“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."

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Sanctimonious Comeynius the Nauseous

The Honorable James B. Comey, Jr. Director
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20535

Dear Director Comey:
April 28, 2017

On March 6, 2017, I wrote to you requesting information about the FBI’s relationship with Mr. Christopher Steele, the author of the political opposition research dossier alleging collusion between associates of Mr. Trump and the Russian government. Although that letter asked for a response by March 20, the FBI has failed to provide one.

Ranking Member Feinstein and I had previously written to the FBI on February 15, 2017, asking for a briefing and documents relating to the resignation of Mr. Flynn and the leaks of classified information involving him. After a startling lack of responsiveness from the FBI, I was forced to delay Committee proceedings on the nomination for Deputy Attorney General in order to obtain DOJ’s cooperation. In response, on March 15, 2017, you did provide a briefing about the FBI’s Russia investigation to Ranking Member Feinstein and me. While a few of the questions from my March 6 letter were also addressed in that briefing, most were not. Nor was there any indication from the FBI before or during the briefing that the FBI considered it to be responsive to the March 6 letter.

Nonetheless, on April 19, 2017, the FBI sent Ranking Member Feinstein and me a four- sentence letter purporting to be in response to both the February 15 and March 6 letters. Two of those sentences are merely the standard closing boilerplate language in all FBI letters. The letter did not answer any questions and instead incorrectly claimed that the briefing addressed the concerns raised in both the February 15 and March 6 letters. That is incorrect. The FBI has failed to provide documents requested in the March 6 letter or to answer the vast majority of its questions.
There appear to be material inconsistencies between the description of the FBI’s relationship with Mr. Steele that you did provide in your briefing and information contained in Justice Department documents made available to the Committee only after the briefing. Whether those inconsistencies

Director Comey April 28, 2017 Page 2 of 3

were honest mistakes or an attempt to downplay the actual extent of the FBI’s relationship with Mr. Steele, it is essential that the FBI fully answer all of the questions from the March 6 letter and provide all the requested documents in order to resolve these and related issues.

Also, more information has since come to the Committee’s attention about the company overseeing the creation of the dossier, Fusion GPS. Namely, Fusion GPS is the subject of a complaint to the Justice Department, which alleges that the company violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by working on behalf of Russian principals to undermine U.S. sanctions against Russians. That unregistered work was reportedly conducted with a former Russian intelligence operative, Mr. Rinat Akhmetshin, and appears to have been occurring simultaneous to Fusion GPS’s work overseeing the creation of the dossier. I wrote to the Justice Department about this issue on March 31, copying you, and I have attached that letter here for your reference. The Justice Department has yet to respond.
In addition to fully answering my March 6, 2017 letter, please also provide the following documents and information:
  1. Documentation of all payments made to Mr. Steele, including for travel expenses, if any; the date of any such payments; the amount of such payments; the authorization for such payments.
  2. When the FBI was in contact with Mr. Steele or otherwise relying on information in the dossier, was it aware that his employer, Fusion GPS, was allegedly simultaneously working as an unregistered agent for Russian interests? Please provide all related documents.
  3. If so, when and how did FBI become aware of this information? Did it include this information about Fusion GPS’s alleged work for Russian principals in any documents describing or relying on information from the dossier? If not, why not?
  4. If the FBI was previously unaware of Fusion GPS’s alleged unregistered activity on behalf of Russian interests and connections with a former Russian intelligence operative, does the FBI plan to amend any applications, reports, or other documents it has created that describe or rely on the information in the dossier to add this information? If so, please provide copies of all amended documents. If not, why not?
    Please provide all the requested documents and full answers to all the question by May 12, 2017. 

    I hope that this matter can be resolved without additional holds on nominees. These are important issues that require public transparency. I anticipate that your responses to these questions may contain both classified and unclassified information. Please send all unclassified material directly to the Committee. In keeping with the requirements of Executive Order 13526, if any of the responsive documents do contain classified information, please segregate all unclassified material within the classified documents, provide all unclassified information directly to the Committee, and provide a classified addendum to the Office of Senate Security. Although the Committee complies with all laws and regulations governing the handling of classified information, it is not bound, absent its prior agreement, by any handling restrictions or instructions on unclassified information unilaterally asserted by the Executive Branch.
Director Comey April 28, 2017 Page 3 of 3

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter. If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Davis of my Committee staff at (202) 224-5225.

