“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, June 19, 2008

"Dancing in the Dark" - Death of a Lady

Cyd Charisse


By Scott Eyman | Wednesday, June 18, 2008, Culture Club

I interviewed Cyd Charisse in 2002, when I was writing my biography of Louis B. Mayer. A producer who had worked at MGM liked me and my questions, and on the spur of the moment decided to call up Charisse and tell her she really should talk to this nice young man - “young” being a loose term when used by octogenarians. She promptly scheduled the interview for the next day.

I have interviewed everybody from John Wayne on down, but I was frankly nervous about interviewing Cyd Charisse, simply because I’d always thought she was was - how to put this delicately? - smokin’ hot. Put it another way: if watching Cyd Charisse in “The Band Wagon” doesn’t turn you on, it’s time for the monastery.

We met in her Wilshire Boulevard condo. Because she had been raised at MGM, she dressed for an interview as if it were a formal occasion. The dress was superb, her makeup faultless. She still had her dancer’s body, was still beautiful, although there was a cast in her eye that hadn’t been there decades earlier.

Once, a long time before, she had been a little girl from Amarillo, Texas, but she had left that behind. She was drily funny about the business, affectionate about “Mr. Mayer” and the entire MGM experience, loved Eugene Loring, her favorite choreographer.

But she was very restrained and composed. She only really sprang to animated life when the name of Dore Schary came up. She loathed Schary, felt he had no taste for musicals. The passion that had always animated her elegance was suddenly present in the room.

The transition was an interesting corrollary to her career - in movement she was unparalleled, by far the greatest female dancer in the movies, but as an actress, standing still, she was inhibited and dull. This is why her movie career dribbled away when musicals died, even though she was only in her mid-30s at the time.

She never disappointed me in the movies, and she didn’t disappoint me in person either. I think I need to watch the “Dancing in the Dark” number from “The Band Wagon” right away. Click below and you can, too


  1. Damn Rufus, thanks for the rush____♠♠♠♠♠

  2. Man that's the way to get in a carriage. Just like my wife and I used to do getting into the Landcruiser. Mom always liked that dancing. What beautiful legs.

    26 cent gas, Rufus.

  3. Bob, have one on the house. You don't mind getting up and fixing it yourself do you? I just finished mopping the floor...

  4. Alright, I'll do that very thing. And watch the videos and listen to the music again. Thanks.

  5. While you're listening to music and watching the dancing, Take A HubbleTour During The Breaks

  6. What a gift, to be alive, for even such a short time, and be able to see such images of the universe. Human beings, the eyes and brains of the universe.

  7. Crab Nebula my favorite out of that.

  8. I was reading some phsycist, from Texas I think, Davies, maybe, he was saying, we really don't know what we're looking at. We have some mathematics, elegant, and it seems to work, but we really can't say just what it is we're looking at. Maybe some thought form, or thought form forming. In the lingo of the 60's, it blows the mind. Mamma always said, the swan on the lake with the graceful neck in the form of the question mark, that's life. The Hindus say, the form of the great mother, playing.

  9. Thought form shoots self during home invasion.

    Man accidentally kills himself while trying to rob a Grand Prairie home

    03:17 PM CDT on Wednesday, June 18, 2008
    By DAN X. McGRAW / The Dallas Morning News

    A 19-year-old man accidentally shot and killed himself Tuesday morning while he was attempting to rob a Grand Prairie home, authorities said.

    Cameron Sands, 19, of Fort Worth kicked in the door of the house and then shot himself in the stomach as he pulled a gun out of his pants to shoot the homeowner, Grand Prairie police said. The homeowner was not injured.

    After Mr. Sands shot himself, he dropped the gun and ran out of the home. Police found his body around 5:30 a.m. in the driveway of the home in the 2800 block Garden Grove Road, said Lt. John Brimmer, a Grand Prairie police spokesman.

    “This is the first that I’ve heard of a robbery suspect killing himself as he is drawing a gun out of his waist band,” Lt. Brimmer said. “The criminal evidence points to that. It certainly isn’t common.”

    The Tarrant County Medical Examiner has ruled the death an accident

  10. to be able to see such images of the universe

    At the end of the day life is what it’s all about, which is why this death-worship coming out of the desert sands is so disturbing. It is not business as usual. Sporadically Belmont is visited by posts from the Dark Side that chill my bones. The text always suggests a commitment to continue the fight to some bitter end for some contrived tortured reasoning. When the bluff is called, in stark terms of enemy and aggression, always some obligatory reminder that we just don’t understand the driving narrative.

    I think we do - all too well.

    Tortured or not, the reasoning has legs.

    And those legs aren’t getting on the band wagon any time soon.

  11. the swan on the lake with the graceful neck in the form of the question mark, that's life

    John Wheeler proposed a theory that all life can be explained or reduced in terms of mathematics - the sound bite description “It from Bit”. Mathematics is very, very powerful - more than we know at present I suspect. I always wondered where numbers came from. Scientists claim that the laws of physics as we currently understand them did not exist for the first 33 picoseconds (something like that) after the Big Bang.

    I am thinking quantum physics is in for some down time. String Theory cannot be proven with currently available tools of scientific inquiry.

  12. From a historic perspective, slade, "death worship" is the norm.

    Both in that region and the World at large.
    Back to the days of the Great Khan, or just the recent past, the 20th Century.

    The death toll of the 20th Century, reaching 60 million souls, perhaps more.
    The provocateurs of death,
    treated as Demigods.
    Tojo, Hitler, Stalin, Mao
    and then the cast of also rans, Pol Pot, Mugumbe, the Generals of Burma, the arabs of Sudan, back even to the young Turks in Armenia.

    No, there is nothing new or uncommon about the death worshipers in the Niddle East.

  13. In point of fact, they are not even in the same league as the 20th Century's Big Three.

    Or Pol Pot, for that matter.

    The Muslims talk the talk, but have yet to walk the walk.
    Outside of Africa.
    Even there, they cannot "close the deal", in Darfur.
    While the "Civilized World" cares not a bit about the "White man's burden", there in Chad and the Sudan.

  14. Tojo, Hitler, Stalin, Mao
    and then the cast of also rans, Pol Pot, Mugumbe

    Point of semantics but I don't consider the list to be from the Middle East and that was part of my point. Having fought the wars of the last century, I thought some progress had been made until the Pandora's box of Muslim death worship had been opened. I didn't think End of History but I thought we were well on the road to something much better.

    The list from the last century didn't worship death so much as they used it as a brutal and uncompromising enforcement tool. The Jihadists seem to directly value death more than life.

  15. It seems to me, that the aQ Iraq fellows were using the "Trials" and beheadings to instill fear and provoke a political response.
    Both from US and more importantly, the Iraqi.

    Same as any of the fore mentioned used terror as a tactic.

