“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."

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Suicide. Death of a Madam.

Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the "D.C. Madam'' who committed suicide last week, left behind a note for her mother saying she couldn't bear prison. Copies of the notes are here and another to her sister here. Palfrey made the irreversible decision that death at her own hands was preferable to a life controlled by others. She was facing prison and decided to kill herself, all for getting caught selling sex. To me the entire episode sounds absurd and is a macabre tragic farce.

There are multiple degrees of absurdity to all of our lives. Most felons guilty of the worst crimes will do anything to avoid the death penalty, but Ms. Palfrey executed herself for what many people hardly view as a crime at all. The law makers who used the services of Ms. Palfrey constitute a special category of absurd hypocrites.

I suppose that there are legitimate reasons for taking your own life. Absurdity must be one of them.


  1. I thought she might have been done in.

    "Know I am at peace. With complete certainty I believe dad is standing watch prepared to guide me into the Light."

    "Dad and I will be waiting for both of you on the other side."

    Women usually take pills.

    Who knows. Take a hand writting analysis I quess.

    Blake would have said--he was kind of a free love guy--it's a misuse of the body's energy and repression all around that leads to things like this. A failure of the imagination all around. The people making the laws are breaking the laws, using the girls, and putting the madame in jail, or maybe even killed her.

  2. Teresita's gone, habu's gone, who's next?

  3. They both killed themselves?

  4. Another way to spend a life:

    The Front Page of the NY Times has a video of the Roach Family, 3 kids, 1 w/autism, sunday school teachers, a business, and a state rep.
    She also held the World Weightlifting Record!
    I, by contrast, was born with the Human Slug Gene.
    I slither hither and yon.

    Melanie Roach - Olympic
    Weightlifter - Beijing 2008

    Melanie Roach - Olympic bound 2008   Washington House
    Republicans Roach Home Page

    Rep. Dan Roach

  5. 1 out of 150 supposedly have autism:
    Where are they all?

    Roach's mom is a State Senator.

    Mormons: Worse than Wright to hear 'Rat tell the tale.

  6. 16 Are Killed as Gunmen Seek Rancher in Mexico
    Buddy and 'Rat have argued that our hosting illegals benefits Mexico and avoids a Revolution.
    One wonders how the negative "progress" could have possibly been greater in Mexico over the past two decades.
    ...but hey, at least it deprives US Citizens of Educations, safety, (often life itself) and healthcare, so things balance out on both sides of the border, right?

    Good that W and the 3 Chiefs in waiting care more for "helping Mexico" than the welfare of our citizens, and the future of this country.

  7. Border agents attacked in 3 weekend incidents
    Smugglers try to run them down; truck hits officer
    By Brady McCombs
    Tucson, Arizona | Published: 05.06.2008

    U.S. Border Patrol agents this weekend were involved in three violent encounters, found 1,400 pounds of marijuana inside a truck that crashed at the border on the Tohono O'odham Nation and discovered 43 illegal immigrants in a Nogales drop house.
    In the first violent encounter, an agent fired at an oncoming truck about 9:45 p.m. Sunday near Arivaca Road southwest of Tucson, said Rob Daniels, Border Patrol Tucson Sector spokesman. The incident started when a Border Patrol agent on foot near Arivaca Road spotted a 2001 Ford pickup full of people on the north side of the road.
    As he approached the vehicle, 12 illegal immigrants fled. The driver stayed in the truck and drove toward the agent. At that point, the agent fired his weapon, Daniels said. It's unclear how many shots he fired. The agent wasn't hurt, and the 12 people were caught by other agents.
    They found the truck nearby but didn't find the driver.
    About 2:30 a.m. Sunday an agent was struck by a black Ford pickup near the village of Cocklebur on the Tohono O'odham Nation, Daniels said. The agent was northbound on a remote road when he spotted the pickup truck full of people. It looked like it was stuck so the agent got out of his vehicle and began walking toward it.
    The driver of the truck drove directly at the agent, striking him and knocking him to the ground. The vehicle drove away. Other agents found the truck about three-fourths of a mile from the area but didn't find the driver or the occupants. There were an estimated 20 people in the truck, which was reported stolen in Phoenix.
    The agent was treated and released with a sprained right ankle and left arm, Daniels said.
    On Saturday, an agent standing close to the border fence east of downtown Nogales was hit in the chest with a baseball-sized rock by a suspected smuggling scout, Daniels said.
    The agent was waiting for some illegal immigrants to head north when a man lobbed some rocks toward him. The agent stood up and identified himself. That's when the man hit him in the chest with the rock. The rock-thrower turned around and ran back toward Mexico. The agent chased him but lost track of him, Daniels said. The agent didn't have serious injuries, he said.
    The discovery of the 1,400 pounds of marijuana occurred about 1 a.m. Saturday after a Ford F250 pickup that was being monitored by agents crashed into the railroad-rail vehicle barriers about five miles east of the San Miguel gate on the Tohono O'odham Nation, Daniels said.
    The driver and passenger fled into Mexico. Agents found the drugs inside the cab and in the bed, which had a camper shell. The vehicle had been reported stolen in Tucson.
    Agents found the drop house at 11:30 p.m. Saturday after receiving a call from Nogales police, Daniels said. They found 43 illegal immigrants inside.

