“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."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cairo burning?

Egypt's interim PM defends deadly crackdown - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

LIVE: Hundreds killed in Egyptian clashes


The death toll from a government assault on pro-Morsi camps on Wednesday climbed to 278, health officials said, as the army set in place a curfew and a state of emergency in most of the country. Follow developments on FRANCE 24's live blog.

By FRANCE 24  (text)
  • Egyptian security forces cleared supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi from two protest camps in Cairo in a deadly raid launched early Wednesday morning. The crackdown triggered violence in cities across the country.
  • At least 149 people died in clashes across Egypt on Wednesday and at least 1,400 others were injured.
  • Nobel peace prize laureate Mohammed ElBaradei resigned from his post as interim vice president in the wake of the crackdown, saying the government could have avoided the violence.
  • France, Britain and the United States as well as the United Nations have condemned the security forces' assault on the pro-Morsi camps.


  1. Military crackdown: Egypt’s Tiananmen Square

    The Egyptian military’s bloody assault on its own people marks a point of no return for the government

    The Guardian, Wednesday 14 August 2013 16.32 EDT

    Egypt's military-installed government crossed a Rubicon on Wednesday by sending in the security forces to clear the camps of demonstrators demanding the reinstatement of President Mohamed Morsi. Within hours, the contours of the landscape the country had entered became brutally clear: 235 confirmed deaths and the possibility of many more; running battles breaking out in cities around the country; a state of emergency; night-time curfews imposed on 10 provinces.

    The bloodshed caused by interior ministry troops opening fire with shotguns, machine guns and rooftop snipers on largely peaceful sit-ins took its first major political casualty on Wednesday evening. The leading liberal who had supported the military coup, Mohamed ElBaradei, resigned as acting vice-president. The streets around Rabaah al-Adawiya became Egypt's Tiananmen Square.

    The Rubicon being crossed is clear: before Wednesday, there had been the possibility, however faint, that cooler counsel would prevail in the Egyptian military mind – that, with the release of Muslim Brotherhood leaders arrested on phoney charges, a way could be found to announce a national unity government pending fresh parliamentary and presidential elections. Formidable obstacles remained, not least the undoubted unpopularity of Mr Morsi's rule among a large section of the population and his non-negotiable demand to put the constitutional clock back to the eve of the coup that toppled him. The prospect of an early reconciliation between the two camps has now disappeared.

    Spurred on by voices in the liberal and secular camp that the opportunity had finally arrived to deal the Muslim Brotherhood a mortal blow – the running banner on Egypt's private television coverage on the demonstrators was "War on Terrorists" – General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the defence minister and head of the army, took the opposite course. Rejecting any hope of reintegrating Islamists into the political process, he has declared war on Egypt’s largest political movement.


  2. {…}
    The government vowed last night that there would be no cabinet resignations, but with the departure of Mr ElBaradei, the liberal fig leaf has dropped off what has become full military rule. The day before these traumatic events, 19 of 25 provincial governors appointed were generals (17 from the military, two from the police). The idea even then that the military would take orders from a transitional civilian government appointed by them was far-fetched.

    Today, military rule has been revealed for what it is, and anyone thinking that it will be temporary or last for just one month has got to be supremely optimistic. Calm and a national dialogue cannot be restored in that time. More likely are repression and further rounds of arrests – the Brotherhood leader Mohammed El-Beltagy, whose 17-year-old daughter was killed in the storming of the camps, was one of those detained last night – that will in turn provoke fresh protest. The defiance of the Brotherhood, and especially of those leaders who have lost family members, will be redoubled. There were already revenge attacks on Christian churches in upper Egypt by militants whom the Brotherhood do not and can not control.

    The reaction of the international community failed lamentably to match the significance of these events. John Kerry, the US secretary of state, called last night for all sides to take a step back. He stated his strong opposition to emergency law, and repeated that the only solution will be a political one. These are all rhetorical statements, unless and until the US is prepared to cut its $1.3bn aid to Egypt's military. The state department said Wednesday evening that this was still under review. Mr Kerry's assertion that the political route was still open last night appeared to belie the basic facts on the ground – a military intent on crushing all expression of dissent, peaceful or not. International inaction in circumstances of the growing military crackdown in Egypt amounts to acquiescence. The bet the US is taking is that General Sisi will prevail. That is looking like a risky one.

    1. .

      The War on Terror

      Gee, that sounds familiar.


    2. The Security Partner of the United States is just doing its' thing.

      Radical Islamoids are being held to the letter of the law.
      They dislike it.

      As for the us taking a "risky bet". Well, the US laid its money down in 1980 and has never left the table. It is still playing from the same deck, still dealing from the bottom, when the need arises.

  3. Secretary of Jackassery, John Kerry:

    The United States strongly condemns Egypt’s violence, calls for the state of emergency to end as soon as possible and urges all sides to seek a political solution, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.

    "Today's events are deplorable and they run counter to Egyptian aspirations for peace, inclusion and genuine democracy," Kerry told reporters at the State Department.

    "Egyptians inside and outside the government need to take a step back, they need to calm the situation and avoid further loss of life," he added.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest, urged on Wednesday Egypt's military leaders to respect the basic human rights of the Egyptian people, amid a flurry of western condemnation of violence in turmoil-striken Egypt

    Western and Arab countries, including Britain, Iran and Qatar, have severly condemned the use of force by Egyptian police to clear two protest camps set up in Cairo by loyalists of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, and advised a return to negotiations. UN has also deplored the violence, urging a "genuinely inclusive reconciliation."

    1. "No Coup" Kerry...silly man...

      "...the Communards, who in their defense set up barricades in the streets and burned public buildings (among them the Tuileries Palace and the City Hall [Hôtel de Ville]). About 20,000 insurrectionists were killed, along with about 750 government troops. In the aftermath of the Commune, the government took harsh repressive action: about 38,000 were arrested and more than 7,000 were deported...

  4. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office called it "a serious blow to the hopes of a return to democracy," while Iran warned that the violence "strengthens the possibility of civil war." Erdogan, an Islamist, was one of Morsi's main foreign backers.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron, who also condemned the violence, called for "a genuine transition to a genuine democracy. That means compromise from all sides — the President Morsi supporters but also the military."

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all Egyptians to focus on reconciliation, while European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said dialogue should be encouraged through "peaceful protest, protecting all citizens and enabling full political participation."

    1. None of them have a clue. Pity, they were having such a good time bombing Kadhafi. It looks like the party isn’t going to end well.

    2. I cant wait til they DRAG Erdogan thru the streets...

      Islamists are the modern day islamic Nazis and deserve what all Nazis deserve...

  5. Meanwhile is anyone following the story on The Clamperts:

    The article on the Clinton Foundation the New York Times published today is a reminder of what you inevitably get with Bill and Hillary Clinton: tremendous smarts, drive, ambition ... and a lot of baggage.

    "For all of its successes, the Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest," Nicholas Confessore and Amy Chozick report. "It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in. And concern was rising inside and outside the organization about Douglas J. Band, a onetime personal assistant to Mr. Clinton who had started a lucrative corporate consulting firm -- which Mr. Clinton joined as a paid adviser -- while overseeing the Clinton Global Initiative, the foundation's glitzy annual gathering."

    Why does this matter?

    The success or failure of such a high-profile charity is significant in itself. The Clinton Foundation has done a lot of good, and has the potential to do more, and more efficiently, for many decades to come. I hope the impressive Chelsea Clinton's rise inside it turns out as well as I imagine it will. Even without her family advantages, she'd be qualified to advance such an enterprise, while her status as Bill and Hillary's daughter makes her uniquely able to escape both the need to be vetted for loyalty and the temptation to focus on ingratiating herself to the namesakes. She brings competence without those complications.

    But the article is also a look inside the world that Hillary Clinton inhabits as she prepares for a presumed 2016 White House run. If elected, could Hillary bring competence without complications?

    Almost certainly not. What the profile of the Clinton Foundation clarified is that Hillary Clinton would enter the White House with all the complications of a two-term president -- at the end of her eight years. Ponder the trajectory of recent two-termers: early popularity, signature achievements, scandals, and fatigued voters ready to see them go. Plus a whole universe of orbiting loyalists with long memories.

    As first lady, Hillary Clinton went through it all. It's especially easy to see why she would now place a high value on loyalty. But is it healthy for a new president to be so surrounded by battle-hardened loyalists? Would the surfeit of loyalists she's accumulated displace the hiring of staffers who would bring needed outside perspectives and also the newbie's focus on advancing the country rather than Team Hillary?

  6. I wonder how our allies, al Qaeda, are doing in Syria? That was supposed to be fun as well. Remember how the Turks were really going to get into it. They called for Nato because the Syrians were have such a good time murdering each other, they thought a full on assault on Turkey was due. Fortunately, nobody bought that stinking smoking heap of shit from FUCKUS.

    Then they tried the chemically treated USDA approved sarin-smoked red herring, the moving red line and numerous pronouncements from the Dark Prince of Judea. None of it caught much traction other than helping al Qaeda to rearm.

    …Syrian president Bashar al-Assad wasn’t supposed to survive. Since the uprising began in 2011, it’s been long presumed in western political and media circles that he would be deposed or killed and that a new, more US-friendly autocrat would be installed. This hasn’t happened.

    We know Russia and America have vastly different interests in the conflict. As for Australia, foreign minister Bob Carr predictably parroted the Washington line in October 2012 when he said, “this sounds brutal and callous, perhaps an assassination [of Assad] combined with a major defection, taking a large part of its military, is what is required to get ... a ceasefire and two, political negotiations”.

    Carr was rightly condemned for his comments, yet he ignored another harsh reality: when it comes to Syria, the US and its Saudi Arabian and Qatari allies are backing Islamic fundamentalism under the guise of defeating the west’s key Middle East villain, Iran. Al-Qaida is now thriving, and the number of beheadings and other assorted acts of extreme sectarian violence have been steadily rising. It’s like the funding of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan never happened, or that the lessons learned after the west armed what became al-Qaida under Osama Bin Laden were wiped from the record.

