“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."

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

NATO to the rescue of al-Qa’ida: “Any deployment would be defensive only. It would in no way support a no-fly zone or any offensive operation,” said Mr Rasmussen.

Nato to order deployment of Patriot missiles to Turkey’s border with Syria

Nato will order the deployment of Patriot missiles to Turkey’s border with Syria later today and has warned the Syrian regime that the use of chemical weapons will trigger an immediate response.

By Bruno Waterfield, Brussels
11:46AM GMT 04 Dec 2012

Anders Fogh-Rasmussen, Nato’s secretary general, warned Syria that the international community would not stand by if Bashar al-Assad unleashes chemical warfare against the Syrian people.

“The possible use of chemical weapons would be completely unacceptable for the whole international community,” he said. “If anybody resorts to these terrible weapons, then I would expect an immediate reaction.”

Nato’s declaration follows Barack Obama’s warning of “consequences” should Syria’s chemical weapon stockpiles be used by the regime in its bitter civil war with rebels.

“I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and anyone who is under his command... if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons there will be consequences and you will be held accountable," the US president said.

The West is hardening its response to the conflict in Syria and the United Nations today announced it is pulling “all non-essential international staff” out of the country.

Despite warnings from Russia that deployment of Patriot missiles would add to tensions in the Syria region, Nato foreign ministers will on Tuesday agree to deploy Patriot missiles to the Turkish-Syrian border.
“Turkey has asked for Alliance support and we stand in full solidarity with Turkey,” said Mr Rasmussen.

“I am confident we will demonstrate our determination to deter against any threats and to defend our ally.”

Turkey’s request for Nato to deploy the anti-missile batteries came after intelligence assessments that Damascus was contemplating using ballistic missiles, potentially armed with chemical warheads.
Nato has stressed that under current operational planning the missiles will not be used to escalate a military response to the Assad regime but the decision comes as the West seriously contemplates further measures to aid Syrian rebels.

“Any deployment would be defensive only. It would in no way support a no-fly zone or any offensive operation,” said Mr Rasmussen.

The Patriot missiles will be supplied by Germany, The Netherlands or the US and deployment is not expected for some weeks. Six Patriot batteries, with some 300-400 troops to protect them, will be deployed in support of Turkey on its border with Syria by the New Year.

On Monday, Russia, Syria's staunchest international ally warned against the deployment. "Creating additional capabilities on the border does not defuse the situation but on the contrary exacerbates it," Vladimir Putin, the country president said.

Last week, the European Union gave a “clear signal” that the West is ready to arm Syrian rebels within months, after Britain won a diplomatic battle to ensure that a ban on arming opposition fighters is reviewed early next year.


  1. ”Today I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command: The world is watching,”
    - Barack Obama said on Monday.

    ”The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable and if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons there will be consequences and you will be held accountable.”

    Syrian state media responded by quoting its foreign ministry as saying that it would "never under any circumstances" use such weapons, "if such weapons exist".

    Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, who is in Prague, the capital of Czech Republic, said she would not outline any specifics. “B/ut suffice it to say, we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur,” she said.

    Earlier in the day, a senior White House spokesman said that the US and its allied intelligence had monitored Syrian movement of chemical weapons components in recent days.

  2. The West will supply the Jihadists and foreign rebels all the weapons that they need to defeat Assad’s army. Then what?

  3. This is the real story behind Benghazi. Obama, Clinton, their foreign policy advisors and the people involved in an agenda to start a war with Syria. Do the American people understand this? Do they understand the potential consequences?

  4. The NATO card is the setup after the debacle at the CIA compound in Benghazi which was a logistics hub for weapons being illegally diverted to Syria.

    All a perversion of what NATO once was.

  5. .

    For those who argue that criminal prosecution for cases of terrorism or 'workplace violance' should be handled solely by the military.

    The Hasan Workplace Violance Case

    It's been over 3 years since the shootings and the military trial hasn't even started yet.

