“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 23, 2006

It's spelled "Woah", Damn It!

Ya'll keep referring to the "wowa" but Florence King, a fine Southern Lady living in New York City, used to write a regular column "Fridays with Florence" for National Review On-Line. I include a pertinent quote from her December 31, 2001 column.
I didn't go on any particular diet, and, needless to say, I didn't join any of those clubs or support groups. I just did commonsense things, plus mild exercises at first, and later, long walks. I even dieted on Christmas last year and Thanksgiving this year—freelance writing is the best training in self-discipline there is, and I have a Southern advantage when it comes to Thanksgiving. When I was little, my grandmother's aunt was still living at 94, and had vivid memories of what she called "the Woah." She considered Thanksgiving a Yankee holiday and made a point of observing it with soft-boiled eggs and bouillon, so I had the same.

Now, Miss King is a misanthrope. That is; she just doesn't like people. This is some of the finest curmudgeonly writing you'll "evah read."
Here's another tidbit:
A few weeks ago a woman in town noticed I was limping and asked what was wrong. When I said I had an ingrown toenail she beamed with joy and recommended her podiatrist, singing his praises so fervently that I couldn't get a word in. Finally, when she paused to dig in her bag for his card, I spoke.

"Stop. I don't care to associate with the sort of person who majors in feet."

An ingrown toenail is as challenging as a crossword puzzle. I had a martini to prepare myself for surgery; then, when I felt good and supple, I sterilized my instruments in boiling water and went to work. I got the little bugger out, then doused my toe with rubbing alcohol, followed by hydrogen peroxide-"Stand the sting and you get to watch the foam," as my grandmother used to say when she doctored my skinned knees.

Afterward, I had another martini to celebrate my recovery. As I sat watching my foaming toe, it occurred to me that what I had just done might well be declared illegal in the not-too-distant future. Now that the Gray Gelding has put Regina Dentata in charge of national health, I could end up in the Hillary-Billary dock.

Here Ms. King explains her misanthropy:
Many Americans are unfamiliar with the word misanthrope, as I discovered when I tried to discourage a persistent Southern women's club that wanted me to serve as its guide on a literary tour of Europe.

"I can't, I'm a misanthrope."

"Oh, honey, you don't have to let it cramp your style! My sister-in-law's a diabetic and she can go anywhere she wants as long as she takes her little kit with her."

Like any personality trait, misanthropy is a matter of degree. Taken in the literal sense, the obvious problem is one of logistics: hating the entire human race is hard to do, though a few flinty souls have done it. In the figurative sense, however, misanthropy is a realistic attitude toward human nature that Americans would do well to understand and adopt.

We hold dual citizenship in the Republic of Nice and the Republic of Mean. Torn between smile buttons and happy talk on the one side and Balkanization on the other, we are going as crazy as Timon of Athens, the philanthropist-turned-misanthrope of whom Shakespeare said: "The middle of humanity thou never knewest, but the extremity of both ends."

I'll give you a little more:

Deer-on-velvet sensibility comes through loud and clear in the ubiquitous "Health Watch" segments on television news. These emotion-drenched reports feature scuzzy-looking individuals who hold up their drainage bags or their cross-eyed kids to the camera; unappetizing women with their breasts clamped in mammogram machines; and blank-eyed expectant mothers who allow themselves to be photographed in the stirrups.

Invited to "tell their story in their own words," they slip into the whining nasal tones of trailer-park grievance collectors, explaining that it all started when the medicine that was supposed to cure this caused that; then another medicine they took for a disease they thought they had but didn't caused the double vision that caused the accident; and then the triplets ate the asbestos.

These sagas of pain and wrecked lives and germ-free plastic bubbles are supposed to be moving, but they move me to expropriate George V's words on hearing that one of his courtiers liked little boys: "I always thought people like that shot themselves."

New Age hypochondria lends itself to the literary exercise feminists call "deconstruction." If we keep peeling the artichoke of "health awareness" we eventually will uncover an unpleasant truth that pollsters cannot reach.

Notwithstanding our worship of perfect bench-pressed bodies, we like them much better if their owners admit to overdosing on steroids and waste away before our very eyes, preferably in public-service commercials about the dangers of steroids. New Age hypochondriacs glorify the lame, the halt, and the defective. Like Bill Clinton compulsively retelling the story of the New Hampshire boy who navigated his wheelchair down an icy winter highway to get to a Clinton rally, they cheer every insane feat the handicapped undertake, from double amputees climbing mountains to blind yachtsmen sailing the Atlantic alone.

New Age hypochondriacs call such foolhardy exploits "courageous," and woe be unto anyone who disagrees with this fashionable rationalization, because something very important is at stake here.

It's Saturday night, take a break from solving the world's problems and have a few laughs with a misanthrope like yourself. Fridays with Florence Enjoy!
At Brainy Quotes:


  1. RE: Bill Clinton &KGB

    Perhaps this article will generate some increased skeptism in Mr. Clinton's Soviet/Communist activities.

  2. Habu, very interesting clip. I notice the section questioning where Clinton got the money to do all that in 1969. To be honest, nothing would surprise me about the man. My surprises with Clinton ended when the draft doger was elected over the war hero and very able George Bush. I still have to believe that as George Bush was a former head of the CIA, if there was some there, there, it would have come out. But I did say nothing about Clinton would surprise me.

  3. 2164,
    In truth we will probably never know. The KGB had a nasty habit of eating their eliminating the recruiter and all around him/her after an asset becomes very valuable and allowing only one contact who is usually a very senior person with a family he knows will be eliminated if he drops the asset. But it's interesting to know that we had a President that had that much unaccounted for time inside the USSR,and was an anti American organizer in foreign countries.
    No US politician or intel person would ever make my claim, but then you look at former DCI William Colby's death and you wonder.

  4. Go out into the real world, and, lo and behold, time flies by, here at the Bar.

    From the feeding of Osama to Wu's pigs, which reminds me of the noble savage which would be a real role reversal for Bill "KGB" Clinton. A most ignoble President, though savage to be sure.

    In any case Son of Shah was on FOX, same old story, same old song.

    The pot is steaming but yet to boilin' & bubblin' stage.
    No time like the present to put some more wood on the fire.

  5. The Airbus Fiasco
    By Thomas Lifson

    As a supreme symbol of Europe's prowess in aerospace, indeed in modern technology itself, the A 380 superjumbo jet, is melting down. No longer the embodiment of European cooperation and unity, its third announced delivery delay reveals internal chaos, bickering, finger-pointing and recrimination within Airbus and its parent EADS.

    The whalejet, as it is known to some, has morphed from queen of the air into drama queen of the air.

    Over a week ago, I pointed to signs of further trouble for Airbus in meeting its delivery commitments. Yesterday, Airbus roiled the airline industry with its announcement of an indeterminate delay in delivering the airplane to its waiting customers. Those rumors have proven out and more.

    You have to feel sorry for Christian Streiff, brought in as the new CEO of Airbus from French glassmaking giant St. Gobain, following earlier delays and political scandal. He has inherited an organization at odds with itself, and unable to identify, much less fix, the source of the problems preventing it from completing and delivering the massive airplane. He has a lot of bad news ahead before he gets to announce any positive moves ..."

    Thomas Lifson, the editor and publisher of The American Thinker.

  6. The Airbus & the EU, another definitive study in the failure of New World Order management.

    They could not field a unified force, without US, or Russia.
    Even in Afghanistan the Europeans cannot be relied upon.

    Well, there you go.

  7. In the whole of NATO they cannot find 2,500 troops to deploy to reinforce troops in southern Afghanistan. The German's aircraft do not fly after dark, in Afghanistan.

    Now that is how to fight a real war, in real time, in the real world.

  8. I am goin back to the ranch, soon.
    I'm sure that pretty girl will be back for another dip. Next trip.

  9. Boeing, meanwhile, forges ahead with better and better stuff, from A to Z, constantly improving, just look at the charts, everything from stock price to maintenance to costs to design to safety to fun place to work and cool planes to fly/ride.

    EADS should bring in WalMart to set up operations.

  10. "... Boeing, thoughtfully, has planned the 747-800I, a stretch of the long ago paid-for and proven 747 model that could carry enough passengers to eat into the A 380 order book. It has already sold a healthy number of freighters of this stretch version. You can be certain Boeing sales reps are intensely talking with angry Airbus customers.

    Streiff, for his part, may be pulling a similar hardball strategy with the EU and its member states. The threat to close Hamburg and move production to China or (gasp!) Alabama may be intended to pry open the state coffers. Airbus is going to have to spend a lot more money than it probably can generate, in order to pay off customers needing compensation, complete the problematic A 380, and fund development of the revised version of the A 350, the planned new technology competitor for the 787 Dreamliner ..."

  11. "... the Center for Strategic and International Studies places Iranian aid to Hezbollah at a quite considerable $50 million annually. Even according to this most conservative figure, Iran spends, as a fraction of GDP, nearly three times as much arming Hezbollah as the United States spends arming the Marine Corps under the 2005 Navy budget. This astonishing comparison exposes the hopelessness of disarming Hezbollah with a strategy that does not include Iran. ..."

    Thxs to
    for the quote from Joe Dunn, in the Standord Review.

  12. The Consortium FINALLY found a way to shut it down, when one of the them, rolling into take-off, hit a piece of runway debris that had fallen off an American airliner, and burst into flames, crashing with all hands. The America hook helped the politics.

  13. Anyhoo, Flo King--used to be my favorite part of the old paper National Review. Her colyumn was always the last page. Always hilarious in that acerbic sahara-dry manner of hers.

  14. They didn't have hyperlinks then, did they?
    How did you find articles and navigate to them?
    If you missed the interview with Lawrence Wright today, the two hour talk with the author of The Looming Tower is transcribed here .
    - Hugh Hewitt

  15. "... Sadat made the unfortunate calculation that he could let these guys out of prison, and work out an agreement with them. I could see where he would think that, because he was an extremely pious Muslim himself. He had the prayer mark on his forehead, which was very unusual when we lived there. I mean, you didn’t see women in hijabs or black abayas, and stuff like that, like you do now in Egypt. And Egyptians actually made fun of that prayer mark, although now, you see it everywhere. But he calculated that he was a pious Muslim himself, and that he could deal with the radical fringe that was so popular in the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups. But he completely miscalculated. ..."

  16. And the rest as they say, is history.
    Unfortunately, we refuse to learn from it.

  17. Wright happened to be living in Egypt right at that critical period.

  18. " ... The plan is basically rather chilling, although it’s self-justifying, it is highly propagandistic in many ways, but sometimes, it’s a little chilling to see how it’s unfolded, and what they have in mind. Their 20 year plan is to…they wanted to entice America into conflict with the Muslim world, and that begins with 9/11, and the first stage ends with the fall of Baghdad. And their idea is that young jihadi recruits will stream into Iraq and get training. And then, they’ll go back to their own countries, and wage jihad against their rulers, and eventually pull down those governments, establish a caliphate. And in the year 2020, they will create an Islamic army that will wage a final apocalyptic battle with the unbelievers. That’s their plan. ..."

  19. Man, are those guys stupid! Never Happen! (just ask a BC true believer - No Problem.)
    Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat
    A stark assessment has found that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks

  20. Wright says that by November 2001, AQ was almost leaderless, and in disrepute.
    Those were the days before the Wowa to outlast all Wowas.

  21. "Moby Dick", that's all it'll take.
    Translate it, distribute it to an illiterate population, shake and wait.
    No satellite TV, youtube or google video.
    Wouldn't be prudent.
    No sense using those tools in a battle for minds, just translate a book.

    Yeah, that'll do it.

    Not Lawyers, Guns and Money

  22. The Mind is Mightier than the Sword, U-Tube, MTV, Southpark, and etc.
    As long as that mind is an
    Information Processor tm.

  23. Damn! Them Canucks are sittin Pretty:
    World Top 10 - Oil Reserves Countries
    Country Billions of Barrels
    Saudi Arabia 261.8
    Canada 180.0
    Iraq 112.5
    U.A.E. 97.8
    Kuwait 96.5
    Iran 89.7
    Venezuela 77.8
    Russia 60.0
    Libya 29,5
    Nigeria 24.0

  24. Funny thing, wretchard sends everyone to watch old farts, while it's youtube expsoure that busted both Mr Allen and Mr Biden.

    Wrote about it months ago, as well as the ease of access to these new networks.
    Even John Kasich had a segment on his FOX show about youtube & the decentralization of the media.

  25. " ... the Council on Global Terrorism, an independent research group of respected terrorism experts, assigned a grade of “D+” to United States efforts over the past five years to combat Islamic extremism. The council concluded that “there is every sign that radicalization in the Muslim world is spreading rather than shrinking.” ... "

    Really, doug, linking to the NYTimes. You know that is a source that cannot be trusted. Right?
    Nothing there is ever accurate, no?

    Just what is visable, the secret Master Plan has this all factored in. Cascading failures blossum into blooming success. For US, but those Israelis, they are the canaries in the coal mine.

  26. Seems that the real enemy has mastered Inet video:

    September 23, 2006
    New Tucker and Menchaca Video: Bodies Desecrated by Terrorists

    A new video released by the Mujahidin Shura Council of Iraq shows new footage of the desecration of the bodies of Thomas Tucker and Kristian Menchaca. The Jawa Report has obtained a copy of the video. Graphic Images and link to video below

    It is a graphicly explicit piece

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

  28. "... Russia intends to send troops to Lebanon, but not as part of the UN peacekeeping force there and only if all parties in the region agree, President Vladimir Putin confirmed.

    Moscow is prepared to send "a small deployment of engineers to Lebanon," Putin said Saturday after a three-way summit with French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Angela Merkel north of Paris.

    "We don't intend to do this within the UNIFIL (UN Interim Force in Lebanon) framework, but rather within a bilateral framework," he told a joint media conference.

    Russia's defence ministry said Thursday there were plans to send 300 military engineers to Lebanon for reconstruction work ... "

  29. AP: Nonexistent Hizballah Fighters Vanish, Become Civilians
    In this reeking pile of propaganda masquerading as a news report, Associated Press writer Hamza Hendawi inadvertently reveals an interesting fact: Lasting quiet returns to south Lebanon.
    MARJAYOUN, Lebanon - Hezbollah fighters have vanished in south Lebanon, melting back into the population. Whether peace holds will depend on how they put up with the newest players in their longtime stronghold: the Lebanese army and a beefed-up U.N. peacekeeping force.
    Now just a minute. “Melting back into the population?” Isn’t this the same Associated Press who told us that all of the Lebanese casualties were “civilians?” Who never published a single photograph of a Hizballah fighter in action? Who mocked allegations that Hizballah was using the real civilians as human shields? Who screamed non-stop about “disproportionate” action by Israel?
    But now Hizballah fighters, who (if you believe the AP) were never there to begin with, have mysteriously “vanished.”

  30. Sister Leonella died the way she lived. She wasn't kidding around, vocation-wise.