“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, October 29, 2012

Camille Paglia on Obama: The creation of this culture of surveillance, from these bureaucracies, which is also carried over into Obama's endorsement of drones on the military level as well as for police control of the population. I mean, I don't understand how any... veteran of the 1960s who's a Democrat could not see the dangers here, that Obama is a statist. It's exactly what Bob Dylan was warning about in "Subterranean Homesick Blues," okay?

And in case you forgot:


  1. At this point, it is not paranoia. There is surveillance equipment in The Frank Church Wilderness Area, for goodness sake.

  2. And after the investigation concluded, he issued all sorts of warnings about the Surveillance State and how it was emerging, and the urgency of only allowing government officials to eavesdrop on citizens, that they have all kinds of layers of oversight in the courts and Congress, but he issued a specific warning about the National Security Agency that is really remarkable in terms of what he said. And this is what he said—and you can find this anywhere online, in the New York Times, everywhere—he said, as part of a written report, and in an interview:

    “The National Security Agency’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter.”

    He continued, “There would be no place to hide. If a dictator takes over the United States, the NSA could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.”

  3. You guys really do worry about the strangest things. :)

    1. Your comment has been recorded by the National Security Agency. Thank you for your comment.

    2. .

      Feigning obtuseness won't save you, Ruf.



    3. I Never, Ever feigned nobody called Obtuseness. I don' even know the ho.

  4. Frank Church was a democrat back in the day when democrats were not statists and overt Marxists.

    His brother, whose first name escapes me, was the head of a religious group back in D.C., or maybe New York. One of the mainline Protestant churches back there.

    Church is also remembered for his voting record as a strong progressive and environmental legislator, and he played a major role in the creation of the nation's system of protected wilderness areas in the 1960s. In 1964, Church was the floor sponsor of the national Wilderness Act. In 1968, he sponsored the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and gained passage of a ten year moratorium on federal plans to transfer water from the Pacific Northwest to California. Working with other members of Congress from northwestern states, Church helped establish the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area along the Oregon-Idaho border, which protected the gorge from dam building. He was also the primary proponent in the establishment of the Sawtooth Wilderness & National Recreation Area in central Idaho in 1972.

    Church also was instrumental in the creation of Idaho's River of No Return Wilderness in 1980, his final year in the Senate. This wilderness comprised the old Idaho Primitive Area, the Salmon River Breaks Primitive Area, plus additional lands. At 2.36 million acres (9,550 km²), over 3,600 square miles (9,300 km2), it is the largest wilderness area in the nation outside of Alaska. It was renamed the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in March 1984, weeks before his death.

    Frank Church was considered a progressive (remarkable considering that he represented one of the most conservative states in the nation); however, not all of his positions were center-left. Throughout his tenure in the Senate, Church was an opponent of gun control legislation. He also, in 1979, was the first in Congress to disclose and protest the presence of Soviet combat troops in Cuba. According to the Christian Science Monitor, this stance somewhat disarmed his opponent's charge in the 1980 campaign that Church's performance on the Foreign Relations Committee had helped to weaken the US militarily.[8] In 1974, Church joined Senator Frank Moss, D-Utah, to sponsor the first legislation to provide federal funding for hospice care programs. The bill did not have widespread support and was not brought to a vote. Congress finally included a hospice benefit in Medicare in 1982.[9]


  5. .

    A few streams back a post was put up on James Bond and Ian Fleming. But, the Bond series wasn't the only intersting thing happening happening back in the 50's.

    I noted a reference to Fleming in the following post.

    (A trip back in the 'way-back' machine.)

    The Suez Crisis


  6. His brother was Forrest Church, but he wasn't Frank's brother, but rather his son. And he wasn't a mainline Protestant minister, but rather a Unitarian Universalist minister. Other than that I wasn't far off target!