    Beuhler, Beuhler

  7. Then we have the real shit sandwich picnic from Bush and the Neocons, Iraq:
    The U.S. invaded Iraq 3,802 days — and 4,486 American lives — ago. As Iraq moves ever closer to civil war — 1,057 died there last month, the highest toll in five years, with more than 100 perishing in nationwide bombings since last weekend — the U.S. basically can do little to quell the violence its invasion a decade ago helped make possible.

    The U.S. government said the weekend attacks were likely the work of al-Qaeda’s Iraq branch, exploiting ancient tensions between Islam’s Sunni and Shi‘ite sects. Once again, it announced the existence of a $10 million bounty for information leading to the killing or capture of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Sunni leader of the local al-Qaeda franchise.

    al- Qaeda, al-Qaeda, our fucking allies from Libya, Syria? Whooda figured?

  8. Last week DC was running around with their senatorial hair on fire and afterburners shooting out their ass closing consulates by the dozen. Obama flew the family and the dog to Martha’s Vineyard and the Clamptons, including our X SOS have a few hundred million missing or something. I can’t even read that.

    We blasted a few dozen Yemenis, 100% US guaranteed terrorists one and all.

    All of this was supposed to somehow bring down the Iranians who in the overall scheme of things seem quite relaxed.

    1. The Iranians have been relaxed ever since O'Blunder first got elected.

      "What We Worry, Now?"

      I still maintain though that Blunder's blunders in Syria show a mark of genius.

      Syria is finished.

  9. For years, extremists have used online forums to share information and drum up support, and over the past decade they have developed systems that blend encryption programs with anonymity software to hide their tracks. Jihadist technology may now be so sophisticated and secretive, experts say, that many communications avoid detection by National Security Agency programs that were specifically designed to uncover terror plots.

    A U.S. intelligence official said the unspecified threat was discussed in an online forum joined by so many jihadist groups that it included a representative from Boko Haram, the Nigerian insurgency that has loose and informal ties to al-Qaida. Two other intelligence officials characterized the threat as more of an alert to get ready to launch potential attacks than a discussion of specific targets.


    Bin Laden, who was killed in May 2011, issued his messages in much the same way.

    1. .

      Boko Haram

      Bob is the one in the white glitter top. Hamdoon is behind him in the blue shirt.

      (Taken on Fire Island back in the 'Summer of Love', 1967.)


    2. Q is the failing mustacheod singer in the last gasp of 'trying to make it', taken in the 'Summer of Final Failure' 1967.

      This is Q's mom circa 1920's -

    3. .

      First, you insult my wife then you insult my deceased and sainted mother. Have you no sense of decency you misogynous cur?


  10. I almost forgot to mention. Last week I had some business to take care of in DC around 7th and Penn St. Relaxing as is my wont over my double espresso outside, protected from the sun by my Borsalino, I could not help but notice there must have been a marine facility nearby and it was gay day for marine couples.

    Semper fi, my oh my.

    Not that there is anything wrong with it.

    1. Gay Day for the Marines?


      pardon me if I think it's a tad bit gross.

  11. Lots of Christian churches burning in Egypt too.

    1. radical elements over whom the MB cannot exert control...truly regrettable...The MB will surely try to reach out to the mortified Christians...Really...Really...Come on, I'm not kidding.


    2. A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.

  12. Philly Confidential

    Update, 5:30 p.m. - Officer Edward Davies, wounded in a shooting this afternoon, is out of surgery and in critical but stable condition, per a police source. He will likely have a second surgery for his wound. Police sources have identified both the officer wounded in this afternoon's shooting in Feltonville and the man in custody in connection with the shooting. Sources said the wounded cop is Officer Edward Davies, 41, a six-year veteran assigned to North Philadelphia's 25th District. A police source said Davies is married and has a 2-year-old son and also has three older daughters from a previous marriage. The man in police custody in connection with the shooting, sources said, is 31-year-old Eric Torres. Davies suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach inside a corner store at 4th and Annsbury streets around noon after police say the suspect fled a car stop, abandoned his car near 2nd and Bristol, then ran into the store. The officer, police said, was shot when he chased the suspect inside. Davies was rushed to Temple University Hospital in critical condition. A police source said around 4:45 p.m. that Davies was out of surgery and upgraded to stable condition. Police said the suspect, identified as Torres, was taken into custody shortly after the shooting. Sources said a gun believed to be used in the shooting was also recovered. No police officers discharged their weapons during the incident. Torres, according to court records, has a lengthy record dating back to 2004. Records show that he has been charged numerous times with drug possession, drug possession with intent to deliver, assault and resisting arrest. In 2007, Torres pleaded guilty to drug charges and was sentenced to two to four years in jail. Three years before that, he pleaded guilty to drug charges and conspiracy and was sentenced to six to 23 months in jail followed by a year of probation. In July 2005, Torres also pleaded guilty to simple assault after being arrested for aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest. The other charges were dismissed, and Torres was sentenced to six to 23 months in jail for the assault. A month before that, records show, Torres also pleaded guilty to drug possession.


  13. Philly Confidential

    Police: Victims in Kingsessing shootout that injured 4 being investigated as suspects

    POSTED: Wednesday, August 14, 2013, 12:04 AM

    Four men were hospitalized -- and all were being investigated as suspects -- after a wild shootout on a Kingsessing block late Tuesday night, police said. Gunfire erupted on Divinity Street near Chester Avenue around 9:30 p.m., Chief Inspector Scott Small said. Four men suffered gunshot wounds in the shootout, Small said, in which nearly 30 shots were fired from at least three different guns. The first victim, a 23-year-old man, was shot once in the right arm and once in the right foot, Small said. He was taken by police to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was listed in stable condition. The second, a 21-year-old man, suffered several gunshot wounds to his torso and back, Small said. He was taken to HUP by medics in critical condition, and police said he is not expected to survive. Police said that victim's 23-year-old brother was also shot in the right leg and taken to HUP in stable condition. A fourth gunshot victim, a 29-year-old man, suffered a gunshot wound to the groin area, but police said they believe that was self-inflicted, because as officers arrived at the scene, they heard a gunshot and saw that man drop a handgun. That gun was recovered by police at the scene. Small said investigators found 29 shell casings, most of which were in an alley off of Divinity Street, and that ballistics indicated that the bullets came from at least three different weapons. All four of the men were being held as suspects in the shooting, according to police. Police said several witnesses were taken to be interviewed by detectives in the Southwest Division, and that a surveillance camera in the area was being checked for footage of the shooting. The block of Divinity where the shooting happened is across the street from Kingsessing Recreation Center, where six people were shot when someone opened fire during a basketball game in August 2011.


  14. More Americans will be killed in Philadelphia this month by domestic terrorists than have been killed by foreign terrorists in all of the US since 911.

    1. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

      A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free people.
      The people of Philadelphia need a well regulated militia, no doubt about it.

  15. For every American killed in the US, by foreign terrorists, since 911, the US Government has spent $220 billion per dead American, fighting foreign wars to keep us safe because foreign terrorists hate our freedom.

  16. I still can't get my head around Quirk buying those Detroit Municipal Bonds through Last Chance Bank & Trust.

    1. .

      You dumb shit, Souls-R-Us owns Last Chance Bank & Trust.


    2. .

      The Wizard of ID suffers another bout of delirium tremens.

      Nothing to see here folks, move along.


    3. A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.

  17. >>>>August 14, 2013
    Lutherans Converge on Pittsburgh
    Mike Gryboski, Christian Post

    The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is holding its biennial denominational meeting in Pennsylvania this week.

    Kicking off Monday, delegates from across the United States converged at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., for the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.<<<<

    Probably talk about equal transgender access to male/female bathrooms, divesting from Israel, gay pastors/pastoresses, Liberation Theology, unequal outcomes, and occupying something or other.

    And wonder why they continue to plunge in membership.

  18. Egypt's pain is just beginning: the starving time is coming. Note: I did not say "hungry". No, indeed, there is a very good chance within the next year that Egyptians, in significant numbers, will starve to death. Egypt must import more than 50% of its primary foodstuffs. Its foreign currency reserves are nearly gone. Smart folks have put their wealth offshore.Egypt is holding on now because loans from the Saudis et al.

    The Egyptian farmer harvests 18 bushels of wheat per acre. An American farmer will harvest something in excess of 100 bushels per acre. If the American farmer irrigates his crop the yield will be about 160 bushels per acre.

    1. You are a little high on the dry land wheat but the point remains.

    2. Ol' Malthus raises his ugly head. Egypt's population rose due to food subsidized by oil sales that are no longer there. Here comes the die-back. The whole planet is in the same boat.

    3. rufus was on that data point, oh, at least two years ago.

      Speeding around the curve, you two are.

    4. Maybe it's time for Egypt to turn to the Jews once again to save them from starvation....

      Oh yeah those are just fictional stories of a people that dont exist anymore..

      To bad...

      I hope the Egyptians of today enjoy starvation, while the Israelites of today get FAT.....

  19. .

    16 Year Old Uses Internet to Describe Captivity

    It's probably just my imagination, but it just seems to me there is something off or missing from this whole story.

    Maybe, I'm too old to understand today's teens. Or maybe, I've just gotten used to not taking things at face value.


    1. .

      Update on the killings in California.

      Papers: Man called teen 13 times before abduction

      Curiouser and curiouser.


    2. The abductor wanted a relationship with the girl.

      If those 13 calls were of any duration, that would be an indicator that the girl was probably some what receptive and compliant.

      Paraphrasing, now, she wrote on the Inet service that she wished she had tried harder to save mother and brother.

      She may well have been complicit in the "abduction", as complicit as a child could be in such a situation.

