“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."

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

While Obama disses Putin, the Saudis want to make Putin an offer he can’t refuse. All around, Obama looks like a chump.

Saudi Arabia dangles lucrative arms deal in front of Russia in exchange for dropping Assad – report
Published time: August 07, 2013 20:12 
Edited time: August 07, 2013 21:20

Saudi Arabia has reportedly offered to buy arms worth up to $15 billion from Russia, and provided a raft of economic and political concessions to the Kremlin - all in a bid to weaken Moscow’s endorsement of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The diplomatic initiatives were anonymously voiced to Reuters by multiple Gulf state diplomats and senior leaders of the Syrian opposition, in the wake of last week’s meeting in Moscow between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi National Security Council chief Prince Bandar bin-Sultan. The Saudi politician has orchestrated his country’s foreign policy in recent months.
"Bandar offered to intensify energy, military and economic cooperation with Moscow," a senior Syrian opposition figure told Reuters.
"Bandar sought to allay two main Russian fears: that Islamist extremists will replace Assad, and that Syria would become a conduit for Gulf, mainly Qatari, gas at the expense of Russia."
The $15 billion figure was touted by a representative of the anti-Assad opposition, which Saudi Arabia has strongly backed throughout the rebellion in Syria which has lasted more than two years. Meanwhile, a Gulf source claimed that no specific figure was involved.
Moscow and Riyadh, which traditionally acquires its arms from the United States, have had a massive contract on ice since 2008. Under Saudi Arabia’s terms, Russia would supply a huge assortment of equipment, including 150 T-90 tanks and more than 100 attack helicopters.
In the past, Moscow has supplied billions of dollars worth of weapons to Assad, as well as maintained a naval base in Syria.
Together with China, it has consistently blocked UN Security Council resolutions, saying they do not place any demands on the opposition - only on Assad. 
Sources indicate that Bandar asked Putin to not oppose any future Security Council resolutions on Syria.
Bandar also reportedly assured Putin that Gulf states will not challenge Russia’s dominant position in the European gas markets, and promised him that extremist Islamic forces – which have gained prominence in the conflict – will not attempt to monopolize power in a future Syrian state.
While diplomats involved in the talks described them as “inconclusive,” one Lebanese emissary close to the delegation said its Saudi members were “elated.” 
A Western diplomat told Reuters that Russia’s position was more a matter of prestige and geopolitics, and that the country was unlikely to publicly back down for the sake of mere economic incentives. 
There has been no comment from the Kremlin on the outcome of the visit, other than to say that the delegates discussed a “wide range of issues” with President Putin. 
A long-scheduled peace conference in Geneva, proposed by Russia and the US, has been pushed back and is currently under threat of cancellation. The meeting was supposed to achieve an immediate ceasefire and govern a political transition in Syria. 
The conflict has largely hinged on whether President Bashar Assad will be banned from playing any political role in post-conflict Syria - a condition the opposition has demanded before it sits down at the negotiating table.
More than 100,000 people have perished in the conflict, according to UN estimates.


  1. It's typical of inter-arab violence.

    The real story?

    jewish abortion...

    1. Good to see a little realism seeping into your posts.

    2. If even the Israeli do not respect Jewish lives why would anyone else?

      Why would the Israeli think Israel would be exempt from typical inter-Middle Eastern violence?

      Why shouldn't they be consider just "One Amongst Many" in the Middle East?

    3. This anonymous above must be the sewer rat from Phoenix.

      "the Israeli"

    4. He is a sicko and needs counseling, a psychologist, maybe even a psychiatrist. All anger, no humor, ever, threats, scatterbrained thinking, cathected to a simple set of elementary ideas........ It might be something simple, a chemical imbalance. It would be worth a try to hire a professional and stay with it a few months. Maybe the serotonin level is low. An easy fix.

    5. Obviously, from the above responses, the Israeli do not respect Jewish lives.
      The policies they pursue exemplify this simple and observable reality.

      Rather than address that reality, the lack of Israeli respect for Jewish lives, the response from anonymous indicates that there is such a deep fear of the answer that the question cannot even be acknowledged.

      This even after an Israeli broached the subject.
      That is an indicator of just how deep their cultural psychosis is.

    6. " the Israeli do not respect Jewish lives. "

      Once again the bigots of this blog show their hand. The lack any knowledge of how the Israelis DO value life.

      thank you for giving me the opportunity to showcase it.


      Founded by Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, the Hadassah Medical Organization pioneered the development of standards and practices of health care in Israel.

      Its main focus and its health care activities are in Jerusalem, and its heritage and emotional links are deeply rooted in the land of Israel and its people.

      Hadassah Medical Organization is also a bridge to peace. It forges links between patients of all nationalities, races and religion who come to its doors for healing.


