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

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Over a decade ago, Iran’s leaders made credible offers of cooperation with the United States that included peace with Israel. In fact, after the 9/11 attacks, the Iranian government tried to cooperate with the Bush administration on a number of fronts. The two sides actually began working together at the end of 2001, until hawkish American officials put a stop to it

Sheldon Richman|Oct. 10, 2013 12:00 pm REASON
Not everyone wants the United States to improve relations with Iran. Some prefer war instead. Not because Iran is a threat to the American people, or the Israelis, but because a friendly Iran would no longer furnish the convenient enemy the hawks in the United States and Israel need.
So, despite the overtures from the new Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s regime must still be demonized as a group of religious fanatics—mad mullahs—who cannot be reasoned with and who want nothing more than to lob nuclear warheads at the United States and Israel.
Nonsense. Over a decade ago, Iran’s leaders made credible offers of cooperation with the United States that included peace with Israel. In fact, after the 9/11 attacks, the Iranian government tried to cooperate with the Bush administration on a number of fronts. The two sides actually began working together at the end of 2001, until hawkish American officials put a stop to it, as reporter Gareth Porter explained in 2006.
Thus, Rouhani’s current efforts are not a “charm offensive”—as they are prejudicially labeled even by the media—but rather a renewal of Iran’s wish for détente.
We rarely hear about the previous offers, perhaps because they conflict with the mainstream media’s dominant narrative of Iran as an implacable threat. Apparently those who want war with Iran—the neoconservatives, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the members of Congress beholden to AIPAC, and the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—make better news copy than would-be peacemakers. Too bad. War would be catastrophic.
Let’s remember that the Islamic Republic of Iran arose only after a U.S.-backed despotism was overthrown in 1979. Rather than seeking to make amends for what had been inflicted on the Iranians, successive U.S. administrations worked to isolate and subvert Iran until a more pliant regime could be installed. Diplomats who favored rapprochement were ignored or marginalized—which suited the leaders of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other Sunni Arab regimes allied with the United States. (Iran is dominated by Shi’ite Muslims, the sectarian rivals of the Sunnis.)
Nevertheless, moderate Iranian officials continued to hope for détente. Faltering first steps were taken after the 9/11 attacks—Iran opposes al-Qaeda—but neoconservatives in the Bush administration, led by Vice-President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and foreign-policy officers allied with Israel’s hawks, blocked progress. President Bush’s embrace of the neocons was signaled by his 2002 state of the union address, in which he included Iran in the “Axis of Evil” along with North Korean and Iraq.
That hostile American response undercut Iranian moderates and bolstered the hardliners. Yet the moderates persevered, partly out of fear that Bush would attack Iran when he was finished with Iraq. They made a new offer. “The proposal, a copy of which is in the author’s possession, offered a dramatic set of specific policy concessions Tehran was prepared to make in the framework of an overall bargain on its nuclear program, its policy toward Israel, and al-Qaeda,” Gareth Porter wrote. “To meet the U.S. concern about an Iranian nuclear weapons program, the document offered to accept much tighter controls by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange for ‘full access to peaceful nuclear technology.’” “Full transparency” and “full cooperation” were offered.
The Iranian proposal also endorsed the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, in which the Arab League offered to recognize Israel’s 1967 borders and accept a two-state solution with the Palestinians. “The [Iranian] document,” Porter added, “also offered a ‘stop of any material support to Palestinian opposition groups (Hamas, Jihad, etc.) from Iranian territory’ and ‘pressure on these organizations to stop violent actions against civilians within borders of 1967.’ Finally it proposed ‘action on Hizbollah to become a mere political organization within Lebanon.’”
In return, Iran asked for American help against anti-Iranian terrorists, an end to U.S. “hostile behavior,” and the termination of sanctions.
The Bush administration rejected the proposal and reprimanded Swiss diplomats for delivering it.
According to Muhammad Sahimi, an Iran expert at the University of Southern California, President Rouhani and his foreign minister, Muhammad Javad Zarif, “played key roles in the ‘grand bargain’ proposal.”
All that stands between America and Iran are those who are bent on war.
This article originally appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation.


