“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."

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Trump is Right In Rejecting the Failed US Neocon Oriented Foreign Policy Crusade

Pentagon Memo Shows Trump Not Seeking Military Confrontation With Russia

A newly released memo from outgoing Undersecretary of Defense Brian McKeon to other officials within his office detailed the defense priorities of the incoming Trump Administration. Little focus among analysts was given to the priorities listed, instead focusing on the absence of Russia as a target.

This is already provoking criticism from some hawkish analysts, despite President-elect Trump repeatedly indicating over the last several months that he seeks improved diplomatic ties with Russia and thought it would “be nice” for the US and Russia to cooperate in fighting ISIS.
It would seem unsurprising, then, that the memo set out fighting and destroying ISIS as his top priority. The memo also said the administration wants to eliminate spending caps on the military to increase its overall size, to develop a “comprehensive” cyber-war strategy, and to generally find ways to improve efficiency.

Fighting ISIS has always been a talking point for Trump throughout the campaign. It is worth noting, however, that while most such memos lay out a whole series of enemies to target militarily, Trump’s priorities begin and end with ISIS, with the memo also mentioning in passing briefings on China and North Korea, but not including them on the list itself.

This may reflect Trump’s comments since the election, which have faulted the US as having a “policy of intervention and chaos” around the world, and needing to focus more narrowly on ISIS and not “fighting in areas that we shouldn’t be fighting in.”

On the other hand, Trump transition officials warned against drawing too many conclusions from the memo, saying it would be “misleading” to think this is a complete list of Trump’s military priorities.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz



    Top Russian diplomat Petr Polshikov found shot dead at Moscow home

    Will Stewart Moscow

    A high-ranking Russian diplomat has been found dead from gunshot wounds in Moscow.

    Petr Polshikov, 56, was found at his home with a bullet wound to his head.

    The shooting disclosed today came soon after news of the assassination of Russian ambassador to Ankara, Andrey Karlov.

    The circumstances of the Moscow shooting were still unclear, with police examining all possible theories.

    Two empty bullet shells were found in the flat on Balaklavsky Prospekt. A gun was discovered under the sink in the bathroom.

    Reports said the diplomat’s wife was in the flat at the time and is safe.

    Polshikov was reported to be a senior figure in the Latin American department of the Russian foreign ministry.

    His death was discovered just hours before Russia's ambassador in Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was assassinated in Ankara.

  2. WE can't get rid of Obama/Clinton fast enough.

  3. The Bush/Clinton/Bush/Obama/Clinton Foreign Policy Legacy

    The Berlin attack should be enough to refocus EU policy away from needless provocation of Russia and concentrate on the existential threat to Western Europe by the absurd predictable consequence of Washington's disruptive and needless wars in the ME.

  4. Trump is far smarter than the newly marginalized doctrinaire progessives carping on the sidelines.

    1. .

      Evidently some of the progressives agree. Ed Shultz, progressive flame-thrower and union shill, previously fired from MSNBC for low ratings was hired by RT as anchor.

      Or, maybe he needed a job and they were the only one who would hire him.


  5. German police are searching for a Tunisian man known as "Anis A" in connection with the deadly truck attack on a crowd at a Berlin Christmas market which killed 12 people

    The man is aged 21 or 23 and known by three different names, according to reports in the daily Allgemeine Zeitung and the Bild newspaper.

    Both said asylum office papers believed to belong to the man were found in the cab of the truck.

    The documents, which announced a stay of deportation, were found under the driver's seat of the 40-tonne lorry that barrelled through the Christmas market in the heart of the German capital

    Police were reportedly searching for the suspect, who was born in the southern Tunisian city of Tataouine.

    Twelve people were killed in what German authorities have called a "terrorist attack" in Berlin late Monday, including the Polish driver of the truck. Twenty-four remained in hospital, 14 of whom were seriously injured.

  6. July 2015

    Tunisia, a small North African country with a thousand-year-old tradition of pacifist Islam, a new constitution based on human rights, and a unity government bringing together Islamists and secularists, the question has become a matter of almost existential importance. Despite its unusual political and cultural assets, it has now suffered the two worst terrorist attacks in its history—both involving radicalized young Tunisians, both seeming to target the post-revolutionary order the country has worked so hard to construct.

    In Friday’s attack, a young Tunisian man dressed in black entered a beach resort in the coastal town of Sousse with a Kalashnikov and, in about five minutes, systematically killed more than three-dozen people, nearly all of them European vacationers, before being shot dead by security forces. This followed a similarly devastating massacre this spring at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, one of the world’s most important collections of Roman mosaics. On the morning of March 18, three heavily armed young men had rampaged through the museum, taking hostages and killing twenty-two people; again, nearly all of the dead were European tourists. (The target was not arbitrary: the Bardo is adjacent to the national parliament and occupies the historic Ottoman palace in which Tunisia formally became a French Protectorate in 1881.)

    Both attacks appear to have been inspired by ISIS. Meanwhile, according to some estimates, Tunisia has sent more fighters to extremist groups abroad—in Libya and Syria but also Algeria and Mali—than any other country.

    <a href=">Why Tunisia?</a>

  7. The Polish lorry driver believed to have been hijacked in Berlin was alive when his vehicle ploughed into a Berlin Christmas market and tried to stop the massacre, it has been claimed.

    Lukasz Urban, 37, was shot in the carnage while 11 others were also killed when the huge truck veered off the road and smashed into wooden booths in the centre of the city on Monday night.

    But it has now been claimed that he was stabbed while trying to grab the steering wheel in a desperate bid to save lives by regaining control of the lorry from the perpetrator.

    The alleged ISIS terrorist then shot Lukasz dead when the vehicle came to a halt before fleeing the scene.

