“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."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A very powerful moment in American history? Or not?

Governor Says Texans May Want to Secede From Union But Probably Won't

Texas Gov. Rick Perry fired up an anti-tax "tea party" with his stance against the federal government and for states' rights

AP via FOX
Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Texas Gov. Rick Perry fired up an anti-tax "tea party" Wednesday with his stance against the federal government and for states' rights as some in his U.S. flag-waving audience shouted, "Secede!"

An animated Perry told the crowd at Austin City Hall -- one of three tea parties he was attending across the state -- that officials in Washington have abandoned the country's founding principles of limited government. He said the federal government is strangling Americans with taxation, spending and debt.

Perry repeated his running theme that Texas' economy is in relatively good shape compared with other states and with the "federal budget mess." Many in the crowd held signs deriding President Barack Obama and the $786 billion federal economic stimulus package.

Later, answering news reporters' questions, Perry suggested Texans might at some point get so fed up they would want to secede from the union, though he said he sees no reason why Texas should do that.

"There's a lot of different scenarios," Perry said. "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."

Perry is running for re-election against U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a fellow Republican. His anti-Washington remarks have become more strident the past few weeks as that 2010 race gets going and since Perry rejected $550 million in federal economic stimulus money slated to help Texas' unemployment trust fund.

Perry said the stimulus money would come with strings attached that would leave Texas paying the bill once the federal money ran out.

He said he believes he could be at the center of a national movement that is coordinated and focused in its opposition to the actions of the federal government.

"It's a very organic thing," he said. "It is a very powerful moment, I think, in American history."

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, also Republicans, have been outspoken against the federal economic stimulus spending and were supportive of tea parties in their states.

The protests, organized throughout the country by conservative groups and talk show hosts, were held on the federal income tax deadline day to imitate the original Boston Tea Party of American revolutionary times.

FOX News' Glenn Beck broadcast live in San Antonio from outside the Alamo, a legendary symbol of Texas independence. Park police estimated 4,000 to 5,000 people packed into the small plaza, many waving signs or carrying little yellow flags that read, "Don't tread on me." A local barbecue chain gave away free cups of iced tea.

Rocker Ted Nugent performed a shredder guitar version of the national anthem, but unlike some rallies elsewhere, San Antonio organizers forbade politicians from speaking.

"They are welcome to come and listen to us, for a change," they said in their statement.

Mike Smart, a 51-year-old oil field worker from West Texas, held up a white handwritten sign that said, "I'll keep my freedom, my $ and my guns. You keep the change."

"I just want the government to stay out of my way. I won't get in their way if they don't get in mine," said Smart, who described himself as conservative but not a Republican.

Government spending, going back multiple administrations, has reached a boiling point with the latest rounds of stimulus spending, he said. While the Bush administration spent heavily before he left office, the Obama administration has fast-tracked big spending, he said.

"Ol' George was going to the same destination. He just didn't want to tell anyone," said Smart.

Another protester, 38-year-old Melva Fried, said the forced ouster of General Motors Corp. CEO Rick Wagoner was the last straw for her -- a symbol the federal government was moving toward socialism.

"When a president can fire the head of a company, that's too much," she said, holding a sign that read "Stop Rewarding Failure."

The sales associate, who considers herself a disaffected Republican, said she doesn't believe the government should bail anyone out, including banks and individual homeowners.

The crowd at the Austin tea party appeared decidedly anti-Democrat. Many of the speakers were Republicans and Libertarians.

One placard said, "Stop Obama's Socialism." Another read, "Some Pirates Are in America," and it showed photographs of Obama, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wearing pirate hats.

Rebecca Knowlton, 45, of Smithville, said she took the day off of home-schooling her three children and brought them to the rally to teach them about civic duty. She felt camaraderie at the demonstration.

"The movement is growing stronger," she said. "You're not alone."


  1. ahhh, "Remember the Alamo"! That place where folks died trying to expand the empire. Somehow "Remember Baghdad" just doesn't have the same ring. Why is that?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Most of the protesters, al-bob excluded, looked too well fed.

    My guess is that this will be a brief display. There was no drama, not enough to inspire the masses, insipid reporting by the media and nothing to frighten the the living shit out of the federal government, a very necessary and missing component.

  4. Wait 'til Obama brings on the Amnesty Give Away.
    First they take our money, then they give away our country.
    We'll see...

  5. A Video Prank at Domino’s Damages Its BrandWhen two Domino’s Pizza employees filmed a prank in the restaurant’s kitchen, they decided to post it online. In a few days, thanks to the power of social media, they ended up with felony charges, more than a million disgusted viewers, and a major company facing a public relations crisis.

    In videos posted on YouTube and elsewhere this week, a Domino’s employee in Conover, N.C., prepared sandwiches for delivery while putting cheese up his nose, nasal mucus on the sandwiches, and violating other health-code standards while a fellow employee provided narration.

    The two were charged with delivering prohibited foods.
    By Wednesday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than a million times on YouTube. References to it were in five of the 12 results on the first page of Google search for “Dominos,”
    and discussions about Domino’s had spread throughout Twitter.

  6. "In September, the agency highlighted how right-wing extremists over the past five years have used the immigration debate as a recruiting tool."
    Fat, Ugly disgusting, bitch.Barry's surrounded himself with miscreants of all sorts his entire life.

