“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."

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Shout out your 2007 predictions.

Read my lips. These are not my predictions.

Some I agree with and some I do not. They represent various points of view. Now we all know that the Elephant crowd is a group with small egos and are relatively un-opinionated. Most of you are reticent to say what is on your mind, but let's hear it.

What are your predictions for 2007?

US Presidential Election- Human Events...
"Although my guess is as good as yours at this point in the game, I do have some ideas about who will make it to the primaries, and who will become the standard bearers of their parties. For the Democrats, the top three candidates are Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vice President, Al Gore and Barack Obama. All three have solid name recognition, plenty of money (with the exception of Obama), and enough political experience. Although, they each have their problems (Clinton is a left-leaning woman who stirs up vats of animosity. Obama is a bit too young and inexperienced. Gore is steadily reinventing himself.), these three will be the key democratic candidates in 2008, and in the end, will be a photo finish horse race between Clinton and Gore for the nomination. The Democratic winner: Al Gore.

The top three Republican candidates are John McCain, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. These three guys bring some serious star power to the game, and despite some minor flaws (McCain consistently upsets his conservative base. Romney’s faith and immigration problems have stirred up a lot of fervor. Giuliani’s three marriages and other relationship problems have been well chronicled.), each could become our next president. The Republican winner: John McCain.

So, the way I see it, in November 2008, you will have a choice of John McCain or Al Gore as the next U.S. president."

Home Prices- Blogging Stocks
Prediction for 2007: "Home prices will stabilize in most parts of the country and even perk up a bit overall. At the same time, foreclosure rates will continue to rise as homeowners who used risky low-interest adjustable rate mortgages have trouble making payments as their rates adjust upwards."

Iraq Prediction- Sit News ..
."Bush, now a desperate Undecider, will compel a military fig-leaf acquiescence and order more troops for a few-months surge. Sadly, it will only prove his Joint Chiefs of Staff were right. Only by starting to withdraw troops can the United States jolt Iraq's government so its Shia-installed leaders will demand the disbanding of Shia militia - and that is the only way Iraq can have even a chance of controlling its own destiny."

Iran Prediction -The Conservative Voice ...
"In this context, Muqtada al-Sadr, now the most powerful political leader in Iraq, will continue to lead Iraq’s opposition to Iran. Sadr, unlike Hakim, is opposed to Basra’s independence. Sadr’s power base is in Baghdad, not southern Iraq and Basra. Iraq’s loss of Basra would leave Baghdad’s Shi’ites and Sadr isolated and vulnerable. The result would be a coup for Iran and Hakim and a disaster for Sadr and his allies.

While Sadr will be leading Iraq’s domestic resistance to Iran, Russia will lead the international resistance to Iran. Russia is already blocking Russia’s access to Central Asia via the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Russia is also blocking Iran’s influence in Turkmenistan, where a political transition s underway and Iran is attempting to make inroads. Moreover, Russia is also concerned about rising Iranian influence in the Middle East via Hezbollah and Hamas. Russia is now cooperating with Syria to moderate Hezbollah, and appears to be having success with Hezbollah’s call this week for a negotiated settlement to Lebanon’s problems. Hamas, however, is unlikely to moderate its extremist policy. Iran has just announced it will for the first time be providing military training to Hamas within Iran.

Turkey will be Russia’s top partner in a Contain Iran policy. This is because Turkey regards the breakup of Iraq into two or more states including Kurdistan as presenting an unacceptable threat to Turkey. Prime Minister Erdogan will mobilize Turkey’s own forces against Iran and Kurdistan. Turkey will also mobilize the Arab states including Jordan and Syria.

Next to the US, Al-Qaeda will be Iran’s most important ally. This is because Al Qaeda, like Iran, wants Iraq to break up into two or more states. From Al Qaeda‘s perspective, an independent Kurdistan and (Shia) Basra will be followed by an independent Sunnistan in Al Anbar province, bordering Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda intends to dominate this new Sunni state, which would replace Afghanistan as a staging area for terrorism. Moreover, with control of Al Abar province Al Qaeda would be well positioned to influence Saudi Arabia and influence developments in the Middle East as a whole, to Iran’s benefit."

Stock Markets- What Investment ...
"Tim Cockerill, head of research at Rowan & Co, reports: “We are overweight Japan. It has been disappointing since the market correction in May/June this year and small companies in particular have been hard hit; there is concern about the robustness of the consumer but the GDP numbers have surprised on the upside and exports have been strong. The labour market is under pressure and wages are expected to increase along with bonuses, the banking sector is a robust entity again and protection from cross-share holdings has all but gone, making companies much more shareholder friendly.

“All around the globe large-cap stocks offer good value compared with mid and small-cap stocks. Whilst this has been the case for at least 12 months there remains a strong possibility that they will outperform mid and small caps in 2007. If markets are weak, they may make only modest gains but that could be against a background in which mid and small caps lose value.

“Europe is often the laggard in the global economic cycle, with GDP growth less than that in the UK and US, but that view misses an important point. Europe offers stock-pickers huge opportunities from large-cap international companies to small cap stocks, it is under researched compared with both the UK and US; geographically it is diverse and with Eastern Europe on the door step Europe is well placed to surprise investors.”


  1. Predictions:

    If HRC wins in 2008, I'm gonna get me some land in the hills... always wanted to grow apples and sit on the porch at sunset.


  2. Habu - carring over from the last thread:


    I blogged with him last night. And I believe he's got a comment up today on one of the topics but don't put money on it . I do know he hangs there more often than not.

    Have a Great New Year.

