“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."

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Brit General sees long war of nation-building in Afghanistan

Afghanistan conflict could last 40 years, says new head of British Army

General Sir David Richards, the new head of the British Army believes the West's mission to stabilise Afghanistan might take as long as 40 years.

By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent Telegraph
Published: 8:00AM BST 08 Aug 2009

General Sir David Richards' prediction came as three more British soldiers, part of an elite Special Forces unit, were killed by an improvised explosive device in southern Afghanistan.

The three men, members of the Special Forces Support Group, died when the vehicle they were travelling in was struck by an explosion near Lashkar Gah in Helmand province. A fourth member of the unit survived the attack but was last night in critical condition.

The SFSG was formed in 2006. Built around 1 Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, its members also include Royal Marines and men from the RAF Regiment. It is part of an integrated UK Special Forces Group that also includes the SAS, the SBS and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, all of whom are active in Afghanistan alongside more than 9,000 regular British troops.

A former commander of British troops in Afghanistan, Sir David will take over as Chief of the General Staff at the end of the month, replacing the outspoken General Sir Richard Dannatt, who has repeatedly questioned the Government's approach to the Afghan mission.

In a magazine interview to be published today, Sir David described the scale of the task facing Western governments trying to establish a stable Afghan regime able to ensure the country is not a base for extremists.
Sir David said: "It will take time. This is nation building - not the starry-eyed type, but nation-building nonetheless. It is not just reconstruction: jobs and simple governance that works are key, and there has to be a strong reconciliation element to the latter.

He added: "The Army's role might evolve, but the whole process might take as long as 30 to 40 years. There is absolutely no chance of NATO pulling out."

That prediction echoes those made by other senior figures including Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, the former British ambassador in Kabul, and will fuel fears that the West could become mired in decades of conflict in Afghanistan.
A total of 195 British service personnel have now been killed in Afghanistan in 2001, and the mission there has become a growing political problem for Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister.

Sir Richard has publicly questioned the Government's commitment to defence, and Gordon Brown has faced intense questions about whether forces on the frontline have been provided with adequate vehicles.

Those questions may grow with the disclosure that the three SFSG soldiers were killed while travelling in a Jackal vehicle, which has less armour than some other vehicles used in Afghanistan.

MoD sources insisted that the Jackal's off-road capability made it the appropriate vehicle for the SFSG's work.
However, The Daily Telegraph revealed June that some British commanders believe the Taliban are deliberately targeting the vehicles with bomb attacks because of a high success rate.

Fourteen British soldiers have now been killed while travelling in Jackals.

The MoD confirmed that the men were travelling in a Type 1 Jackal vehicle, which is only lightly armoured. Some British soldiers using Jackals are known to have tried to improve their protection by taping Kevlar pads to the vehicles. After field commanders requested a series of modifications to the Jackal, the MoD in April ordered 110 new Type 2 Jackals. The updated Jackal will have an "enhanced armour configuration".

An MoD spokesman said the new better-protected Jackals will be deployed to Afghanistan "imminently" but could not give a date.

There are more than 9,000 British troops in Afghanistan, and the figure is likely to rise again despite Mr Brown's resistance.

Generals including Sir David have been arguing the greater numbers would allow Western forces to hold more ground safely. Stanley McChrystal, the US general overseeing Afghanistan, is expected to make a formal request for more British troops within weeks.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the new head of NATO, yesterday made a public call for more troops in southern Afghanistan where British forces are based. "Honestly speaking, I think we need more troops," he said.
Afghans vote in a presidential election later this month, with President Hamid Karzai expected to be re-elected.
Mr Karzai's Government has Western backing, but a Daily Telegraph investigation today reveals that privately there are growing concerns about his ability and willingness to tackle corruption and drug trafficking in the country.

Plan your next vacation.


  1. See, the Afghan's have a national heritage, now, too.

    Land that is to valuable to sell or develop, just like here in the US.

    Good to see they have their priorities straight. Ain't life grand!

  2. There was, at one time, a booming tourist industry in the Swat Valley, in Pakistan.

    There was economic development, hotels, restaurants, inns, even a ski slope.

