“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, April 15, 2017

“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?

Will Christianity Perish in Its Birthplace?

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By Patrick J. Buchanan
“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?)” Those are among Jesus’ last words on the Cross that first Good Friday.
It was a cry of agony, but not despair. The dying Christ, to rise again in three days, was repeating the first words of the 22nd Psalm.
And today, in lands where Christ lived and taught and beyond where the Christian faith was born and nourished, the words echo. For it is in the birthplace of Christianity that Christians face the greatest of persecutions and martyrdoms since the time of Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin.
President Donald Trump, outraged by pictures of infants and children who had perished in the nerve gas attack in Syria, ordered missile strikes on the air base from which the war crime came.
Two days later, Palm Sunday, 44 Coptic Christians celebrating Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem were martyred in terrorist attacks in Egypt. The first bombing was at St. George’s Church in Tanta, the second at St. Mark’s in Alexandria, where the Coptic Pope Tawadros II was at Mass.
The pope was unhurt, but 100 Christians were injured in the attacks. At St. George’s, one witness described the scene after the bomb exploded near the altar: “I saw pieces of body parts. … There was so much blood everywhere. Some people had half of their bodies missing.”
The Islamic State group claims credit for the murders, and the pictures of dead children from those churches were surely as horrific as the pictures the president saw after the gas attack.
Copts are among the earliest Christians, dating to the first century A.D., when St. Mark, one of the Twelve Apostles, established the first church outside the Holy Land and became bishop of Alexandria.
The Copts make up 10 percent of Egypt’s population. They have been especially targeted for terrorist attacks since the 2013 overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi, who had been elected president after the ouster of longtime U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak.
In the subsequent struggle between Egypt’s Islamists, whose base is in Sinai, and the Cairo regime of Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who was welcomed to the White House in March, the Copts are seen as soft-target allies of Gen. el-Sissi’s and hated for their faith.
Whatever they did for democracy, the U.S. interventions in the Middle East and the vaunted Arab Spring have proved to be pure hell for Arab Christians.
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In Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Christians were left alone if they did not interfere in politics. Indeed, they prospered as doctors, lawyers, journalists, academics, engineers, businessmen. A Christian, Tariq Aziz, was Saddam’s foreign minister who negotiated with Secretary of State James Baker to try to prevent what became the Gulf War.
Before 2003, there were still 800,000 Christians in Iraq. But after a decade of church bombings and murders of priests, their numbers have plummeted. When the Islamic State seized a third of Iraq, Christians under the group’s rule had to convert to Islam and pay a tax or face beheading.
On Dec. 26, St. Stephen’s Day, which honors the first martyr, Pope Francis hailed the Iraqi Christians lately liberated from Islamic State rule, noting, “They are our martyrs of today, and there are so many we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries.”
In 2016, an estimated 90,000 more Christians worldwide died for their faith.
Under Syria’s dictator Hafez al-Assad and son Bashar, Christians have been 10 percent of the population and protected by the regime. They thus have sided with Assad against the terrorists of the Islamic State and al-Qaida, whose victory would mean their expulsion or death.
Of the 10 nations deemed by Christianity Today to be the most hateful and hostile toward Christianity, eight are majority-Muslim nations, with the Middle East being the site of the worst of today’s persecutions.
Afghanistan, which we “liberated” in 2001, is listed as the third-most hostile nation toward Christians. The punishment for baptism there is death. A decade ago, a Christian convert had to flee his country to avoid beheading.
Consider. Christianity, whose greatest feast day we celebrate Sunday, is the cradle faith of the culture and the civilization of the West. And in our secularized world, Christianity remains the predominant faith.
A millennium ago, Christendom mounted crusades to ensure that its pilgrims would not lose the right to visit the Holy Land in peace.
Now, a decade and a half after we launched invasions and occupations of the Muslim world in Afghanistan and then Iraq to bring the blessings of democracy, the people there who profess that Christian faith are being persecuted as horribly as they were under the Romans in Nero’s time.
Where are the gains for religious freedom and human rights to justify all the bombings, invasions and wars we have conducted in the lands from Libya to Pakistan — to justify the losses we have endured and the death and suffering we have inflicted?

Truth be told, it is in part because of us that Christianity is on its way to being exterminated in its cradle.
Happy Easter!


  1. While Donald Rodham Trump is taking his victory lap, he should reflect on Putin's words.

    The US under Bush, Obama and Clinton dethroned the men that kept the lid on the Islamic crazies. The multiculturalist, the globalist USA set the match that is incinerating Christianity in the Middle East.

    Trump is just the latest and he will become the most hated because he defined for us that supported him that he understandsood how it all went so wrong.

    Happy Easter Christians.

    1. Thank G-d for Israel, the birthplace of Christianity, the safe haven for Christians, Druze, Bhai's and Jews and YES even moslems...


    2. Let's all remember that the Jews, that USED to be across the middle east, a thousand years before christianity we driven out of most all moslem occupied lands... Forced to resettle into tiny Israel..

      Maybe we should thank them,..


  2. While Donald Rodham Trump is taking his victory lap, he should reflect on Putin's words.

    The US under Bush, Obama and Clinton dethroned the men that kept the lid on the Islamic crazies. The multiculturalist, the globalist USA set the match that is incinerating Christianity in the Middle East.

    Trump is just the latest and he will become the most hated because he defined for us that supported him that he understood how it all went so wrong.

    Happy Easter Christians.

    By Robin Wright April 14, 2017

    St. George Church in Tanta, Egypt, after a suicide bombing on April 9th.

    A decade ago, I spent Easter in Damascus. Big chocolate bunnies and baskets of pastel eggs decorated shop windows in the Old City. Both the Catholic and Orthodox Easters were celebrated, and all Syrians were given time off for both three-day holidays on sequential weekends. I stopped in the Umayyad Mosque, which was built in the eighth century and named after the first dynasty to lead the Islamic world. The head of John the Baptist is reputedly buried in a large domed sanctuary—although claims vary—on the mosque’s grounds. Muslims revere John as the Prophet Yahya, the name in Arabic. Because of his birth to a long-barren mother and an aged father, Muslim women who are having trouble getting pregnant come to pray at his tomb. I watched as Christian tourists visiting the shrine mingled with Muslim women.

    At least half of Syria’s Christians have fled since then. The flight is so pronounced that, in 2013, Gregory III, the Melkite Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, wrote an open letter to his flock: “Despite all your suffering, stay here! Don’t emigrate!”

    “We exhort our faithful and call them to patience in these tribulations, especially in this tsunami of stifling, destructive, bloody and tragic crises of our Arab world, particularly in Syria, but also to different degrees in Egypt, Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon,” he wrote. “Jesus tells us, ‘Fear not!’ “

    Syria’s Christians are part of a mass exodus taking place throughout the Middle East, the cradle of the faith. Today, Christians are only about four per cent of the region’s more than four hundred million people—and probably less. They “have been subject to vicious murders at the hands of terrorist groups, forced out of their ancestral lands by civil wars, suffered societal intolerance fomented by Islamist groups, and subjected to institutional discrimination found in the legal codes and official practices of many Middle Eastern countries,” as several fellows at the Center for American Progress put it.

    Last weekend, suicide bombings in two Egyptian Coptic churches in Alexandria and Tanta, sixty miles north of Cairo, killed almost four dozen Egyptians and injured another hundred. The Palm Sunday attacks, coming just weeks before Pope Francis is due to visit the country, led the Coptic Church to curtail Easter celebrations in a country that has the largest Christian population—some nine million people—in the Middle East. A pillar of the early faith, the Copts trace their origins to the voyage of the Apostle Mark to Alexandria.

    1. “We can consider ourselves in a wave of persecution,” Bishop Anba Macarius, of the Minya diocese, who survived an assassination attempt in 2013, said on Thursday.

      The isis affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula claimed credit for the attacks. In the past two years, it has carried out a series of gruesome killings of Christians, including the forced march of twenty-one Egyptian workers in Libya, all Coptic Christians, each clad in an orange prison jumpsuit, to a Mediterranean beach, where they were forced to kneel and then beheaded. isis threats against Christians have escalated since a suicide bombing on December 11th at St. Mark’s Cathedral, in Cairo, killed more than two dozen Egyptians. After a February attack that killed seven Christians on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the majority of Copts have fled the Sinai, according to Human Rights Watch.

      The largest exodus of Christians is in Iraq, where the group has been trapped in escalating sectarian clashes between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, targeted by an Al Qaeda franchise, and forced to flee by the Islamic State. “There were 1.3 million Christians in Iraq in 2003. We’re down by a million since then,” with hundreds more leaving each month, Bashar Warda, a Chaldean bishop in the northern city of Erbil, the Kurdish capital, told me last month. He was wearing a pink zucchetto skullcap and an amaranth sash tied around his black cassock. A large silver cross hung around his neck.

      “It’s very hard to maintain a Christian presence now,” Warda said. “Families have ten reasons to leave and not one reason to stay. This is a critical time in our history in this land. We are desperate.”

      Last month, I drove to Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city and home for two millennia to one of the world’s oldest Christian communities. Within days of its conquest of Mosul, isis issued an ultimatum to Christians to either convert to Islam, pay an exorbitant and open-ended tax, or face death “by the sword.” Homes of Christians were marked by a large “N” for “Nassarah,” a term in the Koran for Christians.

      Some thirty-five thousand Christians fled. Many of their homes were ransacked and then set alight. En route to Mosul, I passed other Christian villages, like Bartella, that had also emptied. Even gravestones at the local cemetery were bullet-ridden. In all, a hundred thousand Christians from across the Biblical Nineveh Plains are estimated to have abandoned their farmlands, villages, and towns for refuge in northern Kurdistan—or beyond Iraq’s borders.

      “For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians,” the Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako told Agence France-Presse.

      The Christian flight has broader implications for the Middle East. “If one of the most important religious groups in the world continues to be forced out of the Middle East, this bodes negatively for pluralism, tolerance, and the ability of the region’s people to live interlinked with the rest of the world,” the Center for American Progress reported. The status of Christians “is a barometer of whether those of other faiths or no faith at all will be able to live and thrive in the future Middle East.”....

    2. ISIS of the "Sinai" is the Moslem Brotherhood, supported by Hamas.


  4. Meanwhile -

    Death toll mounts among Venezuelan protesters

    We may have just dropped the Mother of all Bombs in Afghanistan, but in Caracas, Venezuela the residents are promising the Mother of all Protests this week. The unrest has been going on for months now, but it’s been significantly ramped up in the past few weeks as starving citizens raid the few remaining shops with any food and take to hunting dogs, cats and rats (or even flamingos and anteaters) just to survive. The response from the government of President Nicolas Maduro has been swift and consistently brutal, leading to injuries and even deaths among the protesters. In the past few weeks as many as a half dozen have died. (NPR)

    Protests are mounting against embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and the death toll is mounting too. As demonstrators braved a tropical storm on the streets of Caracas on Thursday, a 36-year-old died elsewhere of wounds he had sustained in other protests days earlier.

    Opposition lawmaker Alfonso Marquina announced Gruseny Antonio Calderon’s death on Twitter, calling him “another victim of the dictatorship.”

    Calderon is the fifth protester to die of injuries sustained in clashes with police since the latest round of protests kicked off roughly two weeks ago. According to authorities, others include a 13-year-old boy and two college-age students.

    Who knows if the starving citizens will eventually be successful? They’ve certainly been showing a bit more spine of late. As John noted earlier this week, Maduro was actually pelted with rocks and garbage at one public speaking event as he seeks to calm people down. The residents seem to finally be catching on to what’s really happening in their country. NPR quotes one 64 year old protester as saying, “There’s no bread or medicine. In every corner of Venezuela, this socialist project has failed.”

    It’s good to see at least some Venezuelans learning the hard lessons of history, and hopefully it’s not too late. This is how socialism always ends. It begins with flowery promises of everyone being in it together as brothers in arms, with a government which will give to each according to their needs. But almost immediately those promises are broken and things begin to change. Those who are well connected with the ruling party continue to live well, with plenty of food, medical care and even such luxuries as may still be available. And they are quick to rat out any of their less well connected neighbors who may begin grumbling. The gap between the powerful and the powerless continues to grow until you see the starvation and mayhem in the streets which describe Caracas today.

