Open Thread


An interview with a former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski speaking to the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the recent escalation in tensions leading to the December 2008 Israeli-Hamas Conflict.

From Wikipedia is a definition of Retributive Justice

Retributive justice is a theory of justice that considers that proportionate punishment is a morally acceptable response to crime, with an eye to the satisfaction and psychological benefits it can bestow to the aggrieved party, its intimates and society.

Further reading on the Wikipedia definition of retribution, the following statement appears …

In ethics and law “Let the punishment fit the crime” is the principle that the severity of penalty for a misdeed or wrongdoing should be reasonable and proportional to the severity of the infraction. The concept is common to most cultures throughout the world. Its presence in the ancient Jewish culture is shown by its inclusion in the law of Moses, specifically in Deuteronomy 19:17-21, which includes the punishments of “life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” Many other documents reflect this value in the world’s cultures. However, the judgement of whether a punishment is appropriately severe can vary greatly between cultures and individuals.

599 replies on “Retribution”

This is where the Internet technology is leading us. While You Tube is bring in the masses, Vimeo is catering for true HD. Both have their usefulness in driving the Internet. In four years time when Barack stands for re election their will be massive changes on the Internet. Barack will be a driving force behind that. I have no doubt the Democrats who have mastered the power of the Internet will continue along that road, as long as Conroy’s firewall doesn’t go ahead we will be part of it. If you think we had good coverage of the election this time. Just wait till four years from now.

Vimeo HD.

Are we there yet?

The FED is Marching On;

Albert Einstein defined insanity as, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Today, we’re living in an environment of perpetual economic insanity, which makes it much easier to identify those who are insane and those who continue to bow before the insane and pander to their every wish. Take for example, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Ben Bernanke; and of course, Treasury Secretary Henry “Hank” Paulson. The reckless actions the dangerous duo of economic destruction have taken during the massive bailout fraud only goes to prove that Einstein was even more brilliant than what most intellectuals first thought. If Einstein were alive today, he would not be short of evidence to prove his theory on insanity by pointing his finger at the repetitive process of massive, billion dollar bailouts that will surely be the demise of the dollar and the American economy.

Couldn’t have said it better, really:

Garrison Keillor writes in Salon about Bush leaving the White House “with a big grin in a couple of weeks, his self-esteem apparently fully intact, imagining that his legacy will emerge golden and shining in a hundred years after all of us are deceased. He is one of the cheerfullest idiots you ever saw, a man who could burn down his own house and be happy that the patio was still standing.”

…it cannot happen a moment too soon.

Meanwhile, we in Australia are lagging behind, and while Conroy is in charge we will drop further behind. Labor needs a whole new department for technology. Put people in it that know what they are doing. Maxine Mckew would be ideal. Not to head the department, but to work with the people in charge. Put top boffins from around Australia and some outsiders from overseas as well. Barack Obama is employing some of the top brains to run his Internet revolution. Who have we got. Stephen Conroy.

In today’s NY Times, Nicholas Kristoff:

But Israel’s right to do something doesn’t mean it has the right to do anything.

…and he reasons through his antidote to the mindless MSM mantra that “Israel has the right to protect itself”. Yes, but not the right to maim and kill in a frenzy of attacks that will only hasten more moderates into the radical camp.

As Jon Stewart so wittily put it, when Bloomberg waffled on about some guy trying to break down your apartment door as an analogy to the Israeli predicament: “yeah, but we forced the guy to live in the hallway and then pass all these checkpoints every time he wanted to take a crap”

There are plenty of Jews who see Israels descent into militarism and aggressive over-reaction as a large part of the problem, they just don’t get the same amount of airplay as the Zionist neocons and their proxies.

Amnesty International are calling for members of the Bush administration to be prosecuted as soon as possible.

493 – DG

I’d like to get into an interesting discussion with you on the Israel/Lebanon war someday.

But needless to say, I contest pretty much each one of your premises.

It was an unnecessary, unjustified war that everyone should condemn.

The legacy of cluster bombs and destruction of infrastructure in Lebanon being in my view, tantamount to crimes which breached UN conventions. Let alone the flimsy justification for invasion.

And it would take the Iraqi information minister or Dick Cheney to spin that war into anything closely resembling victory for Israel.

Don’t say we don’t cover the big issues here.
CBS News

Porn Moguls Ask For Bailout.

t’s the water cooler story of the day: “Porn industry seeks federal bailout!”

As CNN reported late yesterday, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild’s Joe Francis, in a move that has been effective in generating publicity for both, have vowed to “request that Congress allocate $5 billion for a bailout of the adult entertainment industry.”

