“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, November 11, 2008

From Boys to Men


  1. This Veteran's Day I remember....

    Those who served

    Those who died

    So we may be free....

    With that spirit of Love for America I say

    G-d help us in the next 4 years.

  2. Lots of black faces in that video.

    But I've read from one of our Bar mates that they do not represent the "real" America.

    That they cannot stand on their own, let alone carry a wounded white man to the aid station.

    But then again, maybe they are the "Real" McCoy. And those that deride them, not.


    go here and do something of worth

  4. I just sent 17,000 people a link to Soldier's Angels / Project Valour IT

    This specific project gives voice activated laptops to our wounded troops who lost arms and hands in service to our nation...

    There are links on this site to many other GREAT groups who support our troops.....

  5. ‘Intellectuals’ by Thomas Sowell

    Historian Michael Beschloss, among others, has noted that Stevenson “could go quite happily for months or years without picking up a book.” But Stevenson had the airs of an intellectual — the form, rather than the substance.

    What is more telling, form was enough to impress the intellectuals, not only then but even now, years after the facts have been revealed, though apparently not to Mr. Kristof.

    That is one of many reasons why intellectuals are not taken as seriously by others as they take themselves.

    As for reading the classics, President Harry Truman, whom no one thought of as an intellectual, was a voracious reader of heavyweight stuff like Thucydides and read Cicero in the original Latin. When Chief Justice Carl Vinson quoted in Latin, Truman was able to correct him.

    Yet intellectuals tended to think of the unpretentious and plain-spoken Truman as little more than a country bumpkin.
    History fully vindicates the late William F. Buckley’s view that he would rather be ruled by people represented by the first 100 names in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard.

    How have intellectuals managed to be so wrong, so often? By thinking that because they are knowledgeable — or even expert — within some narrow band out of the vast spectrum of human concerns, that makes them wise guides to the masses and to the rulers of the nation.

    But the ignorance of Ph.D.s is still ignorance and high-IQ groupthink is still groupthink, which is the antithesis of real thinking.

  6. WIO,
    Dennis Miller is a big backer of Soldier's Angels.

  7. I think what I said there Rat was the black crime rate was awfully high, which it is, and that something around 70% of their kids grow up without fathers around. LIke our new President.

  8. You have to go seaching to find a black dad actually being a father, these days.

    Bill Cosby said it first.

    He's not white.

    Bill Cosby came by Washington State University with his "Moses" act long ago. I had the good fortune to catch it, back before he was a superstar.

    He was good.

    Just the truth, from what the sociologists tell us.

    I don't know how to solve this problem.

    Throw more money at it, I quess.

  9. She IS a respectable woman, bob. She is, and I'm glad you said so.

    Maybe you can persuade mat of it.

    Might be a worthwhile project.

  10. FWIW:

    Dennis Miller is a National Spokesman for USA Cares.

  11. I'm a racist for pointing it out.

    But, the fact remains, my wife would be afraid to walk through many of those neighborhoods.

    You can't talk about a problem by sweeping it under the bed.

    I still remember how my sister was taunted by some black kids, there in Oakland, California when she was walking to work at the hospital.

    Let them clean up their own neighborhoods, act like gentlemen.

    Let them--o, the horror!--compete equally, without affirmative action.

    I read on the Post Office board, "No discrimination due to race color or creed."

    But our Supreme Court has said, affirmative action from now till the end of time.

    Let them all compete equally.

    It's not my fault.

  12. Why should anyone be afraid to walk through a neighborhood?

  13. Guys like

    Clarence Thomas

    Bill Cosby

    Thomas Sowell

    Reverend Manning

    say the very thing I am saying.

    In fact, I get it from them.

  14. This is Veterans Day.

    Can't we stop squabbling for one thread?

  15. 70% of black kids grow up without a father.

    That's a hell of a statistic.

  16. Yes, I'll stop squabbling.

    But, Rat started it again, with his little kick there at the start.

    I honor the Veterans.

    I wish I was one.

  17. The struggling auto industry was thrust into the middle of a political standoff between the White House and Democrats on Monday as President-elect Barack Obama urged President Bush in a meeting at the White House to support immediate emergency aid.

