“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."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Philip Agee, ex CIA, Permanent SOB, Dies in Cuba. Here's Hoping It Was Painful.

Bye Phil

CIA whistle-blower Philip Agee dies in Cuba
By Anthony Boadle
Wed Jan 9, 3:40 PM ET

HAVANA (Reuters) - Philip Agee, a former CIA agent who exposed its undercover operations in Latin America in a 1975 book, died in Havana, the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma said on Wednesday.

Agee, 72, died on Monday night, the newspaper said, calling him a "loyal friend of Cuba and staunch defender of the peoples' struggle for a better world."

His widow, German ballet dancer Giselle Roberge, told friends he had been in hospital since December 15 and did not survive surgery for perforated ulcers.

Agee worked for the CIA for 12 years in Washington, Ecuador, Uruguay and Mexico. He resigned in 1968 in disagreement with U.S. support for military dictatorships in Latin America and became one of the first to blow the whistle on the CIA's activities around the world.

His expose "Inside the Company: CIA Diary" revealed the names of dozens of agents working undercover in Latin America and elsewhere in the world. It was published in 27 languages.

The CIA declined to comment on his death.

Florida-born Agee said working as a case officer in South America opened his eyes to the CIA's Cold War goal in the region: to prop up traditional elites against perceived leftist threats through political repression and torture.

"It was a time in the 70s when the worst imaginable horrors were going on in Latin America -- Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Guatemala, El Salvador -- they were military dictatorships with death squads, all with the backing of the CIA and the U.S. government," he told the British newspaper The Guardian in an interview published last year.

"That was what motivated me to name all the names and work with journalists who were interested in knowing just who the CIA were in their countries," he said.

U.S. CALLED HIM TRAITOR (because he was)

The U.S. government called Agee a traitor and said some of the agents he exposed were murdered, an allegation he rejected.

Agee went to live in London but was deported by Britain in 1976 at the request of then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The U.S. government revoked his passport three years later, saying he was a threat to national security.

Barbara Bush, the wife of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, who was CIA director in 1976, blamed Agee in her memoirs for the murder of the Athens station chief, Richard Welsh, in 1975. Agee denied any connection and sued her for $4 million, forcing her to revise the book to settle the libel case.

In his autobiography "On the Run," Agee detailed how he was hounded from five NATO countries, including the Netherlands, France and West Germany, after incurring the CIA's wrath. He said the agency sought to discredit him with accusations that he was a drunkard and a womanizer.

In 1980 he went to live in Grenada where the leftist government of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop granted him a passport and a haven until its fall in 1983.

Agee sought refuge in Fidel Castro's Cuba and lived between Havana and Hamburg after gaining German citizenship through marriage in 1990.

In 2000, Agee set up an online travel agency in Cuba catering to Americans willing to defy a U.S. travel ban and visit the Communist-run island. The business folded due to tighter enforcement of sanctions by President George W. Bush.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; editing by Mohammad Zargham)


  1. Graham Greene could have probably made a good book out of this guy's life.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. How many frigging leftist traitors are IN the CIA, anyhow???
    Hard to keep track, and they just keep coming out like homos in a Gay Bar.
    At least Larry Johnson and Val Wilson are out, so that's two less.
    Larry and Honest Joe both use the sophisticated cover of pretending to be long time GOP Supporters so outraged that they just had to turn on their long time "friends."
    The Big Lie About Valerie Plame TPMCafe
    Just found this site and read Larry Johnson's take on the Plame affair. ...... WO: Again, Larry Johnson is formerly with the CIA and a registered republican ...

    AND a registered republican ...

    ...and just like honest Joe, everybody else is a liar (amazing how literally dozens can conspire to make their lies fit.)
    Only Larry and Honest Joe know the truth when they think it up.

    Maybe Crazy Fuck Paul will "blow the whistle" on some of the hundreds of crank articles he wrote.
    Honest Paul says somebody else (no byline) wrote under my name!

    ...and some people we know gobble this shit up!

