“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."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Obama Dithers, US Troops die. Get off your ass, sir.

Let's face facts. Obama will never stick to what would be required to save Afghanistan from itself. IMO, the price is too high and the payoff too small. That said, I am not the CINC. Obama doesn't have the moral right to needlessly have Americans die while he looks for a political exit. He ought to have the decency to make a decision that will save better men and woman than him from the needless and pointless slaughter.

Make a decision street organizing man.


As the Commander in Chief Deliberates, Frustration Builds Within the Ranks

Published: October 19, 2009

WASHINGTON — Only nine months ago, the Pentagon pronounced itself reassured by the early steps of a new commander in chief. President Obama was moving slowly on an American withdrawal from Iraq, had retained former President George W. Bush’s defense secretary and, in a gesture much noticed, had executed his first military salute with crisp precision.

But now, after nearly a month of deliberations by Mr. Obama over whether to send more American troops to Afghanistan, frustrations and anxiety are on the rise within the military.

A number of active duty and retired senior officers say there is concern that the president is moving too slowly, is revisiting a war strategy he announced in March and is unduly influenced by political advisers in the Situation Room.

“The thunderstorm is there and it’s kind of brewing and it’s unstable and the lightning hasn’t struck, and hopefully it won’t,” said Nathaniel C. Fick, a former Marine Corps infantry officer who briefed Mr. Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign and is now the chief executive of the Center for a New American Security, a military research institution in Washington. “I think it can probably be contained and avoided, but people are aware of the volatile brew.”

Last week the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Thomas J. Tradewell Sr., gave voice to the concerns of those in the military when he issued a terse statement criticizing Mr. Obama’s review of Afghan war strategy.

“The extremists are sensing weakness and indecision within the U.S. government, which plays into their hands,” said Mr. Tradewell’s statement on behalf of his group, which represents 1.5 million former soldiers.

Last August, in a speech to the V.F.W., Mr. Obama defended his strategy, saying, “This is not only a war worth fighting; this is fundamental to the defense of our people.”

A retired general who served in Iraq said that the military had listened, “perhaps na├»vely,” to Mr. Obama’s campaign promises that the Afghan war was critical. “What’s changed, and are we having the rug pulled out from under us?” he asked. Like many of those interviewed for this article, he spoke on the condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals from the military’s civilian leadership and the White House.

Mr. Obama’s civilian advisers on national security say the president is appropriately reviewing his policy options from all sides. They said it would be reckless to rush a decision on whether to send as many as 40,000 more American men and women to war, particularly when the unresolved Afghan election had left the United States without a clear partner in Kabul.

Although the tensions do not break entirely on classic civilian-military lines — some senior military officers have doubts about sending more troops to Afghanistan and some of Mr. Obama’s top civilian advisers do not — the strains reflect the military’s awareness in recent months that life has changed under the new White House.

After years of rising military budgets under the Bush administration, the new administration has tried to rein in Pentagon spending, and has signaled other changes as well, including reopening debate on the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy governing military service by gay men and lesbians.

The administration has made clear that Mr. Obama will not necessarily follow the advice of his generals in the same way Mr. Bush did, notably in the former president’s deference to Gen. David H. Petraeus, now the head of the Central Command, and that it does not want military leaders publicly pressing the commander in chief as they give their advice.

Two weeks ago, after Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, rejected calls for the Afghan war to be scaled back during a question-and-answer session in a speech in London, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates warned not only General McChrystal, but also the military as a whole, to keep quiet in public as the debate progressed.

“It is imperative that all of us taking part in these deliberations — civilian and military alike — provide our best advice to the president candidly but privately,” Mr. Gates told the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army, a private support group, in Washington.

Andrew M. Exum, a former Army officer in Afghanistan, an adviser to General McChrystal and a fellow at the Center for a New American Security, said that the change in style from one administration to the next had led to some of the military’s discontent. “The Bush administration would settle on a strategy and stick to it, and you could argue often to ill effect,” he said, referring to the president’s decision not to send more troops to Iraq until 2007, after years of rising violence.

The Obama administration, he said, is not afraid to go back and question assumptions. “There’s a value in that,” Mr. Exum said, “but that can be incredibly frustrating for those trying to operationalize the strategy.”

Part of the strain comes from lessons learned from the generals who acquiesced to former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s demands for a small invasion force in Iraq, then faced criticism that they had not spoken up for more troops to secure the country during the occupation.

The retired general who served in Iraq said that today’s senior officers had decided, “I won’t be so quiet, I won’t be a lap dog.”

