“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."

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Obama Pledging a more open administration

Sorry about the rapid change in posting, but no half as sorry as Obama's keeping his campaign pledges. Change you can believe in.


  1. The alleged American "citizen" Obama, who is the President of the USA, is doing exactly what some of us said he would do...

    Vote Present....

    Support Islam....

    Harm America....

  2. I will restrain myself for the remainder of the day.

  3. Why would you do that? :)

  4. I get the feeling that many in America are fed up...

    They are pissed about islamic terrorists, they are pissed about apologies from CAIR and US governmental officials that keep jamming it down our throats that "islam" is a faith of peace...

    Bush, Obama whomever, I dont care..

    It's shit...

  5. In re Dodd and Dorgan: Were Dodd to run again, a Republican could take his seat. That's how wildly unpopular he is. The decision not to run saves the seat for a different Democrat.

    Dorgan's seat will in all likelihood revert to Republican.

    I think it was at TalkingPointsMemo where I read that the DNC/DNSC anticipates more withdrawals coming up.

  6. But I guess that was already pointed out in the body of the article so...never mind.

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  8. We're taking back our congressional district here. One telltale sign is Minnick running aroung here in jeans and cowboy boots, a real sign of desperation, so early too.

    Anybody want a love poem? i have a dozen or more right here. And since I'm starving, I'll sell them cheap.

  9. Minnick's a suit guy. Lots of money.

    When they start running around in jeans and boots, you know they are scared.

    I've got a whole list of talking points made up, to piss the people off against him, in letters to the editor. Starting with, how he voted for Pelosi. When the election time comes.

    Minnick is going down.

  10. An interesting letter in the Australian Shooter Magazine this week, which I quote:

    "If you consider that there has been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theater of operations during the past 22 months, and a total of 2112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers.

    The firearm death rate in Washington , DC is 80.6 per 100,000 for the same period.

    That means you are about 25 percent more likely to be shot and killed in the US capital, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the US , than you are in Iraq .

    Conclusion: "The US should pull out of Washington

  11. Given the facts, how can anyone question the openness of the Administration when it comes to "terrorists"?

    "Book'em Danno!"

  12. I got some Grecian-Formula for the "ONE" we've been waiting for...

    can't wait to see what 3 more years will do to him...

    and as for his spouse? her ass will be as large as Ted kennedy's nose...

  13. But o yes,
    I must confess
    When my hand goes shakey
    I look to take a walk
    In those woods

    Deep woods,
    Dark and true
    This woman
    I don't even know

    I meet her there

    She has a face
    I've never quessed
    Never seen it
    But she has a sway

    O so far past me

    That I don't even care

    She has a name
    So beuatiful

    An old line of poetry
    But o so true

    A man stiffens in his bride

  14. Define "Bathos":

    A sudden, and normally accidental, slip into the ridiculous by a poet intending more elevated expression.

  15. Also...

    # triteness or triviality of style
    # mawkishness: insincere pathos
    # anticlimax: a change from a serious subject to a disappointing one

    # Bathos is from the Greek , meaning depth. As used in English it originally referred to a particular type of bad poetry, but it is now used more broadly to cover any ridiculous artwork or performance ...


  16. Seems to me if he didn't stiffen, beforehand, he ain't got much of a bride.

  17. The world in brief...

    Quote of the day

    The success of our efforts stands out in stark contrast to what the coalition forces in neighboring Afghanistan have been able to achieve over the past nine years.

    Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani...

    No dates on talks fine with IranTehran, Iran--Iran welcomed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's comments that there is no hard-and-fast deadline for starting nuclear dialogue, a spokesman said Tuesday.

    On Monday, Clinton said the Obama administration remained open to negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, though it will move toward tougher sanctions if ...blah...blah...blah

    Iraq frees chief of Shiite group

    Baghdad--The Iraqi government has released the leader of a militant Shiite group linked to the 2007 kidnapping of five Britons a spokesman said Tuesday.

    Qais al-Khazali was freed Sunday after his transfer days earlier from U.S. to Iraqi custody...

    ...Al-Khazali...head of Asaib Ahl al-Haq...was detained over an attack that killed five U.S. soldiers in January 2007 in the holy city of Karbala...

    After his arrest, his group was linked to the kidnapping in May 2007 of computer expert Peter Moore, 36, and his four bodyguards.

    The bodies of three of the bodyguards have been handed over to British authorites. Moore was released alive...but the fate of the final hostage remains unknown

    Innocent plea in Philippines

    Manila--A member of a political clan pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder charges in the election massacre of 57 people, including journalists and members of a rival's family...


    Time for an oldie from the archives.

    It's good news week!


  18. You're an old fart Rufus, and ruin everything.

    Stiffen this baseball bat up your ass, if you please.

