“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, November 14, 2012

The push to involve the US/Nato in a war with Syria moves forward

Leading French intellectuals call for Syria intervention

France and other western countries need to bypass a “paralysed” UN Security Council and intervene directly in Syria, a pair of respected French intellectuals and a former French foreign minister have stated, in a public call for decisive action.
Two respected French intellectuals, a former French foreign minister and a battlefield surgeon have published an impassioned call on Western countries to intervene in Syria to rid the country of the “Assad dictatorship”.
“No more prevarication! No more timidity! Syria’s democratic future needs urgent and decisive help,” ran the headline of an opinion piece published Monday in French newspaper of record Le Monde.
The piece was signed by influential philosophers Bernard-Henri Lévy (pictured), a vocal supporter of French intervention in Libya against Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and André Gluckman, who has spoken out against human rights abuses by Russian forces in Chechnya.
Bernard Kouchner, foreign minister under former President Nicolas Sarkozy, and Jacques Bérès, a military surgeon who has visited Syria several times since the beginning of the popular uprising in March 2011, also put their names to the article.
France and the United State should intervene, they wrote, “to stop the regime air forces bombing rebel-held towns and villages, provide arms to those rebels with genuinely democratic ideals, and to give some hope to those in power who want to get rid of the criminals leading the Damascus regime.”
Intervention, they said, would stem a growing current of Islamist jihadists among the rebels whose extreme tactics “such as suicide bombings, which we must condemn” risked undermining the moral high ground of the rebellion.
They also argue that western nations should bypass the United Nations, which they said was “paralysed by Russian and Chinese vetoes”, and that doing so would be justified if action “stopped the rivers of blood that are flowing through Syrian towns and cities”.
“Failure to intervene at a time when the massacres of innocent civilians are increasing sends out the worst possible message and reinforces anti-western feeling,” they concluded.

"We think that the opposition is not made in Syria, and as you have noticed it's an American and Qatari made...," Mikdad added.

Regardless of the ostensible unity among the opposition abroad and their supposed legitimacy in representing the Syrian people, most of the Syrians inside the country haven't even heard of the names of most members in the new coalition. Even some opposition activists in Syria look at the exiled opposition with disdain, thinking that they want to come to rule the country on the blood of the real revolutionaries.

 Syrian analysts believe that recognizing the newly formed opposition coalition in exile as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people will not help stop violence in Syria, but further deepen the division.

"It will not help in making the situation better in Syria, and will neither reduce the rate of violence in the country nor mitigate the daily bloodshed," George Gabbour, a political expert and ex-parliamentarian told Xinhua on Tuesday.

After a five-day meeting held in the Qatari capital of Doha, Syrian opposition signed on Sunday an agreement to form a new coalition called the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, in the hope of having a unified entity to face the administration of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The new coalition mainly is composed of opposition groups outside Syria and activists from inside the country as well as rebels' commanders.
Once the new coalition wins international recognition, its members will form an interim government in exile and call for a national conference as soon as the current Syrian administration is ousted, according to a draft of the agreement.

The opposition alliance also agreed to establish a new supreme military council to take overall command of rebel groups.

The head of the new coalition, former Muslim preacher Mouaz al-Khatib, called on the international community to render qualitative arms to the rebels on ground to tip the balance in Syria's 20-month-old crisis.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- were the first to recognize the opposition coalition.

Calling it "the legitimate representative of the Syrian people," GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif al-Zayani said "the GCC will offer support and assistance for the Syrian coalition in order to achieve the hopes and aspirations of the Syrian people."

Also, the Arab League recognized the opposition alliance on Monday as "the representative of aspirations of the Syrian people" and "legitimate representative" of Syria's opposition.

However, the group stopped short of giving it full recognition as the representative of the Syrian people.

Meanwhile, France recognized the new group as the "sole legitimate" representative of the Syrian people, making it the first European country to formally recognize the newly formed coalition.

"I announce ... that France recognizes the Syrian National Coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people and therefore as the future democratic government of Syria," French President Francois Hollande said during a press conference.

The United States also recognized the coalition as the legitimate representative of Syrians but said the group must first prove its ability to represent Syrians inside the country.

Gabbour, the expert, said the new coalition should be pushed to sit at the dialogue table with the current Syrian administration in order to find a peaceful solution to the protracted crisis.

"If the coalition is truly representing the Syrians, it should clarify its stance toward the opposition at home and the groups that hold up arms," he said.
The Syrian opposition at home rejected the formation of the coalition and the idea of an interim government in exile.
"I don't think that this coalition would last for long and it won't be conducive to solving the Syrian crisis, but I'm afraid it would further complicate the Syrian crisis because it is trying to create a new pole to confront the regime not to confront all of the challenges the country is facing," Luai Hussain, head of the oppositional Building Syria State Party, said Monday during an interview with Xinhua.

"We reject any government in exile as much as we do with the Syrian government, which has been imposed on us and against our will," Hussain stated, regarding the formation of an exiled government as "handing the country over to big powers in return for ousting the current regime."

For his side, Khalaf al-Miftah, a political analyst, said the recognition of the coalition represents "an infringement upon the national sovereignty and the Syrian legitimacy and set a dangerous precedent in the political history between the Arab countries."

He said the recognition will undermine the mission of the UN-Arab League joint representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, "particularly that the new coalition rejects calls for holding dialogues with the Syrian administration."

Rjaa al-Naser, a leading opposition figure inside Syria, regarded the recognition as aggravating the divisions" because it would force a leader on the Syrian people according to a foreign will instead of that of the Syrians.

In the first official response to the new coalition, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mikdad said the new coalition is "an American and Qatari project used by foreign powers to destroy Syria."

"We think that the opposition is not made in Syria, and as you have noticed it's an American and Qatari made...," Mikdad added.

Regardless of the ostensible unity among the opposition abroad and their supposed legitimacy in representing the Syrian people, most of the Syrians inside the country haven't even heard of the names of most members in the new coalition. Even some opposition activists in Syria look at the exiled opposition with disdain, thinking that they want to come to rule the country on the blood of the real revolutionaries.


  1. Another humanitarian and military disaster in the making and the feckless US media hardly covers the story.

    …and while I’m at it, why do we need a “A Supreme Allied Commander in Europe?”