    In Detroit, the 'underwear bomber' was caught, read his Miranda rights, indicted, tried, convicted, and is now serving a life sentence. The process took less than a year in civil court.


    1. I've been wondering if the Judge that did this had some pressure to do so.

  6. We are compounding our enemies. The internal repression and domestic spying by the US government on our own people will be justified by the sediment created by the endless layers of lies. We are destroying our freedoms for the lies and ambitions of a political class of miscreants.

  7. Draw your own conclusions from this:

    The United Nations on Monday suspended operations in Syria and began withdrawing non-essential staff as the brutal civil conflict raged and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was prompted to vow it would never use chemical weapons against its own people.

    The proposition is incredible.

    Is there any evidence that the fighting in Syria is about to develop into trench warfare, where it might just be conceivable that it would be effective to use gas?

    Nobody has ever used gas to combat partisans, to gain an advantage in street fighting. How would you?

    Armies which have been quite prepared to execute civilian hostages as a negotiating strategy, to carry out punitive massacres, have no tactical use for canisters of toxic gas.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I would imagine Assad would rationalize that the rebels are not "his own people".

      His dad killed a bunch of folk in Hama to suppress a revolt so it is within the realm of the possible that Bashir might consider wiping out a few thousand in that town again to display his power to those revolting.

    3. Plus, according to Asma Assad's emails, the people of Hama are regarded with class-based disdain, what this country might call "white trash" or in a more political context, "the cracker factor(y)."

      Point being, there is no such thing as demographic homogeneity within sovereign states, except possibly Japan.

      While USA just finished a vitriolic mud-wrestling event that we call a presidential election,without resorting to physical violence (in spite of the many and sober predictions emanating from conservative commentary,) the countries of the ME, are still in the shoot 'em out stage.

  8. The Global Terrorism Index - published on Tuesday by the U.S.- and Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace think tank - ranked countries based on data from the Global Terrorism Database run by a consortium based at the University of Maryland, a commonly used reference by security researchers.

    The U.S. military interventions pursued as part of the West's anti-al Qaeda "war on terror", the researchers suggested, may have simply made matters worse - while whether they made the U.S. homeland safer was impossible to prove.


    "After 9/11, terrorist activity fell back to pre-2000 levels until after the Iraq invasion, and has since escalated dramatically," Steve Killelea, founder and executive chairman of the Institute for Economics and Peace, told Reuters in an e-mail interview.



    The findings suggested foreign powers should think twice before intervening militarily, Killelea said, even in countries such as Syria, already seeing widespread bloodshed. Unless the conflict was brought to a swift end, terror attacks might actually increase, he said.

    The greatest deterioration in 2011 took place in Syria and Yemen, the report said. Yemen has seen a dramatic upsurge in al Qaeda-linked activity in recent years, while Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad have increasingly turned to suicide attacks and bombings.

    Is this what they call Deep Shit?


    I started to listen to a 2012 lecture by that old curmudgeon Noam Chomsky about the "new world order" where "intelligence as a lethal mutation" becomes the dominant theme. His speaking style is tough. I may try to pick it up later.

    "I don't need faith. I have experience." Joseph Campbell

    1. I may try to pick it up later.

      Pick it up much later. Too many other better things to do. Actually, make it last of all.

    2. Apropos of nothing, I read BC for close to a decade. I am embarrassed to admit it took me that long to get it. Chomsky's not my favorite drink but I will try to get through it for no other reason than, unlike the current Republican Party, I check it all out - until the drum beat of mobocratic uniformity drowns out the possibility of new thought transforming old anchors. It's one thing to be balanced. It's something else to be stuck in a rut. Whether the target is institutional or individual.

  9. Saddam gassed the Kurds. That shut them up for a while. Assad's papa may have gassed the folks in whatever town that was back in his day. Anyway, wiped out the whole town, by whatever means. Shut them up permanently.

