“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, December 03, 2016

Foreign Policy with Trump and his Generals

Trump Loves Winning, but American Generals Have Forgotten How

Andrew J. Bacevich, TRUTHDIG


  1. It's hard to beat a culture that worships death.

    How is one to do it ?

    When thinking of 80,000,000 Hindu dead the thought saunters along that it might be best to.....and then the thought runs and hides.

    1. A study of Muslim atrocities on Sikhs and Hindus 1947 partition of India

    2. The Beauty of Islam

      Muhammads' Islamic paradise offers gifts of 72 virgins and "pearl like boys" for Muslims. Instead of 72 virgins award for joining Islam, Muhammad could have instead offered "x-box video games, unlimited Pizza & Donuts, unlimited membership to biggest library in Paradise and enjoyable union with loved ones who had arrived in heaven earlier".. You see, these Pizzas, libraries & videogames would only arouse someone who likes books & food & games. But Muhammads' greatest ambition was sexual pleasures, as shown by his own life-style consisting of half-a-dozen wives, including one child aged 6 years (Ayesha-the 2nd wife of Muhammad) and many concubines captured as slave girls in Muhammads wars (Including Safiya - beautiful Jewish girl stolen as Muhammads' war booty after Muhammads' followers slaughtered the girls parents & her entire family of Banu Quraiyza tribe). Muhammad projected his own sexual deviance to Allah, Muhammad projected the paradise to be a reflection of his own desires, therefore he aroused his followers with sexual dreams in heaven.

      THINK ABOUT IT FOR A MOMENT. Here we have a man, called Muhammad projected to be the "best of creations", and whose followers consider him better than even Guru Nanak & Buddha, while Muhammad offers 72 virgins in paradise! Shocking ! It seems Muhammad has reduced the moral standard of all mighty creator to the level of a sexual-PIMP who manages a heavenly brothel of 72 virgins to provide sexual service to Muslim men.
      You see the sexual deviance of Muhammad is not a problem. He died 1400 years ago, the only side effect of Muhammads sexual pervertedness is that some Muslims today follow in his footsteps and marry 6 to 9 year old girls in Afghanistan and other Muslim lands. The bigger objective of writing this article is to encourage people to research on Qur'an. Besides sexual gifts, Quran is full of instructions & commands for Muslims to kill, capture and conquer until the whole world testifies "no god other than Allah & Muhammad is his messenger".

    3. 40 Rare Images From India-Pakistan Partition 1947 That’ll Shock You

  2. Replies
    1. MOME asked:

      Who is Doug?


    2. Oh, I see.

      You're just trying to suck Quirk in and get in his pants.

    3. Don't let Rosy suck you in to her spider web, Quirk.

      You'll never get out.

  3. Is 'Mad Dog' up to the task ?

    May 31, 2014
    The Greatest Murder Machine in History
    By Mike Konrad

    When one thinks of mass murder, Hitler comes to mind. If not Hitler, then Tojo, Stalin, or Mao. Credit is given to the 20th-century totalitarians as the worst species of tyranny to have ever arisen. However, the alarming truth is that Islam has killed more than any of these, and may surpass all of them combined in numbers and cruelty.

    The enormity of the slaughters of the "religion of peace" are so far beyond comprehension that even honest historians overlook the scale. When one looks beyond our myopic focus, Islam is the greatest killing machine in the history of mankind, bar none.

    The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. -- Will Durant, as quoted on Daniel Pipes site.

    Conservative estimates place the number at 80 million dead Indians.

    According to some calculations, the Indian (subcontinent) population decreased by 80 million between 1000 (conquest of Afghanistan) and 1525 (end of Delhi Sultanate). -- Koenrad Elst as quoted on Daniel Pipes site

    80 Million?! The conquistadors' crimes pale into insignificance at that number. No wonder Hitler admired Islam as a fighting religion. He stood in awe of Islam, whose butchery even he did not surpass.

    Over 110 Million Blacks were killed by Islam.

