“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, July 17, 2007

Life Gets Hard - Guest Post By Doug

"Too sexy for my bus," woman told

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German bus driver threatened to throw a 20-year-old sales clerk off his bus in the southern town of Lindau because he said she was too sexy, a newspaper reported Monday.

"Suddenly he stopped the bus," the woman named Debora C. told Bild newspaper. "He opened the door and shouted at me 'Your cleavage is distracting me every time I look into my mirror and I can't concentrate on the traffic. If you don't sit somewhere else, I'm going to have to throw you off the bus.'"

The woman, pictured in Bild wearing her snug-fitting summer clothes with the plunging neckline, said she moved to another seat but was humiliated by the bus driver.

A spokesman for the bus company defended the driver.

"The bus driver is allowed to do that and he did the right thing," the spokesman said. "A bus driver cannot be distracted because it's a danger to the safety of all the passengers."


  1. It was the worst of times; it was the bust of times!

  2. Thank God he wasn't flying an airplane! . Next we'll be having "sexcurity" wardens on public transporation working "boob patrol." This will have to be a man's job which could cause trouble!

  3. By not embracing timelines to Victory, Mr Bush has left the Iraqi government with no motivation and less hope that the US will ever leave.

    It has caused the expansion of the aQ factions in Iraq and has fostered a long term Civil War by arming anti-Government insurgents of the 1920 Brigades, in Anbar.

    The GOP resoluting stands by a Policy that cannot win militarily, as claimed by the Commander US Forces, Iraq, General P.

    Despite US military advances on the ground, the US is not a day closer to political reconciliation. In fact the Iraqi are due to start their 45 day vaction, to escape the heat of Baghdad.

    Such leaders, as would send US forces into a political quagmire, with no military victory possible, are contemptible and unfit to lead.

    As Dick Cheney told US all, in 1993

  4. Not nearly as funny as a girl stopping a bus with her boobs, but, if the price of Mr Maliki's success is Al Franken in the Senate, the US will have lost more than a battle against whomever it is fighting in Iraq that is the enemy du jour.

    In Minnesota, Sen. Norm Coleman raised about $300,000 less in the second quarter than his best-known Democratic challenger, comedian Al Franken.

    Voting with their wallets, the folk in Minnesota are doing.

    Senator Franken, oye vey!

    2006 will seem like a good year for the GOP, looking back from the future of January, 2009.

    No one will understand quite how the GOP lost it all, both the US and Iraq, but many will find a way to credit Dan Rather, rather than George W Bush, I'm sure.

  5. jeeez what a bust of a post, what we'd expect of dougal:0)

  6. "Ads running in my state are not going to have any impact on my judgment," Coleman said. "If I took a poll in Minnesota right now, a majority of folks in my state would say, 'Get out of Iraq right away.' But I know that would be a disaster."

    By election time, he said, the U.S. will have charted a better course in Iraq.

    Why wait for "Election time" for a "better course".

    How many US soldiers must die, before Mr Coleman's dream of a better course is realized?

    What will cahnge in 60 days?
    What cultural transformation will appear?
    Will Col Pinkerton have engaged in a firefight with Iraqi Federal troops, while defending his local 1920 Brigade criminal militia, from the Federal Iraqi Army, by September?

  7. Besides the '08 election is in full swing, now.
    It is Election time in the US of A.

    It always is election time.
    The way the system works, now.

    Mr Coleman is 300,000 votes behind, Al Franken.
    Truth be known.

  8. This is the very kind of post that got the EB busted at the public library in Gallipolis, Ohio. Inappropriate content, the notice said. Distracting young minds, and such.

  9. ADD's got nothin on Me:
    I've been distracted since day 1.

  10. Obviously Ms Glick is not up to speed on the progress in Anbar. She does not appreciate how, by funding and arming terrorists, peace and reconciliation will be achieved.

    She is so "old school"

    The Joke's on Us
    By Caroline Glick

    'It's all a joke. It's just a joke." That's how the Palestinian terror commanders in Judea and Samaria explained the show they made of handing in their weapons to Fatah commander Mahmoud Abbas's official militias over the weekend.

