“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, June 22, 2009

Nit Picking

Some guy over at American Thinker is trying to make an issue out of the date sequence used by Obama, pointing out that it is like the European system. I use the same system, and I think it makes more sense, but not because it makes me feel European. I used it for seven years in the military. It is on my DD-214. Out of curiosity, does the military still use that system?


June 22, 2009
Obama's dating system
Ben Hershorin, American Thinker

I was browsing through some White House photos published online, and saw one of where President Obama signed a wall in a high school. The interesting part of the signing was not the note he wrote, but rather the way he wrote his date. Instead of putting June 11, 2009, he put 11 June 2009, which is how Europeans, not Americans, write their dates.


  1. It's how I write the date.

    Ever since 1978 and my experiences at Fort Lost in the Woods.

    Seems that Ben is just another Sunshine Patriot that never had time to be a Summertime Soldier.

  2. Obama, being greatly influenced by his grandfather, the veteran of Patton's Army ...

  3. Tens of thousands of Chinese fight the police in Shishou, China !

    It was a dramatic weekend in the relatively small city of Shishou in Hubei province.

    Tens of thousands of rioters torched a hotel and overturned police cars, after the authorities allegedly tried to cover up the murder of a 24-year-old man as a suicide.

    The deceased, Tu Yuangao, was the chef of the Yong Long hotel. According to the cops, he committed suicide by jumping off the roof of the building and left a note.

    Witnesses said there was no blood on the scene and Tu's body was already cold just after it hit the ground. His parents were surprised at the suicide note, since he was allegedly illiterate.

    There are plenty of rumours flying around - that two other employees at the hotel had died in the same way, that the boss of the hotel is related to the mayor of Shishou, that the hotel was a centre for the local drug business and Yu was killed for threatening to expose what was going on. There's also a rumour that three further bodies have been found at the hotel

  4. Work related Tips to Murderers:

    Confirm that victim can write before forging suicide note.

    Wow, their Mafia's as dum as ours.


  5. From National Review, on 'remembering' Reagan.

    As a conservative spokesman, the governor of the largest state, and then a presidential-candidate-in-waiting, Reagan had taken and defended positions on a multitude of issues. Compared with some later Republican leaders, such as the first Bush and Sen. John McCain, Reagan cared about a broader range of policies and knew more about them. He didn’t make up positions on the fly or go with his gut. He had also honed his explanations of why he sought some reforms and rejected other proposals. Steven Hayward, the second volume of whose excellent history The Age of Reagan appears this summer, points out that it took practice and attention as well as talent for Reagan to become the Great Communicator. Reagan could ramble through responses to questions and even occasionally flub his lines. But he concentrated on getting his most important messages across, and doing it succinctly.

    Are Reagan’s would-be successors willing to follow this example? Bush, Dole, Bush, and McCain didn’t. None of them could talk, and some of them seemed to disdain the enterprise. One hopes that Sarah Palin is doing her homework on national policy issues behind the scenes, prepared to reemerge with an unquestioned mastery of them. In her career in national politics, she has given one fine speech, at last year’s party convention. Nothing as good has followed

  6. the American Founding loomed large in Reagan’s rhetoric. The political scientist Andrew Busch has found that during his presidency Reagan mentioned the Founders more than his four immediate predecessors combined. He mentioned the Constitution ten times in his memoirs, compared with zero for those predecessors. Those of us who believe that our political inheritance from the Founders is what conservatives ought to be trying to conserve will naturally find this fact heartening. No serious student of Reagan can believe that his constitutionalism was other than sincere. It also served him well politically. It promoted unity among his sometimes fractious supporters. It rooted him in American tradition even as his opponents called him a radical. It provided a connective thread, a coherence, a seriousness, and even a nobility to his politics that it might otherwise have lacked.

  7. The tight connection between Reagan’s agenda and the nation’s circumstances tends to elude us these days — so much so that we misquote one of his signature lines. Everyone remembers that he said in his first inaugural address that “government is not the solution, government is the problem.” Everyone forgets that the line began “In this present crisis.” He wasn’t saying that government was always “the problem,” let alone that it would always be the problem in the same way that it was in 1981.

    It is thus a mistake to assume that keeping true to the spirit of Reaganism requires contemporary conservatives to press forward with his administration’s program: to keep trying to reduce the top income-tax rate, for example, with the same urgency he brought to the task. A conservative today should share Reagan’s conservative preference for lower taxes and a less socially harmful tax code. But he might conclude that, in part because Reagan changed our circumstances, the tax that most needs lowering today is the payroll tax. Or he might conclude that a free-market reform of health care is more important now than any changes to the tax code

  8. Misremembering Reagan.

    The Gipper still has lessons to teach — just not the ones we usually hear




  10. What other system always sorts correctly on a computer?

  11. Enquiring minds want to know how our most southern of reds does the date.

  12. Ever since 1978 and my experiences at Fort Lost in the Woods.

    A fellow alumni. I was in the Class of '67. Still use the 2400 hour clock, except when it confuses my friends. As well as the calendar date format which just saves much time.

  13. NorK ship plies ahead

    The sea is a harsh mistress. Many a vessel has met its doom at her hands.

    Gordon Lightfoot


    Careful, Doug. You're sounding like Mat.

  15. burka?
    Sarkozy's got it right.

    You have to be one sick sorry son of a bitch to get down on the floor, look at another another man's ass five time a day and then put your woman in a burka, so you don't have to look at her in public.

  16. From last thread:

    Well. You can come to ours.

    Thanks, Trish. That's an invitation I'll always remember...with pride and humility.

    I can't promise to behave, though.

  17. Re: burka?

    It is a dehumanizing creed. That Sarkozy has had the courage to attack its most humiliating symbol is significant.

    But what will the French do about Iran?

  18. I'm a freedom loving kinda guy and I have trouble with the French propensity to dictate from above what an individual should do. Ya wanna wear a burka - go for it.

  19. I usually say, "Is it Check day, yet?"

    Time is, Morning, evnin, Dark, Bout Midnite, Dawn

  20. naif--Noun. A person who lacks knowledge of evil...

    Ash: I'm a freedom loving kinda guy...Ya wanna wear a burka - go for it.

    Ash to the imam: Ya wanna force your women to wear the burka? Go for it.

    Ash to the honor killer: Ya wanna kill your daughters and wives for flirting? Go for it.

    Ash to the rioters: Ya wanna have sharia law in your neighborhood. Go for it.

    Ash to the DMV: They wanna wear a veil for their driver's license photos? Let 'em go for it.

    Ash: They only wanna be free.

  21. "When?": best answered by spring, summer, fall or winter.

  22. linearthinker,

    quisling---noun: A traitor who serves as the puppet of the enemy occupying his or her country.