“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, August 01, 2010

A New Strategy for Afghanistan: Kill the Enemy.

It only took eight years and one trillion US dollars for the cream of West Point to decide that perhaps it was a good idea to target and kill the bastards that murdered three thousand of our people, attacked our financial center, their Pentagon, slit the throats of woman flight attendants and destroyed a good part of the normality of our lives.

The genius of our elected leaders, our political and professional experts, the "shock and awe" generation are finally getting it. If someone kills and destroys a piece of you, kill them back and do so in a way that they will never forget.

Well its, too late for that. Shock and Awe?

Here is Shock and Awe: We could have and should have put two tactical nuclear weapons on every camp and done so with 24 hours of identifying who and where. When we found out they were mostly Saudis we should have called in their ambassador, grabbed him by the fan belt around his sorry ass head, forced his face into carpet in the Oval Office and tell the son of a bitch they owe us $500 billion in reparations with a weekly vig of $10 billion.

Instead we baked Ramadan cookies and fired the Iraqi army. After eight years and $50 billion dollars worth of powerpoint charts, we are down to the wisdom, political genius and military acumen of Joe Fuckin Biden.


Targeted Killing Is New U.S. Focus in Afghanistan

Published: July 31, 2010
NY Times

WASHINGTON — When President Obama announced his new war plan for Afghanistan last year, the centerpiece of the strategy — and a big part of the rationale for sending 30,000 additional troops — was to safeguard the Afghan people, provide them with a competent government and win their allegiance.

Eight months later, that counterinsurgency strategy has shown little success, as demonstrated by the flagging military and civilian operations in Marja and Kandahar and the spread of Taliban influence in other areas of the country.

Instead, what has turned out to work well is an approach American officials have talked much less about: counterterrorism, military-speak for the targeted killings of insurgents from Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Faced with that reality, and the pressure of a self-imposed deadline to begin withdrawing troops by July 2011, the Obama administration is starting to count more heavily on the strategy of hunting down insurgents. The shift could change the nature of the war and potentially, in the view of some officials, hasten a political settlement with the Taliban.

Based on the American military experience in Iraq as well as Afghanistan, it is not clear that killing enemy fighters is sufficient by itself to cripple an insurgency. Still, commando raids over the last five months have taken more than 130 significant insurgents out of action, while interrogations of captured fighters have led to a fuller picture of the enemy, according to administration officials and diplomats.

American intelligence reporting has recently revealed growing examples of Taliban fighters who are fearful of moving into higher-level command positions because of these lethal operations, according to a senior American military officer who follows Afghanistan closely.

Judging that they have gained some leverage over the Taliban, American officials are now debating when to try to bring them to the negotiating table to end the fighting. Rattling the Taliban, officials said, may open the door to reconciling with them more quickly, even if the officials caution that the outreach is still deeply uncertain.

American military officials and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan have begun a robust discussion about “to what degree these people are going to be allowed to have a seat at the table,” one military official said. “The only real solution to Afghanistan has got to be political.”

The evolving thinking comes at a time when the lack of apparent progress in the nearly nine-year war is making it harder for Mr. Obama to hold his own party together on the issue. And it raises questions about whether the administration is seeking a rationale for reducing troop levels as scheduled starting next summer even if the counterinsurgency strategy does not show significant progress by then.

A senior White House official said the administration hoped that its targeted killings, along with high-level contacts between Mr. Karzai and Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan’s army chief and a former head of its intelligence service — which is believed to have close links to the Taliban — would combine to pressure Taliban leaders to come to the negotiating table.

A long-awaited campaign to convert lower-level and midlevel Taliban fighters has finally begun in earnest, with Mr. Karzai signing a decree authorizing the reintegration program. With $200 million from Japan and other allies, and an additional $100 million in Pentagon money, American military officers will soon be handing out money to lure people away from the insurgency.

“We’re not ready to make the qualitative judgment that the cumulative effects of what we are doing are enough to change their calculus yet,” the White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. But, reflecting the administration’s hope that the killings are making a difference, he added, “If I were the Taliban, I’d be worried.”

