“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."

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Bad Day at Tongo Tongo

US special forces 'fought Niger ambush alone after local troops fled'

Members of the 3rd Special Forces Group, 2nd battalion cry at the tomb of US Army Sgt La David Johnson at his burial service 21October 2017 in Hollywood, Florida. Johnson and three other US soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on 4 October.
Comrades of Sgt La David Johnson cry at his burial service on 21 October in Hollywood, Florida. Johnson and three other US soldiers were killed in Niger on 4 October. Photograph: Gaston de Cardenas/AFP/Getty Images
The US special forces detachment ambushed in the Niger last month fought alone for hours after the local Nigerien forces they were accompanying fled in the first minutes of the engagement, retired and serving special forces officers with knowledge of events have said.

The trapped soldiers also made repeated efforts to convince French warplanes sent from neighbouring Mali to engage the enemy, attempting to “talk in” the pilots who refused to attack due to poor weather, rough terrain and an inability to differentiate friend from foe, the officers said.

Four US Green Berets and five Nigerien troops died in the incident, which has been the focus of an intense debate in Washington over the executive branch’s extensive powers to use military force abroad without congressional approval and with little oversight. 

The Niger incident has been described as an “intelligence failure” by the Republican senator John McCain, who blamed it on budget cuts.
The US troops were part of a “train and equip” programme, but the incident has prompted questions in Congress on where such missions blur into counter-terrorist combat.

Controversy flared after Trump was accused of mishandling a phone call to the widow of La David Johnson, one of the dead soldiers. 

How the controversy over Trump's condolence call unfolded

The Pentagon has launched a special investigation to be carried out by officers from US Africa Command, which is due to report within two months. A defence department spokesman said that there would be no further comment on the incident until then. But defence department leaks have fuelled anger within the US special forces community at what one retired senior officer called “a massive blame game”.

“To them, it is obviously the [soldiers’ own] fault and error on a ‘routine’ training and advisory mission in Niger,” he wrote in an email to other members of the community, seen by the Guardian.

The email contains new details of the engagement, which took place on the immediate outskirts of the remote village of Tongo Tongo in south-western Niger, in the centre of the volatile Sahel region.

The Pentagon has said the unit that was attacked comprised 12 soldiers from the 3rd Special Forces Group which had recently arrived in Niger for a six-month tour, and about 30 Nigerien troops.

The ambush took place at 11:40pm on 4 October after the unit had spent two hours in Tongo Tongo, talking to local elders. The previous night, the Americans had destroyed a camp used by Djoundjoun Cheiffou, a lieutenant of Abu Waleed al-Sahraoui, an Islamic extremist based in neighbouring Mali who last year pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
Local media in Niger revealed this week that Cheffou was in detention there until 2016 when he was freed in return for the release of an Australian hostage, Jocelyn Elliott.

About 50 men attacked the US and Nigerien unit with small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

The retired special forces officer said he had been told by servicemen with detailed knowledge of the incident that “approximately half of the US/Nigerien force was allowed to pass through the ambush killzone before the ambush was sprung, trapping the rear half.”

On hearing firing, the lead group of soldiers turned around to engage the militants.

“Except for those already dead or wounded, all of the Nigerien soldiers bugged out and left the Americans to fight … all by themselves. Two groups, roughly six Americans per group, fighting for their lives alone against a superior ALQ force,” the retired officer said.

A US drone was on the site of the engagement within minutes, but was unarmed. An hour passed before the trapped unit on the ground called for airstrikes against the militants who surrounded them. The delay has surprised and concerned experts and veterans.

“Airstrikes were requested as the Americans fought on. Several French Mirage fighters responded, but refused to engage citing poor weather, rough terrain and an inability to differentiate friend from foe. American SF [Special Forces] requested ‘danger close’ support and attempted to talk the CAS [close air support] in, but the French Mirages alleged continued to refuse to engage,” the officer wrote in the mail, based on his own discussions with serving and retired special forces soldiers with knowledge of the incident.

A spokesman for the French defence ministry did not respond to a request for comment on the allegations.

According to a CNN account of the incident, the attackers set fire to the dry bush around the encircled special forces soldiers to cover the battleground with smoke. The account quoted a Nigerien soldier as saying that the surviving troops from the patrol were fighting off their attackers, standing back to back in a last stand, when reinforcements finally arrived.

After two hours, French special forces flown by helicopter from their base in Mali reached the site of the ambush, prompting the attackers to withdraw. The French soldiers searched the immediate vicinity and evacuated survivors, including several who were wounded.

Four US special forces soldiers were left behind. Three are thought to have been dead at the site. It is unclear when Johnson was killed, but the 25-year-old mechanic had become separated from the rest of the unit almost immediately after the ambush started, sources within the special forces community said.
The Pentagon has now said that a second team of US and Nigerien forces was close to the ambushed patrol. It was believed to have been on a mission to kill or capture al-Sahraoui. That operation was called off, and the troops eventually retrieved the bodies of three of the US soldiers several hours after the ambush had ended.

Johnson’s remains were discovered by Nigerien troops near the site of the attack two days later.

The five Nigeriens killed in the amb
ush died in its first moments, sources within the special forces community said.
They described how one of the light, unarmoured trucks used by the patrol became stuck in sand after the attack started. Almost all the Nigerien troops it was carrying were killed or wounded. One source said the vehicle was hit by a mortar round.