    Frank Forrester Church IV (born September 23, 1948 in Palo Alto, California, died September 24, 2009) was a leading Unitarian Universalist minister, author, and theologian. He was Senior Minister of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City, until late 2006 when he was appointed as Minister of Public Theology.[1] wiki

    Some Quotes:

    “I say to my congregants, "If you believe in God, the best thing you can do for yourself is to suspend your belief for a while, because undoubtedly your God is too small and you must grow beyond that God. On the other hand, if you don't believe in God, your very disbelief is a stumbling block. Kick it away and place your faith in somehting more ennobling than disbelief. Take a flier. Expand your purview. Take a leap of faith.”
    ― Forrest Church, The Cathedral of the World: A Universalist Theology

    “We don't only invent God; we also discover God. Looking at the creation, we strive to deduce the nature of the creator. We take familiar images of power and expand them until they become big enough to encompass the divine.”
    ― Forrest Church

    “Death is not a curse to be outwitted no matter the cost. Death is the natural pivot on which life turns, without which life as we know it could not be. A pro-life-support position is not always a pro-life position. When we can no longer hold on with purpose, to let go is to die with dignity and grace.”
    ― Forrest Church, The Cathedral of the World: A Universalist Theology

  7. The State got us into this mess. The State can help to get us out. USA is designed to lean left or right, as dictated by circumstances. Right now it needs to lean left, which means statism.

    A reminder of where the current deficit came from: (1) GWB's tax cuts, ME wars and Medicare prescription drug coverage, all of which were unfunded, and (2) the 2008 financial collapse, caused by ?? oh that's right - all the way back to Jimmy Carter and The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 which was little more than a textbook statist exercise in central planning designed to get everyone into a house. Oh wait a minute, CRA worked pretty good for almost a quarter of a century until 2000/01 when mortgage loan fraud and trading of RMBS over unregulated derivatives markets spiked ... in tandem ... due to uncontrolled corruption in the capitalist markets.

    The State intervened.

    My message to Camille.

    Paglia is also known for other well considered views such as regarding kiddie porn as art.

    1. The State got us into this mess.

      The State can help to get us out.

      Right now it needs to lean left, which means statism.

      Got it.

    2. Do you really "got it?"

      Let's see what the 2nd richest people in the world (and, no dumfucks, you ain't number one) think about the Irish (and you.)

      Norwegians say, "Wha?"

    3. .


      My. My.

      You silly little man.

      You've seen four years of Obama. The statism you've seen here is merely a continuation in the reduction of personal freedom, a continuation and expansion of the WOT, and interventionism overseas when there is little 'perceived' risk associated with it. As far as the economy, have all the root cause of the finacial crises been addressed? Have the banks suffered? Admittedly, the smaller ones, but the biggest have merely gotten bigger. TBTF has gotton even MTBTF. Regulations? They passed Dodd-Frank two years ago and they are still writing and arguing about the rules. It was supposed to stop too big to fail. That's a laugh. Are the oil companies suffering? Has globalization been reversed? Tax policy? The only tax policy Obama has offered is to tax the rich and close 'loopholes'. Close loopholes? That's what every politician since Reagan has said. Funny how it rarely happens. We get the same thing from Obama as we get from the GOP. A lot of words, little action.

      I got on Bob or someone for claiming that the 'fiscal cliff' we are looking at was Obama's fault. I pointed out that Ryan had lobbied for the agreement and had defended it at the time. I did so because the GOP definately played their part in the fiasco. However, to be fair, it was actually the Obama economic team that came up with the idea for sequestration. They sold it on the basis that no one in their right mind would allow us to go over the cliff only forgetting that, in fact, there is no one in DC that is in his right mind.

      And please don't start with how Obama saved us from going under. TARP was started under Bush. Obama's stimulus plan did just about everything except provide stimulus. The auto bailout process had already been started under Bush. Obama did provide tax relief on withholding taxes, but the people that got it mainly just used it to pay down debt.

      As for sticking it to Wall Street, all he really did was call them a few names. Very effective. Trinkets for the natives. Yet, some here applaud how tough he has been. What happened when the Bush tax cuts were about to expire? Did he hold out for changes? No, he folded like a cheap suit.

