“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."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Crime Report: Madness and Desperation

Crime has noticeably been on the rise in my little slice of America lately. All kinds; from petty crime to capital offenses. Just this week, an 82 year old used his 357 to deep six an intruder. Also this week a local woman was held at gunpoint by a bereaved widower whom she had befriended on Facebook.

Recently a coworker was at the grocery store about 7:00 PM when he heard a woman cry out and saw a three hundred pound woman "running away". It seems the plus size girl had grabbed the purse of another woman. My friend ran her down just as she was getting into her car. He grabbed the purse out of the car as the thief drove away.

Especially disturbing is the recent rash of murders and killing sprees which have occurred. Five people killed in South Carolina, three or more victims in a spree across Tennessee and Alabama. A prominent citizen and his wife murdered in their Pensacola home. Madness is breaking out,

Some good news is being reported. They've caught the "limping bandit" who is suspected in 23 bank robberies across the southeastern United States.

As bad as it may be here though, our neighbor to the south has it even worse: Mexico Gunmen attack Police Bases. This is a story from the first of July.
Mexico gunmen attack police bases

Gunmen have launched a string of attacks on federal police bases in Mexico, killing five people.

At least six cities were hit - all in the western Michoacan state, a stronghold of Mexico's drug cartels.

Three police officers and two soldiers are reported to have been killed when the attackers, armed with grenades and assault rifles, opened fire.

In one incident, in the state capital Morelia, 40 gunmen arrived in a convoy of vehicles to carry out the raid.

There had already been prolonged gun battles in the city on Friday, during which suspected drug boss Arnoldo Rueda - a senior member of the La Familia Michoacana drug cartel - was arrested.

The co-ordinated raids are being seen as a revenge attack for that arrest.

As well as Morelia, the cities of Apatzingan, Lazaro Cardenas, Patzcuaro, Zitacuaro and Huetamo were targeted.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon - who comes from Michoacan - has launched a major operation to try to stem the country's drug violence, deploying tens of thousands of extra troops and police officers.

Some 6,000 people died in violence related to organised crime last year.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Jesus friggin' Christ Doug you can be one whiny confused old man sometimes :)

    Whit was detailing what was on P16 of the health bill and you start going on at me about him supporting your contention that your blogger girl doctor knows it all and wouldn't misinterpret anything. Well, lets recap.

    Your quote from her said:

    "One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care (House bill, p. 425-430)."

    I questioned the implication that all seniors will be "compelled" to "submit" to counseling regarding alternative end-of-life care. You can see the wingnut hotbuttons being pushed here can you not? No, you got your buttons pushed.

    Thanks for pointing out where the actual health bill was and if you actually go to pp 425 and read the sucker you can see that it is referring to individuals already involved in a program:

    "25 if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has
    not had such a consultation within the last 5 years. Such
    consultation shall include the following:" (pp 424-425)

    This is very different from asserting that all seniors will be compelled to submit to anything.

  3. Here is an interesting tidbit, from Canada. If your idelogogy is governed by polls and popularity, then the Canadian System, delivers, at half the cost per head of the US, currently.

    New Ipsos/McClatchy online polls find that patients in Canada are indeed much more frustrated by waiting times to see medical specialists than patients in the United States are, and slightly less happy with the waiting times to see their family doctors.

    However, they're much more likely to say that they have access to all the health care services they need at costs they can afford.
    On key questions of care and costs, patients in the two countries clearly see things differently.

    Asked about seeing their family doctors, for example, 59 percent of Americans said they could see them quickly when they needed to; 52 percent of Canadians said they could.

    The difference in opinions magnified when it came to seeing medical specialists, with 47 percent of Americans saying they can see specialists without long waits. That was nearly twice as high as the 26 percent of Canadians who said they could see specialists without long waits.

    Looked at another way, 65 percent of Canadians said they had access to all the health care services they needed at costs they could afford; 49 percent of Americans felt the same way.

    That difference probably reflects the costs of health care: Patients pay nothing at doctors' offices in Canada.

    It also helps explain the fact that Americans see health care differently based on their incomes, while Canadians see it roughly the same regardless of what they earn.

    Just 37 percent of Americans who make less than $50,000 a year say they have access to and can afford all the health care services they need, while 60 percent of those who make more say they can get all they need at costs they can afford.

    The gap was much smaller in Canada, where 61 percent of those who earn less than $55,000 and 70 percent of those who make more than that said they had access to all the care they needed at costs they could afford.

    In both countries, people with chronic conditions are more likely than those without such illnesses to say that they have access to the care they need.

    In the United States, 59 percent of those with chronic conditions are satisfied, while 50 percent of those without chronic conditions are satisfied with their access to care.

    In Canada, it's 69 percent of those with chronic conditions and 63 percent of those without

  4. 65 percent of Canadians said they had access to all the health care services they needed at costs they could afford; 49 percent of Americans felt the same way.

    You'd think that for twice the cost, per capita, that the US would be getting twice the service as Canadians, and since it is a third party payer system, here, at seemingly affordable prices.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. As to the madness, whit ...

    When the leaders, the movers and the shakers, have no respect for the law, why should the 'little people'?

    Lawlessness is a contagion.
    It permeates our culture and society, starting at the top and trickling down, from there...

    Abramoffs, Madoffs both exemplary of rip offs using the system to enrich themselves and their friends...
    While disrespecting common courtesy and the law.
    As I said, it is a contagion.

  7. Horsefeathers, @ 3:58, funny stuff and so appropos to today.

    He always gets his man.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. 49% of US think that they have access to affordable Health Care, that means about that same number think they do not, have affordable access.

    Betcha an Amero those most of those folk are in the earning under $50,000 a year crowd.

    The results of the past forty years of economic policy makes that contingent the fastest growing, amongst US, and now they vote.

    As well they should, participate in the politics of the Republic.

  10. I was chatting with my neighbor on the weekend. He is currently teaching down in Vermont and we were jaw boning about the health care debate. He noted how many folk in the US make a large number of decisions based on health insurance issues such as staying in a present job, having a kid (can't right now because current job doesn't provide health insurance and it is so damn expensive giving birth without), some guy who went to India to get a procedure done because it cost a 10th of what is does in the States.

