“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."

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Southern Command Wants More Money to Fight a Losing Battle

 The head of the military's Southern Command wants more money to fight a losing battle

by Conor Friedersdorf
General John F. Kelly, the head of the U.S. Southern Command, testified last week before the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he argued, as generals tend to do, that he has inadequate resources to fulfill the missions assigned to him. 
Here's how the Associated Press summed up his statement:
The U.S. doesn’t have the ships and surveillance capabilities to go after the illegal drugs flowing into the U.S. from Latin America, the top military commander for the region told senators Thursday, adding that the lack of resources means he has to “sit and watch it go by.”
Gen. John Kelly told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he is able to get about 20 percent of the drugs leaving Colombia for the U.S., but the rest gets through. 
Think about that.
Though the U.S. spends billions of dollars each year fighting the War on Drugs, and despite having done so for many years, 80 percent of the drugs from one of the countries we've focused on the most still gets through all of our interdiction efforts. 
Is the answer to throw more money at the prohibitionist strategy?
Kelly requests more resources:
Kelly ... said he would be able to interdict more drugs if he had 16 ships that could be used as the base for helicopters. Generally, law enforcement officials use the helicopters to quickly go after traffickers operating small boats, forcing them to stop and surrender. Currently, Kelly said he has one U.S. Navy ship and two Coast Guard vessels that can be used for the drug operations. The overall goal has been to reduce the amount of drugs coming into the U.S. from Latin America by 40 percent, which officials believe would cut into the profits of the cartels and perhaps turn them against each other.
To reach that goal, he said, would require the 16 ships. 
Helicopter carrier USS Wasp
 So best-case scenario, we could spend more ... and maybe, if we're "lucky," spark a bloody cartel war abroad. Somehow, that inclines me to spend those extra billions elsewhere! If we turn to Kelly's full statement, we find a frustrating refusal to frankly state the tradeoffs that we've chosen in our present approach to drug policy.  
In his telling, transnational criminal organizations are a security problem for several reasons. If you think about it, almost all of those reasons are exacerbated by the black market.
  1. "The spread of criminal networks is having a corrosive effect on the integrity of democratic institutions and the stability of several of our partner nations." Without black-market profits, criminal drug networks would almost certainly shrink.
  2. "Transnational criminal organizations threaten citizen security, undermine basic human rights, cripple rule of law through corruption, erode good governance, and hinder economic development." Again, the ability of drug cartels to bribe officials, violate human rights, and cripple the rule of law would be undermined if they suddenly lost their ability to profit from drugs on the black market.
  3. "Illicit trafficking poses a direct threat to our nation’s public health, safety, and border security. Criminal elements make use of the multitude of illicit pathways in our hemisphere to smuggle drugs, contraband, and even humans directly into the United States." Without a black market in narcotics, smuggling operations would be less sophisticated and the money flowing to smugglers would decrease.
  4. "Illegal drugs are an epidemic in our country, wasting lives and fueling violence between rival gangs in most of our nation’s cities." It's possible that more addict lives would be wasted if drugs were legalized, because of increased use and abuse. Drug-fueled gang violence and the lives lost to it would almost certainly decrease.
  5. "The third concern is a potential one, and highlights the vulnerability to our homeland rather than an imminent threat: that terrorist organizations could seek to leverage those same smuggling routes to move operatives with intent to cause grave harm to our citizens or even quite easily bring weapons of mass destruction into the United States." Again, if drugs were legal, fewer resources would be poured into routes and personnel that could be exploited by foreign terrorists. 
Why doesn't the testimony note, as I just did, that the black market in drugs that prohibition creates exacerbates nearly every way in which transnational crime hurts us?
Kelly isn't to blame. He doesn't make policy. He tries to carry it out. But the policy that he's been given is as doomed to fail as it always has been. Prohibition may make some (though not all) people inclined to addiction safer in some ways. But it makes all of us less safe in other ways, and wreaks havoc in foreign countries. It would be nice if hearings on U.S. drug policy acknowledged such tradeoffs.
 Source: Borderland Beat


  1. The New World Disorder

    Following serious cajoling by the United States and the European Union, and arm twisting by Arab governments, the Palestinians entered what was to be nine months of negotiations with Israel. The Palestinians, who had forgone demands for Israel’s compliance with previous signed agreements before starting new negotiations, were promised that this time Israel would enter into serious discussions to reach a final agreement by 29 April 2014.