    Each or the Big Four industialized death and were treated as Demigods, by their respective peoples.
    Tojo to the least extent, but the Emperor was standing in his stead.

  16. In point of fact, they are not even in the same league as the 20th Century's Big Three.

    Not suggesting that they were in terms of absolute death count. I am suggesting that I thought the death toll (1) was a sufficient lesson, certainly severe enough to last longer than half a century and yet from the debate how quickly we forget and (2) the radical jihadists - possibly the average Muslim - don’t really want to engage that argument - value death more than life. The Big Three represented socialism, fascism, and communism - ways of governing the living that proved unworkable.

    I understand the intimation of pale comparison to the Big Boys of the last century but that derives in part from the persistence of lessons learned. The distinction with a difference is the cloud of a nuclear exclamation point to support a failed but insistent quasi-religious ideology that worships death.

  17. Well I'm parsing here and not likely to win this one, but using terror to instill fear is old as the hills. Granted. Death worship as an integral part of a religion used to justify aggression is different. The Jihadists do both.

  18. The Japanese, then would be the closest comparison. They certainly honored and sanctified death, from a religious and cultural perspective. More so than any of the European examples.

    Suicide bombers, the Japanese industialized the tactic.
    All in the name of God, or his representitive here on earth

    They had to be utterly defeated, and even when they were, they were still ready to fight on.

  19. Agreed. They were bat sh^t crazy.

  20. And, as yet, the Muslims have not matched the Japanese in Nanking.

    So it may not take as much, to defeat them, the Muslims being all turban, no camels.

  21. :)

    I sincerely hope that assessment is correct.

    The deficiencies of the collective do not correlate with that one shot by the individual that hits the bulls eye.

  22. I didn't think End of History but I thought we were well on the road to something much better.

    Same here, but got only a few years respite.

    I don't buy into reductionist thinking. You might be able to 'explain' life by mathematics, but what have you really explained.

    And I'm not sure death worship has been the norm, though it might seem so. Human sacrifice as ritual, from the twisted point of view of those doing it, was a kind of an affirmation of life, an effort to keep the circulation of the energy of the universe flowing around. I wouldn't recommend it, as a practice.

    In wars the enemy has always been the alien, hopefully we'll get past it. Habu always said it was the basic condition, not to be got rid of. Which is true, if you think it is, for oneself. Most of the good poets see it as ignorance enacted. All the old epics -well most of them - were war epics, the Old Testament included, with moments of lucidity flashing through now and then. We best keep, as J. Campbell says, the sword sharp, until good sense and mutual benefit prevail. The good old American Eagle, arrows in one claw, symbol of peace in the other, with the head turned towards peace.

    The moslems have taken some big hits. It was either khan or grandson of khan that really laid waste to Baghdad.

  23. Zimbabwe Past The Brink Zimbabwe at any rate has turned out exactly as the defenders of the earlier regime claimed it would--they'd brook no opposition.

  24. I read about the Rape of Nanking some years back. The figure 600,000 sticks in my mind. Neither the Japanese nor the German people appear to be on the verge of repeating history, which I take as evidence that human aggression can be successfully channeled into other avenues.

    Obviously there is an opposing point of view.

    Habu may very well be the last man standing but in the service of stability, I will endeavor to keep whatever hopeful tendencies I may entertain well isolated from the encroachment of naivete.

    As a footnote, the It from Bit theory is not fully reductionist because numbers are infinite.

  25. As a footnote, the It from Bit theory is not fully reductionist because numbers are infinite.


    The great mother has infinite bits? Sounds reasonable.

    Never believe a Quinnipiac poll.


  26. Fred Astaire ....

    "when you dance with Cyd Charisse you know you've been danced with"

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. "Why did Nature create man? Was it to show that she is big enough to make mistakes, or was it pure ignorance?"

    Holbrook Jackson

    "Darwin was wrong. Man's still an ape."

    Gene Kelly

  29. (check out Baba's hairline above the collar)

    Zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom
    ze-ze-ze-zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom.

    Back in history before time began
    All the real cool cats had a solid plan
    When they dug a nervous chick they all, to a man, went
    Aaaaah - eee - yaaah!

    Ape call, doodly - ah - bah
    You wanna be cool man? Go ape!

    The almighty Joe swingin through the trees
    Was the king of everything that roosted in the leaves
    But when he saw a girl ape, a-hangin in the breeze, he went
    Aaaaah - eee - yaaah!

    Ape call, doodly - ah - bah
    You like to be hip boy? Go ape!

    A big dinosaur was a long, tall lizard
    He drift through the jungle like a slow blizzard
    But when he got a double take at a lady lizard, he did
    Aaaaah - eee - yaaah!

    Ape call, doodly - ah - bah
    You wanna be sharp cat? Go ape

    A pterodactyl was a flyin fool
    Just a... - I thought Id break
    in and tell you what a pterodactyl was. Well, it was sort of a stork
    lookin bat with sharp teeth that cruised around lookin for... say, we
    havent changed a bit, have we cats?

    A pterodactyl was a flyin fool
    Just a breeze flappin daddy of the old school
    But a mama dactyl could sure make him drool
    Aaaaah - eee - yaaah!

    Ape call, doodly - ah - bah
    Dont be square Joe. Go ape!

    Now old papa tiger was the boss of the Nile
    Thank you for using
    Just a sport model cat with a solid style
    He was old King Cool til a girl tiger smiled
    Aaaaah - eee - yaaah!

    Ape call, doodly - ah - bah
    Bees warts daddio, go ape!

    Adam was the first boy in the land
    A big malaroony daddy with an iron hand
    But when little Eva said, Hiya Man
    Aaaaah - eee - yaaah!

    Ape call, doodly - ah - bah
    Dont be a cube, rube. Go ape!

    So remember to ape!
    Call today .... yeah!
    Aaaaah - eee - yaaah!

  30. Ape Call
    (better without the child porn video)

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Sandra M:

    “Would somebody please make a cogent reality-based argument for why we shouldn’t vote for Obama?”

    Let me take a shot.

    1. Obama’s spiritual mentor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, hates white people and hates America. Obama sat in the pews of his church for 20 years so, even if he daydreamed most of the time, he must have imbibed some of these ideas or at least not found problems with them. And it’s the anti-American part that is most troublesome in a potential President.

    2. Ignore Father Pflegler, a past friend, the former Weatherman terrorists Bill Ayers, also a past friend, Tony Rezko, a crooked Iraqi wheeler dealer also a past friend. His wife alarmed me with her “I’m proud of my country for the first time in my life” speech.

    3. Obama’s 3 names are Arab. Baraki is the word for “blessed” in Arabic. His father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr. was 87.5% Arab. It said so on his birth certificate. Why did Jr. lie and say the name Obama was African Swahili? Why not run as our first Arab-American president?

