“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, November 28, 2008

Terror and death in Mumbai

Mumbai looks good from the air.

"They were in no hurry. Cool and composed, they killed and killed
The young men came to by boat to unleash a night of carnage on the 'gateway to India'. Americans and British tourists were targeted, but Indians made up most of the victims"

Randeep Ramesh in Mumbai, Duncan Campbell and Paul Lewis, Friday November 28 2008 00.01 GMT
The Guardian, Friday November 28 2008

The gunmen, most of them apparently in their twenties, wearing T-shirts, black shirts and jeans, came ashore in black and yellow inflatable rubber dinghies. Armed with automatic weapons, and carrying rucksacks packed with hand grenades and explosives, they abandoned their landing-craft on the beach, from where they would have been able to make out the outlines of their targets, some of Mumbai's most famous buildings.

It would appear that they had landed earlier, around 8pm, in a larger vessel at Sasoon dock and then used the dinghies to get closer to their targets in the heart of the city.

"Six young men with large bags came ashore, after which the two who remained in the boat started the outboard motor again and sped off," said one witness. "They were fair, chikna [well-off] and looked around 20, 22, 25 years old. They said they were students. When we tried to find out what they were doing, they spoke very aggressively, and I got scared."

Within two hours, the young gunmen were causing mayhem in the city that has always prided itself as being the hospitable gateway to India.

The targets for the attacks were clearly chosen for their iconic value, whether as symbols of Mumbai's power and wealth, cultural centres associated with western values or places where foreigners would be gathered. The inclusion of the headquarters of an ultra-orthodox Jewish group was obviously intended to send its own message.

By 9.15pm, the Leopold Cafe, a popular haunt for travellers for more than a century, and close to the Taj Mahal hotel, was under attack. A watering hole for writers and artists, it is also patronised by backpackers hoping for work as western extras in Bollywood films. Five men wielding AK-47 rifles charged in and opened fire without asking anyone to identify themselves. They lobbed hand grenades at the horrified onlookers.

"All of a sudden there was automatic gunfire. The whole place fell apart. It was tremendously loud. My husband and I were hit, as were lots of people," said Diane Murphy, 58, from Northumberland, who was shot in the foot. Her husband Michael, 59, is in intensive care after being shot in the ribs. As the couple dived to the floor, other diners, including Germans and Americans, ran into the kitchen or neighbouring rooms. It was only after a siege lasting several hours that some made an escape.

"We knew they were closer than they had been for the whole four hours. There were grenades going off, we started breaking the windows and ripped down curtains to make a rope," said David Gross, an Australian. "People were sliding out, like you're taught to do ... it was a one-storey drop on to broken glass." They scattered, leaving behind bloodstains and missing shoes.

A few minutes later, the Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus, previously known as the Victoria terminus, a world heritage site and one of India's busiest stations, was the scene of mayhem, with blood spattered across the station forecourt and platforms. Gunmen shot up the reservation counter of the station, randomly sprayed passengers, believed to be entirely composed of Indian travellers and commuters, and fled. "They just fired randomly at people and then ran away. In seconds, people fell to the ground," said Nasim Inam, a witness.

Cafe worker Pappu Mishra said two men dressed in black walked into the station pulling guns from their bags and shooting commuters. "Their audaciousness was breathtaking," he said. "One man loaded the magazine into the gun, the other kept shooting. They appeared calm and composed. They were not in the slightest hurry. They didn't seem to be afraid at all." At least 10 people were killed.

By 9.30pm, another team of gunmen were attacking the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, best known just as the Taj, the city's premier hotel. Despite the security arrangements of a venue well aware that it might be a target, the gunmen appear to have had little problem gaining access.

"I was in the main lobby and there was all of a sudden a lot of firing outside," said the Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim, one of a delegation of European parliamentarians in Mumbai in advance of a European Union-India summit. "A gunman appeared in front of us, carrying machine gun-type weapons. And he just started firing at us ... I just turned and ran in the opposite direction."

Guests fled to their rooms and knotted curtains and sheets, which they lowered out of windows, and clambered down to safety. Some did not make it. Ralph Burkel, 51, a media manager from Munich, leaped from an upper floor window of the hotel to escape but fell heavily. He was able to reach a friend on his mobile phone who recounted that he was in agony. Burkel told him: "I've broken all the bones in my body. If no one helps me right now, I won't make it." He died before he could reach hospital.

Inside the hotel, the gunmen confronted guests and shouted: "Who has American or British passports?" Dining by the pool was Dalbir Bains, who runs a shop in Mumbai. She ran upstairs to the Sea Lounge restaurant, where around 50 other people were taking refuge. They hid under tables in the dark, hoping the gunmen would not find them and hearing the sounds of explosions elsewhere in the hotel. They managed to escape just before dawn.

There were bursts of automatic fire as other guests scattered. The shooting was followed by a series of explosions, just after midnight, that set fire to parts of the hotel. Screams could be heard from inside the hotel as flames burst from upstairs windows.

At least two of the gunmen were killed by police in the fierce battle to retake the hotel. Hermant Kerkare, the head of the police anti-terrorist squad and one of the most high-profile officers in the country, who was personally leading the operation, was one of the victims. There were repeated attempts by black-clad Indian commandos to take the hotels and free the hostages.

Even as this battle raged, Nariman House, the home of an ultra-orthodox Jewish group in south Mumbai, was coming under attack. Another group of gunmen had commandeered a police vehicle which allowed them to approach the HQ of the Chabad Lubavitch group. Two people are believed to have been killed and there were still reports last night of up to 10 Israelis being held hostage in the city.

By now the number of the attacks in the city was making it almost impossible for the police to keep up. Within moments, they were hearing reports of shooting at the Oberoi Trident hotel, part of one of the most prestigious chains of hotels in India. By 9.35pm guests there were trapped and in panic. "Save us", read a banner hung from one of the upper floor windows.

Alex Chamberlain, a British citizen who was dining at the Oberoi, told Sky News that a gunman ushered 30 to 40 people from the restaurant into a stairway and ordered everyone to put up their hands.

"They were talking about British and Americans specifically," he said. "There was an Italian guy, who, you know, they said: 'Where are you from?" and he said he's from Italy and they said 'fine' and they left him alone. And I thought: 'Fine, they're going to shoot me if they ask me anything' and thank God they didn't," he said. Chamberlain said he managed to slip away as others were marched upstairs to be kept as hostages.

Another guest fleeing from the Oberoi hotel was Mangho Kripalni, 84, who moved from India to New York as a young man and was taking his two daughters and granddaughter to India for the first time. "I just came here to show my family India but now I don't know why I did that," he said.

It would not be until the following morning that commandos were sent in to rescue people trapped inside. Two hotel staff, one security guard and two terrorists are thought to have been killed at the hotel.

While guests in both hotels spoke of some gunmen asking for Americans and Britons, the death toll made it clear that, by a vast majority, the main victims were Indians and that any foreigner was regarded as a suitable target. Among the dead are Japanese, Italians, Germans and Australians and among the guests rounded up were Yemenis, Spaniards, New Zealanders, Turks and Israelis.

The violence was far from over. As police sped from attack to attack, a taxi was blown up in Vile Parle at around 9.55pm. Gunmen also attacked Cama and Albless hospital and GT hospital, causing fresh panic. The hospital is known as a place where women and the children of the poor are treated and there was puzzlement as to why it had been added to the target list of the attackers. While there were reports of shooting, it was unclear how many died.

Also targeted by the gunmen was the 70-year-old Metro cinema, known as a popular hang-out for foreigners and cineastes as it shows English language and foreign films as well as being a popular venue for the premieres of mainstream Bollywood spectaculars.

As the sun came up yesterday morning and the city counted the cost, police declared a curfew around the Taj Mahal hotel, warning people to stay out of the area as black-clad commandos ran into the building seeking the gunmen and looking for remaining hostages and booby-traps. Soldiers moved from room to room, systematically flushing out gunmen. By 8.40am, all the hostages at the Taj had been rescued.

By the afternoon, bodies and guests who had been held as hostages were slowly emerging from the hotel. Witnesses reported at least three bodies, covered in white cloth, being wheeled out on trolleys. Other, some clutching luggage, were helped into ambulances.