Flynt spokesman Owen Moogan gave CNN an odd comment explaining the nature of “the take here.”

“…everyone and their mother want to be bailed out from the banks to the big three,” he said. “The porn industry has been hurt by the downturn like everyone else and they are going to ask for the $5 billion. Is it the most serious thing in the world? Is it going to make the lives of Americans better if it happens? It is not for them to determine.”

Continued on CBS News


Carter makes it quite clear that the Israeli strategy is always to squeeze tighter and hit harder, despite the fact that 60 years of it have not improved things one iota. Talk about slow learners. Starving a population with draconian restrictions and then wondering why they retaliate is nothing more than a well calculated strategy to get the appearance of legitimacy. But it does not fool everyone.

The hardliners have no intention of stopping until every Gazan is pushed into the sea, and if the international community keeps silent on the travesties and barbarism they commit, then that is what will happen.


I am not sure of my premises, to be honest, but my conclusion is that one of the results of the war was a Hezbollah unwilling to fire rockets into Israel. This is based on the fact that Hezbollah have not fired a rocket into Israel since.

I guess some of my premises would be that Israel launched the war without proper intelligence, without an understanding of the limitations of air power (mimicking, amazingly enough, almost every major power with a sophisticated air force over the last 70 years) and without clear objectives. Add to that a disjointed command structure and a less well trained and less well motivated military than they have previously relied on, and they swiftly ran into huge problems.

The biggest problem is that air power results in excessive* civilian casualties while providing no guarantee of destruction of the target and that fighting in built-up urban areas carries the same risk to civilians – especially when you have less well trained soldiers.

*this note is to point out that i am not saying that civilian casualties of one are not excessive in normal language, but that there is a recognition in international law of proportional damage to a target’s military value.

CQ Politics.
Obama Pushes Congress to Act Swiftly on Stimulus.

As skeptics** question the size and direction of his economic stimulus plan, President-elect Barack Obama warned Thursday that “a bad situation could become dramatically worse” unless Congress acts swiftly.

“I don’t believe it’s too late to change course, but it will be if we don’t take dramatic action as soon as possible,” he said in remarks at George Mason University. “If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years. The unemployment rate could reach double digits. Our economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity, which translates into more than $12,000 in lost income for a family of four.”

** This should read Neocons and Republicans. You know the guys that created this train wreck in the first place. They want to tell us how to run the economy. 😈

Continued on CQ Politics


Somehow I doubt that that is the policy. If it had been, they have had 40 years to carry it out. The problems in the region are much more complex than an overarching plan for genocide or relocation.

Having said that, Jordan successfully carried out such a policy in 1970-71. At least 2,000 – and possibly as many as 20,000 – people, mainly Palestinians, died in a few months.

According to Wikipedia, around 5,000 Palestinians have died in the last decade or so as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, along with 1,500 Israelis. Obviously, the Jordanian government’s execution of its master plan was a lot more successful than Israel’s.

The vast majority of people, including national leaders, are driven by events, rather than the other way around. Indeed, the international economic crisis is a very good example. This is something that people should always bear in mind.


It is easy to confuse things on a battlefield. Friendly fire incidents occur all the time. War sucks, basically. Technology has improved things, and will continue to do so, but there is no real protection for anyone, unfortunately.

I will point out here that it is western nations such as the United States who spend time and effort developing systems to try and minimise civilian casualties. (They do not work that well yet, I should add here). Nations like Israel adopt these systems; organisations like Hamas, on the other hand, try to find ways to maximise civilian casualties.

It may well be the case that the US and Israel only attempt to minimise civilian casualties because of fears of a public relations backlash. But that to me simply demonstrates that citizens in a democracy have power to influence the actions of their governments.

The Age.
Australia leading in technology.

Home printers capable of spitting out a colour page in a second are expected to be released around the world this year, made possible by technology developed by a research firm in Sydney.

The new Memjet technology was developed by Silverbrook Research, based in Balmain.

The research company has licensed the technology to Memjet Home and Office, which is working with printer manufacturers to integrate it into new printer models. A working prototype is on display at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Continued in the Age

I was wondering why it was taking so long. Here it is, with the help of Australian technology

Internet car radio a world first.

Australian technology is powering the world’s first internet car radio, which will soon provide drivers worldwide with access to 30,000 stations including online broadcasts and AM and FM stations from around the globe.

The technology was developed by Melbourne-based online radio aggregator miRoamer, which has inked a deal with one of the largest producers of car radios in the world, German-based Blaupunkt.

