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

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Surprise Surprise - Israel to get $3.7billion from US taxpayers - Schumer receives $90,000 from Israeli Lobby

Published on October 28th, 2015 | by Eli Clifton

Schumer Opposes Iran Deal, Receives $90,000 From AIPAC Ally

by Eli Clifton LOEB BLOG
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) was the first Senate Democrat to publicly oppose the Obama administration’s deal to constrain Iran’s nuclear program. Schumer announced he would vote against the agreement on August 6, less than three weeks after the White House presented the nuclear agreement to Congress. The New York Times proclaimed that Schumer’s opposition was “shaking [the] Democratic firewall.” The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of the deal’s most influential Washington opponents, issued a statement welcoming Schumer’s stance and, in a hint that they expected Schumer to deliver the votes of fellow Democrats, said, “We agree that we need a better deal as bipartisan opposition grows and public support for this bad deal is eroding.”
Schumer only managed to bring along three more Senate Democrats—Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ)—but his decision to break ranks and take sides against the Obama administration’s signature second-term foreign policy initiative coincided with a generous infusion of campaign contributions from NORPAC, a PAC affiliated with AIPAC.
AIPAC’s leadership has been known to funnel their campaign contributions through NORPAC, whichbills itself as the “the largest pro-Israel PAC.” NORPAC contributed $90,000 to Schumer’s campaign committee between the time of the announcement of his opposition to the Iran deal and the September Senate vote, according to the group’s recent FEC disclosures.
Schumer’s is widely seen as a safe seat, but he could still use the cash. His opposition to the deal quickly made him a target for progressive activists, who highlighted his vote in favor of the Iraq war and challenged whether the New York senator was qualified to be the next leader of the Democratic caucus. CREDO Action issued a statement blasting Schumer, saying, “Sen. Schumer is rallying Senate Democrats to the warmonger caucus by joining Republicans in a rush to yet another war of choice in the Middle East.”
MoveOn, an anti-war group, announced that 17,636 members had committed to withhold $8.3 million in campaign contributions to Schumer and any other Democrats if they succeeded in sabotaging the nuclear deal.
The NORPAC donation to Schumer make him the biggest recipient of the group’s campaign contributions in the 2016 election cycle, marking a significant uptick in the pro-Israel PAC’s support of the New York Democrat. In 2010, his last election year, Schumer received only $25,700 from NORPAC. Before that, in the 2004 cycle, he got $3,000—despite consistently taking the hawkish, pro-Israel positions that define NORPAC’s giving.
NORPAC denies engaging in quid-pro-quo deals in exchange for campaign funds. But it has touted its focus on Iran—sometimes in hysterical, apocalyptic terms. The group’s president, Ben Chouake, told National Journal last year that NORPAC’s support of new Iran sanctions was a response to an “existential threat to the world.” He added:
What’s on the table is the prospect of nuclear genocide. They want to do to the Jews in 12 minutes what Hitler did in 12 years. You just can’t let crazy people get nuclear weapons. There’s nowhere to hide.
NORPAC went even further as the Iran deal vote loomed. In September, the PAC emailed its members, urging them to “please take the time to attend” demonstrations organized by hawkish Islamophobic groups, including the Center for Security PolicyFrank Gaffney, who heads up CSP, is a leading proponent of conspiracy theories about Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the U.S. government and the foreign-born status of President Obama.
Despite the alliance against the Iran deal with radical Republican Islamophobes like Gaffney, NORPAC has always maintained close ties to those Democrats in Congress who take hawkish positions on the Middle East. With Schumer, they’ll have a man in the leadership: the New York senator is widely expected to take up the minority leader slot when Harry Reid (D-NV) retires next year. For his part, Schumer can tout the donation as a sign of his fundraising prowess as a potential Democratic leader. The only losers, it seems, are progressives, whose positions Schumer seems sure to cast aside so long as he can keep banking on right-wing donors to fill the breach.


  1. Is Iran preparing to Nuke Israel as Netanyahu and our ally Israel, the ally that has never done anything for the US since it bombed the US Liberty and killed our US servicemen back in 1967, claimed?

    No. While Israel is doing what Israel does best, shaking the US Congress down for billions, Iran is invited to help negotiate a settlement in Syria.


    After long being considered part of the problem, Iran is now being seen as part of the solution - at least when it comes to ending the conflict in Syria.
    That became apparent on Tuesday as the United States revealed it had invited Iran to take part in multilateral talks in Vienna on Friday, reversing its long-standing opposition to involving President Bashar al-Assad's closest ally in discussions about his future.
    The change in US policy seems to be one of the first political dividends of July's nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers.
    The deal was the result of two years of direct negotiations between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, during which there was a need for a great deal of mutual understanding and respect.

    1. {...}

      For some time, Iran has been pushing a four-point plan for Syria that calls for a ceasefire, followed by the formation of a national unity government, constitutional reforms and, finally, free elections. The plan could, conceivably, now be used as a basis for further discussions.

