“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, December 28, 2011

Gorillas Trying to Understand a Fellow Primate and then there are Other Animals

We interrupt your viewing pleasure to take you back to civilization:

December 27, 2011
For Somali Women, Pain of Being a Spoil of War

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The girl’s voice dropped to a hush as she remembered the bright, sunny afternoon when she stepped out of her hut and saw her best friend buried in the sand, up to her neck.

Her friend had made the mistake of refusing to marry a Shabab commander. Now she was about to get her head bashed in, rock by rock.

“You’re next,” the Shabab warned the girl, a frail 17-year-old who was living with her brother in a squalid refugee camp.

Several months later, the men came back. Five militants burst into her hut, pinned her down and gang-raped her, she said. They claimed to be on a jihad, or holy war, and any resistance was considered a crime against Islam, punishable by death.

“I’ve had some very bad dreams about these men,” she said, having recently escaped the area they control. “I don’t know what religion they are.”

Somalia has been steadily worn down by decades of conflict and chaos, its cities in ruins and its people starving. Just this year, tens of thousands have died from famine, with countless others cut down in relentless combat. Now Somalis face yet another widespread terror: an alarming increase in rapes and sexual abuse of women and girls.

The Shabab militant group, which presents itself as a morally righteous rebel force and the defender of pure Islam, is seizing women and girls as spoils of war, gang-raping and abusing them as part of its reign of terror in southern Somalia, according to victims, aid workers and United Nations officials. Short of cash and losing ground, the militants are also forcing families to hand over girls for arranged marriages that often last no more than a few weeks and are essentially sexual slavery, a cheap way to bolster their ranks’ flagging morale.

But it is not just the Shabab. In the past few months, aid workers and victims say there has been a free-for-all of armed men preying upon women and girls displaced by Somalia’s famine, who often trek hundreds of miles searching for food and end up in crowded, lawless refugee camps where Islamist militants, rogue militiamen and even government soldiers rape, rob and kill with impunity.

With the famine putting hundreds of thousands of women on the move — severing them from their traditional protection mechanism, the clan — aid workers say more Somali women are being raped right now than at any time in recent memory. In some areas, they say, women are being used as chits at roadblocks, surrendered to the gunmen staffing the barrier in the road so that a group of desperate refugees can pass.

“The situation is intensifying,” said Radhika Coomaraswamy, the United Nations’ special representative for children and armed conflict. All the recent flight has created a surge in opportunistic rapes, she said, and “for the Shabab, forced marriage is another aspect they are using to control the population.”

In the past two months, from Mogadishu alone, the United Nations says it has received more than 2,500 reports of gender-based violence, an unusually large number here. But because Somalia is a no-go zone for most operations, United Nations officials say they are unable to confirm the reports, leaving the work to fledgling Somali aid organizations under constant threat.

Somalia is a deeply traditional place, where 98 percent of girls are subject to genital cutting, according to United Nations figures. Most girls are illiterate and relegated to their homes. When they venture out, it is usually to work, trudging through the rubble-strewn alleyways wrapped head to toe in thick black cloth, often lugging something on their back, the equatorial sun burning down on them.

The famine and mass displacement, which began over the summer, have made women and girls more vulnerable. So many Somali communities have been disbanded, and with armed groups forcing men and boys into their militias, it is often single women, with children in tow, who set off on the dangerous odyssey to refugee camps.

At the same time, aid workers and United Nations officials say the Shabab, who are fighting Somalia’s transitional government and imposing a harsh version of Islam in the areas they control, can no longer pay their several thousand fighters the way they used to. Much as they seize crops and livestock, giving their militants what they call “temporary wives” is how the Shabab keep many young men fighting for them.

But these are hardly marriages, said Sheik Mohamed Farah Ali, a former Shabab commander who defected to the government army.

“There’s no cleric, no ceremony, nothing,” he said, adding that Shabab fighters had even paired up with thin little girls as young as 12, who are left torn and incontinent afterward. If a girl refuses, he said, “she’s killed by stones or bullets.”

One young woman just delivered a baby, half Somali, half Arab. She said she was selected by a Somali Shabab fighter she knew, brought to a house full of guns and handed off to a portly Arab commander, one of the many foreigners fighting for the Shabab.

“He did whatever he wanted with me,” she said. “Night and day.”

She said she escaped when he was sleeping.

The Elman Peace and Human Rights Center is one of the few Somali organizations helping rape victims, run by Fartuun Adan, a tall, outspoken woman whose husband, Elman, was gunned down by warlords years ago. Ms. Adan says that since the famine began, she has met hundreds of women who have been raped and hundreds more who have escaped forced marriages.

“You have no idea how difficult it is for them to come forward,” she said. “There’s no justice here, no protection, people say ‘You’re junk’ if you’ve been raped.”

Often, the women are left wounded or pregnant, forced to seek help. Ms. Adan wants to expand her medical services and counseling for rape victims and possibly open a safe house, but it is hard to do on a budget of $5,000 a month, provided by a small aid organization called Sister Somalia. Ms. Adan wept on a recent day as she listened to the 17-year-old girl recount the story of seeing her friend stoned to death and then being gang-raped herself.

“These girls ask me, ‘How am I going to get married, what’s going to be my future, what’s going to happen to me?’ ” she said. “We can’t answer that.”

