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

Thursday, July 03, 2014

The US involvement in Iraq, Libyan, Egyptian, Syrian and Afghan wars have increased extremism, increased our domestic vulnerability and put more of us at risk. What was the gain?

The Saudi chemist sparking fears of
 invisible bombs on transatlantic flights

Experts believe al-Qaida bomb-maker could be working with Isis – and that jihadists with western passports might target planes

Ewen MacAskill, security correspondent 
The Guardian, Thursday 3 July 2014 17.22 EDT

Concern about the prowess of al-Qaida's bomb-maker in chief – and his willingness to work with Isis insurgents in Syria and Iraq – underlies the decision to increase security at British and other European airports.
Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, a Saudi chemist who became a bomb-maker, has for years been high on America's most-wanted list, because he is believed to be behind many audacious attempts to bring down transatlantic flights, using his skills as a chemist to devise increasingly imaginative ways to conceal explosives, with the best known being the "underwear" bomber.
The new element that led to the present scare is intelligence linking Asiri for the first time to two groups in Syria and Iraq, the Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis).
The worry is that Asiri's skilfully disguised bombs might be carried on to transatlantic airlines by passport-holders from the US or Europe.
Asiri has survived several assassination attempts in Yemen, the latest a drone attack in April. He has been reported killed, only to resurface.
The other reason for the heightened threat is the increasingly familiar warning from US, British and other European intelligence agencies who have been voicing concern for more than a year of the threat posed by the thousands of young jihadists from America and Europe who have joined the fight in Syria and now Iraq.
The heightened security in Europe is primarily for transatlantic flights and comes at a peak travel period for the US, the 4 July Independence Day holiday.
Politicians said the changes would be permanent, with David Cameron saying the safety of passengers "must come first". The prime minister said he hoped the measures would not cause unnecessary delays, but stressed that no risks could be taken with passenger safety.
He told the BBC: "We take these decisions looking at the evidence in front of us and working with our partners.
"This is something we've discussed with the Americans, and what we have done is put in place some extra precautions and extra checks."
The government highlighted the importance of vigilance, but said the extra security measures – details of which have not been disclosed – were not expected to cause "significant disruption" to passengers. The official UK threat status remained unaltered at "substantial", the third grade in the five-level rating.
Earlier on Thursday, the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, warned of the dangers posed by a "medieval, violent, revolting ideology".
He said that "I don't think we should expect this to be a one-off temporary thing" that was part of what he described as "an evolving and constant review about whether the checks keep up with the nature of the threats we face".
The secretary of the US department of homeland security, Jeh Johnson, said on Wednesday that information about the aviation industry was being shared with "our foreign allies", while US officials told Reuters the increased security at European airports was because al-Qaida operatives in Syria and Yemen had teamed up to develop bombs that could be smuggled on to planes.
Jonathan Wood, a global issues analyst at security consultants Control Risks, judged the present threat "plausible" given that the leader of al-Qaida in Yemen called for an attack on the US in a video in April.
Wood said he did not know of anyone who had been personally trained by Asiri going to Syria or Iraq, but it was not improbable that some of his experience had ended up in these countries, given the link between al-Qaida and Nusra.
Asiri, 32, was born in Riyadh, grew up near the Saudi border with Yemen, studied chemistry at university in Riyadh and fought in Iraq.
There is no suggestion that Asiri is in Syria or Iraq training militants or that he has sent them any devices. It is thought to be more likely that people trained by him or devices he has designed have ended up in Syria or Iraq.
US intelligence officials, briefing reporters, warned of creatively designed, non-metallic explosive devices that could avoid detection. But they do not have a specific device or design in mind.
Asiri has proved inventive, even if so far largely unsuccessful. In the December 2009 attempt to detonate a bomb on a flight from Europe to Detroit, the explosive was hidden in the underpants of a Nigerian.
In a separate attempt, British bomb disposal experts found explosives hidden in printer cartridges in a courier package in 2010.
Some of the designs attributed to him sound like the stuff of fantasy, such as having explosives surgically implanted. But he may already have tried this.
One of the most audacious, imaginative and ruthless attacks was a suicide attack in Saudi Arabia in 2009.

The attacker was his younger brother and the target the deputy Saudi interior minister, and his brother was killed. The bomb was either hidden in his rectum – or surgically implanted.


  1. Halliburton Made $39.5 Billion on Iraq War

    Private or publicly listed firms received at least $138 billion of U.S. taxpayer money for government contracts for services that included providing private security, building infrastructure and feeding the troops.

    Ten contractors received 52 percent of the funds, according to an analysis by the Financial Times that was published Tuesday.

