“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."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Peace Full Al Gore, Nobel Winner. Next the Clintons.

Organizing for the Future.

Gore and UN panel win Nobel prize

The Elephant Bar predicted on Wednesday that it would happen. The first part was obvious since there was not much enthusiasm in Stockholm for either George Bush or Tony Blair. Now for the fun part. Will Gore make the carbon trek to The White House and paint it green? I wonder who will be his running mate? I think I know, but ain't tellin.

If we do but watch the hour,
There never yet was human power
Which could evade, if unforgiven,
The patient search and vigil long
Of him who treasures up a wrong.
- Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

Climate change campaigner Al Gore and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr Gore, 59, was vice-president under Bill Clinton and has since devoted his efforts to environmental campaigning.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change brings together the world's top climate scientists.

The Nobel committee said it wanted to help the world focus on the threat it faced from climate change.


  1. Will Gore make the carbon trek to The White House and paint it green?

    No, it is too late to get into the race, there is only about three months before the first primaries. Even Fred Thompson was pushing it. But I will grant you there is a big grassroots movement out there that wants to draft Gore.

    I wonder who will be his running mate? I think I know, but ain't tellin.

    Tipper. And they will do the 10K Fun Run.

  2. That does it. I'm going out and buying some algore offsets.

  3. So how can the Afghanistan conundrum be solved? In essence, there are two options.

    The first one--politically tempting but strategically dangerous--would be for the governments concerned to cave in to public pressures and to pull out of Afghanistan. In the short term, such a move, supported by large segments of public opinion in Germany, Canada, and elsewhere would defuse a situation that risks causing electoral defeat at the hands of disgruntled voters who no longer buy into the moral legitimacy and military necessity of the Afghanistan intervention the way they did in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.


    The second option is to go on the offensive and try to convince public opinion at home that the military mission in Afghanistan is a cause worth fighting for. Germany, for instance, just narrowly escaped disaster a few weeks ago when a group of Islamic terrorists (including two German converts), who were trained at al Qaeda camps along the Afghan-Pakistani border, were arrested before they could set off massive car bombs at Frankfurt airport on September 11.

    Afghanistan Conundrum

  4. The National Republican Congressional Committee released a statement calling the reasoning for shots "ignorant behavior" that is inexcusable and clearly exposes the "fundamental disconnect between the Democratic-led Congress and the rest of America."

    Rep. Tim Walberg, Michigan Republican, said Democrats should not be worried about health conditions at NASCAR events.

    "To suggest that vaccines are needed to attend NASCAR races is insulting to millions of hard-working Americans who love their country and the smell of burnt rubber," Mr. Walberg said.

    NASCAR Needle

  5. T,
    They will do the Entire Run with Al's Tongue down Tipper's throat, as she experiences Greenhouse Gas Free Multiple Orgasms.

  6. Doug: They will do the Entire Run with Al's Tongue down Tipper's throat, as she experiences Greenhouse Gas Free Multiple Orgasms.

    Doug, there should have been a Parental Advisory label on your post.

  7. Sorry,
    Forgot about the library crowd.
    My Bad.

  8. That does it. I'm going out and buying some algore offsets.

    Al Gore owns a stake in the offset company. I'm afraid all you're really doing is help him pay for his Lear Jet.

  9. Hey, SOMEBODIES gotta pay for the juice and upkeep on those THREE THIRTY TWO INCH WIDESCREEN MONITERS.
    He lives so close to the Laaand.
    Almost like an Alboriginal.


  10. All those books!
    Gee, he must be REALLY smart!

    Arafat and Algore, sittin in a tree, recycling Methane to save you and me.

  11. Al Gore could still file in New Hampshire, until some time in November, then ride the media wave to a sizable vote count.

    Whether he'll do that, another question entirely.

    In Iraq there are beginning to be articles that announce US success across the length and breadth of Iraq. Beginning to shape the "political battlespace" here at home. This one in Prospect Magazine, from the UK where the withdrawals are being spun as success, not defeat.

