“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."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Let Syria Resolve Its Own Problems

Robert Fisk: Assad's army remains defiant as it buries its dead
Syrian officers told me 1,150 soldiers have been killed in Syria in the past seven months - an extraordinary death toll

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Sergeant Jassem Abdul-Raheem Shehadi and Private Ahmed Khalaf Adalli of the Syrian Army were sent to their graves yesterday with the send-off their families would have wished for; coffins draped with the Syrian flag, trumpets and drums and wreaths held by their comrades, and the presence of their commanding officer.

There was a Last Post, Chopin's funeral march – mixed with ululating staff at the Tishreen Hospital to which their remains had been transferred – and then the nine-hour journey by ambulance to their hometown, Raka. Shehadi was 19, Adalli was 20. And their uncles swore they had died for President Bashar al-Assad.

They were shot dead in Deraa – by snipers, according to their commanding officer, Major Walid Hatim. "By terrorists," he said several times. Assad's opponents might have no sympathy with these dead soldiers – nor Amnesty, nor Human Rights Watch, nor the United Nations, who say 3,000 civilians have been killed by Syrian security forces, nor the Americans, nor the British et al – but those two coffins suggested that there is more than one story to the Syrian Revolution. Syrian officers told me yesterday that 1,150 soldiers have been killed in Syria in the past seven months, an extraordinary death toll for regular Syrian troops if correct. On Zawi mountain near Idlib, Major Hatim said, 30 Syrian soldiers had been killed in an ambush. Mazjera was the word he used. A massacre.

Shehadi and Adalli were based in Deraa, where the opposition to Assad began. Shehadi was there for six months, Adalli for four. It was a sign of the times that Major Hatim arrived at the Damascus funeral in civilian clothes. Why was he not wearing his uniform, I asked? "It is easier," he replied. Because of the dangers driving from Deraa? "Maybe," he replied. That, too, told its own story. Both the dead soldiers had lost their fathers years ago and their two uncles had travelled here from Raka to escort the bodies home. They were from poor families, they said. The boys and their uncles had been looking after their mothers.

Shehadi's uncle, Salim Abdullah, in a brown abaya and drawing heavily on a cigarette, was on the edge of tears. "My nephew had three brothers and two sisters, and they are very poor," he said. "His mother Arash will now have to be looked after by us. Those killers have killed the hope of our family. He was the youngest boy."

Behind Salim Shehadi, Syrian troops stood in full battledress as the coffins were brought from the hospital mortuary. All Syria's military dead leave from the gloomy portals of the Tishreen Hospital, a vast concrete building in the suburbs of Damascus. Even the ambulance driver prostrated himself in tears over his vehicle.

Syrian television had a crew at the hospital, along with the ever loyal Syrian Arab News Agency, but it was highly unusual for a foreign reporter to be invited to this ceremony, let alone to speak to Syrian officers. Major Hatim explained to me that the two soldiers were killed in a planned ambush; the sniper was firing from between two houses. There was a strange confluence in this description. Opponents of Assad often claim that it is they that are fired on by snipers using the cover of buildings.

But few people in Syria now doubt that, however peaceful – and yet bloody – the anti-government demonstrations in Homs and Hama are, the Syrian Army has become a major target. Needless to say, Major Hatim, a 25-year army veteran, was also a supporter of the President.

Hatim talked of Syria's "resistance" on the part of the Palestinians, that soldiers sometimes had to die for their country, that their enemy is Israel. There is much talk in Damascus of a "foreign hand" behind the killings in Syria, although the Major admitted that, in this case, "unfortunately the killers are Syrian".

But Salim Shehadi wanted to say more. "I hope you will be honest and tell the truth," he said. "Tell the truth about the killing of Syrian people. The hand of terrorists took my nephew. We are all ready to be martyred for Syria and for our President Assad." It sounded too pat, this little speech from a grieving man, and a reporter must ask if this was a set-up. Yet the military had only four minutes before I arrived for the funeral, and I doubt if they could have coaxed this poor man to say these words.

Perhaps, up in distant Raka, they believe these words of loyalty – Abdullah Hilmi, Adalli's uncle, an older man in a brown robe, said much the same – and certainly Major Hatim believed what he said. But what of those YouTube pictures, of the shooting of demonstrators and mourners at funerals – no danger of that at this funeral yesterday – and the 3,000 civilian dead of which the UN now talks?

