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

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

British, American and other Nato troops have been so long in Afghanistan – twice as long as the second world war – that perhaps their leaders have forgotten what the original mission actually was. In fact, it began as a war to destroy al-Qaida, crush the Taliban and capture or kill their leaders, Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar

Mission accomplished? Afghanistan is a calamity and our leaders must be held to account

British troops haven't accomplished a single one of their missions in Afghanistan. Like Iraq and Libya, it's a disaster

The Guardian, Wednesday 18 December 2013 16.00 EST

Of all the mendacious nonsense that pours out of politicians' mouths, David Cameron's claim that British combat troops will be coming home from Afghanistan with their "mission accomplished" is in a class all of its own. It's almost as if, by echoing George Bush's infamous claim of victory in Iraq in May 2003 just as the real war was beginning, the British prime minister is deliberately courting ridicule.
But British, American and other Nato troops have been so long in Afghanistan – twice as long as the second world war – that perhaps their leaders have forgotten what the original mission actually was. In fact, it began as a war to destroy al-Qaida, crush the Taliban and capture or kill their leaders, Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar.
That quickly morphed into a supposed campaign for democracy and women's rights, a war to protect our cities from terror attacks, to eradicate opium production and bring security and good governance from Helmand to Kandahar. With the exception of the assassination of Bin Laden – carried out 10 years later in another country – not one of those goals has been achieved.
Instead, al-Qaida has mushroomed and spread throughout the Arab and Muslim world, engulfing first Iraq and now Syria. Far from protecting our streets from attacks, the war has repeatedly been cited as a justification for those carrying them out – most recently by Michael Adebolajo, who killed the Afghan war veteran Lee Rigby on the streets of London in May.
The Taliban is long resurgent, mounting 6,600 attacks between May and October this year and negotiating for a return to power. Mullah Omar remains at liberty. Afghan opium production is at a record high and now accounts for 90% of the world's supply. Less than half the country is now "safe for reconstruction", compared with 68% in 2009.
Meanwhile, women's rights are going into reverse, and violence against women is escalating under Nato occupation: 4,000 assaults were documented by Afghan human rights monitors in the first six months of this year, from rape and acid attacks to beatings and mutilation. Elections have been brazenly rigged, as a corrupt regime of warlords and torturers is kept in power by foreign troops, and violence has spilled over into a dangerously destabilised Pakistan.
All this has been at a cost of tens of thousands of Afghan civilian lives, along with those of thousands US, British and other occupation troops. But it's not as if it wasn't foreseen from the start. When the media were hailing victory in Afghanistan 12 years ago, and Tony Blair's triumphalism was echoed across the political establishment, opponents of the invasion predicted it would lead to long-term guerrilla warfare, large-scale Afghan suffering and military failure – and were dismissed by the politicians as "wrong" and "fanciful".
But that is exactly what happened. One study after another has confirmed that British troops massively increased the level of violence after their arrival in Helmand in 2006, and are estimated to have killed 500 civilians in a campaign that has cost between £25bn and £37bn. After four years they had to be rescued by US forces. But none of the political leaders who sent them there has been held accountable for this grim record.
It was the same, but even worse, in Iraq. The occupation was going to be a cakewalk, and British troops were supposed to be past masters at counter-insurgency. Opponents of the invasion again predicted that it would lead to unrelenting resistance until foreign troops were driven out. When it came to it, defeated British troops were forced to leave Basra city under cover of darkness.
But six years later, who has paid the price? One British corporal has been convicted of war crimes and the political elite has shuffled off responsibility for the Iraq catastrophe on to the Chilcot inquiry – which has yet to report nearly three years after it last took evidence. Given the dire lack of coverage and debate about what actually took place, maybe it's not surprising that most British people think fewer than 10,000 died in a war now estimated to have killed 500,000.
But Iraq wasn't the last of the disastrous interventions by the US and Britain. The Libyan war was supposed to be different and acclaimed as a humanitarian triumph. In reality not only did Nato's campaign in support of the Libyan uprising ratchet up the death toll by a factor of perhaps 10, giving air cover to mass ethnic cleansing and indiscriminate killing. Its legacy is a maelstrom of warring militias and separatist rebels threatening to tear the country apart.
Now the west's alternative of intervention-lite in Syria is also spectacularly coming apart. The US, British and French-sponsored armed factions of the Free Syrian Army have been swept aside by jihadist fighters and al-Qaida-linked groups – first spawned by western intelligence during the cold war and dispersed across the region by the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
The wars unleashed or fuelled by the US, Britain and their allies over the past 12 years have been shameful. Far from accomplishing their missions, they brought untold misery, spread terrorism across the world and brought strategic defeat to those who launched them. In the case of Afghanistan all this looks likely to continue, as both the US and Britain plan to keep troops and bases there for years to come.

By any objective reckoning, failures on such a scale should be at the heart of political debate. But instead the political class and the media mostly avert their gaze and wrap themselves in the flag to appease a war-weary public. The first sign that this might be changing was the unprecedented parliamentary vote against an attack on Syria in August. But the democratisation of war and peace needs to go much further. Rather than boasting of calamitous missions, the politicians responsible for them must be held to account.


  1. Keeping the dead and mutilated hidden: Mortuary Affairs

  2. A greater calamity is coming to the women of Afghanistan after we leave.

    It is not something for the faint of heart to consider.

    The whole thing is incredibly sad.


    1. Just another riffling wind through the pages of history, only a literary dispute over the essence of three Holy books

      Nothing as serious as 600,000 American dead.

      I've maintained here, only partly in jest, that the whole wind blown riffle was a literary event, a contest between two opposed readings of the Christian Bible.

      One wonders how he could show such callous disregard of the human carnage, the 600,000 or even more dead Americans, all that pain, and treat it so lightly as a wind riffle across the prairie?

      It has been documented that Fudd is …

      wait for it ...


  3. Three sets of eyes peer out of a massively armored U.S. truck rolling slowly down Highway 1.


    When one of the first Americans serving in Iraq, 25-year-old Pfc. Jeremiah Smith, 25, of Odessa, Mo., died in an explosion under his vehicle in May 26, 2003, six weeks after the U.S. invasion ended, the military wasn't even sure what to call the thing that killed him.


    They call it "going boom." The first time for Spec. Leif Skoog, 23, a roofer back in Phoenix, was Oct. 3.

    U.S. Military


  4. “Another of them died last night. His body was in the bazaar this morning.

    It lay, with a collecting bowl at its feet,
    on the charpoy that is reserved for those who die without money or family to bury them.

    He looked desiccated and his skin had the sheen and color of the dates we eat to break our fast.
    There are new bodies on that charpoy every week. ”

    ― Louise Brown, The Dancing Girls of Lahore:
    Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan's Pleasure District

  5. "Don't feed the asshole"

    Quirk's Rule


    1. Farmer Fudd couldn't even last an hour.

      No self control, no discipline.

      Just another self righteous Fudd.


  6. .

    Another article by Ann Jones

    America's Child Soldiers

    Too bad for the young — and the future — of those countries. But look at it this way: Why should Washington help the children of Sudan or Yemen escape war when it spares no expense right here at home to press our own impressionable, idealistic, ambitious American kids into military “service”?

    It should be no secret that the United States has the biggest, most efficiently organized, most effective system for recruiting child soldiers in the world. With uncharacteristic modesty, however, the Pentagon doesn’t call it that. Its term is “youth development program.”