    Iranian-made rockets will continue to kill British and American soldiers. Saudi Wahhabis will continue to blow up marketplaces, employment queues and Shia mosques when they can. Iraqi criminals will continue to bully their neighbourhoods into homogeneities that will give the strongest more leverage, although even this tide is turning in most places where Petraeus's surge has reached. Bodies will continue to pile up in the ditches of Doura and east Baghdad as the country goes through the final spasm of the reckoning that was always going to attend the end of 35 years of brutal Sunni rule.

    But in terms of national politics, there is nothing left to fight for. The only Iraqis still fighting for more than local factional advantage and criminal dominance are the irrational actors: the Sunni fundamentalists, who number but a thousand or two men-at-arms, most of them not Iraqi. Like other Wahhabi attacks on Iraq in 1805 and 1925, the current one will end soon enough. As the maturing Iraqi state gets control of its borders, and as Iraq's Sunni neighbours recognise that a Shia Iraq must be dealt with, the flow of foreign fighters and suicide bombers into Iraq from Syria will start to dry up. Even today, for all the bloodshed it causes, the violence hardly affects the bigger picture: suicide bombs go off, dozens of innocents die, the Shias mostly hold back and Iraq's tough life goes on.

    In early September, Nouri al-Maliki said, "We may differ with our American friends about tactics… But my message to them is one of appreciation and gratitude. To them I say, you have liberated a people, brought them into the modern world… We used to be decimated and killed like locusts in Saddam's endless wars, and we have now come into the light." Here is an eloquent answer to the question of when American troops will leave Iraq. They will leave Iraq when the Iraqis, through their elected leadership, tell them to. According to a September poll, 47 per cent of Iraqis would prefer the Americans to leave. The surprise is that it's not 100 per cent. Who, after all, would not want his country rid of foreign troops? But if Iraqis had wanted government by opinion poll, they would have written their constitution that way. Instead, they chose, as do most people when given the choice, representative government.

    Now that the outcome of the war in Iraq has been decided, a common argument heard on Capitol Hill and elsewhere is about moral hazard: the longer we stay, the less incentive Iraqis have to get their act together. They will not achieve reconciliation or become capable of keeping order in their own country, because America is doing the work for them.

    This presumes that Iraq's elite is not trying on either front. That is nonsense. What is the basis for the presumption that Iraq's government is failing at political reconciliation? Parts of a 15 per cent minority have capped a 35-year reign of terror with four bloody years of a failed effort to drag historic injustices into the new era, and now the other players do not want to treat that failure like a victory. On a partisan basis, Iraq's governing coalition represents about 85 per cent of the country: almost everybody but some of the Sunnis. This means the Shia Dawa, SIIC, Sadrists and others; the Kurdish KDP and PUK; and various secular and moderate Sunnis. At the local level, the government is reaching out to the Sunnis. Federal money is being pumped into Anbar, and in Baghdad 30 Sunni mosques have been reopened, over half of them in the mostly Shia east. For all Iraqis' understandable complaints about corruption, the coalition, public services and safety, Maliki's government would win another big majority tomorrow.

  12. George W. Bush, Globalist
    By Patrick Buchanan

    Have the Bush Republicans ceased to be reliable custodians of American sovereignty? So it would seem.

    President George W. Bush began well. He rejected the Kyoto Protocol on global warming negotiated by Vice President Al Gore as both injurious to the economy and rooted in questionable science. He refused to allow the armed forces and diplomats of the United States to be brought under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

    But now President Bush is about to take his country by the hand and make a great leap forward into world government. He has signed on to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), which transfers jurisdiction over the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic oceans and all the oil and mineral resources they contain, to an International Seabed Authority. This second United Nations would be ceded eternal hegemony over two-thirds of the Earth. It is the greatest U.N. power grab in history and, thanks to George Bush, is about to succeed.