  2. Does Obama have the balls to stop this?

  3. Eisenhower had the stones to tell France and Britain to stay out of Egypt in the 1956 Suez Crisis. To refresh your memory, check out this time line:

    Suez Crisis - Timeline

    26 July 1956
    The Egyptian President, Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser, announces the Egyptian nationalisation of the Suez Canal and its operating Suez Canal Company in retaliation to the reneging of an agreement by the American and British Governments to finance the construction of the Aswan Dam. The Suez Canal represented the main source of supply of oil for Britain and France and the potential loss of those supplies represented an economic threat that they could ill ignore.

    27 July
    The British Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Eden, forms the Egypt Committee, consisting of himself, Lord Salisbury (Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Lords), Lord Home (the Commonwealth Secretary), and Harold Macmillan (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) to co-ordinate Britain's intent to recover her access to the Suez Canal. The Foreign Secretary, Selwyn Lloyd and the Defence Minister Sir Walter Monckton were later members of the Egypt Committee.

    16-23 August
    A conference of nations meets in London in an attempt to find a diplomatic solution and adopts eighteen proposals which include an offer to Nasser of Egyptian representation on the Suez Canal Company board and a share in its profits.

    3-9 September
    The Australian Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies, travels to Cairo to offer Nasser the eighteen proposals which he rejects. Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, seeks to distance the US Government from support for military intervention, ever mindful of President Eisenhower's hopes for re-election in the November US Presidential election.

    19-21 September
    A second conference of nations is held in London to discuss American proposals for a Suez Canal Users Association to ensure continued international use of the Canal.

    13 October
    The USSR vetoes the American plan in the United Nations Security Council.

    14 October
    Sir Anthony Eden holds secret discussions with French officials over a military operation to recover use of the Canal. The talks result in the formation of a plan by which Israel would invade Egypt and thus allow British and French forces to seize the Canal as an act of intervention between warring nations.

    22-24 October
    The British Foreign Secretary, Selwyn Lloyd, concludes the agreement with French and Israeli officials at Sèvres, France. The British copy of the resulting Sèvres Protocol is subsequently destroyed on Eden's orders.

    25 October
    Eden gains approval for military intervention from a divided cabinet. An increasingly sidelined Foreign Office is split over the Government's intention to adopt military measures.

    29 October
    Israeli forces invade Egypt.

    30 October
    The British and French ultimatum for an end to hostilities is rejected by Nasser.

    5-6 November
    On the night of 5-6 November, British and French troops invade Port Said and take control of the Suez Canal. In a meeting of the British cabinet on 6 November, Harold Macmillan raises stark warnings of economic peril as a result of the action. Macmillan had previously been one of the strongest supporters of resolute action. The US Presidential election results in the re-election of President Eisenhower.

    7 November
    The United States, USSR and the United Nations condemn British and French military action. The loss of confidence and American backing for the already weak British economy forces Eden into calling a cease-fire. British public opinion is deeply divided over the use of force.

    9 January 1957
    Under the impact of the Crisis, Eden's already fragile health has deteriorated to such an extent that he is forced to resign. Ill health or not, politically Eden's premiership had little future.

    10 January
    Harold Macmillan replaces Eden as Prime Minister.

    1. nice revision of history

    2. Feel free to revise and resubmit your version.

    3. .

      WiO gets his history from the source, The Kosher History of the World by Abe Abraham.


  4. I personally think that Obama is an illiterate when it comes to history and will be dragged into this debacle. He is on a par with George Bush in his ignorance and lack of curiosity.

    An astute leader would use this opportunity by the holding the delayed appointment of a US “Supreme Allied Commander in Europe,”indefinitely.

    NATO, a once noble and necessary alliance in which I proudly served, is way past decommissioning time. It is abhorrent to the proper constitutional conduct of our political class and needs to go.

  5. Once again, in an issue of extreme concern to the US, all responsible reporting for this post came from Russian, Chinese and French news sources. The pathetic US MSM is mostly silent on the story and its implications to the US.

  6. Eisenhower would have kept us out of Vietnam I believe, if he could have run again.

    Now, it seems, the supply is drying up. On Aleppo's frontlines, there is still no sign of the heavy weapons for which the rebels have pleaded. Ammunition is running low. "They are giving us enough to keep this fight going, but not enough to win it," complained Abu Furat, a commander. "I'm sure that's not going to change until after the American elections. I'm not sure everyone can survive until then."

    Arms supplies to Syrian rebels dry up amid rivalries and divisions

    This is the reason we need to know about Benghazi. Were we beginning to run arms to Syria? What's up with the prisoners Broadwell spoke about? And most importantly, why no backup? Why were the Ambassador and the others not helped (sacrificed?). Petraeus has said no one at the CIA refused to help. O has said he ordered everything to be done.

    Last week during a campaign swing in Colorado, President Obama said he issued a directive the “minute” he found out what was going on in Benghazi “to make sure we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to do.”

    Read more here:

    Did Panetta refuse to carry out an order?

    I don't think there ever was an order and Obama is lying like hell.

  7. How can this new "government" be all inclusive if they do not represent currently elected officials of the Assad government? What Syrian "democratic movement"?

    Salafists and Wahhabists not only support the jihad in Syria... they're part of it. The armed part of it. Their “ideology” has “zero’ to do with “democracy’.

    Why support the Salafist/Wahabbi jihadist push in Syria to turn Syria into a Sunni Shari'ah State whose agenda is to turn Syrians into a state of the pan-Islamic Caliphate?

    Assad and his regime is the lesser of two evils in Syria.

    I would like to know our own governments policy on putting down rebellions? I think you would find that they would react exactly the same as the Syrian government. As our host has commented often, The American Civil War claimed over 600,000 people in the efforts to maintain unification.

  8. There aren't any elected officials in the Assad government. The seeming reason to get rid of Assad is to weaken Iran.

    If you like your Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and Hostess Cupcakes, you will not like this -

    1. Per my totally unimportant but usual suggestion, divide the damn place up, an amicable divorce with the least dead at the end of it. Give the Christians a few acres of their own, somewhere.

    2. It is our business to divide up a culture, a society and country 4000 years old?

      We are so clever, we can’t control our own borders but we know how to control others?