  10. Hillary Clinton's remark in March 2011: "Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he is a reformer."

    My darling also once assured us all that Egypt was stable.

    The Israelis have said that if Assad starts throwing gas around they will go in, not wanting any thrown their way. And if he falls they may go in as well, to try and secure the stockpiles.

    Israel invading an arab nation. The chests will beat, the hair will be pulled, the flags will be burned, and maybe more, in many an arab nation.

  11. Don’t be surprised that if and when Syria blows up, Iraq jumps into the fray.

    1. If and when? It seems it already is and has been blowing up for awhile now.

    2. Our friends the Iraqis are already transshipping weapons from Iran to Syria.
      We forgot to keep control of the air space when we left.

  12. Be the icing on the cake, wouldn't it? All this stuff is almost prompting me to take a second look at 'Biblical prophecy'. :)

    I'll just be glad to get the Mayan Calendar behind us on Dec. 21 or 18 or 23 or whenever it is. Supposed to be this year.

    1. Someone on some other blog was saying Damascus will be laid waste. No exact date given though.

    2. wildbill357

      they almost CERTAINLY will do NOTHING until the rest of the world sees the TOTAL destruction of Damascus that the US has "allowed" to happen! According to Prophesy, not a single living thing will be left in the city and then it will be too late for the US to wield the sword to stop it because they will have lost credibility with not only the entire Middle East countries but the rest of the world as well! Get ready, Obamanation, His Will is on it's way and it WILL BE DONE!

      See there, all sorts of creative solutions to unravel the secret of this web of incompetence, deceit, hatred and folly.

  13. As an American, I've seen this "WMD" card about one more time than I care to.

    We have 8% Unemployment, and Median Family Income has been Dropping since 1999. I honestly don't care if Assad "Chemicalizes" the whole middleeast. It's not our business.

  14. Protestors in Cairo have broken through the police lines surrounding the Presidential Palace, and tear gas fills the air.

    Our leaders are like children playing pirates along the shore, the sea retreating as the energy of the tsunami gathers, like a driver on pot and Possum Malt Lite, radio blaring, tailgating Thelma and Louise, like a blind hang glider circling lower in the canyon, like a doe slipping on rain wet asphalt, headlights closing....

  15. Fox News is showing film of Assad's jets dropping bombs on rebel positions in Damascus.

  16. Replies
    1. :)

      Just one o' those cases. If you gotta ask . . . . . YES, you are.

    2. Just for you Rufus.

      Stewart's end-game got chopped off - see link below.

  17. Replies
    1. BC argues that Christianity is an ideology, which raises the question: "can non-Christians be card-carrying Republicans?" I'm not sure the Republican Party has dispensed with that issue, regardless of how they categorize Christianity. I'm unsure if O'Reilly would have been crucified at BC or not.

  18. The U.S. has some very serious problems - the answer to none of which is "Assad/anti-Assad Forces win in Syria."

    Our most serious problems can only be solved with "economic growth," and the nature of those problems preclude "Economic Growth."

    We Cannot afford to be distracted by a bunch of crazy people in "the land of the habitually insane."


  19. “Rupert’s after me as well,” Petraeus told McFarland.

    McFarland said she had spoken “directly” to the Fox News chairman and the “advice to you from Roger Ailes is. . . . He says that if you’re offered [JCS] chairman, take it. If you’re offered anything else, don’t take it; resign in six months and run for president.”

    Petraeus demurred, saying he would consider the CIA directorship if Obama offered it, as the president did several weeks later. Petraeus was confirmed and sworn in as director on Sept. 6, 2011. He resigned a year later, on Nov. 9, after the disclosure of an extramarital affair with his biographer.

    In a telephone interview Monday, the wily and sharp-tongued Ailes said he did indeed ask McFarland to make the pitch to Petraeus. “It was more of a joke, a wiseass way I have,” he said. “I thought the Republican field [in the primaries] needed to be shaken up and Petraeus might be a good candidate.”