Another source of tension within the military is the view that a delay is endangering the 68,000 American troops now in Afghanistan. “McChrystal has troops out there who are risking their lives more than they need to, partly because we have not filled in the gaps and we have not created a safe zone in southern and eastern Afghanistan,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a national security expert at the Brookings Institution.

A military policy analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid antagonizing senior Pentagon leaders, said that “the military lives in a very rarefied environment,” and that “they are not out there every day having to meet citizens who say, ‘What the hell are we doing?’ ”

Senior military officers, the analyst said, “are smart guys, but they do not have the daily pulse of the American public in their face. They tend to interpret politicians who give voice to it as being weak, but none of this works if the public gives up on it.”


  1. Well when you elected an American hating, Kenyan born, marxist to take controls of the world's most successful, innovative nation in history you get....

    The ONE


    or as I like to call him...

    "islamic cock sucker"

    But then again, I have issues....

  2. BTW, if someone is at the Whitehouse reading this, please understand I WAS a life long democrat...

    Was being the operative word...


    I am an independent and I seek to help any and all comers to displace the democrat party to the ash bin of history...

    Please tell our "dear leader" I cant WAIT for his impeachment...

  3. ...Busier Than A One-Armed Paper Hanger

    Since our problems in Afghanistan are insoluable, "let's all just get drunk and screw"...a truly contemporary, bipartisan approach to problem solving...

    For those who think we can simply gather up our marbles and come home, think again. We win this war or else. If nothing else, Bush was correct about the war being global, long term, and to the death.

  4. Too many Muslims in the world. We cain't kill'em all.

    Every Major Empire has busted itself on foreign adventures. You've got to be able to recognize "a bridge too far." This one is "a bridge too far."

    Time to "turn in the key, Lee." "Slip out the back, Jack."

    Time to leave this "Mother-Lover."

  5. Rat's got the right question. What does a "Win" look like, there.

  6. "needlessly have Americans die"
    have Americans die needlessly
    - hat tip,
    Bob and The Girls

  7. desert rat said...
    America, love it or leave it.

    Naw, Love it and CHANGE IT....

  8. "Too many Muslims in the world. We cain't kill'em all. "
    Sez who?
    ...the first mistake, post 9-11.

  9. rufus said...
    Too many Muslims in the world. We cain't kill'em all.

    But you can CHANGE Islam forever...

  10. OK, WIO:
    Isreal can adopt em all.
    'Rat wins.
    ...even in spelling.

  11. If there are too many Muslims to win in Afghanistan, then there will be too many Muslims to beat to defend Europe and the West.

    Re: Questions

    If I ask you, rufus, to tell me the value of the US dollar this time next year, among the standard basket of currencies, can you do it?

  12. I'll help Rufus, Allen
    since he needs it:
    Jack Squat.

  13. Nobody could do that. If I were going to bet it would be to the under.

    I felt Iraq was the "Good" war. Saddam was a danger to the Mideast Oil, and we Need the Mideast Oil.

    Iraq has an educated population, and Water. They had the potential of becoming a self-sustainable, stable oil-producing nation.

    Iraq gave us the potential of protecting, not only Iraq's oil, but Saudi Arabia's, Kuwait's, and the Emirate's.

    I thought the "Iraq War" made sense. I think i've been vindicated. The oil's flowing, and we're easing out the door. Iraq's government is up and running, and their Army, and Police Force seems like it's going to be capable of controlling the territory.

  14. Afghanistan, however, is just an exercise in . . . . What?

  15. Our Budget Deficit in 2009 was $1.4 Trillion.

    Those kinds of numbers, kids, could bring down the United States of America.

  16. 29. Jamie:

    My husband and I, in our just-post-college days, sat on natural gas drill rigs (OK, technically we worked in mudlogging trailers beside the rigs, both being bachelor’s degree baby geologists then). The best rig we ever worked on (multiple times) was run by a toolpusher (foreman) who went by “Cotton.” He was a taskmaster to his guys. He himself wore jeans and a(n un-embellished) t-shirt that started every tour (shift) as spotless, and any rig hand who wasn’t actively engaged in drilling at the moment was on some part of the rig with a can of paint, painting.

    It was the cleanest, best-maintained, most organized rig in the Sacramento Valley, and the roughnecks tended to have all their fingers and teeth. Cotton demanded discipline and good order, and his guys, while they worked hard painting (and doing all other maintenance – but they had time to paint because he never let mechanical maintenance get away from him), were in less danger and were more efficient in their skills than on any other rig I ever worked. They liked being Cotton’s hands; they fought to stay on his rig.

