world, while another argued for just going for it right now.

    5. .

      Look dipshit, if you want to talk about empires and control take look at a map of all the countries the US has troops in today. Saw one in one of the major papers within the last wee
      The US is as close to an empire as it gets
      In another article in the NYT...


      it was pointed out that the US has a 1.3 million man army and of that 200,000 of those troops are stationed in 170 countries around the world.

      You make excuses for the MIC and you worry about Russia taking over the world? Take a look at the numbers. The US spends 10 times the amount on our military than the Russians do. Hell, you were worried about Saudi Arabia earlier. SA spends much more on their military than Russia does.
      At the time the USSR came apart, their navy was pretty much non-existent. They couldn't afford to get the ships they did have repaired to the point they were seaworthy.

      I complain about the MIC and the 10 percent increase in military spending Trump has asked for not only because it is unnecessary (which it is) but because the priorities are all screwed up. Saw and article this week on a new helicopter we are going to buy (again from Lockheed). The unit price of it is about the same as that of the F-35.

      Trump took part in a ceremony recently launching the new Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier and promising to build more of them. The question becomes why. The US has ten carriers. Trump plans to build 2 more. Again, why.

      There are 18 carriers in the world today. The US has 10 of them. Seven other countries including Thailand and Spain have 1 each. One country has 2. Italy.

      It's crazy. You buy this stuff because you are an easy sell. You are more concerned about ideology than facts.


  27. POLICE have found “no evidence” Westminster attacker Khalid Masood was associated with terrorist groups Islamic State or al-Qaeda.


    The mother of Masood has released a statement saying: “I do not condone his actions nor support the beliefs he held that led to him committing this atrocity.”

    Mother-of-three Janet Ajao said: “I am so deeply shocked, saddened and numbed by the actions my son has taken that have killed and injured innocent people in Westminster.

    1. In this case, believe mommy dear.

    2. Quirk will say:

      'it's just a hypothetical'

      The mother may be lying, or confused, or....

      Nothing is proven here !

    3. Source:

      'Q'uestionable Investigations

      Investigating out of home in Detroit, Michigan

      Weekly Insider Investigative Newsletter Available for only 39.99/week

    4. (*no discounts for suckers or children)

    5. .

      Quirk will say:

      'it's just a hypothetical'

      What the hell are you talking about. What's a hypothetical?

      Have you gone off your meds again?


    6. QuirkMon Mar 27, 11:13:00 PM EDT

      What's a hypothetical?

      And I thought you knew:

      QuirkMon Mar 27, 09:12:00 PM EDT

      More hypotheticals.

      If you don't know what you are talking about, don't talk !

    7. Ciao

      Checking out.

      Big day tomorrow.

      Whatever you say is correct, Quirk...and OK by me !

    8. .

      Again, the English major proves his inability to understand context.

      Once again, he pulls a rat, cutting a pasting in order to remove any point of reference for his statements.

      What a dipshit.


    9. You da man, Quirkie.

    10. I just wish you'd stop dressing like a slob when you fly.

    11. And keep your fly closed too.

  28. Francis Fukuyama: Trump’s a dictator? He can’t even repeal ObamaCare

    Trump’s a Dictator? He Can’t Even Repeal Obamacare
    We just got hard proof that America’s checks and balances are still working.
    By FRANCIS FUKUYAMA March 27, 2017


    And the Republicans have majorities in both Houses of Congress.

    Some fascist dictator !

  29. STEPOSAURUS World’s largest dinosaur footprint discovered Down Under – and it’s as big as a man
    THE huge sauropod footprint found in Australia's 'Jurassic Park' is 1.7m long
    27th March 2017, 3:38 pm Updated: 27th March 2017, 4:55 pm


  30. Nuclear arms are the only weapons of mass destruction not yet prohibited by an international convention, even though they are the most destructive and indiscriminate weapons ever created. We scientists bear a special responsibility for nuclear weapons, since it was scientists who invented them and discovered that their effects are even more horrific than first thought.