    Ailes added, “It sounds like she thought she was on a secret mission in the Reagan administration. . . . She was way out of line. . . . It’s someone’s fantasy to make me a kingmaker. It’s not my job.” He said that McFarland was not an employee of Fox but a contributor paid less than $75,000 a year.

    At least no Haldol was involved.

    Which is my only point really. Seems like the word "fantasy" is being thrown around more and more frequently.

  20. "Fantasy" is about all the White, Christian Males have left.

    Their wives are still with them, but their daughters, and many of their sons, have been stolen away by the Godless, State-enamored Democrats.

    The resulting Primal Scream can be expected to echo for at least the rest of this generation (and, quite likely, much longer.)

  21. An important fact to keep in mind in the coming days: “The Bowles plan” that Speaker John Boehner endorsed is not the same as “the Simpson-Bowles plan.” Indeed, it’s not even the plan supported by its apparent namesake, Erskine Bowles, who insists that he was simply sketching out the evident middle ground between the members of the supercommittee.

    An important fact to keep in mind in the coming days: “The Bowles plan” that Speaker John Boehner endorsed is not the same as “the Simpson-Bowles plan.” Indeed, it’s not even the plan supported by its apparent namesake, Erskine Bowles, who insists that he was simply sketching out the evident middle ground between the members of the supercommittee.

    (Associated Press)

    The Simpson-Bowles plan — which Erskine Bowles does actually support — occupies strange territory in Washington: Almost every politician professes to admire it, almost none of them are willing to vote for it, and almost none of its supporters know what’s in it. So here, with an assist from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, are a few facts to keep in mind about the Simpson-Bowles plan. And while you’re reading this list, remember: Simpson-Bowles is a centrist proposal.

    1) Simpson-Bowles ends the the Bush tax cuts for income over $250,000. And note that they do that before they reform the tax code. The expiration of the tax cuts is built into their baseline. That way, their reform of the tax code starts from a revenue level that includes the revenue from those upper-income Bush tax cuts.

    2) There are a lot of tax increases in Simpson-Bowles. $2.6 trillion over 10 years, to be exact. That’s more than President Obama ever proposed. It’s way more than the Republicans have ever proposed. It’s $1.8 trillion more than in the “Bowles plan” that Boehner is proposing. Think about that: To follow the Simpson-Bowles recommendation on taxes, you’d have to take the $800 billion Boehner is proposing and then raise taxes by more than the $1.6 trillion Obama is asking for.

    Believe it or not, it gets worse

    1. .

      A typical Ezra Klein article, skewed to the left while failing to recognize, or at least admit, that neither side in this fight is willing to come anywhere near Simpson-Bowles (other than to say how great it is).


    2. What, pray tell, about this

      "Almost every politician professes to admire it, almost none of them are willing to vote for it, . . . ."

      are you having a hard time with?

    3. .

      If you want me to parse the article, I will when I get back. In fact, I will enjoy doing so.

      Right now, I've got dogs to walk.


    4. "Parse the article?"

      That was in my 01:37 fair usage blurb/comment.

    5. Seems like every time you get caught playin' with your pecker you have to run out and "walk the dog."

      (poor old Fido has to be getting pretty tuckered out, by now.)

    6. .

      Geez, Rufus, had I known that you would be wetting your pants in anticipation of my response, I might have stuck around and given it to you even though I do like to drive the dogs over to the park before the school buses hit the roads.

      In the future, I try to plan my day so that you don't have to sit around for a couple hours with your legs crossed.

      As for the dogs, don't worry about them. Their vet assures me that, unlike me, both are at their ideal weight and perfectly healthy. You might say they are in their prime.


    7. .

      As for the rationale behind my initial quote that starts out with “A typical Ezra Klein article…”, let’s look at the conclusions he draws at the end of his article.

