“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."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thank you for your service.

Semper fi

Hat Tip: Hugh Hewitt


  1. Per Rat, that Marine should be thanking all those millions supporting his sorry Federal Socialist ass in retirement.

    I recently attended the retirement ceremony of a Naval Cmdr, aviator, and friend. My second Naval retirement ceremony; no one retires 'em quite like the Navy. Talking to his wife, who was organizing the whole thing while he was away (and she herself a Navy brat) she remarked, "It's all about the bell. This is their way of thanking him." And to a great extent, that's true: It's all about the bell. But we also agreed that retirement ceremonies in general are about watching grown men and women reach for words - or struggle valiantly through them - that express their profound gratitude to their respective service and, as importantly, to their country, for the privilege and honor of serving. If audience members, too, get weepy - and they almost always do - this is when they get weepy. That particular retirement ceremony was no exception.

    So, servicemembers do often thank you. Even you who should have your ass sincerely kicked instead.

  2. "...Naval Cmdr, aviator, and friend."

    Should read: Naval Cmdr, aviator, diplomat, and friend.

    Especially since, as far as the second to last goes - his second life - he was second to none and is truly missed.

  3. trish wrote,

    "Even you who should have your ass sincerely kicked instead."

    I am sure you meant to write "sorry ass"; elevated blood pressure can have that effect ;-)

  4. Yes, allen. Yes it can. Thanks for edit.

  5. trish,

    I would not dream of editing your flawless prose. Let's say I was anticipating, instead ;-)

  6. murray was oh so right, even when I do not pontificate, it still is all about me.

  7. It's funny, allen, almost immediately after 9/11, and we'd not been back in the States very long, Metro residents started looking at servicemembers a little, ah, differently. On those days when he was in uniform, people would approach my husband and shake his hand and say, "Thank you."

    Well, first of all, this rather embarrasses him. Or leaves him at a complete loss for words. Or both. So his response was always simple and straightforward, "No. Thank you."

  8. re: Immediate aftermath of 9-11,

    Miller was recalling the NY Times leading the cause at the outset.
    I do not recall.
    But thanks for their admittedly short lived support.

  9. Finally, Change We Can Believe In™

    ...Minutes later, a woman prompted a standing ovation with her emotional outpouring.
    'I don't believe this is just health care. This is about the systematic dismantling of this country,' she said, her voice quaking. 'I don't want this country turning into Russia, turning into a socialised country. What are you going to do to restore this country back to what our founders created, according to the Constitution?'"
    As the woman said at the town hall,
    "I don't believe this is just health care."

    Bailouts to banks, huge stimulus payoffs to special interests, nationalization of auto companies, trillions in new debt, the ideological taxing of our great carbon energy supplies, unconscionable deficits stealing from our grandchildren, Washington talk of health rationing, forced abortions, compulsory sterilization, eugenics. Are you all Eurosocialists now? What the hell is going on in Washington?

    Maybe, just maybe, the woman is right. Maybe the national roar is a cri de coeur from the heartland to the capital -- just the beginning of a national vomiting of alien ideas being shoved down the national throat by a left-wing Congress.

    To those congressmen who oppose the horror: This is no time for timidity and compromise. Let your political courage match the passion of the people.

    And to all the Washington politicians in Congress, advice from another generation's poet...

  10. Obama Veteran’s health care - Google News

    Senators slam plan for wounded vets to use private insurance

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.

    Lawmakers say they'd reject a proposal to make veterans pay for treatment of war wounds with private insurance.

    But the proposal would be "dead on arrival" if it's sent to Congress, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, said.

    Murray used that blunt terminology when she told Shinseki that the idea would not be acceptable and would be rejected if formally proposed. Her remarks came during a hearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs about the 2010 budget.

  11. 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").

  12. The next time you say, Fucking, Austria make sure you know what you're talking about.

  13. Yeah, my Doctor's Nurse at the VA tried several times to get me to go "upstairs" for a "Consultation." I just kept laughing, and saying, No; and I thought she was, eventually, going to break down and cry. They're pushing it pretty hard.

    I told her, and will tell my Doctor when I see him, again, "If I'm a goner, pull the plug;" but I don't think that will be sufficient. The way it stands now, I think I'll either have to sit down for the "conference," or they'll attempt to stop treatment.

    We'll see.

  14. "Scumbag" Specter calling for Senate Investigation of VA Deathbook Consultations.

    Too late, "Speck" ol son, you're toast.

  15. As the president and the Democrats try to craft a sales pitch that the American people will swallow, they continue to ignore the most compelling evidence to not go down that single-payer road. Namely, it ultimately leads to government-forced rationing as it has in Canada, England, Germany and other countries with socialized health care systems.

    The president and the Democrats also continue to ignore real ways to make health care better in America and other alternatives to Obamacare.

    It would be a sin to continue down the wrong health care road.

    Health Care Sin

  16. Roubini's latest warning:
    There are also now two reasons why there is a rising risk of a double-dip W-shaped recession. For a start, there are risks associated with exit strategies from the massive monetary and fiscal easing: policymakers are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. If they take large fiscal deficits seriously and raise taxes, cut spending and mop up excess liquidity soon, they would undermine recovery and tip the economy back into stag-deflation (recession and deflation).

    But if they maintain large budget deficits, bond market vigilantes will punish policymakers. Then, inflationary expectations will increase, long-term government bond yields would rise and borrowing rates will go up sharply, leading to stagflation.