I suppose that, until we Western journalists can investigate without government restrictions, it's a YouTube picture against the word of two poor men in peasants' clothes.


  1. US recalls ambassador over safety fears in Syria.

    While this child was playing, he received a bullet in his head from Syrian security.

    But there's no oil there, it's another Darfur, so don't expect an intervention at any time.

  2. "Syrian television had a crew at the hospital, along with the ever loyal Syrian Arab News Agency, but it was highly unusual for a foreign reporter to be invited to this ceremony, let alone to speak to Syrian officers."

    The regime has now entered the spin zone. To work on getting sympathy from whomever it can.
    That could be looked at as a crack in the armor.

  3. We have kids we have to take care of Here. The Middle East is just going to have to take care of its own for awhile.

  4. Watch for Assad to start some shit with Israel.

  5. Either Assad, or Egypt. One of them likely will.

  6. Obama declares that Americans have lost "ambition" and "imagination" at a high dollar fundraiser. Jimmy Carter called it malaise.

    King Obama can't wait for Congress, rushes an Executive Order to let students pay back their loans slower. Who needs a Constitution? Obama says he’ll be taking ‘executive actions’ without Congress on ‘regular basis’ to ‘heal the economy’.

    The State Department buys $70,000 worth of Obama books.

    That's one reason why our National Debt is a hair away from our GDP: 99.54%

    Full-blown riots erupted overnight at Obama-endorsed Occupy Oakland.

    In a race to become Greece, the US may issue debt with floating interest rates.

  7. There are almost 60 Islamic countries in the world, all more or less failed and miserable...

  8. 12. no mo uro The proof of this is millions of Americans who saw an actress who looked like Sarah Palin say she could see Russia from her house, so they believed that Sarah Palin actually said it herself.

    She said you can see Russia from Alaska. It's true. You can see the Russian Diomede Island from the Alaskan Diomede Island, and you can even walk there in winter. Palin claimed this bare fact of geography gave her foreign policy experience. Well, I can see the Moon from my house, but that doesn't make me an expert on the geology of the Sea of Serenity. In my opinion this blatant resume inflation alone disqualified her for the White House. If she said, "I don't have foreign policy experience but I don't need to have any, because my policy will be to stay the hell out of foreign entanglements just like the first George W said in 1796" then I would have been the most eager Palin supporter you ever saw.

  9. To drag up the conversation from last night:

    Quirk, I agree with most of what you said. A few responses though:

    Quirk wrote:

    "We won't let the banks go bust"? Yes, thus inducing moral hazard. "Your deposits, your money won't disappear"? Isn't that the job of the FDIC?

    I agree and I've puzzled since the crisis broke why the government didn't simply belly up and back the FDIC and let the chips fall where they may what with being a free market society and all.

    I suspect this didn't happen because a lot of chips would have fallen all over the place as many large US institutions failed (as well as many others around the world). That and the fact that Goldman Sachs crew walk the halls of White House power and when they feel fear of bankruptcy so too does the White House. It, of course, isn't just Goldman folk but the whole cabal of financial power brokers that run the White House and when they are scared the government acts.

    Quirk wrote:

    "You are right about the initial bailout. And in my opinion, the initial bailout of the banks was necessary.."

    Now, this statement seems to contradict all your others. It seems to me if you support the initial bailout, well all else that followed (FED policy) is necessary to support that initial bailout.

    Blogger Quirk said...


    "The zero rate does help the Treasury. It can continue to finance our deficits selling securities with very low interest rates. But this is primarily short term financing.

    Are we merely kicking the can down the road?

    Some more. "

    yeppers, think this is what is happening, we are just kicking the can down the road trying to buy time. The ole finger in the dyke story. For a long time now I think the FED has realized that higher interest rates will crater many, including the already cratering US budget. Sooo many are overextended with debt that the slightest uptick will make that debt untenable. Ironically many corporations are in good cash shape it is just that the consumers, the governments around the world, and the financial sector are all leveraged to the hilt and any uptick on the interest cost side will cause dominoes to tumble.

    So, ya, policy makers and governments across the Western world are furiously kicking the can down the road hoping that a fix will work its way into the mix somehow.

    The consensus seems to be that the only way out is for the Central Banks to prop it all up through the use of the printing press. Will that work though? If not why and how will things pan out?

