“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, February 19, 2010

Obama's War in Afpak, Getting it Done?

desert rat said...

While in Afpakistan, Team Obama is kickin' ass, the Six Stars lighting the way.

Seems that Team Obama has convinced the pakis to play, seriously.

Something that was beyond the capacity of Bush/Cheney to get done.

Not enough Generals, exemplified the lack of seriousness that Team43 displayed towards aQ and Afpakistan.

Obama is setting a new "War on Terror" standard for getting US allies to perform.

Fri Feb 19, 04:42:00 AM EST

desert rat said...
That's three Taliban captured and held by those pesky Pakis, in a week!

Good show for the low key approach.
No drama Obama, making great strides forward against the radical Islamics in that region

Fri Feb 19, 04:44:00 AM EST


desert rat said...
Looks as if we are headhunting, in earnest, with our Paki friends picking up the "Bad Guys".

Good job!

Doc Z and even Osama may soon be in the sights.

Reading that killing these Taliban fellows was not good for our intel, comical.

The ISI knows Pakistan, every inch.

They have all the intel required to clean up the problem, we just have to get it, from them.

Seems like we may, finally, be getting some value for our money.

Fri Feb 19, 04:51:00 AM EST

desert rat said...
Finally kickin' some ass, and I betcha, Ameros to doughnuts, that those Taliban commanders ain't heading to Club Gitmo, in Cuba, either.

Fri Feb 19, 05:02:00 AM EST


U.S.-Pakistan cooperation has led to capture of Afghan Taliban insurgents
By Karin Brulliard and Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, February 19, 2010; A01

KARACHI, PAKISTAN -- The capture of senior Afghan Taliban leaders in Pakistan represents the culmination of months of pressure by the Obama administration on Pakistan's powerful security forces to side with the United States as its troops wage war in Afghanistan, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials.

A new level of cooperation includes Pakistani permission late last month for U.S. intelligence officials to station personnel and technology in this pulsating megacity, officials said. Intercepted real-time communications handed over to Pakistani intelligence officials have led to the arrests in recent days of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Afghan Taliban's No. 2 commander, and two of the group's "shadow" governors for northern Afghanistan.

The detentions, which have taken place in a wave since early last week, were initially kept secret to allow intelligence operatives to use information gleaned from captures to draw additional militants into exposing their locations and movements, according to officials who discussed the ongoing operations on the condition of anonymity. Final agreement on the Karachi operation came during the last week of January, with the intercept system up and running by the first week of February.

"The ISI and the CIA are working together, with the Americans providing actionable intelligence and the Pakistanis acting together with them" to track down the insurgent leaders, a Pakistani official said, referring to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate.

The arrests offer stark evidence of something that has long been suspected: Top Afghan Taliban leaders have found refuge across Pakistan, particularly in its cities -- a fact the government here has long denied.

Pakistan's decision to go after the Afghan Taliban leadership reflects a quiet shift underway since last fall, said officials from both countries, who cited a November letter from President Obama to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari as a turning point.

The letter, which was hand-delivered by U.S. national security adviser James L. Jones, offered additional military and economic assistance and help easing tensions with India, a bitter enemy of Pakistan. With U.S. facilitation, the Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers have agreed to meet next week, the first high-level talks between the two countries since terrorist attacks in Mumbai in late 2008.

The letter also included an unusually blunt warning that Pakistan's use of insurgent groups to pursue its policy goals would no longer be tolerated. The letter's delivery followed the completion of a White House strategy review in which the administration concluded that stepped-up efforts in Afghanistan would not succeed without improved cooperation from Pakistan.

In explaining Pakistan's shift, sources also cited regular visits to Pakistan by U.S. officials, a boost in intelligence-sharing and assurances by Washington that a military push in southern Afghanistan would not spill into Pakistan. The United States also promised Pakistani officials that it has no intention of abandoning the region once that offensive ends.

Pakistan's agreement last month to allow expanded CIA interception operations follows a long period of estrangement between the U.S. intelligence agency and the ISI.

The CIA has long maintained that the ISI retained close ties with the Afghan Taliban as a way to hedge its bets against Indian influence in Afghanistan and the likelihood of an eventual U.S. departure.

