“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."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Saudi Head Hacker. Allah be Praised.

Speaking of capital punishment. Our good friends the Saudis are not quite as squeamish about these things. The religion of peace demands one not to spare the sword. I doubt there are few to none, who have gone through fifteen years of appeals.

Saudi justice demands the death penalty for many infractions that would go unnoticed in the West. Justice is not universal in application. Is justice possible without the death penalty?


  1. Is justice possible without the death penalty?

    The question begs qualification. I can't access video clips so may be missing something here.

    A linear answer is yes and no. One side of the line, you live. The other side of the line, you die.

    Who draws the line?

    It's time for me to flick it in for tonight.

  2. In case I sleep through the festivities,

    Adios Jose'

  3. sorry linear, you really need to see the video to get this post.

  4. you may be able to get around that problem and go to youtube and download the file.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. In the previous post I stated "kill 'em"

    I would not have a problem executing the slimeballs that raped & murdered the 2 young girls from texas..

    now let's see what is a death penalty crime in the House of Saud?

    I found this:



    You are judged according to the Shâri'a, the holy law; in the holy month of Ramadan a traditional moratorium of executions is observed. Death penalty is comminated for sex crimes, drug crimes, sabotage, corruption, witchcraft, mastication of qat, production/distribution/assumption of alcohol. The execution are often after unfair trials, without any security. The defendants can also have no defender lawyer, and the confessions, even if they are taken with torture, are accepted like valid evidence and could also be the only evidence for the death sentence. Used methods are the beheading with a sharp sword for the men and the firing party for the women; the married women who are coulpable of adultery can also be stoned.
    Executions take place in the main centers of the Kingdom, usually during the friday afternoon prayers, in a square in front of the provincial governor's mansion; a doctor is there to certify the condemned's death. Beheading is particulary violent for the victim and for those who assist: the death caused with this system is often extimated fast and pitiful, sometimes many strokes are necessary to kill the victim, who dies after a very heavy suffering.

  7. A head here, a head there.
    Maybe a couple of hundred all together

    The Communists are still the masters of murder, no doubt of that.

    Rising Prosperity

    According to calculations by the World Bank, environmental pollution leads to the deaths of 750,000 people in China each year. An estimated 700 million Chinese no longer have access to clean drinking water.
    Three-quarters of the country's lakes and half of its ground water are considered contaminated. Sixty major rivers are on the verge of running dry, and the country's rivers are being hopelessly polluted by industry and the growing volume of household refuse that comes with rising prosperity.

    The Yangtze alone, on its path from Tibet to the East China Sea, carries 30 billion tons of sewage. Sixteen Chinese cities are among the top 20 of the world's most polluted. Beijing air contains six times as much particulate pollution as the air in New York. The country relies on coal for 70 percent of its energy requirements. In 2006, China burned 2.4 billion tons, or about 40 percent of global coal production. Its factories and power plans are pitifully inefficient.

    The Beijing leadership itself has calculated that Chinese industry uses seven times as much energy to produce its goods as do comparable factories in Japan. The fact that Beijing recognizes such problems but seems powerless to solve them makes it seem as if China's party and government is no longer in control of the spirits that Deng Xiaoping invoked 30 years ago, in 1978, when the government first issued its edict of personal enrichment.

  8. From the Guardian (dot-co-dot-uk):


    Under discussion now, according to US and Pakistani officials, are plans for the insertion of US-trained Pakistani special forces into the border badlands, backed by US advisers and US air power; the deployment of more sophisticated US-supplied technology and communications equipment; increased intelligence sharing; and greater use, in theoretical consultation with Islamabad, of Predator missile strikes.

    The plans are still under discussion. But Congressional threats to withhold military and other funding if Pakistan demurs, and offers of big economic assistance packages if it plays ball, suggest the Americans will get their way.

    They should be careful what they wish for. By any measure, this is a fraught undertaking. And given the brutal history of an ungoverned region the British signally failed to tame, the Americans may come to rue the day they crossed the Durand Line.