Some of the women in Ms. Adan’s office seem to have come from another time. They have made it here, with help from Elman’s network, from the deepest recesses of rural Somalia, where women are still treated like chattel.

One 18-year-old who asked to go by Ms. Nur, her common last name, was married off at 10. She was a nomad and says that to this day she has never used a phone or seen a television.

She spoke of being raped by two Shabab fighters at a displaced-persons camp in October. She said the men did not bother saying much when they entered her hut. They just pointed their guns at her chest and uttered two words: stay silent.


  1. Spielberg may be a great movie producer but he don't know nuttin' 'bout farmin'.

    He had the old drunken tenant farmer going along with this scene where his son tries to get War Horse to plow a dry rocky hard packed turnip field. Not a chance, and that old boy would have known so - you wait till mother nature softens it up a bit with rain, as she did do. Then the turnips get planted.

    Certainly didn't ruin the whole movie for me, but made me wince, early on.

    Good movie. Has the secret of the two brothers scene in no man's land in the middle of it.


    Don't go all misty on the gorillas, the males can be mean as hell, killing or driving off the already living little ones of some new female they've rounded up.

    One of our gorilla women noticed this, can't remember which one, and it reminded her of the behavior of a father in law she knew of, and made her sick thinking of it.


  2. Other than killing the Somali Pirates, the rest of it is none of our business.

  3. We wasted a Trillion Dollars in Iraq trying to help a people that are orders of magnitude more advanced than these people. Some things are just undoable.

  4. I think we could make that "portly Arab commander" our business.

  5. As for Osama bin Laden, whom our Navy Seals dispatched last spring, Ron Paul criticized the one decision that Barack Obama​ got right. Paul said he would not have authorized the mission, arguing that killing bin Laden was unnecessary and that he has “respect for the rule of law.”

    More About The Nutcase Ron Paul


  6. It’s no surprise that the left-wing, anti-American Code Pink likes Paul’s message. Code Pink activist Liz Hourican told that the “Ron Paul people are closer and closer to our talking points with each election.”

    from the above article


  7. I'm sure the misty gorilla certainly has a better intellect than most of the TEA party and all the Republican candidates most of whom would cause entire herds of elephants, wildebeest, momma grizzlies and zebra; also prides of voracious, tenacious and hungry lions to flee in abject blind panic.

    They don't make 'em like “b" anymore. Though he knows his turnips and tablets and menstruation cycles.

  8. bob you are a flaming asshole.

  9. …with political Tourette syndrome.

  10. Cutting and pasting Joe “Fucking” Klein, the first person I look to for objective political analysis. No agenda there.

  11. Joe Klein on Neoconservatives and Iran:

  12. The US is involved, in Somalia.

    Through a very small footprint of military trainers, in Kenya.

    Our proxies, from Kenya, are impacting the terrorist/militants, in Somalia.

    rom the LATimes

    For Kenyans, the threat that Somali kidnappers pose to the tourism industry justifies the invasion. Critics, however, see a long war ahead, a risky venture of more value to the U.S. than to Kenya.

    While another source tells us:

    Kenya Military: '200 hundred killed in southern Somalia air strikes'

    GEDO, SOMALIA DEC 28 2011 (Garowe Online)
    The Kenyan government who have been conducting controversial air raids in southern Somalia have stated that they killed 200 Al Shabaab soldiers in recent air raids, Radio Garowe reports.

    The spokesman for the Kenyan Military, Major Emmanuel Chirchir stated that, "the raids targeted Al Shabaab camps where the Al Shabaab soldiers were training to attack both the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Kenyan troops."

  13. The US can impact a war zone, without deploying US troops.

    The Obama Administration doing the "Right" thing, in Somalia, through our Kenyan allies.

    November 17, 2011|By David S. Cloud and Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times

    Reporting from Washington — Kenya's government has made an urgent appeal to the Obama administration for the Pentagon to provide intelligence and logistical support to Kenya's faltering month-old military operation in Somalia against the Shabab, a powerful Al Qaeda-linked militia.

    Administration officials are considering the request, which came through the State Department, to provide military surveillance and reconnaissance that could include imagery from drone aircraft.

  14. When Jennifer Rubin or Abe Foxman calls me antisemitic, they're wrong. I am anti-neoconservative. I think these people are following very perversely extremist policies and I really did believe that it was time for mainstream Jews to stand up and say, "They don't represent us, they don't represent Israel."

  15. JG: Do you believe that neoconservatives generally act in Israel's best interest, rather than America's?

    JK: I'm not saying that they don't think it's also in America's best interest. But Israel's best interests are in their mind and they're doing things, they're encouraging policies that are violent and potentially disastrous for the American people.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.


    When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta opined earlier this month that an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities could “consume the Middle East in a confrontation and a conflict that we would regret,” the Israelis went ballistic behind the scenes. Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, lodged a formal diplomatic protest known as a demarche. And the White House was thrust into action, reassuring the Israelis that the administration had its own “red lines” that would trigger military action against Iran, and that there is no need for Jerusalem to act unilaterally.

    Panetta’s seemingly innocent remarks on Dec. 2 triggered the latest drama in the tinder-box relationship that the Obama administration is trying to navigate with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. With Republicans lining up to court Jewish donors and voters in America in 2012, Obama faces a tricky election-year task of ensuring Iran doesn’t acquire a nuclear bomb on his watch while keeping the Israelis from launching a preemptive strike that could inflame an already teetering Middle East.

