“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."

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Epic Battle of the Culture War Has Begun

Culture Warriors

September 08, 2008
The Culture War's Decisive Battle has Begun
By Herbert E. Meyer American Thinker

In every war there is one decisive battle. This battle doesn't end the war; a great deal of hard fighting lies ahead. But in retrospect it's the moment when one side's ultimate victory -- and the other side's ultimate defeat -- were sealed. In our Civil War this decisive battle was Gettysburg. In World War II, it was Midway.

Unexpectedly -- perhaps even astonishingly -- this year's presidential campaign is shaping up as the decisive battle in the Culture War that's been tearing apart our country for decades.

On one side are the Traditionalists. We believe that church and State should be separate, but that religion should remain at the center of life. We are a Judeo-Christian culture, which means we consider those ten things on a tablet to be commandments, not suggestions. We believe that individuals are more important than groups, that families are more important than governments, that children should be raised by their parents rather than by a village, and that marriage is a sacred relationship between a man and a woman. We believe that rights must be balanced by responsibilities, that personal freedom is a privilege we must be careful not to abuse, and that the rule of law cannot be set aside when it becomes inconvenient.

We believe in economic liberty, property rights, and in giving purposeful and industrious entrepreneurs the elbowroom they need to start and run their businesses -- and thus create jobs for all the rest of us -- with a minimum of government interference. We recognize that people in other countries see things differently, and we are tolerant of their views. But we believe that despite its imperfections the United States is history's most blessed country, and when attacked we will defend this country with our lives.

Tuning Out, then Tuning In

On the other side of this culture war are the Left-Wing Liberals. They are uncomfortable with our traditions, with the inevitable inequalities of our free-market economy, and with our military power. They dislike our values, our morality, and our unabashed displays of patriotism. At first -- back in the 1960s -- they were content merely to develop and pursue their own radical culture within ours. They tuned out, turned to drugs, and pushed the level of sexual license to a point our country had never known. They were so distressed by our imperfections that they refused to recognize or celebrate our achievements.

Then they tuned in, and developed a political agenda whose logical outcome would be the overthrow of the American Revolution itself. While we believe that power flows from God to the people, they believe the supreme power is the State, which decides what rights, if any, should be allowed to the people. And because there is no God above the State, there also is no truth; no such thing as right or wrong, good or evil. Since they are working to do good -- by their definition of the word -- whatever crimes they commit along the way don't matter. But if we are bent on doing what they define as harm, they will use any legal trick in the book to stop us. In short, the rule of law means whatever they want it to mean at any given moment.

They believe that rights are more important than responsibilities, that groups are more important than individuals, and that one's stand on public issues is more important than one's private actions or morality. And while they are careful never to condone the tactics of our country's foreign enemies, they always see some justification in our enemies' cause. They don't actually want us to be defeated by our foreign enemies; they wish merely to see us humbled and humiliated by them.

So great is this gulf between the Traditionalists and the Left-Wing Liberals -- and so irreconcilable are the differences -- that our decades-long political struggle has amounted to a kind of second Civil War. And for several years now, it's been a stalemate. This is why so many elections are so close, why so many Supreme Court decisions are split 5-4, and why we've been unable to act decisively on any of the issues that confront us - the war, the economy, energy, healthcare, border control, immigration, and all the rest.

One way or the other, the Culture War's stalemate is about to be broken.

Study history, and you will learn that there are two kinds of wars: There are short military ones, such as World Wars I and II, in which armies and navies collide until one side wins and the other loses. And there are long ideological wars, such as the Cold War, in which short bursts of fighting are separated by long periods of political maneuvering. In these long ideological wars, the outcome isn't determined by firepower but by will. That's because the aggressor's objective isn't to kill the defenders, but to wear them down until they no longer have the courage and stamina to keep resisting.

The defenders win only when they stop merely resisting -- in other words, trying just to not lose -- and start playing offense. For example, by the late 1970s the Free World's will to resist the Soviet Union's endless challenges had nearly evaporated. Détente was just a palatable word for surrender. And then -- unexpectedly and virtually at the same moment -- three individuals most people had never before heard of exploded onto the scene and into power. They were Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John-Paul II - none of whom, by the way, had any foreign policy experience before taking office. Their objective wasn't to "not lose" the Cold War, but rather to end it with victory for the Free World. Together they threw the switch from playing defense to playing offense, stunning the Kremlin's over-confident leaders who believed that history was on their side. Within a decade, the Cold War was over and the Soviet Union had ceased to exist.

McCain Throws the Switch

By choosing Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate -- and by staking his own claim to the presidency on "Country First" more than on any specific policy initiative -- John McCain has thrown the switch and put us Traditionalists onto the offense. By doing so he has unleashed the energy and the will to victory among Traditionalists that have been dormant for so long the Left-Wing Liberals mistakenly assumed we'd lost. And by taking the over-confident Left-Wing Liberals so completely by surprise, McCain has stunned them into revealing themselves for the vicious phonies that they are.

As a result, what started out as a typical campaign between Republicans and Democrats -- each party trying to hold its base while attracting enough independent voters to win -- has exploded into the Culture War's decisive battle.

Commanding the Traditionalist armies is a war hero whose personal courage and patriotism have overwhelmed any disagreements within the coalition about specific policies and issues. His second-in-command is a pro-life hockey mom with genuine executive talent, star quality, and the most valuable asset of all in politics: a common touch. Commanding the Left-Wing Liberal armies is an elegant, eloquent cosmopolitan whose most striking talent is his ability to push past everyone else to the front of the line. His second-in-command is the U.S. Senate's leading plagiarist, whose only undeniable talent is his ability to use Senate confirmation hearings as a platform from which to trash honorable Republican appointees such as Bill Clark, Robert Bork, and Clarence Thomas.

In the coming weeks we're going to hear a lot from these four candidates and their surrogates about the war, the economy, energy, healthcare, border control, immigration, and all the other issues that confront us. And we'll be talking and arguing about these issues among ourselves - at the dinner table, with our colleagues at work, with our friends and neighbors at barbeques and at the kids' ball games.

But this election isn't really about these issues. This election is about who we are.

Herbert E. Meyer served during the Reagan Administration as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council. He is host and producer of The Siege of Western Civilization and author of How to Analyze Information.


  1. I read that article earlier. Another article I read was predicting a civil war in the country. This does seem an election about a cultural divide, but I don't see a civil war in the making. Things have to be pretty bad for that to happen, and I think we're a long way from it. We didn't have a civil war in the depression, and commie ideas were stronger then.