  7. Al Giordano is an authentic, old school, capital-l Lefty - in other words, one whose politics is a source of embarrassment to any DLC got-over-it-years-ago establishmentarian. He is a journalist (full of the usual Lefty-oriented conspiracy nonsense on Latin America, where he was for awhile based) and a political observer with a keen tactical sense. During the (looooooooong) Obama campaign, if you wanted to know where things stood and where they were headed, you read Al. I read Al. Al was usually on the money, and managed a feat, passed on to his largely Obama-hopeful readers with more or less success, that I've found rare among campaign watchers - one which can be expressed in a single commandment: Thou shall not panic.

    Here's Al:

    Protests on “tax day” are certainly nothing new, nor particularly novel. In my salad days as a cub reporter, I used to cover, every April 15, the picket outside a local IRS office by late friend Wally Nelson and other “war tax resisters.” They’re Americans who feel so strongly against contributing for military adventures that they refuse to pay for them; an economic version of conscientious objectors. They never sought to hide it or “evade” taxes. To the contrary, many wrote letters to the IRS explaining why they had refused to pay, saying essentially to the authorities, “come and get me.” Many, like Wally, lived simply enough on subsistence farming and such that they owed almost nothing anyway, but I still thought that it took guts to hold themselves up as targets in Gandhian tradition. And some did lose their homes and bank accounts as a result of their convictions.

    Today’s Fox News-promoted “tea-bagging” protests across the country don’t carry any similar risk for the attendees, yet they are being hailed – whether naively or disingenuously - by conservative pundits and bloggers as some kind of second American Revolution, or at least as the beginnings of one.

    As a student of organizing and movements, my ears perk up at any suggestion of grassroots rebellion. Whether or not I agree with a cause is a separate consideration than the cold and rational study of the tactics and, if any, strategy that deployed by movements, whether authentic or merely aspiring. Most tactics are not ideological; they can be deployed by right and left alike. So if the right comes up with a new innovation in organizing, I think it’s worth studying and, if it works, appropriating.

    Blogs are a good example of such appropriation: post September 11, 2001, the popularity of blogs first skyrocketed as a mostly pro-war genre with “conservative libertarian” tendencies. Before the Daily Kos and the left side of the screen came to dominate the blogosphere, the most widely read bloggers were from the right. Some on the left saw that the tactic worked, and appropriated it as our own. The rest is history.

    In that light, is there anything to be learned – tactically or strategically – from today’s tea-bagging protests said to be taking place in between 300 and 500 locations across the USA?

    The short answer is, “so far, no.”


    But what are the goals of today’s tea-bag protests? Is there a list of grievances or demands around which the participants will rally?

    That there is no such clear platform is our first indication that something is amiss.

    Tea-baggers generally raise a few vague themes to explain their complaint. I just watched Fox News interview two of them waiting for the protest to begin in Lafayette Park, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. One asserted that he was protesting against “the government not respecting the Constitution.” No detail was offered - nor asked by the reporter – as to what exactly he meant by that claim. The other said he was protesting against “the government spending our tax dollars on things we don’t want them spent on.” The tea-bag events have thus become the Mad Libs of right-wing protest: “We’re united and marching against ______________.” What is lacking is coherency. And as the French Situationist Guy Debord said, the first duty of a revolutionary is to be coherent.

    Instead, they’ve served up a menu of (some of them contradictory) complaints and conspiracy theories (some rail against “socialism” and “world government,” with large doses of the same paranoia and victimhood of that kept the United States left self-marginalized for three decades and more until now). In other words, the tea-baggers are now repeating every mistake made by the “activists” of the US left in their own string of failed attempts at launching effective political movements throughout the 80s, the 90s, and in the first years of this century.

    As one who suffered through those Lost Decades of the Left, banging my head against that brick wall of ineffective “activism,” I confess to be thoroughly enjoying this day when we get to watch the right stumble through the same clueless and boneheaded maneuvers that already failed for our own ideological siblings.

    Lacking coherency – without which, authentic and effective political movements have never emerged – what are the goals of today’s tea-bagging events?


    The major recruitors of most of today’s protest attendees are, truth be told, outside of the conservative blogosphere: Fox News in first place and the followers of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in competition with it to define these protests. Thus, the aspirations of Pajamas Media are strictly parasitical: It is happening, therefore we want to lead it.

    As such, they’re the equivalent of the many aspiring socialist fringe party “vanguards” that hand out their newspapers and literature at anti-war protests: the ones that imagine that by offering a “party line” they can step out in front of the parade and take credit for it, thus setting themselves up to reach and inspire the masses (although it never quite works out that way). The front page of Simon's Pajamas Media seeks to make it Tea Bagging Central. Atop the page this morning were headlines like these: “Revolution Rekindled: Tea Party Movement Blossoms, " and, “Why You Should Attend a Tea Party," and,“Why I Am Attending a Tea Party.”

    Yep, Roger L. Simon and Glenn Harlan Reynolds are the new version of the “socialist with a shopping bag,” ready to show you their collections of dog-eared manifestos as evidence that they can lead you to the barricades; aspiring leaders without followers, spokesmen without a platform, protesters unable to articulate a single grievance that anybody is going to rally around. We already know these people on the left (and most of us cross the street when we see them coming). How much more fun could we have than to see the right wing now wander into the same activist cul de sac?