    I remember starting up my company and the difficulties I faced (financial primarily) and I can't imagine what it would have been like to have to factor in health care costs as well as all the others. Actually, I'm sure what I would have done, gone without. Even now if I had to provide health insurance for myself and my employees it would certainly change my calculations. Should health insurance really be such a determining factor in ones life - I mean strongly influencing what job one takes, whether you stay in a job or start a business? Lordy, what a strait jacket. I saw a stat recently where it stated that 1/6th of the US economy involves health care. That's a bigggg chunk.

  11. About a 17% chunk of life, ash. if the reports are accurate.

    Look to our host, duece. He uses Health Care as a subsidized incentive, drawing the best people by providing higher cost and better performing insurance coverage than his competitors.

    Gaming the system, as it was designed to be gamed, duece finding a competitive advantage in the present system's processes.

    duece saves paying the matching FICA taxes and his employees get the value of the benefit, tax free.

    A system where if duece paid the employees the premium cash, they'd all be taxed to the max, but currently get off tax free in the present system.

  12. ...seems an odd way to distort free enterprise...

  13. Rat

    "You'd think that for twice the cost, per capita, that the US would be getting twice the service as Canadians..."

    The U.S. spends twice as much per capita as Canada on health care? I don't know where you got that figure, Rat. Maybe from Rufus. He said that, too, a couple of days ago.

    I turned to Wiki to see what was there.

    "The U.S. spends much more on health care than Canada, both on a per-capita basis and as a percentage of GDP. In 2006, per-capita spending for health care in the U.S. was US$6,714; in Canada, US$3,678. The U.S. spent 15.3% of GDP on health care in that year; Canada spent 10.0%.

    If you use the dollar figure the U.S. spends about 83% more than Canada. However, because the exchange rate varies considerably, I consider these figures to be unreliable.

    If health care spending as a percent of GDP is used for comparison then the U.S. spends 53% more than Canada.

    If Americans want health care to be provided to them at Canadian rates then all they have to do is walk into a hospital or doctor's office with a gun and demand health care at Canadian prices.

    That's what people in Canada do. But, Canadians, being the peaceful people that they are, don't actually do this themselves. They sub it out to the government but the net effect is the same.

  14. 1/10th you say?

    So that Auzzi lady's bleeding btain would have cost $25,000, if the Indian doctors were capable.

    There really may be an opportunity in medical travel and insurance.

    Especially if a really bad result results from the passage of ObamaCare, Phase I.

  15. I can't vouch for the veracity of his pricing but, hey, globalization is here to stay.

  16. I do not disagree with your take on the net effects of the regulatory schemes, viktor.

    But we lost the debate.

    The body politic is moving forward, onward and upward.
    Making progress, it may just be a turn of the century phenomena. The US having a Progressive phase in the ought and teen years of the 20th century, too.

    It may be just half again, or 183% per capita, and not double. I am not sure where that number came from, either. I certainly cede that point to the realities of wiki.

  17. Viktor

    Canada doesnt allow handguns, so I guess they would have to threaten with a hockey stick or something.

    that is until Canada outlaws hockey sticks.

  18. Actually, hand guns are not banned.

  19. America would arm its allies and extend its “defence umbrella” across the Middle East if Iran succeeded in producing nuclear weapons, the US Secretary of State said today.

    Hillary Clinton's statement at the ASEAN meeting of foreign ministers in Thailand swiftly provoked an anxious reaction from Israel. Israel’s minister for intelligence and atomic energy, Dan Meridor, bristled at the implication that Iran’s nuclear status might be regarded as a strategic reality.

    “I was not thrilled to hear the American statement that they will protect their allies with a nuclear umbrella, as if they have already come to terms with a nuclear Iran,” he told Israeli army radio. “I think that's a mistake.”

    Speaking at a meeting of Asian foreign ministers in Thailand, Mrs Clinton said that acquiring nuclear weapons would not make Iran more secure.

    “We will still hold the door open (for talks with Iran), but we also have made it clear that we'll take actions, as I’ve said time and time again, crippling action, working to upgrade the defence of our partners in the region,” she told Thai television.

    “We want Iran to calculate what I think is a fair assessment ... that if the US extends a defence umbrella over the region, if we do even more to support the military capacity of those in the Gulf, it's unlikely that Iran will be any stronger or safer because they won’t be able to intimidate and dominate as they apparently believe they can once they have a nuclear weapon.”

    From Times Online

  20. So if the Iranians do create a nuclear weapon capacity, the US will ensure that there is an arms race.

    Or will displace the need for such a local race, with our own overwhelming preponderance of nuclear power.

    Or a combination, of both.

    Moving forward, onward and upward, dispite the misgivings of some Israelis.

  21. Asked for clarification at press conference, Clinton said: "I was simply pointing out that Iran needs to understand that its pursuit of nuclear weapons will not advance its security or achieve its goals of enhancing its power both regionally and globally.

    "The focus that Iran must have is that it faces the prospect if it pursues nuclear weapons of sparking an arms race in the region. That should affect the calculation of what Iran intends to do and what it believes is in its national security interest because it may render Iran less secure, not more secure.

    Now, if this part of the Guardian News and Media Limited's report is true as to what the US purports to be truth ...

    The containment option is boosted by the belief that Iran is running out of uranium ore to convert and enrich. The US thinks the supply will run out by next year and is urging all uranium-producing countries to tighten control over their exports, to ensure Iran does not get hold of any more.

    If that effort is successful, it would limit the size of arsenals Iran is able to build. That is the theory at least. It is very much plan B as far as the west is concerned, but it is a bow to new realities

    This belief flys in the face of past reports:

    Ardakan Yellowcake Production Plant project
    Iran will inaugurate a new uranium ore processing plant in less than a year in Ardakan, central Iran, a top nuclear official said on April 9, 2008. Hossein Faghihian, deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran in charge of nuclear fuel, said the Ardakan Yellowcake Production Plant would open before the end of the current Iranian calendar year, which is March 20, 2009. Faghihian said the new plant at Ardakan is to have a capacity to produce 70 tons of yellowcake a year. (AP April 9, 2008)

    Saghand mine
    "We will be able to extract uranium ore in the first half of 2006 from Saghand mine. More than 77 percent of the work has been accomplished," Ghasem Soleimani, the British-trained director of mining operations at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said at the Saghand mine on Sep 4, 2004. Soleimani said uranium could be extracted from the shafts as early as mid 2005 if the Iranian leadership wants things speeded up, but there was no suggestion that political leaders in Tehran want that to happen. (AP Sep 5, 2004)
    Bandar Abbas deposit
    Iran's nuclear chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh said on May 3, 2006, studies show there are considerable amounts of uranium ore at Bandar Abbas, mineable in open pits. According to first estimates, an annual production of 30 t of U3O8 seems to be possible, at lower mining cost than at Saghand. (AFP May 3, 2006)

    New Uranium Mining Projects - Asia.