Charles E. Grassley Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary

cc: The Honorable Dianne Feinstein Ranking Member
Senate Committee on the Judiciary


  1. Jail Loretta Lynch as well.

    Jail 'em all !

    1. Huma and Tony Weiner too.

      The whole lot of em'.

    2. And Jane Sanders -


    BARACK OBAMA will deliver a speech this September at a swanky healthcare conference for investors run by Cantor Fitzgerald. As Fox Business News first reported on Monday, the firm is paying him $400,000.

    The ensuing criticism of Obama for cashing in on his presidency has been thunderous – but has overlooked exactly whose money he is taking.

    Cantor Fitzgerald, a major Wall Street brokerage house, lost 658 of its 960 employees when the World Trade Center was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. But when it settled a long-running lawsuit against American Airlines for $135 million in 2013, the proceeds didn’t go to the families of the dead.

    At the time of the settlement, Cantor’s CEO Howard Lutnick issued a statement: “For the insurance companies, this was just another case, just another settlement, but not for us. We could never, and will never, consider it ordinary. For us, there is no way to describe this compromise with inapt words like ordinary, fair or reasonable.”

    But Lutnick and his fellow Cantor partners reportedly kept some of the money for the firm and distributed the rest to themselves, in proportion to their ownership stake. Lutnick, the firm’s biggest partner, may have received as much as $25 million.


    2. They'll all have a cold reunion in hell, in the circle of the Fraudulent, Circle 8, subcircles 1-6, cantos 18-23

      Fraud: Pimping and Seducing (18), Flattery (18), Simony (19), Sorcery (20), Political Corruption (21-2), Hypocrisy (23)

      Gustave Dore gives us a glimpse of what they have coming -

    3. As for Barack Obama, he insightfully wrote in 2006 in “The Audacity of Hope” that when he entered the world of high-level politics, “I became more like the wealthy donors I met, in the very particular sense that I spent more and more of my time above the fray, outside the world of immediate hunger, disappointment, fear, irrationality, and frequent hardship of the other 99 percent of the population.”

      “The path of least resistance,” Obama continued, “starts to look awfully tempting, and if the opinions of these insiders don’t quite jibe with those you once held, you learn to rationalize the changes as a matter of realism, of compromise, of learning the ropes. The problems of ordinary people, the voices of the Rust Belt town or the dwindling heartland, become a distant echo rather than a palpable reality, abstractions to be managed rather than battles to be fought.”

  3. Sanctimonious Comeynius the Nauseous

    Mr. Comey has a doctorate in playing both sides against the middle.

    1. He must have compromising photos of half the people in DC, as they continue to let him play his games.

    2. Who's got the power to fire him?

    3. That's what I'd like to know, too.

    4. According to Liz O’Brien and Marilyn Rocha-Carmo, widows of two of the Cantor employees killed on 9/11, the firm never informed them of the settlement — nor even that the company had filed the lawsuit in the first place.

      Rocha-Carmo, whose husband Antonio was a Cantor bond trader, sounded noticeably taken aback when told of the firm’s actions. “It is a little shocking,” she said, because Lutnick “always made it sound like he was always going to take care of us, and was doing everything in our best interest, and now learning about this doesn’t feel like that anymore.” Rocha-Carmo added that she is in touch with other Cantor victim families via social media, and they do not appear to be aware of the American Airlines settlement.

    5. President Obama will deliver speeches from time to time. Some of those speeches will be paid, some will be unpaid, and regardless of venue or sponsor, President Obama will be true to his values, his vision and his record.”

      Schultz also said Obama accepted the invitation “because, as a president who successfully passed health insurance reform, it’s an issue of great importance to him.”

  4. I've never known anyone that liked the guy.

  5. 'You worthless shit. You worthless shit. You worthless shit'

    Man Kills Neighbor 'Who Taught Parrot to Insult Him'....DRUDGE

    Arresting officer Eugenio Fatone said that Frailis had previously complained about the parrot. He said: “Officers had tried to talk to both sides and had suggested putting the parrot in a different room, not facing Mr Frailis’s house.”

    However, Mr Frailis’s uncle, Dario Serra, denied his nephew is violent, saying: “He is a good person, he took care of cats and dogs and has never hurt anyone.”