  18. Is this Joe Klein fella another self-loathing anti-Judaic Jew?

  19. Seems that the hyphenated Americans all have the same rote, regardless of where they publish.

    JK: ... You know, it's amazing to be attacked as an antisemite by extremists who I think are very dangerous. And they seem to think, when you look at what Pete Wehner said, or what Jennifer Rubin said on their blog a couple of days ago,

    "I can't imagine why Time hasn't shut this guy down and fired him and blah blah blah blah blah." That's what they want to do. They want to stifle opinions that are different from theirs.

    I'm certainly not going to back down.

  20. I am rapidly running out of Republicans to support.

  21. Who knew that Obama and his administration were now considered neocons.

  22. If only the tea party had the intellect to understand that one can spend borrowed money to pay ones way out of debt.

  23. Anonymous said...

    If only the tea party had the intellect to understand that one can spend borrowed money to pay ones way out of debt.

    If only anonymous morons realized that borrowing trillions of dollars is just stealing it from the generations to come.

  24. Anyone, anon, that followed Team Obama's foreign policies, from day one.

    The following of the Bush scheduled timeline in Iraq.
    The expansion of the military footprint in Afpakistan.

    There has been no change in Federal foreign policies.

    Excepting in Libya and Somalia, where the US took a small footprint approach to military involvement.

    But the sabre rattling in the case of Iran, pure Bush/Cheney.

  25. Thank you for emphasizing the point. Perhaps Teresita, you'll be able to recognize sarcasm at some point. Also, sad to read that Rufus thinks you are an ignorant bible thumper.

  26. Sorry rat, don't pay attention to anyone who does not possess the knowledge to understand that a shahab missile can fly beyond the Iranian border.

    Mainly though, you are just boring. Every thread leads to Israel. Like pavlov's dog and classical conditioning.

  27. When one is dealing with a fiat script, the "money" has no value, to begin with.
    It is merely nice art work on paper that the government declares is legal tender for public debt.

    So the government that prints the script can "borrow" as much of that script as they can print. Also borrowing all they want, from itself, or from whomever has taken that script, in exchange for goods and services.

    Debt that can be paid by the printers at the mint.

  28. Why thanks Jenny you mule and I see you're having PMS today.


  29. Funny stuff, anon.

    But a couple of missiles do not constitute a military threat.

    Not when the supposed target has 300 nuclear warheads to fire back.

    Or when the supposed target's air force can destroy the Iranian air force, without doubt. That is if General P is to believed.

    The Iranians are not a military threat to the US, not today, nor tomorrow. They have no warhead to mount on that modified German V-2 rocket. The shahab merely a variant of 1940's technology.

    The Iranians not nearly as threatening to whirled peace as the Pakistani.

  30. You can call a dog any name you like, but it is still just a dog.

    You can call a tail a leg, but that dog will still have four legs.

  31. The Iranian missile couldn't even get a monkey into the air.

    Let alone land it safely.

    If the monkey can't fly, their nuke, which they do not have, won't either.

  32. I know enough not to try to plow concrete with a one bottom and a mule, Jenny, or even a war horse, so there.


    What's Ron Paul doing in the Republican primaries anyway. He's not a Republican. Besides, he wrote a letter some years back resigning from the Republican party.


  33. Now there are those that propose that the 150 shahabs, in Syria, be turned over to the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Seems a poor plan, to me.

    Arming up those Wahhabi.

  34. He's winning in Iowa, boobie, that's what the Doctor is doing, as a Republican.

  35. The Iraqi fired about 500 of the V-2 /Scud variants at Iran, to little effect.

    The Scuds/shabab/V-2 variants were of even less effect against a modern military.
    Exemplified in Desert Storm.

  36. Not a military threat.

    A psychological threat, no doubt.

    anon and company, running scared.

  37. If the shabab were a real military threat, their existence would preclude a "first strike" by the "West" against the Iranians.

    The shabab's effectiveness discounted when being launched in retaliation for raids against the Iranian nuclear sites.

    The Israeli experience in Lebanon and the British SAS Scud hunt in western Iraq both illustrating the inability to effectively "take out" mobile missile launchers from the air or the ground.

    So, the shabab is obviously not a military threat, not to anyone that advocates for an attack upon Iran.

  38. While the Iran/Iraq war and the missile exchanges involved in it prove that the Iranians are not insane, but were influenced by the ability of the Iraqi to strike back.

    In its war with Iran in the 1980s, Iraq quickly found itself at a disadvantage. Iran's SCUD Bs could hit Baghdad but Iraq's SCUDs couldn't reach Tehran, which lay much farther from their common border. Either Iraq needed to buy longer-range missiles or needed to build them at home. According to UN inspectors, Iraq began to reverse-engineer SCUD Bs in 1987 (Project 144). Iraq began to produce a modification known as the Al Hussein that could fly 650 km, far enough to reach Tehran.
    The first Al Hussein was reportedly fired at Tehran on February 29, 1988. The destructiveness and terrifying threat of these missiles helped persuade Iran to cease its missile attacks on Iraqi cities.

  39. While to reach that 600km range the missile payload was drastically reduced.

    The payload of the Al Hussein was reduced to compensate in part for the increase in weight created by the additional fuel and larger body. According to Carus, the amount of explosive material was reduced from 800 kilograms to only 190 kilograms.