      About Hadassah Children's Hospital
      In Hadassah Children's Hospital we address any medical issue in the field of child's health. The best doctors work in our hospitals in Ein Kerem and Har Hatzofim (Mt. Scopus), together with the hospital's Pediatric Surgeons and top specialists in surgical professions such as Orthopedics, Urology, Children's Heart Surgery, Opthalmology, ENT, and more children's medicine specialists. Together with all noted above, works a large and professional nursing team, which charactarizes with a special approach with children.

    9. The Natural Birthing Center was established for women with normal, uncomplicated pregnancies who wish to give birth naturally with minimal medical intervention. Birth is a physiological process that occurs naturally. Each woman has the ability and power to handle labor and the pain that accompanies it.

      At the Natural Birthing Center mothers can plan their births with the help of a midwife, determining the type of support and treatment appropriate for them. It is a safe, friendly and empowering atmosphere in which, with the help of a midwife, mother and her family can experience a natural birth.

      The Natural Birthing Center at Hadassah Ein Kerem includes two types of natural birth rooms and sits adjacent to the normal delivery room. It is relaxed atmosphere and is equipped with baths, a Jacuzzi, aromatic oils and all accessories necessary for care and support during natural birth. For the families convenience there is also a kitchenette and seating area.

      Hadassah, operates 24/7 air ambulance services. Hadassah's medical team, a well trained aviation team together with iMER's logistic team offers emergency air evacuation within 4 hours from a call, door to door from & to any destination. Our own Citation jet , licensed and equipped as a flying intensive care unit.

      We can provide an ICU-to-ICU transport service with continuous medical intensive care expertise during the flight ! We provide continuous patient monitoring including EKG, non-invasive blood pressure, pulse oximetry and capnography. We also provide Mother & Child full medical support including all required neonatal intensive care services.

      We carry oxygen for at least the doubled scheduled flying time, and have built in compressed air and vacuum suction pumps. The jet cabin is pressurized and air-conditioned which provide comfortable conditions for the patient and the flying staff.

      Our staff includes experienced pilots, physicians with flying experience, paramedics and intensive care nurses.

  2. I defy anyone to watch the full video, 14:30 minutes and not be impressed with Chris Hedges. I didn’t say that you have to agree with everything he says, but honest, intelligent people scare the bejesus out of our rulers and masters.

  3. If I want to have fun at a party, it will be with Israelis.

    If I want good food and humor, Palestinians.

    An honest intellectual discussion, good looking and smart woman. Iranians.

    You can take my place with the Saudis.

    1. If I want good food and humor, Palestinians.

      Not if you are a Jew, they will stab you in the heart and slit your throat.

    2. :):):):)

      Deuce best wear body armor when out with that Palestinian/Arab gal.

      What a way to go - one's heart sliced and diced and gasping for air through a gash in the throat.

    3. Wasn't implying that Deuce is a self loathing Jew. Having read my Martha Gellhorn, I know they are capable of anything to anybody, Jews at the top of the list.

      >>>The emotional position of the Israeli Arabs is tormenting (and is held in that torment by the Arab radio stations), though they are materially secure, protected by equal justice under law, and by an almost exaggerated respect for their feelings. If the Arab nations made peace with Israel, it is possible that all Israeli Arabs would relax, be happy, and wholehearted supporters of Israel. If not, not. No one, after listening to Israeli Arabs, could believe that Palestinian refugees would be either contented or loyal citizens of Israel.

      The new village, that so pleased Nissim, was rows of small plastered houses painted in pastel shades, or white with pastel-colored woodwork. They have a porch-veranda, two fairly large rooms, a kitchen, a shower-washroom, and small gardens. No working-class Arabs I saw anywhere in the Middle East possess houses like these, but the owners were not satisfied, as I knew they would not be. One boy of about fourteen could speak English; boys of this age are valuable informants--they parrot their elders without reflection.

      "We are very poor," he said.

      "How can you be very poor and live in these houses? You have to pay for them."

      "We must to work very hard. More harder than before. Terrible work. We have no land."

      "Wasn't farming hard work?"

      "No. That was easy. Not like now."

      "How does your family manage?"

      "My brother works. In Tel Aviv. In a gasoline station. That is terrible hard work."

      When we left, the pretty, healthy children ran beside the car, shouting. I waved. Nissim looked queer, something was wrong; that chronic optimist seemed sad.

      "What's the matter, Nissim?"

      "Nothing. What the children say."

      "You mean just now, shouting?"

      "Yes. They say: 'Where you going, bastard? I spit on you.'"

      What for, I thought, what for, and will it never stop?

      "Do you hate the Arabs, Nissim?"

      "No. Of course no."

      "Why not?"

      "What is the good of hate?"

      What indeed? Arabs gorge on hate, they roll in it, they breathe it. Jews top the hate list, but any foreigners are hateful enough. Arabs also hate each other, separately and, en masse. Their politicians change the direction of their hate as they would change their shirts. Their press is vulgarly base with hate-filled cartoons; their reporting describes whatever hate is now uppermost and convenient. Their radio is a long scream of hate, a call to hate. They teach their children hate in school. They must love the taste of hate; it is their daily bread. And what good has it done them?<<< Martha Gellhorn, The Arabs of Palestine

    4. "Jews top the hate list, but any foreigners are hateful enough."

