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

Monday, January 26, 2009

Muslim Mob in London Over BBC Refusal to Broadcast Aid Appeal for Palestinians

Hat Tip: Bobal

In bad economic times, it will only get worse. The veneer of civilization is thin. So said Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1910.

"Civilization (which is part of the circle of his imaginings) has spread a veneer over the surface of the softshelled animal known as man. It is a very thin veneer; but so wonderfully is man constituted that he squirms on his bit of achievement and believes he is garbed in armor-plate.
Yet man to-day is the same man that drank from his enemy's skull in the dark German forests, that sacked cities, and stole his women from neighboring clans like any howling aborigine. The flesh-and-blood body of man has not changed in the last several thousand years. Nor has his mind changed. There is no faculty of the mind of man to-day that did not exist in the minds of the men of long ago

It is the same old animal man, smeared over, it is true, with a veneer, thin and magical, that makes him dream drunken dreams of self-exaltation and to sneer at the flesh and the blood of him beneath the smear. The raw animal crouching within him is like the earthquake monster pent in the crust of the earth. As he persuades himself against the latter till it arouses and shakes down a city, so does he persuade himself against the former until it shakes him out of his dreaming and he stands undisguised, a brute like any other brute."


Protests at BBC headquarters after refusal to screen appeal
January 26 2009

Protests over the BBC's refusal to screen an emergency appeal for Gaza gathered pace over the weekend, with demonstrations held in Glasgow and London adding to criticism by politicians, celebrities and church leaders.

More than 50 MPs are due to back a parliamentary motion today urging the BBC to screen an emergency aid appeal to help those affected by the conflict with Israel after the corporation refused to back down last night, despite thousands of complaints from the public.

The BBC said it had received approximately 11,000 complaints, including 1000 phone calls, over its decision not to broadcast the advert for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).

Last night, supporters of Scottish Stop the War Coalition and Palestinian groups held a demonstration in the foyer of the BBC's Scottish headquarters in Glasgow before dispersing around 9pm.

Among those lending support to the protesters was Solidarity leader Tommy Sheridan. He said: "Solidarity members are involved in this protest, I salute their action and call on the BBC to be impartial on this issue. The Israeli PM Olmert has made it clear he considers war crimes against Palestinians by the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) to be justified. The BBC are joining him in presenting humanitarian aid to Gazans as action against Israel."

Samantha Morton last night pledged never to work for the BBC again, if it fails to show the appeal. The 31-year-old Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee said she was embarrassed to earn money from a corporation that would take such a "horrific" and "disgusting" decision.

Stop the War said it had about 100 people at yesterday's Glasgow protest. Strathclyde Police put the number at around 50, and said the demonstration was orderly and there had been no arrests.

BBC Director-General Mark Thompson has already rejected a plea from International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander to screen the appeal, warning that a broadcast could compromise the impartiality of BBC reporting from the Palestinian territory.

The motion, to be tabled today by Labour's Richard Burden, has received the support of 51 MPs from across the Commons.

On Saturday, thousands of people demonstrated against the decision outside the BBC's Broadcasting House in London.

The corporation's rival terrestrial broadcasters - ITV, Channel 4 and Five - said they would show the advert, and Sky is considering its position.

The DEC - which includes several major aid charities - wants the appeal to be broadcast on television and radio from today.

Mr Burden, a member of the Commons International Development Committee, said he had written to Mr Thompson to press for an explanation for the BBC's decision. "This is not about taking sides in the conflict. It is about providing urgent help to people in desperate need," he said.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond also agreed it was the "wrong decision" by the BBC.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg yesterday told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show it was an "insult" to viewers to suggest they could not distinguish between the humanitarian needs of children and families and the "political sensitivities of the Middle East".

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu, also joined critics and urged the BBC to "wake up and get on with it".

But Culture Secretary Andy Burnham said it was right that broadcasters made their own decisions. He told Sky News: "I think these are difficult judgments for all broadcasters, but particularly so for the BBC because of the way in which it is funded."

Mr Thompson wrote in a BBC blog on Saturday: "The danger for the BBC is that this could be interpreted as taking a political stance on an ongoing story."


  1. The Wall Street Journal tells the tale.

    How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas

    Moshav Tekuma, Israel

    "Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel's creation," says Mr. Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades. Responsible for religious affairs in the region until 1994, Mr. Cohen watched the Islamist movement take shape, muscle aside secular Palestinian rivals and then morph into what is today Hamas, a militant group that is sworn to Israel's destruction.