    190 kilos, a tad over 400 pounds.

    From a military point of view, not that much bang for the buck. Especially when the lack of accuracy is factored

    the same guidance system as the SCUD B, which made it less accurate when flown to a longer range (the radius of accuracy was between 1.6 km and 3.2 km).
    The fact that the missile could be launched from an eight-wheeled TEL vehicle gave it sufficient mobility allowed it to evade US planes, which were unable to destroy a single operational SCUD missile during the first Gulf War.

    Though the fear factor certainly helps the sabre rattlers prey on the ignorance of the civilian sheep.

  40. The ineffectiveness of the shabab/scud illustrated in the attacks against Israel, in 1996.

    Sep 3, 1996 – At least three Scuds explode in Tel Aviv, Israel, injuring about 17. ...

    Not a single mortality reported.

    While today the Israeli have an updated missile defense system in place. Much improved from 1996.

    The defensive umbrella over Israel's skies is composed of four levels: Iron Dome, against short-range threats of four to 70 kilometers; Magic Wand - also called "David's Sling" - currently under development, intended for a range of 70 to 250 kilometers; the Arrow 2 missile defense system - in operational use and deployed in two batteries - addressing threats from a distance of 600 to 1,000 kilometers; and the Arrow 3 system - under development - for the exo-atmospheric interception of longer-range ballistic missiles. In addition there have been Patriot missile batteries deployed in Israel since the 1990s.

    Nearly NIS 1 billion has already been invested in developing Iron Dome and deploying its two operational batteries. A special U.S. grant of $205 million was recently awarded for the procurement of four additional batteries. Ultimately the system will include as many as 13 batteries and the project's total cost will exceed $1 billion.

    Another NIS 10 billion is being invested in the Arrow 2 project, with continued U.S. support. U.S. investment in Israel's defense systems has risen steadily, from $35 million in the mid-1990s to $200 million annually in recent years. This is in addition to roughly $100 million from the U.S. Defense Department budget.

    If these systems do not protect Israel, well then, the US should cut funding for systems that are ineffective.

  41. I am rapidly running out of Republicans to support.

    There are always Democrats. ; )

  42. Gary Johnson, the Librarian policies of Doctor Paul, without the "quirkiness" or the Doc's baggage.

  43. Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who has been excluded from most Republican presidential debates and has barely registered in polls of the race, said he instead will seek the Libertarian nomination for the White House.

    “I am a Libertarian -- that is, someone who is fiscally very conservative but holds freedom-based positions on the issues that govern our personal behavior,” Johnson, 58, said in a statement as he announced his decision at the New Mexico State Capitol in Santa Fe. “This election is about issues larger than party or personal ambition. The future of our country is at stake. I believe this election needs a true libertarian voice.”

    “All of the Republican Party presidential candidates -- except for Ron Paul -- have a track record of voting for higher levels of government spending,” Carla Howell, executive director of the Libertarian Party, said in a statement. “Should one of the non-Paul candidates prevail, then the Libertarian Party will be our only means to restore fiscal sanity.”

  44. (Reuters) - Cheetah the Chimp, co-star of the 1930s "Tarzan" films with Johnny Weissmuller and one of the world's oldest chimpanzees, has died in Florida.

    80 years young, when the Cheetah the Chimp passed on to the "other side".

  45. Imminent Iran nuclear threat? A timeline of warnings since 1979.

    Breathless predictions that the Islamic Republic will soon be at the brink of nuclear capability, or – worse – acquire an actual nuclear bomb, are not new.

    For more than quarter of a century Western officials have claimed repeatedly that Iran is close to joining the nuclear club. Such a result is always declared "unacceptable" and a possible reason for military action, with "all options on the table" to prevent upsetting the Mideast strategic balance dominated by the US and Israel.

    And yet, those predictions have time and again come and gone.
    This chronicle of past predictions lends historical perspective to today’s rhetoric about Iran.

  46. And yet, those predictions have time and again come and gone.
    This chronicle of past predictions lends historical perspective to today’s rhetoric about Iran.

    spoken like a true believer....

    Stuxnet is a computer worm discovered in June 2010. It initially spreads via Microsoft Windows, and targets Siemens industrial software and equipment. While it is not the first time that hackers have targeted industrial systems,[1] it is the first discovered malware that spies on and subverts industrial systems,[2] and the first to include a programmable logic controller (PLC) rootkit.[3][4]
    The worm initially spreads indiscriminately, but includes a highly specialized malware payload that is designed to target only Siemens supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems that are configured to control and monitor specific industrial processes.[5][6] Stuxnet infects PLCs by subverting the Step-7 software application that is used to reprogram these devices.[7][8]
    Different variants of Stuxnet targeted five Iranian organizations,[9] with the probable target widely suspected to be uranium enrichment infrastructure in Iran;[10][11][8] Symantec noted in August 2010 that 60% of the infected computers worldwide were in Iran.[12] Siemens stated on 29 November that the worm has not caused any damage to its customers,[13] but the Iran nuclear program, which uses embargoed Siemens equipment procured clandestinely, has been damaged by Stuxnet.[14][15][16][17] Russian computer security firm Kaspersky Lab concluded that the sophisticated attack could only have been conducted "with nation-state support".[18] This was further backed up by the Finnish computer security company F-Secure's chief researcher Mikko Hyppönen who commented in a Stuxnet FAQ, "That's what it would look like, yes".[19] It has been speculated that Israel[20] and the United States may have been involved.[21][22]
    In May 2011, the PBS program Need To Know cited a statement by Gary Samore, White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction, in which he said, "we're glad they [the Iranians] are having trouble with their centrifuge machine and that we – the US and its allies – are doing everything we can to make sure that we complicate matters for them", offering "winking acknowledgement" of US involvement in Stuxnet.[23] According to the British Daily Telegraph, a showreel that was played at a retirement party for the head of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Gabi Ashkenazi, included references to Stuxnet as one of his operational successes as the IDF chief of staff.[20]