    Imagine how things might have turned out differently for Venezuela under a free, market driven system. The country still has some of the richest proven reserves of accessible, sweet crude oil in the world (though the Unites States is ahead of them if you count shale oil) but they can’t get it out of the ground. Why? Because the government (any government, really) isn’t very good at running a massive energy operation and it wouldn’t help the common people anyway if they’re stealing all the money. They once commanded not only rich agricultural production, but mining operations producing and exporting diamonds, bauxite, gold, iron ore and other riches. There was plenty of money to be made and the opportunity to generate employment for all who were ready to work.

    But look at them now. The government has stolen the nation’s riches and the citizens are fighting over scraps of food. Their doctors have no medicine to heal the sick. Their children are dying in the streets as they attempt to protest the abuses of a tyrant. Socialism has once again taken a nation rich with promise and resources and turned it into a hell hole.

  5. It's off to Doggie Day Care Easter Egg Hunt !

    God Bless the USA, where dogs are protected from mistreatment by law, and can celebrate Easter too !

    Cheers !


  6. Where are the gains for religious freedom and human rights to justify all the bombings,...

    Time doesn't stand still in this moment and history will not be written by holocaust deniers.

    Do you think you can just sit on the sidelines while truth itself is attacked.

    Sooner or later, all must make the choice.

  7. Buchanan is hardly sitting on the sidelines. His question stands, where are the gains? Who benefits?

    What truths were attacked by Bush, Obama and Clinton in Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Syria? Who benefited?

    What does the holocaust, an event of human depravity, hardly a singular occurrence, but now a footnote in history, have to do with the needless slaughter going on in the Middle East. The victims and heirs of the victims of the holocaust have hardly been a force to stop the injustice occurring in the here and now over there next to them.

    Where is the universal learned lesson if not applied? Where is the relevance? Where is the truth that is being attacked?

    Time has proved that words without actions are breaths in the wind. Here, gone and meaningless.

    1. ...where are the gains?

      The very souls of the Muslims that are converting the truth.
      At the risk of death is where testimony is given the weight to the Body of Christ.

      Who benefits?

      I think you can figure out that by my comment above.

  8. "Do you realize what you've done?

    It was written long ago.
    To be scoffed at and ridiculed until the victory of Truth over the father of lies. Life over death. The way to live in liberty.

  9. Here is truth. People are all full of shit.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Yes they are.

      One way to cut through the shit is to with the sword of truth.

    3. Yes my friend, words are important but guidance says:

      “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

    4. A much more artful observation than my "full of shit".

    5. I am acting on my testimony.

      Putting myself up as the word made flesh.

    6. Again.

      ... we find not only that the foundations were washed with lustral water, but that attention was especially centered upon the great stone ( ingens saxum ) which was ...

    7. If the word testifies of me and I of it.
      Is it truth?

    8. I know it sounds weird, but that's all I got.

  10. Can anyone in 2017, with a straight face, argue that the St. Louis lesson is that anyone anywhere has a burden of responsibility and group guilt for not accepting refugees fleeing death?

    A truth stands the test of time. Something professed to being a truth and not applied is just more bullshit. The Christian nations of Europe have taken in refugees by the millions? They may have been naive, stupid or bleeding hearts but they practiced what has been preached.

    What has the axis of sanctimony done?

    1. A truth stands the test of time.

      And that is what the first principle of God is, or "truth is god."

  11. There were 900 souls on the St. Louis. One day's worth on the raggedy ass ships arriving in Sicily and Greece.

    1. Unlike the 900 souls on the St Louis, they did not have dozens of co-religionist nations at their disposal.

      The OIC represents 57 islamic nations tasked with the protection of the Umma.

      Those 900 Jews did not have ONE nation that would set up as their guardian.

      But the good news Deuce?

      Today there is an Israel.

      And the crazy Islamic world is beheading it's self.

  12. There were 900 souls on the St. Louis.

    And where would you relegate their souls with atheism?

