“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 31, 2010

Too Bad for Christians in Iraq and the Rest of The Middle East

All the spin about the outcome of our invasion and occupation of Iraq cannot account for the blowback that has adversely affected Christians. That will only get worse with time and if we leave promptly, it will get worse for them faster. George Bush would have done better by Iraqi Christians knowing history better than he knew his bible.


Baghdad church hostage drama ends in bloodbath

The BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says that the full death toll remains unclear

At least 37 people have been killed after Iraqi security forces stormed a Catholic church in central Baghdad to free dozens of hostages being held by gunmen there, security sources say.

Twenty-five hostages were among the dead, along with seven members of the Iraqi security forces and at least five of the attackers, they told the BBC.

About 100 people had been inside Our Lady of Salvation for an evening Mass.

The gunmen had reportedly demanded the release of jailed al-Qaeda militants.

The local TV station, al-Baghdadiya, said it had received a phone call from someone claiming to be one of the attackers, who said they were from the Islamic State of Iraq, a Sunni militant umbrella group to which al-Qaeda in Iraq belongs.

Reports said the attackers were not Iraqis, but foreign Arabs.

The raid came two days after a suicide attack on a cafe in Diyala province left 21 people dead.

'Priest killed'
Residents of Baghdad's Karada district, where the attack took place, first heard a loud explosion at about 1700 (1400 GMT), followed by gunfire.

Police said a group of armed men began by attacking the Iraq Stock Exchange building, and then took over the Catholic church just across the road, clashing with guards and killing some of them.

Security forces later surrounded the church and sealed off the area, with helicopters hovering overhead. Then they stormed the building.

Witnesses nearby said they then heard two explosions from inside the church and more shooting.

One eyewitness, who was inside the church, was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying that the gunmen "came into the prayer hall and immediately killed the priest".

The witness, who declined to give his name, said the people in the church had huddled into the main prayer hall when the gunbattles began with the security forces.

The gunmen reportedly threw grenades and blew their suicide vests.

There were no negotiations with the gunmen before the security forces stormed the church, reports suggest.

Witnesses also say they saw US troops on the ground and US military helicopters hovering above the scene, but the extent of their involvement is not yet clear.

"The operation has finished and we released all the hostages," said the commander of police in south-eastern Baghdad, Brig-Gen Ali Ibrahim.

The BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says there are different figures from different sources for the number of hostages and attackers involved, and how many of each were killed or captured.

Earlier reports said that two security guards at the stock exchange had been killed before the attackers occupied the church.

Many churches have been bombed in recent years - including Our Lady of Salvation in August 2004 - and priests kidnapped and killed, but there has never been a prolonged hostage situation like this before, our correspondent says.

There are about 1.5 million Christians from ancient denominations in Iraq.

Iraqi Christians have been leaving the country in droves since the US-led invasion in 2003.


  1. Big goings on in Las Vegas. SEIU is busing in the culinary workers from the big hotels, there are something like 50,000 of them, tell them how to vote, buying the lunch etc.

    May not be enough. Unemployment is over 20% which just came out yesterday. SEIU has the contract to service the voting machines, of course.

    Las Vegas ought to be a city-state and let the rest of Nevada live in peace.

  2. Don't worry Bob, the SEIU Boss is/was the WH's Most Frequent Visitor?

    The dude abides.

  3. abides, abides
    like a dying star
    we can only hope
    the fuel exhausting

  4. The latest polls--listening to a guy from Vegas--show Angle up by 4%.

  5. Obama couldn't even fill a high school gym the other day in Ohio.

    O is being heckled.

    It looks like a well deserved coming slaughter.

    Dick Morris has 70 even 80 House seats turning.

  6. I think that was Clinton who couldn't fill the seats.

  7. .
    And it was in Detroit.


  8. Obama will be followed by French president Nicholas Sarkozy . Beleaguered at home , Sarkozy — in India from December 6 — will sign a billion-dollar deal for upgrading Mirage fighter planes .


