“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."

Monday, May 20, 2013

Syrian troops backed by Lebanese Hezbollah militants on Sunday entered the town of Qusair – a strategic rebel stronghold linking Damascus to the coast and seen as key to the battle for control of the country.

LATEST UPDATE: 20/05/2013 

Hezbollah-backed Syria troops take key town Qusair

Pro-government Syrian forces backed by Lebanese Hezbollah militants stormed the rebel-held town of Qusair on Sunday, following a fierce aerial and artillery bombardment. The town is seen as of high strategic value by both regime and rebel forces.

Syrian troops backed by Lebanese Hezbollah militants on Sunday entered the town of Qusair – a strategic rebel stronghold linking Damascus to the coast and seen as key to the battle for control of the country.
The advance into the town began early on Sunday morning with a heavy bombardment using artillery and warplanes, which the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog said left at least 52 people dead, including at least 21 rebels.
This was followed by a ground offensive on Sunday afternoon, with reports of pro-government troops engaging in house-to-house battles with rebel fighters.
Syrian state media said Assad’s troops took control of the main square, the area around the municipal building, a sports stadium and a local church. Syrian state TV said troops arrested rebel fighters who tried to flee Qusair dressed as civilians.
Qusair 'a strategic priority for both sides'
The town, located close to the Lebanese border along a land corridor between Damascus and the Mediterranean coast, is seen as being of significant strategic value by both rebel and regime forces, and has been used to smuggle essential weapons and supplies from Lebanon across the porous frontier to opposition fighters inside Syria.
Qusair is also part of a coastal enclave that is the heartland of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, and the capture of Qusair and surrounding towns and villages has become a key objective for government forces.
Fighting has raged in the region for months, with Qusair besieged in recent weeks by pro-government gunmen backed by the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group.
FRANCE 24’s correspondent in Beirut, Lucy Fielder, said Qusair has been the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of the Syria uprising.
“It’s a strategic priority really for both sides,” she said. “It’s close to Lebanon so it’s been a key weapons route for the rebels and so that’s why both sides continue to fight over it.”
Attack casts doubt on Syria peace talks
The Syrian National Council, a key component of the main opposition National Coalition, denounced the "barbaric and destructive bombing" of Qusair. The Council warned that such fierce fighting could torpedo US-Russian attempts to organise a Syria peace conference scheduled for next month aimed at finding a political solution to the bloody conflict, which, according to the UN, has left more than 70,000 dead.
Those talks already looked like facing significant challenges even before Sunday’s offensive, with Assad saying in a newspaper interview on the weekend that he won’t step down before the end of his mandate in 2014 and that the United States has no right to interfere in his country’s politics.
Speaking to the Argentine newspaper Clarin, Assad insisted that a decision on Syria’s future was up to the Syrian people, not the US. He also said a decision on his political future must be made in elections, and not during such a conference.
Meanwhile, Hezbollah’s increasing involvement in Syria increases the risk of Israel becoming further drawn into the conflict, with concerns that the Assad regime is supplying weapons to militants in Lebanon.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday that he is ready to act if Syria attempts to ship advanced Iranian weapons to Hezbollah, saying that “we are prepared for every scenario.” Earlier this month, Israel struck twice near Damascus, to intercept purported shipments to Hezbollah.
(FRANCE 24 with wires)


  1. Russia’s decision to supply the Syrian regime with the advanced missiles poses more than simply a military threat, the top U.S. military officer said Friday.

    "It's at the very least an unfortunate decision that will embolden the regime and prolong the suffering," says Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “It’s ill-timed and very unfortunate.”

    The Syrian regime under President Bashar al-Assad will receive P-800 Oniks "Yakhont" anti-ship missiles with advanced radar capabilities. This comes at a time when the U.S. hopes Russia will draw down its historic support for the Assad regime, and back Western efforts to bring both sides of the two-year-old civil war to the negotiating table.

    "What I'm really worried about is Assad will decide that since he's got these systems, he's somehow safer, and more prone to miscalculation," Dempsey told reporters at a briefing on Friday with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

    The U.S. keeps every option open in responding to Syria, Hagel added, moments after the U.N. announced that the refugee count among Syria now exceeds 1.5 million. He said it's important to leave every national security option on the table – including military force – "to assure that Syria doesn't disintegrate and the Middle East erupt into a regional war."

    [READ: Western Powers Differ on Assad's Strength, Assist Syrian Rebels]

    Dempsey says "we have options to deal with" the weapons the regime has within its control, including chemical weapons, long-range rockets and missiles and high-tech air defenses.

    "We do not have options in any way to prevent the delivery of them," he told reporters. When asked for clarification, he said, "we do not have options to prevent the delivery of any military sales to the Syrians."

    The head of the U.N. said the proposed meeting in early June in Geneva should happen "as soon as possible."

    "The crisis in Syria is first and foremost on our minds," said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a Friday written statement. "I am deeply concerned about the ongoing violence and the terrible impact on millions of civilians."

  2. Syria can now do what the US and UK is asking them to do: End the war. The US and the UK was not counting on Assad winning the war.

  3. Last week Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that his regime has “no choice but victory.”

    A fierce counteroffensive by his troops — including what appears to be the local deployment of chemical weapons — reflects that mindset.
    On Wednesday Syrian tanks and soldiers overran a strategic town east of Damascus that for months has served as a critical supply route for arms funneled from Jordan.

    ”The disaster has struck, the army entered Otaiba,” a fighter from the town told Reuters via Skype. “The regime has managed to turn off the weapons tap.”

    Rebels pulled out of Otaiba after more than five weeks of fighting, during which they accused the government of using chemical weapons against them on March 19 and April 9.

    On April 12, Western diplomats told Agence-France Press they had "hard evidence" that chemical weapons have been used by the Syrian army. On April 25, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the White House has evidence of chemical weapons use.
    A U.S. intelligence source told Wired’s Danger Room that blood samples from multiple people provided in March tested positive for the nerve agent sarin.

    While Assad has bombed rebel-held areas since July, AFP reports that the regime is now focused on taking back key roads near cities and preventing rebel fighters from pushing closer to Damascus.

    That plan has been bolstered by support from Syrian allies, in the form of weapons and guerrilla tactics training from Iran, continued military and financial support from Russia, and an influx of Hezbollah fighters.

    "Now the operations are well-planned and the objectives are precise," Rami Abdel, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP. “This is because Iranian officers are on the ground, leading operations, while new Iranian weapons conceived for this kind of battle are flowing in."


    REUTERS/George Ourfalian
    The recent counteroffensive has both stemmed rebel momentum in the south and led to state gains in the north and major cities in the country’s west, which link the capital to Assad’s coastal stronghold.

    Otaiba is pivotal as it serves a gateway from Syria's south into the eastern rural suburbs of Damascus known as al-Ghouta.
    “Now all the villages will start falling one after another, the battle in Eastern Ghouta will be a war of attrition," a rebel fighter in the area told Reuters via Skype.

    Assad’s previous strategy shift, to rely on air superiority and wait for the opposition to fracture, continues as towns are bombed and distress calls from rebels in Otaiba go unanswered by rival rebel units.

    ”To all mujahedeen (holy warriors): If Otaiba falls, the whole of Eastern Ghouta will fall … come and help,” part of the message sent to fighters said.

    Read more:

  4. The big question is the reaction to this:

    ”To all mujahedeen (holy warriors): If Otaiba falls, the whole of Eastern Ghouta will fall … come and help,” part of the message sent to fighters said.

    Will the US and UK come to the aid of the mujahedeen (holy warriors)?

  5. France 24 follows the propaganda laid out by the Israeli that they struck Syria to stop HB from getting arms.

    The Free Syrian Army spokesman disputes that line of propaganda.

    The FSA claim they were about to gain those weapons, by defeating the Syrian troops maintaining the stockpiles, and the Israeli struck, to stop the FSA from winning the day.

    1. The Israeli claim that they struck Syrian Army to disrupt weapons movement, but were those weapons merely moving within Syria?

      The Israeli SAY the weapons were moving to HB, but HB is in Syria, fighting along side the Army.

      The Israeli have clearly taken sides.
      To the dismay of the Free Syrian Army, they have taken the rebel side.