    4. Let’s focus on his half-brother, Abongo Obama, and his cousin, Raila Odinga, whose presidential campaign in Kenya Obama went over to help with. Odinga would have put in Muslim Sharia law. He lost and has been stirring up mass violence with a horrific tale of herding Christian men, women and children into a Christian church and setting it on fire. Obama called them twice during the New Hampshire primary. Was it to tell them to cool the violence till after he was elected? Google Odinga Obama.

  33. Well, doug, I did read where Obama is related to five past Presidents, too.

    Which is no disqualifier, in and of itself.

  34. Obama and Ayres

    So, what we have, is multi-million dollar educational boondoggle, being run by Ayres. What, you might be asking, does this have to do with Barack Obama? Thank you for asking.

    Ayres, and the other founders of the Annenberg Challenge chose Barack Obama to be the first Chairman of the Board for the new program. Barack Obama, whose relationship to Ayres was "flimsy at best" worked directly for Ayres for eight years. This would seem to be more than just a casual relationship.

    A little more digging into the background of the two, would suggest that their relationship is even older still. Obama's wife Michelle worked at the prestigious Sidley Austin law firm in Chicago from 1988 through 1991, at about the same time as Bernardine Dohrn, the wife, and fellow terrorist, of Bill Ayres.

    According to reports from Chicago, it is widely believed that Dohrn acquired her position at Sidley Austin, at least in part, because of her father-in-law, Thomas Ayres, CEO of Commonwealth Edison, the firms largest, and most important client.

    In his fascinating blog, Santa Clara University law professor Steve Diamond lays out an interesting timeline and theory about the relationship between Obama and Ayres. According to his timeline, it would appear that Obama and Ayres became acquainted in the late 1980s. The full article, entitled Who Sent Obama, is available here, with excerpts below:

  35. According to your thinking, doug, Obama is emminently qualified, why he can stop the violence in Africa with just two phone calls, while the current Administration had no way to go, in that regard.

    A man to bridge the divides that plague the golbal village. Because, as we all know, it takes a village.

  36. Michelle's connection to a co-worker not nearly as interesting as Cindy's geneology of crime, money and power politics.

    As to boondoggles in education, with hugh amounts of money wasted, well that's not news. That's an everyday occurance. Let's get to where Michelle bites the dog, now that'd be news.

    What would one expect from a Chi-town politico, but a bit of corruption and slime to be acquired on the journey to power?

    Like the politicos from Boston, or even CT and Maine, let alone Arizona. Where the rum running contrabandistas have held sway, for decades, since prohibition.

  37. Anti American strikes me as different than corrupt and illegal.
    Picture Barry in uniform, or in an F-15.
    ...almost makes me want to unearth my old Photoshop Skills.

  38. Why should I give a shit about what Cindy's dad did?
    ...or what drugs she stole.

    Compared to Rev Wright preaching racism and beknighting Farakahn, or Ayers and Dorhn bombing targets in the USA?

  39. If you can link cites of John attending KKK Meetings, perhaps I'll pay attention.

  40. If we are going to do history lessons, let's investigate who funded McCain's entry into AZ politics. His first Congressional campaign needed a couple of million dollars that was not forthcoming in small donations.

    His political financiers, then, connected at the hip to his wife, Cindy.

    A short read on the history of Arizona, McCain's connection to Kemper and his place in the story can be read
    Friends of the American Revolution

  41. No photos though, that's a fact.

    Just ties to the drug trade, illegal alien smuggling, the Mexican Mafia and the like.

    Obama and McCain, two pigs in a poke.

  42. I'm exempt, not even close to being twenty

  43. Gregory Alpo and the American Tap Dance Company

  44. Only in America, doug

    Only in America

  45. Here is A little more history about the McCain family fortune.

  46. Talkig about drifting, I'm thinking of buying a drift boat. Our rivers here have really been high this spring, still roaring along. Not like Iowa, however.

  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. All this crap is so pervasive, I'm used to it. It's the human condition. Finding an honest politician is like searching for a chaste woman in Babylon. The democrats are the party of the lawyers these days, among the republicans you can find a doctor, a business man, an actor. The farmers are out of it. Vote lower taxes and a decent defense is all I know.

  49. 2164th: What a gift, to be alive, for even such a short time, and be able to see such images of the universe. Human beings, the eyes and brains of the universe.

    You look at the puffy star clouds, I'll look at those nice gams on Cyd Charisse.

  50. Sounds like McCain can afford to fund his own campaign.

    I'll look at both. Aren't they lovely?

  51. Obama is opting out of Public Financing, McCain is not.
    FOX reports

    Obama will have about a two to one cash advantage, over McCain.

    Without factoring in the 527 monies.

  52. Ignatius talks to Kilcullen. Is this the likely (post-redeployment) way forward in Iraq and elsewhere? Yes.


    We need to focus on what General Petraeus has called 'sustainable security.' "

    The alternative to our big, uniformed force in Iraq is a lighter, smaller, more nimble residual force. This force could concentrate on the tasks that most Iraqis and Americans seem to think are sensible -- fighting al-Qaeda terrorists and training the Iraqi military and other proxy forces. "Over the long run, we need to go cheap, quiet, low-footprint," argues Kilcullen.

    The continuing U.S. presence in Iraq will depend on Special Operations forces -- both the "black" SOF that will hunt terrorists and the "white" SOF that will train and fight alongside the Iraqis. We will also need a strong intelligence presence. As uniformed troops decline, the need for CIA paramilitary forces and case officers will increase.

    The right formula, says Kilcullen, is: "Overt De-Escalation; Covert Disruption." Indeed, our future Iraq presence may look more like covert action than traditional warfare. We've made a lot of friends among tribal leaders in the past several years, as the United States finally began to learn the tools of counterinsurgency. Those relationships will be important in the next phase.


  53. trish outliines "The Obama Plan".

    Transitioning the US mission over an eighteen to twenty-four month timeline, starting March '09.

    Leaving a sizable contingent behind, more than just the Special Operations Command could muster, at present.

  54. With the oil companies going back in with their expertise, the black gold will flow.

  55. it's a fantastic and shocking color (big summer trend) which shows attitude and penetration

    Miss Headscarf

    I'll stick with Cyd.

  56. How does Obama use his funding advantage in the coming months?

    Which States will he target for a saturation media blitz?

    I guess those 12 States they've got as toss-up, at RCP. Plus a few leaners ...

    A 17 State campaign,
    Spending two to one.

    Obama'll get the surge

  57. "Our large-scale presence, although essential for current stability, also creates an angry reaction -- and therefore can't be a permanent solution." - Kilcullen

    "although essential for current stability"

    IOW, if your withdrawal is driven by domestic politics, you forfeit your gains and "sustainable security" - of the sort which allows for that smaller, successful footprint - cannot be achieved. Such is Obama's inclination.

