“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."

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Obama's Isolated Incident Spreads. US and UK Embassies Retreat from Yemen

Hat tip: Doug

U.S. Closes Embassy in Yemen Over Qaeda Threats

Published: January 3, 2010

SANA, Yemen — The United States shut its embassy in Yemen’s capital on Sunday, citing unspecified but “ongoing threats by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” the regional branch responsible for the failed Christmas Day effort to blow up an airliner headed to Detroit.

The closure came a day after a quiet visit to Yemen’s President by Gen. David H. Petraeus, the American regional commander, who hand-delivered a message from President Obama of support for Yemen’s unity and counterterrorism efforts.

In his weekly address on Saturday, Mr. Obama blamed the Al Qaeda branch for the bombing attempt and said that those responsible “will be held to account.”

Mr. Obama said he had made it “a priority to strengthen our partnership with the Yemeni government, training and equipping their security forces, sharing intelligence and working with them to strike Al Qaeda terrorists.”

The streets outside the embassy looked normal on Sunday, a working day here, with no visible addition to the normal boundary security provided by the Yemeni military and police. Nor were the streets closed off near the embassy, which is surrounded by a large wall and is set back some distance to prevent bomb damage.

In September 2008, Al Qaeda attacked the embassy with a car bomb, and 19 people were killed — including an 18-year-old American woman, Yemeni security forces and six militants. It was after that attack that the United States began to step up its military and security aid to Yemen, with some $70 million spent in 2009, a figure that General Petraeus said would more than double in 2010.

On the embassy website, a statement said that “The U.S. Embassy in Sana is closed today, January 3, 2010, in response to ongoing threats by AlQaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to attack American interests in Yemen.”

An embassy official refused to comment further on any specific threat or whether the embassy would reopen again on Monday. On Thursday, the embassy sent a warden notice to American citizens in Yemen urging them to be vigilant and practice security awareness.

Last January, gunmen in a car exchanged fire with police at a checkpoint near the embassy, hours after the embassy received threats of a possible attack by Al Qaeda, according to The Associated Press. No one was injured. And in July, security was upgraded in Sana after intelligence reports warned of attacks planned against the embassy.

In December, the Yemen government said that it had attacked Al Qaeda meetings in which the group had been planning an attack on the British Embassy here.

On Saturday, Yemeni officials said they had sent more troops to fight Al Qaeda militants in the provinces of Abyan, Al Bayda and Shabwah.

Britain announced on Sunday that Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Mr. Obama had agreed to back a counterterrorism police unit in Yemen to tackle the rising terrorist threat. There is already significant counterterrorist training for the police and it was not immediately clear what Mr. Brown had in mind.

Britain is also to host a high-level international conference Jan. 28, in parallel to a long-scheduled conference on Afghanistan, to discuss international strategy and aid to counter radicalization in Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world.


Barack Obama is vulnerable on terror – and he knows it
Barack Obama is playing politics over the attempted Christmas Day terrorist attack and Republicans sense he is weak on the issue, writes Toby Harnden in Washington

Published: 4:45PM GMT 02 Jan 2010

Barack Obama said both human and systematic failures allowed the foiled Christmas Day attack on Northwest flight 253 to take place.

In his weekly radio address yesterday, President Barack Obama patted himself on the back for having "refocused the fight - bringing to a responsible end the war in Iraq, which had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks".
He then told people to remember that "our adversaries are those who would attack our country, not our fellow Americans", before decrying "fear and cynicism" and "partisanship and division" - the code phrases for horrid Republicans used during his 2008 election campaign.

Complacency, faux moralising and partisan shots at Republicans. It was a neat summary of where Obama is going wrong after the Christmas Day debacle when the Nigerian knicker bomber managed to waltz onto a Detroit-bound flight.

For a man who campaigned denouncing the politicisation of national security under President George W Bush, it is worth noting how intensely political Obama's treatment of what might henceforth be known as Underpantsgate has been.

His White House recognised its political vulnerability more readily than it comprehended the level of danger faced by Americans.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's father had courageously contacted the American Embassy in Abuja in November and met the CIA station chief to tell him that his son was involved with fundamentalist elements in Yemen. American intelligence had also intercepted discussions in Yemen about a possible attack by "the Nigerian".

The Obama administration knew most, if not all, of this by last Sunday, 48 hours after the attack was thwarted. But the priority in Obamaland was to play things down and take pot shots at the Bush administration.

Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security chief – who prefers the term "man-caused disasters" to "terrorism" - blithely stated that there was "no indication that it is part of anything larger". She then insisted that the "system is working".

Although Napolitano has taken a lot of flak for these comic utterances, she was not "misspeaking" but trotting out the agreed talking points of the day.

Robert Gibbs, Obama's chief mouthpiece, also stated that "in many ways this system has worked" and would say nothing about a possible wider plot.

In Hawaii, where Obama was holidaying, Gibbs's deputy Bill Burton told the press that "we are winding down a war in Iraq that took our eye off of the terrorists that attacked us" and that Obama was reviewing "procedures that have been in place the last several years" (i.e. Bush instituted them). He added, without apparent irony, that "the President refuses to play politics with these issues".

Meanwhile, the White House was working overtime to build a case against Bush. A source in the White House counsel's office told The American Spectator of memos frantically seeking information that would "show that the Bush Administration had had far worse missteps than we ever could".

Republicans smell blood. There is a pattern in the Obama administration of dismissing Islamist terrorist attacks as regrettable random acts. In his radio address after Major Nidal Hassan's slaughtered 13 at Fort Hood, Texas, Obama made no mention of terrorism or militant Islam, instead blandly promising that the "ongoing investigation into this terrible tragedy" would "look at the motives of the alleged gunman".

