“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."

Monday, November 11, 2013

Despite Netanyahu’s thuggery and threats, there is hope “significant progress” is being made with Iran - Israel better get used to the reality

Lavrov: ‘Good chances’ for agreement with Iran after shift from threats and ‘sanctions leverage’
Published time: November 10, 2013 21:27
Get short URL

The sextet of international mediators and Iran have good chances to work out an agreement after dropping threats and the “leverage” of sanctions and switching to the essence of the matter, which Russia has been promoting for years, Sergey Lavrov said.
“The essence of this policy is: threats must be laid aside alongside sanction levers bypassing the UN Security Council, and the problem must be considered in essence,” Sergey Lavrov said after informing his Indian and Chinese counterparts about the results achieved in Geneva talks over the weekend. 
Russia’s foreign ministry has praised the “significant progress” that has been made in recent discussions, saying that now “chances are high” that “the Sextet's political directors” and Iran will formulate approaches that could pave the way for the agreement. 
“The Sextet's political directors will meet on November 20 to use the achievements made in recent Geneva discussions and lay approaches that could forge groundwork for a joint document. The chances are very, very high for that,” he told the press.
Although no immediate result was reached during the latest round of talks between Iran and six world powers, it still was “time well-spent,” Lavrov said. 
“We have created grounds for cooperation that will help us decide how to deal with the Iranian nuclear problem in terms of IAEA and UN Security Council requirements,” he said. 
The Foreign Minister emphasized that the meeting in Geneva “confirmed” that polemics and the exchange of initial positions “without attempts to draw them nearer” are being shifted to the background, while an understanding of necessity to take up issues which arouse concerns in the IAEA and the world community, is now in the foreground.
For its part, Iran has also demonstrated its determination to move further on this track, Lavrov said, stressing that talks between the Sextet and Iranian officials were concrete. 
Sergey Lavrov also praised the role the US delegation, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, saying it “was very active in the search for agreements.”
The 3-day-long meeting in Geneva ended on Saturday night with no deal struck, but all the attendees agreeing that the groundwork for an agreement had been laid.  
A widely predicted breakthrough stumbled upon “some questions” concerning the Iranian nuclear program which are still to be addressed.  

Over the weekend, Israel ramped up its efforts to prevent any deal with Iran, with PM Benjamin Netanyahu calling British PM David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to promote Tel Aviv’s position. Netanyahu is also planning a visit to Moscow on November 20, the day when the sextet talks are scheduled to resume in Geneva.


  1. Thuggery?


    The article can't even say Jerusalem....

    "Tel Aviv’s position"


    1. "Over the weekend, Israel ramped up its efforts to prevent any deal with Iran"


      Any deal? Nonsense.

      Israel has a deal. Iran stop spinning centrifuges. Exchanges it's raw uranium for fuel rods, open up the sites that it refuses to share with the IAEA.

      But to say " prevent any deal with Iran" pure thuggery on the reporter's part...

    2. End the OccupationMon Nov 11, 07:13:00 AM EST

      Israel, a secular and socialist state that was built upon ...
      ... the Three Pillars of Apartheid

      The first pillar “derives from Israeli laws and policies that establish Jewish identity for purposes of law and afford a preferential legal status and material benefits to Jews over non-Jews.”

      The second pillar is reflected in
      “Israel’s ‘grand’ policy to fragment the OPT [and] ...
      ... ensure that Palestinians remain confined to the reserves designated for them ...
      ... while Israeli Jews are prohibited from entering those reserves but enjoy freedom of movement...
      ... throughout the rest of the Palestinian territory.

      This policy is evidenced by Israel’s extensive appropriation of Palestinian land,
      which continues to shrink the territorial space available to Palestinians;
      the hermetic closure and isolation of the Gaza Strip from the rest of the OPT;
      the deliberate severing of East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank;

      and the appropriation and construction policies serving to carve up the West Bank ...
      ... into an intricate and well-serviced network of connected settlements for Jewish-Israelis ...
      ... and an archipelago of besieged and non-contiguous enclaves for Palestinians.”

      The third pillar is
      “Israel’s invocation of ‘security’ to validate sweeping restrictions on Palestinian freedom of ...
      ... opinion, expression, assembly, association and movement [to] mask a true underlying intent ...
      ... to suppress dissent to its system of domination and thereby maintain control over Palestinians as a group.”

  2. Ok assholes, listen up; you know who you are. Happy Veteran’s Day.

    1. After all according to you we are not full citizens.

    2. I guess my dead uncle who died in Vietnam does count, nor do my other uncles, father and such..

      Jews are here by the good graces of people like Deuce and don't you let us forget it...

    3. "Thank you, from a grateful father and husband, America's veterans. You are the best this nation has. Extraordinary human beings in every aspect of the term. I sleep better at night knowing you are on that wall."

      November 11, 2013
      I have never worn my country's uniform...
      Derrick Wilburn


    4. Theodore RooseveltMon Nov 11, 08:35:00 AM EST

      “There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.
      When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all.”

      “This is just as true of the man who puts “native” before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul.

      Our allegiance must be purely to the United States.
      We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance.”

      “But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as any one else.”

  3. Despite Netanyahu’s thuggery and threats, there is hope “significant progress” is being made with Iran - Israel better get used to the reality

    Maybe the world better get used to the reality that Iran will get a can of whoop ass on it no matter how badly Russia and America wish to appease Iran?

    1. A little man, with beer muscles,.
      How quaint.

  4. All this agreement with Iran is going to do? Is cause war...

    1. “It was so much easier to blame it on Them.
      It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us.
      If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault.

      If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us.
      I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them.
      No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us.

      It's Them that do the bad things.”

  5. Not to worry, Israel will save the world ass again by taking out a rouge regime's nuke program AGAIN.

    Just like in Iraq and North Korea before...


    1. Describe how Israel has dealt with the North Koreans, if you would.

    2. End the OccupationMon Nov 11, 07:52:00 AM EST

      I know that the North Koreans and the Israeli have both attacked lone US Navy ships at sea.

      What else do they have in common?

    3. He probably means North Korea's reactor in Syria.

    4. He did not say that,
      He said that Israel had taken out a rouge regime's nuclear program.

      North Korea's nuclear program is still intact.

      quot was displaying a sense of "bravado", not based upon any form of reality.

      Or his English reading and writing skills are still in need of improvement.

    5. Israel took out the north korean reactor IN SYRIA, killing north koreans that were building and implementing that illegal and dangerous nuke plant.

    6. Notice how desert rat cannot even hide his style even when wearing another mask?

      Panama EdMon Nov 11, 09:32:00 AM EST
      quot was displaying a sense of "bravado", not based upon any form of reality.

      Mr Rat, the person that has no reality, that uses a dozen different names on an hourly basis dares to say someone else is not rooted in reality.

      This is not the kettle calling the pot black.

      This is a perfect example of Rat's insanity.

      Looking at the last few days of rat's posts, that I have abstained from? Leads me to believe Rat has no connection to any reality. He is insane.


    7. “All man are the same except for their belief in their own selves, regardless of what others may think of them”

  6. This is Armistice Day, in memory of the Great War (1914-1918) 11 - 11 - 11 - 1918

  7. Even the French have better sense than us.


    Here is a picture of a Navajo sand painting of the Pollen Path that I sent to my Niece that matches exactly the Hindu outlook. Notice the Egyptian wall painting as well. The question remains how did such similar imagery end up in New Mexico? Diffusion, or something innate in the nature of being human? The fellow with the croc nose there is the soul eater - some Jewish folk these days might say the deleter -
    that swallows the souls of those not fit to continue on up the ladder of a well lived life. The baboons laugh and sing delighting at the rising of the sun, like Quirk, in celebration of the getting of the boon of an higher outlook on things talked about in the monomyth. This Is the monomyth in Hindu, Egyptian, Navajo, and, in our society, Christian dress. Matthew 4:1-17. I have suggested we commission a Navajo weaver to create a couple of blankets with this design on them.

    It beats talking about Israel again.

    Had trouble finding this picture that I originally found in Campbell.



    1. In the house of life I wander
      On the pollen path,
      With a god of cloud I wander
      To a holy place.
      With a god ahead I wander
      And a god behind.
      In the house of life I wander
      On the pollen path.

      Navajo Chant

    2. Let us note that in the Navajo Sand Painting the footsteps are coming from......where? From the world of everyday life, as in the monomyth.

      An abrupt turn is made and.......up the cornstalk we go. This is the transit to the world of supernatural wonder, as in the monomyth.

      The boon, the good thing, a rise in consciousness, is obtained when the lightning strikes, chakra four. This is the first gaining of the boon, as in the monomyth.

      The journey continues, as in a properly lived human life, up and out of the world of supernatural wonder, and abruptly a turn is made and the footsteps head back into the world of everyday life, our Hero, now big with boon and transformed, is able to be in the world again, but experiencing it from a higher level.

      There is no Judgement Scene here as in the Egyptian rendering, presumably because the Pollen Path sand drawing depicts a successful life.


    3. The horses, desperate for water, had come to drink from a pool of rainwater that had run off a hill and flooded land on the Navajo reservation.

      What they got was a mud bath that turned deadly as they became trapped in the bentonite clay of the Chinle Formation,
      which becomes quicksand as the water trapped in it starts evaporating

      Seventeen horses died this way, the stench of their decomposing carcasses thick in the air.