    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will be the next dignitary on India visit . The Russian President will sign a slew of defence deals and reaffirm an old friendship with India .

    On December 16 , India will play host to its neighbour-rival . Chinese premier Wen Jiabaowillcometo repair relations with India after a year of rubbing eachother the wrong way .


  9. The Indians may be the recipients of a carrier or two.

  10. When at Keesler AFB for training I was assigned to a barracks next to the international students. At that time, there were a fair amount of Turks and Indians, mostly Sikhs with their braided beards and turbans.

    They were guest students and not in the US Army or Air Force. They were polite, quiet and at breakfast in the chow hall picked up corn flakes and headed for the mechanical cow. They preferred chocolate milk on their corn flakes.

    I thought all Indians were Sikhs, but one of them told me they were only 2-3 % of the population, but you never would have guessed it at Keesler. They must like to fight. You never would have guessed that either.

  11. .
    How The Banks Put The Economy Underwater

    ...The banks and other players in the securitization industry now seem to be looking to Congress to snap its fingers to make the whole problem go away, preferably with a law that relieves them of liability for their bad behavior. But any such legislative fiat would bulldoze regions of state laws on real estate and trusts, not to mention the Uniform Commercial Code. A challenge on constitutional grounds would be inevitable.

    Asking for Congress’s help would also require the banks to tacitly admit that they routinely broke their own contracts and made misrepresentations to investors in their Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Would Congress dare shield them from well-deserved litigation when the banks themselves use every minor customer deviation from incomprehensible contracts as an excuse to charge a fee?

    More Relief for the Banks?

    I have to believe (based on past performance) that regardless of who wins on Tuesday, someone in Congress will introduce a bill that tries to relieve the banks of liability for the fiasco they have created.

    They will tell us it has to be done to avoid to avoid further damage to the economy. In other words, they have to stick it to us for our own good.


  12. Blogger sam said...

    I think that was Clinton who couldn't fill the seats.

    Sun Oct 31, 11:50:00 PM EDT
    Blogger Quirk said...

    And it was in Detroit.

    Details, details, mere details.

    Las Vegas is in Nevada though, I'm certain of that.

  13. PARMA, Ohio – With less than an hour before President Obama's scheduled speech, 75 seats remained empty in the recreation center at Cuyahoga Community College's Western Campus.

    So organizers went around campus and recruited more students to fill the seats.

    Student Jennifer Rahal, of Parma Heights, whose class was canceled today, was working on her art work in the coffee shop in the basement of the building when the call went out for more guests.

    After dropping off their stuff at a bag check, the newly invited guests cleared security and filed into the gym.

  14. The Japanese army invaded Burma in December 1941. It began only a few days after the surprise bomb attack at Pearl Harbor on Hawaii devastated the US fleet and signalled the expansion of the conflict across the Pacific and through south-east Asia.

    Depleted by the need to fight on fronts closer to home during the second world war, few British and Indian army units had been left to defend the colony. They were, however, later joined by Chinese forces loyal to Chiang Kai-shek.

    Rangoon, Burma's capital, fell to the Japanese in March 1942. Thailand had entered into an alliance with Japan and its troops supported the invasion.

    Revealed on Film

  15. .
    The Indian Army is Desparate to Reorganize and Modernize

    large number of military officers concur that the Indian army, with an inordinately high teeth-to-tail ratio, faces a serious crisis of confidence.

    An alarming rise in the number of Indian military officers charged with corruption, senior ranks quitting due to frustrating service conditions, and increasing instances of ‘fragging' in which disgruntled soldiers shoot dead their seniors, are severely damaging the image of the country's defence forces.

    Few want to join the once-favoured military with the shortage of officers in the army never having fallen below 11,000 for over a decade against a sanctioned strength of 46,615 personnel. The navy and the air force too face officer shortage but it is not as severe as in the 1.2 million strong army.