      1. First, it should be fairly clear why the White House figured Simpson-Bowles was a nonstarter. They thought that if they endorsed it, Republicans would oppose it en masse, and hang every unpopular tax increase and spending cut around the White House’s neck.

      This is the premise Mr. Klein is working from, Obama didn’t support Simpson-Bowles because of the Republicans. However, he doesn’t even try to explain why, now that Obama has won the presidency, he still fails to offer up anything that even approaches Simpson-Bowles.

      2. Second, as popular as Simpson-Bowles is among the CEO community, and on Wall Street, most of those folks don’t know what’s in it.

      I guess we can assume Klein is correct that nobody but him and the people of OZ actually know what’s in Simpson-Bowles but his comment gets back to the point of my post. Here he blames the people on Wall Street but still no mention of the Dems.

      3. Third, Republicans may want to associate themselves with Erskine Bowles, and they may want to attack Obama for not doing enough to support Simpson-Bowles, but they want nothing to do with Simpson-Bowles itself. After all, Boehner could have endorsed the Simpson-Bowles plan rather than the “Bowles plan,” and that would have won him huge plaudits in the media, and many more friends in the CEO and Wall Street communities, at least at first. But he didn’t, and, from his perspective, for good reason.

      True enough. However, this once again ignores the point I made in a following post below that Dems and Pubs, they are all dicks. He accuses Boehner and the Pubs but there is not a mention of the Dems who pointedly ignore Simpson-Bowles coming from the other side.

      Klein represents one side of this argument just as writers on the right print the same type of article but from their perspective blaming ONLY the Dems.

      As I said it’s all bull. At present, we are watching kabuki.

      Those who don’t recognize that, well…pass the Kool-aid.


  22. If you want to pass a deficit reduction plan, you might want to give the task to one set of experts whose ideas would get more notice than your garden variety think-tank white paper: President Bill Clinton’s former Treasury staff. So that’s exactly what the Center for American Progress has done.

    On Tuesday, CAP unveiled a tax reform plan written by a rogue’s gallery of Clinton vets, including former treasury secretaries Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, deputy treasury secretary Roger Altman, White House chief of staff John Podesta, commerce secretary Bill Daley and others. Summers and Daley, as well as report co-author and CAP president Neera Tanden, all held high-ranking posts in the Obama administration.

    The $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan the group came up with raises $1.8 trillion in new revenue through tax reform, $1.5 trillion through enforcing existing budget caps, and $485 billion in cuts to Medicare and defense spending. It adds $400 billion in stimulus and infrastructure investments meant to help growth. If implemented, that proposal would get debt-to-GDP down to 72 percent in 2022, or about where it is today. The importance of that measure is highly questionable, but insofar as one wants deficit reduction, the plan accomplishes that goal.

    The Medicare and defense cuts come from existing CAP plans, but the tax stuff is all new. So, what are the highlights?

    Five brackets: 15 percent up to . . . . . . . .

    Mostly, pretty good stuff

    1. .


      To get the $4 trillion it starts out by adding in $1.5 billion that has already been there for a year.

      It adds in $1.8 trillion in tax increases and an additional $485 billion in cuts (remarkably just enough to keep it from running into the debt ceiling).

      Then it adds in $400 billion in spending basically taking away with the one hand what it has offered with the other.

      Pretty good negotiating, especially since Obama had initially offered to provide a spending cuts/taxes ratio of 2.5 to 1.

      Dems. Pubs. The whole process is a joke.


    2. Whatever, Q; we'll be looking forward to the Quirk plan (any minute, now, I'm sure.)

  23. Krueger thinks there is only a 30 percent chance of a deal being in place before Dec. 31, and that it is more likely that the talks will last at least a few weeks into the New Year, with effects on markets that are hard to predict with any precision but are almost sure to be negative.

