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

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Israeli Manufactured Lie to Get the US into War With Iran

Myth Surrounding Alleged Iranian Nuclear Facility Begins to Unravel 

Posted on Sep 24, 2015
By Gareth Porter, Middle East Eye
Ronald Zak / AP
This piece first appeared at Middle East Eye.

For well over three years, heavy doses of propaganda have created a myth about a purported steel cylinder for testing explosives located on a site at Iran’s Parchin military testing reservation. Iran was refusing to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the site while it sought to hide its past nuclear weapons-related work, according to that storyline.

Now Iran has agreed to allow the IAEA to visit the site at Parchin and environmental samples have already been collected at the site. However, the politically charged tale of the bomb test chamber of Parchin is beginning to unravel. IAEA director general Yukiya Amano entered the building in which the explosives chamber had supposedly been located on Monday and announced afterward that he found “no equipment” in the building.

That is surely a major story, in light of how much has been made of the alleged presence of the chamber at that location. But you may have missed that news, unless you happened to read the story by Jonathan Tirone of Bloomberg Business News, who was the only journalist for a significant news outlet who chose to lead with the story in his coverage of Amano’s Monday visit.

The rest of the news media buried that fact far down in their stories, focusing almost entirely on the fact that the Iranians have been allowed to physically gather environmental samples at the site under the gaze of IAEA technicians rather than IAEA inspectors carrying out that function.

The main storyline associated with the purported bomb cylinder since early 2012 has been that Iran has been removing evidence from the site for years in anticipation of an eventual IAEA inspection in order to hide the evidence of past experiments using the purported chamber. But the full story of that mysterious chamber makes it clear that it was highly dubious from the start.

The first description of an explosive chamber at Parchin appeared in an IAEA report published in early November 2011. But less than two weeks after the story of the cylinder was reported in the media, Associated Press reporter George Jahn published a report that an official of an unidentified state had “cited intelligence from his home country, saying it appears that Iran is trying to cover its tracks by sanitising the site and removing any evidence of nuclear research and development”.

The official provided an “intelligence summary” from which Jahn quoted: “Freight trucks, special haulage vehicles and cranes were seen entering and leaving” the site on 4-5 November 2011, it said, and “some equipment and dangerous materials were removed from the site”.

Disputed Intelligence

 The purpose of that language was clearly to suggest that Iran had actually removed the cylinder and the nuclear materials that it had been testing. If true, it would have been very incriminating evidence of Iran’s nuclear deception. But there was a problem with that claim. Officials of two other IAEA member states that were obviously following the aerial photography of the Parchin site closely denied that the story being peddled to Jahn by the unnamed state was true.

It was true that there was more activity than normal at the site on those days, they told Jahn, but nothing resembling the activities claimed by the unidentified state’s “intelligence summary”. One of those two countries denying the story was clearly the United States. Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby told Jahn he had “seen nothing to indicate that those concerns are warranted”.

The episode of the AP story begs the obvious question: Why was the state that could not be named so intent on planting a false story of Iranian removal of the purported cylinder? The obvious purpose of such a story would be to prepare government and public opinion for a possible IAEA visit to the site in the future, and the subsequent discovery that there was nothing incriminating at the site. 
That, in turn, indicates that the state in question was the same one that had provided the original story of the explosive cylinder to the IAEA and that it already knew that no cylinder would be found there because the original story had been a fabrication.

Israeli-Supplied Documents

The IAEA member state that had provided the information about a purported bomb cylinder was never identified by the IAEA. But IAEA director-general Mohamed El Baradei asserts in his memoirs that in the summer of 2009 Israel turned over to the IAEA a number of intelligence documents purporting to show that Iran had carried out nuclear weapons work “until at least 2007,” most of which consisted of purported Iranian official documents whose authenticity had been questioned by some of the agency’s technical experts.

El Baradei refused to bow to diplomatic pressures from Israel’s allies, coordinated by the head of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, to publish a compendium of those documents, including the claim in an intelligence report of the Parchin explosives cylinder. The Israelis and the Obama administration had to wait until Amano succeeded him and agreed to do exactly that. 

The episode of the AP story isn’t the only evidence that the unidentified state had concocted an intelligence document on Parchin that was a complete falsehood. In August 2012, an IAEA report stated that the agency had acquired the satellite imagery available on the Parchin site for the entire period from February 2005 to January 2012. The report revealed that the imagery showed “virtually no activity at or near the building housing the containment vessel” during that entire period.imagery clearly suggested that Iran had not been using the site for any sensitive activities, much less the activities suggested by the IAEA in its report, during the seven years, nor had they engaged in any cleanup of the site.
And an earlier episode sheds further light on the issue. In 2004, John Bolton, then the administration’s Iran policymaker, leaked satellite imagery of sites at Parchin that had features someone believed might be high explosives testing facilities. After a few months of bullying by Bolton, the IAEA asked to visit Parchin. Iran not only agreed to an inspection in February 2005 but allowed the IAEA to choose any five sites in any one of the four Parchin quadrants – after the inspection team’s arrival - and take environmental samples anywhere at the sites. And in November 2005, after El Baradei requested a second inspection, Iran again gave the IAEA the choice of five more sites at which to take samples.

The significance of those two 2005 IAEA inspections is not merely that the environmental samples all came back negative. More important, Iran would never have allowed the IAEA to choose to take environmental samples anywhere it chose at Parchin if it had carried out nuclear-weapons related experiments as claimed later by the unidentified state.

Beginning in spring 2012 and continuing right up to the Vienna round of Iran nuclear negotiations last summer, the IAEA, Western diplomats and David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security generated many dozens of stories about Iran’s “stonewalling” the IAEA on Parchin while it sought to remove evidence of its purported nuclear-related testing at the site. Those stories invariably used the term “sanitising” – the same word the Israeli official used in passing on the false story to AP. 

Those stories were just as dishonest as the original Israeli story because the IAEA and Western diplomats assigned to it know very well that there is no way to remove all traces of nuclear material from a site. In 2013, Stephan Vogt, the head of the IAEA’s environmental sample laboratory, declared in an interview: “You cannot get rid of them by cleaning, you cannot dilute them to the extent that we will not be able to pick them up.” Strangely, however, even after that interview was published, the Parchin stories continued as if Vogt had not revealed the impossibility of “sanitising” a site that had held nuclear material.

We are now only a few weeks away from the release of the environmental sampling results at Parchin. It will be amusing to this writer to see how the governments and news media who pushed the Parchin myth manage that story.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism. He is the author of the newly published Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.


  1. This is the story of the United States, the atom and Iran.

    It's the story of a historic nuclear agreement — a story we may be tempted to think we know. After all, Congress just finished a chaotic debate that ended when lawmakers failed to block the deal. There was no solemn national moment of decision — no up-or-down vote, as with a treaty or a war.

    But this was just the latest twist in a long and complex tale that dates back more than a half-century.

    "The Iranian nuclear program has deep roots. In fact, it is four years older than President Obama," says Ali Vaez, the International Crisis Group's senior analyst for Iran. Vaez grew up in Iran, which means the nuclear program is a personal story for him.

    "It started in 1957," he says, "and ironically, it is a creation of the United States. The U.S. provided Iran with its first research reactor — a nuclear reactor, a 5-megawatt nuclear reactor that is still functioning and still operational in Tehran.”



  3. We are now only a few weeks away from the release of the environmental sampling results at Parchin.

    Since it was only the Iranians themselves that took the samples, perhaps far away from Parchin, I think we all ought to be able to guess what the results will be.

    Just more Deucean agitprop.


    The Economic Fallacies of Progressive Christianity

    by David French September 24, 2015 3:38 PM @DavidAFrench

    When it comes to considering the arguments of newly resurgent Christian progressives, we hold these truths to be self-evident: Jesus was not a socialist, the Bible is not an economics textbook, and while scripture commands believers to help the poor, it also commands the poor to help themselves. As Pope Francis gains rock-star status on the economic left, Christians would do well to remember not just scripture, but the economic reality of recent world experience. This morning, the pope addressed Congress with relative restraint. Rather than decrying the perceived excesses of global capitalism — calling it, as he once did, the “dung of the devil” or the “new colonialism” — he used more measured language. He urged American politicians to exert their primacy over “the economy and finance,” creating a community that shares its goods: If politics must truly be at the service of the human person, it follows that it cannot be a slave to the economy and finance. Politics is, instead, an expression of our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good: that of a community which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace, its goods, its interests, its social life. While the words may be less fiery than those Francis has used in the past, their meaning is still clear: Politicians exist in part to mandate public economic sacrifice in the name of a nebulous “common good.” Yet one must take great care when making religious claims about political management of the economy, never forgetting that ideology can’t trump human nature and outcomes matter more than intentions. I can agree wholeheartedly with the Pope’s calls for an ethical capitalism in which great wealth carries with it great responsibility. I remain wary of the rhetoric of redistribution. One can scour the entire Bible without finding any example of progressive taxation or any endorsement of large-scale government redistribution of wealth. One can scour the entire Bible without finding any example of progressive taxation or any endorsement of large-scale government redistribution of wealth. Instead, the default position is that the individual owns his property and the worker deserves his wages. While charity is an unquestioned obligation, scripture also places responsibilities on the poor that would make any good progressive blanch...................

    Read more at:

  4. It's becoming really hard to assert that we here in USA are living in a sane country any longer....

    New plan: we’ll pay to import formerly deported illegals with mental illnesses
    posted at 7:01 pm on September 26, 2015 by Jazz Shaw

    They told me if I voted for Mitt Romney the immigration problem would become worse. I had no idea how right they would prove to be.

    To set up your Saturday evening on a high note, some terrific news out of the southwest. We’ve clearly been in need of some creative solutions for what to do about illegal immigrants and we’re also very worried about problems arising from the mentally ill and our seeming inability to protect everyone, including the protecting the mentally ill from themselves. Now, at last, someone has come up with a project which is designed to tackle both of these issues at once. We’ll collect up some of the illegals that we already deported but who are mentally ill to boot and we’ll ship them back to the United States. (Fox News)

    Hundreds of immigrants with mental disabilities who were deported from the U.S. after representing themselves in court may be allowed to return to the country under a settlement approved by a judge Friday.

    Federal Judge Dolly M. Gee’s ruling will let immigrants with serious mental disabilities request to have their cases reopened in hopes of returning to the U.S. The ruling covers immigrants deported from California, Arizona and Washington between Nov. 21, 2011 and Jan. 27 this year.

    “This is really a historic settlement,” said Carmen Iguina, staff attorney for the ACLU of Southern California, one of the groups that filed the 2010 lawsuit that led to the settlement.

    My, my… that certainly is an historic settlement. In fact, nothing like this may have been attempted in the entire history of the world. When you’ve finished banging your head against your desk from just reading the lede, move on forward to the portion of the story buried at the bottom which truly represents the cherry on top of the dish. (Emphasis added)

    Under the agreement, the federal government said it will help those with reopened cases return to the U.S. and pay for some transportation costs.