    Iran's costs at these projects was reported to be three to five times the current whirled market price.

    But they have plenty of uranium, of their own.

  22. hmmm, the radicals amongst the Israelis - do they sound familiar to anyone?

    "They're taking control.” Anat Mishal, a 42-year-old shopkeeper, was shaking with anger as she described her feelings about the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community that has been gobbling up more and more of this central Israeli town.

    “It started with women handing out slips of paper to people like me, telling me I couldn't wear blouses like this,” she said motioning to her sleeveless top, ideal for days like these: 35 degrees outside, and not much cooler inside Ms. Mishal's small grocery."


    "Ms. Mishal is far from alone in feeling this anger, as the Haredi population is exploding and spreading into parts of Israel long considered secular. With this growth has come an upsurge in violence as these fundamentalist Jews confront secular Jews and their more traditional municipal governments.

    It's clear that Israel's Haredim are determined to change the way this country is run.

    “A day will come when there won't be a single secular mayor anywhere,” proclaimed Meir Porush, a Haredi candidate who came close to winning Jerusalem's mayoral race last fall. "


    "In the past month, members of the Haredi community have pushed even further, staging several violent protests, for example, over the Jerusalem municipality's decision to allow a parking lot outside the Old City of Jerusalem to open on the Sabbath.

    “Opening the Carta parking lot on the Sabbath is a declaration of war, and we will fight to the end,” said Yoelish Kraus, the “operations officer” of several Haredi groups. “We will cause the seculars and the mayor to pay for this.”

    Last week, another incident inflamed the Haredi community, as child welfare officials took custody of a half-starved young Haredi boy and arrested the child's mother, accusing her of abuse. Haredim took to the streets burning large bins of garbage, throwing rocks at police and setting fire to the child welfare office.

    In the past year, ultra-Orthodox rabbis have forced department stores in the lake-side city of Tiberias to cover up mannequins that were displaying bathing suits in the windows, and have persuaded billboard companies to excise pictures of women, including Kadima Party leader Tzipi Livni, from their billboards.

    Growing numbers of bus lines whose service includes Haredi communities are now segregated, with women allowed only to sit in the back of the buses. And female choristers of the Knesset Choir recently were not permitted to perform inside the main Knesset chamber, lest they offend Haredi members in the audience. "

  23. We're always standing up for women's rights, here at the EB, ash.

    Down with the clothes police!

    We like bared skinned females, here at the EB. Show those arms, ladies.

    And a little leg, if you would.

    Damn those religous radicals that would try to force their religous dress codes on to others, in anyway, anywhere & everywhere!

    We support the freedom of women to choose their own wardrobe, without fear of persecution from religous zealots.

    A show of hands?

  24. Women should be free to sing, in public!

    Another show of hands?

    Who would repress women in the arts, the joyous sounds of the female choristers of the Knesset Choir?

    What kind of kooks would stand for that?

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. If you are too corrupt, and batshit crazy for politics you can always go into the Religion Biz.

    If all politicians are scum, all preachers are assholes.

  27. When the Mitchell Report was referencing the Jim Crow policies, in Israel, I always assumed it was the Palis that were being targeted and discriminated against.

    "... with women allowed only to sit in the back of the buses".

    I had no idea that the Israeli were discriminating on a gender basis, as well.

    A woman like Rosa Parks, she'd be double dipped discriminated against, in Israel.

  28. You are right, Ash

    I believe if you are a Canadian citizen you have to go thru a tremendous amount of red tape to get a possession license just to own any gun whether it a handgun or not.

    Canada will not allow a handgun to be brought in to the country by a foreigner.

    the Liberals (arent all Canadians liberal?) started their little Firearms Act sometime ago costing the country about 3 billion dollars. The Provences thought it was a joke and basically ignored it.

    Canada is a joke.

  29. In the whole of Canada, gag, there are only 33 million people.
    Not a really large country, as countries go, by population.

    At 36 million there are more people in California than all of Canada.

    But then much about California is funny, too.

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. Gag Reflex said...


    "Canada doesnt allow handguns, so I guess they would have to threaten with a hockey stick or something.

    that is until Canada outlaws hockey sticks."

    Actually, in Canada, you don't need a handgun. With Canadians being the sensitive people that they are, all you need to do is threaten to accuse someone, publically, of being a 'meanie' and you can have your way with them.

    On a more serious note, Canada has a nice health care system. The problem that Canadian politicians dare not mention is that the increasing costs are not sustainable.

    Keep in mind this that the health care system is unsustainable in spite of the facts that (1) Canadians do not bear the burden of maintaining a U.S. level military and (2) that Canadian governments rake in significant income from energy exports.

    Canada is a lovely place and Canadians are a lovely people and I will be happy to spend my last decade residing here.

    After I post this comment I am going down to the beach on English Bay and catch some rays. Ciao.

  32. I hate it when an important topic such as health care degenerates into wild, arm-waving series of "anecdotes," and cataclysmic prognostications.

    There ARE serious concerns. The biggest, I think, is a negative impact on "Innovation." A government program is not going to want to pay for "marginal" improvements. And, yet, it's through "marginal" improvements that most progress is made.

    A Drug Company might not want to spend the Millions, necessary, to develop the slightly better Statin Drug, or the 20% more efficient MRI machine knowing that the Government Plan won't want to pay for the incremental improvement in efficiency.

    This would be a very strong argument against a "Government Plan;" but, it's one you don't hear articulated. Perhaps, they don't want to "Burden" us with all those nasty old facts.

    The "Free" Market encourages such innovation, but at a high cost. We really need some middle ground. I think these problems will be addressed, eventually; but there will probably be a great amount of destruction, and consternation in the meantime.

