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

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Obama administration policy of support for the jihadist Libyan and Syria rebels may have already come back to haunt us in other ways. Besides questions about the arms used in the coordinated assaults against our facilities in Benghazi and the UN report on weapons proliferation, there are also claims of ties between the Benghazi attacks and a brazen assault on an Algerian gas complex where foreigners, including Americans, were employed.

Obama’s Iran-Contra: The real Benghazi scandal
4:01 PM 08/19/2013

Aaron Klein
Author, Impeachable Offenses

One would be hard pressed to find a more significant impeachable offense than aiding and abetting the sworn enemies of the United States, especially when any such support includes sending weapons to our murderous adversaries. A crime on that scale would certainly be made all the more serious if those same enemies turned around and utilized the U.S.-provided arms to kill Americans.
We are not here referring to the so-called “Fast and Furious” scandal in which President Obama’s Justice Department purposely allowed, with deadly consequence, licensed firearms dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers with the intent of tracking the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders. Instead, we document a much less reported gun-walking scandal, one you will soon regard as the “Fast and Furious” of the Middle East, the Iran-Contra of the Obama administration. It could be the White House got away not once but twice with the same misdeed of arming our foes.
In the case presented here, the enemy consists not of drug lords but of al-Qaeda, along with a witches’ brew of anti-American jihadists. The results are not dead U.S. border agents but a murdered U.S. ambassador, along with three other diplomatic staff, in one of the most brazen assaults on an American overseas target in history. To make matters worse, we will show how our president and top administration officials deliberately and repeatedly lied to the American public while taking actions that fomented anti-American sentiment, aided an Islamist revolution currently sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly helped create, whether wittingly or not, a well-armed al-Qaeda army that is already attacking our interests and fueling conflicts worldwide.
We will also show how the Obama administration engaged in a massive cover-up of the events that transpired during the Benghazi attacks, as well as the shocking reason our ambassador was sent to Benghazi on September 11, despite the many known (and ignored) security threats to the U.S. mission there. You are about to be introduced to the real Benghazi scandal. This chapter alone should result in the immediate impeachment of Obama, as well as topple other administration officials.
The true nature of the ‘consulate’
Information surrounding the September 11 attacks against the U.S. mission in Benghazi has been so distorted by the Obama administration and so misreported by the news media that many Americans still don’t have the most basic of facts straight.
Let’s start with the true nature of the Benghazi facilities. For months after the attacks, the vast majority of all news media coverage worldwide referred to the U.S. facility that was attacked as a “consulate,” even though the government itself has been careful to call it a “mission.” A consulate typically refers to the building that officially houses a consul, or an official representative of the government of one state in the territory of another. Consulates at times function as junior embassies, providing services related to visas, passports, and citizen information.
On August 26, about two weeks before he was killed, Ambassador Stevens attended a ceremony marking the opening of consular services at the American embassy in Tripoli, meaning the functioning U.S. consulate  was working out of Tripoli. The new U.S. consul in Libya, Jenny Cordell, was stationed at the embassy in Tripoli. A search of the State Department website could find no consulate listed in Benghazi.
The main role of a consulate is to foster trade with the host govern­ment and care for its own citizens who are traveling or living in the host nation. Diplomatic missions, on the other hand, maintain a more generalized role. A diplomatic mission is simply a group of people from one state or an international intergovernmental organization present in another state to represent matters of the sending state or organization in the receiving state.
However, according to a State Department investigative report on the attacks, the U.S. facility in Benghazi did not fit the profile of a diplomatic mission either. The results of the Accountability Review Board (ARB) probe, which we have read carefully, contain information indicating the U.S. mission in Libya was involved in activities outside the diplomatic realm. The thirty-nine-page document uses phraseology and descriptions not previously utilized to describe the facility and the role it may have played in Benghazi. The report, based on an investigation led by former U.S. diplomat Thomas Pickering, calls the facility a “U.S. Special Mis­sion.” Again, until the report’s release, government descriptions routinely referred to the facility as a “mission,” while the news media largely and wrongly labeled the building a “consulate.”
The report divulges how the mission’s special “non-status” made providing security to the facility difficult. “Special Mission Benghazi’s uncertain future after 2012 and its ‘non-status’ as a temporary, residential facility made allocation of resources for security and personnel more difficult,” it said.
The report contains information that clearly contradicts any claim that the special mission was to serve as a liaison office to the local government. It documents how the local Libyan government was not even informed of the existence of the mission.
To the keen observer, the State Department report raises major unanswered questions about what was going on at the Libyan mission. Specifically, one glaring question is why the host government was not informed of the facility’s existence. Was the facility being used for secretive purposes? What was happening there?
Arms to Jihadis, White House lies
On multiple occasions, Middle Eastern security sources have provided this writer with information indicating that both the U.S. mis­sion and the nearby CIA annex in Benghazi served as an intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to rebels in the Middle East, particularly those fighting the regime of Bashar al-Assad of Syria. Prior to the establishment of the Libyan mission, the United States also coordinated aid to the rebels who eventually toppled Libya’s Gaddafi. That aid, the sources stated, included weapons shipments coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. The sources described how the weapons were carefully purchased with Arab and Turkish funds to skirt laws about the accountability of U.S. funding for CIA and other intelligence operations.

