“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Chachapoyas, Cloud People.

Lost city of 'cloud people' found in Peru
Archaeologists have discovered a lost city carved into the Andes Mountains by the mysterious Chachapoya tribe.

By Jeremy McDermott, Latin America Correspondent Telegraph
Last Updated: 7:39PM GMT 03 Dec 2008

Buildings carved into the Pachallama peak mountainside in Peru, by Chachapoya
The settlement covers some 12 acres and is perched on a mountainside in the remote Jamalca district of Utcubamba province in the northern jungles of Peru's Amazon.
The buildings found on the Pachallama peak are in remarkably good condition, estimated to be over 1,000 years old and comprised of the traditional round stone houses built by the Chachapoya, the 'Cloud Forest People'.

The area is completely overgrown with the jungle now covering much of the settlement but explorers found the walls of the buildings and rock paintings on a cliff face.
The remote nature of the site appears to have protected the site from looters as archaeologists found ceramics and undisturbed burial sites.
Archaeologist Benedicto Pérez Goicochea said: "The citadel is perched on the edge of an abyss.

"We suspect that the ancient inhabitants used this as a lookout point from where they could spot potential enemies."

The ruins were initially discovered by local people hacking through the jungle. They were drawn to the place due to the sound of a waterfall.

The local people "armed with machetes opened a path that arrived at the place where they saw a beautiful panorama, full of flowers and fauna, as well as a waterfall, some 500 metres high," said the mayor of Jamalca, Ricardo Cabrera Bravo.
Initial studies have found similarities between the new discovery and the Cloud Peoples' super fortress of Kulep, also in Utcubamba province, which is older and more extensive that the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu, but has not been fully explored or restored.

Little is known about the Chachapoya, except that they had been beaten into submission by the mighty Incas in 1475.

When in 1535 the Spanish Conquistadores arrived in Peru, they found willing allies in the Cloud People for their fight against the Incas.

Spanish texts from the era describe the Cloud People as ferocious fighters who mummified their dead.

They were eventually wiped out by small pox and other diseases brought by the Europeans.

The women of the Chachapoya were much prized by the Incas as they were tall and fair skinned. The Chronicler Pedro Cieza de León offers wrote of the Chachapoyas.
"They are the whitest and most handsome of all the people that I have seen in Indies, and their wives were so beautiful that because of their gentleness, many of them deserved to be the Incas' wives and to also be taken to the Sun Temple."


  1. I started the reading of this story thinking,
    "Those poor folks, now they'll really be screwed ..."

    Only to find out they already had been.

    No worries.

    So, bob, tomorrow is the day, is it not? The Supremes take the Obama birth classification case, or not.

    If not, he'll be in for the duration. If they take the case, acting President Biden is the best case scenario. Which is not really a 'best' case, at all.

    Good thing the Constitution is a living document, readily malable by activist Judges.

    Or not.

  2. I do not understand why the indictment of Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzalez, in Texas, has recieved no press coverage, bob.

  3. Shit, this was evident months before the election, sure do not need Karl to tell us now.

    McCain Couldn't Compete With Obama's Money - Karl Rove, Wall St Jrnl

  4. DR, if the Pubs don't learn to organize people with Web 2.0 they will go the way of the Whigs. It's not about the big donors buying access anymore, it's about millions of people throwing little $10 to $50 donations into one internet kitty.

  5. One guy is saying that if Obama and McCain are out, the Constitution Party, which got the third most votes, their guy would be President. Wouldn't that be ironic?

    The 20th Amendment says if the Pres-elect is out, the vice- Pres-elect is in, which would be Biden the Imbiber.

  6. They are the whitest and most handsome of all the people

    Pretty obvious they were early Swedes in the Americas, like Kennewick Man.

    Even Swedes would have a tough time against the mighty Inca, outnumbered as they were.