  2. Wonder who the black lady in red is on the far right.

  3. Bob, I am almost giddy over this. For so many years, my work and thinking was consumed with the Cold War and the Soviets. I never believed it would collapse and was skeptical of the Russians after it did. During that same period, I saw the corrosion and rot of the American Culture and was convinced that it was rapidly approaching a no-return point. Maybe, just maybe, we can pull back, push back and win.

  4. That is McCain's adopted daughter.

  5. Sorry about so many posts this AM. Happens when I get giddy.

  6. 2164th: That is McCain's adopted daughter.

    The one who cost him South Carolina in 2000, courtesy of Karl Rove's push polling.

  7. bobal wrote:

    "Say, Ash, while you're here, re the abortion issue of the other day, which do you think is more extreme--Palin and no abortion even for rape (leave incest aside, being voluntary),or, Obama's position advocating infanticide for those surviving an abortion?"

    I am unaware of an Obama policy position that advocates "infanticide for those surviving an abortion?" Could you please supply me with references to support this assertion?

    Regarding the "culture war" - Are you folks suggesting that fundamentalist religious people should have the power and ability to force the rest of US society to conform to their rather narrow view of morality? It certainly seems so.

    I read this somewhere else but I'm not sure where at the moment but Americans seem to have taken the notion that 'anyone could be president' to 'anyone should be president'.

    I saw on Fox News lst night that the 'pubs are keeping Palin away from the news media. Why do think that is?

  8. ash —

    You are truly the turd in the punch bowl.

    Thus far today, your comments are either biased or uninformed.

    I lurk on this blog all day and you really offer nothing to the discussion. You don't. It's not a matter of you are anyone else being liberal or conservative or libertarian or whatever.

    It is a matter of ash being a jerk. And boring. And a waste of time.

  9. 7 yr old has on high heels!
    Trish will be morally outraged.
    You know how them Librarians are!

  10. stavr0s,
    I don't think he's stupid, he just feels compelled to write stupid stuff.

  11. Probly fits Savage's
    "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"

  12. "I am unaware of an Obama policy position that advocates "infanticide for those surviving an abortion?" Could you please supply me with references to support this assertion?"
    Like benj @ BC, he only sees what he chooses to see.
    Look it up for yourself, Ash!

  13. stavr0s said...

    ...well nothing really. You may as well go back to lurk mode because the effect is be the same. Why don't you try making an argument? Show me where I'm wrong, say, that the social conservatives really aren't like fundamentalist Muslims who want to dictate how others in their society live.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. doug, I can't look up something that doesn't exist.

  16. I'd betcha most voters are a lot like me. Both parties are dangerously nutty at their extremes.

    You're going to force a woman to carry a baby for nine months after she's been Raped. That's Madnesss. You're going to force a young girl to carry a baby after it's been learned that her father took advantage of her? Sick.

    Get out on the edge of the liberal universe - just as twisted. Basically Fascist.

    Trust me, folks; the last thing in the world you want to see is "Any" Group of Politicians/Idealogues getting overwhelming control.

    In this election I'm supporting McCrazy, and the "Moosehunter;" but it's not a slam-dunk.

  17. Yeah, it exists, Doug. It was the Illinois State Senate Bill that would have allowed a baby that survived an abortion attempt to live. Obama led the charge against it.

  18. Hey Rufus,
    A Viet Vet called Miller.
    Has severe nerve damage.
    Was a dog handler.
    Says they would get soaked in Malathion that they debugged the dogs with.
    Had you heard of that?

  19. Well at least rufus gave a clue as to what doug was referring to. It seems the issue revolved around giving a non-viable fetus full person status hence making them subject to all the protections an adult has. Its effect would be to ban all abortions. Seems reasonable to oppose such a bill.

  20. You are SO FUCKED, Ash:
    The Bill allowed babies born ALIVE after abortion attempts the right to STAY ALIVE.

    B A B I E S !

    Not TISSUE.

  21. Check out Palin's baby, that's what we're talkin about.
    ...course you encouraged us to smirk at it's different appearance. McCain and Tammy Duckworth.

  22. Don't F... w/da Elephant!
    Dec. 15, 2002: An African elephant named Flora went on a rampage at Miami MetroZoo, knocking and kicking one elephant trainer 15 feet into a pile of rocks and injuring a second one who tried to stop the attack. The zookeeper was critically injured with broken shoulders, a broken arm, a bruised brain and a ruptured spleen.

    Nov. 18, 2002: An African elephant at a Pittsburgh zoo butted a zookeeper, pinned him to the ground and crushed him to death with her head. The keeper had been prodding the elephant with a bullhook during a morning walk.

    June 17, 2002: Two elephants named Tory and Mary were performing with the Shrine Circus at Menomonie, Wis., when they bolted out of a circus tent during a show. Mary hiked two miles through town and was recaptured at the University of Wisconsin-Stout campus when trucks blocked her escape. One child was injured.

    February 2002: An African elephant at the Pittsburgh Zoo injured a former Ringling elephant trainer hired by the zoo, causing a collapsed lung and leg injuries.

    June 10, 2001: A 6,700-pound elephant named Hope became startled when her trainer dropped a barrel during a bathing demonstration in Denver. Hope threw her trainer against a wall and knocked over a mother and her baby.

    Jan. 26, 2000: An elephant named Kenya attacked and killed her trainer at the Ramos Family Circus winter compound in Riverview, Fla. The elephant was used in Ramos' traveling shows and to give rides.

    Dec. 22, 1999: An elephant attacked two keepers at the Henry Villas Zoo in Madison, Wis., throwing one against the wall and grabbing the other in her mouth. The elephant had injured people at least three other times since it was brought to the zoo in 1966.

    May 28, 1997: An elephant at the Frank Buck Zoo crushed her handler to death in Gainesville, Texas.

    June 14, 1996: An elephant knocked down and repeatedly kicked her trainer in Casper, Wyo. The elephant was giving rides to children at the time of the attack. One child fell off the elephant, which was performing with Jordan World Circus. The elephant is owned by John Cuneo, Tyke's former owner.

    May 19, 1995: Two elephants with the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus went on a rampage at the North Hanover Mall in Pennsylvania. The elephants smashed store windows, damaged cars and escaped into the woods. One of the elephants, named Frieda, had killed 47-year-old Joan Scovell of New London, Conn., in 1985.

    Oct. 10, 1994: A 3-year-old girl was feeding grass to a 15-month-old elephant at the King Royal Circus in Riley County, Kan., when the elephant wrapped his truck around her neck and attempted to pull her into the arena. The girl was treated for injuries at a local hospital.

  23. Show me where I'm wrong, say, that the social conservatives really aren't like fundamentalist Muslims who want to dictate how others in their society live.