Days after the Benghazi attacks, I broke the story that Stevens himself played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian and other Middle Eastern security officials. Stevens served as a key contact with the Saudis to coordinate their recruit­ment of Islamic fighters from Libya and other parts of North Africa. The jihadists were sent to Syria via Turkey to attack Assad’s forces, said the security officials.
The officials also said Stevens worked with the Saudis to send names of potential jihadi recruits to U.S. security organizations for review. Names found to be directly involved in previous attacks against the United States, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, were ultimately not recruited by the Saudis to fight in Syria, said the officials. (Take note of that detail, since it will become relevant again in a few paragraphs.)
Until April 2013, the White House has repeatedly denied it was involved in helping to arm the rebels. Such action at the time was considered highly controversial because of the inclusion of jihadists, including al-Qaeda members, among the ranks of the Free Syrian Army and other Syrian opposition groups. Besides White House denials, other top U.S. officials and former officials, including Hillary Clinton, have implied in congressional testimony that they didn’t know about any U.S. involvement in procuring weapons for the rebels.
Now, a starkly different picture is emerging, one that threatens the longstanding White House narrative that claims the Obama administration has only supplied nonlethal aid to the Syrian rebels. My reporting on U.S. coordinating arms shipments to the rebels has been confirmed by several major news agencies, including the New York Times and Reuters.
Created al-Qaida army?
The possibly illegal transfer of weapons and aid to Middle East rebels is clearly resulting in a newly emboldened al-Qaeda. Even the United Nations is warning that weapons delivered to Libya during the uprising there are being used to fuel conflicts in Mali, Syria, Gaza, and elsewhere.
That Obama administration policy of support for the jihadist Libyan and Syria rebels may have already come back to haunt us in other ways. Besides questions about the arms used in the coordinated assaults against our facilities in Benghazi and the UN report on weapons proliferation, there are also claims of ties between the Benghazi attacks and a brazen assault on an Algerian gas complex where foreigners, including Americans, were employed.
Editor’s Note: The above is an excerpt from Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Officeby Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott.


  1. More on Obama’s increasing madness

    Downing Street’s official denial that it played no behind-the-scenes role in the nine-hour detention of a Brazilian man at Heathrow airport was cast into doubt last night after a Washington official claimed the US was given a “heads-up” by the British government that “something was likely to occur”.

    No 10 has so far refused to answer operational questions over the treatment of David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, insisting that the decision to use UK anti-terror laws to question the Brazilian citizen had been taken by Scotland Yard.

    Mr Miranda, 28, said that British customs officials had detained him for nearly nine hours – the maximum time permitted under schedule seven of the Terrorism Act 2000 – and forced him to reveal the passwords to his computer and mobile phone.

    “They were threatening me all the time and saying I would be put in jail if I didn’t co-operate,” he told The Guardian. “They treated me like I was a criminal or someone about to attack the UK … It was exhausting and frustrating, but I knew I wasn’t doing anything wrong.”

    Mr Miranda has been assisting his partner in making revelations linked to documents leaked by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden. During his trip to Berlin, Miranda visited Laura Poitras, the US film-maker who has been working with Mr Greenwald on the Snowden revelations. It was reported last night that Britain alerted the US authorities after Mr Miranda’s name appeared on a passenger manifest of the flight.


  2. {…}

    Published material from Mr Snowden concerning the operations of the US National Security Agency and its co-operation with Britain’s intelligence communications agency, GCHQ, has caused deep embarrassment to both governments.

    Last night Scotland Yard defended the detention of Mr Miranda as “legally and procedurally sound”. A statement said: “The examination of a 28-year-old man under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 at Heathrow Airport on Sunday 18 August was subject to a detailed decision-making process. The procedure was reviewed throughout to ensure the examination was both necessary and proportionate. Our assessment is that the use of the power in this case was legally and procedurally sound.”

    The statement came after Keith Vaz, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, and the shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, both demanded that Scotland Yard explain why the UK’s anti-terror powers had been used to justify the airport detention. Greenwald’s partner was on his way to Brazil, after a meeting in Berlin with a US film-maker who has also been working with The Guardian on the Snowden revelations. The newspaper had paid for Mr Miranda’s flights.

    The Met has refused to explain why Mr Miranda was stopped, why it held him for the maximum nine hours allowed in law, and why personal possessions such as his computer, phone and digital storage devices were taken from him.

    The Home Office has also been silent, claiming it was down to the police officers at the airport to make the operational decisions that led to the detention and questioning by six officials. Although the Home Office claimed the operation was “Met-led”, security sources told The Independent that officers from MI6 may have been among those involved in the lengthy questioning of Mr Miranda.

    The matter was further complicated last night after a Washington official denied the US was involved in the decision to detain Mr Miranda but said it was given a warning by the British government that the obstruction was likely to occur. During a press conference at the White House, Josh Earnest, the deputy spokesman, said: “This was action taken by the British government and this was something that they did independent of our direction.

    He added: “There was a ‘heads-up’ that was provided by the British government, so this was something we had an indication was likely to occur. But it is not something that we requested.”

    David Davis, the former shadow Home Secretary, said ministers were using the excuse of national security to avoid questions on Mr Miranda’s detention. He urged Downing Street to reveal what it knew, claiming that the operational background must have gone beyond the control of the police.

    The Met confirmed that it held a 28-year-old man at Heathrow between 8am and 5pm on Sunday under Schedule 7 and that the man had not been arrested. The Guardian said it was seeking clarification on the reasons for the detention. Liberty’s director, Shami Chakrabarti, said her organisation had already launched a challenge in the European Court of Human Rights over the use of Schedule 7.

