“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."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Russia delivered at least 1,800 shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles to Venezuela in 2009

Venezuela acquired 1,800 Russian antiaircraft missiles in '09

By Juan Forero
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 12, 2010

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA - Russia delivered at least 1,800 shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles to Venezuela in 2009, U.N. arms control data show, despite vigorous U.S. efforts to stop President Hugo Chavez's stridently anti-American government from acquiring the weapons.

The United States feared that the missiles could be funneled to Marxist guerrillas fighting Colombia's pro-American government or Mexican drug cartels, concerns expressed in U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and first reported in the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

It had been unclear how many of the Russian SA-24 missiles were delivered to Venezuela, though the transfer itself was not secret. Chavez showed off a few dozen at a military parade in April 2009, saying they could "deter whatever aerial aggression against our country." A high-level Russian delegation told American officials in Washington in July of that year that 100 of the missiles had been delivered in the first quarter of 2009.

Then earlier this year, Russia reported to the U.N. Register of Conventional Arms, which records the transnational sale of weaponry, that the deal totaled 1,800 missiles.

The U.N. registry did not reveal the model of the delivered weaponry. But the American commander for military forces in Latin America, Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, publicly expressed concern this year that Venezuela was purchasing as many as 2,400 of the missiles.

Matt Schroeder, a missile expert at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, said the missiles are among the most sophisticated in the world and can down aircraft from 19,000 feet.

"It's the largest recorded transfer in the U.N. arms registry database in five years, at least. There's no state in Latin America of greater concern regarding leakage that has purchased so many missiles," he said, referring to reports of Venezuelan arms flowing to Colombian guerrillas.

The database also shows that from 2006 through 2008, Russia delivered to Venezuela 472 missiles and launching mechanisms, 44 attack helicopters and 24 combat aircraft, purchases funded by Venezuelan oil sales.

A self-styled Socialist who claims that successive U.S. governments want to topple him, Chavez told his countrymen during the 2009 military parade that "we don't want war with anyone, but we are obligated to prepare." Months later, in December 2009, he said in a nationally televised address that "thousands of missiles are arriving" but did not say what kind.

Secret American cables said that the United States was concerned about the Chavez government's acquisition of Russian arms, which also included attack helicopters, Sukhoi fighter planes and 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles.

A State Department cable on Aug. 10, 2009, to embassies in Europe and South America said Russian sales to Venezuela total "over $5 billion last year and growing." There was also concern about Spain's plans to sell aircraft and coastal patrol boats to Venezuela.

The cables show how both the Bush and Obama administrations tried to stop the arms sales by highlighting the possibility that the weapons could end up with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a rebel group that Colombian officials say has received material support from Chavez's government.

"In early March, Secretary Clinton raised the sale with Russian FM Sergey Lavrov," the August 2009 cable says, referring to Hillary Rodham Clinton and Russia's foreign minister.

A cable from Washington to Moscow dated Feb. 14, 2009, said FARC computer files seized by Colombia's army indicated that Venezuela tried to facilitate arms market deals for the rebels. It expressed fear that missiles acquired by the FARC, which is mired in the drug trade, could wind up with Mexican cartels that "are actively seeking to acquire powerful and highly sophisticated weapons."

Chavez has long denied that his government assists the FARC. A spokeswoman for the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington said diplomats there could not respond to the allegations by U.S. officials. The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry in Caracas did not respond to phone calls.

The August 2009 cable notes that Russian ammunition sold to Venezuela was found in FARC hands and that U.S. officials raised the issue with Russian diplomats visiting Washington.

The American efforts to derail Russian and Spanish arms sales to Venezuela appeared to strain U.S. relations with both countries.

In a meeting in Moscow in 2005, Anatoliy Antonov, who oversaw disarmament issues for the Russian foreign ministry, told a U.S. Embassy official that Washington was trying to restrict Russian access to the arms market.