  58. “Would somebody please make a cogent reality-based argument for why we shouldn’t vote for Obama?”

    He's one of the most liberal members of the Senate. Do we need that in the White House? Mmmmmmmno.

  59. That's just a marketing spin, trish.

    Deadlines are great management tools. To not use them, amateurish.

    Par for the course.

  60. Sowell:


    At a time like this, we do not have the luxury of waiting for our ideal candidate or of indulging our emotions by voting for some third party candidate to show our displeasure-- at the cost of putting someone in the White House who is not up to the job.

    Senator John McCain has been criticized in this column many times. But, when all is said and done, Senator McCain has not spent decades aiding and abetting people who hate America.

    On the contrary, he has paid a huge price for resisting our enemies, even when they held him prisoner and tortured him. The choice between him and Barack Obama should be a no-brainer.

  61. In the majority of the States, that is not true, what Mr Sowell says.

    In any of the 15 States that RCP has as solid McCain, such as AZ or ID, a vote for Barr would not change the outcome.

    Nor would a vote for Barr in any of the 12 States that a solid for Obama effect the outcome.

    The election of '08 is a 17 State Campaign, outside of those the individual voter can send a message, without any ill effect on the Electoral College outcome.

  62. Charlie Cook:

    Singing the Down-Ballot Blues

    June 7, 2008
    Considering how bleak Republicans' down-ballot prospects look, it is re-markable that they appear to have a 50-50 shot at holding on to the presidency. What makes this situation particularly unusual is the fact that a party seeking a third consecutive term in the White House generally succeeds only 20 percent of the time.

    It'll be a tight squeeze, but like whit said, it's doable.

  63. It is a diverse set of States,
    in that toss-up catagory.

  64. Which States will McCain target, without any surge funding?
    He faces a huge spending gap against Obama.

    He needs to win 107 of the 137 electoral votes, in the toss-up grouping, or 78%.

    Obama, just 32 votes or 23%.

    With just 50% of Obama's resources how does McCain widen the attack, to make it doable?

    How does McCain combat the surge?

  65. The other RCP map has no toss ups or leaners, just solid, either way based on RCP criteria, today.

    Obama 285
    McCain 253

    Where does McCain take the offense, to get to 270 by Nov?

  66. Where will the bus tour take McCain?

  67.'s doable.


    But it will take Part II of the Oliver Stone movie Any Given Sunday to pull it off.

    A lesser effort slouches into the Dustbin of History.

  68. The talk of Muslim being death worshippers, is this really true? Do they worship death as opposed to revering the dead? Are they really different in kind then us? We have monuments coming out the yin yang memorializing our war dead, heck just the dead (cemeteries). The soldier who saves his brothers by falling on a grenade is honored. The Christian who is good goes to heaven. How is this different in kind then a Muslim in paradise? True the Japanese had kamikaze’s and the Muslim's have their suicide bombers but does that really amount to worshipping death?

  69. Venerating death in the "Cause", ash, by the warrior caste of the population. Where the greatest honor is to die, not live.

    Taken to an extreme, by the Japanese.

    As for the Muslims, I have some doubt as to the religious fervor of these criminal combatants

    As in the case of the 14 yr old Afghani, a woulda, coulda been bomber, he didn't have a clue. He is no ideolog nor religious fanatic.

    Not even much of an combatant, as much a victim as a provocateur.

  70. Well, you know what they say, slade.

    The only easy day was yesterday.

  71. Obama said in a video message to supporters he would refuse $84 million in public funds available for the November general election. He is the first U.S. presidential candidate to bypass the system since it was created after the Watergate scandal in the mid-1970s.
    If Obama had taken the public funds, he would have been limited to spending just the $84 million in the two months between the Democratic convention and the November 4 election.

    Obama's decision sets up what will be the most expensive presidential election in U.S. history. He had said earlier he would take public funds if his Republican opponent would as well.

    "It's not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections," Obama said in the video message.

    "But the public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken and we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system," he said.
    Obama built a formidable grass-roots financial machine during his primary battle against Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, raising more than $265 million from more than 1.5 million donors, many of whom gave in small increments.

    McCain raised $96 million so far during the primary season.
    "From the very beginning of this campaign, I have asked my supporters to avoid that kind of unregulated activity and join us in building a new kind of politics -- and you have," he said in the video message.

    "Instead of forcing us to rely on millions from Washington lobbyists and special interest (groups), you've fueled this campaign with donations of $5, $10, $20, whatever you can afford," he said.

    "And because you did, we've built a grass-roots movement of over 1.5 million Americans."

  72. So the folk at FOX think Obama can raise $168 million to spend in sixty days.

    While the McCain crowd syphons off cash for the companies they've created that are the logistical backone of the campaign?

    McCain’s campaign still taps Hensley assets: His presidential campaign paid at least $227,000 last year to a limited liability company in which his wife and children are invested, King Aviation, for use of its private jet, according to campaign finance reports.

    McCain taps the collective for $84 million to spend on his election.

  73. "Pipeline opens new front in Afghan war

    Canadian role in Kandahar may heat up as allies agree on U.S.-backed energy route through land-mine zones and Taliban hot spots


    From Thursday's Globe and Mail

    June 19, 2008 at 2:30 AM EDT

    OTTAWA — Afghanistan and three of its neighbouring countries have agreed to build a $7.6-billion (U.S.) pipeline that would deliver natural gas from Turkmenistan to energy-starved Pakistan and India – a project running right through the volatile Kandahar province – raising questions about what role Canadian Forces may play in defending the project.

    To prepare for proposed construction in 2010, the Afghan government has reportedly given assurances it will clear the route of land mines, and make the path free of Taliban influence.

    In a report to be released Thursday, energy economist John Foster says the pipeline is part of a wider struggle by the United States to counter the influence of Russia and Iran over energy trade in the region.

    The so-called Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline has strong support from Washington because the U.S. government is eager to block a competing pipeline that would bring gas to Pakistan and India from Iran.

    The TAPI pipeline would also diminish Russia's dominance of Central Asian energy exports."

  74. "The Big Pander to Big Oil

    Published: June 19, 2008
    It was almost inevitable that a combination of $4-a-gallon gas, public anxiety and politicians eager to win votes or repair legacies would produce political pandering on an epic scale. So it has, the latest instance being President Bush’s decision to ask Congress to end the federal ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along much of America’s continental shelf.

    Go to The Board » Readers' Comments
    "If Congress mandated a 55 mph speed limit... we would save more in dollars and gas than drilling for oil."
    Anne Hibbing, Lincoln, Neb.
    Read Full Comment »
    Post a Comment »
    This is worse than a dumb idea. It is cruelly misleading. It will make only a modest difference, at best, to prices at the pump, and even then the benefits will be years away. It greatly exaggerates America’s leverage over world oil prices. It is based on dubious statistics. It diverts the public from the tough decisions that need to be made about conservation.

