“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, August 28, 2008

European Concerns Over Russia Increase. US and NATO Warships Entering the Black Sea

Turkish protests at US and Nato warships moving into the Black Sea

Georgia: Europe unites to condemn Kremlin

David Miliband joined a chorus of Western leaders to condemn Russia, accusing the Kremlin of jeopardising European security by recognising Georgia's two breakaway regions.

By Con Coughlin in Kiev, Adrian Blomfield in Tbilisi and Harry de Quetteville in Berlin Telegraph

6:08AM BST 28 Aug 2008

The rhetorical salvoes showed the new strain on relations with Russia. For its part, the Kremlin said it had only defended its citizens in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, argued the decision had been "unavoidable".

Speaking in Ukraine's capital, Kiev, the Foreign Secretary said that Russia was "more isolated, less trusted and less respected" as a result of its actions in Georgia. These breached a United Nations Resolution, approved by Moscow last April, which reaffirmed Georgia's sovereignty over Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Mr Miliband placed the onus for avoiding a new Cold War firmly on President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia. "The Russian President says he is not afraid of a new Cold War. We don't want a new Cold War. He has a big responsibility not to start one," he said.

Comparing Russia's actions to the Prague Spring of 1968, when Moscow suppressed a reformist Czech government, Mr Miliband said: "The sight of Russian tanks in a neighbouring country on the 40th anniversary of the crushing of the Prague Spring has shown that the temptations of power politics remain. The old sores and divisions fester. And Russia is not yet reconciled to the new map of this region."

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany's foreign minister, issued a stark warning. "If we don't watch out, Europe's whole security architecture will start to falter with unforeseeable consequences for all of us. The spiral of provocation must stop immediately," he said.

France, which holds the European Union's rotating presidency, expressed concern that Moscow, emboldened by its military success in Georgia, could turn on other former Soviet republics with breakaway provinces and large Russian minorities.

Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, described the situation as "very dangerous" and said: "There are other objectives that one can suppose are objectives for Russia, in particular the Crimea, Ukraine and Moldova."

Moscow backs separatist rebels in Moldova's region of Transdniester in much the same way that the Kremlin supported South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russian nationalists have frequently called for the return of the Crimea, which was transferred to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954.

So far, only the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, has followed Russia and recognised the independence of the two regions. Mr Lavrov, the Kremlin's foreign minister, said: "I can only say that we will not be roving the globe, twisting hands and twisting arms of people for them to recognise South Ossetia or Abkhazia."

He added that Russia taken this step for the sake of its citizens in both enclaves. "This recognition was absolutely unavoidable. Short of losing our dignity as a nation, we couldn't act otherwise," said Mr Lavrov.

America did not join the verbal barrage against Russia. Instead, the US Coast Guard ship Dallas docked in Georgia's port of Batumi and unloaded humanitarian aid. The USS McFaul, a destroyer armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles dropped anchor nearby in the Black Sea.

Mr Medevedev claimed yesterday the American ships were supplying arms to Georgia. Raising the possibility of a naval confrontation, he ordered the Russian cruiser "Moskva" and two missile boats to deploy off the coastal city of Sukhumi in breakaway Abkhazia.

This summoned memories of the first confrontation of the Cold War when the USS Missouri was deployed in the Black Sea in 1946 to deter Russian threats against Turkey.


  1. Turns out you all missed all my live blogging of the Demorat Convention before the fire took me away

    I never would have found my own posts again if it weren't for the link in history.

    I guess the excitement just got to be too much for this old guy, what with Harry Reid, Albright, Rockefeller, etc etc.

    Damn! Blogging to an empty bar!

  2. Somehow I didn't notice the date went from Aug 13 to today in one comment!

  3. Just watched the video, then T's supposedly superior offering.
    No accounting for taste, T.
    No contest in my book.

  4. "By the way, the best line of the convention so far?
    Ted Strickland of Ohio, when he echoed the 1988 Democratic convention joke about George H.W. Bush, that he was born on third and thought he hit a triple.

