“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, April 25, 2011

US Foreign Policy Debacle in The Middle East - The End Game

Read the first paragraph on these current stories. The entire region is spinning out of control. US Afghan Supply lines are vulnerable to being cut off by the Pakistanis. The Afghan prison break indicates the return of the Taliban. Obama is warning Syria about Iran and Iran and Iraq are making judicial deals. NATO is further engaging with Libyan rebels in the Libyan Civil War. Iraq wants the US out.

Hundreds of rebels in prison escape

Press Association, Monday April 25 2011
More than 400 inmates have escaped from the main prison in Kandahar city, Afghan officials said.

They said many of the men who dug a tunnel out of the facility are Taliban insurgents.

Prison supervisor Ghulam Dastagir Mayar said that they estimate about 476 prisoners escaped through a tunnel they had dug to the outside.

He said the jailbreak happened about 11pm on Sunday and that many of those missing were held for working for the insurgency.

Kandahar prison holds about 1,200 inmates.

Police and government officials also confirmed the jailbreak but said they did not have details.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said about 100 of those who escaped are Taliban commanders and many of the others are fighters with the insurgency.


Imran threatens to block NATO supply routes
PTI holds sit-in against drone attacks; Javed Hashmi, Marvi Memon also joined Dharna
Staff Reporter

Peshawar—Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman, Imran Khan said on Sunday that if drone strikes inside Pakistan did not stop within 30 days, protesters will block all NATO supply routes across Pakistan.

Khan also warned that protesters would march to Islamabad to force the government to take a stand on the issue if drone strikes continue.

The PTI Chairman made the announcement during day two of his party’s sit-in against drone strikes in Peshawar. Thousands of people arrived in the Hayatabad locality of Peshawar for the protest.

The Pak-Afghan road which is the main supply route for the NATO troops in neighbouring Afghanistan was totally blocked and no supplies could be delivered on Sunday.


Iraqis rally against extending U.S. troops presence

By Jamal al-Badrani
MOSUL, Iraq | Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:38pm EDT
MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) -Thousands of Iraqis rallied in the northern city of Mosul Sunday in one of the biggest protests yet against any extension of the U.S. military presence in Iraq.

Protests have swelled in the city since April 9 -- the eighth anniversary of the day U.S. forces toppled Saddam Hussein's statue in Baghdad -- but remain peaceful.

Sunday, around 5,000 people, including provincial council members and tribal leaders, rallied in the main square against extending the U.S. troops presence beyond the year-end deadline.

"We are trying to put pressure on the government to not even think about extending the presence of Americans (in Iraq), who brought havoc to our country," said Sheikh Barzan al-Badrani, chief of the Badrani tribe in Mosul.


Nato aircraft have attacked Colonel Gaddafi's compound in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, badly damaging three buildings.

The Libyan authorities described the buildings as locations where the colonel held meetings.

Earlier, loud explosions were heard in Tripoli as Nato aircraft flew overhead. Three Libyan state television channels went off-air immediately afterwards but later resumed transmission.

The BBC's Ian Pannell sent this report from Tripoli.


WASHINGTON- The United States President Barack Obama on Friday condemned "the use of shocking violence" of the Syrian regime, which he accused of seeking help from Iran to punish its own people after a day during which more than 70 people were killed.


TEHRAN (ISNA)-Iran and Iraq are going to sign judicial agreements.

The documents will be inked in presence of Iranian Judiciary Chief Sadeq Amoli Larijani by justice ministers of Iran and Iraq.

Iranian judicial experts have already reached an agreement on terms of the contracts.

Experts of Iran and Iraq justice ministries have been in talks since last week and finally led to agreement on extradition, transfer of criminals who are sentenced to jail-term and judicial cooperation in criminal cases.

The agreements will be binding after being approved by legal authorities of the two sides.

Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan al-Shammari is in Tehran and met with Iranian counterpart Morteza Bakhtiari.


  1. …and Obama is running around the country in that big Chrysler 400 in the sky, trying to sell us four more years.

    Gasoline will be $5.00 a gallon before it will be $3.00.

    At the end of this fiscal year, we will be another $1.5 trillion in debt.

    The entire country is one road construction project where they are breaking old concrete and burying them in little mountains to make way for new concrete.

  2. I guess the new roads will help us use more gasoline, which will transfer more money to the Middle East so that we can borrow more money from the Chinese to invest in our brilliant Middle Eastern foreign policy.