    The develpment and continued operation of all those tourist facilities did not hamper the rise of the Taliban in that area. In fact it may have accelerated it.

    Cross cultural contamination one exacerbating causes of the turmoil, there.

  3. Taxpayers to Pay for UNION Retiree Health Plans !
    A Ten Billion Dollar Transfer from the taxpayers to the unions! cover union freeloaders AND their wives and children.
    These great Americans become eligible when they retire @ age 55!
    Miller asked a union caller what would be done with the millions
    (billions, nationally) in their retirement accounts, union pig
    replies, that's MY Money, I'll get my share back!

    What's his is his, and what's ours is his, as far as us paying
    for his healthcare, as well as his familys. Fair's fair, right?
    See Page 65, Section 164 of HR 3200. It seems to set aside $10 Billion for "eligible" health plans...for retirees. Not only that, it specifies the retirees can be as young as 55 yrs old. Now, I know very very few non-union private companies offer retirement health care plans, especially not at 55.

    Click here to read the letter John Sweeney sent to AFL-CIO members exhorting them to turn out at town hall meetings. Buried in the letter is this nugget: "Sweeney [demands] ... the legislation contain "relief for company/union funds providing pre-Medicare retiree coverage"...

    If you think people are mad about Obama's health care proposals now, just wait until they find out they are going to be forced to pay for union health care benefits, starting at 55, that THEY THEMSELVES WON'T BE ABLE TO ACCESS!

  4. The Associated Press - Vladimir Isachenkov - ‎52 minutes ago‎
    VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev promised Saturday that Russia would not withdraw its recognition of two breakaway Georgian regions, as he commemorated the start of last year's brief and bitter war against Georgia

    A "Good Trade" for an air bridge to Afpakistan?

  5. The US military, doug, offers lifetime retirement packages for thoss as young as 38.

    Blows those Union dudes right out of the water, comparativly.

    Government work offers greater retirement and double dipping opportunities, at taxpayer expense.

  6. Health Debate Turns Hostile at Town Hall Meetings

    No mention of Conservative Black that got beat up and sent to the hospital ER, or any of the seniors bhat were physically assaulted in article.
    Followed by equally biased comments such as this gem:

    "As a well educated, nuanced thinking progressive New Yorker, I hope these hooligans get what they deserve, namely their cozy healthcare plans pulled out from under them. I really don't care if 45,000 health insurance jobs move out of NY.
    Let them move to North Carolina, Texas, Iowa, India or whatever stinking place they feel they must..

    And the pharmaceutical companies can go with them, to China for all I care.

    New York is a knowledge based economy and we don't need them.
    I agree with Nancy Pelosi that these well dressed brown-shirted idiots are simply trying to retake congress!

    As a social worker I have good benefits, but I also know many people don't. I would be willing to support a New York State income tax healthcare surcharge of 5% on salaries over $56624, adjusted for inflation, as long as it does not apply to NYS pensions. And thank heavens the SEIU is going to send some members to these meetings to stare down these fascists."

  7. Barak Obama wants to give america another vietnam...


  8. There are so many Government programs and payouts, doug, that I am not able to access, that piling on a few more, won't raise the ire of that many more of US.

    Come on, what's the alternative to 21% of GCP that will soon be spent on healthcare?

    With the US taxpayer already on the tab for half?

  9. gag told us those Union dudes were pussies. Which the beatin' up of a black guy and some old folks would confirm.

    Still, it's gettin' fiesty.

  10. Sincerely,
    John Hughes

    Then the phone rang.

    1…2…3…4…a scream came from the other room and 1…2…3…my boss Tony was standing in my doorway yelling, "John Hughes is on the phone!!"

    I politely got off the phone with the job candidate who was no longer a candidate and

    Hit. Line. Two.

    "Hi, John."

    "Hi, Alison."

    We talked for an hour. It was the most wonderful phone call. It was the saddest phone call. It was a phone call I will never forget.