Most of the ambushed US unit had no combat experience, and had not been warned to expect any encounter with hostile forces.

This assessment has surprised some and has been a focus of congressional attention. A United Nations assessment indicated that there have been at least 46 attacks by armed groups in the districts around Tongo Tongo since February 2016

The headline on this story was amended at 11.30 GMT on 4 November 2107 to better reflect its content


  1. Everywhere on the planet where there are Africans, there is massive social disfunction.

    We can't control African based disfunction in any US African-weighted community in the United States or in the NFL for that matter. Every country everywhere that as tried, has failed. What makes us believe we can do it in Tongo Tongo?

    Get out of Africa. Stay out of Africa.

    Keep Africans in Africa to solve their own problems.

    After we figure out the magic formula on how to fix endemic African disfunction in New Orleans, Detroit, Philadelphia, Patterson, Camden, Baltimore, London or Rome, we can the fix Tongo Tongo.

    1. A little frustrated today?
      Pointing out facts will get you labeled as a hater.

      Keep your spirit up, with a couple beers if need be.

    2. :-) I never did get the hang of political correctness.

      I do like facts and enjoy research. I make a statement and when challenged, I ask a simple question: Which part of my statement is not true?

    3. .

      I never did get the hang of political correctness.

      Well, you do make a bow to is occasionally.

      New Orleans, Detroit, Philadelphia, Patterson, Camden, Baltimore...

      Blacks in these cities aren't African, they're Americans.

      Why not just come out and say blacks?

      Just an observation.


    4. Facts don't seem to matter to knee-jerk reactionary types.
      Research is fun. I look forward to spending more of my time doing it when I retire, In about 10 years.
      Maybe I'll start the Occupy Facts movement.

    5. Just an observation:

      Most Americans refer to themselves with a hyphen. The pre hyphen part of the term reflects the country or continent their ancestors came from. Poles. Italians, Arabs, Germans, and most others use the hyphen. Some prefer cultural are continental terms, Asian, European, Latin, Slavic and African.

      They refer to themselves as African-Americans. Which part of that is not true?

      "Blacks" can also be used to define some Indians and Pakistanis. They are not Africans.

    6. We live in an world. We celebrate and revere diversity. It is our source of strength. You can't celebrate diversity if you can't find it or define it.

      When you deal with supportable facts, life is easier. You know where you are. It is not necessary to check in with the party line.

      In the world of political correctness and current doctrinaria it like skating on thin ice. You never know when you are going to fall in.

    7. .

      Some of these blacks have been Americans longer than even the old guys here. I find the hyphenating stupid but they can call themselves whatever they want. They are still Americans born and raised.

      My point stands.

      Think what you want. But in the name of precision if what you mean is black simply say black.



    8. LOL!
      I never claimed to have an IQ worth bragging about.
      What good is a high IQ if it closes my mind?

    9. I'm not saying that intelligent beings automatically close their learning process off after a point either.
      There are plenty of low IQ, knee-jerk reactionist as well.

      Narcissism knows no bounds.

  2. How do you fix a continent with an exploding population with an average IQ of 70?

  3. Africom was Obama's Afri-con. Our Kenyan marxist had the geo-political foresight of George W. Bush. Get out and stay out.

    1. .

      Obama's policy is simply an extension of Bush and presidents before them.

      Trump is continuing that policy.

      It's the American thing to do.


  4. The State Department is facing questions from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s ranking Democrat over Paul Manafort’s possession of multiple U.S. passports.
    Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland sent a letter Friday to John Sullivan, the deputy secretary of State, seeking information about the three passports belonging to Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, referenced in a federal indictment unsealed this week, The Hill first reported.
    “I write seeking additional details surrounding the State Department’s issuance of multiple passports for Paul Manafort, Jr.,” Mr. Carin wrote, according to The Hill.

    “While there are legitimate reasons for an individual to hold more than one U.S. passport, the circumstances under which an individual would simultaneously hold multiple passports are generally very limited,” Mr. Cardin wrote, the report said.

    If you arrive at a US entry point with too many visa stamps, you will be advised to get a new passport.

    If your passport is damaged or dog-eared, you will be advised to get a new passport.

    After applying for and recieving a new passport, the State Department invalidates your old passport with a stamp and returns it to you or in some cases keep it. I average a new passport every two to three years. Those who travel incessantly can go through them in months.

  5. Low IQs are Africa's curse, says lecturer
    Denis Campbell

    First published on Sunday 5 November 2006 04.37 EST

    The London School of Economics is embroiled in a row over academic freedom after one of its lecturers published a paper alleging that African states were poor and suffered chronic ill-health because their populations were less intelligent than people in richer countries.
    Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist, is now accused of reviving the politics of eugenics by publishing the research which concludes that low IQ levels, rather than poverty and disease, are the reason why

    life expectancy is low and infant mortality high. His paper, published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, compares IQ scores with indicators of ill health in 126 countries and claims that nations at the top of the ill health league also have the lowest intelligence ratings.

    Paul Collins, a spokesman for War On Want, the international development charity, said the research 'runs the risk of resurrecting the racist stereotype that Africans are responsible for their own plight, and may reinforce prejudices that Africans are less intelligent'.

    Collins added: 'The notion that people in poor countries have inferior intelligence has been disproved by much research in the past. This is another example, which other academics will shoot down.'

