“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

More on Russia and the EU.


  1. Position sizing could very well be the most important aspect of a trading system, yet, like expectancy, it's rarely covered in trading books. A position sizing model simply tells you 'how much' or 'how big' of a position to take. Position sizing can be the key factor in whether or not you stay in the game or whether your gains or losses are huge or minimal.

  2. Ah, Miliband, a British variety of genus Neocon, which unlike the US varieties does less to hide its Trotskyite roots. Pity the poor Georgians, pawns of the democratic permanent revolution.

  3. From Foreign Policy online:

    Seven Questions: Russia’s Big Mistake

    Posted August 2008
    Think Russia is the big winner in Georgia? Think again: Regional expert and CIA veteran Paul A. Goble explains how Moscow has shot itself in the foot by recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia and why wealthy Russia’s nouveau riche might be the ones who pull the Kremlin back from the brink.

    Foreign Policy: There’s still a lot of debate about just who started the war in Georgia. Russia, of course, claims that Georgia started it, and Georgia says it was provoked by shelling from South Ossetia. Many others see Georgia falling into a long-planned Russian trap. What’s your view? What do you think provoked this war?

    Paul Goble: Well, there are two different questions: what provoked this war and what caused it. After the NATO summit in Bucharest, when the United States indicated it would press for Georgia to be included in NATO, the Russian government, as Mr. Putin indicated at the time, was sufficiently angry that Moscow began planning to be able to use force at some point. I believe that [Georgian President Mikheil] Saakashvili gave Moscow the occasion for the use of such force. Had Saakashvili not moved in the way that he did, it would have been far more difficult for Moscow to present itself as acting within the limits of its [peacekeeping] mandate.

    However, once the Russian government moved beyond the borders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and once it moved into parts of Georgia that had never been in dispute, this was an act of Russian aggression, even if the trigger was an unfortunate miscalculation by Tbilisi.

    FP: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev writes in Wednesday’s Financial Times that he chose to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia because “some nations find it impossible to live under the tutelage of another” and because he couldn’t “tell the Abkhazians and South Ossetians… that what was good for the Kosovo Albanians was not good for them.” What do you make of his argument?

    PG: Moscow’s effort to blame the West and blame NATO action in recognizing Kosovo doesn’t cut as much ice as I think Moscow expected, but the Russian government continues to make it. It’s significant that the Serbians are very, very unhappy, because in Georgia Russia is doing exactly what it denounced in Kosovo.

    Medvedev’s comment can be played elsewhere as well. The country in Eurasia that has the most people who would like to be independent is not Georgia—it is the Russian Federation. In the words of one Chechen I saw quoted the other day, “Are we any worse than the Abkhazians?” So, Medvedev has unsheathed a sword that has two edges.

    FP: Medvedev also writes, “In international relations, you cannot have one rule for some and another rule for others.”

    PG: Well, he’s just done that, hasn’t he? He said there’s one rule for Abkhazians and there’s another rule for Chechens. I have yet to see a convincing argument on how those two crises are in principle different.

    The Russian government is basically saying, “If you’re friends with us, we’ll support territorial integrity; if you’re not friends with us, we will support self-determination for minorities.” That is a pretty heavy-handed approach, and it’s one that at, least so far, isn’t getting much positive support around the world. Indeed, in the first 24 hours, the only political leadership in the world that has supported Russia is Hamas, and that’s hardly much of a recommendation.

    FP: So, what’s the difference between Kosovo and Abkhazia and South Ossetia?

    PG: I’m not an expert on Yugoslavia, but what I see is the following. The first difference is that Kosovo did not become a client state of someone else. It did not get absorbed by Albania, as Serbs and Russians said would happen at the time. With all due respect, the governments in South Ossetia and to a lesser extent Abkhazia are clearly client states. The South Ossetian government says whatever Moscow wants to be said, and you don’t have that in Kosovo.

    The second difference is that nobody went in and said, “We have international peacekeeping responsibilities, and now we’re going to put our forces in so we can recognize this place.” That’s in effect what the Russians did.

    FP: But if the South Ossetians and the Abkhazians don’t want to be part of Georgia, why should the West support President Saakashvili’s position? Why is it a good idea to support Georgia’s “territorial integrity”?

    PG: Since 1932—since the Stimson Doctrine was articulated when the Japanese seized Manchuria and transformed it into “Manchukuo” as a client state—it has been (largely) consistent American policy that the United States does not recognize territorial change achieved by an act of aggression. So, the issue is not, as the Russians have put it, between simple territory integrity or the right of nations to self-determination. It is whether the United States and Western governments will accept border changes brought about by the use of force. And that’s what has happened in this instance.

    FP: What about Azerbaijan, which has the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave? Should Azerbaijan worry about being next on Moscow’s hit list?

    PG: Russian policy in this region is vastly more variegated than we assume. What Russia will do to promote its interests in Ukraine or Azerbaijan or Georgia are three different things.

    For one thing, the Azerbaijanis have a lot more money than the Georgians do, and they’ve invested more in their military. Azerbaijan is far more concerned about being able to ship its oil across Georgian territory through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline than almost anything else. Earlier in the week when that pipeline was not working, Azerbaijan was sending oil through Russia to Novorossiisk, which of course gave Russia a hold, and it was also sending oil south across Iran, an action I suspect a large number of American officials would have problems with.

    What Moscow may do either in eastern Ukraine or especially in Crimea is very different than what it has done in Georgia—not only because Ukraine is a lot bigger. It’s really only the Americans who seem to think that all these countries are somehow branch offices. Russia has a very, very good set of experts who understand just how different these places are.

    Now, the domestic reaction in Russia hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but you’ve got people speaking out. You’ve had demonstrations against the war. You’ve got soldiers’ mothers’ committees going to court because the Russian Defense Ministry lied and said that there would be no draftees used in combat, which they were. Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader, reportedly wrote on his blog that if Moscow continues on the path it is now, “Russia and Russians will suffer even more.”

    FP: But this is a minority viewpoint, right?

    PG: I’m not suggesting that if a vote were taken tomorrow, Russians would vote down what Putin and Medvedev have done. But it’s wrong to assume that every Russian thinks this was the greatest act of statecraft in the history of the world. There are a lot of people who don’t, and while I don’t think they set the weather, to ignore the role they play is a mistake.

    I believe that one of the reasons the fighting stopped was not because there weren’t people in the defense ministry who thought it should go on for a bit longer, but because in the first two working days of the war, there was a total of some $8 billion net capital outflow from Russia. You’re talking about serious consequences for wealthy Russians, and they matter a whole lot more than the soldiers’ mothers’ committees or Boris Nemtsov or Garry Kasparov.

    Because of this war, Russians are no longer going to be as welcome in foreign countries. We’re probably going to see the spread of what is an unfortunate thing: In Germany and France, Europeans are now choosing to go on trips to resorts that the tour operators promise are “Russian free.” In human terms, that’s ugly, but in collective terms that’s a source of enormous pressure.

    Polls tell us that for many Russians, the single most important right they acquired after 1991 was the right to travel. If getting a visa becomes more difficult, Russians are going to have a harder time moving about. It’s going to be harder to get their children into elite international schools. There’s going to be less money around. So, there’s probably a constituency, and a pretty large one among an influential group of people, who are going to go to the Russian government and say, “You’re hitting us where it matters most: in our pocketbooks.” And that’s a source of influence that should not be discounted at all.

    Paul A. Goble is a long-time specialist, at the Central Intelligence Agency and elsewhere, on the non-Russian peoples of Eurasia. Currently director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, he blogs at WindowonEurasia and for the New York Times.

  4. At National Review, a series of interviews with author Amity Shales:

    THURSDAY, AUGUST 28, 2008
    The Great Depression with Amity Shlaes: Chapter 4 of 5
    Shlaes describes how the New Dealers of the 1920s and 1930s were greatly influenced by the Soviet Union and Mussolini’s Italy. She says they were deeply inspired by the ambition of the collectivists, all while believing there was something intrinsically wrong with the United States.

    WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 27, 2008
    The Great Depression with Amity Shlaes: Chapter 3 of 5
    Was FDR’s progressivism, as evident in the New Deal, really all that new, or was it a step along a progressive continuum that already had been established? Shlaes answers that while the impulse of progressivism was strong in America in the 1930s, FDR’s progressivism was radically more advanced. In addition, Shlaes says the FDR administration “used the excuse of the emergency of the Great Depression” to advance its progressive agenda.

    TUESDAY, AUGUST 26, 2008
    The Great Depression with Amity Shlaes: Chapter 2 of 5
    How much blame does Herbert Hoover deserve for the Great Depression? Shlaes says a good amount since he both misjudged the Wall Street crash and failed in his reaction to it. There also was the depression-inducing Smoot-Hawley tariff, which Hoover — an internationalist by nature — knew better than to sign into law.