      But perhaps more surprising than the change in US policy, has been Saudi Arabia's acquiescence to Iran's involvement in the talks in Vienna.
      According to some reports, only hours before the invitation was sent, King Salman was pleading with Mr Kerry not to do so.
      Many in the region see the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia as being at the heart of the deepening conflicts in the Middle East.
      Aside from potentially ending the destructive and bloody war in Syria, the talks in Vienna might therefore offer a way to calm that rivalry.

  2. While we wait for our crack research team to come up with one thing that our most valued ally has ever done for the US, let’s take a peak at what is going on in an actual US school district in a real US State. Surely, Pennsylvania has been a US ally for some time.

    Allentown, PA

    No one wants to think of the budget impasse in Harrisburg stretching into 2016, but administrators in the East Penn School District are doing just that.

    If the stalemate remains in place come February, it could mean a moratorium on new hires or the district's borrowing money to stay afloat, the school board learned Monday.

    "It will become critical for us in February," Superintendent Michael Schilder said.

    That's because local earned income tax dollars collected throughout the year will be nearly tapped out by then, with no money from the state coming in to help offset expenses, board President Alan Earnshaw said.

    "That money is drawn down that much faster," he said.

    Schilder said the district was informed by the Public School Employees' Retirement System that its quarterly payment due in September was reduced from $3.7 million to $1.8 million because state dollars hadn't come into the district before the due date.

    So the district was allowed to forgo payment on the state share, Treasurer Debra Surdoval said.

    "Normally we pay the state share as well as the district share. Since they didn't pay us five days before, PSERS allowed us to pay only the district's share," she said.

    District administrators believe the same arrangement will hold true when the next payment is due in December, but have not yet been notified, Surdoval said.

    East Penn has continued to cover its bills for brick-and-mortar charter schools but not cybercharters, Schilder said, but that could change if there is no state budget in place by February.

    "More than likely we'll have to withhold all charter bills," he said.

    Until then, the district will look into delaying some purchases, Schilder said, but he declined to specify which purchases might be affected.

    “We won’t know until we take a closer look at them," he said.

  3. US school children, their families that actually pay US taxes, the US vendors that supply material and services to educate Pennsylvania schools all have to suffer due to lack of funding.

    Meanwhile a US Senator receives a $90,000 payoff from a lobby that helps extract $3.7 billion annually from US taxpayers, to a so-called ally that has never done actually anything that anyone can recall.

  4. How many US school districts could benefit from the annual $3.7 Israeli payoff for services never rendered?

    1. ...Charles Ballard, board liaison to the state Legislature, said he doesn't believe anything will happen until after the November elections.

      "We could easily be looking at something going into next year," he said.

      East Penn is in better shape, he said, than smaller, more cash-strapped districts as well as those that are more dependent on state funding, such as Allentown.

  5. thanks Deuce for proving that you are infected by Israel Derangement Syndrome.


  6. Billions to Israel aid

    I recently visited a senator's office in Washington D.C. to share my concerns about giving Israeli another $45 billion in military aid when this country has done little, if anything, to make peace with its neighbors and there are so many needs in this county. The senator's foreign affairs aide stated the senator supports Israel while I shared with him examples where the Israeli government has bulldozed Palestinian homes, crops and destroyed community projects. I also shared with him information from the Jewish Voice for Peace organization that also has serious concern with these inhuman activities.

    As I left the senator's office there was a large group lobbying for more money to support cancer research. Given the influence the lobbyists for Israel have in Washington, I thought to myself cancer research funding is not even a distant second. If there's any doubt, just watch the news when Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu comes to Washington in November. I'm sure he'll leave with his pockets stuffed with our taxpayer dollars. As for that kind of money going to cancer research — good luck.

    Bob Horner Orlando

    1. Cancer research takes back seat to Israeli aid: Letters

  7. Israeli and American teams are putting together a plan to increase annual U.S. military aid to Israel by as much as $1 billion, on top of the current $3.1 billion, a source close to the military aid process said Wednesday.

    Talks on military aid started recently, and are now being discussed by the professional staffs of the two countries’ defense establishments. For now, Israeli defense officials are calling news of the large aid increase “rumors.”

    Israel refused to hold talks on the military aid framework and the “compensation package” it will receive because of the Iranian nuclear agreement, until that agreement was approved
    read more:

  8. U.S. military aid to Israel began in 1962, with the cumulative sum now standing at about $100 billion.

    Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is scheduled to visit the United States at the beginning of next week for what is described as a “work trip.” He will meet with his U.S. counterpart Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. American military aid is expected to be a main topic of their meeting. Ya’alon’s visit was scheduled a long time ago, but because of the present security situation it was cut short by two days.

    read more:

  9. Besides the military aid, Israel gets $2 billion a year in loan guarantees, they get $1.5 billion in private US funds in the forms of private tax deductions and this is $1 billion and $500 million in Israeli bonds.

