“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, February 22, 2008

Turkey Television Claims 10,000 Troops Assault Iraq

"Come over for some tea why don't you and oh by the way we assaulted
your northern borders today.

There does not seem to be much of a fuss about this in the media. It certainly is not a "Gulf of Tonkin" moment. AFP reports that Turkish President Abdullah Gul invited his Iraqi counterpart Jalal Talabani to Turkey in a telephone call Thursday night as he informed him of Ankara's ground operation in northern Iraq, Gul's office said Friday.

"During the call, our president conveyed information on the objective of the ground operation which began Thursday night," the statement said.

Gul also underlined Turkey's intention to boost bilateral ties with Iraq in all fields and invited Talabani to Turkey, it added.


Thousands of Turkish troops cross border into Iraq Times on Line

Turkish troops escalated their conflict with Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq today when thousands launched the country's first cross-border ground invasion since the 2003 American-led campaign.

The operation to hunt down guerrillas from the separatist PKK was announced by the Turkish military this morning, and came hours after Turkish warplanes and artillery bombed suspected rebel targets.

Turkey's private NTV television station said that 10,000 troops were taking part in the offensive and had penetrated six miles into Iraq, although these reports were unconfirmed by the military. Turkish troops have been massing on the northern Iraqi border for months.

The country's Dogan News Agency reported that the Habur border crossing, a major conduit for trade between Iraq and Turkey, had been closed.

Analysts believe that today's campaign is the biggest launched by Turkey against the Kurds since the 1990s, when a number of cross-border raids were carried out.

"The Turkish Armed Forces, which values Iraq’s territorial integrity and its stability, will return as soon as planned goals are achieved," the Turkish military said, announcing this morning's operation on its website.

"The executed operation will prevent the region from being a permanent and safe base for the terrorists and will contribute to Iraq’s stability and internal peace."

The military said its target was the PKK and that it would take care not to harm civilians. It warned that other militias in the area should "not act in enmity against the Turkish Armed Forces".

It is the first time the Turkish military have carried out a threat to launch a cross-border ground invasion following the decision of the Turkish Parliament to authorise the military to strike rebels in October.

International observers have expressed huge concern that any major confrontation between Turkey and the Kurds could lead to spiralling instability in Iraq, which has already been locked in sectarian violence since the 2003 invasion.

"Turkish ground forces have entered into northern Iraq for what we understand is an operation of limited duration to specifically target PKK terrorists in that region," Rear Admiral Gregory Smith, a US military spokesman, said, giving what appeared to be lukewarm American approval for the campaign.

"Turkey has given its assurances it will do everything possible to avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians or Kurdish infrastructure."

Turkey has conducted air raids against the guerrillas since December with the help of US intelligence, but it has only scarcely carried out so-called "hot pursuits" in which small units sometimes spend only a few hours inside Iraq.

It has been locked in a bitter battle with Kurdish separatists since the PKK began fighting for a Kurdish homeland in south-eastern Turkey in 1984. More than 30,000 people have been killed in Kurdish terrorist attacks and Turkish military operations since then.


  1. It's not, doug, that I am an authority in all things, just that the World Wide Web allows for quick investigation and analysis.

    Turkey has been harping upon the PKK challenge for years now. They have shown considerable restraint, to date. 10,000 troops not much of an invasion, not when the US used 150,000 or so troops when we entered Iraq, in 2003.

    Seems a measured response, by the Turks, to a long term problem they have been facing.

    Yes, mat, the median values of homes that are owned and the equity that the owners have in those homes is germaine to the point you were making. That those homes would finance the retirement of senior citizens.

    The amount of equity, held by the median senior, will not finance much of a retirement. Unless they sell-out abd leave the US for one of the low living cost countries to the south.
    Even at that, the US citizen would have to abandon the enclaves of retired US workers and capitialists and live like an indig.

  2. A pivotal ceasefire by thousands of Shia militiamen in Iraq was extended today for another six months, in a welcome boost for the US military and Iraqi Government.

    Hojatoleslam Moqtada al-Sadr, the powerful Shia cleric, commanded his al-Mahdi Army militia to retain the fighting freeze, which he first ordered in August and was due to expire on February 29

    Sharia still is the rule, in Basra!
    Success stands strong!!
    Al-Sadr is still on Team43!!!