  8. Ramos and Compean continue to rot as the earnest Christian proclaims that
    "family values don't stop at the border"

    and Big John reminds us that
    "They're all God's Children"

    the fuckin GOP is warmer and fuzzier than a Marin Sensitivity Seminar.

  9. " And rather than intending to encourage a vote for Obama, or Hillary, come November, I merely hope to brighten Desert Rat's day. He knows, after all, and is going to be the first to point out, that much of this was recommended by him, based on his own experience, some time ago.

    It can be done

    Haven't read the comments in the previous thread:
    My contribution is that I've heard that policy has been reversed in the way that 'Rat advocated wrt US Troops living with and training Iraqis. Some Col. on Hewitt says that is the order of the day, and progress is splendid, w/the only trailing indicator being the establishment of a sufficient cadre of leadership quality NCO's as we have.

  10. Here's a great primer on the Border situation. Covers everything from Sianola and Gulf Cartels to Zeta to battery acid baths. Reports that 30,000 gangs have 800,000 members.

    It is absolutely astounding that this goes almost unremarked in the US. It's as if there is a conspiracy of silence at the upper levels of government. And why? so as not to embarass our trading partner and next door neighbor?

  11. Teresita said...
    Desert Rat:
    "If we are going to make it a US responsibility tp police the streets of foreign lands, let's do Mexico, first. That would have an immediate impact on criminal activity and violence, both there and here, almost immediately."

    Better yet, let's finish the border fence, and when there is criminal activity and violence here, after they get out of prison, they go back over the fence. It's working real good on the Green Line in Israel, as well as the Gaza Strip. If the Mexican gangs get Katusha rockets to shoot over the fence because they can't get over anymore, we can deal with that later.

    Amen to that.

  12. desert rat said...
    John McCain's newest website.
    Proof is in the tasting
    He is running, wants to be President of America.

    He definately sees America, not the United States. A tad ahead of the curve, but he's getting on in years.

    His "experience" leads him to the America viewpoint.

    From the Pole to his birthplace, America, one Land, one People.

    Let US Celebrate the Patriots

    McCain, who announced that he will attend the annual convention of the National Council of La Raza in San Diego on July 14, said Cinco de Mayo is a chance for Mexico to celebrate its path to freedom.

    “On this day in 1862, a small group of Mexican troops overcame overwhelming force to win the Battle of Puebla. Today, we join together to remember the sacrifice that these Mexican patriots endured, as well as the struggles of all those around the world striving for freedom. We recognize as well the important friendship that exists between our country and Mexico, and celebrate the many contributions Mexican-Americans have made to our society, culture, security and economy,” he said.

    It's all doug's fault, anyway.

    ... Sen. John McCain said Monday the tenor of the immigration debate has hurt the way Hispanic voters view the Republican Party

    McCain on Monday empathized with Hispanics who have been mistreated and said low-income Hispanics are often the first to lose their jobs when someone come to the United States illegally.

    He underscored his view that those who came to the U.S. legally take priority over those who entered the country illegally, but said that still means the issue can be addressed "in a humane and compassionate fashion, understanding families, understanding all the aspects that affect the lives of all human beings."

    McCain, who represents a border state with a large Latino population, said he thinks he will do well among Hispanic voters, partly because of his "long record working with Hispanic leadership."

    "I know the people, I know the patriotism, I know the loyalty, I know the respect for the family, the advocacy for life," he said. "Everything about our Hispanic voters is tailor made to the Republican message."

