“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."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Vice President David Petraeus



  1. Let the Russians know we still care.

  2. Could give his impressions of a one on one meeting with the One.

  3. Could remind voters of Hillary at a hot LZ in Bosnia.

  4. Quiet carping and sniping on the right.

  5. Obama/Petraeus

    Yeah, that would end a lot of carping on the "Right"

    Not sure how that'd help McCain.

  6. We need Petraeus where he's at. I'm afraid he can't be wasted on "politics" right now.

  7. August 22, 2008
    Democrats Aim for a 60-Vote Senate

    By Kimberley Strassel

    Here's an intriguing thought: The John McCain-Barack Obama fight isn't this season's biggest political story. That honor should be reserved for the intense Democratic push to win a filibuster-proof Senate majority.

    Democrats know this is a huge prize, and they are throwing at least as much money and sweat into that effort as they are into electing Mr. Obama. What isn't clear is that voters are as aware of the stakes. An unstoppable Democratic Senate has the potential to alter the balance of power in Washington in ways not yet seen.

  8. Obama Not Eligible to be Presidential Candidate (22Aug08)

    A prominent Philadelphia attorney filed suit this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee.

    The action seeks an injunction preventing the senator from continuing his candidacy and a court order enjoining the DNC from nominating him next week, all on grounds that Senator Obama is constitutionally ineligible to run for and hold the office of President of the United States.

    Phillip Berg, the filing attorney, is a former gubernatorial and senatorial candidate, former chair of the Democratic Party in Montgomery (PA) County, former member of the Democratic State Committee, and former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania.

    According to Berg, he filed the suit–just days before the DNC is to hold its nominating convention in Denver–for the health of the Democratic Party.

    “I filed this action at this time,” Berg stated, “to avoid the obvious problems that will occur when the Republican Party raises these issues after Obama is nominated.”.

    Berg cited a number of unanswered questions regarding the Illinois senator’s background, and in today’s lawsuit maintained that Senator Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen or that, if he ever was, he lost his citizenship when he was adopted in Indonesia.

    Berg also cites what he calls “dual loyalties” due to his citizenship and ties with Kenya and Indonesia.

    Even if Senator Obama can prove his U.S. citizenship, Berg stated, citing the senator’s use of a birth certificate from the state of Hawaii verified as a forgery by three independent document forensic experts, the issue of “multi-citizenship with responsibilities owed to and allegiance to other countries” remains on the table.

    In the lawsuit, Berg states that Senator Obama was born in Kenya, and not in Hawaii as the senator maintains.

    Before giving birth, according to the lawsuit, Obama’s mother traveled to Kenya with his father but was prevented from flying back to Hawaii because of the late stage of her pregnancy, “apparently a normal restriction to avoid births during a flight.”

    As Sen. Obama’s own paternal grandmother, half-brother and half-sister have also claimed, Berg maintains that Stanley Ann Dunham–Obama’s mother–gave birth to little Barack in Kenya and subsequently flew to Hawaii to register the birth.

    Berg cites inconsistent accounts of Sen. Obama’s birth, including reports that he was born at two separate hospitals–Kapiolani Hospital and Queens Hospital–in Honolulu, as well a profound lack of birthing records for Stanley Ann Dunham, though simple “registry of birth” records for Barack Obama are available in a Hawaiian public records office.

    Should Senator Obama truly have been born in Kenya, Berg writes, the laws on the books at the time of his birth hold that U.S. citizenship may only pass to a child born overseas to a U.S. citizen parent and non-citizen parent if the former was at least 19 years of age.

    Obama’s mother was only 18 at the time. Therefore, because U.S. citizenship could not legally be passed on to him, Obama could not be registered as a “natural born” citizen and would therefore be ineligible to seek the presidency pursuant to Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution.

    Moreover, even if Obama could have somehow been deemed “natural born,” that citizenship was lost in or around 1967 when he and his mother took up residency in Indonesia, where Stanley Ann Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian citizen.

    Berg also states that he possesses copies of Sen. Obama’s registration to Fransiskus Assisi School In Jakarta, Indonesia which clearly show that he was registered under the name “Barry Soetoro” and his citizenship listed as Indonesian.

  9. WIO, how dare you question his nationality?

  10. WIO, how dare you question his nationality?


    How dare someone RUN for the highest office in OUR land and NOT be forthright with his birth status?

    for MONTHS the Obama staff have HIDDEN any real information about the exact and legal details of Obama's origins...

    Now would it not be funnier than shit if this "person" was in fact NOT eligible?

  11. What are yall talking about? I thought he was running for President of the World.

  12. Obama VP TXT

    Here’s some low-level fuckery to get you through the afternoon, courtesy of perverse Wonkette Operative “Bobby,” who sends hilarious instructions for sending legitimate-looking TXT announcements from Barack Obama. Who will be the new vice president? Whoever you want, that’s who!

    Using Verizon’s website its super easy to send fake VP nominations…

    Just make the From and Reply to number 62262.

    (You have to put your real number in the Call Back field, but it doesn’t show up in the text.)

    … and send a message (to your verizon wireless friends) thanking them for their support and letting them know you have chosen Hillaryt Clinton as your running mate!

    Don’t forget to hit the Urgent checkbox!


  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. This does not bode well for a peaceful future in Iraq:

    "Iraq Takes Aim at Leaders of U.S.-Tied Sunni Groups

    BAGHDAD — The Shiite-dominated government in Iraq is driving out many leaders of Sunni citizen patrols, the groups of former insurgents who joined the American payroll and have been a major pillar in the decline in violence around the nation.

    "In restive Diyala Province, United States and Iraqi military officials say there were orders to arrest hundreds of members of what is known as the Awakening movement as part of large security operations by the Iraqi military. At least five senior members have been arrested there in recent weeks, leaders of the groups say.

    West of Baghdad, former insurgent leaders contend that the Iraqi military is going after 650 Awakening members, many of whom have fled the once-violent area they had kept safe. While the crackdown appears to be focused on a relatively small number of leaders whom the Iraqi government considers the most dangerous, there are influential voices to dismantle the American backed movement entirely.

    “The state cannot accept the Awakening,” said Sheik Jalaladeen al-Sagheer, a leading Shiite member of Parliament. “Their days are numbered."


    "Although the “surge” is often described as the turning point that led to lower violence, a number of American officers contend the Awakening that began well before the surge in 2006 in Anbar Province and continued in Baghdad last year was the most significant reason for the decline. In some places, American casualties plunged within weeks of the Sunnis joining with American forces.

    Col. Kurt Pinkerton, the former American battalion commander who oversaw the Awakening program established west of Abu Ghraib last year, said it was critical to quelling violence.

    “I don’t think that area would have been calmed without those guys,” he said, giving credit to three of the most important members, including Abu Marouf, who are now being tracked down by General Nassir."

  15. WiO, the Obama birth certificate thing is a dry hole, as I indicated to Bobal recently. Here's a clip from a Hawaiian newspaper that proves he was born in the States, and not Kenya. Unless you think they knew the infant was going to be President when he grew up and started the cover-up from the gitgo.

  16. I linked that TWICE, already Ash.
    Now I know how you maintain your ignorance:
    Hands over eyes, mouth open.

  17. PS,
    I also posted a Rogio piece on the whole thing.
    ...not that you will read it, of course.

  18. We got a Variance.

    Regulators had long classified a private Swiss energy conglomerate called Vitol as a trader that primarily helped industrial firms that needed oil to run their businesses.

