“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."

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

An Englishman Speaks his Mind.

An Englishman speaks his mind on Islam.

Hattip: the indefatigable Tiger at Observanda.


  1. That was fucking brilliant, Whit.

  2. Two Lebanese soldiers and four Islamist militants were killed yesterday in fierce battles at a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon, security sources said.

    They said fighting between the troops and the militants erupted on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning at Nahr al-Bared camp, adding that troops made some advance inside the camp.

    The Lebanese army said on Tuesday that troops have discovered a large number of weapons, ammunition and military equipment as they move ahead cautiously inside the remains of the camp.

    Camp Battles

  3. wonderful....

    I tip my hat to a wonderful person...

    wonderful wonderful wonderful

  4. Where in the HELL did you find THAT? Fanfreakintastic. Can I have it?

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  6. Four minutes and fifty seconds of brilliant cutting wit
    that should be on every blog on the planet. Undeniable, unarguable unvarnished truth that deserves to be screamed from the roof tops of the ethernet. Hear, hear, bloody good show all that!


  7. The antiwar reaction to the O'Hanlon/Pollack op-ed, and to the likely consequences of American withdrawal, suggest what will happen come September, when Petraeus reports to Congress. Those who want to leave Iraq as quickly as possible will ignore contrary evidence.

    They will attempt to shift the debate onto the ground where they are strongest. They will attack the messenger.

    For those most committed to American withdrawal from Iraq, no amount of positive reporting will matter. They will be too busy dancing the Iraq shuffle.

    Iraq Shuffle

  8. At a June 1994 press conference, Giuliani decried anti-illegal immigration policies as unfair and hostile.

    "Some of the hardest-working and most productive people in this city are undocumented aliens," Giuliani said at the time. "If you come here and you work hard and you happen to be in an undocumented status, you're one of the people who we want in this city. You're somebody that we want to protect, and we want you to get out from under what is often a life of being like a fugitive, which is really unfair."

    At a speech in Minneapolis in 1996, Giuliani defended Koch's executive order, that, in his words "protects undocumented immigrants in New York City from being reported to the INS while they are using city services that are critical for their health and safety, and for the health and safety of the entire city."

    "There are times when undocumented immigrants must have a substantial degree of protection," Giuliani said.

    Rudy Giuliani:

  9. Thanks, I can't believe someone hasn't had this all over the internet by now.

  10. This weekend’s Iowa Republican straw vote signals that the preliminaries are almost over for the 2008 presidential nomination process. The question is whether Republican candidates have forgotten what comes afterward — a general election.


    Mitt Romney rarely misses an opportunity to salute Bush’s fortitude; Rudolph Giuliani is as dismissive of Democratic efforts to shorten the war in Iraq as Bush is; John McCain never wavers in advocacating the surge strategy that has undercut his standing with independents. The man in the wings, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, has said less on Iraq than any of the others but is courting Bush-Cheney conservatives in the South.


    History suggests right and wrong answers. Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush furnished the right answer in 1988.

    Distance from Bush

  11. 'Qur'an should be banned' - Wilders strikes again

    The leader of the Netherlands' right-wing Freedom Party, Geert Wilders, has called for a ban on the sale and distribution of the Qur'an. He would also outlaw the book’s use in the mosque and at home. Mr Wilders says the Qur'an (Koran) is a fascist book which promotes violence and is similar to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

    Geert Wilders with finger raised
    In a letter-to-the-editor in today’s de Volkskrant newspaper, Wilders argues that the Qur'an should only be permitted for research at an academic level.

    However, the MP - who is known for his controversial statements about Islam - says he knows his proposal doesn’t stand a chance of being approved by parliament. His Freedom Party has nine seats in the 150-seat Dutch lower house of parliament.