    MONDAY, AUGUST 25, 2008
    The Great Depression with Amity Shlaes: Chapter 1 of 5
    Amity Shlaes challenges the received wisdom that the Great Depression occurred because capitalism broke, and that it ended because FDR, and government in general, came to the rescue. According to Shlaes, it was the government that made the Great Depression worse.

  5. Cato@Liberty

    "Cult" watch

    posted by Gene Healy

    CNBC just ran a feature entitled “Electing the CEO of America.” It’s a great illustration of the insane expectations Americans invest in what’s supposed to be a limited, constitutional office. As I write in that book,

    Over the second half of the 20th century, Gallup polls showed that an average of 41 percent of Americans per year cited economic issues as the most important problems facing America. Here, as usual, the buck stopped with the president, Rossiter’s “Manager of Prosperity,” despite the fact that expecting any president to successfully “manage” a 13-trillion dollar economy made up of some 150 million workers, each with their own plans and goals, is unrealistic, to put it mildly.

    The only presidential candidate in recent years to echo William Howard Taft’s 1912 admonition that “the national government cannot create good times,” was a fictional one, Republican contender Arnold Vinick, played by Alan Alda on NBC’s “West Wing.” In November 2005, the network aired a live “debate” between Vinick and his Democratic opponent, Jimmy Smits’ Matt Santos. Asked “how many jobs will you create?” Vinick said “None.” “Entrepreneurs create jobs,” he elaborated, “Business creates jobs. The president’s job is to get out of the way.” Real-life contenders don’t talk that way, nor do real-life presidents. (For what it’s worth, Vinick lost.)

    Though I suppose “CEO of America” is an improvement over Hillary Clinton’s phrase: “We need a president who is ready on Day 1 to be commander in chief of our economy.” As Jerry Taylor put it at the time, “we eagerly await your orders, ma’am!”

    posted by Gene Healy on 08.28.08 @ 2:46 pm

  6. August 28, 2008
    In Denver, the End of Capitalism
    By David Harsanyi

    DENVER -- Well, it's no wonder that Democrats didn't want former President Bill Clinton to speak on the economy; some delegates might have had the temerity to ask: Hey, why did we experience all that prosperity in the '90s?

    It certainly wasn't because of populism or isolationism or more government dependency or any of the hard-left economic policies being preached nightly by speakers at the Democratic National Convention.

    No, it was capitalism -- more of it, not less of it.

    Naturally, every political convention features its share of demagoguery. But buried beneath the idealistic policy talk in Denver is an ugly detail: It's about coercion.

    Those who had the inner fortitude to remain conscious through speeches by Bob Casey and Mark Warner surely were entertained by the theatrics of populist Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (a man who represents the possibility of America, a place where even a former cast member of "Hee-Haw" can become governor of Montana).

    When Schweitzer claims "we must invest" in projects he likes, he means government will take it and invest it for you.

    You see, you must.

    Then Schweitzer claimed (in a half-truth) that Republican nominee John McCain voted "against" solar energy, biofuels and wind energy.

    Which is weird because I could swear my neighbor has solar panels, so they must be legal. I've seen windmills. So I suppose that Schweitzer meant that McCain voted against some federal boondoggle for wind and/or solar energy.

    And frankly, McCain hasn't voted against biofuels nearly enough. One need only look at the corn-based ethanol fiasco to understand how destructive it can be when politicians decide we "must" do something.

    Sen. Hillary Clinton later chimed in that she would force energy companies to invest in the projects deemed worthy of the common good. (Imagine if your business were told how it "must" invest its money.) She claimed Americans "give" windfall profits to oil companies. No, we don't "give" them anything; we pay them for a product.

    But there were all the customary populist grievances. Corporations are "shipping" jobs out of the country. (Answer: Tax them more to ensure the entire corporation is shipped out.) China is stealing our money. (No trade with China?) We need to liberate ourselves from dependency on foreign energy. (Let's hope other nations do not wean themselves off their "dependence" to wheat, steel or Pixar movies.)

    Democratic keynoters spoke of the economy as if it were a static pie that can be divided fairly. Profit, competition, growth, international trade and self-reliance are treated as corrupt thoughts. Financial success, well, it is a moral failing.

    Take, if you will, Michelle Obama's speech. In relaying her life story, Obama conveniently failed to mention, in any detail, that she graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. She also failed to mention her six-figure salary.

    To do so would have undermined the contrived and condescending "Hey, we're losers, too!" mythology that's been cooked up in Denver. (I don't know about you, but I want someone far more successful than I am, or my neighbors are, running the country.)

    Candidates, you see, are just like you. And with their munificent assistance, "we" -- whether you want to be a part of "we" or not is irrelevant -- can save the world. We can create jobs. Create new energy. We can guarantee fair wages. Health care. Child care.

    Well, we can. But we could do it a lot better without Washington.

    Bill Clinton once told us that the era of big government is over. This Democratic Party wants to make sure that era has its day once more.
    Reach columnist David Harsanyi at

  7. But you agree their's a National Security Component to Overdependence on imported energy (esp REFINED imported energy) right, Trish?

    And it seems we would have had more control over our fate if we had not had a policy that enabled slave labor products to crowd out products from places like South and Central America.

  8. Russia and Europe seem like a rather obvious example of the effects of letting someone have you by the balls over energy.

  9. Dennis Perrin on the Biden pick:

    "Mission accomplished. Whatever liberal misgivings existed when Obama made his pick have now evaporated. Joe Biden has joined the Liberal Pantheon.

    Well, we all knew that was going happen, so it's not too much of a shock. One of the Senate's biggest corporate whores can rail against corporate influence, inside the Pepsi Center, next door to INVESCO Field, at a convention drowning in corporate money where Party bigwigs are feted by telecoms like AT&T, and liberals obediently applaud and wave their Biden placards. That's the power of positive thinking. What, you know of a better political system? Then shut the fuck up and clap along.

    This is going to be one beautiful election season.

    I did enjoy Biden's promise of expanded war in Afghanistan, possible action against Pakistan, and the requisite Russia bashing on behalf of plucky Georgia. The Iraq occupation will of course continue under Obama/Biden, only it will have a different name, and will be repainted in bright mule colors. Support for Israeli aggression and the Colombian narco-war is so automatic and complete that any mention is superfluous. Indeed, most of the major Dem speakers have openly expressed their imperial desires and designs, primarily through soaring rhetoric like "restor[ing] American leadership in the world," as President Bill put it"

  10. Trish and her damned "Colombian narco-war "!
    = all war is bad.
    Tell the guy not to worry, Ash, the Pubs will match and perhaps raise you on hypocrisy.

  11. I thot Bill meant restoring leadership with his Golden Tongue and other holy body parts.

  12. yep doug, two sides of the same coin - heads: empire and war tails: war and empire. God bless those trans-national corporations!

  13. DENVER -- Sen. Barack Obama's campaign organized its supporters Wednesday night to confront Tribune-owned WGN-AM in Chicago for having a critic of the Illinois Democrat on its air. (Listen to the interview.)

    "WGN radio is giving right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz a forum to air his baseless, fear-mongering terrorist smears," Obama's campaign wrote in an e-mail to supporters. "He's currently scheduled to spend a solid two-hour block from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. pushing lies, distortions, and manipulations about Barack and University of Illinois professor William Ayers."

    Kurtz, a conservative writer, recently wrote an article for the National Review that looked at Obama's ties to Ayers, a former 1960s radical who later emerged as a school reform advocate in Chicago.
    Equal competition Ash:
    Russia reverts to a police state and The Messiah will match them.

  14. "God bless those trans-national corporations!"
    If you'd just read this page, you'd realize

  15. The World in Black and White.

  16. Obama's e-mail about WGN-AM
    Text of the e-mail the Obama campaign sent to supporters:
    Reads like they've hired the KOS Kids as Writers

  17. Here is the speech at the convention that they didn't want US to see doug.

    h/t Barry Crimmins

    Wake Up Americat

  18. I'm so sick of the Silly Season I don't even want to get into it.

    For the record, Schweitzer wasn't governor when the utilities industry was systematically stripped of assets, sold in pieces for profit and transaction fees, with all liabilities dumped into the nearest GSE. That happened under Republican Governor Racicot. Schweitzer is trying to convert 25% of the world supply of coal (that's right 25%) into an industry that offers employment and profit. But it's the Silly Season so just Hee Haw and fuggetabutit.

    Racicot and his business buddies did.