      That includes our charming drop dead handsome, Mr. Deuce.

      Charm your way out of this one, sucker.....

    5. I think our women were much better back in those days. Two, three generations ago. Much more intelligent, perceptive, and sincere than the current crop of feminist crap today.

    6. Martha famously said: "I'm the worst fuck on five continents."

      And after all, as life is more than fucking, she wasn't much upset about it, and why should she be? It is after all only the second step on the chakra staircase.

      "I'm just always glad when it's over", she said.

      "I do enjoy the relaxed kindness of men then."

    7. All The Details Of The Sarah Palin-Glen Rice Coitus You've Been Waiting For

      After her graduation, Sarah returned to Alaska and worked on the sports desk of Anchorage television station KTUU. On weekends, she'd sometimes appear on camera, delivering sports reports during the 10:00 PM newscast.

      Her attitude toward people of color was evolving. In Anchorage, she even dated black men. A friend says, "Sarah and her sisters had a fetish for black guys for a while."

      Each year, over Thanksgiving weekend, the University of Alaska hosted a basketball tournament called the Great Alaska Shootout, featuring some of the country's best teams. In 1987, one of the top squads to visit Anchorage was the University of Michigan, led by six-foot-eight junior Glen Rice, number 41.

      Rice would lead Michigan to the NCAA Championship in 1989, appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated and setting a scoring record for the NCAA tournament that stands today. After graduating from Michigan as the school's all-time leading scorer, he starred in the NBA for fifteen years.

      Whether in her professional capacity as a sports reporter or simply as a basketball groupie who'd begun to find black men attractive, Sarah linked up with the Rice during the weekend tournament. One friend recalls, "They went out. I suspect it was more than that. I can't say I know they had sex, but I remember Sarah feeling pretty good that she'd been with a black basketball star."

      Sarah's encounter with Rice took place in her sister Molly's dorm room at the University of Alaska Anchorage. "She hauled his ass down," a friend says, "but she freaked out afterward. Hysterical, crying, totally flipped out. The thing that people remember is her freak-out, how completely crazy she got: I fucked a black man! She was just horrified. She couldn't believe she'd done it."

      Glen Rice remembers the weekend quite differently. When I spoke to him by telephone in March 2011, he said, "I remember it as if it was yesterday. She was a sweetheart. I met her almost as soon as we got out there."

      Rice does not recall being in a university dorm room. "We hung out mostly at the hotel where the team was staying," he told me. "We just hit off. In a short time, we got to know a lot about one another. It was all done in a respectful way, nothing hurried."

      "So you never had the feeling she felt bad about having sex with a black guy?" I asked.

      "No, no, no, nothing like that," Rice said. "Even after I left Alaska, we talked a lot on the phone. I think right up until the time she got married. She was a gorgeous woman. Super nice. I was blown away by her. ..

      Blown away by her, that fits into your fantasy?

  4. Amazing isn’t it. A couple of drones strikes in Yemen calmed the sands throughout Arabia. You have to hand it to Barack. While he had the US State Dept hunkered down for a week to a month, he must have been very very busy today. Let’s take a look at his schedule:

    President's Schedule - August 7, 2013

    Wednesday, August 7 2013 All Times ET

    1:00 PM
    The President is interviewed by Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff
    Local Event Time: 10:00 AM
    CA, Los Angeles

    Closed Press
    3:50 PM

    The President delivers remarks
    Local Event Time: 12:50 PM
    Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton- Hanger 6 West
    Open Press

    9:50 PM
    The President arrives Joint Base Andrews
    Travel Pool Coverage

    10:05 PM
    The President arrives the White House
    South Lawn

    I forgot, The President during this crisis was on The Jay Leno Show last night and had nothing much to do today except fly around on his big jet.

  5. US drone strikes have been effective in killing senior al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen but innocent civilians have also died, raising tensions in the impoverished and fragile country.

    The streets of the coastal town of Zinjibar in southern Yemen are reduced to rubble. Buildings are bombed out.

    This town was on the front line of a battle between the Yemeni army and al-Qaeda in June 2012.

    Government forces prevailed and one of al-Qaeda's most dangerous offshoots - al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) - slunk into the shadows.

    But it remains dangerous. Al-Qaeda cells still operate here and there is also the risk of bandits who rob and kidnap.

    'They think we're rats'
    In a safe house with guards stationed outside, Mohammed Ahmad Bagash, a mechanic from the nearby town of Jaar, tells me his story.

    During the fighting, al Qaeda fighters stored ammunition in the local hospital against the wishes of the doctors.

    After the hospital was hit by a missile strike, Mohammed and his two children ran to a school and hid in the basement.

    But then the school was hit in a suspected drone strike.

    "It was as if everyone was burning. It was all dark," said Mr Bagash.

    "When the smoke cleared, I saw my son's leg was bleeding, and my daughter was hit on the back of the head," he said.