    There is no doubt that a lot of people have been discomfited and genuinely hurt by $4-a-gallon gas. But their suffering will not be relieved by drilling in restricted areas off the coasts of New Jersey or Virginia or California. The Energy Information Administration says that even if both coasts were opened, prices would not begin to drop until 2030. The only real beneficiaries will be the oil companies that are trying to lock up every last acre of public land before their friends in power — Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney — exit the political stage.

    The whole scheme is based on a series of fictions that range from the egregious to the merely annoying. Democratic majority leader, Senator Harry Reid, noted the worst of these on Wednesday: That a country that consumes one-quarter of the world’s oil supply but owns only 3 percent of its reserves can drill its way out of any problem — whether it be high prices at the pump or dependence on oil exported by unstable countries in Persian Gulf. This fiction has been resisted by Barack Obama but foolishly embraced by John McCain, who seemed to be making some sense on energy questions until he jumped aboard the lift-the-ban bandwagon on Tuesday.

    A lesser fiction, perpetrated by the oil companies and, to some extent, by misleading government figures, is that huge deposits of oil and gas on federal land have been closed off and industry has had one hand tied behind its back by environmentalists, Democrats and the offshore protections in place for 25 years.

    The numbers suggest otherwise. Of the 36 billion barrels of oil believed to lie on federal land, mainly in the Rocky Mountain West and Alaska, almost two-thirds are accessible or will be after various land-use and environmental reviews. And of the 89 billion barrels of recoverable oil believed to lie offshore, the federal Mineral Management Service says fourth-fifths is open to industry, mostly in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaskan waters.

    Clearly, the oil companies are not starved for resources. Further, they do not seem to be doing nearly as much as they could with the land to which they’ve already laid claim. Separate studies by the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Wilderness Society, a conservation group, show that roughly three-quarters of the 90 million-plus acres of federal land being leased by the oil companies onshore and off are not being used to produce energy. That is 68 million acres altogether, among them potentially highly productive leases in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. "

  75. It occurs to me running for President isn't really rocket science--



    John McCain has drawn first blood in the political debate following Barack Obama's victory in the primaries. His call yesterday for offshore oil drilling — and Bush's decision to press the issue in Congress - puts the Democrats in the position of advocating the wear-your-sweater policies that made Jimmy Carter unpopular.

    With gas prices nearing $5, all of the previous shibboleths need to be discarded. Where once voters in swing states like Florida opposed offshore drilling, the high gas prices are prompting them to reconsider. McCain's argument that even hurricane Katrina did not cause any oil spills from the offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico certainly will go far to allay the fears of the average voter.

    For decades, Americans have dragged their feet when it comes to switching their cars, leaving their SUVs at home, and backing alternative energy development and new oil drilling. But the recent shock of a massive surge in oil and gasoline prices has awakened the nation from its complaisance. The soaring prices are the equivalent of Pearl Harbor in jolting us out of our trance when it comes to energy.

    Suddenly, everything is on the table. Offshore drilling, Alaska drilling, nuclear power, wind, solar, flex-fuel cars, plug-in cars are all increasingly attractive options and John McCain seems alive to the need to go there while Obama is strangely passive. During the Democratic primary, he opposed a gas tax holiday and continues to be against offshore and Alaska drilling and squishy on nuclear power. That leaves turning down your thermostat and walking to work as the Democratic policies.

    McCain has also been ratcheting up his attacks on oil speculators. With the total value of trades in oil futures soaring from $13 billion in 2003 to $260 billion today, it is increasingly clear that it is not the supply and demand for oil which is, alone, driving up the price, but it is the supply and demand for oil futures which is stoking the upward movement.

    The Saudis have made a fatal mistake in not forcing down the price of oil. We could have gone for decades as their hostage, letting their control over our oil supplies choke us while enriching them. But they got greedy and let the price skyrocket. The sudden shock which has sent America reeling is just the stimulus we need for a massive movement away from imported oil and toward new types of cars.

    The political will for major change in our energy policy is now here and those, like Obama, who don't get it need to rethink their positions. To quote FDR, “this great nation calls for action and action now” on the energy issue. What has been a back-burner problem now has moved onto center stage and McCain has put himself in the forefront.

    The Democratic ambivalence stems from liberal concerns about climate change. The Party basically doesn't believe in carbon based energy and, therefore, opposes oil exploration. That's why Obama pushes the windfall profits tax on oil companies - a step that tells them “you drill, you find oil, and we'll take away your profits.” But Americans have their priorities in order: more oil, more drilling AND alternative energy sources, flex-fuel cars, plug in vehicles and nuclear power.

    With his willingness to respond to the gas price crisis with bold measures, McCain shows himself to be a pragmatist while Obama comes off as an ideologue to puts climate change ahead of making it possible for the average American to get to work.

    Of course, the high price of gas makes it inevitable that the US will lead the world in fighting climate change. With $5 gas, Americans will switch en masse to cars that burn less gasoline. Already we have cut our oil consumption by 500,000 barrels a day in the past year (about a 3% cut). The move away from oil will be exponential from here on out, dooming radical Islam and reversing climate change at the same time. But while we are getting new cars, we need more oil and McCain has flanked Obama on this issue. Big time.

  76. You want to say

    I'm proud of my county

    You don't want to say

    G-damn America

  77. The Editors at NR:


    The U.S. Minerals Management Service estimates that drilling offshore could produce as much as 86 billion barrels of oil. Drilling in ANWR — which would only affect approximately 2,000 of its 19 million acres — could supply 5 percent of America’s oil each year for 12 years before it starts to decline, according to Energy Department estimates. And though there are barriers to their exploitation, oil-shale deposits in the Western U.S. could yield up to 800 billion barrels — three times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia.

    To his credit, McCain has been touting nuclear power, and wants to streamline the permitting process for new plants. But he continues to plug for “energy independence” as if it’s a revolutionary policy, when it has been a standard Washington promise since the Nixon administration and remains a chimera. He foolishly talks of wind, solar, and tide as if they are viable near-term substitutes for fossil fuels. And he feels compelled to condemn the “obscene” profits of the oil and gas industry, as if it were responsible for the increased prices — set by a global market — for its products.

    McCain should realize that anti-business demagoguery is a Democrat’s game. Indeed, the most ambitious energy proposal we’ve seen from Obama so far is a punitive new tax on oil companies, intended to produce pain rather than revenue. In reality, a “windfall” profits tax would function as a tax on investors in oil companies, including many pension plans and retirement funds. The Congressional Research Service found that the last time Congress imposed such a tax, it reduced domestic production by discouraging investment in oil companies. It also puts the government in the business of deciding what profits are acceptable, which is itself unacceptable.