    Instead of trying to curb Gaza's Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged them as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction, Yasser Arafat's Fatah. Israel cooperated with a crippled, half-blind cleric named Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, even as he was laying the foundations for what would become Hamas. Sheikh Yassin continues to inspire militants today; during the recent war in Gaza, Hamas fighters confronted Israeli troops with "Yassins," primitive rocket-propelled grenades named in honor of the cleric.

  2. Yes blame the Joos.

    Yes it's all our fault..

    If we had only murdered the baby jesus when we had the chance, then we would not have spawned the church...

    Yes it's al our fault...

    marxism, commies, captialist pigs, drugs, viruses et al...

  3. Only wi"o" would bring the baby Jesus into the discussion.
    When all else fails, blame religous bigotry, avoiding the factual realities of current events in sectarian socities.

  4. Blogger Wio, "If we had only murdered the baby jesus when we had the chance, then we would not have spawned the church..."

    I can feel the love! Reaction of the populace of Israel’s last “friend”, seeing piles of dead Palestinians being burned in smuggled out video - priceless!

  5. rat and c4 are into each other.

  6. The Tragedy of the Commoners:

    12. Leo Linbeck III:

    This sort of behavior is no surprise. The surprise will be if the “stimulus” package ends up being only $850B.

    The reason is that this is a classic “Tragedy of the Commons.”

    Say Wretchard, Cedarford, NahnCee, Programmer, Dave, and Mongoose go to dinner together. (They were going to include Whiskey as well, but he had a date.) They agree to split the bill evenly, so each of them pay 1/6th of the total.

    Wretchard orders first. He would normally order sinigang na baboy, which would cost about $5, but since he’s only paying 1/6 of the bill, he decides to get a filet mignon instead (cooked well done). Sure, the filet costs $24, but he’s only paying $4 of the cost (1/6th). What a great deal!

    Cedarford goes next. Skipping his normal order of knish and chopped liver ($14), he too decides to go for a filet (rare).

    NahnCee normally orders a caesar salad with blackened chicken, no croutons ($12). But she’s no fool; after all, if all the guys order steak, she’ll end up paying almost $24 for a lousy salad. So she goes for the steak, too, although she orders a New York strip sirloin ($30, medium).

    Programmer says: 32oz. porterhouse ($36), medium rare, with a side of bok choi. He eats half the steak now, and takes the rest home for a little late night post-blogging snack. The bok choi is used as a garnish. What he was planning to eat was Tostitos and bean dip ($6).

    Dave orders a steak. But then he was always going to get steak. A cowboy steak ($32) - ribeye, with the bone in. Rare, ’cause that’s the only respectable way to eat a damn steak. He takes the bone home to feed it to his pitbull. Everyone is happy.

    Finally, Mongoose gets to order. He’s pretty honked off at this point, since he already ate out at a local Thai place (toam ka gai and pad thai, extra spicy) and was just coming along for dessert and a double espresso. But he figures, what the heck, I’ll order a chateaubriand for two, to go ($50).

    Total bill: $196, or $32.67 per person. If everyone had ordered what they really wanted, the bill would have been closer to $100, or about half of what ends up getting spent.

    The result is that everyone spends more, everyone eats more, and the dinner ends with 6 impoverished dyspeptics.

    The only difference with the “stimulus” is that the number of impoverished dyspeptics increase by a factor of 50 million, and the waiters get a bigger tip.


  7. Leo didn't mention that the "Cowboy Steak" was actually Cowboy Cull Horsemeat, from desert rat stables.

  8. Life is just a Rodeo:
    The Secret is to ride it to the Bell.

  9. No Jesus? No Catholic Church...

    No child molesting Priests...

    No Jesus? No Islam....

    Simply really, It's all the Joos fault...

    Every thing...

    Even Rat's small penis size...

    A bad Mohel....

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    (J.C. Fogerty)

    Sometimes I think life is just a rodeo,
    The trick is to ride and make it to the bell.
    But there is a place, sweet as you will ever know,
    In music and love, and things you never tell.
    You see it in their face, secrets on the telephone,
    A time out of time, for you and no one else.

    Hey let's go all over the world,
    Rock and Roll Girls, Rock and Roll Girls.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah!

    If I had my way, I'd shuffle off to Buffalo;
    Sit by the lake, and watch the world go by.
    Ladies in the sun, listenin' to the radio,
    Like flowers on the sand, a rainbow in my mind.

  12. Bobal wrote (about tax increases):

    "When Ash becomes destitute, he will change his political stripes."