  4. (*Morally* outraged, of course)

  5. Rasmussen sees no evil, all these Pros were just ALL Wrong in exactly the same direction, the SAME time!
    Coinkydink, to be sure, having never happened before.
    ...couldn't be those imported out of state matrons.
    "Another possibility is that the polls simply understated Clinton’s support. At one level, Clinton’s campaign organization may have been great at getting out the vote. One analyst noted that “The Clinton turnout operation in Manchester their strongest area, was very good, and turnout soared 33% over 2000. In Rochester-Dover-Somersworth, another strong Clinton area, turnout was up 94% from 2000.” That could account for a several percentage points, but not the ten point gap between our final poll and the actual results.

    The problem may also have resulted from the greatest challenge in polling--determining who will actually show up and vote. This is especially difficult in a Primary Election. It is possible, perhaps likely, that the polling models used by Rasmussen Reports and others did not account for the very high turnout experienced in New Hampshire. Rasmussen Reports normally screens out people with less voting history and less interest in the race. This might have caused us to screen out some women who might not ordinarily vote in a Primary but who came out to vote due to the historic nature of Clinton’s candidacy.

    The final Rasmussen Reports poll anticipated that 54% of the Democratic voters would be women while exit polls showed that number to be 57%. "
    (yep, it's yer fault you neglected to count the imports)

  6. In Rochester-Dover-Somersworth, another strong Clinton area, turnout was up 94% from 2000.”
    Amazing what a few tears will do (in select geographical locations, of course) to bring out the voters, ain't it?
    Glory Be!

  7. Old AlohaDoug was the first to spot Daschles manufactured Indian Reservation votes in 2000 (being one of few up at that hour refreshing the Dakota CNN page!)
    been so long I forget which NR pundit ripped me off w/o credit, after I sent him a letter!

  8. AlDoug see Albob's post number 2 on previous thread. Whatcha think?

  9. Tobacco, fireworks, slots, votes, revenge.

  10. Farmers
    look to computers while farm equipment makers look overseas, in Missouri, and the Dakotas.

  11. 40,000 lbs of bombs dropped on suspected al-Qaeda house in Diyala, Iraq after six US soldiers are killed.

    Suicide bomber kills 25 policemen in Pakistan.

    Isolated incidents.

  12. The Supreme would like for you to believe that Jihadism is "not international in nature."

  13. They do not care if you believe it, or not, whit.

    They had to show US who the "real" deciders are. They have.

    When the Congress had the opportunity to change that decision, they, the GOP majority, punted. That's the truth of that. Now it is the decided Law, the Congress and President agreed by their subsequent actions.

    One brick upon another, before you know it, there is a wall, or a stacked up pile of bricks.

    Only better news than Agee dyin' would be to read that the other traitors, Jonathan Pollard and Aldrich Ames, have died. At least we are assured some good news on those fronts, eventually.

  14. Even the GOP debaters, they tell US we are in "two wars".

    Afghanistan and Iraq, seperate and distinct.

    So that must be the truth.
    Marketing, spin and the Law.
    All combining to form a singular message. That message being massaged for six years now.

    Religion of Peace
    Stateless Terrorists

    The folk want to believe their leaders, especially when the leaders tell them what they want to hear.
    The Religion of Peace molds easily with Peace in our time. All the storylines merge in the electorate's mind, Peace and Hope becoming the dominate themes.

    Mr Bush and Team43, those guys understood. Despite aspersions of stupidity, they aren't.
    Knew exactly what they were doing.

    We do not need lots of US boots on the ground, just forward air controllers, 100 A-Teams with our 2 million mussulman Army.
    Across the global-zone of percolating violence

  15. Duece

    you crack me up.....I can smell that skunk from here.

  16. Bush also jabbed Israel for security polices that could carve up Palestinian territory into unworkable or ungovernable chunks.

    "Swiss cheese isn't going to work when it comes to the outline of a state," Bush said. To be viable, a future Palestinian state must have "contiguous territory," he said.

    The president also said that he understands Palestinian frustrations over checkpoints throughout the West Bank but says they're necessary for now to give Israelis a sense of security.

    "The whole object is to create a state that is capable of defending itself internally and giving confidence to its neighbor that checkpoints won't be needed," Bush.

    In Jerusalem, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said his government shares the belief that the "current status quo is far from desirable."

