“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."

Friday, August 10, 2007

Just hold the Damn Elections Already!

Reading the news today is maddening. My gosh, I have never seen such gloomy, sky is falling, markets are crashing and ice is melting news.

It's almost enough to make me retreat to the hinterlands but thanks to the media, I know that's where the crackers cook meth and farm land in central Illinois (Indiana?) sells for $5,000 per acre.

Of course, you can't leave the country. First of all there's no where to go really and secondly, NOBODY likes us anymore. Americans are persona non grata all over the world except maybe Singapore. We are told that in middle eastern elections, being associated with the US is the kiss of death for any candidate. Okay, so go with the fundies, see how you like that. The anti-Americanism touches even our exchange students who are grilled by the German teens in their Fatherland.

The British have blown it in Basra and the old news about missing weapons has been trotted out by someone to counter the good news that the surge may be working. Now, we must ask ourselves "Exactly what did Nouri al-Maliki have to say to Mr. Ahmadenijad during his visit to Iran this week?" Hmm. They were awfully chummy...

Meanwhile, over in Afghanistan, the Brits have asked that our Special Ops people be withdrawn from Helmand province because they're "bombing too much." Hard to win hearts and minds that way. Over the ridge, our good friend and ally General Pervez Musharraf has his hands full politically and is taking fire from all sides.

Further west, in the middle east, Hesbollah is rearming and the UN Peacekeepers just keep watching it all happen.

Then there's the gangster, Putin and don't forget China and the bad news drones on and on. If we can bear with it until November 2008, we just might weather this bad news environment.

I'm predicting that if a Democrat is elected President, these gray skies are gonna clear up and the media will put on a happy face. We'll being hearing nothing but "Happy Days are here again."

Okay, okay, I give up! I can't take it anymore. Just hold the damn elections already!


  1. Rudy vs Ms Clinton, the NY Senate race that wasn't will become the '08 Presidental campaign.

    Ms Clinton having organization and lots of cash, Rudy has Rudy and a disheartened GOP. Laclluster support and not much money coming in, by comparison.

    If Mr Hollywood Thompson or Mitt the Mormon are selected as the candidate, for the GOP, it won't even be a contest. Goldwater redux, but without the ideological core to build upon, for the future.

    Eighteen more months of campaigning. The GOP will get a small positive bump from the Iraqi "Surge", until the progress that was made from last Feb until today, in Basra, is duplicated in the rest of Iraq. Come the first of the year. Especially if Mr Bush has not declared success by then, when the political component will implode. Leaving US troops surrounded by Iraqi miscreants, not just 20% of the Iraqi that fought US until the Baathists sponsors bought US off and we gave up on our strategic goals.

  2. Happy Days are Here NOW:
    Charges dropped against 2 more Marines in Haditha case
    Thomas Lifson
    With remarkably little publicity, all charges have been dropped against two more of the 8 Marines charged in the prosecution of alleged crimes in the Haditha incident, a case which made headlines around the world. From the "state news" section of the Bakersfield Californian:
    The case is far from over, however...

    We await further developments, and hope the legal agony being endured by the these fighting men soon is over.
    Legal Agony?
    What's the Big Deal?
    Allen assured us these men would obtain a fair Trial.
    Them Border agents supposedly endured legal agony too, just cause they lost their homes and families trying to stay out of Jail.

    We've become a nation of Whiners!

  3. Oildale Post office named for Buck Owens Buck's name on post office
    Dang city-slickers always made fun of the names we'd come up with out there:
    My Dog, "Blackie"
    My Cat, "Midnight"
    They'd say things like "simple," "literal," and stuff like that.
    GWB had Skulls and Bones, I had a Black Dog and a Black Cat, and we even used to have Oil!

  4. I try to take a little comfort in that it's not all about elections. While voting is important, if my guy loses, I'll go over to the 'loyal opposition.' There is more to life than voting, just how to keep things 'in perspective' that's the question.

  5. If we get hit by a nuke This might happen. Otherwise, I don't think so. It's pretty much political suicide for the party that is behind it, I think.

    But if we get really hit hard some how, things can change fast.

  6. I agree with you Rat. While I like Romney, he is a suicide pill for the GOP. No chance.

  7. But then take heart from this, friends, I have a long and nearly unbroken track record of political prognosis, and I am almost always wrong.

  8. The darkhorse in the race: Huckabee. If he can stay near the top and somehow manage to he heard, he mades a tremendous amount of sense and is well versed on any topic.