    Philippa Atkinson, who chairs the LSE student union's 85-strong Africa Forum and teaches in the school's Department of Government, said the paper 'reflects the now discredited theories of eugenics, which should have been left behind'.

    'Eugenics was a very influential discourse for centuries,' she said. 'It's the discourse that colonialism and racism in America until the Sixties were based on, and was part of the basis of apartheid too. Nobody could prove that there are racial or national differences in IQ. It's very, very controversial to say

    that national IQ levels are low in Africa, and completely unproven. It's a surprise that the odd person would try to bring it back,' she said.

    However, she said the research contained some interesting ideas and merited serious consideration, and stressed that academics such as Kanazawa should not be deterred from exploring controversial subjects.



    1. {...}

      The reaction to Kanazawa's paper will reopen the simmering debate about whether academics are entitled to express opinions that many people may find offensive.

      The Observer revealed last March that Frank Ellis, a lecturer in Russian and Slavonic studies at Leeds University, supported the Bell Curve theory, which holds that black people are less intelligent than whites. He also believed that women did not have the same intellectual capacity as men and backed the 'humane' repatriation of ethnic minorities. Initially, the university backed Ellis, despite protests by students and teaching staff, but he took early retirement in July.

      Kanazawa declined to comment on either War on Want or Atkinson's allegations about reviving eugenics because, he said, other academics had come up with the national IQ scores that underpinned his analysis of 126 countries. In the paper he cites Ethiopia's national IQ of 63, the world's lowest, and the fact that men and women are only expected to live until their mid-40s as an example of his finding that intelligence is the main determinant of someone's health.

      Having examined the effects of economic development and income inequality on health, he was 'surprised' to find that IQ had a much more important impact, he said. 'Poverty, lack of sanitation, clean water, education and healthcare do not increase health and longevity, and nor does economic development.'

      The LSE declined to offer any opinion on Kanazawa's conclusions but defended his right to publish controversial research. A spokeswoman said: 'This is academic research by Dr Kanazawa based on empirical data and published in a peer-reviewed journal. People may agree or disagree with his findings and are at liberty to voice their opinions to him. The school does not take any institutional view on the work of individual academics.'

      Kate Raworth, a senior researcher with Oxfam, said it was 'ridiculous' for Kanazawa to blame ill health on low IQ and 'very irresponsible' to reach such conclusions using questionable and 'fragile' international data on national IQ levels.

      Rumit Shah, chairman of the LSE student union's 52-member Kenyan Society, said lack of education was probably one reason why many Kenyans die young. Aids, tuberculosis and malaria were key factors too.

      Kanazawa's article was a 'misrepresentation' of the true causes of ill health in Kenya, added Shah. 'It portrays a bad picture of Kenya, because not everyone in Kenya has an IQ of 72. If there was more education, Kenyans would be wiser about their health.'

    2. .

      I'm all for free speech as long as you recognize and accept that what you say or write s open to review and criticism.

      For example...

      Having examined the effects of economic development and income inequality on health, he was 'surprised' to find that IQ had a much more important impact, he said. 'Poverty, lack of sanitation, clean water, education and healthcare do not increase health and longevity, and nor does economic development.'

      Nonsense. We have an example of it in this country...

      Poverty cuts an average of almost 10 years off American men’s lives and seven off women’s, a new study shows

      The same pattern holds in studies around the world.

      Recent studies indicate that one factor alone, pollution kills millions of people around the world each year.

      You have to wonder what Kanazawa's IQ is.


    3. .

      He also believed that women did not have the same intellectual capacity as men and backed the 'humane' repatriation of ethnic minorities...

      I, I confidently expect that a majority of Americans would disagree with him.



  6. You will be getting the free bleeders all in a hissy today.


    How many Europeans or Americans are fleeing to Sub Saharan Africa?

    1. .

      Irrelevant to a discussion on IQ, IMO.

      How many people are 'fleeing' to China, or Mongolia for that matter, both of which have higher national IQ averages than the US?


    2. We still have not been told what we were doing there. Try uranium. Remember Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame? Niger has one of the highest concentrations of pure uranium on the planet. Coincidence? Don't think so...but, oh yes, it's ISIS. Or maybe even the Russians did it!

    3. Surely you realize that the
      Trump Admin have told US why there are US troops in Niger.

      Mr Mattis and Tilllerson told the Senate. Fighting inrernational terrorists that gave global reach.

      As authorized by Congress on 13SEP2001.

    4. Fighting inrernational terrorists that have global reach

    5. .

      Well, some of them anyway.


    6. China doesn't want immigrants, and Mongolia is just too hard to reach.

  8. Replies
    1. Well I'll be damned. Who would have believed it ?

      The Poles and Swedes are tied in IQ and penis size.

      I remember once Quirk was bragging about his penis size, and talking about the length of his fingers.

      So we all know he has a big dick.

      I, and I'd guess, everyone else, is surprised at the Polish intellect, given its miserable display here by Quirk, Polish-American.

      By the way I have never heard a Swede or anyone else refer to Swedish-Americans.

    2. To be honest, I never really worried about my penis size or was curious about the size of anyone else, although I pay attention to the symmetry and size of the clitoris.

  9. Replies
    1. .

      Gee, Mome, you must be a genius.


