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

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The US governmental threat to freedom: The more a society monitors, controls and observes its citizens, the less free it is. In a democratic constitutional state, security is not an end in itself, but serves to secure freedom.

US Prism Scandal: 'Security Is Not an End in Itself'
A Commentary by German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger

How much monitoring is too much and at what point does freedom become compromised? In a guest editorial for SPIEGEL ONLINE, German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger argues that the US has crossed the line with its Prism spy program.
Shortly before US President Barack Obama's visit to Berlin, Germans are troubled by questions regarding the extent to which the United States monitors Internet traffic worldwide. Is it true, as the media claim, that the United States can access and track virtually every form of communication on the Internet at the source? The Guardian and the Washington Post reported that the National Security Agency (NSA) could gain direct access to and read user data with the so-called "Prism" program. An unnamed intelligence officer was quoted by the Washington Post as saying that the NSA could "quite literally … watch your ideas form as you type."
Internet giants like Facebook and Google were quick to issue denials, saying that they do not release any information without a court order. But doubts remain.
These reports are deeply disconcerting. When viewed in its entirety, this massive effort to acquire information, if it is true, would be dangerous.
On the weekend, President Obama reacted by saying that it is impossible to have 100 percent security and 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience.
I don't share this view. The more a society monitors, controls and observes its citizens, the less free it is. In a democratic constitutional state, security is not an end in itself, but serves to secure freedom.
A Reasonable Balance
America has been a different country since the horrible terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The country's security architecture was drastically restructured. One goal was to link all institutions and create a broad flow of information among the different security agencies. The relationship between freedom and security has shifted, to the detriment of freedom, especially as a result of the Patriot Act, which was introduced only a few days after 9/11. The Patriot Act is essentially a number of legislative packages passed in rapid succession. They expanded the opportunities for surveillance, just as they created the possibility of imprisonment for the purpose of preventing acts of terror.
To summarize: As much as we want counterterrorism efforts to be effective, there has to be a reasonable balance between security and the freedom of citizens. The Patriot Act significantly limited the civil rights of Americans.
The development was repeatedly criticized internationally. President Obama, a lawyer specializing in US constitutional law, was also critical of this development in the past. But the restrictions on civil rights and liberties enacted in connection with President George W. Bush's "War on Terror" have not been reversed since Obama became president.
Alarming and Cannot Be Ignored
We should remember that the strength of the liberal constitutional state lies in the trust of its citizens. Constitutional guarantees protect this trust and pursue two objectives: to punish the guilty and to protect the innocent or those who are unjustly suspected of a crime against wrongful actions by the government. These are precisely the tenets Germany adopted in 1949 from the tradition of the American Constitution of 1776 -- namely that in a free and open democratic process, it is important to avoid the impression that the protection of basic rights is not being taken seriously enough.

The American politician and author Benjamin Franklin once wrote: "Those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
The suspicion of excessive surveillance of communication is so alarming that it cannot be ignored. For that reason, openness and clarification by the US administration itself should be paramount at this point. All facts must be put on the table.
The global Internet has become indispensible for a competitive economy, the sharing of information and the strengthening of human rights in authoritarian countries. But our trust in these technologies threatens to be lost in the face of comprehensive surveillance activities.


  1. The thing that amazes me about the entire episode is that Snowden got a security clearance at ny level.

  2. I once played hearts for eight weeks at Raytheon Spencer labs waiting for mine.

  3. Replies
    1. Too bad we weren't monitoring all of Germany's communications in the 1930's.

    2. Which brings us to Iran, and China.

      Anyone here NOT want the NSA to know what those assholes are saying?

  4. or Philadelphia, Pascagoula, Biloxi, Yazoo City or etc, etc.?

    1. I can't speak for Philadelphia; but, trust me, absolutely no sane person in the world cares what's being said in Biloxi, Pascagoula, or Yazoo City. :) :)

  5. One analyst making $200 from one NSA contractor? What are they spending a year?

    Technologically, they could fly over a community with a drone, detect, record and decode wifi. What can they do with that info?

