“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."

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Down on Your Knees, Now

The Battle of Lepanto

Homeland Security Michael Chertoff recently stirred up a controversy in Europe when he revealed that the US is worried about Islamic terrorists using legal loopholes to enter the US from Europe.

US fears Europe-based terrorism

Published: 2008/01/15

One of the biggest threats to US security may now come from within Europe, US Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff has told the BBC.

He said militant attacks and plots in Europe over recent years had made the US aware of the "real risk that Europe will become a platform for terrorists".

Mr Chertoff said it was likely security checks on travelers from Europe would be increased.

But he said steps would be taken to ensure travel and trade were not hit.

In the interview on the BBC's World News America, Mr Chertoff said he had seen "home-grown terrorism begin to rise in Europe".

I have to say the biggest threat comes from overseas, and one of the places we are increasingly worried about is Europe" Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security Secretary.

He cited deadly bomb attacks on Madrid and London, and a terror alert affecting UK-US flights in August 2006, as well as "people travelling from South Asia and the Middle East into Europe and carrying out attacks there".

He said it was important to increase security checks on passengers from Europe - most of whom are currently able to enter the United States without being screened first because of a visa waiver programme.

Today, we learn what he may have had in mind.

January 19, 2008

Spain Arrests 14 Suspected Islamic Militants in Barcelona


MADRID, Spain (AP) -- Spanish police on Saturday arrested 14 people suspected of links with Islamic terrorism, the prime minister and Interior Ministry said.

Civil Guard officers made the arrests in the northern port city of Barcelona as part of raids planned with the National Intelligence Center, the Spanish equivalent of the CIA, a ministry statement said.

Authorities did not rule out more arrests, the ministry said.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero confirmed the report to journalists and said the investigations continued.

Officials gave no further information, but the newspaper El Pais said on its Web site that officers searched a mosque, several homes and an unofficial prayer site.

Most of those so far detained were believed to be Pakistani nationals, Europa Press Agency said, while Spanish TV news channel CNN+ reported that traces of chemicals that could be linked to explosive material had been seized for analysis.

Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba was due to give more details at a midday news conference, the ministry said.

Europe's worst Islamic-linked terror attack took place in Spain on March 11, 2004, when bombs went off in railway carriages during the morning rush hour near Madrid's Atocha station. The attack killed 191 people injured more than 1,800. Twenty-one people have been convicted of involvement in that attack.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington, Spanish police have arrested hundreds of Islamic terrorism suspects, many in connection with the Madrid attack.

In recent years police have focused on cells suspected of recruiting mujahedeen fighters and suicide bombers, or of collecting money to finance Al-Qaida-linked groups abroad.

The train attacks were claimed by Muslim militants who said they had acted on behalf of al-Qaida to avenge the presence of Spanish troops in Iraq, but Spain's courts found no evidence al-Qaida ordered or financed the attacks.


In this case, the perps are Pakis living in Spain. From an Investors Business Daily Editorial:

Unlike other foreign visitors, visa-waiver travelers are not required to disclose their place of birth, any previous citizenship or their visa history. These are key counter-terror indicators often denied U.S. security officials as they process European travelers.

While they can augment inspections at the airports, they still for the most part are blind to high-risk passengers boarding flights on the other side of the pond. Which makes in-bound flights a risk to both passengers and any likely targets in the flight's path.

Posing the greatest threat right now are Muslim citizens from Britain who were born in Pakistan or who recently have traveled to that al-Qaida hotbed.

Pakistan-based al-Qaida is targeting for recruitment not only citizens of visa-waiver countries, but also ethnic Pakistanis who can easily travel back and forth to Pakistan for training.

It's no coincidence that Pakistani Britons were behind the 2006 foiled plot to blow up 10 airliners over U.S. cities, which was staged out of London.

It's not for nothing that the so-called shoe bomber Richard Reid is British and got his training in Pakistan.

Three of the 7-7 London bombers were of Pakistani origin, it's worth adding, and could have used the waiver scheme to enter the U.S.

Some 800,000 British citizens are of Pakistani descent, providing al-Qaida with a huge potential pool from which to recruit terrorists. Al-Qaida reportedly has set up a branch of operations in the U.K.