    2. Do you actually ever READ the nonsense you type?

      desert ratMon May 20, 08:24:00 AM EDT "The Israeli SAY the weapons were moving to HB, but HB is in Syria, fighting along side the Army."

      Are you really that stupid? Or do you just make comments so asinine to provoke response and debate when you actually say NOTHING?

    3. Here is another gem of nonsense:

      desert ratMon May 20, 08:24:00 AM EDT
      The Israeli claim that they struck Syrian Army to disrupt weapons movement, but were those weapons merely moving within Syria?

      Wow, the depth, the insight.

      You can't find this kind of logic on the back of a match book.

  6. The Iranians, it is reported, have competent battlefield commanders.

    Something that Saddam never did.

    Seems the Iranian League can.

    "Now the operations are well-planned and the objectives are precise," Rami Abdel, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP. “This is because Iranian officers are on the ground, leading operations ...

  7. Looks like the Israeli may get their war with Iran, in Syria.

    No US involvement required.

  8. .

    Keep them in the dark and shovel on the shit.

    That's what always made the establishment media's silence (or even support) in the face of the criminal investigation of WikiLeaks so remarkable: it was so obvious from the start that the theories used there could easily be exploited to criminalize the acts of mainstream journalists. That's why James Goodale, the New York Times' general counsel during the paper's historic press freedoms fights with the Nixon administration, has been warning that "The biggest challenge to the press today is the threatened prosecution of WikiLeaks, and it's absolutely frightening."

    Indeed, as Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler noted recently in the New Republic, when the judge presiding over Manning's prosecution asked military lawyers if they would "have pressed the same charges if Manning had given the documents not to WikiLeaks but directly to the New York Times?", the prosecutor answered simply: "Yes, ma'am". It has long been clear that this WikiLeaks-as-criminals theory could and would be used to criminalize establishment media outlets which reported on that which the US government wanted concealed.

    Now we know that the DOJ is doing exactly that: applying this theory to criminalize the acts of journalists who report on what the US government does in secret, even though there is no law that makes such reporting illegal and the First Amendment protects such conduct. Essentially accusing James Rosen of being an unindicted co-conspriator in these alleged crimes is a major escalation of the Obama DOJ's already dangerous attacks on press freedom. front:network-front main-4 Pixies:Pixies:Position4


    1. .

      On Thursday, Obama argued that “leaks related to national security can put people at risk.

      Right, especially those in the White House.

      Anyone that has read what led up to the AP seizures is aware of the MO of this White House. National Security? I would say it was more vindictiveness than anything else.


    2. Of couse, Q.

      Who secret data is revealed to, does not matter.
      It is the revelation of the material that is criminal.

      Not its publication.

      It does not matter who PFC Manning provided the data to, just that he violated the UCMJ in doing so.

      Should the US change how and why data becomes classified, no doubt we should.
      But PFC Manning is going down, hard.

      Assange, one wonders how much pressure the US brought, in Sweden and the UK, to prosecute and extradite.

      Will the US seek his extradition on Espionage charges, if he leaves the Venezuelan embassy?
      If the Federals do, THAT would have a chilling effect on freedom of the press.

  9. .

    If the government does it we apologize. If the press does it they go to jail.

    American officials apologized to their Israeli counterparts for confirming that Israel was behind the airstrikes on the Damascus airport earlier this month, Israel Radio reported on Sunday.

    The confirmation reportedly came from the lower ranks at the Pentagon, and the reasons for the leak are being investigated.


    1. .

      Who secret data is revealed to, does not matter.
      It is the revelation of the material that is criminal.

      One wonders who in the Pentagon will be going to jail.

      And those low-level bureaucrats in the State Department that were blamed in the ARB. A few of them were put on administrative leave. I expect they are still drawing a paycheck, getting a mandatory vacation, and will likely be promoted, if it hasn't already happened.

      The 'temp' running the IRS was allowed to retire with benefits.


      New revelations emerged yesterday in the Washington Post that are perhaps the most extreme yet when it comes to the DOJ's attacks on press freedoms. It involves the prosecution of State Department adviser Stephen Kim, a naturalized citizen from South Korea who was indicted in 2009 for allegedly telling Fox News' chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen, that US intelligence believed North Korea would respond to additional UN sanctions with more nuclear tests - something Rosen then reported. Kim did not obtain unauthorized access to classified information, nor steal documents, nor sell secrets, nor pass them to an enemy of the US. Instead, the DOJ alleges that he merely communicated this innocuous information to a journalist - something done every day in Washington - and, for that, this arms expert and long-time government employee faces more than a decade in prison for "espionage".

      The focus of the Post's report yesterday is that the DOJ's surveillance of Rosen, the reporter, extended far beyond even what they did to AP reporters. The FBI tracked Rosen's movements in and out of the State Department, traced the timing of his calls, and - most amazingly - obtained a search warrant to read two days worth of his emails, as well as all of his emails with Kim. In this case, said the Post, "investigators did more than obtain telephone records of a working journalist suspected of receiving the secret material." It added that "court documents in the Kim case reveal how deeply investigators explored the private communications of a working journalist"...

      Spare me the bs, rat.


    2. Not a one of those you mention, Q, is in the Amy. Not one is a soldier, but for PFC Manning.
      It puts him in a different league.

      Now, do the Federals abuse their power and authority, sure.
      Almost daily there is some transgression.
      There is bound to be, they represent 24% of the economy. (plus/minus)

      Have millions of employees and boundless power.

      There continue to be 'Checks and Balances'.
      Not nearly perfect.

      But not the Soviet Union either, the IRS does not run Gulags.

      And while the US does have the highest incarceration rate in the whirled, few if any are political prisoners.
      Most are black males, fancy that.

    3. There are some that would say that a vast number of those incarcerated in the US are political prisoners, of the "Drug Wars".

      I would not advocate for such a definition, but do see the point. The criminalization of selected social behavior is quite a political thing.

    4. .

      B.S. rat.

      The only mention of Manning above was in reference to a question regarding whether DOJ would be prosecuting the New York Times if Manning had given the info to them rather than Wikileaks. The questions on the last few posts have dealt with the First Amendment and press freedom not Manning.

      You'll note the only ones DOJ is going after is Wikileaks, not the Times, WaPo, or any of the other papers that published the documents, Wikileaks the only one of the lot that lacks the funds to defend themselves.

      National security? I think not. More likely, embarrassment and retribution.


  10. Hamdoon sat in solitude at the end of the long dark mahogany bar in The Imperialist Club, a few miles away from the White House in Washington, D.C. He was drinking a four fingered Scotch drink with ice known locally as a Victory, and eating fat shrimp dipped in buttered Huckleberry sauce, and thinking of S 300's. Across the way were a group of Saudi rich at a table wishing they could drink in public too, and their wives were at a separate table in full burka, talking quietly among themselves, looking as out of place as a snowstorm on the 4th of July.

    Hamdoon returned to his drink and again considered his plan. The three scandals were the opportunity to politically bring down the President, whom he had come to loathe, and whom Hamdoon considered a threat to the future of a nation he loved. All that was necessary was a simple shove. He needed a very brief access to the White House. Hamdoon had felt discouraged at learning the unfortunate news when B had told him that D was no longer available for mission, which meant that Q would be needed, along with the reliable Umatilla Jack, who with his heritage was critical to success.

    Hamdoon retrieved his cell phone from his pocket and began to dial a number....

    1. B rolled over in bed at the ringing of his phone, jolting his cat Fatso with his leg, and was lightly bitten as a result.

      He flipped his cell phone open, and heard the words:

      "We need brief access to the Lincoln Bedroom."

    2. .

      B said, "I know a brothel on K Street. Wouldn't that be just as good?"


    3. B, trying sleepily to express his displeasure at this prospect, attempted a crude early morning joke.

      "Wouldn't brief access to the hetero/Clinton Bedroom be just as good?"

  11. Q, how can it be ....

    On one hand you bemoan the lack of security and intelligence failures in Benghazi, blaming the White House for the lack security.

    Then when the administration moves to 'beef up' security, you say it is merely to protect themselves.