  7. But when they teamed up with the Spanish Conquistadores, the mighty Inca was cooked.

  8. Bobal: Pretty obvious they were early Swedes in the Americas, like Kennewick Man.

    No, Kennewick Man was one of the Lamanites. Ask the Missus.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. hmmm, coulda been a Nephite with a Lamanite cascade point in his gut, I quess.

    "Things were tough, in those days of the long ago."

  11. This guy really dislikes the Wall Street crowd. Must have been why he had to go. It is funny, how some politicos are never pricked, no matter their misdeeds, while others are slaughtered like lambs, on a sacrificial alter.

    Too Big Not To Fail

    We need to stop using the bailouts to rebuild gigantic financial institutions.

    By Eliot Spitzer
    Posted Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008

    Last month, as the financial crisis and the government rescue plan dominated headlines, almost everyone overlooked a news item that could have enormous long-term impact: GE Capital announced the acquisition of five mid-size airplanes—with an option to buy 20 more—produced by CACC, a new, Chinese-government-sponsored airline manufacturer.

    Why is that so significant? Two reasons: First, just as small steps signaled the Asian entry into our now essentially bankrupt auto sector 50 years ago, so the GE acquisition signals Asia's entry into one of our few remaining dominant manufacturing sectors. Boeing is still the world's leading commercial aviation company. CACC's emergence—and its particular advantage selling to Asian markets—means that Boeing now faces the rigors of an entirely new competitive playing field and that our commercial airplane sector is likely to suffer enormously over the coming decades.

    But the second implication is even bigger. The CACC story highlights the risk that current bailouts—a remarkable $7.8 trillion in equity, loans, and guarantees so far—may merely perpetuate a fundamentally flawed status quo. So far, at least, we are simply rebuilding the same edifice that just collapsed. None of the investments has even begun to address the underlying structural problems that are causing economic power to shift away from the United States, sector by sector:


    Two responses are possible: One is to accept the need for gigantic financial institutions and the impossibility of failure—and hence the reality of explicit government guarantees, such as Fannie and Freddie now have—but then to regulate the entities so heavily that they essentially become extensions of the government. To do so could risk the nimbleness we want from economic actors.

    The better policy is to return to an era of vibrant competition among multiple, smaller entities—none so essential to the entire structure that it is indispensable.

    The concentration of power—political as well as economic—that resided in these few institutions has made it impossible so far for this crisis to be used as an evolutionary step in confronting the true economic issues before us.

    But imagine if instead of merging more and more banks together, we had broken them apart and forced them to compete in a genuine manner. Or, alternatively, imagine if we had never placed ourselves in a position in which so many institutions were too big to fail. The bailouts might have been unnecessary.

    In that case, vast sums now being spent on rescue packages might have been available to increase the intellectual capabilities of the next generation, or to support basic research and development that could give us true competitive advantage, or to restructure our bloated health care sector, or to build the type of physical infrastructure we need to be competitive.

    It is time we permitted the market to work: This means true competition with winners and losers; companies that disappear; shareholders and CEOs who can lose as well as win; and government investment in the long-range competitiveness of our nation, not in a failed business model of financial concentration and failed risk management that holds nobody accountable.

    This point will be all too well driven home when the remaining investment bankers in New York board a CACC jet to fly to Washington to negotiate the terms of a government bailout of yet another U.S. financial institution that was deemed too big to fail.

  12. This Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor
    of THE AUSTRAILIAN hits the nail, but not squarely. He allows that the Country of Pakistan is responsible for sponsoring terrorism, but that the government is divided.

    If any country ever deserved to be struck, to have its' nuclear capabilities destroyed from above, it is these jackels in Pakistan that we have paid over $10 billion USD in tribute to, since 9-11-01.

    From that moral cowardice, the US may never recover, fully.

    FOLLOWING the terror massacres in Mumbai, Pakistan may now be the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism, beyond even Iran. Yet it has never been listed by the US State Department as a state sponsor ofterrorism.