Hassan was a committed Islamist who had corresponded with the fanatical Yemeni imam Anwar al-Awlaki. In June, Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Muslim convert being watched by the FBI and who had previously travelled to Yemen, murdered a US Army recruit in Arkansas. That rated only a tepid statement by Obama about a "senseless act of violence".

But the violence wasn't senseless, it had a calculated objective - just as Abdulmutallab was not, as Obama described him, an "isolated extremist". No wonder many Americans want to grab Obama by the lapels and scream: "It's the Jihad, stupid." Dick Cheney, the former vice-president, clearly struck a nerve when he charged last week that Obama was "trying to pretend we are not at war".

The White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer eagerly descended into the political fray, responding to Cheney with the obligatory jibe about Iraq and also a litany of examples of Obama's "public statements that explicitly state we are at war".

It's a sure sign that you're losing the argument when you have to research quotes from your boss's speeches to prove that he gets it that America is at war. The problem for Obama is that people are now judging him by his actions as well as his words.

The incompetence of the US intelligence bureaucracy is not the only thing that makes Underpantsgate so damaging for Obama. More serious is his failure to understand or acknowledge the nature of the enemy - and to view war as mere politics.


  1. Within a week Obama has gone from calling an Islamic terrorist a "suspect" regarding an "isolated incident" to closing an Embassy in Yemen and suffering a catastrophic loss of a CIA station in Afghanistan.

    Who is Barack Hussein Obama?

    Obama has no natural inclination to recognize the dangers America is facing.

    His priorities were to close Guantanamo and treat Americas enemies as criminals

    His base instincts and life experiences are against the "man," to use the legal system to advance an agenda and steer the United States to something that is foreign to most real Americans, and yes there is such a thing as real Americans.

    A real American instinctively thinks and acts for America first. That is not Barack Hussein Obama.

    No where is this more obvious than on what should be the war against Islamic terrorism.

    Obama cannot even say the words. Obama calls an enemy agent of al Qaeda a "suspect". The "suspect" as Obama calls him, was on a mission no different from that of a kamikaze pilot, except worse. At least a kamikaze, an enemy, was on a mission to destroy a military target. That was not so with the underwear jihadi. His target was innocent, mostly American civilians, flying on a Christmas Day flight over an American City.

    The Islamic, repeat, Islamic jihadi tried to kill a plane load of Americans. He was trained to kill. He practiced to kill. He hid and carried explosives. He lit them. He had a misfire and a Dutch traveller probably saved the plane.

    This outrage did not outrage the President of the United States. No outrage, None. Not from our Obama. He coolly, in deadpan face, declared it was an isolated incident.

    I'll tell you what is suspect, and what is not an isolated incident. Barack Hussein Obama is a suspect of dereliction of duty and an oath to preserve and protect The United States of America. Barack Obama Hussein's failure to recognize Islamic terror is not an isolated incident.

    Barack Hussein Obama has demonstrated a pattern of contempt, a denial and a cover up of the real danger and war against Islamic terror that threatens the United States of America.

    The retreat from the embassy in Yemen is an acknowledgment that the US was asleep at the switch.

  2. Regarding the suicide killing in Afghanistan this:

    The Wednesday's attack on a U.S. compound in Afghanistan devastated a CIA hub of counterterrorism and intelligence operations. That must mean predator drone strkes.

    Seven Central Intelligence Agency officers and contractors were killed and six more wounded in the suicide bomb attack at Forward Operating Base Chapman.

    Who was the suicide bomber that so many US agents were in his presence and that he was not searched?

    Who have we been killing with predator strikes based upon this man and his network?

  3. This morning the Obama administration is defending the handing of the Nigerian as a criminal. One week, one plane, one embassy and a CIA outpost.

  4. Erroll Southers is what we need right now for head of TSA.

    The cream of the crop, brother Erroll will join brother Eric Holder in making us more safe.

  5. I know it sounds ignorant, but Southers LOOKS LIKE a loser.

  6. The people of Waziristan are suffering a brutal kind of occupation under the Taliban and al Qaeda. Therefore, they welcome the drone attacks

    The people of Waziristan are suffering a brutal kind of occupation under the Taliban and al Qaeda. Therefore, they welcome the drone attacks

    I have yet to come across a non-TTP resident of Waziristan who supports the Taliban or al Qaeda. Till recently they were terrified by the TTP to the extent that they would not open their mouth to oppose them. But now, having been displaced and out of their reach, some of them speak against them openly and many more than before in private conversations. They express their fear of the intelligence agencies of Pakistan whenever speaking against the Taliban. They see the two as two sides of the same coin.

    What we read and hear in the print and electronic media of Pakistan about drone attacks as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty or resulting in killing innocent civilians is not true so far as the people of Waziristan are concerned. According to them, al Qaeda and the TTP are dead scared of drone attacks and their leadership spends sleepless nights. This is a cause of pleasure for the tormented people of Waziristan.

    Moreover, al Qaeda and the Taliban have done everything to stop the drone attacks by killing hundreds of innocent civilians on the pretext of their being American spies.

    They thought that by overwhelming the innocent people of Waziristan with terror tactics they would deter any potential informer, but they have failed. On many occasions the Taliban and al Qaeda have killed the alleged US spies in front of crowds of hundreds, even thousands of tribesmen. Interestingly, no one in Pakistan has raised objection to killings of the people of Waziristan on charges of spying for the US.