"We're going to catch them dead or alive," Maharashtra home minister RR Patil told reporters. "An attack on Mumbai is an attack on the rest of the country."

While police and troops mopped up in the city, the Indian navy said its forces were boarding the cargo vessel suspected of being the mothership for the dinghies. Navy spokesman Captain Manohar Nambiar said that the ship, the MV Alpha, had recently come to Mumbai from Karachi, Pakistan. For a while, it seemed as though a new dimension was entering the equation but, after the ship had been boarded and searched, it was cleared and allowed to sail on. No weapons on traces of them were found on board and the naval statement confirming the all-clear came as Pakistani authorities warned that India should not accuse them of playing a part in the plot.

By 3.19pm yesterday the death toll had mounted to at least 119 people as police made attempts to flush out the remaining gunmen, around a dozen or so of whom remained holed up inside the hotels and Jewish centre. One man told reporters he had seen many bodies inside.

At Saint George hospital in south Mumbai, 63 people were confirmed dead, most from bullet wounds. Hospitals throughout the city started issuing lists of the dead and wounded as Mumbai began to count the cost of the massacre. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008


  1. Attacking hospitals....jeez, brave holy warriors....

  2. Shit like this is counterproductive for them. All it does is piss people off. India has been there forever and a day, even the Aryans got absorbed, it's like a flea on the biggest animal alive. One poster said maybe they were trying to get the Indians fired up along the border, to draw Pakistani troops away the northwest territories. Maybe so, but I still think it's counterproductive. Going around and shooting up hospitals. The world's sympathy is all with India.

  3. Ultimately fixing Pakistan will require more effort than anyone is willing to invest. Obama’s strategic problem — not Petraeus’ — is that he has worked harder than anyone to discredit a sustained Global War on Terror when a multi-decade effort is the only thing that will work. He came to office promising to work miracles and now he will find that his gestures cannot calm the winds or still the oceans. What this means is that Petraeus won’t get the fuel and infrastructure to fight this over the long haul. Providing the political support for that effort is Obama’s job. And Obama has taken a wrecking ball to the very concept of a long war on terror. David Kilcullen estimated it would take 30 years to fix Pakistan. It’s like a ramshackle building that has to be fixed and shored up one step at a time. There are no magic bullets here. At least there isn’t one labeled “restrain India, get full cooperation from Islamabad”.


  4. India can take many more Mumbais; a couple of hundred dead is no big deal and we’ll use the opportunity to learn and perfect our systems. But in no way are we going to sign up to any quixotic American plans, especially since its clear that their staying power doesn’t last more than two election cycles. The problem with Pakistan has always been Islam and no one but Father Time can do anything about that.

    Ivan, an Indian

  5. targeting the ONLY Jewish place in Mumbai, the Chabad House...

    No this is not a new thing...

    this is the same snake we have been fighting for since 670 ce...

    black rock worshippers

  6. Yep It's a great day for Islam....

    Jews executed in cold bold by moslems...

    Why is this day any different than any other?

    it's not...

    Arm yourselves...

    No one can stop the virus of Jihad except ourselves..

    If you are carrying you will not be a sheep led to slaughter.

  7. Wong Kim Ark, 1898 is not settled law. Scalia said just the other day that common law, or natural law, is dead. John Paul Stevens has said you must take into consideration the original intent of the writers of the 14th Amendment, that is to say national law.

    Natural born citizen is a citizen born in the US to two parents not subject to a foreign power.

    Ark still supports Leo and at the end of the case after going over common law said he was a native born citizen but couldn't bring themselves to say he was a natural born citizen. His parents were subject to foreign power.

  8. Citizens
    By Statute
    Natural Born

    There has been no case that says anchor babies are natural born citizens.

    The 14th Amendment does not confer natural born only citizenship.

    Leo Donofrio

    Plains Radio--Joe Thunder
    Show, Thursday (I think)

  9. "Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan. It's all about Pakistan."

    Yeah, because India has all the "good Muslims."

  10. Oooh! trish walks right up to the thin edge of PC ice.

    The Indians were quick to say that the perps were Pakis.

  11. We all have our coping mechanisms, bob. If the 'illegitimate president' thing gets you through the next four years (it helped to see countless Democrats through the last eight) I say: More power to you. Better living through therapeutic conspiracy mongering. Whole societies survive, if not flourish, this way.

  12. You betcha, whit, and I'm waiting for the Claude Raines moment.

  13. I'm waiting, too, for the hand of divine intervention to swoop down in the penthouse across from me, where a couple of total assholes and their live-in have been keeping a little white Terrier out on a 2-by-5 balcony all day, every day, for the past week and a half.

  14. Where's a sniper when you really need one?

  15. You'd hurt a poor little dog?

  16. No, I'd dispatch the two assholes. The housekeeper I'd probably let go.

    What's the worst they could do?

    Oh, that's right: Send me home.

  17. "Pakistani authorities warned that India should not accuse them of playing a part in the plot."

    this is the part that is most worrisome. state sponsered brazen attacks, like this might have been, will increase in direct proportion to their nuke capabilities. deniability may trump any real use of force.

  18. Profiles in courage:

    "NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Somali pirates hijacked a chemical tanker with dozens of Indian crew members Friday and a helicopter rescued three British security guards who had jumped into the sea, officials said."

  19. All persons born in the United States, except those not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. government (such as children of foreign diplomats) are citizens under the Fourteenth Amendment. 8 USC 1401.

  20. And the police helicopters have now been deployed.

    Unrest in the streets. I can hear it.

    Having nothing to do with that poor little dog or my righteous plans, though. There are private dramas, and then there are national dramas.

  21. Police Helicopters? Are you sure you are not in L.A.?

  22. Were I in LA, I'd be at a drive-thru at In-and-Out Burger faster than you could say, "C'mon, now. How bad can things possibly get in just one year?"

    I am a woman presently possessed by a singular deprivation.

  23. (And fantasies of my neighbors' demise.)

  24. Trish

    Could we "overnite" you a hamburger? You pick the spot.

  25. Kind thought, but no. FedEx doesn't work that way here.

    I can get a hamburger in Bogota. I just can't get a good hamburger. I'm a once-a-month burger gal. I never realized its centrality to my quality of life until I couldn't lay my hands on one. (You can obtain everything else on a street corner here, but a decent cheeseburger? Not. To. Save. Your. Life.)

    Going home for the Holidays and there's a mighty fine diner near my parents' where I had my "last supper" when I was last home. It's my Happy Thought. We all need one.

  26. Huge breakthrough in tiny module
    Atif Shamim's wireless connector can extend the battery life of devices like the iPhone and BlackBerry by up to 12 times.

    Sarah Schmidt
    Canwest News Service

    Thursday, November 27, 2008

    CREDIT: Julie Oliver, The Ottawa Citizen
    Atif Shamim, a Carleton electrical engineering student, sets up his equipment in the anechoic chamber at a university lab.

    An Ottawa inventor has pulled off something the titans of innovation behind the iPhone couldn't -- find a way to reduce power consumption of the "power-sucking" device to increase battery life.

    Atif Shamim, an electronics PhD student at Carleton University, has built a prototype that extends the battery life of portable gadgets such as the iPhone and BlackBerry, by getting rid of all the wires used to connect the electronic circuits with the antenna.

    Research on the invention, to be published in the upcoming edition of Microwave Journal, has already received international accolades.

  27. Just killed in my back yard A water moccasin?

    Here's another one

    Spotted him out there. Took photos, went in to ID online. Later went out, no sign of him. Check again in a bit and he's back. Took more photos. No ID. Finally decided that that looks like a viper head so, popped in the back a' the head with rake handle. Little dogs and venomous snakes do not mix.

  28. Good for you, whit!

    Can I hire you for the Colombian job? Granted they're not water moccasins, and you'll need more than a rake, but if they're willing to subject their dog to weeks of heart-breaking whining outside their sliding glass doors, odds are they aren't providing any redeeming service on this earth.

  29. There's a case of Ron Zacapa AND a handshake eternal gratitude, should you decide to take me up on it.

  30. Poor little fellow. He was only about two feet long. He's gone now.

    Sorry, Trish, not my line of work. I do know some people who might even pay you for the pleasure of dispatching your cruel neighbors.