    The best coverage so far of the tea-bagging protests has from the beltway political humor site Wonkette, which has demonstrated journalistically how the Republican National Committee is also in on promoting the protest-of-the-vague and how the many organizations on the right are already fighting with each other over who began and/or is leading the tea-bagging protests.

    The most interesting point that emerges from Wonkette’s snark coverage is a journalistic scoop: that it’s the followers of former GOP presidential candidate US Rep. Ron Paul that started the ball rolling and will swell the rank-and-file at today’s simulation of protest. And this will get interesting as many of their positions (regarding theories of what happened on 9/11, the Iraq war, gold standard economics, etc.) are at odds with those of the more traditional right wing networks trying to jump out in front of them.

    Tea Bag Day is, so far, a non-starter in terms of capturing public interest or imagination. The fascination with it on the right and left sides of blogdom simply is not matched among the masses, even with the life-support offered by a major cable news network. Google News is a pretty good indicator of what news stories are being followed most closely by the most members of the public, because it ranks placement of top stories according to how many clicks the topic gets via its pages.

    As of 8:30 a.m. today the top stories were the clean-up on the rescue from Somalian pirates, the announcement by former US Rep. Pat Toomey that he will challenge US Senator Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Republican primary, and the trial of a defendant in the case of last November’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. That’s what people around the Google universe are searching for today.


    O' course: You could have concluded pretty much the same by scrolling through The Corner yesterday. But that would lack Al's certain take as a veteran, progressive-populist "activist."

  8. The big banks have swallowed up California and all the problems inherent in the state. In essence, the nation is bailing out California:

    JP Morgan Chase ate WaMu

    Bank of America consumed Countrywide Financial

    Wells Fargo devoured Wachovia

    Each digested institution has 50%+ exposure to California and Florida in their held loan portfolios. With their toxic loans, this number may be higher.

    doctor housing bubble

  9. Al certainly is concise.

  10. Al should be exiled to Twitter where he could learn to lighten up and tighten up his prose.
    or not

  11. here's one for old rufus

    "Moscow's decision to hold back on the sales partly reflects international pressure but also warming ties between Russia and the United States, a chief adversary of the Islamic republic.

    This month Russia also said it was making its first ever purchase of reconnaissance drones from Israel, reflecting closer ties with the Jewish state in the defence sphere."

    you'd think that after all these years old rufus would have his head screwed on straight. tacit approval from us as part of project "reset" not
    project "parasite".

  12. Al doesn't mention that the MSM treats every gathering of 15 over the hill feminists as the national consensus of women, as they do every other insignificant left wing demonstration.
    ...not that that might influence google ratings, or the perceptions and passions of the masses of passive asses.

  13. Slim,
    Our ties were oh so close with the Chi-coms when Loral spared them decades of trial and error on ICBM's.
    That little red button is versatile.

  14. Ash said...
    ahhh, "Remember the Alamo"! That place where folks died trying to expand the empire. Somehow "Remember Baghdad" just doesn't have the same ring. Why is that?

    Once again Ash's shows he/she/it's lack of Texas history...

    Expand the empire?

    Go to the Republic of Texas and say that...

  15. "China has woken up. The West is a black hole with all this money being printed.

    The Chinese are buying raw materials because it is a much better way to use their $1.9 trillion of reserves.

    They get ten times the impact, and can cover their infrastructure for 50 years."

  16. "Al doesn't mention that..."

    Both sides have the same complaint. The MSM is "always" in the bag for the other guys.

    The truth is simpler: They'll push whatever draws an audience.

  17. Ash -

    As a fifth generation Texan, I'd like to say "Fuck Off!"

  18. It's like being a carnival barker.

  19. Keep telling yourself that Trish.
    Alternate reality.
    Like Al's "accurate" report of 500 tea bag gatherings, when in fact there were more than 2,000.
    ...the MSM echo chamber of lies.

  20. Thu Apr 16, 09:26:00 AM EDT

    MSM, fair and balanced!
    ...but we all knew that.

  21. stavr0s said...
    Ash -

    As a fifth generation Texan, I'd like to say "Fuck Off!"

    Maybe I didnt say it clear enough stavt0s to Ash...

    Ash Fuck off....

  22. China is buying up (at under valued prices) a generation of raw materials...

    One can only ponder HOW those who China is squeezing today will react years from now...

  23. Like Al's "accurate" report of 500 tea bag gatherings, when in fact there were more than 2,000.
    ...the MSM echo chamber of lies.

    - Doug

    Al doesn't write for the MSM. He has the same feelings of contempt for it that you do. As I said, I rarely if ever have come across a liberal, progressive, or what-have-you, who doesn't hate the mainstream media and believe it is an agent of the other side.

    I did watch CNN for awhile yesterday morning, and they had a map up dotting all the Tea Party locations and instructing viewers where to go for info on locations in their area, etc. - being the most prominent. (I got a phone call on my Vonage line inviting me...and would've used it as an excuse to fly to Miami, were it excuse enough.)

    I missed their coverage of the actual events, however.

  24. Think their rulers and masters will pay attention the next time they threaten to gather?

  25. The Alamo and Texas Independence was a fight to expand slavery into Mexico, where it was an illegal institution.

    That's all it was.

    God Bless Texas and the Texicans that remember that reality.

    Fuck the ones that deny it.

    All Al was saying, read Alinsky's Rules, if you want to take on the System, and change it. Copy and clone success, not failure. If you're gong to fight that fight.