    John told me about why he left Hollywood just a few years earlier. He was terrified of the impact it was having on his sons; he was scared it was going to cause them to lose perspective on what was important and what happiness meant. And he told me a sad story about how, a big reason behind his decision to give it all up was that "they" (Hollywood) had "killed" his friend, John Candy, by greedily working him too hard.

  11. "won't raise the ire of that many more of US."
    Just a hundred million or so!

  12. Come on, what's the alternative to 21% of GCP that will soon be spent on healthcare?

    Playa Pelicano

  13. I guess we need to appoint someone from the "EB" to study up one the "CO-OP" Proposal, since, it seems that That is what we're going to get.

  14. Something about that rock farm immediately turns Europeans as batshit crazy as the people that live there.

  15. union thugs are like military retirees?

    it must be an interesting world where you're staring at that glowing rectangle

    how's that Obama advocacy working out?

  16. Gotta agree with Elijah on that one Rat. Not such a hot analogy, I think.


    UK in Afghanistan Securing Afghanistan's Future

    "The UK, alongside 40 other nations, is in Afghanistan at the invitation of the democratically elected Afghan Government to help rebuild and develop a country emerging from a quarter century of conflict.

    In light of this, we are pleased to announce that the road to hell is now paved. The Afghan Minister of Tourism invites tourists from around the world to come and enjoy the visual delights and surprisingly warm climate of Afghanistan.

    Along with the now robust foundation in place for the tourism industry, we are there to support Afghanistan's increasing insecurity, the art of personal reconstruction, good grief governance, and counter productive-narcotics work

    The UK's efforts are co-ordinated by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence."

  18. Not only are the pussies, they are also chicken shits. In a group they will try to bully you. One on one they are just sniveling whining little girls.

    Their low IQs require them to have representitives where they work, as they are too stupid to negotiate anything on their own.

    I guess I shouldnt hold back my feelings :-)

  19. Moderation in Everything, Gag; Moderation in Everything.

    You don't want to live in a country where unions are "outlawed." On the Other hand, you don't want to live in a "Country run by Unions."

    Kind of like "Churches," in that respect.

  20. I'm in transportation/logistics, Rufus. If you want to stymie production, just hire a few lard ass teamsters and see what happens.

    Sorry, to disagree, but I think we should outlaw unions. If they were outlawed we wouldnt have had to bail out GM, and flying commercially wouldnt be such a shitty experience.

  21. I don't know, Gag. You look around the world to where unions have been "outlawed," and it's not a pretty picture.

    I wonder what the wages at those hyundai, and Toyota plants would be if they didn't have the spectre of the UAW lurking in the background?

    The thing is, you've got to have "consumers" to buy the stuff you're hauling, Gag. Without decent wages who are your customers going to sell to?

    The factory "owners" can/will only buy "so much."

  22. It's Never as "easy" as we'd like it to be.

    Democracee's Hard.

  23. There are 38 year old ex-GI's that have a govt. retirement because the vast proportion of Americans only wished they had served well after the opportunity presented itself to them.

    A fair trade to my way of thinking, certainly more fair than the outright thuggery privilege and state sanctioned takings by the unions.

    You can't tell someone they cannot get on the bus because of their color, but you can tell someone they cannot make a living because they do not have a union card. That practice, in MHO is worthy of contempt.

  24. That's the "other" side of the coin that you don't want, Deuce. A state "governed" by Unions.

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. N.B.

    Re comment @ Sat Aug 08, 05:16:00 PM EDT

    Had a temporary system freeze with multiple links open incl EB comments, AmerDigest, and youtube url w/ embedded link. Closed Firefox via [ctrl-esc] > task mgr > applications > end task. Reopened firefox and EB in new session, and problem seems to be corrected. Also, delete comment function in blogger was missing. Delete seems restored now. Taking down the comment & links. LT

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. The Union recipients of those benefits are not thugs. Most all were obliged to join the Union under penalty of law if they did not. It was not an option for them, Union membership.

    There are 22 States where Union membership is not an obligation of employment, under the law, they are:
    Arizona †
    Arkansas †
    Florida †
    North Carolina
    North Dakota
    Oklahoma †
    South Carolina
    South Dakota
    In addition, the territory of Guam also has right-to-work laws.

