“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."

Friday, February 24, 2017

You want Respect? Show Respect.

White House Bars Times and Other News Outlets From Briefing

WASHINGTON — Journalists from The New York Times and several other news organizations were prohibited from attending a briefing by President Trump’s press secretary on Friday, a highly unusual breach of relations between the White House and its press corps.

Reporters from The Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times and Politico were not allowed to enter the West Wing office of the press secretary, Sean M. Spicer, for the scheduled briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer only allowed in reporters from a handpicked group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed.


  1. You want respect? EARN respect!

    1. GREAT idea, Smirk.

      Try it sometime, potato brains.

  2. Hey WiO,

    Congratulations on your win! The West Bank and Gaza are now part of Israel. What do you plan on doing with (to) all your new found citizens?

    1. You are not trying to earn anyone's respect with crap like that, Potato Brains.

    2. Your comment, Smirk, is exactly why everyone is beginning to think of you as Smirk.

  3. I was snoozing, nearly asleep, exhausted after battling The Giant we know as Q theSkraeling, when I heard, or seemed to hear, something on Fox about The Donald having said:

    FAKE news is the enemy of the People

    and the Lying MSM having dropped the 'fake' in its reporting.

    Anyone know anything about this issue/incident ?


    1. .

      Trump: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!"

      Most recently the term 'enemy of the people' was associated with Stalin and the folks in the USSR.


    2. I don't much like his wording.

    3. .

      He has a way of wording things wrong whether he intends to or not.


    4. On the other hand, We The People is generally accepted as having a sterling pedigree.

    5. .

      On the other hand, Rodney Dangerfield said, "I worked in a pet store and people would ask how big I would get."


    6. .

      Or, on the other hand...

      "If two people were exactly alike, one of them would be unnecessary."

      — Larry Dixon


    7. You are not giving me any respect.

      This is a serious breach of social norms.

    8. I often think of you and Smirk as being joined at the hip.

      Though I think of you as being the necessary one.

      Your girlfriends, from what I witnessed of their behavior at Camp Missoula, don't seem to think that way, however.

      None seemed to miss you at all.

    9. .

      I usually consider that a success. You never know when you are going to run into someone from the past.


  4. Reporters from The Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times and Politico were not allowed to enter the West Wing office of the press secretary, Sean M. Spicer


    Make them sit in The Dunce Chair for a week, as Deuce once did to Ash Potato Brains.

    1. .


      All the news that is allowed to be printed


    2. We insist on all the news that is fit to be printed !

      Lies, misquotes, etc. are not fit to be printed !

      We, The American People, are crying out for a Ministry of Truth !!

      First Amendment be damned....!

      I don't buy any of's too much to ask of people to always tell the truth....

      So let the hurly-burly continue.

      I'm glad to see newspapers go the way of the dinosaur though....Save The Trees !


    Yesterday, after Fox News reported on the tragic death of Alan Colmes, Sean Hannity delivered a heartfelt remembrance of his longtime friend and colleague. He said, “He was not only a guy with the greatest sense of humor but a guy that had a human level of decency and love and kindness and humor.”

    Many media figures outside of Fox News mourned Colmes’ passing too with many kind things to say about him, but Slate put out a jaw-droppingly nasty obituary about Colmes that called him a “liberal weakling” who played the part of a “patsy” on the network. It read in part, “Colmes was the most absurd, useless, and mocked television personality in America for many years, precisely because he was nice.”

    Also on Mediaite ‘The Word is Un-American’: Jake Tapper Goes Off On White House For Blocking CNN From Gaggle

    Hannity was appalled by the piece––posted hours after Colmes’ death, with his family still in mourning––and blasted it on Twitter:

    1. Heh

      “Colmes was the most absurd, useless, and mocked television personality in America for many years, precisely because he was nice.”

      He always seemed spaced out to me, a little too far out there....however nice he may have been.

      He often did seem like he was playing the part of the 'liberal weakling' and 'patsy'.

      Perhaps his contract specified the role.

      It takes all kinds to make a world....and a panel discussion.

    2. .

      It's an indication of 'our culture' that people can be ridiculed for being nice.


    3. It would be certain evidence that our culture is a jungle.

      Or at least that there are some mean asses around.

      I think, I am assuming, that you meant indictment rather than indication.

      The latter would make no sense and would be an indication that you have been drinking again.