    That Obama, he can't win for losin', with you as the analyst.

    Made any headway on discovering if we could become "Outside Analysts" for the CIA?

    Watch the news, read the blogs, then tell the political appointees whats what, for a moderate but fair fee.

    Recall that the US has spent $750 million dollars, so Hawaiians can watch the moon.

    Don't think we'd get that much, for watching the news.

    1. >>>Made any headway on discovering if we could become "Outside Analysts" for the CIA?<<<

      The CIA might very well take on Q, he has some deep undercover experience and is good at analysis, but you've no chance at all.

      Your resume only says:

      "I am a Military Expert, Self Proclaimed".

      They've heard it before.

    2. ... and they paid well when listening, too.

    3. Just that all my old contacts, they're dead or in jail.

      Oh, wait ... he's out on bail

      Musharraf granted bail in Benazir Bhutto assassination case

      He's still gonna be out of the loop, with troubles of his own.

    4. .

      It's real simple, rat. If we didn't have the press involved we would still be under the impression Benghazi came about because of some video no one had ever seen. Obama was still referring to the video when speaking of Benghazi at the end of September.

      All anyone has to do is mention 'national security' to you and you are willing to eat shit and die.

      Then when the administration moves to 'beef up' security, you say it is merely to protect themselves.

      Yea, a good part of the time that is true.

      The whole AP fiasco started when the AP went to the administration and told them of a story they wanted to print regarding how the U.S. had discovered a terrorist plot that was foiled. The AP wanted to be sure there were no national security issues. They were asked to hold off on the story until the security implications were check. AP agreed and waited a few days until they were told that, in fact the story had been cleared, no security implications.

      However, at the same time, the spokesman asked the AP to hold off for another day or so just so the government could 'get out in front of it'. In other words, so that the government could announce it first, maybe get a photo-op set up with Obama and his security team giving each other high fives (the last just speculation on my part). The AP having been told there was no security issues refused and published the story. As a result, the massive seizure of documents by the DOJ.

      Pure vindictiveness and retaliation in my book.

      Yet, the rat applauds this BS.



  12. >>>Spare me the bs, rat.<<<

    QuirkMon May 20, 09:09:00 AM EDT


    1. I have some spare BS, you'll get your fair share

      Got five bulls on the place, some buck out real nice.

      The youngsters pay to get on 'em.
      Lookin' for luv, in all the wrong places.

    2. Hope you have bucking insurance. Parents might be pissed at a broken neck.

    3. Insurance, trusts and strawmen, bob.

      Lessons learned, never forgotten.

      Everyone around here is broke. There is no money to be made farmin' and ranchin'.
      Not sure who owns the land, either a Panamanian corporation or a Nevada LLC.
      The livestock, a lot of it is syndicated.
      Nevada LLCs, again.

      But who owns them?
      So who's gonna get the call?

      Life was so much simpler, before GW Bush crashed the economy.
      I would've been on the beach by now, if crones had not been so fuckin' greedy.

    4. John McCain was stymied when asked how many homes he owned.

      If he'd really been prepared to be President, the answer would have been none.
      Romney fell into the same trap.

      Ostentatious wealth, it's not an asset.

  13. SOS John Kerry is heading back to the Middle East this week to press for peace talks between Syrian rebels and Bashar Assad.

    We do not like Assad, so we call his government a “regime”.

    There are increasing signs , such as Russian supplied land-to-sea ship-killing missiles, that the US strategy to halt the war (We used to call this “regime change”) is being undermined by Russia. Not to mention that Assad may be winning the battle and possibly the war.

    Kerry starts with the sultan of Oman. (I am not shitting you here), The Sultan of Oman. He then goes to Jordan to gather with 10 of America’s closest European and Arab partners before traveling on to the apogee of irreplaceable allies, Israel for further instructions.

    For the Syria negotiations to succeed, the Obama administration is banking on Russia’s help. Can you believe this?

  14. Questions of the day:

    Name the last time a US enforced regime change worked?

    Since WWII, what is the ratio of successful US enforced regime changes to absolute clusterfucks?

    In lives and money, how much does a US made clusterfuck cost?

    1. It went well in Iran, at least until it didn't

    2. It worked in Egypt. Since that is the result that Obama wanted.

    3. Do you claim that the Egyptian Army stepped aside because of US pressure?

      Or is it that the Egyptian Army told the US that it would not support another round of a junta running the show, in Cairo?

      The US told the Egyptian Army to stand down, and they did.
      Is that your newest claim?

    4. You're a nonstop pile of nonsense Rodent.

      No word or words you cannot twist.

      You remind me of that guy in Lord of the Rings... "Wormtongue"...

      Yeah that's it...

    5. Regardless of whom you are reminded of ...

      Do you claim that the Egyptian Army stepped aside because of US pressure?

      The US told the Egyptian Army to stand down, and they did.
      Is that your newest claim?

    6. quot said ...
      It worked in Egypt. Since that is the result that Obama wanted.

      Do you claim that the Egyptian Army stepped aside because of US pressure?

      The US told the Egyptian Army to stand down, and they did.
      Is that your newest claim?


  15. >>>Name the last time a US enforced regime change worked?<<<

    Grenada. Before that, Japan.

  16. Here is a list:

    United States Intervention in Greek Election, 1947-1949
    Operation PBFORTUNE, Guatemala, 1952
    Operation Ajax, US overthrow of Iranian Government, 1953
    Operation PBSUCCESS, Guatemala, 1954
    Bay of Pigs Invasion, Cuba, 1961
    Operation Powerpack, Dominican Republic, 1965 - 1966
    Korean War, 1950 - 1953
    United States overthrow of Guatemalan Government, 1907-1933
    Operation Blue Bat, Lebanon, 1958
    United States Intervention at Panama Canal, 1958
    Vietnam War, 1962 - 1973
    United States Occupation of Laos, 1962 - 1973
    United States Intervention at Panama Canal, 1964
    Cambodian Civil War, 1969 - 1970
    United States Overthrow of Chilean Government, 1964
    Operation Eagle Claw, Iran hostage crisis, 1980
    First Gulf of Sidra Incident, Libya, 1981
    Contra War, El Salvador, 1981-1990
    Occupation of Beirut, Lebanon, 1982-1984
    Invasion of Grenada, Grenada, 1983-1984
    Operation El Dorado Canyon, Libya, 1986
    Operation Just Cause, Panama 1989 - 1990
    Second Gulf of Sidra Incident, Libya, 1989
    Operation Desert Shield, 1991
    Operation Desert Storm, 1991
    Somali Civil War, 1992 - 1994
    Operation Provide Relief, 1992
    Operation Restore Hope, 1992 - 1994
    Yugoslav wars, 1994 - 1999
    Bosnian Conflict, 1994 - 1995
    Kosovo Conflict, 1997 - 1999
    War on Terrorism, 2001 - no ending in sight
    Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan 2001 - present
    Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines 2002 - present
    Operation Enduring Freedom - Horn of Africa 2002 - present
    Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003 - present
    Waziristan War, 2004 - present
    War in Somalia, 2006 - present
    Libya - present
    Syria- present
    Somali- present
    Pakistan- present

  17. How many killed? Has to be over 10,000,000.

    1. Saw that a past President of Guatemala was convicted of genocide, in Guatemala, by Guatemalans.

      Wheels of justice turn slowly.

      But the bananas flow!

  18. 26 killed in Newtown massacre
    60 years since WWII
    10,000,000 killed in US involved wars

    That is a daily tally of 17.5 Newtown Massacres.

    1. Who you gonna call?

      Retread another Bush, another Clinton?
      I'd hope for something 'different'.

      Hope for Change!
      Stay the Course!

    2. DeuceMon May 20, 09:51:00 AM EDT
      26 killed in Newtown massacre
      60 years since WWII
      10,000,000 killed in US involved wars

      That is a daily tally of 17.5 Newtown Massacres.

      The newtown issue is not germane

      Nice list, now why not FROM your list, list the wars you found that had no US interest in being in.

    3. What did we get for the money and the killing? From that list, other than Afghanistan, what was the payoff?

    4. Of course it is germane.

      Newtown was so drastic, so terrifying, such a horror, that the US must change the way it operates and regulate how guns are legally held, to stop the slaughter.

