“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."

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Growing Iranian Influence. Where is Don Jorge?

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visiting Managua in January and President Ortega. I am not sure about the babe on the right.

There is concern about Iranian influence in Iraq. The Administration believes Iran is up to no good in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq. The Iranian student newspaper is reporting that Al- Maliki is going to visit Iran for some discussions with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

TEHRAN, August 1 (ISNA)-An Iraqi official said the Iraqi prime minister's three-day trip to Tehran would start on August 8.
"Nouri Maliki is scheduled to meet Iran's President, foreign minister and other officials," he added.
According to this official the accompanying board would consist of the related ministers to security, economic and political affairs.
Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will also have a trip to Iraq in the near future.

Yet, while our man in Iraq is preparing for his trip to Iran, the Administration has crafted a $40 billion dollar Middle East military aid package to counter that Iranian threat. We are spending another $10 billion a month in Iraq. But what about things closer to home? Real close.

There is a diaspora of Nicaraguan workers throughout Latin America and all US cities. Four hundred thousand are in Costa Rica alone. There are probably 300,000 in the US. Iran has been busy honing economic and political ties with Nicaragua. Do you think Iranian and Nicaraguan ties could possibly be a US security concern? If Iran delivers on their promises to Nicaragua, they will have a major source on converts to their cause. They will look like "family values at the border types", if you get my drift. Too bad Don Jorge doesn't get it.

Iran and Nicaragua in barter deal BBC

Iran is to help Nicaragua develop its infrastructure in return for farm products, according to a trade deal between the two countries.
Under the agreement, Iran will help develop a port and build houses and industrial sites.

In return, Nicaragua will export coffee, meat and bananas to Iran.

The two countries, which have strained relations with the US, have improved ties since Daniel Ortega became Nicaraguan President in January 2007.

Under the accords, Iran will fund a farm equipment assembly plant, four hydroelectric plants, five milk-processing plants, a health clinic, the building of 10,000 houses, and two piers in the western port of Corinto, government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo said.

Relations between the two countries have become close, with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visiting Managua in January and President Ortega returning the visit to Tehran in June.

But the US has warned Nicaragua that closer ties with Iran could harm its relation with Washington.

The US is worried about Iran's nuclear programme, and is also suspicious of President Ortega, who it bitterly opposed while he was in power from 1979 to 1990.

Perhaps Democratic senators, John Kerry and Tom Harkin can visit their old comandante buddy and find out, "What's up?"


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Last I heard, John *F* Kerry was slated to be biking in the Pan-Mass Challenge this weekend, a benefit for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
    90 Degrees 100 miles?

    Laura Ingraham will ride today, as well, for a total of ~190 miles!
    JFK2 opted out on the Sunday ride.

  3. It was while in Daniels country I learned thr phrase: "Payback's a Medivac".

    Old Fidel, Hugo, Daniel and los hijos de Salvador, MS-13.

    The trouble has just begun, the US has B-2s, named after States, like battleships. The foes, machetes y muchas gente, sin plata o esperanza, aqui en los Americas.

    Running B-2 operations in the City of Angels, doubt, after the Ramadi successes, that COIN doctrine will allow for it

  4. First Newt says the US is losing, Bill Kristol defers.
    Now Mark Steyn tells US the US is losing, incrementally, to the jihadi, Saudi jihadi.
    He can well speak for hinself

  5. Iran doesn't have the capital to deliver on these grand promises to Nicaragua.

    Somebody must be running a ton of money through Iran. Just as Iran uses surrogates like Hesbollah to make trouble someone is using Iran.

    Or the whole thing could be a load of BS.

  6. Daniel's little Nicoland, once a vibrant place is now a country where 80% of the people live on under $2 USD per day.

    This story in Salon describes Hugo's growing impact in Nicoland.

    When the alliance between Hugo and Abracadba is factored into the equation, at least two things stand out.
    1. It won't take much money to make an impact in Nicoland.
    2. At $75 USD per barrel and Hugo selling US a million barrels a day and the Iranians pumping around 4 million per day, there is no shortage of walk around money.

  7. It's obvious that Chavez and Ahmadinejad share the same goal of driving the Great Satan into the ground. Ortega, despite his "conversion" seems all too willing to accept a helping hand from our enemies but, a little money goes a long way in the third world. Historically, little of that money has "trickled down". Will these Nicaragua projects ever come to fruition and how much anti-Americanism will result from the Venezuelan-Iranian alliance?