  10. Re: defense contracting etc

    [Bush] FBI Saw Dark Side of Rep. John Murtha









    and from earlier

    "Raj" and Gupta

    The evidence mounts (pregnant pause) the Hydra is revealed.


  11. There is no evidence in the released documents that the FBI pursed any of these cases.

  12. No arrests
    No indictments.

    No story.

    So sorry, GI.

  13. The US, with a stroke of the President's pen and the striking of a coin, can end the debt cycle.

    Forcing $1.2 trillion out of the "safe haven" of Treasury debt and into the capital markets.

  14. The idea that the Progressive Republicans of 1913 were better suited than the Founders, to devise a financial system that provided for liberty, as well as prosperity, for all the residents of the United States, foolish.

  15. Recall, if you will, the statements of Senor Vincente Fox made, concerning a new, unified, North American currency.

    Before introducing the "new", the "old" should be discredited.

  16. why foolish? Do you think the 'founders' had some direct line to God or something?

  17. Gosh, it is good to hear you behaving so rationally about evidence. Now, where is that "evidence" of Isreli guilt concerning the USS Liberty? How did you put it:
    " No arrests
    No indictments.

    No story.

    So sorry, GI."

    You betcha, cowboy. Thanks for making my day!


  18. The following editorial appeared in the Miami Herald on Friday, Oct. 14:

    The latest news from the war-against-immigrants front: Hispanics in Alabama skipped work on Wednesday to protest the state's toughest-in-the-nation immigration law, forcing at least six poultry plants to close or scale back operations and hurting business across the state.

    "I don't think it's going to be just today," lamented a spokesman for one of the major processors, the Wayne Farms poultry plant. It normally employs 850 people, but on Wednesday the parking lot was empty and the plant was idle.
    In Albertville, near the center of poultry industry, numerous Hispanic-owned businesses shut down in solidarity. Mexican restaurants, a bank that caters to Hispanics, small grocery stores and supermarkets all closed down, according to a report by The AP.

    Anti-immigrant measures have had their strongest impact in the fields that grow the crops Americans eat. Alabama farmers are scrambling to find prison labor to replace the absent workers.

    Farmers in the state next door could tell them that ploy won't work. In Georgia, which passed its law first, the inevitable exodus of skilled, Hispanic migrant labor resulted in an estimated $140 million in losses during the spring and summer harvest, They, too, were so desperate that they resorted to using prison labor - with pitiful results because the workers were not as productive, farmers said.

    Of course they weren't. The work is grueling, conditions are punishing, and the rewards minimal.

    Read more:

  19. By the way, you are mistaken: There have been arrests, convictions and prison time served by some. Read the entire story. That Murtha was not arrested does not change the case. That death has robbed the government of any possiblity of bringing charges against Murtha is unfortunate, but it does not change the reality that arrests, convictions and prison time has been served by his co-conspirators.

  20. It is a rare pleasure to see an article written by Robert "O, hit me again, Big Boy" Fisk. What is not unusual, is Fisk's inability to describe a thesis and develop it for his audience.

  21. One reason why I leave bringing up the "Liberty" to you, allen.

    The reason I do harp upon Israeli piracy, their preying upon commercial shipping, in international waters, in 2010.

  22. That one case, allen, is old news.

    Now it is just rehashing what was well known, amongst those that cared.

    To continue bashing the poor fella, in the grave, well ....

    Mr Murtha skated away, from criminal indictment, more than once.

    Doubt we'll see any new indictments of his cohort, either in DC or PA.

  23. Another case where the Federals knew of wrong doing, and covered it up.

    Like they did in the case of the "Liberty".

  24. We'll get a piece of anomalously, good news in the 3rd qtr GDP Report, tomorrow. Sept was a bit freaky, in that it was a pretty good month sandwiched between several "medium bad to bad" ones.

    Probably, a pretty good selling opportunity (before the GDP release, not after.)

    October is looking pretty stinky, and I can't see any reason why one should think Nov, or Dec will be any better. This could very easily be the first negative qtr in many.

  25. The only "bright" spot being that it's starting to look like Real Estate is bottoming, and might be looking a tisch better come Spring.

  26. .

    Now, this statement seems to contradict all your others. It seems to me if you support the initial bailout, well all else that followed (FED policy) is necessary to support that initial bailout.

    You see inconsistancy I don't. The initial decisions and the current ones have to be viewed in context.