  3. What do they say at

    Well we have a picture of diversity in the kitchen with one of everything favoring a brownish mix. We are told:

    This campaign is just kicking off. We're opening up offices, unpacking boxes, and starting a conversation with supporters like you to help shape our path to victory. 2012 begins now, and this is where you say you're in.

  4. And if you can stand it, check out the new exposition on the freak show at Guantanamo. We spent a trillion dollars for that?

  5. Four more years of Obama sounds just perfect.

  6. Lookin' a little shakey, ain't it?

  7. The only one of these deals that really worries me is Afghanistan.

    English-speaking people seem to be by Afghanistan like Europeans are about Russia. They just don't seem to ever see the danger.

    Napolean goes to Russia - loses his army. Hitler goes to Russia - loses his army. They, invariably invade Russia wearing Hawaiin shirts, and with equipment that doesnn't work when it gets cold.

    The Brits go to Afghanistan. - lose every swinging dick in the Khyber Pass. We elect a "Non-War" President, and he can't wait to get a hundred thousand bottled up in, you guessed it, . . . .

  8. Well, hope you, and yours, had a Happy Easter, Deuce. I'm calling it a night. Manana.

  9. Canadian Exchange Rate 120 day graph.

    Hey, Guys, how about some ideas for some strategies for getting out of US Dollar and into Canadian?

    Where is Ash when we need him?

  10. December 2008 was 1.23277 CAD!

  11. Stock Market and Oil going up in response to loss of value of dollar.

    Flight from the Dollar could accelerate in earnest as the World watches the Fed and the Jerks and DC play their sick games.

  12. You guys can check these out while I sleep and post some Cliff Notes I can read when I wake up.

    ...and the rest of you can get rid of your flaming currency sooner rather than later.

    Any other Hedges would be appreciated.

  13. A little late to be fleeing the sinking ship of the US dollar dontcha think dougo? I first mentioned it, here, many years ago. The US dollar has been on a long slow decline, which is a good thing, really, compared to quick moves. It is all relative though...

    There are loads of ways to get exposure to the Canadian dollar if you wish with CDN stocks and bonds being the most obvious. They are publicly traded.

  14. So, the natives do not want US troops stationed in their country, bombing their leaders and interfering in their local economies.

    Chances are they would not be all that thrilled with how the US interferes with Global economy, either.

    I see that the leader of the Republicans, their Standard Bearer, is advocating for a larger US presence in Libya.

    "Maverick" McCain, a fellow that never saw a military operation he did not want to see expanded.

    A Senator that supported the Forest Service in the attempt to slaughter the Heber-Overgard wild horse herd.

    The fella the patrons of the EB wanted to be President.

    When good old Bob Barr had just as much chance of gaining the White House, in 2008.

    In 2012 I wonder who the candidates will be. An Amero to a doughnut that, once again, the differences will be rhetorical. Proving to be less than marginal in policy applications.

    Learn it, Live it, Love it!

  15. The value of the dollar has been on a steady trendline, since 1913.

    Downward, always downward.

    Slow and steady.
    No news that.
    Not to anyone that cares.

  16. As for Gitmo:

    Sydney Morning Herald -

    THE United States released dozens of ''high-risk'' Guantanamo inmates and held more than 150 innocent men for years, a fresh trove of classified military files released by WikiLeaks shows.

  17. The Skull & Boners, the fraternity at the heart of the hostile sexual environment at Yale.

    ... Many doubted her story. She realized she had no real hope for justice, and so she gave up trying to find it.

    But 20 years later, something remarkable happened: Her rapist, who had joined Alcoholics Anonymous, sent her a letter of apology—or, as Liz came to see it, a handwritten confession. The story of his prosecution and ultimate imprisonment is detailed in her riveting new book, "Crash Into Me," which includes a horrifying revelation. She learned during the discovery process of the trial that she had been gang raped.

    The Greek system is dedicated to quelling young men's anxiety about submitting themselves to four years of sissy-pants book learning by providing them with a variety of he-man activities: drinking, drugging, ESPN watching and the sexual mistreatment of women. A 2007 National Institute of Justice study found that about one in five women are victims of sexual assault in college; almost all of those incidents go unreported. It also noted that fraternity men—who tend to drink more heavily and frequently than nonmembers—are more likely to perpetrate sexual assault than nonfraternity men, according to previous studies. Over a quarter of sexual-assault victims who were incapacitated reported that the assailant was a fraternity member.

    It is against this boorish cartel that 16 Yale students and recent alumni asserted themselves in a Title IX complaint brought against the institution last month—a complaint that could cost the university $500 million in federal funds.