      I don't know what arrangements the Norwegians have regarding oil other than what was in that video; but do you really see Obama confiscating oil company profits here? I would say the chances are about the same as for him confiscating profits (oops!) from alternative or green energy companies.

      If he wins, he can prove me wrong during the next four years, but please don't ask me to hold my breath.



    4. I got on Bob or someone...

      Wasn't me cause I've always said the President has less control over the economy than is generally thought. Unless I'm just propagandizing.

  8. On the other hand, some of this technology can be put to good use. In Ada County, Idaho (Boise area) you can watch, via live feed, the security camera focused on the stored absentee ballots there.

    It is boring, to be sure, but reassuring too.

    Ada County is helping you keep an eye on your ballot

    By Steve Bertel

    CREATED Oct. 26, 2012

    As Election Day approaches, many candidates and voters wonder about who’s keeping track of the ballots. Now, according to Ada County Elections Office officials, they can take part in the process.

    In the spirit of transparency, the Elections office has now provided candidates and voters with the ability to watch the ballots at Elections.

    You can do so by going to their website, Under the Candidate Information tab is an option for Ballot Cameras. There are five cameras streaming live video of each of the areas in the Ada County Elections Office where ballots are stored. The VLC media player is required in order to view the video streams.

    Officials say his new tool provides anyone who has questions about ballot security the tools to ensure the ballots are safe. Observers will notice that there are always a minimum of two people present when accessing the ballots. The five cameras cover the blank ballots waiting to go out on Election Day, the returned absentee ballots, counted ballots, and the warehouse were ballots can travel in between.

    To find more about the elections, visit

    It all depends in whose hands......we recall Obama signing the NDAA.

  9. It's possible Romney may get an electoral vote out of Maine, which allocates their electoral votes by Congressional district.

  10. Oh My: Romney Leads 52/46 Among Early Voters Nationally?

    Read it and weep Ruf, but please no Orbison.

  11. It doesn't matter how he's doing in hoboken, bob. It's Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Virginia, and Wisconsin that counts; and, I seriously doubt that he's ahead in any of them.

  12. Speaking of Ohio -

    Presidential race just got tighter in election ground zero — Ohio
    By Jonathan Easley - 10/29/12 06:06 PM ET

    One week from Election Day, the presidential race has tightened dramatically in Ohio, which appears more likely than any other state to decide who will win the White House.

    A Rasmussen Reports survey released Monday shows Mitt Romney overtaking President Obama in Ohio for the first time since May, with 50 percent support to Obama's 48. This follows a Cincinnati Enquirer/Ohio News poll over the weekend that showed the candidates tied at 49 percent.

    The RealClearPolitics average of polls still shows Obama ahead, 48.6 to 46.7 percent, but that spread might flatter the president's current position because it includes a CNN-ORC and Public Policy Polling survey, released last week, which showed him up by 4 points, and a Time magazine poll giving him a 5-point lead.

    1. Yes, and I posted above, any you did read, that Obama 1.9% lead also includes the PPP Poll from Today showing Obama with a +4.

    2. Just in -

      The Romney/Ryan playing cards are selling much better than the Obama/Biden playing cards, so there.


    3. Now, That is actually interesting.


    4. Haven't Halloween masks predicted the winner almost every year?

    5. I think I heard that somewhere.

      You do Halloween. Keep count and see.

      I don't put much faith in yard sign counts. Too easy to fudge, too easy to cheat.

      Got to be some money on the line somehow, or an unconscious tell of some kind.

    6. Company has tracked Halloween Mask sales since '96. Perfect record so far. Obama outselling Romney by 60 - 40.

      Mask Sales

    7. Ouch.

      How do you reconcile that with the play card count?

    8. Don' know; The Won is also up 60 - 40 in the Super-Scientific 7-11 Coffee Cup Poll.

      Coffee Cup Count

    9. What is going on with the Weekly Reader count?

      We need to average these counts to get the Real Clear Count count.