      What is true of horses, is true of Nations, as well
      Beware the quicksand of the deserts.
      Entire Nations can become trapped and be destroyed, as easily as were those seventeen horses

      The lessons are clear.

  8. I want to comment Ash for his thoughtful comments on the earlier thread about the rat problem in this neighborhood.

    1. “The primary thing when you take a sword in your hands is your intention to cut the enemy, whatever the means.

      Whenever you parry, hit, spring, strike or touch the enemy's cutting sword, you must cut the enemy in the same movement. It is essential to attain this. If you think only of hitting, springing, striking or touching the enemy, you will not be able actually to cut him.”

  9. But since the subject is Israel, again, I found this interesting article in the dreaded AmThinker -

    November 10, 2013
    Who Invented Zionism?
    By Mike Konrad

    To refute the Arab lie that Israel is somehow a conspiracy of Jews who took over the Western world and its policies for their own service, it is good from time to time to remember that it was Christians, across all spectrums of Christianity, who encouraged the Jews to repatriate themselves. Yes -- Christians. In our secular age, where Christianity is discouraged in the public square, this necessary history is forgotten.
    In 1799, during the French Mideast Campaign, Napoleon Bonaparte, had this decree issued from his military headquarters at Acre, in what is now Israel

    Rightful heirs of Palestine!

    The great nation [France] which does not trade in men and countries as did those which sold your ancestors unto all people (Joel,4,6) herewith calls on you not indeed to conquer your patrimony ; nay, only to take over that which has been conquered and, with that nation's warranty and support, to remain master of it to maintain it against all comers. -- Bonaparte's Proclamation

    "One hundred and eighteen years before the Balfour Declaration, Napoleon decided to restore the Jews as the "Rightful heirs of Palestine!" Overall, Napoleon was rather friendly to Jewry -- not always -- and he is fondly remembered by them for emancipating them from ghettoes. For this Napoleon earned the criticism of Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Eastern Orthodox Christian authorities."

    I can't make any comment about this article as I don't know enough about the subject, but I found it interesting.

    1. St. Thomas AquinasMon Nov 11, 07:24:00 AM EST

      “Beware the man of a single book.”

    2. Especially when the book is Going Rogue by Sarah Palin.

    3. Sarah has accomplished a hell of a lot more than you ever did...

      Should we list the differences?

  10. No deal reached in Iran nuke talks

    It would have been worse if an agreement had been reached, but the appeasers have not given up, and will be trying again. "No deal reached in Iran nuke talks," from CBS News, November 9 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):

    GENEVA Talks on curbing Iran's nuclear program ended with no deal early Sunday after France objected that proposed measures didn't go far enough. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said "significant progress" had been made on the remaining differences.
    Six world powers and Iran agreed to resume talks Nov. 20.

    Both sides badly wanted agreement. The U.S. and its five partners were looking for initial caps on Iran's ability to make an atomic bomb, while Tehran sought some easing of sanctions stifling its economy.

    But France would not soften its concerns over Iran's plutonium project and the level of its uranium enrichment program.

    Kerry, speaking to reporters after the talks broke up, acknowledged there were "certain issues that we needed to work through."

    "We're grateful to the French for the work we did together," Kerry said....

    Posted by Robert on November 10, 2013 5:56 PM


    1. The Hegemony is going to really be gettin' after those Iranian Fudds.

      In an address to parliament, Rouhani said uranium enrichment is a "red line" that cannot be crossed.
      "Nuclear rights in the international framework, including uranium enrichment, on its soil" are not negotiable, Rouhani was quoted as saying by the semiofficial ISNA news agency. "For us, red lines are not crossable."

      Kerry said that military action to stop what much of the world believes is Iran’s effort to build a nuclear weapon was still on the table.

      He also said the crippling economic sanctions that Congress imposed on Iran will remain in place, while a top Senate Democrat suggested Hill lawmakers might impose more as an “insurance policy.”

      Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told ABC’s “This Week” that additional sanctions would be a message to Iran to say,
      “You know what’s coming.”

      The US, we are going to put ever more pressure on that Iranian Fudd!
      The Hegemony made demands that it knew would not be met.

      But was making the demand … futile … or tactical?

      Now the hegemony can really turn up the heat, justifiably …
      Since after offering the Iranian Fudds easy terms …
      The Iranian Fudd response …

      That there were "Redlines" that could not be crossed.

      There was never a doubt amongst the contributors, here, that the Fudds would not fold on that point. It was always gong to be the Iranian Fudd position, that they were within their "Rights" to enrich uranium.

      Which according to the NPT, they certainly are.

      On allen's latest expert's timeline, the Iranian Fudd is just 27 days from a nuclear weapon.
      The countdown is on!

      After twenty years we are finally at 27 days and counting!

    2. The following day, the Iranians blamed the French as agents of the Zionist enemy.

      Hey, I am not feeling the love now.

  11. I am having a difficult time recalling the last time the thug Bibi and the threatening Israelis marched around chanting "Death to Iran" or "Death to USA" or "Death to England" or "Death to France" or "Death to the West".

    1. You can believe that, if you erase from your mind everything that's happened in the American wars of the 21st century.

      Read more:

    2. The US does not "Shout Out", it goes to Islamic countries and kills people.

      Bringing ...
      Death to Iraq
      Death to Afghanistan and
      Death to Libya.

      No need to shout, when you can do

    3. Not Death to U.S., maybe, but certainly Death to U.S.S. Liberty

    4. No one in Israel took pleasure at the deaths on the USS LIBERTY.

      To imply? Makes you an ass.

    5. Notice how the argument was changed?

      I am having a difficult time recalling the last time the thug Bibi and the threatening Israelis marched around chanting "Death to Iran" or "Death to USA" or "Death to England" or "Death to France" or "Death to the West".

      then some criminal says: The US does not "Shout Out", it goes to Islamic countries and kills people.

      Notice how this so called human hijacks and distorts?

      It's the perfect example of a serial liar.

    6. Anonymous Mon Nov 11, 05:32:00 AM EST
      I am having a difficult time recalling the last time the thug Bibi and the threatening Israelis marched around chanting "Death to Iran" or "Death to USA" or "Death to England" or "Death to France" or "Death to the West".

      You have to work on being more imaginative. It's just a game - make it up as you go along.

    7. Some would separate Israel from the united States, others call it the 51st state.

      The reality, somewhere in the middle.

    8. Lowkey and immortal techniqueMon Nov 11, 12:35:00 PM EST

      While little kids throw stones at Israeli soldiers
      Your in Marks & Spencer's buying Coca Cola
      Donating these guns to these vulchers
      And you don't even know your involved you jokers!
      I can laugh but rather it aint funny,
      You say you don't support the beast yet you gave money
      You see me I wont contribute to the genocide
      Whatever they try….Palestine will never die
      So you can keep your 'Road Map' coz your giving billions
      To kill Palestinians and that's a known fact!
      How many children have to die on the streets?
      Before we put a stop to this Zionist beast

      Its time for some action people stop debating,
      Every single day they increase the population
      Inside out its an even operation
      Ask whoever you want its illegal occupation
      America wants to pretend to help the children
      But they just give Israeli's the weapons to kill them
      They giving the tanks for wrecking the buildings
      The facts always come to light you can never conceal them

      The bomb shells, guns and M16 planes
      They kill mums and sons and still don't get blamed
      Israeli fighters should be stop and be named
      With the stars and stripes on their cockpit main frames
      Nuclear war heads aimed to inflame
      But no prize to guess where those designs came
      It aint just occupation, its M&S occupation, US supplication,
      Pre-funded invasion of this location
      State run degradation of this nation
      All this provocation in this hell Israel which equals the US the US equals Israel
      They fund terror in the worst way,
      Welcome to Israel the 51st State.

    9. End the OccupationMon Nov 11, 12:45:00 PM EST

      Is Israel now the unofficial 51st State of the United States of America?

      Ibrahim Hewitt
      Friday, 23 September 2011

      President Barack Obama has done us all a favour with his speech to the United Nations; rarely, if ever, has a US president made it so obvious what many of us started to believe years ago, namely that Israel is now the unofficial 51st State of the USA.

      So now we know that it is foolish to expect the Americans to do anything remotely objectionable to Israel or remotely beneficial for the Palestinians.

      We know that it is ridiculous to consider the US to be an honest broker in the Israel-Palestine conflict; how could it be when its president now wears a "badge of honour" bestowed by the right-wing Prime Minister of the Zionist state, Benjamin Netanyahu.

      The same Netanyahu, remember, who basically told Obama where to go when asked to put a stop on building and expanding Israel's illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. And we know that the government of United States of America is being led by the nose by a pro-Israel Lobby which places Israel's interests above all others, America's included.


      Obama said, "Let's be honest", so here we go: let's be honest about the historical inaccuracies his speechwriter made him say.
      And let's mention what Obama thought was clearly off-limits for the Zionist audience for whom the speech was intended.

      Fact: Israel is a brutal military occupying power which is colonizing occupied Palestinian land illegally.
      Fact: Israel has accepted only one UN resolution (the General Assembly recommendation to partition mandate Palestine) while ignoring blatantly the wishes of the international community as expressed by dozens of others.
      Fact: Israel and its armed forces use US armaments in the occupied territories in contravention of America's own export laws.