    So what's the problem, Ashley? You've been shilling for the Jihadis for as long as I remember. You and your Leftist Kossacks have made a strategic alliance with the Jihadis. Why is it that you con criticize the Christian and Jooish Religious Fundies, but cant muster the venom for the Jihadis, or the Commies for that matter?

  24. Dec. 15, 2002:
    "An African elephant named Flora went on a rampage at Miami MetroZoo, knocking and kicking one elephant trainer 15 feet into a pile of rocks and injuring a second one who tried to stop the attack. The zookeeper was critically injured with broken shoulders, a broken arm, a bruised brain and a ruptured spleen."
    I think I'd just stay down for the count, at this stage!

  25. He's just irresistibly drawn to the dark side, Mat! you to toy electric cars!

  26. Attracted to the dark side?! I am the dark side!

  27. Toys from the Dark Side:

  28. You are Salmon!

    Always swims upriver to get back to the source of life. :)

  29. The Muslim fundies are the worst of the bunch but that doesn't justify what the christian or jewish fundies do, or want to do.

  30. Weird,
    Your dreamboat comes up blank in IE, but displays in 'Fox.

    0 - 60 in 3.9 seconds!
    Beats the kid's STI @ 4.4

  31. Get back on topic, Ash:
    I N F A N T I C I D E !

  32. The Muslim fundies are the worst of the bunch but that doesn't justify what the christian or jewish fundies do, or want to do.
    I've got no qualms with that statement. I just think your measuring stick is awful short.

  33. Long, long ago, in the days when King Slothfuldummy misruled a vast the land, when wishing still could lead to something, and dreams came true, there lived in a humble hut by the river a young maiden named Sarahfisherqueen, who arose one morning and went to the river, washing in one arm and fishing pole in the other, when suddenly from behind her she heard, and turned to see......

  34. It doesn't justify what secular fundiepusses want to do, either. So there!

  35. 0 - 60 in 3.9 seconds!
    Using 256 mpg equivalent!

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. The bill in the Illinois legislature being to mandate medical care for such aborted living, which Obama, who doesn't know when life begins, and thinks it "above his pay grade" to know, opposed with his mighty judgement.

  38. Takes me longer and longer to wake up in the morning, specially when I didn't get any sleep last night. So I removed the post where I misspoke.

  39. Obama's stated reason for opposing the bill to mandate care for the aborted living was that it would somehows weaken Roe v Wade.

    Palin's wrong on the rape business, but it at least poses something of a more dilemma in some minds. Some women have chosen to go ahead and give birth in such circumstances. My question is which position is the more 'extreme', which is normally defined as everything the left says it is.

  40. May God protect us from the "extremists" from both sides, Bob.

  41. The culture war is more like the cold war than the wwII or the civil war. Its fought over decades. There are no decisive battles. The left has been winning for decades--including the last couple years. The left just rolled through the major media/academic/professional/government bureaucratic institutions during the 70's but there were all kinds of battles from the 1920's through the 1960's-- some of which conservatives won -- but most of which liberals won.

    If the tide turns it will only be a turning of the tide in a decades long struggle. IF the 1920's-1960's are a guide-- even with success --a conservative success akin to that huge institutional roll through that the left enjoyed back in the 1970's is still decades off.

  42. I ran out of altitude, airspeed and ideas all at the same time.

    When asked why he ejected. Attributed to Tony Lavier, Chuck Yeager, and just about every other well-known test pilot.

    Great Aviation Quotes

    Great stuff - Funny as Hell

  43. The three best things in life are a good landing, a good orgasm, and a good shit. A night carrier landing is one of the few opportunities to experience all three at the same time.

    More "Great Aviation Quotes."

    H/T Maggies Farm


    The Women Are Pissed At The Democrats--And In San Francisco, No Less

    Women's lib lady calls democratic party full of crap. Ferraro says she's not going to say who she's voting for.

    Rebellion in the air!


    Concerned feminists noted, among other thinly veiled sexist remarks during the campaign, Obama quipping, "I understand that Sen. Clinton, periodically when she's feeling down, launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal," and Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen in a television interview comparing Clinton to a spurned lover-turned-stalker in the film, "Fatal Attraction," noting, "Glenn Close should have stayed in that tub, and Sen. Clinton has had a remarkable career...". These attitudes, and more, define the tenor of the party leadership, and sent a message to the grassroots and media that it was "Bros Before Hoes," to quote a popular Obama-supporter T-shirt.

    On the day McCain announced her selection as his running mate, Palin thanked Clinton and Ferraro for blazing her trail. A day later, Ferraro noted her shock at Palin's comment. You see, none of her peers, no one, had ever publicly thanked her in the 24 years since her historic run for the White House. Ferraro has since refused to divulge for whom she's voting. Many more now are realizing that it does indeed take a woman - who happens to be a Republican named Sarah Palin.

  46. Oh, nobody reads Tammy Bruce anyway bobal. Whoever heard of Republicanism mixed with lesbianism anyway? I mean besides Mary Cheney, but that's sort of a shotgun wedding, literally.

  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. Sarah "Hang 'Em High" Palin, hockey mom

    Palin in Debate [Byron York]

    A murder of a child? I say, my goodness, hang 'em up. Yeah. A murder of a child, anything to such a degree, I don't think that there can be anything worse.

    I just finished watching a video on C-Span's website of the August, 2006 Republican debate in the Alaska governor's race. It pitted Frank Murkowski, the then-governor of the state and veteran of 22 years in the U.S. Senate, against Republican politician John Binkley and Wasilla mayor Sarah Palin. And all I have to say is that Palin was good — really good. It wasn't a debate in which the candidates were in each other's faces or throwing out zingers, but Palin clearly outshone her rivals — especially Murkowski, the longtime senator who played the role of the experienced statesman.

    As far as substance was concerned, the debate was heavy — I mean heavy — on oil, natural gas, and the money that comes therefrom. To my ears, Palin knew a great deal about the subject and spoke with real authority about it — again outshining her rivals.

    On a few other issues, there was a passage in the debate that will lay to rest all those reports we have seen that Palin supports abstinence-only education when it comes to sex. It seems Palin had written in a questionnaire that she opposed "explicit" sex-ed programs, so she was asked:

    In a recent survey you said that you would support abstinence-until-marriage education but that you would not support explicit sex-ed programs. What are explicit sex-ed programs, and does that include talking about condoms in school?

    Palin's answer:

    No, I don't think that it includes something that is relatively benign. Explicit means explicit. No, I am pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues. So I'm not anti-contraception. But yeah, abstinence is another alternative that should be discussed with kids. I don't have a problem with that. That doesn't scare me, so it's something that I would support also.