The technology, unveiled in prototype form at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, poses a significant threat to traditional terrestrial broadcasters such as Austereo because it opens them up to competition from tens of thousands more radio stations from around the world.

Today, it is difficult to access live internet radio broadcasts without sitting in front of a computer.

continued in the Age

The Revolution is coming. The Neocon dinosaurs will have no answer for this. The dinosaurs will be wiped out. 😈

I don’t think the Beatles imagined the revolution would quite happen like this.
Revoution The Beatles

513 – DG
The main mistaken premise is in relation to the Israel reason for the Israel-Lebanon war.

It had little to do with rockets initially. It was to retrieve two soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah.

[‘The conflict began when Hezbollah militants responded to Israeli incursions by firing rockets at Israeli border towns as a diversion for an anti-tank missile attack on two armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence.’]

Further, in viewing the prior history prior to the 2006 war, unlike the Hamas rocket attacks, there was little (if any) rocket attacks by Hezbollah on Israel.

Thus, the current lack of rocket attacks on Israel from Hezbollah, had little if nothing, to do with the Israel/Lebanon war. I also note that rocket attacks continued until the ceasefire.

[‘According to the Winograd Commission Report, the Second Lebanon War was regarded as a “missed opportunity” and that “Israel initiated a long war, which ended without a defined military victory”. The report continued to state that “a semi-military organization of a few thousand men resisted, for a few weeks, the strongest army in the Middle East, which enjoyed full air superiority and size and technology advantages”. Furthermore, Hezbollah’s rocket attacks continued throughout the war and the IDF did not provide an effective response to it. Following a long period of using standoff fire power and limited ground activities, the IDF launched a large scale ground offensive close to the UN Security Council’s resolution which imposed a cease-fire. “This offensive did not result in military gains and was not completed”.’]

I think we are both in agreeance as to the excessive civilian casualties and the points raised in your final two paragraphs 🙂

Imagine a six hour trip with the kids. An Internet radio each with ten to 20 kids stations pre tuned, plus a selection of DVD’s. They’ll never get bored. No more are we there yet?


I agree that immediately prior to the war there were no rocket attacks on northern Israel. However, Hezbollah had fired many rockets into northern Israel in the past. Israel and Hezbollah have in the past signed at least two agreements in which Hezbollah either promised no further rocket attacks or no further rocket attacks on civilian targets.

As to the Israeli reason for the war, I think a reason is different from strategic objectives. (And I think that in that particular conflict the strategic objectives were not particularly clear).

We have statements by Hezbollah’s leadership made after the war regarding their realisation that rockets have limited utility. The war demonstrated that. Indeed, the Hezbollah leader stated that if he could do things over he would not have had the organisation act as it did in the lead-up to the war, as the war did not have a good result for them.

However, I accept your point that Hezbollah were not firing rockets prior to the war and thus the war may well have had zero effect in that regard.

Chris B,

I would still prefer teleportation. Darn scientists – get on with it, you lazy bastards!

They still have to sort out the problem of teleportation while traveling at warp 9. Apparently it still has a few bugs in it.

They tend to end up back in the past somewhere, 2 or 3 thousand years ago. Very lonely I understand. 😈

The Gaza conflict is over:,25197,24891045-601,00.html

With a forceful resolution calling for ‘an immediate … ceasefire’, the UN has once again successfully ended a bloody conflict. It is unclear how the state of Israel or Hamas can survive such a well-written statement, especially as it has been placed on the internet in numerous places. Apparantly, the day of negotiation over the wording of the text was ‘dramatic’. But civilian casualties were successfully avoided, unlike in previous negotiating sessions in which some people got quite thirsty (the chardonay ran out) and others got paper cuts.

Chris B,

I want teleportation to Alpha Centauri implemented in my lifetime. But a booth getting me to work and back each day would be excellent.

As to those test pilots, what a pack of whingers. Did Chuck Yeagar complain when his intestines were being twisted into knots at mach 1?

523 DG
You will need to look back into the dim murky past when Israel was occupying Lebanon for substantive rocket attacks.

In the immediate few years preceding the Israel/Lebanon war, there were few if any rocket attacks from Hezbollah to Israel. The few examples were generally aimed at military personnel.

Although Israel could always use the US precedent of invading a country under a resolution for actions conducted over 10 years ago.

I have no issue with your argument that Hezbollah were hurt by the war.
In any war, it is rare for there to be any winners.
However, current events indicate that Hezbollah’s grip on the Lebanese government and Lebanese citizen has only strengthened as a consequence of the war. Whereas Israel’s standing plumbed the depths of Bush’s approval ratings and will have long-term ramifications.

