“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."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Our Rulers and Masters - It is Now Policy


  1. Here's to your husband, Trish, even if he is just a lowly, puke General. At least he's not a Piece of Trash, slimey Civilian (or, even worse, dogface.)


    Marine Corps Hymn

    Nov 10, 1775

    Tun Tavern

    That's right, Assholes; We were here before you were.

    Make a Hole, Maggots, A Marine wants to get to the bar.

  2. Hey, even we Aaaarmy types get all choked up when they play the Marine Corps Hymn. I damn near bawled at the, er, Marine Corps Ball. But imminent separation leaves me, without particular favor to service, extra sentimental about such things (when I'm not, you know, busy making voodoo dolls). (Bill.)

  3. NYT:

    November 10, 2008
    Secret Order Lets U.S. Raid Al Qaeda in Many Countries

    WASHINGTON — The United States military since 2004 has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere, according to senior American officials.

    These military raids, typically carried out by Special Operations forces, were authorized by a classified order that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed in the spring of 2004 with the approval of President Bush, the officials said. The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States.

    In 2006, for example, a Navy Seal team raided a suspected militants’ compound in the Bajaur region of Pakistan, according to a former top official of the Central Intelligence Agency. Officials watched the entire mission — captured by the video camera of a remotely piloted Predator aircraft — in real time in the C.I.A.’s Counterterrorist Center at the agency’s headquarters in Virginia 7,000 miles away.

    Some of the military missions have been conducted in close coordination with the C.I.A., according to senior American officials, who said that in others, like the Special Operations raid in Syria on Oct. 26 of this year, the military commandos acted in support of C.I.A.-directed operations.

    But as many as a dozen additional operations have been canceled in the past four years, often to the dismay of military commanders, senior military officials said. They said senior administration officials had decided in these cases that the missions were too risky, were too diplomatically explosive or relied on insufficient evidence.

    More than a half-dozen officials, including current and former military and intelligence officials as well as senior Bush administration policy makers, described details of the 2004 military order on the condition of anonymity because of its politically delicate nature. Spokesmen for the White House, the Defense Department and the military declined to comment.

    Apart from the 2006 raid into Pakistan, the American officials refused to describe in detail what they said had been nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks, except to say they had been carried out in Syria, Pakistan and other countries. They made clear that there had been no raids into Iran using that authority, but they suggested that American forces had carried out reconnaissance missions in Iran using other classified directives.

    According to a senior administration official, the new authority was spelled out in a classified document called “Al Qaeda Network Exord,” or execute order, that streamlined the approval process for the military to act outside officially declared war zones. Where in the past the Pentagon needed to get approval for missions on a case-by-case basis, which could take days when there were only hours to act, the new order specified a way for Pentagon planners to get the green light for a mission far more quickly, the official said.

    It also allowed senior officials to think through how the United States would respond if a mission went badly. “If that helicopter goes down in Syria en route to a target,” a former senior military official said, “the American response would not have to be worked out on the fly.”

    The 2004 order was a step in the evolution of how the American government sought to kill or capture Qaeda terrorists around the world. It was issued after the Bush administration had already granted America’s intelligence agencies sweeping power to secretly detain and interrogate terrorism suspects in overseas prisons and to conduct warrantless eavesdropping on telephone and electronic communications.

    Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Bush issued a classified order authorizing the C.I.A. to kill or capture Qaeda militants around the globe. By 2003, American intelligence agencies and the military had developed a much deeper understanding of Al Qaeda’s extensive global network, and Mr. Rumsfeld pressed hard to unleash the military’s vast firepower against militants outside the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The 2004 order identifies 15 to 20 countries, including Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and several other Persian Gulf states, where Qaeda militants were believed to be operating or to have sought sanctuary, a senior administration official said.

    Even with the order, each specific mission requires high-level government approval. Targets in Somalia, for instance, need at least the approval of the defense secretary, the administration official said, while targets in a handful of countries, including Pakistan and Syria, require presidential approval.

    The Pentagon has exercised its authority frequently, dispatching commandos to countries including Pakistan and Somalia. Details of a few of these strikes have previously been reported.

    For example, shortly after Ethiopian troops crossed into Somalia in late 2006 to dislodge an Islamist regime in Mogadishu, the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command quietly sent operatives and AC-130 gunships to an airstrip near the Ethiopian town of Dire Dawa. From there, members of a classified unit called Task Force 88 crossed repeatedly into Somalia to hunt senior members of a Qaeda cell believed to be responsible for the 1998 American Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

    At the time, American officials said Special Operations troops were operating under a classified directive authorizing the military to kill or capture Qaeda operatives if failure to act quickly would mean the United States had lost a “fleeting opportunity” to neutralize the enemy.

    Occasionally, the officials said, Special Operations troops would land in Somalia to assess the strikes’ results. On Jan. 7, 2007, an AC-130 struck an isolated fishing village near the Kenyan border, and within hours, American commandos and Ethiopian troops were examining the rubble to determine whether any Qaeda operatives had been killed.

    But even with the new authority, proposed Pentagon missions were sometimes scrubbed because of bad intelligence or bureaucratic entanglements, senior administration officials said.