    I figure that’s why one polishes brass.

    (OT for this post but OnT for drilling, I just found this
    ( video of rig hands making pipe connections. Whew. Brings back memories… and makes me wonder anew how ANY of them kept their fingers.)

  17. I thot you said numbers like that were just an accounting trick to be solve when it came to the inevitable bankruptcy of Medicare/Socialized Medicine, Rufus.

  18. Blogger rufus said...

    Nobody could do that. If I were going to bet it would be to the under.

    A rather surprising wild card in that whole game was last years run-up in the dollar as folks fled to safety.

  19. "KABUL -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday that he accepted a finding of widespread fraud in the August presidential elections and endorsed a runoff vote scheduled for Nov. 7...

    President Obama praised Karzai's decision to acknowledge the fraud finding and participate in a runoff, calling it "an important step forward in ensuring a credible process for the Afghan people which results in a government that reflects their will..."

    New Elections Approved in Afganistan

    I suspect this will provide the Big O with an excuse to delay the decision on troops for another month. I notice veterans groups (ie the VFW) are getting down on Obama for stalling on the troop deision.

  20. This year it's a run up in the market reflecting Govt paying off the fat cats, and the market reflecting the falling dollar w/respect to World currencies.
    Ditto for Silicon Valley Real Estate, which is hanging in there, so far, at least, with lots of Asian buyers.

  21. A rather surprising wild card in that whole game was last years run-up in the dollar as folks fled to safety.

    That's exactly what I was thinking, Ash. I think it will go the other way, but I'm not willing to bet any money on it.

    Forex seems like a "Mug's Bet," to me.

  22. Tue Oct 20, 04:34:00 PM EDT


    I'm with Rufus, that's the way it seems to me too.

    There is the Habu option, just devastate the whole place, but we won't do it.

    I'd support the President if he did that, but it isn't in the cards.

    How do you ask your son or daughter, or anyone else's, to go over there seeingly endlessly

    Use the whole place for target practice, really use the weapons we have, but don't kill American kids on a community development project.

    Not there, it is not worth it.

  23. The Habu option might be the best option in the long run, saving the most lives.

    But, we won't do it.

    Not till the next attack, if then.

    How can you ask your kid, or anyone else's, to just go muck around? Purposely?

    Using the Air Force in a major way seems sensible, for years if needed, but don't have young American kids dying on a community development project.

  24. Where do we bomb?

    Everywhere if need be.

    Till they say no more, and mean it.

  25. No, Doug, I said that to "Project" those deficits out, based on extraordinary circumstances "This year" as the CBO is required to do is a mistake.

    However, if increasing oil prices kick us back down into recession (bringing a continuation of subterranean tax revenues,) and our balance of payments continue to rise (again, from the increasing price of oil) we Could continue to run some atrocious twin deficits. THAT could bring us down.

  26. The Romans had a way of making a devastation, and calling it peace.

    The Habu option, of the time.

    It might be the best policy.

    If the President would do that, I'd support him, knowing that the arguments would go on endlessly, the historians arguing.

    I think I'd say, he's a cankor on the Constitution, but, bless him, he did well.

  27. rufus,

    I appreciate your candor about prognosticating on the value of the dollar. The question was asked to prove the point that asking impossible questions is not a sign of brilliance. Were that true, every adolescent boy would be an Einstein.

    We are caught between the devil and the deep blue question about it. But that does not relieve us of the responsibility of TRYING to find a solution to the problem that is Afghanistan. With no disrespect intended, this is not some little league game where a peaved team can just decide not to suit up. We are in this thing for a penny or a pound.

  28. Anon,

    The question about how much force to apply and where has been banged around here for years. It has been and remains my position that we need not kill EVERYONE; however, we do need to kill the right SOMEONES. Moreover, we need to do it en masse and as simultaneously as humanly possible, to magnify the effect of our "reach" and "ruthlessness".

    Trish is correct, though, it is never going to happen. Where I disagree to a point with her is that I do NOT believe there was ever a time when we had the leadership requisite to do the necessary wholesale killing and destroying.

  29. But, he isn't going to do that.

    The policy will be some kind of rigamoreroll, with deals being made, behind the scenes, the Teleprompter speaking fluently, American kids dying, his poll numbers dropping, in short, a mess of major proportions.

    Osama did a good deed, from their point of view.


  30. "with deals being made"

    And the faster we can get on it, the better.

  31. I got through about half of trish's Holbrooke hagiography...

    When I see an article like that, my antennae go up and I wonder, 'wassup wid dat?"