  1. During his first year in office, Eisenhower authorized the CIA to deal with a problem in Iran that had begun during Truman's presidency. In 1951, the Iranian parliament nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, a British corporation that controlled the nation's petroleum industry. The British retaliated with economic pressure that created havoc with Iran's finances, but Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh refused to yield. Eisenhower worried about Mossadegh's willingness to cooperate with Iranian Communists; he also feared that Mossadegh would eventually undermine the power of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, a staunch anti-Communist partner. In August 1953, the CIA helped overthrow Mossadegh's government and restore the shah's power. In the aftermath of this covert action, new arrangements gave U.S. corporations an equal share with the British in the Iranian oil industry.
    A year later, the CIA helped overthrow the elected government of Guatemala. Eisenhower and his top advisers worried that President Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán was too willing to cooperate with local Communists, even though they seemed to have a limited role in his government. Arbenz's program of land reform exacerbated fears, as it involved confiscating large tracts from the United Fruit Company and redistributing them to landless peasants, who made up a majority of the Guatemalan population. U.S. fears reached new heights when Arbenz bought weapons from Communist Czechoslovakia after the administration cut off Guatemala's access to U.S. military supplies. Although the evidence about Arbenz's Communist inclinations was slim and even dubious, Eisenhower was not prepared to take a risk in an area where the United States had long been the dominant power. The CIA helped counterrevolutionaries drive Arbenz from power in June 1954. Guatemala appealed in vain to the United Nations, and administration officials denied that the United States had anything to do with the change in government in Guatemala. The new president, Carlos Castillo Armas, reversed land reform and clamped down on the Communists, but he also restricted voting rights and curtailed civil liberties before an assassin murdered him in 1957.

  2. Had similar foreign actions been taken against any US (Pick your State), (Blank) would have happened.

  3. Wackadoodle Do!

    To even begin to compare the US to either Iran or Guatemala.
    Those people living there, they are but children!
    They could not get along without us.

    We are the adults of the world.
    We are exceptional!

    1. .

      The elitist musings of the resident faux farmer taking time out from collecting rent and counting his government subsidies to offer his enlightened views on the geopolitics of imperialism and the white man's burden.


    2. Waiter, a table for two in the exceptional section please.

    3. The Iranian situation is easy for the Iranians to solve. Stop publicly threatening Israel with genocide. Stop arming hezbollah and hamas with BILLIONS of dollars in offensive and terror weapons and the funds that keep them a proxy army against Israel. Comply with SIGNED IAEA agreements, comply with Security Council Resolutions to stop enriching plutonium and uranium. (uranium in any concentration higher than 3% since all you need for medical research is 3%.)

      If Iran did those things? there would be peace.

      But Iran is committed to the destruction of Israel and America. Not to mention the destruction of the Sunni faith as well.

    4. If Israel joined the community of nations, accepted and adhered to UN Resolution 34/89

      The Iranians would do the same.

    5. LOL....

      You are so funny Rat.

      Let's start at the 1st UN resolution that created the Modern State of Israel.

      Let's see Iran respect that, as well as the arab world.

      UN resolutions have precedent.

  4. In the chaotic days after the attacks of September 11th, Ryan Crocker, then a senior State Department official, flew discreetly to Geneva to meet a group of Iranian diplomats.
    “I’d fly out on a Friday and then back on Sunday, so nobody in the office knew where I’d been,”
    Crocker told me.
    “We’d stay up all night in those meetings.”
    It seemed clear to Crocker that the Iranians were answering to Suleimani, whom they referred to as “Haji Qassem,” and that they were eager to help the United States destroy their mutual enemy, the Taliban. Although the United States and Iran broke off diplomatic relations in 1980, after American diplomats in Tehran were taken hostage, Crocker wasn’t surprised to find that Suleimani was flexible.
    “You don’t live through eight years of brutal war without being pretty pragmatic,” he said.
    Sometimes Suleimani passed messages to Crocker, but he avoided putting anything in writing. “Haji Qassem’s way too smart for that,” Crocker said. “He’s not going to leave paper trails for the Americans.”

    Before the bombing began, Crocker sensed that the Iranians were growing impatient with the Bush Administration, thinking that it was taking too long to attack the Taliban. At a meeting in early October, 2001, the lead Iranian negotiator stood up and slammed a sheaf of papers on the table.
    “If you guys don’t stop building these fairy-tale governments in the sky, and actually start doing some shooting on the ground, none of this is ever going to happen!” he shouted. “When you’re ready to talk about serious fighting, you know where to find me.”
    He stomped out of the room. “It was a great moment,” Crocker said.

