“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, October 24, 2010

Speaking Truth About the Clash of Cultures of Europe and Islam

The tide is turning against Islam in Europe. Actually, it has been happening for some time with the real people. Now it is filtering upward. If only they would get it at NPR. Still there are the usual fools:


Tony Blair's sister-in-law converts to Islam

Iran trip prompted journalist Lauren Booth to become a Muslim and wear a hijab

Lauren Booth presents Press TV news show
Lauren Booth speaks on Press TV, an Iranian associated TV news channel

Tony Blair's sister-in-law has converted to Islam after having what she describes as a "holy experience" during a visit to Iran.

Journalist and broadcaster Lauren Booth, 43 – Cherie Blair's sister – now wears a hijab whenever she leaves her home, prays five times a day and visits her local mosque whenever she can.

She decided to become a Muslim six weeks ago after visiting the shrine of Fatima al-Masumeh in the city of Qom.

"It was a Tuesday evening and I sat down and felt this shot of spiritual morphine, just absolute bliss and joy," she said in an interview today.

When she returned to Britain, she decided to convert immediately.

Booth – who works for Press TV, the English-language Iranian news channel – has stopped eating pork and reads the Qur'an every day. She is currently on page 60.

Booth has stopped drinking alcohol and says she has not wanted to drink since converting.

Before her spiritual awakening in Iran, she had been "sympathetic" to Islam and has spent considerable time working in Palestine, she said, adding that she hoped her conversion would help Blair change his presumptions about Islam.


  1. Religion will be the death to us all, yet. Religion, and idiot politicians.

  2. Religions that are also cultures seem to be particularly the most troublesome, but I have to think about that.

  3. They are almost all the same. We don't have to look very far to see it.

    No group suffered more at the hands of religious intolerance than the American Indians.

    Christianity up through the nineteenth century was particularly loathsome. Christian zealots, believed that theirs was a universal religion and they had the obligation and the right to take what belonged to everyone else.

    They would plant a flag or a cross on unfamiliar territory, genuflect and piously claim that their "newly discovered" land belonged to their king and god. They would use their version of the bible to justify anything that some ignorant priest or preacher divined from the pages, regardless of the consequences, in some cases causing millions of deaths.

    Torture and burning at the stake were routine punishment for the unfortunates victims of devout Christians.

    Unfortunately, we see the same old formula being resurrected by radical Islam. I doubt it will ever end as long as there are human beings.

  4. Religion provides moral justification for good old power politics.

    A society can covet, then steal oothers stuff, because their G-d said, to some fella once upon a time, that it was really theirs. Or at least it should be.

    That the religion of the "others" was illegitimate, not worthy even of being called a "religion".

    As far a Ms Booth goes, good on her. Chronic alcohol abuse is a major medical problem.

    The alcoholic woman is more sensitive to alcohol's deleterious physical, cerebral, and mental effects, and increased social stigma, in relation to a man, for being an alcoholic. The World Health Organisation estimates that there are 140 million alcoholics worldwide.

    Beyond the health risk, there is the economic cost of alcohol use, let alone abuse.

    In 2005 the cost of alcohol dependence and abuse was estimated to cost the USA economy approximately 220 billion dollars per year, more than cancer and obesity. Substances of Abuse
    edited by Paula M. Potter

    It would seem that any religion that promoted abstinence is better than one that permits or even encourages inebriation.

    It certainly should not be derided, even though in the US historical experience "dry" religion has a history of terrorism attached to it. The Latter Day Saints coming to mind in that regard.

    What to do, what to do?

  5. Ex-NPR analyst Juan Williams said Sunday that his firing over a comment about Muslims amounts to "censorship," adding that it was "despicable" for an NPR executive to later suggest he was "unstable."

    All censorship based upon dislike like of the ideological content is "despicable".

    Decorum, it is maintained by the free flow of ideas, not by censoring those that we may disagree with.

    While there is an argument to be made for limiting the seven "Filthy Words", those often used by George Carlin.

    The original seven words were, shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. Those are the ones that will curve your spine, grow hair on your hands and (laughter) maybe, even bring us, God help us, peace without honor (laughter) um, and a bourbon. (laughter)

    Even though only one of those seven "Filthy Words" brought forth a murmur of objection from the barkeeps, here at the Echo Bar. Back before bob was exiled, by technological barriers.

  6. With regards to the eating of pork, isn't the prohibition of eating pigs not a standard of two of the three major Abrahamic sects?

    G-d has spoken, leave those pigs alone!

  7. TIJUANA, Mexico – A client at a drug rehab center in the Mexican border city of Tijuana said Monday that a gang of armed men burst into the building and gunned down 13 recovering addicts there.

    Prosecutors have not yet confirmed the number of dead. Police at the scene say at least 10 were killed.

    The witness, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Jesus, for fear of reprisals, said he was attending a movie showing on the first floor of the center, and had stepped out for something to eat when the attacked occurred late Sunday.

  8. It's a Smack Down!

    Logos on clothing while voting, censorship or campaign law enforcement?

    Republicans lashed out Friday after the Connecticut secretary of state said poll workers would have the right to ask voters wearing World Wrestling Entertainment merchandise to cover up because it could be considered campaigning.

    Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon left her job as chief executive of WWE to run for office. And a spokesman for Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz said McMahon is so closely associated with the organization that wrestling garb could easily be construed as political advertising.

    "It's not that much of an inconvenience in the few minutes that you're voting that you don't serve as an advertisement for somebody'spolitical campaign," said Av Harris, a spokesman for Bysiewicz.

    Campaigning within 75 feet of polling places places is illegal under Connecticut law.

    State Republicans reacted angrily to the news, releasing a statement entitled: "Bysiewicz Loses Mind; Clothing Ban Has No Merit."

    "There is nothing to suggest that any other clothing, where it's promoting NASCAR, a brewery or a college, should inhibit or inconvenience someone from casting their vote. And Bysiewicz knows at outright ban would be challenged quickly in the courts and overturned," the statement said.

    "On what grounds does Bysiewicz base this ridiculous act of voter intimidation?" asked Republican State Party Chairman Chris Healy.

    The WWE also weighed in.

    "Denying our fans the right to vote, denying them their First Amendment rights, regardless if they are Democrat, Republican or Independent, is un-American, unconstitutional and blatantly discriminatory," said Vince McMahon, chairman and chief executive of WWE. He is Linda McMahon's husband.

  9. The US provides Karzai with cash, in the form of checks, and there is little complaint. The Iranians kick in a few bucks, you'd think it was a payoff, or something.

    Karzai confirms report of cash payments from Iran

    Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, has admitted that his chief of staff, Umar Daudzai, received money from Iran in bundles of cash, but he said it was a form of aid from a friendly country, and completely transparent.

    Mr Karzai said the cash, some of which was allegedly handed over in plastic bags while he was visiting Iran, was used to maintain the presidential palace and run his office.

  10. Two interestingly related stories:

    LONDON (Reuters) - BP's new chief executive said its rivals and the media had helped cause a climate of fear during the summer when the oil giant's blown-out Gulf of Mexico well caused the worst ever oil spill in the United States.

    BP is not quitting on the United States, no indeed.

    The Guardian -
    BP and several other big European companies are funding the midterm election campaigns of Tea Party favourites who deny the existence of global warming or oppose Barack Obama's energy agenda, the Guardian has learned.

  11. "Real Americans" using foreign money to gain political power.

