“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Brown Shirts and Long Knives

Richard Armitage has admitted being the headwaters of the Plamegate tempest turned evil machiavellian Whitehouse scandal. The issue may now die an ignomonious death with hardly a MSM murmur of apology or even an indignant reprimand from the Whitehouse. George Bush assumed office saying that he wanted to bring a new kinder, gentler atmosphere of peace and cooperation to Washington. His one veto in six years seems to support his ecumenical, Methodist philosophy and contrary to the moonbat conspiracy theories of “a vicious smear campaign against Ambassador Wilson,” the Bush Administration has not engaged in the vigorous damage control employed by the Clinton Administration.

The same could be said for his political agenda and efforts which could be described as an anemic “Conservative Lite.” Other than going after Bin Laden in Afghanistan and Hussein in Iraq, many believe he has been too timid in confronting opponents or championing conservative causes. With majorities in both Houses of Congress, we expected a forceful Executive to roll back the travesties of a forty year liberal reign but, although a good man, President Bush has not been that Executive. Unfortunately, we may have to wait until Jan 2008 to see we that kind of President back at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Doubly unfortunate, it could well be Hillary Rodham Clinton who, as we all know, can handle a shiv about as well as anyone. She has many years of combat experience in the War Rooms of Bill Clinton and she can assemble a veteran team of propagandists, spinners and back alley assassins that Conservatives only dream about. We see the vestiges of the Democrat machine at work against ABC and the “The Path to 9/11.” As in Palestine or Iraq, a “softly, softly policy” against the Dems has left them alive and rabid for another shot at power.

For all the moonbat talk of "Republican Brownshirts," if HRC is our next President we can expect many nights of “Long knives” and we will get to see a forceful, “take no prisoners Commander-in-Chief” but not the one we wished for.


  1. If Hillary becomes president, I'm going into hiding. Drat that using my actual name on all these blog posts!

  2. You will have to get into the Blogger's protection program. Any ideas on what is happening at the Belmont Club? Have I been blocked out?

  3. Wretchard's been drinking and he's looking for you!

  4. I checked several of the comments sections--all shut down. My guess is he's trying to make the point stick, he doesn't want a chat room. We have paid no attention to his many previous requests, now we're being treated like the children we've proven ourselves to be. Yes, it hurts. But, we wuz warned!

  5. To tell you the truth, I went there more for the comments than I did the essays. If it's going to be Ash, C4, Ash, C4, Teresita, Ash, C4, who gives a fuck?

  6. He might have shut the comments down because HE got tired of reading Ash, C4, Ash, C4, Teresita, Ash, C4 etc.

  7. LOL--true enough, who needs an unrelieved headache?

  8. And there was NEVER enough on Brad and Angelina.

  9. Oh, good post, Whit; but, don't you Ever post anything on Paris Hilton?

  10. Brangelina have announced that they will not get married until "all" can get married.

  11. Brad IS a Freak'n "Genius."


  12. 2164, I think PossumTater should be a "Contributor."

    You don't think Habu will get ...uh ... Jealous, do you?

  13. One of the funniest things I've read in awhile was somebody describing a humanitarian trip to Africa with Ashley (Judd, of course). let me find it--you'll laff good.

  14. After 13 million views, who needs you, buddy?
    habu's personal attacks, the anti semitism and the pure rudeness of some of the other posters may have taken their toll on wretchard.

    While some took the hint to self limit the quantity of their posts, others ignored the request. doug insisted on word counts, where wretchard wanted longer, as he said, more thoughtful remarks.
    Not my style, nor yours or doug's.
    aristide on the other hand...

    I'm with rufus, though, I looked to the comments for entertainment and illumination upon the theme.

    If the Republicans cannot pass Border Security reforms, why vote for them?
    The "War" is over, the "Peace" will be short. Regardless of who is in command.

    As I said, after listening to a bunch of old War Horses, Iraq is now just a target gallery for US troops. Worse than I had thought.
    But the folk telling the tale were just 20 year plus Army officers, disgusted one and all, each was a Spec Ops Ranger.
    All were planning on moving on to new fields of employment.

  15. We can only speculate why Wretchard shut down his sites. I was hoping to provide him with some Aristotelian insight with the piece on "The Mean" posted in the wee hours of Eastern time. I'm not sure he gets over this way but it's sound advice from a guy most have considered fairly bright.
    I believe he is trying to decide if he can have the "perfect" site of wisdom and knowledge, while at the same time dampening the human emotions that emminate from controversial subjects. Thus "The Mean".
    If I am anywhere near the truth I wish him well on attempting to alter human nature. Taoist say that one can never step into the same river twice. Hericlitus in the pre Plato/Aristotilian age said what many to be one of the most profound statements ever uttered in philosophy or life..nothing is constant but change.

  16. That's the truth--Belmont can stand alone--like Powerline. Wretchard can carry it.

    As to your second clause, rat, I got no idea how to argue with you. It's all a dismal and gloomy mess. Though I'm not sure there's a single alternative that would have us us in better shape than as it stands now. Balls-out war needs enemy formations to bust up.

  17. When I say "can" I mean, as in "able to" (upon re-read, it could've meant as in "for all I care". That's manifestly *not* what I meant).

  18. WSJ Opinion Journal has several chewy articles every day. If you have something to say, you can usually find a related article to hang it on. The editors post a selection sometime during the day, so if you hope to get yours posted, best keep it pithy and send it early.

  19. Oh, and thanks to 2164 for providing us with this "release" valve.

    2164, I'm serious about Possumtater. You'll be the only blog on the planet with a genuine possumtater contributor.

  20. Buddy,
    I don't know if you caught this but it was a response to on of Ash's comments about the decorum of the Elephant Bar.