    But when the Commodity Futures Trading Commission examined Vitol's books last month, it found that the firm was in fact more of a speculator, holding oil contracts as a profit-making investment rather than a means of lining up the actual delivery of fuel. Even more surprising to the commodities markets was the massive size of Vitol's portfolio -- at one point in July, the firm held 11 percent of all the oil contracts on the regulated New York Mercantile Exchange.

    The discovery revealed how an individual financial player had gained enormous sway over the oil market without the knowledge of regulators. Other CFTC data showed that a significant amount of trading activity was concentrated in the hands of just a few speculators.

    Some lawmakers have blamed these firms for the volatility of oil prices, including the tremendous run-up that peaked earlier in the summer.

    "When the CFTC granted the 1991 hedging exemption to J. Aron (a division of Goldman Sachs), it signaled a major shift that has since allowed investors to accumulate enormous positions for purely speculative purposes," said Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) Now, he added, "legitimate businesses that hedge and take physical delivery of oil are being trampled by the speculators who are in the market purely to make profit."

    A second turning point came when Congress passed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. The law formally allowed investors to trade energy commodities on private electronic platforms outside the purview of regulators. Critics have called this piece of legislation the "Enron loophole," saying Enron played a role in crafting it.

    In the months after the act was passed, private electronic trading platforms sprang up across the country, challenging the dominance of NYMEX.

    "Investment banks had been frustrated with the established exchange because they really were never able to get control of it," said Michael Greenberger, a law professor at the University of Maryland and a former staff member at the CFTC.

    The most successful of the private platforms was InterContinental Exchange, or ICE, founded by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and a few other big brokerages in 2000. ICE soon opened a trading platform in London, allowing its founders to trade vast quantities of U.S. oil overseas without being subject to regulation.

  19. teresita said...
    WiO, the Obama birth certificate thing is a dry hole, as I indicated to Bobal recently. Here's a clip from a Hawaiian newspaper that proves he was born in the States, and not Kenya. Unless you think they knew the infant was going to be President when he grew up and started the cover-up from the gitgo.

    Sorry T...

    But what you showed doesnt prove shit...

    We (as you should know) have standards of proof..

    A REAL birth certificate, a REAL hospital record...

    try again..

  20. Actually, I hope he does.
    Invest in Preparation H Stock Today!

  21. t Unless you think they knew the infant was going to be President when he grew up and started the cover-up from the gitgo.

    No, unless they wanted to CORRECT the birth record of a bastard child so the Mother who comes from the high society of HI doesnt look like a tramp..

  22. DRL Obama/Petraeus

    Yeah, that would end a lot of carping on the "Right"

    Unfortunately it would be the lone bright spot in an Adminstration so far to the left he makes McCain look positively Reaganesque.

    Secretary of Defense: Cindy Sheehan

    Secretary of State: Sean Penn

    Secretary of the Treasury: Paul Krugman

    Secretary of Commerce: Tony Rezko

    Secretary of Health and Human Services: Jack Kervorkian

    Secretary of Education: Louis Farrakhan

    Secretary of Energy: Al Gore

    Secretary of Homeland Security: Bill Ayers

    Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Jane Fonda

    Press Secretary: Bill Moyers

  23. Doug, you link many many things. I apologize if you are offended if I don't follow every link you make.

  24. Following the Money.

    It seems that Soros, who is a huge proponent of global warming theory, purchased an $800 million stake in a Brazilian oil company.

  25. I haven't been able to find anything Bill Roggio wrote on the subject Doug. What did he say?

  26. WiO: How dare someone RUN for the highest office in OUR land and NOT be forthright with his birth status?

    Answer: There's still prejudice against being born out of wedlock, despite the fact that 70% of blacks are born that way. But it doesn't matter, because Obama was born in the United States, according to the records of the hospital published in the Vital Statistics area of that newspaper as a public record, so he's a natural born citizen.

    Frankly, there's more fruitful lines of attack than this one.

  27. Bungled raid in Diyala threatens political developments, military operations - The Long War Journal

    Rhyno327, no I don't believe the Sunnis have any intention of fighting us again.
    In fact we are their only strong ally in Iraq right now, which is part of the reason why now the religious Shia want a timetable for us to leave.

    The Maliki government is trying to dissolve the Sons of Iraq program and include only a handful of their members in the security forces. That could however give al-Qaeda a chance to come back in large parts of Northern Iraq given the power vacuum as the ISF is probably two years away from being able to secure all these areas.

    I really believe the current Iraqi government for all its non sectarian talk is very sectarian and will treat the Sunnis not much better then Saddam treated the Shia when we leave.
    That is why a free and fair election at the local and national elections over the next year is so very important. These elections the U.S. needs to monitor closely and keep the parties in power from fixing the result.

    The Shia tribes want to challange the religious parties for power just lke the Sunni tribes. The next election could usher in a much more non-sectarian government that doesn't view most Sunnis as ex-Saddamists and the enemy as certain advisors of Maliki seem to.

  28. Slade,
    Are you planning on listening to the Hewitt Freddoso Interviews I linked?
    Very revelatory, I should buy the book.

  29. That was Bill Murray and not Roggio, but the same journal. I'm not sure what the commenter thinks is different this time around - if the Sunni are mad they'll target both the Shia and their backers (i.e. the US). In any case, not having the Sunni on board does not bode well for a 'surge success' induced peaceful Iraq. Simple solution though, right, a la McCain? Just add more troops!

  30. WiO: How dare someone RUN for the highest office in OUR land and NOT be forthright with his birth status?

    Answer: There's still prejudice against being born out of wedlock, despite the fact that 70% of blacks are born that way. But it doesn't matter, because Obama was born in the United States, according to the records of the hospital published in the Vital Statistics area of that newspaper as a public record, so he's a natural born citizen.

    Frankly, there's more fruitful lines of attack than this one.

    T, dont get me wrong, there are many ways to discredit this closet marxist/anti-semite but ALL issues are up for examination, thus this why a DEMOCRAT in PA went to court to find out the truth...

    70% of Black americans are born as bastard children. ONLY in america is this not as much as an issue as in the rest of the world...

    In the islamic world they are kuffars.

    Only in America would we allow a bastard child to become our elected leader...

    as for the vital stat column of a newspaper?

    alot more than that snippet you provided would have to be put into evidence in any court of law...

    sorry, it's still an issue...

    and if it's not a REAL issue? well then use it to confuse 5% of the undecided...

    The messiah wears no clothes and is using every smoke screen to discredit McCain as possible...

    So his birth record is valid as an issue..

    His relationship to a man called rezko is an issue, but not how the press is talking about..

    how about this creep visited Assad of Syria on a regular basis? and his client that he represented was a Iraq Billionare (who was a friend of saddam)

    baathists in syria, baathists in iraq, baathists in chicago...

  31. Too late for that, Ash.
    Looks like Maliki will either get (a new)Religion, or the Sunni's get screwed AGAIN.
    ...2 Million refugees, no big deal.
    ...and none of it had to happen if they had kept paying Army per Garner plan.

  32. I got boos @ BC for bringing up that inconvenient truth.

  33. ya, well, you are not following the correct storyline - The surge did it, pushed US and Iraq over the 'tipping point', the war is won, nothing more to see or question.

  34. bump in the road
    mccain never claimed to be a hero either. he didn't need to because he is a genuine hero.

    he's not one to sit back and take cowardly pot shots at people who were tortured daily and never received much medical care. but you are.

    bet you're comfy in an air conditioned house.

    go a head, have both arms broken and a leg after bailing out of an airplane and then do your big talking.

    your friends won't say shit about it cause they have no guts to call you on that cowardly statement. they like the view from directly behind the lead dog.