    Senior defence officials cite expanding employment opportunities as the reason behind the shortage. But serving and retired officers say this is only part of the cause. The Services too have to take responsibility for lowering the military's image and overall standing in the country's order of precedence and preference, they point out...

    Military Life Ain't What it Used to Be


  16. Looking on the bright side, the Iraqi security forces did storm the church, the culprits were Al-Queda, and the remaining living Christians have been released.

  17. WTF is wrong with you Stupid Fuckers anyhow?
    (not you Bob)

    Following the Rat down his burrow of equivalence everywhere posing as insight:

    If we had had a Republican House lead by Boehner, we wouldn't have Obamacare now, would we?

    I could list a Hell of a lot more that would have come out better and will come out better when the house turns, but why waste my time.

    For some, mere facts are an annoyance.

  18. “Everybody that is tied will lose, and everyone that is ahead by a few points will lose because of the GOP wave,” said one party media consultant who is involved in a wide array of House races. “There are going to be some surprises.”

    Some strategists have resigned themselves to an election night that will bring an early end to the promising careers of Democrats they shepherded to victories in 2006 and 2008.

    “In a wave election, part of the problem is that you feel powerless. Everything I feel I know how to do, that I’m trained to do, I can’t do. And that feeling is pervasive,” said the pollster. “There’s a sense that there’s nothing you can do about it. When you know your friends are on the chopping block, it’s hard.”

    “There’s nothing worse than talking to an incumbent member of Congress who’s been cut off by the DCCC and who has no money,” said another Democratic consultant who has worked on crafting some of the party’s TV ads this cycle. “It’s like talking to a dead man walking.”

  19. It matters. It matters who's in there. The republican county commissioners saved me 5300 hundred a year on taxes. This time around I've having my lawyer make an ironclad agreement, no higher taxes until something is actually built, and I don't mean a street, I mean a building. No taxes as long as it's farmed. That's the Idaho law.

    A friend of mine in a similar situation got nailed by the current dem majority commissioners, and had to go to the Tax Commission.

    Without a little sanity on the tax rules, development would stop.

    Why tax yourself out of existence?

  20. Careful, Bob, you get shamed here if you don't go along with the Bar Dogma that Pubs are as bad as Dems.

    In spite of a truly great new crop of rookies.

  21. We'll see in just a short time, won't we Doug.

    I'll predict this:

    In 6 months we will not have collected a dime of taxes from the multinationals, and all of that tax, and investment money will still be tied up overseas. Not One Tea Partier will have presented a Bill to Fix It.

    2) Oil will be more expensive than it is, today; and, the homegrown energy industry will be less-supported than it is, Today. Not One Tea-Partier will have presented a bill to Fix It.

    3) We will have the same number of troops in Afghanistan, and Iraq as we do, Today. Not One Tea-Partier will have presented bill to Fix It.

    4 Government Spending will be The Same, if not higher, than it is, Today. Not One Tea-Partier will have presented a bill to, Significantly, cut Government Spending.

    There. That's MY predictions.

    Let's hear YOUR predictions about what your "fine rookie class" will accomplish.

  22. Several players have made individual donations, but they do not appear to be coordinated in a strategic way. Among them:

    --Peyton Manning, the Indianapolis Colts quarterback, gave $1,000 to Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. Manning played for the University of Tennessee.

    --Brett Favre, quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings, made a $2,400 donation to Rep. Gene Taylor, a Democrat who represents Favre's home district in southeast Mississippi.

    --Julius Peppers, the Chicago Bears linebacker, donated $2,400 to Kevin Powell, a former MTV "Real World" star who mounted an unsuccessful primary challenge to Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y.

    Nearly $600k

  23. Thin Crowd for Cleveland Campaign Rally

    CLEVELAND — President Obama wrapped up a weekend of last-minute campaigning in Ohio on Sunday, addressing Democrats in an indoor arena that, in a sign of the “enthusiasm gap” that the president is working so hard to close, was little more than half full.

