“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, September 18, 2006

Are These People The Same As Us?

A very interesting opinion piece in the Telegraph. This would not have appeared a year ago. Progress is being made in western thinking.

From the London Sunday Telegraph


(Filed: 18/09/2006)

The Pope quotes a barbed medieval criticism of Islamic violence in the course of a scholarly discourse, and Muslims all over the world go into uproar; churches are firebombed. The Prime Minister's wife delivers a playful slap to a cheeky teenager, and six detectives rush to question her.

We are living in a world that has lost not only its sense of proportion but also its ability to discriminate.

In the case of Cherie Blair – who aimed a slap at a 17-year-old fencing champion while both of them giggled – it is hard not to conclude that it served her right. In her role as a trendy human rights lawyer, she has helped foster the nosy paranoia that led the Child Protection in Sport Unit to call the police. That said, however, Mrs Blair was clearly guilty of nothing more than a sense of humour.

By contrast, it is not immediately apparent how much blame to attach to Benedict XVI for the worldwide furore over last week's lecture. On reflection, the answer must be: not very much. Presumably, the Pope regrets quoting the Byzantine emperor's opinion that aspects of Islam were "inhuman". Moderate Muslims have been upset by it, and Benedict reiterated yesterday that he was sorry that they had taken offence. But he is even more sorry that this offence has been exacerbated by the deliberate manipulation of his words by Islamic firebrands and their slick media operation.

The combination of grievance-nurturing multiculturalism and instant headlines is having a disastrous effect on the worldwide Muslim community. There seems to be no limit to its spokesmen's willingness to voice outrage; and their messages are then picked up by fanatics who mount appalling attacks on Christians in Muslim countries. When was the last time a Muslim leader apologised for such atrocities?

The truth is that barbaric attacks happen weekly. No wonder that Benedict favours an urgent dialogue with Muslims on the subject of religious violence, rather than the usual touchy-feely exchange of compliments.

Well, he has started a dialogue now, albeit not quite in the way that he intended. And it is essential that it continue. A self-abasing apology from the Pope would have postponed that discussion yet again.

We suspect that Western public opinion is not displeased that Benedict has said the unsayable. Now it is time for other churchmen to tell their Muslim counterparts that, in addition to dishing out criticism, they must learn how to take it."

UPDATE, (more from Telegraph)

"Police find martyrdom videos and bomb parts
By Duncan Gardham

(Filed: 22/08/2006)

Eleven people were charged yesterday in connection with an alleged plot to blow up transatlantic airliners as police revealed that they had found suspected bomb-making equipment and martyrdom videos.

Eight are accused of conspiracy to murder by planning to smuggle the components of bombs on to aircraft, assemble them and detonate them.

Anti-terrorism officers said that since the arrests on Aug 10 they had found potential bomb-making equipment, including hydrogen peroxide and electrical components.

They have also recovered martyrdom videos of the kind left behind by the July 7 bombers Mohammed Siddique Khan and Shezhad Tanweer. Police sources said that airline tickets had also been found."..


  1. No, they are not the same as us.

  2. Westhawk speaks of Warizistan, intelligently.

    They even quote doug, without attribution, well thay say what doug's been saying, about US moving aQ 200 Km east, and then claiming Victory

  3. KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- A suicide bomber on a bicycle attacked Canadian troops handing out candy to children in southern Afghanistan on Monday, killing four NATO soldiers and wounding many others, officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast. ....

    MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Two explosions rocked the Somali town of Baidoa on Monday, claiming the lives of four people in a plot to kill the president, a government spokesman said.

    A car bomb exploded outside a hall where President Abdullahi Yusuf had given a speech just 10 minutes before, said Mohamed Adawe, a local journalist who witnesses the explosion. The other blast happened nearby, he said.

    Four people were killed and six were injured, said Shino Moalim, a government official.

    "This explosion was intended to kill the president but he escaped and he is safe," said Abdirahman Dinari. Baidoa, 150 miles from Mogadishu, is the only town controlled by the country's virtually powerless government. ...

    BAGHDAD, Iraq -- An American sailor assigned to the Marines died after being wounded in Iraq's restive Anbar province, the U.S. military command said Sunday.

    The sailor, who was assigned to the 1st Marine Logistics Group, died Saturday "form wounds sustained by enemy action," the military said in a statement.

    No further details were available, and the military did not release the name of the sailor pending notification of next of kin. ...

  4. NEW YORK and CHICAGO, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- (RCP) today announced a content partnership with, in which the RealClearPolitics Blog ( will be hosted on a co-branded page on

    Yesterday FOX News, today Time,com.

    Professionals at blog, laying a strong foundation and then cashing in on the hard work. Those boys have been at it for over seven years, always with very polite responses to email inquiries.

  5. Now their real work has just begun.

  6. French President Jacques Chirac refused on Monday to criticize the 79-year-old Pontiff, but called for a more diplomatic use of language.

    "It is not my role or my intention to comment on the Pope's statements. I simply want to say, on a general level ... that we must avoid anything that excites tensions between peoples or between religions," Chirac said on Europe 1 radio.