  31. ht: PeterBoston at BC

    Getting deeper. Now Indian Authorities are claiming British born Pakis were among the terrorists.

    British-born Pakistanis were among the Mumbai terrorists, Indian government sources claimed today, as the death toll rose to at least 155.

    As many as seven of the terrorists may have British connections and some could be from Leeds and Bradford where London's July 7 bombers lived, one source said.

  32. As many as seven of the terrorists may have British connections

    Probably got their training at the BBC and the British Foreign Office.

  33. note that a lot of folks living in the former colonies of Britain carry British Passports.

  34. Sorry, Trish, not my line of work. I do know some people who might even pay you for the pleasure of dispatching your cruel neighbors.

    Fri Nov 28, 03:20:00 PM EST

    I might know some of them.

  35. Loads of them running about in Columbia I've heard, though my impression is they don't work for free.

  36. November 28, 2008
    News Analysis
    India’s Suspicion of Pakistan Clouds U.S. Strategy

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The terrorist attacks in Mumbai occurred as India and Pakistan, two big, hostile and nuclear-armed nations, were delicately moving toward improved relations with the encouragement of the United States and in particular the incoming Obama administration.

    Those steps could quickly be derailed, with deep consequences for the United States, if India finds Pakistani fingerprints on the well-planned operation. India has raised suspicions. Pakistan has vehemently denied them.

    But no matter who turns out to be responsible for the Mumbai attacks, their scale and the choice of international targets will make the agenda of the new American administration harder.

    Reconciliation between India and Pakistan has emerged as a basic tenet in the approaches to foreign policy of President-elect Barack Obama, and the new leader of Central Command, Gen. David H. Petraeus. The point is to persuade Pakistan to focus less of its military effort on India, and more on the militants in its lawless tribal regions who are ripping at the soul of Pakistan.

    A strategic pivot by Pakistan’s military away from a focus on India to an all-out effort against the Taliban and their associates in Al Qaeda, the thinking goes, would serve to weaken the militants who are fiercely battling American and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

    But attacks as devastating as those that unfolded in Mumbai — whether ultimately traced to homegrown Indian militants or to others from abroad, or a combination — seem likely to sour relations, fuel distrust and hamper, at least for now, America’s ambitions for reconciliation in the region.

    Whaddya wanna bet...not.

  37. I don't think we're talking about the same people, ash. And my impression is that Colombia is spelled with two O's. As is Bogota.

  38. Are we betting that it will hamper the ambitions or the chances for the success of those ambitions?

  39. Whit

    Sorry you took the time to ID the snake before you killed him. I prefer the other way around for snakes and other things that crawl on their bellies. Kill first, ID later. We call it "ground checking."

    I know, I know, some snakes kill rodents and are otherwise harmless.

    I would rather have the rodents.

  40. Well that all depends on who "we" are.

    I'm betting not.

  41. Pawan Rattan left Tampa on Nov. 12 for a two-week trip but decided while he was there to extend his stay and do some holiday shopping in Mumbai. He planned to stay at the famed hotel, but a change of heart brought him home earlier than expected.


    Rattan said he is mourning the loss of a close friend killed in the terrorist attacks. He said he is organizing a prayer service for all Bay area Hindus this weekend.

    "We will pray for the departed souls and equally important that God give us all wisdom so the scourge of terrorism will be eliminated from the face of the earth," said Rattan, chairman of the board of trustees for the Sanatan Mandir Temple in Tampa.

    India Terrorism

  42. However, with attention focusing on groups with links to Pakistan and the Kashmir region, Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, issued a strong response.

    "It is unfair to blame Pakistan or Pakistanis for these acts of terrorism even before an investigation is undertaken," he said. "Instead of scoring political points at the expense of a neighboring country that is itself a victim of terrorism, it is time for India's leaders to work together with Pakistan's elected leaders in putting up a joint front against terrorism."

    And earlier Friday, Pakistan's Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar strongly affirmed his country "is not involved in these gory incidents."

    Mumbai Attack

  43. And because we’re all so worried about the current crisis, it’s hard to focus on the longer-term issues — on reining in our out-of-control financial system, so as to prevent or at least limit the next crisis. Yet the experience of the last decade suggests that we should be worrying about financial reform, above all regulating the “shadow banking system” at the heart of the current mess, sooner rather than later.

    For once the economy is on the road to recovery, the wheeler-dealers will be making easy money again — and will lobby hard against anyone who tries to limit their bottom lines. Moreover, the success of recovery efforts will come to seem preordained, even though it wasn’t, and the urgency of action will be lost.

    So here’s my plea: even though the incoming administration’s agenda is already very full, it should not put off financial reform. The time to start preventing the next crisis is now.

    Lest We Forget

  44. The rest of the day, save for his 40-minute meeting with Sarkozy, Saakashvili spent giving print interviews, taping more television segments, and, finally, joining Raphaƫl Glucksmann on Le Grand Journal, a one-hour early evening news program on Canal+, France's premier pay-TV channel.

    This could have gone for or against Saakashvili. Glucksmann's presence and the duo's practiced, if slightly smug, allusions to their youth, clinched it.

    The Le Monde-quoting Saakashvili (with one more reference to meeting his wife in Strasbourg) was anointed as cool by both the studio audience and the show's regulars. These had decided to use the occasion to bash Sarkozy, always a well-received exercise.

    Saakashvili Takes Paris

  45. Navy commandos told reporters that gunmen inside the Taj were firing indiscriminately — and that they seemed very familiar with the layout of the hotel.

    Earlier, India's National Security Guard said it had taken control of the Oberoi Hotel. Guests who had been holed up since Wednesday emerged from the hotel and another two dozen bodies were recovered inside.

    The well-coordinated strikes by small bands of gunmen starting Wednesday night left the city shell-shocked. Late Thursday, after about 400 people had been brought out of the Taj, officials said it had been cleared of gunmen.

    Jewish Center

  46. Even though a spontaneous recovery occurred before World War II, it is important to stress that scholarship by Robert Higgs, and other economic historians, shows that—contrary to legend—the New Deal held down the spontaneous recovery and contributed to the 1938-1939 slump. Indeed, Higgs' evidence demonstrates that investment was depressed by New Deal initiatives because of regime uncertainty—"a pervasive uncertainty among investors about the security of their property rights in their capital and prospective returns."

    In short, investors were afraid to commit funds to new projects because they didn't know what President Roosevelt and the New Dealers will do next.

    This brings us to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). This $700 billion bailout program is, among other things, a bureaucratic nightmare that is as confused as it is confusing.

    Great Depression?

  47. "Pakistan can continue to dangle the chimerical carrot in front of Obama. ‘Hold back India and we will help you with Bin Laden’ Then they’ll turn around and hit New Delhi in the face and there won’t be a thing India can do about it. This dynamic was used to great effect by the late and unlamented Yasser Arafat in the Middle East. He persuaded the West to restrain Israel in order to avoid empowering the radicals against the “moderates” one of which he pretended to be. Then he would encourage the radicals to attack Israel knowing Washington would always be on hand to restrain the Israelis. Arafat became indispensable to the radicals for his ability to hold both Tel Aviv and Washington at Bay and indispensable to Western diplomats who saw him as a bulwark against the radicals. In reality he was playing both ends against the middle and managed to see his stock rise in both camps even as he betrayed them by turn. This evil murderer was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1994. How could anyone be so diabolically cunning? How often did Sherlock Holmes say that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?" -Richard Fernandez @BC

    Wretchard asks how anyone can be so diabolically cunning, referring to the Pakis and Arafat. But the question should really be directed at Rome and Caesar, who pretend to be manipulated when in fact it is Rome and Caesar that is doing the manipulating. No, you don't get to wash your hands of this. This blood is on your hands. You are the cause of it all. And you know it.

    RUSH: Barack Obama today walked out again, the press corps duly stood up as he went out to the podium to do a third consecutive economic press conference. He announced his Economic Recovery Advisory Board and he named two people to it, Paul Volcker, who is 81 years old, and has served in two previous administrations.


    Now, when I watched it, I didn't think it was Ed Henry. I mean, I looked at it, and I thought I'd never seen this reporter before.


