“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 14, 2008

Germany cautious and loves the Obama approach.

"In this century -- in this city of all cities -- we must reject the Cold War mind-set of the past, and resolve to work with Russia when we can, to stand up for our values when we must, and to seek a partnership that extends across this entire continent." -- Barack Obama, Berlin, Germany

RUSSIA | 14.08.2008
Germany Wants Balanced EU Approach to Russia, Georgia

Steinmeier warned the EU had to talk to both Georgia and Russia to resolve the conflict

Germany's foreign minister Thursday urged the EU to take a balanced approach to the Caucasus conflict. The EU has to keep channels of communication open with Russia if it hopes to help stabilize the region, he said.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday, Aug. 14, the European Union should maintain an even-handed approach to the conflict between Russia and Georgia if it wanted to play a constructive role in forging long-lasting peace in the Caucasus.

"It remains the case that a level-headed policy is the one that most helps people in the region," Steinmeier told reporters after a meeting of the German parliament's foreign affairs committee.

"We must criticize what needs to be criticized and we have done this in the past, including with clear words when necessary towards Russia ... with regard to Russian bombing of Georgia and the presence of Russian troops in Georgia-proper," Steinmeier said.

The foreign minister warned that the EU had to keep talking to both sides if it hoped to calm the crisis.

"We should also pursue a policy which is sensible and realistic," Steinmeier said on German television. "If the EU really wants to play a stronger role in the region, if the EU wants to help in the stabilization of a crisis-hit region, then the lines of communication must be kept open to Tbilisi and Moscow."

Divisions in EU over dealing with Russia

His comments came a day after EU ministers agreed to consider sending a mission to monitor a fragile French-brokered peace deal between Russia and Georgia.

But divisions have emerged in the European Union over the best way to deal with Moscow after fierce fighting erupted between Georgia and Russia last week.

Many new EU members have condemned Russia's violent push into Georgia and want the EU to scrap talks with Moscow on a new strategic partnership that would enhance political and economic cooperation.

The United States, a strong backer of Georgia, and Britain have slammed Russia's military campaign against Georgia and have blamed it for the clashes that broke out between Russian and Georgian forces in the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

"To begin to repair the damage to its relations with the United States, Europe, and other nations and to begin restoring its place in the world, Russia must keep its word and act to end this crisis," US President George W. Bush said this week. "The United States of America stands with the democratically elected government of Georgia."

Moscow has reacted by warning Washington it would have to choose between partnership with the Kremlin or supporting Georgia.

Germany avoids blaming Moscow

Steinmeier's comments, however, reflect a more nuanced attitude in Germany towards Moscow in the current conflict.

German politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, have carefully avoided assigning blame in the conflict. The country, which is heavily dependant on Russian energy supplies, is a strong advocate of closer ties with Moscow. Earlier this year, Germany led European resistance to plans, pushed by the US, to put Georgia on the track to NATO membership.

Merkel will seek to calm the rift between Russia and the West when she meets with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi on Friday.

This week, Merkel's spokesman said she would deliver a tough message to Medvedev in Sochi.

"Two points are sacrosanct for Germany," Merkel's spokesman Thomas Steg told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday. "The first is that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia are not called into question in future talks. The other is that it is totally unacceptable to question the legitimacy of the democratically elected Georgian government."

Delicate balancing act

At the same time, experts hope Merkel's even-handed approach will make Russia more open towards the chancellor's message expected to be delivered in private to Medvedev.

"Merkel will try to convince Medvedev to move toward a ceasefire, accept a monitoring mission of the OSCE and hopefully also be open to a stabilizing, international peace force in the region," Ruprecht Polenz, a veteran member of Merkel's conservative party and head of the foreign policy committee of the German parliament told DW-RADIO.

A day earlier, Polenz told news agency Reuters the EU should bind Russia closer to the bloc and consider offering Moscow a "privileged partnership" if it shows a willingness to adopt European values.

"I think the EU should make Russia a very clear proposal with clearly stated expectations in order to positively influence Russia's future behavior," Polenz told Reuters, adding it would be a mistake to scrap ongoing partnership talks with Russia because of its conflict with Georgia.

DW staff (sp)


  1. Germany? Russia?

    Why won't sharks attack lawyers?

    Professional Courtesy.

  2. Too bad Trish has left the bar for good...

  3. The people that know the Russians best want to be tough with them. Poland accepting the US missile shield is a clear indication of the thinking in most Eastern European States. Not all as in Germany's case. As in the Cold War, US and Neo-Soviet troops do not want to conflict, but the era of wishful thinking has ended. Russia is no friend of the US or the West. Once again the Pentagon will have to retool its thinking on potential threats and conflict. It will no longer be all terrorism all the time. Defense spending will have to increase and it will have to be paid for with additional taxes. The logical place to put those taxes is on imported oil. If balanced with additional defense spending and US energy infrastructure it will be a net positive to the economy

  4. Ah yes...

    German kindness and even handedness...

    let's burn the Jews, then we can invite them over for dinner..

    What you say? No one left to accept...


    Ve were really looking forward to some matzoball soup...

  5. I think she issued an ultimatum that I throw someone overboard or else. I will not do that. This is not my livelihood. It takes enough time as it is and everyone has the right to ignore anyone else, so they have to sort it out themselves.

    I will miss her as well.

  6. Maybe that person will throw themselves overboard and Trish will come back.

  7. I'm saying, in this world, we're in a heap of trouble if Obama gets in.

  8. Come back Trish. I'd missed ya but didn't know you'd 'gone for good'. Bob

  9. Maybe that person will throw themselves overboard and Trish will come back.

    Maybe Trish will pull a "Teresita" and come skulking right back.

    Yeah, deuce, this ain't my livelihood neither, and landscaping takes most of my good weather time. But when it rains (as it is wont to do on the wet side of Washington), nothing like pulling up a stool in the EB and getting a St. Pauli Girl.

  10. and getting a St. Pauli Girl.

    What's so special about gals from St. Pauli, T?


    Heh, heh; I cudn't resist.