  19. Maybe Ron P. and Dennis K. should start their own third party...

  20. I linked the wrong Kurtz article, comments are interesting.

    Obama campaign confronts WGN radio The Swamp

  21. 25% when were only 6% (3?) of the World's population is not fair, Slade, thus Pelosi and Reid are right:
    Leave that Coal where it is!

  22. Maybe we could convince her it's not a fossil fuel.

  23. Trish and her damned "Colombian narco-war "!
    = all war is bad.

    - Doug

    This is the only war we've got going that's any good. Restoring war's good name.

    'Course, we could always back out and then listen to the whining and howls when those "Who lost Colombia?" articles start appearing in Foreign Affairs quarterly.

    The FOC would be tickled pink. Nevermind C himself.

  24. The station, WGN, has made a stream of the broadcast available online, here, and it has to be heard to be believed.

    Obama’s robotic legions dutifully jammed the station’s phone lines and inundated the program with emails, attacking Kurtz personally. Pressed by Rosenberg to specify what inaccuracies Kurtz was guilty of, caller after caller demurred, mulishly railing that “we just want it to stop,” and that criticism of Obama was “just not what we want to hear as Americans.”
    Remarkably, as Obama sympathizers raced through their script, they echoed the campaign’s insistence that it was Rosenberg who was “lowering the standards of political discourse” by having Kurtz on, rather than the campaign by shouting him down.

    Kurtz has obviously hit a nerve. It is the same nerve hit by the American Issues Project, whose television ad calling for examination of the Obama/Ayers relationship has prompted the Obama campaign to demand that the Justice Department begin a criminal investigation.

    Obama fancies himself as “post-partisan.”
    He is that only in the sense that he apparently brooks no criticism.
    This episode could be an alarming preview of what life will be like for the media should the party of the Fairness Doctrine gain unified control of the federal government next year.

  25. “just not what we want to hear as Americans.”

    I love that line!

  26. I did enjoy Biden's promise of expanded war in Afghanistan, possible action against Pakistan...

    - Perrin

    There was a meeting I guess a few days ago of us and the Pakistani general staff. Concerning the border.

    We're probably looking to create a buffer zone so we can proceed in Afghanistan. The next big thing.

  27. 'Most Americans may back strike on Iran'

    Aug. 28, 2008 Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST
    Sixty-three percent of Americans say that if diplomacy fails to solve the Iranian nuclear crisis, they would approve of an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear sites, a new poll has found.

    The poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and commissioned by The Israel Project, also finds that 87% of US voters feel that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a threat to the US.

    Meanwhile, 80% of Americans said it was likely Iran would use nuclear weapons if it acquired them.

    The threat of Iran is apparently felt across the political spectrum, with 85% of Democrats and 97% of Republicans believing the Islamic Republic represents a serious threat to the US.

    However, 62% of those polled also felt that it was still possible to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

    The approval rate for American military action against Iran was lower than that of an Israeli operation, with 55% supporting targeted strikes by the US and its allies.

    Negative feelings towards Iran are also held by a significant amount of the populations of Germany and the UK, the poll finds, with 64% and 39% viewing Iran unfavorably in the two countries, respectively.

    "Americans, the British and the Germans worry about the direct threat to Israel from Iran and fear Iran's potential to share nuclear technology with terrorist groups," said Stan Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. "All countries want diplomacy over military action to address this threat. The Germans oppose military action for historical and cultural reasons and the British do not want another Iraq. Yet the Americans are more open to military action, especially if a diplomatic solution fails to become a reality."

    The national survey of 800 US likely voters was conducted by telephone July 23-27, 2008. The national omnibus surveys of 1,001 German adults and 229 opinion elites and 995 UK adults and 158 opinion elites were conducted July 18-22, 2008. The margin of error for the US poll is +/- 3.5%; the margin of error for the UK and German polls is +/- 3%.

    This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1219913190453&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
    [ Back to the Article ]
    Copyright 1995- 2008 The Jerusalem Post -

  28. Kevin Drum takes note:

    * Now here's a provocative charge: "Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of orchestrating the conflict in Georgia to benefit one of its presidential election candidates."

    Rat, mat, and Putin. Great minds think alike.

  29. And slade. I left out slade. But she was rather on the fence about it.

  30. Stanley Kurtz Is on the Great One's show tonight.

    A Reader Brings to Our Attention [Ramesh Ponnuru]
    that Stanley Kurtz's Wikipedia entry has been changed a lot lately—as you'd expect.
    The current entry is largely lifted from the Obama campaign release about Stanley, as you can tell from the press-release-style capitalization.
    E.g., "Stanley Kurtz Stated That The Harvard Faculty No Confidence Vote In Lawrence Summers Would Cause "Lasting Damage To The Cultural Left."
    Note also the reliance on such credible sources as Media Matters.

  31. I never said that, trish.

    I never postulated that the US had Georgia instigate a civil war with the knowledge that Russia would intervene to protect its' Piecekeepers, there.

    Just commented on the actions and reactions and the fallout from those actions.

    That you come to conclusions based upon the data, those conclusions are yours and yours alone.

  32. That mat came to the same conclusion as you, is interesting.

  33. Any other information, as to US support of Georgia prior to the hostilities, training of Georgian troops by US advisors or contractors,or the lack there of, would always be of interest.
    But then it have to be some form of data, not just a snippet of your own opinion, to really be integrated into the mix.

    What is Mr Cheney going to be telling the Georgians about their new relationship with US?
    One must wonder.

  34. Trish had three excellent references that should be required reading for hyperventilators.

    Re: Habu's article, I thought to myself that the other side will simply claim that the polls were done malevolently at the behest of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

    Funny Buddy drops in at the ol EB and immediately remarks on political leanings. I've noticed movement in the posts of some of our regulars too, more toward the conspiracy theory realm. Movement more toward the Ash worldview.

    I think Ash is actually someone called Dennis Perrin.

  35. I remain firmly on the fence, but I tend to think that explanation a little too clever. It seems that the entire world outmaneuvers this country in PR. It is not outside the realm of possibility that some savvy advisers to Putin devised this hard-to-refute stunt. It has a certain beauty to it because rebuttal requires negating a positive benefit.

  36. I don't normally feel the need to make corrections but in this case, the comma makes a huge difference.

    "Funny, Buddy drops in at ..."

  37. "positive benefit" being redundant of course. Cross one out.

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. It's part of the Gestalt, Whit:
    "I knew Bill Clinton was going to do what he always does, and that's go out and lie through his teeth.
    But then Biden comes on, and some of the stuff that came out of Biden's mouth, a noted plagiarizer, Clinton a noted perjurer, both these guys on full display, and the slobbering media swallowed it all.

    I had to hear these two speeches, and then I listened and I read analysts talking about how effective both speeches were, while those same analysts acknowledged the lies in the speeches.
    I sit there and I ask myself, how in a sane world can something that is a lie or a series of lies be effective?

    Look, I'm an adult and I understand all during the nineties the Drive-Bys marveled at how Clinton lied.
    But the combination of the words "effective" and "lies" sums up the Democrat Party.
    It sums up what we're going to get tonight with Obama."

    - Limbaugh

  40. Just to be perrrrrfectly clear: Putin's doing some silly shit-shoveling re Georgia and US election manipulation.

    Trish simply noted that the silliness appeared here first. The Bar's conspiracy theorists are ahead of the curve.

  41. For the record, I am not moving towards the worldview of "Ash" in any way, shape, or form, but I do find the post-modern globalized world very complicated and hard to interpret using the old paradigms of foreign relations to capture the huge market swings that now play a more prominent role. It's hard not to see spooks in the shadows.

  42. Don't let the truth get out about Obama. Sign up Here for your Obama action alert now.

    I must have sprained my right arm today. Every time I think of O's speech and the stage and all, my right arm jerks upward.

  43. I am between flights, it looks iffy that I will get to watch the big speech. i hope if Doug it at it, he picks the right thread.

  44. I do not think he is insane.
    He may be mad that the US is encircling his country, occuppying its' old haunts.

    But so far, he's been quite calculating. I think the Shanghai Cooperation Organization not backing his play may have come as a surprise, makig him a little madder.

  45. I think the telling fact in this operation is the mysterious explosion that occurred on the Turkish side of the Baku-to-Ceyhan oil pipeline just prior the initiation of the conflict. If I had any doubt regards dRat's hypothesis as to who initiated the conflict and why, that little mentioned "factoid" pretty much erased it.

  46. The entire scenario is based upon President Saakashvili and how far off the reservation he'd stray.

    Many that know seem to think he'd not stray, not very far.
    Wouldn't even tug on the leash.

    That he would not have re-started the civil war without US acquiessence, at least.
    There are others that say he'd not have made a move without direct US authorization.