    HENRY: Sir, you talked about John McCain was going to come back to Washington if he won and would just move people into different chairs. We got Tom Daschle, Hillary Clinton, Bob Gates --

    OBAMA: Wait, wait, wait! Hold on! Ho'don! Wait a minute! Hold it. You hear that? First of all, that's not the topic. We're not talking about my cabinet because I haven't made those appointments yet.

    HENRY: We're talking about Paul Volcker. He's been around a long time, so he's somebody who knows the ways of Washington.


    OBAMA: Actually Paul Volcker hasn't been in Washington for quite some time. Uhhh, and that's part of the reason he can provide a fresh perspective.

    Fresh Face?

  49. Commandos who stormed the Mumbai headquarters of an ultra-orthodox Jewish group found the bodies of five hostages inside, including a New York rabbi and his wife, officials said, as a fresh battle raged at the luxury Taj Mahal hotel and other Indian forces ended a siege at another five-star hotel.


    CNN reported the government had cut off their live transmissions from the scene in Mumbai. Authorities have asked not to show live footage of their battle with the militants because they believe the gunmen were monitoring the news.


    They began at about 9:20 p.m. with shooters spraying gunfire across the Chhatrapati Shivaji railroad station, one of the world's busiest terminals. For the next two hours, there was an attack roughly every 15 minutes _ the Jewish center, a tourist restaurant, one hotel, then another, and two attacks on hospitals.

    Restoring Order

  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

  51. With no improvement in sight on the economic front, foreign policy struggles to attract attention. Rather than looking at substantive topics, the bulk of analysis was focused on the now confirmed appointment of Hillary Clinton as the next Secretary of State.

    White House contacts tell us that President Bush is seeking to defend the main themes of his presidency rather than risking new policy initiatives. He is particularly minded to resist what he sees as a trend toward protectionism in responding to the financial crisis.

    A Treasury official commented to us: “Bush was pleased that the G-20 summit endorsed his emphasis on free trade and open markets.” He repeated this theme at the APEC summit.

    Washington's World

  52. By the guesstimates of the witnesses, say a platoon size element of terrorists, at most.

    If some of them are from the Leeds area of England, then their weapons training occured in Pakistan. More likely than not.

    The Paki Ambassador says "his country" was not involved. By that does he mean their President, the Government, seperate from the Army and/or the ISI, any of people in the Tribal Administrated Areas or some combination of the fore mentioned, that can be wrapped in the burga of "Pakistan".

    I'm not sure what wobbly meant by ideology and it's applicability to Muslims.
    The US was fully engaged in the pursuit of those terrorists that sponsored the 9-11-01 attacks. They had initially found refuge in Afghanistan and then in Pakistan. In both locales they were sponsored by the ISI of Pakistan.

    We allowed the Pakistani to provide the terrorists sanctuary, while they regrouped and retrained.

    That was Mr Bush's decision, not to prosecute the War on Terror, but instead, assigned the US military the mission of creating a secular Iraq. Then, after a number of years of failure, just a stable Iraq.
    No cultural restructuring required

    Now we will be fighting Afghanis in Afghanistan, while the terrorists get ready to bounce from Pakistan into China, where even Obamasan may fear to tread.

    That had nothing to do with an ideology, just poor strategic moves on the part of Mr Bush and his Team, civilian and military.

    The foolishness of "the long war" the failure of which old wretchard was whining about. Someone brought it here, as if wretchard was or ever had been right, about the "long war".

    Strategic shammery, that entire phraseology. The symbolizsm of no victory expected. Because it cannot be obtained, with out "cultural modification". Efforts of which fail in New Orleans and Detroit, let alone Warizistan.

    A poor strategy, poorly executed, for a war of any importance.

    Instead of victory, we invite a Mumbai scenario in the United States.

  53. An Arizona opinion on why Napolitano goes to DHS.

    Arizona is almost in as bad of shape as California, and California is a disaster area. So the financial chickens are about to come to roost here in Arizona for the drunken spending spree the state has been on, presided over by Napolitano. To preserve her from going to the Gray Davis Memorial Retirement Home for Failed Governors, Obama is likely to beam her up to Washington.


    Sample from comments there: Our gain is the nation's loss. Homeland security should go to someone who understands both words, at a minimum.

  54. The Indian government will point a finger at Pakistan. The Pakistani security service, the ISI, has long fostered anti-India terror groups, but it’s hard to believe that the Pakistani government — warming up to India of late — had a direct, official role in the attacks.

    ISI alone can’t be blamed for India’s terrorism problem. Side by side with the New India of Bollywood and a lunar probe is an India of Hindu-Muslim communal violence and anti-Muslim discrimination.

    Young Muslims now score more poorly on literacy tests than the Hindu “untouchables.” A disaffected Muslim population of 150 million in India is an inevitable breeding ground for militancy.

    In the Crosshairs

  55. I must admit I enjoyed reading the bad reviews of Rosie O'Donnell's ego trip /variety show. It couldn't have happened to a nicer conspiracy theorist.


    Here is a sampling of the reviews:

    From thrfeed:

    The network's attempt to revive the primetime variety show failed to draw an audience Wednesday night, tying for the evening's lowest-rated program. A mere 5 million viewers tuned in for the 8 p.m. premiere of "Rosie Live," with the program earning a 1.2 preliminary adults 18-49 rating.


    From TV Guide:

    If the TV variety format weren't already dead, the ghastly ego trip of NBC's Thanksgiving-eve turkey Rosie Live would surely have killed it. Like the pie Alec Baldwin predictably pushed into Conan O'Brien's face that fell to the floor without sticking, the entire hour landed with a sickening, sad, ill-conceived thud.


    And this from a sympathetic LA Times:

    Two words: Dancing food. "Rosie Live" ended with dancing food.

    Bye-bye, Rosie

  56. But here is what Janine di Giovanni, an American expatriate living in Paris, wrote in London’s Evening Standard:

    The surrealness of it struck me yesterday at Bon Marche. The man at the exchange counter, usually so surly, asked me my nationality.

    I got ready to do the usual: bowing my head with shame and whispering so no one could hear: ‘Americaine.’

    Thanks to the election, this cringe was no longer necessary, neither from the prudential nor the philosophical point of view: Then it hit me. I no longer had to feel ashamed!

    Planet Obama

  57. Almost two days after terrorists attacked the Indian financial hub of Mumbai, the military is still working to root out the remnants of the assault teams at two hotels and a Jewish center. More than 125 people, including six foreigners, have been killed and 327 more have been wounded.


    While the exact size of the assault force and the support cells is still not known, police estimate about 25 gunmen were involved in the attack. The number of members of the supporting cells that provide financing, training, transportation, and other services could be two to four times this number.


    One of the more intriguing aspects of the attack is how the teams entered Mumbai. Reports indicate at least two of the assault teams arrived from outside the city by sea around 9 p.m. local time.

    Differs From Past Terror Strikes

  58. Bush briefed: Cyberstrike, apparently from inside Russia, has affected U.S. computers in battle zones --

    BULLETIN -- 5 hostages were killed in Jewish center -- MUMBAI, India (AP) — Commandos who stormed the Mumbai headquarters of an ultra-orthodox Jewish group found the bodies of five hostages inside, an Israeli emergency medical crew said, as a fresh battle raged at the luxury Taj Mahal hotel and other Indian forces ended a siege at another five-star hotel. More than 150 people have been killed since gunmen attacked 10 sites across India's financial capital starting Wednesday night, including 22 foreigners — two of them Americans, officials said."

    TWO AMERICANS KILLED -- Reuters: "The U.S. State Department said Friday two Americans were among those killed in the attacks by militants in the Indian financial capital Mumbai.
    Spokesman Gordon Duguid said the department had notified the families of the victims.


  59. Napolitano won the last election with 62% of the vote. It is true that the State is facing revenue shortfalls, but not because the State government are spendthrifts.

    Old time GOPer hold the State House and write the budgets. We spend about half, per capita as they do in Florida. I recall when whit and I had that discussion, FL spending around $7,000 to AZ's $3,400 per capita per year.

  60. If Sir John Templeton were alive today, he'd probably be snatching up stock. The billionaire investor made his biggest gains during the 20th century's bleakest moments.


    As much as Sir John was gifted at picking stocks that garnered grand returns, he was uninterested in the fruits of his economic grains. He always flew coach.