    Mr Greenwald accused the British authorities of bullying and intentional intimidation, linked to the Snowden revelations on the NSA. Mr Vaz has asked the Met to justify its use of anti-terrorism powers. He told the BBC: “I would not have expected it [the law] to be used in a case of this kind.” Ms Cooper called for an investigation to be made into whether or not terror powers had been misused against Mr Miranda.

  3. Good

    August 20, 2013

    Egyptian authorities have arrested Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohammed Badie, escalating a crackdown on the group following the military's ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.

    The 70-year-old Badie was taken into custody early Tuesday in a neighborhood of eastern Cairo where for weeks pro-Morsi protesters rallied against Egypt's new interim government.

    Badie is due to go on trial August 25 along with other Brotherhood leaders. Authorities accuse them of inciting deadly violence outside the group's headquarters in June, days before the military deposed Mr. Morsi.

    Since the July 3 move, the official death toll for violence across Egypt has topped 1,000 people. The Muslim Brotherhood says many more people have died.

    Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities may soon free former leader Hosni Mubarak, who has spent more than two years in custody following the 2011 popular revolt that drove him from power.

    A court said Monday he could no longer be held in connection with charges that he and his sons stole public money for presidential palaces. With that order, Mr. Mubarak is facing only one other case.

    The former president's lawyer said he expected Mr. Mubarak would be released by the end of the week.

  4. Harry Reid: 'Snowden is a traitor'
    Matt Welch|Aug. 19, 2013 9:47 am

    Pete Souza, White House

    As insipid commentators such as Thomas L. Friedman encourage NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to come on home to the Land of the Free and subject himself to the "fair-mindedness of the American people," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has provided another reminder that the people who actually hold power in this country would prefer to throw Snowden into a dark cage. Here’s Reid in a Q&A with the Reno Gazette-Journal:

    Q: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. Do you agree?

    A: I think Snowden is a traitor, and I think he has hurt our country, and I hope someday he is brought to justice.

    Quick constitutional refresher:

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

    If I'm Edward Snowden, the only way I'm ever setting foot back here is if more members of Congress reject the authoritarianism of Harry Reid, and instead follow the intriguing lead of Rep. Tom McClintock (R-California) and offer Snowden amnesty.

  5. My advice to Edward Snowden, American Patriot, is don’t believe anything anyone from the US Government tells you.

    While I’m at it, the same goes for the Egyptian generals.

    1. The Generals certainly don't. Snowden doesn't either.

    2. And here's one reason why --

      >>>Senator: Obama Administration Secretly Suspended Military Aid to Egypt

      by Josh Rogin Aug 19, 2013 7:20 PM EDT

      The White House has quietly placed military aid to Egypt on hold, despite not saying publicly whether the Egyptian military takeover was a coup, Josh Rogin reports exclusively.

      The U.S. government has decided privately to act as if the military takeover of Egypt was a coup, temporarily suspending most forms of military aid, despite deciding not to announce publicly a coup determination one way or the other, according to a leading U.S. senator.

      In the latest example of its poorly understood Egypt policy, the Obama administration has decided to temporarily suspend the disbursement of most direct military aid, the delivery of weapons to the Egyptian military, and some forms of economic aid to the Egyptian government while it conducts a broad review of the relationship. The administration won’t publicly acknowledge all aspects of the aid suspension and maintains its rhetorical line that no official coup determination has been made, but behind the scenes, extensive measures to treat the military takeover of Egypt last month as a coup are being implemented on a temporary basis.

      The office of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the head of the appropriations state and foreign-operations subcommittee, told The Daily Beast on Monday that military aid to Egypt has been temporarily cut off.

      Leahy’s “understanding is that aid to the Egyptian military has been halted, as required by law,” said David Carle, a spokesman for Leahy.

      The administration’s public message is that $585 million of promised aid to the Egyptian military in fiscal 2013 is not officially on hold, as technically it is not due until September 30, the end of the fiscal year, and no final decisions have been made....<<<

  6. US Justice : )

    U.S. military prosecutors are recommending a 60-year prison term for the Army private convicted of disclosing a vast array of classified information to the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks.

    An Army prosecutor, Captain Joe Morrow, told a military judge Monday that 25-year-old Private First Class Bradley Manning deserves to "spend the majority of his remaining life in confinement," after leaking more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks.

    Morrow rejected a claim by Manning's defense attorneys that he was a troubled soldier who thought he was doing good by exposing U.S. State Department diplomatic cables and American battlefield reports from Iraq and Afghanistan. The prosecutor called the leaks "destructive" and he described Manning as a "determined insider who exploited an imperfect system."

    The judge, Colonel Denise Lind, has convicted Manning of 20 offenses, including espionage. She said she would start deliberating Tuesday on what sentence to impose.

    Manning could face up to 90 years in prison.

    Last week, he apologized for hurting the U.S., and he pleaded with Lind for a chance to go to college and become a productive citizen.

  7. Manning, instead of groveling to the court, should have told Lind to go fuck herself. He is dead man walking until some American presidential candidate runs on a campaign promise to give him and Snowden an immediate pardon.

