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

Friday, December 25, 2009

Bombing suspect is a Nigerian national studying in London.

Transatlantic jet incident 'was terror attack bid'

The plane was carrying 278 passengers

An incident on an airliner arriving in Detroit from the Netherlands was an attempted terrorist attack, a senior administration official told the BBC.

Sources say a man tried to blow up the jet with 278 passengers on board, but was subdued and taken into custody. No-one was seriously hurt.

The suspect said he had been acting on behalf of al-Qaeda, a police source told the Associated Press news agency.
President Barack Obama has ordered increased security for air travel.

We heard a little pop, then a bit of a smoke and then some flames and yelling and screaming and then somebody said the guy was subdued.

White House spokesman Bill Burton said the president was monitoring the situation.

US and Dutch media report that the suspect is a Nigerian national studying in London.

A source described by the Associated Press as a "senior US counter-terror official" said the passenger had been planning to blow up the plane but the device failed.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing, the agency added.

'Taped to his leg'

Northwest Airlines Flight 253 had been arriving from the Dutch capital Amsterdam when the incident occurred at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Friday afternoon.

According to a report on the ABC television network, the suspect told authorities he had had explosive powder taped to his leg and used a syringe of chemicals to mix with the powder that was to cause explosion.

Another US intelligence official quoted by AP said an explosive device had been used consisting of a "mix of powder and liquid".

The FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

A robot was used to check the plane at one stage.

At least one passenger was taken to the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor.

Passengers told AP about a bang and smoke and fire, which some took to be a firecracker going off.

Syed Jafri, a US citizen who had flown from the United Arab Emirates, said the incident occurred during the plane's descent.

He said he was seated three rows behind the passenger and had seen a glow and noticed a smoke smell.

Then, he said, "a young man behind me jumped on him".

"Next thing you know, there was a lot of panic," Mr Jafri added.

Another unnamed passenger heard a "little pop", then saw "a bit of a smoke and then some flames".

After "yelling and screaming", the attacker was subdued. "They took him out and it was really quick," the passenger added.
Another unnamed eyewitness said a man had reacted to the explosion by jumping "over all the other people and he took care of it so the fire went out".


  1. Maybe this guy is nuts but do you think the fact that he is Nigerian studying in London should have warranted a second look at security?

    How many of 911 bombers were studying in Europe?

  2. The Dutch let him on the plane.

    Wonder if he had to take off his shoes?

    Now everyone will have to lift their trouser cuffs to their knees?

    Meanwhile, allen's favorite drunken Trotskyite writes:

    This, then, is why the Pakistani elite hates the United States. It hates it because it is dependent on it and is still being bought by it. It is a dislike that is also a form of self-hatred of the sort that often develops between client states and their paymasters. (You can often sense the same resentment in the Egyptian establishment, and sometimes among Israeli right-wingers, as well.) By way of overcompensation for their abject status as recipients of the American dole, such groups often make a big deal of flourishing their few remaining rags of pride. The safest outlet for this in the Pakistani case is an official culture that makes pious noises about Islamic solidarity while keeping the other hand extended for the next subsidy. Pakistani military officers now strike attitudes in public as if they were defending their national independence rather than trying to prolong their rule as a caste and to extend it across the border of their luckless Afghan neighbor.

    This is, and always was, a sick relationship, and it is now becoming dangerously diseased. It's not possible to found a working, trusting, fighting alliance on such a basis. Under communism, the factory workers of Eastern Europe had a joke: "We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us." In this instance, the Pakistanis don't even pretend that their main military thrust is directed against the common foe, but we do continue to pay them. If we only knew it, the true humiliation and indignity is ours, not theirs.

    This will continue to get nastier and more corrupt and degrading until we recognize that our long-term ally in Asia is not Pakistan but India.

    Why Does Pakistan Hate the United States?

    Because it is dependent on us.

    By Christopher Hitchens

  3. I would agree with this perspective, though, even if Mr Hicthens does likes his gin.

    If we only knew it, the true humiliation and indignity is ours, not theirs.

    I know it, and anyone with any sense could move to any perspective of the scene and see the same thing.

  4. Ditto, rat. On Hitchens and the Pakmil.

  5. The biggest mistake we're all making, right now, is in not looking to the future of energy, and realizing that ALL countries will be required to "Go Nuclear" in the not too distant future.

    Oil will become Way too valuable to waste generating electricity, and the mideast doesn't have coal. China, and India will be importing prodigious quantitis of coal into the future, even with established nuclear programs. We will barely be able to supply ourselves with sub-bituminous deposits into the near future.

    Barring some Remarkable breakthrough ( a True Black Swan,) Nuclear will, of necessity, supply most electricity in most of the world before the middle of the Century. We're in danger of causing a whole lot of trouble for no good cause.

  6. Oh, sooper, whit.

    Just what Rat needed. A reason to go on being the Bar's biggest assfuck.