    He abhorred debt and was a proponent of thrift - during the first years of his career, he saved 50 cents of every dollar he earned. He had a clear vision for his life, and described it this way: "To open people's minds so no one will be so conceited that they think they have the total truth.

    John Templeton

  61. Her sending the AZ National Guard to the border, that was a propaganda move, but timely.

    As to citizenship and aspects of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, she supports the Republican position, as articulated by John McCain and GW Bush.

  62. The construction of Combat Outposts (COPs) by the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq has been almost unanimously described in positive terms by defense analysts and military officers as a means through which to carry out its counterinsurgency efforts. Despite the existence of hundreds of COPs on today’s battlefields, the term Combat Outpost is not even doctrinally defined in any military field manual.


    The most important concept in COP development is real-estate. Military forces cannot simply build on any land they choose, and if they do choose COP development haphazardly then the repercussions can be severe and deadly.


    A conventional COP requires months of preparation and its gradual development does not provide the unit with the means to benefit from a tactical surprise. Commanders who wish to establish COPs need to ensure proper staff work and planning is done prior to breaking ground on the COP.


  63. Internationally, this event will further aggravate Indian-Pakistani relations, making it harder for the incoming Obama Administration to effect a rapprochement between the two countries, necessary for progress in Afghanistan, where the two subcontinental states are engaged in a proxy struggle that goes on behind the immediate conflict between the United States and al-Qaeda.

    But the real story is India itself, whose undeniable rise as a major world power is being threatened by these civilizational tensions.

    I have just spent a month reporting in Gujarat on Hindu-Muslim relations, and will have much more to say on the subject in the future.

    Behind Mumbai

  64. Has anyone pointed out yet that with the
    Walmart Stampede of Death®
    we have now matched and exceeded our Muslim Brothers (and their yearly religious stampedes) in Absurdity, if not in Magnitude, of Tragicomic Human Folly?

  65. But in her own right, Sen. Clinton has much to recommend her as secretary of state. During the presidential debates, she played bad cop to Barack Obama's good one.

    Lest we forget, she was an early advocate of deposing Saddam Hussein in Iraq. And she supported the war there, at least till it grew unpopular, at which point she sought to appease the growing influence of the defeatists and conspiracy theorists in her party's primaries.

    A born fighter, she's not likely to surrender in Iraq now that victory is in sight. And she's consistently taken a tough line against Iran's mullahs and their incendiary front man, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    Barack the Practical

  66. Earlier, an El Al plane carrying some 300 Israelis arrived at Ben Gurion Airport from Mumbai.

    One of the passengers described the atmosphere in the city to Army Radio.

    "There was a feeling of fear, panic and naivety on the part of the Indians. They realized that they did not know how to take control of the situation.

    Chabad House

  67. I love the way everyone from DUMB ASS Medved to the MSM all ignore that Hussein has surrounded himself with totally CORRUPT Motherfuckers.

  68. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel's Channel 1 TV that the bodies of three women and three men were found at the center. Some of the victims had been bound, Mr. Barak said.

    "All in all, it was a difficult spectacle," he said.

    CNN reported the government had cut off their live transmissions from the scene in Bombay. Authorities have asked not to show live broadcasts of the battle because they believe the gunmen were monitoring the news.

    160 Dead

  69. The unprecedented nature of the attacks in Mumbai made the potential fallout that much harder to gauge.

    Geopolitical research firm Stratfor noted previous attacks in India appeared designed to stoke religious violence. "As opposed to trying to rile up extremist elements in India's Hindu and Muslim communities, the attacks in Mumbai are going after the country's tourism industry, spreading fear — thereby hitting at India's economic lifelines."

    Then again, India has largely avoided massive Hindu-Muslim violence, despite the terrorist provocations.

    Taj Mahal Hotel

  70. There is a simple answer to the frequent, hyperbolic assertion that such a process would be abused: Chapter 13 is no walk in the park. It requires public disclosure of every aspect of your life, examinations under oath by a trustee and creditors, allowing creditors to haul you into court on any objection, and relinquishment of control of your financial life for up to five years.

    If you falter, your case will be dismissed and you will lose the entire benefit of the bankruptcy law, including having your original contract terms reinstated. That is precisely why allowing mortgage modifications is such a good approach.

    It would elegantly separate those homeowners who desperately need to stay in their homes and have sufficient incomes to make reasonable payments from those investors who bet on lax regulation, easy credit and an appreciating market in buying residential properties. Those in the latter category will have no use for this process, but for the first category, it could be a powerful step back to financial stability.

    Bankruptcy Reform

  71. But another industry source said automakers might balk at a rise from the efficiency mandates set in 2007 energy legislation.

    "(Fuel efficiency) is an important goal. Right now, though, we just have to survive the next six months," the source said.

    "Is adding an additional mandate where we want to be?"

    25 Bil

  72. The Obama‐Biden comprehensive New Energy for America plan will:

    • Provide short‐term relief to American families facing pain at the pump

    • Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years
    to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.

    • Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela

    Energy for America

  73. What is the word that springs into a normal human's mind when you look at this photo of one of the Mumbai jihadis, who was then in the process of murdering at least 130 innocent people? Go ahead, finish the sentence with one word--multiple choice:

    "This man looks very...

    A) homicidal
    B) demonic
    C) demented
    D) bloodthirsty

    The answer, of course, is ANY or ALL of the above...But not for NBC's Richard Engel, who apparently just defined himself out of the "normal human" category when he appeared on the NBC Nightly News on Nov. 26.

    Islamist Evil

  74. We interviewed Stanley Kurtz, I did, of National Review Online, The Ethics and Public Policy Center. He's done the job the Drive-Bys used to do on people, looking into Barack Obama.

    One of the things he said that I was not fully aware of, I've been under the impression that Obama arrived in Chicago a little innocent waif who had some ideas about what he wanted to do, but somehow was discovered by all these leftist radicals.
    When in fact it's the other way around!

    Obama arrived in Chicago as a radical ideologue and set out finding the people he needed to find and get to know, to move his agenda and vision forward.
    It was Obama who found Ayers.

    Now, it may well be that Ayers got his career going by hosting a fundraiser in his house, but it was Obama who found these people. It was Obama who found Jeremiah Wright. Obama's not the innocent little guy who's been corrupted by these leftist radicals.

    He is one of them, and you will hear it all as Stanley Kurtz explains it.
    A lot of these radicals have blended and modified their outward appearance so that they could go unseen but they held fast to their radical views: unadulterated socialism, the overthrow of capitalism.
    Now, remember, journalists and academics live in a world of zero quantitative measurement.
    They spend their days contemplating their navels, resenting the achievers.
    They teach each other this.
    It's a mantra they keep saying to themselves. Bill Ayers is as radical as he ever was! Obama, I don't care if he says he was only eight when Ayers did this stuff, he's known Ayers all of his life! He shared an office with Bill Ayers and ACORN, I think, for three years. Do you think sharing an address, they might have run into each other in three years?
    So here's the Ayers sound bite.
    - Limbaugh

    "I considered myself partly an anarchist then and I consider myself partly an anarchist now. I mean, I am as much an anarchist as I am a Marxist, um, which is to say I find a lot of the ideas in anarchism, you know, appealing and I'm very open about what I think, nobody here surprised by what I think. The struggle over various religious fundamentalism it's jihad being, you know, the most visible.
    But the religious fundamentalism of the Christians and of the Jews is equally troubling.
    Is one of the regrets that I took extreme measures against the United States at a time of tremendous crisis?
    No, it's not. I don't regret that

    Now, keep in mind:
    seven days later, after this, Ayers appeared with Obama on a panel.

  75. "They (terrorists) are changing their positions. We have to also, on the spot, try and change our tactics, strategies," Director General of NSG J K Dutt said when asked about the Taj siege where militants are still holed up.

    "From the intensity of the firing and different area they have occupied, I would say there would be two or three of them," he said.

    The NSG chief said the final picture will emerge only after the final operation is over and the checking of the room is complete.

    Besieged Taj

  76. Police have seized surveillance video. Some in the crowd may face criminal charges, amid questions if Wal-Mart's security was adequate as they promoted huge sales.

    Wal-Mart issued a statement, which reads: "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time. We are working closely with the Nassau county police as they investigate what occurred."

    CBS 2 HD has also heard a report about an incident when the Farmingdale Wal-Mart opened Friday morning. The person involved was not injured.