    Finally, Alaska does not have a death penalty — I did not know that — and Palin was asked for her opinion. Her answer was that if the state legislature decided to pass a narrowly focused death penalty, she would support it.

    If our lawmakers were to consider such a thing, I think that support should be given for heinous crimes. A murder of a child? I say, my goodness, hang 'em up. Yeah. A murder of a child, anything to such a degree, I don't think that there can be anything worse. And if lawmakers were to consider it, that should be the consideration.

    If you have time, you should definitely watch the debate.

    Heard today, Obama is now backing off doing away with even the Bush tax cuts. Obama is a man running scared, scared, scared.

    If he goes on like this much longer, he'll be a republican!

  49. Judy, NYC:

    just this morning a group of islamics were arrested in london, conspiring to board planes in london to blow up several targets here. My Country First, is a good bumper sticker, and this life long democratic voter is voting mccain-palin. i am not taking any chances with this character, obama. and you should know, as i have been posting everywhere i can, that invited to speak at the democratic convention was none other than islamic fascist, ingrid mattleson, president of the isna (whose website calls for the murder of jews). the group has ties to the fanatic muslim brotherhood and is funded by khalil mansour, barry obama backer and another one of his pals who are friends of america.
    My Country First.
    mccain-palin ‘08

    Sep 8, 2008 - 9:15 am

    I'm finding stuff like this everywhere today.

  50. According the this video they picked the wrong Palin :0

  51. An Expansive View of Abortion.

    We are hyperdimensional beings of some sort, and we cast a shadow into materiality, and that shadow is our bodies.
    Terrance McKenna

    We are giants mired in time.
    Marcel Proust

    The Death of Sir John Falstaff

    Pistol: No; for my manly heart doth yearn. Bardolph, be blithe; Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins;
    Boy, bristle they courage up; for Falstaff he is dead.

    Bardolph: Would I were with him, wheresome'er he is, either in heaven or in hell!

    Hostess: Nay, sure, he's not in hell; he's in Arthur's bosom, if ever man went to Arthur's bosom. A' made a finer end and went away an it had been any christom child; a' parted even just between twelve and one, even at the turning o' the tide; for after I saw him fumble with the sheets and play with flowers and smile upon his fingers' ends, I knew there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and a' babbled of green fields. 'How now, Sir John!' quoth I; 'what, man! be o' good cheer.' So a' cried out 'God, God, God!' three or four times. Now I, to comfort h'm, bid him a' should not think of God; I hoped there was no need to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet. So a' bade me lay more clothes on his feet; I put my hand into the bed and felt them, and they were as cold as any stone, then I felt to his knees, and they were cold as any stone, and so upward and upward, and all was as cold as any stone.

    King Henry V, Act II, Scene III

    Book Review

    David B. Chamberlain, Ph.D.
    Santa Barbara Graduate Institute
    Santa Barbara, California

    Cosmic Cradle: Souls Waiting in the Wings for Birth, by Elizabeth M. Carman and Neil J. Carman.
    Fairfield, IA: Sunstar Publishing, 1999, 734 pages + xii, $23.95pb.

    This remarkable book by Elizabeth and Neil Carman lends itself to hyperbole, with 633 pages of text, 69 pages of glossary, footnotes, references, and index, a scope that takes in 165 cultures and religions, and a time period that includes most of recorded history and literature. Remarkable also is its fulsome yet tightly focused treatment of a rare topic: prconceptual communication between children-to-be and their future parents. Readers will find it a big book presenting a large picture of the human psyche, a view of ourselves certainly not unprecedented, as the book clearly documents, and one not unfamiliar to persons who have encountered the near-death experience.

    On the shelf, Cosmic Cradle is an intimidating size, but once inside one finds a logical format of five parts incorporating 34 chapters, many of them brimming with personal experiences on an intimate scale. It will not give you indigestion unless you try to gulp it all down at once. The book begins and ends with striking first hand reports, my favorite parts of the book: I, II and V. Parts III and IV carry heavy crosscultural documentation of metaphysical beliefs about the preconceptual world and the "cosmic contracts" that seem to precede conception and entry into the physical world. A shor Afterword offers practical tips on how to develop greater receptivity to preconception communications.

    A cogent fist chapter provides a wide angle view of a neglected world literature that speaks loudly for the normalcy of preconceptual negotiations between the souls of children preparing to come into the world and their surprised parents-to-be. In their ten year search, the Carmans found accounts of these communications before biological conception irrespective of gender, age, race, religion, generation, or country. Table 1 on page 7 displays the sources of these unusual reports: 18 religious traditions, 25 cultures from ancient to modern times, 53 native North American peoples, 28 Australian Aboriginal peoples, 20 African peoples, and many others across the globe adding up to 165 cultures and religions. If you think child-parent communication before conception is a strange phenomenon, prepare yourself to learn that it is virtually universal in human history. "And it is still an untold story. The Carmans do us a service in lifting this widely scattered literature from obscurity to full view.

    The organization of the book is logical, with brief thematic introductions followed by short personal stories and the listing of sources where similar reports are found in a range of cultures and countries. The latter are neatly bulleted, making spare use of words in a kind of get-to-the-point journalism. What becomes clear is that children, months or years before they are actually conceived, are active souls communicating on their own behalf with receptive future parents. They are reaching them in dreams, visions, flashes of intuition, meditation, or other altered states of consciousness. Sometimes the parties meet during a near-death experience. Seven year old Katie, for example, awoke from a coma following her near drowning accident asking, "Where are Mark and Andy?"--future siblings she had already met.

    The parents involved in this high level dialogue are, of course, as extraordinary as the children in their readiness for this exchange, doing their part by being interested, open, curious, and highly aware human beings. Some souls remember the whole scenario from preconception through gestation, birth, and throughout their lives. The authors of Cosmic Cradle refer to this as gifted memory. Typically, conversations are as spntaneous and satisfying as the meetings of dear friends after a long abscence, with much affection expressed and a completely frank exchange of needs and feelings. The force of the personalities involved is quite obvious and "babies" do not necessarily get what they want. Negotiations can be delicate and ongoing over long waiting periods before all the obstacles are removed and the mother is fully ready for the pregnancy. At that time conscious conception is reported as a joyous experience for all concerned, and feels like a reunion. Communications are purposeful, but can just as well be sprightly and light-hearted. Such events are vivid and unforgettable for the mother, father, or the siblings involed.

    break for lunch but post so I don't lose my efforts

  52. "On the other hand, Obama may have felt compelled to go at her directly in part because Palin is now starring in a McCain ad that touts, and overstates, her opposition to the "Bridge to Nowhere." After supporting the project, and seeing it founder, she decided to spend the money elsewhere."
    Seems like a stupid thing to tout, to me.

