“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."

Friday, October 27, 2006

Telegraph Concerned About BBC Youts

The BBC's The Telegraph commitment to bias is no laughing matter

By Tom Leonard
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 27/10/2006

It's fair to say the message is finally getting through: the BBC has a problem with impartiality. The row over BBC bias has been rumbling on longer than war in Sudan and always seemed just as unresolvable. The format was always the same: take a bunch of Left-leaning, liberal-minded television executives and a bunch of Right-leaning politics wonks with obsessions about BBC reporting of the Middle East, the EU and the Tory party. Then they hit each other over the head with rolled up, heavily underlined copies of programme transcripts from Newsnight or Today.

And this is a battle that the BBC has become very adept at fighting. Every time the clamour of bias on some particularly hard news issue, such as Israel, Iraq, or Brussels, gets too loud, the corporation commissions some research that finds no bias, or – next best – evidence of bias on both sides.


  1. Stories from Europe, all below the fold

    The youth of Europe
    Lost at Flanders Field
    Found again, in Algiers
    Ahh, the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row

  2. Bad Youts Problems Solved

    A. Woodshed approach
    B. Flogging approach
    C. Sorbonne approach
    D. AK-47 approach

    All votes count. The first two are presented in the new spirit discussed recently of endorphine stimulation. This will make them "happy" Whip 'em, whip 'em good.

    The Sorbonne remedy is of course education..let's do it for the children. It won't make them happy, in fact it will put a bigger brain fu*K on them than ever before but liberals can feel good. Cost lots though.

    Finally, one of my all time favorites and effectively tested worldwide. An AK-47 round or rounds penetrating the corpus until hypoxemia sets in and the youts expire. Very, very effective and low cost. Paris ,famous for it's galleries can now have "shooting galleries".

  3. Flanders Fields, and Normandy, too,

    coming to a future year near you.

  4. “Now the freaks are on television, the freaks are in the movies. And it's no longer the sideshow, it's the whole show. The colorful circus and the clowns and the elephants, for all intents and purposes, are gone, and we're dealing only with the freaks.”
    Jonathan Winters

  5. Johnathan Winters getting mad at Phil Silvers in "Mad Mad World" was one of the funniest things ever put to film.

    Hey, youse folks take a look at this (it'll cheer ya up):

  6. I remember when I first realized the Francofada was begun. The overly educated at the WSJ, NYT, WaPo, those that lag behind, felt not.

    But as the NY Sun reports

    Well one year later, the riots are still going on, and the French themselves are now calling it an intifada. France's Interior Ministry reported that almost 2,500 police officers were "wounded" in the first six months of the year. Rescue workers need police escort in the Muslim dominated suburbs. The AP recently reported from Paris: "On a routine call, three unwitting police officers fell into a trap. A car darted out to block their path, and dozens of hooded youths surged out of the darkness to attack them with stones, bats and tear gas before fleeing. One officer was hospitalized, and no arrests were made. The recent, apparently planned ambush was emblematic of what some officers say has become a near-perpetual and increasingly violent state of conflict between police and gangs in tough, largely immigrant French neighborhoods."

    The head of a police trade union Action Police, Michel Thooris, recently told the interior minister, Nicholas Sarkozy, that the situation in the slums can be described as a "permanent Intifada." Almost every day police cars are pelted by, among other objects, Molotov cocktails. Mr. Thooris told journalists that "We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists." He said that "Many youths, many arsonists, many vandals behind the violence do it to cries of ‘Allah Akbar' (God is Great) when our police cars are stoned," ..."

  7. And this, on the "how to fix the banlieues" topic:

    Looks like, over 40% of French Muz think of themselves as "French". A very grateful "merci beaucoup", or something, seems to be in order?

  8. Tories made up more than half of NY's population, in 1776.

    There's gonna be a Revolution
    yeah you know
    we're all gonna save the World.

    Mr Allen does not like Mr Webb's writing style.
    Fiction reveals the "true soul" of the author, much more so than vocalized comments does that of the speaker?

    Mr Macaca vs Marine story teller
    Will wonders never cease.

  9. yep, NYC pretty much sat out the Revolution. Believe the city was governed by a Clinton, then, too.

  10. As that happens, brutal crackdowns are happening against Cuba’s innocent independent librarians. Like this one by Castro’s savage martial artist goons who specialize in assaulting members of Cuba’s fragile green shoots of civil society, people like these:

    Two Cuban independent librarians, (Orestes Suárez and his wife Nancy González García)

    Source: The Real Cuba

    These are the leaders of a World Wide movement
    Vote for Freedom
    Vote Librarian

  11. That Publius (rufus link) is a valuable, high-quality site.

    Too bad USA isn't the bad-ass it gets made out to be. Otherwise a Sadat Moment might happen at the coming funeral. Could liberate quite a few countries, couldn't it?