    3. Syria a culture, a society and country 4000 years old?

      It was part of the Ottoman Empire until WWI. Before that part of a bunch of muslim dynasties, before that....before that.....

      Separate the squabbling parties. The sunnis get most of it. Give the Christians and the others some space of their own. Left to themselves the sunnis may well prevail, and the rest of them have had it.

      Don't worry, won't happen.

    4. The good sunni folk are taking revenge on the Christians now.

    5. I'd think you might be in favor of some such solution, given your view of Lincoln and the force used to keep this nation together.

      That was a good defense you gave of Lincoln's sexual nature. Seems as if it were so.

    6. Geez Bob, did you or anyone else hear about a guy named Paul, having a conversion on the road to where? Get with it man, nation states did not exist with stable borders up until the last two centuries. Did Rome not exist before the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946?

    7. I am suuuuuuure that no one will disagree that a political creation formed in 1946 does not negate thousands of years of settlements, towns and culture.

    8. .

      Here you go, Bob.

      These are the current political parties in Syria. Get yourself a map of the country divide it up for us.

      Political parties and organizations

      National Progressive Front: Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (governing party)
      Arab Socialist Movement
      Arab Socialist Union Party of Syria
      Syrian Communist Party (Khalid Bakdash faction)
      Syrian Communist Party (Yusuf Faisal faction)
      Social Democratic Unionists
      Socialist Unionists
      Democratic Socialist Unionist Party
      Arabic Democratic Unionist Party
      National Vow Movement
      Popular Front for Change and Liberation Syrian Social Nationalist Party
      People’s Will Party

      Other Licenced parties (As 19 June 2012 ):

      [1] National Democratic Solidarity Party (Al Tadamon National Democratic Party)
      Syrian Democratic Party (Al Tadamon Arab Democratic Party)
      National Development Party
      Al-Ansar Party
      Democratic Al-Taliyeh Party (Al Talia'a Democratic Party)
      Al-Shabab Reform Party (National Youth for Justice and Development)
      Syrian Al-Shabab Reform Party (Syrian National Youth Party)
      Syrian Reform and Justice Party
      Syria Home (Souriya Al-Watan)

      Under the Constitution of Syria approved in 2012, a licensed party must have at least 50 founding members, aged 25 or over, who have been Syrian nationals for more than 10 years, and are not members of any other party, Syrian or non-Syrian. [2]

      Unlicensed parties or campaigning organisations operating in Syria or from exile include:

      Syrian Democratic People's Party
      Communist Labour Party
      Democratic Socialist Arab Ba'ath Party
      Arab Revolutionary Workers Party
      Reform Party of Syria
      Muslim Brotherhood of Syria
      Antiglobalization Activists in Syria
      Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria
      Assyrian Democratic Organization
      Syriac Union
      Democratic Arab Socialist Union
      Hizb ut-Tahrir
      National Salvation Front in Syria
      Movement for Justice and Development in Syria
      Democratic Islah Party


    9. .

      Besides, Bob, You act as if we are capable of dividing a country by edict, "Ok, Kurds, you stay over there, Sunnis there, Christians there, Muslim Brotherhood over there..." Who would listen? What is your alternative when they tell you to go piss up a rope?

      From a practical sense, the only way to get what you want would be all out war, a war that would drag the rest of the ME in as well as the other superpowers. Even in country, it would require a massive relocation of the various populations.

      Besides we have never been very good at picking sides. After a decade of war, we got rid of one dictatorship in Iraq and turned it into what appears to be another dictatorship, nothing that couldn't be forseen.

      The war in Syria is not only an internal civil war, it has now become a regional war between various states like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, as well as, an ideological or religious war between Islamists and others. It could become and even wider war involving more heavyweights if we keep meddling.


    10. .

      Should have said,

      " has now become a regional surrogate war between various states like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey,..."


  9. Are Petraeus and Allen the Blomberg and Fritsch of the Obama Administration?

    If you believe David Petraeus really resigned as CIA director over an extramarital affair, you probably also believe that Muhammad filmmaker Mark Basseley Youssef is in prison because of a parole violation. It is much more likely that both Petraeus and Youssef herald the dawning of a new style in American politics – or else Barack Obama is the luckiest man alive.

  10. "Arab Spring" democracy on the march: Women's equality article removed from Egypt draft constitution

  11. CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I think the really shocking news today was that General Petraeus thought and hoped he could keep his job. He thought that it might and it would be kept secret, and that he could stay in his position. I think what that tells us is really important. It meant that he understood that the FBI obviously knew what was going on. He was hoping that those administration officials would not disclose what had happened, and therefore hoping that he would keep his job. And that meant that he understood that his job, his reputation, his legacy, his whole celebrated life was in the hands of the administration, and he expected they would protect him by keeping it quiet.

    And that brings us to the ultimate issue, and that is his testimony on September 13. That’s the thing that connects the two scandals, and that’s the only thing that makes the sex scandal relevant. Otherwise it would be an exercise in sensationalism and voyeurism and nothing else. The reason it’s important is here’s a man who knows the administration holds his fate in its hands, and he gives testimony completely at variance with what the Secretary of Defense had said the day before, at variance with what he’d heard from his station chief in Tripoli, and with everything that we had heard. Was he influenced by the fact that he knew his fate was held by people within the administration at that time?

    Of course it was being held over Petraeus’s head, and the sword was lowered on Election Day. You don’t have to be a cynic to see that as the ultimate in cynicism. As long as they needed him to give the administration line to quote Bill, everybody was silent. And as soon as the election’s over, as soon as he can be dispensed with, the sword drops and he’s destroyed. I mean, can you imagine what it’s like to be on that pressure and to think it didn’t distort or at least in some way unconsciously influence his testimony? That’s hard to believe.

  12. “Looks like we have way too many generals taking orders from their privates.”

    Rush Limbaugh

    1. .

      That is absolutely the only good one I can recall coming from Lumbaugh.



  13. Gen. John Allen also helped Jill Kelley's sister during custody battle

    November 14, 2012

    Both Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. John Allen intervened in the same nasty child custody battle involving Natalie Khawam, the “psychologically unstable” twin sister of Jill Kelley, whose bombshell claims of being threatened by Petraeus' lover led to the top spy’s resignation last week, the Post has learned.