The United States also urged Spain to halt the sales of patrol boats, ocean-going corvettes, C-295 transport planes and patrol aircraft to Venezuela, a deal the Spanish government said was worth $1.7 billion and would help revive the country's shipbuilding industry.

The Spanish cemented the sale of the vessels to Venezuela, but the United States blocked the sale of the aircraft because they used sophisticated American electronics.

Irked that Washington had halted the aircraft sale, the foreign minister at the time, Miguel Angel Moratinos, lamented that the United States "did not recognize Spain's positive steps but only focused on negative episodes in the relationship," according to a cable written by the ambassador in January 2006.

"We are the eighth-largest power in the world but the USG treats us like a fifth-rate power," Moratinos told the ambassador, referring to the U.S. government.


  1. .

    In a meeting in Moscow in 2005, Anatoliy Antonov, who oversaw disarmament issues for the Russian foreign ministry, told a U.S. Embassy official that Washington was trying to restrict Russian access to the arms market...

    The US would have more moral authority in this debate if we weren't selling two thirds of the world's arms.

    I have to agree with the Russians. This is about money as much as it is about foreign policy.


  2. CIA: Spain's mixed capitalist economy is the 12th largest in the world, and its per capita income roughly matches that of Germany and France. However, after almost 15 years of above average GDP growth, the Spanish economy began to slow in late 2007 and entered into a recession in the second quarter of 2008. Spain's unemployment rate rose from a low of about 8% in 2007 to more than 19% in December 2009 and continues to rise.

    It's also one of the PIIGS.

  3. When I was in Spain I had a good time at the bull fights in August of that year, and at the art museum Prado, and got the real shits coming back to England. I barely got on the plane. Man those shits were a bitch, and I had drunken nothing but Coca Cola all my stay there.

    The Prado is good.

  4. When I was in Spain I had a good time at the bull fights in August of that year

    This is supposed to sound a little like Hemingway ---


  5. When we were in Spain we had a wonderful time at the bull fights in the late August of that year, as the leaves began to fall from the trees, and she wore a dress that was cool and unencombered....

    That's more like it.....

  6. Interesting times...

    Our friend, Mister Hugo, a great friend of the Jihadists, will certainly help Hezbollah, Farc, Drug Cartels create calm and peace and prosperity for all in the Americas with their new toys.....

    Our current President will do nothing, as he actually supports the revolution about to happen in Mexico, Central and South America.

    No change in getting off OPEC oil, no move to natural gas...

    A weakening dollar, rising commodity prices, America self humiliating themselves to the world all spell an interesting year ahead...

    New demands from the fake people called Palestinians (they now claim 7,000,000 refugees), with the help of our POTUS the Palios have reached for even larger claims and demands. The tree limb they have now climbed out on will soon collapse.

    North Korea smells blood and weakness in America, South Korea & Japan..

    China smells weakness in America and everyone that surrounds her.. And she's going imperial.. Let's all hope that steeply rising food, soy oil, energy and housing prices cause the crisis that is the kick in their ass the copyrighting thieves deserve...

    Jihadists are gone wild in Sweden (of all places), I guess not enough of their women have been offered up as rape victims to satisfy them so now they need to blow them up...

    Londonistan is funnier than shit... Off with their heads the crowd screams at the future King and his horse mouthed wench... Too funny...

    ANd i could go on and on...

    Maybe I wont... I'll just go buy few hundred bucks in food and another 2k .223...

  7. Breyer: Founding Fathers would have allowed restrictions on guns

    But they didn't and the Honor Mr. Justice Breyer hasn't a shred of physical evidence to validate his personal opinion. As to Justice Ginsburg...tighten, oil and have a clerk handy. Souter only has eyes for naked guns. Stevens is out.

  8. I know a little bit, about Real Estate.

    He's in a whirled of hurt.

    That's right - you know little about it here.

    Nor do you know Pope, or Blacketter, who is the Dean of the U of I Engineering Department, nor the the Blums.

    In fact you don't know shit about real estate here.

    You are just jealous again, a serial bully.