  19. linearthinker,

    We resolve to desolve into waves of political bathos. (Secy Clinton on the US's newest Iranian hardline approach)

  20. As is well known, a Nigerian national named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to destroy a passenger aircraft traveling from Amsterdam to Detroit on Dec. 25, 2009. Metal detectors cannot pinpoint the chemical in the device he sought to detonate, PETN.


    From this three things emerge:

    First, although the capabilities of jihadist terrorists have declined, their organizations remain functional, and there is no guarantee that these organizations won’t increase in sophistication and effectiveness.

    Second, the militants remain focused on the global air transport system.

    Third, the defensive mechanisms devised since 2001 remain ineffective to some degree.

    Intelligence Process

  21. This is why Egypt wants its own WALL, making itself guilty of "war crimes" in the process, according to some.

    As earlier written, you cannot make deals with these people.

    On a humorous note - "Ghussein said 35 Palestinians were injured, including two who are brain dead and five in serious condition."

    ...brain dead?...How does one tell?

    Egyptian border guard killed in clash

  22. Obama is going to "surge" air marshals and put them on all incoming overseas flights...better late than never.

  23. Gunmen killed at least six people in a drive-by shooting outside a church in southern Egypt as worshippers left a midnight Mass for Coptic Christmas, Egyptian security and hospital officials said overnight Wednesday.

    The attack took place in the town of Nag Hamadi in Qena province, about 64 kilometers from the famous ancient ruins of Luxor.

    A local security official said two gunmen drove by a group as they were walking out of the Virgin Mary church and sprayed gunfire randomly into the crowd. The official said at least six people had died and an administrator at the hospital where the casualties were taken said seven were dead.

    it was the swedes...

  24. Think how much we'd have saved if we'd begun profiling before 9/11, outsourced airline security to El Al, and never created the TSA. I'd argue the last two items may have been moot if we'd done the first.

    In a rational world the responsible heads would roll. Instead it's the heads of the innocent that roll.


  25. Rufus is just uncouth, bob.

    No sensitivity to fine poetry or delicate feelings. Like yours.

    The light of your life is a lucky lady. Or should that be plural?

    Is polygamy practiced in the Palouse?

  26. I KNOW! Let's HIRE the Palestinians to run security!!!!

  27. I'm going to bed now.

    I love my Lady, that's clear.

    You keep away now, or I'll kill ya.

    Goodnight, bob

  28. Sam,

    from your "Intelligence Process" link...

    "In both the Fort Hood attack and the Detroit incident, information was in the system that could have allowed authorities to identify and stop the attackers, but in both cases, this information didn’t flow to the places where action could have been taken."

    Unless I have missed the big story, this cannot be said of the Fort Hood Muslim.

    For his behavior, the Major could and should have had Article 15 charges preferred. This could have been done by any superior. At this time, the jury is out as to who ultimately will bear responsibility for the systemic failure leading to mass, military murder by a Muslim.

    Thanks for an otherwise enjoyable read.

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  30. T, more time...

    How would a marshall have prevented the Nigerian from taking the action he took before it became flamingly blatant?

  31. Allen: How would have a marshall have prevented the Nigerian from taking the action he took before it became flamingly blatant?

    Like other forms of law enforcement, the idea is deterrence. Naturally you can drive drunk and make it home without getting pulled over, Lord knows I did it enough when I was a stupid First Class Petty Officer, but put the word out that there's an emphasis patrol and you dampen the incidence rate. Put the word out that there's an armed air marshal on US transoceanic flights, and you raise the stakes. If an asshole starts trying to light his shorts on fire, the guy in the aisle seat next to him will yell, "Help, Air Marshal!" On Dec. 26 all they could yell was "Oh Shit!"

  32. T,

    Sorry, but passengers jumped the perp and extinguished the flames. While someone may have exclaimed, "O shit", they apparently did so as they pummeled the bum.

    As far as anyone is supposed to know, there are marshals on all international flights. Supposedly, that is a deterrent.

    Is there some evidence indicating that the Nigerian was aware of the absence of law enforcement on that flight? I have seen nothing to that effect.

    At this time, it must be thought that the culprit boarded that plane willing to take the risk of interdiction, believing that the job would be done before an effective response could occur.

  33. Norman Shanks, an aviation-security consultant in England, said the use of live explosives is a problem for chemical-sensing machines because the trace amounts left behind during training can contaminate surfaces or baggage that it contacts.

    This isn't the first time security officials have misplaced live explosives in tests. French police in 2004 lost explosives in a passenger's bag during dog training at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

    A similar event occurred several years ago at London's Heathrow Airport, Mr. Shanks said.

