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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cole: It should be noted that the 2003 US invasion of Iraq was the invasion by a secure, nuclear-armed state of a poor, weak insecure non-nuclear state. What better incentive could there be for poor weak states to try to get a bomb as soon as possible?

Iran calls for Nuclear Disarmament by US, Israel, World

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | —
At a summit on Monday, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif turned the tables on the countries demanding that Iran keep its nuclear program for solely civilian, electricity generation. Zarif called for all countries to give up nuclear weapons, including Israel and the US. Iran does not have a nuclear bomb and gives no signs of trying to develop one.
The speech is a welcome reminder of how topsy-turvy Washington discourse on Iran is. Iran is viewed suspiciously as going for broke to get an atomic bomb, when there is no evidence for an Iranian nuclear weapons program. That the US has a massive nuclear arsenal is not mentioned. That the only nuclear-armed country in the Middle East is Israel is not mentioned. That George W. Bush was alarmed that an Israeli PM brandished the threat of a nuclear strike against Iraq is not mentioned. That Israel is not inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency but Iran is, is not mentioned. That Western countries have actively connived to give Israel a nuclear weapons capability and to improve it is not mentioned. So US politicians constantly warn that if Iran gets a bomb it will kick of a nuclear arms race in the region, ignoring the fact that Israel has a bomb, which has already driven such a race (it was why Iraq in the 1980s sought bomb-making capabilities).
Zarif spoke on behalf of the Group of the Non-Aligned States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons at the 2015 NPT Review Conference in New York, saying that the NPT is the essential framework for the whole world and that a complete disarmament should be the end game. He said,
“The nuclear-weapon-States have not made progress in eliminating their nuclear weapons. The role of nuclear weapons in security policies of the nuclear-weapon-States has not diminished. Some nuclear weapons States are modernizing their nuclear arsenals and planning research on new nuclear warheads, others have announced their intention to develop new delivery vehicles for nuclear weapons.”
Zarif went on to point to the power imbalance between the nuclear states and the non-nuclear states, and the failure of the former to provide credible security guarantees to the latter:
“The non-nuclear-weapons States Parties have not yet received unequivocal and legally binding security assurances. The transfer of nuclear technology continues to face impediments inconsistent with the Treaty, and no progress has been made to achieve universal adherence to the Treaty in the Middle East; to give but a few examples of the lack of implementation of the 1995, 2000 and 2010 agreements.”
Cole: It should be noted that the 2003 US invasion of Iraq was the invasion by a secure, nuclear-armed state of a poor, weak insecure non-nuclear state. What better incentive could there be for poor weak states to try to get a bomb as soon as possible?
Zarif went on to complain about violations of the spirit of the NPT by the nuclear-armed states:
” The improvement of existing nuclear weapons and the development of new types of nuclear weapons violate the commitments undertaken by the nuclear-weapon States at the time of the conclusion of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty… We call upon the nuclear-weapon States to immediately cease their plans to further invest in modernizing and extending the life span of their nuclear weapons and related facilities.”
He also complained about nuclear-armed states threatening to use their atomic bombs on others:
“We firmly believe that any use or threat of use of nuclear weapons would be a crime against humanity and a violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, in particular international humanitarian law. In this regard, we strongly call for the complete exclusion of the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons from military doctrines.”
As for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, Zarif added:
“We underline the right of all States parties to participate in the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We strongly reject, and call for the immediate removal of, any restrictions or limitations posed on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including restrictions on exports to other States parties of nuclear material, equipment and technology for peaceful purposes.”
Zarif conveyed the Non-Aligned Movement’s unease with Israel being the only nuclear-armed country in the Middle East and with continued Western technology transfers to that country’s nuclear weapons programs:
“The Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, in their Tehran Summit Declaration of 2012, reiterated their support for the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and as a priority step to this end, reaffirmed the need for the speedy establishment of a NWFZ in the Middle East. They also called upon all parties concerned to take urgent and practical steps for the establishment of such a zone and, pending its establishment, demanded that Israel, the only one in the region that has neither joined the NPT nor declared its intention to do so, to renounce possession of nuclear weapons, to accede to the NPT without precondition and further delay, to place promptly all its nuclear facilities under IAEA full-scope safeguards and to conduct its nuclear related activities in conformity with the non-proliferation regime. They expressed great concern over the acquisition of nuclear capability by Israel which poses a serious and continuing threat to the security of neighboring and other States, and condemned Israel for continuing to develop and stockpile nuclear arsenals. They also called for the total and complete prohibition of the transfer of all nuclear-related equipment, information, material and facilities, resources or devices and the extension of assistance in the nuclear related scientific or technological fields to Israel.”
The Non-Aligned Movement is right that the Middle East needs to be a nuclear weapons-free zone. It is too unstable a region to stockpile atomic bombs there!


  1. Right out of the gate -

    >>>Iran is viewed suspiciously as going for broke to get an atomic bomb, when there is no evidence for an Iranian nuclear weapons program.<<<

    This Juan Cole character lives in lalalululand.

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Deuce, for putting up such patent nonsense and moonshine.

    1. U.N. Report to Show Evidence of Iran's Nuclear Weapons Program Advancing


    2. Th truth about the 'evidence' touted by the Saudi owned Faux News ...

      History of Key Document in IAEA Probe Suggests Israeli Forgery
      by Gareth Porter.

      Gareth Porter, a source that Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson has touted as accurate in the past.
      A decision which, as I said at the time, the "Draft Dodger" would soon come to regret.

  2. Iran and the Islamic world have 1.2 BILLION people.

    Israel has 8 million.

    Iran vows to destroy Israel, the Islamic world's goal is the destruction of the Jews. Iran funds genocidal groups repeated attempts at the destruction of both Jews and Israel.

    If we talk about JUST the arab world Israel sits on 1/900th of the middle east, if we include Iran? That % grows smaller, if we include the world's additional moslem nations? Even smaller....

    And Yet?

    IF Israel has a nuclear weapon? It has not used one. Nor have the arab nations that swear to destroy it fear it.

    But the Arabs do fear an Iranian nuclear weapon....

    1. Let those Semites quake in fear.
      Who cares that the people that attacked the US on 11SEP2001 are encompassed by fear?

      That they are afraid, that should be celebrated, not discouraged.
      The Sunni Muslims of the world, they already have nuclear weapons, if the Shia were to have them, as well, the security of the region would be enhanced.

      The strategy is referred to by the acronym, MAD, it works.

    2. MAD doesn't work with MAD people.

      You do understand the Shia insanity, being in the employ of them for so long.

      Let Iran announce it's cease and desist of multi-billion dollar funding to terrorist groups including but limited to Hezbollah, Hamas.

      Let Iran uphold the basic law of the UN and stop calling for the destruction of a fellow member of the UN.

      Once that occurs? Other issues become germane, til then? It's just propaganda

  3. According to CR Herro from Meritage Homes,

    There are several ZNE homes throughout California, but none clustered at one community. This community not only allows the value of operation cost reduction to the homeowners, but provides much-needed data to the utilities about kW production and demand at each home, and cumulatively at the transformer level to provide needed data to design service for community level Zero Energy as California building code progresses toward this standard.

    Zero net energy means a building with net energy consumption of zero over the course of a year. The Meritage Homes achieve zero net energy by using fresh air ventilation, solar power systems, heat pumps, highly insulated windows, energy-efficient lighting, smart appliances, HVAC systems, and smart chargers. It is expected that the Sierra Crest homes will use 60% less energy than a newly built home that is in line with the current California Energy Code.

    Because of the use of energy-efficient technology, these homes only need 3.5 – 4.5 kW solar power systems, instead of 7-10 kW ones. The price range is in the high $300,000s up to $431,000 with sizes from 1,900 square feet to 2,900.

    Building and home energy use is a major contributor of climate change emissions, so reducing home energy consumption would decrease those emissions. Net zero energy is also clearly very important, because we will need less energy per net zero home or building. This fact means it may be easier to transition to renewable energy from fossil fuels and nuclear power.

    Additionally, there is a something of a hidden story within this story. Energy storage for homes is starting to appear on the horizon. In particular, the interest Tesla has shown in developing and selling home energy storage battery systems means at some point it may become for homeowners to be able to store electricity.

    So, combining a net zero home with solar power and home energy storage could mean that a homeowner could be almost completely self-sufficient when it comes to energy management. It might be possible for homeowners to generate more electricity than they use and perhaps even sell it back to a community grid. It should also be possible for more people to charge the batteries in their electric vehicles at home.

    Image Credit: Meritage Homes

    21st. Century

  4. We could discus the Iranians seizing the cargo container ship, the Maersk Tigris, in the Straits of Hormuz, but details are scant and FAUX News has ignored the story, so Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson probably does not even know that it has occurred.

    1. We are aware of the Iranian seizure.

      It's not the 1st nor the last that Iran has actually hijacked ships.


      Can you say that Jack?

    2. Not hijacked, seized for payment of monies due.


    3. An Iranian Court ordered the seizing of the ship, which was in Iranian territorial waters.

    4. Only nominally in Iranian territorial waters.

      There is an internationally recognized right of passage through there, 'military expert'.

    5. "An Iranian Court" is not a Court as we know it.

      On all major issues they do what they are ordered to do.

      You are a fool.

    6. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, you are a thief, and we must assume, that makes you an expert on 'Courts.

      But not on foreign 'Courts'.
      The Iranian court is sovereign in Iranian waters. The ship was seized in Iranian waters.
      If you do not want to be held liable by a court, stay out of its jurisdiction.

      Your frame of reference, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, is so, so limited.


  5. Leading Alarmist on Iran Ignored What He Knew Was True

    - Gareth Porter

  6. I see Jack "Ass" Hawkins aka "Dead Beat Dad" is ruining another blogging day already.

    Thankfully WiO, and Rufus too have brought some light on two differing subjects.

    Gone for the working stiff day -

    Cheers !!


    Serenity !!

    1. O, and faux is not pronounced Fox it is:

      Word of the Day

      >>>>>adjective \ˈfō\<<<<<
      Definition of FAUX
      : imitation, ersatz


      d.rat is a faux 'military expert'

      And, yes, Fox News has covered the Iranian seizure of said ship.

      Only 26 days to Memorial Day, which we will celebrate by the cleansing of Iraq of all ISIS fighters, according to our faux 'military expert' d. ratass.

      bwabwabwahahahahahhaaaHA !!


    2. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson still flapping his gums ...
      Working his fingers to the bone

      But saying nothing.

    3. The only one who has claimed that d rat or J Hawkins was a military expert, was Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      A lame attempt, by the self proclaimed bank fraudster, to set up a 'Straw Man'.
      A faux claim from a fan of FAUX News, a Muzzie Lover that has advocated for US troops be deployed to defend those that propagate 'clit clipping' in Iraq. Those Kurdish Muzzies that he holds exempt from their cultural proclivities.

      The discovery of widespread FGM in Iraqi Kurdistan suggests the assumption to be incorrect that FGM is primarily an African phenomenon with only marginal occurrence in the eastern Islamic world. FGM is practiced at a rate of nearly 60 percent by Iraqi Kurds, then how prevalent is the practice in neighboring Syria where living conditions and cultural and religious practices are comparable?

      Why should a single US soldier die to protect this horrid cultural practice,

      Answer US that Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson

  7. In May 2010, as Britain headed into its last general election, elites all across the western world were gripped by austerity fever, a strange malady that combined extravagant fear with blithe optimism. Every country running significant budget deficits – as nearly all were in the aftermath of the financial crisis – was deemed at imminent risk of becoming another Greece unless it immediately began cutting spending and raising taxes. Concerns that imposing such austerity in already depressed economies would deepen their depression and delay recovery were airily dismissed; fiscal probity, we were assured, would inspire business-boosting confidence, and all would be well.

    People holding these beliefs came to be widely known in economic circles as “austerians” – a term coined by the economist Rob Parenteau – and for a while the austerian ideology swept all before it.

    But that was five years ago, and the fever has long since broken. Greece is now seen as it should have been seen from the beginning – as a unique case, with few lessons for the rest of us. It is impossible for countries such as the US and the UK, which borrow in their own currencies, to experience Greek-style crises, because they cannot run out of money – they can always print more. Even within the eurozone, borrowing costs plunged once the European Central Bank began to do its job and protect its clients against self-fulfilling panics by standing ready to buy government bonds if necessary. As I write this, Italy and Spain have no trouble raising cash – they can borrow at the lowest rates in their history, indeed considerably below those in Britain – and even Portugal’s interest rates are within a whisker of those paid by HM Treasury.

    1. On the other side of the ledger, the benefits of improved confidence failed to make their promised appearance. Since the global turn to austerity in 2010, every country that introduced significant austerity has seen its economy suffer, with the depth of the suffering closely related to the harshness of the austerity. In late 2012, the IMF’s chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, went so far as to issue what amounted to a mea culpa: although his organisation never bought into the notion that austerity would actually boost economic growth, the IMF now believes that it massively understated the damage that spending cuts inflict on a weak economy.

      Meanwhile, all of the economic research that allegedly supported the austerity push has been discredited. Widely touted statistical results were, it turned out, based on highly dubious assumptions and procedures – plus a few outright mistakes – and evaporated under closer scrutiny.

      It is rare, in the history of economic thought, for debates to get resolved this decisively. The austerian ideology that dominated elite discourse five years ago has collapsed, to the point where hardly anyone still believes it. Hardly anyone, that is, except the coalition that still rules Britain – and most of the British media.

      I don’t know how many Britons realise the extent to which their economic debate has diverged from the rest of the western world – the extent to which the UK seems stuck on obsessions that have been mainly laughed out of the discourse elsewhere. George Osborne and David Cameron boast that their policies saved Britain from a Greek-style crisis of soaring interest rates, apparently oblivious to the fact that interest rates are at historic lows all across the western world. The press seizes on Ed Miliband’s failure to mention the budget deficit in a speech as a huge gaffe, a supposed revelation of irresponsibility; meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is talking, seriously, not about budget deficits but about the “fun deficit” facing America’s children.

      Is there some good reason why deficit obsession should still rule in Britain, even as it fades away everywhere else? No. This country is not different. The economics of austerity are the same – and the intellectual case as bankrupt – in Britain as . .

    2. hen economic crisis struck the advanced economies in 2008, almost every government – even Germany – introduced some kind of stimulus programme, increasing spending and/or cutting taxes. There was no mystery why: it was all about zero.

      Normally, monetary authorities – the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England – can respond to a temporary economic downturn by cutting interest rates; this encourages private spending, especially on housing, and sets the stage for recovery. But . . . .

      Not for hicks

  8. Medicaid Expansion Is Producing Large Gains in Health Coverage and Saving States Money

    In the short time since states have been able to expand Medicaid to low-income adults under health reform, a clear divide has emerged between states that have expanded Medicaid and those that have not. (See Figure 1.) Since the major coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect in 2014, insurance coverage rates have improved across the country, but the gains are far greater in the states that have expanded Medicaid.[1] As a result, hospitals in expansion states are treating fewer uninsured patients, and the amount of uncompensated care they are providing is declining steeply. Moreover, contrary to critics' claims that Medicaid expansion is financially unsustainable for states, there is increasing evidence that expansion has saved states money, and these savings are expected to grow over time.

    The Medicaid expansion has had an especially dramatic impact in Arkansas and Kentucky, which both had high uninsurance rates and limited Medicaid eligibility for non-elderly adults before health reform. Both states' uninsurance rates have fallen by half in just over a year, and the expansion is expected to save each state more than $100 million by the time their current state fiscal years end on June 30.

    Meanwhile, the states that have not expanded Medicaid are falling further behind. In the non-expansion states, large numbers of low-income people remain uninsured and without access to affordable health coverage. These individuals are caught in a "coverage gap" because their incomes are too high for Medicaid but too low for subsidies to purchase coverage in the marketplace. Hospitals in these states continue to provide large amounts of uncompensated care, and the states are missing the opportunity to leverage billions of dollars in new federal funding through the Medicaid expansion.

    1. States Expanding Medicaid Have Made Greater Health Coverage Gains

      The uninsurance rate for adults nationwide dropped from 17.1 percent at the end of 2013, just before the ACA's major coverage provisions took effect, to 11.9 percent during the first quarter of this year, according to a Gallup and Healthways survey.[2] These results are consistent with other independent and federal government surveys of insurance coverage.[3]

      States that expanded Medicaid experienced the greatest gains in health coverage. In just one year, Arkansas and Kentucky cut their uninsurance ratesin half, from 22.5 to 11.4 percent and from 20.4 to 9.8 percent, respectively. Other Medicaid expansion states with large drops in their uninsurance rates include Oregon (19.4 to 11.7 percent), Washington (16.8 to 10.1 percent), and West Virginia (17.6 to 10.9 percent). Nine of the ten states with the largest drops in uninsurance rates are Medicaid expansion states.[4]

      Expanding Medicaid Has Saved States Money

      Besides producing large gains in coverage, Medicaid expansion is a good fiscal deal for states.
      •The federal government is covering the entirecost of the expansion through 2016, and no less than 90 percent of the cost in subsequent years.
      •As more uninsured individuals obtain coverage, demand for health care services that serve low-income uninsured residents and are entirely state-funded declines. These programs include treatment for people with mental illness and substance abuse disorders, funding for hospitals to offset their uncompensated care costs, and care for prisoners who have to be hospitalized outside of correctional facilities.
      •Expanding Medicaid also allows states to move some people who received services through targeted Medicaid programs at the state's regular matching rate into the new Medicaid expansion eligibility group with its more generous matching rate. These targeted programs include care for certain women with breast or cervical cancer, family planning services, and medically needy spend-down programs, which allow individuals with high medical expenses to receive coverage by "spending down" their income on medical costs to reach Medicaid eligibility levels.

    2. •Because more people have health coverage, states are collecting more revenue from their existing taxes on health providers and health plans, such as the managed care plans that serve Medicaid beneficiaries in many states.[5]

      Among the states that have documented significant budget savings from the Medicaid expansion are:

      Arkansas: Medicaid expansion saved Arkansas $30.8 million in fiscal year 2014, and the state expects to save an additional $88.8 million in fiscal year 2015, according to state officials interviewed by the State Health Reform Assistance Network. (The $88.8 million in 2015 savings includes $17.2 million in uncompensated care savings and $7.1 million in savings in behavioral health care spending -- i.e., spending on mental health care and treatment for substance abuse.)

      The cumulative savings of nearly $120 million by the end of fiscal year 2015 include $72.9 million in savings within the Arkansas Medicaid program from moving people who previously received care under specialized Medicaid categories for disabled adults, women with breast or cervical cancer, and others into the expansion's new eligibility group, for which the federal government pays the full cost. In addition to this nearly $120 million in reduced state expenditures, the state expects to collect $34.4 million in new revenue over 2014 and 2015 from taxes on providers and health plans, producing a total gain for the state budget of over $150 million in 18 months.[6]

      •Kentucky: Medicaid expansion saved Kentucky $25.8 million in fiscal year 2014, and is expected to lead to another $83.1 million in savings in fiscal year 2015, according to an analysis prepared for the state by Deloitte Consulting. Among these two-year savings are $30 million from a drop in state spending on behavioral health programs, $16.4 million from spending less on inpatient hospital costs for prisoners, and $16.4 million from moving people who previously received Medicaid coverage through a medically needy spend-down program into the expansion's new eligibility group.[7]
      •Michigan: Medicaid expansion saved the state $180 million in fiscal year 2014 and is projected to save Michigan $190 million in the state's current fiscal year, which runs through September 30, according to an analysis prepared by the State Health Reform Assistance Network. The savings are primarily from a drop in demand for state-funded community mental health programs. In addition, the state projects two-year savings of $19.2 million in its corrections system, as the federal government now covers the costs of prisoners hospitalized outside the corrections system, as a result of the Medicaid expansion.[8

    3. New Jersey: As a result of the Medicaid expansion, Governor Chris Christie's fiscal year 2016 budget proposal spends $148 million less on charity care and $417 million less on beneficiaries previously covered at the state's regular matching rate of 50 percent but now covered with 100 percent federal funds, according to state budget documents.[9] The state expects the latter category to result in nearly $3 billion in savings to the state through 2020.[10]
      •New Mexico: New Mexico will save $60 million from 2014 to 2016 by transitioning low-income adults who were receiving Medicaid coverage through a waiver prior to health reform into the expansion eligibility group, according to state budget documents. The state expects to save an additional $15.3 million in the current fiscal year because of lower demand for state-funded behavioral health services.[11] The state also collected $30 million in new revenue in 2014 and expects to collect another $30 million this year from its premium taxes that are levied on the managed care plans that serve the new eligibility population.[12]
      •Washington: Medicaid expansion saved Washington $105.5 million in fiscal year 2014, and the state expects to save an additional $286.6 million in fiscal year 2015, according to interviews with state officials and an analysis of state budget documents conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Among the savings are $64.6 million in reduced behavioral health spending and $147.9 million from transferring adults awaiting a disability determination for Supplemental Security Income coverage from a state-funded program to Medicaid. The state also expects the Medicaid expansion to contribute to a $33.9 million increase in premium tax revenue in fiscal year 2015.[13]
      •West Virginia: The state saved $3.8 million in 2014 as women in the new eligibility group who became pregnant remained in the new eligibility group throughout their pregnancies, rather than moving into the pregnant woman eligibility category, for which the federal government pays the state's regular matching rate.[14]

    4. Expanding Medicaid Means Hospitals Treat Fewer Uninsured Patients and Provide Less Uncompensated Care

      Almost immediately after the ACA's major coverage provisions took effect in 2014, hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid reported higher-than-expected revenues along with a shift to providing more care to patients with Medicaid coverage and less to uninsured patients.[15] In contrast, hospitals in states that did not expand generally experienced a small-to-negligible drop in their volume of uninsured patients.[16]

      The experience of various hospital systems that operate hospitals in both expansion and non-expansion states provides strong evidence of the Medicaid expansion's impact on hospitals. Between the second quarter of 2013 and the second quarter of 2014, Community Health Systems experienced a 72 percent drop in uninsured admissions at its hospitals in 12 states that expanded Medicaid and no change at its hospitals in 17 states that did not expand. Other hospital systems had similar results: LifePoint experienced a 67 percent reduction in uninsured admissions at its hospitals in Medicaid expansion states, compared with a 14 percent drop in non-expansion states; Tenet's uninsured admissions fell 54 percent at its hospitals in expansion states compared with an 8 percent drop in non-expansion states; and the Hospital Corporation of America's uninsured admissions dropped 48 percent at hospitals in expansion states compared with a 2 percent drop in non-expansion states.[17]

      Hospital associations in Medicaid expansion states also noted immediate positive impacts from the Medicaid expansion. The Arkansas Hospital Association reported that inpatient admissions of uninsured patients in Arkansas hospitals fell by 46.5 percent between the first six months of 2013 and the first six months of 2014, and emergency room visits by uninsured patients fell 35.5 percent.[18] The Arizona Hospital Association reported a 31 percent drop in the amount of uncompensated care provided by hospitals in the state between April 2013 and April 2014.[19]


      Health reform's Medicaid expansion has proven successful for the states that have taken the option, reducing both their uninsured populations and their health care-related costs and producing budgetary savings. Meanwhile, policymakers in non-expansion states -- many of which have high uninsurance rates, limited Medicaid eligibility for parents, and no eligibility for poor adults without children -- have forgone significant savings and have placed the burden from their decision not to expand on their poorest residents. In the non-expansion states, 3.7 million uninsured adults remain in a "coverage gap," with incomes too high for Medicaid but too low for subsidies to buy coverage in the marketplace.[20] The evidence from expansion states shows that these adults -- and the states where they live -- would benefit from the Medicaid expansion.

      The Smart and the Dumb

  9. (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate rejected an effort on Tuesday to require any nuclear agreement with Iran to be considered an international treaty, which would have forced any deal to be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate's 100 members.

    The Senate voted 57-39 to reject the measure, which Republican Senator Ron Johnson offered as an amendment to the Iran Nuclear Review Act, a bill requiring an Iran nuclear deal to be reviewed by Congress.

    The amendment's backing by 39 Republicans signaled that there could be intense debate in the coming days as the Senate hammers out its final version of the legislation.

    Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top Senate Republicans were among those voting for the amendment, despite an emotional appeal against it from Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and author of the bill.

    Corker and Senator Ben Cardin, the committee's top Democrat, have been working against so-called "poison pill" amendments seeking to toughen the bill, which they say would kill its chances of becoming law by alienating Democrats and provoking a veto by Democratic President Barack Obama.

  10. Ship tracking data on Reuters showed the vessel was anchored at 1658 GMT (12:58 p.m. EDT) on Wednesday not far off Iran's mainland and close to the major Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.

    Maersk said in a statement that it was in communication with the Danish Foreign Ministry and trying to ascertain why the Maersk Tigris had been diverted.

    Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization said a court had ordered the ship seized after ruling against Maersk Line in a case about debts brought by Pars Talaie, an Iranian company.

    Zarif told the audience on Wednesday that Maersk was required to pay damages on the basis of a court order. He said the legal proceedings had been going on for some 14 years.

    Tasnim, an Iranian news agency, quoted a Pars Talaie lawyer as saying the debt involved a cargo that Pars Talaie had hired Maersk to take from the Iranian port of Abadan to Dubai more than a decade ago but which never arrived.

  11. An amazing thread...

    Iranian apologists at their finest.

    1. Facts do bother you, don't they, "O"rdure.

    2. What facts, rat - "O" - rdure ?

      What facts Jack "Dead Beat Dad" Ass ?

      26 Days till Memorial Day, crapper 'military expert' rat.


      Fox News is reporting there is a witness to what occurred to Freddie Gray, another guy in the van/police wagon. Fox is reporting via the Washington Post that Gray was trying to injure himself.......

      We all must await developments....

  12. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.-led forces targeted Islamic State militants in Syria with four air strikes from Monday to Tuesday morning and conducted another 16 strikes against the group in Iraq, the U.S. military said on Tuesday.

    Three of the Syria strikes were near Al Hasakah, where they hit Islamic State fighting positions and destroyed an armored vehicle. Coalition forces also destroyed a fighting position with a strike near Kobani, according to a military statement.

    In Iraq, five air strikes hit tactical units and Islamic State checkpoints, and also destroyed excavators, a fighting position and a vehicle. Forces also struck targets near Al Huwayjah, Bayji, Fallujah, Ramadi, Sinjar and Tal Afar, the military said.

    (Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Sandra Maler)


    1. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.-led forces targeted Islamic State militants in Syria with five air strikes from Tuesday morning through Wednesday morning and conducted another 16 strikes against the group in Iraq, the U.S. military said on Wednesday.

      Most of the Syria strikes, four, hit targets near Kobani, where they destroyed Islamic State fighting positions and a vehicle and damaged tactical units. The remaining strike was near Al Hasakah, according to a military statement.

      In Iraq, five air strikes near Bayji hit tactical units and destroyed vehicles, a fighting position and a warehouse. Coalition forces also struck near Al Asad, Al Huwayjah, Fallujah, Mosul, Ramadi and Tal Afar.

      (Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Sandra Maler)


  13. The main problem the Baltimore Police may have in this matter is that they had, absent an outstanding arrest warrant or parole violation of some kind......they had no probable cause to go off foot racing after Freddie - an outstanding citizen with a long long rap sheet, a known drug dealer and the first place, according to Judge Napolitano, who knows his law.

    Making eye contact with the Police and then running away full bore is not probable cause.

    Maybe he just suddenly realized he was late for his dental appointment.

    The Police have some problems here. But the latest news seems in a way to support the Police.

    Stayed tuned to Fox News if you want to stay 'up to the minute'.

    1. The latest news from Fox via the Washington Post, being that Freddie, according to the other occupant of the van/police wagon, was banging like hell on the van wall and trying, in his opinion, to injure himself.

      We must await developments.

    2. Only in America - Geraldo interviewing members of the Crips and Bloods, who are, along with Elijah Cummings and the entire Baltimore Democratic machine apparatus of Baltimore, urging 'the kids' to go home now that curfew time has arrived for the night.

      Geraldo is right now is talking of Freddie perhaps self inflicting his own injuries.....

      Watch Fox.

    3. The Crips and the Bloods and the Black Guerrilla Army have, meanwhile, formed a Pact to shoot the Police.

      Quirk, meanwhile yet again, is doing his Nation a service by donning black face and 'going to ground' and has joined The BGA as a Government Intelligence Agent. (GIA)

    4. The Crips and the Bloods and the Black Guerrilla Army have, meanwhile, formed a Pact to shoot the Police, and not one another, for awhile.............

    5. They, temporarily, must consider this self interest mixed with Idealism of the highest order.

    6. Fuck Fox. The other guy was an arrestee, and was partitioned off from the victim. He heard the guy banging around because he (the victim) was not strapped in.

      The Baltimore Police have already lost a couple of court cases where their murdering cops killed those in their custody through the method of "rough rides."

    7. You can't make this shit up............

    8. Fuck you.

      You are, as usual, jumping to conclusions. You wanted to hang Zimmerman from Day One, without any real evidence whatsoever.

      You have, right now, no more idea of what actually happened than I.

      It has been reported than the van can be tracked through the GPS whatever, so we must await developments concerning this issue.

      So shut the fuck up this time until we actually KNOW something.

    9. The Chief of Police in Baltimore is black, as is the Mayor, and the majority of the City Council (IIRC) so you will have a hard time blaming 'whitey' this time. Baltimore is now something like 60%, 30% white, 10% other.

      This is an intra black issue here. Whitey is nearly out of the picture.

    10. No, you ignorant hick. This is a murder- carried out by worthless, homicidal cops. I don't give a fuck if they're purple and pink.

    11. That other jailbird was only in the van for the last 5 minutes of a 45 minute ride. Also, if the police had done their job, and strapped the man in, he couldn't have hurt himself if he really did want to.

    12. I just learned, via Fox, that every member of the Baltimore City Council is a Democrat.

      The white/black breakdown wasn't mentioned.

      The Democrats have run cities like Baltimore for decades now.

      So, blame whitey, the Republicans, and George W. Bush.

    13. But Rufus knows it was either the Jews/israelis or the rouge cops.


    14. Faux News is Saudi owned, that makes it the standard for Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

  14. "Violence, or the threat thereof, is necessary for Justice"

    from 'The Thoughtless Philosophy'

    by "Rufus Mississippius"

  15. Rufus IIWed Apr 29, 10:34:00 PM EDT

    No, you ignorant hick. This is a murder- carried out by worthless, homicidal cops. I don't give a fuck if they're purple and pink.


    Just like the Zimmerman Case, Rufus is declaring First Degree Murder when, as WiO says, right now nobody KNOWS anything.

    I want the autopsy reports.......I want to know if Freddie was on drugs......angel dust, whatever.....

    I want the GPS info......

    I want the Police testimony......

    I have learned from a retired cop from New York that self inflicted injuries are not all that uncommon as an attempt to be able to declare police brutality.

    I do think Judge Napolitano is right in that the Police may not have had sufficient probable cause to chase after Freddie in the first place. The Police may have a problem here, absent an outstanding arrest warrant or probation violation.

    Rufus is immune to being educated on anything at all.

    He is all emotion.

    No thought.

    1. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson still does not have an answer for why he would dispatch US troops to bleed out in Iraq, to defend 'clit clipping' Muslim Kurds who, as has been seen, can defend themselves with just a little help from their friends, from Iran and Europe and the United States.

      Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson has not had a rational thought on the subject, since August of 2014.

  16. Baltimore 'mother-of-the-year' goes viral after...

    You go, girl.

  17. The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf emphasizes the less publicized violence and injustice perpetrated by Baltimore law enforcement:

    [A] subset of Baltimore police officers has spent years engaged in lawbreaking every bit as flagrant as any teen jumping up and down on a squad car, however invisible it is to CNN. And their unpunished crimes have done more damage to Baltimore than Monday’s riots.

    Justice also requires that those cops be identified and charged, but few are demanding as much because their brutality mostly goes un-televised. Powerless folks are typically the only witnesses to their thuggery.

    For too long, the police have gotten away with assaults and even worse.
    The benefit of the doubt conferred by their uniforms is no longer defensible.
    Last week, I wrote about the brutality of police culture in there, drawing on the Baltimore Sun and other news sources that documented cops beating an elderly grandmother, a pregnant woman, and scores of others, prompting almost $6 million in police brutality settlements in the course of a few years.

    1. But the Baltimore Sun made the following information public knowledge last week:

      Gray is not the first person to come out of a Baltimore police wagon with serious injuries.

      Relatives of Dondi Johnson Sr., who was left a paraplegic after a 2005 police van ride, won a $7.4 million verdict against police officers.

      A year earlier, Jeffrey Alston was awarded $39 million by a jury after he became paralyzed from the neck down as the result of a van ride.

      Others have also received payouts after filing lawsuits.

      For some, such injuries have been inflicted by what is known as a "rough ride" — an "unsanctioned technique" in which police vans are driven to cause "injury or pain" to unbuckled, handcuffed detainees, former city police officer Charles J. Key testified as an expert five years ago in a lawsuit over Johnson's subsequent death.


    2. One wonders ...
      How long it will be before Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson denigrates those US Courts?

    3. In Philadelphia, the practice is commonly known as a "nickel ride," a reference to cheap amusement-park rides. The Philadelphia Inquirer published a gripping investigation into nickel rides in 2001. The story begins with one not unlike Freddie Gray's: "Gino Thompson stepped into the police van an able-bodied man. He emerged paralyzed from the waist down."

      The newspaper found 20 cases of injuries, including three spinal injuries and two instances of paralysis.
      Settlements had cost taxpayers at least $2.3 million at the time, but no Philadelphia cop had been disciplined for the practice.

      After the Inquirer investigation, the department agreed to end the practice, but a 2013 lawsuit alleged it had been quietly reintroduced.

  18. What was Freddie charged with when he was arrested ?

    I haven't heard.

    Eluding the Police ?

    According to Napolitano they had no right to be chasing Freddie in the first place absent an outstanding warrant.

  19. I see rat "War Criminal and Dead Beat Dad" ass is back.

    With the total bullshit from Rufus Mississippius and now the same from rat "I'm a Professional Asshole" ass it's time to call it day.

    I was hoping to get Quirk's input, but then remembered he has gone deep underground with The BGA as a GIA to help our Nation straighten things out.

    So -

    Cheers !!

    Serenity !!

    1. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson is a racist.
      Everything he writes has to be taken in that context.

      bobal Sun Oct 19, 04:07:00 PM EDT
      Colin Powell went to the U.N., carrying water for Bush.

      And now he is for the black that was against the whole thing.

      Colin Powell is a black piece of shit.

    2. Here you go, in bobal's own words, calling for an Eugenics Program, for black citizens of the United States.

      bobal said...
      ah, hell, after having thought it over, and considerging that my brother was a doctor, and my sis a med tech, who almost got roughed up by some niggers in Oakland, California, maybe the best thing to do is let the niggers abort, abort, abort themselves.

      They do a good job of that.

      Thu Nov 13, 01:29:00 AM EST

      ... the best thing to do is let the niggers abort, abort, abort themselves.

      They do a good job of that.

  20. For Deuce -

    April 30, 2015
    The Fake Palestinian Video that Cost Over a Thousand Israeli Lives
    By Richard Baehr

    1. And -

      April 30, 2015
      The Mullahs and the Real Iran
      By Manda Zand Ervin

  21. The ignoramus from Idaho has spoken