    After stalling for four months, Israel refused to discuss any issues other than security arrangements. Negotiations were effectively over late last November when US Secretary of State John Kerry mobilized a large team, led by a former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) employee, to resuscitate it.

    The looming deadline is around the corner and there is no indication that the two sides are any closer than when they started. In fact, the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, added two fresh conditions this week: no final deal with the Palestinians unless they relinquish the rights of refugees, and an additional recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

    For Israel, which has perfected the game of temporizing, these nine months were just a prelude to seek another extension in the talks and to take the steam out of the international boycott movement while undermining the peace process by building new Jews-only homes – over 7,000 units since July 2013.

    This week, Netanyahu also declared, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times newspaper, that “It will take us at least a year to exhaust these negotiations.”

    In June 1992, a year after the start of the Madrid peace talks, the then departing Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, revealed to an Israeli newspaper that he would have kept negotiating “for 10 years and in the meantime we would have reached half a million [Jewish squatters] ” in the West Bank.

    He lamented: “In the next four years I will not be able to complete the [Jewish] demographic revolution,” explaining that “without this demographic revolution, there is no reason to hold autonomy talks as there now is a risk of a Palestinian state.”

    True to Shamir’s vision, consecutive Israeli governments, from the left and the right, dragged the negotiations over almost a quarter of a century, surpassing Shamir’s goal of more than half a million, thus making it geographically unfeasible to establish a viable Palestinian state.

    The ostrich-like US and its subservient European Union suffer from a delusional denial syndrome. They refuse to read palpable writings on the wall: Israel perceives the Palestinian state as a risk and uses peace talk to realize the Jewish “demographic revolution”.

    The Israeli-centric and overextended use of the US’s veto power at the UN Security Council has become the main obstacle to reaching peace in the Middle East. It can even be argued that it is contributing to many of the world’s conflicts today.

    Incidentally, it was Israel’s US firsters who fabricated the evidence to justify the occupation of Iraq, and are now advocating war with Iran and Syria.

    Other world powers jumped on the bandwagon too. Russia has employed the same tired privilege of the UN Security Council veto to ease its annexation of Crimea. But only with one difference: unlike the people of population Crimea who ostensibly sought Russian support, the inhabitants of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights overwhelmingly rejected Israeli annexation.

    China is employing the same privileged veto power in its islands dispute with Japan and to maintain its influence over Korea.

    Acting on behalf of Israel, the US has turned the UN Security Council from a guardian of world peace to a club of hubris kingpins violating international law and creating a new world disorder.



  2. The fellas that cannot or will post a thread want to critique those that can and do.
    They have no capacity, no capability or do not possess the desire or cognizant ability to participate.
    That is not the fault of those of us that can and do.

    A blog (a truncation of the expression web log) is an informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual. - wiki

    Since 2009 this blog has had a rotating crew of contributors that have posted threads, for the most part it has been Deuce.
    He is taking a break, good on him. Others could participate, but they choose not to. Good for them.

    Why someone would constantly complain about how others perform, while they refuse to, is a mystery.
    Rather than step up, when invited to, they harp, moan, carp and whine like losers.

    While most of the others that choose not to participate, they simply fade away, like oh so many others have over the past decade.
    Good on them, hope they fare well in what ever new enterprise or hobby the choose to indulge themselves in.

    To be a 'blog' there is no need for discussion, no need for multiple commentators. - see the definition of a blog, above.

    Anyone of the Team Members can post a thread, if they do not want to, if they feel they have nothing to contribute, that does not interfere with those that do particpate.

    If there are some that are to technologically feeble to participate, it is not the fault of those that can and do.

    Comments made about enemas are not informational, they are worthless.
    If one wants to learn about prostate cancer, well, they have specialty blogs for that, where the information is accurate and timely.

    That is where to go, to discus prostate cancer, enemas, blood sugar and the like.

    At the Libertarian we post information about international politics, domestic politics, international crime, travel and adventure.
    Investment opportunities, economics, government waste, fraud and land use issues, and occasionally there were pictures of good looking women. We are having more of those, lately.
    Not being extremely biased, occasionally there will be a picture of a shirtless man.
    The last ones were Israeli soldiers, trolling for tourist dollars.


    1. The fellas that cannot or will NOT post a thread want to critique those that can and do.


  3. To be a 'blog' there is no need for discussion, no need for multiple commentators. - see the definition of a blog, above.

    This is called a monoblog.......hehehehe

    You got a nearly perfect one goin' here, Jack.

