“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."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Jumping for a giant: Brave sailor saves a whale trapped in a fishing net after hurling himself 40 feet off the deck of a cargo ship

  • Crew gesture to each other as the whale writhes trapped in the net 
  • Sailor hurls himself off 40-foot-high deck and lands feet away from the mammal 
  • Teams up with another man and the pair push the whale back into the ocean

Published: 19:28 EDT, 20 April 2017 Updated: 07:11 EDT, 21 April 2017
This brave sailor dived off the side of a cargo ship to save a whale that had got stuck in a fishing net.

In astonishing video footage, the crew of the Bahamas-registered Cheikh El Mokrani can be seen gesturing at each other on deck as the mammal writhes in the waters below.

After a moment's consideration, one man hurls himself off 40-foot-high deck and lands just feet away from the giant mammal.

Crewman jumps from cargo ship to save whale tangled in net

After a moment's consideration, one man hurls himself off 40-foot-high deck and lands just feet away from the giant fish
The crew member swims towards the whale and pushes its nose away from the net
After a moment's consideration, one man hurls himself off 40-foot-high deck and lands just feet away from the giant mammal

The crew member swims towards the whale and pushes its nose away from the net. He is soon joined by another man and together they push the fish free. 
A cheer goes up from the deck as the whale swims back into the ocean. 
Reacting to the rescue on April 19, YouTube users praised the bravery of the sailors.

Tom Scott said: 'The feat was and is amazing to watch, it's good to see people who care and is willing to risk life and limb to save our planet.'  

And John S wrote: 'Fantastic humanitarian act of kindness, I applaud them.'   
Cheikh El Mokrani was the leader of an Algerian uprising against the French in 1830.  
He is soon joined by another man (pictured) and together they push the mammal free
A cheer goes up from the deck as the whale swims back into the ocean
He is soon joined by another man (pictured) and together they push the mammal free. A cheer goes up from the deck as the whale swims back into the ocean
Reacting to the rescue on April 19, YouTube users praised the bravery of the sailors. Pictured: The whale being guided to freedom
Reacting to the rescue on April 19, YouTube users praised the bravery of the sailors. Pictured: The whale being guided to freedom

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    1. I say let Chelsea run wild. Even enable her.

      The Democrat brand will shrink even further.

      And, as a member of The Clinton Foundation, she ought to be in jail with mom and dad, too....

  2. This good fellow seems to have acted instinctively on a Hindu-like sympathy for animals.

    He must feel them as being akin to ourselves, like the Hindus do, and not a separate sort altogether, but just a little further back in the line of spiritual development, and like us in essence, our bothers and sisters so to speak.

    But with such magnificent creatures such as the whales and dolphins, do we know much about their mental/spiritual development ?

    Whales can send signals immense distances, seemingly communicating with others of their type, and who can really say much about what is going on in a dolphin's noggin ?

    Looking out at the Milky Way out there, and the endless galaxies beyond, who can really think that 'we' are the only ones....

    1. Here's Blake in a similar mood:

      He who the Ox to wrath has mov'd
      Shall never be by Woman lov'd.

      "Auguries of Innocence"

      by William Blake

      One can tell a lot about a man, a culture, by how an ox, or a dog, is treated....

      Never beat your ox, or dog, whatever DesCartes might say.

    2. Nor should you leave your dog at home alone for hours -

      Dogs stress for hours when left home alone....DRUDGE

      -but rather take them to Doggie Day Care.


  3. Celebrating Earth Day 2017!

    The signals of the whales

    echolocation whales
    how do whales use echolocation
    echolocation beluga whales
    echolocation whale finding dory
    About 465,000 results (0.54 seconds)
    Search Results

    Animal echolocation - Wikipedia
    Echolocation, also called bio sonar, is the biological sonar used by several kinds of animals. .... Coherence means that the phase of the echolocation signals is used by the .... Odontocetes (toothed whales and dolphins) have similar cochlear ...

    ‎Early research · ‎Principle · ‎Bats · ‎Toothed whales
    Species-specific beaked whale echolocation signals | Baumann ...
    Beaked whale echolocation signals are mostly frequency-modulated (FM) upsweep pulses and appear to be species specific. Evolutionary processes of niche ...

    [PDF]Species-specific beaked whale echolocation signals - Scripps Whale ...
    by S Baumann-Pickering - ‎2013 - ‎Cited by 34 - ‎Related articles
    Beaked whale echolocation signals are mostly frequency-modulated (FM) upsweep pulses and ... godens hotaula) beaked whales (Baumann-Pickering et al...

    by PL EDDS-WALTON - ‎1997 - ‎Cited by 85 - ‎Related articles
    Key words: baleen whales, communication, voealization, contact calls, song ... distinction, the vocalizations may be called communication "signals" as defined by ...