    Americans favor increasing — not reducing, or making more expensive — energy production. We’re glad McCain has taken a step in that direction.

  78. Ash, it is said in their book, the highest form of charity(I think is the word they use) is to die in the cause of allah. It is true, the book says, you have an antipathy to it, but, you don't know what is good for you, allah knows what is good for you.

    When they go on the war path, they are in line with their book. Christians however don't have this command, and have developed lots of rules for war, often honored in the breach.

    Just having finished a couple books on Charlemagne and Charles Martel, it's odd, when the Christians finally won, in France then finally in Spain after 600 or whatever it was years, they imposed a stricter regime than the muzzies, kicking them all out, but, they were reacting to an initial muzzie aggression.

    The muzzies didn't kick everybody out of their areas, just taxed 'em to death, and, rather than pay the taxes many converted for the money. In the Christian areas, the women came out the big winners over time, Christians not being down on the women like the muzzies, and European areas not having had the monotheistic desert mideast view of women.

    It also seems true that in Spain, after the Visigoth Christians were beaten by the muzzies in most places, many of the Jews sided with the muzzies, having had a bad time of it under the Christians.

  79. Look around the world, you'll see most, not all, of the areas of conflict involve the muzzies vs someone else. They get to be 10, 20, 30% of the population you have a big problem brewing.

  80. Rasmussen Reports conducted a special Florida survey to measure the immediate impact of the offshore drilling issue on the Presidential race. As one part of the survey, respondents were told that McCain favored offshore drilling and said it would bring down the price of gas and oil. They were also told that Barack Obama opposed offshore drilling and said it would not bring down the price of gas and oil. After hearing the views of both McCain and Obama, most Florida voters agreed with McCain--61% said it was likely that offshore drilling would reduce gas prices. Only 34% disagreed and said that offshore drilling would not accomplish that goal.

    Not surprisingly, 85% of Republicans agreed with McCain’s perspective. However, Democrats were evenly divided—45% of those in Obama’s party agreed with McCain and said offshore drilling was likely to reduce the price of oil and gas. Just 48% of Democrats agree with Obama on this point. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 51% said drilling was likely to reduce prices and 38% disagreed. These findings help explain why the Obama has responded so aggressively to challenge McCain on this issue over the past couple of days.

  81. This really surprises me. I thought all the men were like Crocodile Dundee and the women were all Cyd Charisse.

  82. The people in Florida have become really creative in methods of stealing gas lately, I was reading. Here we are all honest.

  83. Where will the bus tour take McCain?

    Ohio, for sure. Big stop for the straight talk express. He should drive there at 55mph though, as Ash says. Saves fuel, saves lives, wastes a little time.

  84. "respondents were told that McCain favored offshore drilling and said it would bring down the price of gas and oil."

    Isn't that kinda stacking the deck? Who the hell doesn't want cheaper gas? If drilling will bring it down its a no brainer. Unfortunately that is not at all clear - that it will bring the price of gas down. In fact, it appears as if the oil companies will be the ones who MAY benefit from the access, not the consumer, nor the environment.

  85. "You look at the puffy star clouds, I'll look at those nice gams on Cyd Charisse."

    They are not mutually exclusive. Talk to a Cyd about the puffy star clouds. Do it with conviction and you may get to know the legs with some authority.

  86. Interesting article on drill ship shortage and the coming boom in offshore exploration:

  87. Critical thinking skills are often compromised by the inability to prioritize input data. More gas doesn't always mean lower prices if there is much more demand. Less gas doesn't always mean higher prices if there is a lot less demand. In the abscence of other inputs, less gas is likely to lead to higher prices, more gas to lower prices. When people begin stealing gas it's likely most will favor a candidate who has a program that would help the situation out and remove the incentive towards risky illegal behavior, which most people would rather not run, having prioritized the overall reward/risk data.

  88. But, when getting to know the gams you're not lookin' at the stars. When you're pokin' the fire you're not lookin' at the mantle.

  89. From that NYT article:


    Transocean believes the deepwater market will continue to be constrained until at least 2012. Over three-quarters of the drill-ships currently under construction have already been contracted to oil companies eager to benefit from triple-digit oil prices, Mr. Long said.

    Petrobras, whose full name is PetrĂ³leo Brasileiro, is expected to drive much of the growth in the booming new market. The company has outlined an aggressive program to increase its drilling capacity, and plans to contract or build 69 deepwater drill-ships by 2017.

    Brazil stunned the oil world when it announced the discovery of a vast oil field 200 miles south of Rio de Janeiro last November, turning the country’s deep blue waters into the world’s most exciting oil frontier. Energy experts said the field could turn out to be just a small part of the largest oil discovery in 30 years.

    But seven months later, the problem is still how to retrieve it. Petrobras has only three rigs capable of drilling in waters that exceed 6,500 feet, like the sites of the new fields.

    But drilling constraints are not the only problem facing international oil companies, which are seeking to expand at a furious pace after a decade of underinvestment in the 1990s. They have also had to contend with a doubling of development costs across the industry in the last five years, more acute competition for energy resources, shortages in steel, engineering and manufacturing capacity, and pressures posed by an aging work force.

    Also, gaining access to countries that hold oil reserves is becoming tougher as many oil-rich governments see fewer incentives to raise production as they reap the benefits of higher prices.

    As a result, explorers are scouring ever-more remote corners of the globe in their hunt for hydrocarbons. That quest has found petroleum reserves off the shores of Africa and Brazil, and opened up promising exploration regions in the South China Sea, off the shore of India, and around the coast of Australia. But those sites will remain largely off limits until the new drill-ships arrive.

    Most new orders for drill-ships have gone to Asian shipyards. Companies in Singapore and China have benefited, but South Korea’s big three shipbuilders — Samsung Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and Hyundai Heavy Industries — have gotten the bulk of orders for the most complex and expensive types of vessels.

    “The market for offshore exploration is now the hottest sector in the global shipbuilding industry,” said Lee Jae-kyu, shipbuilding analyst at Mirae Asset Securities in Seoul.


  90. It is increasingly appearing that it is a fallacy to assume that opening up the additional areas to drilling will yield the outcome of lower gas prices in the near term (or even the long term). There appear to be a number of reasons for this.

    1. The oil companies are not fully exploiting the areas in the US they currently have access to.

    2. The cost of accessing the oil in the proposed new regions is relatively high.

    3. The time it takes to get the oil to the market is measured in decades.

    4. There is no reason to expect that the oil companies would increase supply in order to deflate the cost. Why the heck would they want to cannibalize their profits?

  91. "...a decade of underinvestment in the 1990s."

    And the last investment boom was late 70's-early 80's.

