“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."

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Is there Treachery in the US Civil Service?

A Guest Post from "skipsailing", who writes a blog helm's alee and is a poster at The Elephant.

skipsailing said...
Look, I can understand all the Bush Bashing that goes on now. People of every stripe are piling on, but while we whine about "the snub" we ignore a much more serious problem.

There is a coup d'etat underway in the US.

It is my considered opinion that the established, protected and insular civil service bureaucracy in Washington is using every means at its disposal to thwart this duly elected presidential administration.

This steady stream of leaks to a duplicitous and un-American press corps is no accident. Like minded people are clearly attempting to subvert the leaders that the people of this country selected to govern them.

We need to understand the implications of this. Think about it this way: a president who behaves in a manner that the civil service bureaucracy finds acceptable will receive what he or she is supposed to receive from the billions in salary expense the Americans pay. That is, of course, executive action in support of policy goals.

A president that this bunch finds unacceptable will be damaged, if not destroyed by those same people. So who is really in charge now? The American people? Or the guys inside the beltway with press contacts and the secrets to be leaked?

What we have here, it is now quite clear, is an overt effort by Washington insiders on the federal payroll to subvert our president. These people are so intent on this goal that they will damage our international standing and cause us to lose a vital battle in the war on terror, simply because they disagree with an elected president and are convinced that they cannot be halted.

Ramadi be damned, we are about to lose our democracy to people whose salaries we pay.

If we elect a person that the Washington bureaucracy finds acceptable they will work to advance that person's policy goals. If we elect someone that these people don't approve of, they will grind the ensuing administration to a halt.

Am I being paranoid? That's not the correct question. The correct question is Am I being paranoid enough?

We are losing, or indeed may have already lost, our democracy to a faceless, nameless bunch of overpaid cubicle dwellers who, recognizing that there is no downside to their behavior, have simply taken control of a bloated and unwieldy government.

This string of incredible leaks has one unifying theme, all of them has made the achievement of the Bush Administration's goals more difficult, if not impossible.

People who are sworn to uphold our constitution are now quite clearly telling us whom we may elect and whom we may not. Oh sure we could send another Reagan to the White House but this entrenched bureaucracy will fight tooth and claw against him.

We have a serious problem and we ignore it at our peril.

Go ahead, tell me I'm crazy, but I think I've got it right and I welcome the opportunity to respond to any objections that arise here, simply because that will strengthen my arguments or cause me to alter my view.

Have at it.

6:10 AM, November 30, 2006


  1. You are absolutely right, but there was ONE person most able to do something about it, and GWB turned out to be (as I feared) the WORST possible man to do the job, with his bend over and grab new tone.
    5 plus years in, and the only person of note harassed in any way was the one person Cheney needed most to be effective.
    Bush has cut and run from virtually every responsibility, from Tenant, to all of Clintons Crooked Commie Lawyers throughout DC.
    Normie Minetta, for transportation secretary in time of war!
    Imagine Tenant!
    Imagine Bergler getting away nearly scott free.
    The fish stunk to high heaven when he arrived, he proved it rots from the head even faster with a whimp in Chief.

  2. "Machiavelli would be in tears."

  3. Andrew C. McCarthy

    This is a war of will. If we lose it, the historians will marvel at how mulishly we resisted understanding the one thing we needed to understand in order to win.
    The enemy

    In Iraq, we’ve tried to fight the most civilized “light footprint” war of all time.

    We made sure everyone knew our beef was only with Saddam Hussein, as if he were a one-man militia — no Sunni Baathists supporting him, no Arab terrorists colluding, and no Shiite jihadists hating us just on principle.

    No, our war was only with the regime. No need to fight the Iraqis.
    They, after all, were noble.
    They would flock to democracy if only they had the chance.

    And, once they hailed us as conquering heroes, their oil wealth would pay for the whole thing … just 400 billion American dollars ago.

    This may be the biggest disconnect of all time between the American people and a war government.

    In the wake of 9/11, the American people did not care about democratizing the Muslim world. Or, for that matter, about the Muslim world in general.
    They still don’t.

    They want Islamic terrorists and their state sponsors crushed.

    To the contrary, Bush-administration officials — notwithstanding goo-gobs of evidence that terrorists have used the freedoms of Western democracies, including our own, the better to plot mass murder — have conned themselves into believing that democracy, not decisive force, is the key to conquering this enemy.

    So deeply have they gulped the Kool-Aid that, to this day, they refuse to acknowledge what is plain to see:
    While only a small number of the world’s billion-plus Muslims (though a far larger number than we’d like to believe) is willing to commit acts of terrorism, a substantial percentage — meaning tens of millions — supports the terrorists’ anti-West, anti-democratic agenda.
    Andrew C. McCarthy

    Condi '08!
    (for dogcatcher)

  4. Where others see enemies, George sees an opportunity to bow and scrape.
    On OUR Dime.

  5. allen mentioned, in a previous thread that after 6 years of this "Subversion" there has been no prosecutions, outside of course, Scooter Libby, the VP's main man.

    Now one would assume that if these "subversions" were that, subversive, the President and his AG would act, within the Law. They have not. Nor have we seen any effects of a covert antisubversion program by the Administration.

    George W Bush, the compassionate conservative or the ultimate "Bait & Switch"?

  6. Now, when it comes to "Bait and Switch" both sides in DC are past masters. For five years the Dems have campaigned upon implementing ALL the 9/11 Commission findings and reccomendations.