This would seem the exact opposite of what Israel was trying to achieve. Whilst, I haven’t followed this conflict as closely, it would seem Israel are doomed to repeat their mistakes again.

529 – DG
I note the US abstained again.
There will never be any chance at world peace whilst the neocons are in charge.

Even without them, there is precious little chance.

Ultimately and sadly it doesn’t appear likely in our lifetimes.

However, what we will eventually need is the UN to become the dominant power in charge of world affairs. This can only be done with the support of the veto wielding nations. At present, the system is hopelessly flawed. However, we must remember that we should not throw the baby out with the bath water, and blame a governing body restricted by ridiculous impediments.


The problem that I have with the UN is that it is made up of nations whose internal politics are anathema to the stated goals of the UN, especially regarding human rights.

I have more hope that the EU can form the kernel for a world superstructure. There should be fundamental requirements for membership of such an organisation.

3 keys words that prevent world peace
(I could be cynical and say ‘humanity’)

And of course one of the main obstacles ‘lack of accountability’.
See the despotic reigns of Bush, Howard and Mugabe for countless examples 🙂

533 DG
I agree. Kudos to the EU.
I wonder if Australia can sign up.
The Euro is worth so much more then the AUD these days.

Hezbollah are certainly more powerful within Lebanon. But that internal strengthening is paralled by no action against Israel in that same period. From an Israeli perspective, that would seem a good thing.

And I agree with you that the war hurt Israel badly. But as to it being a loss, that is not so clear. (Again, it depends on what any individual defines as winning or losing, I guess.)

It actually looks to me as though Hezbollah have become a more political rather than military organisation. This is what I hoped for Hamas when they were elected to power in the Palestinian elections. I think that there were a number of lessons that Hezbollah learnt from the conflict with Israel, and the main one was that they no longer really want to fight Israel.

As to Israel and this recent conflict, militarily Israel have learnt a lot from their Lebanese experience. Israel are in the process of achieving their military goals and are taking far fewer casualties in doing so. Hamas may win the public relations war here, but their military capacity has been significantly reduced. It will be interesting to see if the same pattern emerges: if Hamas go down the political path instead of the military one.

533 David Gould I agree 100% with the EU. I think Obama and the USA will work very well with them. This has been lacking in the past. If the EU and the USA proposed a massive upgrading of the Internet infrastructure world wide, other nations would jump on board. It is in the interests of democracy. Places like Saudia Arabia, Iran and Australia would not be able to block or censor the Internet.

536 – DG

In the past 5 years prior to the Israel/Lebanon war, incidents between Hezbollah and Israel were minimal. It is hard to draw a causal link between the conflict, to the fact there have been no further incidents.
Just as I would say there is no causal link between the lack of terrorist attacks in the US and the Iraqis and Afghanistan wars.

As to Hezbollah being a political organisation, they had members in the Lebanese government prior to the conflict. They now have a lot more members. Prior to the conflict, there were hopes that the Lebanese had finally escaped Syrian influence and were becoming a better member of the international community. Hezbollah was there but not as prominent as they are now.

I do not want Hezbollah gaining a foothold into the Lebanese government, let alone Hamas gaining a foothold into the Palestine government. However, Israel’s actions whilst not the primary reason, acts as a catalyst. I also would contest that Hezbollah are less likely to fight Israel after the conflict. Their leadership has not changed and they are biding their time.

How can Hamas go any further down the political path? They are the current government 😛
Its also rare for acts of war to lead a country to more moderates in power.

538 asanque
“Its also rare for acts of war to lead a country to more moderates in power.” Spot on, it also seem to be the conservatives that start wars. Although in Israels example it is the more moderate government in power at the moment. Lets Netenyahu doesn’t win.

House to vote on stimulus after inauguration, Pelosi says.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that House committees will begin action on President-elect Barack Obama’s proposed economic recovery package in the next couple of weeks, with a vote in the full House slated for the week after Obama’s inauguration.

Obama will take office January 20.

If that schedule slips, Pelosi, D-California, pledged to cancel the House’s planned weeklong break in mid-February for Presidents Day.

“We are not going home without an economic recovery package,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi said Obama’s plan has broad public support “almost sight unseen,” citing a poll from Politico that says 79 percent of Americans support the president-elect’s plan.

A senior Pelosi aide said discussions about the details are ongoing between the Obama transition team and key leaders. The Ways and Means Committee will focus on the tax piece, approximately $300 billion in tax cuts.

Obama transition aides met with Democrats on that committee Wednesday morning to discuss various proposals, according to another Democratic aide.