    "We must avoid making any link between Islam, which is a great, respected and respectable religion, and radical Islamism, which is a totally different activity and one of a political nature," Chirac added.

  7. What's weird 'Rat, is I got that from someone else, but there has been such a long period of silence on it in the MSM AND Blogs (except Michael Yon) that I forgot where I read it. can Bloggers be regarded as serious followers of the war when they have persistently avoided Warizistan for YEARS?
    Optimism Trumps Reality.
    Sorry, not down w/that.

  8. Yon and Westhawk, more lately Rogio, and our own Steve,
    Gotta read him again.

  9. Whit,

    How do we link up with some of the other sites? do they want us and do we want them? We do not want advertising at all. Any thoughts from any quarter appreciated.

  10. doug,
    The fact that the General President backs the Taliban and has 48 nuuclear weapons, why that is just not polite talk.

    May upset the moneymen in Nuevo York, to learn that vast swaths of the Pakistani countryside is in the hands of the Mohammedan Army.

    But the Indians will handle it for US, in Warizistan, rest assured.
    Much like the Sauds and the Jordanians have a handle on Iran and Syria.

  11. For over 60 years the Indians have not dealt, successfully, with the challenge in Kashmere, but lo and behold, tomorrow they'll have a handle on it. A decisive handle, at that.

  12. The admission of the existance of Mohammedan nukes, not yet ready for Prime Time. It does not fit the Master Plan, so ignore them, they'll go away.

    The essence of the Bush Doctrine, outlined in '02, fleshed out in reality since.
    Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil.
    Except per the "Master Plan".

  13. In Anbar, Iraq many tribes decide to take on the Insurgents:

    “We held a meeting earlier and agreed to fight those who call themselves mujahedeen,” Mr. Rishawi said in an interview today. “We believe that there is a conspiracy against our Iraqi people. Those terrorists claimed that they are fighters working on liberating Iraq, but they turned out to be killers. Now all the people are fed up and have turned against them.” ...

    ...Mr. Rishawi said the 25 tribes counted 30,000 young men armed with assault rifles who were willing to confront and kill the insurgents and criminal gangs that have torn at the fabric of tribal life in Anbar, dividing members by religious sect and driving a wave of violent crime.

    “We are in battle with the terrorists who kill Sunnis and Shiites, and we do not respect anyone between us who talks in a sectarian sense,” said Mr. Rishawi, the leader of the Rishawi tribe, a subset of the Dulaimi tribe, the largest in Anbar Province. Half of the Rishawi are Shiite and half are Sunni Arabs, he said.

    Mr. Rishawi said the insurgents counted about 1,300 fighters, many of them foreigners and backed by other nations’ foreign intelligence services, though he declined to say which ones. ..."

    @ Threatswatch

  14. Whatever the Pope now says, he has made his point. Or should I say, Islam has made it for him. Something of a stroke of genius, it may well be said.

    One little line was all he said,
    To turn Mohammed on his head.

  15. To rufus's list I'd add
    The Belmont Club
    Winds of Change

    but to do well the blooging enterprise does become something that rufus does not want to acknowledge, a JOB.

  16. OT,
    Whit I do not know how to do what Rufus suggests, but I like the suggestions. I changed the setting so that you have full administration privlages. Do your magic and put your site at the head of the pack. It is a damn fine sit as well.

  17. DR,
    You have my belssing to get into the posting game. And Allen.

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

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

  20. To be truthful, my computer work, the PC Inet stuff, is all done with hired help.

  21. don't forget Maggie's Farm -- a thoroughly delightful blog, always a surprise.

  22. Scott Smith, president of the company's newspaper unit, Tribune Publishing, seemed to dismiss the idea of a sale of the L.A. Times in an interview with the Journal. He told the paper he sees the Times and its staff as a central source of content for other Tribune Co. newspapers.

    But the Journal reports that Eli Broad, philanthropist and founder of insurer SunAmerica, and supermarket magnate Ronald Burkle, recently sat down with representatives of the Chandler family and their investment bankers to discuss how they might structure a deal to purchase the Times from Tribune. However the paper reports people close to the Chandlers said these talks didn't go far.

    In addition, entertainment industry mogul David Geffen made his own separate, informal, all-cash offer to buy the Times, according to people familiar with the situation.

    In response to all three overtures, Mr. FitzSimons wrote a letter saying the board had decided unanimously to not discuss the transaction "at this time," according to a person who saw one copy.

    Newspapers are still profitable; the Journal reports that the L.A. Times has an operating profit of 20 percent. But they are under pressure from declining readership and advertising revenue as they face competition from new media sources, such as the Internet.

    Tribune stock is down nearly 40 percent since the end of 2003. The company took on debt to finance a $2 billion share buyback earlier this year to try to help share price, a move that was opposed by the Chandler family trust.

    The Tribune Co. is not alone in seeing sharp share price decline over the last 12 months; No. 1 newspaper publisher Gannett Co .has (Charts) seen its stock fall even more sharply, dropping more than 20 percent in the last year, while the New York Times (Charts) has lost nearly 30 percent in that period. Shares of Journal publisher Dow Jones Co. (Charts) and the Washington Post (Charts) are also sharply lower.