    McCain also pledged to attend the National Council for La Raza's convention in July, the largest national Hispanic civil rights organization which seeks to improve opportunities for Hispanic-Americans.

    Asked if he would face criticism from his more conservative backers, McCain stressed his party is all encompassing.

    "My party is an inclusive party, my party reaches out to every citizen, every American who shares our views and our optimism and our belief in the principles of this great nation," he said.

    "I will make sure we go to places where I may not get the majority of their votes. But the job I have is to reunite America, to make sure that people know that I will be the president of all the people whether they vote for me or not."

  13. (I didn't have the stomach to clik John's new link. 'Rat performed the service)
    We're fucked.
    Viva La Raza!

  14. (Black teens in LA looking for work are Shit outta luck:
    McDonalds and the like REQUIRE Spanish fluency.)

  15. Trish: Teresita's gone, habu's gone, who's next?

    I ain't going nowhere, Trish, no matter how bad it gets. If Deuce or whit start deleting my posts wholesale, I'll post as another'un.

  16. Suicide ???
    Make me laugh some more!

    No one deletes comments around here, that I know of.

    Once or twice in the whole history of the Bar. Perhaps.

    I can certainly outline the reasons for being a Union man, doug. Does not mean that I subscribe to them, though.

    Like being a new age Republican, from Sedona. Get on board!!!

    Get your energy focused

  17. Those black kids are just going to have to adjust, doug.
    Go bi-lingual, get a real education.

    Prepare for the brave new world that the Republican majority in Congress, 1992 - 2006, has provide for US.

  18. Tenemos un consulado mexicano nuevo que es construido en Boise sobre las objeciones de Representative Sali, Doug. Muestra de los tiempos.

  19. Though the Kool-Aid drinkers on the "Right" will blame the MSM and Dan Rather.

  20. 50.000 miles pueden ser muertos en Birmania de la tormenta grande. El desastre está de proporciones bíblicas. Aqui

  21. Hey, ese traductor de los pescados de Babel funciona grande. Vaya Aqui

  22. Lee Marvin, in 'Cat Ballou', uttered the immortal words: "Assault with a friendly weapon."

  23. It's just a toy,
    made in China.

  24. "Made in Paris" all-time classic.

  25. I am surrrre our trish would have no interest in such a sort of man.

  26. Doug: John McCain's newest website. Proof is in the tasting
    He is running, wants to be President of America.

    My brief flirtation with Obama is over. Just a passing phase, I suppose. Mark me down as a McCain girl.

  27. McCain, Terr-bear? Are you high?

  28. The Outlaw Josey Wales said, "dyin's easy, livin's the hard part."

  29. I never get tired of Clint Eastwood movies, gag.

    WiO: Border agents attacked in 3weekend incidents. Smugglers try to run them down; truck hits officer

    How about Arizona call out the National Guard and give the smugglers a few "weekend incidents" of their own?

  30. Jr is in the AZ Nat Guard, Ms T, not enough personal weapons to go around, even to qualify at the range. they'd be down there with brooms, simulating.

    Or stimulating, depending upon the perspective.

  31. Katya,

    How come youz listing Daily Kos in your blog roll and not our friendly Elephant Bar? Did everyone welcome the new cat Tes brought in?

  32. Matuselah, I turned Miss Katz on to Observanda and BC. We've been online pals for a while. She's from the Joel Rosenberg Godblog that had it's comments section turned off and she needs a place to land.

  33. No snacking on the pickled pickles! Don't want no suicide madams on farmer Bob's conscience.

  34. The rift between a beleaguered prime minister and a grieving novelist mirrors the division confounding Israel. Can the two men overcome the differences that separate them? Can Israel overcome its paralysis to make the hard choice necessary for its survival as a Jewish democracy?

    by Jeffrey Goldberg


  35. "Can Israel overcome its paralysis to make the hard choice necessary for its survival as a Jewish democracy?"

    LOL. The more I see this crap the more I get the impression people will do anything to keep themselves "busy".

  36. Thought you might get a kick out of that story.

  37. The rift between a beleaguered prime minister and a grieving novelist mirrors the division confounding Israel. Can the two men overcome the differences that separate them? Can Israel overcome its paralysis to make the hard choice necessary for its survival as a Jewish democracy?

    the writer of this essay misses the most important point about the Lebanon war of 2006..