    † An employee's right-to-work is established under the state Constitution, not under legislative action.

    These 22 are amongst the least populated States, leaving, perhaps 70% of the population in the 28 States where Union membership is obligatory for employment.

    Any of those citizens are contemporaneous and as honorable as any career member of the military.

    Those folks that are Union thugs, on the other hand, are not nearly as meritorious as a career military man or woman.

    The crux of doug's comment going to the injustice of the US taxpayers paying for the 10 years of medical insurance from retirement at 55 to Medicare coverage at 65, and more than likely the supplemental coverage promised, over and above the basics.

    Which is exactly what has happened to Government Motors, the Union and the Federals guaranteeing those Union contracts, now that it is a Federal subsidiary.

    United Auto Worker = US Army soldier.

    In the brave new world, both are government men, through and through.

    Get used to the idea, amigos.

  29. linearthinker said:

    "Women In Film"

    I was going to say that they don't make them like they used to. But it's really a matter of they don't photograph them like they used to.

    Within this short video is a range of photographic styles. The glamor photos I was exposed to 40 and 50 years ago have quite a different aesthetic than those of today.

    The women of today are quite sexy but they aren't alluring or as fascinating as the women of the forties or fifties.

    But, of course, that's purely a matter of personal taste.

    The different aesthetic is just a small part of the cultural divide which separates the generations.

    I have to remind myself that younger people, even as old as fifty, have a different sensibility than mine. It's easy to tread on their toes and they mine.

  30. The economic vitality that those Union workers bring to the job, and the impact they have on the economy is well illustrated by net Federal tax payments recieved and then returned, listed by State, for each of those dollars sent to DC.

    I imagine, looking at the list, that a number of observations can be made.

    The "Right to Work" States are net Federal taxeaters. The dollar amount recieved is listed, per dollar paid:

    Alabama $1.66
    Arizona † $1.19
    Arkansas † $1.41
    Florida † $0.97
    Georgia $1.01
    Idaho $1.21
    Iowa $1.10
    Kansas $1.12
    Louisiana $1.78
    Mississippi $2.02
    Nebraska #1.10
    Nevada $0.65
    North Carolina $1.08
    North Dakota $1.68
    Oklahoma † $1.36
    South Carolina $1.35
    South Dakota $1.53
    Tennessee $1.27
    Texas $0.94
    Utah #1.07
    Virginia $1.51
    Wyoming $1.11

    The only true deviant in the Right to Work crew, NV.
    Though Texas and Florida are net payers, but not to the degree of our friends in Nevada.

    There certainly seems to be a economic correlation between "Right to Work" and Federal subsidies?

    Those that have the "Right" to abstain from Union membership, they are in the "Tax Eating" States.

    Those that are forced to join a Union subsidize those of US that are not.

    The Unionized States are paying the way, for the rest of US.

    Spin away.

    Tax Foundation.

    Right to Work States.

  31. It's easy to tread on their toes and they mine.

    But does that keep you off the dance floor, Vik? :-)


  32. You can list wonderful statistics til the cows come home, but unions are still a drain on any industry. It has been proven countless times. When has a unionized company been better than a non-union competitor? Never. Production goes out the door, every worker a drone. Anyone who works faster or more efficiently than the rest is threatened and told to slow down, or go home.

    Were they necessary years ago. Yes. But they lost their usefulness a long time ago. I would guess around 1982 when industries started de-regulating, which was a wonderful thing for competition. Pure Capitalism.

    The bigot in chief and all his minions don't like competition. They want everyone dumbed down to the slowest idiot.

  33. Unions, gag, are good for Government.

    They limit the number of seats at the table. It is not a matter of Unions being "better or worse", they are a reality.

    But that still does not make every Union member a thug. Nor less than equivalent to any member of the US Military.

  34. The non- union shop states have, by and large, better fishing.

    Otherwise: Almost by any metric you'd care to name, the Union-Shop states are more prosperous, healthier, have better education systems, better medical care, live longer, ad infinitum.

    We might as well give the Devil his Credit.