    About 8,000 people attended the Democratic National Committee’s Moving America Forward’ rally at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, a hall where the capacity is 13,000. The rafters were largely empty.

    Organizers noted the president was competing on a Sunday afternoon with church, football and Halloween. And Mr. Obama drew a huge crowd of about 35,000 when he was in nearby Columbus, Ohio, in an earlier October rally. Still, the thin crowd was perhaps a foreboding sign in the waning days of the midterm races, when Mr. Obama, who was joined Sunday by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., considers getting Democrats to the polls his most important mission.

    If Halloween is more important than a chance to see the Pres., you're in trouble.

  24. Did I say the rise of the oceans will stop and the muzzies would become our best buds with the change in the house?

    I did not.

    I said it will be better than more of the Pelosi/Obama rubber stamp, cram down, crooked ass Congress, just as we'd be better off today if Pelosi and her minions had not taken over 4 years ago.

  25. ...and government spending will be less than it would be with a Pelosi House on big stuff like Obamacare, and smaller, but important stuff like earmarks.

  26. I wish things were different and will be different. I hope I am wrong, but how did we get here? The problems we have are because we have too much government, too much spending, too much regulation and too much interference from the courts.

    I will be a believer when I see just one government program reduced in size, actually pushed back not just limited in growth.

    I will believe it if Congress can force the courts to stop legislating.

    I will believe it if some Democratic Senators vote with the Republicans in support of reduction of spending.

  27. 70 House members and Obamacare is on the ropes. They won't fund it. If a repeal bill is passed, O will veto it, and then probably lose the next election over it, maybe not even get the nomination.

    Minnick here didn't vote for it, but he won't bring himself to pledge to repeal it either.

    Big election issue here. If he's a goner, you got at least one solid vote to repeal Obamacare.

  28. And, Obumble, and Potzi wouldn't have taken over if the Republicans hadn't completely Trashed the Economy.

    The Republicans came within a gnat's asshair of putting us into a Total, Worldwide Depression.

    And, I hate to break it to ya, bubba; but O'bizzarrone, and the Dems have mostly done the "Right" things to pull us back out.

    I have no doubt that if the tea partiers had been in charge during, and after the Crash we would be gone the way of the Dodo bird, today.

    I'm going to tell you something; I'm going to go vote for the Republican, tuesday. But, only because the Dem is the incumbent. If it was vice versa I'd vote for the Dem. I hate ALL the dirty sonofabitches. They're all corrupt, and there are not five of them that I would trust to run a hamburger stand.

    They, Republicans, and Democrats, are completely Owned by the Oil Companies, and the Big Banks.

    Exxon didn't pay a single motherfucking dime in U.S. Income Taxes last year, and Google finangled all of their money through Ireland, and Bermuda, and, I guess, hasn't paid anything either.

    Not a single "Tea Partier" has mentioned that we're locking up underclass kids for selling heroin, while we're paying $120 Billion/yr for other kids to get their asses shot off Guarding the motherfucking Poppy Fields.

    Believe in these goofy motherfuckers if you wanna, but you're just going to be more pissed off in a couple of years.

  29. Has anyone noticed what small contractors now have to do in any remodeling project on any size house built before the 1970's regarding lead paint?

    Where did that law come from? What will it cost homeowners and to what benefit?

    The laws dictating your toilet flush, your choice of light bulbs are but a few of thousands that have been added by both the R's and the D's.

  30. ^Wha? Where am I?^

    I dint cuss did I?

  31. I'm listening to a Labrador ad right now---Minnick will not pledge to repeal Obamacare. They have drummed that for the last three weeks. It's the major issue here.

  32. I already voted absentee but have no illusions that things will be significantly different this time.

    I hope they will, but do I really believe it? No.

  33. No one is clipping anything that I can tell.

  34. And I'm listening to the truckers radio station about a whole new batch of regs that will need to be complied with. While I don't know all the details, and some don't sound so bad, it's more rules and regs for the truckers.