    10. Alas, it looks like the Weekly Reader is out of business, defunded no doubt by Obama so the money could be invested in Solyndra.

    11. I knew Obama was in trouble by which books are on the hot table at the bookstore.

      In 2008 it was all Obama the Great.

      Now they are all Obama the Terrible.

      fossten on October 29, 2012 at 11:43 PM

  13. Canadian police urge Parliament to pass domestic spying bill

    Published: 29 October, 2012, 06:52

    Police across Canada are urging Ottawa to resurrect a controversial Internet surveillance bill that would allow them to monitor Canadians' digital activities in real-time without a warrant.

    ­The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has made a plea to on the federal government to pass Bill C-30, also known as the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act ahead of a gathering by the provincial and federal justice ministers next week.

    The group is concerned that Parliament will be closed down before the legislation is passed.

    “We have a fear that it will die on the order paper,” said Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu, who is also the president of the association. “And if it does, then our investigators will be constrained and victims will suffer greater harm because of that,” the Canadian Press reports.

    Deputy police chief Warren Lemcke agreed with Chu’s assessment, saying that “right now there are gangsters out there communicating about killing someone and we can't intercept that,” as cited by CBC news.

    The legislature, introduced in the Canadian Parliament last February, demands that the country’s telecommunication industry provide law enforcement with the “authority to intercept communications and to require telecommunications service providers to provide subscriber and other information, without unreasonably impairing the privacy of individuals, the provision of telecommunications services to Canadians or the competitiveness of the Canadian telecommunications industry.”

    If passed, the law would also give the police the power to make it a crime to use social media as a tool to injure, alarm or harass individuals. It would also grant access to the individual’s private data such as name, address, phone number and email without a warrant.

    The law would ask the companies to place tracking bugs in their programs so that police, if needed, could spy on conversations if they got the necessary legal approvals.

    Until now, C-30 has remained shelved by Parliament, and has not been debated after receiving mass criticism when it was originally released.

    Critics claimed that the authorities would likely use the powers to harass peaceful protestors and activists.

    A number of social media protests were organized, one of which circulated personal details from the divorce files of the bill’s sponsor of the bill-Public Safety Minister’s Vic Toews.

    People also marched on the streets, demanding checks to the would-be unlimited police powers.

  14. God loves Oil

    The biggest U.S. East Coast refinery in Philadelphia appears to have emerged undamaged from Hurricane Sandy and a smaller nearby plant operated without trouble, sources said on Tuesday as energy firms began assessing the storm's damage.

    I guess that's settled.

  15. Holy smokes Batman! Who would have thought, that in the land of rugged individualism, the land of the free, the FEDS would provide flood insurance? Not this poor American soul in private enterprise, take care of yourself, Canada.

    We've been toying with the idea of buying a property down in South Carolina given the fire sale on in the US. It seems you have to watch out if the place is in a CBRA (Costal Barrier Resource Act) or not. If you are in the CBRA then FEMA doesn't provide flood insurance and you have to get private insurance which runs about 10k a year. Up here in Statist Canada you have to get your own insurance from private companies.

  16. The thinkers can pontificate over Big Issues until hell freezes over, the players on the ground are understand the insightful wisdom in Robert Reich's recent piece: the only real choice in this presidential campaign, and it's a big one, is whether the wealthy will pay more in taxes.

    And so we have another six/seven days of whining about statism when the real subject is Clinton era tax rates for the wealthy.

    Paglia earlier work was provocative. Today she is little more than Ann Coulter with a bigger vocabulary (statist trumps retard) and a smaller audience (although the difference between two hundred and three hundred might be statistically insignificant.)

    Poitics as the "blood sport?" More like the sport of stupid.

    1. Yeah, when you can convince 51% to vote for the benefit of the 1% . . . . . . . ?

    2. I look at disposable income as an indication on who is undertaxed and who is not. Apartments selling for $30 million and up in Manhattan is an obvious indication that there are some stellar performers in the disposable income class. The problem is not one of tax fairness but of a government that never has enough revenue and an insatiable appetite to do regulatory mischief with the money it already has.