    Typical behavior in Republican politicos. Now evidently spreading amongst the Tea Partiers, as well.

    Vote Librarian for freedom!

  12. 'Women for sale' store highlights sex trafficking in Israel

    October 24, 2010
    By Shira Medding, CNN

    A designer clothing store, a comic book store, a tattoo parlor and a ... women for sale store.

    This unusual window display shocked shoppers at a busy Tel Aviv mall last week when among the run-of-the-mill shops, they came across a group of young women standing in a storefront.

    On them were price tags detailing their age, weight, height, dimensions and country of origin.

    Organizers said the campaign is designed to bring awareness to women trafficking. It aims to collect enough signatures to pressure the Israeli justice ministry to back legislation that makes it a crime for men to go to prostitutes
    "The legislation against the prostitutes' customers will bring a reduction in the demand for prostitution and it will be a less lucrative business for crime organizations," Keidar said.

    "This in turn will bring a reduction in the trafficking of women."

    Keidar said the legislation is modeled after similar legislation in Sweden that has drastically reduced trafficking and prostitution.

    Over the past decade, about 10,000 women have been trafficked into Israel in what Keidar calls "modern slavery."

  13. Russia to build Indian atomic units

    Deal for 12 nuclear reactors and sale of MiG fighter jets among pacts signed by Putin.

    First Iran, now India.
    Those Russians, not blinded by religion, they only see the money.

  14. India is also seeking to seal another long-sought agreement on civilian nuclear co-operation with Japan.

    Singh said he hoped that Japan will be "India's partner in expanding our nuclear energy for peaceful purposes".

    "But I do recognise the sensitivity of this subject in Japan, and I wouldn't therefore force the issue," he said after meeting Seiji Maehara, the Japanese foreign minister, in Tokyo.

    Stumbling block

    India's refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is proving to be a stumbling block after two rounds of talks, as Japan, a pacifist nation, wants India to commit to ending nuclear tests.

    Japan and India launched talks in June on a pact that would allow Japan to export its cutting-edge nuclear technology to the South Asian nation, a hotly contested market for atomic plants.

    India has already signed civil nuclear agreements with France, Kazakhstan, Canada, Argentina, Namibia and Mongolia.

    Narayanan Madhavan, an associate editor at the Indian daily Hindustan Times, told Al Jazeera the visit was "very significant because India needs the energy and Japan has a lot to offer".

    "They are two large economies who need each other and from the point of view of business and energy needs, as well as in terms of money and infrastructure, it seems like a very good fit," he said.

    "India has been talking about a Look East policy for decades but the fact is that China is increasing its influence, which makes sense for East Asia's other significant economies such as Malaysia or Japan, and India, to come together.

    "So there is some kind of a coalition being formed in which Japan and India play a constructive role to counter China."

  15. There is an appropriate use of words and not. The age demographics for this blog should be evidence enough that no restrictions should be necessary.

    The fact that it has been speaks not so much to the blog as much as it does to the blogger.

  16. 19 posts..

    4 posts by others

    15 posts by rat/ed/abraham/panama

    this is getting absurd...

    delete the fool already........

  17. It is the ideas that were objected to, and deleted, not the words.

    There in lies the authoritarianism.

    Never were the words used offensive, nor were the other individual bloggers libeled.

    It was just the ideas that were found to be out of the Echo Box.

    The very question of using the same standards, evenly applied, to terrorists and pirates, regardless of their religious or national affiliations brought forth derogatory personal remarks from the barkeep.

    Rather than making a case that there should be different standards applied.

    A reflection of the souls of the authoritarians. To delete those questions that do not toe their ideological line.

  18. The answer to the question, so obvious that deletion was the only response that could win the ideological argument.

    Afraid of debate, afraid of freedom.

    Fear of the "other" is the common denominator of authoritarians.

  19. DrHiSS:

    Deal for 12 nuclear reactors and sale of MiG fighter jets among pacts signed by Putin.

    MiGs have a great track record. There was a little scrap in Jun-Jul 1982 between Israel and Syria called the Bekaa Valley Debacle, 87MiG-21s and MiG-23s and Su-20s shot down while Israel lost a few helicopters, one RF-4E, and an A-4 Skyhawk. As for Russian nuke plants, I have just one word: Chernobyl. 'Nuff said. Buyer beware.

  20. YOu dont debate with a serial killer...

    YOu lock them up...

    You dont debate the merits of property law with a burglar

    You dont debate human rights with a shria law supporting maniac

    Time to take the Bar back, delete the offensive persons or dont..

    If you dont?

    Then the EB will be what Rat/Ed/Abraham/DrHiss wants it to be...

    Whit and Deuce, you set up the Bar, do you do this on a daily basis for the ego of a troll?

    Rat et al can set up his own blog and rant all day long.....

    But the time has come....

    Flush the toilet.

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Quite right, Ms T, it is all about the money, not capabilities.

    This is evident in the sale of Soviet aircraft carriers to the Indians.

    One of the accords signed on Friday aims to resolve the troubled sale of a refitted Soviet-era aircraft carrier, the Admiral Gorshkov.

    Price disputes and delayed deliveries in the way of the sale of the Admiral Gorshkov had sparking concerns in Moscow that India may be planning to end its dependence on Russian military equipment.

    Ivanov, the Russian deputy prime minister, said the vessel would be delivered by the end of 2012. The final cost was not revealed, although experts believe it to be around $2.3bn.

    Instead of the US selling them a carrier, we leave that to the Russians to profit from.

    Will the Admiral Gorshkov really provide a counter balance to the expanding blue water navy that Charlie Chi-com is building?

    Wouldn't we be better off if the Indians were able to have purchased the Kitty Hawk?

  23. I don't know what's more boring, Rat talking about abortion, or WiO calling for Rat to be shut down. But I don't care anymore. I obtained an agreement from management for abortion to not be a topic here, and then those rules were promptly ignored, which is why you don't see me around much anymore.

  24. "Property law with a burglar"

    Coming from a spokesman for thieves that believes 43 years of illegal occupation provides property rights to the thieves.

    Article 4 of the Geneva Accords is clear as to the legal standard that should be applied.

    That it is not, another case for the moral equivalency of the parties involved in the land dispute.

  25. Well, Ms T, I have not mentioned that for quite a while.

    The case of equivalency in the disregard for human life between the "Civilized West" and the "Barbaric Islamoids" has been made.

  26. Selah said...
    I don't know what's more boring, Rat talking about abortion, or WiO calling for Rat to be shut down. But I don't care anymore. I obtained an agreement from management for abortion to not be a topic here, and then those rules were promptly ignored, which is why you don't see me around much anymore.


    Boring aint the issue...

    The management has unsuccessfully tried to shut Rat's discourse down on abortion AND Israel to no avail.

    Now Rat creates how many personas to amuse himself and thus polluting the Blog.

    Rat has proven to the management that he has no way to stop himself from being a boar.

    So I now advocate DELETE, no argument with him anymore, just delete him.

    Just like when you find a present the cat left in the corner, pull out the lysol and spray, nothing to talk about...

    take out the trash.

    no topic is off the table with reasonable people.

    Rat (and his squad of self created identities) is not reasonable in any way shape or form

    Bounce his ass already

  27. it's actually quite easy, the delete button...


    and poof!

    it's gone

  28. Or should the Kitty Hawk have been sold to Charlie Chi-com, to balance the Russian influence in Southwest Asia?

    Or should the Kitty Hawk just be sunk and made into an artificial reef, for the benefit of recreational scuba divers, somewhere off the Florida Keys?