  9. Bad for the country is good for Moscow.

    Go bowling, rat - ass.

  10. When do the lots go on the market Bob?

  11. Rat, how is it that we have created Indian Hills Drive, A Street and Baker Street if I don't know my own back yard??

    A serial bully that is always jealous and don't know shit, is all you are.

  12. I don't think the lots will "go on the market" soon. I must make a deal with Blums first, to raise some money, from the first phase, but I think that is in the works.

    Dad and I built the whole damn place.

    rat can rot in Phoenix.

  13. I'm goin' back to bed with a promise in my heart.

  14. I know a little bit, about Real Estate.

    He's in a whirled of hurt.

    rat ass --

    I see rat's ass has taken his shit down.

  15. WiO:New demands from the fake people called Palestinians (they now claim 7,000,000 refugees)...

    Same thing happened in South Africa, the whites refused to cave in to the demands of the "fake people" in South Africa with black skin, and they had babies until the where 80% of the population and the whole house of apartheid cards came crashing down. Here comes Palestine's turn.

  16. WiO:New demands from the fake people called Palestinians (they now claim 7,000,000 refugees)...

    Same thing happened in South Africa, the whites refused to cave in to the demands of the "fake people" in South Africa with black skin, and they had babies until the where 80% of the population and the whole house of apartheid cards came crashing down. Here comes Palestine's turn.

    Utter nonsense...

    The fake nationalistic people who call themselves with a P (no p in arabic) are part of the larger arab world. there is no difference between the west or east bank..

    The Arabs Of Israel are full fledged citizens and are not part of this discussion.

    The arabs of the middle east who wish to somehow BECOME citizens of Israel are.

    They are not allowed INTO Israel, they are not citizens, they hold no jobs inside israel nor do they live in Israel.

    There is no comparison to South Africa.

    To imply somehow that Israel is apartheid is a joke...

    Now let's see how the Arabs treat the non-arabs in their lands to see apartheid...

    That's is of course if you can find and minorities STILL alive in any arab nation...

    No the fake demographic card has been played by the fake nationalistic people called Falistinan...

    I question the number...

    If there were 700,000 arabs that fled or were driven out of 1/650th of the middle east that can be issued as a fact.. One MUST also include the fact that there were 800,000 JEWS driven from their historic homes in the other 649/650th of the middle east.

    The population of Gaza, Jordan and the West Bank can grow to 100 times their current rate, this still does not impact Israel or it's population.

    Who cares if NYC grows to 20 million? People in NJ could give a shit.

    The population of the arab world has tripled in the last 60 years. So what?

    Other than creating millions more starving kids, more women to beat and mutilate has does that effect anyone but them?

    Oh that's right... They are spreading all throughout the world!!

    Spreading clit chopping and wife beating as they go...

    Hmmm... Makes you wonder why the ARAB of Israel are so happy LIVING in Israel?

    That's right, they DONT want to be ruled by ARABS...

    Cause they SUCK....

    False arguments are what I come to expect from our resident female Israel basher....

    Can't actually see that if the fake nationalistic people called "palestine" were actually peaceloving you'd have peace?

    No matter...

    The east and west bank and gaza can form a nation anytime they choose.

    Just requires them to stop breeding suicide kids...

    but that aint going to happen is it???

  17. WiO wrote:

    "The Arabs Of Israel are full fledged citizens and are not part of this discussion"

    If the Israel expanded to include the West Bank they would be.

  18. Let's talk about Jordan...

    90% of the population CALL themselves Palestinian.

    And yet, there is a KING... Who comes from Arabia...

    Now that can of shit is much more likely to pop than the Israel/Falistine issue..

    Now you see, these fake nationalistic people called "palestinians" really are nothing more than Clans of Arabs....

    Do they really deserve a Nation named after them?

    They never through out history EVER had a nation...

    They date back to 1966 as a newly named group!

    Why should the Kurds not have a state?

    If the Palestinians should have a state when will the Crips and the Bloods also demand their own state?

