“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."

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lincoln’ Thanksgiving Blessing of 1863 - (Context) April 12, 1861: Battle of Fort Sumter Casualties: none

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln
His Thanksgiving Bless
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State


I hardly know where to begin with this astonishing denial of personal responsibility. How about the year of 1863 and what the politicians under Lincoln accomplished:

December 31, 1862 - January 2, 1863: Battle of Stones River
Casualties: 23,515
13,249 Union
10,266 Confederate
January 9-11, 1863: Battle of Arkansas Post
Casualties: 6,547
1,047 Union
5,500 Confederate
April 30 - May 1, 1863: Battle of Chancellorsville
Casualties: Unknown
May 12, 1863: Battle of Raymond
Casualties: 956
442 Union
514 Confederate
May 18 - July 4, 1863: Siege of Vicksburg
Casualties: 19,233
10,142 Union
9,091 Confederate
May 21 - July 9, 1863: Siege of Port Hudson
Casualties: 12,208
5,000 Union
7,208 Confederate
June 9, 1863: Battle of Brandy Station
Casualties: 1,090
July 1-3, 1863: Battle of Gettysburg
Casualties: 51,000
23,000 Union
28,000 Confederate
July 11, 1863: First Battle of Fort Wagner
Casualties: 351
339 Union
12 Confederate

July 18, 1863: Second Battle of Fort Wagner
Casualties: 1,689
1,515 Union
174 Confederate

September 19-20, 1863: Battle of Chickamauga
Casualties: 34,624
16,170 Union
18,454 Confederate

November 23-25, 1863: Battle of Chattanooga
Casualties: 12,485
5,815 Union
6,670 Confederate
Lincoln did pardon a turkey


  1. I can think of much to be thankful for. Lincoln is not one of them.

  2. If Lincoln had not done what he had done?

    America would not be.

    Sometimes you have to accept history, the good, bad and ugly as IS.

    I can think of much about America I am thankful for, including Lincoln.

    1. The US would have done just fine without Lincoln, probably much better as there would be stronger state’s rights. Slavery would have come to an end as it did everywhere else in the Americas. Force is the opposite of freedom. Lincoln was no friend of freedom.

    2. States could have come and gone as they saw fit and no harm would have come to anyone.

    3. You have no way of KNOWING that.

      That's your assumption.

    4. It would have been no more significant than the unguarded Canadian border, as meaningful as crossing the Walt Whitman bridge or and other border in North America.

  3. off topic.

    I. Objective
    Defining the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish People, and anchoring the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the spirit of the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
    II. Basic principles
    The Land of Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish People and the place of the establishment of the State of Israel.
    The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish People in which the Jewish People realizes its right to self-determination in accordance with its cultural and historic heritage.
    The right to realize national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish People.
    The State of Israel is democratic, based on the foundations of freedom, justice and peace in light of the visions of the prophets of Israel, and upholds the individual rights of all its citizens according to law.
    III. Symbols of the State
    The national anthem is Hatikvah.
    The national flag is white with two sky-blue stripes close to the margins and a sky-blue Star of David in the center.
    The national emblem is a seven-branched menorah with two olive branches at its sides and the word 'Israel' below.
    IV. Return
    All Jews are eligible to immigrate to the country and receive citizenship of the state according to law.
    V. Ingathering of the Exiles and Strengthening Links with the Jewish People in the Diaspora
    The State will act to gather the exiles of the Jewish People and strengthen links between Israel and Jewish communities in the Diaspora.
    VI. Assistance to Jews in Distress
    The State will act to assist Jews in distress and in captivity due to their being Jews.
    VII. Heritage
    The State will act to preserve the historical and cultural heritage and tradition of the Jewish People and to enshrine and cultivate it in the country and in the Diaspora.
    All educational institutions that serve the Jewish public in the country will teach the history, heritage and tradition of the Jewish People.
    The State will act to enable all residents of Israel, regardless of religion, race or nationality, to preserve their culture, heritage, language and identity.
    VIII. Official Calendar
    The Hebrew calendar is the official calendar of the State.
    IX. Independence Day and Remembrance Day
    Independence Day is the national holiday of the State.
    Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars and Holocaust Heroes and Martyrs Remembrance Day are the official remembrance days of the State.
    X. Public holidays
    The regular public holidays of the State of Israel are the Sabbath and the Jewish holidays on which no worker shall be employed except under conditions to be defined by law; members of recognized faiths shall be entitled to rest on their Sabbaths and holidays.
    XI. Jewish Law
    Jewish law shall serve as a source of inspiration for the Knesset
    If a court shall consider a legal question that requires a decision and not find an answer in legislation, precedent or clear inference, it shall render a decision in light of the principles of freedom, justice, fairness and peace of the heritage of Israel.
    XII. Maintaining the Holy Places
    The Holy Places shall be guarded against desecration, any other damage and against anything that is liable to infringe on freedom of access by worshippers to the places that are holy to them or on their feelings toward those places.
    XIII. Infringement of rights
    There shall be no infringement of rights according to the basic laws except by law that befits the values of the State of Israel, that is designed for a worthy purpose and which does not exceed that which is required.
    XIV. Amendment
    The basic law shall not be amended except by a basic law that is approved by a majority of MKs.