    L.I. Walmart

  77. You want to know how easy it will be to cut our gasoline consumption in half. At first glance you're going to think I've made a mistake.

    Increase the efficiency of our engines from 20 mpg to 30 mpg (believe me, by spending an extra hundred dollars, or so, to make our engines VVT (varible valve timing,) DI(Direct Injection) and VRT (variable ratio turbocharged) this is as easy as falling off a log. Same horsepower, much smaller, more efficient engines.

    Increase our gasoline from zero ethanol to E24 (24% ethanol - approx what the Brazilians are using, now. We're about 1/3 of the way there, already, btw.)

    This takes us from approx. 9.5 million barrels/day to about 4.75 million barrels/day.

    The Maths: 20 mpg yields .05 gallons/mile.

    30 mpg yields .033 gallons/mi. Multiply .033 by .76

    You get .025 gallons/mile.

  78. The current lack of strong leadership at the helm of Israel’s government is being perceived as a symbol of weakness, especially by radical Islamists, who could exploit this period of uncertainty and use it to their advantage to further advance their goals of Middle East domination. The current vacuum in Israel’s political system affords rogue states and terrorist entities a window of opportunity to consolidate and formulate new strategies of aggression.


    During this current period, when the U.S. leadership is also in political transition and there is less American mediation efforts on the Middle East track, Hamas has little incentive to negotiate a successful prisoner swap with Israel. Such a swap would result in the release of Israel’s P.O.W. Gilad Shalit who has been held in captivity for more than two years.


    What is even more disconcerting to Israeli intelligence officials is the Hizballah-Syrian axis that has solidified in recent months. This symbiotic relationship has afforded Hizballah operatives the freedom to access Syria’s strategic arms capabilities.

    Deterrence Capability

  79. He may have been motivated enough to kill innocents indiscriminately. In police custody, Ajmal Amir Kasab, the terrorist who was caught alive by
    the Mumbai police at Girgaum Chowpatty, has been forthcoming with details about the attack on Mumbai and his accomplices, all suspected Lashkar operatives from Pakistan.

    Kasab, who sustained minor injuries in the police firing that killed his partner Abu Ismail (25) on Wednesday night, was produced before the Esplanade Metropolitan Magistrate on Friday. The magistrate remanded him to police custody till December 8.

    Incidentally, Kasab and Ismail were the two who gunned down ATS chief Hemant Karkare, additional CP Ashok Kamthe and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar.

    Hoped to Get Away

  80. Scientists Identify a Potentially Universal Mechanism of Aging
    Posted by Soulskill on Friday November 28, @07:08PM
    from the wonder-if-boosterspice-is-covered-by-health-care dept.
    Biotech Science

    cybergenesis2008 points us to a summary of research out of Harvard Medical School in which a set of genes known to affect aging in yeast was found to affect aging in mice as well. The genes, called sirtuins, perform two particular tasks; regulating which genes are "on" and "off," and also helping to repair damaged DNA. As an organism ages, the frequency of damage to DNA increases, leaving less time for the sirtuins' regulatory tasks. The increasingly unregulated genes then become a significant factor in aging. Realizing this, the researchers "administered extra copies of the sirtuin gene [to the mice], or fed them the sirtuin activator resveratrol, which in turn extended their mean lifespan by 24 to 46 percent."

  81. Jan Vinzenz Krause, the institute's director, told Reuters Friday the data was collected over a period of eight months.

    He did not want to comment on how honest he thought the Frenchmen had been in reporting the data.

    The survey was aimed at educating youngsters about the importance of effective contraception.

    Biggest Condoms

  82. Call it "The Wild 'n Crazy Guy–Billionaire Style." Maria Bartiromo's interview of Saudi Prince Alwaleed, the largest shareholder of Citigroup, is literally a Saturday Night Live skit waiting—begging—to happen.

    CNBC's Bartiromo conducted the interview by remote this afternoon. When the camera went to the prince in Riyadh, you might have expected to find him in a TV studio, or perhaps in his business office, maybe even in one of his palace rooms.

    But no, there he was sitting outdoors, apparently by his stables, with seated camels and sleek horses very visible in the background. And rather than being attired in business or traditional Saudi dress, the Prince was duded up with an open collar, tinted glasses and a scarf warding off the desert's cool night air.

    Skit Begging to Happen

  83. So India's gotta take out Lashkar now. Don't they?

  84. Due to unexpected delays, wandering off course, and searching for the best settlement site, the Mayflower, carrying 102 settlers, finally anchored at what was to become the settlement of Plymouth on December 21, 1620, the dead of winter. William Bradford, destined to become the second governor of the colony and the longest serving, wrote in his diary while still on the ship and contemplating "this poor people's present condition":

    Being thus passed the vast ocean, they had now no friends to welcome them, nor inns to entertain or refresh their weatherbeaten bodies; no houses or much less towns to repair to, or to seek for succor….And for the season it was winter, and they know that the winters of that country [are] sharp and violent, and subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search an unknown coast.

    Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wild beasts and wild men—and what multitudes there might be of them they know not….If they looked behind them, there was the mighty ocean which they had passed and was now as a main bar and gulf to separate them from all the civil parts of the world….

    Financial Crisis

  85. The Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, blamed the multiple attacks on forces “outside the country”, a thinly veiled reference to Pakistan. The Indian Navy boarded a cargo ship that had recently arrived in Bombay from Pakistan.

    The tension conjured memories of a militant attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001, which almost sparked a fourth war between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

    Helicopters buzzed and crowds cheered as commandos moved into the Oberoi, where 20 to 30 people were thought to have been taken hostage and more than 100 were trapped in rooms. Gunshots rang out and flames billowed from a window.

    Finger at Pakistan

  86. Today, a new, different terror army, with several branches is being developed. This army includes all the elements of a military, but exploits the approach of the terrorist.

    The terror army enjoys the advantages of feeling exempt from any international law or convention, and of being exempt from international pressure or accountability. In addition, they handicap the power of their opponent through exploitation of the claims of internationally accepted values of human rights, correct treatment of prisoners of war, and prevention of harm to civilian populations - though none of these values apply to them, but only to their opponent.

    Unfortunately, the world is slow to prepare for this growing threat. Every new terror attack illustrates that the danger to the stability of a range of governments and societies is much greater than we could have imagined.

    Rethink how We Fight

  87. I Want My X-Box 360! The pregnant lady lost her child, too.

    We used to put on some great Christmases, here. Kids would make presents, weaving baskets, etc. We kids would all give a little piano ricital or flute recital or something. Cribbage and bridge games. Absolutley first class great dinner. Church at midnight. Festivity all the way through, the way it should be.

  88. Most Czech opposition parties are against the missile defense plan and demand a nationwide referendum on the issue.

    Jan Tamas, an organizer of numerous public protests against the radar, called Thursday's vote "a major setback."

    "I believe this day will be remembered as Black Thursday in the history in our country," he said.

    Antimissile Plan

  89. Snow, and lots of it, too. Snowmen, snowball fights, carols.


  90. I remember Christmas at grandpa and grandma's in Spokane every year growing up as a kid. Snow. Man, you ain't kiddin'. Lots of it. Memories of it are like it was a winter wonderland. Fairy tale stuff. It was a winter wonderland.

  91. Whit, the biggest poisonous snake I ever saw was a giant timber rattler somebody had killed and had hanging in a tree, half skinned. It had to be way over 12 feet long. I couldn't get my hands nearly around its body. Primeval, prehistoric, biblical. Wow. I didn't know they made them so big.

  92. I remember Sam. We'd usually take one trip to Spokane during the holidays. Make up some reason to go. Davenport Hotel would be base, we'd spread out from there, then meet back there at the end of the day.

    Dad would always go to the
    Spokane Stock Exchange(mining stocks, now defunct) and PM Jacoys cigar shop.

  93. I've got relatives in Davenport. Half cousin.

    My grandparents were in Otis Orchards. That was home base for Christmas.

  94. Hundreds of onlookers, many with binoculars, crowded onto roofs and in narrow alleys of south Mumbai, trying to catch a glimpse of the dramatic commando assault.

    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blamed the attacks on militant groups based in neighboring countries, usually meaning Pakistan, raising fears of renewed tension between the nuclear-armed rivals.