    Allen, the four-star general top commander in Afghanistan, was revealed last night to have exchanged thousands of pages of of emails with Kelley, who went to the feds after receiving threatening e-mails from Paula Broadwell, the married mistress of Petraeus.

    A judge noted in the file that Khawam "has attached letters from Gen. David H. Petraeus averring to her ability to appropriately parent the child, and is prepared to present corroborating testimony at trial."

    And in court documents filed by Kelley's sister Natalie Khawam, she name-drops both Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island -- who both have ties to a Providence, RI, lawyer/Democratic fundraiser who loaned a whopping $300,000 to Khawam.

    A spokesman for Whitehouse today that lawyer, Gerald Harrington, has dated and "may have been engaged to Khawam." Harrington has not returned a call seeking comment.

    Khawam claimed in a July 12 letter to her estranged husband that she took their now 4-year-old son "on vacation last year to Martha Vineyard," where their son and "I had a great time at the DSCC [Democratic Senate Campaign Committee] event."

    "Sen. John Kerry asked if [her son] would be coming again this year," Khawam wrote. "[Their son] was a superstar at the DSCC last year."

    A spokeswoman for Kerry – who the Washington Post reports is being considered as President Obama's next secretary of defense -- in an email comment wrote, "Senator Kerry’s friend Jerry Harrington introduced him to his girlfriend (Natalie) at a DSCC event."

    Also filed in that court case by Khawam is a letter from Whitehouse, who like Kerry is a Democrat.

    That letter was written to Harrington, who has been a fundraiser for Kerry and other Democrats out of Rhode Island. Harrington, according to Khawam's federal bankruptcy filing earlier this year in Florida, gave her a personal loan of $300,000.

    "Derry Gerry," Whitehouse wrote. "I am excited to hear that you and [Khawam's son] may be coming to the Family Clambake. That would be terrific! All the best wishes, Sheldon."

    Honest to Christ. And Kerry may become Secretary of Defense.

  14. This may give Obama a good excuse to jerk a knot in the Military's tail.

    There are some Democrats that are asking, "why not start bringing the Troops home, Now?" And, Obama's already pulled some troops out of Europe. The timing of all this is somewhat serendipitous.

    I don't believe there's a chance in hell they'll get Obama to do any more than he's already done in Syria (which is funnel the rebels a few arms.)

    1. .

      Rebels a few arms?

      The good rebels or the bad rebels? Do you know which is which? I'm sure they don't.


    2. I didn't intend that as a value judgement.


  15. John Kerry reporting for duty, sir!

  16. :)

    Don't worry Ruf. O is on his way to Russia soon, to give the store away to Putin.

  17. He would like to get a new "Nuke" deal. The Russians need to be stroked on Missile Defense, and they need to talk about Syria, and Iran. It's definitely a trip that needs takin'.

    1. Russia is, also, the world's largest producer of oil, and has one of the world's fastest (only) growing economies. There's potential for some trade, there.

  18. Quirk,

    Regarding our brief discussion yesterday:

    Religious fundamentalists generally predicate their actions upon fundamentals, axioms, if you will. As in the abortion debate where a couple of fundamental assumptions leads to proposed actions/laws (i.e. not allowing abortion for women impregnated by a rape) so to does the Islamic fundamentalist act. Women are often at the short end of the stick.

  19. More Maureen Dowd:


    The scandal is a good reminder that, although John McCain and Sarah Palin urge total trust and blank checks for the generals, these guys are human beings working under extremely stressful circumstances, and their judgments are not beyond reproach.

    Petraeus’s Icarus flight began when he set himself above President Obama.

    Accustomed to being a demigod, expert at polishing his own celebrity and swaying public opinion, Petraeus did not accept the new president’s desire to head for the nearest exit ramp on Afghanistan in 2009. The general began lobbying for a surge in private sessions with reporters and undercutting the president, who was trying to make a searingly hard call.

    Petraeus rolled the younger commander in chief into going ahead with a bound-to-fail surge in Afghanistan, just as, half-a-century earlier, the C.I.A. had rolled Jack Kennedy into going ahead with the bound-to-fail Bay of Pigs scheme. Both missions defied logic, but the untested presidents put aside their own doubts and instincts, caving to experience.

    Once in Afghanistan, Petraeus welcomed prominent conservative hawks from Washington think tanks. As Greg Jaffe wrote in The Washington Post, they were “given permanent office space at his headquarters and access to military aircraft to tour the battlefield. They provided advice to field commanders that sometimes conflicted with orders the commanders were getting from their immediate bosses.”

    So many more American kids and Afghanistan civilians were killed and maimed in a war that went on too long. That’s the real scandal. "

    1. .

      Dowd finally gets away from her usual bitter hissy fits and actually makes a cogent point.


    2. Do you realize you have complimented El Rushbo, and Maureen Dowd, on the same day?


      Maybe there is something to that Dec 21st, stuff.

    3. .

      I'm getting a case of the tremers.

      Better go walk the dog.

      (And reflect on my life to date.)



  20. .

    Sorry, I am not aware of the 'islamic fundamentalist act'. I tried googling it but could't find a reference.

    This sounds like another one of your strained segues while trying to make some hysterical point, similar to trying to link criticism of Islam with pedophilia among Catholic priests.



    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I see logic and the english language are tough for you. No problem, carry on.

    3. .


      Good lord, Ash, you are priceless.



  21. That was a good defense you gave of Lincoln's sexual nature.

    Cold fusion had a lot of people excited. So did Piltdown Man.

    As well as ...

    Digging into Lincoln's psycho-sexual profile seems like research one would expect from the marginalized academics of modern "wymen's studies."

    1. .

      True enough.

      The article linked was put out by the Philidelphia Gay news.

      Everyone has an agenda.


  22. …not when it is an unquestioned fact that he is the iconic Greatest President in US history ever and has mountains carved in his honor.

  23. The Romans set the precedent of electing dead tyrants as gods.

  24. Is it the hypocrisy or the (alleged) fact of homosexuality?

    And you're claiming the latter influenced his decisions as CINC during Civil War?

  25. .