      At least someone buying a $30 million condo is adding $30 million into the economy. There is more economic benefit and job creation in the building and selling of a $30 million condo than anything the government comes up with for the same amount of money.

      The argument should not begin with taxes, it should be over allocation of resources and maximizing benefits private and social.

    3. Yeah, let's concentrate on how we can get Mitt's taxes all the way down to Zero. Is that what you had in mind?

    4. How stupid does a man have to be to vote for someone who is going to lower his own taxes while raising those of the dumbo?

      It makes me dizzy.

    5. Buyers of real estate? They aren't American.

      Low mortgage rates together with an influx of foreign capital have boosted New York City residential real estate sales in the past year or so, especially at the “super-high end” of the market.


      Brokers on the panel agreed that in the absence of European buyers, they have increasingly shifted their focus to buyers from Brazil, Russia, India and China, sometimes called “BRIC buyers.” Of the 46 apartments sold so far at luxury tower One57, 23 were foreign, according to the sales office.

      Jill Sloane, an executive vice president at Halstead, joked that of that 23, “I’m sure 20 were Russian.”

    6. Well, the people out here in my neck of the woods need Jobs, or they're going to lose their $30 Thousand Dollar houses.

      They used to have jobs, but the factories have been moved to Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

      Any connection with those BRIC Millionaires buying those $30 Million Dollar Condos?

      Makes you wonder doesn't it?

  17. the only real choice in this presidential campaign, and it's a big one, is whether the wealthy will pay more in taxes.

    That's idiotic, but what the hell.


    Moving on, even Big Bird Poll now has Romney up by 1.


    A barrier reef off South Carolina strikes me as a great place for you, Ash.

    Moving down here for the medical care in your last years?

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Obama is the superior tactician of the sand trap!

      The Libya disaster is the landmark of an unprepared commander-in-chief and the absolute ineptitude of Obama’s failed administration!

      His sand wedge will not get him out of this one.

  19. In Oregon -

    In addition, the poll also found that an initiative to legalize marijuana, Measure 80 is failing, with 49 percent opposed and 42 percent in favor.

    This doesn't surprise me, folks. It does surprise you, because you don't know eastern Oregon.

    " but marijuana measure failing on opposition from women (2012 Oregonian poll)"

    Out that way, beyond the reach of the lesbian settlers, women still appreciate a cowboy who can get it up.


  20. The early voting numbers look absolutely catastrophic for Obama in Ohio.



    State of the Race — 7 days to go: Projected EV count — Romney 261 Obama 236, 41 Toss-up

    By: RealQuiet (Diary) | October 30th, 2012 at 09:17 AM |

    As of this morning looking at the polls and trends, here is what I have. Romney has pretty much wrapped up IN, NC, FL, and VA. The polls showing Florida and Virginia to be close are absurd with their turnout models. Colorado and New Hampshire are very close to being wrapped up as well. The trend in Ohio is very good and Governor Kasich believes that Romney will win comfortably in Ohio. The early voting numbers look absolutely catastrophic for Obama in Ohio. I would have to agree but I’m not willing to take any chances. Currently I have Ohio, Nevada, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Maine Congressional District 2 as being toss-ups though the momentum in these states is all on the Romney side.

    The big problem for Obama now is not the fact that Romney is so close to clinching this, but the fact that Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Minnesota are causing the Obama campaign incredible headaches. I have these as being a slight lean to Obama right now but the momentum is with Romney in these states as well. If Romney picks off just one out of Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, or Michigan, the election is over. This is why you see the Obama campaign buying ad time in these states now because Romney is at 261 EV. It is not any coincidence why the Obama campaign and operatives had a fit about the Des Moines Register endorsing Romney for president. I loved Romney’s SuperPAC buying a $2 million dollar ad by playing in all the Pennsylvania markets, including Philadelphia. Romney, the RNC, and the GOP SuperPACs cash advantage has stretched Obama incredibly thin and they are playing this perfectly from a strategic standpoint.