    Whale signals detected by International Monitoring System (IMS) - ctbto
    The International Monitoring System utilises hydroacoustic stations to monitor the earth's seas and oceans for indications of a possible nuclear test explosion.

    Echolocation signals of free-ranging killer whales (Orcinus orca) and ...
    by WW Au - ‎2004 - ‎Cited by 137 - ‎Related articles
    J Acoust Soc Am. 2004 Feb;115(2):901-9. Echolocation signals of free-ranging killer whales (Orcinus orca) and modeling of foraging for chinook salmon ...

    [PDF]Sound production of gray whales, Eschrichtius robustus, along their ...
    by NL Cranea - ‎Cited by 35 - ‎Related articles
    broadband or narrow band a signal was relative to other gray whale signals. ... rate of sound production was lower when whales traveled over deep water than ...

    Mysterious song hints at new whale species: 'Antarctic BW29' signal is ...
    Apr 15, 2015 - Experts are sure the noise isn't made by Arnoux's beaked whales or Cuvier's beaked whales (stock image), because the signal doesn't match.

    PNNL: News - Whales hear us more than we realize
    May 1, 2014 - RICHLAND, Wash. – Killer whales and other marine mammals likely hear sonar signals more than we've known. That's because commercially ...

    [PDF]359 - Fishery Bulletin - NOAA
    Low-frequency moaning sounds were recorded from Bryde whales, ... Short "20·Hz signals" that are typically associated with finback whales were not present in ...

  4. Full page ad in the Washington Post:

    Letter from former Gov. Ben Cayetano to President Trump asking him to "terminate its Full Funding Grant Agreement with the City, (of Honolulu) keep the $800 million, and use it for a worthy transit project."

    ...instead of the boondoggle elevated rail system they've already wasted billions on.

  5. .

    Liked the video.

    Forty feet is a hell of way down. You have to admire the guy and the impulses that drove him to do it.

    I hope the whale is all right. At the end of the video, it seemed to just float away rather than swim. Shock? Hopefully, its fine. Regardless, it doesn't diminish the kindness of those trying to help it.


  6. Ah, Sweet Jesus....

    Steven Ertelt: Chelsea Clinton: I left the church when I was 6 because it opposed abortion

    An ethical child prodigy, and only age 6 !

    All of the Clintons were born with the bull shit gene.

    1. I heard that Chelsea once survived a crucifixion as a young adult, she is so favored of the True Lord.

  7. .

    What is "Occupation"Fri Apr 21, 11:18:00 AM EDT

    Let's point out a few Trump successes...

    Supreme Court.

    Gorsuch sounds like a good choice for the Court. However, as we have seen before, Scotus choices are like a box of chocolates. It was a GOP nominated court majority that gave us Roe v Wade. The same for Citizens United. Likewise, it was John Roberts who saved Obamacare. Time will tell on Gorsuch.

    More to the point, as soon as Trump won, the Gorsuch pick became a gimme. The GOP controls the Senate. Gorsuch was replacing another conservative. Slam dunk.


    The pipelines Trump authorized do little for the American public. It helps big oil. It helps Canada. Jobs? Mostly temporary. In the long term, the numbers are insignificant. Oil production? It doesn't create any more oil it simply moves it more efficiently. US prices? It probably increases them. The southern end of Keystone frees up the bottleneck at Cushing which has helped keep American oil here in America. Oil being fungible, as soon as bottlenecks are eliminated US oil will tend to move towards the world price.

    Bully pulpit for driving down illegals.

    As rat pointed out, the biggest drop in immigration has been voluntary and has been going on for years due to the financial crisis, slow growth, fewer available jobs. It does appear that Trump is now deporting a lot more though not as many as Obama did a couple of years back. And, of course, Trump is deporting more than just the 'serious criminals' he promised.

    Record lows in unemployment

    I'm assuming this is filler and not offered as serious argument so I will bypass it.

    New jobs not in service

    Don't know what that is; however, if you are talking Carrier, Ford, Boeing, see my response directly above.

    Excessive Regulations roll back

    Who can be against 'excessive' regulations? It all depends on what value or lack of it you place on the regulations being eliminated. The problem of course is that not every regulation is a bad regulation and the only regulations publicized in the news that we have seen Trump remove or threaten to remove have value, value that does not appear to be offset by any gains for removing them.