    The coöperation between the two countries lasted through the initial phase of the war. At one point, the lead negotiator handed Crocker a map detailing the disposition of Taliban forces. “Here’s our advice: hit them here first, and then hit them over here. And here’s the logic.”
    Stunned, Crocker asked, “Can I take notes?”
    The negotiator replied, “You can keep the map.”
    The flow of information went both ways. On one occasion, Crocker said, he gave his counterparts the location of an Al Qaeda facilitator living in the eastern city of Mashhad. The Iranians detained him and brought him to Afghanistan’s new leaders, who, Crocker believes, turned him over to the U.S. The negotiator told Crocker, “Haji Qassem is very pleased with our coöperation.”

    The good will didn’t last. In January, 2002, Crocker, who was by then the deputy chief of the American Embassy in Kabul, was awakened one night by aides, who told him that President George W. Bush, in his State of the Union Address, had named Iran as part of an “Axis of Evil.”

    Like many senior diplomats, Crocker was caught off guard. He saw the negotiator the next day at the U.N. compound in Kabul, and he was furious. “You completely damaged me,” Crocker recalled him saying. “Suleimani is in a tearing rage. He feels compromised.”

    The negotiator told Crocker that, at great political risk, Suleimani had been contemplating a complete reëvaluation of the United States, saying, “Maybe it’s time to rethink our relationship with the Americans.”
    The Axis of Evil speech brought the meetings to an end.
    Reformers inside the government, who had advocated a rapprochement with the United States, were put on the defensive.

    Recalling that time, Crocker shook his head. “We were just that close,” he said. “One word in one speech changed history.”

    1. Please Rat, no more posts that disturb the culturally and factually challenged.

    2. .

      See the comment on the next post from me, a person who evidently is culturally and factually challenged.

      Rat, is a sterling example of integrity for us all.

      That he would quote an article from the New Yorker? Progress? Doubtful. If he can't find something while googling to fit his current meme he will simply make it up. Or go to the Tetrahedron Publishing website.


    3. I read the New Yorker post and was thinking about the comment made by AnonymousThu Oct 10, 01:44:00 PM EDT

  5. Another Total Non-Sense Thread fit only for total suckers.

    Meanwhile, I notice our Sunni President Obama is taking sides in Egypt big time now and is suspending aid there.

    "When the political winds change, I will side with the Muslims"

    President Obama

    You've all heard that quote, now let it sink it.

    Gotta run....

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. Abner Mikva, the former Chicago congressman, federal judge and White House counsel to President Bill Clinton,

      "I think ... that Barack Obama is the first Jewish president,"

    3. .

      Rat, you have been called on this numerous times before and you continue to lie and misinform.

      You take Bob to task for his computer failings but you don't even know how to use quote notation except as a propaganda tool.
      You are either felony stupid or duplicitous.

      What Mikva actually said according to the article was, "I think when this is all over, people are going to say that Barack Obama is the first Jewish president." This is completely different from what you have posted. Especially so in light of the fact that he made the comment well before Obama even became president.


    4. Rat, you have been called on this numerous times before and you continue to lie and misinform.

      You take Bob to task for his computer failings but you don't even know how to use quote notation except as a propaganda tool.
      You are either felony stupid or duplicitous.


      Liar, misinformer, felony stupid,duplicitous.

      Our sewer rat is all those things and more.......

      "There is something really wrong with you, Rat"


    5. Plus he is computer illiterate,in addition to being illiterate about literature, and barely able to read.

      Can't catch up with the 21st Century.

      Too demanding.

    6. Not at all, fellas ...

      Just goin' to keep on keepin' on!

      One fella's interpretation, another fella's disagreement.

      "‘When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.'
      ‘The question is,' said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things."

      ‘The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master—that's all.'"


    7. “Just because something isn't a lie does not mean that it isn't deceptive. A liar knows that he is a liar, but one who speaks mere portions of truth in order to deceive is a craftsman of destruction.”


    8. * RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”


    9. Never, never, never give up.

  6. France must remain strong against Iran and its Prime Minister Hassan Rohani to prevent the country from reaching nuclear weapons capability, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told FRANCE 24 on Thursday.