    Knight-Ridder, one of the nation's largest newspaper companies, was acquired by The McClatchy Company (Charts) earlier this year under pressure from shareholders to sell its assets to make up for share price declines there. Since that purchase, McClatchy has sold off several former Knight-Ridder papers, some to local ownership groups.

    CNN via Drudge

  23. rufus--thanks--a LOT. That's the finest piece of news I've read in a long time. Publius is right, this IS big.

    Soros-watchers, save this link-rich Maggie compendium of Soros, for sometime when you're in the mood for a bad taste.

  24. The inner circle of US allies is the Anglo-sphere. It consists of the obvious. Australia, New Zealand, England, Canada, The US and to some degree Japan. I had dinner with a group of eleven from The US, Australia and the UK. The group consisted of four ex-military, three of whom were WWII vets. One member was a founding partner of what was then the big eleven accounting firms, two owners of an aircraft company and another an investment banker. All were conservative in every sense of the word in philosophy, political affiliation and core beliefs. All lived at one time in the US and all did business with the US. The conversation was wide ranging but generally about the position of the US in the current world. It was very sobering to hear and discuss with the most natural of US allies, opinions thoughtful, well intended and worried about the US position in the world. The opinions were interesting:

    1. There was not one person that had anything higher than quiet contempt for GWB. When asked about the best president since WWII, it was Reagan and Truman. One for Kennedy and one for Eisenhower. All agreed Carter and/or Bush were the worst. Clinton was not taken seriously.
    2. US prestige is at the lowest point since WWII. All agreed the world is a far more dangerous place than at any time since the end of the Cold War and to some degree possibly more dangerous. Islam was perceived as the root cause of the danger.
    3. Most believed that there would be no peace with Islam as long as there was no peace between Palestine and Israel. Most believed the US was the only country that could bring that about.
    4. The majority felt that Muslims that did not wish to assimilate should not be in the West. Most believed they should be prohibited from further immigration but none had a solution to force the present group out.
    5. Political correctness is on the way out.
    6. There is concern about Iran, but skepticism that an Iranian nuclear weapon is as dangerous to the West as claimed by Washington. To my mind, the Iraq war has severely hampered the US
    7. Iraq is a total disaster and need not have happened. It was felt that it is a problem the US will have to solve.

    Now for the Good news. The good news is that all this can be quickly repaired because Europe is getting it and they know that Europe and The US cannot exist without one another. They want us to know it as well.

  25. 2164, what are your own feelings about that, that the jihad is due to israel, and if israel disappeared, all would be well with Islam? I'm just wondering what the Brits know that we don't know.

  26. rufus, I said it first--i just have a slow internet connection.

  27. "Deuce, they lost me right there."...

    3. Most believed that there would be no peace with Islam as long as there was no peace between Palestine and Israel. Most believed the US was the only country that could bring that about.

    I dissented and said it is not proven that the cause of the turmoil was the Palestinian/Israeli issue. They did think it to be the major cause. This is probably wishful thinkng on their part because while the Palestinian/Israeli issue is fixable, the greater Islam versus the West is not. I argued that it would be useful to get that resolved but that it would have no affect on the greater Islamic problem. I proposed my NATO and EU solution for Israel. The Australians liked the idea, because tehy are not a nuclear power by choice and have the faith that their nuclear deterrent is provided by the US. They felt that Israel should have the same confidence in the US.

    I do want to emphasize the positive in this. The whole PC was treated with contempt, and they are all hoping for the day when the US is back in charge. No one thought the EU would ever be able to replace American leadership. No one liked Blair or Chirac or Schroeder.

  28. Agree #3 is something other than rational thought, although the US could have improved the situation many times by staying the F... Out.
    5. Political correctness is on the way out."
    Any examples, evidence, opinions would be appreciated.
    I feel large swaths of younger folks have been pretty badly brainwashed here.

  29. rufus said...
    "6. There is concern about Iran, but skepticism that an Iranian nuclear weapon is as dangerous to the West as claimed by Washington.

    This didn't get them any points, either. IMHO"

    This is an interesting view. They believe that the US successfully stood down The Soviets and that the combination of sanctions and a certain complete response to Iranian nuclear aggression would force change within Iraq. They did not think Iran having nuclear weapons was a good thing. They thought it was inevitable and the threats to attack Iraq premptively would not produce results better than was accomplished in Iraq. They felt that a guaranteed US response to nuclear aggression by Iraq along with sanctions would likely result in a regime change in Iraq. I have an interesting post for tomorrow that will enlarge on European thinking regarding Iraq.

  30. Hi Doug,
    see Rufus earlier...

    rufus said...
    What's going on, here? First, the Swedes elect a center-right government, and now French TV is Telling the Truth about Cuba.

    1:07:18 PM

  31. There is such a thing as a 500 euro note. That is $640. The note is almost impossible to counterfeit, not so withe the greenback c-note. Dope dealers know the real deal.