  4. Do we have a national interest in allowing OPEC to thwart US oil independence?

    OPEC policy on crude production will ensure a crash in the U.S. shale industry, a Russian oil tycoon said.

    The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries kept output targets unchanged at a meeting in Vienna today even after this year’s slump in the oil price caused by surging supply from U.S shale fields.

    American producers risk becoming victims of their own success. At today’s prices of just over $70 a barrel, drilling is close to becoming unprofitable for some explorers, Leonid Fedun, vice president and board member at OAO Lukoil (LKOD), said in an interview in London.

    “In 2016, when OPEC completes this objective of cleaning up the American marginal market, the oil price will start growing again,” said Fedun, who’s made a fortune of more than $4 billion in the oil business, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “The shale boom is on a par with the dot-com boom. The strong players will remain, the weak ones will vanish.”

    Oil futures in New York plunged as much as 3.8 percent to $70.87 a barrel today, the lowest since August 2010.

    At the moment, some U.S. producers are surviving because they managed to hedge the prices they get for their oil at about $90 a barrel, Fedun said. When those arrangements expire, life will become much more difficult, he said.

    1. .

      Do we have a national interest in allowing OPEC to thwart US oil independence?

      How would you go about 'not allowing' OPEC to thwart 'oil' Independence other than subsidizing the new technologies like shale? That is the only short term (which is what we need) solution I can see.

      I don't see the possibility of managing a set of tariffs on OPEC oil. And how would you justify them domestically or internationally?

      Now, if you had talked about 'energy' rather than 'oil' independence there would be other options though none of them IMO would be either good or available in the short term.


    2. I pose the question because I am not sure of the answer.

      I do have some thoughts that may be helpful though and that would be to remove US subsidies to OPEC. A good first start would be to remove the constant presence of US warships in the Arabian Gulf. That ought to be a decent jolt to the market. Let OPEC pay for their own protection.

  5. I know one turkey that didn't get pardoned. Can smell him cooking now. About, hmmm, sniff, sniff....about an hour to go.

    Happy Thanksgiving, and God Bless Abe Lincoln.

  6. >>>>> I believe the Obama Administration could send roughly 20,000 U.S. troops to Iraq in an all-out conflict with the Islamic State by the spring of 2015.......This will occur because the utility from airstrikes will diminish..............

    It is unfortunate that the Obama Administration did not consider such potential problems when it departed so unceremoniously in 2011. Wars are won on the ground; not from the air. It is hard to see how airstrikes, intelligence sharing, and the delivery of weapons can compensate for that fact. Wars are massive undertakings of coordination under pressure where the psychology of political will can help one side defeat its adversary. This requires cooperation on the ground among allies; not dictates from foreign powers thousands of miles away.