    I'm Baaaad. :(

  11. resolve the conflict
    take a balanced approach
    keep channels of communication open
    help stabilize the region,
    maintain an even-handed approach
    play a constructive role in
    a level-headed policy
    keep talking to both sides
    calm the crisis
    pursue a policy which is sensible and realistic,
    the lines of communication must be kept open
    avoided assigning blame in the conflict.
    to calm the rift
    even-handed approach ---

    What are you fuck heads gonna do?---

    I think the EU should make Russia a very clear proposal with clearly stated expectations in order to positively influence Russia's future behavior," Polenz told Reuters, adding it would be a mistake to scrap ongoing partnership talks with Russia because of its conflict with Georgia.

    Absolutely Nothing.

    If Dr. Bill's relatives in Germany, whom he mentions often, weren't such GREENIES, as he calls them, they'd have their own nuclear power, like France, and wouldn't be open to RUSSIAN BLACKMAIL

  12. Hey Doug, word is Bernie Ward gets sentenced August 28th.

  13. Laser Tested

    I swear to God, I've lived to see it come to life.

  14. al-Bob,
    Germany is right:
    The USA and Europe must act in such a way as to not damage Schroeder's Client, Gazprom!
    ...and the ex-Soviet State will just have to pay the price.
    Poor Bernie

  15. Plausible deniability. I like it, and I want one.

  16. "A bizarre, unseasonal lightning storm seems to have taken out a column of Russian tanks in the Caucasus", an American Army spokesman reported today.

  17. Russia Vows to Support Two Enclaves, in Retort to Bush

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates declared that Russia’s actions now required a full reassessment of administration efforts to create “an ongoing and long-term strategic dialogue with Russia.”

    The Lede: Georgia Crisis Upends Vacations, Sort of

    In the Russian capital, as it happens, there are signs that dachas will be emptying by the dozens for a vote to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent of Georgia. As RIA Novosti reported, “It is quite possible that both houses of the Russian parliament will interrupt their vacation.”

  18. Comment 200 on our record setting 206 comment thread.

    whit said...
    ...What purpose has it served to push for expansion of NATO? It's been counter productive. If you look at a map, what do Georgia and S. Osettia have to do with Europe? Poland and Eastern Europe are a different matter but, will the EU embroil itself in a war with Russia over its former satellites? I don't think so. What would Europe do without Gazprom?...
    Wed Aug 13, 09:21:00 PM EDT

  19. Did Trish leave for good?

  20. Defense spending will have to increase and it will have to be paid for with additional taxes. The logical place to put those taxes is on imported oil.

    The coal-to-liquid industry is looking for a 20-yr contract with DOD.

    Talk about sweet. Military demand satisfied stateside. Totally plausible.

    And then the technology gets tweaked to meet the demands of tomorrow - electricity and hydrogen.

    This one has legs.

  21. Andrew Sullivan is one tedious asshole:

    "I simply cannot pretend that what we've learned about them these past few years - and what I've learned about the Middle East and wider dimensions of the struggle against Jihadism - hasn't deeply affected my views. Just imagine if the press were to discover a major jail in Gori, occupied by the Russians, where hundreds of Georgians had been dragged in off the streets and tortured and abused? What if we discovered that the orders for this emanated from the Kremlin itself? And what if we had documentary evidence of the ghastliest forms of racist, dehumanizing, abusive practices against the vulnerable as the standard operating procedure of the Russian army - because the prisoners were suspected of resisting the occupying power? Pete Wehner belonged to the administration that did this. It seems to me that, in these circumstances, the question of moral equivalence becomes a live one. When an American president has violated two centuries of civilized norms, how could it not be, for any serious person with a conscience?"

  22. Trish will be back. But Doug crossed a line of judgment. Trish is doing a McCain.

    She knows how to play her hand well.

  23. Blogger 2164th said...

    No one ever leaves for "good"

    I dunno, if anyone here is strong willed (obstinate) enough, it'd be trish.

  24. Two things;
    1. It appears that the 206 comment thread is not the record holder. That seems to have happened a few post earlier when we hit about 218.

    2. I know 1. because I was going through the threads looking for an ultimatum from Trish. I didn't see one but a certain hopped-up hot head did cross a line and I deleted two abusive comments because of it. It amazes me that people will write things which they would never say face to face.

  25. The abusive comments were deleted within minutes of being posted.

  26. You can't get out of this place alive:)

    I sorta agree with that Whit. But then I think of the Baltic states and the other small's kind of hard to say 'no' to people who have been really roughed up. Poland, the Baltics, carved up between two totalitarian nightmares.

    I think the Russians are misreading the threat to themselves which isn't from the west but the east. They are remembering Napoleon and WWI and WWII. You couldn't get a western european army up to invade Russia to save your very soul, these days. They ought to be joining NATO, not worried about it.

  27. If Trish called Rufus a steaming pile of dog shit to his face, Rufus and I would just laugh our asses off!
    ...on that rant she had names for almost the entire club.
    I felt left out.

  28. Wait till the Chinese send a hundred million settlers into Eastern Russia. that should make for interesting viewing.

  29. Hahahaha

    Pravda picked up on that story about a house being sold for $1. Shows how bad things are in America!

    What they don't know is what the owed back taxes, interest, and penalties amounted to, which probably exceeded the value of the dump. Which may not even have working plumbing.

    I write in to Pravda, but they wouldn't publish it.

  30. It doesn't have ANY Plumbing, or siding, or.
    That could be replaced, and then that would disappear also.
    Shoulda advertised it as

  31. That's why there's no sense in Me being the one to "jump overboard;" Everyone knows, Dogshit Floats. :)

  32. Weird phenomenon tho is Sovereign Funds buying whole blocks of Real Estate from Brokers and Bankers at deep discount.

    Think I'd rather have al-Bob as my landlord than some Saudi Sheiks.

  33. I betcha even a Russian can figure out that if a house doesn't sell for a week at a price on One Dollar "There's a Reason."

  34. Wait till the Chinese send a hundred million settlers into Eastern Russia.

    :0 They might be pleading for our help.

    My dad had one political prediction. Kind of vague, real vague, as to the timing--wise old coot, can't be proven wrong--but he thought one day the US and Russia would be on the same side, against the Chinese.

  35. Why are they buying?.. because, uess who is coming to dinner and will need lots of housing

    Whites will comprise less than half of the U.S. population by 2042, about eight years earlier than previously thought, according to a report to be released by the Census Bureau. -WSJ

  36. I had an eye exam today and they dilated my pupils--this computor screen has been pulsating like a strob light for the last hour. I'm going to bed for awhile.