  8. "Make America Great Again meets Make China Great Again
    The Globe and Mail
    Published Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016 5:00AM EST

    Donald Trump won the election by selling his voters a story about national humiliation. America used to win, he would tell audience after audience, but now all we do is lose. Lose to Mexico, lose to Japan, lose to China. Lose, lose, lose. Elect me, he promised, and that will change. I will show you that America has the strength to stick it to any country that disrespects us. And that, American voter, will heal your wounded pride.

    The Communist Party of China doesn’t do elections, but even dictatorial regimes need popular support. The CPC tells a similar story of national humiliation and redemption – with itself as the author of the continuing redemption.

    China was once the world’s greatest power, but it declined and faltered. It became a feeble giant, and by the late 19th century, other countries were carving it up.

    But now, under Communist leadership, China is again a superpower. Once China was humiliated; now it can humiliate others. And every once in a while, it must – to prove it can. The CPC’s slogan is not “Making China Great Again,” but it might as well be.

    Over the past few weeks, these two remarkably similar national neuroses have repeatedly clashed. First, Mr. Trump spoke with Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing-wen, in a direct challenge to America’s long-standing agreement to not directly challenge Beijing’s One China policy. Mr. Trump also referred to Ms. Tsai as “Taiwan’s president” – another diplomatic no-no for Beijing, which insists that Taiwan is a Chinese province.

    As a strategy for negotiating a better trade deal with China – Mr. Trump later suggested that was partly what all of this was about – it’s not likely to be a winner. But the main audience for Mr. Trump was not Beijing. China’s just a foil. He’s really talking to his voters’ bruised psyches.

    In dealing with China, President Barack Obama uses careful language and tries to lower tensions. He’s doing diplomacy; Mr. Trump is doing a kind of anti-diplomacy. He’s more interested in proving to his constituents that, unlike that wimp Mr. Obama, he doesn’t care about the sensitivities of the second-most-powerful country on Earth. #MAGA!

    China for its part has long salved the psyches of its nationalists with gestures designed to show that China is strong enough to disrespect others and get away with it. China’s project of building artificial islands in the South China Sea, installing military bases on them and then pushing its claimed territorial waters ever closer to the coasts of its neighbours is a replay of 19th-century European empire-building. Like the last gasp of the European land grab, the so-called Scramble for Africa before the First World War, it’s mostly about impressing the folks at home.


    1. And in their encounters with the rest of the world, Chinese leaders often feel the need to engage in remarkably Trump-like displays of dominance.

      Sometimes these are petty things, like the time earlier this year when Mr. Obama arrived at a G20 summit in China and discovered that the steps that should have allowed him to disembark from Air Force One onto a red carpet had mysteriously disappeared. He was instead forced to exit from what headlines referred to as “the ass of the plane.”

      At other times, Chinese leaders act out their frustrations by deliberately raising tensions. Take the recent seizure of an American underwater drone in international waters. With Mr. Obama still in office, the United States has minimized this minor provocation. Mr. Trump, in contrast, reacted by tweeting angrily and quickly – so quickly, and so clearly without consulting anyone, that he called China’s move “unpresidented.” He meant unprecedented.

      In fact, Chinese provocations are not unprecedented. For example, in 2001, an aggressive Chinese fighter pilot accidentally crashed into a U.S. surveillance plane in international airspace, forcing the Americans to crash-land on Hainan Island. China, hoping to pressure the United States into ending perfectly legal surveillance off China’s coasts, held the crew hostage for 10 days. Washington responded with firmness and calm – it sought to defuse the crisis, not inflame it.

      In 2001, Beijing played Trump and Washington played the adults. What happens when both sides decide they want to be Trump?"

  9. China is a superpower on a regional basis. It has a vision to be a global power and has done a great job leveraging the idiotic trade deals and exploiting Nafta by setting up assembly plants in Mexico; feeding them Chinese made inferior parts and selling them duty free in the US under US brands.

    They are investing heavily in American infrastructure and minerals and control both ends of the Panama Canal as well as building a new canal through Nicaragua.

    The US establishment has been feckless in failing to see the consequences to such folly.

    Trump sees it and of course we knon and reminded often that Trump is too much of a buffoon to get it.

    I'll put my money on Trump. You can have Paul Bremner.

  10. The genius of the Electoral College:

    Final tally shows Trump lost popular vote by 2.8 million – but he BEAT Clinton by 3 million votes outside of California and New York

    Let's keep the electoral college.

  11. 'Trump actually carried – in the 49 states outside of California, he had a 1.2 million vote majority. He got killed in California because he never campaigned there,' Gingrich said.
    'The Democrats had two people running for the U.S. Senate the way California law works, no Republican running for the U.S. Senate. So we got beaten in the biggest state. It didn't matter. That's not how you pick the presidency. Trump's now going to be president. She's not going to be president. That's called winning the game.'
    He said some Democrats are 'not going to get used to the idea' of a President Trump 'because he is, from their standpoint, horrifying. ... They live in a delusional world. That's why they lost the election: They decided to stay with the delusion.'

  12. .

    Obama Pardons

    The Progressives' Wishlist for Obama's Final Month

    The list is extensive and includes everything from 'pardoning a million or more illegal immigrants to pardoning whistleblwers like Manning and Snowden, appointing his SCOTUS choice in a recess appointment at the point that Congress officially goes into recess on January 23, and eliminating the NEERS immigration tribunal. In fact, were Obama grant all the wishes h would likely have chronic writers cramp for the rest of his life.


    1. .

      Sorry... the point that Congress officially goes into recess on January 3...


    2. What's the NEERS immigration tribunal about?

    3. This says it was scraped:,0420-helt.shtm

  13. Rep. Keith Ellison aka Mo X: Tax Cheat

    1. Keith's long term plan is to have YOU pay the jizya tax TO HIM and HIS.

      Calculate your jizya tax here:

  14. The Rooskie is giving aid to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    Things have changed there to this degree.