    ... a minumum of 28 Million African were enslaved in the Muslim Middle East. Since, at least, 80 percent of those captured by Muslim slave traders were calculated to have died before reaching the slave market, it is believed that the death toll from 1400 years of Arab and Muslim slave raids into Africa could have been as high as 112 Millions. When added to the number of those sold in the slave markets, the total number of African victims of the trans-Saharan and East African slave trade could be significantly higher than 140 Million people. -- John Allembillah Azumah, author of The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa: A Quest for Inter-religious Dialogue

    Add just those two numbers alone together, and Islam has surpassed the victims of 20th-century totalitarianism. However, it does not end there. Add the millions who died at the hand of Muslims in the Sudan in our lifetime.

    Much of Islamic slavery was sexual in nature, with a preference for women. Those men who were captured were castrated. The mulatto children of the women were often killed, which explains why Islam was not demographically shifted towards the black race, unlike slaves in the West, who bore children to breed a mestizo class. Add in those dead children; and we arrive at well over 200 million.

    Remember that in the 7th century, North Africa was almost totally Christian. What happened to them?

    By the year 750, a hundred years after the conquest of Jerusalem, at least 50 percent of the world's Christians found themselves under Muslim hegemony… Today there is no indigenous Christianity in the region [of Northwest Africa], no communities of Christians whose history can be traced to antiquity.-- "Christianity Face to Face with Islam," CERC

    1. What happened to those Christian millions? Some converted. The rest? Lost to history.

      We know that over 1 million Europeans were enslaved by Barbary Pirates. How many died is anybody's guess.

      ...for the 250 years between 1530 and 1780, the figure could easily have been as high as 1,250,000 - BBC

      In the Middle Ages…

      …many slaves were passed through Armenia and were castrated there to fill the Muslim demand for eunuchs. -- Slavery in Early Medieval Europe.

      The same practice ran through Islamic Spain. North Europeans captured from raids up to Iceland, or purchased, were butchered in the castratoriums of Iberia. Many died from the operations that ran for centuries.

      The number of dead from the Muslim conquest of the Balkans and Southern Italy is unknown, but again the numbers add up, surely into the millions over the centuries. Don't forget the 1.5 million Armenian Christians killed by the Turks during WWI. We do know that over five centuries, vast numbers of Christian boys were kidnapped to become Islamic Janissary mercenaries for the Turks. Add those in, too.

      Muslims prized blonde women for their harems; and so enslaved Slavic women were purchased in the bazaars of the Crimean Caliphate. In Muslim Spain, an annual tribute of 100 Visigothic [blonde] women was required from Spain's Cantabrian coast.

      For decades, 100 virgins per year were required by the Muslim rulers of Spain from the conquered population. The tribute was only stopped when the Spaniards began fighting back -- Jihad: Islam's 1,300 Year War Against Western Civilisation

      Add in the death toll from the Reconquista and the numbers climb higher.

      Research has shown that the Dark Ages were not caused by the Goths, who eventually assimilated and Christianized:

      …the real destroyers of classical civilization were the Muslims. It was the Arab Invasions... which broke the unity of the Mediterranean world and turned the Middle Sea -- previously one of the world’s most important trading highways -- into a battleground. It was only after the appearance of Islam... that the cities of the West, which depended upon the Mediterranean trade for their survival, began to die. -- Islam Caused the Dark Ages

      Add in those unknown millions who died as a consequence.

    2. How many know the horrors of the conquest of Malaysia? The Buddhists of Thailand and Malaysia were slaughtered en masse.

      When attacked and massacred by the Muslims, the Buddhists initially did not make any attempt to escape from their murderers. They accepted death with an air of fatalism and destiny. And hence they are not around today to tell their story. – History of

      We may never know the numbers of dead.

      After Muslims came to power in the early 15th century, animist hill peoples eventually disappeared due to their enslavement and ‘incorporation’ into the Muslim population of Malaya, Sumatra, Borneo, and Java via raids, tribute and purchase, especially of children. Java was the largest exporter of slaves around 1500. -- Islam Monitor

      In the same manner, Islam arrived in the Philippines. Only the appearance of the Spanish stopped a total collapse, and confined Islam to the southern islands.

      The coming of the Spanish saved the Philippines from Islam, except for the Southern tip where the population had been converted to Islam.-- History of

      Again, the number of dead is unknown; but add them to the total.

      The animist Filipinos were eager to ally with the Spanish against Islam. In fact, much of Southeast Asia welcomed the Spanish and Portuguese as preferable to Islam.