  7. Maybe Ash will show up and give him additional encouragement.

  8. :)

    You have a good Christmas?

  9. Now, den mother, is that any way to act?

    On Christ's Mass day?

    Really, why can't we all celebrate the solstice, in peaceful harmony?

  10. Humor, you?

    Perhaps you've gotten bit confused, what with the change in latitude?

    Besides, I'm not much for ass fuckin'.

  11. If he wants to say the sun will rise in the east, he deserves to be assiduously ignored.

  12. But, what of the ones that tell you the "sun rises in the West?" Are they to be ignored, also?

  13. What a wonderful day at the EB. It's so gratifying and heartwarming to know that on a day such as today, there is peace and joy in the whirled.

    And the sense of family here is, is, well, there are no words to describe it.

  14. You know it. I know it. We all know it.

    He's a jackass.

    He's a plague upon humanity.

    We're Belmont castoffs, but we're not dicks.

  15. "We're Belmont castoffs, but we're not dicks."

    Hey, don't sell yourselves short kids.


  16. I ain't never been "cast-off" from no "Belmont."

  17. My fambly has an anchunt an honored tradition of dikiness.

  18. Billion year old carbon,

    Caught up in some devilish bargain...

  19. Thoreau writes:

    "If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away."

    Which is why I wanted bob to stay.

    Which was rewarded by his expansion of the acceptable lexicon, here at the Bar.

  20. He removed the last bastion of good taste that was left to the "right".

  21. We wuz called the "Big Dikiness," fambly, or "The Big Dicks," for short.

  22. I would like to see that "last bastion" reinstated.

  23. Have to call on our resident Bard, for that one whit.

    It seems to be as acceptable use of verbiage as being described as an ass fuck, to me.

    Just as descriptive.

  24. Let me repeat: Assiduously ignored.

  25. I would like to see that "last bastion" reinstated.

    Fri Dec 25, 10:45:00 PM EST

    I'll try to do that, for my part.

    Wishing well does sound more civilized.

  26. Can I give my Farewell speech now?

  27. The speech that will not be given at the US Embassy Bogota?

  28. "I'll try to do that, for my part."

    This one is for you Bob.

    Las Planetas

    The lyrics translate to "Don't make promises you can't keep."


  29. The, floor, is, yours, just, don't, make, cry.

  30. A source described by the Associated Press as a "senior US counter-terror official" said the passenger had been planning to blow up the plane but the device failed.

    Wonder what that device was. And how you could get the makings through security.

    Sounds like the passengers reacted really quickly.

    I wish Melody was here.

  31. Well, this is weird. Sweet thang just walked in the door with four, or five boxes of what looks like fairly well preserved baseball cards. Mostly from the 80's, and early nineties it seems. Some oriental guy gave them to her.

    Anybody know of a "free" database program that I could download to assist me in categorizing these things?

    Any idea what a couple of thousand "assorted" baseball cards might be worth? Assuming any real "Winners" have been removed.

  32. I knew a woman here whose son, an accountant in Calif., collected baseball cards. They had developed a method where you take your finger nail down the edge of the pack, and the winners, in these series, had some little bulge on the edges of the cards. So buying that particular kind card, they never lost.

  33. That was my farewell speech to you. Next there will be no capitalization and then...misspelled words.

    You'll love me in no time.

  34. She can write anyway she wants, who are you to judge?

  35. Trish's Farewell speech:

    Fuck you, Tim.

    And fuck you, Mark.

  36. Okay, so now I'm getting fucked again. And who's Tim and Mark?

  37. Compressed, succinct, short, earthy, even memorable. A real Gettysburg Address.

    I'm having a cold turkey sandwich, but the mayonaisse is the kind I don't like.

  38. Perfumed princes.

    They know who they are.

    And they are a pox upon the service.

  39. Did that rain come, Melody, and turn your snow to slush?

  40. V,e,r,y f,u,n,ny.

    Red had a chuckle at that one.

  41. Oh, I get it that's your farewell speech.

  42. I thought she would need a laugh.

  43. The rain came but it didn't put a damper on anything.

  44. Melody, trish has perfected the obtuse discourse to an art form that is intended to befuddle clarity of purpose on purpose.

  45. Well, anyway, that's the speech.

    Someone said to me of her own farewell, "Pat, I have nothing to say."

    Oh, but Pat does.

  46. Pat trish a. A rev e la tion. Who da guessed?

  47. I want to hear what Pat has to say.

  48. I've spent my entire life in the Army.

    I never had to seriously question that commitment until I met up with two...I don't even know how to describe them.

  49. The suspect was identified as Abdul Farouk Abdulmutalla. That in itself is worthy of a strip search.

  50. Had a two year Visa for a religious 'ceremony' or 'seminar'.

    I heard one MSM outlet refer to the incident as an 'accident'.

  51. I heard a passenger and newscaster refer to him as the "gentlemen"