“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."

Monday, September 24, 2007

UAW Members in Solidarity, Strike GM.

UAW Workers Walk Off Job at GM Plants

Monday September 24, 11:31 am ET
By Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers
UAW Workers Walk Off Job, Begin Pickets at Some GM Plants After Strike Deadline Passes

DETROIT (AP) -- Workers walked off the job and began picketing Monday outside some General Motors Corp. plants after a late morning United Auto Workers strike deadline passed, but the union's national leadership hadn't publicly announced whether a strike had begun.

The UAW had extended its contract for nine days after it expired on Sept. 14, but the negotiations became bogged down Sunday, apparently over the union's quest to protect jobs by getting the company to guarantee that new vehicles would be built in U.S. factories.

The UAW hasn't called a nationwide strike during contract negotiations since 1976, when Ford Motor Co. plants were shut down. There were strikes at two GM plants during contract negotiations in 1996.

Charlie Coppinger, who has worked at GM's powertrain plant in Warren for 31 years, walked the picket line along with a handful of others shortly after the deadline passed.

The 51-year-old Rochester Hills resident said he hoped a strike could be settled quickly, but that union members were on the line to back the union and its bargainers.

"We're just here to support them," said Coppinger, who said leaflets were passed out indicating that the strike was on.


  1. wow, talk about retards..

    Bye Bye GM....

    Hello to whatever will replace it...

    73,000 pissed, unemployed, broke ex-auto workers will be greeters at walmart...

  2. Not so, WiO. The workers will get severance pay and early retirement. Between them, GM and Ford haven’t made a decent car for as long as I’ve been alive. Both companies seem to think that a built-in 3 year lifespan in a car is a feature rather than a bug.

  3. Bob,

    Trish says it's all made up. Something to do with a staged performance by MacGuffin MacGillin and Mulligan.

  4. I doubt the Israelis risk lives just 'to be doing something'.

  5. Apparently just routine overflight.

  6. That's the plot. According to Trish.

  7. It's the special pleaders of the UAW who, along with the Democratic Congress, are sitting on the South Korean trade agreement. Labor unions and their many friends in Congress will also likely stall the Panamanian and Columbian agreements for years.

  8. Ahmadinejad has said that there are no gays in Iran. In truth there probably are fewer percent wise than most places, as they shoot them occasionally, I've read.

  9. Hang 'em, high ...
    from time to time

    doug's had photos of the condemned, just moments before the execution.
    Did not look very happy, nor gay.

  10. Didn't Dinesh D'Souza argue in The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 that we encourage radical Islamists by blithely tolerating and even promoting open homosexuality and gay culture, among other forms of western decadence and general unwholesomeness?

    Does he still write for National Review? I let my subscription lapse and rarely visit online anymore.

  11. ACU Files FEC Complaint Against Political Action and the New York Times Company for Committing Clear Violations of Federal Election Laws

    ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Conservative Union (ACU) chairman David A. Keene announced today that ACU has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Political Action and the New York Times Company for violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.

    On Monday, September 10, 2007, MoveOn sponsored a full-page advertisement in the New York Times attacking General David Petraeus prior to his report to Congress regarding the status of the United States military operations in Iraq. The open rate for a full-page black and white advertisement in the New York Times is $181,692. MoveOn only paid $65,000 for the ad, according to multiple press reports. The New York Times Company's "discount" is in effect a corporate soft money contribution to a federal political committee. MoveOn's acceptance of this corporate soft money contribution exceeds federal contributions and is a clear violation of FEC laws.

    "ACU demands a full and thorough investigation of the cost of the Ad and the discount given by the New York Times Company to Political Action, for payment by MoveOn of the usual and normal charge for the costs of the Ad and the requisite civil money penalty for violation of federal law by each of the Respondents," ACU Chairman David A. Keene stated in the FEC complaint.

    The complaint may be viewed at the ACU website:

  12. Matt Bai interview with Giuliani in the NYT:


    I have to tell you...I have real knowledge of the other side of it, of the Arab-Muslim world that is peaceful, friendly, that is peaceful, that loves freedom as much as we do, that loves us and cares about us, that loves America, that exists in the Arab world and that exists in the Muslim world.” I looked up, disbelieving. This was precisely the opposite of what Podhoretz and other advisers had said; it sounded more like the Giuliani who had eloquently appealed for calm on behalf of New York’s Muslim community after Sept. 11. Giuliani forged on, offering his own distinctly capitalist version of a campaign to erase the stains of Guantánamo Bay and win the “hearts and minds” of Muslims — a plan that seemed to hinge on turning Syria into Dubai.