      ...from the 17th century successive Thai kings allied themselves with the seafaring Western powers – the Portuguese and the Dutch and succeeded in staving off the threat of Islam from the Muslim Malays and their Arab overlords.-- History of

      A few galleons and muskets were not enough to conquer Asia. Islam had made the Europeans initially appear as liberators; and to a certain extent they were. Who were the real imperialists?

      Even today...

      ...Malaysian Jihadis are plotting to transform multi-ethnic Malaysia into an Islamic Caliphate, and fomenting trouble in Southern Thailand.-- History of

      Add this all up. The African victims. The Indian victims. The European victims. Add in the Armenian genocide. Then add in the lesser known, but no doubt quite large number of victims of Eastern Asia. Add in the jihad committed by Muslims against China, which was invaded in 651 AD. Add in the Crimean Khanate predations on the Slavs, especially their women.

      Though the numbers are not clear, what is obvious is that Islam is the greatest murder machine in history bar none, possibly exceeding 250 million dead. Possibly one-third to one-half or more of all those killed by war or slavery in history can be traced to Islam; and this is just a cursory examination.

      Now consider the over 125 Million women today who have been genitally mutilated for Islamic honor's sake. In spite of what apologists tell you, the practice is almost totally confined to Islamic areas.

    3. New information from Iraqi Kurdistan raises the possibility that the problem is more prevalent in the Middle East than previously believed and that FGM is far more tied to religion than many Western academics and activists admit. – “Is Female Genital Mutilation an Islamic Problem?” ME Quarterly

      Once thought concentrated in Africa, FGM has now been discovered to be common wherever Islam is found.

      There are indications that FGM might be a phenomenon of epidemic proportions in the Arab Middle East. Hosken, for instance, notes that traditionally all women in the Persian Gulf region were mutilated. Arab governments refuse to address the problem. -- "Is Female Genital Mutilation an Islamic Problem?" ME Quarterly

      Remember that this has gone on for 1400 years; and was imposed on a population that had been formerly Christian or pagan.

      FGM is practiced on large scale in Islamic Indonesia; and is increasing.

      ...far from scaling down, the problem of FGM in Indonesia has escalated sharply. The mass ceremonies in Bandung have grown bigger and more popular every year. -- Guardian

      The horrified British author of that Guardian article is still deluded that Islam does not support FGM, when in fact it is now settled that FGM is a core Islamic practice. Islamic women have been brainwashed to support their own abuse.

      Abu Sahlieh further cited Muhammad as saying, "Circumcision is a sunna (tradition) for the men and makruma (honorable deed) for the women." -- “Is Female Genital Mutilation an Islamic Problem?” ME Quarterly

      What other tyranny does this? Not even the Nazis mutilated their own women!

      Unlike the 20th-century totalitarians whose killing fury consumed themselves, reducing their longevity, Islam paces itself. In the end, though slower, Islam has killed and tortured far more than any other creed, religious or secular. Unlike secular tyranny, Islam, by virtue of its polygamy and sexual predations, reproduces itself and increases.

      Other tyrannies are furious infections, which burn hot, but are soon overcome. Islam is a slow terminal cancer, which metastasizes, and takes over. It never retreats. Its methods are more insidious, often imperceptible at first, driven by demographics. Like cancer, excision may be the only cure.

      So whenever you read about this or that Israeli outrage -- and there may be truth to the complaint -- place the news in context. Look whom the Israelis are fighting against. Islam is like nothing else in history.

      Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is not Jewish, Latin, or Arab. He runs a website,, where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America. He wishes his Spanish were better.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.


      So, again, we need Quirk to crank up his trusty moral calculating machine and crunch the numbers for us.

      Would human suffering be lessened in the long run if the rest of the world determined to exterminate all the Moslems and end this behavior ?

    6. .

      Once again, Idaho Bob plays the fool.


  4. Christian charity housed Ohio State jihadi Abdul Artan and his family
    By Pamela Geller - on December 2, 2016

  5. Blaming the Generals and not the politicians is wrongheaded.

    President Obama Has Ended the War in Iraq

    n 2008, in the height of the presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama made a promise to give our military a new mission: ending the war in Iraq.

    As the election unfolded, he reiterated this pledge again and again -- but cautioned that we would be "as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in."

    Last year, the President made progress toward achieving that goal. He brought an end to the combat mission in Iraq, and through the course of the past 14 months, more than 100,000 troops have returned to their families.