    One Dollar, that's about a bottle of vodka. The Russian would probably choose the vodka, certainly would, if he'd been drinking.

  37. Did your wife drive home?
    That's sposed to be the safe and sane thing to do.
    ...and no tree climbing for the kiddies.

  38. but he [Dad] thought one day the US and Russia would be on the same side, against the Chinese.

    My Dad too.

  39. “Germany has encouraged Georgia to apply for NATO membership. Germany. ”
    - Wretch

  40. Germany is probably correct in its approach. Best to stand away and let the imperialists smash one another.

  41. Thu Mar 6, 2008 10:17pm GMT
    By Mark John

    NATO divided on Ukraine and Georgia entry bids

    BRUSSELS (Reuters)
    Diplomats said Germany and France led resistance by half a dozen western European nations to a push by eastern ex-communist countries to offer Ukraine and Georgia a "membership action plan" (MAP) at an April 2-4 summit in Bucharest.


    Wretchard or Reuters.
    They can't both be right.

  42. wretchard:

    Russia is a great power. It’s not going away. It has a glittering destiny before it; always has. The Russians are smart people. They could create cities of glass, maglev rail networks, monuments to art, cities on Mars. If they could get the Putins, Stalins, Yagodas, Yezovs, Berias out of the way. Fausta describes how some of the Russian noveaux riche now live, in Italian villas, whooping it up:

    Pierrette, a housekeeper for one Russian, said: “I attended a party where the guests had fun throwing burning €500 notes into the air while everyone split their sides laughing. The domestic staff were later told to collect the ashes. It was sickening.”

    Meanwhile, back east, the Chinese man with his boxes of merchandise: rubber slippers, toys, crackers, wire and electrical goods creeps inexorably forward, propelled by a fifteen hour work day. And my guess is that before the end, the Chinese man will wind up buying the Italian Villa and employing the Russians.

  43. Are we back in Spring '08, Mat?

  44. (The FSB Time Machine @work!)

  45. Mat's just looking forward to attending those €500 note burning parties.
    I'm just looking forward to dying before we become the Socialist States of MexAmericas.

  46. Hey Sam!

    What does the Union Republic of Congolese think about this?

  47. I'm just looking forward to riding my electric bike on Mt. Carmel. :)

  48. My Methanol/Nitro Superscooter will electrocute your ass.

  49. TBILISI, Georgia - The foreign minister of Russia said Thursday that Georgia could "forget about" getting back its two breakaway provinces, and the former Soviet republic remained on edge as Russia sent tank columns to search out and destroy Georgian military equipment.

  50. Mr Nitro Super Pooper,
    Give a Hoot don't Pollute!

  51. Russia, at the least should be shunned and the WTO and the G7 should say, "Sorry, Ivan." But will that happen? It's questionable.

    The German Foreign Minister (an ardent Obama acolyte) has signaled that Germany will not ostracize the Russians. They may not trust the Russians but they will defer to them or freeze.

    In any case, look for the Russians to cultivate it's old ties in the middle-east. They say the cold war is back. We'll see.

  52. It amazes me that people will write things which they would never say face to face.

    I say things face to face that i'd never say in print..

    but then again..

    I'm an ass....

    (and proud)

  53. Whites will comprise less than half of the U.S. population by 2042, about eight years earlier than previously thought, according to a report to be released by the Census Bureau. -WSJ

    There was a time when the Irish were excluded from the group called "whites". In fact, there's a book called "How the Irish Became White." Sounds funny now. Fifty years from now this nativist crap we get from Doug will look pretty funny.

  54. Slade: Trish will be back. But Doug crossed a line of judgment. Trish is doing a McCain. She knows how to play her hand well.

    Trish and Doug are acting out the Russian invasion of Georgia by doing internet performance art. Bravo!

  55. Fifty years from now this nativist crap we get from Doug will look pretty funny.


    Not if you're white.

  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

  57. No offense, but I prefer my porn stars blond.

  58. mətušélaḥ said...
    No offense, but I prefer my porn stars blond.

    I prefer my wives blond....

  59. Blacks and Whites just need to learn to enjoy the elite giving the their children and their country away to violent illiterate breeders and drug dealing murderous mafias.
    ...overseen by the elite, as in Mexico.
    Until they aren't.

  60. I can't help it that I'm white.

  61. Doug,
    Imperialists only give a hoot about their loot.

  62. bobal said: New O Salute

    I always knew Obama was a jerk off.

  63. I was trying to think of something like that, T.:)_

  64. The US and Poland concluded a "missile shield" agreement today and Bloomberg reported this:
    In Washington, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the purpose of the system ``is to protect our European allies from any rogue threats such as a missile from Iran'' and ``in no way is the missile defense aimed at Russia.''

    Come on! Even I don't believe that anymore.



    As we watched Russian tanks and planes attack yet another small neighbor, the world had to be reminded of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Afghanistan, three other countries that had to watch their freedom crushed beneath tank treads. The blatant, outrageous, and long planned invasion of Georgia should make it clear to the United States and Europe that there is an urgent need to pre-empt further Russian expansionism by spreading the NATO umbrella more widely.

    In Eastern Europe, Ukraine is the name of the game. With close to fifty million people, is, by far, more populous and important than any other former Soviet republic or satellite. Russia, with a population of 142 million and dropping, needs to take over Ukraine to reassert itself as a global power. Moscow is terrified that Ukraine will become part of the west. That’s why Russian operatives poisoned democracy advocate Viktor Yushchenko, now the president of Ukraine, permanently scarring his face and almost killing him and why Moscow refuses to extradite the agent responsible for the attack. And it is why the Kremlin tried to engineer the election of a pro-Russian puppet by cutting off gas supplies to Ukraine and then tripled the price it charged. The Ukrainians have voted again and again for democracy and ties to the west. Putin has tried repeatedly to force the nation back into the Russian orbit.

    The clear implication of the invasion of Georgia is that Russia cannot be trusted to live in peace with its neighbors. The impetus to imperial conquest predated and has outlasted communism. As Henry Kissinger argues, Russia must either be expanding or contracting. With so many divergent and often hostile nationalities inside and around Russia, the momentum of conquest is the only way to avoid an inertia which leads to decomposition.