    After all, the Palestinians are much more similar to the Crips than to let's say the French, Germans, Jews..

    The French, German and Jews all have real history and nations... These were not created in some KGB back room deal with ex-nazis and egyptian secret police...

    If and when the world recognizes a "palestine" I make this one statement...

    Be careful for what you wish for...

    For me?

    I want to give them a state...

    I want to watch the brutality of another arab nation born like frankenstein and how it will treat it's citizens...

    That's right, we already know...

    Look at Gaza...

    Women's rights?


    Minority rights?

    even funnier

    Gay rights?

    ha ha ha ha ah

    Even the right to be part of that other terrorist group Fatah?

    That will get you FLUNG off a roof top...


    They are such a loving group of shitheads

    Give a state...


    too fucking funny...

    The retards are ruling the roost...

  19. Ash said...
    WiO wrote:

    "The Arabs Of Israel are full fledged citizens and are not part of this discussion"

    If the Israel expanded to include the West Bank they would be.

    No, If Israel annexed specific sections to include their major population centers it doesnt...

    who is to say Israel has to TAKE it all?

    Israel doesnt...

    Projecting ash...

    Btw how is Canada dealing with it's occupation of the native's land?

  20. The negotiations are ongoing but primarily peaceful.

  21. As long as those assholes keep colonizing the West Bank with "settlements" all this talk about wanting a state for the Palestinians is just talk, and what you really have is occupation and apartheid.

  22. My ass, Selah.

    Let the cave men live in caves.

    That's what it comes down to sometimes.

    You are good at quoting the Bible.

    Quote a little koran when you can.

    They will put you in your place.

  23. Virginia judge just struck down the individual mandate for Obamacare, there will be a direct appeal to SCOTUS.

    Good news in the meanwhile.

    Nazi Pelosi goes, "Are they serious?"

  24. Bob the Koran is a bunch of crap about some little local pissing contests in Arabia, combined with Mohammad jumping on board the divine revelation bandwagon going "Me too" six hundred years after the xians did it.

  25. Selah said...
    Bob the Koran is a bunch of crap about some little local pissing contests in Arabia

    ...nothing like some objective perspective to set things right...

    ...detonation at Hiroshima - just a little rambunctious fireworks display by some dead white guys...

  26. sorry...I left out, "on people of color"...

  27. Selah said...
    As long as those assholes keep colonizing the West Bank with "settlements" all this talk about wanting a state for the Palestinians is just talk, and what you really have is occupation and apartheid

    BUt Ms T, the Arabs love to colonize... Oh you were talking about the Jews LIBERATING historic BARREN Jewish Land?

    The Palestinians have a state...

    It's called Jordan. If they wish then can affiliate with the major population centers of the West Bank and of Gaza TOO!

    But to describe Jews as "assholes" for building a city in the West Bank shows your true colors..

    Arabs have COLONIZED MOST of the Middle East. They are NOT from the middleeast, they are FROM ARABIA.

    Read history, they are the occupiers of others lands..

    Just ask the Berbers, Copts, Kurds and YES the Jews.

    The Arabs already have 21 nations and it was and IS in their power to create another state as simple as EGYPT declaring it and opening up the Rafah border.

    Remember Jordan controlled the west bank from 1948 til 1967 and guess what? they NEVER talked about a STATE.

    Jimmy Carter NEVER talked about a state, he talked about the arabs of the west bank have "autonomy" over their own affairs.

    A confederation between Jordan, Gaza and the West bank (minus major Jewish populations) could be a state if the camel fucking arabs wanted it...

    T you live with a double standard mindset...

    Just tell us WHY the hell should Jews not be allowed to Live in JERUSALEM, Hebron or Ariel?

    It's their historic lands, they did not DISPLACE one of your goat fucking buddies to BUILD a town...

    The palestinians COULD have chosen a state SEVERAL times, but they wish to rip out the hearts and lungs of Jews more than they wish to BUILD a state for their children.