  8. Rumor, or Truth? -

    >>>Former Israeli government minister: Egyptian army rigged 2012 election, fearing riots if Morsi lost

    And they got riots after Morsi won, owing to his misrule. "Beilin: The Egyptian Army Rigged the Election," by Elad Benari for Israel National News, August 19 (thanks to Avi):

    Former minister Yossi Beilin revealed in a column published in the Israel Hayom daily on Sunday that the Egyptian army rigged the results of last year’s presidential elections, in which Islamist Mohammed Morsi was declared the winner.

    “An Egyptian official told me in person that the army rigged the presidential elections in June 2012, fearing widespread riots should the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, Mohammed Morsi, lose the race,” wrote Beilin.

    The source who asked to remain anonymous told Beilin that former president Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, won the race “by a narrow margin. But the army generals -- wanting to ensure that law and order would be upheld following the elections -- feared that if Morsi was defeated, the Muslim Brotherhood would refuse to recognize the results and would end up conducting themselves just as they are now.”

    “The official results, 51.73% for Morsi and 48.27% for Shafiq, were almost the exact reversal of what actually happened at the polls,” wrote Beilin.<<<

    Jihad Watch


    >>>Boston: 20 Muslims rally against terrorism

    One common false claim is that I "demonize all Muslims" in my critique of jihad and Islamic supremacism. In reality, I point out that Islamic supremacists claim to represent the authentic interpretation of the Qur'an and Islam, that they make recruits among peaceful Muslims with this claim, that most reputedly "moderate" organizations in the U.S. are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood (as has been abundantly established by the Justice Department), and that genuinely peaceful and non-supremacist Muslims have not effectively countered the Islamic supremacist appeal among Muslims.

    All these facts are established anew by the tiny turnout at the small number of Muslim anti-terror demonstrations that have taken place. This rally drew 20 people. Last June, a Muslim anti-terror rally drew 24 people. Several years ago a group called the Free Muslims Coalition held what it called a "Free Muslims March Against Terror," intending to "send a message to the terrorists and extremists that their days are numbered ... and to send a message to the people of the Middle East, the Muslim world and all people who seek freedom, democracy and peaceful coexistence that we support them." In the run-up to the event it got enthusiastic national and international publicity, but it ended up drawing about twenty-five people. And that is about as many as this demo in Toronto drew. Now the group appears to be defunct; its website hasn't been updated since December 2011.

    Contrast those three to the thousands upon thousands who we have seen rally against cartoons of Muhammad, remarks by the Pope that they considered offensive to Islam, and the like, and it starts to look as if the "tiny minority of extremists" we hear so much about are not the terrorists, but those who reject terrorism.

    Look also at the signs in the photo above. The sign reading "To save one/to save humanity - To kill one/to kill humanity" is a reference to Qur'an 5:32: "We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely." Note the exception: "unless for a soul or for corruption in the land." This is explained further in the immediately succeeding verse, 5:33: "Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth to cause corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment"....<<<

  10. Some other Jihad Watch offerings this day -

    Egypt: "We did not hold prayers in the monastery on Sunday for the first time in 1,600 years"
    Aug 19, 2013 10:02 am | Robert

    Christians in Egypt are bracing themselves for more jihad attacks. "Minya churches cancel second mass for first time in 1,600 years," from Egypt Independent, August 19: Minya churches canceled on Sunday the second mass, holding only a brief one. Meanwhile, prayers did not take place at other churches which were...


    Like Egypt: "We did not hold prayers in the monastery on Sunday for the first time in 1,600 years"

    Egypt: Bishop says Christians are paying highest price for Morsi's ouster
    Aug 19, 2013 09:55 am | Robert

    An obvious truth. "Egypt: Assiut bishop says Christians paying highest price," from ANSAmed, August 16 (thanks to Insubria): (ANSAmed) - VATICAN CITY - The Coptic-Catholic bishop of Assiut, Kyrillos William Samaan, has told the international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that Islamists are taking...

    read more
    Like Egypt: Bishop says Christians are paying highest price for Morsi's ouster on Facebook Google Plus
    Official Palestinian Authority radio: One day there will be no Israel, "Palestine will be Palestine again"


    Aug 19, 2013 09:45 am | Robert

    And remember: these are the "moderates," with whom Barack Obama wants Israel to deal.

    "PA radio: 'One day" there will be no Israel, 'Palestine will be Palestine again,'" by Itamar Marcus for Palestinian Media Watch, August 19: Official Palestinian Authority radio expressed hope and certainty that Israel, which was...

    read more

    1. The moslem brotherhood are nazis.

      Now even the egyptians are saying in outloud.

  11. Musharraf indicted for murder of Benazir Bhutto

    Top News: This morning, a Pakistani court indicted seven people for their role in the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Among those accused is Pakistan's former army chief and president, Pervez Musharraf, who was in power at the time of Bhutto's death.

    Musharraf's lawyer, Afsha Adil, was defiant as she responded to the charges. "The important thing is this: You will have to prove the allegations with evidence," she told reporters Tuesday. "And still there is no evidence on record.... These are all fabricated cases." The indictment comes in advance of the publication of a book by Heraldo Muñoz, the Chilean diplomat who led the U.N. investigation of Bhutto's death, which casts serious doubts on the previous narrative that Bhutto was killed by the Pakistani Taliban. Muñoz suspects Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence played a role and then may have covered up evidence after, though he notes in an excerpt published yesterday that "We will probably never know with full certainty who killed Bhutto. The list of people and groups that considered Bhutto a hated enemy is long."

    froom Foreign Policy Magazine

  12. Did Obama “secretly” cut aid to Egypt?


    Naw, the most transparent Administration in history wouldn't do such a thing 'in secret'.