    In 1998, according to the 9/11 Commission Report, the State Department's counter-terrorism co-ordinator recommended listing Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism. Then secretary of state Madeleine Albright decided against it, saying it would destroy US influence in Islamabad. And that has been the dilemma of Western policy towards Pakistan ever since.


    The Pakistan Government denies all involvement and most senior Indians I speak to do not think the ineffectual Pakistani civilian Government was directly involved.

    But it is becoming increasingly difficult to believe that an operation of such scale and sophistication, mounted by Pakistanis from within Pakistan, had no involvement from the Pakistani military or some element of its Inter Services Intelligence agency.

    The ISI founded Lashkar-e-Toiba to prosecute its low-level war against India in Kashmir, just as the ISI founded the Taliban to ensure a government in Kabul sympathetic to Pakistani interests.

    Lashkar-e-Toiba is notionally illegal in Pakistan but operates openly under another name. The ISI is asking us to believe that, having founded Lashkar-e-Toiba, it has no control or even knowledge of its biggest operations.

    The parallel with the behaviour of Pakistan in the A.Q. Khan scandal is instructive. The Pakistanis expect us to believe they are a responsible nuclear power, yet have no responsibility or even knowledge when their chief nuclear scientist sells nuclear weapons technology to rogue regimes across the world, often using Pakistani military transports in the process.

    The Pakistan Government has a long record of bad faith. In August it was involved in a terrorist bombing against the Indian embassy in Kabul. The Americans got this information, through their pervasive eavesdropping on electronic communications and passed it to the Indians.

    There is no obvious path forward with Pakistan, which occupies that diabolical category of divided state, where part of the state fights terrorism and part of it enables and helps terrorism.

    India, among others, is locked in a struggle with the pro-terrorist elements of the Pakistani state.

  13. That is certainly part of the mix, Ms R, but not the whole story.

    All the following,from googling 'obama major donors'

    Oct 21, 2008 ... Barack Obama raised more than $36 million last month for an account he shares with the Democratic Party, close to half of it from wealthy ...

    Aug 21, 2008 ... Obama took in at least $12 million of his $51 million July haul from major donors.

    Aug 6, 2008 ... The fruits of his efforts have put Mr. Obama’s major donors on a pace that almost rivals the $147 million raised by President Bush’s network ...

    There is no doubt that the Democrats maximized the INet when compared to GOP performance. That was also evident early on. Obama had silicon valley hotshots devise his campaign, while the GOP was still using Mr Rove's direct mail marketing expertise at its' core.

  14. Donors can write a single large check to the Obama Victory Fund, and have it split among Obama, the DNC and certain state accounts for the Obama campaign's benefit.

    A review of these donations shows that more than half, $35.9 million, came from people giving more than $4,600. Almost a fourth, $16.7 million, consisted of donations of $28,500 or more.

    Spokesman Ben LaBolt said the large donations would not influence the Illinois senator, noting that he has attracted 3.1 million donors, more than any presidential candidate in history, who contributed an average $86.

    LaBolt cited legislation Obama has pushed that was intended to "reduce the influence of money and lobbyists over the political process."

    Since the Obama Victory Fund was established in July, Obama has collected $134 million. Nearly $78 million, or 62%, has come from donors giving amounts greater than $4,600.

    The Victory Fund, like Obama's presidential campaign, refuses money from Washington lobbyists.

    But the fund takes from partners in law firms that have a lobbying presence in the nation's capital, including $30,000 from Covington & Burling, $50,000 from Arnold & Porter, and $55,000 from Blank Rome during August and September.

    Victory Fund donors also include firms that have significant interests in Washington, such as Comcast Corp., whose employees gave $59,000 in the last two months; and AT&T Inc., whose employees gave $35,000 during the same period.

    In August and September, as the Wall Street crisis was nearing, the Victory Fund tapped employees from numerous banks: $130,000 from Citigroup Inc., $89,000 from Deutsche Bank and $47,000 from Credit Suisse.

    The fund also received $30,800 from John M. Noel, head of Travel Guard, part of insurance giant AIG, which received a federal bailout.