    Israeli aid is approximately one-third of the American foreign aid budget.

    Israel is 0.001 percent of the world’s population and has one of the world’s highest per capita incomes.

    There are 12.7 million US citizens in Pennsylvania.

    There are 8 million Israelis.

    When a basic two-bedroom apartment in Pennsylvania costs an average $895 a month, renters must earn at least $17.21 an hour -- 2.4 times the state minimum wage -- to afford a decent roof over their heads.

    Although the cost of renting a two-bedroom unit in the Pittsburgh region is lower at $772 a month, Pittsburgh households still must earn about $14.85 an hour to afford the apartment, which amounts to more than twice the state minimum wage and 117 percent of what the average city renter earns.

    An estimated 56 percent of Pittsburgh-area renters cannot afford to meet the expenses for a two-bedroom apartment.

    ”The [typical] renter’s hourly wage in Pittsburgh is $12.70.

    That means the most they could afford to pay is $660 a month in rent,” said Liz Hersh, executive director of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania. Her estimate is based on renters paying no more than one-third of their income on rent and utilities.

    The average hourly wage in Israel is $13.65

    1. .

      I had to laugh when Bibi was refusing to accept the 'compensation package' on the Iran deal. They were talking a multi-year deal in the billions. Believe me, Bibi will allow himself to be persuaded so as to repair the 'Israel/US relationship' once again doing us a big favor. What a guy.

      In your list above, you forget to the $1.5 trillion paid to Egypt each year so as to keep peace between Egypt and Israel. And if you think they are not related just look at the way Israel lobbied for the Egyptian aid to continue when Congress was talking about cutting it.


  10. General Information – Pennsylvania

    Number of veterans: 995,135
    Number of veterans receiving disability compensation or pension: 109,172
    Number of veterans receiving monthly disability compensation: 94,917
    Number of VA pensions to veterans in Pennsylvania: 14,225
    Number of disability compensation claims processed: 27,511
    VA total expenditures in Pennsylvania: $3.7 billion
    VA compensation & pension expenditures in Pennsylvania: $1.5 billion
    Number of Pennsylvania veterans using GI Bill education benefits: 13,011

  11. 995,135 veterans live in Pennsylvania.

    They actually did something for the US as Pennsylvanians have done for 200 plus years.

    What did Israel do for the US to deserve an annual payment of $3.7 billion?

    1. What has Israel done for or two the US since 1962 that entitled them for over $100 billion in direct military aid alone?

      I know what they did in 1967, but other than the murderous assault on the US Liberty, nothing else comes to mind.

      Help us out.

      Name one thing that Israel has done for US security since 1962 for $100 billion.

    2. Your crusade is telling....

      America gave over 20 billion to Iran last year alone and is unfreezing another 100 billion...

      How much has America spent on Syrian Rebels? Iraq? Afghanistan?

      How much has America spent on keeping the Persian oil safe for China?

      How much is America giving the Palestinians? Jordanians?

      No let's continue to be retarded about Israel.

      You are a peach Deuce,

      But the simple fact remains, regardless of whether you approve or understand, Israel is and will continue to be a most valued ally in the world, let alone the middle east.

      That's why both sides of the aisle from Clinton, Gore, Pelosi, Reid to Bush, Dole, Trump, Carson and others all agree that israel is America's friend and ally.

      Your hatred is blinding you beyond all recognition....

      But in that hatred comes a clarity that we see...

      The evil that is the Iranian mullahs, hamas, Hezbollah, the culture of death of the palesitnians.

      You have personified it...

      you have metastizied it...

    3. Help us out.

      Name one thing that Israel has done for US security since 1962 for $100 billion.

  12. Highlights

    Initial claims rose only 1,000 in the October 24 week to a lower-than-expected 260,000 which is just off a 42-year low. The 4-week average continues to make new 42-year lows, down for a seventh week in row to 259,250. Initial claims, already at historic lows, appear to be trending even lower.

    Continuing claims are also pointing to significant improvement. A sample-week to sample-week comparison with the September and October employment reports shows a large 100,000 decline in claims, from 2.244 million in the September 12 week to 2.144 million in the October 17 week. A comparison of 4-week averages shows a 77,000 decline to 2.175 million. The unemployment rate for insured workers remains at a very low 1.6 percent.

    There are no special factors in today's report, one that continues to point to very low levels of unemployment.