    If the Obama Administration were truly serious in achieving victory over the Islamic State, it would have stayed involved in the region, ensuring Iraq properly unifying, monitoring Syria, checking Iran, and maintaining longstanding ties with friends.

    Looking back, it is clear that the Obama Administration waited far too long, did far too little, and left Iraq far too quickly. Staying in Iraq could have prepared that country to withstand the kind of hit the Islamic State landed on it.

    Incremental military involvements are always dangerous. They put people in harm’s way, fail to reassure friends and allies, and show a lack of resolve to adversaries. A country ends up fighting a larger war – beyond the threat originally posed – in order to prove to others it has the will to fight. Ironically, President Obama’s biggest accomplishment against Islamic State may be to cause his successor to inherit a war. <<<<<

    November 27, 2014
    Hagel's Departure Reveals Obama's Underestimation of the Threat from the Islamic State
    By Stephen M. Ackerman

    Obama is trying to blame things on Hagel. Emperor Obama is the cause of it all.

    General Rufus is also partly to blame for voting for a Narcissistic personality disorder person and general fool for President.

  7. If you judge presidents by the body count of dead Americans left in their wake Obama stands to be rated rather well. If he could make Washington a Likud free zone, he would be a great president.

  8. An Independent South probably would sided with the Nazis.

    And you might be speaking German.

    1. And you could have your longed for 'Likud Free Zone' there in ol' Virginia.

    2. You think that Virginians or Carolinians are not up to the same standards of all you patriotic flag wavers out there in Idaho?

    3. I would be pleased to have DC free zone in Virginia.

  9. The United States said Wednesday it was “horrified" by Syrian regime air strikes in the stronghold Raqa that killed at least 95 people, slamming the government for its "continued slaughter."

    The bombing Tuesday was the deadliest by President Bashar al-Assad's air force since Islamic State jihadists seized the city last year and declared it their capital.

    It was not clear how many Islamic States members were killed, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than half of the dead were civilians.

    The US State Department condemned the strikes, and said the regime had no value for human life.

    "We are horrified by the reports that the Assad regime's airstrikes yesterday in Raqa, Syria killed dozens of civilians and demolished residential areas," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

    “The Assad regime’s continued slaughter of Syrian civilians further exposes its callous disregard for human life."


    July 1-3, 1863: Battle of Gettysburg
    Casualties: 51,000
    23,000 Union
    28,000 Confederate

    1. .

      Drip. Drip. Drip.

      Luckily, we have been assured that the US will not enter into anything but a war of words with the Syrian government.

      Luckily, we cannot be accused of hypocrisy because no civilian deaths caused by allied bombing 'can be confirmed by a reliable source'.


  10. In the middle of the 19th century, the United States entered into a civil war that proved bloodier than any other conflict in American history, a war that would presage the slaughter of World War I’s Western Front and the global carnage of the 20th century. The number of soldiers who died between 1861 and 1865, generally estimated at 620,000, is approximately equal to the total of American fatalities in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, combined. The Civil War’s rate of death, its incidence in comparison with the size of the American population, was six times that of World War II. A similar rate, about two percent, in the United States today would mean six million fatalities. As the new southern nation struggled for survival against a wealthier and more populous enemy, its death toll reflected the disproportionate strains on its human capital. Confederate men died at a rate three times that of their Yankee counterparts; one in five white southern men of military age did not survive the Civil War. Twice as many Civil War soldiers died from disease as from battle wounds, the result in considerable measure of poor sanitation in an era that created mass armies that did not yet understand the transmission of infectious diseases like typhoid, typhus, and dysentery.