  35. linearthinker said:

    "But does that keep you off the dance floor, Vik? :-)"

    Is this what you mean?

  36. I "still" think it should be a "state-by-state" thing.

  37. The Unionized States are paying the way, for the rest of US.

    Spin away

    Correlation does not equal causation.

    A thought to always keep in mind while reading your comments.

  38. It is a reality of the whirled, even being as counter intutitive as it is.

  39. They, Rat, are only good for a liberal government, or a socialistic type government. Why? because they are always good for about 3 million votes, and that is the only real reason.

    I thnk your comparison of military retires and union retires is obsurd.

  40. That is true, lineman, about effect and cause. But there is the effect, that the taxpayers of Chi-town, New York, and Newark are subsidizing us taxeaters in Phoenix, Boise, and Honolulu.

    The cause, in part, higher Union wages, than those paid in the "Right to Work" States. In the auto business all the foreign name plates have placed their US operations in those non-Union States. Whle paying comparative wages to those in the UAW shops.

    The other local service industries lag in wage parity, not the major players that can pay for performance.

    So, yes, there are a variety of reasons for the effect, but Unions and their cultural impact DO have positive attributes, that often more than balance the negatives.

    Saying that, I have never been a Union member, do not ever plan to be and wouldn't knowlingly hire a Union shop to do subcontracting work for me.

  41. Thanks for the cigar, LT. Now you'll have to excuse me, I see a young lady at the bar.

    Introducing himself to the aforementioned young lady:
    "Hi, my name's Bill Clinton."

  42. Not any more, gag.

    The Government owns General Motors, it owns the Banks.
    It owns the highways, except where it is trying to lease them to private operators. It owns thirty percent of all the land.

    The US has had a Socialist Government since Teddy Roosevelt. The roots were well planted then, nourished and pruned by his cousin Franklin and strengthened and fertilized by every Administration and Congress since 1900, at least.

    One could argue that the Civil War was the turning point, easily enough.

    An expansion of Government conrtol of the Health Industry, when their transfer payments already account for 50% of the Industry?

    Better to call it a consolidation of interests. The single payer for 50% of the tab, is being gouged.

    The Federals have created a monster that feeds everyone that recieves corporate paid benefits, without taxation. Folks that see themselves as payers, when they are recieving a sizable tax free income allotment.

    Just as the military gets its' tax free allotments and allowances.
    Continuing the equivalency of working citizens. No matter the employeer

  43. I, also, have never been a "union member." However, it just makes sense that the more you divvy up the "pie," the more economic "activity" you will have.

    A "poor" man working in a rural Mississippi shoe factory can't buy much from you. A "Union Member" working in a Northern Car Factory can buy quite a lot.

    It all works, until it doesn't. Eventually, the beast becomes "Too Big," "Too Bloated;" and the whole thing comes apart. Big 3, anyone?

    Then, you're "Supposed" to have the bankruptcy "Jubilee," and start all over.

    However, the Feds have gotten in the way of the Jubilee this time around, so, Who Knows?

  44. Here's an interesting "thought" experiment for someone who wants to "think" considerably more than I.

    How much Federal, State, and Local Taxes are imbedded in every one of those cars the feds are pushing out the door with the C for C program?

    I'll bet you the final figure will astonish you. I wouldn't doubt the various government entities aren't making money with every deal.

    You could say, "Yeah, but they would have made $4,500.00 more if they had waited for the sale to be made w/o subsidy." But, the fact is, "Nobody was Buyin."

    Now, they're not only buying on "qualifying" deals, but they're also buying on Non-Qualifying Deals, and even the Used Car Business is UP.

    I'll bet we'll look back in a couple of years, and say that was the damnedest idea of all. The only one that Really made a difference.

    And, yes, I do think we should do one for home appliances. Maybe one for "Windows."

  45. Capitalism needs "Confidence," and "Activity." All that other stuff is just "busywork."

  46. what about the poor schlock that actually does the work? You guys whine and complain about the low wage 'non-union' shops down in Mexico and China sucking up all the US manufacturing plants yet...

    ...what is it, you want your cake and to eat it as well????