    This, the people of Waziristan informed, is a source of torture for them that their fellow Pakistanis condemn the killing of the terrorists but fall into deadly silence over the routine murders of tribesmen accused of spying for the US by the terrorists occupying their land.

  7. hat tip Charles, even tho his link did not work!

  8. Geeze, Rubio looks too handsome to become President!
    Will the stupid party be too stupid to elevate this conservative Hispanic?

    htWinner of 2009: Marco Rubio.+

    Eight months ago even some of his biggest admirers were calling him crazy and short-sighted. Why in world would the promising former Florida House Speaker launch a futile U.S. Senate campaign against an immensely popular sitting governor sure to raise vast amounts of money? Give it up, they urged him, and the attorney general’s nomination would be all his: He’d be poised from there to run for senate or governor. Instead, Rubio stuck to it. He courted national conservative media attention and excited hard core activists, while tea partiers and fed up conservatives became increasingly bent on teaching moderate Republicans like Crist a lesson. Today, Marco Rubio vs. Charlie Crist is among the marquee races across the country and Rubio is a star. Runner up: George LeMieux. Several candidates to replace Mel Martinez clearly were better qualified, but Crist appointed his friend, aide and political adviser to warm the seat, setting LeMieux up to run against Bill Nelson or at least hold the lucrative lifetime title of former U.S. Senator. Plus Crist has seemed so politically ham-handed in recent months, LeMieux seems like a brilliant adviser without whom Crist has been lost.

    Loser of 2009. Charlie Crist.

  9. Whit,
    Why did Martinez drop out?
    (glad he did, a-hole always sounded like a Democrap)

  10. Almost a full year into his presidency, Mr. Obama is at a dangerous point. His ability to inspire has all but departed. The novelty of his historic ascension is over. And, late though it be, there are now questions about his effectiveness. As there are also doubts about whether that magnificently cool presence – his much-touted ability to distance himself from the turbulence and passions of those around him – springs from a fear of being overwhelmed by events rather than a confidence in mastering them.

    The system worked. This was an isolated incident.

  11. You mate a Kenyan piece of crap with a white Seattle piece of crap, this is exactly what you get.

    And, that ain't racist.

  12. Thomas Sowell he isn't.

  13. He isn't Afrocity either. Nor Right Wing Black(name), nor many another.

  14. Where has Sheik al-Bob been?
    Did you kiss the black rock?

  15. Unemployment rate: true unemployment rate, what, 18-20 percent?

    Cut taxes, eliminate capital gains, drill drill drill here here here now now now, and everything else.

    We're just pissing on windmills to do anything else.

  16. I've had better things to do....

    Been with my daughter, al-Doug.

    Had a great time, really.

    What is your New Year's resolution?

    I've got a couple, but I ain't sayin'. :)

  17. I don't have a resolution. Why mess with perfection.

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Iran, Iran, Iran...

    Notice the deadline that was to be?

    Notice the LACK of focus...

    LOOK at a map...

    IRAN is in the middle...

    Iran (it's not the only bad guys in town) is an important support for many of the bad guys...


    Notice the current admin IGNORES anything against iran?

    How quiet...

    Yemen is a SYMPTOM, Iran is a major cause...

  20. Hamas (iran), Hezbollah (iran), al qaeda (iran), Taliban (Iran), Pakistan (Arabia & Iran), Islamic Brotherhood (iran), Syria (iran), Yemen (iran)

  21. Makua Valley eyed for counterinsurgency, road bomb training

    The Army wants to spend about $3.7 million to transform Makua Valley into a "world-class" roadside bomb and counterinsurgency training center with convoy live fire along hillside roads, simulated explosions and multiple "villages" to replicate the roadside bomb threat in Iraq and Afghanistan — the No. 1 killer of Americans.

  22. And catch this if you can. We both had that fresh trout at the
    Dockside Restaurant, before the cruise, beat that, Pineapple!

    Plus the receipt goes to Emmanuel Lutheran Church, with 10 percent back, cash money, from Hagedorn, the old drunk, to help the poor.

    Beat that, if you can!

    That trout was really, really delicious.

    Honestly, best I've ever had.

  23. Resolution has never been my strong point.
    ...not that anything else was.

  24. I don't have a resolution. Why mess with perfection?

    By God, that's what I say, too!

    I'm with you, Melody.

    But, you should already know that.

  25. I remember having excellent trout in a restaurant in LA, of all places!
    ...about 55 years ago...

  26. Probly caught locally, before all their habitats disappeared.

  27. I've got to get some sleep.

    Goodnight, or goodday, or whatever it is, dear Melody.

  28. This Made Me Homesick
    ...our place wasn't quite that upscale!
    To put it mildly.

  29. Bob don't give a shit about his long time brethern.
    All about MLD.

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. What do you call a traitorous barmate?

  32. Doug said...
    Outdoor Pics

    Sun Jan 03, 10:21

    wow, only 4.3 million!

  33. ...AND you get to go down with the sinking ship, which is California.

    Run into the ground by the liberal majority.

  34. Rufus thinks that having the 13 largest state bankrupt ain't that big a deal.
    I beg to differ.
    (since I'm in a polite mood)

  35. Palestinians claim Dead Sea Scrolls
    Jan. 3, 2010
    As custodians begin to pack up an exhibit of the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls and ship them back to Israel, both the Palestinians and the Jordanians have demanded their seizure.

    Both Jordan and the Palestinians have claimed custody over the historic Dead Sea Scrolls, currently on display at Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Canada.

    Israel's Antiquities Authority loaned 17 of the Dead Sea Scrolls along with other artifacts from the time of the Second Temple to the ROM as part of a six month display. The display, entitled "Words that Changed the World", ended on January 3.

