“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."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Your Move George

In the continuing drama of Vladimir testing George's tolerance for anal trauma, the Bear is changing the rules again.

"Russian bear ready to maul Western oil majors
By Andrew Osborn in Moscow and Michael Harrison in London
Published: 20 September 2006

The biggest Western investment in Russia to date - the $20bn (£10bn) Sakhalin-2 oil and gas development off the Siberian coast - was plunged into further turmoil yesterday after the Kremlin said talks over Gazprom taking a stake in the project had stalled.
The bombshell came as Shell, which is the lead company in the project with a 55 per cent shareholding, faced the very real prospect of being stripped of a key environmental licence for its development of Sakhalin-2, throwing the future of the entire project into uncertainty.
Shell has been in talks with Gazprom for more than a year about swapping 25 per cent of its interest in Sakhalin-2 for a half share in one of the state-owned Russian gas company's onshore fields in central Siberia. But yesterday, Gazprom said the talks with Shell over a possible asset swap were off."


  1. It's very clear:
    "The message is fairly clear," Chris Weafer at Moscow’s Alfa Bank said recently. "The state wants to restructure Sakhalin-2. They've tried the carrot, and now they are trying the stick."

  2. The Other Hydrogen
    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa alternative fuel engine manufacturer has reached an agreement with an irrigation pump maker in California to make the world's first ammonia-powered irrigation pump system.

  3. already parts of Hawaii run on pineapple rum

  4. The pope's point, clear enough to everyone but people who riot for a living, is that reason and truth are under siege, and he wants to rescue them and put them once more to work in the public arena where reasonable truth-seekers can argue, debate, dispute and contend, and depart with their scimitars sheathed.

    Certain old women among us, terrified of unsheathed scimitars, naturally counsel retreat, apology and escape.
    The danger, writes author Karen Armstrong in London's Guardian, the chief repository of British media squishiness, is that Islamic violence is merely a myth fed by papal indulgence:
    "We may even be strengthening [the myth] by falling back into our old habits of projection." The West, in this reading, bears the responsibility for Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon.

    There's a shrinking market for squishiness like this. The Australian minister for multiculturalism called his country's Muslim leaders in for tea on Sunday and -- speaking of rioting -- read them the act:
    "We live in a world of terrorism where evil acts are being regularly perpetrated in the name of your faith," said Andrew Robb, the minister.
    "And because it is your faith being invoked as justification for these evil acts, it is your problem. You can't wish it away, or ignore it, just because it has been caused by others."
    Unless the Muslims themselves do something about it, big trouble lies ahead for everyone. You don't have to be a prophet to see trouble coming.
    Pruden on Politics

  5. Rape and Pillage,
    No More Tillage!
    Terra Firma Rave.

  6. Has anyone checked Rufus's blood Ethanol level?

  7. Another from BC....

    "Db2m said...
    I thought 2164th's Elephant Blog was going to be a working alternative to a Belmont lockout, but the transported, transplanted belmont drunks have taken up their favorite topic again; sheep, goats, bestiality."

  8. I think db2m missed the point. he probably thought we were trying to lower the barriers against ridiculing the jihadis, when the truth is, we all want to bugger a goat.

  9. Chavez in NYC, calls Bush "el diablo" and Rice "la negrita".

    The devil and the little black woman.

  10. be hilarious if they started referring to Chavez as "hog-face".

  11. persian cucaracha and venezuelan hog-face, along with KGB-barbie and franco de gallenstein, are raising a mob and inciting it to riot, is all.

  12. oil homing in on 60, the three oil tics are nervously jingling their pockets about now, envying our influence with the KSA swing-producers.

  13. CNBC reporting just now that Hugo's UN speech was "much better received" than GWB's. Of course, the UN audience is "select". Chavez said, at the start, that from yesterday's GWB presence at the same rostrum, he [Chavez] could "still smell the smell of sulphur". Got a big laugh, says CNBC.

  14. at least he didn't beat the podium with his shoe, nor flash a pistol, nor speak for four hours, as have Kruschev, Arafat, and Castro (among other murdering trash who speak of "justice").

  15. 2164th; 11:14:03 AM

    re: "Db2m said..."

    Regular contributors to this site see Islam for what it is and not for what they wish it to be, unlike many at the BC. Misogyny, pederasty, and bestiality are the face of Islam. It is in that context that these things are spoken of here. That we do so with humor is spice to the stew. A stew, I might add, disgusting to refined tastes of poseurs and dilettantes.