      Let's be honest about this, Mr. President.

      "Israel is surrounded by neighbours that have waged repeated wars against it," claimed Obama,
      perhaps unaware that Jewish militias - terrorists in all but name - committed numerous massacres of Palestinian civilians in the run-up to the declaration of the state of Israel.

      Jewish groups such as Irgun and the Stern Gang carried out a terrorist campaign against the lawful British Mandate authorities, bombing and shooting their way across Palestine.

    10. End the OccupationMon Nov 11, 12:46:00 PM EST

      During the Suez Crisis of 1956, Israel colluded with France and Britain to invade Egypt. In 1967
      Israel lied to the then US president and pre-empted Arab action by destroying the whole Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian air forces on the ground before any other shots had been fired in anger.

      Israel also attacked a US naval vessel, the USS Liberty, during the Six-Day War that it had instigated, killing 34 crew members and wounding 170;

      "It was a mistake," claimed the Zionists, and to the shame of its claim to stand up for what is right, the American government accepted the apology and led a cover-up.
      The surviving crew members still campaign for the true story to be accepted on Capitol Hill.

      The so-called "Yom Kippur" war of 1973 was a stitch-up between Anwar Sadat's Egypt and the US administration;
      Egyptian soldiers crossed the Suez Canal, advanced a few miles, then stopped; the idea was to boost an American politician's reputation as a peacemaker but at no time, records show, was there any possibility of Israel being conquered, for the simple reason that the Egyptian Army had no orders or plans to advance much beyond the Canal.

      Israel invaded Lebanon in 1978, 1982, 1993, 1996 and 2006.
      Thousands of civilians, Lebanese and Palestinian refugees, have been killed by Israeli bombs and bullets.
      And how could Obama forget the Israeli invasion of Gaza in 2008/9 during which more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed, one-third of them children?

      Israel is a threat to its neighbours, not least because of its nuclear arsenal; why doesn't the US president insist on that being inspected by the international community?

      Because the Americans don't allow their own arsenal to be inspected either, perhaps?

      Israel, lest we forget, is an aggressive occupying power which has destroyed the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Palestinians.

  12. Last post on the subject from me - Paris is, after all, within range of those Iranian missiles...

    November 10, 2013
    Role reversal: France pre-empts American surrender to Iran's nuke program
    Thomas Lifson

    It is a measure of how low American has fallen on the world stage that France was forced to man up and prevent a sell-out deal at the nuclear talks in Geneva that would have, in the words of the New York Times, "do too little to curb Iran's uranium enrichment or to stop the development of a nuclear reactor capable of producing plutonium." The Times of Israel reports:

    Talks in Geneva between world powers and Iran ended early Sunday morning without a deal on Iran's rogue nuclear program, after hitting a snag on Saturday when France questioned the terms of a proposed agreement. The sides agreed to meet again in Geneva on November 20, but at the level of "political directors" rather than foreign ministers.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government were appalled at what the US was prepared to offer. Yaakov Lappin of the Jerusalem Post:

    1. The US folded during negotiations in Geneva with Iran over its nuclear project, political sources in Israel charged on Saturday. They added that Israel was stunned when it learned over the weekend that a version of the deal being proposed was far worse than it believed.

      Senior political sources said that the deal that has been sitting on the negotiations table since the weekend is "very bad." It calls on Iran to stop enriching uranium to the 20 percent level, but allows them to continue enriching uranium to 3.5% at all of its enrichment sites. In addition it fails to place a limitation on the number of centrifuges in Tehran's possession, estimated to number 19,000.

      Rewards to Iran include the unfreezing of $3 billion of fuel funds, an easing of sanctions on the petrochemical and gold sectors, an easing of sanctions on replacement parts for planes and a loosening of restrictions on the Iranian car industry.
      If such a deal goes ahead, "We might head down a lane that will lead to a collapse of the sanctions regime. This is very grave," the source continued. "This won't really stop the [nuclear] project. It will give the Iranians breathing space."

    2. The "fundamental transformation" promised by President Obama seems to include a nuclear-armed Iran, which would certainly alter forever the US's strategic options in Middle East. No longer with the Sixth Fleet be able to operate so as to enforce our will. And the mad mullahs would be free to putrsue their goal of wiping Israel off the map, no matter what the human toll. It's all about paving the way for the Mahdi, you see, and what we call Armageddon is a necessary step in their plans. I'd defgintieley call that a fundamental transformation.

      Of course, the Saudis are not taking this lying down. They know that their own Shiite population is concentrated in the Persian Gulf oil producing region of the Kingdom, and that the mullahs foresee themselves becoming the hegemons of the Middle East with a stranglehold on the oil resources necessary for the preservation of the prosperity of the industrialized world, not to mention the rising ambitions of China and India. There would be no better way to subdue the infidels than to control this oil

      So the Saudis are making plans to import the nukes that Pakistan has produced, with Saudi funding. Mark Urban of the BBC reports:

      Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects, and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will, a variety of sources have told BBC Newsnight.

      While the kingdom's quest has often been set in the context of countering Iran's atomic programme, it is now possible that the Saudis might be able to deploy such devices more quickly than the Islamic republic.

      Earlier this year, a senior Nato decision maker told me that he had seen intelligence reporting that nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery.

      The Saudis have made no secret of the fact that they do not intend to be outgunned by the mullahs:

      Since 2009, when King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia warned visiting US special envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross that if Iran crossed the threshold, "we will get nuclear weapons", the kingdom has sent the Americans numerous signals of its intentions.

      Although both the Saudis and the mullahs loathe Israel, they actually resent each other even more. The Sunni-Shia split goes back much farther than Islam's confrontation with the Western world, and it is a matter that speaks to the very legitimacy of both regimes. The Saudis are the guardians of Mecca and Medina, and that is their justification to their own people of the harsh rule of the royal family, not to mention to luxurious lifestyle of the elite. The mullahs, for their part, have paved a superhighway to the well from which the 12th Mahdi is set to emerge, their own justiufication for the privatgions they force on the Iranian people.

    3. In short, thanks to the inept (or worse) diplomacy of the Obama administration, we may very soon see a nuclear armed Iran and a nuclear armed Saudi Arabia with itchy fingers on their nuclear triggers. The possibility of nuking a substantial portion of the world's oil supply would then be catastrophically high. A few nuclear bombs on the right places surrounding the Gulf could so constrict the oil supply that filling the tank on the family SUV would require hundreds of dollars, and tens of millions of people in the third world would starve, deprived of fertilizer and energy to supply the basics.

      The French, bless them, see the stakes far more clearly than does the Obama administration and most of our media. Americans love to bash France as, in Jonah Goldberg's phrase, "cheese-eating surrender monkeys," but France is pragmatic in foreign policy. They cooperated with the Israelis on the attack on Iraqi reactors that they built. In Mali, recently, they kicked ass against the jihadis when their interests were threatened.

      Americans tend to underrate France for various historical and cultural reasons. They are certainly not perfect, but not nearly as weak, inept, and effeminate as Americans believe. We could learn a lot from them on various topics, including infrastructure civil engineering, which they accomplish cheaply and efficiently compared to us.

    4. Good to see that you have embraced the French,

      The public health insurance program in France was established in 1945 and its coverage for its affiliates have undergone many changes since then. One of the major changes has resulted in the expansion to all legal residents, under the law of universal coverage called la couverture maladie universelle (universal health coverage). It is based on the principle of solidarity, guarantying financial protection against life´s contingencies for everyone.

      Originally, professional activity (being in employment) was the basis of the funding and benefits of the French public health insurance system known as the Sécurité Sociale (social security). The main fund covers eighty percent of the population. There are two additional funds for the self-employed and agricultural workers.

      Reimbursement is regulated through uniform rates. The financing is supported by employers, employee contributions, and personal income taxes. The working population has twenty percent of their gross salary deducted at source to fund the social security system.

      The contribution of financing through personal income taxes has gradually increased and its purpose is to make up for the fall in remuneration, reduce price changes on the labor market and allocate the system´s financing among citizens equitably.

      Employer and union federations jointly control the funds under the State´s supervision. This involves an intricate collaboration between the various entities of the system.

      About seventy five percent of the total health expenditures are covered by the public health insurance system. A part of the balance is paid directly by the patients and the other part by private health insurance companies that are hired individually or in group (assurance complémentaire or mutuelle, complementary insurance or mutual fund).
      The State
      The State sees that the whole population has access to care; it dictates the types of care that are reimbursed, and to what degree, and what the role is of the different participating entities.

      The State is in charge of protecting patient´s rights, elaborating policies and enforcing them. It is responsible for public safety.

      Health authorities plan the size and numbers of hospitals. They decide on the amount and allocation of technical equipment (such as MRI, CT scans…). Through its agencies, the State organizes the supply of specialized wards and secures the provision of care at all times.

      Viva la France!

    5. Fudd Busters InternationalMon Nov 11, 08:20:00 AM EST

      No need for Obama Care, we can just follow the French!

      Nationalize the Health Care Industry in the United States

      The French Know Best!

    6. A member of the Knesset did an editorial for the Jerusalem Post, advising Mr. Kerry to take his rear home and not come back. ...great idea...