  13. Not even Rufus seems supportive of Obama's foreign policy any longer. He never rises in support.

    Meanwhile the four stooges at State that took the fall for Hillary and were fired over Benghazi have their desks back, paychecks uninterrupted, and life goes on.

  14. Quite honestly, I'm bored to tears with the whole Egypt/Syria/Israel nonsense.

    1. And, then, for a change of pace, I think about this:

      Coalmines and Aliens, again

    2. For instance, did you know that "jobs created by small businesses" have been declining since 1999?

      I find that, incredible.

    3. Oops, I misstated that. "Jobs by Small Businesses less than 1 year old" have been declining since 1999.

    4. Rufus IITue Aug 20, 11:44:00 AM EDT
      Quite honestly, I'm bored to tears with the whole Egypt/Syria/Israel nonsense.

      No one is surprised in your lack of true interest in the world.

      Who cares about the possibility of millions of people dying? Not you fur sure...

    5. It's YOUR world, not mine, bozo; I carry a U.S. Passport.

    6. WiO will now tell us how he traces his bloodline back to David though the House of Sham.

    7. Actually I trace to Aaron.

      As for Rufus's "its your world comment?

      I carry a US passport also.

      JUST as much an American as you, like it or not...

  15. Hey Bob,

    What is your opinion of Ted Cruz? Do you think he should run for POTUS or do the circumstances of his birth preclude that?

    1. I like him much better than Rubio.

      And many of the others.

      Being consistent, Ash, I don't think he is eligible because 1) only one citizen parent 2) Canadian citizenship, meaning divided loyalties 3) the born abroad issue doesn't matter much to me but 1 and 2 do.

      I wouldn't vote for him given those reasons, as I'm old fashioned.

      Don't know off hand Rubio's history but he may have similar problems.

      Both will be able to run given the Supreme Court's recent attitudes on these issues.

    2. .

      While mentioning 'natural born citizen' in numerous cases, SCOTUS has never ruled upon it or its definition in a case involving a candidate's eligibility to become president.


  16. Turkey's Erdogan sees Israel's hand in Egyptian overthrow

    It was just a matter of time. Given his fundamentalism and arbitrary behaviors, he has reason to fear his own military.

    1. Cant wait for him to be dragged thru the streets and the HUNDREDS of Generals he locked up on bogus charges released.

      I think I'll even eat some Spare Ribs to celebrate.

  17. Black teens kill Australian jogger for 'the fun of it' -

    "My son, he's a good boy" says mom, who is white, by the way.

    We have real problems with this hip-hop bang bang your dead culture going in our cities.

    Solution of one Judge: rule against 'stop and frisk' as being an illegal search and seizure.

  18. Philly Confidential

    5 shootings = 2 dead + 7 injured

    POSTED: Tuesday, August 20, 2013, 11:13 AM

    Police officers were securing a car involved in an earlier shooting outside Temple University Hospital last night, when a car pulled up with more bloodied victims from an unrelated shooting. And a gunmen felled three teens talking on a street corner in South Philadelphia. The two incidents left two dead and three more seriously injured during a busy night that had Philly cops scrambling to at least five scenes of gunfire and bloodshed.

    In the earlier case, officers rushed to Percy Street near Pike in Hunting Park shortly after 6:30 p.m. for a report of a shooting. But a private citizen already had rushed the victims to Temple hospital, where doctors declared Brian Sweet, 20, of Ditman Street near Solly, dead minutes later from multiple shotgun wounds to his chest.

    A 23-year-old man remains in critical condition with a shotgun wound to his torso. Police listed the motive as argument but reported no suspects.

    About three hours later, three teens were talking on a street corner on Taylor Street near Morris just after 10 p.m. when someone started shooting at them, police said. Nasir Slaughter, 17, of Ringgold Street near Moore, was rushed to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he died 20 minutes later of a gunshot wound to the head, police said. Another 17-year-old boy remains in stable condition at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with a gunshot wound to the back, police said. And an 18-year-old was treated at HUP for a gunshot wound to his lower leg. Police reported no suspects or motive.

    Tipsters in either case can call homicide detectives at (215) 686-3334 or -3335. Police also responded to shootings at Germantown and Lehigh avenues in North Philly, on Broad Street near Ontario outside Temple hospital and at 41st and Ogden streets in Belmont that left four other men hospitalized in critical condition.

    In North Philadelphia, someone shot two 34-year-old men at Germantown and Lehigh avenues about 5 p.m. Both men were at Temple hospital, one with leg wounds and the other with leg and groin injuries.

    In the Broad Street incident, someone shot a 28-year-old man in his legs, groin and torso just after 9 p.m. He’s in critical condition at Temple.

    The gunman is described as black, age 22, 5-foot-8, with a thin build, last seen wearing a teal-colored hoodie, light-colored pants and black shoes.

    Twenty minutes later, police responding to a radio call of a shooting found a man sitting on the steps of a home near 41st and Ogden, suffering from two gunshot wounds to his abdomen. Police officers rushed him to HUP, where he remains in critical condition after surgery. The motive and suspects in that case are unknown.


  19. None of them reminded Obama of anyone in particular.

    1. Is the problem due to that they are Black or all them guns?

    2. It's because they have developed such a shit big inner city 'culture'.

    3. That glorifies all the wrong things: see most black rap

    4. "or all them guns?"