      That and "Stockholm Syndrome", then perhaps witnessing the FBI shoot the suspect, dead, would put her in a state of mental turmoil.

      Evidenced by what appears to be behavior that is curious and grows ever more curiouser.

  20. Praying for peace from the adherents of the Religion of Peace
    Aug 14, 2013 05:32 pm | Robert

    Two children from the Sunday school of St. George's church in Sohag, Egypt stand and pray in its ruins, after the church was torched by Muslim Brotherhood supporters. Photo thanks to Mona elAshry....

    Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood supporters attack 22 churches
    Aug 14, 2013 04:37 pm | Robert

    Meanwhile, the Brotherhood's supporters in the U.S. continue to claim the moral high ground, aided by a bored, lazy, compliant and compromised media. "Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood assaults 22 Christian churches," from Asia News, August 14: Cairo (AsiaNews) - The Muslim Brotherhood's anger for the forced evacuation of the pro-Mohamed Morsi...


    Interfaith outreach in Syria: Islamic jihadists murder Italian priest
    Aug 14, 2013 09:37 am | Robert

    In the news today: Muslims attacking Christians in Egypt, Syria, and Turkey. Yet we must not talk about this escalating worldwide persecution. To do so would be "Islamophobic" and would harm the wonderful "dialogue" Christians are enjoying with Muslims in the West -- and look at all the good that...

    Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood supporters attack Christians, torch Coptic school
    Aug 14, 2013 09:20 am | Robert

    In addition to burning churches. Muslim Brotherhood supporters are scapegoating the Christians for the failure of Morsi; violence against the Christians is escalating all across the country. But the world is too busy worrying about "Islamophobia" to take much notice. Photo thanks to Mostafa Ragab....

    Turkey: Muslims attack monastery, police confront Christians with pepper spray but leave attackers untouched
    Aug 14, 2013 09:00 am | Robert

    Again and again we see Muslims attack Christians in Muslim lands, and police stand by and do nothing, or arrive late, or fail to pursue any investigation of the attackers. This is because they share the Islamic supremacist beliefs of the attackers. "Assyrian Monastery Attacked in Turkey," from AINA, August...

    Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood supporters torch three churches
    Aug 14, 2013 07:57 am | Robert

    AFP calls these "reprisal attacks," but they are reprisals for nothing. The Morsi supporters are scapegoating the Copts for their hero's failure and removal from office. "Morsi supporters 'torch three churches' in Egypt," from AFP, August 14: CAIRO (AFP) – Supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi torched three churches...

    from Jihad Watch, offerings of the day

  21. Inside Egypt’s Terrorist Camps: Torture, Rape, Mass Murder
    August 15, 2013 By Raymond Ibrahim 2 Comments

    A poster of deposed Egyptian President Mursi is seen on a barrier made by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and Musi supporters to protect the sit-in area of Rab'a al- Adawiya Square, where they are campingNow that the Egyptian military has finally begun to neutralize Muslim Brotherhood terrorist bases, the so-called mainstream media are doing what they do best—twist reality to the Islamists’ benefit by casting them as innocent victims merely “holding vigil” only to be slaughtered, while calling for the prosecution of the military for “human rights abuses.” They essentially follow the pro-Brotherhood Al Jazeera’s lead of portraying these bases in Rab‘a al-Adawiya and elsewhere as peaceful “sit ins.”

    What the mainstream media have failed to report is that for over two months in these “sit ins”—or more appropriately, mini-emirates in Egypt—many Egyptians have been tortured, mutilated, raped, and mass murdered in the name of Islam and/or Brotherhood rule. (Of course, this is unsurprising considering how the media also failed to report on the nonstop and heinous attacks on the nation’s Christian minority and its churches, all validated by Brotherhood leadership.)

    The anecdotes are many. For instance, one man accused of stealing was tortured and had his finger chopped off (in accordance to Sharia). He appears in this video—his face beaten to a bloody pulp—describing his ordeal. Like so many in Rab‘a, he was there not as a Brotherhood supporter, but because he worked in the area. Accused of stealing, he insisted he was innocent. When his accusers refused to relent, he said, “Fine, if I’m a thief, hand me over to police,” but they said, “No, we will hand you over to Allah.” He was taken to a room and tortured for fourteen hours, including by being sprayed with water and repeatedly electrocuted and stabbed and sliced with a switchblade (in minute 3:47 he exposes his mutilated chest). Then, his “pious” tormentors supplicated their god by saying, “In the name of Allah,” before hacking his finger off.

    Women are also easy prey in the Brotherhood camp. According to a recent report, women are being abused for refusing to have sex with Brotherhood supporters. One woman was reportedly tortured to death and another critically injured and hospitalized. An Egyptian organization concerned with female rights said it “will expose in the coming days the extent of the violations and crimes against humanity which our sisters have been exposed to by the orders of the General Guide [Muhammad Badie] to coerce women to engage in sex-jihad, with torture to death for those who refuse.”

    1. Here is another live interview with an Egyptian reporter who was kidnapped in Rab‘a, beaten, and told she must stay “because we need women for sex.” The logic behind the sex-jihad (or in Arabic jihad al-nikah) is that women are permitted to copulate with single, male Brotherhood protesters to help alleviate their sexual frustrations so they can focus on empowering Islam—which among the Brotherhood is synonymous with empowering the Brotherhood—without becoming too restless and possibly abandoning the jihad.

      Then there are the corpses that are being found. According to journalist Ahmed Musa on Tahrir TV channel, one of the arrested terrorists confessed that Brotherhood leadership murdered more than 80 people who were either suspected of being police informants or were trying to escape the Brotherhood camps. The Brotherhood then buried the bodies in a mass grave inside Rab‘a. According to the arrested terrorist, the Brotherhood fears that, “if their camps are broken up, their crimes against humanity will be exposed and that the Ministry of Interior will take pictures of this mass grave and broadcast them to the world.”

      Aside from these atrocities and accusations of atrocities, reports of general beatings surface every day. The majority revolve around people working or living in Rab‘a, who are pressured to join the pro-Morsi protests, only to be beaten savagely if they refuse.


    2. Despite the many serious human rights abuses that took place under Brotherhood auspices, the only Western media ever to allude to any of this was an AP report that, after explaining how bound, dead bodies were found near Rab‘a and how many in Egypt insist it’s the work of the Brotherhood, immediately went into default mode by suggesting these could all be false allegations and, if dead bodies are being found, perhaps it’s the work of the military trying to frame the Brotherhood—exactly what the Brotherhood has been caught doing, killing their own supporters to frame the military.

      Brotherhood exploitation of the media to garner sympathy is an old phenomenon. Years back, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, discussing how Islamists often turn to violence when “dialogue” doesn’t go their way, said:

      But when I see that you are firing at me, trying to kill me—well, I have to defend myself. Then the international news agencies go to these [Islamist] groups for information, and they tell them, “They are killing us, they are killing us!” Well, don’t you [news agencies] see them killing the police?! I swear to you, not one of the police wants to kill them—not one of us.

      And now, as the Egyptian military disperses the Brotherhood’s terrorist camps, right on cue, the Western press is doing what it does best—skewing reality to the benefit of the Brotherhood.

      Still, there is one positive side to all this. Because so many Muslim Brotherhood members and their Islamist allies had congregated in Rab‘a and elsewhere, turning them into mini Islamist states where Brotherhood rule is enforced—torturing, chopping fingers off, sexually abusing women, and murdering dissenters—we have gotten a glimpse of exactly what sort of state they wish to see Egypt become.

      But just as it took several months before even Fox News told of the Muslim Brotherhood torture chambers—despite the fact that any number of Egyptian media had for months been disseminating pictures and videos of those tortured—no doubt it will take a while before news of the Brotherhood torture camps is ever disseminated in the West.

      from Front Page

    3. So, the US through its Security Partner has taken the fight to the murderous Islamoids of Egypt, those that have been burning Coptic churches. Committing murder and rape in lawless "emirates" on the streets of Cairo.

      Meanwhile our own boobie is all a fraught with indecision, not wanting to support US foreign policy, but at the same time loath to support the Muslim Brotherhood.

    4. .

      US foreign policy can be described in one word.



    5. Dither ... could be applicable‎
      Dither is an intentionally applied form of noise used to randomize quantization error ...

      While quantization ...
      quan·tized, quan·tiz·ing, quan·tiz·es. 1. To limit the possible values of (a magnitude or quantity) to a discrete set of values ...

      So the US is applying noise while limiting its operational possibilities to a discrete set of values.
      Those being keeping the Suez Canal open and peace with the Israeli.

      Dithering is serving those purposes, quite well.

    6. A key word, there in the definition of dither...

      ... intentionally ...

      Seems we agree, on occasion.

      We are hearing random noise out of DC.
      It intentionally limits US to a discrete set of values.
      Values that are not even publicly addressed, as they are not part of the noise, which is of course, the intent.

  22. Four hundred American surface-to-air missiles were ‘taken from Libya’ during the terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, a former U.S. Attorney who represents whistleblowers claimed on Monday.

    He added that the U.S. intelligence community is terrified they might be used to shoot down airliners.

    Joe diGenova, whose wife Victoria Toensing – a former deputy assistant attorney general – also represents Benghazi witnesses and others with knowledge of the terror attack, told WMAL radio that the loss of those missiles is also one the reason the U.S. State Department shut down 19 embassies across the Middle East last week.

    ‘A lot of people have come forward to share information with us,' he said during the radio station's 'Mornings On The Mall' program Monday morning.

    ‘We have learned that one of the reasons the administration is so deeply concerned' is that 'there were 400 surface-to-air missiles stolen, and that they are ... in the hands of many people, and that the biggest fear in the U.S. intelligence community is that one of these missiles will be used to shoot down an airliner. 400 missiles, surface-to-air missiles, taken from Libya.'