    2. All would agree with that.

      Compared to you everyone here, except SCWC, comes off well too.

      Poles seem bright enough, except the big dicked ones.

      You once bragged about having to wear special gloves because of the size of your dick indicator fingers.


  10. Just an observation:

    If they feel they are Americans first, shouldn’t they refer to themselves as American Blacks or Amero-Africans. But they don’t. It’s Black Americans or Afro Americans.

    1. Why? Because BLACKLIVESMATTER

    2. .

      Most I know call themselves blacks. I would imagine for most, except those trying to make some point, the American is assumed.


    3. American Black Labs Matter.

  11. Amtrak stop in Truckee.

    1. Good Lord !

      THAT'S exciting !!

      Never knew Amtrak went through Truckee.

  12. Rich Folks Houses Matter:

  13. Four excellent reads from American Thinker today -

    Why Is the Mueller Investigation like the Schleswig-Holstein Question?
    Clarice Feldman
    The Democrats toss Hillary on top of the rolling Russian collusion investigation grenade. More

    Hillary Clinton Meets the Underside of the Bus
    Hans Comprix
    The Democratic Party seems finally to have had enough of its longtime queen bee. More

    Time to Get Dead Serious: This Is War
    James Lewis
    War has been declared on us, over and over again. It is time to stop pretending otherwise. More.

    Is Islamic Reform Possible?
    David Solway
    Unless we come to our senses, realize that we are in the midst of a 1,400-year civilizational war, and take appropriate measures, the sequel is a foregone conclusion. More

    1. The last advocates:


      Gas and water don't mix.

      Defend our way of life.


    2. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson would just have US burn the Constitution to save the Constitution.

      Sorry, for you, but that's not happening

    3. Poem

      You Are A Moron, War Criminal

      On display
      In every way

      by EveryManElse

  14. Meditation For Sunday


    by: Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)

    Only 28 years :(


    FISH (fly-replete, in depth of June,
    Dawdling away their wat'ry noon)
    Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
    Each secret fishy hope or fear.
    Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;
    But is there anything Beyond?
    This life cannot be All, they swear,
    For how unpleasant, if it were!
    One may not doubt that, somehow, Good
    Shall come of Water and of Mud;
    And, sure, the reverent eye must see
    A Purpose in Liquidity.
    We darkly know, by Faith we cry,
    The future is not Wholly Dry.
    Mud unto mud! -- Death eddies near --
    Not here the appointed End, not here!
    But somewhere, beyond Space and Time.
    Is wetter water, slimier slime!
    And there (they trust) there swimmeth One
    Who swam ere rivers were begun,
    Immense, of fishy form and mind,
    Squamous, omnipotent, and kind;
    And under that Almighty Fin,
    The littlest fish may enter in.
    Oh! never fly conceals a hook,
    Fish say, in the Eternal Brook,
    But more than mundane weeds are there,
    And mud, celestially fair;
    Fat caterpillars drift around,
    And Paradisal grubs are found;
    Unfading moths, immortal flies,
    And the worm that never dies.
    And in that Heaven of all their wish,
    There shall be no more land, say fish.


  15. Will The Donald be the first President to visit Vietnam since the Vietnam War ?

    I can't think of anyone else.

    As forever, the Vietnamese seem concerned by their neighbor(s) to the north.

    1. It's hard to think of an American President that has ever been to Vietnam.

      I wonder if any President has ever visited Vietnam ?


    2. JFK went to Vietnam, you dumb ass

    3. He wasted his time then, moron and War Criminal and Dead Beat Dad.

    4. Hey, how about not interacting with me again forever, SCWC ?

      It would be a polite thing to do.

      Especially as everyone here would gain by it.

      Just stay in your mom's basement, so to speak, when it comes to me.

      Thank you so much.

    5. You just cannot give up your lies, can you?

      It is a pathology with you, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, isn't it.

    6. No respite, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      Stand Tall

  16. Johnson, clinton, bush, obama. But no Kennedy.

    1. Johnson, Nixon, clinton, bush, obama. But no Kennedy.

    2. Really -

      Well, I was farming during most of those years, and listening to Willy Nelson more than the news.

      Looks like the crapper didn't know what he was talking about once again, as usual.


    3. JFK was in Vietnam. 1950' s, before he was President.


    4. General Jack 'ass' Hawkins never knows what he is talking about.

    5. I wonder if any President has ever visited Vietnam ?

      That was the question.

      Jack can't read good.

    6. That wasn’t the question, Rat. Stand Tall, my boy, stand tall.


    7. JFK was a President and JFK had visited Vietnam
      That was the criteria.

      Any idiot knows a President's life does not start at the first inaugural ball

      Uncle Hank is very close to our "Draft Dodger".

      Uncle Hank taught boobie to ride on the Brokeback Mountain Trail

    8. Oh ... I always ...

      Stand Tall

      ... because I have right and might on my side

      Historic accuracy as well


    9. Sure thing, Rat. Bottom line, we know who the dumbass is. It ain’t Bob. You’ve obviously been sipping Gary Johnson’s bong water again.

    10. Kennedy never went to Viet Nam. Lyndon Johnson did.

    11. As a president. When Kennedy was in congress, I'm not sure.

    12. Thank you for the vote of confidence, MOME. I hope I can live up to it. I shall try my best to avoid dumb-assery.

  17. Breaking:

    Shooting in church at Sutherland Springs, Texas Baptist Church.

    Shooter dead....

  18. Another Trump Admin official with financial ties to Putin

    This Reality Show Administration just gets better and better plot twists.

    Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has an interest in Navigator Holdings, which earns millions a year transporting oil and gas for Russian energy firm Sibur.

    Two major Sibur shareholders are under some form of US sanctions.

    A commerce department spokesman did not dispute the revelations.

    "Secretary Ross recuses himself from any matters focused on transoceanic shipping vessels," the spokesman told BBC Panorama, adding that the secretary "works closely with Commerce Department ethics officials to ensure the highest ethical standards".

    Another Sibur shareholder is President Putin's son in law, Kirill Shamalov.

  19. Lycus

    The Fish Who Loved A Bird

    A fish fell in love with a bird one day.
    What was his reason I could not say.
    The bird flew down its reflection to see,
    the fish jumped high and cried "Marry me."
    The bird simply laughed and flew away,
    "Birds marry birds!" was all she'd say.

    But while she flew nothing else came to mind,
    save the face of the fish she was leaving behind.
    No other had spoken to her such words of love,
    not the swiftest falcon nor the sweetest dove.
    To the beauty of his fins a bird could not compare,
    or to the strength of his muscles as he lept through the air.

    Suddenly she turned though she couldn't say why.
    Back to the water she quickly did fly.
    "Oh beautiful fish how can this be,
    a bird of the sky and a fish in the sea?
    We never could marry, our worlds are apart.
    So why cruelest fish have you stolen my heart?"

    The fish gave his reply, and his words sang true.
    He told the lovely bird what in his soul he knew.
    "Beloved my beloved, oh do not despair,
    though I swim in the ocean and you in the air.
    Nothing in this world could keep us apart,
    if your love is as true as the love in my heart."

    The fish thought about it as best he could,
    till he had an idea that would do them some good.
    "Sometimes before sunrise at the edge of the world,
    I have seen a place where creation's unfurled.
    Come with me my love and our fates we will cheat.
    Come to this enchanted place where the sea and sky meet."
    The bird and the fish both made their merry way,
    and live happy and in love to this very day.

    Now from the look on your face you think my tale a lie.
    You don't believe a beast of sea can marry beast of sky.
    These things that I sing, I can prove they are true.
    The children of the couple are known to all of you.
    A penguin is a bird that calls the ocean home.
    What of flying fish? It is in the air they roam.

    This is it. My crown jewel. In my opinion the best thing I ever wrote. I wrote this as a teenager, but it has gone through many rewrites and touch ups since then. My inspiration was that old country saying "A fish and a bird could fall in love but where would they live?" Lycus

  20. Not many facts yet but Sutherland Springs looks to be a small mostly white place.

    1. Governor of Texas has already tweeted out his prayers and thoughts to all.

    2. That is just so, so special.

      A Tweet that says it all, in 140 characters

  21. Long freight speeding through.


  22. — With the arrest of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the prominent billionaire investor, Saudi Arabia has touched one of the richest and most influential investors in the world.

    Among Prince Alwaleed’s crown jewels: sizable stakes in Twitter, Lyft and Citigroup. He has gone into business with some of the corporate world’s biggest titans, including Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and Michael Bloomberg.

    His investments span the globe, including the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris, the Savoy in London and the Plaza in New York. He has also invested in the AccorHotels chain and Canary Wharf, the London business development.

    So vast are his investments that he has been referred to as the Warren Buffett of the Middle East.


  23. - Sacked Catalonia leader Carles Puigdemont and four associates turned themselves in to Belgian police on Sunday, following Spain’s issuing of an arrest warrant for rebellion and sedition.

    All are wanted by Madrid for actions related to the push for the region’s secession from Spain. Puigdemont has become the public face of that move for independence.

    Other charges are the misuse of public funds, disobedience and breach of trust relating to the secessionist campaign, which has thrown Spain into a political crisis just as its economy has recovered from a sharp downturn and banking stress.

  24. 20 or more dead in Sutherland Springs church shooting.

    jeez :(

    Haven't heard anything about the shooter except he is dead.

    It seems to me, though maybe I am wrong, that these church shootings more often happen in Protestant churches than Catholic, for some reason I can't fathom

    1. The shooter seems to have killed or wounded the majority of the people in attendance which is, I read, normally around 50 or so.

    2. Update: 4:30 (Jazz) We’re hearing from both national news services and a couple of folks who are in the area that the shooter is a local resident. Still, confirmation of his identity being held close to the vest. No doubt officials are searching the residence and talking to all possible witnesses.

  25. Shooter from area -

    Contradicted by this -

    UPDATE: Sutherland Springs Shooter NOT FROM AREA – Vehicle Ran Off Road Into Field
    November 5, 2017 by Jim Hoft

    1. Devin Kelley, 28 yrs., white.

    2. 26 years old, from outside San Antonio, which is only a short drive away.

    3. Update: 6:30 (Jazz) It’s unofficial at this point, but the shooter is tentatively being identified as a resident of a suburb of San Antonio whose mother-in-law listed her address as a P.O. Box in Sutherland, Springs. More investigation is required, but it lends credence to early speculation that this was a domestic issue gone horribly wrong.

    4. Air force veteran, 4 years, dishonorable discharge.

  26. .