      It is Friday evening....

      So, now everyone knows you are soused again.

      Cheers !

    4. .

      Once again, you assume wrong. But no harm done.

      However, you should know me well enough to know I am not in the habit of indicting whole populations, societies, or cultures.


    5. It's Daiquiri Night, then.

      You have indicted entire populations of hicks, societies of hicks, the entire hick culture....

    6. .

      Nonsense, I think of them fondly as benighted children.


    7. They should be Knighted.

      They won the West.


    Le Pen blasts EU, NATO, praises Trump

    French National Front leader Marine Le Pen has sharply criticised multi-lateral governance and praised the new Trump administration. She also called for a new approach towards Russia, Syria and African nations.

    Frankreich Zweite Runde der Regionalwahlen 2015 Marine Le Pen (Reuters/Y. Herman)
    France's far-right presidential front runner Marine Le Pen sounded a full-throated rejection of global trade deals and multilateral governance, defending in soaring terms Thursday the importance of cultural identity and national independence.

    In a keynote foreign policy speech in Paris, Le Pen offered withering criticism of the European Union and NATO and decried what she essentially described as Western meddling in countries like Iraq, Syria, Libya, Russia and Turkey that she claimed have increased instability, broken bilateral promises and betrayed the wishes of the people.

    "I don't want to promote a French or a Western system. I don't want to promote a universal system," Le Pen told a packed audience of reporters, diplomats and supporters in an elegant conference hall near the Champs Elysees. "To the contrary, I want to promote a respect of cultures and peoples."

    Le Pen's lofty discourse offered a stark counterpoint to the Front National's more abrasive grassroots image as an anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, populist party. She described France under her governance as a champion of "oppressed people, which speaks out for the voiceless and carries something powerful and great."

    Symbolbild Rolle Deutschlands in der EU (Reuters)
    Le Pen has indicated she would seek a new deal with the EU, or "Frexit"
    She also took no questions and continued calmly on after a bare-chested Femen protester sought to interrupt her before being carried, still shouting, out of the room.

    1. Hike in defense spending

      On defense, Le Pen reiterated her distaste for NATO, instead calling for a policy based on French national interests and vowing to hike French defense spending to two percent of its GDP - increased to 3 percent by the end of her five-year term.

      On the Middle East, she criticised western efforts to strike deals with Syria's moderate opposition - which ultimately "helped arm the Islamic State." She said cutting off relations with Damascus had been "more than an error" that made France, which has sustained three major terrorist attacks in two years, more vulnerable at home.

      "How many attacks on French soil could relations with Syrian services have avoided?" Le Pen asked.

      'Change of software'

      She also renewed calls for forging better relations with Moscow, saying Russia had been "badly treated" by both the European Union and the United States. France's 2014 cancelation of a sale of Mistral warships to Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine, she said, was a case in point.

      Not surprisingly, Le Pen had warm words for US President Donald Trump; she was among the first foreign politicians to hail his November victory, even before it was formally announced. Criticizing his predecessor Barack Obama for a failed foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere, Le Pen predicted the current Trump administration would represent "almost a change of software that will not only be positive for the world, but positive for the United States."

      Germany's Merkel targeted

      But Le Pen spent a significant chunk of her discourse railing against the European Union with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as her biggest target.

      "The conception of a failed Europe is carried by Mrs Merkel that defies understanding," she said of the German leader.

    2. Yup, that nails it.

      Friday night Daiquiri Night at the Quirk Place.

      The music always come on....

      Gotta love it !

  7. .

    McMaster Breaks with Administration Line on Islam

    WASHINGTON — President Trump’s newly appointed national security adviser has told his staff that Muslims who commit terrorist acts are perverting their religion, rejecting a key ideological view of other senior Trump advisers and signaling a potentially more moderate approach to the Islamic world.
    The adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, told the staff of the National Security Council on Thursday, in his first “all hands” staff meeting, that the label “radical Islamic terrorism” was not helpful because terrorists are “un-Islamic,” according to people who were in the meeting.
    Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter

    That is a repudiation of the language regularly used by both the president and General McMaster’s predecessor, Michael T. Flynn, who resigned last week after admitting that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about a phone call with a Russian diplomat.

    It is also a sign that General McMaster, a veteran of the Iraq war known for his sense of history and independent streak, might move the council away from the ideologically charged views of Mr. Flynn, who was also a three-star Army general before retiring.

