“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, June 04, 2014

Those doing well are not interested in promoting a society in which their relative financial security and status are challenged by a demanding groundswell of unfulfilled talent at the other end of the social scale

Wednesday 4 June 2014
Meritocracy is a myth

A disadvantaged child will nearly always and everywhere become a disadvantaged adult

What do you want to be when you grow up? I remember a careers advisor asking me just that question shortly before my sixteenth birthday. Like most of my peers I had very little idea as to what I wanted to do with my life when the seemingly endless horizon of school came to an end. Drink beer, smoke cigarettes and chase girls was about the sum of it.
Looking back, though, the question was a strange one. We insist on asking children what they want to do with their lives when most of the time it’s set in stone when they pull on their first school uniform. If they are born poor they will almost certainly stay poor; if their parents have money then it’s likely that they will too. The more unequal a society is the truer this statement becomes. 
Yes we insist on telling children that they can be ‘whatever they want to be’, knowing full well that crushing disappointment lies further in their future. Every nation relies to some extent on fairy tales. In Britain we cling to the idea that you can be or do anything in life so long as you put your mind to it. In the process we hand our politicians the one thing they can use to justify the obscene privileges at the top and the revolting squalor at the bottom: the indomitable myth of meritocracy.
Meritocracy is what’s politely called a dead duck. A child from a ‘modest’ background can only go from rags to riches in the sense that a human being can take off if they flap their arms around wildly enough. A disadvantaged child will nearly always and everywhere become a disadvantaged adult, and if you ignore the right-wing rhetoric and look at the data you might be a little less keen on hearing the 'M' word in future.
The children of wealthier parents are more likely to go to the best schools (houses in desirable catchment areas cost on average 42 per cent more), eat the best food, have access to ‘high culture’ and have a quiet place to do homework when they get home from school. As a result, poor but bright children get overtaken by their less intelligent classmates from wealthier backgrounds in the very first years of schooling, according to a 2007 study. 
As children become teenagers these inequalities are entrenched further. Around 10 per cent of young people at the bottom rung of the social ladder go to university compared with over 80 per cent of those from professional or managerial backgrounds. A student from a private school is 55 times more likely to go to Oxford or Cambridge University than a state school student on free school meals. And as universities minister David Willetts likes to point out, graduates will earn around £100,000 more over a lifetime than non-graduates.
Thomas Piketty’s ground-breaking book Capital in the 21st Century looks at how wealth concentrates when the returns on capital are higher than economic growth. Or in plain English, how it’s easier for a person who already has lots of money to make more of it. But it isn’t only wealth that concentrates; opportunity does too. Or as Picketty’s predecessor Karl Marx put it, “men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they make it…under circumstances…given and transmitted from the past”.
Take a look at political life in Britain today and the truth of that statement becomes self-evident. When Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 around 40 per cent of Labour MPs had done some form of manual or clerical work before they entered parliament. By 2010 that figure had plummeted to just 9 per cent. The shape of the labour market undoubtedly accounts for some of the change, but the extent to which parliament is rapidly becoming the talking shop of the middle classes is evident in other ways too. An astonishing 91 per cent of the 2010 intake of MPs were university graduates and 35 per cent were privately-educated. This is a rise on previous elections and, in the case of the latter, compares to just 7 per cent of the school age population as a whole.
If nothing else, the fact that a tweed-suited former stockbroker can pose as just an ordinary bloke when contrasted with other politicians should set the alarm bells ringing. The ossification of politics is made worse by a media which increasingly resembles the establishment talking to itself.
The unpalatable truth that no politician will dare acknowledge is this: meritocracy can only exist if the rich have a little less and the poor a little more. Countless studies show that social mobility improves in more equal societies. Norway has the greatest level of social mobility, followed by Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Britain and the US are the most unequal western societies on earth in terms of income distribution and, surprise surprise, have much lower rates of social mobility than their more equal Scandinavian counterparts.
Despite the well-intentioned rhetoric of Ed Miliband, we are not ‘one nation’, and the first step in creating a genuine meritocracy would be an admission that the interests of the banker are not the same as those of the nurse or the refuse collector. While huge inequalities exist there can be no serious talk of social mobility or meritocracy, and careers advisors up and down the country will have to keep on lying to our children. 


  1. .

    Interesting post, though I am not sure the relevance the Hubble telescope has to continuing income inequality.

    I agree with much of what the author had to say. IMO, meritocracy died in the US thirty years ago. Its easy to point to anomalies like Bill Gates or Tom Companaro; however, in the big scheme of things they represent a small percentage.

    A simple example is the University system. We are constantly reminded of the advantages of a college education and there is no denying them. However, getting into the 'best' schools is a difficult task, one made much easier if you already come with the advantages of a comfortable family background. While there are efforts to get more diversity, both ethnic and economic, into the system, in general the efforts are pretty small. And even if someone from a lower socioeconomic status does manage to get a good education at a quality school it more and more comes with a price tag that can hamper progress well into his/her post graduate life.