    It was a solemn pledge, repeated by Democratic leaders and candidates over and over: If elected to the majority in Congress, Democrats would implement all of the recommendations of the bipartisan commission that examined the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. ...
    In 2004, the commission urged Congress to grant the House and Senate intelligence committees the power not only to oversee the nation's intelligence agencies but also to fund them and shape intelligence policy. The intelligence committees' gains would come at the expense of the armed services committees and the appropriations panels' defense subcommittees. Powerful lawmakers on those panels would have to give up prized legislative turf.

    But the commission was unequivocal about the need.

    "Of all our recommendations, strengthening congressional oversight may be among the most difficult and important," the panel wrote. "So long as oversight is governed by current congressional rules and resolutions, we believe the American people will not get the security they want and need."

    Now Democrats are balking, just as Republicans did before them...
    "The Democrats pledged to implement all the remaining 9/11 reforms, not some of them," said former representative Timothy J. Roemer (D-Ind.), who served on the commission.

    Carie Lemack, whose mother was in one of the jets that hit the World Trade Center, echoed that sentiment: "It wasn't a Chinese takeout menu, the 41 recommendations. You have to do all of them."

    But give credit to the WaPo, they are right there, reporting on the broken pledge. Seems Mr Murtha would be giving up some juice if the promises were kept.
    Pesky MSMers

  7. Don't trust a word, 'Rat.
    They've got PDS.

  8. Skipsailing,

    There is a Praetorian revolt as you indicate. However, the President is as much to blame as anyone.

    Mr. Lincoln very publicly dealt with Nathaniel P. Banks, Don Carlos Buell, Ambrose E. Burnside, Benjamin Butler, John C. Fremont, Joseph Hooker, George B. McClellan, William Rosecrans, and John A. McClernand - generals all.

    Can you name a general removed by Mr. Bush?

    By the way, I do appreciate your thoughtful post and would not have you think otherwise.

  9. John Derbyshire @ National Review has a pet peeve on the topic, here's two brief and well-written jeremiads: Start here (scroll down half) to "Outlaw Public Service Unions" and the go there, for another presentation.

  10. Too bad LeMay and MacAurthur couldn't have a week or two to play while President McClelland was away.

  11. The Praetorian Guard would statistically have to be either Red or Blue in a 50/50 percent ratio. The conspiracy theory doesn't hold.

  12. Ever ready to pull the tail of the sleeping dog, have you anything to do with TT-WC-DbB's latest reincarnation at the BC?

    Wee Wee outs Tee Tee at the Bee Cee as reported by the Eee Bee. Hee! Hee! See?

  13. That last was to buddy larsen.

  14. Mat,

    Why conspiracy? Rather, why not culture?

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

  16. Allen,

    via LGF:

    A person who participated in the commission’s debate said that unless the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki believed that Mr. Bush was under pressure to pull back troops in the near future, “there will be zero sense of urgency to reach the political settlement that needs to be reached.”

  17. Oui Oui,

    You know, isn't WC a government employee?

  18. I called her disingenuous and dishonest at the giddyup.
    Bobal thought I was too harsh.

    I don't remember "DbB" tho.
    Any help would be appreciated.

  19. ppab,
    Yes, she is, or claims so.
    Much like the subjects of this post.
    I also called her the enemy within.

  20. Just what we need:
    US Govt employees that think waterboarding is worse than societal suicide.

  21. Catherine! Thank goodness you're back! Now, please go get habu & rufus.

  22. I knew you were Cathode--but oui-oui had slipped past me--

  23. You should write a comedy script under that psuedonym--maybe in the "No Time for Sergeants" military/madcap genre, and call it "Urine the Army, Now!" --by Oui Oui

  24. You do realize that "Evian", as in that monstrously expensive tap water that, for the sake of thirsty Greenies, needs be sailed & trucked all over the world in non-biodegradable petroleum based plastic bottles (even before you drive to the store to haul it home), is "naivE" spelled backwards?

  25. And it WILL give you Dioxin caused Cancer.

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

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

  28. State should be swept from top to bottom.
    Instead Condi mouths platitudes about the Peace Process.

    Bush Ignores Blair Advice

    President Bush regularly ignores advice given to him by Tony Blair, a senior US Government official has claimed.

    State Department analyst Kendall Myers' comments will put a strain on the "special relationship" between the US leader and the Prime Minister.

    He told an academic forum in Washington: "We typically ignore them and take no notice.
    "It's a sad business. It was a done deal from the beginning, a one-sided relationship that was entered into with open eyes.

    "There was nothing - no payback, no sense of reciprocity." Mr Myers, a specialist in British politics, told the audience he felt "a little ashamed" of the way Mr Bush treats the PM.

    He added that Britain's role as a bridge between America and Europe is "disappearing before our eyes".
    "I fear Britain will draw back from the US without moving
    closer to Europe. London's bridge is falling down."

  29. Louie, Louie,
    Oh, oh,
    I wanna know.
    I wanna know now.


    WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2006 — U.S. officials say they have found smoking-gun evidence of Iranian support for terrorists in Iraq: brand-new weapons fresh from Iranian factories. According to a senior defense official, coalition forces have recently seized Iranian-made weapons and munitions that bear manufacturing dates in 2006.

    This suggests, say the sources, that the material is going directly from Iranian factories to Shia militias, rather than taking a roundabout path through the black market. "There is no way this could be done without (Iranian) government approval," says a senior official.