    Mr. Bush indicated at the meeting that he might support some aid and a broader economic stimulus package if Mr. Obama and Congressional Democrats dropped their opposition to a free-trade agreement with Colombia, a measure for which Mr. Bush has long fought, people familiar with the discussion said.

    The Bush administration, which has presided over a major intervention in the financial industry, has balked at allowing the automakers to tap into the $700 billion bailout fund, despite warnings last week that General Motors might not survive the year.

    Mr. Obama and Congressional Democratic leaders say the bailout law authorizes the administration to extend assistance.

    Mr. Obama went into his post-election meeting with Mr. Bush on Monday primed to urge him to support emergency aid to the auto industry, advisers to Mr. Obama said. But Democrats also indicate that neither Mr. Obama nor Congressional leaders are inclined to concede the Colombia pact to Mr. Bush, and may decide to wait until Mr. Obama assumes power on Jan. 20.

    There is some debate as to whether the FTA is simply being held hostage in a political grudge match, in which case it will pass sometime after inauguration - or if the poor thing is dead, victim to the to the toxic combination of Democrats-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see and a recession-related free trade backlash. I hope it's the former; I have my doubts.

  18. One of the saddest things that happened around here, was a guy I grew up with, his father was a doctor, and he was a small but very bright guy. He was a U-2 pilot, and married. Then one day he tried to help a lady whose car had broken down on the highway, and as luck, or fate, would have it, he got hit by a car. He had some real brain damage, but was still more or less functional, but really not, if you know what I mean. His wife left him, he turned into an alcoholic, the last I saw him he was at a bar, drinking, not making any sense. I don't know how to make any sense of a story like this. He was a great guy, and got clobbered when trying to help someone out. Explain this to me, please. A great guy, that came to a sad end, through no fault of his own, in fact, for being a nice guy, he came to a sad end.

  19. Free the Free Trade Agreement!

    I'm going to make bumper stickers.

  20. American workers can't afford to work for free trish. I think you need to overcome that objection to get the free trade ball rolling again.

  21. Mr. Obama and Congressional Democratic leaders say the bailout law authorizes the administration to extend assistance.

    Hmm...I believe I read/heard something similar to that from Democrats after 9/11 but before the invasion of Iraq.

  22. It's the 'grave and constant' in human life, I quess.


  23. I think the general conception these days of free trade is that Company X will locate where the cost are the least. Those folks in China and India and Mexico and...just about everywhere else in the world, will work for less then Americans feel they DESERVE to be paid (gotta pay health car premiums dontch know, and the gas subsidy for the Jihadi is a killer) and those oligarch grubs on wall street still make a buck anyway so, ala Lady Liberty is a Whore Mat, FSCK free trade.

  24. I don't know, Sam.

    We used to 'fish for bats' together.

    He lived a few doors up from me.

    We used to get fly rods, and cast into the air, when night was coming on.

    We caught a few that way, too!

  25. I'm not being flippant when I say that bad things happen to good people, bob. Didn't somebody write a bestseller along those lines?

    It's a terrible bug in the system.

  26. It's a hell of a bug, but the only thing I can figure is there is something more that makes it all worth it.

    That's what all that literature about death, and near death, tells me.

    That's why I read it days on end, to cheer me up.

    I'll continue talking to Mat about these things.

    One or the other of us is right about these things, but I'm not sure which one, yet.

    But I'll know soon, one way or the other:)

    Or, I won't know at all.

  27. A Holocaust survivor told a story, in the documentary film Shoah, about her liberation from a concentration camp in Germany. The guards had fled and the handful of survivors who were ambulatory gathered at the fence. An American soldier, a large, muscular black man - she had never even seen a black man before - approached the perimeter and saw these poor souls, emaciated and with sunken eyes. He fell on his knees and wept. She said it was the most poignantly ironic moment, when she and her fellow survivors found themselves comforting their liberator, almost begging him not to cry.

    I'll never forget that story.

  28. hey, we all die eventually and you'll find out then. No sense rushing it.

  29. Well, we're all human. We have that in common.

    That's why we keep talking among ourselves, with all our differences.

    Nobody really knows what the hell is going on.

    We're all in it together.