    Now, that promise will be wholly fulfilled. Today, President Obama announced that the rest of our troops will be home by the holidays:

    Over the next two months, our troops in Iraq—tens of thousands of them—will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home. The last American soldiers will cross the border out of Iraq—with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops. That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end.
    But this moment represents more than an accomplishment for the President
    . It marks a monumental change of focus for our military and a fundamental shift in the way that the our nation will engage in the world:

    The United States is moving forward, from a position of strength. The long war in Iraq will come to an end by the end of this year. The transition in Afghanistan is moving forward, and our troops are finally coming home. As they do, fewer deployments and more time training will help keep our military the very best in the world. And as we welcome home our newest veterans, we’ll never stop working to give them and their families the care, the benefits, and the opportunities that they have earned.

  6. How Disbanding the Iraqi Army Fueled ISIS
    May 28, 2015

    The U.S. decision 12 years ago has provided the enemy with some of its best commanders and fighters

    After nearly a year of air strikes led by the U.S. and ground attacks by the U.S.-trained Iraqi army, the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is proving to be a far more cagey and cunning foe than the Pentagon ever expected. A big reason for its success is the George W. Bush Administration’s decision to disband the Iraqi army shortly after the 2003 invasion—without the knowledge or consent of either the Pentagon or President.
    The decision to dissolve the Iraqi army robbed Baghdad’s post-invasion military of some of its best commanders and troops. Combined with sectarian strains that persist 12 years later, it also drove many of the suddenly out-of-work Sunni warriors into alliances with a Sunni insurgency that would eventually mutate into ISIS. Many former Iraqi military officers and troops, trained under Saddam, have spent the last 12 years in Anbar Province battling both U.S. troops and Baghdad’s Shi’ite-dominated security forces, Pentagon officials say.

    “Not reorganizing the army and police immediately were huge strategic mistakes,” said Jack Keane, a retired Army vice chief of staff and architect of the “surge” of 30,000 additional U.S. troops into Iraq in 2007. “We began to slowly put together a security force, but it took far too much time and that gave the insurgency an ability to start to rise.”

    1. What the ISIS Flag Says About the Militant Group
      The black and white standard of the Sunni militants gives some insight into how the group sees itself
      The U.S.-ordered dissolution of the Iraqi army was a major error. But it was compounded by former Shi’ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki’s wholesale firing of Sunni commanders in favor of more compliant, if less competent, Shi’ites during his 2006-2014 tenure. That turned what was supposed to have been a national army into little more than a sectarian militia that took orders from the Prime Minister’s inner circle. “Malaki went into that army and pulled out all of its distinguished leaders, whose guys were devoted to them, and put in these cronies and hacks,” Keane said. “And those guys pocketed the money that was supposed to be used for training.”

      So how did the Iraqi army come to dissolve? The Bush Administration tapped Paul Bremer to head the so-called Coalition Provisional Authority on May 11, 2003. Twelve days later, he issued an order wiping away the Iraqi military, with a pledge to build a new one from scratch, untainted by any ties to Saddam’s regime. The army’s end quickly led to civil unrest, a growing insurgency and a U.S. occupation that would last eight years and cost the lives of 4,491 American troops.

      Things would have been different if the Iraqi army had been scrubbed of Hussein’s loyalists, but otherwise permitted to exist, military officers believe. “I think it would have caused us to spend less time in Iraq—I think we would have been to leave a lot sooner than we were,” said Odierno, who commanded forces in Iraq during three tours between 2003 and 2010. “I think it would have given a better chance for Iraqis to come together.”

      Bremer’s decision to disband the Iraqi army has been shrouded in mystery. James Pfiffner, a professor of public policy at George Mason University and an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, conducted one of the most detailed autopsies into the decision. “President Bush had agreed with military planners that the Army was essential for the internal and external security of the country,” Pfiffner wrote in the professional journal Intelligence and National Security in 2010. “When asked in 2006 by his biographer…about the decision, Bush replied ‘Well, the policy was to keep the army intact. Didn’t happen’.” Pfiffner suggests the decision made by Bremer actually came from Vice President Dick Cheney. (“It may have been a mistake,” Cheney said in 2011 without confirming it was his decision.)

