“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, September 16, 2012

All it takes to provoke Muslim fanaticism and violence is a YouTube account and access to an Arabic translator (and naive activism in Washington)

Mayhem and death with just one click

David Randall on the US film sparking riots around the world – and its YouTube genesis


Once upon a time it would have taken scores of dedicated people and an awful lot of hard work and travel to incite riots in two dozen countries half a world away. But, as events of the past six days have shown, a few extremists in California can now do it without even crossing the state line.
Fresh revelations yesterday enabled to be pieced together for the first time the inside story of the anti-Islamic film that has caused mayhem around the globe, and led to the deaths of around a dozen people, including Chris Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya. The tale involves Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a shadowy convicted fraudster and user of multiple aliases; Steve Klein, an insurance salesman seemingly obsessed with the idea that West Coast America is full of jihadists poised to strike; and a mysterious charity called Media for Christ. And in their intent to provoke a reaction among the more incitable elements of Islamic countries, they were unwittingly abetted by a firm owned by Google, and a satellite channel's talk-show host.
Nakoula, although he has denied involvement, has been identified as the key figure in the making of the film, while Mr Klein has acted as its promoter, and the Christian charity was listed as the production company.
It all started, as these things so often do, with the innocuous: a casting call for a film with the working title of Desert Warrior and described as a low-budget "historical Arabian Desert adventure". Actors, including "various Middle Eastern types, bearded", were asked to apply. The lead character was to be "George – warrior leader, romantic charismatic". Actors were hired, a professional crew engaged, and most of it was shot in about two weeks last summer inside a squat warehouse that serves as the offices of Media for Christ, according to Eric Moers, who served as chief electrician for the production.
Mr Moers said the film took 15 to 16 days to shoot and that 90 per cent of the work was done at the Media for Christ studios. He said one day was spent at a movie ranch in Santa Clarita, and one day was spent filming at the home of the man he knew as Bacile, a likely alias of Nakoula. Mr Moers, who estimated the cost of production at $100,000, added: "I'd say this was the most unprofessional professional film I've worked on." He said he was paid with a cheque issued on the account of Abanob Basseley Nakoula, the 20-year-old son of the purported filmmaker.
Most of the film was shot using a backdrop to simulate other locations. The crew members received sheets with the scenes each day − never a full script − and Mr Moers said there was no mention of the word "Muhammad" throughout filming. But, at some stage, unknown to the actors (who have issued a statement saying they were misled by the film's makers), the movie was re-dubbed. "George" became Muhammad, and the dialogue was altered to insult the Islamic faith, portraying the Prophet as a bloodthirsty womaniser, and paedophile. The result, judging by the 14-minute clips available, was that a film toe-curlingly amateurish in its script, with wooden performances and shoddy production values ("sets" were often poor back-projections), became a crude and flagrant insult to Islam.
The intention of those involved may perhaps best be judged by what happened next. With the alterations complete, and the title changed to Innocence of Bin Laden, the small Vine Theatre, Hollywood, was booked for a screening, and mosques leafleted in an attempt to drum up a Muslim audience. They failed. Barely anyone at all attended the screening, and so on 2 July the film – or rather 14-minute clips of it –turned up on YouTube, with its title now Innocence of Muslims. The account used to post the footage was in the name of "Sam Bacile".
Still no notice of it was taken, so on 6 September, a Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-American Coptic Christian living in Washington and described as an anti-Islamic activist, acted. He posted a blog and emails to journalists worldwide which mentioned an "International Judge Mohammad [sic] Day" being organised on 11 September by the Rev Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who famously put the Koran on trial and then threatened to burn it. He included a link to the YouTube trailer for the Innocence film, which by now had dialogue translated into Egyptian Arabic.
This, after a couple of days, finally lit the blue touchpaper. Last Saturday, Sheikh Khalid Abdallah, who hosted a talk-show on the al-Nas satellite television channel, based in Egypt, ran an item on the film. Three days later, the deadly protests began.
With the film now beginning to inflame crowds across the Muslim world, the hunt for those responsible was initially handicapped by a fog of disinformation. Reports hit the wires that Israeli-Americans were behind the film, in particular a man called Sam Bacile, who told the Associated Press that the film was financed by "100 Jewish donors". This obvious attempt to pour fuel on the already growing flames lasted but a day or so. No Israeli involvement ever existed, and Sam Bacile was duly linked to Nakoula, a man whose middle name was Basseley and whose previous aliases included Nicola Bacily, Robert Bacily, Sam Bassiel, Erwin Salameh, plus others such as Kritbag Difrat and P J Tobacco. The YouTube account, "Sam Bacile," was used to post comments online as recently as Tuesday, including a defence of the film written in Arabic: "It is a 100 per cent American movie, you cows."
Nakoula – who denies posing as Bacile – pleaded guilty to bank fraud in 2010 and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison, to be followed by five years on supervised probation, the terms of which involved not using computers or the internet without approval from his probation officer. He was accused of fraudulently opening bank and credit card accounts using social-security numbers that did not match the names on the applications, a criminal complaint showed.
He was released in June 2011, and at least some production on the video was done later that summer. As well as the fraud conviction, Nakoula also pleaded guilty in 1997 to possession with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, and was sentenced to a year in jail.
As the protests mounted, a Steve Klein came on the scene as a promoter of the film, saying that about 15 key players from the Middle East – from Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, and a couple of Coptic Christians from Egypt – worked on the movie. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, said Mr Klein is a former marine and religious-right activist who has helped train paramilitary militias at a California church. It said he was founder of Courageous Christians United, which conducts protests outside abortion clinics, Mormon temples and mosques. He was also quoted as saying he believes that California is riddled with Muslim Brotherhood sleeper cells "who are awaiting the trigger date and will begin randomly killing as many of us as they can".
Mr Klein, whose son Matthew was seriously wounded in Iraq in 2007, said "Bacile" contacted him months ago for help in vetting the movie's script, and asked him if he would act as a spokesman if the film "caught on". While Mr Klein has granted a steady stream of interviews, and Nakoula volunteered for questioning by probation officials, Media for Christ, and its president Joseph N Abdelmasih, has not spoken publicly. Mr Abdelmasih, a Christian originally from Egypt, has spoken out against radical Islam. He also participated in a protest against a proposal to build a mosque and Islamic cultural centre near the World Trade Center site.
Events since Tuesday have underlined two aspects of the Arab Spring. First is the role of the Middle East's more freewheeling media, loosened from restrictions after the fall of long-time dictators. Before Egypt's 2011 revolution, authorities periodically suspended privately owned religious satellite channels such as al-Nas. Not any more. Second is the weakness of the forces of law and order in many former repressed states. And then there is the internet.
On Friday, Steve Klein said that he warned the filmmaker "you're going to be the next Theo van Gogh", the Dutchman killed by a Muslim extremist in 2004 after making a film that was perceived as insulting to Islam. "We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen," he said.
That, in view of the deaths and injuries still going on, is one of the most depressing aspects of the saga. Another is that all it takes for a few extremists to provoke violence is a YouTube account and access to an Arabic translator – and the certain knowledge that there are in many countries elements ready to be incited. There is nothing to stop future anti-Muslim fanatics making this happen again and again and again.