    If you can believe Paulson, at the time Lehman folded,federal law did not allow them to intervene and force an orderly dissolution of the company. There was panic in the streets. People started pulling money out of the money markets. Businesses were having trouble getting short-term cash for operations as no one would lend it to them.

    Since then laws have been passed that would allow the government to intervene and force the orderly restructuring of these companies. Likewise, businesses in general, at least the larger ones are flush with cash. There is a lot of liquidity out there that will eventually have to be sopped up by the FED.

    To me it appears the contexts are very different.


  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. Yep, scroll up a tad, from that and read his libel of little ol' me.

    Now, what I reference is a "real" deal.

    Covering up a sex crime IS a serious matter, in our society.

    As the indictment of a Catholic Bishop, for failing to report his knowledge of a sex crime, amply exemplifies.

    No euphemisms required to find the core truth.

    Goes directly to being a "real" American, supporting law enforcement as it attempts to take predators off the street.

    Misprison of Felony empowers the criminal, at the expense of the law abiding and innocent.

    It is a serious matter.
    Especially with regards to sexual predators.

    Worthy of discussion, debate and continued exploitation, for educational purposes.

  29. One wonders, how many on Wall Street are guilty of Misprison of Felony.

    How many of those on "Wall Street" knew of criminal activities by their superiors or associates and did not report them?

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.


  31. Faced With Real Penalties For Lying To Court, The Banks Stop All Foreclosures….in Nevada

    October 25th, 2011 | Author: Matthew D. Weidner, Esq.

  32. Well, Q, he was not polite.

    When he easily could have been.

    Misprison of Felony is a serious matter, in our society. Especially when we are discussing sexual predators escaping detection by law enforcement.

    Silence empowers the predator, there is no doubt of that reality.

    That is the topic now, unless we are going to discuss voter registration fraud, registration fraud that culminated in an absentee ballot actually being cast, in Ohio, in 2008.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. Conspiracy of Silence

    A pervasive cultural phenomenon, no doubt.

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. I often disagree with Fisk, but he always makes me think. I have no problem with his writing.

  37. Libya and Syria will have one thing in common that is to be expected. (I assume that Assad will not be far behind in being removed.) There should be no surprise when retributions against the old regime begin and they will be very violent. Revenge is a specialty of the Arab World.

    Even in "civilized Europe" after all, it is worth remembering that after the fall of the Vichy government in 1945, the French killed over 10,000 collaborators during the first phase (the épuration sauvage) of retribution. Expect no less from the Arabs.

  38. .

    It just keeps dropping.

    Congress' Approval Rating Now in Single Digets

    Public opinion of Congress has hit a record low, according to a new New York Times/CBS News poll.

    Only nine percent of national adults polled said they approve of the way Congress is handling its job. Eighty-four percent disapprove of the job Congress is doing while seven percent said they weren’t sure. The poll surveyed 1,650 adults from Oct. 19-24 and had a margin of error of three percentage points...

    What is clear is that the public’s dismal view of Congress spans both political parties, a point further backed up by the results of the new Times/CBS News poll: as CBS’ Lucy Madison notes, 83 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of Democrats and 85 percent of independents surveyed in the new poll said they disapproved of the job Congress is doing...

    Majority Says Congress Sucks


  39. If those statistics are correct, then Obama could campaign on a slogan, "Congress is the Problem."
    He could make it real personal and with the level of Republican enthusiasm for the R candidate, he could win. Hard to believe.

  40. DR,

    Re: USS Liberty

    No, DR, Ms T brought that subject up at the end of business yesterday. Your recent brush with rationality and fairness just gave me an opportunity to exploit the subject.

    If you continue to apply rules of "evidence", you will be a better person. As a man with whom you would no doubt agree once famously said during the course of a VERY unpopular trial of soldiers accused of war crimes,

    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
    ___John Adams

  41. Yes, I am sure Mr. Fisk's feelings for "Palestine" touch us all deeply.

  42. Over the late Colonel's tenure in Libya, he instigated various armed conflicts with his neighbors over "disputed territories". Those neighbors just might take advantage of the present state of disorganization in Libya to right old wrongs. Indeed, the Arabs do not soon forget perceived slights – not to mention a free lunch.

    Should a general state of low intensity conflict nip the Arab Spring roses in the bud why, that might be a good thing for the West. (One assumes most of us still are cheering on the home team - but I could be wrong...)