    "This is all a big joke," they told reporters while posing for pictures. "Abbas asked us to sign a declaration saying we won't attack Israel and so we are." And why not? The Palestinian Authority Chairman agreed to pay them thousands of dollars in exchange for the photo opportunities. There is also the non-financial incentive. In exchange for their propaganda photos and their signatures on declarations not to engage in terror anymore, Israel has pledged to take these murderers off of its wanted list. So just for participating in a satire, these men get to walk without fear for the first time in years.

    The deal between Prime Minister Olmert and Abbas claims that 178 members of Fatah's Aksa Martyrs' Brigades terror organization will hand in their weapons and pledge to stop being terrorists. From now on the only Palestinians in Judea and Samaria who will bear arms will be members of Abbas's "official" security forces. But since most of these men are already members of those official militias, and the rest are set to be commissioned in short order, the deal has no impact on any of them.

    In anticipation of the formalization of the agreement at the Olmert-Abbas meeting yesterday, the IDF ended its nightly raids in Judea and Samaria for the first time in five years. Those raids, in which thousands of terrorists were apprehended in their sleep and their networks disrupted, were the main reason that Israelis in Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, Netanya and Hadera have been able to sleep in a modicum of safety for the past three years.

    One thing is true, though, that Palistinian hit it on the head.

    What the US and Israel are doing now, in the pursuit of "peace",
    it is a joke.

    Peace through changing the definition of the Enemy.

    Same as peace through surrender.
    No wonder the Iraqi Government is pissed. They believed US.

  11. THE GOVERNMENT'S decision to grant immunity to these terror-masters represents a complete breakdown of Israeli strategic thinking. This cognitive break with reality is all the more disconcerting as it comes at a time when Iran, Syria, Hizbullah and the Palestinians remain firmly on war-footing.

  12. Anyone know if Ms Glick could stop a bus, with her boobs?

  13. "Peace through superior buying power"

    John Podhoretz
    July 17, 2007 -- PRESIDENT Bush yester day essentially told the Palestinian people that American money would rain down on their heads - kind of like the manna that fed the Jews in the desert thousands of years ago - if they just renounced terror.

    What Bush said is simply a matter of fact. Right now, America is raining half a billion dollars on the Palestinian government solely because it's kinda-sorta acting a little bit like it's maybe possibly giving up on terror.

    And, if the Palestinians just straightened up and flew right, there'd be a whole lot more where that came from.

    In a major address on the current Palestinian political crisis yesterday afternoon, Bush tried to make clear just how beneficial it would be for the Palestinians if they just did the plain, simple and inarguably right thing: Recognize Israel, cease using terror as a political instrument and embrace democratization.

    A Palestinian state would follow in very short order. And that state would be the recipient of warm-hearted largesse like the world has seldom showed to any other new country.

  14. If the People of Minnesota elect Al Franken I'm taking Bemidji off my Best Small Cities List. Place did seem to have the potential for thoughtless revolutionary ferver, come to think more clearly about it.

  15. Coleman still has a substantial lead on Franken. The money's coming in from outside the state (Hollywood).

  16. Anyone know if Ms Glick could stop a bus, with her boobs?

    I'm not sure if she's chesty enough for that. But I do believe that she has a weapon pointed at you.

    She does appear to have more balls, though, than Mr. Olmert and his whole cabinet.

    But don't worry, Mr. Bush will get things all worked out this fall with the Son of Oslo peace agreement. It will be a good opportunity for Candy to get some more international exposure too. The witless advised by the clueless Arghh.

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Well, cutler, not knowing anything about the Minnesota race, yesterday, one can learn a lot in 10 minutes on the web.