    7. But made no mention of the US keeping its$3.5 BILLION in military aid or withdrawing its loan guarantees from Israel.

      Can we all spell "HYPOCRISY"
      We certainly all can see it, in the words of the Israeli.

    8. No offers of returning the $110 BILLION Dollars the US has already gifted the Israeli.

      Their "disgust" and "revulsion", well, the Iraeli does not go that far.

  13. We've fought three: Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. What they have in common is that each time, we scored a stunning victory -- only to find out that victory was a brief mirage on the road to defeat.

    We got a reminder of this when Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki came to Washington recently asking for military aid to reverse the country's slide into civil war. Al-Qaida, supposedly vanquished by the U.S. surge of 2007, has rebounded in a big way. In fact, the country has reverted to the bloody chaos that prompted the surge.

    "Iraq today looks tragically similar to the Iraq of 2006, complete with increasing numbers of horrific, indiscriminate attacks by Iraq's al-Qaida affiliate and its network of extremists," wrote Gen. David Petraeus, who commanded coalition forces in Iraq, in Foreign Policy. "Add to that the ongoing sectarian civil war in Syria ... and the situation in Iraq looks even more complicated than it was in 2006 and thus even more worrisome."

    The campaign he led under George W. Bush was supposed to not only crush the insurgency but give the government the chance to become more inclusive and democratic as it forged reconciliation between warring sectarian factions. Maliki's Shiite-dominated regime, however, passed up the opportunity.

    One foreign aid worker told The Economist magazine, "At the moment, what fuels the conflict the most is the presence of central-government security forces in Sunni areas, where they arrest young men by the hundreds, torture them and then release them back after money is paid." Violence is now at the highest level in five years, with an average of more than 20 deaths a day in bombings and other attacks.

    Afghanistan originally was a surprise not because it went badly but because it went so well. Attacking shortly after 9/11, the United States needed only a few weeks to rout Taliban government forces and their al-Qaida confederates.
    In hindsight, that would have been a good time to begin our departure. But we stayed on, hoping to create conditions favorable to stability, human rights and the rule of law. Twelve years later, we're still bogged down fighting jihadists.

    President Hamid Karzai, whom we helped bring to power, has staged a carnival of corruption, including massive vote fraud in his 2009 re-election. On human rights, the watchdog group Freedom House gives Afghanistan a rating of 6 -- with 7 being the worst possible score. Karzai recently charged that the U.S.-led coalition effort has produced "a lot of suffering" but "no gains because the country is not secure."

    Things are bound to get worse once the American military withdraws the last of its combat units. Though they managed to hold the Taliban to a stalemate during this year's fighting season, reported The New York Times, "the Afghans were unable to make significant gains and, worse, suffered such heavy casualties that some officials called the rate unsustainable."

    Libya? The security environment there is usually characterized as total anarchy, which is unfair to anarchists. Last month, the prime minister was kidnapped by one of the many militias that operate with impunity. In the end, he was rescued -- not by government forces but by another militia.

    Our military help in the removal of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi turned a country that posed no threat to us into a lawless haven for terrorists, including al-Qaida. Instead of making the U.S. more secure, we have done the opposite.

    Using military force, we should have learned, is like taking a Jeep off-road in the Utah desert.
    It's important to know what it can do -- and even more important to know what it can't.
    Read more:

  14. The challenge for the Republicans is clear.
    Develop policies that will increase the number of voters making between $30,000 - $200,000.

    . . . first of all, the efforts to bring in President Clinton and even President Obama paid off for Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday.
    Twenty percent of the electorate turned out to be African-American.
    That's exactly the same percentage it was in 2012. He needed that.
    He lost white voters almost as decisively as the president did.

    The other thing is -- and kind of a bookend to it, what Dante was talking about -

    - Terry McAuliffe lost voters who made between $30,000 and $200,000.

    He overwhelmingly won voters who -- 11 percent of the voters who earn less than $30,000 …
    ... who are mostly minority, mainly minority.

    Among voters earning over $200,000 in Virginia, who are 11 percent of the electorate, Terry McAuliffe won them 55 to 39.

    Pasted from

  15. Let me see if I have this straight.

    There are two modern religious states based on mythical characters, cults, miracles, bushes burning in the desert, oceans spreading, falling and risings, both hung up over genital mutilation of human infants, both revering long dead psychotic killers, venerating old goat skins and neither claiming a mutual border. One is armed to the teeth with every weapon known to mankind including a nuclear arsenal of ICBMS, submarines and cruise missiles and with unconditional support of another nuclear power that has Iran encircled by more firepower than was available in WWII.

    The one, armed to the teeth has been a repeat offender at war with, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine and has on international waters, attacked and killed Turks on a Turkish ship and American sailors sunbathing on an American ship. The other defended itself against a US encouraged attack from Iraq that killed 750,000.

    One country receives a US subsidy of $3-5 billion a year and the other receives US inflicted economic damage of a similar amount due to economic warfare.

    One is engaged in the expropriation of illegally occupied land, ethnic cleansing and resettlement of religious fanatics from the US and Russia.

    Conclusion: Iran is the problem?

    1. Ding ding ding, we have a winner!!

      Correct conclusion, even if you got a lot of things wrong getting there.

      You get a shiny medal of some kind!

      The Interpretation of Koran and Aggression Medal perhaps.

      I see rat is back, time to leave.

    2. Fudd Busters InternationalMon Nov 11, 08:21:00 AM EST

      Mission Accomplished!

    3. The other defended itself against a US encouraged attack from Iraq that killed 750,000.

      I realize you don't pledge allegiance to the Flag, having supported the side that was seizing it from the boys in blue from First Manassas to Petersburg, but get with the program, Deuce. We've been at war with Iran since that little embassy thing in 1979.

    4. Ms T, if you wish to characterize the US relationship as "War", then it "Started" when the US deposed the ELECTED leader of Iran, in ...


      The Iranian actions of 1979, those merely a response of the US actions of 1953..

    5. I say let bygones be bygones. I don't girlcott Teriyaki restaurants in reaction to Pearl Harbor.

    6. Deuce your revisionist history is quite amazing..

      How many hits of acid does it take to get to your warped, wasted world view? 3 or 4?

    7. I love how you can ignore the fact that the Jews, were ethnically cleansed out of the 899/900th of the arab world. How more Jews were displaced by arabs from 1948 - 1967. How homes, businesses and property were stolen, looted or destroyed by arabs of the 21 arab nations and their Jewish citizens were driven into Israel from 1948-1967.

      What also is humorous is the complete ignoring that more arabs are citizens of Israel today, living INSIDE the pre-1948 borders than existed from the "river to the sea" in 1948. Again. There are more arabs living inside Israel today, than existed in the entire disputed lands in 1948.

      Complete ignoring by you.

      And in the 899/900th of the middle east that the arabs now have? jews have been almost completely removed.

      Not a comment by you...

      In fact MILLIONS and MILLIONS of Jews that live in Israel today were driven into Israel by the arabs (this counts their offspring). Not from Europe or America. But from the Arab world.

      No comment from you.

      israel that sits on 1/900th of the middle east, is a nation that should be allowed to live in peace, but it's been under constant attack since BEFORE it was a state by the arabs.

      No comment by you.

      Now Israel is armed to the teeth, because of non-stop wars and terror by the arabs and you lay the blame at the feet? At Israel.

      You Deuce, live in America, and demand and expect peaceful living, no matter who America destroyed to give you that peace?

      can you say hypocrite?

    8. ...utter nonsense...Get rat to do your editorials. He is at least, amusing.

    9. “To me the Zionists, who want to go back to the Jewish state of A.D. 70 (destruction of Jerusalem by Titus) are just as offensive as the Nazis.

      With their nosing after blood, their ancient "cultural roots," ...
      their partly canting, partly obtuse winding back of the world they are altogether a match for the National Socialists.

      That is the fantastic thing about the National Socialists,...
      that they simultaneously share in a community of ideas with Soviet Russia and with Zion.”

      I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933-1941

    10. Christopher HitchensMon Nov 11, 10:58:00 AM EST

      Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel.
      They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their meetings.

      I still haven't submitted that expenses claim.
      The misgivings I had were of two types, both of them ineradicable.

      The first and the simplest was the encounter with everyday injustice: by all means the traffic cops were Jews but so, it turned out, were the colonists and ethnic cleansers and even the torturers.

      It was Jewish leftist friends who insisted that I go and see towns and villages under occupation, … and sit down with Palestinian Arabs who were living under house arrest—if they were lucky—
      … or who were squatting in the ruins of their demolished homes if they were less fortunate.

      In Ramallah I spent the day with the beguiling Raimonda Tawil, confined to her home for committing no known crime save that of expressing her opinions. (For some reason, what I most remember is a sudden exclamation from her very restrained and respectable husband, a manager of the local bank:
      'I would prefer living under a Bedouin muktar to another day of Israeli rule!'

    11. Yeah Wi"O", listen to allen!
      Let desert rat, the whackadoodle, write your copy!

      Then be better written, and be more amusing, too!

    12. .

      We've been at war with Iran since that little embassy thing in 1979.

      T, at times I think you are clever, at others, well...


    13. allenMon Nov 11, 10:55:00 AM EST
      ...utter nonsense...Get rat to do your editorials. He is at least, amusing.