    Al-Sadr not declaring free agency, but stays on with Maliki and Team43, for the continued success of US policy in Iraq/
    Sharia in Basra, 1920 Brigades in Anbar. Concerned Local Citizens, large and in charge. As they could have been on 28JUN03, but for US efforts to invalidate the historic structure of Iraqi society.
    From the top down.

  3. bobal said...

    "I agree with Whit when he said he doesn't hold it against the Serbs for being really really pissed. I would be too, and I think American foreign policy is in a major error on this issue."

    Holy smokes Batman, Bobal, Whit, and now Deuce all sound like those pesky lefty 'America Haters' - supporting the attacks on the US, the trashing of its Sovereign territory, the Embassy. Will wonders never cease, people do in fact change I guess. Either that our they embrace two conflicting opinions at the same time...

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. dRat,

    If we take KOSOVO as example, why not independence for the Kurds in that region?

  6. "The amount of equity, held by the median senior, will not finance much of a retirement. Unless they sell-out abd leave the US for one of the low living cost countries to the south."

    I've noticed that thru my trips to vacation in Cape Cod, the place has become more and more "exclusive", so much so, that I now travel to the Dominican instead. People will vote with their feet. Hopefully someone will take note.

  7. Robin, we be willin' to criticize our govmint when they be wrong.

    It is still legal to do so, here.

  8. What's this 'Dominican' you talk about, Mat? Just askin'.

    In the not too distant future, my wife and I are going back to Ohio, again. I aim to take a camera this time, and report to Elephant Bar.

    We're gonna take a brand new route, for us. Mapping it out now, mostly backroads.

  9. It's a spanish banana republic populated with Russian Canadian and European tourists, Bob. Best to use a plane to get there. :)

  10. So, Obama says Latin America is being ignored and that our Latin American policy can't be one simply of opposition to Chavez and Castro.

    Maybe he'd like to say a few words, then, on the US-Colombia FTA.

    Oh, he already has.

  11. Doug, about the wolves. We reintroduced them, and the inevitable happened, they took off, like all us old folk knew they would, now they are biting deep into the cattle and elk. Now the question is, how to control them, just like we knew it would be. It' a big federal offense to shoot one of these fellows, you can slap your wife around and get less jail time. It has been one massive waste of tax money, the whole program, in my opinion.

    I say that because I personally know, we had many more wolves in Idaho than the government reported, before the program began.
    Dominican Republic? Mat, you got to be kidding me, there are better places.

  12. Trish, as far as I can tell, Obama's policy is to tax bob to death, and send the money overseas.

    I am voting against this man.

  13. Death by taxes.

    Ed: No way for a man to die.

    Frank: No... you're right, Ed. A parachute not opening... that's a way to die. Getting caught in the gears of a combine... having your nuts bit off by a Laplander, that's the way I wanna go.

  14. "Dominican Republic? Mat, you got to be kidding me, there are better places."

    No doubt, Bob. But when I see schmucks in Mercedes and Jaguars overcrowding a place, I head elsewhere.

  15. Emerging Technologies:

  16. having your nuts bit off by a Laplander, that's the way I wanna go.


  17. I am voting against this man.

    Fri Feb 22, 12:49:00 PM EST

    That's good to hear, bob, because there's no use talking to my mother this time around, bless her dear Democratic heart. And she makes a mean Sunday pot roast so we generally give her a pass in all other things.

  18. [Trish's mother: Give ME a pass?! Ha. I've been handing out passes since you and your brother were born. Now set the table for dinner. Or should we just eat on the floor?]

  19. I know what you mean, Trish. I have had relatives whom I really, truly love. But on politics? No Way. Yet I overlook it, for the sake of love, dear love.

  20. What's love without a little drama? :)

  21. Bob,

    What youz counting in Afghanistan?

  22. Well, I've been let down by my mates again:
    I agree w/Aristides (!) although certainly not as enthusiastically as he gets with his supercharged intellect.
    But what, you guys think we should all just give Barry a pass on something that should be turned into an embarassing outing?

    Talkin about Wretch's note on the debate about "inside dope" claiming the troops are scrounging around for Enemy Ak's to use in Afghanistan.
    And you guys just go ho hum?

  23. It was the same deal with the mountain lion in California, Albob:

    The Fish and Game acted like there were no more of em than people saw, whereas my friend Frank, a former trapper, knew damned well that wasn't true, him having seen few in all his days working in their country.