    Romney is on the cusp of winning this thing. It’s all about getting out the vote and going to vote now. Short diary yes, but I wanted to throw out there what I have and see what other people are thinking out there.

  21. Old folks rising -


    Liberal film producer Michael Moore is out with a new “NSFW” (not safe for work) campaign ad featuring elderly nursing home residents cursing and describing the dirty things they will do if the Republican Party and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney win the election.

    “I was born in 1915 during World War I. My first vote was in 1940 for Franklin D. Roosevelt and I have not missed an election since,” says 97-year-old Marie, in the video. “And I want the Republican Party to know, if your voter suppression throughout this beautiful country enables Romney to oust Barack Obama we will burn this motherfucker down. ”

    “Si se puede,” adds her unidentified nursing home peer.

    Nice video - I can imagine Ash in a few years, in a nursing home in South Carolina, come home from Canada for the medical care, sails finally furled, golf balls finally bagged, expressing similar views.

  22. boobie, I caught that last line. You've got it exactly wrong. Most all Canadians who go south to the US, known as Snowbirds, make sure they maintain their residence status in Canada BECAUSE of the health care in Canada which is already paid for.

  23. Ashlikins, you're an old salt, is this election a wave election, and undertow election, or a tsunami?

  24. Whose the pack mule brain with a potato for a head?


  25. His father was a professor, Buck, a liability he hasn't been able to overcome. He got the big intellectual head because of it. He transplanted to Canada for the dope smoking, fools around in business, and takes part in liberal causes. He looks down on Americans as being 'untrustworthy' and says we are all stupid rubes. He is moving back to South Carolina, though, cause Canada is too cold, and, when you're old it's time for a nice warm, clean, well kept, well lighted rest home for your final days.

    1. heh heh, no boobie, not all stupid rubes, but you - for damn sure!

  26. Well, I wish him happy trails end.


  27. good ole American democracy:

    "In Georgia, Democrats aren’t even on the ballot

    Some American voters are fed up with the traditional choice between Democrats and Republicans and will opt to vote for a “third-party” candidate on November 6. I envy them for having three choices – I’d settle for two, but even that’s too much to ask here in the suburbs of Atlanta.

    Allow me to explain.

    After living in Georgia for six years I applied for American citizenship in September of 2011. There were several factors that went into my decision, but one of the key drivers was that I wanted to be able to have a say in who represented my family in Washington and in the local government.

    I was sworn in as a citizen in February of this year– too late to register for the state primary, but in time to register for the presidential election. Despite living in a predominantly Republican state and an even more Republican neighbourhood (based on the lawn signs of my neighbors), I was excited about being able to vote, even if my vote wasn’t going to have a significant impact.

    And then my county registrar posted the list of positions and candidates I would be able to vote for.

    Unlike the traditional “one election, one choice” Canadian ballot, my ballot features 16 races at the federal, state, and county level including president, state senator, congressional representative, state representative (the equivalent of an MLA), various county officials and judges.

    Of the positions on my ballot 11 will be won by acclamation by either Republican or independent candidates. That leaves me with five positions for which there’s more than one candidate to choose from: president of the United States, U.S. Representative in Congress, county sheriff and two public service commissioners. Just four of those positions have Democratic candidates on the ballot.

    In other words, there are 16 positions on my ballot and the party that currently controls the White House and the Senate is only fielding candidates for four of them.

    There are those who argue that state politics have more impact on a person’s day-to-day life than federal politics do, but due to the lack of Democratic candidates I won’t have a say in who my representatives are in the state senate or the state legislature. Both positions will be filled by incumbent Republicans who have held their positions for eight and 10 years respectively.

    When it comes down to it, there are two meaningful positions on my ballot– the president and my congressman. My vote won’t matter for either one.