  1. We fail to recognize that the Muslim world is best left alone. We are not going to change them. They don’t need our saving them from the tough men who rule them. We started this with the activism of Bush and the naivety of Obama.

    The Middle Age Islamic mindset is incompatible with modern day western values and tolerance of our own religious nutjobs.


    1. Alas, they killed our Ambassador. We are not going to change them. They are out to change us.

      They declared war on everyone else long ago. Best thing to do is get them fighting each other.

  2. Gary Johnson advocates a foreign policy that does recognize that "they" are best left to their own devices.

    Do not "waste" your vote on candidates that will ...

    Stay the Course!

    Vote for liberty
    Vote for Gary Johnson and freedom from foreign misadventures.

    1. Q: What is your criteria for foreign policy?

      Gary Johnson: I think we should act in our self-interest. As I understand it, I think Eisenhower was a pretty good role model for that. Morally, you can justify almost anything we do by saying that we're doing it for the sake of others. I would point to past realities that have unintended consequences. For example, by taking out [the secular regime in] Iraq, we removed a threat to [the religious totalitarian regime] Iran.

      Q: You don't think we belong in Afghanistan?

      Gary Johnson: Well, initially, Afghanistan was totally warranted. We were attacked. We attacked back. That's what our military is for. We should remain vigilant to the terrorist threat. But after being in Afghanistan for six months I think we effectively wiped out al Qaeda. And here it is, we are there 10 years later. We're building roads, schools, bridges, highways and hospitals and borrowing 43 cents out of every dollar to do that.