    Asked if the missiles are now 'in the hands of al-Qaeda operatives,' DiGenova replied, 'That is what these people are telling us.'

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    1. Four hundred missiles, pretty good haul for a spontaneous protest of a You Tube video. Hillary has some 'splaining to do.

    2. Hmmm, 400 missiles X 300 people/plane = 120,000 peoples.

      Hillary has some 'splaining to do, even if it doesn't matter at this point.

    3. The State Department was not large or in charge, in Benghazi, all of Libya for that matter.
      General P and the CIA were.

      Why are there no calls for General P to "come clean"?

      Why the hypocrisy, if not plain old partisan politics.

    4. .

      1. Ultimately, the responsibility is Obama's for ordering the U.S. to attack Libya. In reality, it was the evil Troika of Clinton, Powers, and Rice that pushed him towards that decision.

      2. Hillary was responsible for the safety of State Department personnel in Libya and any cover-up of the killings that occurred there. With regard to a cover-up, the only thing that would mitigate her guilt would be if she was ordered to do so by higher ups.

      3. Petraeus should be called in to testify to determine if there was an Iran contra type deal going on in between the US and Turkey involving arms transfer (either Libyan or US) or if the CIA was just in Libya trying to clean up the mess created by Obama's misadventure there.

      In all cases, the ultimate responsibility for FUBAR rests with the Obama administration and its foreign policy.


    5. .

      Face it. There is no accountability within the Obama administration.

      Name a scandal and you will see everyone 'takes responsibility' but no one takes the blame. No one gets fired. The closest we come to the appearance of accountability is possibly having some minor functionaries who are scapegoated and placed in the corner for a couple weeks. That, or they are kicked upstairs as was the case with Susan Rice.


    6. A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.

    7. Of course, Q, there ultimate responsibility is with the President, if he knew that particulars or not, an open question.

      Given his management style, there is a case that could be made that he delegated the authority concerning operations in Benghazi to the CIA. Whether or not General P kept the President informed, is unknown but doubtful.

      The President, along with Mrs Clinton would have retained "Plausible Deniability".

      anoni is coming right along, he now realizes that organized militias are essential to a free society, and that the government can set conditions for possession of a firearm.

      One of those conditions could be membership in the well organized militia. The Republic and the Constitution would both be well served by such a course of action.

  23. Oh No!

    People sending email to any of Google's 425 million Gmail users have no "reasonable expectation" that their communications are confidential, the internet giant has said in a court filing.

    Consumer Watchdog, the advocacy group that uncovered the filing, called the revelation a "stunning admission." It comes as Google and its peers are under pressure to explain their role in the National Security Agency's (NSA) mass surveillance of US citizens and foreign nationals.

    "Google has finally admitted they don't respect privacy," said John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's privacy project director. "People should take them at their word; if you care about your email correspondents' privacy, don't use Gmail."

    Google set out its case last month in an attempt to dismiss a class action lawsuit that accuses the tech giant of breaking wire tap laws when it scans emails sent from non-Google accounts in order to target ads to Gmail users.

    That suit, filed in May, claims Google "unlawfully opens up, reads, and acquires the content of people's private email messages". It quotes Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman: "Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it."

    The suit claims: "Unbeknown to millions of people, on a daily basis and for years, Google has systematically and intentionally crossed the 'creepy line' to read private email messages containing information you don't want anyone to know, and to acquire, collect, or mine valuable information from that mail."

    In its motion to dismiss the case, Google said the plaintiffs were making "an attempt to criminalise ordinary business practices" that have been part of Gmail's service since its introduction. Google said "all users of email must necessarily expect that their emails will be subject to automated processing."

    According to Google: "Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient's assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their communications are processed by the recipient's ECS [electronic communications service] provider in the course of delivery."

  24. It all sounds so sanitary.

    Who wouldn't want one's communications processed by the recipient's electronic communications service provider in the course of delivery?

    Would you want to criminalize ordinary business practices?

    Of course not.

    1. I want Obama to read the Constitution, not my email.


    2. A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.

    3. .


      Google has learned to speak the language of OZ.


    4. If you choose to use Google, you get what you pay for.

      Oh, that's right, it's FREE!

      Well, there are some costs, but none are monetary, why would anyone assume there was any privacy from the provider of the FREE service?

      It is not the US Postal Service, never has been, doubt it ever will be.

      Only a naive knave would think that Google provided privacy to its' "clients".

    5. .

      If I read the article right, this is not only a matter of Google invading the "privacy to its clients". It is also a matter of Google snooping on the e-mails of non-Google e-mail users, people who just happen to send communications to any of Google's Gmail customers.

      People sending email to any of Google's 425 million Gmail users have no "reasonable expectation" that their communications are confidential, the internet giant has said in a court filing.

      Only a moron would try to justify that.


    6. Not at all, Q.

      If either side of the communication is a Google account, then there is no reasonable expectation of privacy from Google. Google is not the government, it is a private service provider. Google has the communication in its network and can access it for the key words they deem important. That is the "fee" they charge for the service provided.

      Only a naive knave would have assumed anything else.

    7. yeppers - how do you think they target those ads to you?

    8. .

      I repeat, only a moron would try to justify that.


  25. One of the most amazing things about the Libyan Revolution was just how quickly the country’s oil industry rebounded from the chaos and violence of 2011. After bottoming out at only 45,000 barrels a day in August that year after having fallen 97 percent since the previous January, Libya’s oil production was back near full capacity—1.6 million barrels a day, by last summer. That’s a huge success by any measure.

    Now, nearly two years after the death of Muammar Qaddafi, Libya is backsliding into chaos. Striking workers angry about government corruption and low wages have attacked the engine of the country’s fragile economy: the export terminals and oil fields, many of them state-run, that hold Africa’s largest known crude reserves. To press their demands, roving militias have begun seizing and shutting down the terminals, leading to a precipitous drop in Libya’s precious oil exports, which account for practically all of the country’s gross domestic product. For more than two weeks, Libya’s exports have basically flatlined as all but one terminal have been shut-in.

    Even more troubling is the news that production is starting to nose dive, too. This week, Libyan Oil and Gas Minister Adbulbari Al-Arusi said Libya is pumping only about 650,000 barrels a day. “A tragic situation,” Al-Arusi told reporters at a news conference in Tripoli on Tuesday. Adding economic weakness to a situation of social and political upheaval is never a good sign.

    At a recent event at . . . .


    1. Striking workers, export terminals and wells on fire, and production is nose-diving? Who woulda thunk it?

    2. A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.

  26. Muslim Brotherhood tries to burn nuns alive in their church, Egyptian Army saves them, 20130814, libstream media silent.

    1. They're just nuns for goodness sake.

    2. That is, they are nuns for the sake of goodness.


    3. A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.

  27. You know what the difference is between a nun and a whore taking a shower, Bob? A nun has hope in her soul...

    1. You perhaps are being a little hard on the whores......

    2. A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.

  28. Obama is a genius, I'm tellin' ya -

    >>>>>Syria, shattered

    By David Ignatius, Wednesday, August 14, 4:29 PM

    The world still talks about Syria as if it’s a single country, but some members of the Syrian opposition are beginning to discuss the reality that Syria today is effectively partitioned — complicating any negotiated solution to the conflict.

    This frank approach was outlined in an interview last week with Samir al-Taqi, a Syrian physician who was once close to the regime but left the country two years ago and now runs his Orient Research Center, a Syria think tank, from Dubai.

    Taqi offered some practical examples to illustrate the lasting effects of the conflict between the Alawite-led regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the largely Sunni opposition. It would be decades, he said, before an Alawite teacher would be comfortable giving lectures in the Sunni districts of northern Aleppo about late president Hafez al-Assad. Similarly, it would be decades before a Sunni police officer would feel safe patrolling in a Shiite or Alawite village.

    What this means, said Taqi, is that any attempt to broker a diplomatic solution must begin with a cease-fire, and with combatants holding different slices of territory. The future Syria that emerges will have to be a more decentralized state, reflecting the intense feelings of communal separation and rage that have emerged over the past two years of war.


    1. This blunt analysis is useful as the United States and Russia explore arrangements for a Geneva peace conference, perhaps in October, that might bring together the regime and the opposition for talks. “It may not be possible to reestablish a national convention based on a central state,” warned Taqi in a recent research paper. “We need . . . a state where all regions have a high percentage of decentralization.”

      Taqi argued that as the Alawite-led regime and the Sunni opposition hunker down in the regions they control, they are turning to external powers for their political and economic lifelines.

      The Assad regime depends on its patrons in Iran and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia in neighboring Lebanon. The regime has focused on holding the strip of territory from Damascus to the Alawite homeland of Latakia in the northwest, relying on perhaps 100,000 regime troops and Alawite militiamen, plus Hezbollah fighters. This “Assad-istan” is, practically speaking, an extension of the Hezbollah-controlled Bekaa Valley.

      The Sunni-led opposition is similarly turning to its regional patrons. Taqi noted that Syrian olive-oil producers moved their presses to Turkey. Likewise, the wheat harvest in northern Syria has gone to Turkey, while petroleum is being shipped to either Turkey or Iraqi Kurdistan. Economic activity in the liberated Sunni regions of southern Syria around Daraa is now linked to Jordan. Damascus isn’t the country’s economic hub any longer.

      These regional players, with their own agendas, will keep pulling Syria apart until a functioning national government can be reestablished. Taqi’s point is that these regional players shouldn’t be allowed to make the situation even worse for their own selfish reasons.

      “The country should enter what is similar to a quarantine until it is cured from the sectarian disease,” he wrote. “Without doing so, there would be no peace after peace . . . The state would dissolve for good.”