    Trump’s order that ‘for every new regulation proposed, two have to be removed’ is a slogan not a policy. It is asinine. If a safety concern arises that requires either a new regulation to address it quickly, we are supposed to wait for the bureaucracy to sort through their list or regulations to find two regulations to cut before they can push through the new one? Absurd.


    1. {...}

      like it or not? redline in syria when it comes to chemical weapons enforced

      Well, that's true.

      American enemies are NOT emboldened

      Possibly true, but are they impressed? Have they altered how they operate or how they view the US? More importantly, are they just more confused and trying to figure out what Trump’s strategy is or if there is one at all? How do Trump's actions fit with his campaign promises? More importantly, have Trump's actions made America any safer?

      Consumer confidence at record highs.

      Depends on whose numbers you are looking at. If you are looking at the University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment, it has been pretty flat through April. If you go by the Conference Board’s consumer confidence numbers, they are up since Trump took over but they reflect what people are anticipating will happen over the next six months and just as with the stock market rise are based more on what Trump has promised rather than on objective reality.

      Trump has promised, to cut taxes, reduce costly regulations, and increase spending on infrastructure. However, as we have seen and the market is starting to notice there are many a slip twixt the cup and the lip. The trouble we have seen with Trump getting key legislation passed, as well as, job numbers for the past two months point this out.

      2nd amendment now not in danger

      When was it ever really in danger?

      country wide concealed carry law being discussed

      They’ve been discussing it for years. Let us know when it passes.

      Niki Haley at the UN

      Whoopee-friggin-deal. Well, that and she has been getting a lot of press lately. The first time she appears on the cover of Time, she may suffer the same fate as Bannon. You don’t go getting uppity in the Trump administration.

      All in all, pretty thin gruel for the first 100 days. I would put up a list of the things Trump has screwed up or is in the process of screwing up but it would probably take more posts than my grand ‘Is Trump a Fascist’ expose.




  8. 2nd amendment now not in danger

    When was it ever really in danger?

    Nimwit !!!!!!!!!! survived in Heller by ONE vote....

    1. I assume your other points above aren't serious so I won't take the trouble to go into any of them.

    2. Still awaiting your input on how to handle the N. Korean conundrum.

    3. Did you see Netanyahu on Hannity yesterday ?

      If not you missed an excellent program.

  9. Ah, the wonderful muzzies of Michigan -

    April 22, 2017
    Another doctor arrested in Detroit area genital mutilation case
    By Rick Moran

    The FBI has arrested a doctor and his wife who ran a medical clinic where another doctor mutilated the genitals of little girls.

    Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, offered the use of his medical clinic to Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, the Detroit emergency room doctor who was charged last week with carrying out the procedure on two 7-year-old girls.

    In a complaint unsealed Friday charging the couple in the conspiracy, prosecutors offered new details about how they say the procedures were arranged and carried out.

    To help set them up, the complaint said, Attar exchanged more than 50 phone calls with a Minnesota number in the four months leading up to the evening of Feb. 3, when surveillance cameras captured him, his wife and Nagarwala arriving at Burhani Medical Clinic in Livonia, Mich.

    Details of how the mutilations were carried out are sickening:

    The girls were brought to Detroit from Minnesota for a “special girls trip,” one of them told investigators. After arriving at a hotel, the girls were taken to the doctor “to get the germs out” because “our tummies hurt,” she said, according to court filings.

    Both girls were instructed to keep what happened a secret, the complaint said.

    One girl told authorities that she was given a pad to wear in her underwear. The other said that after the procedure she could barely walk and felt pain down to her ankle. Her parents told investigators that they took their daughter to Nagarwala for a “cleansing” of extra skin.

    Attar told authorities that he opens his medical clinic after hours five or six times a year, on Friday evenings or Saturdays, so that Nagarwala can see girls between the ages of 6 and 9 for “problems with their genitals,” including treatment of genital rashes.

    He said his wife, 50-year-old Farida Attar, who works as the clinic’s office manager, stays in the examining room to hold their hands, according to court records.

    Since Nagarwala's arrest, other girls have come forward to accuse the doctor - and their parents - of performing the mutilation.

    That this unspeakable mutilation could take place in the heartland of the country under the noses of local authorities is incredible. That there's a very good chance that there is a network of doctors and clinics that carry out this barbaric "ritual" is frightening.