    Pushed by multiple high-powered, highly paid public relations and advertising firms under contract to the Department of Defense, the program is a many splendored thing. Its major public face is the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps or JROTC.

    What makes this child-soldier recruiting program so striking is that the Pentagon carries it out in plain sight in hundreds and hundreds of private, military, and public high schools across the U.S...


    1. JROTC is an excellent program. What is coming out of service academies, not so much.

      The other day I saw a blurb for a new book written by the retired Major General tasked with creating the Cuban prison. Since retiring, he has had grave second thoughts about the wisdom of Guantanamo. It is amazing what retirement does for the spines and brain cells of generals. And, of course, sweet book deals on a popular subject.

  7. As insurers eager to add revenue streams convert themselves into diversified health-services companies, they often buy traditional business adversaries, including physician groups and hospital consultants such as EHR. They're also buying technology companies and research firms that serve medical-care providers, raising questions not only about independence but about the privacy of patient information.
    The result is that insurers are increasingly limiting patients' choice of doctors to the carrier's own narrow network of physicians. Meanwhile, the vertical integrated insurers turn to their newly acquired billing arms to avoid paying hospitals and doctors for the care they provide.
    UnitedHealthcare, which was recently blocked by a federal judge from dropping 2,200 doctors from its Medicare Advantage network in Connecticut, provides a case in point. UnitedHealthcare has been at the forefront of insurance carriers buying out not just entire physician practices, but billing resolution firms doctors and hospitals use to make they get paid by insurers—like UnitedHealthcare. In 2012, UHC moved to strengthen its presence in Florida, where 10 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries live:

    UnitedHealthcare, the giant nationwide insurer, is making a major move in South Florida by announcing Tuesday it has agreed to purchase two Miami-Dade based Medicare and Medicaid insurance plans that have more than 100,000 members and eight clinics.
    The acquisitions of Medica and Preferred Care Providers in Florida followed UnitedHealthcare's purchase of California-based Monarch Health Care in the fall of 2011. By February 2012, Blue Shield of California brought suit for $10.5 million in damages against the newly acquired 2,300 physician network which had been folded into UnitedHealth's Optum health services unit. As the Wall Street Journal reported:

    Among the allegations: that Monarch sought to steer Blue Shield members away from Blue Shield and toward competing health plans, and that its doctors started declining to see some Blue Shield members. The complaint says these moves violated Blue Shield's contract with Monarch, which the insurer has previously said will end on May 1.
    "It seems crazy to be contracted with someone who's a direct competitor, and share everything you design with them," said Juan Davila, senior vice president for network management at Blue Shield, which has 3.3 million members. Blue Shield felt its "worry was proved true" by Monarch's alleged actions, he said.
    According to the website Modern Healthcare, Blue Shield also alleged that "Monarch physicians were refusing to make appointments with Blue Shield members and that Monarch is urging Blue Shield members to switch health plans via recorded phone calls."
    Patients, doctors, hospitals other insurers and state regulators are right to be worried by insurers like UnitedHealthcare gobbling up physician practices, only to then limit policyholders to their own proprietary networks. As


  8. The War...
    . . . was an unnecessary condition of affairs, and might have been avoided . . .
    . . . if forebearance and wisdom had been practiced on both sides.


    1. One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.

    2. Niccolo MachiavelliWed Dec 18, 11:22:00 PM EST

      10:52 AM

      Whoever conquers a free town and does not demolish it commits a great error
      and may expect to be ruined himself.

  9. DeuceWed Dec 18, 10:06:00 PM EST
    Keeping the dead and mutilated hidden: Mortuary Affairs

    Don't forget Mr. Ryan reducing their benefits once their usefulness was over. Tell me what a man without legs and one arm and one eye is supposed to do, while living on the inadequate compensation coming from VA. No matter how mangled, there is a cap on VA compensation.

    Very generously, the US government will grant this battered piece of flesh $40,000 toward the purchase price of a handicapped accessible house. Or, he may use that $40,000 to have an existing home reworked for his needs. What a deal.

    Six more Americans died yesterday in a plane crash, as yet unexplained.


    1. They always make such ventures sound quick, low-risk and ordained to succeed. You can believe that, if you erase from your mind everything that's happened in the American wars of the 21st century.
      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.

  10. "We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease."

    - Bush Jr.

  11. I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it.

    And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli.

    - Bush Sr.

  12. I tremble for my country when I hear of confidence expressed in me. I know too well my weakness, that our only hope is in God.

    - Robert E. Lee

  13. Demographics of Active Duty U.S. Military

    Army 73.6% fall between ages of 22 - 40
    Navy 72.3% fall between ages of 22-40
    USMC 60% fall between ages of 22-40
    USAF 74% fall between ages of 22-40

    Army 83% have BA/BS or above
    Navy 89% have BA/BS or above
    USMC 88.8% have BA/BS or above
    USAF 99% have BA/BS or above

    My sympathy for the dead and wounded notwithstanding, this woman is mistaken.

    1. Demographics of Active Duty U.S. Military

      Army 73.9% white
      Navy 66.2% white
      USMC 83.7% white
      USAF 78.1% white

    2. Given the age, ethnicity, and educational level of the Armed Forces, it does not appear that "poor", dumb, children are being snatched from inner-city streets to serve.

      Her line is right out of Viet Nam. It was a lie then; it is a lie now.

    3. She is correct in pointing out the military's effort to sanitize the cost. At Landstuhl, large blue buses, converted to ambulances came in from Ramstein AFB (5miles down the plateau from Landstuhl) at night, always at night.


    4. “Ghosts could walk freely tonight, without fear of the disbelief of men; for this night was haunted, and it would be an insensitive man who did not know it.”

    5. Theodore RooseveltThu Dec 19, 12:38:00 AM EST

      The man who calls himself an American citizen and who yet shows by his actions that he is primarily the citizen of a foreign land, plays a thoroughly mischievous part in the life of our body politic.

      He has no place here; and the sooner he returns to the land to which he feels his real heart-allegiance, the better it will be for every good American.”

  14. Borderland Beat Reporter ChivisThu Dec 19, 12:18:00 AM EST

    Gonzalo Inzunza Inzunza-better known as "Macho Prieto", leader of sicarios for Sinaloa

    cartels Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, has died during fighting against federal forces in Puerto Peñasco.

    The death of the alleged scicario has not been officially confirmed by the authorities, but local security sources consulted, confirmed the death. . Inzunza Inzunza is originally from Culiacan, capital of Sinaloa, is accused of participating in more than 80 crimes (murders) in Sinaloa, including a dozen police officers.

    The fallen sicario is known by "Macho Prieto" because of his dark skin color, and he was feared by state and federal authorities because of the sophisticated weaponry he carried.
    El Procurador de Jusrticia, Carlos Navarro revealed officers were maintaining a checkpoint on a federal highway, outside of a hotel in Puerto Penasco, which is located in a tourist area known as Sandy Beach.

    Unofficially, it was learned that federal agents, after engaging the armed group, shot ammunitions from aboard a helicopter, killing the sicario and four others. (e; Debate reports the shootout continued for tow hours and 6 were killed)

    The officers had ordered the convoy of three luxury motor units to stop. These units attempted to flee and the confrontation occurred. The conflict at the scene left two dead gunmen. Two more were killed when they tried to flee, causing a vehicle impact against the wall of a building, and another at the hospital..

    No casualties were reported of federal agents.

    Gonzalo Inzunza had been placed on the Kingpin List by the Treasury Department in 2011 together with Manuel Torres Felix. At that time, the United States placed both characters as major traffickers in Sinaloa cartel structure. In Sinaloa, Macho Prieto is attributed dozens of deaths.