    Jobless Claims


  13. Good Grief give it a break for one day, Deuce, can't you please.

    There's a yard sale this weekend down the street, we have a university football game coming up, some of the ducks and geese are flying south (some don't, some stay here, we call them 'home boys', in their brains they have overcome instinct and have decided to stay in the parks, and along the rivers, and get free food without work from the human passers-by) the stars still shine, the productive still go to work, the newspaperiis delivered, the Country/Western is on the radio, the muzz invasion hasn't killed you yet (though they have promised they will, unlike the Israelis), my OGF is moving to a new house, my Niece dreams of having one of her own, er first, in the West, certainly not Iran, one of these days (the Iranians would not treat her well, she is Hindu, doesn't burka they might stone her), Calico the Cat jumps on my bed, and I face the day reading over a dozen comments by you about, basically, how you hate Jews.

    The rest of us don't.

    My wife doesn't.

    Nor my daughter.

    Nor my son.

    Nor any of my cousins.

    Nor my Niece.

    Nor any of my deceased.

    Not my grandfather....

    Nor any of my dead Aunts...

    etc etc

    Give it a break.

    1. Listen shit for brains. I know that you have comprehension problem that begins with not knowing your asshole from your dumb ass mouth that spews idiotic shit non-stop.

      To an idiotic racist like yourself, it is impossible for you to see how the actions of some blacks are indistinguishable from all other blacks. You have the same problem with Mexicans, Arabs, Persians, Palestinians, Catholics and oh by the way Jews.

      How so? Your racist ignorance sees a criticism of some Israelis who are Jews as being all about Jews in general. Your racial stereotyping is complete. Everyone in hayseed world is grouped unto a racial, religious or ethnic stereotype and category.

      I realize that you are too shallow to recognize that but everyone else here has. Let me give you an example from the past.

      On many occasions you referred to you and your father’s “Jewish” lawyer. Allen called you on it a few times, but in hayseed pomme de terre, such sublties escaped you.

      You are an ignorant swine wrapped in some pseudo literary costume with smeared improperly applied clown makeup and too thick mascara.

      Put up or shut up.

    2. Very good, Deuce.

      My Niece still wants to come to


      NOT Iran.

      Poke that up your ass hole.

  14. I have never read anything that Deuce has written that makes me think he "hates jews."

    I believe he despises the politics of Israel, as do I, and many others.

    To conflate Israel, and Jews, is either disingenuous, or, in some cases, pure ignorance.

    Deuce is neither disingenuous, nor ignorant.

    1. You are a Moron.

      See above:

      Who has been given, foolishly, the vote.

    2. .

      Spud, the 'English Major' once again proves his capabilities.

      I've read his last comment a couple of times and it doesn't make sense. No surprise.


    3. Try reading again, Detroit Turd, repetition helps.

    4. galopn2Thu Oct 29, 10:23:00 AM EDT
      I have never read anything that Deuce has written that makes me think he "hates jews."

      I believe he despises the politics of Israel, as do I, and many others.

      To conflate Israel, and Jews, is either disingenuous, or, in some cases, pure ignorance.

      Deuce is neither disingenuous, nor ignorant.

      I call bullshit.

    5. .

      Repetition doesn't help when trying to understand sentence fragments and weird, distorted phrasing.

      That is hardly what one would expect from an 'English major'.


    6. To conflate Israel, and Jews, is either disingenuous, or, in some cases, pure ignorance.

      So say the Israel hater...

      Establishment of Israel:
      The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel

      Notice Rufus, the JEWISH VIRTUAL LIBRARY

      On the day the British Mandate over Palestine expired - Friday, May 14, 1948 - the Jewish People's Council gathered at the Tel Aviv Museum to declare the establishment of the State of Israel. There is no record of who attended the meeting, but 350 invitations were sent out instructing the recipients to keep the information secret. Word got it out, however, and people started singing Hatikvah in the streets even before David Ben-Gurion began reading the dceclaration he had written. The ceremony was held at 4 p.m. before the British left to avoid making the declaration on Shabbat. It took 17 minutes to read the entire document in a 32 minute ceremony. Some people signed the declaration later and one person signed twice. Four hours later, Egypt bombed Tel Aviv. The new state was recognized that night by the United States and three days later by the USSR.


      ERETZ-ISRAEL (the Land of Israel) was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

      After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.

      Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland. In recent decades they returned in their masses. Pioneers, ma'pilim (immigrants coming to Eretz-Israel in defiance of restrictive legislation) and defenders, they made deserts bloom, revived the Hebrew language, built villages and towns, and created a thriving community controlling its own economy and culture, loving peace but knowing how to defend itself, bringing the blessings of progress to all the country's inhabitants, and aspiring towards independent nationhood.

      In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish State, Theodore Herzl, the First Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country.

      This right was recognized in the Balfour Declaration of the 2nd November, 1917, and re-affirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations which, in particular, gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz-Israel and to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its National Home.

      The catastrophe which recently befell the Jewish people — the massacre of millions of Jews in Europe — was another clear demonstration of the urgency of solving the problem of its homelessness by re-establishing in Eretz-Israel the Jewish State, which would open the gates of the homeland wide to every Jew and confer upon the Jewish people the status of a fully privileged member of the community of nations.