    Whooooeeeeeeee, look at them titties, whoooeeeeee, I like the 'content'......whooooeeeee, young tittie......

    yum yum yum

    1. oops....shouldda said desert rat, not Jack.....they are different fellows, you know.........

      but the titties,,,,ooooyahoo.....titties are always the same.......

      oink oink oink


    2. coulda just said anon

      AnonymousSat Mar 22, 01:59:00 AM EDT

      cause anon is jackdesertratanon too

      whoopie them titties

      this is bloggin' !

  4. drugs, guns, young tittie, no child support, what else is there in life?

    whooopiedoooopie !

  5. Pot becomes legal in Washington state on June 1st. Twenty something states now have "medical" marijuana.

    Legalized "recreational" pot will probably get voted in in another 4 or 5 states in 2016. General Kelly's job ought to be getting a little easier in a few years.

  6. Interesting new poll from Pew: over 3,000 respondents, less than 1 in 5 want to "repeal" Obamacare.

    The overwhelming response: Make it better.

    The Koch Brothers have spent over $30 Million on their anti-Obamacare ads, so far this cycle, but the "numbers" seem to be running away from them.


  7. Vogue' Kardashian cover sparks backlash

    Anna Wintour may feel justified in putting Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on the April cover of Voguebut not everybody is buying it -- and some are threatening not to buy the magazine anymore.

  8. What happened to the "Blue Lady" at the top?

    Is Deuce gone?

  9. Does it matter?

    Everyone else is gone.

    Teresita Redinger

    Only Rufus and an occasional anon remain.

    Even the Rules have vacated.


  10. Lady Liberty has been eradicated

  11. "Only the dead and dying left in this little town"

  12. Only the anti-semites and teen porn lovers remain.

    Out not with a bang, but a whimper.

    Lady Liberty has fled.

    1. Too heavily clad. She was demanded to disrobe, show some tit, and fled.

  13. Deuce, I'm disappointed in you. If you didn't like the way it was going, you could have said something. We could have talked.

  14. A wonderful and classic Deuce art picture right to the end.

    I appeal to some else to put up a continuing blog but it looks like no one is going to do so.

    Best fortune to you, Rufus. And everyone.


    1. From the "dumbest man on the planet".



    2. Thanks. You and Doug start something new.


  15. Well, anyway, many, many thanks for all the effort, and enjoyment you have afforded us these several years.

    If you ever get bored, and want to open the old joint up again, drop me an email; maybe I can help a little.

    Meantime, it's about time for the crappie to start hitting good; so, have a "good'un," buddy. :)

  16. It's been fun! Maybe our paths will cross on the intrerubes again...


  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. One last chance for me to say this,

      go fuck yourself, you silly asshole.

      :) At least we had a chance to go out on a high note. :) :) :)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. So Rat destroyed the bar...

    Too Funny...

  19. I just got from the movie "Monument Men" where they try to save art during WWII.

    I am happy to say Quirk aka Donald Jeffries, finally cleaned up his act, quit drinking, took one for the Madonna and Child of Burges, died happily, lived ever after, against his expectations, and the Madonna and Child were saved just at the end.

    I will miss Quirk. If only he and Doug and WiO and Ash and Rufus etc would start up a new blog!


    1. Well, let's get this straight; Rufus wants no part of your silly asses.

    2. Thankfully, and we don't want your silly ass either.

      But we all want you in pleasant conversation!


  20. I intend to take WiO up on his offer to post there and will occasionally. I.m off to the east in 6 days, right out of the doc's office in CdA on I 90, east, south, east, south. A long break from blogging.

    I hope others do the same.


  21. OOOhhhh, it's starting to sink in.......what will I do for funnies without ol' Ash?????


    1. Do you accept outright mockery at your blog,Ash, if it's still up there somewhere?



  22. I'm crushed.


    1. Squish! my good man. Where, and how, you been hangin' dude?

      Here at the beginning and here at the end, MIA all the in between.

      Start up a new blog for us all, Squishy.


    2. I don't 'hang' no more at all, Bob. Underwent a sex change operation in '07. I'm with the LGBT San Fran community now. And don't blog much.

      So, I'm sorry.


  23. One last(?) article before the end
    Gagdad Bob said...
    That's right: libertarianism is just the mirror image of collectivism. What then is the correct approach? Unfortunately, the term "family values" has been so ridiculed by the left as to be useless, but conservative classical liberalism is founded on the primacy of the family, or of the intimate relations therein. The family is the real subjective WE, whereas the state can only enforce a counterfeit WE -- a top-down US, as it were....

  24. .