    Another reason to fear a double-dip recession is that oil, energy and food prices are now rising faster than economic fundamentals warrant, and could be driven higher by excessive liquidity chasing assets and by speculative demand. Last year, oil at $145 a barrel was a tipping point for the global economy, as it created negative terms of trade and a disposable income shock for oil importing economies. The global economy could not withstand another contractionary shock if similar speculation drives oil rapidly towards $100 a barrel.

    In summary, the recovery is likely to be anaemic and below trend in advanced economies and there is a big risk of a double-dip recession

    I think we said the same thing here at the bar.

  17. Re: "Fucking, Austria"


    Sooo, the question before the village counsel is, "Shall we continue "fucking" or just "fuck""?

    I have to regain my composure; this is priceless!

  18. Thought maybe that was a Hayek or Mises reference.

    I am a true, but not brilliant, nerd.

  19. American lawmakers intensified their criticism of President Hamid Karzai, saying his government had not done enough to crack down on corruption and the drug trade that fuels the insurgency. Senator Robert P. Casey Jr., Democrat of Pennsylvania, told reporters at a dinner on Sunday at the American Embassy in Kabul that he had told Mr. Karzai, “There’s going to come a time when the patience of Americans will run out.”

    Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, who was also at the dinner, said: “Time is not running out next week, but they have to show results. It’s the last chance.”

    Concerns about fraud in the election have brought more complaints to Afghan officials. Mr. Karzai’s main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, told a news conference in Kabul on Sunday that the number of suspected irregularities had been “alarming.”

    Force is Insufficient

  20. whit,

    I take your point, but don't we first have to move out of the current recession?

  21. It is against this backdrop that the portents for Australian farmers – certainly from the perspective of product supply – have never looked better.

    The fall off in demand for equipment in the machinery industry’s major global markets has seen more being shipped here.

    This is an especially welcome development since we continue to buck world-wide trends with tractor sales up by double digit figures when compared with this time last year.

    Massey Ferguson Optimism

  22. A) Tom Ridge lied to the NYT last year or
    B) he's lying now. Either way, he's a crapweasel.


  23. "Sooo, the question before the village counsel is, "Shall we continue "fucking" or just "fuck""?"
    They said
    " Fuck It! "
    and did nothing.

  24. " long-term government bond yields would rise..."
    20% on 11 Trillion's only a bit more than 2 Trillion a year.
    No Biggie.

  25. Rufus,

    Next time I tell you to go to Hell, I might only be suggesting a vacation.

    Then, again...

    Anyhow, when you go, be sure to send us a postcard.

  26. So, Fucking, Hell is just another European Vacation, eh?

    But, we knew that.

  27. A sharp fall in Shanghai stocks last week "poured cold water on optimistic views about the economy," said Shuichi Kanehira, senior vice president of the foreign exchange division at Mizuho Corporate Bank.

    "But stocks are now marking solid gains, reversing yen-buying sentiment," he said.

    "Excessive pessimism (about the economy) has receded" since the Bernanke remarks and the release of the favorable economic data, Kanehira added.

    Recovery Hopes

  28. All civilian employees of the government, including those at the C.I.A., were required to comply with guidelines for interrogations detailed in a series of legal opinions written by the Justice Department. Those opinions, since abandoned by the Obama administration, were the central focus of the Justice Department’s internal inquiry.

    It has been known that the Justice Department ethics report had criticized the authors of the legal opinions and, in some cases, would recommend referrals to local bar associations for discipline.

    But the internal inquiry also examined how the opinions were carried out and how referrals of possible violations were made — a process that led ethics investigators to find misconduct serious enough to warrant renewed criminal investigation.

    Abuse Cases

  29. A leftwing group’s effort to intimidate corporate advertisers on Fox News’ Glenn Beck show appears to be backfiring as it triggers a wave of support from grassroots fans rushing to defend the popular TV personality from the attacks.


    Beck's enemies on the left, however, in their campaign to destroy Beck, have awakened a sleeping giant.


    Among the messages fans left on the DefendGlenn "Support Wall" to show their support for Beck:

    # "Freedom of speech applies to all speech, even those from the right," wrote Matt Elmore of Woodbridge, Va.

    # "You are not alone, but like Gen. Washington, out in front of the troops," wrote Michael Lyon of Estero, Fla.

    # "Never give up,” Leonor Godwin of Stephenville, Texas wrote him. “They are trying to break you.

    Glenn Beck

  30. A South Australian Government submission on BHP Billiton's environmental impact statement for its planned Roxby Downs mining expansion says salty discharge from a desalination plant could affect sensitive marine species.


    Acting SA Premier Kevin Foley says the Government is working to achieve changes to BHP Billiton's mine expansion proposal but remains committed to the project and the benefits it will give SA.

    "There are certain environmental impacts that have to be dealt with and dealt with appropriately and I have no doubt and all confidence that BHP will do that," he said.

    Desal Site

  31. I admit I pass by once in a while.

    She is one good looking Nordish Switch

  32. Desert Rat is an asshole.

  33. Hi, Bob.

    I'll bite. What's a switch?

  34. Market participants across most of Asia continued to be upbeat after U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday the global economy appears to be on the verge of recovery, positive comments also confirmed by surprisingly strong U.S. housing data in July.

    "There were just a lot of plus factors to lift business sentiment," said Yumi Nishimura, deputy general manager at Daiwa Securities SMBC Co.'s Financial Research Center, also citing fresh highs marked both by U.S. and European equity markets Friday.

    Automakers and other exporters, like Honda Motor and Canon, rebounded strongly as the U.S. dollar climbed into the upper 94 yen range from a one-month low at the mid-93 yen level last week in Tokyo.

    Economic Recovery

  35. It could have been the village council out there pushing for "Fucking" that came in ahead.