    Mr Franken reports:

    Other second quarter fundraising notes:
    • The average contribution to the campaign in the second quarter was $65.10.
    • Nearly 2,000 people who contributed to the campaign in the first quarter, or nearly 20 percent, made another contribution in the second quarter.
    • The campaign has received contributions from every county in Minnesota and from every state in the nation.
    • The campaign received only $5,500 from PACs in the second quarter, including $5,000 from Sen. Dick Durbin's (D-Ill.) Prairie PAC and $500 from GMP Political Education League, the PAC of the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics, & Allied Workers International Union. In the first quarter, Al received just $15,000 from PACs (including $5,000 from his own Midwest Values PAC), while Sen. Coleman received nearly a third of his total ($450,000) from PACs.

    Hollywood, that and Las Vegas, the sources of all immorality in the Americas.

    But how many Hollywooders or Vegans, at $65.10 a piece did Mr Franken get? No one says.

    Mr Coleman, on the other hand, got almost a third of his donations from PACs, those corporate political fundraising machines, not individuals.

    I'd say, off hand, Mr Franken still golds the "populist" edge, as far as fundraising is concerned, at this point.

    While Mr Coleman still maintains an overall lead with:... a cash-on-hand advantage, with $3.8 million in his campaign account. Franken has just under $2 million.

    But campaign funds do "roll over" so Mr Coleman may be sitting on funds from his previous attempt or off year fundraising, or funds from before Mr Franken announced.

    Mr Franken should not be dismissed, lightly, for while a comic of sorts, he is no buffoon.

    For a race that has already gotten national attention partly because of Franken's celebrity, the early dollars show that Franken, a former "Saturday Night Live" performer and a liberal radio talk-show host, is serious about cash, analysts said.
    A Franken campaign statement said he raised money from 10,000 donors in all 50 states, although it didn't say how much came from outside Minnesota. His fundraising total more than doubles the $580,000 Amy Klobuchar raised during the same period two years ago on her way to winning election last fall.

  19. ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Associated Press) -- A suicide bomber blew himself up in the Pakistani capital Tuesday as hundreds gathered for a rally featuring the country's suspended chief justice, police said. At least 12 people were killed in the explosion, one of at least two deadly attacks in the volatile country.

    In Pakistan's lawless northwest, which like the capital is reeling from a burst of violence by Islamic extremists, another suicide bomber killed three soldiers guarding a key road near the Afghan border and a bystander, clouding government efforts to resurrect a disputed peace pact in a stronghold of Taliban and al-Qaida militants.

  20. Life is Hard

    Last week the president, at his press conference, accused Iran of supplying the Shiite car bombers of Iraq. He also accused Syria of being a conduit for Sunni terrorists entering Iraq. These are acts of war, which bring about the deaths of U.S. soldiers. We would be perfectly justified in acting militarily against Iran and Syria, if these reports are true (which I am sure they are). So why don’t we? Because that would make the war much bigger, and we don’t want a bigger war.

    Similarly with Pakistan, where al Qaeda has its main bases, and where the Number One and Number Two of the organization, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, have been domiciled for the past five years. Why don’t we go in and clean out the rats’ nest up there in the tribal areas of northern Pakistan? Same answer. To do so, we’d need another half million troops in theater, and we don’t want a bigger war.

    The Pakistan situation is particularly distressing because it casts doubt on our entire stated strategy in Iraq. We are supposed to be standing up a fairly stable, reasonably democratic government in Baghdad, so that al Qaeda can get no foothold in Iraq, and to serve as a beacon to which Muslims everywhere can raise their suffering, tear-stained faces in hope. Yet in Pakistan, whose government is as stable and democratic as can be hoped for in that neck of the woods (they have even elected a female prime minister — twice!), al Qaeda has settled in very nicely. Nor do the world’s Muslims seem to look wistfully to Islamabad as a shining city on a hill.

    Worse yet: The CIA’s deputy director for intelligence, John Kringen, told the House Armed Services Committee the other day that he fears al Qaeda may be entrenching itself in Europe.

    Wait a minute:
    Are not European governments stable and democratic?
    Which European nation’s government falls below the standard for stability and democracy that we hope to establish in Iraq?