      Survivors of the Nazi holocaust in Europe, as well as Jews from other parts of the world, continued to migrate to Eretz-Israel, undaunted by difficulties, restrictions and dangers, and never ceased to assert their right to a life of dignity, freedom and honest toil in their national homeland.

    8. In the Second World War, the Jewish community of this country contributed its full share to the struggle of the freedom- and peace-loving nations against the forces of Nazi wickedness and, by the blood of its soldiers and its war effort, gained the right to be reckoned among the peoples who founded the United Nations.

      On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable.

      This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State.


    9. WE DECLARE that, with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being tonight, the eve of Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), until the establishment of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance with the Constitution which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st October 1948, the People's Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State, and its executive organ, the People's Administration, shall be the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, to be called "Israel".

      THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

      THE STATE OF ISRAEL is prepared to cooperate with the agencies and representatives of the United Nations in implementing the resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947, and will take steps to bring about the economic union of the whole of Eretz-Israel.

      WE APPEAL to the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in the building-up of its State and to receive the State of Israel into the comity of nations.

      WE APPEAL — in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months — to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

      WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.

      WE APPEAL to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream — the redemption of Israel.

      THE 5TH DAY OF IYAR, 5708 - 14TH MAY,1948.

      So rufus, before your type, try READING for a change...

  15. Median Household Income is roaring back.


    1. Median income in September, 2015 ($56,279) was 4.3 percent higher than in September 2014 ($53,968), and 8.7
      percent higher than in August 2011 ($51,756).

      Press Release

    2. .

      Only 7 years to get back to 2008. Pretty good.


    3. .

      In what sense?

      I made the comment without checking the numbers but then I checked your chart which I assume is in real dollars.

      If I'm reading it right current median income is still below 2008.


  16. I hope that I answered your questions on the last thread.
    If not, I'll be back in about an hour.
    Time to feed animals.

  17. .

    US offers pleas to some 'allies' and threats to others.

    From the Guardian...

    US warns Britain: If you leave EU you face barriers to trading with America

    Trade representative Michael Froman says UK would face same tariffs and barriers as China, Brazil or India in the event of Brexit

    The United States is not keen on pursuing a separate free trade deal with Britain if it leaves the European Union, the US trade representative, Michael Froman, said – the first public comments from a senior US official on the matter...

    “We’re not particularly in the market for FTAs with individual countries. We’re building platforms … that other countries can join over time...”


    Israel–United States Free Trade Agreement


    1. That was signed in 1985.

      Would Obama sign a free trade agreement with Israel today?


      So what is you disinformation's point?

      More bullshit

    2. .

      “We’re not particularly in the market for FTAs with individual countries. We’re building platforms … that other countries can join over time...”

      From Wiki...

      Current bilateral US FTA's

      Israel: Israel–United States Free Trade Agreement (incl. Palestinian Authority; 1985)
      Jordan: Jordan–United States Free Trade Agreement (2001)
      Australia: Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement (2004)
      Chile: Chile–United States Free Trade Agreement (2004)
      Singapore: Singapore–United States Free Trade Agreement (2004)
      Bahrain: Bahrain–United States Free Trade Agreement (2006)
      Morocco: Morocco-United States Free Trade Agreement (2006)
      Oman: Oman–United States Free Trade Agreement (2006)
      Peru: Peru–United States Trade Promotion Agreement (2007)
      Panama: Panama–United States Trade Promotion Agreement (2012)
      Colombia: United States–Colombia Free Trade Agreement (2012)
      South Korea: United States–Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (2012)


    3. .


      More importantly,

      Proposed bilateral US FTA's

      New Zealand: US–New Zealand Free Trade Agreement[1]
      Ghana: US–Ghana Free Trade Agreement
      Indonesia: US–Indonesia Free Trade Agreement
      Kenya: US–Kenya Free Trade Agreement
      Kuwait: US–Kuwait Free Trade Agreement (Expert-level trade talks held in February 2006)
      Malaysia: US–Malaysia Free Trade Agreement (last meeting was in July 2008)
      Mauritius: US–Mauritius Free Trade Agreement
      Mozambique: US–Mozambique Free Trade Agreement
      Taiwan: US–Taiwan Free Trade Agreement
      United Arab Emirates: US–United Arab Emirates Free Trade Agreement (5th round of talks are yet to be scheduled)
      Ecuador: US–Ecuador Free Trade Agreement

      The US picks and chooses who they will stick it to and why even if it is to a country that some would argue has been our best ally in the world for some time.


    4. So your point about Israel was shit...

      as usual

    5. .

      Not at all.

      Israel was the first country on the list. It was also the first one I assumed the US would have an FTA with.

      Oh, and it also shows how much we really value our 'best' ally in the world.

      . .

  18. My God.

    Wife brought me Mandarin Pine.