      Over the past year, ISIS has seized hundreds of U.S.-built Iraqi military vehicles given to Baghdad by the U.S. government. But history shows that the U.S., beyond providing ISIS with war machines, also made a fateful decision that gave ISIS some of its best commanders and fighters.

    2. A memory from early on in Fallujah I...

      A relatively small force of Marines had the enemy cornered, only to be ordered to stand down.

      Another brilliant decision from (somewhere) higher up.

  7. Pilot Chose Not to Refuel Doomed Plane

    The pilot of the plane that crashed in Colombia on Monday while carrying a Brazilian soccer team made a fateful decision not to stop to refuel the aircraft, according to a report in a Brazilian newspaper. The account in O Globo says pilot Miguel Quiroga chose not to stop en route in Bogota, about 260 miles from his destination, reports the BBC.

    He did so despite being warned that he might run out of fuel before he took off from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, according to the Bolivian newspaper Deber. The risk seemed clear given that the maximum range of his Avro RJ85 plane is roughly equivalent to the total distance of the flight from Santa Cruz to Medellin.

    The plane might have made it if not for one thing: Quiroga was ordered to circle near the Medellin airport for seven minutes because another plane needed to make an emergency landing, reports Reuters.

    1. Too bad he DIDN'T run out of fuel before he took off from Santa Cruz:

      They could have towed it back to the shop and filled it up.

  8. On Trump taking a call from the Taiwanese President.

    Fuck China and their bullying tactics with groveling US corporations. Trump realizes the power of “debtor’s leverage”. We owe China a ton of money and they have a $500 billion trade advantage with crappy products. Take the call.

    1. Do you think Trump will back up his words and send a couple of Carrier groups to the Straits of Taiwan?

    2. How does debtors leverage work in the realm of government bonds and treasuries? Is there a way to selectively honor the paper based on the holder? Wouldn't the whole market be pooched if the US failed to honor any of its debt commitments?

    3. Ash, not used to an America with balls?

      Of course Trump could go all in and send carriers.. but then again, Trump might be a student of the "art of war"...

      No need for direct confrontation when on can use others to attack, provoke and distract...

      China is pissing off numerous nations...

      China is weaponizing space, supports North Korea, just tested advanced rockets....

      No need to directly confront them, time to play their game back at them...


    4. There sure is a way. Don't send them carriers. Call their bonds. Send them a check.

    5. Then do what the Chinese do. Tell them what they can buy and what they can not.

  9. John Bolton, now on Fox, agrees with you.

    Take the call.

    1. Taiwan, he says, meets all the criteria for a legitimate democratic state with human rights, etc.

      You take the call.

  10. I'm becoming a fan of Mercedes Schlapp.

  11. "PowerPoint makes you stupid"

    'Mad Dog' Mattis

  12. December 3, 2016
    Media hysterical over Trump call to Taiwan president
    By Rick Moran

    Donald Trump has been calling world leaders person to person since his election last month. This has upset the striped pants faction at the State Department who are said to be "aghast" that the president elect has dared try his hand at diplmacy without their guidance and advice.

    But the level of media hysteria over Trump accepting a call from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen is astonishing when you consider China's rather mild response to the diplomatic demarche. China considers Taiwan a "wayward province," as does most of the rest of the world. It is a matter of national pride to the Chinese government that there be no actions taken by another country that would undermine that basic formulation.

    So Trump's call upset the Chinese government. Given that they've pretty much been able to run the table on President Obama the last 8 years, the call by Trump was like a splash of cold water.

    But the media reaction to the casual call of congratulations by President Tsai makes you wonder why they are carrying the Chinese government's water on this issue when the Chinese themselves did little more than lodge a diplomatic protest over the call. A former Bush spokesman said the Chinese "would go nuts" over the call. For the record, they didn't. TPM characterized the call as "dangerous." Vox accused Trump of "throwing decades of US-China policy in disarray."

    None of this is true....

  13. .

    Pfiffner suggests the decision made by Bremer actually came from Vice President Dick Cheney. (“It may have been a mistake,” Cheney said in 2011 without confirming it was his decision.)


    It's absurd to think that the decision to disband the Iraqi army was made solely by Bremer or by Cheney or that it somehow happened in a vacuum (“When asked in 2006 by his biographer…about the decision, Bush replied ‘Well, the policy was to keep the army intact. Didn’t happen’.”) What, Bremer was kind of busy getting rid of the army and he didn't have time to give the president a heads up? Maybe Bush was at his ranch at the time clearing brush? Telephone lines were down? They were using AOL at the time and couldn't get an internet connection. Ridiculous.

