“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, February 26, 2014

Russia is on the move in Ukraine. Will the West simply appease?

Mark MacKinnon
Simferopol, Ukraine — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Feb. 26 2014, 6:37 AM EST 

Russian troops now control the main access to Sevastopol, the Ukrainian port city that is home to a major Russian naval base, following orders from Russian President Vladimir Putin that put Russia’s military on alert.

A military checkpoint – with a Russian flag and a Russian military armoured personnel carrier and troop transport truck -- was set up on the main highway between the Crimean capital of Simferopol and the naval port of Sevastopol. The checkpoint is north of the city of Sevastopol, and so well beyond the Russian base.

The Globe and Mail saw the uniformed soldiers – some with balaclava masks -- force cars travelling south to slow down. The soldiers shone flashlights into cars, although it was not clear what they were searching for.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said "carefully watching what is happening in Crimea" and would take "measures to guarantee the safety of facilities, infrastructure and arsenals of the Black Sea Fleet.”

The provocative move by Mr. Putin came amid ferocious debate on Wednesday about the future of Crimea, a pro-Russian peninsula here on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast.

Russia’s western military district borders Ukraine, which last week saw a pro-Western protesters oust the Moscow-backed Viktor Yanukovych following violent street battles between protesters and police that claimed dozens of lives.

Some of the protesters who helped oust Mr. Yanukovych have vowed to come to the Crimea and confront pro-Russian groups, and it is likely the Russian troops are watching the entrances to the naval city to head off such demonstrators

Mr. Putin has ordered several such snap military drills in the past, but the timing of this move is certain to raise already sky-high tensions in the country, as well as suspicions that Russia is considering some form of intervention in this former Soviet republic.

Many here in Crimea say they would welcome that.

Several thousand pro-Russian demonstrators gathered Wednesday outside the Crimean parliament building, demanding that legislators declare independence from the new government in Kiev, and call for Russian assistance. The pro-Russian crowd was countered outside parliament by a similar number of Crimean Tatars – a Turkic-speaking mostly Muslim minority – who waved Ukrainian banners as well as their own Tatar flag.

A health official says at least 20 people have been injured in clashes between the two sides.

The protesters shouted and attacked each other with stones, bottles and punches, as police and leaders of both rallies struggled to keep the two groups apart.

“Crimea was part of Russia before. It has only been part of Ukraine for 60 years. We want a referendum, and 100 per cent we will vote to be with Russia,” said Alexander Chechotenko, the 42-year-old owner of a construction company, the crowd around him waved Crimean and Russian flags and shouted “Russia!” and “Referendum!”

Crimea was part of the Russian Empire for almost 200 years before it was transferred to what was then Soviet Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954.

“It’s very dangerous right now. Some people are for Russia, some are for Ukraine. People are very aggressive,” said Asan Useinov, a 23-year-old IT programmer who said he didn’t want to see Crimea annexed to Russia. “Of course I’m scared. I don’t want a war in Ukraine.”

Ethnic Russians make up about 58 per cent of the population of Crimea. Ukrainians make up 24 per cent, while Crimean Tatars are 12 per cent.

With a file from Associated Press




  1. Tatars? Crimea? Sevastopol?

    Yeah, boy. Now, I'm excited!

  2. Simferopol.

    That makes ME want to start WWIII.

    1. I mean, come on! The "taters" are trying to push around the "krainians" (or is that, grainians?)

      Whatever. Let'em fly boys. We won't miss New York, and Memphis.

  3. That part of the world has been well within the Russian 'Sphere of influence' for, well ... ever.

    Back to the 'Great Game' -

    Charge of the Light Brigade
    The Battle of Balaclava, Crimean War

    Half a league, half a league,
      Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death,
      Rode the six hundred.
    'Forward, the Light Brigade!
    Charge for the guns' he said:
    Into the valley of Death
      Rode the six hundred.

    'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
    Was there a man dismay'd?
    Not tho' the soldiers knew
      Some one had blunder'd:
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die:
    Into the valley of Death
      Rode the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
      Volley'd and thunder'd;
    Storm'd at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
      Rode the six hundred.