    Unfortunately, such a war is more likely than one may hope, because it can start by mistake, miscalculation or terrorist provocation. There is a steady stream of accidents and false alarms that could trigger all-out war, and relying on never-ending luck is not a sustainable strategy.


    But there is also cause for optimism. On March 27 2017, an unprecedented process begins at the United Nations: most of the world’s nations convene to negotiate a ban on nuclear arms, to stigmatize them like biological and chemical weapons, with the ultimate goal of a world free of these weapons of mass destruction.

    Weapons Negotiations

  31. Great Article… I love to read your articles because your writing style is too good, its is very very helpful for all of us and I never get bored while reading your article because, they are becomes a more and more interesting from the starting lines until the end.

    Digital Marketing Company in Chennai

    1. You related to Mooselini ?

  32. Federal politicians have trodden carefully around the issue of nuclear weapons as Australia joins the US in a boycott of ban negotiations.


    But crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm said negotiating on nuclear weapons was not a practical question.

    "Countries have got nuclear weapons and the idea that you can remove them somehow is fanciful ... I think you have to accept the status quo as the status quo," he said.


    London jihadi’s daughter refused his pressure to convert to Islam, wear a niqab

    MARCH 27, 2017 5:14 PM BY ROBERT SPENCER

    UK Prime Minister Theresa May said it would be wrong to describe Masood’s jihad attack as “Islamic” extremism. She said: “It is Islamist terrorism. It is a perversion of a great faith.”

    But was there anything about Masood before his jihad massacre that would have identified him as an “Islamist” rather than as a Muslim? Was there any reason why anyone would not have identified him simply as a Muslim? Was he trying to convert Teegan Harvey to “Islamism,” as something distinct from Islam?

    The answers to those questions are No, No, and No. And that illustrates why May’s distinction, and the terms “Islamist” and “Islamism,” are largely meaningless.

    “Parliament terrorist’s daughter refused to wear a burqa,” by Mike Sullivan and Chris Pollard, The Sun, March 26, 2017:

    Westminster killer Khalid Masood’s teenage daughter defied his orders to wear a burqa — and headed to a school prom night in a ­revealing backless dress.

    Unlike her older sister, student Teegan Harvey, 18, refused to bow to pressure from fanatical Masood and convert to Islam.

    Family friends said radicalized Muslim covert Masood, who killed four people and wounded more than 50 during an 82-second rampage in Westminster last week, demanded both his daughters become Muslims and don the veil.

    Older sister Andi, now 24, converted to Islam six years ago and left her mum, Jane Harvey, and sister, Teegan, behind at their home in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, to move in with her dad and his new partner in Luton, Bedfordshire, about 35 miles north of London.

    They later moved to Birmingham, where Andi is said to have been persuaded by Masood to cover herself in a burqa.

    She is also reported to have changed her name to an Arabic one.

    But younger daughter Teegan resisted her father’s demands to give up her Western lifestyle.

    The teenage beauty posed for the camera in a revealing backless dress at a prom night in May last year for soon-to-be graduates of Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School.

    She had earlier come under pressure from her father to convert to Islam after she turned 16.

    Her mother, Jane, managing director of a chemicals company, fought desperately to prevent her younger daughter from joining her father.

    Luke Lawrence, 23, close friends with Andi at school when she lived in Northiam, East Sussex, with both her parents and sister, said: “Jane was totally against the idea and wanted Teegan to remain with her.

    “But Andi was older and could be very headstrong, so she just went off and did it anyway.”

    Luke said Andi was popular and attractive and he couldn’t understand why she had gone to live with her “nutter” dad.

    Masood had changed his name from Adrian Elms after converting to Islam while in prison awaiting trial for an alleged knife attack in 2003.

    Luke said: “Andi was a lovely girl, but when she moved away to become a Muslim, she cut off contact with her friends here.

    “She went off to live with her dad after he converted her. I’m not sure why she went with him, he was a nutter.