    Ukraine wants to enter NATO but our European allies, led by Germany, are so dependent on Russian gas that they are reluctant to antagonize the bear. Until now, the case of expanding NATO’s protection to Ukraine has been hypothetical, based on fear of Russian intentions. But by breaking the civilized rules of national conduct, Russia has demonstrated the folly of leaving smaller democracies exposed on its border.

    Some – initially including Barack Obama – treated the Russian invasion as a border war for which both sides were responsible. The Democratic candidate called for mutual restraint and, only after two days had elapsed, did he label the Russian actions as “aggression”. Others have sought to blame Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili for the war because he sent troops into South Ossetia, long a part of Georgia which the Russians have egged on to seek its independence. The breakaway province is an example of Moscow’s oft-used strategy of encouraging emigration to other countries so as to use the new demographics to justify a takeover.

    Of course NATO cannot extend its protection to every nation in Europe. It is, in the final analysis, a military alliance and it must be certain that it can back its guarantees with adequate might. The location of Georgia makes this difficult to assure. But Ukraine, located right next to NATO members Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania, can and must be defended by NATO.

    Russia is rapidly losing its population. It has the lowest birth rate in Europe and loses half a million people every year. Its GDP is only $1.7 trillion, a tenth of the Euro Zone’s. It is only through energy reserves that Russia is able to project its influence. And Russia must realize that the West’s likely movement away from oil and toward alternative fuels may make the energy card obsolete in the future. It is only through blunt, blatant military force that Russia can expand and trouble its neighbors. And if the U.S. and NATO stand up to it, Russia will back down. And Ukraine is where we must make a stand.

    Makes sense to me.

  66. AP
    Military donations favor Obama over McCain
    Thursday August 14, 6:31 pm ET
    Troops donate more campaign money to Obama than McCain, despite McCain's military record

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. soldiers have donated more presidential campaign money to Democrat Barack Obama than to Republican John McCain, a reversal of previous campaigns in which military donations tended to favor GOP White House hopefuls, a nonpartisan group reported Thursday.

    This jives with what a North Carolina military dependent said that all the military families she knew were going for Obama.

    They're tired of it.

  67. "Moscow is terrified that Ukraine will become part of the west. That’s why Russian operatives poisoned democracy advocate Viktor Yushchenko, now the president of Ukraine, permanently scarring his face and almost killing him and why Moscow refuses to extradite the agent responsible for the attack."
    Damn! All this time I thot they were just jealous of his good-looks.

  68. From the NYTimes.
    Musharraf Is Expected to Resign in Next Few Days

    Published: August 14, 2008

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Faced with desertions by his political supporters and the unsettling neutrality of the Pakistani military, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan is expected to resign in the next few days rather than face impeachment, Pakistani politicians and Western diplomats said Thursday.

  69. Lots of potential porn stars in the Ukraine. Dick Morris obviously has his "thinking hat" on.

  70. Them Ukranian gals know it's not just to hang your hat on.(Old locker room saying from high school)

  71. Bobal: Them Ukranian gals know it's not just to hang your hat on.(Old locker room saying from high school)

    The old Beatles standby "Back in the USSR" seems appropriate here.

    Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
    They leave the west behind
    And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
    That Georgia's always on my my my my my my my my my mind
    Oh, come on
    Hu Hey Hu, hey, ah, yeah
    yeah, yeah, yeah
    I'm back in the USSR
    You don't know how lucky you are, boys
    Back in the USSR

  72. New Playground for Alternative Cars
    By Tom Grünweg

    Since the introduction of stringent congestion fees, London traffic has loosened up and cleaned up. Britons are now increasingly cruising their capital in cars running on alternative energy to avoid the charge.

    Formerly a traffic nightmare, London city center has become a playground for drivers of alternative energy cars. Since the British capital introduced a congestion charge of 8 pounds sterling for each conventional car between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Londoners have begun trying out new models that discharge less CO2, freeing drivers from the fee.

    "The congestion charge is a great success," says John Mason, head of enforcement at Transport for London's Congestion Charge. "Every day there are 100,000 fewer cars in the city than before the introduction of the fee." That's a 25-percent reduction, and the vehicles that do venture into the city center have become cleaner. "In February 2003 there were only 90 electric cars in London, in June 2008 it was more than 1600," says Mason. Tallies of other eco-friendly cars, including gas and hybrid models, also rose sharply, from 1,000 vehicles in 2003 to more than 20,000 by the last count. "The British buy about twice as many hybrid cars as Germans, and most of those who do drive in London," explains Debbie Fox of market monitor Jato Dynamics.

    The charge has paved the road for vehicles that would not otherwise be taken seriously. For example the top-selling electric car in London, the Reva G-Wiz (marketed in Germany as "Greeny"), is a battery-powered car manufactured in Bangalore, India. Not much larger than a cardboard box on wheels, the four-seater can barely accelerate to 80 kilometers per hour. Every 70 kilometers or so, it has to be plugged into an outlet to recharge its battery. The tiny car costs 10,000 pounds and has a cult following in London. In some neighborhoods it is a more common sight than a Mini Cooper or Mercedes SLK.

  73. Since 60's era California Girls are a thing of the past, I'll settle for some Ukrainian Bunnies.

  74. Matt,
    They're working on legislation here to ease permitting of Solar Farms on formerly (low grad) Agricultural Land.

    Very Successful local developer has a 50 acre setup planned, and on Lanai, somebody's planning one of the World's Largest Photovoltaic Setups.

  75. Mika,
    I forgot, are you at least part Ukrainian?

  76. What downtown London needs is those Wal-Mart electric bikes, that you got to pedal downhill. That'll work the fish and chips off any man.

  77. My dad was born in Kirov, (white :) Russia. I was born in Kaunas, Lithuania.

  78. What London needs is an All-Electric Muzzie Eliminator.

  79. bobal said...
    WiO, Vote Early and Often In Ohio For McCain or, how we've lost our democracy.

    I plan on it...

    Saturday I (democrat) will be knocking on doors for our REPUBLICAN Representative Pat Tiberi

    And I will be getting my McCain signs soon..

    Only possible problem?

    if Hillary gets the nomination...

  80. Pootie Pipeline:

    The world's second largest oil pipeline goes directly through Georgia -- and its construction was pushed through by the US against Russia's will.