    He carried both children out. His son survived but his eight-year-old daughter bled to death on the way to the hospital.

    "As she bled, she went yellow. She actually started to shrink in my arms," he said.

    Several other children were injured in the attack.

    Mr Bagash has a question for the person who ordered the drone strike: "What did my daughter ever do to them? She was only eight years old."

    And then a bleak observation.

    "They think we're rats. We're not. We’re human beings."


  6. {…}

    Fighting a 'ghost'
    There is little public support for al-Qaeda on the streets of Zinjibar, but plenty of anger over the strategy used to fight them.

    "Show the world. Show the world what the government has done," said one man.

    Mohammed Ahmed Bagash says his eight-year-old daughter was killed in a drone strike
    "They bomb here but they're trying to hit a ghost."

    And then another man joins the conversation. I ask him who he blames for the destruction of his town.

    "Al-Qaeda are responsible for this and the nations that fund them," he said.

    "But also the drones, they are killing our people, killing our children and destroying our homes. The drones don't differentiate between people. They kill people."

    Locals like Mr Bagash are caught in the middle of a battle for the heart and soul of Yemen.

    The Yemeni government, with US support, wants to eradicate al-Qaeda but since the militants live among the people, innocent civilians are also at risk.

    Facts and figures are hard to come by as the US does not comment publicly on its drone policy, but according to the New America Foundation, a US think tank, the number of US drone strikes tripled in Yemen between 2011 and 2012.

    In 2012, the US carried out more drone strikes in Yemen than anywhere else.

    It is a remote automated war for the United States where the strikes have been successful in taking out al-Qaeda's leadership.

    But for Yemenis, it is terror from the air.


  7. {…}

    Questions of legitimacy

    And a young Yemeni democracy campaigner has a worrying message for Washington.

    "The US thinks it understands Yemen but the drones have been one of the most effective tools for AQAP to succeed in Yemen," said Farea al-Muslimi.

    "A big part of al-Qaeda power at the moment is convincing Yemenis that they are in a war with America, (that) America is attacking the sovereignty of Yemen and this government is non-legitimate."

    Mr al-Muslimi is one of the most pro-American voices in Yemen. He testified in front of a US Senate committee in a personal capacity after his own village was struck by a drone.

    He thinks the US is wrong to stay silent when civilians are being killed in targeted strikes.

    "You're killing civilians for no reason," said Mr al-Muslimi. "And you're not even going to say sorry after that or admit it, or issue an apology, or pay compensation?"

    One man waiting for an apology is Ahmed al-Sabooly from Radda in southern Yemen.

    After saying goodbye to his father, mother and sister as they left to visit the local health clinic last September, he headed out to work in the fields.

    At 3pm, he heard a buzzing noise in the sky and says he saw a drone.

    "There was a big blast. There was another big blast and I saw dust rising in the air.”


  8. {…}

    Seeking justice

    He jumped on his motorbike to go see what had happened. When he got there, he found that two missiles had hit a truck.

    "The car was upside down and on fire. I looked in the car and I saw my mum, dad and sister," he said.

    "They were burned so badly I could see their bones. My sister was still in my mother's arms."

    The target was probably a local al-Qaeda leader who had been seen earlier travelling on the same stretch of road.

    Thirteen civilians were killed.

    "My sister was so excited about going out that morning so she wore a brand new dress," said Mr al-Sabooly.

    "I never thought it would be the last time I saw her."

    He blames the US government for the drone strikes.

    "They're the ones who have these weapons. They're the ones who have drones hovering over our village."

    And Mr al-Sabooly wants justice.

    "I want a trial and I want them prosecuted for the crimes they've committed," he said.

    US officials conceded that Radda was a US strike in an off-the-record quote given to the Washington Post.

    But there was no apology and in its absence, the Yemeni government paid $75,000 in blood money to the families.

    ‘No alternative'

    Yemen's government says all means are necessary to root out al-Qaeda, even if the US drone strikes are rallying support for the militant group.

    "I've heard this argument, there might be some truth to it," said Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi.

    "But if your targets are al-Qaeda leaders and if they are endangering the security of your country, there's no alternative."

    And it seems there is no alternative for Mr Bagash or Mr al-Sabooly.

    They must go about their daily lives in southern Yemen as the US tries to target the al-Qaeda militants in their midst.

    "We have been living in constant fear, fear from the drone strikes, and fear from the air strikes," said Mr Bagash.

    "You never know when your house will be hit."

  9. When the House of Representatives recently considered an amendment that would have dismantled the NSA’s bulk phone records collection program, the White House swiftly condemned the measure. But only five years ago, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. was part of a group of legislators that supported substantial changes to NSA surveillance programs.


    Obama co-sponsored a 2007 bill, introduced by Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., that would have required the government to demonstrate, with “specific and articulable facts,” that it wanted records related to “a suspected agent of a foreign power” or the records of people with one degree of separation from a suspect. The bill died in committee.