    Flash'd all their sabres bare,
    Flash'd as they turned in air
    Sabring the gunners there,
    Charging an army while
      All the world wonder'd:
    Plunged in the battery-smoke
    Right thro' the line they broke;
    Cossack and Russian
    Reel'd from the sabre-stroke
    Shatter'd and sunder'd.
    Then they rode back, but not
    Not the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon behind them
      Volley'd and thunder'd;
    Storm'd at with shot and shell,
    While horse and hero fell,
    They that had fought so well
    Came thro' the jaws of Death,
    Back from the mouth of Hell,
    All that was left of them,
      Left of six hundred.

    When can their glory fade?
    O the wild charge they made!
      All the world wonder'd.
    Honour the charge they made!
    Honour the Light Brigade,
      Noble six hundred!

    Brighton: "at least" 666

    Casualties and losses
    Killed: 110; Wounded: 161

    The Light Brigade, as the name suggests, were the British light cavalry force. It mounted light, fast horses which were unarmored. The men were armed with lances and sabres. Optimized for maximum mobility and speed, they were intended for reconnaissance and skirmishing. They were also ideal for cutting down infantry and artillery units as they attempted to retreat.

    Wiki, in its many forms

    1. .

      Ash is all over them 'taters'. Got them on his mind. It's what he's all about.

      Since the last thread has hit 200, a response to...

      Quirk with respect to:

      [Quirk] "2. It says nothing about banning guns resulting in only good guys not getting guns."

      How do you figure that? It seems that is precisely what "Researchers concluded that repealing the permit-to-purchase (PTP) law had given more murderers access to guns. "

      If you accept that repealing PTP gave the bad guys more access to guns then the converse is also true the requiring PTP will lessen their access to guns.

      Lord, Ash, forget about the logic. Learn to read. You comingle the 'good guys' with the murderers.

      This is you initial quote which I took objection to:

      There was that recent study tracking homicides in Missouri that contradict the claim that banning guns stops only the good guys from obtaining guns:

      First, the article you posted had nothing to do with banning guns.

      Second, the change in law referred to in the article will have little or no effect on the 'good guys' other than to possibly make it easier for some of them to get guns.

      Third, the authors of the study, John Hopkins [more on this later], make the point that a slackening of background checks laws is a bad thing (a position the majority of people in the US including gun owners agree with). The example they offer is Missouri where they say the murder rate has gone up after the PTP law was changed. In fact, the entire article was about murderers (i.e. bad guys) not the good guys. However, since there are more murderers walking around with guns this merely reinforces the argument of gun owners (restricted to the good guys of course) that they should have access to guns for protection.

      Fourth, to reiterate, the Missouri law has nothing to do with the 'good guys' since whether the PTP law was repealed or not repealed made no difference to the 'good guys' in Missouri being able to get handguns.

      Had you initially left out any reference to good guys and stuck with this subsequent proposition

      If you accept that repealing PTP gave the bad guys more access to guns then the converse is also true the requiring PTP will lessen their access to guns

      you would have offered up a legitimate proposition that could be argued either way; although, there would still remain many questions about the survey.


    2. .

      Regarding the study by John Hopkins,

      1. As evidenced by the Missouri study, the author of the study indicates in a press release that ""Requiring a background check on all gun sales is a commonsense approach to reducing gun violence that does not infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners." There is little controversial about this statement. Most Americans and most gun owners agree with it.

      2. The study was strictly about background checks. There was no mention whatsoever about banning guns.

      3. The study recognized the difference between law-abiding guns owners and murderers (the bad guys).

      With regard to the details of the study a number of questions remain.

      1. While I could get numerous stories on the study and well as the press briefing put out by John Hopkins, I wasn't able to dig up the original study details.

      2. The press release says the study covered the period 1999 to 2012 and the increase in murder took off in 2008 the year after the PTP law was repealed. Yet, here is a comment I found on one of the blogs talking of the story

      Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
      I think it is insignificant for another reason.