    “If you want an oversimplification of people in the Middle East, they are entrepreneurs,” he said with evident enthusiasm. “They’re commercial people. They’re people we can get along with. And when they can develop their own reasons for modifying some of the ancient interpretations to make themselves part of the modern world, it really works. So I’m very open to doing more business with them, having more interchange with them, getting Americans to understand who they are and what they are.”

    Almost half the interview had passed when I finally managed to ask Giuliani about his plan for Pakistan. Should the United States push the Pakistani president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, to get tougher on the terrorist training camps in his country — even if it risked the possible overthrow of his regime? It seemed like a classic conundrum.

    “That is a classic problem,” Giuliani admitted, nodding. “You could describe Saudi Arabia the same way. There isn’t a simplistic policy, one-line answer. It isn’t ‘get tougher on them’ or ‘get easier on them.’ It’s a combination of both. It’s trying to push Musharraf.” If the United States had to intervene militarily to eliminate training camps, he said, then it should get the regime’s permission to do it first.

    “I guarantee you, there’s nobody in this country who wants to catch Bin Laden more than I do,” Giuliani said. “And it is personal.” But in order to do that, a president had to constructively engage Musharraf. “So it’s a complex strategy of supporting them, helping them, pushing them,” he said, summing up.

    This sounded not at all different from what the current administration was already doing, I offered.

    “I don’t know, below the surface, below what we know, about how much pressure is being put on them to crush Al Qaeda and crush the Taliban,” he said. “I have the feeling, from the outside — and this could be unfair — that it isn’t enough. I just have a feeling. That could be wrong.” But after advancing that subtle criticism of Bush, he then quickly added: “I also have the feeling that that’s been changed. But all of this is a feeling. I don’t get the classified information. It’s more like maybe the kind of information you get.”

    I asked Giuliani how exactly he would go about pressuring Musharraf. Didn’t the Pakistani leader pretty much know that the United States couldn’t afford to break with him?

    “Part of negotiating,” Giuliani said, “is so that somebody doesn’t become too comfortable in their view and ability to predict you. Ronald Reagan was our most dominant president of the second half of the 20th century for a lot of reasons. One of the reasons he won the cold war was that he was a little unpredictable. It had an impact. You can never in negotiations be totally predictable. The minute you’re predictable, they’re going to figure out how to take advantage.”

    In other words, Giuliani was saying that his comparative advantage over other potential presidents was that he, like Reagan, already had a reputation for being a little trigger-happy. You need me on that wall.

    I shifted to Iran. It felt as if we were speed-dating. What steps was he going to take that hadn’t already been taken to keep the Iranians from developing nuclear weapons?

    The real danger, Giuliani said, was not that Iran and its bellicose president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, would actually use the weapons, but that they might try to stealthily hand off the technology to terrorists. “This is a combination of not just dealing with a nation-state but with organized criminals also,” he said. “And it’s also a case of dealing with unbalanced people. Ahmadinejad, we would have to conclude, is not a balanced person.”

    “Some people have said the same about you,” I pointed out.

    “I hope it’s on a different level, and there’s no moral equivalent!” Giuliani shot back, laughing. Then he said: “The thing that concerns me about the mullahs, and not just Ahmadinejad, is that it’s an unrealistic regime, meaning they have unrealistic views of the world. That is true basically of Islamic terrorists. They are very dangerous. They can be very shrewd and very smart, but they live in somewhat of a fantasy world.” He went on to describe the Iranians as “irrational” and “unbalanced” before concluding: “I believe there is a real risk that they might believe they could hand off dirty weapons. You’re then going to have a dirty bomb explode in London or Rome or America, and they would say: ‘We don’t know anything about that. Now go prove it.’ And after what we went through with the weapons of mass destruction, and particularly if we had a president who needed a high degree of proof, this might be something they could assume that they can get away with. So how do you prevent this? You make sure they’re not nuclear.”

    This, of course, brought us right back to the initial question, which was how to do exactly that. Giuliani said the Iranians had to know that America was serious about stopping them. I asked him: Didn’t he think they already knew we were serious? Bush had invaded Iraq for less. That was pretty serious.

    “I don’t think it’s real clear,” Giuliani said, blaming Democrats for muddying the message about American resolve. “I think it has to be Ronald Reagan-like real clear. If it is, we have a chance of accomplishing what Ronald Reagan did, which is winning the war without firing a shot.”