    Rand Paul Said Dick Cheney Pushed for the Iraq War So Halliburton Would Profit
    On April 7, 2009, as Paul was on the cusp of announcing his senatorial bid, he spoke to student Republicans at Western Kentucky University. Recalling President Dwight Eisenhower's warning about the military-industrial complex, he noted,
    "We need to be fearful of companies that get so big that they can actually be directing policy."

    And the company he had in mind was Cheney's former home:
    "When the Iraq War started, Halliburton got a billion-dollar no-bid contract. Some of the stuff has been so shoddy and so sloppy that our soldiers are over there dying in the shower from electrocution. I mean, it shouldn't be sloppy work; it shouldn't be bad procurement process. But it really shouldn't be that these people are so powerful that they direct even policy."

  2. US Security sucks, do not expect much improvement.

    A teen stowaway who survived a ride from California to Hawaii in a passenger jet’s wheel well earlier this year told a California CBS affiliate Tuesday that he randomly selected the plane in which he hid during the five-and-a-half hour flight.

    The interview was Yahye Abdi’s first since his harrowing journey, which has dumbfounded medical professionals — people typically quickly lose brain function when more 35,000 feet above the ground without oxygen or pressurization systems.

    Abdi told KPIX the ride wasn’t scary, though he couldn’t believe he survived. “It was above the clouds, I could see through the little holes,” the teen said.

    Abdi, a 15-year-old Somali immigrant, says he ran away from home in April because he was unhappy in California with his stepmom. The teen also said he wanted to see his mother, as the two have not been with one another since Abdi was 7-years-old.

    Video shows teen stowaway dropping from jet

    They videoed him getting off, but no one bothered to monitor the video of him getting on.

    the FBI says scaled the fence at Mineta San Jose International Airport at 1 a.m. on April 20 and hid on the plane for several hours before Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 left for Maui.

    FBI spokesman Tom Simon said San Jose airport surveillance video shows a figure cross the tarmac and head toward the 767.

  3. BRICS morphing into anti-dollar alliance.

    Before the crucial visit to Beijing next week, the governor of the Russian Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina met Vladimir Putin to report on the progress of the upcoming ruble-yuan swap deal with the People's Bank of China and the Kremlin used the meeting to let the world know about the technical details of its international anti-dollar alliance.

    On June 10th, Sergey Glaziev, Putin's economy advisor published an article outlining the need to establish an international alliance of countries willing to get rid of the dollar in international trade and refrain from using dollars in their currency reserves. The ultimate goal would be to break the Washington's money printing machine that is feeding its military-industrial complex and giving the US ample possibilities to spread chaos across the globe, fueling the civil wars in Libya, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine. Glaziev's critics believe that such an alliance would be difficult to establish and that creating a non-dollar-based global financial system would be extremely challenging from a technical point of view. However, in her discussion with Vladimir Putin, the head of the Russian central bank unveiled an elegant technical solution for this problem and left a clear hint regarding the members of the anti-dollar alliance that is being created by the efforts of Moscow and Beijing:

    "We've done a lot of work on the ruble-yuan swap deal in order to facilitate trade financing. I have a meeting next week in Beijing," she said casually and then dropped the bomb:
    "We are discussing with China and our BRICS parters the establishment of a system of multilateral swaps that will allow to transfer resources to one or another country, if needed. A part of the currency reserves can be directed to [the new system]." (source of the quote: Prime news agency)

    1. We're living on borrowed time until the shit hits the fan when the dollar is no longer the default currency.

    2. So what's going to replace it Doug, Chinese banknotes backed by ghost cities?

    3. We have this huge currency, and it floats.

      I repeat, and it floats.

      It doesn't concern us one whit if they do a little trading amongst themselves.

    4. If it caught on, and it Did result in a small decline in the value of our dollar, that's Great. If you haven't noticed we run a $500 Billion/yr Trade Deficit. We Need to export a little more, and import a little less.

  4. US may recognize Iran's right to product fuel for nuclear power plants under certain conditions

    Tehran after the agreement with the P5+1 group of international mediators and compliance with non-proliferation regime will be able to produce fuel for nuclear power plants. This stated the US representative at the talks on Iran’s nuclear program. American representative said that, Tehran will, if necessary have its own enrichment program to produce fuel for nuclear power plants, but only after the execution of the agreement with the P5+1 group and in compliance with non-proliferation requirement.

    However, until the Islamic Republic does not prove that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful, enriching facilities should be cut, stated Washington, reports Itar-Tass.

  5. Vatican gives thumbs up for exorcist association

    Associated Press
    July 2, 2014 12:28 PM

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Exorcists now have a legal weapon at their disposal.

    The Vatican has formally recognized the International Association of Exorcists, a group of 250 priests in 30 countries who liberate the faithful from demons.

    The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported Tuesday that the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy had approved the organization's statutes and recognized the group under canon law.