    Iranian-made munitions found in Iraq include advanced IEDs designed to pierce armor and anti-tank weapons. U.S. intelligence believes the weapons have been supplied to Iraq's growing Shia militias from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which is also believed to be training Iraqi militia fighters in Iran.

    Evidence is mounting, too, that the most powerful militia in Iraq, Moktada al-Sadr's Mahdi army, is receiving training support from the Iranian-backed terrorists of Hezbollah.

    Two senior U.S. defense officials confirmed to ABC News earlier reports that fighters from the Mahdi army have traveled to Lebanon to receive training from Hezbollah.

    While the New York Times reported that as many as 2,000 Iraqi militia fighters had received training in Lebanon, one of the senior officials said he believed the number was "closer to 1,000." Officials say a much smaller number of Hezbollah fighters have also traveled through Syria and into Iraq to provide training.

    U.S. intelligence officials believe the number of Al-Sadr's Mahdi army now includes 40,000 fighters, making it an especially formidable force.

  31. yes, stream-of-consciousness, with a splash of social commentary, in the old 'yellow journalism' style.

  32. Deuce
    As I said to Tony at BC:
    A Real CIC would know what to do.
    Bush will get a speech coach to make sure he does not say "unacceptable" too harshly.
    Must not offend.

  33. Larsen!
    Who the hell was Dbd or whatever?

  34. That Iranian transgression needs to be answered harshly.

  35. we could lampoon both news services, AP and UPI.

  36. Transatlantic Relations:

    Think U.S. investment in China is booming? Look at Belgium. U.S. investment in China was only 23% of US investment in Belgium in 2005. European investment in Texas is more than total US investment in Japan and China put together. U.S. companies earned more last year in the small markets of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary than they did in India.

  37. Thanks so much!
    The mystery was killing me!

  38. doug, I'm ignoring you today--you earlier went over my daily toleration- line with your swollen-toad imitations of political commentary.

    But, for charity's sake, DbB is "drive-by-blogger", you hopeless idiot.

  39. Man, Kevin's Swedish wife must be living in style, Mat.

  40. rufus has not been posting at kudlow. Guess he needed down time.

  41. Righto, Bud.
    Greatest President to ever come out of Texas!

  42. ah, catherine, i'm flushed with victory--

  43. Where does that grrl get all that CLEVERNESS?

  44. Doug,

    I try to differentiate between reality and perception. :)

  45. Deuce,

    I made a couple of suggestions concerning Iraq Iran Syria Lebanon in the other thread. I didn't see any enthusiastic reaction from anyone here other than Allen. Can you explain that one to me?

  46. It may be necessary to post a family tree.

  47. doug--that was a nice one--one of your best.

  48. I thought you were bashing Bush so I ignored your post Mat.

  49. Iranian transgression?

    What would that have been?
    Selling weapons to a select list of clients at discount rates?

    The Russians and US do it all the time, it is a way we both implement Foreign Policy thru proxies. The Russian sale of anti aircraft missiles is a great example, US sales of cluster bombs to Israel is another. Why should Iran not play in the guns for sale game, as well?

    It is not the Weapons, but those that carry and use them that is the problem.
    Gun don't kill people,
    people kill people.

    Mr Maliki did not denounce Hezbollah during the 34 Day Conflict. Not at all.

    Mr Dean was in Canada last night, speaking to the Liberal Party, about regaining Power in Canada, using the US Democrat 50 State model.

    That is all Hezbollah is doing with Iraqis. Although Hezbollah was mentioned in Mr Bush's '02 State of the Union, we have not struck at them, publicly. Why hold it against Mr al-Sadr, that his dad's old student wants to help out in building the new Iraq along the Demo-crazy path Lebanon has taken.
    It's all good.

  50. bash away, doug, but save some withering scorn for your saviors--they're coming, in January.

  51. Met,
    I can never predict what subject will gather the most interest. It is information overload. It is hard to imagine that a former news junkie was a person that got one local paper, the WSJ and NYT plus maybe Time and Newsweek. And there was never so much news ,so interwoven in so many places.

    The implications to me is that belief in anything will only be reinforced by events that we have no choice but to react.

  52. Rat,
    The lady that lived underground in Lebanon for 7 years assures us that the multitudes of Hezbos she says have come across the border to the good old USA are all sweetness and light.
    Nothing but the best of intentions, as long as mothers and fathers don't mind their babies being torn limb from limb in their own hands.
    I don't think that qualifies as "unacceptable" since W has been fine with the border for 5 years since 9-11.

  53. Other folks have doors of perception.
    I got doors to Reality!

  54. I did not coment on a new Kurdistan, mat, because...

    Well, there is a difference between reality, perception and fantasy.
    While Kurdistan may be fantastic, I think there is no perception of reality in the idea.

  55. DR is right. We got involved with supporting the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, supplying them arms to kill Russians. That was in thanks for the Russinas supplying arms to the NVA and VC in Viet Nam.
    We made the Mujahadeen and showed them how vulnerable a super power was.

  56. That "better than Kerry" is such a powerful argument for pretending the King has Clothes, ain't it?
    Maybe if we all chant
    Bush is Great
    7 times a day while bowing to Waco, everything will turn out fine!