The terror group may have found one of the weakest points in our security network. Who would have thought the biggest terror threat to America would come by way of our biggest ally?

The good news is Chertoff sees the loophole. Bad news: Nobody seems to know how to close it.

Washington has been persuaded that changes in the visa-waiver program would slow tourism and cause economic damage to both the U.S. and Europe.

Chertoff wanted to impose restrictions on British citizens of Pakistani origin, but London strongly resisted.


But we also have problems with the Wahhabists, the Iranian mullahs, the Taliban, Jemaa Islamiyah and countless other Islamist malcontents. Hmm, could these disparate groups have anything in common?

London has strongly resisted common sense restrictions that would "profile" some of their fine citizens and apparently there is a growing resistance movement in Washington. Both IBD and Diana West have recently addressed the problem of political correctness which we seem incapable, so far, of overcoming. From the IBD editorial:
The mandate to wage jihad is also taught, still, in Saudi school textbooks, Coughlin says, and explains why the home to Islam's holiest shrines is the No. 1 foreign supplier of suicide bombers in Iraq.

"The first 'radicalizing' lesson that Saudi youth receive that motivates them to travel to Iraq and fight coalition forces does not come from 'extremist' groups like al-Qaida," he observed, "but rather is taught as part of Saudi Arabia's standard secondary school curriculum."

Bottom line: "The enemy is driven by Islamic law," he warned — not poverty, lack of education or other socioeconomic factors often used by official Washington and the punditry to blur the demonstrable link between Islamic devotion and terror.

Unfortunately, Coughlin's critical findings were too politically hot for Pentagon brass trying to make nice with Muslim groups at the urging of Muslim aides involved with them. So instead of the aides, he got the boot, which is outrageous but not surprising for Washington.

The IBD editorial also points out that Hesham Islam, an aide to the PC Defense Secretary Gordon England was Coughlin's nemesis. IBD says Islam took great offense over briefings Coughlin "...prepared for the U.S. military warning that major U.S. Muslim groups were fronting for the Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide jihadist movement based in Egypt. " According to IBD, "...Islam who was born and raised in Egypt, is heavily involved with one of the groups — the Islamic Society of North America, which U.S. prosecutors last year named an unindicted co-conspirator in a major terror-funding case."

Chertoff better pick and choose his words carefully and if the trends continue, so should we.

Down on your knees now.


  1. Islam, the ROP....

    Yep Forget History at your own peril

    When your Father sleeps with the maid, this is what is produced...

    The bastard seed of Abraham, Ishmael, the jackass of all peoples, the father of the arabs, the arabs, the founders of Islam...

    yep it's simple

  2. Yep, if that old Jew had followed Gods' Law on adultery, if he had kept his pants zipped, his legitimate descendents wouldn't be up shit creek.
    That is certainly an interesting theory, validating cosmic karma, no doubt of that.
    Ahh well...

    In the current day and age, the Pakistani mussulmen, are part of the global mosaic that the foundations of Free Trade are built upon.
    Their equality of opportunity cannot be denied to them based upon religion or nationality, or the crimes of other individuals, There is no group guilt, amongst the powerless.

    That philosiphy is the cornerstone of the New World Order that the US Govenment is propagatingg.

    We should keep our pants zipped, but as that old Jew would tell you, what fun is that?

  3. So looking at this holistically... the security screeners at US airports will not profile Muslims for special attention for fear of PC backlash, even if they are provocative like the infamous "flying Imams", while "likely security checks on travelers from Europe would be increased".

    Makes sense, thank you Mr Chertoff. [/sarc]

  4. dr: Yep, if that old Jew had followed Gods' Law on adultery, if he had kept his pants zipped, his legitimate descendents wouldn't be up shit creek.

    Your correct on the keeping the pecker where it doesnt belong, however it wasnt "adultery" since Sarah had given permission, being in advanced age and seemingly child barren. This was common back then, however the Torah is filled with great lessons of what not to do...

    dr: That is certainly an interesting theory, validating cosmic karma, no doubt of that.
    Ahh well...

    Not validating karma, suggesting that the seed of ishmael is and will always be a jackass to mankind...

    DR: In the current day and age, the Pakistani mussulmen, are part of the global mosaic that the foundations of Free Trade are built upon.
    Their equality of opportunity cannot be denied to them based upon religion or nationality, or the crimes of other individuals, There is no group guilt, amongst the powerless.