  24. I'd guess wolves are a heck of a lot easier to spot than Lion?

  25. mat, by the Kosovo example, sure, the Kurds should get their own Republic. Sliced out of Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq.
    No doubt about that.

    Not going to happen though, not with US encouragement, anyway.

    The precedent is set, however, and more and more of the old Nation States could begin fragmenting.

    The maps redrawn. Iraq could be the next locale for the cartographers to get busy.

    Despite the protestations of Team43

    Atzland could be ripe for succession, wonder if the Chinese and the Russians would recongnize the legitimacy of it.
    Despite DC protests of illegality.
    Lincoln killed hundreds of thousands of US citizens and those that did not wish to be, to create "America" in a great civil war, or one of northern aggression, depending upon the vantage point.

    Succession is a mighty volatile subject, the story often written in blood.

  26. Mountain lion, seen two in all my days, roaming the high desert and woodlands of AZ, doug.

    Two more than most folk ever see.

    Not very close up, one was atop a canyon, while I was in the bottom, the other crossing a meadow, near Mormon Lake. Up in Zane Grey country.

  27. What's the point of discussing the O's misstatements, about US troops using AKs, doug?

    Those that read the BC, their minds are made up, well oblivious to factual insights.

  28. "US troops using AKs"

    Where's the ammo coming from?

  29. I don't give a damn about the BC Boyz, I just wondered what you folks think about it?

  30. Came outta obama's mouth, Mat.
    Wretch has video.

  31. The Beat Goes On
    Congressman Indicted in Ariz. Land Deal

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican Rep. Rick Renzi was charged Friday with extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other crimes in an Arizona land swap that authorities say helped him collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in payoffs.
    Gonna be mighty lonely for Pubs in DC, and mighty sad for the country.
    The Bush Legacy that counts.

  32. Oh, they steal that while the Talibanistas are snoring, Mat.
    Or when one dies in a botched suicide attempt, they raid his home and scarf up the bullets.
    Trust me, Barry, and the Capt.

  33. Democrat Debate Thread @ BC.
    Video posted there.
    Like pulling fucking Molars.
    I guess you know what that means.

  34. "Democrat Debate Thread.."

    Explains why I skipped it. :)

  35. Renzi is a co-chairman in Arizona for GOP presidential front-runner Sen. John McCain's campaign. McCain seemed surprised when asked in Indianapolis for his reaction to the indictment, choosing his words carefully, shaking his head and speaking slowly.

    ''I'm sorry. I feel for the family; as you know, he has 12 children,'' McCain told reporters on the presidential campaign trail. ''But I don't know enough of the details to make a judgment. These kinds of things are always very unfortunate. ... I rely on our Department of Justice and system of justice to make the right outcome.''

    The land swap deal has dogged Renzi more than a year.

  36. Take your Nitrous Bottle w/you!

  37. Government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington applauded the Justice Department for holding Renzi ''accountable given that his House colleagues refused to do so.'' The group has had Renzi on its ''Most Corrupt Members of Congress'' list for the last three years.
    When I run, Capone's Grandson will be my Campaign Chairman.

  38. I think I may have found that mysterious Captain. Link.

  39. The "Architect" the "Brain" behind the Permanent GOP Majority!

  40. "We'll just kiss the ass of every illegal and child-molester, what are the Christian Conservatives gonna do about it, vote Democrat or stay home, gimme a break!"

  41. Hey, many of you guys are big on States rights. Tell me what you think of this article:

    Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime
    How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers


    "Let me explain: The administration accomplished this feat through an obscure federal agency called the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC has been in existence since the Civil War. Its mission is to ensure the fiscal soundness of national banks. For 140 years, the OCC examined the books of national banks to make sure they were balanced, an important but uncontroversial function. But a few years ago, for the first time in its history, the OCC was used as a tool against consumers.

    In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government's actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.

    But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In fact, when my office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation. "

  42. We're there because we're there


    From Friday's Globe and Mail

    February 22, 2008 at 3:25 AM EST

    Here are some thoughts for the coming parliamentary debate on Afghanistan. Consider it the unManley report.

    Why are we there? Tom Axworthy, summing up the Manley panel's reasons for Canada's military mission, says: "The Taliban's return would threaten regional peace and security; the UN has sanctified the mission; NATO is committed; and Canada should help failed states." Those are sentences, not reasons. Here's panel member Derek Burney: "Canada is a G8 member and, as such, is expected to engage internationally, serving global organizations to which we belong in a manner befitting our responsibility ..."