  18. If you want to improve women's lives on campus, if you want to give them a fair shot at living and learning as freely as men, the first thing you could do is close down the fraternities. The Yale complaint may finally do what no amount of female outrage and violation has accomplished. It just might shut them down for good.

    —Ms. Flanagan is author of "To Hell With All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife."

  19. This year food prices have climbed 6.5 percent since the beginning of early January, according to Consumer Growth Partners.

    "The combined increase in the necessities of food and energy creates a harsh double whammy for already stressed consumers," Johnson said. The last time this happened was in the recession that lasted from 1973 to 1975.

    Johnson estimates that food and energy eat up about 15 percent of consumer spending at today's prices, compared with about 12.7 percent two years ago.

    Of course, at lower income levels, these percentages are much higher. One sign of the stress some consumers are already feeling is that some AAA offices have already seen an increase in out-of-gas service calls, as motorists try to put off filling their tanks or drive around trying to seek out the gas station with the least expensive price.

    Also some regions are being hit harder than others. Gas prices in Hawaii continue to set new highs, according to AAA data. The average price on Wednesday was $4.51, topping the prior record of $4.50 for a gallon of regular unleaded set in July 2008.

  20. As for "now" being the "End Game" of US foreign policy across the Islamic Arc, a comical idea.

    The whirled is a long way away from the end of US dominance, militarily and economically.

    The 4% of the whirled population that the US government represents will still account for over 20% of global economic product and more than 50% of global military spending.

    Jim Morrison thought The End had come, in 1967.

    Jim was wrong. It was not The End, but just another chapter in
    The Never-ending Story

  21. We are, rapidly, approaching the "decision point."

    We will go "balls to the walls" in the ME, occupy the oil countries, and subjugate the people, OR

    we will get out, let them go their own way, and buy the oil for the best price we can.

    We should have taken the second option a long time ago ($8 Trillion, ago,) but I expect that's the way we're going to go now.

  22. The French were held up here, at the Elephant Bar, as the cutting edge of electrical production by nuclear fission. To be emulated.

    Protests urge end to atomic power
    BBC News -
    Thousands of people in France and Germany have staged protests calling for an end to nuclear power. Marches were held on several river bridges between France and Germany over the Rhine while there were further protests at German nuclear plants.

    Guess that True Finn populist movement has spread south, to the heart of Western Europe.

  23. desert rat said...
    The French were held up here, at the Elephant Bar, as the cutting edge of electrical production by nuclear fission. To be emulated.

    If we could harness the hot air that rat puts off? We'd be energy free in a day....

  24. Well said anonymous.


  25. Since I think WiO is the only one here that knows anything about the mideast, I await his comments. He did, after all, and he was the only one, call the current events.

    A polite question. Why isn't WiO up there in the lights with the others? A few blog posts or whatever you call them by him might be interesting.

    Same Old Pattern But where have the whites gone.

    My daily minutes are up.


  26. Consider the following charts: The one at right was in today’s WSJ, and shows the US currency off by less than 20% over the past few years. That’s not a dollar collapse; A fall from 121.02 in July 2001 to 70.69 in March 2008

    — Now THATS a dollar collapse

  27. But today’s China has dramatically expanded its wind power capacity to rank as the world’s largest owner of installed wind capacity. If planned construction deadlines are met, China will end 2011 owning 58 gigawatts (GWs) of installed wind capacity, a number that will expand to as much as 150-230 GWs over the coming decade.

    Nothing "Windy" about This

  28. China’s crude steel production for March 2011 was 59.4 million metric tons, up 9.0 percent compared with March 2010. Japan produced 9.1 million metric tons of crude steel in March 2011, a decrease of 2.7 percent. However, Japan’s first quarter crude steel production figure of 27.7 million metric tons was 4.4 percent higher than the same period in 2010. South Korea produced 5.8 million metric tons of crude steel in March 2011, 14.4 percent more than March 2010.

    North America’s crude steel production in the first three months of 2011 was 28.9 million metric tons, 6.0 percent higher than the first three months of 2010. The US produced 7.1 million metric tons of crude steel in March 2011.

    Steel Yo'self

  29. desert rat said...

    The value of the dollar has been on a steady trendline, since 1913.

    Downward, always downward.

    Slow and steady.
    No news that.
    Not to anyone that cares


    Typical Ratshit from the man that knows all. his mind.

    As if...

    The dollar is not at greater risk now than it has been.

    People don't care whether bread is three dollars or six dollars.

    "Not to anyone that cares."


    But it does support his mythmaking that it's all the Fed.

    BHO, Nancy, and Harry have no more to do with it than Tom McClintock.

    Propaganda, pure and simple.

    3 people and their party that have run up more debt in 3 years than all the previous Pols combined.

    "Not to anyone that cares."

    My ass.

    The question is, why do join with the MSM and the women around you in pushing the Democrat Party line?

    (the question answers itself, of course)

  30. re: Dollar Decline Graph:

    cognos Says:

    April 23rd, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    “I strongly urge” you to look at the 7 yrs BEFORE 2001. This was a period of enormous USD strength.

    So on 15 yrs it’s pretty flat… Slightly decline. Kinda like commodities.

  31. We ain't seen nuthin yet, inflation-wise.

  32. Overall, colleges and schools in general have become a hostile environment for anyone with a pair.

    ...unless they are rodent balls, of course.

  33. 'Rat drives to Tucson where they're still paying $3.60 for Gas!

  34. Weakness in the US dollar, which is causing everything to go up—including gas prices, food and stocks—is unlikely to go away soon as a selling frenzy hits the currency market.

    The greenback is approaching pre-financial crisis lows and threatening to smash through its all-time low when measured against the world's predominant national currencies.

    A combination of factors accounts for the weakness, with the Federal Reserve's easy-money policies, huge national debts and deficits and the consequential possibility of a debt downgrade
    because of the financial mess in Washington leading the way.


    All systems normal, according to RatWorld News Central.

  35. Ash, how about an update on Canadian Real Estate
    ...and where you think it's going,
    if banks are exposed, etc.

  36. Why are you using My name? I've been saying that was a mistake ever since Obammie said he was sending in more troops.

  37. Don't be so defensive Rufie:

    I agreed w/you in the previous thread, and I'm concurring w/you now.

    Peace, brother!

  38. Where's Squishy? I want Squishy. For a break from ethanol, Squishy sounds pretty damned good.


  39. heh

    For a break from ethanol, and the woes o' the world, Squishy's the ticket.

    Didn't seem to concern him at all but then he didn't say much.


  40. Meat Eaters of the World, Unite!

    Time for a double cheeseburger.

    And a laugh provided below.

    I was listening to this interview with some big city mayor I think it was, maybe a governor, nice humored man. He been in the big house for corruption. For four years or so. Wrote a book. Broke up arguments in prison, reconciled people. Made it out ok. He had 54 I think it was counts against him, beat 53 of them then convicted on the last - convicted of conspiring to commit a crime (RICO) he had found innocent of committing. :):):):)

    ah shit


  41. had been found innocent of committing

    Kinda Kafka


  42. Can a man become so brain inflamed and disoriented by thoughts of ethanol,etc and the monied interests in a conspiracy against it, an otherwise normal man, that he would actually vote for Obama? Only 2012 will tell.


  43. Oh God NONONO!

    Just went to Drudge and Ron Paul is in.

    He's the guy for jury nullification that would totally collapse the rule of law and the need for a legislature.

    ahaaaaah shit, what a world


  44. Remember Rufus's link to the Solar Powered Boeing plant in South Carolina?

    I had read about the NLRB getting involved, but I thot it was for a future production run not the current one, but Nikki Haley was on Ingraham, and she says OBAMA's (3 out of 5) NLRB has sued them to stop because Boeing just moved there because it is a right to work state!

    When did that become illegal?
    Unfreaking beliveable.

    I'd link to it or make a post on it but I'm busy right now.


  45. Paul, 75, ran as the Libertarian Party candidate in 1988, finishing with less than one half a percent of the vote.

    He doesn't seem an imminent threat to what's left of the Republic.

    Thinking of age, congrats to those whose moms reached some milestone recently, I think it was deuce and

    My aunt made 98 1/2 and I was surprised recently to learn my last aunt had reached 100.

    Neither of these was vegetarian by the way.


  46. Everything he does is designed to destroy the country, Doug.


  47. I'd link to it or make a post on it but I'm busy right now.

    How about a post by WiO? I think I asked but maybe I hit the wrong button. He should be up there in lights too.


  48. Boeing damn near saved our country, but I gotta go.


  49. SOUTH Carolina.
    I just posted it.

  50. It seems quite likely there’s been some complicity in this escape from prison staff. But one area where Brechers analysis fails is that it wasn’t prisoners digging out, it was Taliban digging INTO the prison to spring their fellow boy-cuddlers. There was no need to carry any dirt out to the yard. The tunnel was dug from outside and then it was just a matter of breaching the floor and letting the prisoners out, which to be fair here would probably have taken some looking the other way on part of at least some of the guards.