    If those "settlers" are assholes?


    What does that make you?

  28. But Netanyahu and his fellow rightwing zealots are determined to hold on to every inch of the West Bank and Golan. Some far rightists want to further expand Israel’s borders.


    Israel’s refusal to compromise over Palestine is at the heart of its increasingly dangerous confrontation with Iran. If Israel would conclude a peace deal with authentic Palestinians – not the current Palestinian Authority puppets – the confrontation with Iran would likely end.

    Obama’s shameful failure in the Mideast will haunt the world for decades.

    Helpless Giant

  29. Some Federal Judge down in Virginia has his lights on bright today.

    The Federal Government can't force you to buy a box of Cheerios.

  30. "let it begin with me"

    that was lovely, Melody

  31. It is so very obvious to me that ObamaCare is unconstitutional that I can't even express it.

    With a brother and sister in the medical business, I just don't know what to say.

    You really want your teeth cleaned by someone in England?

    Let Ash go there.

    By the way, who you gonna sue if the Feds have your ass in a sling?

  32. The federal criminal trial of five veteran peace activists that began December 7 ended today after the jury found them guilty on all counts. The five defendants, called the Disarm Now Plowshares, challenged the legality and morality of the US storage and use of thermonuclear missiles by Trident nuclear submarines at the Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base outside Bremerton Washington.


    There were many indications that the jury found it difficult to convict the Disarm Now Plowshares defendants. Jury questions,facial expressions, body language and post-trial conversations all gave this impression.


    After the verdict was read and the Judge Settle was about to dismiss the jury, Steve Kelly stood and announced that the defendants would like to bless the jury. Steve and all of his co-defendants stood with their hands raised in blessing as he said, "May you go in peace and have a safe, happy holiday."

    Plowshares Trial

  33. Oh, bob, you just started the fight with the Town Bureaucrats. You did not "win" anything but another go round with them.

    The fun has just begun, bob.

    Especially if you try to switch 'em on the swap. They've got you by the short hairs, amigo.

    You've got "rights", they've got power. Power to force you to defend your rights. Cost millionaire property developer bob a pretty penny for the pretty Lady Lawyer, too.

    When you begin to wonder just who she is working for, remember, she's self-employed.

  34. My brother was at Walter Reed for four years.

  35. rat, you really know nothing at all.

    It is all over now.

    I am locked in.

    That is why we did it now.

    The burros have say about it now.

    That is why we did it now.

    But you know nothing.

    You are simply a serial bully.

    And very jealous.

  36. The Igla system boasts high jamming immunity attained thanks to excellent target selectivity against the man-made interference background. This advantageous capability was provided by a new dual-channel optical homing head with the logic unit for a true target selection against clutter. The development of the Igla MANPADS was awarded with the State Prize of the USSR.

    In the 1990s the KBM continued improving the Igla MANPADS. As a result, a new Igla-S system entered service with the Russian Army in 2004. The most recent system is substantially more efficient than the Igla and the US Stinger MANPADS. The Igla-S is armed with the increased-weight warhead and a contact-proximity fuse. Its control algorithm ensures selection of the most optimal moment for the warhead's explosion as far as its effectiveness is concerned, both in the contact and non-contact modes. Besides, the Igla-S control system architecture is based on revolutionary (compared to the Igla) principles providing considerably improved missile accuracy. Designers and other specialists of the KBM and its subcontractors were awarded with the State Prize of Russia for the development and introduction into production of the Igla-S MANPADS.

  37. Especially if you try to switch 'em on the swap.

    I can't, even if I wanted to, we have a binding CONTRACT.

    You know nothing about contract law, which is binding on a city, too.

    You are a nincompoop.

  38. Then all the talk of comparable appraisals was for naught, then.

    Just so much bloviating.

    You'll just go with the flow.
    To get the zoning approved on a project that'll never pencil out.

    Not in the next decade, two maybe.
    Not at the rate the Federals are moving, today.
    Obama spending and Bush tax rates, a sure cause for stagflation.