    Strickland said of George W. Bush that he was born on third and then stole second.

    It didn't get much attention in any of the commentary, but it's all people were talking about in the bars of Denver that night.

    - Noonan
    (She Swoons over Bill, Hill, and Ted.
    Very into that stuff:
    I've seen none of the heavies, except for a bit of Michelle.)

  5. Just thinking of Reid repeating the Democrat lie about drilling taking ten years, etc etc, and was struck by what a truly pathetic loser W is:
    Even in a field where he has a professional feel for the subject (Oil) he doesn't take the effort to EXPLAIN what nonsense Reid and Pelosi continually spew.
    I can't even remember the last time he made a half-hearted attempt to advocate anything verbally.

  6. Doug, MAYBE W doesn't think "drilling" is the answer. Maybe, he thinks Anwar, and the OCS would just as well be "kept in reserve." Jes Sayin.

  7. I guess I'm going to have to support that f...... McCrazy. National Defense does trump everything else; and, I just can't trust the lefties with my grandkids' safety.

    You can't f...... make me like it, though.

  8. BBC-

    EU leaders are considering sanctions "and many other means" against Russia over the crisis in Georgia, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said.
    He gave no further details but added "this will be solved by negotiation".
    Moscow's military offensive in Georgia and its recognition of independence for Georgia's breakaway enclaves has been condemned by the West.
    But Russia's president says he has the support of China and four central Asian states for its actions in Georgia.
    Speaking at a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said the grouping's united position would have "international resonance".
    "I hope it will serve as a serious signal to those who try to turn black into white and justify this aggression," he said in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.

  9. You can't f...... make me like it, though.

    Sure I can.

    Just think of McCain dressed in a suit and tie rather than a toga.

  10. rufus said...
    "Doug, MAYBE W doesn't think "drilling" is the answer. Maybe, he thinks Anwar, and the OCS would just as well be "kept in reserve." Jes Sayin."
    Our kid was just spouting that line, wonder where that got started?
    I used to talk about it in the 70's, but we seem so far out on the plank national security wise wrt energy, like you, I say National Defense trumps everything, and we ain't got no National Defense if the Ruskies and Hugo, et al can turn off our Oil.
    Likewise a couple of terrorists taking out 1/4 of our refinery capacity.

  11. "Just think of McCain dressed in a suit and tie rather than a toga."
    Or talking to Merkel instead of the Mullahs.

  12. And to think, GWBush sponsored Turkey for the EU. No wonder the EUers did not want those Turks in the club.
    Bush, shootin' blanks, again.

  13. You can go on not liking it Rufus, and we'll go on being glad you don't like it but are doing it anyway.
    We'll even say it shows character.

  14. "Bush, shootin' blanks, again."
    Been doin it since late 2003.

  15. Some guy here said if we used all our sugar land for ethanol, it would provide only 20% of our energy.
    Kind of hard to believe, but then again Hitler's the only guy that's run a country on alcohol, and he didn't use Ethanol or green plants.

  16. ""international resonance".
    "I hope it will serve as a serious signal to those who try to turn black into white and justify this aggression," he said in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe."
    I'd love to see the resonance of Medvedev's head w/an M-14 shell traversing it.

  17. (and the look on Mat's face!)

  18. The US does not need "sugar land", doug. It needs to utilize the InterState Hiway medians and grow sweet sorghum and switch grass on it.

    Should we ve sorry that Hitler didn't have the technology or the chemistry that the US has developed in this regard?

    Or should we just ignore those advances, and go with what worked for the NAZIs?

  19. buddy larsen said...