    I blame Barney Frank and Fred and Fannie for the economy.

    Bush warned about Fred and Fannie every year for eight years.

    He just didn't have the votes to do anything about it.

  35. heh, well, we've clipped at the State level here because of the bad economy. Less tax receipts, and we balance our budget.

  36. If Congress refuses to fund one specific program I will become a believer.

  37. Mon Nov 01, 03:19:00 AM EDT


    But what should I expect from someone who thinks socialism will work if we just try it one more time and do it right.

    ...and if the proprietor does not think that Obamacare would undermine our healthcare, the proprietor is FOS, also.

  38. They're committed to defunding Obamacare, Deuce, and if they don't I'll join you in condemning them for that.

  39. And earlier I was listening to a group discuss California. The consensus was, if they elect 'Moonbeam' Brown guvnor and Boxer Senator again, they're finished. Might be the first state to declare bankruptcy.

  40. Mr Obama returned to Chicago, where 200,000 people in Grant Park cheered his historic victory on a balmy night two years earlier, to tell a crowd of 20,000 at Midway Plaisance Park that they needed to “keep on fighting” despite all the setbacks.

    Democrats face the near-certain loss of control of the House of Representatives and a string of defeats in Senate contests in Tuesday's vote. Even Mr Obama’s old Senate seat in Illinois is under grave threat.

    In a 33-minute speech delivered using a TelePrompter, Mr Obama said: “Now, two years later, I know that some of the excitement that we had in Grant Park, you know, that fades away.

    “A lot of you got involved in 2008 because you believed we were at a defining moment in our history.

    “Some of the excitement of Inauguration Day, you know, BeyoncĂ© was singing and Bono was up there and everybody was feeling good, I know that good feeling starts slipping away.
    “And you talk to your friends who are out of work, you see somebody lose their home, and it gets you discouraged. And then you see all these TV ads and all the talking heads on TV, and everything just feels negative. And maybe some of you, maybe you stop believing.”

  41. Rubin, Gorelick, Raines, Frank, Dodd, and a bunch of other Republicans damn near bankrupted our ass, Bob, you outta know that.

  42. {...}

    Democrats currently hold a 39-seat majority in the 435-member House of Representatives and a 10-seat majority in the 100-member Senate. Polls indicate Democrats will lose more than 50 seats in the House and at least six in the Senate.
    Mr Obama was reduced to spending a valuable day on the campaign trail defending Democratic turf in his home state of Illinois, the third stop on a four-state tour before returning to Washington on Sunday night.
    Alex Giannoulias, the Democratic candidate for the Senate, is narrowly behind Mr Kirk, a congressman. Democrats might also lose the Illinois governorship. Given that Illinois is a long-time Democratic state, the loss of either race would be a big symbolic blow to Mr Obama.
    Democrats are all but resigned to losing Senate seats in North Dakota, Indiana, Arkansas and Wisconsin while failing to pick up seats in Ohio, New Hampshire, Missouri and Kentucky that once seemed within their grasp.
    In addition, Democrats could well lose seats in Nevada, Colorado, Illinois and Pennsylvania. If the Republican wave becomes an electoral tsunami exceeding that of 1994, when the party gained 54 House seats during President Bill Clinton’s tenure, then even Washington state and California could fall.
    A weekend CNN poll found that Republicans had a 10-point national lead over Democrats, higher than the seven-point advantage they enjoyed in 1994 when they captured both houses of Congress. Much of the Republican enthusiasm is generated by small-government, anti-tax Tea Party candidates, who are often critical of their own party establishment.