  29. You think I have nothing better to do than sit around all day examining what you two are doing?

    You two should be drinking buddies. You both goad each other. You both see the world as it relates to Israel as if that is the only thing that matters.

    This post is about Islam so a discussion about Israel is in order. A criticism about Israel is not by itself Jew bashing, but you both rise to the bait.

    Keep me out of it. It bores me to distraction.

  30. This post is about Islam so a discussion about Israel is in order. A criticism about Israel is not by itself Jew bashing, but you both rise to the bait.


    I havent risen to Rat's bait today.

    I just call for his complete banning.

    You want to talk Islam and Israel with rat?

    You do it.

  31. This would not be the first blog to be shut down because a few did not have the courtesy to respect the wishes of the majority or the proprietors.

    Whit stays because I have asked him. Some real interesting people have left because of the tedious quibbling.

    When those who I find interesting leave, the lights will be turned off. Of that you can be assured.

  32. WIO, Rat plays you like a marionette. Why you let him is beyond my level of understanding.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. Have you actually asked and gotten a response from those "interesting people" on why they chose not to post here or are you projecting why you think they left?

  35. .
    Ash, if you are suggesting it's my horoscopes, I will thrash you to within an inch of your life.


  36. Yes, I actually heard from them.

  37. I didn't expect that it would.

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. .
    Ash, have you put your boat away for the winter yet?

    I was driving around the other day and it occurred to me how happy I was that I didn't have to go through that bs any more.


  40. Yeah, it is put away. Not too much of a pain 'cause others do the lions share of the work (mast stepping and winterizing the water systems). It just costs a few bucks.

  41. If I've driven anyone away, I'm sorry. Sometimes I get a pissed, and use foul language, especially in regards to preachers, and politicians. I'll try to do better in the future (unfortunately, I seem to remember saying this in the past.)

    Mea Culpa

  42. Saw an interesting number while ago. Seems like Texas will have a $25 Billion Budget Deficit in 2011 (the only reason they didn't in 2010 was Federal Dollars.)

    So, Texas will have a budget deficit larger than California's, eh?

  43. I thought Texas was doing well. If I were a politician, I think I would let the Democrats keep control and let them try and fix this. I have no faith the Republicans controlling one house will do anything.

  44. I can't see any hope until we hit full-fledged "crisis." At the present, the "medicine" is just too abhorrent to the politicians.

  45. .
    I've made the same point before Deuce.

    Chances are the economy is still going to be limping along in 2012. The GOP won't be doing themselves much good as a party taking over the House right now.

    On the other hand, after thinking about it, I guess I would still be satisfied with them taking the House. (Taking over both House and Senate might be problematic given the damage the current leadership of the GOP might do. Of course, Obama still has the veto so hopefully the damage would be limited.)

    What the GOP taking over the House will do is expose the current GOP leadership for what they are. They will no longer have an excuse for not doing anything. And if McConnell and Boehrner pursue polices they are comfortable with, I would expect them to be booted out in 2012.

    It's a process right now. Hopefully, the populist movement will not lose steam before some actual changes are made in D.C.


  46. Ireland’s Law Of Return
    Published by Eamonn McDonagh on October 24, 2010 in Ireland and Law of Return.
    Israel’s Law of Return is sometimes held to be racist because it confers the right to citizenship on Jews born outside Israel who may have had no previous connection with it. In posts on this blog I’ve often made the counterargument that many countries offer privileges to members of their diaspora when it comes to obtaining citizenship and in this regard I’ve pointed to the example of Ireland, of which I myself am a citizen, and stated that having just one Irish grandparent entitles any good-for-nothing from Buenos Aires or Brooklyn to an Irish passport.

    Well, I’ve now found that while that’s perfectly true, the right to citizenship conferred by Irish law on those of Irish blood in other countries is actually much more extensive than I had thought. Have a look at this website - it’s an official Irish government website so I think we can take what it says seriously - and in particular note this,

    Citizenship through descent from Irish grandparents

    If one of your grandparents is an Irish citizen but none of your parents was born in Ireland, you may become an Irish citizen. You will need to have your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register.

    If you are entitled to register, your Irish citizenship is effective from the date of registration. The Irish citizenship of successive generations may be maintained in this way by each generation ensuring their registration in the Foreign Births Register before the birth of the next generation.

    Unless there’s something here I don’t understand, this would appear to mean that the right to claim Irish citizenship and the condition of citizenship itself don’t stop at the one grandparent level. They can be maintained indefinitely by people living overseas who were neither born in Ireland nor have any connection with it other than a single Irish grandparent or great grandparent or great great grandparent or great great great grandparent and so on across the generations.

    All they have to do to confer this right on their children is to claim it for themselves before those children are born.

  47. The problem, as my daughter pointed out, is "the populists are, largely, ignorant as to what has to be done."

    The only politician I've heard reference the horrible Corporate Tax policy of, basically, forcing all corporations to send their profits, and, thus, their investment dollars to an "overseas lockup" was Chris Coons in his debate with O'Donnell.

    All of the "Tea Partiers" seem to be trapped in the Big Oil (Imported Oil) Talking Points (ie. drill for a few gallons of super-expensive offshore oil, and ignore the options that have a true potential of mitigating our dependence on foreign oil.)

    No Tea Partiers have come out and admitted that "Defense" Spending in Afghanistan, and Iraq has to be cut.

    Not one, that I'm aware of, has conceded that serious work has to be done on SS, and that Bush cut taxes too much.

    In short, the "Tea Partiers" are, largely, just mouthing platitudes, while the real "smart guys" are in the pockets of the Big Banks, Big Corporations, Big Gov. Bureaucracy (including, but not limited to the Pentagon,) and the Big Oil Companies.

    Again, my daughter, "Tis a Conundrum."

  48. Palestinian Jihad Gaza has camera-fitted suicide vests as in Iraq

    Iran improves on this bomb belt for al Qaeda counter-terror sources confirm the WikiLeaks revelation that Iran developed camera-equipped suicide vests for al Qaeda's attacks on US troops under the instruction of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Center in Tehran. Our sources have discovered that the Islamic Jihad's "Jerusalem Brigades" in the Gaza Strip have been equipped with those same SVIED (Suicide Vest Improvised Explosive Devices) and have transferred some to al Qaeda cells at large in the territory.
    This sophisticated suicide vest is fitted with miniature cameras which enable the bomber to monitor and relay images of an attack before he reaches his target, our military sources report. The bomber can thus stay in close touch with, and receive instructions, from his handlers every step of the way and also obtain images of the environment he is entering and the obstacles ahead.

  49. The presence of these SVIEDs in Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda hands in the Gaza Strip was recently brought to light by the Palestinian Hamas's intelligence agents as part of their report on the deepening collaboration between the Iranian proxy Islamic Jihad and local Salafi groups which have pledged loyalty to al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden and are a thorn in the sides of the Hamas rulers.
    Jihad commanders are training the al Qaeda squads in the use of the novel suicide weapon of exactly the same type as Iran gave al Qaeda in Iraq and are joining them for missions against Israeli targets across the Gaza border. Thus far, Israeli troops have managed to thwart their attempts at encroachment, wiping them out as they crossed the border fence. Most of these incidents are not brought to the public's knowledge.
    Hamas has meanwhile cautioned the Jerusalem Brigades to stop cooperating with al Qaeda in the Gaza Strip or else their training facilities and weapons caches will be destroyed, including their rockets, mortars and suicide belts.