  32. Don't forget Yon on the Blogroll.

  33. Poor Benedict XVI just doesn’t understand Islam. What could he have been thinking?

    Learn About Islam, Mufti Tells Benedict§ion=0&article

    “Abdul Aziz said Muhammad had never chosen war as his first option. “He gave three options: Either accept Islam or surrender or pay tax and they will be allowed to remain in their land, observing their religion under the protection of Muslims,” he explained.”

    Now, doesn’t that clear up the misconceptions of the RoP fostered by the Pope? I know I feel better.

  34. Looking at that Picture again just gave me a brilliant idea:
    Special Ops puts Warfarin in all their goat's milk, and they all bleed to death.

  35. B-1 Bob says there are abridged editions of the Koran in this country w/all the nasty stuff taken out.

  36. Well, he did steal part of it from the Bible, so some of that might have made the cut.
    Bob also reminded us that there were 384 deaths at the end of OIF.
    The occupation of Peaceful Muzzielands acounting for enough to top 3,000.
    Also said 40% of Bombs were dropped by his baby.
    The four year old girl going for her first plane ride (happened to be black) was driven to airport by her dad who worked at the Pentagon.
    Worse than any movie plot.
    Never Forget.

  37. It's too bad that Canuck named Jimmy was repulsed by a flippant Comment and never posted again at BC.

  38. A 500 euro note takes up roughly the same amount of space as a $100 bill. So ya get six times the efficiency with yer dirty-money hauling.

  39. At least with the Euro, you can be sure it did not come from a press in North Korea.

    As faith in the greenback fades, like the ink, so will the dollar, as a standard of value.

    Drug dealers are in the vanguard of those that need to know that what they see is what they get. It is a bad omen, when criminals do not want your script

  40. For the same money, your suitcase full of $100s can be a briefcase full of Euro 500s. Or your cargo-ship of the one can be a motor-lauch of the other. Or...

  41. AJ Strata is a good one:

    Protecting Terrorists, Not Americans

    What these people are saying is they think we common Americans, us little folks without top dollar security, should die for their ideas of a perfect world, enshrined in the pure and perfect words of the Geneva Conventions.

    The only sad thing is we have to have this discussion. It should be obvious innocent American lives are worth more than conventions that have been ignored the entire time they have been in existence.

    Addendum: By the way, I need to point out to McCain and others who are demagogueing this issue and playing with our lives that the vageuness of that language in Article 3 allows cultural differences to be an excuse to torture our soldiers. As my brother pointed out yesterday, it is common practice in many Muslim countries to cut off the hand of a thief. This is not considered inhumane or unreasonable.

    By enacting clear legal guidelines of Article 3, we are actually defining what we, America, deem off limits in interrogation. Contrary to the ‘logic’ we hear from McCain and Graham (who both agree we defined Article 3 for the military interrogation efforts, just not the CIA’s) the current vagueness actually puts are soldiers at risk to more sadistic interpretations. These folks are obviously posturing for 2008 (and losing from the start in my opinion) because they have not thought out clearly what they are saying. When pols use poll tested phrases to frame an issue logical debate can pretty much shred them if they have not been ‘logically’ tested. This seems to be happening here.
    Those calling for more rights for terrorists, even if it means Americans dying in terrorist attacks, are not thinking clearly on too many levels to point out.
    Corn Caught Lying To Himself

  42. More importantly, buddy, the Euro is puro, not the object of an asymetric war.

    The conflict is fought on many fronts, success and failure plain to see, when seen from a desert perspective.

    All the old cultures appreciate the vison quests of the desert dwellers, from OZ to AZ, from Old Testiment to New Age.

  43. Your Louis Farakahn can be the Mothership.

  44. Those wingnuts at Power Line are obsessing about Dr. Rice’s attempted resuscitation of the Arafatian “land for peace” model. It seems that the promises Dr. Rice received from her EU counterparts respecting support for Iranian sanctions were not bullet proof, after all. No, the EU demands more.


    "For the Arab moderates and the Europeans, some sense of progress and momentum on the Arab-Israeli dispute is the sine qua non for them to cooperate actively with the United States on the things that we care about…"

    "That means an active policy on the Arab-Israeli dispute is an essential ingredient to forging a coalition that deals with the most dangerous problems."

    “The link between a peace process for Israel and preventing Iran's mullahs from obtaining a nuclear weapon is novel for both America and the Jewish state. Ms. Rice herself has boasted over the last two years of Europe's commitment…”

    A similar report appeared in this morning’s UK Telegraph. They are such goof-balls!

  45. Speak for yourself, Rufus, mine are packed tight when I put them on in the morning.
    (Like Algore's Famous)

  46. What if we just give up all the Joos in America so we can have eternal peace with the ROP? pbui
    C-4 will outline the benefits.

  47. the 10 and 30 yr bond yields are still showing good green paper. It's government growth, about 185 times in the last century, that steadily bleeds the greenback. But so long as the rate is predictable and low, FX traders can "mark-to-market" re purchasing power, and this plus safe-haven political culture [relatively that is; & to-date, anyway] means the bottom ain't likely to fall out.