    Dan Morain is a LA Times staff writer.

  15. Rice satisfied with
    Pakistan's anti-terror stance

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday she is satisfied with Pakistan's commitment to fight terrorism and its readiness to pursue any lead in the attacks in India.
    Pakistan's young civilian government, she said after talks with Pakistani leaders, is very committed to the war on terror and does not want to be associated with terrorist elements.

    The United States is increasing pressure on Pakistan's shaky government, sending two top officials to Islamabad in as many days to insist that Pakistan hide nothing about the origins of a terrorist attack in Mumbai that India has blamed squarely on Pakistani militants.

    She said that in her meetings with officials "I have found a Pakistani government that is focused on the threat and understands its responsibilities to respond to terrorism and extremism" wherever it is found.

    Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari told Rice he will take "strong action" against elements in his country that were involved in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. A presidential statement said Zardari also repeated a promise to help investigate the attacks and said Pakistan was determined to ensure its territory is not used for any act of terrorism.

  16. McCain couldn't compete because a large part of his base couldn't stand the fucker.

    Turnout was extremely low in rural counties that Bush carried with 65%, or more.

    I commented, here, that it would be very hard for a farmer to vote for McCain.

    They didn't. He lost.

  17. The loss spread beyond McCain, rufus, for the GOP.

    Down to 42 Senate seats and an ever shrinking minority in the House. Some of that had to do with money spent. There not being many farmers in VA, are there?

    It was not farmers that stayed home in CO, that gave Obama the edge, there.

    But in the 'farm' States, I'm sure you are right.

  18. Mrs Dole, in NC, for example.
    There were seven States that the GOP lost Senators in.

    There is more to those losses than can be personalized in the faults of John McCain. Other than that he exemplifies the current state of the Republican Party, but he is not its' causation.

  19. DR, that carpetbagger Liddy Dole deserved to lose the election, after attacking Kay Hagen's Christianity and accusing her of being a radical proponent of the gay agenda. And to think I once wanted her to run for Prez. No more Jihad, Pubs. Stop it.

  20. Music and browsing take flight in Songbird:

  21. Kennewick Man, he's an American.
    No doubt of that.

  22. here you go, duece.

    A carpetbagger of your own may be coming to PA, according to Politico

    Chris Matthews is dead serious about running for the Senate in Pennsylvania — and is shopping for a house in the state and privately discussing quitting MSNBC as proof of his intense interest, according to NBC colleagues, political operatives and friends.

    Even so, some NBC insiders think it’s all simply a negotiating ploy to jack up his contract.

    The garrulous host of the show "Hardball with Chris Matthews" has already picked out a home in Philadelphia to establish residency in the state, according to a Democratic operative in discussions with him about a potential candidacy. Over Thanksgiving weekend, at his vacation house in Nantucket, Matthews’ family members gave him their full backing.

  23. Ruby said...
    DR, if the Pubs don't learn to organize people with Web 2.0 they will go the way of the Whigs. It's not about the big donors buying access anymore, it's about millions of people throwing little $10 to $50 donations into one internet kitty.

    total bullshit...

    obama out raised mccain, but not from 10 -50 dollar gifts..

    from thousands of 201 dollar donations from unnamed sources...

    over 200 MILLION from questionable sources, possible outside the USA....

    in the end the DEM screwed themselves...

    there will NEVER be an election reform now...

    all bets are off...

    as a DEM, i say my party proved they CAN be worse than the GOP...

  24. it's not PC but the white man has been proven to have migrated from europe through asia into the americas as long ago as 17,000 years ago...

    shh dont tell chief kissmyass....

  25. I have to agree with Ruby. Dole brought nothing to the table except her married name. There is a dearth of quality candidates in the Republican party. I've always thought of the Pubs as the stupid party and the Dems as the sleazy party. It's hard to be both stupid and characterless and win office anymore, unless, of course, you're from Massachusetts.

    Late or not, I just had to leave a comment on this thread.