  47. And yet, those predictions have time and again come and gone.
    This chronicle of past predictions lends historical perspective to today’s rhetoric about Iran.

    spoken like a true believer

    (Reuters) - An Iranian physicist was shot dead by a motorcyclist in Tehran on Saturday and Iran's student news agency ISNA quoted an unnamed police official as saying the man was a nuclear scientist.

    ISNA named the scientist as Darioush Rezaie, 35, a university teacher who held a PhD in physics. It was not clear whether he was part of Iran's nuclear enrichment program. Enriched uranium can be used for civilian nuclear purposes, but also to build atomic bombs.

    "An Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated in front of his house today ... and his wife was also wounded," it said. "He was shot dead by a motorcyclist."

    An Iranian nuclear scientist has been killed and another wounded in two separate but similar attacks in the capital, Tehran.

    The scientists were targeted by men on motorbikes who attached bombs to the windows of their cars as they drove to work, officials said.

    The scientist killed has been named as Majid Shahriari.

    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused "Western governments" and Israel of being behind the killing.

    Another scientist was killed in a bomb blast at the beginning of the year.

    Dr Shahriari was a member of the nuclear engineering department of Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. His wife is said to have been injured in the attack.

    The nuclear scientist injured in the second attack was named as Fereydoon Abbasi. His wife was also wounded.

    'Isotope specialist'
    According to the conservative news website Mashregh News, Dr Abbasi is "one of the few specialists who can separate isotopes" - a process that is crucial in the manufacture of uranium fuel for nuclear power stations and is also required for the creation of uranium-based nuclear weapons.

    Dr Abbasi has also been a member of the Revolutionary Guards since the 1979 revolution, the website said.

    Israel, through its intelligence wing the Mossad, has already been engaged in a covert war against Iran’s nuclear program for almost a decade. The only change in recent months is that this ongoing campaign has slowly become more overt. - Derek Bolton
    The Mossad appears to have undertaken two distinct routes to counter Iran: industrial sabotage and targeted assassinations. To accomplish the former, the Mossad has established a series of dummy companies to sell flawed components or faulty technical documents sought by Iran. For example, in April 2006, Iran’s Natanz facility suffered an explosion caused by faulty electrical devices purchased from such a company in Europe, causing the destruction of 50 centrifuges.
    More famously, the Mossad has also tried its hand at cyberwarfare. In a public press release on November 29, 2010, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the first time admitted that Iran’s nuclear program had been temporarily disrupted by a computer worm known as Stuxnet, resulting in the malfunction of several centrifuges. Although Ahmadinejad had previously noted setbacks within the nuclear program, this was the first instance in which he publicly attributed such delays to acts of sabotage.
    Alongside industrial facilities, Iranian nuclear scientists have become a main focus of Mossad agents conducting intimidation and assassination programs. According to intelligence analyst Reva Bhalla, there is “strong intelligence” that the Mossad assassinated leading Iranian nuclear physicist Ardeshir Hassanpour in January 2007. Hassanpour, who had been a vital member of the country’s uranium enrichment team, reportedly suffocated from gas fumes emitted from a broken fireplace. Although the death was officially claimed to be an accident, within the intelligence community it has become widely accepted that the Mossad was behind it.
    However, the largest setback to the Iranian nuclear program occurred in late 2010 with the attempted assassination of two of the program’s leading scientists. On November 29, 2010, unidentified assailants simultaneously carried out two separate bomb attacks using remote-controlled magnetic devices attached to the targets’ cars. Majid Shahriari, who had managed a “major project” within the nuclear program, was killed as a result, while Fereydoon Abbasi, who has been deemed even more vital to the program, was severely wounded. Both men were seen as vital contributors to the nuclear program, with one U.S. official commenting, “They’re both bad people, and the work they do is exactly what you need to design a bomb. They’re both top scientists.”
    The 2010 bombings are only some of the most recent incidents in a string of attacks that have claimed the lives of at least five Iranian scientists, including Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, who was killed in January of 2010.

  49. Yep, the Christian Science Monitor.

    Now the "real" anon claims the CSM to be a true believing a mouth piece of Islam.

    Who you gonna believe?

  50. While it does seem that anon has come to the realization that ...

    Sanctions and Sabotage are Sufficient

  51. The smaller the footprint, the better for US.

    Mr Obama certainly seems on board with that neo-interventionist concept.

    Run Doc Run!

  52. When the facts laid out in the Christian Science Monitor are purported to be Islamic or Iranian propaganda, one knows the Zionist spin meisters are working over time.

    Fighting the tide of truth, they are.