  48. BTW, Folks:
    Threads like these with lots of links and short descriptions are my FAVs.
    Maybe put the Information Blender and Force Multiplier on the blogroll for variety.
    ...just to keep in touch with the Masterplan tm.

  49. Flyin' with Allah, on the way to part the Red Sea.

    All the prophets soar on the wings of angles, doug.

    The Stairway to Heaven

    What makes Calypso's version so weird, compared to Joe Smith's , Joan de Arc's or even Mohammed's himself?

    Freudian tale, to go to the mothership

  50. Yeah but the Mothership has a gas leak.

  51. I was not impugning vision quests, since I is a walking jabbering one:
    It was a play on Bud's how many briefcases, motor launches etc can carry a greenback dollar to timbucktu.

  52. check this out, Oh, Desert Seer:

    (the Plains Dwellers, too, got heap big medicine)

  53. Iranian as well as Afghani drug dealers are not "marking to market", buddy.

    They got a call though, from their cousin Mohammed, in the Tri-Corners region of South America.

    Seems that along with that along with the last load of Korean AK's came $20 million USD, in $100's.

    He thought they'd want to know.

    Just one more reason why those NSA Programs are so important.

  54. doug; 3:08:34 PM

    re: C4

    Without question, someone at State has already worked up the contingency plan.

  55. buddy larsen,

    re: drug money

    Could the currency switch by the cartels be a leading indicator of something big and destabilizing on the way?

  56. caramba, Mahmoud, de steenkin ink still WET on dese honnards

  57. "She turned the disrespectful man into a pile of bones, and gave the respectful one a pipe and taught his people rituals and music."
    Yet some here claim wymin ain't given a fair chance.

  58. buddy,

    re: PS: drug money

    I'm thinking along the lines of Poindexter's "discredited" futures model.

  59. No, allen, that would mean there was a world wide conspiracy against the US.

    That folks "in the know" would be shorting the dollar, dumping their reserves.

    Like drug dealers tuned into the transnational information network.
    And the Iranians

  60. I know how to raise a Blue Gill, but what's a Buffalo Call sound like?

  61. I think it's two things--one, the cartels handle the funny money, too, and need the psychological comfort, and the actual physical size of a note six times more value than a comparable-physical sized scrap of paper, is important for smugglers. but as far as the counterfeit itself destabilizing the dollar in real terms, nah, our near-negative real rates from 2002 to 2005, and the "carry-trade" from Bank of Japan creating even more easy money, poured more greenbacks into circ by a jillion times than the NoKo presses. My guesstimation. remember, Los Chinamens hold dollar, no likee too much NoKo funny money.

  62. Don't forget AQ's trade in Diamonds.

  63. There seem to be alot of things that the Chinese do not like about North Korea.
    But they do not want millions of Koreans heading north, looking for food.
    Young Kim has lots of latitude, as long as he keeps the lid on.

  64. buddy,

    re: Admiral Poindexter

    You recall that the Admiral was run out of town for “trivializing” national security. The model he recommended is sorely needed. He had few friends at the time.

    For those counting, I respect Admiral John Poindexter.

    Meet America's New Big Brother

  65. Sounds like a James Bond movie, doug, War diamonds & North Koreans. We add as dash of Mohammedans, and it's a movie no one will make. We'll have to change the Mohammedans to drug running Texicans.
    No big deal, we'll call it a docudrama.

  66. and, too, the Euro is a brand new currency, and is beginning to compete in all markets as a "mature" currency for the first time, in the last year or two. that said, rat is right about the anti-greenback conspiracy--Putin and the Russians are very upfront about wanting to be "another choice" as world-banker. France likes it, too, as they fear the Anglo combine, Pound & Dollar. There are some big money states and people globally on record as intending--and executing--moving a few percentage points out of Dollar. The big reason is rates of return, tho, not fear of crash. The central banks look at SocSec and what DC is doing about it, and are sending that plain as day signal. but, point, the Dollar is a Massive Iceberg, and these things are little cocktail icecubes.

  67. You could carry as much on cocktail icecubes in Euros as you could Dollars the 10% of the Iceburg that...

  68. The "Dollar Index" most-watched is the USDX, and yoiu can see its chart just type in USDX. Shows movement as weighted ag the major mature currencies. We're pretty stout, all in all, for this stage of the bus cycle.

  69. doug, sorry, i shouldn't've reminded you of cocktails this early in day. go bite on a thick leather belt--it'll help, and will also stifle the screams.

  70. Where's the fun in that storyline, buddy?
    No adventure, no foggy nights down at the docks. No speed boat chases across the Gulf.
    We'll never sell your movie!

    Mine has Spec Ops raids on frieghters plying the high seas, a clandestine mission to London that ends in murder & suicide.
    Bank fraud and even the chance of Papal intrigue.

    With Freemasons, and their affiliate, the Skull & Bones, in the background for the sequel.

  71. No, I'm not talking about counterfeit currency. Rather, there is a clear connection if not identity between illicit drug trafficking and terrorism.