    France "should be tough on Iran, with or without Rohani’s smiles", Netanyahu told FRANCE 24 Jerusalem correspondent Gallagher Fenwick.

    "What Iran is putting forward with this smile campaign is an old position… they need the enrichment, the centrifuges and the heavy water plutonium reactor for one thing - to produce nuclear weapons, and we don’t want to give them that."

    He suggested Rohani’s recent movements towards détente with the West were insincere. “If they really wanted to dismantle their nuclear weapons programme, they’d come out with it,” he said.

    Netanyahu likened the softening of Iran’s diplomacy to the trustworthiness of a hypothetical offer by Syrian leader Bashar al Assad to get rid of 20 percent of his country’s chemical weapons.

    “Would you accept that? Would anyone accept that?” he asked, “Of course not!”

    “You don’t dismantle 20 percent, you dismantle 100 percent. This is not my position alone. This was the French position, the EU’s position,” he said.

    Netanyahu told FRANCE 24 he does not fear that his comments will put Israel in a difficult situation.

    “I don’t have any problem telling the truth even if it’s not popular. It so happens that I’m not isolated - Israel is not isolated,” he said.

    “Just about every country in the Arab world agrees with our position; some say so openly, some say that less openly. There’s one country who doesn’t agree with us: Syria’s Assad, of course, because he supports Iran’s regime that continues to help him in the mass murder of women and children.”

    Netanyahu for now also ruled out the possibility of beginning dialogue with Rohani. "Call him an honest deceiver…You don’t normally call somebody who openly calls for your annihilation."

    When asked whether Israel would strike Iran on its own, without the help of ally the United States, the Israeli Prime Minister refused to discuss his country’s military options.

    “The Americans have great capacities, certainly greater than anyone else, but I wouldn’t cut short Israel’s capacities either."


    In some Orthodox Jewish communities, a divorce is granted only once a husband provides his wife with a document known as a get. And stories of the frustrations and obstacles that women face in their quest to obtain a get are commonplace. While a woman can sue in rabbinical court to try to secure a get, some husbands do not comply with the court’s edict.

    . . .

    In a subsequent meeting at Rabbi Epstein’s home in Ocean County, New Jersey, Rabbi Epstein explained what he planned to do. “Basically what we are going to be doing is kidnapping a guy for a couple of hours and beating him up and torturing him and then getting him to give the get,” according to a recorded conversation that is described in the criminal complaint. Rabbi Epstein, according to the court papers, mentioned that his “tough guys” utilized cattle prods and other torture techniques that were not likely to leave a mark.

    Nice work if you can "get" it.

  8. Say what? Repeat that last sentence again, please:

    When asked whether Israel would strike Iran on its own, without the help of ally the United States, the Israeli Prime Minister refused to discuss his country’s military options.

    “The Americans have great capacities, certainly greater than anyone else, but I wouldn’t cut short Israel’s capacities either.”

    Now, why would Iran possibly want to keep a nuclear deterrent? How much better to depend on the good will of Bibi Netanyahu.

    1. Iran is the threatening party.

      If Israel sought to destroy Iran? It has have 30 years to nuke it at it's leisure.

      Once again your argument? Is nonsense.

    2. Iran is incapable of fulfilling the threat, it is no threat at all.

      Just empty rhetoric that has scared an Israeli strong MAN to the point he pisses his pants

  9. Here is what happens when you push a country into the arms of the religious crazies:

    Iran's revolutionary guards have announced the arrest of "a network of homosexuals and satanists" in the western city of Kermanshah, close to the country's border with Iraq, prompting fresh alarm over the treatment of gay people in the Islamic republic.

    The news website of the revolutionary guards in Kermanshah province, home to the country's Kurd ethnic minority, reported on Thursday that their elite forces had dismantled what it claimed to be a network of homosexuals and devil-worshippers.

    A number of foreign nationals, including Iraqis, were also among those detained, the report said, adding that eight of the group were married to each other.

    The group were picked up from one of the city's ceremony halls, which they had rented for a birthday party. The guards' webiste said they were dancing as the raid ensued.

    The revolutionary guards claimed the group had been under surveillance for some time but did not specify how many people were arrested.

