“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."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lockerbie bomber Megrahi and the Miracles of Modern Medicine

Lockerbie bomber: family hopes Megrahi 'will beat cancer' after release from jail
The family of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, hopes he will beat cancer six months after he was released from jail on compassionate grounds.

By Andrew Alderson, Chief Reporter Telegraph
Published: 10:26AM GMT 27 Feb 2010

His elderly father, Ali, keeps a vigil at his son’s side at the family’s home in Tripoli as Megrahi, 57, battles a serious prostate cancer. The father hopes a “miracle” could happen.

Mr Megrahi Snr was quoted on Saturday as saying: “A close relative was diagnosed with a similar disease and he was treated and recovered completely. We hope that Adbelbaset recovers his health as well.

“I think that the sick are not just cured by medicine, but also having a high morale and a sense of freedom, and these were not available to Abdelbaset in prison.”

Mr Megrahi Snr said that his son was working on his autobiography and remains determined to prove that he had nothing to do with the Lockerbie bombing of 22 years ago.

The Sunday Telegraph revealed a week ago that Megrahi was living in a luxury villa six months after he was released from jail on compassionate grounds because he had less than three months to live.

He no longer receives hospital treatment after ending the course of chemotherapy that he had been given after returning to his homeland last August.

Professor Karol Sikora, the London-based doctor who examined Megrahi and predicted he would be dead by last October, admitted last weekend that the fact the bomber is still alive might be “difficult” for the families of the 270 victims of the attack.

Our disclosure incensed many of the relatives of those who died in the bomb blast in December 1988 when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded in mid air over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 243 passengers, 16 crew and 11 people on the ground.

Most did not want Megrahi released and they suspected he would live longer than the predicted,

It was revealed last September that the Libyan government had paid for the medical evidence which it hoped would enable Megrahi, 57, to be released. The Libyans had encouraged doctors to say he had only three months to live.

The life expectancy of Megrahi was crucial because, under Scottish rules, prisoners can be freed on compassionate grounds only if they are considered to have this amount of time, or less, to live.

However, the Scottish Government says that the report from Professor Sikora and two other doctors on Megrahi’s health was not seen by Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish Justice Secretary, before he ruled last August that Megrahi should be freed.

Megrahi’s release came after Libyan leaders warned that lucrative oil and trade deals with Britain would be cancelled if the bomber died in jail.

Megrahi, is now living in a spacious two-storey villa with his wife and their five grown-up children in a prosperous suburb of Tripoli, the Libyan capital. Other family members, including his father, are regularly at his side.

Prof Sikora, who was paid a consultancy fee last July to examine Megrahi, told The Sunday Telegraph last weekend: “My information from Tripoli is that it’s not going to be long [before Megrahi dies].

“They stopped any active treatment in December and he has just been going downhill very slowly at home. He is on high doses of morphine [a painkiller] and it’s any day now.”

Prof Sikora said that he suspected that Megrahi was still alive because he had received a “psychological” boost from returning to his homeland and being reunited with his family.
“It’s stimulated him to have a remarkable [short-term] recovery,” he said. “It’s difficult. The choice offered by the letter of the law was either three months to live, or nothing. You couldn’t have a sliding scale.”


  1. This was an expected turn of affairs.

    Must be either the waters of Libya or the grace of God, that has cured Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi.

  2. Because, as we all know, about justice ...

    "There is no sliding scale."

  3. Just Say Yes!

    Kids will spend some of their time w/mom (also in rehab) and some with grandaddy, Martin.

  4. Real Homes of Genius – Pasadena Million Dollar Home or $3,500 a Month Rental? You Decide.

    Now here is the reason ignoring jobs and subsequently income data will lead to additional corrections. Let us assume you gross $10,000 a month in Pasadena and want to buy this home. Can you?

    Big Govt Taxes

    Not even close. Your monthly payment is up to $5,653 and you are netting $6,731. Sure you can up your withholdings but that won’t change the numbers drastically. Your housing payment remains fixed.

    When I see examples like this it tells me we still have another phase to this housing story.
    Today we salute you Pasadena with our Real Homes of Genius Award.

  5. Israelis rush to join Mossad after Mahmoud al-Mabhouh killing

    Would you be prepared to cross-dress? And kill a guest in an adjacent hotel room? If the answer to these questions is a resounding “yes”, and you can also act, enjoy luxury international travel with a twist and can carry off a convincing Irish or Australian accent, then the job could be yours.

    The Israeli spy agency Mossad may be the target of international reproach since it allegedly killed the Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel this month, but at home emerging details of the operation have generated Mossad mania.

    It has never been more popular in Israel, with stores selling out of Mossad memorabilia and its official website reporting a soaring number of visitors interested in applying to become agents. “Mossad has been restored to its glory days,” said Ilan Mizrahi, a former deputy director of the agency, which is located in the affluent beach town of Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv.

    Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement in Mr al-Mabhouh’s death — despite increasingly confident announcements by Dubai police that they have linked Mossad to the killing. Of the 28 suspects named, 11 share identities with Israelis who hold dual citizenship.