    1. " suggested putting the parrot in a different room, not facing Mr Frailis’s house"

      Resist the Fascists!

  6. Putin flying anti-Hillary propaganda around the World:

  7. Jim Comey found evidence that Putin really hates her.

  8. Good thing Quirk's ever vigilant MSM will get this out in the sunshine.

    1. Correction:
      Keep it where the sun don't shine.

  9. Sorry to have to tell you guys I'm going to stop posting here on my 99th birthday.

    1. That old boy is damned well preserved.

      It must help to have butlers, and cooks.

      Look at The Donald, for instance.

      We need legislation to provide butlers and cooks for us all.

    2. Donald has McDonalds.

      ...and looks it.

  10. Philip is known for having a sometimes-offensive sense of humor — and for gaffes that accompanied his many travels. Among his most infamous was in 1986, while visiting Beijing, where he told a group of British students:

    "If you stay here much longer you'll all be slitty-eyed."

  11. Nick Adams is on The Specialists on Fox right now.

    Last time I heard of Nick he was fishing The Big Two-Hearted River.

    Looks like he's moved to Australia and taken up news commentary.

    1. The other Mr. Adams:


      The Resistance changes its attack from “Russian Puppet” to “Trump is Crazy” - Which Works Best?

      I’m watching this week as the so-called “Resistance” movement changes their attack on Trump from “Russian Puppet” to “Trump is crazy.” This has the look of a coordinated change. Watch how often you will see “Trump is crazy” articles and commentary in the coming weeks as the Opposition Media tests this new line of attack.

      Trump eviscerated the “Russian Puppet” line of attack by lobbing 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base under the nose of Vladimir Putin. That made Trump look very un-puppetish. And it dismantled the Resistance’s primary line of attack. They needed a new approach.

      The Resistance’s new approach is “Trump is crazy.” This persuasion play is strong because it will work well with future confirmation bias. You can make almost anything sound crazy if you try. For example…

      Did Trump not know Andrew Jackson died before the Civil War? He must be crazy!
      Did Trump make an exaggerated claim about something like he always does? He must be crazy!
      Did Trump say something provocative that worked in his favor even if you don’t understand why? He must be crazy!
      One sign of a persuasive attack is that it primes people for confirmation bias. Once you start seeing Trump as crazy, you’ll automatically see it in everything he does. If he forgets something important, crazy! If he gets a fact wrong, crazy! If he gets tough on an adversary, crazy! If he says he will do something that is hard, and you don’t think he can get it done, crazy!

      The “crazy” approach is good persuasion. I give it an A+.

      And how did The Resistance learn to do persuasion this good? They might have learned it from Trump himself.

      One of President Trump’s best persuasion tricks is to prime people for future confirmation bias. For example, when he called Ted Cruz “Lyin’ Ted,” you knew there would be situations in the future in which the media pointed out something untrue that Cruz said. As soon as that happened, Trump’s nickname would get stickier.

      Trump did the same trick with Crooked Hillary and Low Energy Jeb. You knew there would be future stories about Clinton doing sketchy things, true or not. And you knew there would be future video footage of Jeb looking less-than-energetic. Once Trump framed his opponents, voters started filtering their observations the way Trump wanted. Confirmation bias does the rest. That’s good persuasion.

      The Resistance’s “Russian Puppet” persuasion wasn’t terrible, but Trump slapped it down with his missile attack on Syria, combined with some fiction that Russian relations were at a new low. (That was never real.)

      This new line of attack on Trump is far better because there will be an endless stream of new “evidence” of Trump being unbalanced. That evidence will be nothing but Trump acting the way he always acts, but the Opposition Media will have no trouble framing it as crazy.

    2. He was related to Adam's line, a little off color, a new man for our time, a little off center, not quite Victorian, and he had ol' St. Nick's like of liquor, with twinkle in his eye he might drink too much, pinch a Lady on the ass, and run off fishing....

    3. He once smacked St. Quirk in his pie hole for being contrary, exclusive, and uppity, and for calling everyone else 'dicks'.

      He was a man of the people....