    It was Bush's war. It strains credulity to assume a decision of this magnitude could happen without him having the opportunity to review or veto the decision. He was the friggin president.


    1. He suffered memory problems after falling off the couch.

  14. Martin Duram, 45, was shot dead in his Michigan home in May 2015

    His wife, Glenna Duram, 46, had been shot in the head also, but survived

    She has since recovered and denies killing her husband

    His parents say Martin's pet parrot, Bud, would mimic everything he said

    The bird has been saying for the last year: 'Don't f---ing shoot'

    They believe these to be his last words, and that Glenna shot him

    A local prosecutor said Bud could be called to the stand

    A preliminary hearing witness described how the home looked 'ransacked'

    1. She's cleaned up and lost a lot of weight in Prison.
      Doesn't look to bad in the orange suit.
      ...for a murderess.

    2. .

      I've heard the bird has lost a little weight too but still refuses to grant interviews. There is talk of a book deal now that he has become a media darling.


    3. Wondered what happened to that odd case.

      Pretty flimsy evidence, if you ask me, if that's all they had, which couldn't be the case.

      I never trust parrots.

      Bunch of dirty ingratiating bird turds, if you ask me, which you didn't.

      Smelly, too.

    4. Why don't you hire the parrot and use him in one of your ads, Quirk ?

      Might be a winner.

      Did you ever get the dog you were looking for ?

    5. I consider Ash a parrot, in a way.

      Always parroting the last lefty talking point.

    6. And, if you found a suitable mutt, what name have you given it ?

    7. She left a couple of notes, also, one saying "sorry" to their kids.

      Evidently did not plan on surviving.

      ...she gambled one last time and lost.


  15. NY TIMES:

    Donald Trump Thrusts Taiwan Back on the Table, Rattling a Region

    Trump just took the call. The Chinese took more US technology than anyone ever, anywhere.

    1. They didn't have to "take" the most important stuff, the Clintons gave it to them.

  16. The Genius:

  17. Fat Barbie

    Amy Schumer took to Instagram to vent her frustration over Donald Trump's win over Hillary Clinton. She says she's grieving, her heart is in a million pieces, and anyone who voted for him is "weak". Video provided by Splash TV

  18. Bowe Bergdahl seeks pardon from Obama to avert desertion trial

  19. The luck of the Poles.

    1. She would have been luckier had she been home with her Pole Cat.

  20. 'Hillary's War' in Libya continues apace -

    Female suicide bomber uses 3 children as decoy then blows herself up in new low for Islamic State
    It's now feared that more civilian women are being brainwashed, forced or cajoled into killing themselves for IS as fighting intensifies for the stronghold of Sirte in Libya

    18:53, 3 DEC 2016UPDATED23:08, 3 DEC 2016

    IS uses female suicide bombers in Libya

    A female suicide bomber used three children as a decoy to blow herself up in new low for Islamic State.

    It's now feared that more civilian women - in Libya at least - are being brainwashed, forced or cajoled into killing themselves for IS terrorists as fighting intensifies.

    Libyan forces, backed by US air strikes, are close to taking full control of the former Islamic State stronghold of Sirte after a campaign lasting more than six months.

    But they have had difficulty dislodging terrorists from a final patch of land near the city's Mediterranean sea front - partly because of concerns about families or captives being held hostage.

    During a pause in fighting on Friday, Reuters journalists saw one woman escorting three young children through an alleyway toward waiting Libyan forces.


    Video thumbnail, Libyan forces advance against Islamic State holdouts in Sirte
    The Libya Herald reported that the children were hungry and malnourished - which might explain why they were allowed 'safe passage'.

    Shortly after the children were driven away in an ambulance there was a blast as the woman detonated explosives, wounding about a dozen people.

    (Photo: Getty Images)
    The Herald claimed that in fact there were two women involved in the incident - masquerading as civilians surrendering to Bunyan Marsous forces - and that four soldiers had been killed as well as the dozen injured.

    It reported that this incident follows the flight of other women from IS positions in recent days - in response to loudhailer calls for civilians to escape while they could.