    No "discussion" about it. Crossed that line years ago and been there ever since. Workin' one of the British Empire's many gifts (in the German sense of the word) to mankind.

  9. San Francisco trash nazis.

    I hate San Francisco trash nazis.

    Trash Politics [Jay Nordlinger]

    Was interested in this story on trash in San Francisco. “Garbage collectors would inspect San Francisco residents’ trash to make sure pizza crusts aren’t mixed in with chip bags or wine bottles under a proposal by Mayor Gavin Newsom. And if residents or businesses don’t separate the coffee grounds from the newspapers, they would face fines of up to $1,000 and eventually could have their garbage service stopped.”

    This is the same city, of course, in which people are proposing to name a sewage-treatment plant after President Bush. It’s on the November ballot. (Well, say some people, conservatives specialize in cleaning up the messes of liberals, so why not?)

    Was on a bus yesterday — trip from far Long Island into Manhattan. The lady in charge was collecting people’s trash. A man in front of me was depositing a plastic bottle. She put it in the bag. “You don’t recycle?” he said. She shook her head no. He was up in arms. “That’s illegal, you know.” He kind of harassed her as she made her way up the aisle. The man in front of him said, “Yeah, they don’t recycle. I e-mailed the company to complain. They never answered me. You should e-mail the company, too.” Then the two men kind of bonded, in their indignation.

    Sometimes I wonder whether we conservatives — or simply normal people — go too far in our mockery of the hard-greeners and recyclers. I don’t think we do, actually. This is kind of a sick religion in America. I swear, there are people who care more about recycling than about basic human rights — or about basic human kindness. And they are a bullying, coercive sort. (You perhaps have recycling cops in your office? This is not a problem at NR.)

    Barack Obama told rich people in San Francisco that Middle Americans “cling” to guns and religion (and hate foreigners, to boot). I’ll certainly take the clingers-to-guns-and-religion over the hard-recyclers and the GWB Sewage Plant people. And if John McCain tries a little — just a little — of that kind of (righteous, justified) populism — he’ll do all right.

    08/05 08:47 AM

  10. David Brooks asks, "Where's the landslide?"

    Nervous Kossacks wanna know that, too.

  11. "A linear answer is yes and no. One side of the line, you live. The other side of the line, you die."

    Serial offenders are already dead. The cruel punishment is to keep them alive.

  12. If it exists, it is in the State by State results.

    Those numbers still seem quite stable, and favoring Obama.

    There is still time for the Obama camp to get their Press cohort to focus on Maverick, that should be scheduled near the debates, with all the angst Team Obama may just jump the gun.

  13. Toward a new and improved Chinaman:


    Beijing officials have distributed 4.3 million copies of an etiquette book outlining rules on good manners and foreign customs, including rules about what not to wear. The guide is part of an effort by various departments within China’s government to clean the city up in preparation for the at least 400,000 foreign visitors who are expected to descend on its capital for the Olympic Games, which start Aug. 8.

    Among the no-no’s: more than three color shades in an outfit, white socks with black shoes, and pajamas and slippers in public.

    “No matter what, never wear too many colors…especially during formal occasions,” the book said. “When you wear [formal shoes], be sure to wear socks in good condition…socks should be a dark color — never match black leather shoes with white socks.”

    “Older women should choose shoes with heels that aren’t too high,” it said.

    The book, published by the Beijing Municipal Government’s Capital Ethics Development Office, is part of the department’s effort to make Beijing more “civilized,” officials said.

    Along the same lines, Beijing authorities announced earlier this year that they would step up efforts to fine people who spit in public as much as 50 yuan ($7.33).

    Other guidelines range from the obvious to overly specific. Public displays of affection aren’t acceptable, for example. In a section about escalators and elevators, the book said people should place their hands on escalator railings to avoid falling. It then addresses a pet peeve of many in Beijing: “When entering an elevator…let people walk out before you enter,” it said. It goes on to say riders should look only straight ahead and never stare at other passengers.