    @fedya –that’s what’s been troubling me about the mkts near-death episodes several times since late last year –last one in mid July. SEC had a many years-old “uptick rule” –you could only short on an uptic. Then abruptly, in July 2007, SEC dropped the rule (because it was making the new ETF instrument hard to fair-value), and suddenly hedges –including anonymous “dark pools” started just savagely hammering one victim after another, driving stocks and sectors down almost at will, then covering, going long, and driving it back up in the reduced resistance created by driving away the volatility-sensitive trade, then shorting again. A money machine –and then the naked shorting –illegal but no one stopped it –where you didn’t even need to own a claim on what you were trading! The really bad ARMs strted two years before, so that, all at the same time, in late 2007, the US financial system has four distinct new crises hit more or less simultaneously –oil & gold going parabolic (”speculators!”), stocks going haywire from that stupid rule change, the most highly-leveraged ARS (auction rate securities –see andrew cuomo) going bust, and real estate mkts freezing up in the hot spots.

    I know, what rotton luck, eh?
    Who was supposed to be minding the store there that didn't?

  20. If all the sugar land in Hawaii only makes 20% of HAWAII'S energy, the medians ain't gonna do it, 'Rat.

  21. ...and our miracle technology still requires GROWING the energy year after year, with all the inputs that requires.

  22. ...'Rat relying on guilt by association:
    Methanol = NAZI!

  23. BC is in lockdown.
    Wonder why.

  24. So does the food we eat, doug.

    If the food crops fail, no worries on energy.

    Oh, that was for HI and not the entire US?

    Did figure it out once, we have plenty of land to grow all the sweet sorghum we'd ever need.
    Hell we could become exporters of ethonal.

  25. Why worry, doug, on the BC, doug?

    Got stock in Pajama Media?

  26. "Brendan Daly, a spokesman for Pelosi, said in a statement defending her remarks that she "fully appreciates the sanctity of family" and based her views on conception on the "views of Saint Augustine, who said, 'The law does not provide that the act (abortion) pertains to homicide, for there cannot yet be said to be a live soul in a body that lacks sensation.'""
    So an unborn child "lacks sensation" just like they used to contend about babies and animals.
    Pelosi's a fucking Genius.

  27. ...just like watching politicians at play.

  28. ...even as we look at movies of unborn children reacting to all kinds of stimuli.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Saint Augustine, he never saw those vids, doug.

    Ms Pelosi, uses cutting edge science, to make her decisions, seems not. No secularist, she...

  31. Ms Pelosi is walking with GOD, on abortion, or at least Saint Augustine,

  32. Or should we just ignore those advances, and go with what worked for the NAZIs?

    I don't want to get tedious, but the energy equation is better for synfuels. Biofuels do better when transportation link is reduced or eliminated. And the synfuels plants have flexibility - of inputs and outputs, especially the hydrogen for future fuel cells. Economies of scale and land-use also come into play.

    If you think liquid fuel will be required for military applications, then the Fischer-Tropsch process based on abundant domestic coal supplies is a cost-effective solution with huge potential for exports.

  33. question...

    at the end of the cold war we were shown images of the soviet naval bases rotting as they stood...

    let's not forget the typical russian soldiers that were not well fed or equipped

    hugh pollution laden areas of the old republic with old school style bury the toxins where they lie mentality...

    My question is.. How much of real money will it cost the soviets (did I say soviets?) to re arm, re equip and re man their army, navy and air force...

    will the cost of these new and improved empire drain their current surplus?

    what does it really cost to fly those backfire bombers on continual transatlantic missions?

    are the russians building new fighters or are they taking a page from the past and build rock solid, but not the latest generation of fighters, betting those they will fight are not the USA but rather former clients...

  34. "Biofuels do better when transportation link is reduced or eliminated."
    I don't understand what you mean there, Slade, please explain.

  35. " cost-effective solution with huge potential for exports"
    Think of it:
    The USA Exporting Energy!
    Pelosi and Reid would both stroke out and we'd be free at last!

  36. Sure. Transportation requires fuel which increased the required input energy. Which explains the research into consolidating the plants into dense pellets to increase efficiency of transportation link.

  37. Sorry, still over my pea-brained head.

  38. Gov Jindal declared state of emergency in LA as Gustav approaches the coast as a Category 2 and possibly accelerating to Cat. 3 storm. Mark Haynes on CNBC just asked if the media was fear-mongering. The answer was no. Say goodby to 85% of gulf refining capacity.