  50. However, the Islamic Jihad, which is not about to succumb to Hamas's dictates and disobey its masters in Tehran, sent back a two-part reply:
    1. Any members carrying out attacks on Israel by firing rockets, planting bombs or using explosive vests without explicit instructions from their commanders will be expelled from the Islamic Jihad and ostracized.
    2. Jihad leaders are ready for dialogue with Hamas, provided that its fighters are attached to the Hamas special force known to the IDF as the "Hamas Covert Unit," which was recently established to keep random missile fire against Israel in check.
    Jihad did not refer to Hamas' primary demand, to terminate its operational collaboration with al Qaeda cells which challenge Hamas authority.
    In Iraq, Al Qaeda is described in the ground-level view of the war offered in WikiLeaks 391,831 classified documents covering six years from early 2004 until Jan. 1, 2010 as "the strongest organization among the insurgent groups."

  51. As the Digest discovered in its investigation, the patchwork of states that were doing well and those that were in trouble – as the country began to fall into recession in 2008 – didn’t make sense, by traditional measures.

    In the Midwest, Missouri badly trailed states like North and South Dakota, yet every state on the plains stayed out of recession while Michigan and Ohio tumbled in. In the Southeast, traditional growth engines Georgia and Florida went into early recessions, yet Mississippi and Arkansas were still growing. Why was Wyoming soaring while Idaho was flat?

    From a statistical point of view, the key was the level of domestic energy production…

    States Producing Domestic Fuel Had Less Recession.

  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

  53. Okay, never mind, as Deuce pointed out, the Post is about Islam, and Clash of Cultures.

  54. .
    The problem, as my daughter pointed out, is "the populists are, largely, ignorant as to what has to be done."

    I'm talking 'populist' in a broader sense than the Tea Party. I'm talking popular and widespread disgust with the way D.C. does business.

    There are not enough offical Tea Party activists to make a difference. It's the same problem the Libertarians and the Peroistas had/have. However, the underlying issues that drive the Tea Party right now seem to have a broader base in the general public.

    Those that mock the Tea Party for not having a specific agenda miss the point. They don't have to set a specific agenda. This is a Republic. That's what we hire the politicos to do.

    What we do is vote on overall results. No body gets everything they want. But what we can say is Reid and Pelosi, McConnell and Boehner, Bush and Obama we don't like the job you have done. You're fired.

    If someone then comes in and doesn't do the job, you fire them. You keep doing it until someone does the job.


  55. Article on Texas possible $25 Billion Deficit

    They completely gloss over the fact that Tx has $9 Billion in their "Rainy Day Fund," though.

  56. .
    ...In the Midwest, Missouri badly trailed states like North and South Dakota, yet every state on the plains stayed out of recession while Michigan and Ohio tumbled in...

    Rufus, some of the articles you've posted lately have impressed me, like the ones where the military are pushing to get off petro and into biofuels quickly. Others like this one sound like a post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy.

    Michigan and Ohio took a hit because they weren't producing energy? What about the fact their economies were largely built on the auto industry which pretty much disappeared over night? Florida suffered from lack of energy? What about it's overbuilt condition, the second and third homes people were buying there at inflated prices as investments, the retirees that had their 401k stashes wiped out when the market tanked?

    Anyone can 'prove' anything they want with statistics.


  57. Interesting factoid:

    China, India and other fast growing economies are currently far behind in per capita consumption of oil compared to the EU or U.S. Consider this: If you sort all of the countries by per capita daily oil consumption and start from the lowest consuming countries, you need to sum up the consumption of nearly 100 countries to match the daily oil consumption in the U.S. Among these countries are China and India.

    Altogether the citizens of the U.S. consume the same amount of oil as 4.8 billion people elsewhere.

  58. Dr. Aleida Guevara, daughter of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, recently met with Hizbullah leaders in Lebanon and expressed support for the resistance. During the visit, which was reported by Al-Manar TV on October 12, 2010, Guevara laid a wreath on the tomb of Hizbullah leader Abbas Al-Musawi and said: " long as the memory [of the martyrs] remains within us, we will have more strength." Later, while visiting Baalbek, she said: "If we do not conduct resistance, we will disappear from the face of the earth." Aleida, the eldest daughter of Che Guevara, is, like her father, a Marxist. She has worked as a physician in Angola, Ecuador, and Nicaragua, and now works at a children's hospital in Havana, Cuba.

  59. The far left, progressives, communists, socialists have joined forces with the arabists, jihadists, islamists & others..

    those others of course are the narco-terrorists as well...

    Mexico- central american drug cartels have wedded with Hezbollah...

    Be warned

  60. A Paris court is hearing the appeal of 18 people convicted in the 2006 kidnapping, torture and murder of a young French Jew. One who's not appealing is Gang leader Youssouf Fofana, who chose not to appeal his conviction and life sentence. The appeal started Monday; it's expected to continue through mid-December. The case revived worries in France about anti-Semitism, considered an aggravating circumstance in the case, and led to anxiety in France's Jewish community, the largest inwestern Europe. Ilan Halimi, who was 23 years old, was held captive for more than three weeks. He was found naked, handcuffed and covered with burn marks near railroad tracks in the Essonne region south of Paris on Feb. 13, 2006. He died on the way to the hospital. NOTE: Background on the case may be found at

  61. Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows that no one's comments have been deleted because they do not fit within the 'dictats of the echo chamber.'

    The comments that have been and may continue to be deleted are those done for agit-prop purposes. The fact that one person continues to make false claims is evidence of the ongoing disinformation and propaganda campaign designed to intentionally cause trouble.

    Also, I am unaware of any agreement by Deuce or I to ban the discussion of abortion.

  62. The far left, progressives, communists, socialists have joined forces with the arabists, jihadists, islamists & others..

    I heard a Ms O'Connor, an academic from Notre Dame, arguing that the US is violating international law in the use of drones and is likely to prosecuted in International Courts as was Salvador Allende.

  63. Now, Whit, Rat may, sometimes, be a pain in the ass, and his posts may be repetitive, and boring (like Wio's,) but none of Rat's posts have been False. He documents his claims very assiduously.

    You may not like his (or my) opinions on Religion, but you cannot dismiss the veracity of his comments.

  64. He keeps claiming that he was censored because of his ideas.

    Yeah right.

    His comments are deleted because he is a bomb thrower.

  65. He's not the only one who had comments deleted and insulting christian religion has proved particularly sensitive for you guys.

  66. Interesting Numbers: GDP per Capita in Real Dollars.

    Year Real GDP
    per capita Difference from
    2000 39,750 year before
    2001 39,774 23
    2002 40,107 333
    2003 40,728 621
    2004 41,806 1,079
    2005 42,697 891
    2006 43,425 728
    2007 43,926 501
    2008 43,714 -212
    2009 42,247 -1,467

  67. rufus said...
    Now, Whit, Rat may, sometimes, be a pain in the ass, and his posts may be repetitive, and boring (like Wio's,) but none of Rat's posts have been False. He documents his claims very assiduously.


    His claims are like a nice stew...

    Made with 99% correct statements with 1% pure pig shit.

    I would not eat it, I guess you would.

  68. It's hard to discuss any subject with anyone that plays loose and fast with facts.

    Rat has proven that he lies. He distorts. He takes out of context and applies ONE higher standard to Israel and no standard for anyone else that he supports.