    Just out of curiosity, which constitutional right are you prepared not to have taken by some politician?

    1. They would have to pass a New law, because that activity isn't allowed under the existing law.

  6. St Petersburg will beat any US supermax. Take the deal>

    Russia has offered to consider an asylum request from the US whistleblower Edward Snowden, in the Kremlin's latest move to woo critics of the west.

    Snowden fled the United States before leaking the details of a top-secret US surveillance programme to the Guardian this month. He is currently believed to be in Hong Kong, but has reportedly changed hotels to keep his location secret.

    Fearing US retaliation, Snowden said at the weekend that "my predisposition is to seek asylum in a country with shared values", citing Iceland as an example. He defended his decision to flee to Hong Kong by citing its relative freedom compared with mainland China.

    Snowden is not known to have made any asylum requests, including to Russia. Yet speaking to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's spokesman, said: "If such an appeal is given, it will be considered. We'll act according to facts."

    Peskov's comments were widely carried by the Russian media, which have largely ignored Snowden's revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) was secretly empowered with wide-reaching authority to collect information from the US mobile provider Verizon and to snoop on emails and internet communications via a data-mining programme called Prism. Russia's feared security services are widely believed to maintain similar powers.

    Peskov's comments on potential asylum opened the floodgates on support for Snowden. Robert Shlegel, an influential MP with the ruling United Russia party, said: "That would be a good idea."

    Alexey Pushkov, head of the Duma's international affairs committee and a vocal US critic, said on Twitter: "By promising asylum to Snowden, Moscow has taken upon itself the protection of those persecuted for political reasons. There will be hysterics in the US. They only recognise this right for themselves."

  7. He could write a book for millions, get a great condo and enjoy the babes or he can eat velveeta sandwiches on white bread and stare at 4 walls for 23 hours a day. What is a spy to do?

    1. I think he will opt for the "book and babes." :)

    2. If you strike a king, you better kill him.

  8. If and when the US justice department charges Edward Snowden, its next step would be to ask Interpol for a provisional request to arrest him pending extradition to America, the Associated Press reports.

    The news agency quotes Hong Kong lawyer Michael Blanchflower as saying that the judicial proceedings for an extradition request could take a year. The final decision would lie with Hong Kong's chief executive, currently CY Leung: "Ultimately it's his decision."

    If the chief executive allows the extradition, the fugitive can request judicial review and those decisions can be appealed against through three court levels.

    He could claim he is the object of political persecution – which is exempt from the extradition treaty.

    He could also claim he would be subject to cruel and humiliating treatment, perhaps citing the case of Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning. Hong Kong changed its regulations six months ago to require that a court consider cruel and humiliating treatment and not simply torture when considering extradition requests.

    AP suggests there is nothing at present stopping Snowden from making his way to other Asian countries that do not have extradition treaties with the US – including mainland China.

    China may want to avoid being caught up more directly in the case, however.

    Taiwan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and North Korea also lack extradition treaties with the US.

  9. The US army has confirmed an aspect of surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden's military service to the Guardian.

    As Snowden told the Guardian in announcing his responsibility for detailing multiple mass surveillance efforts by the National Security Agency sweeping up Americans' communications data, he indeed tried to join the elite special forces.

    His attempt was unsuccessful.

    "His records indicate he enlisted in the army reserve as a special forces recruit (18X) on 7 May 2004 but was discharged 28 September 2004," the US army's chief civilian spokesman, George Wright, said by email on Monday. (In his Guardian interview, Snowden gave the year as 2003.)

    "He did not complete any training or receive any awards," Wright added.

    The army did not release Snowden's entire service record, a form known as a DD-214, despite the Guardian's request. A DD-214 typically details a military service member's entire career history, such as locations of his or her billets, job responsibilities and honorable or dishonorable discharges – none of which the army disclosed on Monday. Nor did the army explain the reason for Snowden's incomplete special forces recruitment.