      Basically the deaths at Newtown demand drastic political change, here in the US.
      That is the case being made by the Government

      If that is truly the case, then the probability that the US has committed 17.5 such acts a day must be recognized and change demanded of our leaders. Because 17.5 Newtown each and every day, erpetrated by US intervention in foreign affairs is so drastic, so terrifying, such a horror, that the US must change the way it operates overseas, to stop the slaughter.

    5. Going forward, we should do less and gain more.

      The Americas for Americans
      Leave the rest behind to fend for themselves, best they can, on their own.

      The results will not be worse.

      Give up the White Man's burden.

    6. gunman goes into school and shoots and kills young children is equivalent to someone dying in war


      Assad government is "legitimate"...


      this place is sounding like those crazy radical left wing nutters!

    7. Back at you: which war on the list was worth the price?

      You do realize that legitimate means legal. It has nothing to do with your approval. The UN recognizes Syria as a lawful state and accepts the Syrian Ambassador, appointed by Assad, Bashar Jafari, as the “legitimate” representative.

      Children killed in war, especially a needless war, arecertainly on a par with the needless slaughter of children going to school. Case in point, Iraq. It is anyone’s guess how many children were killed. I assume those killed were just as innocent as the children killed in Newtown. If not, what was there transgression other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. All the deaths were meaningless and without purpose. The deaths in Iraq were preventable. Those in Newtown less so.

    8. Identify the crazy part. Since when does the left or the right hold a superior moral position on the needless slaughter of children?

    9. DeuceMon May 20, 12:11:00 PM EDT
      Back at you: which war on the list was worth the price?

      No clue.

      But I wasnt the one listing the list and making the point that 10 million killed.

      But you raise an interesting point.

      According to the geneva convention any innocents killed because the army and or combatants fired from civilian areas are the guilty parties in the deaths.

      So they see a difference

    10. The crazy part is the false equivalencies, distortion of meanings, and the injection of new variables into an argument ad hoc.

      For example - you guys whinge on how 10 million were killed in US involved wars equates to 17.5 Newtown massacres a day. Then, just above, you justify this equivalency by stating that 'a dead child = a dead child' which has nothing to do with your 17.5 Newtown killings a day ratio and there was no attempt to parse out the 'dead children' from the original statement of 10 million killed.

      I have no desire to justify US warmongering, nor the fetishism of all things military, or the 'gun culture' I just find it interesting the current pacifism displayed here parallels the left-wing nutters pacifism of the Bush years and any justification will be hauled out, no matter how absurd, to grind the political axe.

      I am not in favor of militarily intervening in the Syrian conflict and I am in favor of better gun control in the US but neither the 10 million killed in US past conflicts or the Newtown massacre have much at all to do with my position on those matters.

      With respect to your assertion that the Assad government is legitimate because the UN recognizes them as so simply highlights what makes a nation in the UN's mandate versus any decent claim to legitimacy. Do you really think that a minority ethnic run regime whose claim to power is the father brutally seized and maintained power and passed it on to his son is a legitimate "government" versus, say Frances government? No, that as a false equivalence as a person killed in a US involved war equates to a Newtown killed child - equivalent in only the most superficial and uninteresting way.

    11. ...and to further grind the parallels with left wing nutters:

      If a child dies because you fired a bullet that is bad, right? If a child dies because you failed to fire a bullet is that equally bad? The end result is the same - dead child therefore the two situations leading the the dead child are equivalent - no?

    12. Heard something interesting on Pawn Stars the other night. Someone said that the North employed some 10,000 children as "drummer boys" during the war. I would assume that their fatality rate was similar to that of the older soldiers.

    13. .

      Good heavens. Ash now attempts his hand at philosophy.

      No, that as a false equivalence as a person killed in a US involved war equates to a Newtown killed child - equivalent in only the most superficial and uninteresting way.

      In the most superficial and uninteresting ways? While most would argue that a life is a life is a life and a child's life is a child's life is a child's life, Ash argues that a child killed in Newtown and a child killed thousands of miles away in a U.S. launched war of choice are only equivalant in the 'most superficial and uninteresting ways'. Interesting. Is one life, or death for that matter, more important than another especially when it is the life of an innocent? I would suggest only to those who dispassionately view deaths to foreigners, children or not, as 'uninteresting', mere bug splats.

      But that merely deals with outcomes what about assigning responsibility. How do we decide which is worse, a nutter who purposely starts shooting children with the obvious intent to kill them or a government that launches a series of wars of choice in which thousands of children are killed, a govenment which in its latest incarnation conducts signature strikes where it indiscriminately bombs populations and only after counting body parts and their size is able to identify how many children to count as collateral damage. A great philosophical question. Which is worse, killing children by intent or killing them through indifference. I would argue they are equivalent especially since in the latter case they are doing it in the name of the American people.

      Then there is the question of active and passive guilt. Who is more guilty, the person who pulls the trigger or the bystander that does not actively try to stop him or are they equivalent? I've always held that it is the active player, the one who actually does the killing, the one who initiates the action that is most at guilt with the person who doesn't act as a distant second unless that person (a police officer or soldier for instance) has the responsibilty to intervene. Even in the latter instance, circumstances would dictate whether he should intervene.

      As for the semantics of legitimacy, I'll leave that to be disputed by the realists and the puveyors of PC.


    14. and quirk goes "baaaa"

      are you seriously trying to argue that the events in Newtown are equivalent to a US war of choice? Yes, a dead child is a dead child but the two events are entirely different.

    15. and then quirk goes "baaa" again when he says "responsibility to intervene". Next thing you know he'll be spouting the phrase "responsibility to protect".

      good to see progress where he actually thinks "circumstances" play a part whew, I'd have to trot out his favorite term "sheeple" if he didn't.

    16. yet he passes on the semantics of "legitimacy". It is just a word now isn't it?

    17. Most normal human beings will mourn the killing of a family child. A small percentage will avenge such a death. With a Newtown, the law steps in and does the avenging for society.

      Strip away all the ethics and morality and you have an open vulnerable society and a growing pool of people bent on revenge. All for what?

      If someone is not affected individually, we are all affected by loss of freedom and a bankrupting of any moral authority.

      I still wonder at your point?

    18. .

      are you seriously trying to argue that the events in Newtown are equivalent to a US war of choice? Yes, a dead child is a dead child but the two events are entirely different.

      You admit a dead child is a dead child yet ask me this question? In outcome, the death of children, of course they are equivalent with the proviso that in the war of choice the scale is much larger. Are you saying it makes any difference to a dead child whether he is killed by a bullet or a hellfire missile?

      With regard to responsibility, I won't bother repeating it. Go back and read it again. I think it is fairly clear.

      Quit trying to think, Ash, you will hurt yourself.


    19. .

      and then quirk goes "baaa" again when he says "responsibility to intervene". Next thing you know he'll be spouting the phrase "responsibility to protect".

      Evidently, you have never seen the police cars emblazoned with the phrase "Preserve and Protect" or read their oath to preserve and protect the laws and constitution of the U.S. and their various states. Are you saying that I am wrong to assume that the police, if they are in a position to prevent a crime, have the responsibility to do so?


    20. .

      yet he passes on the semantics of "legitimacy". It is just a word now isn't it?

      And now you criticize we for staying out of your little cat fight over the meaning of the word legitimate.


    21. Let me try a different tack with you Quirk, old boy:

      On the one hand you argue that a child life lost is equivalent whether killed by a crazed person in Newtown or killed in a war, a war of choice. Which is true but tells us very little.

      You then argue that 'circumstances matter' - which, old man, is exactly my point. A child killed by a crazed man in school tells us very little about a child killed in a war of choice. While the child killed in both cases is equivalent the circumstances are not and it is the circumstances that matter in a discussion of policy. Arguing that 10 million people (not children but people) were killed, which is the equivalent of 17.4 Newtown massacres a day, have been killed in a wars of choices tells us nothing of interest with respect to the circumstances and hence the morality of those killings. Is is fodder for the sheeple.

  19. .