    Are we to believe these local communities are completely unaware that these services are offered? My guess is that it's an open secret where parents can take their female children to be mutilated. That makes the denial by the local Muslim community ring hollow:

    The Detroit Free Press reported that Shannon Smith, an attorney representing Nagarwala, said that the doctor removed the membrane from the girls’ vaginal parts as part of a custom practiced by a small sect of Indian Muslims known as the Dawoodi Bohra.

    Bohra clergy have banned genital mutilation of young girls, according to Jonah Blank, author of "Mullahs on the Mainframe: Islam and Modernity Among the Daudi Bohras."

    An organization representing the Dawoodi Bohra community in Detroit released a statement Friday saying that “any violation of U.S. law is counter to instructions to our community members.”

    These revelations demand a nationwide investigation. It seems safe to say that this crime has not been a high priority for federal law enforcement. But robbing these little girls of their womanhood is not only a federal crime, but a crime against humanity. Whether the tragedy has happened to only a few dozen girls or - more likely - several hundred, the laws are already on the books to prevent it. It's past time to enforce those laws and stamp out this primitive and barbaric "custom."

    First we'll show the Poles, then everybody else

  10. My New Wife:

    1. Ja, gut one, she gut one.

      Bear fut too.

      Vat ve needt now ist only gut King !

    2. gut is translated gooot

      fut is translated fooot

      But the spellings are correct.

  11. .

    The Illogical End to a Beautiful Friendship

    Two Idaho IMA candidates are walking across the campus of the University of Idaho; let’s call them Bob and Wayne. Bob, who was wearing his varsity letterman sweater (let out many times over the years) from his days as captain of the English major team, had brought Wayne along to show him some of his old haunts from his glory days as big man on campus.

    As the two old coots passed by a lecture hall, they noticed a sign that read…

    Crash Course in Logical Assumptions Saturday, April 28, All Day

    “What is that all about”, asked Wayne?

    “Hell if I know,” said Bob. “Take a seat on that bench over there and rest for a minute. I’ll try to find someone who can explain it.”

    Upon entering the lecture hall, Bob met a student who directed him to the office of the professor who was teaching the course. Upon entering the office, Bob asked the professor, “Say your honor, saw the sign outside and was wondering what Crash Court in Logistical Assumptions means.”

    The professor pointed to a chair and gestured for Bob to sit down. "Well, old timer, it involves taking information that you have, forming assumptions using logic, and then creating new information. Let me try to answer your question by asking you a question. Do you own a car?"

    Bob: “Well…uh…yes, I sure do."

    Professor: "Well, then I can now logically assume that you drive."

    Bob: "Yes, I drive."

    Professor: "Then I can logically assume that you drive on weekends."

    Bob: "Yeah, I drive on weekends. My wife makes me take her all over the place on weekends.”

    Professor: "Ah, a wife. Male or female?”

    Bob: “Female, god dammit, what the hell do you think I am?”

    Professor (chuckling): “Then I can logically assume that you are heterosexual."

    Bob: "Uh...hell yes, what do you think? OK, prof, I think I understand what this course is about now. Thanks a lot for your time."

    Once back outside, Wayne asks, "So, what's it all about?"

    Bob says, "It’s just about logic, making logical assumptions, and using information and stuff...”

    Wayne: “What does that mean?”

    Bob: “Heck, Wayne, what do you think? Let me answer your question by asking you a question. Do you own a car?"

    Wayne: "No. Hell, Bob, you know that, not since I had to admit to the police I couldn’t see so well that time I shot the neighbor’s dog thinking it was a wolf."

    Bob: “Well, then I can logically assume you are a homosexual, bub!"

    Wayne: “But, I…”

    Just then the IMA minibus arrived to pick up the guys spraying gravel and bumping Wayne slightly as it braked to a halt.

    Bob (as he moved towards the front passenger seat): “I’ve got shotgun. I’ll ride up front, Wayne. See you when we get there.”

    Wayne: “But, I…”

    A tense and uncomfortable silence settled over the minibus on its way home. Little eye contact was made.

    And thus the world turns in Bob-world.


    1. HO ho

      But, you worked hard -


    2. The Prof teaches at "Q"Wit College:

      The professor pointed to a chair and gestured for Bob to sit down. "Well, old timer, it involves taking information that you have, forming assumptions using logic, and then creating new information. Let me try to answer your question by asking you a question. Do you own a car?"

      Bob: “Well…uh…yes, I sure do."

      Professor: "Well, then I can now logically assume that you drive."

      Bob: "Yes, I drive."

      But, I don't drive.

