“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, December 02, 2012

One there was a Janice Joplin. Hello Alabama Shakes

…And Janice tells us what she really thinks:



    Steamy Windows

  2. Janice kicked the bucket with too much of that Rufus powder he wants to be made available from the Pharmacy, but the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is still going good -

    1. Fuck the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

    2. They are really excellent. A friend and fishing companion of mine played the cello for the Orchestra, until his retirement at age fifty. They have a cutoff at fifty, I think it is, to keep the new blood circulating.

    3. MIRANDA:
      Abhorrèd slave,
      Which any print of goodness wilt not take,
      Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee,
      Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour(420)
      One thing or other. When thou didst not, savage,
      Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like
      A thing most brutish, I endowed thy purposes
      With words that made them known. But thy vile race,
      Though thou didst learn, had that in't which good natures(425)
      Could not abide to be with; therefore wast thou
      Deservedly confined into this rock,
      Who hadst deserved more than a prison.

      You taught me language, what I got out of it
      Is that I know how to curse: may the red plague kill you,
      For teaching me your language!

      Hag-seed, hence!
      Fetch us in fuel, and be quick, thou'rt best,
      To answer other business.—Shrug'st thou, malice?
      If thou neglect'st or dost unwillingly(435)
      What I command, I'll rack thee with old cramps,
      Fill all thy bones with aches, make thee roar,
      That beasts shall tremble at thy din.

      The Tempest

  3. .

    Article Highlights

    The diagram leaked to the Associated Press this week is nothing more than either shoddy sources or shoddy science. In either case, the world can keep calm and carry on.

    This week the Associated Press reported that unnamed officials "from a country critical of Iran's nuclear program" leaked an illustration to demonstrate that "Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima." The article stated that these officials provided the undated diagram "to bolster their arguments that Iran's nuclear program must be halted."

    The graphic has not yet been authenticated; however, even if authentic, it would not qualify as proof of a nuclear weapons program. Besides the issue of authenticity, the diagram features quite a massive error, which is unlikely to have been made by research scientists working at a national level.

    The image released to the Associated Press shows two curves: one that plots the energy versus time, and another that plots the power output versus time, presumably from a fission device. But these two curves do not correspond: If the energy curve is correct, then the peak power should be much lower -- around 300 million ( 3x108) kt per second, instead of the currently stated 17 trillion (1.7 x1013) kt per second. As is, the diagram features a nearly million-fold error...

    What does our EB nuclear department say?


    1. The graph may be crap, but it is much more difficult to say the Iranian nuclear weapons program is crap.

      Is Iran working to develop nuclear weapons?

      What does our EB nuclear department say?

      I say they certainly are doing so.

  4. From the previous post, I reread the de-Classified document on the 440-L program sent by the US to the Italian govnmt. We were only tangentially interested in monitoring nuclear explosions. We were interested and focused on Soviet missile launches. The entire document was a lie to cover our true mission, one the Italian govt. would not be so excited about.

  5. Of course they are working on a nuclear deterrent. Under the circumstances, what sane country would not be working on them?

    1. Well, it's the old argument. What some see as a deterrent, others, considering the theological nature of the regime and it's repeated statements and the mandates of the koran, which they do seem to take seriously, see as a very definite offensive move.

      Egypt up to this point hasn't seen the need of a nuclear deterrent for instance. Nor did Iran under the Shah.

    2. I look at it from the experience of MAD. Both the US and the USSR were restrained from their worse inclinations by it. Retrospectively, that was a good thing. When I look at generals or politicians or criminals for that matter, I see similarities that transcend nationalities. Birds of a feather sort of thing.

  6. Rogers: 'Gross negligence' in handling Benghazi

    12/2/12 12:26 PM EST

    The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Sunday there was "gross negligence" in the handling of security for the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

    "Well, it's very clear to me...that the intelligence was right about the threats in Benghazi," Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "Now, they didn't know the specific day and the specific event, but all of the threat [streams] were right. What went wrong was that the policy and decision makers at the Department of State did not make the right security call, and I argue it's gross negligence."

    He charged that Ambassador Chris Stevens and the other Americans who died in the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S.Consulate in Benghazi didn't have adequate security and that "somebody should be held accountable."

    "Somebody was absolutely negligent in not providing the right security to the ambassador and the employees that lost their lives that day," Rogers said. "And somebody should be held accountable for that and we shouldn't walk away from that."