  10. The kid is probably a whack job.

    1. A lot of very intelligent, under-educated, highly-motivated people are.


    2. Quirk comes close. He gets credit for two out of three.


    3. .

      Thanks for the props on the 'very intelligent' and 'highly motivated' fronts but you may not know that I also have an MBA with three oak leaf clusters.


  11. A majority of Americans – 56% – say the National Security Agency’s (NSA) program tracking the telephone records of millions of Americans is an acceptable way for the government to investigate terrorism, though a substantial minority – 41% – say it is unacceptable. And while the public is more evenly divided over the government’s monitoring of email and other online activities to prevent possible terrorism, these views are largely unchanged since 2002, shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center and The Washington Post, conducted June 6-9 among 1,004 adults, finds no indications that last week’s revelations of the government’s collection of phone records and internet data have altered fundamental public views about the tradeoff between investigating possible terrorism and protecting personal privacy.

  12. Most Western nations (i.e. US and Canada included) have laws against spying on citizens of their own country. They also have intelligence sharing mechanisms. It is illegal for CSIS (Canada's intelligence agency) to spy on Canadians but not illegal for the CIA and NSA. Similarly CSIS can spy on Americans...

    1. Canada says it monitors foreign phone, internet traffic

      By David Ljunggren
      OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's government on Monday declined to say whether it was using data gathered by a secret U.S. government eavesdropping program, but confirmed its own secret signals intelligence agency was monitoring foreign phone and internet traffic.
      An ex-CIA employee working as a contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency says the NSA is running a massive surveillance program called Prism that scoops up information from phone companies as well as internet data from large companies such as Google and Facebook.
      His revelations have launched a broad debate on privacy rights and the limits of security programs in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
      Pressed by opposition legislators as to whether Canada was making use of Prism data, Defense Minister Peter MacKay did not answer the question.
      Instead, he referred to the practices of Canada's top secret Communication Security Establishment (CSE), a branch of the defense ministry that specializes in gathering signals intelligence abroad.
      "CSE does not target communications of Canadians. This is foreign intelligence. This is something that has been happening for years," he told the House of Commons.
      Canada works very closely with the United States, which along with Britain, New Zealand and Australia belong to the so-called Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network.
      MacKay confirmed a report in the Globe and Mail newspaper that said CSE - which is not allowed to monitor domestic telecommunications or target Canadians - runs a global electronic eavesdropping program designed to detect patterns of suspicious activity.

  13. .

    It's Tuesday, time for another scandal? This one in Hillary's State Department?


    1. This is probably much more of a scandal than Benghazi ever had any chance of being.

    2. Yeah, what's a few dead compared to hiring hookers on the company time and dime?


    3. You can replace an Ambassador, but a highly skilled hooker is another thing.


    4. You really are a dumbunny, aren't you bubba?

      Now, imagine this headline:

      "Key Hillary Aide Connected to Cover-up of Ambassador Pedophilia/Drug Ring Scandal!"

    5. Two, four, six, eight ....
      Who do we appreciate ???

    6. Believable too. Huma is married to Weiner.


    7. The street skinny is the sicko Weiner had to secretly convert to Islam before Huma could take him on. Not so with Shillary though, being a woman she could take on Huma from the git-go.


    8. The American people could, by and large, care less if Hillary was getting "hummers from Huma."

      It was, also, obvious from the get-go that no one blamed Hillary for the blow-up in Benghazi.

      However, any political naïf could tell you that the slightest hint of a cover-up involving Pedophilia, or Drugs, and the Shrilldebeast could kiss her Presidential aspirations good-bye.

      A bridge "way too far."

    9. The "street skinny"?

      Every politco that you dislike is supposedly a "secret convert to Islam"

      What is the name of that street?
      Where is that street, the name of the town?
      Who on that street said such a thing?

      Name some names, boobie!

    10. Based upon the size of his family ...

      Mitt Romney may well be a secret convert to Islam, no?

      It was rumored that George W Bush converted to Islam while dancing with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
      Sealed the deal with a kiss, he did.

      Or so 'they' say.