    Ahh, Democracee is wunnerful. If you're a raging lunatic.

  33. You can tell how far inside Rufus's OODA Loop I am when he's responding to me when I'm not there.

  34. ...oh, it was Ash.
    Forget it.
    All systems normal.

  35. That DR guy, promoting the mainstream liberal MSM Line per usual.
    You have a 33% higher survival rate in the USA with rectal cancer than in Canada.
    Higher with Breast Cancer too, etc etc.
    We have better healthcare and worse health due to lifestyle choices and VIOLENCE.

    Violence is largely the result of LIBERAL Judges and LIBERAL Lawmakers letting repeat violent offenders out time after time to repeat again and again.

  36. "I will be happy to spend my last decade residing here."
    They've done made Viktors End of Life Decision for him!

  37. Big Hollywood revisited.

    Thanks to Doug.

    All one needs do is glance at the contributors list. It's an encouraging breath of fresh air.

    Ben Shapiro among many others.

  38. Ash said,
    "This is very different from asserting that all seniors will be compelled to submit to anything."
    Please explain.
    HOW is it different?

  39. Linear,
    Breitbart is an impressive young fella.
    On a personal note, he's married to Orson Bean's daughter.

    He and Orson get along famously, Orson being a reformed atheist satyr, and Breitbart a lapsed Jew.

  40. ummm, if you are in a particular program then you are required to be informed of alternative therapies. NOT ALL SENIORS are in the program - it is not a Orwellian scheme to "compel" all seniors to consider "alternative end-of-life care".

  41. Doug, everyone agrees that 75, or 80% of Americans have better healthcare than the Canadians.

    What Reform Proponents want is to bring the other 20, or 25% of Americans along.

    It Will cost some money. How much more IS debatable. Unfortunately, the debate is bringing considerably more Heat than Light.

    This pretty much guarantees a flawed plan. Hopefully, we'll be able to fix it as we go along. I think we will.

  42. That Figure 3, doug.
    100% are dead at 100.

    What is the average age of a rectal cancer patient, in either country?

    If not age, then what is the cause of the variation in survivor rates?

    Not that the Canadian System is the one for US to emulate, either.

    But the private hospitals in southern AZ are closing. It is a shame that economics and unfunded Federal mandates are causing the system to implode.

  43. That incarceration myth is flawed, dooug.

    The US imprisons the highest percentage of its' people than any other of the 172 countries of the whirled.

    In 1980 the incarceration rate was 130 per 100,000. The trend runs upward in an unwaivering ascent, to over 500 per 100,000 in 2007.

    Your observation is either flawed, or what?

  44. We have ever more criminals to fear, as well?

    Or we need ever more efficient law enforcement, or just more of it?

    How many more prisons need be built?

    How many more will have to be imprisoned, before we are safe from the liberals?

  45. Liberals spawn criminals.
    Welfare spawns criminals.
    Everyone that can think knows that.

  46. "But the private hospitals in southern AZ are closing. It is a shame that economics and unfunded Federal mandates are causing the system to implode."
    That and local liberals giving away services that they do not have to.

  47. Rufus,
    The best way would be to buy those folks insurance.
    But that would be too simple.

  48. "Doug, everyone agrees that 75, or 80% of Americans have better healthcare than the Canadians."
    Everyone but Ash and 'Rat.
    What else is new?

  49. Ash asserts an implication and then claims an exception to his implication.

  50. Want to end California's budget fiasco?
    Release the "drug offenders" and tax the evil weed.

    "We now imprison more people for drug law violations than all of western Europe, with a much larger population, incarcerates for all offences."

    The spread is in the $3 to $4 billion dollar range, I'd venture to guess off hand. Just in California.

  51. We would solve a Lot of our "Crime Problem" by just legalizing recreational drugs (such as alcohol.) . . . Oh, wait . .

    Anyways, First, you require Everyone to carry Health Insurance. The same way we require Everyone to carry "Liability" auto insurance.

    Then, you "help" the people that can't afford the premiums.

    Then, you get out of the way.

  52. No Doug, I'm saying what she implies is false. I'm also suggesting that she's simply pushing your wingnut buttons getting you all hysterical about the horrible soviet style socialism the health bill will usher in.

  53. I never said it was better in Canada, I related a study that said that Canadians were 'happier' with their Health Care System than those in the US were 'happy' with theirs.

    If polls are your guiding light.

    For me, the first step to reform would be to remove the income tax subsidy the Federals are providing for recriprients of corporate paid health insurance.

    That would be the cornerstone of any real reform. It is not going to happen. Truthful accounting and self sacrifice, it does not poll well as a solution.

    So what ever happens, happens, it will not present a viable longterm solution to a legitimate problem.

  54. magic question:

    What do Lapin, Abramoff, and Madoff have in common?

  55. Gag Reflex said...

    "the Liberals (arent all Canadians liberal?)"

    While that is close to the truth it doesn't really get to the heart of the matter. While there are a lot of conservatives in Canada, the political parties are all left wing.

    The entire political spectrum in Canada has shifted left, so much so that, in my opinion, the Canadian Conservative Party is center-left or liberal, the Liberal Party is further left and can be regarded as socialist and The New Democratic Party is very far left and can best be described as doctrinaire socialist.

    How did the post-war quite conservative Canada become this way?

    I think it can be explained by O'Sullivan's First Law: All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.

    Canadians as well as Americans want to do the right thing. Left wing ideology appeals to this sentiment.

    So, when a charismatic leader comes along and tells us that good intentions are all that is required in order to do the right thing and that practical considerations can be set aside, the electorate become slaves to their emotional need to do good.

    Canada succumbed to this emotional impulse over 40 years ago and lurched left with the election of Trudeau just as the U.S succumbed in 2008 with the election of Obama.

    However, Trudeau, notwithstanding his repellant political views, was a very bright, well educated, articulate fellow with considerable charm and debating skills and an able adminstrator. Because of this he maintained power for almost 15 years. This is the kind of time in power that is required to actually change a political culture. And he did just that.

    Fortunately, Obama is no Trudeau, for reasons too obvious to mention, so I don't forsee a leftward lurch in the political culture. It is gradulalism that will eventually turn the U.S leftward.

    I've gone on long enough.