  9. "I try to take a little comfort in that it's not all about elections. While voting is important, if my guy loses, I'll go over to the 'loyal opposition.' There is more to life than voting, just how to keep things 'in perspective' that's the question.

    Course my wife says she'll leave me if that B.... wins, but I just repeat to myself:
    "It's not all about elections.""

  10. Chalk up four more deaths to "jobs Americans won't do" and no fence.

    Update - related note: Lots of folks are asking about the accused killer in the Newark execution-style murders of four young students. Yes, he’s here illegally according to media and law enforcement officials and he just pleaded not guilty this morning. More: “Carranza, who spoke through an interpreter, admitted he was not a U.S. citizen and was staying in the country illegally.” And, yes, he has an extensive rap sheet:
    Carranza had at least three prior arrests and was facing an aggravated assault charge in a separate case at the time of the killings, Booker said. According to court records obtained by The Star-Ledger of Newark, Carranza was indicted twice this year — in April on aggravated assault and weapons charges; and in July on 31 counts including aggravated sexual assault of a child younger than 13. He was free on bail on the indictments.

    Free to roam the streets of the US of A. The economy, you know, needed Senor Carranza to keep the wheels turning.

    Wonder what kind of irreplacable labor he was doing, here in the US of A?

  11. Here's another on, 100% preventable.
    Another young female citizen dead, same age as my daughter, because Mr Bush will not defend the Homeland.

    He is to busy in securing Ramadi, keeping it safe for the remnents of Saddam's cadres.

    Two suspects charged with aggravated murder in the killing of a Texas teen admitted they came to the United States illegally.

    Police said 15-year-old Dani Countryman was trying to fight off Alejandro Rivera Gamboa and his cousin, 23-year-old cousin Gilberto Javier Rivera Gamboa when they strangled her at a Milwaukie apartment in late July.

    Alejandro was taken into custody last Saturday on an outstanding warrant for an unrelated probation violation involving drunk driving. The murder charges were later added.

    Gilberto Javier Rivera Gamboa was arrested Monday on aggravated murder charges at the Balboa apartment complex where he lives just a few doors from where Countryman was discovered.

    The two also faced an immigration hearing after the murder investigation was complete. According to immigration officials, both of the suspects admitted to entering the country illegally six months ago.

    Court records showed Alejandro admitted to stepping on the girl and holding her down and that the two tried to sexually assault her.

    Credit to Ms Malkin for the updates

  12. [Ignacio] Gomez-Gutierrez was driving with a blood-alcohol content that was three times the legal limit when he plowed into the rear of a car on U.S. 59 near the entrance to Kingwood, investigators said. The car’s occupants, Maria Ortiz and her daughter, Vanessa, who was five months pregnant, died instantly.

    Here’s the kicker: the culprit is an illegal alien, and this is his fourth DWI offense.

    Just gotta have 'em here, it'd be xenophobic to deport drunk drivers, who do such important work, here in the USA.

    Living in the Americas.

    Papers. passports, visas ...
    We don't need no stinkin' papers

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. The 15 year old girl, the one that the two hard workers at jobs Americans won't do tried to rape and then killed, she was really a looker, a real parental pride and joy, I'm sure.

    Smiles and happiness just exude from her picture. More than just a pretty face, but she certainly had one. Damned shame.

    Pitiful job the Federals are doing.
    Worse than bad
    here, see for yourselves.

  15. One of the things that ticks me off about our political system is, out here in Idaho, the whole national game is over, before I ever get near a ballot box.

    Don't know what to do about it, though.

  16. Move to New Hampshire, bob.

    I'd not advise it, but it is a solution option.

    Could be a squeaker, but I tend to doubt it, in '08. Better to stay in Idaho and hope that it is so close to call, that Idaho is the swing State. But with Ohio trending blue, I doubt it.

  17. I could move to Ohio temporarily, just for the election. That's actually a real option. We pay taxes there. Could just show them the tax bill, stand in line, and wait our turn to vote.

  18. Honestly, if I can quote Jim Morrison, I am ready "for the whole shithouse to go up in flames."

    Seems that 52% of the country wants to suck their thumbs and have someone else wipe their rear-ends for them.

    48% of the country wants to be free.

    Let's just bust the thing up and go our own ways. Time to quit kidding ourselves.

    America is 48% American and the rest is I-Don't-Know-What.