    A warning

    Geert Wilders says he wants his proposal to serve as a warning to radical Muslims who misuse the Qur'an to justify the use of violence. His statement comes in response to the recent attacks on Ehsan Jami, founder of the Committee for Former Muslims. He says the perpetrators use the Qur'an as an excuse for the attacks. Wilders writes that
    “The book incites hatred and killing and therefore has no place in our legal order.”
    The jurist, commentator and co-member of the Committee for Former Muslims, Afshin Ellian also thinks that the Qur'an “possesses extremely violent passages with regard to women, Jews and non-believers”. However, he is against a ban. Mr Ellian says you should take measures against the people who abuse the Qur'an, not the book itself:
    “It’s a religious book which of course can be read and discussed. What we really should fight are the radical imams and mosques which use the Qur'an to spread hatred. We must take firmer measures against them.”

    Geert Wilders compares the Qur'an with Mein Kampf, which was written by Adolf Hitler in 1924. In his book, Hitler explained his theories about National Socialism, anti-Semitism and the superiority of the Aryan race.

    The sale of Mein Kampf is outlawed in the Netherlands, but owning or trading old copies is permitted. However, Mr Wilders’ proposal to ban the Qur'an is more drastic than the ban on Mein Kampf because it would also outlaw the possession of the book.

  12. Makes a lot of sense to me.

  13. A Muslim analyst for the New York City Police Department is suing the city for workplace harassment, alleging he was subject to a regular stream of "anti-Islamic" messages from an e-mail list run by a former adviser who trained detectives in counter-terrorism.


    According to the suit, Tefft's personal notes on the e-mails included comments such as "a good Muslim … can't be a good American," "Burning the hate-filled Koran should be viewed as a public service at the least," and "This is not a war against terrorism ... it is against Islam and we are not winning."


    Tefft pointed out his services were donated to the NYPD by his company, Orion Scientific Systems, which covered all of his expenses, including a weekly commute from his home in suburban Washington, D.C., to New York City.

    Anti-Islamic Messages

  14. Finally, we get a peek at Emmanuel Goldstein. Big Brother, I hope you're watching!

  15. I am a farmer, and a Republican, and I have a wife, and a daughter, and I am for kicking the muzzies out of America. The reason I am for kicking the muzzies out of America is because I am a farmer, and have a wife and daughter.

    I love the constitution, and my wife and daughter.

  16. The reason that Rudy's immigration stance is not widely broadcast, rufus, is the mainstream GOP, the Bushie's Party loyalists see only two real options for the Fall of '08.

    Rudy, campaign, compete and win on competency
    Stand up Ron Paul and lose on Principal.

    Trish thinks principal should guide the rudder, and in the Primaries that may the case. But come the Fall of '08, if the GOP wants to take a fall, and a lickin' like Mr Goldwater or worse, Mr Ford and the GOP did in 1974, stick to reactionary litmus tests.
    That the current crop of GOP hopefuls is the best they can field, speaks to the weakness of the entire elitist political class.

    They cannot even find worthy pigs to paint thelipstick on.
    It was not a 50/50 division, back in the day. 50/50 may have been the GOP highwater mark. Especially if it were to nominate a Christian cultist or a empty Hollywood suit for the upcoming election.

    If housing does turn around in the next 12- 15 months, and there is no sign it will, Mr Shadegg could join JD as an ex-Congressman. There is blood in the water, here, a feeding frenzy could easily begin, but Mr Bush and his Team, they keep chumming.

  17. Keep strummin like it's 1999.

  18. Rove's secret strategy is to time events in Iraq perfectly with '08 elections, such that EVERYBODY KNOWS Iraq permanently tanked the GOP,
    taking attention away from the fact that Rove, McCain, Kennedy, and GWB had already accomplished that task with 8 years of intense cultivation of

    "Illegals is America."tm

  19. Why We Are Losing Hearts and Minds

    Where have our leaders gone wrong? What kind of leadership failure can demoralize a whole nation of honest, productive citizens, while leaving suicide murderers stirred to righteous action?

    The power that inspires righteous action--and which, by its absence, breeds discouragement--is the power of moral idealism. What has brought us to our present state is our leaders' moral weakness in response to the jihadists' moral zeal.