    Within the Authority, consisting of 155 nations, America would have one vote and no veto. However, we would pay the principal share of the operating costs, as we do today of the United Nations.

    In 1978, Ronald Reagan declared, "No national interest of the United States can justify handing sovereign control of two-thirds of the Earth's surface over to the Third World."

    Rejecting the New International Economic Order that sought to effect a historic transfer of wealth and power from the First World to the Third, President Reagan in 1982 refused to sign the Law of the Sea Treaty or send it to the Senate. Now, Bush, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., have resurrected this monstrosity and are about to ram it through the U.S. Senate with, if you can believe it, the support of the U.S. Navy.

    The rot of globalism runs deep in this capital city.

    What is the matter with Bush? What is the matter with the U.S. Navy? For the sea treaty grants us no rights we do not already have in international law and tradition -- it only codifies them. It siphons off national rights, national sovereignty and national wealth, however, and empowers global bureaucrats and Third World kleptocrats whose common trait is jealousy of and hostility toward the United States.

    Under LOST, if the United States wishes to mine the ocean or scoop up minerals from its floor, we would have to pay a fee and get permission from the Authority, then provide a subsidiary of the Authority called the Enterprise with a comparable site for its own exploitation with our technology. Eventually, the Authority would collect 7 percent of the revenue from the U.S. mining site, giving this institution of world government what the United Nations has hungered for for decades: the power to tax nations.

  13. "The power of the U.S. Navy, not some anonymous bureaucracy, has been the nation's guarantee to our access to and freedom of the seas. I can cite many maritime operations -- from the blockade of Cuba in 1962, to the reflagging of ships in the Persian Gulf, to our submarine intelligence-gathering programs -- that have been critical to maintaining our freedom of the seas and protecting our waters from encroachment. All those examples would likely have to be submitted to an international tribunal for approval if we become a signatory to this treaty. ... This is incomprehensible."

    U.S. warships today inspect vessels suspected of carrying nuclear contraband. In the Cold War, U.S. submarines entered harbors to tap into communications cables to protect our national security. Our subs routinely transit straits submerged. To do this, post-LOST, the Navy would have to get permission from an Authority composed of states most of which have an almost unbroken record of voting against us in the United Nations.

    Why are we doing this? Do we think we will win the approbation of the international community if we show ourselves to be good global citizens by surrendering our rights and our wealth?

    The Law of the Sea Treaty is an utterly unnecessary transfer of authority from the United States and of the wealth of its citizens to global bureaucrats who have never had our interests at heart, and to Third World regimes that have never been reliable friends. That Republicans senators think this is a good idea speaks volumes about what has become of the party of T.R., Bob Taft, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.

    And they call themselves conservatives.

  14. hmmm, you guys think the US should claim all the seas of the world as US Sovereign territory do ya?

  15. No, just maintain what has been.

    Seems that the world has achieved never before known global prosperity using the staus que.

    How is it in the "vital interests" of the US to radically change that staus que?

    The US does not need to expand it's footprint, but does not need to surrender it's operational soveriegnty, either.

  16. There is much to be gained for the US throught the treaty.

  17. It does put you, ash, in the GW Bush globalist camp. You've become a Republican and don't even realize it, or maybe you do.

    He'll be the US President that expands the globalist soveriegnty of the unelected Boners of the World.

  18. "National Security Benefits

    Joining the Law of the Sea Treaty would advance US national security by strengthening the global mobility of our armed forces, a key requirement in the war on terrorism. The treaty guarantees extensive navigation and overflight rights to important sea and air lanes that are crucial to our military. It also protects the right of vessels to use normal modes of travel through key international straits, enabling, for instance, submarines to remain submerged and air-capable ships to operate their aircraft. This would allow US forces to hold defensive postures and assume a sufficient level of readiness while traversing some of the world’s most strategic and congested waters, such as the Strait of Hormuz. Furthermore, the treaty requires states parties to cooperate in the suppression of illegal narcotics trafficking and strengthens our ability to interdict suspicious foreign vessels. In a February 2007 letter recognizing the “historic bipartisan support” for the treaty, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley noted President Bush’s belief that “the Convention protects and advances the national security, economic, and environmental interests of the United States. In particular, the Convention supports navigational rights critical to military operations.”