  6. A second bank was closed yesterday:
    On Friday, February 26, 2010, Rainier Pacific Bank, Tacoma, WA was closed by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named Receiver.

    Last night, we noted the closing of the Carson River Community Bank, Carson City, NV.

  7. Israelis rush to join Mossad.

    Something similar is happening in Afghanistan

    A car bomb and two subsequent suicide bombers to "mop up" in secondary actions.

  8. Crist mimes Glen Beck:

    Crist: Rubio Is Just Like Obama

    The Florida governor unloads on Marco Rubio:

    My opponent is an eloquent speaker and says a lot of good things that really hit at people’s heartstrings, but we have a guy in the White House right now who did the same thing.”

  9. Last night, we noted the closing of the Carson River Community Bank, Carson City, NV.
    Let's just hope the marriage chapels are not negatively impacted.
    ...where we took our vows.

  10. The Dude Plumbs His Weary Soul

    On the road to screen immortality, Jeff Bridges transformed from a pretty boy to a weathered veteran with bottomless soul.

  11. I saw that Quirk, haven't read yet.
    Am considering thumbing a ride to China for employment.

  12. More Bush Justice Department Files and Documents Missing

    "Republicans on the Judiciary Committee appeared unconcerned about the missing e-mail messages and said that if the Justice Department were to continue investigating anything involving the interrogation memos, it should be whether officials at the Office of Professional Responsibility or elsewhere at the Justice Department improperly leaked details of the ethics inquiry to the news media over the last year.

    "Senator Jon Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said Mr. Yoo and Mr. Bybee deserved “the thanks of a grateful nation for their service,” not accusations, and that the leaks had done “irreparable damage” to their reputations.

    Boo Hoo. :-(


  13. Better check out the wage rates first Doug.

    Might want to wait a couple years.


  14. Chalabi's Mew Influence Worries US

    "On the eve of Iraq's parliamentary elections, Chalabi is driving an effort aimed at weeding out candidates tied to Saddam Hussein's Baath Party. Chalabi is reprising a role he played after the U.S.-led invasion -- which many critics believe he helped facilitate with faulty intelligence -- and, in the process, is infuriating American officials and some Iraqis, who suspect his motive is to bolster his own political bloc.

    Chalabi, a Shiite, has defended the work of the commission he is leading as legal and crucial during a period of transition to Iraq's first sovereign government. But his reemergence on the political scene has rankled U.S. officials and fueled concerns that Sunnis and other secular Iraqis will be marginalized."

    When I was young and stupider, back in 2003, I wrote a letter to Donald Rumsfeld advising him to stay away from this clown. Chalabi is bad news all the way around.


  15. White House Social Secretary Resigns

    "The president and the first lady, Michelle Obama, issued a joint statement confirming the resignation of their longtime friend. "When she took this position, we asked Desiree to help make sure that the White House truly is the People's House," said the Obamas' statement. "And she did that by welcoming scores of everyday Americans through its doors, from wounded warriors to local schoolchildren to NASCAR drivers."

    "It was an awkward choice of words with which to send off Rogers, given the scrutiny she came under when uninvited guests entered the White House for a state dinner in honor of the Indian prime minister...

    "Asked in a Friday press briefing whether the state-dinner incident played a role in her departure, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said, "I don't think it did, no."

    "According to the friend, Rogers said she felt the knives in the White House were out for her...

    "According to other administration sources, Valerie Jarrett, the president's trusted special adviser and Rogers's old friend from Chicago, had noticeably put some distance between her and the woman she helped bring to Washington, even though the two lived in the same Georgetown building and worked in the White House..."


  16. "We expect our partners ... to fulfill their commitments, both explicit and implicit, that derive from a community built on the dream of a unity that goes far above simple economic relations and narrow national interests." George Papandreou

    George will be meeting with Barry on March 9.

    Who could now doubt that successful outcomes are assured?

  17. Good link on China, Q. I expect the Chinese will preempt the expected inflation by letting the Yuan rise a bit. This is all "mixed" news for us, of course.

    Higher wages in China, and a stronger yuan means a little inflation for U.S. consumers, but it also should mean more jobs in the U.S. as we export a little more to China (unless, of course, the Chinese respond with some sort of trade barriers.)

    If the Chinese did respond with import duties of some type, then we need to be ready to "go to the mats" with the bastards. They need us a whole lot more than we need them.

  18. CNN Breaking News, Saturday, February 27, 2010:

    -- Sirens sound across Hawaii, warning of possible tsunami and signaling people in coastal areas to evacuate.

  19. I just stocked up with a shopping cart worth of reservoir tips.
    The better to weather the storm.

  20. What'cha wanna bet at least one will try to "surf the tsunami?"

  21. 40 minutes after Hilo checks in with a minimal event/no show, ABC News reports
    "Tsunami Hits Hawaii"

  22. Al Gore: We Can’t Wish Away Climate Change

    The truth about the climate crisis, inconvenient as ever, must still be faced.

  23. [ ... ] link is being shared on Twitter right now. @zenx, an influential author, said RT @1ndus: Xtreme [ ... ]