“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, October 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, US Navy!

From the The Patriot Post comes this reminder:
On this day in 1775, the U.S. Navy was born when the Continental Congress authorized the arming of two sailing vessels in order to intercept supply transports for the British army. The Declaration of Independence came nine months later, followed by the creation of the Department of the Navy in 1798. We at The Patriot offer our thanks for a job well done.


  1. Eternal Father! strong to save,
    Whose arm doth bind the restless wave,
    Who bids the mighty ocean deep
    Its own appointed limits keep;
    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
    For those in peril on the sea.

  2. Also on this date

    1845 : Texans ratify a state constitution and approve annexation

    On this day in 1845, a majority of the citizens of the independent Republic of Texas approve a proposed constitution, that when accepted by the Congress, will make Texas the 28th American state.

    Despite having fought a war to win their independence from their old colonial master, Mexico, the people of Texas had long been eager to become part of the United States. Under the leadership of the Republic's first president, Sam Houston, Texas had proclaimed its independence from Mexico in 1836, while simultaneously indicating a desire to be annexed to the United States. But while many Americans were willing to see the massive Texan Republic join their nation, Congress refused at the urging of influential northern abolitionists who claimed that Texas was controlled by a "slaveocracy conspiracy" of southerners.

    The political climate shifted in the favor of Texas with the presidential election of 1844, when the victory of James K. Polk was widely seen as a mandate from the people to bring Texas into the American fold. But before Polk could take office, President John Tyler beat him to the punch by securing a congressional resolution calling for annexation. With the strong approval of most Texans, Polk signed the legislation making Texas an American state on December 29, 1845. Ominously, the Mexican minister had meanwhile warned the U.S. that his nation would consider annexation an act of war and demanded his passport in preparation for departure. Mexico and the United States would be at war within a year.

  3. Close of business, Friday, radiation has been discovered over North Korea. What a shame the news did not come during the regular business week when the public might have taken more notice, demanding the promised action by the Bush administration.

  4. Toook almost a decade to look into this:
    WASHINGTON - Federal prosecutors in Arizona have opened a preliminary investigation of a camping trip Congressman Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., took 10 years ago that included two teenage congressional pages, a Justice Department spokesman told NBC News. NBC News first reported on the camping and rafting trip on Tuesday.

    A spokesman for the Justice Department in Washington said that the U.S. attorney in Arizona has started a "preliminary assessment" of the trip, after an unidentified source made allegations about the congressman's behavior on the expedition.

    "The U.S. attorney is looking into allegations about the congressman taking a trip with the two pages," the spokesman said.

    Mr Kolbe!?!

    Lord have mercy!

    Those leaks just keep on drippin'

    Republican Values are gettin' pretty soggy, playin' with the Pages & camping with the "boys".

    A Colorado river trip through the Grand Canyon

    Just how crowded is that Republican closet?

  5. Rufus,
    Took 'em 28 days to decide they needed a Men's Department.

  6. In the Grand Canyon, or the Congress, habu?

    Associated Press Writer

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- A congressman in the thick of a tough re-election battle demanded Friday that The Wall Street Journal correct and retract statements in an article that said he slipped projects benefiting his own business interests into the federal budget, a claim he called libelous.

    Rep. Charles Taylor said he would sue the newspaper if it does not meet his demands, made in a letter written by Asheville lawyer Robert B. Long Jr. and released by Taylor's office.

    Taylor is demanding that the Journal retract a front-page article published Wednesday titled "Seat in Congress Helps Mr. Taylor Help His Business." It said he added "earmarks" to legislation to widen two highways near property he owns, to give millions to nonprofit groups run by his business partners and supporters, and to provide $3.8 million for a park in front of a downtown Asheville bank he owns.

    Written by John R. Wilke, the story cited congressional, corporate and real-estate records. Taylor described it as "full of misinformation and unsupported falsehoods."

  8. Taylor, a veteran Republican from Brevard who is one of Congress's wealthiest members, is in a fierce re-election battle with Democrat Heath Shuler, a former NFL quarterback. Although Taylor's district in far western North Carolina leans conservative, many analysts have rated the race a tossup.

    The Wall Street Journal?

  9. DR,
    what's the statute of limitations on a camping trip?

  10. Hell if I know
    What is there to investigate, anyway? Kolbe is queer, so it's just part of the ongoing smear.

    Ms Napolitano, AZ Governor was the head Fed Prosecuter prior to becoming Gov. Bet she still has some "friends" in the local AG office.

    A timely leak, drip, drip, drip.

  11. I betcha Teddy Roosevelt went camping with some boy scouts back in the day when men were men, women were women, and General Black Jack Pershing shot Filipino muslim insurgents in bullets dipped in dinuguan. Bully for them. It's only in these metrosexual times that people wonder about that kind of stuff.

  12. H/T to Michelle Malkin

    Stark Words About the Navy From a Former Navy Secretary

    "We're building only five ships a year; we're on the way to a 150-ship Navy"

    “The ultimate threat, he says, is China, which "is now building their 600-ship Navy…”

    "Costs for ships are way beyond what they should be, even allowing for inflation. It's being managed by a bureaucracy, not by accountable people. When I was in office my last budget was $11 billion and we built 28 ships; last year's budget was about $11 billion and they built five ships. That's not inflation, that's unilateral disarmament."

  13. "...I was in office my last budget was $11 billion and we built 28 ships; last year's budget was about $11 billion and they built five ships. That's not inflation, that's unilateral disarmament."

    That's pretty dumb. First of all, 100 of Lehman's 1984 dollars only can buy 44 dollars worth of 2006 stuff today. And second, the toys the Navy buys nowadays are fancier. But my Elephant Bar brothers are pretty smart so they already know that.

  14. teresita; 9:20:17 AM

    re: That's pretty dumb.

    Using Teresita’s 1984 dollars as the baseline, the Navy’s procurement budget has been reduced by 56%, i.e. from $11B to $4.84B. In 1984 the average per unit cost was about $393M, the 2005 per unit cost was $968M.

    So, Teresita, if the Navy’s budget has been cut by 56% and the per unit cost has increased by 146%, given the reduction in technological inputs implied by Moore’s Law, how is Admiral Lehman dumb? More importantly, of course, is how is his statement, “That's not inflation, that's unilateral disarmament," incorrect?

    Teresita, do you agree or disagree with Admiral Lehman’s assessment of the danger of a shrinking fleet? Please, explain.