  92. There's still some competition in the oil industry, unless my input data is wrong. China is going to raise it's subsidized prices. It's true drilling and all takes time. We're driving less--

    Americans drive 4.5 billion fewer miles in April: report

    Bush Looks Offshore to Fix High Oil Prices

    Premium gas sales tank as fuel prices rise

    Gas Prices Cause New-Car Shoppers to Cut Spending, Believe Situation Is Permanent

    Rising Gas Prices Fueling Stranded Motorist Trend

    Americans drove around 4.5 billion fewer miles in April compared with the same month last year, marking the lowest mileage clocked on US roads for the month since 2003, a report showed Thursday.
    The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) said in its monthly report that the number of vehicle miles driven in the United States fell by 1.8 percent, to 245.9 billion, based on preliminary data from the state highway authorities across the United States.

  93. This comment has been removed by the author.

  94. Bobal,

    I've been a big proponent of free markets and used to be a believer in the relationship of price to supply and demand but I've been questioning the purity of the supply and demand equation.

    Running my own business I've become quite familiar with pricing and the variables that come into play. Basically you charge what the market will bear. My old skipper (before I got my own boat) used to winter down in Florida and he'd whine on about how he paid more for Florida oranges in Florida then he did for Florida oranges up here in Canada "How could that be he asked?". We business owners are greedy mofo's and if we can get away with a higher price we'll do it. As an Oil business guy I met said during the last oil price runup "Would you rather be liked or rich?" To an oil business guy the answer really was a no brainer.

  95. during the last oil price runup

    Why the oil rundowns?

    Right, in some instances. If you always got some buyers. In the wheat business, sometimes there were few, if any. But if there weren't competition we'd have had these higher oil prices all along, instead of the lower prices a year ago, and oil at $20 a barrel sometime ago. It's got to be more demand, tightening supply, and probably more speculation and war worries too. I think it's coming down, unless bad stuff happens.

    Steve Forbes said today on a program--don't know if this is anywhere near right--that in the last four years the US economy grew more than the entire output of the economy of China. China is growing faster, but starting way way down. If what he said is true, or anywhere near true, it seems quite something to me.

  96. Posted at 3:11 PM on 6/19/2008 by John McCain
    John McCain: I Will Deliver Justice

    Senator Obama is obviously confused about what the United States Supreme Court decided and what he is calling for. After enthusiastically embracing the Supreme Court decision granting habeas in U.S. civilian courts to dangerous terrorist detainees, he is now running away from the consequences of that decision and what it would mean if Osama bin Laden were captured. Senator Obama refuses to clarify whether he believes habeas should be granted to Osama bin Laden, and instead cites the precedent of the Nuremburg war trials. Unfortunately, it is clear Senator Obama does not understand what happened at the Nuremburg trials and what procedures were followed. There was no habeas at Nuremburg and there should be no habeas for Osama bin Laden. Senator Obama cannot have it both ways. In one breath he endorses habeas for terrorists like 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and in the next he denies its logical conclusion of habeas for Osama bin Laden. By citing a historical precedent that does not include habeas, he sends a signal of confusion and indecision to our allies and adversaries and the American people.

    Let me be clear, under my administration Osama bin Laden will either be killed on the battlefield or executed. Senator Obama's failure to comprehend the implication of the Supreme Court decision he embraced and the historical precedent of Nuremberg raise serious questions about judgment and experience and whether Senator Obama is ready to assume the awesome responsibilities of commander in chief.


  97. Why people pay anything for diamonds on their fingers has always been a mystery to me. When glass looks just as good.

    Suck them while you can Ash. Sooner or later you'll be in the mood for a new boat, and, you'll have grown tired of looking at the paper in your vault. Makes the world go round. Boats have value in my mind, diamonds don't.

  98. Two touchdowns for McCain in the last two days.

    People don't want to give Osama bin Laden a civil trial, and a felony charge, and endless appeals.

  99. Diamonds are Forever.
    Did I get the wrong thread?

  100. I don't want to give Obama a felony trial.

  101. (what I do want cannot be safely published)

  102. Must be quite colorful, Doug.

    Pinning the motherfucker down is hard enough. No need to make the remainder complicated.

  103. John McCain said "There was no habeas at Nuremburg..."

    Is this in fact true? Were not those charged present at their trials, presented with the evidence, and even given the opportunity to challenge the evidence?

    WordNet - Cite This Source - Share This habeas corpus

    1. a writ ordering a prisoner to be brought before a judge
    2. the civil right to obtain a writ of habeas corpus as protection against illegal imprisonment

    WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
    American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition - Cite This Source - Share This
    habeas corpus [(hay-bee-uhs kawr-puhs)]

    A legal term meaning that an accused person must be presented physically before the court with a statement demonstrating sufficient cause for arrest. Thus, no accuser may imprison someone indefinitely without bringing that person and the charges against him or her into a courtroom. In Latin, habeas corpus literally means “you shall have the body.”

    [Chapter:] American Politics

    Seems to me that John McCain has put his foot in his mouth and is busy swallowing.

  104. Americans drove 4.5 billion fewer miles in April: report...

  105. But Nuremburg was AFTER the War.
    ...and Cuba ain't got no racetrack.

  106. In the entire history of the USA, how many people have been freed on habeass, Ash?

  107. "But, when getting to know the gams you're not lookin' at the stars. When you're pokin' the fire you're not lookin' at the mantle."
    Deuce and Whit are fools to not CHARGE for this stuff.

  108. probably none Doug, Habeas corpus simply means you can't be summarily executed or indefinitely detained without trial. You have to be brought before a judge is all.

    habeas corpus literally means “you shall have the body.”

  109. John McCain seems to be in favor of summary execution:

    John McCain said, "Let me be clear, under my administration Osama bin Laden will either be killed on the battlefield or executed."

    So much for rule of law with this man.

  110. If we kill 'im we've violated the rule of law?

    Zarqawi, call your office.

    They were not granted the right to challenge their detention.

  111. This comment has been removed by the author.

  112. Huh?
    What was the question? And how the heck does that relate to illegal immigrants? The woman obviously had an agenda.

    By whiteshirtbrian 5 months ago


    The question that the man in the video asked to Senator McCain was:

    "What were the statistics of the crimes committed by illegal aliens and that of the anchor babies that he wants to make legal?"






  113. Ash,
    You didn't answer.

    (the answer is FIVE going back to the begining of time)

  114. Sorry, didn't see your reply.

  115. Nuremberg was a military tribunal. Habeas would have brought them before a civilian court. In short, they had their day in a military court, which stretched their necks, many of them.

    In other legal news--

    Qaeda Court to Grant Beheadees Habeas Corpse Writs

    by Scott Ott for ScrappleFace

    — As a goodwill gesture in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to grant writs of habeas corpus to detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, al Qaeda today announced it would grant its beheadees what it called “writs of habeas corpse.”