  39. I think you're setting my up again.

  40. For this?
    "Might there be a more down to Earth way to explain it?"

  41. ...I didn't go to an Ivy league school, remember?

  42. "Say goodby to 85% of gulf refining capacity."
    Refineries are our most important National Security liability, I swear.

  43. The issue is total life cycle of the energy process train, rather than a selected part of the process train. I don't want to incite a war here but the academics claim that the total life cycle is often not considered in the energy calculations to justify a fuel source. This is why biofuels are marginal in terms of net energy production - if you consider the total life cycle of energy.

  44. I just don't get the transportation reference.

  45. Doug, I don't feel like writing a whole "book" on this, this morning, but, basically, the underlying "problem" with the World Economy, right now, is that it's getting so damned productive, so fast, that those with money are making it faster than they can "bale it."

    They've been making money so fast that they can't find enough "good" investments, and end up making a lot of silly investments (eg: loaning hundreds of thousands to people with absolutely horrible prospects for being able to pay it back.)

    There's really only One serious problem on the immediate horizon; and, that's energy. And, even that problem will turn out to be eminently solvable once we really get "slapped upside the head," and realize we've gotta ditch the politics (special interests,) and do the right thing. And, yes, that will be mostly biofuels.

  46. "This is why biofuels are marginal in terms of net energy production"
    Not to mention immense environmental costs.
    esp wrt H20.

  47. "is that it's getting so damned productive, so fast, that those with money are making it faster than they can "bale it."

    I didn't think that's what Buddy meant:
    I thot he meant all the money the evildoers are reaping from our Petro Import Dollars.

  48. It's me and you against Mr. Biofuels, Slade, don't desert me now!

  49. Liquidity is like a vector - defined by magnitude and direction. I think Buddy was very much looking at the direction of these huge liquidity vectors.

  50. Rufus,
    Does anyone oversee the SEC?

  51. I think Rufus is being polite which is fine. IMO there is still a significant market for the synfuels industry, based on domestic supplies of inputs and the flexibility of outputs to meet future demands.

  52. Buddy was also looking at his evaporated profits from Oil Futures!

  53. *based on domestic supplies of inputs and the flexibility of outputs to meet future demands.
    I'll just start starring the stuff I don't get, just in case you're interested.

  54. I wasn't trying to "explain" Buddy's remarks, Doug. I'm just giving MY reading on the situation.

    Look, a LOT of the money sent to Saudi Arabia comes back to the U.S. via the Stock Market. Great for Wall Street, not so much for "Main" Street.

    Biofuels are great for "Main" Street, not so much Wall Street.

    BTW, I haven't seen any life cycle analyses of biofuels that made any sense at all. Most have been done by Big Oil Financed entities misusing out-of-date date, and faulty assumptions about the future.

    Just trust me on this; the future lies with ethanol, and biodiesel/renewable diesel.

  55. I'd like to Rufus, but I don't,

  56. Maybe we could have a thread where we all bring our NET ENERGY tables to the table.
    (so to speak)

  57. ...seems to be a divergence of opinion on that.
    So simple it SHOULD BE fact, one would think.

  58. Not everybody agrees (with Jim Cramer) that SEC should reinstate the up-tick rule:

    The SEC studied this issue at great length and numerous papers have been written about this. Some in great depth.

    With the advent of decimal trading, ECN's, Dark Pools, and algorithim trading the uptick rule didn't do much anyway but with new strategies like 130/30 and portable alpha stategies it was increasingly clear that the strategies were being penalized by that archaric rule.

    As it was the nasdaq rule was less restrictive than the NYSE's so more volume was flowing first to Arca, then to dual listings on other exchanges.

    Reg NMS further complicated compliance because not every market center had the same "up tick" requirements. Hitting someone with a less restrictive policy, gives someone a potential advantage of the other person that chooses to send his order to say super dot.