    Obama also said his administration is increasing intelligence and warning capabilities to secure diplomats and that he's directed the Pentagon to ensure that the military "can respond lightening quick in times of crisis."


    1. You want them to be even quicker than lightning...

      ... or to slow down, like molasses?

      The attack in Benghazi illustrates how weak we really are.

      The need for a grander, larger, military never more evident.
      More Generals, fellas with medals that impress the ladies.

      Never let a crisis go to waste.


    2. .

      Now you are just being silly.

      Despite the recent cuts in the military budget, the U.S. will continue to spend more on security and the military than all other countries combined. I merely ask that money spent be spent properly, and to my mind, 'properly' includes providing adequate security for those we send into harm's way.

      It does not include wasting trillions on wars of choice.

      I do not request that additional support be quicker than lighting as you suggest. I merely suggest that 'adequate' security levels be defined by experts trained in such matters not bureaucrats sitting at a desk thousands of miles away whose decisions are based not on the safety of those in the field but rather on other political agends. I ask that if the shit hits the fan any resources that are available be used to save American lives. I ask that we at least go through the motions of trying so that those in the field have some inkling that they are not entirely on their own.

      But to serious issues, you merely offer straw men.


    3. Those "experts" you laud are, and would be, those same "bureaucrats" you despise.

      This whole Benghazi issue reminds me of Bush and Rice's "Osama bin Laden determined to strike the US" memo - a cudgel to be used by those grinding a political axe except there 15k died in the US versus 4 abroad but the howling is shrill. Can you imagine how many cables, and warnings, dire dire warnings, get issued each day but the executive of that vast bureaucracy is responsible for it all!

    4. .

      Those "experts" you laud are, and would be, those same "bureaucrats" you despise.

      More nonsense from the land up over.

      Eric Nordstrom was the RSO in Libya. He testified on the repeated requests for additional security that were sent to the bureaucrats in D.C. Instead of providing additional security, security was cut in the name of 'normalization'.

      The following describes the role of the RSO at State.

      You argue that Benghazi is small potatoes in the big scheme of things. On one level true enough. However, you ignore the key issue which is that the lives of American citizens and employees were put at risk for what at this point appears to be strictly political reasons. You ignore the politics on the one side and instead decry the politics being played on the other side and, in doing so, you make clear the fact that you are as political and partisan as any you whine about.


    5. I do not think, Q, that the security was lacking in Benghazi because of domestic political concerns.

      It is the current Doctrine

      As in Iraq, the model, the US moved quickly to post war administration. In many regards, while the war was still raging. There was anarchy in Anbar, anti-US sentiments raged.

      Then General P returned to Iraq, the model, and rather than pursuing the military defeat of the insurgents, he employed the Sunni tribal elements, hiring their fighters, etc. and within months claimed stability in Anbar.

      In Libya I think we can see echoes of that strategic doctrine.
      Instead of putting US boots on the ground, the decision was made to hire the locals.

      Since Benghazi was basically the CIAs' bailiwick, more so than States', based upon who the personnel at the compound reported to, General P called the play.
      Replicating his Anbar experience in Benghazi. The CIA vetted the local security teams at the compound

      Those were the primary security screen on the perimeter of the compound that faded away.

      Perhaps because of the compound's dual use, it fell through the State Department cracks, but on 11SEP12 State Dept was about 25% of the personnel, and that was with the Ambassador in the building.

      But using local militias, that is nothing really new.
      The US utilized a similar, though rural, program in Vietnam, before the US military surge there.

    6. The staff is assembled, the briefing begins.

      Current Doctrine, yes it calls for 'Normalization'. Experience recommends following the Iraq model, as played in Anbar. By General P an his loyal staff.
      Eric Nordstrom calls for more US boots.

      Iraq, the model, win the day.
      The CIA vets the locals.

      It's all good, until its not.

      General P gets fired.

    7. .

      I do not think, Q, that the security was lacking in Benghazi because of domestic political concerns.

      It is the current Doctrine

      You offer this and then waste two long posts offering up the same old line after already making my case in the first two lines.

      In the post above, I referred to 'political concerns'. Even if you think the lax security in Libya wasn't the result of political concerns in the U.S. at the time (an opinion I disagree with), you still talk of the policy of normalization, and I can only ask what is that policy if not political?

      As for Petreaus, Coin, Iraq the model, the surge and all that bull I would welcome a discussion sometime (I'm a little pressed for time at the moment and its a big subject) but my only comment now is that what the surge bought was merely 3 more years in country and an additional 1000 U.S. lives loss. Believe me I am no admirer of General P. The fact that he then took his theories to Afghanistan, even more depressing.

      When the hearings continue, perhaps we will see if P got fired for Benghazi or because he couldn't keep the his horse in the barn causing embarrassment on a petty scale considering what he should have been embarrassed about.


    8. The "Policy" is military doctrine.
      It is the political doctrine of the nation, not of any Party or political practitioner. It is policy above politics, Q.

      It is the Leviathan.

      It was not generated by Obama, or even Mr Bush
      It has been developing, at least in the military since at the early 80's. Move immediately to the "End Game" and you can proceed from there.

      Iraq, the model.
      For Afpakistan and Libya.

      We'll see about Syria.

      But we've moved to an 'Old School" Special Forces strategy, train the natives, arm 'em up and send 'em out. Now, with drone air support, US involvement can be minimal in size, but maximize its impact.

      Perhaps not the best solution, but better than invasion and occupation.

    9. .

      Geez, rat, now we are into parsing and semantics. Any decision that involves the allocation of limited resources is a political decision.


    10. .

      To set a policy is a political decision. To continue that policy is also a political decision. To be unwilling to veer from the policy as circumstances dictate indicates bureaucratic drag, an unconsionable stubborness, and a worst-case example of inflexible group think.


    11. So?

      It is institutionalized.
      Beyond the power of the President.

      Which is limited, despite boobie protestations that the Gulag is upon US.


  20. “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

    ― Bruce Lee

    1. The States resemble a boiling pot now more than a melting pot.
      Where oh where does the vapor go?

    2. .

      Water, eh?

      Now, I see how most of your arguments are formulated and what they are made of.

      See the bullshit. Be the bullshit.



    3. Sometimes, Q, it's fun to be silly ...


    4. Builds up, in the pressure cooker, dougman.

      Then the pressure release valve works, and the pot sure whistles
      Or valve sticks and the pot explodes.

    5. That is a better analogy as there really is no escape.
      Feels like that anyway.
      If America is the last best hope, we in trouble.

  21. Ash

    Mon May 20, 01:19:00 PM EDT
    ...and to further grind the parallels with left wing nutters:

    If a child dies because you fired a bullet that is bad, right? If a child dies because you failed to fire a bullet is that equally bad? The end result is the same - dead child therefore the two situations leading the the dead child are equivalent - no?

    non sequitur

    A child is killed by a politician for an unproven political gain and a child is killed by a maniac.

    One of the two is an aberration and probably not preventable. One of the two evils is a political calculation and an action of state. There is no comparative equivalency. There is no scale of relevance.

    You cannot be serious.

    1. The Newtown shooter, we think borders upon insanity, demonstrating extreme social irresponsibility, without doubt

      But the fellas that shoot Predator mounted Hellfires into rooms full of people were thought to be deserving a medal, until they were not.
      The politico that orders the shot, demonstrating their back bone and resolve.

      While the children die, in a "War" that has become truly bizarre.

    2. That is exactly my point - the killings in Newtown have NOTHING to do with the killings in a war of choice despite your comparison above.

    3. Sixty years of foreign military intervention has, though, garnered 3.5% of the whirled's population 25% of its wealth.

      Some times you just gotta ...

      Stay the Course!

    4. Of course they do, ash.

      They are, each and every death, cause to reassess, gain greater insights and then focus upon the problem, searching for a better, more humane, solution to the governmental policies that allowed the people to die.

      All through policies of choice.

      From security levels at Newtown Elementary to security at the joint use Federal compound in Benghazi.

      Policies of choice in a reresentative republic.

      All are created equal, endowed with equal rights.
      Each death a matter of a US policy choice.

      No matter where it occurs.

    5. You advocate for US policy change, citing gun shot wounds and horrific massacres, Columbine, Newton, W.Va Tech as reasons to change US policies.