    On Iraq, Giuliani said that the United States had to stay there until the country was stable and wouldn’t serve as a “headquarters for terrorism,” a long effort that, he maintained, required the same kind of Reagan-like steadfastness. “We should try to accomplish there what we accomplished in Japan or in Germany,” he said. “We removed the military capacity for at least a generation or two, and now they’ve been able to develop a whole new way of looking at the world.” With this, Giuliani seemed to be suggesting that his bar for success in Iraq was considerably higher than simply preventing a terrorist haven; he seemed to want to disarm the entire country before he was through.

    In fact, Giuliani’s answer to all complex foreign-policy dilemmas was essentially the same: the American president had to be someone the rest of the world feared, someone a little too rash and belligerent for anyone else’s comfort. I suggested to him that he really didn’t seem to be proposing any new philosophies distinct from what the Bush administration had been pursuing for the last six years. Instead, he seemed to be arguing that what he offered the country was a certain brand of unswerving leadership that America and the rest of the world would have no trouble understanding.

    “Correct,” Giuliani replied. “Correct.”

    Giuliani had read his history, and this was the lesson he had taken away. Both Churchill and Reagan had fused a fundamental shift in thinking to sheer force of personality, but to Giuliani, the policy was the personality. The moment didn’t call for some new approach to combating terrorism; what America needed, instead, was a wartime personality who was ready, like Churchill and Reagan, to stride into history and firmly establish the nation’s resolve in the eyes of the world. None of the other potential commanders in chief in either party had saved a fallen city or been knighted by the queen of England. It was hard to picture Mitt Romney holed up in a London bunker with his generals while the bombs fell all around him, or Barack Obama demanding that the Soviets tear down that wall. Giuliani came with no such mental limitation. His “Churchillian moment” was less about the substance of governing than about the image most Americans had of him — and, maybe more to the point, the image he has of himself.

    It so happens that Giuliani’s essential premise for waging war on terrorists — this idea that firmness and an innate ability to scare your adversaries are more important than having, say, some new strategy for engaging Iranian moderates — also reflects the political reality inside the Republican Party. None of the leading Republican candidates has been willing to articulate anything like a new direction for how to confront terrorism or what to do in Iraq, despite the fact that the Bush doctrine of forcibly spreading democracy has been widely deemed a failure, even by a sizable chunk of Republicans. To do so would violate some code of the Republican Party, which tends to be more hierarchal and more mindful of loyalty than the Democratic variety. Republican voters may be dissatisfied with Bush, but they still value his toughness on terrorism, and they’d most likely punish any candidate who broke openly with the policy of an incumbent president. “To go out and say you’re against Bush right now would be political suicide,” says Scott Reed, the veteran strategist who ran Bob Dole’s 1996 campaign.


  13. "...the policy is the personality..."

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. ...and anonymous sources inform us...

  16. Yes, trish, one of those intellectual folks argued that the "liberalism" of liberal society incited the animosity.

    Think he is right.
    How does one modify sensibilities?
    Usually not with guns.

    Going to guns should always be the last resort, at home or abroad.

    More Britney or less, at home and abroad?
    Can't let the terrorists win. So the answer has become ever more apparent

    More Britney and Paris sin lingerie!

  17. Mere Rhetoric quoting a Purdue prof about the advisability of attacking Iran.

  18. Mahmoud deserves A Good Tasering with the voltage on high.

  19. Assume no better management of the Iranian expansion than there has been of Iraq.
    While the goals initially set on the ground were accomplished, now the Mission morphs. An ever changing, undualting mass of misdirections.

    Strike Iran hard enough to cause them to captitulate, civilians and military hardpoints as well. That will be a tough sell, anywhere.

    Strategic pinpoint strikes that will be accomplished the mission of a nuclear free Iran with a Regieme change. Those are not likely to be successful.
    An extend and escalating series of airstrikes, tits, followed by Iranian counter moves, the tats.

    That all this 4th generational warfare will be managed, without unintended consequences or collateral blowback, by the same folks that have managed US occupation of Iraq for 4.5 years?

    If up for a buy-in, I'd have to pass.

  20. I recall a brief moment at the end of major combat operations in Iraq when, in Basra, the delirious were cryng, "Freedom, whiskey, sexy!"

    Those were the days.

  21. Maybe we'll get cosmically lucky and a big meteor will come in, fragmenting just right as it hits the atmosphere, and get everything that needs to be gotten in Iran.

  22. "Freedom, whiskey, sexy"--understandable, but maybe not the soundest slogan on which to begin building a new body politic.