Mr. Obama’s timetable calls for an assessment in December of how his strategy is faring. The administration has not yet begun a formal review of the policy. But while several officials said Mr. Obama remained committed to the strategy he set out at the end of last year, they conceded that the counterinsurgency part of it had lagged while the counterterrorism part had been more successful.

That divergence could lead to a replay of last year’s policy debate, in which Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. pushed for a focus on capturing and killing terrorist leaders, while the Pentagon, including the current commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David H. Petraeus, pushed for a broader strategy that also included a strong focus on securing Afghan population centers with more troops.

Still, in an interview Thursday with “Today” on NBC, Mr. Biden appeared to reiterate his earlier stance.

We are in Afghanistan for one express purpose: Al Qaeda,” he said. “Al Qaeda exists in those mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan. We are not there to nation-build. We’re not out there deciding we’re going to turn this into a Jeffersonian democracy and build that country.”

The administration’s shift in thinking is gradual but has been perceptible in the public remarks of various officials. The incoming commander of the military’s Central Command, Gen. James N. Mattis, was asked last week by Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, whether the administration’s July 2011 date for starting to withdraw American troops implied a shift in emphasis from counterinsurgency to a strategy concentrating on killing terrorists.

“I think that is the approach, Senator,” he replied.

The emerging American model can best be described as “counterterrorism, with some counterinsurgency strategy that forces the hands of insurgent leaders,” said a diplomat with knowledge of the planning. It melds elements of both strategies in a policy that continues to evolve, as conditions change.

Some of the feelers to the Taliban are being put out by the Karzai government and some by the Pakistanis. Some, eventually, will be handled by General Petraeus and other military officials. Contacts are being kept under wraps, several officials said, because any evidence that insurgent leaders are talking to American or Afghan officials could be used against them by rival insurgents.

Another factor that has spurred talk of reconciliation is a classified military report, called “State of the Taliban,” prepared by Task Force 373, a Special Operations team composed of the army’s Delta Force and Navy Seals, which has captured insurgents and taken them to Bagram Air Base for interrogation.

While the report does not offer a silver bullet for how to deal with the Taliban, one official said that for the first time, it gives Americans and their allies “a rich vein of understanding of why the Taliban was fighting and what it would take them to stop.” The report depicts the Taliban as spearheading a fractured insurgency, but one in which conservative Pashtun nationalism and respect for Afghan culture are both at play, this official said.

Despite deep American concerns about Pakistan’s trustworthiness as an ally, Pakistan has also emerged in recent months as a potential agent for reconciliation. Mr. Karzai has held at least two meetings with General Kayani of Pakistan. American officials say they believe that their talks have not yet delved into the details of negotiations with insurgent leaders, but Pakistan is eager to play a role in talks with the Haqqani network, a major insurgent group based in the country that has close ties to its intelligence service.

The links between Mr. Karzai and General Kayani, officials said, helped seal a recent trade deal between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which required concessions on the part of the Pakistani military.

“The best hope for resolving Afghanistan lies in Pakistan, and we have made some progress there,” said Senator John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and a frequent visitor to the region.

"Listen up general, if you don't know how to use your big gun, at least give me a light."


  1. Looks like Newt ain't gonna get his "highway."

    You watch, Obama's going to pull 80% of those troops out, keep a couple of airbases open, and run drone operations until we run out of hellfires, or the talleeban run out of "ass."

  2. That's acceptable enough, "politically," and strategically to get himself through the 2012 elections; and, that's all he really cares about, anyway.

  3. And, it just might be the "best" thing to do.

  4. There ain't gonna be no "Fallujah I, II, or III;" that's for sure. He dropped that "Kandahar Assault" idea like a hot horseshoe.

    No neophyte, ferrier's assistant ever dropped one quicker.

  5. What was the author of the "Kandahar Assault"

  6. The second naked lady in under a week.

    Reminds me of an episode of Seinfeld wherein Elaine explains to Jerry why women aren't much interested in lazily admiring the nude male, whereas men are happy to do just that, sometimes for hours, with the nude female.

    It's because a woman's body is like a fine sports car, but a man's body is like a Jeep. Functional, utilitarian, built to get the job done.

    Funny and true.

  7. "You watch, Obama's going to pull 80% of those troops out, keep a couple of airbases open, and run drone operations until we run out of hellfires, or the talleeban run out of 'ass.'"