    As to the conclusion that it has something to do with the decline. Correlation does not imply causation.

    Anyway, I would suggest the author of that post read:

    Particularly the latter one in full so they understand why the change was necessary given the financial innovation that has taken place the last few years.

  59. Just trust me on this; the future lies with ethanol, and biodiesel/renewable diesel.

    House Energy Independence Cmte 7.31.08

  60. This is way over my head, but I was interested because all I hear is near unanimous opinion that some form of the rule is required to control short-selling. This author seems to think not. But it "puts" a puncture in the conspiracy element.

  61. We're sposed to "just trust" the Redneck and the Joo!

  62. Hey, Mat:
    How bout a soliloquy on Obama's Nuremberg setup?

  63. Buddy was parroting Cramer?
    I'm flabbergasted.
    ...for lack of any other phrase that comes to mind.

  64. "All Hail Da Fullofit?"

    More of it!

  65. Ingraham says they're bringing in a bunch of Dry Ice Machines!

  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

  67. More of it!
    flabby gassed it!

  68. I guess I'm going to have to support that f...... McCrazy.

    Rufus get's the apple of the day. And, it does make some sense to suck the other fellows oil field dry first, as long as we can afford it.

    Okay, class, take your seats, and listen up. Rufus, erase that diagram of the ethanol plant off the blackboard. Teresita, you know I've told you not to draw things like that.

    Now that you're seated, sing the morning song.

    "Good morning to you, good morning to you, we're all in our places, with sun shiney faces, good morning to you, good morning to you!"

    Ok, very good class!

    Now, today's question is, how did the American English word ok, O.K., okay originate? You don't have to give its multiple meanings, or all its multiple spellings, just answer how it originated.

    And no fair looking at wiki or any other source.

    After mowing lawns today, I'll check back and see if anyone has the correct answer.

    Which is found in Bill Bryson's "The Mother Tongue"

    And, we'll be having the spelling test on the words Nuclear Energy upon my return, too.


  69. "Particularly the latter one in full so they understand why the change was necessary given the financial innovation that has taken place the last few years."
    I think Buddy would argue that not all innovation is necessarily good.
    I'm inclined to agree, not because I understand all the instruments, but because it's an obvious truism.

  70. Wifey just brought home ANOTHER Bryson book, forgot the name.

    For me, OK came from A-OK, back when astronauts were 100% Right Stuff.

  71. doug said...
    We're sposed to "just trust" the Redneck and the Joo!

    A billion christians trust the joo for thousands of years...

    did I miss something?

  72. OK also came from my kissing cousins, the OKees.

  73. did I miss something?
    Paul was not a Jew.

  74. I just meant about alt energies, WIO, but now that you're here, how 'bout a word about the Messiah's Nuremberg Playhouse?

  75. Was he that short, stubby, unattractive guy, Mat?

  76. Which brings us back to regulation.

    My point is consistent and simple. Deregulation began under Reagan and continued to where we are today.

    The throw-away corollary is that regulatory control of markets is not just unsexy, it is a deal breaker. Nobody cares which is why the shenanigans run wild.

  77. But the main element of the Subprime Meltdown was govt interference.

  78. I like Sowell's Perspective:
    Just when problems are on the verge of solving themselves, the govt. steps in and Mucks up the works.

  79. Was he that short, stubby, unattractive guy, Mat?
    Exactly. Think Danny Devito as a Roman spy from the then Greek populated Anatolia.

  80. back to that dancer that I accidentally happened upon yesterday:
    I'd never believe that the tape wasn't speeded up, 'cept that her head was moving at normal speed.
    Could the latinos be so crafty as to be able to digitally morph a video like that?
    I think not.

  81. But the main element of the Subprime Meltdown was govt interference.


    Repeal of Glass-Steagall removed the "Chinese Wall" separating investment banking from commercial banking, which created opportunities for new mortgage lending institutions resulting in sub-prime paper that appears to have circulated the globe several times over before finding a final resting place in Fannie/Freddie.