    Clearly an obvious and excellent use of your tax dollars. If you don’t pay to have your mentally ill illegal immigrants imported, where else are you going to get them? I mean, it’s not like they’re just going to wander over the border themselves now, are they?

    Look… I understand that they are coming back for a new trial with a competent lawyer. But we’re not talking about CSI level murder cases here where we’ll need the mobile DNA labs and ballistics models. It’s a case of asking whether or not the person is a citizen or a legal immigrant with permission to be here. You either are or you aren’t and by this time I would hope that we’ve gotten fairly good at identifying folks along those lines on the rare occasions when we do bother to find them and drag them into a courtroom. Odds are that most of the deported were sent home because they had no legal standing to be here. If they are mentally ill then it’s the responsibility of their home country to care for them.

    But instead we’ll pay to import what could wind up being more than a thousand of them. And I’m just sure that none of them will disappear back into the general population after their first hearing, right? This is just a spectacular plan. Well done, Judge Gee.

    1. “This is really a historic settlement,” said Carmen Iguina, staff attorney for the ACLU of Southern California

      Carmen is surely right about that much.

    2. I was, briefly, long ago, enrolled in the ACLU.

      Then I grew up.

  5. Deuce is now an official propagandist for the Iranians.

    Israel and the Jews will be blamed for every war & economic down turn.

    A page DIRECTLY from Joseph Goebbels.

    1. Iran it's its nuclear program has been a history of deception.

      Site after site has been exposed.

      Iran has proven it's agenda in it's actions against the west.

      Now it's involved in the mass genocide of hundreds of thousands of sunnis. From Iraq to Syria (and other points) Iran has openly stated it's goal.

      The 550,000 dead sunnis in iraq, the 350,000 dead in syria all directly tied to Iran.

      Hezbollah and Hamas are funded and supplied with advanced rockets and more.

      And deuce wants us to believe that the Iranians are just Mary Poppins...

    2. Mary Poppins would be shocked to hear she is Iranian....."Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"

    3. Mary would never buy into the idea of having the Iranians provide their own soil samples....

    4. .

      Iran it's its nuclear program has been a history of deception.


      Coming from a supporter of Israel and their military program? You just gotta laugh.


    5. .

      The 550,000 dead sunnis in iraq, the 350,000 dead in syria all directly tied to Iran.

      I'm assuming when you are talking about 550,000 you are talking about the Iran-Iraq war in the '80s. I don't know where you got your casualty numbers but I can't find anywhere near that number except at one site, the Correlates of War Project a major scholarly dataset, that estimates 500,000 Iraqi dead and 750,000 Iranian dead. Most sources put the dead at half that. The same for the Syrian dead. Most numbers I've seen quoted are around 250,000 and that includes those killed by both sides. But hey, what's a 100,000 here or there. Especially when you could give a shit how many die.

      When talking of the Iran-Iraq war, I'm amazed you bring it up as a strike against Iran. Iraq attacked Iran. Iraq used chemical and biological weapons against Iran. The US provided Iraq with the technology for building those WMD's. The US also supplied Iraq with other logistics and weapons. Of course, when Iran was hurting (and the US needed money to finance their other black ops) they also sold some weapons to Iran. Heck, the US defined the term warmonger in the Iran-Iraq war.


    6. No Quirk, I am not.

      I am referring to the numbers of killed since we left by shitte militias with Iranian help

    7. .

      The Iran–Iraq War began when Iraq invaded Iran via air and land on 22 September 1980 It followed a long history of border disputes, and was motivated by fears that the Iranian Revolution in 1979 would inspire insurgency among Iraq's long-suppressed Shia majority, as well as Iraq's desire to replace Iran as the dominant Persian Gulf state. Although Iraq hoped to take advantage of Iran's revolutionary chaos and attacked without formal warning, it made only limited progress into Iran and was quickly repelled; Iran regained virtually all lost territory by June 1982. For the next six years, Iran was on the offensive.[41] A number of proxy forces participated in the war, most notably the Iranian Mujahedin-e-Khalq siding with Ba'athist Iraq and Iraqi Kurdish militias of Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan siding with Iran—all suffering a major blow by the end of the conflict.

      Despite calls for a ceasefire by the United Nations Security Council, hostilities continued until 20 August 1988. The war finally ended with Resolution 598, a U.N.-brokered ceasefire which was accepted by both sides. At the war's conclusion, it took several weeks for Iranian armed forces to evacuate Iraqi territory to honour pre-war international borders set by the 1975 Algiers Agreement.[42] The last prisoners of war were exchanged in 2003.[41][43]

      The war cost both sides in lives and economic damage: half a million Iraqi and Iranian soldiers, with an equivalent number of civilians, are believed to have died, with many more injured; however, the war brought neither reparations nor changes in borders. The conflict has been compared to World War I[44]:171 in terms of the tactics used, including large-scale trench warfare with barbed wire stretched across trenches, manned machine-gun posts, bayonet charges, human wave attacks across a no-man's land, and extensive use of chemical weapons such as mustard gas by the Iraqi government against Iranian troops, civilians, and Iraqi Kurds. The United States, alongside regional and international powers, supported Iraq with loans, military equipment and satellite imagery during Iraqi attacks against Iranian targets.[45][46] At the time of the conflict, the U.N. Security Council issued statements that "chemical weapons had been used in the war." U.N. statements never clarified that only Iraq was using chemical weapons, and according to retrospective authors "the international community remained silent as Iraq used weapons of mass destruction against Iranian[s] as well as Iraqi Kurds."[47][48][49] The UN Security Council did not identify Iraq as the aggressor of the war until 11 December 1991, some 12 years after Iraq invaded Iran and 16 months following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.[50][51]

      Geez, I wonder why the Security Council never name Iraq as the aggressor or the only one using WMDs?

      Richard Murphy, Assistant Secretary of State during the war, testified to Congress in 1984 that the Reagan administration believed a victory for either Iran or Iraq was "neither militarily feasible nor strategically desirable."[55]:178

      Support to Iraq was given via technological aid, intelligence, the sale of chemical and biological warfare technology and military equipment, and satellite intelligence...The Americans and the British also either blocked or watered down UN resolutions that condemned Iraq for using chemical weapons against the Iranians and their own Kurdish citizens...

      Oh, well that explains it.


    8. Maybe you should research shiite militias, sadr and Iran.

    9. The rise of ISIS/ISIL is by ex-baathists in Iraq in reaction to Iran and her proxies and their genocide of the sunnis.

    10. .

      I am referring to the numbers of killed since we left by shitte militias with Iranian help

      Please, do you have a source? A link? It sounds like more bullshit to me. 550,000 is one of the higher estimates for total dead in Iraq as a result f Bush's war. Now you are saying that many Sunnis have bee killed there since 2011.

      It's estimated that 250,000 have been killed in Syria since 2011. There have been twice that many killed in Iraq in the same time? Why haven't people been screaming about the dead in Iraq rather than Syria? Hell, since 2011, you are saying more Sunnis have been killed in Iraq by Iran that in the entire Iran-Iraq war?

      A link would be helpful.


    11. Let me make it simple.

      Since the Bush band of Neocons attacked Iraq, who provided the weapons that are arming the ME slaughter house?

      Second question:

      Which entity or tribe killed more people, wounded more people, disrupted more governments, destroyed more buildings and sent more refugees fleeing for their lives.

      Let me help

      It was the US.

      Source. General Wesley Clark

    12. Clark predicted it. I posted it at least six times. The Israeli firsters have never taken that uncomfortable piece of video to task because they can’t.

    13. .

      Maybe you should research shiite militias, sadr and Iran.

      Maybe you should.

      Here's a source for you.

      After 2011, al Sadr went into politics briefly and then pretty much retired until 2014 when he once again reconstituted the Mahdi Army to fight ISIS. He may have killed a few ISIS fighters (Sunni ISIS fighters) but I don't think anyone is complaining. He also opposed al-Malicki.

      George Bush approved of the election of al Malicki, but al Malicki wasn't really 'easily moved' as Bush expected and instead went his own way. He was corrupt and discriminated against the Sunnis. He may have even killed some Sunnis, but 1/2 a million? Come on.

      The rise of ISIS/ISIL is by ex-baathists in Iraq in reaction to Iran and her proxies and their genocide of the sunnis.

      Where the hell were you during Iraq War II? Bush kicked the Iraq army to the curb and all the Baathist officers with them. Many of the 400,000 from the army moved to Syriaq. These were the same Baathists that launched the surprise attack against Iran in the 80's. They may have been pissed at Iran for handing them their ass back then but that's not the reason they joined ISIS and it certainly wasn't because of some non-existent 'genocide' against Sunnis. It was because they needed a job. It was because they wanted the prestige of being in the upper echelon in the IS army. It was because of the money and the pussy.

      You gotta get your head screwed on straight, WiO. You're losing it.


    14. What do you say WiO - do you have any support for your assertions?

    15. Sure. But since my assertions are dismissed?

      Enjoy the death and refugees they create.

      May your world be filled with them, you own them.

    16. According to you and Quirk, Iraq is a paradise.

      You ignore the deaths.

      Iran is an angel.


      You deserve anything that happens to you.

    17. .

      According to you and Quirk, Iraq is a paradise...

      Iran is an angel...

      What is your problem with the English language? You offer up words with nothing behind them. Here, I think I can speak for Ash also.

      You have a zero sum mind. You lack any semblance of nuance. You are like GWB, "You are either with us or against us."

      'If you disagree with US policy, you hate the US.'

      'If you disagree with Israeli policy or the direction it is moving, you hate Israel (and, oh by the way, you also hate Jews and are anti-Semitic).

      'If you favor the Iran nuclear agreement, you think "Iran is an angel".

      You talk like a petulant child.

      When have I ever said Iraq is a paradise?

      Though I favor the nuclear agreement because it improves the potential breakout time for Iran from months to years, when have I ever said Iran is an angel?

      How many times have I said here that I opposed the Iraq war before we invaded?

      How many times have I said we should not be involved or fully committed to ANY country in the ME.

      How many have I said the ME is a shithole that the US should avoid at all costs.

      What don't you understand about plain English?

      You offer up words with no substance.


  6. The Kakais fight to survive. Iraqi academic and journalist Saad Salloum examines the plight of Iraq's Kakai minority:

    "Like the Christian and Yazidi minorities before them, the Kakais are forming an armed force to protect themselves. Also called ‘Yarsan' or ‘Ahel al-Haqq,' the Kakais were displaced from the Nineveh Plain area when [ISIS] invaded Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, in the summer of 2014. The Kakai creed dates back to the 14th century in western Iran and contains elements of Zoroastrianism and Shiism. They have been persecuted for their unusual beliefs, driving them to keep a low profile and giving them a reputation for being secretive.

    The Kakais, much like other religious minorities from the Nineveh region, have struggled to establish themselves militarily among Kurdish peshmerga forces.