    12. Here ya go General Bunk -

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      Do you want results only for Anthony Weiner secretly converts to Islam??

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    13. It sure was nice around here while you were gone, Bunk.


  14. 9/11 the greatest over reaction in history. The USA lost the plot, and flapped like a leper in a hurricane. Afghanistan has been set back 20 yrs,the US corruption there will never be investigated and eventually the Taliban will run it again.

    1. "flapped like a leper in a hurricane"

      Goddamn, that sounds bad.


  15. BEIRUT — Syrian government forces are moving into position to launch a major offensive on the rebel-held half of the country’s biggest city, Aleppo, according to opposition activists.

    They say assault is likely to feature the deployment once again of thousands of guerrillas from Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese Shia movement that is backing President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime.

    Hezbollah fighters were the key factor in the Syrian government’s capture last week of Qusair, a strategic town near the border with Lebanon – a gain that has disrupted important rebel supply lines.

    On Monday, Saudi Arabia and other pro-rebel Gulf nations condemned what they described as “Hezbollah’s blatant invention in the crisis in Syria.” In a joint statement, they said “Hezbollah’s illegal intervention and the horrific practices of its militias in the region will harm its interests.”

    The statement was interpreted to mean that Saudi Arabia and its allies might implement financial and political sanctions against Hezbollah and its supporters. The statement also urged Lebanon to rein in Hezbollah, a move that could trigger another civil war in Lebanon.

    According to Hezbollah’s own TV station, Al Manar, the planned assault on Aleppo has been dubbed “Northern Storm.”

    Since the capture of Qusair, which had been under rebel control since last year, the Syrian government has been carrying out mopping up operations in surrounding villages. But it also has dispatched units, including Hezbollah fighters, to Aleppo.

  16. Syria should have undertaken reform in due time’

    Speaking about the conflict in Syria, the president said it was possible to avoid the civilian war by conducting reforms in due time.

    “Syria as a country was rife for some kind of change. And the government of Syria should have felt that in due time and should have undertaken some reform,” Putin said. “Had they done that, what we’re seeing in Syria today would have never happened.”

    However, he added, one should take into account that the entire Middle East is currently finding itself in a state of uncertainty and conflict – and it’s wrong to try and interfere from outside.

    "From the outside some people think that if you bring the entire region in compliance with someone’s specific idea of democracy, things will settle down, and everything will be all right in that region. But that’s not true. Considering that region’s background history, culture, religion – you cannot interfere with it from the outside.”

    Putin pointed out that the West is supporting some certain organizations that are fighting Assad in Syria, and they are countering "those very same groups" in Mali.

    “Where is the logic in that?” he said. “Our Western counterparts often tell us that the Al-Nusra is one of the key organizations in the Syrian military opposition. But it has been dubbed terrorist by the US Department of State, and it doesn’t even hide its links to Al-Qaeda. So will you let this organization join the future government of Syria? Our Western counterparts say no. Are you going to just make them go away once you have victory in Syria? They don’t know. It’s totally unclear.”

    Putin reminded that the quality of life in Libya was one of the highest in the region before the regime change.

    “What do you have there now? There is a war of everybody against everybody among various tribes, there is war for resources, and, I’m afraid, if we go the same way in Syria, there will be same havoc in Syria that we’re now witnessing in Libya,” he concluded. “Isn’t that enough from what we’re seeing in Pakistan and Afghanistan right now, where there’re terrorists that are not controlled by anyone, except for terrorists?”

    Speaking about mass demonstrations, the president stressed that the government should control protesters, “put them in the legislative field,” if they “violate the law.”

    “This is what happening both in the US and in Russia,” Putin said.

    “Russia doesn’t try to influence Occupy activists, yet foreign agents try to do this in Russia,” he said, referring to the Occupy movement that initially started from protests in New York and then spread worldwide.

  17. By: Patrick J. Buchanan
    6/11/2013 06:00 AM

    “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail,” said Secretary of State Henry Stimson of his 1929 decision to shut down “The Black Chamber” that decoded the secret messages of foreign powers.