    An article in today's paper says that an Oakland Black Muslim splinter group is suspected in the hit on a Bay area broadcaster. Just as there was a quiescent period just after the fall of Baghdad, the left is reconstituting itself with Chavez and Ahmadinejad leading the effort. Forewarned is forearmed. Will the US authorities do the things necessary to protect the United States. Will Congress take the steps necessary to ensure that the growing movement stays south of our border? Will the next President recognize that much of the world deeply resents the United States?

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  9. Then, hermanos, factor in China's ascendency in the World, to include the Americas.

    The Chinese also consume a large portion of that Iranian crude, along with the Japanese and our newest bestest friend, India.

    But, back to the Chinese, whose petroleum engineers are entering Venezuelan oil fields, who are building both the special refineries required to brew Hugo's black tar tea and the Panamax tankers needed to transit the Canal.

    Remember also, that Hugo just finance the constrution of a new refinery in Nicoland. Reported to "earn" $150 million USD per year. The question of the real meaning of "earn" comes into play, gross income or net profit? Only Daniel's brother will know for sure.

    If there are chiggers in the wood pile, bet they are from Shanghai.

  10. The shame with Nicaragua is that there are almost no Muslims in the country. Any corruption by Iran could be stopped with very little investment by the US.

  11. Central America, the evolving product of 200 years of "Gun Boat" diplomacy by the US.

    Two snippets from that Salon piece are note worthy
    despite Nicaragua's position as the region's poorest country, it has some advantages. The biggest is offering investors and tourists a safe place to put their money or spend their time. During a recent trip I made to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, nearly every conversation I had included a crime story. Since the peace accords in El Salvador and Guatemala, murder rates have soared. The number killed per 100,000 citizens reached 55 in El Salvador, 40 in Honduras and 37 in Guatemala. These compare with eight in Nicaragua and six in the United States.

    The other, which describes where economic progress could be made

    money could make a difference in stimulating small businesses, expanding an already growing tourism industry, and adding jobs to the economy. Or Ortega could use the aid to enrich himself and his friends -- it would not be the first time foreign aid ended up being squandered in Nicaragua.

    Which is why "foreign aid" that is not a private investment, in the IBEC / WalMart model, is bound to fail to achieve the desired goals.

    Look to Mr Abbas as the prime example of that, compare Gaza to Hong Kong or Singapore.

  12. amazing iran is going to finance and build 10,000 homes and a deep water port...

    let's all clap and embrace iran's fine construction record of building at qam....

    all of these things are actually funny, draining billions off of iran's wealth to provide for catholic poor...

    like all poor misguided countries they will take aid from whomever with smiles and hugs, then shove a blade into the chest of the donor when given a chance

    Sometimes those that SEEK to be top dog on pile don't understand that the view from the top is expensive and lonely...

    Let Iran spread it's wings, let the lines form to the left for all those seeking iranian money, who are their real friends?



  13. "...the left is reconstituting itself with Chavez and Ahmadinejad leading the effort."

    Ahmadinejad's got, what, about as much time left in office as Bush. And there's about as much warm feeling for the one as there is for the other, albeit for different reasons. In both cases, much depends on who comes next.

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  15. How could this be, in a country that NATO and an extended US contingent police?

    When the Taliban were in control of Afghanistan, poppy production was at an all time low. The US gains thhe wheel, charts a course to maximized poppy production.

    There a cause and effect deal going on, or is there a hidden agenda behind these wars of liberation?

    WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -- Afghanistan will produce another record poppy harvest this year that cements its status as the world's near-sole supplier of the heroin source, yet a furious debate over how to reverse the trend is stalling proposals to cut the crop, U.S. officials say.

    As President Bush prepares for weekend talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, divisions within the U.S. administration and among NATO allies have delayed release of a $475 million counternarcotics program for Afghanistan, where intelligence officials see growing links between drugs and the Taliban, the officials said.

    U.N. figures to be released in September are expected to show that Afghanistan's poppy production has risen up to 15 percent since 2006 and that the country now accounts for 95 percent of the world's crop, 3 percentage points more than last year, officials familiar with preliminary statistics told The Associated Press.

  16. The Europeans want, on the one hand, stiffer penalties, and, on the other, below-market alternative subsidization for poppy growers in a region both severely contested by the government in Kabul and lacking the infrastructure for lucrative substitutes.

    That doesn't even look good on paper.