  53. Here’s Tony Blankley on economic foolishness:

    “Currently, the United States has the second-highest corporate tax rate of all industrial societies, after economically anemic Japan.

    The U.S. federal rate of taxation is 35 percent, and when the average state and local corporate tax rates are added, American corporations pay, on average, a 39.27 percent tax on their incomes.

    China is at 25 percent; Mexico is at 28 percent; socialist Sweden is at 28 percent; and prosperous Ireland is at a mere 12.5 percent.”

    The Other Side of Kim du Toit

    Obama’s solution to the problem of jobs and industry going offshore is to lean toward protectionist policies (renegotiate NAFTA, oppose new free trade treaties, etc.). When one combines Obama’s plans to tighten international trade, create carbon trading regulations that will be the equivalent of a further $100 billion corporate tax, raise taxes generally on business, as well as his mind-numbingly counterproductive ‘windfall’ profit taxes on petroleum product companies… one has a formula for economic catastrophe not seen since Herbert Hoover’s similar Depression-inducing policy in 1929.”

  54. Brilliance on Brilliance:

    "On her Website, Streisand chimed in last week on John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin, writing, “We are not that stupid.”

    She wrote, “I believe John McCain chose Gov. Palin because he truly believes that women who supported Hillary

    --- an experienced, brilliant, life-long public servant ---

    would vote for him because his Vice President has two x chromosomes.
    McCain’s selection of Governor Palin is a transparent and irresponsible decision all in the name of trying to win this election.

  55. Obama believes life begins when he becomes POTUS.

  56. Historically, Cosmic Cradle arrives in a friendly context of other frontier works celebrating unexpected feats of consciousness related to pregnancy and birth, including immediate predecessors 'Coming from the Light: Spiritual Accounts of Life Before Birth', and "Soul Trek: Meeting Our Children On The Way To Birth'. These books were the first to contain many first person accounts of infant-parent communications prior to conception and/or prior to birth. Books about one mother's experience of communication during pregnancy include "Diary of an Unborn Child: An Unborn Baby Speaks to its Mother' and 'Cheyenne: Jour to Birth'. Roy Mills has written about his extensive memries of life before conception in 'The Soul's Remembrance: Earth is not our Home'.

    Also in the same context of pregnancy and birth are works in the expanding field of prenatal and perinatal psychology, including
    The Secret Life Of The Unborn Child

    The Mind of Your Newborn Baby

    Your Amazing Newborn

    Remembering Your Life Before Birth

    Parenting Begins Before Conception: A Guide to Preparing Body, Mind and Spirit For Your Future Child

    An even larger context of supportive literature on human consciousness is, of course, the abundant research on near-death experiences so familiar to the readers of this Journal. I would add also the less familiar body or research on psychic phenomena, particularly telepathy, which helps to explain the remarkable effectiveness of prenatal and perinatal communications between infants and parents (for example, Szejer, 1997).

    The authors of Cosmic Cradle correctly sense the prime importance of neglected epochs of human development, including the exiled territories of perinatal psychology, prenatal psychology, and now preconception psychology, to which their volume promises to make such a distinctive contribution. Since 1980, in my own published papers, I have chronicled the rapid accumulation of scientific findings about the realitiesof life at birth, life before birth, and in recent years, life before conception--areas that after all this time are still mostly invisible in academic medicine and psychology. As a practicing clinican, however, I had a secret advantage: clients who were teaching me every day that these ateas were not outside the bounds of personal memory. Another advantage I had was the book Life After Life (Moody, 1975), given to me by a colleague as a Christmas present in 1976.

    (Everybody should read this book-bob)

    From this book I quickly realized the unpredicted cognitive power of persons having near-death expeeriences, far removed from their physical brains, matched exactly the unpredicted cognitive power of newborns and babies in the womb who, in hypnosis(that is after the person born and older of course) could tell me all about their experiences despite the pitiful status of their brains. This was when I began to think about the nedd for a large paradigm to explain babies and ourselves.

    Cosmic Cradle arrives at a time in the history of psychology when there may be a more favorable response to the type of research data that give the book its special clout: self report. Psychologists have not always agreed on the relative merits of different methods of research. At one exteme, at the beginning of the 20th century, academic psychology wanted above all to establish itself as a science; therefore the study of consciousness was sacrificed and the methods considered valid were experimental methods, preferably measuring with "brass instruments." Over time, the value of evidence obtained in clinical situations asserted itself and eventually found grudging acceptance besie the experimental method.

    (I recall this from an uncle of mine who was a psychologist-bob)

    A later arrival was the cautious appreciation of date offered by individuals in the form of self report, also known as 'anecdotal evidence'--a term often meant as a put down. These data are perhaps the most undervalued in psychology today, although they are often the leading edge of the field, anticipating realities that mya take a decade longer to formalize in experimental research. In my opinion, we should celebrate self report as indispensable and priceless in psychology. As a method, self report gains persuasive powet when repeated observations can be made--and enduring principle in science--and when many examples can be found, especially if they come from widely scattered regions and cultures over centuries of time--the unique advantage of cross cultural research.

    Cosmic Cradles principle data on the stratospheric heights of human memory, functioning(as claimed) before conception and therefore prior to the physical brain, could be a wake up call for psychology. (None of this would surprise Plato) However, these date challenge psychological theories of memory on a critical point: their complete dependence on brain matter. The common ground shared by pioneers in near death research, newborn cognition, prenatal inelligence, and preconception wisdom is that the farther reaches of memory are indifferent to the location and status of the physical brain. Moving backward from birth, memory is increasingly deprived of brain matter that is used to explain it. This materialistic foundation of memory, though it has seemed implausible in our contemporary scientific culture, is proving adequate to explain the most interesting and importand discoveries in consciousness research in the last century. We are being forced to articulate a large paradigm.

    With a title like Cosmic Cradle: Souls Waiting in the Wings for Birth, this book will not easily be recognized by search engines racing to add to a database in medicine or psychology. In this respect its appearance reminds me of the innocent way Dr. Raymond Moodys' Life After Life entered the world. Neither book fits in what we would now call the old paradigm of understanding human life as matter, particularily brain matter, and nothing more. With 20/20 hindsight, we should now be able to appreciate that both books contribute greatly to a new paradigm of the human mind and soul as consciousness vaulting well beyond the body/brain.

    Journal of Near Death Studies--Volume 20 Number 4 Summer 2002

    Thus are the culture wars fought on many fronts.

  57. and prosperous Ireland is at a mere 12.5 percent

    The Irish Miracle, Doug.

    No miracle really, more like common sense.

