“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."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kenny MacAskill, an astonishing fool and stooge of the left.

Kenny boy came to prominence inside the Scottish Nationalist Party through his activities in the left wing 79 Group and became a party office bearer. In the 1980s he led the "Can't Pay, Won't Pay" campaign in opposition to the Poll Tax.

After MacAskill became on MSP in 1999 upon the establishment of the Scottish Parliament as a regional list member for the Lothians he moderated his political position, seeing the development of the Scottish Parliament as the most achievable route for Scotland to become an Independent Nation State. In this respect he was regarded as having adopted a gradualist approach to Scottish independence in place of his previous fundamentalist position. He was one of former SNP leader John Swinney's closest supporters.

In 1999 MacAskill was detained in London before the Euro 2000 second leg play-off match between Scotland and England on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly. As he was not charged with any crime the incident did not affect his position within the SNP and he won re-election at the 2003 election.

In 2004, after John Swinney stood down as SNP party leader, Kenny MacAskill backed the joint leadership ticket of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon. He had initially intended to stand for deputy leader himself on a joint ticket with Nicola Sturgeon, who would have sought the leadership. He gave way when Salmond reconsidered his earlier decision not to seek re-election to the leaders position. Upon their election as leader and depute leader respectively MacAskill was selected to be the SNP's depute leader in the Scottish Parliament, making him the shadow Deputy First Minister.

MacAskill authored a book, 'Building a Nation - Post Devolution Nationalism in Scotland', which was launched at the SNP's 2004 annual conference in Inverness. He has since edited another book 'Agenda for a New Scotland - Visions of Scotland 2020' and has co-authored 'Global Scots - Voices From Afar' with former First Minister Henry McLeish. WIKIPEDIA


  1. The Death Book for Veterans

    If President Obama wants to better understand why America's discomfort with end-of-life discussions threatens to derail his health-care reform, he might begin with his own Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He will quickly discover how government bureaucrats are greasing the slippery slope that can start with cost containment but quickly become a systematic denial of care.

    Last year, bureaucrats at the VA's National Center for Ethics in Health Care advocated a 52-page end-of-life planning document, "Your Life, Your Choices." It was first published in 1997 and later promoted as the VA's preferred living will throughout its vast network of hospitals and nursing homes.
    After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use.
    Unfortunately, under President Obama, the VA has now resuscitated "Your Life, Your Choices."

    "Your Life, Your Choices" presents end-of-life choices in a way aimed at steering users toward predetermined conclusions, much like a political "push poll." For example, a worksheet on page 21 lists various scenarios and asks users to then decide whether their own life would be "not worth living."

    The circumstances listed include ones common among the elderly and disabled: living in a nursing home, being in a wheelchair and not being able to "shake the blues." There is a section which provocatively asks,
    "Have you ever heard anyone say, 'If I'm a vegetable, pull the plug'?"

    There also are guilt-inducing scenarios such as "I can no longer contribute to my family's well being," "I am a severe financial burden on my family" and that the vet's situation "causes severe emotional burden for my family."

    When the government can steer vulnerable individuals to conclude for themselves that life is not worth living, who needs a death panel?

    One can only imagine a soldier surviving the war in Iraq and returning without all of his limbs only to encounter a veteran's health-care system that seems intent on his surrender.

    I was not surprised to learn that the VA panel of experts that sought to update "Your Life, Your Choices" between 2007-2008 did not include any representatives of faith groups or disability rights advocates. And as you might guess, only one organization was listed in the new version as a resource on advance directives: the Hemlock Society (now euphemistically known as "Compassion and Choices").

  2. 76. luddy barsen:
    We can’t drill, but we can pay Brazil to, so long as the company is Soros’ largest single stock holding.
    or this one, even better.

  3. "'The sight of a mass murderer getting a hero's welcome in Tripoli is deeply upsetting, deeply distressing, above all for the 270 families who grieve every day for the loss of their loved ones 21 years ago,' British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told BBC Radio."

    Ya think?

  4. How does your Congressperson vote, on drilling in the US, doug?

    Think globally, act locally.

    Since Team Obamamerica carried most of of our participating posters home States, there may be a little hint for long term success, in that above statement.

    Worried about the "Left" in Scotland, while Harrisburg is inundated by that section of the political spectrum.

    Where as Obama carried FL and OH, as well as HI and CA. We are more concerned with politics in the Ukraine and Israel, Afpakistan and Iraq.