    If the Muslim Brotherhood is given free rein in North Africa and the ME, we (The West) have a serious problem on our hands. It is hoped Turkey will take advantage of the disintegration of Syria to weaken the Iranians. That the Kurds also would be further marginalized would be seen as a plus by Turkey, no doubt.

    There is a good chance that Iraqi “Kurdistan” will be gravely threatened on all sides, two years hence.

  43. .

    Hard to believe.

    The assumption that Obama will lose is pretty much widespread among the commentariat and most bloggers here. I still think it's pretty much a crap shoot, primarily because of the dissatisfaction rampant in the country.

    And even if Obama loses, that doesn't say much for the make-up of Congress. Here too it is widely believed the GOP will run the table primarily because of the numbers in the Senate where many more Dem seats than GOP are being disputed. However, we still have the single digit approval numbers to deal with. And from the Times/CBS poll it is obvious that it is not just one party or the other that is dissatisfied. Republican, Democrat, and Independant all poll the same on the subject.

    This is why T's rants against the OWS crowd are so simplistic. She states they have reletively low approval ratings yet ignores they have substantially lower negatives in the same poll. Easy to understand when they have no defined agenda and therefore a good portion of the population doesn't know what they stand for.

    Likewise, other polls show that a good portion of the country disagrees with many of the same things the OWS crowd does.

    It's easy to dismiss OWS if you concentrate merely on those camping out without taking into consideration the widespread dissatisfaction they represent.


  44. 21. Eggplant: However the triggering event was Peak Oil.

    You say "Peak Oil" in the past tense. We're not there yet in terms of peak production, globally. Demand has peaked, however, and with China's housing bubble in the process of popping at this very moment, demand will only continue to fall. All those backhoes they used to dig the foundations for all those ghost cities will now sit idle.

  45. Referencing the breadth and depth of the public dissatisfaction, the Occupying Forces are just the tip of the iceberg.

    Not distracted by the false binary choices that the political status que present.

    Taking aim at the Banks & Wall Street, puts the protest beyond the political norm.

    On Coffee with Joe Starbucks, this morning he went on and on, about Mr Obama being bought by Wall Street. Owned, I believe he said, about a dozen times.

    Using campaign donations as the standard.

    Who surfs the wave of dissatisfaction best, wins.

    Obama is well ahead, opinion polling wise, in Ohio, against any Republican.

  46. The President hits the campaign trail, his approval rating rises to 46%%.

    The more he is out, the higher his approval will rise, incrementally.

    As he campaigns against the Congress.

  47. .

    As an example, it is sometimes the build up of little things that can turn an election.

    I still think Romney will end up the GOP nominee. I was fairly indifferent to the guy. Some things about him irritate me but overall I figured he was fairly competant, a vast improvement over some of the other ideologues. And his negatives were more than offset by Obama's negatives.

    But yesterday I heard a story that surfaced the last time he ran for the nomination but which I had never heard before.

    Seems Mitt used to take his family on vacations in Ontario, about a twelve hour trip from Boston. Since the vehicle was pretty much full with his wife, boys, grille, and handwipes; he decided to strap his dog in a cage on the top of his vehicle. They still tell the funny story about how he had to stop and wash off the car whne the boys were ready to throw up because of the dog shit rolling down the back window caused by the dogs fright at being buffeted by the wind on top of the vehicle or just by the length of the 12 hour drive.

    When I heard the story, Mitt lost two votes, mine and my wife's. It's a matter of character or a lack thereof. Is Mitt a sadist? I wouldn't go that far. Just too stupid or indifferent to give a shit.

    Others have other issues, immigration, healthcare, military spending, religion, etc. They can all add up.

    As I said, it's a crapshoot.


  48. The Muslim Brotherhood battles the Syrian Army, with elements of that Army deserting to the Brotherhood forces.

    Some posters, here at the EB, seem to favor the Brotherhood, in Syria, but warn us of its' coming dominance in North Africa.

    This, while in Egypt the Army is firmly in the drivers seat.

    In Tunisia, the moderates seem to have won the first election.

    There is as much possibility that a collapse of Assad's government would allow for the expansion and strengthening of Kurdistan, as much as it would their imminent demise.

  49. While there is a strong possibility that Assad can ride that wave of dissatisfaction, and win.

    There is no inevitability to a Muslim Brotherhood victory.

    Not in Syria, nor in Egypt, ambien.