    "The purpose of the process we're in now is to create a new reality that will be better for both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples," Regev said.
    The president toured the Church of the Navity, which is jointly administered by three Christian denominations _ Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian. Bush walked around the church with clerics in black robes and toured the grotto or cave beneath, which many believe is the birthplace of Christ. The president also is visiting the Roman Catholic Church of St. Catherine where Christmas decorations adorned 19th Century stone walls.

    Bush said he was moved and happy to be in Bethlehem and lamented the walls and checkpoints that restrict Palestinian life there.

    "For those of us who practice the Christian faith, there is no holier place," Bush said

  17. What then might an astute candidate advocate?

    Close the border now through fencing, more agents, employer sanctions, enforcement of the law and verifiable identification. Restore faith in the melting pot by insisting that new legal arrivals learn English and the customs and protocols of the United States.

    Explain to the Mexican and Central American governments that using the United States to avoid addressing internal problems -- while making easy dollars off the backs of their own expatriate laborers -- is over.

    Finally, deport aliens who have broken the law, are not working or have just arrived. Some illegal aliens will not like the new atmosphere of tough enforcement and will voluntarily go back home. Others may have criminal records or no history of employment and should leave as well.

    But many millions of law-abiding, employed illegal aliens of long residence will wish to stay. We should allow these to remain in the United States while they apply for citizenship -- if they are willing to learn promptly our language and customs.

    Republican candidates must risk angering their base by ruling out mass deportation. Democrats should support closing the border tightly and quickly -- and not cave in to open-borders pressure groups.

    Making these tough choices now is what most voters want. The candidates of both parties in the next few months will either adjust accordingly or lose elections.

    Victor Davis Hanson

  18. John Kerry is endorsing Obama. That will sway some minds.

  19. Think Kerry sees himself as Sec of State or Defense?

  20. trish,

    Thanks for the h/t on Perrin!

    Another little nugget from the man:

    "Given all that, liberals owe the likes of Goldberg big time. Without him, or Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Limbaugh, Hannity, or the rest of the reactionary clown roster, American libs might have to examine their own political biases and failings, as well as critically assess their political heroes. They may even be forced to deal with -- gasp! -- the corporate/military state, not to mention the global order itself. Ick. Far better to take endless potshots at rightist dopes and dupes, while hoping, praying, that the Dems will deliver some kind of salvation, however imperfect or tainted. Consider it an extension of fantasy football."

  21. Another brilliant illustrative photo Deuce. ROFL

  22. Smoke and mirrors, Ash.
    That's what this fellow Perrin is all about.

    Now, which is perception, which is reality? And where does Obama fit?

  23. Deuce,

    More than 50 percent of the electorate said they will not vote for Billary. If you believe that, Obama is your man.


  24. 2164th said...
    John Kerry is endorsing Obama. That will sway some minds.

    That clinches the Thurston Howell III demographic.

    Har de har har.

    Coughlin sacked

    Stephen Coughlin, the Pentagon specialist on Islamic law and Islamist extremism, has been fired from his position on the military's Joint Staff. The action followed a report in this space last week revealing opposition to his work for the military by pro-Muslim officials within the office of Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England.

    Bill Gertz, Washington Times national security columnist, reported that the Pentagon has fired Stephen Coughlin, its most knowledgeable specialist on Islamic Law, and jihad terrorism.

    As Gertz observed aptly, the Pentagon thus ended the career of its most effective analyst attempting to prepare the military to wage ideological war against jihadism.

    This past September, 2007, I lectured with Mr. Coughlin, a US Army Reserves Major, at The Naval War College, and witnessed his brilliant, tour de force presentation which elucidated the reliance of contemporary jihadism on Islamic Law. Coughlin demonstrated meticulously that "Jihad fi Sabil Allah"-"Jihad in the cause of Allah," is the animating principle which underlies the threat of global jihad terrorism, and how this understanding should form the basis for rational, effective threat development assessment, and war planning.

    That Coughlin's analyses would even be considered "controversial," or worse still lead eventually to his firing-perhaps, as Gertz strongly suggests, at the behest of a Muslim aide, Hesham Islam, within the office of Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England-is pathognomonic of the intellectual and moral rot plaguing our efforts to combat global jihadism.