  15. True Perversity Acted In Real Life

    Jihadi mum kisses tiny daughters, aged seven and nine, goodbye - then sends them off on suicide bomb mission
    The seven-year-old girl is understood to have died in a remotely detonated bomb blast inside a Syrian police station shortly after the footage was filmed

    1. And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the difference between them and us.

    2. December 21, 2016
      Why do Arab soldiers only fight well when they are religious fanatics?
      By Ed Straker

      There was an unintentionally funny article about the Iraqi army at Yahoo News. The Iraqi army is slowly advancing on Mosul in Northern Iraq, but they are stymied by a handful of Islamic State bandits:

      It took up to 10 days for Iraqi troops to move a few hundred meters (yards) and retake the neighborhood of al-Barid, a district of grand, upscale homes where fruit trees grow in the gardens.

      There were only a few IS fighters in the neighborhood, but they were able to hold back the much larger Iraqi force because they were faster and more nimble than the slow-moving convoys of hundreds of troops, said Hatem al-Kurdi, one of the residents who remained in the district throughout the fight.

      The militants "cut holes in the walls between the homes so they could always be moving from one position to another," al-Kurdi said.

      For every few hundred meters of their territory, the IS militants allocate as few as four to five fighters, along with a handful of car bombs, to fight to the death, said Iraqi special forces Maj. Firas Mehdi. It is the same formula of counterattacks and defenses he has seen in every neighborhood he enters, he said.

      If Iraq's military continues at the current pace, they may retake Mosul in the coming months....

      Or maybe years. Ten days to move a few hundred yards? With overwhelming numerical superiority? Against a handful of bandits? With complete air support?

      This is the army we spent hundreds of billions of dollars training and arming. Like the Afghan army, it seems incapable of fighting on its own.

      But ISIS doesn't have this problem. Neither does the Taliban. It seems that when Arab soldiers are religious fanatics, they suddenly became brave warriors who will hike two hundred miles through impassible mountains just to lie in wait to get a shot at the enemy. But when Arab soldiers are ordinary conscripts, they have to fight hard just to advance a few feet a day.

      Egyptian Army prisoners surrendering to Israeli forces in the Six-Day War (YouTube screengrab via The Times of Israel)

      American soldiers are not like this, of course. But like the Taliban, American soldiers strongly believe in something – only instead of believing in slavery and death, American soldiers believe in freedom and human rights and, of course, our nation-state. Most Arab soldiers in traditional nation-state armies don't seem to strongly believe in anything. That's why most Arab armies have the consistency of wet falafel. That's why we can pour billions into building up the Iraqi or Afghan army only to see it collapse the minute we leave. (Yes, Afghans aren't Arabs. But it's the same principle. Afghans don't believe in their own nation-state.)

      If only Arab armies could have a motivation that made them good soldiers without also making them terrible human beings.

      Ed Straker is the senior writer at


  16. .

    Americans aren't having as many kids: 8 states post population loss

    The United States population this year showed the slowest growth since the Great Depression, as three of the biggest states lost residents, according to the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau report.

    Nationally, the U.S. population grew only by 0.7% to 323.1 million. That slowdown is due to an increase in deaths among baby boomers and a slowdown in births among younger generations, resulting in eight states losing overall population during the year.

    The only saving grace for many communities, especially in the northeast, was immigration. In 34 states, international arrivals outpaced domestic arrivals (people who move from one state to another). Three states — Maryland, Massachusetts and Rhode Island - would have lost population if not for international arrivals. And New York's loss of 1,894 people in 2016 could have been staggering without the 118,478 foreigners who moved to the state.

    Overall, the nearly 1 million immigrants who entered the country in 2016 were down from previous years, but still made up 45% of the nation's population growth. That figure could drop considerably under President-elect Donald Trump, who vowed to slow down legal and illegal immigration under his administration starting next month.

    "The population is aging, the baby boomers are aging, but international migration has been fairly consistent," said Randy Capps, director of research for U.S. programs at the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute. "If we really did curtail immigration substantially, that would really slow population growth quite a bit."

    Hispanic growth rate in U.S. lowest on record...


  17. Pro-Govt Turkish Media Blames CIA for Russian Ambassador's Assassination - December 20th, 2016


    1. Maybe they did bump the Rooskie Ambassador, who knows - ?

      In short, the CIA has always been part of the left wing of America’s ruling class. The “Russian hacking affair” is another instance of the perennial effort by which this class defends its claim to be the arbiter of truth and authority. Since the CIA has always possessed far fewer facts with far greater incertitude than the body politic imagines, it confuses its officials’ socio-political predilections with facts. Over more than a half-century, the CIA has purveyed them as facts because very few outsiders ever get behind its layered curtains of secrecy — which it flashes open for favorite journalists. Secrecy, which is essential to intelligence, presents a well-nigh irresistible temptation to cover insufficiency and self indulgence with the standard objection: “Our conclusions are based on facts of which you are not aware and that we cannot share with you.”

      The CIA has not resisted this temptation because the media and the movies have bought into its myths of omniscience and derring-do; and because only very rarely have the presidents and members of Congress whose duty it is to make judgments about foreign affairs questioned what there is behind the CIA’s curtains. Seldom have they exercised their right to look behind them. Had they looked, they would have seen that, behind all those code word classifications — with the exception of military intelligence and a few very “black” programs — there is often very little there.

      CIA and the Wizard of Oz
      The Russian hacking story shows there isn’t much to see behind the agency’s curtain

      Long ago I read The Quiet American by Graham Greene.

      Not a flattering portrait of the CIA then either.

    2. A character in the book, Vigot, was based vaguely on our own Quirk, back when he was in intelligence and before he went advertising -

      Vigot, a French inspector at the Sûreté, investigates Pyle's death. He is a man anguished between doing his duty (pursuing Pyle's death and questioning Fowler) and doing what is best for the country (letting the matter be unsolved). He and Fowler are oddly akin in some ways, both faintly cynical and weary of the world; hence their discussion of Blaise Pascal. But they are divided by the differences of their faith: Vigot is a Roman Catholic and Fowler an atheist.

  18. Jeez, 31 people died in Mexico when the fireworks depot looks like a B-52 strike....

    1. The same place also blew up in 2005 and 2006!

    2. You'd think they'd put up some 'No Smoking' signs.


      Some guy shot a rocket into the place in 2005...


      The Philippines - a discarded cigarette...

    5. The Philippines - a discarded cigarette....

      Probably marijuana, what with the drug problem they've got over there.

  19. US Announces End to Anti-ISIS Campaign in Libya

    A new statement from US Africa Command (Africom) has declared the US military campaign against ISIS in Libya to be “concluded,” following the fall of the last ISIS territory in the city of Sirte in recent weeks. 495 airstrikes were launched over the course of the conflict.

    The US launched its war in Libya back in August, promising to defeat ISIS and support the “unity government” in taking the rest of the nation over. That government announced it’s “final push” against ISIS back in early September, but the fighting continued for months more. Even then, ISIS forces mostly withdrew from the city.

    Despite nominally presenting the conflict as “over,” Africom’s statement also promised to continue US military involvement in Libya to help the “unity government” fight against ISIS across the country. In effect, they are just rebranding it as something short of a full military campaign.

    It may also spell the end of the US directly trying to prop up the “unity government,” one of several factions which styles itself the rightful rulers of the country, and which controls part of the city of Tripoli, along with Sirte.

  20. Watching Deuce's video at the top, that Angela Merkel sure is charismatic !

    Wow !

    One can see how she can ruin her country and get away with it.

    She looks like a beer drinking sausage eater's delight.

    Jawohl !

    1. Why should importing a Million Muzzies ruin her country.

      ...oh, I forgot, it's not like here where they ASSIMILATE, so I am told.

      Live and learn, I guess.

      Always was a little slow.

    2. She looks like she came right out of the coin operated laundry room....or the sausage grinding plant....

    3. It provides DIVERSTIY, Doug.

      And allows a subculture of PERVERSITY.

      And makes life even MORE DANGEROUS than it already is....

      These are all new and wonderful things, don'tchaknow.

    4. I wonder where the San Bernardino love couple assimilated...

      Ask, and Google Provides:

      San Bernardino shooters buried in quiet funeral following Islamic rituals

      The funeral followed traditional Islamic rituals, said an attendee. At a Muslim cemetery hours away from San Bernardino, the bodies were cleansed according to Islamic rules, wrapped in white cloth and buried.

      ...why doesn't somebody rent a backhoe for an evenings entertainment?

    5. Nice to know that they, as well as Osama were all properly cleansed.

    6. Yes, indeed.

      First time they were.

    7. Hope that's an equal opportunity gig for all Americans.
      ...but doubt it.

      We do make exceptions for an exceptional religion.

    8. Stump the experts on What's My Line!

      ...a Cleanser.

    9. Osama was notoriously grimy, according to reports.

      Never changed his robe.

    10. 'pewy pewy pewy' as my Aunt would have said.

    11. 1950 to 1967, with several international versions and subsequent U.S. revivals. ... It is the longest-running U.S. primetime network television game-show.

      Quit a run.

      The good old days.

      Pre Cleanser

    12. I bet he stunk like an old rotten cabbage sack.

  21. Many good reasons for Berlin terrorist being free to roam:

    Although authorities have sought to accelerate the deportation of rejected asylum-seekers this year, there is still a backlog in Germany of tens of thousands, many of whom are able to resist because their countries of origin refuse to take them back. Amri, Jäger said, was one of them.

    Amri had not been deported because — like many asylum seekers in Germany — he did not have a passport. The Tunisian government, Jäger explained, initially denied that he was their national and delayed issuing his passport. Pending his deportation, Amri had received a “toleration” status from the government.

    Amri’s new Tunisian passport, Jäger said, finally arrived Wednesday.

    “I don’t want to comment further on that circumstance,” said a visibly angered Jäger.

    According to a German security official with knowledge of the case, Amri earlier this year tried to buy a gun from an informant for the German authorities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

    [Berlin attack: How the events unfolded]

    Importantly, authorities knew that Amri had “interacted” with Abu Walaa, a 32-year-old of Iraqi descent arrested in November on charges of recruiting and sending fighters from Germany to the Islamic State. Key evidence in Walaa’s case came from an Islamic State defector who had returned to Germany and accused Walaa of helping to recruit him and arrange his travel to Syria.

    A 12-year-old boy of Iraqi descent who was arrested this month for allegedly plotting to plant bombs at Christmas markets in the city of Ludwigshafen had posted remarks on his Facebook page calling for the release of Walaa. It is unclear whether the boy had been in direct contact with him or not.


    2. Yet others argued that living a free society was perhaps more important and that Germans were willing to accept a certain measure of risk to preserve that openness.

      “If we want to maintain the freedom of our society, we simply have to live with the risk contained in this decision,” Die Tageszeitung said in a Wednesday editorial.


    Drinking beer is saving lives in Russia

    russian president prime minister vladimir putin beer
    Even the president's doing it. (Reuters/RIA Novosti)


    Kellogg Insight

    December 15, 2016

    Alcohol is a large part of Russian cultural life—and a highly toxic one, too.
    Not only does alcohol lead Russian men to die on average 12 years earlier than American men, it also causes them to die sooner than their counterparts in highly impoverished nations such as Bangladesh and North Korea (by five years and two years, respectively). In fact, the World Health Organization has found that every fifth death among Russian men is due to alcohol abuse. This can come in many forms, such as alcohol poisoning, drunk-driving accidents, or a booze-fueled homicide.

    But some Russian men appear to be escaping the worst of these effects, thanks to a short-lived government restriction on alcohol that ended 25 years ago. How could a brief and long-defunct intervention be affecting public health today? That is the question at the core of recent research from Lorenz Kueng, an assistant professor of finance at the Kellogg School.

    Kueng investigated Soviet-era alcohol policy, historic patterns in Russian moonshine consumption, and present-day alcohol preferences. Kueng, who teamed up with Evgeny Yakovlev of Russia’s New Economic School, found that the decades-old government restrictions inadvertently taught some consumers to permanently prefer light alcohol over hard alcohol. This change, along with subsequent changes in the alcohol market following the collapse of the Soviet Union, increased male life expectancy today and is projected to continue to do so in the future.
    A brief anti-alcohol policy

    The story begins in 1985.

    At that point, “it was obvious that low male life expectancy was a big problem for the Soviet economy,” Kueng says....

  23. Cities Will Protect Their Communities

    Immigrants are integral part of the communities of all major US cities. Draconian deportation actions by incoming administration will disrupt the communities. Los Angeles launched a $10 million legal defense fund for immigrants facing deportation, officials announced on Monday.

    Tucson City Council passed an immigration rights resolution. Mayors of 17 major cities wrote a letter to President-elect Trump urging him to continue DACA, this included mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Houston, Boston, Seattle, Baltimore, Long Beach, Denver, Minneapolis, San Jose, St. Louis, Phoenix, Nashville and Providence. A vast majority of civic leaders understand the grave danger posed by Trump's deportation plans to their communities, and we commend them for acting forcefully to protect and preserve their communities. Please let us know your thoughts by writing to us at

    1. Corrupt Fucking Aholes.

      Protecting, my ass.

      Ask the Steinles and the rest of the US families devastated by this disaster.

  24. Gotta love it:

    "Yet others argued that living a free society was perhaps more important and that Germans were willing to accept a certain measure of risk to preserve that openness.

    “If we want to maintain the freedom of our society, we simply have to live with the risk contained in this decision,” Die Tageszeitung said in a Wednesday editorial."

    1. “All along, I’ve been proven to be right. One hundred percent correct,” Trump said. “What’s happening is disgraceful.”

    2. We have to commit national suicide to maintain the freedom of our society.

      Evil, crazy fucks.

  25. .

    DougWed Dec 21, 05:53:00 PM EST

    What's the NEERS immigration tribunal about?

    DougWed Dec 21, 05:55:00 PM EST

    This says it was scraped:,0420-helt.shtm

    Well, sure it was scraped but it wasn't exactly scrapped.

    This is why we sometimes put up clickable links on posts, to allow interested readers to get details regarding post summaries.

    Obama can’t control his successor’s policies, but he could dismantle the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERs), an openly discriminatory registry that was introduced in the wake of 9/11.

    The system was used to track people from majority Arab or Muslim countries and has been widely criticized as an ineffective racial profiling tool. It did not lead to a single terrorism conviction.

    The president effectively halted the program in 2011, but the NSEERs regulatory framework remains in place. If Obama rescinded the system altogether, it would make it significantly harder for Trump to build a Muslim registry.


    1. .

      Obama's action on Neers (or some would say inaction)is similar to his signing of the new sanctions bill on Iran but then not allowing the sanctions to go into effect. He lacks the balls to come right out and make a decision and stick with it. Everything he does is political and has little to do with the right or wrong of the issue. It's impossible to know for sure what the guy actually thinks.


    2. You got that right, but if he does it by executive order can't Trump rescind it?

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. .

      I don't know.

      The article talks about a regulatory framework. I suppose it depends on whether we are talking about a law or a rule put in by the bureaucrats in charge in which case I guess he could influence the bureaucracy to change or eliminate the rule.


    5. .

      Maybe threaten them with a poor performance review.


      Actually, that might actually scare them. I don't think there was ever a bad performance review in the history of the Obama administration. You wouldn't want to be the first.


  26. You got me to find a site that would send me into terminal depression if I read it every day.

  27. Are you faintly cynical and weary of the world, blasé, or a Mathematician?

    1. Because I am a Mathematician and have calculated the trends I have become faintly cynical and weary of the world.

      If you know what is good for you, you will end Moslem immigration to your lands now.


  28. Without the 2 CITIES, New York and Los Angeles, Trump won the popular vote.

    Immigrants vote for our destruction.

    Over 37 percent of New York City residents were born in another country, according to a new report, the highest percentage in over 100 years. A record high 3.07 million foreign-born immigrants live in New York City, more than any other city in the world.Dec 19, 2013

    The immigrant share of Los Angeles County's population is near its highest point since 1870; nearly 3.5 million immigrants live here – comprising 35% of the population — the largest number of any region.

  29. 1 lucky guy. (plus the people on the road)


  30. DER QUIRK NITS DEUTSCHELAND: Timeline: Germany’s Two Years of Islamist Terror and Migrant Crisis

  31. It’s Going To Take Men With Guns To Stop The Suburban Deer Uprising

    In recent weeks, a spate of deer incidents nationwide should be a wakeup call: if we want to stop the deer uprising, we’d better start hunting more deer.

    John Daniel Davidson By John Daniel Davidson
    DECEMBER 21, 2016

    We need to talk about the deer uprising. Across the country, deer are starting to fight back, imposing themselves on us in our cities and suburbs, sometimes even in our homes.

    Consider the events of the the past week. A Maryland teenager shot and killed an adult deer after it broke down the door of his house. In South Carolina, a deer smashed through the window of a Gold’s Gym and raced through the weight room as terrified humans scattered. In New York City, the beloved Harlem deer that somehow made its way into the heart of America’s largest city died after police tranquilized and captured it....

    Two VIDEOS, one of a buck deer invading gym's weight room.

    That deer REALLY knows how to jump !

    1. I saw a Tube in which they were trapping Bobcats.

      Didn't know think they have a population problem with them.

      The tube showed them releasing a Cougar from a Bobcat trap.

      We used to trap Bobcats in a box trap and take them elsewhere.

    2. That sounds interesting.

      Safer than walking up to a cougar at age five or whatever, too....what were trying to do, shake its hand and introduce yourself ?


  32. There were also growing calls for the deployment of more police on the streets with military-style weapons - an unusual move in pacifist Germany. At the normally quaint and picturesque Christmas markets in at least three German cities - Mainz, Magdeburg and Dresden - concrete barriers were quickly erected to add security.


    Yet others argued that living a free society was perhaps more important and that Germans were willing to accept a certain measure of risk to preserve that openness.

    "If we want to maintain the freedom of our society, we simply have to live with the risk contained in this decision," Die Tageszeitung said in a Wednesday editorial.

  33. Are You Kind ?

    Try the peanut dispenser test -

    Chimpanzees may be helpful, but humans are the only primates that are kind to others, study suggests

    Among primates, humans are unique in how they have evolved their social behavior and kindness toward others.

    Researchers came to this conclusion after observing the behavior of chimpanzees. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images)
    Melissa Healy Melissa HealyContact Reporter

    Maybe the reason we call it “human kindness” is because that’s the only kind there is.

    We humans might find nothing more heartwarming than seeing other animals befriend and take care of each other. But new research suggests that, although they appear to perform random acts of kindness, chimpanzees, our primate relatives with the most complex social lives, do not actually act with the simple intention of pleasing one another.

    That conclusion will probably stir controversy, because chimps appear to engage in many kinds of social activities that would appear to require kindness. They groom one another — but is that kindness or just the opportunity for a delicious treat? They risk personal injury by keeping watch while others sleep — an act of selfless kindness or a bid to protect their genetic progeny? They console one another after fights erupt — again, kindness or self-protection against a riled-up friend or family member?

    Demonstrating intention — or more important, lack of intention — in a species that lacks the means to communicate such a complex notion is not easy. But three evolutionary and comparative psychologists at universities in Britain and Germany set out anyway to test whether chimpanzees knowingly exhibit kindness.

    See More
    Apes prove it: You don't have to be human to understand what someone else is thinking

    1. Researchers established an experimental game for 16 chimpanzees living in a Ugandan sanctuary for animals rescued from the illegal wildlife trade.

      In this game for two, one chimpanzee could perform a maneuver that would result in the delivery of a few peanuts to another chimpanzee, but not to itself. The chimp with the key to the peanut dispenser would quickly learn that its action would dispense peanuts to the other chimp, because it could see the other enjoying peanuts every time it performed the required maneuver. But the chimp would, over time, discern that this action would never result in its getting any peanuts.

      At first, the chimp with access to the peanut dispenser would knock itself out to pull the required lever. But as it became clear that doing so would offer no personal benefit, the peanut-dispensing chimp just stopped pulling the lever.

      That pattern was a distinct contrast to what would be seen if the chimp perceived any reward to performing the maneuver. If it were getting peanuts, the behavior would continue until the chimp was no longer hungry. If it felt a warm rush of kindness seeing that its action had resulted in the other chimp getting a treat, it would have continued to perform the maneuver. But that was not the pattern the researchers observed.

      Neither, for the record, did the chimps act in ways that would suggest spite. When given the opportunity to perform a separate maneuver that would deny another chimp access to a reward of peanuts, the chimps tried the maneuver a few times and finally stopped.

      “Chimpanzees did not act to produce benefits for others in a helping context,” the authors of the new research wrote. Even the prospect of gaining status, or a reputation for generosity, did not seem to sway them to pull that peanut lever for a fellow chimp, the authors of the research wrote: The chimp with access to the dispenser could see that the other chimp could see it, and that the other chimp knew that its actions were making the peanuts come down the chute.

      But that was not, evidently, reason enough to bother to pull the lever.

      Any benefits or harms that came to a fellow chimp as a result of pulling the lever “did so as incidental byproducts of a personal interest in the stimulus,” and not to kindness, wrote the authors in the journal Nature Communications. Where other experiments appear to have found evidence for kindness in nonhuman primates, they suggest, experimenters should look for evidence that they inadvertently engaged an experimental animal’s sense of play or self-interest.

    2. We're also the only folks around that frequently engage in wanton acts of unkindness....sometimes tormenting and killing millions....

    3. The Peace of Wild Things

  34. German police are looking for an asylum-seeker from Tunisia after finding an identity document under the driver’s seat of a truck that ploughed into a Berlin Christmas market and killed 12 people, officials and security sources said on Wednesday.


    The new details have added to a growing list of questions about whether security forces missed opportunities to prevent the attack, in which a 25-tonne truck mowed down shoppers and smashed through wooden huts selling gifts, mulled wine and sausages in the deadliest attack on German soil since 1980.


    Islamic State has claimed responsibility, as it did for the Nice attack.

    The Passauer Neue Presse newspaper quoted the head of the group of interior ministers from Germany’s 16 federal states, Klaus Bouillon, as saying tougher security measures were needed.

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. Good Lord !

    WIPED OUT Shocking moment top British surfer, 27, is seriously injured after falling from 45ft-high wave during competition in Portugal

    The Cornish surfer was hospitalised by the massive wave, which reports claimed were "as high as five floor buildings"


    BY PAUL HARPER 21st December 2016, 5:17 pm

    THIS is the shocking moment a giant wave wiped out a top British surfer leaving him in hospital.

    Fearless Tom Butler, 27, was taken to hospital after the spectacular crash during the Nazaré Challenge....


    1. "Unfortunately ending up in hospital but on the mend."#noballsnoglory

  37. ANIS Amri, the prime suspect in the Berlin Christmas attack had been under surveillance by authorities for months over terrorism links before the investigation was halted.