    Interesting that you equate voting Republican with being poor. Ironic that it has been a Republican administration working with a Republican dominated Congress that has run the nation into the ground under piles of debt forcing a choice of either raising taxes or debasing the currency. Now I hate being so partisan because I certainly have my problems with the Democratic party and some of their policies but diehard Republican (regardless of WHAT THEY ACTUALLY DO) Bobal seems to think the world is simply a series of binary choices.

  13. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe after they've taxed your last dollar and inflated the currency you'll still support them Ash, I don't know. And let's not forget, twas Fannie and Freddie that touched off the downward spiral. The advice Bush tried to give should have been taken.

  14. Not to worry, Iran is sending 'relief supplies' to Hamas--

    HERZLIYA, Israel – The U.S. Navy is conducting covert operations aimed at intercepting Iranian ships carrying weapons to rearm Hamas in the Gaza Strip, informed defense officials told WND.

    The setup, which has already halted a vessel carrying Iranian munitions in recent days, acts on intelligence information provided by Israel, Egypt and Cyprus, the defense officials said.

    The U.S. Navy refused to comment, but informed sources said the U.S. last week intercepted an Iranian-owned vessel found to be carrying weapons, including rockets, mortar and artillery shells. It is suspected the ship was attempting to reach the Egyptian Sinai area. If successful, the delivery would have represented a major escalation by providing Hamas with artillery, something the terrorist organization is not thought to possess.

    The ship is now docked at an Egyptian port on the Red Sea after being escorted by the U.S. Navy out of the Suez Canal, which leads to the Mediterranean, the defense officials said. Due to complicated maritime laws, the U.S. and Egypt may let the ship sail to the Mediterranean, where either Israeli or Egyptian naval units would need to decide whether to entirely halt the vessel.

  15. You keep going on about how ole Bush gave a warning (amidst all his home ownership boosterism) about Fannie and Freddie as if that is the core of the problem. Wake up and smell the coffee - the rot goes much much deeper than government encouragement of home ownership.

  16. Plenty of rot to go around, agree with that.

    Wish I could figure out a way to get some of the government money that is being passed out myself, but so far I've come up with no ideas.

    My bank got over $100 million, and they didn't even ask for it. They have to pay it back of course, but it would be nice to have $100 million for five years and make it grow a bit.

  17. assuming it'll grow. That's the risk. Mind you the boyz at the bank can swing for the fence and make it appear to grow for a year or so, take big fat bonuses, and let the next management group worry about giving the money back.

  18. Flee to the Caribbean, with a hundred mil, no looking back:)

  19. They don't need to flee anywhere nor risk going to jail. They simply collect their nice fat salary and juice the books in the short term to earn their bonus.

  20. There was a unit at A.I.G. that made a fortune writing up Credit Default Swaps. They took home hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses over approximately 5 years and then they had a bad year and cratered the company. Taxpayers are now bailing them out. Privatize the profit - socialize the cost. Ain't capitalism grand?

  21. "If there is anything worse than a corrupt and ill-equipped cop, it is a corrupt and well-equipped cop," said criminal justice expert Jorge Chabat, who studies the drug trade.

    Lot Of Rot In Mexico Too

  22. yep corruption abounds. No need for regulation, right? It just stifles business!

  23. This Article Mentions The Market To Market Rule

    It's all enough to make one consider the fallen nature of mankind, Ash. Regardless of who is voted in and who is voted out the problems seem to remain.

    You and I however, we've escaped the common fate. If only we were running things, all would be well.

    We'd return the place into an earthly Eden, be able to talk to the animals, naked and unashamed we would walk with God in the cool of the day.

  24. A one day job loss tsunami:

    (Bloomberg) -- Caterpillar Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp. and Home Depot Inc. led companies announcing plans today to cut at least 61000 jobs as sales withered and construction slowed amid the global economic decline.

  25. I doubt that, bob, where the people did run around naked, talking to the animals the Brits decided their property rights were nonexistent, naked folk that talk to animals being less than fully human.

    It was you, was it not, bob, that thought that the idea of naked folk being in charge, that it was some how illegitimate, when compared to the pleasures of civilization, tailors and central bankers.

    It may be small wi"o", but it fits well in your hole.

  26. If you are interested in the pay packages of the companies 2164th mentioned (and others) you can find it at

    For example: Caterpillar CEO took home 17 million in '07 and 14.8 mil in '06. No data for '08 released as of yet.

  27. Ford lost 2.7 billion but the CEO took home 21 million. Nice job if you can get it...

  28. It is always funny, no one will dispute the reporting of Mr. Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades. Nor do they argue that Israel is not responsible, as Mr Cohen says that

    "Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel's creation"

    They do not argue Mr Olmert's point that Israel will lose the propaganda battle and US support if it continues the course charted during the past 40 years of apartheid policies towards the Palistinians.