    I think that the acquiessence scenario is most probable.
    Like Mr Bremer's letter to Mr Bush, and then the reply, there was a policy muddle in the White House.
    The lack of explicit direction by the White House really was evident, in the Bremer case.
    The first stringers have left, since then, leaving the back benchers in the game, currently. So there is little hope of the President's staff work having improved.

  47. Doug wins an Obama button for at least trying to answer my question about OK.

    It is a curious fact that the most successful and widespread of all English words, naturalized as an affirmation into almost every language in the world, from Serbo-Croatian to Tagalog, is one that has no correct spelling(it can be O.K.,OK, okay) and one whose origins are so obscure that it has been a matter of heated dispute almost since it first appeared. The many theories break down into three main groups:

    1. It comes from someone's or something's initials- a Sac Indian chief called Old Keokuk, or a shipping agent named Obadiah Kelly, or from President Martin Van Buren's nickename, Old Kinderhook, or from Orrins-Kendall crackers, which were popular in the nineteenth century. In each of these theories the initials were stamped or scribbled on documents or crates and gradually came to be synonymous with quality or reliability.

    2. It is adapted from some foreign or English dialect word or place name, such as the Finnish oikea, the Haitian Aux Cayes(the source of a particularly prized brand of rum), or the Choctaw okeh. President Woodrow Wilson apparently so liked the Choctaw theory that he insisted on spelling the word okeh.

    3.It is a contraction of the expression "oll korrect," often said to be the spelling used by the semiliterate seventh President, Andrew Jackson.

    This third theory, seemingly the most implausible, is in fact very possibly the correct one--though without involving Andrew Jackson and with a bit of theory one thrown in for good measure. According to Allen Walker Read of Columbia University, who spent years tracking down the derivation of O.K., a fashion develped among young wits of Boston and New York in 1838 of writing abbreviations based on intentional illiteracies. They thought it highly comical to write O.W. for "oll wright", O.K. for "oll korrect", K.Y. for "know yuse", and so on. O.K. first appeared in print on March 23, 1839, in the Boston Morning Post.

    Bill Bryson "The Mother Tongue"

    And there you have it.

  48. Hadn't the Russians moved a whole division with newer equipment down from around Moscow earlier on. That's what I read somewhere. Which makes it simply a pre-planned Russian attack. A conspiracy theory alright, a Russian one. Conspired to invade and they did.

  49. I also heard that Saakashvili is a "hothead" and wanted to carry through on campaign promises.

  50. What time does The Messiah give The Sermon In The Greek Stadium?

  51. Doug:
    I had the same reaction throughout the week when I happened to watch the two Clintons. Lying, misleading, distorting facts, revising history, twisting the truth. I don't like to hear from anyone but I have grown to expect it from Democrats.

  52. Conspired to invade and they did.
    Ok. :)
    Let's follow that line a little further. Invade to what purpose? Abkhazia and Ossetia were pretty much under their control already. What is it beyond this that the Russians hoped to gain?

  53. Slade:
    By some accounts, in the last ten years, two billion people have been lifted out poverty by global trade. Rufus put it nicely earlier, people have been making money. People abroad and at home and that includes the now "suffering middle class." The very same middle class which open investment accounts and speculated on real estate more than at any time in history. Bush said Wall Street got drunk and has a hangover, but the fact is, the whole country did.

    Now, we'll just have to take our medicine.

  54. The Kremlin has rejected Western criticism, and even suggested the conflict could spread.
    It starkly warned another former Soviet republic, tiny Moldova,
    that aggression against a breakaway region there could provoke a military response.

    Now the only wat to get a tank from Russia to Moldova, why it's through Ukraine.

    Moldova, never even heard of the place, before.

    Formerly part of Romania, Moldova was incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Although independent from the USSR since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Dniester River supporting the Slavic majority population, mostly Ukrainians and Russians, who have proclaimed a "Transnistria" republic. One of the poorest nations in Europe, Moldova became the first former Soviet state to elect a Communist as its president in 2001.
    or so is reported, for public consumption, by those that reported Saddam's WMD stockpiles were a "Slam Dunk!"

    4,324,450 (July 2008 est.)
    Ethnic groups:
    Moldovan/Romanian 78.2%, Ukrainian 8.4%, Russian 5.8%, Gagauz 4.4%, Bulgarian 1.9%, other 1.3% (2004 census)
    note: internal disputes with ethnic Slavs in the Transnistrian region

    Eastern Orthodox 98%, Jewish 1.5%, Baptist and other 0.5% (2000)

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $9.821 billion (2007 est.)
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $4.227 billion (2007 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    5% (2007 est.)
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $2,900 (2007 est.)
    Disputes - international:
    Moldova and Ukraine operate joint customs posts to monitor the transit of people and commodities through Moldova's break-away Transnistria region, which remains under OSCE supervision

    Trafficking in persons:
    current situation: Moldova is a major source and, to a lesser extent, a transit country for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; Moldovan women are trafficked to the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Western Europe; girls and young women are trafficked within the country from rural areas to Chisinau; children are also trafficked to neighboring countries for forced labor and begging; labor trafficking of men to work in the construction, agriculture, and service sectors of Russia is increasingly a problem

    tier rating: Tier 3 - Moldova does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government failed to follow-up on allegations of officials complicit in trafficking cited in the 2007 Report, and it did not demonstrate proactive efforts to identify trafficking victims (2008)
    Illicit drugs:
    limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for CIS consumption; transshipment point for illicit drugs from Southwest Asia via Central Asia to Russia, Western Europe, and possibly the US; widespread crime and underground economic activity

  55. It was the shot across the bow: NATO expansion goes no further.

    That's what they wanted - not Georgia itself. That's what they got.

  56. This is the area of Moldova,
    , that will spark the next crisis.

    Unbelievable that the US would want to sign the Ukraine up for Article Five status in NATO.

    When its' military cannot handle both Iraq and Afghanistan, adequately, now.

  57. Tuesday Map: Don't cry for me, Transnistria

    Tue, 10/16/2007 - 6:12pm

    While Kosovo, Chechnya, and Georgia's breakaway provinces get all the press, you might be wondering if there are any other post-Soviet regional conflicts that deserve your attention.

    You're in luck. This week, the government of Moldova angered residents of its breakaway region, Transnistria, by outlawing dual citizenship (Many Transnistrians are also citizens of Russia or Ukraine) and proposing that the Transnistria army disband and join the Moldovan national army.

  58. People tend to forget that we went down this road in the first place (I was at SHAPE when Poland came in) as a means to economically integrate former bloc countries. NATO membership was the means to the end sought, the end sought was EU membership.

  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

  60. NATO expansion goes no further.
    That's what they got.
    How so? Please show me what has changed. I don't see any change of plans on anything in that regard.

  61. Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. All on the same day. 1999, IIRC.

  62. While pirates have launched 31 attacks on vessels off Somalia’s eastern and northern coasts so far this year, to date no escorted World Food Program (WFP) ships have been targeted. France, Denmark and the Netherlands have provided naval escorts to these shipe over the last eight months.

    Two known yacht incidents have taken place, both kidnappings, and both of which were solved with the assistance of ransoms. No cruising sailors' lives have been lost.

    Important Note for Cruisers intending to transit the Gulf of Aden in the coming season:

    Through the good services of Noonsite , the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) would like to be kept informed of convoys of yachts passing through the area. Please click here to access the Noonsite information.

  63. There will be no NATO membership for Georgia. There will be no more NATO memberships in the pipeline. It's gone as far as it's gonna go.

    That's what Russia wanted. To make an awkward comparison: Standing athwart history and yelling stop!

  64. It's gone as far as it's gonna go.
    You mean Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan will now be left in the cold?

  65. There will be no NATO membership for Georgia. There will be no more NATO memberships in the pipeline. It's gone as far as it's gonna go.

    Probably right, we could give the Ukrainians some good weaponry though.

  66. On the opening page of Rules for Radicals, Alinksy quotes himself saying,

    "Let us not forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical:
    from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where the mythology leaves off and history begins - or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom -

    - Lucifer."

  67. What Putin wanted to do was show the former client states that they are still in Russia's neighborhood. He wanted to show them which side their bread is buttered on.

    He plays hardball now that Russia is back on its feet financially. (Third largest currency reserves in the world).

  68. Different sphere, different treaties.

    But hey, we had a mighty fine run in Eurasia while it lasted.

  69. Two decades later, no thanks to Joe Biden, we have an active global defense with ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California, Aegis warships cruising the world's oceans and Patriot missiles deployed worldwide.

    In his acceptance speech Wednesday night, Biden promised that he and Obama "will hold Russia accountable for its actions." But Propaganda Joe obviously has no conflict with Obama who, in a video pledge to the liberal group Caucus4Priorities, pledged: "I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems."

