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

Monday, March 21, 2016

allahu akbar asshole

Isis claims dozens of Iraqi troops killed by British suicide bomber

A car bomb belonging to an Islamic State suicide bomber being blown up by Iraqi security forces in downtown Ramadi in December.
The Islamic State terror group has said a British suicide bomber killed more than two dozen Iraqi army troops in an attack on Monday, a claim swiftly rejected by the Iraqi military.

The man, whose nom de guerre was Abu Musa al-Britani, rammed his vehicle into a gathering of Iraqi army troops and vehicles near al-Asad air base in the province of Anbar, killing 30 soldiers, the group claimed on social media. The Britani suffix is used regularly for militants from the UK.

Photograph on Twitter purportedly of Abu Musa al-BritaniPhotograph on Twitter purportedly of Abu Musa al-Britani, who is said to have carried out a suicide bombing in Anbar province. Photograph: Twitter

But the Iraqi military denied the report, saying the attacker had been the only victim of the explosion.

Al-Asad is also used by American marine forces stationed in Iraq. Abu Musa’s real name remains unknown, but an image circulated on social media appearing to show him before the operation, clad in Isis’s signature black garb, smiling and holding a rifle. The Guardian was not able to verify the image. 

Iraqi forces are battling Isis troops entrenched throughout Anbar, after liberating the province’s capital Ramadi during the winter in a major setback for the militant group.

Isis controls large swathes of territory in northern Iraq, including the city of Mosul, after surging into the country in the summer of 2014 and conquering the plains of Nineveh, as well as much of Anbar. In Syria, the group controls much of the country’s eastern regions including its capital of Raqqa and most of Deir Ezzor.

A study carried out last year by the Guardian and King’s College London found that 50 Britons had died fighting for militant groups in Iraq and Syria in the previous three years. The total is since thought to have risen. 

Shiraz Maher of King’s College London’s International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) said on Twitter that Monday’s attack would take the total number of British fighters known to have been killed in Syria and Iraq to 62, “of which 10 have been suicide bombers”.

The Soufan Group, a respected security consultancy and think tank, estimated in late 2015 that between 27,000 and 31,000 foreign fighters had traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside militant groups, including 760 from the UK alone – nearly double the 2014 estimate of 400 fighters. 

Isis has prominently featured British foreign fighters in its propaganda, including Mohammed Emwazi, who appeared in brutal execution videos that documented the killing of several western journalists and aid workers. 

He was later killed in a drone strike. Last September, prime minister David Cameron said the UK had carried out drone strikes that killed two other Britons fighting for Islamic State.



    An annual survey answered by 4,000 Norwegians revealed that those replying "no" or "don't know" to the question "Do you believe in God?" now comfortably outweighed those who said "yes".

    According to The Local, 39 per cent said "no" when asked whether they believed, compared to 37 per cent who said "yes", while the remaining 23 per cent said they did not know.

    When the question was first asked in 1985, a full 50 per cent said they believed in God while only one-fifth said they did not.

    And Jan-Paul Brekke of Ipsos Norway, who led the survey, said that since they started asking 30 years ago “the percentage of those who said they aren’t sure has been about the same".

  2. The scary part is that Norwegians are rapidly being replaced by those that do believe in god.

  3. Your second comment is right on if you add the modifier 'Islamic'.

    As for belief, or disbelief, it' meaningless. One can believe in, or not, anything at all. See Islam.

    It's experience and the resulting knowledge that counts.


    Is this Megyn, Megan ? McCain I am listening to doing political commentary the daughter of Senator John McCain ?

  4. 'But when I breath with the birds
    The spirit of wrath becomes the spirit of blessing
    And the dead begin from their dark to sing in my sleep'

    What's dark to us is light to the dead.

    'Now I know it's true
    What I guessed once
    Such a transparent summer morning'

  5. We are not a duplex. We are at least a tri-plex.

    Duplex = body + consciousness

    Tri-plex = body + consciousness + spirit

    The spirit lies there mostly asleep in most people most of the time.

    The spirit is beyond time beyond space. Once it comes to be, once it is created, it can never cease to be.

    It can waken, as in The Prince coming to awaken Briar Rose, all tangled in vines and thorns, asleep.

    So those tell us that have had that experience.

    See: William James, 'The Varieties of Religious Experience'

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. .

      Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

      Justice Department declines to prosecute former U.S. diplomat

      The Justice Department is declining to prosecute a former high-ranking U.S. diplomat who was investigated by the FBI on suspicion of providing secrets to the Pakistani government, according to U.S. law enforcement officials...


      Mine isn't a comment on this particular case since I don't know enough about it. However, this part reminded me of a question I have asked here before.

      Former and current U.S. law enforcement officials were skeptical that the Justice Department would bring charges against her because of what happened in the case of former CIA director and retired four-star general David H. Petraeus.

      In that case, Petraeus provided his biographer with eight notebooks containing highly classified details, but pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information under a deal with the Justice Department.

      Many FBI agents were angered by the outcome, believing it would taint future counterintelligence cases.

      Amy Jeffress, Raphel’s attorney and a former senior Justice Department official, refused to make a deal with prosecutors. She insisted her client not be charged with any crime, according to a person familiar the negotiations...

      Smart decision on the lawyer's part. Or maybe not really ALL that smart...

      My question...