    The details of one of those aborted operations, in early 2005, were reported by The New York Times last June. In that case, an operation to send a team of the Navy Seals and the Army Rangers into Pakistan to capture Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy, was aborted at the last minute.

    Mr. Zawahri was believed by intelligence officials to be attending a meeting in Bajaur, in Pakistan’s tribal areas, and the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command hastily put together a plan to capture him. There were strong disagreements inside the Pentagon and the C.I.A. about the quality of the intelligence, however, and some in the military expressed concern that the mission was unnecessarily risky.

    Porter J. Goss, the C.I.A. director at the time, urged the military to carry out the mission, and some in the C.I.A. even wanted to execute it without informing Ryan C. Crocker, then the American ambassador to Pakistan. Mr. Rumsfeld ultimately refused to authorize the mission.

    Former military and intelligence officials said that Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who recently completed his tour as head of the Joint Special Operations Command, had pressed for years to win approval for commando missions into Pakistan. But the missions were frequently rejected because officials in Washington determined that the risks to American troops and the alliance with Pakistan were too great.

    Capt. John Kirby, a spokesman for General McChrystal, who is now director of the military’s Joint Staff, declined to comment.

    The recent raid into Syria was not the first time that Special Operations forces had operated in that country, according to a senior military official and an outside adviser to the Pentagon.


    I smell...legacy repair.

    To be fair, would-be operations are also nixed in the field. When a Seal Team Leader asks, "What're the odds you're right? And what if you're not?" you think reeaal hard about the consequences.

  4. I'm sure she didn't mean to say "rule," dear host. A spokesman will be along to clear that up.

  5. (Just kidding! This is not Bill's fault. Which is why my voodoo doll is general purpose.)

  6. Too bad it is being reported now.

  7. The need to know that is miniscule next to the need to have it done. The telling will end it.

  8. in response to: I'm sure she didn't mean to say "rule," dear host. A spokesman will be along to clear that up.

    Mon Nov 10, 11:46:00 AM EST

  9. It was always a double0edged sword.

    Damned if you did, damned if you didn't. They didn't and I sympathize.

  10. No, the telling won't end it. They figure they're now in a comfort zone WRT what's mentioned. Like I said, coming out into the open on Syria was a big development.

  11. Remember the dreary years of, "Why aren't we doing anything (here or there)?" The admin paid a very heavy price among its own supporters for letting that stand. Now in its waning days its doing the limited, anon release.

  12. Secrecy, when it was not really required, lost the War.

    Not on the ground, but at home, where it really counts.
    It has ended badly for the Administration of Team43, and they have no one to blame, but themselves.

    The bad guys knew we'd been there, the General President knew we'd been there, the only folk in the dark, were here at home.
    And they, at least 52% of them, lost faith in the Team USA's ability to get it done.

    That is the greatest loss that was caused by the unneeded secrecy with regards the political will of the Administration.

  13. But, if these few raids were the extent of the operations, then it was not enough, regardless.

  14. "Secrecy, when it was not really required, lost the War."

    When it was not really required? There was more intimately at stake than political relations with Islamabad. And for the most part, admin officials recognized and honored that.

    Again, there's just no good "solution" to this particular dilemma.

  15. I've kept checking back at this grunts blog figuring he'd post again even though he got fed up and said "finito". He's made a rather lengthy post which is well worth reading but here is a brief summary:

    "Two separate events have compelled me to write a short dissertation on the current state of affairs here in Iraq: a briefing I received and a message. As my second tour in Iraq draws to a close I feel it necessary to let the American public know what's going on. History will have to judge whether my opinions and subsequent conclusions are correct or not, however after two plus years spent in this country I believe I have earned the right to an opinion, and an educated one at that. For the record I spent a year in Iraq from 9/05 to 9/06 as a driver and gunner and from 9/07 to the present I've served as a fire team leader. My entire four years in the army have been spent in the infantry; boots on the ground in the most basic sense.

    During a redeployment briefing about two weeks ago we were informed it would be a good idea to develop a "thirty second answer" for the purpose of dealing with questions coming from civilians such as "what's it like over there?" and "what's going on in Iraq?" I wish it was that easy..."


    "Taking all of this into account here is my thirty second answer for the current state of Iraq:

    “Currently held together by groups of armed thugs and private militias masquerading as neighborhood watch groups, many of them infiltrated by insurgents, Iraq has the potential to explode into violence once again because of corruption and self interest, a lack of nationalism and the incompatibility of Islamic teachings with Western style government.”"

  16. Again, there's just no good "solution" to this particular dilemma.

    It's not a dilemma, it's a Kabuki theater production. It's all really a fraud. A corrupt sideshow designed to steal billions and trillions of dollars from US taxpayers.

  17. take power and begin to RULE day one....

    spoken like a nice overlord............

  18. “Currently held together by groups of armed thugs and private militias masquerading as neighborhood watch groups, many of them infiltrated by insurgents, Iraq has the potential to explode into violence once again because of corruption and self interest, a lack of nationalism and the incompatibility of Islamic teachings with Western style government.”

    translation: clusterfuck

  19. There's a picture of Mr and Mrs Bush and Mr and Mrs Obama on Drudge Here They are a nice looking couple, the Obamas.

    But I don't like the guy. I can't get that image of him giving the smooth finger to Hillary and to McCain out of my mind.