    Strange mix, Zoroastrianism and Shiism.

    If I were in their shoes I'd try to keep a low profile too.

  7. Georgia Southern 3
    Idaho 0

    But Idaho, after a slow start is playing better than hoped....

    1. Holy Shit......wonderful drive.....Idaho inside the 5.....1st and goal.....time out Vandies....2nd and 2.....3rd and 2......inside the 1 yard line.....4th and 1/2 yard....go for it...

      Field goal

      Idaho 3
      GS 3

    2. Our receiver Hightower is a Nez Perce (I think)....there's a Hightower that is a tribal elder....

    3. Well shit, it's tough being a Vandal......1st play after the kickoff they run it for 83 yards for a touchdown.....

      GS 10
      Idaho 3

      It's like water torture, I tell ya....

    4. GS got a field goal and

      Idaho just scored a 60 yard pass play touchdown !

      GS 13
      Idaho 10

      Except for the one breakdown on that big 83 yard run, Idaho has been playing some decent defense....

      This game ain't over yet.....

      Go Vandals !

    5. Idaho defense stopped them in the red zone again, third time.....

      GS 16
      Idaho 10

    6. Field goal

      GS 16
      Idaho 13

      1:27 left in 1st half

    7. Half time

      GS 16
      Idaho 13

      I want to express my gratitude to all those far flung Vandals Fans around the world who have expressed their 'thanks' to me for bringing them these running scores. We are a small but tightly knit community, we Boosters, truly one of a kind.

      On Islam, Ben Carson Is Right and Charles Krauthammer Is Wrong

      Andrew C. McCarthy September 26, 2015 4:00 AM

      The unique demands of the nation’s highest office conflict with orthodox Islamic teaching. Does Charles Krauthammer get Islam wrong because he gets the Constitution wrong? Or does he get the Constitution wrong because he gets Islam wrong? This conundrum comes to the fore — and not for the first time — after Dr. Krauthammer’s serial denunciations of Dr. Ben Carson. In a Sunday Meet the Press interview, Carson opined that Islam is inconsistent with the United States Constitution and, therefore, that he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation” — meaning he would not recommend that voters elect a Muslim president. Dr. K decries Dr. C’s remarks as “morally outrageous,” albeit “sincerely felt.” With Democrats in distress, the columnist fears Republicans are undermining their golden 2016 opportunity: “It is certainly damaging to any party when one of its two front-runners denigrates, however thoughtlessly, the nation’s entire Muslim American community.” But what loseth a man if he denigrates a tiny community — a large percentage of whose members are Islamists reliably aligned with Democrats — but gains the esteem of a vast political base convinced that Washington is insane on matters Muslim?...............

      Read more at:


    8. The Rhythms of Jewish Living: A Sephardic Exploration of Judaism's Spirituality
      The Rhythms of Jewish Living: A Sephardic Exploration of Judaism's Spirituality
      by Marc D. Angel
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      With his engaging overview of the sacred times, places and ideas of Judaism, Rabbi Marc Angel gently reclaims the natural, balanced and insightful teachings of Sephardic Judaism that can and should imbue modern Jewish spirituality, drawing on classic sources from the Golden Age of Spanish Jewry and the great mystics of Safed.See more details below

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      With his engaging overview of the sacred times, places and ideas of Judaism, Rabbi Marc Angel gently reclaims the natural, balanced and insightful teachings of Sephardic Judaism that can and should imbue modern Jewish spirituality, drawing on classic sources from the Golden Age of Spanish Jewry and the great mystics.

      "Holds a wide-angle lens on Judaism, revealing a natural balance and integration of religion with the whole of life."
      —Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz, author, Increasing Wholeness: Jewish Wisdom & Guided Meditations to Strengthen & Calm Body, Heart, Mind & Spirit

      “Immensely engaging.... Will deepen your understanding and appreciation for the Jewish religion in its most authentic form as a lifestyle in tune with the forces of nature and holiness.... Should be on the bedside table of every person curious about the meaning and practice of the Jewish religion.”
      —Naomi Ragen, author, The Sisters Weiss, The Tenth Song and other best-selling novels

      “A powerful and important read for all Jews: Sephardi and Ashkenazi, no matter how religious or observant you are.... A beautiful tapestry to guide you to be a better Jew and a better human being.”
      —Rabbi Asher Lopatin, president, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

    9. Well shit Georgia Southern runs for 66 yard touchdown on first series after the 3rd quarter kick off.

      GS 23
      Idaho 13


    10. Ooo ooooo OOoooooo

      Sometimes I think I can't go on, can't write.....

      GS 37
      Idaho 20

      OHOHohohoooooooo....howl howl howl

      Only about 4 more minutes of agony.....

    11. Idaho throws an interception.....

      Howl howl

      Never have so few boosted so fervently for such a futility......

      but wait.....Vandies have recovered a fumble.....

      But with only a couple minutes to howl howl howl

      TEN YEARS it's been since we've won two games in a row.....

    12. Vandies down to the 49......fighting to the very end.....

    13. 3rd and two....short......4th and 1/2......short, lost a yard.....

      Turn over on downs......

      Howl howl

      It's hard to claim even a moral victory......GS will run out the clock....

    14. 1st down GS....

      Run down to the 17.....there must be more time left than I thought.....even our announcers are lousy....

    15. Touch down GS.....

      GS 44
      Idaho 20

      Little over 5 minutes left.....I napped out a bit and misheard....

      We're screwed again, regardless...

    16. Intercepted by GS......

      4:10 to go

      Lord, bring an end to this misery....

    17. It's possible we may have, year after year, the worst college football program in the entire country.

    18. Final

      GS 44
      Idaho 20

      It's tough being a Vandal, but the season is still young, hope springs eternal for fools and

      GO VANDALS !!!!

  8. The Salt Lake Tribune throws us a nerf ball

    Washington • The gulf between tea party conservatives and establishment Republicans has grown so wide that it just swallowed up the speaker of the House and may threaten the entire Republican Party and Congress itself.

    The question now is whether anyone can tame the House’s rabble-rousing faction after Speaker John Boehner’s decision to resign rather than face a possible vote to depose him. The stakes are sky-high, given the critical deadlines looming to keep the government running and raise the nation’s borrowing limit.

    The GOP Likuds Force has Bibi Netanyahu of course, To a man they look daily for the star over the Middle East for inspiration and leadership. They have their holy days with their annual hajj to Israel for refreshment. There are the monthly visits from the rabbis over at AIPAC and annual loyalty sessions. There is no need for redundancy with an actual US Congressman filling the role for leadership. Silly reporters.


    September 11, 2001, had the unintended consequence of serving the breathtaking expansionist plans of the neoconservatives who dominated the Bush administration. Only a plausible enemy was lacking to make their execution possible. From the storehouse of the Western historical imagination, age-old images of a hostile Islam were retrieved. Islamic terrorists conjured up in a believable form for a frightened America the “threat to civilization” that every empire requires to justify its own violent acts of domination.

    The Islamist Imaginary in the service of the neoconservative version of empire was born. The administration used all the resources of media control at its disposal to make sure that no links were made between the 9/11 crime and unjust U.S. Middle Eastern policies and the bloody instrumentalities the United States forged to enforce them. Plans for the United States to topple the Taliban and occupy Iraq, and for the Israelis to “resolve” the Palestinian issue by force, were all in place before 9/11. The most expansive version of the neoconservative agenda to advance U.S. and Israeli interests found forthright expression in a position paper written for the newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud party in 1996. It is entitled “Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” and was published by the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies. The document calls for a “clean break from the peace process,” the annexation of the West Bank and Gaza, and the elimination of Saddam’s regime in Iraq, as prelude to regime changes in Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. The authors all became influential players in the second Bush administration.

    President Bush’s elaboration of a more comprehensive strategy of global hegemony came in the fall of 2002 in a document called “National Security Strategy of the United States.” The United States would never again allow a hostile power to approach parity with U.S. military capabilities. The United States would take the offensive to ensure its continued “full spectrum” dominance. Endlessly repeated images of 9/11 provided the backdrop for a doctrine of “preventive” wars that would give a defensive coloration to what were, in reality, projections of American imperial power. The president rallied a cowed Congress to a strategy of endless wars to ensure global hegemony under the cover of a worldwide War on Terrorism whose features, while murky, were still recognizably Islamic.

    An innocent and wounded America recast its public role in the Middle East as the champion of democracy and the bulwark against the Islamic wellsprings of irrationalism that ostensibly fed global terrorism. The stage was set for the full-blown evocation of the Islamist Imaginary. There was already an established American practice of manipulating Islam, including the most backward-looking and violent versions, for imperial ends. This time, however, strategic planners for the Bush administration departed from the established pattern with a breathtaking innovation.

    1. No reason for US leadership in the US Congress? Why bother?


    The Islamist Imaginary: America’s Preferred Islam

    The preferred Islam of the Bush administration comes into view most clearly and authoritatively in a Rand Corporation study. For that reason, rather than any scholarly value, Cheryl Benard’s work merits very close attention. I know of no other source as revealing about the way Islam was understood by the circle of neoconservative intellectuals to which Benard belonged in these critical years of assertions of American imperial power. The book carries the engaging title Civil, Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources, and Strategies. It was prepared with the imprimatur of Rand’s National Security Research Division in 2003. Benard’s assessment of the Islamic world quiets the apprehensions that resistance in the name of Islam raised for America’s neoconservative strategic planners.

    The worries of the Bush team were not entirely misplaced. There was an Islamic threat, not to America per se but rather to American empire. There still is. To be sure, American propaganda exaggerates both the power and moral depravity of the Islamic enemy. The idea that hostility toward America in the Islamic world springs from frustration with the obvious and inherent failings of the Islamic world and envy at the equally obvious success and innate superiority of the West is sheer nonsense, no matter how frequently and portentously repeated. It parrots the message of every expansionist imperial power that history has known. It does so for all the obvious reasons. The colonized are at fault and their failings invite, even demand, colonization. There is no better way to exculpate the West for the consequences of its historical record of violent occupation and exploitation of Islamic lands. Attention is shifted from any serious evaluation of American dominance of the Middle East and its destructive policies in Palestine, Afghanistan, and most dramatically Iraq.

    Benard takes the reality of an Islamic threat as a premise of her argument. Her analysis begins with a presentation of the self-imposed predicaments of the Arab Islamic world that threaten to spill over and endanger others. In Benard’s formulation the entire world, and not just the United States, is the innocent and vulnerable witness to the tumultuous internal disorders in the Islamic world. “What role,” she asks, “can the rest of the world, threatened and affected as it is by this struggle, play in bringing about a more peaceful and positive outcome?” Benard states clearly that these dangerous predicaments of the Islamic world are entirely self-imposed. She writes that “Islam’s current crisis has two main components: a failure to thrive and a loss of connection to the global mainstream. The Islamic world has been marked by a long period of backwardness and comparative powerlessness; many different solutions, such as nationalism, pan-Arabism, Arab socialism, and Islamic revolution, have been attempted without success, and this has led to frustration and anger.” To conclude, Benard gravely notes that “at the same time, the Islamic world has fallen out of step with contemporary global culture, an uncomfortable situation for both sides.”