    John Derbyshire,
    "Means and Ends"
    an interesting perspective

  21. So far as military operations are concerned, our preferred means is counterinsurgency — the “surgical” winkling-out of jihadis from among civilian populations, with as few collateral casualties as possible. There is a respectable body of thought that argues this is a waste of time founded on illusions, that the only effective counterinsurgency techniques are those employed by the Romans, the Ottomans, and the Nazis.

    Whether that is the case or not, these dainty means, with their dainty economic and diplomatic equivalents, are all we shall employ. The grosser means of earlier wars — carpet-bombing, ethnic internment, mass exclusion, government requisition of entire industries — are not appropriate. We all feel that instinctively. Why do we feel it? Because we know that the end — the suppression of a worldwide nuisance — is not really that important, except in the president’s flights of gassy rhetoric.

    In the National Review of all places.

  22. Counterinsurgency warfare as military malpractice

    Mr Derbyshire's "... a respectable body of thought ... ".

    Read More!

  23. ... reflects another kind of politics, manifest in the ambivalence of a United States government that is willing to fight wars, that is willing to start wars because of future threats, that is willing to conquer territory or even entire countries, and yet is unwilling to govern what it conquers, even for a few years. Consequently, for all the real talent manifest in the writing of FM 3-24 DRAFT, its prescriptions are in the end of little or no use and amount to a kind of malpractice. All its best methods, all its clever tactics, all the treasure and blood that the United States has been willing to expend, cannot overcome the crippling ambivalence of occupiers who refuse to govern, and their principled and inevitable refusal to out-terrorize the insurgents, the necessary and sufficient condition of a tranquil occupation.

  24. While I also have problems with more PC versions of counter-insurgency (what David Galula called "the psychologists"), Luttwak's article is over-rated.

    I say that as a fan, because he's usually an iconoclast worth reading. Nevertheless, on that one he went off the reservation, even if it does have some worthwhile portions (such as the effects of COIN on Western conventional armies).

    For one example, anyone using the Germans (or Italians) in Europe (the latter of which I'm reading about now) as an example of successful pacification by brutality doesn't know what they are talking about. It was in places that they were the most brutal (usually for ideological reasons) that they caused the most resistance.

    The Germans had to stick about 20 divisions in Yugoslavia alone to try and contain the mess they made out of it - and they never did contain it. On the Russian Front they provoked entire partisan armies behind their lines. In Poland they provoked the Warsaw Uprising and the Home Army.

  25. Posted by Michael Smith
    at July 17, 2007 12:56 PM

    Vanya said:

    "Governments" in the Middle East are to a shocking extent irrelevant since they are corrupt and isolated, and have very little control over large elements of their populations. Well funded Saudi wahabists clearly present a far greater danger to the lives of US citizens, than the Syrian or Iranian governments do, and are far less amenable to traditional diplomatic pressure. We've already seen clearly in Iraq that taking out the hostile government actually makes the problem worse.

    This is a contradiction. If it were true that governments in the middle east are "irrelevant" and have "very little control" over their populations, then removing Hussein wouldn't have "made the problem worse" in Iraq.

    And if the government of Saudi Arabia, for example, were truly friendly toward us, those "well-funded wahabists" wouldn't be funded at all. They are getting that funding from the Saudi government, who has total control over all of their oil revenues, which is virtually all the revenue they have.

    Nor can it be true that the government of Pakistan is friendly toward us -- not if they are tolerating within their borders the presence of the Taliban and a resurgent Al Qaeda, including bin Laden, al-Zawahiri, et al. And not if they refuse to let us launch air strikes and/or send in ground troops to kill the bastards.

    Vanya also claimed:

    But believing that attacking Iran and Syria is going to cow Saudi and Egyptian Islamists into submission is beyond stupid.