    Whatever that means... the paki's, under the cult of death that Mohammed "invented", is now infecting other areas of the world in a death cult struggle for dominance

    DR: That philosiphy is the cornerstone of the New World Order that the US Govenment is propagatingg.

    Free trade is a cornerstone of our nation, thus in 1783 with the black rockers of north africa declared war on the 13 colonies, this is what gav us the "go ahead" to write a constitution, and establish a navy, to fight the "musselmen" to allow freedom of trade, free from priacy

    dr: We should keep our pants zipped, but as that old Jew would tell you, what fun is that?

    Well that 1st Jew would tell you that 3 minutes of pleasure can give you a lifetime of grief... This is what he told his legit kids....

  5. PK, it is worse than that. Go through Philadelphia airport security and at some gates half the security people are black muslims in hijabs. I kid you not. I went to take a picture and they stopped me.

  6. The PC path has so many twists and turns that eventually all who venture down it become lost.

  7. Who screens the screeners?

    An age old question.

    FOX News "historicly since 1980"

    That is the current cultural event horizon.

  8. The Mastermind is nabbed?

    (AP) Pakistani intelligence officials said Saturday they arrested a 15-year-old suspect in the killing of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, as police announced they had foiled new suicide attacks by militants against the country's Shiite minority.

    The teenager, who reportedly said he was part of a team of assassins sent to kill Bhutto, is the first suspect detained in the case since Bhutto's assassination on Dec 27.

    Interior Secretary Kamal Shah confirmed the arrest of two people in the town of Dera Ismail Khan in North West Frontier province, and said one had confessed involvement in the attack on Bhutto. He said interrogators were still trying to get corroborating testimony from the other detainee before the confession could be accepted.

  9. Good Lord, deuce, if they wear the hijab they take that shit seriously. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house. This PC crap will kill us.

  10. CIA Says Hackers Have Cut Power Grid

    Several cities outside the U.S. have sustained attacks on utility systems and extortion demands.

    Robert McMillan, IDG News Service

    Criminals have launched online attacks that disrupted power equipment in several regions outside of the U.S., he said, without identifying the countries affected. The goal of the attacks was extortion, he said.

    "We have information, from multiple regions outside the United States, of cyber intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands,"

    Criminal extortion attempts, not ideological or religious extremeists, yet reported.

  11. Stormin' Mormons come out for Romney--

    Mormons almost unanimously supported Mitt Romney in his easy victory Saturday in Nevada's Republican presidential caucuses, a preliminary survey found.

    Mormons comprised a quarter of those attending Nevada's GOP caucuses, and more than nine in 10 were voting for Romney, according to early results from the survey conducted for The Associated Press and television networks. Romney is a Mormon, and his religion has been cited as a problem by some Republican voters.

    A narrow majority of those identifying themselves as Republicans — the bulk of the voters — backed Romney. Two-thirds of independents favored Ron Paul but they made up only about 10 percent of GOP caucusgoers. Romney and Paul were the only Republican candidates to campaign much in Nevada.

  12. Jesus wept, in hijabs Deuce? Even the most PC-friendly national airports in Europa I have never seen that, not even when the other menials are pretty much all 3rd world immigrants.

  13. Beware the religious base of the Huckabee, but let's see how the sectarian support Mitt recieves is reported.

    With Huckster, every other word reported is "evangelical", after Nevada, will the Mormon issue be adequetely reported?
    Now that caucus results show Romney is up to neck deep in "Religious Identity Politics"?

    More so than the Huckster, as results are proving to indicate.

  14. People tend to vote their identity. Only natural. But we need to get our terms straight. If men don't vote for women, it's sexist. But if women vote for women, it's not. If whites vote for whitey, it's racist, but if blacks vote for blacks, it's not.

  15. A free thinking independent vote would be Whoopi Goldberg voting for Romney.

  16. They jumped into action when I whipped out my camera.

  17. Whit, you are going to have to whip up some press passes for us. I'l put one in the band on my fedora.

  18. Need to throw in a couple of official looking logos.

    I reccomend the NFL's and Blogger

    The NFL gives you the patriotic look, blogger adds some verasity of purpose.