    Nor dispute Bibi when he says he mourns for all the Palistinian innocents and that if he is elected he will remove the impediments the Israeli have implaced to stymie Palistinian economy.

    Our friends of Israel would rather that those quotes be left unread or at least removed from the common discourse and try to besmirch the messenger.

    Thinking it better to call each other names, when the facts are not available to support ones position.

  29. Israel will provide legal help for soldiers accused of war crimes
    John Lyons, Middle East correspondent | January 27, 2009

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, announcing the decision to give legal protection, said the reason for the possible actions was that "terrorist organisations and Hamas" were trying to "settle accounts" with Israel.

    United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has demanded those responsible for hitting the UN compound in Gaza, where 700 civilians were taking refuge, be brought to account.

    So, now, not only is Iceland a terrorist State, by England, but the United Nations, which the US funds 25% of the General budget of, is considered by Mr Olmert and Israel to be a terrorist organization.

    Now I knew that we supported the World Bank as it funded projects in Iran, but that we directly funded a terrorist group in Gaza, that is headquartered at Turtle Bay, in NYCity. Why that is quite the indictment of Mr Bush and Team43.

  30. We are not hearing much about he "moral hazard" of making pragmatic deals with economically stressed borrowers these days.

    The bankers and hard-liners did not quite understand the damage that would happen and the cost to the US taxpayers, trillions and counting.

    I can hardly stand to read the transcripts of some of the abuse heaped on those that saw this coming.

  31. Just trying to make a little levity, Rat, not to be taken too seriously.

    "Walking with God in the cool of the day" is an old old theme, and I love the sound of the sentence.

    Just pointing out the dis satisfaction that seems built in to the human animal.

    Even the Indians, before the whites, had campfire stories--"Was good, now heap shit."

    It's always the other guy's fault. No fault in me, and my precious ego.

  32. So, now, not only is Iceland a terrorist State

    Iceland has gone into the terrorism business?

    Chilling, indeed.

  33. It is always funny, no one will dispute the reporting

    I'm disputing it. Hamas is a creation of Jihad and Jihadists that live in the area. That's where it starts and that's where it ends. Israel doesn't enter the equation. What you want to do is transfer responsibility for Hamas onto Israelis. The only reason to do that is not logic, but malice. Same as the Romans who Crucified Judean nationalists transferred responsibility for these Crucifixions on to Judean nationalists. It stands logic on its head. And the only way this logic can stands on its head is thru malice. That's a proven fact.

  34. Quite a long time ago I remember Rat writing of how GAza is such a weak puny place with not so many people that they could easily be driven out and/or massacred (not his words by any means). In the great sweep of history much worse has occurred for sure. Are the Israelis capable of genocide? I've generally thought not but reading the hatred spewing forth from folks like WiO and Mats who aren't even living in Israel tends to give one pause. Then again it is much easier to stand on a soap box and yell all sorts of crap and never really do anything which is a different order of things.

    I did come across this article today and it points to a nasty trend in the ever spiraling death dance of the Middle East:

    "Anti-Arab sentiment swells among youth in aftermath of Gaza war


    From Monday's Globe and Mail

    January 26, 2009 at 5:07 AM EST

    JERUSALEM — When the leader of Israel's religious-Zionist Meimad Party recently addressed a meeting of 800 high-school students in a Tel Aviv suburb, his words on the virtue of Israeli democracy for all its citizens were drowned out by student chants of "Death to the Arabs."

    Not since the days of the now-illegal Kach party, and Baruch Goldstein killing 29 Muslims at prayer in Hebron in 1994, has Rabbi Michael Melchior heard such anti-Arab sentiment.

    But that sentiment is swelling, and the controversial former cabinet minister Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beitenu party are riding the wave. They have emerged as the biggest political winners from the recent war on Gaza. Their unequivocal anti-Arab policies have never been more popular.

    It was Mr. Lieberman who led the recent campaign to have Israel's two Arab political parties banned from next month's Knesset election. He argued that their public criticism of Israel's assault on Hamas in Gaza constituted a disloyalty to the country as a Jewish and Zionist state.

    Mr. Lieberman has long argued that all Arab Israelis should be made to swear an oath of loyalty to the country and, if they don't, they should lose their citizenship.

    The country's highest court ruled in favour of the Arab parties, but not before the Knesset's central elections committee voted in favour of the ban. Even representatives of the mainstream Likud, Kadima and Labour parties cast ballots supporting the ban.

    "The court has effectively given the Arab parties a licence to kill the state of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state," Mr. Lieberman said, adding that his party would not give up the fight.