    Krueger’s pessimism is widespread among insiders, the former White House staffers and Capitol Hill aides who have been through dozens of these negotiations and seen them up close. They know that the effects of going off the fiscal cliff, while surely damaging to the economy, are not likely to cause the kind of global financial meltdown that could have resulted from the U.S. debt default that would have happened absent a deal to raise the debt ceiling in August 2011. It could be quite bad for markets and the economy if taxes rise on Jan. 1, but not an all-out catastrophe (at least until the nation hits the debt ceiling again in February or March). That allows the negotiators some wiggle room.

    The basic question is who is judging the political temperature better: Those at a healthy remove who know that these things usually work themselves out, if at the last possible minute? Or those who are closest to the action, who see little visible evidence that a deal is reachable by the end of the year?

    Here’s the thing: They both could be right. It may be that the thing that will finally force the parties to negotiate in earnest will be increasingly desperate calls from supporters in the business community, or a few hairy days on the financial markets, of 5 or 7 or 9 percent declines.

    What’s going on right now between the negotiators is Kabuki theater. But what markets and corporate executives may not understand is that they are actors in the play as well, not just the audience. Their role is to be a sort of forcing mechanism of their own—only when they start to panic will there be the pressure on lawmakers to take some hard votes.

    Considering that an ultimate deal will likely require Republicans to vote for higher taxes and Democrats to vote for cuts to entitlement programs — policies that each side finds to be anathema — it may take a gun to their heads of flailing markets and economic disruption to persuade each to take such unpleasant steps.

    Whether that takes place in late December or January, and whether even a temporary dive off the cliff causes any lasting economic damage, are the open questions, and for those there is not yet an answer.

    Alfred E. Newman St

  24. Tens of thousands of Egyptians tore through cordons of barbed wire and riot police and surged against the gates of the Presidential Palace in Cairo on Tuesday, as anger mounted over what they called a power grab by the country's Islamist president.


    Tens of thousands of protesters filled Cairo's central Tahrir Square...

  25. Voyager 2, lagging some way behind, is about nine billion miles from the sun.

    Both craft carry pictures and messages for any intelligent aliens that might intercept them as they journey between the stars.

    New results from Voyager 1 were presented at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

  26. The new Pew Poll:

    25% of Republicans support Seceding from the Union.

    19% of Republicans aren't sure.

    1. 50% of Republicans chose "Acorn stole the election for Obama."

      (Acorn, basically, no longer exists.)

    2. 35% of Republicans chose "Obama won, fairly."

    3. Nah, it's not the "Party of Stupid."

      it's the pary of "brain-dead."


    4. Mention a Pew Poll in a room full of Republicans (as I did once) and the name Andrew Kohut comes up. Enough said presumably. I honestly don't know enough about the man to have an opinion but this was another data point that turned me against the modern Republicans - any empirical data they don't like is discredited or ignored. Romney will go down in history as the poster boy for denial. Mensa-defended denial but denial just the same.

    5. ....the name Andrew Kohut comes up. Enough said presumably. I honestly don't know enough about the man to have an opinion

      Obviously, which doesn't prevent you from expressing an opinion you don't have anyways.

    6. Nor did the attack on Kohut's objectivity meet the standard of proof requisite to repudiating his professional work for Pew Research Center. More Noise.

  27. NBC sportscaster Bob Costas on Monday defended using the Sunday Night Football halftime show as the platform for his gun control advocacy speech.

    Costas told The New York Times that “I am emphatically not backing off from anything I said.” As for the criticism of delivering his speech during Sunday’s halftime show, Costas said it holds “no weight with me.”

  28. I'm beginning to think that that old boy in Egypt is using the same pollster that Mitt Romney used.

  29. “Who gets a 10 pointer as their first deer?” said Ryan, praising his daughter.

    Asked if he’s over the post-election hangover, Ryan said: “Obviously it’s not fun to lose an election.”

    “You’ve got to think and ponder these things,” he said. “And they tell me it was about 427,000 votes spread across four states that made the difference between winning and losing this election.”