      I have a chauffeur, like Deuce, like The Donald, like all developers do.

      a person employed to drive a private or rented automobile

      Amended Grade


      Saved from F only by the entertaining effort made.

    3. .

      But, I don't drive.


      But I don't drive.

      Good lord.


      a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish.

      But I don't drive?

      Just like Trump, Bob thinks everything, even a simple allegorical tale with a sad but instructive ending, just has to be about him. First, he fantasizes that he is the central figure in the tale and then in what can only be described as serious delusions of grandeur he goes so far as to brag about using an Uber driver to chauffeur him about.

      The pathologies mount.





    4. 'about' is fine in that context, in fact it's a little classier than 'around' and is fitting.

    5. Even 'round about' would be fully acceptable.

    6. I've been listening to a lot of BBC News of late, which is mostly a big yawn, so I've gone to Franch 24 for their elections....

    7. By the way, Quirk, there are Miracle Bamboo Bras on sale now, three for the price of one, $19.95 I think.

      You might consider your gals...DaDa, Felicity, Felony, and the others....

    8. Don't forget Miss Demeanor, though she don't amount to much in your scheme of things.

    9. .


      So self centered you continue to comment on parts of a post obviously not intended for you and you do it even without the prerequisite decoder ring.

      Damn, what's wrong with you?


    10. I don't need no stinking decoder ring.

      I know you like a bad rash.

  12. Trump or no Trump, Buchanan has only become more alarmed about America’s political trajectory. The Republican Party is “running out of white folks,” he says, and historically immigrant groups have voted overwhelmingly Democratic. “If you bring in 100 million people and they vote 60 percent Democratic and 40 percent Republican, you’re buried,” Buchanan tells me. “What I’m saying is the America we knew and grew up with, it’s gone. And it’s not coming back. Demographically, culturally, socially, in every way, it’s a different country. And I think it’s come to resemble more of an empire than a nation and a people.”

    Buchanan’s friends say that deep down he wants to be wrong about these predictions. And he admits that sometimes his pessimism gets the better of him: He never believed Trump would win in November. On Election Day, in fact, he bumped into Virginia Congresswoman Barbara Comstock’s mother at the polling station and suggested that her daughter would soon be running for higher office—to replace Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential nominee, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. Instead, he found himself up at 3 in the morning celebrating, basking in congratulatory emails, and convincing himself that maybe, just maybe, America isn’t doomed yet.

    “But this,” Buchanan tells me, “is the last chance for these ideas.”

    The Trumpkins Turn on Assange
    04.21.17 5:05 PM ET

    There is no one more zealous than a convert.

    CIA Director Mike Pompeo previously welcomed WikiLeaks’ disclosures about Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee when these proved helpful to the Republican nominee. Now he has experienced a road-to-Damascus moment.

    “WikiLeaks,” Pompeo said at a think tank event last week, “walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service.” Pompeo also regards Julian Assange, the publisher of WikiLeaks and the lonely maintainer of its hyper-active Twitter account, as a “fraud.”

    In a rather folksy fly-over metaphor, the former Kansas representative likened the albinoid antipodean anarchist to the Wizard of Oz, perhaps forgetting that the man behind the curtain turned out to be an all-right guy in the end rather than a helpmeet of European dictatorship and a purveyor of conspiracy theories about the Rothschilds.
    Pompeo isn’t the only one who’s changed his mind about the man holed up for five long years at the Ecuador embassy in London. The U.S. Justice Department, headed by Jeff Sessions—a man who conveniently forgot while testifying before Congress that he twice met with the Russian ambassador to the United States—now considers arresting Assange a “priority.”

    “We’ve already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail,” Sessions told a press scrum in El Paso on Thursday.

    But what case can be made? Should Assange be indicted for espionage or perhaps just the theft of government documents, related possibly to the files stolen by former U.S. Army intelligence officer Chelsea Manning, possibly with Assange’s personal connivance?

    The problem with the first charge is that, as law professor Stephen Vladick puts it, echoing the sentiments of a long-retired CIA general-counselor, “The single biggest problem with the Espionage Act is that its limits have never truly been tested, and so it is exceedingly difficult to say with any certainty what it does and doesn’t proscribe.” And even if Assange were personally involved in the confiscation of U.S. state secrets, there comes the added legal complication of seeking his extradition from sovereign Ecuadorean soil, which two other Western governments have been unable to do.

    Furthermore, the net result of a highly publicized legal campaign against Assange would be to anoint him a free speech martyr all over again, and just as the civilized world was beginning to see him for what he is: a reliable clearinghouse and megaphone for Vladimir Putin’s intelligence operations against the United States....

