“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, November 28, 2007

The US Navy Should Not be Distracted

The US Navy has enough to worry about other than shore leave in Hong Kong. They could start with simple question, "Why are the Chinese not rushing into building aircraft carriers?"

The Chinese have already determined to develop an asymmetric response built around carrier vulnerabilities. They rightly understand that the weakest link in the US Naval chain is space based communications. Control space and you can control all that is under it. The US better wake up fast. Here is an essay that discusses the real Chinese threat. China’s Space Ambitions—And Ours

This article in the NY Times illustrates the silliness of misplaced concern with the Chinese:

China’s Denial of Port Calls by U.S. Ships Worries Navy

Published: November 28, 2007
WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 — Two senior American admirals expressed concern on Tuesday over decisions this month by China to refuse access to the port of Hong Kong for three American warships, including two seeking fuel and sheltered waters ahead of a major storm.

The officers, Adm. Gary Roughead, the chief of naval operations, and Adm. Timothy J. Keating, commander of American forces in the Pacific, said neither the Chinese government nor its military had offered explanations.

Two minesweepers, the Patriot and the Guardian, were sailing in international waters this month when a serious Pacific Ocean storm threatened. The two vessels, relatively small, asked for permission to enter Hong Kong’s harbor for fuel and safety. The request was denied.

The admirals said China’s refusal to lend assistance to the minesweepers was a worrisome repudiation of historical principles calling on all nations to assist ships in danger at sea.

“As someone who has been going to sea all my life, if there is one tenet that we observe, it’s when somebody is in need, you provide — and you sort it out later,” Admiral Roughead said during a morning round table with Pentagon correspondents.

The two minesweepers were refueled by an American tanker and suffered no damage from the storm, Admiral Roughead said.

In a second incident just days later, the Kitty Hawk, an American aircraft carrier based in Japan, was already en route to Hong Kong for a Thanksgiving holiday visit scheduled for last Wednesday through Saturday when the Chinese withdrew their previous permission for the port call. China later approved the visit, but it was too late for the Kitty Hawk to turn around and return.

Hundreds of family members of the crew aboard the Kitty Hawk and vessels in its strike group had already flown to Hong Kong for the visit when the Chinese canceled entry “at the last minute,” according to the Navy.

During a video news conference from his headquarters in Hawaii, Admiral Keating said he found the Chinese decisions “perplexing, troublesome.”

“It is not, in our view, conduct that is indicative of a country that understands its obligations of a responsible nation,” Admiral Keating said. “There is little strategic benefit to it.”

But Admiral Keating also stressed the importance of maintaining a military-to-military dialogue to avoid any calamity in relations, and he said he planned to visit China early next year.

The State Department was asking China about its refusal to let the three Navy ships into the Hong Kong harbor.

Cmdr. Pamela S. Kunze, chief spokeswoman for Admiral Roughead, said about 50 Navy ships visited Hong Kong each year. Before the recent refusals, the last American warship to be denied access to the harbor was the Curtis Wilbur, a guided-missile destroyer, in 2002. The Chinese did not provide a reason at the time, she said.


  1. If China comes over here with a couple boats to Puget Sound, tell 'em to pack sand. Of course, they'll probably hint they are switching their future plane orders from Boeing to Airbus and the President will fold, and the boats will come in with cameras clicking.

  2. Breaking News!

    Abbas and Olmert have agreed to resume peace talks.

    Bush has invited them to the White House.

    Details later.

  3. In French Suburbs, Same Rage, but New Tactics
    A chilling new factor makes the recent violence in France more menacing: the rioters have taken up hunting shotguns and turned them on the police.

  4. ..."In Villiers-le-Bel on Tuesday night, the atmosphere was tense, with white police trucks and antiriot police officers on the streets. Earlier in the day, about 300 people, including children, marched silently in memory of the two dead teenagers.

    At a bakery on a small plaza in town, Habib Friaa, the baker, mourned their deaths, especially that of Larimi, who had started an apprenticeship with him two months ago.