  56. Well at least Abramoff and Madoff are scoundrals, convicted felons.

    Mr Lapin, his guilt, if there is any of scoundraldom, is only by association with Mr Abramoff. Which is not really fair, to Mr Lapin. Though I'd venture he'd be able to qualify on his own, but that is just a hunch.

  57. DR:

    Synonym for scoundrel = rogue

    Rogue: An unprincipled, deceitful, and unreliable person; a scoundrel or rascal.

    Lapin is a rogue, villain, and scoundrel? Based upon what?

  58. fool: One who is deficient in judgment, sense, or understanding.

  59. Which makes me wonder, why allen would include Mr Lapin in that rouge's gallery of convict criminals?

    Wonder what truths Mr Lapin related to allen, in their private phone call, that would cause allen to make that reference?

  60. allen said...

    Lapin is a rogue, villain, and scoundrel? Based upon what?

    Wed Jul 22, 05:40:00 PM EDT

    That has been addressed, already
    Wed Jul 22, 05:36:00 PM EDT

  61. Which still begs the question of why you included him, with the rouges?

    If not admitting that there is a taint of guilt by association, between Mr Lapin and Abramoff.

  62. I used Abramoff and Madoff because their names ryhmed with rip off

    Being the simple simon pie man, from the desert, that I am.

    Why did you include Mr Lapin, allen?

    Trying to be a tad provocative?
    Looking for victimhood where there was only poetry.

  63. Mr Madoff, as head of the NASDAQ, qualified as a mover and shaker
    Mr Abramoff had the ear of Senators and Congressmen. He was a DC mover and shaker.

    Mr Lapin was a rabbi to some liberal Hollywood stars and a radio talk show host. Never heard of him before yesterday. He may have some moves, but nothing shakes out.
    Seems like an international opportunist, but what of it. It's a global village.

    Maybe it was Abramoff that was using Mr Lapin, as he used so many others. That bully boy remark, in the National Review, leaves one wondering, but then again, so what.

  64. Speaking of crime, be advised that there is someone in the neighborhood of the bar that goes around poking people in the eye just for the fun of it.

    Also, in the local news a group of preachers were mercilessly gunned down in a drive-by shooting. Witnesses reported that the perpetrator "just sprayed all". As did so, he was heard to say, "Kill em all and let God sort em out later."

  65. If only we hadn't opened up in such a rough part of town.

  66. I've known of Rabbi Lapin for several years now and by his public persona he seems to be a good, conservative man. Better than most I would guess.

    I have no doubt that he is any less perfect than anyone else here. He is human, afterall; complete with all his human shortcomings. Like all of us.

  67. Daniel Lapin is my friend.

    His intelligence, education and talent could have made him one of the wealthiest men in the country. Instead, he heeded a call that led him into the thankless, impecunious tasks of the Rabbinate. To good he has dedicated his life, touching the lives of countless tens of thousands of lost and struggling souls.

    After you have been forgotten by your own children, Daniel will be revered by generations yet unborn.

    I doubt you could find a single malicious, venal, intolerant bone in Rabbi Lapin; albeit, you would make the effort, going so far as condemnation based on the accidents of association and ethnicity.

    Unlike Trish, I do not believe you should be ignored. To the contrary, you serve an ennobling function: Your effortless challenges to virtue create golden opportunities for positive introspection. Without darkness, we could not know and would not appreciate the beauty of light.

  68. Blogger allen said...

    magic question:

    What do Lapin, Abramoff, and Madoff have in common?

    So...what DO they have in common?

  69. That is well and good, about Mr Lapin. As I said my impression of him, from nothing, was formed by his association with Abramoff. He being both a racist and a felon. A few pieces I referenced placed Abramoff/Lapin in the category of relationship as Obama/Wright.
    Religous and spiritual mentor.

    I referenced Mr Abramoff and Mr Madoff, as rip offs.

    allen chose to add Mr Lapin to their ranks, not me.

  70. Mr Lapin is their spiritual mentor?

  71. They were all born on a Tuesday?

  72. Did Mr Laptin invest with Bernie?

    That'd have been a real shame.

  73. There, at least a half dozen common traits.

  74. They, like Mr Bush41, do not believe in broccoli?

  75. They do not kick their dogs?

    Well, Abrmoff and Madoff, they're out of the dog owning business

    Heard that Mike Vicks is out, free and clear, now.

  76. whit said:
    I have no doubt that he is any less perfect than anyone else here.

    That doesn't sound right. I meant to say "I doubt that he is less perfect..." Or in other words, worse than anyone here.

  77. DR wrote,

    "He [Lapin] was tight with Jack Abramoffm…Birds of a feather, flocking together...

    Abramoffs, Madoffs both exemplary of rip offs using the system to enrich themselves and their friends..."

    allen asked, “What do Lapin, Abramoff, and Madoff have in common?”
    DR responded, “They're scoundrals.”

    DR, I did not misunderstand. What is written is written. You are a bigot and a weak-kneed one at that.

    Please, do not serve on a jury.

  78. David Safavian, the Bush-era White House official who accepted a lavish trip to Scotland from lobbyist and friend Jack Abramoff, has failed in his attempt to overturn his conviction on charges he lied to federal officials about the 2002 excursion.

    Judge Paul Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled July 21 that Safavian is not entitled to have his conviction overturned or a new trial.


    Safavian was General Services Administration chief of staff at the time of the golf trip. The case against him stemmed from what he told GSA ethics officials, the GSA inspector general, Senate investigators and others about his business dealings with Abramoff and accepting the golf trip.

    Safavian Conviction

  79. Just read up on the Medicare levy here in Oz. So just for interest:

    Single person > $70k/year must have private cover.

    Family > $140k/year must have private cover.

    If not, penalty is 1% of your income.

  80. I don't have the foggiest who Mr. Lapin is, and I don't care enough to make even the most rudimentary of google searches.

    My only thought is: it he's a preacher he ought to go get an honest job.

  81. I am bigoted against thieves, no question of that.
    That I initially grouped Abramoff with Lapin, comes through their connection in the Toward Tradition foundation and ...

    Jack Abramoff served on the board of Toward Tradition, including a stint as chairman, and donated the $10,000 a year expected from board members. One year Abramoff met that requirement by sending a check from the Capital Athletic Foundation, an organization Abramoff controlled that has since become a key piece of the Abramoff corruption investigation.