    1. Borderland Beat Reporter ChivisThu Dec 19, 12:41:00 AM EST

      The following was part of the announcement by the Obama administration at the time;

      “Today’s designation marks another step in OFAC’s efforts to specifically target the narcotics traffickers responsible for the horrific acts of violence committed along the Arizona border with Mexico,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. “We will continue to work alongside our partners in Federal law enforcement as well as the Mexican government to financially cripple and dismantle the Sinaloa Cartel.”
      The eight individuals designated today work on behalf of Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera, and Ismael “Mayo” Zambada Garcia, the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, and Gonzalo Inzunza Inzunza “Macho Prieto”, a top lieutenant of the Sinaloa Cartel. Mexican authorities have previously arrested Jesus Alfredo Salazar Ramirez, Ramon Ignacio Paez Soto, and Raul Sabori Cisneros.

      The American consulate tweeted a warning to all Americans in PP to take cover inside.

  15. .

    Now on an entirely different subject.

    You will remember our recent discussion of Deuce's plans to put 'Squatty Potties' (SP) in the restrooms here at the bar. You will probably also remember that Melody gave the SP an enthusiastic thumbs up. I ran across the following review over at Amazon. This fellow gave the SP 5 stars in a noteworthy review.

    By Mark Jaquith "Mark Jaquith"

    (Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)

    This review is from: Squatty Potty "Ecco" Toilet Stool 9" (Health and Beauty)

    I gingerly climbed on top of the plastic contraption now ringing my porcelain throne. It soon became apparent that I couldn't keep my britches at my ankles as I normally did. No, they had to go entirely, along with my underthings. And if there is anything more ridiculous on this planet than the sight of a human man wearing a t-shirt and nothing else, I have yet to experience it. So in the interest of saving myself this unfortunate view, I doffed the shirt as well. Now entirely naked, I again attempted to step onto the device. I was unsure, but it seemed to hold. I settled down to the seat, with only the extremities of my posterior touching. My knees were up at my chest. This, plus my complete nakedness, felt very primal. It felt third-world and adventurous. It felt... RIGHT. I concentrated on the task at hand. I had felt a slight urge to go, and had been eager to try out the new purchase. I had been intrigued by the promise that my business would henceforth require substantially less effort on my part, because of the wild beast–man position it forced upon me. But I was still skeptical. It sounded too good to be true. Surely the difference couldn't be that dras— HOLY HELL I'M POOPING.

    Well, let me clarify. It wasn’t so much that I was dropping a deuce. Oh, it was being dropped; that much was undeniable. But I couldn't really claim agency on said descent. Gravity was doing the work. I was merely the meaty husk from which it made its hasty escape. Used to more of a segmented approach to waste disposal, I was quite surprised that the creature making its egress from my nethers had more the appearance of a python. Smooth, and consistent in width, it coiled luxuriously in a pool of toilet water that is (or at least was) cleaner than the water that most of the people on this planet drink. As it continued to coil, my emotional state flowed from one of surprise, to horror, to amazement, and then again to horror as the snake coiled higher and higher, like soft serve ice cream at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. It was now surfacing above the water line. But still, the snake showed no signs that it was anywhere near finished with its journey. In a panic, I pawed at the flusher. The poor toilet strained, but eventually sent things on their way. But I wasn’t done yet. As the toilet flushed the waste away, more came to replace it. As the flush subsided, the coil started anew. And then I was done. I tried to catch my breath as the toilet flushed a second time. I felt my liver shift and expand, unsure what to do with all the extra space now afforded to it. I cleaned up and stood, almost dizzy after the affair. “Wow. A+++”, I thought to myself. “Would poop again.”

    “Very well,” my bowels seemed to answer, “let’s have another go!”

    “Surely you’re joking”, I thought, scrambling to once again work myself into proper Tarzanic stance. There couldn’t possibly be anything left inside of me. I genuinely began to worry that what would come out next might be some vital organ, brought to a freedom-seeking frenzy by all the commotion. But no, it was yet another perfectly formed tube of human excrement. I sat, mouth agape, as number two (round two) breached the water line and came to a graceful finish, leaving an improbable conical shape below me. As I flushed the toilet for the third time in what had astoundingly only been about 70 seconds I wondered if life would ever be the same again.

    By the way, 5 star is a good rating.


    1. MeLoDy may have given it a "thumbs up", but I gave it a bottoms down. Duck Dynasty will hear about this abomination; count on it.

      Would you give this as a Christmas gift? Uh...Uh...

    2. Hi Grandma and Merry Christmas. I saw this on Amazon and immediately thought of you.

      No, I don't think I can tell you how it works, but I'm sure the thoughtful people at Sqatty Potty have provided directions.

      No, Grandma, no assemble is required.

      Yes, there is a money-back guarantee. Well, no, I am afraid I do not know how that would be done. However, I am sure everything is explained in this extremely fine print.

      No, Grandma, I don't think you can return it after use.

    3. .

      Healthy Colon : Happy Life


    4. .

      Speaking of Duck Dynasty and abominations, I see where one of the stars was suspended for comments in GQ (my bible) about homosexuals. There is now an opening and it might be an opportunity for one or two of the guys around here if they can grow a beard.


    5. Rufus Duck !!

      Quirk "Quack" Duck !!

      Never watched it but they all look like my cousin Jim.

    6. Now Jim is a man that looks like a real Viking. Red hair, too.


    7. “The respectable family that supports worthless relatives or covers up their crimes in order to "protect the family name"
      (as if the moral stature of one man could be damaged by the actions of another)

      -the bum who boasts that his great-grandfather was an empire-builder,

      or the small-town spinster who boasts that her maternal great-uncle was a state senator
      and her third cousin gave a concert at carnegie hall
      (as if the achievement of one man could rub off on the mediocrity of another)

      -the parents who search geneological trees in order to evaluate their prospective son-in-law.

      -the celebrity who starts his autobiography with a detailed account of his family history

      -All these are samples of racism.”

    8. QuirkThu Dec 19, 01:49:00 AM EST

      Re: Healthy Colon : Happy Life

      Truly, words to live by. beatam vitam beatam colon ...a noble heraldric credo...


    Iran Slams White House Breach Of Nuke Deals - Says USA Obeys Radical Zionist Lobbies

    There is even a couple of ninnies here who would agree with this horse shit.

    1. There is also this gem at JihadWatch this morning -

      Leader Of West Backed Free Syrian Army Defects To al Qaeda Group, Calls Free Syrian Army Apostates

      The very type guy Kerry/Hillary/Obama were counting on as the 'solution'.


      Hamdoon had sent Quirk into Syria on a recon and intelligence. When he came back he a swell swarthy girl on his arm but said:

      "Don't trust any of them sons a bitches".

    2. Believe me, after all his experience in the fraud industry, one of the only growing sectors in our economy, Quirk knows who can be trusted and who can't.

    3. Toe Test Reveals Neanderthals Were Thumping/Humping/Bumping The Relatives

      Was going to make a brilliantly humorous but rather crude comment, but didn't, always thinking of this place as a family oriented blog.

    4. And, finally, an interesting and oddly optimistic article from the dreaded American Thinker about developments in the Middle East -

      Even Mushroom Clouds Have Silver Linings

      Don't let the American Thinker brand scare you away. Be open minded concerning all things. Read, cogitate, consider carefully, form your own opinions and only then respond accordingly to your own best thoughts, O friends.