    “This means war!” said FDR, after reading the intercepted instructions from Tokyo to its diplomats the night of Dec. 6, 1941.

    Roosevelt’s secretary of war? Henry Stimson.

    Times change, and they change us.

    The CIA was created in 1947; the National Security Agency in 1952, with its headquarters at Ft. Meade in Maryland. This writer’s late brother was stationed at Meade doing “photo interpretation” in the years the CIA’s Gary Powers, flying U-2s at 70,000 feet above Mother Russia, was providing the agency with some interesting photographs.

    This last week, through security leaks, we learned that the NSA has access to the phone records of Verizon, Sprint and AT&T. Of every call made to, from or in the U.S., NSA can determine what phone the call came from, which phone it went to, and how long the conversation lasted.

    While NSA cannot recapture the contents of calls, it can use this information to select phones to tap for future recording and listening.

    Through its PRISM program, the NSA can acquire access, via servers such as Apple, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft and AOL, to all emails sent, received and presumably deleted or spammed. And if the NSA can persuade a secret court that it has to know the contents of past, present or future emails, it can be accorded that right.

    Our ability to intercept and read communications of foreigners and foreign governments seems almost limitless. In the Nixon years, Jack Anderson reported that we were intercepting the conversations of Kremlin leaders in their limos, and listening in on Mao Zedong and Leonid Brezhnev. Our capacity today is surely orders of magnitude greater.

    Last week, we also learned that Barack Obama, by Presidential Policy Directive 20, has tasked our government to prepare for both defensive and offensive cyberwarfare to enable us to attack whatever depends on the Internet anywhere in the world.

    Lately, the U.S. and Israel planted a Stuxnet worm that crippled scores of centrifuges and disabled Iran’s nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz. If we can do this in Iran, can we not do the same to nuclear plants all over the world, creating two, three, a hundred Chernobyls and Fukushimas?

  18. {…}

    Is it too much to imagine that, one day, if not already, the United States will be able to cyber-sabotage the power plants, electrical grids and communications systems of any country on earth?

    With its ability to locate and listen in to terrorists, to track by satellite and kill by drone, America has acquired an extraordinary ability to protect its people and prevent and punish terrorist attacks.

    But was any of this really surprising? Were we all in the dark as to what the CIA, the NSA and the Pentagon could do?

    And as we think back on 9/11, of our doomed countrymen jumping to their deaths from the World Trade Center, the dead and maimed at the Boston Marathon, will not most Americans say, “Thank the Lord we have this power, and God bless the men and women who are using it to defend us”?

    While this power is extraordinary, it is still not of the same magnitude as the 50,000 nuclear weapons we had 50 years ago, at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, when war could have led to scores of millions of American dead.

    Nevertheless, for a people whose proud boast is that our nation was conceived in freedom, this brave new world is sobering. Our own government has the power to intercept and listen to every phone call we make, to read every email we send or receive, to track us with cameras we cannot see, and to wage secret cyberwar against enemies real or perceived without a declaration of war.

    Yet, we can no more uninvent the technology that enables our government to do this than we can uninvent the atom bomb. And rival powers like China are surely seeking the same capabilities.

    Thomas Jefferson instructed us that “in questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in men, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

    But, ultimately, what other option do we have than to place our confidence in those whom we have entrusted with this power?

    Congress is not going to pass a law telling the NSA that it may not coordinate with AOL, Apple or Google to access information that might prevent a terrorist attack. And if a terrorist attack hits this country, and our security agencies say their hands were tied in trying to protect us, all bets would be off as to what intrusions upon their freedom Americans might accept.

    In the end, we ourselves are going to have to strike the balance between freedom and security.

    But the question lingers.

    If Big Brother is our guardian angel now, could he become Lucifer?

    Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”

    1. Somebody finally wrote something sensible about "The Snowden Affair," and it had to be Pat Buchanan. I need a drink.

    2. And, Vladifuckinmir Putin.

      God help us.

    3. .

      But, ultimately, what other option do we have than to place our confidence in those whom we have entrusted with this power?