    Google report reveals sharp increase in government requests for users' data

    The US accounted for the most requests, as it has consistently since the report was launched. US authorities asked for private details of Google users on 7,969 occasions, up from 6,321 in the last reporting period. The number is more than a third of the 20,938 requests for users' details worldwide. Google fully or partially complied with 90% of those requests.

    Over the six months, Google was asked to remove seven YouTube videos that criticised local and state agencies, police and other public officials. It did not comply with these requests.

    US figures represent a larger share of the requests for a variety of reasons. Google has a larger number of US users, the US authorities are more familiar with working with Google and foreign countries sometimes make requests for information through US agencies. Those queries are logged as US requests, as Google is not told where the query originated from.

    Europe now accounts for five of the top 10 countries making requests for user data. France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK are all in the top 10 in terms of numbers of requests. The number of requests for content removal in the UK shot up 98% in the UK and 60% in Spain. In the UK, local police authorities unsuccessfully pressed for Google to remove links to sites that accused the police of obscuring crime and racism. The UK is currently considering a bill that would require internet and phone companies to track and store every citizen's web and mobile phone use, including social networking sites, without retaining their content, for 12 months.

    France and Germany, two countries that have pressed hard for more privacy online, made the most requests out of any European countries in this reporting period. Google complied with fewer than half of all requests in both countries.

    The top three reasons cited by governments for the removal of content are defamation, privacy and security. Google also reported that it has received a number of falsified court documents calling on them to remove content.


    1. but, but, without all this ability to surveil the intertubes we wouldn't have the pleasure of the present scandal! Those generals could continue their debauched Roman like partying


    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. .

      The fact that you do not discern the difference between legitimate surveillance that can be shown to have probable cause and that is authorized by a responsible judicial authority through warrant (as in tracking child pornographers and molesters, potential threats, national or individual, etc.) and wholesale surveillance without any probable cause as in the early years of the WOT or as now proposed by the UK does not surprise me.


    4. Are you suggesting the current surveillance of Patraeus and Allen in particular, exhibit a probable cause basis? Did the shirtless FBI agent seek judicial authority for his wiretapping of the Generals lady friends?

      inquiring minds are curious.

      I am firmly against the wholesale surveillence initiated under Dubya and I believe, but don't know, that the mechanisms are still in place.

    5. .

      Are you suggesting the current surveillance of Patraeus and Allen in particular, exhibit a probable cause basis?

      What I am suggesting is that there was probable cause to investigate the complaint of Kelley that she was receiving threatening e-mails. The fact that Petraeus and Allen got caught up in it is due primarily to their hubris and stupidity. However, once involved, there was probable cause for investigating them further.

      Did the shirtless FBI agent seek judicial authority for his wiretapping of the Generals lady friends?

      Don't know where you got this piece of info. As far as I know he did no wiretapping, merely tried to find out the progress of the investigation and then took the whole story to Cantor. What his involvement with Kelly is remains to be seen; but from what we've heard, IMO, he was trying to ingratiate himself to her in the hopes of eventually dipping his beak (if he hasn't done so already).


    6. The Kelleys were known for their lavish parties, with extravagant buffets, flowing Champagne, valet parking and cigars for guests

      Cigars for guests!

      I like this woman.

  26. Let's see how this plays out re Syria -

    Since there is only one country worth a shit in the whole area, and that is Israel, why not call up Netanyahu and ask him what we should do?

    After all, it wouldn't take much to make things go one way or the other there, a few carpet bombings, and we lost no lives at all in Libya, except of course the Ambassador and the others, and their blood is on Obama's hands.



  27. Having established that Lincoln was up to speed, so to say, we could now turn our attention to Shillary, to pass some time.

    I have heard back in college....

  28. Petraeus agrees to testify...

    Documents reveal claims of nepotism, fraud, child porn inside agency... SKEDADDLE: Panetta joins Hillary in Australia...


    Maybe Panetta and Hillary will just stay in Australia.

    But that wouldn't fair to Sam.

    1. After all, while criminals settled the place, it is more or less law abiding now.

  29. I wonder if Petraeus will tell the truth.


    'World's first toilet theme park' opens in South Korea

    If Petraeus doesn't tell the truth, send him there.

    1. Couple real nice shitter paintings there.


  31. As for poor old Abe's sexual orientation: I just can't imagine anything more uninteresting.

    He did Preserve the Union, and I can't even Imagine anything more important to us, and the world, than that.

  32. There are more uninteresting things, but you're right, it's no big deal.

    People make allegations against Walt Whitman, and forget the important thing, Song of Myself.

    It was a different time then too. Men sharing beds wasn't uncommon. Whitman thought a great deal of Lincoln - the sweetest, wisest soul of all my days and lands - perhaps seeing him as a kindred soul.

  33. Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900.

    192. When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom’d


    WHEN lilacs last in the door-yard bloom’d,
    And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
    I mourn’d—and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

    O ever-returning spring! trinity sure to me you bring;
    Lilac blooming perennial, and drooping star in the west, 5
    And thought of him I love.


    O powerful, western, fallen star!
    O shades of night! O moody, tearful night!
    O great star disappear’d! O the black murk that hides the star!
    O cruel hands that hold me powerless! O helpless soul of me! 10
    O harsh surrounding cloud, that will not free my soul!


    In the door-yard fronting an old farm-house, near the white-wash’d palings,
    Stands the lilac bush, tall-growing, with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
    With many a pointed blossom, rising, delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
    With every leaf a miracle......and from this bush in the door-yard, 15
    With delicate-color’d blossoms, and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
    A sprig, with its flower, I break.


    In the swamp, in secluded recesses,
    A shy and hidden bird is warbling a song.

    Solitary, the thrush, 20
    The hermit, withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements,
    Sings by himself a song.

    Song of the bleeding throat!
    Death’s outlet song of life—(for well, dear brother, I know
    If thou wast not gifted to sing, thou would’st surely die.) 25


    Over the breast of the spring, the land, amid cities,
    Amid lanes, and through old woods, (where lately the violets peep’d from the ground, spotting the gray debris;)
    Amid the grass in the fields each side of the lanes—passing the endless grass;
    Passing the yellow-spear’d wheat, every grain from its shroud in the dark-brown fields uprising;
    Passing the apple-tree blows of white and pink in the orchards; 30
    Carrying a corpse to where it shall rest in the grave,
    Night and day journeys a coffin.