    There is no purpose to rationally discuss ANYTHING to do with Jews, Israel or Zionism to a self admitted hater...

    Rufus you see truth telling?

    I see a Nazi in "American Drag"... Did you like the capital on the A? I know that's how you JUDGED me... You called me a FAKE American...

    And you see truth in Rat's statements...


  69. .
    The far left, progressives, communists, socialists have joined forces with the arabists, jihadists, islamists & others..

    A broad statement.

    The fact is the muslim world is not monolithic. In many cases, our view is skewed by what's happening in the Middle East and Africa. Only 15% of the world's muslims are Arab. About one-third of the world's muslim population lives in two countries, India and Indonesia, secular democracies. Even China has about 50 million muslims.

    There are also plenty of muslims in other Far Eastern countries like Malaysia and Singapore. Most of these countries are drawn towards capitalism not communism. In fact, some of the current tensions in the region are caused by China, a communist country, trying to gain influence there. However, China's prosletyzing involves capitalistic principles not communist ones.

    Are there terrorists in all of these countries? Sure. Where isn't there terrorists? There are muslim terrorists just as there are non-muslim terrorists in Colombia, Portugal, until recently Ireland, Eastern Europe.

    The question for the Far Eastern muslim countries where about half of the muslims live is whether the Wahhabinism being promulgated out of Saudi Arabia or the secularism coming out of China will be more influential in guiding those societies' political futures.


  70. A broad statement.

    Broad but true.

  71. .
    ...but none of Rat's posts have been False. He documents his claims very assiduously...


    Are the statements rat cuts and pastes correct. One can assume so. I stopped caring about actually verifying them a long time ago.

    However, the conclusions he draws from them are questionable, not because they are necessarily false but only because his facts are insufficient to prove the broad conclusions he draws.

    He is a master of the 'false dilemma'. But that is not a good thing.


  72. .
    Broad but true.



  73. .
    ...insulting christian religion has proved particularly sensitive for you guys.

    There have been plenty of people here who have taken shots at the Christian religion, or to be more specific, at 'organized' Christian religion and the bureaucracy that goes with it.

    However, when someone throws out a bomb at any particular group in an effort to conflate two separate and unrelated issues, he is likely to get called on it.


  74. Generally, most of us, when called on an inaccurate or outright false statement will admit it and acknowledge our error.

    Some people will not. They continue on with distortions and provocations. It doesn't matter how many times there claims are shown to be false when the agenda is other than the truth.

  75. ...their claims...

  76. Well, Rat's posts sometimes get tedious, and boring, but I would rather scroll past them, as I do with most of Wio's, than have them not go up.

    Every bar needs at least one asshole that will call everyone else out when they're full of shit (and sometimes when they're not.) :)

  77. Are we airing grievances?

    I find Bob's teenage letters to Mel embarassing.

  78. ‘Call Me Senator’: Let This Video Be My Apology for Once Supporting Sen. Boxer
    - David Zucker

    I’d like to thank Right Change (who sponsored and are planning an ad campaign to support the spot) and all the wonderful actors and crew who volunteered for the “Call Me Madam” video.

    I was motivated to do something on this after I saw the video of Barbara Boxer interrogating Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh.

  79. Malaysia: Anti-Semitism without Jews*
    Moshe Yegar

    Since its establishment (initially as Malaya) in 1957, Malaysia has rejected formal diplomatic relations with Israel and has kept contacts on a low flame at best. Reasons include Malaysia's desire to cultivate ties with the Arab countries and the power of domestic Islamic trends. Malaysian animus toward Israel grew during the 1960s, although a certain level of commercial activity between the two countries was tolerated. In 1981 the openly anti-Semitic Dato Mahathir bin Muhamad was elected Malaysia's prime minister, and he continued his public condemnations of Israel and Jews while strengthening Malaysia's support for the PLO. Although during the Oslo era he somewhat moderated his statements, he ended his tenure in October 2003 with an anti-Semitic diatribe at a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Since then Malaysia has remained cool toward Israel, claiming that relations depend on a solution of the Palestinian problem.

  80. Asia's Muslim countries constitute a considerable portion of its total population. Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim nation, and its population at the end of the twentieth century stood at 210 million and surpassed that of all the Arab countries combined. Pakistan and Bangladesh each number 120-130 million people. Malaysia has eighteen million inhabitants, and there are smaller Muslim countries such as Brunei and the Maldives. Some Asian Muslim countries have taken an intensely hostile stance toward Israel and been full partners in the Arab diplomatic campaign against it.

    To one extent or another, all the Asian Muslim countries share the loathing of Israel and refusal to establish diplomatic relations with it. This stems from the sense of Islamic solidarity with the Arab countries and, more broadly, of being part of the Islamic ummah or nation.1 Over the past few decades, almost every Muslim country has undergone a trend of geopolitical radicalization. This is partly because of the belief that Jews, Zionism, and Israel are anti-Islamic, anti-Arab, and pro-American agents. Asian Islamist groups pressure their governments to get involved in world Islamic affairs, such as the Palestinian problem and the general Arab struggle against Israel.2

    Malaysia has been exceptional in being not only malignantly anti-Israeli but also openly anti-Semitic by all accepted definitions. The factor behind this was former prime minister Dr. Dato Mahathir bin Muhamad.

  81. From Malaya to Malaysia
    The Federation of Malaya was established in 1957. It combined nine sultanates of the Malay Peninsula that had been under British protection since the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and two crown colonies, Penang and Malacca. It had a population of 6.2 million, about half of whom were Malay-Muslims, 37 percent Chinese, 11 percent Indians, and the remainder Europeans or others. The Malays, who began gradually accepting Islam five hundred years ago, mostly live in villages. Over the past hundred years their relations with Arab countries have grown, resulting especially from the pilgrimage to Mecca and the flow of young people to Egypt and Saudi Arabia for religious studies. Religious leaders have great influence over the Malay population.

    Large-scale Chinese immigration to Malaya began in the last quarter of the nineteenth century with the discovery and subsequent development of tin mines by the British. Many workers were also brought from India to the rubber plantations. This is the source of Malaysia's difficult problems of ethnicity, religion, and culture.

    With the granting of independence in 1957, representatives of all the groups, including the non-Muslim ones, agreed that Islam would be Malaya's established religion, Malay its official language, and that constitutional clauses would favor the Malays in the government, army, police, economy, and education.

    The Federation of Malaysia, established on 16 September 1963, included two additional territories, Sabah and Sarawak. The founder and first prime minister of Malaya and afterward Malaysia was Tunku Abdul Rahman. He was the country's dominant political figure until his retirement as prime minister in 1971.

    Early Attempts at Diplomati

  82. Early Attempts at Diplomatic Relations
    The hostility of Indonesia, which characterized Malaysia as a neocolonialist creation dependent on British bayonets, prompted Malaysia's leaders to take steps to improve its image, especially in the Afro-Asian world. Approaches to the Arab countries came at the expense of relations with Israel. To win Arab and especially Egyptian sympathy, Malaysia developed a policy of "Muslim solidarity" and made every effort to appear as a Muslim country, especially from 1965 onward. Meanwhile, various Malaysian figures made anti-Israeli declarations and opposed Israel in both bilateral and international contexts.