    “Baking was his passion,” Mr. Friaa said. “He was a courageous young man, someone who had hope.”

    ...As was stealing motorcycles.

  5. Commie News Network joins Pat Robertson, broadcasts subliminal message to Off Chavez

    Have you ever heard a subliminal message in a shopping mall? I swear I did once--"Don't Shoplift"-not that I was going to-clear as a bell--either that or I was hallucinating. Kind of broke through my awareness somehow, just those two words, just once, really did happen.

  6. "Sen. Orrin G. Hatch — Utah Republican and, like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Mormon — said yesterday that he thinks Mr. Romney should have his own "JFK moment" by talking about his faith and telling voters that he will not take orders from the leadership of his church"
    from the Washington Times

    Didn't know dirty Harry was a Mormon--they're everywhere!

  7. Why do the Chinese not build aircraft carriers?
    Nuclear Tomahawks

    The Chinese answer with
    Nuclear naval mines, not IEDs.
    Nuclear torpedos, area weaponry.
    satellite killing rockets

    Recalling that Chinese submarine that surfaced in range of the Kitty Hawk, in the midst of its' escorts a few months ago.

    The Chinese know their limitations.

  8. To extend ChiCom air power over Taiwan does not call for an aircraft carrier.
    They could do it from the Mainland.

  9. Gillian Gibbons, British citizen & teacher,will be recieving her forty lashes for permitting her class of students to name a stuffed bear "Mohammed"

    Offended the parents, then Allah himself, it seems.

    Proof positive it does not personally pay to be tip of the "soft power" spear, in the heart of Islamic Africa, the Sudan.

    The Brits are protesting, of course.

  10. It is funny - you can name a kid Mohammed but allah will smite you if you name a teddy bear the same.

  11. I don't think these things have either been thought through or are intended to be.

  12. No, ash, it's not allah doing the smiting, it's men acting in his name.

    Divining the true meaning of other folks's writings.

  13. Desert Rat:
    Wed Nov 28, 10:05:00 AM EST
    Wed Nov 28, 10:07:00 AM EST

    Good posts.

    The thing about asymetricity, though, is unless it has some trump card, it often relies on the other side leaving in place self-imposed restraints on the use of force. An enemy that simply doesn't care, won't play the games, and will escalate at will, geographically (say, go beyond Taiwan and shut off Chinese oil imports?) or militarily, is not helpful.

    Obviously, for a variety of reasons, we tie ourselves in knots, so we're more vulnerable than most. Considering how we're fighting the "war on terror," we're likely to create even more restraints on how we make war. Soft-counterinsurgency amidst the religion of perpetual outrage has that effect.

    The worst-case scenario, of course, is that somewhere down the line someone who isn't so inherently weak cleans our clock before we even realize the game has changed.

  14. The Chinese taking a defensive stance. Most of the systems the Chinese are deploying are local, for them, in the Pacific theater.

    Which is understandable. with the increase in piracy through out the Malay trade routes.

    As the US decreases its' ability to project power, to secure the routes alone, the reciprients of the oil will have to help, themselves.

    The Chinese may not be arming against US, but to fill the vacume we are creating, with a shrinking Navy.

    Who should the Chinese call upon, if not themselves. Especially as we harbour and give political priority to exiled insurectionists from Tibet.

    There are many scenarios that do not lead to Asian War, most scenarios do not lead to an Asian War, actually.

  15. I'm a China agnostic. Laced with prudence due to the stakes.

  16. Gee, I missed habu's brief visit (and a Columbia/Venezuela thread as well - about which I have nothing to say):

    "Now Buchanan haters on the site want to castigate a man who has been far more correct over US interests than he has been wrong over the course of the past 20 years.

    "He was the one who sounded the tocsin on illegal immigration and the mongrelization of the US..."

    "Mongrelization" started with the Irish. Then eastern and southern Europeans. Been downhill ever since, dontcha know.

  17. Had to listen to my mother, in so many other ways a charming and engaging human being, on the subject of said "mongrelization" over Thanksgiving. Oh, and the North American Union.

    Fit to be tied, that woman is.

  18. Oh my.

    Colombia. Not Columbia.

    The Spanish is coming along swimmingly, too! I swear.

    (You can dress 'er up, you can't trust 'er on her own in any non-German speaking foreign country.)

  19. "Oh, and the North American Union.

    Fit to be tied, that woman is."

    Your mum must be top rate, Trish!

    What's her opinion of Crystal Gayle?

  20. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the Iowa caucus finds former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee with 28% of the vote, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney with 25% support, and everyone else far behind. National frontrunner Rudy Giuliani gets just 12% of the vote in Iowa at this time while former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson is the only other candidate in double digits at 11%.


  21. "We're rather like the Greeks in that we're always predicting our own downfall."

    I'd like to amend that. The Greeks always believed that their Golden Age was behind them, as Americans have been inclined to since before we were. We seem rarely to be able to appreciate or enjoy or fully acknowledge our strengths and our blessings. We have, rather, a more or less permanent sense of decline and decay, which we attempt to beat back with a series of wars - cultural, un-, and actual.

    I don't think our problem is hubris, which the Greeks always warned against. But rather the curse of a mistaken, mythical nostalgia - believing, as they did, that the best is already, and forever, behind us.

  22. My mother, though we don't see eye to eye on some things (and none of us see eye to eye on all things) is an exceptional woman.

  23. But what's she think of Crystal Gayle? Got sick of her, I bet, played over and over, over and over:)

  24. I don't know if she ever liked her as my dad did. I'd have to ask. But, yeah, that constant replay can do anyone in.

  25. Team Hillary is in deep doo-doo in Iowa. Doo-doo Here

  26. Re: the earlier Pat Buchanan post---
    Starting at 10pm PT: Author, columnist, and television commentator Pat Buchanan will discuss his new book Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed Are Tearing America Apart.

    Coast-To-Coast on your AM radio dial, across America and round the world.

  27. "...believing, as they did, that the best is already, and forever, behind us."

    In other words, a game we've already, and eternally, rigged against ourselves. No matter what we do.

    Forget more cowbell.

  28. Old Pat, he's been all over the cable networks, spreading his current message.

    We are where we are, it's not all that bad, could be better, has been worse.

    The challenges, easily acknowledged.

    The solutions ....

    All over the board

  29. Just let go with the constant siren and two-by-four.

  30. Softball bat and pistol, actually.

    The siren, she sings a song that beckons, no doubt of that.

    2x4's are crude instruments, best left for youths.

  31. Nostalgia for the past has been identified as a common cultural and human characteristic. The Native Americans had it too, and even before we came. The hunt was better then. Was good, now heap shit. Shows up in some of their myths. I know I've got it, bad too. It's all a bunch of crap now. The American ranaissance is past. The moment of ascent is over, all down hill from here. So it's a good thing to know it's a common feeling to most folks everywhere. Cultures on the upswing escape it temporarily. There never was, is or will be any better times than right now, is the healthy way to try and look at things. The worst of times, the best of times.

    so saith bob

  32. These are the Good Old Days. Enjoy 'em while we have 'em.

  33. ""Mongrelization" started with the Irish. Then eastern and southern Europeans. Been downhill ever since, dontcha know."
    That old saw is used over and over, but neglects to see that it is a brand new ballgame because of the welfare state and state education system, all of which conspire to make non-Americans out of all but the most highly motivated.

    Those happen to be most discriminated against in our immigration "policy."
    Rush bought into it for years, as his wise old granpa brought him up on it having lived through it all.
    Took Rush a decade of being screamed at every time he went to someplace like Calif where people LIVE WITH IT EVERY DAY.

    But, not surprised that you, with your ever condescending attitude have no problem thinking you see more clearly than VDH about a subject that he knows to his bones, and you have a passing interest in.
    ...compounded by the fantasy that you never have been, and never will be wrong, despite all evidence to the contrary.

  34. What does the Libertarian offer to your problem, Doug?

  35. Tune up to sing the mighty Democratic Party fight song, folks--
    Happy Days
    Are Here Again
    dada,dada da da dada

  36. "it is a brand new ballgame because of the welfare state and state education system"

  37. I'm pushing the envelope here, but a Listing is provided for your convenience of affiliates for Coast To Coast so's Pat might get an hour's hearing.

  38. Ron Paul,
    Which makes them a non-starter in the real world.

  39. As Mr Paul rises in the polling, he becomes ever less "serious" amongst the pundits.

    Does not toe the Boner line, so he just is on the fringe, not serious.
    Read the dailyline at RCP.

  40. Well, it's finally happened: we have our first poll showing Mike Huckabee overtaking Mitt Romney for the lead in Iowa. Rasmussen has the goods (Nov 26-27, 839 GOP LV, MoE +/- 3.5%):

    Huckabee 28 (+12 vs. last poll Nov 12)
    Romney 25 (-4)
    Giuliani 12 (-3)
    Thompson 11 (-3)
    Paul 5 (+1)
    McCain 4 (-2)

    Overall, Romney still leads by 2.8% in the RCP Average for Iowa, but the trend lines are fairly ominous for him

    Paul's ahead of McCain.


  41. "These are the Good Old Days. Enjoy 'em while we have 'em."


  42. In the U tube debate (I heard just bits and pieces on Hewitt) Romney was bitching about how New York was a "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants, and Giuliani's counter-bitch was about Romney's sanctuary mansion.

  43. Hey, Trish!
    Paul's with me on immigration, not you and your "open immigration" insanity!

  44. Funny how I and my mother and everyone else in my family is a Paul supporter.

  45. So now, with the Bill & Hill Show, we get to revisit Bill's quotes from his Presidency.

    Two for the price of one?

    Laddie and Leader?

  46. What this country needs is a Ron Paul/Dennis Kucinich ticket.

  47. ""We must recognize these are God's children as well," McCain said. "They need our love and compassion, and I want to ensure that I will enforce the borders first. But we won't demagogue it." "
    I guess we must presume the 40 Thousand innocent American citizens slaughtered were not deserving of such compassion.
    Probly not God's children, or some such.

  48. Might as well campaign for Goldwater/Miller

  49. No one ever said that it'd be easy or cheap to modify the culture of 450 million people.

    To blend them in the melting pot that is the Americas.
    For a while, they'll be some distinct clumping, while heat and pressure, plus spin do their magick.

  50. Kinda like dynamiting that whale carcass, funny unless you're in the impact area.


    (I was just joshin' bout that Paul/Kucinich ticket)

    Ron Paul Wins Fair Zogby Poll
    Filed under: Civil Rights— @ 7:35 am

    Alex Jones commissions a straightforward poll that has Ron Paul beating Giuliani 33 to 19.

    by James Buchanan

    Thanks to Internet radio host Alex Jones, the Zogby polling firm was forced to do a clean, straightforward poll, which asked ordinary Americans, whom they would support for president. The poll described the political philosophies of four candidates so that people were voting based on issues rather than solely on hype or name recognition. The winner of this poll was Ron Paul, who scored an impressive 33 percent first place finish, with Giuliani finishing second with 19 percent.

    Mr. Jones commissioned this poll after finding out that at least one earlier poll asked Ron Paul supporters bizarre sex questions (in an obvious attempt to get Paul supporters to hang up on the pollster–invalidating their votes). If something as obvious and blatant as sex questions were being used to bias the poll, then could we really trust anything these mainstream pollsters were doing?

    For the last six months, we’ve been told over and over that Ron Paul stands no chance. That his support was down around one or two percent. (A few recent polls have grudgingly given Paul five percent.) Meanwhile, the liberal, Open Borders, cross-dressing ex-Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani has been passed off as the “front runner.”

    Curiously, Ron Paul has won one Republican straw poll after another, scoring more first place finishes than any other candidate. He also was able to raise more money ($4.3 million) in one day from ordinary Americans than any other Republican. Meanwhile Giuliani has won exactly ZERO Republican straw polls. Why are the official pollsters saying the complete opposite of the GOP straw polls? Why do their results make no sense when you look at how much money each candidate can raise?

    How is it possible that Ron Paul has done so well fund-raising, but the “official” pollsters keep giving him poor results? Well, you can fake a poll, but you can’t fake fund-raising. (more…)

    November 20, 2007
    Ron Paul Wins Nationwide Zogby Blind Poll
    Filed under: Civil Rights— @ 9:28 am

    Sizeable majority of Americans looking to vote for candidate who protects liberty, shrinks government, brings troops home

    Paul Joseph Watson
    Prison Planet Exclusive
    Monday, November 19, 2007

    A new nationwide Zogby telephone poll reveals that a sizeable majority of Americans are looking to vote for a candidate who protects liberty, wants to shrink government and immediately withdraw troops from Iraq - all traits common to Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

    As part of a spread poll commissioned by Jones Productions, respondents were provided with descriptions of four different candidates and asked to choose who they would vote for based on each one’s attributes and political platform.


    Zogby released the numbers to us this morning and have indicated that due to the level of interest in the poll, they will be issuing a press release tomorrow.

    Source Article

    David Duke supports Ron Paul

  52. "Kinda like dynamiting that whale carcass, funny unless you're in the impact area."

    Well, there you go.

  53. Wonder what David Duke thinks of releasing Mr Wallace's attacker. That ex-pistolero now on the streets.

    Hopefully on his meds, aye?

    Wonder who Goldwater would vote for ...

    The Goldwater of which era, would be the next question.
    He was an interesting chareater, self-made fame, based on a successful family retail business.

    I think the May Coompany ended up buying "Glodwaters"
    Glodwater's location that I knew - Scottsdale - Scottsdale Fashion Square - opened 1961, Robinson's 1989, Robinsons-May 1993, closed 2006, to be demolished for Barneys New York

    From Wili-
    Goldwater's Department Store was a department store chain based in Phoenix, Arizona. It was founded in Gila City, Arizona, in 1860 and moved to Phoenix in 1872. The store was founded by Michael Goldwater, the grandfather of U.S. Senator and 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. The chain was acquired by Associated Dry Goods Corp. in 1963 and came to May Department Stores when May and Associated merged in 1986.

  54. Don't blow up the carcass, for christ's sake.

  55. Alex Jones believes 9-11 was an inside job, fwiw.

  56. I really don't know why the cranks--the white supremecists--seem attracted to Paul. He doesn't seem to come across like that to me. But I don't know much about him. Maybe it's a lack of any alternatives, for them.

  57. I can't reference what Jesus would do. Mr Goldwater, on the other hand, left a public record of some note, on modern issues.

    As a young man, he flew and drove around the State, taking pictures of landscapes, cowboys & indians.

    He formated the pictures into a movie, which he took to small town moviehouses around Arizona, narrating the movie oive. Kije Warren Miller did, back in the day.

    It's how he became well known, that and everyone knew his family, from the stores.

    Manipulated the movie theaters, entertainment and noteritity for political gain. It was a much different place, Arizona, back in the 1960's and before.

  58. Did you know Hillary was Goldwater girl? Yes she was.

  59. "Ron Paul is the favorite candidate of a number of racist, neo-Nazi and conspiracist websites. While Paul cannot be held accountable for the views of cranks and kooks, he can disavow their support and return their checks. He received $500 from Don Black, the proprietor of and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. He has not yet returned it.

    Moreover, Paul seems to be playing a sly game with his conspiracy-minded fans. He does not explicitly endorse the crazier theories out there, but he hints at dark forces in the U.S. government threatening our liberties, he inveighs against the "neo-cons" (shorthand for Jews in some circles) and he gives aid and comfort to the paranoid by appearing on their favorite radio shows.
    --- Mona Charen

  60. On September 8, 2007 Jones was arrested while protesting at Sixth Avenue and Forty-Eighth Street in New York, NY. He was charged with operating a bullhorn without a permit. from wiki

    :)That's a new one. Never did hear of that type charge before. Maybe there is a conspiracy, deeper than we know.

  61. He hints at dark forces...

    And don't we all, Doug?

  62. The dreams those fellows had, they acted upon and succeeded.

    Super Bowl comin' to what had been a no horse town.

    Really a marvel of social engineering, if one believes the growth was planned and not happenstance.

    The plans were publicly funded, Federal largess at the expense of Californios water usage.

    The Central Arizona Project causing the desert to bloom. Senators like Hayden, Fannin, Goldwater... Congressman Rhodes, makes Mr McCain appear like a mushroom, lurking in their shadows.

    But Arizona is a Federal landscape, only 15% of the land in private hands.

  63. Hillary a Goldwater girl? Sure didn't know that.

    That's a good reason to vote against her, Trish. Anyone that can shift around that much just isn't stable.

    Did Goldwater have to do with building the big dam, Rat?

  64. "The US better wake up fast. Here is an essay that discusses...the real Chinese threat. China’s Space Ambitions—And Ours"

    Space - one among many real threats
    to C4ISR

    there are others...

    Chinese and American Network Warfare

    and possible recent demonstrations of the concept

    These observations provide evidence that a sophisticated network attack and electronic hacking capability is an operational part of the Israel Defense Forces’ arsenal of digital weapons

  65. We don't all entertain 9-11 deniers and ex Clanheads, that's for sure.

  66. You woulda made me lose my bet Bobal!
    I woulda bet everyone here knew Hill was a goldwater girl.
    Where's your Clinton History?

  67. Yep, if not in fact, then in spirit. Saw him on film, advocating damming the Grand Canyon, to better manage the water.

    Said he thought it a terrible loss, but one that it would be required, for the people that would need the water.

    We've got the water spread out in a series of dams, now. So much so the Mexicans get nary a drop, sometimes.

  68. "But Arizona is a Federal landscape, only 15% of the land in private hands."

    Does that make it No 1? : )

    God I love Arizona.

    Went back a few years ago and bathed in the big sky. Did some incredible mountain driving. (Well, survived it.) The people, can't say enough about.

    That was all recreational, of course.

    The smell of the evening air in spring, summer, fall. We all remember it.

  69. The Chinese are moving into space, elijah. With home grown and US or Israeli supplied technologies.

    Bought, gifted or stolen.

    Doesn't much matter.

    They will be one of the dominant players in the world. The West has dominated China, for hundreds of years.
    We'll soon learn why they did.

    Kept that Dragon sedated, they did.

    We helped to wake it up

    From Mr Truman and General Marshall forcing a truce, on down through Mr Nixon ping pong dreams, on to Ms Clinton's campaign bundler, up through the Kitty Hawk being turned away from Hong Kong..

  70. Not sure, trish.
    Imagine Alaska is even more Federally owned, but that's an assumption.

  71. We're about 65% Federal land in Idaho.



    Bury Goldwater!

    Slogans, still fresh in the mind.

  72. I don't know, DR, China is experience long gas lines, and they are fouling their own nest, and they are letting their currency drift up against the dollar, and they're having a hard time selling Asbestos Barbie in Wal-Mart this year, what with $800 a month oil heating bills and all.

  73. I'll say this for some of the eastern and southern senators, and congressfolk. We had the 'sage brush' rebellion out here some time back--an effort to sell off unca sam's holdings--to the rich, for the rich, of course--to the great praise of those back east, this went nowhere. Thank you, Ted Kennedy.

  74. The word was John Kerry's granddad I think it was, ran opium up the Chinese rivers, when the shipping industry was in the doldrums, here. I'd sure like to know if that is true or not.

  75. "We don't all entertain 9-11 deniers and ex Clanheads, that's for sure."

    Just, you know, Skull and Bones paranoids.

  76. Bobal, your neighbors over here to the west in Washington have 29 Indian reservations comprising 8% of the total land, when the national average is 2.3%. The Yakama rez alone is about the size of Delaware.

  77. I watched the debate from beginning to end. The format went well. Most of the questions were sensible and the answers interesting.

    Mike Huckabee had a good night and Romney got a little ruffed up.

    Fred Thompson better head to the showers. He is going nowhere and would loose in a landslide. Tancredo and Hunter were very solid. Rudy was OK to passable. He did nothing for himself but neither did he do any damage. It got ugly between him and Romney

    I felt that McCain did alright, but his time has passed.

    On the whole, score a night for the man from Hope.

  78. Reaffirms "right" to deny thos "rights" to others.

    First up, best dressed.

    Doubt if the "others" will affirm the Pentagon's "right", let alone allow it to be reaffirmed.

    Sounds like claiming rights, to me. Perhaps reaffirming past claims. But "rights" to preemptive self-defense, in space, based upon fear of others growing parity.

    Sounds like a cause for war

    Better win that war, or there could be trials, let alone tribulations.

  79. You may learn this in Colombia, trish, just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not after you.

  80. "What this country needs is a Ron Paul/Dennis Kucinich ticket."

    If you listen to him, that's actually who I'd say his most likely running mate would be...He's out there.

  81. Well, Rat.

    You are quite right.

    We can leave it at there, can we not?

  82. "I really don't know why the cranks--the white supremecists--seem attracted to Paul. He doesn't seem to come across like that to me. But I don't know much about him. Maybe it's a lack of any alternatives, for them."

    A. 3rd parties always attract the political leftovers, people who hate the current set up.

    B. White supremacists hate the U.S. Government, in both domestic and foreign affairs.

  83. In the words of Jonah Goldberg, Huckabee's compassionate conservatism on steroids, and with speaking skills. Which makes him dangerous to anyone who likes limited government.

  84. Goddamnit, cutler, you're just mean.

  85. Hey, I'm hoping he makes a good showing.

    But watch him speak about Kucinich - he loves him. They asked him a question on PBS which candidate in the race most reflected his views guessed it.

    Watch the interviews on you-tube - for all the moments that he hits the right notes, there's those where he just baffles you with naivety.

    For instance, saying that if we left South Korea, North and South Korea would be united within 5 years. He said that.

    If he just wasn't that daffy...but then again, he's a protest vote, right?

    Huckaberry vs. Hillary, who the hell knows...enough to make me wonder if I want him to actually run third party and roll the dice.

  86. I thought Thompson came off badly tonight - bleh.

  87. Well, came off well in my eyes. I liked what he said.

    But I don't think he's going to win.

  88. Dennis Kucinich seems like a decent guy. But Dennis Kucinich is also proof that there are aliens and they left him.

  89. We all remember our Ayn Rand. The boat needs rocking. Good and hard.

  90. Two compelling new books help explain why our “empire” is different from the Soviet or Roman varieties. Walter Russell Mead’s encyclopedic God and Gold argues that Anglo-American culture is uniquely well suited toward globalism, military success, capitalism and liberty.

    Amy Chua’s brilliant Day of Empire confirms why: Successful “hyperpowers” tend to be more tolerant and inclusive than their competitors. Despite its flaws, Britain was the first truly liberal empire.

    America has picked up where the British left off. Whatever sway the U.S. holds over far-flung reaches of the globe is derived from the fact that we have been, and hopefully shall continue to be, the leader of the free world, offering help and guidance, peace and prosperity, where and when we can, as best we can, and asking little in return.

    The 'Empire' Strikes Back

  91. "We all remember our Ayn Rand. The boat needs rocking. Good and hard."

    Somewhat off-topic (though not entirely with the whole Left-Right alliance thing), but what do you think of Murray Rothbard?

  92. For the first 200 pgs of Conceived in Liberty? Ask my son.

    I like Henry Hazlitt.

  93. He was rather soured on Rothbard after The Common Defense.

  94. I admit that I blank at "The Common Defense."

    What's your favorite Hazlitt book.

  95. Economics in One Lesson.

    Passed it on to my daughter years ago. Economics and French major.

  96. Don't forget Cyrus, King of Kings, Persian Empire, who let the Jews return home from Babylon, to rebuild the Temple, called the Lord's annointed by Isaiah, first true multi cultural empire in the world, you can do as you please, just pay the tribute.

  97. This comment has been removed by the author.

  98. Port calls were suspended, for example, after a U.S. bomber struck the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999 and in the wake of the mid-air collision in 2001 between a Chinese fighter and U.S. Navy EP-3 surveillance plane, whose crew was detained by Chinese authorities after a harrowing landing on Hainan Island.

    Asked whether Beijing had acted in response to a recent U.S. upgrading of Patriot missiles in Taiwan, and to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates not notifying Chinese leaders about the move during a visit to China this month, Morrell said he had heard no such explanation. "It wasn't . . . incumbent upon Secretary Gates to relay that information," he said.

    During the Gates trip, leaders discussed stepping up military cooperation and exchanges, and agreed to establish a defense hotline between Beijing and Washington. Morrell said he had "no indication" that such programs would be disrupted by the Kitty Hawk incident.

    Navy Ship

  99. I just finished Common Sense Economics, it's intended to be an updated version of that.

    When I began reading about classical economics, stuff like Sowell's Basic Economics, I realized that I'd basically been taught Keynesian economics. I.e. increasing domestic government spending during down-turns to boost growth. It was a creepy experience.

    In history and political affairs I'd always had enough background to know when I was being sold a certain line or bill of goods (and it happened often). Economics, however, I had no reason to know any better.

    He who controls the schools, has a hell of an advantage on the future. But as a homeschooler you already know that.

  100. For the Common Defense was the basic Military Science text, years ago. And quite good. A foundational read.

  101. Oh - "For the Common Defense."

    Yeah, ironically I read it after you mentioned it 2 years back.

    Why'd that turn him off Rothbard?

  102. Aside from the fact that Rothbard was half-nuts to begin with.

  103. Well, maybe that was it it, cutler. He'd have no part.

  104. Yeah, in my lowly opinion, Rothbard was one of the worst things to ever happen to the American Libertarian movement.

    That's why I wondered if you had an opinion.

  105. Through my son I do. Weird though that sounds.

  106. Not at all.

    I wish I had that sort of relationship with my parents. They never talked politics around me, ever. Probably because they themselves didn't agree and weren't much formally involved.

    I did give my mother Road to Serfdom a few months ago, though.

    Of all freaking things, she's a Paul supporter.

    She used to be a hippy. Now she's pretty much Pat Buchanan, though she doesn't know enough politics to realize it.

    Hates George Bush. Finally realized a few weeks ago that she hates the Democrats and can't even watch their debates.

    I keep telling her that somehow she actually jumped over George Bush, but she doesn't believe me.

  107. The ONLY time my parents ever mentioned politics to me growing up were telling me:

    A. Be thankful I was an American.

    and oddly enough

    B. My father once mentioned that the Israelis were tough people.

    That was it.

  108. Musharraf just got another 5.

  109. "I wish I had that sort of relationship with my parents. They never talked politics around me, ever. Probably because they themselves didn't agree and weren't much formally involved."

    Well, we're all politics and philosophy all the time, except when we're just fucking tired of it or one another. Or playing cards. Which can be worse.

    Wouldn't trade it, any of us, for anything.

  110. Hrmph. Maybe I'll have to eek out a few days this Christmas, someway, somehow.