  19. Sandra Wright spoke with her granddaughter Dani Countryman, the conversation left her in tears.

    She called me last Thursday and told me she wanted to read a letter to me,” said Wright.
    “In the letter, she told me that she didn’t deal with my hair loss (from cancer) very well, but now she felt like she needed to grow up and give me the support I deserve and need.
    It was one of those letters you get that you just cherish for the rest of your life.
    It was a true expression of love, and it left me in tears. Those were words that I’d been waiting to hear, and I was so happy to hear them.”

    Those tears of joy, though, soon turned to sobs of anguish after the 15-year-old Kaufman girl was discovered strangled Saturday morning in an apartment in Oregon.

  20. "When they asked me how I felt about the fact that these may be the people who did it, I told them I really didn’t have any thoughts about it,”
    Wright said.

    I want to see them arrested and I want to see them dead.

    Aside from that, I’m trying to keep my focus on the good memories of my granddaughter.
    I don’t want to go to bed at night harboring hate or ill will.
    I just wish they would have left her alone.”

  21. President Bush yesterday:

    "We have a system that encourages people to do this."

    (enter illegally, smuggle other people in, and oh, by the way murder and maim way out of proportion to their numbers, but then he didn't mention those last ones, being such a sensitive, compassion, Christian Conservative, and all, ya know.)

  22. The "System" makes them do it:

    ie, we had a system of laws, he has refused to enforce those laws for his entire term, thus "the system" is responsible for the results, and it is OUR (xenophobe racist) fault for not changing "the system."

    He also uses "the system" to punish those who DO enforce the laws.

  23. It's not true that we don't build anything in America any longer.

    Take a look at Thunder Jets

    Made right here in Lewiston, Idaho. A spinoff from the old Duckworth Boats, I think.

    If you look closely, you will see that the yellow boat doesn't even have a driver.

    But I wouldn't recommend that.

    They sell a lot of them to Brazil, for use on the Amazon.

  24. Now I look closer, I see their address is Clarkston, Washington, but it is all the same, Clarkston or Lewiston, named after the pioneers.

  25. And this is another JET just to give Rufus the fits, and keep him up at night.

  26. "The British have blown it in Basra"

    Well, thats more like a diagnosis of the whole Iraq misadventure. The shi'ites were never friends, more the enemy-of-an-enemy. Of course after offing Saddam things reverted to form where the shi'ites are naturally hostile Iranotools. NOW do we remember why Saddam was a western supported ally for so long? There are reasons why ol Saddam was down on the shi'ites, and its a miracle the Brits held the rathole Basra quiet so long.

    Now watch the big flip flop under way. The formerly restless Sunni areas become calm as al Qaida has discreditied itself and the baathists are burned out, and the sunni majority realizes we're their only hope. Surge succeeds! Brilliant!

    Victory? Not.

    The shi'ite south even now reverts to form (rebellion, anarchy and pro Iran) and sadly reminds us both why Saddam used to be an ally and why Saddam regularly stomped the shi'ites.

    The formerly pro western Kurds may soon realize that we may have to choose between :
    a. shafting them or destabilizing Turkey, and
    b. shafting them or forcing a united (therefore Baghdad, center and sunni dominated) Iraq
    The omens on those two options ain't real good for the Kurds. At which point they may sadly remind us why Turkey has spent so much time and energy smacking them down.

  27. That joke sounds like it is on me, Rufus:)

  28. How come you haven't touted your schoolteacher in Space, Albob?

    ...once was a teacher in Idehoe, from what I gather.

    The other lady is amazing, beautiful, and a frigging genius academic.
    Southern Calif girl.

  29. "In 1997, Dr. Caldwell received the Camille and Henry Drefus Postdoctoral Fellowship in Environmental Science to study atmospheric chemistry at the University of California, Irvine. There she investigated reactivity and kinetics of atmospherically relevant systems using atmospheric pressure ionization mass spectrometry, Fourier transform infrared and ultraviolet absorption spectroscopies.

    In addition, she developed methods of chemical ionization for spectral interpretation of trace compounds. Dr. Caldwell has published and presented her work in numerous papers at technical conferences and in scientific journals.

    Dr. Caldwell is a private pilot and conversational in American Sign Language (ASL) and Russian.
    Not quite Hillary-league brains.