    Fact is, Obama-Biden wouldn't defend Georgia or Poland or the Czech Republic or NATO or the U.S. from missile attack by a hostile power. The only thing that would stand between the West and a mushroom cloud would be their aggressive personal diplomacy.

    Attacking Our Patriots

  70. By Howard Schneider
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, August 28, 2008; 4:12 PM

    U.S. economic growth accelerated from April to June as taxpayers spent their federal rebate checks and a weakened dollar boosted exports, the government reported today.

    According to new data from the Department of Commerce, gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 3.3 percent in the second quarter of the year, the fastest rate since mid-2007. The department had initially estimated growth for the period to be 1.9 percent, but more complete data -- particularly on exports by U.S. companies -- showed the economy to be growing faster.

  71. Well, bob, you certainly don't need a treaty obligation to start shoveling weapons and other capabilities in someone's direction.

  72. "By some accounts, in the last ten years, two billion people have been lifted out poverty by global trade. Rufus put it nicely earlier, people have been making money"
    In Mexico (some) people are making LOTS of money, billions in fact, including the richest dude on Earth.
    Problem is,
    Life for many is worse than ever.
    Free Trade, Open Borders, Crime and Corruption.

  73. Paul was a circumcised Sadducean Roman citizen and spy of the House of Herod who called himself a Pharisee until he was illuminated on the road to Damascus who created a new Christianity of the gnostic variety which as he said he was passing on as it had been passed on to him.


  74. Why do all these accounts have to be in black and white, rather than living color, complete with pluses and minuses?

  75. ...I forgot:
    It's the accepted dogma.

  76. The Ukrainians have been through one hell of a lot. One can understand why the non Russian majority don't want to go back to the old ways.

    It seems no one non Russian that had anything to do with the Soviet Union ever wants to hear about the Russianss again. Can't blame 'em.

  77. OK Doug, you won an Obama button.

  78. Let's get back to the Orgone Box, al-Bob.
    ...or that Los Flacos dancer.
    (I once worked @ "Los Tacos," so it's an inside play on words)

  79. Whit,

    The very same middle class which open investment accounts and speculated on real estate more than at any time in history. Bush said Wall Street got drunk and has a hangover, but the fact is, the whole country did.

    You have half a point. "Middle America" can be faulted for over-reliance on asset value of real estate rather than savings and investment. That will now change.

    But distributing the bulk of the blame to the middle class won't go the whole distance. Regulatory code governing market operation and financial transactions (excluding subjective code like affirmative action) has been systematically dissembled starting with Reagan, continuing with the repeal of Glass-Steagall, and going up to this "up-tick" issue last year. The markets were loosened up, vulnerable to short-term volatility of large hedge funds (not a typical asset class in the average portfolio), various derivative vehicles (I see Robert Rubin is talking about tightening regulatory control in the derivatives market) and the new sovereign funds.

    Consider the following:

    Currency speculation volume exceeds that of equities investment which means people are gaming the market rather than creating value. The Middle Class isn't doing this.

    Same thing with derivatives in the domestic market. These vehicles have become nothing but bets on performance - paper trade that adds nothing of value.

    Much of the sub-prime debt was carried as CDO's, essentially a *new* financial vehicle that allowed the *bad paper* to be disguised and sold without the risk being fully disclosed. This is a regulatory issue that allowed the emergence of financial *innovation* without requisite regulatory control.

    The Washington Post recently published an article presenting strong evidence that the oil spikes of this summer were indeed the result of speculation by one large trading firm (VITOL) using the foreign ICE exchange out of London which is not subject to CFTC rules.

    Wages flat for the 2000-2008 business cycle. The inconvenient reality is that globalization will lower the American standard of living until we find a way to reinvest in growth industries that increase wealth in this country as well as China and India.

    Oil companies, flush with capital, not re-investing in growth infrastructure. They are buying back their stock.

    To my mind, this is clearly an issue of inadequate regulatory control of the financial markets, coupled with the effects of globalized markets including countries that subsidize their products and produce in the absence of the competitive barriers of labor and environmental law.

    Make no mistake. I am not talking about more Sarbanes-Oxley type legislation. What you had for dinner on the Singapore junket concerns me very little. I am looking for code designed to constrain transactional trends that destabilize the markets. I am also looking for enforcement of the existing code - such as proving asset declarations and income on loan applications. Toleration of outright fraud is a disgrace. The Middle Class did not do that.

  80. Adopting a peaceful mode of protest against the killing of a teacher in Orissa, around 700 missionary schools and 13 colleges across the state have taken a decision to remain closed tomorrow, which accounts for reducing one working day.

    The primary objective behind the closure is to educate the future generation to stay away from such offensive acts and generate awareness among them regarding the ills of the society that accounts for loss of life. Therefore apart from declaring an “unexpected day-off” for the students of these institutions, principals of the schools made sure that the message of peace and solidarity is generated amongst the students.

    This protest movement has been initiated by the Bangiya Christiya Pariseba (BCP) wherein all missionary schools were requested to close down as a mark of protest. Apart from schools and colleges, missionary teacher training institutes also decided to adopt the same path.

    Killings in Orissa

  81. Well, Trish, per usual, you are wrong. You'll see added:


    And all of it will be meaningless as no one will be able to afford US made weapons.

  82. 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.

  83. They don't need to afford the weapons. We will come to their aid.

  84. We are pricing ourselves out of the market, mat. And can't provide the maintenance. Sad but true. The Russians are picking up our business. It's happened before.

    But you're wrong on the memberships.

  85. "If you like the Bush-Cheney approach, John McCain's your man," ... "If you want change, then vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden"


  86. "Much of the sub-prime debt was carried as CDO's, essentially a *new* financial vehicle that allowed the *bad paper* to be disguised and sold without the risk being fully disclosed. This is a regulatory issue that allowed the emergence of financial *innovation* without requisite regulatory control."
    Actually, some of it was simply a slippery slope of accepted practice becoming normal.

    Finally a Judge put his foot down and demanded proof of actual ownership as called for.

    ...often prooved to be nearly impossible to document, or simply fraudulent.

  87. Yes we will, sam.

    To the extent we can and are allowed.

  88. Paul was a circumcised Sadducean
    And the Romans were uninterested bystanders coerced into crucifying a Roman loving Joo by their Jerusalem installed Jooish quislings. ;)

  89. Did it improve his appearance any, Mat?

  90. O/T

    This will shock some of you but DR and I agree.

    If you have the inclination and the time pull up:

    Sign the petition to save the wild horses of America that the BLM is encouraging the total destruction of. There's room in this country for wild horses. Once they're gone that's it, so please lend a signature and let the government know that some of us care.

    And DR, I'm sure you've been fighting this a lot longer than I've even been aware of it thanks for your hard work.

  91. How Reagan Would Have Dealt With Georgia

    Nice article, guy rattles on and on and never does seem to say exactly what Reagan would have done.

  92. What I'm saying Mat, is I think some of these questions don't have any sure answer, for the simple reason we don't know enough. With Paul, what we have is some letters, some of which he didn't write, and a lot of speculation, mostly by people that have one agenda or another. We need an absolutely neutral observer with more facts to go on, which we don't have.

  93. Did it improve his appearance any, Mat?
    I don't think it helped him much. The guy was still pushing celibacy. :)

  94. We need an absolutely neutral observer
    No, we don't. All we need is some common sense.

  95. Actually, some of it was simply a slippery slope of accepted practice becoming normal.

    CDO's not common securities until the turn of the century when they became popular after being developed by Drexel in 1987 which went down with the S&L scandal. They are an "unregulated asset-backed security" which means a judge can rule whatever. The missing component was regulatory control from the boys at Drexel, Burnham, Lambert.

  96. That's a petition I'll sign.

    The misfits of the title are both the horses and the humans of the story, unable to find satisfaction in their lives.

    And, the whole fim crew.

    The Misfits

  97. Dear Radio Friend,
    The latest Shortwave Report (August 29) is up at the website in both broadcast quality (13.3MB) and quickdownload or streaming form (4.9MB) (28:59)
    (NEW! If you have access to there is a higher quality version posted up there {26.7MB};)

    This week's show features stories from China Radio International, Radio Netherlands, Radio Havana Cuba, and the Voice of Russia.

    From CHINA- China continues to receive international praise for the 2008 Olympics. China is angry about US criticism of the handling of Pro-Tibet protesters.


    From NETHERLANDS- The UN is very concerned over a US led raid in Afghanistan last weekend that killed 90 civilians. A reality TV show in the Netherlands is exposing the widespread substitution of fake cheese for real cheese in many foods.


    From CUBA- A UN human rights expert has pointed out that the indigenous population of Brazil has little control over their lands despite agreements made by the government. Russia's military is carefully watching the buildup of NATO military forces in the Black Sea region.