    “Teegan stayed with her mum.”…

    Andi is still living in Birmingham, where one friend of mum Jane said: “She wears a full face veil and I think she has changed her name. It was her father who had helped convert her.“He wanted the younger daughter to convert, but Jane was against it and there was quite a family struggle.

    “I know Jane was very upset and wanted her to stay at home and continue her studies.”…


    London jihad murderer was receiving welfare checks

    Australia: Muslim leader says people who leave Islam should be put to death

  34. Australia: Child brides reported in New South Wales every two weeks, child marriage “significantly underreported”
    By Pamela Geller - on March 27, 2017


    Muhammad’s favorite wife was all but six when he married her, nine when he consummated the marriage.

    As Robert Spencer has explained:

    Few things are more abundantly attested in Islamic law than the permissibility of child marriage. Islamic tradition records that Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, was six when Muhammad wedded her and nine when he consummated the marriage:

    “The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)” (Bukhari 7.62.88).
    Another tradition has Aisha herself recount the scene:

    The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age. (Bukhari 5.58.234).
    Muhammad was at this time fifty-four years old.

    Marrying young girls was not all that unusual for its time, but because in Islam Muhammad is the supreme example of conduct (cf. Qur’an 33:21), he is considered exemplary in this unto today. And so in April 2011, the Bangladesh Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini declared that those trying to pass a law banning child marriage in that country were putting Muhammad in a bad light: “Banning child marriage will cause challenging the marriage of the holy prophet of Islam, [putting] the moral character of the prophet into controversy and challenge.” He added a threat: “Islam permits child marriage and it will not be tolerated if any ruler will ever try to touch this issue in the name of giving more rights to women.” The Mufti said that 200,000 jihadists were ready to sacrifice their lives for any law restricting child marriage.

    Likewise the influential website Islamonline.com in December 2010 justified child marriage by invoking not only Muhammad’s example, but the Qur’an as well:

    1. The Noble Qur’an has also mentioned the waiting period [i.e. for a divorced wife to remarry] for the wife who has not yet menstruated, saying: “And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women, if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated” [Qur’an 65:4]. Since this is not negated later, we can take from this verse that it is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a prepubescent girl. The Qur’an is not like the books of jurisprudence which mention what the implications of things are, even if they are prohibited. It is true that the prophet entered into a marriage contract with A’isha when she was six years old, however he did not have sex with her until she was nine years old, according to al-Bukhari.
      Other countries make Muhammad’s example the basis of their laws regarding the legal marriageable age for girls. Article 1041 of the Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran states that girls can be engaged before the age of nine, and married at nine: “Marriage before puberty (nine full lunar years for girls) is prohibited. Marriage contracted before reaching puberty with the permission of the guardian is valid provided that the interests of the ward are duly observed.”

      According to Amir Taheri in The Spirit of Allah: Khomeini and the Islamic Revolution (pp. 90-91), Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini himself married a ten-year-old girl when he was twenty-eight. Khomeini called marriage to a prepubescent girl “a divine blessing,” and advised the faithful to give their own daughters away accordingly: “Do your best to ensure that your daughters do not see their first blood in your house.” When he took power in Iran, he lowered the legal marriageable age of girls to nine, in accord with Muhammad’s example.

      “Child Brides Tell Us Assimilation Isn’t Working,” by Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, March 25, 2017:

      Another sign that we cannot assume that we assimilate immigrants from the Middle East, or that their culture is benign.

      “Muslim” or “Middle East” are not mentioned, but I am sure we can take it as read:
      A child bride is reported to NSW authorities every two weeks, prompting calls for an urgent inquiry into under-age forced marriages.

      Four of the reports of under-age marriage were made to the NSW Family and Community Services (FACS) this year, which has joined with police in asking an Upper House inquiry into human trafficking to expand its scope to include child brides.

      Another 20 reports were made last year, 39 in 2015 and 26 in 2014, although police and FACS said numbers are “significantly under-reported”.


    2. Nothing 'hypothetical' about any of the above.

    3. What do you think, Quirk ?

      At what age should a young tender ewe be allowed to be tupped by a grizzled old smelly ram ?

