COLLECTIVE MADNESS


“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."

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Chavez v. Free Enterprise, Round Two

Today is the election in Venezuela and the world waits for the results. Will Venezuela continue on with their brash anti-American hero or will they reject his belligerence?

The race in Venezuela is between Hugo Chavez and America. It is also a battlefield in the on-going war waged by angry anti-globalists armed with ill-defined, anti-capitalist ideology. It is the struggle between those supporting an open, expanding market and those who are too ready to support anyone such as Stalin, Castro or Chavez. The left supports any champion for their cause without a thought to the implications of that support. They often throw up the straw man that Chavez is not a dictator, but the democratically elected leader of Venezuela. They neglect the fact that Adolph Hitler was the democratically elected leader of Germany. These malcontents want revolution but ignore the history of the 20th century when one bellicose "leader" after another promised a shortcut to "prosperity for all" but instead put their countries on paths to destruction.

The BBC has this comment thread asking people if they will vote.

Judging from the comments, the world's leftists have embraced the anti-Americanism of SeƱor Chavez while the Venezuelans seem to be tilting away from his leadership. It's a polarized world; with the blame falling most often on the foreign policies of George Bush or a rampant "free-market capitalism run amok." Stay tuned.

159 comments:

  1. whit said...
    You could have become a contributor at the EB but nooooo, you had to open your own business...well good luck!:)
    ---
    I just did that on the spur of the moment (already had the name down) so I could get it to you guys.
    ---
    Then I realized it's a way to get it to you guys w/o having to help with the heavy lifting.
    Being the lazy S... that I am!
    Anyhoo, keep up the good work,
    Somebodies got to!

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  2. One of the morons cited in the BBC poll cited by whit said, "Could it be that the ones with Internet access tend to be more affluent and therefore don't want to see their slice of the pie get smaller?"

    Americans (and the Chinese) are too busy baking new pies to care about how the Venezuelans (and Europeans) want to slice up their old pie.

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  3. Yeah, but Paltrow says all we do is talk about making and selling pies.
    I felt like I'd been hit in the face with a Pie when I heard that.

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  4. Next Larsen will make some dumb comment about Hair Pies.

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  5. Now he'll have tell us about eatin hair pie at the "Y"

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  6. How late are the Polls open, in Venezuela?

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  7. See, i am not the only one!:

    Dave H said...
    I kind of hate to even say it, I have suspected Wretchard himself. Cedarford just reasons too well, his posts gradually creep up on reality, then its as though he says to himself, "hey what am I doing, I have to get back in charcter". Does a blog benefit from a resident troll?

    I have no evidence of course, but even some of Wretchard's posts as Wretchard can take a somewhat contrarian view to what I think of as the majority in the BC, its as though he wants to moderate them a bit.

    5:44 PM, December 03, 2006

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  8. I was always suspicious of the times he turns up and some other reasons i will reveal at a later date.

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  9. This is Pretty Damning of Rummy
    ---
    But then it's pretty damning of W, who can't seem to confront anyone who disagrees with him in any meaningful way even when the issue is of Global Import.
    W stands for Wuss.

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  10. That seems out of character for Wretch, imo.

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  11. When the comments were turned on after they were turned off and the volume of comments had dropped off, C4 made a big step up in the number of posts he was making. To revitilize the site, it seemed to me.

    He can, sometimes, forget all about the Joos. Other times that is all he can focus upon.

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  12. C-4 is a traffic builder. He has no ego for a poster of such strong opinion. He uses very sophisticated debating techniques and will not be baited into a debate.

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  13. Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Getting away with it would be in itself ego satisfying.

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  14. Exactly, doug. Mr Rumsfeld offered his resignation at least twice prior, as I recall, to it finally being accepted on 8 Nov.

    If Mr Rumsfeld was acting to undermine Mr Bush's Policy then his offer to resign should have been accepted, at one of the earlier opportunities.

    Mr Bush, definately no Mr Lincoln.

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  15. Yeah, when Powell was there it was Powell and Rummy running the show for what THAT was worth!

