“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."

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Inspirations for Change in America

"Care Planning for Looked After Children" in Welsh

The American Left loves Britain. They pick up the accent on the way from Heathrow to their first night in a London hotel. They use Britishisms with extreme relish and adore the sophistication and progressiveness of the English Left wing establishment.

Britain is also a multi-cultural society on steroids. The country is larded with self loathing politicians, academics and intellectuals. I would not care about the last part if it were not for the former.

The American Left, given the chance, will follow Britain lock step because like Britain, American social services and education are already deeply infiltrated by the Left and poised to expand their grip and control. An Obama presidency will ensure it.

For all the talk and bluster from the Republicans, they have not undone anything created and institutionalized by the Left and the Democrats. A vote for Obama by a disgruntled conservative or Republican is delusional.

Make no mistake about it. The campaign of Barack Obama would be a joke if not for the increasing control the Left has had over American education since the seventies. Youth in America are indoctrinated from nursery school through university by left wing zealots. That trend will continue as the Left is institutionally in control. The control by the Left will be the enduring legacy of Barack Obama.

Creeping socialism and statism owns Britain. Here is the thinking of Paul Ennals, Chief Executive of NCB National Children's Bureau (NCB) in Britain:

Budget Day is our annual chance to set out what we would do if we were Chancellor, in the sure knowledge that no-one would ever trust us with such a responsibility. As a rule, budgets have a central theme, providing a story-line in a mass of deadly detail. This Chancellor has often made children his theme, and we must hope he will do so again this year.

Budgets centre mainly on taxes and benefits – income and expenditure for the Treasury. Most decisions on spending come in the summer, when the Chancellor reveals how much each government department will have to spend for the next three years. But Mr Brown normally uses his budget to announce the odd treat – a rabbit from his hat to keep us entertained.

We already know that he will not contemplate the measure which would really transform our children’s services: increasing taxes. In Sweden, which so often provides inspiration on what can be achieved for children, taxes represent 51% of GDP. Here the argument between Labour, Lib Dems and Conservatives centres on whether the tax take should be 40% or 42%. For as long as our nation values low taxes over good services, we can only dream of welfare provision that is truly universal and sufficient.

So what should the Chancellor do about benefits? His key challenge remains reducing child poverty – the single most important step in improving the life chances of children across the country. The Government is within range of meeting its target of cutting child poverty by a quarter by 2004, but the next target is going to be harder, and further radical action is needed. Child tax credit has to rise a further £3 per week if progress is to be maintained.

And what about the treat? If the Chancellor does decide to lob an extra billion somewhere, where should it be? The Children Fund, focussing on preventive services in the poorest areas and facing budget melt-down next year, seems a good candidate. Or what about an increased commitment to opening Children’s Centres ahead of schedule? Or a boost to support services for disabled children – the most marginalised group of children in our nation? We’ll have to wait until this afternoon and see.

And here is CHANGE from the NCB:

Toddlers who dislike spicy food 'racist'

By Rosa Prince, Political Correspondent Telegraph

Toddlers who turn their noses up at spicy food from overseas could be branded racists by a Government-sponsored agency.

The National Children's Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.

This could include a child of as young as three who says "yuk" in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.

The guidance by the NCB is designed to draw attention to potentially-racist attitudes in youngsters from a young age.

It alerts playgroup leaders that even babies can not be ignored in the drive to root out prejudice as they can "recognise different people in their lives".

The 366-page guide for staff in charge of pre-school children, called Young Children and Racial Justice, warns: "Racist incidents among children in early years settings tend to be around name-calling, casual thoughtless comments and peer group relationships."

It advises nursery teachers to be on the alert for childish abuse such as: "blackie", "Pakis", "those people" or "they smell".

The guide goes on to warn that children might also "react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying 'yuk'".

Staff are told: "No racist incident should be ignored. When there is a clear racist incident, it is necessary to be specific in condemning the action."

Warning that failing to pick children up on their racist attitudes could instil prejudice, the NCB adds that if children "reveal negative attitudes, the lack of censure may indicate to the child that there is nothing unacceptable about such attitudes".

Nurseries are encouraged to report as many incidents as possible to their local council. The guide added: "Some people think that if a large number of racist incidents are reported, this will reflect badly on the institution. In fact, the opposite is the case."


  1. Ja, what good strong athletes we have, Rat!

  2. It is not a derangement syndrome, doug, it's knowin' the fellow, his means and methods.

    WASHINGTON — Senator John McCain’s campaigns have long been defined by internal squabbling and power plays, zigzagging lines of command and a penchant by the candidate for consulting with former advisers without alerting current ones, always a recipe for disquiet.
    All of this intrigue breeds discouragement among even those former McCain associates who do not dispute the notion that voters now might be getting an early glimpse of the messy, unstructured way in which a McCain White House might be managed. They are hard-pressed to explain why Mr. McCain tolerates this — or encourages this — or why he has trouble cutting ties with people who have not served him well over the years.

    “I can’t answer the why,” said John Weaver, who was one of Mr. McCain’s closest advisers before being forced out in a shake-up last year. “It is just that way and for his own sake, he needs to finally, firmly decide where he wants to take this campaign.”

  3. As a sort of a last hurrah, one might speculate that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney would let Israel bomb Iran with a wink and a nod. But I do not believe that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates would do so. And because Gates has emerged as such a critical cabinet member, beloved by both the Pentagon staff and by the media, his word would be crucial.

    Gates has shepherded Iraq from nearly a lost cause to a cause that might yet be salvaged. And an Israeli attack on Iran, precisely because it could not occur without both the fact and the appearance of U. S. support, could unleash a fury of Iran-supported bombings inside Iraq. No, Gates would not be on board for an Israeli strike.

    Bottom line: precisely because the U. S. dominates the airspace around Iran, it has checkmated itself. Israel will find it very hard to pull America’s chestnuts out of the fire in Iran. An Israeli attack is, in the last analysis, still unlikely. The problem of a nuclear Iran is far from being solved.

    — Robert D. Kaplan

  4. Iraq raises idea of timetable for US withdrawal

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister said Monday his country wants some type of timetable for a withdrawal of American troops included in the deal the two countries are negotiating.

    It was the first time that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has explicitly and publicly called for a withdrawal timetable — an idea opposed by President Bush.

    He offered no details. But his national security adviser, Mouwaffak al-Rubaie, told The Associated Press that the government is proposing a timetable conditioned on the ability of Iraqi forces to provide security.

  5. Webb Rules Out Spot on Obama Ticket
    New York Sun - 6 hours ago
    By Staff Reporters of the Sun | July 8, 2008
    Senator Obama lost another potential running mate yesterday when Senator Webb of Virginia took himself out of contention for the vice presidency.

  6. Well, I'm still thinking we should have been bombing Iran months and months ago. Till they pip. Make 'em say unca. Like Habu said, make 'em lick boot. While we'
    ve got the advantage. But, I'm just an older man out here in Idaho, controlling no troops nor aircraft, and the best I can do is take a shot at Ash once in a while.

  7. It is Mr Maliki, doug, that will tell US when he is ready for US to leave. Based upon conditions, as the Iraqi see them. Or the fragile house of security, built upon an Iraqi foundation, will crash to the ground.

    Mr Malili, representing the democratic will of a free Iraq, is the power player in the coming US elections.

    Never in US history has a battlefield success been so poorly spun by the politicos. Mr Bush is afraid to claim success, Maverick is in his shadow, leaving Obama and Maliki to declare defaco victory.

    Maverick's tour bus caught in the slow lane, What is funny, Maverick challenged Obama to go, Obama'll take that trip and then steal the show.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. One politico does townhall meetings, speaking to hundreds, the other ...

    WASHINGTON — Borrowing from the political repertory of John F. Kennedy, Senator Barack Obama will accept his party’s nomination outside of the main Democratic convention hall this August, in the Denver Broncos’ football stadium that seats more than 75,000 people.

  10. It must be satisfying, and relaxing, to put one's trust in rhetoric. To go to the football stadium. Just to really, really go for it, and not have to think again. Never to go to the trouble of thinking again. I'm almost there myself, and yet, I'm an old guy, and know better, and, to contnue to honor myself, will not do so. Wake up, America!

  11. 75,000 Americans at a political rally ...

    That is an awakening, bob.

  12. I'm stayin' home, Rat. And, got to catch some sleep now.

    It's scary, I think we can agree to that. I hope to dream of walks in the woods by myself, no football stadiums...

  13. Now look what ya did, 'Rat:
    Bobal'l probly have nightmares.
    Stadiums fulla Zombies.
    Night of the living Dread.
    All causa you!

  14. I always knew I musta had a good reason for whippin the tar outta that kid when he said "yuk."
    Enforcing civility, pure and simple.

  15. Is Murphy on board again?
    Thought I heard that on the radio.
    He is one smart, funny dude.
    The front page of the NY Times has a video of
    "McCain's Presentation Gap"

  16. It is probably too late as this piece demonstrates:

    American Politics Aren't 'Post-Racial'
    July 7, 2008; Page A13

    The not-quite-concluded racial drama playing out at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) in the last months can't be ranked with the embittering rape charge scandal at Duke that so recently mesmerized the nation. And as news it's not in the same league as the total war waged against Harvard president Lawrence Summers for having had the temerity to suggest that factors in addition to prejudice might have something to do with the underrepresentation of women in math and the sciences.

    Still, what happened at IUPUI is a pungent reminder of all that's possible now in the rarefied ideological atmosphere on our college campuses – and in this presidential election year, not perhaps only on our campuses.

    The story began prosaically enough. Keith Sampson, a student employee on the janitorial staff earning his way toward a degree, was in the habit of reading during work breaks. Last October he was immersed in "Notre Dame Vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan."

    Mr. Sampson was in short order visited by his union representative, who informed him he must not bring this book to the break room, and that he could be fired. Taking the book to the campus, Mr. Sampson says he was told, was "like bringing pornography to work." That it was a history of the battle students waged against the Klan in the 1920s in no way impressed the union rep.

    The assistant affirmative action officer who next summoned the student was similarly unimpressed. Indeed she was, Mr. Sampson says, irate at his explanation that he was, after all, reading a scholarly book. "The Klan still rules Indiana," Marguerite Watkins told him – didn't he know that? Mr. Sampson, by now dazed, pointed out that this book was carried in the university library. Yes, she retorted, you can get Klan propaganda in the library."

  17. The very title of someone on a public payroll
    "Assistant Affirmative Action Officer " should be enough to boil American blood, but Americans are already cowered. That position in that university will never be taken away. It will go on and on looking for unhealthy thoughts, racial thinking, prejudice in the shadow.

    The inquisition will continue and Americans will show less courage than the Spanish heretics of every faith who were terrorized by Pope Sixtus IV.

  18. That story sounds surreal. Is it true? It's so outrageous that it's hard to believe.

  19. Well, I'm still up, and thinking about our writer Emerson. He said, you know, if the taxes get too high, people won't pay, if the property taxes are too high, people won't buy, if the schools teach non-sense the people won't go, and, there is an equation in life, things balance out, the moon circles the earth, and the earth the sun, and by and by, what must be will be. So, I take some comfort in that.

  20. It took some time, but, look how Marxism has done in Russia. Is there a Russian 'intellectual' now that talks that non sense? Name one. You can't, because there are none.

  21. Ok, the worm has turned, I'm eternally sorry, and beg your forgiveness:

    What was the home remedy for hives?

  22. Uf Obama was really ballsy, he'd make Janet Napolitano, his VP choice and make Maverick battle it out, on his home turf.

  23. Whit, there is no bottom to the depth of absurdity. There is no end to the demands. There is a pernicious assault on individualism being conducted under the guise of rooting out anti-social thoughts.

    Look what now appears on yahoo. What does it mean? Is someone monitoring the monitors? Google admits that they keep records of every search.

    Americans have fallen into the trap of allowing anonymous corporations to maintain dossiers on their most private and personal financial records, open to anyone for a small price. That dossier can determine if you get a car loan, but can just as easily be used to monitor your political thoughts and actions.

  24. Is this meaningless?

    Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  25. 2164th: Is this meaningless?

    Amendment IV

    Don't let the fact that Bush invaded the wrong country by mistake throw you; he is very very careful to wiretap the right "persons of interest", like Dr. Stephen "Amerithrax" Hatfill.

  26. "Don't let the fact that Bush invaded the wrong country by mistake throw you..."

    The thing that throws me is trying to determine your point.

  27. The point is that it's going to get real nasty before it get's done.

    Whatever the meaning of it is.

    And Whit - believe it.

  28. Bob - disagree with you and Emerson, but the truth of it might be bigger than my brain.

    I think now is an appropriate time to participate in some collective rage. Don't know how to do that exactly but letters, voting, etc. as a first cut.

    Nothing starting with my authority is real because "I've lived in this beautiful valley for xx years" but something along the lines I'm voting for your opponent until one of you shows signs of intelligent life.

    The point being, the general message need not be obscured in the details of this that policy - although it has to start there. At some point Emerson's bigger picture emerges - and that is what we - as voters - are looking for in public representatives who work on behalf of the people.

  29. They may have gotten the wrong Mr. Anthrax, but when envelopes filled with poison show up in the Congress, you got to do something. Cut them a break, I say.

    If you get a deadly letter in the mail, it ruins your day.

  30. And if I start hearing clicking on my phone line, I'm coming to get you Bob.

  31. BTW, Whit, did I say Believe it?

    Believe it.

  32. Signs at airport warn passengers that it is a felony to make jokes with TSA agents about bombs.

    I agree inspection is serious, I think.

    But there it is.

    Substitute everything for good judgment and that's what you get.

    Grandma in a room off to the side or some kid reading a history book.

    In the meantime, back at the banks ...

    It's Shirley Temple and the Seven Dwarfs.

  33. And I remind everyone that Bob's paranoia started this riff.

    While I go search for my revolutionary beret, wazzup with the deletionary Mat?

    Don't the thought police have something better to do?

  34. They get anthrax letters at Congress. So, the Congress folk want it to stop. They demand that the police put a stop to this. So, they look here and there, and find a guy that looks like he might have done it. Can't prove it, and years later, he get's a reward from the court. What are the police supposed to do? Sit on their hands? I think it's simple. They investigated as best they could, and came up zero, and to this day no one seems to know what the heck happened.

  35. I'm aware of the history.

    I was questioning the assumption that a letter writing campaign to Congress is today a defacto, or at least suspicious, act of heresy.

  36. The sliver of optimism beneath this tedious little dispute is the impact civic activism is having on the campaign.

    The platforms are a little sharper, the questions more pointed, the differences refined.

    Spotlight does it every time.

    Or the American people can continue to sacrifice personal responsibility for bureaucratic solutions [as per health care post by The Anchoress at PajamasMedia.]