“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."

Friday, June 12, 2015

“Iran does not hold a candle to Israel when it comes to forcefully throwing weight around in the neighborhood in damaging and destabilizing ways"

No, Iran Isn't Destabilizing the Middle East

By Paul R. Pillar. This article was first published on National Interest.
As the nuclear negotiations with Iran enter what may be their final lap, diehard opponents of any agreement with Tehran have been leaning more heavily than ever on the theme that Iran is a nasty actor in the Middle East intent on doing all manner of nefarious things in the region. Insofar as the theme is not just an effort to generate distaste for having any dealings with the Iranian regime and purports to have a connection with the nuclear agreement, the idea is that the sanctions relief that will be part of the agreement will give Iran more resources to do still more nefarious stuff in the region.
Several considerations invalidate this notion, just on the face of it, as a reason to oppose the nuclear agreement. The chief one is that if Iran really were intent on doing awful, destructive things in its neighborhood, that would be all the more reason to ensure it does not build a nuclear weapon—which is what the agreement being negotiated is all about.
Another consideration is that if the United States were to leave in place economic sanctions that supposedly were erected for reasons related to Iran's nuclear program, and to leave them in place to deny Iran resources to do other things, the United States would be telling not only Iran but also the rest of the world that the United States is a liar. The United States would have lied when it said that it had imposed these sanctions for the purpose of inducing concessions regarding Iran's nuclear policy. The damage to U.S. credibility whenever the United States attempts in the future to use sanctions to induce policy change should be obvious.
Interestingly, calls to keep current sanctions in place to deny funding for Iranian regional activities are coming from some of the same quarters that call for putting even more of an economic squeeze on Iran to get a "better deal". This position is contradictory. If the United States were to demonstrate that it is not going to remove existing sanctions in return for Iran's concessions on its nuclear program, the Iranians would have no reason to believe that still more concessions on their part would bring the removal of still more sanctions—and thus they would not make any more concessions.
An invalid assumption underlying the argument about freeing up resources is that the Iranians' regional policy is narrowly determined by how many rials they have in their bank account. This assumption contradicts, by the way, the assertion commonly made, again by some of the same quarters, that Iranian leaders are far from being green eyeshade types who do such careful calculations and instead are irrational religious fanatics who cannot be trusted with advanced technology let alone with a nuclear weapon. In any case, with Iran just as with other states, foreign policy is a function of many calculations of what is or is not in their national interest, and not just a matter of the available financial resources.
A related unwarranted assumption is each additional rial that does become available to the Iranians they will spend on regional shenanigans that we won't like. That assumption is never supported by any analysis; it just gets tossed into discussion to be taken for granted. If analysis is instead applied to the topic, a much different conclusion is reached; that Iran is far more likely to apply freed resources to domestic needs. This is a straightforward matter of political calculations and political survival, not only for President Rouhani but for other Iranian leaders who are acutely aware of the demands and expectations of the Iranian people in this regard.
But set aside for the moment all the logical inconsistencies and other reasons to reject the notion of an Iranian regional marauder as a reason to oppose the nuclear agreement. Focus instead on the image of an Iran whose current regional policy supposedly is already an assortment of destructive activities. This image has become the kind of conventional wisdom that repeatedly gets invoked (even, in this instance, by supporters of the nuclear agreement) without any felt need by those who invoke it to provide any supporting facts or analysis because it is taken for granted that everyone “knows” it to be true. The references to the image are almost always vague and general, couched in terms of Iran supposedly “destabilizing” the Middle East or seeking to “dominate” it or exercise “hegemony” over it, or that it is “on the march” to take over the region. Often there are references to “terrorism” and “subversion” without anything more specific being offered. Often the names of conflict-ridden countries in the region are recited, but again without any specifics as to who is doing what in those countries.
To get away from such uselessly general accusations, ask: (1) what exactly is Iran doing in the Middle East that is of concern; and (2) how does what Iran is doing differ from what other states are doing in the same places? A careful comparison of this sort leads to the conclusion that Iran, contrary to the conventional wisdom, does not stand out in doing aggressive, destabilizing, or hegemonic things.
Iran is one of the largest states in the Middle East and naturally, as with any such state, competes for influence in its region. To try to keep any such state, be it Iran or any other, from competing for such influence would be futile and damaging in its own right. To label Iranian policy as seeking “hegemony” or “domination” is only that—i.e., applying a label—when others are using more forceful and destructive ways of trying to extend their own influence in the same places. Iran, unlike others, has not launched wars or invaded neighboring territory (except in counterattacking during the war with Iraq that Saddam Hussein started). Nor has Iran drawn, China-like, any nine-dash lines and asserted unsupported domination over swaths of its own region.
The assumption that just about anything Iran does in the Middle East is contrary to U.S. interests keeps getting made despite what should be the glaringly obvious counterexample of the war in Iraq. Iran and the United States are on the same side there. They both are supporting the government of Iraq in trying to push back the radical group generally known as ISIS. Why should Iran's part of this effort be called part of regional trouble-making, while the U.S. part of it is given some more benign description? Those in the United States who would rather not face that counterexample are usually quick to mutter something like, “Yes, but the Iranians are doing this for their own malign purposes of spreading their influence in Iraq.” The first thing to note in response to such muttering is that if we are worried about increased Iranian influence in Iraq, that increase is due chiefly not to anything the Iranians have done but rather to a war of choice that the United States initiated.
The next thing is to ask on behalf of what interests the Iranians would use their influence in Iraq, and how that relates to U.S. interests. The preeminent Iranian objective regarding Iraq is to avoid anything resembling the incredibly costly Iran-Iraq War, and to have a regime in Baghdad—preferably friendly to Iran, but at least not hostile to it—that would not launch such a conflict again. Iran also does not want endless instability along its long western border, and its leaders are smart enough to realize that narrowly prejudicial sectarian politics are not a prescription for stability. These lines of thinking are consistent with U.S. interests; it is not only in the current fight against ISIS that U.S. and Iranian interests converge.
Look carefully also at another conflict-ridden Middle Eastern state whose name often gets casually invoked: Yemen. Iran and the United States are not on the same side of this civil war, although the United States probably has as much explaining to do as to why it has taken the side it has—the same side as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the most capable and threatening Al-Qaeda branch operating today—as Iran does. Iran has become identified with the side of the rebellious Houthi movement, although the most prominent Yemeni leader on the same side as the Houthis is Ali Abdullah Saleh, who as the Yemeni president for more than thirty years was seen as our guy in Yemen, not the Iranians' guy.
Iran did not instigate the Houthi rebellion, nor are the Houthis accurately described as “clients” of Iran much less “proxies,” as they often inaccurately are. Instead Iran was probably a source of restraint in advising the Houthis not to capture the capital of Sanaa, although the Houthis went ahead and did it anyway. The Iranians probably are glad to see the Saudis bleed some in Yemen, and whatever aid Tehran has given to the Houthis was given with that in mind. But any such aid pales in comparison to the extent and destructiveness of the Saudis' intervention in Yemen, which has included aerial assaults that have caused many hundreds of civilian casualties.
In the same vein consider Bahrain, which is an interesting case given historical Iranian claims to Bahrain and past Iranian activity there. Despite that background and despite Bahraini government accusations, there is an absence of reliable evidence of anything in recent years that could accurately be described as Iranian subversion in Bahrain. Instead it is again the Saudis who have used forceful methods to exert their influence on a neighbor, and in this case to prop up an unpopular Sunni regime in a Shia majority country. The principal Saudi military intervention in Bahrain came a few years ago, but it was an early shot in a campaign that has taken fuller shape under King Salman to use any available means, including military force, to expand Saudi influence in the region. If there is a Persian Gulf power that has been using damaging methods to try to become a regional hegemon, it is Saudi Arabia, not Iran.
The Saudis could claim to be acting on behalf of a status quo in Bahrain and Yemen, but then what about Syria, where it is Iran that is backing the existing regime? And as perhaps the most germane question, how can any one of the outside players that have mucked into that incredibly complicated civil war be singled out as a destabilizing regional marauder while the others (some of whom, such as the United States and Israel, have conducted their own airstrikes in the country) be given the benefit of more benign labeling? Iran did not start the Syrian war. And each of the most significant sides fighting that war are dominated by what we normally would consider certifiable bad guys: the Assad regime, ISIS, and an Islamist coalition led by the local Al-Qaeda branch. It is hard to see a clear and convincing basis for parceling out benign and malign labeling here when it comes to the outside players.
Then of course there is the rest of the Levantine part of the region, including Palestine; the aid relationships that Iran has had with the H groups—Hezbollah and Hamas—are continually invoked in any litany of Iranian regional activity. Lebanese Hezbollah certainly is still an important ally of Iran, although it has long since become strong enough to outgrow any Iranian hand-holding. We should never forget that prior to 9/11 Hezbollah was the group that had more U.S. blood on its hands through terrorism than any other group. We also should understand that Hezbollah has become a major player in Lebanese politics in a way in which many in the region, including its immediate political opponents, accept it as a legitimate political actor. Right now as a military actor it is deeply involved in the effort to support the Syrian regime, and it is not looking to stir up any new wars or instability anywhere else.
Hamas has never been anything remotely resembling a proxy of Iran, although it has accepted, somewhat reluctantly, Iranian aid in the absence of other help. To Iran, Hamas represents Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation of (or blockading and subjugation of) Palestinian territory, without being an accessory to that occupation, which is how the Palestinian Authority is widely seen. Hamas is the winner of the last free Palestinian election, and it has repeatedly made clear that its ambition is to hold political power among Palestinians and that it is willing to maintain a long-term truce with Israel. Right now Hamas is trying, unfortunately with only partial success, to keep small groups from overturning the current cease-fire with rocket firings into Israel. Again, none of this is a conflict that Iran has instigated or that Iran is stirring up or escalating. Iran is not the cause of the instability that already reigns. And the broader opposition to continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory is opposition that Iran shares with many others, including the whole Arab world.
As long as we are looking at this part of the region, it is impossible to escape notice that Iran does not hold a candle to Israel when it comes to forcefully throwing weight around in the neighborhood in damaging and destabilizing ways, even without considering the occupation of the West Bank. This has included multiple armed invasions of neighboring territory as well as other actions, such as the attack on Iraq years ago that stimulated Iraq to speed up its program to develop nuclear weapons.
And before we leave the Middle East as a whole, it also is impossible to escape notice that the single most destabilizing action in the region over the past couple of decades was the U.S. launch of a war of aggression in Iraq in 2003. Iran certainly has done nothing like that.
The ritualistically repeated notion that Iran is wreaking instability all over the region is a badly mistaken myth. There are important respects in which Iranian policies and actions do offend U.S. interests, but protection of those interests is not helped by perpetuating myths.
Perpetuation of this particular myth has several deleterious effects. The most immediate and obvious one is to corrupt debate over the nuclear deal. Another is to foster broader misunderstanding about Iranian behavior and intentions that threatens to corrupt debate over other issues as well.
Yet another consequence involves a failure to understand fully that every state competes for influence. Such efforts to compete are called foreign policy. It would be in our own interests for other states to wage that competition through peaceful and legitimate means. By misrepresenting who is doing what, and through what means, in the Middle East today, the myth about Iranian behavior maintains a constituency for isolating and ostracizing Iran—which makes it less, not more, likely that Iran, so ostracized, will use peaceful and legitimate means to pursue its interests in the future.


  1. Let's face it, folks..........

    "Iran is fighting for civilization."

    What a lot of horse shit.

    Iran and state-sponsored terrorism
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Read it.

    The list goes on, and on, and on, and on and on and on............

    Hell of a way to fight for civilization.

    About all I've got to say on this old, extremely tiring, depressing and boring subject.

    Cheers !

    1. Except for this, which is quite frightening -

      June 12, 2015
      Textbooks Tell the Tale: Iran's Apocalyptic Vision
      By Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker

      Recently, Yoram Ettinger, a retired Israeli ambassador, published an article in Israel Hayom entitled “Iran’s School Textbooks -- Can Congress afford to ignore it”. The article provides evidence suggesting that Iran under the leadership of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his mullah associates and Iranian Revolution Guard Corps followers is far from moderating its antithetical stance against the United States, Israel, and the West. That suggestion is hardly news -- one only needs to look at any statement from Khamenei or any of his IRGC officers to come to the same conclusion. What is unusual is Ambassador Ettinger’s use of research carried out by the Institute of Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education to make his point.

      Citing Hebrew University Professor Eldad J. Pardo’s report, Ettinger points out that Iran’s educational system is intensively preparing the next generation for self-sacrifice in an apocalyptic jihad against the West. Ettinger astutely indicates that the school curricula of a state reflect the strategy and tactics that it wishes to pursue far more accurately than public statements made by its political and /or military leaders or their diplomats. Textbooks are the means by which the Iranian regime wishes to mobilize its youth to enlist in its ongoing war -- both culturally and militarily -- against the West.

      Ettinger writes: “Thus, school textbooks constitute a very accurate detector of the nature, mission and legitimacy/illegitimacy of regimes, and their expected use of nuclear capabilities.” When one adds another crucial point that Ettinger makes: “Apocalyptic regimes are induced -- not deterred -- by Mutual Assured Destruction”, one sees that the current P5+1 “Framework to Prevent Iran from Acquiring a Nuclear Weapon” is woefully lacking in teeth to force Iran’s compliance because the Iranians refuse to permit snap inspections at all their sites....................

      Cheers ??

      g'nite and sleep tight

    2. Wait !

      Cheers indeed !

      Two Suicide Bombers Get Into Fight, Blow Each Other Up
      June 11, 2015 by Daniel Greenfield 27 Comments

      Sadly OSHA never did get around to implementing workplace safety regs for Pakistani suicide bombers or this terrible tragedy might have been avoided. It’s still not clear who won that argument, but it’s safe to say that it’s settled for good.

      Two would-be suicide bombers have died in Pakistan after an explosive device detonated as they fought each other, it has been reported.

      The two men were killed in an explosion near Khayam Chowk in Sargodha, in the country’s Punjab province on Saturday morning.

      Eyewitnesses claim the men, who were believed to have been wearing suicide vests, were sitting on a bench engaged in discussion before their deaths.

      It is thought the two men began to fight and an improvised explosive device was triggered.

      Apparently the best and brightest suicide bombers have either blown themselves up or volunteered to blow themselves up for ISIS, so that Pakistan is stuck with third-rate suicide bombers who barely know which button to push.

      I suppose the question is whether they’re still considered martyrs. If their fight was over issues of Islamic jurisprudence, they can just declare each other infidels and the problem is solved.

      About Daniel Greenfield

      Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

  2. Update on 'education' in Pennsylvania -

    Pennsylvania school officials schooled on Islam at mosque, at taxpayer expense

    June 11, 2015 4:43 pm By Robert Spencer 49 Comments

    mosque prayerImagine if school officials really had gone to a Baptist church to learn about Christianity, at taxpayer expense, as Owens suggests in his analogy scenario. The outcry would have been intense. But no one will take much notice of this.

    “School Staff Trained On Islam, BOWS TO ALLAH At Local Mosque On Taxpayer Dime,” by Eric Owens, Daily Caller, June 10, 2015:

    Approximately 50 teachers and officials from Pennsylvania’s recently gathered at a taxpayer-funded workshop during church services at a local Baptist church to learn about the problems Christian children face in today’s secular educational environment.

    No, wait. Scratch that. That didn’t happen. That’s totally wrong.

    Instead, approximately 50 teachers and staffers in the town of Lebanon, Pa. attended a workshop at a local mosque to learn all about Islam and Arab culture, reports.

    The workshop occurred on Monday. It was, indeed, funded by taxpayers. Lebanon School District superintendent Marianne T. Bartley was among the school officials on hand.

    The man leading the workshop was Mohamed Omar, a former Arabic translator for the school district.

    Omar, who is now a case worker for Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services, graciously took time off to educate public school staffers about the monotheistic religion articulated by the Quran, a book considered by the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims to be the verbatim word of Allah.

    “We have so many students from different Hispanic countries, but slowly but, surely, the Arabic population is growing,” Omar told the Lebanon Daily News. “With Hispanics, you have the language differences and certainly cultural differences, but there are similarities in their religious practices. Of course, the Arab language and the religion are very much different, but we are learning that there are also many similarities.”

    The first stop for the workshop was Lebanon High School, where Omar took it upon himself to explain his views on the differences between high schools in the United States and high schools in Arab nations — where the illiteracy rate collectively hovers around 20 percent.

    Then, it was off to the Lebanon Valley Mosque where teachers and administrators respectfully removed their shoes and socialized with devotees of Islam clad in traditional dress.

    There was much talk of Allah.

    “We believe we will be judged by God,” Omar instructed the gathered government employees, according to the local newspaper. “The more good deeds we do, God will forgive us in the end.”

    “Faith without work will not be accepted,” Omar pontificated.

    Intrigued teachers asked questions about several topics. They wondered, for example, how Muslim students would be able to pray five times a day while in school. Omar said Muslim students could skip a prayer but they would have to make sure to pray in a few hours.

    After Omar’s question-and-answer session, the public school teachers and officials shared a delicious meal of lamb at the mosque.

    Hamid Housni, the founder of the Lebanon Valley Mosque, said he appreciated the taxpayer-funded event.

    “I think this is the first time ever in the United States that a school district goes to a mosque,” Housni told the Daily News. “Usually a representative of a mosque goes somewhere. We don’t have words to explain to you how we appreciate that. This is very, very special.”…

  3. We should have banned ALL Religion from the very start.

  4. .

    Caving to Public Pressure, EU Lawmakers Delay Key TTIP Vote

    More than 2 million Europeans back petition calling for outright rejection of corporate-friendly pact

    Public sentiment against such pacts is growing "because these deals no longer have much to do with trade. Rather they are about reshaping and limiting the ability of governments to regulate in the public interest," says advocates.

    In a move that campaigners say highlights the power of public pressure, European lawmakers this week postponed a debate and vote on a key and highly contentious resolution within the pending Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), stalling the advancement of the world's biggest so-called free trade agreement.

    On Tuesday, European Parliament President Martin Schulz decided to delay the provision vote and on Wednesday Parliament members, known as as MEPs, voted to push back debate, as well.

    According to BBC, the non-binding resolution contained recommendations on issues including "data protection, transparency and the status of public services," as well as recommendations on the highly-contentious issue of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).

    Under ISDS, international corporations are empowered to sue governments for millions of dollars in closed-door tribunals, if those corporations deem their profits are affected by new laws or changes in policy...


  5. Seattle, Washington has an $11.00 / hr. minimum wage.

    The Unemplyment Rate is 3.9%.

    Seattle - Economy at a Glance

    1. San Francisco minimum wage is $12.25 / hr.

      The Unemployment Rate is 4.0%.

    2. Santa Fe, NM minimum wage is $10.84 / hr.

      Unemployment Rate is 4.7%

    3. Don't know about Santa Fe, but the cost of living in Seattle and San Francisco is through the roof.

      The cost of living in these cities needs to be factored in to give a realistic picture of conditions there.

      Your best option for getting a roof over your head at $12/hr in these rainy two cities is to buy a used station wagon and sleep in that..................if you can find a place to park it with a public restroom near............

    4. Please keep your stupid comments off of my posts.

    5. Fuck you, General R.

      Don't make misleading comments, you old deceitful goat.

      You were painting a false picture of the real conditions in these areas that needed a little added intelligent perspective.

      You've never been to Seattle. I have, many times, and lived there for four years. I thought it pretty much a hell hole then and it's much worse now.

  6. Over the past few weeks I’ve been watching a real-time demonstration of how American voters come to be misinformed about key policy issues. Yes, it’s Obamacare again.

    Here’s how it played: some insurance companies began filing requests for large increases in the premiums for individual plans. Now, anyone who reads Charles Gaba knows that such filings need to be taken with huge helpings of salt: there were similar stories last year, and it turned out both that approved increases were much smaller than requests and that the companies asking for big raises were outliers; overall, premiums rose very little.

    Nonetheless, my inbox began filling up with right-wing attacks on the mainstream media for covering up the truth about skyrocketing Obamacare costs, and this pressure campaign had its effect: soon, scare stories about a looming disaster began popping up.

    And then more numbers began coming in, and sure enough, the whole thing is looking like a false alarm.

    So will there be big headlines about Obamacare not costing that much, after all, and how the earlier reports were misleading? Hahaha.

    And think how this affects the vast majority of voters. They . . . . . .

    Disinformation Loop

    1. .

      And think how this affects the vast majority of voters. They aren’t carefully keeping score; they’re forming impressions based on reports they hear mainly in passing.

      More bull from Krugman.

      Most thinking people wait for results to come in and then make their decisions. This is merely the same thing we see within the partisan divide. Last year, we were flooded by dozens of reports that insurance rates were down substantially from earlier projections. Somewhere, buried near the bottom each article was a statement like '...there is no clear evidence..." but the clear implication was that Obamacare was the reason for the lower rates. As I recall, one of Krugman's articles along those lines was put up here.

      Speaking of misinformation, it will likely be September/October before final rates for 2016 are known and reported on. Krugman's article is merely preemptive. Just as some few will buy into the Obamacare opponents' early arguments others will be Krugmanized by his political tripe.

      The people who count, the people affected, will make their decisions one way or the other when they receive their bills for 2016.


      Anyone objectively watching any of these issues issues

  7. Highlights
    This week's retail sales and consumer sentiment reports offer a one-two punch. Consumer sentiment is back on the climb, jumping nearly 4 points to 94.6 which is well above the Econoday consensus for 91.2. The gain is centered in the current conditions component, up 6.0 points to 106.8, which offers an early signal for June-to-May consumer strength. The expectations component shows a smaller but still healthy gain, up 2.6 points to 86.8. The gain here points to confidence in the jobs outlook.

    Gas prices have been edging higher but are not affecting inflation expectations which ticked lower, down 1 tenth to 2.7 percent for both the 1-year and 5-year outlooks.

    Consumer sentiment is back near its best readings of the recovery, posted earlier in the year, and the gain in current conditions hints at another strong month for retail sales. The FOMC has been tracking consumer confidence readings and today's report is a little bit more ammunition for the hawks at next week's meeting.

    <a href="'>Jumpin'</a>

  8. FLASHBACK: ABCNEWS '08 Prediction:

    NYC Under Water From 'Climate Change' By June 2015!.................Drudge

    Family says NAACP leader is -- white!...................Drudge

    Pretending to be black for years?...................Drudge

    There's always some humor over at Drudge..............

    1. We always need to take an approving bow over to General R on climate change.

      Trish said he was a very dear soul but had never been right on anything.

      Actually climate change is the one issue where he was ahead of the pack. He never fell for the hysteria.

    2. SSR NAACP chief on parents’ revelation that she’s white: “We’re all from the African continent”

      June 12, 2015 in City
      Spokane NAACP president Rachel Dolezal’s claims about background disputed
      Kip Hill and David Wasson The Spokesman-Review


      Tags:City of SpokaneEastern Washington UniversityHuman Rights Education Institutekootenai county task force on human relationsnaacpOffice of Police Ombudsman CommissionRachel Dolezal

      Rachel Dolezal poses for a photo with her family during her wedding reception in May 2000 in Jackson, Miss. Dolezal has since divorced Kevin Moore. Pictured, back left to right, are Rachel’s mother Ruthanne Dolezal, Moore, Rachel Dolezal, Larry Dolezal (Rachel’s father), Peggy and Herman Dolezal (Rachel’s grandparents). Front row, left to right, are Ezra, Izaiah, Esther and Zachariah, Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal’s adopted children.
      (Full-size photo)(All photos)

      An inquiry is being opened at Spokane City Hall, where Rachel Dolezal identified herself in job application materials as having several ethnic origins, including white, black and American Indian.

      Controversy is swirling around one of the Inland Northwest’s most prominent civil rights activists, with family members of Rachel Dolezal saying the local leader of the NAACP has been falsely portraying herself as black for years.

      Dolezal, 37, avoided answering questions directly about her race and ethnicity Thursday, saying, “I feel like I owe my executive committee a conversation” before engaging in a broader discussion with the community about what she described as a “multilayered” issue.

      “That question is not as easy as it seems,” she said after being contacted at Eastern Washington University, where she’s a part-time professor in the Africana Studies Program. “There’s a lot of complexities … and I don’t know that everyone would understand that.”

      Later, in an apparent reference to the origins of human life in Africa, Dolezal added: “We’re all from the African continent.”

      Dolezal is credited with re-energizing the Spokane chapter of the NAACP. She also serves as chairwoman of the city’s Office of Police Ombudsman Commission, where she identified herself as white, black and American Indian in her application for the volunteer appointment, and previously was education director for the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene.......

      Seems she's American Indian too.

      And white as well.

      A real Renaissance Woman.

      If you don't find this humorous, well, I do.

      Heh :)

    3. I'm sure you do find it humorous as it is all about race and that matters to you, a lot.

    4. I couldn't care less about race. And, the United States is one of the least racist societies on earth.

      Try China, Japan......try all the Arab countries.

      But leave Kootenai County, Idaho alone.

      This dimwit, yes I do find the whole thing humorous. Black, white, red, and, she says there are a few more races she's a member of too.

      Spokane, Cd'A that area is not racist. Try Mississippi.....

      I know my area Ash. Whole thing is a hoot.

      So shove it up your backside, puppy dog.


    5. Here, Ash, go to Hot Air for a nice photo of Rachel -

      She's nuts, is what she is.

      She's got her long blonde hair all dreaded up.

      She needs a skin transplant, but what color, red, black, yellow.....?

      " Rachel Dolezal is enduring a legal issue with her family"

      The family may be trying to have her committed. They may have endured her insanity long enough.

      NAACP: We stand behind Rachel Dolezal
      posted at 1:21 pm on June 12, 2015 by Allahpundit

      On the one hand, what else could they say? “We don’t condone white people supporting our cause”?

      On the other hand, this is going to … complicate progressive attacks on Dolezal as a privileged white poseur who could never hope to understand black authenticity.

      ”One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership,” wrote Michelle Nealy, a spokeswoman for the national chapter in Baltimore, Maryland.

      ”For 106 years, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has held a long and proud tradition of receiving support from people of all faiths, races, colors and creeds,” she wrote in a statement Friday morning. ”NAACP Spokane Washington Branch President Rachel Dolezal is enduring a legal issue with her family, and we respect her privacy in this matter.”

      Right, but the reason Dolezal’s famous this morning isn’t because she’s a white woman who led a chapter of the NAACP, it’s because she perpetrated a bizarre fraud about her racial identity. Maybe she did that for inscrutable psychological reasons, maybe she did it because she felt she might not be taken as seriously as an activist for African-American concerns if she didn’t look the part. Either way, the NAACP has nothing to say about it. In the great looming debate over whether “transracialism” is a thing, I’m tentatively adding them to the “yes” column. Or should that be the “no” column? The gist of their statement is that Dolezal is white, whatever she may imagine her own race to be.

      Speaking of which, if you’re following the Dolezal insanity on Twitter today, the place you want to be is the hashtag #wrongskin. USA Today is especially intrigued by this tweet:...........

    6. I hold the Democratic Party responsible for all the chaos in the inner cities.

      They have run those places for decades, for generations now.

      Who else is to blame ?

  9. Our Napoleon on the Potomac, General/President Obama, is said to be considering the 'lily pad' strategy in Anbar Province in Iraq.

    This involves creating a whole series of small isolated bases scattered about to no positive effect that need to be resupplied, defended, etc.

    These 'lily pad bases' will provide excellent targets for ISIS pickup trucks with missiles with a 7-10 mile range.

    Only General R among the nation's Generals is expected to give a nod of approval to this idea.

    We desperately need a new 'Commander in Chief'.

    Work calls.....

    Cheers !!

  10. .

    BREAKING: House Democrats delivered a stinging defeat to President Obama’s trade agenda when a vast majority voted to derail legislation designed to help him advance a sweeping deal with 11 Pacific-rim nations.

    The House voted 302 to 126 to sink a measure to grant financial aid to displaced workers, fracturing hopes at the White House that the package would smooth the path for Congress to approve a separate bill to grant Obama fast-track authority to complete an accord with 11 other Pacific Rim nations.

    “I will be voting to slow down fast-track,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on the floor moments before the vote, after keeping her intentions private for months. “Today we have an opportunity to slow down. Whatever the deal is with other countries, we want a better deal for American workers.”

    The dramatic defeat could sink the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a sweeping free trade and regulatory pact that Obama has called central to his economic agenda at home and his foreign policy strategy in Asia. Obama’s loss came after a months-long lobbying blitz in which the president invested significant personal credibility and political capital...

    I understand how the TAA and TPP were related in the deal reached earlier by Boehnerr and Pelosi but I don't understand the political that indicates this vote has killed Obama's 'fast-track' hopes. However, the various news stations seem to think that the 'fast-track' legislation is dead. At least for now.

    If so, it made my day.


    1. .

      s/b '...I don't understand the political dynamics in the House that...'

    2. .

      This is not only a defeat for Obama, it is also a defeat for the GOP and their leadership. Last Friday, a representative from Arizona, David Schweikert, compared fast-track opponents to Nazi propagandists, saying “Goebbels would be proud of them”.

      An example of the quality of our elected representatives.



    3. Whole thing sucked.

      We were just talking about it here.

      Now if the Supreme Court would just do its job on the ObamaCare subsidies issue, we'd be getting somewhere.

      If they uphold it they are guilty of out and out legislating from the Bench.

      Nan Pelosi should have read the bill before passing it, perhaps, instead of passing it to find out what's in it.

      I think our country is basically pretty much nuts, these days.

      Look at the article this thread began with, for instance.

      It boggles the mind.

    4. The Democrats Have the Worst Presidential Candidates in America
      June 10, 2015 by Daniel Greenfield


      Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

      It’s fashionable for the media to mock the “clown car” of the Republican presidential primary field. And it’s true that the Republican Party is burdened with a surplus of overqualified candidates with name recognition; successful governors, smart young senators and even a celebrated surgeon and CEO.

      Meanwhile the Democratic Party’s “inevitable” candidate is inevitably generating financial scandals faster than her husband generated his inevitable sex scandals.

      Competing against her is Senator Bernie Sanders who is currently discussing 90 percent tax rates and why he believes women want to be raped. His winning campaign slogan is “You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants when children are hungry in this country.”

      You also don’t need a choice of 23 highly qualified conservative free market candidates when you can choose between Hillary Clinton and a senile Socialist from Vermont visiting late night talk shows to discuss his rape fantasies. Either Hillary Clinton will take all your money or Bernie Sanders will take all your money and then take away your underarm spray deodorants for the sake of all the hungry children.

      And you’re lucky if that’s all he does.

      The Republican primary field may be laissez faire overcrowded, but the Democratic primary field celebrates a centrally planned economy in which there is only one mandated winner; Hillary.

      The Democratic Party is like shopping at a Soviet supermarket. There isn’t anything to buy and what little there is, is so terrible that you would rather go hungry than take it home.

      If a creepy old Socialist and the Clinton Crime Family don’t suit you, what about a former mayor of Baltimore? Martin O’Malley is polling badly in his own state and his biggest career accomplishment was cleaning up Baltimore. Since Baltimore is now run by roving street gangs killing each other on alternate blocks, that’s not the best possible resume for a presidential candidate.

      Unfortunately the only other thing that O’Malley is famous for is taxing the rain as governor.

      He can either run as the former mayor of the city that the country is watching tear itself apart on television or he can run as the tax-happy politician who will tax even more things than Bernie Sanders. Voters can choose between a wealthy Socialist whose net worth is ten times that of the ordinary American, but thinks ordinary people are too rich because they can afford underarm deodorant.

      Or they can cast their vote for a man who will tax water falling from the sky.

      If you don’t like those choices, Lincoln Chafee, who has been a Republican, an Independent and now a Democrat, has entered the race with a vow to switch the country over to the metric system.

      Chafee, inspired by his time in Canada, called for “a bold embrace of internationalism” by going metric.

      He also promised that the chaos, waste, expense and accidents involved in switching the country to a new measurement system would “help our economy”.

      He also implied that it would atone for the Iraq War...........