    Be sure to get it laminaed.

  19. I've got some entertainment lined up for the EB tonight.

    Don't miss it!

  20. (not an endorsement)
    Vote for Huckabee

    Ruffini outlines my greatest fear right now:

    Somebody please explain how JOHN McCAIN, (!) is not going to be the nominee, if polls are to be believed?

  21. The spin on South Carolina is interesting:
    If McCain wins, there is a GOP "Front runner"
    If Huckabee wins, the GOP is "in turmoil"

    The turmoil scenario plays best for Rudy, in Florida.

  22. And it's Big Johns' turn.

    Maybe the snow will help, or be a hindrence.

    McCain v Obama, now that'd be something.

    The beach option is lookin' sweeter, with each passing day.

  23. FOX News says that the Huckster's strength in in the north of the State, where the weather is roughest.

    While McCain voters are being turned away, they've run out of ballots.

    All according to FOX News latest info babe report.

  24. Fox News reports that only 1 point separate McCain and Huckabee in South Carolina where the economy is the number one issue as it is across the country. This benefits Huckabee in S.C.

    The thought has been that if Democrats could make the economy the number one issue it work to their advantage in the general election.

    It seems that the unrelenting bad press has had the desired effect.

  25. McCain still ahead in Florida:
    If I commit Hari-Kari will you do a commemerative post about me?

  26. Byron York has an interesting report on Thompson in South Carolina:At the Last Minute, Thompson Shines.

    “The Founding Fathers had it right from the very beginning,” Thompson said. “The wisdom of the ages, the fact that our basic rights come from God and not from government, the notion that a government big enough and powerful enough to give you anything is big enough and powerful enough to take anything away from you…respect for the rule of law…the institution of the market economy…[the belief] that if a person earned a dollar, that dollar belonged in the person’s pocket…” Those should be our guiding principles, he said.

    We’re having a little discussion in the party nowadays about what that means for the future,” Thompson told the crowd. “Some people think we need to get away from the Reagan coalition, because it doesn’t exist any more.” The audience erupted into boos. “Some people seem to think that we need to be a little bit more what they called progressive…Well, I reject that concept with every fiber of my being.”

  27. Relax Doug:
    The polls haven't gotten it right yet.

  28. Relax when big john is the Fav?
    No Can Do.

  29. The War in Iraq being won.

    What else is there to be concerned with, but the inflation that the victory spawned.

    Going into the post-war period, the economy does rise in importance. As Mr Churchill discovered in Labour's landslide in the 1945 general election.

    Troop withdrawals signal victory to the US public. The Marines are organizing softball leagues in Anbar. The public see the writing on the walls.

    The Wahabbists are US allies, in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. There is no "War on Islam". Iran is not developing nuclear weapons.

    These are the reports from DC, from both sides of the aisle.

    Fear and loathing can only carry a political party so far, then the bottom drops out.
    Mr Churchill tasted that pudding.
    His bust is in the Oval Office.

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. Even habu advocates that the War in Iraq is won.

    Celebrating that we did not "Cut and Run" now that victory has been achieved. He has trotted out that stroyline twice, in the last few weeks.

    Even he has given up on the need to bomb the Islamists back to the 7th century. If habu thinks the US has won, so does the majority of the public.

    If even habu has given up on the "War on Islam" meme, it's dead as a doornail. If he accepts Sharia Law in Basra as a success for US, then who is left to say it's not?

    If the GOP cannot spin that success into a electoral victory in November, then the War on Terror is really over, whether its' really been won, or not

  32. I've heard Romney took up Thompson economic/tax plan as his own. Is that true?

  33. Dick Morris was right, the women are putting Billary over the top with 53% supporting her

    They and Hispanics, the Hispanics breaking 63% for Billary.

    Old folks, too.

  34. No, Thompson says Giuliani copied something very much like his tax reform plan.

  35. Here is the WSJ on the new Romney Plan, whether or not it is also the Thompson Plan ...

    Tell us.

    Romney to Detail Expanded Stimulus Plan
    January 19, 2008

    Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is set to release an economic stimulus and tax-cut plan Saturday that would reduce taxes for both individuals and businesses.