    Israel could not justify a full ground invasion since the threat of hezbollah and her 12,000 rockets became known to the world as bothersome but not truly lethal, more israelis do die from one suicide bomber than almost all the thousands and thousands of rockets PUT TOGETHER.

    Hamas, hezbollah, iran and syria all threaten (and iraq in former days) to burn israel, to destroy her and also murder all peoples living within israel...

    the 2006 war with iran/hezbollah/hamas/syria proved the very fact of their WEAKNESS, thus for israel to send in a full ground invasion that would cost hundreds of israeli's lives (if not thousands) was just not worth it.

    in the end, olmert did what he could do with the situation that developed. the calculating use by the arabs (persians) of human shields, shooting rockets at the general direction of jews and in the end begging for a ceasefire all show in the end israel did in fact do a fine job in lebanon...

    in the end hezbollah/iran/hama/syria have had their mask ripped off for the blood thirsty pricks they are...

    in the end, the Lebanese army is south of the river for the 1st time in decades...

    in the end hezboollah has rearmed (thanks syria and iran) and israel has learned that hezbollah (and friends) had compromised israeli communications, had advanced night vision equipment, anti-tank and anti-ship missile systems..

    Israel (and america) have now upgraded their arsenals, learned their weaknesses and taken great steps to be ready for the next BATTLE.

    we already have seen a few goodies to tease us...

    israel's bombing of syrian/nkor's nuke plant....

    2, not one, 2 hits IN SYRIA of one hezbollah and one hamas leader...

    Israel is not so much stuck in the mud as it is getting ready for the next round of arab/persian genocide...

    sometimes events have their own momentum, regardless of the current "politics" at the time...

    summer is coming...

    hamas has been greenlighted by iran to step up rockets, stabbings, shootings, stunts et al...

    israel's 60th is coming, and fatah has a stunt or two planned... (look to masses of palios do palio shit)

    hezbollah is looking worse in lebanon so look for them to look to israel for validation

    iran is getting close to the redline...

    oh my! let's not also forget that fun little lebanese army bombing of the palios camp, making 60,000 palios refugees....

    yep, this summer folks....

    get your gas masks ready....

  38. Never been much of an Eastwood fan. Nope.

    Lee Marvin and Steve McQueen, thanks.

  39. What does the Pentagon think of that sad little affair in Lebanon...what was it, two years ago now?

    Wave of the future. On hezbollah's side.

  40. What does the Pentagon think of that sad little affair in Lebanon...what was it, two years ago now?

    Wave of the future. On hezbollah's side.


    hey trish....

    why not read what i wrote and think about that...

    I can give you 1000 reasons to be thrilled about 2006 & lebanon..

    hezbollah is not the wave of the future, but rather an iranian proxy army who lost 2006 and now is propped up with billions and is as worthless today as it was 2 years ago...

    are they annoying? sure...

    but the truth? israel can wipe them out IF THEY CHOOSE TO in a nanosecond, even with using nukes...

    picture southern lebanon & beirut if israel used napalm on the lands of southern lebanon?

    picture hezbollah controlled areas of beirut destroyed with bunker buster bombs...

    picture the iranian embassy targeted in beirut...

    lot's of targets that the israelis CHOSE not to hit...

    but not next time...

  41. "What does the Pentagon think of that sad little affair.."

    A trillion dollar war to nowhere is not enough to think about?

  42. WiO,

    It no choice when you are bullied and coerced into that "choice". Like dRat says, America "supports all sides", but some she supports more than others.

  43. "but the truth? israel can wipe them out IF THEY CHOOSE TO in a nanosecond, even with using nukes..."

    Well you call me when they do, sweetheart.

  44. What is "occupation" it is true that the enemy has gotten their hands on SOME advanced equipment. In Afghanistan and Iraq I understand that Russia has been testing some of their anti-tank weapons by getting a FEW samples into the hands of the bad guys, and the same thing happened in Lebanon in 2006. So you get anecdotes of cheap shots being made on the good guys, to great consternation on the nightly news, but there is NO WAY the average Jihadi is armed with that stuff.

  45. Aunque no es agradable mirar.

  46. Derbyshire on the cult of the Presidency.

    "Possibly the appearance corresponds to reality. Calvin Coolidge, the most capable practitioner of the Taoist style in the presidency, liked to say that “If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you.” That is very likely true. In an age of nuclear proliferation and widespread suicidal terrorism, though, the tenth buggy may be carrying something extremely unpleasant."