    "They are an integral part of Palestinian heritage," Hamdan Taha, Director of the Palestinian Antiquities and Cultural Heritage Department told The Media Line.

    Taha said the Palestinians had demanded months ago that the Canadians close the exhibition and seize the artifacts until an international court could rule on their ownership.

    The Jordanians have also reportedly claimed the priceless scrolls. Two weeks ago, the Globe and Mail reported that Jordanian officials had summoned the Canadian chargé d'affaires in Amman to demand that Canada keep the scrolls until an international court can determine their rightful owner.

    The Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded by saying that the disputed ownership of the Dead Sea Scrolls is a matter for Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians to resolve amongst themselves, and that it would not be proper for Canada to intervene, the newspaper said.

    Canadian officials in Amman could not be reached for comment.

    The Dead Sea scrolls consist of about 900 documents and biblical texts, whose discovery in the 1940's and 50's in caves in and around Qumran on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea was one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century. The texts include some of the only known surviving copies of biblical documents made before 100 B.C.E., and preserve evidence of Jewish life during the Second Temple period. They also are seen as an insight into early Christianity.

    Some of the scrolls were purchased from antiquity merchants by Israel and others made their way to the Rockefeller museum in east Jerusalem, which was under Jordanian control from 1948 till captured by Israel in the 1967 war.

    Taha said that Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad made an official request to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to not allow the display to open and to return the scrolls to Israel. Taha said that the Palestinian request had led to "a series of maneuvering" that removed it from the agenda. Eventually no reaction was given by the Canadians and the show went on.

    Taha said that the motion was also aimed at making other countries think twice before putting the Israeli-controlled Dead Sea Scrolls on display.

    "This isn't harassment," Taha said. "Harassment is the occupation of our land. These scrolls are of course Palestinian because they were found in Qumran which is located in the West Bank."

    "They are an integral part of Palestinian heritage, its Jewish heritage. Palestine doesn't represent one layer but a multicultural history, that includes the Roman and other periods," Taha said. "Israel should be pleased that the Palestinians are showing concern for this period of our past."

    The Palestinians have demanded that Israel return to them all artifacts uncovered in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967.

    The Israel Antiquities Authority said in response to the report that it had the right to loan the artifacts.

    "The IAA presents the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Royal Ontario Museum according to the original agreement," a statement said.

    Speaking on condition of anonymity, one official at IAA said that Israel has never claimed to "own" the scrolls, but is acting simply as their "custodians."

  36. I only have two words to describe the post subject and the thread references.



    The scary thought is that this is indeed situation normal.

    Welcome to 2010.

  37. That Coyote canyon hacienda certainly looked inviting (in a dated 90's kind of way) but at $4.3 mil it didn't look that good.

    Mel Martinez was a cog in the Bush political machine. I recall that he was appointed to office and was never that popular. Marco Rubio on the other hand is sharp as a tack. Whether discoursing on matters of business, public policy, or sports, he is a delight for conservative ears. His good looks and gift for gab make him a potential nightmare for the Dems. I have heard him quite a bit and although the whole state Republican party machinery has been against him, I think he will beat the empty suit Crist 'going away.'

  38. Here's another pet peeve:

    Take your local millage rate and figure out what your annual taxes would be on that little $4 million, 29 acre peace of Coyote Canyon heaven.

    I would have to fork over about $100K per year to the tax man for the privilege of living in his delightful county.

  39. Doug, almost ALL states have "balanced budget" laws. A state with a balanced budget requirement CANNOT be "bankrupt."

    It will have to prune unnecessary workers, and programs from time to time. That's a Feature, Not a Bug.

  40. Honestly, some of you act as if you were born "yesterday." We have a Recession every 6 to 10 years. We've had something like 11, or 12 since WWII.

    And, every one is TEOTWAWKI.

    This one was more Dangerous than most because the REPUBLICANS, "And" the Democrats got together and allowed the bankers to damned near take down the entire International banking system.

    But, as of right now it's just a recession. One of many.

  41. What the hell would Pallies want with an original book of Isaiah, for example? They run out of sand to wipe their ass?

  42. They have spent years destroying every Israeli artifact found under the Temple Mount. They either wish to suppress the scrolls or more likely, monetarily profit from them.

  43. In my neck of the woods:

    Feels Like: 33°
    Wind Chill: 33° Ceiling: Unl
    Heat Index: 38° Visibility: 10mi
    Dew Point: 13° Wind: 7mph
    Humidity: 36% Direction: 320° (NW)
    Pressure: 30.24" Gusts: NA

  44. Whit, the Jews handed over greenhouses to the Palestinians in Gaza, and they didn't even momentarily profit from them, they were destroyed as the work of the hated Zionists, and so would these scrolls from the Essenes.

    They are an agent of entropy.

    Eventually those Buddhist statues in Afghanistan would have eroded away or fallen by earthquake. The body and soul of everything under the sun meets the same fate as all other bodies and all other souls. But the Moose Limbs are an accelerant of this annihilation.
    They proudly admit worshipping and love the nothingness of the grave, they appear on television with the blood of Jews literally on their hands.

  45. In re Doodslag:

    They were holding a the gym. Defying *all* common sense.

    They didn't have this guy searched beyond what they felt to be some level of trust (undoubtedly to further increase rapport). Defying *all* common sense in that part of the world.

    They didn't choose a neutral meeting place but brought him into their home and workplace (the FOB) again and again. Defying *all* common sense.

    They did not seclude him when bringing him in. Defying *all* common sense in that part of the world.