Pakistan has detained prominent militants in the past, only to release them later. It was unclear Thursday to what extent the detained Taliban leaders were cooperating with their captors and whether the three may provide information that helps authorities apprehend others.

Baradar, whom the Pakistanis seized in Karachi with CIA help, was operational commander of the Taliban leadership council that American officials say plans its attacks from the western Pakistani city of Quetta but whose existence Pakistani officials declined to acknowledge. Mullah Abdul Salam, the Taliban leader in Afghanistan's Kunduz province, and Mullah Mohammad, the shadow governor in Baghlan province, were taken into custody in Pakistan about 10 days ago, according to the governor of Kunduz, Mohammad Omar, and a Pakistani security official. The two served as part of the vast network of Taliban leaders who coordinate the Afghan insurgency and oversee Taliban courts, which mete out swift and often brutal settlements for local disputes.

There were differing accounts about where the two shadow governors were arrested. Omar said they were detained in Quetta, but the Pakistani official said they were arrested near the northwestern city of Peshawar. Analysts said the arrests show that Taliban leaders regularly travel between cities such as Quetta and Karachi, a transit hub where they could easily melt into the population of about 16 million.

"Pakistan was looking the other way, for the simple reason that they didn't want to alienate the Taliban," said Javed Hussain, a retired Pakistani army brigadier.

This month's arrests represent "major progress," a U.S. intelligence official said. "No one has forgotten Pakistan's complex history with the Taliban. But they understand how important this is to the United States, the region, and to their own security."

The U.S. intelligence buildup in Karachi re-creates a level of cooperation that existed until 2004 and resulted in the arrests of senior al-Qaeda figures in Pakistan, before relations began to sour between George W. Bush's administration and the then-government of Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

Jones, the national security adviser, visited Islamabad again last week. Significantly, he held a joint meeting with Pakistan's military and civilian leaders, who have often worked at cross purposes on both domestic and foreign policy.

Subtle signs of a shift among Pakistani officials have occurred in recent months, as the Taliban's Pakistani offshoot has unleashed a sustained campaign of suicide bombings. Pakistan's army chief, Ashfaq Kiyani, recently offered to train Afghan forces, an overture that some analysts read as a message to the Afghan Taliban that Pakistan had other options for exerting influence in Afghanistan. Some Pakistani security officials had grown concerned that the Afghan Taliban might be aiding the Pakistani franchise, said Hasan-Askari Rizvi, a professor and defense analyst.

"It helps Pakistan from a purely Pakistan perspective," he said of the Taliban arrests, "in the sense that they have also communicated a very clear message, even to the Afghan Taliban, that Pakistan can play tough with them."

Observers in Pakistan say the shift will facilitate the nation's desire to drive any political negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government, which it views as an opportunity that could end the war and place a friendly regime next door. Baradar and the shadow governors could be valuable bargaining chips, or they could have been surrendered by the Taliban to give Pakistan entry into the talks, according to competing theories in Pakistan.

"It is definitely part of a strategy -- one that will eventually lead to negotiations and talks and the introduction of the Taliban into the mainstream of Afghan politics in a government which has been agreed upon by Pakistan," said Hussain, the retired brigadier.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi insisted Thursday that fear of "Talibanization" in Pakistan, not U.S. pressure, drove the arrests. That concern was underscored by a bombing that killed nearly 30 people in Khyber Agency, near the Afghan border.

A Pakistani intelligence official said the arrests were the result of what the nation had long been demanding from the Americans: concrete information about Taliban leaders' whereabouts.

"We are dependent on technical intelligence being provided by the U.S. . . . That is exactly what happened here," the ISI official said of the Baradar capture. "What is our strategic interest? Our strategic interest is that this guy is a menace, a threat, and we always thought he was in Afghanistan. When we found him in Pakistan, we arrested him. That demonstrates our sincerity."

DeYoung reported from Washington. Correspondent Joshua Partlow in Kabul and special correspondents Shaiq Hussain in Islamabad and Haq Nawaz Khan in Peshawar contributed to this report.


  1. I think the Taliban are learning the meaning of the old saying, "Don't shit where you eat."

    Happy hunting to all...