      Q: Isn't there evidence that we merely drove Al Qaeda from Afghanistan into Pakistan?
      Gary Johnson: Sure.

    2. "We were attacked. We attacked back."

      Rat, did you not trumpet, endlessly, the fact we were attacked by Saudis and Yemenis, not Iraqis (nor Afghanis)?

    3. We were attacked, ash, by terrorists that were agents of the Pakistani, funded by the Saudis, based out of Afghanistan.

      The US public demanded action after 11SEP01.

      The lowest hanging fruit was in Afghanistan.
      We plucked it.

      After that harvest we should have moved on, militarily, to dealing the Pakistani, or come home.
      We made tribute payments to the Pakistani and invaded Iraq, instead.

    4. I do not think I ever connected Yemen with the attacks of 11SEP01.

    5. Even you would admit, ash, that the Pakistani have long held that Afghanistan was their "depth of defense" against the Hindu threat they perceive emanating towards them, from India.

      Accusations against the Pakistani military
      The term "strategic depth" has been used in reference to Pakistan's utilization and contact with Afghanistan following the neighboring country's Soviet invasion, to prevent encirclement from a hostile India and a USSR-supported Afghanistan.[1] Some sources state that the policy to control Afghanistan was formulated by General Mirza Aslam Beg,[2] and an Indian source claims this was continued as an active policy by the Pakistan Army until the policy was "de jure abolished in 1998 and de facto abolished in 2001."[3]

      According to Richard Olson, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Pakistan military's doctrine of "strategic depth" is a concept in which Pakistan uses Afghanistan as an instrument of strategic security in ongoing tensions with India by attempting to control Afghanistan as a pawn for its own political purposes.[4]

      It has been speculated that the Pakistani military's "strategic depth" policy is either military or non-military in nature. The military version would state that the Pakistani military wishes to use Afghan territory as a "strategic rallying point" where they can, in the event of a successful Indian attack, retreat to and re-group for a counter-attack. The non-military version would be based on the idea that Pakistan can improve relations with other Islamic countries such as Iran and Turkey, developing improved economic and cultural ties with them and thus making them into strong allies against India

  3. You fail to recognize that the Muslim world does not seek to leave US alone. SInce the beginning of our Nation the muslim world has sought to threaten it.

    We've been over this a thousand times.

    It was the Muslims of North Africa that sought tribute to leave our trade ship alone.

    It was the Muslims of North Africa that was at war with us.

    And now it's the Muslims that are shaping America in their image. From out posts in the hills of AZ to Dearborn MI, from chicago to the whitehouse, even from INSIDE this blog are muslims and their supporters that find excuses and apologies for their behavior.

    1. Comical response, that Muslims are shaping the US in their image.
      They are shaping YOU in their image.
      Look in the mirror, you'll see a reflection of hate.

    2. Spoken like the islamic apologist you are and always have been

  4. If a tyrant of any stripe attacks US interests, well ...

    1986: US launches air strikes on Libya
    At least 100 people have died after USA planes bombed targets in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and the Benghazi region.
    Around 66 American jets, some of them flying from British bases launched an attack at around 0100hrs on Monday.
    President Reagan has justified the attacks by accusing Libya of direct responsibility for terrorism aimed at America, such as the bombing of La Belle discoteque in West Berlin 10 days ago.

    President Reagan made a TV address to the American people two hours after the attack.

    In it he said : "When our citizens are attacked or abused anywhere in the world on the direct orders of hostile regimes, we will respond so long as I'm in this office."

    He argued that America was exercising its right to self defence as defined by Article 51 of the UN charter.

    Mobs of angry survivors have taken to the streets shouting: "Down, down USA. Death to all Americans."

  5. If you believe the current unrest in the ME is due to the YouTube video, well, you are as niave as Hillary is in her surprise at all this hate directed at US after we bent over backward trying to help them out.

    1. The YouTube video, ash, is much like the assassination of Grand Duke Ferdinand.

      History books record that World War I started when Austria-Hungary went to war against Serbia to avenge the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand by the Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip, in Sarajevo (in Bosnia-Hercegovina), on June 28, 1914.

      Some of the roots of the conflict arise out of specific ideologies which influenced the behaviour of politicians and other figures during the years leading up to the war.