      I am anti gun, but the article does not look good to me at least from the summary I read.

      here is the Missouri murder rate :

      Now I did not find a split on how those murder were made, but here look at the variation :

      1998 399
      1999 359
      2000 347
      2001 372
      2002 331
      2003 289
      2004 354
      2005 402
      2006 368
      2007 385
      2008 456
      2009 387
      2010 420
      2011 366
      2012 389

      Plotted this looks like this :

      There is so much variance on murder from year to year, that I have to question the claim on 60 murder being DUE to the law repeal. The law might have had an impact, but comparing 2004-2007 and 2008-2012 I see a huge variance and yet similar numbers nowhere near 60 more and yet 2011 had even less murder than all year in that decade.

      In fact the rise started hugely in 2003 when it went 289 to 385 in 2007, when globally murder rate dropped.

      3. I have to ask the value of the study when it is restricted to only one state. For instance, there are numerous states that have the same or more lenient laws than Missouri yet have murder rates significantly lower than Missouri; for instance, states like Vermont, Texas, Florida, Idaho, and Arizona.



    3. .

      Another interesting anomaly:

      According to Wiki, Missouri has the highest gun murder rate in the entire US except for the District of Columbia, a place as we know many of the 'bad guys' hang.

      Somehow, I wouldn't think that was due to relaxing the PTP law.


  4. In all fairness, the Russians have a more than righteous claim to Sevastopol.

  5. Wasn't it in "Anna Karenina" that the cad left The Lady in the lurch, and took off for the wars in south? Then she, having been totally deconstructed by 'polite society' and in despair, said, basically, "life sucks" and threw herself under a train.

    1. Didn't Khrushchev give the Crimea to the Ukraine, to make nice? Thinking they'd never lose it, Ukraine being part of the everlasting Soviet Union at the time?

      The Roosians will take back the Crimea if they have to do so.

      Other than that, an amicable divorce seems the best way to go for everyone.

      Grandfather raised a wheat called 'Red Roosian' that was so tall he could walk into it and disappear.

      Quirk is an admitted designer baby.

    2. Having been in Memphis once, it's OK by me if we give it to the Roosians.

    3. I'd trade Sochi for Memphis in a heartbeat.

    4. .

      You just like the idea of the twin toilets in each stall.


  6. Hawaii spends $120 million on ObamaCare, enrolls … 4300

    Hey, the state exchanges are doing great! At spending money, anyway. The state of Hawaii, which was supposed to have one of the easiest tasks in the country handling a state where the rate of coverage was already highers than average, spent $120 million … and has only signed up 4,300 people in four months:

    Hawaii already had one of the highest insured rates in the nation as the result of a 40-year-old state law requiring employers to provide coverage. The state received more than $205 million in federal money to build a health insurance exchange to serve those still uninsured.

    Yet four months after enrollments began, the Hawaii Health Connector has allocated $120 million while signing up only about 4,300 people for health plans — fewer than any other state. Despite officials’ initial hopes of enrolling tens of thousands of Hawaiians, only 400 employers have applied for plans for their employees.

    In case you’re wondering, that comes to $27,907 per sign-up. That’s not the only math involved, either. If Hawaii got $205 million in federal grants for the exchange and spent $120 million of it, where’s the other $85 million?

    The LA Times compares this to Colorado, where Washington only spent $26 million, but the state exchange signed up 68,000 consumers. Neither of these figures come with a breakdown of the sigm-ups between Medicaid and private-insurance plans, though, nor a representation of how many paid for their initial premium and confirmed enrollment. Did this just reach a few of the Medicaid-eligible Hawaiians? How many of the private insurance plans sold (if any at all) went to younger, healthier consumers rather than others that will seriously distort the risk pools in the state?