      Others advocate for US policy change, citing violence, gun shot wounds, horrific massacres across the globe, adding up to the deaths of millions, as reasons to change US policies.

      All the deaths carry political meaning and equivalence, in the US.
      Where all are both created and endowed, equally by their creator.

    6. All deaths are not equal in the good ole USA. The state puts some offenders to death, wars are waged by choice, self-defense is a preferred option, crazies massacre. They are not equivalent - context matters.

    7. The choice of wording ...

      ... their creator ...

      rather than 'our' creator or even more pointedly, 'The' creator does seem to indicate an openness to Gods other than Abraham's as well as the varied interpretations of Abraham's God, being fully excepted in the American creed.

      God Blessed the Americas.

      What a great piece of country, the American Hemisphere.

    8. and Rat thus professes dominion over all the Americas - hubris! chutzpah!

    9. Each is dead.
      Totally equal.

      You are speaking of scaled importance, to the living.
      I do believe I speak for those of like mind.

      We view it from the victims perspective, not the aggressors, or the judges'.

      You are arguing extenuated circumstance, we argue guilt or innocence.

      Dead is dead, there is total equality, in the ground.
      The worms feed, no matter motive.

    10. Each death based upon a policy decision.

      Find the cost of freedom.
      Buried in the ground

      Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young ...
      but they may not have originated the thought

      To allow 300 million privately held guns in the US was a policy choice, it costs lives.
      To allow US agents to roam the whirled, toppling governments and engaging in wars, far from our borders or true national interests, at the costs of millions of lives, a policy choice.

      Policy choices, by US, leading to the deaths of innocent people, is one of the ties that bind, but not the only knot on the bundle.

  22. .

    That is exactly my point - the killings in Newtown have NOTHING to do with the killings in a war of choice despite your comparison above.

    We are talking around each other.

    You merely talk about the superficialities of time and place and circumstances.

    Deuce talks about moral equivalency, equivalency in effect, and equivalency in responsibility.

    Rat brings up a point about 'bordering on the insane', perhaps another area of equivalency.

    In the end, the most striking indication of equivalency, the children are all dead.


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Just above, Quirk, with respect to "intervention" you were arguing time and place and circumstances matter.

      But now you argue the opposite.

      You appear confused.

    3. .

      Don't be obtuse, Ash. Sorry, not trying to put pressure on you.

      While I admit your point is legitimate (there's that word again) with regard to the fact that each of these situations (Newtown and killings resulting from wars of choice) are different in the sense that they have to be addressed separately and in a different manner, in making that point you completely ignore or dismiss the the very point Deuce was making when he mentioned the equivalency. His point is also true.

      Had you brought up your point separately and let it rest on its own merits, I doubt there would be many who would question you on it. But you didn't. Instead you raised it in direct opposition to what Deuce was saying thus offering us if not a non-sequiter at least a false dilemma.

      As I said, we continue to dance talk around the subject but it was you that started the dance.


  23. Mia Love is back!

    Lady I like. She sees want is going to happen to the dems in '14.

    Mia Love officially announces run for Congress in 2014

    posted at 1:21 pm on May 20, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

    Mia lost by a hair last time. She's gonna win this time.

    1. Politico

      Scandal-shocked House Democrats fear for 2014

      See here, Mia knows what she is doing.

  24. Monday, May 20, 2013

    Syrian troops backed by Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah militants on Sunday entered the town of Qusair – a strategic rebel stronghold linking Damascus to the coast and seen as key to the battle for control of the country.

    thanks more accurate

  25. Time to put Ash back in The Dunce Chair.

    For two weeks this time.

    Got to increase the penalty, got to slap him down.

    1. And Q should be up there too, for a day, penalty for arguing with a moron.

  26. >>>The Internal Revenue Service scandal now devouring the Obama administration -- the outrageous use of the federal taxing authority to target tea party and other conservatives -- certainly makes for meaty partisan politics.

    But this scandal is about more than partisanship. It's bigger than whether the Republicans win or the Democrats lose.

    It's even bigger than President Barack Obama. Yes, bigger than Obama.

    It is opening American eyes to the fundamental relationship between free people and those who govern them. This one is about the Republic and whether we can keep it.

    And it started me thinking of years ago, of my father and my uncle in Chicago and how government muscle really works.<<<

    May 20, 2013
    This column from John Kass deserves a Pulitzer
    Rick Moran

    Yes, this IRS issue is heavy duty.

    If this doesn't get stopped we lose our country.


    And Barky was up to his ears in it.

    We are on the edge of becoming a third world political cesspool, like Obama's Kenya.

    1. A smoking gun in IRS scandal?
      May 20, 2013
      Coincidence? Or is Obama caught? More

      >>>According to the White House Visitors Log, provided here in searchable form by U.S. News and World Report, the president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, visited the White House at 12:30pm that Wednesday noon time of March 31st.

      The White House lists the IRS union leader's visit this way:

      Kelley, Colleen Potus 03/31/2010 12:30

      In White House language, "POTUS" stands for "President of the United States."

      The very next day after her White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department's Inspector General's Report, IRS employees -- the same employees who belong to the NTEU -- set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America. The IG report wrote it up this way:

      April 1-2, 2010: The new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.

      In short: the very day after the president of the quite publicly anti-Tea Party labor union -- the union for IRS employees -- met with President Obama, the manager of the IRS "Determinations Unit Program agreed" to open a "Sensitive Case report on the Tea party cases." As stated by the IG report.

      The NTEU is the 150,000 member union that represents IRS employees along with 30 other separate government agencies. Kelley herself is a 14-year IRS veteran agent. The union's PAC endorsed President Obama in both 2008 and 2012, and gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles to anti-Tea Party candidates.

      Putting IRS employees in the position of actively financing anti-Tea Party candidates themselves, while in their official positions in the IRS blocking, auditing, or intimidating Tea Party and conservative groups around the country.<<<

      May 20, 2013
      A smoking gun in IRS scandal?
      Rick Moran

    2. May 20, 2013 4:00 AM
      Three Signs There’s a Cover-Up
      “Mistakes were made….I don’t recall” and other surefire clues.

      By John Fund

    3. Yep, the Tax Code and the authority the IRS derives from is scandalous.

      Why are political action groups granted tax exempt status?

      What is the rational for that?

      It is like forcing Union dus payers to finance opposing ideologues, through the dues they are forced by law to pay to the Union, in non 'Right to Work' States.

      Scandalous, the Tax Code should be reformed, immediately.

      That should become the focus of the Republicans, if they want to win in 2014, politicize the IRS, run against it and the present tax code.

      It'd be a much better play than Benghazi.
      Longer life and greater interest amongst the non baaaaahlievers in Romneyomics...


    4. >>>Why are political action groups granted tax exempt status?<<<

      Because they are not in the money making business, they are in the political persuasion business. Our vibrant democracy, don't cha know.

      >>>It is like forcing Union dues payers to finance opposing ideologues<<<

      No it isn't. No one is forcing anyone to contribute to a PAC. Entirely voluntary.

    5. Next would be shutting down blogs, like this one, where the general trend is anti-big government, shutting it down because of its political content.

    6. Certainly, boobie. The Tax Exemption is not for political activity, it is for Social Welfare work.

      The Tea Party soup kitchen or community health clinic.

      It is expressly forbidden to a political action committee, if they are not doing social welfare work.

      That's the Tea Party scam of the taxpayer.

      Flying that false flag of social work, when that is not their purpose,, at all.

      As you admit.

      The Union comparison is valid.
      As a taxpayer the Federals are forcing e to subsidize Tea Party political activities when the Tea Party does not pay its fair share.

      If there is not a profit, to the corporate entity, boobie, if expenditures exceed income they pay no tax. But their donations should not be tax exempted.

      The Tea Partiers are attempting to perpetrate tax fraud. While using their Republican shills to cover it up.

    7. Donations to the Tea Partiers should not be tax deductible.

      Nor contributions to any other political action activity for that matter.

  27. (((((The very next day after her White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department's Inspector General's Report, IRS employees -- the same employees who belong to the NTEU -- set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America. The IG report wrote it up this way:

    April 1-2, 2010: The new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.