    CONCRETE barriers have started going up to protect Berlin’s famed Christmas markets from another attack by terrorists using a truck.


    In Tunisia, Amri’s family expressed shock Wednesday when they were questioned by anti-terrorism police and learned that Amri was wanted across Europe.

    1. No longer a white Christmas in Germany. It's now a concrete Christmas.

    2. Germany could do with some 'extreme vetting'.

  38. Germany’s own far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party also targeted Merkel and Germany’s immigration policy. Vice Chair of the AfD Beatrix von Storch told the BBC that they held the chancellor personally responsible for the attack, and leader Frauke Petry said “Germany is not safe anymore” in a statement on Facebook.


    “[Far-right parties] end up setting the agenda, they may not win … but these parties are very successful at setting political agendas, they draw everybody to the right with them,” Martin Schain, a New York University professor whose work focuses on European politics, told The WorldPost. “It’s true in the UK, it’s true in France and it may become increasingly true in Germany.”

    Merkel’s announcement earlier this month that she supports a partial ban on face veils was a notable example of how the growth of the AfD has already shifted policy. In the aftermath of the Berlin attack and lead-up to Germany’s vote, Merkel will now face additional pressure from the far-right to shift her platform on immigration, among other things.


    It’s time to end the “Palestinian” hijacking of the US-Israel relationship.

    December 22, 2016 Daniel Greenfield

    My sentiments exactly.


      He disavows Louis Farrakhan, but is speaking next week for the Hamas-linked Muslim American Society.

      December 22, 2016 Robert Spencer

      May he become Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

  40. .

    I'm sorry to say Ripple wine has gone the way of the dodo. A sad day (whenever it was).

    My sister is having everyone over for Christmas dinner this year. The invitation said that she will provide the beer and booze but that if anyone wanted a 'special' type of wine they would need to bring it.

    Since nostalgia runs riot this time of year and my brother will be there, I thought I should pick up a couple bottles of Ripple or Boone's Farm to bring back memories of the good old days.

    In looking, I found that Ripple along with other fortified fruit 'wines' was a victim cities on the west coast forcing them off the shelf in an effort to control alcoholism rates and a growing homeless problem.

    Anyone young and growing up in the 60's and 70's are familiar with the good stuff, Ripple, Boone's Farm, Mad Dog, Thunderbird, etc. They had one purpose and it wasn't to have a fine dining experience. Good times.

    Anyway, I guess they still make Boone's Farm but I went to the Gallo websites but Michigan law won't allow them to tell me where I can get it hear.

    Oh well, there's always MD20/20.


    1. .

      No. I haven't started already.


    2. Don't fall for the 13%

    3. I'm familiar with Ripple and Boone's Farm but not Mad Dog or Thunderbird.

      Sounds like Quirk is familiar with all four....and more....

    4. Familiar from long ago....if I were to drink now I'd turn to Trump Winery....if I could, they don't ship to Idaho -

      We ship to: CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, IA, IL, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, WA.

      I'm taking The Donald's advice though, and staying off the stuff.

    5. When Quirk gets soused he becomes preternaturally brave and tactically and strategically uncannily effective.

      The next day though he can't recall what he did or how successful he was...

    6. .

      I remember going to a Pistons game down in Detroit back in the early 70's with 5 or 6 guys from work. We got so smashed one of the guys got left behind and had to catch a cab home. Two other guys stayed at my place for the night rather than drive home. I had driven one of the cars but when we got up the next morning none of us knew were I had left it.

      Good times.


  41. Cisco
    18% alc. by vol.

    Cisco is bottled by the nation's second largest wine company, Canandaigua Wine Co., in Canandaigua, NY and Naples, NY - the same company as Wild Irish Rose.

    Known as "liquid crack," for its reputation for wreaking more mental havoc than the cheapest tequila. Something in this syrupy hooch seems to have a synapse-blasting effect not unlike low-grade cocaine. The label insists that the ingredients are merely "citrus wine & grape wine with artificial flavor & artificial color," but anyone who has tried it knows better. Tales of Cisco-induced semi-psychotic fits are common. Often, people on a Cisco binge end up curled into a fetal ball, shuddering and muttering paranoid rants. Nudity and violence may well be involved too. Everyone who drinks this feels great at first, and claims, "It's not bad at all, I like it." But, you really do not want to mess around with this one, because they all sing a different tune a few minutes later. And by tune, I mean the psychotic ramblings of a raging naked bum.

    In 1991, Cisco's tendency to cause a temporary form of inebriated insanity led the Federal Trade Commission to require its bottlers to print a warning on the label (above right). The FTC also forced them to drop their marketing slogan, "Takes You by Surprise," even though it was entirely accurate. Read the FTC's full investigation on their own web page at this link. Since those days, Cisco is harder to find outside the slums, although the FTC's demonizing of the drink only bolstered its reputation for getting people trashed. Anyone who overlooks the warning and confuses this with a casual wine cooler is going to get more than they bargained for. Cisco will make a new man out of you. And he wants some too.

    Our research shows that Cisco is actually the second best tasting of the five great bum wines, especially if you're having one of those hankerings for cheap Vodka, Jello and Robitussin. We must also note that Cisco is the best of all 5 bum wines at putting the darkest and puffiest bags under your eyes. The nuclear-tinted color of "Cisco RED" is reminiscent of diesel fuel. Most Cisco flavors are named by the fruit flavor that they are trying to emulate, but the one picture is simply called "RED." This chemical disaster will get your head spinning in no time. A test subject reports, "Strawberry Cisco has a bouquet similar to that of Frankenberry cereal fermented in wine cooler with added sprinkle of brandy for presentation." The sticky, sickingly sweet taste with a hint of antifreeze really comes through in the repellant taste of Cisco. Avaliable in various flavors, 375 mL and 750mL sizes. Down a whole 750 mL and you had better be ready to clear your calendar as you suffer through Cisco's legendary 2 day hangover.