      The main cause of war were: the rise of nationalist sentiment, social darwinism, competition for colonies and the naval arms race of the very early 1900s, German domestic politics. Some of the causes of the war lie in the structure of European society at the time, and the way it functioned, changes in Austria, material causes, colonial expansion, Web of alliances.

      The assassination of the Duke lit the fuse, but did not built the bomb.

      Read more:

  6. "Neocons Slither Back

    PAUL RYAN has not sautéed in foreign policy in his years on Capitol Hill. The 42-year-old congressman is no Middle East savant; till now, his idea of a border dispute has more likely involved Wisconsin and Illinois.

    Yet Ryan got up at the Values Voter Summit here on Friday and skewered the Obama administration as it struggled to manage the Middle East mess left by clumsily mixed American signals toward the Arab Spring and the disastrous legacy of war-obsessed Republicans.

    Ryan bemoaned “the slaughter of brave dissidents in Syria. Mobs storming American embassies and consulates. Iran four years closer to gaining a nuclear weapon. Israel, our best ally in the region, treated with indifference bordering on contempt by the Obama administration.” American foreign policy, he said, “needs moral clarity and firmness of purpose.”

    Ryan was moving his mouth, but the voice was the neocon puppet master Dan Senor. The hawkish Romney adviser has been secunded to manage the running mate and graft a Manichaean worldview onto the foreign affairs neophyte.

    A moral, muscular foreign policy; a disdain for weakness and diplomacy; a duty to invade and bomb Israel’s neighbors; a divine right to pre-emption — it’s all ominously familiar.

    You can draw a direct line from the hyperpower manifesto of the Project for the New American Century, which the neocons, abetted by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, used to prod an insecure and uninformed president into invading Iraq — a wildly misguided attempt to intimidate Arabs through the shock of overwhelming force. How’s that going for us?

    After 9/11, the neocons captured one Republican president who was naïve about the world. Now, amid contagious Arab rage sparked on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, they have captured another would-be Republican president and vice president, both jejeune about the world.

    Senor is emblematic of how much trouble America blundered into in the Middle East — trillions wasted, so many lives and limbs lost — because of how little we fathom the culture and sectarian politics. We’re still stumbling in the dark. We not only don’t know who our allies and enemies are, we don’t know who our allies’ and enemies’ allies and enemies are.

    As the spokesman for Paul Bremer during the Iraq occupation, Senor helped perpetrate one of the biggest foreign policy bungles in American history. The clueless desert viceroys summarily disbanded the Iraqi Army, forced de-Baathification, stood frozen in denial as thugs looted ministries and museums, deluded themselves about the growing insurgency, and misled reporters with their Panglossian scenarios of progress.

    “Off the record, Paris is burning,” Senor told a group of reporters a year into the war. “On the record, security and stability are returning to Iraq.”

    Before he played ventriloquist to Ryan, Senor did the same for Romney, ratcheting up the candidate’s irresponsible bellicosity on the Middle East. Senor was the key adviser on Romney’s disastrous trip to Israel in July, when Mittens infuriated the Palestinians by making a chuckleheaded claim about their culture.

    Senor got out over his skis before Romney’s speech in Jerusalem, telling reporters that Mitt would say he respected Israel’s right to make a pre-emptive, unilateral attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

    While the Muslim world burned on Friday, Mitt was in New York with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan confessing that he wears “as little as possible” to bed. With no global vision or historical perspective — he didn’t even remember during his Tampa convention to mention our troops or the years of war his party reigned over — Romney is simply kowtowing to the right again.

    1. Paul Wolfowitz, an Iraq war architect, weighed in on Fox News, slimily asserting that President Obama should not be allowed to “slither through” without a clear position on Libya.

      Republicans are bananas on this one. They blame Obama for casting Hosni Mubarak overboard and contradict themselves by blaming him for not supporting the Arab Spring. One minute Romney parrots Bibi Netanyahu’s position on Iran, the next Obama’s.

      Romney’s cynical braying about Obama appeasement in the midst of the attack on the American diplomatic post in Libya and the murder of the brave ambassador, Christopher Stevens, was shameful. Richard Williamson, a Romney adviser, had the gall to tell The Washington Post, “There’s a pretty compelling story that if you had a President Romney, you’d be in a different situation.”