    That's not the way to do, giving the finger. I'm old fashioned, I quess.


    the incompatibility of Islamic teachings with Western style government

    There's the problem, all right.

    You don't have that problem in Israel.

  20. "2. Corruption: It's well known in my unit that our commanders will tolerate the corruption that in some cases can cripple our efforts, justifying it with the idea that if we remove certain people from their positions we will destroy whatever pillar of their community they hold up. It's also well known that one of our CLC leaders extorts local businesses, imposes fees on local oil truckers and other miscellaneous people to include his own men; he operates more like a Mafioso than a contributing member to Iraqi society. We recently were told how much money this man makes a month between how much we pay him as a CLC leader and his extortions: it exceeds my monthly paycheck five times over in American dollars."

  21. Nation building is a fool's errand.

  22. But just what are you going to do about it Ash?

    Meanwhile Anti-Prop 8 Folks Nearly Riot In California

    In Conneticut, the court there used some language that was so broad, about "any two human beings" or "any two people" whatever it was, that I could marry my daughter.

    But the people in all the states, even California, by a small margin, thought that well really, let's not hit on gays, but, marriage is, well, you know, still marriage.

  23. You can probably restore a nation, like we did in Germany, but building one where none ever existed, can only be done with brutal repression. It would have to be worthy of the cost, and the payers would have to agree to the immensity of the task.

  24. Nation building is a fool's errand.

    But it wasn't a fool's errand in Japan and Germany.

    Islam is another thing, I admit, but nation building is not always a fool's errand.

    We beat them, and then we brought them back up.

    To the point where they make better cars than we do.

  25. 7.01.2008


    After three and a half years of updating this blog I simply don't know how to put my thoughts into words anymore. While on leave I learned that over the course of two deployments my ability for self expression has been shattered; apparently it applies to my writing as well.

    Years ago I said I'd write a book or two about my experiences… consider it on the back burner for the foreseeable future. Simply put, I'm tired of writing (correction: trying to write and failing) with the knowledge that people won't understand. Writing is no longer cathartic for me; the emotional rollercoaster of two deployments as a grunt has done nothing but put me in a position where I can barely control my anger and blind rage anymore. Attempting to write does nothing but further those problems.

    Been there.

    I recommend taking a baseball bat to Ashley's head whenever the opportunity presents itself. Simple and effective.

  26. Well, what the hell do we do now?

    I'm not sure.

  27. I wish God would intervene:)

  28. Well, what the hell do we do now?

    Take EVERYTHING you have in Iraq and give it to the Kurds.

  29. Niall Ferguson in his book Colossus notes there is a typical pattern to US interventions dating at least back to the Philippines in 1899:

    1. impressive initial military success

    2. a flawed assessment of indigenous sentiment

    3. a strategy of limited war and gradual escalation

    4. domestic disillusionment in the face of protracted and nasty conflict

    5. premature democratization

    6. the ascendancy of domestic economic considerations

    7. ultimate withdrawal

  30. He at least wouldn't piss and moan about my wife voting in Ohio, or my property tax rates here.

    That's God for ya.

  31. Niall may be a smart ass writer in your world, Ash, but the fact remains, almost all places where the US Army has gone are better off for it.

    Take a real look at Doug's satellite night map of North and South Korea, for example.

    Or Japan at night.

    Remember Germany, and all those eastern European countries that finally got out from under the Soviet boot, with a little help from us.

    You live in a world all by yourself, Ash.

    It's not the real world.

  32. re: Germany and Japan Bobal, in an interview Niall had with the atlantic

    "The Atlantic:

    I was especially interested in the second phase, the "flawed assessment of indigenous sentiment." In your book, you point out that a third of Americans thought the Contras were fighting in Norway, and you discuss the lack of Arabic speakers in the CIA. And, of course, the invasion of Iraq was pushed by a President who had only been out of the country three times before taking office.

    Niall Ferguson:

    It's obviously a phenomenon that isn't peculiar to George W. Bush. A very large proportion of Americans don't have passports. But even more striking to me is the fact that the kind of people you might expect to be well-equipped to engage in what we rather euphemistically call nation-building—that's to say, the graduates of the elite universities—disproportionately avoid overseas engagements. The ambitions of the educational elite in this country are quite domestically focused. They really would rather be running a Wall Street law firm than governing Baghdad. And I think that's a fundamental social-cultural reason why the United States is bad at empire.

    Right now in Iraq, the reliance on the military is almost complete. The British operation a hundred years ago was much more evenly divided between military and civilian administration. And indeed the civilians predominated. There aren't that many Jerry Bremers. This country doesn't produce people like him in large numbers. And you need to have hundreds of them to make a success of something like this. What's interesting is that in 1945 through to the early 1950s, when Germany and Japan were the targets of American quasi-imperial nation-building, the talent was there. And the reason the talent was there was the draft. By 1945, the American armed services were full of all kinds of diverse talents because of the sheer scale of World War Two. That meant you could turn to the army in Germany in 1945 and find economists and lawyers and people who had an understanding of business. In today's volunteer professional army you don't have those skills at all. You have people who are tremendously good at being soldiers and Marines. But they're not really trained to do the sorts of thing that you have to do once you've won a war. And they're the first to admit it. They're quite candid that they are practitioners of offensive military operations—killing bad guys is what they're trained to do. The business of constructing the rule of law and a functioning market economy is about as far removed from their expertise as you could get. "

  33. Chill there Bobal, Niall Ferguson doesn't think American Empire is necessarily bad but rather the US isn't very good at Empire.