    Habu_3 said...
    you don't understand the basic nature of this blog..
    plagerists, liars, theives, drunkards,drug abusers,cat and dog owners, old Corvair drivers,hippies,bikers, biker babes,nudists,granola eaters, etc can all come here and chat,chat,chat.
    The chairs are old,you can throw your peanut shells on the floor, the dartboard is usually occupied,and there's a 16" lava light on the bar don't get no better

  21. I also think that when we initially all started posting over here that first day/night and had a reqally good turnout, wretchard say his numbers drop precipitously..not good. That had to aid in building the conundrum.
    Then I noticed a gravitation of many back to the BC either through a sense of loyalty or the topic were just better..but there you have the conundrum because the topic is usually exhausted early on and the conversation turns to off topic ideas...the Elephant Bar was the "release' for that..I personally do not see any blog blocking that behavior unless over time, as with American bandstand someone taps you on the shoulder and says "Have a nice Day...elsewhere" In that manner you can have a cadre of "intellectuals to discuss the topic.
    That has it's challenge in the marketing aspect. Whose gonna spend time reading PhD length discussion papers, who then have no input? No hits on a blog, no outside revenue, no blog.

  22. Har--very visual wordsmithing. Ash won't like it--you can't holler "Amerika, the new totalitarian state" in the visual without seeing yourself having to slap leather pretty soon after--

  23. I expect today to lose the computer to the wife who is installing a wireless router or some other techy thing. She informs me she has no idea when she'll start or finish .. could be late tomorrow ... were setting up a "computer room" with mo gadgets and widgets..none of which I'll take the time to learn fully.

  24. No, buddy, one does not need "Enemy Formations". What is needed is an Enemy.
    Mr Bush insists on the Religion of Peace meme.
    If the President identified an Enemy, we could defeat it, militarily. Instead we have "proven" the Military cannot handle the Mohammedan Challenge.

    That is the new meme that I've noticed being played.
    War calls for death and mayhem, we delivered little of either. It's not a War, in Iraq, but a giant police call.

    Even wretchard thinks the US has lost. If what we've done is the best we can do, better we had stayed home.
    Or so say the Army officers that do not hold Press Converences.

    LGF had some early adverisers, the calls by posters for nuclear attacks scared off the paying advertisers. Talk of "hate speech" and such. When BC had no advertisers PC held no sway, but as habu said a day or two ago, cash is king.

  25. habu, honestly facing the problem of 300 comments with 250 of 'em being rejoinders to other commenters, I would guess that Wretchard has recieved a prodigious number of emails from folks who who'd rather read 50 or so on the topic. I myself get a kick out of the hand-to-hand combat, appreciating a well-delivered vicious slur probably more than i would had i been raised properly.

  26. one of W's latest posts addresses that very meme, rat--as I'm sure you've noted. If we can't define a victory, we can damn sure define a loss. It's anything short of "no more of whatever it is that's happening".

  27. If you watch the hit counter at BC the comments were not volumous enough to effect the totals. Upwards of 10,000 per day.
    Watch the counter, most likely it will not drop sufficently, not enough to scare off the advertisers.
    All the Pajama sites will, over time, average to the PC norm. Rule of advertising, don't provoke the negative. Pajamas is now part of the MSM, sure as shootin'

  28. Buddy,
    You are right on target when you say that the WSJ usually has some great editorial writing and contriutors. I'm gonna have to renew my subscription as I let it laspe when I cease active brokerage.
    I know before Gigot became the head cheese Robert Bartlett was without peer. His coverage of Bill Clinton was a magnum opus lasting eight years. It was a joy to read.
    I am looking at getting a sub to American Demographics which has a load of good stuff. Have you ever used this site CEO Express? Try it for reference.

  29. DR...
    I offered you two or three apologies online that were never answered except with a "it don't matter" and yet when citicism gets handed out for Wretchards conumdrum I usually appear as a primary bad guy abuser.
    Now I gotta tell ya that it's gett'in pretty thin and makes you "it don't mean nuth'in" mean nuth'in.
    So if you want to continue a war of insults and mouthy talk OK. If not then choose another as your number one public enemy. Comprede?

  30. Buddy:
    Ashley suffers from "... blaming, raging, numbing, denying and minimizing my feelings."

    Well, the point being what?

    She's a normal premenopausal woman? ;)

    All in all, Ms Judd sounds like an all-American girl except that she a diva who wishes to be taken as a serious woman.

    makes Ashley look like a saint and for you Rufus, she makes Paris look like the child she is.

  31. Robert Bartlett changed my life. From a syrupy 70s Carterite slogan-spouter to someone who at least tries to look at the results of our political leader's actions (official, and as image icons).

    Rat--you may have a point--but again you may not. You posit advertisers who would pressure content. Can't see such pressure working with Wretchard.

  32. well, habu you certainly changed the tone of the BC, single handedly.
    Perhaps you do not realize it.

    Why say things you need to apologize for, later?
    You mentioned a sense of freedom, to rufus or ?, since you no longer were employeed and felt kissin' ass was no longer required. I can understand that, but to be constantly rude, and then offer apology...
    Not, I think, what wretchard had in mind for his Club.

  33. habu--you have a strong presence--that's all rat is pointing out. you wouldn't have it any other way, would you?

  34. The insults did not mean anything, nor did the apologies, to me.
    Everyone on the Inet is a dog, don't you know.
    The BC was not my site, though.

  35. That's another slice of the conundrum. The very comments that later require apology are the most hilarious and entertaining of all. It's a bitch.

  36. I don't know where the counter is for BC but I did ask Wretchard in an email if it was general knowledge that when you signed onto BC you also signed onto Tigerhawk and G-d knows who many other. Does the counter reflect a total count for the PJ cartel? Does it represent a total that is then broken out to each site. I asked him if it was general knowledge and if it was presented to potential advertisers as a reflection of BC alone? He answered the email but not the questions.

  37. whit, when Miss Ashley says she suffers from "blaming, raging, numbing, denying and minimizing my feelings", it sounds to me like she got to the cure, and ran right through it.

  38. habu,
    run down the left hand side of the blog, past the two ads and the archived articles.
    The current count is 12,174,845.
    He was counting prior to PJ Media's existence, so I doubt it is the counter for them, or their combined totals.

