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

Monday, December 15, 2014

2014, the year Russia's Putin went rogue

“He sees himself as an eternal leader with a mission to save Russia from the West,” says Moscow analyst Maria Lipman. (File Photo:AFP)
For years he played the part of the frosty pragmatist, doggedly set on restoring pride and power to a once-great superpower. Then, on Feb. 27, 2014, President Vladimir Putin went rogue.
The decision to send unidentified soldiers into Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula leading to its annexation by Russia was far more than an act of aggression against a recalcitrant neighbor.
It marked a direct assault on the foundations of an international system that has largely held since the end of World War II – reviving the idea of territorial conquest that most had consigned to the historical dustbin.
Putin upended the global rules with considerable chutzpah, sowing just enough uncertainty to keep the world unsure of his intentions or his next move – or whether he had even done anything wrong in the first place.
Like the judo master he is, Putin used the West’s rhetoric of human rights and self-determination against it, deploying a barrage of propaganda first to deny the invasion and then to paint it as a rescue operation to save Crimea from the “fascist junta” that had come to power in Ukraine.
His brazen denials of the facts on the ground caught the world off-guard, but after a decade of controversial interventions in the Middle East it was the West’s objections that sounded hypocritical.
The response at home was overwhelming. Putin’s approval ratings soared to 90 percent as he oversaw an outpouring of nationalistic pride long buried under the humiliation of the Cold War’s conclusion.

Defeats into victory

With 15 years in power under his belt – three terms as president and two as prime minister – the 62-year-old has seen world leaders come and go, including three U.S. presidents and as many French and British leaders.
The controversies have piled up – the vicious war against Islamic separatists in Chechnya launched weeks after taking power in 1999; the war with Georgia in 2008; the suffocation of independent media, and the steady marginalization of any political opposition.
2014 could have been a terrible year for Putin.
The pro-European protests in Ukraine threatened to tear yet another ex-Soviet republic from Russia’s orbit.
The bargain he had struck with voters at home – a weakening of political freedoms in exchange for economic stability – was rattled by collapsing prices for oil, on which Russia so heavily relies.
But instead he turned the looming defeats into a series of propaganda victories.
While the West hopes that currency fluctuations and economic sanctions will scare Putin straight, he takes a longer view, analysts claim.
“In 50 or 100 years historians will not be interested in the ruble’s exchange rate,” says Konstantin Kalachev from the Political Experts Group in Moscow.
Like all nationalists, the story Putin tells is one of strength mixed with victimhood: the EU is meddling in Russia’s backyard, NATO is encircling the country, Western decadence is corrupting Russian decency. And he is fighting back.
At times, the rhetoric took on quasi-religious tones. Crimea was so much more than holiday beaches and naval bases, but a “sacred land”, Russia’s “Temple on the Mount.”
“He sees himself as an eternal leader with a mission to save Russia from the West,” says Moscow analyst Maria Lipman.
Many in Europe were shaken, some even labeled him a new Adolf Hitler. Others – particularly those with an anti-American bent – looked on starry-eyed at Putin’s manly refusal to toe the Western liberal line.

Cold War revisited

Putin’s actions in 2014 also proved a boon for nostalgists.
After a quarter-century of messy little emergencies around the globe, the great games and big power rivalries of the Cold War returned.
Spy agencies scrambled to rehabilitate their Russia desks. Fighter pilots buzzed each other over the Baltic.
NATO suddenly recovered from its long identity crisis, leaping up from the autopsy table and dusting off its repertoire of “This will not stand” histrionics.
The question now is how far it can all go.
Already, Putin appears to have reached the high-water mark. The economy could yet implode. The diplomatic isolation – laid bare by the embarrassing cold shoulder he received at the G20 summit in Australia last month from which he scuttled home early – has been greater than he anticipated.
“Putin is a brilliant tactician but he is not a strategist,” says Lipman. For the sake of unconditional control at home and sovereignty abroad, he is willing to sacrifice the economy and Russia’s development.
Whether that gamble will cement his power or lead to his undoing is the million ruble question — or maybe the 2 million ruble question, given that the currency has lost nearly half its value this year.
After a tumultuous year Putin heads into 2015 with a multitude of challenges, but he still has a few cards left up his sleeve.
The Kremlin remains an indispensable player in nuclear talks with Iran and the civil war in Syria. Putin’s moves to tie up huge energy deals with Turkey, China and India will keep Russia at the heart of global trade.
And he can also count on an unswerving sense of self-belief, says Kalachev.
“He is betting that the nerves of Western leaders are not as strong as his.”
Last Update: Monday, 15 December 2014 KSA 17:33 - GMT 14:33


  1. “He is betting that the nerves of Western leaders are not as strong as his.”

    ...and he is wrong.

    1. Are Russian units still in the Ukraine?

    2. NATO claims Russian units are still in the Ukraine -- other than Crimea, which has been surrendered.

    3. Are those claims accurate?

      That was your question, was it not?

  2. Replies
    1. ... four civilians and one police officer reportedly injured.

  3. But it was ... a rescue operation to save Crimea from the “fascist junta” that had come to power in Ukraine.

    One that was financed and organized by the US and its surrogates. Putin's response to that coup has been rather restrained, actually. The Ukraine having always well within Russia's 'Sphere of Influence'. The expansion of NATO to the borders of Russia, violating what was promised, back in the day.

  4. I would argue that if Putin went rogue we might look at Georgia first -- 2008.

  5. KIEV Dec 15 (Reuters) - U.S. energy major Chevron plans to withdraw from a $10 billion shale gas deal with Kiev, a senior Ukrainian presidential official said on Monday.

  6. Guantanamo 9/11 hearing canceled, Army spokesman says

    (Reuters) - Court officials canceled a two-day pretrial hearing for suspects in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on Monday at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a U.S. Army spokesman said.

    The hearing, intended to examine allegations the FBI tried to infiltrate legal defense teams, according to a docket on a Pentagon website. It would have been the first such proceeding since a U.S. Senate report on CIA torture was released last week.

    No reason was given for the cancellation.


  7. Man Responsible for Taking Australian Hostages is Iranian Mystic, Not ISIS or al-Nusra

    Self-proclaimed spiritual leader has long criminal record

    by Kurt Nimmo

    The man said to be responsible for taking hostages at the Lindt café in Sydney is an Iranian mystic who claims to practice black magic, not an ISIS terrorist as previously reported.

    Man Haron Monis, aka Mohammad Hassan Manteghi, has a criminal record, including 22 counts of aggravated sexual assault and 14 counts of aggravated indecent assault relating to six women.

    In 2002 he faced charges in a plot to murder his first wife in Sydney. The woman, Noleen Hayson Pal, was stabbed to death and set on fire. According to the Telegraph, she met Monis through a newspaper classified ad in which he claimed to be a spiritual leader.

    Monis is also known for sending offensive letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers. He was sentenced to 300 hours of community service after pleading guilty to sending the letters.


  8. Who Created Cartoon Character “Man Haron Monis” Behind “Sydney Siege” Circus?

    Previously an outspoken critic of Iranian government, was interviewed by Australian media in 2001, loved Western society...

    by Tony Cartalucci

    As predicted, the suspect amid the “Sydney Siege,” has long been on the radar of Australian law enforcement, as well as a frequent visitor to Australia’s court system.

    Before that, however, he came to Australia as a political refugee, an opponent of what he called the “Iranian regime,” and was even interviewed by Australia’s ABC network in 2001 as part of an ongoing anti-Iranian propaganda campaign.

    It has been revealed that long-time agitator, alias “Man Haron Monis,” also known as “Manteghi Boroujerdi,” is the suspect amid the so-called “Sydney Siege” hostage crisis. Monis/Boroujerdi claims to be a Shia’a religious leader and is often seen in press photos dressed as one.

    Despite this, he is at the center of a hostage crisis requesting the flag of the “Islamic State” terrorist organization be delivered to him while claiming association with other ISIS “brothers.”

    Monis/Boroujerdi’s Origins Story

    But before Monis/Boroujerdi’s recent run-ins with the law and his role as chief “Muslim boogeyman” in Australia, he was “Manteghi Boroujerdi,” a “victim” of the “Iranian regime” who was in love with Western society.

    Australia’s ABC in its “Religion Report” dated January 31, 2001, introduced Monis/Boroujerdi as follows:

    …while in Sydney we talk to Ayatollah Manteghi Boroujerdi, an Iranian cleric espousing a liberal brand of Islam – dangerously liberal, as his views have led to his wife and two daughters being held hostage in Iran.

    The interview itself is used as yet another vehicle to carry along Western propaganda long-aimed at Iran. It claims Monis/Boroujerdi’s family is in grave danger and that Monis/Boroujerdi himself would be executed should he ever return to Iran. It quotes Monis/Boroujerdi several times including claims he was formally associated with Iranian intelligence:

    In Iran, mostly I have been involved with the Ministry of Intelligence and Security.

    And was in contact with the UN regarding security issues in Iran:

    …more than four years I have not seen my family, and the Iranian regime doesn’t let them come out. In fact I can say they are hostage; as a hostage the Iranian regime wants to make me silent, because I have some secret information about government, and about their terrorist operations in the war. I sent a letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and somebody on behalf of Mr Kofi Anan sent the answer, and they want to do something. I have hope and always I pray and ask God to solve my problem.

    At one point during the interview Monis/Boroujerdi professes his love of Australia, Canada, the US, and UK claiming:

    …we can say Australia, Canada, England, USA, so many western countries, they are religious societies. They don’t say ‘We are religious’, but in fact the spirit of religion, we can see the spirit of religion in these societies. And some other countries in the Middle East, in Asia, they say ‘We are Islamic’ they have a name of Islamic, but in fact they are not religious societies and religious governments. Whenever I walk in the street, whenever I go out in Australia, I feel I am in a real religious society. I don’t want to say it is perfect, we don’t have a perfect society on the earth, but when we compare, if we compare Australia with Iran and other countries in the Middle East, we can say it is heaven.

    1. However, later in 2008, Monis/Boroujerdi’s activities drew the attention of real Shia’a religious leaders in Australia who asked Australian security agents to investigate him. In an Australian article titled, “Call to probe mystery Shia cleric,” it was reported that:

      FEDERAL agents have been urged by the nation’s senior Shia leader, Kamal Mousselmani, to investigate an Iranian man purporting to be a prominent Islamic cleric.

      Sheik Mousselmani told The Australian yesterday the mystery cleric – who has been identified as Ayatollah Manteghi Boroujerdi on his website after appearing under the name Sheik Haron – was not a genuine Shia spiritual leader.

      He said there were no ayatollahs – supreme Shia scholars – in Australia and none of his fellow spiritual leaders knew who Ayatollah Boroujerdi or Sheik Haron was.

      “We don’t know him and we have got nothing to do with him,” Sheik Mousselmani said. “The federal police should investigate who he is. It should be their responsibility.”

      But it was the Australian media itself who introduced him publicly as an “Ayatollah” and the Australian government that vetted him and allegedly granted him political asylum. He was allegedly in contact with the UN and was used to stir up anti-Iranian sentiment in Australia. It is then highly suspicious that now both the Australian media and the Australian government appear to have no knowledge of who he is or where he came from.

      For someone used as part of the West’s anti-Iranian propaganda campaign, and who was granted political asylum into Australia, but who is now supposedly unknown to those who invited him in and used him, there is clearly more to the story of Monis/Boroujerdi – a story that may then offer insight into his latest performance. Perhaps most ironic of all is the fact that the “Iranian regime” he was used to demonize apparently did not kill his wife – instead, he himself is suspected of doing so.

      Whatever the case is, Monis/Boroujerdi is certainly no “lone wolf terrorist.” He, at best, is yet another Frankenstein of the establishment run amok after an abortive attempt to cultivate and use him to advance Western foreign and domestic policy. At worse, he is directly involved in an intelligence operation to further inflame division in Australian society and promote the long stalled war in Syria aimed at regime change there, before heading to Iran – the scorn of Monis/Boroujerdi.

      An omnipresent all-invasive surveillance state that is constantly “blindsided” by terror attacks carried out by criminals and characters possessing extensive criminal records and who are well-acquainted with that state’s law enforcement, media, and even government, is testament to the fact that such surveillance hasn’t been and never was intended to serve the public’s best interests nor to keep them safe – but rather another system of control and manipulation to allow true dangerous to human civilization to endure with impunity.

      This article first appeared at

    2. ... another day, another conspiracy ... Mossad, no doubt ...

    3. The timeline stands, the record is clear.
      I would have doubted that it was the Mossad, but you are the self-proclaimed Israel expert, allen
      So we will take your comment at face value.

    4. Jack, no one takes anything YOU say at face value, after all you, lie, distort and mislead. I am sure those thousands of followers you have are laughing at you as we speak upon learning you stalked the WRONG JEW FOR 6 YEARS.

      Those folks at Chocolate Emporium should learn about the slander and libel you have caused them...

      Yeah Mr Trust Fund....

      What do your lawyers cost per hour when you are on trial?

  9. Replies
    1. But are the reports from NATO true, that was your question, was it not?

      NATO has made similar claims for months now, are they true?


  10. Israeli soldiers are licensed thugs applying state violence in the West Bank

    Even without tear gas grenades and grabbing Ziad Abu Ein by the throat, the presence of IDF troops in Turmus Aya was an act of violence in itself.

    The death of the Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein is more evidence of how the violence of the Israel Defense Forces has become normal, an obvious routine, one that is not seen and not changed. We have been busy with “a heart attack or not a heart attack,” we dealt with “suspending security coordination or not suspending security coordination” and with “how the IDF prepares for escalation.” In other words, we have been dealing with what slightly tickles Israeli fake normalcy.

    Nobody addressed the naturalness with which a line of IDF soldiers and Border Police and army jeeps set up in a Palestinian field to prevent farmers from accessing their land. There is no criticism of the nonchalance with which the licensed thugs shoot tear gas and stun grenades at old people, women and young people. And why? So they will not come near the unauthorized and illegal outpost of Adei Ad, located on their land.

    Israeli reporting about Israel

    1. Haaretz is not Israeli, it is progressive.

      It KNOWS no borders.

  11. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held talks in Rome today amid efforts to avert a showdown at the United Nations over the Palestinian statehood campaign.

    The Palestinians want the UN Security Council to approve a resolution laying down outlines of a final peace deal with Israel, setting a November 2016 deadline for an Israeli pullout from lands sought for a Palestinian state. The plan will be presented to the UN on Dec. 17, Palestinian Liberation Organization official Hanna Amira said in a phone interview.

    Netanyahu said he will tell Kerry that Israel opposes any attempt to impose a two-year deadline for it to withdraw to lines it held before the 1967 Middle East war. “Israel won’t accept any unilateral, time-defined measures,”

    1. Let's Palestine be a state, make it's choice life or die.

      If the Palestinians was a state? Declare it, live it and of course behave.

      If they seek to expand the borders that they control via violence?

      be prepared for total annihilation.

      With statehood comes responsibility.

      If you dump your raw sewage into the water system that flow into Israel? Be prepared to lose that specific spot of land.

      If you allow freedom fighters to cross the border to attack Israelis? Expect war.

      If you make a treaty with Iran?

      Expect war.

      If you bring in weapons of war?

      Expect war.

      Don't expect the Israelis to protect you, to share taxes with you, to provide medical and hospital for you leaders kids...

      you want freedom?


      You are free to LIVE or to DIE..

  12. ... video of Ziad Abu Ein's confrontation with Israelis ...

    At 00:03 he shoves an Israeli. His shove is immediately followed by a shove back. Whether the Israeli was purposefully attempting a throat grab is unclear. It looks like the Israeli was going for his shoulder, which was the case several seconds later. The video is not a continuous run of events so it is difficult to tell when the Palestinian collapsed in real time.

    Again, the Palestinian hit first. The Israeli delivered no throat punch. Old guys with bad hearts are advised to avoid brawls.

    Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein Has Died After Clashes with Israeli Forces

    1. No, allen, the Israeli presence was the 'First Blow', everything stemmed from that aggression.
      Read the Haaretz, you'll get the full picture, complete with the 'back story'.

    2. The 1st blow? Ziad Abu Ein is a convicted murderer of Israelis.

      He is also a senior member of Fatah and was a member of the faction’s Revolutionary Council, commonly known as the Abu Nidal terrorist organization.

      Abu Ein previously spent several years in Israeli prison for his role in a 1979 terrorist attack in Tiberias. A group of youngsters were celebrating Lag Ba’omer in the city center when a bomb exploded in their midst. Two 16-year-olds – Boaz Lahav and David Lankri – were killed and 36 other youths wounded.

      After the attack, he fled to the US. In 1981, he became the first Palestinian ever to be extradited from the US to Israel.

      A year later, Abu Ein was sentenced to life imprisonment but was released in the 1985 Jibril prisoner exchange deal. During the second intifada, Abu Ein was held in administrative detention.

      Abu should have been executed.

      Good that the scum bag is dead.

  13. Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein Has Died After Clashes with Israeli Forces

    ... my lying eyes ...

    At 00:03 the Palestinian makes first violent contact... bad move ...

    1. the scum sucking piece of shit terrorist made the 1st move.

      He should have been capped along time ago.


      ... more irrationality ... Sue the manufacturer of the polymer that went into the rifle ... and the international mining company that mined the ore that was used to create the rounds ... Sue Hornady ... Would made the propellant? Sue the maker of the bar-code label ... Sue ... Sue ... Sue ...

  14. Everytime a terrorist dies an angel gets his wings.....

    Another one bites the dust
    Another one bites the dust
    And another one gone and another one gone
    Another one bites the dust, eh
    Hey, I'm gonna get you too
    Another one bites the dust

  15. VIDEO: Palestine minister killed in clash with Israel forces

    ... clearly having cardiac arrest after altercation ... He was not killed, unless being stupid enough to self-destruct counts. He "died".

    1. He was killed by the Occupation, that is what Occupation is, death by oppression.
      The Occupation is illegal, all deaths that stem from it, murder.

      At least in the legal system used in the US.
      Not so much in Apartheid police states.

    2. Dead scum bag head cutter…. but we can't call him a "head cutter" as that is not accurate..

      Oh I know…

      Dead "Bomber of teenagers"..

      either way?

      the scum bag prick is DEAD…

  16. There sure is a lot a hate exhibited above ...

    1. Apartheid is evil

      Discrimination by Creed is the most evil thing there is.

    2. Evil, let's look and see what David Ben-Gurion said, because it well illustrates the evil that is embodied in Zionism

      "Why should the Arabs make peace?
      If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel.

      That is natural: we have taken their country.
      Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them?
      Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it's true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them?

      There has been antisemitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault?

      They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country.
      Why should they accept that?

    3. Evil is exemplified by the Zionists murdering 252 Jewish refugees on board the “Patra".

    4. Evil is defined by the state of Israel killing thousands of Palestinian children in the 21st century.

    5. So, according to "O"rdure, hating Israel is justified, it is good, it is the right thing to do

    6. Maybe there's only one revolution, since the beginning, the good guys against the bad guys.
      Question is, who are the good guys?

    7. The monkey is throwing his monkey shit around the Bar this morning.

    8. Jack HawkinsMon Dec 15, 02:22:00 PM EST
      Zionism is evil, too.

      Zionism is the right for Jews to have self determination and freedom.

      If that is evil to you?

      You are a scum sucking prick of a man.

      But wait, we already KNEW you were a scum sucking prick.

      After all, never paid child support, murdered civilians for cash in Central America, stalked a Jew that owned Chocolate Emporium for YEARS,....


    9. Jack HawkinsMon Dec 15, 02:30:00 PM EST
      Evil is defined by the state of Israel killing thousands of Palestinian children in the 21st century.


      Evil is defined by people using their kids as human shields when they are cowards to fight for their own freedom and liberty.

      Your childish attempts at circular reason shows how low you have sunk.

      Cannot have a rational discussion on any topic.

    10. “I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings. Have they forgotten how to converse?”
      - Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel

    11. Obviously "O"rdure is consumed by the sickness that is running rampant in Israel, today.
      He tells us that hating evil is good, but then objects when his side is illustrated to be even more 'evil' than his enemies.

      “It is time to honestly admit that Israeli society is ill – and it is our duty to treat this disease,”
      - Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel

    12. Hatred is corrosive of a person's wisdom and conscience; the mentality of enmity can poison a nation's spirit, instigate brutal life and death struggles, destroy a society's tolerance and humanity, and block a nation's progress to freedom and democracy.
      - Liu Xiaobo

    13. Hatred is the illness that Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel, sees destroying his country.

      Others see it, as well.
      ''In 10 years Israel will cease to exist''
      - Henry Kissinger

      Less than 8 years to go ...

  17. The videos are certainly hateful. They are also untouched. Ein made a huge mistake that cost him his life. Period.

  18. With the possible exception of NYC, Tel Aviv may be the most diverse city in the world.

    Israeli racial diversity

    1. Obviously you have never been to Rio de Janeiro

    2. You've never been out of Phoenix.

    3. It'd be a parole violation.

    4. You're on the 'no fly list', and the 'no Greyhound Bus list' too.

    5. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson ...
      Wish you could get your story straight.

      Then I would know which version to treat with derision.
      As it is, you are lost in the recesses of your own mind.

  19. Bill Cosby plays the race card

    Bill Cosby says only black journalists are neutral. The embattled 77-year-old comedian declined to discuss the multiple sex abuse allegations against him when reached at his Massachusetts home by the New York Post.

  20. The Sydney hostage taker was a relatively recent arrival from Iran.

    Just got done killing his ex-wife.

    Had a 'spiritual healing business' in which he fucked his clients.


    There are innocent dead, for Christ Sake why let these deranged morons into the west.

    And if Australia had concealed carry the police wouldn't have been needed.

    Stop Moslem immigration into the West now.

    The second and third generation Moslem immigrants are worse than the first. More 'radicalized'. They don't assimilate well......


    1. Fmr. Obama CIA Chief: ‘Guaranteed’ IS Inspired Attack Similar To Sydney Will Happen In US Soon

      BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
      December 15, 2014 7:52 am

      Former acting CIA Director Mike Morell gave an ominous warning on CBS Monday morning, claiming the United States would see an attack on the homeland “sometime over the next year or so, guaranteed.”

      Commenting on the terror crisis in Australia that broke out Sunday after an apparent jihadist militant took more than five people hostage inside a Sydney café, Morell said Islamic State-inspired militants are likely to carry out operations in any country affiliated with the anti-IS coalition, especially the U.S.

      “What concerns me the most is we’re going see this kind of terrorism around the world and we’re going to see it here,” Morell said.

      “We need to be prepared for that. You know, it shouldn’t surprise people when this happens here sometime over the next year or so, guaranteed.”

      Morell also said he was not surprised that a crisis like this broke out in Australia, which has witnessed more than 300 of its citizens traveling to fight in Iraq and Syria, 70 of whom are fighting for IS (ISIS or ISIL).

      “ISIS has had a focus on Australia for sometime,” Morell said. “Just a couple of months ago the Australians did a countrywide raid arresting a number of people after a senior ISIS leader called for individuals in Australia to behead Australians in public for ISIS, so there is this focus on Australia.”

      If they make an attack here, I hope they try it in Texas.

    2. Anywhere but where Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson is, aye.
      You do not want to be involved, leaving the fight to others, as has always been your wont.
      Ever since you dodged the draft.

  21. Maybe the fall in oil prices will slow Pooty down a bit.

    1. Now, with the lessened income stream Putin's "Window of Opportunity" is closing, speeding up the schedule of activities. Forcing him to act, before his economy craters, as it did the 'Last Time", when the Soviets were done in by the Saudi.

      He has lived through this play, before.

  22. WASHINGTON--U.S. manufacturing output climbed past its prerecession peak this fall, suggesting the American economy is on solid footing despite growing signs of weakness abroad.

  23. Unbowed by a global slowdown or rising dollar, U.S. manufacturing roared ahead in November, giving the world’s largest economy a charge heading into 2015.

    Industrial production jumped 1.3 percent after a 0.1 percent increase in October, figures from the Federal Reserve showed today in Washington. Output of consumer goods, including autos, electronics and energy, surged by the most in 16 years.

    A firming job market and drop in fuel costs are giving households the means to boost spending, shielding American factories from cooling demand in Europe and a rising currency that makes goods more expensive to foreign customers. Another report showed homebuilder confidence hovered in December near a nine-year high, indicating the U.S. expansion is broad-based as Federal Reserve policy makers meet to consider how and when to wean the economy away from ultra-low interest rates.

    “With consumer demand and business demand strengthening together, it is self-reinforcing,” said Laura Rosner, a U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York and a former New York Fed researcher. “The gain in production sets us up for a solid pace of growth next year.”


  24. Risking Everything
    Embedding With the Women Who Are Kicking ISIS Ass

    It’s not enough for some Kurdish mothers to send their sons off to war against Islamic State. Their daughters are going, too.

    SULIMANIYA, Iraq—Every morning when veteran fighter Lt. Col. Nasreen Hamlawa walks into her office, the first thing she sees is her daughter’s martyr poster. Snapped on the front lines outside Kirkuk just days before she was killed, Rangin Hamlawa, 26, dressed in classic beige peshmerga fatigues and holding a sniper rifle, stares hard into the camera.

    “I’m glad my daughter died for a cause,” Hamlawa said calmly, referring to the duty of the peshmergas (described as a “regional guard force” in the Iraqi constitution) to defend Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region. “It’s a cause, beliefs that I share,” she said, “and now all I want is to return to the battlefield to continue that work.”

    Hamlawa was by her daughter’s side when she was fatally wounded in October. A round of mortar fire launched by the Islamic State landed near their position, riddling Rangin’s body with shrapnel. As Rangin was being prepared to be evacuated to a hospital back in Sulimaniya, Hamlawa’s fellow fighters told her to stay by her daughter’s side and travel with her to the hospital. But, Hamlawa says, she choose to stay on the front lines instead, “I stayed with my other daughters.” Ten days later Rangin died.............

    1. Yep, those Muslim women know the deal.
      They go into battle shouting "Allah Akbar!"

    2. US soldiers and Marines have no need to go and fight for those that can fight for themselves.

      Rat Doctrine well illustrated, again.

      Thanks for the apt and timely illustration, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.


    3. The rat Doctrine has been totally worthless in SunniLand, and in Syria.

      It is true that our troops are rarely needed if there are enough locals willing to fight for themselves.

      Gee, you are a 'military expert'.

      A genius.

    4. There are plenty of Kurds willing to fight for a free Iraq.
      Sometimes they are supported by US, but more often by the Iranians.

      The US need not send in troops and invade Iraq, again, as Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson has advocated for.

    5. Fucking genius, the fucking rat Doctrine.

      No one had ever ever thought of using airplanes to support local troops before.

      Fucking transcendent military genius, that rat.

    6. It has been thought of many times, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.
      It has been employed many times.

      Why you treated the Iraqi with such derision, stating that Close Air Support would only be successful with US troops on the ground, that is what is so mind boggling.

      Without US troops fighting the Daesh, the air superiority the Coalition enjoys will be enough to assure the Iraqi government victory. No US combat troops need be deployed.

      The Rat Doctrine is being shown to be a success, with each referenced post you make concerning the war in Iraq

  25. Here's an article I can totally agree with -

    The Sydney Hostage-Taker, Rapist, Murderer and Terrorist, Should Never Have Been in Australia
    December 15, 2014 by Daniel Greenfield 13 Comments

    Sheikh Haron moved to Australia from Iran in 1996. During that time he was involved in murder, sexual assault and support for terrorism in the most blatant ways possible.

    In two decades, he wasn’t expelled from the country despite a laundry list of crimes and horrible behavior like sending Jihadist letters to the families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

    The core problem is that Sheikh Haron aka Man Haron Monis and all the others like him should…

    1. Never have been allowed into Australia

    2. Should have been forcibly deported after their first crime, their first act of support for terrorism

    The media’s official narrative is that Sheikh Haron is mentally ill. Just another lone wolf. Just more workplace violence. There’s no point in even wasting time debating that.

    An immigrant charged with over 40 sexual offenses only 6 years after arriving in the country should have been deported.

    A Muslim settler who made no secret of his support for terrorism should have been deported.

    If Sheikh Haron had been deported after his first crime none of this would have happened. Australia must tighten enforcement. It must be readier to deport criminal migrants like Haron.

    Meanwhile the Australian media is promoting a planted Twitter campaign involving some Muslim woman named Mariam Veiszadeh to conduct public relations for the religion of peace. Because the goal is to make sure that no one learns anything from any act of terror.

    1. But he was not a Muslim, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      “Think before you speak.
      Read before you think.”

      ― Fran Lebowitz,

    2. He was Jewish, of course,

      My bad, Jack "War Criminal" Hawkins.

    3. Jack is craaaaaazzzzy.........

    4. He wasn't a Muslem, which is why -

      Australian Muslims fear Sydney siege backlash......drudge

      He was Jewish, playing acting.......

      Do I have it right now, Jack "Ass" Hawkins?

    5. He was, as Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson posted in the ...
      'spiritual healing business'
      A practitioner of "Black Magic", not a Muslim.

    6. Sometimes one has to wonder if Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson even reads what he posts.
      Or ...
      If he does read it,if he even begins to comprehend it.

    7. If the Muslims in Australia are afraid of a 'backlash', Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, it is because of the misrepresentations made by people like you.

    8. There was a fella, here in Arizona, that was shot dead after the 11SEP2001 attack.
      He happened to wear a turban, which meant to the ignorant that he was a Muslim.

      In reality he was from India, was not a Muslim but a Sikh.

      Muslims have reason to fear the ignorance of people like you.

    9. "A practitioner of "Black Magic", not a Muslim." Jack "Ass" Hawkins.


      That's ripe. And the difference is exactly, what?

      You kill some infidels/Jews/Christians/Hindus etc., you get some virgins in Paradise.

      Sounds like 'black magic' to me.

      You're a true gas sometimes, rat ass.


    10. Jack is total dumbfuck.

      Thankfully he can't leave Arizona.

  26. AnonymousMon Dec 15, 02:34:00 PM EST

    Maybe there's only one revolution, since the beginning, the good guys against the bad guys.
    Question is, who are the good guys?

    One hint, Anon, is how they treat the women and kids.

    1. Agreed.
      The Israeli have killed at least 2050 Palestinian children in the 21st century

    2. The 'Palestinians' shouldn't use their kids as human shields.

    3. They do not.
      That is another of the many agitprop lies disseminated by the Zionists.

  27. Jack HawkinsMon Dec 15, 03:57:00 PM EST

    There was a fella, here in Arizona, that was shot dead after the 11SEP2001 attack.
    He happened to wear a turban, which meant to the ignorant that he was a Muslim.

    In reality he was from India, was not a Muslim but a Sikh.

    In reality he was from India, was not a Muslim but a Sikh.


    I remember that incident.

    Lesson: Arizonans are ignorant motherfucks, just like you.

    allen pointed out the other day that the dumbest students in the good old US of A were from Arizona.

    1. But the people in AZ, they earn more than folks in Idaho.
      So ...
      There is more to life than book learning.
      And education does not equal intelligence, you, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson are living proof of that.

    2. BobSun Jun 22, 01:42:00 PM EDT

      When did I ever say I was a scholar??

      I don't recall saying that.

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

      To avoid being drafted in part. ...

    3. In Vino Veritas, for sure, but even more proof how truly ignorant you are, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.
      To tell us you were a draft dodging coward, not something a smart person would do.

  28. "Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause... for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country."
    -- George Washington, charge to the Northern Expeditionary Force, Sept. 14, 1775

  29. 24,841 Jewish Israelis have died at the hands of arabs in the 21st century…

    1. So few?

      The way you fellows go on about it, I'd have thought ten times that number ...
      Got a reference link for that?

    2. Why the distinction about the creed of those Israeli, are not all Israeli equal under the law?

      Or is the bean counter an Apartheid apparatchik?

    3. So the Israeli are not all equal in the Law, then they are not a 'real' democracy, are they?

      I recall that Haaretz, that fabulous Israeli news source, wrote that the Palestinians were subject to a different "Rule of Law".

      Israel's 'equality under law' doesn't apply to Palestinians
      Israel's pretention to be a country with a just legal system appears ridiculous in the face of the other justice system that applies to juveniles that are not Palestinian.

      Haaretz Editorial

  30. The president of Iraq’s northern Kurdish region, Masoud Barzani, blamed on Monday former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for the collapse of the Iraqi army in the face of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) earlier this year.

    In an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya's Rima Maktabi, Barzani also said the swift collapse of the Iraqi army came after substantial years of international support to train and equip the military.

    During the interview, he also said that were it not for the Peshmerga forces, the northern, oil-rich city of Kirkuk would have fallen to ISIS, which occupies almost a third of Iraq.

    He also warned that the Kurdish Peshmerga forces could not fight ISIS in Iraq’s second city of Mosul alone as this would represent a “Kurdish-Arab” war, something he said the northern Kurdistan region rejected.

    Barzani nevertheless expressed Kurdish readiness to liberate Mosul from ISIS forces.

  31. 24,841 Israelis is comparable to 1,490,460 Americans.

    1. Got a link for that 24,841 number?

    2. You know, a reference that can be checked.
      Anonymous is not always the most reliable source.

    3. Of that 24,841, I do know that less than 300 were children.
      According to the sources I've checked.

      They could be wrong, of course. They were Israeli, though, and as far as bean counting apparatchik go the Israeli are reliable, a lot like the NAZI, in that regard.

    4. The sands of time continue to march, but there remains no reference to the 24,841 after an hour.
      Could it be there is no reference available?

      That Anonymous just 'made it up'?
      Certainly hope that is not the case, it would be just so sad to see that the Zionist case is shown to be a lie.

  32. Jews do not use their children as human shields.

  33. Arab Woman Aims to Blaze Trail in Israel's High-tech Sector

    Difficult path

    But it has not been a straightforward path for the 38-year-old mother of two, who got a first degree in physics at Technion - often referred to as the MIT of Israel - and her PhD in biomedical engineering from Ben-Gurion University.

    Yes, the poor dear had to face most of the obstacles that most inventors do; proving that with a first-rate mind, a great education, hard work, a good idea, and luck even an "Arab" can succeed in Israel.

  34. Nothing like 17% interest rates to perk up an economy.

    I remember farming through 20% interest rates in the Carter days.

    That was tough.

  35. Sweet Jesus, Jack just doesn't ever shut the fuck up.

    Sweet Jesus, can't you strike him dumb for just one day?

    1. Doesn't he need a break to manage his investment portfolio, just once in a while, please please please?

    2. No, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, I don't.
      This just takes a few hours each day, interspersed amongst my hobbies.

      You have told us you are not a believer, is your mortality changing your views on religion?

    3. You have no portfolio, you have no hobbies but blogging and bowling once every three months.

      You have no brain, either.

      Great life if you don't weaken...........

    4. Really repetitiously boring though......

    5. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, how wrong you are....

      I just practice good time management and have excellent tools and staff.
      When I had others post on this account, using the quotes, you all did not want to believe it.

      So, who really gives a shit.
      You can apologize for your lies and misrepresentations at any time.

      It just doesn't matter, I like twisting your tail, it is fun.

    6. :):):)

      R i g h t

      Excellent tools and staff -


      You didn't even have any cattle.........nor a cowboy hat............

      The only excellent thing you have is excellent stools........

    7. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson ...
      You always talk of stools because you spend your life on the toilet.

      So sad, but there it is.

  36. Well, let's see ...
    January 2000 - December 2014
    14 x 12 = 168, the number of months in the 21st century, so far.
    24,841 / 168 = 147

    Your position, allen, is that 147 Jewish Israeli have been killed, on average, by Palestinians each and every month of the 21st century?
    Do you vouch for the 24,841 number?

    1. from 28SEP2000 through 2005 there were 1,000 Israeli killed by Palestinians.
      Compared to 3,000 Palestinians killed by Israeli

      So, since 2005, the past 9 years those Palestinians really picked up the pace, aye.
      23,841 / 108 = 220. This is the 'new' number of Jewish Israeli killed each month of the past 9 years ...

      Do we need to dig deeper and find out if that true ...
      or is the absurdity of it enough to dismiss the Anonymous number as a pure fabrication?

    2. Intifada II (2000-03): 700 Israelis and 2,000 Palestinians
      Israel-Hamas war (2008): 1,300 Palestinians

      As the timeline gets shorter, the average is increasing beyond absurdity.

    3. Come on, allen, you did the math, obviously you concurred with that 24,841 number.
      Defend it, explain it, or admit that Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel is correct.

      “I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings.
      Have they forgotten how to converse?”

      - Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel

  37. Just go ahead and recite the shahada, Jack.

    We all know you long to do so.

    Casino time, here..............

  38. This is just an example of negligently ignorant they are in Idaho

    Idaho Christian faith healers — 12 kids have died since 2011, and nobody’s doing anything about it

    espite the deaths of least 12 children from “faith healing” Christian families in their state, lawmakers and public officials in Idaho have refused to challenge a state law providing a religious exemption from manslaughter and murder charges, Vocativ reported.

    The childrens’ families belonged to a Pentecostal group known as the Followers of Christ, which punishes members who seek medical care by shunning them from their church. According to state law, parents can substitute prayer as a form of treatment. The religious exemption covers manslaughter, capital murder and negligent homicide charges, but cannot be cited if a parent uses any other form of treatment on top of praying for the child.

    “If the parent combines prayer with orange juice or a cool bath to bring down a fever, the parent loses the exemption,” Rita Swan, co-founder of the advocacy group Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, said.

    1. Sweet Jesus is taken literally, in Idaho.
      And children die because of it, in Idaho


    2. Living on a Prayer: Why Does God Kill So Many Children in Idaho?

      On Feb. 5, 2013, just weeks before her 13th birthday, Syble Rossiter was at home in Albany, Oregon, gasping for breath and in critical condition. For most of the afternoon, her family had watched as she vomited violently and lost control of her bowels, eventually becoming so weak she could no longer stand. In the hours leading up to her final, fevered breaths, as Syble slowly drifted into unconsciousness and ultimately death, her parents never called a doctor or rushed her to an emergency room. As members of the General Assembly Church of the First Born, a faith-healing Christian sect, they believed that seeking medical help for their daughter would be a sign of spiritual weakness and an affront against God’s will. Instead, Travis and Wenona Rossiter tried to cure her with prayer.

      Idaho is home to Sweet Jesus, whom Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson calls upon to solve his daily travails. Rather than taking personal responsibility for the results of his own actions.

      Take heed Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson of Leon Uris ...
      The ability of a person to atone has always been the most remarkable of human features.

    3. All recently arrived immigrants from Arizona.

    4. Thankfully you won't be adding to the recent arrivals.

      Parole violation.

  39. Tens of thousands dead in South Sudan conflict: UN

    The U.N. says more than 1.9 million people have been displaced by the warfare, battles that often pit fighters loyal to President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, against those who support former Vice President Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer.

    ... but not a sparrow shall fall in the "Holy Land"...

  40. Can Turkey under Erdoğan any longer be deemed a reliable western ally?

    Comparisons between Erdoğan’s paranoid authoritarianism and Russia’s similarly insecure, home-grown autocrat, Vladimir Putin, are now commonplace. And they are matched by shifts in Turkey’s geopolitical orientation, symbolised by a new gas supply deal with Moscow coinciding with the cancellation of Russia’s South Steam gas project with the EU. At a recent summit Putin and Erdoğan pledged to treble bilateral trade by 2020.

    1. allen, how about that reference for the 24,000= Jewish Israeli that the Palestinians have supposedly killed in the 21st century.
      You did the math to extrapolate that fictitious number to the US population .. propagating another lie.
      Pushing more Zionist agitprop, more ordure.

      Makes you look, well, ignorant. Even a moron would not have fallen into that web of lies, by accident.


    2. allen, how about that reference for the 24,000+ Jewish Israeli that the Palestinians have supposedly killed in the 21st century.

  41. My Niece was telling all about this today - she's in Dresden -

    German Politicians Push Back as Anti-Immigrant Rallies Swell...
    15,000 march in Dresden...
    'Muslims are plotting to infect our food chain with their excrement'...
    Hitler's vacation paradise reinvented as condos, hotels, spa............Drudge


    She said the people at the Max Planck Institute Hospital there where she works, folks from all over the world, organized a counter demonstration and she went to it too.

    I told her to stay on the sidelines, not get involved too much. Not to get in the middle of some fight or other. I worry about those for whom I care.

    1. Right-wing Dresden protests met with counter demo

      The Associated PressDecember 8, 2014

      Germany Far Right

      Participants of a demonstration against a far-right movement gather in Dresden, eastern Germany, Monday Dec. 8, 2014. DPA, ARNO BURGI — AP Photo

      DRESDEN, Germany — Thousands of people demonstrated in downtown Dresden on Monday night in a rally organized by a group calling itself "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West," while thousands more protested against them.

      Police in the eastern city said the 10,000-strong rally by the group known by its German acronym PEGIDA, and the counter-demonstration by about 9,000 others, were peaceful.

      The Monday-night demonstrations PEGIDA has organized in Dresden have grown in the past two months from around 200 at the initial match.

      Past protests have drawn praise and support from neo-Nazi groups, but speakers sought to distance themselves from that, saying they were protesting against Islamic extremism and perceived abuses to Germany's asylum system, but not against asylum seekers or Muslims in general.

      On PEGIDA's Facebook page, organizers urged supporters to "bring your friends and neighbors and let us show the counter-demonstrators that we are not anti-immigrant and not anti-Islam."

      Related demonstrations attracted fewer demonstrators, with about 600 protesters and 500 counter-protesters showing up at a rally in Berlin, and about 450 protesters and 700 counter-protesters at another in Duesseldorf, police said. No significant incidents were reported in either city.

      Read more here:

      She's no big fan of Muslims, for sure, or Germans either.

      I'm checking the photo to see if I can spot her.........

    2. She totally lack any hint of racism. She's a culture person.

      She's taking four hours of German language training a night, after working all day, thus putting everyone here to shame.

      Will be her sixth language.....


  42. December 16, 2014
    A Christian Priest Speaks Truth on Israel
    By Michael Curtis

    In the British political system members of the royal family are not supposed to utter political or controversial remarks on political issues. It was therefore very meaningful that on November 4, 2014 British Prince Charles in a recorded video broadcast by the BBC, spoke truth to the people. Charles, not assumed to be a Zionist as detractors might imagine, sadly remarked, “It is an indescribable tragedy that Christianity is now under such threat in the Middle East, an area where Christians have lived for 2000 years.”

    Charles was commenting on the just published report, Religious Freedom in the World 2014: Aid to the Church in Need, which concluded that religious freedom had deteriorated in 55 of the 196 countries studied. Most significantly, the report found that Christians remain the most persecuted religious minority, directly related to the fact that they are historically widely dispersed, often in cultures very different from their own. Many of the countries where Christians have been established for generations or even millennia have now become subject to extremism. In 20 countries studied, the highest levels of persecution result mostly from Islamist extremism and partly from authoritarian regimes.

    The report was most concerned with the fate of Christians in the Middle East, but it also warned that Western European countries, once overwhelmingly Christian and racially homogeneous, were changing.

    Why are mainstream Christian organizations and so-called Human Rights Groups so engaged in a conspiracy of silence on this issue of persecution of Christians? The World Council of Churches, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and groups such as Amnesty International pay little heed to this ongoing persecution and discrimination against Christians. They pay little heed to honest commentators such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Father Gabriel Nadaf, priest of the Greek Orthodox Church, who has lived in Nazareth, and who has been prevented by anti-Israelis from entering the Basicila of the Annunciation in Nazareth. He has to have a security escort provided by Israel as he faces death threats from Muslims. For those anti-Israelis, his major sin is his attempt to integrate Arab Christians into the mainstream of Israeli life.

    Ali has frequently commented, (though she has sometimes been prevented from doing so on university campuses) on the violent oppression of Christian minorities that has become the norm in Muslim countries. Her criticism of Islamic intolerance is well known.

    1. The lesser-known message of Father Nadaf delivered to the UN Human Rights Council on September 23, 2014 is stark. What is happening in the Middle East, he said, is genocide, and it is happening today. In the last ten years 100,000 Christians have been murdered every year. That means that every five minutes a Christian dies in the Middle East, and the Muslim leaders know it, and the world remains silent. Those who can escape persecution at the hand of Muslim extremists have fled. Those who remain exist as second if not third-class citizens to their Muslim rulers.

      Nadaf’s remarks are an incontestable refutation to the assertions, against all the relevant facts and rational evidence of people such as the Right Rev. Riah Abu El-Assal, Bishop of Jerusalem, that Arab Palestinian Christians (?) and Arab Palestinian Muslims (?) lived peacefully side-by side for 1400 years. Christians, he held, have fled Israeli persecution, and left because of the brutality of the Israel armed forces. Unfortunately, the World Council of Churches is more likely to listen to Assal than to Najaf.

      Equally compelling is the analysis by John L. Allen, Jr., in his 2013 book The Global War on Christians, that in recent months 11 Christians have been killed every hour, every day. For Allen, the persecution of Christians is the “greatest story never told about the 21st century.”

      The evidence of discrimination against Christians in the Middle East by Muslims is overwhelming. The region is being emptied of Christians, in the areas where their faith was born. For the first time in 2000 years no church exists in Nineveh (now part of Mosul). In Syria, there were once 2 million Christians, but 700,000 have fled and now there are at most 200,000. In year 2000, there were 4 million in Iraq, now there are 300,000. In addition, six Jews remain in the country. In Egypt, the Copts who have survived 1300 years of Muslim control face discrimination and being regarded as foreign agents.

      In contrast, Nadaf states, as every objective analysis does, that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Christians can live safely, are free to practice their religion, and where they have increased in number. In Israel Christians are not killed, their churches are not burned, their female believers are not raped. Christians are seen as a distinct ethnicity. They constitute 2 per cent of the total population and 10 per cent of Israeli Arabs.

      The Human Rights Groups of the U.S. and Europe should acknowledge that the persecution of Christians is worldwide, and particularly extreme in the Muslim Middle East. Excepting North Korea, where 70,000 Christians are held in camps, 9 out of the 10 worst persecutors of Christians are Islamic countries (Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Iran, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Iraq, and Pakistan). In the mixed country of Nigeria, at least 14,000 Christians have been killed.

      The conclusion of Father Nadaf is compelling. It is time the world woke up to the fact that those who want to destroy the Jewish State of Israel are signing the death warrant on the last free Christians in the Holy Land.

      Read more:
      Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

    2. >> In the last ten years 100,000 Christians have been murdered every year. That means that every five minutes a Christian dies in the Middle East, and the Muslim leaders know it, and the world remains silent.<<

    3. >>In contrast, Nadaf states, as every objective analysis does, that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Christians can live safely, are free to practice their religion, and where they have increased in number. In Israel Christians are not killed, their churches are not burned, their female believers are not raped. Christians are seen as a distinct ethnicity. They constitute 2 per cent of the total population and 10 per cent of Israeli Arabs.

      The Human Rights Groups of the U.S. and Europe should acknowledge that the persecution of Christians is worldwide, and particularly extreme in the Muslim Middle East. Excepting North Korea, where 70,000 Christians are held in camps, 9 out of the 10 worst persecutors of Christians are Islamic countries (Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Iran, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Iraq, and Pakistan). In the mixed country of Nigeria, at least 14,000 Christians have been killed.<<


  43. There was a Christian theologian whom I used to read - with the wonderful
    name of -

    Edward Cornelis Florentius Alfonsus Schillebeeckx :)

    One of his themes was that in the presence of Jesus it was impossible to
    be sad.

    He got in trouble with the Vatican and the Congregation of the Faith for
    'heretical' thoughts such as these:

    >>In Jesus: An experiment in Christology (Dutch ed. 1974), Schillebeeckx
    argued that we should not imagine that the belief of the disciples that
    Jesus had risen was caused by the empty tomb and the resurrection
    appearances. It was quite the opposite: A belief in the resurrection -
    "that the new orientation of living which this Jesus has brought about
    in their lives has not been rendered meaningless by his death – quite
    the opposite" - gave rise to these traditions.[2] The empty tomb was, in
    his opinion, an unnecessary hypothesis, since “an eschatological, bodily
    resurrection, theologically speaking, has nothing to do, however, with a
    corpse.”[3] That was merely a "crude and naive realism of what
    'appearances of Jesus'" meant.[4]<<

    He also thought the Priesthood and the restrictions to it and on it were
    really dumb....

    I liked the guy. He died some time ago.

    His outlook on Christianity is one which many can find attractive. I did.


    1. Edward Cornelis Florentius Alfonsus Schillebeeckx beats Quirk as a name, and as a theologian too.


    2. rat's not even in either contest

  44. The Russian economy is collapsing in front of our eyes and the idiotic Republicans think that it is a good time to put on more Russian sanctions? Is there no end to their stupidity?

  45. They perhaps think it will do something more to stop his land grabbings and muscling around......

    Maybe they are right.

    1. Maybe they are hoping the price of Russian mail order brides will totally collapse, who knows for sure?

    2. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, is there no end to the inanity you spew?

    3. I don't think it is an inane comment. I think what he is humorously expressing is the idea that the Republicans may not know what the hell they are doing.

      I think your comment is inane, as usual.

  46. Never thought I'd be praising Justice Sotomayor to the heavens but I do here -

    December 16, 2014
    Lazy, Incompetent Bureaucrats will Celebrate the Heien Decision for Years
    By Mark J. Fitzgibbons

    The U.S. Supreme Court on December 15 ruled in Heien v. North Carolina that the Fourth Amendment allows for certain mistakes of law by the police in making stops of automobiles.

    Sergeant Matt Darisse pulled over Nicholas Heien to issue a warning ticket for a broken brake light, although North Carolina law only requires a single lamp, which Heien had. During the stop, Heien gave consent to search the car, and Sergeant Darisse found cocaine.

    Heien later claimed the justification of the stop was objectively unreasonable because it was based on the officer’s mistake of law, and should not be allowed under the Fourth Amendment. A number of conservative organizations filed amicus briefs supporting Heien.

    The line from Chief Justice Robert’s majority opinion in the Heien case that pro-liberty folks just know will come back like Freddie Krueger reads: “To be reasonable is not to be perfect, and so the Fourth Amendment allows for some mistakes on the part of government officials, giving them ‘fair leeway for enforcing the law in the community’s protection.’”

    Government lawyers right now are already smacking their lips, thinking that this line is license for incompetence far beyond the mistake of law made by the North Carolina police officer, and in more circumstance than just those involving the Fourth Amendment.

    Any lawyer or litigant who has ever been in litigation against nearly any government body knows how government lawyers contort sentences from court opinions into unreasonable positions.

    We also see statist judges stretch those lines far from constitutional principles to create errors of law compounded through precedent.

    Justice Sotomayor was the lone dissenter in this case. She wrote, “This result is bad for citizens, who need to know their rights and responsibilities, and it is bad for police, who would benefit from clearer direction.”

    Justice Sotomayor also wrote, “One is left to wonder . . . why an innocent citizen should be made to shoulder the burden of being seized whenever the law may be susceptible to an interpretive question.”

    In Heien the court has lowered the bar of expectations for the government. Those of us who are pro-police have every reason to be upset. The majority opinion will be abused by statist bureaucrats at a time when too many people already have reason to fear their lawbreaking government.

    1. .

      It's what we've come to expect from this court.

      Heck, one of them was even quoted trying to justify torture.