    To slim and the UAV issue, that Obama has sold out the US soldier, on the ground, to gain points in Moscow, is not that surprising.

  26. The proof of the slavery issue, Jim Bowie and his SLave, both of whom were at the Alamo. That Bowie had possession of a slave, in the Mexican State of Texas, a clear and open violation of the law and the authority of the Mexican government.

    Santa Anna was fighting for Mexican sovereignty and freedom, the Texicans for US style slavery.

  27. As to the Texicans leaving the Union, and their "Right" to do that.

    Well, that issue was settled, in 1865. Texas did leave the Union, it had to come back.

    It will not leave, again, in any of our life times.

  28. As to the number of Tea Paries, I have read between 750 and 2,000.

    An accurate count of a series of nationally unorganized, local and spontaneous demonstrations hard to deliver.

    How many people did it take to have a Tea Party. Wonder if we had one at the bowling league, last night?
    I mean 4 or 5 folk there are always moaning about taxes, but then quite a few of the bowlers are Obama supporters, so I doubt that they were Partiers, but then again, they WERE there.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. That slimslowslider supports and uses the Obama position to defend Israeli actions, at the future expense of the US soldiers deployeed overseas, not that surprising, either.

  31. @ Thu Apr 16, 09:57:00 AM EDT

    Might as well have posted video of Vietnam protesters on the Mall ca. '71.

    Will conservatives be the DFHs of the coming decade? The latter certainly gave the WH a run for its money in the day; no shortage of fear and paranoia on parts of FedGov then.

    I'm trying to imagine it. But I can't.

  32. The slimslowslider position also exposes the vile lies that Ms Click presented as reality, just yesterday, vis a vie US and Israel and the way forward.

    The US not having abandoned its leadership position nor its suppport of Israel.

    per slimslowslider.
    Good to know, that we're good to go.

  33. Well, trish, you do not bring the women and children with you when you're about to storm the barricades.

    Unless you're a Palistinian.

  34. "To slim and the UAV issue, that Obama has sold out the US soldier, on the ground, to gain points in Moscow, is not that surprising."

    i tend to disagree on this particular matter. military strategy seems like a hybrid cross of chess and poker. we traded in a card for a different one to better meet a strategy. a lack of air defense when you're a target is significant. i pray it doesn't backfire.

  35. "That slimslowslider supports and uses the Obama position to defend Israeli actions, at the future expense of the US soldiers deployeed overseas, not that surprising, either."

    sometimes i wonder if there is anyone home with you. you're like the sour grape that so desperately wants to be a fine wine. it's politics and your insinuation that i would ever put another country before my own is bogus, even for the rat. you know the details of this deal so well do you? talk about throwing people under a bus, sounds like you invented the stuff.

  36. How many of the Springtime revolutionaries would be willing to winter at Valley Forge?

    The Summers of 67 & '68, those Summer of Luv.

    You want to change the System, there were thousands in the streets, formenting real revolution. In Detroit, LA, Chi-town, Newark, even DC.
    To name but a few.

    You have to be willing to fire at the National Guard. The Leftists were willing, and after a time, came to be seen as the rightous ones. Though that was not the common perspective, at the time.

    Who on the "Right" is willing to pledge their fortune, let alone their life or sacred honor, to particpate in the counter-revolution?

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. slim leaves the issues and attempts to defame and ridicule

    No issues other than personality.
    He's read Alinsky.
    He is learning to be a Leftist

    RULE 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon."

    RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."

  39. GM will keep you from ever being "Upside Down" in your new Chevy.

    Just heard that on the radio.
    Imagine, is that the warranty we are guarenteeing?

  40. In the narrow sense, I thought the question was whether or not the tea parties were effective. To be effective, they had to be of interest to the ruling elites.

    The venue is not important as the relationship between the ruled and their rulers is essentially similar and predictable as is most human behavior.

    Talking revolution can be just so much bluster. Doing the deed is quite another thing.

  41. "slim leaves the issues and attempts to defame and ridicule"

    Oh, brother. Are you not EVER aware of your own behavior?

  42. Israel will not allow Iran to mass murder it's citizens...

    Iran, already has armed and funded hezbollah, syria, hamas, insurgents in Iraq..

    Iran views America as the Great Satan and Israel as the Little Satan.

    Iran has murdered directly and by proxy thousands...

    Iran is not an innocent being targeted by the big powers...

    To those that think that otherwise?

    Happy dhimmihood to you

  43. How Pakistan Almost Blew Up

    A month ago, Pakistan came close to a political breakdown that could have triggered a military coup. How that crisis developed -- and how it was ultimately defused -- illuminates the larger story of a country whose frontier region President Obama recently described as "the most dangerous place in the world."

    A detailed account of the March political confrontation emerged last week during a visit to Islamabad by Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and Adm. Mike Mullen. As described by U.S. and Pakistani officials, it's a story of political brinkmanship and, ultimately, of a settlement brokered by the Obama administration.
    By David Ignatius

  44. Talking revolution can be just so much bluster. Doing the deed is quite another thing.

    Thu Apr 16, 11:32:00 AM EDT

    You're not really talking about revolution. It's absolutely the wrong word. If anything, it would be the restoration, the reaffirmation. And even in this, realistic ambition would confine you to political reform along the lines of that which, however ambiguous and confused, began with Kennedy.