    These military statistics, however, tell only a part of the story. The war also killed a significant number of civilians; battles raged across farm and field, encampments of troops spread epidemic disease, guerrillas ensnared women and children in violence and reprisals, draft rioters targeted innocent citizens, and shortages of food in parts of the South brought starvation. No one sought to document these deaths systematically, and no one has devised a method of undertaking a retrospective count. The distinguished Civil War historian James McPherson has estimated that there were 50,000 civilian deaths during the war, and has concluded that the overall mortality rate for the South exceeded that of any country in World War I and all but the region between the Rhine and the Volga in World War II. The American Civil War produced carnage that was often thought to be reserved for the combination of technological proficiency and inhumanity characteristic of a later time.

    Death and Dying

    By Drew Gilpin Faust

  11. We really ought to hold back our outrage on how the Syrians are handling their civil war.

    1. Quirk thinks it's no big deal, too.

    2. We have an obscene 164 acre grotesque monument to the great killer Lincoln to commemorate his greatness. People get choked up at the names of less than 60,000 at the Viet Nam Memorial. Surely on 164 acres we could find a spot for 650,000 American names that would put the greatest president of all time in a more balance perspective. Or is it impolite of me to mention it?

    3. .

      Quirk thinks it's no big deal, too.

      Lord, you are a moron. In fact, you are the dumbest English major I have ever seen and that is saying a lot.

      We really ought to hold back our outrage on how the Syrians are handling their civil war.


      QuirkThu Nov 27, 03:30:00 PM EST



    4. I shall never forget nor forgive how you excoriated me for even thinking such a thing as a humanitarian intervention.

      The tears drop and roll down my cheeks.

      I am deflated.

      I am done.

    5. You should quote Lincoln or your sorrow.

  12. Adding the names from the Lincoln regime would show the World how much we value life, unlike the Assad regime.

    1. .

      I just a saw an article a few days ago asserting the Iraqi government was using barrel bombs in fighting IS.

      The anger over barrel bombs was what forced the government to order a halt to the bombing of civilian areas back in September.


    2. Say, just a minute told us some time ago you were leaving for the Mid-East to 'clean it up'.

      What gives with that?

      Where are you blogging from.......some bunker in Baghdad? Mosul? Damascus?

      The bar at the King David Hotel?

  13. Everything is going just fine..........Iraq is broken up into parts, as Miss T, Joe Biden and I always wanted, same with Syria, Egyptian military in control there again......a lot of them are killing one another.....a lot of it is good !

    1. Your Christian heart, your Judaic fervor, your sympathy for the human condition, your sympathy for the universal lesson and compassion for the suffering of all of God’s children is as inspiration to us as is the image of the late great bugger sitting atop his pedestal of Tennessee marble in Mordor.

    2. Why thank you, but I haven't exactly a Christian heart, nor any great Judaic fervor, not being Jewish. Think they are fine folks by and large though. Sympathy for the human condition drives my anti Islamic attitude.

      I believe I am right in saying Islam has killed more folks than any other grouping in the history of the world.

      I'd like to see them declawed, or next best, just killing one another and not anyone else.

      They killed 100 million Hindus not so long ago, for instance.

      Now they want to exterminate all the Jews.

      And, us too.

      90% of the conflicts in the world today are Islamics vs Somebody else.

    3. .

      I believe I am right in saying Islam has killed more folks than any other grouping in the history of the world.

      I suspect you are wrong by at least an order of 10.


  14. White House struggles to find Hagel successor
    By Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent
    updated 2:49 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
    Watch this video
    Chuck Hagel out as defense secretary

    Chuck Hagel resigned this week
    Hagel stepped down after meetings made clear Obama didn't want him on the job
    White House is having a hard time finding a successor

    Washington (CNN) -- The White House has a big problem on its hands: finding someone to replace Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who was pushed out of the administration this week.

    Since Michele Flournoy withdrew her name from consideration on Tuesday, there is a growing sense that many potential candidates may be shying away from the job due to the short time frame they would be in office and concerns over how independently they can function from the National Security Council, according to both current and former senior administration and congressional officials.