    Listen Globally

  98. Mr McCain, habu, is on the other side of that particular issue, as well.

    When there is no need for him to be.

    One of the things that really soured me on him. He was a captive of his staff, seemed to me.

  99. "Senator Obama, this is truly a good day for America. Too often the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say, 'Congratulations"


  100. This comment has been removed by the author.

  101. Growing up as a kid we had friends with a cabin on Wild Horse Island on Flathead Lake in Montana. There were some wild horses on the island then. Not too sure about now. This would've been around '79 or '80.

  102. It took $50,000 raised amongst our friends, to get a Federal Judge to get us to this point in regards just one band of horses, which the Forest Service wanted to eliminate.

    Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests; Arizona; Heber Wild Horse Territory Plan

    Purpose and Need for Action

    There is a need for developing a Heber Wild Horse Territory
    Management Plan, to be in compliance with the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, as amended by Federal Land Policy Management Act of 1976 and Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978, regulation at 36 CFR, part 222, subpart B, 222.21(a)(4), and the Forest Service's manual direction at FSM 2263.1.

    In addition, Item 4 of the ``In Defense of Animals, et al. vs. United States Forest Service, et al.'' Stipulation Agreement dated March 13, 2007 directs the Forest Service to develop a Heber Wild Horse Territory Management Strategy, in accordance with the provisions of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which requires a Territory Management Plan.

    Proposed Action

    Develop and implement a plan for the Heber Wild Horse Territory,
    setting parameters for determining horse numbers, when and how to
    gather horses, which horses would be authorized for the Territory,
    population and ecological monitoring. The Heber Wild Horse Territory and its boundaries were established in 1973 following passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Protection Act of 1971. The territory was designated as an area of about 19,700 acres used by a known band of horses, south of Heber, Arizona. There has not yet been a plan developed for the Territory.

    Possible Alternatives

    The only other alternative identified at this time is No Action--do not develop a Territory Plan.

  103. And in Oz..

    Last week, the RSPCA received complaints that an aerial cull of several hundred horses in the Kimberley left some suffering a prolonged and painful death.

    Yesterday, RSPCA State president Richard Barry said the society was satisfied the cull was conducted in accordance with relevant codes of practice.

    “However, there is evidence that a small number of horses were injured, rather than killed,” he said. “As a consequence, the department has agreed to include the RSPCA in consultations prior to future culls to ensure they proceed in a manner consistent with the RSPCA’s policies on humane killing.”

    Wild Horse Culling

  104. Sorry JMc is wrong on this issue but I can't buy the other guy ..but thanks again. It's good work to do.

    I'll try to save the psilocybin mushrooms for the American Indians culture. We all need to do our part.

  105. Nothing wrong with those mushroom, if you want to to groove with the spirits. Would not reccomend it as a regular part of a weekly religious service, though.

  106. Hey,

    'Rat, you care about horses,
    why not man's best friend?
    You defender of Vick, the Prick!

  107. I did not defend him, but to cast a moral equivilence to Dog Racing, which maims and destroys many more dogs than all the ghetto dog fighters combined could dream of.

    I saw the media slaughter Vick, while leaving the business of exploiting dogs for real cash, Jerry Jacobs & Forbes400 kinds of cash, go unmentioned.

    And ...
    Mr Vicks was not any part of the Federal Government, as is the Forest Service. I consider the Federal Government breaking Federal law to be of higher concern than the animals.

    But I may have been in the minority in that regard, especially amongst those that did so much of the leg work, raising the monies.

  108. Some common sense:

    "Maccoby suggests that while Jesus might have been crucified at the time of the Passover, it is more likely that he entered Jerusalem and held his Last Supper at the time of the feast of Tabernacles. The Passover is in Spring and the feast of Tabernacles is in the Fall. This suggestion suddenly makes all kinds of sense out of what are maybe trivial but puzzling events in the Bible narrative. Why would any rational person curse a fig tree for not having figs in the spring. An "upper" room was common for the feast of Tabernacles. How about the simple statement of Jesus dipping the sop into the wine? Have you ever tried to sop wine with unleavened bread? Since the Christian faith preaches that Jesus was the lamb of God, then why isn't there any reference to the lamb as part of the meal? Where did the crowds get their leafy branches to strew in his path so early in the Spring? All these anomalies are answered with a simple shift of venue."

    - Amazon reader's review of Revolution in Judaea: Jesus and the Jewish Resistance by Hyam MacCoby

  109. I'm back, if anyone cares. Been out the last two days because my Windows machine went T.U. and the restore disk didn't work as advertised. I threw Linux on the carcass, and now I'm officially through with anything to do with Microsoft.

  110. Previously (a month ago) you said you were running linux.

  111. My new Acrobat works, fwiw, so don't trash THAT aspect of Vista no more.

  112. The story of those Heber horses, and how they were saved, kind of funny.

    My dad has a condo, in Heber, and saw the notice for bids, to round up and deliver to a sale barn, those horses.

    He took an interest, and was planning to bid on the project. As we discussed it over a cocktail, I mentioned that the entire program was illegal. I was quickly informed that I was wrong, that the Forest people had assured him they were within Forest Management guidelines.
    Which it seems, they were.

    I countered that regardless of the guidlines, "Wild Horse Annie's" Wild Horse Protection Act was being violated under those management guidlines.

    Which it was proved was the case.

    The Law was so explicit that there is no room for equivication by the Forest, as the judge saw it.

    Which is how many of these "activist" Judges come to control large swaths of Federal jurisdiction, the Federal agencies are violating the law in managing the property and assets.

    Like the the BIA, Bureau of Indian Affairs.

  113. No, trish, the horses are just livestock, it's about the law, and its enforcement, that is what saved the horses, really.

    Unless you are raising money from women and girls. Then it's all about the horses. Cussing the lawyers, and the government, for forcing the issue.

  114. Good on you Rat, that is interesting.

    That may be right Mat.
    But they wrote it up as being in the spring as being more fitting symbolically. Or, maybe by the time the story was put into writing, they had come to think of it as in the spring.

  115. They're romantic icons of the American West – but they're also viewed as a competitive threat to other native species, and as a costly nuisance by ranchers who say they overgraze the shrinking supply of open range.

    The Bureau of Land Management thins the herds of mustangs and wild burros by capturing, then selling some of the animals for a modest fee to adoptive homes.

    Willing buyers are in short supply. There have been controversial calls to allow euthanization of some of the excess herds to curb overpopulation.

    Wild Mustangs

  116. Rat, I consider myself a patient individual.

    What patience has taught me with regard to you, is that the best policy is to run screaming in the opposite direction that you indicate.

  117. For Annie, it was about the horses, but without the mass of popular, activist, support, it becomes all about the law she was able to get passed.

    Velma "Wild Horse Annie" Bronn Johnston
    Birth: Mar. 5, 1912
    Reno, Washoe County, Nevada, USA
    Death: Jun. 27, 1977
    Reno, Washoe County, Nevada, USA

    Animal Rights Activist. During the 1950s in Nevada, she exposed the cruel and legal methods used by ranchers, hunters, and "mustangers" to remove wild horses from public lands. "Wild Horse Annie", as she was later known, led a grass roots campaign, which involved school children writing letters to Congress, in protest of the treatment of the horses. Public outrage and the innumerable letters written to Congress, resulted in the passing of several pieces of legislation that banned the use of aircraft and land vehicles in the capture of wild horses. In 1971, former President Nixon signed into law the Wild Free-roaming Horse and Burro Act, which banned the capture, branding, and death of wild horses on public lands. The 1961 movie "The Misfits" depicts some of the roundup methods used by the "mustangers" of the 1950s. Johnston died of lung cancer at 65. (bio by: petula)

  118. Or, maybe by the time the story was put into writing, they had come to think of it as in the spring.
    Who's they, Bob? Paul, the learned Jewish scholar?

  119. In 1971, former President Nixon signed into law the Wild Free-roaming Horse and Burro Act, which banned the capture, branding, and death of wild horses on public lands.

    Explicitly banned. But the Forest Service said they were exempt from the law. Because they were within their own guidelines.

    Which was worse than a pipe dream, on their part. They may have been munching on habu's mushrooms.

  120. The gospel writers whoever they were.

  121. That's a good move, make up your own guidelines, and call that the law. And hope nobody notices.

  122. Better than munching on Habu's mushroom clouds, I guess.

  123. The gospel writers whoever they were.
    So Paul the learned Pharisee wasn't one of them?

  124. Question: "Who were the authors of the books of the Bible?"

    Answer: Ultimately, above the human authors, the Bible was written by God. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that the Bible was "breathed out" by God.