      Pat asks what other option do we have but to acquiesce when the Wizard of OZ says "Trust me." Yet the lies coming from D.C. are legion. We see it daily. Likewise, we don't even know what it is that we are to acquiesce to. When the administration won't even make public what its interpretation of the law is because it is 'top-secret' and you knowing what your government actually thinks regarding the law and Constitution could hurt 'national security', how can you challenge their interpretation, how can its legality be assured? In the end, if not already, it will lead to tyranny.

      Yet, the Munchkins of OZ continue to say 'Trust us, it's for your own good," and the Eloi say, "Sure, no skin off my back."

      It's nice being 'comfortable.


  19. Quirk, quit, you've been drinking again and still trying to unload those polo shirts...they ain't gonna sell.


    1. Thanks, Deuce, it's a kindness to save Quirk from himself. Cheap Lauren Polo Shirts/ -jeez.


  20. .

    The kid is probably a whack job.

    Speaking of whack jobs, banality and triteness thy name is Lindsay Mills.

    Perhaps, it was the daily shitstorm of clichés provided by his "world-traveling, pole-dancing super hero" girlfriend that turned Snowden into a whack job. Previously, I considered Snowden a troubled hero. Now I'm wondering if he wasn't merely a tortured hero.

    Troubled vs. tortured. It makes a difference.

    Reminds me of the last time I got drafted. I had two weeks of vacation left and took it before I had to report to Fort Wayne.

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

    I was recently divorced, broke, working six or seven days a week and carrying three college courses. I spent most of the money left over after paying child support on a roof over my head, booze, and certain illicit products that were popular in the sixties and seventies. Each week, I would buy a loaf of bread, a large pack of liverwurst, and some cranberry sauce. Every day, I would eat a liverwurst sandwich with a slice of jellied cranberry sauce on it. When the liver sausage started to turn green, I would buy another package. Anything else I ate was either bar burgers or 2:30 am breakfast at Denny's. I worked eight or ten hours a day, had a sandwich, went to school or to work out, and then hit the bars. Saw my kids and family on the weekends. Definitely the best years of my life. It was absolutely the best of times.

    However, then I got drafted for the third time and realized this time they were serious. Knowing that I was going away for two years, I burned some (all ?) bridges at work with my new manager, an ex-Marine and a real prick. However, he was on a fast track and I knew he would be gone before I got back again. As soon as I left work on that Friday, I headed for the bar and thus started two weeks of debauchery. Things were going pretty good for about a week before things started going south. Got a couple speeding tickets, and in a couple of bar fights. The fact that I was going in the army probably helped keep me out of jail. I did happen to mention it a couple times. One of the guys I was hanging with was going with one of the bunnies at the Detroit Playboy Club and we would sometimes go to the club and then to after-hours parties next door at a motel near the place. After one of the parties, I was coming home about 4:00 am, fell asleep, and plowed into the back of a car stopped at a red light. The jolt evidently stirred me out of my stupor and I woke up to some old guy yelling at me and a younger 'lady' screaming that I hit them so hard I knocked the wig off of her. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt and I wasn't charged with drunk driving. But I was sued. Worse, my upper lip looked like a watermelon. I still have a slight scar. When I woke the next morning, I was thinking it's the worst of times.

    The drinking and smoking continued and only ended after a going away party for me at my apartment. A few guys dropped me off at the VFW hall at 8:00 in the morning and it was a long bus ride to the fort as I sat in the middle of a bus load of fellow draftees, all of them 4 or 5 years younger than me, all quiet and hungover, all stinking of sweat and booze. Despite it all, I was not only reconciled to going in the army, I was looking forward to it. Two years of no responsibility, no decisions, not worrying about the lawsuits and other shit I was leaving behind, just other people telling me what to do, where to go, when to eat, etc., no decisions, just do it.

    I got to the fort but didn’t go in the army.


    1. .


      My advice to Snowden, if in fact he was not being a hero (something I obviously can't comment on), would have been don't jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. Things tend to work out. Especially when you are making $200k.