    Flournoy cited family reasons for her decision to withdraw her name, but several administration officials say the decision came as a surprise because she had known she was on the short list of candidates being vetted. Another name now being widely circulated is former Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter—who is widely credited with reforming cumbersome and expensive weapons acquisition procedures and programs, but who had clashed in the past with White House staff as well.
    Pentagon: Hagel was not fired
    Pentagon: Resignation not about Iraq
    Obama announces Hagel's resignation

    The scramble to find a new defense secretary comes as new details emerge over Hagel's departure from the administration. Hagel submitted his letter of resignation on Monday after it became apparent over a series of meetings with President Barack Obama that the president no longer wanted him in the job.

    Quirk, how about you? You are perfectly capable of 'faking it' for a little less than two years.

    1. Just consider it another advertising gig.

    2. .

      Why dick around with it. The only ones that can sway Obama are women. Rice, Clinton, Powers, Jarret.

      Cherchez la femme.


  15. Dinner time.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone except d. rat.

  16. Is there some correlation between casualty rolls and morality?

    ... interesting article ... $1.26 billion ...

    Israeli Involvement in Britain’s National Security

    1. .

      That presupposes that a politician like Cameron has a working knowledge of any level of morality.


  17. >>>But one crucial piece remained: The elevation of Thanksgiving to a true national holiday, a feat accomplished by Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1939, with the nation still struggling out of the Great Depression, the traditional Thanksgiving Day fell on the last day of the month – a fifth Thursday. Worried retailers, for whom the holiday had already become the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season, feared this late date. Roosevelt agreed to move his holiday proclamation up one week to the fourth Thursday, thereby extending the critical shopping season.

    Some states stuck to the traditional last Thursday date, and other Thanksgiving traditions, such as high school and college football championships, had already been scheduled. This led to Roosevelt critics deriding the earlier date as “Franksgiving.” With 32 states joining Roosevelt’s “Democratic Thanksgiving, ” 16 others stuck with the traditional date, or “Republican Thanksgiving.” After some congressional wrangling, in December 1941, Roosevelt signed the legislation making Thanksgiving a legal holiday on the fourth Thursday in November. And there it has remained.<<<

    How the Civil War Created Thanksgiving
    By Kenneth C. Davis
    November 25, 2014 8:12 pmNovember 25, 2014 8:12 pm

    Disunion follows the Civil War as it unfolded.

    Of all the bedtime-story versions of American history we teach, the tidy Thanksgiving pageant may be the one stuffed with the heaviest serving of myth. This iconic tale is the main course in our nation’s foundation legend, complete with cardboard cutouts of bow-carrying Native American cherubs and pint-size Pilgrims in black hats with buckles. And legend it largely is.

    In fact, what had been a New England seasonal holiday became more of a “national” celebration only during the Civil War, with Lincoln’s proclamation calling for “a day of thanksgiving” in 1863..................

  18. Seattle 9
    San Francisco 0

    Muslim Black Panther Plot to Bomb Gateway Arch Fails Due to Welfare Cuts
    November 27, 2014 by Daniel Greenfield 12 Comments

    Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


    While the media chatters about the “social commentary” of this New Yorker cover, two Muslim New Black Panthers tried to make it into a reality. There was just one problem, racist Republicans weren’t providing enough EBT benefits to carry out the plot.

    Brandon Muhammad, aka Brandon Orlando Baldwin, the gentleman seen below, had a dream. A really horrible murderous dream. Like other Muslims camped out in Ferguson, he hoped to exploit Ferguson tensions to the next stage by engaging in terrorism against Americans.


    Two men indicted last week on federal weapons charges allegedly had plans to bomb the Gateway Arch — and to kill St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch and Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson — the Post-Dispatch has learned.