      Despite the corruption, incompetence, and abuse in most departments of the Obama administration over the years, has there been any major (or minor) Obama official that has been prosecuted, indicted, tried, reprimanded, fired, or had their credit card revoked? The only guy I can think of is Petraeus but does he really qualify as an exception?

      DOJ had him dead to rights on passing on classified information, information that was far more sensitive than what Hillary is being investigated for right now. And to top it off, Petraeus then proceeds to lie to the prosecutors. Felonies up the ass. And what does he end up getting for all this? 2 years of probation and a small fine.

      It's going on 8 years now, and the Petraeus farce is the only time I can remember any of these bums or bumettes suffering anything for their transgressions.

      If there are others, the examples would be welcomed.


    2. "Despite the corruption, incompetence, and abuse in most departments of the Obama administration over the years, has there been any major (or minor) Obama official that has been prosecuted, indicted, tried, reprimanded, fired, or had their credit card revoked?"


      But Hillary is up to Comey, and perhaps the Grand Jury.

      Comey can make the recommendation. And if it's not followed, raise hell.

      But the best info is it's already before a Grand Jury. They can indict but not prosecute.

      But it's enough. It would screw Hillary. The DoJ would look sooooo bad if they declined to prosecute a Grand Jury indictment against The Hag.

      All hell would break loose.

    3. .

      Give it up, O'Bumble. Ain't gonna happen. Certainly not before the election.

      And if she wins, which is likely, that will be the end of it.

      However, even in Bob-World, where she is tried and is found guilty, the result would be easy to predict. She could spend the next year or so texting Petraeus and complaining about life on probation and what a pain it is having to talk to her probation officer once a month when Huma isn't around to handle it for her.


    4. Aah!

      And you, Q-fuddy, know more than the US Attorney I quoted recently who spent more than 20 years at this very sort of thing ?

      He thinks it's before a Grand Jury now.

      And Comey is a straight shooter.

      Look, Q-fuddy, you may know petty felony law and think you're legal wizard cause you have a way with female jurors, but you are out of your league here, sonny buck.

  7. 3 Speeches to AIPAC:


  8. Will English Destroy All Other Languages?

    Posted by Ross Pomeroy

    Though difficult to fathom, just 1,500 years ago, English was a wisp of a language, spoken by a smattering of Germanic tribes as they migrated from mainland Europe to the island of Britain. Today, linguists whisper and wonder: will English eradicate all other languages?

    To do so would be a tall task. English's 339 million native speakers are outnumbered by those who speak Spanish (427 million) and Mandarin Chinese (897 million).* What's more, English's native speaking population has been decreasing steadily. While this situation seems to suggest that English is on the way out, globally, it's actually ascending. That's because 510 million people from all over the world have elected to learn English as a second language, and more start learning every day. No other language comes close.

    In science, business, and the media, English dominates. Learning the language is a cheap price of admission to join an increasingly interconnected world.

    A side effect is that other languages are starting to fall by the wayside. Prominent linguist David Graddol estimates that as many as 90 percent of the world's 6,000 to 7,000 languages will go extinct this century. His learned guess is echoed by John McWhorter, a linguistics professor at Columbia University. Backing them both is evidence from a study published in 2014. Researchers modeled declines in hundreds of languages and found that, on average, a language is going extinct every two weeks. If this trend continues to play out over the next century, 2,600 languages will be gone. The researchers suggested that a burning desire to benefit from economic growth is what's causing lesser-spoken languages to go up in smoke. More and more, education and employment hinges upon being able to communicate in modern society. This means that parents are not passing on rarer, obsolete languages to their children.

    1. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, McWhorter had this to say on the situation:

      "It is easy for speakers to associate larger languages with opportunity and smaller ones with backwardness, and therefore to stop speaking smaller ones to their children. But unless the language is written, once a single generation no longer passes it on to children whose minds are maximally plastic, it is all but lost. We all know how much harder it is to learn a language well as adults."

      So as esoteric tongues die, vastly fewer will remain. But will English emerge on top?

      "Some may protest that it is not English but Mandarin Chinese that will eventually become the world’s language, because of the size of the Chinese population and the increasing economic might of their nation," McWhorter wrote. "But that’s unlikely. For one, English happens to have gotten there first. It is now so deeply entrenched in print, education and media that switching to anything else would entail an enormous effort... Also, the tones of Chinese are extremely difficult to learn beyond childhood, and truly mastering the writing system virtually requires having been born to it."

      While Chinese may remain the most spoken language on account of the large and growing native population that speaks it, English certainly isn't going anywhere. One of the chief reasons is that it has cemented itself as the defining cosmopolitan language of our time. In a 2010 study, Gary Lupyan of the University of Pennsylvania and Rick Dale of the University of Memphis found data to suggest that as more and more non-native speakers learn a language, they inadvertently hack away at the extraneous edges. Over time, the language grows more streamlined and simple to learn. There's no question that English has evolved considerably over the years. Just compare the flowing prose of John Adams and Abraham Lincoln to the simplified of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

      Of course, linguistic evolution could be completely shaken up by technological advancement. A Star Trek-style universal translator is one of the holy grails of science fiction, and companies like Google are hard at work trying to craft it. If such a device ever enters the realm of reality, it could dismantle the Tower of Babel for good.


  9. William Bradford:

    "By adopting the communal system, we thought we were wiser than God"