  12. In August 2015 viewers of the first Republican primary debate could be forgiven for thinking that Donald Trump was finished. “You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals,” the moderator, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, said to him. “You once told a ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?” Trump didn’t act contrite, or statesmanlike, as conventional candidates might have done. Instead, he interrupted Kelly with another nasty dig, about Rosie O’Donnell, and volunteered that he’d probably insulted others, too. Many pundits proclaimed that the response cemented Trump’s unelectability.

    Scott Adams, the millionaire creator of the office-humor comic strip Dilbert, saw something different. In that moment, he realized that Trump might be a kindred spirit—a fellow “Master Wizard,” Adams’s term for experts in hypnosis and persuasion. Watching the debate alone at home, he grew excited. “I really got out of my chair and said, ‘Whoa, there’s something happening here that’s not like regular politics,’ ” Adams recalled. As he saw it, Trump had deftly defanged Kelly’s accusations by replacing them with a powerful visual: the iconic O’Donnell, “who is very unpopular among his base,” Adams said. “It was the most brilliant thing I’ve ever seen.” A week later, he published a blog post titled “Clown Genius.”

  13. Meanwhile down in Venezuela -

    Venezuela Nears a Tipping Point, and a Violent Endgame
    Ian Bremmer
    May 03, 2017

    It's easy to see why huge numbers of furious Venezuelans have hit the streets in recent weeks. Years of mismanagement have left the country's oil-export-dependent economy in a shambles. To appease the angry poor, President Nicolás Maduro announced a 60% increase in the minimum wage on May 1. That won't reverse the decline of a country where production is in free fall, inflation is in the triple digits and hunger is now a common problem. It's hard to find time for work while standing in line for the few remaining staples most of the public can afford.

    The latest protests, and government response to them, have pushed Venezuela closer to the brink of collapse. Demonstrations have turned violent, with both protesters and police fueling the fire. There have been deaths, though there are few reliable estimates of how many. Riots have erupted even in working-class Caracas neighborhoods that have been loyal supporters of Maduro and his mentor, the late Hugo Chávez. These people are hungry too, and their continuing loyalty to the government can't be taken for granted.

    The nation's political structure is also at risk. Maduro has effectively shut down the opposition-controlled national assembly and banned opposition leader Henrique Capriles from seeking office for 15 years. A bid by Pope Francis to broker a deal has gone nowhere.

    In the past, the Venezuelan government's main advantages were the strength of its grip on institutions of power, particularly the courts, and the inability of a fractious opposition to unite behind a single idea or candidate. Now that dominance of institutions gives the government full responsibility for a country close to a breakdown, and the opposition is united in desperation. Venezuela's economy isn't going to get better. The price of oil won't move anywhere near the level that can keep this boat afloat anytime soon, and the government is running out of gimmicks.Maduro remains in power because the leftist Chavista movement has remained almost entirely united around the man Chávez anointed his successor. The police have kept the opposition contained, with help from state-backed gangs. The President hasn't yet had to call in the army, which may not prove loyal enough to open fire on desperate civilians. That would prove the decisive moment. If the military becomes Maduro's last option, he's probably finished.

    This is fascinating to me as it is such a text book case and so predictable....

  14. If a large truck drives into a crowd of people in most places in the world, you might suspect another terror attack had taken place. In socialist Venezuela, it’s the government that’s responsible.


    And don’t miss the colectivo thugs sporting Che Guevera jackets who spout party disinformation as if it were gospel truth. This is worth 16 minutes of your time.

    Crowd of Protesters

  15. Video: Venezuela armored vehicle plows into crowd of protesters

    If a large truck drives into a crowd of people in most places in the world, you might suspect another terror attack had taken place. In socialist Venezuela, it’s the government that’s responsible.

    Footage published Wednesday shows an armored vehicle belonging to the Venezuelan National Guard driving into a crowd of protesters and knocking them aside.


    It’s not clear if anyone is actually run over by the vehicle, though a motorcycle does get stuck between the wheels. Between this and his plan to rewrite the constitution (to avoid elections) President Maduro’s regime is dropping the last pretense of civilized democracy.

    This week Financial Times published an excellent video report titled “Thug Nation: Venezuela’s broken revolution.” While some of this material has been presented before, this clip features interviews with people who supported the socialist revolution but who now realize it was a mistake.

    “Deep inside we are revolutionaries because we believed that society needed a change to ease so much misery and poverty,” a shopkeeper named Carlos Gonzalez says. He continues, “We believed in [Chavez’s] ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ and we supported it. But now we see that revolution is not what was proposed to us back then.”