    It could also be a sign that Gen. McCaster could soon be moved to that desk by the door, well, that or moved to that office in the basement.


    1. Maybe, just maybe, Trump meant it when he said he wanted different points of view from his advisors.

    2. McMaster is wrong about that.

      What does he think


      actually mean then ?

      Telling ghost stories around the campfire ?


    3. **actually means**

      I think Trump just wants someone that knows something about how to win a battle next to him, verbal niceties be damned.

    4. .

      It would be nice, Deuce, although I'm probably a bit less optimistic than you.

      Besides, the real question is, what does President Bannon think about it?



    5. And here I was told and temporarily almost thought it was some kind of fancy Troika.

      Now we hear tell of a President Bannon.

      Yup, the rum is flowing, the music playing....

    6. Done with mocking Q tonight.

      Cheers Q !

      Put up some more music !!

  8. Quirk will need to explain this all to us -

    February 25, 2017
    Mob brawl breaks out at Australian mosque (video)
    By Thomas Lifson

    The Religion of Peace strikes again, as mob violence breaks out between two factions at a mosque in the Melbourne, Australia suburb of Preston. The great Andrew Bolt of the Herald-Sun reports:

    Islam means peace. Islam means peace. Islam means ...

    well, also this:

    DRAMATIC footage has emerged of a fight outside a Preston mosque.

    The Sunday Herald Sun understands the dispute was sparked over the banning of Sheik Abdou Eid.

    The footage showed a large crowd of men pushing and shoving outside the mosque on Friday.

    Sheik Eid has stood down from his role but did not return the Sunday Herald Sun’s calls.

    Here is the video:


    So far as I can tell, both sides are shouting “Allahu Akhbar!” Ordnarily this is translated as “God is great!” -- but people who know Arabic tell me that the actual meaning is “Allah is supreme!” i.e., better than the gods of other religions.

    Bolt explains the dispute:

    Vicious infighting threatens to tear apart the congregation of one of Melbourne's largest mosques, amid claims that millions of dollars of donations have disappeared and accusations that a sheikh had behaved inappropriately with women.

    The conflict came to a head last week when Sheikh Mohamad Abou Eid – who had been banned from Preston Mosque – told hundreds of worshippers on the street outside that he feared management of the mosque had misappropriated donations, and fees paid for burial and school services.

    The Islamic Society of Victoria, which manages the mosque, reported allegations of inappropriate behaviour by the sheikh to the Board of Imams.

    He was suspended, and, despite later being told the claims could not be proven, resigned from his position on Friday...

    On Friday, the sheikh had been escorted into the mosque – despite being banned – by worshippers, who remain angry at his treatment.

    Unlike the Bible, the Koran does not teach believers to turn the other cheek. In fact, throat slitting is explicitly endorsed as a means of dealing with religious opponents.

Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.”

    Hat tip: John McMahon

    1. Heh

      A danger to themselves, and others, and each other....for 1400 years.

      Does Allah take sides in these disputes ?

      The Greek gods used to take sides....sometimes they'd even switch sides....just for the malicious fun of it....


    2. .

      Quirk will need to explain this all to us -

      Lord, Bob, how thick are you?

      Explain it to you? I've explained it to you a dozen times before. It's an American Thinker article.

      What don't you get about a 'he said, she said' battle in which charges of corruption are being thrown around by the two sides and $ millions have apparently been bilked from donations?

      Do you think this kind of thing is restricted to Muslims?

      Fight Breaks out in Baptist Church over Money

      Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament

      This one is kinda cute

      I know you are bit of a pacifist and have no concept of how these things could possibly happen. I realize that you have led a sheltered life. But when you see actions like this you should learn to ask yourself 'is this type of behavior restricted to one specific sub-group of people.'

      The first thing you have to do is actually think rather than emote.

      Do you have any proof it is restricted to that sub-group?

      Are you sure?

      For if you state it as such, you have to be prepared to be made to look like a fool.



  9. MORE explanation needed and REQUESTED from Quirk -

    Muslim Reform Group Reached Out to 3,000 US Mosques, Got Only 40 Responses


    In December 2015, a small group of Muslims met in Washington, DC to discuss the reform of Islam. With media fanfare, they named themselves the Muslim Reform Movement (MRM), issued a Declaration for Muslim Reform, and became the new face of “Muslim reformers.”