      He’s right — a scarier situation. If President Romney acceded to Netanyahu’s outrageous demand for clear red lines on Iran, this global confrontation would be a tiny foretaste of the conflagration to come.

      Cheney, described by Romney as a “person of wisdom and judgment,” is lurking. On Monday, he churlishly tried to deny President Obama credit for putting Osama in the cross hairs, cattily referring to a report that Obama had not gone to all his intelligence briefings.

      Well, yes. W. got briefings, like the one that warned him on Aug. 6, 2001: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” That didn’t work so well either, did it?"

    2. Those that are bemoaning ... the slaughter of brave dissidents in Syria. ... are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

      Mr Ryan is one confused puppy.

    3. As for Iran being four years closer to a nuclear weapon, we can reference Bibi past statements, going back to 1992.

      He is a broken record, that has not hit an accurate note yet.

      1992: Israeli parliamentarian Benjamin Netanyahu tells his colleagues that Iran is 3 to 5 years from being able to produce a nuclear weapon – and that the threat had to be "uprooted by an international front headed by the US."

      1992: Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres tells French TV that Iran was set to have nuclear warheads by 1999. "Iran is the greatest threat and greatest problem in the Middle East," Peres warned, "because it seeks the nuclear option while holding a highly dangerous stance of extreme religious militancy."

      Niether of these Israel seers were correct in their prophesies, then, why should we believe them, now?.

    4. Love the way you ignore the actions of America and her allies (that includes Israel) to put set backs in Iran's goal.

      You discuss this topic like you actually want people to believe you.

      There has been ACTIVE covert actions against Iran, you KNOW what covert actions are don't you?

      So keep posting selective quotes trying to make the case Iran is not a threat.

      In the mean time, actual people that actually have served this nation and do serve this nation are fighting against Iran getting the ability to put out a nuke.

      Whereas you are a non-stop litany of excuses for your Iranian friends.

    5. US policy has been a success, for the past twenty years, vis a vie Iran.
      No overt military action required.
      The Iranians remain a toothless tiger.
      Glad you agree.

    6. No overt military action required was not the topic.

      Covert military action was and is required and that your ignorant statement was incorrect.

      Keep changing the question since you never get it correct..

      Leave the defense of the USA to those that actually serve and have served, not frauds that make claims like you.

      As for Iranians being a toothless tiger? I guess those thousands of Americans killed and wounded by the Iranians in the last 20 years were fakes like you....

    7. There not thousand of Americans killed by Iranians.
      Not in the past millennium.

      There were thousands killed by Sunnis, in Iraq and Afpakistan, in the past decade.

      Get a grip, boy.

    8. The topic was Mr Ryan saying that the Iranians were four years closer to a nuclear weapon. Mr Ryan was echoing the Bibi babble of 1992. The babble of the rabble was wrong in 1992 and it is wrong today.

      Covert action, by the US, under the leadership of Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton has kept the Iranians a toothless tiger, as far as nuclear capabilities are concerned. The US having learned its lesson during Mr Reagan's tenure with the Pakistani.

      Iran is still toothless and there is no indication that teething is in the offing.

    9. sure.

      thousands and thousands of centrifuges are spinning

      even the idea just slammed iran for amazing increases of uranium that it has processed.

      secret sites keep being discovered...

      delivery systems being tested and shown

      iranian warships resupplying syria.

      iranian troops, iranian arm, rockets and missiles being spread thru out the region..

      toothless my ass...

      I don't need to get a grip, you need to stop excusing Iranian terror...

      oh that's right.

      you support Iran...

  7. But, it must be noted that even Mr Reagan knew when to leave things alone.
    That there were limits to the US capabilities.

    7 February 1984

    Reagan Orders Marines out of Beirut, Following Collapse of Lebanese Cabinet

    Following a rapid deterioration of conditions in Beirut, President Reagan Feb. 7 ordered the U.S. Marines of the multinational peacekeeping force in Lebanon to begin withdrawing to U.S. ships offshore.

    Reagan's decision followed the resignation of Lebanese President Amin Gemayel's cabinet Feb. 5 and a military collapse that left Moslem militiamen in control of western and southern Beirut.