    (Photo: REUTERS)
    Rida Issa, a spokesman for the Libyan forces, said two similar incidents, which he said were suicide attacks, had taken place as other women and children were leaving Islamic State-held ground.

    Four members of the Libyan forces had been killed and 38 wounded, Issa said.

    Women are being used as suicide bombers (stock image) (Photo: Getty Images)
    Earlier this week there was a lull in the fighting in Sirte before Libyan forces resumed a heavy artillery assault on Islamic State positions on Thursday.

    US air strikes have continued, but Islamic State has largely held its ground and even retook control of one row of buildings that had been mostly demolished in previous fighting....

    1. Next they'll be slapping us with Unfrozen Caveman Lawyers.

  21. If I said it here once I must have said it a hundred times - Hillary lost because she didn't take my advice and hire a competent ad agency like Quirk's Political Ads LLC operating out of Detroit, Michigan, where 'We Put Lipstick On Pigs' - (reasonable rates) -

    But at least Clinton had all that money! Surely she and her Democratic allies used it wisely for strategic, devastating ad buys against her opponent. Right?

    Wrong. As Simon Dumenco argued in Ad Age on the day after Clinton's defeat, the Democrat's approach to advertising was all wrong — and predictably so. Ad after ad "was simply a variation on the theme that Donald Trump is a big jerk," very much including the spot I saw more than any other in the Philadelphia suburbs during the final two weeks of the campaign: innocent kids listening to outrageous Trump comments followed by the tag line, "Our children are watching. What example will we set for them?" That might have worked if voters weren't already well aware of Trump's behavior by that point — and if the message wasn't more than a little condescending, as if Clinton was telling voters that all Trump supporters are bad parents....

    Hillary Clinton blew the most winnable election in modern American history. And it's her own fault.

    1. AdAge

      Sample article:

      Most Popular
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      CEO: Quirk

    2. 5) Most Interesting Man's New Gig: Decrying 'Weak-Ass Wi-Fi' By E.J. Schultz - Yesterday

      6) This 'Underworld' Snapchat Ad Is a 360-Degree Vampire Lens By Garett Sloane - 2 days ago

    3. 'Advertising Intelligently to The Intelligent Masses'

      Quirk's Political Ads LLC

  22. Silly Jilly Runs Out Of Gas

    Breaking: Green Party withdraws PA recount demand

    Looks like Jill Stein has run out of cash. CBS’ Pittsburgh affiliate reports that the Green Party can’t raise the $1 million bond for the Pennsylvania recount, and has withdrawn their demand. And with that, the election is well and truly over:

    The Green Party is dropping its court case seeking a recount of Pennsylvania’s Nov. 8 presidential election. It had wanted to explore whether voting machines and systems had been hacked and the election result manipulated.

    The Green Party’s filing came Saturday, saying it couldn’t afford the $1 million bond the court had set. A Commonwealth Court hearing had been scheduled in the case for Monday, and the $1 million bond was due later that day.

    Pennsylvania was by far the toughest state for the recall, with a final gap of around 56,000 votes. There was no chance that a recount would even come within an order of magnitude of that gap, but the Stein campaign had insisted that the Keystone State still needed to do a hand recount of every ballot.

    That ends the campaign. Without taking Pennsylvania off the Electoral College table, Trump can’t lose. Even if Stein manages to force the electors from Wisconsin and Michigan to miss the safe-harbor deadline and the Electoral College on December 19th by tying up both states in useless recounting, Trump still has 280 electors and a clear victory.

    Even with that, though, Wisconsin looks like it’s well on its way to finishing its recount on time. Its Day 3 results show that almost a third of Wisconsin precincts have completed their recounts, accounting for over 705,000 of the 2.975 million ballots cast in the presidential race. The net change has been to find 349 additional votes. Trump has gained 138 votes and Hillary Clinton 126, which means that Trump has extended his lead by 12 points. That’s, er, not exactly what Stein promised donors who coughed up millions for this stupid and futile gesture.

    Update: The court in Pennsylvania has put an exclamation point on the subject of recounts:

    AND NOW, this 3rd day of December, 2016, Petitioners having filed a Praecipe to Discontinue and Withdraw the above-captioned matter, the hearing scheduled for Monday, December 5, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. is CANCELLED, and the Chief Clerk is directed to mark this matter CLOSED.