    1. Rankings

    2. "Takes You By Surprise" - induces a temporary form of inebriated insanity

      Now there's a real selling point.

      Cisco....never heard of it, thankfully.

    3. .

      I wouldn't actually qualify Ripple and Boones Farm as Bum Wines. I think Ripple was around 11% and Boones Farm was around 7% or 8%. Of course, I put away a lot of Ripple during my 20's maybe my memory isn't all that good.

      I remember a bunch of us were drinking at a club in Detroit. The host of one of Detroit's biggest rock radio stations was with us. I was drinking Ripple. They served it in those huge fishbowl glasses. The DJ was pretty big at the time and eventually went big time in NY for awhile.

      But I don't remember his name.


      That should tell you something.


    4. .

      Ripple was Fred Sanford's go-to drink.

      Doug would know but I think Cisco was more popular on the West Coast.

      Some of the stuff out there just the color of it gave you pause. Or should have.


    5. Only Cisco I know makes routers and stuff.

      Red Mountain Wine was $ 1,29/Gallon in 1966.

      Hof Brau Beer was $2.49 for a case of bottles.

      Our drink of choice was the "Tortuga" (named by us) which was a mix of Red Mountain and Hof Brau.

  42. .

    We'll have to wait and see what Trump does about Israel. He is already kind of waffling on other campaign promises.

    His promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem for instance. Other presidents have promised the same, Clinton, Bush; yet Clinton, Bush, and Obama have continued to sign the waivers every six months. And his people have already started talking about how it won't be happening right a way.

    I heard Trump called 'persuadable' today, indicating that president Trump might not actually be as firmly set as candidate appeared. Trump's new nominee for Israeli ambassador may favor the move but as I recall others like Mattis don't. He also indicated that the settlements were an obstacle to peace.


    1. The Palestinians embrace of Hamas (ISIS light) in a Unity government is the reality and a obstacle to peace.

      Hamas is a recognized terrorist entity that embraces the concept of genocide of the Jews. Of course the reality also is that the PA is a major player in causing, supporting and training terrorists and their attacks on Israeli civilians.

      The issue of a peace treaty is simple. Many nations have border disputes. America does, Russia and China do. But the underlining issue is basic. Do the Palestinians accept the right for a Jewish state of Israel, within secure borders to exist?

      They (the palestinians) have EVERY right not too. Of course that also allows Israel to not to do anything to enable the creation of 22 arab state in the world. The moment the PA (Palestinians) JOINED with Hamas in a UNITY government? The Oslo Accords were ended.

      There will not be a "palestine", as a nation, until either Israel is destroyed or the Palestinians endorse a real viable acceptance of Israel, which includes, but not limited too, stopping the funding of thousands palesitnian terrorists in Israeli jail as heroes, incitement to jihad, rallying it's population to blood lust and more.

      Maybe it's time to be brutally honest. The national movement of the Palestinians is no different than the national movement of ISIS.

      They are feathers from the same bird.

    2. .

      The Oslo accords were done by 2000.

      Bibi claimed to have destroyed them himself.

      The two-state solution was a still-birthed concept from the beginning because neither side would compromise on key issues. For political reasons and with a few exceptions, the leaders lacked the courage to do so. Those that did were either murdered or went to prison before anything solid was completed.

      There have been many proposals 'talked about'. The US has tried to broker a deal. There is an Arab League proposal on the board. The French are trying to broker another deal. The Israelis and Palestinians have spent endless days sitting around tables talking about a deal. However, the concept has always been 'nothing is agreed until everything is agreed'; therefore, nothing is ever agreed. The concept of a brokered peace with third parties involved has always been rejected by Israel demanding instead two party talks with the PA. In every negotiation, the only agreement that was ever reached was an agreement to 'talk' about an agreement. It work for the leaders of both side, Israel and the corrupt leaders of the PA. The Israeli PM gets the rest of the world off his back and the PA leaders get rich on the backs of the Palestinians. A sweet deal.

      Both sides will always find some reason to never get to the final talks. The 'peace talks' have been going on for more than four decades. In that time, the reasons found for not reaching an agreement are legion.

      It's all kabuki and everyone involved knows it's kabuki. Polls show the vast majority of the Palestinians no longer believe in the process or that there will ever be a two-state solution. The right is growing more powerful in Israeli politics and a bill to legalize all existing West Bank settlements was easily passed on first readings in the Knesset. The process is underway. Only a fool would deny it.

      As for comparing someone to ISIS, it is now the same as comparing them to Nazis, silly vitriol used to close a conversation when you have nothing more to say.


  43. Trump ought to stick to his campaign promises.

    Otherwise the folks will rapidly lose heart.

  44. Ripple was a little fizzy, IIRC.

    Really bad....

    1. I bet there's a booze in Australia called Kangaroo.

    2. There's a Gray Kangaroo Personal Liquor Filter.

    3. There's a Kangaroo Killer Pale Ale out of Texas.

    4. There's Khajuraho & Kangaroo Beer out of India.

    5. There's "Q"Roo Basement Home Brew out of Detroit, Michigan.

      Drink this only after passing it through a Gray Kangaroo Personal Liquor Filter.

    6. In Liquor Affairs Monthly, a trade journal, the suspicion was raised that "Q"Roo was nothing but a mixture of Ripple, Thunderbird, Cisco, Boone's Farm and Mad Dog.

      This led to a lawsuit by The Michigan Liquor Department against "Q"Roo.

      The jury is still, literally, out on the matter, the Jurors having all tasted the concoction.

  45. Taxes


    These four tax changes would discourage foreign activities that are harming our economy. Adding up our ballpark estimates, the amount of revenue brought in by them would be approximately $465 billion per year.

    If Congress enacts these proposals, they could cut the taxes of working Americans, grow the economy, and shrink the budget deficits, all at the same time!