  58. Hey you brilliant economic minds, how should the US government raise the income it needs to balance the budget? Or are you keen on following the Bush policy of no tax - spend more?

  59. Extend FICA taxes to all earned income

    Hold SS cost of living adjustments to the CPI, not CPI+.

    Maintain current budget levels and committment, without increase, for all discresionary spending, for the next two, perhaps three budgeting cycles.

    A Spending Freeze.

    Reduce the capital gains tax rate to 20% to stimulate the economy.

    That'd be a start, ash.

  60. Didn't Hoover have a deficit, and wanted to cover it by raising taxes?

    Who's going to win the Canadian election, Ash?

  61. The long term capital gains tax could be cut even lower, to stimulate the economy.

    bob would sell his properties, if the tax bite were lower, to folk that would take a more active interest in those properties.

    Building, farming, manufacturing on any of the parcels bob would sell, if he did not feel the tax bite disproportionally high.

  62. How do you know Bob just sits on his ASSets, 'Rat?

  63. "If your opponents are looking for your destruction it's hard to sit across the table from them," but, he continued: "There are rarely purely ideological movements out there. We can encourage actors to think in practical and not ideological terms. We can strengthen those elements that are making practical calculations."

    Obama Stands Up For Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran

    There are rarely purely ideological movements out there.

  64. Palin put in a really good debate running for governor, I read. Beat the old boy that had been around for years. I'm worried about the debate, but she'll probably come through ok. She seems to have a high percentage of ice water in her veins, from what I can see.

  65. Bobal, I liked your piece on pre-born intelligence. Check out Luke 1:44 and the story around it. The Bible says (in so many words) that an unborn baby at 6 months can respond to good news (or bad, I guess). Great story about John the Baptist.

  66. I think that's available on the net somewhere.

  67. That's true Rat. What I've done is 1031 tax exchanges to keep from getting robbed. I'd like to actually see some money before I die.

    If 12.5% corporate tax rate did wonders for Ireland, maybe we ought to ease ours down over 5 or 7 years and see what happens.

  68. The Muslim fundies are the worst of the bunch but that doesn't justify what the christian or jewish fundies do, or want to do.

    Which is what, exactly?

  69. I take The Journal of Near Death Studies, gag. Always good reads, every time. They also give equal, or nearly equal, time to contrary opinions.

  70. I have had a wonderful time in the last week or so watching the left wingers panic regarding the McCain Palin ticket.

    It is a great time to be alive.

  71. Someone on BC is always saying corporations don't pay taxes, passing them on to the comsumer, which may be true in a more or less monopoly situation, but not otherwise, I'd think.

    But, I'm sure no economist, except in my own little realm, where I know what's worked.

  72. It's been a gas for most of us. Sarahcuda, as Doug calls her.

  73. Culture was on the energy front--
    Damned Snake River Alliance has sued Idaho's Energy Alliance. We need a emergency energy bill from Congress to stifle this stuff.

    Renewable energy relies on exporting power September 2, 2008
    Posted by cleanidahoenergy in Energy policy.

    One of our opponents’ main approaches has been to criticize the likelihood that the Idaho Energy Complex will ship its power to neighboring states. They argue that we should instead put all our eggs in the renewables basket and, presumably, that power would stay in Idaho.

    Our opponents are undercutting their own arguments and I think they know it. According to an Aug. 30 story in the Idaho Statesman, renewable energy can only become a significant contributor to our national power supply if we export it between states. The story, sent by the New York Times News Service, talks about the $320 million Maple Ridge Wind farm in upstate New York, which has to shut down even when winds are blowing because there aren’t enough transmission lines to send the power to buyers.

    “The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not,” according to the story. Also, making renewables significant contributors “would require moving large amounts of power over long distances, from the windy, lightly populated plains in the middle of the country to the coasts where many people live. Builders are also contemplating immense solar-power stations in the nation’s desert that would pose the same transmission problems.”

    Our current national power system has about 200,000 miles of lines divided among 500 owners – it is more like a cobbled-together collection of streets, alleys and roads. The Energy Department has a plan for a 2,100-mile high-voltage backbone to whisk energy between states that sell it and states and buy it. But expanding the grid is painfully slow, with state governments, landowners and environmental groups fighting expansion every step of the way. According to the story, power generation is growing four times faster than transmission ability.

    Even if we built the transmission lines, what would people in the Plains states feel about millions of acres covered with 400-foot turbines, exporting all that power to the East Coast? What would people in Arizona think about hundreds of thousands of acres covered solar panels, with all that power going to the Intermountain West?

    At some point, our common interests as Americans will need to prevail – for our prosperity, even our national survival. Regardless of where we live, we all want economic growth and clean, affordable, reliable energy. We have no problems selling our food, timber, computer chips and minerals out of state. When we can view energy in the same way, we will have taken a big step toward securing our economy and our future survival.
    Words of support August 29, 2008
    Posted by cleanidahoenergy in Snake River Alliance.
    Tags: Add new tag
    1 comment so far

    Since news of the Snake River Alliance lawsuit has hit the local, national and international media, I’ve received many supportive emails:

    “Keep up the fight. I invested and I still believe. In a few years I hope I’ll be helping you build the Idaho Energy Center. The west needs more nukes!”

    “It’s great to see a corporation standing up for itself as well as its investors. More power to you and thank you.”

    “Thanks for standing up to these ‘folks.’”


    Many people have also called or mentioned to me their satisfaction in knowing we have sued the SRA for defamation. Even other bloggers have mentioned the “over-the-top rhetoric” of the SRA (although there’s a difference between over-the-top and actually defaming someone, which our suit will demonstrate).

    The EnviroPoliticsBlog asks us to consider that

    “…maybe the environmental Davids have gone overboard in using a compliant media to slay corporate Goliaths. Maybe the tactics that win you easy headlines - hyperbole, half-truths and sometimes outright inaccuracies – are beginning to take their toll on the environmental movement’s credibility.”

    From another perspective, it’s unfortunate it came to this. Environmentalists who work within the system have a long tradition of making our country better in many ways, by cleaning our water and air, protecting wildlife and promoting stewardship of natural resources. The resurgence of support among environmentalists for nuclear power is a clear sign they balance economic and environmental concerns, as only nuclear power can safely produce a plentiful supply of reliable, affordable base-load power with zero carbon emissions. In particular, Patrick Moore exemplifies the enlightened thinking prevalent among reputable, mainstream environmental groups regarding nuclear power. Moore, with decades of work in the environmental movement, is one of the founders of Greenpeace.

    Other groups, however, simply exist to obstruct and oppose and are out of the mainstream. The closest they will come to supporting anything (such as renewable energy) is to merely withhold opposition. Even these groups have free speech rights, however misinformed they may be. Those rights end, however, when they compare a legitimate business to “scammers.”
    Standing up for what’s right August 25, 2008
    Posted by cleanidahoenergy in Snake River Alliance.
    Tags: Add new tag, civility, defamation, Snake River Alliance, stockholders
    add a comment

    I’ve been asked a few times why we’re suing the Snake River Alliance, an anti-nuclear group. In an Aug. 11 story broadcast on KTVB Channel 7 and on, Andrea Shipley, their executive director, accused our company of being “scammers.”

    No one takes on a job like building a nuclear plant because they’re looking for an easy path. We expect opposition, questions and even occasional ignorance and rudeness. But regardless of how you feel about nuclear energy, comparing a law-abiding enterprise to a fraudulent activity is beyond the pale and we must confront it. We have passed two SEC-required independent financial audits in our short history and if anything were even slightly amiss, we’d have heard about it from sources far more knowledgeable than the Snake River Alliance.

    Shipley’s statements also insult investors – many of whom are Idahoans - and appear to be intended to reduce the value of their stock and defame them as well. The comments are especially offensive because the AEHI board consists of men who individually have 30 to 40 years of experience in the nuclear industry, including former senior executives, military officers and government officials who have received Presidential decoration. Investors, officers, directors and company consultants may individually take legal action against the Snake River Alliance as a result of these damaging remarks.

    The statements are an outrage against these fine men who, in their retirement, are working without compensation to help the nation meet its energy needs. Our board, our team and our investors deserve better than for Andrea Shipley to compare them to criminals.”

    Damages will take some effort to calculate as they will be tied to, among other things, the number of potential investors who heard the story and see it online and decide not to invest for that reason. For a start-up company that depends on investors and lenders, comments like this could be a death blow – certainly we believe they were made with that intent. These groups are allowed to make almost any claim they wish, regardless of the facts, and the media rarely question them. Someone has to hold them accountable.

    Idaho law does not allow AEHI to specify its damages in the lawsuit, which says only that the damages exceed the minimum threshold to be heard in District Court. AEHI will ask for a judge or jury to determine the specific damages. The suit also asks the Snake River Alliance to immediately retract the statement and that the court order the SRA to refrain from making similar comments in the future.

    Our critics might claim we are trying to stifle public debate and silence our opposition, but the truth is just the opposite. A robust public debate can only occur when all sides respect the boundary between civility and defamation. Comparing people to criminals simply because you disagree with them violates that boundary and we are giving the SRA an opportunity to do the right thing and retract their defamatory comments.

  74. bobal

    As you probably know, I mostly lurk from 30 thousand feet here at the EB. I travel and I'm not always able to come in for a drink.

    I can tell you the people I see in my little section of Heartland and most of the folks I meet around the country feel the same as I about Sarahcuda and McCain.

    I think covertly, the best ally McCain has right now is Hillary. She wants Obama to lose. She is out for 8 years if he wins. If he loses, she can rant for 4 years how the Dems made a mistake.

  75. "Someone on BC is always saying corporations don't pay taxes, passing them on to the comsumer, which may be true in a more or less monopoly situation, but not otherwise, I'd think"
    Amazing how we can be both genius and the village idiot, ain't it?
    ...but I just say we cause it's lonely in idiotville.
    But even *I* know better than that.

  76. "I take The Journal of Near Death Studies, gag"

    Gag, is right.
    I just don't know.

  77. Hillary was 'on vacation' when the call for help came from Obama, and her spokeswoman said, she'll help all she can, but has a really busy schedule this fall, stumping for candidates for Congress, but will do what she can, promise, promise. I was laughing so loud my wife wondered if I was ok.

  78. Fat Jack Falstaff had visions of meadows when he died, Doug.

    Goin' to Arthur's bosom, which the lady mistakes for Abraham's bosom--

    for after I saw him fumble with the sheets and play with flowers and smile upon his fingers' ends, I knew there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and a' babbled of green fields. 'How now, Sir John!' quoth I; 'what, man! be o' good cheer.' So a' cried out 'God, God, God!' three or four times.


  79. 'Rat's link:

    The always embarassing Joe:

    YouTube - Biden on Debating Gov. Palin

    "Deadly Errious"

    That hair is pornographic.

  80. Faces in the Crowd:

    "We're FUCKED!"

  81. An interesting slide show to accompany Warren on "Lawyers Guns and Money"

  82. Bobal: Hillary was 'on vacation' when the call for help came from Obama, and her spokeswoman said, she'll help all she can

    I did hear Hillary's new attack on the radio news at the top of the hour. Instead of saying, "No how, no way, no McCain," she now says, "No how, no way, no McCain, no Palin!"

    That'll show her.


    "White women have moved from 50-42 percent in Obama's favor before the conventions to 53-41 percent for McCain now, a 20-point shift,'' ABC reports today.

    I guess McCain better start cranking out more "Bros Before Hoes" t-shirts to make up the shortfall.

  83. Oprah continues to show her 'post-racial consciousness' by putting off Palin, cause she knows if she let's her on, election's over.

  84. This comment has been removed by the author.

  85. That's okay, Bobal, it says on Drudge that Sarah has allowed Charlie Gibson to interview her for two straight days, nothing off limits.

  86. That hair is pornographic.
    He sounds like he's not getting enough oxygen to the brain. I'm serious. I don't think he's got another 4 years in him.

  87. bobal asked about the canadian election.

    My take after two official days of campaigning is the Conservatives are a shoo in for a minority government which would be classed as a loss because that's where they are at now. They've got a shot at getting majority status if for no other reason the Liberals have come out of the gate stumbling - their leader has the charisma of a limp noodle that doesn't speak english very well. The conservative leader has the image of a control freak automaton. The smart money says not much change will have occurred afer the election compared to now i.e. 5 seats will change hands. It is early though and the conservatives are trying to prevent their individual MP's from speaking to the press while the liberals are looking like...wimp noodles. The Greens and NDP, well, they howl at the moon to little effect.

    stay tuned...

  88. Bobal: Amazing figures, T.

    I know we womenfolk are cheap and shallow, bobal, we'll vote for somebody on the ticket just because they wear a skirt. Boy, it's a good thing Rudy Giulini didn't make it this far.

  89. The conservative leader has the image of a control freak automaton.
    I really don't see how you came with that characterization. Harper is a thoughtful and deliberate person. The conservatives will do well.

  90. "Lebanon is a quaint, small town with a lot of history," said Laura Ferguson, who works at the Heritage House shop nearby. "Many presidents have come here before and I think that candidates want to follow in those footsteps.