    Training Shortfalls

  34. Allen: As far as anyone is supposed to know, there are marshals on all international flights. Supposedly, that is a deterrent.

    So you're saying that Obama is making an empty guesture for the consumption of voters in response to the right wing radio talk show meme that he dropped the ball in his response to terrorism? Are you feeling okay Allen?

    Obama Orders Air Marshal Surge by Feb. 1: 'Race Against Time'

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  36. Also Wednesday, the Israeli military said its top commanders will consult more closely with its legal advisers during future offensives -- a move motivated by war crimes accusations that followed last year's war in the Gaza Strip.

    The army said the decision formalized a practice already used during the Gaza war.

    The policy follows a U.N. panel's conclusion that Israel committed war crimes in connection with the Gaza operation. Both military and political officials have been forced to cancel trips to Britain because of efforts by Palestinian activists to bring them to trial under a war crimes law that breaks down jurisdictional barriers.

    Commanders Consult Advisors

  37. T,

    Am I okay? Hmm...That depends on whom you ask. The voices have become less shrill. I am not compelled to write poetry, if that has diagnostic significance.

    Would Mr. Obama pander? Why, yes, I believe he would were he a cynic. But as a true believer in the power of the proclamation, he probably thinks he has accomplished something vital.

    In a month's time, this will all be old news as we press on with the next big thing.

    I am reminded that "a job not worth doing is not worth doing well."

  38. For his behavior, the Major could and should have had Article 15 charges preferred.

    I'm not arguing the "should have had."

    Rules may have changed. My experience was that an officer could decline the Article 15, in which case the situation escalated instantly to a general court martial, if punishment was to be meted out. Those tend to attract abundant attention, not always complimentary to the command involved. If he was assigned to a non-divisional tenant unit at Ft Hood, the case would have likely been tried within divisional channels, not his medical corps chain of command. Given the political sensitivity of his offenses, I can imagine the chain of command being reluctant to prosecute beyond the reprimand level. I'm not saying it's right, just that it could be.

  39. Sam,

    In an effort to see that all possible limitations are imposed on armed force, I think whole companies of lawyers should go in with the first wave.

    It is in the heat of battle where brave men are needed to stand-up, raise a scolding hand and say, "Enough".

    As the US, XXXXXX does not want for lawyers. Therefore, replacements come readily to hand, should that be needed - G-d forbid.

  40. linearthinker,

    You are not incorrect. However, more can be said.

    In most cases a LOR would suffice to prevent promotion (they tend to kill careers). It often serves to also halt transfer, since the receiving command gets to make that call based on its needs and an assessment of the qualifications of the officer in question, including any Unfavorable Information File.

    Had the Major complained as long and hard advocating the assassination of the President, you may be sure action would have followed. As it is, he advocated the deaths of his fellows.

    Long story short, when the facts are finally out, this guy will be what I predicted at the outset: a pampered, yet psychotic, piece of PC. What that says about the system, each must conclude on his own.

  41. Sam: Also Wednesday, the Israeli military said its top commanders will consult more closely with its legal advisers during future offensives -- a move motivated by war crimes accusations that followed last year's war in the Gaza Strip.

    When Israel kills civilians, it's a mistake. When Hezbollah kills civilians, it's a triumph.

  42. “… Since 1965, the percentage of graduates of highly-ranked business schools who go into consulting and financial services has doubled, from about one-third to about two-thirds. And while some of these consultants and financiers end up in the manufacturing sector, in some respects that’s the problem.

    [The] goal was to allocate capital efficiently, rather than as makers of specific products, where the goal was to maximize quality and long-term* market share.”

    Why can't Americans make things? Two words: business school.

  43. T,

    Apparently, it is also a "triumph" when they murder Egyptian soldiers.

    Wishing them no ill, the Egyptians are getting a taste of their own medicine. To their credit (for the moment), the Egyptians are trying to bring some normalcy to their own border with Gaza. Like XXXXXX, they are getting a lot of unneeded help.

    To repeat, one cannot make deals with Palestinians. They are a breed apart, and will kill Muslims as readily as others.

  44. They are a breed apart, and will kill Muslims as readily as others.

    Are the ingredients for a mutant strain of humanity available in Gaza?

    Could we be observing in real time a demonstration of Darwin's theory?

    Is it too far fetched a question to ask? I'm no biologist. The strain can't succeed if it feeds upon itself, I would imagine.

  45. Is it too far fetched a question to ask? I'm no biologist. The strain can't succeed if it feeds upon itself, I would imagine.

    sadly this mutant strain was bred to BE Jew killers by the Egyptians and then when it caught on the UN, USA , Russias, Chinese, 3rd world and the Europe all now feed the beast...

    If they received no outside help (from israel too in the form of hospitals etc) they would have snuffed themselves out 20 years ago..