    6. St. Thomas AquinasThu Dec 19, 09:18:00 AM EST

      Beware the man of a single book.


    7. There are no "Good Guys" anywhere in the Middle East!
      Syria being the 'Rule', not the 'Exception'.



      More than 5 million Palestinians are denied equal rights by the state of Israel under a system of apartheid, a deliberate policy of racial or ethnic segregation.

      Under Israeli military occupation, millions of Palestinians live in conditions which closely resemble the apartheid system that existed in South Africa:
      • No right of free speech, assembly or movement
      • Arrest and imprisonment without charge or trial
      • Torture
      • House searches without warrant
      • Assassination, extra-judicial murder
      • No right to vote for the Israeli government (even though it controls their lives)
      Israel controls all Palestinian borders, all imports and exports, and all movement between towns and cities. 
      THE GAZA STRIP, still surrounded, besieged and controlled by Israel, has been sealed off and effectively turned into the world’s largest open-air prison.



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

      The Palestinians are in their "Ghettos", on their "Reserves"

      Palestinian lackeys rule over the fractured and factionalized Palestinians, $100 million a month the Israeli pay their house boy Arabs in baksheesh.

      Just as the Germans used Ashkenazi guards in the Warsaw Ghetto.

      The first commander of the Warsaw ghetto was Józef Szeryński, a Polish-Jewish police colonel.

      Warsaw Ghetto archivist Emanuel Ringelblum has described the cruelty of the ghetto police as ...
      "at times greater than that of the Germans, the Ukrainians and the Latvians."


  17. US prosecutor fires back over arrest of Indian diplomat

    The lead U.S. prosecutor in the case against an Indian diplomat now at the center of a diplomatic uproar fired back against those calling for her release, issuing a defiant statement defending the charges -- while potentially undermining State Department officials trying to tamp down the tension.

    Secretary of State John Kerry called India's national security adviser on Wednesday to personally express "regret" for the incident, in an indication that U.S. officials were scrambling to contain the furor

    But U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who represents Manhattan, blasted the "misinformation and factual inaccuracy" surrounding the case. He claimed the "inflammatory atmosphere" that has developed is "unfounded," while cataloguing the litany of alleged offenses committed by the Indian diplomat in question.

    Devyani Khobragade stands accused of lying on a visa application about how much she paid her housekeeper, an Indian national. Prosecutors say the maid received less than $3 per hour for her work

    "One wonders why there is so much outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian national accused of perpetrating these acts, but precious little outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian victim and her spouse?" Bharara said in his lengthy and detailed statement.

    "The question then may be asked: Is it for U.S. prosecutors to look the other way, ignore the law and the civil rights of victims (again, here an Indian national), or is it the responsibility of the diplomats and consular officers and their government to make sure the law is observed?"

    Should the US allow the Indian diplomat keep her Slave', it is a common practice in India and Idaho, where Farmer Fudd offered to lease a man to allen, to grow asparagus.

    An indication that, at the very least, Farmer Fudd maintains a 'Slavers' attitude and mindset.

    If it was an attempt at an expression of humor, it was not funny, but told a deeper tale of the disrespect for freedom, liberty and the basic human rights of individuals, those that all men were endowed with by the Creator.

    Fudd, who despite his long held beliefs, is not the Creator, but merely a racist bigot. A misogynous pig that disrespects not only women but anyone that he can reach out and slime.


  18. .

    I usually am dismissive of the ladies they have on CNBC, cutesy know-nothing Erin Burnett before they dumped her, the Money Honey, Maria Bartriromo who suffers from an inflated ego and too many cocktail parties hosted by Jamie Dimon or the boys over at Goldman Sachs, or butch ballbuster Marie Caruso Cabrara. They add very little to the programming.

    Well I can now say that CNBC is moving in the right direction. They have brought on Kelly Evens from the WSJ to replace Maria Bartiromo. Evens has a young, fresh look that is appealing. More importantly, she seems to be an excellent reporter and interviewer and adds a more business like quality to the programming. She doesn't seem to have developed an ego yet. IMO, she is the best I've seen.

    (I did notice her hair has now gone red which is attractive and forgivable.)


  19. Tech leaders seek borderless world, now
    Chip Bayers

    NEW YORK -- The great irony of Tuesday's meeting between President Obama and tech CEOs was that, in its focus on the National Security Agency's Internet spying, it signaled how much the Silicon Valley mind-set long ago moved beyond identifying with the nation the agency was purporting to protect.

    The attendees were not, after all, from the tech world's wide-eyed libertarian crowd, whose more extreme elements indulge in dreamy talk about subjects like "seasteading" — creating new homes for themselves on floating tech islands in the ocean, beyond the borders of any state control. Tuesday's White House visitors list included the sort of socially liberal mainstream Democrats who now make up the bulk of the industry these days, with several of them among the president's biggest financial supporters in both his campaigns.

    And yet for them, the borderless world isn't tomorrow's dream but today's reality — a reality which must be continually improved and expanded, as explained the open letter to Washington on government surveillance which eight of the companies released last week.

    1. Turns out, there was, indeed, a plan for one world government uniting Europe & USA
      September 20, 2013 by Stacy Herbert

      Wow. I can’t believe a mainstream media publication reads like Infowars.

      As this writer even suggests, the NSA and Syria stories are tied to this one world government, which was never formally concluded . . .
      but is there for all to see in the facts revealed about who actually gets to do what to whom.

      Elites’ strange plot to take over the world

      In fact Western elites in America and Western Europe after World War II made a serious effort to get rid of nations altogether, and combine all “freedom-loving peoples” into one giant “Atlantic Union,” a federal state built on top of the NATO military alliance.

      As odd as it sounds, the documentary evidence is clear.
      This movement did manage to create a “European Union,” which came from the same ideological wellspring as the “Atlantic Union.”

      Once we recognize that the Cold War saw the construction of a powerful international regime that explicitly sought to get rid of sovereign nations, these broad security architectures revealed by the Syria situation and the NSA spying revelations make a lot more sense.


    2. Elites’ strange plot to take over the world

      A few decades ago, politicians hatched a Tom Friedman-esque idea to unite U.S. and Western Europe. Did it succeed?

      Matt Stoller

  20. Rufus IIWed Dec 18, 08:01:00 AM EST

    So, what would you say about a neighbor that earned $100,000.00 per annum, and had a total "debt service" of $2,500.00/yr?

    What if he/she is looking at a $3,000.00 raise in 2014, and an increase in debt service of $30.00?

    Would you say that that person is in the middle of a "Debt Crisis?"

    Rufus IIWed Dec 18, 08:16:00 AM EST

    I notice you didn't answer the question.

    Was it just too difficult, with all those numbers, and maths, and things?

    Rufus IIWed Dec 18, 10:05:00 AM EST

    So, back to the subject; If you had a total debt service of $208.00/mo, to go along with your $100,000.00/yr. Income, would you feel as if you were in a "Debt Crisis?"

    If not, why would you assume that an entity, such as the U.S. Government (which, also, has the ability to print its own money) is in a debt crisis with the exact, same numbers?

    There are two possible answers. One, you're an idiot whose ass is just crammed full of right-wing smoke, or a republican, scam artist that understands the innumeracy of the public.


    The above written by Rufus. When I asked about the numbers he said work it out yourself. This from the guy who moans when people compare government spending to household spending. BUT, here he is doing it himself. I would appreciate, rufus, if you would lay out how you got your numbers and how those household numbers relate to the government numbers but I'll accept them at face value.