  47. Bloomberg - Katie Merx, Alex Ortolani - ‎Aug 7, 2009‎
    Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co., the new automaker majority-owned by the US Treasury, said it intends to make an initial public offering of stock by July 10, 2010, the one-year anniversary of its exit from ..

    Is it a "good" idea for the US to totally divest itself of GM, or to "Partner with the Market"?

    The Government is going looking for "Partners" and that's a fact.

    That's Federal Socialism for you.

  48. GW Bush had his cronies and BH Obama has his.

    Provider of patronage has always been "part" of the President's job description.

  49. For those that missed it

    General Motors Co., the new automaker majority-owned by the US Treasury

    That makes GM a subsidiary of the US Treasury. THat means that GM workers are now government workers, now, does it not?
    Or do the the workers really not work for the owners? Or will someone argue that the Government does not "Really Own" GM?

    Like arguing Freddie and Fraudie were not extensions of Congressional intent.

  50. Some day the backstory to General Dynamics being eased off the F-22 program will show the real value of political patronage.

    There is gist to that story, it just smells of political opportunity.
    Much more so than a religously racial connection to Mr Wright's congregation ever could.

  51. Looks like GD was "eased" out of the aircraft production business, for $1.53 bn, back in 1991 or 92.

    ''Are you really for national security, or are you for your nameplate?''.

    So said the GD CEO, William A. Anders who did the deal. Betcha it tasted sour in Chi-town.

    Paybacks are a med-a-vac.

  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

  53. Federal Socialist, expanding the number of "States" with the Lincoln's progressive Homestead Act. Which populated the "West" and created States enough that the Southern bloc could be overcome after Reconstruction.

    Diluting the power of the Southern bloc that most opposed the expansion of Federal power. With the inclusion of sparsely populated States, from 1867 through 1912. States that were, for the most part, populated by progressive Republicans, supporting the "Progressive Amendments" to the Constitution. Those that would have never passed State ratification, pre 1861.

    Exemplified by the Federal Income Tax and the direct election of Senators, and legislation like the Federal Reserve Act.

    All designed to empower the Federals while limiting their accountability.

  54. Nobody ever said it wuz easy, Ash.

  55. "Partner" with Unca Sam? whut a deel. Where do I sine?

  56. The IPO, rufus,

    Betcha it'll be heavily subscribed?

  57. By VOA News
    08 August 2009

    Pakistan says it is investigating unconfirmed reports of a deadly shooting between two rival Taliban commanders seeking to replace the group's leader Baitullah Mehsud, who was allegedly killed in a U.S. missile strike.

    Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Saturday the reports suggest a fight broke out during a meeting (shura) between Wali-ur-Rehman and Hakimullah Mehsud, and that one of them is dead.

    But another Taliban commander, Noor Sayed, denied there had been any such confrontation.

    The succession meeting was reportedly held in the semi-autonomous tribal region of South Waziristan bordering Afghanistan, where Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says Baitullah Mehsud was killed Wednesday.

  58. Platinum Equity is said to bid for Boston Globe.

    The Beverly Hills investment firm, which recently bought the San Diego Union-Tribune, joins two Boston-area groups that have submitted offers for the newspaper, reports say

    By Martin Zimmerman
    August 9, 2009

    Beverly Hills investment firm Platinum Equity, which recently bought the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper, has emerged as a possible buyer of the Boston Globe.

    Platinum Equity has submitted a "preliminary bid" for the paper, according to a person with knowledge of the proposal. The firm is offering to pay $35 million for the paper and assume $59 million in pension liabilities, according to published reports.

    Platinum Equity, which specializes in buying distressed properties, has made no secret of its interest in acquiring newspapers and other publishing properties, which have been battered by a downturn in advertising revenue caused by the recession and the loss of advertisers to the Internet.

    The firm bought the Union-Tribune in May and was seen as a serious contender to buy the Austin American-Statesman in Texas until Cox Newspapers took the paper off the market last week. Platinum Equity also has been rumored as a possible bidder for Business Week magazine.