The Appropriations Committee is tasked with drafting details on spending hundreds of billions of dollars on infrastructure projects, food stamps and other aid to states.

Continued on CNN

Obama may reverse Bush policies on stem cells, drilling, abortion.

President-elect Barack Obama could reverse some of President Bush’s most controversial executive orders, including restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, shortly after taking office in January.
Two other executive orders from Bush — one dealing with a so-called “gag” order on international aid organizations regarding abortion, the other with oil and gas drilling on federal lands — also are receiving increased scrutiny.

Obama’s transition team is reviewing hundreds of Bush’s executive orders, according to John Podesta, Obama’s transition co-chair.

New presidents often use executive orders to put their stamp on Washington quickly. Unlike laws, which require months to complete and the consent of Congress, presidents can use their executive authority to order federal agencies to implement current policies.

“Much of what a president does, he really has to do with the Congress — for example, budgeting, legislation on policy — but executive actions are ones where the president can act alone,” said Martha Kumar of the White House Transition Project, a nonpartisan group established to help new presidential administrations.

Obama is expected to use his executive authority to reverse Bush’s order limiting the types of embryonic stem cell research that can receive federal tax dollars.

Continued on CNN

The problem with HD video’s is that it impacts on your download a lot. unlimited download a the two main issues with the broadband Kevin needs to deal with.

542 CB

I think Obama has it easy.
He just needs to do a blanket reversal of every single one of Bush’s executive orders, and he wouldn’t be too far off.

544 asanque Apparently that takes some time, although I suspect having 59 senators would speed it up. Along with some moderates backing them as well.

Bush has been frantically issuing executive orders everywhere. About the only thing he hasn’t done yet is compulsory prayers every where. YET.

asanque, very much enjoying your contribution to the M.E. discussion.
If the players in the M.E. could be as civilised about the issues as has been apparent here over the last day’s comments, the bastards would have the whole bloomin’ shebang sorted in a jiffy.

Mr.Gould: “I want teleportation to Alpha Centauri implemented in my lifetime. But a booth getting me to work and back each day would be excellent.”

David, I can get you a season pass on the Rat-Race Hyperdrive at very competitive rates.

Fri Jan 9:;_ylt=A0WTUc0rAGdJ.ygBAAsDwLAF

Fri Jan 9:;_ylt=A0WTUc0rAGdJ.ygBIgsDwLAF

Thurs Jan 8:;_ylt=A0WTUc0rAGdJ.ygBHQsDwLAF



Senator Conroy and assorted net censors, please ensure the children of Australia are not subjected to this vile and morally reprehensible material.
Fri Jan 9:;_ylt=A0WTUc0rAGdJ.ygBBgsDwLAF


Froomkin had some great background on the Panetta appointment yesterday in WaPo.

All these puritanical bastards trying to prevent Burris and Franken from participating will have some serious questions to answer when the fallout from the Abramoff cesspit hits the oscilating blades connected to an AC squirell cage induction motor suspended from the ceiling.
There is never a dull moment in Seppo politics. They are forever unearthing corruption at it’s best.
Looks like Mr Ring should avoid small aircraft flights as well.

A few Democrats are likely to be caught in the sleaze, Kos reports, but the heaviest fallout figures to land on the GOP. The investigation now appears to be geared toward using Ring as a stepping stone to build cases against a number of Republican luminaries, including John Doolittle, Roy Blunt, Tom DeLay, Karl Rove, and more.

When Ring begins to fully cooperate with investigators–and it appears he will have little choice but to cooperate–some serious dominoes could start to fall.

The biggest domino in our neck of the woods could be the governor of Alabama–and perhaps some of his close associates.

How do you know if you’re a player in Seppo politics?

On a regular basis you will be the recipient of the following utterance:

“As your attorney, I advise you to not travel in any light aircraft.”

And it looks as if a few Democrats may bite the dust as well.

From a link to the Daily Kos from 547;

These exchanges basically mean that the Department of Justice is sitting on millions and millions of emails and pages of documents. Hell, they have almost 55,000 emails that Kevin Ring sent or received. Add to that thousands of hours of interviews and question sessions with people involved in the scandal. It is a massive pile of evidence that must have many players in the GOP trembling with fear—and sadly, a few Democrats as well. Regardless of their Party each and every one of these players in this scandal needs to be exposed and banished from policy and politics forever. They are dirtballs, each and every one. No exceptions.

If they really want to “displace” someone, a cheap IED planted near the tail with a detonation timing device will do the trick everytime. Primitive but near foolproof and always lethal.

Only two people know who did it. Controller and field agent affixer. In case of heat, agent is made an offer he can’t refuse.