  81. Kremlin dusts off Cold War lexicon to make US villain in Georgia

    Russians were told over breakfast yesterday what really happened in Georgia: the conflict in South Ossetia was part of a plot by Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, to stop Barak Obama being elected president of the United States.

  82. ALL the others go through Russia!

  83. The coverage goes down well in developing countries that want an alternative to CNN and BBC World Service, a Russian official said. "We have learnt from Western TV how to simplify the narrative."


    Maybe Wretchard can teach them a thing or two.

  84. The Nuclear Industry Explained:


    Bärbel Höhn, 56, deputy leader of the German Green Party's parliamentary group, discusses her party's opposition to nuclear energy, the market power of the major energy companies, and why she rejects warnings of a shortfall in energy supplies.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Ms. Höhn, how much does a kilowatt-hour of electricity cost in Germany?

    Bärbel Höhn: I pay 17 cents net for electricity from renewable sources.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: That was about the national average in late 2007. In France, a country that gets 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear power, they pay only 10.4 cents. In Italy, which gets by without nuclear power, it was 21.6 cents -- more expensive than anywhere else in Europe.

    Höhn: Within Germany, (the state of) Baden-Württemberg derives the largest share of its electricity from nuclear power, and also has among the highest electricity prices.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: But the price of electricity is set nationwide at the Leipzig electricity exchange. Other factors are behind the regional differences.

    Höhn: Electricity from nuclear power is highly subsidized in France. Besides, the French have done virtually nothing for renewable energy, which means that they also haven't created any jobs in this industry. We, on the other hand, have more than 250,000 jobs in these areas. I don't think that this is a policy that makes sense.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Nevertheless, you cannot ignore the fact that electricity is cheaper in countries with a stronger emphasis on nuclear power. In times of exploding energy prices, can the Green Party really expect consumers to pay the higher cost of electricity from renewable sources?

    Höhn: But electricity from nuclear power isn't cheaper at all! According to studies by Greenpeace, about €80-100 billion ($124-155 billion) in subsidies have been pumped into nuclear power. In addition, the big corporations are still not required to pay taxes on their reserves for the permanent storage (of nuclear waste). That makes up around €800 million ($1.24 billion) a year. And if they had to insure their reactors, they wouldn't even be able to pay the premiums.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: But in reality the federal government has only subsidized nuclear power research -- with about €36 billion ($56 billion), adjusted for inflation.

    Höhn: There is a lot more than research. In any case, we are talking about a lot of money.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Renewable forms of energy are subsidized far more heavily, not by taxpayers, but by electricity customers.

    Höhn: That isn't true. In 2006, the costs to the economy amounted to about €3 billion ($4.7 billion).

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: And the number keeps growing. Solar panels installed by 2010 will cost consumers about €70 billion ($109 billion). And that doesn't even include wind, biofuel and geothermal energy. And if new installation continues at the current rate beyond 2010, subsidies for solar power alone will amount to €700 billion ($1.1 trillion).

    Höhn: These numbers are wrong. There is no question that photovoltaics is still very expensive today. But reductions in subsidies will also make solar much cheaper in the future. And you've ignored wind power completely. On many days, it already contributes to a reduction in the price of electricity on the Leipzig electricity exchange. According to the Environment Ministry, this amounted to €5 billion in 2006. You have to look at these numbers from an economic view.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: But wind energy is making the price of electricity more expensive overall, because conventional gas and coal power plants have to be kept up and running to guaranty supply at all times.

    Höhn: The larger the renewable energy share, the less this applies. That's because the wind is always blowing somewhere, or the sun is shining. Besides, geothermal energy and gas power plants, as well as the large offshore plants, will bring us forward considerably. Of course, they are absolutely necessary if we intend to ensure supply.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: The only problem is that they are behind schedule. Of 3,000 plants in the North Sea and Baltic Sea, 2,988 aren't funded yet.

    Höhn: The numbers are constantly changing. The new renewable energy law is providing the necessary impetus. However, we need to get the large energy companies on board. If they are truly committed to renewable energy, as they constantly claim, it's time for them to finally step on the gas.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: We also need up to 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) of high-voltage power lines to distribute electricity from the coast across the country. There has been tremendous resistance to this everywhere. Is the green vision of clean energy gradually becoming a pipe dream?

    Höhn: Who missed the expansion of the power grid? The four biggest energy companies. Besides, there is more than just sun and wind. In the future, we will also increase decentralized power generation, using cogeneration plants, for example. And energy storage in batteries is also developing…

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: But all of that is still far away and expensive. Wouldn't it make more sense to extend the operating lives of our existing nuclear power plants, under the condition that the profits are invested in the expansion of renewable forms of energy? How else do you intend to prevent energy prices from going through the roof in the coming years?

    Höhn: One of the reasons for the high prices is the market power of major corporations. They have an oligopoly and, as a result, can dictate prices. Here's one example: E.on, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall receive more than 80 percent of their pollution rights for free, and yet they pass on the cost of emissions certificates to the consumer. That amounts to €7 billion ($10.8 billion) a year! Instead of extending the lives of nuclear power plants, we should take steps to ensure that we recover this money, to which these companies aren't even entitled. If you keep the nuclear power plants up and running longer, you merely increase the market power of the four major players, thereby increasing prices.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: In that case, rules will have to be developed to create more competition.

    Höhn: But not with the current Economics Ministry, which has clearly sided with the utilities until now. Besides, a report by the Eco Institute also opposes extending the plants' operating lives. According to this report, an extension until 2010 would have virtually no effect on the price of electricity…

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: …because only three or four reactors would have to be shut down by then.

    Höhn: But after that, the nuclear power producers would make about €3 billion ($4.65 billion) a year in surplus profits if they could keep their plants operating further. Even if these companies were to return half of the profits to citizens, it would amount to only about €20 ($31) per citizen each year.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Try a different calculation: What happens with a nuclear phase-out? The electricity from nuclear power has to be replaced with coal or renewable energy. Both come at a high price, coal because of the emissions certificates, and renewables because of net metering. In the end, you pay a total of five to seven cents more per kilowatt-hour, an increase of more than 30 percent over today.

    Höhn: You can't calculate that way. The price of electricity is developed differently on the exchange. Even the pro-nuclear economics ministry concludes that the additional cost would be only 1.2 cents per kilowatt-hour after a nuclear phase-out. Besides, you have to consider the problems you could run into if the operating lives of nuclear power plants are extended.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Such as?