    Mr. Romney's package is valued at nearly $250 billion, far broader and more costly than the $150 billion stimulus plan that President Bush unveiled this morning. The Romney plan resembles that of rival John McCain but takes a key cut -- the corporate tax rate -- one step further. It also wraps in benefits for individuals as well as businesses.

    Mr. Romney would lower the corporate tax rate to 20% by 2009 from the 35% rate today. That's further than the McCain plan that would cut the corporate tax rate to 25%. Both men would support a permanent research-and-development tax credit, as well as the expensing of new equipment -- for Mr. Romney, the latter would be through 2009 and retroactive to the beginning of this year to allow businesses to invest in new technology.

    A senior adviser to Mr. Romney said the stimulus plan has been in the works for weeks. That person said campaign advisors thought Mr. McCain's plan was too focused on businesses. The need to help the individuals was emphasized throughout the formulation of Mr. Romney's plan, that person said.

    To that end, Mr. Romney would give an immediate tax credit, that reflects a rate cut to 7.5% from 10%, for individuals who made less than $97,500 in 2007. Individuals would get a rebate for 2007 wages, with the new rate applicable for 2008 earnings. The tax cut, focused on the lowest income bracket, would continue up the ladder, said a senior adviser, adding that the idea is to stimulate taxpayers with the highest propensity to consume. Mr. Romney, who is 60 years old, also proposes eliminating payroll taxes on employees over age 65.

    To address the subprime mortgage crisis, Mr. Romney is expected to propose changes to the Federal Housing Administration. The goal: to keep mortgage holders in their homes. Under his stimulus plan, Mr. Romney would raise the government agency's loan limits from $362,000 to $417,000, the current limit for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The stimulus plan calls for flexibility on the 3% down payment rule, to help more mortgagees -- especially those facing foreclosure -- qualify for an FHA-backed loan.

    Mr. Romney also would expand NeighborWorks America's "Foreclosure Advance Initiative." The government-sponsored grassroots education program provides funds to local organizations to help mortgage-holders and -seekers better understand the process.

  36. Tax cuts combined with healthcare mandates for individuals, Mitt Romney, all things to all people.

  37. Those who have insurance are now paying for those who do not. So, while I dislike government mandates, I understand Romney's position.

  38. You left out Sharia/Taliban/Al-Q Victory in Afghanistan, 'Rat.

    ...and surging Al-Q Insurgency in the Islamic Land o' Nukes.

  39. The majority of the 25% of the people that do not buy health insurance, but earned over $75,000 per year, do not need it.

    They are, for the most part, younger & healthier. They are also, more than likely, self employeed.

    The average cost of the health insurance in question, $13,000 per year. The people choose to opt out of the insurance pool, as is their right. If the State decides to insure them, despite their decision, providing non emergency care, regardless of their non-insured status, that is not their responisibility.

    Emergency care can be billed, after the fact. Non-emergency care could be pre-paid, by the unisured with assets.
    If that is not being done, that is the aspect of the system that shouldbe changed. Not require everyone to participate in the insurance companies ponzie schemes.

    Mr Romney advocates a 17.3% tax increase for those folk that are not health insured, whether they need it, or not. That is the crux of individual mandates, for almost 11 million citizens. Those with assests.

    The other 12 million uninsured are illegal aliens, the Romney plan would put them on the healthcare insurance dole. Government paid subsidies to private insurance companies, to cover the 12 million uninsured illegals.

    The balance of the 47 million uninsured, 24 million folk, also recieving subsidies, payable to private insurance companies.

    We should just move to a single payer, 100% coverage, Canadian System, if 100% coverage is to be mandated. Raise taxes and/or reallocate everyone's healthcare funding. Make it Medicare for everyone, good enough for the Seniors, good enough for the balance of the citizens.

    That is just as understandable a position.

  40. Expand Medicare to the entire population, all the residents of the United States.

    A base policy Federal for everyone, with upgrade options the choice of the individuals.

  41. Come to think of it, when Romney's plan was passed in Massachusetts, many people had to move to New Hampshire.

  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

  43. Mr Romney's solution, requiring $611,000,000,000 annually in a combination of reallocated tax monies or individual mandates.

    Perhaps half in subsidies, half in individual mandates, more or less.

  44. yeah, BUT...
    As the Govt becomes more efficient over time, and the people learn how the system works, costs will go down dramatically.