      Whether she wishes it so, or not.

      This is not a 'hypothetical' but a matter of serious import in many parts of the world, especially to the young tender ewe involved.

      Ought she not have some say in the matter, like the option of legally refusing the advance ? Or the option of applying herself to child protective services ?

      Why would we wish to invite people from such a 'culture' into our country ?

      Or do you accept it as perfectly allowable and normal human behavior ?

      Do you wish to condone this type of behavior by allowing people that practice it into our country ?

    4. A cogent answer, and not your usual smartassery, is mandatory.

      Your answer will be graded by the usual long standing point system.

    5. .

      Bob, you are a crude, ignorant old man. I can imagine the smile on your face as you wrote about ewes being 'tupped'. You are a bigot and a racist. We have seen both here over the years. You're ignorance covers a lot more sins but in this case that ignorance is also illogical as you indulge in the fallacy of 'the undistributed middle term' (look it up).

      It looks like you didn't even read the articles you put up. Spencer himself talks about how the practice was widespread in 'those times'. It wasn't just in those times. And it wasn't just among Muslims. Bolt says the practice is 'under-reported'. In fact, it's underreported around the world and not only among Muslims. So is rape and sexual abuse and FGM.

      The Quran? Try looking up statements from the Bible. Hell, look at New York. A girl can be married there at 14 but she can't get a divorce until she is 18, by law. There is a lot of shit that goes on in the world that is disgusting. The fact that you concentrate solely on Muslims shows what a bigoted shit you are.

      You want to talk sexual abuse look at what the tens of millions of Dalit women in India endure daily. FGM is widely practiced throughout Africa, the ME and Asia. It's a cultural not religious practice. It's practiced among Muslims, Christians, practitioners of spiritualism, all groups. The biggest percentage use is among the Kurds, one of your favorite groups. Yet, you center only on Muslims.

      You put up instances of these kind of shitty practices and project them onto all Muslims, all 1.6 billion of them. That is illogical.

      Do you wish to condone this type of behavior by allowing people that practice it into our country ?

      This too is an illogical statement but why explain it too you. A bigot doesn't require logic. They are ideologues and facts mean nothing to them.

      If you want to eliminate all cultures where you can find incidents of this kind of shit and then project the sins of the minority on the entire population, you will end up stopping immigration from most of the world. Before you do that, you might want to read up on the studies that have been run on how widespread child sexual abuse is here in the US.

      From now on keep your shit to yourself.


    6. I love it when you get frustrated, Quirk !

      Your wife must love the display too, or she would have skeedaddled away from your ignorant arrogant bullshit decades ago.


      Good meetings today.

      Things below budget and ahead of schedule....


  35. Donald Trump’s scary environmental plan
    Eric Reguly
    The Globe and Mail
    Published Tuesday, Mar. 28, 2017 10:51AM EDT

    In the late 1970s, fresh out of high school and keen to finance a university degree, I spent a year in mining camps in Northern Ontario and Northern Manitoba. I remember great heaping portions of potatoes and steak in the mess halls, shower water that ran yellow with sulphur, and armies of young men. In those days, mining was back-breaking work that required lots of employees doing lots of walking, shovelling, pushing, drilling, driving and fixing.

    Three years ago, I visited Dundee Precious Metals’ Chelopech gold and copper mine in Bulgaria, and I couldn’t believe the difference from my teenage year in the hole. The WiFi-enabled underground mine was an automated technological wonder. Thanks to machines and real-time data, output per employee has tripled since Dundee took over in 2003. Those productivity gains are why tech-savvy mines around the world are getting rid of people. The old jobs are never coming back—ever—even if production soars.
    Which brings us to U.S. President Donald Trump. States where coal is king—Wyoming, West Virginia and Kentucky—voted heavily for him last November. He vowed to revive a moribund industry and put miners back to work. “We’re bringing [coal] back, and we’re bringing it back fast,” the Orange One assured voters.