    Not a lot of $400,000 homes going to be sold, not when the repo market is swelling.

    More Idahoans lost their homes to foreclosure during the first quarter of this year as banks worked through a backlog of troubled borrowers and repossessed more properties.

    ... the number of Idaho homes repossessed reached 1,234 during the quarter. In the same quarter of 2009, 198 homes were repossessed.

  39. "You won't mind if I keep trying to draw you towards the abyss?"

    I expected that to be your address:

    P.O. Box 3416
    The Abyss, MI

    First of all, I'm on a moving sidewalk headed in the general direction of the abyss. I've been admiring the advertising and enjoying the overhead music along the way. When I pass Marlene Dietrich, the cross dresser, and the scamp (not that I'd recognize one) through a haze of smoke, incense, and counter-culture pontification, while becoming dimly aware of people fucking nearby - and believe me, not one bit of this would surprise me - I'll let you know.

    But it's fair to ask: Why would you want to?

  40. He always wanted to be Secretary of State.

  41. Then all the talk of comparable appraisals was for naught, then.

    It's laughable!!!!!!!!!!!

    That was just a minor affair.

    God you take a great interest in me.

    Don't you have anything else to do????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  42. Where one was born and the national identity one acquires, through the course of life, are not always one and the same.

    With over a million Israelis that having immigrated there in 1990's, claim Russia as their birth place and Israeli as their current national identity.

    I am not sure whether they all look alike, or not.

  43. And I can tell what my Lady Lawyer would do, if I tried any fancy pants --

    She'd say --

    "Bob, I can't represent you any longer."

    Then she'd walk out of the room.

  44. Not when it comes to blogging, bob.

    You write, I read.

    That is the purpose, a little social interaction.

    Not just one sided bloviating on about nothin'.

    No, your comments upon the human condition and how social interactions are going on in Moscow, Idaho.
    It's just riveting reading.

    You've found an audience that really cares, bob.

  45. desert rat said,

    "With over a million Israelis that having immigrated there in 1990's, claim Russia as their birth place"


  46. Riveting human drama, combined with the story of how a Federal welfare land grant turned into a $11 million dollar real estate development, all the while the current owner of the land, by inheritance, objects to the 15% Federal capital gains tax rate.

    Federal Socialism, Republican style, does pay over the long haul.

    The Republicans supplied title to land, the Democrats only cash.

    Lincoln's model was better.

  47. .

    But it's fair to ask: Why would you want to?

    Selfishness. I'm a shameless name-dropper.

    No, the more I think about it, the more inappropriate the term 'bar' is for any establishment of mine. Booze notwithstanding...

    Maybe the manner of place I'm thinking of already exists. Patronized by a bunch of thoughtful, solitary types...

    Actually what comes to mind is my book-scattered writing room, the dining room, in Belgium. Cheap, excellent beer. The light of the candelabra...

    And one very solitary type, writing it all out in longhand...

    Instead of a saloon it now sounds as if you are talking about a 'salon'. For one.

    Withdrawing to introversion and seclusion, the EB's own Emily Dickenson. It could be years before your genius is exposed to the world.

    By then I could be long gone. Deprived of the opportunity of saying "Ah Trish. Yes, I knew her when she was just starting out."

    Quelle Dommage


  48. No, allen, that is almost correct.

    The great migration is quantifiable.
    772,239 from Russia, proper, 1990-1999.

    Then from 1972 to 1979 there were 137,134 that made the migration.

    So, mia culpa, I was off by 100,000 or so.

    It does not answer the question though.

    Do they all look alike?

  49. Million here, 100,000 there.

    Pretty soon, they might even become real people.

    Not likely though.

    They're just numbers on a screen.

    Not much riveting human drama, to numbers over 100,000.

    It becomes statistics, then.

  50. Hey, rat, don't worry about being incorrect, inaccurate, innumerate and incontinent - you'll still be respected in the morning :-)


  51. Which is why the "Ownership Society" model rang true to so many.

    Still does.