  30. The U.S. didn't comment publicly on the loss. U.S. officials at the time said privately that the drone had been in Iranian airspace when its remote pilots lost control of the craft and blamed the loss on mechanical failure.

    Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad struck a defiant tone Tuesday during a speech at an industrial complex in the city of Isfahan. He contradicted his earlier comments that international sanctions were hurting Iran's economy, saying that Iran was heroically "riding the wave of sanctions."

    "Our enemies should know that our history is 10 times longer than theirs. It's possible that the enemy will take a few steps forward but we will push them back to their own borders," Mr. Ahmadinejad said.

  31. The black hole in this instance is more than 11 times wider than the orbit of Neptune, the eighth planet in the Solar System.

    A description of the black hole, found by astronomers using the nine-metre Hobby-Eberly Telescope in Texas, appears in the journal Nature.

    The discovery could change theories of how black holes and galaxies form and evolve, say the scientists.

  32. Morsi seems to have fled the Presidential Palace for, probably, a deep underground bunker beneath some Sunni mosque.

    Alas, this is far from the end of it.

    I just like the sounds of it.

  33. Meanwhile -

    Obama Consults with MSNBC Hosts Sharpton, Maddow on Tax Rates...

    A certain sign of how very far we have fallen.

    1. Next, he may be consulting with Rufus II.


  34. Green Room
    Amsterdam proposes “scum villages”
    posted at 6:11 pm on December 4, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

    Can we count just how many horrid 20th century chapters of humanity this might evoke?

    In a move that sounds straight out of Orwell, Amsterdam allocated 1 million euros last week to a plan that would relocate trouble-making neighbors to camps on the outskirts of the city, the BBC reports.

    The “scum villages,” as critics have called them, would lie in isolated areas and provide only basic services to their unwilling residents. According to details of the plan reported by Der Spiegel and the BBC, residents will live in “container homes,” under the watchful eye of social workers or police. The residents themselves might not make very good company. According to the BBC, they’ll include families that engage in repeated, small-scale harassment, like bullying gay neighbors or intimidating police witnesses.

    Or perhaps just people whose political and social perspectives annoy the ruling class. Say, didn’t the Soviet Union and China try this out for a few decades? They called them “re-education camps,” as I recall, where people who didn’t cooperate properly with enforced collectivism were kept under the “watchful eye” of the police state. In the Soviet Union, the Kremlin transformed Siberia into an internal-exile internment province. In some areas of the world — notably North Korea — this practice hasn’t yet ended, either.

    If law and order are breaking down in Amsterdam, start building a prison and bolstering law enforcement, but don’t try to pass it off as a social-welfare program.

    I wonder just what type folks these people really are there in Amsterdam.

  35. And a little good news -

    Supreme Court sides with private property against the federal government

    8-0 wow

  36. Keeping the Benghazi story front and center -

    Benghazi Storytelling
    Too many answers, not enough truthfulness.

    Senator Bob Corker, a top Republican on the Foreign Relations committee, met with Rice and Morell last week. The meeting, he says, “was a terse conversation, a direct conversation.” His questions remain unanswered. “I was in Libya after the attacks,” he says. “I spent a lot of time with our [CIA] station chief on that trip. ((((He told me that he was communicating with Washington in real-time)))) and said immediately that this was a terrorist attack that was probably carried out by al Qaeda and its affiliates.” He says the chargé d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli told him the same thing. (The Associated Press reported earlier that the CIA station chief sent a cable to Washington fingering Ansar al Sharia and possibly Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.)

    And so, we continue to want to know why no help was forthcoming. Remember, Barky has told us he gave the order to do everything necessary.....and who among us can question Barky?

  37. I don't understand how any of these Jewish guys can work for that son of a bitch.

  38. The Hamas government is working toward reopening the only airport in the Gaza Strip.


    Ziad al-Thatha, Hamas’s deputy prime minister, said that his government has asked the Egyptians to help reopen the airport. He did not say when and if it would resume operations.