    Now Condi.
    How many piano players does it take to win a war?
    (damn, I like that!)

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  16. The only hole in the theory, duece, is that he posts or at least posted at other sites as well.
    So unless it was part of the greater blogging hobby it does seem kind of a waste of time. But entertainment varies for each individual.

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  17. "Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Getting away with it would be in itself ego satisfying."
    ----
    you guys are projecting your evil ways on pure innocent Wretch!

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  18. "But entertainment varies for each individual."
    ---
    One does notice that as the years accumulate!

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  19. I think Rat is Wretch. And Doug is Rat. Habu is Doug. And teresita is all of you including me.

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  20. C4:
    How many Black Piano Players does it take to win a war?

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  21. C4:
    Joo Piano players write subversive music to bring down the USA.

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  22. "Jooish Oligarch Piano Players"

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  23. Rufus, San Franscisco, 1906:
    "What a remodel!
    This place has never looked better!
    Get to work on those Crab Fermenters, Men!
    "

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  24. No, duece, ash is all of us. He told us so, himself.
    Ms T is just confuced, looking for a style that fits.
    habu... that one is humorous, diving into personal insult when the arguments fail. Attacking those things he claimed to hold dearest while trying to demean an opponent.
    No corps values, when the fat hit the fire.

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  25. 'Rat:
    Don't look that good to me, Rufus!

    Rufus:
    "Yeah but we can take those four wheels over there and make a Streetcar Out of Grandma!"

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  26. 2164th wrote, "I think Rat is Wretch. And Doug is Rat. Habu is Doug. And teresita is all of you including me."

    I am he as you are he as you are me/And we are all together/See how they run like pigs from a gun see how they fly/I'm crying

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  27. rufus, when he gets into a box, says that the subject, what ever and/or where ever, just doesn't matter, to US, or him, any more.

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  28. habu may need to rethink some things. He diminishes himself when he lets that devil loose in himself.

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  29. Band on the run!
    on the Magic Mushroom tour

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  30. We are a forgiving bunch here at the elephant, mostly.

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  31. May an Elephant fart on their lunch.

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  32. A drinking room is a Barroom.

    An Elephant fart is a BARROOOM!

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  33. We're all dogs, on the world wide web.

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  34. The Elephant is the place when you have to go there, they have to take you in.

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

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  36. The Elephant is the place when you have to go there, after mom said no, they have to take you in.

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  37. Farmers Frequent the Elephant Bar.
    They take Leeks there often.

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  38. Hey Deuce:
    Where's the trashcans?
    That one stinks too much for even this thread!

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  39. It's real easy now to switch to the new Blogger Beta by the way, sposed to be faster, more reliable, etc.
    Wish Wretch would.
    He should start a new one, his is so big it would probably disappear in the changeover.
    Wish he'd make the old comments available and we could weed out the spam.

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  40. Spam, I don't write no spam.
    What else would you want to read, doug, but my fabulous future forecasts, now come true.

    Now though, the future is so bright, I've gotta wear shades.
    Cannot see a damn thing.

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  41. 2164th wrote, "We are a forgiving bunch here at the elephant, mostly."

    When two elephants fight, it's the grass that suffers!

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  42. Doug said, "May an Elephant fart on their lunch."

    "May the wind behind you always be your own." Old Viking proverb

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  43. 2164th wrote, "The Elephant is the place when you have to go there, they have to take you in."

    The Elephant Bar: Where NOBODY Knows Your Name!

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  44. Catherine says drive by is Teresita!

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  45. Hey, she's right!
    Check out drive by's blog.

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  46. That seems obvious, I think she said so, if I was paying attention and the post was truthful and not an imposter or a brain fart

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  47. Doug said, "Catherine says drive by is Teresita!"

    I did too, on 2164th's masquerade ball thread, in the spirit of the topic.

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  48. Yeah, but you sounded like Aristides, so I was confused.

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  49. aristide, writing so much, to say so little.