      Of course, I'm glad he did what he did; but he may have set himself up for some major karma. If he did it for the reasons he stated. More power to him. If he did it to get away from Lindsay, he probably overreacted a bit. Face it, as long as she didn’t talk too much, she really wasn’t that bad looking.



    2. Hohohohohoho -

      What wonderful bullshit!!!


    3. Drafted three times, never made it in the Army.

      Hell, Rufus wasn't even drafted and he made it into the Army.

      Today we have on display folks the Quirk I truly love, a first rate scamp and story teller.


    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. Whenever did I say I thought you gave a rat's ass what I believe?

      I think you are full of shit myself, to make clear, and don't care what your opinion is of my opinion.

      I will not believe your story until I see 'the slight scares' which are I assume are on your palms or wrists.

      Poor thing.



    6. Quirk just chickened out folks. He often does that. But, when the chips are down, and death is near and in the air he is magnificent.

      Then he is as fearless as he is master storyteller above.

      God's Final Judgment: Quirk Has Value


  21. .

    The charge: Illegally busting a nut.

    Take a look at Gutman and at the Secret Service agents surrounding Hillary.

    What do you think?


    1. All got the same red tie. Clones of Kerry.

      Gutman has an excuse, Spousal Repugnance Derangement Syndrome.

      But, whoever heard of 'courting' a prostitute?


    2. Maybe they all got their red ties from the puta known as The Red Tie Lady.

      Kinda a club thing.


  22. I Like Ike

    This video of Ike should become a headline for a thread and I should get a HT for it -

    >>>Maybe Ike was right

    posted at 12:41 pm on June 11, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

    It’s been a very long time since I read Dwight Eisenhower’s final presidential address to the nation, televised live on January 17, 1961 — two years before I was born. Now it’s available on YouTube, based on a poor-quality Kinescope made at the time. The speech became famous for its warning about the dangers to liberty posed by the “military-industrial complex,” which eventually became almost a cliché. Reading it now, it seems more like prophecy in more ways than one: video<<<<

    Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

    This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

    We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. …

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

    It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society."


    Posted by >>>bob<<<

  23. We did that as a post. I don’t know when. No Hat Tip. No fucking way.

  24. Dang!

    foiled again


  25. Israel provided the system hardware and software. In the case of ATT, Israelis were contracted to operate the system from a highly secure suite of offices. It will come as no surprise to learn that other American companies had to do likewise.

  26. Kuwait is the first Gulf emirate ready to act on the resolution of the recent Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Jeddah to punish Hizballah for its “flagrant intervention in Syria” against “freedom fighters.” The Interior Ministry in Kuwait is about to “end the residency of some 2,000 Lebanese Shiite citizens” and shut down their financial and commercial businesses.
    The six-member bloc denounced Iran’s Lebanese proxy as a terrorist group for its “flagrant military intervention in Syria and its participation in shedding the blood of Syrian people.” The Saudi Cabinet earlier condemned Hezbollah’s “blatant intervention” in the Syrian crisis.
    These Kuwait and Saudi moves are expected to soon touch off mass expulsions from the six Gulf nations of tens of thousands of Lebanese Shiites employed or operating businesses there. This forced repatriation of masses of unemployed Shiites will not only be a destabilizing factor in Lebanon but is bound to raise military temperatures between Shiite Iran and the Sunni Gulf.
    Tehran and Hizballah may resort to retaliatory steps, including the activation of sleeper terrorist cells against the Sunni governments.
    Tehran will certainly not be happy about the GCC taking the opportunity of getting rid of Iranian and Hizballah spy networks operating in those countries, and even less about the liquidations of businesses which helped bankroll the activities of Hizballah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards covert operations.
    Kuwait will also “deny visas” to members of Lebanese groups associated with Hizballah, which run their own militias, such as Nabih Berri (Shiite Amal) and Walid Jumblatt (Druzes).
    The GCC is therefore striking hard at supporters of Iran, Hizballah and the Assad regime across a wide spectrum.