    1. Benard’s assessment eliminates any reference to the West’s colonization of the Islamic world, and of the physical and psychological damage those violent assaults caused. There are no hints at all of an American imperial presence in the Islamic world through an impressive and constantly expanding network of bases. There is no consideration of the ways that presence constrains autonomous development. There are no references to the awkward facts of consistent American political and economic interventions, often violent and consistently aimed at undermining economic and political autonomy. Israel, heavily armed with all forms of weapons of mass destruction, a cruel occupying force, and the regional superpower, mysteriously disappears from view. These awkward realities are overshadowed by the Islamist Imaginary.

      Only with these erasures can Benard take for granted the irrational grounding of the Islamic threat. Her analysis highlights the ways that the usual state-based threats to the national security exemplified by the Soviet Union in the era of the Cold War have been replaced by the challenge of nonstate actors, operating below the nation-state horizon. To face this threat, she argues that American strategic planners must make Islam itself a resource. In short, like her predecessors Benard is in the business of strategic manipulations of Islam to serve American economic and political ends. She evokes a malleable Islam that can be turned into an instrument to confront the Islams of resistance, while obediently serving America’s ends. However, Benard does so with a difference.

      Excerpted from “One Islam, Many Muslim Worlds: Spirituality, Identity and Resistance Across Islamic Lands” by Raymond William Baker. Published by Oxford University Press. Copyright 2015 by Oxford University Press. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.


  11. Tomgram: Nick Turse, A Secret War in 135 Countries
    Posted by Nick Turse at 8:02AM, September 24, 2015.
    Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch.

    It was an impressive effort: a front-page New York Times story about a “new way of war” with the bylines of six reporters, and two more and a team of researchers cited at the end of the piece. “They have plotted deadly missions from secret bases in the badlands of Somalia. In Afghanistan, they have engaged in combat so intimate that they have emerged soaked in blood that was not their own. On clandestine raids in the dead of the night, their weapons of choice have ranged from customized carbines to primeval tomahawks.” So began the Times investigation of SEAL Team 6, its nonstop missions, its weaponry, its culture, the stresses and strains its “warriors” have experienced in recent years, and even some of the accusations leveled against them. (“Afghan villagers and a British commander accused SEALs of indiscriminately killing men in one hamlet.”)

    For all the secrecy surrounding SEAL Team 6, it has been the public face of America’s Special Operations forces and so has garnered massive attention, especially, of course, after some of its members killed Osama bin Laden on a raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011. It even won a starring role in the Oscar-winning Hollywood film Zero Dark Thirty, produced with CIA help, about the tracking down of bin Laden. As a unit, however, SEAL Team 6 is “roughly 300 assault troops, called operators, and 1,500 support personnel”; in other words, more or less a drop in the bucket when it comes to America’s Special Operations forces. And its story, however nonstop and dramatic, is similarly a drop in the bucket when it comes to the flood of special operations actions in these years.

  12. While SEAL Team 6 has received extensive coverage, what could be considered the military story of the twenty-first century, the massive, ongoing expansion of a secret force (functionally the president’s private army) cocooned inside the U.S. military -- now at almost 70,000 personnel and growing -- has gotten next to none. Keep in mind that such a force is already larger than the active-duty militaries of Australia, Chile, Cuba, Hungary, the Netherlands, Nigeria, and South Africa, among a bevy of other countries. If those 70,000 personnel engaging in operations across the planet -- even their most mundane acts enveloped in a blanket of secrecy -- have created, as the Times suggests, a new way of war in and out of Washington’s war zones, it has gone largely unreported in the American media.

    Thanks to Nick Turse (and Andrew Bacevich), however, TomDispatch has been the exception to this seemingly ironclad rule. Since 2011, when he found special operations units deployed to 120 countries annually, Turse has continued to chart their expanding global role in 2012, 2014, and this year. He has also tried, as today, to assess just how successful this new way of war that melds the soldier and the spy, the counterinsurgent and the guerrilla, the drone assassin and the “man-hunter” has been. Imagine for a moment the resources that the media would apply to such an analogous Russian or Chinese force, if its units covertly trained “friendly” militaries or went into action yearly in at least two-thirds of the countries on the planet. Tom


  13. Does anyone seriously believe that there are any restraints on the use of the mercenary US foreign and domestic legionnaires?

  14. They serve the lords and masters in DC, the oligarchs and would have no compunction in taking on any assigned target anywhere. We have created a monster that makes Frankenstein look like a child’s puppy.

  15. I’d trade these contract killers for any citizen army in a heartbeat.

  16. A citizen army thinks. They know to ask why and did it. When they saw injustice they took action. In Viet Nam when any fool knew it was a clusterfuck and a fool’s errand, they rebelled. They would also desert.

    The desertion rate for American soldiers in the War of 1812 was 12.7%

    Mexican- American War the desertion rate in the U.S. army was 8.3%

    In the US Civil War - loved by The Israeli firsters on this blog - Those that had to fight it were less enthralled In three Northern states alone, desertions exceeded 87,000. New York suffered 44,913 desertions by the war's end, Pennsylvania recorded 24,050, with Ohio reporting desertions at 18,354.

    Approximately 50,000 American servicemen deserted during the Vietnam War

    The naive that went into the US military in Iraq soon got a taste of what the professional US military was like. Since 2000, about 40,000 troops from all branches of the military have deserted, also according to the Pentagon. More than half of these served in the US Army.

    Desertion rates have been declining as the Pentagon sharpens its profile ANALYSIS ON WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A PROFESSIONAL.

    Whatever it is, you don’t want it.

  17. Deuce: The GOP Likuds Force has Bibi Netanyahu of course, To a man they look daily for the star over the Middle East for inspiration and leadership. They have their holy days with their annual hajj to Israel for refreshment. There are the monthly visits from the rabbis over at AIPAC and annual loyalty sessions. There is no need for redundancy with an actual US Congressman filling the role for leadership. Silly reporters.

    "In the US Civil War - loved by The Israeli firsters on this blog"

    Deuce, you are infected by Jew hatred.

  18. Quirk: You gotta get your head screwed on straight, WiO. You're losing it.

    Quirk, the shithole that is Iraq?

    You own.

    Ignore Iran at your own risk, it is you that is a coward to see the Persian Elephant in the room.

    1. .

      Quirk, the shithole that is Iraq?

      You own.

      Words pulled out of your ass.

      How the hell do I own Iraq?

      Ignore Iran at your own risk, it is you that is a coward to see the Persian Elephant in the room.

      I'm a coward on Iran? You are the one pissing his pants over Iran. More words. Nothing to back them up. You are a child.


    2. You are an appeasing coward.

      The streak of yellow will stain you and your family for generations.

      Granddaddy, what did you do or say when Iran was murdering by the hundreds of thousands, well Grandchild, I was arguing FOR the mullahs...


    3. its really that easy...

      either you stand for freedom and liberty or you stand for the mullahs.

      you have chosen to defend and stand with the mullahs.

    4. .

      Once again you display your simple mind, one uncluttered by such things as troublesome 'facts'.


  19. The Death Squads
    Dispatches: The Death SquadsThe torture and slaughter of Iraqi civilians is reaching unprecedented heights with estimates of up to 655,000 dead. Night after night death squads rampage through Iraq's main cities. In Baghdad, up to a hundred bodies a day are dumped on the streets. Often they've been tortured with electric drills. Yet those doing the killing have little to do with al Qaeda or Sunni insurgents. The majority of the killings are carried out by Shia death squads who want to turn Iraq into a Shia state aligned to Iran.

    This shocking film investigates the links between the death squads and high-ranking Shia politicians. It reveals how the Shia militia that these politicians control have systematically infiltrated and taken over police units and even entire government ministeries. It investigates how these units are closely linked to the death squads, indeed they often are the death squads. And the killers act with impunity - there's little investigation into their activities.

    Ignore the facts...

    it is you that has a yellow streak running down your back.

    1. But Israel is the new "nazi" state to ya'll...


      Rufus tells us they are soulless. That if he lived in gaza he'd be a part of Hamas.

      Deuce lays the blame on Syrian genocide by Assad (hezbollah and Iran and Russia) on the Jews.

      Heck Deuce even blame the genocide of the Jews by hitler on the JEWS...

    2. The Islamic world is SELF imploding.

      Nothing to do with jews or Israel.

      But as they self destruct? they are on the move to your towns and villages.

      Enjoy them

    3. Deuce has SHIT fits that Jews immigrated to Israel.

      But advocates a million syrians "migrants" to come to America.



    4. .

      Ignore the facts...

      it is you that has a yellow streak running down your back.

      I have a yellow streak down my back? You don't even have the balls to put down a source or a link.

      Remember, this is what we are talking about:

      No Quirk, I am not.

      I am referring to the numbers of killed since we left by shitte militias with Iranian help

      ...with estimates of up to 655,000 dead...

      Who made these estimate? When were they made?

      Come back when you are ready to lay out your case. Until then, you are merely spouting words. You waste my time.


      No Quirk, I am not.

      I am referring to the numbers of killed since we left by shitte militias with Iranian help

    5. Yes quirk, you are a coward.

      You hide behind useless facts and nonsense.

      It's really simple.

      You appease and ignore Iran because you are a coward.

    6. .

      You hide behind useless facts and nonsense.


      You are hilarious.

      Pardon me for using facts. It's so much easier to rend your clothes and rant when things don't go exactly as you want.

      Grow up. That's not the way the world works.

      I am a coward?


      You, sir, are a petulant child.


    7. You sir are a coward and an appeasing old fool...

      Grow up?

      How about you grow a pair of balls?

      Appeasing shit of a man

    8. .

      I'm an appeaser?

      Funny. Are the majority of Jews in the US appeasers? I haven't heard that from you.

      Are the Israeli military and intelligence appeasers? I haven't heard that from you.

      Are various past Israeli politicians and officials appeasers? I haven't heard that from you.

      Or maybe those 'facts' are just 'nonsense'.

      No it is you that is the coward. You don't even have the guts to admit that the only logical alternative to a negotiated agreement is war. More sanctions? Come on, sanctions haven't worked for the past 35 years. You are simply trying to gild the lily.

      You are a warmonger looking out for Israeli interests. Before the US invaded Iraq, Netanyahu said Iraq was the greatest danger to the world. Now that Iraq is broken, Iran to his mind is the greatest danger to the world. Were Iran to be broken, Syria would become the greatest danger to the world. Nonsense.

      He, and you, are merely pushing the US to advance Israeli interests not those of the US.



    9. Iran is already at war with America, the west and Israel.

      If you cannot see that you are blind as well.