    1. Fixed...Thanks for the heads up....I must have had a big bang on my head.....


  2. It Takes Money to Make Money

    "Where some people are very wealthy and others have nothing, the result will be either extreme democracy or absolute oligarchy, or despotism will come from either of those excesses." ~ Aristotle

    If you don't have money, it's because you don't have money. A philosopher might call this circular reasoning; but it's scientific fact in the financial world, especially in the past five years.

    According to the Federal Reserve, household wealth in the US is at a new record high of $80 trillion, most of which consists of stocks and home equity. Therefore the wealth that evaporated during and immediately following the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 has been restored, at least in total.

    In different words, those fortunates who still had equity of some kind five years ago (and haven't tapped into it since then) have a much higher net worth now than they did prior to 2009. In fact, equity levels in stocks and real estate have grown so much that even the vast number of people not participating in the economic recovery are no longer impacting the national totals negatively. The few pluses are so high that they outweigh the many negatives.

    But who is participating in this record wealth?

    One could label this financial phenomenon as an example of the "rich getting richer." This is not a moralistic statement but a simple observation of fact.
    Sure, there are certainly some examples of new wealth being created, but the record high for US household wealth, in total, is primarily a result of extreme growth for a minority and small to negative growth for the majority.

  3. Median Income is where the rubber meets the road, and it is off 10% since 1999.

  4. We need a country where everyone is rich and has servants.

  5. We need a country without servants, but valued employees in their stead.

    You can't fix stupid

  6. We need a country of servants where the rich are their valued employees.

    1. Spoken like a true National Socialist.

    2. What this country needs, rather, is a literacy test for access to the internet for morons like you, Anon.

    3. Censorship, that's the only hope you have left, aye.
      When defeated in the battle of ideas, the Fascist resorts to censorship.
      Wanting to limit access to the forum, and thus debate, so typical of the totalitarian tyrant..

  7. What this country needs is more small independent farms, where a family does its own work, and their are no employees.

    1. It is illegal in Idaho to take pictures on a farm? What's up with that!!?

    2. It is in the State Constitution, Ash.

      Taking pictures on an Idaho farm is a hanging offense.

      Ash, what the hell are you talking about !!??

      Have you been eating those marijuana laced potatoes again?

    3. BobWed Jun 04, 03:54:00 PM EDT

      What this country needs is more small independent farms, where a family does its own work, and their are no employees

      bob missing, or not comprehending the post concerning to loss of the nuclear family.
      He wants to expand opportunity, by limiting it to a group that no longer exists in numbers sufficient to solve the challenge...

      This Bob character either does not read, or does not comprehend what he reads, his train of thought must be derailed.

      You can't fix stupid

    4. Then the Bob character wants to the Federal government to retain title to the land that could be used for 'family farms', knowing full well that at today's land prices, small family farms are uneconomical.

      The old character, Farmer Bob, fully explained that the economics of farming was such that on his small farm farming it was a losing proposition. It has since been subdivided into building lots that being, Farmer Bob decided, the lands' highest and best economic use.
      The alfalfa he now contracts on the land, not providing income enough to cover the property taxes, or so he previously reported.

      So the current Bob character provides us with a solution that is bound to fail.

      You can't fix stupid

    5. Farmer bob reported that his own son had decided there was no future in farming, and went to work as a stocker at the local drug store. The wages paid were/are so low that Farmer bob bragged that he was paying the boy a stipend, so he could survive. While at the same time advocating against raising the minimum wage to above the poverty level.

      Not telling us the solution for those workers not so fortunate as to have a Sugar Daddy making up the 'survival shortfall' that plaques the 'working poor'.

  8. On February 10, 2014, Sen. Jim Patrick (R-Twin Falls) and Rep. Gayle Batt (R-11) introduced S1337,
    "to provide for the crime of interference with agricultural production,"
    punishable by up to a year in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, along with restitution to the agricultural facility, and
    "declaring an emergency,"
    meaning that it took effect as soon as it was signed into law.[32]
    The maximum penalty for breaking the law -- a year in prison -- is double the state's maximum sentence for animal cruelty.[33]

    The bill passed the Senate on February 14 and the House on February 26 and was signed by Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter on February 28.[3] Idaho therefore became the seventh state to criminalize reporting on animal abuse and safety violations inside livestock facilities via hidden camera.[34]

    A coalition of civil liberties, animal protection, food safety, labor rights, environmental advocacy, and consumer groups -- as well as journalists -- filed a federal lawsuit to overturn the law on March 17, 2014.[35]

    1. The bill defined the "crime" as follows:

      "if the person knowingly:

      (a) Is not employed by an agricultural production facility and enters an agricultural production facility by force, threat, misrepresentation or trespass;

      (b) Obtains records of an agricultural production facility by force, threat, misrepresentation or trespass;

      (c) Obtains employment with an agricultural production facility by force, threat, or misrepresentation with the intent to cause economic or other injury to the facility's operations, livestock, crops, owners, personnel, equipment, buildings, premises, business interests or customers;

      (d) Enters an agricultural production facility that is not open to the public and, without the facility owner's express consent or pursuant to judicial process or statutory authorization, makes audio or video recordings of the conduct of an agricultural production facility's operations; or

      (e) Intentionally causes physical damage or injury to the agricultural production facility's operations, livestock, crops, personnel, equipment, buildings or premises.[32]

      On February 6, 2014, Sen. Patrick had introduced[36] S1298, also "to provide for the crime of interference with agricultural production," with similar penalties, and almost identical language.