    2. What are the chances for gradually healing sectarian divisions, in the way Taqi urged? His approach is similar to what is recommended by Gen. Salim Idriss, the commander of the moderate wing of the Free Syrian Army. But it’s in stark contrast to the views of the al-Qaeda-linked extremists who have control of much of the liberated territory. These extreme groups speak of a jihadist emirate in their regions of Syria, perhaps linked with a similar al-Qaeda mini-state in the Sunni regions of western Iraq. As for the Kurdish opposition, it favors a Kurdish canton along the lines of Iraqi Kurdistan.

      The regime has seemed equally bent on division. “The manner in which the regime has responded to its opponents strongly suggests that it considers the bulk of the Syrian population and territory not even worth governing,” wrote Frederic Hof, a leading U.S.-Syria expert, in a paper published last week by the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Middle East Center. “Why else would it subject neighborhoods filled with Syrian citizens to merciless artillery shelling, aerial bombing, and missile strikes?”

      What’s happening in Syria isn’t an insurgency now but a sectarian civil war. A triumph by either side on the battlefield is the “zero solution,” said Taqi. The resolution must be political — but grounded in a realistic assessment of the difficulty in putting the pieces of Syria back together.

    3. Hugh Fitzgerald is undoubtedly proud of Obama in regard to Syria.


    4. A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.

  29. See how marvelous Obama is - always on top of things even while playing cards, or golf --

    >>>>>August 15, 2013
    Obama 'body man' Reggie Love says he played cards with the president during bin Laden raid
    Rick Moran

    It's one of the most iconic photos of the entire Obama presidency. Obama sitting in the situation room with his national security team, everyone with tense looks on their faces, the president leaning forward anxiously as they await news of the raid to kill Osama bin Laden.

    There was speculation at the time that the scene was staged and Obama was photoshopped into it. Nonsense, said the White House.

    Except we now learn from Reggie Love, Obama's close friend and "body man," that he and the president played about 15 hands of spades during the raid.

    A famous photo shows President Barack Obama hunkered down in the Situation Room in May 2011 with his national security team as U.S. Navy SEALS carried out the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
    But his former body man Reggie Love said in an interview posted online Wednesday that Obama also played cards to distract himself during the day-long ordeal.

    In the wide-ranging interview, Love further revealed the president's reaction upon finding his birth certificate after critics raised an uproar over his eligibility for the White House.
    In the July 18 interview, which took place during a lunch hosted by UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs, Love talked about life with the president, including the historic moment more than two years ago when bin Laden was killed.

    Describing it as a "very long day," Love said most people were in the Situation Room but Obama came to the private dining room to play cards with Love, White House photographer Pete Souza and staffer Marvin Nicholson.

    "[President Obama] was like, 'I'm not, I'm not going to be down there, I can't watch this entire thing'," Love said. "We must have played 15 hands-15 games of Spades."

    The president could very well have returned to the situation room for the climax of the raid, so the notion the photo is bogus is a stretch. What is also bogus, however, is the image crafted by Obamabots of a president fully engaged, on top of the situation, and engrossed in the operation.
    Admittedly, once set in motion, a Commander in Chief has very little to do but await the outcome of an operation. And it's not like he left the White House and went golfing. But what do you think are the chances that the narrative of a courageous president, pouring over details of the raid and worrying about the safety of his men will be altered to reflect this new information?
    Not a chance.<<<<<

    1. There was not much to watch, as the helicopters flew into Pakistan.

      No one in DC had a thing to do, once the decision to launch was made. From take off to insertion at the compound there was nothing much to watch and no where else for the President to go.

      It was a waiting game, what better to do than play a few hands of "spades"?

  30. But some Christians had put concerns about attacks aside, instead simply glad that Morsi was ousted and the Brotherhood is no longer in power.

    "Under the Brotherhood's rule, things were difficult for Christians," said Mina Makroush, 25. "I'm not afraid now because the Brotherhood government was removed."

    Others say they want to leave the country.

    In Coptic Cairo, which was a Christian stronghold until the 7th-century rise of Islam, Zarour Ayzut Dawoud propped her son on her hip as she visited the place where Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus are believed to have stayed when they escaped King Herod's execution of young male children in the vicinity of Bethlehem.

    "I want to go to America," said Dawoud. "The situation in Egypt is no good."

    The Russians wanted to move to the US, too.
    They had to settle for Israel, the Coptics will have to folloow their savior, back to Israel.

    On Monday, Bibi ensured him that Israel will not tolerate threats against people advocating greater integration into Israeli society, the JPost report added. “The Christian youth must be allowed to go into the IDF,” Netanyahu said. “You are loyal citizens who want to defend the country, and I salute and support you. We will not tolerate threats on you and will work to firmly implement the law against those persecuting you. We will not allow the country to be torn apart from within. The State of Israel and the prime minister stand with you.”

    Nadaf said during the meeting that he would not be deterred.

    “Our goal is to guard the Holy Land and the State of Israel,” he said. “We have broken the barrier of fear – the state deserves that we do our part in defending it. Those who oppose the integration of the Christian community in the institutions of state do not walk in the path of Christianity.”

    Obviously not every Israeli equates Arab Christians to NAZIs.

    1. A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.

  31. June Bakken numbers are out.

    In the first 6 months production has increased by 52,828 bbl/day, while the number of producing wells has increased by 840.

    That works out to an increase of a little less than 63 bbl/day per new well added. Not so hot.

    By contrast, during the same time period last year, every new well added 144 bbl/day.

    Big dif.

    1. A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.

    2. Right you are, anoni.
      And the government can make official membership in that well regulated militia a condition to legally holding a firearm.

    3. Rufus and the Tooth Fairy -

      >>>>PRAGUE – Many today believe that renewable energy will let us get off fossil fuels soon. Unfortunately, the facts say otherwise.

      According to International Energy Agency data, 13.12% of the world’s energy came from renewables in 1971, the first year that the IEA reported global statistics. In 2011, renewables’ share was actually lower, at 12.99%. Yet a new survey shows that Americans believe that the share of renewables in 2035 will be 30.2%. In reality, it will likely be 14.5%.
      CommentsView/Create comment on this paragraphSolar and wind energy account for a trivial proportion of current renewables – about one-third of one percentage point. The vast majority comes from biomass, or wood and plant material – humanity’s oldest energy source. While biomass is renewable, it is often neither good nor sustainable.

      Burning wood in pre-industrial Western Europe caused massive deforestation, as is occurring in much of the developing world today. The indoor air pollution that biomass produces kills more than three million people annually. Likewise, modern energy crops increase deforestation, displace agriculture, and push up food prices.

      The most renewables-intensive places in the world are also the poorest. Africa gets almost 50% of its energy from renewables, compared to just 8% for the OECD. Even the European OECD countries, at 11.8%, are below the global average.

      The reality is that humanity has spent recent centuries getting away from renewables. In 1800, the world obtained 94% of its energy from renewable sources. That figure has been declining ever since.

      The momentous move toward fossil fuels has done a lot of good. Compared to 250 years ago, the average person in the United Kingdom today has access to 50 times more power, travels 250 times farther, and has 37,500 times more light. Incomes have increased 20-fold.

      The switch to fossil fuels has also had tremendous environmental benefits. Kerosene saved the whales (which had been hunted almost to extinction to provide supposedly “renewable” whale oil for lighting). Coal saved Europe’s forests. With electrification, indoor air pollution, which is much more dangerous than outdoor air pollution, disappeared in most of the developed world.

      And there is one environmental benefit that is often overlooked: in 1910, more than 30% of farmland in the United States was used to produce fodder for horses and mules. Tractors and cars eradicated this huge demand on farmland (while ridding cities of manure pollution).

      Of course, fossil fuels brought their own environmental problems. And, while technological innovations like scrubbers on smokestacks and catalytic converters on cars have reduced local air pollution substantially, the problem of CO₂ emissions remains. Indeed, it is the main reason for the world’s clamor for a return to renewables.

    4. To be sure, wind and solar have increased dramatically. Since 1990, wind-generated power has grown 26% per year and solar a phenomenal 48%. But the growth has been from almost nothing to slightly more than almost nothing. In 1990, wind produced 0.0038% of the world’s energy; it is now producing 0.29%. Solar-electric power has gone from essentially zero to 0.04%.

      Yes, Denmark gets a record 34% of its electricity from wind. But electricity accounts for only 18% of its final energy use.

      Europe now gets 1% of its energy from wind – less than before industrialization, when cozy windmills contributed about 2% (and ships’ sails provided another 1%). The UK set its record for wind power in 1804, when its share reached 2.5% – almost three times its level today.

      Moreover, solar and wind will still contribute very little in the coming decades. In the IEA’s optimistic scenario, which assumes that the world’s governments will fulfill all of their green promises, wind will provide 1.34% of global energy by 2035, while solar will provide 0.42%. Global renewables will most likely increase by roughly 1.5 percentage points, to 14.5% by 2035. Under unrealistically optimistic assumptions, the share could increase five percentage points, to 17.9%.

      So we are nowhere near switching back to renewables anytime soon. In the US, renewables accounted for 9.3% of energy production in 1949. President Barack Obama’s administration expects that number, almost a century later, to increase slightly, to 10.8% by 2040. In China, renewables’ share in energy production dropped from 40% in 1971 to 11% today; in 2035, it will likely be just 9%.

    5. Yet we are paying through the nose for these renewables. In the last 12 years, the world has invested $1.6 trillion in clean energy. By 2020, the effort to increase reliance on renewables will cost the European Union alone $250 billion annually.

      Spain now pays almost 1% of its GDP in subsidies for renewables, which is more than it spends on higher education. At the end of the century, Spain’s massive investment will have postponed global warming by 62 hours.

      Current green energy policies are failing for a simple reason: renewables are far too expensive. Sometimes people claim that renewables are actually cheaper. But if renewables were cheaper, they wouldn’t need subsidies, and we wouldn’t need climate policies.

      Former US Vice President Al Gore’s climate adviser, Jim Hansen, put it bluntly: “Suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and [the] Tooth Fairy.”