  23. "Assume no better management of the Iranian expansion than there has been of Iraq."

    And given that post-Saddam Iraq has been the signal expansion for Iran, what an interesting management job that will be.

    The Sunni resistance, somewhat lighter the load of AQ and having come to the conclusion that they've already won against us, is now apparently looking beyond (what they perceive as) our imminent withdrawal, to the Main Event: their war against the "rejectionists." The Persians and Persians-by-any-other-name-in-Iraq.

  24. The pursuit of happiness, bob, and the sudden release from oppressive dictates. Basra was at one time the Beruit of Iraq. (I mean that in a good way.) Many of its older residents hoped it could be again.

  25. "Freedom, whiskey, sexy"--but certainly as good as the koran, as a starting point.

  26. I just posted this over at Kudlow's. You won't believe this!

    What if I told you that there was a bush (grows about 4 ft. tall) that produces 10 times as much biodiesel/acre as soybeans, could easily be harvested by machine, lasts about 100 years, and yields enough biomass to produce as much ethanol as an average corn crop (about 450 gal/acre?)

    Oh yeah, it's so hardy it's considered a "pest" species. It's mildly toxic (it won't kill livestock, or deer; but, they won't eat it either. And, neither will insects. It requires no fertilizer, or cultivation.

    Amazing plant huh? Where do you suppose someone would find a "Magical" plant such as this? How about, anywhere south of Tennessee?

    It Grows Wild All Over the Southeast! La, and Fl spend a lot of time trying to kill it. The rumor is "Exxon has offered to help." :) Just kiddin, Sharp, m'boy; don't get mad:)

    Is THAT "Amazing," or What?

    Chinese Tallow Tree!

  27. I'll give you this, Rat. Rudy would probably be quite effective at border enforcement. (Not that Mitt wouldn't.)

    And given *the number of Arabs and Arab descendants* in South America, this is rather more than an assimilation or jobs issue, important though these are.

    But I think the 9/11 Commission noted as much. Perhaps with exclamation marks. Along with certain other persons here.

  28. Dying computer professor inspires with 'last lecture'

    Pausch, a 46-year-old father of three, has pancreatic cancer and, most likely, just a few months left.

    In the last week, he has gained national attention for an inspiring and sometimes upbeat talk, titled "How to Live Your Childhood Dreams," that included one-handed push-ups, bright smiles and reminiscences of some of his own dreams met (getting a Ph.D, walking in zero gravity, writing an encyclopedia entry, designing Disney rides). "Brick walls are there for a reason," he told his audience. "They let us prove how badly we want things."

  29. Good to be among the unnamed "certain others."

  30. Damn, Rufus!
    Combine that with the 100mpg carburetor, and soon we'll be making money selling energy, every time we drive!
    F... them A-Rabs!

  31. Yon was on Hewitt today, Burns will be on Tommorrow.
    Hopefully will post on the net.
    ...and Just for Trish:
    Yoni Tidi describes IDF forces raid, in Syrian Uniforms, getting Nuclear goods to take back to Israel and USA for testing.
    He knew one of the raiders.
    Then again, both are Joos, so whose gonna believe THAT?

  32. Doug, I checked that "Tallow Tree," out. It's legit.

  33. I'm not for sure they'll let anyone grow it, though. It's classified a "noxious weed." They're grown for "ornamental" reasons, but you can't kill the damned things without digging it up by the roots.

  34. "Yoni Tidi describes IDF forces raid, in Syrian Uniforms, getting Nuclear goods to take back to Israel and USA for testing."


    We're all waiting for the big reveal. Believe me.

  35. Mr. Mat, Please!
    The Ford Escort was the Number one selling car in the World for 15 years!
    (So naturally, they quit making it!)

  36. There is a kind of bush or shrub or sage bush that grows out in the Sinai Peninsula and around about there. Loaded with oils and has the odd habit of once in a while when it gets really hot and the conditions are right of bursting into flame. Unlike the bush of Moses however this bush when it lights up burns itself out into ashes.

    If we could only figure out a use for the Canadian Thistle....

    I've been thinking Rufus we ought to sign up some of these 'noxious weeds' under the Endangered Speicies Act. They are all god's chillin too, and subject to genocide.

    Govmint mandated genocide.

  37. The "Tallow Tree" might BE an endangered species, Bob. How would you like to have Big Oil, the USDA, the Corn and Sugar Farmers, AND Saudi Arabia/Iran all after you?