    I agree with buddy that some of the funniest comments were the insults and the comebacks. But that is not what W had oft said was his purpose in operating the Club.

  39. If I have a strong presence i am amazed. There are,and I include DR and you Buddy as being far more creative and interesting.

    I don't do a lot of filtering of my thoughts before they hit the screen cause, as I've said, I'm not gonna be able to change a thing and I hate PC so I just type. If it offends the acedemics who want a PC site then I need to be at the Elephant bar where I pretty much have posted since the rift. I'll continue on here since I like the short witty stuff. The eggheads give me a headache and I always visualize someone who couldn't change a flat tire if their life depended on it, and yet they are usually very sanctimonious about how war,interrogations, etc should be carried out.
    At the start of the movie Patton ,G.C. Scott, as Patton says something on the order of, "when you stick your hand in the goo that was once your best buddy you'll know what to do..I agree except now in the communication game you first have to call back to somebody at a desk to ask to return fire, much less go forward in attack....and I said I liked short....

  40. It's analogous to the honor system in academia, only with the rather impossible requirement that it operate with no hard definitions of breach.

  41. Or maybe like the warm water, it ran right through her.

  42. She was radiant in a jewelled dress; her husband looked like a sexy pug from a downtown gym.

    That's about as far as I got.

    Just kidding, I read it the other day.

  43. habu,
    Do not feel alone. There were many who complained about me.
    Border Security was not what aristide or peterboston wanted to talk about, ever.

    The border not part of the US's global security challenge.

  44. The torture debate yesterday was too much like torture for me. Like pornography no one can agree on what constitutes torture, so how can we have an intelligent debate on the matter when we can't agree on the definition. It's like the definition of "terrorist." Basically, in this world, those with the power do the defining, the others do the whining.

  45. Well, I'm a fan of your writing, habu. but i can see how you might ruffle feathers some, on occasion.

  46. DR,
    Thanks for the info. Perhaps Wrethcard should choose the posters he wants, the David Starlings, and Aristides who enjoy the long dissertational format.
    Lucianne and other sites limit their contributors. I think that might work for Wretchard.
    Personally I think he'll lose more than he'll gain but that's what makes horse races ... I just feel we're all real lucky that the government hasn't stunk up the net..yet. But they will. They really don't want unfettered free speech or organizations like the Swift Boat Vets or the guys building the fence on the border. It erodes their power.
    John Kennedy was asked when running for President, why he was running. The reporters said, you're in Who's Who,you're rich, you're famous..why?
    His answer.."Cause that's where the power is"

  47. But, hell, no one slips more shivs between more ribs than you, rat. i say in admiration to the both of ye.

  48. I try to be polite, when shoving the shiv, buddy.
    Makes it all the better, I think.

  49. yes, the kill is the thing, not the pain.

  50. DR,
    I know what you're saying about talking truly is the topic for our existence right now. But there are those who are so Wilsonian that they believe that if you talk long enough a Hitler or Amajmandnanshzed in Iran will just say ,"Hey you're right, I'll just adopt your entire's like my presenting "The Big Rock Candy Mountain" every now and's probably a BIG irritant to a PB or Aristides, but it's my way of conveying that never in recorded history has man avoided conflict for very long, and so it's better to be the big dog than the small dog.

  51. Akron has just knocked off NC State with a last play of the game touchdown. Akron 20, NC State 17.

  52. Speaking of the Stinking Damned Government. I think I heard yesterday that the congress (house, senate, or both, I'm not sure) passed out a "Defense" Appropriation $20 Billion more than Bush asked for.

    If true, why aren't we hearing "Outrage," and calls for a "Veto" from the Right. You know Bush asked for all that they needed. And, the budget is $250 Billion in Deficit.

    If they passed an extra $20 B it was just Pork - Stuff that Some Senators and Congressmen are stuffing down the throat of the Military in order to make work for some local businessmen/workers.

    Did anyone else hear about this?

  53. Yes, Rat
    The blood does not spatter all over the place, it remains in neat little pools ;)

  54. The wife is approaching, tools in hand, knowledge I'll be back when she's finished..hours,days..who knows...we've got several other computers but I'm not do'in this at 54kps.
    best to all

  55. If the Brit Conservatives had their act together this wouldn’t matter so much .

    I think they are “losing it” over there.

  56. "knowledge suspect" LOL

    I bet he didn't say that out-loud.

  57. Rufus--the 'war-fighting money' is in the "supplemental". The 30 seat GOP margin in the House will get the March '07 passed, unless there's no more GOP margin come that date. Then we are looking at what happened in an earlier time, in the early 70s, when the ARVN got simply cut-off from their ammo, by act of US Congress.

    Whit, wanna see another 'finish'?
    (-last Rose Bowl-)

  58. Dang Buddy, that's a big movie. I'll have check it out later.

    Meanwhile what about tonight's game? Some have picked OSU.

  59. Buddy, W really needs to hold the increase in spending to about 4% this year, or we'll never be able to hold off the "let the tax cuts expire" crowd.

    If he busts the budget on his first appropriation, he's a "goner." I'm not worried about the money for the troops; they'll muddle that through, somehow.

  60. For sure--that's where the next 60 day's attacks are gonna come from--besides the war, that is. Dems on spending--if ya can believe dat sh*t.

  61. Anyone who has ever created a business comes to the realization that the creation of the entrepreneur develops it's own personality. It becomes a being in it's own right. The Belmont Club's currency in trade is strong minded independent opinionated people. You can lead and you can direct and if you do a good job they outgrow you. You have to know when to let go.

    All good design requires balance. The essence that made the BC a great blog is that Wretchard would open a subject and stand back and let things take a natural course. No one can digest one profound essay after another. There needs to be relief and context. It worked out natuarally, but IMO Wretchard did what some artists or architects do and that is over design or overpaint. He started to moderate the comments and that was a disaster. He backed off but there was a real tension in never knowing when it could be ended without debate. That was unfair because the BC is as much a product of the commentators as the poster.