  32. This is not the black-and-white situation we long for. And never get.

  33. Whatever the decision, I think it will be difficult to ascertain it at first. The initial action will, almost certainly, be an increase in forces. The verbiage will probably be similar no matter what the actual plan.

    No, this is, definitely, "Devil, and the Deep Blue Sea" territory.

    I hate most of the things that this administration is trying to do; but, I'll give him a pass on this one. I'd hate to be the "Decider" this time.

  34. Karzai has agreed to a "runoff" election. I'd say, round one goes to the Messiah.

  35. Are we being prepped for the new Paris Peace Talks?

    I swear George Orwell was a prophet. One year we were at war with an enemy and the next they were our long-standing allies.

    14 months from now, will we be hearing?
    "Taliban...Good! We make good peace with Taliban man. Him good. He keep good peace in Afghanistan. Him wipe out poppy. Him kill al-Qaeda. Him good! War bad!"

  36. "Are we being prepped for the new Paris Peace Talks?"


  37. But that's what you get for not reading the whole damn thing.

  38. Rufus has it right.

    It's devil and deep blue territory.

    There is no good acceptable answer.

    His poll numbers are going to drop, no matter what he does.

    We are going to have some major elections coming up.

    I think the country is always better off when there are no major issues at stake.

    That's my major temperture guage for how the country is doing, if there are no major issues at stake.

    But, we've got major issues.

  39. I'm trying to read the whole damned "Obama," Trish. Not some pundit's idea.

    I've got my own "ideas."

  40. That's a good idea, Whit. Not sure about the Paris Peace Talks part, but it wasn't so long ago when the 'Afghan Freedom Fighters' were our big buds.

  41. I've said, "there are 3 things NO government wants you to have."

    1) A Rifle

    2) A Still

    3) The Internet

    These Marxists are downright "crazy, nuts" over this "Net Neutrality." The Vote is Thursday.

    I think we're letting something big get slipped by us.

  42. Okay, I'll finish the Holbrooke article but I can't find the url. Was it on this thread? I look on the previous one and report back.

  43. From the Holbrooke article:
    Holbrooke once told me that three things could cause America to lose the war: the Taliban sanctuary in Pakistan, civilian casualties, and corruption. The Afghan government was so crooked that NATO considered it as much of a threat to success as the Taliban. Members of Holbrooke’s team heard that, after the election, Karzai might replace Governor Mangal, who had a reputation for being clean. They heard that the former police chief of Helmand, a notorious drug dealer, was one of Karzai’s main fund-raisers. And they heard that Karzai’s aides sometimes intervened to release a detainee who had ties to Karzai’s brother.

  44. Okay, I finished's an absolute Charley Foxtrot. Eight years and so little to show for it and Pakistan is even worse in some ways.

    But I am not hopeless. A miracle happened in Iraq and the situation turned on a wing and a prayer. Afghanistan will test the humanitarian values of democracy and the US. It will require a great deal of will and leadership to make something out that place.

  45. But if anyone can do it, we can... with a little help from our friends.

  46. In the meantime, China is exploiting African minerals. It's interesting how they do it though. They don't care who they're dealing with (good leaders of bad). They're equal opportunity infrastructure builders. Their business model is let us take the raw materials and in return we will build you roads and bridges.

    Sound familiar? The British left railroads and trains.

  47. Sure, bob, but when the Romans went to Germany, they never came back.

    Augustus was pissed.

    Rome never really was the same, again.

    It was worse than losing 50,000 men in an afternoon to Hannibal.

    Germany was a turning point in the history of empire.
    The Romans were relying upon an indigenous General that had spent his life in the Legions. He betrayed them and became the "Big Chief" in Germania.

  48. Back to the Holbrooke article:

    Remember how we pointed to the $12 billion spent on Musharraf and wondered where it went? Holbrooke thinks it would take $50 billion in Pakistan.

    Before, we relied on some of the Gulf states and the Japanese to cover our expenses. Maybe someone can convince the previous contributors plus the Chinese to help out.

  49. The Brits did a good job of it, in China, whit.

    Charlie did not have to go far to see how well it worked, for the Brits.

  50. The Chinese and the Japanese, as well as the Indians would all require a guarantee, from US, that the Iranian oil would continue to flow, regardless of the nuclear developments.

    That'd be the ante into the game, not even the first raise.

    Would you be willing to make the pot?

  51. ...a great deal of will, leadership and money to make something out of that place (Afghanistan).

    And at the end of the day, what will we have to show for it? Our last great hurrah of beneficent empire? Lasting proof to the whirled that they were wrong about us?