    And how would he do that? By diluting or killing the environmental regulations forcing mining companies and other big polluters to clean up their acts.

    Trump’s various wars—on regulation of all types, on migrants, on global trade and so on—have the power to inflict enormous damage on the liberal democratic order. But the fallout from most of these wars could be contained if he is voted out of office in 2020 or if the House of Representatives and the Senate turn Democratic in 2018’s midterm elections.


    1. The war on environmental regulation, however, has the potential to produce lasting damage, even if Trump and the Republican Congress are sent packing. Waterways and forests poisoned by mining waste cannot be magically restored. Power plants given fresh licence to spew out pollutants and carbon dioxide cannot be scrubbed up quickly or cheaply if the rules are tightened up again. Animals that go extinct if Trump dilutes the Endangered Species Act won’t become unextinct if the act is restored.
      On the coal front, one of Trump’s very first acts as president was to sign a repeal of the Stream Protection Rule—a “job-destroying” regulation (his words) passed during the Barack Obama era. In essence, the rule said coal companies could no longer wreck streams by tossing debris into valleys after ripping the tops off mountains to expose coal seams. But the Republican-controlled Congress quickly passed the repeal in February.

      Trump’s next target may be Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce carbon emissions from power plants (many of them coal-fired) by 32% from the 2005 level by 2030. If the plan is killed, the carbon-reduction commitment America made at the 2015 Paris climate change conference would fall apart, rendering the whole Paris Agreement rather pointless, since the United States is the world’s second-biggest carbon emitter.

      One of the great myths of Trump’s deregulation crusade is that it will produce jobs. Employment in the American coal industry has been declining for more than three decades, but the slide has had little to do with regulation, and everything to do with automation and competition from vast quantities of cheap U.S. shale gas, the preferred fuel of the new fleet of electricity-generating plants.

      In recent years, the fall in the number of coal miners has exceeded the decline in production. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal industry employment dropped 12% in 2015 to 65,971 workers, while production fell 10.3% to 900 milllion tons, a three-decade low. That’s because hourly production per employee climbed by 5.4%. The machines will keep the productivity gains intact.

      How many jobs did the Stream Protection Rule itself kill off? Precisely zero. The rule was passed in the dying days of the Obama administration and had yet to come into effect.

      The gutting of environmental regulation could even destroy American jobs by slowing the transition to renewable energy, which has been an employment machine. The International Renewable Energy Agency reported the workforce in the U.S. solar business alone expanded at 12 times the overall job creation rate in 2015.

      Trump’s new man at the Environmental Protection Agency is Scott Pruitt, who, as Oklahoma attorney general, sued the agency more than a dozen times. Pruitt is convinced environmental regulations are the enemy of employment. As the environment gets dirtier, he and his boss will be proved wrong.


  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. .
    Trump World: Alt- right Reality in an Alt-right Dimension

    Part 1: Donald Trump a Fascist? Oh yeah!

    Characteristic 5 of 14: Fear of Difference

    According to Umberto Eco…

    …disagreement is a sign of diversity. Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks for consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.

    This one should be, as they say, self-evident. I will merely mention a few examples so as to fill up a little space.

    Trump’s campaign began with a rather weird and prolonged attack attack on Mexicans and other immigrants. He followed that up with his call for and a promise of a Muslim ban. Then, as is his wont, he retweeted figures from a ‘fake news’ site listing phony black on white crime statistics from a non-existent source.


    Add to that that his endorsements from David Duke, KKK, and white supremacist groups and, well…

    Trump’s campaign messages were designed for the poor sods who instinctively feel rather than think.


    1. .

      The next section will be...

      Trump World: Alt- right Reality in an Alt-right Dimension

      Part 1: Donald Trump a Fascist? Oh yeah!

      Characteristic 6 of 14: Appeal to a Frustrated Middle Class


    2. This should be a Shit Award Winner !

      It's what people do in a democracy, appeal to frustrations....

      Today, in the USA, the middle class is feeling frustrated - too much taxes, morality breaking down, on and on....

