“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, June 06, 2008

Generational Ecology 101

bobal said...

I can't listen to KGO anymore. I can't take anymore of this praise the Lord Obama's the new JFK magnified crap. Obama the world traveler, Obama the man with the world in his very genes, Obama the intellect, ah man.

Thanks Bob, neither can I. Bobby Kennedy was a nasty little creep and his brother, JFK , in legend, far exceeds his rather mediocre presidency. The problem is that Obama is no more or less qualified to be president than the minor and ill-accomplished president he is replacing. An Obama Presidency would not be possible without a Bush Presidency. The Obama harvest comes from the seeds planted by the master of low expectations.

Enjoy the comedy played before you. Thankfully, we are watching the last gasp of the boomers and our last line of defense is manned by 72 year old pre-boomer, John McCain. But that is OK, everyone is sick of hearing about Viet Nam and all that went with it.

Viet Nam is no more relevant in 2008, than the Great Depression of 1928 was to the 1968 crowd.

Each new generation is not as interested in learning the lessons of previous generations as it is in creating new lessons to be ignored by the next.

Increasing personal irrelevance in army strength and formation, becomes generational irrelevance. Generational irrelevance is in a sense an accomplishment.

Decomposition begins. It is the ultimate 4H Club, Hubris, Humor, Humility and Humus.


  1. Penn Jillette declared on MSNBC that Obama’s success in February was due to
    Black History Month
    and Hillary’s subsequent success could be attributed to
    “White Bitch Month”

  2. SiriosIX: Ron Paul is the only one worth voting for. Those who support him know why. They understand the Constitution. They think. As we have seen in the video above, a lot of idiots are supporting sell-outs like Obama, Clinton and McCain simply because they are not thinking. They are Mainstream Media morons. There is no hope for America, unless the people wake up from this terrible nightmare!

  3. Hey, Trish:
    (or anyone else)
    Why is Bumfuck Barr the Lib Candidate rather than Paul?

  4. Hey, Mat:
    That's a bogus, unfair question:
    Typical Chris Tingleball.
    How could the poor guy come up with Obama Accomplishments when there are none?

  5. So you say. I see it differently, Doug:

  6. Vindication for Marine Charged in Haditha Cover-Up

    The third case, against commanding officer Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, is
    said to be tainted by “unlawful command influence” in charging Chessani according to the judge presiding over the case, suggesting that Chessani is a political scapegoat for higher-ranking officers seeking to appease anti-war politicians.

    His trial is expected to commence June 17.

    Bob Owens blogs at
    Confederate Yankee.

  7. Man, that's fucking disgusting!
    Luckily I hit the close button having seen only one tongue.

  8. And that was the sanitized version. Now imagine Rezko and Hussein going at it.

  9. Paper Chase - Federal judge enjoins Oklahoma immigration law employer provisions
    The US District Court
    for the Western District of Oklahoma
    [official website] granted a

    preliminary injunction
    [order, PDF] Wednesday blocking the enforcement of employer-related provisions of Oklahoma's controversial

    immigration law
    [HB 1804 text, DOC]. Judge Robin Cauthron concluded that it is "substantially likely" that the provisions are preempted by federal immigration law, and that there was a risk of harm to the plaintiffs if the challenged provisions were to come into effect on July 1, 2008.

    The US Chamber of Commerce [official website], one of the named plaintiffs, applauded [Chamber of Commerce press release] the court's decision to delay enforcement, maintaining that "through harsh civil penalties, the Oklahoma law unfairly shifts the burden of immigration enforcement from government onto the backs of businesses." Additional proceedings are required in Chamber of Commerce of the United States, et. al. v. Henry before the court decides whether to grant the requests for declaratory relief and a permanent injunction [PDF, complaint].

    AP hasmore.

  10. When I was a kid you went to the baseball game to watch baseball--

    Lesbian kiss at Seattle ballpark stirs debate.

    Most of the time, a kiss is just a kiss in the stands at Seattle Mariners games. The crowd hardly even pays attention when fans smooch.

    But then last week, a lesbian complained that an usher at Safeco Field asked her to stop kissing her date because it was making another fan uncomfortable.

    The incident has exploded on local TV, on talk radio and in the blogosphere and has touched off a debate over public displays of affection in generally gay-friendly Seattle.

    "Certain individuals have not yet caught up. Those people see a gay or lesbian couple and they stare or say something," said Josh Friedes of Equal Rights Washington. "This is one of the challenges of being gay. Everyday things can become sources of trauma."