    Sow the Wind and Reap the Whirlwind

    Don't know (or care) if Kennedy visited Vietnam but do know he sure helped to decimate it.

    Kennedy was a believer in the 'Domino Theory' and was influenced by hawks in the government who believed in the same thing.

    He increased the amount of 'trainers' sent there; he was the first to introduce US helicopters there; he funded an expansion of the Vietnamese army under Diem: he initiated the 'Strategic Village' program where much of the population was forcibly relocated and then was surprised when after the two years of the program the NLF had increased by 300%.

    It was under Kennedy that the Buddhist monks began their self-immolation protests. When all the Diem regime did about the rising number of dead was make jokes, Kennedy authorized Diem's assassination and paid the appropriate Generals to get it done.

    Three weeks after Diem was assassinated Kennedy was himself assassinated.



    1. Really fast Karma.

      Generally it seems to take longer, often only in the next world.

    2. The question is whether or not Kennedy would have ended up sending massive amounts of troops like LBJ.

    3. .

      Really fast Karma.

      Kismet is you prefer.

      Or, the Word of the Lord.

      But Karma would apply to given the possibility he was also a shit in past lives.


    4. Slow Karma - didn't Stalin, for instance, die in his own bed ?

    5. .

      Yes, of bed sores.

      Lot of conspiracy theories, poisoning, warfarin, bleeding in the stomach. He spent days in pain. Had a stroke and few days later died of a brain hemorrhage.

      Quite karmaesque. Or kismetesque. Or biblical.


  27. The Governor of Texas is putting on a good show, now all dressed in blue, with a star on his chest, recommending counseling to everyone and thanking the President for calling, and Senator Cruz, gratitude to all first responders.....

  28. Learning next to nothing from the tight lipped press conference, the info needing to be confirmed and reliable.

    Does seem to have been some church member (?) who confronted the shooter with his own rifle.

  29. .

    Devin Kelly, no doubt he identified as Irish-American. Or, possibly cis-male.


    1. Can't be certain about the Cis-male.

      He may have had an "issue", see above, with his mother-in-law from Sutherland Springs.

      With the middle name Patrick you are right he might have identified as Irish-American.

      You have no strong grounds yet for saying "no doubt".

      I wish to point that out to you.

      Always looking out for you....

    2. I don't want you to sound like an inexperienced speculative cub reporter, as you so often do.

    3. inexperienced speculative cub reporter....trying to be first to grab the scoop

    4. Hemingway claimed he first learned objectivity from his short experience as a cub reporter for The Kansas City Star.

    5. .

      Merely, progressing the meme offered above.

      Try and keep up, ol timer.


    6. I'll try, young inexperienced speculative emotional feller.

    7. REPORT: Armed Citizen 'Engaged' Killer, Ending Rampage....DRUDGE

      ‘A local resident grabbed his rifle and engaged that suspect’

      Nov 5, 2017

      Today's mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was only halted after an armed Texan "engaged" the killer and put an end to the rampage, the Texas Rangers reported.

      Freeman Martin, a major in the Texas Rangers and a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, says the suspect dropped his rifle and fled after being confronted by a local man who had grabbed his rifle....

  30. Saudi Arabia’s future king has tightened his grip on power through an anti-corruption purge by arresting royals, ministers and investors including billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal who is one of the kingdom’s most prominent businessmen.


    The line between public funds and royal money is not always clear in Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy ruled by an Islamic system in which most law is not systematically codified and no elected parliament exists.


    A Saudi official said former Riyadh Governor Prince Turki bin Abdullah was detained on accusations of corruption in the Riyadh Metro project and taking advantage of his influence to award contracts to his own companies.

  31. I got friends in low places.....

    "A Friend of Saxum is a person who, from any part of the world, “represents” the Holy Land. They have made it their mission to make both Saxum and the Holy Land known in the place where they live and to share the benefits that making a pilgrimage can bring to any Christian...."

  32. Bribery, embezzlement, money laundering and abuse of power are among the accusations leveled against dozens of Saudi princes, officials and businessmen detained in an anti-corruption probe, a Saudi official told Reuters on Monday.


    Former Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf, a board member of national oil giant Saudi Aramco, is accused of embezzlement related to the expansion of Mecca's Grand Mosque and taking advantage of his position and inside information to benefit from land deals, the official added.

  33. The National Archives published more than 600 new records Friday relating to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy -- and some addressed civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. and his multiple alleged affairs.


    One of the events mentioned in the document are workshops King held in Miami, Florida, in February 1968 with funds from the Ford Foundation to train black ministers in leadership.

    “One Negro minister in attendance later expressed his disgust with the behind-the-scene drinking, fornication, and homosexuality that went on at the conference,” the document reads. “Several Negro and white prostitutes were brought in from the Miami area.


    The withheld files were placed under a six-month review, and Trump ordered the intelligence agencies to release approved documents throughout the period.

    1. What's wrong with drinking and fornication?

    2. Black Prostitutes matter.

    3. One shouldn't drink and fornicate, and drive at the same time, I read.

      That can be lethal.

      Drop the driving and one looks to be OK.

    4. White Prostitutes Matter too.

  34. Quirk:

    This guy analyses marketing genius perfectly.

    1. Book

    2. .

      The worst part is no one seems to care.

      Oh well.


    3. I read yesterday about some young genius who made a million $ and more buying crap on sale at Wel-Mart and reselling it on E-Bay.