  2. Nothing written addresses the "revolving door" problem.

    XXXXXX is always "capturing" adversaries. Literally, scores of such high-value targets now lanquish in XXXXXXX prisons. With few exceptions, some of its greatests enemies, once captured, find themselves released back into the wild when expedient. The Paks have done the same - captured today, released tomorrow.

    While the numbers vary, the rate of recitivism is reportedly high.

    One salient saving grace of capturing enemy leadership is the hypothetical disruption of imminent operations. Secondarily, sometimes actionable intelligence is gathered from detaines, who a perfectly happy to finger rivals.

    We can win only when the perceived cost of opposition to our aims, in the minds of our enemies, exceeds the value of continuing the fight.

  3. are you not just creating thousands of replacements?

    i seem to remember rat saying that about the xxxs's

    so why is it good policy now?

  4. ...meanwhile back a Diversity Ranch...

    CBN Exclusive: Five Muslim Soldiers Arrested at Fort Jackson in South Carolina

    "The men are suspected of trying to poison the food supply at Fort Jackson."

  5. MI6 was tipped off that Israeli agents were going to carry out an 'overseas operation' using fake British passports, it was claimed last night.

    A member of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, said the Foreign Office was also told hours before a Hamas terrorist chief was assassinated in Dubai.

    The tip-off did not say who the target would be or even where the hit squad would be in action.

    But the claim from a credible source that the Government had some prior knowledge of the abuse of UK passports will strengthen calls for ministers to come clean about what they knew and when.

  6. The interesting real story is the UAE hs a stateof the art retina scanning system...

    so how did the murderer that was killed get into the uae on a fake passport....

    let alone worry how the killers of the murderer got in and OUT....

  7. WiO:.The interesting real story is the UAE hs a stateof the art retina scanning how did the murderer that was killed get into the uae on a fake passport....

    The same way drugs will always get past border guards...their cost rises until the smugglers find the price of that first border guard who can be bribed to look the other way.

  8. WiO,

    I am still salivating at the prospect of Hamas leader's faked passport being one of the UK.

    For all the ink spilled in examining the hit team, there has been nary a peep about that other passport...strange...


    Inquiring minds are interested only in sullying "that shitty little country."

  9. How the murderer hamas guy could MOVE around many nations on a fake passport?

    buy a billion dollars in banned/illegal weapons for a terror group?

    transfer than kind of money thru shell UAE corporations?

    naughty naughty.

    What Israel needs to say is clear...


  10. By the Abbas? is legally NOT the leader of the PA anymore... His term ended Jan 24th...

  11. I know Oil isn't important, since, as Teresita has informed me, Norway is just like Venezuela, however, Jeffrey Brown makes an interesting point at the OD:">Chindia will use all of the Exports from the World's TOP FIVE Exporters by 2018.

  12. Link didn't take. Hmm, that's ok. I'll just c and p it.

    China and India's ("Chindia's") oil imports as a percentage of net oil exports from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Norway, Iran and UAE (the 2005 top five net oil exporters) rose from 19% in 2005 to 27% in 2008 (EIA).

    If, for the sake of argument, we extrapolate Chindia's 2005-2008 rate of increase in net oil imports out for a few years and if we take Sam's most optimistic projection for net oil exports from the (2005) top five net oil exporters, then in 2018--eight years from now--Chindia's net oil imports would be equal to 100% of net oil exports from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Norway, Iran and the UAE.

    As we have discussed, the recent pattern that we have seen is that non-OECD oil importers are effectively outbidding OECD oil importers for oil supplies, so my outlook for OECD oil importers like the US is that we will be squeezed between a long term, and accelerating, net export decline and rising oil import demand from non-OECD oil importers like China & India.

  13. My point was that oil prices have little to do with economic activity in a country. Suppose OPEC managed to find a sweet spot in prices and racked up all this profit while people were paying $4.00 a gallon here. What do the oil sheiks do with all that money? They plow it right back into the US economy as venture capital, which offsets the haircut those prices take off our GDP.

  14. building the Burj Dubai and an indoor ski hill is venture capital in America...hmmmmm.

  15. Has DARPA Created Magic, This Time with Algae?

    ...DARPA appears to be on the way to pulling off a miracle yet again. A DARPA executive claimed that the agency was on the way to produce oil from algae at $2 per gallon, and within months, not years.