    Authorities in the Islamic republic have previously likened homosexuals to satanists in an apparent attempt to further smear them in the eyes of the country's religious conservatives.

    The Guardian has been informed that the raid took place on Tuesday night when some 80 people, including both straight and gay Iranians, had gathered for a birthday party in Kermanshah. At least 17 people who had tattoos, make-up, or were wearing rainbow bracelets were blindfolded and taken to an unknown location, according to a local source. Partygoers were filmed by the elite forces and had their mobile phones confiscated.

    Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Iran face serious persecution both from the ruling system and broader society, especially by hardline conservatives. Some risk horrific punishments, including the death penalty and heavy jail sentences, others are bulllied and forced into exile.

    Official treatment of gay people varies dramatically depending on where they are arrested and who by. Those arrested in provincial cities like in Kermanshah, are usually under more pressure.

    Until recently same-sex sodomy was punishable by death but a new amendment to the penal code, approved in 2012, has brought new changes. Under the new penal code, in effect, the person who played an active role will be flogged 100 times if the sex was consensual and he was not married, but the one who played a passive role will still be put to death regardless of his marriage status. Punishment for mosahegheh (lesbianism) is 100 lashes for all individuals involved, but it can lead to the death penalty if the act is repeated four times.

    In recent years, it appears that the government and the police has maintained the policy of ignoring gay people but the revolutionary guards and the informal voluntary Basij religious militia, who are indepdent of the government but close to the country's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have been active tracking down gays and punishing them.

    Despite the punishment, Iran's LGBT community have been struggling for recognition in recent years with many active online, publishing their works or simply sharing their experience. An increasing number of Iranian gay people also appear to be coming out to their friends and family.


    1. .

      Well, Saudi Arabia wasn't really pushed, right?

      On July 29th, Saudi activist Raif Badawi was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes today. The founder of an online forum called Free Saudi Liberals, Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012 on charges of insulting Islam on his website, and later was accused of apostasy, a charge that could lead to the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. The charge of apostasy was eventually dropped, but the judge also ordered the final closure of the Free Saudi Liberals site.

      Activists showed solidarity with Badawi on Twitter, one such tweet outlined the hypocrisy of the Saudi regime, accusing it of supporting liberal groups outside of Saudi Arabia while oppressing those same groups within the country.


    2. Deuce wrote: Here is what happens when you push a country into the arms of the religious crazies:

      This could not have happened in Russia, Saudi Arabia, or China? This was America's fault? It could not have had anything to do with the insanity of Islam, in the instance?

    3. Iran wasnt "pushed" into Islam.

      It was invaded by Islam


  10. {…]

    Unlike homosexuality, which is punishable by death, transsexuality in Iran has been legal since a fatwa was issued in 1987 by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on their behalf. Although transsexuality is legal, the social stigma means that they can have an even worse life than gay people.

    In September 2007, Iran's former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad famously denied homosexuals existed in the Islamic republic. "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country," he told a jeering audience at Columbia University in New York during his UN visit.

    Back home, Siamak Ghaderi, a journalist working for the state news agency, Irna, proved him wrong by publishing a series of interviews with the country's homosexuals but was later arrested and sentenced to jail. He is currently in prison serving a four year prison term for "insulting the president" and "spreading propaganda against the regime", and was reportedly lashed 60 times in 2012.

    1. None of those Middle Eastern countries adhere to the precepts of the US Revolution or its subsequent Constitution.

      All of them are autocratic and theological in their natures.

      It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.
      Robert A. Heinlein

    2. The Iranians should, without doubt or equivocation be cut off from US foreign aid!

      Any organization, like the UN or its subsidiaries, the World Bank, that operates in Iran should be boycotted.
      US funding for those organizations, eliminated en toto.

      Wiped from the ledger!

    3. .

      None of those Middle Eastern countries adhere to the precepts of the US Revolution or its subsequent Constitution.

      Neither do we.


    4. Well .....
      ...Of course!
      . . . What possible difference does that make?
      . . . . What's good for the Goose
      . . . .Can't let the Gander get anywhere close to.

  11. That Rat fellow was saying the other days that there was a law against cutting spending --

    Dick Morris seems to disagree -

    Action Home / Stop Debt Deal Without Spending Cuts!
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    Dear Friend,

    News reports indicate that the Republicans are bowing to Wall Street pressure and may agree to a six week extension of the debt limit without asking for any concessions on spending in return.