    So, lets look at a household with 100k in income and 2500 a year in debt service on that income. 2500 a year in debt service based on 4% (rufus offered that number) equates to a debt of 100k. We've got a household with a debt load equal to their income. This debt is operating debt. It is not a debt relating to a mortgage which would be back stopped by an asset that can be sold to retire the debt. Nope, this is just operating debt and THAT IS A PROBLEM.

    Why? rufus might ask. Because there is no asset that can be sold to retire that debt the servicing of that debt must come out of income. In addition to servicing the debt one must retire some principle as well. But, given we are pretending the government is a household we will assume that they don't need pay down principle just service the debt. Even then we have a problem because that debt arose because spending exceeded income and now we are looking at a situation where spending must be lower than income to service the debt. There is also the risk of higher interest rates where the debt service portion will grow. In short, that household has a problem despite rufus and his prettified sunny prognostications.

    Rufus it would be nice if:
    1.) you explained how your numbers relate (Household to Government)
    2.) Why this particular relation of Household to Government spending is relevant when the others you decry are not.
    3.) why this household is in good shape in your view

    1. Congratulations, Ash, and a Merry Christmas to ya!

      Seems like you got the old coot Santa Ruf by the short hairs there!

      Never hurts to take him down a peg or two.......:)

    2. mumblings of yet another anon... Government principle principal tis all the same in the end :)


    3. Why does Farmer Fudd delight in tearing others down, when it is he who cannot build himself up?


    4. It just occurred to me my numbers are off. 100k debt service at 4% would be 4k per year so the total debt to yield a debt service for the family Rufus described would be about 62k.

      So, Rufus, I'm further confused on how your hypothetical families debt service payments relate to US government debt service payments if a debt represented by 62% of income yields a debt service of 2500 a year. Please explain how your numbers work.

    5. It's the new "Rufus Math", Ash.

      So far it is taught only in Mississippi, our leading state in theoretical mathematical thinking. Grounding breaking, not even California, much less Canada, has caught up to it yet........


    6. This, from Farmer Fudd, who has yet to master the complexity of signing onto a Google account!


  21. The strange story of Atlantica

    The effort to unite Europe and the U.S. started in 1939, with the publication of a book by an influential journalist, Clarence Streit. This influential book was called ”Union Now,” and had a galvanizing effect on the anti-fascist youth of the time, a sort of cross between Thomas Friedman’s “The World Is Flat” and Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine.”

    Streit served in World War I in an intelligence unit, and saw up close the negotiations for the Treaty of Versailles. He then became a New York Times journalist assigned to cover the League of Nations, which led him to the conclusion that the only way to prevent American isolationism and European fascism was for political and economic integration of the major “freedom-loving” peoples, which he described as America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and most of Western Europe.

    The Five Eyes surveillance architecture was created just a few years later,
    as was the international monetary regime concocted at Bretton Woods.

    1. The youth of the 1930s — those who read Streit’s book — became the political and diplomatic leaders of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and many of them went on to craft the multilateral institutions and international policies of the Cold War.

      Indeed, the congressional record is peppered with resolutions and hearings from the late 1940s to the 1970s pushing for Atlantic Union.

      For example, in 1971, the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives convened a hearing to discuss the prospect of combining the United States of America and Western Europe into one country.

      This “Atlantic Union” would be a federal union, very similar to the the one described in United States Constitution. Existing countries would become states under a federalist system, with the larger federal system having its own currency, military, interstate commerce regulation and foreign relations apparatus.

      That day in 1971, the committee was discussing a specific piece of legislation, a resolution
      — House Concurrent Resolution 163 —
      to create an “Atlantic Union Delegation,” a committee of 18 “eminent citizens” to join with other NATO country delegations and negotiate a plan to unite.

      The subcommittee chairman presiding over the hearing, congressman Donald Fraser of Minnesota, described the specific goal of the legislation as convening an
      “international convention to explore the possibility of agreement on a declaration to transform the present Atlantic alliance into a federal union, set a timetable for transition to this goal and to prescribe democratic institutions under which the goal would be achieved.”

      It was to be a Constitutional Convention.

      Similar legislation, he noted, “was considered by the full House Committee on Foreign Affairs in 1960, 1966, and 1968, with favorable reports in 1960 and 1968.


  22. Zbigniew BrezinskiThu Dec 19, 10:58:00 AM EST

    "The technetronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society.
    Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values.

    Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen.

    These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities."

    Zbigniew Brezinski, Between Two Ages, America's Role in the Technotronic Era 1970


    1. A plan, especially a very focused one,
      narrows down the possibilies of the future to just a couple of things:
      that things either go to plan, or they don't.

      ― John C. Parkin, Fuck It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way


    2. "In politics, nothing happens by accident.
      If it happened, you can bet it was planned that way."

      U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt


  23. CBS, FOX News, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the list is shorter today than in 1917.

    "In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interest,
    and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and
    employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and
    sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press....

    They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers.

    "An agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month;
    an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding
    the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and
    international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers."

    U.S. Congressman Oscar Callaway, 1917


    1. Oh, the above list is not the entirety of today's influential news sources, obviously.
      Left off by oversight were the New York Times and the American Thinker.

      I am sure that the reader could add a name or two, perhaps totally a dozen,

      The gist of it ...
      Control of public information is more concentrated, now, than it was in 1917.



    American Generals Support Israel in the West Bank

    Back when we knew what we were doing we supported Israel in the west bank dispute.


    1. US Generals do not foreign policy make, that is what elected civilian officials do, in the United States.


    2. Since 1968 the US has called upon Israel to withdraw from the 'West Bank'.

      What era of fantasy does Farmer Fudd reference?

      The Johnson administration did not re-enter the diplomatic fray until October, when the Soviets began to circulate a new version of the resolution that they had promoted that summer.

      Knowing that Israel would reject the Soviet draft, the administration encouraged the United Kingdom to introduce an alternative resolution devised by UN Ambassador Arthur Goldberg.

      Security Council Resolution 242, adopted on November 22, called for Israel’s withdrawal from “territories occupied in the recent conflict”




    Pussy Riot members Nadya Tolokonnikova, 24, and Maria Alekhina, 25,
    were released from prison, three months before their scheduled release, according to Reuters.

    1. Re: Pussy Riot

      In Russian, I think that would be understood as "Reactonary, Counterrevolutionary Fish Mongers". I could be wrong.


    2. What fish has ever been referred to as a 'pussy'?

      It is all about cats, like the one that keeps pissing on my slippers.


    3. ...none of that "riot" balderdash here...All that is missing to give the performance that unforgettable moment is machinegun fire.

    4. AnonymousThu Dec 19, 02:25:00 PM EST

      What fish has ever been referred to as a 'pussy'?

      "Middle finger, a human digit smelling llike a sardine."

      Russian is a melodic language, but tricky to translate into English and I could be wrong...Oh...I was wrong...sorry...It translates as "Reactionary Counterrevolutionary Fear Mongers."

  26. Borderland Beat Reporter ChivisThu Dec 19, 02:00:00 PM EST

    Army Opens Fire At Self-Defense Group in Michoacán

    Nueva Italia, Michoacán—Despite the warnings from the PRI governor Fausto Vallejo, the self-defense movement took the municipalities of La Huacana and Zicuirán during the afternoon and Nueva Italia through the night.