    1. Easy Peasy - Atheism allows one to make moral and ethical decisions based on goodness for the sake of goodness - kindness and humanity for humanity - justice for peace and protection. Atheism recognizes the incredible responsibility and the extraordinary fortune of being alive. Atheism demands responsibility for one's every decision. Atheism refuses to accept that there are slaves and masters offered a choice of punishment and reward for human behavior, demanding that one has responsibility to the living, the here and now, with respect to the past and faith in the role of humanity in the future.

      The reward is being to have eyes and mind open to let some infinitely small piece of the universe, for a pathetic sliver of time, have the knowledge that there is a universe.

      Atheists value life, reject the nonsense that death is a ticket to a better place and would recognize the true value of six hundred living souls and would exert their responsibility to shelter and protect them.

  13. .

    ‘Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do.’

    Anyone who has watched our actions in the ME and Africa over the past two decades and believes we are doing God’s work there is simply deluded. All we have done with our interventions has been to spread flowery words and death wherever we have gone.

    Perhaps, the Beatitude that best encompasses Christ’s teachings is the one that states, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ Perhaps, a negative injunction should have been included, ‘Do no harm’.

    The Flowery Words

    Democracy: How can you call it democracy when a foreign nation comes in and replaces one autocratic government with another autocratic government of its own choosing?
    Right to Protect: In our humanitarian efforts in these countries we have helped kill millions and turn tens of millions into refugees. And any humanitarian conceits we have are belied by our obviously anti-humanitarian efforts in places like Yemen. Do no harm?

    Stability: Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, South Sudan. It’s more accurate to call all these countries failed states rather than stable states. The only thing keeping Egypt from failing are the $ billions we provide in baksheesh. The worst part is if ‘peace’ ever comes to any of these states, they are all countries where it will takes decades before life can get back to normal. Take a look at any of the cities we have ‘liberated’ and you can see the heritage we leave behind. In Afghanistan, say what you want about the Taliban, but one thing they did do was eliminate the opium growing. Now, with the US presence there, the opium trade is twice the level it was in the past, something that should strike a chord given the opioid epidemic we now have here in the US.

    Security: Is there any of the countries our forces are fighting in right now that can be considered stable? Heck, in the country of our longest war ever, Afghanistan, it can be argued that it is worse off now than when we first arrived.

    Islamic Militants: There was no al Qaeda in Iraq until the US invaded. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was a small but lethal force in Yemen until we started supporting Saudi Arabia’s ill-fated war there. Now, they control 25% of the country. In the fight against ISIS, the US is making slow but steady progress in destroying the ill-fated ISIS ‘caliphate’, as if a bunch of ideological nutjobs with pick-up trucks and machine guns could control tens of thousands of square miles of territory when facing the military might of the world’s great powers. Now, ISIS simply goes back to its roots. They are now in Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Russia, Europe, the US, well, you get the picture.



    1. {...}

      To save the Women and Children: Based on recent history, it’s a stretch to think our military efforts will ever save as many women and children as our efforts have already ended up killing or turning into refugees.

      Christianity: Those that argue the US efforts in these countries are actually aimed at helping Christians are in a word nutz. In fact, rather than being simply amoral some of our actions have actually aggravated the situation for Christians in these countries. During the surge in Iraq, US forces actually forced thousands of Christians our of homes they had lived in since birth in Baghdad and other population centers as they used forced relocation to separated various ethnic groups to try to stop the sectarian violence. Then, we installed a sectarian regime there that continued the sectarian fighting including that against Christians as we withdrew. In Syria, we are fighting the only force there that would actually protect Christians. We said nothing when Mubarak, who at least had a modus vivendi with the Copts, was deposed. Yet, we support Sisi who merely gives the Copts’ concerns lip-service. We berate our enemies like Iran, yet we say nothing about allies like Saudi Arabia who are the chief prosecutors of the anti-Christian movement.

      Anyone, even if they don’t recognize the, at best, amorality of the US foreign policy, has to at least recognize the incompetence of it.

      I am not arguing the US should not do everything it can do in terms on non-military humanitarian aid to these countries in order to relieve the crisis that exists there. I believe this would be the true ‘Christian’ thing to do. What I am arguing is that we have tried the military alternative and it has been found wanting.

      That’s not even mentioning what the $ trillions we have wasted on these wars could have done ad they been spent on humanitarian purposes.