    The Washington Post reported that, on October 16, 2005, that Toward Tradition received a $25,000 donation in 2000 from online gambling company eLottery, a lobbying client of Abramoff and his employer, Preston Gates Ellis, despite Lapin's professed opposition to gambling.

    Some or all of the money received by Lapin was then transferred to a company run by the wife of Tony Rudy, an aide to Tom DeLay who was instrumental in killing an anti-gambling bill that eLottery and Abramoff were lobbying against. In a follow-up article published by The Washington Post on January 9, 2006, it was alleged that Toward Tradition was the "non-profit entity" referred to in Abramoff's plea bargain in relation to a $25,000 contribution made by Magazine Publishers of America, which had hired Abramoff for a campaign against the postal rate increase. In March 2006, Tony Rudy pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy relating to the money his wife had received from Lapin

  82. The more I read, the more scoundral fits.

  83. There was more than a casual association, 'tween Mr Lapin and Jack Abramoff.

    Perhaps not prosecutable, but scandalous, regardless.

  84. In opening remarks, Mr Obama pledged to push through a reform that reduces costs, increases choice and ensures coverage by the end of the year.


    Five congressional committees are currently working on bills, and although there is consensus on some aspects of reform, lawmakers are divided on whether to set up a public health insurance scheme for Americans without employer-sponsored coverage.


    As well as questions on healthcare reform, Mr Obama is likely to be asked about his efforts to bolster the US economy, and his track record on foreign policy during the first six months of his presidency.

    Healthcare Proposal

  85. Gainers were led by nonferrous metals, rubber products, and forestry and fishery issues. Major decliners included iron and steel, mining and real estate issues.

    Stocks started on a weak note with some players selling for profits after the Nikkei's six-day winning streak, although overall sentiment remains upbeat about the global economic outlook given a slew of better-than-expected U.S. quarterly earnings results, brokers said.

    U.S. stocks were mixed Wednesday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rising for the 11th straight day while the broader market slipped. Investors are now awaiting key Japanese corporate earnings results, starting with telecommunications operator KDDI Corp. later Thursday.

    Earnings Eyed

  86. DR,

    As has been said before, "shameless".

  87. Zelaya, meanwhile, said he is moving forward with plans to return, indicating he may not wait for a negotiated solution.

    "I'm going to my country, my people, to reunite with my family, my wife and my children," Zelaya told Honduras' Radio Globo in an interview Wednesday from neighboring Nicaragua, where he has been staying at a Managua hotel.

    Zelaya said he was gathering Hondurans and Honduran exiles in neighboring countries to participate in his return, and said that once he was reinstated as president, "a process of dialogue and reconciliation and forgiveness will begin, but there will be trial for those who carried out the coup."

    Return in 2 Days

  88. The United States, Obama said, intended to be "very constructive" in helping Iraq resolve all remaining international disputes. Maliki met with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Security Council members in New York before his arrival in Washington.

    Both leaders emphasized the positive elements in their military relationship, acknowledging some disagreements as U.S. forces have turned security responsibilities over to the Iraqis but insisting that things were on the right track. "Those who thought that Iraqi forces, if the American forces can leave, will be incapable of imposing peace and security, these people proved to be wrong," Maliki said through an interpreter.

    "Overall," Obama said, "we have been very encouraged by the progress that has been made." He said he was "especially pleased" that Maliki will visit Arlington National Cemetery during his visit to lay a wreath in honor of U.S. service members killed in Iraq.

    National Unity

  89. Obama cant look into the people's eyes...

    He's a terrible actor... Can't LEARN lines...

    After the admin LEAKED some of his talking points ahead of the performance when the ONE we've been waiting for finally said said "lines" they sounded more rehearsed than Jerry Lewis when he sings his trade mark song....

    Obama is a empty suit...

    "what in it for me" was classic...

    Just tax the millioniares....

    No real sacrifice..

    Just big brother telling you to take the "blue pill"

    is it Orwell's 1984, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged or Soylent Green or all of them!

  90. A look at some of Obama's claims in his prime-time news conference: OBAMA: "We already have rough agreement" on some aspects of what a health care overhaul should involve, and one is: "It will keep government out of health care decisions, giving you the option to keep your insurance if you're happy with it."

    THE FACTS: In House legislation, a commission appointed by the government would determine what is and isn't covered by insurance plans offered in a new purchasing pool, including a plan sponsored by the government. The bill also holds out the possibility that, over time, those standards could be imposed on all private insurance plans, not just the ones in the pool.


    OBAMA: "I have also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade, and I mean it."

    THE FACTS: The president has said repeatedly that he wants "deficit-neutral" health care legislation, meaning that every dollar increase in cost is met with a dollar of new revenue or a dollar of savings. But some things are more neutral than others.

    For instance, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag told reporters this week that the promise does not apply to proposed spending of about $245 billion over the next decade to increase fees for doctors serving Medicare patients. Democrats and the Obama administration argue that the extra payment, designed to prevent a scheduled cut of about 21 percent in doctor fees, already was part of the administration's policy, with or without a health care overhaul.

    FAct Check

  91. U.S. officials held out the possibility of a lower-level meeting, or exchange, here Thursday with a representative of either Myanmar or North Korea, or both. But Clinton has said she had no intention of meeting with anyone from either delegation.

    Clinton told reporters Wednesday that the U.S. is convinced Myanmar is taking the wrong road by associating with North Korea—possibly moving toward developing military ties and even a nuclear relationship.

    Clinton also called for Myanmar to release democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is accused of violating the terms of her house arrest. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate faces up to five years in prison if convicted, as expected.

    NK Nukes

  92. You are, allen, you are

    First you lie about the Geneva Conventions. Now your Mr Lapin, is looking more and more like a Abramoff lackey, as more information becomes available, He was not a used and abused victim of that fraudster, Abramoff.

    Mr Lapin sure ain't no Indian, is he?

    I tied Mr Lapin to Abramoff through the Toward Tradition non-profit, which Mr Lapin founded and Abramoff funded, with his ill gotten gains.

    I tied Abramoff to Madoff in that both are proven fraudsters and felons that were political movers and shakers.
    And both their names rhyme with rip off.

    You tied your Mr Lapin to Madoff, a connection I never made.

