“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, December 07, 2007


The reason they call it faith is because it is unprovable and not based on demonstrable fact. If you prefer, you can choose someone else's faith or you can make up your own. The someone else sort gathers credibility with aging. With aging, it achieves a dogma. Dogma become fighting words and fighting words become killing words. People die for their faith and kill for their faith, and all that based on the unprovable and thus the unknowable.

Faith in politics is worse than politics in faith. Hearing a politician say, "You will be in my thoughts and prayers" is a tooth cracking experience. It would be refreshing to hear, "You will not be in my thoughts and prayers." That would be too honest for politics.

Please Lord, spare us.


  1. The reason they call it faith is because it is unprovable and not based on demonstrable fact.

    Deuce, this is not correct. Setting aside St. Tomas Aquinas and his Five Ways to prove the existence of God, the scripture says in Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    In other words, to people who have been given the gift of faith (which is the supernatural assurance of truths which can only be divinely revealed), faith itself is the evidence of those divine truths.

  2. Infinitely worse is the other extreme, the creed of conversion by conquest: violent jihad, murder as martyrdom, killing Christians, Jews, and Muslims with equal indifference. These radical Islamists do their preaching not by reason or example, but in the coercion of minds and the shedding of blood. We face no greater danger today than theocratic tyranny, and the boundless suffering these states and groups could inflict if given the chance.

    The diversity of our cultural expression, and the vibrancy of our religious dialogue, has kept America in the forefront of civilized nations even as others regard religious freedom as something to be destroyed.

    In such a world, we can be deeply thankful that we live in a land where reason and religion are friends and allies in the cause of liberty, joined against the evils and dangers of the day. And you can be - You can be certain of this: Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me. And so it is for hundreds of millions of our countrymen: We do not insist on a single strain of religion - rather, we welcome our nation's symphony of faith.

    Recall the early days of the first Continental Congress in Philadelphia, during the fall of 1774. With Boston occupied by British troops, there were rumors of imminent hostilities and fears of an impending war. In this time of peril, someone suggested that they pray. But there were objections. "They were too divided in religious sentiment," what with Episcopalians and Quakers, Anabaptists and Congregationalists, Presbyterians and Catholics.

    Then Sam Adams rose, and said he would hear a prayer from anyone of piety and good character, as long as they were a patriot.

    And so together they prayed, and together they fought, and together, by the grace of God, they founded this great nation.

    And in that spirit, let us give thanks to the divine "author of liberty." And together, let us pray that this land may always be blessed, "with freedom's holy light."

    God bless this great land, the United States of America."

  3. Evangelical Christians Disgust me with all their tortured "reasons" to not vote for Romney.
    Make 1960's America look like the Renaissance.

  4. Disease is not cured by pronouncing the name of medicine, but by taking medicine. Deliverance is not achieved by repeating the word 'Brahman', but by directly experiencing Brahman...

    Faith, that crutch for grubby schoolboys.
    Theodore Roethke

    Only the pure in heart and poor in spirit can come to the unitive knowledge of God. Hence, the attempt to impose more unity upon societies than their individual members are ready for makes it psychologically almost impossible for those individuals to realize their unity with the divine Ground and with one another.

    Among Christians and the Sufis, to whose writings we now return, the concern is primarily with the human mind and its divine essence.

    My Me is God, nor do I recognize any other Me except my God Himself.
    Catherine of Genoa

    The spirit possesses God essentially in naked nature, and God the spirit.

    When the Ten Thousand Things are viewed in their oneness, we return to the Origin and remain where we have always been.
    Sen T'Sen

    There is a spirit in the soul, untouched by time and flesh, flowing from the Spirit, remaining in the Spirit, itself wholly spiritual. In this principle is God, ever verdant, ever flowering, in all the joy and glory of His actual Self. Sometimes I have called the principle the Tabernacle of the soul, sometimes as spiritual Light, anon I say it is a Spark. But now I say that it is more exalted over this and that than the heavens are exalted above the earth....

    Our perceptions and our understanding are directed, in large measure, by our will. We are aware of, and we think about, the things which, for one reason or another, we want to see and understand. Where there's a will there is always an intellectual way. Whatever we will to do, whether it be to come to the unitive knowledge of the Godhead, or to manufacture self-propelled flame-throwers--that we are able to do.
    Aldous Huxley

    The core and spiritual heart of all higher religions is the Perennial Philosophy; and it can be assented to and acted upon without resort to the kind of faith, about which Luther was writing in the foregoing passages.

    Let us remember that an existence which derives its objectivity from the mental activity of those who intensely believe in it cannot possibly be the spiritual Ground of the world, and that a mind busily engaged in the voluntary and intellectual activity, which is 'religious faith' cannot possibly be in the state of selflessness and alert passsivity which is the necessary condition of the unitive knowledge of the Ground. That is why the Buddhists affirm that 'loving faith leads to heaven: but obedience to the Dharma leads to Nirvana.'
    Aldous Huxley

    Karma is never the cause of emancipation.

    The form of God is itself the joy with which it is apprehended.

    These folks don't think much of 'faith', but have the very highest regard for an actual experience of knowing.

    That first heaven of knowing.
    Theodore Roethke

  5. “Gov. Romney’s speech was a magnificent reminder of the role religious faith must play in government and public policy. His delivery was passionate and his message was inspirational.
    Whether it will answer all the questions and concerns of Evangelical Christian voters is yet to be determined, but the governor is to be commended for articulating the importance of our religious heritage as it relates to today.”
    - James Dobson

  6. Mitt/Huck Fight Helps Rudy
    Posted by: Patrick Ruffini at

    Soren Dayton says that Mike Huckabee’s rise is facilitated by Rudy Giuliani’s slide in national polls. Social conservatives have less need to compromise and swallow Mitt if they believe Giuliani will fade on his own.

    But appearances and reality can sometimes be quite different. Rudy may appear weaker in national polling, but he is actually strengthened by the dynamics of the Romney/Huckabee fight.

    A few weeks ago, Romney rolling in both Iowa and New Hampshire was the nightmare scenario for all Republican candidates not named Romney. Romney could only go from 10% in national polls to the nomination with a Kerry-like burst of publicity arising from a 1-2 punch out of Iowa and New Hampshire.

    Now, Mike Huckabee, armed with little more than a sling-shot, is casting serious doubt on that strategy

  7. Ceremonies in themselves are not sin; but whoever supposes that he can attain to life either by baptism or by partaking of bread is still in superstition.
    Hans Denk

    If you be always handling the letter of the Word, always licking the letter, always chewing upon that, what great thing do you? No marvel you are such starvelings.
    John Everard

    By love may He be gotten and holden.
    The Cloud of Unknowing

    By love, not by faith.

  8. As a young lad, I attended Latin Mass six days a week with daily courses in religious teaching from the Baltimore catechism. i know the Latin Mass by rote.

    Summers included Baptist Bible studies which was a hook for water color classes which was my passion.

    Much later in life, facing multiple challenges, I discovered the joy of the Book of James most of all.

    Kierkegaard explained to me why when he wrote:
    .."But then it is also true that there is rest and happiness in this thought. It is really true that when, wearied with all this human inconstancy, this temporal and earthly immutability, and wearied of your own inconstancy, you might wish to find a place where rest may be found for your weary head, your weary thoughts, your weary spirit, so that you might find rest and find complete repose: Oh, in the changelessness of God there is rest."

