“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, April 29, 2007

The rule of pink

I am back in the States. Last night I took a friend to dinner at a small BYOB restaurant with good food and too many tables for a tiny place, but the food always pleases. Sometimes your unintended company at an adjacent table adds to the evening and other time annoys. Seated next to us was a lovely very tanned Asian girl with a perfectly revealing dress. I tried not to leer too obviously but may have. Her date was one of those overly handsome smug pink shirted khaki panted twerps with Italian loafers and no socks. I instantly hated him. It got worse.

As in all things, the dinner and the conversation was designed to ensure that he would get the lovely cleavage for dessert. It was an obvious first date with commensurate small talk and exploration of experiences and plans. The young fortunate man was most pleased with himself when he told her about starting law school in September. Princeton I believe. It will cost about thirteen million dollars but he will make that up and then some the first year out. The young lad wanted to do something for the environment. Very noble. The fetching tanned beauty leaned forward, Asian eyes widened. Nice little sparkly bits on her perfectly shaped vintage champagne sized breasts. He cocked his head and demonstrated his concern for global warming with the use of his hands. The table warmed and the sparkles sparkled.

I waited for the youthful answer to the ozone deficient, carbonized planet. In another era, the dream would be for an engineering or scientific breakthrough, something dramatic and certain.
"I have decided that I want to be a lawyer so that I can sue companies that are polluting the environment.", he said to her approval.

Imagine that. Imagine a society that is so dominated by law and process that ever malady, every issue requires a lawyer. I looked at him again and pictured much less fortunate young men fighting and dying in the streets of Iraq. I pictured them practicing their military arts under rules designed and argued, and implemented by privileged lesser men with no socks and pink shirts. How did our masters and rulers so thoroughly manipulate and dominate us? How did the doers and fighters and builders lose so thoroughly to these men?


  1. That hits home. Dad was a lawyer. By the end of his life, he hated lawyers. What you do deuce, is shoot the lawyer, and run away with the girl.

    Christ, I can't stand lawyers, and I happen to have a good one, who has helped me out.

    That attitude you describe, I recognize. Dad wasn't like that, he was a laid back old fart, mostly working with the farmers.

  2. I remember a story hit the news some time back, a guy had walked into a law office and shot the lawyer, saying "You bastards have ruined the world".

    While I don't recommend that behavior, I remember silently saying "yes".

  3. How? Because we love our stuff more than we value manly integrity. Right or wrong is irrelevant, only the horsepower of your lawyer matters. Maybe the magnetic poles already switched because our moral compass is lost in today's landscape.

    Bob-of-war, yes indeed!

  4. How did this happen, Deuce? That answer's easy.


  5. When dad passed the bar here, in about 1930, there were 6 people took the test. When I was growing up there were maybe 8 lawyers in the town...but now.. just look in the phone book...

    One thing you can do to fight back against the lawyers is do your own basics. You can make your own will, or, like in my case, having a woman I trust, make your own living will. You can get help right on the net, just make sure you do it right, and file it properly,etc.

    Make damn certain you are doing it right, you will probably be ok. The magistrates judge has to go along with what you have done.

  6. Tenet tries to shift the blame. Don't buy it.
    Michael F. Scheuer,

    Our CIC has proven over and over to be a man who smoothes over and covers up failures in his administration, instead of addressing them.
    (He even does the same thing for the CLINTON admin, et al!)
    There will be Hell to pay.
    (what has already been paid is enormous)

    "In "State of Denial," Woodward paints a heroic portrait of the CIA chief warning national security adviser Condoleezza Rice of pending al-Qaeda strikes during the summer of 2001, only to have his warnings ignored.

    Tenet was indeed worried during the so-called summer of threat, but one wonders why he did not summon the political courage earlier to accuse Rice of negligence, most notably during his testimony under oath before the 9/11 commission.

    "I was talking to the national security adviser and the president and the vice president every day," Tenet told the commission during a nationally televised hearing on March 24, 2004.

    "I certainly didn't get a sense that anybody was not paying attention to what I was doing and what I was briefing and what my concerns were and what we were trying to do."

    Now a "frustrated" Tenet writes that he held an urgent meeting with Rice on July 10, 2001, to try to get "the full attention of the administration" and "finally get us on track." He can't have it both ways
    ...and now we know why W gave Tenant the Medal of Freedom, and what it says about him as a leader:

    Wonder what he didn't want Normie Mineta to disclose?

  7. Yeah! And that haircut is none too flattering, is it?

  8. What good is a Phd, when it's holder is a LIAR?
    Washington, D.C., February 10, 2005 - The National Security Archive today posted the widely-debated, but previously unavailable, Washington, D.C., February 10, 2005 - The National Security Archive today posted the widely-debated, but previously unavailable, January 25, 2001, memo from counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke to national security advisor Condoleezza Rice
    - the first terrorism strategy paper of the Bush administration.

    The document was central to debates in the 9/11 hearings over the Bush administration's policies and actions on terrorism before September 11, 2001. Clarke's memo requests an immediate meeting of the National Security Council's Principals Committee to discuss broad strategies for combating al-Qaeda by giving counterterrorism aid to the Northern Alliance and Uzbekistan, expanding the counterterrorism budget and responding to the U.S.S. Cole attack. Despite Clarke's request, there was no Principals Committee meeting on al-Qaeda until September 4, 2001.

    The January 25, 2001, memo, recently released to the National Security Archive by the National Security Council, bears a declassification stamp of April 7, 2004, one day prior to Rice's testimony before the 9/11 Commission on April 8, 2004. Responding to claims that she ignored the al-Qaeda threat before September 11,

    Rice stated in a March 22, 2004 Washington Post op-ed,

    "No al Qaeda plan was turned over to the new administration."

  9. No doubt a good lawyer, or Allen, would point out that Clarke's memo was not exactly a plan.
    It just SCREAMED that a plan had to be made, and why.
    The good Dr. just happened to fail to mention that, as did the CIC and etc.
    The story they painted was the OPPOSITE, but that don't mean nuthin to a good Trial Lawyer, or a Skull and Boner to the Bone.

  10. Tenet writes that he held an urgent meeting with Rice on July 10, 2001, to try to get
    "the full attention of the administration"
    and "finally get us on track."

  11. Pink shirt, pink blouse ... All the same.

    Perhaps "pink" implies "neutering", not just feminization.

  12. Maybe W should wear Pink.
    W's Legacy:

    "The Peter Principle Presidency."

    ...and a virtual medal of Freedom was had by all.

  13. Do not worry, doug, it's all in the "hole" card.
    He'll flip it, and everyone will have to acknowledge he's won the pot.

    Any moment now ...

  14. Doug: W's Legacy: "The Peter Principle Presidency."

    Well the last president's chief principle was his Peter. But seriously, folks, the GOP is a brand name, and all their money lands on whatever candidate starts to get traction in the run-up to the primaries, qualified or not. Bush 43 was great at campaigning, piss-poor at governing. Bush 41 was the other way around. And there's not another Ronald Reagan on the horizon.

  15. It was late:
    Turns out that memo REFERS to the plan that was turned over.
    Wonder if that is declassified?