  35. WiO: 70% of Black americans are born as bastard children. ONLY in america is this not as much as an issue as in the rest of the world...

    It's only an issue if one accepts the victimhood implied by it. My favorite book is "Rubyfruit Jungle", which is basically Huckleberry Finn for the flannel-wearing set. The protagonist of the book is Molly Bolt, who begins life with many disadvantages: economically because she is poor; politically because she is a female in a man's world; legally because she has no acknowledged father; and emotionally because she is even rejected by her adoptive mother. But Molly never blames herself for her troubles, and uses her faith in her own innocence to call up the defiance and courage she needs accomplish her life's goals. Would that Molly Bolt were running for President rather than this bozo.

  36. Hey, francis, you seem awfully keen on McCain. How do you explain/justify his blunders, you know, getting the time line on the Anbar Awakening and the surge back assward, thinking that Iraq bordered on Pakistan, Darfur was in Somalia, and his other countless gaffes on foreign affairs (his supposed strong suit)? Is it a function of his age, you know, those generally amusing mix ups our elderly friends and family tend to make, or did he just miss his nap?

  37. Right on Francis. I cannot imagine what McCain went through. There is the true meaning of "patriot." Refusing to take an early out and release is a definition of " honor." Most of the right wing pundits who always had something to say about McCain, never served in the military let alone faced any such a test. He is one tough SOB and by the way, he is my guy.

  38. I don't expect much from the Left, as our friend Ash reminds me.

  39. I got boos @ BC
    It's the story of orthodoxy and the narrative of lies. Very similar the story of Jesus. As the "Lost Gospels" indicate, Jesus kisses Mary Magdalene on the mouth many times. Jesus was a Rabbi. Rabbis don't kiss woman on the mouth unless they're married to them.

    BBC's The Lost Gospels:

  40. Metuselah, there's a reason they were the lost gospels. Someone showed them to the bishop of Rome, and was told to get lost.

  41. Metuselah, there's a reason they were the lost gospels. Someone showed them to the bishop of Rome, and was told to get lost.
    Look up: the Gospel of Peter.

  42. Obama is no political philosopher. He is a dilettante who experiments with boutique trendiness - his armed civilian corps and concepts of "economic justice" - just light-weight throwbacks to the past. It strikes me as - let him prove the contrary - a soft psychological mindset more than a hard political philosophy - one that seeks self-definition through a contempt for "histry" without him as the pivot point; one that seeks to define "his story" as both isolated from the country and culture that make him "different", with a funny name, while giving him the opportunity to live in a million dollar house - opportunity in the land of the capitalist devil - the circle the Marxist cannot square.

    His message is muddled for those who look beyond the ill-conceived and badly executed marketing. It's all about Being The Man. Many of us are uneasy because he makes it so personal, with the borderline religiosity. It has nothing to do with the collective, except as it exists to define The Man. His political philosophy is not fully developed Marxism. Call it Marxist-Lite or neo-Marxism. The reason it's getting any airtime at all - muddled or not - is the market volatility that is wave crashing through the world's economies creating fear and insecurity. Tack the Georgia crap in and the world overnight got dicey. [Not to mention the oil speculation of VITOL through the overseas exchanges opened by international banks for the express purpose of dealing in commodity futures.]

    The Democrats getting a filibuster-proof Senate is of more concern than labeling Obama.

    And getting some serious economists in Congress.

  43. nicely written Slade - now, how about an analysis of McCain paying particular attention to his economic acuity?

  44. Look up: the Gospel of Peter.

    Do you want to get in a pissing contest with me over Patristics?

    Eusebius of Caesarea includes the Gospel of Peter among the forged heretical gospels— “those that are adduced by the heretics under the name of the apostles,…of which no one of those writers in the ecclesiastical succession has condescended to make any mention in his works; and, indeed, the character of the style itself is very different from that of the apostles; and the sentiments, and the purport of those things that are advanced in them, deviating as far as possible from sound orthodoxy, evidently proves they are the fictions of heretical men; whence they are not only to be ranked among the spurious writings, but are to be rejected as altogether absurd and impious.”

  45. deviating as far as possible from sound orthodoxy
    And this was pronounced by whom when?

  46. The lost gospels or the gnostic gospels were the dag hammadi scrolls dug up in Egypt about the same time as the dead sea scrolls were found in Israel. (late 40's -early 50's) These books were comic book versions of the new testament and written more than century after Jesus life on this earth-- while the New Testament was written in the decades after Jesus. Mention of the gnostic gospels were made by early church fathers and its believed that they were widely referenced in the christian middle east as the source of the arian heresy from the 3rd to 7th centuries before the moslem take over. Its thought that Arian Christianity is the form of Christianity that Mohammed encountered. Arian Christianity is not at odds with Islam over the identity of Jesus. Both contended that Jesus is just a man--a wise man--but still just a man like any other.

    Interestingly, the dead sea scrolls reveal that there were two books of the OT that didn't make the cut when Jewish scholars were compiling their books at the same time as Christianity in the 2-3rd centuries AD. The two books that didn't make the cut were the book of Enoch and the book of Jubilee. Both are still present for etheopian jews bible. Its thought that enoch was cut because there were too many spirits and spooks gods and demons and the like at a time when the Jews wanted to emphasized the Oneness of God--as opposed to the trinitarian nature of God propounded by Christianity. (Something that Islam picked up on as well.)
    I've heard nothing on why the book of Jubilee was cut. My WAG is that Jesus himself is the Jubilee--so there again the old rabbis wanted to keep themselves distinct.

  47. From IOZ:

    A Brief History

    Oh no! Iraq! Invade!

    We do. Take the capital. Pull down a statue. Yay! Install a viceroy. Make up a bunch of crazy laws. Crazy Iraqis get pissed. Start blowing shit up. Okay, Iraqis. Okay. Here's an election. Empower ethnoreligious majority. Yay, Shia! Have the government. Here's an army. Crazy Sunni get pissed. Start blowing shit up. Oh no, al Qaeda! Iran! Fight the Sunni. Fight them some more. Shia form militias. Militias suborn death squads. Uh-oh. Not how things were supposed to turn out. Build a jazillion miles of blast walls. Assist Iraqis in completing the ethnic cleansing of their major cities. Decide to give the Sunni a bunch of guns. Go after foreigners! Sunnis take guns. Kick out foreigners. Establish loci of Sunni dominance. Get tight with the Americans. Get more guns. Get more money. National influence? Shia government gets antsy. Sends national army to crack down on "Awakening." U.S. coins phrase "aspirational timelines." Afghanistan, here we come!

  48. Ahh, francis, name calling is so ...

    Let's get down to brass tacks and discuss the mental profile the KGB has on Mr McCain. Developed over the five years that McCain was held in captivity.

    That profiling of a President would be considered a National Security challenge, a real disqualifier for anyone else but the MSM's golden boy.

    But you ignore the premier issue, to rant.

    I've have bones broken in the service of the Republic, no big deal, didn't need anyone to cry for me, Argentina.

  49. Phillip Berg, the filing attorney, is a former gubernatorial and senatorial candidate, former chair of the Democratic Party in Montgomery (PA) County, former member of the Democratic State Committee, and former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania.

    I'm glad it's not a crackpot that filed this suit. Guy seems to have credentials.