    Some things are area-specific; some things universal. The mistakes were both but nevertheless very basic.

    Remember the SEAL Team Six tragedy?

    People become way too comfortable in their operating environments. (It takes a conscious daily effort and good SOP to combat.) That's human nature and that's when shit usually happens. Although in the case of Chapman there seems to have also been a level of amateurism thrown into the mix that they paid for with their lives.

    That makes the whole thing sadder by an order of magnitude.

  46. I have you beat, Whit. 25 degrees...feels like -3.

  47. I can understand the pampered children of the CIA making this naive, and amateurish mistake; but what in the holy hell was the base commander doing? He was supposed to be a "Soldier."

  48. There's a reason the base commander had the title of Chief of Base. She was Agency.

  49. The fucking blind protecting the fucking stupid.

  50. What makes me so damned mad is all those live (and potential talent) wasted, and all the hardship, and pain to be borne by their families because there wasn't a single Adult put in charge of supervising them.

    I assume this will lead to a rule "written in blood" that won't be violated again for a good many years. There's that, anyway.

  51. I assume this will lead to a rule "written in blood" that won't be violated again for a good many years.

    - rufus

    How'd ya guess?

    Two-ton SOP, with a cover letter screaming the riot act, coming down the pipeline.

    Roger on the family members, too.

  52. Come to think of it, to label all these mistakes as violations of common sense is somewhat inaccurate. Common sense plays its part, but your own training does as well. And there's a big "hmmmmmmmm" right there.

  53. Chapman was an isolated incident. Move along. Nothing to see here.

  54. This comes from that "We're Not at War" mentality.

    We're just playing "video games," using drones to shoot rockets at the other "players'" guys.

    It's not like they're going to come over here and try to "kill us."

    This is what happens when you keep fucking around with "war," instead of trying to "win" it.

  55. They were probably gravely serious about their collection efforts - in contrast to their astonishingly naive security efforts. And the informant most likely gained their trust by actually delivering the goods. He sacrificed a few in order to be able to kill a few, the COB in particular.

    Seriousness of purpose (as opposed to safeguards) I don't think is the problem in this incident.

    I wonder now about the fallout on both sides of the border and beyond because said informant had ample opportunity to observe, collect, analyze and report.

    And we'll never know how many other Agency facilities were engaging in the same hazardous practices.

  56. ALL personnel that deal with indigenous actors will "Go Native" at a pace that will astound anyone not thoroughly "experienced" in the "bizness." It's just human nature.

  57. Funny Rufus.

    I picked up an analyst flying from Spencer Labs in Mass to Milan. Met her at the airport. She had a distictive New England Yankee accent.

    Had to drive to Aviano AB near Pordenone. She had never been to Italy and it was a six or seven hour drive. I had a motor pool car with an Italian driver .

    With no exageration she started to affect an Italian accent before we ever got to the base.

  58. rufus said...
    Doug, almost ALL states have "balanced budget" laws. A state with a balanced budget requirement CANNOT be "bankrupt."

    It will have to prune unnecessary workers, and programs from time to time. That's a Feature, Not a Bug.
    My Ass
    The states are raking in Federal dollars to muddle thru for a while.
    California will need more.
    Pruning has yet to occur.
    You assert shit with no facts to back yourself up.

    "But, as of right now it's just a recession. One of many."

    From the guy who responded to my posting of New Century's coming demise 3 years ago:

    "It'll just be a ripple in the puddle"

    You have no shame, sir!

  59. He may be funny, but he is also FOS!

  60. How is that possible when the “patient” isn’t ALLOWED, because of political correctness, to identify, or profile, the “cancer cells” that enter and leave the country at will?

    Think it's bad now, wait until Europe has open borders with Africa to keep their social safety net going with ready labor. No passports, let alone visas, all the way from Algeria to Detroit on Lufthansa.

    As to the fix for Muslim extremism, the Bush policy of creating more democratic governments was the only one with long term success. The globe’s need for their oil will not go away. Without oil money, extremists would have little means to bring war to us.

    Sure, more democratic governments. Women used to walk with their head uncovered in Iraq. Everywhere our troops go, we leave them reeling under Sharia Law.

    Fire from heaven can cleanse. Once the cancer is killed we must be willing to devote the resources to building a healthy body that will resist new infections.

    Nationbuilding is not and never was in the US Charter. That's the Wilsonian/neo-con dream. All those billions of dollars a month playing whack-a-mullah is better served being left in US taxpayer's pocket.

    One of them would run that Iran was no threat at all, as stated by the NIE, and that either the inexperienced Hillary or the inexperienced Obama would capably guide the US to a more secure position once Bush was out of office.

    The Soviet Union was a threat with their nuclear parity with the US, but so what? We made it. Mutual Assured Destruction. With Iran having one or two Hiroshima firecrackers it wouldn't even be mutual. There's something every nuclear power learns after it joins the club: Waving nukes around ain't anything like deploying aircraft carrier battle groups. Playing with those matches is liable to set your whole country on fire.

    One day I would like to see an analysis of just why Predator type UAVs have become so popular. In terms of actual ordnance on the target they are vastly inferior to a WWII P-47.

    Why send a whole wing of bombers to take out a Scud factory when you can just blow up the Scud genius in his own car?

  61. I remember the world, the UN and the liberal all screaming when the Israelis used targeted killings...

    now I guess it's ok for everyone else to do it...

  62. "Sure, more democratic governments. Women used to walk with their head uncovered in Iraq. Everywhere our troops go, we leave them reeling under Sharia Law."
    They had jobs, also.
    And Iraq still had Christians.
    ...rapidly disappearing, or worse.