“War sucks, basically”
and there my friend, you and I come to agreement.
It doesn’t work.
And it won’t this time. And surely that is the whole point.
If Israel’s “strategy” was going to improve the situation then all hail to them. But it won’t.

As for Obi –
he faces the Perfect Storm – financial meltdown , an escalation of war in the middle-east and a further deterioration of relations betwwen Islam and the West, and enviromental armageddon.
May he be the saviour we need, (but of course he can’t be – even Jesus H,. himself would be hardpressed this time.)

What a cracker Gaffy.
“The vision of Lee Kuan Yew” eh?
I’ll bet Catrina is warming up the electrodes in honour of your upcoming visit to the Tickster’s dungeon as I type. :mrgreen:

543 Chris B What I meant to say was speed and unlimited download a the two main issues with the broadband Kevin needs to deal with.

Well done Catrina, it couldn’t have gone to a better person. The Three Amigo’s will be spitting chips. After all it was them that gave you the motivation, and now you’ve won a deserving award.

Blagsonofabitch impeached.

Chicago tribune. Link in right column;

SPRINGFIELD — Paving the way for an unprecedented House vote Friday to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a legislative panel unanimously approved a scathing report accusing the two-term Democrat of a wide array of offenses, including criminal corruption and wasting taxpayer money.


In describing a “holocaust-in-the making,” Falk was alluding to the Nazis’ establishment of Jewish ghettos in Poland. For one month in 1943, the captive Polish Jews led by Mordechaj Anielewiz fought off the German army and the SS, but their resistance was finally crushed and the Nazis exacted their final revenge. Falk is also a Jew. Today’s holocaust-in-the-making, which began with Ben-Gurion’s Plan D, is in its final stages. The difference today is that it is a joint US-Israeli project. The F-16 jet fighters, the 250-pound “smart” GBU-39 bombs supplied on the eve of the attack on Gaza, having been approved by a Congress dominated by the Democratic Party, plus the annual $2.4 billion in war-making “aid,” give Washington de facto control. It beggars belief that President-elect Obama was not informed. Outspoken on Russia’s war in Georgia and the terrorism in Mumbai, Obama’s silence on Palestine marks his approval, which is to be expected, given his obsequiousness to the Tel Aviv regime and its lobbyists during the presidential campaign and his appointment of Zionists as his secretary of state, chief of staff and principal Middle East advisers. When Aretha Franklin sings “Think,” her wonderful 1960s anthem to freedom, at Obama’s inauguration on 21 January, I trust someone with the brave heart of Muntadar al-Zaidi, the shoe-thrower, will shout: “Gaza!”


What happened was not just shameful. It was a disgrace. Would war crime be too strong a description? For that is what we would call this atrocity if it had been committed by Hamas. So a war crime, I’m afraid, it was. After covering so many mass murders by the armies of the Middle East—by Syrian troops, by Iraqi troops, by Iranian troops, by Israeli troops—I suppose cynicism should be my reaction. But Israel claims it is fighting our war against “international terror”. The Israelis claim they are fighting in Gaza for us, for our Western ideals, for our security, for our safety, by our standards. And so we are also complicit in the savagery now being visited upon Gaza.


{“The more you realize that war criminals might be ordinary people, the more afraid you become,” she wrote. What Drakulić discovered, in other words, is what Hannah Arendt, at the trial of Adolf Eichmann, in Jerusalem, some forty years earlier, called “the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.”…….Arendt’s concept has become so famous that it is hard to remember how bitterly controversial it was when she first used it……..Yet even those who dispute Arendt’s judgment acknowledge her influence on the way we think about political evil. As long as ordinary people can be transformed overnight into mass murderers, we are still living in Hannah Arendt’s world}

Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906 – December 4, 1975) was an influential German-Jewish political theorist. ……… Hannah Arendt was born into a family of secular Jewish Germans in the city of Linden (now part of Hanover), and grew up in Königsberg and Berlin. ……… with the German military occupation of northern France during World War II, and the deportation of Jews to Nazi concentration camps,……… Arendt was forced to flee France. In 1940…….In 1941, Arendt escaped with her husband and her mother to the United States.
Arendt’s work deals with the nature of power, and the subjects of politics, authority, and totalitarianism. Much of her work focuses on affirming a conception of freedom which is synonymous with collective political action among equals.

Meanwhile, Israel via “Operation Hannahwho”, continues to bestow jehovah’s gift of freedom and democracy upon all Palestinians in the Palestinian homeland of Gaza that Palestinian human beings have habitated since ancient, pre-biblical times.
Before state-sanctioned religions were invented.