  50. The lost gospels or the gnostic gospels
    Those in the know knew that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and that they had a son named Judah whom they kept hidden from the know of the Romans.

  51. Fellow's resume reads a lot like Dennis Kucinich's, no, he's not a crack pot Democrat.

  52. Damn, Doug, didn't you hear what the defense man said:--

    He said Ward's involvement in child pornography began as a research project and "lost its focus" because of an "inexplicable error of judgment" caused, at least in part, by a drinking problem.

    jeez, I don't want you at my defense table on Judgement Day!

  53. This does not bode well for a peaceful future in Iraq:

    I agree, it's worrisome.

  54. make OIL irrelevant

    Then we will have peace

  55. It's extememly unlikey, barring some fantastic new discovery amongst the ruins, that we're ever going to know whether Jesus was married or not, or whether M.M. was his girl.

    On one hand, most Jewish men his age were expected to be married, on the other, you'd think some indication of that would have seeped into the 4(or, nowadays, 5) mainstream gospels in some way.

    Elaine Pagels is good to read on the gnostic gospels. There are many others.

    Dissing the gnostic gospels, she maintains, was a political move, as admitedly, a theological one, on the part of the old boys.

    As for me, being an arian heretic as I currently am, I think the whole thing is a tempest in a teapot.

  56. What Hollywood scriptwriter did The One hire to choreograph all this dramtic leadup to The Choice?

  57. For the sake of argument T., how do you explain The One's relatives in Kenya who maintain The One was born there?

  58. Wiki: Arius first became controversial under the bishop Achillas of Alexandria, when he made the following syllogism: he said, "'If the Father begat the Son, he that was begotten had a beginning of existence: and from this it is evident, that there was a time when the Son was not.'"

  59. The 4 gospels do leave some credible hints that Jesus was a mamzer, a bastard. William Blake held this view. Indeed, unless one holds the view that Mary really was a virgin, it's quite hard not to consider this as a real possiblity.

  60. Not Jesus, but Jesus's son Judah.

  61. I can't stand it anymore. The tension. I'm having a breakdown.


  62. We need Petraeus where he's at. I'm afraid he can't be wasted on "politics" right now.

    I agree with Rufus. He'd be wasted in any other position than #1.

  63. For anyone interested a good book on current scholarship and archaelogy on the New Testament can be found in Lee Strobel's The Case For Christ. He is an easy read as he reviews all the earliest references to Jesus in the Christian and non Christian communities during the 1st-2nd centuries AD.

    He also reviews current archaelogy as it pertains to references made in the NT to people and places. The NT like the OT is an accurate record of their respective periods. That is these days--at least from King David on. That is these days hardly a year goes by without some corroborating piece of archaelogy being dug up that references a character or place also mentioned in the OT or NT.

  64. Obama's support within the Democratic party is comprised almost entirely of cultural liberals. He dubbed this intra-Democratic split a divide between "academics and Jacksonians." The Jacksonians are working-class, culturally conservative whites. The academics are the same people who formed the base for Howard Dean, Bill Bradley, Michael Dukakis, Gary Hart, George McGovern, and other successful presidents in the anti-matter universe where Spock has a goatee.

    The Mystery of Obama's Problems

  65. Islam pretty much conquered all the arian christian lands in the middle east and north africa. Arian princes in spain enabled the Moores entry to Iberia. The moslems were not stopped until they ran into trinitarians--that is, people who believe that Jesus is fully God as well as fully Man.

    In the modern age arianism was became dominant because of Newton who wrote extensive tracts in defense of this heresy. Up until Einstein came along Newton was regarded in near demigod status in the English speaking world and beyond. ie if the bright guy--the most modern of moderns says it so --it must be so--

    By the mid 19th century in europe arianism was taught under the guise of "Higher criticism" in Europe and in American liberal seminaries by the early 20th century.

    Consequently, what distinguishes liberal christians from evangelical christians is the question of the person of Christ. Liberal Christians think Jesus is just a man. Evangelical Christians think Jesus is both fully Man and Fully God.

    In the USA the liberal christian membership is collapsing--while evangelical churches are growing. In Europe --where virtually all the churches were liberal--Christianity has virtually dissapeared.

    The functional problem with Arianism is that it robs Christianity of any power beyond what individual men can gin up from their own souls--which in the great scheme of things ain't much--and is no help when men are in time of need.

    There is a Christian allies caucus today in the Knesset. These allies are almost all evangelical.

  66. For $3 bucks you can get a copy of Borg and Wright Marcus Borg has informally risen to Evangelical Lutheran Theologian in America. Borg represents what used to be a minority view in Christian theology, but is now the majority view, at least in the mainstream(and dying) liberal churches. Wright represents what used to be the majority view in same, but is nowadays probably the minority view.

    Before Borg, our theological spokesman was Richard Neuhaus, now Father Neuhaus, having joined up with the Catholics. You might have seen Neuhaus on the higher quality Sunday programs, and on Bill Buckley's show. Asked why he joined the Catholics, he said, the reformation has completed it's work, and, the Catholic Church being where it all began, he wanted to die in the arms of Mother Church. He's a priest now. Also, interesting to me at least, he recently had a near death experience, and has written movingly about it.

    This Baptist writer lists some other Lutes who have jumped ship--


    Distributed by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Copyright 2001

    Our goal in this particular aspect of our ministry is not devotional but is TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR.

    May 26, 1998 (David W. Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061-0368, - The May 1998 Forum Letter, published by the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, says that reunion with the Roman Catholic Church is inevitable (Christian News, May 11, 1998). It also reports that three more Lutheran theologians have joined the Roman Catholic Church. These are David Gustafson, Jennifer Ferrara, and Patricia Ireland (not the Patricia Ireland who heads up the National Organization for Woman). The Forum Letter also reported that prominent Lutheran theologian Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan has joined the Orthodox Church. Christian News also notes that Lutheran leaders Dr. Robert Wilkin and Raymond Schulze have also joined the Catholic Church.

    In 1990 well-known Lutheran theologian Richard Neuhaus joined the Roman Catholic Church. He had been heading in that direction for a long time. In 1984 he was the first Lutheran to preach from the pulpit of a Catholic cathedral. That same year Neuhaus stated that he believed that by the year 2000 most Lutherans would be reunited with Rome under some form of the papacy. In 1988 Neuhaus published The Catholic Moment: The Paradox of the Church in the Modern World, in which he praised Pope John Paul II and said that the Catholic Church can and should lead the "church" in proclaiming the Gospel. Obviously Neuhaus, who denies eternal Hell, does not himself know the Gospel of Jesus Christ and does not recognize false gospels. He also has no idea what a New Testament apostolic church is. In 1992 the deluded Neuhaus was one of the signers of "Evangelicals and Catholics Together." Other signers included Pat Robertson, J.I. Packer, Bill Bright, and Charles Colson. These "evangelical" leaders claim that it is important for Bible-believing Christians to join hands with Rome in order to turn back the darkness of paganism. They blindly fail to recognize that Rome herself is a form of paganism and that wherever Rome has held sway over men's lives she has not produced true biblical morality. Wherever Rome holds sway in a land there is widespread immorality, occultism, and atheism. Spiritual darkness cannot produce light. Even Rome's "pastors" have no power to live godly lives and have scandalized the name of Christ by their godless behavior.

    All of these former Lutheran theologians who have joined Rome are modernists who deny the infallibility of Holy Scripture. Having rejected the authority of the Bible, they have been deluded into accepting the "authority" of the papacy.