      What part of my post was utter nonsense?

    14. WiO,

      I was not addressing you.

  16. “Tacloban is totally destroyed,” public school teacher Andrew Pomeda told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “Some people are losing their minds from hunger or from losing their families. People are becoming violent. They are looting business establishments, the malls, just to find food. I’m afraid that in one week, people will be killing from hunger.”

    In Tacloban, the airport had been reduced to a husk of twisted beams. Ships and tankers had been flung onto shore. Philippine television reported that ATMs were being looted, as well as malls and grocery stores.

    Pasted from

  17. To understand the United States, it's worth taking a look at other paranoid democracies.

    In southern Africa, Boer settlers battled the local population for land. To this day, the Boers still have a glorified view of their history, as suggested by Boer expressions like "Eie land, vrye volk," or "One land, free people.
    " A strict apartheid system was implemented in South Africa starting in 1948. The system enabled the Boers to isolate themselves from the black majority and create a democracy, but only for whites, making it entirely undemocratic.

    Fear was the basis of that state. It built nuclear bombs, even though it had no enemies.

    Politics Shaped by Fear
    Israel is the promised land of the Jews.
    It was created primarily to give Holocaust survivors a place where they could feel free and safe. That freedom and safety was fought for and preserved in wars against the Palestinians and neighboring powers, wars that claimed many casualties.
    To this day, Israel retains elements of a settler society, as the country continues to expand into the West Bank.

    In Israel, too, politics are shaped by fear -- and a justified one.
    The country is surrounded by enemies, some of which have made the renewed extermination of the Jews their objective.

    But does that mean that the Israelis have to have their presumed enemies murdered abroad? One of today's symbols of political paranoia is the giant wall that seals off Palestinian areas from Israeli territory. ...

    Political paranoia requires an enemy, or at least the concept of an enemy.

    For a long time after the society of white settlers had destroyed or banished the Indian tribes, there was no enemy to threaten the Americans in their paradise.
    It was only the Soviet Union's bombers armed with nuclear missiles that made the United States vulnerable again and fanned new fears. At the same time, the rival in the East served as the alternative model to the freedom myth, because it was a society of compulsion and limited opportunity. It also offered an austere alternative model to the American paradise, which by then had become primarily a paradise of consumerism.

    Pasted from

    1. For dictators, paranoia helps shape and preserve their autocratic systems. Autocrats need an enemy -- always an internal enemy and sometimes an external one, too -- to legitimize violence and coercion, and to generate allegiance.

      The Nazis are unparalleled in this art of hysterical governance. Their declared internal enemies were Jews, Communists, Social Democrats, the Sinti and the Roma, homosexuals and anyone who told jokes about Adolf Hitler. The external enemies were all the countries that Germany attacked, which was a large number, as well as the overseas democracies, especially the United States. For the Chinese party dictatorship, dissidents are the internal enemies, often people who express their criticism with a paintbrush, pen or laptop. Although China lacks an external enemy, it does have an aversion to Japan.

      It isn't as if nuclear bombs were at issue. The aim of some of today's intelligence methods is to prevent attacks that could be very painful for America, but in truth do not threaten the American founding myths and are not capable of extinguishing the American paradise. Only the Americans themselves can do that. The fear aspect of freedom is destructive to freedom, because it allows the need for security to get out of hand.
      While paranoia legitimizes a dictatorship, it can achieve the opposite effect in a democracy. The United States is no longer a model of liberal democracy. That much has been made clear in light of mass surveillance, torture, the extralegal detention camp at Guantanamo and an isolationist ideology that leads to author Ilija Trojanow being denied entry to the country, presumably because of his criticism of American policy.
      Other nations also have their fears, but they lack the power to turn the world upside down. Power and paranoia are a dangerous mix.
      Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

      Pasted from

    2. Autocrats need an enemy -- always an internal enemy and sometimes an external one, too -- to legitimize violence and coercion, and to generate allegiance.

      Hence the GOP Platform planks like "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live".

  18. Ash left a nice long letter addressed just to you towards the end of the previous thread, rat.

    Make certain you read it thoroughly and carefully.

    I did, and I have expressed my appreciation to him for it.

    1. You can't blame anyone else, ... , no one but yourself.
      You have to make your own choices and live every agonizing day with the consequences of those choices.”

    2. A Wild Ride

      A soft, cool wind blew over the grass, riffling it
      in gentle waves on the slope leading down to the lake.
      Birds chirped in nearby trees, and a rabbit sat on a rock near the water,
      scratching it’s ears with it’s long hind leg.

      Nature, in all it’s peaceful glory.

    3. Riffles are interesting, from the Civil War Riffle over the meaning of the Bible all the way to the Tacloban Riffle of 2013.

    4. Men can sow the wind and reap the whirlwind, Ms T.

      But a whirlwind is no riffling wind.
      No, indeed it is not.

      A whirlwind is more akin to a Dervish.
      A riffling wind, is steady, consistent and pretty much serene.

      Nature at peace, in all its glory.

  19. Replies
    1. Hillary knows what to do with her Foreign Aide.


  20. Iran allows inspectors to visit two key nuclear sites
    IAEA granted permission to enter long-unseen facilities as Tehran seeks to show co-operation after failure Geneva talks

  21. One of today's symbols of political paranoia is the giant wall that seals off Palestinian areas from Israeli territory. ...

    And quite aside from their role as a symbol of paranoia, the giant wall does double-duty as a barrier to idiots wearing dynamite jackets and heading for Israeli pizzarias and schools.

    1. Thank you, T, for pointing out the obvious.

    2. “A freedom fighter learns the hard way that it is the oppressor who defines the nature of the struggle ,and the oppressed is often left no recourse but to use methods that mirror those of the oppressor. At a point, one can only fight fire with fire”

    3. Sure. Because blowing up schoolgirls mirrors the act of Israel moving out of Gaza.

    4. End the OccupationMon Nov 11, 11:53:00 AM EST

      No, it mirrors the act of the Israeli retaining control of Gaza, the sea and the air around it.
      It mirrors the actions of the Israeli retaining Jeruseleum and the West Bank.

      It mirrors the Israeli System of Apartheid.

      It mirrors the destruction of over "approximately 27,000 Palestinian structures in the occupied territories (the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip), including more than 24,000 homes ..."

      It mirrors the expulsion of ... approximately 750,000 Palestinian Arabs from their ancestral lands in order to create a Jewish majority state ...

    5. No, it mirrors the act of the Israeli retaining control of Gaza, the sea and the air around it.

      I'd do it too. The Gazans fire shells at Israeli schools. P. Beauregard fired shells at Fort Sumter. Lincoln proceeded to control the sea around the Confederacy. and if the CSA had observation balloons he'd probably shoot those down too. The order to pull the settlers out of Gaza wasn't a suicide pact.

    6. Teresita,

      Israel is a special case, don't you know. But I do not blame anti-Semites for being what they are. No, I blame Jewish governments for putting up with the bullying, and then whining about. When you get hit, you hit back harder; presumably, even Palestinians will eventually catch on.

  22. The article can't even say Jerusalem....

    "Tel Aviv’s position"

    Silly us, Tel Aviv is only the sole location of every nation that has relations with Israel, including the United States.

    1. Sole location of their embassies, that is.

    2. that is the funny thing Ms T....

      Having not ever been there you really don't KNOW the reality.

      jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel.

      It's not myth.. It's not projection. It's reality.

      I suggest you take a trip there and see the truth.

      Jerusalem. David's City.

      From the Mount of Olives to the Temple Mount...


      Now if others are to cowardly to be honest to the nations that threaten them with their energy supply if they dare? That's their mark of yellow..

      Jerusalem. Eternal Capital of the Jewish people. 3000 years and going strong.

    3. Jerusalem. Eternal Capital of the Jewish people. 3000 years and going strong.

      Except for a couple periods of hiatus.

      587-538 BCE.

      70 CE - 1948 CE.

      One time also, Sennacherib laid siege to Jerusalem and forced Hezekiah to pay a tribute of thirty talents of gold, eight hundred talents of silver, gems, antimony, and many jewels. Also paid in tribute was carnelian, couches and chairs inlaid with ivory, elephant hides and tusks, ebony, boxwood, and other rich treasures, along with Hezekiah's daughters, his wives, his musicians, men and women. All of these things were taken by King Sennacherib to Ninevah. So maybe Jerusalem was a capital, but it was a capital of a vassal state.

      When Palestine fell under the rule of the Selucid Dynasty, many Jews began to adopt the ways of the Greek gentiles who dominated them. They tried to covered the marks of their circumcision, and built gymnasiums, and no longer observed the ordinances of the Mosaic Law. With some support of these secularized Jews, Antiochus IV Ephiphanes declared Judaism abolished, and dedicated the temple in Jerusalem to Zeus, about 174 BCE. This was temporarily reversed by the Maccabean Revolt, but even that was co-opted by Rome, eventually. Herod was a client of Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra.

      So, yeah, sure, eternal capital.

    4. Errata: They didn't actually slide back into Jerusalem until 1967 CE.

    5. As you may recall, T, Jordan had unlawfully snatched up what is now called the West Bank. Having done so, Jews and Christians were denied access to their places of worship. Why do reasonably intelligent people leave out those little nuggets of truth that change the entire paradigm?