    It also warns readers of the “Eight Things Not to Ask” foreigners, including their age, marital status, income or religious and political beliefs.

  14. Delicate China

    With only four days to the start of the Olympics, China is growing nervous about political challenges from within the country
    The deadly attack by Islamist separatists on a police barracks in China's Muslim-majority north west has left the Chinese authorities aghast. Only four days before the start of the Olympics, the daylight bombing of border police, leaving sixteen people dead, seemed to fulfil the warnings given by nervous officials that Uighur separatists would use the Games to attempt a publicity-seeking attack.
    The Uighurs of Xinjiang in the far north west are Turkic-speaking Central Asians who have long complained of religious and political oppression under nearly six decades of Chinese Communist rule. Numbering around eight million, they have recently been the target of infiltration and agitation by al-Qaeda and extremist groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir. Chinese authorities claim to have foiled a series of plots, although a militant group has claimed responsibility for explosions in four cities, including two bus bombings.

    They must be the freedom fighters that Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY 8th) was speaking of, when describing some of the Gitmo prisoners.

  15. Trish Tue Aug 05, 09:57:00 AM EDT, care to work that a bit for a post?

  16. I did, however, post at Westhawk on the subject. And I stand by that.

  17. off topic, about the recent fatah from gaza escaping into israel to flee from hamas...

    .. arrested by his enemy
    Ethan Bronner contributes an analysis of the rescue of the Hilles clan by Israel. He gives one explanation why Abbas didn't want to receive the Hilles clan.
    In truth, the relationship between the Fatah leadership in the West Bank and the Hilles clan was poor. President Mahmoud Abbas, the head of Fatah, who is allied with other former Fatah leaders in Gaza, was angry that the Hilles clan stood on the sideline when street fighting broke out between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza in June 2007. Some Hilles members are with Hamas. And generally the clan cares about itself more than about either party. Send them back, Mr. Abbas told the Israelis.
    The results of this incident?
    So for now, the Hilles clan has been neutralized, Hamas has increased its power, Fatah leaders are seen as two-timing and indecisive, and Israel helped save the lives of some of its enemies. The streets of Gaza were deserted Monday night as Hamas police officers raided apartment buildings where Fatah loyalists lived.
    So it does appear that Abbas's claim about wanting more of a Fatah presence in Gaza had some truth. Still it's hard to say that he comes of as looking good.

    Finally Bronner concludes with two interpretations of the episode:
    Israel felt it was not getting the credit it deserved. As Avi Benayahu, an army spokesman, said on Army Radio, "There is no other army in the world that would take such a humanitarian approach to help Palestinians, some armed, being chased and fired at by Hamas." He added that "Israel has not received any praises for its actions. Yet this is the kind of army we have."
    Sufian Abu Zaida, a Fatah lawmaker, told Army Radio he had a slightly different interpretation of what the Hilles drama meant from a Palestinian perspective.

    "When a person is faced with the choice of being killed by his own people or arrested by his enemy, he will prefer to be arrested by his enemy," he said. "And this gives you a pretty good picture of how bad and cruel the situation is in Gaza."

    ("[B]ad and cruel," do you think that Gershom Gorenberg stays up at night ravaged by his conscience? More on the Israeli army's view here.)

    Khaled abu Toameh (h/t Elder of Ziyon, Daled Amos) writes that it wasn't simply a rejection of the Hilles clan that led Abbas to hesitate before allowing them in, it was a general prejudice against Palestinians from Gaza.

    Past experience has shown that the Palestinians in the West Bank have never been enthusiastic about the presence of their brethren from the Gaza Strip among them.
    Shortly after the establishment of the PA in 1994, former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat deployed dozens of policemen from the Gaza Strip in a number of West Bank cities. This resulted in an "intifada" by the residents of these cities, many of whom openly rejected the presence of the Gazans in their communities. In many cases, West Bank families refused to rent out apartments to the "undesirables" from the Gaza Strip.