  16. Ash travels through Belfry, Montana for the first time. He sees 10 people, all of them children. Ash returns home and reports to the Elephant Bar that there are no adult residents in Belfry.

  17. Sure, Teresita. That's the ticket.

    Norway is just like Venezuela, and all that money to Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Nigeria, Mexico, and Algeria is going to end up in good ol' rufus's pocket.

    Any day now.

    Thanks for setting me straight.

  18. And, the fact that 10 out of 11 recessions are preceded by an oil spike is pure coincidence.

  19. America's first black President makes the Dolly Llama take the servant's entrance in and out of the White House so Massa Banker in Beijing don't get too upset.

  20. A little tacky in its execution, but a reasonable plan, overall.

  21. The Main thing is to remember that the Main thing is the Main thing.

    1.3 Billion potential customers.

    They're going to buy from someone.

  22. On top of the stereotyped Chinese frugality there is still the very real low per capita earnings of the folk to deal with. Lots of potential customers to be sure but no slam dunk easy market.

  23. No slam dunk, fer sure. China could "blow up" this afternoon.

    On the other hand - What if it don't?

  24. Even if their bubbles pop loudly they will be a force to reckon with fer sure!

  25. China blows a little money on "funny" stuff. Cities with no people, etc. However, what sets them apart is, They're not borrowing to do it. In fact they have more money in the bank than, I guess, any country in history.

    And, they're steadily making More money. They're adding value to everything they touch. They're Not pissing their money off "policing" the world. They're Not giving their money to whatever band of ragamatags ask for it.

    And, they are running around the world trying to "lock up" energy supplies for the future.

    Their workers are working cheap, but they're satisfied because every year is a little bit better than the year before.

    All that "Totalitarian," and "Communist," and "Slavery" stuff, aside, I think their leadership is the most competent bunch the world has ever seen.

    The energy crunch is bound to hit them as hard as it's going to hit us, but I'll be damned if I'd bet a nickle agin'em.

  26. A lot of the same stuff was said about Japan a few decades back.

    Long-term demographics, asset bubbles, excess cash, etc.; a lot of similarities.

    Shit happens over time.

    With regard to the Dalai Lama, one thing I do know about in negotiating with the Chinese is the concept of "face". Kowtowing to them with regards to their demands on the Dalai Lama, Taiwan, trade agreements, etc. will earn you nothing. Respect is more important than accommodation. Not to say you can't accommodate them on some things but it shouldn't be done without an equivalent quid pro quo.

    The Chinese are probably the best negotiators in the world. No sense compounding their advantage by letting them walk all over you.


  27. What the hell is wong with Belfry, Montana?

    It ain't Big Timber, granted.

    (Which doesn't have all that much timber, but a beautiful river near by.)

  28. And a river is the most beautiful thing on our kind cruel mother earth here, the only statement by James Dickey I ever agreed with.

  29. By the way, while I am it, fuck Ayn Rand, she knew nothing.

  30. while I am at it....

    Haven't woke up yet.

    Beautiful weather here.

    Rand was a nincompoop.

    Not an sliver of spirituality in her.

    But the light met her at her death, just like for all of us.

  31. What's dark to us, is light to them.

  32. General Haig in critical condition...

    "Now, I see through a glass darkly. Then, I shall know, even as I am known..."

    Shabbat Shalom!

  33. "But the light met her at her death, just like for all of us."

    Near-death experiance:

    Pisces (Feb 19 - March 20)

    For some reason, our Piscean friends barely notice their near death experiences. Instead, during a typical day at the office, many Pisceans report seeing beings with long-suffering expressions on their faces and who patiently tell the Piscean to go back to his or her body.

    What's your sign Bob?