      The lead sponsor of both bills, Sen. Patrick, compared those attempting to record animal cruelty and food safety violations to "marauding invaders centuries ago who swarmed into foreign territory and destroyed crops to starve foes into submission."[36]

      The bills' supporters include the Idaho Dairymen's Association, the Northwest Food Processors Association, and its members, "agribusiness giants J.R. Simplot Co., the Darigold milk cooperative and ConAgra Lamb Weston," according to the Idaho Statesman.

      Its opponents include the Humane Society of the United States (whose commercial opposing the bill is above at left), the Idaho Conservation League.[36] Chobani Yogurt founder Hamdi Ulukaya also opposed the bill and asked Governor Otter to veto it.[37]

      The bills were reportedly
      "prompted by animal activists who captured cruelty at a southern Idaho dairy on film in July 2012. . . . Two years ago, a man working with the Los Angeles-based vegetarian and animal-rights group Mercy for Animals got a job at a Bettencourt Dairies facility in Hansen, then captured images of workers caning, beating and stomping on cows that had fallen to the wet concrete floor."[36]"was not just about prosecuting animal abuse. Dairymen testifying for the bill said the animals-rights activists were more interested in hurting the dairy and its brands than in helping animals."[37]

      Mercy for Animals executive director Nathan Runkle said upon S1337 becoming law,
      "This is a sad day for animals, consumers, the constitution, and the media… Idaho's flawed and misdirected new law will now throw shut the doors to industrial factory farms and allow animal abuse, environmental violations, and food contamination to flourish undetected, unchallenged, and unaddressed."

      The Farmer Advocate does not even know the Farm Laws of the State in which he supposedly resides.

      Bob the Faux Farmer

      You can't fix stupid

    2. Law Enforcement OfficerWed Jun 04, 05:52:00 PM EDT

      (d) is basically trespassing.

      The courts will decide if it is constitutional or not.

    3. In fact, most of that law concerns trespassing.

      And it is aimed at the ranchers, like Herr rat, not the wheat farmers.

    4. Ad hominem arguments against a fictional strawman, the best he can do.

      You can't fix stupid

  9. The French still have small farms. The Germans subsidize them.

    1. Crop subsidies in France are quite high, or used to be.

      Keep them down on the farm. There are plenty of people in Paris already.

  10. If you give the typical Mississippi Republican the choice between:

    1) Making $40,000.00/yr. while the black man makes $30,000.00/yr., or

    2) Both making $50,000.00/yr

    I will guarantee you which one he will take

    (and, he won't be making $50,000.00)

    VIDEO: Bergdahl's release...
    REPORT: Had been made to look ill...
    Afghan Villagers: Soldier deliberately headed for Taliban strongholds...
    Team Leader: 'A lot more to story than soldier walking away'...
    3 More Members Of Bergdahl's Platoon Speak Out...
    We Were Told 'To Keep Quiet'...
    White House miscalculated reaction...
    Who wrote Rice's talking points this time?
    Hagel: 'Unfair'...
    RANKING DEM: 'Dangerous Precedent That Puts All Americans At Risk'...
    Administration considers freeing another Gitmo inmate...
    LAW PROF: The President Nixon Always Wanted To Be...



    Looks like the folks in Idaho would like to see the whole Bergdahl family repatriate to California.

  12. To rise above type setting and low level cattle ranching, rat needs to meditate.

    "The good news for those not naturally blessed is that mediation may help."

    Through meditation the rat might possibly rise above his intellectual challenges and mediocrity, and give up the cynicism and irrationality that is rapidly stunting his mind, too.


    1. Ad hominem arguments against a fictional strawman, the best he can do.

      Being bold, Bob, is not the same as capitalizing.

      You can't fix stupid

  13. My source did not mince words: "The fact that our government negotiated with terrorists and our enemy is incomprehensible. The fact that they exchanged five war criminals for a traitor is sickening. The worst part for those of us that suffered through that time is that PFC Bergdahl is being hailed as some kind of hero. He was automatically promoted to Specialist and Sergeant, ranks he does not deserve and did not earn. I have no doubt he will receive back pay for these past five years, a substantial sum. There will be book deals, and his family are celebrities. I am glad he is safe, and happy for his family, but he should return home to face a court martial."

    Are you listening, Capitol Hill and America? The Bowe Bergdahl mess isn't just a story about one deserter, but two. There's the muddle-headed lowlife who left his post and brothers behind. And there's the corrupt commander in chief who has jeopardized more American soldiers' lives to "rescue" Bergdahl by bowing to the Taliban, while snubbing the surviving heroes and the eight dead American soldiers who lost their lives because of him. This cannot stand.

    Michelle Malkin

    Read more:

    1. Clickable links, italicize the quotes, put the important words in bold letters

      Just the basic "Standards and Practices" of blogging.