    This latter point appears to be hotly disputed from what I see on CSPAN. But it was lack of regulatory oversight that allowed the "bad paper" to be generated - facilitated by the excess global liquidity (as per The Oracles). This same capital is now coming back and buying up the defaulted properties.

  82. ...which is good, don't get me wrong.

  83. But there was also the Affirmative Action Subprime directive, which some say led to the tidal wave of speculation.

  84. Not that I disagree that we should not have torn down that wall.

  85. "finding a final resting place in Fannie/Freddie."
    The affirmative action action feathered Freddies bed and made it an attractive resting place.

    "This same capital is now coming back and buying up the defaulted properties."
    That really sucks.

  86. Not gone yet, drying off from a shower.

    Where do you get the idea that Paul was a Roman spy? He's calls himself a Pharisee of the Pharisees. That's to say, a super Pharisee. Granted he had Roman citizenship.

  87. True. The exact same movie about to be replayed with energy and subsidies.

    I listened to part of the energy clip and the debate is "market forces" - yes or no. The problem, as Phil Gramm knows, is that people start to whine when market forces get too fierce.

  88. Oh Dear Puttie,

    (CNN) -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of orchestrating the conflict in Georgia to benefit one of its presidential election candidates.

    In an exclusive interview with CNN's Matthew Chance in the Black Sea city of Sochi Thursday, Putin said the U.S. had encouraged Georgia to attack the autonomous region of South Ossetia.

    Putin told CNN it was done to benefit a presidential candidate -- Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are competing to succeed George W. Bush.

    Putin said Russia had no choice but to invade Georgia after some of its peacekeepers in South Ossetia were killed. He told Chance it was to avert a human calamity.

    The former Russian president, still considered the most powerful man in the country, said he was disappointed the U.S. had not done more to stop Georgia's attack.

    He also announced economic measures which he said were unrelated to the fighting with Georgia. Nineteen U.S. poultry meat companies would be banned from exporting their products to Russia because they had failed health and safety tests, and 29 other companies had been warned to improve their standards or face the same ban, Putin said.

    His comments come as tensions between the West and Russia reach fresh highs.

  89. You arrived after I related the Saga of my nephew, Slade:

    He worked for New Century, living high off the bubble, then when it burst we thot he'd be homeless like the rest of their employees.

    Instead, he's now a VP @ Goldman Sachs.
    ...all on a highschool education.

    Wish I'd never gone to Beserkley, coulda saved a lot of grief for me and those around me.

  90. Where do you get the idea that Paul was a Roman spy?
    That's my personal conclusion.

    Paul was not a Pharisee. Neither was Paul a Jew. When you take this information and the information regards Paul's travels, you arrive at my conclusion.

  91. Mat loves the Ruskies,
    I hate em.
    But we still luv Mat!

  92. What if John instructs W to Nuke the Chi-coms, Norkors, and the Kremlin, and then surfs in on a landslide?

    (leaves out the Muzzies just to rile Mat)

  93. Mat loves the Ruskies
    Mat relates to Russian culture and prefers Russian culture over many others. :)

  94. Education being what you do with it.
    People skills being more important than emphasized. You can always research a technical subject but there's only one first impression.

  95. Deuce,
    From Ping Pong diplomacy
    to Drumstick Dumbaloney.

  96. So an educated Asshole leaves a bad first impression? did I ferret that out like that?

  97. ...took a lifetime of observing, I tell ya.

  98. Paul was not a Pharisee. Neither was Paul a Jew.

    hmm, I'll chew on that awhile.

    Here's hoping the stadium stage collapses on Obama later today.

    Gotta run.

  99. Speaking of assholes,
    where's Ash?

  100. ...yeah, al-Bob:
    From the Secret Service.