    Höhn: They would intervene massively in the market. Depending on the share of electricity derived from nuclear power, some energy companies would benefit more while others would benefit less from an extension. In other words, E.on would derive a 40-percent profit, Vattenfall would get almost nothing at all, and RWE and EnBW would divide up the rest. Then you would have a regulated market, together with all of the problems that go with it. And experience has shown that voluntary commitments, such as those the energy companies have proposed for handing over the profits, don't work, especially when they are tied to distribution issues. And how do we expect to ensure that the companies don't recoup their profits from the consumer through their oligopoly?

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Lawmakers would have to take steps to prevent that from happening. As it happens, the nuclear phase-out was also a massive intervention in the market. So was the renewable energy law.

    Höhn: If you want to require the energy companies to give the profits back to consumers, you're dealing with true price regulation, which is a whole different story. And another issue that's not even being addressed at the moment, for reasons I find incomprehensible, is safety.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: German nuclear power plants are among the world's safest. Do you disagree?

    Höhn: That's what I used to think about Sweden. Two years ago, we barely managed to avoid a major, Chernobyl-like disaster. It was a matter of 20 minutes. And then there are the recent incidents in France. The fifth incident in only a month happened last Tuesday. And since Sep. 11, the risk of terrorist attacks has already grown considerably. I'm worried to death when I consider that our older nuclear power plants, in particular, aren't even protected against crashes by smaller aircraft.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: You can't be serious.

    Höhn: Then take a look at the Environment Ministry's Web site, where you can read all about it.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: But that only applies to the old nuclear power plants. They could be shut down. Why shouldn't the newer plants not only maintain their residual electricity volume, as provided by the nuclear safety law, but also add volume that would in fact guarantee a longer total life?

    Höhn: Even the new plants aren't protected against passenger plane crashes. Besides, it still isn't clear where the highly radioactive waste will be placed into final storage.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: If the operating lives are extended by 10 years, we would end up having 9,000 tons of nuclear waste more than we have today.

    Höhn: Which is still twice as much as what we would have without this extension of operating lives!

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: It is critical that a final storage site be found. Does it make any difference whether we store the 17,000 tons that would be generated anyway or add another 4,000? In the end, doesn't it matter how well you are able to explain to people, in times of rapidly increasing energy prices, that you want to get out of both nuclear power and coal-based generation of electricity?

    Höhn: But we don't want to get out of electricity from coal.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: The Greens, at any rate, usually do their utmost to block new coal power plants.

    Höhn: That's true. Anything else would be lunacy. Twenty-five coal power plants are currently planned. They'll run for 40 or 50 years, emitting more than 100 million tons of CO2 each year. And that will still be the case in 2050, when Germany will only be permitted to emit 160 million tons of the greenhouse gas. That leaves less than 60 million tons for the remainder of electricity generation, industry, households and transportation. It's absurd.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: That's why the electricity producers are working on methods to filter out CO2.

    Höhn: Which don't work yet. We can't simply force the carbon dioxide into depleted underground gas reservoirs, as the Norwegians are doing. But if the technology were ready to be marketed, we would clearly have no objection to building coal power plants. I don't see that happening in Germany before 2020. And then there are many who say that coal-based electricity production with CO2 sequestration is more expensive than, for example, wind power.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: With whom do you want to be running the country after 2009: the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which favors coal, or the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which supports extending the lives of nuclear power plants?

    Höhn: We will fight for our positions and, in doing so, for majorities within the population. And I'm convinced that once we have captured majorities we will get a coalition partner.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: So what do you prefer today: coal or nuclear?

    Höhn: (laughing) Well, we'll still have both of them in 2020, anyway.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: The German energy agency DENA warns of a possible power shortfall if we stick to the current plans for a nuclear phase-out. In that case, only three nuclear reactors will still be in operation in 2020, and we will lack the output of 15 major power plants.

    Höhn: I took a very close look at that study. This isn't quite right. To arrive at its conclusions, DENA used significantly shorter operating lives for its coal power plants than those reported to the Federal Network Agency. And if you take the second set of numbers, the power shortfall is substantially reduced. Besides, DENA came up with a lower estimate for the share coming from renewable forms of energy than the federal government. Combine all of these factors and the shortfall doesn't even exist.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Most experts consider the DENA report to be credible. Do you think it's fixed?

    Höhn: You do have to ask yourself who benefits from this supposed power shortfall. And when it is precisely the person who benefits from it who happens to commission a study that uncovers this power shortfall…

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: …Hold on, the Environment Ministry was the one that commissioned it.

    Höhn: But the big energy companies paid for it. Here, take a look at this, it's an ad I brought along. I'll be happy to give it to you. It's from the nuclear industry. Its share of power generation used to be 34 percent. Today it's 22. They say that renewable energy from wind, water and the sun cannot cover more than 4 percent of our power needs in the long term.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: When was the ad printed?

    Höhn: In 1993.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: So it's a little on the old side.

    Höhn: Of course. But what it says there is "in the long term." We're at above 15 percent today, and it increases by 2 percent every year. Back then, the nuclear power plant operators tried to preserve their market power by portraying alternative energy as unrealistic to begin with. Today they have invented the electricity shortfall "in the long term." They don't want renewable energy -- no more today than back then.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Ms. Höhn, thank you for this interview.

    Interview conducted by Rafaela von Bredow and Wolfgang Reuter

  85. screw opec, hugo & russia...

    make oil worthless

  86. doug said...
    You'll get a new Windows Update, like it or not


    not on my 6 macs I wont...

  87. That Miss Hohn must be one of Dr. Bill's idiot greenie relatives in Germany he's always talking about. Germany gets alot of its power from French nuclear reactors.

    If Obama gets in, all the bad guys in the whole world are going to test him in the first year or so. Build a bunker, or buy a white flag.

  88. WiO,

    There really is no dark side of the moon, it's all dark.

    After using Macs since the Classic II, I got a QuadCore HP machine w Vista installed. Cant say I have any regrets so far.

  89. After using Macs since the Classic II, I got a QuadCore HP machine w Vista installed. Cant say I have any regrets so far.


    For as much porn I as see on the net I feel MUCH safer on my mac...

    that being said...

