“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."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Why is the flag at half mast for the V-Tech victims?

The flag should be used to honor those that served their country with honor and not for the unfortunate who meet a tragic death. If the flag is to lowered for tragedy, we need shorter flag poles.

Soldier: Honor troops like Va. Tech dead
By ALISA TANG, Associated Press Writer Mon Apr 23, 11:16 AM ET
KABUL, Afghanistan - An Army sergeant complained in a rare opinion article that the U.S. flag flew at half-staff last week at the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan for those killed at Virginia Tech but the same honor is not given to fallen U.S. troops here and in Iraq.

In the article issued Monday by the public affairs office at Bagram military base north of Kabul, Sgt. Jim Wilt lamented that his comrades' deaths have become a mere blip on the TV screen, lacking the "shock factor" to be honored by the Stars and Stripes as the deaths at Virginia Tech were.

"I find it ironic that the flags were flown at half-staff for the young men and women who were killed at VT, yet it is never lowered for the death of a U.S. service member," Wilt wrote.

He noted that Bagram obeyed President Bush's order last week that all U.S. flags at federal locations be flown at half-staff through April 22 to honor 32 people killed at Virginia Tech by a 23-year-old student gunman who then killed himself.

"I think it is sad that we do not raise the bases' flag to half-staff when a member of our own task force dies," Wilt said.

According to the Defense Department, 315 U.S. service members have died in and around Afghanistan since the U.S.-led offensive that toppled the Taliban regime in late 2001, 198 of them in combat.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force said that the flags of all its troop-contributing nations are flown at half-staff for about 72 hours after the service member's death "as a mark of respect when there is an ISAF fatality."

Sgt. 1st Class Dean Welch, who works with Wilt at the U.S.-led coalition public affairs office, said the essay is a "soldier's commentary, not the view of the coalition and not the view of the U.S. forces."

Welch added that such outspoken opinion pieces are rare.

Wilt suggested that flags should fly at half-staff on the base where the fallen service member was working and in the states where they hail from. He said some states do this, but not all of them.

He wrote that the death of a U.S. service member is just as violent as those at the university last week, but it lacks the "shock factor of the Virginia massacre."

"It is a daily occurrence these days to see X number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq or Afghanistan scrolling across the ticker at the bottom of the TV screen. People have come to expect casualty counts in the nightly news; they don't expect to see 32 students killed," he wrote.

"If the flags on our (operating bases) were lowered for just one day after the death of a service member, it would show the people who knew the person that society cared, the American people care."


  1. Feminized, Focus Grouped, Wussified Nation.

  2. Put me in the old school. Against lowering the flag for a school shooting.

  3. Doug's right!

    It's the same reason folks received money after 9-11. They're a focus group.

    The Oklahoma folks (Murrah building) didn't have the "political power"; neither do our troops!

    The (official) nation is geared to believe in everything we shouldn't and consume everything PC. Instead of arresting school officials for not taking action with Cho early on, we celebrate our "togetherness".

    Shit! I just puked up my eggs!

  4. From Flag Rules and Regulations:

    United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 — The Flag

    m. The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff. The flag shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of the President or a former President; 10 days from the day of death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives; from the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress. The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day. As used in this subsection —
    the term "half-staff" means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff;
    the term "executive or military department" means any agency listed under sections 101 and 102 of title 5, United States Code; and
    the term "Member of Congress" means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.

  5. If there is one thing that the left does well these days is put on a good show of greiving. Man, can those people wail and gnash their teeth? No doubt, someone told George Bush that he should order the flag flown at half-mast because it would help "heal the nation" or that he might be seen as callous and uncaring. One could make the argument that the flag is currently being flown at half-staff in violation of the law. If the left were smart, they would use that to impeach the President.

  6. At least Imus is sueing!

    If we can just get Sheryl Crow to wipe things might smell better in the good ol USA.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Too much data on this kid, DR. He was a problem and (we now know) lots of people knew about it.

    PC is a killer!

  9. Oh, come on tiger, the school did what they could, they just could not do much.

    The fault, if there is any, is with the Judge that did not put cho in the psycho ward.

    But they may not have a lot of space to lock up the semi-crazy, until they actually hurt folk.

    When I first mentioned an unbalanced equivalency 'tween those students and GIs, some thought it idiotic, not so much here, but over at the BC, where the institutional socialists congregate.

    Those that believe military & govermental institutions are more important than the actual soldiers, sailors, airman and Marines. Those GIs signup and know the risks, so it's no big deal when they die.