    Well, I'd like to think he's reading the Elephant Bar.

  47. No one seems to give a second thought to the death of the madam. She served her purpose. Move on, now, faster, move on there...

  48. JERUSALEM, May 5 (Reuters) - U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq would make it difficult to mount any attack on Iran, the Pentagon's top officer said in remarks broadcast on Monday, adding that he would prefer to avoid a new regional war.

    "I actually am very hopeful that we don't get into a position where we have to get into a conflict," Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Israel's Channel Ten television when asked if he might recommend that U.S. forces strike Iranian nuclear facilities preemptively.

    "It would be a very significant challenge for the United States right now to get into a third conflict in that part of the world," Mullen added, referring to the Bush administration's long-running military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

  49. Bob,

    You're a farmer, you're familiar with animals. Why is this Billherbeast so hungry to be President?

  50. From cutler's link:

    “The kind of man always welcome in a tight spot, Merrick slowly comes to seem … more like the man who brings the tight spot with him.”

    Damn. I wish I had written that.

    (We could only pray for a Coolidge revival, cutler.)

  51. Poor woman. A career of running whores must have left her feeling remorse. Quite Sad.

    "What does the Pentagon think of that sad little affair.."

    Do you mean the UN Resolution to monitor the resupply of weapons in the south of Lebanon? Think we and or the Israelis have any folks on that side of the wire wearing blue helmets? Would be quite foolish if we did not.

  52. "Think we and or the Israelis have any folks on that side of the wire wearing blue helmets?"

    No need for blue helmets. None at all.

  53. but there is NO WAY the average Jihadi is armed with that stuff.

    hezbollah is not an "average Jihadi" it is an armed division of the Iranian Army

  54. William Matthew Merrick

    (September 1, 1818–February 4, 1889) was a United States Circuit Court judge for the District of Columbia and congressman from the fifth district of the state of Maryland.

    moved to Washington, D.C. in 1854 when he was appointed as associate justice of the United States Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, a position he served in until 1863. While in this position, he is best known for his role in the case of Murphy v. Porter during the American Civil War, when he issued a writ of habeas corpus to James Murphy. President Abraham Lincoln, who had suspended habeas corpus despite his actions being ruled unconstitutional in Ex parte Merryman, extended the suspension to the District of Columbia where the writ was refused. In retaliation for the writ, Lincoln ordered Merrick placed under house arrest to prevent the meeting of the Circuit Court panel to review Murphy's case.

    The Circuit Court panel met anyway, absent Merrick, on October 19, 1861 and issued a contempt of court citation against General Andrew Porter, the Provost Marshal for the District of Columbia who commanded the soldiers holding Merrick under house arrest. President Lincoln again intervened blocking the Deputy United States Marshal from serving the contempt citation against Porter. The Circuit Court reconvened and ruled that Lincoln had "seen fit to arrest the process of this Court" in violation of the Constitution.

    During the affair Lincoln also ordered Secretary of State William H. Seward to suspended Merrick's salary - an act that is also prohibited by the United States Constitution. Merrick was released from house arrest in December.

  55. I don't know Mat, I really don't. It's sort of preternatural, spooky. Humans are able to soar past the animals in many ways, but fall much much further too. She's like one of these strange women in literature, a Goneral, a Regan, a Medea or something. Always scheming, always watching, brain always driven. She's some kind of an a two - headed...wolf.

  56. "None at all."

    You're in pretty sad shape if you need use these blue helmets for your intel needs.

  57. "I don't know Mat, I really don't."

    There's always a reason, Bob. A wholly natural reason.

  58. Maybe she does have balls? How do we know for sure?

    That too would explain Bill's behavior in the White House, no?

  59. Trish, I have always wondered why an Admiral or other high ranking member of the US military would say something as assinine as that comment....especially on an Israeli TV station.....Is he baiting, BSing, or is he just dumb? The truth has nothing to do with this.

  60. THIS, Dear Chilluns, is a Huge Problem, writ small.

    THIS is what the U.S. did, what the U.K. did, what various other producers did, and what Mexico, Venezuela, and many others are in the Process of doing.

  61. Bob, you're a farmer. Balls don't just grow like that. Someone must plant them there.

  62. I was a wheat farmer Mat, never had a barn yard, or barns, did have some grain bins.:)

  63. The Admiral isn't saying anything new. Bush himself has said it.

    What? You think the Iranians or the Israelis don't know that our plate's full? Iran anyway is pretty consistent in keeping under the bar of open confrontation.