  63. Ash, dear friend, this is where you're supposed to step in and nod vigorously in agreement.

    And if you're really smart about it, throw in a Buchananism.

  64. 5. Bob al-Harb's participation in the Elephant Bar is curtailed when his wife files for divorce upon discovering that most of their money that was going to be used to develop the back 40 went to someone named Michelle Lynn Darmstadt of Pennsylvania to hush up the affair. President Obama comments that Bob "acted stupidly."

    Top Ten Reasons Bob Has Nothing To Fear From Blackmail Or Divorce Proceedings

    1.) And why need I blackmail this foolish, emotional white male man, juvenile, she thought to herself, salaciously, reclining upon her couch. He's such an easy mark, a silly goosy gander, who always thinks to wander, off by himself, fly away from the flock, so he brags, but he always flies back to me, again. She shifted her hip, and stroked her cat, and thought once more. They're all the same, these stupid men, damn dimwitted fools, here I have sunk the hook deep within his mouth, with one simple word, superhero, and another, a mere mention of my vibrator. Yet, there's something so attractive odd about him. O phoofy, well, I know I've got him through thick or thin, he'd honor my every whim, the dimwit. Besides, to blackmail, I'd have to go behind his wife, and she's got the checkbook, so he tells. But that's a ruse, I've seen men say that before. But I've certainly turned his cheek, and that's all I need, I can lead him by his very nose, by twinkling my veriest and littlest toes. She shifted her sweet hip again, and brushed her breast, her hand to stroke the cat. I can use him for my delight, she sighed, or empty his bank account down dry, or simply toss the fool away, but why should I need to blackmail him, when I know deep down inside myself, I can have everything he has, all of it, all his truest worth, insolvent, no check to be cashed, I can get his very soul, just by a simple asking, and get it all for free?


    The impure don't know
    Impassioned goners
    Have nothing to fear
    From good hearted women

  65. Melody, it took me over a day, and some dreams too, to write that. To put Miss T in her place. :)

    No offense to you, Miss T.

    Peckerwood can take a joke, even from you. :)

    It ain't perfect, but I did my best, girl.

  66. Crap, I'd rather read Ruf's fantasies!

  67. Maineman: To paint with an even broader brush, this is a conflict waged by two materialist faiths against the mechanism for human redemption. Christians are increasingly aware that they are the enemy and are under bilateral assault. When the masses that have been anesthetized by secular-humanism awake and realize the debt they owe to our Judeo-Christian heritage, then we’ll all have more of a fighting chance.

    It was the science of materialist secular humanism that built the World Trade Center and the plane that brought it down, but it was a non-materialist religion (focused on afterlife rewards) that hijacked the plane and brought it down. And your solution is....turn society back to another non-materialist religion that focuses on afterlife rewards.

    Muslims have no problem with Jews or Christians, they are, after all, People of the Book. They don't even have to fight in jihad, if they pay the jizya. But Muslims DO have a problem with materialist secular humanists, who believe in neither Yahweh nor Christ nor Allah, and it is between the unbeliever and the Muslim you find the war, not between the various members of the Abrahamic monotheism.

  68. Someday I'll ask how this all started.

  69. 138. Limpet6:
    137. Doug

    Remember the SEAL Team SIX tragedy?

    Which one? Which war?

    The only ones I can remember weren’t related to “too comfortable in the operating environment,” but rather, catch-up, catch-up hurry-up we’re behind schedule.

    Grenada and Operation Anaconda.

  70. is between the unbeliever and the Muslim you find the war, not between the various members of the Abrahamic monotheism.

    Sun Jan 03, 04:25:00 PM EST

    I'm sorry. Come again?

  71. trish: I'm sorry. Come again?

    Doug when does my saddle get back from the shop?

  72. You're right, Doug. It was 10.

  73. My honest opinion is, Melody is the best person here.

  74. I still like you Bob but your love has grown cold.

  75. Prediction 1--I stay true to Melody.

    Prediction 2--Republicans make major gains.

    Prediction 3--Israel attacks Iran, and I get on my knees and hope they are successful.

    Prediction 4--We have one new member of the Elephant Bar, but that's as far as I can see, no news about identity.

    Prediction 5--The City Council passes my development plans.

    Prediction 6--rat keeps up his spiel about how bad the Jews are, and keeps getting shut down by superior intellects.

  76. It was the science of materialist secular humanism that built the World Trade Center

    No, it was simply science.

    BTW - Here's a start on the list of Christian Thinkers in Science

    Contrary to popular belief, Christians and Science are compatible.

  77. Muslims have no problem with Jews or Christians, they are, after all, People of the Book.

    Someone has fooled the Voice of the Martyrs

  78. Whit: Contrary to popular belief, Christians and Science are compatible.

    Not really. Science says no Adam, no fall of man, thus no original sin and nothing for our souls to be saved from. Science says there's no evidence for souls and no evidence a supernatural designer guides everything.

  79. Bob: Prediction 4--We have one new member of the Elephant Bar, but that's as far as I can see, no news about identity.

    Good, that will make up for the one lost member of the Elephant Bar you get right now.

  80. Don't tell anyone but I personally know scientists who are (hushed voice) Christians.

    I believe science is quiet on the fall of man and original sin.

  81. T, I take you have once again resigned. Any particular reason?

  82. I think I missed something other than a vague reference to the ruminations of Dinesh D'Souza.

  83. I'm not lost. I just don't have anything of value to say.

  84. Oh shit, it wasn't me. T, was taken off the barkeep list.

  85. Whit: Contrary to popular belief, Christians and Science are compatible.

    Not really. Science says no Adam, no fall of man, thus no original sin and nothing for our souls to be saved from. Science says there's no evidence for souls and no evidence a supernatural designer guides everything.