    The advancement of the self-defense movement goes against the grain of the statements by the governor Vallejo Figueroa, in the sense that “they will not go any further after the taking of Tancítaro, on November 19”

    Residents of Zicuirán indicated that members of the Army open fired on a truck belonging to a self-defense group in which three women were injured, and apparently one of them identified as Leonor Sandoval Báez, 17, died in the hospital of La Huacana.

    The attack occurred at 19:00 hours (7:00 p.m.) in a place known as La Galera, a few meters away from an outpost, when two trucks with Mexican soldiers arrested eight members of a self-defense group and threw them on the ground.

    Immediately, a few thousand residents rushed to the site of the confrontation. In response, the soldiers opened fire on a truck carrying a group of women where three were injured.

    After the assault, the soldiers escaped towards Churumuco.

    During the afternoon, Community Police and self-defense groups from: Aguililla, Aquila, Coalcomán, Buenavista, Tepalcatepec and Tancítaro, along with residents from La Huacana, in the Tierra Caliente region, cried out: “Enough with organized crime!”

    The dissenters wielded field tools and turned them into weapons: scythes, machetes, hoes, axes, .22 caliber rifles and 12 gauge shotguns.

    Alfonso Mares, mayor of La Huacana, pronounced that the municipality will get rid of “these degenerates”.

  27. Okay, Ash, I saw your postings upthread, and, although I've moved on to other things, today, I will try to make a couple of small, bite-sized posts that you might be able to keep up with.

    I'll start with this:

    1) The Debt Service of the United States in 2013 was $415 Billion Dollars

    2) The GDP of the United States was in the range of $16,500 Billion Dollars.

    3) 415 / 16,500 = 0.025 (2.5%)

    4) Our debt service is running 2.5% of GDP. Are you with me "so far?"

    1. Okay, next step

      It's figured by many, myself included, that the deficit will probably be around $500 Billion this year. Now, rather than use the approx. 2.5% interest that we're now paying on our debt, I figured all New interest at 4%. Even in a rising interest rate environment this is quite a bit too high, but, what the hey; it doesn't really matter much, anyway.

      So, another $500 Billion in debt @ 4% would be an additional $20 Billion/yr. in debt service.

      Our debt service has increased to $435 B/yr.

      GDP should be about 17 Trillion in 2014.

      435 / 17,000 = 0.0256 (2.56%)

      Our debt service has increased by 6/100ths of a percent.

    2. 6/100ths of a percent of GDP, that is.

    3. Rufus, are you seriously equating GDP with Income? I would suggest that you use Tax receipts as a more relevant comparative to income of the family in your hypothetical situation - no?

    4. Now, it's true that, inasmuch as the U.S. Government has an incalculable advantage over any "household" in that it is able to legally Print, and borrow in, its own currency, and as such, shouldn't be compared to "your household," sometimes you just have to come up with as good an analogy as you can.

      In this case, I compared the government to an individual making $100,000.00/yr. who had a total debt service - mortgage, car and student, credit card loans, etc) of $2,500.00

      If you don't like the analogy, god bless ye, and find your own; I'm not married to it.

    5. again, rufus, comparing GDP to income is, to put it mildly, very misleading. Like, not even in the same ballpark.

    6. And, no; although gdp isn't, by any means, a perfect analogy for income, tax receipts aren't even close. Tax receipts might be somewhat analogous to money we set aside for food, clothing, etc., I'd think.

      Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is "There is no Debt Crisis. It's nonsense, and it's cooked up by people That Do Know Better.

    7. In your example with the family household you talk of an Income of 100k. The direct analogy at the government level would be the governments income - tax receipts. How else does the government 'make' money - what other revenue sources do they have?

      How the heck do you make the analogy of the governments income - tax receipt, with an expense - money set aside for food, clothing ect.? That makes no sense whatever to me. You are saying a revenue item is analogous to an expense? I don't get it.

    8. Ash, WE are the people. The Government is an entity set up by the people. The Government IS NOT the people.

      We can increase the size of the entity, leave it the same, or decrease it. It ain't the same as "us."

    9. Rufus IIThu Dec 19, 03:14:00 PM EST
      Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is "There is no Debt Crisis. It's nonsense, and it's cooked up by people That Do Know Better.

      Rufus, your comments are making no sense. You are not coming across as someone that "knows better". What the heck does that last comment about the "Government is an entity.." have to do with our discussion at all.

      Let me re-cap:
      YOU wrote how the governments debt service is equivalent to a household with and income of 100k with a debt service load of 2500 per year. I am trying to make sense of such a claim by asking you to clarify how this could be so. Even accepting your numbers I have raised a valid objection but your attempt to clarify your numbers has resulted in gibberish (at least to me) if you or anyone else can make sense of it I'd be obliged if they helped educate my dumb ass.

    10. No, Ash, I'm through with it. If you think that a debt service of 2.5% of gdp in an economy our size is a debt crisis, rock on.

      If you think adding 6/100th of one percent to it is a problem, there's not a thing I can say that you're going to agree with. take the pot.

    11. You are changing the subject rufus. I was addressing your very clear example expressed TWICE in a very contemptuous tone suggesting that any who "couldn't do the math" were right wing republican idiots. When I have queried you with regard to your very clear example you have responded with gibberish and now are trying to change the subject. It suggests that one should treat anything you write as pure bull shit. You are welcome to try to dispel that impression by trying to address the very plain questions put to you or admit that your example was tad bit, ummmm, wrong.

    12. Let me remind you of what YOU wrote with respect to your numbers:

      "There are two possible answers. One, you're an idiot whose ass is just crammed full of right-wing smoke, or a republican, scam artist that understands the innumeracy of the public."

      It appears that it is you having trouble with innumeracy and are trying to scam the public. I welcome your refutation of that charge but it appears you can't.

    13. "GDP = Income" "Expense = Income" sheeesh! You are making Doug look good...

    14. The Gross Domestic Income (GDI) is the total income received by all sectors of an economy within a State. It includes the sum of all wages, profits, and taxes, minus subsidies. Since all income is derived from production (including the production of services), the gross domestic income of a country should exactly equal its gross domestic product (GDP). The GDP is a very commonly cited statistic measuring the economic activity of countries, and the GDI is quite uncommon.

      In the United States, the Bureau of Economic Analysis produces figures for both the GDP and GDI. Although these should be equal, since they are calculated in different ways, in practice, the listed figures are different. This difference is known as the statistical discrepancy.[1]

  28. U.S. Attorney not backing down from arrest, strip-search of Indian diplomat

    The diplomatic spat erupted a week ago when Bharara’s office charged Khobragade, a deputy consul at the Indian outpost in Manhattan, with visa fraud and making a false statement.

    She allegedly told the U.S. Embassy in India that a housekeeper and babysitter she was hiring from her homeland would be paid $4,500 a month — then had her sign a secret contract that paid $3.31 an hour, in violation of the rules that require visa holders be paid minimum wage.

    Prosecutors also say that the maid, Sangeet Richard, complained Khobragade paid her even less than $3.31, verbally abused her, took away her passport and told her she had no choice but to continue working under those conditions.

    The Slaver mentality runs rampant in India, they are trying to export it, to the US.

    Farmer Fudd want US to sign those slavers into NATO, what a fool.

    That Farmer Fudd is as dumb as they come.


  29. The Debt Service of the United States in 2013 was $415 Billion Dollars
    Here is the interesting part:

    Some of it goes to the Fed - No problem there
    Some of it goes to foreign holders - No problem there, it goes to them in dollars
    The balance goes to US individuals and corporations - No problem there as it is taxable income. Then the magic of the multiplier kicks in.