    There is no evidence that Mr. Islam-distinctly unlike Mr. Coughlin-has any specific expertise on the theory or historical practice of jihad; indeed Gordon England's Egyptian Muslim aide is touted for his public relations skills-a sort of English-speaking Muslim Dragoman to the global Islamic umma. According to Deputy Secretary England,

    Hesham [Islam] helps me understand people's different perspectives and how they see things. He has a cultural background that's very helpful, but he also works at it very hard to get a better understanding of people and how they think.

  26. Britain To Build New Nuclear Power Plants

    While they may not have any other viable choices, I wish we would follow their example full throttle, and get 'er done.

  27. Check out that Gerst piece Albob,
    don't worry, be Happy!

  28. "Nuclear power will help us meet our twin energy challenges — ensuring secure supplies and tackling climate change," Hutton said.

    Beats 250,000 stinking, sweating swedes, right, Doug?

  29. Sweden de-nuked some time ago, and are paying the price now, struggling to heat one building from the body heat of 250,000 stinking, sweating swedes.

    Fools, I call em'.

  30. An energy resource even Rufus hadn't imagined, stinking sweating swedes.

  31. You're quite welcome,ash. Got it from Wolcott.

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. More proof from tasting the puddings of reality, doug.

    We don't need no Islam specialists

    There is no War with Islam, a Religion of Peace.

    That message is filtering down through the ranks. Top down, comprehensive management style and leadership decider techniques, in action. Just takes a while for the message to sink in, but it does, eventually.

    Mr Bush has been carrying our Islamic allies water, since he allowed the bin Landen family to exodus the US on 9-12-01. The only plane aloft in the skies above the United States, taking the family bin Laden to Saudi Arabia.

    Now we have armed or trained almost 2 million mussulmen across the Islamic Arc. They have all the experts we'll be needing, there in the ranks & files.

  34. well rat, it doesn't appear that Bush is forcing any concessions out of the Israelis during his current trip there. Quite the opposite it seems.

  35. Never fear, Ash:
    The Peace Process Marches on, and Bush expects Peace before the end of his term.
    Gawd, what a Legacy!

  36. Diyala:
    "Because at least half the insurgents escaped before a previous offensive last June, American planners deliberately kept most Iraqi units in the dark before this one was launched, a tactic that suggests they cannot fully trust their allies."

  37. The McCain Weakness
    This is it:
    Conservatives were 54% of the electorate and McCain lost to Romney among them by seven points.
    When the race moves south, conservatives will probably be 75-80% of the electorate, and they will presumably dominate in closed primaries. But this is the thing: At the outset, it looked like the way the early states were stacked up would help Romney. But once Romney lost Iowa, they were stacked up to help McCain. The Arizona senator might be able to all but knock Romney out of the race in Michigan with another strong showing among independents, meaning he could possibly KO Romney without ever beating him handily among Republicans. Weird, huh? Then, with Romney gone, McCain is presumably competing with Huckabee and Rudy.

    [Rich Lowry]

  38. Then, with Romney gone, McCain is presumably competing with Huckabee and Rudy (although Fred is still lurking) for those conservative voters and that's a fight he could well win.

  39. Larry Johnson, still at it:
    "Islamofascist Nonsense"

    Now something for those who are weary of all the political back-and-forth. Rightwing bloggers and neocons are up in arms over a story first reported by Washington Times reporter, Bill Gertz:
    Stephen Coughlin, the Pentagon specialist on Islamic law and Islamist extremism, has been fired from his position on the military’s Joint Staff. . . .

    Well, being the “Pentagon specialist on Islamic law and Islamist extremism” may be akin to being the Oral Roberts University expert on fellatio and anal sex. A terrific title for one with no genuine expertise.

    Coughlin and others of his ilk have been pushing the hysteria that there is only one Islam and all of Islam is intent on conquering the West. (Yes there are some Muslims who believe this, but Islam is not a monolith). Pandering to peoples’ fears is an effective propaganda ploy but it does little to help our soldiers understand the cultural roots and political/religious dynamics they find in the field.