    As that Joe Klein fella said:

    They want to stifle opinions that are different from theirs.


  53. ... a surge in the European Central Bank’s balance sheet to a record highlighted the growing risks of the region’s debt crisis and threatening fuel demand.

    Futures dropped 2 percent after the ECB lent financial institutions more money last week in an attempt to keep credit flowing. The euro tumbled to the lowest level since January against the dollar, curbing investor demand for commodities. Oil also decreased on reduced concern that Iran will block the Strait of Hormuz.

    “The biggest news right now is that the euro is coming in pretty strongly,” said Tom Bentz, a director with BNP Paribas Prime Brokerage Inc. in New York. “It was time for a correction after rising for six days.”

    Crude oil for February delivery fell $1.98 to $99.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange

  54. The LA Times ...

    A majority of Latinos disapprove of the way the Obama administration has handled deportations and their approval of the president’s job performance has declined sharply in the last year, according to a recent national poll.

    But none of that seems to have diminished the likelihood that Latinos will vote for Obama in the upcoming presidential election, according to the poll published Wednesday by the Pew Hispanic Center.

    “We found that there’s a lot of disapproval of the way the administration is handling deportations,” said Mark Hugo Lopez, one of the authors of the report.
    “Yet even among those Latinos who do disapprove, in head-to-head competitions, Barack Obama would win against Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.”

  55. Jewish Telegraphic Agency

    On the topic of Jerusalem, some 40 percent of Palestinians favor and 59 percent oppose a compromise whereby eastern Jerusalem would become the capital of a Palestinian state, with Arab neighborhoods coming under Palestinian sovereignty and Jewish neighborhoods coming under Israeli sovereignty. Some 38 percent of Israelis favor and 60 percent oppose the compromise agreement.

    The survey also found that 47 percent of Israelis support the bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities, and 41 percent oppose it. At the same time, some 48 percent of Palestinians believe Israel will actually carry out a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities and the same number think Israel will not do so.

  56. Look at the picture of this shrimp, thing is huge...

    Giant shrimp raises big concern as it invades the Gulf
    Asian tiger prawn has scientists worried


    The worry they seem to have is because they have no real idea what the outcome could be.

    Aquaculture proving to be an uncontrollable risk. But just what the risk is, they're not sure.

    Could even prove to be a benefit.
    They really have no clue, but the professional government employees, paid to be negative.

  57. I just find it so funny ...

    The Christian Science Monitor

    They are true believers.

    No doubt of that, at all.

    They do believe in the Truth.

    At least in telling it...
    ... as they see it.

    A timeline of warnings since 1979.

    True Believers @ The Christian Science Monitor

    Believe it!


  58. From the True Believers

    Breathless predictions that the Islamic Republic will soon be at the brink of nuclear capability, or – worse – acquire an actual nuclear bomb, are not new.

    For more than quarter of a century Western officials have claimed repeatedly that Iran is close to joining the nuclear club. Such a result is always declared "unacceptable" and a possible reason for military action, with "all options on the table" to prevent upsetting the Mideast strategic balance dominated by the US and Israel.

    And yet, those predictions have time and again come and gone. This chronicle of past predictions lends historical perspective to today’s rhetoric about Iran.

  59. .

    Could even prove to be a benefit.
    They really have no clue, but the professional government employees, paid to be negative.

    Nonsense. Merely doing their job.

    Anyone who has seen how various species when introduced through foreign vessals dumping their ballast water or hobbyists dumping the contents of their fish tanks have decimated species or whole ecosystems in the Great Lakes over the last century; or anyone aware of the damage the giant Asian carp are doing to the Mississippi and threaten to do to the Great Lakes likely wouldn't be so cavalier.


  60. ;-)

    The Christian Science Monitor

    True Believers in the Truth.

    Sanctions and Sabotage are Sufficient

  61. If they knew what the outcome was going to be, I'd agree. But they admit they do not know, nor can they accurately predict what the effect of those jumbos is going to be.

    That this shrimp COULD be a commercial benefit, or COULD be an ecological disaster, or COULD be both. No one knows, yet.

    These shrimp most likely having escaped from commercial fish farms, during the big blows. The numbers of captured Asians, less than the T required for a DNA background check, so that is not confirmed. But makes the most sense of the options listed in the article.

    The introduction of these jumbos into the Gulf could/should have been foreseen.
    Especially after Katrina.
    Especially when it could be so negative.

    But what control or influence does the US exercise in the region of the Caribe Sea, when most all our national attention is focused on the sabres rattling on the sandy wastes of the old Persian Empire.

    Again, we should be scaling back our interests in that part of the whirled, and focusing instead upon the American Hemisphere.

  62. But that those government scientists reported it in a negative light, while proclaiming their inability to predict a likely outcome.


  63. .

    Now for something much more important.

    My dog, Red, has been looking a little down lately. This despite the fact that he has a million toys, that he gets walked at least once a day, that he gets to wrestle with the golden retriever next door most every day, that he is known throughout the neighborhood and most of the kids in the neighborhood stop to pet him on their way home from school as do their parents when they get home from work.

    Still the boy has been looking a little glum of late.

    So today we went over to the Humane Society to get him a pal, in this case a gal pal, a one year old beagle mix.