      If you can't handle that, go read some instructions ...
      Try "HTML for Dummies"

      “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
      ― Stephen King

      You can't fix stupid

    2. Prove to us that you are not stupid, Name/URL Bob.
      Do this by learning to post bold letters, learning to italicize, learning to create a clickable link.

      Simple shit that even fictional strawmen can do.
      Characters and srawmen you refer to as idiots, but can post coherently in Italicized Bold Letters
      Why can't you?

      The proof is in the tasting.

      You can't fix stupid

  14. I guess, having never served, the republicans have a hard time understanding that there's a distinction between "war criminal," and Prisoner of War.

    Those 5 men were Prisoners of War, captured on the battlefield, and entitled to all other rights of Prisoners of War.

    They would, also, have been released in early 2015, at the latest.

    1. And, about those "8 dead:"

      Two soldiers died during the most intense period of the search after Sergeant Bergdahl’s June 30 disappearance. Both were inside an outpost that came under attack, not out patrolling and running checkpoints looking for him. The other six soldiers died in late August and early September.

      Facts are often obscured in the fog of the battlefield, witnesses have incomplete vantage points and the events are five years in the past now. But an archive of military reports logging significant activities in America’s war in Afghanistan offers a contemporaneous written record of events in Paktika that summer. The archive was made public by Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Pvt. Bradley Manning, who is serving a 35-year prison sentence for the . . . . .

      The chickenhawk teabaggers are making fools of themselves, once again.

      The NY Times ain't much, but, at least, it does "some" journalism every once in a while

  15. Why weren't Mullah Omar's 5 'Board of Directors' tried for war crimes and hung at Gitmo?

    They richly deserved it.

    1. For killing and mutilating women?

    2. Because there was no evidence that would meet the legal standard.
      So they were being held until the 'End of Hostilities" and 'Combat Operations', that happens this year, so they would have been released regardless.

      The War will be over, prisoners that cannot be tried in US courts will be released ...

    3. Charges are not adequate to convict. There needs to be witnesses that testify, rules of evidence must be complied with.
      If the US had left those fellas in Afghanistan, under the auspices of the Afghan government, well, US rules of evidence would not have applied, but the US did not do that. The US took possession of those prisoners, and the Rules of War then applied to them, Rules of Evidence, etc.

      That's the way of the world ... The US knew it, back in 2001 and 2002.

  16. Instead President Debacle lets them loose to do more killing.

    What happened to 'we don't negotiate with terrorists'?

    Why wasn't Congress informed?

    1. Are you calling our allies in Qatar terrorists, because that is who the US negotiated with.

      Are you saying we should have left that soldier behind, in the hands of the enemy?

      Republicans such as Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma had urged Obama to find Bergdahl and return him to his family in Idaho.

      “Yet, some of these senators are now denouncing those very same efforts that secured Sergeant Bergdahl’s release,” Reid said. “It’s clear they’re worried his release could be seen as a victory for President Obama.

      “The safe return of an American soldier should not be used to score political points,”

      Congress is not in the "Chain of Command", if you had military experience you would know that.
      Republican Senators had already urged the President to find Bergdahl and return him to his family in Idaho.

  17. Just a couple of weeks ago, the junior Senator from New Hampshire released a statement touting her diligence in calling upon the Department of Defense to, “do all it can to find Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and bring him home.” In April, Republican Senators McConnell and Toomey sponsored a resolution “to express the sense of the Senate that no member of the armed forces who is missing in action should be left behind.” Senator Inhofe even said that the U.S. “must make every effort to bring this captured soldier home to his family.”

    President Obama and his team did just that – they made every effort and brought this young man home. Yet, these Senators are now denouncing those very same efforts that secured Sergeant Bergdahl’s release. It’s clear they’re worried his release could be seen as a victory for President Obama. Let me put that notion to rest – it’s not a victory for President Obama. It’s a victory for our soldiers, their families, and the United States of America. No member of the armed forces should be left behind, and President Obama saw to that.

    Read more:

  18. Even Diane Feinstein is pissed.

    1. So what, as long as Bob is glad.

      Diane Feinstein is stupid and ...

      You can't fix stupid

  19. ... But let's say, for the sake of argument, that Sergeant Bergdahl did violate his sworn oath. Who do we want to mete out justice to an American soldier? The Taliban? I will choose the justice system of the United States Army – American justice – every time,"

    Read more:

  20. The President signed the legislation passed by Congress requiring the President to notify Congress. This is so the Congress could bitch.

    President Debacle is acting the Dictator.

    1. The Congress can move to impeach him, or not.
      That is their option

      That decision is on Bob's boy, John "Boner" Boehener.
      That is who controls the House and that is where Articles of Impeachment originate.

  21. Now much of the news is to the idea that Bergdahl was a traitor.

    Yet President Debacle bypassed Congress.

    Diane Feinstein is saying the opposition to the President's actions are 'bipartisan'.

    Diane is pissed.