      All them guns don't shoot by themselves, Ash.

      Or did you mean 'all of them having guns'?

      Out this way everybody has guns and shootings are rare, except for 'Idaho County Divorces', but that's different and she shouldn't have been a sneaking into the other fellow's double wide anyways.

    5. Philadelphia is about 40% black. If you look at the Philadelphia 100 most wanted they are about 90-95% black. Violent crimes with guns in Philadelphia, I would score that a safe bet at 90% black. So black must have something to do with it. There is a serious flaw somewhere. Is it culture or racism? I have no idea.

    6. Obama is looking at photographs of the alleged perps now, trying to decide if any one of them look like they could have been his son.

  20. We have mercenary armies all around the globe looking for terrorists that have killed 20 Americans in the US since 911.

    We have spent $220 billion in memory for each of them.

    US politicians and their corporate masters need to identify every possible source of “terror” in the world and the reporting is dutifully hyped in the US press.

    Black domestic terrorists prowl the streets of Philadelphia. They are not noted by the national media and at best are identified as a thin male youth in a hoodie,

    There are no search and destroy missions. No pacification. Nothing, but more of the same.

    1. Unfortunately for the victim, he was an unarmed Aussie, not a native Okie carrying concealed.

  21. Replies
    1. Bummer! Prolific. The Dickens of Detroit. His novels and screenplays will be greatly missed.

  22. " does so at the expense of appearing neglectful and unsympathetic toward the hundreds of murderous attacks on Egypt’s Christians who for the past six years have sought the support and help of a freedom-loving America and still wait. Now suffering more so at the brunt of Brotherhood Muslim madness and unleashed hatred, Christians have so far lost 83 Coptic churches looted and burned by the Muslim Brotherhood, along with Christian schools, shops and businesses."

    US Cannot Keep Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood in Power

  23. Egypt: Coptic church cancels Sunday mass for 1st time in 1,600 years

    1. They might have to go underground like folks did in Rome.

    2. Many of them already live in the garbage dumps.

    3. Garbage dumps, with smartphones. The Romans never had it so good.

    4. Dogs, to keep the muzzie away.

      Smartphones, refried beans, company of man's best friends, no muzzies - what's not to like?

      Beats part of Chicago.

  24. Safest Car Ever Tested? -

    Tesla Motors Model S gets record safety rating.

    Are electric cars safer?

    Tesla Motors Model S is one of the safest cars ever tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It's another win for Tesla Motors and a rebuttal to perceptions of electric cars as unsafe and undesirable.

    The luxury electric sedan earned an overall safety rating of five out of five stars from the federal agency, Tesla announced Tuesday. It also earned at least five stars in every category, a feat that puts it in the top 1 percent of cars tested by NHTSA.

    It is yet another win for a company that cannot seem to lose lately. Tesla Motors' Model S continues to earn glowing reviews, bolstering its stock price, and drawing the envy of an incumbent auto industry that might rather see it fail. Its stock price was up 2 percent to $148.39 in midday trading.

  25. August 20, 2013
    The Triumph of Illusion in the Middle East
    By Shoshana Bryen

    The Palestine Liberation Organization was created in 1964. Like most revolutionary movements, it wrote a Charter to define its aims and fundamental policies, including:

    Article 17: The partitioning of Palestine, which took place in 1947, and the establishment of Israel are illegal and null and void, regardless of the loss of time...

    Article 18: The Balfour Declaration, the Palestine Mandate System, and all that has been based on them are considered null and void. The claims of historic and spiritual ties between Jews and Palestine are not in agreement with the facts of history or with the true basis of sound statehood. Judaism... is not a nationality (and) the Jews are not one people with an independent personality...

    Article 19: Zionism is a colonialist movement in its inception, aggressive and expansionist in its goal, racist in its configurations, and fascist in its means and aims...

    Article 24: This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, (or) on the Gaza Strip.

    Contrary to belief in some quarters, the Charter has never been amended and in fact, fealty to "armed struggle" (i.e., terrorism) was reasserted as late as 2011. In pursuit of its goals, Palestinian terrorism has killed more than 5,000 Israelis since 1949. Airplane hijackings; sniper shootings (including an infant in her father's arms), bombings on buses, in cafes and in restaurants; little boys bludgeoned to death; children murdered in their homes in front of their parents. Raw anti-Semitism pours today from Voice of Palestine Radio. School children learn that Israel is only a temporary impediment to Palestinian aspirations and that killing and dying is the highest good.
    This would seem to preclude peaceful coexistence with the State of Israel.

    Yet, it has become conventional Western wisdom that the Palestinian leadership -- bifurcated as a result of a brutal civil war, without an electoral mandate, beholden in part to Iran -- wishes nothing more than a split, rump state in the West Bank (and Gaza), areas it previously rejected. And furthermore, in exchange for that, Palestinians will accept a) the Jews as a national people "with an independent personality," b) the legitimacy of the 1947 partition (or 1949 Armistice Line), and c) Zionism -- not as fascist, racist and aggressive -- but as the legitimate expression of Jewish national peoplehood.