    And don’t miss the colectivo thugs sporting Che Guevera jackets who spout party disinformation as if it were gospel truth. This is worth 16 minutes of your time.


  16. Poll: Majority back preemptive strike on North Korea nukes

    by Paul Bedard | May 3, 2017, 11:15 AM

    President Trump's tough talk on North Korea has apparently emboldened Americans into supporting a preemptive U.S. attack on the communist nation's nuclear weapons.

    A new Zogby Analytics poll provided to Secrets found that 52 percent back a U.S. first strike.

    "A majority (52 percent) of voters agree that the U.S. must deal with North Korea's nuclear threat and are willing to even support a preemptive strike, as opposed to 36 percent of voters who disagree," said the survey.

    The survey also tested the public's view of the Syrian conflict and found that few back sending in U.S. troops to end the civil war....

  17. Thanks to The Donald, the Little Sisters of the Poor can go about their business again, firm in their convictions, as they have since 1839.

    Little Sisters of the Poor
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    This article is about the order founded in France. For the order founded in Spain, see Little Sisters of the Abandoned Elderly.

    Saint Jeanne Jugan

    The Little Sisters of the Poor is a Roman Catholic religious institute for women. It was founded in 1839 by Saint Jeanne Jugan.[1] Jugan established the order to care for the elderly,[1] having felt the need to care for the many impoverished elderly who lined the streets of French towns and cities.

    The motherhouse of the order is in Saint-Pern, France.[1] Internationally, the letters following their name are PSDP. In the United States, however, they are LSP. Today the Little Sisters of the Poor serve in 31 countries around the world (including homes in the US, Turkey, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Penang, New Zealand, and Philippines), continuing in their original purpose of caring for the elderly. As of January 1, 2014, they were one of the larger religious institutes of women in the Catholic Church, with 234 houses and 2,372 members.[2]....

    1. All Americans of Polish Catholic heritage, lapsers or not, should celebrate what The Donald has done for the Little Sisters and those they serve, even if The Donald doesn't know shit.

  18. Dear Member,

    Our grassroots army in Texas is over 100,000 patriots strong, and they've been been
    fighting for four years to call a Convention of States.

    Today, they accomplished their goal.

    We just received word that the Lone Star State has become the 11th state to call for
    a Convention of States!


  19. The Texas House approved a resolution Thursday calling for a first-ever national convention of the states aimed at limiting the federal government's powers.


    House Democrats debated the resolution Thursday. Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, brought forward an amendment that would have removed delegates found to have colluded with a foreign government.

  20. Count on yours truly to always give SMUG SMIRK an equal hearing -

    What Critiques of 'Smug Liberals' Miss

    Attacking half the country with condescending vitriol has been going on for decades in movement conservatism, too.

    Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

    Last April, Emmett Rensin warned in Vox about what he called “the smug style in American liberalism.” Its adherents believe that American life is not divided by moral or policy differences, “but by the failure of half the country to know what's good for them.” He worried that an ideology responsible for a lot of good for a century was now indulging in the posture of a “condescending, defensive sneer toward any person or movement outside its consensus, dressed up as a monopoly on reason.”

    That September, Ross Douthat published a prescient column where he observed that cultural arenas that have long been liberal––comedy, college campuses, awards shows––were being prodded or dragged to the left, and that the left’s cultural gains would cause it political problems. For instance, “there’s a growing constituency for whom right-wing ideas are so alien or triggering, left-wing orthodoxy so pervasive and unquestioned, that supporting a candidate like Hillary Clinton looks like a needless form of compromise,” he offered, even as “the feeling of being suffocated by the left’s cultural dominance is turning voting Republican into an act of cultural rebellion.”

    Then that cultural rebellion helped to elect a president.

    As Max Read notes in New York’s issue on reactionaries, “There is power in transgression—power that liberals lost when they won the culture war and began to set the boundaries of social and cultural acceptability. The new new right may never swallow the American cultural mainstream, especially so long as social-justice and socialist movements on the left challenge its rise, but that doesn’t mean the country isn’t going to be wrestling with its influence, and its bomb-throwers, for a generation.”