      The majority of American Jews are appeasers.

      The majority of Israelis understand the threat that Iran does pose and is doing.

      I am a warmonger?


      I advocate the continued sanctions on Iran.

      I oppose freeing up 150 billion and 20 billion a year to the Iranians as i prefer to not assist the mullahs in their genocidal path.

      You are a coward. An appeasing son of bitch that is too intellectually lazy to admit that the iranians (and their proxies) are already at war.

    10. .

      You are a coward. An appeasing son of bitch that is too intellectually lazy to admit that the iranians (and their proxies) are already at war.

      Oh, I admit Iran is at war. They are just not at war with the US. Something I understand but you don't which is perfectly understandable given that you conflate Israeli interests with those of the US. They are not the same thing.


    11. You are an idiot, Quirk.

      I am tired of you.

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    13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    14. .

      The majority of American Jews are appeasers.

      You make my point. I talked of Jewish America; I talked of Israeli opposition leaders and past political and military leaders, I talked of the Israeli military and the intelligence organizations; I mentioned all have spoken in support of the agreement and I asked if they were appeasers. Your answer? The majority of American Jews are appeasers..

      In the time I have been here and reading your posts, I have yet to hear ONE specific criticism of Israel or Israelis. Oh, there is the occasional "Israel has its faults" always followed by the obligatory "...but..", an answer so general as to be meaningless.
      What does that actually mean? Does it mean Israel doesn't carry out enough wars? Or maybe, it means the price of matzos is too high. Who would know?

      You are an apologist for Israel. You have no problem denigrating Americans if they disagree with the Israeli party line even if those Americans are Jews but you just can't quite bring yourself to criticize anything that Israel does. Your credibility is zero.


    15. I surely can criticize Israel. But why should I?

      There are non-stop criticisms of Israel here.

      I am not here to find fault with them.

      Now the general majority of Israelis have tried to give land for peace, repeatedly and all they got was war.

      I, as an American advocated leaving Gaza and giving the lands to the Palestinians, that was foolish.

      all it brought was terror.

      Sure there are israelis that disagree with me, however I was on the left 15 years ago and supported the basic 2 state solution.

      I have been, as so many Israelis and MANY Americans proven wrong.

      The arabs do not seek co-existance, nor peace.

      They seek the total destruction of the Jewish State and the Jews of the world.

      As for credibility?

      You support the funding and resurrection of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and it's mullahs.

      That makes you a traitor to the American way and nation.

  20. What kind of America advocates desertion of it's soldiers?

    Deuce ☂Sun Sep 27, 12:57:00 AM EDT
    A citizen army thinks. They know to ask why and did it. When they saw injustice they took action. In Viet Nam when any fool knew it was a clusterfuck and a fool’s errand, they rebelled. They would also desert.

    Deuce, but you didn't desert....

    What gives?

    1. This is serious.

      It almost sounds like Deuce is advocating fragging the officers....

    2. It's all really quite odd to me. Deuce, and Rufus too, who both voluntarily joined the US Military, and who both now see Vietnam as a big clusterfuck, somehow come to criticize poor old Bob for going to college, and taking his chances with the draft lottery.

    3. The difference is too obvious for your comprehension. Deuce and Rufus don’t want to see other young men being maimed or killed because of our experience amongst other things. When we were young, we didn’t give it a second thought. We joined or were drafted.

      You and your cut demurred but got all tough and badass when your time passed and you are all “gung ho go get em boys” today. Most of the Neocons were of your cut.

    4. Hardly.

      I advocate all non-war actions to stop Iran.

      You advocate arming them and giving them access to billions so they can arm and supply terrorists.

      IF America and Israel have to respond to Iranian war actions fine. But your advocating appeasing them will lead to war.

      In fact it is now reported that the Russians are supplying hezbollah with tanks..

    5. Israel created Hezbollah with its crusades into Lebanon. Pity Israel got its nose bloodied by Hezbollah.

    6. I have supported three things:

      Going into Afghanistan like 99% of the rest of the American People
      That the West and Israel should have struck the Iranian nuclear facilities when we had the chance
      Not taking the troops out of Iraq as Obama did which has led to disaster

      I also said we might think about putting up no fly zones and impose safe areas in Syria to prevent bloodshed.
      For this I was called a war monger by Quirk. I am now waiting for Quirk to take in a refugee family. And you, too.

      If that makes me a war monger I guess I'm a war monger.

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  23. The Catholic Church has a Teaching or a Doctrine known as the Just War Theory. Certain conditions must be met when going to war, and, too, in the conduct of war, to be pleasing to The Trinity.

    It is very emotionally attractive to very many people of the simpler sort. One of the elements can be said like this: war must be the last option.....

    This is not a council of some little family imp, or of the extended family is the council of Satan himself.

    Anyone with half a brain can easily understand why......and give an historical example or two, some quite recent....

    Oft times, the Owl of Minerva has shown, war should have been the first option, not the last.

    This moron Pope, and the Catholic Church as a whole, should shut the fuck up already now and forever on things past their competence and stick to offering people well conducted rites, which really do carry a deep meaning for people, are life affirming, and might get someone back in the pews again.

  24. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  25. Book Review

    W.H. Auden, Complete
    Posted on Sep 25, 2015

    By Michael Dirda

    Princeton University Press

    “The Complete Works of W.H. Auden: Prose: Volumes V and VI”
    A book edited by Edward Mendelson

    Where should the praise go for this magnificent edition of W.H. Auden’s prose, now rounded off by its final two volumes? To the great Anglo American poet himself for having produced such incisive and memorable criticism? To Edward Mendelson, whose scrupulous editing calls to mind Samuel Beckett’s phrase “No author better served”? Or to designer Jan Lilly and the Princeton University Press for the elegance and beauty of the books themselves? One thing is certain: This is what scholarly publishing is meant to be.

    Which isn’t to say that this set will appeal only to an academic audience. These hefty volumes incorporate — along with much, much else — all of Auden’s previously published collections of lectures and literary journalism. Volume III showcases “The Enchafed Flood,” a study of “the romantic iconography of the sea” (and one of my favorite books). Volume IV includes “The Dyer’s Hand,” which assembles many of Auden’s greatest essays. Volume V contains “Secondary Worlds,” talks on religion, drama, the Icelandic sagas and opera, and Volume VI reprints the full text of “A Certain World,” a scrapbook of quotations from the poet’s reading, enhanced by his own commentary. Scattered throughout the sextet are the pieces selected by Auden, with Mendelson’s assistance, for what became the posthumous 1973 collection, “Forewords and Afterwords.”

    In short, here is God’s plenty, 4,000 pages in which to lose oneself as one does in, say, Boswell’s “Life of Johnson” or Henry Mayhew’s “London Labour and the London Poor.” Auden’s judgment of the latter — a classic of 19th-century reporting and oral history — could be readily applied to his own collected prose: “It is a book in which one can browse for a lifetime without exhausting its treasures.” When Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky called Auden “the greatest mind of the 20th century,” he may have exaggerated — but not by much.

    Published in tandem, the last two volumes of the collected prose cover the final decade of Auden’s life (he died at 66 from a heart attack). In his introduction to Volume V, Mendelson aptly sums them up:

    “Auden’s essays and reviews in the last dozen years of his life are most vivid and memorable when he writes explicitly about others’ lives or elliptically about his own. He was especially fascinated by artists and writers who were more or less monstrous or obsessive, who exemplified intellectual temptations that he himself had experienced and refused (Goethe, Kierkegaard, Wagner). He enjoyed writing about the saintly (Henry Mayhew, Dorothy Day), the aesthetic (Oscar Wilde, A.E. Housman, Max Beerbohm), and the sexually eccentric (J.R. Ackerley, Denys Munby). He wrote enthusiastically about the byways of Christian theology and classical myth.”

    Auden’s journalism and criticism, like his stints as a lecturer and teacher, were mainly undertaken to pay the bills, but he never became a hack..............

  26. Francis, the Perfect 19th-Century Pope

    SEPT. 26, 2015
    Pope Francis looking out from the Speaker’s Balcony in the Capitol in Washington on Thursday. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

    Maureen Dowd

    Washington — AFTER attending a canonization Mass at Catholic University with the pope who rails against the excesses of capitalism, I walked off campus to a festival of capitalism.

    Vendors were hawking pope bracelets, buttons and T-shirts.

    Excited by seeing the humble black Fiat in person and infused with Papa’s warning against the numbing effects of the “culture of prosperity,” I resisted all sales pitches. Until I got to the last guy.

    He was selling blue-and-white T-shirts for $10 with the declaration “Coolest Pope Ever.”

    Francis is undeniably cool. He once worked as a nightclub bouncer in Buenos Aires. He got a serenade to “Frank, baby,” from his fan Stephen Colbert. He spurred nuns to have a tailgating party at Catholic U. before his Mass, inspired the Internet to erupt in photos of dogs sporting miters and persuaded a blubbering John Boehner that he would never have a day that good again.

    Though Friday was dry, Francis got a rainbow before his triumphant tour of Central Park. And he felicitously leaves the country before the super blood moon Monday morning — considered by some Christians to be a sign of the apocalypse.
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    Cleaving closer to the teachings of Jesus, a carpenter from Nazareth, Francis rejected the fancy red slippers of predecessors in favor of plain black shoes. He scorned the papal palace for a suite in the Vatican guesthouse. He ended the fixation on divisive social issues and refocused the church on healing social justice and the Golden Rule.

    On Friday, Rolling Stone premiered a single called “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!,” from the coming pop-rock album Francis is dropping in November, sort of a “Shake It Off” for apathy and selfishness.

    Yet his very coolness is what makes his reign so hazardous. Watching the rapturous crowds and gushing TV anchors on his American odyssey, we see “the Francis Effect.” His magnetic, magnanimous personality is making the church, so stained by the vile sex abuse scandal, more attractive to people — even though the Vatican stubbornly clings to its archaic practice of treating women as a lower caste.

    Pope Francis would be the perfect pontiff — if he lived in the 19th century. But how, in 2015, can he continue to condone the idea that women should have no voice in church decisions?

    In a scandal that cascaded for decades with abuses and cover-ups, the church was revealed to be monstrously warped in its attitudes about sex and its sense of right and wrong.

    Yet shortly after he was elected, Francis flatly rejected the idea that the institution could benefit from opening itself to the hearts and minds of women. Asked about the issue of female priests, he replied, “The church has spoken and says no,” adding, “That door is closed.”

    Francis preaches against the elites while keeping the church an elite boys’ club.....................

    For those with an impish sense of humor the Catholic Church and its Pope are quite the gas......

    What out and out frauds are the Pope and the Catholic Church.............

