“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."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Call of the Wild


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Kurdish rebels belonging to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, have been fighting for self-rule in southeastern Turkey since 1984. The violence has killed tens of thousands of people since then.

    Turkey has conducted frequent air raids on suspected rebel positions in northern Iraq, including one earlier Sunday. Earlier this year, it launched a weeklong ground offensive against the rebels.

    Although most of the fighting in concentrated in rural areas of southeastern Turkey, the rebels occasionally launch bombing campaigns in Turkish cities and tourist resorts.

    14 Killed

  3. There is more snow falling, more ice flowing, sam.

    If the world's oceans raise three feet, as predicted, kiss Bangaldesh goodbye.

    Most parts of Bangladesh are less than 12 metres (39 ft) above the sea level, and it is believed that about 50% of the land would be flooded if the sea level were to rise by a metre (3 ft).[38]

    That being the land upon a great many of the 150 million people live.

    Talk about a migration

  4. Even though wi"o" does not believe they'll show, the registration drive for the Primaries gained Obama committed partisans.
    They are making history, in their own minds.

    Despite primary, Pennsylvania is Obama's to lose

    ... long-term demographic trends and more recent polls and party registration shifts suggest that in November the state is Mr. Obama's to lose.

    "The primary allowed us to build an infrastructure that is enormously helpful going forward," said Craig Schirmer, the Democrat's freshly installed state director. "Having the experience of such a competitive primary gives us a big advantage over John McCain."

    Rendell signs on
    A Clinton partisan then, but an Obama ally now, Gov. Ed Rendell suggests that the Obama campaign's grass roots efforts may have paid off in ways that were not immediately recognized in the wake of Mr. Obama's nine-point primary loss.

    "They do the registration and field stuff very, very well," he said. "Had they not done the registration and the field as well as they did, I think we would have beaten them by 17, 18, 19 points."

    According to the Department of State, 218,923 new voters registered in Pennsylvania before the primary -- 152,775 Democratic and 40,195 Republican. Another 164,026 voters switched their affiliation to the Democrats, compared to just 14,887 who changed to Republican.

    Mr. Rendell estimated that those new Democrats favored Mr. Obama by more than two-to-one. And, he said, "As much as it was expanded in the run-up to the primary, I still believe there are anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 new Democrats more to be added... I'm hoping we'll see another 100,000 new Democratic voters by the time the registration closes."

  5. The North Pole turned into a lake for the first time in 2000. We see aerial photos of the Aral Sea drying up.

    We practically can’t buy caviar from the Caspian Sea any more. The European Space Agency announced in September 2007 that satellite photos showed that the Northwest Passage appeared clear of ice for shipping for the first time ever, and that the Northeast Passage is almost clear.

    With so many vivid images of a shrinking and damaged planet, is it really any wonder that human psychology is ripe for high commodity prices?

    Images of Scarcity

  6. its all about the hype

    at first i thought that this was going to be a humorous video with the sweet music ending with the tiger biting their heads off. but that was cool.

  7. Well, sam, I bet the "Population Bomb" was not a big seller in Bangladesh, but it was required reading in the early 70's.

  8. Barack Obama has tried to transcend race in his bid for the presidency. But some Americans -- including some Kansans -- won't let him.


    Some people credit Obama's success thus far to his focus on issues rather on a "black agenda" centered on African-American needs. To that end, he's won support among white people across the country, primary results and recent polls show.


    Yet Obama hasn't escaped racially motivated acts.

    Racism Slithers Into Campaign

  9. Ahmedabad is the main city in the communally sensitive and relatively wealthy western state of Gujarat, scene of deadly riots in 2002 in which 2,500 people are thought to have died, most of them Muslims killed by rampaging Hindu mobs.

    Ahmedabad and Bangalore are in states ruled by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and are among the country's fastest-growing.

    Gujarat's Chief Minister Narendra Modi is one of India's most controversial politicians, accused of turning a blind eye to the Gujarat riots.

    2 Days of Bombings

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. You sayin' they can't to the US?

  12. Ha! Caught ya before you deleted.

  13. Bangladesh population 153.5 mil.

  14. I guess some of them could go to Burma.

  15. No, I just have a hard time linking to the right map.

  16. 100 Pushtun Guerrillas Killed at Spera from Air;

    100 Pushtun Guerrillas Killed at Spera from Air; ISI under Civilian Control?
    One hundred Pushtun guerrillas launched a major offensive in an attempt to take Spera District center.
    They drew down on themselves the full fury of US and NATO air forces that gave support to Afghan National Police, which killed up to 70 of them.

    Jang reports in Urdu that Khost governor Arsala Jamal said that the guerrillas had begun by attacking police checkpoints. In the aftermath, local police asked for help from the Afghan army.
    Meanwhile, The Pakistani government took back on Sunday an announcement made Saturday that Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistani military intelligence, had been put under the control of the civilian ministry of the interior.

    A clarification today said that the feared ISI, which is accused of using the neo-Taliban against Afghanistan, remains under the authority of the prime minister. That restatement might imply in turn that it remains under the control of the military, who supposedly report to the PM but actually dictate military policy to him.
    Obama's Sober Mood

    Based on what you've seen and heard on this trip, is there anything that has led you to review any policy, tweak things, rethink anything?

    Our success in Afghanistan is going to be deeply dependent not just on getting more troops there, which we need, but also some sustained high-level engagement with Pakistan—something that I discussed before but I think is significantly more urgent than even I had imagined.

    Basically there doesn't appear to be any pressure at all being placed on Al Qaeda, on these training camps, these safe havens, in the FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas].

    ht 'Rat, for not linking his post and starting me on that chase!

  17. At a gathering where Mullah Nasruddin was present, people were discussing the merits of youth and old age. They had all agreed that, a man's strength decreases as years go by.
    Mullah Nasruddin dissented.

    - I don't agree with you gentlemen, he said.
    In my old age I have the same strength as I had in the prime of my youth.

    - How do you mean, Mullah Nasruddin? asked somebody. Explain yourself.

    - In my courtyard, explained Mullah Nasruddin, there is a massive stone. In my youth I used to try and lift it. I never succeeded. Neither can I lift it now.

    Only God knows the whole truth.

    - Barnett R. Rubin

  18. 2164,

    That's a heart-melting clip. Someone else posted it a few months back and my wife and I must have watched it a half dozen times then. And we just watched it a half dozen times again! And this time showed it to my 17 year old daughter who was watching it a third time when I left her room. Thanks for posting it!

  19. I haven't watched it yet!
    Does anything get eaten and or mauled?

  20. Don't blame vista, I just haven't got around to going to
    You could score a first at BC with that post,
    it would be ON THREAD!

  21. You are welcome jwillie. It is a scary thought that a seventeen year old is in the bar!

  22. Who knows how large the number might be if we go by mental age?

  23. From Sam's link:

    "Waleed Abdalati, Head of NASA's Cryospheric Sciences Branch at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), explains how Greenland came to be and what would happen if it were to disappear."

    Actually, I don't believe he did. I heard him say "...seems, suspect, we believe, the big question is, it's quite possible."

    Hardly anything definitive other than a total ice meltdown could be hundreds of years away. Oh, we may have a one meter sea level rise.

    Global Warming and rising sea levels, I can deal with. It's the freaks who blame overpopulation for all the worlds ills. The latter day eugenicists who want mankind to stop breeding. That's more of a concern to me than a few centimeters of sea level rise over time.