    1. Diane Feinstein is stupid and ...

      You can't fix stupid

  22. ... whatever the results of the military’s inquiries are, it doesn’t change the fact that one more American soldier is home safe.
    What was the alternative?
    Would any American honestly prefer that a U.S. soldier remain in captivity until all of the questions have been answered?
    Of course not. In the United States of America, we rescue our soldiers first and ask questions later.

    As Rear Admiral John F. Kirby said,
    “When you’re in the Navy, and you go overboard, it doesn’t matter if you were pushed, fell or jumped. We’re going to turn the ship around and pick you up.”

    Read more:

  23. And, one more time, those 5 men were not Terrorists. They were captured On the Battlefield, fighting for the Sovereign.

    They would have had to be released upon the withdrawal of our combat forces. That would have been the end of this year, or early next year.

    1. The War is Over, get over it.

      Islam was not defeated, and neither was Terror.
      Another waste of US resources, spent on a foreign adventure.
      In lands that no one but the Mongols has ever conquered.

      And the US, it ain't the Mongols.

  24. :)

    Fighting for the Sovereign?

    Which Sovereign?

    Who really elected the Taliban to anything?

    The Sovereign?

    You must be referring to Allah.

    You've gotten religion !

    1. You dumb fuck, the Taliban ruled the country. They. Were. The. Sovereign.

  25. When you send a few hundred thousand young men into a war zone a lot of bad things can, and will, happen. Some will be severely wounded, some will be killed, and some, quite honestly, will lose their mind.

    And, some will be picked on, bullied, and pushed beyond the brink by fellows in arms that just don't, for one reason, or another, like them.

    I would be very cautious taking everything a couple of loud-mouths in his squad have to say without doing a little due diligence.

    Let's see what a real, honest-to-God investigation turns up - after he's had a chance to tell His side of the story.

    1. He may never remember what happened.
      There are the reports of his superiors ...
      He has been promoted, based upon those reports.

      When did the US Army begin to promote those suspected of desertion?
      If there were questions, the US Army could have left him at his rank when captured, but they did not.
      The US Army promoted him.

      The same voices that denied the US Army would act in a conspiracy in regards to the death of Pat Tillman, not speak of a conspiracy in regards the loss and recovery of Bowe Bergdahl, their hypocrisy is showing

    2. The same voices that denied the US Army would act in a conspiracy in regards to the death of Pat Tillman, NOW speak of a conspiracy in regards the loss and recovery of Bowe Bergdahl, their hypocrisy is showing

    3. That's a good idea. A real honest to God investigation. We can hope.

      I may be wrong but I think I read the Department of Defense of the Army never listed Bergdahl as a POW.

    4. They kept promoting him, regardless of his status.
      MIA or POW, that is a legal distinction of some sort, but he is now in the US, back in the US Army.
      Probably in a hospital, somewhere.

      Chances are he'll be there until discharged from the US Army.

      Obama got him back, and that is all really matters. Now.
      As Paul Harvey says - "Now for the rest of the story"

      But Obama does not know it, he is no expert on the tale of Bowe Bergdahl, nor should he be.
      That is for his subordinates to figure out, or not. That is for the US Army to decide, will they screw down on Bowe and burn his superiors for CYA reports, if all the allegations were to be true?

    5. When you send a few hundred thousand young men into a war zone a lot of bad things can, and will, happen. Some will be severely wounded, some will be killed, and some, quite honestly, will lose their mind.

      And, some will be picked on, bullied, and pushed beyond the brink by fellows in arms that just don't, for one reason, or another, like them.

      I would be very cautious taking everything a couple of loud-mouths in his squad have to say without doing a little due diligence.

      Let’s see what a real, honest-to-God investigation turns up - after he’s had a chance to tell His side of the story.

      Knowing that :)

  26. You ignorant hillbilly. They didn't rule the country. They controlled a good part of it, but the civil war was still ongoing.

    They were oppressing the entire female population.

    Little that you care.

    Because a group rules a part of a country through brute force and initiates atrocities on the population does not make them a 'Sovereign', whatever the hell that is.

    You dumb fuck.

    1. They ruled the part that counts. And, those 5 prisoners were soldiers in their army.

      Whether they're choir boys, or not, doesn't matter. The U.S. never charged them with any crime (and, it was the Bush Administration that made that decision, Remember?)

      They were being held - again at the direction of the Bush administration - as POWs. Nothing more. It is mandatory that they be released at the end of hostilities. They were going home next year, as they are now. Their ETA - Kabul hasn't changed.

      And, we have arranged for the release of one of the young men that we sent over to that godforsaken goat-farm.

  27. the Department of Defense or the Army never...

  28. I'm going to guess he spends 6 months in Leavenworth, for being a dumb fuck.

    1. Doubt that will happen. He won't talk, the doctors will protect him, for a while. His family will tell him to shut-up.
      Without self-incrimination, he'll be discharged, with back pay and disability for PTSD.

    2. He went UA in a war zone, and the kreig lights are on him. He'll most likely get a little time.

      Unless he tells some really stupid story, like: "I deserted to join the Taliban" - in which case he will get 20 to life.

    3. Stopped to take a leak, when he buttoned up, the rest of the guys were 'gone'.
      A lot of ambiguity in the reports filed by his superiors, like they didn't know where, what or when.