  30. "These aggressive new powers also embraced race theories that trumpeted the natural superiority of some ethnic groups. Earlier imperial powers had accepted miscegenation and the resulting racial melting pots as a natural characteristic of empire, but the supposedly scientific racism demanded an end to such mixing. Brutal conquest, ethnic cleansing and even genocide were more easily inflicted on so-called subhumans. Such racist thinking was prevalent in the first three decades of the 20th century, and as a result attacks against minorities occurred throughout the unstable, racially mixed communities of Eastern and Central Europe. In short, the stage was set for the Nazis' eradication of Jews, other minorities and the mentally impaired. The evil novelty of the German campaign was the industrialization of genocide in killing factories.

    In Germany, assimilation's protective covering was torn away by the Nazi belief that the mixing of blood degraded the master race. "Hitler's determination to exclude Jews from the Volksgemeinschaft [the Nazi term for a racially pure community] meant identifying and persecuting a tiny minority that was inextricably interwoven into the fabric of German society," Ferguson writes. "And that may be the crucial point. Perhaps the anti-Semitism of the Nazis is best understood as a reaction to the very success of German-Jewish assimilation."

  31. Apropos and long one of my favorites:


    And what sort of soldiers are those you are to lead? Are they reliable? Are they brave? Are they capable of victory? Their story is known to all of you. It is the story of the American man-at-arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefield many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then as I regard him now -- as one of the world's noblest figures, not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless. His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give.

    He needs no eulogy from me or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy's breast. But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom. He belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements. In 20 campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people. From one end of the world to the other he has drained deep the chalice of courage.

    As I listened to those songs [of the glee club], in memory's eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs, on many a weary march from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle-deep through the mire of shell-shocked roads, to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God.

    I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always, for them: Duty, Honor, Country; always their blood and sweat and tears, as we sought the way and the light and the truth.

    And 20 years after, on the other side of the globe, again the filth of murky foxholes, the stench of ghostly trenches, the slime of dripping dugouts; those boiling suns of relentless heat, those torrential rains of devastating storms; the loneliness and utter desolation of jungle trails; the bitterness of long separation from those they loved and cherished; the deadly pestilence of tropical disease; the horror of stricken areas of war; their resolute and determined defense, their swift and sure attack, their indomitable purpose, their complete and decisive victory -- always victory. Always through the bloody haze of their last reverberating shot, the vision of gaunt, ghastly men reverently following your password of: Duty, Honor, Country.

    The code which those words perpetuate embraces the highest moral laws and will stand the test of any ethics or philosophies ever promulgated for the uplift of mankind. Its requirements are for the things that are right, and its restraints are from the things that are wrong.

    The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training -- sacrifice.

    In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when he created man in his own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of the Divine help which alone can sustain him.

    However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country is the noblest development of mankind.


  32. I'm nearly convinced though, that some of these stories told by the nearly dead are true.

    Some of them are so authentic, they just ring true.

    The idea that the human spirit is manifest through the body, but doesn't depend on the body for anything other than experience, that's a great idea.

  33. but then look at how you experience the world when you are ill, or drunk. Your 'body' has much influence on your 'spirit'.

  34. Could be, bob. Could be. Sure could make up for some awful suffering in the world.

  35. i have a brain or i am a brain. both have their good points.

  36. Jeez, we need something jaunty.

    Someone play the Gary Owen song.

  37. Even better. I listened to this every Sunday growing up, along with Ballad of the Green Berets. Didn't everyone?

  38. I'll never forget that story.

    Ashley was snacking on sunflower seeds. And that about sums up Ashley.

  39. Blood on the Riser

    Glory, glory what a hell of a way to die.

  40. He ain't gonna jump no more.

  41. It's Gory, Gory.

    As a kid, though, I thought it was Glory, Glory, too.

  42. Yes, I noticed that too late.

  43. Meuse-Argonne Military Cemetery

    From WWI, the largest military cemetery in Europe.

  44. Luxembourg's is heartbreakingly beautiful. And something of a pilgrimage for Patton admirers.

  45. but then look at how you experience the world when you are ill, or drunk. Your 'body' has much influence on your 'spirit'.

    Yes, that's true. In the normal day to day.

    But what all the literature I have been reading says--and these guys and gals aren't democrats or republicans, or black or white--is that there comes a point when the body is totally given up, and then something really unexpected occurs.

    It occurs with Alzheimer's patients, for instance, as they sometimes 'light up' right at the moment of death. It occurs with so many people at the time of death--it occured with my aunt, I was there--that one starts to think something else might be going on, that we haven't got this figured out yet.