    As the Mariners played the Boston Red Sox on May 26, Sirbrina Guerrero and her date were approached in the third inning by an usher who told them their kissing was inappropriate, Guerrero said.

    The usher, Guerrero said, told them he had received a complaint from a woman nearby who said that there were kids in the crowd of nearly 36,000 and that parents would have to explain why two women were kissing.

    "I was really just shocked," Guerrero said. "Seattle is so gay-friendly. There was a couple like seven rows ahead making out. We were just showing affection."

    On Thursday, after an internal investigation, the Mariners said in a news release that their seating staff had acted appropriately, and the couple was approached because of their behavior - which included "making out" and "groping" in the stands - and not their sexual orientation.

    "We have a strict nondiscrimination policy at the Seattle Mariners and at Safeco Field, and when we do enforce the code of conduct it is based on behavior, not on the identity of those involved," Mariners spokeswoman Rebecca Hale said earlier this week.

    In the release, the Mariners said the women were told they could continue to kiss, but that they had to "tone it down."

    "The women refused to modify their behavior, began swearing at the seating hosts and complained that they were being singled out for their sexual orientation," the club said.

    The code of conduct - announced before each game - specifically mentions public displays of affection that are "not appropriate in a public, family setting." Hale said those standards are based on what a "reasonable person" would find inappropriate.

    Guerrero denied she and her date were groping each other, saying that along with eating garlic fries, they were giving each other brief kisses.

    On Tuesday, Guerrero said a Mariners director of guest services had apologized to her. The team spokeswoman could not immediately confirm that.

    After the story broke, the Mariners were blasted by the sex-advice columnist Dan Savage, who wrote about the incident on the blog of the Stranger, an alternative weekly paper.

    "They go out of their way to say it's a quote-unquote family setting," Savage said. "As a gay season-ticket holder, we've never been quite sure what that means exactly. I constantly see people making out. My son has noticed and asked, `Do they show the ballgame on women's foreheads?'"

    Savage called for a "kiss-in" to protest against the Mariners.

    Web sites have been swamped with blog postings for and against Guerrero and her date. And the story has people talking in Seattle.

    "I would be uncomfortable" seeing public displays of affection between lesbians or gay men, said Jim Ridneour, a 54-year-old taxi driver. "I don't think it's right seeing women kissing in public. If I had my family there, I'd have to explain what's going on."

    "It all depends on the degree," Mark Ackerman said as he waited for a hot dog outside Safeco Field before Wednesday's game. "Even for heterosexual couples."

    Since the incident, Guerrero's job and her past have come under scrutiny. She works at a bar known for scantily clad women and was a contestant on the MTV reality show "A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila," in which women and men compete for the affection of a bisexual Internet celebrity.

    "People are saying it's 15 more minutes for my career," Guerrero said of the ballpark furor, "but this is not making me look very good."

    In 2007, an Oregon transit agency chief apologized after a lesbian teenager was kicked off a bus when a passenger complained about her kissing another girl.

    Also in 2007, a gay rights group protested a Kansas City, Mo., restaurant they said ejected four women because two of them kissed, and a Texas state trooper was placed on probation in 2004 for telling two gay men who were kissing at the state Capitol that homosexual conduct was illegal in Texas.

    "There's a double standard. That's the bottom line," said Pat Griffin, director of the It Takes a Team! Education Campaign, an initiative from the Women's Sports Foundation to eliminate homophobia in sports.

  11. Hey, Obama's got a lot of accomplishments. He got a 1.5 million dollar house, didn't he? And sooner than most congressmen do, too.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. When I was a kid you went to the baseball game to watch baseball--

    I thought Seattle was San Francisco North and this sort of thing was de rigueur. At any rate they shouldn't encroach on hardball. A softball diamond is a dyke's best friend. There's a gay bar hereabouts that has been taken over by lesbians because it happens to be located a short walk from a mess of softball fields.

  14. Marilyn Monroe showed a great lapse in judgement when she went from 'sucking every blank in Hollywood' to singing "Happy Birthday Mr. President", in my view. A real collapse of standards on MM's part. And I generally liked her movies.

    Some people mark the beginning of the decline with Rebel Without A Cause

    Israeli minister says alternatives to attack on Iran running out

    An Israeli deputy prime minister on Friday warned that Iran would face attack if it pursues what he said was its nuclear weapons programme.
    "If Iran continues its nuclear weapons programme, we will attack it," said Shaul Mofaz, who is also transportation minister.

    "Other options are disappearing. The sanctions are not effective. There will be no alternative but to attack Iran in order to stop the Iranian nuclear programme," Mofaz told the Yediot Aharonot daily.

    He stressed such an operation could only be conducted with US support.

    A former defence minister and armed forces chief of staff, Mofaz hopes to replace embattled Ehud Olmert as prime minister and at the helm of the Kadima party.

  15. At any rate they shouldn't encroach on hardball. A softball diamond is a dyke's best friend.

    And keep it away from the Little League too.:)

    Does the Little League still exist as an organization? Around Lewiston here there is lots of baseball for kids. Lewiston is a real baseball town. Four or five games going on some nights at different fields. But I don't know if it's the old Little League, or just a local thing. Lewiston, Idaho's 'Banana Belt'.

  16. Astrophysicists Call It For McCain Applying the scientific method, these stargazers see McCain ahead at this point.

  17. The US public is in no mood for a military move by Israel and or the US against Iran. A three front war, $250 a barrel oil and a military mutiny would be a likely outcome. The only military left to do it would be air power. Maybe there is more to the removal of the Air Force brass than meets the eye.

  18. Can't see us doing it now. Bush has kicked the can down the road. With that intelligence estimate, and the elections. However if McCain wins it might be back on the burner. Iran has a big stake in our election. Way I see it. Always wrong bob.

  19. Iraq is pumping at 30 percent capacity, Iran at 100 percent. There's no reason why this can't be reversed.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Kurdistan PM Barzani says Iraq should triple crude oil export capacity, agree on oil law

    The Associated Press
    Tuesday, June 3, 2008

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Kurdistan's Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said Tuesday that Iraq should boost crude oil export capacity to 6 million barrels a day, three times the amount the country is exporting now.

    "We think Iraq needs to export more oil," Barzani said to reporters after a press conference in Dubai. "Iraq has (the) capacity to export six million barrels a day, but they're happy with two million."

  22. Reuters - 2 hours ago
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - US Defense Secretary Robert Gates is likely to name Michael Donley, director of the Pentagon's administration and management office, as head of the Air Force, a senior US defense official said on Friday.

    On another note, a Chinese News Agency (Xinhua) is repeating the Independent's story:

    U.S. holds hostage Iraq's foreign reserves in military deal negotiations
    ·The Unite States is holding hostage some 50 billion U.S. dollars of Iraq's money.
    ·American negotiators are pressuring their Iraqi counterparts into inking a military deal.
    ·The deal was seen by many Iraqis as prolonging the U.S. occupation indefinitely.

  23. Occupy, but not control, as mat's storyline exemplifies.

    What a fiasco Team43 let Iraq devolve into.
    And the Air Force, unable to police its' nukes, what's up with that.
    Puttin' an Administrative bean counter kind of a guy in charge.

  24. "It is the ultimate 4H Club, Hubris, Humor, Humility and Humus."

    Humus is especially good with pita chips.

  25. I don't keep up with big-L Libertarian politics, Doug.

  26. NAJAF, Iraq, June 5 (UPI) -- Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani Thursday set a series of conditions necessary for Iraq to consider any strategic arrangement with the United States.

    Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, after meeting with the cleric in Najaf, relayed four points concerning the strategic framework characterizing the U.S. military presence in Iraq following the expiration of a U.N. mandate in 2009.

    "The cleric stressed that any long-term pact in Iraq should maintain four key terms including safeguarding Iraqis' interests, national sovereignty, national consensus and being presented to the Iraqi parliament for approval," Hakim said.

    Hakim said the draft framework is a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and does little to remove Iraq from the Chapter VII U.N. Charter authorizing the use of force in Iraq, the Iranian English-language Press TV reported.

    Meanwhile, former Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Allawi, a Shiite, wrote in The Independent Thursday the U.S. strategic framework is on par with the 1930 treaty with England, which he says undermined Iraqi politics for decades.

    Referring to the U.S. arrangement as a "treaty," Allawi noted the current framework is structured in such a way as to escape the scrutiny of U.S. lawmakers.

    "A treaty of such singular significance to Iraq cannot be rammed through with less than a few weeks of debate. Otherwise, the proposed strategic alliance will most certainly be a divisive element in Iraqi politics. It will have the same disastrous effect as the treaty with Britain nearly 80 years ago," he wrote.

    The Bush administration established a July 31 deadline for the Iraqi Parliament to sign onto the agreement.

    al-Hakim backs Sistani, in rejecting the "Alliance", al-Sadr's faction will reject it.

    Be an interesting debate, in the Iraqi legislature.

  27. Doug said...
    From my link above:
    "The largest component of Mexico's economy is still drug trafficking, estimated at about $50bn. According to a leaked study conducted in 2001 by Mexico's internal security agency CISEN, if the drug business was somehow wiped out, Mexico's economy would shrink by 63 per cent. "

    Fri Jun 06, 02:14:00 AM EDT

    Doug said... 3% would be heaven.

    Doug, if we accept the 50bn estimate as accurate and a quick google search turned up Mexico having about a 1.5 trillion GDP that yields the drug trade at... 3% of GDP

  28. I knew somebody would come through, ash.

    Defense Humint: We always knew he was a rube.

    Posted on Thu, Jun. 05, 2008
    Did Iranian agents dupe Pentagon officials?
    John Walcott | McClatchy Newspapers

    last updated: June 06, 2008 12:14:13 AM

    WASHINGTON — Defense Department counterintelligence investigators suspected that Iranian exiles who provided dubious intelligence on Iraq and Iran to a small group of Pentagon officials might have "been used as agents of a foreign intelligence service ... to reach into and influence the highest levels of the U.S. government," a Senate Intelligence Committee report said Thursday.

    A top aide to then-secretary of defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, however, shut down the 2003 investigation into the Pentagon officials' activities after only a month, and the Defense Department's top brass never followed up on the investigators' recommendation for a more thorough investigation, the Senate report said.

    The revelation raises questions about whether Iran may have used a small cabal of officials in the Pentagon and in Vice President Dick Cheney's office to feed bogus intelligence on Iraq and Iran to senior policymakers in the Bush administration who were eager to oust the Iraqi dictator.

    Iran, which was a mortal enemy of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and fought a bloody eight-year war with Iraq during his reign, has been the primary beneficiary of U.S. policy in Iraq, where Iranian-backed groups now run much of the government and the security forces.

    The aborted counterintelligence investigation probed some Pentagon officials' contacts with Iranian exile Manucher Ghorbanifar, whom the CIA had labeled a "fabricator" in 1984. Those contacts were brokered by an American civilian, Michael Ledeen, a former Pentagon and National Security Council consultant and a leading advocate of invading Iraq and overthrowing Iran's Islamic regime.

    According to the Senate report, the Pentagon's Counterintelligence Field Activity unit concluded in 2003 that Ledeen "was likely unwitting of any counterintelligence issues related to his relationship with Mr. Ghorbanifar."

    The counterintelligence unit said, however, that Ledeen's association with Ghorbanifar "was widely known, and therefore it should be presumed other foreign intelligence services, including those of Iran, would know."

    Stephen Cambone, then the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, shut down the counterintelligence investigation after only a month, the Senate report said.

    The Senate report said that Pentagon officials never followed up on the investigators' recommendation for a comprehensive analysis of whether Ghorbanifar or his associates tried "to directly or indirectly influence or access U.S. government officials."

    The counterintelligence investigators recommended that U.S. officials attempt "to map Ghorbanifar's relationship within Iranian elite social networks and, if possible, his contacts with other governments and/or intelligence organizations," but that effort was never undertaken.

    The Senate committee also found that Pentagon officials concealed the contacts with Ghorbanifar from the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department. Pentagon officials also provided Senate investigators with an inaccurate account of events and, with support from two unnamed officials in Cheney's office, continued meeting with Ghorbanifar after contact with him was officially ordered to stop.

    The first meetings with Ghorbanifar, which were disclosed in August 2003 by the Long Island, N.Y., newspaper Newsday, took place in Rome in December 2001. They were attended by two Pentagon Iran experts, Harold Rhode and Larry Franklin; by an Italian military intelligence official, and by Ledeen.

    On the Iranian side were Ghorbanifar, an unidentified Iranian exile from Morocco and an alleged Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps defector.

    Among other things, the Iranians told the Americans about:

    _ Iranian "hit teams" they said were targeting U.S. personnel and facilities in Afghanistan.

    _ What they claimed was Shiite Muslim Iran's longstanding relationship with the secular Palestine Liberation Organization.

    _ "Tunnel complexes in Iran for weapons storage or exfiltration of regime leaders," and about the alleged growth of anti-regime sentiment in Iran.

    Franklin, who, in an unrelated matter, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to prison in 2006 for providing classified information on Iran policy to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, passed the information about the alleged Iranian hit squads to a U.S. Special Forces commander in Afghanistan. Although a DIA analyst told the Senate committee that he couldn't speculate on whether the information had been "truly useful," Ledeen and Pentagon officials claimed it saved American lives, the committee said.

    During the Rome meetings, Ghorbanifar also laid out a scheme to overthrow the Iranian regime on a napkin during a late night meeting in a bar. "The plan," said the Senate committee, "involved the simultaneous disruption of traffic at key intersections leading to Tehran that would create anxiety, work stoppages and other disruptive measures" in a capital city famous for its traffic congestion.

    Ghorbanifar asked for $5 million in seed money, Franklin told the committee, and indicated that if the traffic jam plan succeeded, he'd need additional money.

    "The proposed funding for, and foreign involvement in, Mr. Ghorbanifar's plan for regime change were never fully understood," the Senate committee said.

    Nevertheless, Ghorbanifar's proposals grew more ambitious — and expensive. A February 2002 memo from Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter Rodman referred to an unnamed foreign government's support for a Ghorbanifar plan that would cost millions of dollars. A later summary referred to contracts "that would assure oil and gas sales in the event of regime change". The U.S. ambassador to Italy said that DOD officials "were talking about 25 million for some kind of Iran program."

    After Franklin and Rhode returned from the Rome meetings, the Senate report said, two series of events began to unfold in Washington that were typical of the gamesmanship that plagued the Bush administration's national security team.

    "First," the report said, "State Department and CIA officials attempted to determine what Mr. Ledeen and the DOD representatives had done in Rome, and second, DOD officials debated the next course of action."

    When the CIA and the State Department discovered that Ledeen and Ghorbanifar were involved, they opposed any further contact with the two. Ledeen's contacts, the Defense Human Intelligence Service concluded, were "nefarious and unreliable," the Senate committee reported.

    According to the report, Ledeen, however, persisted, presenting then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith with a new 100-day plan to provide, among other things, evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that supposedly had been moved to Iran — Saddam Hussein's archenemy. This time, the report said, Ledeen solicited support from former speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich and from three then-GOP senators, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Jon Kyl of Arizona and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

  29. That's so bizarre I can't follow it. Overthrow the Iranians with traffic jams? Iranians wanting us in Iraq?

  30. The only military left to do it would be air power. Maybe there is more to the removal of the Air Force brass than meets the eye.

    No, they did genuinely screw the pooch. But the Navy alone has an awful lot of air power, with the Nimitz, the Big "E" and Kitty Hawk on station, and Truman, Ike, and Lincoln ready to jump in. Plus all the attack subs.

  31. This is an old, sad story resurfacing, bob.

    As old, sad stories are wont to do.

  32. 4-H

    The 4-H Clover symbolizes four actions
    which 4-H members try to accomplish. The
    four H s' stand four Head, Hands, Heart,
    Health, as it is in the pledge. I Pledge My Head
    to clearer thinking, My Heart to greater loyalty,
    My Hands to lager service and My Health to
    better living for my Club my Community my
    Country and my World.

  33. Let us sit upon the ground, and tell sad tales of the death of plots.

  34. Woeful and sad is the tale I tell, of misbegotten plots, and inattention dire, of triple cross and deep regret...

  35. And with the unwashed millions comes TB

  36. I don't think Ron Paul wanted it. He's hoping to be able to speak at the Republican party convention.

  37. Same here, Bob.
    400 new cases, just in metro Toronto alone.

  38. "I don't think Ron Paul wanted it. He's hoping to..."

    Whaaa? Are you serious?

    Interesting (and portentious) if that turned out to be the most widely viewed speech of the convention.

  39. Yeah, I did that myself, Ash, but got carried away trying to find other sources that I quit and went to bed.

  40. The other thing I found was a different source saying the GNP was only half that in 2000.
    Don't think that really happened, but what do I know?

  41. (think we would have heard about a doubling of GNP in 8 years)

  42. For anything to double in 8 years, it needs to grow between 8 and 9 percent. China is growing that fast, but we hardly ever top 4 percent.