    Given that the web site was built by CGI Federal, we probably won’t know those answers for months, but that’s not the only problems with transparency in Hawaii. Thanks to the structure built by the state, even legislators won’t be able to get answers to find out what happened to the money:

    Most states operating independent health exchanges have placed them under direct state control or created strong legislative oversight, but Hawaii established its exchange as a separate nonprofit agency, rendering the details of its daily operations largely invisible to even the state Legislature. Lawmakers, who have no power to compel budget information, have struggled for months to get basic financial information or even an explanation of how the Health Connector will remain viable when federal grant money runs out this year. …

    Frustration over the lack of transparency into the Health Connector’s operations has led 20 House lawmakers to sign on to a bill, scheduled for another hearing Wednesday, designed to strip it of its nonprofit status and place it under the control of the state. But that move is facing resistance from lawmakers who fear the state will be saddled with the Health Connector’s increasingly apparent financial problems and absorb its potential legal liabilities.

    So far, the legislature still won’t act to take over Hawaii Health Connector, which means Hawaiians — and everyone else — will continue to wave aloha to their cash go down the drain for very little in results. With the effective end of open enrollments arriving in a month, it appears that Hawaii would have done better just to buy insurance coverage for the 4300 residents with the $120 million wasted on the web portal — and a few thousand more with that other $85 million that appears to have gone nowhere.

    Update: Jim Geraghty has a great roundup of other ObamaCare train wrecks coming out of the states.

    from Hot Air

  7. It's a hard task indeed to get any truth out of the Obama Administration -

    Issa to recall Lerner to testify before Oversight Committee

    Why bring Lois Lerner back to testify now at a House Oversight hearing? Lerner famously — and arguably defectively — took the Fifth Amendment at a previous Oversight hearing in May 2013, after first issuing a statement declaring that she had broken no laws. The committee then ruled her use of the Fifth Amendment invalid, and threatened to haul her back again — where Lerner would likely take the Fifth again. Instead, Oversight has supposedly been negotiating with Lerner’s lawyers to provide testimony in exchange for some sort of immunity.

    Those efforts have apparently gone nowhere, and Darrell Issa wants her back in front of the committee next week:

    Issa told Lerner’s attorney in a Tuesday letter that he expected the retired IRS official to appear before his committee on March 5. …

    In his letter to William Taylor, Lerner’s attorney, Issa said that her testimony “remains critical to this committee’s investigation.”

    “Because the committee explicitly rejected her Fifth Amendment privilege claim, I expect her to provide answers when the hearing reconvenes on March 5,” Issa wrote.

    1. Ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings (MD) called this an election-year stunt, which may be a bit offensive of a characterization given the developments on Lerner’s activities since her last appearance nine months ago. At the very least, Lerner should be asked about the “off-plan” attempts to change the rules at IRS in order to allow the agency to go after conservative 501(c)(4) groups. Those rules hadn’t changed in over 50 years, and it’s more than just curiosity to wonder why a political operative like Lerner wanted to make those changes under the radar and avoid any outside scrutiny, especially with the rest of the revelations we’ve seen at IRS.

      On the other hand, it doesn’t appear that we can expect much out of Lerner either, unless Issa and Taylor have reconciled over her testimony. Lerner has since retired from the IRS, and she has even less to lose with a Fifth Amendment claim than before. If Issa is calling her without any progress on getting her cooperation, then the word stunt might be applicable, even if it’s not really going to affect anyone’s election — especially in a March 5th appearance.

      It might be a good way to highlight the House Republican plan to prevent Lerner’s “off-plan” plans from moving forward, though:

      The GOP-led House voted Tuesday to block the IRS from asking about religious, political, or social beliefs, and to require the embattled agency to notify taxpayers when their information has been shared with other government agencies.

      The Protecting Taxpayers from Intrusive IRS Requests Act, introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., in the wake of the IRS targeting scandal, would limit what the agency can ask taxpayers and overhaul the process for groups applying for tax-exempt status.

      Roskam said IRS efforts to get details on the operations of several conservative groups dating back to early 2010 was a “shameful abuse and a shameful scandal,” The Hill reported.