    "It is evident that the group which carried out these attacks, based outside the country, had come with single-minded determination to create havoc in the commercial capital of the country," he said in a televised address. "We will take the strongest possible measures to ensure that there is no repetition of such terrorist acts."

    Chabad House

  95. The Agency Review Teams for the Obama-Biden Transition will complete a thorough review of key departments, agencies and commissions of the United States government, as well as the White House, to provide the President-elect, Vice President-elect, and key advisors with information needed to make strategic policy, budgetary, and personnel decisions prior to the inauguration. The Teams will ensure that senior appointees have the information necessary to complete the confirmation process, lead their departments, and begin implementing signature policy initiatives immediately after they are sworn in.

    Review Teams

  96. Two dead in festive shopping at Toys R Us

    Guns R Us.

  97. I know everyone is obsessed with the "team of rivals" idea right now, but I feel incredibly frustrated. Even after two landslide elections in a row, are our only governing options as a nation either all right-wing Republicans, or a centrist mixture of Democrats and Republicans?

    Isn't there ever a point when we can get an actual Democratic administration? Also, why isn't there a single member of Obama's cabinet who will be advising him from the left?

    It seems to me as though there is a team of rivals, except for the left, which is left off the team entirely.

    NSA Pick

  98. He said conjugal life caused "too much ups and downs".


    Sex Causes Trouble, Says Dalai Lama

  99. However, if that was the intention, the terrorists are likely to be disappointed. Bombay and India in general have been victims of terror before, although not in so spectacular a fashion.

    And yet they have managed to absorb the shock and move ahead.

    As always, the terrorists may end up like the man who, having won a great many tokens at the roulette table, is surprised when the casino tells him his winnings cannot be cashed.

    Terrorists' Tactics

  100. Letter from John Jay to George Washington---

    Dear Sir,

    Permit me to hint whether it would not be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of foreigners into the administration of our national government ; and to declare expressly that the command in chief of the American army shall not be given to, nor devolve on any but a natural born citizen.

    I remain, dear sir,

    Your faithful friend and servant,

    John Jay.

    If Donofrio's case is heard, it will be a case of first impression. We've never had a President that wasn't born here of two American citizen parents.

    Only two cases have even mentioned natural born citizen.

    Ack case used term native born citizen. Born as a citizen, but not natural born. Then there was some case in Kentucky circa 1860's.

  101. Tepresentative John A. Bingham, who wrote the 14th Amendment, "born of naturalized parents within the jurisdiction of the United States" not owing any other allegiance etc....

    What Is A Natural Born Citizen?


    The birth certificate issue is an ancillary issue.

  102. Well, I'm about out of here for the day, Bob. 5 more minutes here.

    Take care, friend.

  103. A Place for T to call home:

    Ruby Red:
    Gender: Female
    About Me
    I was raised a Roman Catholic Christian but I am definitely lapsed now! Politically I am coming from, let us say, the left hand of the spectrum.
    I'm no longer a practicing homosexual because I've gotten so damn good at it.
    I chose the "lesbian lifestyle" when I was in my mother's the womb so I could get an early start. The first seven letters of my name really are "Ruby Red".

    My Blogs
    Team Members

    Blogs I Follow
    Butch Boo
    Creatively Flowing
    Ice Pony Trekking
    In Search Of A Lesbian Kiss To Be Desired
    Jess I Am
    Let's Be In Life
    Love the Eclectic Life
    Martini Cartwheels
    Mid-Life Clarity
    Militia Etheridge
    Mound of Blue Dykes

  104. That caught your eye too, eh, Bob?
    Militia Etheridge is my fav.
    More Martini:

    Family Values

    Ahh Thanksgiving - to me it means spending time with family and friends and just taking time to enjoy the people in our lives who really mean so much.

    You can see the love for me emanating from my niece. I can just tell by the look in her eye that I am her favorite aunt.

  105. Ruby Red is NOT one of Fred's favorites @ BC.

  106. Definitely stay away from "In Search of a Lesbian Kiss To Be Desired", al-Doug, unless you are a stronger man than I.

    Particularily, the 'erotic' writings.

  107. 57. peterike:

    I wonder if the guys behind the attack don’t quite understand the American electoral system and they thought Obama was already President.

    Anyway, on the subject of RR. I went to check out her blog. Lots of tedious psycho-babble about Lesbianism, none of which I could care less about, but more power to her if she wants to write such things. But she also posted a little “poem” that was an offense against the English language it was so trite and stupid. So I posted a comment saying just that.

    She deleted the comment. Not only that, she posted a comment that she deleted the comment, suspecting rightly that I found my way there via Belmont, which she referred to as a “fascist blog.”

    I suppose the irony of this “fascist blog” letting her comments stand, as written, while her “liberal blog” immediately deletes criticism won’t phase her. I posted there again, to make that point. I suspect that will get deleted as well.

    I suppose the irony of this “fascist blog” letting her comments stand, as written, while her “liberal blog” immediately deletes criticism won’t phase her. I posted there again, to make that point.
    I suspect that will get deleted as well

    Doug said...

    Huh? What irony?
    All systems normal.
    Liberal Fascism creates an
    Irony Free Zone™

  108. I'm glad you put the resource up, al-doug. I'm learnin' alot---

    Things Xena and Gabrielle Do With Each Other

    1. First one ready for bed gets the Delight of the Chakram.
    2. Playing "Xena And The Slave Girl".
    3. Playing Lard on the Bard.
    4. Xena invents the Venus Butterfly procedure.
    5. Gabby leaves her a note: I'm waiting. Meet me in the woods Just bring your whip and your boots.
    6. Gabby enunciates the entire Illiad on Xena with her tongue.
    7. Playing "Find the soap".
    8. Playing "Pleasure in Chains"
    9. Playing "Hide the key to the kingdom""

    GABBY "How come you're always the prince? It's my turn to be the prince!"

    XENA "I'll wrestle ya for it!"

    10. Pearl diving.
    11. Canyon Yodeling
    12. Sneezing In The Basket
    13. Eating A Box Lunch
    14. Eating A Tuna Taco
    15. Muff Barking
    16. Talking To The Canoe Driver

    But, as to #1, what is "the Delight of the Chakram"?

  109. I wondered what the top ten list had in it!
    Funny stuff, in a twisted World.

  110. Googling quickly, I see that the 'Chakram' may be some kind of weapon used by one 'Xena, the Warrior Princess', whoever she is. But I still don't understand.....

  111. 6. Gabby enunciates the entire Illiad on Xena with her tongue.
    Now where Gabby got her name is no longer a mystery.

  112. Maybe I shouldn't understand.

  113. Gabby Chrysostom, whose eloquence would thrill one with pleasure....

  114. "Muff Barking" sounds interesting.

    wuff wuff

  115. Sitting here waiting for Service Pack 1 to finish installing.
    ...after re-installing Vista (now comes everything else)
    Finally figured out why so many people with Vista on Hp's are having the same nightmares:
    They come with Norton Antivirus installed, and the only way to avoid being fucked for good is to get rid of every trace of Norton before installing any other Virus Software.

    Norton should be outlawed.

  116. Red Ruby, Red Ruby
    You are my Newby
    And I do love your Booby
    And how you are so Luby
    Down there Below.

    old Lesbo drinking song

  117. Doug, this case by Leo Donofrio is interesting, despite the flake I'm taking from some other posters. He had a hell of a time getting past the law clerk at the Supreme Court, who denied him on his own say so. He also had a hell of a time in New Jersey. And, another guy ran into the same problem at the Supreme Court, too. So, a misconduct charge has been filed against the clerk, Danny Bickell.

    I don't have any idea how this Donofrio case will go. It may well get booted, but, I think he makes a great case against the Usurper, which doesn't rely on any birth certificate business, though he threw that in too.

    It's interesting, I'll say that. Scalia is probably on his side, maybe Thomas, maybe Roberts, maybe even Stevens. Just have to wait and see. No way of telling.