    The experience was repeated in June 2007 when hundreds of Fatah members fled the Gaza Strip following Hamas's violent takeover of the area. Most of those who arrived in Ramallah are still finding it impossible to rent apartments in the city.

    The reporting on this incident has, of course, used the word "clan." There's a story behind it.

    Back in 1997, IMRA republished an article by Graham Usher, Arafat revives tribal power. After describing the lethal results of a clash between two clans in Gaza, Usher wrote:
    "Since the PA was installed in 1994, Arafat has based his rule on two crucial constituencies. One was his Fatah movement, many of whose cadres were absorbed into the PA's burgeoning and often lawless security forces. But the other was Arafat's deliberate reempowerment of Palestine's traditional or tribal families, like the Abu Samhadanahs or, for that matter, the Al-Dhairs. In Rafah, the two constituencies have become one, with tribal and political loyalties so interwoven as to be inseparable.
    "For Palestinian analysts like the sociologist, Isah Jad, the PA's "revival of tribal structures" is not only inimicable to Palestinian hopes for a law based and democratic society. It is corrosive of the modern national consciousness Palestinians have forged out of their conflict with Israel. For 30 years, says Jad, "the national movement conducted a long struggle to weaken loyalty to the family and the tribe and strengthen the concept of nationalism and loyalty to the homeland. Any rebuilding of tribal structures will reinstate the family and the tribe as the individual's first loyalty."

    Arafat's revival of the clans was done to ensure his hold on power, even at the expense of national aspirations. The events over this past weekend show how corrosive Arafat's effort has been. My guess is that identification with clans also is behind the disdain shown towards Gaza's Palestinians by their brethren in the West Bank.

  18. Liberal Larry Chomstein weighs in:

    "We could save all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires and -- and -- and getting regular tune-ups, you can actually save just as much." - President Barack Obama

    Less than ten minutes after President Obama issued his holy fatwa about filling our tires with air to bring down gas prices, I was already down at the local Jiffy Lube demanding to speak to the fascist in charge.

    "I want answers," I demanded, furiously pounding my fist on the counter, "and I want them NOW!"

    I keep telling you," the neo-con chickenhawk manager persisted. "They're those round rubber things on the bottom of your car!"

    "And you fill them up with AIR?" I pressed him further.

    "For the last time," he sighed, "YES."

    This wasn't good. Despite his godlike intelligence, President Obama obviously didn't think this thing through. Every ounce of air we put into our tires is one less ounce that humans - and more importantly, animals - have for breathing. It's air stolen directly from the lungs of Mother Earth and replaced with deadly exhaust fumes. It's a terrible crime against nature that has been going on right under our very noses for years. Apparently, the Jiffy Lube has been surreptitiously - and without my consent - filling my tires with AIR every time I take the Prius in for a tune-up.

    Well, I told Jiffy Jim in no uncertain terms to release the air imprisoned within my so-called "tires" hereto and forthwith.

    "But sir," he complained, intentionally neglecting to employ a gender-neutral pronoun, "if I deflate your tires, you won't be able to drive your car out of here."

    This is why uneducated conservatives will never be able to compete against enlightened progressives in a game of wits. He really thought he had me stumped, but I was one step ahead of him.

    "So fill then back up again," I instructed him, "with greenhouse gases!"

    It was brilliant! By freeing the air stashed within my tires and replacing it with the greenhouse gases that were destroying the plant, I could essentially kill two of Bush's nasty little birds with one stone.

    The manager, of course, couldn't grasp such a complex idea with his tiny, reptilian brain. He gave me that same look I get from rethugs whenever I bring up the Downing Street Memos during a conversation about potato salad. But all cons are motivated by greed, so after I offered to pay him $100 to replace the air in my tires with greenhouse gases, he finally agreed to the task. He even requested that I send my progressive friends and co-workers over to have the service done on their vehicles.