    Last month, the investment firm failed in its effort to buy bankrupt auto parts maker Delphi Corp. Its bid had the support of Delphi and the federal government, but it was opposed by creditors, who ultimately succeeded in buying the Michigan-based company.

  59. As duece referenced, just last month:

    Collins makes an interesting observation:

    "At age 78, ... he said ... "Heroes abound, but don't count astronauts among them. We worked very hard, we did our jobs to near perfection, but that is what we had been hired to do."

    Please don't thank Michael Collins for his service. He did his job, damn well at that

  60. TV viewers terrified by Swedish supermodel.

    Swedes are such pussies ...

    They cosy up to tyrants while being terrified of skinny women.

  61. So, has the Swedish boyfriend immigrated?

  62. Fixing Health Care: A Real Solution...

    Mr. Denninger's suggestions.

    Each element fleshed out at the link. RTWT.

    If you sell "insurance" to anyone in a given state, you must accept all persons in that state on the same terms and at the same price.

    All "insurance" companies must offer a true insurance policy covering only unlikely-but-catastrophic events on the same terms as their "full service" policies.

    All health providers must publish a price list and may not bill or accept payment at anything other than that price; doing so becomes a violation of Robinson-Patman and exposes the provider to civil suit for treble damages.

    No event caused by the provision of your treatment may be billed to you. Period.

    If you show up without insurance or ability to pay with a life-threatening condition, you will be treated, but the hospital cannot cost-shift the bill - it instead bills The Federal Government

    Not rocket science. Not snowball's chance in hell of seeing the light of day. Makes too much sense.

  63. It's missing the same element Mass screwed up on.

    You, absolutely, positively, Must have, MANDATED COVERAGE.


    The "young, and healthy" Must Pay while they're still "young and healthy."

    Otherwise, it's Just Government Pay Health Coverage. You ain't ever Imagined Costs like those would be.

  64. Look, you want to make it simple?

    Every paycheck you've ever received had medicare premiums taken out. You must do the same with ANY health plan that's backed by the Government.

    You Can't do it without Mandates.

    Income Taxes are Mandated. Social Security is Mandated. Auto Insurance is Mandated. Medicare is Mandated. Sales Taxes are Mandated. Property Taxes are Mandated. Property Insurance (if you have a mortgage) is Mandated.

    Large Group Health Plans are possible because "Participation is Mandated."

    I made a good living selling health insurance. I wouldn't even Talk to an unmarried, under-thirty something. Total waste of time. I wouldn't talk to'em if "They" called me. I knew how it was going to end up.

    Not ONE of them ever really thought there was a chance they could get sick, or injured.

    But, if you go down to the ER, it's "Full" of them.

    Trust me on this one, Bubbas, and Bubbettes. It's EVERYBODY PLAYS, or NOBODY can Afford to Play.

  65. I got insurance as soon as I found a job after getting out of the Army and settled down, after a few months of roaming, about age 26. Stayed insured to this day. If you'd refused to talk to me because I was "under thirty" the mistake would have been yours, not mine.

    I can tell by your response you didn't read the article.

  66. And, with due respect, FUCK YOUR MANDATES!

  67. I think you're full of balony.

    Why would someone who had bought health insurance as a young man want to continue to pay for other dickheads that won't?

    It's not logical. It's not even believable.

  68. I think you're full of balony.

    You know what they say about opinions.

  69. I read the goofy article. Written by someone who has not a clue how insurance works.

    Large Group Plans don't work because they have a one year enrollment period (the supplemental coverages in the cafeteria plan have a one year enrollment period.)

    Large Groups work because You're Automatically Enrolled. Period.

    That way they collect from a large group of healthy people, and can, thus, afford to pay large claims when someone does get sick.

    His magic solution: Send the bills to uncle sugar and have the IRS collect them. I could, literally, write a chapter on why that is the silliest idea to come down the pike, yet.

    I imagine if you thought about it just for a second you could write the biggest part of the chapter, yourself.

  70. You know what they say about opinions.

    Yeah, but you might want to address the second paragraph.

  71. Which was:

    Why would someone who had bought health insurance as a young man want to continue to pay for other dickheads that won't?