    More than his predecessors, Pope Francis speaks frequently about the devil, and last year was seen placing his hands on the head of a man purportedly possessed by four demons in what exorcists said was a prayer of liberation from Satan.

    The head of the association, the Rev. Francesco Bamonte, said the Vatican approval was cause for joy. "Exorcism is a form of charity that benefits those who suffer," he told L'Osservatore.


    It strikes me that this might provide a suitable and profitable part time business opportunity for Catholic Lapsers with a fraudulent habit of mind.

    And since it is 'charity' one might owe no taxes on the take.

    1. Bob Larson will do a Skype exorcism on ya for only $400.

    2. Really !

      Only $400?

      A steal.

      Don't think I know Bob but I have known some Larcenys.

  6. More than his predecessors, Pope Francis speaks frequently about the devil, and last year was seen placing his hands on the head of a man purportedly possessed by four demons in what exorcists said was a prayer of liberation from Satan.

    After that didn't work they tried lithium.

    1. Q should cue in on this opportunity, he has all the requisites. And, he's been in league with the Devil for decades, which can't hurt.

    2. Umatilla Jack was really drunk one time. We were all at a tavern, drinking and playing pool. U Jack had been drinking firewater. He seemed out his mind. Q started his 'home cure exorcism' and it.......didn't go well. U Jack said "What fuck you are, medicine man" and shoved the cue ball in Q's mouth.

    3. Part and parcel of the Mushroom Principle. "Feed 'em shit and keep 'em in the dark."

    4. .

      And, he's been in league with the Devil for decades, which can't hurt.

      Are you asserting some kind of insider trading, you clodhopper? My seconds will attend you on the marrow.


  7. Jack HawkinsThu Jul 03, 03:40:00 PM EDT
    If the term "Semite" is to be used as a "race of people" than that "race" is regional, to Arabia.
    So that those people that would be members of that 'Semitic race' would be Arabs.
    The 'race' would not be subdivided by religion.

    Amazing logic the Rat/Jack has... But clueless as always.

  8. Jack HawkinsThu Jul 03, 03:32:00 PM EDT
    Anti-Semite a person who is against peoples originating in southwestern Asia, including the Akkadians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs.

    Nice INVENTED definition.

    All has been gone over many times and Rat/Jack still invents propaganda.

    an·ti–Sem·i·tism noun \ˌan-tē-ˈse-mə-ˌti-zəm, ˌan-ˌtī-\
    : hatred of Jewish people

    Full Definition of ANTI-SEMITISM

    : hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group
    — an·ti–Se·mit·ic adjective
    — an·ti–Sem·ite noun

    an·ti-Sem·i·tism [an-tee-sem-i-tiz-uhm, an-tahy-] Show IPA
    discrimination against or prejudice or hostility toward Jews.

    Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is prejudice, hatred of, or discrimination against Jews as a national, ethnic, religious or racial group.[1] A person who holds such positions is called an "antisemite". As Jews are an ethnoreligious group, antisemitism is generally considered a form of racism.

    While the term's etymology might suggest that antisemitism is directed against all Semitic people, the term was coined in the late 19th century in Germany as a more scientific-sounding term for Judenhass ("Jew-hatred"),[2] and that has been its normal use since then.[3] For the purposes of a 2005 U.S. governmental report, antisemitism was considered "hatred toward Jews—individually and as a group—that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity."[4]

    So again.

    Jack you are full of shit.

    1. So WiO likes the version of word as it was coined in the same scientific Germany that invented Zyklon-B.

    2. No, English is my first language.
      I am not going to let German proto-Nazis define it.

      If you want to embrace proto-Nazis, sign on to their sloppy use of the English language, you go right ahead.
      Enjoy your proto-Nazi roots.

      Being a Jewish Arab, I'm sure you will revel in it.

    3. Let those NAZIs define who you are.


    4. You've got three groups. One group says God has a son, but the other two groups say no he doesn't. One group says Isa is just a prophet but the other two groups say no he isn't. One group says the Jews are his chosen people but the other two groups say no they aren't. Three groups worshiping three completely different imaginary beings, and killing each other over it.

    5. It's a literary fight !


  9. What was the gain?

    An independent Kurdistan comes to mind.

    A new ally for Israel.

    Though that was hardly our aim in the whole exercise.

    Allah works in strange ways, His will is inscrutable, His wisdom beyond measure.

    1. Draft Dodger Bob, the Kurds are going to be needing assistance, not giving it.
      Silly boy, you Draft Dodging ways are influencing you data base.
      What you do not know is legend.

      The Kurds are gong to need SAMs.

      Russia may not have boots on the ground in Iraq—yet. But it will have them in the sky; Russian pilots could be flying over Iraq within days.