    Not keeping eyes on the prize.

    The questions concerning "End of Life", doug, ars not inappropriate, to anyone, anywhere.

    Are you an asset or a liability, to your family, clan, tribe or country?

    To claim the question is inappropriate, another sign of "Decandence". Some questions are just to painful to ask, let alone honestly answer.

    Better they just be avoided?

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  6. I would suggest that anyone that finds a tv presentation "disturbing", simply change the channel.

    The government of Libya took responsibility for that attack, and paid restitution to those families.

    All is forgiven, the Libyians have been redeeemed. Get used to it.

    We did it in Iraq, for folks that wrecked havoc upon a lot more than 270 innocent victims and their families.

  7. Those that were redeemed, in Iraq, we paid.

    They took our blood and we paid them with our treasure, for it.

    Redemption - the song of freedom

  8. Blogger linearthinker said...

    "Regarding insurance companies, their executives, Waxman's intrusion, and profits...

    Insurance appears to be far from a high profit sector."

    It would be difficult to post a high profit margin if the execs are sucking it all out through compensation. Not saying they are but the lack of profits doesn't meant the folks aren't looting the place (i.e. AIG Financial Products division).

  9. Today in Iraq, America released 80 or so Iranian backed Sadr terrorists (some with american blood on their hands) to the iraqi government who are going to release them prompty...

    Israel releases terrorists for the mutilated corpses of their citizens..

    I know I sound crude but if the terrorists are executed upon being found guilty by either trial or military court they never could be released to kill again..

    Worried that killing them plays into the hands of those that hate us?

    newsflash, they already do hate us...

    so off the scum suckers....

  10. Want to screw the terrorists?

    Drill for OIL in the USA...

    Create global warming...

    Heat up the deserts....

    bake the their asses...

  11. Same as in Pakistan, the ISI subsidized the infrastructure that supported the attacks of 9-11-01, that is beyond question.

    The ISI is a branch of the Pakistani government.
    Which is beyond dispute.

    We paid the Pakistani government over $10 billion USD since those attacks in 2001.
    Not even questionable.

    The Mouse that Roared.

  12. America has been paying off the islamic whores? hoards? since 1793...

    Wake up America...

  13. Gaddafi lives!

    Reagan and Thatcher, long gone from the political scene.

    Who won?

  14. Most always have, wi"o", excepting with regards to Israel, which you equate with Jewery and I do not.

    It is just another City-State, to me. One that recieves an inordinate amount of support, from US.

  15. The most prolific of the nuclear proliferators, Pakistan.

    Again, beyond dispute.

  16. While we should be drilling for oil, we should also be mobilizing our agricultural strengths. The great swaths of marginal lands, lands that could be utilized in weaning the US from foreign energy sources.

    Keeping those billions of US dollars, spent fuelng our economic engine, at home.

  17. dr: It is just another City-State, to me. One that recieves an inordinate amount of support, from US.

    Israel receives the same amount of money America funded 1 week's worth of cash for clunkers...

    Or 1/2 the USA federal gift to acorn....

    and at least 75% of the money given to Israel is spent on AMERICAN made goods and services...

    the total monies we transfer to the arab world (and opec), the amount we spend on bases in south korea, germany and japan all cost far more...

    AND unlike pakistan, arabia and such Israel never has asked ONE american to die for her...

    SHe only wants the right to defend herself...

    UNLIKE most of the ball-less allies we have around the globe

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  19. If we merely internalized, focusing US attention to the Americas, primarily. Looking for internal, American solutions to our challenges, first.

    This would solve the long term instability to our security which a global presence requires. It would also provide an economic disincentives to illegal migrations for economic reasons.

    That the Russell Company elitists have stymied this program, for over 100 years, also a slam dunk.

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  21. "Today in Iraq, America released 80 or so Iranian backed Sadr terrorists (some with american blood on their hands) to the iraqi government who are going to release them prompty..."

    There are two ways of looking at this. The first, which I've run down before, is the inability of the Iraqi government to try many of those we hold because standards of evidence for detention are not the same as standards of evidence for trial within the Iraqi judicial system - a problem that dogs the US and countries other than Iraq, too. Those who cannot be tried with reasonable hope of success must be let go, be they Iraqi, Iranian, Sudanese, Jordanian, Syrian, Egyptian or what have you. Just because we can roll them up doesn't mean they can be convicted.