  101. The record will stand @ the EB, if the Messiah should fall.

  102. That would be cool if Pootie forced our food mills to clean up their act.
    Mighteven start hiring citizens.

  103. rufus wrote:

    "They've been making money so fast"

    I think you've hit on part of the problem though you seemed to be enthused about increased productivity as opposed to all the money that has been 'made' i.e. increase in money supply. Much of the increase has been created outside of government/fed control i.e. electronic money. Couple that with lack of regulation and you've got one serious boom bust stew brewing.

  104. The Barackopolis was designed by the Architect of the Britney Spears Set!

    ...fitting right in with McCain ads!

  105. Debil
    Hebrew for fsckhead
    (Literal translation :)

  106. Bob,

    I was looking to see if anyone wrote anything to support my assertion, and I found this interesting post:

    Hi ~ I did the christian religious thing on and off for about 4 decades of my life in my search for the truth of reality. I went through all of the usual christian symptomotology....guilt, fear, worry, anxiety, all of which was directly attributable to christian indoctrination. But I "believed" in Jesus all along, even if the teachings of church, ministers, pastors et al were bereft of any apparent understanding of Love or the true meanings of His words. So I stuck with it as best I could, but the best I could was never good enough, which circled right back to guilt, fear, worry, anxiety which are self-perpetuating indoctinal aspects of christianity.

    For me, the words echoing around the church from the pulpit never seemed to be filled with any loving understanding of christ or the christ message. The words were hollow. Empty of any knowledge, feeling, or understanding. I drifted off, but held my convictions about jesus, while turning my back on church. That my uncle became a minister of the Church of England but before doing so signed all of his considerable wealth over to his parents before he was ordained so that the church couldn't claim his worldly possessions may have signalled to me that something was amiss thereabouts.

    Time went by, and I went to India 5 times to an ashram where a guru lived. He was as much a fake as my uncle and other church ministers, so I sought to find the truth on my own, given that no one else was capable, or even knew what the truth really was.
    So I studied. On my own I searched to understand the bible without the indoctrinal clap-trap. And in reading the New Testament, the "red letter' words stood alone, whereas the rest of the words lacked any real cohesion with the red letter words. One day the words "know the truth, and the truth will set you free" literally (almost!) jumped out of the page at me. It made sense that if these red letter words were true, then they could be put to the test. So I began seeking the truth under the auspices of "ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock and it will be opned unto you..." If the words were truth, then I would find that which I was seeking ~ truth.

    This led me to enquire as to who wrote the New Testament, as I'd already read the Book of Thomas, books on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadhi Library deciphers etc etc, all of which were not included in the bible, and I wanted to know why. That the Catholic Church withheld these from the public for over 50 years seemed suspicious to me. And it was. Turns out the Church has been withholding the truth for quite some time now!

    What I then found was that the entire christian religion & 75% of the New Testament is based upon the works of Paul (St Paul ~ Saul) who was a Roman spy who led persecutions of the contemporary jesus christians. This same Saul claimed to have had vision of christ 5 years post crucifixion in the absence of any witness. Yet every miracle of Jesus was witnessed, if not by multitudes then by at least a dozen at any given occasion. And this Roman spy Saul tells the contemporary apostles what he says he saw and what he says jesus said to him, but what he tells them contradicts what jesus had told them while he was still alive. There is tense disagreement.

    Saul is then escorted to Rome under the protection of 200 Roman soldiers where the Roman church begins as a result. Saul writes letters to his connections in the Mid_East, and strangely enough each of the apostles begin to disappear into oblivion, as do all of their teachings. Except ---- Saul and his letters.
    Well that struck me as odd. Very odd indeed. That contrary to the appointments made by the living Jesus, Saul appoints himself. And from this a church appears that was never intended to be.

    So I looked at the bible with a view of checking authority and authenticity, and basically the books of the bible were assembled by the Roman Emperor Constantine at Nicea in 325AD, after which he had destroyed all people or texts that were contrary to his opinion - the purging of heresy/heretics. So who was Constantine? Well Constantine was a Pagan who professed christianity and made it the Roman State Religion (wherefrom comes the Roman Catholic Church). But Constantine remained Pagan until his death-bed so that he didn't sin as a christian, and then on his death-bed took baptism. An each-way bet you might say, suggesting he had little faith in his chosen religion/god.

