“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 29, 2007

Can We Stop Genuflecting to Veterans?

I have been using my dog tag(s) for forty years as a key ring. I was issued one of the last sets with the tooth notch, which we were told was to be inserted between your two front incisors if and when. I was in the Air Force so the odds of using the notch were not that high, but the dog tags have come in handy as a tool.

Every now and then someone recognizes them for what they are and thanks me for my service. I should remind them that thanks was not necessary because I was in the Air Force.

Last night, at the CNN/YouTube Republican debate, a retired general presented his military credentials, then asked about gays and lesbians serving in the military.

The Republicans genuflected and answered his question. Later we learned that the good general failed to mention he was a a co-chair of Hillary Clinton's National Military Veterans group.

Retired Brig. Gen. Keith H. Kerr was named a co-chair of the group this month, according to a campaign press release.

He was also active in John F. Kerry's 2004 campaign for president.

Shall we thank him for his disservice in the disclosure department?


  1. Barnes: Two Hours of Humiliation
    November 28, 2007 � By Fred Barnes

    When the CNN-You Tube debate among Republican presidential candidates began with a guy named Chris Nandor playing a guitar and singing, my wife Barbara exclaimed, "This is humiliating. This is really bad." Of course she was right. And then things got worse. This debate not only was mortifying to the candidates. It also should have been embarrassing to the viewers, especially Republican voters who might have been watching.

    I don't know if the folks who put the debate together were purposely trying to make the Republican candidates look bad, but they certainly succeeded. True, the candidates occasionally contributed. For the first few minutes, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney continued their debate over their records on immigration and did so with the kind of intensity that this trivial matter didn't warrant. These are two fine candidates who have only themselves to blame for looking petty.

    But it was chiefly the questions and who asked them that made the debate so appalling. By my recollection, there were no questions on health care, the economy, trade, the S-chip children's health care issue, the "surge" in Iraq, the spending showdown between President Bush and Congress, terrorist surveillance, or the performance of the Democratic Congress.

    Instead there were questions - ones moderator Anderson Cooper kept insisting had required a lot of time and effort by the questioners - on the Confederate flag, Mars, Giuliani's rooting for the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, whether Ron Paul might run as an independent for president, and the Bible. The best response to these questions was Romney's refusal to discuss what the Confederate flag represents. Fred Thompson discussed it.
    By my count, of the 30-plus questions, there were 6 on immigration, 3 on guns, 2 on abortion, 2 on gays, and one on whether the candidates believe every word in the Bible. These are exactly the issues, in the view of liberals and many in the media, on which Republicans look particularly unattractive. And there were two questions by African Americans premised loosely on the notion that blacks get nothing from Republicans and have no reason to vote for them.

    These questions would better be asked of Democrats at one of their presidential debates. After all, the biggest news so far at a Democratic debate was when Hillary Clinton muffed a question about illegal immigrants and drivers' licenses.

  2. I must have had low expectations. I did not think the questions were that bad. They were no goofier than they would get from call-in's on c-span or from a live audience.

  3. From Abu Dabai buying our banks, to the borders, to unassimilible immigrants, to a ruined military, a melting pot that won't melt anymore, to a meltdown in culture, to a lack of common values, to an energy crisis that we never tackle, we're screwing ourselves, according to Pat Buchanan last night on the radio. We better do something and now, or we won't much longer be what we have been.

  4. Trivia question--who was the original 'poor little rich girl'?

    Gloria Vanderbilt--mother of Anderson Cooper

    got the name during a lawsuit over the estate

    according to Liddy

  5. Mr G. Gordon Liddy read a short piece I had penned, a few years ago, but I forgot to ask for the autographed photo, in advance, in recompense.

    So G. Gordon does not peer down upon me, from the wall.

    May be better off for it.
    Maybe not.

  6. G. Gordon is an odd goose, in my view. I think it would be spookey, Rat, if the picture was one of those where the eyes follow you around the room as you move about.

  7. "In 1959, 94 percent of Hawaiians, including a large majority of Native Hawaiians, voted for statehood. Opposition was strongest among Southern Democrats in Congress, who, with the civil rights revolution simmering, were wary of Hawaii's example of multiracial harmony."

    HOG(Hawaii Occupational Government) Prepares to Recognize Hawaii Entity

    Trouble in Paradise, or scamming the system?

  8. The point is, CNN chose and shaped to questions in such a way as to distort the entire "debate," choosing questions like the flag, and the Bible, that have had no part in the campaign, nor should they, specifically to confirm people's stereotypes of "conservatives," and to try to trip up any or, hopefully, all the participants.

  9. One Guy Asked a Question At Both Parties' YouTube Debates?
    My hat is off to Michelle Malkin and all of the conservative bloggers who have uncovered all kinds of fascinating information about last night's YouTube questioners, using that remarkable, mysterious investigative technique called "Googling."
    To refresh:

    1. The retired brigadier general is on Hillary Clinton's gay and lesbian steering committee.

    2. The young woman who asked about jailing women who get abortions has stated on her YouTube profile page that she backs John Edwards.

    3. The "Log Cabin Republican" has written on the web about "why I'm supporting Barack Obama." 4. The guy who asked Ron Paul if he would run as an independent also asked a question at the Democratic debate and has told reporters that he "likes Bill Richardson."
    Is America such a small country that Mark Strauss of Davenport, Iowa gets to ask two questions of candidates? Those are the worst; here are the gray areas.

    5. The mom who asked about toys with lead paint from China is
    an assistant to the American Steel Workers union, which has endorsed Edwards.  This doesn't necessarily mean that this woman has endorsed Edwards or even likes him, but it would have been better if CNN had identified her with that affiliation than portraying her as just another concerned undecided voter.

    6. The young man who asked about corn subsidies interned for Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman back in 2004.
    I'm  not going to go bonkers about that; maybe he just wanted experience working on  the Hill. But amongst all the others, it's just one more log on the fire.

    7. The Powerline guys note that the guy who asked about Social Security reform "is
    with a member of [Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick] Durbin's staff, helping him develop his proposal to submit to the Congressional Budget Office." However, the same article also noted that he "met with aides of Speaker Dennis Hastert." Maybe Durbin's just more helpful to the guy, but again, in light of everybody else, CNN not being able to find this out, much less mention it, doesn't reflect well on them.

    8. Jason Coleman notes the guy who asked why Republicans can't attract more African-American voters has made mocking YouTube videos about "the blind black Republican" and rather lauditory videos attending a John Edwards event.
    CNN stepped in it badly. I don't know if firing the political director is the right solution; I'd rather the folks who made their mistakes this time learn from them and pledge to do better next time.

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  12. Rush reminded us of when Steponallofus "randomly" got on the Larry King show while Bush was the guest:
    Larry feigned surprise at the call.

  13. Let 'em ask the questions, what matter who asks 'em.

    That no GOP stand-ins are in the Dem debate crowd, asking provocative questions about immigration or Chinese contributers, well, bundlers ...

  14. So it doesn't matter if CNN screens them to make the GOP look bad?

  15. If that's all it takes, to make the GOP look bad ...

  16. If Rudy or Mitt cannot handle a happy man General, well, they may not have the stance required to be President, seems to me.

  17. Yeah, let's just bend over for the MSM like good Dhimmis!
    Great Idea!
    ...and the United Americas, too, while we're at it!
    (featuring poverty and socialism for all.)
    ...I just don't know 'Rat.

  18. Why not have Putin come up with the questions for BOTH parties?

    ...if they can't handle it, etc etc.

  19. Where do we draw the line, the border's been abandoned.
    Fact of the matter.

    You know the 9th Circut decision

    At loggerheads, between the elite and the folk. But 8% of the residents of the country are not documented... that's insane.

    How they got here matters less than that they are here.

  20. Many will leave if we ever enforce the law, ie give US Citizens their rightful place in the employment line, and use imported labor for what's left over.

  21. I do not disagree with that idea, but there is no workplace implementation, per the 9th.

    Just for starters.

    Now the illegals may head to New Mexico, from Oklahoma. As Oklahoma enacts harsh penalties for employeeing illegals, but Hawaii and New Mexico continue to license them, to drive.

    They'll just keep movin' around the country, without a Federal enforcement policy, which none of the candidates, serious candidates, advocate.

  22. The 9th is the most overturned court.
    12 other states have asked Oklahoma for help in drafting their laws already, with more in the wings.
    Karl Rove met with Cornyn to try to head off this becoming the land of diminishing returns for those remaining states backing lawlessness, with more coming on board over time. Obviously, they are worried about the developing trend of states responding to their citizens demands to enforce they law.

  23. Why do we assume everyone will be as bad as Bush has been?

  24. As it would become with abortion, if left to the States.

    Some will provide Sanctuary, New Mexico, Hawaii, perhaps New York, Massachusets, California ...

    Others draw a hardline, Oklahoma, Kansas ...

    A hodge podge of anarchy, when the Federals abdicate responsibility.

  25. Well, doug, you've got two, three options.
    Ms Clinton?
    She'll be no improvement on Mr Bush. Wal-Mart still a player, the players of the past twenty years still there in DC.

    Rudy, not high on his list, the removal of the illegals. He'd build the fence, perhaps, but would regularize those here.

    Mitt, even more liberal, by religion and temperment.

    Mr Huckabee, sendin' 'em to State schools in Arkansas. I do believe.

  26. More and more citizens in more and more states will demand action as people self-deport and impose themselves on the remaining outlaw states.

  27. There are still thousands coming across each day.

    A fellow on tv last night, an Ecuadoran here on a visa went "undercover" amongst the illegals.

    $10 bucks per hour seems to be the goin' rate for day labor, if they get paid.

    Costs $1,400 for the fellows to get transported to Phoenix.

    Don't it make you want to dance?

  28. Romney: Aid illegal immigrants, lose funds - Los Angeles Times

    HENDERSON, NEV. -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Saturday promised if elected to cut federal funding for cities and states that he considers tolerant of illegal immigration. But he said he was unsure how deep the cuts would be.

    The former Massachusetts governor repeated statements he has made in recent days that he would deny funding to so-called sanctuary cities, states that issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and states that allow the children of illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition discounts at universities.

    "They are practices that, if you will, extend this sanctuary state of mind we have," Romney told more than 200 people gathered at a public library. "I like immigration -- legal immigration."
    Troopers can arrest illegal immigrants in Romney deal

    Governor Mitt Romney has reached an agreement with federal authorities that allows the Massachusetts State Police to arrest immigrants who are in the state illegally, his spokesman said.

  29. Makes me wish Bush had been removed in the first year:
    I'd bet your 8% figure is way low, courtesy of GWB.

  30. Which was rejected by his replacement. The policy, history.

    A piece of stagecraft.

    The money is not line itemed, he couldn't discriminate between cities or States to cut the funds. Pure Posturing.

  31. I figure at least 20 million, in the shadows

  32. A Complete List of Things Caused by Global Warming

    Click on the thing you are most concerned about, for an in depth report.

  33. "Whole mountainsides lose footing, creating flows of ice and mud that move as fast as a BMW on the Autobahn"

    Peaks Crack Apart

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  35. Coincidently, I also ran into this earlier today.

    "Kucinich wants Paul as running mate."