  43. {...}

    Even more disturbing for Mr Obama was a weekend ABC poll that found that 47 percent of Democrats believed he should face a primary challenge in 2012 compared to 51 percent who felt he should not.
    Some supporters of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic favourite Mr Obama defeated in 2008, believe she should seek the party nomination in 2012.
    Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska, took the opportunity to taunt President Barack Obama on Fox News on Sunday, saying: “You blew it, President Obama. We gave you two years to improve the economy, The message has been sent to Democrats that they blew it.”
    Democratic leaders sought to portray the mid-terms as always delivering a defeat for the party that holds the White House and argued that big losses would not be an indictment of Mr Obama.
    “This is a choice, a clear choice, not a referendum,” said Tim Kaine, Democratic National Committee chairman. “They [Republicans] have a political and partisan agenda, which they’ve had from day one. We’re the problem-solvers trying to get this nation going after a lost decade that they created.”
    But Mr Obama made clear that he was on the ballot in all but name. “Just like you did in 2008, you can defy the conventional wisdom, the kind that says you can’t overcome cynicism in politics, you can’t overcome the special can’t elect a skinny guy with a funny name to the US Senate or the presidency.”

    Obama is really not all that bright.

  44. Has anyone noticed what small contractors now have to do in any remodeling project on any size house built before the 1970's regarding lead paint?

    Actually, now I think about it, we did get something in the mail about that.
    Since it didn't really seem to apply to us I chucked it, but know what you are referring to.

  45. That law could cost homeowners tens of billions per year. For every $1 billion it costs, that will kill
    20,000 jobs, because that will represent work that will not be done and material not purchased.

  46. It sounded as though you'd dang near have to isolated the house to, say, remodel the kitchen. Wrap the whole thing in plastic, have inspectors, that kind of stuff. In fact I think I saw an example of this recently down the street---lead removal in process, etc. signs, bunch of plastic sheeting around the front doors.

  47. That was a good article, Bob. A lot of truth in it.

  48. He's just a sleazy, shitbag asshole, too, though.

    His argument for running up a $1.3 Trillion Deficit seems to be that they had pollsters telling them that the public didn't care.

    He's overlooking that it was "Their" job to "Care."

  49. They're All scum.

  50. While Christian population dwindles in Muslim Middle East, it thrives in Israel
    "In fact, the Christian growth rate has outpaced the Jewish growth in Israel in the last 12 years!" But you wouldn't know that reading the NYT; nor would you know that the main reason Christians are dwindling is due to Muslim persecution. "NY Times Skews the News on Christian Decline in the Mideast," by Tamar Sternthal for CAMERA, May 17:

    Pope Benedict XVI's journey through Jordan, Israel and the West Bank prompted Ethan Bronner, Jerusalem bureau chief for the New York Times, to report on the declining Christian population across the Middle East. But his May 12 story, "Christians in Mideast Losing Numbers and Influence," misleads on crucial facts about this troubling trend among Palestinian and Israeli Christians. (The article also appeared May 13 in the International Herald Tribune.)
    First, while the Christian population is diminishing throughout the Middle East, including the Palestinian areas, the opposite is true in Israel – a key fact Bronner inexplicably ignores.

    Second, contrary to Bronner's article, Palestinian Christians are not emigrating simply because of the "economy, economy, economy," but largely as a result of systematic Muslim persecution. Again, Bronner neglects this significant factor directly related to the topic of his story.

    The thrust of the Times story is that all societies in the Middle East are inhospitable to Christians, who have little future anywhere in the region. Sadly this is true in the Muslim-dominated nations surrounding Israel but it's not the case in Israel itself.

    The Situation Across the Mideast

    As Bronner notes, the Christian population throughout the Middle East has been declining for decades. In 1914, Christians constituted 26.4 percent of the total population in what today is Israel, the Palestinian areas, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, while by 2005 they represented at most 9.2 percent (Phillipe Fargues, "The Arab Christians of the Middle East: A Demographic Perspective," in Christian Communities in the Arab Middle East, Andrea Pacini, ed, Oxford University Press, as cited in Justus Reid Weiner's Human Rights of Christians in Palestinian Society, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.)