    Baldwin claimed to be buying two Hi-Point .45-caliber pistols for himself when they were really for another person. Brandon also is known as Brandon Muhammad, according to court documents, and Davis now goes by the last name Ali, his attorney said.

    One of the defendants’ plans, the sources said, included planting a bomb inside the observation deck at the top of the Arch.

    Sadly welfare cuts undid their important statement about social justice.

    The men wanted to acquire two more bombs, the sources said, but could not afford to do it until one suspect’s girlfriend’s Electronic Benefit Transfer card was replenished.

    This is what happens when the infidels don’t pay their Jizya on time.

    Olajuwon Ali aka Olajuwon Davis, the second conspirator, is a member of a Moorish Temple, which is an obscure black nationalist variant of Islam, like the Nation of Islam, but it gets less headlines. Its members claim to be an independent country and often seize property claiming diplomatic immunity.

    Ali also referred to himself as “Brother Ali”.

    Wanted to blast the Arch into two parts.

  19. UK Independence Party Is Better —- But No Solution
    November 27, 2014 by Enza Ferreri 8 Comments

    Enza Ferreri is an Italian-born, London-based Philosophy graduate, author and journalist. She has been a London correspondent for several Italian magazines and newspapers, including Panorama, L’Espresso, and La Repubblica. She is on the Executive Council of the UK’s party Liberty GB. She blogs at

    Print This Post Print This Post

    ukip-2Last Thursday the UK Independence Party (UKIP) gained its second seat in Britain’s House of Commons, the lower House of Parliament, with Mark Reckless elected in the Rochester and Strood constituency, in Kent. The victory was obtained through a comfortable, though not dramatic, majority of 2,930 votes over the Conservative runner-up Kelly Tolhurst. The majority, many say, may easily be lost again at the May 2015 general election for the UK Parliament.

    This election, and especially the election of UKIP’s first Member of Parliament, Douglas Carswell, with a landslide 60% of the vote, are historical events.

    Both seats were won in by-elections necessitated by the fact that Mr. Carswell and Mr. Reckless, already MPs for the Conservative Party, defected to UKIP and left their seats, which they later regained with their new party.

    For good or for bad, UKIP, for all its limitations, is changing the British political landscape forever.

    UKIP’s limitations are a lack of long-term clarity about the objectives the party wants to achieve. What needs to be answered is what the party stands for and who does the party represent?

    The answer to the latter is obvious: The great number of British people of middle and working classes who have seen their country transformed beyond recognition in the relatively short time of a few decades by unrestricted immigration, multiculturalism and Islamization — in short, the socio-communist agenda tacitly or overtly accepted and promoted by the misnamed Conservative Party as well as the most obvious culprits, Labour and Liberal Democrats.

    1. The people who are worried by all these recent phenomena and even more scared by the main political parties’ inaction and collusion are absolutely right. What they don’t necessarily have, after many years of the media’s and education system’s propaganda, is a clear idea of what caused the UK’s problems and where to start if we want to stop, let alone reverse, these momentum-gathering trends.

      To know that is the job of politicians. Hence, the question “what should UKIP stand for” needs to be answered. It’s not enough to be against the European Union (EU), mass immigration and the main-party triad “LibLabCon.”

      Here UKIP represents vast numbers of the electorate even too well. Like them, UKIP senses the problems, but doesn’t grasp the solution.

      Irish statesman and political thinker Edmund Burke (1729–1797), himself an MP in the House of Commons for many years, made an important distinction between representatives and delegates.

      In his famous “Speech to the Electors at Bristol at the Conclusion of the Poll” of 1774, he explained that delegates exclusively carry out the instructions of those who elected them, therefore only reflecting the views and wishes of their constituents.

      Representatives, on the other hand, are trustees. Voters have entrusted them to act in their best interests, which doesn’t necessarily coincide with what the majority of voters want. Moreover, representatives make choices on the basis of the common interest, and not just of those who elected them. Representatives consider constituents’ views, but don’t have to abide by their wishes. They follow follows their consciences. The representative, thus, having knowledge and experience that his constituents generally lack, uses his judgement to form an opinion on what’s in the public interest, and acts accordingly.