    And, having the Golden Lamb as a backdrop? Well, it's a great setting for something like this, isn't it?"

    But the city wasn't chosen for its history.

    McCain/Palin Visit

  91. RCP's got Obama +8 in delegates.

  92. View a live webcast of the LHC attempting to form its first particle beam at 4 a.m. Eastern Time Sept. 10, 2008 here.

  93. Can you believe it, Alaska may send that crook Stevens, old as he is, back to the Senate--

    General Election Matchup

  94. Hasn't been to court yet. We'll have a US Senator sitting in jail:)

    Obama, struggling in the United States, sew up the United Nations' Vote

    Takes one to love one.

  95. Have we ever had a US Senator die in jail?

  96. We're not alone, just part of about 25 galaxies known as the Local Group

  97. The ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage in Florida continues to be in trouble, a new poll released Monday by Quinnipiac University found, so promoters are now pinning their hopes on presidential politics to push them over the top. The poll found Florida voters support the same-sex marriage ban by 55-41 percent, but that falls short of the 60 percent needed to become law.


    Meanwhile, Obama will draw black voters ''who know and understand this issue,'' said John Stemberger, president and general counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council, which is promoting the Yeson2 campaign.


    ''The 55 percent level of support for the same-sex marriage ban is a bit surprising given that similar amendments have passed in a dozen states,'' said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Connecticut-based Quinnipiac Polling Institute. ``But backers have eight weeks to close that five-point gap by changing some minds and winning over undecided voters.''

    Falling Short

  98. Top 3 best cities for singles:

    1. Atlanta
    2. San Francisco
    3. Dallas


  99. Bobal, the Local Group is a satellite of the Vega Supercluster, 35 million light-years away. Just so you know where we are.

  100. If I were McCain, I’d make the divided government argument explicit. The Republicans are intellectually unfit to govern right now, but balancing with Democrats, they might be able to do some good.

    I’d have McCain tell the country that he looks forward to working with Congressional Democrats, that he is confident they can achieve great things together.

    The candidates probably won’t take this kind of advice. But remember: Weirdness wins.

    Surprise Me Most

  101. Thanks, T., always helps to know the way home. There's something out there called The Great Attractor mother of all cluster clustering clusters.

    Sometimes I fell like I just need to nestle in mama's arms.

  102. The president also did not specifically mention Washington's more aggressive moves of late in Pakistan. He portrayed U.S. intentions as only to "help the government of Pakistan defeat Taliban and al-Qaida fighters hiding in remote border regions."

    U.S. officials are pressing Pakistan to crack down on places from which insurgents stage attacks on American and NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan.

    A highly unusual U.S.-led ground assault last week in the South Waziristan region of Pakistan was said to have killed about 15 people and prompted loud protests from Islamabad — even threats of a military response to any repeat — but no public regrets from Washington.

    Agressive in Pakistan

  103. Israeli Strategy After the Russo-Georgian War--Sratfor

    Says they weren't there planning anything on Iran, but to help contain Russia. Says Israel worries about Iran, and even more, a new Russian effort with Egypt.

  104. Satire too is part of the cultural wars--

    Young Obama Wanted to Join Army, Hunt Moose

    by Scott Ott for ScrappleFace

    (2008-09-07) — Sen. Barack Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopolous on Sunday that he considered joining the military when he left high school in 1979, but declined when he learned that the Vietnam War had ended some four years earlier, and that the first Persian Gulf War wouldn’t start for another 11 years.

    Sen. Obama’s opponent, Sen. John McCain was shot down, captured, and repeatedly tortured in Vietnam during more than five years as a prisoner of war, much of that in solitary confinement.

    The Democrat presidential nominee, in a surprising revelation not mentioned in either of his two memoirs, said, “I actually always thought of the military as an ennobling and, you know, honorable option, but since we weren’t at war, I thought, why bother getting ennobled if you can’t run through a hail of hot lead, or charge up a hill with a bayonet between your clenched teeth and plant Old Glory on the summit?”

    The Illinois Democrat said he realized even in high school that peace-time military service “wouldn’t make a big difference on the resume” so he decided to become a community organizer in poor neighborhoods of Chicago, which at the time, was the closest he could get to Vietnam.

    Sen. Obama told Mr. Stephanopolous that he had also considered being an Alaskan commercial fisherman and moose hunter, like Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, because “I liked the idea of being a bold adventurer on the American frontier, killing my own food and surviving the harsh elements.”

    Instead, young Mr. Obama decided to pursue a law degree, because it was “as close as I could get to having bloody entrails on my hands.”

  105. And for deuce--

    Reid Probe: Who Outed MSNBC’s Olbermann, Matthews?

    by Scott Ott for ScrappleFace

    (2008-09-08) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, today called for a full investigation into who outed MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, after the two lost their jobs as anchors of the news network’s election coverage.

    Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Matthews have been consigned to commentary roles in the wake of what NBC News officials saw as their incendiary attacks on Republicans and sycophantic cheerleading for Democrats while they served as “news anchors” during the recent party conventions.

    Sen. Reid, in calling for the probe, suggested that officials in the Bush administration had “pulled another Valerie Plame trick” in the unmasking of two more “covert agents.”

    “Not only does the outing of Olbermann and Matthews take them off the front lines, where they had been working to keep our democracy safe,” said Sen. Reid, “but now that their cover is blown, other covert agents in the mainstream media have to constantly look over their shoulders. A chill wind is blowing across our land.”

  106. Bob,

    8 Joe Blog
    Feb 14th, 2006 at 4:39 am

    I am an ex-stratfor employee. Although much of Stratfor’s work is indeed accurate and at the very least, provocactive, there is one major concern I had which is a big part of why I left Stratfor. Dr. Friedman is losing his mind. He has gotten very caught up in his sources and losing sight of open source intelligence. This would be a good thing if, and only if, these sources exist. Rather, I think Dr. Friedman is a has been who truly believes he is the most intelligent geopolitical analyst, does not have credible sources (that you or I couldn’t have access to) and spins the analysis to make it sound like he is on the cutting edge of intelligence gathering. Dr. Friedman needs to take a back seat to his more interesting analysts like Mr. Baker and go sip sangrias on the beach and continue to go crazy.

    From Is Stratfor Credible, Seeker Blog, in which Steve Darden attempts to assess Stratfor's creds.

    I don't have a dog in that fight, but have to admit Stratfor's estimates often don't sit comfortably with me.

  107. Linear, the only thing I really know, or used to know, is wheat farming, other than that, I'm just an observer.

    Sure do like that Sarahcuda.

  108. I'm just an observer.

    Same here...more or less.

    Good night, Bob