    There is nothing revolutionary about American conservatism, the revolution having already been achieved. You are looking at a job not terribly different from those who restored the original art of the Sistine Chapel.

  45. I'm totally aware of it, trish.

    That's what makes it fun.

    Playin' by the "New Rules"

    Leading by example, from the front.

  46. Maui needs to put its utility lines underground, they clutter up the pretty scenery.

    The Tea Parties were a protest, not an attempt to storm the White House. A lot of folks were sitting around in lawn chairsI was impressed though that when the question was asked 'how many are at their first demonstration?' almost all the hands went up.

    Unfocused, rambling, but sincere too.

    To go to a second demo is probably easier than to go to the first one.

  47. "Oh, brother. Are you not EVER aware of your own behavior?"

    it is kinda moronic. its the kind of moronism that makes me want to search for middle ground.

    "He's read Alinsky.
    He is learning to be a Leftist"

    i have honestly never even heard of this guy until reading stuff here. unless you call reading the book "zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" a leftist manifesto than i will continue to either ignore what you write or view it as eminating from a sour grape.

  48. Looks like Frankenstein is coming out on top in Minnesota.

    But for a handfull of Libertarian voters.....just a handfull of the o so pure.....

  49. Pirsig (sp) rode his motorcycle zen like right up through the Salmon River country not so far from here, went through Riggins if I recall rightly.

  50. Do you fellas think that Google is trying to discourage use of HTML tags, or is it just a malfunction of their system?

  51. Thank God Texas is in the United States, if it weren't, it would be in Mexico, and the difference is between night and day.

    Texas would make a good independent country, not that it's likely to happen soon.

  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

  53. "it is kinda moronic."

    That's not the word I'd use.

    I think he's just a small, nasty, pretentious motherfucker.

  54. Well, slim, here is the crux of the issue.

    Many believe that selling high technology to the Russians endangers US troops over the long term. I agree with that position.

    You do not. You have stated that since there may be geo-political gains made, by the sale of that technology, that the risk to US troops is worthy of the reward.

    Your risk/reward evaluations are in league with the Obama Administration. That the possible political rewards of technological transfers out weigh the future risks to US troops.

    You side with Obama, stand proud!

  55. Maui's got a Route 3400--how the hell many roads are there on Maui, anyway?

  56. "Every generation needs a new revolution."
    -Thomas Jefferson

  57. and as far as trust in any governmenet...

    "Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories." TJ

  58. Here's betting that the Iranians end up with both the anti-missile systems, AND the Drones.

    Any Takers?

    That's what I thought.

  59. of course Jefferson's idea of who are the "the people" would not be shared today.

  60. The US announced the transfer of a dozen drones to Lebanon...any message there?

  61. We supported the Lebanese Gov in the summer war.

  62. The protections that the People had, were diminished in the "Progressive Reforms" of 1913.

    A 100 year experiment that has had its share of success, and failures.

    Calling for a Constitutional Convention is an option often proposed as the way to go forward, but who would dominate the politics of that, today?
    No telling what would emerge from such a Convention, in all reality.

    Incremental change is required, but if the voices of the Contras do not even particpate in the mass media world, the message will never be heard, whatever that message turns out to be.

  63. And if the Lebanese Government comes to be controlled by the HB elements within the country, the Lebanese Government will still control those UAVs.

    The current political reward out weighing the future risks of the technology transfers.

  64. Reporters didn't have to work hard to find critics of President Barack Obama. But if they only asked, they'd have found that many in the audience were equally concerned with how the Republicans under President George W. Bush spent federal dollars like drunken sailors. Anger over the orgies of Democrat and Republican politicians feasting together has brought out the "tea party" protesters.

    "What critics of this don't understand is that we're upset with President Obama, yes, but also upset with Bush administration bailouts, and how Obama has taken that and compounded it with all his spending," said Mike Lennox, a real estate manager.

    "Democrat, Republican, I don't care about the excuses. What we're tired of is all the lies and the corruption," Lennox said.

    Clearly, the message was heard, as Obama himself hoped to demonstrate how his administration was helping "working families" pay lower taxes.

  65. "Every generation needs a new revolution."
    -Thomas Jefferson

    When Jefferson employed the word, he was speaking of a radical rejection of the governing concepts of Europe.

    I'll say it again: You are not talking about a radical rejection of our system of government, but a restoration of its intent.

  66. As speaker in the 2007 and 2008 legislative sessions, Rubio clashed with Crist on property taxes, the expansion of gambling and other issues.

    Rubio called Crist "likeable" and "a good guy" and said the governor's high popularity ratings won't influence whatever decision he makes about entering the Senate race.

    "It doesn't surprise me that a famous, likeable guy would do well in public polling," Rubio said.

    Rubio said he disagreed with Crist's campaigning for the stimulus bill earlier this year. Crist broke with many Republicans to support the bill, saying it would give the state billions of dollars to help its own budget problems.

    "If it's bad for America, it can't possibly be good for Florida. And the bailout was bad for America," Rubio said.

    But, Rubio added, "now that it's passed, if there are funds available for Florida, that's fine."

    Crist has said he'll announce after the legislative session ends in May whether he's running for Senate.

  67. Repealling the "Progressive Reforms of 1913".

    But that'd be tough to get taken seriously across the curent culture. Seeing as how the populous has been educated in State schools, that taught their own perspective of the US to the electorate.
    Young minds of mush, as Rush used to refer to children. Molded by decades of mis-education.