    In short: the very day after the president of the quite publicly anti-Tea Party labor union -- the union for IRS employees -- met with President Obama, the manager of the IRS "Determinations Unit Program agreed" to open a "Sensitive Case report on the Tea party cases." As stated by the IG report.)))))

  28. Prosecutors argued that Ríos Montt oversaw the massacres of Mayan Indians when he ruled Guatemala from March 1982 to August 1983. Ríos Montt held his great power as dictator of Guatemala for the financial and political and military backing he was receiving from US President Ronald Reagan's administration, and the administrations of US presidents before him, all of whom represented the interests of the financial consensus that really rules in America.

    1. As yet, there has never been a trial in the United States of US officials and their financial backers for bribery, for CIA crimes like assassinations, promoting massacres, arranging destabilizing violence, for armed intervention or the treat of armed intervention in a foreign nation in peace time. Investigations, yes, but to this writers knowledge never a prosecution. After a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence investigated the CIA in the 1974, a bill was passed forbidding (future) assassinations of government officials.

      This part, we've mentioned before ...
      But it is kind of a common theme, outside of the United States.
      The perspective cetainly changes perceptions.

      (American school books cite Admiral Perry's 1854 ultimatum to the Japanese government to sign a treaty of commerce or see Yokohama reduces to ashes by his flotilla's cannons, as Perry's achievement 'The Opening up of Japan' .)

    2. This fellow that wrote the above, Jay Janson, he is not a fan of the US.

      On his site, a blurb for boobie

      Cornel West, most outspoken anti-imperialist and defender of Black and minority civil rights since Martin Luther King now says ...
      ...Obama is a war criminal, a black puppet of corporate plutocrats, head of the US killing machine.

      boobie and Cornel West both dislike Obama, from different ends of the spectrum.

    3. I would agree with Mr West in that I do think that ...

      Obama is a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.

    4. Corporate plutocrats or just Soros-crat?

    5. I see the people on the left decrying the Repubs as Corporate shills.

      I wish I could see these things clearly but am blind as as a bat.

    6. Justice is blind too so I guess I'm in good company.

    7. Lester Crown leads the list Dman.
      Forbes 400, Past CEO of General Dynamics, the king maker of Chi-town.

      The fella that paid Obama that $3 million dollar book advance.

      Soros is off to JC Penny.

      The Crown's still profit from every M1 Abrams tank the US buys, that the Army does not need or want. With limited resources, the Commanders want other things than tanks.
      But no, the Army is buying tanks, the Congress so decreed.
      Who builds the M1 Abams tank, you wonder?
      General Dynamics.

      George never had so good a deal.

  29. Another view of what happened in Guatemala, and the rest of Central America.

    he recent conviction of former Guatemalan military dictator Efraín Ríos Montt on charges of genocide stemming from the country's bloody civil war in the 1980s.

    The activists claim that what they have wanted all along is justice for civilians who died in that terrible conflict, but it is clear their ulterior motive has been seeking an indictment of U.S. policy in Central America to resist Soviet- and Cuban-sponsored subversion. Now, in their minds, they have it. Guilty as charged: The United States, under President Ronald Reagan, aided and abetted "genocide."

    The charge is without merit. Here's the real story: Ríos Montt came to power in March 1982 after leading a coup against another general, Fernando Lucas García, whose scorched-earth policies against the guerrillas had so alienated Washington that military assistance was cut off in 1979. However, in overthrowing Lucas García, Ríos Montt acknowledged the military's excesses were damaging the counterinsurgency effort.

    It was in that context that the Reagan administration reconsidered military assistance to Guatemala, calculating that it would give the administration influence to hold Ríos Montt to his pledges to mitigate the violence. Aid was then restored in January 1983. While it turned out that Ríos Montt was either unwilling or incapable of reining in the military, the point became moot in August 1983, when Ríos Montt himself was overthrown in a coup after only 17 months in power -- and seven months after the Reagan administration began sending aid.

    Now, if someone wants to argue that the Reagan administration's policy gamble on Ríos Montt to quell the violence did not pan out, then that's one thing (history books are full of such examples). But to equate it with aiding and abetting "genocide" is beyond the pale. In fact, it is more evidence of an ideological agenda than any noble search for accountability. Worse, it is politicizing crimes against humanity that cheapens the meaning of the term and makes it that much more difficult to prevent and to hold real perpetrators accountable.

  30. "An equally significant source of Soros's power, however, is his passionate messianic zeal. Soros views himself as a missionary with something of a divine mandate to transform the world and its institutions into something better—as he sees it."

    1. Soros is a god.
      Just ask him, he'll tell you.

  31. I'm outta here.
    See you tomorrow

  32. Your paranoia is running rampant boobie.

    The IRS is being compared to Soviet Gulags, in your linked articles and your own words.
    It'd be truly comical, if it did not diminish the horrors of the Soviet Union.

    Millions died in the Gulags, how many Tea Partiers have been exiled to labor camps in Alaska?

  33. .

    Millions died in the Gulags, how many Tea Partiers have been exiled to labor camps in Alaska?

    That's secret. National security dontcha know. If they told you, they'd have to kill you.



    1. I figured boobie knows most all of 'em.

      If any were to come up missing, even a dozen or so, the American Stinker would have an expose'.

      That is if the publishers have not been drawn and quartered.
      Their presses smashed.

      Blogger by Google, you'll be safe. Google is on the Federal's A Team.

  34. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said his neighboring state is ready to help Oklahomans. "The images emerging from Oklahoma today are a terrifying reminder of how quickly the force of Mother Nature can devastate entire communities," he said in a statement.

    Tornadoes initially appeared to be barreling toward the heart of Oklahoma City, home to roughly 600,000 people, but residents there appeared to escape the brunt of the damage.

    "We haven't had much business, but we're in a concrete building, so we're really fine," said James Thrasher, whose father owns the Fat Elvis Diner in Oklahoma City. Mr. Thrasher said the storm hit about 30 miles southeast of the restaurant.

  35. On this day in 1971, Marvin Gaye released the album “What’s Going On.”

  36. Dear dear God, Bunk has been running at the mouth all day long.

    How do you guys stand it?

    Can't one of you others stick a sock in his maw?

    Blabbing on about Lester again.

    Round and round, like one of those tornados in Oklahoma.

    Glad I missed it.

    1. Stick Bunk up there with Ash in the Dunce Chair.

      Shut him up for a couple weeks.

    2. Bunk speaks an infinite deal of nothing.

    3. A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow, our Bunk, making claim to military expertise.

    4. The ass is found in compound with the major part of Bunk's syllables. Unwashed ass, foolish ass, malignant ass, depressing ass, a face not worth sunburning.

    5. .

      Not worth sunburning?


      Clever. The turn of phrase not the sentiment.


  37. A massive, mile-wide tornado with winds up to 200 mph killed at least 51 people Monday afternoon during 40 terrifying minutes of destruction across southern Oklahoma City and its suburbs.


    Catastrophic damage was reported in Moore, where two elementary schools were destroyed, including one that took a direct hit. Several children were pulled alive from the rubble of Plaza Towers Elementary, but there were no immediate reports of rescues or casualties at Briarwood Elementary.

    1. Did you get to see the videos of that, Sam?

      One hell of a big swirl.

      Picked up all the cattle on some ranch, destroyed a small town, couple of schools, houses all flattened.


    2. Called a tornadic outbreak.

  38. >>>“The drought did not cause Syria’s civil war,” said the Syrian economist Samir Aita, but, he added, the failure of the government to respond to the drought played a huge role in fueling the uprising. What happened, Aita explained, was that after Assad took over in 2000 he opened up the regulated agricultural sector in Syria for big farmers, many of them government cronies, to buy up land and drill as much water as they wanted, eventually severely diminishing the water table. This began driving small farmers off the land into towns, where they had to scrounge for work.

    Because of the population explosion that started here in the 1980s and 1990s thanks to better health care, those leaving the countryside came with huge families and settled in towns around cities like Aleppo. Some of those small towns swelled from 2,000 people to 400,000 in a decade or so. The government failed to provide proper schools, jobs or services for this youth bulge, which hit its teens and 20s right when the revolution erupted.