    Just out of the blue.

    Just like that.

    Argument is shit.

    A thoughtful wife means everything.

  19. Israel’s Contribution to Saving American Lives
    EVELYN GORDON / JUNE 21, 2011

    Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, head of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, announced yesterday Israeli missile defense systems will be integrated into a planned U.S. regional defense array, where they will help protect U.S. forces in the Middle East and, perhaps, also Arab allies of America that don’t even have diplomatic relations with Israel. These systems – the Arrow for defense against ballistic missiles, Iron Dome and Magic Wand for shorter-range rockets – are a product of the close American-Israeli alliance: They were developed with generous American funding and in cooperation with American companies, but the technology is primarily Israeli. Now, that technology will be used to save American lives.

    Well if Deuce wants to go back to 1967 we can and shall...


    As the world’s population grows, governments around the world are questioning how the billions of new mouths will be fed. The answer, according to Israeli inventor Rafi Mehudar, is right under their feet – in the drip irrigation technology he perfected for water tech firm Netafim.

    Drip Irrigation Expanding Worldwide
    Posted by Sandra Postel of National Geographic's Freshwater Initiative on June 25, 2012

    As the world population climbs and water stress spreads around the globe, finding ways of getting more crop per drop to meet our food needs is among the most urgent of challenges.

    One answer to this call is drip irrigation, which delivers water directly to the roots of plants in just the right amounts. It can double or triple water productivity – boosting crop per drop – and it appears to be taking off worldwide.

    Over the last twenty years, the area under drip and other “micro” irrigation methods has risen at least 6.4-fold, from 1.6 million hectares to more than 10.3 million. (One hectare is about 2.5 acres. The latest figures from the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage include countries accounting for only three-quarters of the world’s irrigated area, so the 10.3 million figure is low.)

    The most dramatic gains have occurred in China and India, the world’s top two irrigators, where the area under micro-irrigation expanded 88-fold and 111-fold, respectively, over the last two decades. India now leads the world, with nearly 2 million hectares (about 5 million acres) under micro-irrigation methods.

    Drip irrigation, commercialized by Israeli engineers in the 1950s, delivers water directly to crops’ roots through porous or perforated tubing installed on or below the soil surface. Compared with conventional flood or furrow irrigation, drip methods can reduce the volume of water applied to fields by up to 70 percent, while increasing crop yields by 20-90 percent.

    Now for the Palestinian advances in Drip Irrigation:

    A study published by the El-Kudz University, in East Jerusalem, included a segment on the penetration of drip irrigation to areas of the West Bank, which is now part of the Palestinian Authority. Amongst other points, they mentioned that today, 25 years after the penetration of drip irrigation into the Jordan Rift Valley, 97% of the vegetables are irrigated by drip, 2.4% by sprinklers and 0.6% by traditional methods. It was also found that all the bananas and most of the orchards are also drip irrigated.

    Well it's Israeli technology/help to the palestinians.. but who's counting...

    1. .

      The Palestinians will sure need it given the amount of water they are allowed by Israel.



    2. Drip Drip Drip


    3. The palestinians waste much of the water they have access too..

      Israel is quite generous in providing water to it's neighbors. Now in Lebanon? they have damed up water that was to flow to the Israelis (and palestinians) in an act of war, which due to israel's investment in desalinization has become not as important.

      Water is the next battle in the world

      The palestinians would do well in try not to blow up the National water pipes of Israel (as they did in 1966)

      Open up the subject quirk and you will find that the arabs have a history of actually trying to "starve" the jews out of jerusalem and israel. Your snide comments aside, once again proves you know NOTHING to what you speak of...

      you are still a shit.

    4. Israel plans to double the amount of water it sells to the Gaza Strip to help relieve the water crisis there and ease the burden on the overtaxed coastal aquifer. It is the latest in a series of gestures Israel has made recently to the Palestinians there and in the West Bank.

      In an interview to the Jerusalem- based daily Al-Quds on Wednesday, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai announced that Gaza would receive 10 million cubic meters of water a year instead of the current 5 million. The additional quantity is expected to begin flowing within the next week, a COGAT spokeswoman told The Jerusalem Post.

      Maybe instead of spending 1 billion on terror tunnels Hamas could improve it's water infrastructure?

      Naw too easy...

    5. .

      you are still a shit.

      Keep it up, son, and you may hurt my feelings.


    6. Quirk a heartless asshole like you has no feelings..

  21. Help us out.

    Name one thing that Israel has done for US security since 1962 for $100 billion.

  22. Imagine my surprise, and joy, when I arrived home from Vietnam, and found that I'd been "Given" the vote.

    1. Then, of course, I learned that draft dodging, cow-college matriculators had it also, and my high spirits were dashed.

    2. I didn't dodge the draft.

      I stood for the draft lottery.