    Coffin that passes through lanes and streets,
    Through day and night, with the great cloud darkening the land,
    With the pomp of the inloop’d flags, with the cities draped in black, 35
    With the show of the States themselves, as of crape-veil’d women, standing,
    With processions long and winding, and the flambeaus of the night,
    With the countless torches lit—with the silent sea of faces, and the unbared heads,
    With the waiting depot, the arriving coffin, and the sombre faces,
    With dirges through the night, with the thousand voices rising strong and solemn; 40
    With all the mournful voices of the dirges, pour’d around the coffin,
    The dim-lit churches and the shuddering organs—Where amid these you journey,
    With the tolling, tolling bells’ perpetual clang;
    Here! coffin that slowly passes,
    I give you my sprig of lilac. 45

    1. (Nor for you, for one, alone;
      Blossoms and branches green to coffins all I bring:
      For fresh as the morning—thus would I carol a song for you, O sane and sacred death.

      All over bouquets of roses,
      O death! I cover you over with roses and early lilies; 50
      But mostly and now the lilac that blooms the first,
      Copious, I break, I break the sprigs from the bushes;
      With loaded arms I come, pouring for you,
      For you, and the coffins all of you, O death.)


      O western orb, sailing the heaven! 55
      Now I know what you must have meant, as a month since we walk’d,
      As we walk’d up and down in the dark blue so mystic,
      As we walk’d in silence the transparent shadowy night,
      As I saw you had something to tell, as you bent to me night after night,
      As you droop’d from the sky low down, as if to my side, (while the other stars all look’d on;) 60
      As we wander’d together the solemn night, (for something, I know not what, kept me from sleep;)
      As the night advanced, and I saw on the rim of the west, ere you went, how full you were of woe;
      As I stood on the rising ground in the breeze, in the cold transparent night,
      As I watch’d where you pass’d and was lost in the netherward black of the night,
      As my soul, in its trouble, dissatisfied, sank, as where you, sad orb, 65
      Concluded, dropt in the night, and was gone.


      Sing on, there in the swamp!
      O singer bashful and tender! I hear your notes—I hear your call;
      I hear—I come presently—I understand you;
      But a moment I linger—for the lustrous star has detain’d me; 70
      The star, my departing comrade, holds and detains me.


      O how shall I warble myself for the dead one there I loved?
      And how shall I deck my song for the large sweet soul that has gone?
      And what shall my perfume be, for the grave of him I love?

      Sea-winds, blown from east and west, 75
      Blown from the eastern sea, and blown from the western sea, till there on the prairies meeting:
      These, and with these, and the breath of my chant,
      I perfume the grave of him I love.


      O what shall I hang on the chamber walls?
      And what shall the pictures be that I hang on the walls, 80
      To adorn the burial-house of him I love?

      Pictures of growing spring, and farms, and homes,
      With the Fourth-month eve at sundown, and the gray smoke lucid and bright,
      With floods of the yellow gold of the gorgeous, indolent, sinking sun, burning, expanding the air;
      With the fresh sweet herbage under foot, and the pale green leaves of the trees prolific; 85
      In the distance the flowing glaze, the breast of the river, with a wind-dapple here and there;
      With ranging hills on the banks, with many a line against the sky, and shadows;
      And the city at hand, with dwellings so dense, and stacks of chimneys,
      And all the scenes of life, and the workshops, and the workmen homeward returning.


      Lo! body and soul! this land! 90
      Mighty Manhattan, with spires, and the sparkling and hurrying tides, and the ships;
      The varied and ample land—the South and the North in the light—Ohio’s shores, and flashing Missouri,
      And ever the far-spreading prairies, cover’d with grass and corn.

      Lo! the most excellent sun, so calm and haughty;
      The violet and purple morn, with just-felt breezes; 95
      The gentle, soft-born, measureless light;
      The miracle, spreading, bathing all—the fulfill’d noon;
      The coming eve, delicious—the welcome night, and the stars,
      Over my cities shining all, enveloping man and land.


    2. Sing on! sing on, you gray-brown bird! 100
      Sing from the swamps, the recesses—pour your chant from the bushes;
      Limitless out of the dusk, out of the cedars and pines.

      Sing on, dearest brother—warble your reedy song;
      Loud human song, with voice of uttermost woe.

      O liquid, and free, and tender! 105
      O wild and loose to my soul! O wondrous singer!
      You only I hear......yet the star holds me, (but will soon depart;)
      Yet the lilac, with mastering odor, holds me.


      Now while I sat in the day, and look’d forth,
      In the close of the day, with its light, and the fields of spring, and the farmer preparing his crops, 110
      In the large unconscious scenery of my land, with its lakes and forests,
      In the heavenly aerial beauty, (after the perturb’d winds, and the storms;)
      Under the arching heavens of the afternoon swift passing, and the voices of children and women,
      The many-moving sea-tides,—and I saw the ships how they sail’d,
      And the summer approaching with richness, and the fields all busy with labor, 115
      And the infinite separate houses, how they all went on, each with its meals and minutia of daily usages;
      And the streets, how their throbbings throbb’d, and the cities pent—lo! then and there,
      Falling upon them all, and among them all, enveloping me with the rest,
      Appear’d the cloud, appear’d the long black trail;
      And I knew Death, its thought, and the sacred knowledge of death. 120


      Then with the knowledge of death as walking one side of me,
      And the thought of death close-walking the other side of me,
      And I in the middle, as with companions, and as holding the hands of companions,
      I fled forth to the hiding receiving night, that talks not,
      Down to the shores of the water, the path by the swamp in the dimness, 125
      To the solemn shadowy cedars, and ghostly pines so still.

      And the singer so shy to the rest receiv’d me;
      The gray-brown bird I know, receiv’d us comrades three;
      And he sang what seem’d the carol of death, and a verse for him I love.

      From deep secluded recesses, 130
      From the fragrant cedars, and the ghostly pines so still,
      Came the carol of the bird.

      And the charm of the carol rapt me,
      As I held, as if by their hands, my comrades in the night;
      And the voice of my spirit tallied the song of the bird. 135



      Come, lovely and soothing Death,
      Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving,
      In the day, in the night, to all, to each,
      Sooner or later, delicate Death.