  57. If you have not read Charlie Wilson's War, you should.

  58. Which of you two is doing the illos for this blog? They're flat-out excellent--comparable to "All Things Beautiful", which has the tops 'arty' illos in the blogosphere, i think.

  59. Doug,

    I'm not partisan. Although I am Right Wing, probably to the right of Attila the Hun. :)

    I'm not bashing Bush. But I do believe that too much money is being thrown at the problem without much thought. I think we need to consider what war is, and how we can go about it more intelligently.

  60. It's that 211 something guy that goes by "Deuce" sometimes.

  61. He alters reality with al Reuters PhotoDoctor tm.

  62. met, you make a lot of good post as well as doug. I invite all of you to go above the fold.

  63. ah, the "Doors of Perception"--Aldous Huxley--back in the day, I used to drop acid and claim I'd read it.

  64. I used to read it and others would claim *I* was on acid.

  65. No faith in the power of Beer.

  66. yeh, doug, do one of your keenly insightful, razor-witted "Bush is Poo Poo" posts, whydontcha?

  67. I shat that Bush right outta my sistem.
    BDS Free: Clean and Pure.

  68. meanest sob ever shat between brogans

  69. Maybe I should search the BC archives for all the good things the master planner poker player had in store for us?

  70. no, a waste of time.

    Instead, do a forward projection on the incoming congress's gifts to the good of the nation.

  71. I'm already suicidal, whatdoyouwant, more blood?

  72. "The King is Dead, Long Live the...uhhh...."

  73. Anyhoo, yes, Deuce is doing a bang up job with the posts AND the pictures!

  74. On that positive note, I'll take my leave, never to bash again.
    In the immediate future.

  75. Yes, he is for a fact--and I de-deuce, from his post above, that he wouldn't mind a few relief pitchers now and again. I'd help, but all i is is a counter-puncher, and not much o one at that.

  76. None, buddy, if Mr Bush uses his Veto pen, like he did not use on McCain Feingold. A Law that he described as "unconstitutional" but signed anyway.

    Mr Bush said:
    "... Certain provisions present serious constitutional concerns. In particular, H.R. 2356 goes farther than I originally proposed by preventing all individuals, not just unions and corporations, from making donations to political parties in connection with Federal elections.

    I believe individual freedom to participate in elections should be expanded, not diminished; and when individual freedoms are restricted, questions arise under the First Amendment.

    I also have reservations about the constitutionality of the broad ban on issue advertising, which restrains the speech of a wide variety of groups on issues of public import in the months closest to an election. I expect that the courts will resolve these legitimate legal questions as appropriate under the law.

    Mr Bush FAILED to perform his Constitutional duty of "Protecting and Defending the Constitution from ALL enemies foreign and domestic"
    when he signed that into Law, hoping the Supremes would strike it down. A more outlandish example of deriliction of duty would be hard to find.

  77. anyway, didn't mean to hurt your feelings. It's just the old perception thang--some see politics as a non-linear thing where pressure expands possibilities. I agree with that, but am dumbly fixated on the small pre-condition that, two parties make a zero-sum game of election day.

  78. I have no opinion on the following article from, or the comments.
    Good old Neutral/Positive Doug!

    Noncitizens key issue in state's health debate
    Posted By:baja_ha, 11/30/2006 4:42:33 PM

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ambition of extending health care insurance to all Californians already faces a challenge from members of his own party over concerns the governor might propose spending tax dollars to extend coverage to illegal immigrants. Leading Republican lawmakers in both houses said this week that there is no support in their caucus for subsidized care for noncitizens because they believe such services will encourage more illegal immigration.

    Is Arnold morphing into a 'Rat right before our very eyes?

    [Full headline: Noncitizens key issue in state's health debate GOP balks at covering undocumented workers]

    Reply 1 - Posted by: votedforbush, 11/30/2006 4:53:09 PM

    He's acting like President Bush who now wants every illegal alien in the U.S. to be give free flu shots. 'Republicans' are as bad/sometimes worse than the dreaded Democrats on this issue. Somebody's got to pay for this - it's us! It's a double whammy to those of us who want something done about the border and are royally ignored, except when it comes to using our tax money.

  79. Well, here's my perception. I don't think Bush is any longer interested in being President of the United States. I think he can't wait to get out of office. You will tell me how close I am to reality.

  80. You're right about M/F, rat--it's an abridgement of the 1st Amendment, alright. All I can say is, the guy came into office on a promise to "change the tone of DC" and made plenty of mistakes trying to govern from some sort of center. I know, breaking the Constitution is no center--but the whole movement behind M/F needed to know that, too. maybe he didn't want to go to the mat on something he considered secondary and fixable? you know, there WAS that war issue overhanging all else--and he needed cooperation. Not that he got much, for long.

  81. My BEST, most well-reasoned argument, to all you midstream horse-changers, is:
    "Fuuuuuuuuuuuck You". Ah. Now I feel better.

  82. catherine, i'm sorry you had to see me like that.

  83. i forgot you were nearby, and went to barnyard lingo.

  84. Your about 3 beers short of reality, Mat.

  85. doug,

    re: "I'll take my leave, never to bash again."

    This is not Doug! This is a demon! Name yourself, foul spirit! And be gone, with you!

  86. Whit, I just hope Laura can rekindle some the fire in his belly. Btw, here's another great site for art inspiration:

    h/t: Buddy Larsen :)

  87. you're dead-right on that DC subversion point, BTW. the damage incurred is incalculable, it was a pre-rollover by Bush--in an attempt to duplicate how he worked with a Dem statehouse in Texas.

    it went "splat" in DC. I agree w/ mat & whit--he's on a glide path back to Crawford, in his druthers.

  88. He neglected to take into account that Texas Dems were NOT DC Dems!

  89. Dick Clark is 77 today.
    Gordon Liddy, 76.

  90. rufus brought up the subject here first, but now at BC there is a thread concerning that Iraqi Police Captain, the one the AP quotes extensively when Sunnis are subjected to violence, that is not on any of the Police Captain lists maintained by the Iraqi Government.

    Interesting, to say the least.

  91. Mr Bush, he came to a gunfight with a knife.

  92. bringing a knife to a gunfight definitely "changes the tone".

  93. I like Gordon Liddy. He's the real thing. Watergate WAS in fact a "third-rate burglary", and the only thing wrong with Nixon's response is, he should've sic'd Putin on Woodward & Bernstein. Or was that Redford & Hoffman --?

  94. On the topic of morbid national politics:

    Some comments from the BC thread about our Stolen Future

    So we lose a city and millions of our people in a fiery blast. We will go into a frenzy of a fight mode, and work 24/7 to prepare our revenge. We will mobalize, and we will be under some form of martial law.

    It won't matter which of our announced enemies actually did this to us, we will go for them all, sooner or later. Yes, I do remember Pearl Harbor, and how we all did our thing to win.

    You know, its a reasonable assumption that a nuke could provoke a national response, but how many of you have read the Rand study on the nuke hitting the seat port in LA? There are fundamental problems with producing a "national response." All the will alluded to here, implied here, will just be bluster amidst politicians and industrial leaders declaring full confidence in port security and keeping container shipments in bound. Maybe I'm underestimating how very different the world would be after the next soonest nuclear detonation. But Orlandoslug's comment keeps me wondering about the balance of power between what you could point to and call the "national" and what you could point to and call something else - in his words, the "industrial-economic" power:

    "Our intelligence grew up during the age of the military-industrial complex and was geared towards keeping tabs on military might; however, we are faced with a world where industrial-economic might has become paramount; but I digress..." -Orlandoslug

    What can the national do for us? How much security are you willing to delegate to corrupt assholes? Would you rather, be a political activist and advocate for increased security or would you rather be a customer and:

    -Buy an ethanol still, learn how to operate it
    -Buy guns and learn how to operate them
    -Buy surveillance systems, robots and assorted IT and learn how to operate them
    -Buy land far from urban centers (what the 20th century called cities and what the 21st century will call "blast radii") and cultivate some of it for one thing or another - whether its fuel of food
    -Live, multiply and enjoy the peace

    "It seems to me that instead of thinking about how it is going to affect our constitutional rights when they drop a nuke on us, we should be thinking of how we are going to muster the national will to defeat them when they don't." -Dune Runner

    I posit there is no national will. The national is dead. The constitional order is changing - the nation state isn't going to be replaced like an older model ipod. It will be slaughtered and transformed like any other entity in nature. Act accordingly I guess.

    Still waiting for Desert Rat's "Post-apocalyptic Options"

  95. Why was Nixon using third-rate burglars to do a job? Who's the real unprofessional?

  96. OBL. ppab, said (i read somewhere, early on in the GWoT, and here paraphrase):

    "When I am through with the United States, it will be only states."

  97. We might still be united, Buddy, but under different and conceivably stronger ties.

    They would be rooted in the practical concerns of the moment, not the rituals and ceremonies of an older age - or so you could hypothetically picture it.

    I don't see it as a triumph for OBL - itd be the US adapting, I guess becoming some new-fangled "market state." Its innovation would be technological as well as philosophical.

    Your freedom would be guaranteed no longer by an enlightened consensus but also by an enlightened facility with tools that, while seemingly complicated or esoteric today, could become quite fundamental in the future.

    There's a space race or two inbetween now and then, but we may have already left the starting line I think.

  98. It'd be a return to the sodality, according to Van Creveld, one of the earliest forms of incorporations.

  99. We had a sodality club in 7th grade:
    Once a week we'd meet for a Burger, Fries, and Soda.
    We met for that special purpose.
    Good times at the old Sodality Fountain were had by all.

  100. my post "Post-apocalyptic Options"
    Bar-X Ranch is centered here, in Apache Country.

    Terrain tougher than Afghanistan and Warizistan, though the mountain tops are not quite as high. Satellite photo thanks to google.

    Generators and water wells are in place, as is housing. The major occupation of the townfolk is "retired Marine".
    If the dam don't break we've got a great lake, Roosevelt. If it does the Salt River will still flow. Fish for everyone, regardless.

    Deer, elk and other animals are in close proximity. The horses are on the property and we have years of "off grid" experience.

    Guns and Ammo is not just a magazine in my world.

    Phone service is already spotty, but so what.

  101. Doug,

    The 21st century could see 7th grade sodalities that take an interest in their own security, their own sustainable access to burgers and fries.

    It'd look alot like what 7th grade was, but you'd have more guns, fuel cells and mobile electronics.

  102. What does a magazine have to do with ammo?

  103. The gentlemen at PoliPundit are inching ever closer to BDS. I give them another two weeks before the infection is terminal.

    To know, know, know him
    Is to know, know, know him.
    And they do
    And they do
    And they do

    Oak Leaf’s Stone Soup

    “As a deployed reservist, I am able to look events in both SW Asia and CONUS from a “multi-lense” perspective. I see the new Secretary of Defense coming from the committee that is coming up with a muddled consensus policy. That is a repeat of Vietnam, where field decisions were made in Washington by politicians.”

    Can I get an “Amen” to trashing this soldier?

  104. Far be it from me.

    Hoorah will have to do.

  105. Better to have it taken out on the men in arms than the entities in charge, I always say.

  106. The MeMe is back to what a cool idea the player came up with this time:
    Chaos to benefit us.
    Too bad them dumb soldiers didn't know they were fightin and dying to produce chaos:
    I'm sure they might have found an easier way.

  107. doug,

    Today, I saw a report of a dig-site strongly suggesting religious ritual. The site was 70,000 years old. There is a respectable body of evidence showing the presence of religious sentiments much, much older. Some authorities think religion may be genetically encoded.

    All the protests to the contrary, notwithstanding, modern man is not exempt from this imperative. We call it the cult of celebrity. All have been guilty of worshipping at its alter. The White House and Kremlin, for instance, have become the Chartres and Notre Dame of the era.

  108. Not so long ago, to use the term 'religious war' was to scoff at the poor beknighted ancients.

  109. ppab, you're talking about Mad Max on Valium.

  110. That Nortre Dame Cult Had nothin on the Worship Bestowed on Woody Hayes.
    And for damn good reason, I might add.
    Any General willing to go out on the field of battle and punch out a Pfc is Number 1 in my book.

  111. I think the National will went up in smoke when the American League went to the designated hitter.

  112. Did you ever see the Southpark episode with the Woodstock festival come to town?

    All the hippies were waxing ecstatic on the idea of a new age community where everybody had a skill and they traded their skilled work off to other specialists in return for the other's skilled work.

    One of the listening Southpark kids interrupted the to ask "Isn't that called a 'town'?"

  113. Joe Namath was on Fox this morning, selling his new book. Still the coolest sonofabitch in the room, wherever he goes.

  114. Pat Boone was on Laura Ingraham this morning!
    Has a song for the troops.
    Had some cute story about Oz too, thanks for reminding me, I'll listen again now that I'm not full time busy with the BB, and I ain't talkin Bed and Breakfast.

  115. now I'm 'spose to feel guilty for DB? (and I ain't talkin about Doug & Breakfast)?

    it's just the times, i guess--I think it affected habu and rufus, too--the drip drip drip of scorn and sarcasm and sneering negativity wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't precisely part of the fast-corrosion and contingent-support problem the man has had from his own right wing, for the last year or two of trying to lead.

    It's like shooting someone and then cursing them for bleeding.

    And even THAT wouldn't be so bad except he's the only president we have--and there's two more very critical years ahead, and we need to win this war, and if we can't win it with a leader, we're that much less likely to win it without one.

    What's been going on around here is rhetorical fragging--and as you know that's damn near as bad for the fragger as it is the fraggee, and whether or not it's deserved is only partly part of the equation.

    There--that's my say. I know the rejoinder--he had plenty of support until he f**ked up.

    Okay, even given the premise--what now?

  116. Buddy,

    The South Park allusion is appropriate, I suppose. I don't expect someone to do all those things and start an independent commune per se, but the usefulness of gridless living may become apparent in areas that can exploit certain niches, be they rich soil or retired marines.

    I suppose I picture it looking like something you'd bolt onto suburbs, but I wonder if threats would be so great to suburbs still that the only hope is somewhere sparser.

    Come to think of it, now I suppose I'm missing the point; its a sexy way to concede territory and resources to some unnamed nemesis.

    So I guess I take it all back.

  117. I've read enough doug-posts to understand that your beef is you feel betrayed.

    But other doug-posts decry the liberal political culture that creates the heavy flow against which any non-doug-betraying president would have to row upstream against.

    ok, how is a guy 'spose to row upstream when the people in his boat are beating him with the oars?

    But, you say, you beat him with the oar because the boat keeps bumping into rocks.

    But you in the stern can't see the rocks, while he in the bow can.

    Yet he can't steer around them because the crew (MSM, CIA, France, UN, doug) is, instead of rowing, busy beating with the oars.

    Siding with someone halfway ain't siding at all. It's just biding time while looking around for a better deal.

    And even that would make more sense if we had a parliamentary system, which we don't.

  118. oui oui,

    re: "Neither have Ash or Cedarford. If they would only crack jokes about the Holocaust ovens being like a Pizza Hut profit boondoggle, then they could be fond pets, too."

    I can see why you miss Rufus and Habu_1.

  119. Right-o, ppab. I think the Amish showed us something, in their recent trials, that was sort of like a race-memory. We were dumbfounded at their fundamental decency and dignity, while at the same time knowing that not so long ago we were mostly all just like them.

  120. Meaning, 19th century exigencies made it not only moral, but practical, to be oriented outwards to the community.

  121. 1) Teresita, C4, and Ash do not place the United States at risk. 2) While none of them have yet been persuaded by any form of entreaty, all serve a useful purpose. 3) They are not alone in their respective delusions, just representative of their side of the aisle.

    Some people have almost an infinite capacity to swallowing camels. The President's kowtowing to Maliki today and his recent kowtowing to Syria and Iran are not just camels; no, indeed, these overtures are the equivalent of swallowing Great Blue Whales. But on this there is silence. Just as there was silence when DR's boy was beaten up. But, oh my G-d, poke a little fun at the pompous and suddenly the US is in an existential crisis. Well, here’s a clue: it is. However, Teresita, C4, and Ash are not the cause. A crippled, stilted, bigoted leader is the cause.

    Oui Oui, if you are concerned about your descendant’s safety and future, you might consider directing your righteous indignation at a substantial target, rather than the phantoms of the blogosphere.

  122. What oui oui said hits that li'l 'inconsistency' spot on me--for instance, humoring WC for the entertainment value, then belaboring pore ole doug for doing the same thing (tho harsher x 10).

    I guess if doug is sinking the western world, so is WC. And me too for being a Bot who only backs native sons, and then only because they're native sons.

    ok, now we're ALL buck nekid.

  123. If I ran the world, all politicans would hold press conferences buck nekid.

  124. THAT'd teach the little pricks some humility!

  125. buddy,

    Recently, Mr. Hu Dat? (a habu clone, I am sure) and I had a good natured exchange, during which I asked him to define Christianity. Hu Dat?, no fool, deftly punted. Within minutes, Church Lady, with Strong's Concordance in hand, summarized one of the greatest mysteries of faith in two formulaic sentences.

    Now, following Catherine's logic, I should have taken pen in hand and like Calvin, written a 21,000 page responda/apologia. Well, I didn't, believing that anyone whose opinion was worth considering would accept as given the adage, "I merely thought you a fool until you opened your mouth and proved it."

    Nuff said?

  126. buddy,

    re: tumescent embarrassment

    How would the Founders have handled equal representation?

  127. buddy,

    re: What oui oui said

    I agree there is egregious apparent disparity but, Jeez Louise, if I'm juggling a golf ball, a softball, and a watermelon, where do you think my attention will be? Also, there are just some things that only massive doses of medication and/or a bullet can mitigate.

    I did come down to strong on Catherine?

  128. Buddy,

    What if the truth is that our Captain is no longer interested in steering the boat? What to do then?

  129. Catherine,

    Proportion is the word for the day. There was no "strawman". If you feel the Three Mouseketeers have the same effect on world opinion as Mr. Bush, what can I say?

    Catherine words do matter. That is why, for the first time since 9/11, the services cannot fill their backfill deployments with volunteers. I assure you, it is not the words of our nihilist friends that have brought about this change in morale. As you say, service members are sentient. And, while Mr. Bush can fraternize with the enemy and safely return home, they haven't that luxury.

  130. Catherine,

    Sorry I make no sense. So, in the interest of clarity, how did you personally feel about the disparagement of DR's son? I won’t be offended if you dodge the question, any number of people have.

  131. Catherine,

    re: hating Bush

    Ah, now I see. Well, this may come as a shock - I do not have hate Mr. Bush to think him a terrible leader.

    I was, am, and will ever be in support of the invasion of Iraq. Moreover, I was, am, and will ever be in favor of a multi-decade occupation. If you know someone who supports that position, please, fill me in.

    I will attribute the nonsense about supporting those who hate Mr. Bush to hysterical hyperbole.

  132. Allen, of course it's up to the individual if he or she is or isn't an anti-administration conservative, but to say that it's "hysterical hyperbole" to note how perfectly that stance merged on Nov 07 with the from-the-get-go hard-left GOP-haters, is itself hysterical hyperbole--especially with the election returns in and counted.

  133. There may be one unique political position per voter, or even several different positions per voter depending on the news cycle, but in the electoral system it all boils down to head count on either side of the aisle--and thus is the great ship of state steered one way, or the other, left, or right.

  134. That's a false dialectic. The great ship of state can be steered backwards, forwards, left, right, straight ahead, or not at all.

  135. oui oui,

    re: debate tactic

    No debate tactic, just a simple question.


    To say that "I" (that would be "me", personally and not figuratively or metaphorically) hate Mr. Bush and support those who also hate him is hysterical hyperbole, engaged by someone more interested in proving herself an adept masterdebater than considering the possibility that her strawmen, TT, C4, and Ash, are not worth so much time.

  136. That's a deeper point, the longer it sinks in, Mat.

  137. buddy,

    re: election returns

    Some days you get the bear and some days the bear gets you. That is the American way. Mr. Bush's policies or lack thereof took down many good Republicans, or so some of them say.

  138. Allen,

    "Recently, Mr. Hu Dat? (a habu clone, I am sure) and I had a good natured exchange, during which I asked him to define Christianity. Hu Dat?, no fool, deftly punted."

    lol, Is that a debate tactic too?

    I'm not even sure what you think you're illustrating. Calm down or something.

  139. No, I think oui oui dignifies all whom she addresses. To challenge someone is the very opposite of trivializing them.

  140. Mat,

    Mr. Bush will be heralded as one of he greats. His stoic comments after having been rebuffed by Mr. Maliki will go down in history as an event of the magnitude of the Gettysburg Address or Washington's Farewell Address. And that's the truth.

  141. oui oui dignifies all whom she addresses

    I think that's the silliest-sounding sentence I ever wrote--

  142. Allen,

    Your Captain has had his compass stolen. You can only hope that in the night he can still read the stars.

  143. I think I only have the vaguest idea what the conflict just was...


  144. That's a good thing unless you aspire to become a mind reader, pp

  145. Do you mind if I call you "pp?"

  146. The only name that compares to "oui Oui" is the "Catch-22" chracter whose surname was Major, and whose dad fiendishly named him Major, so that his name was Major Major. Then when he went he joined up, he rose to the rank of, natch, Major, becoming Major Major Major. Bob Newhart played him--perfectly--in the film.

  147. 11:22 PM,
    Or as Rosie says:
    "Terrorists are Parents Too!"
    (the message being, be not afraid)

  148. Being of grosser tastes, I also liked Cathod Womanlic.

  149. ah, Rosie, the anti-gun crusader whose bodyguards walk around strapped to the 9s.

  150. I've decided that when I finally fire up my newspaper, I will include a picture of those two gay kids at the gallows every time the Mullahs or little Hitler are the subject.

  151. hey, i don't like people shooting back at me, either!

  152. Rosie is such a bright bulb.
    But of course bulbs are to be hidden underground.

  153. Cathode Womanlic was a thing of genius. We should pitch in and buy catherine a bottle of booze.

    Hey who won 2164th's election day gift card?

  154. I think he spent it all on his nite on the town with Mr K and the girls from Ipanema

  155. That don't look right:
    Like syrup of Ipeac, or somthin.

  156. ppab,

    re: debate tactic

    Mr. Hu Dat? raised the issue of Christianity, not I. Before stepping in, I’ll wager you didn’t bother to read the exchange, did you?

    ppab, for nearly two millennia, the greatest minds of the West have wrestled with the verities of Christianity. In short, what is Christianity and what is a Christian. At this writing, none have, by their own testimony, found fully satisfactory answers.

    Enter Teresita, who thought she had. That is, Teresita held herself out as the equal of Aquinas, a Kempis, Abelard, Dante, etc etc etc. Why should I waste my time rejoining?

    Enter Catherine et al. who are offended that Woman Catholic is a "pet". And she may well be a pet, with all the implications that word carries. So what?

    Oui Oui then attributes to me beliefs, feelings, motives, and/or behaviors that are projections of her own demons. I do not hate Mr. Bush; I think him a terrible leader. While I know it is convenient to conflate the two, they are not identities save to those who view the world in starkly Medieval terms. For example, Luther did not hate the Pope (at least initially); rather, he thought the Pope’s actions ill advised. The Pope was not so reasonable, hence the reformers and the Reformation.

  157. i think catherine is one of the funniest and deftest writers around. Allen must be friggin nutz to tangle with her--now look at him, a blubbering eunuch, reeling from pillar to post, crying out like Quasimodo, "I Am Not An Animal!"

  158. I am sure all those who give Mr. Bush a pass on his actions in Amman would be just as generous if he were Gore or Kerry instead. Not.

  159. I love the one where Bush causes the Mayhem and destruction, then we who disagree are blamed:
    Classic case:
    As soon as immigration came up he used every cheap, dishonest, race-baiting, name-calling trick in the book AGAINST CONSERVATIVES, then conservatives are blamed for not supporting Bush and being responsible for the Hispanic Exodus!

  160. He does bleed blue blood. I can testify to that.

  161. Enter the Carnival of the Idiosyncracies, clogging the tubes, keeping Santa Trucks from coming, idling in Kringle Industrial Park.

    I just could not follow what seemed like an exchange of scandals, effrontery and supposed knavishness.

    Ultimately, I should just butt out and mind my own business.

  162. Don't get Venal with me, Mat!

  163. Wow! Did I say she was wasting my time? Having just spent the better part of two hours debating, I must be easily amused. I cannot recall having spent so much time with anyone else - not even my pet.


  164. Uh oh, here we go again. ok, fuuuuuuck you, doug, you racist bastid.

  165. On the contrary, pp!
    Leavening for the dreary task of kneading more dough.

  166. (I just said that so I could type my name again)

  167. That's it Bud, you characterised the Maximum leader perfectly!

  168. I always think of R Crumb when I see the word "Bastid."

  169. What troubles we seen at our age.

  170. buddy,

    I know where you are going. Some spam coming into BC today might help you out.

    Oh, she didn't cause me to break a sweat. I like her, even though I strongly disagree on the issue of Mr. Bush's leadership. You are, as always a gentleman.


  171. No, no, Kringle industrial park is too good. Knavish effrontery, that's good sheet, mon.

  172. Yeah, there was other good stuff too, I will re read it in it's shortness.

  173. Night all. Off to Atlanta in the early morning.

  174. I was just watching World's Wildest Police Videos and I think I saw a DUI'd Teresita get maced for throwing a book at a cop.

    That woman can flail, thats for cot damd sure

  175. "Carnival of the Idiosyncracies"

  176. G'nite Allen. Have a safe trip.

  177. Yeah, I bet she asks for seat belt extenders when she flys the previously friendly skies.

  178. have a good trip, Allen. hope you can get threough security with all those bandages and plaster casts.

  179. Them Joos.
    Always thinking of the almight Dollar.
    How many gentiles travel with a safe?

  180. Hey Allen,

    Some advice: do not ask your sneaky questions to TSA. No big fun to be had there.

  181. Allen just barely squirmed threough.

  182. Allen hasn't an earthly care in the world, why look at him, skipping to his gate, merrily bounding past sour curmudgeonly Christians, his iPod thumping with techno hava nagila.

  183. Yeh, Allen, HuDat? is right--don't brag on being a jihadi-supporter there at the airport.

  184. Tell them he supports the Atlanta Athletic Supporters.
    Because it works.