  9. Fuck it.

    Fri Dec 07, 12:02:00 AM EST

    What gives, cutler?

    (Still waiting for that insightful, positive, inspiring, original Elephant Bar post, dear hosts. Don't make me leave the country, heartbroken, without it.)

  10. Seems to me Romney didn't say hardly a thing about the guts of his religion, but just pandered to the evangelicals, a purely political speech, to shore up his poll numbers. But Romney gives a great speech, is very effective when he stands there by himself. His speech wasn't like Kennedy's who said religion ought to be out of the public square, Romney saying we should have these symbols etc in the public square.

  11. Some of the finest thoughts on faith were written by Roger Williams, and of he, by Vernon Louis Parrington, who himself knew how to rub a few words together.

  12. A drunken man who falls out of a cart, though he may suffer, does not die. His bones are the same as other people's; but he meets his accident in a different way. His spirit is in a condition of security. He is not conscious of riding in the cart; neither is he conscious of falling out of it. Ideas of life, death, fear and the like cannot penetrate his breast; and so he does not suffer from contact with objective existence. If such security is to be got from wine, how much more is it to be got from God?
    Chuang Tzu

    there you go

    The Valley Spirit never dies, and thou art that.

  13. (Still waiting for that insightful, positive, inspiring, original Elephant Bar post, dear hosts. Don't make me leave the country, heartbroken, without it.)

    You can have occasional insightful.

    If truth be positive you have it. If not, you have it anyway.

    For inspiration, getting it from a bar would be original.

    For more information you must first answer this question.

  14. Albob,
    I think he was recalling our heritage more than pandering to evangelicals.

  15. Deuce,
    re: James.
    Cool! were soulmates in Joyce!

  16. They were sure skirting around that Bernie Ward story last night on KGO, Doug! Tiptoeing very carefully:) In fact, avoiding it like it was radioactive!

    If it had been Rush you'd have never heard the end of it:)

    "If you're sick and tired of the leftists in the news media and big city politicians covering up illegal alien criminals DEFYING the laws of this country, I urge you to add your name to our Urgent Appeal now."
    ...he left out Trish.
    But maybe figures she's covered under leftists?

  18. I was hoping for a valediction from you trish.

  19. "For inspiration, getting it from a bar would be original."

    Only if you understand a bar to be a place in which to indulge one's bottomless pessimism.

  20. I was hoping for a valediction from you trish.

    Fri Dec 07, 09:01:00 AM EST

    I think I can do that.

  21. "Don't let the door hit you in the ass."

  22. Mitt's Hour of Power

    The address was courageous in a way John F. Kennedy's speech to the Baptist ministers was not. Kennedy went to Houston to assure the ministers he agreed with them on virtually every issue where they differed with the Catholic agenda and that his faith would not affect any decision he made as president. He called himself "the Democratic Party's candidate for president who happens also to be a Catholic."

    It was like saying: "I happen to be left-handed. I can't help it."

    Romney did not truckle. He did not suggest that his faith was irrelevant to the formation of his political philosophy. While declaring, "I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause and no one interest," he did not back away an inch from his Mormon faith.

    "There are some for whom these commitments are not enough," said Romney. "They would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it is more a tradition than my personal conviction, or disavow one or another of its precepts. That I will not do. I believe in my Mormon faith, and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers. I will be true to them and to my beliefs."

    If this costs me the presidency, said Romney, so be it.

    That is the kind of defiance this country can never hear enough of.

    What Romney was saying was: If you so dislike or resent my faith you will not vote for me if I stay true to it, don't vote for me. But that may say more about you than it does about me.

    After defending his own faith, Romney declared himself a fighting ally of traditionalists and conservatives in the culture war against a militant secularism that is hostile to all faiths rooted in supernatural beliefs and that seeks to de-Christianize America.
    -Pat Buchanan


    Homosexodus! Students flee forced 'gay' agenda
    California parents start reacting to new 'education' requirements

  24. Doug: Evangelical Christians Disgust me with all their tortured "reasons" to not vote for Romney. Make 1960's America look like the Renaissance.

    Romney flip-flopped 180 degrees on immigration and gay marriage and abortion. Last year he signed a law which mandates nearly all Massachusetts residents to buy health insurance coverage or else face a substantial penalty in the form of an additional income tax assessment. The Mormon stuff is just icing on the cake, before Romney takes the cake.

  25. Here is some news, some will think it good, thers will moan that all is lost.

    BRUSSELS, Belgium (Associated Press) -- Russia on Friday ignored Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's calls for new U.N. sanctions to be imposed on Iran over its nuclear program.

    Despite strong support from NATO allies in the wake of a new U.S. intelligence report that concludes Iran actually stopped atomic weapons development in 2003 but remains a threat, Rice was unable to persuade Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the urgency of fresh sanctions.

    "It fully confirms the information that we have: that there is no military element in their nuclear program. We hope very much that these negotiations with Iran will continue," he told reporters after meeting with Rice on the sidelines of a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels.

    Lavrov, who has become the public face of opposition to the U.S. and European strategy on Iran, has maintained Russia has no evidence that Tehran had ever had a secret nuclear weapons program in violation of international treaty obligations.

  26. The Far Field by Theodore Roethke

    I dream of journeys repeatedly:
    Of flying like a bat deep into a narrowing tunnel
    Of driving alone, without luggage, out a long peninsula,
    The road lined with snow-laden second growth,
    A fine dry snow ticking the windshield,
    Alternate snow and sleet, no on-coming traffic,
    And no lights behind, in the blurred side-mirror,
    The road changing from glazed tarface to a rubble of stone,
    Ending at last in a hopeless sand-rut,
    Where the car stalls,
    Churning in a snowdrift
    Until the headlights darken.


    At the field's end, in the corner missed by the mower,
    Where the turf drops off into a grass-hidden culvert,
    Haunt of the cat-bird, nesting-place of the field-mouse,
    Not too far away from the ever-changing flower-dump,
    Among the tin cans, tires, rusted pipes, broken machinery, --
    One learned of the eternal;
    And in the shrunken face of a dead rat, eaten by rain and ground-beetles
    (I found in lying among the rubble of an old coal bin)
    And the tom-cat, caught near the pheasant-run,
    Its entrails strewn over the half-grown flowers,
    Blasted to death by the night watchman.

    I suffered for young birds, for young rabbits caught in the mower,
    My grief was not excessive.
    For to come upon warblers in early May
    Was to forget time and death:
    How they filled the oriole's elm, a twittering restless cloud, all one morning,
    And I watched and watched till my eyes blurred from the bird shapes, --
    Cape May, Blackburnian, Cerulean, --
    Moving, elusive as fish, fearless,
    Hanging, bunched like young fruit, bending the end branches,
    Still for a moment,
    Then pitching away in half-flight,
    Lighter than finches,
    While the wrens bickered and sang in the half-green hedgerows,
    And the flicker drummed from his dead tree in the chicken-yard.

    -- Or to lie naked in sand,
    In the silted shallows of a slow river,
    Fingering a shell,
    Once I was something like this, mindless,
    Or perhaps with another mind, less peculiar;
    Or to sink down to the hips in a mossy quagmire;
    Or, with skinny knees, to sit astride a wet log,
    I'll return again,
    As a snake or a raucous bird,
    Or, with luck, as a lion.

    I learned not to fear infinity,
    The far field, the windy cliffs of forever,
    The dying of time in the white light of tomorrow,
    The wheel turning away from itself,
    The sprawl of the wave,
    The on-coming water.

    The river turns on itself,
    The tree retreats into its own shadow.
    I feel a weightless change, a moving forward
    As of water quickening before a narrowing channel
    When banks converge, and the wide river whitens;
    Or when two rivers combine, the blue glacial torrent
    And the yellowish-green from the mountainy upland, --
    At first a swift rippling between rocks,
    Then a long running over flat stones
    Before descending to the alluvial plane,
    To the clay banks, and the wild grapes hanging from the elmtrees.
    The slightly trembling water
    Dropping a fine yellow silt where the sun stays;
    And the crabs bask near the edge,
    The weedy edge, alive with small snakes and bloodsuckers, --
    I have come to a still, but not a deep center,
    A point outside the glittering current;
    My eyes stare at the bottom of a river,
    At the irregular stones, iridescent sandgrains,
    My mind moves in more than one place,
    In a country half-land, half-water.

    I am renewed by death, thought of my death,
    The dry scent of a dying garden in September,
    The wind fanning the ash of a low fire.
    What I love is near at hand,
    Always, in earth and air.


    The lost self changes,
    Turning toward the sea,
    A sea-shape turning around, --
    An old man with his feet before the fire,
    In robes of green, in garments of adieu.
    A man faced with his own immensity
    Wakes all the waves, all their loose wandering fire.
    The murmur of the absolute, the why
    Of being born falls on his naked ears.
    His spirit moves like monumental wind
    That gentles on a sunny blue plateau.
    He is the end of things, the final man.

    All finite things reveal infinitude:
    The mountain with its singular bright shade
    Like the blue shine on freshly frozen snow,
    The after-light upon ice-burdened pines;
    Odor of basswood on a mountain-slope,
    A scent beloved of bees;
    Silence of water above a sunken tree :
    The pure serene of memory in one man, --
    A ripple widening from a single stone
    Winding around the waters of the world.

  27. A remarkable phone call from a 13-yr old boy to Houston radio station KSBJ FM 89.3 . So profound, the station has it posted on their website.

    Click here to listen to it. It's short. (turn up the volume)

  28. Our active desire for our future will be our biography. Immersion in
    that active desire will be our life.

  29. Btw, Ash. Have you yet to figure out why is it that you are so disliked and despised by me?

  30. Israel will probably talking to a Deaf Ear here.

  31. Finally, a problem we can all actually do something about. Surprise! Cell phones are risky, says study

    Our lobbyists got to Congress on the last communications bill, which states that a community cannot bring up health concerns when siting cell phone towers. Believe it, it's true. My church leased land to a cell phone company, and one of our lawyers read the legislation to the congregation--that is what it says.

    Cows that live near cell phone towers give less, or no, milk. If you know what you are doing you can hook up a couple of clips to the metal security fence around a cell phone tower, hook it to a lightbulb, and read the New York Times at night!

  32. Mətušélaḥ said...

    Our active desire for our future will be our biography. Immersion in
    that active desire will be our life.

    Fri Dec 07, 09:55:00 AM EST
    Guys who took the hard sciences in college live this way as a matter of vocation.

    Its the soft science guys who get tangled up and go bass ackward into the future. ie they get the more administrative jobs.

  33. Anyone that thinks they would be allowed to survive their enemies while Israel not, deserves a Vlad Ţepeş.

  34. Mətušélaḥ said...

    Anyone that thinks they would be allowed to survive their enemies while Israel not, deserves a Vlad Ţepeş.
    be careful about this knife. historically it has pointed in several different directions.

    This age requires much more discipline with regards to friend foe and bystander.

    Khruschev said "we will bury you." and he had the nukes it up.

    (that said, I don't buy the NIE report)

  35. no Mats, but maybe you will articulate why.

  36. The gods, it would seem, were pleased to have their jest with Roger Williams by sending him to earth before his time...


  37. ...
    A day after CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden told agency employees the tapes were destroyed in 2005, members of Congress, human rights groups and lawyers for accused terrorists said the tapes may have been key evidence that the U.S. government had illegally authorized torture.

    In a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois asked for a probe of "whether CIA officials who destroyed these videotapes and withheld information about their existence from official proceedings violated the law."

    In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin dismissed the CIA's explanation that it was trying to protect the identities of the interrogators.

    "We know that it is possible and in fact easy to cover the faces" of those who appear on camera, Durbin said. "This is not an issue that can be ignored."

    Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said his committee would conduct a full review of the matter. Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton, D- N.Y., also called for a full investigation.

    "We've got to really clean house here and get to the bottom of what's been going on in the last years,"
    she said Friday.

  38. WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -- A recent intelligence estimate downplaying Iran's nuclear ambitions has not changed the way the Defense Department views the country that has been long criticized by the Bush administration for fostering instability in Iraq, senior Pentagon officials said Friday.

    "The jury is still out," said Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Sattler, the Joint Staff's director of strategic plans and policy.

    Sattler, along with Army Lt. Gen. Carter Ham, the Joint Staff's operations chief, said it remains unclear whether Iran has fully honored a pledge to end the weapons flow into neighboring Iraq. They said Iraqi forces continue to uncover materiel, but it's not clear if it was sent before or after Iran promised to end the shipments.

  39. England gave us her best when she sent us Roger Williams. A great thinker and a bold innovator, the repository of generous liberalisms of a vigorous age, he brought with him the fine wheat of long years of English tillage to sow in the American wilderness. How much America owes to him is perhaps, after all the intervening years, not adequately realized; the shadow of Massechusettes Bay still too much obscures the large proportions of one who was certianly the most generous, the most open-minded, most lovable, of the Puritan emigrants-- the truest Christian among amongst the many who sincerely desired to be Christian. He believed in men and in their native justice, and he spent his life freely in the cause of humanity. Neither race nor creed sundered him from his fellows; the Indian was his brother equally with the Englishman. He was a Leveler because he was convinced that society with its caste institutions deals unjusly with the common man; he wa a democrat because he believed that the end and object of the political state was the common well-being; he was an iconclast becaue he was convinced that the time had come when a new social order must be erected on the decay of the old. "Liberavi animam meam," he said with just pride; "I have not hid within my souls breast my souls belief." "It was more than fory years after his exile that he lived here," wrote Cotton Mather, "and in many thinges acquitted himself so laudibly, that many judicious persons judged him to have the root of the matter in him, during the long winter of his retirement." Since those words were written increasing numbers of "judicious persons" have come to agree with the relictant judgment of Cotton Mather, and are verily persuaded that Master Roger Williams "had the root of the matter in him." In his own day he was accounted an enemy of society, and the Commonwealth of Massachusettes has never rescinded the decree of banishment against him; yet like so many unshackled thinkers, he was a seeker after a better order, friend to a nobler and more humane society. If he transported to America the democratic aspirations of English Independency, it is perhaps well to recall the price that was exacted for his service:

    Let the reader fancy him in 1640, a man of thirty-four, of bold and out jaws, but with the richest and softest eyes, gazing out over the Bay of his dwelling, a spiritual Crusoe, the excommunicated even of Hugh Peters, and the most extreme and outcast in all America.

    - V. L. P.

  40. When I say I have faith in you, it means essentially that I trust you. When I say that I want to be faithful, it means I want to be reliable in my commitments to you.