  40. Therefore, anyone who regards Islam is a threat is a kook, says Expert Kook Supreme, Larry Johnson.
    Suck my Johnson, Larry!

  41. Well, ash, first Mr Bush has to finish his tour, go to the Saudis, get a token there, say a cease fire from Hamas brokered. not even a long cease fire, 90 days will be sufficent, what with the short "window to success" he has publicly spoken of.

    Then the Israeli will be put in a corner, and have to depopulate those illegal settlements.
    That is the proposal he carries, to the Saudis, recognition of a sectarian Israel, it returns to the 1967 borders, or near enough to placate the Arabs.

    After Mr Bush is gone, the Israeli pulled back, then the cycle of violence can begin again.

    Read what Mr Olmert said in the joint news conference, what he needs, requires, is an lull in the hostilities, to deliver on past promises. The Sauds will deliver.

    Betcha sam's or is it bob's Trans Am, bob won't even notice it's gone, until sam brings a trailer to Idaho. By then it'll be to late, we'll have the car out of the US, but still in somewhere in America.

    Mr Bush becomes a Peacemaker
    A grand Statesman of vision. Subsequent failures, not part of his legacy.

  42. The Religion of Peace, doug
    it's like the trickle down economic values of
    Free but not Fair Trade
    just have to wait, before we see the truths of the realities play out to the advantage of the US.

    Peace & Prosperity for everyone!!!

  43. A transiant treaty for real estate.

    The puppet will dance to the tune

    It just is not a one act play, multi-levels of manipulation are required, some tit for tat.

    Give Hamas some time to regroup.
    The Sauds will convince them.
    They'll just send lawyers, guns and money.

  44. Surge Protection works for McCain, Republicans in general.

  45. Yoni now joins me with declaring W as bad or worse than Carter!
    Wonder if WIO, Mat, and the Belmont crowd are stickin w/W?
    Not funny, tho, Bush is such a pathetic Buffoon.

  46. "Mr Bush becomes a Peacemaker
    A grand Statesman of vision. Subsequent failures, not part of his legacy.
    Yoni says he can manage Saudi money like his dad.
    Way too cynical to Hewitt, the true believer.

  47. "After word of the confrontation between Mr. Coughlin and Mr. Islam was made public, support for Mr. Coughlin skyrocketed among those in and out of government who feared the worst, namely that pro-Muslim officials in the Pentagon were after Mr. Coughlin's scalp, and that his departure would be a major setback for the Pentagon's struggling efforts to develop a war of ideas against extremism."

    - Bill Gertz

    A war of ideas. That's the cheaper kind, right?

    The whole article's a Hersh-ism.

  48. Hillary Is Dead Someone who accomplished something with life.

  49. Right, Trish.
    Did you ever see Steve Emerson's 1994 video, American Jihad?
    Believe any of it could be true?

  50. Doug and Madeline Albright, birds of a feather, flocking together again---

    Nearly seven years out office, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright pulls no punches bashing the Bush administration’s handling of certain issues – calling it one of America’s “worst presidencies.”

    Albright gave President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney very poor marks and listed goals for the next president to do better that include embracing a global view of climate change.

    “This is a purely practical point here, and I think there’s a lot of work to be done” Albright said. “And I think the judgment is that this is one of the worst presidencies we’ve had and people will wonder what it is that the role of the vice president is.”

  51. Bush Is A Coward
    Bush on his visit to Ramallah invaded the PA offices with 1500 Secret Service Agents backed up by IDF and Shaback from Israel.

    The Palestinian police and security agencies were cut out of the security for Bush. The IDF and Americans created a sterile zone one mile deep. The riots that are shown on the news happened outside this zone. PA police were not allowed in this sterile zone.

    What Mr. President you don't trust your peace partners?
    If you will not put your life on the line?
    How can you put my children's life on the line?

    You sir are a coward.

  52. You can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps.:)

  53. On January 9, 2008 - 3:33pm jblackton said:
    Coughlin's PowerPoint slide show linked in Larry's note is horrific. The title slide suggests it is an official PACOM JIOC document, but I hope that is not the case.