  27. More 'Aroma of Roasted Toasted Hillary in the Morning' -

    September 27, 2015
    How Long Before Hillary Garbed in a Bathrobe Starts Wandering the Streets of Chappaqua?
    By Clarice Feldman

    Some years ago, in an effort to avoid prosecution, Mafia boss Vincent “Vinnie the Chin” Gigante donned a bathrobe and wandered the streets of Little Italy and Greenwich Village posing as a demented old man. I wonder if Hillary Clinton is getting fitted for just such a bathrobe and starts wandering the lanes of Chappaqua in Westchester to avoid prosecution herself.

    For years I’ve saved lots of time by considering every word she says a lie, and her story about her emails and email server proves my point. Everything she said about the emails has come apart and now there are rumors she has some health issues.

    Insiders are claiming she’s suffered a series of strokes and has multiple sclerosis. “Clinton has a history of blackouts, falls, memory loss, blinding headaches, vision problems and collapses dating back at least a decade. In 2005, she fainted during a luncheon speech in Buffalo, N.Y. Four years later, then–Secretary of State Clinton broke her right elbow in a mysterious fall in a U.S. State Department garage. In 2011, Clinton collapsed while boarding a flight in Yemen, but insisted she'd simply slipped.”

    If, indeed, this information is coming from people close to her campaign they might be setting up a defense for her -- although without knowing whether the government will charge her and in view of her party’s dependence on her as the only realistic nominee, this is tricky business. If they overplay this it might cost her the nomination after all.

    In the meantime, although progress in the courts is slow, it cannot be put off forever.

    “For Team Clinton, it’s become the equivalent of a courtroom quagmire.............

    Question of the Day:

    If a robed Hilliary were to put her thumb up for a ride along the road you are traveling, would you give her a lift?

  28. The Joys of Socialism in South America -

    September 27, 2015
    Has Venezuelan President Maduro gone insane?
    By Rick Moran

    A provocative article in the Daily Beast this morning that outlines the "erratic" - or crazy - actions and statements from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

    How crazy? He claims to have spoken to his dead mentor, Hugo Chavez, via a talking bird.

    He has also spouted more conspiracy theories against him than you would find at a convention of the John Birch Society.

    Maduro has overseen the swift and profound decline of Venezuela—from an oil-rich, leftistpowerhouse under Chavez to an Orwellian dystopia, complete with the highestinflation rate in the world. When oil prices were high and revenues extravagant, that cushioned the people to some extent from the incompetence of the government. But that buffer is long gone.

    Violent crime and kidnappings are so rampant that the State Department just issued a travel alert warning away U.S. citizens. And commodity shortages have become so severe that it’s sometimes impossible to buy a roll of toilet paper in Caracas.

    Like many autocrats, Maduro appears to suffer from an acute case of political paranoia. He has cracked down on opposition leadership— handing out a 14-year-prison sentence to popular opposition leader Leopold Lopez earlier this month over trumped up charges. And he’s repeatedly authorized the use of deadly force against demonstrators he sees as a threat to his regime.

    Not is Maduro’s persecution complex limited to domestic affairs. He recently claimed neighboring Colombia and Guyana are waging “economic war” against Venezuela—charges which conveniently justify violating the sovereignty of both nations.

    “If he believes a lot of what he’s saying about the conspiracy theories against him, then he’s not the sanest man in the world,” says Adam Isaacson, a senior associate with the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), in an interview with The Daily Beast.

    “Internationally there’s no trust of Maduro at all,” Isaacson says. “He says things that aren’t true, and he’s quite erratic.”

    Among his strange declarations to the press: claiming to receive advice from the deceased Chavez via a talking bird.

    Such is the state of things at the moment, that “one of the main interests of the international community now is to prevent a catastrophic implosion,” says Isaacson, because that could have disastrous implications for the entire region. “Something very ugly could happen in the next few months,” he warns.

    There is a real crisis on the border with Colombia as Maduro's crackdown on smugglers has resulted in 20,000 terrified indigenous people fleeing from Venezuela across the boder. Evidently, the Venezuelan military makes no distinction between profiteers and the indians who inhabit the area. Venezuelan troops have opened fire on innocents in recent days, injecting more hysteria into the region. A majority of Colombians now believe war is imminent.

    There is little chance that the Venezuelan military will intervene and overthrow Maduro because he is protected by hundreds of Cuban troops who act as his personal bodyguard. Also, Hugo Chavez purged the military of anyone who might think independently, leaving the army with no effective leadership. In the paranoid atmosphere of Caracas, it would be difficult to initiate a coup plot without it becoming known. So Maduro seems safe - for the moment.

    But the near future looks grim. A collapse of the Venezuelan economy would initiate a refugee crisis as severe as the one currently unfolding in Europe. And Maduro might end up in a straitjacket if that happens.

  29. By the way, those guys in Israel that roughed up the journalists are getting their due punishment.

    Deuce made a big deal out of this......

    Israeli officer suspended after journalists abused
    Associated Press
    7 hours ago


    JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says it has suspended an officer after soldiers were caught on camera assaulting a pair of Agence France-Press journalists in the West Bank.

    The army said Sunday that after a preliminary review, it determined the officer in charge "did not conduct himself in accordance with professional expectations." It called the incident "grave and in contravention of its code of ethics" and said the investigation was continuing.

  30. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  31. .

    Now the general majority of Israelis have tried to give land for peace, repeatedly and all they got was war.


    The Myth of the "Most Generous Offer Ever"

    The seemingly endless volleys of attack and retaliation in the Middle East leave many people wondering why the two sides can’t reach an agreement. The answer is simple, according to numerous commentators: At the Camp David meeting in July 2000, Israel “offered extraordinary concessions” (Michael Kelly, Washington Post, 3/13/02), “far-reaching concessions” (Boston Globe, 12/30/01), “unprecedented concessions” (E.J. Dionne, Washington Post, 12/4/01). Israel’s “generous peace terms” (L.A. Times editorial, 3/15/02) constituted “the most far-reaching offer ever” (Chicago Tribune editorial, 6/6/01) to create a Palestinian state. In short, Camp David was “an unprecedented concession” to the Palestinians (Time, 12/25/00).

    But due to “Arafat’s recalcitrance” (L.A. Times editorial, 4/9/02) and “Palestinian rejectionism” (Mortimer Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report, 3/22/02), “Arafat walked away from generous Israeli peacemaking proposals without even making a counteroffer” (Salon, 3/8/01). Yes, Arafat “walked away without making a counteroffer” (Samuel G. Freedman, USA Today, 6/18/01). Israel “offered peace terms more generous than ever before and Arafat did not even make a counteroffer” (Chicago Sun-Times editorial, 11/10/00). In case the point isn’t clear: “At Camp David, Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians an astonishingly generous peace with dignity and statehood. Arafat not only turned it down, he refused to make a counteroffer!” (Charles Krauthammer, Seattle Times, 10/16/00).

    This account is one of the most tenacious myths of the conflict. Its implications are obvious: There is nothing Israel can do to make peace with its Palestinian neighbors. The Israeli army’s increasingly deadly attacks, in this version, can be seen purely as self-defense against Palestinian aggression that is motivated by little more than blind hatred.



    1. {...}

      Locking in occupation

      To understand what actually happened at Camp David, it’s necessary to know that for many years the PLO has officially called for a two-state solution in which Israel would keep the 78 percent of the Palestine Mandate (as Britain’s protectorate was called) that it has controlled since 1948, and a Palestinian state would be formed on the remaining 22 percent that Israel has occupied since the 1967 war (the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem). Israel would withdraw completely from those lands, return to the pre-1967 borders and a resolution to the problem of the Palestinian refugees who were forced to flee their homes in 1948 would be negotiated between the two sides. Then, in exchange, the Palestinians would agree to recognize Israel (PLO Declaration, 12/7/88; PLO Negotiations Department).

      Although some people describe Israel’s Camp David proposal as practically a return to the 1967 borders, it was far from that. Under the plan, Israel would have withdrawn completely from the small Gaza Strip. But it would annex strategically important and highly valuable sections of the West Bank–while retaining “security control” over other parts–that would have made it impossible for the Palestinians to travel or trade freely within their own state without the permission of the Israeli government (Political Science Quarterly, 6/22/01; New York Times, 7/26/01; Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories, 9-10/00; Robert Malley, New York Review of Books, 8/9/01).

      The annexations and security arrangements would divide the West Bank into three disconnected cantons. In exchange for taking fertile West Bank lands that happen to contain most of the region’s scarce water aquifers, Israel offered to give up a piece of its own territory in the Negev Desert–about one-tenth the size of the land it would annex–including a former toxic waste dump.

      Because of the geographic placement of Israel’s proposed West Bank annexations, Palestinians living in their new “independent state” would be forced to cross Israeli territory every time they traveled or shipped goods from one section of the West Bank to another, and Israel could close those routes at will. Israel would also retain a network of so-called “bypass roads” that would crisscross the Palestinian state while remaining sovereign Israeli territory, further dividing the West Bank.

      Israel was also to have kept “security control” for an indefinite period of time over the Jordan Valley, the strip of territory that forms the border between the West Bank and neighboring Jordan. Palestine would not have free access to its own international borders with Jordan and Egypt–putting Palestinian trade, and therefore its economy, at the mercy of the Israeli military.

      Had Arafat agreed to these arrangements, the Palestinians would have permanently locked in place many of the worst aspects of the very occupation they were trying to bring to an end. For at Camp David, Israel also demanded that Arafat sign an “end-of-conflict” agreement stating that the decades-old war between Israel and the Palestinians was over and waiving all further claims against Israel.


    2. {...}

      Violence or negotiation?

      The Camp David meeting ended without agreement on July 25, 2000. At this point, according to conventional wisdom, the Palestinian leader’s “response to the Camp David proposals was not a counteroffer but an assault” (Oregonian editorial, 8/15/01). “Arafat figured he could push one more time to get one more batch of concessions. The talks collapsed. Violence erupted again” (E.J. Dionne, Washington Post, 12/4/01). He “used the uprising to obtain through violence…what he couldn’t get at the Camp David bargaining table” (Chicago Sun-Times, 12/21/00).

      But the Intifada actually did not start for another two months. In the meantime, there was relative calm in the occupied territories. During this period of quiet, the two sides continued negotiating behind closed doors. Meanwhile, life for the Palestinian population under Israeli occupation went on as usual. On July 28, Prime Minister Barak announced that Israel had no plans to withdraw from the town of Abu Dis, as it had pledged to do in the 1995 Oslo II agreement (Israel Wire, 7/28/00). In August and early September, Israel announced new construction on Jewish-only settlements in Efrat and Har Adar, while the Israeli statistics bureau reported that settlement building had increased 81 percent in the first quarter of 2000. Two Palestinian houses were demolished in East Jerusalem, and Arab residents of Sur Bahir and Suwahara received expropriation notices; their houses lay in the path of a planned Jewish-only highway (Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories, 11-12/00).