    Science says there's no evidence for souls and no evidence a supernatural designer guides everything.

    Oh Miss T, haven't I taught you anything?

    Read your Buddhist scriptures, if nothing else.

    The worlds come and go, in that outlook.

    Science says no such thing. Science cannot really talk about it, until it gets some methods to track the testimony. Metaphor and myth talk incessantly about the other world, and back it up with experience, aka Black Elk Speaks. Science has said there is a dead body, and that is all, fools, hell we can all see that, but, much progress has been acheived, even in 'science'.

    We are talking about life after death for gods sake, not a dead body. Which is by definition, universally accepted, a dead body, and has ZERO to do with 'life after death', that old time metaphor, which may be a incorrect assesment, the eternal being beyond time itself. Enclosing time, within itself.

    Some of them 'scientists' are beginning to realize that human experience might just be a subject too!!!

    Right at 'death'.

    Read it, DANG you, absorb it, for once!

    They are beginning, the scientists, to understand their limitations.

    Science and the other world is about like 'science' and global warming.

    And, what is evidence, what is proof?

    You need to think these things through more carefully, Miss T.

    How is it, Miss T, that my old girlfriend swore up and down to me, I turned around, she said, and mother was standing there, transformed, perfected, go ahead with your life, live your life, she said, you will do alright, then vanished.

    Is that not experience, and what does it mean? Cause she was given over to sexuality, not spirituality, yet there it is, right in your face.

    Almost like the Christ of the Gospels, saying, it's OK.
    Relax. I will be with you always.

    A human spirit once created can never be destroyed, except by itself, is the old teaching.

    These things are deep, Miss T.

    Explain this to me, how this is a 'different' perception than me seeing that tree over there. How is it?

    And one is oh so much more powerful than the other.

    Even to the point of starting a religion.

    2010, I predict, will be an argumentative year.

    Read Black Elk Speaks, Miss T, I know you can do it.

    Explain to me please, how it unfolds so graciously.

    I find truth in that.

    What I don't know, is if I will really meet my grandfather in the other world.

    And I don't mean 'the grandfathers', the powers that sustain our world in space and time.

    What I mean, is will I meet Claus?

    I have no idea.

    But, maybe.

  86. Melody, I'm scared shitless. All I really want is to talk to you. And I'm scared shitless I may harm you.

    All this talk around here is a bunch of bonehead crap. Always has been.

    I wish we could go to a cabin on a lake, and live together, in silence.

    And I mean that.

    But, it's not going to happen, I quess, dammit.

    I never have gotten the perfect thing I have wanted. Ever.

  87. This comment has been removed by the author.

  88. This comment has been removed by the author.

  89. bob will continue to bash the foreign policy of the United States and the precedents of the last 43 years, in a vain attempt to diminish the basic truths.

    1. Israel is in violation of the Geneva Accords, that they are signatory to.

    2. That is the position of the United States, as articulated by George HW Bush at the United Nations in 1971 and never repudiated, by US.

    "We regret Israel's failure to acknowledge its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as its actions which are contrary to the letter and spirit of this convention."

    3. It is all about Israel, not about Jews, the two cannot be honestly conflated.

  90. "Melody, I'm scared shitless. All I really want is to talk to you. And I'm scared shitless I may harm you."

    I hope that's not a threat.

  91. Goddammit, Miss T, just read the major Text. The major document. Anybody can read it. It's right there, at the University of Nebraska, I think it is. He goes to the other world for
    Christ's sake. The other

    Think about it. Read the the damned thing!!!!!!!!!!!

    And the images are all handed down, from HUMAN EXPERIENCE.

  92. I hope that's not a threat.

    No threat there. Truth. I don't know how you might read a threat into anything I have said.

    No threat. Just the opposite, in truth.

    I better quit blogging and get some sleep.


  93. Well Bob, when you said you're scared shitless that you may harm me, what is a person to think?

    I don't think you would harm me...

  94. Science is ongoing, It is a path of human discovery. It is the means by which the universe reveals itself to to itself. The eyes and mind of man evolving to be the eyes and mind of the universe.

    There is no boundary to science. It goes where it will, limited by the intellectual frontier of the minds of men and technology.

    Men, guided by their beliefs and fears have tried unsuccessfully to restrain the intellectual path to knowledge.

    Only an equal can know and understand an equal. By definition there is no equal to God.

    God is deemed the pinnacle of knowledge.

    Ego is the realm of man. It is human. Thus God would have no ego.

    Man in his pursuit of knowledge is no threat to a real god if the definition of a god is true to the belief of men.

    If God chooses to reveal himself to man, through knowledge and science he will do so and needs neither the encouragement nor restraint of men by men.

    By definition God cannot be threatened by science.

    Science can be threatened my man.

    God having no equal has nothing to fear.

    Men fear.

    Belief is based on faith.

    Belief is based on hope.

    Belief is in the realm of man.

    Man has a realm. God needs none, by definition needs none and has all.

    Men fear. By definition God has nothing to fear.

    Men fear the beliefs of other men. Men in their ego know that other men will not accept their word so claim to speak for God, their god as seen from their minds.

    Why would God need a man to speak for him to another man? Why would God need an intermediary?

  95. That didn't sound right, bob. It sounded desperate and weird.

  96. Get some rest Bob. Tough times come and go. There are no threats here by anyone to anyone.

  97. If I've ever threatened my Lady Melody, I wish someone would point it out to me.

    And yes, I think Miss T has a totally wrong conception of the way of proper thinking about life after death.