      I went to the University of Washington and studied Shakespeare, Roethke (whom you had never heard of before I brought him up - and my Niece loves.....I introduced her to him.....not personally, he's dead......well, actually really alive.....but you wouldn't get it) Whitman, Frost, Hem, the Metaphysicals of the 17th Century England, (John Donne) Goethe, a German, a Frenchy ot two, and, a wonderful Polish who wrote in English, and let's see if Quirk can guess his name...

      What is his name, Quirk ?

      I didn't fall off the bar stool, dead drunk, and into the recruiting station, like you.

      And, fifty years later, I am not wondering what the hell I went to Vietnam for to kill the yellow man, like you are wondering.

    3. I want to make clear I truly appreciate your efforts, those of Deuce, those of the ancestors of WiO, and all the others who kept the Russian Bear out of Europe, and will hopefully keep the muzz away........

      We have some foreign policy disagreements.

      We have political disagreements.

      I support the USA Armed Forces.

      I did not dodge the draft.

      Nor did I fall off the bar stool, or join the Air Force to get out of combat.

      I stood for the draft.

    4. Oh, my poor aching ass. There are not only millions of people in the world smarter than me, Now there are Millions + 1.

      I don't know whether to shoot myself, or go jump in the river.


      Maybe, I'll just have another cookie.

    5. You poor, ignorant ass. Maybe, you can't remember what you read, but most of the rest of us can. And, we remember the reason you gave for going to college.

    6. But, I'm still thankful for having been "Given" the vote.

      You racist, pig piece of shit.

    7. My Niece, by the way, who understood Roethke immediately, hates all this fighting around, has zero against the Jews, worries about the muzz (she is intelligent) sent me a gift for my birthday.

      She is a great young person.

    8. Your emotions are getting the best of you again, Rufus.

      Sober up, don't drink so much.

      It WILL help.


    9. You are truly a dumb fuck, Rufus.

      100% pure emotion.

      You voted for Bush, McCain and.............. Obama........

      Go figure.......

      All without giving any of it one single little thought......

    10. Pure emotion.....

      Emotion is wonderful....

      Read Roethke....

      It might lead to something......

      But it needs to be held like a horse in the reins of reason.....

    11. My Niece is doing that --

      Studying 'information flows in the human brain' she is.....

      Roethke knew this too....

      And Joe Conrad

    12. You remember, Joe, Quirk.

      Hem did too.

      I couldn't believe, he said.

      "I read up my Conrad like a drunkard"


      Good writer, that Joe, a Polish who wrote in English.

  23. I had a tenant one time that worked out of U of I, and also for a company that sold Israeli drip irrigation technology around the world.

    He was always on the move, flying here and there......because of this I didn't get to know him well, but he said the Israeli irrigation equipment was the best on the planet....

    I can believe that......

    He sold to dry land irrigated farms down in South Idaho too....bringing them up to speed....

  24. by Theodore Roethke

    1. The Flight

    At Woodlawn I Heard the dead cry:
    I was lulled by the slamming of iron,
    A slow drip over stones,
    Toads brooding wells.
    All the leaves stuck out their tongues;
    I shook the softening chalk of my bones,
    Snail, snail, glister me forward,
    Bird, soft-sigh me home,
    Worm, be with me.
    This is my hard time.

    Fished in an old wound,
    The soft pond of repose;
    Nothing nibbled my line,
    Not even the minnows came.

    Sat in an empty house
    Watching shadows crawl,
    There was one fly.

    Voice, come out of the silence.
    Say something.
    Appear in the form of a spider
    Or a moth beating the curtain.

    Tell me:
    Which is the way I take;
    Out of what door do I go,
    Where and to whom?

    Dark hollows said, lee to the wind,
    The moon said, back of an eel,
    The salt said, look by the sea,
    Your tears are not enough praise,
    You will find no comfort here,
    In the kingdom of bang and blab.

    Running lightly over spongy ground,
    Past the pasture of flat stones,
    The three elms,
    The sheep strewn on a field,
    Over a rickety bridge
    Toward the quick-water, wrinkling and rippling.

    Hunting along the river,
    Down among the rubbish, the bug-riddled foliage,
    By the muddy pond-edge, by the bog-holes,
    By the shrunken lake, hunting, in the heat of summer.

    The shape of a rat?

    1. It's bigger than that.
      It's less than a leg
      And more than a nose,
      Just under the water
      It usually goes.

      Is it soft like a mouse?
      Can it wrinkle his nose?
      Could it come in the house
      On the tips of its toes?

      Take the skin of a cat
      And the back of an eel,
      Then roll them in grease,—
      That's the way it would feel.

      It's sleek as an otter
      With wide webby toes
      Just under the water
      It usually goes.

      2. The Pit

      Where do the roots go?
      These stones have been here too long.
      Who stunned the dirt into noise?
      Beware Mother Mildew.
      Nibble again, fish nerves.