    The body influences the mind, no doubt.

    But we are not talking about the mind. We are talking about the spirit.

    Spirit and mind are two different things.

    The Hindus have had this down cold, for centuries.

    Arthur Avalon, an English judge in India, wrote really good books about this, that explained it to me.

    (I think:) )

  46. The spirit and the mind are two different things. Not the same.

    It's just that 'we think' they are, until we experience differently.

    When we 'wake up'.

  47. You remember the tale of 'Sleeping Beauty'.

    When the Prince comes....

    There is some deep meaning in this.

  48. It's the old tale of the 'hero', who goes, from his castle or his shack, parting from society, out there in the bleak, to have an adventure, where he finds, at the bottom of the sea, or on a high mountain, the boon, the watercress of immortality, which then, if he is a good guy, he brings back and tries to share with society.

    Or, he might just say the hell with society, they are lost.

    In which case, you will not notice him, at the barber shop, or the meat market, or walking down the highway of life.

    An old old tale.

    Sometimes the guy gets crucified.

    Sometimes you never hear from him.

  49. And what we have with Obama is a false rendition of this long lasting tale.

  50. But then, my wife voted illegally in Ohio, I don't pay my taxes, and I'm a fraud.

  51. BBC Dramatization:
    The Somme: From Defeat to Victory.

    Part One
    Part Two
    Part Three

  52. Not a fraud, bob, just lacking an intellectal base, take it from a farce.

  53. I take that as a compliment:)

    (I think)

  54. Does everyone who wants to vote in Ohio have to be registered to vote here?

    What are the qualifications to register and to vote in Ohio?

    You are qualified to register to vote in Ohio if you meet all the following requirements:

    1. You are a citizen of the United States;
    2. You will be at least 18 years old on or before the day of the general election. (If you will be 18 on or before November 4, you may vote in the primary election for candidates, but you cannot vote on issues until you are 18);
    3. You will be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election in which you want to vote;
    4. You are not incarcerated (in prison or jail) for a felony conviction under the laws of this state, another state or the United States;
    5. You have not been declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court; and
    6. You have not been permanently disenfranchised for violations of the election laws.

    You are eligible to vote in elections held in your voting precinct more than 30 consecutive days after you are duly registered to vote in this state.


    Section 34-107, Idaho Code, defines residence for voting purposes:

    (1) "Residence," for voting purposes, shall be the principal or primary home or place of abode of a person. Principal or primary home or place of abode is that home or place in which his habitation is fixed and to which a person, whenever he is absent, has the present intention of returning after a departure or absence therefrom, regardless of the duration of absence.

    (2) In determining what is a principal or primary place of abode of a person the following circumstances relating to such person may be taken into account business pursuits, employment, income sources, residence for income or other tax pursuits, residence of parents, spouse, and children, if any, leaseholds, situs of personal and real property, situs of residence for which the exemption in section 63-602G, Idaho Code, is filed, and motor vehicle registration.

    (3) A qualified elector who has left his home and gone into another state or territory or county of this state for a temporary purpose only shall not be considered to have lost his residence.

    (4) A qualified elector shall not be considered to have gained a residence in any county or city of this state into which he comes for temporary purposes only, without the intention of making it his home but with the intention of leaving it when he has accomplished the purpose that brought him there.

    (5) If a qualified elector moves to another state, or to any of the other territories, with the intention of making it his permanent home, he shall be considered to have lost his residence in this state.

    This section in essence sets forth the concept of domicile ie. principal or primary home or place of abode of a person.

    Idaho courts have held that “ for a change of domicile to occur, the fact of physical presence at a dwelling place and the intention to make it a home must concur and when such domicile is established, it persists until another is legally acquired. Kirkpatrick v. Transtector Systems 114 Id. 559.


    How is voting residence determined?

    Residence is that place where the person has established a fixed and principal home to which the person, whenever temporarily absent, intends to return.