  72. There must be a quote from Shakespeare dealing with overreaching presumption.

    If only I could find it.

  73. What! canst thou say all this and never blush?

    - William Shakespeare

  74. 16 Minutes, and you still haven't answered this question:

    Why would someone who had bought health insurance as a young man want to continue to pay for other dickheads that won't?

  75. A true and genuine impudence is ever the effect of ignorance, without the least sense of it.

    - Sir Richard Steele

  76. I started to dedicate this to Mr. Cedarford's recent cameo appearance. I guess a doube dedication is not without precedent, and if so, well good for me.

    For Cedarford and Rufus...

    ---How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away?

  77. A sudden and unaccustomed hush has befallen the bar.

    It's Saturday night, mates!

    Time to wake up!

    Fortunate Son

  78. BTW, Rufus...

    Large Groups work because You're Automatically Enrolled. Period.

    This is pure, 100% choice, Grade A, bullshit.

    You either know better, and are trying to snow someone, or you're a moron when it comes to your own profession.

    I report. You decide.

  79. Let's liven up the party, shall we...

    Born to be wild - Steppenwolf

    On Keyboard--a guy who local legend had it "used to play with Steppenwolf." Grape Stake Pizza Parlor and Pub, Yreka, California, c.Summer, 1973.

  80. I'll tell you what you do, LT. You give me the name of a Company with a true major medical plan, that takes all comers, and doesn't require 100% participation.

    I want to find that insurance company, and go back into the business.

    Note: a lot of people are unclear what a "Large" group, or a True Group is. It's Not some dinky little $3,000.00 annual benefit policy. I'm talking a "True" Major Medical with Catastrophic coverage.

    Go get'em.

  81. I'll tell you what you do, LT. You give me the name of a Company with a true major medical plan, that takes all comers, and doesn't require 100% participation.

    You left off the mission impossible part about should I choose to accept this assignment ...blah...blah...blah, and "this tape will self-destruct..."

    You're changin' the rules mid-game, rufus.

    ...that takes all comers,

    That's what Denninger was wrestling with in his "goofy article" as you put it. That there isn't such an animal right now is probably right.

    But, Large Groups work because You're Automatically Enrolled. Period, I'm not buying.

    Large groups work because they're large groups, not because anybody is "automatically enrolled." Simple as that.

    Much as you'd like to have it different with your mandates.

  82. Let's wind things down with a little Leadbelly.

    Is it real, or is it Memorex?

    Goodnight Irene

  83. Oath Keepers.

    ...Here is how they describe themselves.

    Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of currently serving military, veterans, peace officers, and firefighters who will fulfill the oath we swore to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God.

    Our motto is "Not on our watch!"

    1. We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.

    2. We will NOT obey orders to conduct warrantless searches of the American people

    3. We will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to military tribunal.

    4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state.

    5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty.

    6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.

    7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.

    8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control."

    9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.

    10.We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.
    A reference to Oath Keepers in the comments to this Atlas Shrugs post Wanted: National Guard For "Internment" Position got me to look into Oath Keepers

    From M.Simon's Power and Control

  84. ...As an Internment/Resettlement Specialist for the Army National Guard, you will ensure the smooth running of military confinement/correctional facility or detention/internment facility, similar to those duties conducted by civilian Corrections Officers.


    Job training for an Internment/Resettlement Specialist requires approximately 19 weeks of One Station Unit Training, which includes Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training. Part of the training is spent in the classroom and part in the field. Some of the skills you'll learn include military laws and jurisdictions; level of force procedures; unarmed self-defense techniques; police ethics procedures; interpersonal communications skills; close confinement operations; search and restraint procedures; use of firearms; custody and control procedures.


    Earn while you learn!

    Atlas Shrugs

  85. The boyfriend is still in Sweden, the daugher is taking another trip, there, Monday.

    Two or three weeks.

    He was keen on getting married, her girl friends talked her down from that trip. Gonna see what shakes out, over the next few months, I'm hoping he can put his Student Visa package together.

  86. Become an Internment/Resettlement Specialist, for three years and you get the tuition for a four year degree from any State University, for free.

    Books paid for, too.