    My motivation was to provide a relief valve for those that wanted more discussion. We are experienced adults who are ultra news junkies. You cannot corral such a group, and you do not want to either. I set this up as an emergency exit. It took off because it was needed. There is no reason why it could not be a BC annex. That is up to wretchard. He cannot have it all ways if he does not want it all ways. The take off of the Elephant Bar just indicated the obvious. Wretchard challenged us to set up our own blogs. The Elephant Bar is both a challenge and an opportunity for him. I think I can talk for all of us in that we want the BC to go on and become better and stronger. The Elephant Bar is no threat to the BC.

  62. Wretchard got two big things, [1] a nose for the news item that signifies larger questions, and [2] a lot of talent in making [1] show itself.

  63. PS, and those two things wouldn't count for much without [3] sticking in there and doing it long-term.

  64. 2164, Wretchard is a one in a million thinker, and a talented writer. I always enjoyed reading his stuff. I, also, enjoyed reading what Aristides, Starling, PeterBoston, and several others (some of which I can't spell) had to say.

    But, I, also, looked forward to Doug (who I didn't always agree with) and Buddy's irreverent comments. Sometimes DR is a bit dreary, but he's often right, and never, "not worth reading." Habu gets a bit "het up," from time to time, but, also, usually right (I'm the only one who's Always right,) and "entertaining as well.

    Possumttater brings tears to my eyes. Me, and you, and Allen, may be a bit more familiar with the smell of cordite than some.

    Jamie Irons, and the Hatter are a Joy. You guys were the biggest part of my joy at Belmont.

    I was hoping someone would come up with a plan B, in case things deteriorated. Thanks, again, for stepping up.

    Speaking of "Stepping up," I think Habu might be able to talk P'Tater into making a small "Contribution," every now and then if he was assured it wouldn't have to be too long, or often.

    Wouldn't want to get in the way of his visits with Mz "Daisyfresh."

  65. One additional thought. This Bar belongs to all of us. All are encouraged to produce topics and articles. I want to harness all the talent and energy from all of us here and those who have not yet arrived. By shutting down the comment section at BC, that also prevents those not knowledgable about the Elephant Bar from hearing about it. I hope that is not Wretchard's intention. If that is not intention, then I invite Wretchard to address the issue. He should post notice, that running commentary is no longer part of his plan and that those interested in running commentary should visit the Elephant Bar. We would also welcome a visit from Wretchard.

  66. Another good David Warren article

  67. I think David Warren's been reading Habu, Rat, Doug, Allen, 2164, and about a dozen other BC/EC posters.

    You can't win a war, without fighting a war sounds eerily reminiscent of something I've read, recently.

  68. should have been BC/EB ...

  69. The count at BC, now, 12,175,447.
    600 hits in an hour and a half.

    If my B&B site got that many in a day, we'd have a party.

  70. I don't know if the Elephant Bar and its clientle have anything to do with Belmont Clubs comment status. It may be entirely unrelated.

  71. Well, we certainly could not live if we limited these folks unless and until we get a handle on things.
    UNwar and Globalization is what this compassionate conservative served us up.
    "In 2005, more people from Muslim countries became legal permanent United States residents — nearly 96,000 — than in any year in the previous two decades. More than 40,000 of them were admitted last year, the highest annual number since the terrorist attacks, according to data on 22 countries provided by the Department of Homeland Security."
    Couldn't live w/o em, not even for the duration.

  72. Whit, I linked your post in the comments over at kudlowsmoneypolitics.

  73. The duration of What?, doug.

    The Wahabbists attacked US 5 years ago. We counter attacked a secular Iraq. Today the drums beat to attack Shia Iran, leaving the ME to the Wahabbists.

    Meanwhile the Wahabbists that left Afghanistan have returned, from their training bases in Warizistan, Pakistan.

  74. "LGF had some early adverisers, the calls by posters for nuclear attacks scared off the paying advertisers. Talk of "hate speech" and such. When BC had no advertisers PC held no sway, but as habu said a day or two ago, cash is king. "
    I betcha that's the reason:
    Makes perfect sense.
    We lost our local forum sponsored by the local conservative radio station when we took on a Feminazi Native College professor and her racist hate speech.
    We being the UN PC one's, we lost.
    Racism Antiamericanism, anti-male is fine, free speech verbotten.

  75. Rufus, you trying to drum up for business for the bar?

  76. BTW -

    The crowd torturing themselves yesterday with the torture debate is not the crowd that has been patronizing the Elephant Bar.

    Who knows? It's a shame and I hope there are no hard feelings. I personally enjoy the Belmont Club.

    It's an obsession.

  77. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  78. Another perfect example proving 'Rat's point is Google and Savage.
    Google does business w/the Chicoms, but WON'T run ads on Savage's Site:
    Whatever else they say is Baloney:
    Bottom line is Bucks, any way you slice it.

  79. it's a sound mirror. Real life, you sound what you look like. Virtual life, you look what you sound like.

  80. Bud,
    If Hillary is elected, I suggest we all CHANGE our names.
    If they can intimidate ABC when "out of power," just wait!

  81. using Google is like burning gasoline. You gotta do it, tho you know you're helping your enemy.

  82. Maybe with Google, "enemy" is too strong a word (leaves no word for what to call shooters & bombers). "Opponent" is better.

  83. Yep, doug, time for you to start making sacrifices to Pele. Me, i have these limestone hills to hide out in.

  84. whit,

    Great job on the essay.

    The administration keeps talking about changing hearts and minds. Tragically, it has, but in a manner it did not expect.

    An inability understand the requirement to treat ruthlessly its domestic enemies within the CIA and State, as well as such external enemy opportunists as al Sadr, has conveyed the message that the administration is weak and can be had. This has emboldened the adversaries of the US, the President, and his party.

    Every embarrassment and loss of face has reinforced what is obviously more than a mere perception.

    More than anything else, Bill and Hillary remind me of Augustus and his thoroughly savage spouse Livia.

  85. Islands, Volcanoes, Limestone hills, hah; I got water moccassins. Bring it on, yankees.

  86. bluebellies, as grampaw called 'em.

  87. "Great job on the essay."
    WHAT Essay?
    I'm just here for the comments!

  88. "This has emboldened the adversaries of the US, the President, and his party"
    Weakness is Provocative.
    Sure as nite follows day.

  89. (how will I keep my mind from wonderin about the future?)

  90. Another variety of Nude Air.

  91. Pork Rides for Doug!

  92. I wonder how Sonia's ad revenue/page count is doing?

  93. I know what a nude pic of ME would do for a page-view count. Can you see a counter run in reverse til it starts smoking and finally explodes?

  94. Sort of a Black Hole of Counters.

  95. Don't know Doug. Why do you ask?

  96. A Curious Mind is a terrible thing.

  97. A waste is a terrible thing not to mind.

  98. I think the wife has waste on her mind.
    Later (if I can wrench myself sincerely)

  99. It's official, another thread has died. Details at eleven.

  100. Wife had the wrong items to do the tech stuff so she's snak'in out the septic tank line from the house.


    The discusssion on BC/EB I thought was great. 2164 has the pressure relief valve for the BC. I think over time if BC stays "open" to all that EB will have overflow crowds.
    All of the remarks about Wretchard I thought were very insightful for someone we only read (I've never met him etc). I think the idea of having a "relief valve" partner to a more esoteric site is a great one.
    Not all contributors are capable of producing at the level of some of those who are really sharp over at BC and I think it frustrates both parties.
    Wrethcard could "promote" those whose contributions are perhaps not deep enough to the EB where they would find a great atmosphere with words like youse guys and a Possum with connections.
    I know I much prefer the Bar to the BC because I don't have to re -read Jean Jacque Rousseau to make a comment. I don't even have to know that he like to expose himself to little girls at the town well (honest, and he's a giant in philosophy).
    we already have an extremely talented core f contributors and I think ther's a ton more out there look'in for a dartboard-peanuts-on-the-floor site.
    I would definitely encourage Trish to join into EB crows..I don't know much about her nad I've even crossed swords with her but she seems like a sharp, dare I say neat-o gal.

  101. You do realize that the attack on Shakespeare, as being really Francis Bacon, or really after Francis's bacon, is an artifact of the USSR campaign against the achievements & accomplishments of the west?

  102. at one time or another, the commies claimed every single one of Edison's inventions.

  103. You want to know how I know it's getting better in Baghdad? Here's your Answer.

  104. Hell Buddy, the soviets wouldn't even produce roadmaps that were accurate. they felt the west would then know how to get to Moscow or Volgograd or Kzutzki.
    so you're a poor guy trying to find out where old uncle Gotzxy lived and you end up in Siberia. that was one paranoid group.

  105. then there's this...

    Men Smarter than Women, Scientist Claims

  106. Gad, that Gateway site is good. Kudos aplenty to whomever. The unity gov't has been quietly making urgent requests to drop the violence--Fox mentions it in the ribbon. True form would be to pull back from the brink once you get there and look down into the abyss.

  107. Gad, that Gateway site is good -
    Does ONE guy do all that?

  108. I don't need to read it:
    The test must be sexist.

  109. Would you rather have an extra 3.6% on the IQ test, or 100% of the Nookie?

    HINT: By age 70 the Nookie-owners have about 80% of the money.

  110. I don't know if Gateway is one guy, or a team, but he posts up several times every day, including weekends. He's about the first site I go to every morning.

    Another one is Publius Pundit, who has a good post up on Bolivia, right now. He covers S America, and Eastern Europe, really well. Doesn't post much on Sunday, though.

  111. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  112. "And if there is another attack of the caliber of 9/11, Western moral restraint on massive retribution against sponsor states will vanish.

    Israel may well have been confused by mobile Katyushas and underground Hezbollah bunkers; but should Syria or Hezbollah send a missile laden with WMD at Tel Aviv, the jihadists and their patrons will quickly learn that there is no defense against an Israeli Western-style response. "
    I have more faith the second would follow than the first.

  113. FYI, This was the last comment we had from Wretchard regarding the comments:

    "2164th said...

As you know there has been some question about your policy on the two post guideline. I have expressed my opinion on several occasions. There was the recent "lock-out" and on a whim, I opened the 2164th's Elephant Bar, which is wide open for the "chattier" members of the Belmont Club. The purpose of the Elephant Bar was to focus on those who wish to post without someone counting, with a more casual and free wheeling format. It quickly received a fair amount of posts indicating to me a pent up demand. 

Do you want to clarify your posting rules and guidelines? If you wish to retain the "two post or thereabouts" rule, do you welcome a chatting lounge for the Belmont Club audience?
    9/07/2006 12:35:34 AM

    Doug said...:

I realize the bean counters can now flail away at my for posts, and when I point out that it's fewer words than Fiddler, out come the raspberries from the intelligentsia.
Tough shit.:

9/07/2006 01:12:30 AM

I think some of the ardor for rigid control has waned. I dont think you will be getting so much sanctimonius finger wagging from the starched farts.
    9/07/2006 01:45:07 AM


I've already violated the 2 post guideline in letter, but the spirit is none of us should hog the road. After all, the blogosphere is so be there's no need for it. Keep to the spirit and the letter will take care of itself.
    9/07/2006 02:19:47 AM"

  114. The whole piece by VDH, is considerably optimistic, within the frame of the clear & present danger.

  115. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  116. Lawrence Wright's "The Terror Web" from the August 2, 2004 New Yorker may be the single best piece of reporting on al Qaeda and allied terror networks in print.

    I picked up Wright's new book, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, at the Dallas airport this morning, and could not put it down for the three hour flight home, and will certainly keep reading at the same pace.
    It is riveting, and its first quarter provides the history of the roots of al Qaeda that should be required reading for every member of the government and the chattering class. I am certain that the balance of the book will be equally as valuable, and I suspect it will achieve what the 9/11 Commission report could not --widespread readership and agreement about the crucial events that led to 9/11.

    Along with Robert Kaplan's Imperial Grunts, The Looming Tower is immediately entered on that small shelf of books instantly understood to be necessary for any analyst of the war to have read.

  117. Doug, you forgot to give attribution for your last post; you need to be careful. People will get the idea you're a plagiarist. Of course, we all know that you're just a "Playerist."

  118. Yeah, that's funny:
    I pasted it in naming Hewitt the first time, but the hyperlinks were screwed up.
    Then I left out poor Hugh.
    Well, bring on Aristotle and the boys!

  119. The lockout continues at the Club, but wretchard illuminates and asks questions of his readers.
    Does not allow a place to voice the answer, though.
    Regardless, the hits keep coming
    12,176,660 as of the last I looked.

  120. They just keep desperately coming back, hoping for a new 'Rat analysis, or joke from the rabble.
    I feel their pain.

  121. I just gave him 5 hits making sure the last threads didn't contain a really bad example of my comments!

  122. I want to be very clear, that all from the Belmont Club are welcome. That includes occum and Peterboston and anyone else. I am irrelevant to the attendance list. Anyone who wants to be a contributor need only let me or Whit know.

  123. Guess we got this thing opened in the knick of time.

  124. Should we shorten the name to "The Elephant Bar"?

  125. As long as you don't make it, "Cash Bar." :)

  126. Might be easier for folks to type:
    Leave this one here with a link to the new site so we don't lose anybody.

  127. Whatever you do, I'm going to call you "Deuce." Hunting and pecking for those numbers are a pain.

  128. I do not want to orphan us. Where are we linked?

  129. You may want to hold off a day or two for any major moves.

  130. my 30 minutes of fame are over. Link ok?

  131. The link stays the same as far as I can see. It is better for business. I did piss some people off over at BC.

  132. sometimes I used to piss myself off.

  133. Oh, I get it.
    Same address, different name.
    OK by me

  134. I just changed the title to The Elephant Bar. I need assistance on chnaging the blog address. Remember I blew the first night screwing around and lost all the comments.

  135. I will put that into the hands of a professional. I use mac's anyway fo I do not get into the arcana of the techies.

  136. Deuce, I doubt if you pissed anybody off too much. If somebody from over there decides to check out your blog, they'll remember to look up 2164th. They might not know to look up elephant bar. If Richard was mad at you he would just go back on his archived thread.

    I wouldn't change my URL for a while.

  137. Just buy me one o them new macs w/the 30 inch screen, and I'll switch!

  138. Now, mind you, Mr. Khatami was speaking in Farsi, and his words were being translated into English. Here’s an alternative translation: We need the great Satan to stay in Iraq until all those Sunni scum have been slaughtered, so that our boy al-Sadr can have the run of the place when the American dunderheads depart.

    Great Post on Khatami's visit to UVa, over at Gates of Vienna.

  139. "... My frustration and disgust over the policy and politics of the people in the top layers at State led me to defame those people at the lower levels who are just doing their job.

    I retract the slur, and pass it on to Armitage and maybe even to Dr. Rice herself, if she approved this farrago. ..."

    The Baron, will he be upset when he discovers it was Mr Bush that approved the visit, regardless of what Ms Rice and Mr Armitage desired.

    Again, why vote for the Republicans? The lesser of two evils is not enough. The Republicans have misled me for years, it seems.
    Smaller government, lower spending and security, the Republicans have had more time than needed to prove they have failed in fulfilling their promises.

  140. Here's one reason: the economy is nearly a third larger than it was in 2000 [despite everything], and electing GOP is the *only* way to prevent the donkeys from ruining it--?

  141. John Conyers, Alcee Hastings, John Murtha, Charlie Rangel, Charles Dingell,??

    Shall I go on?

  142. The lesser of two evils is not enough

    Then nothing is, since damn near every choice is such.

  143. Pelosi? Reid? Streisand? Michael Moore?

  144. Buddy, don't ever do that to me, again.

  145. The influence of Sayyid Qtub was well covered in Paul Berman's "Terror and Liberalism". The importance of Lawrence Wright's book is not the resurrection of Qtub as a player of import but the political condemnation of the Bush foreign policy in Iraq vis a vis the WOT. To repeat a previous point, the Democrats, as well as the Republicans, are still playing politics with the issue. United we stand ... etc etc.

  146. Just listening to Bennet:
    2 Months after OIF, Wilson started the war against the President.
    ...with a pack of lies.
    Whata guy.

  147. Actually, it was Horowitz, his guest.

  148. There is always that, buddy, but I doubt JFKerry will be running in '08.

    The others, as long as Mr Bush is President make little difference.
    He may have to utilize his veto power. Be good for him and the country, I think.
    So the Dems can shut down the Federal Government, it backfired on Newt, but perhaps Mr Clinton was better at governess and media than Mr Bush.

    The economy fired on all eight when the Dems had the White House and Newt held the House. Less Federal debt and fewer illegal aliens crossing the border each day.
    Fewer entitlement programs for the well to do. I'm happy that Grandma does not have to pay for her scrips, but she certainly can afford them, without Federal assistance.
    Mr Bush and the Republicans passed the greatest unfunded economic entitlement of all time.
    To bad he did not make it part of a "comprehensive" entitlement reform package, like Border Security.

    Why is piecemeal "reform" of entitlements okay, but not of Border Security?

  149. In lesser nations, Wilson would've gone to the wall, for such a plot.

  150. Disconnect? Whiney Horseshit!

    Oh, thanks for the Lauren Bacall.

  151. You've found [one of my] Achilles Heels. I do believe it is so. The BoBo Syndrome. Howsumever, I also recall from my childhood, the wise elders telling me that differential development among the global societies would require a wrenching equlilibration - a euphemism for violent rebellion. The rising tide must have sufficient extent, or something like that. So the Islamic problem was not unforseen. IMO it was ignored out of convenience. I have to admit that in my conception it is not so much a political problem as it is an economical problem. And the evolution of global markets made the pending conflicts inevitable. Which is why the Lawrence Wright book does not particularly impress me. The historical imperatives are larger than the next election.

  152. Had not even read your UK link when I wrote of entitlements, buddy.

  153. Buddy, I'm going to have to leave Rat to you. It's Nappy time for Rufus.

    Nite all.

  154. I'm no match for him tonight, rufus. My Longhorns have just been creamed by the Buckeyes and I'm demoralized. Bluto gets the run of the poopdeck. Maybe somebody will shoot him.

  155. Shoot him *down*. rhetoric, rhetoric. sorry rat.

  156. but think "means test" as part of a comprehensive entitlement reform that includes the PDB, and that your split-government theory will just shoot off into outer space to be heard no more.

  157. Bob, re BoBo philosophy:

    "I suddenly realized that the oppression of western technology extended to my own life," he explained. "That's when I got rid of my computer, threw away my Brooks Brothers suits, changed my name to Grok and moved into a cave."

  158. 2164...
    With regard to those welcomed to the EB I would say this.
    In order to work as a full service broker in the Wall Street arena there is NO BAR against those who have spent time in mental institutions or been judged to be mentally unstable.
    I would say that we should at least be able to meet the criteria of those Wall Streeters who handle the life savings of innocent moms and pops around our fair nation.
    My only hope would be that we would have a vigourous no solicitation policy!!
    I would encourage caregivers and daytona bike week femmes to participate.
    We would be inclusive to even those who Plato (Republic bk6) descibed as

  159. described as "living under a wall '

    *don't ask me what the hell he meant it's been 40 years since i read it...but it's got that ring of pseudo intellectual that those t-backed biker girls love

  160. ....and wasn't Lauren Bacall a doll?..what all of 20 there maybe?

  161. many of you know of Mr.deBorchgrave.He has been reporting all over the world since the Fillmore Presidency.
    Recently in part he writes the following:

    By Arnaud de Borchgrave
    Part-time beneficiaries of Afghanistan's record opium harvest that produces 95 percent of Europe's heroin consumption, Taliban fighters now have the best equipment money can buy on the international arms black market. The annual poppy crop is at an all-time record of 6,000 tons, up 50 percent from last year. Since the liberation of Afghanistan in November 2001, the area under opium cultivation has grown almost 60 percent to 400,000 acres. This despite draconian eradication campaigns by the United Kingdom and the United States.
    My question is this. I've always advocated allowing drug adddicts to kill themselves. Nixon, over 140 years ago declared war on drugs and immediately Coca Cola futures dropped by half.

    Why are we allowing the Afghani's to out produce us? I'm sure we could become the world leader in opium and marijuana production overnight. The we tax the shit out of it and help junkies OD at the same time. We do this with the full priviso that any narcotic user shall receive no public assistence of any kind, medical,food,shelter...This would do a number of things.
    1. clean the gene pool
    2. lower taxes
    3. all user are registered but get really "killer" heroin for free.
    4. put S.American cartels out of business & their terrorists.
    5. change the name of new jersy to Amsterdam
    6. provide a growth industry in street sanitation.
    7. allow Bill and Hillary to come out of the closet
    8. Rush Limbaugh's first name would have a meaning.
    9. The taliban's attempt to get money would all be in vein
    10. Rufus could tell us how to turn the product into a power source for industry ie. 40,000 acres of opium poppies,getting 1.5 inches of rain a month would under 6000 lbs per square inch produce 24,357,896.0075 litres of ethoppy which would produce 4.2 trillion BTU's or enough energy to power every Yugo on the road today.
    Rufus, you need to help me with the math.
    Chesterfields could make a big legal comeback.
    Any fiberous residue could be made into "I'm platerboarded" for residence in the state of New U. Foria, located south of the Rio Grande.

  162. ...just a thought on how to quicky acertain if a peron belongs at BC or EB.....

    if they can spell the President of Irans name correctly = BC

    if they can pronounce his name correctly = BC

  163. Doug said...
    Pork Rinds for Allah!

    6:49:40 PM

    Doug said...
    Pork rhymes w "dork."

    6:50:01 PM

    Buddy Larsen said...
    A bacon in the fog--

    what did I do?

  164. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  165. The age of horrorism (part one)

    On the eve of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, one of Britain's most celebrated and original writers analyses - and abhors - the rise of extreme Islamism. In a penetrating and wide-ranging essay he offers a trenchant critique of the grotesque creed and questions the West's faltering response to this eruption of evil.

    Martin Amis
    Sunday September 10, 2006
    The Observer

    It was mid-October 2001, and night was closing in on the border city of Peshawar, in Pakistan, as my friend - a reporter and political man of letters - approached a market stall and began to haggle over a batch of T-shirts bearing the likeness of Osama bin Laden. It is forbidden, in Sunni Islam, to depict the human form, lest it lead to idolatry; but here was Osama's lordly visage, on display and on sale right outside the mosque. The mosque now emptied, after evening prayers, and my friend was very suddenly and very thoroughly surrounded by a shoving, jabbing, jeering brotherhood: the young men of Peshawar.
    At this time of day, their equivalents, in the great conurbations of Europe and America, could expect to ease their not very sharp frustrations by downing a lot of alcohol, by eating large meals with no dietary restrictions, by racing around to one another's apartments in powerful and expensive machines, by downing a lot more alcohol as well as additional stimulants and relaxants, by jumping up and down for several hours on strobe-lashed dancefloors, and (in a fair number of cases) by having galvanic sex with near-perfect strangers. These diversions were not available to the young men of Peshawar.

  166. Occupation:
    Nothing Poysonal, mere child's play:

    6:42:42 PM - Buddy Starts it.

    6:46:48 PM - Doug Responds.

    6:48:51 PM - Whit Chimes in.

    6:49:40 PM - Whit sparks Doug's memory of name from the past.

    ... the rest is history.

  167. Al Qaeda Finds Its Center of Gravity

    Pakistan's “truce” with militants in the lawless region bordering Afghanistan has set off concern among American analysts.
    Video: A Rising Threat
    Map: Untamed Frontier
    Gee: Molasses for Brains?
    I was "concerned" over a year ago when abc had video of their increasing activity and organization.

  168. No bar chatter complete without a good confession.

    I posted - infrequently - at BC - under deep anonymity to allow my ideas to stand or not under their own weight, unbuttressed by the context of externalized authority. Some ideas floated a good while. Then we entered the great (pre-habu) abyss where it seemed that all had been said and still no clear way forward. Many continued to post during these dark blog ages - and most had to skill set to say nothing with considerable prose skill and/or wit.

    I used to write the long essays - and - blush - I used to read every word of the long essays written by others. That was three or four years ago. I’m done reading now. And writing the long essays. I pretty much get it.

    At BC the ideas were central and personalities mere (some more mere than others) vehicles of communication. At EB, the reverse has not been fully achieved but the personalities have been elevated to equal standing - or sitting. So in that spirit, to make people more comfortable with any future contributions I may have - 52 yr old female with 3 technical degrees still working for wages; the equity boat left port without me; mostly sane, except when I am not; attract gossip like a magnet, some of which is sometimes true but mostly not; hetero but not completely comfortable with the anti-gay chatter; considered a Jacksonian Dem, which is pretty close, still a secular humanist as a retro throwback to the 1970’s when I came of age with the lava lamps.

    All in the name of (semi-) full disclosure.

    The Lawrence Wright book. No I haven’t read it but this is a bar and I can fight without gloves. I am overtly annoyed by it. I understand that he spent 5 yrs researching first order documents. And learned what? That we should not have invaded Iraq? Do we still know that? Did history end last night? What we know is that 1.2B Muslims live in or near a culture that is not compatible with modernism or change; a culture that cannot provide for itself; a culture that sanctions selective oppression of women; a culture that places no value on universal principles that permit the secular to co-exist with the religious; a culture that is producing demographics and weaponry - all in stark and unremitting opposition to a divided western world. No first order documents will change that.

  169. bob smith wrote:

    What we know is that 1.2B Muslims live in or near a culture that is not compatible with modernism or change;

    This in itself is not alarming, it goes with the general package of "religion". 1.2B Catholics live in a culture so resistant to modernism or change that medieval theories of male seed containing little mini-fetuses still inform their ban on contraception, to the point of negatively influencing policies that would save millions of lives in AIDS-wracked Africa.

    A culture that cannot provide for itself

    Yet a culture so awash in petrodollars that it doesn't need to. Fortunately for the technological West where high commodity prices always lead to alternative enterprise, in about fifty years oil will only be used to make plastic and pave roads, and our declining reserves will be quite sufficient for that. The Middle East and places like Russia and Venezuela will sink into well-deserved irrelevance forever.

  170. Welcome aboard, Bobbette (can I call you, "Bobbette?") You'll fit right in. You'll be the young'un in this council of the senile.

    When we were your age we would have probably been the "council of elders," now, we're probably more like a bunch of deluded, fantasizing old men; but, sometimes a little "real world" experience is remembered correctly and a cogent observation is made, based not on the theoretical, but on real-life experience, and hard-learned lessons.

    Anyway, have a seat, first one's on the house. Oh, and watch out for the possumtater at the end of the bar. He's a rascal, and what you "think" is the last thing on his mind, if you get my drift.

  171. Bob Smith:

    You had me fooled!

    I always read your posts.

    It's good to meet ya!

  172. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  173. Ms Bob Smith,
    Appreciate your mention of the dark blog ages:
    Returns me to my question posed at BC about the unreadability of some bloggers vs traditional columnists.
    Fiddler was kind enough to respond, and I agree with much of what he said, but I too will hereby confess that it was to a large degree a rhetorical question of a sort.
    It is said that the French are smitten by ideas, whereas Americans prefer facts.
    This to me applies to the difficult blogs in question:
    An infatuation with ideas.
    Columnists I prefer tend toward fact plus opinion.
    Aristides makes a perfect example, imo: Long, very long on ideas, his record of predicting future events has been less than pristine, and the more plain spoken 'Rat has waxed him on that score to this point.
    I love ideas, love reading and writing about them, but when serious business such as war is the subject, I'll take the facts, mam.

  174. Wrt the "anti-gay" chatter, I'll let the trogs among us here at the bar speak for themselves, my issues are not with gays, nor their sexual practices, but with promiscuity, insistence on "rights" to public displays, in your face brashness, dishonesty (we won't proselytize your kids/your society) and etc.
    I would vote for Tammy Bruce in a heartbeat, based on her strong stands on REAL rights like the second amendment, and willingness to put some of her gay concerns to the side for the greater good for the duration.
    Disagree with her strong support for women in virtually all combat roles.

  175. Gay Activists, cont.
    Left out their wildly disproportionate influence on govt/public policy/discourse/education/law/arts and etc, and their abuse of same.

  176. Tammy Bruce? you're kidding, right? Shoot, i wanna be a lesbian too.

  177. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  178. An old cowboy sat down at the bar and ordered a drink. As he sat sipping his drink, a young woman sat down next to him. She turned to the cowboy and asked, "Are you a real cowboy?"

    He replied, "Well, I've spent my whole life, breaking colts, working cows, going to rodeos, fixing fences, pulling calves, bailing hay, doctoring calves, cleaning my barn, fixing flats, working on tractors, and feeding my dogs, so I guess I am a cowboy."

    She said, "I'm a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about women. As soon as I get up in the morning, I think about women. When I shower, I think about women. When I watch TV, I think about women. I even think about women when I eat. It seems that everything makes me think of women."

    The two sat sipping in silence.

    A little while later, a man sat down on the other side of the old cowboy and asked, "Are you a real cowboy?"

    He replied, "I always thought I was, but I just found out I'm a lesbian."