    6. End the OccupationMon Nov 11, 11:12:00 AM EST

      Because the actions of the Israeli, since 1948 have been so egregiously repressive of the Palestinians.

      Home Demolitions: By the Numbers -

      Since 1967, Israel has destroyed approximately 27,000 Palestinian structures in the occupied territories (the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip), including more than 24,000 homes, according to ICAHD.
      Since the renewal of negotiations in August 2013, Israel has destroyed approximately 25 Palestinian homes, in addition to dozens of other structures, leaving approximately 200 people homeless.

      According to the UN, between January and September 2013, 862 Palestinians were displaced by Israeli demolitions, compared to 886 (including 468 children) in all of 2012.

      In 2012, a total of 600 Palestinian structures were demolished by Israel in the occupied territories, including at least 189 homes, according to ICAHD. This figure doesn’t include “self-demolitions” whereby Palestinians destroy their own homes rather than have Israel do it and charge them an additional fine.

      One Bedouin village, Al-Araqib, in the Negev desert in the south of Israel, has been destroyed more than 50 times by Israel since July 2010.

      Between 2005 and 2012, Israel demolished approximately 1500 Palestinian homes due to owners lacking hard-to-obtain construction permits.

      Between 1993 and 2000, when the Oslo Accords were being negotiated between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, Israel destroyed almost 1700 Palestinian homes in the occupied territories.

      Immediately following Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza in 1967, approximately 6000 Palestinian homes were demolished, including four entire villages in the Latrun area, along with dozens of homes in the Mughrabi Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, which were destroyed to make way for a plaza for the Western Wall. In 1971, between 2000 and 6000 Palestinian homes were destroyed in Gaza in an effort to pacify the newly occupied territory.

      During Israel’s creation (1948-49), Zionist and then Israeli forces expelled approximately 750,000 Palestinian Arabs from their ancestral lands in order to create a Jewish majority state of Israel. In the process, more than 400 Palestinian population centers were systematically destroyed, including thousands of homes, businesses, and houses of worship.

    7. When the Israeli took the city, they dd not return it to the UN, but kept it for themselves, as had the Jordanians.

      Just another example of the "Equivalency Standard" in action.

      The Israeli admitting their guilt, but looking to absolve it though mitigation.
      They search for the lowest common denominator and then try to reach it, for justification purposes, it's just that simple.

    8. As you may recall, T, Jordan had unlawfully snatched up what is now called the West Bank. Having done so, Jews and Christians were denied access to their places of worship. Why do reasonably intelligent people leave out those little nuggets of truth that change the entire paradigm?

      If you wish to invoke law, here was the partition map approved by the UN:

    9. .

      Jerusalem. Eternal Capital of the Jewish people. 3000 years and going strong.

      "Except for a couple periods of hiatus."

      And the 1000 years the city existed before it was 'liberated'.


    10. Or are you referring to the period of times that conquering, murderous bastards murdered the rightful owners of jerusalem, the Jews, and imported squatting thieves?

    11. Just because savages murdered Jews and stole the property of the Temple doesn't take away from the fact that the Temple is and was the property of the Jews.

    12. The Invention of the Jewish People is a book written by Shlomo Sand, an Israeli professor of history at the University of Tel Aviv.

      The author wasn’t probing a belief system but Zionist fabrications of a spurious common lineage for people of the Jewish faith.

      Sand argues that the idea of Jews having a common ethnic identity is implausible because, as with Christianity and Islam, Judaism was originally a “proselytising religion”.

      The notion of Judaism as a “race”, rather than a religion of various races, is without foundation.

      The recent study by John Hopkins geneticist Dr Elhaik confirms that the common genome structure of the European Jew gravitated towards an origin in old Khazaria.

      “The majority of Jews do not have Middle Eastern genetic component,” he told Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

      Founded on a mélange of myths and manufactured historical tales, Israel has failed the archaeological test of time and is now exposed by DNA science.

      Today’s genetics prove unequivocally that in 1948 “the children of the original Jews” were replaced by converts with no roots in the Middle East.

    13. On average, all Ashkenazi Jews are genetically as closely related to each other as fourth or fifth cousins, said Dr. Harry Ostrer, a pathology, pediatrics and genetics professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and the author of "Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People" (Oxford University Press, 2012).

      Maternal DNA
      Richards and his colleagues analyzed mitochondrial DNA, which is contained in the cytoplasm of the egg and passed down only from the mother, from more than 3,500 people throughout the Near East, the Caucusus and Europe, including Ashkenazi Jews.
      The team found that four founders were responsible for 40 percent of Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA, and that all of these founders originated in Europe. The majority of the remaining people could be traced to other European lineages.
      All told, more than 80 percent of the maternal lineages of Ashkenazi Jews could be traced to Europe, with only a few lineages originating in the Near East.
      Virtually none came from the North Caucasus

    14. .

      The site where Jerusalem stands has been populated for 5000 years (at least). It has been a city for at least 4,000 years.

      However, I was referring to the period of time before a band of conquering, murderous bastards murdered the rightful owners of jerusalem, in this case, the murdering of the Canaanites (Jebusites) by the Jews.

      Learn a little history rather than the fairy tales you were taught as a child.


    15. Israel’s apartheid isn’t just political, it’s ideology wrapped in history and religion
      Marc H. Ellis

      Israel’s apartheid isn’t only a political system.  It’s an ideology wrapped in history and religion.
      Every nation has a civil religion.  That’s how a national ethos is evoked. 

      Civil religion starts out with those who dominate the political landscape but, like the political process itself, evolves over time. 

      Civil religion expands as the nation expands its view of national history.
      Israel’s civil religion was on display in Netanyahu’s address – in a primitive form. 
      It excluded the Palestinian citizens of Israel and left out millions of Palestinians, Israel occupies. 
      Netanyahu reduced Jewish history in and outside Israel to a series of myths that serve unjust political power.

      The (not so) new Israeli historians like Ilan Pappe are seen primarily as insurgents because they address Palestinian displacement in the formation of Israel. 
      They’re also progenitors of a more accurate and inclusive history of the state of Israel.

      When communicating Israel’s civil religion, Palestinians have to be included in all phases of Israel’s national life. 

      This includes the historical Nakba and the ongoing Nakba as well.
      Like the new Israeli historians, Jews of Conscience expand our understanding of Jewish history. 
      They redefine what can and cannot be said about Israel. 
      They also redefine what can and cannot be said about Jewish history.

      One day a Prime Minister of Israel will communicate that expanded view at the United Nations. 
      Then Israel will be quite different.  Its future will have taken on a different trajectory.

      Netanyahu is a relic in real time.  He’s a throwback without a place to stand in the future of the state of Israel – if there is to be a future for Israel.  With time, Netanyahu’s standing in Jewish history will be diminished to the point of disappearing – if there is a Jewish history worth bequeathing to our children..

      In the meantime, endurance is the key. 
      We are living in the most scandalous time in Jewish history.
      Even if you start with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

    16. Basically, Anonymous, the Jews of "Today" have no relationship to David.

      Not by blood, not be ideology.
      Not by religion, Bibi is a secularist, a descendent of European Ashkenazi, which is not the same as a sectarian Jew from David's day.
      Not at all, not even close.

    17. .

      Netanyahu is a relic in real time. He’s a throwback without a place to stand in the future of the state of Israel...

      Nonsense, he is merely the last in a line of Israeli PM's with similar inclinations, a line that has been rarely broken.

      When communicating Israel’s civil religion, Palestinians have to be included in all phases of Israel’s national life.

      More illusion, given the ambiguous trends among the Israeli public, the demographic trends in the society, and the status quo and projected progression of West Bank policies, the Palestinian cause is dead. There are just too many factors dictating against the Palestinians achieving a state in the occupied territories.


    18. I would certainly agree, withmost all of that, Quirk.

      They've got themselves a 'Humdinger' of a problem.

      Mr Ellis, he has a different view.
      I do not think the "Liberal" Israeli view is of "Two States", not by the superficial reading of it.

      No one seems to think it will work. Except for the Palestinians on the Israeli Apartheid System payroll.
      $100 million dollars a month buys a lot of Kabuki Theater actors which maintains the "Status Que"

    19. The "One State Solution" leads to integration, not segregation.
      Definitely not Apartheid.

      If that idea were to become more widespread, that the Palestinians were being treated as they are ...
      then US financial support to the state of Israel would dwindle. The socialist utopia would lose its 'Edge".

      As it it should, so there is the "Way Forward", to make it abundantly clear that Mr GW Bush was just plain wrong, to advocate for a "Two State Solution". That the idea was just a front, a smoke screen for the Israeli Apartheid system of governance.

      A way to legitimize the "Palestinian autonomous areas"

      "The so-called “Palestinian autonomous areas” are Bantustans.
      These are restricted entities within the power structure of the Israeli Apartheid system."
      - N. Mandela

      Keeping the Palestinians secure in their "Ghettos", on their "Reserves"

      Israel's Palestinian lackeys rule over the fractured and factionalized Palestinians people
      Paid $100 million a month the Israeli house boys pass out the baksheesh.