    60 of them die, on average, every month, for the past four years. The flag would always be at half staff, if we honored them in that manner.

    No photos of coffins, no lowering of the flag in respect of their sacrifice, no, just forgotten, save by friends and family. Men and women who gave their all, while most of US give none.

    It might lessen the public resolve, to keep on the course of keepin' on, to honor the war dead. So it's best they be ignored, or so the story from the White House & DoD actions tells US.

  10. Cho's everyday life was at school. You can't just blame the judge, though he has a big part!

  11. The Flag should not be at half-mast for the VT kids either way, DR.

  12. The Judge decide, with all the data, tiger.

    Some of the other young adults were afraid of him, did not like him, he was a loner, all to true.
    None of the girls were so distressed that they'd file a criminal complaint, if they had, it'd have been, most likely, dismissed. That is how it goes, when no one is hurt. No one had been, until it was to late.

    But that's about all, he was being processed by the System, the School sent him to the Courts, it made a judgement. To have done otherwise would have violated his "rights".

  13. Much like the kid that bob was tracking. He was in custody, now he is out. No harm, no foul.

    Second guessing the Courts and the school administration, is just that, second guessing, with 20/20 hind sight.

  14. I agree that the students should not be so honored, but it's a "Brave New World".

    Standards change with the times.

  15. The guy was a looney and should have been in an institution. PC helps to cause this sort of thing. Guns in the hands of the students would have been a plus, but PC stopped that too.

    The Judge is probably incompetent and his status should be reviewed.

  16. I'd agree with that, wholeheartedly.

    There are thousands of cho clones, out there. There are not enough hospital beds for them all. He did not qualify, as a looney tune. If the Judge had decided he was one, he'd have made the "No buy" list, for the background check.

    The fact that he did not, that the Judge did not revoke his 2nd Amendment rights, is the fact of the matter. Well beyond the schools' pay grade to decide.

  17. If the "leadership" at VT goes home at night and sleeps well, they have absolutely no soul.

    This is all part and parcel to Doug's original comments; we will fire an Imus and hold him responsible but not a LIBERAL university professor. The double-standard in our society is palatable.

    I'm sick of it!

  18. I said professor; meant admin...

  19. >> February 17, 2007,
    >> 0350
    >> I was at curbside at 24th and M, Washington DC . 16 Degrees with a light breeze. Going home after my second week of freezing temps to my warm home in SoCal. Take a walk on the beach, ride a horse, climb a mountain and get back to living. I'm tired of the cold.
    >> 0425
    >> paying the taxi fare at Dulles in front of the United Airlines counter, still cold.
    >> 0450
    >> engaged the self-serve ticker machine and it delivers my ticket, baggage tag and boarding pass. Hmmm, that Marine over there is all dressed up in his dress blues a bit early this morning... "Good Morning Captain, you're looking sharp." He says, "Thank you, sir."
    >> Pass Security and to my gate for a decaf coffee and 5 hours sleep. A quick che ck of the flight status monitor and UA Flt 211 is on time. I'm up front, so how bad can that be? Hmmm, there's that same Marine. He must be heading to Pendleton to see his lady at LAX for the long weekend, all dressed up like that. Or maybe not. I dunno.
    >> The speaker system announces "Attention in the boarding area, we'll begin boarding in 10 minutes, we have some additional duties to attend to this morning, but we'll have you out of here on time."
    >> The Marine Captain has now been joined by five others. BINGO, I get it, he's not visiting his lady, he's an official escort. I remember doing that once, CACO duty. I still remember the names of the victim and family, The Bruno Family i n Mojave - all of them, wows, that was 24 years ago.
    >> On board, 0600:
    >> "Good morning folks, this is the Captain. This morning we've been attending to some additional duties, and I apologize for being 10 minutes late for push back, but I believe we'll be early into LAX. This morning it is my sad pleasure to announce that 1st LT Jared Landaker, USMC will be flying with us to his Big Bear home in Southern California Jared lost his life over the skies of Iraq earlier this month, and today we have the honor of returning him home along with his mother, father an d brother . Please join me in making the journey comfortable for the Landaker family and their uniformed escort. Now sit back and enjoy your ride. We're not expecting any turbulence until we reach the Rocky Mountain area, but we'll do what we can to ensure a smooth ride. For those interested, you can listen in to our progress on Channel 9."
    >> Click Channel 9: "Good morning UA 211. You are cleared to taxi, takeoff and cleared to LAX as filed."
    >> 4 hours and 35 minutes later over Big Bear MT, the AB320 makes a left roll, a steep bank and then one to the right-Nice touch. Nice tribute. Five minutes out from landing, the Captain comes on the speaker: "Ladies and Gents, after landing I'm leaving the fasten seatbelt sign on, and I ask everyone to please yield to the Landaker family. Please remain seated until all members of the family have departed the aircraft. Thank you for your patience. We are 20 minutes early."
    >> On roll out, I notice red lights, emergency vehicles approaching. We're being escorted directly to our gate, no waiting, not even a pause. Out the left window, a dozen Marines in full dress blues. A true class act by everyone, down to a person. Way to go United Airlines for doing things RIGHT, Air Traffic Control for getting the message, and to all security personnel for your display of brotherhood.
    >> When the family departed the aircraft everyone sat silent, then I heard a lady say,"God Bless you and your family, and thank you." Then a somber round of applause. The Captain read a prepared note from Mrs. Landaker to the effect, "Thank you all for your patience and heartfelt concern for us and our son. We sincerely appreciate the sentiment. It's good to have Jared home."
    >> After departing the a/c I found myself along with 30 others from our flight looking out the lobby window back at the plane. Not a dry eye. It was one of the most emotional moments I've ever experienced. We all stood there silently, and watched as Jared was taken by his honor guard to an awaiting hearse. Then the motorcade slowly made it's way off the ramp.
    >> I realized I had finally seen the silent majority. It is deep within us all. Black, Brown, White, Yellow, Red, Purple, we're all children, parents, brothers, sisters, etc - we are an American family.
    >> Official Report : February 7, 2007, Anbar Province , Iraq .. 1st LT Jared Landaker United States Marine Corps, from Big Bear California , gave his live in service to his country. Fatally wounded when his CH-46 helicopter was shot down by enemy fire. Jared and his crew all perished. His life was the ultimate sacrifice of a grateful military family and nation.
    >> His death occurred at the same time as Anna Nicole Smith , a drug using person with a 7th grade education of no pedigree who dominated our news for two weeks while Jared became a number on CNN. And most unfortunately, Jared's death underscores a fact that we are a military at war, not a nation at war. It has been said that Marines are at war. America is at the mall.
    >> 1st LT Landaker, a man I came to know in the sky's over America on 17 February 2007, from me to you, aviator to aviator, I am unbelievably humbled. It was my high honor to share your last flight. God bless you.

  20. We are a girly-nation now.

    Mommy government wants you to cry and get a big hug.

    Never mind the rough rabble in the sands of Mesopotamia and Central Asia. They do violence and they are icky.

    Mommy doesn't like violence and will not glorify it.

  21. "I'm sick of it!"

    Do something about it. Snap out from your passivity. Liberal induced behavior modification
    has habituated our society into becoming faggots in all but name. And yes, I am talking about dishing out physical violence.

  22. "It has been said that Marines are at war. America is at the mall."

    The Few. The Proud. The Not-At-The-Mall. Would Marines have it any other way? That's part of the appeal - for many, perhaps most, it is THE appeal. Engaged in an effort wholly foreign and entirely mystifying to the great mass that pass their entire lives at the mall, so to speak. It's a well-earned badge of pride.

  23. Flag etiquette and tradition are in a terrible state of confusion.

    After 9-11 US Flags attached to rolled up car windows allowed those never associated with the military (who learn the proper ways) to show the colors and "be an 'merican by G*d! Not to belittle there efforts but they took no reponsibility to see hoe our nations symbol should be cared for.
    Six months later a pitiful remnant of that same window flag would still be waving in the 80mph winds of the interstate, the owner oblivious to the fact that he/she should have replaced it long ago.
    I tried to let several of them know in grocery market parking lots etc that they should change it for a new one .... sometimes I'd get the finger or just told it wasn't my business.
    My too nice wife called me "down boy", maybe they just don't know, etc.

    Boy oh boy do they not know.

    Now we have Old Glory toilet seat covers,golf shirts, name it and Old Glory has been diminished to a Wal Mart decorator item. I makes me mad and sad.

  24. Mətušélaḥ,

    We had a meeting of the War Council last night. Aquarium,PossumTater,Sparrowhills,
    Habu, and our new member Blog Re-enactor-man were all there.

    Physcial violins are coming ..just stay in tune and keep your rosin dry.


  25. By Edward Cody
    Washington Post Foreign Service
    Tuesday, April 24, 2007; 9:34 AM

    BEIJING, April 24 -- Gunmen attacked a Chinese-run oilfield in Ethiopia early Tuesday, killing at least nine Chinese and more than 60 Ethiopian workers, according to the New China News Agency.

    The official agency, in a dispatch it said was confirmed by the Chinese Embassy in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, reported more than 100 Ethiopian soldiers beat back the attackers in nearly an hour of shooting. The battle took place just after dawn in an oilfield at Abole, a small town the agency said lies 90 miles from Jijiga in Ethiopia's Somali State near the border with Somalia.

  26. Matu!

    Been away for awhile.

    Things to do about "it":

    1. don't elect by political stripe, Dems and Repubs are the same. Elect a person you think is "real" and capable.

    2. don't give money or support to special interests that promise change but don't deliver. Most "conservative" and "liberal" groups fall into this category.

    3. write, email, phone; otherwise cajole and inform your Reps and Sens about your views and what you expect of them. Tell them point blank; "you work towards these things or I'll work against your reelection (I've done this!)

    4. Arm yourself with all the legal firearms you can and collect every bit of information you can about “fighting” the over-bearing government; local, state, and federal.

    5. Write and email all the internet (and non) think tanks you can to let them know you’re views. This includes Rush, Hannity, Beck and other LIBERALS. I’ve done this consistently. NRetardsOnline, The Very-Weakly Standard, etc. Most of these guys and gals are LIBERALS.

    6. Pick up the fight in your local community. The HS where the Tigress teaches has a FAGGOT, “Galaxy” club. The Tigress, with my help and others, started a Christian-based counseling club with guest speakers talking about how to move away from such influence in society. The GAYS tried to shut us down, including ripping down posters and complaining to the county seat. Luckily, the county stated if they could have a club, we could have a club!

    7. Start your own blog and publish and comment on articles that relate to your viewpoint. Press this opinion on others!

    8. Inform all you know about your activities; friends, relatives, clubs, and churches and urge them to help – I’ve all these things.

    I’m doing the best I know how with; work, health, and family issues just like everybody else has. If you can do more; great! And, while you’re at it tell us what you’re doing to fight the insanity.

  27. Tiger,

    Nothing too complicated:

    1] Identify your target.
    2] Work to undermine its survival and viability. (Use economic, political, and informational pressure).
    3] If the target identifies you as its target, apply physical pressure in reply.

  28. No, I said what are YOU doing?

  29. Brother D-Day said...We are a girly-nation now.

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

    Never mind the rough rabble in the sands of Mesopotamia and Central Asia.

    Never mind them. That's right. No more American boys dying for the lazy Iraqis who won't stand up to put down the insurgency, but in fact block our efforts at road blocks and walls. And we should have never sent our boys to die for the South Vietnamese. How about stationing them on our southern border for a nice change of pace?

  30. Hmm,..

    Where did you see me talk?

  31. MsT is correct.
    Sell them weapons, but that's it.

  32. Bases - seems like an obvious measure. But the White House, not quite.

    32 dead at a school shooting, on the other hand, a bit out of the ordinary (and I'm not one of the usual grief mongerers of said event).

  33. Oh, come on tiger, the school did what they could, they just could not do much."

    Unless I've missed something, there was a double shooting on campus. They did not find the guy, but didn't bother to even send out a campus notice, let alone close it down.

    I blame Bush.

  34. AP--Lewisotn, Idaho

    Doctors have released a former LCSC student hospitalized last week after making "Columbine type" threats against the school.

    Lewiston police said no charges have been filed against the 18 year old....A police investigation is currently complete, but Lt. Johnson said reports would be discussed with Nez Perce
    County Prosecutor Spickler in the next few days.

    Police and prosecutors will have to look at all the circumstances surrounding the incident before deciding whether or not to charge Sonnen with a crime, Spickler said.

    "We'll have to take a look at the full set of facts after we have all the information" Spickler said Monday.


    In other words, they couldn't figure a way to hold him, and are checking the law codes to see if they can charge him with something, which I am sure they would like to do. At this point the kid has been banned from campus, is all.

  35. Thanks for that, Habu:
    There was a great article early on in OIF of a similar story.

    Reminds us how we should honor and remember the fallen by exemplary behavior, expected of the Marines, but in this case, as in that, by ALL the Airline Employees, and Civilians.

    No expense spared on Jet Fuel, I bet, making sure they'd be early.
    I'll find that article and post a link if I can, guy was an LTC or something, told the story perfectly.

  36. Security, that is the responsibility of the Campus Police and the Town Police.

    They were interviewing the primary suspect, person of interest, as the second attack began.

    The Police thought they had the matter well in hand.

    Again out of the normal operations of the School Administrators, to override the opinion of the managing experts, the "Generals" so to speak. Just like Mr Bush allows with his Generals in Iraq and Afghanistan to command tactical operations.

    Why hold the President of the University to a higher standard than the President of the US?

  37. Teresita said...

    Brother D-Day said...We are a girly-nation now.

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

    It is. Fruit Loops, prayer rugs and Qu'rans for Jihadis on GITMO, so they don't get mad at us.

    We put panties on their heads, they saw ours off. We're the green meanies.

    Do what your attacker says, and DON'T use violence to resist. Violence never solved anything.

    ADD, ADHD, Ritalin, Restless Limb Syndrome(!??!?!), Therapy, Zero-Tolerance, Gun-Free Zones, Diversity is Our Strength, Bicycle Helmet Laws, Earth Day, Dodge Ball Bans and other assorted garbage passed off as preparing the young for real life.

    Pelosi, Clinton, Boxer, Feinstein, McCarthy and the rise of the yenta scold as political archetype for women in the USA.

    Yeah, it's a bad thing.

    Never mind the rough rabble in the sands of Mesopotamia and Central Asia...

    Never mind them. That's right. No more American boys dying for the lazy Iraqis who won't stand up to put down the insurgency, but in fact block our efforts at road blocks and walls. And we should have never sent our boys to die for the South Vietnamese. How about stationing them on our southern border for a nice change of pace?

    Hey, I'm not happy with the execution of the mission either. Just wanting to get our guys and gals in uniform some respect.

    My imperialist ass would have seized the southern Iraqi oilfields, set up Kurdistan, taken Kharg Island, sunk the Iranian Navy, blown the one Iranian gas refinery to smithereens, seized Saudi assets worldwide and Ras Tanura, given solid medium-range missles to India, shelled Waziristan and every other bunghole the Taliban and al-Q hide in Pakistan, flattened EVEY MADRASSAH in Pakistan and Afghanistan with three JDAMs each, decapitated the Syrian regime and introduced Southern Lebanon to the B-52 and 500lb dumb bomb. All in 60 days.

    OPEC would be disbanded and I would ensure the free flow of oil to the global markets, no longer controlled by a cartel of douchebags. I will be King Doucehbag, guarantor of safe passage to ships of all flags through the newly named American Gulf.

    Once the dust settles from the First Wave of CRUSADE X, I will let the whole Crescent of Instability know that Wave II kills power plants, water treatment facilities, universities and transport hubs. Wave III is the Big Enchilada. If it starts with "Mos" and ends with "que", it goes BOOM. All the way up to the moonrock in Mecca.

    To me, it is not these nation states with which there is a problem. ISLAM IS THE PROBLEM. I'm thinking Fourth Generation here.

    I'd be happy to inform the Islamic World that "yes, it is my intent to weaken you. Without oil, you can't export jihad and your other assorted fineries. The world thanks you for being lucky enough to be sitting on top of the most valuable resource of the 20th century that you in your tribal ways would have never found without knowledge and help from the kufir.

    "Any time you try to impose Arab Tribalism with a monotheist slant to anyplace outside of your filthy sandbox, the bombers, tanks and berzerkers will return.

    "We, the civilized world, will set aside 20% from all oil sold into bank accounts from which we will distribute to you once you have either; formed a peaceful coalition to govern yourselves and live at peace with the rest of the planet, or had the strongest tribe kill everyone else off. We will keep that tribe on a short leash and never allow it to control oil production, distribution, transportation and revenue. Ever."

    If I were imperialist for a day, that's how I would piss off the world. Man style.

  38. "Security, that is the responsibility of the Campus Police and the Town Police.

    They were interviewing the primary suspect, person of interest, as the second attack began.

    The Police thought they had the matter well in hand.

    Again out of the normal operations of the School Administrators, to override the opinion of the managing experts, the "Generals" so to speak. Just like Mr Bush allows with his Generals in Iraq and Afghanistan to command tactical operations.

    Why hold the President of the University to a higher standard than the President of the US?"

    It is called precaution and has nothing to do with the President of the US.

  39. There are 25,000 students at VT, another couple thousand employees.

    The size of a small town.
    Life does not stop when there is a murder. Not in a free country.

    Where were all those folk to go, back to chos' dorm? How do you get word to all those in transit, at 7:45am?
    The Police, the professionals, "knew" it was a domestic dispute.

    They were wrong, in 20/20 hindsight. But the Administration followed approved procedures.

    Followed the advise of the experts, they did. Just like Mr Bush, just like all "good" elitest managers

  40. Brother D-Day,

    Glad to have you on the team.