    Observe that what draws the recruits to terrorist cells is a powerful ideal: the advancement of their religion. The jihadists believe fervently that Islam is the revealed word of Allah, that selfless submission to Allah is the purpose of life, and that all individuals should be subjugated to Islamic law under a theocracy. They believe in spreading the rule of Islam worldwide, and killing any "infidels" who stand in their way. They are morally outraged by the American ideal of individual liberty and regard our this-worldly, capitalistic culture as an evil that must be destroyed.

    America can only defend itself against such a zealous, militant movement if we have moral confidence in our own ideals--and fight for them. We must repudiate the Islamists' "ideals" of other-worldliness, of blind faith, of renunciation and suffering, of theocracy, and proudly uphold the superior, American ideals of reason, freedom, and the pursuit of worldly happiness.

    But our leaders have not shown such moral confidence.

    When the terrorists of Sept. 11 struck in the name of Islam, President Bush did not identify them as Islamic totalitarians and condemn their murderous ideology and its supporters. Instead, he painted the hijackers as a band of isolated lunatics who had "hijacked a great religion."

  20. Bush thinks America's Greatness lies somewhere between Billy Graham, 12 Steps, and a Harvard MBA.

  21. ...and, of course, the Boners.
    Most of All.

  22. He's also got videos on Christianity and other religions, if I remember correctly.

  23. Remember, doug, back in the BC hay days, I'd ask, "Who is the enemy?"

    And all there would respond with varients of mussulmen, wahhabists, rag heads, etc. The Sauds, the Golden Chain, the Mullahs of Iran.

    Pakistan was totally secure, never to be a threat, their nukes, now worry, though a mussulman country, to an extreme and founders and funders of the Taliban of Afghanistan, prior to the attack on 09-11-01.

    Now, no one knows who the Enemy is.
    It is not 1920 Brigade Baathist insurgents, they are our allies, now. It is not Mr al-Sadr as his faction hold 30 some seats in Parliment and 5 or 6 Ministries in the Iraqi government.

    aQ is the actionable enemy, every where but Pakistan, the 43ers say now.
    What is so interesting to watch, is how the "Surge" is playing to script and just how many folk are now thinking the tide has really turned in Iraq, what with all the "good news", now that Saddam's Baathist terrorists are on our side.

    When in truth, for the important political component, the tide is not even close to ebb for US, there.

    That truth will hit home in the Spring of '08.

  24. Petraeus on the Alan Colmes show, I haven't listened yet, but it is obviously probably worth it.

  25. As those now seeing US "turning the corner" will feel multiple levels of disappointment and betrayal, when the political component in Iraq implodes, just when everything was painted so rosy.

    The US reacting to political events on the ground, not shaping them. Mr Bush telling Mr Maliki that Maliki does not understand the situation, there, and is not "doing" enough. That General P knows what's best for Iraq, not its' elected leaders.

    Mr Bush not truly believing in the truths of his own rhetoric.

  26. The Eternal City of Wafa Sultan
    Muslim Michael Moore and
    Our American Indian Guilt.

    (comes up with a clearer answer than any of us has)

  27. "Mr Bush not truly believing in the truths of his own rhetoric. "
    As with Bubba and the Cookie-Cooker,
    who could tell?

    Certainly not any of the pricipals.

    Wonderous Web they Weave, indeed.

  28. Bottom Line for MMM:
    (Muslim Michael Moore)

    "We are the Victims"

  29. Thank you, Karl Marx, the New Left and all the NEA "educators" they spawned, MSM, Hollyweird, Ash...

  30. "When in truth, for the important political component, the tide is not even close to ebb for US, there.

    "That truth will hit home in the Spring of '08."

    Maybe. That Telegraph story from a week or so ago set up a nice Mutt and Jeff on the parts of Crocker and Petraeus. I assume that came from our end. What was the point in putting it out?

  31. In the, "this would be humorous if it wasn't so pathetic" file, Fatah accidently (*?*) pays Hamas salaries.

  32. "They are morally outraged by the American ideal of individual liberty and regard our this-worldly, capitalistic culture as an evil that must be destroyed."

    Some do, true. But I've come to think of this more as a bit of guilty projection on our part - rather than the fundamental motivation on theirs.