    1. Georgia hasn’t voted for a Democratic president since Bill Clinton in 1992 and that’s not going to change this time around. John McCain won the state by a 5.2 per cent margin in 2008 and Mitt Romney will likely do better than that. My congressman, Republican Tom Price (whose wife Elizabeth happens to be from my home province of PEI), was elected in 2004 and faces a candidate who has never held public office at any level. Mr. Price will win in a landslide.

      I still intend to cast a vote in this election – my first as an American citizen – but I’ll do so knowing that my ballot will make no difference in the outcomes of this election.

      America likes to hold itself up as a model of democracy, but when there’s only one party on the ballot for the majority of positions in an election there are clearly flaws in the system. It has become very apparent that the system currently favours the status quo, and that change for the sake of change rarely happens. When state parties have limited resources to fund campaigns challengers are seen as poor investments, leaving incumbent candidates with the ability to serve as long as they desire unless they make a major misstep.

      I feel privileged to be able to cast a ballot as an American, but I’m disappointed that I’ve become so disillusioned with the electoral process so quickly. There has to be a better way to ensure that citizens have legitimate choices at the polls."

  28. Ash, I am not making this up. My daughter tells me the local democrats in their mailings and advertising are not mentioning that they are democrats, this time around. No mention of party affiliation, at all. This strikes me as a little 'untrustworthy', don't you think?

  29. The kinda trail trash that would water up cattle good right before the sale scales.


  30. The U.S. spent $75.4 billion on its military and civilian spy agencies in the last fiscal year, officials announced Tuesday.

    The U.S. intelligence budget is divided between the Military Intelligence Program, which the Pentagon said was $21.5 billion for fiscal 2012, and the National Intelligence Program, which was $53.9 billion, according to Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper.

    Read more: U.S. intel budget topped $75 billion in 2012 - Washington Times
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

    1. Your Man Mitt:

      "Mitt Romney’s military myopia

      The United States, as everyone knows, is up to its eyeballs in deficit and debt. Contributing mightily is its astronomical annual defence budget. At $711-billion, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, it spends more than the next 13 countries combined. Second on the list for military outlays is China, at $143-billion – more than half a trillion behind America.

      Barack Obama’s administration has terminated one war in Iraq and is closing down another one in Afghanistan. Major decreases in military spending requirements result.

      But despite the ending of wars, the staggering deficits and the Brobdingnagian advantage over competitors, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney wants to add $2-trillion to the Pentagon budget over the next decade.

      Where, you ask, is the logic? Good question. China currently holds, in what’s an embarrassment to U.S. prestige, more than $1-trillion in American debt. It might be interesting if Mr. Romney were to view this in the context of defence spending. When your extravagance is such that you’re already spending half a trillion more than Beijing, is that not part of the problem? Now you want even more?

      In Canada, the Harper government ramped up military spending for several years. But our debt and deficit grew, and we ended our military campaign in Afghanistan. The Conservatives put two and two together and have smartly begun cutting back. The military budget is being pared by 11 per cent.

      Mr. Romney doesn’t add or subtract the same way. He says he’s determined to slash the deficit. But in addition to his prodigious Pentagon outlays, he’s promising major tax cuts, including a $5-trillion package for the wealthy. The revenues will be recouped, he says, by closing loopholes. He doesn’t specify them, but there’s hardly an economist out there who says loopholes will cover that amount. Economic growth as stimulated by the tax cuts will augment revenues. But that’ll be well down the line.

      The Pentagon, no slouch when it comes to budgetary demands, hasn’t even asked for the increases Mr. Romney desires. He wants a 20-per-cent increase in the number of ships that would bring the total to 350. In 2010, then-defence secretary Robert Gates said that, “in terms of total missile firepower, the U.S. arguably outmatches the next 20 largest navies [combined].”

      The Republicans have long been manic about defence spending. There have been times, the Cold War being one, when the country was rivalled in arms stockpiling and there was a need to keep and exceed the pace.

      The problem is that the Cold War mentality never ended, not among Republicans, not among most Democrats, not among the American media, which rarely question why the country, with so many pressing domestic challenges, demands a military paramountcy so excessive that the field need be lapped 10 times over while fiscal health is compromised.