    But yes, it seems that all three are scoundrals, to varied degrees.

    Two indicted and convicted, one slidin' on by.

  93. Hmm, a little synopsis of the night's news - Provided by Sam.

    Thank you, Sam.

  94. Here you go , whit, another shooting for US, down Texas way, this time

    At least six shot at TSU at event honoring rapper.

    At least six people were shot tonight, none fatally, on the Texas Southern University campus during an event recognizing a Houston area rapper, school and police officials said.

    University spokeswoman Eva Pickens said the shooting occurred at Cleburne and Tierwester, near the East Garage. She said university officials were told that the shootings were gang-related.

    At least one of the persons shot attended TSU, she said, adding that none of the injuries were life-threatening.

    The student was taken to Memorial Hermann. His name was not available. Five others were taken to Ben Taub General Hospital.

    Pickens said university police, who are investigating, reported that the shooting involved a Missouri City-Fresno gang rivalry.

    She said that school counselors will be on campus tonight and that the school has 35 officers helping with the investigation.

    The shootings occurred during an event celebrating Houston area rapper Trae the Truth.

    Tangela DeBoest, who was visiting her mother at a nearby apartment complex, said she saw a car drive on Tierwester and open fire into the crowd.
    Promotional materials advertised the event as a free family block party in celebration of the second "Trae Day," featuring live performances, train rides, pony rides, face painting and moonwalks as well as an HIV/STD testing site and free school supplies.

    The blog explains that "Trae Day" honors native Houston rap artist Trae Tha Truth for his work with at-risk youth. The event was scheduled for 3-9 p.m., in the parking lot of TSU Stadium, where the rapper would be joined by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and City Council members Peter Brown and Ron Green, as well as numerous music and sports celebrities, including former Houston Rocket Ron Artest

    Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said that he would support the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court justice, becoming the fifth Republican to do so.

  96. Friedman in Afghanistan:
    The Class Too Dumb to Quit

    And that leads to my unease. America has just adopted Afghanistan as our new baby. The troop surge that President Obama ordered here early in his tenure has taken this mission from a limited intervention, with limited results, to a full nation-building project that will take a long time to succeed — if ever. We came here to destroy Al Qaeda, and now we’re in a long war with the Taliban. Is that really a good use of American power?

    At least The Class Too Dumb to Quit is in charge, and they have a strategy: Clear areas of the Taliban, hold them in partnership with the Afghan Army, rebuild these areas by building relationships with district governors and local assemblies to help them upgrade their ability to deliver services to the Afghan people — particularly courts, schools and police — so they will support the Afghan government.

    The bad news? This is State-Building 101, and our partners, the current Afghan police and government, are so corrupt that more than a few Afghans prefer the Taliban. With infinite time, money, soldiers and aid workers, we can probably reverse that. But we have none of these. I feel a gap building between our ends and our means and our time constraints.

    My heart says: Mission critical — help those Afghans who want decent government.
    My head says: Mission impossible.

    Does Mr. Obama understand how much he’s bet his presidency on making Afghanistan a stable country?
    Too late now.
    So, here’s hoping that The Class Too Dumb to Quit can take all that it learned in Iraq and help rebuild
    The Country That’s Been Too Broken to Work.

  97. Here's a little more in the crime theme

    The Arizona Republic
    Phoenix police announced Wednesday the arrest of four boys suspected of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl in a shed next to a vacant apartment unit last week.

    The four boys are suspected of luring the girl with chewing gum into the shed in west Phoenix before they attacked her, according to Phoenix police Sgt. Andy Hill.

    The boys, ages 9 to14, were arrested by Phoenix Maryvale Precinct officers around 5 p.m. Tuesday. The attack occurred Thursday. They are being held at a juvenile detention center on suspicion of sexual assault and kidnapping, police said. The oldest could be tried as an adult

  98. Six stars over Afpakistan.

    ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden's son Sa'ad was probably killed by a U.S. missile strike in Pakistan earlier this year, U.S. National Public Radio has reported, citing U.S. intelligence officials.

    Sa'ad bin Laden, a prominent figure in the murky relationship between Iran and al Qaeda, was believed to have gone to Pakistan after spending a number of years under house arrest in Iran, U.S. intelligence officials said in January.

    A missile fired from a U.S. drone aircraft is believed to have killed him sometime this year, NPR cited an unnamed U.S. counter-terrorism official as saying on its website.

    U.S. intelligence agencies were "80 to 85 percent" certain Sa'ad bin Laden was dead, the official said, adding that he was not important enough to be targeted himself but was "in the wrong place at the wrong time."

    It was not clear whether Sa'ad bin Laden was near his father when he died, NPR added

  99. I saw this little gem, and thought immediately of you, whit.

    Knowing you'd appreciate the fine artistry of the silk screening...

  100. ...But Carlos Lopez Contreras, whom Micheletti named as his foreign minister, said late Wednesday that Zelaya's return wasn't negotiable because the Supreme Court had spoken. "The return of this gentleman as president is impossible," Lopez told CNN's Spanish-language service. "If he wants to come back as a private citizen to face the courts, that's possible."

    The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Zelaya had broken the law and been removed from office legally, and therefore could not assume the post again. The court has insisted that the June 28 coup was legal because army officers who seized Zelaya from his home were executing an arrest warrant. The army has since acknowledged that it erred in deporting Zelaya.

    The Supreme Court ruling against reinstatement shot down a last-minute counter-proposal from the Micheletti delegation that contained the "possible" reinstatement of Zelaya under very tight restrictions, much as Arias had sought, two sources said. It was the first time the interim government had budged from its insistence that Zelaya not be allowed to finish his term.


    "This has to be seen not just as the specific case of Honduras, but as a dangerous regional precedent," said Victor Meza, who served as Zelaya's interior minister and is one of the few members of the deposed Cabinet not in hiding. "A failure for Arias is a failure for U.S. policy.


    First Bibi didn't blink.

    Then the Hondos told Obama to shove it.

    POTUS just can't get no respect outside Caracas and Managua these days.

  101. And here and now, lineman, is the real test.

    If Obama does nothing, let's start in Honduras, then time marches on. The new elections will be held and democracy will have been restored.
    The Hondos win, the US remains in country and the aid payments resume.