    The first Israeli-Malayan political contact came when Moshe Sharett visited Kuala Lumpur in 1956 as part of his trip to Asia. Sharett had been Israel's first foreign minister and also prime minister for a time, and he toured Asia under the sponsorship of the Foreign Ministry. "The Tunku" (Abdul Rahman's princely title) was then chief minister and was expected to serve as prime minister after the granting of independence, which was scheduled for the following year.

    Sharett met with the Tunku on 14 October 1956. Sharett suggested that an Israeli consul be appointed in Kuala Lumpur and, after independence, be elevated to ambassadorial level. According to Sharett, the Tunku's response was "favorable without hesitation" and he said he "welcomes the proposal with pleasure." The Tunku also said, however, that the idea had to be approved by the British Foreign Office, which was responsible for foreign relations until independence. Before their parting, the Tunku reiterated his own approval and said, "It will be considered an honor for us to have a diplomatic representative from Israel."3

    Only on 13 February 1957 did the Asian and African Division of the Israeli Foreign Ministry instruct Israel's ambassador in London to approach the British Foreign Office for approval to open a consulate in Malaya. When the British asked the Malays about it, they did not reply promptly but apparently were negatively inclined.

    On 13 August, the British Foreign Office advised the Israeli ambassador to wait until Malaya's independence on 31 August and directly ask the new government. On 26 August, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion sent a congratulatory letter to the Tunku and told him Israel was ready to establish "appropriate representation" in Kuala Lumpur. Israel also voted to accept Malaya in the United Nations. On 23 December, a member of Malaya's UN delegation told a member of the Israeli delegation that Malaya recognized Israel but had no intention of establishing diplomatic ties with it.

    On 10 November 1959 the Israeli envoy to Australia, Moshe Yuval, reported that he had met the day before with the Tunku during the latter's visit to Australia. Among other things, the Tunku told him: "I remember my conversation with Mr. Sharett. The leadership of Malaya knows the character of Israel very well, but the Muslim masses in our country are opposed to you. Therefore, we cannot establish diplomatic relations with you." Concurrently, the Tunku promised Arab governments that Malaya would not open formal ties with Israel, and this was reported in Jordanian newspapers.4

  83. In August 1960, a new opportunity arose to convey a message to the Malayan government. Because of expense, the Israel Football Association was unable to send a representative to a conference of the Asian Football Federation in Kuala Lampur, of which Israel was a member and the Tunku was president. The Israel Football Association requested that the Foreign Ministry dispatch someone to Kuala Lumpur from a nearby embassy. The Foreign Ministry decided to send this author, then serving as the second secretary in Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar).

    In the course of a conversation with the Tunku, he explained that establishing diplomatic relations with Israel would give the opposition radical-Islamic political party ammunition to weaken the government.5 Nevertheless, the warm hospitality and expression of goodwill by the Tunku and other major Malay figures raised the Israeli Foreign Ministry's hope that Malaya would not rebuff various Israeli attempts at contacts, eventually laying the groundwork for diplomatic ties. One idea was to open a consulate in Singapore, then a separate British Crown Colony, that would handle affairs concerning nearby Malaya.6

    In November 1961, the Tunku visited London. Israeli ambassador Arthur Lurie met with him on 25 November. Lurie expressed Israel's disappointment at the lack of diplomatic ties and suggested beginning by appointing a lower-level representative such as a consul. The Tunku responded that pro-Arab groups strongly opposed Malaya recognizing Israel, and that the Arab countries, especially Egypt, pressured Malaya in this regard. He said he would welcome, however, the development of commercial relations and suggested opening a consulate in Singapore, which was then the center of Malayan commercial activity.

    The Israeli commercial company Astraco, which had branches in other Asian countries, had earlier opened an office in Singapore. In March 1963, the Malayan Foreign Ministry granted it a license to open a branch, known as Interasia, in Kuala Lumpur.7

    The Federation of Malaysia was formally established on 16 September 1963. Israeli foreign minister Golda Meir sent the Tunku a congratulatory telegram.8

  84. read the rest...

  85. The question for the Far Eastern muslim countries where about half of the muslims live is whether the Wahhabinism being promulgated out of Saudi Arabia or the secularism coming out of China will be more influential in guiding those societies' political futures.

    Damn shame the Muslim community appears to lack the motivation to define their own identity, outside of submission to external brute force power plays and consistent with the need to coexist in a modern world. Damn shame that.

    Islamic thought is not theoretically structured to permit any effective separation of church and state. In the absence of that barrier, a theocratic state ensues.

    Islamic culture neither fosters, let alone allows, the kind of independent thinking that would permit an evolution in holy teaching away from jihad and submission, to a platform that at least nods in the direction of human rights that exist independently of secular constructs, most notably government, and too often religion. The Muslim 'book' is bad and needs changing but the culture is not equipped with the tools to do that.

    Maybe they were counting on the "learning center" to educate us on their advancements.


    That's my hard ass position and I am sticking to it 70%. The microphone-covered position is that these folks need a public hard line before they DO anything of consequence. I volunteer for the job of keeping the heat on.

  86. ..
    The far left, progressives, communists, socialists have joined forces with the arabists, jihadists, islamists & others..

    The comment speaks to the left and communists joining forces with arabists and jihadist. It says nothing about anti-Israeli or Anti-Semite.

    The fact that you tie everything to how it impacts on Israel is your thing not mine. This is one of rat's tactics. Rather than stick to one subject when questioned, change the subject.

    Had your comment included something about Israel or anti-semitism, I might have commented on it.

    Probably not.


  87. The fact that you tie everything to how it impacts on Israel...

    Bill Clinton made a statement recently, which I paraphrase, that 50% of the instability emerging (and by implication spreading) from the ME could be contained by fixing the Israeli-Palestinian issues.

    I am no fan of Bill Clinton. His posturing with the Chinese to escape the Monica trap and the ensuing technological disadvantage that stains his legacy still front in my mind.

    But I think his statement was critical for policy makers to consider. The Muslim furor is inextricably tied with the State of Israel. Bringing peace to that conflict would be major. I expect Clinton is still furious at the perfidy of Arafat and his financial backers and would like nothing more than to live long enough to get his last laugh. But Arafat is dead and that is a personal back-story. Bringing an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would bring, not just USA but the world, closer to a truly modern peace.

  88. Now for the good news, the engines "of the future" are starting to arrive.

    160 HP, 40 MPG, Ford Focus Flexfuel

  89. Bringing an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would bring, not just USA but the world, closer to a truly modern peace.

    That's the real thing.

  90. .
    But I think his statement was critical for policy makers to consider. The Muslim furor is inextricably tied with the State of Israel.

    Of course, the Israeli situation is important. It is an excuse used by radical Islam to gin up support. In my opinion, if Israel didn't exist, there would be some other reason and rationale for the radicals to rally behind.


  91. whit said...
    Bringing an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would bring, not just USA but the world, closer to a truly modern peace.


    Israel is not even CLOSE to being the center of the issue.

    It's the common MISDIRECTION that Arab governments USE as an excuse...

    Israel verses the Palestinians have a death toll by Israel of less than 1 day of the iran / iraq war..

    as for land? less than 1/650th of the land..

    no the issue is much larger.

    Islam was at war with the USA since we were founded,,,

    Islam STARTED the crusades...

    Islam is a religion of expansion and the sword.

    israel could be nuked tomorrow and you would not get any closer to peace

  92. Something like 50% of the miles are driven by cars 6 yrs old, or less. So, doubling the gas mileage on the new cars would cut our gasoline consumption by about 25% in Six years.