    1. Yeah, it's the multiplier effect that causes the liberal cities with the higher minimum wages to have the higher living standards, and lower unemployment. Money is way too nuanced for the Ayn Randers to ever get a handle on.

    2. Holy Shit! I didn't write the above comment!!

    3. Okay, I'm crazy; I did write the above comment. I think I need a nap. :)

  30. Allen, great song, Skyscraper. I am sending it along to someone I know. Thanks.

  31. ...looks like the West taking over the world went awry; but that's the darndest thing about conspiracies, they are always unraveling...

    Special Report - Chinese military's secret to success: European engineering

    Yep, our good friends the Germans, French, UK etc are out hawking weapons systems to our friends the Chinese. Here's what's strange: why do all us good friends need all this freakishly unfriendly stuff to point at one another. Let's dismantle NSA and shoot in the dark. What could go wrong?

    1. The 'West' garners 44% of global GDP with less than 10% of the global population.

      If this is failure, a loss, what would winning look like?
      How much of the world's wealth would be needed to declare global domination by the West a success?

      List of countries by GDP (nominal)
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      List by the CIA World Factbook (2003–2012)
      Total Global GDP = $71,830,000 millions

      - European Union - 22.8% . $16,417,100 - 2012 est.
      1 . United States - 21% . . . . $15,680,000 - 2012 est.
      4 . Germany . . . . . . . $3,401,000 - 2012 est.
      5 . France . . . . . . . . . $2,609,000 - 2012 est.
      6 . United Kingdom . .. . $2,441,000 - 2012 est.
      9 . Italy . . . . . ..... . . . . . .$2,014,000 - 2012 est.
      11. Canada . ..... . . . . . . .$1,819,000 - 2012 est.
      18 . Netherlands . . . . . . .$773,100 - 2012 est.
      23. Norway . . . . . .. . . .$501,100 - 2012 est.
      24 . Poland . . . . . . . . . .$487,700 - 2012 est.
      25 . Belgium . . . . . . . . .$484,700 - 2012 est.
      28 . Austria . . . . . . . . .$398,600 - 2012 est
      34 . Denmark . . . . . . . .$313,600 - 2012 est.
      41 . Finland . . . . . . . . . .$250,100 - 2012 est.
      42 . Greece . . . . . . . . . .$249,200 - 2012 est.


    2. The west, like, does stuff.


    3. And doing stuff, that makes the 'West' losers?

      Come on, Farmer Fudd, you can do better than that.

      Your compatriot, allen, said the 'West' was losing.
      Even you seem to disagree with allen, today.



    4. Out performing all other societies and cultures on the globe, that is what makes Western Civilization the loser, Farmer Fudd?

      Is that what you are saying?
      Is that your principled stand?

      The point of the post, to point out the fact that the Fünfte Kolonne von Teamleitern, allen, is still dissembling. Still presenting a false picture of reality, to serve an agenda that is detrimental to the United States of America.

      Ash presented two possibilities ...
      that allen lack English reading and writing capabilities or ...
      .... he had just lied for motives to be determined.

      allen, either you have trouble understanding written English or you purposely lied.

      bob votes for . . . purposely lied.


  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. "“How do I feel about Obama after Snowden’s revelations? I envy him, because he can get away with it,” said the Russian leader before going on to defend espionage in general as “one of the oldest professions in the world, just like some other well-known professions — we won’t mention them here.”

    <a href="</a>

  34. On Oct. 31, 2010, a dozen Islamist gunmen stormed the Catholic cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation, in Baghdad. Striking during a service, they butchered some 60 priests and worshipers, notionally in revenge for insults to Islam

    Ghastly as that crime might be in its own right, atrocities of this kind are quite commonplace around the world. Mobs sack churches in Egypt, Nigerian suicide bombers target worshiping congregations, and Eritrea has its hellish concentration camps for Christians.


  35. According to political scientists, organizations with roots in Hindu nationalism have played a large part in these incidents of anti-Muslim violence, and in generating anti-Muslim sentiment.

    In particular, organizations associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, such as the Bharatiya Janata Party, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal are all considered by scholars to have a central role in the violence.

    The BJP, and its predecessor the Jana Sangh, have used these communal riots and anti-Muslim propaganda as a part of a larger political strategy. These incidents of violence against Muslims have marred India’s post independence history with a spill-over effect on India’s cause in the Kashmir conflict.

    Hindu right-wing politicians will often legitimize instances of mass violence against Muslims as a natural reaction to actions perpetrated by Muslims in the past and the present.

    However, these patterns of violence have been well-established since partition,
    with dozens of studies documenting instances of mass violence against minority groups.

    Over 10,000 people have been killed in Hindu-Muslim communal violence since 1950.

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

    Robert A. Heinlein


    1. 1992 Bombay riots

      The destruction of the Babri Mosque by Hindu nationalists led directly to the 1992 Bombay Riots.

      BBC correspondent Toral Varia called the riots "a pre-planned pogrom," that had been in the making since 1990, and stated that the destruction of the mosque was "the final provocation".

      Writer Arundhati Roy wrote the essay "Fascism's Firm Footprint in India" in The Nation, arguing that the attack had been a "meticulously planned pogrom".

      Several scholars have likewise concluded that the riots must have been pre-planned, and that Hindu rioters had been given access to information about the locations of Muslim homes and businesses from non-public sources.

      This violence is widely reported as having been orchestrated by Shiv Sena, a nationalist group led by Bal Thackeray.

      A high-ranking member of the special branch, V. Deshmukh,
      gave evidence to the commission tasked with probing the riots.

      He said the failures in intelligence and prevention had been due to political assurances that the mosque in Ayodhya would be protected, that the police were fully aware of the Shiv Sena's capabilities to commit acts of violence, and that they had incited hate against the minority communities.

      2002 Gujarat violence

      Since partition, there have been several acts of mass violence carried out against Muslims in Gujarat. In 2002, in an incident described as an act of "fascistic state terror,"
      Hindu extremists carried out acts of extreme violence against the Muslim minority population.

      The starting point for the incident was the attack on a train, which was blamed on Muslims.
      During the incident, young girls were sexually assaulted, burned or hacked to death.

      These rapes were condoned by the ruling BJP, whose refusal to intervene lead to the displacement of 200,000. Death toll figures range from the official estimate of 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus killed, to 2,000 Muslims killed.

      Chief Minister Narendra Modi has also been accused of initiating and condoning the violence,
      as have the police and government officials who took part,
      as they directed the rioters and gave lists of Muslim-owned properties to the extremists.

      Mallika Sarabhai, who had complained over state complicity in the violence, was harassed, intimidated and falsely accused of human trafficking by the BJP.

      Three police officers were given punitive transfers by the BJP after they had successfully put down the rioting in their wards, so as not to interfere further in preventing the violence.

      According to Brass, the only conclusion from the evidence which is available points to a methodical pogrom, which was carried out with exceptional brutality and was highly coordinated.

      In 2007, Tehelka magazine released "The Truth: Gujarat 2002,"
      a report which implicated the state government in the violence,
      and claimed that what had been called a spontaneous act of revenge was,
      in reality, a state-sanctioned pogrom.

      According to Human Rights Watch, the violence in Gujarat in 2002 was pre-planned,
      and the police and state government participated in the violence.

      In 2012, Modi was cleared of complicity in the violence by a Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court.
      The Muslim community is reported to have reacted with "anger and disbelief," and activist Teesta Setalvad has said the legal fight was not yet over, as they had the right to appeal.