  68. desert rat said...
    Many believe that selling high technology to the Russians endangers US troops over the long term. I agree with that position.

    And yet, GIVING Lebanon the same drones is ok...

    The real issue should be is Israel or the USA giving an transfer of SUPERIOR technology to our shared enemies?

    The POSITION of the USA government has always been that Israel should have a qualitative EDGE over her enemies...

    Israel sale of drones to Russia does not HURT American Qualitative EDGE over Russia either..

    Both the USA and Israel are ARMS sellers....

    America sells advance weapons to anyone with cash..

  69. No, wi"o" if you look at my
    Thu Apr 16, 12:32:00 PM EDT

    Now perhaps I did not make it clear that those UAVs could easily come to be controlled by HB elements within the Lebanese Government.

    That the Obama Administration felt that those transfers are worthy of the risk. Same as with the Russians and Israeli.

    You too are now taking the Obama position, by even comparing the UAV technology transfers. Both are repugnent actions, based upon short term political gain while discounting the possibile threats that the technology transfers entail.
    Stealing a UAV in Lebanon and reverse engineering it in Iran not beyond the capacity of the Islamoids, even if they do not come to control the Lebanese Government.

  70. "Well, slim, here is the crux of the issue.

    Many believe that selling high technology to the Russians endangers US troops over the long term. I agree with that position.

    You do not. You have stated that since there may be geo-political gains made, by the sale of that technology, that the risk to US troops is worthy of the reward.

    Your risk/reward evaluations are in league with the Obama Administration. That the possible political rewards of technological transfers out weigh the future risks to US troops.

    You side with Obama, stand proud!"

    what you are doing is called leading and that is why it is not allowed in court, but you know this. I AM NOT OK WITH THE SITUATION. IT SUCKS. but i am not going to scapegoat and throw under the bus, its cowardly but apparently it feels right to you.

    our conclusions are different with the limited information we have.
    I'd assume obama voted present on this recommendation from someone (i'd like to think it was some top military brass--they know more than me and yes, even you).

    i take the leading comment back, entrapment may be more applicable.

    i still think McCain would have been a great, great president.

  71. The quality of a McCain Presidency, just another "Unkowable".

    The problems are systematic, the solutions postulated by the any of the Washingtonians only touching on the margins of the problem.

    As wi"o" says, we are the whirleds leading Arms Merchant.
    We should be selling the Chinese the fleet they need to properly patrol the coast of Somalia.

    2 or 3 older carrier groups, those not quite as operationally efficent as our Ships of the Line.

    That way Charlie Chi-com could shoulder his share of the global markets security concerns.

    If we are going to level the playing field.

  72. And, before we are done, the Iraqi Army will get its' UAV wing, if they have not already.

    Any modern Army needs UAV technology, and the US promotes modern Armies around the whirled, true enough.

    With the US Army having ordered 500upgraded Predators, to provide for their own close air support.

    We are guilty of proliferating a technology that'll come back to bite US, right in our "Pink" ass.

  73. Faced with escalating pirate attacks, the U.S. government Wednesday announced a series of steps aimed at cracking down on pirate bases on the Somali coast, expanding the international response to piracy and freezing the pirates' assets.

    Lt. Nathan Christensen, the deputy spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet in Bahrain, said the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge, which had led the rescue of the U.S. cargo ship Maersk Alabama last week, was five hours away from the Liberty Sun but responded when the alert of the attack was received.

    The pirate attack occurred about 285 nautical miles southeast of the Somali capital of Mogadishu, Christensen said. The pirates had departed by the time the Bainbridge arrived. It was not immediately clear how the Liberty Sun, which reportedly carried a cargo of food aid, thwarted the assault.

    The pirates fired grenades and automatic weapons at the freighter, which sustained some damage, according to its owner, Liberty Maritime Corp.

    The cargo ship carries a crew of about 20, and all were reported safe. Crew members barricaded themselves inside the ship's engine room, the same tactic used by the Maersk Alabama crew, AP said.

    "We are under attack by pirates, we are being hit by rockets. Also bullets," Liberty Sun crewman Thomas Urbik, 26, wrote his mother in an e-mail during the pirate assault, the news agency reported. "We are barricaded in the engine room and so far no one is hurt. [A] rocket penetrated the bulkhead but the hole is small. Small fire, too, but put out."

    A security contingent from the Bainbridge boarded the Liberty Sun and will provide a guard until it reaches the port of Mombasa.

  74. 5 hours of steaming, at flank speed, that could be covered by aircraft in a fraction of the time.

    Fixed wing or rotary, both.

    There lies one of the first obvious challenges to securing the Somali Seas.

    Airmobile security/boarding parties, seems a future requirement in that Region of the whirled.

  75. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence when he was thirty-three.

    I think we could agree that it was a well drafted document.

    He understood the meaning of words whether nuanced or direct. I fail to see the nuance in 'revolution.'

    Jefferson lived until 4 July 1826, dying at the age of 83. He lived through three generations and I cannot find any evidence that he rescinded his simple declarative statement, "Every generation needs a new revolution."

  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

  77. And we've been in the midst of ours, duece.

    A revolution of technology, morality and secular socialism.

    100 years in the making, revolution by manipulated social evolution.

  78. "He understood the meaning of words whether nuanced or direct. I fail to see the nuance in 'revolution.'"