      The House also approved the Taxpayer Transparency and Efficient Audit Act, which would require the IRS to inform taxpayers when the agency has shared their tax information with another government agency and limit IRS audits to one year.
      The re-emergence of Lerner, and perhaps especially with another televised recitation of a Fifth Amendment claim from a (former) public servant, might put pressure on Senate Democrats to put an end to these specific abuses at IRS. If so, then it’s time well spent, “stunt” or not.

      Time to drive in and fight The Faucet. I did determine yesterday that The Faucet Room is the place to be in case of nuclear attack.

      Totally encased in lead, one could sit out the radioactivity and it is harder to break into than a vault. Was taken on a tour of the 'control room' too. Looked like a NASA launch room in there, what with all the computers and big screens. Will post some pics one of these days. The entrance door must be more than a foot thick.


  8. We're doing better than your neighbor Oregon, last time I heard Mr Pertatoe.

  9. QuirkWed Feb 26, 02:50:00 PM EST

    Are you a designer baby?

    Well, yes. Yes, I am.


    Is your fashion collection available for viewing online?

  10. Republican Evolution on Obamacare:

    2008: Death panels!

    2009: Socialized medicine!

    2010: Obamacare will destroy America!

    2011: Repeal Obamacare!

    2012: Repeal and replace!

    2014: Fix Obamacare!

    2016: Benghazi!

    2017: We were the ones that named it "Obamacare"

    2018: We created Obamacare!

    2020: Keep your government hands off my Obamacare!


    1. Sez the Prognosticator with the faultless record.

    2. OTOH:
      If it's the disaster that most of us know it will be, who'm I to say the stupid party won't adopt it anyhoo.

      Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

    3. The biggest problem is that the Pubs won't be able to do anything about it thanks to Obammie for at least 3 years, which may be too late, or they've already signed on.

    4. It's all over but the 'tweaking'.
      Just like Social Security and Medicare.

      Poor programs, never thought through, and now keystones to US government policies.

      Like 'Homeland Security'.

      No one will walk the government back, in the history of the nation it has only happened once,
      when Andy 'By God' Jackson closed the "National Bank".

    5. And, promptly gave us the second worst Depression in American History. :)

    6. The above list shamelessly stolen from a commentor at another site.

    7. Never said that there was not "Unintended Consequence", rufus.

    8. How about Clinton/Newt Welfare reform? Worked like a charm, so naturally, Obammie did away w/it.

      Still working in several Red States, until Holder sues 'em.

    9. We already knew you have no shame, Rufus!

    10. You must admit Holder is one exceptionally corrupt fuck, right Rufus?

      So fucking obvious what he's working out on the evil, cowardly White Man.

      Would be better served in a Psych ward than a Prison.

      He could do his time after that, if he's salvageable enough to be a prisoner.

    11. Holder speak with forked tongue, like Big Black/White Father ObamieCommie.

      Kick both out of tepee.

    12. Medicine Men say they no like ObamieCare.

      Medicine Man/Brave relationship all fucked up.

    13. Brutal: Obama vs. reality on Obamacare costs for small businesses

      Via the Libre Initiative, here’s America’s Liar of the Year (not my words!) doing his thing in October of 2009. In a speech peddling Obamacare to small business advocates, the president warmed up with his shattered “keep your plan” vow before enthusiastically touting the glorious ‘affordability’ that awaited exchange participants:

      “What we will do is make the coverage that you’re currently providing more affordable…You’ll be able to get better deals than you could have ever received on your own. In fact, small businesses that choose one of the plans in this exchange could save 25 percent on their premiums by 2016.”
      The operation of said magical exchange, by the way, was just delayed for the second time, for another full year — with many small businesses being offered a single “option.” And now, 2014′s reality check, via — er – the Obama administration:

      Nearly two-thirds of small businesses that currently offer health insurance to their workers will pay more for coverage as a result of new rules in the health care law, as will millions of small-business employees and their family members, according to new estimates released by the Obama administration…”We are estimating that 65 percent of the small firms are expected to experience increases in their premium rates while the remaining 35 percent are anticipated to have rate reductions,” CMS’ Office of the Actuary wrote in a new report.
      These looming rate increases will compel many employers in the small group market (whose businesses fall below the employee thresholds established in the again-postponed employer mandate) to simply drop coverage for their workers. Experts — including those within the administration — have projected that tens of millions of American workers will ultimately lose their existing employer-based coverage due to Obamacare. Those employees will be shuffled into the individual market, where many will choose between paying significantly more for health insurance and forking over mandate-tax penalty payments to the IRS for the privilege of being uninsured. You’ll recall that White House officials have repeatedly assured consumers within the employer-based market that the recent furor over canceled plans “doesn’t apply” to them. ”They don’t have to worry about, or do, or change anything,” Jay Carney told reporters in late October. According to the administration’s own numbers, that’s not even close to being accurate. This crew simply lies about Obamacare. Period.

      Braves get screwed by Great White/Black Father again.

      No can pay big new price on measly casino income.

    14. (trying to put this in images Rufus can understand)

    15. Dogs feel no shame, despite how they look, behaviorists say -

      Also, there has been a marked increase in dogs ingesting mary jane in Colorado.......from Drudge.......

      "That dog won't hunt"

      Canine De-motivational Syndrome

    16. Discouraging reports are already coming in from dog training/obedience facilities in Washington State and Colorado.

      The dogs just don't seem to give much of a shit about anything any longer.

      Some of the male mutts are even reported to be squatting to pee.

    17. .

      No can pay big new price on measly casino income.

      Even with the new radioactive powers?


    18. My system broke down yesterday evening but made a startling and unexpected comeback today with a jackpot.

      So, the experiment isn't over yet.

      Is your mutt a male or female, Quirk? Not planning a joke, just curious.

      We had a female German Shepard once, strong and uncontrollable what with the young energy. Finally had to give her away to some people that lived out in the country.

    19. Jumped out of the open window in the car once, out in the country, when she saw some deer over by a forest. Came back about 45 minutes later, all worn out from the chase. We all loved her but she needed her space. I called the people we gave her to one time, and the lady says "Well, she's out chasing the cattle again."


    20. Female terrorist, member of the Liberation of Palestine group, convicted in Israel of a bombing, became an American citizen on release, lying in the process, has been found working as an ObamaCare navigator.

      Fox News

      Back ground checks not currently required for 'navigators'.

      We assume they are all trustworthy with all of our most personal information.

    21. And, do you share your Vodka with your pooch on special occasions, or all the time?

      Don't start feeding the mutt mary jane cookies. Might be able to handle one or the other but not both, unlike you.

    22. Which neighboring lawn does your mutt like most for the do-do?

    23. Quirk's mutt after a brunch of Vodka and Mary Jane cookies -


      Bow WOW

    25. Farmer Bob, just cannot ge away from the toilet humor.

      His mind is full of shit.

      arf, arf, arf.

  11. Quit following me around. It is stalking.

    "Bullying, outing, taunting and making false or malicious unsubstantiated charges against another member is not allowed."

    Toilet humor? It was an attempt, not very successful, at a humorous slighting dig at Q. Pay back in a humorous way for his accusation concerning me and Sochi. You see, I was implying ol' Q might not be above having his mutt use someone else's yard, thus saving himself the trouble. Had nothing to do with toilets. I was referencing his well know tendencies toward laziness. I didn't us the s^^t word, you just did. I used the much more proper and reticent word do-do. Look to your own mind.

    Do go away.

    Go get help.

    You are obsessed.

    You have been kicked out of here about four times now. But, here you are again. Some old thing.

    It is really boring.

  12. The ten point (roughly) spread between Likely Voters, and "Adults in general" continues. This could be the first election in (forever?) that a small turnout favors the Democrats.

    The key is "Obamacare." The poor, and ill-informed are deeply suspicious of it, and over 50% of those that will be helped the most know virtually Nothing about it, and are the most negative regarding its effects on themselves.

