“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 31, 2006

New Years Eve 2006

I was in a bad mood this morning. Maybe the "coffee buzz" combined with the turn of events made me edgy and on the eve of 2007, I had a "crappy" outlook on life. I thought, "This world won't ever get any better. Man is the same as he ever was and that's not good."

I'm feeling better now, thanks. Living may get tedious but, as they say, it beats the alternative.

This morning, a friend called asking for help. She wants me to talk to her son about the war in Iraq. She is about 25 years older than me and I think her son is a few years younger. She is distressed because her son is opposed to the war. She is a conservative Christian and is disturbed by his "liberal opposition" to the war. I want to tell her that it's irrational to try to reason with people deep into BDS. I want to tell her that our side is at a low point in the "long war" and are even beginning to argue amongst ourselves. Do I tell her that the other side may have been right about the futility of the endeavor? Do I tell her that Iraq has been mishandled and now there doesn't appear to be an upside? Do I tell her that for us (the US) it's over in Iraq. Even if Bush elects to surge US troop strength, the Democrats won't go along with the plan. Should I tell her that the best thing we can do is leave the inevitable bloodshed to the Iraqis while those of us who see the danger of militant Islam regroup and rethink our long term strategies in the face of world opposition. Should I tell her that the other side only wants to see us eat crow, so it's best to say little or nothing while they enjoy their turn at hubris and schadenfreude?

Should I remind her that when we place our faith and trust in mankind including our fellow conservatives, we will always be disappointed? Or do I tell her that the sun will come out tomorrow and that we should all just stay on the sunny side of life?


  1. 1942 was the worst year of the war for the allies, but nonetheless preparation for ultimate (complete and total) victory was in the works.

    Our position in this long war is so much better at this point than that which the allies faced in 1942...don't let the turkeys get you down.

    Politics is an echo chamber. It is events that drive history. Keep your eye on the events and try to not be emotionally invested in the commentary.

  2. You want "GOOD NEWS?" I'll give you Good News. And, I'll show you how we will beat the Jihadis.

    Remember, Half of all the Scientists that ever lived are Working Today.

    And, in some "Surprising" places.

  3. Yes, lord acton, but Dec 7, 1941 was within 400 days of the end of '42.
    We are four years into Iraq, five years and some months since 9-11-01.
    While the War had raged in both China and Europe before Pearl Harbour so to had the Mohammedans been on an unopposed offensive before 9-11-01.

    As Senator Lugar said this morning when asked if the US should send combat troops in a surge to Iraq.
    "To combat who?"

    Who is the War against?
    Inquiring minds and all that

    Five years into the War and a senior Republican Senator asks to be told by the President just who the Enemy is, in Iraq.

  4. Rat, I don't watch the Sunday morning talking head shows, and I'm not too awful crazy about Lugar;

    But, That was a Hell of a Response.

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

  6. DR,

    Different world, different type engagement.

    Just as an example I have the Colts game on TV. There was a Cialis commercial just on talking about four hour erections.
    Different world.

  7. Senor Rat,

    Do you see the jihadis taking and holding for any significant period of time ANY of the nations where they are currently fighting (see Roggio's excellent year end summary of jihadi hot spots)? Chaos isn't that hard to create. Maintaining power for a prolonged period of time is one hell of a lot harder, especially when you live and breathe a dysfunctional, ludic and nihilistic theo-philosophy. They have a track record of being despised by their own people when they are in power.

    For all of your realism/cynicism, do you really see the jihadis winning this thing: the clash of civilizations?

  8. habu contemplating a four hour there is a history lesson.

  9. Just finished reading Churchill's River War about the Sudan campaign of 1898. The Mahdi/Dervish empire had all of the piss and vinegar of the current jihad. They had gone from victory to victory for over 10 years. The initial responses from the Great Power (Great Britain) were fiascos, not least because of domestic discord....sound familiar?

    Then the Brits built a railroad through the friggin' dessert and exterminated the Dervishes.

  10. Somebody tell Doug; Hawaii's trying to join the 21'st Century.

  11. Did that Cialis commercial happen to mention the magnitude of the Industrial-strength heart thumper that would be required to keep me alive during a four hour erection?

  12. btw, Has anyone heard from "Osama" baby, recently?

    You don't suppose he's feeling poorly, do you?

  13. Deuce,

    "contemplating" is too too accurate.

    I consider 15 minutes of fame a brave new world.

    que "Memories" but keep the volume low.

  14. Yes, I see a scenario where they "Win". You bet.

    Demographics in Western Europe and in the Levant give the Mohammedans the advantage in both locales.
    In Iraq the US has empowered a Mohammedan Government rather than a secular one, so in Iraq, the US is not winning. Per both Mr Gates & Mr Bush's assessment as well as mine.

    In Iran the nuclear cascades continue, the Pakistani nukes are a greater threat to the World than ever before. Entire swaths of Pakistan have fallen to the Mohammedans.
    In Eygpt the Brotherhood made democratic gains and there is often turmoil when a Pharoah dies, succession is not always assured.
    In the Sudan the Mohammedans continue their genocidal policies.

    In Somalia there is today a ray of sunshine, but the US has called for negotiations and early Ethiopian withdrawl.

    So, yes, there are scenarios where the US can take a heavy hit. Short term oil dispruptions and Homeland terrorism. While the US would eventually win, the War itself would have to be considered a defeat.

    Instigated by a "preemptive" attack on Iran.

  15. Rufus,

    Here's a list of top Econ sites rated by Forbes.


  16. Habu, I have absolutely no respect for Forbes, Investors business, daily, the Wall Street Journal, or any of the rest of the MSM rags, or their fav's.

    I blog on Kudlow's site for the "entertainment" value.

  17. Besides, I think it's the only blog the White House Boys read.

  18. Dr,
    I think we can all look to hope, coming in the form of the Bird Flu pandemic we've been on alert for over the past two years.

  19. Did I mention that I thought the future of energy was in Small, Modular Units that can be scaled down to local (a couple of sq miles) communities?

  20. DR,

    I agree, we will win THE WAR, but waging total war (again) would be a defeat. I have posted several times on this here and at BC. Wretchard's third conjecture and all of that. Toynbee called it the knock out blow that presaged a civilization's ultimate demise. So, since we agree that a total war would be a moral defeat, what are our options?

    IMHO, the current strategy has flashes of brilliance.

    Taking the war to the heart of the middle east has brought the jihadofascist chickens home to roost, so to speak. Look at the public opinion polls vis the popularity of the U.S. and Al Queda in muslim countries since 9/11. A small, slow, but significant improvement in attitudes towards the U.S. and a big hit for the jihadists.

    The Saudis, Pakistanis and Palastinians are having to face their own significant blowback problems. Southeast Asia and Europe are slowly waking up to the peril within.

    As for democracy as a transformer of the mideast, it seems like early days to be planting the gravestone on that project. Communism in Europe was seemingly going strong until it so obviously wasn't. I'd give this project several more years before I would be bold enough to pronounce judgement.

    Again, I do not underestimate this nation or her people. And I try to pay attention to events, not the talking heads...

  21. A unit like the one above could be utilized by a medium-sized farmer, and a couple of smaller farmers to produce fuel and electricity.

    I thoroughly believe that in the, not too distant, future every small land-owner (even the Rems of the world) will be an energy producer.

  22. Thanks, your Lordship; we needed that.

    You are, of course, right; but, George is going to have to find an articulate mode. It's a "Tough" policy; it's going to require a lot of "Leadership."

  23. Oil Revenue is like Crack Cocaine. You want to "break" a crack-head? Cut his daily fix by fifty or sixty percent.

    We could crack these deranged assholes in a heartbeat usin technologies Like this.

  24. There may be good reasons not to be in Iraq and there may be bad, but nothing annoys me more than the Left lying and distorting to make their agenda. Here are two headlines:

    The New York Times is publishing the pictures on all 3000 KIA's in Iraq. Is that to honor them or is it to manipulate public opinion?

    Slate has an article: "Iraq 2004 Looks Like Vietnam 1966 Adjusting body counts for medical and military changes."

    Here are the facts on US Military Viet Nam battle deaths by year:

    Prior to 1966 - 3,078 (Total up through 31 Dec 65)

    1966 - 5,008

    1967 - 9,378

    1968 - 14, 589

    1969 - 9,414

    1970 - 4,221

    1971 - 1,381

    1972 - 300

  25. My prediction is 2007 is going to be the hottest year since records have benn kept.

  26. It'll be breaking a trend if it is, Bob.

    This year was the coldest since 98'.

  27. Bobalharb said, "My prediction is 2007 is going to be the hottest year since records have benn kept."

    I'll second that bobalharb.

  28. Some of your friends and assocites were worried that you'd been doing "unlicensed" castrations, WC;

    but, I assured them that since no .357 was involved it couldn't be you.

  29. Thailand just got hit by bombs. Nobody has owned up to it, but Thai officials claim that it's not likely to be Muslim insurgents.

    Oh yeah, it's those warlike Buddhists and Christians who set those bombs. Puh-lease.

    In the recent decade, which party has been responsible for virtually all of the terror bombs attacks?

    My dad says part of the reason why the Thai government is reluctant to engage the Muslim insurgents is due to the illicit support they receive across the border from Malaysia.

    The northern Malaysian states close to Thailand are all quite heavily muslim fundamentalist, and light on chinese on the ground. No surprise that these are also the poorest and most under-developed states in Malaysia.

    In the past, the insurgents were more or less balanced out by the Malayan Communist Party, which consisted of communist chinese, who were in turn said to be given some support by the Thai government. But since its dissolution, there has been no counterweight to the Muslim movement in southern Thailand.

    I wonder what the big problem is. Just go and hunt down those insurgents in the south? As for Malaysia, who the fuck cares? The chinese and moderate muslim voters will not back any play by the Malaysian government to support the insurgents, even if it's just a stance of solidarity with their fellow muslims.

  30. Wobbly,

    Sky News has reported that one suspect has been arrested, allegedly carrying a bomb at the time. They are probably still explaining to him his Miranda rights so no news about any confessions as yet.

  31. 2007 will be the year of the Glenn and Helen Reynolds sex tape and fashionable hijabs.

    Excesses of Hilton, Richie, Spears and Lohan will converge with publicists infatuation with Islamic sexuality and a new age of prudence, Victorian in its absurdity, will be broadcast on our airwaves.

    In the meantime, the hottest girls will continue to be found on the Internet and will star in no movies.

    TV will come to Islam. Already, CNN reminds us of how holy and devout the muslims are. No worries in Thailand, for many millions of muslims old and young are on the magical Hajj. For each of them, it is as if they were in the movie Rudy, and Allah has put them in the game. Expect the Hijab to come to American television and sitcoms.

    The Islamic diet will be right around the corner too. Halal will become a fad, a preparation delightful and without the disagreeable moral excesses in those infidels who'd sell us Trans Fat weapons to Israel.

    To many westerners, a secular idea of the "infidel," the outsider within, will join the "apostate" thats already making the rounds.

    Radical athiests will do something in America. They will be the next domestic terrorists. Tribulation awaits.

  32. What do you say to radical atheists say when they sneeze?

  33. I think you bop them in their godless noses.

  34. I'm not kidding with the ascendant fashion of athiesm

    -Richard Dawkins has cult like powers over these technophilic philistines; he has gone viral on the Internet.
    -Sam Harris gave a talk where he urged athiests to mock, ridicule and confront any and all religious believers as a matter of virtue. (He is a consumnant multicultural-phile who fears the Muslim and so must do away with all faiths that compete with Islam.)
    -Wired Magazine featured a glorious cover waxing journalistic nonsense about the beauty and refinement of athiesm and godlessness
    -Forums and Internet communities are full of rampant athiests whose only barriers to competing with AQ are their Bin Laden and Zawahiri. They already have their Qutbs. They will not need CIA training to teach them about bomb making.

  35. AspergersGentleman, I took the liberty of creating some artwork that would be fitting for you having a debate with yourself about, well anything. I will spring it on you when you are so inspred to do an above the fold debate within and without.

  36. Oh, did I mention this? The DOE figures that using existing technology we can quite easily produce 1.3 BILLION TONS OF BIOMASS per year.

    In the context of the time required to scale up to a large-scale biorefinery industry, an annual biomass supply of more than 1.3 billion dry tons can be accomplished with relatively modest changes in land use and agricultural and forestry practices.

    Figure 100 gallons of ethanol/ton of biomass and you have 90% of our gasoline usage.

    Oh, by the way, that's just about how much petroleum we Import.

  37. What is this artwork supposed to do exactly?

  38. I experiment with photoshop and was playing with your photo. the photo plays with your writing style.

  39. it's been a real pleasure having you on board.

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

  41. i have it and will take down your comment.

  42. Happy New Years!

    How long does Doug have to wait? Poor guy...

    Doug have you ever seen Dog the Bounty Hunter? Ever hear him call someone an icehead?

    Have you ever called anyone an icehead? That a hawaiian thing?

  43. catherine et al,

    I will be a nicer person this year. (I am such a liar)


    It has been a real joy getting to know you all. May this year be just as joyous. And that is the truth.

  44. This one was only Tied for FIFTH!

    5th Place (tie): 19-year-old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and
    medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

    Wait till you get to No. 1.

  45. Wow that,WC. Well, a good New Year to everyone.

  46. And a jolly good night to all of you.

  47. Rufus,

    Is it important that none of those cases actually happened?

    I did a google search on Mr. Dickson

    These are interesting cases of oral traditions by way of email. There are slight variations: sometimes the guy left the wheel of his speeding RV to make coffee; other times its coffee.

    I call BS, until documentation can be provided. Just makes a kind of alien cynicism, out of touch with reality.

  48. Happy New Year, All. Gotta get ready for the countdown.

  49. Asper,

    Is it important that none of those cases actually happened?

    Nah, it's the "Spirtit" that counts.


  50. Merry Christmas, All.

  51. WC,

    re: I'll second that bobalharb

    See how easy it is to get along when we all come together?

  52. trish,

    Earlier, you asked my opinion of the deteriorating relationship between the United States and Israel. How do I choose between my father and my mother? By commandment I am obliged to honor both equally.

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

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  55. 2020.02.20知名酒店工作觀察家日本報導:

  56. 2020.06.11前新北市議員李婉鈺日前在節目中透露酒店小姐的基本介紹跟工作內容,她30歲時曾和一名斯文富二代有過婚約,當時我在酒店上班的日子已經認定彼此是要走一輩子的人,沒想到訂完婚後,對方卻背著她把酒店小姐帶回新房過夜,事後連一句道歉也沒有,讓她對這段感情心死,決定解除婚約。 李婉鈺在節目《不敢來酒店上班-酒店打工的原因單身行不行》透露,她30歲時曾經訂過婚,男方是一名大她9歲的富二代,從事酒店上班-酒店兼職-兼差如何達成人生的第一桶金建築室內設計方面的工作,事業穩定且家世相當好,兩人認識3個月就決定結婚。當時男方很貼心地把求婚及結婚的東西都準備好,不僅安排酒店兼差不是一個複雜的工作環境?楊凡導演幫忙拍攝照片,就連婚紗也是用知名品牌,所有東西都選最好的,她什麼事都不用操心,職場須知 【酒店PT 】只要人到場就好。李婉鈺說,兩人訂完婚後,某次男方說要去酒店參加朋友替他舉辦的告別單身派對,而她也沒有多想,很放心地讓對方出門。沒想到隔天送養肝茶給男方喝時,對方卻一直不開門、也不接電話,讓她越想越不對勁,於是乾脆站在門口守株待兔,從早上等到傍晚,直到外傭回來幫忙開門,一個女生突然從屋子裡衝出來,把她撞開後迅速離開現場,她才知自己被男方背叛,對方居然把酒店小姐帶到兩人的新房過夜。 李婉鈺透露,當時男方沒有解釋、也沒有感到抱歉,只是站在屋內對著她說「妳到底想要幹什麼?」讓她瞬間崩潰心死,什麼話也沒說就轉身離去,「哀莫大於心死,我覺得已經沒救了」,之後她也把婚戒退還給對方並解除婚約,放棄了這段感情。 李婉鈺說,「我後來輾轉知道他晚上都玩得很瘋狂,我就去拜託他身邊的好朋友,說拜託你們帶我去他常常去的酒店,然後叫他常常叫的酒店小姐出來,我想要知道她們到底哪裡好,我為什麼比不上她們」。事後還有媽媽桑向她透露,男方是酒店的常客,每次一定會帶一個女生回去,酒後還會做出失控舉動,讓李婉鈺不禁直呼,「很慶幸我那時候還沒有踏入婚姻這一步,就只是訂婚而已」。