      Inept leadership, will the Army want to bring that out, where are those guys, now?
      He'll be hospitalized for months, the story will disappear, then they'll bury it and discharge him.
      It ain't ;Nam and it's not the USMC.

    4. When did the Marines promote fellas that were AWOL, or suspected of desertion?

      That is the key to the Army position, they kept promoting the guy.

    5. The Marines are governed by the UCMJ, the same as the Army, Air Force, etc.

      Now, he has Never, to this day, been charged with being AWOL, not to mention "desertion."

      Someone "could" have flagged his file with "not recommended for promotion," but no one did.

      They might have felt somewhat as I do, that we sent the kid over there, and he's had a pretty tough 5 years (supposedly,) so let's let the promotions go through, and we'll hear what he has to say when we get him back home.

    6. And when he gets back PTSD keeps him quiet, then they discharge him.
      His command was not squared away, the Army does not want the light shined on that.
      No legal case will be built, no one is interested, especially the President.

      PTSD, loss of memory is common with that. 80% range disability for PTSD, it is so debilitating..

      Nothing will happen while he is reintegrating, which will never end.

  29. I'm still glad he's back but I wonder if the Gitmo prisoners go free in a year anyway why release them early and give the Taliban a big propaganda victory. The answer I suppose is they were threatening to shoot him now if we didn't and they probably would have.

    The question about never negotiating with terrorists gets lost in the fog, and no one in their right mind would buy into this Sovereign non sense.

    And by the way whatever happened to Obama's rhetoric about this being the important war, the one we simply must win?

    With Obama domestic politics is all there is. Period.

    I nearly think we ought to stay for the sake of the women of Afghanistan. It's hard to think of their fate. They never ever catch a break.

    1. How many US men and women should DIE for the women of Afghanistan, Bob.
      What stop loss number would you recommend?

    2. How many of US should be maimed, for the women of Afghanistan?
      How much more money should the US spend, in the effort to change the culture of Afghanistan?

      Should we not try to change the culture of Detroit, first, before charging off to Southwest Asia to mold those cultures in our image?

    3. No number, but those that want to volunteer to do so maybe should be allowed to do so.

      After all there is going to be a big slaughter.

      And we could easily enough keep a lid on things if we wished and had the will to do so.

      I'd happily send you over.

      Now you'll ask why don't you go Bob? And the answer is I actually might but they wouldn't take me.

      But you are in your prime, rat, and you could consider you are making up for how you treated your first wife and child.

      Now go meditate, and try to fix your stupidity.

  30. There is no conclusive evidence that the soldiers that died looking for Bergdahl died looking for Bergdahl.

    1. Those soldiers die in the service of the United States, the Congress and the President.
      On a Mission to make Afghanistan safe for representative democracy.

      That mission is almost over, hope it was worth it.
      Doubt that it was.

    2. Opium production is up.
      Most of it sent to Russia.

      Brzezinski should be happy about that

    3. If the mission is to make Afghanistan safe for representative democracy the mission is far from over.

    4. My, how our songs have changed.

    5. Afghanistan has had a series of elections, now.
      They will have a hand off of power, from Karzai to whomever the new guy is.
      That is all the safety they get, now it's on them, not US or NATO.

      The opium production, who knows how the Pushtu will deal with that when they are elected, in the next cycle.
      None of the other NATO forces want to stay, they have o focus on the Ukraine, now.
      The soft southern belly of Russia, was more costly to disrupt than they were told it would be.
      Then the big bad bear growled, they were not prepared, for that.

  31. By tomorrow, it will be understood that No Americans died "looking for Bergdahl."

  32. He was a volunteer, unlike the mythical poor black draftee of Viet Nam.

    He deserted his post, placing his fellows at risk. Some variable number of soldiers were killed either trying to rescue or capture him.

    He will not serve a day in jail.

    He will receive his promotion, back pay, and a pension.

    He will write a book, which will lead to a script, which will lead to a docudrama.

    He will get laid often.

    The End.

  33. You're shouting, Rufus.

    I've been listening to a good number of Army guys on Fox who seem to feel Americans died looking for Bergdahl. Some of their friends too.

    For me, I'm inclined to listen to them and not you.

  34. Team Leader: 'A lot more to story than soldier walking away'...
    3 More Members Of Bergdahl's Platoon Speak Out...
    We Were Told 'To Keep Quiet'.......drudge

    1. They were only following orders, like good NAZI.

      They were lying then, or lying now?
      All would have been interviewed, all made statements.
      If they lied in those statement, then they are poor witnesses, now.

      Plus the passage of time, on top of their self-confessed lack of credibility.
      A defense lawyer would eat 'em up.

    2. You are clearly ill informed. No one takes notes in a case like this because no one wants to have to deal with idiots who compare American fighting men to NAZI and the political fall out.

    3. That's disgusting, to say those soldiers are good NAZI.

      The ones that want to take away the rights of everyone but themselves in Afghanistan are some of the male Moslems.

      You should be ashamed of your statement.

  35. "He will write a book, which will lead to a script, which will lead to a docudrama."

    I think his father has already mentioned a book.

    1. I am shocked! Why, the lad has been out of whatever for just a couple days. People can be so greedy.

      Oh, mom's teeth were three shades too light. Not that she had planned for anything, mind you.

  36. Look, here is how things work in Obama's America. Those who support Obama are going to support the kid. They would not care if he were caught on camera humping the Virgin. End of Story.

    In 2016, there are some debts coming due. End of Story.

    1. It's either Conspiracy theories or Coincidence Theories.

      Take your pick. Make your case, but use forensics, physical evidence, not the ever changing stories of the guilty and those covering up malfeasance.

      In Tillman's case he went from leading an assault against the enemy, to accidentally taking three rounds in his forehead, from 35 to 100 meters away, depending on which version of the story is told, by the soldiers that were there.
      Same squad of soldiers, at least three versions of the story have been told.
      Believe which ever version they tell, or look at the evidence and discount the testimony of serial liars.

    2. And I am hoping 2016 produces some real killers, sharks. I want the past eight years examined with a fine-toothed comb. When all is done, I want the Republic safe for another two centuries.

      ...longer walls...more 9mm...more boxes...more cells...May the Tree of Liberty be well hydrated.

    3. You mean you're not happy with Lester Crown's selection?

      Michelle goes to Aspen, almost every year for briefings ...

      And still, you're unhappy, you don't know how that makes me 'feel'.

    4. Lester Crown wrote in the JPost ...

      ... attacks on the president’s Israel record are on the rise. While governor Mitt Romney has made the economy the focal point of his campaign, his critiques of president Obama’s positions on Israel’s security have been wholly unwarranted. Under the theme of promising to do “the opposite” of Obama on Israel, Romney has attacked a president who has done more for Israel than any recent predecessor. Over the last three years he:

      • Authorized $3 billion of foreign aid assistance in 2011 and $3.075b. in 2012.

      • Added an additional $205 million to produce more Iron Domes missile defense systems in 2011 and an additional $70m. in 2012.

      • Oversaw hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for the joint development and production of the Arrow and David’s Sling missile defense systems.

      • Unconditionally backed the closest and most in-depth relationship between the US military and the IDF in history.

      Recently, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, “This administration under President Obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything that I can remember in the past.”

      President Shimon Peres also said during a recent meeting with Ambassador Dan Shapiro, “I consider the president of the United States, Barack Obama, as a friend of the Jewish people and of the State of Israel.”

      • Opposed the inaccurate, unbalanced Goldstone Report, boycotted Durban II and Durban III, sided with Israel against the Gaza flotilla and thwarted Palestinian attempts to unilaterally declare statehood at the UN

      • Said, “Get Israel whatever it needs. Now,” when Israel asked for help to fight the Mount Carmel fires.

      • Said, “I will do everything I can,” when Binyamin Netanyahu called the president last September and asked for help to rescue the Israelis trapped in the Egyptian Embassy by what appeared to be a “lynch mob.” The president did everything he could and they were rescued.

      • Continuously toughened the sanctions on Iran with the oral assurance that the United States will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. He reinforced this view with the statement that containment of Iran is not an option for the United States.

      And the list goes on. So it would be interesting to hear exactly what governor Romney would do that is “the opposite” of President Obama’s actions and how that would be to Israel’s benefit.

      Perhaps the governor’s motives deserve more scrutiny, especially when he contends that the president has “thrown Israel under the bus.”

      While support for Israel is, of course, only one of the criteria for president of the United States, he is exactly the pro- Israel president that I believed he would be when I gave him my support in 2008.

      All that and allen is still unhappy ...

  37. The NY Times gave the Archived Time, and Place of Deaths during that period, and they clearly showed that Fox, as usual, is full of shit. No one Died Looking for Bergdahl.

    Why do you people not want to hear what the boy has to say?

    1. Personally, I think he probably did go awol. It reads to me like he might have snapped, and decided that he would just go find the Taliban, and negotiate the end of that stupid "war." But, it might have been something totally different.

      I know I'm willing to wait, and see. I figure we owe him that.

  38. I want to hear what Bergdahl wants to say. I am for a big investigation, honestly done.

    I just heard what some of the comrades in arms had to say.

    They did not say that "no one died looking for Bergdahl".

    Why are not you interested in what these guys have to say?

    1. I've served with guys like those, and let's just say I'm a little suspicious. Especially now that the NYTimes has blown that part of the story out of the water. There will be an investigation; we'll see.

    2. You go with the NY Times, I'll go with Fox, then.


      Peace Treaty

  39. I've made my judgement on Bergdahl's old man though.

    He's crazy as hell.

  40. Soldier: Army told us to lie about Bergdahl’s capture


    The State Department’s attempt to shut up the soldiers who served with Bowe Bergdahl at the time of his capture may end up backfiring on the White House, which has apparently decided to attack their integrity rather than explain their own spin on the issue. One soldier appeared on Fox and Friends this morning who took part in the post-desertion search for Bergdahl and said that the military instructed them to lie about the circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance (via Noah Rothman at Mediaite):

  41. And one wonders how the Administration can be worried about Bergdahl's 'health' when he'd never been examined by a doctor.