      The Intifada began on September 29, 2000, when Israeli troops opened fire on unarmed Palestinian rock-throwers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, killing four and wounding over 200 (State Department human rights report for Israel, 2/01). Demonstrations spread throughout the territories. Barak and Arafat, having both staked their domestic reputations on their ability to win a negotiated peace from the other side, now felt politically threatened by the violence. In January 2001, they resumed formal negotiations at Taba, Egypt.

      The Taba talks are one of the most significant and least remembered events of the “peace process.” While so far in 2002 (1/1/02-5/31/02), Camp David has been mentioned in conjunction with Israel 35 times on broadcast network news shows, Taba has come up only four times–never on any of the nightly newscasts. In February 2002, Israel’s leading newspaper, Ha’aretz (2/14/02), published for the first time the text of the European Union’s official notes of the Taba talks, which were confirmed in their essential points by negotiators from both sides.

      “Anyone who reads the European Union account of the Taba talks,” Ha’aretz noted in its introduction, “will find it hard to believe that only 13 months ago, Israel and the Palestinians were so close to a peace agreement.” At Taba, Israel dropped its demand to control Palestine’s borders and the Jordan Valley. The Palestinians, for the first time, made detailed counterproposals–in other words, counteroffers–showing which changes to the 1967 borders they would be willing to accept. The Israeli map that has emerged from the talks shows a fully contiguous West Bank, though with a very narrow middle and a strange gerrymandered western border to accommodate annexed settlements.

      In the end, however, all this proved too much for Israel’s Labor prime minister. On January 28, Barak unilaterally broke off the negotiations. “The pressure of Israeli public opinion against the talks could not be resisted,” Ben-Ami said (New York Times, 7/26/01).



    3. {...}

      Settlements off the table

      In February 2001, Ariel Sharon was elected prime minister of Israel. Sharon has made his position on the negotiations crystal clear. “You know, it’s not by accident that the settlements are located where they are,” he said in an interview a few months after his election (Ha’aretz, 4/12/01).
      They safeguard the cradle of the Jewish people’s birth and also provide strategic depth which is vital to our existence.The settlements were established according to the conception that, come what may, we have to hold the western security area [of the West Bank], which is adjacent to the Green Line, and the eastern security area along the Jordan River and the roads linking the two. And Jerusalem, of course. And the hill aquifer. Nothing has changed with respect to any of those things. The importance of the security areas has not diminished, it may even have increased. So I see no reason for evacuating any settlements.

      Meanwhile, Ehud Barak has repudiated his own positions at Taba, and now speaks pointedly of the need for a negotiated settlement “based on the principles presented at Camp David” (New York Times op-ed, 4/14/02).

      In April 2002, the countries of the Arab League–from moderate Jordan to hardline Iraq–unanimously agreed on a Saudi peace plan centering around full peace, recognition and normalization of relations with Israel in exchange for a complete Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders as well as a “just resolution” to the refugee issue. Palestinian negotiator Nabil Sha’ath declared himself “delighted” with the plan. “The proposal constitutes the best terms of reference for our political struggle,” he told the Jordan Times (3/28/02).

      Ariel Sharon responded by declaring that “a return to the 1967 borders will destroy Israel” (New York Times, 5/4/02). In a commentary on the Arab plan, Ha’aretz‘s Bradley Burston (2/27/02) noted that the offer was “forcing Israel to confront peace terms it has quietly feared for decades.”


    4. .


  32. .

    The Arab View of the So-Called Peace Process

    The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is hobbled by dangerous myths


    Decades later, Camp David’s legacy remains debatable
    Decades later, Camp David’s legacy remains debatable
    ‘Tough love’ will keep Israel and the Palestinians straight
    Israeli professor’s video sparks fury at FNC meeting
    20 years after Oslo, Israeli-Palestinian peace seems elusive
    Israel as a ‘Jewish’ state will legalise discrimination against Palestinians

    In a meeting I had last week with a US congressional candidate, I was reminded of the power of the myths that define conventional wisdom about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the challenge they pose for rational discourse. My visitor made a few statements that revealed how much he didn’t know about the conflict and how steep the climb was for those who seek a just peace.

    My guest’s views were both distorted and unshakable. They also reflected the attitudes of too many officials in Washington. He was convinced, for example, that “Arafat turned down the best offer ever and turned to violence”; that “Palestinians would never accept to live at peace with Israel”; and that “President [Mahmoud] Abbas was incapable of selling any peace agreement to his people”.

    Despite holding firm with these mind-numbingly negative views, my visitor insisted that he was a “peacenik” and expressed hope that US secretary of state John Kerry’s efforts would bear fruit, helping to bring about an end to the conflict. As disconcerting and irrational as this disconnect might be, it represents for many candidates an easy way out. It puts them in a position where they don’t have to challenge the most hardline elements among pro-Israel voters, while still feigning support for peace.

    I argued, for a time, with my visitor knowing full well that I wouldn’t make a dent. The myths that defined my visitor’s views of the conflict were ahistorical. A prime example is the fervently held notion that Arafat turned down the best offer ever and turned to violence. This was first put forward by then president Bill Clinton in 2000. It was a great applause line, but it just wasn’t true. Rob Malley (a Clinton NSC official who was at the Camp David negotiations) debunked this “best offer ever” myth in his brilliant debate with former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak in the New York Review of Books (August, 9, 2001). The Mitchell Report (commissioned by Mr Clinton and presented to President George Bush in 2001) put to rest the “turned to violence” portion of this myth.


    1. {...}

      Reality is far more complex. Mr Barak’s offer at Camp David was never clear – he wouldn’t commit it to writing it. Nevertheless, despite the impasse at Camp David, Israeli and Palestinian teams continued to engage in prolonged negotiations at Taba, which came quite close to an agreement. But with elections looming, Mr Barak suspended the Taba talks. He lost the election and that was the end of the negotiations. Arafat didn’t reject a “deal”, negotiations were aborted before they could conclude with a “deal”.

      The violence was not started by Arafat in response to Camp David. The spark that ignited the second Intifada was Ariel Sharon’s provocative demonstration at Jerusalem’s Haram ash-Sharif. After Palestinian demonstrators were killed by Israeli guards, Palestinian popular sentiment erupted, quite spontaneously, owing largely to pent up frustrations with the hardships of the occupation and failure of the peace process to deliver much hoped-for change.

      The myths are also disturbingly racist since they imply that Palestinians are, by their nature, angry, violent and not to be trusted. The pervasiveness of this myth is, by itself, one of the major impediments to peace. The reality is that Palestinians are people who have endured dislocation, dispossession and decades of a cruel occupation. Of course they are bitter and angry – not by their nature, but by the reality of their circumstance. By suggesting that it is the Palestinian nature, the myth absolves the Israelis of any responsibility and implies that no matter what changes might occur, Palestinians will always be a threat.



    2. {...}

      My visitor’s myths are also apolitical, implying that the conflict is existential and not a political matter that can be resolved. The problem, in the way the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been framed in the West, is that Israelis are seen as the full human beings with hopes, rights and the need for security, while the Palestinians are seen only as a problem to be managed and dealt with so that the Israelis can live in peace.

      If Palestinian rights are acknowledged, then just solutions can be found to issues like property rights, sovereignty and self-determination. To the extent that these rights are trumped by Israeli concerns, Palestinian concerns are ignored or given short shrift. To the extent that proposed solutions only address the needs of Israelis, Palestinians will reject them and no self-respecting Palestinian leader will be able to “sell crumbs” to his constituency.

      In the end, these myths are also self-justifying and self-defeating. If we say we want peace, but treat Palestinians as less deserving of rights than other people and, therefore, offer them “take it or leave it” proposals that are humiliating, then, of course, they will be rejected. The believers of the myths can then feel justified in their conviction that Palestinians really don’t want peace and the conflict will continue. That is why holding these views about Palestinians while still claiming to support peace and a “two state solution” is also self-defeating.

      The real challenge for peacemakers is to reflect on the vision projected by President Barack Obama in his Cairo and Jerusalem speeches – to recognise the equal humanity and rights of both peoples and to forge solutions based on that reality and not on myths.


    3. Quirk, you moron, the 'Palestinians' and the 'Gazans' have said repeatedly, and in their formal documents too, that their aim is to push Israel into the sea.

      You live in outer space, in some dream world......

    4. Their attitude is exactly that of all moslems for the last 1400 years.

      It's in their book.

  33. Deuce the Censor took down my article about how Israel guards the 'holy places' in Jerusalem so all have their proper access and how they have keep their promises to Jordan all these years in this regard.

    It didn't fit in with his Weltangschauug.

  34. it's really simple quirk

    israel has 1/900th of the land.

    the arabs have 899/900th of the lands.

    more jews were made homeless in 1948 than arabs.

    Israel has arabs, in fact 20% of israel is arab.

    the arabs? tolerate almost no jews.

    you put up nonsense and expect us to give a shit about re-writing history.

    It's simple.

    The palestinians could have had a state in 1948 - 1967 and choose not to.

    they could have had a state several times since then.

    they said no.

    Now you split hairs over the "settlements"...

    there were no settlements from 1948-1967.

    there was no peace.

    1. my suggestion?

      look at the 899/900th.

      almost a couple DOZEN nations and they all suck.

      Israel aint perfect but compared to any arab nation it is perfect.

      Israel compared to the USA? Far more moral.

      Now that the USA is throwing Israel under the bus and Russia and China are in syria?

      War is coming.

      Iran is arming up with the billions obama has unfrozen.

      quirk you will get your wet dream, Jews will die.

  35. .

    quirk you will get your wet dream, Jews will die.

    I give you facts and you argue facts are irrelevant, nonsense in fact.

    Here, you once again make your point.

    How can anyone take you seriously?


    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. Grr, I thought your question was "Can anyone take you seriously" hence my reply.

      How ?

      By reading accurately about the past and knowing it to be prologue.

      You live in a dream world.

    3. Iran has provided Hizballah with 75 Russian T-55 and T-72 tanks so that the terrorist organization can set up an armored division, marking the first time that Hizballah has acquired tanks, a report said on Saturday.
      At his summit with President Vladimir Putin this week, Prime Minister Beiyamin Netanyahu presented intelligence information showing that Iran was the source of the tanks, and that a report claiming that they were supplied by Syria was disinformation. DEBKAfile’s military sources report exclusively that Iran has supplied Hizballah in Lebanon with Raad-1 and Raad-2 self-propelled howitzers and has started sending it Iranian T-72S tanks.
      All of these armored weapons are produced by the Hadid facility of the Iranian Defense Industries Organization. DEBKAfile’s sources also said that Tehran decided to release this information to the media in the Persian Gulf after being informed by Moscow that Netanyahu had revealed it at their summit on September 21.

      Quirk, can anyone take you seriously?

      Jews will die, you will cream your shorts.

    4. oh wait, jews will cheat and fight back...

      too bad quirk your wet dream will have to wait.

      Jews will shoot to kill their enemies.

      and you can bitch how the IDF smashed two cameras as a warcrime.

    5. .

      If all of this is true, I can see where Israel might be concerned especially if they plan to invade Lebanon again.

      However, what has any of this to do with the so-called peace process and negotiations with the Palestinians on a two-state solution which s what started this discussion. Once again, when confronted with facts, you try to change the subject?

      It's getting a little boring.


  36. Our Traitor - in -Chief's latest move -

    Obama Frees 20th 9/11 Hijacker
    Today it's Osama bin Laden's aide; tomorrow it could very well be the Blind Sheikh.
    September 28, 2015
    Matthew Vadum

    ​The Obama administration quietly shipped Osama bin Laden's bodyguard back to the Wahhabist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia last week despite warnings that the Muslim terrorist remains a serious threat to the United States.

    The newly released terrorist detainee is Abdul Shalabi, 39, who trained to be the 20th hijacker for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Shalabi was set free even though military officials deemed him too dangerous to be unleashed on the world and too valuable as an intelligence asset to be released from U.S. custody.

    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said last week that the liberation of Shalabi, whom he referred to as a "dangerous detainee," is "another example of President Obama playing politics with national security and putting campaign promises ahead of U.S. national security interests." Shuttering the terrorist detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba has long been a goal of President Obama, going back at least to the campaign trail in 2008.

    Shalabi's unshackling should have Americans wondering which bloodthirsty jihadist is next to be released by the soft-on-Islamism president of the United States. Could it be the "Blind Sheikh," a.k.a. Omar Abdel-Rahman, who orchestrated the deadly bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993? News reports that the Obama administration is working on releasing the deadly fatwa-issuing cleric linked to the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat go back years. The sheikh is a hero to his followers, including deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, and a spiritual leader of al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.

    At home President Obama could win kudos from his allies in the increasingly violent Black Lives Matter cult by pardoning unrepentant cop-killers Mumia Abu-Jamal and Assata Shakur, a fugitive granted political asylum by Communist Cuba. Obama could boost the burgeoning anti-incarceration movement by making history with a sweeping prisoner amnesty, framing it as harmlessly setting free "all non-violent offenders" in federal custody.

    Barack Hussein Obama knows he won't have to face the voters in another election so the sky's the limit...............

    Anybody here want to stand up for this treacherous move ?

  37. I'm heading for the cot.

    Was a neat moon out there tonight.

    Long long eclipse. I tried to take photos.

    Good Night.

  38. .

    there was no peace.

    And there will be no peace, that is, unless it comes within a one-state solution.

    The following is a quick review of the various positions on major issues holding up an agreement on a two-state solution.

    1. Jerusalem

    a. Palestine. Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state.

    b. Israel. Israel declared an undivided Jerusalem is the capital of Israel in 1980.

    c. UN. Initially (1947) the UN proposed that Jerusalem would be an international city. Now, the consensus is that Jerusalem would be the shared capital of Israel and the Palestinian State. The UN considers that East Jerusalem is occupied territory and that Israel's declaration on Jerusalem is against international law.

    2. Mutual Recognition

    Palestine. The PLO recognized the Israeli state and its right to exist in 1989.

    Israel. Israel has never officially recognized the right to exist of a Palestinian state.

    3. Security Considerations.

    Palestinians. Willing to allow an international force as a presence in order to assure the security situation.

    Israel. Refuses the international force. Insists on the IDF maintaining the security situation in the West Bank including occupying the Jordan Valley (25% of the West Bank). The Jordan Valley demand is new. It was not included in the negotiations between 2000 - 2007.

    4. Borders.

    Palestinians. Want the pre-1967 borders with some acceptable land swaps to accommodate key Israeli settlements.

    Israel. Who knows. Israel has never been willing to define the borders they are asking for; yet, they continue to allow new settlements.

    5. Recognition of Israel as a Jewish State (another new demand).

    Palestinians. Refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state as that would imply recognition and acquiescence of the discrimination against Israeli Arabs and other non-Jewish minorities inherent in that recognition.

    Israel. Israel demands that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

    6. Right of Return

    Palestinians. Palestinians refuse to give up on this demand.

    Israel. The ROR is a red line which they will not move on.

    If both sides were willing to negotiate in good faith on these issues they could all be resolved. They will not be resolved because of political considerations on both sides. For instance, Abbas would not survive if he were to give up on the ROR issue. Likewise, any Israeli PM who gave away half of Jerusalem would quickly become an ex-PM. Given that reality, there will never be an agreement on a two-state solution. Pursuing it merely extends the kabuki we have witnessed for the past 45 years.


    1. You really don't have a clue do you?

    2. .

      Sorry, WiO, didn't mean to upset you by stating 'facts'. You have indicted that facts are meaningless and inimical to your thought patterns. I should have been more sensitive.


  39. Paul Krugman: The Blackmail Caucus, a.k.a. the Republican Party

    Why is Boehner quitting?:

    The Blackmail Caucus, a.k.a. the Republican Party, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: John Boehner was a terrible, very bad, no good speaker of the House. Under his leadership, Republicans pursued an unprecedented strategy of scorched-earth obstructionism, which did immense damage to the economy and undermined America’s credibility around the world. ...

    For me, Mr. Boehner’s defining moment remains what he said and did ... when a newly inaugurated President Obama was trying to cope with the disastrous recession that began under his predecessor. ...

    In 2008 a stimulus plan passed Congress with bipartisan support, and the case for a further stimulus in 2009 was overwhelming. But with a Democrat in the White House, Mr. Boehner demanded that policy go in the opposite direction, declaring that “American families are tightening their belts. But they don’t see government tightening its belt.” And he called for government to “go on a diet.” This was know-nothing economics, and incredibly irresponsible at a time of crisis...

    The Boehner era has been one in which Republicans have accepted no responsibility for helping to govern the country, in which they have opposed anything and everything the president proposes.

    What’s more, it has been an era of budget blackmail, in which threats that Republicans will shut down the government or push it into default unless they get their way have become standard operating procedure. ...

    1. So why is he out? Basically because the obstructionism failed..., despite all Mr. Boehner’s efforts to bring him down, Mr. Obama is looking more and more like a highly successful president.

      For the base,..., this is a nightmare. And all too many ambitious Republican politicians are willing to tell the base that it’s Mr. Boehner’s fault, that he just didn’t try blackmail hard enough.

      This is nonsense, of course. In fact, the controversy over Planned Parenthood that probably triggered the Boehner exit — shut down the government in response to obviously doctored videos? — might have been custom-designed to illustrate just how crazy the G.O.P.’s extremists have become, how unrealistic they are about what confrontational politics can accomplish.
      But Republican leaders who have encouraged the base to believe all kinds of untrue things are in no position to start preaching political rationality.

      Mr. Boehner is quitting because he found himself caught between the limits of the politically possible and a base that lives in its own reality. But don’t cry for (or with) Mr. Boehner; cry for America, which must find a way to live with a G.O.P. gone mad.

      Economists View

  40. Highlights

    The consumer is making money and spending money at the same time that inflation is very quiet. Personal income rose 0.3 percent in August which is on the low side of expectations but July is now revised 1 tenth higher to a very solid 0.5 percent. And the wages & salaries component is also very solid, at plus 0.5 and 0.6 percent the last two months. Turning to spending, the gain is 0.4 percent which is 1 tenth above consensus with July revised 1 tenth higher to 0.4 percent also.

    Inflation readings came in as expected, at no change for the PCE price index and up only 0.1 percent for the core. Year-on-year, overall prices are up only 0.3 percent, which is unchanged from July, with the core ticking 1 tenth higher to 1.3 percent which is still well below the Fed's 2 percent target.

    The savings rate is solid at 4.6 percent and has been edging lower from 4.9 percent in April. This may be a sign of confidence among consumers who are now willing to spend while saving less. Other details include a rise for rents but a dip for proprietor income.

    This report is very healthy but how it plays for the FOMC is uncertain. Income and spending would justify a rate hike but not the inflation readings.

    Personal Income and Outlays

  41. There is stupid and there is hayseed stupid.

    1. There are dumb fucks and then there are vain urban limo dumb fucks.

    2. Oh wait, perhaps you were referring to Rufus.....

  42. Dad always said 'vote for the best person' -

    Ben Carson is deeply pro-American because he has lived the great American success story. His life experience is blessedly free of the bitterness and rage of Obama and Jerry Wright. Carson is highly intelligent but also self-disciplined and hardworking. He did the long hours of academic work, went through pre-med, med school, residency, then neurosurgical specialization, an obstacle course that's like Marine Corps training. It's a matter of constantly being tested, every day and night. Then he launched a distinguished career as a neurosurgeon, no mean feat, being chosen by his peers to take on some of the toughest cases, where failure was a real possibility, like separating twins joined at the head. That's the Olympics for brain surgery.

    With a combination of smarts, motivation, surgical talent, and faith, he managed that, too. Carson is the real thing. He is also religious, modest, and genuine. He doesn't need to compensate for hidden feelings of inferiority. Carson comes from a healing place, in his family, his faith, and his career. He's almost too good to be true. But I don't see a smidgen of fakery. The race isn't over yet, and we'll see. Any horse can show hidden weaknesses in the stretch.

    Carson has personally seen the damage inflicted on African-Americans by decades of liberal exploitation. You can't be a medical resident in an American hospital without seeing the walking wounded come in every night, many of them black and Hispanic. Ever since his residency, Carson has seen people die from drugs and violence. It's not theoretical to him.

    September 28, 2015
    Three Deeply Pro-American Candidates
    By James Lewis

    We are beginning to understand the GOP field, and to me the most interesting thing is three front-runners who seem to be genuinely pro-American.

    I don’t mean that the others are not pro-American; I just don't understand them yet.

    The three I feel pretty sure about are Trump, Cruz, and Carson, each one for a different reason.......

    1. Ahhh! The Aroma !!!

      Clinton on suicide watch -

      Hillary in a corner

      She’s on a suicide watch as her fibs and stretchers just keep coming
      By THE WASHINGTON TIMES - - Thursday, September 24, 2015

      Anot-so-funny thing is happening to Hillary Clinton on her way to the coronation. By this time she was supposed to be busy getting accustomed to the purple, looking forward to high times next summer at the Democratic National Convention in Tampa. She might have been thinking about what she would do about those carpets upstairs in the White House that she never got around to replacing when she lived there in that other century. Now she’s on a suicide watch.

      Will she continue to die the death of a thousand self-inflicted cuts, or will she — and the rest of us — be put out of her misery by an embarrassed and frightened party and an ambitious vice president who can’t believe the prospect of a second chance at a job he has lusted for, for so long.......

  43. There are BAD ASSES, tough guys, heroic warriors that slaughtered 2440 last summer in Gaza, no doubt. BAD ASS sees cowards all around him. Twerps to a man, because they won’t fight Iran? Are these cowards holding back the biggest and the baddest of the bad, the IDF? They are bad when they can hide behind uncle’s skirt but they do get a little limp wristed when, perish the thought, going it alone.