  52. Would you be willing to make the pot?

    Only if I could take out the current regime.

  53. "These Marxists are downright "crazy, nuts" over this "Net Neutrality." The Vote is Thursday.

    I think we're letting something big get slipped by us."

    I kinda feel the same way Rufus; however, in everything I've read I can't seem to figure out what the unintended consequences would be. On the surface, it sounds ok.

    By Cecilia Kang
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    "A number of Silicon Valley titans and early technologists of the Web on Monday urged the Federal Communications Commission to move forward with new rules to prevent Internet providers from favoring one application over another...

    That section of the proposed rules is being closely watched by telecommunications carriers, particularly wireless network operators, who say they need flexibility to manage traffic to avoid data bottlenecks...

    In advance of Thursday's meeting, 24 executives of Internet content and telecom service companies, including Google, XO Communications, Twitter and Facebook, said in a letter that without a strong anti-discrimination policy, companies like theirs may not get a fair shot on the Internet because carriers could decide to block them from ever reaching consumers...

    Critics warned of "unintended consequences" of such rules, arguing that the Web has always been open for entrepreneurs and companies such as those that sent the letter Monday...

  54. ...the current Iranian regime.

  55. And the US troops, amongst others, will continue to take casualties. The US is NOT leaving Afpakistan. The only decision that is going to be made is with regards providing support to the Karsai Government outside of Kabul.

    And the attempt to train, equip, and pay 350,000 Afghans as part of the Combined Security Team.

    That is the keystone to the McCrystal Plan and it is made of plaster, painted to look like stone. A masterful piece of political misdirection, like Sp4 Tillman's Silver Star.

  56. This could have a huge effect on the cable company business models.

    Also, is there something in this legislation which cedes some of our net control to a worldwide organization?

  57. The Mullahs are a constant, there is no removing them as part of the deal. The Chinese, Japanese and Indians all find them acceptable business partners.

    If you want their support, that'd be the first thing they'd demand, not the last.

    The "best" Iranian option is Rast-in-Johnny and his team taking charge, but he's just another mullah. In all reality, but a more pragmatic and wealthy man, more cultured than Abracadbra.

    Would that be enough?

  58. Rast-in-Johnny in control and the processed uranium being processed into medical technology that the Iranians have had for thirty some years or more, already.

    No threat at all from that application.

    That'd have to be about the "best case" in the real whirled.

    It'd certainly be a foreign policy success for US, and all the rest. Even the Sauds.

  59. The problem is the Islamic revolution.

  60. This could have a huge effect on the cable company business models.

    True enough. However, the other side of it is the freedom we've always had with the internet. How much if any of that do we want to cede to the internet providers? I wish I understood more or that the critics would be more specific about what the "unintended consequemces" would be.

    Your question regarding net control is a good one. I haven't heard anything about that in regard to this bill, however, it is the Obama FCC we're talking about here. The EU (and I assume other nations) have been complaining about US dominance of the internet for years.

    Hopefully, the public comments on this bill will be on TV. If so, I'll have to try and catch some of it tomarrow.

  61. Does not the United States founding two Islamic Republics put a wet towel on that idea, whit?

    We supported and installed Islamic Revolutionaries into the Government of Iraq.

    Where "success" still leaves US with over 100,000 troops deployed.

  62. Right after 9/11, I figured it would take thirty years to knock back the latest rise of lunacy lead by bin Laden. Since that time, the "wheels have come off" the whirl's economic system. Our problems are much worse that merely a rise of militant Islam.

    We were living in a lala land of high-living financed by easy credit. Our bubbles were burst. Now, what will happen is anyone's guess. The Islamic revolution,though cannot be ignored. We will have to deal with Iran and Saudi's hot-headed jihadis. Throughout the nineties we were too preoccupied to take notice but they haven't been destroyed which is a requirement in any case.

  63. Whit: Holbrooke thinks it would take $50 billion in Pakistan.

    We don't want to spend a dime in Pockeestonn, there's no frakkin oil there.

  64. In regard to our Islamic Republic step-children, we'll have to see how they pan out. If they go the way of the revolution and become a thorn in the side, we'll have to forget about COIN and go back to Lemay.

  65. on Net Neutrality:

    My understanding of the issue (for those who give a flying fuck) is:

    On the ISP side you have a desire to direct packets as you wish without the long arm of the law inhibiting you - it is your damn network and you will do as you damn well please.