    That’ll do it.

  23. Everybody Knows

    Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
    Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
    Everybody knows the war is over
    Everybody knows the good guys lost
    Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
    That's how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
    Everybody knows that the captain lied
    Everybody got this broken feeling
    Like their father or their dog just died
    Everybody talking to their pockets
    Everybody wants a box of chocolates
    And a long-stem rose
    Everybody knows

    Everybody knows that you love me baby
    Everybody knows that you really do
    Everybody knows that you've been faithful
    Ah, give or take a night or two
    Everybody knows you've been discreet
    But there were so many people you just had to meet
    Without your clothes
    And everybody knows

    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    That's how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    That's how it goes
    Everybody knows

    And everybody knows that it's now or never
    Everybody knows that it's me or you
    And everybody knows that you live forever
    Ah, when you've done a line or two
    Everybody knows the deal is rotten
    Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
    For your ribbons and bows
    And everybody knows

    And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
    Everybody knows that it's moving fast
    Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
    Are just a shining artifact of the past
    Everybody knows the scene is dead
    But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
    That will disclose
    What everybody knows

    And everybody knows that you're in trouble
    Everybody knows what you've been through
    From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
    To the beach of Malibu
    Everybody knows it's coming apart
    Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
    Before it blows
    And everybody knows

    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    That's how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    That's how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    That's how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Everybody knows

    1. I love this one:

      Everybody knows that you love me baby
      Everybody knows that you really do
      Everybody knows that you've been faithful
      Ah, give or take a night or two
      Everybody knows you've been discreet
      But there were so many people you just had to meet
      Without your clothes
      And everybody knows


      They're all much better in Leonard's voice.

    2. They're all much better in Leonard's voice.

      I hope so cause it too sucking sad for me.

      Those lyrics need some cheerin' up.

    3. Aha ! (and cheer up!) I may have been right - Dark Matter Moves The EM Drive

      Under the right conditions, however, dark matter can be coaxed to interact with either itself or with normal matter, dependent on its nature. If dark matter is made up of WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles), then it has an annihilation cross section with itself and a scattering cross section with protons and neutrons that may render it sensitive to detectors. If instead, it's made up of very light, low-mass particles known as axions, it may couple to photons under the right conditions. One of the experiments designed to search for axions is known as ADMX: the axion dark matter experiment. In 1983, physicist Pierre Sikivie invented the axion haloscope, which takes advantage of the fact that the axion-photon coupling can be amplified, with the right parameters, inside an electromagnetic cavity. Twelve years later, ADMX grew out of that research, and scientists have been searching for the axion ever since using that method.

      The cryogenic electromagnetic cavity being inserted into the chamber, as used by the ADMX collaboration. Image credit: Axion Dark Matter Experiment (ADMX), LLNL’s flickr.

      To date, unfortunately, searches have come up empty. It's possible that axions do not exist or, if they do, are not the dark matter, but it's also possible that they simply exist with different parameters than what ADMX is sensitive to. It's possible that a different electromagnetic cavity, with different properties, would enable interactions with axions. It's possible that photon-axion interactions could take place, and that a cavity with the right properties could cause photons to scatter off of axions in a preferred direction. It might not seem likely, but it is conceivable that the EMdrive is such a cavity.

      Could Dark Matter Be Powering The EMdrive?

      If that don't cheer you up and I know what will.

    4. It's also might be possible to substitute The Quirk Drive for the EM Drive in which case you wouldn't need the cryogenic electromagnetic cavity and one could run the sucker off dark WIMPS without needing photon-axion interactions at all.

      Cheers !

    5. This setup would too insure the whole device was immune to universal micro-aggressions.

    6. A must for intergalactic travel.

    7. I've been doing some thinking.

      Of the Yin and Yang of things.

      Sol y sombre.

      Male and female.

      If WIMP (Weak Interacting Massive Particles) is not the prime mover of the EM Drive, my new hunch is that SIPPP might be, in conjunction with WIMP.

      Strong Interacting Punky Puny Particles (SIPPP) fills all the vacancies left when considering WIMP alone.

      What could be more elegant, more logical ?

      I am certain of it.

      I predict: SIPPP will be discovered, soon.

      The WIMP and SIPPP of things....that's the ticket.

  24. Convention of States Project

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