  34. From Astrology Weekly

    Pisces (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

    "Everywhere you go, laughter and comedy ensue. This would be great if you were trying to be funny. You are deeply confused by the idea of sex. As far as you are concerned, if it didn't happen in "The Velveteen Rabbit", it doesn't exist. Piscean women wear long floaty dresses and enormous amounts of unusual silver jewelry. On hikes. Pisceans claim to love the stars, but the only constellation they can find is the Big Dipper. If they cannot find it, they cry. You remember what you were wearing on March 3rd, 1981 but forget your own address. You have no sense of direction. The people you find going in reverse at 70 m.p.h. on the expressway are usually Pisceans. Pisceans are most likely to die by falling out of a window or getting run over by a truck. That is, of course, unless they live with a Cancer. Pisceans are so zoned and perpetually endangered that they can bring out the maternal instincts of a Leo. Don't be fooled, however; many Pisceans can surprise you by kicking your ass and the asses of your four imaginary friends. While Leos tend to achieve the most fame in the field of entertainment, Pisceans strive to achieve historical greatness by sheer fluke. They are proud to tell you that Michelangelo, Galileo, George Washington, and Albert Einstein, none of whom had an agent, were all Pisceans. What they won't tell you is that so is Ted Kennedy. Pisceans claim to want "honest criticism" of their work. Then they commit hara-kiri on the floor when you say you don't like it. Never try to use logic with a Pisces; he or she is living about three feet off of the natural ground or in Narnia. Their tools of debate are non-sequiturs, quotes from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and, of course, crying. It wouldn't matter what linguistic devices Pisceans use to describe philosophical concepts because they aren't positive they know what they're talking about anyway. You cry over dead animals in the road but feel no remorse about mowing down humans you don't like. Cancerians say one thing and do another. Scorpios say one thing and do it just for spite. Pisceans say far too much and do whatever the hell they want."


  35. The difference, "misdirection, 'tween the US in Afpakistan and Europeons in the Israeli portion of Arabia ...

    The US will not colonize the land.

    Will not migrate to there.

    And will not claim it as our own.

    Leaving the Afpakis, eventually, and hopefully sooner than later, to their own devices.

  36. Are you a pisces, Quirk?

    My daughter's birthday was yesterday. She's Aquarius but the day she was born the sun was in Pisces. So technically she's a Pisces. She has more Aquarius traits than Pisces, except for that last line.

  37. in explaining Pakistan's shift, sources also cited regular visits to Pakistan by U.S. officials, a boost in intelligence-sharing and assurances by Washington that a military push in southern Afghanistan would not spill into Pakistan.

    There's a bucket load of BS there. The Paki shift is a result of the realization that they no longer control all elements of their creation, the Taliban. They're simply going after the threats. I doubt that the US has that much to do with the "shift."

  38. I would not be to sure, of that assumption, whit.

    Shit or get off the pot, is the Chi-town way.

    Deliver, or we will either find someone who can, or, at least, cut you off from the money tree.

    That message was delivered and understood by the Pakis, as well as it now being more in their own "best" interest, to at least appear to throttle the radicals.

    But, as in the NATO offensive to the west, there are not many casualties in these battles.

  39. desert rat said...
    The difference, "misdirection, 'tween the US in Afpakistan and Europeons in the Israeli portion of Arabia ...

    The US will not colonize the land.

    Will not migrate to there.

    And will not claim it as our own.

    Leaving the Afpakis, eventually, and hopefully sooner than later, to their own devices.

    oh you are always so mis-informed ratman...

    You lack understanding of the afpaki/islamic mind and culture...

    You are JUST as hated for simply BEING as those pesky Israelis...

    You lack real understanding of the mindset of the palestinians, the arabs or jihadists....

    America using hellfire missiles from the sky IS creating more and more hatred to all things Western/American...

    They view it as being honorless, being a coward, being done by dhimmis....

    The issue aint land....

    The issue is NOT BEING THEM....

    SO take your false comfort that somehow only Israel creates hatred, I will ship you some rose tinted glasses and more koolaid for you as Obama keeps dismembering civilians in an attempt to take out taliban targets

    Trust me, missiles from the sky taking out targets pisses them off too...

  40. No, MLD, I'm a Scorpio.

    I was merely trying to give Bob some indication of what he could expect if he had a "near-death" experiance in the future.

    For instance,

    Aquarius near-death experiance:

    "Aquarius gets to the pearly gates, sees that heaven isn't run by consensus, and opts for hell, where at least there is an appealing anarchy and rules are made to be broken. Ironically, Aquarian near-death experiences tend to be extremely traditional, i.e., God the Father, St. Peter, the celestial choir and so on (another reason to rebel and opt for hell). Once in the underworld, they bedevil the hell out of Satan and his cronies with their loud and vigorous campaigns for progressive reforms, and are quickly expelled back to the body."