    The down side is that you have to leave your car there overnight. It's worth it, though, to save the planet. I picked up my Prius this afternoon - and although it's a deep red color, it's the greenest car on the road.


  19. In a civil case, justice Goes Awry in Idaho There's got to be something more to this than reported here, to send the guy to jail.

    I don't have much problem with the death penalty, but you got to be careful about it. It's been unequally applied in the past. And it's got to be reserved for the heinous stuff. I remember a case of some society lady whose high income husband doctor cheated on her. Nice lady, lost her cool, shot the husband, or the adulteress, or both, can't remember. Only thing she ever did in her life. That's one thing. Ted Bundy is another.
    Sounds like Joeseph would be thrown in the well in China, too.

  20. Here's some guys deserve 'whacking'--

    FBI: 'Junior' Gotti Arrested In Connection With Mob Hits
    By Jonathan Dienst

    NEW YORK -- John "Junior" Gotti, who has renounced the mafia life of his famous late father, was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with three past mob-related hits, News 4 New York first reported this morning on

    FBI agents nabbed Gotti, once head of the Gambino crime family, at his Oyster Bay, Long Island home and whisked him to Manhattan federal court for a hearing on murder conspiracy charges, law enforcement sources said.

    Gotti faces a life sentence if convicted, prosecutors said.

    In addition to Gotti, five other men were named in the two indictments returned by a federal grand jury in Tampa, Florida.

  21. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows the race for the White House is tied once again-- Barack Obama and John McCain each attract 44% of the vote. However, when "leaners" are included, it’s McCain 47% and Obama 46%.

  22. Paranoid? Chill out with--

    Tue 08.05 >>
    Private investigator specializing in electronic counter-measures, Roger Tolces will discuss how surveillance and harassment has shifted from hardware to bio-coded directed energy. Coast to Coast

    Technical Surveillance Counter Measures

    for your home or office

  23. Well it's damned grisly work, thankfully, praise allah, we have the abu badrs of the world, passing the old knowledge down, father to son. Somebody's got to do it. A true craft, a guild, an honorable profession.

  24. bobal said...
    Well it's damned grisly work, thankfully, praise allah, we have the abu badrs of the world, passing the old knowledge down, father to son. Somebody's got to do it. A true craft, a guild, an honorable profession.

    I wonder? Does he do hands too?

  25. My uninformed quess would be 'yes', wio, but, on the other hand, that might be sort of an entry level job, an apprenticeship.

    Seems to me, a guillotine would be lot cleaner and cheaper.

  26. ATV/Zogby Poll Toss-Up! McCain 42%, Obama 41% as Undecided Voters Increase

    Obama Loses Support

  27. Yahoo is splashing this:
    Obama is ahead of his Republican rival 47 percent to 41 percent, The Associated Press-Ipsos poll showed. The survey was taken after the Democratic senator from Illinois had returned from a trip to Middle Eastern and European capitals, and during a week that saw the two camps clash over which had brought race into a campaign in which Obama is striving to become the first African-American president.

  28. This does not sound good:
    No verdict after second day of Guantanamo deliberations
    By Carol Rosenberg | Miami Herald

    GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — A military jury deliberated a second day without a verdict Tuesday in the case of Osama bin Laden's driver, Salim Hamdan, accused of 10 counts of conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism.

    The jury of six officers got the case Monday after extensive closing arguments. They deliberated a total of six and half hours across both days before retiring for the night at this remote U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.

  29. C'mon, whit.
    If six military officers were to find Hamdan not guilty, what would be "not good" about that?

    Justice at work, let freedom ring.

    If, on the other hand he's found guilty, better they take their time, than rush to judgement.

  30. While the Pentagon spokesman makes the case that the trial is a farce, regardless.

    Gitmo detainees subject to detention even if acquitted: Pentagon
    4 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AFP) — Some detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba will likely never be released because of the danger they pose, and those tried and acquitted will still be subject to continued detention as enemy combatants, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.

    Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, made the remarks as Salim Hamdan, a Yemeni, awaited a verdict in the first war crimes trial to be held under a special regime created for "war on terror" suspects.

    Morrell said Hamdan, a former driver of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, could appeal the verdict in US courts.

    "But in the near term, at least, we would consider him an enemy combatant and still a danger and would likely still be detained for some period of time thereafter," he said.

    Morrell said there were plans for at least 20 more such trials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba but he said a significant portion of the detainees being held there would neither be tried nor released.

    He said efforts were being made to reduce the size of the population through transfers of prisoners to their home countries for incarceration or release.

    "But I think, you know, there are still a significant population within Guantanamo who will likely never be released because of the threat they pose to the world, for that matter," he said.

    Good thing Doc Hatfill didn't have to meet those standards of innocent behaviour, but then that may be why he was given $5.2 million.

  31. I'll bet 10 ameros those officers find him guilty. They're just having a drink, and deciding whether to let him off on one of the charges to make it look super fair. I say, turn him over to a head hacker.

  32. How does the Officer's Club, on that Navy base, stack up, I wonder?

    Beach access or pool side?

  33. Betcha the transient officer quarters are pretty nice, too

  34. The traffic has been exorcised, the jams vanished, they have even arranged for the smog to clear and the sun to appear in crystal blue skies, a celestial manifestation that has been greeted by the locals by the mass unfurling of umbrellas.

    What's more, none of this appears to be the product of coercion. There is an astonishing willingness in the freshened-up air. In the giant bird's nest stadium on Saturday evening, there was a rehearsal for the opening ceremony.

    Thousands of affluent-looking, middle-class Beijingers entered its vast steel interior, snapping each other on their digital cameras, smilingly excited just to be there.

    There was not the remotest sense of duress or duty, they were behaving much as anyone would do in New York or Paris or Madrid, keen to witness the greatest show on earth on their doorstep, even if this was just a rehearsal for the main event.

    True, they were greeted by signs outside the stadium explaining the illegality of any overt demonstration in favour of various rights, whether human or animal. But even these warnings were to be found below the stern admonitions about not flourishing any commercial logo other than those of the sponsors.

    It seems that walking into these Coke-backed Olympics drinking a Pepsi is regarded as equally deviant as yelling for a free Tibet.

    And it is in that sign that the real truth of the Olympics lies: this is about commerce, not nationalism. Four years ago, in Athens, largely through the manner in which shambles lurked round every corner, a flavour of the Greek character remained in evidence. Here, there is nothing Chinese detectable anywhere.

    The place has been transformed from the capital of the world's most populous country into the epicentre of Olympic World, another planet entirely.

    Until you come here and experience this monolith in action, you have no idea how all-consuming the Olympic Games are. They cast a shadow so long it blanks out all available light. For those of us visiting from Britain, this comes with a tinge of alarm. It is, after all, our turn next.

    And you wonder as you pass the cordoned- off streets, as you notice that the only adverts anywhere in town are for the official five ring sponsors, as you thank the lavatory attendant for handing you a crisp new towel, how are we going to cope in four years' time.

    There is still five days to go and already Beijing has set the bar so high, London will get a crick in the neck just looking at it.
    You have been warned.

  35. Watch the Zogby poll, he called the 1996 election pretty close to what it was, when all the other polls predicted a big blowout.

    “In a year when almost every poll overestimated President Clinton’s 8 percentage point margin of victory, one pollster was on the money. John Zogby, a newcomer to presidential polling, projected Clinton would win 49 percent of the vote to Bob Dole’s 41 percent, Ross Perot’s 8 percent, and 2 percent for others. Those were the exact outcomes of Tuesday’s vote.” Jim Norman, USA Today.

  36. ... records show that one-third of his record-breaking haul has come from donations of $1,000 or more: a total of $112 million, more than Senator John McCain, Mr. Obama’s Republican rival, or Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, his opponent in the Democratic primaries, raised in contributions of that size.

    Behind those larger donations is a phalanx of more than 500 Obama “bundlers,” fund-raisers who have each collected contributions totaling $50,000 or more. Many of the bundlers come from industries with critical interests in Washington. Nearly three dozen of the bundlers have raised more than $500,000 each, including more than a half-dozen who have passed the $1 million mark and one or two who have exceeded $2 million, according to interviews with fund-raisers.

    While his campaign has cited its volume of small donations as a rationale for his decision to opt out of public financing for the general election, Mr. Obama has worked to build a network of big-dollar supporters from the time he began contemplating a run for the United States Senate. He tapped into well-connected people in Chicago prior to the 2004 Senate race, and once elected, set out across the country starting to cultivate some of his party’s most influential money collectors.

    He courted them with the savvy of a veteran politician, through phone calls, meals and one-on-one meetings; he wrote thank-you cards and remembered birthdays; he sent them autographed copies of his book and doted on their children.

    The fruits of his efforts have put Mr. Obama’s major donors on a pace that almost rivals the $147 million raised by President Bush’s network of Pioneers and Rangers in contributions of $1,000 or larger during the 2004 primary season.

  37. An analysis of campaign finance records shows that about two-thirds of his bundlers are concentrated in four major industries: law, securities and investments, real estate and entertainment. Lawyers make up the largest group, numbering roughly 130, with many of them working for firms that also have lobbying arms. At least 100 Obama bundlers are top executives or brokers from investment businesses: nearly two dozen work for financial titans like Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs or Citigroup. About 40 others come from the real estate industry.

    The biggest fund-raisers include people like Julius Genachowski, a former senior official at the Federal Communications Commission and a technology executive who is new to political fund-raising; Robert Wolf, president and chief operating officer of UBS Investment Bank; James A. Torrey, a New York hedge-fund investor; and Charles H. Rivkin, chief executive of an animation studio in Los Angeles.

    “It’s fairly clear that this is being packaged as an extraordinary new kind of fund-raising, and the Internet is a new and powerful part of it,” said Michael J. Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute. “But it’s also clear that many of the old donors are still there and important.”

    The care and feeding that top Obama fund-raisers have received underscores their significance to his campaign. Members of his National Finance Committee who fulfill their commitment to raise at least $250,000 are being rewarded with trips to the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

  38. They Never Caught A Fish That Didn't Open It's Mouth

    Good video from my daughter about NOT EVER talking to the cops.

  39. Medellin execution on hold while Supreme Court considers case

    Houston Chronicle

    The scheduled execution of Jose Medellin, a Mexican citizen who raped and murdered two Houston teenagers is on hold while the U.S. Supreme Court considers an appeal. The death warrant remains in effect until midnight.


    Jose Medellin is in a holding cell near execution chamber.

    The warrant for his death expires at midnight tonight. If the high court rejects the request for the stay before then, he will be executed. If not, a judge will reset an execution date, but must wait at least 30 days.


    I might have known...I doubt if this supreme court will make a decision by midnight.

  40. Jose is a goner now, linear, so the radio says.

  41. Medellin executed for rape, murder of Houston teens

    By ALLAN TURNER and ROSANNA RUIZ Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

    Aug. 5, 2008, 10:30PM

    HUNTSVILLE -- The state of Texas defied an international court tonight and executed Jose Medellin for raping and murdering two Houston teenage girls 15 years ago.

    About a half-hour earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court had rejected a last-minute appeal to stay the execution, originally scheduled for 6 p.m. Medellin, 33, was pronounced dead at 9:57 p.m., nine minutes after the lethal dose was administered.

  42. And the Supreme Court led by John Roberts.

    I'm surprised he got a decision that fast, but glad for it.

  43. When the English say here hear, are they saying here here or hear hear? Anyways here's to Roberts, hear here.

  44. I've passed that same advice on to my kids, Bob. Is there any chance you could do a thumbnail summary of the 7 (I think 7) points in the video? I can't access it on dialup.