    1. This is the triumph of illusion, required because reality doesn't comport with the liberal, democratic Western standard in which every difference can be split. The reality is that Israeli fights every day against people dedicated it its destruction as a sovereign entity. Reality is ugly, so the West pretends we're only a minute or two, an Israeli concession or two, a settlement or two from Israeli-Palestinian "peace."
      No, we weren't, nor will we be. But it is through similar illusions that American policy toward Egypt is best understood.
      Pretending the Muslim Brotherhood was a political party, pretending it had renounced violence and become a social service agency, pretending it would govern at odds with its Charter and founding principles, pretending Morsi's virulent anti-Semitism and anti-Christianity would give way to multireligious comity, the United States deliberately bolstered the fortunes of a fascist, jihadist organization bent on the acquisition of state power to institute its radical Charter and punish its enemies.
      In 2011, then-DNI James Clapper told Congress, "The term Muslim Brotherhood is an umbrella term for a variety of movements. In the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence." His correction was no better: "In Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood makes efforts to work through a political system that has been, under Mubarak's rule, one that is largely secular in its orientation."

    2. The Brotherhood never "eschewed" violence -- when its leadership was being imprisoned and hung it made the reasonable tactical decision that announcing a determination to take power through violence would be foolhardy. Secular Egyptian governments in succession understood that they needed to stand on the neck of the Brotherhood because it was not going to give up and was not going to disappear. President Obama invited Brotherhood representatives to the now-discredited Cairo Speech in 2009, over the objection of President Mubarak. He treated it as if was one among many parties entitled to a seat at the table of governance in Egypt.
      But the Brotherhood, like the PLO, was unwilling to accept only a seat -- it had designs on the table, the kitchen, and the living room.
      The administration made the same mistake in Syria, tapping the Muslim Brotherhood-leaning Turkish Prime Minister and the Emir of Qatar to bolster the armed opposition to Bashar Assad while the U.S. hid. Far from promoting what little secular, democratic opposition was able to emerge, Turkey and Qatar resurrected the Brotherhood that had gone underground in Syria after the massacre in Hama by Hafez Assad in 1983.
      The United States has the Palestinian model from which to work: when a violent, dictatorial organization tells you its goals and the means by which it plans to achieve them, believe them. When they say they're not democratic, that their ideology precludes a multiethnic and multireligious society, believe them. When violence is part of their mandate and they prove over and over that they are prepared to use it in pursuit of their clearly defined aims, believe them. They are not fit partners for the United States.
      In Egypt, the fighting is not a civil war; it is the determination and requirement of the government to push the Muslim Brotherhood insurrection back into the dungeon from which the Obama Administration freed it. As such, it should be supported.

  26. Where were they on 9/12/2001?

    "These guys are problematic and they're trying to exploit 9/11," Jasser said. "If they were truly patriotic Americans and moderates, they'd be marching on the courthouse steps of the Fort Hood trial that's happening this week to tell Americans that we want the death penalty for Nidal Hissan rather than this circus that they're doing in exploiting the murders and horrific acts of 9/11."

    Muslim group blasted for planning mass demonstration on Sept. 11

  27. Why would they march against a workplace anger management issue?

    1. 'Problematic' is way too kind.

  28. Here's a nice, little chart, that pretty much drives home what I've been saying:

    nice, little chart

  29. .

    A new dog.

    A new helicopter?


    1. . .

      A new cat.

      A new combine?

      . .

    2. . . .

      A new idea.

      A new scam?

      . . .

  30. Rejoice! We are living in the most peaceful era in human history!! (until the nukes get loose)

    >>>>THE FIRST DECLINE in violence happened during the transition from the anarchy of hunter-gatherer societies – which prevailed throughout most of our species’ history – to the first agricultural civilisations with cities and governments, which began to emerge around 5,000 years ago.

    For centuries, social theorists, such as 17th-century British philosopher Thomas Hobbes or 18th-century Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, speculated from their armchairs about what life was like when humanity existed in a “state of nature”. Today, we can do better. Forensic archaeology – a kind of CSI: Paleolithic – can estimate rates of violence from the proportion of skeletons in ancient sites bearing signs of trauma, such as bashed-in skulls, decapitations or arrowheads embedded in bones. Ethnographers have also tallied the causes of death in tribal peoples who in recent times lived in
    non-governed societies – outside the control of a centralised state.

    These investigations show that, on average, around 15% of ‘non-state’ people met their ends through violence, compared with about 3% of citizens of the earliest states. Three per cent, by the way, is also the most pessimistic estimate of the rate of death in the 20th century from all wars, genocides and human-caused famines combined.

    Tribal violence commonly subsides when a state or empire imposes control over a territory and its people, leading to the various ‘Paxes’ that are familiar to readers of history (for example, the
    207-year Pax Romana from 27 BC to 180 AD). It’s not that these kings and emperors had a benevolent interest in their citizens’ welfare. Subjects who raid and feud just shuffle resources or settle scores among themselves, but from the ruler’s point of view this represents a dead loss: foregone opportunities to extract taxes, tributes, soldiers, serfs and slaves.<<<<

    8 August 2013

    Nothing to kill or die for

    By Steven Pinker

    The world is not a hellhole of escalating violence – you are living in the most peaceful era in our species’ existence, says Steven Pinker.





    1. .

      Tell it to the Russians under Stalin or the Chinese under Mao.


  31. Dutifully, I pass this along, as instructed, to as many folks as I can, as my Vegas source, who is paying more attention to politics than is good for her, has requested.

    >>>>Subject: The Clintons

    The Clintons

    This is funnier than anything you can send me... and the joke's on us!