    She's a cute dog but possibly more than we bargained for. She is cute and cuddly, friendly and playful. Unfortunately, she is also a hound. We let her out into a fenced-in area we have and she was doing fine until she spotted some birds flying overhead. Within a few seconds she spotted an opening in the fence I was unaware of, slithered through (she's like an eel), and was gone, heading for the woods.

    I chased her but later, after walking through the woods for an hour, having given up, I was just about home when I saw her come walking out of one of the neighbors yards. We lured her over to the house and she was just about to come in when she spotted some more birds and was gone.

    After about ten minutes, one of the neighbors that was out helping us chase her spotted her and was able to grap her.

    The decision to try and cheer Red up could end up a serious mistake. At the moment, he seems to grudgingly tolerate her and hopefully he will warm up to her in a few days.

    With the charges at the shelter, a chip vet bill, heart worm medicine, new collars and leash, a pen to use until we are sure she's housebroke, other odds and ends, I'm down about $800.

    We decided to name her Jenny.


  64. .

    Christ, rat.

    You just don't get it.


  65. Perhaps Aquaculture is a flawed concept, especially when the loss of product, due to spillage from the tanks can be predicted, with confidence.

  66. I get it, Q.

    It COULD be more ecologically disastrous than the BP oil spill.

    The government men won't commit to the truth.They know that it's a bad deal, but mealy mouth the issue, instead.

    Half-stepping to job security.

    The change in policy and permits came in '09, and it'd be politically incorrect to mention the correlation.

    The issue is not the jumbo prawns but the aquaculture infrastructure that allowed it's introduction.

    Doubtful they have the deep pockets of BP, to pay for the malfeasance.

  67. But what the government paid scientists said, they couldn't say.

    They didn't know.

    Could not predict.

    Kind of like with your new dog, who'd have guess you'll soon be down a grand for a "free" dog from the "pound"?

    Except for those of us folks who'd done it ourselves.
    Then end up having it for years.

    Heck with Red...
    Hope you like it.


  68. He has sometimes had to overcome dissent from others on the Fed's rate-setting board. And Bernanke's Fed has had to take the lead in economic policymaking because Congress and the White House are so often ensnarled in partisan bickering.

    Still, some economists say Bernanke's Fed has gone too far, that zero interest rates are hurting retirees and savers without delivering many economic benefits.

    "Perhaps the greatest criticism might be that the Federal Reserve has tried to do too much — trying to offset the impact of necessary budget cuts, European debt problems and other factors out of its control," says Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Point Loma Nazarene University.

  69. .

    Heck with Red...


    You tell him that.


  70. While in Russia ...

    MOSCOW — President Dmitri A. Medvedev has responded to the street protests in Moscow with proposals for political reform but his recent personnel appointments seem to tell a different story:
    top posts went to former officers in the K.G.B. and long-serving loyalists of his political mentor, Vladimir V. Putin.

  71. Nice name for an ill tempered bitch dog, that Jenny.

    Grandfather had an ill tempered bitch dog he should have named Jenny. He was walking her on the sidewalk one day, when Mr X, who didn't like grandfather, came along the other way.

    "Sir", the neighbor said, "your ill tempered bitch dog is half Swede and half son bitch."

    "Well then! That makes her related to the both of us!", said grandfather.



  72. Tired of the same old blah blah blah? Tired of blogging with idiots day after day? Thinking of taking an extended trip overseas? Having trouble with the IRS or other agencies perhaps?


    Only one candidate, perhaps even, ONLY ONE AMERICAN, has discerned that the border fence is designed TO FENCE YOU IN!!!

    That man is RON PAUL!!!

    Protect yourself from becoming a prisoner in your own land ----



  73. I don't see that you gave Jenny a distemper shot, Quirk.

    You might try that.


  74. But in a 1998 John Birch Society film unearthed by Andy Kaczynski, Paul endorsed some of the more paranoid ideas outlined in the Ron Paul Survival Report—including the the idea that a United Nations dictatorship was imminent.

    Ron Paul/John Birch Society Paranoia Video Here


  75. Well, sure, the UN military operations are exempt from the War Powers Act.

    Like in Libya.
    Same as regards NATO operations. Like in Libya.

    Doctor Paul is half right, what he missed, though, is that the US still runs the UN, it just gives US Presidents an "out".

    Exemplified by Mr Bush in Iraq, where he and his Democratic partners used the UN process to legitimize and justify US military action and by Mr Obama, in Libya, acting upon the UN and NATO authorizations, without further Congressional approval.

    The President can use the UN to supersede Congress, in taking US to war. Already has.

  76. “b”, Has something upset you?

  77. Jenny, I don't think he likes Ron Paul.

  78. This'll really piss him off: Michelle Bachmann's campaign manager just endorsed Ron Paul. :)

    no shit.

  79. Actually, it was her Iowa Campaign Chair

    Some wag noted that, now, instead of having to drop out on Jan 4, she'll have to drop out on Jan 4.

    What a circus :)

  80. No shit?

    That pisses me off.

    I'm becoming reconciled I'll be voting for Romney down the road.

    Well, he's a good family man...


  81. The Clown Show of ALL Clown Shows

  82. There's a big write in campaign going on for Sarah Palin in Iowa too.

    Got to keep the eye on that.....


  83. Well, Obama/Romney - Romney/Obama

    I'd hate to have to live on the difference.