Ecky, the reports that do manage to get out of Gaza are so appalling and sickening that there are no words strong enough to condemn this barbarism. Israel’s ugly fascist nature, disguised as ‘self defence’, is there for all the world to see.

We can no longer be “eyeless in Gaza”, or else we are complicit in these shocking crimes.

On a lighter note, but perhaps not too distantly related to the horrors in the Middle East, is this gem from Nancy Pelosi who was on Lehrer yesterday.

Pelosi carefully avoided a full frontal mockery of GW Bush, but noted that he was on Jay Leno and was asked what his greatest achievement was, to which the Idiot Decider replied: my attempt to privatise Social Security!

Pelosi politely pointed out that this failure was the beginning of his demise and that it garnered almost universal disapproval. So that was his ‘greatest achievement’? Pelosi was scathing in her deferential way, pointing out that Bush’s reign was one of massive missed opportunities and self-inflicted calamities.

Keillor was right, this guy is a happy idiot who simply refuses to acknowledge his own colossal limitations. Others are not so blind, however.

2.6 million jobs lost in the US in 2008. (Bush’s ‘greatest achievement’?)

It’ll surely be double digits later this year despite Obama’s best efforts to try and defibrilate this comatose economy.

Economists are gaga at the numbers and falling over themselves to find the right adjectives. They are in free fall, and terminal velocity is still a way off yet.

EU Observer
Talking about the EU and the USA.

Merkel and Sarkozy call for global ‘economic security’ council.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicholas Sarkozy have warned the US not to block attempts to build an international financial regulator, calling for a new economic body similar to the UN’s Security Council.

“I’ve always in my political life been a supporter of a close alliance with the United States but let’s be clear: in the 21st century, a single nation can no longer say what we must do or what we must think,” said Mr Sarkozy at an international symposium in Paris on Thursday (8 January), shortly before US president-elect Barack Obama enters office.

These are the only two conservative governments that continually work in favour of the European Union. No matter witch government is in power in either country they are always working together. There is two reasons behind this. World War One and World War two. Other conservative governments have quite often tried to be far less helpful.

continued in the EU Observer

Warner bucks GOP-ers, backs Holder.

Sen. Arlen Specter and other Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee may want to derail or slow down Eric Holder’s nomination to become the next attorney general, but one of their just departed colleagues is going to bat for the nominee.

Former Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), who just stepped down from the Senate after 30 years in the body, will appear on behalf of Holder during Thursday’s Judiciary Committee hearing, according to Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vt.) office. Leahy is the chairman of the panel.

Warner and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) will introduce Holder to the Judiciary panel, and they will offer strong support for his nomination to the AG post.

Other witnesses will include former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh; Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police; and John Payton, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

continued on Politico

GOP playing tug-of-war on Obama plan.

Minutes after Barack Obama delivered his big economic speech Thursday, the top two Republicans on Capitol Hill popped in front of the TV cameras to say they were ready to work with the president-elect.

Some other members may not be so cooperative.

“There are ways to stimulate the economy. This isn’t one of them,” said Georgia Rep. Tom Price, the incoming chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee.

Obama’s plan is expected to cost at least $775 billion, and Price and other conservative House Republicans are prepared to argue that “this is, at its fundamental base, money that we don’t have.”

continued on Politico

Yes, Chris , this one’s still going. Like the sign says, “We Never Close”. After a few days Cat might shift bookclub to the side column but we’ve got a good few days to run it mainpage ahead of inauguration.

Bottomlinewise, all threads are fully operational.

The Hill.
Scalpers cash in on Obama’s inaugural parade tix.

Scalpers are making huge profits on $25 presidential inaugural parade tickets that were quickly gobbled up on Friday.

Some of the 5,000 bleacher-seat tickets have already been sold for more than 10 times face value on sites like eBay. It took mere seconds for the $25 tickets to be sold out via TicketMaster on Friday afternoon.
Soon thereafter, several listings popped up on eBay and Craigslist, with some scalpers seeking more than $400 per ticket.

Tcontinued on The Hill

The Atlantic.
It’s Time To Play Oddsmaker.

CHANCES Sen. Barack Obama’s stimulus package is sent to the Whte House by February 16, the day Speaker Nancy Pelosi has set as a goal for Congressional passage. 60% All the posturing headlines today notwithstanding, momentum, the politics, the urgency and public opinion are on Obama’s side. Now — the 60% figure is flexible. If Obama’s team decides not to comrpomise, then the bill won’t pass. If they do, they could get 80% of the vote. What would they need to get 80% of the vote? Well, about a third of Republicans and 90% of Democrats.

continued on The Atlantic

Maybe another one bites the dust?
Political Wire.
Will Voinovich Retire?