    It's sheer pomposity: "sanctified," "befitting." Why are we there? We're there because we're there. That's it. We went for various reasons. Now the heavy hitters want us to stay. Because we're already there.

    But won't NATO come apart if it doesn't pull this off? So what? Why shouldn't NATO go back to the North Atlantic, where it's from, and be a defence alliance, which it was? If that no longer makes sense, let it disband. Why look for work in places like Kosovo and Afghanistan? What about saving failed states? This is one of those phrases (like civil society) that entered public discourse suddenly, and has made mischief ever since. All states fail to some degree. Why is it our task to grade this one and get its marks up? If there's a specific problem, like incubating terror cells, then take some useful half-measures. Pursue and isolate the terrorists, cordon off the hot spots and don't think you can solve everything. There's an arrogance in "nation-building," another dicey phrase. Send the NATO forces home and let them nation-build there. Life is mostly half-measures.
    Related Articles

    "Without security, there can be no development": Wrong, but I know it sounds right. The problem is, security in this case means occupation by foreign troops, which doesn't work well anywhere, especially Afghanistan. First "we" invade and depose their government, which had at least provided security. Then we impose a government that "invites" us in (where we already are) and survives only with our support. Our presence inspires resistance and recruitment to the Taliban or al-Qaeda, which revive. (Al-Qaeda in Iraq didn't exist till the U.S. invasion; now it exports to al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.) The more resistance, the more we the occupiers have to fight, and opposition grows. This week, bombs killed many civilians in the "Canadian" area. A district leader said it was the worst day of his life: "What was secure has now become insecure." This kind of security creates insecurity. Aid, in turn, is stymied. A recent UN report says general indicators such as human development and poverty have worsened since 2004.

    What about helping women? Isn't that a good idea? Well, the situation for women was astronomically better under the Soviet-backed government in the 1980s before "our side" created the mujahedeen, who threw out the Soviets, assailed women and were, in turn, ousted by the Taliban, who we then defeated, installing warlords and clerics in their place. No lasting developmental good has come from foreign occupation; people there have learned this. They aren't irrational, they're observant.

    Can anything be done? Possibly. But it would take a local political peace, brokered by regional powers such as Pakistan, India and Iran - not Lithuanians and Canadians. Then the well-meaning Canadians, including the military, could do their good works, rather than inspire rebellion.

    Those dumb voters: Despite the Harper taunt that Canadians don't cut and run, and the Manley plea not to shirk our noble international blah blah, 61 per cent still think our troops should leave. Why lecture them about why they're wrong, instead of assuming they know what they want? Stéphane Dion says nobody wants an election on Afghanistan. Count me out. I'd love it."

  43. "Pursue and isolate the terrorists, cordon off the hot spots..."

    PowerPoint at 6.

  44. trish, did you read the war nerd's latest on hardware? Interesting.

    Hardware For Dummies: The Osprey Vs. The Hornet

  45. You could have your mom do some reading about Saul Alinsky, Trish, just for giggles.
    Saul, Bill, Hill, and Barry.

    (Communist) Alinsky advises the organizer to target the middle class, rather than the poor: "Organization for action will now and in the decade ahead center upon America's white middle class. That is where the power is."

    Alinsky is interested in the middle class solely for its usefulness: "Our rebels have contemptuously rejected the values and the way of life of the middle class. They have stigmatized it as materialistic, decadent, bourgeois, degenerate, imperialistic, war-mongering, brutalized and corrupt. They are right; but we must begin from where we are if we are to build power for change, and the power and the people are in the middle class majority."

    To accomplish this, Alinsky writes that the organizer must "begin to dissect and examine that way of life [the middle class lifestyle] ... He will know that 'square' is no longer to be dismissed as such -- instead his own approach must be 'square' enough to get the action started."

    Rules for Radicals defends belief that the end justifies the means: "to say that corrupt the ends," writes Alinsky, "is to believe in the immaculate conception of ends and principles ... the practical revolutionary will understand ... [that] in action, one does not always enjoy the luxury of a decision that is consistent both with one's individual conscience and the good of mankind."