    The Ignored Exception

    The exception to this regional trend is Israel, where the Christian population has thrived.

    As documented in the Central Bureau of Statistics' Statistical Abstract of Israel 2008 (Chart 2.2), in the last dozen years, Israel's Christian population grew from 120,600 in 1995 to 151,600 in 2007, representing a growth rate of 25 percent. In fact, the Christian growth rate has outpaced the Jewish growth in Israel in the last 12 years! In 1995, there were 4,522,300 Jews in Israel, and in 2007 there were 5,478,2000, representing a growth rate of 21 percent – 4 percent less than the Christian population grew during the same time....

  51. The acid test for me will be if the Republicans take the road of "working with the president".
    I don't want them working with the president, a la John McCain. The test is the health care bill.

    I want them to tell the president he is wrong and congress will not pay for it.

  52. Obama may not be to bright, but he is smarter than Ms Clinton and Mr McCain., Beat the tar out of both of them.

    If a frog had wings, doug-o, it'd not bounce its' belly when it jumped.

    Boehner was not "in charge" in 2009 and 2010, so we got what we got. If he is "in charge" in 2011 and 2012 we will still have Obamacare, because to fund his own pet projects he still needs the Senate to go along and Obama's signature.
    Or his earmarks die.

    The GOP may win a majority in the Senate, but will not get to the magic number, 61 Senate seats. That is impossible for them to do. There are not that many Senate seats up for grabs.

    Of all the Republicans that will win in the House, how many are "Tea Partiers"?
    Say that 50 seats do switch, there are only 20 or so "Partiers" amongst them.
    A minority of those that will be freshmen. No power, at all.

    Boehner will still back the status que. Just as he did during the Bush bailout.

  53. Situation in Egypt

    The largest Christian community of the Middle East is found in Egypt, which has ten to twelve million Copts, a Christian group comprising about 15 - 20% of the country's population. The Coptic Church is an independent church that broke away from the Byzantine Orthodox in the 6th century. Copts were the majority religion in Egypt until at least the 9th century, when it was overtaken by Islam brought by Arab conquerors.

    Egypt is torn by strife generated by Islamic opposition to Egypt's official secularism and its ties with the West. Islamic radicals attacked government officials, Copts, tourists and security officers in an insurgency that has killed 1,200 people since the early 1990s.

    Egypt is a major recipient of US foreign aid, despite blatant violations of religious freedom which occurs regularly. The Copts require presidential permission to open a church, their history can no longer be taught in schools, and converts to their faith can be arrested under the National Security Act. Few Copts are found in the Egyptian government.

    The London Daily Telegraph reported:

    ... in a single month during 1998, Egyptian police detained about 1,200 Christians in Al-Kosheh, near Luxor in Upper Egypt. Seized in groups of up to 50 at a time, many were nailed to crosses or manacled to doors with their legs tied together. Then they were beaten and tortured with electric shocks to their genitals while police denounced them as "infidels."

    This has been going on for decades. My point in Iraq is:

    Was that considered when we occupied it? It is obvious, no.

  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. Compared to the Russian operation in the opera house, the Iraqi did fabulous.

    At least 129 hostages were killed in that Russian operation in Moscow. Whether the hostages were Christians or not, not remarked upon, contemporaneously.

    In the Belsen school hostage taking, 334 of the hostages were killed when the Russian security forces attempted their rescue.

    The Iraqi did just fine, considering seven of their people died in the attempt to free the church goers.

    We can assume that those Iraqi security force members were Muslims that sacrificed their own lives, to free those Christian hostages.

  56. That the Baathists were the most anti radical Islamic force in the Middle East, a known fact.

    One that even was confirmed in the Story of "o". The clearing of the Muslim Brotherhood, by the Syrian Army, an indication of how the Baathists dealt with radical Islamists. They killed them.

    That Saddam was deposed, proof positive that the US was not at "War with Islam", but had other motives for removing a secular despot.