    If I might make a suggestion - you might want to try reading things a little more carefully. You certainly misinterpreted what Doug had to say in the last thread, though you probably wouldn't like what he said. Rat made some good points regarding your views. I certainly have a hard time understanding how you can house so many opposing views at the same time but I'm getting used to it.

  34. It's just a world of your imagining.

    when Germany and Japan were the targets of American quasi-imperial nation-building

    Ash, honest to God, you really are a total dumb shit.

  35. Bob,

    My advice: grab as much cash credit as you can lay your hands on, declare bankruptcy, and come live with me in Haifa, Israel. Actually, there's a beautiful farming community about 15 km South from Haifa on mount Carmel called Zichron Ya'akov that's almost 90% Anglo. (Baron Edmond James de Rothschild used to live there). You'd have the Mediterranean sea, gorgeous pine forests and bike trails, beautiful mountainous vistas, and you could learn Hebrew at your own pace. :)

  36. when Germany and Japan were the targets of American quasi-imperial nation-building

    Only a total dumb shit could quote something like that with a straight face.


  37. Mat, we are being surrounded by morons.


  38. Germany and Japan were the targets of American quasi-imperial nation-building


    Any damn fool knows we had to build our army up from practically nothing when Hitler got going, and Tojo. Ash is the damned dumbest person I have ever met.

  39. Help!

    Grab a baseball bat. You'd be surprised at how cathartic it can it. :)

  40. We want a more money into public education?


  41. I'm with you Mat.

    One more sale.

  42. bobal, I don't know what to say (ummm, you are a turd?). You ask about the success of "Nation Building" in Germany and Japan and then get all twisted up about a phrase "quasi-imperial" where he states why he thought it worked in those cases.

    In Niall's view there is much good that comes from Empire and he spends a fair bit of time in some of his books state why and supporting it with historical facts. Britain left behind many democratic governments in the wake of its Empire.

  43. Bobal, see you didn't even read what Mat wrote. He said

    "My advice: grab as much cash credit as you can lay your hands on, declare bankruptcy, and come live with me in Haifa, Israel."

    Do you have any understanding of what that means? Does that reflect your ethics?

  44. Well, that's better Ash. Why didn't you just say that in the first place?

    I took it as another an Anti-American rant.

    "My advice: grab as much cash credit as you can lay your hands on, declare bankruptcy, and come live with me in Haifa, Israel."

    I can, personally, understand what Mat is saying, and I'm glad to have the invite.

  45. Do you have any understanding of what that means? Does that reflect your ethics?

    It means sticking it to the oligarchy that stole multi trillions from the taxpayers, including their pension funds.

  46. God Almighty, with the help of the Russians, the Brits, the Aussies, and others, we beat Germany and Japan.

    And built them up into some kind of freedom.

  47. It figures you are the kind of guy who stiff any and all for your own benefit Bobal. Either that or you aren't capable of reading and understanding.

  48. Are you going to live by what you say Mat and do it? Are you leaving for Haifa soon defrauding all whom you can?

  49. It figures you are the kind of guy who stiff any and all for your own benefit Bobal.


    Shit, it really gets personal fast, doesn't it.

    I've never "stiffed" anyone in my life, that I can recall.

    And, I'd think I'd remember it if I did.

    What I have done is pay taxes to hire fools like your father to run 'the education system'.

    I've been stiffed from what I can see.

    I remember old man Davey, whose sons went to Annapolis from here. One of them was in the Blue Angels.

    I remember him saying, as we debated a new bond issue for schools here--"The building doesn't have anything to do with it. Is the product any better?"

    Which convinced me to vote against that bond issue.

    After all, they have been teaching the kids in those old schools in England, that were built in the middle ages.

    Long Live Israel!

  50. You take that "stiffed" and stiff it up your ass, Ashole.

    I've never "stiffed" anybody.

    I hardly know what the word means.

  51. Actually Japan and Germany are fair examples. Both were nation states prior to the fascist-military taking over in Japan and the Nazis in Germany. There were recognized national institutions and no series tribal differences amongst the homogenous population.

    Japan and Germany were totally defeated and the leadership discredited.

    There was no civil war.

    Both countries accepted defeat.

    Both countries had an effective and intact civil service.

    None of this existed in Iraq.We even disbanded the existing civil service.

  52. What I or anybody else decide to do, is none of your business, Ashley. You have zero credibility lecturing or moralizing to anybody. And Bob in his retirement years has more than earned the right to get back all of that which was stolen from him by slimebuckets like yourself.

  53. What I know is, after a long life, competence is competence, and that's what there is.

  54. Bobal, you really do have a reading comprehension problem if you aren't into the stiffing game. To repeat for you very clearly

    "grab as much cash credit as you can lay your hands on, declare bankruptcy,"

    What part of that don't you understand? Either you are keen on fraud or you can't read and understand. Which is it?

  55. Mat is clearly on the side of fraud Bobal. How about you?

  56. Good Christ Ash, you are a fool.

    We built the education system here.

    My family and I have paid taxes all our lives.

    More than you.

    I agree with Mat.

    Just go away now, please.

  57. OK Bobal, if you wish, I'll write you off as a scumbag fraudster. Will you defraud all your suppliers? Your Jewish Lawyer as well?

  58. "stiffed" is a Chicago word, slinking up from the gutter.

  59. You asshole.

    Who have I ever "defrauded"?

    Name one.

    No one has ever sued me for fraud.

    And my dad helped build the court system.

  60. Bobal, what do you call it when you order seed from a supplier and then don't pay them? Go to the bank and borrow as much money as you can and then leave the country "declaring bankruptcy"? Stiffing them is slang, fraud the legal term. Call it what you will it still reflects poorly upon you.

  61. Bobal, do you have Alzheimer's?

    Take a nap!

  62. I think Ash is an atheist. Which I think is a big mistake.

    Mat and I may argue about this, and get along, without calling each other names.

    Mat might be right.

    But I am trying to convince him otherwise.

    Who will win?

    I don't know, but I like Mat.

    Bobal, what do you call it when you order seed from a supplier and then don't pay them?

    What in the hell does this mean?

    I'd get sued, if I did that.

  63. Which I have never done, of course.

    Ash is a moron.

  64. And, I am a little worried about
    Alzheiner's. I am getting older.

    I hope to have the good grace to shoot myself.

  65. And if I shoot myself, there is some real benefit in that.

    I won't have to listen to Ash no more, but you will.

  66. Bobal,

    For the last friggin' time MAT SAID:

    "My advice: grab as much cash credit as you can lay your hands on, declare bankruptcy, and come live with me in Haifa, Israel."

    To which you, Bobal, replied:

    "I can, personally, understand what Mat is saying, and I'm glad to have the invite."

    Mon Nov 10, 03:53:00 PM EST

    Bobal, going to the bank and borrowing money knowing you have no intention of repaying it is fraud.

  67. : )

    Bob, I have no idea what to offer you.

    I will do anything for love, but I won't do that.

  68. Taking back from thieves is simple justice.

    Just in the last month, $2 trillion dollars was stolen by the banks. $2 trillion dollars that the gov said they do not have to pay pensioners over a 40 year time span, was found in a matter of hours to give to the banks. And what's with pension money that was collected? The gov admits it was nothing but another tax scheme.

    That's the morality we're operating in.

  69. A bullet, Trish, is all I ask.

  70. Bob, I have no idea what to offer you.

    Valium drip comes to mind.

  71. Valium drip, I'll go for that, if I can't go to the Israel of my mind.

  72. Go, Bob.

    But be sure to stay in touch.

  73. Well, then, ask the Israelis.

  74. My kids have instructions. Just take me out to a certain place near the end of the road, and let me wander off into nirvana. I hope they remember, cause I sure as hell won't.

  75. This comment has been removed by the author.

  76. We are their poor students.

    No, Trish. We've yet to have a President or Prime Minister or any Politicians who made out with a millions of dollars on insider trading scams.

  77. ..made out with millions of dollars on insider trading..

  78. I do not think that bob really does understand what mat is saying.

    Or what I said, or why.

  79. Google.

    scandal "olmert"

    526,000 hits

    We report, you decide.

  80. scandal "olmert"

    That wasn't insider trading.

  81. This comment has been removed by the author.

  82. This comment has been removed by the author.

  83. The Government admitted that decades ago, mat.
    Just no one wants to listen to, or believe it.

    Even duece keeps referring to the nonexistent Social Security "Lock Box".

    Notice that even those "Preferred Shares" that the Federals forced the Banks to sell, they are not dedicated to anything. They are not in any kind of a "lock box".

    Because there is no plan, or even thought, to ever have them redeemed.

  84. Grow up now Rat. Is is below you to hit on me.

    It is a bunch of crap.

    Grow up now and read some really great books.

    Then we will have a conversation.

    This goddam moaning and groaning about every last thing finally gets on the nerves.

    Say something intelligent, if you can, and be done with this hammering on me.

  85. I do not think that bob really does understand what mat is saying.

    What I said and what Bob is yet to even consider doing, are two different things. If you have issues with what I said, take them up with me.

    (3rd time a charm?)

  86. Because you really don't say much that is smart.

  87. I have no issue with what you said, mat.

    But look at bob's responses. He is indignant at the very thought of maxing out his credit lines, for cash, and heading out.

    Just plain indignant over it, but says it is a good idea and thanks for the invite.

    I have little doubt that given the opportunity, you'd make that play. You have made your claim to the morality and rightousness of the idea clear. The banks deserve to be ripped off.

    Abbey Hoffman would be proud.

  88. The Government admitted that decades ago, mat.
    Just no one wants to listen to, or believe it.

    I don't that's entirely true, dRat. Some politician(s) said something to that effect, but the money is still collected as SS, is it not?

  89. But look at bob's responses. He is indignant at the very thought of maxing out his credit lines, for cash, and heading out.