    They say all good things must come to and end.

    Best of luck to everyone.


    1. "They say all good things must come to and end."

      from the ode

      Quirk on the Brink from Drink

      However.......another finer says.....

      A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
      Its loveliness increases; it will never
      Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
      A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
      Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
      Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
      A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
      Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
      Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
      Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
      Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
      Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
      From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
      Trees old, and young, sprouting a shady boon
      For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
      With the green world they live in; and clear rills
      That for themselves a cooling covert make
      'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
      Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
      And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
      We have imagined for the mighty dead;
      All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
      An endless fountain of immortal drink,
      Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.



  25. Best luck to you, Quirk.


    1. Though you won't need it, what with your 'negotiating' skills.


    2. Hey...just a suggestion....Deuce always said he could 'make a pretty penny' if he advertised here.

      You might think about that, and be the Hero to start a new blog....


    3. I knew my need to pee had a special purpose this time.....

  26. Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.

    These are the days


  27. Best future to you and yours, Melody.


  28. Upon parting, we give you this pure thought -

    Death to all you infidels!

    Boko Haram

    Nigeria: Islamic jihadists murder 17 in market attack

    Robert Spencer Mar 23, 2014 at 1:40pm Nigeria 8 Comments
    boko-haram“News on the attack was slow to emerge after insurgents destroyed nearby telecom towers, shutting down communications in the area.” If the jihadists prevail and take political power in the area, who will rebuild the infrastructure? The Saudis? The UAE? Iran? Or will the whole area descend to the level of savagery and barbarism upon which the jihadists already operate?

    “Nigeria Islamists kill 17 in market attack,” from AAP, March 22 (thanks to Twostellas):

    At least 17 people have been killed by an explosion in a village market in northeast Nigeria in an attack blamed on Boko Haram Islamists, a local police chief said on Sunday.

    The deadly blast struck a busy marketplace late on Thursday in the remote village of Nguro-Soye, Borno state, injuring many more, said police chief Lawan Tanko.

    News on the attack was slow to emerge after insurgents destroyed nearby telecom towers, shutting down communications in the area.

    “An explosion in the market in Nguro-Soye killed 17 people,” Tanko told AFP, adding that police were investigating the source of the explosion.

    “The attack on Nguro-Soye, as in previous attacks, is the handiwork of Boko Haram insurgents.”

    Residents who fled the village to the state capital Maiduguri put the death toll at nearly 30, and said more people were hurt.

    “They (attackers) fired RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) on the market and opened fire, killing 29 people,” said local trader Hamisu Ibrahim.

    “Many people were injured in the attack and the stampede that followed,” said Ibrahim.

    Nguro-Soye lies close to the town of Bama where 60 people were killed last month in coordinated bomb and gun attacks by Boko Haram that burnt half the town.

    Deadly attacks blamed on the sect have intensified since the turn of the year, making it one of the bloodiest since the insurgency began in 2009.

    So far in 2014 some 700 people have been killed in more than 40 incidents, according to Human Rights Watch.


    the Boys from Boko


  29. Best to you all !

    Even though many of you mocked me and one besmirched my reputation.

    And, I was right about Russia, you nitwits.

    And so many other things....

    Sarah Palin

    1. I just wish I'd hired Quirk for my Vice-Presidential run, even with his, umm, less than stellar resume.

      John and I would have won.

      And all Q wanted out of it was to run the Department of Commerce.

      Sarah Palin

  30. Idaho approves year-round wolf hunting on private land

    Howl you mother fuckers.


    1. Couldn't resist getting that one in :)

      And the reason there may be more elk down by Boise is because they are moving from the high country towards the people for safety.


  31. the site is still dead? cool

  32. and your site still has yet to receive comment number one. Asshole.

    1. how do you know that? I moderate them and forward them to my real site..


    2. even in death the rat still stinks...



    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Looks like this rat fella pulled the pin on his own grenade and threw the pin not the grenade, and got blown out of his own trench.

    ha ha

    Serves him right.

  34. Hamdoon texts that he may be starting a blog of his own, named naturally 'Hamdoon's Blog', as a continuation of this joint, but says it may be after he returns from extended missions to the eastern USA and Europe with Quirk. You might want to keep an eye out for it.

  35. Brufus Brew -



    Joni Ernst for Senate Campaign Committee


    Learn to be polite site.

  39. Only an April Fool would believe those ObamaCare numbers.

  40. Flash Breaking News -

    Quirk has started a new fantastic Reality TV Show -

    Q's Hard Core Pawn