  118. The Outrage is we do not get to see ONE BIT of documentation on this Marxist Fraud Crook:
    No certificate, no transcripts from colleges, ZERO history on his days at Columbia, Lies about High School, Lies about grammar school, Lies about Wright, Lies about Ayers, Lies about Rezko, etc etc etc.
    Who is the REAL FLAKE? (sic)

  119. 65. heather:

    It will not be a pretty sight, watching Obama send in American soldiers to (finally) hunt down Osama Bin Laden and therefore end Bush’s war. And, as Ruby says, get back to that old time police work, with no worries about all those foreigners…

    That is why Ruby’s contributions are useful. It is always well to know just how really stupid it is possible to be.

    Anyway, I am a Canadian, and I have decided that the smart thing for all Canadian soldiers to get out of Afghanistan. I have supported our troops up to now, but I am afraid that Obama’s way will be a disaster for the soldiers on the ground.

    And as far as Islam is concerned, given its track record since 1948, compared to those of the Japanese, the Chinese and the Indians, its proper place is at the bottom of humanity’s totem pole. It is becoming clear that a nuclear war will be necessary to bring that about.

    I think India just may be the country to do that. Certainly, given Obama’s power, the USA has taken itself out of contention as a world leader.

  120. Why would we need--I don't think we do need--a Hatch Amendment?

    The Equal Opportunity to Govern Amendment, otherwise known as The Hatch Amendment of 2003, passed, it reads:

    “Section 1. A person who is a citizen of the United States, who has been for 20 years a citizen of the United States, and who is otherwise eligible to the Office of President, is not ineligible to that Office by reason of not being a native born citizen of the United States.

    Section 2. This article shall not take effect unless it has been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States not later than 7 years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.”

  121. A Person born in America is subject to Post Natal Abortion in Obamanation.

    ...being a
    "temporarily living fetus"
    because he says so.

  122. Hatch reminds me of Obama and The Hyde Amendment:
    Which will be done away with in Obamanation.
    ...and Dhimmi Jews like Medved Pretend it's 1939, and all is well.

  123. This comment has been removed by the author.

  124. The first "Black" Pressident will effectuate the ethnic cleansing of poor blacks in America if he and McCain suceed in giving amnesty to 20 Million Scumbags eager to do just that.
    ...leaving only poor black/Muslim ghettos like Detroit.

    Most likely gonna happen.

  125. KGB file?
    For all that ammonium nitrate you had sequestered away?

  126. I've been using a free product called "Avast" for over a year now, with great results. Many others have too.
    They make a Pro Edition for commercial use.

    Used to use CA Antivirus.

  127. No files here, just a bunch of those Bond Women who couldn't get enough of me.

  128. Norton should be outlawed.


    Know what you're goin through, there Doug.

    I'm using Kaspersky and like it, but it comes with some uncertainty. It's a Russian product, and I have some reservations about being hacked, not by Kaspersky Labs, but by the Russian mafia if they ever coerce or penetrate Kaspersky & Company.

  129. Slicked off that other comment before I get accused of the tin-foil hat syndrome. Depended on where you were and what you were doing at a certain time in history.

    Kaspersky is easy to update manually, usually a couple of minutes every two days, and runs unobtrusively in background. Their tech support is good, too. Just don't trust the Russian thing. Norton had me stalled most of the time with their damned auto-updates.

  130. Those bond women love to be penetrated.

  131. Wonder where T has been keeping herself lately?

  132. Yeah, the Avast servers are INSTANTANEOUS compared to McAfee, Norton, and etc.

    ...I've yet to figure how they're so quick.
    Forgot where they're comin from.

  133. With Avast can you avoid auto-updates and just update when you get a notice?

  134. ...I set mine to manual, so it doesn't do all that crap when I first turn on the computer.
    That's always a hassel, became a complete nightmare when the computer slowed to a crawl, thanks to Norton's Devilish Remnants.

  135. Sp1 is 98% complete:
    Nirvana is @ hand!

  136. (two more days of software/registration drudgery!)

  137. When I get some time I'd like to partition my drive, and go to one of those unix or lenix, or xerox, or whatever the hell they are os. I'll check with Ms T when that time comes.

    It's hell to get old.

  138. Wrong!
    "Stage 2 of 3 - 0% complete."

    Say La Vie,
    As we said,
    In Avenal.

  139. You reminded me of the Xerox mass killer in Honolulu.
    Japanese guy,
    most likely not a Jihadist.

  140. Yeah, son retrieved all my data with a "Ubantu" Linux Disk of some kind. should see him speed through all the command line stuff:
    Definitely not in my league.

  141. Drove by Bass Lake on Thanksgiving. You probably wouldn't recognize it. The old Ducy's Lodge burned down awhile back, and The Pines has mushroomed into a major resort. Don't know anybody over there anymore. RV parks up on the highway to North Fork, etc. The private land on the upper end of the lake is stacked with condos to the ridgetop, it seems.

  142. Ubantu!

    That's it. Had my eye on it a while back.

    I just dread the downtime to reformat and all that shit.

    What AV do you run with that? Same as with XP?

  143. When he was sixteen, the kid and another guy emulated a 3 Com Router in Software for the ISP they worked for.
    Great OJT Experience.

  144. I don't have any idea what you need to run that.
    I like all the miscellaneous crap they make that works with Windows.
    ...not to mention my favorite 15 year old programs that still RUN.
    (Take THAT, Deuce!)

  145. Stage 3 of 3: 0%
    All I have left is the 10 Mile Open Water Swim to come in last in the Triathalon!

  146. Good night, Doug.

    Good night, Bob. Wherever you are. Contemplating pearl diving, canyon yodeling...tuna tacos...

  147. the ENTIRE FUCKING Illiad on Xena with her tongue...


  148. (I'm humming that to "Venus" by...)

  149. FRANKIE AVALON, it was:

    Hey, Venus
    Oh, Venus

    Venus, if you will
    Please send a little girl for me to thrill
    A girl who wants my kisses and my arms
    A girl with all the charms of you

    Venus, make her fair
    A lovely girl with sunlight in her hair
    And take the brightest stars up in the skies
    And place them in her eyes for me

    Venus, goddess of love that you are
    Surely the things I ask
    Can't be too great a task

    Venus, if you do
    I promise that I always will be true
    I'll give her all the love I have to give
    As long as we both shall live

    Venus, goddess of love that you are
    Surely the things I ask
    Can't be too great a task

    Venus if you do
    I promise that I always will be true
    I'll give her all the love I have to give
    As long as we both shall live

    Hey, Venus
    Oh, Venus
    Make my wish come true.

  150. Why do lesbos and nasty old men have so much in common?

  151. ah, I'm back, I got carried away over there at "Love the Eclectic Life". Kind of like when I was in Hawaii paddling around on a surf board and the tides pulled me, and almost ended up in Japan. Never paddled so hard in my life.

    You got to watch some of these sites, can pull you right in.

    But I still can't figure out what this "Delight of the Chakram" is.

    Goodnight, Linear.

  152. I'm gonna ask T., next time she's around, that's what I'm gonna do.

  153. Shit man,
    The tides, and a Molokai Lagoon, just about did me in:
    Water was runnin out much faster than I could swim in.
    CRAWLED from volcanic (sharp) rock to rock to get back into the Lagoon. last sailing trip with a great friend, in much better shape than I, who passed quickly of a RARE (for men) form of cancer.
    ...I will always believe, unless research proves me wrong, that it was the fish and food he ate while serving in the Peace Corps in the Marshall Islands, courtesy of all the atom Bomb tests we conducted there.
    Stanford's best Docs couldn't save him.
    RIP, Tony.

  154. Bob says the fish are good. This whole atomic radiation business is a non issue. So stop with treehugger propaganda, Doug.

  155. ..stop with ^the treehugger propaganda..

  156. Mat is misquoting Bob, who has only said waste from nuclear reactors which is recycled is not that big a deal. Certainly a lot less of a deal than all the shit that comes from coal fired plants.

    How many have died in our nuclear industry? zero

    How many have died in the coal industry? many

  157. Since 1870, mining disasters have claimed the lives of over 30,000 men and boys in the anthracite mines of Pennsylvania.

  158. Mat is misquoting Bob, who has only said waste from nuclear reactors which is recycled is not that big a deal.

    That's true.

    But would Bob go swimming in that recycled nuclear reactor waste? I think it's a big deal. Bob thinks it's no big deal. Fortunately for Bob, he gots me to insist he should rather go swimming in the sewage polluted water of the Mediterranean. :)