    When was the last time that individual liberty and this-worldly , capitalistic culture was thoroughly defended at home? By those who claim to want to conserve them?

  33. "They are morally outraged by the American ideal of individual liberty and regard our this-worldly, capitalistic culture as an evil that must be destroyed."

    Sounds like the Euro-socialists.

  34. It's not just or even primarily the EuroSocialists, cutler. The gravest damage we can do, we do ourselves.

    But if it's the EuroSocialists - our allies in law - you want to talk about, let's talk about the far-outlived albatross of NATO.

  35. Surviving well beyond its original intent.

    Do you think new security adoptees are better?

  36. I'm officially in the Peggy Noonan, "time to stop obsessing over Reagan" camp, but this is probably worth listening to, again.

  37. Ummm, as I would have thought should be clear by now, I yield to noone in hatred of the supposedly self-evident phrase, "our traditional allies". That should say it all.

  38. Thanks, cutler. For the speech.

  39. Do you think new security commitments are better than NATO?

  40. Sorry, I don't quite get the question.

  41. Do you think that it behooves us to take on more security commitments in the Middle East and South Asia - in addition to NATO?

  42. As in all things, it comes down to individual cases, but in general I'd support a significant reduction in American security responsibilities around the globe. The maxim I used in a paper was that often the most dangerous position to be is the third person breaking up a bar fight, because you're at risk from getting hit from both sides, precisely when you aren't expecting it.

    Come the entitlement crunch, it may be a moot point anyway.

    I just hope things don't go to hell in a handbasket in the process. For that reason, I'd stagger it and be prepared for the worst.

  43. I've thought about it a lot over the past year.

    I don't think the current posture is healthy to our political or national well-being, particularly in the face of the "entitlements" disaster, but I also am not optimistic enough to think if we pull back, things will adjust well, as people like Kenneth Waltz, and a former CATO professor of mine, do.

  44. Although I may regret saying this, due to ever expanding, beneficial, but also destructive technology, I think there's a chance that people will look back at the 1990s and next few decades as an extraordinarily short, flawed, peak of humanity.

    Prince of Darkness, indeed.

    I do get some satisfaction, however, from some of Robert Heinlein's old words concerning the adaptability of the human race. I'd quote it, but I don't have the book here.

  45. "next few decades"

    To be reserved, call it a hundred years.

  46. Just Say No to a warmed-over version of the Brezhnev Doctrine, cutler.

    Just say no.

  47. I recognize the reference, but I think, keeping mind past historical debates, it isn't exactly accurate to make the former Soviet argument of moral equivalence between NATO/American alliances and the Warsaw Pact.

  48. Although, I get where you are coming from, seriously.

    I just have this thing about making points on the back of mixed comparisons, to the extent that I can avoid it.

  49. ...and recognizing that I'm almost certainly guity of it too sometimes. Cold War history, in particular, remains political to this day.

  50. So do I. S'okay.

    Just keep it in mind.

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  52. " Nobody ever contemplated that the Soviet military-industrial complex would end up in Chapter 11. It's the yard sale at the end of history. " .........

  53. Don't be ogsessive about Ronnie, now, doug.

  54. There's been a lot of talk lately about whether we are obsessing over Reagan. Some are saying that he's not relevant to today. They're wrong. His wisdom is eternally relevant because he was concerned with the moral fiber of men and resolve of country. His primary enemies happened to be Communism and socialism which are the manifestations of evil hearts. Man hasn't changed and neither has Reagan's relevance.

  55. He also put a lot more time and thought into his vision than the vast majority of politicians.
    ...starting with first hand knowledge of the Commies and their ways.

    Have you read Horowitz's
    "Radical Son?"

    Great look at the inside of the "New Left" now known as mainstream liberal politicians.

    Between Red Diaper Doper Babies and Globalist Boners, we got some deep do-do to deal with.

  56. Pleasant memory:
    The thought of Ronnie in the back seat, writing and rewriting his thoughts as he was being chauffered to Sacramento, and etc when he was Governor of a then Great State.
    Bush would be honing up his fund-raising skills, and perfecting Rove's plan to fool most of the people enough of the time.

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