    20. “One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror. ”


    21. Pressman: American Presidents and the Two-State Solution

      Posted on 05/25/2011 by Juan Cole

      Jeremy Pressman writes in a guest column for Informed Comment:

      “Clinton, Bush, & Obama on a two-state solution”

      This compilation of major Clinton, Bush (43), and Obama statements on a two-state solution including security, settlements, the West Bank, refugees, and Jerusalem suggests the similarities and differences in presidential rhetoric since President Bill Clinton publicly called for two states on January 7, 2001.

      What does a careful reading of these six documents suggest?

      1. These presidents all supported a two-state solution including a contiguous, viable, and sovereign Palestine. Bush and Obama explicitly noted that each state was the homeland for that people.

      2. Bush emphasized a democratic Palestine.

      3. In general, only Israel was said to need security. (This was often juxtaposed with ending the humiliation of the occupation and restoring Palestinian dignity.) All agreed the new borders needed to be secure for Israel. Only Obama made any reference to Palestinian security.

      4. Clinton and Obama agreed the Palestinian state should be “nonmilitarized.”

      5. By talking about swaps, blocks, or population centers, all three presidents seemed to agree Israel would keep some large settlements in the West Bank (large in terms of population). In May 19 speech, Obama may have used a phrasing the Palestinians prefer – the 1967 lines – but the practical significance given past negotiations is little.

      6. Clinton and Bush rejected the idea that the Palestinian right of return would mean the return of refugees to Israel. Bush and Obama did not detail a comprehensive plan for addressing the Palestinian refugee question.

      7. Only Clinton was clear on Jerusalem. Bush and Obama did not detail a comprehensive plan for addressing Jerusalem. In other words, only Clinton set out a U.S. position on every major Israeli-Palestinian issue.

      These quotations are drawn from six sources (five speeches and one letter):

      the pdf compilation of presidential remarks is @

    22. Teresita and the map

      Please. The Arabs as you well know rejected the UN's solution and attacked Israel. That map and all it implied was killed by the Arabs.

      There has not been a time since the reign of David, when Jews have not been in or near Jerusalem. For nearly 2,000 years, we have affirmed annually, "Next year in Jerusalem!" It is true that we did not have the wherewithal to physically take the city from its sundry plunderers, however, that has nothing to do with our view of our city.

      Well, now we do hold Jerusalem. Anyone coming in peace may enter and worship.

      We will hold Jerusalem both physically and spiritually. For those who disagree, come take it; Israel is not Poland and sabras are not creme puffs.

  23. An interesting statistic from the Va race:

    Blacks are 19% of the Va Population.

    They were 20% of the Vote.

    1. Meanwhile, Hispanics (8.4% of the population) punched well below their weight with 4% of the vote.

      If the Hispanics ever find their way to the ballot box it's all over for the Angry Old White Men.

    2. Concerned, motivated voters.

  24. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Sunday directed the U.S. Pacific Command to support American humanitarian relief efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

    The military's primary role of Muslim outreach and Wymyn's studies has been placed temporarily at a lower priority.

  25. b00bie droppings or rat-crap. Different day same shit.

    The blog was closed out for most yesterday due to the crap flowing over the 200 limit. Something buggy is going on once things hit that point and the sewer clogs for most.

    anon - get a name! My instructions were intended so that you don't need be dependent upon your "blog-administrator". Grasp the reins of power yourself!

    Yeah, Quirk, the narrative seemed to want to move ahead in the plane story, which got me to read through more than the first couple of paragraphs, but it never paid off in the end. A good short story needs to grab the readers attention in the first paragraph and wrap it up succinctly. If it is a novel, well, the blog comment section is an odd place to try to post it, but all that airplane part description better have a purpose or it is just fodder for the airplane fetishist.

    1. It was pure "Travis McGee." And, not bad at that. :)

    2. You are correct, ash, the story did not end, instead it grew to a length that does not well fit the blogger format.

      It does not lend itself to Improvisational Blogging, so, while not discarded, the "Gray Ghost at Dawn" remains in a holding pattern, circling the airport south of Limon, Costa Rica.

    3. Take some time, and develop it. It made Me smile. :)

    4. The concepts of "ownership", "sovereignty" and "legality" were all being put into play.

      As well as exposing some of the "Off Shore" shenanigans of the monied elites.

      But, it will have to be done as a short novel, not a short story.

    5. Yeah, when you purchase a copy of Windows with your credit card, and are ready to download the .ISO, you are directed to a site in Lichtenstein. Because Microshaft doesn't believe in paying their taxes.

    6. .

      It was pure "Travis McGee." And, not bad at that. :)

      Yesterday, I applauded rat's efforts merely pointing out a couple things that slowed down the narrative. However, the point that you make highlighted one of them.

      It has been years since I have read the Travis McGee series but as I recall MacDonald's emphasis was on character and action. The books moved quickly. There is not a lot of technical detail. (At least, as I can remember.) You could go through one of them in a couple of hours.

      From reading the rat's title, "Grey Ghost at Dawn", it appears the plane will be emphasized throughout the book; however, I had the same take that Ash did. The first part of the story dragged, too much detail, too much emphasis on the plane's equipment, it seemed drawn from a sales brochure's spec section. I think it was Ash that pointed out that you need to catch the readers attention from the beginning.

      Just my opinion as a reader. Not meant as a negative statement but more as a personal critique. I applaud the boy for getting started.


    7. All of the McGee books used color in their titles, Quirk.
      The Quick Red Fox, Bright Orange for the Shroud, The Lonely Sliver Rain

      It didn't have a title until I typed that "Gray Ghost at Dawn"

      The equipment data sets flow more from the Clancy style of writing.
      Techno-centric, almost an owners manual, sometimes.

      Seems rather popular, at least successful.

    8. .


      I do remember the colors.


      And sorry if I offended in any way. Just thought it might flow a little smoother if the same tech info was stretched out over the ongoing narrative rather than all right at first. But what the shit do I know?

      Carry on.

      You took the first step. You got started.


  26. The head of the Philippines delegation at UN climate talks in Poland has said he will stop eating until participants make "meaningful" progress.

    (I thought Obama already reversed the sea levels)

    1. T, There are some who also believe he walks on water -- not yet; he's saving that for 2014.

    2. He better load up on pens, because he's going to do a lot of veto'n after Nov 2014.

  27. The blog was closed out for most yesterday due to the crap flowing over the 200 limit. Something buggy is going on once things hit that point and the sewer clogs for most.

    Deuce knows I can prevent that, and he knows my email address is The rest is up to him.

    1. or some of us can simply exercise restraint and hold a bit of it in...

      How's that 1200 dead number working out for you? Still sticking to it?

    2. I don't have an agenda, the number is what it is, let's wait 'til it's in.

    3. Hopefully it won't be too bad but those pictures look ugly.

      My wife has a co-worker with family in the area. She asked why they wouldn't have moved to higher ground. She was told that there a lot of squatters there and that they were worried that they'd take over the house if they left.

  28. I can't fire the blog administrator, Ash. She has to do that. She is the blog administrator.

    See my problem. boy?

    1. Ya, she needs to protect you from yourself because you lack the ability and self awareness to do it.

      The result is you languish in anono-land mewling with no effect.

    2. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,Mon Nov 11, 10:52:00 AM EST

      “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”

    3. Hatred is something peculiar. You will always find it strongest and most violent where there is the lowest degree of culture.



    4. “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

    5. Hegemenic HeadquartersMon Nov 11, 11:45:00 AM EST

      There can be no love for the misogynist, the fascist, the racist, the narcissist Fudd.

      They hold hope for but one outcome, that is feigned indifference from the Hegemony.
      Which the Fudds will only garner through an admission of past affronts and future compliance with the demands made upon them.

      The French have led the way, we shall follow on the path they have blazed.
      No Selling Out, even if there are those that advise it, for the "Common Good"

    6. "The LORD God said to the serpent, 'Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.'

      And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."

      ___Bereshit 3:

    7. From the earliest parts of the Bible, it was understood that God could not forgive without sacrifice.

      No one who is seriously wronged can "just forgive" the perpetrator...."

    8. “Men are born to sin…

      What does matter most, is not that we err, it is that we do benefit from our mistakes, that we are capable of sincere repentance, of genuine contrition.”

    9. It would seem that our feckless Fudd has read "Moby Dick"

      “And here, shipmates, is true and faithful repentance; not clamorous for pardon, but grateful for punishment.”
      ― Herman Melville

  29. I want you to know and make sure you know I wrote you a fine appreciation to you concerning your letter to ratproasshole.

    That was wonderful of you, Ash, truly wonderful.

    Thank you so much.

    You have heard the sound made by no two things striking together, the beginning of a real life.

    I am so happy for you, I just can't say!

    1. We already know the sound of no two Fudd thoughts striking together.

    2. Ifeanyi Enoch OnuohaMon Nov 11, 10:50:00 AM EST

      “In you is the ability that will move you from nonentity and mediocrity to an entity of meteority. Take responsibility now!”

  30. Here's a very smart man explaining how Sydney is going to get to 100% Renewable Energy by 2030.


    1. Use Verdana as your default font.

      Do not do direct cut and paste.
      On cut and pastes, copy to a work processor as an intermediate step and then copy from the Word Doc to Google. (Doug never got the hang of that)

      The content is all yours.

      Keep the looks of you posts similar to my posts.

      Use discretion in the deleting comments.