  41. I wonder how the climate change faithful are feeling these days as more news comes out about the sham science.

  42. These damn Scorpio's follow me everywhere.

    Tell me my near death experience as a Capricorn.

  43. That's funny because that is exactly my daughter.

  44. Your Capricorn Near Death experience is not so funny:

    CAPRICORN: It might take Capricorn a little while to realize he is dead because there are special rooms set up to look like executive offices for newly-dead Goats. A sharp-looking, older gentleman-ghost comes in and gives Cap an instruction manual titled HOW TO PROFIT IN THE ASTRAL MARKETPLACE, plus a "job evaluation" type assessment of Cap's achievements and mistakes over the lifetime, followed by a pink slip (meaning the body revived). Caps tend to return to their bodies quickly, unable to tolerate non-physical existence for long.

    But your "After Sex Comment" is a little better:

    Aries: "Okay, let's do it again!"

    Taurus: "I'm hungry--pass the pizza."

    Gemini: "Have you seen the remote?"

    Cancer: "When are we getting married?"

    Leo: "Wasn't I fantastic?"

    Virgo: "I need to wash the sheets."

    Libra: "I liked it if you liked it."

    Scorpio: "Perhaps I should untie you."

    Sagittarius: "Don't call me--I'll call you."

    Capricorn: "Do you have a business card?"

    Aquarius: "Now let's try it with our clothes off!"

    Pisces: "What did you say your name was again?"

    ARIES: "Dear God! Give me PATIENCE and I want it NOW !"

    TAURUS: "Dear God, please help me accept CHANGE in my life, but NOT YET."

    GEMINI: "Yo God...(or is it Goddess?)...Who are you?...What are you?.....Where are You?.....How many of you ARE there? I can't figure you out!"

    CANCER: "Dear Daddy, I know I shouldn't depend on you so much, but you're the only One I can count on while my security blanket is at the cleaners."

    LEO: "Hi, Pop! I'll bet you're really proud to have me as your kid!"

    VIRGO: "Dear God, please make the world a better place, and don't screw it up like you did the last time."

    LIBRA: "Dear God, I know I should make decisions for myself. But, on the other hand, what do YOU think?"

    SCORPIO: "Dear God, help me forgive my enemies, even if the bastards don't deserve it."


    CAPRICORN: "Dear Father, I was going to pray, but I guess I ought to figure things out for myself. Thanks anyway."

    AQUARIUS: "Hi God! Some say you're a man. Some say you're a woman. I say we're ALL God. So, why pray? Let's have a party!"

    PISCES: "Heavenly Father, as I prepare to consume this last fifth of Scotch to drown out my pain and sorrow, may my inebriation be for Thy greater Honor and Glory."

  45. Yeah, you see that there isn't one is there? Once a Capricorn dies she's gone forever.

  46. I saw that one to Whit and was thinking maybe, WiO, wrote that one for me. But I don't think that's the site Quirk got his info.

  47. "These damn Scorpio's follow me everywhere.

    Tell me my near death experience as a Capricorn."

    Yes my child.

    Capricorn near-death experience:

    ”It might take Capricorn a little while to realize he or she is dead because there are special rooms set up to look like executive offices for newly-dead Goats. A sharp-looking, older gentleman-ghost comes in and gives the Capricorn an instruction manual titled HOW TO PROFIT IN THE ASTRAL MARKETPLACE, plus a "job evaluation" type assessment of Cap's achievements and mistakes over the lifetime, followed by a pink slip (which results in the Cap being returned to his/her revived body.). Caps tend to return to their bodies quickly, unable to tolerate non-physical existence for long.

    (I’m surprised you noticed me following you, what with the dark glasses, raincoat, et al.)


  48. I guess you we did look at the same site.

    Raincoat and dark glasses = witness protection program

  49. Psalm 88:4-6 I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength: Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand. Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.

  50. So, can that assistant principal that spied on that kid go to jail for that? Invasion of privacy. Cause I think that's what there going for.