    The other way of looking at it involves the larger strategic political and diplomatic picture for Baghdad: The Iraqis are going to make nice with the Iranians. It's in their interest to do so, even though the Iranians pose the greatest internal security challenge, by far, to them. The Iraqis have no desire to be a Persian rump state, are painfully aware of the interference (some of it hair-raising) in their affairs, and yet wish to maintain ties that are beneficial to them with their neighbor.

    Pick whichever one makes you the least unhappiest. Because it's Friday, and that's what Fridays are for.

  22. Or pick the one that makes you the least unhappy. Just because it's Friday doesn't mean our grammar has to slip.

  23. Marine Happy Hour in five and a half hours.

    Stairway to Heaven-type nonsense shall not be tolerated.

    Nor cynicism. (You know who you are.)

  24. I wouldn't send a dime to Israel, wi"o", and I would not further fund "Cash for Clunkers", either.

    Since to move forward with either, we have to borrow the money, for my daughter to pay back.
    Neither of those policies are in the best interest of the US, to further fund, at all.

    Especially if Israel is not a secular City-State, but defines itself as a sectarian one. I find the idea of US subsidizing sectarian Government to be abhorrent, whether the US does so in Ireland, Israel, Iraq or Afpakistan.
    All are equivilant in that regard.

    We're not exporting our own revolution, so we're not winning the Battle of Ideas.

    But that battle is not really on the US agenda, is it?

    When the US Army is tasked with being policemen, for foreign courts...

    It is well past time to go, to leave Iraq. The more expedited the process, to disengage and disembark, the better, for both US and them.

  25. Quietly out the back door. That's where we're headed.

  26. I would also cut the US funding to the Egyptians and the Jordanians.

    If Regional Security demands those folks be funded, I'd let the Sauds to it.

    If Israel really does represent Jewery in world, then they could easily self finance that US government aid.
    Just the scale of the money that Bernie Madoff stole, north of $50 billion, would have funded $3.5 bn per annum in interest, at 7%.
    Enough to supplement US aid, without any restrictions on its' use.

    No reason for Israel to be a US tax and debt eater.

    Those other Programs you mentioned, even Acorn, are domestic. If that is what stimulates our economy, and it is the Government's business to be stimulating ...

    It's called political patronage.
    Which has a long and glorious tradition in the United States of America.

  27. Abe Lincoln and the Homestead Act of 1862 a good place to begin.

    The premier Republican payoff to its' constituency, providing the GOP with over 60 years of political domination on the Federal level.
    From Lincoln almost uniterrupted, until FDR. Mr Wilson the exception, being elected in a three way race that split the Republicans. Mr Wilson winning with just 42% of the popular vote.

  28. The combined aid package funding, around $18 bn USD, could be reinvested in tax subsidies to sweet sorghum or switch grass based ethonal production.

    The US taxpayer money reallocated to a higher and better use. US energy independence from sources not in the Americas.

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  31. hmmm, I thought that this was interesting re. the "Is Isreal Racist?" debates here:

    "Border guards at Israel's Ben Gurion airport have been barring entry to arriving Canadian and American citizens with Palestinian-sounding names. They are told they must make a long detour and enter via the Allenby Bridge land-border crossing that connects the West Bank with Jordan. On arrival there, their passports are stamped “Palestinian Authority only” – preventing them from entering Israel, including the annexed parts of East Jerusalem."

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  33. re Health Care, this guy makes some sense:

    "Who Needs the Public Option?
    By Uwe E. Reinhardt

    Citizens in the rest of the industrialized world have long had easy-to-understand, reliable, life-cycle health insurance. They do not wake up at night worrying that their health insurance might be rescinded over some willful or inadvertent omission on health status during the application for insurance. Nor do they worry that they and their families will lose their health insurance coverage when the family’s breadwinner loses a job or switches jobs or location of residence. It would be very rare, indeed, in those countries to see a middle-class family lose all of its savings and perhaps even its home over unpaid medical bills.

    It is truly remarkable that the United States, one of the richest countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, has never been able to offer its citizens that kind of stable financial security. Instead, Medicare aside, our health insurance system leaves most Americans basically “unsured”: Private, job-based health insurance purchased in the large-group market is stable and reliable only as long as an employee keeps that job. It is not permanent, nor portable. It leaves Americans exposed to considerable financial risk over their life cycle. It is not “insurance,” but “unsurance.”