      3. The Gibber

      At the wood's mouth,
      By the cave's door,
      I listened to something
      I had heard before.

      Dogs of the groin
      Barked and howled,
      The sun was against me,
      The moon would not have me.

      The weeds whined,
      The snakes cried
      The cows and briars
      Said to me: Die.

      What a small song. What slow clouds. What dark water.
      Hath the rain a father? All the caves are ice. Only the snow's here.
      I'm cold. I'm cold all over. Rub me in father and mother.
      Fear was my father, Father Fear.
      His look drained the stones.

      What gliding shape
      Beckoning through halls,
      Stood poised on the stair,
      Fell dreamily down?

      From the mouths of jugs
      Perched on many shelves,
      I saw substance flowing
      That cold morning.

      Like a slither of eels


      Now, ain't that a fine mess of words.

      Give me a fucking break.

    2. O yes, it would be to you.

      It's Deucean "growth" you silly shit.

      Now go read "The Rose"

      You dumb piece of gizzard.

  25. .

    Don't bogart that cookie, my friend.


    1. You're a better man than me - another one? -

      I may never eat another cookie, again. :)

    2. .

      Wait till he starts in on the monomyth again.


    3. Make it a double

      of rat poison.

    4. Your Catholic Church is, Qaurt, entirely based on the monomyth.

      Jesus going to your Cross IS the monobyth in Catholic Christian dress, you IDIOT.

    5. You are just such a dumb fuck as not to see it.

      I cry, I weep, but then I think of Niece....

    6. And the result, I celebrate.....put on jewelry....

      You MORON

    7. eye shadow, lipstick, panties?

    8. Don't forget to put a couple of rubbers in your purse - just in case you get lucky.

    9. Idaho BobThu Oct 29, 08:06:00 PM EDT

      O yes, it would be to you.

      It's Deucean "growth" you silly shit.

      Now go read "The Rose"

      You dumb piece of gizzard.

      I am now formally ashamed of you,

    10. I meant that to "Quart"

      I have been ashamed of 'Rufus' forirever........

    11. .

      Spud, you are an embarrassment to every purported 'English major' and faux intellectual in Idaho.

      Your Catholic Church is, Qaurt, entirely based on the monomyth.


      As usual, wrong in so many ways.

      I frankly doubt it is 'my' Catholic Church. We parted company many decades ago. However, perhaps I will be mentioned in its will. Who knows?

      The Church based on the monomyth?

      I hardly think so. That would be a chronological absurdity. 'Jesus going to the cross' happened two millennia before the 20th century pop culture 'monomyth' theories of Campbell, broad generalizations so all encompassing as to be meaningless, so universal they cover everything from Odysseus to Douglas MacArthur to the Lone Ranger to Simba, the Lion King.

      However, I can see why the simplicity of the theory would appeal to you.


  26. Where do the roots go?
    These stones have been here too long.
    Who stunned the dirt into noise?
    Beware Mother Mildew.
    Nibble again, fish nerves.

    Yes, who indeed, "Stunned the earth into noise" ?

    Holy fucking moly. :)

    1. Oh, 'scusa me.

      "Stunned the Dirt into noise."


    2. And, de coup de gras:

      "Nibble again fish nerves"

    3. and, agin, and agin, and agin, and agin

      and, agin, and agin, and agin, and agin,

      and, agin, and . . . . . . . yikes

  27. Sweet Jesus.....

    Teaching is HARD.

  28. "The weeds whined

    The snakes cried"

    1. You would whine, and cry, too

      (if you were trapped in this pile of nonsense)

  29. The weeds wuz whinin', I tells ya. They wuz whinin'. An, whinin' loud, too. Real loud. So loud you couldn't hardly think. Real loud.

    An', the snakes was a'cryin'. Sobbin' real loud, and goin' through them napkins, and wigglin', an' hissin; lordy you ain't never seen such cryin', an' hissin', an' such. Lord, I'm tellin' ya.

  30. It ain't no wonder why them eels just sssslithered on outta there.

    1. You woulda too.

      In fact, I think I'm a'gonna do that right now.

    2. sssslither, ssssslither

      later, bitches

  31. As a teacher, and always, it being my profession, having the best interests of my 'students' at heart, I am wondering, in a professorial way. whether the either of the two of my 'students', Quart and Rufus, actually get the meaning of the aforesaid:

    Which is:

    exactly the suffering of a spiritual struggle upwards

    It is an argon, in the old language

    But theire is always "The Rose"

    if you can make it

    Quart has a chance

    Rufus ??????????????????

  32. .

    An argon?

    Do you mean an agon?

    Which is:

    exactly the suffering of a spiritual struggle upwards

    Not if you are talking the Roethke poem Rufus put up. It's the spiritual struggle downward, a devolution to the basics, trying to get his shit together. At the end, I see no struggling merely hope.