    As someone who does speak Arabic, who does speak Urdu, and who has spent more than 20 years living/working in Muslim countries, I am left almost speechless by the combination of bigotry and ignorance displayed in Coughlin's PowerPoint presentation.

    Professor John Stuart Blackton

  54. Terrorist
    Gazan Welcome For Bush: American School Bombed by Ezra HaLevi
    ( Arab terrorists bombed the American school in Gaza Thursday, apparently in response to US President George W. Bush’s demands that the PA give up terrorism.

    Three men reportedly fired a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) at the second floor of the school Thursday morning, shortly before students arrived for classes.

    The school’s security guards were told to leave the premises prior to the attack. They complied and the school’s art facility was destroyed.

  55. I think Bush has shown a lot of courage, meeting with those broom swinging priests there at the Church of the Nativity. That takes balls. The Palestinian Authority even couldn't keep 'em apart.

  56. Bush has stood toe to toe with Armenian and Eastern Orthodox priests, and come away no the worse for it.

  57. Bush has made them 'bury the broomstick', so to speak. Deserves a peace prize, just like Gore.

  58. I did page through the 182 slides that make up Mr Coughlin's PowerPoint presentation.

    It does not represent the Presidents' position. The DoD should not have renewed his contract, based solely on that point, in and of itself.

    Whether or not it is accurate, in its' description of islam, secondary to it being outside the lines. Lines drawn by the Commander in Chief, himself.

    Almost treasonous, that presentation.

    Well, it is not supporting core GOP values, to say the least.

  59. Coughlin's PowerPoint Presentation detremental to the advancement of President Bush's policies, with regard Islamic peoples.

    No reason for those views to be subsidized by tax dollars, when they are advocating ideas that are at cross purposes to US Policy.

    Certainly Mr Coughlin can find employment at some think tank, though I'd think that the Brookings Institute would not be on the short list of prospects

  60. I still like Yoni's line about Managing Saudi Money:

    Gauranteed to elicit passions, just like your "Air bin Laden" comment.
    I've never not gotten a rise out of some true believer with that one.
    Seemed Bizzare at the time to me,
    seems even more bizzare now.
    But now it's also a lot easier to understand.

  61. Hamas, Bush, bin Laden...
    PBU Everyone!

  62. Most timely now is
    PBUHamas, I guess.

  63. I couldn't find much about the Professor, but everything I found was on a left-wing website!

    Seems that there was a more famous filmmaker of the same name.

    He did spend time in our little govt funded left-wing thinktank in Hawaii.

  64. Obviously, the first thing you do in a War is give safe passage to anyone associated with the enemy!

  65. Fits in with
    "Free the Drug Dealer,
    Jail the Gaurds!"

    We are the Whirreled!

  66. With the passing of Sir Edmund Hillary, it is only fitting to repost Clinton's Shameful Boast and Retraction

  67. The Ayatollah on Sex with Infants:

    "A man can have sexual pleasure from a
    child as young as a baby. However, he
    should not penetrate. If he penetrates and
    the child is harmed then he should be
    responsible for her subsistence all her life.
    This girl, however would not count as one
    of his four permanent wives."

    That WAS pretty rude putting THAT in there!

  68. Well, hell, that sounds only fair, Doug, in an insane muzzie sort of way. The assahola shows a decency of a muslim sort, and a judicious concern for the infant sex object's future welfare.

  69. Yeah,
    Maybe she should be given in-State Tuition too!
    The Ayahuzza's Wet Dream Act!

    Orin Hatch could get behind that.

  70. Doug,

    Maybe I'm going soft, but I like Bush. He's got a fighting spirit, and I always like that in a person. :)

  71. His adoptive American family, Catholic. His sister, a neo-Nazi. He, wants to be an Israeli..

    "It always felt like home for me here," said Steger.

  72. Here's what happened, Doug: Coughlin's outfit lost the contract bid. The new contractor was given the option of hiring him and declined to do so. Coughlin whines to Gertz and anonymous yahoos are on hand to manufacture a controversy.

    Coughlin became "too hot"? Please. Coughlin's no martyred Cassandra. He's just out of a job on the Joint Staff and it has fuck-all to do with his PowerPoint, or England. It was an administrative matter.