      Prais’d be the fathomless universe, 140
      For life and joy, and for objects and knowledge curious;
      And for love, sweet love—But praise! praise! praise!
      For the sure-enwinding arms of cool-enfolding Death.

      Dark Mother, always gliding near, with soft feet,
      Have none chanted for thee a chant of fullest welcome? 145

      Then I chant it for thee—I glorify thee above all;
      I bring thee a song that when thou must indeed come, come unfalteringly.

      Approach, strong Deliveress!
      When it is so—when thou hast taken them, I joyously sing the dead,
      Lost in the loving, floating ocean of thee, 150
      Laved in the flood of thy bliss, O Death.

      From me to thee glad serenades,
      Dances for thee I propose, saluting thee—adornments and feastings for thee;
      And the sights of the open landscape, and the high-spread sky, are fitting,
      And life and the fields, and the huge and thoughtful night. 155

      The night, in silence, under many a star;
      The ocean shore, and the husky whispering wave, whose voice I know;
      And the soul turning to thee, O vast and well-veil’d Death,
      And the body gratefully nestling close to thee.

      Over the tree-tops I float thee a song! 160
      Over the rising and sinking waves—over the myriad fields, and the prairies wide;
      Over the dense-pack’d cities all, and the teeming wharves and ways,
      I float this carol with joy, with joy to thee, O Death!

    4. 17

      To the tally of my soul,
      Loud and strong kept up the gray-brown bird, 165
      With pure, deliberate notes, spreading, filling the night.

      Loud in the pines and cedars dim,
      Clear in the freshness moist, and the swamp-perfume;
      And I with my comrades there in the night.

      While my sight that was bound in my eyes unclosed, 170
      As to long panoramas of visions.


      I saw askant the armies;
      And I saw, as in noiseless dreams, hundreds of battle-flags;
      Borne through the smoke of the battles, and pierc’d with missiles, I saw them,
      And carried hither and yon through the smoke, and torn and bloody; 175
      And at last but a few shreds left on the staffs, (and all in silence,)
      And the staffs all splinter’d and broken.

      I saw battle-corpses, myriads of them,
      And the white skeletons of young men—I saw them;
      I saw the debris and debris of all the dead soldiers of the war; 180
      But I saw they were not as was thought;
      They themselves were fully at rest—they suffer’d not;
      The living remain’d and suffer’d—the mother suffer’d,
      And the wife and the child, and the musing comrade suffer’d,
      And the armies that remain’d suffer’d. 185


      Passing the visions, passing the night;
      Passing, unloosing the hold of my comrades’ hands;
      Passing the song of the hermit bird, and the tallying song of my soul,
      (Victorious song, death’s outlet song, yet varying, ever-altering song,
      As low and wailing, yet clear the notes, rising and falling, flooding the night, 190
      Sadly sinking and fainting, as warning and warning, and yet again bursting with joy,
      Covering the earth, and filling the spread of the heaven,
      As that powerful psalm in the night I heard from recesses,)
      Passing, I leave thee, lilac with heart-shaped leaves;
      I leave thee there in the door-yard, blooming, returning with spring, 195
      I cease from my song for thee;
      From my gaze on thee in the west, fronting the west, communing with thee,
      O comrade lustrous, with silver face in the night.


      Yet each I keep, and all, retrievements out of the night;
      The song, the wondrous chant of the gray-brown bird, 200
      And the tallying chant, the echo arous’d in my soul,
      With the lustrous and drooping star, with the countenance full of woe,
      With the lilac tall, and its blossoms of mastering odor;
      With the holders holding my hand, nearing the call of the bird,
      Comrades mine, and I in the midst, and their memory ever I keep—for the dead I loved so well; 205
      For the sweetest, wisest soul of all my days and lands...and this for his dear sake;
      Lilac and star and bird, twined with the chant of my soul,
      There in the fragrant pines, and the cedars dusk and dim.

  34. It may be time to head for the bunker. Hope you are well supplied there, Ruf.

    Top Hamas commander killed in Israeli airstrike...
    Target tied to Iran...
    Israel launches Operation Pillar of Cloud...
    Recommends That No Hamas Operatives 'Show Their Faces Above Ground'...
    Hits 20 underground rocket sites in Gaza...
    IDF 'ready to initiate ground operation'...
    Rockets explode in Israeli border town...

  35. Coketown said...
    Did anyone else see a pair of black lace panties fly past the president after that female reporter said, "I've never seen you lose"?

    11/14/12 1:26 PM

    1. No, but I seem to remember that her question wasn't exactly wrapped in lace.

  36. Why would Petraeus choose to reveal his peccadilloes in his resignation letter?

    1. So as to tell O you can't blackmail me any longer? And it was coming out anyway?

    2. He wanted to reinforce the impression folks had of him that he was an upright, straight, hard, straight shooting type of guy.

  37. Is a General losing his job over benghazi

    "The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.

    General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command."

    1. Computer problems prevented the full post including a note that this is a reminder from Oct 28 and that others said that SecDef was the one who gave the order to "Stand Down."

    2. So if President Obama is not lying about his directives, he is saying that the CIA and the Defense Department and our military chain of command disobeyed the direct order of our commander in chief to do everything in their power to rescue our people under attack in Benghazi. And that as commander in chief, Obama did nothing in response to their dereliction of duty.

      That doesn't happen. No one believes that; the president is lying. He did not issue directives to the CIA, our military, and State to "secure our personnel" and "do whatever we need to do."

      Why Obama Chose To Let Them Die

  38. Then, as I began to contemplate ways to assist Barack in his 2012 re-election bid something miraculous happened. I felt God’s (His) Spirit beckoning me in my dreams at night. Listening, cautiously, I learned that Jesus walked the earth to create a more civilized society, Martin (Luther King) walked the earth to create a more justified society, but, Apostle Barack, the name he was called in my dreams, would walk the earth to create a more equalized society, for the middle class and working poor. Apostle Barack, the next young leader with a new cause, had been taken to the mountaintop and allowed to see over the other side. He had the answers to unlock the kingdom of “heaven here on earth” for his followers. The answers were repeated – over and over – in speeches Barack had made from his presidential announcement to his inaugural address. Those speeches or his teachings contained the answers to the middle class and working poor people living in a “heaven here on earth.” For when the answers were unlocked and enacted, Apostle Barack’s vision of America would be realized.