      While the Obama administration struggles to speed up delivery of U.S. military assistance to the government of Iraq, Vladimir Putin has already delivered not only fighter jets but also the pilots needed to fly them, diplomatic sources told The Daily Beast.

      On Monday, Russian television trumpeted the arrival of the first five of 12 promised Sukhoi Su-25 combat fighter jets to the Iraqi government, saying it had also sent “trainers” to help the Iraqis use them.


  10. Draft Dodger rat, who would listen to you? You are no 'military expert'. You weren't even in the Army. You made it all up.

    Silly boy, no one believes a word you say anymore.

    Those SU-25's, which ain't much, are intended for use in SunniLand. Called the 'Frogfoot' they first hit the skies in 1975.

    The Kurds can get anti-aircraft help from the Israelis, if they need it.

    You don't know shit, Jack.

    Now, shoo, shoo, go way.

    1. If you wish, I will talk to my friend Q about his new experimental type exorcism for you. It might help.

    2. Farmer Bob is cornier than Omaha.

    3. Ain't nothin' wrong with Omaha, Nebraska, by gum.

    4. Do you know how to spell "cow", Miss T?

      c o w e i e i o

  11. O well, Q may be out of the office now, but I'll leave him a note.

    Hey, Q-man, can you give Draft Dodger rat one of them new exorcisms you've worked up? The one that whips the devil and creates a whole new personality? The one that involves the electricity?

    He has no money, nor goods, except a few scrawny cattle, so you'll have to go pro- boner.

    1. Rat is still a figment of your imaginationThu Jul 03, 09:56:00 PM EDT


    2. Bob continues to dissemble and lieThu Jul 03, 09:59:00 PM EDT

      But Bob is a self-confessed Draft Dodger, while 'rat' does post a word.

      BobSun Jun 22, 01:42:00 PM EDT

      I have a college degree in English Lit. from U of Washington.

      To avoid being drafted in part. ...

    3. Oh missed a word ...

      But Bob is a self-confessed Draft Dodger, while 'rat' does NOT post a word.

      There you go, all better ....

      BobSun Jun 22, 01:42:00 PM EDT

      I have a college degree in English Lit. from U of Washington.

      To avoid being drafted in part. ...

  12. I KNEW there'd be a sex scandal !!


  13. What's a 'tranny' Miss T?

    You know all this stuff.

    1. Bob needs to expand his information sourcesThu Jul 03, 10:02:00 PM EDT

      It an automobile part, Draft Dodger Bob.
      Commonly known as a 'transmission'.

    2. What WAS that guy's name..........Larry something....?

    3. Sinclaire ?

      I may not be dead yet.

    4. It was! And that was 6 years ago. Man, I still function.

      Sex, cocaine, lies and murder......that says it all.

      Larry was telling the truth the whole time.

      You can buy Larry's book through Amazon.

  14. .

    Draft Dodger rat's problem isn't demons it's them damn toads.


    1. Dang, that sounds even worse.

    2. .

      The diagnosis is free. Part of our 4th of July special.


    3. Rat is still a figment of your imaginationThu Jul 03, 10:09:00 PM EDT


    4. And Bob is still a Draft DodgerThu Jul 03, 10:10:00 PM EDT


    5. That IS a special! And you are a great man, Q, compassionate, to make such an offer to a Draft Dodger such as rat.

      Could we put some 4th of July firecrackers up the assholes of his toads?

      Just blow them away, no exorcism needed?

      But I tire of this game. And am going to the Cd'A Casino. Fireworks in Sandpoint, Idaho.

      Have a great 4th Day and Weekend, all, minus -1.

    6. Bob is a looney tuneThu Jul 03, 10:33:00 PM EDT

      I know Draft Dodger Bob, let's have a Bar B Que!

      BobSun Feb 23, 10:56:00 PM EST
      "The argument that they are not native is amazing in light of the fact that neither are Europeans native."


      Shoot the Arizonans as well, give the meat to the poor.

      You are deranged.

    Joe Mantegna defends the Second Amendment, talks gun history

  16. Bob: What's a 'tranny' Miss T?

    Well, in your basic GBLT sammich, the tranny is the T. Google Images will nail it down for ya better.

  17. Teresita RedingerThu Jul 03, 08:05:00 PM EDT
    Bob Larson will do a Skype exorcism on ya for only $400.

    So, how did yours work out? :-)

    1. Long ago I was a regular on The newsgroup's name was entirely ironic. But Bobbo was there, as surely as our Bobbo is here.

  18. .

    The Obama administration is handed another defeat on the ACA. SCOTUS rules that faith based organizations do not have to sign off on forms related to supplying abortion/contraceptives in their insurance policies.


  19. .

    US grounds entire F-35 fighter jet fleet after unexplained fire