  51. Sorry, MLD, I see Whit already posted it.

    Perhaps the EB should hire a resident astrologer for weekly or monthly postings.

    Oh yea, and a weatherman.


  52. Caps tend to return to their bodies quickly, unable to tolerate non-physical existence for long.

    That pretty much somes me up. Maybe that's why I'm afraid of death because I know I won't be able to handle it.

  53. ...and a wine expert because what ever this man sold me really wasn't listening to my words.

  54. You mean to tell me there is not one person in this place that knows anything about law? Sheesh...

  55. Sorry, Quirk, I thought you had left and didn't know you had momentarily gone to the "facility."

    I nominate you to be the resident astrologer. Read tea leaves too, if you want.

  56. Yeah, okay

    The only reason he did it was because it was part of a 12 step program.

  57. I'll be the resident astronomer.

    Hubble found the sign of the Son of Man. The End Is Near.

    "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn" -- Matthew

  58. I've been the acting Bank Closing reporter.

    The Friday Night Banking Report
    Today, four more banks were closed.

    That brings the number to twenty for the year

  59. You think we're near the end, T?

  60. Whit, just for you dude:

    The doubters do disservice to climate facts

    Eric Reguly

    The science of climate change is inexact. It is about uncertainty and probabilities. Based on the evidence, a criminal lawyer would not be able to prove that humans are responsible for potentially catastrophic climate change. But the evidence would certainly nail down a civil conviction.

    If the vast bulk of evidence says climate change is real and that humans are almost certainly to blame, why is the science being dismissed as exaggerated, unreliable or even fraudulent by the climate change doubters?

    Opinion polls show that public skepticism about man-made climate change has climbed in recent months as the stories questioning the legitimacy of the science migrate from the Internet's fringes to the mainstream media.

    The University of East Anglia affair certainly did a lot of damage. The university's Climatic Research Unit failed to keep proper records about Chinese weather stations and probably deleted potentially embarrassing correspondence to get around the Freedom of Information Act, among other sins. As far as scandals go, it's genuine.

    The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change "scandal" is less convincing, though the skeptics' blogs would have you believe it's a con job that makes Bernie Madoff look like a saint. Marc Morano's Climate Depot calls the IPCC a "train wreck." The site hosts blogs with provocative headlines such as "Is Anything in the IPCC Report Accurate?"

    The IPCC's 2007 report on climate change concluded that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal" and that most of the recent warming was "very likely due" to human activity. Left unchecked, the greenhouse gas emissions have the potential to raise average global temperatures by between 1.1 to 6.4 degrees by the end of the century, the report said.

    Produced by 800 contributing authors and reviewed by some 2,500 scientists, the report tipped the balance in favour of the argument that humans are the main contributors to climate change.

    It built momentum for December's Copenhagen climate change summit, which tried (and failed) to launch a global successor to the relatively narrow Kyoto Protocol. (The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.)

    What got the skeptics all hot was the IPCC claim that the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035, even though the figure did not appear in any of the "Technical Summaries" or "Summaries for Policy Makers," only on one page of the 3,000-page report. In truth, there is almost no evidence to suggest the glaciers will melt that quickly.

  61. Another claim said global warming could reduce rain-fed North African crop production by 50 per cent by 2020. This scenario, too, is dubious. The Dutch government has asked the IPCC to correct the claim that more than half of the Netherlands is below sea level; the official Dutch figure is 26 per cent.

    Mistakes in a 3,000-page report were inevitable, especially given that the IPCC does not conduct its own research; it collects and reviews research done by climate scientists everywhere. More mistakes will surface, if only because the climate change skeptics, backed by well-financed armies of lobbyists employed by companies that cringe at the thought of tight emission reduction targets, are straining every word through their truth filters.

    They have been doing so for three years and the biggest mistake they could find is the Himalayan claim. None of the IPCC's central conclusions have been demolished. We know that greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, that global average temperatures are increasing, and that natural phenomena can explain only part of the warming. Glaciers are indeed melting, including those in the Himalayas.