    Mullen also said this last week:

    "There are very few either briefings or meetings that I'm in that I'm not thinking about 'How does what we're talking about right now transition to next spring?' " Mullen said. He said U.S. commanders in regions overseas, as well as chiefs of the different services, are having similar discussions.

    The transition is unlikely to be smooth, predicted Mullen, who assumed his position seven months ago for a two-year term. He said he hopes to offer a stabilizing influence as a military leader who will bridge two administrations.

    "We will be tested. . . . I'm preparing that this country will be tested, and I have a role in that regard, certainly providing advice to whoever the new president's going to be," he said. He said his current priority is to develop military strategies for the Middle East and the globe to "tee up" for a new president.

    Specifically, Mullen said he hopes that the change in politically appointed leaders will unfold at a wartime pace, rather than at a "peacetime" one. "I think it's important for us to get as many principals in positions as rapidly as possible in a time of war," he said.

  64. Well, Bob, I think we have a fairly good idea as to the who why and what concerning the Hussein plant. Now we need to expand this knowledge to include Billherbeast.

  65. IOW: The Pentagon is worried about the appointment of principals bogging down in confirmation. I'm sure they're not alone.

    If everyone's gotta rewrite the bible and reinvent the wheel, the sooner they can get started, the better.

  66. Trish, you said there was no need for blue helmets. This is true, because if you look at this map there is no way for Iran to get weapons to Syria & Lebanon without crossing through Northern Iraq; or, alternatively, without taking them by sea through the Suez Canal. All it would require is the inspection of all trucks coming over the border from Iran into Iraq, which is what US forces can do, and the inspection of all vessels going to a port in Lebanon, which is what the Israeli Navy can do.

  67. Mr Newt tells the tale, from his perspective.

    A Nine Point Program
    Doom & Gloom if not acted upom

  68. "All it would require..."

    Yeah, okay, what're the odds of that?

    That also assumes that they all come directly from Iran. No need for that. They's a biiiiiiig black market out there. All you need is the cash.

  69. Newt:

    "Senator McCain is currently running ahead of the Republican congressional ballot by about 16 percentage points. But there are two reasons that this extraordinary personal achievement should not comfort congressional Republicans.

    "First, McCain's lead is a sign of the gap between the McCain brand of independence and the GOP brand. No regular Republican would be tying or slightly beating the Democratic candidates in this atmosphere. It is a sign of how much McCain is a non-traditional Republican that he is sustaining his personal popularity despite his party's collapse.

    "Second, there is a grave danger for the McCain campaign that if the generic ballot stays at only 32 % for the GOP it will ultimately outweigh McCain's personal appeal and drag his candidacy into defeat."

    Definitely a possibility.

  70. Zimbabwe: Minister Claims Controversial Chinese Arms Now in Country

    SW Radio Africa (London)

    6 May 2008
    Posted to the web 6 May 2008

    Lance Guma

    Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga on Sunday claimed that the controversial shipment of arms from China, initially blocked by South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia, was now in Zimbabwe.

    Responding to criticism of the shipment during a panel discussion on Iranian sponsored 'Press TV' Matonga is said to have derisively retorted, 'in any case that shipment is already in Zimbabwe.'
    The Chinese ship 'An Yue Jiang' was carrying 3 million rounds of ammunition for AK-47's, 1500 rocket propelled grenades and 3000 mortar rounds and tubes. Pressure from trade unions and civil society groups in the SADC region ensured the ship spent weeks failing to get permission to offload. Emerson Mnangagwa, the man in charge of Zimbabwe's terror campaign through the Joint Operations Command, is said to have travelled to Angola and met President Eduardo dos Santos last week, in an effort to have the shipment allowed through.

    Angola officially declined to authorise the offloading of the Zimbabwean arms shipment, but no one knows if they kept their word. The picture continues to get to murkier with other reports suggesting the Angolan President's jet, a Falcon 900, was sighted in Zimbabwe Tuesday evening. No further details were available. Malawi's Nyasa Times newspaper added to the speculation by claiming intelligence agents from Malawi had travelled to Angola to help clear the shipment on behalf of the Zimbabwean regime.

  71. "That also assumes that they all come directly from Iran."

    Lebanon's Jumblatt wants ban on Iran flights

    Any reason why that may be?