    Leave Julian alone.

    1. "Jeff Sessions—a man who conveniently forgot while testifying before Congress that he twice met with the Russian ambassador to the United States..."


  14. Prediction:

    Madame Marine Le Pen comes in first tomorrow, but short of a majority.

    1. The American ex-pat Quirk gets 35 votes from his old surviving friends (amis) from his days drinking at Harry's New York Bar after the Liberation of Paris on Aug 25, 1944-

      Quirk and his command had pushed north through the Brenner and on to Paris.

    2. .

      ...north through the Brenner and on to Paris.

      Right, or what's called the scenic route. You have to go through Austria, Germany, make a hard left through the Rhineland and on to Paris all based on orders from some desk jockey name Major Bob, or as he was know by the troops Major Fubar.


    3. But you accomplished it all flawlessly, which is why you will always be remembered by historians, and in the hearts of the people.

      Casino Time - I've got two free tickets to 'Zappa', whoever that band might be, and I'm looking to give them to Uncle Ed.



  15. Welcome to Idaho:

    Welcome to Michigan:

    Welcome to Montana:

    Welcome to Nevada:

    Welcome to New York:

    Welcome to Texas:

    Welcome to Wyoming:

  16. How Trump’s First Three Months Point the Way to Three Percent Growth

    By Roger Kimball| April 22nd, 2017

    The great nineteenth-century man of letters William Dean Howells once made a remark that I have long cherished as a sort of personal motto: “The problem for a critic,” Howells said, “is not making enemies, but keeping them.”

    A critic who does not make enemies is unlikely to be doing his job, inasmuch as criticism is the application of discrimination to human activities and such activities, by definition, will fall short of the ideal. A critic who does not make and keep enemies is likely to be a critic who fails to speak the truth.

    An honest politician has to have a place in his heart for that enemy-keeping imperative if he is to merit the adjective “honest.” But a politician’s road is harder than a critic’s. A critic must be unwavering in his service to the truth of his own experience. But beyond that he needn’t worry much about making himself likable, only interesting.

    An honest politician, worse luck, has to remain broadly true to his promises while also endeavoring to remain popular with voters, the people who put him into office.

    Like so many activities in this sublunary world, achieving that it is a balancing act, a tapestry of compromises and negotiations—“deals,” to use a word that Donald Trump has elevated to a conspicuous place in the political lexicon.

    Cynics may wonder whether, at the end of the day, there is any real difference between compromise and capitulation, negotiation and selling out to the highest bidder. Realists will know that there is a difference. The modern habit of assuming that a reliable index of someone’s wisdom is the extent of his disillusionment is as superficial as it is philistine. It’s important, in assessing a politician’s success, to keep an eye on his deeds as well as his declarations. But the tendency to cast every political statement in the worst possible light brings us closer not to the truth but merely our own cynicism....

  17. 3 min 36 seconds, Chelsea, Bill, and Janet.

  18. The Descent Continues

    April 22, 2017
    In Venezuela, looking more and more like civil war
    By Monica Showalter

    Two days ago, the death toll in Venezuela's gargantuan protests stood at three. Now it's jumped to 20.

    In absolute numbers, it's appalling. But to some, it may not seem like much, given that Venezuela has one of the world's highest murder rates, or that millions and millions of people marched against the socialist regime, which has systematically shut down democracy and closed off all legitimate avenues for change by stripping the opposition-controlled legislature of power, corrupting the courts, and ruling by decree as poverty and narco-crime engulf the country.

    The context tells another story – one of a growing civil war. Protesters are fighting back, given their powerlessness before the country's institutions. Grotesque violations of human rights and human decency are taking place, too – the kind that got Syria an air strike. Chavistas tear-gassing a maternity ward in a hospital? It happened, prompting the evacuation of more than 50 babies. Then there are the barricades, the burning garbage, the tossed Molotov cocktails – all the work of the protesters.

    Yes, we have seen giant demonstrations in Venezuela before. But never with this level of violence, this continuous signaling of civil war, given that the Chavista side will never budge. Several more days of protests are planned against the socialist regime's outrages. The only question now is how bloody it gets.

  19. Would you trust this fine Doctor ?

    See pic and decide.

    1. Didn't check the Pic, but am assured all is well in Quirkland:


  20. .

    And the two posts directly above are examples of the lesson to be drawn from the allegory of 'The Illogical End to a Beautiful Friendship' that was posted further up stream, two dumb hicks wandering in their ignorance.