      The solution is to innovate the price of renewables downward. We need a dramatic increase in funding for research and development to make the next generations of wind, solar, and biomass energy cheaper and more effective.

      Consider China. Despite the country’s massive investment in solar and wind, it mostly sells solar panels to Western countries at subsidized prices. Wind makes up just 0.2% of China’s energy, and solar accounts for 0.01%.

      Meanwhile, China has 68% of the world’s solar water heaters on rooftops, because it is a smart and cheap technology. It needs no subsidies, and it produces 50 times more energy than all of China’s solar panels.

      When green renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels, they will take over the world. Instead of believing in the Tooth Fairy, we should start investing in green R&D.<<<<<


      A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.

  32. A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.

    1. rat, a loose cannon if there ever was one, would not be found eligible to be a member of a well regulated militia.

    2. Whatever ...

      The problems of the urban centers could be easily solved.
      The Constitution provides the "guiding light".

      Make membership in the well regulated militia a prerequisite condition to owning firearm.
      With harsh minimum penalties for violating that condition.

      Easily and legally done, if the political leadership of those communities felt the need to end the epidemic of violent crime that plagues those urban centers, like Philly, Ch-town and Detroit City.

    3. Anyone that could legally own a firearm, today, would be a qualified militia member.

      That leaves boobie out, as his cognizant mental abilities have become limited, of late.
      He can no longer differentiate 'tween fact and fantasy.

    4. Bob has a concealed weapons permit having undergone a rigorous full life background check. Good in most states. That leaves Bob in.

    5. There is no Bob here at .The Libertarian.
      There are anoni and there is boobie.

      But there is no Bob, sorry anoni, but that is just another of boobie's fantasies.

      That there is no Bob, just another of the telling symptoms relating to the loss of cognizant ability.

    6. .

      If we follow the lead of OZ (or Google) the term 'well-regulated militia' could mean anything these days from a neighborhood investment club to a skin-head love-fest.

      There is no integrity in the use of language anymore. Left is right, down is up, if the man says it is so.

      As for the Constitution, it is ignored and it is done so with impunity.

      The Bureau of Truth is alive and functioning in OZ.


    7. There is some relative truth to your comments concerning the Great and Powerful OZ, Q.

      Those truths, though, do not mitigate the tribulations that besot our urban centers, nor have those truths alleviated the challenges. Indeed it could be argued the Rulers and Masters have beset our urban centers with these challenges purposefully.

      The state of PA could use Philly as the test bed, if there was any serious political concern about the violence, there. Or the state of Michigan could institute such a program in Detroit City, for that matter.

      That no one does, an indication that the politicos think it could work and do not want to end their monopoly of force, extending that power to the citizens of the communities in the most dire need.

    APPROVED JULY 3, 1890


    SECTION 1. PERSONS SUBJECT TO MILITARY DUTY. All able-bodied male persons, residents of this state, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, shall be enrolled in the militia, and perform such military duty as may be required by law; but no person having conscientious scruples against bearing arms, shall be compelled to perform such duty in time of peace. Every person claiming such exemption from service, shall, in lieu thereof, pay into the school fund of the county of which he may be a resident, an equivalent in money, the amount and manner of payment to be fixed by law.

    SECTION 2. LEGISLATURE TO PROVIDE FOR ENROLMENT OF MILITIA. The legislature shall provide by law for the enrolment, equipment and discipline of the militia, to conform as nearly as practicable to the regulations for the government of the armies of the United States, and pass such laws to promote volunteer organizations as may afford them effectual encouragement.

    SECTION 3. SELECTION AND COMMISSION OF OFFICERS. All militia officers shall be commissioned by the governor, the manner of their selection to be provided by law, and may hold their commissions for such period of time as the legislature may provide.

    SECTION 4. PRESERVATION OF RECORDS, BANNERS, AND RELICS. All military records, banners, and relics of the state, except when in lawful use, shall be preserved in the office of the adjutant general as an enduring memorial of the patriotism and valor of the soldiers of Idaho; and it shall be the duty of the legislature to provide by law for the safekeeping of the same.

    SECTION 5. NATIONAL AND STATE FLAGS ONLY TO BE CARRIED. All military organizations under the laws of this state shall carry no other device, banner or flag, than that of the United States or the state of Idaho.

    SECTION 6. IMPORTATION OF ARMED FORCES PROHIBITED. No armed police force, or detective agency, or armed body of men, shall ever be brought into this state for the suppression of domestic violence except upon the application of the legislature, or the executive, when the legislature can not be convened.>>>>>

    I've already served, and served honorably, and was honorably discharged years ago.

    It's up to the younger generation now.

    A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state!

    1. Can potheads join the Militia?

      After all Rat has admitted to being one...

      Inquiring minds want to know...

    2. Sure, where the user has not been convicted of a felony and retains all the rights and obligations of citizenship.

      Or, if the user has been convicted of a felony, but has had their rights restored.
      It would vary, from state to state.
      In Colorado, there would be no question, at all.
      In those states that have moved towards legalization, well, a fella should get himself a get out of jail free card.

      Doctors can now prescribe marijuana, smokers can grow their own.

      Life is sweet.
      No chocolate required.

    3. As the government moves from regulating people's preferences for external stimuli, and starts protecting their safety, the quality of life for the regular citizen would improve.

      Eliminating the market that the Mexican cartels and their US proxies have been exploiting would cut down on violence in the urban centers and along the frontier.

    4. Eliminate the importation of firearms into the United States.

      This would take a great number of lower cost firearms out of the criminals' supply chain, while boosting employment as US manufacturers filled the demand for domestically produced firearms.

      Import controls are well within the Federal's jurisdiction and would not violate either the spirit or letter of the 2nd Amendment.

    5. Gots to love the excuses of a professional criminal.

      "i aint be convicted, even if I am guilty says the Rat"

      "So's I just gonna smoke my dope, oil my guns and stay away from those pesky TSA checkpoints"

      Amazing lack of ethics, standards and values...

  34. >>>>The one bright spot is the state of Israel – "the only place in the Middle East [where] Christians are really safe," according to the Vicar of St George's Church in Baghdad, Canon Andrew White. Home to Christianity's holiest sites and to a colorful array of Christian denominations, Israel has the only growing Christian community in the Middle East.

    Because Israel is the only non-Muslim state in all of the Middle East and North Africa, it represents a small victory for religious minorities in the region, and serves as the last protector of freedom and security for Jews, Christians, Bahai, Druze, and others. Without Israel, how much more vulnerable would Christians in the Middle East become?<<<<

    Mideast Christians: an Endangered Species in their Ancestral Land
    Thursday, August 15, 2013 | Noah Beck

    >>>>Egypt’s Christians are being targeted and scapegoated for the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood. An Egyptian human rights activist tweeted that the Virgin Mary in Minya, one of the oldest churches in Egypt, built in the 4th century, was destroyed by fire yesterday. There have also been media reports about attacks on churches in the city of Suez and other villages. Jason Isaacson, Director of Government and International Affairs for the American Jewish Committee condemned these acts: "Organized violence against Egypt's Copts, the murder of innocents and destruction of churches, is outrageous and unforgivable."

    As defenseless and abandoned as Mideast Christians seem today, it is worth remembering their historical roots, and recognizing just how much the plight of Middle East Christians has deteriorated. Over 2,000 years ago, Christianity was born as a religion and spread from Jerusalem to other parts of the Levant, including territories in modern Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt. The Christian faith flourished as one of the major religions in the Middle East until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century.

    Despite Muslim domination of the region, Christians comprised an estimated 20% of the Middle East population until the early 20th century. Today, however, Christians make up a mere 2-5% of the Middle East and their numbers are fast dwindling. Writing in the Winter 2001 issue of Middle East Quarterly, scholar Daniel Pipes estimated that Middle East Christians would "likely drop to" half of their numbers "by the year 2020" because of declining birth rates, and a pattern of "exclusion and persecution" leading to emigration.<<<<

    Having run my mouth enough already, I'm out of here.....

    1. Except for this --

      >>>>Obama Policies Turning Egypt Against U.S.
      Pro-military Egyptians want to shift to Russian alliance

      Pro-Army rally sign at Tahrir Square shows Obama, Egyptian President Morsi, and Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guid Mohamed Badie as "bloodsuckers of the Egyptians" / Facebook

      BY: Bill Gertz
      August 15, 2013 5:00 am

      The Obama administration support for Muslim Brotherhood Islamists in Egypt is driving the powerful military there against the United States and toward Moscow, according to U.S. officials and reports from the region.

      The pro-Muslim Brotherhood stance is undermining decades of U.S. policy toward the Middle East state and prompting concerns that the United States is about to “lose” Egypt as a strategic partner, said officials familiar with intelligence reports.

      Disclosure of the concern over the administration’s policy failure in Egypt comes as a security crackdown on pro-Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Cairo resulted in scores killed.

      “The Obama administration’s blatant Islamist support is risking the decades-long security arrangement with Egypt,” one U.S. official told the Washington Free Beacon.

      “The Egyptians are so upset they might very well give up our support,” the official added, noting the military regime is currently leaning toward seeking backing from Russia, and possibly China in the future.<<<<

      Are we dumb, or what?

      Thanks, Obama voters everywhere.

    2. Is Egypt worth $1.3 billion per year to the Russians?
      Would they pay that tab?

      How about the Suez Canal, is that worth $1.3 billion per year, to US?

      To bet against the US, now that is "risky".

      For US to cut off aid to the Egyptians, now that would be foolish.
      Cancelling "Bright Star", for this year, well, the Egyptian military may not be in the position to play games.

    3. It was just a few days ago that there was a story that the Saudi offered Putin a $15 billion USD arms purchase, if he backed away from Assad.

      The Saudi and their Islamic allies just ponied up $15 billion USD in aid to the interim Egyptian government. Who knows what strings were attached. But rest assured that the Egyptian military are puppets, on a string.