    Christ Almighty!

    What the hell does that mean.

    It's pure bullshit.

    I would like to met Mat, sometime.

    Maybe I will. I hope.

    What the hell are you talking, Rat?

  90. **welcome to the twilight zone**

  91. This comment has been removed by the author.

  92. I have little doubt that given the opportunity, you'd make that play. You have made your claim to the morality and rightousness of the idea clear. The banks deserve to be ripped off.

    I'm not a US citizen and I don't live in the US. My circumstances are a little different. My advice was made to help Bob, should he need that help. Whatever he decides, he has the argument pro and con.

  93. ..I don't ^think that's entirely true,..

    (goddamit, i need a nap)

  94. But I doubt that bob would consider taking that course, even for an instant, except that he said he'd consider it.

    bobal said...

    I can, personally, understand what Mat is saying, and I'm glad to have the invite.

    Mon Nov 10, 03:53:00 PM EST

    Which the babal of old would never have said, that he understands mat thinks so little of bobal's morals that he'd advice bobal to steal from his creditors and abscond with the cash.

    bobal's says he likes mat, who thinks bobal could well become a thief.
    mat justifies the theft, of course, but bobal grows irate at the very thought that ash would think the same, of bobal.

  95. I'm finished with this conversation, it's not going anywhere.

    Mat, I'll see you later.

  96. NP, Bob. I can handle these gals with my eyes closed. :)

  97. Take care, friend. You are in a "city of assholes"!

  98. Retailers often struggle during an economic slowdown, and many indicators suggest that the U.S. economy may suffer something worse than a garden-variety recession. Pinched consumers are cutting back, especially on non-essential items.


    Grim news indeed, but retailing as we know it is not about to end. Wayne C. Nef., president of Nef Value Research, an independent hedge fund consultancy, has been tracking a portfolio of beaten down retailers, which he thinks have the best chance of survival.


    Which merchants are likely to survive? Nef advises paying close attention to the level of long-term debt to capital.

    Retail Sector

  99. I thought that we could help him set ap a bio fuel program on his farm and let the University, there in Moscow, run it. Providing him with an annuity, from the State or University.

    He told me I was cynical, for making that suggestion, mat.

    You advise that he steal from his creditors and are thought to be the light of day.

    bob's on his own road, now.

  100. Take care, friend. You are in a "city of assholes"!

    You too, Bob. I'll take care of this.

  101. You advise that he steal from his creditors

    Not at all. I advised him to take the same course of action that the gov and the financial elites that control the gov have taken. If you have a problem with that, take it up with them.

  102. The Super K-Marts are leaving, after Christmas, shutting their doors across AZ.
    The local Mervyn's is closing its' doors, permanently.
    Sears will be leaving Paradise Valley Mall, the Costco that was scheduled to open there, cancelled.

    Furniture sales are nonexistant, Circut City is closing, across the State. TV buyers are flocking to the local Walmart.

    Target is so far off, their sales are a third of the new Walmart.

    Sales tax revenue is down so far, it looks like up from the Governors office. She'll be heading to DC.

    Perhaps in other areas there is sunshine, but here, there is a black cloud overhead, with no break in sight.

    Only the folks at Walmart have the lights on.

  103. You said they had stole $2 trillion USD and advised him to steal his fair share, too.

    I can read, mat.

  104. For example, Westcon Group restructured its debt about 18 months ago to ensure that it would have the flexibility to work with solution providers that needed some credit help, said Chuck Thropp, CFO for the Americas, at Westcon Group.

    "We made sure we cut a deal that allows us to have that flexibility. Because we have such strong relationships with our own banks, we have enough working capital to work with customers.

    If we didn't have those relationships and have strong working capital ourselves, we wouldn't have that flexibility," Thropp said.

    Channel Credit

  105. You said they had stole $2 trillion USD and advised him to steal his fair share, too.

    That's the moral relativism that Ashley likes to use. If you steal me bike and I take it back from you, did I steal my bike? Would you call that stealing?

  106. That bobal's thievery would be justified, by the Government and Bank's thieving ways.

    Morally acceptable.

    It is not the policies that bother bobal, it is the personalities.

    Interesting, really.

  107. Talk about CF's!

    Who's on first?

  108. Obama started his day in Chicago, dropping his two daughters at school, each with a kiss, and then going to a gym for a workout. He traveled to Washington separately from his wife, who a spokeswoman said had a private schedule before being able to travel to the nation's capital.

    Unlike the incoming president, Bush knew his way around the Oval Office by the time he was elected in 2000 -- his father had been president. Still, like many before them, President Clinton and President-elect Bush had their own private meeting, keeping up a tradition that temporarily puts the presidency above politics.

    Obama has been to the White House before, including an emergency leadership session to deal with the financial crisis in September. It was his first visit into the Oval Office.

    Meetings with 1st Couple

  109. But none of bobal's creditors have stolen from him. His "Jooish Lawyer", I'm sure his $200,000 was paid back with interest, he has not stolen a dime, from bobal.

    But you advise bobal to stick 'em.
    Get all the cash credit he can and then go and BK. Then abscond to Israel with the proceeds.