    Did they even know what his blood pressure was?......naw.......

    President Debacle is a total liar.

  42. If I were President, I think I might propose an Afghanistan Volunteer Division. We have a volunteer Army now, we could set aside a Division for those, both men and women, who wish to continue the fight for the rights of Afghan women in an Afghanstan Volunteer Division. I would put this up to a vote of Congress.

    If passed, and not enough volunteered, that would be the end of it.

    I believe you might be surprised how many would volunteer for such a Division, both men and women, perhaps very heavy on the women.

    The mission would be to secure democratic process and women's right in Afghanistan.

    I think we might be surprised at what the reaction would be, and it would at least clarify our character as a nation.

    1. How much of a tax increase would you recommend to finance the fight.

      We have been spending tens of billions each year in Afghanistan, borrowing that money, plus the long term costs ...
      Would your volunteers be soldiers, qualifying for retirement benefits, disability if wounded, etc, or would they be private contractors, like the US hired in Iraq?

      Who pays for the drones? Who pays for the fuel? Who pays the salaries of the 'volunteers, or do they volunteer their time too?
      Do the volunteers provide their own air support, buy their own weapons and ammo?

    2. Why not just hire mercenaries?
      Get the Saudi to pay for it, or the Iranians ...

      Depends upon which side of the Afghan political structure the 'volunteers' will be fighting for.

  43. Well, rat, we could just hire you. You were basically a mercenary. But we would have a clause concerning moral fitness in the Volunteer Contract which you could not pass.

    As for funding, if the Congress approved the idea, the funding would be at hand.

    The cost is not an impediment as you know. We could simply print Trillion Dollar Platinums if needed.

    "Depends upon which side of the Afghan political structure the 'volunteers' will be fighting for."

    The Volunteers would be pledged to assert women's right in the Western sense. We could have legitimate Western, and Israeli, Women's Rights Organizations oversee this.

    The women of Afghanistan would be guaranteed all the rights of women in, say, the USA, of Canada, or England.

    I would hope that soon all good women and men of the Western World, and elsewhere too, would embrace the effort.

  44. "The women of Afghanistan would be guaranteed all the rights of women in, say, the USA, of Canada, or England."

    And in Israel, of course.

    I would specifically invite the women of Israel to join this fight, as well as the women of India.

    1. When are you leaving, or are you going to lead, from the rear?

  45. My first decision as Commander of the Afghanistan Volunteer Division would be to prosecute you for homicide.

    Only the morally fit would be in the program.

    As the Leader, and as for leading, or leaving for Afghanistan, I would recruit a morally fit Citizen for the position of Leader.

    1. Citizen of Afghanistan, or do you claim they are not worthy of running their own country?
      If not an Afghan to run Afghanistan, then from where, Detroit?
      New Orleans, Mexico City?

    2. And who judges their morality?

      Certainly not you, the fascist faux farmer.
      Send your son, in your stead?

  46. As you have said, I'm simply getting older.

    That time of life when the memory of small things fades, but you can see a true asshole with apodictic certainty.


  47. Scientists in the Netherlands have achieved a breakthrough in quantum teleportation that could quash Albert Einstein’s objection to the notion of quantum entanglement, which he famously labelled “spooky action at a distance”.

    Publishing their results in the journal Science this Thursday, physicists at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft University say they managed to reliably teleport quantum information between two bits of diamond located three metres apart.

    Quantum Teleportation Breakthrough

  48. Thank God.

    I want to go see my Niece in Dresden.

    And haven't the air fare.

  49. Here's a better article in the Telegraph. This experiment in Quantum Entanglement, at a distance of 11 miles yielded a speed at least 10,000 Times the Speed of Light.

    The Telegraph

  50. .

    If the mission is to make Afghanistan safe for representative democracy the mission is far from over.

    I thought the original mission was to get the guys who took the towers down.

    Mission creep is a shit thing that costs a lot in lives and treasure.


  51. .

    Those 5 men were Prisoners of War, captured on the battlefield, and entitled to all other rights of Prisoners of War.

    They would, also, have been released in early 2015, at the latest.

    This should be comforting to those 78 detainees, residents of Gitmo for twelve years or more, who were cleared for release six years ago but who for undisclosed reasons are still being held there.


  52. The 'men' in Gitmo are exactly where they ought to be.

    They are killers, abusers of women, and not fit for any society.

    Release them to Detroit, if they need releasig\ng.

    1. .

      You are an idiot, Bob.

      At times like these you remove all doubt.


    2. I take back the reference to Detroit. I am so sorry I said that. Quirk, I know there is no abuse of women in inner city Detroit cause if there was you'd be doing something about it.

      I apologize for the reference.

      Can we still be friends?

    3. My niece is half Aryan half nigger.

      When she was raped here we tried to do something about it but he fled back to India, taking all her money.

      I lost a tenant, but gained a Niece.

      Of the most intelligent kind.

      She has said "i am glad it all happened"

      Bless her, I love her so.

      She is my Niece now.