    Of course, we won't double the gas mileage on the new cars, but we are making some pretty good progress. Also important is replacing another 10%, or so, of our gasoline with ethanol.

  93. .
    ...Gadahn's comments were attacked by Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

    "He obviously doesn't know Muslims in Detroit," Walid said today. "It appears to be a desperate plea by al-Qaida, which has virtually no support among Muslims in any Western countries."

    Gadahn "should turn himself in and renounce al-Qaida's murderous ideology," Walid said. "Up to 85% of al-Qaida's casulties are Muslims. His whole discourse is irrational and insane. … Al-Qaida is an enemy to Islam itself."

    Tarek Baydoun, 26, of Dearborn also slammed Gadahn's remarks.

    "He's either mentally ill or utterly evil," Baydoun said. "He has nothing to do with any faith tradition. He's disconnected from Muslim-American as can be..."

    Muslims in Detroit Denounce Al-Quida Tape

    I've argued with rat and Ash that Muslims don't speak out enough against radical Islam and terrorism. Should I now argue that Dawud Walid speaks with forked toungue in his denunciation or accept the fact that a lot of Muslims have it pretty good here and aren't looking to join any jihad?


  94. whit wrote:

    "It doesn't matter how many times there claims are shown to be false "

    Truth? False? These things are simple to determine are they? No, they aren't and that is where the problem lies for me in your choice of censorship and it speaks to Rat's assertion of 'diktat of echo chamber' - You and Deuce have your narrow version of truth and you have been enforcing it by deleting posts. You haven't been deleting 'bad words' or simply 'graffiti' (i.e. adverts for other cites) but rather you've weilded your censorship through your version of 'truth'. I've lost a lot of respect for you both because of that.

  95. Two things:

    1. WiO Whit was quoting CL. He didn't say that. I think we're farther away from a middle east peace than we've been at any time in the last sixty years. There will be no peace in the Middle east as long as there is an Israel and a waxing Islam.

    2. Ash, what whirled do you live in?

  96. Those who have been reading closely will see that all ideas have been entertained or debated.

    This business of censorship is bravo sierra.

  97. What do you mean by narrow "version of truth"?

  98. if Israel didn't exist, there would be some other reason and rationale for the radicals to rally behind.

    Oh? Something of comparable import? With traction on the world stage? In the propaganda forum so critical to their modern warfare?

    I think that's a bluff worth calling.

  99. I've had posts deleted, Allen had posts deleted, and Rat has had posts deleted. I don't know how many others (other than Bob) have had their posts deleted. That censorship coupled with the desire for commenters to 'stay on-topic' reminds me of why I left the Belmont Club.

  100. This comment has been removed by the author.

  101. ...and that contrasted with the crap you then choose to leave up, even celebrate, (i.e WiO's screeds) and I shake my head in puzzlement.

  102. As per allegation, Ash, Allen, and Rat have been 'deleted.'

    I'm trying but I can't think of three people more diverse in thinking and ideological inclination.

    You Whit are a truly equal opportunity censor.

    (I'm going now, but advise you stay calm because I sense stimulants are involved.)

  103. Israel as Fossil-Fuel Giant: How Many Ways Could This Change the Game?
    October 25, 2010 12:19 P.M.
    By Judith Levy
    A preliminary geological survey has indicated that there might be about 26 million barrels of recoverable oil a mile under the sand near two kibbutzim in the northern Negev. That would amount to about $2 billion at current prices. There might be 12 million additional barrels further down.

    This news comes a day after drilling began on the Leviathan, a record-setting exploratory well in a massive natural-gas field off the coast of Haifa. The area is thought to contain 16 trillion cubic feet of gas, and it might also contain oil. The Leviathan is twice as big as the Tamar natural-gas field struck last year, and the Tamar is already expected to produce enough gas to supply Israel for 20 years. (That’s a big deal: Israel has long depended on natural-gas imports from Egypt; what little she had produced domestically pre-Tamar was expected to dry up in 2012.) If the Leviathan produces what is hoped, it might — typing this makes me feel a little giddy — turn Israel into a natural-gas-exporting country.

    So here’s the lowdown. Leviathan is 40 percent held by Noble Energy, an American company. Twenty-three percent each is held by Delek and Avner, both Israeli companies. But the Lebanese government and Hezbollah are claiming that whatever the Americans and Israelis find off the Haifa coast actually belongs to them. Hezbollah, lest we forget, possesses long-range rockets. Green Prophet, an environmental and clean technology site, is worried: The destruction by terrorists — sorry, by Hezbollah — of the gas-producing rigs off Haifa could cause “an environmental catastrophe on a similar scale to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.” That damage would be on top of all the other consequences of what would surely be a full-scale war.

    Well, we’ll see. As Hank Pellissier notes at World Future Today, Israel’s potential as a natural-gas exporter could shift some relationships in interesting ways (Israel-Greece? Israel-Turkey? Israel-Georgia? Israel-Asia?). In the meantime, this is exciting news.

  104. Unlike ash and rodent-boy i dont bitch..

  105. On the day that it was announced that US combat troops left Iraq, I posted a thank you to the military. I didn't want the day to pass without an acknowledgement of that. The first comments were from Ash and Allen. Like two fowl-mouthed drunks bringing a brawl in off the street, showing no respect for anything or anyone. So, yeah, mea culpa, I deleted the comments.

    I have no idea what they said but I assure you that they were not deleted for ideological reasons.

    They weren't censored but they were bounced.

    Other than that, comments from neither one were ever deleted. In fact, Allen insulted me for two or three weeks afterward until I responded to his daily taunts.

    Bob is the only other person whose comments were deleted and those times for his sake and dignity more than anything.

    I have deleted WiO and Rat's comments on several occasions at times with the approval of just about all the regulars. Yes, even they felt enough was enough.

    So, for you Ash or you Rat to claim that we censor based on ideology is
    unacceptable. Claiming that you lost respect for us because we censored you and others is ridiculous. Admit it, you lost respect for us because we don't comport to your ideology and because we have challenged you. Face it, you're just not very tolerant.

  106. .
    Oh? Something of comparable import?

    Once again you are confusing anti-Israeli/anti-Semitism with radical Islam. Al-Quaeda didn't start out as a protest against Israel. Do they use Israel? Yea, now, occasionally.

    Israel has provided the Arabs with a perfect excuse, but for political not religious reasons. If the Arab states didn't have Israel they have been constantly fighting amongst themselves.

    Another excuse? How about the 'Great Satan' occupying Arab lands. How about the European crusaders persecuting muslim minorities in France and Denmark? How about them damn western cartoonists?

    I think that's a bluff worth calling.


    What do you think the odds are that that will happen?


  107. I certainly differ with you and deuce on many ideological grounds and respect is also tied to that but there has been a definite loss of respect due to the censorship issue. You bring up one of your truths in that last post - God forbid one should dis US soldiers and the mighty military machine.

    p.s. I believe a bunch of my Catholic posts were deleted as well - either that or blogger was acting peculiarly selective.

  108. .
    Something like 50% of the miles are driven by cars 6 yrs old, or less. So, doubling the gas mileage on the new cars would cut our gasoline consumption by about 25% in Six years.

    Sorry, Ruf. Some of your recent posts have convinced me. I am now converting most of my assets into gold, am stocking up on canned goods, and buying ammo in monthly installments.

    Six years?

    Based on the recent articles I don't see much hope after 2012.