  110. But it's ok, mat, you're his friend, the one that thinks he could be a thief.

  111. Meanwhile, Lach Coburn, shipping manager for Cargill Ltd., said his company has had no disruptions to its grain or oilseed shipments from any of its customers due to credit issues.

    "The only blip I heard was in some peas to India, but since we were not involved in that deal, I don't have any details to provide," he said.

    The media and some companies have been "playing up" the credit issue beyond what has actually been happening, Coburn said.

    Canada's Crops

  112. Because you could be a thief.
    You understand the goose and gander standard.
    Projecting yourself onto others.
    If you'd do it, so could they.

  113. While I'm the farce that knows he'd NEVER contemplate such a thing.

    It is so far from his world, he does not understand what you are advising him to do, as a friend.

  114. Some struggling companies may hope to attract money from private equity, but, as one of Europe's leading private equity executives told me yesterday, many of the firms will not have enough money to support their own struggling investments, let alone new ones.

    If things are bad for big companies, they are worse still for the small fry. The evaporation of small-business lending is much more important to the economy than whether a few mortgage payers get the full benefit of last week's rate cut.

    Peter Mandelson will urge banks today not to cut off the oxygen supply to small businesses. Otherwise, countless British companies will go the way of Circuit City.

    Wider Fire

  115. But none of bobal's creditors have stolen from him. His "Jooish Lawyer", I'm sure his $200,000 was paid back with interest, he has not stolen a dime, from bobal.

    I wasn't talking about them. But if Bob maxes his line of credit with CityBank and ChaseBank and then tells them fscks to fsck off, it would be exactly as they did to him and millions of other Americans. I called you guys Spent Shells, and I meant it.

  116. I know you do, mat.

    bob does not.

  117. bob does not operate in those worlds, mat, Citibank and Chase.
    He deals with home town banks and his friends and business associates, that is who you advised him to steal from.
    He did not even recongnize the reality of what you said, or he'd have not gone off on ash, for saying the same thing.

  118. His word is his bond, unlike yours.

  119. bob does not operate in those worlds, mat, Citibank and Chase.

    Nonsense. Citibank and Chase are national/international banks. They have branches everywhere.

  120. His word is his bond, unlike yours.

    I've yet to smack someone who has not had it coming. Words are important, but actions more so.

  121. The round of redundancies will help to propel America's unemployment rate, which is rising astonishingly quickly. Last week, the Labour Department said that 6.5 per cent of the American workforce was out of a job, far higher than the 6.3 per cent that Wall Street had expected.

    Economists forecast that more than 7 per cent would be unemployed by Christmas.

    Yesterday, the US Government announced a second, bigger bailout of AIG, the insurance company, worth $150 billion (£96 billion) after the insurer slumped to a $24.4 billion third-quarter loss. Fannie Mae, the mortgage finance group, reported an even biggger loss, of $29 billion, in the third quarter.

    Light Fails

  122. Btw,

    Vittorio De Sica: The Bicycle Thief

    Great film!

  123. My dad told that story, many years ago.

  124. That bobal's thievery would be justified, by the Government and Bank's thieving ways.

    Ah, the hell with it. I've just had it with listening to this crap from a turd, day after day after day.

    I will put my e-mail address in to those good guys deuce and whit, and I hope Teresita and Mat, and some of the others get in touch with me, which they can, if they wish.

    Desert Rat isn't worth listening to.

  125. Desert Rat is just a lonely, sad, piece of white shit, that all he is.

    Mat, you can get my e-mail address from the board.


  126. Secret Service code names for the new folks in town, per the Chicago Tribune:

    President-elect Barack Obama: Renegade

    Michelle Obama: Renaissance

    Vice President-elect Joe Biden: Celtic

    Jill Biden: Capri

    "I was reminded of the dangerous isolation that power can bring, and I appreciated the wisdom of America's founding fathers in designing a system to keep power in check." -- Barack Obama, writing in "The Audacity of Hope" about his first meeting with President Bush.


  127. Bob,

    You need to be stronger than that, or else you're not going to survive in Israel. Or Alaska. :)

  128. We think it was a similar mistake to select Barack Obama over John McCain in 2008. We hope we're proved wrong.

    We're encouraged that President-elect Obama has seemed at times during this campaign to understand it's a dangerous world, that he'll be tested, and that weakness is provocative and dangerous. We're pleased that the president-elect is committed to building up the military, succeeding in Afghanistan, defending our allies, and, of course, keeping the country safe.

    We at THE WEEKLY STANDARD congratulate Barack Obama on his impressive victory. We pledge our support for those of his policies we can support, our willingness to give him the benefit of the doubt in cases of uncertainty, and our constructive criticism and loyal opposition where we are compelled to differ.

    President Obama

  129. Bobal,

    Seriously, drop Deuce, or Whit, or Ms. T an email and have a good chat with them. Listen to what they may have to say.

  130. Ah, the enjoyment of a good bar fight. Enhanced by the magic of the internet, where one can return later to savor the action over a bowl of homemade split pea soup and corn bread.

  131. Well, everybody can kiss my ass.

  132. Bob,

    You need to be stronger than that, or else you're not going to survive in Israel. Or Alaska. :)

    True, mat. I can agree with you occasionally.