      Those that argue the US should continue current efforts to save the world fall into the category of those who would burn the village to save it. Not the kind of Christianity I would expect Christ to approve of.


    2. Nearly impossible to untangle.

      Honestly, hardly a meat ball in it.

    3. You like Google.

      Google 'Taliban and the opium trade'

      About 585,000 results (0.40 seconds)

      Ah !

      Penetrating Every Stage of Afghan Opium Trade, Taliban Become A Cartel

    4. .

      The faux farmer who has often been accused of practicing English as a second language can't be expected to know shit about history or our foreign policy.

      Taliban to lift ban on farmers growing opium if US attacks"

      Monday 24 September 2001 21.59 EDT

      In a dramatic and little-noticed reversal of policy, the Taliban have told farmers in Afghanistan that they are free to start planting poppy seeds again if the Americans decide to launch a military attack.

      Drug enforcement agencies last night confirmed that they expect to see a massive resumption of opium cultivation inside Afghanistan, previously the world's biggest supplier of heroin, in the next few weeks.

      The Taliban virtually eradicated Afghanistan's opium crop last season after an edict by Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Taliban leader.

      July last year he said that growing opium was "un-Islamic" and warned that anyone caught planting seeds would be severely punished.

      Taliban soldiers enforced the ruling two summers ago and made thousands of villagers across Afghanistan plough up their fields. Earlier this year UN observers agreed that Afghanistan's opium crop had been completely wiped out...

      On September 24, 2001...

      In a dramatic and little-noticed reversal of policy, the Taliban have told farmers in Afghanistan that they are free to start planting poppy seeds again if the Americans decide to launch a military attack.

      On October 7, 2001...

      The Americans decide to launch a military attack.

      After the defeat of the Taliban, the local warlords took over the poppy production. The US did little to slow the growth of that poppy production. They wanted the warlords on their side and weren't about to cut out their biggest source of profit. They also didn't want to alienate the local populations who depended on the poppy cultivation for their livelihood. There are still reports (unproven0 that the CIA has facilitated the opium trade warlords in order to curry favor with the warlords. The last few years have seen the highest production of poppies in history in Afghanistan.

      (Rumor has it Monsanto is trying to develop a GMO strain of poppies.)

      The truth is the US presence in Afghanistan has done nothing to slow the growth of the opium trade there, and in fact, has only accelerated it.


    5. .

      The faux farmer is an ill-bred buffoon who refuses to abide by a simple request to stop attaching his bullshit to my posts and instead to start his own post stream.

      It's obviously wishful thinking to expect any courtesy ill-informed rustic from the boondocks of Idaho.


    6. .

      ...from an ill-informed rustic from the boondocks of Idaho.


    7. .

      ...boondocks of Idaho...


    8. Someone needs to ask Quirk, Man of Prescience, what the West, and USA, and Japan, and S. Korea should do, exactly, if anything, about Kim Jong un.

      Quirk will know what to do.

      He should be on record.

  14. I'm concerned about Quirk and the Spaghetti Trade.

    No one but no one has ever been able to make a dent in it.

    Even Doug has failed.


    1. Only because I had not yet tried:

      "We came, we saw, they died."

    2. Who knows how it would have turned out, but:

      We had some better ideas going into Iraq than turned out to be the case on the ground.

      Like turning policing the place back over to the Iraqi Army.

      ...thereby not turning it into the segregated by force (and walls) that it turned into that Deuce refers to above.

      Like my idea of a place where the Rufus solution would have actually worked:

      Instead of the centralized rebuilding of the electrical grid, subject to theft and sabotage, we could have spent that money GIVING small Diesel/Solar electric plants to neighborhoods, giving them ownership and an incentive to keep it together, etc etc.

      In each case we did the opposite in real life on the ground.

      Over and over and over, and each time someone somewhere (esp @ BC) would "explain" how things were actually progressing.

      They weren't.

  15. Quirk has amazing prescience based on his hindsight.

    That's what I'm so often impressed with in our Spaghetti Monster.

    That, and everything is always the fault of the USA.