    God superintended the human authors of the Bible so that while using their own writing styles and personalities, they still recorded exactly what God wanted to be said. The Bible was not dictated from God, but it was perfectly guided and entirely inspired by Him.

    Humanly speaking, the Bible was written by approximately 40 men of diverse backgrounds over the course of 1500 years. Isaiah was a prophet, Ezra was a priest, Matthew was a tax-collector, John was a fisherman, Paul was a tentmaker, Moses was a shepherd.

    Books of the Bible

  125. Former talk show host sentenced to more than seven years in prison
    By Howard Mintz

    Mercury News

    With his sobbing family looking on in a San Francisco courtroom, former KGO radio host Bernie Ward today completed his tumble from one of the Bay Area's most popular liberal voices on the local airwaves to a pariah caught up in the world of online child pornography.

    Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker sentenced Ward to seven years and three months in federal prison, calling the disgraced celebrity a "troubled individual'' whose downfall is a "personal tragedy.'' Ward now must turn himself in to U.S. Marshals by noon Friday to begin his prison term.

    Ward declined to comment after the hearing, where his family and friends sat in the gallery, his wife and son in the front row clutching each others' hands. Ward hugged his family when he emerged from the courtroom and walked away with his lawyer. Before the sentence was handed down, Ward spoke briefly to the judge, saying, "I regret the harm this has caused my family, my friends, and this community.''

    The 57-year-old Ward pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of distributing child pornography, the result of an investigation that was triggered by his online chats with an online dominatrix who turned him in to police when she grew concerned about images he had of young children. The former Roman Catholic priest and father of four went into federal court in San Francisco knowing he would be headed to prison for a minimum of five years under strict federal sentencing guidelines for
    child porn cases.

  126. Paul's letters come first, then over time the gospels, dating a little uncertain.

  127. As for me, I'm not overly impressed with Obama's speech yet.

  128. This was then, 2005,
    and it is now, the beat goes on

    Mustang Sallies
    Can America's wild horses survive another four years of Bush?

    By Deanne Stillman
    Posted Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005, at 3:48 AM ET

    Wild horses: run for your lives
    George W. Bush styles himself a cowboy president. One job of cowboys is to claim the American wilderness for ranching, so it's little surprise the Bush administration is behind a new effort to suppress—and perhaps slaughter—one of the last symbols of untamed America: our wild horses.

  129. Next, the Obama thugs came for Stanley Kurtz

    By Michelle Malkin • August 28, 2008

    First, they came for TV stations daring to air an independent ad about Barack Obama and unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.

    Next, they came for GOP donors.

    Now, they are shamelessly attacking National Review investigative journalist Stanley Kurtz — one of conservatism’s most thoughtful and penetrating writers on academic and educational affairs. Kurtz has been at the forefront probing Obama’s relationships with left-wing ideologues. It was his public information request and public call for help that led to the University of Illinois - Chicago finally releasing tons of files that shed light on the Obama/Ayers working relationship. The Obama camp is condemning Kurtz in harsher terms than it ever condemned the terrorist Ayers. Kurtz has been attacked now as a “right-wing hatchet man” and “slimy character assassin.”

  130. Doug: Previously (a month ago) you said you were running linux.

    I ran a dual-boot set up, and I rarely ran Vista. All this means is I never run Vista. But I have to restore all my bookmarks in Firefox again.

  131. Paul's letters come first, then over time the gospels, dating a little uncertain.
    LOL. If nothing in the Catholic canon predates Paul, then everything in the Catholic canon is based on Paul.

  132. I'd thing the Sierra Club, PETA, etc would be all over that wild horse thing.

    Didn't they have an adopt a horse program for awhile, to try and get rid of the excessive number of horses?

    And, I recall the border patrol was trying to use some of those animals.

  133. Tes,

    You're awful quiet on this.

  134. Keep posting on the wrong thread!
    (blogger's fault)
    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.

  135. "As for me, I'm not overly impressed with Obama's speech yet."
    Me neither:
    Course I ain't watchin.

  136. It's a big subject Mat. Here are some of the ways that Jesus has been interpreted over the years:

    1. The rabbi

    2. The Turning Point of History

    3. The Light of the Gentiles

    4. The King of Kings

    5. The Cosmic Christ

    6. The Son of Man

    7. The True Image

    8. Christ Crucified

    9. The Monk Who Rules The World

    10. The Bridegroom of the Soul

    11. The Divine and Human Model

    12. The Universal Man

    13. The Mirror of the Eternal

    14. The Prince of Peace

    15. The Teacher of Common Sense

    16. The Poet of the Spirit

    17. The Liberator

    18. The Man Who Belongs to the World

    taken from Jaroslav Pelikan

    And, these days one can throw in Christ the Revolutionary, or Christ the Zealot, of Christ of Black Liberation.

    One can mention The Phenomenon of Man by Teilhard de Chardin, a catholic priest.

    The Catholic Tradition is strong and deep, and hardly all comes from St. Paul.

  137. Doug, if you're not watching, your catching the best of it!

  138. Bob,

    There's no fscking way any Jew, let alone a Pharisee, would confuse Pessah with Sukkot. Paul was not a Pharisee. He was not a Jew.

  139. Very interesting....from blog ref at end of article.

    Obama's Ethnic Heritage
    Obama Watch: "Obama is descended from blacks who maintained an Arab identity

    Post below excerpted from Kenneth E. Lamb. See the original for links

    Sen. Obama's autobiography is filled with 'composite' characters, rearranged timelines, and fantasy events that never occurred. I read that twice in the Washington Post - read Richard Cohen's columns of Jan. 1, 2008, and March 27, 2007, for yourself.

    There are more articles than that, by more authors than just Mr. Cohen, but I wanted to get started by saying that what follows isn't just something I'm pulling out of thin air. What follows is serious, documented, and not at all what those who want to write history about the election of the first so-called 'African-American' president, want in the least to admit is true - and why its truth matters more than their desire to ignore the truth for the sake of their desire to write history.

    While his shrill wife objects, the truth is that Sen. Obama's life, as he wrote about himself in his autobiography, is, in fact, nothing but a fairy tale. Again, don't take my word for it - read Mr. Cohen's, and others, articles about it.

    Why is the fact that Mr. Obama is only 6.25% African Negro not reported? Because to acknowledge it is to report this devastating truth about him: Mr. Obama is not legally African-American. It is impossible for him to be, in truth, America's first African-American president.

    But no matter what he craves, no matter what he has used to propel himself through life, no matter the racist presumption of seeing his skin and without question calling him black, the hard, cold, genetically inarguable reality remains: he is not an African-American.

    Mr. Obama is 50% Caucasian, that from his mother. What those who want Mr. Obama to write history by becoming "America's first African-American president" ignore is that his father was ethnically Arabic, with only 1 relative ethnically African Negro - a maternal great-grandparent (Sen. Obama's great-great grandparent, thus the 6.25% ethnic contribution to the senator's ethnic composition.). That means that Mr. Obama is 50% Caucasian from his mother's side. He is 43.75% Arabic, and 6.25% African Negro from his father's side. Put another way, his father could honestly claim African-American ethnic classification. He was the last generation able to do so."
    The question no one wants to answer - particularly Mr. Obama and his supporters, is, "Why do you think he has an Arabic name? Why does his father have an Arabic name? Why does every ancestor on his father's side have an Arabic name?" The answer is obvious: They have Arabic names because his father's side of the family tree is Arabic. Need proof? Research the Kenyan records for yourself. You will find that his father was officially classified as "Arab African" by the Kenyan government.
    Posted by herbaceous at 4:11 AM

  140. DR,
    Earlier you mentioned BIA..true story.
    In 1956 we got orders to move from the Pentagon to MCAS El Toro , CA. I was eight. On the trip out while crossing the desert I noticed old Indian women carrying pottery jugs and asked my mother what they were doing. Sh said she thought they were going for water.
    Geez, it was 115 degrees and they had to walk to get water. I was pissed so when we got to CA I asked my mother to help me write a note to IKE about the Indians and the lousy treatment. She did. I still have the response. There were "working" on it. Yeah.

  141. So where do you stand on this dispute re:
    between Mat and al-Bob, Habu?

  142. Mat, I think you are the only person I've ever heard maintain that Paul wasn't a Jew. If he wasn't a Jew, whoever wrote the letters (the authentic ones) certainly knew Jewish traditions well enough to use them as if he were born to them. I find it an odd outlook.

    Well, enough of this. If Paul were around today I suppose we could take a look at his pecker.

  143. knew Jewish traditions
    What do you base this assertion on?

  144. Bob,

    Everything in the story indicated only the most superficial knowledge of Judaism. Paul certainly didn't know when, and when not, the Sanhedrin can and would convene for a trial. Further, most Jews don't read Catholic canon, and therefore there's little criticism of it from Jewish point of view.