    All good stuff, but Obama played the US as being part of the whole of the OAS, in the international mainstream. Isolating Hugo by hugging him. Keeping our enemies close.
    The Kaboki Dance will have no long term ill effect on Honduras, while our national interests are maintained, possiblly strengthen.

    With Bibi though the US is moving on a long term process. One that has been in planning stages for years.

    Unlike Honduras stalling for time will not lead to a resolution to the challenges of the Levant.

    If the positions taken by allen and wi"o" are indicitive of any sizable portion the Israeli population, then compromise will be impossible.

    Even if the Arabs would agree to compromise, which is less likely than the Israeli compromising on the nationality of those disputed settlements. Zilched all around.

    Which promises the continuation of the status que, which benefits Israel at least in the short term.

    So what is Obama and US going to do, next? Watch for signs of involking the Conflict Resolution SOP. It would start incrementally, if that is the route chosen.

    Outside intervention will be required to impose a settlement, if a settlement is to be reached.

    Obama can punt and still score a win in Honduras, but Israel, a different kettle of fish.

    Wonder what levers the President will engage?

  102. 1. US Policy: Jews in Eastern Jerusalem are Unwanted ‘Settlers’
    by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
    US: E. Jerusalem a ‘Settlement’.

    The United States State Department made it clear Tuesday that Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem are “settlements,” which U.S. President Barack Obama has called “illegitimate."

    U.S. officials previously have used the term “settlement” to describe the Har Homa neighborhood, opposite the neighborhood of Gilo on the southern end of Jerusalem. Like French Hill, Ramot and eastern Talpiot, it was restored to Israel in the Six Day War in 1967 and officially annexed to Jerusalem in 1980. Approximately 300,000 Jews live in these neighborhoods.

    The Obama administration has not stated whether it makes a distinction between building in Har Homa and the other neighborhoods.

    Reporters covering the daily State Department press briefing have recently asked tough-than-usual questions concerning what they see as the United States trying to determine the future borders of a Palestinian Authority state instead of allowing Israel and the PA to negotiate directly.


    In Tuesday’s session, reporters peppered State Department assistant spokesman Robert Wood with questions on how the Obama administration can continue to insist on a halt to all building for Jews in eastern Jerusalem as well as Judea and Samaria in light of solid support from within Israel for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

    Netanyahu told the Cabinet this week that Israel has complete sovereignty over all of Jerusalem and decides issues such as building permits. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon declared on Tuesday, “Israel will continue to operate in accordance with its vital national interests... Our right to rule and develop Jerusalem is irrefutable.”


  103. 250 Rabbis Sign Letter to Obama: Hands off Jerusalem.

    ...The rabbis note that during his visit to the Middle East, Obama showed “impressive erudition” in the Koran. “As one who is familiar with the Koran, you surely know that the city of Jerusalem is not even mentioned in it once,” they said...


    “The Arab and Muslim world never recognized Jerusalem as belonging to it,” the letter went on. “On the other hand, all of the world’s nations knew for thousands of years that the Jews pray towards one place only – the holy city of Jerusalem.”

    The rabbis added that even putting aside the city’s enormous sanctity and importance for the Jewish people, there is no realpolitik logic behind any concession to the PA. “Since Israel began negotiations, withdrawals and concessions to the Palestinians, the entire world is witness to the justice of the Jewish Law (Halacha) which determines that any such concession will entail another round of bloodshed and deepen mistrust and dangers,” they agreed.

    The rabbinical letter ends with a clear request: “If you, Mr. Obama. Wish to leave any chance at all for peace and quiet in the Middle East, take your hands off the Holy City of Jerusalem right now!”

    Two hundred and fifty rabbis have signed the appeal, and efforts are being made to collect the signatures of almost every single rabbi in Israel before the letter is sent to Washington

  104. Jordan Revoking Citizenship En Masse, Fearing Influx of PA Arabs.

    by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

    ( The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has begun revoking the Jordanian citizenship of those people defined by officials as Palestinians with roots in Judea and Samaria. The new policy robs thousands of residents of the kingdom of civil services, but Jordanian officials say it is intended to head off any Israeli plan to expel Arabs.

    The new regulations reverse a decision extending Jordanian citizenship to former residents of Judea and Samaria, on the western side of the Jordan River, after the Hashemite Kingdom formally severed all administrative and legal ties with the regions in 1988. Those Jordanian citizens who have their national ID revoked are allowed to stay on as Palestinian foreign residents, if they obtain special yellow ID cards. However, yellow ID cards are also being revoked in cases in which the card-holder did not visit Judea and Samaria for dozens of years, leading to Israel declaring the individual a non-resident.

    Those without a yellow ID become green card holders, with no native status in Jordan whatsoever. The immediate effect of such a change is the loss of rights to such services as state education and health insurance.

    Jordan Interior Minister Nayef al-Kadi told the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat that Jordanian citizenships are not being revoked. "We are only correcting the mistake that was created after Jordan's disengagement from the West Bank," he explained. "We want to highlight the true identity and nationality of every person." However, over 70 percent of the Jordanian people are self-defined as Palestinian.


    It was not revealed how the new policy decision would effect Jordan's Queen Rania al-Yassin, whose parents both come from Tulkarem, in Samaria

  105. Chavez foe urges OAS to act on Venezuela as Honduras.

    MIAMI, July 22 (Reuters) - A leading opponent of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called on the Organization of American States on Wednesday to give as close a scrutiny of violations of democracy in Venezuela as it was doing in Honduras...

    "The OAS ... has responded in the case of Honduras, where it is argued that the constitutional thread was broken. Well, that thread has been broken for some time in Venezuela," Ledezma told a news conference in Miami.

    "We're also calling for the OAS' participation in Venezuela," he said.


    OAS chief Insulza, who flew briefly to Honduras after the coup to demand the de facto government reinstate Zelaya, said after meeting Ledezma on Tuesday that the OAS was not a "superpower" which could intervene in individual countries


    Betcha Insulza can dance one hell of a samba.

  106. The classic schizophrenic is a person who sits down with a jigsaw puzzle and a pair of scissors. For hours he will meticulously trim the tiny pieces to fit. At the end of the day, the puzzle is completed. From a Monet he creates a Pollock, or something else bearing no resemblance to reality. Invariably, squeals of delusions of grandeur follow the fruitless endeavor.