      MPs, Burke said, should be representatives and not delegates.

      So, in Bristol he proclaimed (The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Volume I, London: Henry G. Bohn, 1854, pp. 446–8):

      [I]t ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.…

    2. You choose a member, indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not member of Bristol, but he is a member of Parliament. [Emphasis added.]

      In these days of rampant populism it’s important to realize that the old clique of politicians, in Britain as elsewhere in the West, hasn’t acted wrongly so much because it’s gone against the people’s will, as because it’s gone against the people’s interests.

      In fact, in many cases the political class has given people what they wanted — an unsustainable welfare state — in its own interest (which was to get elected), but has gone against the people’s interest by creating an unprecedented national debt of astronomic proportions that may bankrupt the state and will burden future generations.

      UKIP doesn’t seem to be different from the other parties in this respect. It doesn’t like to tell people uncomfortable truths, as can be seen by the compromises it has already started making. For example UKIP has promised that millions of European immigrants can remain in Britain after an EU exit and taken a soft stance on Islam, and so on.

      UKIP wants to appear politically correct.

      Its policies are fluid, constantly changed. Its representatives are often caught saying things against party policy. When placed under scrutiny, they often don’t know what to say.

      All this is not unique to UKIP, as it can be found in other parties. But that’s exactly the problem. Where is the difference? Where is a long-term plan for effective change? If UKIP knew the answer, it wouldn’t have gone so long without a manifesto, including during the 2014 European election campaign.

      In the end, leaving the European Union is not the ultimate solution. What will UKIP change after that? What about the Third World immigrants, who are an immensely greater problem than Bulgarians and Romanians? What about Islamization of Britain? What about the erosion of Christian values? The ideological dominance of the Left?

      UKIP is a breath of fresh air in the stagnant political situation of the UK, but air, though essential, is not the only necessity of life.

      Filed Under: Daily Mailer, FrontPage Tagged With: Conservative, eu, Islam, labor, liberal democrat, UKIP
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      About Enza Ferreri

      Enza Ferreri is an Italian-born, London-based Philosophy graduate, author and journalist. She has been a London correspondent for several Italian magazines and newspapers, including Panorama, L’Espresso, and La Repubblica. She is on the Executive Council of the UK’s party Liberty GB. She blogs at

  20. Men allegedly plotted to bomb Gateway Arch, kill Ferguson officials, report says

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the men had wanted to buy more of the “bombs,” but had to wait until one of their girlfriends’ Electronic Benefit Transfer card had more money.

    ... only in America ...

    1. Sorry, Bob, you already covered this.

    2. Ran out of, as the Australians call it, 'sit down money'.


    3. I love that: 'sit down money'

      Heh :)

  21. Seattle still in the hunt for a playoff position.

    Big win tonight:

    Seattle 19
    San Francisco 3


  22. Obama is unmoored from reality - what have I been saying ? -

    Unity: Hagel firing brings consensus that Obama foreign policy is broken
    posted at 4:01 pm on November 26, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

    Alternate headline: Failing executive fires wrong adviser in attempt to recover. It’s not that Chuck Hagel especially deserved to hang onto his job as Secretary of Defense that triggered the consensus in Washington that Barack Obama’s “smart power” foreign policy has become an utter disaster. It’s that no one thinks Hagel had anything to do with policy at all. Politico’s Michael Crowley explains how Obama has become a uniter after all:

    It isn’t often that left, right and center agree about the Obama White House. But the firing of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this week produced a near-unanimous reaction: President Obama’s foreign policy team is dysfunctional and in need of a stronger tonic than the exit of a low-profile cabinet member with a light policy footprint.