    Keep up yur dukes. That rat's a wily opponent.

    So, you think Bush's imbroglio is blacker than Olmert's? Why?

  133. Blogger trish said...

    Well, everybody can kiss my ass.

    Mon Nov 10, 10:01:00 PM EST

    I'm stunned. Surely you're quoting someone?

  134. is she getting kinky, or riffing on Rat's I've got one to comment?

  135. No, I'm quoting myself.

    "Everyone" is every jackass I ever knew. I never knew a one here.

  136. As Joel Hunter explains it, his telephone prayer session with Barack Obama on Tuesday, roughly 10 hours before Obama was declared winner of the presidential election, was not intended to be as intimate as it ended up. Obama, says Hunter, "just wanted to pray with some folks," and his religious liaison arranged a conference call with Hunter, Dallas Pentecostal megapastor T.D. Jakes, Houston Methodist minister (and George Bush favorite) Kirbyjon Caldwell and Otis Moss II, the retired pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland.


    In fact, Hunter, author of the book A New Kind of Conservative: Cooperation Without Compromise, sees Obama as a kindred spirit. They both, he says, believe that "people with differences working together without compromising our values or losing our distinctives is essential for progress."


    Thus Hunter also plays down another potential bone of contention between the new President and Evangelicals — Obama's July 2007 pledge to Planned Parenthood that "the first thing I'd do, as President, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act" — a bill that could wipe out many of the inroads conservatives have made into strict interpretation of Roe v. Wade. "I think [the FCA] is a horrible idea," Hunter says.

    Joel Hunter

  137. Meanwhile, Sam labors on, thanklessly, attempting to lend some dignity and credibility to the proceedings...

  138. Another all day drunken brawl at the EB.

    Hoo rah!

    The Rat, Mat and Bob show.

    bob: I think you're being way too harsh on rat. As far as I can tell, all he did was try to show you a way to make a lot of money with your land. I think for some reason, you saw that as an attack on you, told him where to go and then he began with the Ohio voting business. He never gets profane or resorts to nasty attacks, but yes, he can needle.

    Rodney King, after taking a well deserved beating, asked "Can't we all just get along?" If Rodney could do it, we can too.

  139. Keep up yur dukes. That rat's a wily opponent.

    So, you think Bush's imbroglio is blacker than Olmert's? Why?

    Youz now part of the rat pack? :)

  140. Power Content Label
    (accompanying current PG&E bill)

    Source 2008/ 2007

    Eligible Renewables
    Biomass/waste 4%/ <1%
    Geothermal 4%/ 2%
    Small hydro 4%/ 6%
    Solar <1%/ 0%
    Wind 2%/ 2%

    Coal 2%/ 32%

    Large hydro 17%/ 24%

    Natural gas 44%/ 31%

    Nuclear 22% / 3%

    Other 1%/ 0%


    Large hydro does not qualify under Calif law as an "eligible" renewable. Stupid.

    Blogger removes all my careful format spacings. I think it's still readable.

  141. Youz now part of the rat pack? :)

    Mat's rules:

    1. Answer a question with a question.

  142. You ask the wrong questions. I don't.

  143. You ask the wrong questions. I don't.


    That means I win!

  144. Came in late on the proceedings, Linear.

    Personally 'though, I would never take out a line of credit, cash out, and boogie. I mean, that's not the right way to live life.

  145. That means I win!

    Only in America.

    This conversation started with Trish. Per usual, I was pointing out how off base she's in her analysis (seems like a daily ritual), and that as far as "poor students" go, Israel has not even entered preschool, where the US is a PhD graduate. The corruption is so pervasive in the US, it's become Orwellian.

  146. "It's always amazed me how President Bush is able to let heated rhetoric like that just slide off his back and move forward and do what he thinks is right for the country," she said. "Obviously, right now, the most important thing we can do is ensure a smooth transition to Barack Obama and his team.

    And that's what he's committed to doing."

    And, Perino stressed, this won't be the only conversation that Bush and Obama will have.

    Meeting with Bush

  147. ...Israel has not even entered preschool, where the US is a PhD graduate...

    Not the impression I'm left with from reading Arutz or JPost. Those wily Israeli Jews are as sophisticated as any Yankee or Cracker swindler. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Just sayin'.

    Answer my question.

  148. Trish get the ass kissing hat tip for the next post.

  149. Not the impression I'm left with from reading Arutz or JPost.

    Again, that's because you ask wrong questions.

    In Israel politicians are held to account. By the media. By the police. By electoral system. No one is above the law. Now compare that with the corruption that goes on in the US. The media is bought. The policing agencies are bought. The politicians are bought. The political system is bought. The law exists to serve the oligarchy.

    So what's worse? You answer the question.

  150. I understand that it is Haaretz, Israel’s far-left major newspaper, but seriously…. What is wrong with Bradley Burston?


    “Imagine,” I tell Mr. Burston, “that Americans do not think of African-Americans as combatant enemies or the supporters of such.” We have a very open and tragic history, yes.

    But to compare our election of the first African-American President of the United States to an Israeli election of its first Arab prime minister is patently ludicrous.

    What's Wrong With This Picture?

  151. How science is like democracy: