“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."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

... and thanks for Being Part of the Elephant.


  1. A man in Phoenix calls his son in New York the day before Thanksgiving and says,"I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.

    "Pop, what are you talking about?" the son screams.

    "We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the father says. "We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her."

    Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. "Like heck they're getting divorced," she shouts, "I'll take care of this,"

    She calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at her father, "You are NOT getting divorced. Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?" and hangs up.

    The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "Okay," he says, "they're coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way."

  2. It's been just over a year since a rowdy group left the Belmont Club and took their never-ending party to a place called 2164th's Elephant Bar.

    What a year and what a party it's been. Fussing and fighting and non-stop bravo sierra as we solved the problems of the world.

    I am thankful to have been a part of it.

  3. :) Good joke there T. I too want to thank the management, and wish everyone a great Thanksgiving.

    Anybody that doesn't eat turkey on Thanksgiving is an economic fool! Only this time of year are they 23 cents a pound around here! Usually 89 cents a pound, or more.

  4. Let us say thanks, too, to the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Department for introducing the Merraim Turkey here, the one project where they really scored a home run. These fellows seem able to live about anywhere. I have seen them in forests, farmland, urban areas, and in dry areas along the rivers too. A real success they are here.

  5. From a PatriotPost email:

    "It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors."

    -- George Washington (Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789)

    Reference: George Washington: A Collection, W.B. Allen, ed. (543)
    Just to needle the atheists and secularists.

  6. "Americans report themselves as generally happy individuals, happier than people in Western Europe, for example, even if they are not as happy as, say, Mexicans."

    Giving Thanks Is Good For You

  7. Fire's started under the oil ...

    Big bird's in the oven ...

    Folks are enroute, a fine day in the USA

  8. Party on, Garth!
    I propose a toast to Joe Horn, protector of home and hearth!

  9. ...they should make a ringtone out of that 911 Call!

  10. Horn's neighbors said Quanell X was off the mark in suggesting the shootings were race-related.
    "We're prejudiced,"
    neighbor George Johnson said.
    "We're prejudiced against thieves."

  11. Instead of Panama, 'Rat, consider the Fatherland!

    The Journey Home

    Now, Ms. Paolantonio, who still lives and works in Los Angeles, owns the house in which her grandmother was born. She has a good-looking boyfriend who makes his own olive oil and lies with her under the cherry trees. Cousins and great-aunts and -uncles, who did not know of her existence for most of their lives, treat her as if she’s always been a cherished member of the family; touching her, patting her hair.

    Calitri is a faded postcard of a town; no movie house, no bookstore, weathered pastel stone buildings and the ruins of a medieval castle clinging to the side of a mountain. It takes a series of hairpin turns to reach and once there you can see the exposed interiors of buildings that were destroyed in the terrible earthquake of 1980. Elderly widows wear black and the agricultural tradition is strong. Ask Ms. Paolantonio’s cousin Giuseppina Paolantonio, who appears to be in her late 70’s, how to make nocino, the walnut liqueur that is popular here, and the recipe begins: “On June 24th, pick the walnuts.”

  12. That almost looks more like a soap box derby, Doug.

  13. Ingraham had a hour for Thanksgiving horror stories.
    Guy says he and his fiancee went to pick up his mom, taking their year-old dog along.
    Suddenly they hear a scream, and it turns out his sister had set mom's cheesecake down somewhere, and the dog had licked off the cherries on top!
    No more cheesecake, sorry about that mom.
    Undeterred, mom takes the cake back in the kitchen, and pours another can of cherries on top!
    Can you imagine sitting there with knowledge of the new family secret as the guests compliment the chef for the tasty cheesecake???
    Can't say that fiancee didn't get fair warning for what she was in for!

  14. My Grandmother had a share of a house in a village in Italy, doug.
    Imagaine I've got a half of an eigth interest in the entry hall.

  15. I'm stuffed. (belch) And she wants to go for a walk. What's the use of eating if you're just going to walk it off?

  16. oh

    1.99 for a fresh bird per pound, still for 12+ lbs for 24 bucks that can feed 8 plus left overs........

    not bad

    my 12 pound briskets that i smoke cost more and are far smaller after 10 hours smokin

  17. Friday morning here. Had the big dinner last night. Mom and aunt visiting from Seattle. They had a bought a stuffed roast turkey (one of those processes ones in log shape) the day before and cooked the whole dinner last night after I got home from work. It was good. Along with the turkey they made mixed mashed potato/sweet potato, green bean salad, seasoned cooked carrots, and chocolate caramel mud cake with chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. The turkey turned out great.

    Sat around the dinner table afterwards with glasses of merlot and reminisced about Thanksgivings of past.

    Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for everything, everybody.

  18. The other side of the coin--

    As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him, but a duty whose natural influence is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety without which social happiness can not exist nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed; and as this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty or of danger, when existing or threatening calamities, the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity, are a loud call to repentance and reformation; and as the United States of America are at present placed in a hazardous and afflictive situation by the unfriendly disposition, conduct, and demands of a foreign power, evinced by repeated refusals to receive our messengers of reconciliation and peace, by depredations on our commerce, and the infliction of injuries on very many of our fellow-citizens while engaged in their lawful business on the seas – under these considerations it has appeared to me that the duty of imploring the mercy and benediction of Heaven on our country demands at this time a special attention from its inhabitants.
    I have therefore thought fit to recommend, and I do hereby recommend, that Wednesday, the 9th day of May next, be observed throughout the United States as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that the citizens of these States, abstaining on that day from their customary worldly occupations, offer their devout addresses to the Father of Mercies agreeably to those forms or methods which they have severally adopted as the most suitable and becoming; that all religious congregations do, with the deepest humility, acknowledge before God the manifold sins and transgressions with which we are justly chargeable as individuals and as a nation, beseeching Him at the same time, of His infinite grace, through the Redeemer of the World, freely to remit all our offenses, and to incline us by His Holy Spirit to that sincere repentance and reformation which may afford us reason to hope for his inestimable favor and heavenly benediction; that it be made the subject of particular and earnest supplication that our country may be protected from all the dangers which threaten it; that our civil and religious privileges may be preserved inviolate and perpetuated to the latest generations; that our public councils and magistrates may be especially enlightened and directed at this critical period; that the American people may be united in those bonds of amity and mutual confidence and inspired with that vigor and fortitude by which they have in times past been so highly distinguished and by which they have obtained such invaluable advantages; that the health of the inhabitants of our land may be preserved, and their agriculture, commerce, fisheries, arts, and manufactures be blessed and prospered; that the principles of genuine piety and sound morality may influence the minds and govern the lives of every description of our citizens and that the blessings of peace, freedom, and pure religion may be speedily extended to all the nations of the earth.
    And finally, I recommend that on the said day the duties of humiliation and prayer be accompanied by fervent thanksgiving to the Bestower of Every Good Gift, not only for His having hitherto protected and preserved the people of these United States in the independent enjoyment of their religious and civil freedom, but also for having prospered them in a wonderful progress of population, and for conferring on them many and great favors conducive to the happiness and prosperity of a nation.
    Given under my hand the seal of the United States of America, at Philadelphia, this 23d day of March, A.D. 1798, and of the Independence of the said States the twenty-second.
    By the President : JOHN ADAMS.

    As no truth is more clearly taught in the Volume of Inspiration, nor any more fully demonstrated by the experience of all ages, than that a deep sense and a due acknowledgment of the governing providence of a Supreme Being and of the accountableness of men to Him as the searcher of hearts and righteous distributer of rewards and punishments are conducive equally to the happiness and rectitude of individuals and to the well-being of communities; as it is also most reasonable in itself that men who are made capable of social acts and relations, who owe their improvements to the social state, and who derive their enjoyments from it, should, as a society, make their acknowledgments of dependence and obligation to Him who hath endowed them with these capacities and elevated them in the scale of existence by these distinctions; as it is likewise a plain dictate of duty and a strong sentiment of nature that in circumstances of great urgency and seasons of imminent danger earnest and particular supplications should be made to Him who is able to defend or to destroy; as, moreover, the most precious interests of the people of the United States are still held in jeopardy by the hostile designs and insidious acts of a foreign nation, as well as by the dissemination among them of those principles, subversive of the foundations of all religious, moral, and social obligations, that have produced incalculable mischief and misery in other countries; and as, in fine, the observance of special seasons for public religious solemnities is happily calculated to aver the evils which we ought to deprecate and to excite to the performance of the duties which we ought to discharge by calling and fixing the attention of the people at large to the momentous truths already recited, by affording opportunity to teach and inculcate them by animating devotion and giving to it the character of a national act :
    For these reasons I have thought proper to recommend, and I do hereby recommend accordingly, that Thursday, the 25th day of April next, be observed throughout the United States of America as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that the citizens on that day abstain as far as may be from their secular occupations, devote the time to the sacred duties of religion in public and in private; that they call to mind our numerous offenses against the Most High God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence, implore His pardoning mercy, through the Great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgressions, and that through the grace of His Holy Spirit we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience to His righteous requisitions in time to come; that He would interpose to arrest the progress of that impiety and licentiousness in principle and practice so offensive to Himself and so ruinous to mankind; that He would make us deeply sensible that "righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people"; that He would turn us from our transgressions and turn His displeasure from us; that He would withhold us from unreasonable discontent, from disunion, faction, sedition, and insurrection; that He would preserve our country from the desolating sword; that He would save our cities and towns from a repetition of those awful pestilential visitations under which they have lately suffered so severely, and that the health of our inhabitants generally may be precious in His sight; that He would favor us with fruitful seasons and so bless the labors of the husbandman as that there may be food in abundance for man and beast; that He would prosper our commerce, manufactures, and fisheries, and give success to the people in all their lawful industry and enterprise; that He would smile on our colleges, academies, schools, and seminaries of learning, and make them nurseries of sound science, morals, and religion; that He would bless all magistrates, from the highest to the lowest, give them the true spirit of their station, make them a terror to evil doers and a praise to them that do well; that He would preside over the councils of the nation at this critical period, enlighten them to a just discernment of the public interest, and save them from mistake, division, and discord; that He would make succeed our preparations for defense and bless our armaments by land and by sea; that He would put an end to the effusion of human blood and the accumulation of human misery among the contending nations of the earth by disposing them to justice, to equity, to benevolence, and to peace; and that he would extend the blessings of knowledge, of true liberty, and of pure and undefiled religion throughout the world.
    And I do also recommend that with these acts of humiliation, penitence, and prayer, fervent thanksgiving to the Author of All Good be united for the countless favors which He is still continuing to the people of the United States, and which render their condition as a nation eminently happy when compared with the lot of others.
    Given, etc.


    The first
    Thanksgiving was NOT in New England, but in Berkeley Plantation, Virginia and the meal wasn't turkey, but ham from the ships, and oysters from the James River.

    My wife confirms this, saying she has visited the place.

  20. Another story from Ingraham caller:
    Thanksgiving dinner for family, including grandmom.
    Older brother takes younger guys upstairs to show them his stash of Playboys hidden under the floorboards.
    Someone slips and stuffs foot through the ceiling, and the ceiling pieces and Playboy collection end up on the thanksgiving table in front of Grandma and the family!