    I run 5 old mac's for my company all over 5 yrs old, all running os 10, all cost less than 100 bucks on ebay and all blowing away the windows machines that are needed to ship with...

    my laptops and desktops are smokin and I LOVE mac's gooey....

    the quality of the mac's hardware has gone down now that they use window's quality stuff but the OS is smokin..

    the best feature?


    quite the most remarkable backup ever seen on the planet...

    I've had a harddrive fail and let me tell ya...

    NOTHING beats a time machine backup!

  90. Pootie Pinup--

    Said it once, will say it again--

    That sucker is a bait fisherman and I've never seen a flyfisherman with his shirt off, too many bugs around, and, it's the first time in a long time he's had his shirt off, cause there's no tan atall.


  91. 30% of Americans want "balanced" blogging

    (80% percent of THOSE respondents didn't know what a blog was, but it better be balanced, that's all they can say.)

  92. Well hell Teresita if the blogging was unbalanced it would be kind of, you know, crazy.

  93. Phelps Wins Again

    That Phelps kid is either a great swimmer, or has got some kind of mini-jet packs hidden in his nostrils.

  94. It's that 22nd Century swimsuit he wears.

  95. That Phelps kid looks to me like he belongs to that secret society that's no so secret. Anyone check his blood for green pigment? :)

  96. I tried to crash land and couldn't do it.

  97. Thu 08.14 >>
    Journalist and author Jim Marrs will be discussing the secret societies that threaten to take over the United States.
    C2C tonite

    aka the Democratic Party

  98. Scan the whole thread, and only wi"o" alludes to the biggest politico news of the day.

    The Dems are putting Hillary's name into nomination ...
    AND holding a ROLL CALL vote.

    All bets are of, amigos.
    Those Super Delegates don't vote,
    until they vote.

    In actuality, the "committed" delegates, from most States, are free to vote their conscience, they are not bound by the electoral results of the Primaries, legally.

  99. I noticed it, but don't think it means anything. If Obama's not the man, all hell breaks loose. Be fun to watch, though.

  100. Leaves Hope for AlGore in '08.

    I had thught that play done, but Obama may prove to be to clever by half.

    The Convention roll call could easily leave both Billary and Obama short on the first go-round.

    There may be those that vote present or just stay in their rooms, by design. Like my Senator, Maverick

  101. Sam: Flying

    That spacy-funky music is Oxygene part IV from Jean-Michel Jarre, 1976. Absolute classic piece of proto-electronica there. Owned it on 8-track.

  102. No,no, Doug, they're just saying, we're in China, we're all Chinese now.

    I'd surely love to see it, Rat. Convention's in Denver, isn't it? Teargas in Denver in August. I'd rush to Wal-Mart, and get a decent TV. Obama has said to count all the votes in Florida, and Michigan.

  103. The GOP all ginned up to tear Obama a new ass hole, ready for Billary, as well.

    But AlGore, he's got both Hollywood and those "grey white" ladies sewn up, already.

    Obama rides in the VP slot, builds his resume. Gore gets his revenge.

    Both on the GOP and the Clintons.

  104. Doug: Second Spanish team photographed making 'slit-eyed' gesture...
    And "La Raza" isn't Racist.

    This from someone who uses the epithet "beaner".

  105. Like my Senator, Maverick

    Are you sure he's your Senator? Senators vote. Maverick is a Senator like this guy is a rock bassist.

  106. Care to cite somewhere where I seriously refered to Hispanics as Beaners?

  107. More to the point, what would that have to do with the FACT that they are rabidly racist, and their gangs are committing genocide on innocent blacks in Los Angeles?

  108. ...and other cities across the land.

  109. Latest from Mal James, reporting from Gori Georgia by FNC News Crews

    That's sad, the blog only mentions a crazed "Ossestian" (sic) ONCE, and in his report he explicitly mentions "Georgian Irregulars" prominently.

  110. Barry the Unready and Putin the Poisoner

    By James Lewis

    Leaders were once named after their most (in)famous acts. In the 10th century Ethelred, king of England, was called "the Unready" after he panicked at the prospect of Viking pirates coming to raid his shores; he was forever after known as "Ethelred the Redeless" --- the king who was bereft of counsel in the face of barbarian attack.

    Well, here we are a thousand years later, and our vaunted leader-to-be Barry O is about as ready as Ethelred was in the year 1000 CE. Because we are still threatened by barbarians today. Check the headlines if you don't believe it.

    Vladimir Putin should be known throughout the world as "Putin the Poisoner." His signature act -- the action that defined Putin's character for all the world to see -- was the radioactive poisoning of KGB turncoat Alexander Litvinenko in London, using polonium-210. The kicker is that you can't just buy polonium-210 at your local chemical supply store. You can only get it if you have a nuclear weapons industry, because there you need it to start a nuclear chain reaction. It's a super-tricky substance to control. Putin's assassins left their traces all over London. Chemically, Po-210 is 250,000 times more toxic than hydrogen cyanide. But the Russians have always favored overkill.

    Vladimir Putin had ordered the assassination of Russian journalists and capitalists before Litvinenko, of course. But the Litvinenko murder defined him for the world -- or at least the sane and sensible fraction of the world --- just as Don Corleone in the Godfather ordered the decapitated horse's head to be placed in Jack Woltz' bedroom. Like the bloody horse head, Polonium poisoning signaled a public but deniable threat to Putin's enemies: Defy me, and I can use the rarest poison in the world to kill you anywhere I choose. And I will get away with it, because everybody else is cowed.

    Which is exactly what happened. Putin never paid a price, and in the manner of bullies everywhere, he was emboldened when the Brits failed to respond to Litvinenko's assassination in the middle of London. That is why Putin's invasion of the small, free, and democratic Republic of Georgia was predictable. Today the Russian threat to the Ukraine is just as obvious. So the issue is not just the Republic of Georgia: It is the Ukraine, the Baltics, Eastern Europe, and even the Middle East.

    So what about Barry O, vacationing back in Hawaii? How is he holding up against a future in which he might have to face Vlad the Poisoner and Russia's reversion to barbarism? To say it kindly, Barry is Unready -- redeless just like Ethelred, and already signaling weakness. According to his official advisor, Susan Rice, John McCain was just too nasty to the raging Bear. This might pass muster in the Disney World of the Left, where you just wish upon a star to make it come true, but in Putin's mafiocracy they are toasting Obama in vodka. Down the hatch, Barry!