    * Under this definition, residence is something that a person establishes, not something a person chooses.
    * While the definition includes the person's "intent to return" to a residence, it makes it clear that the residence must in fact exist, and the person must have established it as a fixed and principal home.
    * The law does not define "fixed" or "principal" or "home".
    * In most cases, a person has only one place where he or she resides, making residency an easy factor for the registrar to determine. However, determining residency becomes more difficult when a person owns or rents a dwelling in more than one municipality.
    * The registrar may consider the following factors (as set forth in section 112) in determining whether a person has established and maintains a voting residence in the municipality:
    o A direct statement of intention by the person pursuant to section 121.1 (an "oath");
    o The location of any dwelling currently occupied by the person;
    o The place where any motor vehicle owned by the person is registered;
    o The residence address, not a post office box, shown on a current income tax return;
    o The residence address, not a post office box, where the person receives mail;
    o The residence address, not a post office box, shown on any motor vehicle operator's license the person holds;
    o The receipt of any public benefit conditioned upon residency, defined substantially as provided in this subsection; or
    o Any other objective facts tending to indicate a person's place of residence.
    * No one may register to vote in more than one place at the same time. When completing a voter registration application, the voter must provide an address for previous registration, or if never registered to vote in another jurisdiction, must write "none" in the space provided.

  55. A Federal Judge ruled that's a park bench, Ash.

    Give it up.

    My wife called to see if she could vote, and they said yes, so she did.

    But I would mail you some of my books, you and Rat, if you'd take them.

    Which you won't.

  56. You seem clearer of mind today Bobal. Are you still supporting and agreeing with "Lady Liberty is a Whore Mətušélaḥ" that it would be a good idea for you to get as much cash credit from the bank as possible and then declare bankruptcy as you leave to go to Israel?

  57. They checked her out, found that she was a legal voter, and sent her an absentee ballot in the mail, which she filled out, and mailed back.

    ACORN had nothing to do with it.

    If you guys don't have anything better to rap on.....

  58. Did she conform to the residency requirements or just tell them that she did? There is a difference.

  59. it would be a good idea for you to get as much cash credit from the bank as possible and then declare bankruptcy as you leave to go to Israel?

    Give it up Ash.

    It might be a damned good idea, to get away from you, a man without a sense of humor.

    I thought this was to be a day to celebrate the Veterans.

    I'm going back to bed.

  60. She called, she asked, they said yes.

    Don't you assholes have anything better to do?

  61. Well, I tried whit.

    It just isn't worth it.

  62. Whit has asked that on this one day we all abstain from obnoxious and tormenting behavior.

    If I can do it, you can, too, ash.

  63. Voices from the past:

    Young boy smiling: My tank did relatively poorly compared to the rest of the company. My tank killed only 15 of their tanks. Saturday eve we counted their tanks. I stopped counting after 80.

  64. From one veteran to all the other'uns, happy Veteran's day and thanks for making this the Land of the Free, as a consequence of being the Home of the Brave!

  65. There is a sub-class in England that is truly the worst of the worst:

    Couple arrested for 'having sex' on crowded train
    Last updated at 10:48 AM on 11th November 2008

    "A couple have been arrested for allegedly having sex in a crowded train carriage.

    Other passengers en route from Liverpool to London appear to have sat in embarrassed silence as the 41-year-old woman allegedly committed a sex act on her male partner.

    The pair were arrested by police on arrival at Euston station. Officers are believed to have been called after a guard on the Virgin intercity train spotted the couple on CCTV.

    Businessman Gregory Sim, 49, has been charged with unacceptable behaviour while the unnamed woman, from Essex, has been bailed while inquiries continue.

    A spokesman for British Transport Police said the session took place on Wednesday, October 22, at 2.45pm.

    'The man, Gregory Sim, from Richmond, Surrey, has been charged with unacceptable behaviour on a train and is due to appear at City of Westminster magistrates on November 16,' he added.

    Quizzed by reporters last night, Mr Sim confirmed his arrest but refused to give any more details."

  66. There is a sub-class in England that is truly the worst of the worst...

    ...and they're celebrated in statuary in that new terminal, as I recall.

    It's a Brave New World.

  67. As I said, yesterday, the State that issued the voters drivers license is the State of residence, legally.

    So, depending upon that, the case rests. Only bobal knows for sure, but that is the Law, regardless of what a Court clerk may have said, or done.

    I've read that in Florida there are hundreds of thousands of out of State voters registered.

    Most live in NY, IL and Georgia.
    Those that live in NY and IL tend to vote in southern Florida while the Georgians vote in the panhandle.

    Maybe the fraudsters balance each other out.