    There was just one fundamental problem: the MRM never had support from the larger Muslim community.

    Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, one of the MRM founders, admitted this on January 30, 2017, when he was interviewed in an article in The Federalist about the MRM’s recent one year anniversary: A Muslim Reformer Speaks Out About His Battle Against Islamism And PC. Jasser was asked about how many mosques the MRM had initially approached for support in 2015 and the nature of the responses from those mosques. Jasser’s answer was eye-opening:

    We spent significant resources on this outreach over a period of ten months. We reached out through snail mail, e-mail, and telephone to over 3,000 mosques and over 500 known public American Muslims. We received only 40-plus rather dismissive responses from our outreach, and sadly less than ten of them were positive. In fact, one mosque in South Carolina left us a vicious voice mail threatening our staff if we contacted them again.

    So the MRM made over 3,500 contacts within the Muslim community, but received only a little over 40 responses, of which less than ten were positive. So to work with these numbers, let’s say the MRM made 3,500 contacts and received nine positive responses. That means that only .0026 (a touch over one-quarter of one percent) of the Muslim organizations and Muslim individuals the MRM contacted responded in a positive manner. And the MRM had even received a “vicious voicemail” from a mosque as a result of these initial contacts.

    The irrelevance of the MRM was further revealed when Jasser was asked about the MRM’s accomplishments during the first year of its existence. Jasser stated:

    Our greatest accomplishment to date is our declaration.

    1. The MRM’s declaration is a two page document created at their first meeting, posted on the door of a nearby mosque (and quickly removed), and available on the websites of various Muslim “reform” organizations. As I noted in my first article about the MRM, this declaration is “a document that rejected Muhammad’s Islam in favor of Western, Judeo-Christian values,” and in terms of Islamic doctrine, it is rife with blasphemy.

      Jasser also admitted that after a year of the MRM’s existence,

      we are disappointed in the relative silence from most Muslim leaders…

      Jasser blamed a lack of money for the poor support from the Muslim community:

      I can guess why we had shortcomings in outreach. If we had more funding, we could study this more scientifically…No one knows truly how that majority of Muslims feels about Islamist ideologies. National security is in desperate need of helping us study that. …We have not been able to effectively reach out to the majority of Muslims because of resources and the absence of effective platforms.

      So for the sake of “national security,” the MRM needs to study the attitudes of Muslims in order to find out why the MRM has been generally rejected by those Muslims. And in order for the MRM to complete this study, they need money. The money has to, by default, come from non-Muslims.

      But I would like to save the MRM time and non-Muslims money. Instead of a new study on why the MRM has virtually no Muslim support, I will provide the answer: in terms of Islamic doctrine, the MRM declaration is blasphemous, and the MRM should not be surprised that over 99% of the larger Muslim community does not want to join in with that blasphemy.

      It is only attention from the non-Muslim world that will enable the Muslim Reform Movement to remain on life-support, visible but irrelevant.

      Dr. Stephen M. Kirby is the author of four books about Islam. His latest book is Islam’s Militant Prophet: Muhammad and Forced Conversions to Islam.

      What the hell is going on, Quirk ?

      It's almost as if the Religion of Peace is rejecting Peace.

      How can this be ??

      Please explain, Quirk.

    2. And this -

      French attempts to ‘de-radicalise’ homegrown jihadists pronounced a ‘TOTAL FIASCO’
      By Pamela Geller - on February 24, 2017
      GLOBAL JIHAD 2017

      I have long warned of the foolishness and the fallacies of the ‘deradicalization ‘ programs. Of course it’s a total fiasco. The motive, the ideology, behind their war is never addressed. It is scrubbed, whitewashed from all counter terror programs. How can you purge jihad and sharia from “de-radicalizeation” programs and expect success?

      The whole premise of “deradicalization” is false. Nowhere do these programs — whether in Saudi Arabia or Europe or the US — actually address the motive behind this war. Islam. Radicalization is a euphemism for devout Muslim.