  17. Iowa Republicans Are Not Thrilled With Presidential Field

    By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Sunday, August 5, 2007; A03

    As the Republican presidential candidates gather this morning in Des Moines for their fourth debate, Iowa GOP voters are expressing limited enthusiasm for the field of current and potential aspirants, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Their views appear to be a microcosm of GOP sentiment across the country and point to a wide open battle for the nomination.

    Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has emerged as the early leader in the campaign for Iowa. But his support is both soft and shallow, suggesting that the Republican race in the state, as nationally, remains extremely fluid.

    Just 19 percent of likely GOP caucus attendees said they were "very satisfied" with the field of candidates -- far below satisfaction levels among Iowa Democrats -- and poll respondents were badly fractured when asked to rate the candidates on political and personal attributes.


    Republicans will get to experience all the joy of the Democrats in the last Presidential election, when a lackluster and divisive candidate inspired the desperate battle cry, "Anybody But Bush!"

    It'll be Anybody But Hillary! We'll see how that works out.

  18. Not a word about nuclear, as Dr Wattenburg was stressing last night at KGO, which is the only way out.

    The way forward--tax those pesky oil companies.

    And plug in cars for the garage--with the juice coming from the coal fired or hydrocarbon fired energy plant. A net loss actually, according to Dr. Bill, my energy guru.

    "It's about the children."

  19. 'the idiocy of millions provides opportunities for the few'--o land of opportunity....

  20. "It's about the children."

    It always is, bob.

  21. FYI

    Daily Real Estate News | August 2, 2007
    Home Values for the Top 20 Markets
    The annual growth rate in prices of existing single family homes across the United States continued to decline for the 18th consecutive month in May, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

    Overall, the top 20 cities in the index declined 2.8 percent year-over-year, although five of the cities showed increases.

    Cities measured by the index where values have increased in the 12 months are Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Portland, and Seattle. Detroit continues to lead the metro areas in growth rate declines, down 11.1 percent from a year ago.

    Here are the top 20 metropolitan areas and the percent of change in their real estate values over the last year:

    * Atlanta: 1.7 percent
    * Boston: -4.3 percent
    * Charlotte: 7 percent
    * Chicago: -0.6 percent
    * Cleveland: -2.8 percent
    * Dallas: 1.8 percent
    * Denver: -1.4 percent
    * Detroit: -11.1 percent
    * Las Vegas: -4.1 percent
    * Los Angeles: -3.3 percent
    * Miami: -3.3 percent
    * Minneapolis: -3.5 percent
    * New York: -2.3 percent
    * Phoenix: -5.5 percent
    * Portland: 5.7 percent
    * San Diego: -7 percent
    * San Francisco: -3.4 percent
    * Seattle: 9.1 percent
    * Tampa: -6.7 percent
    * Washington, D.C.: -6.3 percent

  22. More FYI

    Daily Real Estate News | August 1, 2007
    Pending Home Sales See Biggest Gain in 3 Years
    The market is likely to stabilize in the months ahead, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ forward-looking indicator on pending home sales.

    The Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in June, was 5 percent higher from the downwardly revised May index of 97.5, but is still 8.6 percent below June 2006 when it stood at 112. The 5 percent monthly gain is the largest in more than three years, since a 6.1 percent increase was recorded in March 2004.

    Lawrence Yun, NAR senior economist, says it’s encouraging that the increase occurred in all four major regions of the United States. “However, it is too early to say if home sales have already passed bottom,” he says. “Still, major declines in home sales are likely to have occurred already and further declines, if any, are likely to be modest given the accumulating pent-up demand.”

    The index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed.

    What Happened Regionally

    Here’s a breakdown of what the PHSI showed across the country:

    * West: the PHSI increased 8.6 percent in June to 103.6, but was 5.5 percent below a year ago.

    * Northeast: the index rose 3.1 percent from May to 96, which is 2.4 percent lower than June 2006.

    * South: the index increased 4.7 percent in June to 111.6, but was 12.7 percent below a year ago.

    * Midwest: the PHSI rose 3.5 percent in June to 92.5, which is 8.2 percent lower than June 2006.

  23. The credit market is very jittery. Many of them 5 year fixed rate mortgages will be coming due, which will mean a doubling in the cost of those mortgage payments. More and more this is going to look like a buyer's market.

  24. Map of Current Fires

    If we get the big lightning storms that sometimes come in August with little rain, we're toast.

  25. From the pics McCall, Idaho, looks absolutely gorgeous.

  26. I was looking for a photo of Hugo y Daniel, when I came across this website

    Daniel Ortega, the Nicaraguan president, has accused the US of provoking a student-led protest in Venezuela against the decision of Hugo Chavez to force a private television station off the air.