  39. On this day in 1980, Led Zeppelin announced it was disbanding after drummer John Bonham unexpectedly passed away.

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. Study Foresees Shortage of Primary-Care Doctors

    "This is worrisome," said study author Dr. Colin West, an internist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "In the next decade, we will be 50,000 primary-care physicians short for the needs of the country."

    Well, there you go then. We'd be a lot better off putting our money into new teaching hospitals, medical schools and perhaps incentives to go into primary care, than into the coming fiasco of ObamaNoCare, with its abortion demands and the coming bumping off of the elderly.



    Workplace Freedom States Soared While Ohio and Michigan Economies Crashed
    BLS data from 1991-2011 make clear case for workplace freedom

    Interesting graphic. Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania,Alabama, Indiana, Mississippi suck, while Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Idaho soar.

    Data from December 1991 to December 2011

  43. .

    Who needs to go to the ME to screw things up?

    Nation Building Fails in the Balkans.

    The latest news from the Balkans sounds strangely familiar.

    In Bosnia, the three leading nationalist parties have won the elections, and the country is mired in political and constitutional disputes over how power should be divided between the main ethnic groups. Newspapers and airwaves are filled with stories of crimes and atrocities committed during the latest hostilities, and public ceremonies exhuming the victims of the previous war are frequent occurrences.

    In Serbia, the government is led by a prime minister from the Socialist Party, and one of the main items on the political agenda is how to handle the Kosovo problem. In Kosovo itself, an aggrieved ethnic group has created parallel institutions to protect its interests. In Montenegro, the prime minister is Milo Djukanovic. Further south, Greece refuses to accept its northern neighbor’s right to use the name “Macedonia.” An ethnic group that finds itself divided amongst a number of states is increasingly pushing for a “greater” solution to its national question. And for most people, the hope for EU accession seems like a far off dream.

    The year is 1991 or 2012: take your pick.

    The Balkanization of The EU


  44. .

    As for NATO,

    Those who like to see the Balkan glass as half full optimistically point to the fact that most Balkan countries are either full NATO members or members of NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) program, yet NATO itself is a military alliance whose very raison d’etre—deterring a Soviet invasion of Western Europe, in less politically correct terms, “to keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down”—has ceased to exist. And there is considerable grumbling throughout the region about the relative costs and benefits of NATO membership. In Croatia, for instance, skeptics wonder why they should be forced to buy F-16s when the planes can’t even reach maximum speed and altitude within Croatian airspace.


  45. Maximum air speed and altitude in the Himalayas - and dive attacks too!


    Hannity had a good segment on the invasion of privacy, e-mails, texting etc today. So it's getting some play in some places.


  46. It’s Panetta-Burns, the imaginary debt-reducing unicorn!
    A new poll from Public Policy Polling found that an impressive 39 percent of Americans have an opinion about the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan.

    Before you start celebrating the new, sweeping reach of the 2010 commission’s work, consider this: Twenty-five percent of Americans also took a stance on the Panetta-Burns plan.

    What’s that? You’re not familiar with Panetta-Burns? That’s probably because its “a mythical Clinton Chief of Staff/former western Republican Senator combo” that PPP dreamed up to test how many Americans would profess to have an opinion about a policy that did not exist. They found one in four voters to . . . .

    Panetta/Burns Plan

    The CBO said it scored about the same as Boehner's.

  47. Both, Pew, and ABC/Wash Post nailed it at Obama +3.

    Rasmussen missed by 4 at Romney +1.


  48. Inward Ho! [Paperback]
    Christopher Morley (Author)
    Be the first to review this item | Like (0)

    Available from these sellers.

    1 used from $436.26
    Amazon Price New from Used from
    Hardcover -- -- $3.87
    Paperback -- -- $436.26

    Holly shit! What's going on here? I was thinking of buying it.

  49. They're probably just thanking their lucky stars they're not working for some asshole that thinks the earth is 6,000 yrs. old.