“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."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

But We Don't Need a Wall

The Associated Press had this brief snippet earlier today:
MEXICO CITY — Mexico's president-elect says murder and mayhem fueled by drug smuggling have overwhelmed the governments of the nation's capital and key states across the country.

Felipe Calderon said the wave of bloodshed is ravaging state governments controlled by each of Mexico's three major parties. He singled out Mexico City, the northern states of Sinaloa and Tamaulipas, the southern state of Guerrero and his home state of Michoacan, as being especially hard-hit.

"It seems to me that drug violence has overwhelmed the governments," Calderon said Monday in a radio interview.
The article goes on to report that "people are gunned down with automatic weapons almost daily, and dozens of Americans have been kidnapped" and more than 1,500 people have died in Mexican drug violence so far this year. Drug gangs battling for control of smuggling corridors are blamed.

The graft and corruption, murder and mayhem, kidnappings, carjackings are rampant particularly along the border and in Mexico City.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Latin America it's no better.
QUITO, Ecuador (AP) - The leftist presidential front-runner in Ecuador said Wednesday that the devil should be insulted by comparisons to President Bush, whom he called a "dimwitted" leader who has done "great damage" to the world.

Rafael Correa, speaking to Channel 8 television, referred to a U.N. speech last week by his friend, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who caused an uproar in the United States by calling Bush "the devil."

"Calling Bush the devil is offending the devil," said Correa, a U.S.-trained economist who leads 12 other candidates in polls ahead of the Oct. 15 election. He said "the devil is evil, but intelligent."
And the Democrats in the Senate are blocking a fence while various groups forge ahead with the NAFTA Superhighway and the North American Parliament. It's all insane.


  1. We need a wall. We also need a Home Guard of former military men/women to man guard towers and shoot infiltrators.
    They are INVADING our country. I don't care if it appears to be for benign reasons like a better life, we must control our borders.
    The NIE succinctly put says, "we got a mess and it's here too"
    Well this is part of the mess. Already 40% of Los Angelenos speak only Spanish..40% Mexican thinking is revanchist and inimical to our security.
    Illegals we shoot to kill with their first step on US soil. With no apologies for defending OUR country.

  2. The United States is the perfect example of letting your greatest strength become you greatest and deadliest weakness.


  3. Establishing walls in democracies seem to be rife with problems. Any practical wall can become a "wall of shame" at the turn of a phrase, and without fail, nearly every wall, be they in Spain, Saudi Arabia-Yemen, Kashmir-India, Bangladesh-India and now Saudi Arabia-Iraq are criticized as such.

    Nonetheless, the controversy remains phrases and eventually those walls get built, miles upon miles of them.

    Isreal had something of an ambiguous status quo that didn't seem to eager to construct a physical barrier in the West Bank, in spite of the boundary's rampant infiltration. The Dolphinarium Massacre persuaded Israelis to start the effort at the grass roots level, with an interesting advocacy group called "Fence for Life"

    We're following the Israeli playbook and my money says the wall is getting built. American's didn't need a Dolphinarium Massacre, though perhaps it could be argued they had to suffer a different, less dramatic kind of harm over a wider area before they came to their senses.

    I wouldn't confuse the winds of fashion with the winds of change here. Every wall is shameful to those who are connected to that which is being divided. The anti-wall advocates may have persuaded a few folks in government, but American's either won't care enough to vote decisively against it or are specifically voting for it.

  4. The Sauds know something that US do not.

    "Saudi Arabia, ... ... plans to spend up to $7 billion on a partly virtual fence along its 500-mile border with Iraq. The ultramodern barrier will combine fencing, electronic sensors and sand berms. Saudi and U.S. sources tell TIME the kingdom is seeking bids from contractors, including U.S. defense giant Raytheon. (A Raytheon spokesman says the Saudis asked the company not to comment.)

    Saudi diplomats say the fence is intended to stop weapons and drug smuggling and illegal immigration. ..."

  5. To travel from Germany into Switzerland requires passing through a long, wide series of check points, a de facto wall. Were it not for the Alps, Switzerland might have built a wall long ago.

    As to shame, the only shame should lie with those who would unlawfully violate the sovereignty of a neighbor.

  6. bloodydarkpastryman
    Say what dude?

    "Every wall is shameful to those who are connected to that which is being divided."

    I can't decide if this is sophistry,adult neologism,or just
    Whatever it is, it's like wrong.

  7. bloodydarkpastryman,
    And to the critics. Try out the following by Teddy Roosevelt.

    "It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

  8. And for those who need some backbone (few here at EB need any more backbone, we seem to be of steel) however I offer this, which rivals Henry V St. Crispin Days speech.

    On Guts

  9. Habu:

    "Every wall is shameful to those who are connected to that which is being divided."

    I guess I wanted to just suggest that those who object to walls are the one's who fancy it an obstruction and not protection. There connection can be tenuous, as in the Open Borders college students enamored with leftist social theories. Or the connection can be economic. In either case, its a concrete curtain drawn across the theatre that up until then drew in the kiddies with promises of dysjunctive utopia.

  10. ..."It is in vain, sir, to extentuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

  11. Obstruction and Protection are beneficial in both law and war, in matters of life and death and sobriety dictates the curtain, if it is to be drawn , be drawn quickly, for the rabble are hungry for what is not theirs and morality demands we deny them.