      Washington doesn’t give out precise figures, but it’s currently funding an estimated 1,000 military bases or installations around the world. Even though the Second World War ended 77 years ago and the Cold War two decades ago, the U.S. has 124 bases in Japan.

      What was noteworthy about last week’s presidential debate on foreign policy was that Mr. Romney, fearing that his party’s warrior image might not sit well with the voters, worked hard to come across as dovish. Wars and killing people were not the solution, he said. But where he didn’t budge was on the need for more guns. It’s Republican religion that can’t be forsaken, no matter what fiscal cliffs it might lead to.

      Mr. Obama, who mocked Mr. Romney on the need for more ships, hasn’t succeeded to any appreciable degree in changing the American arms psychology. But his approach, as it is on many issues, is more rational than that of his more ideological challengers – which helps explain why Canadians, as polls indicate, overwhelmingly favour him in next week’s election."

    2. .

      In Canada, the Harper government ramped up military spending for several years. But our debt and deficit grew, and we ended our military campaign in Afghanistan. The Conservatives put two and two together and have smartly begun cutting back. The military budget is being pared by 11 per cent.

      What's new? Join the club, Canada.

      The British and French jumped into the war against Ghaddafi and then quickly ran out of ammunition.

      Why defend yourself if someone else will do it?


  31. Folks here's a couple of them video things couple girls talkin', one a spirited filly one a lesbian draft horse -


  32. I wonder what Chris Christie thinks about Romney's plan to turn disaster relief back, entirely, to the states (with some "privatization" thrown in for good measure?)

  33. William Safire credited Andrew Sullivan with coining the word Christianism in 2003, as the analogue to Islamism.

    Flash forward to Oct 2012 and Andrew Sullivan wonders if a Mormon president will threaten the separation of church and state.

    When Christianism Bites Back


  34. I am not sure that I care what Andrew Sullivan wonders about.

    1. I guess I didn't know that Camille was still an A-lister. I had her right up there with Kathy Griffith.

    2. .

      Andrew Sullivan is an interesting guy. In many cases, I agree with his positions.

      However, he does tend to be a bit credulous. When he gets on his high horse about a particular theme he tends to be a 'pants on fire' type of guy (and no, that is not a reference to his sexual orientation). He often cticizes high-profile players for their extreme partisanship or the hyperbole they use while, like most of us, failing to recognize that he does the same thing.

      As an example of his credulity, I remember in the early days of the Iraq war, there was a guy that was in the army (can't remember his name) who started a blog critical of the entire Iraq effort. It was a pretty big story at the time. Sullivan, who by that time had become vocally opposed to the war, defended the guy despite facts that were pointed out that proved the guy was obviously lying about his participation in events and even the chronology of the events he described. I wrote a number of comments to Sullivan at the time (I think it was at Salon) pointing out the discrepancies.

      Likewise, he was one of the first and the loudest to jump on racism as the reason for Obama's drop in the polls rather than anything to do with policy. I'm sure he would support the recent AP poll on racism in America since it supports his stated opinion that "The Conferacy is alive and well".

      I mentioned my cautionary skepticism about the AP poll a couple days ago when Deuce brought it up. My sense is that if you are looking to use race as an excuse, you can find proof of it anywhere even if you have to manufacture it. As I mentioned, my antennae goes up when these pollsters start talking about explicit and "implicit" tests.

      Well, I found a copy of the AP poll.

      You tell me whether you think the following questions are more indicative of racism or race=baiting; more indicative of the attitudes of the participants in the poll or the people pulling the poll together. Tell me in whose minds the sterotypes exist.

      Do you agree or disagree,

      “It’s really a matter of some people just not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder, they could just be as well off as whites.”


      “Irish, Italians, Jewish, and other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without special favors.”

      To me, some of the questions in the poll offer proof of a presumption of bias on the part of the polls designers going in. IMO, Sullivan is an intelligent guy who often allows his biases to push him headlong into lalaland.