  72. Or belive that

    LONDON, May 6 (Reuters) -
    A Chinese-owned ship carrying a cache of weapons originally destined for Zimbabwe has only unloaded construction equipment in Angola and not its consignment of arms, transport unions said on Tuesday.

    The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), which has been tracking the ship's movements for weeks, said fellow trade unions in Luanda reported the An Yue Jiang unloading only cement and construction material.

    Zambia, which chairs the Southern African Development Community grouping, last month urged regional states to bar the ship from entering their waters, saying the weapons could deepen Zimbabwe's election crisis.

    "No attempt was made to offload any armaments and the ship sailed after taking on fuel and food," the ITF said in a statement.

    "Trade unionists, including from the port workers' union, maintained a watch on the ship and what came off and went on it throughout its stay in port. The police were also present," the ITF said.

    China last month said the arms shipment would be recalled after South African port workers refused to unload it and two other southern African nations denied it access to their ports.

  73. Hillary’s Mathematical Dilemma

    By John C. Fortier Tuesday, May 6, 2008

    Absent a major Obama scandal, Clinton will trail in the delegate count in early June—and Obama will be the nominee.

    Hillary Clinton can change her message, change her campaign manager, even change her hairstyle—but she can’t change the delegate math that makes it almost impossible for her to win the Democratic presidential nomination.


    Over at Rural Votes/The Field, Al Giordano reports the drip, drip, drip of superdelegates to Obama.

    Didn't sam predict McCain v. Obama? I believe he did.

    Has McCain started his campaign against Obama specifically? I haven't been paying attention.

  74. "No need" ...ok. I would still want a human on the ground in the areas of weapon staging and deployment in case my bots failed or my remote sensing platforms were temporarily blinded. If the blue helmets are being paid to look the other way, I would like to know, 1) who is making the payments and 2) which way is not ok to look. Therefore my man on the ground should either be a southern Lebanese villager that Hizzy has allowed to stay. Hizzy, or wearing a blue helmet. I did not say that you rely on a UN monitor, I implied that you place someone as a monitor. If you only put people were you think you "need" them then chances are you arent thinking enough.

  75. And I think Hillary's projected to take one more delegate than Obama tonight.

  76. I'm not saying there aren't actual humans on the ground. I'm sure there are. I'm just saying that the baby blue helmet isn't necessary. Really, if you've done your job, you have no end of HB on your own damn payroll.

  77. Sorry, I didn't read completely:

    "Therefore my man on the ground should"

    Roger that.

  78. Mossad's some hot shit and I'm sure they - and others - do.

  79. Gag reflex:

    What kind of rock do you like?

  80. Ol Hilly is done. Black hope change power and white guilt power will win the day prior to Denver. If Obama looses to McCain in November the race hustlers will come screaming out of the woodwork. If Obama wins start slicing your pie so that you can share it fairly with his wife. In the end I will have less pie and she will still be bitter.

  81. Katchoo: All it would require is the inspection of all trucks coming over the border from Iran into Iraq, which is what US forces can do, and the inspection of all vessels going to a port in Lebanon, which is what the Israeli Navy can do.

    Three problems I see with that:

    1. Some arms may clandestinely transit through Turkey.

    2. The US can't even seal its own border with Mexico, let alone the Kurdo-Iraqi border with Iran.

    3. Israel can't afford the op tempo to blockade Lebanon, even if they had sufficient assets afloat.

  82. "If Obama looses to McCain in November the race hustlers will come screaming out of the woodwork."

    New Orleans Cat 4 hurricane scenario: It's close enough for a recount in one key state. Gonna be close in any event.

  83. Here's another: We have a popular vote/EC split.

  84. Cutler, multi-faceted shiny ones?

  85. "Favorite Music

    Said enthusiasm to me.

    You made me laugh, nonetheless.

  86. Joe buz, I don't think Hillary is finished. That's the good thing about this long Democratic Party primary season, it has given us time to really make sure the candidates are vetted. The Reverend Wright thing has mortally wounded Barack Obama and I think it's a good thing the superdelegates are there, so the Party won't end up having buyers' remorse. We've still got a second chance. Americans aren't going to hand over the power of the Executive to someone al-Qaeda would love to have in office. At least Hillary is on record as wanting to officially extend our nuclear umbrella to our best ally in the Middle East. So you can expect Hillary to do whatever it takes to get the nod, and she will have lots of help from within the DNC.

  87. Lately, the candidates have sparred over Clinton's support for suspending the federal tax on gasoline, with Obama's campaign running ads in both states saying that the proposal wouldn't save consumers much money. Clinton countered that Obama has no plan of his own to lower gasoline prices, and said that her idea would save motorists about $8 billion.
    Tuesday's contests are the first in the Democrats' nomination race since Clinton handily defeated Obama in Pennsylvania on April 22. More Pennsylvania Democrats who said they were worried about the economy voted for Clinton, which has put pressure on Obama to reach out to voters on economic issues.
    Obama currently holds the lead in the delegate count, with 1,745 delegates to Clinton's 1,608. The candidates need 2,025 to win the Democratic nomination.

    Too Close to Call

  88. "At least Hillary is on record as wanting to officially extend our nuclear umbrella to our best ally in the Middle East."

    Who's that, and why do they need our umbrella?

  89. "So you can expect Hillary to do whatever it takes to get the nod, and she will have lots of help from within the DNC."

    Yes and if she and the DNC are successful, the damage to the party and to race relations could be irreparable.

  90. An odd moment on MSNBC just now: Tom Daschle, a major Obama supporter, seemed to suggest that it would be "extra-legal" if the Hillary campaign takes the dispute over the Florida and Michigan delegations to the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee.

    Asked about that scenario, Daschle said:

    "If we have the majority of delegates, and we've got a nominee, [then] all this becomes sort of a moot point. I can't imagine that they would actually consider something that dramatic, something that extra-legal, at a time when we really ought to be talking about uniting the party."


  91. Woody Woodard, president of the local chapter of the NAACP, said he was thrilled to have a man with Lowery’s credentials as a spokesman for Obama.

    Woodard, who introduced Lowery to the group, referred to the retired minister as “The Godfather.”

    “When I was asked to introduce him, somebody wanted to know if I knew him,” Woodard said. “Absolutely, without a doubt.”

    Stumping for Obama

  92. US light crude hit a fresh high of $US121.49 in New York trading overnight, while London's Brent crude reached $US120.25.

    Oil has been rising because of fears about possible supply disruptions in Nigeria and in northern Iraq and predictions of higher US demand.

    Economists warn higher oil prices are continuing to drag on global economies already weakened by the credit crunch.

    Record High

  93. Everyone talks about the screwed up, overly long, destructive democrat primaries:
    How many pubs out there besides me would GLADLY have a longer primary if it meant that McCain was not coronated by New Hampshire?

  94. Hey Cutler:
    Hillary's gonna eliminate OPEC:
    Tell us you aren't in favor of that!
    SuperHill will, too!

  95. Among the most vocal proponents is Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who is appealing for votes by calling for a new windfall-profits tax on oil companies that would pay for a three month suspension of the U.S. gas tax.

    The last such tax -- during the Carter administration -- was repealed under the Reagan administration. A 2006 analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service said that windfall-profits tax generated $80 billion, "significantly less than the $393 billion projected"; was "an administrative burden" on the Internal Revenue Service; and "made the United States more dependent on foreign oil."

    The states of Illinois and Indiana suspended taxes on gasoline for several months in 2000, only to reinstate them amid evidence that the suspensions had produced meager savings for ordinary motorists while costing millions of dollars in revenue for road construction.

    Familiar Ring

  96. Whit: Yes and if she and the DNC are successful, the damage to the party and to race relations could be irreparable.

    Where are the blacks going to go? Ralph Nader? John McCain? Or maybe they'll stay home. It's win, win, win for the Republican Party. If they're all bent out of shape blaming Hillary Clinton, then they won't have a reason to blame the GOP.

  97. Yes they will. In the end, it is all one big conservative conspiracy.

  98. “Senator Obama in particular likes to talk up his background as a lecturer on law, and also as someone who can work across the aisle to get things done,” Mr. McCain said. “But when Judge Roberts was nominated, it seemed to bring out more the lecturer in Senator Obama than it did the guy who can get things done.

    He went right along with the partisan crowd, and was among the 22 senators to vote against this highly qualified nominee.”

    In short, Mr. McCain said, for Mr. Obama “nobody quite fits the bill except for an elite group of activist judges, lawyers and law professors who think they know wisdom when they see it — and they see it only in each other.”

    Stance on Judges

  99. Most expensive cars to repair:

    1. Audi A8
    2. Mercedes-Benz G Class
    3. Jaguar XK