    Altogether, Alinsky provides eleven rules of the ethics of means and ends. They are morally relativistic.
    Alinsky was a critic of a passive and ineffective mainstream liberalism. In Rules for Radicals, he argued that the most effective means are whatever will achieve the desired ends, and that an intermediate end for radicals should be democracy because of its relative ease to work within to achieve other ends of social justice.

    Alinsky was the subject of Hillary Rodham's senior honors thesis at Wellesley College, "There Is Only The Fight...": An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.[8] Rodham commented on Alinsky's "charm," but rejected grassroots community organizing as outdated. Once Hillary Rodham Clinton became First Lady of the United States, the thesis was suppressed by the White House for fear of being associated too closely with Alinsky's ideas.[9]

    Alinsky also had a significant influence on Barack Obama, who is a United States Senator and candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.[8] Obama particularly used Alinsky's techniques while participating in Chicago community organizations in the 1980s.
    Yup, he was a "Community Organizer" all right!

  46. Obama, Ayers, and Dohrn.
    Ayers and Dohrn:
    But — unlike some other fringe figures of the era — they’re also flatly unrepentant about the bombings they committed in the name of ending the war, defending them on the grounds that they killed no one, except, accidentally, their own members.

    Dohrn, however, was jailed for less than a year for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating other Weather Underground members’ robbery of a Brinks truck, in which a guard and two New York State Troopers were killed.

    “I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough,” Ayers told the New York Times in 2001.

    And their rehabilitation in establishment circles, even in Hyde Park, has its limits.

    Though he is a respected figure in liberal educational circles, Ayers wrote recently about how in 2006 he was informed he was persona non grata at a progressive educators’ conference in the summer of 2006.
    “We cannot risk a simplistic and dubious association between progressive education and the violent aspects of your past,” he quoted the conference organizers, whom he described as friends, as writing to him.
    But the couple has been embraced, by and large, in the liberal circles dominating Hyde Park politics.
    ...and he attended a Racist Church, but what the hey?

  47. You think I care?
    They weren't MY Kids!

    Woman Charged in Minn. Bus Crash Deaths

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The driver of a van that hit a school bus in a crash that killed four children was charged Friday with four counts of criminal vehicular homicide and two lesser charges, authorities said.

    The woman, identified as Alianiss Nunez Morales, 23, of Minneota, failed to stop at a stop sign Tuesday before hitting the bus, which was carrying 28 students from Lakeview School, a prosecutor said. The accident happened near the small town of Cottonwood in southwestern Minnesota.

    Morales was also charged with a stop sign violation and for driving without a valid license, Lyon County Attorney Richard Maes said.

    Authorities said Morales is not the woman's real name, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were trying to figure out her true identity. Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of investigations, said Morales told investigators she was from Mexico, and his agency believes she is in the country illegally.

    Morales does not have a Minnesota driver's license, and ''she doesn't have a (driver's license) anywhere that we're aware of,'' said Lt. Mark Peterson of the Minnesota State Patrol.

  48. Doug, are you scoffing at him because bombs cause collateral damage?

  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

  50. Elijah, at first I was going to say, yeah, but then I pondered on the notion of intent.

  51. Gee, I remember the good old days when you woulda got a hat tip on Wretch's latest, Ash.
    (New Debate Thread)
    Times change, I guess.

  52. I saw a wolf cross the road in front of me years ago out by Dworshak Dam. Meanist, leanist animal I have ever seen. I heard one howl one time too, in a small valley, froze the pumping of my heart. Deep throaty, chilling howl. I'm not against the program to bring them back, it's jut hard to manage the swing from too little to too much. A world without wolves would certainly be a lesser world.

    Ash, and Mat, what's the situation on wolves up there in Canada?

  53. Guy I met in Canada said the most dangerous "Wolf" was one that once lived with man, 'cause he knew both worlds.

  54. Let us know if that dam passes the Dworshak test.

  55. geez, wolves, I seen stuff in the news recently about grey wolves no longer being endangered. Other then that Farley Mowat had a wonderful story about crawling down and sleeping in wolf lair. Can't offer much more then that I'm afraid.

    doug, I labor unnoticed, incognito...but influential??