    Ortega warned against "Yankee intervention" in Venezuela's affairs and said his government supported the Venezualan president's decision.

    "I see youngsters on the news marching and protesting ... They've been injected with hate," he said.

    "In Nicaragua, the Yankees took control of the people and filled them with hate," he said, with reference to the alleged US-backed 'Contra rebel' movement against the Sandinistas in the 1980s.

    Now granted the site is
    but if one scrolls down, looking for a foto de hermanos to utilize, there is another subject, two ladies that would not be dressed as they are, anywhere in public, in the Greater Mussulman Range.

  27. gives US the benefit of the doubt, against all reality.

    "... he said, with reference to the alleged US-backed 'Contra rebel' movement against the Sandinistas in the 1980s.

    Who ever said that are not fair and balanced?

    As there was quite a bit if real support given to forces of freedom in Nicoland. Provable well beyond the allegation standard, anyway.


  28. "... the Sacred Tree is found to be none other than the crossing point of the ecliptic with the band of the Milky Way. Indeed, the Milky Way seems to have played an important role in Mayan imagery.
    Schele demonstrates that it wasn't a Pole Star that the Maya mythologized in this regard, it was the unmarked polar "dark region" symbolizing death and the underworld around which everything was observed to revolve. Life revolves around death - a characteristically Mayan belief
    1) the well known end date of the 13-baktun cycle of the Mayan Long Count, which is December 21st, 2012 A.D. and

    2) the astronomical situation on that day. Based upon these two facts alone, the creators of the Long Count knew about and calculated the rate of precession over 2300 years ago. I can conceive of no other conclusion. To explain this away as "coincidence" would only obscure the issue.

    This 21 Dec '12 is also the solstice that year.
    Coinciding, many fear with a magnetic polar shift, leading to who knows what. The magnetic poles have shifted, in eons past, based on magnetic ore crystallization. studies in CO, I do believe.

    The "End of Time" 21 Dec 2012.

    Better buy tickets for the Second Coming, in Branson MO, it's a revival you know.

  29. TNT three part series.. "The Company"

    Trish doesn't know shit, never did.

  30. and Habu decides to weigh in with a self conceived pearl of wisdom - oh joy!

  31. Iran is up to no good....

    'merica, oh she's so pure and good...


  32. “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”

    Fascism, simply put, is a form of collectivism comprised of two principles: One being an authoritarian, and the other, a mass of subordinates. Together they form one collective body, which, for its self-protection, determines to consume, subjugate, or destroy that which is deemed foreign.

    That is your religion, Ash. Islam. Fascism. And that, in truth, is your real objection to America and Americanism.

  33. "'merica, oh she's so pure and good..."

    Ash. Please don't.

  34. Human rights activists estimate that there are around 70,000 skinheads nationwide. According to research by the Sova center, 37 people have been killed so far this year in racist crimes -- 24 of them in Moscow.

    Kozhevnikova said that number was up 22 percent from the same period last year.

    But most organizations agree that such crimes are still both underreported and too often not prosecuted.

    Russian Skinheads

  35. It is Mat but don't tell anybody. You and habu can both shut up about the countryside;) here and in Montana and Canada.

    There was a sheriff there years ago, back in the 50's, all of a sudden he lost his marbles and began shooting at folks around town, hit some too, saying 'the flatlanders are coming, the flatlanders are coming' meaning the folks from Boise. He was killed by his own deputies.

    One of the first true anti growth dudes.

  36. Whatever you may think of WorldNetDaily, they come up with some stuff. Bridge collapse? Blame NAFTA

  37. If you want to save the bridges, Bob, vote for Kucinich.

    Here are the key issues that Dennis stands for:

    -Creating a single-payer system of universal health care that provides full coverage for all Americans by passage of the United States National Health Insurance Act.

    -The immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq; replacing them with an international security force.

    -Immediate withdrawal from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

    Kucinich for Pres

  38. The reason to watch a show like The Company, habu, is a kind of morbid curiosity - to see how they got it wrong. You know, all those blatant, grating, comic inaccuracies and flamboyant stereotypes. The hokum that makes you wince, you know? That made YOU wince, habu.

  39. The leading Lebanese Shia cleric has called on all Muslims to form an Axis of the Good to counter American policies in the Middle East.