    Then, between 2006 and 2011, some 60 percent of Syria’s land mass was ravaged by the drought and, with the water table already too low and river irrigation shrunken, it wiped out the livelihoods of 800,000 Syrian farmers and herders, the United Nations reported. “Half the population in Syria between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers left the land” for urban areas during the last decade, said Aita. And with Assad doing nothing to help the drought refugees, a lot of very simple farmers and their kids got politicized. “State and government was invented in this part of the world, in ancient Mesopotamia, precisely to manage irrigation and crop growing,” said Aita, “and Assad failed in that basic task.”

    Young people and farmers starved for jobs — and land starved for water — were a prescription for revolution.<<<

    Without Water, Revolution

    Article shines a light on the situation from a different angle.

  39. Haven't seen the vid.

    Ray Manzarek died.

  40. As mindless diversions from a sluggish economy and chronic malaise, the new aristocrats play a useful role. But their advent suggests that, after decades of widening income gaps, unequal distributions of opportunity and reward, and corroding public institutions, we have gone back to Gatsby’s time — or something far more perverse.

    The celebrity monuments of our age have grown so huge that they dwarf the aspirations of ordinary people, who are asked to yield their dreams to the gods: to flash their favorite singer’s corporate logo at concerts, to pour open their lives (and data) on Facebook, to adopt Apple as a lifestyle. We know our stars aren’t inviting us to think we can be just like them.

    Their success is based on leaving the rest of us behind.

  41. Try this -

    1. Tornados, I am being told on Fox, dissipate when the sun goes down.

      More forecast for tomorrow.

    2. Thanks for the vids, Bob. Far out.


  42. Twisting slowly, slowly in the wind

    >>>As Rick Moran quips, by its own logic, the Obama administration which doesn't concede that Fox is a news organization shouldn't have cared what Rosen wrote. But of course, they care passionately, because Fox has been the only major media enterprise to break the protective cordon around Obama the rest of them enforced. And Fox has grown and prospered, while almost everyone else has been painfully shrinking.<<<

    May 20, 2013
    A very bad sign for Obama
    Thomas Lifson

    >>>Anne E. Marimow of the Washington Post alerts fellow MSMers and the public that the DoJ's AP scandal might be the tip of the iceberg, and that in spying on the press, the Justice Department "did more than obtain telephone records of a working journalist." She offers readers "a rare glimpse into the inner workings of one such [leak] probe" with "striking similarities to a sweeping leaks investigation disclosed last week in which federal investigators obtained records over two months of more than 20 telephone lines assigned to the Associated Press."<<<

    Ah! The Washington Post is on the case. The Washington Post brought down Nixon. A gold mine of abuses to work, reputations to be made, income to be generated, advertising to sell.

    Looking bad for Barky. Bad as a tornadic outbreak in springtime Oklahoma. It is going to, in a famous phrase, leave Barky 'twisting slowly, slowly in the wind'.

    Twisting slowly, slowly in the wind was a phrase used often by two Nixon thugs, Haldeman and Erlichman.

    >>>Now, back to Mr. Gray: When his confirmation hearings started to heat up and distract some attention from Watergate, Mr. Erlichman, figuring that that was a good thing, decided to let him “twist slowly, slowly in the wind.”

    Is that poetry, or what?.....

    ....And who can forget “expletive deleted”? Once the Watergate tapes had finally been transcribed, redacted and made public, they were full of that phrase, and some people were shocked. This wasn’t a bunch of mafia henchmen talking, after all; this was the inner circle at the White House....

    ...But the language! The characters! The names!

    There was “Deep Throat,”
    ....There was someone called “Fat Jack,” but I forget what he did. There was hush money. There was an “enemies list.” There were the “White House plumbers,” whose job it was to plug leaks. There was Rose Mary Woods and the “18-and-a-half-minute hum,” when she allegedly kept her foot on the pedal that controlled the tape recorder in the president’s office, allegedly by accident....

    ....There was Martha Mitchell, the wife of the attorney general who would go to prison over Watergate. She became famous for making late-night calls to journalists (many assumed she was half in the bag when she made them) and for referring to Nixon aides John Erlichman and H.R. Haldeman as “the Katzenjammer Kids,” after an old comic strip....

    ....There was the “modified limited hangout.” The limited hangout, it seems, is a propaganda technique in which you let some small fact out in order to prevent the exposure of something more important.<<<

    Ah, those were the days, my friends, those were the days!!


  43. The single most insane thing I've read in years: The Obama Administration is going to allow the Exporting of Natural Gas. A second facility has been approved.

    Great for my natural gas call. An insanely stupid move for the United States of America.

  44. However that is great news for solar.

  45. It is also good for wage increases and employment in the natural gas industry.

  46. Are you opposed to agricultural exports? They also keep prices higher.

    1. My instinctive first answer would be, Ag products are Renewable.

      After that, you could get lost in the weeds, and spend days trying to find your way out.

  47. Here is a site for Rufus -

    Counter weight to the Huffington Post that is eating his mind.

  48. What would be the affect on Mississippi workers? if US liquified natural gas was exported to Central America. Seems to me the good working people in Pascagoula shipyard might welcome some more work.

    1. ? My hunch is the tankers will be built in Korea.

      I'm actually in shock, and it will probably be days, at the minimum, before I can, even semi-intelligently, discuss this insanity.

    2. That is not necessarily so, but could be addressed. It would be great for economic activity in Central America, great trading partners that are not engaged in large scale economic espionage.

  49. Key findings in a new report by ICF International, analyzing the potential impacts of exporting U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG):

    Jobs – Average net growth is projected to range from 73,100 to 452,300 between 2016 and 2035.

    This wide estimated range reflects the fact that the net job impacts will depend, in part, on how much “slack” there is in the economy and how much the demand for LNG-export-related labor will “crowd out” other labor demands. Manufacturing job gains average between 7,800 and 76,800 net jobs between 2016 and 2035, including 1,700-11,400 net job gains in the specific manufacturing sectors that include refining, petrochemicals, and chemicals.

    Economic Growth – Net effect on U.S. GDP is projected to range from $15.6 billion a year to $73.6 billion by 2035.

    ICF’s GDP projection includes the impacts of additional hydrocarbon liquids that would be produced along with the natural gas, greater petrochemical production using more natural gas liquids feedstocks and all economic multipliers.

    Government Revenue – LNG exports are projected to produce annual increases in revenue to federal, state and local governments of between $6.4 billion to $9.3 billion in the base scenario to $27.9 billion to $40.4 billion in the high-export scenario by 2035. ICF:

    Increased government revenues resulting from LNG exports are expected to be in the form of federal, state, and local taxes on GDP gains associated with additional economic activity, as well as additional royalty payments to the government for natural gas production taking place on government lands. State and local taxes (which include severance taxes associated with natural gas production) comprise the largest share of government revenues, with federal taxes making up a smaller portion. A slight increase in federal royalties is anticipated to comprise the remaining source.

  50. They are real jobs from real economic activity.

    1. Trust me, Deuce, it's insane. I'm too bummed-out right now. Maybe later.

  51. Get some rest. Doug should soon be around to give your nightly medicine.

    1. Our biggest Manufacturing draw right now is our low (although getting higher) nat gas prices. This will speed the rise to the world price of about $13.00 kcuft.

      But, the Big problem is we just don't have nearly as much nat gas as they're letting on that we do.

      Look at Texas

      This is our largest natural gas producing state, and the birthplace of the Granddaddy of all Fracking fields - the Barnett Shale. Production is plunging, as we speak.

  52. .

    At $4 NG, the NG companies are just about breaking even. The sweet spot where they are making money is in the $4 - $6 range. Beyond that things are very good. As the price get's into that middle range, you will see the production that Rufus talks about quickly reappear.

    That being said, I have to agree with Rufus. When they are allowed to export the stuff, domestic prices will rise. However, given the cost constraints, I don't know how you can keep our prices low without nationalizing the industry, something that won't happen.


    1. No, you won't see that production "quickly reappear."

      I know you don't believe it; so, I guess you'll just have to "stay tuned."

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