  57. Religion was not the motivating factor in the US invasion of Iraq. In fact it was not part of the program, at all.

    Or we'd have not established an Islamic Republic, there. If we were at "War with Islam", we'd have established a secular Republic in Iraq.

    One that forbade the Government from the "establishment of religion" We'd have mirrored our own system, there.

    We did not.

    Proof is in the tasting.

  58. On the Midnight Truckers Radio---which is mostly political commentary--there was a four minute cut from Sarah Palin about the very question about 'working with the President'-----"no no no no no!---not on principle---that's what got us in trouble in the first place"

  59. That the sacrifice of the seven Iraqi security force members is ignored, a bitter pudding, indeed.

  60. Mrs Palin promises gridlock.

    No surprise there. About what is to be expected from a quitter. A politico that refused to "go the distance".

  61. In these circumstances gridlock sounds pretty good.

    They shouldn't have put that language about Sharia in the Iraqi constitution.

  62. Not "they" bob, but "we".

    The Iraqi Constitution was approved by US. We wrote it.

    That is what the "victor" does.

    What we did in Germany and Japan.

    "They" was Mr Bush and his cohort.

  63. Recall the "we" did not allow the Iraqi to hold "their" own elections, in June of 2003.

    "We" had to set up the proper process, for "them".

  64. We established an Islamic Republic, for the people of Iraq.

    Just as we did in Afghanistan.

    We did it with knowledge and forethought.

    Make no mistake about that.

  65. .
    We will see if you are right Dougo.

    I took your posts of

    Mon Nov 01, 01:24:00 AM EDT

    Mon Nov 01, 01:12:00 AM EDT

    and saved them.

    When we award the Boscos for 2011 you will receive an award, either one for being prescient or or one for being pixilated.


  66. I do not think that the Rangers will win the World Serious.

  67. Yes we wrote it. Made a big mistake, too.

  68. .

    All the ladies at CNBC seem to be going redhead this year. Becky Quick is looking pretty good this morning (dumb as a stump, but still...)


  69. That was what I said, contemporaneously.

    Many folks disagreed, at the time.

    Backing the President, no matter what.

    As Mrs Palin said:
    "that's what got us in trouble in the first place"

  70. Is that a real name, Becky Quick?

    She related to Miss Quickly?

  71. While the idea that returning to power those that were so wrong is a solution to the problems they created, ludicrous.

  72. Act 2, Scene 1

    Original Text

    Modern Text

    Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY, with two officers; FANG with her and SNARE following

    MISTRESS QUICKLY enters with Sheriff FANG. Deputy SNARE follows.

    Master Fang, have you entered the action?
    Master Fang, have you filed the lawsuit?

    It is entered.
    It’s filed.

    Where’s your yeoman? Is ’t a lusty yeoman? Will a'
    stand to ’t?
    Where’s your deputy? Is he a strong deputy? Will he rise to the occasion?

    5 FANG
    Sirrah! Where’s Snare?
    Sirrah, where’s Snare?

    O Lord, ay, good Master Snare.
    Oh my goodness! Master Snare!

    Here, here.
    Here, here.

    Snare, we must arrest Sir John Falstaff.
    Snare, we’ve got to arrest Sir John Falstaff.

    Yea, good Master Snare, I have entered him and all.
    Yes, good Master Snare. I’ve filed the suit against him and everything.

    10 SNARE
    It may chance cost some of us our lives, for he will stab.
    It could cost some of us our lives: he’ll stab.

    Alas the day, take heed of him. He stabbed me in mine own
    house, and that most beastly, in good faith. He cares not what
    mischief he does. If his weapon be out, he will foin like any
    devil. He will spare neither man, woman, nor child.
    Oh my goodness! Watch out for him: he stabbed me in my own house, and it was nasty. I swear, he doesn’t care what trouble he causes. Once he’s got his weapon out, he’ll thrust it like the devil. He won’t spare man, woman, or child.

    15 FANG
    If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust.