“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, May 01, 2011

Pleasant morning

PLEASANT GROVE, Alabama (Reuters) – The government ramped up efforts on Saturday to help thousands of homeless victims of the country's second deadliest recorded tornado outbreak, which killed at least 350 people.
President Barack Obama, who surveyed the tornado destruction in the worst-hit state of Alabama on Friday and called it "heartbreaking," was sending top officials to the disaster zone this weekend to escalate federal assistance.
With some estimates putting the number of homes and buildings destroyed at close to 10,000, state and federal authorities in the U.S. South were still coming to terms with the scale of this week's devastation from the country's worst natural catastrophe since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Thousands of stunned survivors, many of whom had seen relatives and friends killed by twisters that obliterated whole communities, were camped out in the shattered shells of their homes or moved into shelters or with friends.


  1. Births for May 01

    1830 Mary Harris Jones, (Mother Jones), hell-raiser
    1881 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, France, philosopher/paleontologist
    1916 Glenn Ford, Quebec Canada, actor (Cade's County, Big Heat, Midway)
    1916 Jack Parr, Canton Ohio, TV host (Jack Paar Show)
    1923 Joseph Heller, novelist (Catch-22, 1963 Arts & Letters Award)
    1927 Harry Belefonte, calypso singer (Banana Boat Song)
    1944 Rita Coolidge, Nashville Tn, singer (Higer & Higher, We're All Alone)

    Passings for May 01

    1945 Joseph Goebbels, nazi-German minister of propaganda, commits suicide

    Special events for May 01

    1006 Supernova observed by Chinese & Egyptians in constellation Lupus
    1707 England, Wales & Scotland form UK of Great Britain
    1844 Samuel Morse sends 1st telegraphic message
    1862 Union captain David Farragut conquers New Orleans
    1863 Battle of Chancellorsville, VA (29,000 injured or died)
    1863 Battle of Port Gibson, Mississippi
    1863 Confederate congress passed resolution to kill black soldiers
    1884 Construction begins on Chicago 1st skyscraper (10 stories)
    1915 German submarine sinks US ship Gulflight
    1931 Empire State Building opens in NYC
    1941 "Citizen Kane," directed & starring Orson Welles, premiers in NY
    1943 food rationing begins in US
    1944 Messerschmitt Me 262 Sturmvogel, 1st jet bomber, makes 1st flight
    1957 Larry King's 1st radio broadcast
    1959 West Germany introduces 5 day work week
    1960 Russia shoots down Francis Gary Powers' U-2 spy plane over Sverdlovsk
    1961 1st US airplane hijacked to Cuba
    1961 Fidel Castro announces there will be no more elections in Cuba
    1964 1st BASIC program run on a computer (Dartmouth)
    1965 USSR launches Luna 5; later impacts on Moon
    1966 Last British concert by Beatles (Empire Pool in Wembley)
    1971 Amtrak railroad begins operation
    1979 Elton John becomes 1st pop star to perform in Israel
    1981 Billie Jean King admits to a lesbian affair with Marilyn Barnett
    1986 Tass reports Chernobyl nuclear power plant mishap
    1987 Pope John Paul II beatifies Edith Stein, a Jewish born nun

    Songs for date May 01

    05/01/65 --- Help Me, Rhonda (Beach Boys)
    05/01/65 --- Ticket To Ride (Beatles)
    05/01/71 --- Brown Sugar (Rolling Stones)
    05/01/82 --- Heat Of The Moment (Asia)

  2. Only the combined genius of the Pentagon and NATO coud turn Gaddafi into a martyr.

    Gaddafi and his wife were in the Tripoli house of his 29-year-old son, Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, when it was hit by at least one missile fired by a NATO warplane late on Saturday, Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said Sunday.

    Al-Arab's compound in Tripoli’s Garghour neighbourhood was attacked "with full power" in a "direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country," Ibrahim said, calling the strike a violation of international law.

    "What we have now is the law of the jungle," he told a news conference. "We think now it is clear to everyone that what is happening in Libya has nothing to do with the protection of civilians."

    This ought to create a whole new wave of Jihadiis

    NATO targets do not include individuals as they are military in nature and clearly linked to regime's systematic attacks on Libyans, Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, commander of NATO's Operation Unified Protector, said earlier Sunday in a statement.

    "This was a military target and we cannot confirm who was there," Romero emphasised, denying questions over the target site being a family home.

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron echoed NATO's stance on the western coalition forces’ targeting policy, and refused to comment on an "unconfirmed report".

  3. I heard that his grandsons were also killed in the strike.

  4. The last time more people were killed in a series of tornadoes in the United States was March 18, 1925, when almost 700 died in a storm that raged through Illinois, Indiana and Missouri.

  5. It looks like Michelle Bachmann is conducting her own political martyrdom-mission on the Chris Wallace show. The community organizer can't be that lucky, can he?

  6. Whit, the children wern't killed. They were taken out.

  7. Can you imagine our own Jihad is some Muslim crazy took out the Obama clan?

  8. So now we need to arrest Cameron for warcrimes, since they wanted to arrest Bush.

  9. This should be interesting:
    CAIRO, Ill. — Chugging north along the Mississippi River, twin barges laden with more than 250 tons of explosive material were ordered to dock at a final staging area on Saturday in an apparent sign that the Army Corps of Engineers was making further preparations to breach a nearby levee, inundating roughly 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland to relieve pressure on the groaning levee system upstream.

  10. If the general gives the word, his team will blow up a two-mile stretch of levee, sending torrents of water across more than 200 square miles of Missouri farmland to take pressure off the levees that protect Cairo, Ill., to the north.

    Lives vs livelihoods.

  11. This is looking more and more foolish:

    Costly Afghanistan Road Project Is Marred by Unsavory Alliances

    Casting peals before swine.
    Throwing good money after bad.

  12. Wow, those war criminal Israelis look more and more like actually LAW abiding world citizens when compared to the Arab world, Chinese, the USA and NATO...

    I wonder did Syria or the USA send emails, phone calls or leaflets warning the citizens to flee 1st?


    I guess there is one standard of behavior that applies to Israel and none to anyone else.

    Can you even imagine the Rat droppings if Israel had done anything like what Syria or Nato has done in the last few days???

  13. Syria and Libya cut off food, water and medical access to "rebel areas"...

    I wonder why is there no outcry by the world demanding daily "timeouts" to allow foods, water and medical personal to transfer said stuffs into and out of these areas?

    One standard for Israel, no standards for anyone else...

  14. The USA has been giving millions and millions of dollars of aid to syrian islamists, hezbollah, hamas & moslem brotherhood. Now Sec Clinton will not say if Hamas JOINS Fatah will American aid be cut off...

    The current USA administration is helping BIRTH the new rise of the islamic nazi movement in the world...

    Congrats to the USA, you are going down the road to hell and are too stupid to even see it....

  15. .

    Gadhafi's youngest son, three grandchildren dead.

    We are not at war. We are engaged in a time-limited kinetic engagement.

    No troops on the ground so we send in advisors.

    The US doesn't want to be seen as responsible (other than writing checks that may bounce)so we "lead from behind".

    We have expanded past the original mandate and are now providing weapons to the rebels. The same rebels we have killed with our bombs. Luckily they were just collateral damage.

    We were supposed to go in and protect Libyan citizens so out of necessity we have identified Libyan loyalists as the enemy not citizens.

    We have US Executive Order 12333, which bans foreign political assasinations. Luckily, we also have UN Resolution 1973 which authorizes UN member states "to take all necessary measures [notwithstanding the previous arms embargo] to protect civilians and civilian populated areas.

    We take out what is reportedly a home with our most technically advanced weapons systems but deny there was any way of knowing who was in it. We simply declare it a legitimate military target.

    We didn't take out children. Or Libyan citizens. We unfortunately incurred a little more collateral damage.


  16. We don't have a dispute with Gaddafi. We settled it and accepted blood money for it.

    Nato vowed to stage more strikes, although the commander of Operation Unified Protector stressed that "we do not target individuals."
    "All Nato's targets are military in nature and have been clearly linked to the... regime's systematic attacks on the Libyan population and populated areas," said Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard.

  17. Col Gaddafi and his wife were in the Tripoli home of his 29-year-old son, Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, when it was hit by at least one missile fired by a Nato warplane, said Libyan spokesman Moussa Ibrahim. "The leader himself is in good health," Mr Ibrahim said. "He was not harmed. The wife is also in good health. The attack resulted in the martyrdom of brother Saif al-Arab Gaddafi... and three of the leader's grandchildren."

    The one-story house in a Tripoli residential neighbourhood was heavily damaged. Libyan officials took journalists to the house, which had been hit by at least three missiles. The roof had caved in, leaving strings of reinforcing steel hanging down among chunks of concrete. Saif al-Arab Gaddafi was the sixth son of the Libyan leader. He had spent much of his time in Germany in recent years.

  18. United Nations Resolution 1973, authorised action to "to protect civilians and civilian populated areas".

  19. Meanwhile, in a reminder of why leaders in this region cling so tenaciously to power, Egypt's new justice minister said yesterday that the former president, Hosni Mubarak, would face the death penalty if convicted of ordering the shooting of protesters.

    What a bunch of assholes.

  20. What does the Left say about their war-mongering, baby-killing Messiah now?

    Nothing, as usual.

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. One ethanol refinery in every county.

  23. .

    Gadhafi made the mistake of not buying enough US weapons.

    Libya was attacked because we could.

    Syria is not attacked because we can't.

    The hypocrisy is palpable.

    Meanwhile, Obama cracks wise at the correspondents dinner.

    Party on.


  24. Indeed it is a pleasant morning here, first really pleasant one we've had. This spring has been hell for the upland game birds. The pheasant and quail hunting this fall will be a craparoo. The chicks can't stand this cold wet raw kind of spring. Only the ruffed grouse could care less. Nearly the coldest wettest spring on record here. A real mother.


  25. Another high five for the NATO air force.

    TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Shattered glass litters the carpet at the Libyan Down's Syndrome Society, and dust covers pictures of grinning children that adorn the hallway, thrown into darkness by a NATO strike early on Saturday.

    It was unclear what the target of the strike was, though Libyan officials said it was Muammar Gaddafi himself, who was giving a live television address at the time.

    "They maybe wanted to hit the television. This is a non-military, non-governmental building," said Mohammed al-Mehdi, head of the civil societies council, which licenses and oversees civil groups in Libya.
    The missile completely destroyed an adjoining office in the compound that houses the government's commission for children.

  26. For the life of me I can't see any big to do about targeting Qadafi's safe house. Too bad they didn't get them all and the daughter too.
    I think things are going quite well, the country is breaking apart along tribal lines - the very tribal lines islam was supposed to erase centuries ago - what's so bad about all this? I think Obama is on to a winner here.

    What we ought to do is make real nice with the Hindus. They be good people.

    I can get you an handmade armour suit with helmet and visor, Quirk, if you ever what to leave the safety of your safehouse there in Detroit. 600 bucks. Fashionable, too.


  27. The largest death toll ever in the U.S. from twisters was on March 18, 1925 when 747 people were killed in storms that raged through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. In that outbreak, a single, 219-mile-long tornado killed 695 people.

    219 miles of storm track, jeez.


  28. .

    Perhaps the UN should send in Mr. Goldstone to issue another report on the assasination attempts and unjustified use of disproprtionate force. This one in Libya. Surely, Gadhafi will be criticized. But what about the US, NATO, and the UN itself (as instigator and apologist for the activity going on there now).

    As far as I know none of the latter even had the justification of being attacked by Libya.


  29. Moslems in Michigan

    Moslems in Michigan acting like moslems most everywhere.

    Terry Jones is of course an oaf too.

    Both Hemingway and Roethke would weep.


  30. .

    As far as I know none of the latter even had the justification of being attacked by Libya.

    At least lately.

    Of course there was also the scurilous actions of the US in accepting money and a promise of Gadhafi dropping his nuclear weapons program and in exchange saying "Ok. You're a good guy again now.""

    Baksheesh from the Libyan's. More FUBAR from the US.


  31. I didn't get us in there, I'm just looking on the bright side. Anonymousbosch's Razon, always look on the bright side, in the unlikely event there is one.

    Got to pick the wife up, she's taking advantage of this first decent weather, and biking.

    Maybe we'll go wolf hunting out at the farm today. :)


  32. .

    Maybe we'll go wolf hunting out at the farm today.

    When an Ideeho goes wolf hunting it equates to a snipe hunt.


  33. The West must not fund and arm dictators, and then complain when their skin starts to shed. Its not as if our Governments are trying to do the moral thing by supporting such people. Most of the 20th Century dictators can be linked to the work of British, French and American secret agencies. Noriega, Arellano, Karzai, Karimov, Hussein, Mubaraek, Bin Laden, Pot, Pinochet, Quaddafi, Suharto, Omar Torrijos – the list goes on.

    Almost in all of these cases, the West not only knew that these men were in favour of suppressing freedom and democracy, and often using brutal force to maintain their position, they encouraged their tactics. In fact, several South and Central America dictators were trained and educated in the States, and sent southside to do their bidding. There is no failure when democracy is crushed by dictatorship or governed by plutocracy. But it is measured by failure when the people revolt against it.

    Therefore, why does the West feel that it is the moral authority in the World when its bidding is done by such dictators? Cutting off the head serves no purpose. This is a perpetual game of empire, the result of which is the continued wealth of the West, at the expense of the rest. We hear nothing when this game of empire goes to plan – yet we are overwhelmed when one man decides to change the rules.

    We need such acts of humanism in places of Government, true leaders who act for the benefit of humanity, not at the encumbrance of its freedom and security. And we will continually argue over the rights and wrongs of such violence, but only because we know the difference between the two.

    ''The failure to dissect the cause of war leaves us open for the next installment''.

    It truly amazes me when Western Governments with control of vast wealth, intelligence and its knowledge of history cannot grasp this simple concept. More than enough evidence of their deliberate connivance in this insane and completely unnecessary game of empire.

  34. .

    More than enough evidence of their deliberate connivance in this insane and completely unnecessary game of empire.


    You forget the key motivators: money, power, perks, and prestige.

    And mental midgets playing 'big boy' games.


  35. Does the Left believe in anything?

  36. Admittedly, this article is from an advocacy point of view, but a lot of their stuff IS verifiable.

    AWEA figures show that the average wind PPAs are now being priced at about 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, the same price for energy procurements from a combined cycle natural gas plant. The group says wind is actually about 2 cents cheaper than coal-fired electricity, and more projects were financed through debt arrangements than tax equity structures last year, a possible sign that wind deals are winning more mainstream acceptance from Wall Street’s banks….

    [AWEA chief economist Elizabeth] Salerno credits the breakthrough in cost to improved turbine design and performance, higher towers and longer blades, which have boosted the reliability and performance of wind power generation. Equipment makers can also deliver products in the same year that they are ordered instead of waiting up to three years as was the case in previous cycles, she said, calling it a sign of a mature supply chain.

    Butt-Kickin' Wind

  37. When an Ideeho goes wolf hunting it equates to a snipe hunt.

    owweiiee, how that did hurt, but I submit there are those, lurking even here perhaps, who are secretly hoping hunter bob nails two or three, and when he does, there will be a photo, though I must buy another camera, as the other got stole.

    Friar Tuck must live in a monestary.
    I submit Iran was better off under the Shah, shit that he was, and that Egypt will be seen to have been better off under Mubarak than the coming muzzie brothers, etc etc.

    Trump was born on third and thought he hit a triple. Only man to run a gambling casino at a loss, and has four bankruptcies. He didn't handle the President's roasting of him well, he should have cracked a smile, laughed at himself a little. Ego unearned, he will be his own worst enemy. I just hope he doesn't fund his own third party.


  38. Though thinking more clearly there won't be a photo as rat would send it immediately to the feds, so you'll just have to believe me.

    And mental midgets playing 'big boy' games.

    Like the current Iranians, perhaps?

    Our middle east policy kept the peace for a long time, if one is interested in that sort of thing.

    By the way rat, I may be voting in Ohio next election, so prepare for that.


  39. .

    ...there are those, lurking even here perhaps, who are secretly hoping hunter bob nails two or three,...

    Better stock up on the poison, Lecrezia.

    Even with that, I suspect you will be left holding the bag.

    But go ahead. Now, with all the elk gone the wolves can use the occasional laugh.


    Even with


    Lucrezia, hah

    History of Poison

    It's Pope Alexander VI to you, dearie.


    I rise to drive over to McDonald's.


  41. Pope Alexander VI aka the Poisonous Papa.

    Not to knock the Catholics at all, but the game was played rough sometimes.

    You ought to try these new McCafe Shakes, if you haven't already. They are really good, and you buy one, get one free if you got the coupon.


  42. .

    It's Pope Alexander VI to you, dearie.

    Delusions of granduer.

    Add it to the list.

    Naw, I'm afraid Lucrezia is more appropriate.


  43. Address from the Pres at 11:00 PM Eastern?

  44. I won't believe it's Osama Bin Laden! Not until I see the death certificate!

  45. King Obama

    I didn't think it was that bad but then didn't watch the whole thing.

    Lucrezia of the Wolves, I'm down with that, after all I don't do humans, and have no desire to be Pope. By the way, JPII is only one miracle away from sainthood, surely they can find an extra miracle laying around somewheres.

    Actually I really loved that guy, though I'm not totally convinced popes should be writting tracts about human sexuality.


  46. Maybe we can come home now?


  47. Fuck the "certificat;" I want to see the body.

  48. Hang the body upside down from a lamp post, like Mussilini.


  49. Assad is really mowing them down in Syria now. Where's the outrage?


  50. And it better be the LONG FORM death certificate, with DNA evidence.

  51. We got the body, so they say.

    from Atlas Shrugs :)

    Osama Bin Laden is Dead
    Breaking - FOX News is reporting that Muslim leader Osama Bin Laden is dead and the US has his body. Obama to address the nation, I hope he doesn't get choked up --

    CBS Congressional producer Jill Jackson reporting House Intelligence Committee aide says Obama will announce Osama bin Laden is dead.
    CNN and other news outlets are reporting that the President will make a televised statement at approximately 10:30 PM ET. But, there's no indication yet as to what it's about. (America Blog)

    Gd bless the US military. We killed him. - oorah!

    I hope Muslims are dancing in the streets in America. Or has CAIR filed a lawsuit?


  52. CNNi: Killed in/near mansion in Islamabad, Pakistan.

    Something tells me the Pakistani's will not be amused

  53. We should be patient for the President's announcement. It takes a few minutes to load the words "Osama is dead" into a teleprompter.

  54. Well, as far as this world is concerned, Osama has developed a real give a shit attitude, he couldn't care less. Let the Pakis riot.


  55. I certainly hope they load the prompter correctly, would be low comedy if they made a mistake.