    4. .

      I made the mistake of getting one of those Amazon Echo's.

      Now, for the most part it sits unplugged. I'm careful when and where I use it. If I'm going to sit around for some time doing bills, paperwork, or working on stocks, I might turn it on and used it.


    5. I don't know what an Amazon Echo is.

      Now, for the most part it sits unplugged. I'm careful when and where I use it.

      It sounds dangerous though, as if it might be illegal, or explode.

  35. Signs of spring in late fall in Iran -

    November 5, 2017
    Mullahs Tremble as Iran's People Honor Cyrus the Great at Pasargad
    By Hassan Mahmoudi

    This past Oct. 29, Iranians marked the international day of Cyrus the Great, the ancient ruler of the Persian empire whose legacy is credited with forging the Iranian national identity. King Cyrus II is held in great regard in Iran for creating the largest empire of civilized nations then known in the world, around 600 years before Christ. King Cyrus was not only a master military strategist, he differed from other conquerors of the time in his tolerance of the customs and cultures of those who came under his rule. He was the author of the world’s first human rights charter. He is an honored figure in Judaism because he freed the Jews from Babylonian captivity, declared that the temple in Jerusalem be rebuilt, and allowed the Jews to return to their homeland.

    In Islamic holy readings, he is considered a just ruler.

    Iranians commemorate this day by gathering at Pasargad, the tomb of Cyrus the Great, which is located in the Fars province. Siasat Rouz, one of the state-run Iranian newspapers said, “The cyberspace is filled with pictures of Cyrus’s tomb and invitations to attend the commemoration ceremony!”

    But recognizing Cyrus as a just ruler does not register with Iran’s mullahs, whose own rule compares quite poorly to the ancient Persian king. Terrified of large gatherings and potential protests against the government, the Iranian regime resorted to military exercises on the day Iranians remember Cyrus and increased suppressive activities in different cities in the Fars province, especially regions that surround the Pasargad tomb.

    This year, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and state security forces established a virtual military curfew in the surrounding regions. They blocked all roads that lead to Pasargad and prevented vehicles from going to the site. The Revolutionary Guards distributed an announcement to all vehicles and people who are moving toward Pasargad, which read: “The illegal gathering at Pasargad on Oct. 29 was orchestrated by the dissenters and anti-state movements. All mischief-makers will be dealt with through law and the judiciary.”

    Despite all these measures, large groups of people defied the mullahs and gone to Pasargad to pay their respects to King Cyrus II by foot and vehicle

    People from all over the country headed for Pasargad on Friday, Oct. 27, in a show of unity against the regime and in commemoration of Cyrus the Great. Worried about protests and uprisings against the regime, state officials expanded their suppressive measures a few weeks ago in order to prevent any gathering from taking shape. These measures have further escalated in the past week and day.

    From sources in Iran, these actions are listed as:........(long list of repressive measures follows)

  36. The Donald is meeting the Emperor of Japan, who looks to be an 'old timer'.

    I would love to watch The Donald and Melania and The Emperor and Empress of Japan doing a Japanese Tea Ceremony.

    I think Melania could get through it without fidgeting, but have my doots about The Donald.

    I recall once when Quirk and MissDemenoir were doing a Japanese Tea Ceremony with a famous Japanese advertiser and his noble wife, and MissDemenoir was doing fine but Quirk got kicked out for fidgeting, and mumbling 'this is all a bunch of mumbo jumbo and I need a real drink'.

    Which he soon got, at a Japanese dive, where he drank Saké and ate Sushi and got sick to his stomach.

    1. (an old timer like Quirk has no business drinking Saké)

  37. Texas church killer identified as Devin Patrick Kelley

    NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Sunday, November 5, 2017, 8:55 PM

    Officials have identified the shooter who killed 26 people in a Texas church Sunday morning.

    Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, of New Braunfels, Tex., has been named as the alleged shooter, according to CBS News.

    Kelley was killed after a brief chase into Guadalupe County, although it's unclear how.

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is searching his home for explosives, according to ABC News.

    26 dead after shooting at Texas church

    An unconfirmed LinkedIn account for Kelley lists four years of service in the Air Force and a month as a teacher aide for a Vacation Bible School in Kingsville, Tex., about two hours south of the site of the massacre.

    He served in logistics readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge, spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told the Daily News.

    Devin Patrick Kelley reportedly killed at least 20 people at a Texas church Sunday. (DARREN ABATE/AP)

    Kelley was reportedly given a dishonorable discharge and court martialed in May 2014, according to CBS News....

  38. Five NFL players protested during the national anthem during the early slate of this week’s games, a decrease from last week, The Associated Press reported.

    Two Philadelphia Eagles raised their fists during the anthem while a teammate put his hand on one of the players' shoulders. One member of the New York Giants took a knee during the anthem, and one Tennessee Titans player stayed off the field during the anthem.


    Papa John’s, an official partner of the NFL, said last week the anthem protests have been hurting its pizza sales.

  39. Saturday night, former Dodgers announcer and Hall of Famer Vin Scully was at the Pasadena Civic Center for an event called "An Evening With Vin Scully."

    At some point during the event, Scully was asked about the NFL's national anthem protests, in which players have taken a knee during the anthem to protest police brutality and racism. Scully said he "will never watch another NFL game" because of the protests.