  12. Well, buddy, if we'd ever defined the Enemy in this War ...

  13. "Give me librarians or give me death"

    Just think of the slogans possible

  14. Yep--those Cuban Libertarians sure got re-educated, didn't they.

  15. And now the Cuban Communists will lay down and let Miami's ethnic Cuban-Americans come from FL and take over the Island.

    Some how I doubt that is in the cards. What with the Russian and Columbian civilian influences in Cuba.

  16. The Scythian soldier scrapes the scalp clean of flesh and softening it by rubbing between the hands, uses it thenceforth as a napkin. The Scyth is proud of these scalps and hangs them from his bridle rein; the greater the number of such napkins that a man can show, the more highly is he esteemed among them. Many make themselves cloaks by sewing a quantity of these scalps together.....Such as the Scythian customs with respect to scalps."
    ---- Herodotus, History

    "What sort of men are these!?" That question must have perplexed the Persian leader Darius when, in the midst of battle, he watched his Scythian enemies abandon the serious business of war in order to take off suddenly in chase of a hare they had spied.

    Well the same query persists in the minds of modern civilized men as scholarhsip adds to what we know about this strange custom of Eurasia's mounted nomad.

    New research and thousands of examined burial sites in the last 20 years in South Russia and the Altai have helped us to paint a much fuller picture of this vigorous nomad people with their unique animal art and love of the horse - an extraordinary race from whom the civilized world learned to wear trousers and riding horses.


  17. you think habu might've set off the AQ alert in the persian gulf?

  18. In 514 BC. a very important event took place in the steppe. Herodotus described this account in full details. Darius, the third of the Persian great Kings, decided to invade Scythia. With Darius himself in command, the Persian army of 700,000 soldiers marched across the Danube to the Russian steppes. The Scythians steadily retreated while the Persians pursuit. Darius failed the attempt to force the Scythians to confront the Persians with head-on battle. The Scythians did not abandon their tactic of withdrawal and replied to Darius when he demanded an battle action:

    Asyemetric War, by the World's first mounted Cavalry

    "There is nothing new or strange in what we do. We follow our mode of life in peaceful times. We have neither towns nor cultivated lands in these parts which might induce us, through fear of their being ravaged, to be in any hurry to fight you. But if you must needs come to blows with us speedily, look about you, and behold our fathers' tombs. Attempt to meddle with them and you shall see whether or not we will fight with you."

    It was indeed very strange war to Darius. There was nothing to be captured and held - no citied, no buildings, no plunder, nothing but the rimless steppe. He was fighting air. Darius had no alternative but to turn back.

    All the way to the Danube the Scythians harassed his retreat. He never campaigned northward through Europe again and the Scythians prevailed on the south Russian steppe and kept expanding westward for the next century.

    Circles and cycles
    Who is in Darius's position today.
    Fighting air, no cities to be plundered or destroyed. Who has placed themselves on the rimless steppes.

  19. Weren't the Sycthians also the Parthians--another Black Sea area horse-people that none of the city-empires could ever defeat?

  20. I believe the Parthians were based in northeast of modern Iran, but at its height covering all of Iran proper, as well as regions of the modern countries of Iraq, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, eastern Turkey, eastern Syria, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, the Persian Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.

    rather than southern Europe, where the Synthians held sway.
    Recieving tribute payments from both the Greek & Romans.

  21. Page down here and see the map
    Synthians and Parthians and their respctive zones of influence

  22. Westhawk lays a course forward, neither Stay the Course nor Cut and Run.
    Kill Muqtada now? Someday, but not yet

  23. Yeah, the Badr boys were the Police.

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  25. al-Hakim and the SCIRI, with the Badr as their armed wing, have most of the South. With al-Sadr and the Mahdi Army based in Baghdad.
    Simplisticly explained.

  26. Damn, rufus--that's some weird shit, man.

  27. Well, back from the shopping expedition with the wife. One and a half hours in one shoe store.
    But tomorrow is her birthday so I had to behave. Anyway it's damn hard to find shoes in this country.

    Fidel not feel'n so well?
    I hope Miami empties out and capitalism takes root. I use to hear stories from my Mom and her sisters-in-law that Havanna was a great place and that the island was paradise. Somebody call Dell Webb.
    Renault Ka-bob still all the rage in the arrondissements du Islam ..Sarkozy will get that fixed once he's President. Algeria won't like it but they're gonna get back a good many former muzzies.
    No Muzzies Here

  28. LOL--here we are discussing how little human nature and the mental & physical geography of human conflict has changed in the last several thousand years, and here comes a link talking about a measly 142 years--

  29. habu, you didn't run into Al Bundy, didja?

    I figured you were over on "Who Goes There?" @ BC, writing as "brother d-day".

  30. And now we're back to

    Ride Cossack Ride!

  31. In re the Gateway link, about the "copperheads" --last nite late, I wrote a comment to today's Henninger essay @ opinion journal. They probably won't use it, but here it is, for grins:

    I'm not sure that history is going to very kind to this president's domestic opposition. It's just a hunch, but I do believe that when the actual realities of this era--this war--will be examined in the coming decades, this particular opposition will be seen as having deliberately trivialized an existential enemy in order that instead a guerilla ideological war could be enabled and waged upon their own administration (and upon their own countrymen).

    If these folks are lucky (meaning, if even despite them the war will have been won), their countrymen will forgive and forget their blind and naive but vital and sustaining support of the enemy, and will coin no new words (such as "copperhead" and "collaborationist") to brand onto their legacy, and will write and remember little history of their behavior.

    Many, many of us are hoping and praying that this is how it will all turn out to be.

  32. Funny, buddy, but I don't see history viewing it that way at all.

    Your view of the opponents of the President will not make the historical distance, IMHO

    The future will see six years of indecision, by a Republican Government. House, Senate & Executive.
    A lack of focus and resolve. A failure to implement a viable strategy in the Mohammedan Wars.

    I'm afraid that history will view Mr Bush and his Administration much as we view Mr Arthur Neville Chamberlain and his Conservative Government.

    Seeing the threat and attempting to placate it, rather than "biting the bullet".

  33. Depends on the outcome, rat. As you know.

  34. Iran made big announcement today--they've started up their second bank of enrichment centrifuges. Tick--tick--tick.

  35. Well, buddy, it will get worse before it gets better.

    Mr Rumsfeld has discounted the possibility of Victory, as well as Defeat. So we will not win on his watch, nor General Pace's for that matter.

    History will see the past six years as wasted, the Clash of Civilizations will be crystal clear in retrospect.

    As it is clear to so many now.
    Mr Bush's "Religion of Peace" mantra will be seen as the same simpleton type phrasing as "Peace in our time"

  36. Maybe. But some will see these past five years as an invasion of and an ongoing attempt to 'turn' two jihadi nations on the far side of the world, and will see that as no mean accomplishment.

  37. As effective as England declaring War on Germany.

    The debacle of the Allied campaign in Norway, which actually was an offspring of the never-realised plans to aid Finland, forced a famous debate in the House of Commons during which the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was under constant attack. A nominal vote of confidence in his government was won by 281 to 200, but many of Chamberlain's supporters had voted against him whilst others had abstained. The humiliated Chamberlain found it impossible to continue to lead a National Government or to form a government of national unity (in Britain often called a "coalition government", to distinguish it from Chamberlain's existing national government) around him. On May 10 Chamberlain resigned the premiership whilst retaining the leadership of the Conservative Party.

  38. Ig GWB had gone to Kabul before 911, and had come home waving a peace treaty document signed by bin Laden, then the event of 911 would've "Chamberlained" him, for sure.

    But, that's not how the history actually goes, is it.

  39. buddy, everyone compares today with 1938 & 39.

    Not Mr Churchill's era,
    but Mr Chamberlain's

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

  41. No, Mr Bush goes to Turtle Bay, and waves Sanctions Resolutions, well, his Ambassador and SecState, do.

  42. Scythian=stirrups=mounted knights

  43. I read this over at Threatwatch.
    Here's my take on it and a definition of our enemy. First Treatwatch:
    "Here at ThreatsWatch we have been cautious – too much so for many – in both our tone and references to various aspects of the Islamic faith or the broader community of believers. Why? Because we believe, as we've stated before, that Islam and the average Muslim believer is also under attack by the jihadi and his ideological compatriots. And in order to defeat that enemy, the broader Muslim community must play a significant part – perhaps the critical part that has thus far been missing."
    My take is the Occam's Razor approach predicated on the Qu'ran.
    First, our enemy is Islam; the entire religion or as I prefer to call it a sociopathic ideology. Men,women,chidren. Why? Why can't I draw the politically correct line that defines the jihadi from the "ordinary Islamic". Well, first it would be incorrect from their religious standpoint. Islam DEMANDS obeisance to it's dicta, or death. Nothing can simultaneously be and not be as Schopenhauer stated. So there is no
    division of the whole. It is Islam. It is the Qu'ran. They are the enemy.
    What then must we do? Use overwhelming power to subjugate those who don't die in their cause. It means genocide or THEIR obeisance to the norms of the civilized nations of the world.
    So far in their entire history THEY have chosen the sword and eschewed negotitation.
    So far the "civilized" world has chosen to absorb the "death by a thousand cuts" rather than face that ugly word, genocide. By doing so demographic extrapolation tells us that within fifty years Islam will democratically take over the "West" including it's NBC arsenals. Then what? Dhimmitude,slavery,forced conversion, or death are our choices and democracy will pass into history in favor of 7th century philosophy... or striking first with devistating effect. Our choice. Tough world.

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

  45. no the synthians did not have stirrups. Saddle blankets, balance and "leg" were all they used.

    They were the first light cavalry, mounting archers.

  46. India or China where the stirrup was first used. Damn--not those guys again.

  47. Fascinatin excerpt from a new "better get yo haid out yo ass, West" book.

    Fred Charles Iklé
    Columbia University Press

  49. re: Scythians, Sarmatians, Goths

    Depending on whom you read, stirrups were invented in northern China, if not on the steppe or the Caucasus, sometime from the 4th Century BC through the 6th Century AD.

    Stirrups may have traveled through China into the region occupied by the Scythians in their third imperial reincarnation. That could have been as late the beginning of the Christian era.

    It does seem the Scythians were absorbed or displaced by the Sarmatians, who were, themselves, absorbed or displaced by the Goths.

    Opinions vary as whether the Gothic cavalry at Adrianpole used stirrups. For many years it was thought they did, but that is now challenged. Adrianpole was fought in the year 378 AD.

    EVERYTHING having to do with the invention and dissemination of the stirrup is in controversy. Therefore, Rufus, I don't know anymore, and thank you very much for the time spent in examining the matter. Right.

    "Originally an Iranian people and speaking an Indo-European tongue, the folk known to history as “Sarmatians” (Sarmatae in Latin) were nomadic horse warriors related to the Scythians of ancient fame, originating to the east of the latter and ultimately displacing them."

    "The “Alans” (Alani) whom one runs into occasionally in the history of late and post-Roman times were a Sarmatian people. Historian T. Peisker, writing in The Cambridge Medieval History, points out that for Scythians and Sarmatians, “both names covered the most medley conglomerations of nomads and peasants.” 1

    "The Sarmatians' nomad empire was eventually eclipsed in the 3rd century AD by the Gothic eruption from Scandinavia across the Baltic Sea and thence into eastern Europe, whence many Sarmatians enlisted as associates of the new Gothic confederation."

    For a lengthy examination of feudal cavalry, telling you all you want or don't to know, see:

    The Stirrup Controversy


    The Great Stirrup Controversy


  50. On FOX, the CA fire, the first time I've heard it, but not, I think, the last
    "Domestic Terrorism"

  51. desert rat,

    re: California wildfires

    As I recall, during WWII the Japanese launched high altitude incendiary balloons with the hope of starting just such fires along the west coast.

  52. Fire officials and the U.S Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm are investigating whether foul play was involved in a massive blaze at the Stern Oil Company on Thursday that took more than eight hours and a dozen fire departments to extinguish.

    The blaze was called in by a neighbor who lived near the company, located at 18831 Applewood Road, just after 4:30 a.m., said Council Bluffs Fire Marshal Jeff Hutcheson, the on-scene spokesperson. The site is located off Interstate 29 near the Bellevue exit.

    Hutcheson said ATF is a resource available to the state and local fire marshal's office, and has more resources than either office.

    "They have fire investigators, they have equipment, and they have more resources than either one of those agencies has," he said, adding ATF is normally called in to assist on fires that cause a high-dollar loss.
    "This is a tragic event," Stern said, adding "naturally there's great concern" about whether the fire was intentionally started.

    Flames reaching nearly 100 feet into the sky could be seen from miles away, and a thick, black plume of smoke blew in a southwesterly direction. There were a number of explosions as firefighters battled the blaze, followed by massive fireballs shooting into the sky.
    Eight employees work at the site, Hutcheson said. The last one left around Wednesday at 11 p.m., and the day shift employee was set to arrive at 6 a.m. All of the company's employees are accounted for.

  53. I don't know, but I been told
    Kissin rosebud will make you bold.

    I don't know, but it's been said
    STDs will make you dead.