      Related: Gitmo prisoner reveals Saudi “deradicalization” centers being used to recruit & train jihadists

      “Deradicalization” Program Under Review After Graduates Charged with Jihad Terrorism

      UK Government Agrees Forced ‘De-Radicalisation’ Schools for Returning Jihadis

      French attempts to ‘de-radicalise’ homegrown jihadists pronounced a ‘total fiasco’

      By Henry Samuel, Paris, The Independent,23 February 2017:

      Among the damning revelations in the report were the fact that the only de-radicalisation centre currently up and running, and fully staffed at an annual cost of €2.5 million, is in fact empty. Among the last people it housed – supposedly non-threatening individuals tempted by radical Islam – one turned out to be on a terror watchlist and the other was caught seeking to reach Syria.
      Twelve other centres slated to be set up have not been opened.

      The report also found that many local associations supposed to help families deal with radicalised members are incompetent at best and many signed up simply to obtain public funding.

      One supposedly groundbreaking programme to bring back radicalised inmates to the French Republican fold had to be scrapped after a prisoner duped the authorities into believing that he had reformed before seeking to murder guards.

      Slamming the efforts to date, Philippe Bas, a centre-Right Republicans senator, said: “It’s a total fiasco. Everything requires a total rethink. Everything must be started from scratch.”

    3. The report was seized on by Marine Le Pen’s National Front as validating its call to have Islamists detained or deported.

      Some 15,000 people in France are followers of radical Islam, with a further 680, including about 275 women, thought to have joined jihadist movements in Iraq and Syria, the Socialist government has estimated. There are deep concerns in the intelligence community that many French who fought in Islamist ranks abroad will now return and try to wreak violence back home.

      Mr Hollande is said to have ordered military chiefs to take as few as possible French Isil fighters prisoner, which experts say implies it would be preferable to target them in bombing raids or see them detained abroad.

      The programme’s aim was to try and identity radicalised individuals and reinstall in them democratic and humanitarian values.

      But the senators who wrote the report, Esther Benbassa, of the left-wing Ecology party, and Catherine Troendlé, from the centre-right Republicans, concluded that de-radicalisation is in fact impossible.

      “We just have to admit that the most violent and dangerous people will not be [deradicalised],” Ms Troendlé said.

      Ms Benbassa added: “Deradicalisation does not exist. They thought they could take someone and wash their brains. In fact, brainwashing doesn’t really work and it’s a dangerous myth. It’s understandable that the government wanted to reassure society after the terror attacks. But it started with a false premise.”

      He accused the government of displaying “a good deal of amateurism, with people making it up as they went along. They really panicked.”

      But he added: “I think any government would have done the same in that situation.”

      Ms Troendié said the efforts were more about “reassuring the population” than anything else.

      The senators offered little by way of suggestions for how to proceed bar “case by case” help, “work on reinsertion” into the community and “developing prevention”.

      “This requires a whole network of social workers, educators, community police officers, imams and business leaders,” said Ms Troendié. “There will be no miracle.”

      Quirk, you're persuasive when you want to be....I think it's up to you and people like you, maybe even including Ash, though he's a known lame brain, to get in there and deal with these folks.

      Send in Ash first to see how he does, and to gather intelligence.

    4. .

      Re: The jihadwatch article...

      What the hell is going on, Quirk ?

      It's almost as if the Religion of Peace is rejecting Peace.

      How can this be ??

      Please explain, Quirk.

      Bob, How friggin stupid are you?

      I keep asking that question and you keep answering every time with a jihadwatch article and the answer is 'Pretty damn stupid.'

      What do you think the response would be from thousands of Catholic parishes (or Morman or Jewish or Evangelicals) to a note from some group calling itself the Catholic (Jewish, Mormon, et al) Reform Movement that says we are willing to come in and change the basic tenets, ideology, and basis of your religion?

      The declaration assumes that all the Muslim communities in the US condone and abide by the more radical interpretations of the Koran. That's silly. The numbers don't back it up. Polls don't back it up. The assimilation in places like Dearborn don't back it up.

      Do people try to reform current Jewish theology and ritual because of some of the more questionable passages in the Bible? If they did they would be called anti-Semite.

      Hard core Islamist and terrorist groups profess to accept everything in the Koran literally. So do nut jobs like you.


      If these guys are all that anxious to 'reform' Islam why don't they go to the nexus, Saudi Arabia or Iran?


    5. .

      Quirk, you're persuasive when you want to be....I think it's up to you and people like you, maybe even including Ash, though he's a known lame brain, to get in there and deal with these folks.

      These folks?

      La Pen and Geller?

      I would but I am a strong supporter of freedom of speech which in this case also equates to
      allowing a fool to prove it in their own words.


  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.