      The US has a Security Partner, the Saudi have a puppet on a string.

      Who is calling the shots ...
      ... I saw GW do the victory dance with the Saudi conga line.

      FDR brokered the first deal, Truman screwed that pooch, regardless Saudi oil still lubes the global economy ...
      The US is 25% of that.

  35. Suez Canal gets Gulf oil to ports on the Med and North Sea. We don't use it so much. Maybe Eurabia should pony up a couple aircraft carrier battlegroups of their own to protect it.

    1. It does not take a Carrier Battle Group to keep the Suez open, it takes boots on the ground.

      The US decided that those boots should be Egyptian, back in 1956.
      That would be a sustained US foreign policy, going back 54 years.
      Being maintained, today.

    2. Make that 57 years ...

      mea culpa

  36. ...last count, MB adherents attacked 20 Coptic Christian churches last night...casualties unknown...

    1. That may just be one of the many reasons that the Security Partner of the United States stepped back into the domestic political mix, there in Egypt.

    2. Interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said in a televised address to the nation that it was a "difficult day" and that he regretted the bloodshed, but offered no apologies for moving against the protesters, saying they were given ample warnings to leave and he had tried foreign mediation efforts. El-Beblawi added that the government could not indefinitely tolerate a challenge to authority that the 6-week-old protests represented.

      "We want to see a civilian state in Egypt, not a military state and not a religious state," he said.

      Read more:

  37. Never be ambushed, again.

    What looks to me to be a "squad-level" solar, reconnaissance drone has stayed in the air for 9 hrs. It weighs 13 lbs, and can fly on its batteries for up to 3 hrs.

    all-day snooper

    1. Hack the video feed and they can see what you see.
      Hack the C&C and it could become their eye in the sky.

      If we are to believe the stories that the terrorists or international threat to US interests can now use NSA snoop proof encryption, why could they not do what the Iranians did?

      On 4 December 2011, an American Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was captured by Iranian forces near the city of Kashmar in northeastern Iran. The Iranian government announced that the UAV was brought down by its cyberwarfare unit which commandeered the aircraft and safely landed it, after initial reports from Western news sources inaccurately claimed that it had been "shot down".[1]

  38. Quirk wrote:

    "You seem to be fixated on Blue Unicorns, Ash. You presume to try to understand the mind of god and then invite me to do the same. Let me turn the question around on you. Can you offer me a reason why 13.7 billion years ago a ‘singularity’ (a construct hypothesized by man), one of infinitesimally small size, infinitely dense, infinitely hot, one in which space and time as we conceive them were infinitely warped and distorted beyond anything we could imagine suddenly decided to go ‘bang’, or for that matter where that singularity came from in the first place?"

    No, I am not obsessed with Blue Unicorns. I am interested in them in the context of:

    Do you believe that God exists?
    Do you believe that Blue Unicorns exist?
    Do you believe that Superman exists?

    "I don't know" is a nonsensical answer to those questions. Either you believe they do or do not exist. Knowing is something different.

    With respect to your query about the big bang - a hypothesis:

    The portion of the universe that we observe is but a single portion of a larger universe - much like the sparks exploding around a sparkler and our "big bang" just one event of many. The notion that there was a singular moment that requires "god" to have set in motion raises the question of what came before "god". God is forever or the Universe is forever? Tweedle dee or Tweedle dum?

    1. oh, a question Quirk - What does "infinitesimally small size, infinitely dense, infinitely hot, one in which space and time as we conceive them were infinitely warped and distorted..."

      Can something that is "infinitesimally small" exist?

      Definition of infinite (adj)

      Bing Dictionary


      [ ínfənit ]

      1.not measurable: without any finite or measurable limits
      2.exceedingly great: very great in size, number, degree, or extent
      3.greater than any assigned value: greater in number, size, or scope than any arbitrarily assigned value

      I've always taken it to mean 'it goes on forever'. How does it work in the context of your question?

    2. .

      Can something that is "infinitesimally small" exist?

      An interesting question, and one I would put back at you. You are the science buff.

      That definition was the one I came across when looking up the definition of 'singularity' as it relates to the Big Bang.


    3. Ash,

      Spinoza took the position that "god" and the "universe" are identities - although he used "nature" rather than universe.

      An hypothesis must be falsifiable. Generally, reproducible experimentation is the means to that end. Consequently, any hypothesis posited as proof of "God's" existence would be impossible to disprove since its scope would have to be infinite and, therefore, experimentally impossible, much less experimentally reproducible.

      By inference, it seems to me that "God", a sentient being, would have to authorize any such experimentation. Obtaining God's participation, well ... Hmm.

      I think the question of God's existence is one of faith - metaphysical. A believer has chosen to accept the preponderance of evidence as he is personally informed of the quantitative and qualitative value of said evidence. Mere mortals may be excused for adopting an agnostic position - some first-rate minds have, you know.

      Thank you for your dialectic exchange with Quirk.

    4. Enjoyed it myself. In my brief research today I came across a bunch of stuff referring to agnostics really being atheists, weak atheists, weak agnostics, strong... blah blah blah.

      I forget where I first came across the notion of agnosticism being nonsense and I couldn't find any decent reference to it on the net but the concept is interesting, to me anyway.

      now I should say a few hail Mary's lest I offended the big man with my doubt - gotta hedge my bets!

    5. .

      Thanks, Allen, but the following post illustrates the problem Ash has had for the past couple of days.

      No, I am not obsessed with Blue Unicorns. I am interested in them in the context of:

      Do you believe that God exists?
      Do you believe that Blue Unicorns exist?
      Do you believe that Superman exists?

      "I don't know" is a nonsensical answer to those questions. Either you believe they do or do not exist. Knowing is something different.

      A couple days ago Ash attacked me for saying I was agnostic on the question of the existence of God. In addition, he said 'I don't know' was an unsatisfactory answer. Today, he repeats his, or rather his cribbed, charge.

      I forget where I first came across the notion of agnosticism being nonsense and I couldn't find any decent reference to it on the net but the concept is interesting, to me anyway.

      My mistake was assuming that if he was attacking the term 'agnostic' he knew what the term meant. This likely led to confusion over the past few days. Once again, we are reminded to never assume. Also, while Ash points out that 'believing' and 'knowing' are different one has to question his ability to apply them in his attack on agnosticism.

      From The Free Dictionary,


      a. One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God. b. One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.

      Ash, wasn't arguing my agnosticism. In his confusion, he didn't know what that word means. What he was pissed about is that I wouldn't come out and say whether I believe in God or not.

      But in fact, I gave him the answer to his question a couple days ago.

      While I tend towards your view more than I do towards those of the religious, it's not because I share your simplistic reasoning but rather because of perceived flaws I see in the arguments they offer. However, since neither side has in my opinion 'proved' their case, I feel very comfortable in saying I am agnostic on a subject debated for millennia by men on both sides of the argument who possessed much more wisdom than you or I combined.

      Perhaps, Ash missed that comment since he was busy googling to find his lost reference.




    6. If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.

      “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
      ___Mark 9:24

  39. God is forever or the Universe is forever? Tweedle dee or Tweedle dum?

    My God is forever.

    1. Truth will outlast the Universe, IMO.

    2. Very good, Ash. Impressive. But you miss the whole point, as usual. Rationality cannot prove such things nor disprove such things. It is experience that counts. See: William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience. Or delve into Kant.

    3. Come on, anoni, can't you even think for yourself, anymore?

      You still remember the names, but not the content.
      When that can be discerned into a single simple thought.

      Rationality, science, cannot answer the question of ...
      ... WHY?

      ... even if there was a scientific answer to HOW?

      Which there does not seem to be.
      Which does not validate the existence of God, either.

    4. Rationality, science, cannot answer the question of ...
      ... WHY?

      You'll simply have to read for yourself, rat.

      You can do it!

      Your comment above makes zero sense. Indecipherable.

    5. Anon we aren't even talking about proving or disproving anything at this point but rather belief. Faith! I am familiar with the notion of religious experience as a source for faith. How does religious experience relate to agnosticism in your view?

    6. Go away now, shooo, nobody takes you seriously anymore, there is something really wrong with you, Rat, according to Trish, and others too, and it is always so calm when you are not around.

      Scoot now, over to one of the other blogs you've been kicked out of - enough time has passed, you could even do a name change.

    7. A2 x B2 = C2

      This all depends on the definitions of A, B and C.

    8. Already have, boobie.
      That is why I can distill the philosophic concept to a simple blog form and format.

      A task beyond your current cognizant abilities, ever more so as time goes by.

      Your need to post as anoni, is it to provide yourself plausible deniability for the evil things you often write? It's that or you really are dumber than a gnat.

      Since as boobie you'd have to admit to disowning your sisters' lifetime of devotion as a nurse because of your political allegiance to defending the secular state of Israel and its' socialist healthcare system.

      As anoni you are not bound by social constraints.
      Not bound by what had once been part of your core beliefs.

      As anoni you can support the termination of 55 million American lives.

      Bob, he'd be mortified to ever admit it, even to himself.

  40. ObamaCare a gift from Heaven and life support opportunity for Quirk and his newly constituted 'Quirk's Quick Care ObamaCare Solutions - Your First Two Questions Answered For Free'

    >>>>>Obamacare is coming, and so are the con artists

    Published: Thursday, 15 Aug 2013 | 7:08 AM ET
    By: Herb Weisbaum

    As the debate rages over who benefits from the Affordable Care Act, one thing is becoming clear: The controversial program is a dream come true for rip-off artists.

    Consumer experts warn that the program has created a huge opportunity for swindling people by stealing their money and their sensitive personal information.

    "Any time you roll out a big government program like this, confusion is inevitable," said Lois Greisman, an associate director in the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission. "This confusion creates a tremendous opportunity for the fraudster."<<<<<

    1. .