    Had all the answers and he'd share, but only if he could get a Federal Grant

    Another Ivy League chickenhawk

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  50. Here's one of his (Kris Sargeant's/Aristiedees) commenters, a "Michael B.",
    ---
    ""I think that is exactly right. It seems to me that many of the fatal flaws in American policy flow directly from a mental reliance on incurious abstraction and overly-simplistic taxonomies.

    Maybe that’s not what’s going on behind the curtain, but from our politicians and most of the media that’s all you hear.
    "
    ---
    I would have replied:
    "Fuck, Yeah!"

    ...but comments are moderated.

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  51. Kris Seargeant/Aristides
    http://americanfuture.net/?p=2467

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  52. Isn't Kris a girl's name?
    or a foreigner kinda spellin'?

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  53. "Kris Sargent"
    ---
    Gotta get THAT right.

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  54. It's a Bay Area Meterosexual living in Brussels.

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  55. Claims he used to hang out with the Hells Angels.

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  56. Maybe his Swedish Wife likes to Watch.

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  57. Doug said, "Claims he used to hang out with the Hells Angels."

    Yeah, they used to pass him around in the prison yard during the exercise breaks.

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  58. He posted a pretty exciting thriller about the cops busting into their apartment.

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  59. FOX reports that Reuters says Chavez wins amongst claims of fraud.

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  60. Carter says it's the cleanest election he's ever seen.
    The exact opposite of W's 2 wins.

    (I think more and more about how anyone could have done worse:
    Maybe Gore would not have gone completely Nuts if he had won.)

    Algor, savior of Western Civ.

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  61. Venezuelans went to the polls today to decide who their new president would be. The polls are closed, except that the army is said to be re-opening some by force, to bus in Chavista voters from the hillside slums.

    From Publius Pundit

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  62. Hey Bobal,
    Is an Idahoe team in the running for the Rose Bowl or something?
    ...thot I heard.

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  63. It's Venezuela, so itdoes not matter.

    Just cements the Americas into a permanent revolution of sorts.
    Venezuela, supporting the FARC, Mr Ortega and the Zapatistas in Oxaca. Mr Orbador as well.

    But it's all south of El Paso & the Rio Grande, so what the hey.

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  64. Give em subsidized transportation North.
    W Cares.
    He's Compassionate.

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  65. We shall not concern ourselves with cola financed MS-13 mercs, over 5,000 known members in the ICE data base, across the USA.

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  66. Doug said, "Carter says it's the cleanest election he's ever seen. The exact opposite of W's 2 wins."

    The libs would even be tempted to call Bush a "strongman" like Chavez, if only he was.

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  67. Rat, I'm much more concerned that we might cut off at the knees the allies We Do Have in the region.

    We've hammered out free trade agreements with Peru and Colombia; now, the Democrats are threatening not to let them go through. This concerns me much more than an election that we have absolutely no say-so, over.

    BTW, the blogs I've read from down there lead me to believe that relations with the U.S. is of absolutely Zippo importance to the people voting in Venezuela.

    The "Opposition" are pissed because they feel he's wrecked the economy, and he's an asshole, but the phrase United States never seems to come up.

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  68. At least six people who identified themselves as members of the National Commission of Telecommunications (CONATEL), which regulates electronic media in Venezuela, arrived Sunday afternoon at the hotel from which Telemundo had been transmitting since Friday, said Iacub.

    The officials said the network needed permission to transmit and lacking such could not, he said. Iacub said he was unaware of such a requirement but that the Telemundo journalists were accredited with Venezuela's national elections council.

    Iacub said the Telemundo team asked how they could obtain permission and, after an hour, were told that they would not be able to transmit.


    Certainly seems reasonable for a Nation State to control the media. Happens almost everywhere in the world. Why expect the US standard of liberty and freedom, elsewhere?

    Other countries governments will not allow themselves to be undermined by selfselected spin miesters

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  69. 8:10 PM, December 03, 2006
    He IS a "Strongman" to some at BC and EB.
    Still!

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  70. You had your "Teflon Presidency"
    Now you got your Strong
    (for a Meterosexual Ivy Leager) "Man" Presidency.

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  71. I've been to both Columbia and Peru. If the will of the People's House is to cut the ties that bind, let's do it.

    I'm not planning on returning to either. They mean nothing to me or US, outside our zone of interest. They, neither of them, have oil reserves of importance.

    Just a bunch of poor people disadvantaged by a corrupt culture and society. The rich get richer, the poor do not.

    There's gonna be a Revolution.

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  72. The Leaders we have
    "Where's the leader?"
    Bush, according to Woodward, has exclaimed in dismay about the Iraqi government's dithering.
    "Where's George Washington?
    Where's Thomas Jefferson?
    Where's John Adams, for crying out loud?"
    For a president to ask that question about Iraq, that tribal stew, is enough to cause one to ask it about the United States.
    georgewill@washpost.com

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  73. THAT one gets me!
    WE didn't have the balls to take down Sadr when we could.
    (sniper round, for instance)
    NOW, Maliki is a Wuss for not doing it!

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  74. I'VE been to Columbia and Peru, as well.

    And I think its obvious to anyone that you do not consider poor disadvantaged people a valuable resource. You forget that at one point, IBM was poor disadvantaged people and so was Microsoft. But people had faith in them and helped them and now they help all of us in turn. In America, many poor disadvantaged people have gotten off welfare and gone on to become amazing artists, atheletes, accountants, astronauts and activists. I could go through EVERY letter of the alphabet to illustrate what Peru and Columbia could become, but you've already made up your mind!

    With your plan, we will never get a chance to let Columbians and Peruvians help humanity. You'd deliver them to a Taliban fate as if their society was a pizza. I'm not sure my conscience could deal with that as easily as yours could.

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  75. South Korea, they were poor. Would have been on the State Dept's permanently dysfunctional list as of the 1950s. But surprise surprise, with a little help from their friends they went on to not only become independent economically but a competitive state.

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  76. And whatever W wants done that doesn't get done.
    It doesn't get done.
    Far be it from W to roll up his sleeves, dirty his hands, and see that it gets done.

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  77. Yeah!
    The Aspirin man is back.
    From my Corn to Deep Black Humor.

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  78. Here's your Pizza!
    Head Cheese!

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  79. I'm with the Asp; Colombia has actually made impressive strides in the last several years. Peru has a lot of potential.

    Colombia buys a lot of Soybeans from Bolivia. With the new trade agreement ours will be cheaper. We already have low import tariffs, with the lower tariffs down there we will be able to export more textiles, and other other products to those countries. It will be a win/win.

    Either "Crazy" Communist Fascism will win down there, or Democratic, Free Trading philosophies will. I know which side I'm pulling for.

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  80. Whatever W Doesn't get done, voters could do. Its in the constitution last time I checked. If you don't like Walker's foreign policy, you are free to make your own.

    Its what people tell artists and its appropriate for policy wonks too. If you don't like how they are doing it, do it yourself. Worked for OBL and Wretchard at Pajamas Media.

    You can make a Sleepwear Thinktank, Doug and you never have to leave, unless you are going to actually go do something instead of sobbing congestion onto yourself.

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  81. Well, gentleman, it is not in my power to do anything in regard either Peru or Columbia.

    I did what I could for the Columbians in the early 80's, at the School of the Americas, in Panama.

    If the Congress decides to cut them off from favorable trade deals, well that is what they decide. If that drives them to the Chavezistas, so it does.
    Ollie North will not ride out to save he day, not this time.

    That new CIA man in the blue general suit is no Wild Bill Casey and GW Bush is no Ronald Reagan. That is fer sure.
    No, I stand by my Government, right or wrong. I think they may be wrong, but that's just my opinion, which don't mean nothin' in DC, Lima or Bogota.

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  82. Did someone knock your smartypants valve, Doug? You need to re-pressurize?

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  83. Not really, I just don't think an echo chamber singing praises to a failed president accomplishes much, whether pajama clad or otherwise.

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  84. OH thar be echoes but they are not praises

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  85. Well hell, Rat; you're the one that brought it up. Slyly sticking that dagger between my 4th and 5th with the "It's south of the border so it doesn't concern us" snark.

    I just said I was more concerned with something that we, as Americans, can influence than something that is entirely out of our control.

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  86. When Iraq at present is called a sucess, a little devil in me wants to point out otherwise.
    ...in the name of reality.

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  87. No, "Dutch" cut and ran when 280 Marines were killed in Lebanon. No retaliation, just ignominious RETREAT.

    At least, Dubya hasn't done that.

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  88. Saddam just "shot at" a couple of our airplanes and Bush Took Baghdad.

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  89. Nobody justifies Lebanon.
    We do appreciate helping dismantle the Soviets and lifting the country up a lot tho.
    Why Justify the unjustifyable?

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  90. Depends on the meaning of "took."

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  91. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE MAN! But, revisionist history gives me the jeebies, though. Especially, when it's history I lived through.

    As far as Baghdad goes: There's a Democratically elected government in place, and Saddam's got a date with the "Hangman."

    Sounds like "Taking" to me.

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  92. damn, my selection of a cock fight was prescient.

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  93. How can Iraq, with 160,000 Coalition troops be "entirely out of our control?

    Why would Columbia and Peru, without a drop of oil, be so important. You are the one, rufus, who tells us that Iraq and the adventure there is all about the oil, not freedom or demo-crazy.

    When I finally agree with your way of thinking, you take the "other side".

    Mr gentleman, Korea was outside Mr Truman's "zone of interest", before it was in it. I'd go find the Sec of States speach that laid out that line of thinking, but it's not really worth the google search.

    As to Lebanon, Hezbollah, Mr Reagan and Mr Bush, sure.

    Hezbollah is about to take down Mr Bush's prize in the Demo-crazy Project. Much worse than losing 280 Marines, in the scheme of things. We'll see what happens next.

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

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  95. Nothing like a good cockfight to get a woman excited

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  96. "I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE MAN! But, revisionist history gives me the jeebies, though. Especially, when it's history I lived through."
    ---
    I say Ron's Lebanon Policy was a failure.
    You claim W's Iraq a success.
    No wonder you have the jeebies!

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  97. I've known wymin that get excited about Cokefights too, 'Rat!

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  98. (it was REALLY funny before 'Rat deleted the set-up line)

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  99. In Missoura, it was the "Heebee Jeebies"

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  100. Mom also got a case of the WimWams now and then.

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  101. Much worse than losing 280 Marines,

    Your Sorry ASS!

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  102. Yeah, 'Rat!
    (at least he has one, more than habu can say)

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  103. I never said, "Iraq is out of our control."

    I was responding to your comment about Venezuela. I stated very clearly in the prior post that the election there was beyond our control, but that we had other things in SA that were within our control ie. the free trade agreements.

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  104. What's that, rufus?
    US, Mr Bush's entire Foreign Policy is centered on the Demo-crazy Project. The Cedar Revolution. It is a cornerstone of the Project and US Policy in the Middle East.
    The Marines went into Lebanon ill prepared, without a defensive perimeter, garrisoned in a hotel. As if it was a normal guard mount at Pendleton.

    I do not know, but I do not think the RR was micromanaging the sleeping arrangements in Lebanon. That was a Marine, that made that decision.
    As I recall, Mr Reagan went on TV and took responsibility for the fisaco, much more than Mr Bush has done. A week before the Election Mr Bush was touting Victory in Iraq, 2 days before the vote, his SecDef wrote to him that we were in deep caca.

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  105. I said earlier that "We have Won in Iraq," and I thoroughly believe that.

    The Cockfight is a good analogy. I'm sure I've shared with you all that I once bet $10.00 on a Dead Rooster.

    You see, it takes a rooster, after he's received a "mortal" blow, sometimes as much as 10 seconds to die. Well, that's where the "Insurgency" is now. It's dead; it just don't know it, yet.

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  106. I read a Marine that was there about 2 years ago that said as much, 'Rat.

    Here, we know a guy that was in the Barracks.
    Then he was a NY City Cop.
    Then he lost his fireman brother in 9-11.
    Now he lives in Maui.
    Italian.

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  107. I didn't read anything in that memo about being in deep "caca."

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  108. I remember Wretch writing that 2 years ago!

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  109. Yeah, the Marine Leadership in Lebanon was atrocious. So was Weinberger's pentagon which wouldn't allow the Marines to carry loaded magazines, even when they were getting mortared daily.

    That doesn't have a thing to do with the fact that Reagan pulled our guys out without even dropping so much as a cupcake on the Hezbollah Headquarters.

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  110. And, Yes, they had the coordinates.

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  111. You must not have read that Brookings Institute link, then rufus.

    They said the Insurgency is spreading across the Region. Not by the AP, but your own approved Brookings Institute.

    If you reject or discount your own sources, well then that's that. You are stuck in your beliefs and even your own approved sources will not budge your thinking.

    The flypaper has stuck US in Iraq and the Jihadists are moving into Jordan and Syria, Kuwait and KSA.
    According to the Brookings link.
    12% of the Jordanian population is now Iraqi refugees, 700,000 people.

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  112. At BC they'll just say Chaos is a win for us.
    Even Islamic Chaos.

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  113. Why in the world would I possibly give a good hoot 'n holler if a bunch of ex Ba'athists are running for Jordan?

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  114. When the SecDef says
    "what U.S. forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough."
    That qualifies as caca. At least to me.

    We have to coordinates of the Syrian and Iranian terrorist training camps, but no ordnance
    is dropping, today. Sometimes that is what Presidents decide. We can bitch, but must hold them both to the same standard. no?

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  115. What if we say mean things about them?
    (again)

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  116. Same reason you care about Columbia and Peru.

    The President cares more about Jordan than he does South America.

    Follow the leader.

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  117. Jordan is our "Ally". Helped US cap mini Z. Maintains the Peace with Israel. Now we are following the aQ battle plan, almost to the letter, but you do not care. Not all those leaving Iraq are Baathists

    So be it.

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  118. Bush worked his ass off to get the South American Free Trade Agreements through Congress.

    They kept a 15 minute house vote open for 2 hours and forty minutes, twisting arms, bribing people, convincing people to "get lost in traffic," etc.

    He'll still try hard to get them ratified, but it's not looking very good.

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  119. By the Way, Colombia, within ten years, could be producing more energy (of the bio kind) than Venezuela is now.

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  120. Those Iranian and Strian camps have contributed to the deaths of 2,800 US troops. Ten times the number of Marines killed in Lebanon.

    Where is the outrage for that. rufus?

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  121. They're mostly all Sunni, Rat; and, they're carrying loads of Cash. That's why you don't hear the good King complaining. BTW, he's the beneficiary of a FT Agreement, also.

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  122. "Now we are following the aQ battle plan, almost to the letter"
    ---
    That's one of the things I find
    "disquieting."
    Even if the Amen Choir Sings Victory.

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  123. Most of the illegals that come up are hard working folks.
    Except for the 20% that are felons and those that are jihadis.

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  124. If they have the coordinates they should hit them, Rat. That's the "trouble with politics;" Ain't nothing "Dead Solid Perfect."

    If I find out later that they had the "Goods," and didn't do anything about it, I'll giv'em a good cussing. And, unfortunately, I, also, think that's likely.

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  125. 20% is a pretty big number, Doug; I think maybe you be stretching it a bit, there.

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  126. A Majority of Outstanding Murder Warrants in LA are illegals.
    Illegals fill Calif jails.

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  127. You're nuts, rufus.
    Carrying "loads of cash".
    We are talking "rank & file" here, rufus, not the Baathist headliners.
    700,000 of em' with 30,000 more joining them each week.

    Is that how the US is spreading Demo-crzy across the Region, by destabilizing the Allies.
    Read the Brookings link.

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  128. OH NO!

    It's a POSSIBLE COUP IN FIJI!!

    OH, WOE IS US, WOE IS US.

    WHAT'RE WE GONNA DO NOW, BOSS? WHAT'RE WE GONNA DO NOW?

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  129. I'm gonna check the Dentist.
    "That Iraqi's Crazy!"
    - Pryor RIP

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  130. Jordan looks pretty stable to me, Rat. If they carry $70,000.00 they get to stay. Most of them are staying.

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  131. We'll quell Fiji.
    By declaring it unacceptable.
    (like Norkor Nukes, Iranian Nukes, Iranian Support of the Insurgency, Syrian Support for the Insurgency, AlQ raids from Wahrizistan, bath tub rings, etc)

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  132. "And yesterday we got the news here that 30 more militants have been arrested using intelligence that became available after arresting al-Jubori…

    Where's the MSM from all of this?
    If he was a myth, then why were the media running stories about him and his operations in the first place?
    And if he was for real, then why are they ignoring his arrest?

    Whatever!
    All I care about is that a notorious bad guy has been arrested and is no longer able to harm anyone, and I like that!
    Meanwhile, the silence of the MSM makes me, well...giggle but with a splash of disgust."
    ---
    I think I'd be more worried about my family's safety, but he's the one that lives there.
    Whatever!

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  133. I read that, Doug; I think that as a non-native english speaker he kinda missed the idiom with the word "giggle."

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  134. Doug, when somebody runs anything but the file footage of the burning car you'll notice that Baghdad looks like a fairly normal 3rd world capital city.

    I'm not saying it's Valhalla over there, but it's not the picture that we've had implanted in our head, either.

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  135. Rufus said, "Doug, when somebody runs anything but the file footage of the burning car you'll notice that Baghdad looks like a fairly normal 3rd world capital city."

    But when the run the file footage of the burning car, it looks like Paris, France.

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  136. Yeah, good one dbb.

    Well, Rosales is toast. Chavez wins. Wotta weird world. But, then again, Al Gore won the popular vote, here; so what the hell.

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  137. Well, I'm toast, too. Nite all.

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  138. Completion of oil and natural gas nationalization has given Morales a sizable political boost. A poll published this week in the Bolivian newspaper La Razon found Morales' approval rating leaping to 67 percent in November from a low of 50 percent in October.

    The poll of 1,019 residents in Bolivia's four largest cities was conducted Nov. 13-20 and had a margin of error of 3 percent points.


    Natural Gas

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  139. Rufus said, "Well, Rosales is toast. Chavez wins. Wotta weird world. But, then again, Al Gore won the popular vote, here; so what the hell."

    Chavez and Gore both have standing invitations to join the law firm of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe.

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  140. Nite Ruf,
    Don't let your Meat Loaf.

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  141. how can five or six people keep a boring blog alive?

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  142. by not being anonymous, but using 12 to 18 identities.

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  143. If Ida been here them woulda been fightin words and it would get excitin real quick like.
    SOMEBODY's got to play the Cowboy roll these days.

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  144. Lord knows...
    oh, never mind.

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  145. Man, everyone done r-u-n-o-f-t

    Its just Buddy and me around these parts.

    Got the whole bar to ourselves. Quite a mess for a Sunday.

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  146. I agree with Aspers on some points, disagree on others.

    I agree with him that if posters here do not like certain policies, they should get out and try to convince people that there is a better one. Through the media, through word-of-mouth. Democracy only works when enough of its citizens are committed enough to devote time and energy to changing opinions and educating voters.

    However, as I am not an American, and since my country's citizens are famous for being politically apathetic, I guess it's really a moot accusation.

    What I disagree with Aspers on is the subject of failing Latin American states. Yes, NIEs like South Korea and Taiwan(and my own country Singapore) had help from the West in building up their economies, but their people and governments also pulled their own weight to get free of poverty. The West had been trying to help South America for years, decades now, as DR experienced firsthand, but what have they achieved?

    They have their chances. They threw them away(except for Chile), while East Asia did not. Why should they deserve another chance?

    No, let them suffer. Perhaps after the tribulations of the rule of the left, after decades of famine and starvation, after an era of anguish similar to what China went through, maybe they'll wake up and realise the folly of their ideas.

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