    Don't break the Boehner rule! No borrowing without a dollar for dollar cut in spending!

    Hold the line.

    Please sign this petition to your Congressman asking that he oppose any debt limit hike without equivalent spending cuts.

    We will forward your signature to your Senators and Congressman. Please be sure to include your name, hard mailing address, and your email so we can do so.

    We'll add your email address to our Alerts list to keep you posted on progress and let you know if we need to take further action.


    Dick Morris

    1. Dik Morris talking cutting the "Baseline Spending", dimwit.
      That "Baseline" amount is an automatic increase of 6 to 7%.
      Written into the Law when the GOP controlled House and Senate.
      Voted for by Mr Boehner.

      No matter though ...
      "‘When I use a word, "Dick Morris" said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.'

      The "Master of Triangulation"

      Anonymous uses a "Big Dick" as a reference source.

    2. Without a "Budget" being passed, the Baseline provides the de facto budgeted amount to be spent.

      That's the Law.

      Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2010 To 2020
      Robert Dennis - 2010

      For discretionary spending, the baseline assumes that the most recent year's ...
      ..... spending grew by an average of 7.5 percent a year between 1999 and 2008. .
      ...... were established on or before the enactment of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

  12. "Tonight, one of the two exchange providers ... said a total of 5 Iowans have obtained insurance."

    1. Do you mean to say, it is all ado about nothing, this ObamaCare?

    2. Anon, I like to think of it as "ObamaCare?"

  13. "Zero" health care plans sold in Hawaii.

    1. They have gone to a great deal of expense for nothing then.

      Clearly it is not going to be the "Industry Shaking" nightmare that has been predicted.

      No new patients for doctors to see.

      No one cares enough to participate in yet another government program that they do not understand, yet.

    2. Oh, I think a good many care. Perhaps the contract went to Mr. Obama's brother.

  14. "...that can’t do the one job it was built to do isn’t the most infuriating part of this debacle – it’s that we, the taxpayers, seem to have forked up more than $500 million of the federal purse to build the digital equivalent of a rock..."

    1. The Federal government has always been perplexed with computers.
      The FBI is legion in that regard.

  15. The videographer's pain for the Palestinian "peoples" at the hands of the Zionists was no doubt the precipitating factor in this incident.


    Insane Tourists Blatantly Defying The U.S. Government’s Demand

  17. ...darned supercilious Zionists...Who do they think they are? Jews!

    "Netanyahu to Britain: Iran must stop calling for destruction of Israel"

  18. House Speaker John Boehner lashed out last week at suggestions that there might be winners and losers in the government shutdown, saying “this isn’t some damn game.”


    Meanwhile, both the Republican Party and the tea party movement hit all-time lows in the Journal poll.

  19. I will say it again: When Israel's adversaries lay down their arms (figuratively), agree unambiguously in their native tongues to perpetually recognize Israel's right to exist unmolested, there will be peace, and, without preconditions, negotiate final borders, there will be peace.

    If the Iranians begin the process tomorrow, Israel will rejoice and work in good faith to make it happen. But to be clear, the result must be a binding TREATY, agreeable and enforceable by NATO, the UN, and the Arab League - no armistice, no cease fire, no game playing.

    1. Adoption of and adherence to UN Resolution 34/89 is the first step for Israel to take in that process

    2. Yitzhak Rabin

      "1st the Arabs must accept the 1948 UN resolution before bullshit."

    3. The Arabs are now the allies of Israel. They have accepted her existence, the Saudi Arabians now work hand in hand with Israel, the Egyptians, our allies as well.

      All of us are standing shoulder to shoulder against the Persians.

      Your thinking, young man, sad to say it is just so yesterday.

      You do yourself and our country a disservice by not recognizing and adapting to the ever changing tactical situation.
      This failure to appreciate the importance of situational awareness is growing ever more evident.

      Instead of being ahead of the curve, you are placing Israel behind the eight ball.

    4. Prime Minister Rabin is correct!

      "To know what people really think, pay regard to what they do, rather than what they say."

      Fighting the Christians and pagans in Syria, together!
      The Arabs and Israeli are now as one!