  67. And, the Trinitarians were so ruthless, that, in Spain, many of the areas Jews went over to the side of the muzzies, as they were treated better there than by the three in one crowd.

  68. Hillary the un-vetted, gets dissed and Stiffed

    May it be so.

  69. What Hollywood scriptwriter did The One hire to choreograph all this dramtic leadup to The Choice?

    I've read George Clooney is playing a quiet but substantial image-maker role. Guessing grey hair.

  70. The catholics in spain were tough on both jews and protestants after they kicked out the moors. But they were not as tough as the french who drove and killed out the french protestants (heugonots) from france. Many of these came to the USA.

    While some of the founders of the USA like franklin and Jefferson and adams are deists or unitarians --they swam in a Calvinist trinitarian sea. The majority of the population--english scotch german dutch french swedish swiss were reformed evangelical calvinist...trinitarians.

    By the 20th century Europe had mostly given up on christianity. I've read that the most read book in WWI by americans was the bible. While Nietzche was the most read book by the Germans.

    Hitler himself was a pagan as was Stalin--though stalin did play about a bit in the seminary.

  71. Not just labels, Slade:
    Listen to Freddoso.
    The Man has been a classic Chicago CROOK for years.
    Always after the tainted money, always blocking real reform to benefit the Machine.
    (not the Daly city machine so much as the county one w/another crook I forgot the name of)
    Would take an hour and a half and you would not need to speculate about things that are KNOWN, and document in the Chicago MSM.
    (and ignored everywhere else)
    Time and time again, he got money or influence from folks like Rezko, then they got mega taxpayer's dollars.
    A Dem and the GOP got together to try to get some real reform, he used his influence to maintain his crooks in power.
    Then there's the Ayers Annenberg big money deals that the blogs are on,
    At any rate, I tire of hearing you speculate about things that are KNOWN.

  72. Emil "Pork? I call it steak" Jones Jr from the Todd Spivak article.

    And settle down.

    The sun doesn't rise and fall on my speculation.

  73. This is too much (continued):

    Harry Truman, from Missouri, was a different kind of President. He probably made as many important decisions regarding our nation's history as any of the other 42 Presidents.

    However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House. Historians have written the only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence, Missouri. On top of that, his wife inherited the house from her Mother. When he retired from office in 1952, his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an 'allowance' and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

    After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There were no Secret Service following them. When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, "You don't want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it's not for sale."

    Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, "I don't consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise." Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale.

    Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, "My choices early in life were either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference."

  74. "The sun doesn't rise and fall on my speculation."
    True, you just make an ass of yourself, babbling on about that which is known, as tho you are grappling w/some deep mystery.

  75. You said it yourself - secular crook not Port Huron Statement Signatory.

    I swear to God you're an addict. Always swinging at somebody.

  76. These days it's surprising when someone is honest. More Shenanigans

  77. The Man has been a classic Chicago CROOK for years.
    Where is the Police (and FBI) in all of this?

  78. LOL!
    ...Expect Daly investigation soon!

  79. Mat, I'll tell you what the sad truth is--we don't have enough FBI and Fed attorneys to prosecute all the crap that goes on. I think most FBI and Fed attorneys are honest, they just have to portion out the time they can spend on things.

  80. Doug,
    That's the thing with spectrum of corruption. There's no end to it. :)

  81. I think most FBI and Fed attorneys are honest, they just have to portion out the time they can spend on things.
    Very honest and very lazy. But not too lazy to cover up for the Saudis Chinese and everybody else who isn't Israeli.

  82. Toronto's York University professor
    Barrie Wilson, in



  83. NEW YORK (Reuters) - Crude oil prices fell more than 5.4 percent on Friday in the biggest one-day slide since 2004 as dealers turned their focus to rising supply levels and weakening global demand.

    A rebound in the U.S. dollar encouraged the sell-off, applying downward pressure across the commodities markets by weakening the purchasing power of buyers using other currencies, dealers said.

    The slide adds to a more than 20 percent fall in the price of crude since mid-July and could increase the chance oil cartel OPEC will cut official production limits when the group meets in Vienna on September 9.

    U.S. crude fell $6.59, or 5.4 percent, to settle at $114.59 a barrel -- the biggest fall in percentage terms since December 27, 2004. London Brent crude fell $6.24 to $113.92 a barrel.

  84. ..the thing with ^the spectrum of corruption..

  85. Saudis and Chinese got Bucks and Influence.
    Barry's a Black Liberal Crook.

    All members of the Immune from Prosecution Class.

  86. This comment has been removed by the author.

  87. from the book's blurbs==

    Who was Paul, really? Since he never met Jesus

    There is speculation that Paul may have had passing or chance encounters with Jesus.

    to the new religion called Christianity, created by the apostle Paul

    That's way too simple. "I pass on to you what was passed on to me," Paul wrote. But, I can't recall just now just where that is. At any rate, the basics were already in being.

  88. Current longer CNN article no longer has ambassador's quote.

    Here is a screenshot of Google search:

  89. I had a passing encounter w/the toilet last nite.
    What a relief!

  90. The toilet passed it on to the septic tank.

  91. The wind is beginning to pick up in my part of the south. They're predicting 8 to 15 inches of rain but so far, nothing exceptional. The east coast of Florida, though, 24 inches of rain! Yow!

  92. That sounds like a good book, Mat, I'll put it on my 'to get' list.

    Paul was a persecutor of the early Christian/Jesus groups, until the Damascus road experience. The earliest groups seem to have been in or around Jerusalem. When the Romans leveled the place, those groups seemed to sort of vanish. Paul took what he inherited of the outlook,(I pass on what was passed on to me), so to speak, and molded it to pagan ears, is the basic way I understand it.

  93. Don't walk over the septic tank, Doug, lest you fall in, and become flush. (re: our septic tank discussion of some time ago) :)

    This tension about the pick of #2, by #1, is killing me.

    By the way, I ordered a free Obama button from the Obama campaign. As I didn't give any money, I was limited to only one Obama button, the cheapskates. You can order your button too, by going to the Obama Campaign site. I figured, I might as well run up their campaign costs a little, and add the Obama button to my "I Like Ike" buttons.

    Needless to say, I would never actually wear the cursed thing.

  94. Paul was a persecutor of the early Christian/Jesus groups
    Is that why he got into so much trouble everywhere he went?

    APRIL 22, 2008 AT 4:17 AM EDT

    A University of Toronto mathematician is lending new support to the controversial claim that
    an ancient burial tomb near Jerusalem once held the bones of Jesus of Nazareth and his

    In a peer-reviewed article published last month in the prestigious Annals of Applied
    Statistics, Andrey Feuerverger places the odds of the 2,000-year-old tomb not belonging to
    the Jesus family at 1 in 1,600.

    This figure is even more bullish than the 1-in-600 figure that Dr. Feuerverger calculated a
    year ago, when interviewed for The Lost Tomb of Jesus, a $4-million documentary produced
    by James Cameron and directed by Toronto's Simcha Jacobovici.

    The tomb, now sealed beneath a housing development in Talpiot, east of Jerusalem, was
    accidentally discovered in 1980. Its contents included 10 limestone ossuaries, six of which
    were inscribed with evocative names, including "Jesus, son of Joseph, Maria, Jose [perhaps a
    brother of Jesus], Mariamne, Matya and Judah, son of Jesus."

  96. No, he got in trouble after his conversion, when he started preaching the risen Christ, in his formula, and some of the local Jewsish groups didn't take to it.