    I figure I should be able to hold out to 2013 or 2014 if I'm lucky.

    It's been fun.

    Good luck, and God bless the United States of America.



  109. .
    Trout Fishing

    Bob, should take up falconry.

    It would save him from blue balls.


  110. .
    Indian Kitchen

    Damn, I was worried about globalization before.

    How do you compete with that?


  111. Incredible photos, Sam.

  112. The Giants are dismantling the Romoless Cowboys.

  113. quirk: Based on the recent articles I don't see much hope after 2012.
    I figure I should be able to hold out to 2013 or 2014 if I'm lucky.
    It's been fun.
    Good luck, and God bless the United States of America.

    I've expanded my warehouse and what i sell..

    Canned goods are part of the mix...

    I am buying on a monthly basis .40, .223. 12gauge

    ammo boxes, multiple locations, solar charger

    water purification (uv)


  114. here is a nice fun karma situation for ya...

    An Unspoken National Crisis

    There is a huge national crisis that America is currently facing that has gotten very little recognition or attention.
    That crisis is black teenage unemployment.
    Put simply, we are facing something approaching a national emergency that goes well beyond the current unemployment rate in the recession or the more general economic dislocation that Americans have been facing recently. Any objective analysis of the data shows that for the vast majority of African Americans under the age of 21, there are simply no opportunities in our society; not only for advancement, but for any sort of survival.
    The implications of this are ominous. Without any real opportunities to participate in American society, the alternatives are truly calamitous for young people and for society at large.
    We are very fortunate to have avoided so far any social dislocation or unrest. But given the full dimensions of the problem, it is simply assuming too much to believe that we will be able to stay on the present course without some sort of catastrophic result.
    Here is the data.
    While our national unemployment rate is at 9.6%, African-American unemployment is notably higher at 15.6%. This is unacceptable and requires national attention.
    However, most disturbing is that unemployment among black teenagers is an astounding 40.6%, and was as high as 50% last year. If discouraged workers - that is, those who have given up seeking employment - are also included in this calculation, the number of black teenagers without work rises to 70% - 80%.

  115. Go-bag

    A component of your disaster kit is your Go-bag. Put the following items together in a backpack or another easy to carry container in case you must evacuate quickly. Prepare one Go-bag for each family member and make sure each has an I.D. tag. You may not be at home when an emergency strikes so keep some additional supplies in your car and at work, considering what you would need for your immediate safety.

    Radio – battery operated
    Dust mask
    Pocket knife
    Emergency cash in small denominations and quarters for phone calls
    Sturdy shoes, a change of clothes, and a warm hat
    Local map
    Some water and food
    Permanent marker, paper and tape
    Photos of family members and pets for re-identification purposes
    List of emergency point-of -contact phone numbers
    List of allergies to any drug (especially antibiotics) or food
    Copy of health insurance and identification cards
    Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
    Prescription medications and first aid supplies
    Toothbrush and toothpaste
    Extra keys to your house and vehicle
    Any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities. Don’t forget to make a Go-bag for your pets.

  116. Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said on Europe-1 radio that it was difficult to put a daily price tag on the strikes, but she estimated it at between 200 million euros ($283 million) and 400 million ($565 million).


    The demonstrations against the retirement reform have brought millions into the streets, and polls have shown that most French people support the strikers. Meanwhile, the conservative Mr Sarkozy's popularity is plummeting.

    A poll published in Sunday's Journal du Dimanche newspaper showed that only 29 per cent of those surveyed were satisfied with Mr Sarkozy's performance. It was the French leader's lowest rating since taking office in 2007.

    Up to $565M

  117. I beg to differ on the Catholic delete Ash. I did find one so absurd, I actually gave it top billing.

    Allen was a complete ass with his two week pontificate about Whit. When that didn't work, he ratcheted up his pedantic bilge as was Allen's specialty.

    Whit didn't deserve that and I got sick of it.

    I second Whit's comments about taking more of Bob's worst down. It was embarrassingly awful, mostly to Bob. It was in fact an act of kindness like helping an old senile uncle in his dirty pajamas back into the house.

    I do not know of another blog that has given more latitude to opinion than the EB with the possible exception of some scatological AOL chat room.

    Since you brought up Bob, he was turfed out but when he returned he was allowed to post. Most of what was written by Bob and removed was his obsession with one blogger and his comments were inappropriate, personal and vicious.

    We started the blog with a simple rule: Say what you like but if it was something that would get your ass kicked, if done face to face, don't say it.

    Attacking the argument is certainly a stronger and more interesting debate.

    It would be interesting for me to see what any of the whiners would do if it were done on their blog.

    Kudlow had a very interesting blog that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was not a major poster but read it daily. I was amazed at Kudlow's laissez faire tolerance to the comments, but a few assholes pushed it beyond his limit. Kudlow turned the comments off and his blog was not the same.

    I reminded Wretchard, when he was doing his hissy fit, that the blog was 20% him and 80% the commenters. The forming of the EB startled him and he quickly got religion and stepped down from his very proud saddle.

    I have a full-time job and run an international operation. I do this for entertainment and relaxation. I post what I find interesting and try and do so in a conversational style. The EB is a 24/7 operation available to most anyone.

    The idea that Rat has formed a three kleenex sniffle over mistreatment of Bob, you have to be shitting me.

  118. I check in on the establishment of whit and deuce from time to time. If you don't like the place, then take your yourself elsewhere and don't be a patron of the site.

    They ought to charge some of you for the therapy sessions.

    Make mine Maker's barkeep

  119. This is interesting from the NYT

    “This administration came in with one dominant idea: make China a global partner in facing global challenges,” said David Shambaugh, director of the China policy program at George Washington University. “China failed to step up and play that role. Now, they realize they’re dealing with an increasingly narrow-minded, self-interested, truculent, hyper-nationalist and powerful country.”

    To counter what some officials view as a surge of Chinese triumphalism, the United States is reinvigorating cold war alliances with Japan and South Korea, and shoring up its presence elsewhere in Asia. This week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will visit Vietnam for the second time in four months, to attend an East Asian summit meeting likely to be dominated by the China questions.

    Next month, President Obama plans to tour four major Asian democracies — Japan, Indonesia, India and South Korea — while bypassing China. The itinerary is not meant as a snub: Mr. Obama has already been to Beijing once, and his visit to Indonesia has long been delayed. But the symbolism is not lost on administration officials.

    Jeffrey A. Bader, a major China policy adviser in the White House, said China’s muscle-flexing became especially noticeable after the 2008 economic crisis, in part because Beijing’s faster rebound led to a “widespread judgment that the U.S. was a declining power and that China was a rising power.”

    But the administration, he said, is determined “to effectively counteract that impression by renewing American leadership.”

  120. Judge Keith Cutler said the campaign had been "synonymous with intimidation, violence and terror".


    The five, aged between 22 and 53, are members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, which has waged a long campaign against the Cambridge, England-based company. A sixth defendant received a suspended sentence.

    Seven other members of the group were jailed last year for blackmail.

    Terror in Britain

  121. What do you think that bread flipper makes an hour?

  122. There's got to be a sports team, somewhere, that woul pay him more to do something. :)

  123. Throw a 25% Tariff on their red asses, and then get back to me on that Triumphalism thingie.

  124. The leaders of India and Japan signed a sweeping agreement Monday to boost trade and investment while the visiting Indian prime minister pushed for a nuclear energy deal -- a touchy issue for Tokyo because of India's past atomic test blasts.