    5. Adoption of and adherence to UN Resolution 34/89 is the first step for Israel to take in that process

      You have things confused. In 1948 all the Arab states refused Israel's existence, contrary to the UN, and unlawfully attacked Israel. Tidying up that mess will have to come first, which is why I brought in the Arab League.

    6. Fighting the Christians and pagans in Syria, together!
      The Arabs and Israeli are now as one!

      Hardly. As far as I know, Israel is fighting no one in Syria. Why would they? All the Islamic bad guys in the world are there, killing and cannibalizing one another. There are no good guys.

      I did browse 128 pictures of the so-called good guys recently. If we are helping them, there is no sign of it. Their weapons are battered Soviet models. As to artillery, they had cobbled together some tubes on wheels - pathetic. Oh, they had no uniforms, helmets, boots or other trappings of modern infantry.

      What all these bad guys are doing is razing Syria. At the present rate of demolition, it will take many years to rebuild. That should keep the survivors out trouble.

      No, Israel needs do nothing other than keep her borders secure.

  20. By C. E. Huggins
    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - An Internet-based system could be a useful tool for screening adults for mental health disorders and giving preliminary diagnoses, according to a new Dutch study.

    This eDiagnostics system is already used in primary care practices in The Netherlands, the researchers say, but nowhere else, and more study is needed to determine if it is reliable, valid and cost-effective.

    "Using the Internet to diagnose mental health problems in primary care seems very promising," writes lead author Ies Dijksman and colleagues from Maastricht University.

    "The great advantage of an electronic system is that patients can complete diagnostic tests at home," Dijksman told Reuters Health in an email, adding that people may be quicker to reveal themselves over the Internet and provide genuine responses to questions because of their perceived anonymity.

    "This could lead to a more accurate information collection process compared to conventional clinical interviews," Dijksman said.

    Put up as an unearned courtesy to Rat. I would rather see him turn himself in voluntarily than be further disgraced by the handcuffs and restraint suit.

  21. His new given name, Sir, is Whackadoodle, not Rat.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Please, Farmer Fudd, please oh please don't throw me into the briar patch!

  22. A Colorado court will tell potential jurors in the trial of accused theater shooter James Holmes that their service could last up to eight months. Legal experts say the trial will be "unprecedented" for the state in expense, size and pain.


    The judge noted that the time is an estimate that it is "better to err on the side of overestimating the duration of the trial."

  23. On this day in 1931, Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion. The mobster was sentenced to 11 years in jail.

  24. Let us celebrate today Che's Death Day -

  25. J Philippe RushtonThu Oct 10, 09:48:00 PM EDT

    It was brought to my attention that there had been a discussion, between this desert rat and Quirk, concerning the possibility of a genetic condition that would facilitate a social pathology within a racial group.

    "Formation of a new race takes place when, over several generations, individuals in one group reproduce more frequently among themselves than they do with individuals in other groups.

    Each race (or variety) is characterized by a more or less distinct combination of inherited morphological, behavioral, physiological traits.

    But with each passing year and each new study, the evidence for the genetic contribution to individual and group differences becomes more firmly established than ever.

    This desert rat, he is apace of the leaders of the pack, around the learning curve of genetic research.
    Not intimidated by political correctness and "Groupthink".

    There is a definite possibility of the genetic transmission of social pathologies.
    It certainly is an idea that cannot be dismissed out of hand.
    The science does not support rejection of the idea, only political correctness does.

    1. There is a growing body of evidence that there is a statistically significant degree of familial schizophrenia. One of the symptoms of a type of schizophrenia is delusions of grandeur. For instance, one might feel that murdering Jews and their cohabiting demons will instantly lead to paradise and a writhing harem of 72 virgins, exclusively of ones own. Sexual deviancy is common in full blown cases. No studies have been done to my knowledge showing the reaction of such schizophrenics upon learning that their virgins have been genitally mutilated.

    2. It would be safe to postulate that in the 2,000 years since the European Jewish community established itself and began a pattern of selective breeding, that they would constitute a "Race"..

      It is reasonably evident that this "Race" has inundated Israeli society.
      I do think, from a modern, rational and sane perspective, the glorification and veneration of mass suicide is a social pathology.

      I guess, that posing the question of whether or not the social pathology was genetic to the group would be "Racist", in that it could be regarded as an inherited mental trait within the Race.