    Economic Benefits

    The treaty grants coastal states sovereignty over living and non-living resources in an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extending up to 200 miles from shore. The United States’ EEZ is the largest in the world and contains large oil and gas reserves and fisheries (about 90 percent of all marine life is harvested within 200 miles from shore). The treaty also protects the right of coastal states to explore and develop continental shelf resources beyond 200 miles from shore, up to the outer continental margin—a very large and resource-rich area for the United States. The legal protections provided by the treaty are vital to attracting the investments necessary for resource development in this area. For those regions that do not come under any country’s jurisdiction, the treaty establishes regulations for accessing non-living resources and created the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to govern their development. Finally, the treaty protects freedoms of navigation for commercial vessels and the right to deploy and maintain submarine cables and pipelines.

    Environmental Benefits

    The treaty provides a comprehensive framework for marine conservation, defining rights, obligations, and principles upon which other international environmental treaties are based. All states parties are obligated by the treaty to cooperate in the conservation of marine life through technical assistance and monitoring, among other measures. Coastal states are specifically required to conserve living resources in their EEZs. The treaty also contains provisions addressing marine pollution originating from land, dumping, seabed activities, and ocean-going vessels. In addition, the treaty promotes scientific research and protects the right to conduct it.

    US Leadership

    Becoming a party to the treaty would strengthen US influence over the development and interpretation of ocean law and policy. As a state party, the United States will be able to enjoy full membership in institutions created by the treaty that make crucial decisions on oceans issues, such as the International Seabed Authority, the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. For example, the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf considers coastal state claims of national jurisdiction over continental shelf resources beyond 200 nautical miles from shore. Several states parties have already submitted claims, including a Russian claim in the petroleum-rich Arctic Ocean, an area where the United States has significant jurisdictional interests and ocean resources are becoming increasingly accessible as polar ice melts. Failure to ratify the treaty, enabling full participation in treaty-based decisions, hinders US efforts to safeguard important legal protections, such as navigation and overflight rights and economic control over valuable resources.

    Response to Critics

    As is the case with every international agreement, some Americans oppose US accession to the Law of the Sea Treaty. One of the most common criticisms of the treaty is that ratification will lead to the largest transfer of sovereignty and wealth in US history. The fact is, however, that the treaty, as altered by the 1994 agreement, requires no transfer of wealth or sovereignty. Instead, the treaty strengthens and extends U.S. sovereignty over vast amounts of ocean territory and resources. Although the original treaty included provisions for mandatory technology transfers, these were eliminated by the 1994 agreement. It is also claimed that the treaty will give the UN the ability to levy taxes. In reality, the treaty does not allow for the taxation of either individuals or corporations, but does allow for the payment of royalties to the ISA from revenues generated by deep seabed mining (which, in any case, will be economically unfeasible for the foreseeable future), in order to cover ISA operating expenses. None of these royalty payments would be controlled by the UN, and the US would have an absolute veto over their distribution. Furthermore, the US negotiated the revenue sharing provisions in close cooperation with the US oil and gas industry, which supports the provisions.

    Another common criticism of the treaty is that it would give the International Seabed Authority the power to govern seven-tenths of the earth’s surface. In reality, the International Seabed Authority’s sole function is to administer mineral development in those parts of the deep seabed beyond national jurisdiction. A final argument against ratification is that it would hinder the war on terrorism, especially the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). However, national security officials, both civilian and military, have testified that the treaty would enhance counterterrorism efforts and the PSI by assuring maximum naval and air mobility and by strengthening legal protections for the interdiction of suspect vessels and aircraft. All other countries participating in the PSI are parties to the treaty."