      The Democrats lost the last election because the DIDN'T appeal to the frustrated middle class....

      And one of our two resident morons, Quirk, calls it 'fascism' when the Pubs win....

  38. Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly apologized Tuesday for saying he had a hard time concentrating on California Rep. Maxine Waters during a speech because he was distracted by her "James Brown wig."

    O'Reilly said that his jest about her hair was dumb. "I apologize," he said in a statement.

    He had made his statement during an appearance earlier on "Fox & Friends," after a clip was shown of the Democratic representative speaking in the House of Representatives. O'Reilly, as he watched, appeared to mouth the words "right on" and give a clenched-fist salute.

    After the clip, he said, "I didn't hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig." Fox's Ainsley Earhardt defended Waters, saying O'Reilly shouldn't go after a woman's looks.

    O'Reilly also said that Waters, who is black, should have "her own sitcom."

    In his apology, O'Reilly said that "as I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs."


  39. .

    Rep. Nunes' Big Adventure

    Events as best I can reconstruct them from memory (and this is tough as the story changes by the minute)...

    - Last week Nunes get’s a text while riding in an Uber car with a staff member.

    - He has the car stop and gets out with no explanation to his staff member.

    - Later reports say he went to the White House and was shown some documents.

    - Though this White House no longer keeps visitor logs neither Nunes nor White spokesmen when asked have been willing to deny these events happened.

    - After seeing the documents, Nunes calls the press in and announces he has seen documentation that shows names of American citizens that were picked up during legal wiretaps of Russians were passed among various intelligence agencies without the names being redacted. Nunes cries foul.

    - After his presser, Nunes goes back the WH and informs the president of what he has seen.

    - He fails to share the information with the minority leader on the intelligence committee or any other members of the committee. The Dems then cry foul.

    - Nunes when asked about the unusual sequence of events, said he thought the president should know 'because of all the news reports that had been circulating around him'.

    - When asked if the matter of the names in any way affected the FBI’s investigation of Russian attempts to influence the investigation or Trump’s claims about Obama, Nunes said no. When asked if the presidents name was mentioned in the new files, Nunes said ‘It’s possible’.

    - When asked for clarification, Nunes said he didn’t actually have the documents but would have them by Friday or at the latest over the weekend. He said he would share them with other committee members when he received them.

    - Trump announced he felt partially vindicated. This despite the fact that the new documents in no way affected his charges against Obama.

    - On Friday, Nunes announced he was going to have a hearing on Tuesday. Nunes said he would hold a hearing at which Manafort, Stone, and others had volunteered to testify. He was also planning on holding a hearing with Clapper, Brenner, and Sally Yates testifying. He also said that he planned to have a hearing where Comey and Mike Rogers would testify. All the hearings were to be open.

    - He then mentioned the all the hearings would be closed. Then, that the first two hearings had been cancelled.

    - Now, reports are that Comey and Rogers have declined to testify again until the committee gets its act together.

    - As of today all committee hearings have been cancelled for the rest of the weeks.

    - As of today, none of the committee members other than Nunes has seen any of the documents and don’t know when they will see them.

    - There have been calls for Nunes to recuse himself from the Russian/White House investigations similar to what Jeff Sessions did.

    Question: What the heck is going on?

    Question: Nunes was part of the Trump transition team. Did he happen to see his name among those documents?

    Question: Who in the White House allowed him to see those documents?

    Question: Who authorized it?

    Question: Is Nunes incompetent, corrupt, or just butt-boy for Trump?


    1. .

      s/b...Russian attempts to influence the election...


    2. Nice summary Quirk! I've been trying to follow the story and I must say I've found it quite confusing....bad smell about it too!

    3. Then there is the developing story of Kushner's meeting(s) with the Russian Bank that was under sanction...

      Trump and team seem to each be paired with at least one Russian connection.

  40. I keep hearing Hillary and the Dems gave a good proportion of our uranium resources to the Ruskie for contributions to The Clinton Foundation.