      If a post is generating conversation that is interesting, let it run.

      When 200 is reached, post new.

      Any reference to “outing” on identity etc, take them down.

      You know what to do.

      Have fun.

      Any others who want to contribute, will be considered on an individual basis. I reserve the right to withdraw the privilege but do not expect to use it.

    2. LOL….

      Keys to the jackals from the jackals

    3. Roger dodger, Deuce. I prefer static images to Youtube videos. Not all of my computers have oodles of RAM to load 'em.

    4. You have to be able to sign-on, to play Farmer Fudd.

      Takes a bit of techno-savy to even apply.
      You can spell, have reasonable diction, but you cannot access the network.

      Thus, you were eliminated from consideration.

  31. Ash, Here is the missing link.

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. The low cost of electricity from Snowtown II combined with other developments such as the decreasing cost of solar power means that Australia will never build another coal power plant. This is something I’m very excited about. Renewable energy schemes like Snowtown II will leave coal for dead in Australia and that’s something you can take all the way to the bank. Local residents are also very excited about the wind farm and in fact it is the most interesting thing that has ever happened to Snowtown. If you don’t believe me, ring up the town and ask them. I dare you.

    Snowtown II


  35. End the OccupationMon Nov 11, 01:24:00 PM EST

    "Israel's citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses."
    All of which have provided excuses for Israel to "respond" and kill hundreds, if not thousands, more Palestinians "in retaliation".
    Bring an end to the Israeli occupation of their land, Mr. President, and you remove the reason why Palestinians feel the need to resist the occupation in this way.
    If we want to be pedantic, we'd say that rockets were not "fired at their houses" because the rockets in question are not the "smart bomb" technology used by Israel.

    "Israel's children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them."
    Obama should go to Hebron to see how Israeli settlers' children are shown by their elders how to treat Palestinians.

    I have never met any Palestinian children who are taught to hate Israelis by anything or anyone other than the actions of the Israelis themselves.
    Palestinians and pro-justice activists around the world will tell you that it is those actions which are hated, not the Israelis as individuals.

    "Israel, a small country of less than 8 million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map."

    One leader of one country has, as far as I am aware, made such a statement, and even that is disputed by those who claim it was a mistranslation from Farsi. So who are these "leaders of much larger nations", Mr. President, and when did they make such statements?

    "The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile, persecution and the fresh memory of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they were."
    Jews lived in peace in Palestine under Muslim rule for centuries before the atheist European Zionists came along.
    The Palestinians weren't responsible for the Holocaust, or the pogroms in Tsarist Russia, or numerous expulsions of Jews from countries across Europe over many centuries.

    Why should the Palestinians pay the price for Europe's crimes?

    It was ironic for Obama to say that the UN was not the forum for finding a solution to the crisis in the Holy Land, given that it was the US-controlled UN which decided to partition Palestine in 1947, a decision which led to the creation of the state of Israel.

    Which was the first country to recognize the Zionist state?
    It was America, of course, within ten minutes of Israel's declaration of independence coming into effect.
    America has been in Israel's pocket ever since, with American politicians lining up to see who can do the most for the benefit of a foreign state

    - See more at:

    1. Bunk! Numbers, please. It is not a Zionist state, it is a Jewish state per the Supreme Court. There was an unbroken legitimate claim on the land from Balfour to Independence.

    2. There is nothing in the world more shameful than establishing one's self on lies and fables.

    3. End the OccupationMon Nov 11, 02:56:00 PM EST

      Whose Supreme Court?

      Not by the Palestinian Supreme Court, it has not been so found.
      You think there is any legitimacy to the decisions of any other Supreme Court, in Palestine?

      We think not.

      The entire Zionist, atheist state of Israel is illegitimate in our eyes.
      All the instruments of Israeli governance are tools of Zionist oppression, of the Israeli Apartheid System, of oppression of the indigenous people by Europeans with no rightful claim to Palestine, other than those that have only been enforced by the use of force.

    4. The history of the Jewish people, the European claims to Palestine, all based upon fables!

      Your Mr Goethe was correct, you should take it to heart.

      Genetic science does not lie. The Ashkenazi have no blood ties to Palestine.
      No roots there, not today, not yesterday, not in 1948, not 2,000 years ago.

    5. No ties to King David, none to Moses, none to Abraham.

      Except sectarian belief.
      Strip that away, be a secular Ashkenazi ...
      Then there is no claim of sovereignty that can be made that is even remotely viable, with regard to the lands of Palestine.

      The Ashkenazi fables were just that fables based upon lies.
      Told often enough, over the course of thousands of years, the fables become Ashkenazi "Truths", but are still only lies.

      There is no Semitic background to the Ashkenazi.
      They are not Semites, at all.

      The German propaganda machine had it all wrong, from the get go.
      Just more lies, based upon fables, based upon lies.

      Funny, if not for the suffering it has caused the people of Palestine.

    6. .

      There is nothing in the world more shameful than establishing one's self on lies and fables.

      True enough, people believe those parts of history they choose to believe and ignore the rest.

      The Balfour Declaration. More pissing into the wind by the Brits.

      In 1915, the Brits promised the ME to Hussein bin Ali in exchange for Arab help in defeating the Ottoman Empire. This led to the Arab Revolt of 1916.

      A couple weeks prior to the Arab Revolt starting, in May 1916, the British-French-Russians signed the Sykes-Picot Agreement describing how the ME would be divided up between the three parties. Palestine was to be internationalized.

      To the War Cabinet at the end of October, 1917, prior to Britain actually taking complete control over Palestine, Lord Balfour indicated a declaration favourable to Zionist aspirations would allow Great Britain "'to carry on extremely useful propaganda both in Russia and America"[15] And thus was born the Balfour Declaration, not exactly a promise but rather an encouragement for the Zionists to pursue a 'national homeland' (not a state) in Palestine.

      Britain wasn't formally granted mandatory powers over Palestine mandate until September, 1923. By then, British views had changed substantially.

      Promises are just that until acted upon.

      The only promises that were actually acted upon by the British were those included in the Sykes-Picot Agreement.



    7. It was not tha long ago, allen, that you posted a piece ...
      I described a Polish Rabbi extolling the virtues of ...

      "Going Home to Israel" ... to paraphrase the prayer.

      Which I am sure he truly believed was the "Way".
      He'd been told that his entire life, based upon the veracity of his father and his father's father.

      Those stories had been passed down, verbatim, the hand written copies were meticulously done, by highly skilled scribes.
      Quality control, to ensure exact duplication one generation to the next, was extraordinary.

      But somewhere, about 2,000 years ago, the stories were adapted to fit their new European audience.
      People who had never been here, now considertd Jerusalem to be their birthright, because it was in the story, the fable.

      The story is that the Ashkenazi fully embraced but the fables as their own, took them to heart.
      Those stories, though, they were not "really" about the Ashkenazi.

      No, the stories were about the 13 Tribes of Israel.
      Not the tribal structure of the Ashkenazi.

    8. I think, upon reflection and reading the words, again ...

      It was that the fables were NOT adapted to Europe, that they remained the verbatim copies of the originals, is what led the Ashkenazi to the misconception that "they" were truly Israelites.

      Not just metaphorically, but physically.

    9. Quirk,

      The crown made promises to its American colonies. By force of arms and a timely alliance with France, those colonists made good on the crown's word.

      The British made a deal in 1922 concerning Palestine and promptly broke it in 1923. So much for honor.

      I haven't the time or the inclination to rehash the hash. We have it. We are going to keep it. We do not trust the toilet tissue passed among grubby Europeans as treaties. Rather than attempt to make an apology on behalf of Jews, I will take the advice of Andrew Jackson, "To the victors go the spoils."

  36. From the earliest parts of the Bible, it was understood that God could not forgive without sacrifice.

    Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

  37. Experts: Maine, Michigan votes another 'green light' for marijuana legalization

    (CNN) -- Marijuana is moving on "greased tracks" toward legalization, according to the advocacy group that's been riding the train for more than 40 years.

    The reason is a stark shift in public opinion, said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. On Tuesday, Portland, Maine, followed Washington and Colorado's lead and legalized recreational use of the drug, while the Michigan cities of Lansing, Jackson and Ferndale resoundingly voted to let people older than 21 possess an ounce of the green stuff on private property.

    The municipal votes may seem like small potatoes, but St. Pierre said that 2013 isn't just an off-year for elections, it's an "off-off-year."

    "I absolutely pinch myself every single day, affirming that these changes are happening and they appear long-lasting," he said.

    In Colorado, where voters OK'd recreational use in last year's election, another measure to tax marijuana -- opposed by some pot proponents -- also passed Tuesday.

    "Here on K Street, that's a victory," he said, referring to the lobbyist row in Washington where NORML is headquartered. "(Not taxing marijuana) would've created a whole heap of mess with the federal government. Institutionally, strategically speaking, marijuana isn't going to become legal if it's not being taxed."

    While public opinion on legalization has changed drastically since the 1960s, St. Pierre notes there has been an unprecedented spike in approval ratings just in the past year, reaching 58%, according to a Gallup Poll last month. The number marks a 10% increase since Colorado and Washington voted to legalize it, "and the legal momentum shows no sign of abating," according to Gallup.

    1. With political ads for legalization on the back of every bag of Doritos, the antis have little chance.