    I'd rather sell life insurance to the Hashoe-Man than to THIS Shrub. :)

  38. Crop Dust Thistle Seeds on the Opium fields!
    Farmers will beg for the return of the Taliban.

  39. I heard that Tallow Plant is a LARGE contributor to Global Warmimg.

  40. Doug,

    I don't know about the Escort, but my grandpa had a 70s something Opel (Ford) Ascona and an 80s something Ford Fiesta. (Both were German made). He thought he would be buying quality because they were German made. What he bought was a lot of headaches. He basically paid twice for those frucking cars. He then bought a Subaru Legend and never experienced a problems with that car. We sold the car when he passed away. My dad had a 1972 model Peugeot 304 that was running beautifully for 15 years. In '87 he bought a VW Jetta. I drove that car till 2004, and then bought a Honda Civic.

  41. Go to pages 71-73 for a possible on the 'burning bush'.

  42. Sorry. Opel is GM. Not sure why I typed Ford.

  43. My outlook on cars is buy a good used one. This 2000 Nissan Sentra has done great for us, and got a whopping 37.93 mpg on our trip. Can't beat it, quiet, no rattles, great air condidtioner, lots of electric gizmos.

  44. Job that American Citizens nor Illegals should be allowed to take:
    Redwood City man, 18, drowns in vat of sulfuric acid

  45. I rented a Sentra when on a trip to Miami. I liked it. I remember it also had a great sounding Clarion Stereo.

  46. AlBob,
    When the kid blew up his Blown Subaru, he got a beat to s... Nissan w/very high miles:
    It and all it's sisters and brothers we know of have been similar, durability wise.
    That same 4 banger puts out 700 hp in drag race drag!

  47. Doug,

    I wasn’t yet of driving age to drive that car. ;)

  48. Red River said...
    The courage of the US Navy during the The Naval Battles off Guadalcanal.

    The Destroyer Laffey closed to within 20 feet of the battleship Hiei and fired everything it had including rifles at the superstructure. This killed Admiral Abe's staff and changed the course of the battle.

    Can you imagine being on a little destroyer looking up at the immense steel beast of the Hiei and shooting at it? being just 20 feet away?

    9/24/2007 08:06:00 AM
    MacPhisto said...
    Red River:

    The Battle of Savo Island and the other engagements around Guadalcanal did indeed prove that the U.S. Navy could hold its own against any other. I get goosebumps when I think about what it must have been like to be aboard the Laffey when it opened up on the Hiei.

    There must be something about ships named "Laffey." While the original Laffey (which you referenced) today lies on Iron Bottom Sound as a result of its heroic effort, the second destroyer called Laffey is moored at Patriot's Point in Charleston, SC. I've been aboard the Laffey II, and it has been questioned whether another ship ever survived the same intensity of attack as the Laffey did at Okinawa. Destroyers weren't supposed to survive four bombs and six kamikazes, but the Laffey II did just that. It took out nine Japanese aircraft in the process, too.

    You probably already know all of this, but it's good to reflect. Keeps the brain sharp, and reminds me of the noble sacrifices that others have made on my behalf.

    9/24/2007 11:02:00 AM

  49. I guess the Battleship would have nothing that could reach the Destroyer at 20ft?
    Other than rifles.

  50. What she says, Doug, is "I've gotten bulimia nervosa over Albobal." Then she works in some stuff about what she has in store for me, after the program.

  51. Hope you insist on Listerine First!

  52. "The Battle of Savo Island and the other engagements around Guadalcanal did indeed prove that the U.S. Navy could hold its own against any other."

    I hate to kill a good rant, but the Battle of Savo Island was a complete disaster, due to incompetence and faulty patrolling. A Japanese taskforce snuck into the harbor and we lost 4 heavy cruisers (including the Australian Canberra I think), for pretty much zero losses. CA Chicago also lost her bow to a torpedo.

    Later battles in the slot came out somewhat better though.

  53. "I guess the Battleship would have nothing that could reach the Destroyer at 20ft?
    Other than rifles."

    Pretty much what happened, its guns couldn't depress enough is how the story goes.

    Hiei went adrift and was sunk the next morning by air attacks.

  54. Nice lecture Mat, good note to go to bed on.

  55. If everything had happened today, everyone would have been fired, demoted, and ect ........ and we may never had ever heard of John McCain (his father was partially responsible).

  56. My apologies, I took a quick look at wiki and it was McCain's grandfather.

  57. His son's are serving too, I think!
    Too bad his service as a Senator Stinks.

  58. Kevin James says you gotta call Crapo about the nightmare act, AlBob.
    Requires Zero credentials/identification on their part!