  10. Raped and Murdered for Being White
    August 8, 2013 By Jack Kerwick Leave a Comment

    Print This Post Print This Post
    8736065_115316923725Whatever respectability Al Sharpton is thought to have achieved in recent years, some of us know all too well that he is the same demagogic agent of the Racism-Industrial-Complex (RIC) that he has always been.

    Some instances of Sharpton’s, and the Industry’s, glaring racial double standards are less well known than others.

    A little more than 20 years ago, with an army of camerapersons in tow, Sharpton descended upon my hometown of Trenton, New Jersey to weigh in on a “police brutality” case. Both the officer and civilian in question were black, but this didn’t prevent “Reverend Al” from making a racial issue out of the incident.

    The officer was eventually acquitted by a jury. But by this time, Sharpton was long gone.

    Interestingly, however unsurprisingly, at about the same time, Trenton was engulfed by a real racially-oriented crime that neither Sharpton nor any of his fellow agents ever thought to acknowledge. Only this time, the perpetrators were black and the victim white.

    On the morning of December 17, 1992, Kristin Huggins, a 22-year-old Temple University graduate and artist, drove into Trenton from her suburban home to paint a mural at a private club. While in the parking lot, she was greeted by 39-year-old Ambrose Harris. Harris, who was on his bicycle, was in search of a car that he could use in a robbery. Huggins’ Toyota MR2 caught his eye.

    Without further ado, he held her up at gunpoint and ordered her into the trunk of her tiny compact vehicle. Waiting for him at the end of the driveway was his accomplice, 29-year-old Gloria Dunn. With Huggins stuffed in her trunk, terrified, Harris and Dunn drove around the city for a bit before they returned to the scene of the kidnapping where Harris retrieved and hid his bike.

    1. Harris and Dunn then drove Huggins to a wooded area under a city overpass. Harris ordered her from her trunk. He told her to take her off her clothes. According to Dunn, Huggins “didn’t take her clothes off. She was nervous and shaking and said, ‘What are you going to do?’” Harris, Dunn continued, told her to “shut up” and called her a “bitch.” Kristin [Huggins] “said she was a virgin and had never had sex before.” But Harris “didn’t care. He grabbed her and she started trying to take her clothes off. She pushed her sweats down to her knees.”

      Harris then proceeded to sodomize his captive as she cried in pain and pleaded with him to stop. When he finished, he told her once more to shut up and ordered her back into her trunk. Then Harris grabbed his gun and asked Dunn if she wanted to “watch” as he killed Huggins. Dunn said that she was only helping Huggins out of the trunk as Harris had commanded when he shot his victim in the back of the head.

      Dunn testified that Huggins’ head, wrist, and leg were thrashing. Harris put an old mattress over her body and tried to wash her blood off of the ground with water from a puddle that he scooped into an empty beer bottle. The criminals left for Harris’s home and then returned to the location of the rape and murder with a couple of shovels with which to dig Huggins’ grave. But to make sure that she was dead, Harris shot Huggins one more time in the face.

      Harris, who had spent the previous 16 years in prison and who was in police custody as a suspect in four other rapes committed over a four month period when they suspected him of having murdered Huggins, kept silent for two months as police searched for Huggins’ body. It was Dunn and her sister who lead them to it.

      Yet the reader would be gravely mistaken to think that it was any sense of civic responsibility or guilt that motivated them. By this point, a $25,000 reward had been issued for anyone who could aid in locating Huggins. Dunn and her sister concocted a story according to which the latter was a psychic whose occult powers informed her as to the whereabouts of the fallen artist.

      Harris is vermin among vermin. Yet he also hated whites. Dunn admitted that before he knew for certain the racial identity of the driver of the Toyota MR2 on which he set his sights, he told her that if the driver was black, he would only “tie” him up. But if the driver was white, then he would kill him (or her).

      During his trial, Harris spit on the courtroom floor, grabbed his crotch, flipped off Huggins’ grieving parents and told the court that they owed him an apology.

      Police representatives had complained that during all of this, many bystanders in the black neighborhood from which Huggins was taken knew what was happening to her and yet refused to volunteer any information.

      Sharpton never returned to Trenton again that year. Neither he nor any of his fellow demagogues in the Racism-Industrial-Complex ever uttered a peep about this outrage, a crime so horrid and so sensational that it most certainly would’ve achieved national notoriety had the races of the perpetrators and their silent abettors, on the hand, been reversed with the race of the victim, on the other.

      But this is exactly what we should expect from Al Sharpton and his Industry.

    2. Black folk really are a problem! Now they worship saint-hoodie. Thank God the likes of Zimmerman patrol our neighborhoods!!

  11. >>>Meet the Wasp that Turns Spiders into Zombie Construction Workers

    Matt Soniak

    In another post, we were talking about what happens to spiders and their webs when scientists give them a little bit of marijuana and other drugs. While researching that post, I learned that its not just humans that alter spiders’ behavior with chemicals. There’s a wasp in Costa Rica that does the same thing, in a more gruesome and sinister way, as part of its journey to adulthood.