Marc Ambinder reports “more unnamed Republicans are suggesting” that two-term Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) “was on the verge of making the decision to step down. Perhaps they’re trying to pressure him to step down; former Rep. Rob Portman would be ready to run to take his place.”

continued on Political Wire

The time has come. The time has come. The Time is now.
Just go Go Go! I don’t care how. You can go by foot.
You can go by cow. George W. Bush will you please go now!
You can go on skates. You can go on skis. You can go in a hat.
But please go Please! I don’t care You can go by bike.
You can go on a Zike-Bike if you like.
If you like you can go in an old blue shoe. Just go, go Go!
Please do, do DO! George W. Bush I don’t care how.
George W. Bush Will you please GO NOW!
Apologies to DR. Seuss

For all the looney left loopies this is a pretty good summary of where they might be at re the imbecile and his mates and war crimes. i sncerely hope they follow it throgh.

Preliminary Memorandum of the Justice Robert H. Jackson Conference on Federal Prosecutions of War Criminals;

An extensive complaint seeking federal prosecution of American officials who ordered, authorized, approved or committed war crimes is currently being prepared. While the complaint is in preparation, the Steering Committee of the Justice Robert H. Jackson Conference is issuing this preliminary memorandum setting forth several of the points to be presented more extensively in the complaint itself……………………………………………………….. At all times the false legal memoranda by civilian lawyers such as Yoo and Steven Bradbury, and by military lawyers such as Diane Beaver, and Mary Walker, were kept as secret as possible. So too the actions of torture and abuse carried out both before and after the false memos were issued. The memos and actions were hidden not just from the public, but also from Congress and, startlingly, from many, perhaps even most, lawyers in the Executive branch who ordinarily would be expected to vet and opine on the memos and actions.

Sara Palin to be President of Russia in 2012. Games on!

As if Things Weren’t Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.;

Mr. Panarin posits, in brief, that mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces — with Alaska reverting to Russian control.

The reality is, at the end of the day, in the fullness of time going forward……

Rule No.1 is to use the phrase “going forward” at every opportunity. This has replaced “end of the day” which, sadly, no longer is in common usage in the business world.
“Going forward” is extremely versatile, can be used several times each sentence….–no-not-more-swearing-20090109-7dod.html

Sat Jan 10:;_ylt=A0WTUfZbb2hJ838BzALX.sgF

Fri Jan 9:;_ylt=AsApmUp_PjwExTuTY47EPiol6ysC
“……….the stiffened-spine caucus in the House reached 26 members today: 4 who voted no and 22 voting “present” in a gesture of stoic disapproval.
Compare today’s outcome to 2006, when the combined total of no and present votes was only 12, and we could be seeing a slow but welcome shift of the dialogue towards political leeway for lawmakers to criticize Israel.”

If it takes that long for them to increase the numbers by the time they have enough there will be SFA of the place left to vote about.

591 Gaffhook But you can get an injection for it now days. Sometimes it leaves a nasty rash. 😈

CBS News.
Obama’s Mother-In-Law Moving In.

When “60 Minutes” asked Barack Obama if his mother-in-law, Marian Robinson, would move into the White House, Obama said, “Well, I don’t tell my mother-in-law what to do.”

It seems that the 71-year-old Robinson has made her decision: She is moving into the White House, at least for a short time, to help the family – particularly 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha – as they settle into their new home.

“Mrs. Robinson will be coming with the family to help the girls get acclimated, and she will determine in the coming months whether or not she wants to stay in D.C. permanently,” Katie McCormick Lelyveld, spokeswoman for Michelle Obama, told the Associated Press.

During the presidential campaign, as the New York Times notes, Robinson cared for the kids while their parents were on the road, taking them to school and activities, cooking and getting them to sleep on time. The former bank executive secretary retired from her job to pitch in.

continued on CBS News

Huffington Post.

Reverting to the role of Republican foil that made him an unpopular figure for many conservatives, John McCain argued on Friday that historical circumstances should compel his GOP colleagues to work closely with Barack Obama.

“There are not many times in history,” he said, “that a president has come to office with as many challenges as the president-elect does and that’s incumbent then upon all of us to try and do all we can to work with him.”

Appearing on Fox News for one of the few times since losing the election, McCain offered a supportive assessments of the president-elect’s agenda. He acknowledged the need to pass a stimulus, but said he would reserve judgment until he saw the final package.

continued on The Huffington Post

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