    By failing to warn Putin, Obama is inviting more aggression -- look for it as soon as he gets elected. Jimmy Carter invited Brezhnev to invade Afghanistan, and Barry O is doing the same with the former Soviet satellites.

    The Bush Administration's much saner response is modeled after the Berlin Airlift, a time when Stalin and Truman were testing each other while teetering on the brink of a nuclear exchange. After sixty years of experience with the Russians, we have a history of relations to fall back on -- but that's only true if you know that history. Barry O has given no indication so far that he's read up on all that Cold War stuff lately. Fortunately, Bush's cabinet has a good historical memory; Condi Rice is a Soviet scholar, and Cheney was SecDef at the end of the Cold War. Nobody appears to be in denial, thank goodness. They will navigate this confrontation based on what we know about Russia and Putin. And no, George W. Bush is not as naive about Putin as conservatives sometimes fear.

    Just as the Polonium assassination was designed to send a message to bully the world, the Georgia invasion used a lot of over-the-top violence -- Russia having 146 million people, and George 4-5 million. Putin went so far as to send in Cossack and Chechen irregulars, a deliberate throwback to the Czars. Back then, the Cossacks were no better than the Vikings; they killed, plundered and raped civilians. They were the battlefield scavengers of dead and wounded soldiers. Even the Prussian von Clausewitz was appalled and shamed by the Cossacks, who had no sense of military honor as he understood it.

    Well, Putin has sent the Cossacks and Chechens in again after the Russian army. This is a signal to Eastern Europe where people have long memories. Russia is back to barbarism.

    Under its current KGB Mafia, Moscow will act purely by Machtpolitik, unrestrained by world opinion or civilized values. Meanwhile, the Germans have put themselves at the mercy of Putin by giving him a monopoly over their natural gas supplies. Russia's Gazprom even hired the last (and worst) German Chancellor, Gerhardt Schroeder, after he passed a concessionary gas agreement with Russia through the German parliament. Europe is governed by fools or cowards, who hope to buy the friendship of the KGB Mafia in Moscow. But as soon as the Russians bare their teeth, Europe looks to the United States again for help.


    So we're the world's Good Cop again. We don't have to like it, in the face of unreliable ‘allies' and treacherous foes. But who else would you trust to resist thugs like Putin the Poisoner?


    We're in a shitboat full of trouble if Barry gets in.

  111. Rufus will be in hog heaven, feedin them Pigs all those spent grains from the Ubiquitous Ethanol Plants!

  112. Doug, I don't care if you call 'em beaners. I remember you did say that, and it reminded me of a argument I got into long ago on USENET with a so called "born again Christian" who called me a beaner because I have a sort of Mexican name (just like Jesus does). And this guy also called Muslims "rag heads" this was before 9-11. This was even before the Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombings. I just wondered at the similar disconnect, that's all.

  113. Doug: Rufus will be in hog heaven, feedin them Pigs all those spent grains from the Ubiquitous Ethanol Plants!

    Great, we can all run on fumes from pig shit just like Bartertown in Mad Max III.

  114. I loved the period immediately after 9-11, when a MAJORITY of posters here in the 57th State were calling them Rag Heads.
    Those were the days.
    Don't forget "Sand Monkeys"
    and "Camel Jockeys!"

  115. Night Owl:

    Just wanted to say that the commentary here has been compelling. It keeps me coming back for more.

    BTW: I gotta give an “Amen” to Old Salt for this:

    “oil is the top concern - bar none. He who controls the world oil supply (if it can be done), controls the world. Oil is not evil. Oil is freedom for America and the West. Those who would deny America access to oil only strengthen our enemies. Those who are enemies of “oil” are also enemies of freedom”

    Shades of “Dune” - “he who controls the spice controls the universe!”

    If either McCain or Obama had the cojones to say this, and mean it, he’d get my vote. ;-)

  116. I should dig up my animated Gif of the original Taliban 7 Ragheads of Khandahar showing them receiving a Fuel/Air Gift!

  117. ...on one of my old computers, hope they all still run.

  118. wretchard:

    Russia has a glittering destiny before it? Since when? Being dragged down to a slaughter in Israel is not my notion of a glittering destiny. Wretchard?

    My impression — and I may be wrong — is that the Russians are almost a brilliant race, who will somehow think it is a good idea to make a spaceship out of wicker and actually do it. That the idea itself is lunatic will somehow be lost in the process of achievement. It’s that juxtaposition of qualities that gives Russia it’s tragic quality. Someone mentioned And Quiet Flows the Don. I read the novel as a teenager and still have memories of someone hanging a Cossack but getting it wrong so that they had to dig a little hole underneath his feet, which could still reach the ground.

    But I’m no expert on Russians, apart from the few that I’ve met.
    But my one of my best friends remembers being married there during the last days of the Soviet Union, in someplace that I think was called the the Palace of Weddings, where the last stage was a solemnization in a stained-glass window illuminated hall, where the presiding authority was a witchlike woman, and the the music was supplied by from the shadows by decrepit veterans of the Great Patriotic War, who played the Theme From Love Story at the appropriate moment.
    I never learned whether this was fact or fiction. But I hope it’s true.

  119. cjm:
    jack: who won the world series last year, the dodgers or the rams?

  120. I left this note for you @BC al-Bob!
    "“Science Program” for al-Bob is Art Bell!"


  121. Here we go, Doug. Raghead from Canada, who had posted death threats against Christians, found dead in Denver hotel room with a pound of cyanide in a bottle, but police say no connection to terrorism.

    The Celtics won that year.

  122. o har de har

    Tonight's show wasn't worth a shit though. Why I'm back reading news. Every conspiracy theory out there made foolish sounding by this moron.

    Would that be ol' Sparks Fly that posted that question to wretchard referencing his fond hope of armegeddon? Roosians going down to Israel to be slaughtered.

  123. What you didn't know until I posted it was that the atmosphere on Mars is becoming more dense. Maybe.

  124. I think the name
    "Saleman Abdirahman Dirie"
    pretty well rules out
    that it might possibly be terrorism related.

  125. Just for Mika:


    "It seems the main drive of the Russian invasion was Georgia's aspiration to join NATO, while the separatist problem was only a pretext."


    "It seems the main drive of the Georgian invasion was Georgia's aspiration to join NATO, while the separatist problem was only a pretext."