    It is estimated that the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadhi Library were secreted away around the same time that Constantince was purging heresy (ie anything he chose not to like). And that struck me as significant.
    So basically I have come to believe that the christian chuch is based upon lies, murder, and deceipt. It really hasn't changed much at all over the past 1700 years or so.

  107. well, isn't the test not what the history of the beginning is, but what the beginning of the history meant?

  108. By golly, buddy's back!!

    A dozen rounds, on the house!

  109. heh --y'all are too kind -- even if Mika's gone commie on us --

  110. Naw --BC was shut down, so i thought to check in & do some housekeeping --something i've been meaning to do for some time now --which is to acknowledge a ''ok, so you were right'' to DR's early crit of foreign policy stuff.

  111. even if Mika's gone commie on us
    No, Buddy.

    It's the GOP that's gone Commie on us. In fact, the parallels between the Russian Oil/Gas/military oligarchs and those of their American counterparts are quite striking.

  112. there's something highly weird about "Georgia", i have to admit, mika --

    be the shitz to find out Putin had calls on McDonnell Douglas, wouldn't it --

    only thing a pore guy can do is, buy some too !

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  115. Buddy,

    I'm less concerned about Georgia than I am about Turkey and the Jihadis. The Turks are using knowhow acquired via Israeli help in modernizing their arms to now do the same for Pakistan, and likely Iran is next. The Cold War morons need to be taken out -- Commie style, if you like. :)

  116. Have you noted, Iranian VP making nice toward Israel, and other high Iranian's calling Achmadinejad a ''threat''?

    Also news today, Hu Jintao & the stans have rebuffed Russia (Medvedev's) call for diplo alliance?

    something's happening. friggen autocracies have huge advantage in this stuff, in that they can fab up stuff like the ''rejection'' of Russia --i mean --we have to wait & see.

    Every USA election brings out the prvious 2 to 4 yrs of re-structuring planning --

  117. How come they shut down comments this time around at BC? I don't see any ugliness but anything untoward probably was deleted by now.

    Was Habu back gnashing his teeth through his various pseudonyms?

  118. Buddy,

    The Persians are using Islam as a prop to keep and expand their Empire. I think that the msg we must send Jihadis is that Islam is a vehicle that leads towards territorial loss and not the opposite.

  119. Paul and
    the Mystery Religions (Gnosticism)
    Hyam Maccoby

  120. Buddy,
    Did you see that dancer I linked to at the top of this thread?

  121. Get It [Kathleen Parker]

    Gore is a deliberate plant to prepare the crowd for Obama.

    People will be so paralyzed with boredom that they will scream with gratitude when Obama takes his stroll down the 20-yard runway.
    Please hurry, Obama.

    Dubya knows nothing about torture.
    Gore. Is. The. Waterboard.
    Yes. He. Is.

  122. Trish,
    I sent your comment to Steve@Threatswatch
    (now serving July news after a server crash!)
    His Reply:

    They met with Kiyani. Not with Mr. Benazir Bhutto, not with Nawaz, not with PM Gilani. President sent Petraeus, Mullen, etc for Kiyani. On an aircraft carrier in the Indian.

    Pak mil & para's have kicked it up a notch in the past week, and they met last week.

    Aside: Kiyani was put in charge of ISI under Musharraf. Incorrect to link him (via ISI) to Talib/AQ rise circa 2005-2007. Think of Kianai as Pak Intel's Porter Goss. And recall the success (cough) of porter goss purging Intel.

    Second aside: Note major Talib attacks in Afghan: First, US position last month, then French, now a Japanese killed. Look for a similar attack on Dutch/German forces. They are trying to wedge the coalition. A PSYOP on civilian leadership/public via ambush deaths. Trick in getting the Dutch or Germans is getting to them. They are so far removed from hot activity, the trek is 75% of Talib battle.