  16. Egypt's Christian minority in somber mood for Easter holiday

    Maha Ragaay is seen near a religious portrait at her home in the Cairo suburb of Maadi, Egypt, April 14, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

    By Osama Naguib | ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT

    Members of Egypt's Christian minority flocked to traditional services this Easter weekend in somber mood following attacks last Sunday that killed 45 people, and security was especially tight at the two churches hit by the bombers.

    Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks on Palm Sunday targeting Egypt's nearly 2,000-year-old Coptic Christian community and has warned of more attacks to come. The militants are waging an insurgency against security forces in Egypt's Sinai peninsula.

    In the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, worshippers passed through a metal detector at the entrance to Saint Mark's Cathedral, historic seat of the Coptic Pope and one of the two sites attacked last Sunday.

    Rafiq Bishry, head of the church's organizational committee, said he was surprised that so many people had come to the services that mark the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ despite the increased security risks.

    "This is a clear message to the whole world that we are not afraid," he told Reuters Television.

    Coptic Pope Tawadros had been leading the mass at the cathedral at the time of the explosion but was not injured.

    On Saturday, a soldier with a heavy machine gun watched from the top of an armored vehicle near the cathedral.

    At the other bombed church, St. George's, in the Nile Delta city of Tanta, north of Cairo, masked soldiers with body armor and rifles stood by as worshippers were searched and also made to pass through metal detectors.

    Islamic State has stepped up assaults on Egyptian Christians and now claims to have killed 80 people in three church bombings since December, including the Palm Sunday attacks.

    Maha Ragaay, a Coptic Christian teacher who lives in Cairo, said she had avoided watching television on Palm Sunday, afraid of seeing the bloody images broadcast after the bombings.

    "I do not want (these attacks) to happen again, but I don't feel that we're doing anything to stop this," she said, lighting a candle in front of a small statue of the crucified Christ as she celebrated Easter with family and friends at home.

    Ragaay said she would be marking Easter in a state of mourning for those who had lost their lives.

    Following the attacks, the government introduced a three-month state of emergency which gives it sweeping powers to act against what it calls enemies of the state.

    Copts make up about 10 percent of the 92-million population of mostly Muslim Egypt and are the region's largest Christian denomination.

    1. Sisi may not be doing enough for the Christians but he's not doing nothing, either.

      He was reported to have been trying to alter the nature of the curriculum in the nation's schools, running into fierce opposition from the clerics. Haven't read lately how this is going.

  17. Here's one, an Italian lady, that survived it all in the last century -

    World's oldest person dies at 117...

    Last known survivor of 19th century....DRUDGE

    Born in 1899, same year as one of my Aunts. She came up less than five years short of lasting that whole century.

    Never voted for anyone but Republicans her entire life.

    Her last vote, straight Republican ticket, I took her out of the rest home....parking in the handicapped space without a sticker....the cop, waiting when we came out, let us off.....


  18. "Quirk has amazing prescience based on his hindsight."

    Does that mean he's guided by his ass?

    1. That is one possible interpretation, yes.

    2. I often think of it in terms of Quirk's rear view mirror, if that helps.

  19. US, Japan conduct successful missile interception test

    1. Fox reports that N. Korea just tried another missile launch, but it failed.

  20. Soul, noun
    the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.
    the spiritual part of humans regarded in its moral aspect, or as believed to survive death and be subject to happiness or misery in a life to come:
    arguing the immortality of the soul.
    the disembodied spirit of a deceased person:

    Atheism allows recognition of the soul?

  21. Oddly enough, I think it can.

    One just accepts 1,2,3 as the nature of things and keeps a theistic principle out of it.

    1. Hmm...
      I don't think Deuce answered my question, but sidestepped it rather artfully...I could be wrong though.

    2. I mean my question up the thread.

  22. U.S. military says North Korea missile blew up almost immediately

    "Wonder why they always have so much trouble, it's not rocket science.. oh wait.. nevermind."

  23. In a sane World, several Berkeley Cops would have weapons aimed at this guy's head:

  24. The blue eyed killer Pooty is celebrating Easter in some Russian church along with his corrupt second banana Medvedev.

    These two solid followers of Christ are evidence of Russia's internal rejuvenation.