    On the user side you have the very real worry that ISP's, who also happen to be content providers, will 'shape packet flow' to the detriment of some people. For example - in Canada Bell is a large network, both phone and internet, who also owns content creators. They also have a vested interest in selling a variety of content through the internet - web streaming of television shows ect. You can also get tons of stuff as torrents, or competing web streamers. Bell, as an ISP could slow down the competitors data and all bit torrent files to further their own proprietary interests (i.e. make it easier for users to buy their shows). Another example is that Comcast could do a deal with a competitor to Skype (internet phone) and then slow Skype traffic so Skype users then experience jittery service while the competitor gets good clean access.

    The other side argues that the Federals will then be dictating what packets can do and it is a slippery slope to Marxist (or some such nefarious ideology) rule.

  66. net neutrality - all packets are created equal

  67. for those who give a flying ...

    No need to get nasty about it.

  68. I suppose you could argue that those without infrastructure could benefit from those who have the huge investments.

    My crystal ball is showing increased fees for everyone.

  69. Hey!
    I'm locked out of Victor's site.
    Me, with my Gold Oak Leaf!

  70. Me too. Perhaps he got tired of the EB riff-raff.

  71. Maybe he did it by accident with new blogger?

  72. Rufus: I thought the "Iraq War" made sense. I think i've been vindicated. The oil's flowing, and we're easing out the door. Iraq's government is up and running, and their Army, and Police Force seems like it's going to be capable of controlling the territory.

    The Surge in Afghanistan is tacit admission by The One that Bush was on to something in Iraq. BHO thinks he can bag an easy win, but this will be his Vietnam.

  73. Rising Debt a Threat to Japanese Economy -

    Gross public debt mushroomed during years of stimulus spending on expensive dams and roads, and this year it passed 187 percent of Japan’s economy.

    That debt could soon reach twice the size of the $5 trillion economy — by far the highest debt-to-G.D.P. ratio in recent memory — and the biggest, in real terms, the world has seen. Japan’s outstanding debt is as big as the economies of Britain, France and Germany combined.

  74. Even Dumbo ain't that stupid, T!

  75. A slide in the national currency would not be as detrimental to Japan as it would be to the United States, because most of Tokyo’s debt is held in yen. If the dollar were to depreciate sharply, American debt burdens would surge.

  76. "But I am not hopeless."

    Me either.

    That makes, looking around the Bar, two of us.

  77. Wow on that Japan debt, Doug. Hope Putin and Ahmedinejad succeed in ditching dollars for yen.

  78. Doug: If the dollar were to depreciate sharply, American debt burdens would surge.

    Doug, my house payments are about $1,500 a month. By the time I pay it off, my cable bill will be bigger than that.

  79. My crytal ball says one thing you can always expect is an increase in fees. For most everything.

  80. Bobal, drink in the vision of this infobabe and tell me you still hate the French.

  81. Breaking: Chairman Maobama orders 40,000 more U.S. troops committed to the fight against Fox News.

  82. Don't MAKE me give the Bluto speech, you sorry mofo's.

  83. Justice Dept: Blacks MUST Have Democrat Label to Know How to Vote

    "Basically they are saying that blacks will ONLY vote for Democrats, and if there is no party label, they won't know what to do."


  84. Thanks to, T’s, nomination and, Bob’s, um…extraordinary second, I am now on the list, I so desperately wanted to be on, for what reason, I have no idea. I guess if you’re loud and annoying you can pretty much get whatever you want. I even forget why, I started it. Oh yeah, I remember.

    It was a Tuesday. I was sitting on a black leather couch with a glass of red wine at arm’s length. I could hear the crickets singing under the clear sky as the moon radiated through the window. The candle next to me struggled to stay lit...

    Thanks guys.

  85. We needed more estrogen here, MLD, trying to get them to leave the potty seat down.

  86. O man I click on that picture and get profile not available.

    I'd settle for just an enlarged picture.

    Welcome abroad, MLD.

    (Who else has dragged such stuff into the Bar but me and T?)

  87. Obama, Iranian Thugs, and the NY Times [Tom Gross]
    It is amazing. It took many, many days for the administration of Nobel peace-prize laureate Barack Obama to condemn the brutalization of pro-democracy demonstrators in Iran last June (and even then it did so only in the most tepid way), but by contrast it took just a couple of hours for the Obama administration to condemn the attacks on the brutalizers yesterday.

    US condemns Iran bombing; denies involvement
    Sun Oct 18, 2009

    WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States on Sunday condemned a suicide bombing that struck Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, and denied any involvement in the attack.

    “We condemn this act of terrorism and mourn the loss of innocent lives,” State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly said in a statement.