    "Blogs lit up with hundreds of postings, some suggesting that Mr. England's office is "penetrated" by the enemy in the war on terrorism."

    I bet they did.

  73. In the vein of Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy (For My Shirt)"...

    I'm Too Hot For My Job.

    (At the Pentagon.)

    There's a T shirt.

  74. The $2500 Tata Nano, unveiled in India. The Nano's fuel economy is 54 US miles per gallon.

  75. Reconciliation between Christians and Moslems in Iraq contines apace.

  76. 10 Tata Nanos or 1 Ford Pickup, which do you choose?

  77. They'll stir the pot around a little and let him in, Mat, is my quess. Wouldn't you think so, considering a lot are going the other way, too.

  78. We have had cases of Russian neo nazis running amok in Israel. I think his family's neo Nazi background scared them a bit. But if he's Kosher, then he's Kosher. :)

  79. Bob,

    Don't need to chew on 10 pork chops, when all I need is gum. I choose 1 Nano.

  80. The page that said Islam was not an Abrahamic religion but a cult of pagan moon worshipers, doug, that would have to be considered coloring outside the lines. The proof is the symbolism of the Crescent Moon.

    That's like saying that the Pope worshiped Ra because there was an obelisk in St Peters Square. And the rays of the halo around Christs' imagery was symbolic of the Sun.

    Now some folk do say that.

    But it is not the policy of the United States, nor our ambassador to the Vatican or the President to promote that concept.

    If someone at DoD started promoting that idea as a fact, to base future US policy around, in a battle of ideas, he would not last long in a contracted position.

  81. Buy two or three extras, Mat, for the replacement parts! You'll still be way ahead. But will it climb the Lewiston Hill? Two banger, ain't it?

  82. The Nano would never pass the US safty requirement.

    The VW Beetle, or the Fox, both built in Brazil wouldn't either.

    Most of the low cost, high effeciency vehicles in the world cannot be brought into or operated in the US.

    They are unsafe, at any speed.

  83. Kucinich demands recount!
    This news was broken on Coast-To-Coast last night, for those of you asleep.

    Kucinich alluded to online reports alleging disparities around the state between hand-counted ballots, which tended to favor Sen. Barack Obama, and machine-counted ones that tended to favor Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. He also noted the difference between pre-election polls, which indicated Obama would win, and Clinton's triumph by a 39 percent to 37 percent margin.

  84. For Toronto it's good enough. Probably safer than a motorcycle.

  85. But Rat, Mexican trucks don't pass safety standards, either. Ain't fair, in a globalised economy.

  86. Kucinich demands recount!

    He must read doug's posts, here at the EB.

    Bet there's no hat tip, either!

  87. There are a lot, hundreds, of Swift Trucking vehicles in Mexico, bob.

    Very few Mexican trucks in the US.
    They do the same safety inspection, headed south as they do coming north. Few Mexican trucks pass, all the expat Swift trucks, they have no pproblem.

    Had lunch a week or so ago with a trucker that was quite up to speed on the subject. Boon for the US trucking industry, he said, opening the border to trucks.

    We, from the US, were much, much more competitive than Mexican trucking companies, both north and south of the border.

  88. Those Nanos are even unsafe when parked. Someone backs into you at Albertson's, like happened to my wife, you're finished. Beer canned. Jaws of life time, at best.


    Fuel-efficient engine
    The People's Car has a rear-wheel drive, all-aluminium, two-cylinder, 623 cc, 33 PS, multi point fuel injection petrol engine. This is the first time that a two-cylinder gasoline engine is being used in a car with single balancer shaft. The lean design strategy has helped minimise weight, which helps maximise performance per unit of energy consumed and delivers high fuel efficiency. Performance is controlled by a specially designed electronic engine management system.

    Meets all safety requirements
    The People's Car's safety performance exceeds current regulatory requirements. With an all sheet-metal body, it has a strong passenger compartment, with safety features such as crumple zones, intrusion-resistant doors, seat belts, strong seats and anchorages, and the rear tailgate glass bonded to the body. Tubeless tyres further enhance safety.