    It has nothing to do with my believing that you exist despite having no evidence, or even in my believing in your trustworthiness despite having no evidence.

    It is a consequence of faith that I will maintain trust even when I have no direct evidence in those instances. For example, if I have faith in my wife that implies that I will trust her when I have no direct evidence of her activity, but it does not mean that I have faith in her without any evidence at all, or that my faith in her has no rational basis.

    My faith in her is the substance of my hope in her, and the evidence of things I do not see. But this does not mean that my faith relies entirely on hope and not at all on evidence.

    Same with faith in the divine. It makes no sense to have faith without a rational basis, merely on hope. Faith is a matter of relationship. There is necessarily a divide that precludes much of our knowledge of the other, but the divide does not preclude the relationship.

    I agree with teresita that faith can arise from a supernatural assurance of truths. Finding these truths, and being changed by them, is a supernatural gift, the gift of grace, unearned and undeserved. It is something that a person participates in, but not something that a person does. It is something that happens to a person. Faith, the faithful relationship with the divine, is a rational response to this gift.

  41. Since we're on the subject and I've got an opportunity to pimp my guy:

    Thompson: "Asked about his religious beliefs during an appearance before about 500 Republicans in South Carolina yesterday, Fred Thompson said he attends church when he visits his mother in Tennessee but does not belong to a church or attend regularly at his home in McLean, Va., just outside Washington. The actor and former senator, who was baptized in the Church of Christ, said he gained his values from "sitting around the kitchen table" and said he did not plan to speak about his religious beliefs on the stump. "I know that I'm right with God and the people I love," he said, according to Bloomberg News Service. It's "just the way I am not to talk about some of these things."

  42. Some famous speech:

    "Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it...

    They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come..."

  43. Trish Fri Dec 07, 08:31:00 AM EST

    Nevermind, not important.

    Tell me, you're still going to be around the bar when you go abroad, right?

  44. DR: A day after CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden told agency employees the tapes were destroyed in 2005, members of Congress, human rights groups and lawyers for accused terrorists said the tapes may have been key evidence that the U.S. government had illegally authorized torture.

    The CIA hit the office of the Vice-President with the 12/07 NIE, so this is Cheney hitting back, pulling the trigger on some dirt he was holding over their head to ensure complicity.

  45. If so, I'm

    If you don't mind, I might need some advice about military intelligence in the future.

  46. trish, how come? They have internety thingys down there don't they?

  47. I might need some advice about military intelligence in the future.

    Fri Dec 07, 01:24:00 PM EST

    What kind of advice?

  48. The US must accept a lower stand of living, to save the world, for we are the world.

    BALI, Indonesia (Associated Press) -- China said Friday it will not consider mandatory cuts on greenhouse gases, saying the United States and other industrialized countries should take the lead in fighting climate change by embracing a less-extravagant lifestyle.

    China, which some believed has surpassed the United States as the world's top emitter of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases, also questioned the fairness of binding cuts when its per capita emissions are about one-sixth of those by the U.S.

    It also noted that it's only been pumping pollutants into the atmosphere for the last few decades, whereas the West has done so for much longer.

    "China is in the process of industrialization and there is a need for economic growth to meet the basic needs of the people and fight against poverty," said Su Wei, a member of the country's delegation at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bali.

    "I just wonder whether it's fair to ask developing countries like China to take on binding targets or mandatory targets," Su said. "I think there is much room for the United States to think whether it's possible to change (its) lifestyle and consumption patterns in order to contribute to the protection of the global climate."

    This paragraph, repeated for ash.

    China, which some believed has surpassed the United States as the world's top emitter of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases

  49. Well, I'm still filling out government applications now, but when I eventually hit the rubber on military service (this spring and summer), I would like to run my options through you.

  50. Yep some people believe loads of wild things and, indeed, they may have surpassed the US in its total emissions output. They, like you, are pointing fingers at others - sorta like kids justifying behavior with "buuutt Billy did it, even worser".

    Rat, you seem to doubt whether there is even a problem. As you may be aware it is difficult to get even a couple of scientists to agree on anything much less 200. I'm sure you'll be able to come up with 1 who in fact does disagree though:

    "The 2007 IPCC report, compiled by several hundred climate scientists, has unequivocally concluded that our climate is warming rapidly, and that we are now at least 90% certain that this is mostly due to human activities. The amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere now far exceeds the natural range of the past 650,000 years, and it is rising very quickly due to human activity. If this trend is not halted soon, many millions of people will be at risk from extreme events such as heat waves, drought, floods and storms, our coasts and cities will be threatened by rising sea levels, and many ecosystems, plants and animal species will be in serious danger of extinction."

    As to possible solutions, no, no one need tell your wife to park her Tahoe, that is for her to decide. We can, our government can, decide to set up an environment where she might happily discard a gas guzzling monster truck for a gas sipping monster truck.

    And yes, at the most basic level man does affect the weather. Even you yourself has admitted to the existence of 'brown clouds' hanging over Asia.

    Might I suggest that instead of moaning about China, or India, contemplate leadership and what that entails. That doesn't negate the problems China, India, other developing nations, and developed nations all pose to our mutual environment.

  51. ...heck, ever been to LA and seen their brown cloud?

    rat, there are so many possible ways of addressing the problem then telling your wife to park the Tahoe:

    " Kangaroo bacteria could fight climate change

    By Mark Chipperfield in Sydney
    Last Updated: 3:01pm GMT 06/12/2007

    Forty years after Skippy the Bush Kangaroo foiled criminals and rescued missing children in the wilds of Australia, his descendants are being conscripted to fight an even bigger menace - global warming.
    # Early kangaroos had fangs and walked on four legs

    Scientists in Queensland say they have isolated special bacteria in the stomach lining of kangaroos which, if replicated in sheep and cattle, would significantly reduce the emission of greenhouse gas and improve the productivity of farms around the world.

    The research team estimates that methane from cattle and sheep accounts for 14 per cent of Australia's total greenhouse gas emission - second only to coal- and gas-powered power stations.

    It has been estimated that the average bullock produces 250 litres of methane a day or enough gas to fill a 44 gallon drum.

    "By replicating this bacteria not only would they [sheep and cattle] not produce such methane, they would actually get something like 10 to 15 per cent more energy out of the feed they are eating," said Dr Athol Klieve, a senior research scientist with the Queensland Government."

    There ya go, problem solve, spark up a cheap coal generator! ;)

  52. Yes, we are now measuring cow and kangaroo flatulence over this nonsense.

  53. Better, ash, to let nature take it's course.

    As it will.

    If the Government moves to take my wife's car, directly or indirectly, she and her friends will vote in a new Government, not be dictated to by an oppressive one.

    Look to who funded the research, to find why the results that were obtained, were.
    It worked with discrediting tabacco companies studies, it'll work with Global Warming advocates, too.

    Never denied the earth was slowly warming, the reasons are in dispute, and unprovable.

    If it's man caused, then it's a natural part of evolution. If it is sun cycles, it's natural evolution, too.

    But as for wide acceptance of the climate change theory, how are property values in Northeast Canada doing?

    Does that brown cloud effect the weather?
    Or is it a symptom of the weather?

    The discussion is not really about the problem, but about the limits of government, in a free society.

    Or should we all live like theBangladeshi?

  54. If man is but a part of nature, risen from the primeval swamps, then what he does it part of the natural world.

    If he was intelligently designed, then what is happening is part of the design.

    Social Darwinism at its' best.

    On a global scale.

  55. That brown cloud is (part of) the weather.

    As we learned to not let the feces pile up in the basement so to do we learn that our other effluents cause us harm as well.

    Are you suggesting we adopt the 'free market' economy as exist in Bangladesh?

    The limits of government? The government is of an by the people is it not? The limits are what we impose upon it. I'm no fan of big government but it is the prime institution through which we order our world and it shall continue to regulate and tax. How we choose it to do so is important. I think your wife is happy that your neighbor is not allowed to pump his sewage into your basement so too are many of us happy with regulations preventing dirty coal plants from spewing their black smoke (as they do in China) down the street from us in order to provide the cheapest possible electricity. The 'people' taking a cut (tax) from all the gas money would be a beneficial stream of revenue - beneficial because it adds revenue to a deficit ridden government and it increases the incentive to find a cheaper solution.

  56. Sure, natural doesn't mean good. Cyanide exists naturally.

  57. The Constitution provides that no religious test be established as a condition of holding office, but that in no way implies that voters may not, or should not, consider the religious beliefs of the candidate.

    Certainly we could imagine religious beliefs that would lead people to vote against a candidate. For example, voters might choose not to elect a person who had such strong religious objections to the death penalty that they vowed to commute any such sentences.

    The point of having no religious test is so that these judgements are made by the voters, and do not become an establishment of religion by government. In the above example of the person with religious objection to the death penalty, if such a person were elected, they should not be required to abandon that position when they take the oath of office.

    I think that Romney has done the right thing by clarifying his position. I think that JFK also did the right thing by clarifying his position. It is now up to the voters to decide whether the position, so clarified, is to their liking. Voters are entitled to be arbitrary in this decision.

  58. This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

  60. Bought a piece of river front property in Camp Verde, AZ. In the Deed was a provision that the air pollution caused by a long closed ore processing plant, up river in Cottonwood, could not be cause for legal action. The value of the ore processing, to the State, even with the pollution, greater then the land owners rights to clean air.

    The Government is the method of societal control, but it cannot get ahead of the people, in the US.

    Comprehensive Immigration Reform the latest example of that.
    That is a much much greater challenge to the US than "Global Warming" caused by cow farts.

    But instead of reform, we maintain the current caustic status que. That will be the course taken with regards global warming, the status que.

    There won't be a retrenching to 1990 levels of emissions. There is no demand for it, but amongst those that want to cripple the masses, by lowering their standard of living.

    As buerocrat always demands.
    A leveling to the lowest common denominator.

    As occurs in all things controlled by government, like schools.

  61. mazzula, first welcome, and to your point, I doubt there is much of a correlation between the outward religious expressions of politicians and the influence of religion on their leadership. It is marginal at best and mostly trumped by events in the temporal world.

  62. Some of these scientists have been on this cow fart thing for a long time. I remember years ago, laughing with a Mormon guy who was in the U of Idaho ag department as a researcher, after asking him what he was up to --"Measuring cow farts"-"What?"--I bet this was 25 years ago.

  63. The Global Economy and World Government demanding the masses brought to the lowest common denominator.

    As is occurring in the US with regards Mexico & Canada. As the three merge, the wages in US and Canada stagnate, while increasing in Mexico. As Mr Fox said on Larry King, to around $25,000 per capita GDP.

    The first of the Amero coins already minted, according to this fellow

    Whose verasity I cannot vouch for.

  64. Mr Fox did say that he and Mr Bush had agreed to developing a single North American currency, saw him say it myself, on Larry King.

  65. Someone noted the change in language from global warming to global climate change, saying this change allows for the covering of all the bases by the climate nazis, insuring a perpetual problem to be fought.

    Ash, I'm a big booster of nuclear power. What is your take on nuclear power?

    North American Union driver's license created

    By Jerome R. Corsi
    © 2007

    The first "North American Union" driver's license, complete with a hologram of the continent on the reverse, has been created in North Carolina.

    "The North Carolina driver's license is 'North American Union' ready," charges William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration.

    Gheen provided WND with a photo of an actual North Carolina license which clearly shows the hologram of the North American continent embedded on the reverse.

    "The hologram looks exactly [like] the map of North America that is used as the background for the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America logo on the SPP website," Gheen told WND. "I object to the loss of sovereignty that is proceeding under the agreements being made by these unelected government bureaucrats who think we should be North American instead of the United States of America.
    In 2005, WND reported North Carolina was the state where illegal immigrants go to get a driver's license, with busloads of aliens traveling south on I-95 to get an easy ID.

    The Tar Heel State's requirements to obtain a license are weaker than those of many surrounding states.

    Marge Howell, spokeswoman for the North Carolina DMV, affirmed to WND the state was embedding a hologram of North America on the back of its new driver's licenses.

    "It's a security element that eventually will be on the back of every driver's license in North America," Howell told WND.

    Read More!!

  67. I'm sorry, did you just post a link to World Net Daily?

  68. Yeah, ain't that sumtin'?

    At least as believable as debka, well maybe more so, on this particular story.

  69. You do not believe that North Carolina put that image of North America on their drivers licenses?

    It's a good image of the Americas, well the North Americas, anyway.

  70. I'll email you before I go, cutler.

  71. I think you can wipe your ass with World Net Daily (along with Debka) - not that I recommend it.

  72. Generally, I'd agree.

    But do you believe that the story about the North Carolina drivers licenses is false?

    That's the matter on the table.
    Not their general reliability, but does North Carolina now issue licenses with that imagry on them?

  73. Rat, there's nothing to the story.

  74. Is the image on their license, or not?

    That is the story, are you telling me that it is fabricated, whole cloth?

    That the image is not being used?

    Or that you do not think that it matters?

  75. License

    Since my car and truck plates are up for renewal this month, I'm thinking of taking up where that New York cop left off, and trying to get a "Get Osama" plate, at least for the 1960 Ford 600 truck. My wife doesn't want attention drawn to her car.
    We can have 8 letters here I think it is, so it fits.:)

  76. If it is on the license, Rat, I do not think it matters. One bit.

    There you go.

  77. I certainly appreciate the paranoid intensity.

  78. Going with the flow, I moved this post up.

  79. Faith, Politics

    Dick Morris interview. Huchabee taking votes from Thompson. Says people in Iowa not so much concerned with Romney being a Mormon, but with the flipflop on abortion. Interesting interview, says both Romney and Clinton in some trouble.

    Says only the terrorism issue can beat the democrats, which means only Giuliani.

  80. bobal,

    On Nuke energy. I can't say I'm a big booster nor a big anti-nuke. The waste from the plants is an issue but not seemingly as bad as many anti folk make out. The stuff is toxic as hell and it lingers for a long time but in the grand scheme of things there isn't that much of it and it does seem to be containable though nobody wants it sitting next to their abode.

    One of the apparent drawbacks of Nuclear energy is the cost. There are huge start-up costs and there seems to be a lively debate as to whether the plants a economically efficient. In Canada the energy provider is "crown corporation" so it isn't run like a real business. In the States it appears there aren't many new plants being built nor many on the drawing board. Part of the problem is the environmental hurdles they need to overcome, plus the NIMBY factor (Not In My Backyard), and the capital required to build the suckers. Ironically they've talked of building nuke plants in Alberta in order to provide the energy required to extract oil from the tar sands. A buddy of mine is young nuclear engineer - he says he basically reports to a guy who sits at Homer's level (ala the Simpsons). He is big fan of nukes to say the least. He laughs at how many wind turbines need be set up to generate equivalent power.

  81. p.s. Canada processes uranium for fuel. I guess we got the knowledge to go big bully if we so choose.

  82. Now is the time to read (if you haven't) Richard Hofstadter's The Paranoid Style in American Politics.

    Available online. Google it.

    Highly recommended.

  83. I refuse to read anything negative.

  84. Rat,

    Single North American currency? I've seen it bandied about occasionally here in Canada. It isn't bloody likely though, especially now that it has become apparent how our fate would be beyond our control due to the monetary policy of the US. The last 4 or 5 years has demonstrated how short sighted US policy can be. Canadian real estate prices have held up remarkable well and continue to rise. I expect we'll see some correction here but our mortgage industry doesn't seem to have followed a similar path as yours. The banks still hold the paper and it appears and we didn't get much of those silly teaser rate, no money down, interest only, no credit history, product pushed here. We have seen a sharp increase in values due, primarily IMHO, to low interest rates. Most folk buy on the monthly rate of the mortgage as opposed to the 'value' of a place.

  85. What parinoia?

    I'm a firm believer in the benefits of a United North America.

    Not parinoid at all, I was there, at the Rockefeller Estate, as a kid. Made some major life decisions, there on the Estate.

    Dad worked for IBEC, traveling to Mexico, Brazil, the Middle East and India representing the interests of the Rockefellers.

    He went to the Tri-Lateral meetings, as a senior staffer. If Rockefeller had made it to the White House in '68, dear dad would have been head of the "enforcement team", or so he told me they told him.

    When Mr Nixon went to China, they called and asked if he'd go and be on the Team. He demurred, having retired to AZ in 1970, at 45.

    No, not paranoid, just realistic, based upon life experiences and knowledge, that is hidden in plain sight.

    Look to Italy in 1957 and then to Mexico in 1991, the similarities are easy to see.

    Substitute Wal-Mart for "Supermarkets Italiani" .

    It was the reason IBEC was formed, Rockie's death did not end the dream, not by a long shot.

  86. As soon as Ahmadinejad gets done celebrating his "victory" over Bush by being "vindicated" by the 12/07 NIE, he's gonna have a load of Hezbollah and Hamas and Iraqi Shi'ite assholes pissed at him for leaving them out there in a hostile Sunni world with no atomic stick to back them up.

  87. Ash. you cannot compare Canadian and US real estate.
    The Canadian govt. owns about 95% of all the forest land which is most of the country on the coasts.

  88. "I'm a firm believer in the benefits of a United North America."

    What exactly do you mean by this phrase, Rat?

  89. There is an option for a United North America, it is called statehood.

  90. p.s. Canada processes uranium for fuel. I guess we got the knowledge to go big bully if we so choose.

    Ash threatens the Great Satan.:)

  91. Ash is a US citizen in Canada, male or female?

  92. So the Canadians do not believe there will be a negative effects from "Climate Change", aye.

    Not believing that the weather will become similar to Siberia, due to a failing Gulf Stream.

    How much US currency does Canada hold, as foreign reserves, ash?

    Bet you'd find that Canadian Banks are dependent upon US, regardless of nationalistic pride.

    Then there is the matter of the Canadian economy being dependent upon US currency. More so than Mexico's.
    $493,935,000,000 is the Canadian trade surplus with the US through September. Buys US a lot of influence, if it were cut off, Canada would know it.

    Being that there are only 30,000,000 Canadians. Canada is bought and paid for, amigo, even if they do not want to admit it.

    Betcha that half trillion dollars is subsizing the Canadian economy.
    A pretty big stick.

  93. I've always thought male.


  94. I'd agree with a lot you and your friend say there, Ash. Except I don't think there is really any argument that they aren't cost efficeint, once you get them up and running anyway. We export them to others. And missed a sale to China I think. I hadn't heard that about possibly building plants to get energy to exploit the tar sands.

  95. It means, trish, that the economic and political benefits of a united north america union will be there for those that are prepared for it.

    As to the final form that Union will take, look to the EU, where each Nation maintains some Soveriegnty, but becomes part of a greater whole.

    The US will dominate North America. More than France and Germany dominate te EU. As the NAU will not be a marriage of equals, as the EU was/is.

    No one would have believed France, Italy and Germany would share a currency, in 1968.

  96. If there is a North American Union, Ash will be a North American.

  97. We might as well just go whole hog and make it a Union of All The Americas, from pole to pole. That way Chavez would just be another governor.

  98. We're all Americans. bob.

    They'll tell you that in Brazil, if you were to visit. The Colombians, they're Americans, too.

  99. What the hell, my vote doesn't count for squat now anyway, having only observer status.

  100. Yeah, I got to get out and see America. Not like this local trip last summer.

  101. This comment has been removed by the author.

  102. Bobal: We might as well just go whole hog and make it a Union of All The Americas, from pole to pole. That way Chavez would just be another governor.

    Washington State doesn't have a governor, we have a Queen. We have Queen Christine Gregoire.

  103. Comes later, after the transportation network is built down there. South America is still fragmented geographically, unlike the North, or Europe.

  104. "As to the final form that Union will take, look to the EU, where each Nation maintains some Soveriegnty, but becomes part of a greater whole."

    We'd have as much difficulty attaining that "greater whole" as the EU. And largely for the same reasons.

  105. And a fraudulently elected Queen at that, Ms. T. But Rossi is making a comeback. To the peasants changes at the top make little difference, thank goodness.

  106. Well, sure. If it were easy, it'd be done already.

    But first the WalMarting of Mexico has to be further along.
    Consumer banking has to be developed, but they are working on it as we speak.

  107. Bob, a dear friend of mine, the dreaded John Hull, RAF pilot and hero, Canadian RAF, Indiana Farmer, and CIA operative and contra supporter moved to northern Costa Rica, because his father worked for AID and found that northern Costa Rica had some of the best potential for cattle farming in the Americas.

    He had a homestead on a couple of thousand acres and a ranch home on a hill on a bend overlooking the San Carlos River. One evening over some Nica rum and Costa Rican beer he said that any farmer that ever visited his place forgot about it being anything other than some of the best farm land in the Americas.

    I think you would have agreed.

  108. Huckabee opens up Supernatural Surge in Iowa. Latest Newsweek poll, done by Stanford research group, probably reputable, shows Huck up 2 to 1 over Romney. Hillary too faces tough husking.

    Alas, my time for starting something new is past, Trish, but I'm sure you are right.

  109. I read Bush & family bought a lot of land in Paraguay or Uraguay--good to have a place to flee to, when America collapses.

  110. As Mr Fox said, the per capita GDP of Mexico has to get to around $25,000.

    The elites of Mexico, and the PAN, based in the north, around the US frontier, is pushing forward on the process.

    There is negative blowback down there, too. But the Mexicans no more nationalistic than Italians, Germans, French, Portugese or Spanish were/are.

  111. I don't think the legalistic, bureaucratic suprbloc is the wave of the future. With all apologies to Willy Brandt.

  112. Uraguay is a fabulous place, bob.
    Argentina, too. Both very European in feel, southern Brazil, I know some fellows exporting sperm to the US, for mule breeding.

    Paraguay I never got out of the airport.

  113. Well, you are free to think that, but the trends are going in the direction of unified bureaucratic regulations.

    The allowing of Mexican commercial trucks, into the US (already), with the first Customs check in KS (coming), is indicitve of the trend.

  114. Trish: I don't think the legalistic, bureaucratic suprbloc is the wave of the future. With all apologies to Willy Brandt.

    Tao Te Ching 80

    Let there be a small country with few people, who, even having much machinery, don't use it. Who take death seriously and don't wander far away.

    Even though they have boats and carriages, they never ride in them. Having armor and weapons, they never go to war.

    Let them return to measurement by tying knots in rope. Sweeten their food, give them nice clothes, a peaceful abode and a relaxed life.

    Even though the next country can be seen and its dogs and chickens can be heard, the people will grow old and die without visiting each other's land.

  115. I agree with Trish, though my opinions are usually based on my wishes, rather than facts.

    I haven't met anyone yet that wants a bigger union.

    Europe is kind of different, the countries are so small, they have to cooperate in lots of ways. Germany, the tiger, is smaller than Idaho. Some of our counties are larger than some of their countries.

    Well, if I had the money I'd go down there, Rat, and look around. Argentine, Brazil, would love to see. Something big would have to happen to make it possible for me, though, not on the horizon. Have to settle for the National Geographic magazine.

  116. Desert Rat: The allowing of Mexican commercial trucks, into the US (already), with the first Customs check in KS (coming), is indicitve of the trend.

    Gosh, there's a lot of pee stops between Juarez and KCMO where a Mexican trucker could hand off some cocaine to intermediaries.

  117. Canada — GDP - Per Capita (PPP): $35,600 (2006 Est.)

    Canada population 33 million

    Canadian trade surplus with US for 2007 aprox. $16,000 per capita.

    Half of the Canadian per capita GDP.
    An economic dependent of the US.

  118. I went in Air Force planes, bob.

    One of the benefits of the Army in Panama that few soldiers ever used while I was there. Three years I was in Panama, never came back to the States, except for service schools. Every leave or pass, off on an adventure to the South.

  119. Between 2010 (the end of the shuttle era) and 2015 (expected date for the launch of the Orion project) the United States will have little or no spaceflight capability. This is an obvious concern to some members of Congress and NASA.

    "Is all, therefore, doom and gloom? Not necessarily. Just over a year ago, NASA chose two companies for its Commercial Orbital Transportation Systems (COTS) program ... The goal of COTS was for the two companies to build prototype space craft capable of delivering crews and cargo to the International Space Station. A second phase of the COTS program would consist of a competition for a contract to actually deliver crews and cargo to ISS after 2010 ... Private industry may well come to the rescue and preserve American access to space, at least until Orion becomes operational."

  120. There's lots of places I'd like to go, Australia, North Pole, Mars, Costco, where I'm going now. Polar Bears Not In Trouble, Can Smell Prey 60 Miles Away

    I don't think I'm believing that 60mile figure. Also talks about phony propaganda photo of the bears.

  121. It appears that Kudlow cut off comments. please talk me out of this

  122. No man can serve two masters.

    A house divided against itself will fall.


  123. I will put the site up for sale on ebay. the proceeds will go to charity.

  124. Rat, you need to take another look at your Canadian trade surplus figures. They can't be right.

  125. Kudlow had attracted a group of lefties, and economic illiterates that wrote tomes of Homeric length, and lilliputian coherence. I had, virtually, quit reading the comments, not to mention commenting, myself.

    I don't blame him for shutting it down. Several of the better commentors from over there will, probably, eventually wander over for visit.

    It would make a good "sticky" post for a day, or two, if nothing else.

  126. Bob, your polar bear link isn't working.

  127. Check the link, it's from the Federals, the Census Bureau.

    Did I get a zero wrong?

    Through Sept '07
    NOTE: All figures are in millions of U.S. dollars.
    50,000 million +/-
    50,000 x 1,000,000

    yep, I surely did.

    So it'd be $1,600 per capita, or 5% of their economy, not 50%.

    Not nearly so dramatic.

  128. I'm distracted, Rat. Company in the house (kids.) I didn't think to hit the link.

  129. Good luck with that, amigo.

    I can't even carry the zero's, correctly, or I misplace the decimal points.

    Pretty consistently.

  130. Not a qualified quality Kudlow refugee, at all.

  131. You might miss a tree now and then, Rat; Kudlow had a bunch that couldn't find the freakin forest.

  132. "I don't think the legalistic, bureaucratic suprbloc is the wave of the future. With all apologies to Willy Brandt."

    Oh, but there's people trying.

    And like the EU, they can do a lot of damage before they fail.

  133. "I haven't met anyone yet that wants a bigger union."

    The EU began as a free-trade bloc with a few shared industries. Europeans would have rejected anything more. Decades later...

  134. Faith, finances, and freedom of religion in Germany Federal persecutors make move to ban Tom Cruise and the Scientology Church, but the muzzies, who want to install Sharia, that's ok. Go figure.

  135. though my opinions are usually based on my wishes, rather than facts.

    I've been always trying to leave myself an out of some kind, Cutler:)

  136. Fri 12.07 >>
    First 2 Hours: Investigative reporter Linda Moulton Howe will discuss her research about the American government covering up a secret space program that allegedly began in the 1950s.

    Coast-To-Coast tonite!

    Beats investigating kiddie porn, as Bernie Ward has found out.

  137. Bob, I've listened to Coast to Coast AM twice now on the way to the airport, and that's some seriously goofy shit.

  138. Decades later...

    Fri Dec 07, 10:35:00 PM EST


    (Although I know that's not the way you meant it.)

  139. You're not kiddin', Trish. It was better when Art Bell was doing it, some really classic stuff. The deal is,the challenge is to indentify the 5% of the program that isn't goofy shit. You see why my wife wants to get me on the road.

  140. Roger Williams gave John Milton language lessons in Dutch in exchange for language lessons in Hebrew. Coined the phrase 'wall of separation'. wiki

  141. NAFTA, 1994

    Decade later ...

    2005 Launch of the SPP
    Security and Prosperity Partnership Of North America

    The SPP is a White House-led initiative among the United States and the two nations it borders � Canada and Mexico � to increase security and to enhance prosperity among the three countries through greater cooperation. The SPP is based on the principle that our prosperity is dependent on our security and recognizes that our three great nations share a belief in freedom, economic opportunity, and strong democratic institutions.

    Another decade and ...
    And then another decade brings ...

  142. Since about a third of the US used to be Mexico, there is no reason to stop now.

    An expansionist US is the historic norm, where else we gonna go?

    Are we less driven than our forebearers?

    Don't really want to think so, to believe we are, just to pessimistic for my tastes.

  143. A North American Union, not a surrender of US soveriegnty, but an expansion of it.

    Count on it.

    The Founders might not recongnize it, but they'd not now, either.

    But whose culture will win, how much faith do you all have, in the United States of the Americas.

  144. Just because you didn't grow up around the Rockefellers and the True Blue Boners of the World., bob.

  145. I remember my sister and I laughing when Nelson Rockefeller(my dad pronounced it rockyfeeler)died in the embrace of some young bimbo. Talk about coitus interruptus.

  146. Thanks for the welcome 2164th. I had been posting on the Kudlow blog, and some of my posts there had shown up here (which is fine with me). But now that blog seems to have disabled discussion.

    I think you are probably right that religion doesn't have a tremendous impact on what politicians do, in most cases. It has that potential, but it just isn't likely to happen. Mostly politicians (and other people, too) use religion to justify what they already believe is best.

    So the question remains, why is a candidate's religion so important to voters?

    Maybe it is that voters fear that people who share the religion of the candidate, particularly if the candidate is of a religion that sees itself as culturally distinct, will tend to support the candidate for that reason alone.

    So religion has the potential to elect a candidate who might otherwise not represent the balance of factions that normally gets its way. It would turn the election on group identity rather than on policy or political identity (not entirely, of course, but enough to make a difference).

    I think that similar reasons might explain why race or sex or national origin might also be an issue. Even something like regional identity.

  147. Rockefeller died on the evening of Friday, January 26, 1979 at age 70 from a heart attack under circumstances whose details have never been completely revealed. Initial reports[10] said Rockefeller was at his office at Rockefeller Center working on a book about his art collection, where a security guard found him slumped over his desk; however, it was later disclosed that Rockefeller actually had the fatal heart attack in his 54th St. Manhattan townhouse in the presence of 26-year-old aide Megan Marshack and that some time later Marshack had called her friend, news reporter Ponchitta Pierce, to the townhouse and it was Pierce who phoned emergency approximately an hour after the heart attack.[11] Much speculation went on in the press regarding a personal relationship between Rockefeller and Marshack,[12] further fueled by reports that she was a named beneficiary in his will.[13] Neither Marshack nor the family has commented since on the circumstances surrounding Rockefeller's death.[14]

    wiki has this almost right, the press at the time being more explicit.

  148. What did rufus say?

    Rufus said that he doesn't care what's right or wrong.

    Anyone who says he doesn't care, doesn't know.

  149. With allen it was the Kurds. With rufus it is some damn petrol substitute. For both, Iraq (and much else) is irreplaceable. Period.

  150. One thing we have not asked ourselves, and which we should, and that is HWJV? How would Jesus vote? A possible clue might be found here--

    STUDENT: Recent polls show you surging... What do you attribute this surge to?

    HUCKABEE: There's only one explanation for it, and it's not a human one. It's the same power that helped a little boy with two fish and five loaves feed a crowd of five thousand people. (Applause) That's the only way that our campaign can be doing what it's doing. And I'm not being facetious nor am I trying to be trite. There literally are thousands of people across this country who are praying that a little will become much, and it has. And it defies all explanation, it has confounded the pundits. And I'm enjoying every minute of them trying to figure it out, and until they look at it, from a, just experience beyond human, they'll never figure it out. And it's probably just as well. That's honestly why it's happening.

    Chuck Norris and Jesus Christ--hard to beat that team.

  151. Good God! That Crazy Son of a Bitch could make me vote for McCain! Or HILLARY! SHIT!

  152. Faith, mover of mountains and opinion polls, no sarcasm intended.

    Hold on Rufus, consider a little further--you want to be on the winning side, don't you?

    Goodnite, Rufus:)

  153. (Although I know that's not the way you meant it.)

    Fri Dec 07, 10:57:00 PM EST

    Reason for vigilance, if not immediate fear.

    We've already got the trading block. The government is already refusing to enforce the border. The effects of that will be large enough, on its own. Fox talks about monetary union (EURO). Right now a pipe dream, but also would have been in Europe 4 decades ago.

    As I've said prior, I expect the EU to retrench before it would happen here anyway, removing the prime model. The circumstances here are much different anyway, in many ways. But not all. And a fantasy can be very damaging even if it isn't ultimately realized.

    "A North American Union, not a surrender of US soveriegnty, but an expansion of it."

    You don't have the EUnuch speak right yet, it's "pooling sovereignty."

    More word games, obviously.

    Whoever he was, the man was 100% right who said sovereignty was like virginity, you either have it all or not a firm leg to stand on.

  154. What I mean to link.

    Tony Blair, friend in some ways, but ultimately a traitor to independent Britain.

    Don't think our politicians are inherently different.

  155. Godammit, cutler, don't pull a Malkin.

  156. Pulling a Ron Paul you mean.

  157. How many different ways do you think the US government has over-reached its constitutional authority by incorporating foreign treaties? It’s the new interstate commerce claus in waiting.

  158. Pulling a Ron Paul you mean.

    Sat Dec 08, 03:03:00 AM EST

    No, I don't.

  159. I do not bandy around the "t" word loosely.

    But what the British political class did and is attempting to do is treason to British independence.

  160. I only hesitate to say it for a number of other countries because the people accepted it more willingly, the British never did. Hence the reason they've never been allowed a referendum on political union.

  161. Cutler, you're smarter than this.

  162. "How many different ways do you think the US government has over-reached its constitutional authority by incorporating foreign treaties? It’s the new interstate commerce claus in waiting."

    C'mon, cutler.

    The power to make treaties.

    It's treason?

  163. No, I wasn't referring to that as treason. I used treason for the specific case of the British political class exporting Parliamentary power to the bureaucrats in Brussels.

    Insofar as that is concerned, I'm just floating the idea that foreign treaties, specifically these supranational agreements, are becoming a potential end-around the limitations of the constitution.

  164. I.e. Convene a UN commission on 'hate speech' - browbeat the U.S. into signing it, or watch us do so without prodding, since everyone else is going along just to get along. Then watch someone in this country sue the U.S. government for not following some obsure sentence deep in the treaty.

    Probably wouldn't work for speech, due to the 1st ammendment (but even this might not be so ironclad forever), but you can think of any number of other topics where it would. Namely because, as you've noted, we now only have the bed-rock (more or less) bill of rights, and everything else is in some ways negotiable.

    I'm just thinking out loud.

  165. "specifically these supranational agreements"

    Legally speaking there is no such thing.

  166. Well, they're signed by countries, but they often result in supranational bodies. The LOST is the latest example of this. The ICC is another potential one.

    But it really doesn't have to be supranational. You simply have to get us to sign on, but there's any number of things that we sign onto simply because our government feels it can't reject it for fear of looking bad. Once we're on, it becomes anathema to withdraw (i.e. Convention on Torture, Geneva Conventions, many other lesser things). (I'm not saying these should be withdrawn from, but just for example).

    Still technically in in our government's hands, but inertia kicks in.

  167. Where'd you go to grad school?

  168. I'm clearly not a lawyer, but just think that these things unpredictable, particularly when the -actual- lawyers get to them.

  169. Why, you think I should get a refund (I'm actually still here)?

  170. Why, you think I should get a refund (I'm actually still here)?

    Sat Dec 08, 03:50:00 AM EST

    I do.

  171. But I never went to grad chool.

  172. In all seriousness, cutler, I have no idea what you're learning. Though you could tell me.

  173. Pity you're leaving so soon or I'd tell you in person. I hate giving out too much info online.

  174. So are you going to point out the flaws in my reasoning? I've still got decades to learn, I hope.

  175. Well, this is not completely related, but still an interesting coincidence.

  176. Steyn's currently being threatened with hate speech prosecution in Canada.

    Quote: "'I thought I might send a machete-wielding mob round to chant "Behead the enemies of Steyn!'"

  177. Admittedly, there's never a shortage of nuts.

    Funnily enough they keep getting elected.