    The attack reportedly killed Brig. Gen. Nourali Shoushtari, the lieutenant commander of IRGC ground forces, the commanders of Sistan and Baluchistan province, the Iranshahr Corps, the Sarbaz Corps and the Amiralmoemenin Brigade, Iran’s Fars News Agency said.

    Meanwhile, the New York Times, which routinely refuses to call the blowing up by Hamas and Fatah of Israeli children in buses, cafes and shopping malls acts of terrorism — even when American children, such as 14-year-old American Baptist Abigail Litle, are among the victims — had no problem calling the political assassination of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards commanders “terrorism,” as one can see from the email below.

    ——- Forwarded Message ——
    From: News Alert nytd rect AT
    To: Tom Gross
    Sent: Sun, October 18, 2009 9:02:21 AM
    Subject: News Alert: Five Iran Guard Commanders Are Killed in Bombings

    Breaking News Alert
    The New York Times
    Sun, October 18, 2009 — 9:01 AM ET

    Five Iran Guard Commanders Are Killed in Bombings

    Five commanders of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards
    Corps were killed and dozens of others left dead and injured
    in two terrorist bombings in the restive region of the
    nation’s southeastern frontier with Pakistan, according to
    multiple Iranian state news agencies.

    The coordinated attacks appeared to mark an escalation in
    hostilities between Iran’s leadership and one of the nation’s
    many disgruntled ethnic and religious minorities, in this
    case the Baluchis.

  88. Sorry, Bob, but if, I told you all my secrets, I would have to kill you. And you know that's not in my blood. My profile needs to remain a secret. If you squint really hard you might be able to see it. But that's the best I can do.

  89. er, welcome aboard, broad.

    O, heck with it.


  90. but if, I told you all my secrets, I would have to kill you

    Just like The Great Mother, Keeper of Secrets, mistress of her own son, consort of her brother, fecund, relentless, mother of her own father, like the old myths say, Lord, the shock of the white light of reality it too much...I die willingly in your very arms.

  91. If you squint really hard you might be able to see it. But that's the best I can do.

    hell... just drag that picture to the desktop and open it, it opens 3 times larger...

    I love the black and white striped skirt (if you can call it that)

    I wonder what is that thing on your belly.....

  92. The Great Mother is an image of old of the creating power of all that is.

    Just for the info of those under 21, or now, these days, 18, peeking around the Bar door, and haven't been introduced to such an idea.

    She is the image of all that is creative, nurturing, furthering in life, and death too.

    It is high praise to be called this.

    She is...everything.

  93. Dang it, WiO, I don't know how to do that.

    I have never taken a computer class, am getting older, ticks me off.

    I don't know how to drag things around in the computer world.

    But, I do see the black and white sock, an image that might be likened to the plumes of the magpie, an image too of old, of the mixed blessings, the bliss and pain of being, the force that drives us forward.

  94. Bobal, if you couldn't see the picture the way WiO said, I uploaded it here:

    Too good to be true. Caveat Emptor.

  95. Skirt? Don't I see a Sock? Down there on that lovely right leg?

  96. Naw those are stripey leg warmers with matching knickers.

  97. O Lord, Bless you Miss T.

    But you may have caused a cardiac arrest.

    For which your HMO should be held responsible.

    Under the new Obama Death With Ecstasy Act.

  98. O now I really see it, I have a magnifying glass from the drawer.

    Fecund, seductive, relentless, immaculate, spiritual, earthly....

  99. You might have to go back some to find this, but Wolfram von Essenbach used the image of the magpie, both black and white, in olden German times.

    This was a Good German, no Nazi, he.

  100. Bobal, if you have a weak heart, whatever you do, do NOT ever surf to my blog, here.

  101. I'm too scared to go, but I will, anyways, now.

    If I don't return, you are responsible for the wife, the kids, and the estate.

  102. Lord, I have swayed out beyond the
    windy headlands,

    And now,

    It is just between Me and Thee.

    I have gone, and, lo, returned.

    I have swayed over all that is

    Where the beach meets the pounding sea

    And have come back


  103. Bobal, if you go back a ways I blogged my week long October 3-9 trip to Rushmore, Yellowstone, great pics. My favorite was the falls here.

  104. I have swayed over all that is

    That is a damned good line, if I say so myself.

    If you like that kind of thing.

    At least, when you are congratulating yourself.


    Good pic. My wife messed with my computer, and wiped out all of my good pics, plus my formal letters to the City, and all my e-mail addresses.

    My anger at this lasted about half a day.

    A wife is a great thing, and a pic is just a pic.