  56. Man certainly can be a wolf to man. Civilization is to go the other way.

    I have only felt two or three little tremors here, but there is a minor fault line out by Dworshak somewheres. If it should ever go, downtown Lewiston would be a goner, and if there were no human deaths involved, it might be a good thing. It is the old part of town, and in need of renewal:)

  57. Nah, he was talking about feraldog/wolves, I mean.

  58. Farley Mowat sleeps with wolves? Who is this Farley Mowat feller?

  59. Might be Slim Pickens, by now.

  60. Farley Mowat from Wiki:

    "Returning to Canada after the war, Mowat studied biology at the University of Toronto. During a field trip to the Arctic, Mowat became outraged at the plight of the Ihalmiut, a Caribou Inuit band, which he attributed to misunderstanding by whites. His outrage led him to publish his first novel, People of the Deer (1952). This book made Mowat into a literary celebrity and was largely responsible for the shift in the Canadian government's Inuit policy: the government began shipping meat and dry goods to a people they previously denied existed.

    This work was followed by a Governor General's Award-winning children's book, Lost in the Barrens (1956), which was about two teenagers — one white, one Cree — lost in the Arctic. The children are able to combine their skills to survive for part of the winter, but ultimately, they almost die before being saved by an Inuit boy whose knowledge of the Arctic supplements their skills.

    Mowat followed up these works with a series of personal memoirs. The Regiment (1955) is a skillful and — unusual for military regimental histories of that era — highly readable account of the regiment he had served in during the Second World War.[4] The Dog Who Wouldn't Be (1957) and Owls in the Family (1961) are hilarious memoirs about his childhood.

    Having been trained as a biologist, Mowat took a Canadian government job as biologist in the Arctic. At the time, the government was concerned that the size of caribou herds was shrinking, and they suspected that wolves were eating the caribou, so the best way to protect the caribou would be to kill wolves. Flying into the heart of the wilderness on a small plane, Farley set up an observation camp near a local wolf population. After months of observation, Mowat concluded that, contrary to the ranchers' claims, the wolves mainly ate field mice and only ate old or sick caribou — by killing off the weakest of the caribou, wolves actually strengthened the caribou herd. The trappers in the area were, according to Mowat, using the wolves as scapegoats for the decline of the animals, for which they themselves were responsible; one Inuit trapper, who helped Mowat in his observations, estimated that he personally killed three hundred caribou per year to feed his dogs and himself. Mowat set forth his findings in his 1963 book, Never Cry Wolf, a book which was widely read around the world, and which was one of the major reasons the Soviet Union banned the killing of wolves."

  61. Talk about Slim Pickens--

    After months of observation, Mowat concluded that, contrary to the ranchers' claims, the wolves mainly ate field mice

    which surely is an idiotic observation.

    This time of year, around here, mice are only found in churches and attics. And the rumbling pang of hunger in a wolf's gut still goes on.

    Mowat can go tell that tale to the elk.

  62. My opinion is, Mowat has been sitting on the ice too long.

    The panic cry of a deer or elk before the ripping death occurs, and the feast begins.

    It ain't pretty out there, folks.

  63. well, Farley was up in the Arctic and not down in the balmy clime of got many Caribou running about there? Anyway, there certainly has been some criticism of his work but his writing was memorable, especially to kids (I was kid when I read him). I have vague memories of his crawling down into the wolf lair and curling up with the wolf family in that book "Never Cry Wolf". Sounds pretty darn incredible fer sure but you asked me about wolves and I told ya what I know - not much.

  64. Slim Pickens, about whom was uttered the immortal words, 'a fist full of dollars, a belly full of beer.'

  65. It is a Hobbsien world, ya, but, if I remember correctly, his main premise was that the wolves couldn't catch a healthy Caribou often. They out ran them most of the time. It was the sick and lame (and babies) that got caught by the wolf.

  66. Ash, my advice is, don't sleep with wolves. Certainly not in winter.

    About the bou, we have a herd that has held on in very northern Idaho, and I am fully supportive of that effort. I don't think they are going to make it though, but I surely hope they do, and always talk the program up.

  67. If you type in Northern Idaho Caribou Herd you will find many articles like this.

    Snowmobiles have been banned in the area, for instance. I think that is a good idea, and support that legislation.

  68. remind me not to fall asleep here then...

    I do enjoy the banter though :)

  69. a farmer in Idaho who luvs, really ;)

    You've gotta good heart bobal, unless a muslim is about.