    Those at BC often bemoan the lack of an Islamic reformation. In doing so, they display an appalling ignorance of Father Martin and the Reformation. Luther did not leave the Church; he was driven from the Church. And he was driven out for assailing what he saw as the Church’s deviation from its apostolic roots as defined within the Christian “Gospel”.

    Osama bin Laden is the current embodiment of the Luther of Islam. To bin Laden, the Islam officially sanctioned by the so called Islamic governments of the moment is a travesty and anathema. It is his mission to see Islam return to its roots as recorded by Islamic holy writ. Militant jihad is its foundation.

    It is not surprising to hear of the complaints of some BC correspondents to the rough and tumble found here. To them form is preferable to substance and theory to practice. Truth be told, an unvarnished Islam is one utterly incompatible with the liberal reality; something to avoided at all costs.

  16. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, too (in case anyone missed this earlier).

  17. Speaking of the clash of cultures, i.e. liberalism (BC) v. conservatism (EB), see:

    The real culture clash

    “As a student, Tolkien took part in debates over the looming German threat, but was still dismayed at the turn of events. According to Garth, "The Catholic professor responded that this war was no aberration: On the contrary, for the human race it was merely 'back to normal.' "

    “The rejection of this concept of normality in human affairs is at the core of liberalism.”

    “It is because the events of the last few years have reminded us that the world is still a dangerous place that there is so much angst on the left.”

    “[I]t is a fear that under the pressures of war, Americans will regain their former "bellicose" attitudes and adopt methods of war as ruthless as those employed by the enemy…”

    “They might even find a new determination to win -- which is not a politically correct attitude.”

  18. allen said...
    2164th; 11:14:03 AM

    re: "Db2m said..."....It is not surprising to hear of the complaints of some BC correspondents to the rough and tumble found here. To them form is preferable to substance and theory to practice. Truth be told, an unvarnished Islam is one utterly incompatible with the liberal reality; something to avoided at all costs."

    I do not do many "He saids", sort of fun, but I could not agree with you more. My goal when I first joined BC was to take the current euphemisms about Islam to the source, Islam. I bluntly stated Islam is the problem. It is beyond reformation. It is not as much a theology as it is an intellectual prison. There is no mechanism within Islam for correction as any change is heresy. There is no discussion, no compromise and no edict to change Islam. It is not an Islamic anything else. It is Islam. Islam is the problem.

  19. Having spent several hours trying to determine the odds of Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah, and the Autumnal Equinox falling on 23 September, I have nothing but the impression that the event must be rare. Any help with this would be appreciated.

  20. check this Kipling, from greginboise over @ BC:

    As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,

    I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.

    Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,

    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

    We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn

    That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:

    But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,

    So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

    We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,

    Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place;

    But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come

    That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

    With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,

    They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;

    They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;

    So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

    When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.

    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.

    But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,

    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

    On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life

    (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)

    Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,

    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

    In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,

    By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;

    But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,

    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

    Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew

    And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true

    That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four—

    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

    . . . .

    As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man—

    There are only four things certain since Social Progress began:

    That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,

    And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins

    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,

    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,

    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

  21. ok, i've read it three times and my hair is still standing on end

  22. i commented thus, @ ari's site:

    the persian is very, very clever, isn't he.

    but, the truth is, the rule of law, and justice, have *walked* in the west for a few hundred years already, and what's walking in persia is only the rhetoric of it.

  23. lol--hell, we'll get outta all this somehow.

    Some "blogger" pretends he's "Kipling," and endows him with Superhuman Intellect!
    Big Deal.
    Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,

  25. I looked it up--he wrote it--in 1919, the year my dad was born, and i think the year jack Dempsey took the title from Jess Willard.

  26. Now this is the Law of the Jungle -- as old and as true as the sky;

    And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.

    As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back --

    For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf,

    and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

    [From The Law of the Jungle, R. Kipling]

  27. "This lawlwess adminisration, torturing prisoners for five years, now wants a law so that it doesn't have to pardon itself on its way out of of office"

    Jerrold Nadler, Congressman from NYC, before the House Judiciary Committee today.

    Compliment him for helping teach Persian and Venezuelan terrorists how to curse us.

  28. Why do we need blood-sworn foreign terrorist enemies, when we have Democrats right here in River City?

  29. dese creeps come here to the land of free speech trying to top each other's riotous anti-USA inflammatory rhetoric, then go back home and kill/torture/imprison anyone who uses a small hint of the same kind of language back at them.