    Tracey Smith-Oliver · UConn
    The GOP should be held accountable; they didn't want to spend the money for increased security. Here's the article......

    Rick Dansey · Chantilly, Virginia
    A State Dept official under oath testified to Congress that budget cuts were not the reason inadequate security in Libya. I will take testimony to Congress over a HuffPo article anyday

  7. Fighting for scraps in the ruins of a higher civilization?

    Lock...and load.

    Things are getting worse in San Bernardino. The city filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, but its financial situation has continued to deteriorate. And now with what promises to be a heated court battle over payments to the state pension fund in the offing, further cuts are likely.

    Things are getting so bad that at a recent city council meeting, the city attorney advised residents to “lock their doors and load their guns” because the city could no longer afford to keep up a strong enough police force.

  8. December 2, 2012
    Morsi supporters shut down Egypt's top court
    Rick Moran

    The longer this goes on, the more certain it will end badly.

    Protests by Islamists allied to President Mohamed Mursi forced Egypt's highest court to adjourn its work indefinitely on Sunday, intensifying a conflict between some of the country's top judges and the head of state.

    The Supreme Constitutional Court said it would not convene until its judges could operate without "psychological and material pressure", saying protesters had stopped the judges from reaching the building.

    Several hundred Mursi supporters had protested outside the court through the night ahead of a session expected to examine the legality of parliament's upper house and the assembly that drafted a new constitution, both of them Islamist-controlled.

    The cases have cast a legal shadow over Mursi's efforts to chart a way out of a crisis ignited by a November 22 decree that temporarily expanded his powers and led to nationwide protests.

    The court's decision to suspend its activities appeared unlikely to have any immediate impact on Mursi's drive to get the new constitution passed in a national referendum on December 15.

    Three people have been killed and hundreds wounded in protests and counter-demonstrations over Mursi's decree.

    At least 200,000 of Mursi's supporters attended a rally at Cairo University on Saturday. His opponents are staging an open-ended sit-in in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the cradle of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

    Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled him to power in a June election, hope to end the crisis by pushing through the new constitution hastily adopted by the drafting assembly on Friday. The next day the assembly handed the text to Mursi, who called the referendum and urged Egyptians to vote.

    "The Muslim Brotherhood is determined to go ahead with its own plans regardless of everybody else. There is no compromise on the horizon," said Hassan Nafaa, a professor of political science at Cairo University.

    No retreat by the Egyptian president which means there will be no court review of the document before the referendum. Nor will there be a judgment on the legality of the constitutional assembly that was made up almost entirely of Islamists.

    The country seems about evenly divided on Morsi's power grab, but its clear that the majority want sharia law to govern Egypt. Because of that, there is little chance that the referendum will fail. Egypt is set to enter a long, dark night of oppression that is far more total and complete than anything dreamed up by ousted president Mubarak.

    1. Here are some folks that don't seem relaxed over all these events going on -


      "The country seems about evenly divided on Morsi's power grab, but its clear that the majority want sharia law to govern Egypt. Because of that, there is little chance that the referendum will fail. Egypt is set to enter a long, dark night of oppression that is far more total and complete than anything dreamed up by ousted president Mubarak."

      It's not 'evenly divided' at all, that's BS. 84% of Egyptians favor the death penalty for apostasy. The remaining 16% may be liberal secularists. 16% of a population of 50+ million is more than enough to fill Tahrir Square with protesters, without having even the slightest chance to make a difference.

      Shariah law governing Egypt administered by the Muslim Brotherhood, the spiritual father of Hamas means that we are witnessing history unfolding; the formation of a Sunni version of Iran.

      In a recent poll, 87% of Egyptians now say they “would be happy” if Egypt acquired the bomb.

      62% of Egyptians say that “Iran and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are friends of Egypt,” In addition, 65% express a desire to restore diplomatic relations with Iran, and 61% support the Iranian nuclear program.

      77 percent agree that “The peace treaty with Israel is no longer useful and should be dissolved.

      Some will cling to the outdated view that Shia and Sunni can't work together, forgetting the old Arab proverb; "Me against my brother, my brother and I against our cousin, my cousin, brother and I against the other..."

      When, in a few more months, Iran gets the bomb, nuclear proliferation will metastasize and fanatical jihadist led states will have the bomb. What could go wrong?