    There wasn't.

    It's just not what you're calling for. Not if you understand and respect his accomplishment as a foundation stone of our country.

    And I highly recommend The Declaration of Independence - A Study in the History of Political Ideas, by Carl L. Becker.

  79. Unless what you're calling for is the overthrow of the United States government.

    In which case: Let me know.

  80. This comment has been removed by the author.

  81. "How to transcend this sensual nothingness."

    Theodore Roethke.

    That is the question.

    Been preaching this for years. No takers, yet.

  82. The human race is not teaching the children, here in America. The best things, the very best things, which have been handed down, this way and that, which have to do with building heaven, or reflecting heaven as the case may be, and how love may have a power of its own, and which have been learned long ago with Blake, and others, are forgotten now, and that is why we are getting into the pickle we are getting into.

    There is no more transcendtal looking to the future in the here and now, in our new and worse America. We must change that.

    I fear we are a dying society.

    We have no myth, rather bitching about who has most.

  83. There is the conceit of the young.

    And there is the arrogance of the old.

  84. The young knnow zero.

    I am old enough to know that.

    Bless the young, with their ideas.

    They have heart, but little understanding.

  85. The young don't lead themselves.

    The oldest story we tell is the one in which we are doomed to inhabit a perpetual twilight, the dawn having been forsaken.

    But it's not true.

  86. The wind comes in, October like
    Damn it makes drifts
    High in February
    And you bastards from the south
    Don't know shit
    We've been in twenty below,
    To pay for two weeks of hot August
    By a beautiful lake
    We put the shoulder and the horse
    To the plow
    To pay for this little fun
    And now the rich are here.

  87. I have not called for an overthrow of the government. I believe I worked rather hard to lawfully get the last Republican elected and have been at times complimentary to my new President.

    For some reason academic speculation and observation has been interpreted to mean sedition. The conversation began because the organizers alluded to the Boston Tea Party, which was not a party, but an assault on private and public party.

    I did not attend a protest.

    I offered the opinion that I doubted the protests would be effective. I doubt anyone in government took them all that seriously. I compared that to the recent protests in Moldova. The government there did take them seriously, in fact so much so that Romania is now offering Moldovans, who speak Romanian, passports.

  88. I went to an "anti-war" camp-out on the commons, once, at MU. Probably, one of the few Vietnam Veterans, there. Thought I might get laid. Can't remember much. It was cold, and I DID get stoned, or drunk, or something.

  89. Dang, there's glass all over the bar floor, today. Who threw a bottle? Looks like someone got hot...

  90. USC Annenberg School of Communications
    John Ziegler / Katie Couric at USCJohn Ziegler was detained by the USC Campus Police for simply asking questions about the Excellence in Journalism award being given to Katie Couric at the Journalism building at USC on 04/15/09.

    Ziegler went to USC to witness and ask questions about Katie Couric getting the Walter Cronkite journalism award for her interview of Sarah Palin and it's impact on the campaign!

    This is the state of "Journalism" today!

    John recommended skipping the first 8 minutes, but I had to watch the whole thing.
    CRONKITE AWARD WINNERS: "DEMOCRACY IS AT ITS STRONGEST WHEN (MEDIA) ARE GREAT"April 15, 2009Professional television journalists from across the country and a group of USC Annenberg students and faculty gathered April 15 for the 5th Walter Cronkite Awards Ceremony, administered by the Norman Lear Center, at USC’s Davidson Conference Center...

    Katie Couric (pictured with Broadcast Journalism graduate student Michelle Phalen) made the trip to Los Angeles, taking time from her position as anchor and managing editor for the CBS Evening News to accept her award for
    “Special Achievement for National Impact on the 2008 Campaign,” which she won for her interviews with Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
    At the podium Couric told the audience she went to great lengths to be unbiased in her interviews, focusing on every facial expression and body position.

    “My goal was to be a conduit, to allow her a chance to express her issues and let the viewers decide for themselves,” she said.

    ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos won its second Cronkite Award this year for its “On the Trail” series, which consisted of interviews with every presidential contender in the 2008 campaign. The judges applauded George Stephanopoulos, who attended the event, for his “compelling” and “thoroughly prepared” interviews. ---

    You appologists for this shit make me puke.
    Unbiased indeed!

  91. Every day it becomes easier to understand all the things that were mysteries when we were younger about how Hitler's Germany came to be.

  92. Trish coming down on 'Rat for being
    "holier than thou"
    is especially hilarious today! who writes and directs us from on high.

  93. I highly recommend you stick it up your ass.

  94. "Airmobile security/boarding parties, seems a future requirement in that Region of the whirled."

    Thu Apr 16, 01:45:00 PM EDT

    What is it about "long"
    in "The Long War"
    That you don't understand?

  95. A Manhattan street corner has been named after a Polish World War II hero who brought early eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust to the West.


    During the war, Karski was a clandestine Polish government diplomat in exile in London.

    On a secret mission to Nazi-occupied Poland, the Roman Catholic Karski met with leaders of the Jewish underground. They told him about what they called "Hitler's war against the Polish Jews."
    Holocaust Hero

  96. "I missed their coverage of the actual events, however."
    Their coverage was the biggest joke of the day:

    "Reporter" goes armed with administration talking points, interrupting answers with follow up questions also drawn from the talking points.
    Right up there in Annenberg School territory for "Journalistic" excellence!

  97. CNN's Anderson Cooper: 'It's Hard to Talk When You're Tea-Bagging'Spoken like an old pro:
    Probly one of his favorite favors his young boyfriends bestow upon him.
    (or rather let him bestow upon them)

  98. I am NOT for revolution at this time.


    ]1 almost always makes things worse

    2) we got the basics, USE THEM

    3) revolution without out a sense of the transcendent is always a loser, and we need to recover that in order to consider revolution

    4) we ought to whip one another for even considering the option without serious thought

    5) the government is not the enemy yet, though I understand they can quickly become that.

    6) Vote em out!

  99. CNN Correspondent Claims Tea Parties 'Anti-Government,' 'Anti-CNN' CNN is finally covering the tea parties - by attacking the participants.

    After anchor Anderson Cooper made an obscene sexual joke about attendees, CNN correspondent Susan Roesgen rudely interrupted one of the protestors and slammed the event for being "anti-government," "anti-CNN," and "not really family viewing."

    Roesgen asked a man holding his toddler, "Why are you here today?" The man started to respond saying, "Because I hear a president say that he believed in what Lincoln stood for. Lincoln's primary thing was he believed people had the right to liberty and they had the right..."

    But Roesgen cut him off him, saying, "But sir, what does that have to do with taxes? What does this have to do with your taxes?" She continued asking questions over his as he asked her to "let me finish my point." One crowd member was heard to yell "shut up" to the Roesgen.

    When the man finished his statement about people having the "right to the fruits of their own labor" and "government should not take it," Roesgen began arguing with him again and other protesters began to get upset.
    (Roesgen mouthed the "Tax cut for 95% of Americans" talking point from BHO's teleprompter)

    Roesgen backed away claiming that "you get the general tenor of this," tea party. "Anti-government, anti-CNN since this is highly promoted by the right-wing conservative network Fox and since I can't really hear much more and I think this is not really family viewing. Toss it back to you Kyra," Roesgen concluded.

    Phillips followed by calling that assessment "a "prime example of what we're following across the country."

  100. They start fucking around with guns, talk radio, Homeland Security, etc etc etc I will reconsider my position.

  101. After a revolution, we would have to agree on some other Constitution to live by, in some manner.

    I submit, it is highly unlikely we would do as well.

    We need to improve OURSELVES.

  102. "We will continue our struggle until Islamic law is spread across the country, not just in Swat," Abdul Aziz, who had been chief cleric at the mosque, told the fired-up congregation. Dressed in white flowing traditional clothes, with a white turban and his long white beard, he looked a messianic figure.


    Aziz was caught sneaking out of the besieged mosque dressed as a woman in a burka. That apparent humiliation has not dented his status, because his supporters don't believe it.

    He is scheduled to lead the weekly prayer Friday at the mosque, which will give him the opportunity to spell out his vision for an Islamist Pakistan.
    Islamic Law

  103. I do believe in devolution.Both Neandertal and Cro-Magnon seem to have had as much upstairs as we do, maybe more.

    This makes one try to think.


  104. Increased water demand, fuelled by population growth and economic development, is putting pressure on prices across the globe.


    In Europe, irrigation, urban areas and manufacturing industries are the main areas driving the demand for water. According to the European Commission, water consumption at EU level is divided among the following sectors:

    * Agriculture: 69%
    * Public water supply: 13%
    * Industry: 10%
    * Energy (cooling in power plants): 8%


    But agriculture is not the only sector causing headaches for policymakers. In cities, poor or outdated infrastructure is also responsible for significant water losses.
    Business and Sustainability

  105. Blogger rufus said...

    I went to an "anti-war" camp-out on the commons, once, at MU. Probably, one of the few Vietnam Veterans, there. Thought I might get laid. Can't remember much. It was cold, and I DID get stoned, or drunk, or something.

    but, but... DUDE!... didja get LAID?

  106. Ruf served his country, and his relatives did too--

    shove it up your ass hole potato boy--

    and defer to those that are better than you

  107. In these blogs that are open to all comments, I have noticd Ash offends everyone where ever he goes.

  108. al-Bob,
    He must have a congenial game face to have a successful business.
    I'd be interested to know what that is.
    Not too many allow you to insult the customer and succeed.
    Maybe he just exercises his dark side online.
    G_d knows I'm a Saint in Real Life.
    Who woulda guessed?

  109. After Rufus went to bat for him to get him on the blogroll.

  110. The European Union has taken flak recently for its response to the financial crisis in Central and Eastern Europe.

    In March the now-resigned Hungarian prime minister, Ferenc Gyurcsany, warned of a new iron curtain dividing the continent and said Brussels should commit 180 billion euros to bail out states such as Hungary, Latvia, and others that barely skirted economic collapse when the crisis hopped the Atlantic, and remain in critical condition after years of growth. The European Council on Foreign Relations criticized some old EU members for protectionist rhetoric and parsimony toward their neighbors in an open letter ahead of the G20 summit.


    Here's what has gotten notice: leaders' decision in March not to spend 180 billion euros shoring up Eastern Europe's banks (the move Gyurcsany advocated.) In this critics see stinginess and a growing East/West divide.
    EU Aid

  111. I highly recommend you stick it up your ass.

    Thu Apr 16, 07:41:00 PM EDT

    "Get your pies for the great pie fight!"