  50. Police guilty of lesser charges in beating death, angering Egypt's pro ...

    Washington Post - ‎

    CAIRO - In a verdict that disappointed pro-democracy activists, two policemen who beat a man to death were convicted Wednesday of the lesser charge of manslaughter and given a relatively light sentence in a case that helped spark Egypt's uprising.

  51. Macon, GA sentenced for supplying Iran with war material

    "He chose to work with the Iranian companies. And yes he did, eventually and potentially, put all of our military personnel in danger," said Jennifer Kolman, an assistant U.S. attorney. "He chose to put people's lives in danger because he wanted money."

    Boy, did the judge show him, or what? He got three (3) years in the slammer and three (3) years probation. Lindsey Lohan should take up gun-running.



    Hamid Seifi

  52. DR,

    Some posters, here at the EB, seem to favor the Brotherhood, in Syria, but warn us of its' coming dominance in North Africa.

    Where did that come from, Oh Great Karnac?

    Because "some posters" report the polls means that "some posters" report the polls. Xanax

  53. Re: Fisk


    There was a time before your "sensitization" when you angrily wrote of Fisk's cowardice and biased reporting on America's armed forces. Of course, in the video you chose he is attacking Israel, so that makes everything else OK.

    I do not even intend to argue with you about your choice of material and its legal and historical accuracy. You bought it and one day you will have to eat it. Of course, you might be back in the south when the hit comes to the US, and that will make everything OK also.

  54. This, seems to me, an incredibly weak Republican field. One complete doofus, one is certifiable, one is just downright weird, one is just plain "yesterday's news," and one is a moderate democrat that straps dogs to the top of his car for a 12 hr trip.

    They are all promoting some sort of regressive tax scheme, or other, and all seem completely inadequate to the job.

    I, personally, have pretty much accepted that I will be voting for the Dem this year, for the first time since the age of majority.

    A strange year.

  55. The main thing, you can't hardly think of a topic of any importance in which Obama doesn't have public opinion on his side (vs the Republican candidates.)

    Just today, Obama was out speechifying that he was going around the "Republicans in Congress," and making it easier for students to pay back their loans.

    The Republicans are whining about it. Guess which side the Public is on?

    Yesterday, it was a program to help homeowners refinance at a lower mortgage rate. Again, which side do you suppose the public supports?

    He wants to raise taxes on the "Rich." And, the public supports that fairly strongly.

    He's been supportive of Renewable Energy over fossil fuels, and imported oil. Yep, the public is with him again.

    He's gotten us (almost) out of Iraq, and working on Afghanistan. One more time, the public agrees.

    Meantime, the Republicans have chosen to attack Social Security, and Medicare. How does that always work out?

    And, even though we're at high unemployment, and in the middle of a brutal recession, guess who the public blames for getting us there? Yep.

    Don't believe that part about "a ham sandwich could beat Obama, this year." It's not true. Roosevelt was reelected twice in the middle of the Great Depression.

  56. Robert Fisk: Even I question the 'truth' about 9/11 (fall 2007)

    * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Fisk, Robert (2007). The Great War For Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East. Vintage. pp. 29–30. ISBN 9781400075171

    “…Bin Laden said; ‘Mr Robert, one of our brothers had a dream. He dreamed ... that you were a spiritual person ... this means you are a true Muslim.'

    ‘Sheikh Osama, I am not a Muslim ... I am a journalist ... A journalist's task is to tell the truth.’

    ‘Bin Laden replied: ‘If you tell the truth, that means you are a good Muslim'..."

  57. Before ingesting the pills, Ruth Madoff said she sent a package to their son Andrew, breaching a court order before making the suicide pact.

    In the package were sentimental items, including jewelry. Three years later, Andrew asked his mother why she had sent him the jewelry.

    “She told me that she and my father had planned to kill themselves…they put that package together beforehand and sent it out,” said Andrew Madoff.

  58. allen: ‘Bin Laden replied: ‘If you tell the truth, that means you are a good Muslim'..."

    Full fathom five bin Laden lies ...

  59. Rufus: Roosevelt was reelected twice in the middle of the Great Depression.

    Alf Landon made no campaign appearances after his nomination. He was the Fred Thompson of 1936.

    In 1940 no Republican was going to win, it was baked into the cake, the GOP was divided precisely in half between the isolationists and the interventionists.

  60. “He’s dodging a few bullets here,” said Mike Franc, vice president of government studies for the conservative Heritage Foundation. “My guess is that the distribution tables [measuring its relative impact on the rich and poor] will be less of a killing field” for the plan’s opponents.