    He was, in other words, persecuted by others who had the same outlook he did, when he was a persecutor before his conversion, and he was persecuting 'people of the way' as some of them called themselves.

    The persecutor became the persecuted:)

  97. Paul was a persecutor of the early Christian/Jesus groups
    Is that why he got into so much trouble everywhere he went?

    Let us not forget he was a spy for Rome..

    Paul/Saul a traitor to many...

    Ass to Rome

  98. That tomb of the family of Jesus story seems to have been debunked, but everything is worth a second or third look.

    It does seem to be true that the tomb--or ossuary-- of Caiphas was found, must be nearly twenty years ago now. I still have the Wall Street Journal article about it in a drawer downstairs.

    Marcus Borg's outlook on the subject of tombs, what happened to the body of Jesus and so forth, is that it makes no difference one way or the other, as in his view, the people around Jesus had visionary experiences of him after he died. That's my current outlook. People have visionary experiences of the dearly departed all the time. I knew a girl who, after her mom died, turned around in her living room one day, and there was her mom, radiant. She wasn't making this up. Something similar happened to the people around Jesus, but more powerfully.
    Marcus Borg has some really good pages on this subject.

    This girl said, "I saw my mom"

    The Jesus people said, "We have seen the Lord." A different order of experience altogether, to them.

    I don't know how else to explain it.

  99. Paul was ugly stubby short with massive eyebrows. There's only one possible use for that kind of person, and that's to serve Satan.

  100. That tomb of the family of Jesus story seems to have been debunked,
    When did that happen?

  101. 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8

    For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas(Peter), then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

    The basic creed was already in existence when Paul had his Damascus road vision.

    I don't know any Greek, but I've read the word used for 'appeared' indicates a kind of visionary experience.

  102. "Paul was ugly stubby short with massive eyebrows."
    Don't knock it!'s a turn-on for al-Bob!

  103. Mat, I can't recall exactly, but I remember reading somewhere about one of the Israeli archaeologists or antiquities guys saying it didn't hold up, in his view. I can't remember all the reasons. Is there a Ron or Ronnie somebody that is sort of the chief guy for that, head of the Israeli Antiquities Bureau or something? And, I may be getting that name misremembered, too.

  104. I want to know who the unlucky sucker is that's #2. It's five o clock back east now, enough of this waiting around.

  105. Forget which thread I posted this so will repost here.
    - Russia We've completed pullback -

    “The U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle, told the Russian business daily Kommersant it had urged Georgia not to launch an attack and that Russia responded in a “legitimate” way, though he went on to say Russia went too far in its military incursion.

    His comments represent a public acknowledgment from a senior U.S. official that Russia had some justification for its initial response to Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia.“
    John Bolton shakes head in dismay.
    Screenshot refering to quote now cleansed from (longer) CNN article:


  106. Bobal,
    I've been taking Zoloft, and madly cliking the remote to try and see History being made!

    (and I don't even have a button on order yet)

  107. Let us all pray for poor Bernie Ward.

  108. The affirmation "Jesus is Lord" suggests something further about early Christian experiences of the risen Christ. These experiences were not in the same category as having an experience of one's deceased parent or spouse. From such an experience, we would not draw the inference that our parent or spouse is Lord. But the followers of Jesus did. I think the affirmation is grounded in part in their experience of Jesus before his death. I think they experienced him as quite extraordinary even during his lifetime. The other ingredient was their experience of him after his death as having the qualities of God; like God, he was a spiritual reality; like God, he could be experienced anywhere. Hence, "Jesus is Lord."

    Marcus Borg

  109. Doug, you got to admit, seriously, Bernie needs our prayers. He isn't going to have a pleasant time in prison. At his age, I'd flee.

  110. M. Simon said...

    A bit of news from Iran today. They need to buy 1/3 of their wheat consumption from the USA - 5 million tons - since there are currently no alternate suppliers.

    Also check that they have reigned in Hizballah. Hunger Stalks Iran

  111. You'll have to get me motivated to move my lips for Bernie.
    (Man, does that come out sounding scary!)

  112. One surprise development at the Jerusalem conference was the appearance of Ruth Gat, widow of the late Israeli archeologist Joseph Gat who first excavated the Talpiot tomb. Presented with a
    lifetime achievement award on his behalf, Mrs. Gat told the assembled academics that her husband had died with the conviction that the tomb belonged to Jesus Christ and his family.
    A Holocaust survivor, Mr. Gat had confided his views to his wife. He never went public, she
    explained, because he feared doing so would produce a global backlash of anti-Semitism.

  113. Iosef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (aka Stalin)
    I did not know that, either.

  114. The Problem of Paul


    As a Talmudic scholar, I have found that knowledge of the Talmud and other rabbinical works has opened up the meaning of many puzzling passages in the New Testament. In my earlier book on Jesus, Revolution in Judaea, I showed how, in the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus speaks and acts as a Pharisee, though the Gospel editors have attempted to conceal this by representing him as opposing Pharisaism even when his sayings were most in accordance with Pharisee teaching. In the present book, I have used the rabbinical evidence to establish an opposite contention: that Paul, whom the New Testament wishes to portray as having been a trained Pharisee, never was one. The consequences of this for the understanding of early Christianity are immense.


  115. The first point to note is that Paul does not mention an empty tomb. The abscence may or may not be significant. Perhaps, as some argue, the reference to "buried" implicitly points to an empty tomb, though it could also be a way of saying, "He was really dead." In any case, Paul does not say, "And on the third day, they found the tomb empty."

    The second point concerns the list of people to whom the risen Christ "appeared", a verb used four times in this text. In the Bible, the verb appeared is often (though not always) used in connection with "apparitions", a particular kind of vision. Like a vision, an apparition is a paranormal kind of experience, not visible to everybody who happens to be there, and not the kind of experience that could have been videotaped.

    That Paul thinks of the resurrection appearances as apparitions is further suggested by his inclusion of himself in the list of people to whom the risen Christ appeared, "Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me." Implicitly, he regards his own experience of the risen Christ as similar to the others. His experience on the Damascus road, as we know from its threefold narration in Acts 9, 22, and 26, was a vision. The people traveling with him did not experience what he did. Importantly, I think visions and apparitions can be true, by which I mean truthful disclosures of the way things are. I do not put them in the category of hallucinations. Equally importantly, apparitions do no involve a physical body, even though what is seen often includes seeing a person in bodily form.

    Marcus Borg

  116. "Voltimand" has some good stuff about the cesspools of higher academia here:
    Belmont Club » Ayers Rocks

  117. The 4 gospels aren't exactly history, though they have some of it. They are committed testimony by believers.

    When you get to John, that writer has Jesus saying "I am the way the truth and the light, no one comes to God except through me", or whatever the saying is, whereas in an earlier gospel, he is made to say, which is probably closer to the truth of his sayings, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but the One alone."

    You can't have it both ways.

    The proclaimer of the Kingdom of God has become the One proclaimed.

  118. "That tomb of the family of Jesus story seems to have been debunked,"

    When was it ever bunked?

  119. 5:56 Interesting, Mat.

    that the (Talpiot) tomb belonged to Jesus Christ and his family.

    Talpiot- what does this name refer to? It's in or near Jerusalem, no?

    Jesus and family not residing in Jerusalem, why would their family tomb be there in the first place, rather than in or around their home village?

  120. I recall reading an article by some Israeli, I think in kind of an official position. The point was, the names being so common, one couldn't with any certainty match them with Jesus or his family out of all the folks living in those days, with the same or similar names.