    Incidentally, the advice worked to some extent this spring for my son. He was arrested and spent the night in jail in Yosemite Valley on a 100% bogus charge of drunken walking. He pleaded not guilty, and ultimately the Federal prosecutor filed for dismissal, after about two months of gut wrenching. He's an employee in the park, and has had cerebral palsy since he was an infant. Concessionaire employees are targets for over zealous rookie rangers.

    Normally, I'd not mention it here, but they deserve to be called out for their fascist tactics.

  45. I'll try to get that for you by tomorrow, linear. I'll watch it again. Take a note or two.

    It's my experience the cops are worse, the bigger the city. Where I've been most my life here in northern Idaho they're mostly ok.

    Once we had a county deputy shoot the Fish and Game deer decoy in the middle of the night, from a patrol car. He got nailed by the game warden:)

    When I was a kid we had the chief of police go crazy in McCall, Idaho, driving around saying 'the flatlanders are coming, the flatlanders are coming'--meaning people from Boise. He shot somebody and was gunned down by his own deputies.

    We're got that Mark Furman up here now, from the OJ trial. OJ was guilty, Furman was a liar, that van Hatter or whatever his name was, was a liar. Everybody lied all the way around, was the impression I got. And the judge was a dodo.

    Just keep your nose clean, is the best advice.

  46. On this subject, my lawyer, who is very good, and was District Judge for awhile, told me something I did not know. He said he tells his criminal defendants just to answer his questions, not spill their guts to him, he doesn't want to know if they are guilty or not. A lawyer is an officer of the court. Supposedly has a duty to the court. I had thought your conversations with your lawyer were strictly private, but that may not be the case, in principle. I'm not sure what this means. I think along the lines of not introducing evidence he knows to be false, etc. Anyway,this surprised me. He said too, though, lawyers often fudge it, not revealing to the court stuff they might know. But, that was news to me. Things are more complex than they seem.

  47. Thanks, Bob.

    I've always told my son to respect the rangers in the park and realize the difficult job they have. Now, after a few years, I'm realizing there's a new attitude up there. I personally think it starts at the top.

    I've passed through McCall. Nice place. A favorite story from there is from a smokejumper friend. They used one of those funny looking transports, all white, with the square highlift wings. Their flight path on takeoffs took them over a white supremacist camp. Some guys on the crew taped big blue Star of David insignia under the wings so the rednecks on the ground could see the Jews were watching them. Nobody got shot.

  48. :)

    Yeah, McCall is a smokejumping takeoff point.

    Nowadays, it's kind of a myth about the neonazis around here. Most of them were from California or elsewhere in the first place. That Richard Butler, whose group we ran out of Coeur d Alene, was from California. He died a while back. We've gotten something of an undeserved bad rap, I maintain.

    The real trouble here now is, too many people coming in, of all kinds.

  49. Don't speed in Yosemite. It's hard not to, with such distances to travel and a mostly 35 mph limit, except the valley where it's 25. I'd already been ticketed once, 45 in a 35 zone in the middle of nowhere, nailed me coming around a curve in a microsecond. Then on an evening trip to pick up my son, I was stopped just shy of his place. Ranger said I'd been speeding. I was honestly flabbergasted. That trip I'd been extra careful all the way in. Something struck me as funny, and I started to laugh. "You gotta be kidding me...where was it?" etc. I kept laughing at the situation. He asked for the usual license and registration stuff. I pulled out the registration and insurance papers, and fumbled for my license, all the while laughing more and more. Then he shined the light in my eyes, and said, "This is a Discover Card? Do you have a license?" About that time I had tears in my eyes from laughing. I got off with a warning, against all odds.

  50. I'm knockin' off before I get 86'ed.

    Goodnight, Bob.

  51. Goodnight to you, too. Watch out for them Lemurians.

  52. I wonder if texas and Alabama can outsource death row inmates to Saudi Arabia.... sure would streamline the process