    In fact, I think she has none.

    But, I love her anyways.

    It takes a long time for a man to find out what he is, death of the self, in a long tearless night.

    There must be somebody out there who understands me! But who?

    I'm telling you, goddammnit, straight to your face, it is different than you imagtine.

    But, you can chain me in a cave.

  98. I can have everything he has, all of it, all his truest worth, insolvent, no check to be cashed, I can get his very soul, just by a simple asking, and get it all for free?

    Christ! What the hell does that mean?

    I can't make it any clearer.

  99. Goddammit, I'm getting pissed.

    So, let us say, if you get a bullet in the chest, is that 'the end of you'?

    Or are you maybe something more?

    Answer, I dare you, each of you.

    Each and all, answer all, and we will have it out.

  100. the rodent states:
    1. Israel is in violation of the Geneva Accords, that they are signatory to.

    2. That is the position of the United States, as articulated by George HW Bush at the United Nations in 1971 and never repudiated, by US.

    "We regret Israel's failure to acknowledge its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as its actions which are contrary to the letter and spirit of this convention."

    3. It is all about Israel, not about Jews, the two cannot be honestly conflated.

    Rat... you are entitled to your rat's opinion, if it makes you feel better that you and the PLO and selected bits of out of context quotes choose to bash Israel? FINE... I have the right to call you a mutant and pray some day you get to personally meet those same Palestinians you seem to love so much...

    There is no point arguing with a retarded bitter old piece of rat fecal material like you...

    So have a nice day and go fuck yourself....

  101. I know the answer already. The Jews will take such a question seriously, Ruf will pop a bottle, deuce will be thoughtful, Doug too, rat will try to make something up, Trish will consider, Sam will like the line, 'the appearance of death is not the experience of death' and there will be many other opinions.

    When all I was trying to do, was be nice to Melody.

    In this game, you must state your reasons, or, you are out of the game.
    But a true human being thinks about these things, and what might 'follow'.

    If anything, other that a vanishing imagination.


  102. So what is true?

    C'mon, state your position.

  103. I'll state mine-- I think there is always something more, always somwthing more.

    That's hearty.

  104. Bob, I really think that's a subject the bar isn't quite ready to discuss, even in the new decade.

    All I know is that my sister in law keeps telling me that when I die, that I'm going to become a saint.

  105. Nothing like a bit of mutually encouraged insanity on a Sunday night.

    Time to walk the dog.

  106. "Without warning, David was visited by an exact vision of death: a long hole in the ground, no wider than your body, down which you were drawn while the white faces recede. You try to reach them but your arms are pinned. Shovels pour dirt in your face. There you will be forever, in an upright position, blind and silent, and in time no one will remember you, and you will never be called. As strata of rock shift, your fingers elongate, and your teeth are distended sideways in a great underground grimace indistinguishable from a strip of chalk. And the earth tumbles on, and the sun expires, an unaltering darkness reigns where once there were stars."

    -- John Updike, “Pigeon Feathers”

  107. All I know is that my sister in law keeps telling me that when I die, that I'm going to become a saint.

    I'm certain of that.

    I'm also certain that writers that make typos go to hell, never to get out, only to pine, my fate :(

  108. Where do the ones with bad grammar go?

  109. Trish said,

    "Nothing like a bit of mutually encouraged insanity on a Sunday night."

    Ahem...only on a Sunday night?

  110. Well, one thing the bar knows how to do well, is clear out a room.

  111. That didn't sound right, bob. It sounded desperate and weird.

    Which one?


    Wouldn't it be easier to applaud his rare lucid comment?


  112. Sun Jan 03, 07:00:00 PM EST.

    Worth archiving.

  113. I must admit that Rat popping up in the middle of T's sudden resignation; bob's whateverthehellTHATwas; dear host's (pretty fucking thoughtful by the way) discourse on God and Man - Rat's popping up in the middle of this with a brief reminder that Israel is still an outlaw nation...was bizarrely funny.

    Bizarrely funnier: What Is popped up to respond.

    The room's cleared and so are the streets of this fair city. It's been a sublimely peaceful weekend.

  114. i,ve been around, just dont post to hear myself talk...

  115. I go take a nice, long nap, and bedlam ensues.

    Man, this group doesn't wander off into incoherence. When it goes, it stampedes.

    A video of a bull in a china shop, played to the strains of the philharmonic "tuning up" in the background.


  116. Discordance R Us.

  117. Melody, I'm scared shitless. All I really want is to talk to you. And I'm scared shitless I may harm you.

    Ever think of exchangeing email addresses and sparing the rest of us your angst?

    All this talk around here is a bunch of bonehead crap. Always has been.

    Especially yours.

    I wish we could go to a cabin on a lake, and live together, in silence.

    So do we.

    And I mean that.

    So do we.

    But, it's not going to happen, I quess, dammit.



    Don't give up before you've started, Bobbo. Give her your fucking email address.

    I never have gotten the perfect thing I have wanted. Ever.

    boo-hoo....bobbo cain't get nuthin he's ever wanted...waaa


    [Bob, did you miss your lithium again? Seriously, bro. You gotta keep up with your meds. Bad shit will happen if you don't.]


  118. I am at a loss on what to post next.

  119. Just when you need her, she's gone.

  120. At a time like this we must move on to escape this thread and have a cup of tea.

  121. I had a feeling you might. : )

  122. And Stella B. ain't even showed up yet.


  123. You never get what you want, Linear.
    I feel your pain.