    Why wouldn't their family tomb, if they had one, be in Nazareth?

  121. You can't have it both ways.
    This explains the puzzling and ambiguous role given in the Gospels to the companions of Jesus, the twelve disciples. They are shadowy figures, who are allowed little personality, except of a schematic kind. They are also portrayed as stupid; they never quite understand what Jesus is up to. Their importance in the origins of Christianity is played down in a remarkable way. For example, we find immediately after Jesus' death that the leader of the Jerusalem Church is Jesus' brother James. Yet in the Gospels, this James does not appear at all as having anything to do with Jesus' mission and story. Instead, he is given a brief mention as one of the brothers of Jesus who allegedly opposed Jesus during his lifetime and regarded him as mad. How it came about that a brother who had been hostile to Jesus in his lifetime suddenly became the revered leader of the Church immediately after Jesus' death is not explained, though one would have thought that some explanation was called for.


  122. Mattie link:

    Why do atheists care? Why should it be such a big deal?

  123. Besides, the gospel story says he was placed in a new hewn tomb of J. of Arimathea. Nothing about a family tomb.

    I think Marcus Borg has it right. We are unlikely to know the truth in these details, and, as far as the religious truth is concerned, it doesn't matte anyway.

  124. Talpiot is the name of the modern Jerusalem suburb where the Tomb was found and subsequently built over.

  125. KMBC's Micheal Mahoney reports a company in Kansas City, which specializes in political literature, has been printing Obama-Bayh material.

  126. Take that crap down the road. When you should find that crap over at leave it there. Don't soil the EB.

  127. Why do atheists care?
    It's a question of heresy and that which follows/followed.

  128. Whit,

    As I indicated at the start of this conversation, this has to do with corruption, orthodoxy, and the narrative of lies. If you're comfortable with this, don't complain about Barack Hussein Obama. The same mechanism that leads the way to Christ, leads the way to Obama.

  129. bump in he road

    your use of ignoratio elenchi is a sloppy technique. that you broke bones doesn't begin to cover your lurid comment about a hero who was tortured for years by a vicious enemy.

    what did you break, a fingernail?

    you aren't willing to have a leg and both arms broken and thenm endure torture for five years are you? Are you? ARE YOU?

    no because you couldn't survive it. but why don't you back up your big mouth by giving it a try?

    then, IF you survive we can look at you and say something as asshole as you's just a bump in the road.

    why anyone on this blog has ANY respect for someone who would make that comment and then not call them on it is one resaon this blog has maybe ten peole who contribute.

    You are one flaming asshole.

    and for those of you who think this is just being said for Mccain you are dead wrong. I would say it of any service man or woman who endured that treatment only to have an asshole demean their service.

    and yes this doesn't speak well for the rest of you who follow this desert rat person

  130. Francis,

    For good or bad we know desert rat. We haven't a clue who you are, and why you're here.

  131. :)
    I'm beginning to think the proper course of action for a wise man in a political year, is head for the hills, without any communication devices.

  132. Whit, are there any allegators swimming around your place?

  133. Jeeze,
    To my knowledge, 'Rat's never impugned John's heroism in any serious way.
    He's known him up close forever.
    I wish the experience had left him more optimistic, but I take his warnings seriously, even tho I'll be voting for John.
    Why make a Demigod out of someone when you know better?

    Plenty of Heros have made bad leaders later in life.
    I wish I could vote for Zell Miller.
    Such is life.

  134. First page alone here is heartbreaking.
    So much blood, sweat, and tears could have been avoided if W had never sent Bremmer over there.
    Baghdad was once a semi-modern partly secular city.
    -My Long War - Dexter Filkins -

  135. ...and that GD Minaret, that we traded American Blood to preserve in it's perfection.

  136. RE: the followers.

    As far as I know, all but two posters here are voting McCain.

  137. I'm voting McCain, though there were other republicans I would have preferred.

    Hillary's brothers--

    Mr Rodham, 54, and his brother Hugh, 58, have been a frequent source of embarrassment to Mrs Clinton. In 1999, they entered into a $118 million deal to grow and export hazelnuts for the former Soviet republic of Georgia. (They seem to have dodged the Russian bullet there)

    The US State Department complained when it emerged their business contact was a major opponent of Eduard Shevardnadze, then president of Georgia and a key American ally.

    In 2001, it was revealed that Tony Rodham had helped obtain a presidential pardon the previous year for a Tennessee couple convicted of fraud. Mr Rodham admitted talking to then President Clinton about the matter but insisted that no money had changed hands, though he did have financial ties to the couple.

    The same year, Mr Rodham was involved in an assault at the Rodham family cottage in Pennsylvania. A man who claimed he saw Mr Rodham making love to his girlfriend broke into the cottage and attacked him.

    Mr Rodham was injured and later testified in court that he might have smoked marijuana with his assailant a few hours before the incident.

  138. Loco weed, erases all civilized inhibitions, at least in a Clinton.

  139. "From the start, the guerrillas had used the minarets: to shoot, to spot, to signal one another. When American soldiers first came into Falluja, 6,000 of them on foot in the middle of a November night in 2004, they weren’t allowed to shoot at mosques without permission. After 12 hours, they threw the rule away."

  140. "So where did the insurgents go? They were dead, under the rubble, that’s where they were. Buried. Vaporized. Ground to dust.

    A few years before, in Afghanistan, an American officer asked me, “Have you ever seen what a 2,000-pound bomb does to a person?” He was not really bragging because in this case the victims had been American soldiers. Friendly fire, five guys. “We put the remains in a sandwich bag,” he said.

    Still, it was a curiosity that we had seen so few bodies. The generals were reporting hundreds of dead, thousands even — we knew that from the radio — but we weren’t seeing many. You would think by then we would have seen an arm. A head. Like in the suicide bombings in Baghdad. So I had been rolling it over, the lack of bodies, considering the explanations: the Muslims bury their dead very quickly; it’s a religious thing. That was one. The insurgents never leave their dead behind. That was another.

    We were up on top of this building on the edge of town, staring out at the big plain and wondering where they had all gone, when one of the marines came over and showed Ashley the picture of the black face. He had brought us the photo to show us; he knew we needed one, a photo of a dead insurgent. The marine, Lance Cpl. Alex Saxby, tilted up his point-and-press camera to show us. “I got two dead friends,” he said. Alex’s glasses had broken at the nose bridge, and he was holding them together with a wad of first-aid tape. The photo of the dead jihadi seemed all he had left in the world. “It’s my birthday today,” he said.

  141. Doug, did you see my post of ago about the torture chamber in one of Sadr's mosques in Baghdad? Just a friendly mosque, torture chamber downstairs and to the left, past the Fellowship Hall.

    If it's Bayh, I bet McCain goes with Romney, try to get Michigan. Virginia seems a little safer now than it did a while ago.

  142. Paul
    Shaul = requested (Heb.)
    Shual = fox (Heb.)

  143. Mattie you choose to believe that there is no God. I choose to believe there is. I believe I have more evidence to support my belief.

    As to lies, you have no more proof than I have.

    Like I said, take your campaign elsewhere.

    No, Bob, we simply a little rain and some 30 mph gusts. No creepy crawlies (no more than usual anyway.)

  144. Yeah, but you got the great "bunk" comment in, so you win, Whit, by my unanimous decision.
    Bunked, indeed!

  145. I'm an asshole. WIO.
    Just ask Slade!

  146. Stole my f..... comment:
    I said:
    That filkens piece is getting bloodier and more dramatic than
    "Gates of Fire"
    Way above this old man's pay grade.