    Your two boys may be pissing up the wrong tree.

    Wouldn't be the first time, and certainly not the last.

    What's tough is trying to recall a time when you two fascist racist mooslim loving jew hating bozos weren't pissing up the wrong tree.

    I will forever recall when Quirk showed his true colors....in that post that criticized ALL things Jewish, and Israeli....

    Quirk is actually nothing but an ignorant Polish Catholic of the worst sort, and he let it out in that post.

    I wish I had copied it down.

    I am telling you the truth. It was uber disgusting.....

    The mooslims in Hamtramck have vowed to 'first show the Poles, then everybody else'.

    I do NOT wish this to happen.

    It's the kind of crap Quirk might pull on the Jews after a long drunk and a long uncomprehending New Testament read....

    1. I think what I am trying to say here is:

      Go fuck off, Quirk.

    2. You sniveling little lying prick !


  41. .

    Nunes News

    House intel panel chief Nunes says he will not divulge his sources


    After weeks of having Nunes, the GOP, and the White House whine about 'leaks' and how they are all and how they are going to bring our republic down, Nunes says he won't say who 'leaked' those documents to him.

    It appears all those other claims of leaks may have been false flags generated by the White House.

    It also appears 'there are leaks and then there are leaks'.


    You can't make it up.


    1. .

      ...and how they are all illegal...


  42. .

    Trump World: Alt- right Reality in an Alt-right Dimension

    Part 1: Donald Trump a Fascist? Oh yeah!

    Characteristic 6 of 14: Appeal to a Frustrated Middle Class

    Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old “proletarians” are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority.

    - Umberto Eco

    During the campaign Trump efforts were centered on trying to convince the disappearing middle that he was the only one who understood them and could reverse their declining fortunes.

    The following links are a few of many out there that define the problems being experienced by the middle-class in the US.




    Trump tried to harness the frustration and fears of this group by blaming their problems not on globalization, not on technological improvements or productivity gains, not by changing markets or any other factors that they had no control over but rather by asserting that the lifestyle they had enjoyed in the past was being taken away from them by various immigrant groups. He argued it was the ‘others’ who were getting good ‘American’ jobs not the people who had a right to them by birth.

    Trump learned his lessons from the Dems who for decades promised the poor and middle class everything but when push came to shove gave them zip. With no basis in fact and no plan and no chance of success, he promised to bring back good paying middle class jobs, manufacturing jobs, coal mining jobs, etc. and to restore social mobility and reverse the trends in income disparity.

    To a class that was shrinking and that was looking at the poor, a class they had previously viewed with either pity or contempt, and fearing they would soon be joining that class, it was a tempting story. It provided hope where they had none before.

    Unfortunately, as we have seen, Trump’s spiel was all bullshit and bubblegum.

    From Kali Holloway, a writer at Alternet

    ”Trump, who immediately began hiring entrenched members of the Wall Street and Washington establishments he ran against and whose policies will largely benefit the very wealthy, took a page out of a Democrat's book with this approach: "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket," President Lyndon B. Johnson famously stated. "Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

    Trump likes to keep things simple. He would likely simply say, ‘There’s a sucker born every day.’


  43. A read for SMIRK'n'QUIRK, the two truly dumb fuckers remaining here, Rufus and ratass having vacated the field -

    Squaring the Surveillance Circle: The entire Trump-collusion-with-Russia narrative has now descended into incoherence.

    The Russian Farce

    by VICTOR DAVIS HANSON March 28, 2017 4:00 AM @VDHANSON

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/446148/russian-farce-trump-collusion-hysteria-diverts-attention-surveillance-scandal

    A long article, which will more than challenge....overwhelm is the word....their attention spans....

    Back to some breaking news on Fox....


  44. .

    The next sessions will be...

    Trump World: Alt- right Reality in an Alt-right Dimension

    Part 1: Donald Trump a Fascist? Oh yeah!

    Characteristic 7 of 14: Obsession with a plot, possibly an international one


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