    Under the Supreme Court’s Boumediene v. Bush ruling (PDF), an enemy combatant facing trial before a military tribunal can now petition a U.S. court for a writ of habeas corpus allowing him to challenge his detention in a civilian U.S. court, essentially granting him the rights of an American citizen.

    The Qaeda court, however, lacking a large number of detainees, said it would allow any of its beheadees to petition for the right to appear in an Islamic Court.

    “We feel this is even more generous than the unilateral U.S. decision,” said an unnamed Qaeda Court spokesman, “because we’ll actually issue two writs for each beheadee to assure the court has his undivided attention.”

  116. Picture Of Goering In The Dock

    I believe that is Hermann, over on the left, having lost some weight, with military guards behind.

  117. Hermann slipped the hangman's noose with some smuggled poison.

  118. Bobal wrote:

    "Habeas would have brought them before a civilian court."

    I don't believe "civilian" is a necessary aspect of Habeas Bobal. The Supremes, however, seem to have tacked the civilian onto Habeas in their recent ruling.

    trish, they had defense counsel didn't they? Whether they were able to challenge the evidence I don't know but many did offer the defense of "I was just following orders". In any case, they were tried, they were there, ergo Habeas corpus (at least in the narrow sense) was acheived.

  119. Habeas Bobal

    I like the sound of that. Habeas Bobal sitting on the dash of my car nodding gayly to all passers bye.

  120. Well, I quess the defendants at the military tribunal at Nuremberg could have petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus to deliver them to the military tribunal at Nuremberg.

  121. (It's rather like being in the booth, bob.

    On the other side of the table.)

  122. In any case, they were tried, they were there, ergo Habeas corpus (at least in the narrow sense) was acheived.

    Let's see now, the military had 'em, the military put 'em on trial, ergo Habeas corpus (at least in the narrow sense) was acheived.

    Even without a writ!

    I give up.

  123. my understanding of it Bobal is that basically I can't be just tossed in a prison somewhere and left to rot, I can get a trial. Whether that trial is fair or not is a different story, but I have a right to be tried - not just detained indefinitely, which is what has been occuring at Guantanamo. They have been trying to get trials started but they've been having some (to put it mildly) difficulties.

  124. Critical thinking skills are often compromised by the inability to prioritize input data.

    That’s what I’m saying.

  125. I believe that most, if not all, of Qtub’s writing has been translated into English for those who want first sources. My understanding is based on Paul Berman’s books.

    The short version is the barren heart of the culture. There is no joy in the music. There is no Dancing in the Rain. There is no laughter. There is no comedy. There doesn’t seem to be much of a work ethic or pride in any secular achievement. There is no joy of life. Other cultures all have music, dancing, and laughter as part of the pantheon - except maybe the Spartans, but they’re gone too.

    It is a dispirited culture. Wretchard wrote recently that the difference between normal men and killers is the fine line separating conscience from complete inhibition. Their culture analogizes with this distinction. No value of life equates to no inhibition against death - yours or anyone else. Nihilism essentially with death-leaning tendencies.

    Francis Fukuyama referred to a Nietzsche quote in one of his books: “Man does not seek happiness - only the English do that.”

  126. I wrote that last little bit before seeing your post but it addresses your post. Yep, habeas means they get tried, the Supremes gave the access to civilian courts as opposed to ad hoc military commissions.

  127. The thing about the Democratic opposition to further carbon-based energy production is that is parallels the domestic job losses under NAFTA. Expediency for the sake of alleged long-term improvements. Same fish. Same barrel.

    The Democrats should be called on their inconsistency.

  128. They got a trial, a military trial, they were hung. They would probably have liked a writ to deliver them to a civil court where the rules are a lot different, though, in those days, it wouldn't have been like the 9th Circus Court of Appeals of today, and they would have been hung anyway.

    I got to go mail a letter.

  129. ...bottom line McCain is wrong.

  130. yep, times were different then:

    "The press releases on January 2, 2006, from the British War Cabinet in London have shown that as early as December 1944, the Cabinet had discussed their policy for the punishment of the leading Nazis if captured. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had then advocated a policy of summary execution with the use of an Act of Attainder to circumvent legal obstacles, and was only dissuaded from this by pressure from the U.S. later in the war. In late 1943, during the Tripartite Dinner Meeting at the Tehran Conference, the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, proposed executing 50,000–100,000 German staff officers. Not realizing that Stalin was serious, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt joked that perhaps 49,000 would do."

  131. Belmont: That's because they [the Right] are inured to rigid, reflexive binary analysis.

    I created a monster.

  132. ...bottom line McCain is wrong.

    Well, that sure ends it then.


    Obama Doesn't Know What He Is Talking About

  133. And, Sleeper Cells Activated In Canada but we better not say anything untoward about it or we'll be before the Canadian 'Nuremberg' Human Rights Tribunals, without any habeas warpus.

  134. Speaking of terrorists in Canada, I guess you haven't been following the trial of one of the kids arrested in that great Canadian terror plot. Something like 18 originally arrested 9 have been stayed (I'm just pulling numbers off of the top of my head) and just one trial going at the moment. These terrorists aren't coming across as very scary so far. Read Christie Blatchford stories at the globeandmail to get a sense of the keystone terrorists.

    Christie Blatchford

  135. It’s a trap Bob.

    About four years ago on a long defunct site, I went five rounds with a poster debating the legitimacy of Bjorn Lomborg’s book criticizing the science behind global warming. It was exhausting - armchairs drenched in sweat - long detailed multiple dueling paragraphs. It ended up pretty much the same way. Well Lomborg is just wrong.

    At any rate, been there, done that, went the rounds, retired. (Lomborg was not wrong but some changes were quietly made to improve the science.)

    I recall one of the very early interviews with Michelle Obama. To paraphrase, she said she wasn’t interested in the details of an energy policy but her area of interest was values and that would be her focus as a political agent, whatever the role.

    I remember thinking, well isn’t that precious. I’m not going to pile on the wife - I’m not anti-values nor do I appreciate value-police - but I will criticize what appears to a an across the board cavalier dismissal of details in formulating policy.

    Critical thinking skills are often compromised by the inability to prioritize input data.

  136. look out...



  137. Ash's behavior in his last two posts squares with consistent liberal tactic when confronted with indisputable facts , he changes the subject.

    Ash, since you brought it up, seems that not all the terrorist associated with the Toronto group are knuckleheads; being an Atlanta resident, I take the idea of a million dead from smallpox pretty seriously.

    Bobal, got a good laugh out of your "pokin the fire" line!s

  138. No attempt to change the topic j willie and no, I don't think all terrorists are knuckleheads. Quite the contrary. In the one case that has reached trial so far it is amusing how banal some of the stuff is but if you read up on more of that trial you find that this particular kid is really quite niave, is a recent convert to Islam (one pressing question for him is "Is Nivea cream halal?", but he is a prime candidate to strap on a suicide bomb vest.