    I guess I'll vote for the one that I surmise will be most likely to keep us out of another war.

  84. I'm not sure a couple of ads constitutes a "Big Write-in Campaign." :)

    Now, watch Rick Santorum pull off a last-minute surge, and win Iowa.

    I wouldn't bet a nickel against it.

  85. Iowa Republicans are really strange people.

    Completely "ate up" with the Bible-thumpin' thing.

  86. Well, it constitutes a "write in campaign".


  87. Bill Clinton said something interesting the other day. Something about Healthcare Costs are rising "Below" the national average in Massachusetts this year.

    Too good to check :)

  88. You get three or four thumpers and born agains runnin' against each other like they do there now sure puts them in a tizzy. They don't know which way to turn.

    I'll say this for Ron Paul, he doesn't come over as a thumper.

    He comes over rather as someone who has had his head thumped on, and hard, for many many years....


  89. Perry filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday insisting that Virginia's ballot restrictions are unconstitutional. And Goldman and Citizens for the Republic are willing to do the same.

    "The argument is we've been doing it the wrong way for years and years and we see no reason to change it," said Bill Pascoe, executive vice president for the conservative group. "I don't anticipate having to go to court.

    But is that an option? Sure."

  90. Well, he's a good family man…

    As was Carter, Bush 1 and Bush 2 and Barack Obama.

  91. Time to try for a real philanderer.

    Ah, Gingrich!

    Naw, he's born again.

    We need someone who's pee pee wanders like a Bedouin, who has seen more ass than a a chair, a member of Philanderers International


  92. Guess we're gonna have ta bring Bubba back.

  93. Dying To Give Birth

    Story of an Idaho teen with cancer trading her life for her new son.


  94. Cairo (CNN) -- A senior Egyptian general admits that "virginity checks" were performed on women arrested at a demonstration this spring, the first such admission after previous denials by military authorities.
    The allegations arose in an Amnesty International report, published weeks after the March 9 protest. It claimed female demonstrators were beaten, given electric shocks, strip-searched, threatened with prostitution charges and forced to submit to virginity checks.
    At that time, Maj. Amr Imam said 17 women had been arrested but denied allegations of torture or "virginity tests."
    But now a senior general who asked not to be identified said the virginity tests were conducted and defended the practice.
    Egypt under fire for 'virginity tests'

    "The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine," the general said. "These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and (drugs)."
    The general said the virginity checks were done so that the women wouldn't later claim they had been raped by Egyptian authorities.
    "We didn't want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren't virgins in the first place," the general said. "None of them were (virgins)."

    Salwa Hosseini, a 20-year-old hairdresser and one of the women named in the Amnesty report, described to CNN how uniformed soldiers tied her up on the museum's grounds, forced her to the ground and slapped her, then shocked her with a stun gun while calling her a prostitute.
    "They wanted to teach us a lesson," Hosseini said soon after the Amnesty report came out. "They wanted to make us feel that we do not have dignity."
    The treatment got worse, Hosseini said, when she and the 16 other female prisoners were taken to a military detention center in Heikstep.
    There, she said, she and several of other female detainees were subjected to a "virginity test."
    "We did not agree for a male doctor to perform the test," she said. But Hosseini said her captors forced her to comply by threatening her with more stun-gun shocks.
    "I was going through a nervous breakdown at that moment," she recalled. "There was no one standing during the test, except for a woman and the male doctor. But several soldiers were standing behind us watching the backside of the bed. I think they had them standing there as witnesses."
    The senior Egyptian general said the 149 people detained after the March 9 protest were subsequently tried in military courts, and most have been sentenced to a year in prison.
    Authorities later revoked those sentences "when we discovered that some of the detainees had university degrees, so we decided to give them a second chance," he said.
    The senior general reaffirmed that the military council was determined to make Egypt's democratic transition a success.
    "The date for handover to a civil government can't come soon enough for the ruling military council," he said. "The army can't wait to return to its barracks and do what it does best -- protect the nation's borders."

  95. Ahh, B, ol Bud, you'll looove this'un.

    Ron Paul has a new best bud in Iowa. It's a regular love fest between Rupaul, and a good Rev. named Kayser.

    Kayser is a bit of a fundie, he is. One of his big deals is

    "The Freakin Death Penalty for GAYS!"

    Ooooh, we be strikin' know.

  96. I can understand why too. Gays are heavily into the Trilateral Commission, the push for synarchy, the Shadow Government, and Area 51, plus they dang near own the Federal Reserve.

    This is the real reason Ron Paul is so easy on Iran, they hang gays from cranes.


  97. A lot of them Jooish fellas are Gay, too.

    It's a "Two-fer." :)

    Damn, that Rupaul is "Awesome!"

  98. Anonobob:
    Time to try for a real philanderer.

    Ah, Gingrich!

    Naw, he's born again.

    Gingrich was one of the ass-hats pushing for impeachment... he was banging everything that moved and had the gall to act disturbed by Clinton's horniness.

  99. Mossad Chief: "Does Iran pose a threat to Israel? Absolutely. But if one said a nuclear bomb in Iranian hands was an existential threat, that would mean that we would have to close up shop and go home. That's not the situation. The term existential threat is used too freely."

    I guess that makes Tamir Pardo an anti-Semite.

  100. When when he says go home, that is particularly telling. It means he views Israel as a colony.

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