    The People's Car's tailpipe emission performance exceeds regulatory requirements. In terms of overall pollutants, it has a lower pollution level than two-wheelers being manufactured in India today. The high fuel efficiency also ensures that the car has low carbon dioxide emissions, thereby providing the twin benefits of an affordable transportation solution with a low carbon footprint.

  90. Swift trucks a lot around here, too. Wood chips, all sorts of stuff.

  91. No argument about Toronto, but the US has kept out many really good, affordable vehicles out of the US markets based upon safety.

    Ralph Nader and his ilk causing unintended consequences in their battles against major US corporations. Or, perhaps, those were their intended consequences.

    In any case, Federal interference in the auto market has made US vehicles what they are, today.
    Intentionally or not.

  92. By the way, if you have a Big 5 sporting goods store nearby, there might be a $22 post-Christmas price on a 10 x 50 Meade binocular. Just bought one.

  93. There's a company in Idaho coming out with a car called the Tatar. And Russia is looking at the Tartar.

  94. Bob,

    Funny that you mentioned Ford. I just found out that Tata might be connected to Ford. The connection being Jaguar Motors.

  95. dRat,

    Big and heavy is not a safety feature.

  96. Massive Black Hole
    The largest known black hole in the universe is 18 billion times more massive than our sun, it was announced at this week's meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The object, referred to as 0J287, is orbited by a smaller black hole, which aided astronomers in making the measurement. More at

  97. Big and heavy isn't an economy feature, but it doesn't hurt in a head on. I'll take the Ford Pickup over the Nano, in a head on.

  98. Trying to build a car cheap enough for motorcycle buyers seems to make sense now but seemed crazy several years ago when Ratan Tata, longtime chairman of Tata Motors and scion of the nation's giant Tata Group conglomerate, first mentioned his dream of building a one-lakh car in 2003. "They are still saying it can't be done," he says, insisting that it can and will. "Everybody is talking of small cars as $5,000 or $7,000. After we get done with it, there will hopefully be a new definition of low-cost."
    A one-lakh car is unlikely to be sold in the U.S. . But it wouldn't be aimed only at India, either, Ratan Tata says. Bottom-of-the-pyramid markets would be the best fit: places like Africa, Southeast Asia and maybe eastern Europe and Latin America, wherever income levels mirror India's.

  99. That skunk just might survive a hit by a Nano.

  100. I did not write the rules or set the standards, mat.

    They are not bringing the Nano to the US, per your link, had to look for the safety standard quote.
    That was for India and the rest of the world. Not US. It's goning other places, instead.

    Bought a Brazilian built VW, in Panama, 1982 for $3,500 USD, out the door. Was a standard Bug, fabulous car, much like the VWs built in Mexico, today.

    Can not bring any of them into the US, from windshield wipers to windshield glass. The headlamps, etc. All built to a reasonable standard, a world standard, but not a US standard. Had to leave that Bug behind, which was a shame, really.

  101. Yes, but Bob,..

    F150 vs F150
    Nano vs Nano

    Which are you likely to survive in a head on?

  102. Galaxy 3C321's supermassive black hole is shooting a jet of particles nearly at the speed of light toward a nearby galaxy. The "death ray" is deflected and disrupted by its impact with the galactic neighbor. Kewl! :D

  103. To answer that question, Mat, I'd have to know how big the guy(s) in the other Nano are :)

  104. Does the Nano have airbags? I'll bet not, at one lakh. Probably not even seat belts. I'd spend a little more for the optional ejection seat.

  105. dRat,

    Designate them as city cars. Not for 6 lane Highway driving. End of story.

  106. optional ejection seat..

    heheh :)

  107. Mat, they can't even go 60mph can they? They'd get slow speed driving tickets all the time. They got to be city cars.

  108. Bob, I doubt they can go 60 km/hr. But do they really need to?

  109. The 1957 "Cinquecento"

  110. This comment has been removed by the author.

  111. But if we're talking about hauling a family of fat ass Americans, might as well go with the F150 truck. :D

  112. If them be squeezed in that vehicle. :D

  113. ggrnite Mat--got to readin' bout Henry K and Nixon there, in a book.

  114. Henry had sold out S. Vietnam before Nixon was re-elected, in talks with the rooskies.