    I disagree completely. If both the governments and populations of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt knew -- beyond all doubt -- that permitting terrorist organizations to function in their borders or supporting them financially or otherwise carried with it the risk of an overwhelming and devastating attack by the full might of America's military -- completely unleashed the way it was in WWII against Japan, for instance -- those governments -- and for the most part, the populations as well -- would be doing everything in their power to stop all such terrorist activity, including inviting us to make air strikes on selected areas of their country or invading with ground troops if necessary to kill the bastards. If those countries knew they faced the kind of destruction we visited on Japan in WWII, support and all funding for terrorist organizations would quickly cease.

    The one thing despots and tyrants want is to remain in power and they will generally do whatever it takes to accomplish that.

    But what have we done since 9/11 to create this kind of motivating fear in regimes that are clearly tolerating and funding terrorist organizations within their own borders?

    Bush promised to retaliate and destroy the terrorists. But what kind of retaliation did we inflict?

    Bush’s first act was to began an immediate campaign of appeasement by praising the enemy’s ideology. Bush hailed Islam as a “great religion” and invited prominent Muslim clerics to break the fast of Ramadan at the White House.

    We declared that this great religion had been hijacked by a tiny minority who were misrepresenting the “true meaning” of Islam. We declared that we accepted the claim that the vast majority of Muslims simply want to live in peaceful coexistence with the rest of the world.

    We properly named our initial military action, “Operation Infinite Justice”, but that was quickly dropped because we agreed with the Muslim claim that “only Allah can dispense justice”, thereby legitimizing the notion that religious claims take precedence over our own decisions.

    We declared the entire population of the middle east off limits to attack. Thus, the millions that openly celebrated the 9/11 slaughter, the vast collection of Islamic authority figures and imams who for decades had been praying for such destruction on American soil, all of these people were declared off-limits and immediately granted safety.

    We agreed that we, the United States, would bear the moral responsibility for any civilian deaths that might occur during our retaliation -- when in fact, and in justice, such moral responsibility must rest with the aggressors that make the retaliation necessary. Here we handed the terrorists a great victory, a victory they could never have achieved on their own: We granted them the right to use human shields -- the right to hide in and among the hordes of Muslims that populate the middle east -- the right to hide safe and secure from our military forces.

    Then, out of all the nations known to be complicit in supporting terrorism, including the king of all state supporters, Iran, a nation that is racing to acquire a nuclear weapon to make good on the “Death to America” chant spoken by huge crowds of Iranians at government rallies -- out of all the nations, including Saudi Arabia, who is funding the wahabists and establishing madrassas all over the mid-east to spread Islamic propaganda -- out of all these potential targets we chose to go after the absolute pipsqueak of them all: Afghanistan and the Taliban.

    Furthermore, we chose not to attack this pipsqueak directly and with all the weapons we have at our disposal. Instead we used only a tiny fraction of our power and fought through local warlords, who were allowed to make whatever deals they wanted to with the Taliban and Al Qaeda, deals to allow them to slip over the border into Pakistan and escape the few forces we had in country.

    We didn’t even dare to drop bombs without also dropping food and medical supplies at the same time, supplies some of which doubtless ended up in enemy hands.

    Yes, the Taliban and Al Qaeda thoroughly deserved to be destroyed. But by attacking such a pipsqueak, and by doing so in a manner that let many of them escape, we provoked the opposite of deterrence: a sigh of relief spread across the middle east. America was indeed still a paper tiger without the moral courage to use her overpowering forces.

    After Afghanistan, what did we do next?

    To be sure, there was plenty of tough talk from President Bush. “You are either with us or you are with the terrorists” he proclaimed as he promised to go after an “an axis of evil”. But once again, rather than go after the biggest threat, Bush chose to attack the relatively secular nation of Iraq.

    The attack on Iraq was justified. Hussein was indeed a threat to America; since the invasion, we have learned that he was intent on weaseling his way out of the UN sanctions so he could start-up his WMD program once again.

    But the manner in which we have conducted the entire Iraq campaign has done nothing but reinforce our image as a paper tiger.

    - Our soldiers fight under ridiculous rules of engagement that explicitly place a higher value on the life of an Iraqi civilian than on the life of an American soldier.