    I still have my camera.

    And, my wife too.

    That could be down around the Grand Rhonde, looks the same.

  105. We went back home on I-84, through Baker and Le Grande, my favorite part is "Cabbage Patch Hill" where you come down out of the Blue Mts to Pendleton, looks like a quilt down there.

  106. But... it's bedtime, gotta get up at 4 so I can provide warfighter support at the Torpedo Depot.

  107. looks like a quilt down there

    Yes, it does.

    The Blues are lovely, especially if you know them like I do.

    The Steens are great too, and some of the Nevada ranges.

    I've said this before, but it demands repeating.

  108. Nite T.

    Would like to meet you and yours sometime.

    We might have a great drive.

    There are parts of Nevada I know you have never seen, worth the price of the gas.

  109. Rufus, here's another Peak Oil dismissal, from a level headed, deep thinker about financial and technological issues. He shares my viewpoint - nobody can predict the Black Swans producible by entrepreneurial energy in the pursuit of technical fame and fortune. To perform linear extropolations of current trends is useless. Who would have thunk ,at the beginning of the 20th century, that sand would be the key resource from which the most consequential and valuable companies of that century would derive their products - Intel, IBM, Dell, HP, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Amazon, EBay, Nokia, Samsung, Sony, etc. - they all use silicon to make the processors that drive their products.

    Anyway, here's Gilder's thoughts: GEORGE GILDER, Gilder Telecosm Forum (10/13/09): So goes the view from the "Centre." In fact, it is currently impossible to model the physical processes underway in a single puddle. To assert that "all of the known factors that influence global temperatures. . . are accounted for by its models" is a claim of knowledge that reveals complete ignorance.

    And the idea that all current energy sources are headed for a Hubbert's peak is equally vain. This idea has occurred scores of time through history. It is always wrong because it ignores both the advance of technology and the infinite energy available in matter, from shale to clathrates.

    The idea that we have a global warming crisis requires, at a minimum, indications that temperatures are unusually warm. Yet temperatures today are just below average for the last three thousand and ten thousand years. We are emerging from the Little Ice Age, which was not much fun, all things considered, such as wars and famines and for awhile shrinking human populations and economies.

  110. Sanremo il 21.10.2009

    Teoria dell'evoluzione di Darwin

    la sottoscritta lola marini pediamic lbm

    ero e sono in buana buona fede convinta
    che si possa parlare di pace a livello globale , infatti,
    l'evoluzione di Darwin parla chiaro,
    dopo la ribellione in quanto essere vivente alle sevizie psicologiche del Presidente obama barack su di me e dopo aver denunciato pubblicamente il caso alle autorita' competenti vedi post del 12 10 2009
    continuando lui a spiarmi e denigrando i miei concetti e rubandoli con minaccia di diffondere le cassette che mi ritraggono nell'intimita' della mia camera da letto ora lo sto' osservando e come descrive cosi' sapientemente Einstein in una teoria della relativita' generale la storia e' ciclica.

    ES: prendi uno come obama barack, anzi , proprio lui
    e che con la sua invidia e cattiveria nei miei confronti lo dimostra lo metti a capo di una grande nazione gli dai in mano le forze armate ed il risultato sara' uguale a quello di un hitler in termini di perdita di vite umane il perche' e' semplice , se non hai l'umilta' reale di ammettere l'evidenza l'effetto sara' ancora piu' devastante che quello precedente la storia lo dimostra in effetti analizzando il tempo che ci vuole sarebbe quello della consapevolezza e mancanza di cuore sapendo che ad esempio si possono prevedere i terremoti ma si preferisce tacere per scopi personali vero Presidente barack obama come lei sa molto bene visto che continua a spiare e a tacere in merito.....
    in piu', fatto dimostrato i soldati per lui sono come le piastrine di un ricercatore quindi numeri e non persone umane, senno' non aizzerebbe con discorsi fasulli celati da un finto buonismo le persone , vedi ad esempio i diritti Gay per parlare di nucleare (enola gay,,,,) vero presidente .......
    lei e' solo abbronzato e non un vero negro perche' scomponendo la parola negro vuol dire avere flair dal francese gro nez....
    e' solo abbrronzato e con il suo comportamento negriero e stagista stragista
    Einstein l'aveva avvisata ha fatto cambiare il senso delle mie ricerche e siccome non sono una deliquente lo sto' rendendo pubblico il mio concetto lei non solo e' in malafede ma e' anche uno stragista tacendo per esempio sui fattori di cio' che sa sui terremoti

    firmato pediamic lbm lola marini