      As I had mentioned earlier, similar to the higher rates of sickle cell anemia in negroid races as compared to caucasian,
      The only real difference, involving the possibility of a genetic mental illness instead of a genetic blood disease.

      Science busting another myth propagated by the promoters of political correctness!

    3. Are you suggesting that Jews venerate and glorify mass suicide? Upon what evidence do you make this claim, if in fact you are?

    4. It is one of those odd coincidences that Jews trace ethnicity through the female. With the advent of modern genetics we now know why: stability over extremely long periods of time of mitochondria. But how would primitive Jews have known this, just as they knew that light was the stuff of the universe?

    5. Masada.

      JERUSALEM -- The teacher speaks of slaughter, and there is no noise on the Masada clifftop's stark plateau to distract from her mild voice. A dozen schoolchildren, their faces solemn under baseball caps and bandannas, watch as she points out the frescoed chambers of the Northern Palace, overlooking the Dead Sea.

      "That's where the Jews are believed to have drawn lots," the teacher says. "Anyone know why?" A few hands go up.

      'To decide how they would kill one another,' chirps one girl. Her friends nod in assent.

      The teacher explains that suicide is a sin worse than murder, and that the Jewish rebels therefore preferred to die at each other's hand, "leaving behind only one man to kill himself."


      For the better part of two generations, the Masada myth was a symbol of the fledgling Zionist enterprise; it now threatens to slip back into obscurity.

      Many believe the story of unflinching self-sacrifice in the face of physical enslavement is as important today as it was during the Second Commonwealth.

      Others, however, regard Masada as a cautionary tale of bloody-minded extremism, which should be maintained on the margins of the Jewish consciousness, if at all.

      Outside the fortress synagogue, the schoolchildren hear of the speech given by the rebel leader, Elazar Ben-Yair, about how death was preferable to yielding to Roman enslavement.

      Erez Eshel, an educator and a former chairman of the National Student Union, regularly takes groups of teens up to Masada, where he studies the speech with them. "As part of preparing for military service, this site is supremely important," he says.

      In his view, Masada's defenders had the courage "not just to live, but also to die." Like the Hasmoneans and Judah the Maccabee, "they were heroes of Israel."

      For many years, Israel Defense Force recruits held torchlight swearing-in ceremonies on the clifftop, ending with the shouted vow: "Masada shall not fall again!"

      Two generations of Israeli veneration of a Jonestown Massacre style mass suicide in the desert, according to San Francisco Jewish Community Publications

      In 1946, David Ben-Gurion sent a message from Paris to a Mapai (the precursor to the Labor Party) conference in pre-state Israel. His exhortation: "Neither Masada nor Vichy." Ben-Gurion perceived Masada as a symbol of hopeless resistance, while Vichy represented a corrupt state of complacency.

      However, more than a generation later, Golda Meir embraced Masada as integral to the country's identity. The site became a national symbol, and the excavations of Yigael Yadin in the early 1960s were an international sensation.

      Mass suicide of Israeli during ancient times was not a rare occurrence

      There were other spectacular Jewish catastrophes from the period:
      At the Golan Heights fortress of Gamla, for example, 5,000 zealots jumped to their deaths after 4,000 of their comrades were killed in Roman assaults.

      The question of whether or not such social pathology is genetic or learned, goes to basic question ...

      Is it nature or nurture?


  26. Is it nature or nurture?

    It may have been an anomaly, Then it may have been nothing. Whatever it was, it was singular.

    1. The veneration of the mass suicide is not an anomaly.
      It has been going on in Israel for "Generations"

      That is the most obvious symptom of the social pathology, that the mass suicide is being celebrated.

    2. The modern social pathology is not that there were a couple of mass suicides of Israeli, some 2,000 years ago.

      The social pathology is evidenced by having children in school learn that suicide for the "Cause" is acceptable.
      That given circumstances that suicide may not only be acceptable, it can be heroic.
      If done under the proper protocols.

      A totally different mind set form the "Western" world.
      Of the heroes of Thermopylae, of the Alamo, where the mind set was to extract a high price from the enemy,
      for the lives that would be sacrificed. Not to hand those lives to the enemy, free of charge.

      Fighting to the "Last Man", that is the myth that is venerated culturally in "Western" society.