    The tropical wasp species Hymenoepimecis argyraphaga is a parasite, and it takes advantage of an unlikely host. The web of the orb weaver spider Plesiometa argyra is normally a place where bugs meet their untimely death and become spider snacks. Using an arsenal of toxins and mind-altering chemicals, though, H. argyraphaga is able to turn the spider into a slave and a meal and its web into a safe haven.

    When the female wasp is ready to lay her egg, she seeks out a spider to help raise her child. She stings the spider to paralyze it and then lays an egg on its abdomen. Soon, the egg hatches and the larva that emerges remains attached to the spider, living on its abdomen and sucking hemolymph (kind of the arthropod version of blood) from its body for nourishment. After a few weeks like this, during which the spider goes about its life as normal, the wasp larva is ready to move on to the next stage of its life cycle. To do this, it needs to make a cocoon. A spider’s web is a decent place to build one, but not perfect. It’s suspended above the ground and the sticky threads provide defense from predators that might eat the wasp, but it’s far too flimsy to support the heavy cocoon and the adult wasp that will come out of it.

    The wasp gets around this problem by forcing the spider to build a web that suits its needs. It injects a chemical (which hasn’t been identified yet) into the spider that alter’s the host’s behavior. The spider begins building it’s web as normal, but instead of completing all the steps and getting a carefully-patterned web, the zombified spider simply repeats the first few steps over and over again, resulting in a web that’s just a few heavily-reinforced anchor threads and a small center section.

    Once the web is done, the spider crawls to the center of the web and sits there complacently. The larva molts, kills the only companion it has ever known, sucks any remaining useful bits out from its corpse, and discards it. Then, it builds its cocoon on a web custom-built for the job. A few weeks later, the adult wasp emerges and flies away, and the cycle starts over.

    Read the full text here:
    --brought to you by mental_floss! <<<

    This reminds in an odd way of some of the composite behavior observed around here.

  12. definitely all militant terrorists even if 8 years old and wearing a green dress with pink flip flops

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A suspected U.S. drone strike in Yemen killed six alleged al-Qaida militants Thursday in one of the group's former strongholds in a central province, a military official said.

    The strike — the sixth by a U.S. drone over the past 10 days — came as Yemen remained on high alert following threats of a terror attack targeting Western and Yemeni government interests.

    So far, about 29 suspected militants have been killed by unmanned U.S. aircraft in an apparent stepped-up drone war in Yemen. While the United States acknowledges its drone program in Yemen, it does not confirm individual strikes or release information on how many have been carried out.

    1. Played out, right on the script.

      You asked how the US was going to "walk back" from the threat levels ...

      Strikes against "premier targets" in Yemen, most likely ...

      Kabuki theater, writ large.

  13. quot brings up the matter of Israeli murdering Jew, as an important issue, then runs away from it.

    If that was his intent, why did quot even bring it up?

    Was he projecting some of his inner turmoil for the purposes of public introspection, or just another piece of evidence of the Hegelian Dialectic, writ small.

  14. Those who hold foreign passports are on the list, make no mistake of that.

    They are perceived as threats to the United States

    WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans’ e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials.

    The N.S.A. is not just intercepting the communications of Americans who are in direct contact with foreigners targeted overseas, a practice that government officials have openly acknowledged. It is also casting a far wider net for people who cite information linked to those foreigners, like a little used e-mail address, according to a senior intelligence official.

    While it has long been known that the agency conducts extensive computer searches of data it vacuums up overseas, that it is systematically searching — without warrants — through the contents of Americans’ communications that cross the border reveals more about the scale of its secret operations.

    1. It also adds another element to the unfolding debate, provoked by the disclosures of Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor, about whether the agency has infringed on Americans’ privacy as it scoops up e-mails and phone data in its quest to ferret out foreign intelligence.

      Government officials say the cross-border surveillance was authorized by a 2008 law, the FISA Amendments Act, in which Congress approved eavesdropping on domestic soil without warrants as long as the “target” was a noncitizen abroad. Voice communications are not included in that surveillance, the senior official said.

      Asked to comment, Judith A. Emmel, an N.S.A. spokeswoman, did not directly address surveillance of cross-border communications. But she said the agency’s activities were lawful and intended to gather intelligence not about Americans but about “foreign powers and their agents, foreign organizations, foreign persons or international terrorists.”

      “In carrying out its signals intelligence mission, N.S.A. collects only what it is explicitly authorized to collect,” she said. “Moreover, the agency’s activities are deployed only in response to requirements for information to protect the country and its interests.”

    2. Hints of the surveillance appeared in a set of rules, leaked by Mr. Snowden, for how the N.S.A. may carry out the 2008 FISA law. One paragraph mentions that the agency “seeks to acquire communications about the target that are not to or from the target.” The pages were posted online by the newspaper The Guardian on June 20, but the telltale paragraph, the only rule marked “Top Secret” amid 18 pages of restrictions, went largely overlooked amid other disclosures.