    Moreover, a safe haven is a safe haven only so long as it is safe. Social unrest from massive illegal migration, not to mention a major terrorist attack, could undermine the long held belief in America's stability. To paraphrase Everett Dirksen, “A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”

  72. LOL, rat--you're right--life needs a good dose of drama or it ain't no fun--

    you should try short stories for your friend's Tufus West Magazine.

  73. It all goes back to the Knights Templars vs the Mohammedans.

    The Knights Templar had to go "underground" forming the "Freemasons", who founded the US, to continue the battle, before going underground again as Skull & Bones.

    Now that movie, buddy, will sell
    Verifiable plausibility, it cannot be fully denied.

    A conspiracy that fits every ones preconcieved notions, better than the DaVinci Codes!

  74. it was "billion", not "trillion", Allen.

    And no matter how unstable the USA is, everywhere else will be more so, is the "safe-haven" thinking.

    Anyway 'safe haven' is more about property law than it is about street strife.

    Tho as you say it's all connected sooner or later, in the end.

  75. There was a Knight's Templat movie a year ago, pretty good, saw it on CD. The map to the Templar treasure was on the back of the Declaration of Independence, and Nicholas Cage found it!

  76. Bob has not wanted to do low budget docudramas, though the idea has crossed the mind.

    Video in the class room and all that. There will be more and more capacity for video. In ten years the market will be totally different, the networks definately revamped, like the major daily papers. They are in the vanguard, of the old line media's collapse.

  77. As Inet technologies advance, the revenue streams of the old line groups will dry up, moving into ever more targeted niches. Some of the companies will morph and migrate, others will not.

  78. Perhaps I'm an ungrateful American, but I'm sick of holding up the only useful help we get as some kind of great gift, simply because everyone else is even more unhelpful. The less we expect of our allies, the less we get. We got 10,000 troops from an entire continent, and a few thousand from Canada, along with a hell of a lot of media and diplomatic problems from people like Chretien and Martin.

    As of a few years ago at least, Canada spent the least amount on defense of any country in NATO save Luxembourg. They still play domestic political games over such things as ABM, when frankly it costs them nothing to help us, because we pay all the costs.

    Australia and Britain have helped us greatly, altogether - Canada, no.

  79. And any plan that relies on peace between the Israelis and Palestinians is dead on arrival.

    People should get over it and move on. Not everything's in our hands.

  80. link One sobering example from a teacher patient of mine (a fellow who uses the subjunctive properly), who told me on Friday that the public schools in MA no longer teach grammar. It's too difficult for the kids, and it's elitist!

    Right up the alley, for those classroom videos.

  81. DR,

    That why I said "paraphrase". And a billion dollars just isn't what it used to be. Given a doubling of the national debt during the last five years, old Everett is spinning in his grave.

    Since the US now has welcomed millions of our southern neighbors who question the very property rights you reference, the potential instability may already be systemic. We should know by 2008-2010, I would questimate.

  82. Why, cutler, the Canadians have lost, right about, 37 men in Afghanistan.

    Now that's 37 US troops that were not in the line of fire. Let US give thanks for that, at least.

    That is far more death than any other NATO ally has ponied up for.
    Before you can stand by your friends, you have to know who they are. Look around, there is no one else, but those that are there.

  83. You credit me for buddy's 3:59:31 work, allen.
    I take no offense, but will duck as you swing, so buddy takes the hit.
    I tend to agree with you.

  84. "Why, cutler, the Canadians have lost, right about, 37 men in Afghanistan.

    Now that's 37 US troops that were not in the line of fire. Let US give thanks for that, at least.

    That is far more death than any other NATO ally has ponied up for.
    Before you can stand by your friends, you have to know who they are. Look around, there is no one else, but those that are there."

    I see that as a reflection of our NATO "allies" (except Britain) more than Canada.

  85. Relatively, the Canadians are contributing significantly. But objectively, considering how many responsibilities we assume in the world, no, I don't think so.

  86. after Kelo, i feel not much like arguing the point.

  87. cutler,

    TigerHawk has up a good read on the disproportionality of Canadian casualties, citing raw statistics.

    As you may recall, Canada had a big stink a couple years ago about lack of airlift. There have also been questions about the quality and quantity of its other equipment. A study showing any correlation between Canadian logistics and causalities would be worthwhile. I have little confidence in the regurgitation of non-specific data, however.

  88. New assessment says Hizbullah lost up to half its fighting force
    Al Qaida provides most sober warning yet of major attack
    'Azzam the American', a convert to Islam who speaks English and 'can employ idiomatic phrases' warned Americans to either convert to Islam or share the fate of the 9/11 victims. AFP

  89. Do I think we should poke them until they withdraw even those? No.

    But do I think we should be happy with this meagre commitment, just because everyone else's is even more pathetic? No.

    Generally, I think people rise and fall according to expectations. That goes for education, responsibility, and alliances. Perhaps I'm wrong, just my view.

  90. My apologies to both DR and buddy. That darned Viagra and bifocals just don't mix. Decisions. Decisions.

  91. How many Canucks are there in Canuckistan?

  92. That AutoFelatio Joo Guy that Sausage Pointed out has the same problem:
    Can't see over his member.
    Sucks to be Supermen.