  147. "I shot a Duck!"

    A troop carrier, one of the old Marine jobs, had come for Miller. Bullets were bouncing off it as it rolled up. It was going to head straight for the hospital, as if there were a chance for him. The marines lifted Miller onto a gurney, arms flapping, face flapping.

    The escape was left to Sam. Ashley finally got up and we moved inside the main body of the mosque next to the minaret. Gunfire everywhere, so loud. The insurgents were closing in. One of the marines was holding a rifle covered in blood, and he looked at Ashley and figured, I guess, that he had best not give him a gun right now. He shoved the M-16 into my hands: sticky and warm. When I was in high school, I shot a duck with my friend’s gun, barrel out the window of his parents’ station wagon. The duck swam in circles for a while and then he died.

    Take this, he said. The Marines don’t leave their guns behind either. I didn’t actually hear him say that. It was too loud to hear.

  148. Ok, I'll stop.
    You too, Doug.
    You're killing my muscles:

    Auricularis anterior (2)
    Auricularis posterior (2)
    Auricularis superior (2)
    Buccinator (2)
    Corrugator supercilii (2)
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    Depressor labii inferioris (2)
    Depressor septi nasi (1)
    Frontalis (1)
    Levator anguli oris (2)
    Levator labii superioris (2)
    Levator labii superioris alaeque nasi (2)
    Mentalis (1)
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    Orbicularis oculi (2)
    Orbicularis oris (1)
    Platysma (1)
    Procerus (1)
    Risorius (2)
    Zygomaticus major (2)
    Zygomaticus minor (2)


  149. Straight Talk:

    Lt. Andy Eckert walked in. He hadn’t gone with us.

    “We take full responsibility for what happened out there,” Ashley said to Eckert. I said it, too.

    “Yeah, it was your fault,” he said.

  150. Slade: As far as I know, all but two posters here are voting McCain.

    That's why we call it the "Elephant" Bar.

  151. Where's the analis rectilicus?

  152. The Mad Monk Rasputin The eyes of a Charlie Manson. Rasputin, who enjoyed the girls, and the vodka too, met his end in the icy river that flows through Moscow.

    I wonder what the word 'putin' means, in Russian.

    There's a lot more evidence for life after death than there is contrary wise. In fact, other that a dead body, there's no evidence at all that death is an end; and by definition, the subject under discussion is life after death, or maybe beyond death, as after is a time word. To affirm atheism, or materialism, seems to me you have to overlook mountains of evidence and libraries of philosophy and literature and poetry all going the other way.

    Agnosticism, I can understand.

  153. Where's the analis rectilicus?
    You don't me to show you. :D

  154. It means A Hole al-Bob,

  155. This thread is getting anal.

  156. "The capital was a free-for-all; it was in a state of nature. There was no law anymore, no courts, nothing — there was nothing at all.

    They kidnapped children now; they killed them and dumped them in the street.

    The kidnapping gangs bought and sold people; it was like its own terrible ecosystem. One of the kidnapping gangs could have driven up in a car and beat me and gagged me, and I could have screamed like a crazy person, but I doubt anyone would have done anything. Not even the guards. They weren’t bad people, the guards, but who in Baghdad was going to step in the middle of a kidnapping? The kidnappers had more power than anyone.

  157. "Doug, did you see my post of ago about the torture chamber in one of Sadr's mosques in Baghdad? Just a friendly mosque, torture chamber downstairs and to the left, past the Fellowship Hall."
    almost missed it here too, Bob.
    No, I didn't.
    That's the way I looked at the cold rooms in the basement that I went to Sunday School in.
    Torture Chambers.
    Hard, cold, steel folding chairs on my skinny freezing, sore butt.
    Stern Scotish teacher that spoke Scotch, not English.
    Pure Torture I tell you.
    That concludes my excuse for being a religious ignoramous.

  158. Peterike:

    "Voltimand, bravo!
    Bracing posts, like a fresh wind.
    You are so right about those personalities.
    Most people on the Left are mentally sick, and adolescent through and through. Except for the hard-cores, who are stone cold killers.

    Brings to mind perhaps the finest political one-liner of all time, from the great James Burnham: “The difference between a Liberal and a Communist is that the Communist knows what he’s doing.”

    Now on which side of that fault line do we find Soros and Ayers and BHO? Dem hacks like Pelosi and Kerry are on the other side. "

  159. Poor, poor, francis.

    The rant against me, is water off a duck's back.
    In my case I discount McCain's incarceration and torture, because he does. If it was such a trumoil, as you tell us, francis, it'd be a disqualifier, for the Presidency.

    So, francis, Mavericks' incarceration was either a speed bump in his life, or the definiton of his life and a disqualifier from the life he wishes to lead.

    Which should it be?

  160. Now it seems it not Bayh after all.

    EMPORIA, Va - Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine have been told by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's campaign they will not be his vice presidential choice, NBC News reported on Friday, quoting sources.

    Speculation about Obama's choice has centered on Bayh, Kaine and Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden. Other names in the mix include Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Texas Rep. Chet Edwards.

  161. By the dint of self disqualifiers, Billary is movin' up the VP list.

    Which will move wi"o"'s vote, if we are to believe his previous statements. Which I do.

  162. DR: Which will move wi"o"'s vote, if we are to believe his previous statements. Which I do.

    Nope, I will not vote for the messiah NO MATTER WHO IS VP

    McCain for POTUS 2008

    If Sept is anything like august is I will do the max for McCain $2300....

    We are up 40%, I am better off than I was 4 years ago..

    My net worth? better than the last 20 year...

    My earning ceiling? better than I could have dreamed

    I live in the best home of any in my family (new in the last 2 years)

    I am saving again (dont tell the wife)

    zero debt besides homes

    Helping out the folks....

    Helping out my Local Community

    Helping out my Tribe

    Helping out my Country

    I havent been this strong ever in my life before...

    McCain 2008

    America, our brightest days ahead...

  163. oh, and btw, MANY of my fellow democrats are voting the same as I..........

  164. YIPPEE!
    (they're excused if they don't want to tell)

    Bradley effect, indeed!

    My Worry is what will the Maroon Turnout Be?

    ...and all the weirdos like Rufus and 'Rat, of course.

  165. What sorts of goodies do you export WIO?

  166. Where do most of the exports go?

  167. My Worry is what will the Maroon Turnout Be?


  168. The damned Iranians are coming to America for wheat. I say don't sell it to 'em. Let the 12th imam provide.

  169. Yeah, Simon's title was
    "Hunger Stalks..."
    Left this comment:

    "Let them Eat Hunger Stalks"

  170. But you're praying for Bernie!

    Starving Persians or Burning Butt Bernie.

    You be the judge.

  171. canada...

    but after that?

    brazil, england, italy, japan

  172. I'm not praying for Bernie. I said I would if you would! Or something like that.

    Ah, I remember. I said if I was Bernie, I'd get the hell out of the country.

  173. Bobal: The damned Iranians are coming to America for wheat. I say don't sell it to 'em. Let the 12th imam provide.

    Go ahead and ship it, Ayatollah Ali Khameni seems to have the wherewithal to dial back the Hezbos and put a leash on Ahmedinejad, might as well give them some positive feedback.

  174. Lots of pissed off women are going to write Hillary Clinton's name on the ballot in November, if these comments are any indicator. That means McCain wins.