    Private health insurance purchased by individuals or small firms in the small- or non-group market hardly can claim to offer the insured permanent, stable and reliable insurance coverage either. Premiums for such plans can shoot up substantially and seemingly capriciously from year to year, as many small business firms and families know only too well. The tragic stories Americans read about the shortcomings of that insurance coverage originate mainly in that market. This is “unsurance” as well.

    One would have hoped that the overarching goal of health reform would have been to put in place a reformed health insurance system that can offer Americans the same reliable, permanent, portable and life-cycle health insurance enjoyed by, say, Germans or Canadians or the people of Japan and Taiwan. "

    That's just an excerpt.

  34. Cynicism

    There is nothing so naive as cynicism. A cynic is one who believes that men are innately depraved, that irrationality and cowardice are their basic characteristics, that fear is the most potent of human incentives—and, therefore, that the most practical method of dealing with men is to count on their stupidity, appeal to their knavery, and keep them in constant terror.

    In private life, this belief creates a criminal; in politics, it creates a statist. But, contrary to the cynic’s belief, crime and statism do not pay.

    A criminal might thrive on human vices, but is reduced to impotence when he comes up against the fact that “you can’t cheat an honest man.” A statist might ride to power by dispensing promises, threats and handouts to the seekers of the unearned—but he finds himself impotent in a national emergency, because the language, methods and policies which were successful with parasites, do not work when the country needs producers.

  35. Describing Team Bush and how they tried to manipulate the Masses, aye, trish.

    Cynics to the core?

    Ridge Cites Pressure Before 2004 Election.

    Former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, the first director of the Department of Homeland Security, says that he was pressured by other agency heads to raise the terrorism threat level on the eve of the 2004 presidential election -- a move he rejected as having political undertones.

    The disclosure comes in promotional materials for Ridge's new book, due out Sept. 1, in which he writes that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Attorney General John D. Ashcroft tried to pressure him to raise the threat level.

    "After that episode, I knew I had to follow through with my plans to leave the federal government for the private sector," Ridge writes in the book, "The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege . . . and How We Can Be Safe Again

    Comes down to trust.

  36. ash,

    Those poor Palestinian sounding individuals will just have to try harder. Apparently, murdering 270 innocents gets you a free ride...busy...busy...busy

  37. The Israeli confirming the conclusions of the Mitchell Report of Apr 2001.

    It is a Jim Crow culture.

  38. Gonna redraw that border, allen.

    If the Palestinians aren't cursing Arafat, they're a whole lot dumber than most people thought.

  39. WiO; 12:19. Amen, Brother!
    Allen and WiO: Good Shabbat!

  40. Nor cynicism. (You know who you are).


    I remain selectively skeptical, scornful, and pessimistic toward the motives and integrity of certain others, most notably Obama, his administration, and his party. If there's a better word for that attitude than cynicism, or selective cynicism, I leave it to you to inform me.

    The last word in an argument is often best heard over your shoulder.

    Enjoy happy hour, Trish. Have a nice weekend.

  41. "If there's a better word for that attitude than cynicism, or selective cynicism, I leave it to you to inform me."

    I've been thinking about it.

    Have a nice weekend, linear.

  42. As for the Israeli not asking for a single US life, that is only true in some seperate reality, one that does not extend beyond 42 years int the past.

    Because the Israeli certainly took US lives, back then. In an engagement in which the actions of the US commander were worthy of being awarded the Medel of Honor.

  43. So the Israeli did not ask for US lives, they just took them.

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  45. On June 8, 1967,
    34 American servicemen were killed and 174 were wounded during an Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. According to former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer, “Those men were then betrayed and left to die by our own government.”

  46. The Israeli did say the were sorry.
    Redemption - the song of Freedom.

    Everyone, anyone can be redeemed, if they just say sorry. Pay the fees
    Even Libyians.

  47. Except Jonathan Pollard. Who will never see the light of day.

    And rightfully so.

  48. On June of 1967 the USS Liberty left control of the USA Navy and under illegal orders from the NSA entered a war zone and started to spy on our ally Israel.

    Israel, after attempts to get the Liberty to LEAVE and stop transmitting a war map of the israel war effect to the british (who inturn via cyprus transmitted such data to egypt) disabled the ships intelligence equipment rather than simply sinking the craft...

    all other cover stories are crap...

    war is hell...

    and the USA aint always on the side of the israelis...