  93. Allen rises and falls w/Viagra.

  94. All of the NATO countries, cutler, all of the World.

    We have the most of everything, but men.
    We spend, by far, the most.
    All the others combined do not come close. It is how we have wanted it, up to now.

    Japan is disarmed for a reason, as is Germany. All of Europe has disarmed. All by design, not chance. Their militarys are now border guards & policemen.

    Should that giant be reawaken?

    Duece just got back from a fact finding trip, to Europe. He'll give a full report, I'm sure.

    Mr Putin thinks so,
    The Cossacks Ride!
    the Cossacks' motto --
    "Surrender life to motherland, soul to God, and honor to nobody!"

  95. Hey 'Rat:
    How closely related are Zebras to Horseies?
    They look a hell of a lot more durable than Barbaro.
    Sposed to eat just about anything too.

  96. It is my understanding the Zebras, like feral burros, are worthless.

    Less than worthless is what burros are, they destroy the flaura, killing off the local fauna, like big horn sheep.
    Shoot a burro, save a Big Horn.

  97. to small, to mean.
    They're not like ponies, which were selective bred for work, but more mean/ wild spirited.

    Never heard of one being successfully domesticated for breeding. Looks like they trained some for the movies, but that would be ones and twos, at most. Like Gazzelles or lions and such.

    More than that, ask an African!

  98. Give those boys rifles, do not waste their time with camels!
    There is a Jihad to fight!

    Mr al-Sistani will tell them how to clean themselves, later.

  99. I forwarded that to Starling, of course.

  100. You're forgiven, Allen. just promise me that if i'm ever again in one of your bifocals-and-viagra mixups, that I'm way outta arm's reach.

  101. They'll get instructions on cleaning later like we'll get the Masterplan.

  102. How many Canucks fit on a 500 Euro Iceburg in the Persian/Arabian Gulf?

  103. Starling is from Africa?
    or he's going to arm up those boys?
    Just cause he's there, you suspect him?
    Not our Starling, he's our part of the solution, what would he know about zebras, anyway?

  104. "It is how we have wanted it, up to now.

    Japan is disarmed for a reason, as is Germany. All of Europe has disarmed. All by design, not chance. Their militarys are now border guards & policemen.

    Should that giant be reawaken?"

    Throughout the Cold War, we asked the Europeans to increase their defense spending, and take a load of the burden off us. They reacted then as they are doing now, doing only what they want, knowing that we'll have to deal with the problems anyway. Then relying on wishful thinking towards detente and delusions of moral grandeur to rationalize it.

    Europe disarmed to this point was never in our plans, we never willed them into self-effacing pacificism. Indeed, even worse than pacificism, cause I suspect a large number of them would certainly fight, only against us.

  105. Think we could get those boys to shoot the zebras?

  106. Dad spent some time in Tunisia, with Shell, in the 50s, and told me that it was something how the Arabs still use the 2000 yr-old Roman-ruin crapper facilities, only now without the Roman running water, and without the Roman sponge-on-a-stick cleanup. Used the left hand, instead, and thus they never touch each other with that left hand.

  107. But cutler, just because it is not by US design does not mean there was no design.

    Europe does not study War no Mo'
    Just what they wanted. That they got US to pay for it, that is on US, not them.

    I agree that the Europeans and Japanese do not carry their fair share of the load. Neither do the Mexicans or Brazilians.

    But US defense spending, as a % of GDP is at all time lows, we do not feel threaten either, obviously.

  108. I believe it was Mr Webb who steered US to a 200 ship Navy, or am I mistook on that?

  109. buddy,


    Sad case.

    Oh, I wasn't taking a swing. If I gave that impression, pardon me. Where did I hang those bifocals?

    The currency business is fascinating in light of a story I read earlier in the day of a teacher in New York, who swears that two of her pupils, Palestinian lads, knew a week in advance of the attack on the WTC.

  110. allen,
    Just trying to add some polite spice today.

    Editorial license as it were.

    Now than whit is puttin' us in the big leagues, linked up to the heavy hittin' big dogs of blogland.

  111. Seers, them Palistinian kids must had been on a vision quest.
    See! See!

    Those kids could foresee the future! It's geographical, I'm tellin ya! Gotta be!

    There couldn't have been, like, a conspiracy... could there?
    Nah, vision quest, that's the ticket to the truth.

  112. The week before 911, some Russian lady economic official was advising her coterie to pull their money out of the USA markets, that a "continental attack" was brewing. I'll see if I can find the story.

  113. I put in a store of emergency rations for the Cat 2 months before 9-11.

  114. But that Cat 2 never came:
    A Mere Tropical Depression.

  115. They had one in that Iranian Gulf, also:
    Amir Tropical Depression.

  116. Yes, buddy, but no.
    It should have been "a 1,000 ship Navy" not 200 and Mr Lehmann. Not Mr Webb, at all.

    Google reagan navy 200 ship secretary to do a little come back research, and the sixth link takes one to a most interesting story, from 1999, at WorldNetDaily. Anchors away: The late great U.S. Navy
    "...Is there any hope with Bill Clinton presiding as commander-in-chief for two more years? And what about those politically correct admirals who continue to collect their paychecks and passively take their cues from a president who still seems to loathe the military?