    In regions where little climate data have been collected, the climate change evidence may not be compelling. Change can only be measured against a base. If the base isn't known, any climate change claims are open to challenge. But in areas where a lot of data have been collected, there is no argument that climate change is real. The thoroughly studied ice packs in the Arctic and Greenland are disappearing faster than most scientists had expected.

    The IPCC has struggled to defend itself. That's in good part because it has no resources. It is not an institution or a company or a movement. It is a small secretariat with an annual budget of about $5-million (U.S.), insignificant compared with the financial firepower of the climate change skeptics. IPCC chairman Rajenda Pachauri's delayed apology for the Himalayan mistake made a bad situation worse.

    Sadly, the British government is one of the few to have come out in defence of the IPCC's report, even though scientists from many dozens of countries contributed to the study.

    "It's right that there's rigour applied to all the reports about climate change," British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband told the Observer newspaper last month. "But I think it would be wrong that, when a mistake is made, it's somehow used to undermine the overwhelming picture that's there."

    Hear, hear Mr. Miliband. Governments ignore the IPCC at their peril. The preponderance of evidence, to use a civil lawyer's term, suggests climate change is real and dangerous.

  62. "I'll be the astrologer."

    Sorry, T.

    "...Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps..."


    "... and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn" --"

    A bit noir for the EB I'm afraid.

    The Pisces horoscope has already been posted. That gives me until March 20 to become an expert and develop the one for the next sign.


  63. Barkeep - pint of Delirium Tremens please -
    cause American beer is like sex in a canoe....fucking close to water

    I think with regards to Obama and the UAV strikes he's doing a pretty good job

    A nasty capability is the ability of U.S. UAVs to provide target destination for MLRS/HIMARS/ATACMS

  64. Blogger Elijah said...

    "American beer is like sex in a canoe....fucking close to water"

    heheh Classic!!

  65. Watch out who you hang out with, you might be disappointed.

  66. Horsehocky, Ash. When you take the rural stations (the ones with no Urban Heat House Effect building up over time,) and stick with the "raw" data (Data that hasn't been "Homogenized,) there's no warming in the last 100 years in the U.S., or hardly anywhere else.

    CO2 is a beneficial trace gas (0.0003 in the atmosphere,) and, although it's a greenhouse gas it's effects are logarithmic, and, thus, to a point, now, at where its effects are mostly nonexistent.

    And, according to the satellite data, the world has been Cooling since 1998. Even the disgraced Phil Jones of EAU CRU ignominy admitted on BBC the other day that there had been NO Statistically Significant warming since 1995.

  67. As for Sea Ice:

    1) The Antarctic is flat normal, and

    2) The Arctic varies on a cyclical basis due to Wind, and natural ocean oscillations.

  68. At least, according to JPL, and NASA.

  69. CO2 is already absorbing about all it can

    An excellent graph that explains the logarithmic function of CO2.

    You double it from here, and you've, basically, just got some unemployed molecules.

  70. MeLoDy said...
    It's also fashion week in New York

    Fri Feb 19, 09:21:00 PM EST

    Imagine waking up next to that.

  71. Re: IPCC, Climate change and AGW.

    IPCC is discredited, somewhat. Thanks, Ash, for the pasted recant on the African crisis. I hadn't seen that.

    Climate changes, always. We can stipulate that some glaciers are melting. Others are growing. Glaciers have been melting since the early 19th century. (Before the industrial age kicked into high gear and after the Little Ice Ages)

    I think Mr. Sol has more to do with Gaia's temperature than Mr. Homosapien do. It's interesting that since the late 90's/early naughts, the sun has been relatively quiet. It's worth noting that anyone claiming a connection between solar activity and Earth temps were vilified by the alarmists.

  72. The problem for the AGW crowd is that Phil Jones was their number one man on the IPCC.

    His admissions this week have been a major setback to the cause. We have learned that data has been fudged. Records lost. The hockey stick claim was based on the bogus assumption of no previous warmer periods, etc. The claim that IPCC is underfunded simply bolsters the sceptics argument that the science is too far from being settled to warrant such sweeping global actions such as carbon credits, etc.

    There should now be calls for the IPCC and Al Gore to return their Ignoble Prizes. As we have said many times and believe more than ever, this smells more like a sham science scam to promote an underlying redistributionist agenda.

    Friggen watermelons!