  8. Rasmussen Reports

    our years ago today, the collapse in consumer confidence began following the closing of Lehman Brothers. On September 15, 2008, 43% rated their own finances as good or excellent. That number fell three points overnight. By the time Obama won the election, only 38% thought their finances were in good shape. As the Wall Street meltdown continued, only 35% rated their finances that well on the day the president was inaugurated. By the summer of 2011, the number of Americans rating their finances as good or excellent fell as low as 27%.

    Today, 37% are that upbeat. That’s up two points since President Obama took office but still down six from the peak just before Lehman Brothers collapsed. Those numbers help explain why the race for the White House remains so very close. Americans aren’t feeling better off than they were four years ago, but they’re not feeling worse off either. That’s not great for the incumbent, but it’s not terrible.

  9. FOX News 9/9 - 9/11 1056 LV MoE = 3.0 Obama @ 48 Romney @ 43 Obama +5

  10. We can't leave them alone. Without their oil our entire economic system goes into Total, and Absolute Collapse.

    We have over a Million Construction Workers, Unemployed. We (the government) can still borrow money very cheaply. High Oil Prices are wrecking our prospects for Growth in the Economy. Our Balance of Trade is a Mess.

    We have the knowledge, and resources to construct an ethanol refinery in Every County. This would solve All of the above problems.

    And, on top of that, we could "leave the ME alone."

    I'm pretty sure I know what Eisenhower would do.

    1. Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-89) 67 pp, December 2011

      The United States has a total land area of nearly 2.3 billion acres. In 2007, the major land uses were forestland at 671 million acres (30 percent); grassland pasture and rangeland at 614 million (27 percent); cropland at 408 million (18 percent); special uses (primarily parks and wildlife areas) at 313 million acres (14 percent); miscellaneous uses (like tundra or swamps) at 197 million acres (9 percent); and urban land at 61 million acres (3 percent). This report presents findings from the most recent (2007) inventory of U.S. major land uses, drawing on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, public land management and conservation agencies, and other sources.

      What I'm proposing would use about 3% of our available land. It could, literally, all, or in part, be carved out of any/all of the above classifications.

    2. That report does not even factor in the median strip of the InterState highways.
      Millions of acres, there, that we pay to have the weeds cut.
      Perfectly natural for switchgrass production.

    3. The Interstate Highway System is 47,182 Miles (as of 2010.)

      Figuring 200 ft (?) of Median (both shoulders, plus middle,) that's about 24 acres per mile. 1,142,757 Acres

      X 1,000 gallons/acre = 1,142,757,000 Gallons

      @ 32 MPG you would be looking at apprx. 36.5 Billion Miles Traveled.

    4. Plus, at $40.00/Ton, the government should get close to $450,000,000.00/Yr to put toward highway maintenance.

  11. Ford Focus Owners are reporting getting about 35 MPG running 85% Ethanol; and these engines aren't even optimized for the fuel. A Chevy Impala, such as mine, with a new DI engine should get at least 32 MPG. This on a fuel (cellulosic ethanol) that should sell for around $3.20/gal. $0.10/mile. Our economy has always boomed when fuel was $0.10 per mile.

    That, plus the fact that the money is "staying home" - even, in most cases, in the Same County.

    No 5th Fleet on the Mississippi, No 2nd Marine Division in Alabama, or Arizona.

    Employment in Sioux St. Marie, not in Saudi Arabia.

  12. World Oil Production, since 2005, has grown at a rate of 0.2% per annum. This would, in the long run, support a Global Growth Rate of approx. 1/2 of One Percent (0.5%)

    The Saviour for the world the last couple of years has been the ability of the United States to cut consumption of gasoline (this is, also, one of the main reasons for our slow, sputtering rebound.)

    However, this rate of decline in the amount of gasoline required is, by necessity, slowing rapidly. We have picked the, immediately available, low-hanging fruit.

    Now, we come up with "another trick," or we go into irreversible decline. That trick Has to be Cellulosic ethanol. There just isn't anything else out there that is even remotely foreseeable.

    It's just a question of "Do we start, Now, or do we wait until the situation starts to Really deteriorate?"

  13. How can a metaphysically aware man, with a surpassing wit, good survival instincts, and a heavy dose of compassion throw his vote away on some meaningless third party candidate? In these parlous times, too? Simply losing all real world savvy, longing for a perfect world that he knows will never be?

    I am referring of course, to Quirk.

    The Second Coming of Christ is often delayed, they say, but the grocery bill is due on the 1st, and the landlord never dies.

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