  70. Ralph Nader is still feeding his ego. If he jumps in, who benefits?

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Ralph Nader could be poised for another third party presidential campaign.
    The consumer advocate will appear on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday to announce whether he will launch another White House bid. Nader kicked off his 2004 presidential run on the show.

    A spokesman for Nader did not return phone calls seeking comment.

    Kevin Zeese, who was Nader's spokesman during the 2004 presidential race, but is no longer working for him, said Friday that Nader has been actively talking to "lots of people on all sorts of levels" about the possibility of making another run.

    Zeese said he could only guess what Nader might do, but added: "Obviously, I don't think ("Meet the Press" host) Tim Russert would have him on for no reason."

    Peter Camejo, Nader's running mate in 2004, said he won't reveal Nader's plans because he doesn't want to upstage the announcement. But he said Nader's overall philosophy on elections has not changed.

    "You've got to keep running to raise the issues that are never discussed," Camejo said. "There's a whole series of issues that only a Ralph Nader would raise."

    Last month, Nader began an exploratory presidential campaign and launched a Web site that promises to fight "corporate greed, corporate power, corporate control."

    Nader's appearance on "Meet the Press" was announced Friday in an e- mail message from Nader's exploratory campaign. The message from "The Nader Team" urges supporters to tell friends and family to watch the show and requests online contributions.

    Nader is still loathed by many Democrats who call him a spoiler and claim his candidacy in 2000 cost Democrats the election by siphoning votes away from Al Gore in a razor-thin contest in Florida. Nader has vociferously disputed the spoiler claim, saying only Democrats are to blame for losing the race to George W. Bush.

    Though he won 2.7 percent of the national vote as the Green Party candidate in 2000, Nader won just 0.3 percent as an independent in when he appeared on the ballot in only 34 states.

  71. "I find that account pretty hard to imagine," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.

    Gee, d'ya think?

    AKs are taken all the time. (Non-exportable trophy.) And depending on who you are, you can use the damn thing.

    Equipment shortage? MMMMMMMMMMMMMno.

  72. The Canadians have an (unintentional) out, ash, because if no one ponies up for reconstruction, you're gone by DEC 09 at the latest.

  73. I have thought this thing through now to the end.

    Ol' Bob ain't buying it, this line that--


  74. [What Pentagon Spokesman Bryan Whitman was actually thinking, could not be stated for the record.]

  75. :)

    One never wants to leave a record of one's true thoughts, that is elemental, my dear Lady.

  76. Coyotes live mostly on Roaches.

  77. We have gotten well away from the thread.

    I think one can look at it from two points of view.

    One being, if there is a mass of people in an area, they should be allowed to go their own way.

    Another is, and it is the view I subscribe to, we should do everything we can to weaken islam, because it is the scourge of the earth. Nothing, but nothing, good will ever come of it, and it is so lamentable, this slapping the women around, which goes back a long long way in our collective history, as my man Joseph Campbell has pointed out so well--one comes to the opinion we should wipe islam off the face of the earth, for the sake of our women friends.

    How to do that, should be the subject of the debate.

    God Bless those Europeans who came up with the idea of an individual, which can be traced back, beyond say the high middle ages, to those hearty hunters of long ago.

    Can you imagine this nonsense of the koran, and putting one's butt up in the air, so many times a day, and having the right, nay, the duty, to slap one's mate around?

  78. And I think that we are making one hell of a mistake, by not attacking Iran now.

    I will stick with that, we are making a lethal mistake.

    And we are about to elect a feel good fool for President.

  79. Just heard we lost a B-2 on Guam on Radio.
    5% of our Modern Bomber force.
    Pilots ejected, OK.

  80. Doug, I'm getting to be an old guy now. The older I get, the more I appreciate those that have served in the US Military.

  81. "...we should wipe islam off the face of the earth, for the sake of our women friends."

    What, the ones you used to lament giving the vote to?

    Keep you busy for awhile, anyway. ; )

  82. Naw albob is a big women's libber.
    Took me and someone else to task early on.

  83. Yeah, I'm a sap for women's rights, I admit it. It's what happens to a man, when you are raised, out here in the snow, by a good mom, and aunt agnes, ellen, alice, ina, jennie, and the other women in my life.

    I fess up, I like the strong females of the species.

  84. None of these women, by the way, and they were all college educated, grandpa saw to that, none of them thought islam was worth a piece of toilet paper.

  85. My bad.

    One more thing to hold against Doug.

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