    Besides loyalty oaths, his party wants to exchange Arab communities in Israel for Israeli settlements in the West Bank; it says that giving up any land in exchange for peace with Arab neighbours is "fundamentally flawed" and should not be pursued; and it argues that Jordan should be where Palestinians seek to create a state."

    For the rest of it:

  35. It was you, was it not, bob, that thought that the idea of naked folk being in charge...

    Yes, I think that the idea of returning to an Eden which never was is a wonderfully telling idea but that when you work at the Court House you ought to have your clothes on.

    Getting naked and dancing round and round the campfire and transcending things through the rhythm of drum is one thing, running the local county seat is another.

  36. Well, Ash, 1400 years of animosity does that to people.

    Khayber, Battle of.

    I think the three "GREAT MONOTHEISTIC RELIGIONS" are highly over rated, though the Jewish book is the best one of the three.

    I'm with Whitman, Roethke, and that divine man, Mark Twain, myself.

  37. There is a great book, by an American male queer F.O. Matthiessen called "American Renaissance". Alas, he died young, but it is a very good book.

    It deals with Whitman, Emerson, Melville, Thoreau and others.

    But ,now, we b in the age of t v so's we dont care about it no longer.

  38. Matthiessen's politics were left-wing, socialist, though not dogmatically Marxist, as he felt his Christianity was incompatible with Marxist atheism.

    So, you will see, Ash, old bobbo has an open mind.

    F.O. was a great critic, but lost like a child in the world of politics.

  39. I must say I've been perplexed with your politics given the depth and breadth of your choice in literature.

  40. F.O. admitted, hard to do, that the right contained the most creative people, overall, but his heart was with the left, compassionate fellow that he was.

    He was a good guy, besides being a great literary critic, in that he did not swallow the totalitarian bullet.

  41. CDO's, CDF's -- Fraud on a scale I can't imagine. Cosmic.

    We've gotta keep the banks up and running; but, man, we oughta prosecute every one of those bastards that were in way on earth involved.

    If I had my way we would, literally, have to build a dozen new prisons to hold all the sonsabitches.

    And, if there's any money left you'd better believe I'd get that, too.

    I don't know if I'm more mad, or more jealous.

  42. Dr It may be small wi"o", but it fits well in your hole.

    d'rat I always KNEW you had a taste for Jew ass....


    I dont do the other white meat...

  43. ash: Are the Israelis capable of genocide? I've generally thought not but reading the hatred spewing forth from folks like WiO and Mats who aren't even living in Israel tends to give one pause.

    Let's see..

    We GAVE them the Sinai...

    We GAVE them southern Lebanon

    We GAVE them Gaza

    We Gave them most of the West Bank

    We GAVE them our lands & businesses that we lived in for 2600 years in now what is called the middle east

    We GAVE those that stayed CITIZENSHIP

    In fact WE offered to GIVE 1/2 of OUR city Jerusalem for peace..

    and what do we get?

    thousands of rockets, suicide bombers, snipers, fire bombers, mortars, ied's and more...

    The Arab world advocates genocide against US...

    I advocate the shooting of any and all armed arabs that seek my death...

    Your thought that MY hatred is anything like what really lives inside of you is pathetic...

    BUT the good news?

    When the arab hoards come a knocking, in a short time, I will pop some popcorn and laugh as entire world wipes them out...

    I wont lower myself to be you....

  44. Are the Israelis capable of genocide?

    You betcha. And that's exactly what will be coming if the Jihadists do not reform.

  45. Man, I am with you Rufus, recycle the bastards into Guantanamo.

  46. ash: Are the Israelis capable of genocide?

    That's the wrong question, Ash

    Ask rather, are the muzzies capable of genocide.

    Start out by reading the Hamas Charter, and the koran.

    Listen to a few islamic sermons, even here in North America.

    Then, you'll have some basics.

    But, you already know all this. You're just acting the fool, as usual.

  47. Infidels:

  48. Yep in the end the question for rat and ash...

    How many terrorist attacks have the muzzies committed against the world and against their own people....

    And you wonder why I get pissed when rat accuses israel of being a terrorist nation, woman and baby killer?

    It's amazing in this day and age how some can excuse or ignore the genocidal actions of 1/3 of the world's population against the "jewish state" and others and then hold up standards about Israel that NO OTHER NATION is held to...

    Israel COULD kill the entire gaza strip in a few minutes if they had to but UNLIKE their enemies that WOULD KILL israel IF THEY COULD, Israel does not...

    Bullshit arguments like Rat and Ash portray as counter points of view are simply garbage, they know it and we know it...