    "You watch..."

    No. YOU watch.

  8. Okay, Trish, he's going to leave 90,000 troops in Afghanistan furever, and furever. Jist ezzackly what his "Base" wants. How could I have been so stupid.

    And, we're going to "clean up" Kandahar, and build them highways Newt wants, an all them good things.


  9. Trish, Obumfuck might be a lot of things, but one of them ain't "stupid."

    Some Republicans might think the way to turn Afghanistan into Switzerland is to "carpet bomb" Kandahar, and build super-highways from bumfuck to far bumfuk, but they are, after all, "Republicans."

    If half the troops we have in Afghanistan aren't gone by the Spring of 2012 I'll be giving out "hand jobs" in the parking lot.

    "Free" hand jobs.

  10. Free to "Elifanteers," anyway.

  11. "Jist ezzackly what his 'Base' wants."

    Rufus, re-read that piece in the previous thread in re Obama's approval among KosNation and Co.

  12. Well, back to bed.

    Nightmares about pedicured Rangers woke me up.

    Osama, Obama, and Petraeus doing each others' toesies. An not a drop of whiskey in the house.

  13. "If half the troops we have in Afghanistan aren't gone by the Spring of 2012 I'll be giving out 'hand jobs' in the parking lot."



    Didn't need that image in my head this fine Sunday, thanks.

  14. Trying to think of the last time I lusted for a free hand job.
    ...from anyone.

  15. A handful of nutty bloggers in Sin City? Naw. Don thin so.

    That's a very, very, very thin sliver of his base. Let's put it another way. It takes a "Plurality" of "Voters" to win an election, and the biggest part of the Plurality "That he Can Get" does Not like War.

    Trish, there's not one chance in a hundred thousand that he will go into 2012 without "Movement" in Afghanistan.

  16. Gotta give those road building advocates a lot of credit for their faith in the transformative power of roads.

    Probly imagine the result in the Stan would be indistinguishable from Ike's Interstates.

  17. And, by "movement" I mean, the Act of Moving "toward the border."

    Toward "Home."

  18. Yeah, what are there? 13 cars in the whole country?

  19. Trish, there's not one chance in a hundred thousand that he will go into 2012 without "Movement" in Afghanistan.

    - rufus

    Well, now, that's changing your terms entirely.

    "Movement" v. 50% to 80% out?

    C'mon, rufus.

  20. If we had just let bin Laden be in Afghanistan, them roads would already have been built.

    Schools, too.
    Patty Murray tells me so.

  21. Trish, I didn't say the whole 80% would be gone by Christmas.

    And, maybe it'll be 70%. The point is, Obammy ain't yearning for another Viet Nayum.

  22. If we'd just left Tommy Franks, or whoever the fukup was, in Iraq, and turned Osamababy over to Trish's husband, and the boyz he would have been room temperature 8 years ago.

    But, we dint.

  23. "Gotta give those road building advocates a lot of credit for their faith in the transformative power of roads."

    It was a real boon in Colombia as part of the overall strategy.

    'Course, that was Colombia.

    Road building's been going on in Afghanistan since the beginning.

    The roads must be important because the Bad Guys like to blow craters in them before completion.

  24. With $200 million from Japan and other allies, and an additional $100 million in Pentagon money, American military officers will soon be handing out money to lure people away from the insurgency.

    Didn't we learn our lesson a couple of hundred years ago with the Barbary Pirates?


  25. The point of the article, Trish, is that the strategy and tactics of counter terrorism vs. counter insurgency is gaining purchase within the White House. If the article is accurate and factual, it indicates short-term plans which involve bringing on board the Taliban (I believe I forecast this a year ago) as we leave.

    Sidenote: I've heard a reference to good Taliban v. bad Taliban. (But this was from a Paki perspective.)

    One final observation re. Afpakistan: Cameron is turning up the heat on Pakistan. Is he laying the groundwork for a shift in diplomacy away from those duplicitous "allies."

  26. ?

    Given Rufus' unseemly "offer", I think it might be best if we all avoid the EB for the next year to fourteen months. Or maybe just ignore or even 'shun' him like he has the plague?

    jes kidding Ruf, (as I trust you were) :)

  27. "If the article is accurate and factual..."