  145. ..from ^the Jewish point of view..

  146. In her visit here earlier this week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pressed Israel to sign a document by the end of the year that would divide Jerusalem by offering the Palestinians a state in Israel's capital city as well as in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to multiple reports yesterday in major official Palestinian Authority media outlets.


    The Israeli team, led by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has been negotiating the division of Jerusalem – despite claims to the contrary – but would rather conclude an agreement on paper by the end of the year that would give the Palestinians a state in the West Bank, Gaza and some Israeli territory, leaving conclusions on Jerusalem for a later date, the informed diplomatic sources told WND.


    Regarding the expected agreement on the Gaza Strip and West Bank, the general plan, according to top diplomatic sources, is to create a Palestinian state in the vast majority of the West Bank, but for Israel to retain large West Bank Jewish community blocs of Ma'aleh Adumim, Gush Etzion and the areas surrounding Jerusalem, and some land in the northern West Bank adjacent to Israel.

    Division of Jerusalem

  147. Well, I can tell you how RR responded to Hesbollah, and Lebanon. He tucked his tail between his legs and ran like hell, leaving over 250 dead Marines unavenged.

  148. Who Founded Christianity - Jesus or St. Paul?
    Apologetic Paper (Joseph Smith) - May 1995 (NOT the Mormon)

    B: Maccoby: Jesus was a Pharisee, Paul was a Sadducee

    According to Hyam Maccoby, Paul was not a Pharisee, nor even a Jew, but a gentile proselyte to Judaism. Maccoby's source for his material is the discredited Christian writer Epiphanius, an Ebionite who wrote 3 centuries after the fact. Paul, according to Maccoby, failed in becoming a Pharisee, and so allied himself to the Sadducees and the High Priest, two groups who enjoyed their privileged status under Roman occupation, and so were in conflict with the Pharisees, who wished to be rid of the Roman oppressors.
    Maccoby believes that it was due to a near nervous breakdown that Paul split from this group and formed a new religion, taking ideas such as baptism, the eucharist, christology, the Holy Spirit, and eschatology and melded them with Jewish sacred history, Gnosticism, and the pagan mystery religions.

    C: Response to Maccoby
    In response to the above claims by Hyam Maccoby, we need not go into great detail except to point out from the outset that much of Maccoby's material is derived from the Ebionite tradition, a tradition which was first of all proposed three hundred years later than the subject in question, and secondly, a tradition which acknowledged its hostility to Paul and his beliefs even at that time. It is inexcusable to rely on material for supposedly truthful information about a person or movement which is not only distant from the source, but also the avowed enemy of that person or movement. Would we go to Serbian generals to ascertain the facts of the Bosnia conflict today? This is what Maccoby has done in his work.

    Concerning the contention that Paul changed the gospels later on, it is unthinkable that an invention of Paul, who was not one of the Twelve and whose apostolic credentials were so often questioned, could succeed in becoming a part of the narratives of the Synoptic Gospels. "It staggers belief that he could have successfully foisted his innovation... on the church at large" (Hunter).

    To say that it was Paul who created the view of Jesus as deity is to reject the christology of the Jerusalem church and the evidence of Jesus's deity found in the book of Acts. Of key importance is Peter's statement that Jesus has been raised to God's right hand, from which he has poured forth the Holy Spirit, and has been made both kyrios and christos (Acts 2:33-36). Numerous titles of deity were attributed to him, such as: Messiah (Acts 3:20f), Servant of God (Acts 3:13,26; 4:27), the promised Prophet like Moses (Acts 3:22; 7:37), the Prince of Life (Acts 3:15; 5:31), the Holy and Righteous One, and the "stone" of prophecy (taken from Psalm 118:22), rejected, but now made the head of the corner (Acts 4:11). These all predate the more developed delineation of Jesus as deity expounded by Paul.

    Muslims who use Maccoby's material to substantiate their claim that Paul is not authoritative would do well to first understand the agenda behind Maccoby's criticism. As a Jew Maccoby concludes that "If Paul was the creator of the Christian myth, he was also the creator of the anti-Semitism which has been inseparable from that myth." It is for this reason that he tries to distant Paul from a Jewish background, and thereby instil upon him the guilt for all anti-Semitic undertakings which have been evidenced in the history of the church.

    Paul was never anti-Semitic, but he was anti-Judaism (having theological disagreement with Judaism). Rather then creating a heresy out of Judaism, as Maccoby suggests, it is quite evident that Paul would never have regarded himself as having ceased to be a Jew or as having left Judaism for a new religion. He believed that his new faith was the fulfilment of the promises to the patriarchs and he accordingly would have thought of himself as believing in what properly understood was the culmination of Judaism.

    This, however, is an argument for Jews to contend with, and not Muslims. They would do better to compare the material found in the Gospels with the writings of Paul, rather then race around trying to borrow polemical data from an arena which has little to concern them, and which they really don't understand. So it is to that area which we will now go.

  149. knew Jewish traditions
    What do you base this assertion on?

    His letters, what else?

    grrnite, Mat.

  150. My mom's boyfriend is an ex-seal. He was in Lebanon in '83. I asked, what was it like? He said, I don't know. I only saw the airport.

  151. Maccoby's source for his material is the discredited Christian writer Epiphanius, an Ebionite who wrote 3 centuries after the fact.
    Maccoby's source for his material is his own knowledge of Judaism.

  152. This problem of whether Gentiles had to be circumcised and comply with Mosaic law to become Christians (in effect, to be saved) was solved by St. Peter at what has been called the Council of Jerusalem in 49 or 50 A.D. Hearing each other's testimony and praying they came to a monumental decision.

    Peter asserted his leadership saying, "why do you make trial of God by putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?" He went on to explain that we are saved by "the grace of the Lord Jesus."

    Read Acts 15 on your own and note:

    1) The hierarchical, episcopal structure of government in the early Church.

    2) St. Peter, the chief elder (the office of pope) of the entire Church (1 Peter 5:1; cf. John 21:15-17), presides and after much debate gave his testimony and issued the authoritative pronouncement after which "all the assembly kept silence" (15:7-12).

    3) James the Lesser, Bishop of Jerusalem and therefore the host, gives a concurring statement (15:13-29). He also proposed a prudent accommodation to provide for the religious sensitivity of the Jewish Christians.

    Council of Jerusalem

  153. "It staggers belief that he could have successfully foisted his innovation... on the church at large"
    Not at all. The Paulines had the full weight of Rome and Greek/Roman/Pagan traditions on their side. Heretics and Heretic texts were disposed of, until over time almost nothing remained except vague clues to their existence.

  154. Paul was a palestinian, wasn't he?

  155. favorite USFS oxymoron:

    Wilderness Management

    Petition signed.

  156. "knew Jewish traditions"
    "Jooed him down?"

  157. Rather then creating a heresy out of Judaism, as Maccoby suggests, it is quite evident that Paul would never have regarded himself as having ceased to be a Jew or as having left Judaism for a new religion.
    Nonsense. The whole Paul story is a classic False Op exercise.

  158. It's sorta like Chaos Theory,

  159. I hope you guys can keep this up forever.
    Very entertaining, never offensive to an ignoranus, and provides some pretty good setups.

  160. His letters, what else?
    What exactly in the letters? Be specific.

  161. Paul was a palestinian, wasn't he?
    He was a Greek born in Western Turkey. So yeah, you can call him a "palestinian".

  162. You got in a bunch of jabs w/o reply, Mat, you got al-Bob on the ropes?

  163. I hope I didn't flabby gas him. :)

  164. He's already had a long count.

  165. ...but I don't want to count him out, and not get to see him get pummeled some more, so we'll give him some more time.

  166. Most EU nations have recognised mainly ethnic-Albanian Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia, a move strongly opposed by Moscow and which some Europeans foresaw as opening up a Pandora's box for separatists elsewhere.

    On Monday both houses of Russia's parliament voted overwhelmingly to support the claims for independence of the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    "The EU doesn't want to make this link publicly but yes, we are paying the price for our handling of Kosovo," argued one European analyst.

    Georgia Summit

  167. we'll give him some more time.
    Doug, he did say "grrnite, Mat."
    It's lights out for Bob. :)

  168. The refrain here in the Chapare jungle about Americans is short but powerful: "Long Live Coca, Death to the Yanquis!"


    But in a drug war in which contradictions abound, Morales is doing better than antinarcotics experts feared when he rose to power.


    Coca cultivation has increased during his two years in office, but instead of booming, it has simply climbed, up 8 percent in 2006 and 5 percent in 2007, according to the United Nations.

    Uneasy Ally

  169. Why does he do that?
    To scare away the ghosts under the stack before he hits the hay?