    But as a result of the flexibility in Perry’s plan, Franc said, it will be difficult for analysts to accurately predict what its economic and fiscal impact would be.

    He added: “If you’re at the [congressional] Joint Tax Committee or the Office of Management and Budget trying to model this thing — good luck.”

  61. Kerry said he continued to believe the committee should strive for the largest deficit reduction package possible.

    “I’ve always said I think it’s important that the committee do the most that we can do. I think it’s critical for the country,” Kerry said.

    Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) laughed when asked about reports of Republican opposition to the proposal but did confirm, as he entered the room, that a Democratic plan existed. “Yeah, I’ve heard of it,” he said.

  62. Deuce said...
    I often disagree with Fisk, but he always makes me think. I have no problem with his writing.

    Wed Oct 26, 01:28:00 PM

    Get it? I often disagree with Fisk.

  63. BRUSSELS (AP) - A European Union official says the currency union's leaders have reached a deal with banks to take losses of 50 percent of their Greek bonds in a key move to solve the eurozone's debt crisis.

    For every 100 Euros they have invested in Greece, banks get 15 Euros cash now, and 35 Euros after 30 years, at six percent interest, except those new bonds are NOT backed by the full faith and credit of the German taxpayer.

    Since Greece has been adopting austerity measures only to win new bailouts, they can now go back to business as usual. They don't have to fire all those government employees after all. Greece is officially too big to fail.

  64. Re: Fisk

    Yes, I got it. Thanks.

  65. French President Nicolas Sarkozy estimates the euro region’s bailout fund will be worth $1.4 trillion after European governments agreed on steps to leverage existing guarantees by as much as five times. He spoke to reporters after a summit of European leaders in Brussels.

  66. Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, 'I think I'll squeeze
    these pink dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?'

  67. "’The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ was set in Minneapolis , Minnesota , and
    was Mary's first real acting job since leaving the ‘Dick van Dyke Show’.
    The show about a single woman's struggle to find happiness in the big
    city was originally titled ‘Life Without Dick,’ but that was changed
    for some reason.”

  68. With gold and silver moving to the upside, today King World News interviewed multi-billionaire Hugo Salinas Price out of Mexico. KWN wanted to get his thoughts on where he sees gold and silver headed.


    The central bank is definitely afraid of doing anything that is not being done by all of the other central banks. They feel they are part of a brotherhood and they can’t betray the rest.


    As long as this present system endures we will see a rising gold price, as long as we have paper money. I don’t see any limit because the more money they print, and that’s all they know how to do, the higher the price of gold will rise and silver.

  69. Given reasonable progress made by Ireland, Portugal and Spain to fix their fiscal problems, the vulnerability of Italy’s far larger economy was the main reason the Europeans are trying to enlarge, or leverage, their bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, which is considered less than half as large as needed to cover Italy’s debts. At least $200 billion of the fund is committed to Greece, Ireland and Portugal, and European leaders said they had agreed on two means of enlarging the fund.

    One is to try to attract outside investors, who are likely to include China, Russia and some sovereign wealth funds. European leaders also agreed to use the fund to limit losses that bondholders might suffer in the future.

    By guaranteeing a portion of potential losses, the Europeans could leverage the size of the fund up to five times.

  70. :) Gotta love the European Chutzpah. The Bankrupt are being guaranteed by the Bigger Bankrupts.

    Any guesses as to where the Final guarantee lies?

    No hints are needed, I'm sure.

  71. .

    With the Thanksgiving deadline coming, the Supercommittee is running out of time.

    The Dems have offered to go big.

    With a Thanksgiving deadline fast approaching, a special debt-reduction committee is suddenly springing to life on Capitol Hill.

    Democrats made the first move in a closed-door meeting this week, pressing the bipartisan panel to pursue a far-reaching deal to slice $3 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade through an equal mix of spending cuts and new revenue. The proposal calls for significant cuts to health and retirement programs, as well as $1.3 trillion in new taxes...

    But the GOP is rejecting the offer because of the tax hikes involved. However, with the alternative being massive cuts in the military, they know they need to do something.

    The initial $1.2 trillion target for the committee ought to be a no brainer. However, when you have

    Turkeys Trying To Talk Turkey

    As our last two presidents have said:

    "It's Hard"


  72. Australian market up 2.2%

    45 minutes to go.