      To conduct the surveillance, the N.S.A. is temporarily copying and then sifting through the contents of what is apparently most e-mails and other text-based communications that cross the border. The senior intelligence official, who, like other former and current government officials, spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, said the N.S.A. makes a “clone of selected communication links” to gather the communications, but declined to specify details, like the volume of the data that passes through them.

      Computer scientists said that it would be difficult to systematically search the contents of the communications without first gathering nearly all cross-border text-based data; fiber-optic networks work by breaking messages into tiny packets that flow at the speed of light over different pathways to their shared destination, so they would need to be captured and reassembled.

      The official said that a computer searches the data for the identifying keywords or other “selectors” and stores those that match so that human analysts could later examine them. The remaining communications, the official said, are deleted; the entire process takes “a small number of seconds,” and the system has no ability to perform “retrospective searching.”

    3. The disclosure sheds additional light on statements intelligence officials have made recently, reassuring the public that they do not “target” Americans for surveillance without warrants.

    4. “There is an ambiguity in the law about what it means to ‘target’ someone,”
      Mr. Edgar, now a visiting professor at Brown, said.
      “You can never intentionally target someone inside the United States. Those are the words we were looking at. We were most concerned about making sure the procedures only target communications that have one party outside the United States.”

      Looking for those keywords ...

      Like ...
      ... "Tea Party"

    5. quot, both you and Carlos Danger "Gaucho of Love" are on the list.

      Everyone that posts here is on the list.

      That's the point of it.

      No one has to be "singled" out.
      Everyone is monitored, then the Federals decide to "target"

      Such hedonism, to think everything is about you

    6. Your usage of English leaves much to be desired.

    7. Looks like crapper is attempting to take over another thread, thinking it's all about him. He needs professional help, and badly.


      In other news -

      Thu Aug 08 2013 11:56:26 ET


      FOXNEWS is set to make its first primetime schedule change in 10 years, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

      Superstar newswoman Megyn Kelly has landed the 9 PM slot, top sources reveal.

      The shock announcement is set for later this month.

      "It's all about Megyn," an insider explains. "She is the new face of cable news. She has it all!"


      Beauty and brains in one package. I like her.

    8. She doesn't measure up to Palin though. God do I have some hot dreams about her!

    9. Sarah Palin proved her worth when she entered the national political scene as John McCains' Republican running mate. Upon entering the staged presidential campaign in a whirlwind of exposure, Palin made an easy target of herself and successfully fueled the inflated egos of every deluded Republican and Democrat in the country. All it took to keep (nonexistent) American attention away from any possible awareness of Obama's political philosophy was to bring a superstar like Palin into the campaign.

    10. The idea of Sarah and a big black man putting the meat to her really turns you on?

      Mrs Palin, 47, had a one-night stand with Miami Heat basketball star Glen Rice less than a year before she eloped with her husband

      Dreams of that dark meat pokin' where the sun don't shine keeps you awake at night?

    11. Fuck off! She wouldn't touch a black man. I know that for sure and I was praying that old McCain would win and then kick off leaving her large and in charge.

    12. Poor Todd, once they go black, they're gone.

      No less than three members of the man’s family including one by sworn affidavit have claimed that Sarah Palin engaged in an extramarital affair with hus­band Todd’s former business partner, Brad Hanson.

      Filling your imagination with a slutty white girl that can't get enough from her husband ...
      A girl with a fetish for that dark meat.

      Drill baby drill, she moaned while her black stud slipped past the hot wet lips of her love canal

    13. Me too! I got dem dreams too! Megyn's great. You an' me we think a lot a like. You no dumb shit boy. You got dem smarts. You jes dance to ma step you never dance wrong, smart boy.

  15. What a stupid series of comments.

    1. There are entire web sites devoted to the Black Men that have been in Sarah Palin's bed.

      The Black Guys That Love Them Some Sarah Palin (PHOTOS)

      Former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin has been the talk of the town lately, as a new book written by Joe McGinniss entitled “The Rogue: Searching For The Real Sarah Palin,” suggests that she did cocaine, cheated on her husband and had sex with former NBA All-Star Glen Rice.

      Glen Rice Says Sarah Palin Was A “Sweetheart” And “Respectful”

      Glenn Rice tapped it back in 1987, got the mental imagery?

    2. Respectful of the Big Black Man, that's your Sarah a sporting girl and groping groupie.
      She is a real "Sweetheart".

  16. For Quirk -

    Here's an example of the kind of no twang/little twang country I was talking about played on KQLT, Wyoming.

  17. The freaky triple deaky “mystery priest miracle” post

    I promised you some atheist material today. I lied.

    If I’m desperate enough for content to post Slate’s anti-Redskins grandstanding, you’d better believe I’m willing to post this:

    Reed’s team and emergency workers from several other jurisdictions tried for at least 45 minutes to remove the twisted metal from around Lentz. Various pieces of equipment broke and the team was running out of choices. A helicopter waited to carry Lentz to the nearest trauma center. Though Lentz appeared calm, talking about her church and her studies toward a dentistry degree, her vital signs were beginning to fail, Reed said…

    That’s when Lentz asked if someone would pray with her and a voice said, “I will.”