    "We see that there is a clear and dangerous attempt to change the type of conflict in the region from a conflict between the Arabs and the Zionist entity into an Arab-Islamic conflict or an Arab-Iranian conflict,'' said Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah on Sunday.

    He was referring to the recent move by the Bush administration which US statesmen claim is aimed at "uniting Arab countries against Iranian influence".

    Muslims Unity

  40. Good Grief, Sam--I liked it when I was a kid, and we took the 'ferry' if you can call it that, going to Walla Walla--meaning water water in the old lingo--over the Snake--where the old boy had the mules--when he took the float down about one mile, with four cars aboard, then we got off, after having used the current of the river to get us across, then the mules went to work, pulling it back up this side, to the cables, and then across, with the current, for the next load.

    I liked them days.

    It was like a triangle, on the river.

    Kuchinich is a new born. even my wife hates him.

  41. Neat story, Bob. My dad used to tell stories about rafting down the St. Joe as a kid.

    Just kidding about Kucinich.

  42. Sam, I may have misunderstood about Kuchinich. If so, I apologize. There are some things I like about the guy.

    I quess I am infuenced by my wife, who is from Ohio, and is very distrustful of all of them there.

    I simply have not looked at him very carefully, I admit.

    I got emotion too.

    I'll take a closer look. Thanks.

  43. No shit, Sam?

    Goddamn, a man I can talk to. Have done it too, but it pisses me off with the paved road.

    When I was a kid, we went up there many times, took two days on the old dirt road.

    I love that place.

    But I don't know who I would rather kill, the muzzies, or the morons at State and Federal who did it to the river.

    I have heard stories about Marble Crick, before my time, that would make you cry.

    But let's not cry, but go ahead and deal decently with what is left, and protect our democracy too.

  44. What's up with Brazil?

    When they had that airline disaster, the stories said air travel has DOUBLED since 2003!

  45. Surge in Immigration Laws Around U.S.

    Highly recommended, this one covers a lot of the issue.
    (with a NY Times/Ivy league slant, of course)

    Largest businessman requires English-only at his business, but calls those working for English-only in the village racist demagogues!
    Insists he is unbiased, as he pays assembly workers $7/hour, and veterans of 20 years $10/hour!

    Nobody, Hispanic or otherwise, that lives in a traditional setting appreciates 20 people living next door, along with their cars, men urinating outside (1 bathroom for 20 folks, remember) Spanish only, etc etc.
    ...a long time Hispanic resident asks a simple question:
    to wit:

    "She told me that across the street, there were 20 people living in a house no larger than hers, and that there were cars parked up and down the street and loud music late into the night.

    But why not enforce housing codes, she suggests, recalling that when they first moved here in the 1980s, code enforcers would ticket homeowners who had too many people living in a house.

    Too easy (racist) for modern multicult "American" Govt Employees.

  46. Yeah, he used to tell a story of having grandma (his mom) drop him and my uncles (his brothers) and their buddies in the middle of the deep woods for a few days. Just little tykes back then. They camped out, cut trees down, built their own raft out of them, and floated the river. Neat stuff.

  47. It just pisses me off Sam. When my wife and I came back from Ohio, we came through St. Regis, Montana, and over the mountains over the pass and down through the new road on the Joe. All the way to St. Maries.

    Sam, I am almost seeking death. I hate our goverment. Yet I still believe in democracy.

  48. They ruined it Sam, and it is unforgiveable. But you younger ones will have to figure it out.

  49. They put that road on the Joe, because of some payoffs, and I know it.

  50. Motherfuckers, I will go to the casino and sit with some old Nez Perce my age.

  51. I haven't seen that area (St. Joe river) in a long time, Bob. I think I've only been through there once when I was real little. I can imagine what you're talking about 'though.

    But I do get to Priest Lake often. Have been going there over the summer for years. Since real little. The immediate Priest Lake area still seems basically the same to me. Dad grew up there as a kid so we get over there often. Still have relatives and good friends of the family living on the lake there.

  52. Ah, the hell with it, defend the democracy, but have some damned good sense when you do.

    And drill Anwar if you want, but keep the rivers pure.

    I am telling you the morons ruined that great river for no good reasons other than jobs.

    Make nukes you good younger people, remember Dr. Wattenburg, it is yours now.

    But live!

  53. You're welcome, Bob. Thank you.

  54. I am not have made I myself clear. They made a big two lane down that beautiful river, for a political payoff. It is ruined now.

    Sam and I know what we are talking about.

    Really Nite, now.