    Ruf, do you ever have dreams like this?

    Naw, I bet not, but you never know....

    1. Probably about as often as you have dreams about Donald Trump, and Mitt Romney.

    2. That makes us both sound sleepers then.

  39. November 14, 2012
    Allen West needs your help now
    Carol Brown

    As many AT readers must know, Congressman Allen West has filed a lawsuit demanding a full recount of the votes in his district. He won in two of the three counties, but there appears to be suspicious activity surrounding early voting ballots in the third county - Lucie County - where Congressman West was ahead and then suddenly dramatically behind within a 30 minute time frame in the wee hours of the morning following Election Day.

    Congressman West needs help funding his legal team. He cannot use campaign election funds for this effort. Here is how we can all help out:

    Send your check to Allen West for Congress - Recount. Including the word "Recount" on the check is crucial for the money to be applied to his legal fees.

    Checks should be mailed to his campaign headquarters at:

    Allen West for Congress

    PO Box 1108

    Stuart, FL 34995

    Congressman West has spent his entire life defending our constitution, our liberties, our nation. Let each one of us come to his defense now in the most important way we can by donating money to his legal fund.

    Read more:

  40. WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. John McCain is calling for establishment of a Watergate-style congressional committee to investigate the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

    The Arizona Republican tells "CBS This Morning" he believes the unanswered questions surrounding events at Benghazi on Sept. 11 require such a select committee.

    McCain accused the Obama administration of making misleading statements. He also said U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice went on national television and said incorrectly that the violence was the result of a demonstration against an anti-Muslim movie made in the United States. Asked if he'd stand in the way of any nomination of Rice as the next secretary of state, McCain replied, "She's not qualified."

    He said Rice spoke "in defiance" of the facts in the case.

    This is what we need, and with a Judge like John Sirica leading the proceedings.

    Go, John McCain!

    1. The hell with all this sex stuff. We want to know why those people died.

    2. A combination of things, it seems. Bullets, RPGS, and, at least one from smoke inhalation, being some of the the causes that we know of.

    3. The guy that was the head of the CIA (when he wasn't playing hide-the-weinie with various authors, and Tampa party girls) will be testifying in front of Congress, Friday. Maybe he can shed some light on the goings-on there.

  41. Sony Corp. 6758.TO -10.57% sank 11% in Tokyo following an announcement that it will issue ¥150 billion in convertible bonds to raise money for strategic investments and to repay loans.

    Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was 0.8% lower at 4353.00, after touching a seven-week low of 4348.20 in early trading. Qantas Airways climbed 4.5% on profit guidance and plans for debt reduction and a share buyback, while James Hardie Industries JHX -1.59% dropped 2.3% on disappointing interim results.

    South Korea's Kospi lost 1.6%.

  42. The death in Ireland of a woman whose repeated requests for an abortion were turned down - reportedly because “this is a Catholic country” - has sparked international protests and condemnation.


    Twenty years ago a controversial case in which a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl, a pregnant and suicidal rape victim, was permitted to travel to Britain for a termination.

    This represented a relaxation in the actual position on abortion, but since then six successive governments have veered away from attempting to enact legislation to give legal effect to this.

  43. The Syrian authorities on Wednesday ordered airstrikes close to the tense Turkish border for the third consecutive day, and said a French decision to recognize and consider arming a newly formed coalition of Syrian government opponents was an “immoral” act “encouraging the destruction of Syria.”

    “This is an immoral position because it allows the killing of Syrians,” said Faisal al-Miqdad, Syria’s deputy foreign minister, according to Agence France-Presse. “They are supporting killers, terrorists, and they are encouraging the destruction of Syria.”

  44. To recap the recent election, the "War on Women" was borderline fluffy (although the VA state legislature *was* passing real law.) But the real kicker (for me) was the in-your-face dishonesty of the economic narrative from the Republicans. One more time (my "ethanol" post.)

    Michael Lind writing in Salon:

    As the chart shows, nearly half of the U.S. public debt explosion is the result of George W. Bush’s tax cuts, which chiefly benefited rich Americans, and George W. Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which were funded entirely by borrowing rather than taxes. The rest of the debt increase is the result of lost revenue from the Great Recession, with a small additional sum from federal government emergency responses to the Great Recession, such as the bailouts of the banks, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the stimulus, and automatic stabilizers like the federal contribution to unemployment insurance. Note what is missing from the chart. The ballooning of the public debt was not caused in any way by any explosion of spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or other middle-class entitlements or safety-net programs for the poor. And yet the proponents of a “Grand Bargain” like Simpson and Bowles tells us that we need to move quickly to cut these essential social insurance programs, which — it bears repeating — had nothing at all to do with the present fiscal crisis. Let’s see just how ominous the long-term problems of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are, with three charts via Ezra Klein at the Washington Post:

    And good graphs and charts they are.

    I see Obama is taking a hard line. Good for him.

    And good for Maureen Dowd.

    1. Whass wrong with ethanol?



    2. :) Not as much as the detractors claim.

      With the caveat that I haven't done an even superficial quantitative analysis, the charge that the diversion into ethanol adversely impacted the food crop for "starving children" always struck me as false. Did anyone ever quantify the impact on "starving children" of political tyrants who intentionally opposed free market capitalism?

      The "modern" argument is whether the technology is being co-opted or the politics are failing. I would argue that technology never fails. Political systems - have a much more mixed history.

  45. The affair helps steer attention away from larger issues, like the 9/11 anniversary attack in Benghazi, that could embarrass the president, said Roger Aronoff, editor of the conservative watchdog group Accuracy in the Media.


    But Clinton of course had a long public career before his sex scandal, while Lewinsky is still known for that alone. Though she recently signed a $12 million book deal to write her memoir, she’s mostly kept out of the public eye and, of course, there is really just one experience in her life that warranted a book deal, let alone one with such a huge advance.


    Nearly 15 years later, two recent speakers at Lewinsky’s alma mater, Lewis & Clarke College, told the Beast that they were warned not to mention the former White House intern in their remarks.

    Paula Broadwell

  46. On this day in 1972, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 1,000 for the first time ever. It finished that day at 1,003.16.