      And sadly, the day will come when one or some of those "proliferation" bombs finds their way onto container ships entering US ports. Given that this is a 100% guaranteed outcome if Iran developes nukes, you would think the American people and leadership would be a little more concerened about what is happening ??


      Mob rule.

      I don't know. I simply do not know. Don't know, don't know, don't know how all this will end.

    2. We don't know how it will end but we know the MB would like to establish a new Caliphate and get rid of Israel. Per the Koran, Christians, Jews, and Infidels will be allowed to remain as long as they 'stay in their place.'

      They've made no secret of it.

    3. I can't wait to see European reaction in the coming years.

    4. Well, if everybody, Egypt, Iran, Syria maybe, gets good and nuked up the Euros may be on the hit list too, The Great Satan (that's us!) The Little Satan (Israel) and The Medium Satan (Europe).

    5. Don't forget, the jihadis still claim parts of Spain. At least Osama was always talking about Andalusia.

  9. .

    From Foreign Policy

    100 Top Global Thinkers 2012

    No doubt, some of these choices could be questioned.


    1. I'm going with 16, 48 - numbers 2 and 3 - 76, and 81, even though that last is a risk judging by where she's from. I don't much care what they say, everyone's got an opinion, it's the lips that count.

      You ought to like this guy, Quirk -

      The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers
      Foreign Policy presents a unique portrait of 2012's global marketplace of ideas and the thinkers who make them.
      DECEMBER 2012


      When the Tor Project was announced a decade ago, Google was still largely seen as fulfilling its corporate motto, "Don't be evil," and Twitter didn't even exist. But researchers Roger Dingledine, Nick Mathewson, and Paul Syverson could already see trouble on the horizon. Created in a U.S. naval lab to safeguard government communications, their brainchild the Tor Project (which stands for "the onion router") is designed to protect anyone and everyone from the dangers of Big Brother. The free software, now relied on by hundreds of thousands of users daily, bounces information through the computers of 3,000 volunteers around the world, hiding the identity of the original user.

    2. Then there is this guy -

      For turning around India's poorest state.
      Chief minister, Bihar | India

      Like Haiti, Somalia, and Mississippi, India's Bihar state has been called many unflattering names; it's often referred to as the country's "bleakest state" and the "jungle Raj" for its colonial levels of poverty and corruption. Many viewed it as one of the most dysfunctional corners of a country world famous for government dysfunction. Much of that began to change, however, when a low-key bureaucrat from a local center-left party, Nitish Kumar, won the 2005 election and set out to clean up a wasteland where 100 million people are squeezed into a territory smaller than Arkansas.

      In his two terms in office, he has done just that, relying on an array of innovative programs to crack down on crime, shame corrupt public officials, and boost economic development. In addition to setting up a special fast-track court system to move trials along more quickly, Kumar's administration has offered cash rewards to whistleblowers and has broadcast bribery complaints on YouTube. A law passed last year allows the government to take control of ill-gotten land and, unless the owner is cleared in court, use it for schools and health clinics. He has overseen the construction of nearly 15,000 schools, hired 150,000 new teachers, launched a program to give free bikes to girls so they can get to class, and distributed free radios to lower-caste citizens to "listen to music, news, and improve your areas of information," as he put it. With crime rates finally plummeting and education rates rising, there's no question these efforts have paid off. In 2011, Indian economists Bibek Debroy and Laveesh Bhandari called Bihar India's least corrupt state, and this year the state's service- and agriculture-based economy was the country's fastest-growing for the second year in a row (this while India's national economy is waning and, with it, enthusiasm for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh). Although Kumar says he's not a candidate to replace Singh, he is now being floated as a potential prime minister for 2014. Quite a leap for the leader of a region once decried as a "criminal fiefdom."

      And, I did not stick that 'Mississippi' in there.

      The two best choices are of course Dick Cheney and Benjamin Netanyahu.

  10. Executives from CIMB Group Bhd have held talks with Australia’s big banks about issuing the country’s first Islamic bonds, according to CIMB’s Sydney-based head of Capital Markets.


    Talal Yassine, managing director of Islamic asset manager Crescent Wealth, said he will be talking to Malaysian banks, such as CIMB, about forming joint ventures to target Australia’s mortgage and pension industries at the World Islamic Economic Forum in Johor this week.

    “Malaysian banks are looking to take the next step, not only in Australia but also across the rest of Asia,” he said.