      Human Rights Watch has reported on acts of exceptional heroism by Hindus, Dalits and tribals, who tried to protect Muslims from the violence.

  36. What in the world are you jabbering about? I'm not even bob.

    1. No on said you were bob.
      You're Farmer Fudd.

      I have often read, posted by various Fudd Busters, that bob was not Farmer Fudd.
      It is the content that characterizes a Fudd, not the authorship.

      You see, Anonymous, when the author is anonymous, all that counts is content.
      Because to be Anonymous is to be part of the legion, a member of the Collective.

      unnamed, of unknown name, nameless, incognito, unidentified, unknown, unsourced, secret


  37. Bad news for antique car lovers -

    Cuba Opens Up New Car Sales

    Going to Cuba was a time travel, but everything changes.

    1. See what a simple handshake can accomplish!

      Opening up another foreign market to US exports

      Score another one for Obama!



  38. It would take an act of Congress.

    1. Congress has become such a bore to the Won.

  39. Is the Duck Dynasty a Dead Duck?

    It was one of the reforms Raul put before their 'congress' back a few years ago. Which they have duly passed.

    Had nothing to do with a handshake with The One/The Won.

    We are not the only country that makes cars.

    1. That is true, Farmer Fudd, but almost every foreign manufacturer has a co-venture with a US firm.

      Chevrolet in China, Ford has factories in China and Brazil.
      Chrysler/Jeep is an Italian company, called Fiat.

      You are thinking like a neanderthal, again, Fudd.

      It is the 21st century, a global economy.
      We are talking about investment flows and returns on investment and the costs of debt service,
      not naked nationalism.

      Nationalism is dead, it died in a bunker in Berlin.



    2. “The revolution in global communications thus forces all nations to reconsider traditional ways of thinking about national sovereignty.”


  40. Talk about training children to be soldiers ...

    “When Hitler declared war on the United States, he was betting that German soldiers,
    raised up in the Hitler Youth, would always out fight American soldiers, brought up in the Boy Scouts.

    He lost that bet.

    The Boy Scouts had been taught how to figure their way out of their own problems.”

    ― Stephen E. Ambrose


  41. Report: U.S. Air Force general drank too much, fraternized with foreign women in Moscow

    “I realized that this was putting us all at risk, especially Russia and women, and I just wanted nothing to do with that,” a female U.S. official

    I am not sure how to take the accusation of putting Russia and women at risk.

    The General may have smoked cigars as well.

    1. This general was forced to retire by the Obama administration. It is reported that he did not blend well with the president's civilian staff.

      General Mattis

    2. “There are some people who think you have to hate them in order to shoot them. I don’t think you do. It’s just business.”

      General Mattis, USMC

    3. I read that the General in question was General Quirk.

      The M.O. certainly fits.

      Reckless drunken womanizing deep in foreign territory, and a true concern for others, at least when occasionally sober.......

  42. Hitler began the war with the best army in the world. It was also the best equipped. Hitler was an astute politician and an abysmal general. Boy Scout training had nothing to do with the defeat of Germany. Mass production, the likes of which the world had never seen, chewed Germany to bits. Millions of Russian casualties suffered in a slow, methodical, years' long counterattack played a/the key role in the disintegration of the German armies. Russia did not have Boy Scouts.

    1. Stephen E. Ambrose

      Ambrose was a history professor from 1960 until his retirement in 1995,
      having spent the bulk of his time at the University of New Orleans, where he was Boyd Professor of History.

      During the academic year 1969-70, he was Ernest J. King Professor of Maritime History at the Naval War College.

      In 1970, while teaching at Kansas State University, Ambrose participated in heckling of Richard Nixon during a speech the president gave on the KSU campus. Given pressure from the KSU administration and having job offers elsewhere, upon finishing out the year Ambrose offered to leave and the offer was accepted.

      Ambrose also taught at Louisiana State University, Johns Hopkins University, Rutgers University, U.C. Berkeley, and a number of European schools.

      He was the founder of the Eisenhower Center at the University of New Orleans and President of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana.
      The National Geographic Society provided Ambrose with an Explorer-in-Residence position.


      Ambrose's earliest works concerned the Civil War.
      He wrote biographies of the generals Emory Upton and Henry Halleck, the first of which was based on his dissertation.

      Early in his career, Ambrose was mentored by World War II historian Forrest Pogue.
      In 1964, Ambrose took a position at Johns Hopkins as the Associate Editor of the Eisenhower Papers, a project aimed at organizing, cataloging and publishing Eisenhower's principal papers.

      From this work and discussions with Eisenhower emerged an article critical of Cornelius Ryan’s The Last Battle, which had depicted Eisenhower as politically naîve, when at the end of World War II he allowed Soviet forces to take Berlin, thus shaping the Cold War that followed.

      Ambrose expanded this into a book,
      Eisenhower and Berlin, 1945: The Decision to Halt at the Elbe.

      In 1964 Ambrose was commissioned to write the official biography of the former president and five-star general Dwight D. Eisenhower.

      This resulted in a book on Eisenhower's war years (published 1970) and a two-volume full biography (published 1983 and 1984), which are considered "the standard" on the subject.

      Ambrose also wrote a three-volume biography of Richard Nixon.
      Although Ambrose was a strong critic of Nixon, the biography is considered fair and just regarding Nixon's presidency.

      His books, Band of Brothers (1992) and D-Day (1994), presented from the view points of individual soldiers in World War II, brought his works into mainstream American culture.

      His Citizen Soldiers, and The Victors became bestsellers.
      He also wrote the popular book, The Wild Blue, that looked at World War II aviation

      And your references are what, exactly, allen?

      Other than that you are a Fünfte Kolonne von Teamleitern


  43. You have it right.

    General Whacky has it wrong.

    1. The crushing defeat of the German Army by the Russians at the Battle of Kursk took place nearly a year before an American boot touched European soil on D-Day. Although the Russian losses were staggering, Russia had a huge reserve and fully functioning manufacturing platform. The Germans did not. From that point until the end of the war, Germany was unable to mount an offensive operation on the Eastern Front.

    2. Silly one line zingers are no match for a knowledge of history.

    3. See above and respond, if you want.

      Print your eductional and professional background,
      match Stephen E. Ambrose, if you can, Fünfte Kolonne von Teamleitern


    4. But then again, you cannot.

      Because you are uncredentialed, you are an anonymous contributor, unpublished.

      Not so for Stephen E. Ambrose.

      As for your resolve, it did not last a day.

      heh, heh, heh.


    5. “Imagination is the creative force that through necessity yields solutions to resolve the issues that face us.”

      ― Steven Redhead, The Solution


    6. “I will find a way -- or make one.”
      ― Hannibal


    7. “Thus the expert in battle moves the enemy, and is not moved by him.”
      ― Sun Tzu


    8. allen makes the fundamental error, where he has a solid argument, he despoils his own position.

      Aiming to discredit the source attacks the credentials of the conduit with an Abusive Ad Hominem against Anonymous, which is but a conduit of data.

      Data presented initially by Stephen E. Ambrose, allen, who based his argument on the lack of historical knowledge base of the coduit was slaughtered by the expertise of the source.

      heh, heh, heh


    9. noun: resolve; plural noun: resolves

      firm determination to do something.
      "she received information that strengthened her resolve"
      synonyms: decision, resolution, commitment
      "he made a resolve not to go there again"

      "Don't feed the asshole!"

      heh, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh!

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