  19. LOL!

    via JPOST

    20. The Norwegian view
    Swede - Stockholm
    10/12/2007 15:15

    The peace prize represents the Norwegian way of thinking, and that is pretty much a mystery even to the Swedes.

  20. In short, we can chase the pirates all the way into Mogadishu, but the Chinese can bring an aircraft carrier into San Francisco Bay uninvited?

    It might have some benefits up around Alaska, according to Capt whats his name I was listening to on Coast to Coast, where all real knowledge resides.

    AlGore's running mate? jeez what a brain teaser. I got no idea. Ophrah, maybe. Nah, he's looking for revenge--damn you deuce you're ruining my day.

    There's got to be some secret of mass psychology to be found in this prize.

    Things are changing.
    Something awful is going to happen to you all
    I(we)can save you.

    Something along those lines, the way Gore has swept the world with an unproven idea.

    My wife says she has already given up on air travel so the question about hopping through a see through security device pre flight is moot.

    Peace Prize to be handed out in Oslo, Sweden. ja!

  21. Bob,

    Me thinks the wife is hinting at a cruise of the Mediterranean. :D

  22. Krauthammer on the coming Clinton presidency.

    She has no principles.
    Therefore she occasionally might do the right thing for the wrong reasons.

    Which is better than always doing the wrong things for principled reasons.

    Not hinting, T, she has flat out stated she wants to go on a cruise either north or south of Seattle, she doesn't care which!

    I'd like to take that Alaska inner passage way cruise.

  23. Dr. Wattenberg at KGO reminds us to keep things in perspective and remember it was the wacko greenies that have caused the most harm to the environment by doing away with nuclear power 30 years or so ago, thus forcing in all these coal fired plants, a main culprit in the USA.

    If this prize should lead to a real reconsideration of nuclear power in the USA I see it as a good thing.

  24. Bob,

    Is acid rain still an issue with the coal fired plants?

  25. Mat, there was a huge law case just settled a few days ago against a coal fired energy company back east over just that issue. Can't think of the name of the plant but if you google around a bit you'll find it. Billion(s) in payments plus lots of improvements to the plant(s) to try to reduce the sulphur,etc. So yes, it sure its. You are breathing uranium and thorium right now, whether you know it or not, because of coal fired plants. Everyone in the world is.

  26. I went on that Alaskan inner passage cruise once many years ago - great trip!!

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. AEP, American Electric Power, that's the wife's power company back where her little place is.

  29. The US military did keep the peace in Europe, T., say what you will. Maybe I'm old school but I think the russkies would have overrun the place without us.

  30. (Fixing bone-headed spelling error)

    bobalharb said...

    Peace Prize Should Go To US Military according to Rush. One could add the IDF.

    Why not throw in Blackwater while he's at it? Fighting for peace is like f***ing for virginity.

  31. Bobal: The US military did keep the peace in Europe, T., say what you will. Maybe I'm old school but I think the russkies would have overrun the place without us.

    Agreed. The Nazis would have overrun the Brits and the Japs would have overrun the Australians without us too. In Iraq, after we overthrew the Saddam regime, we needed to pull out of Baghdad to superbases near the oil in Kirkuk and Basra, and let the Shi'ites have their revenge over the Sunnis in the center...WITHOUT our troops being targets in the middle. We sure as hell don't need to keep fixing their power grid so they can just blow it up again.

  32. Ash--what is it, Seattle to Anchorage? Mu uncle went. His idea matches yours.

  33. The one I went on sailed from Vancouver. It was a round trip. I don't think we went all the way to Anchorage. I do remember Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Glacier Bay National Park. 7 day cruise, pretty classy and mostly older passengers (especially compared to Caribbean cruises).