    There is a lot of truth to those articles; to Scott Alexander’s recent observations about “neutral” and conservative institutions; to Caitlin Flanagan’s argument that sneering TV comedians have contributed to liberal smugness and a backlash from alienated conservatives; and to David French’s concurrence this week in National Review, where he pans shows like John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

    As he put it, “we are all familiar with the style.”

    Disagreeing is difficult given his description. “The basic theme is always the same,” he wrote. “Look at how corrupt, evil, and stupid our opponents are, look how obviously correct we are, and laugh at my marvelous and clever explanatory talent.”

    But wait a minute. There is something missing in these critiques, something I would expect many liberals to miss, but that attentive conservatives ought to notice. Yes, there is a smug style in liberalism. Yes, it is wrongheaded and politically counterproductive. But this is not just a liberal trait, or even mostly a liberal trait....

  21. Why Real Scientists Think Aliens Would Never Eat Humans
    Sarah Begley
    May 03, 2017

    When the Martians first land on Earth in the 1996 sci-fi comedy Mars Attacks!, for a moment it appears all will be fine. "We come in peace," says their leader, as the music swells and a dove soars overhead. Seconds later the Martian pulls out a laser gun and opens fire on a crowd of human onlookers. Yet another blockbuster alien invasion has begun.

    That's Hollywood, of course. But the melodrama underscores one of humanity's most widely held fears: that if and when we do encounter extraterrestrial beings, they will wreak all kinds of havoc, much as they do in the movies.
    Or will they? For his new book, Aliens: The World's Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life, quantum physicist Jim Al-Khalili asked a series of experts to explore how humans might actually make contact with aliens. The possibility is not as far-fetched as it once seemed: since NASA launched its Kepler mission in 2009, researchers have discovered thousands of new planets and "revolutionized our concept of how many habitable worlds could exist," writes astrobiologist Nathalie Cabrol in one of the book's essays.

    But while Hollywood suggests we should expect to battle their inhabitants, science tells a different story. Here, five popular alien myths that Aliens debunks.

    MYTH NO. 1: Aliens would eat us

    Movies like The Blob and Critters imagine aliens harvesting humans for food, an unpleasant prospect. But it doesn't track with the science of nutrition, writes astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell. In order for aliens to get nourishment from eating us, their bodies would have to be capable of processing our molecules (like amino acids and sugars). And that requires having a similar biochemistry--a long shot for a species that hails from a different world.

    MYTH NO. 2: Aliens would breed with us

    Both of this summer's extraterrestrial blockbusters, Alien: Covenant and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, involve human-alien hybrids. But given that we can't even reproduce with our nearest evolutionary relative, the chimpanzee, it's "overwhelmingly improbable" we could do so with aliens, according to Dartnell.

    1. MYTH NO. 3: Aliens would look like us

      Human evolution depended on so many unique and unpredictable factors, it's near impossible that an extraterrestrial species would have human-like features, like the aliens in The Day the Earth Stood Still and Star Trek. It's far likelier, writes neuroscientist Anil Seth, that they'd be as different as the octopus, "our very own terrestrial alien," which has a high level of intelligence, a decentralized nervous system and an alternative style of consciousness.

      MYTH NO. 4: Aliens would be "living" creatures

      Even restrained films like Arrival get this one wrong, according to some scientists. Should aliens contact us, cosmologist Martin Rees believes we will hear not from fellow organic creatures, but from the robots they produced, who can, in theory, live forever.

      MYTH NO. 5: Aliens would steal our water and metal

      The aliens in Independence Day famously arrive to strip Earth of its resources. But again, that logic doesn't add up, writes Dartnell. Most of our metal is in the Earth's core, not its crust; asteroids would be far better targets for mining. And icy moons, like Jupiter's Europa, would be easier places to stock up on water. They're uninhabited, and they don't have Earth's strong gravitational pull.

      So if aliens aren't interested in harvesting our lands or our bodies, why would they make contact? Dartnell suspects a purer motive: curiosity. "If aliens did come to Earth," he writes, it would probably be "as researchers: biologists, anthropologists, linguists, keen to understand the peculiar workings of life on Earth, to meet humanity and learn of our art, music, culture, languages, philosophies and religions."Presumably, we would hide our alien movies.

      Don't worry then about the aliens.

      Worry about the moslems who come not in peace but in war to subjugate us.