  52. rat,

    ...accuracy, dear boy...accuracy...otherwise, people will come to think you a common liar

    Would you rather be called, Ishamel?

  53. I never worry, allen.

    The few times it has been pointed out I've been in error, check and counter check.

    As in this case, off by 10%.
    Mea culpa for the statistical error.

    Though total, Russian immigrants to Israel do top out over 1,000,000.

    Just have to enlarge the window of immigration. The number does fit.

  54. After 20 years, why has Russian immigration to Israel stagnated?

    Expert believes fewer Russians want to make aliyah due to systemic discrimination and difficult absorption.

    By Tracy Levy
    The Jewish World edition of

  55. Ms Levy does not discuss appearances of the Russian emigres.

    So the question remains open, do they all look alike?

  56. Yeah, you cannot be too careful; otherwise, people will come to see you like this scumbag

    NFL suspends Jets coach rest of season for tripping player

  57. Down to 6,185 immigrants to Israel from Russia, in 2006.
    Lat year the numbers are easily accessible for.

    A trickle of what it was just a decade before.

    On Pitcairn Island, the folks look alike.

  58. That is kind of typical behavior, for New Yorkers, no?

  59. Or is the pushy, shoving New Yorker just a stereotype?

  60. The December 11 closure of the 16th Conference of the Parties – the global climate summit - in balmy Cancun was portrayed by most participants and mainstream journalists as a victory, a ‘step forward’. Bragged US State Department lead negotiator Todd Stern, “Ideas that were first of all, skeletal last year, and not approved, are now approved and elaborated.”


    But look soberly at what was needed to reverse current warming and what was actually delivered. Negotiators in Cancun’s luxury Moon Palace hotel complex failed by any reasonable measure.


    To illustrate, smaller governments were “bullied, hustled around, lured with petty bribes, called names and coerced into accepting the games of the rich and emerging-rich nations,” says Soumya Dutta of the South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy. “Many debt-ridden small African nations are seeing the money that they might get through the scheming designs of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD), and have capitulated under the attack of this REDD brigade.

    Climate Capitalism


  61. THE JUDGE: “You are accused of murdering your wife and two children. How do you plead: Guilty or not guilty?”

    The accused: “Your honor, I do not deal with the past. I think about the future!”

    No, not a scene from a comedy. Something very similar really happened. That is how Eli Yishai, the Minister of the Interior, Binyamin Netanyahu and the other nincompoops responded this week to the accusations of gross negligence which resulted in the unprecedented giant firestorm that ravaged large parts of Mount Carmel and caused the deaths of 42 people.


    THE MAIN responsibility, however, does not rest with Eli Yishai, but with Binyamin Netanyahu. It is he who appointed this good-for-nothing to this job, just as he appointed Avigdor Lieberman as Foreign Minister and Limor Livnat as Minister for Culture.


    BUT BEYOND the failings of individual politicians who pose as leaders, a frightening picture of the entire ruling establishment has been revealed.

    Mt. Carmel Fire

  62. New Yorkers, they're a diverse crew.

    Blacks, Irish, Black Irish.

    Eyetalions and Puerto Ricans.

    Even Armenians.

    They do not all look alike.
    Though their behavior is similar, or so it appears on TV.

  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

  64. are we back to historical examples of ethnic cleansing without genocide?

    Surely one can occur without the other but the dehumanization of ones foes often leads to killing the buggers.

    One example of ethnic cleansing without genocide was the initial Palestinian refugee crisis back in the '40s when Israel was birthed.

  65. Ash,

    I am sorry, but I am not feeling particularly Canadian this evening.

  66. "Withdrawing to introversion and seclusion..."

    I made a fine introvert and borderline recluse. I was a parody of a writer. In more ways than one.

    It's hard to go back to, because I'm used to writing (or "writing") as part of a conversation. What you're constantly doing is pushing off of other people's thoughts like a swimmer pushes off of the pool wall to begin another lap.