  34. Fighting for peace is like f***ing for virginity.


    That would depend on how big a fsck one really is.

  35. You all watch, the US will not back off placing missiles in Poland, the Russians will not back sanctions against Iran. Guarenteed.

    MOSCOW (Associated Press) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin warned President Bush's top two Cabinet officials on Friday to back off U.S. missile defense plans for eastern Europe as high-level talks yielded little more than a pledge to meet again.

    Despite presenting new cooperation proposals intended to bring Moscow on board, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates failed in a series of tough meetings to turn around Moscow's opposition to the system and other strategic issues.

    Putin set the tone early on when he hosted Rice and Gates and their Russian counterparts at his country home outside Moscow and delivered a stern rebuff to U.S. plans to push ahead with establishing missile defense facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic.

    In combative comments that took the U.S. side aback during a photo session, Putin criticized Bush's pet project and threatened to pull out of a Cold War-era treaty that limits intermediate-range missiles.

    "We may decide someday to put missile defense systems on the moon, but before we get to that we may lose a chance for agreement because of you implementing your own plans," he told Rice and Gates in Russian, according to an Associated Press translation.

    "We hope that in the process of such complex and multifaceted talks you will not be forcing forward your previous agreements with eastern European countries," Putin said.

    The United States has repeatedly rejected Russian demands to freeze U.S. negotiations with Poland and the Czech Republic and Rice did so again Friday, said three senior U.S. officials present at the sessions with Rice, Gates, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

    The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe diplomatic discussions, maintained that differences were narrowed but progress was incremental and might not produce ultimate understandings.

    "I agree that we did not agree on anything today," one official told reporters.
    The day got off to a rocky start when Putin kept Rice and Gates waiting for 40 minutes before meeting them and then began the session with a lengthy monologue detailing Russian complaints.

    In addition to the problems with missile defense, Putin warned that Russia might abandon its obligations under a 1987 missile treaty with the United States if it is not expanded to constrain other missile-armed countries.

    Referring to the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty negotiated with the U.S. before the breakup of the Soviet Union, Putin said it must be applied to other countries, but did not mention any by name.

    "If we are unable to obtain such a goal ... it will be difficult for us to keep within the framework of the treaty in a situation where other countries do develop such weapon systems, and among those are countries located in our near vicinity," he said.

    The pact eliminated the deployment of Soviet and U.S. ballistic missiles of intermediate range and was a landmark step in arms control just two years before the fall of the Berlin Wall and later the breakup of the Soviet Union.

    U.S. officials said Russia had the right to withdraw from the treaty but expressed skepticism that the bilateral agreement could be extended to other countries, which have their own defense needs.

    Putin has also threatened to suspend Russian adherence to another arms control treaty, known as the Conventional Forces in Europe pact, which limits deployments of conventional military forces. Moscow wants it to be revised in ways that thus far have been unacceptable to U.S. and European signatories.

    Shortly before the talks with Putin began, Lavrov strolled into the house's billiards room, where American reporters had gathered, for a cigarette break. He was asked whether he expected any breakthroughs in the talks.

    "Breaks, definitely. Through or down, I don't know," he said.

  36. Typical socialist thinking, you are in a hole, can't see a way to get out ...
    The solution, keep digging

    ARLINGTON, Va. (Associated Press) -- The U.S. mission in Iraq is a "nightmare with no end in sight" because of political misjudgments after the fall of Saddam Hussein and that continue today, a former chief of U.S.-led forces said Friday.

    Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who commanded coalition troops for a year beginning June 2003, cast a wide net of blame for both political and military shortcomings in Iraq that helped open the way for the insurgency _ such as disbanding the Saddam-era military and failing to cement ties with tribal leaders and quickly establish civilian government after Saddam was toppled.

    He called current strategies _ including the deployment of 30,000 additional forces earlier this year _ a "desperate attempt" to make up for years of misguided policies in Iraq.

    "There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight," Sanchez told a group of journalists covering military affairs.

    Sanchez avoided pointing his criticism at any single official or agency, but it appeared a broad indictment of White House policies and a lack of leadership in the Pentagon to oppose them. Such assessments _ even by former Pentagon brass _ are not new, but they have added resonance as debates over war strategy dominate the presidential campaign.

    Sanchez went on to offer a pessimistic view on the current U.S. strategy against extremists will make lasting gains, but said a full-scale withdrawal also was not an option.

    "The American military finds itself in an intractable situation ... America has no choice but to continue our efforts in Iraq," said Sanchez, who works as a consultant training U.S. generals.

  37. And you guys thought that Mr Vick was the apex ofevil when it came to animal management.

    He's got nothin' on Animal Control in Puerto Rico, USA.

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Associated Press) -- Animal control workers seized dozens of dogs and cats from housing projects in the town of Barceloneta and hurled them from a bridge to their deaths, authorities and witnesses said Friday. Mayor Sol Luis Fontanez blamed a contractor hired to take the animals to a shelter.

    "This is an irresponsible, inhumane and shameful act," he told The Associated Press.

    Fontanez said the city hired Animal Control Solution to clear three housing projects of pets after warning residents about a no-pet policy. He said the city paid $60 for every animal recovered and another $100 for each trip to a shelter in the San Juan suburb of Carolina.

    Raids were conducted on Monday and Wednesday, and residents told TV reporters they saw the animal control workers inject the animals. When they asked what they were giving them, they said they were told it was a sedative for the drive to the shelter.

    "They came as if it were a drug raid," said Alma Febus, an animal welfare activist. "They took away dogs, cats and whatever animal they could find. Some pets were taken away in front of children."

    But instead of being taken to a shelter, the pets and strays were thrown 50 feet from a bridge in the neighboring town of Vega Baja, according to Fontanez, witnesses and activists, apparently before dawn Tuesday.

    "Many were already dead when they threw them, but others were alive," said Jose Manuel Rivera, who lives next to the bridge. "Some of the animals managed to climb to the highway even though they were all battered, but about 50 animals remained there, dead."

  38. This week Turkish units have begun deploying along the border, as the Turkish media speaks of a possible incursion of 15,000 soldiers and even creation of a buffer zone 10 to 20 miles deep inside Iraq.

    But Turkey has been here before, during an estimated 24 previous cross-border operations against the PKK in the 1980s and 1990s. The two largest took place in 1995 and 1997, the latter with 50,000 troops, but the PKK remained.

    The Turkish military is "very well aware of the pros and cons of a cross-border operation into northern Iraq, and everybody knows it wouldn't be an easy task to step there because you could have some losses, you could have some terrible results – you never know," says Metehan Demir, a military specialist in Ankara with the Sabah newspaper.

    "When you go there, you will not only be facing the PKK. You don't know what the peshmerga [Iraqi Kurdish militias] will do; you don't know how the Americans will contribute to the peshmerga or PKK behind the scenes," says Mr. Demir. "These are real concerns in the Turkish capital."

  39. Rat, some kids from around here got in some trouble when they threw a cat off of Dworshak Dam--think Hoover Dam, but not quite. Dworshk kind of slants a little and evidently kitty kind of scooted and tumbled down the side, and lived! An amazing feat. The kids however fared not so well, ending up in juvenil court, and then in juve jail for a little while, with probation. Cats are tough, and can swim too. I don't know what your animal workers in San Juan were thinking. Besides, they have nine lives.

  40. Those Animal Control officers are not mine, by any means.

    The folks in Chicago want to do away with the "Free Press"

    Only in Amerika

    Even though all the Founding Fathers pretended that they hated the media (which then meant newspapers and tract publishing) each of them had their very own newspaper supporters and nearly all paid for tracts that supported their viewpoints and policies to be published. These tracts and newspapers were usually subscription supported, but sometimes they were freely distributed.