  13. Muslims vs. polio vaccine: “My children are Muslim and we don’t need your dirty Hindu drugs”

    Robert Spencer Feb 26, 2014 at 5:01pm conspiracy paranoia, Pakistan 14 Comments
    648702-polioworkersshotkarachiphotoreuters-1387619330-405-640x480“The Hindus are lacing it with pig’s blood to send us all to hell.” That people believe this kind of thing is amazing in itself, but it is encouraged in the mosques, where hatred and contempt of the unbelievers, the “most vile of created beings” (Qur’an 98:6) is inculcated on a regular basis. Muslim leaders in Pakistan bear the responsibility, as they do not confront this hatred or do anything to stop it.

    “Pakistan: Where conspiracy theories can cost a child’s life,” from the Global Post, February 10 (thanks to Blazing Cat Fur):

    KARACHI, Pakistan — When health workers approached Zulfikar Quaid about inoculating his three children against polio, Quaid picked up an old cricket bat inside his home and waved it at them. “Get out of my house,” he yelled. “My children are Muslim and we don’t need your dirty Hindu drugs.”

    The health workers he was yelling at were stunned — though they’d become accustomed to hearing some Karachi residents’ resistance to vaccines, they’d never heard it linked to a Hindu conspiracy before.

    Zarmina, the lead health worker, asked Quaid’s wife, who was standing beside her husband, why they were refusing the drugs. “The Hindus are lacing it with pig’s blood to send us all to hell,” she explained. Quaid was still holding the bat and waving it menacingly, and Zarmina, by now familiar with anti-vaccine fervor, decided that a quick retreat was the safest option for her. She motioned to her partner that they should leave immediately. In the past 18 months, 34 health workers had been killed for attempting to administer the polio vaccine.

    For Zarmina the battle is personal. She became a community health worker after her eldest daughter died after contracting measles.
    Since 1978, when the World Health Organization’s Expanded Program for Immunization was launched in Pakistan, conspiracy theories about polio have been rampant. While the supposed conspirators change frequently, the myth is usually the same and involves someone attempting to rid the world of Muslims — Zarmina and her fellow health workers have heard that the polio vaccine is part of a Western (or US or Jewish) conspiracy to sterilize all Muslims, or that Mossad or the CIA is orchestrating the campaign to kill Muslims outright….

    Perhaps the Hindu and other health care workers should just give up the outreach.

    Give them the 7th Day Adventist Advantage.

    If they don't want modern medicine let them rely on the Lord.

    The lives of health care workers should not be put at risk.

    1. Also from Jihad Watch -

      16-year-old boy dies of gunshot wounds, 59th victim of Nigeria school jihad terror attack

      Robert Spencer Feb 26, 2014 at 12:55pm Nigeria 5 Comments
      nigeria-boko-haram-school“Girls were spared Tuesday but extremists have in the past abducted them as sex slaves.” This is in accord with the Qur’an, which allows men to hold “captives of the right hand” (4:3) — essentially sex slaves he can own in addition to his four wives. But the world will little note nor long remember this massacre. To inquire too deeply into its causes and motivations would be “Islamophobic.”

      “16-year-old boy dies of gunshot wounds, 59th victim of Nigeria school terror attack,” from the Associated Press, February 26 (thanks to Kenneth):

      DAMATURU, Nigeria – Hospital officials say a 16-year-old boy has died of gunshot wounds suffered when Islamic extremists attacked students at a northeast Nigerian school.

      The death of Musa Mohammed on Wednesday raises the toll to 59 killed in Tuesday’s attack.

      Also Wednesday, a teacher said scores of students at an all-girl boarding school in Potiskum were sent home on orders of the Ministry of Education. Both schools are in Yobe state.

      Girls were spared Tuesday but extremists have in the past abducted them as sex slaves.

      Ten students suffering burns and gunfire and machete wounds still are in the hospital.

      Tuesday’s was the latest in a string of ever deadlier attacks in a 4-year-old Islamic uprising that has killed thousands despite a state of emergency and deployment of soldiers and jet bombers.


  14. An example of ignorance in action would be those Medicare recipients that don't realize that their "Part D" donut hole has been cut in half by Obamacare, and that it will disappear completely, by 2020, or so.