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. The shooter had been dishonorably discharged from the Air Force. He had been charged twice with assaulting his wife, once for assaulting his child, had been in confinement for a year, and had no legal right to own a gun.

      The neighbors say they had heard gunshots from over where his house was, even saying they heard bullets over their heads.

      No one alerted anyone or Police agency of this.

      He displayed his Ar-15 on Facebook.

      No one did the 'see something, say something' routine.

      I'm wondering if his wife had just filed for divorce, if they were already divorced, or whether they were still living together.

      His mother-in-law had a P.O. Box in Sutherland Springs. What else I haven't heard.

    2. Nice looking hero -

      Hero describes how he tracked down church shooter after attack

      By Kelsey Bradshaw, / San Antonio Express-News Updated 8:58 pm, Sunday, November 5, 2017

      A child weeps during a candlelight vigil in Sutherland, Texas, hours after a gunman shot and killed at least 28 people at First Baptist Church on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. Photo: BILLY CALZADA/San Antonio Express-News
      Photo: BILLY CALZADA/San Antonio Express-News
      IMAGE 3 OF 91

      As emergency responders rushed into Sutherland Springs following the state's deadliest shooting, two men were headed the opposite direction - chasing after the suspected shooter.
      Two locals took on the man who authorities say shot and killed 26 people at the First Baptist Church Sunday morning as the suspect was trying to flee the scene.

      Johnny Langendorff was one of the men who chased after suspected killer Devin Kelley, a 26-year-old from Comal County, he told KSAT in a television interview.


      Nick Uhlid, a resident of Sutherland Springs, Texas, and member of First Baptist Church, talks to reporters about the mass shooting at the church on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017.

      Media: Billy Calzada, San Antonio Express-News
      RELATED: Officials ID shooter after 26 killed in Sutherland Springs church

      "I pulled up to the intersection where the shooting happened and I saw two men exchanging gunfire," Langendorff said, noting the shooter and another local were shooting at each other.

      Once the gunman fled the church grounds in his vehicle, Langendorff said the other man came to his car.
      "The other gentleman said we needed to pursue (the shooter) because he shot up the church," he said. "So that's what I did. I just acted."

      The pair chased the man down FM 539 headed North before the shooter lost control and ran off the roadway. Langendorff said the other man with him jumped out of the car and drew his rifle on Kelley.
      "He didn't move after that," Langendorff said....

  41. Mark Cuban is taking exception to Draymond Green’s comments about team owners.

    Green said last week they should be called chairmen, as not to insinuate that they own someone, in the wake of Texans owner Bob McNair’s comment that the NFL “can’t have inmates running the prison.”


    “People who read that message and misinterpret it — make it seem like we don’t do everything possible to help our players succeed and don’t care about their families and don’t care about their lives, like hopefully we do for all of our employees — that’s just wrong,” Cuban said.

    1. If it weren't for the NFL many of the players would be in prison.

  42. Two high-altitude surveillance planes the state bought for more than $15 million to help secure the Mexican border are regularly circling over San Antonio, according to records and interviews, but details about exactly what they’re doing are scarce.


    The newer plane, based in Edinburg, spends more time at the border, where it is stationed. Still, that plane circled San Antonio on more than a dozen days this year, also focusing on the Southeast Side of the city and some on the West Side, near South Zarzamora and U.S. 90.


    Still, experts said a drone could do much of that work at a fraction of the cost.

    “Putting a plane in the air to try to identify the next burglar or the next shoplifter, I really think that’s overkill,” said Alex del Carmen, executive director of the School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Strategic Studies at Tarleton State University.

  43. The “Fat Leonard” corruption investigation has expanded to include more than 60 admirals and hundreds of other U.S. Navy officers under scrutiny for their contacts with a defense contractor in Asia who systematically bribed sailors with sex, liquor and other temptations, according to the Navy.

    Most of the admirals are suspected of attending extravagant feasts at Asia’s best restaurants paid for by Leonard Glenn Francis, a Singapore-based maritime tycoon who made an illicit fortune supplying Navy vessels in ports from Vladivostok, Russia to Brisbane, Australia. Francis also was renowned for hosting alcohol-soaked, after-dinner parties, which often featured imported prostitutes and sometimes lasted for days, according to federal court records.


    In many instances, the Navy was prevented from taking tougher action because the statute of limitations under military law — five years for most felonies — had expired. The oldest matter reviewed so far dated to 1992, while most occurred between 2004 and 2010, according to a Navy official.

  44. Steve Stepp and his team of septuagenarian engineers are using a bag of rust, a kitchen mixer larger than a man and a 62-foot-long contraption that used to make magnetic strips for credit cards to avert a disaster that no one saw coming in the digital-music era.

    The world is running out of cassette tape.


    Mr. Stepp, who owns National Audio with his wife and adult children, hopes to ship the first cassettes made with the new tape by January. After that, he plans to start selling bulk tape to other cassette makers.

    He is working the phones to promote the new product and take orders. Mr. Stepp says he treats every customer alike, whether they order 50 cassettes or 15,000, recalling that the company’s first order from Joyce Meyer Ministries brought in just $35.

    “You never know who you’re dealing with or who that person will become,” he says.

  45. One look at Devin Patrick Kelley and you know you are looking at Trouble.

    "Never give a rifle to a melancholy bore"