    Flash forward to today in Chicago. Today, thanks to a law ushered in the back door right under everyone's noses, it is illegal to distribute free newspapers. Were the Founders alive today, Richard Daley, King of Chicago, would prevent them from distributing their political papers to the public. No speech in King Daley's city...not without HIS say-so, anyway.

    Of course, like all busy body, cradle to the grave governments, the ordinance in question was ostensibly to do something "good" for us all. You see, Title 10, Chapter 8 of the Municipal Code was supposed to "help" us get rid of litter in this fair windy city.

    But, tacked onto the law is a little section that bans the distribution of free publications. This ordinance made it unlawful to distribute free “newspapers, periodicals and directories of any kind on any public way or other public place or on the premise of private property in the city in such a manner that it is reasonably foreseeable that such distribution will cause litter.”

    Who needs free speech when we can get rid of "litter," eh?

    So, which newspaper will King Daley consider to be "litter," one wonders? And, what if a resident takes delivery of one of these so-called pieces of "litter"? Would they be prosecuted? Are they a party to criminal distribution of "litter"?

    Of course, the Aldermen who voted 50 to nothing for this law are scrambling to answer critics of the ordinance. It seems fairly certain that not a one of them even read the thing before they voted, something that isn't unusual in this city. They all claim, of course, that this ordinance would never be used to stop a community newspaper from being distributed.

  41. This is almost verbatim what my lawyer said today when I bumped into him at the grocery store. "What's it got to do with peace?"

  42. OJ is going down. Guy is going to sing against OJ.

    Don't forget to buy your piggy tail light bulbs, Sam, when you buy the offsets. I have mine, work great!

  43. We gotta have free speech, but I don't know how many times I have asked, pleaded, not to throw the shopper in my yard. Does no good, can't get rid of it. I'll try making a sign 'No Shopper' and see what happens.


  44. The Same God?
    By Cal Thomas

    Whatever else his critics say of him, no one can fault President Bush for failing to go the extra mile in his efforts to show that neither he, nor the United States, is opposed to the Islamic faith, or to Muslim nations.

    Last week, the president and Mrs. Bush hosted their seventh Iftaar Dinner, the celebration that breaks the Muslim fast during Ramadan. Immediately after 9/11, the president visited a Washington, D.C., mosque and proclaimed Islam a "religion of peace." He has frequently said that terrorists are not real Muslims, anymore than people who proclaim to be Christian and engage in violence are genuine Christians.

  45. yeah Bobal, good point - free speech is kewl but what about my freedom to not have to listen???

  46. Romney Vows To Fight The Jihadis

    I'll put up with the shopper, Ash, in support of free speech, do not fear. But think of all the trees that get cut down to print those shoppers:(

    Confirm The Shopper to the internet!! Fight global warming!!

  47. but what about free markets Bobal? Freedom to kill the trees to spread the good word of Wal-Mart is a constitutional right... is it not?

  48. p.s. as long as the mega.corpse deems it economic of course!

  49. you know, it is kinda funny how you brought up killing trees which led to economic viability of killing trees. The softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the US turns on this notion. The US wants Canada to charge more for cutting down trees on Crown (gov owned land). The US claims it amounts to a subsidy the low stumpage fee. In fact, they want it like in 'merica where the land is owned by private interests and the market determines how much to charge for killing the trees. Should Canada sell all its land so private interest can kill the trees to make flyers for Walmart?

  50. This dumping of lumber in our markets dispute has been going on for years, Ash. I don't know much about it really, not being in that business, but I'm certain it must be you bastards fault:)

  51. I've bought tons of newsprint over the years, tons of the garbage.
    We were using recycled newsprint for the give away newpaper before recycled newsprint was cool.

    It was cheap.

    Newspapers are a dying breed, regardless.

  52. By the way, Ash, most of Idaho is owned by the citizens of the USA. National forest land.