    Also known as, um, talking.

    "It could be years before your genius is exposed to the world."


    I do it because it's enjoyable. Because it satisfies me. Because it's really a kind of compulsion and has long been.

    Not because I think myself brilliant.

    Words are the most wonderful things.

    Putting them together just so, in the odd, magical moment, a most wonderful feeling.

    At its best, it really is like writing music.

  67. It's hard to go back to...

    Almost as hard as simply sitting alone with one's own thoughts.

    But, boy, it's been illuminating.

  68. I have a good friend who is a writer. She's written several books and several children's books. Not one published.

    She said anyone can write a book. Anyone can get a book published. She sets her standards very high and says that is the reason her friend, whose book isn't worth using as a fire starter, is published and she is not.

  69. re: Holbrooke

    I gave a friend a copy of "The Tears of Autumn" for his b-day a while back.

    The author, as I remember, characterized the young Richard well.

    The book, in a "thriller" format by Charles McCarry, was a fictionalized meditation on the Kennedy assassination...

    Thinking about it now I find myself revisiting the idea that Afghanistan is Vietnam redux.


  70. I wrote an unpublished poem about my wife lightly snoring, and how I breathed in tune with her, with my arm on hip, then I fell asleep, too, then I showed it to her, and she said, that's good, but don't show it to anyone, so I haven't, and won't, but it is good.

  71. All my stuff is unpublished, by the way.

    Cept for one time in the India Times, through the Wall Street Journal.

  72. It's hard to go back to...

    But not impossible.

    People can make mistakes, and be forgiven.

  73. You people go all Scooby Doo mystery on me.

    That's a very, very benign way of putting it.

  74. Blogger sam said...


    Sam, you are young yet.

  75. China, and India may Increase Coal Imports 78% in 2011.

    There's not enough coal in the world to supply China, and India for two more decades of 9% Growth.

  76. Up to around $120.00/ton in Chinese Ports, now.

    I'll bet we're looking at $200.00/ton in 2012. That's up about 300% from what we were paying this Spring.

  77. We get 40% of Our coal from the Powder River Basin. Low BTU, but low Sulfur. The present mines will play out within 20 years.

    We can dig deeper mines there, but they will be much more expensive. As it is, the cost of the coal is closely tied to the cost of the Diesel to transport it. The coal is cheap, but the transportation in 2005 was 6 times the cost of the coal.

    Powder River Basin Coal

  78. In two years China will be importing more Coal than the PBR is producing (400 Million Tons/yr.)

  79. Those folks that babble about "hundreds of years of coal" are, quite simply, Insane.

  80. Most of our coal is too deep, and too hard to get to (at, virtually, Any price.)

    At least, at any price that we would ever consider paying.

  81. What real difference does it make that Russia gave Vene a bunch of missiles.

    We weren't going in there anyway and they will just rust up.

  82. Trish might come back with something about Colombia.

    That's Co loooommm bia.

  83. Hi, i just want to say hello to the community

  84. Hello back to you.

    You want to share a frozen blanket?

    It ain't easy.

  85. SHANGHAI – State owned China Oilfield Services has announced a contract with Norway's Statoil for drilling in the North Sea, despite Beijing's hard feelings over the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo.

    The Dec. 9 deal, seen Tuesday on China Oilfield Services' website, calls for one of its drilling rigs to operate in the North Sea for up to five years. It says the newly commissioned rig is to begin drilling next summer.

    The long-term impact of Beijing's ire over the prize, awarded to Liu last week in absentia, remains to be seen.

    China reacted with fury, suspending trade talks with Norway in retaliation and pressuring foreign nations not to attend the awards ceremony. It has run daily tirades in state media berating the Norwegian Nobel Committee as misguided and inherently opposed to China's development.

    Liu is serving an 11-year prison sentence for sedition, after co-authoring a bold appeal for human rights and multiparty democracy known as Charter 08. It is his fourth period of incarceration since 1989.

    But business is business.