    I have discovered over these many years that it's often not so much about the accurate and factual aspect, but rather *how* to read it.

    Which brings into play what isn't said along with what is.

    And my Reader of First Resort is gone this weekend.

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Why didn't Chelsea ask mom to join dad in losing 20 pounds?

    moo moo

  30. The NE has its heatwave a couple of weeks ago and this past week, the SE has been sweltering with 3 consecutive 100 plus days.

    Yesterday afternoon, as the temp topped out at 100-103, thunderstorms rolled in and from abt 3:00 until around midnight, the lightning and thunder were unlike anything I can remember. Lightning flashed the thunder rolled and rolled through the skies and rattled windows all night long.

    It was an awesome and humbling display of power.

  31. Nothing quite like summer storms.

  32. I'm goin' to a Basque mass this morning. You lucky sinners are all gonna get preyed for: that don't happen ofter, that I go to a Basque mass, or, that you undeserving unrepentent sinners get prayed for.

    These are exciting times..

  33. Count yourselves lucky. When was the last time any of you assholes got prayed for? When I pray, I play no favorites, I'm prayin' for you all, even me, we all need it. Gotta run.

  34. whit said...
    The NE has its heatwave a couple of weeks ago and this past week, the SE has been sweltering with 3 consecutive 100 plus days.

    And there is NO WAY to harvest that HEAT into energy?

    Boggles the mind...

  35. WiO:And there is NO WAY to harvest that HEAT into energy?

    It's never the heat in absolute terms, it's the difference in heat that is used to perform work, do you see?

    It's like a dam. It creates a difference in the level of water behind the dam relative to the front of the dam, and this creates a current that can be tapped.

    A fresh battery has a difference in charges between the two terminals, and when it's "dead" all these charges have been balanced.

  36. Recession was deeper than gov't previously thought

    I bet the GDP is less than generally thought, too.

  37. UAE, Saudi Arabia to block key BlackBerry services
    UAE, Saudis to block BlackBerry messaging and Web, citing national security, social concerns

    This sorta confirms my thoughts that the UAE and Dubai were vulnerable to fundamentalism. They seem to be an anathema right in the middle of the Islamic heartland.

  38. Of course, we suspect that they buy "security" like shopkeepers bought "security" from the mob.

  39. Linear Thinker is a bait fisherman

    Nough said, except, I feel o soo soo sorry for him

    I'm runnin', late now.

    I'll pray for thee, pray for thee all.

    When the shock of the cold river goes up over the belt, the testicles tighten.

    I gotta run it's Mass time.

  40. Best of all
    He loved the fall
    Leaves yellow on the cottonwoods
    Leaves floating on the trout streams
    And above the hills
    The high blue windless skies
    Now he will be a part of them forever

    Little kid his friend was dying of something or other, they fished together, it's one of my favorite little poems.

    Eernie was a good guy.

    I gotta run, late now, will pray for thee.

  41. Teresita said...
    WiO:And there is NO WAY to harvest that HEAT into energy?

    It's never the heat in absolute terms, it's the difference in heat that is used to perform work, do you see?

    I KNOW...

    Ground temp is a constant 54 degrees....

    Water in black painted piping that has loops into the ground can be used to create movement...

    that can drive an engine...

    but why not have for summer months air conditioning being driven by stand alone thermal heat?

    it's doable...

    it could take a hugh amount of pressure off the power grid with zero carbon out put...

    If fact, these non polluting devices could qualify for carbon reduction since they reduce the need for generating electricity.

  42. From the NYTimes: Solar now Cheaper than Nuclear

    The "crossover" was $0.16/kwh.

  43. Of the $151 Billion in subsidies to wind, solar, and nuclear since 1990, Nuclear got $145 Billion of it.

  44. There are some photovoltaic panels that can be bought for as little as $1.00/watt, now. There's no reason in the world that we won't, eventually, be able to get the labor cost down to $0.20, or $0.30.

    THAT is when life gets intrestin.

  45. I'm gonna tell you sumpin. Where I live, a combination of wind, solar, and some "baseload/following" from cellulose, supplied by a small, local switchgrass to ethanol refinery could, Easily, supply 100% of Our Power. 100%. Easily.

    Entergy will fight it tooth and nail, as will every corporate interest, and politician in existence, but that's the way it is.

  46. "When was the last time any of you assholes got prayed for?"

    I was blessed about nine months ago.

    I figure I'm good to go for another three.

  47. I should be clear. What I'm saying is - cellulose into the biorefinery - coproducts are ethanol, and lignin. Lignin into gas through anaerobic digestion. Gas to run a turbine to produce electricity.

    Wind will produce a pretty large amount of the electricity needed until you hit the 11:00 to 6:00 time period. That's when your Solar is producing its best.

    Make up the difference at any given time through your turbines (they will ramp up quicker than any other method.)

    This will, actually, work in most areas of the country. And, it Will be cheaper, at least in a few years, than any other scheme.

  48. And, This, Dear Hearts, is why you have to have "Democrats."

  49. Strangely enough, while the Democrats DO lean heavily toward the Socialist/Authoritarian Model, this particular solution which they espouse is the antithesis of Central Control.

  50. And, it's also why you have to have California.

    They ARE the Driving Force.

  51. Bait fishermen are disgusting guys lkie lineasr thinker, can't tiink out of the those speciaos they sit on the shores by the holes nad wait for next Summer,m taking insect bites all the day long. With a triple hook goobed with chunchk. No finesse, wo work, no skill, no excitementm, just a bobber. Just as afternoon's blahs for what purpose; then he sneaks off to Alberstons to buy some halibut shows it to the wife and the dumb shit believes her superhero;

    It' disgusting. And over dinner he hold's forth for the fiftieth time about "rent seekers'.

    She's about to walk, but needs the omcome, meagre as it it. A study in pure American love.

  52. "When was the last time any of you assholes got prayed for?"

    I don't need praying for I'm a saint.

  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. Linear Thinker is a bait fisherman

    Aye. Panther Martin. And I eat what I catch, unless it's one of those high elevation skinny trout from up near the crest. And night crawlers. And helgramites, scraped off the bottoms of rocks in a riffle and collected in a seine net by a partner downstream. And dupont spinners when they're not biting.

    And I don't come home singing the pleasures of cold water like Bob, who just the other day went wading and was reminded by nature that he still had a pair. I brace myself against the day he discovers what they're for, and can't wait to regale us with that new found knowledge.

  56. Bob the ancient farmer rants
    as he enters the stream in just his pants

    His scrotum tightens into a knot
    as he tells LT just what he's not.

    And as his voice approaches falsetto he decides he needs waders from Cabelos.



  57. The differnt versions all part of the creative process.


  58. Quirk.

    The Elephant Bar's answer to Walt.



  59. bob, you certainly demonstrate a sorry example of church goer.

  60. In the future, I may expand this into a tragic epic poem. Something to rival or surpass the poetic eddas.


  61. When you get belligerent, we suspect that you're either off your meds or on the bottle.

  62. At the moment, I am up to my ass in new promotions for Souls R Us (@ rights pending)


  63. I found Bob's description of his fishing experience intoxicating.


  64. Why I bait fish.

    From the link:

    Ok this post is for all the hippie fly fishers out there that are to stoned to realize what a real women is. Everyone knows that real women fish bait!!

    ...and a bit farther down, below the eye candy...

    Truckee River Outfitters closing its doors...since most people in Truckee use bait there is no need for a fly fishing shop...When your entire customer base consists of stoned hippies how do you expect to have competent fisherman to buy anything?

  65. An eyeopener LT.

    I never really knew that about Jesus. Whata stud.


  66. Yes, Quirk. For the riffraff who need some assistance:

    ...scrolling down at the same link:

    Jesus used bait!!

  67. fly fisherman:

    Indian phrase for, "Father of Skinny Children."

  68. The only reason Clan Rufii uses bait is dynamite is too expensive.

  69. Yeah, it's got nuthin to do with the time Uncle Ruffass took out half the clan with that ill-advised underwater WMD.

  70. “We’re not ready to make the qualitative judgment that the cumulative effects of what we are doing are enough to change their calculus yet,” says a White House official. But, “If I were the Taliban, I’d be worried.”

    Read more:

  71. "This floating cooler is perfect for all my fishing trips. The best part is that when I have it with me everyone knows that I fish bait and am damn proud of it. It easily fits 12 cans of my favorite Hamms beer and after I’ve finished drinking I can bring the brown trout I catch home in it."
    I used to run a Brown Trout farm, but I never brought anything home in a cooler.

  72. Yeah, well, you do have to be careful with it. That's why we only use it for family reunions, and such.

    I allus tell the brother's kids what a great job they're doing catching all them fish, and all. (My brother's kids ain't the brightest bulbs on the porch.) :)

  73. They do have neat nicknames, though. "Stumpy," and "Limp," and "Two Fingers." A downright colorful bunch.

  74. Las' year I'splained to them how the best way to catch catfish wuz to "grubb'em."

    Took ezzackly 38 seconds for "limp" to pull out a big, fat Moccassin.

    Man, he wasn't "Limpin" when he hit the bank. Laughed all weekend, we did. :)

  75. Okay, I might've made up that last part, but it could happen. We has a "reunion" ever two years.

  76. Hey number three used to be my monikier for awhile, till she was pushed out of the way by Sarah Palin

  77. Has anyone seen that little doll Trish used to carry around?

  78. Last time I saw it, it looked like a pincushion.

  79. We still call you number 3 behind your back Bob.

    Something to do with the runny dribble we have to clean off the bar floor around your "stool."

  80. Orange sun today in Seattle, must be fires burning somewhere.

  81. They're burning right here in N. Mississippi, Dearie. It's been steadily over 95 for, jeez, I don know, over a month, for sure. Maybe getting close to Two. A long, long time. It's miserable out there.

  82. "When was the last time any of you assholes got prayed for?"

    I don't need praying for I'm a saint.

    You shoud be the one doing the praying then, not a sinner like me.

  83. This thread deserves an award of some sort.

  84. A "More incoherent than usual" award?

  85. The Boise State campus might be a good spot to be a hobo. Fish during the day, plenty water to keep one clean, nice shady trees, some with fruit, drinking water and I'd bet there's food to be found around the dorms, nice temperature most of the year...what's not to like if you're a hobob.

    My wife was telling me today, she ran away from home once, got as far as the barn. More seriously, she used to play a game where she'd hid in the ditch on Route 7, dash in front of the on coming semi, seeing how close she could cut it to the buumper, then roll over into the further ditch.

    Pappa found out, and she got the only spanking of her dear young life, but it was a hell of a spanking, as she tells it. She deserved it.

  86. Las night you were going to give the late-night, pedicure thread an award. I think you just wanna award somethin.

    Did you say Hubby was "outta town?"

  87. It did'nt hit a hundred here today. Buy the way I threw all the fish back, no way to cook 'em here. With a barbless hook, like I was using, it simple, just pull 'em forward a little, under water, the push back while shaking. One must be careful not to touch a living fish with your dry hands. Gives 'em somekind of skin virus or something.

  88. For those who may have missed Bottom's Dream, here tis 'gain, in all it's glory

    The eye of
    man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen,
    man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive,
    nor his heart to report, what my dream was. I
    will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this
    dream: it shall be called ‘Bottom’s Dream’, because
    it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the latter end
    of a play, before the Duke. Peradventure, to make it the
    more gracious, I shall sing it at her death." (4.1.209–216)

    It hath no bottom to it.

    The are a proffesion acting group, unionized, no photos!, well don't, I tell you when Helena was on her knees ahowling she did wiggle her hinder part like a dog shaking of water, quite something to behold. It was spendy, for six box tickets. Othello is coming up next month and since that's one of my favorites, I may make the trip again. Plus now I got the number of the Boise River.

  89. Ward me best urban fly fisherman.

    It must be me, I got no competition.


    (shouldn't have asked that)

  90. A "More incoherent than usual" award?

    : )

    You know, some days there's just an almost precious bizarreness to it.

  91. And I think Bass Pro needs to adopt the Jesus graphic.


  92. The cast of characters was well chosen, Hermia for instance was short, squat, brown, dark haired while Helena was tall, white, blue eyed, reflecting the new ideal of beauty at the time, the Germans having busted up the old Roman Empire, to the victor goes the definition of beauty. Our beauty today is totally a creation of Hollywood but since we're becoming such a chubby country I expect this ideal of beauty to slowly change. Anyway, Hermia, in a fit of anger, compared Helena to a May Pole, a slim May Pole, but she have said more than she intended.

    The whole thing started out cause Oberon King of the Fairies wasn't getting his prime time from Tatania, as she had adopted a foundling Italian youth, and took him up as her cause, and was disregarding Oberon, this pissed him off, being shunned. I've mentioned before, jeolousy is one of the curses of the god's, but this being a happy play, it all worked out in the end, and everyone ended up with the proper mate. And Bottom had his dream.

    This play may have been written for a marriage ceremoney, upper class of course, maybe Essex or Southhampton, but we just don't know for sure. There are good arguments both ways.

  93. Daddy after about thirty there is no beauty at all, you told me that in one of your drunken reminissces or however you spell it.

  94. I never said anything like that at all, Svetlana, you go to bed now, you look exhausted.

  95. I second daddy for best urban fisherman, if fact, best fisherman over all.

  96. Calling Trish!
    We need another intervention.
    He/She is at it again.

  97. "Helena was tall, white, blue eyed, reflecting the new ideal of beauty at the time, the Germans having busted up the old Roman Empire,"


    My German teacher in college had a magnificient head of long, jet black hair:

    Always in a braided pony tail reaching below her waist.
    Thicker at the top than my most enormous logs.

    Never got to see her let it down, which would have kept me up.

  98. "We need another intervention."

    Yeah. It's called ignoring the fact that bob is once again wandering around in drag.

    It's his thing.

    Scroll, scroll, scroll.

  99. A Benchmark of Progress, Electrical Grid Fails Iraqis[p;.

    Your solar non-grid would have been an easy winner in Baghdad, Rufus.

    Too easy.

  100. In "Othello" next on the play list, it is made clear that we are dealing with a black from darkest Africa--he's of 'thick lips'--further--it's charged-- an old black ram / Is tupping your white ewe

    But Othello is the hero of the piece, and at the end, finally, we know Iago is going to be tortured to very death.

    I'm not sure I could sit through "Lear" again, that 'sniff, sniff, sniff' you way to Dover is pretty tough, thought it don't apply to Lear.

    Lear, vain, thoughtless, unable to recognize the difference twixt his daughters.

    Lear paid the price.

  101. Howl, on the heath, howl, is all left for you to do.

    Thankfully, our world poet, having swum to the depths, and fought it out there, surfaced, and left to us "The Tempest".

  102. There is a deep rhythm in Skakespeare, not often noted, it is of the seasons, and the seasons of human life. It is upstart, and foolish spring, pushing old man winter out of the way, the light rolls on, seemingly unaware of itself.

    It has nothing at all to do with QUIRK'S foolishness about tarot cards, the stars, and the rest. But if Quirk can take some comfort in that, what's the harm?........

  103. Quirk, you lucky man, you earned all caps.

  104. That was a mistake, I would never put quirk up in lights like that, except by mistake.

    quirk is a silly ninney, deserving of a moniker like this


    Good night, we're on the road tomorrow.

    The gas here, at Chevron, was $2.77 believe it or not.

    There are nice houses to buy here, real cheap, if you've got the where with all. They got totally overbuilt.

    Up at Moscow, my daughter has a picture of prices

    High Octane--Leg

    Kinda funny

  105. The Iraqis invented Democracy, Doug; but I guess that old Iraqi blood, over four, or five thousand years has just become too diluted with Arab DNA.

    It's a shame; but the deal is done. Glad I'm an American.

  106. Bob's insults of me are as nothing. Mere chafe disappearing soundlessly and unnoticed in the wind.

    However, he has insulted my dog and for that I will never forgive him.

    May the Egyptian alfalfa weevil infest your windrows Bob.


  107. Svetlana on a recent shopping trip to Walmart, buying some coffee for daddy, and choosing a yoga video for herself.

  108. "Mere chafe disappearing soundlessly and unnoticed in the wind."

    Oooooh. That was good.

  109. Daddy has invited Svetlana to accompany him to a poetry reading, but first she stops by Walmart to stock up her handbag with Vienna sausages and twinkies.

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