    Both Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and The New York Times editorial page agreed that, in the words of the Times, Hagel “was not the core of the Obama administration’s military problem. That lies with the president and a national security policy that has too often been incoherent and shifting at a time of mounting international challenges” and “tightly controlled… by a small group of aides.”

    In fact, the decision to dump Hagel has backfired by highlighting the failure and dysfunction:

    As Obama’s foreign policy continues to grasp for clear wins abroad — with ISIL still fighting, Iran still stubborn and Vladimir Putin still defiant — the critique of a tight-knit and micromanaging White House national security team is quickly gaining currency in Washington.

    And while some say that dumping Hagel was intended, in part, to cool the criticism of Obama’s foreign policy machinations, the immediate effect has been to draw more attention to the way life-and-death decisions are made in the White House Situation Room — and why they’re not working out better in trouble spots like from Syria to Ukraine.

    McCain made this point in a radio interview, saying that the real problem is that the White House “has no strategy to deal with” any of the hot-spot foreign policy areas. McCain said Hagel had been “very, very frustrated” with a lack of access to the policymaking process,” and even though McCain had been one of the fiercest critics of Hagel’s appointment, argued that the real problem is with the people still left in place:

    1. The New York Times editorial board agreed, as Crowley noted. They titled their piece “A Problem Beyond Mr. Hagel,” and concluded that Obama’s incoherence on foreign policy was the root cause of the failure:

      [Hagel] was not the core of the Obama administration’s military problem. That lies with the president and a national security policy that has too often been incoherent and shifting at a time of mounting international challenges, especially in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. …

      Apart from these differences, Mr. Hagel was not well served by the fact that national security policy is tightly controlled by the White House, with Mr. Obama relying on a small group of aides, including Susan Rice, the national security adviser, for counsel. That process has often resulted in delayed and contradictory signals about Mr. Obama’s foreign policy agenda and the military strategies needed to carry it out. And, of course, all of this has come in for withering criticism from Republicans and many Democrats as well. …

      A more aggressive defense secretary who has Mr. Obama’s full confidence and ear may be able to better deal with chaos and war on these fronts. But, ultimately, it is Mr. Obama who will have to set the course with a more coherent strategy.

      In order to get a more coherent strategy, Obama would need to move outside the insularity of his own inner circle, select a SecDef candidate with a solid constituency among foreign- and national-security policy stalwarts, while bringing Republicans in on the move to ensure a smooth transition. In other words, Obama needs an appointee with the stature of a Robert Gates, or even a post-CIA Leon Panetta, to reset policy and restore some bipartisan support while moving to competency. Either that, or a technocrat with lengthy experience who nonetheless can provide a dissenting voice on policy matters and make it stick.

      With that in mind, meet the man who has the newest trial balloon as a short-list candidate to replace Hagel:

      Other candidates being considered include Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who previously served as the Pentagon’s general counsel, according to several people close to the process. Johnson is highly regarded by the West Wing, particularly after he oversaw the months-long process to identify the immigration executive actions Obama announced last week.

      But given Republicans’ staunch opposition to those actions, tapping Johnson for the Pentagon post risks turning his confirmation hearing into a fierce debate on immigration. The president would also need to fill the top job at Homeland Security again just as that department is implementing the immigration actions.

      Seriously? Not only does this double down on insularity within the White House inner circle, it practically alleviates any charges of obstructionism from Republicans if they block him. He’s got no particular foreign policy or national-security policy portfolio (other than tenures as the top lawyer for the Air Force and Pentagon), and his biggest accomplishment in the Obama administration is constructing a bypass of Congress. Why would the Senate endorse that?

      Even more to the point, why would anyone else support it? When only 19% of the public believes that Obama’s ISIS strategy is working, with 61% see it as failing, doubling down on the status quo is unbelievably tone deaf. The point of making a change is to actually make a change. A Jeh Johnson nomination will do nothing but strengthen the conviction that Obama is not only adrift, but unmoored from reality.