    - We continue to allow the insurgents and terrorist to hide safely among civilian populations. Our military is forced to hunt the terrorists the way the police hunt criminals. When terrorists take over a town like Falluja, do we flatten it immediately with massive carpet bombing? No, we give the terrorists plenty of time and notice that we are coming -- so they can escape to another town.

    - We capture terrorists and then the Iraqi government lets them go.
    - Iran openly manufactures advanced IEDs that the insurgents use to kill our troops -- and we do nothing about it.

    - Syria permits suicide bombers from all over the middle east to cross into Iraq from their side of the border -- and we do nothing about it.

    - We grant the populations of Afghanistan and Iraq the right to from whatever kind of government and chose whatever kind of leaders they wish, and when they form theocracies that enshrine Islam as the law of the land and elect leaders openly sympathetic to Iran -- we do nothing about it.

    - When thugs like Sadr form death squads and attack our troops -- we do nothing about it.

    We have created the opposite of deterrence: we have created in the minds of the regimes in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Syria and Iran the firm belief that they have nothing to fear from America, that it is okay to continue funding terrorists and allowing them to exist within their borders.

    We are attempting to fight under suicidal constraints that grant the terrorists every advantage. The notion that we cannot use our overpowering military force because doing so will “solidify the people behind their leaders” is asinine. What solidifies people behind a regime is when it successfully attacks or defies America and gets away with it. What solidifies resistance is a half-assed, limited, partial, appeasing effort to fight under JAG-policed rules of engagement that grant the enemy the right to use any civilian as an unassailable human shield.

    We cannot win this way.

    To stop the international jihad requires that we throw-off the self-imposed constraints that are now killing us. We must recognize that the right of self-defense gives us the moral right to destroy those who are threatening to destroy us. If a man points a gun at your head, you are not obliged to wait until he pulls the trigger before invoking your right to self-defense -- you can morally shoot him before he shoots you.

    We must recognize that in any war, the moral responsibility for all civilian deaths rests squarely with the aggressive regime that makes the war necessary. This does not mean that civilians can be killed gratuitously. But it does mean that if civilians must be killed as part and parcel of the process of destroying those that threaten us, it is not we who must be held accountable -- it is the party that makes our actions necessary, the party that created the threat in the first place.

    The civilians of a nation that is threatening its neighbors do not have the right to expect the citizens of the other nation to commit suicide by waiting until the threat is actualized. Nor can they demand perfect targeting by those civilians. There is no right to purchase your own safety and freedom by demanding that others give up their safety and freedom. You cannot demand that others accept risks to their lives so that you can avoid any risk to yours. There is no right to be used as a human shield. There is no right to expect to suffer no consequences from the fact that the government of one’s nation is proposing the destruction of another country.

    Accordingly, we should target the biggest sponsor of state terrorism on the planet -- Iran -- and do to it exactly what we did to Japan in WWII. We can do so strictly with air power, without an invasion and without an occupation. There is no need to hang around and attempt nation building -- we simply promise to monitor the situation and return to revisit the destruction should any new threat emerge.

    We then tell the rest of the mid-east that if we uncover any evidence of terrorist activity within their borders or any evidence that they are providing any kind of moral or financial support to the bastards, we will visit the same level of destruction on their nation.

    I don’t think we’ll have to take down anyone other than Iran. I think the authoritarian regimes in the middle east will put a lid on the jihad in a real hurry.

    And please, spare me the standard knee-jerk response that such an attack is genocide. I'm not advocating the killing of Iranians because they are Iranians; I'm advocating the destruction of the Iranian regime because it is bent on OUR destruction and because ending it, and ending it spectacularly, will probably put an end to the support of terrorism by other middle eastern regimes.


  26. Friggen Reuters didn't have a link to Bild.

  27. I found it last nite, Whit, and the picture was cut off above the Boobs!
    F..... Krauts!
    Cute Face, tho.

  28. Thanks, Bob.

    Michael Smith has hit it right on the mark with that post.