  30. All the girls out here are beautiful and smart.

  31. Good thing that the illegal population up there is not killin' them off, bob. Not like NJ and TX.

    In those locales beautiful and smart girls are being killed off. Excused in the pursuit of workers that will do what legal residents will not. Like rape and murder at levels well out of proportion to their numbers.

    Even when the hard workers are found to be miscreants, we allow them to stay in the US of A. Wouldn't be prudent to do otherwise, I guess.

  32. We can't hold the elections yet, Whit! El Jorge hasn't done all the damage he can do!

  33. Well within the letter of the Law, aye?

    Not even subject to a Congressional vote. Just another Regulatory ruling.

    For the safety of the children, of course.

    A lot of compassion, little conservatism. The loyal conservative GOP base still in denial of Bushite reality.
    Notice now that Mr Bush does not have to run for reelection, he vacations in Maine, not Texas.

    True colors shining through.

  34. The Skull and Boner's New World Order agenda marching forward into the dawn of a new tomorrow.

  35. "We have a system that encourages people to do this."

    I think this is more commonly known as the "she shouldn't have been dressed that way," rape defense.

  36. You bet, the victim shouldn't have been so pretty. Those hard workers just couldn't control themselves, with all that temptation in their face. They just had to kill her, to gain control of their libidos.

    Two headlines, from tha AP, expose the varied perceptions of the Iraqi reality

    1. Emphasizing Enemy Deaths, Bush Tells Nation New Strategy in Iraq Is Delivering Good Results
    2. Provincial Governor, Police Chief Killed by Powerful Roadside Bomb in Southern Iraq

    Imagine, if the Governor of your State had just been killed by a bomb and Mr Bush announced that the indications were things were improving.

    Just as Basra was declared a "Success" in Feb., by Mr Bush, Mr Cheney and Ms Rice, in the face of the fact on the ground, at the time.

  37. Remember all the discussions you know where, of the cynical old days before Bush came to bestow Democracy, enlightenement, and peace, on the Whirled.

    To not buy the idealistic vision was proof that you were a left-wing throwback, traitor, or worse.

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. I was called all that and worse, doug.
    Now-a-days those name calling folk don't hardly post. I supported the President and his program until it became evident that actions did not match the rhetoric.
    Now, so much time has passed that we can't adjust, without admitting defeat of our initial publicly announced strategic objectives.

    The "Anbar Solution" taking US further from those objectives with each passing day, as empowering the Baathists has a weakening effect on the elected central government. That government and the process of selecting it, the key to percieved success.

  40. It was a big mistake to try and strike a deal with the Shiia. It's the same mistake Israel made in 1982. And I warned about the error since the beginning.

  41. I hardly ever post here, anymore, because I get tired of Rat's incessant pissing, moaning, whining, sknarking, downbeating, accusing, tiresome down to the depths of my ass, bullshit.

  42. In case you're wondering.

  43. Rufus,

    dRat is a pessimist and a contrarian. Sometimes it helps to see things through that perspective. It keeps things in balance. :)

  44. I must say, rufus, that things are not going well. If they were, when they were, I was up beat and positive.

    That was back in 2003, by 2004 the signs were in place, to mark the trail to our current state of success, or lack there of, in Iraq.

    Remember the Elections, a sign post on the road to Victory we were told.
    Except those who were elected, well they are Islamic terrorists. It was evident from the outset. Mr Maliki's resume no secret, he being the MOST MODERATE of the candidates. The MOST ACCEPTABLE to US.

    That the US has subsidized Iran to the tune of $220 million USD, this year, through the World Bank, true enough. $870 million more in the pipeline. We fund the World Bank at $950 million annually. That money flowing from the US taxpayer directly to the Mullahs.
    You support that Bush foreign policy endevour, as well?

    You used to support the illegal migration, made for cheap tacos for the rufus clan, you said.
    Supporting law breaking criminals, in a criminal enterprise, said I. The taxes not paid, the lower than standard wages paid allowing the criminals an unfair advantage over the law abiding. An advantage you were happy to utilize to your advantage.

    Now you see things more from my perspective on that issue.

    If there was good news to report, I'd be a whole lot happier about it, but it is not there. Not even in Anbar, really.

    The Baathists are still in place, the folk we went to Iraq to defeat.
    Instead, now we support them against the forces of the democratic government we installed. Perhaps a new way forward, but only because the old way, our Goals, were abandoned.

    If and when I'm wrong, please present the arguments.
    Cite the sources, I do.