    Hillary Rodham Clinton, as a New York State Senator, now comes under this fancy "Congressional Retirement and Staffing Plan," which means that even if she never gets re-elected, she STILL receives her Congressional salary until she dies. If Bill out-lives her, he then inherits HER salary until HE dies. He is already getting his Presidential salary until he dies. If Hillary out-lives Bill, she also gets HIS salary until she dies. Guess who pays for that? WE DO.

    It's common knowledge that in order for her to establish NY residency, they purchased a million dollar-plus house in upscale Chappaqua. New York. Makes sense. They are entitled to Secret Service protection for life. Still makes sense.
    Here is where it becomes interesting. Their mortgage payments hover at around $10,000 per month. BUT, an extra residence HAD to be built within the acreage to house the Secret Service agents. The Clintons charge the Federal government $10,000 monthly rent for the use of that extra residence, which is just about equal to their mortgage payment. This means that we, the taxpayers, are Clinton's salary, mortgage, transportation, safety and security, as well as the salaries for their 12 man staff- and, this is all perfectly legal!

    (interesting, isn't it.)

    When she runs for President, will you vote for her?

    How many people will YOU send this to?<<<<

  32. .

    The US continues to contribute to the chaos currently unfolding in the ME. Those that applaud that chaos based on past grievances take a short term view and ignore potential future consequences.

    Egypt is just one example of the dystopia that is spreading in the ME. IMO, if not now, soon it will qualify as a failed state. Its basic problems revolve around energy, food, and water, problems shared to some extent by many countries in the ME. The violence in Egypt is mainly being reported as caused by the sectarian divide between the secularists and the Islamist; however, the real problems facing the country are based in major resource shortages.

    The sectarian battles there have only exacerbated these basic problems, and as the problems get worse, the sectarian violence will only get worse. It is a vicious circle, one the US feeds by dumping fuel on the fire through military aid. It doesn’t matter who is in charge there, Egypt is going down, sooner or later.

    That US military aid has been consistent since the '70's while non-military aid (something that might actually help) has been cut over the past decade by over two-thirds and now amounts to little over 1/6 of the military aid. The US assumes the military aid will keep the army in charge, but IMO the army has has already lost. It may kill thousands more in the short run but it has lost. Not that there will be any winners. Egypt is starting to track Syria and Yemen in that sense.

    Since 2010, Egypt has been importing oil to keep up with its needs. It’s just maintaining gas production. They can’t get their hands on the foreign currency they need for either energy or food and their biggest problem, water, is worsening daily.

    Egypt’s population increased by one-third in the past decade. Without oil exports (or food exports for that matter) they can’t get the foreign currency they need to service their massive debt or to pay the food and fuel subsidies the population is dependent up. Forty percent of the population lives on $2 per day. These spend half their income on food. Half of the young people are unemployed. The per capita water share is just over half the accepted poverty level and within a decade they will need 20% more water than they currently have just to support population increases. And that is if the Nile flow isn’t cut as Ethiopia is currently threatening to do.

    If/when Egypt goes down, it could possibly take a good portion of the ME with it. Since the last century, the US has counted on Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, and (since Mubarek took over) Egypt to provide stability for US foreign policy goals in the ME. Iran is gone. Egypt is going. And there are even rumblings coming out of SA that the unrest is continuing there. And what does the US do? The same as we have always done. Sell them more guns.


  33. .

    Why should the Egyptian military worry about the persecution of the Copts when they are living on barrowed money and the largest contributors to their regime, Saudi Arabia and the US, refuse to worry about it, with the Saudis clearly antagonistic to the Copts and the US not willing to even offer them lip service.

    Obama has made it clear where he stands since day one and he has been consistent, treating whistleblowers and newsmen (and newsmen's domestic partners) as terrorists but refusing to call a murderer of 13 American servicemen, a man who declares himself a terrorist, a terrorist.


    1. Why? Maybe they are just 'good guys'. :)

      They at least are providing a little verbal support. Which as you point out is more than our sunni Prez is doing.

      I've been drinking ice tea mixed with chocolate milk tonight. It's really good.

      I need a marketeer.

      And a slogan.

  34. " The violence in Egypt is mainly being reported as caused by the sectarian divide between the secularists and the Islamist; however, the real problems facing the country are based in major resource shortages."

    Non sense. There is a basic cultural conflict going on there now. It's not about the price of wheat, not any longer.

    "IMO the army has has already lost. It may kill thousands more in the short run but it has lost."

    It is undetermined as yet. The population seems nearly equally divided. But the Army is better organized, and much better armed, so one should expect the Army to prevail if they don't lose their will to do so.

    Recent reports are the Saudis and other gulf states are taking up the money burden - they don't need our money any longer. A sane Administration would continue to supply them weapons. But the Egyptian military may not need that any longer either. And there are other weapons suppliers.

    Our current policy, admittedly very hard to describe, looks as inept as shooting oneself in the head.

    1. Which usually you can only do once. Though my lawyer's brother accidentally shot himself in the head with a small caliber deer rifle in such a way that the bullet sort of scooted around inside his skull, hardly harming him at all. An amazing event.

  35. The persecution of the Copts will be used to gain sympathy for the military methods used to free the Copts from radically Islamic oppression. Additionally, the military may now point an accusatory finger at the powers of fundamentalist oppression. Little known, there are approximately 100,000,000 Chinese Christians. Tens of millions of Russians/Soviets came back into the Christian fold at the first chance. American politicians know that in many districts the Evangelical vote makes the difference between victory and defeat. The Egyptian generals are playing this card well.