      Actually, in the next hour the first 500,000 callers get in addition to the first two questions answered free, two copies of our complete pamphlet of useful info, PLUS a free manila folde to carry them in.

      Simply pay the additional S&H.


    2. Some folk will fall for anything, Q.

      as boobie gets older, the more like the hero in the "Scarecrow of OZ" he becomes.

      ... dedicated to "The Uplifters" of Los Angeles.
      The Lofty and Exalted Order of Uplifters, a select subgroup of the elite Los Angeles Athletic Club, was a social and fraternal organization of prominent southern California businessmen and public figures. ...

  41. Many in the crowd started calling for a new revolution to honor the dead from Wednesday. The message among those gathered was clear: The Muslim Brotherhood had not been beaten.

    "The solution is not to go home. We must continue to show that we are not beaten and justice must come," said a man who identified himself as Adel, an engineer for a state-owned company.

    He was grazed by a bullet Wednesday at Raba'a square, he said, and was still wearing the same blood-soaked shirt.

  42. On this day in 1947, India gained its independence after 200 years under British rule and became part of the Commonwealth of Nations.

  43. "Hello. Is this Quirk's Quick ObamaCare?"

    It is, Madam.

    "Do I get my first two questions answered for free?"

    You certainly do, Madam.

    "What is the best way to get the most for my money from ObamaCare?"

    Move to another country, Madam. That will be $99.99 American. Credit card or Pay Pal, Madam?

    "But you said I would get my first two questions answered for free!?"

    You did, Madam. Credit card number please.....

    1. One must admit, Quirk's Quick ObamaCare does give excellent advice.

  44. I am familiar with the notion of religious experience as a source for faith.

    Ash, I'd like to hear how you were familiarized with notion of religious experience. Have you personally had a "religious experience"?

    (A definition of this would serve us both well at this point of what such an experience would entail.)

  45. Even as Elon Musk got everyone’s attention with the Hyperloop, his wild idea to remake mass transit, his engineers at SpaceX did something far cooler: They proved their reusable rocket can go sideways.

    Almost immediately after Tuesday’s lift off, the 10-story-tall Grasshopper rocket made a “hard lateral deviation,” as Musk put it, of 100 meters during its ascent to 250 meters. It then returned to the center of the launch pad at touchdown.

  46. 300-Year Drought Was Downfall of Ancient Greece

    By Tia Ghose, Staff Writer | August 14, 2013 05:00pm ET

    A 300-year drought may have caused the demise of several Mediterranean cultures, including ancient Greece, new research suggests.

    A sharp drop in rainfall may have led to the collapse of several eastern Mediterranean civilizations, including ancient Greece, around 3,200 years ago. The resulting famine and conflict may help explain why the entire Hittite culture, chariot-riding people who ruled most of the region of Anatolia, vanished from the planet, according to a study published today (Aug. 14) in the journal PLOS ONE.

    Lost golden period

    Even during the heyday of Classical Greek civilization, there were hints of an earlier culture that was lost. Homer's "Iliad," written in the eighth century B.C. about a legendary war between Sparta and Troy, paints a picture of sophisticated Greek city-states, which archaeological evidence suggests once existed. [The 7 Most Mysterious Archaeological Discoveries]

    "The classical Greek folks knew from the very beginning that they were coming out of a dark age," said Brandon Lee Drake, an archaeologist at the University of New Mexico, who was not involved in the study.

    The ancient Hittite empire of Anatolia began a precipitous decline around 3,300 B.C. Around the same time, the Egyptian empire was invaded by marauding sea bandits, called the Sea People, and the ancient Mycenaean culture of Greece collapsed. Over the next 400 years, ancient cities were burned to the ground and were never rebuilt, Drake said.

    But the cause of this Bronze Age collapse has been shrouded in mystery. Some archaeologists believed economic hardships caused the demise, while others proposed that massive tsunamis, earthquakes or a mega-drought was the cause.

    Past studies looking for drought typically only found evidence showing it occurred for short periods of time, making it hard to make conclusions about the whole period, Drake said.


    Toward that end, David Kaniewski, an archaeologist at the University of Paul Sabatier-Toulouse in France, and his colleagues collected ancient sediment cores from Larnaca Salt Lake, near Hala Sultan Tekke in Cyprus. The lake was once a harbor, but became landlocked thousands of years ago.

    A decline in marine plankton and pollen from marine sea grass revealed that the lake was once a harbor that opened to the sea until around 1450 B.C., when the harbor transformed over 100 years into a landlocked lagoon. Pollen also revealed that by 1200 B.C., agriculture in the area dwindled and didn't rebound until about 850 B.C.

    "This climate shift caused crop failures, dearth and famine, which precipitated or hastened socioeconomic crises and forced regional human migrations," the authors write in the paper.

    The results bolster the notion that a massive drought caused the Bronze Age collapse, Drake said.

    "It's getting hard to argue that there wasn't as significant change in climate at that time," Drake told LiveScience.

    Famine may have caused the huge migration of people en masse — which may be the reason that the mysterious Sea People who invaded Egypt brought their families along, Drake said.

    As ancient cultures battled for dwindling resources, they burned the great cities of the day to the ground. In the heart of these dark ages, the ancient Mycenaens lost their writing system, called Linear B, and correspondence between countries slowed to a trickle, Drake said.

    Ironically, those who suffered through those dark times may not have realized the cause of their misery.

    "It happened over 200 years. People may not have even recognized the climate was changing, because it was happening so slowly over their lifetime," Drake said.

    Follow Tia Ghose on Twitter and Google+. Follow LiveScience @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.


  47. Hebrew for Christians

    “If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are here” (Psalm 139:8). The sages note the use of the adverbs “there” and “here” in this verse, saying that when a person feels like he has ascended to great heights, the LORD will be “there” (שָׁם), that is, distant from him, but when he is humble and low, the LORD will be “here” (הִנֵּה), that is, right at his side (Isa. 57:15). This is the "upside-down" way of beholding the Kingdom of God. Can a camel go through the eye of a needle? No more than a ‘rich man’ finds life through his own ventures (Matt. 19:23-24). The only way to enter life is to disown your riches (i.e., your self-sufficiency) by becoming “poor in spirit.” This is the narrow way that leads to life (Matt. 7:14). You have to let go of the "baggage" of your worldly ego... Yeshua teaches that only by emptying ourselves can we be made full; only by mourning ourselves can we find comfort, and only by hungering and thirsting for God's righteousness can we find true satisfaction.

    The depths is where I had my experience.

  48. Using real-world examples, the “Target Analyst Rationale Instructions” explain how NSA employees should strip out details and substitute generic descriptions of the evidence and analysis behind their targeting choices.

    “I realize you can read those words a certain way,” said the high-ranking NSA official who spoke with White House authority, but the instructions were not intended to withhold information from auditors. “Think of a book of individual recipes,” he said.

    Each target “has a short, concise description,” but that is “not a substitute for the full recipe that follows, which our overseers also have access to.”

  49. Walt goes native Hindu -


    I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end;
    But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.

    There was never any more inception than there is now,
    Nor any more youth or age than there is now;
    And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
    Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

    Urge, and urge, and urge;
    Always the procreant urge of the world.

    Out of the dimness opposite equals advance—always substance and increase, always sex;
    Always a knit of identity—always distinction—always a breed of life.

    To elaborate is no avail—learn’d and unlearn’d feel that it is so.

    Sure as the most certain sure, plumb in the uprights, well entretied, braced in the beams,
    Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical,
    I and this mystery, here we stand.

    Clear and sweet is my Soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my Soul.

    Lack one lacks both, and the unseen is proved by the seen,
    Till that becomes unseen, and receives proof in its turn.
    Showing the best, and dividing it from the worst, age vexes age;
    Knowing the perfect fitness and equanimity of things, while they discuss I am silent, and go bathe and admire myself.

    Welcome is every organ and attribute of me, and of any man hearty and clean;
    Not an inch, nor a particle of an inch, is vile, and none shall be less familiar than the rest.

    I am satisfied—I see, dance, laugh, sing:
    As the hugging and loving Bed-fellow sleeps at my side through the night, and withdraws at the peep of the day, with stealthy tread,
    Leaving me baskets cover’d with white towels, swelling the house with their plenty,
    Shall I postpone my acceptation and realization, and scream at my eyes,
    That they turn from gazing after and down the road,
    And forthwith cipher and show me a cent,
    Exactly the contents of one, and exactly the contents of two, and which is ahead?


    Trippers and askers surround me;
    People I meet—the effect upon me of my early life, or the ward and city I live in, or the nation,
    The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new,
    My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues,
    The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
    The sickness of one of my folks, or of myself, or ill-doing, or loss or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations;
    Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events;
    These come to me days and nights, and go from me again,
    But they are not the Me myself.

    Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am;
    Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary;
    Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
    Looking with side-curved head, curious what will come next;
    Both in and out of the game, and watching and wondering at it.

    Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with linguists and contenders;
    I have no mockings or arguments—I witness and wait.<<<<

    from Song of Myself

    It's really nifty how the self can become the Self.

    "But they are not the Me myself"

    1. If you are interested in that kind of thing.


      I believe in you, my Soul—the other I am must not abase itself to you;
      And you must not be abased to the other.

      Loafe with me on the grass—loose the stop from your throat;
      Not words, not music or rhyme I want—not custom or lecture, not even the best;
      Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.

      I mind how once we lay, such a transparent summer morning;
      How you settled your head athwart my hips, and gently turn’d over upon me,
      And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare-stript heart,
      And reach’d till you felt my beard, and reach’d till you held my feet.

      Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth;
      And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
      And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own;
      And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers;
      And that a kelson of the creation is love;
      And limitless are leaves, stiff or drooping in the fields;
      And brown ants in the little wells beneath them;
      And mossy scabs of the worm fence, and heap’d stones, elder, mullen and poke-weed.<<<<

      from Song of Myself