    The silver-haired priest in his 50s or 60s in black pants, black shirt and black collar with visible white insert stepped forward from nowhere. It struck Reed as odd because the street was blocked off 2 miles from the scene and no one from the nearby communities recognized him…

    Everything happened quickly after that. Twenty emergency workers pulled together and sat the car upright, Churchill Lentz said. Katie Lentz’s vital signs improved and a rescue team from a neighboring community suddenly appeared with fresh equipment and tools. Lentz was removed and rushed to the hospital.

    When they went to thank the priest, he was gone as mysteriously as he’d arrived — and according to Reed, among 69 photographs taken at the scene during the rescue, the priest doesn’t appear in a single one. Dude?

    More from KHQA:

    “He came up and approached the patient, and offered a prayer,” Reed said. “It was a Catholic priest who had anointing oil with him. A sense of calmness came over her, and it did us as well. I can’t be for certain how it was said, but myself and another firefighter, we very plainly heard that we should remain calm, that our tools would now work and that we would get her out of that vehicle.”

    The Hannibal Fire Department showed up right after that prayer with fresh equipment and was able to finish the extrication. After getting Katie safely into the Air Evac helicopter, at least a dozen of the rescue workers turned around to thank the priest who was no where in sight. The highway had been blocked for a quarter of a mile during the hour and a half rescue, leaving no bystanders and no parked cars nearby. Lentz’ family and friends are amazed by the story.

    1. “Where did this guy come from?” Lentz’s friend Travis Wiseman asked. “We’re looking for the priest and so far, no one has seen him. Whether it was a priest as an angel or an actual angel, he was an angel to all those and to Katie.”

      In comparing the two accounts, I noticed that Reed is the only person who’s directly quoted as having seen the priest. But other people did see him; another person present at the crash site told KHQA he had dark hair, a dark complexion, an accent of some sort, and was maybe 5’6″ or so. Another bystander added that he had horn-rimmed glasses and bore a resemblance to Walter Matthau. How that description, of a short-ish dark-haired man, squares with the USA Today account of a man six feet tall or so with silver hair, I have no idea. Another discrepancy: USA Today says the road was blocked off for two miles but KHQA says it was only a quarter-mile. How hard is it to imagine a priest from out of state driving by, noticing the roadblock, figuring out somehow that there was an accident, and walking up the road to the scene in order to help? He had plenty of time to cover a quarter-mile during the hour or so that they were first working on her. Then, in the flurry of excitement once the car was back on its wheels and the emergency workers were preoccupied with evacuating Lentz, he simply walked back to his own car and drove away.

      Let’s ask a fellow priest what he thinks of the angelic explanation:

      Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of My Life with the Saints, has a different theory.

      “Most likely the priest will be identified, and people will be able to thank him,” he told The Huffington Post in an emailed message Thursday. “If he’s not found, that may mean he wants to remain anonymous. Could it have been an angel? There are similar ‘angelic’ stories in the lives of the saints, when a figure inexplicably appears and cannot be located afterwards. There are angels, of course, but we tend to ascribe to angels anonymous acts that we find incredibly loving — when in fact human beings do incredibly loving things in hidden ways every day.”

      Imagine if you’re the mystery priest watching the buzz of excitement and wonderment from people who want to believe an angel was responsible. Do you come forward, or do you lie low to encourage it?

    2. Video here -

  18. — The second round of U.S.-brokered Mideast peace talks will be held next week, the State Department said Thursday, even as the Palestinians protested new Israeli settlement activity.

    In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said Israel’s latest settlement announcements were an indication of “Israel’s bad faith and lack of seriousness” in the talks.

    Since 1967, Israel has built dozens of settlements on war-won land — deemed illegal by most of the international community. Some 560,000 Israelis live in settlements.

    On Thursday, a military official confirmed that the Israeli Defense Ministry had approved construction plans for more than 1,000 new apartments in settlements. This means the plans move forward, but still require final approval before construction can begin.

    Earlier this week, the Israeli Cabinet expanded its list of West Bank settlements eligible for government subsidies. The Cabinet approved a range of housing subsidies and loans for more than 600 Israeli communities deemed “national priority areas,” including poor towns and 91 settlements.

    Israeli actions all exemplifying the Palestinian's assertion of “Israel’s bad faith and lack of seriousness” in the talks.

  19. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki ...

    She chastised Israel for its continued West Bank settlement activity.

    “We are speaking to the government of Israel and making our concerns known,” Psaki said.
    “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity and opposes any efforts to legitimize settlement outposts.”

    She added, “The secretary has made clear that he believes both the negotiating teams are at the table in good faith and are committed to making progress.”

    She clarified that the US had spoken locally to Israel over the decisions taken Wednesday by the Higher Planning Council with regard to West Bank settlement activity.