    "The time has come for the admirals to take the lead in educating Congress and the public regarding the strategic and operational requirements that drive the Navy's needs," Webb says. "Indeed, it is past time. They didn't fight for 600 ships. They didn't fight for 400. They have been telling their sailors that a 300-ship Navy is fine, while they may be on their way to 200."

    He's right. But don't hold your breath waiting for career officers to speak out in defense of their country. After all, even if Bill Clinton is an impeached, corrupt, disgraced, draft-dodger, he's still the president

    Mr Webb, he looks all the more interesting.

  117. right, Lehmann was for building *up* the navy, after Carter.

    Your link does bring up the sour memory of Clinton's relationship with the military. I often wondered how much the uniform services could take, psychologically-speaking. but I guess the institution can always wait out a bum.

  118. I'll try and find the Clancy book on Carriers.
    He was complimentary to somebody for makin that the goal.

  119. Leading! La. 2nd district
    » Rep. William J. Jefferson (i)
    WTF! What about the money???
    ...and Libby still under the Gun.

  120. Love this bar!

    Spengler has a new post up featuring the Pope's statement that's got the muzzies in a tizzy -

    It's Wretchard's site and his rules, but his blog is the poorer since runnin' this roudy crowd out. I used to stop in everyday but haven't been back for quite some time.

    Will step back to the peanut gallery and watch y'all sling some serious shit.

  121. Thanks for the compliment Phil.
    I know you mean it for the others, though, since I make a point of maintaining Decorum and Correct Thought.

  122. DR,

    re: World Net and Webb

    Obviously you have to take Mr. Farah with a grain of salt. He is a clown, clearly obsessed with general officers (admirals). And how can a has-been like Mr. Webb dare suggest that admirals advocate for their nation and their seamen. Webb is just pulling that "shit out of his ass", to paraphrase the global strategic expert of the EB, von Trish. A genuine patriot would never dare say:

    "The time has come for the admirals to take the lead in educating Congress and the public regarding the strategic and operational requirements that drive the Navy's needs,"___ Webb

    No, DR, force levels, logistics, and morale are best left to the real pros like Trish. Flag officers have careers to groom, you know.

  123. You're just jealous 'cause you don't know what comin next in the Masterplan.

  124. This is WOWA!
    More Money for free Viagra!

  125. phil g,

    Yeah, thanks. But you must be confused, Doug and I are the Friedman sisters of blogging.

  126. doug,

    re: This is WOWA!

    What, the Borer War? Or is that Boarer War?

    Yah, I need to get my magic decoder ring from the Pentagon. I would like clarification of the Great Unifying Secret Master Plan.

  127. 2164th,
    Habu and Tater answered "YES"
    To the title of this post,
    and have taken up residence in Karbala.

  128. Tater looks so cute wielding that Whip.

  129. Squandering Victory
    The CPA had the power to enact laws, print currency, collect taxes, deploy police and spend Iraq's oil revenue. It had more than 1,500 employees in Baghdad at its height, working under America's viceroy in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, but never released a public roster of its entire staff.

    Interviews with scores of former CPA personnel over the past two years depict an organization that was dominated -- and ultimately hobbled -- by administration ideologues.

    "We didn't tap -- and it should have started from the White House on down -- just didn't tap the right people to do this job," said Frederick Smith, who served as the deputy director of the CPA's Washington office. "It was a tough, tough job. Instead we got people who went out there because of their political leanings."

  130. Mumble…Mumble…Arrgh…X5u8#!frats!!!!



    Man with gun crashes through Capitol barricade

    “An armed man ran through the hallways of the U.S. Capitol after crashing his vehicle on the Capitol grounds Monday…”

    “[T]he man was tackled outside a basement office after leading police on a chase through the building.”

    Tackled! Tackled!

    Why are we buying these people guns?

  131. WTF?

    Aljazeera took a poll on Iran getting nuclear weapons and guess what!

    "Are fears over Iran's nuclear ambitions justified?

    Yes : 51%
    No : 49%

    Number of pollers : 27044"

    If that ain't a WTF, then WTF is a WTF?

  132. has anyone ever seen a uglier-looking shithead than Hugo "fathead" Chavez? he uuuugly, ugly. looks like the ass end of ugly. uglyuglyugly.

  133. I have seen uglier and I have seen shittier but I accept defeat in not being able to recall the combo in either order. there are two t's in shittier?

  134. "Are fears over Iran's nuclear ambitions justified?

    Yes : 51%
    No : 49%

    Number of pollers : 27044"

    I voted. :)

    For which one though, I will not tell.

  135. BTW Desert Rat, the reason I was so adamant about saying it wasn't US intentions to create a pacified Europe is because I've seen a number of Conservative Europeans who sympathize with us, but then throw up their hands and say "you did it."

    In reality, we organized a military alliance. It was Euro-socialism that created the pacifist new-EU man.

  136. It is pathetic though that even people who sympathize with us blame us for their predicament. Noone's responsible for anything anymore, unless you are George Bush or America.