    Well, dang, Habu... for starters, I'm embarrassed that I thought he was dead! For seconds, then this must mean that I offended the guy somehow, since he stopped emailing close to four weeks ago. I hope not - for certain it was unintentional.

    No matter what, i'm glad to hear he's still around and kicking. I've always loved reading his comments.


  3. Triton,
    I can second what Rufus said about Buddy.

    Maggies is a good deal lighter.

    Banter with him over there, that's what I do. I never emailed him but ALWAYS enjoyed his sense of humor, knowledge ... a good deal of Will Rogers wisdom in the man.

    I don't believe there are too many posters over there who have 25 years worth of National Review sequestered waiting for the opportunity to "win" a disagreement.
    I mean who does that?
    Best, habu

  4. Had a CPU Meltdown:
    Much catching up to do, any help would be appreciated.

    Ford group hug, Aspirin Ode to Buddy Holier than Us Thread was great, wish I had been there.

    Can the USA relearn how to fight wars from Ethiopia?

    If we take Condi off Premarin would it be like having some testosterone in the WH?

    Will people here still claim it would not have helped to bomb the shit out of bomb making factories and Jihadi Camps wherever they are located?
    (The closer you get to the military and defenders of Bush, the more reasons you hear why we CAN'T Win.)
    Now running a little three inch desk fan taped to the back of the case(!) - very quiet compared to Pentium Turbo cooler, and works fine,
    NOW THAT I HAVE LEARNED HOW TO TURN OFF THAT G.. D..... M..... F....... Microsoft Defender POS.

    All the comments say it can bring the latest and greatest Dual Cores to their knees.
    If anyone needs instructions on how to turn it off, just ask.

  5. My 2007 predictions:

    1. Porn will remain KING of the internet
    2. Iraq will start to work better.
    3. Rufus will be called to testify in front of the House Energy Committee. Later he'll be arrested for swimming in the Tidal Basin with a coochie named Yolanda.
    4. Millions of children will discover the truth about Santa.
    5. A nuclear device will be used somewhere as a terror weapon.
    6. Marijuana will remain the top cash crop in the USA.
    7. The 35 year War on Drugs will
    continue to fail.
    8. Muslims will begin to use the 1960's civil rights template to gain power.
    9. The world will move closer to a tri-polar set
    10. Iran will be bombed by the US.

  6. Those we'd love to shoot:

    Deuce said,
    "Who was that scumbag with the long hair ( looked like he starred in some pirate movie) that was an imbed with a bunch of marines that shot some prisoners that flinched? The marines were investigated because of the film he took. I would have shot them myself and possibly accidently broke his camera. You know it is going to go badly when that starts happening."

    At Belmont, Wu and others claimed he was pure as...
    I claimed he was trying to cash in.
    The Proof is in the Pudhead Himself:

    Kevin Sites Blog
    Weblog by CNN correspondent Kevin Sites, with current reports and pictures, including coverage of

    Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone: Conflict Journalist Video News
    See video and news reporting from the front lines of conflict-laden areas around the world including Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, Congo, Iran, and more with Kevin

    Gotta go.

  7. Trish,
    Yes, and I know they didn't go to Syria where the TONS of precursors were taken by the Soviets.
    We have lots of KH-11 and other national technical means intel (ELINT,HUMINT,SIGINT,OSINT,IMINT,FISINT,MASINT) that confirm that.

    Face it Trish, Saddam had the stuff and was trying to develop BC & nuklar stuff too.

  8. Trish,
    You must have missed the Tri-Lateral Commission Report, the Bilderberg Conferences Report and the FreeMasons Report.
    There are others out there. Keep a clear eye.

  9. thanks doug.

    habu 6:31, good one.

  10. AspergersGentleman said...

    I believe it was a younger sibling who was willed Buddy's digital estate. That is, you can probably still use that email to check in with the Larsen line, but as to Buddy, though oft imitated (as seems to be the example at Maggie's farm), the man has passed on. He seeded a heck of an idea. Looks like maybe one of the other Larsens shared some of his talents.

    I knew him growing up and he looked like Jack Elam, especially when he grew his Advent beard.

    Heard about his passing through his cousin, Anthony ( Holidays can put people at some profound ease I guess.

    Tony's been a bit overwhelmed these past few months. Turns out Buddy was something of a franchiser when it came to making families. Alot of offspring coming of age that want a chance at the Larsen treasure.

    Sat Dec 30, 06:20:41 PM EST

  11. Well, another exPresident will die.
    Rockets will fly from Gaza into Israel.
    The US and Israel will invest ever more in Mr Abbas's life work.
    The Russians will remain in Lebanon.
    Ms Clinton will continue to poll poorly in NH and IA.

    In Iraq, Stay the Course on steroids 'til June, if the civilian death rates have dropped, hand off to the Iraqis as per the UN Authorization, announce the time table of success. Culminating in a November hand over of Authority and Responsibilty to the Iraqi and a US drawdown.

    If there is no sign of success by June, it'll really suck.

  12. I think you hit the nail on the head, habu.
    Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and others known & unknown. They have degenerated into the Skull and Bones, I'm afraid, that duet of GWBush & JFKerry stand as fine examples of the current crew.

    Where have the Freemasons of old gone, their skills are needed, more now than ever before.
    Indeed the entire Mohammedan Wars prove how poorly the torch has been passed. The quality of leadership not illuminatus at all.


    Saddam Falling snap

  14. The craven dhimmitude of northern Christians around the Mediterranean basin will continue to be something to behold.

  15. DR,

    The leadership now is poor but the foundations of those mentioned remain.
    Couple that with a notable moovement of capital in the hands of a smaller and smaller group does not give one great heart.
    I of course believe everything I read, uh, but I did read a stat the other day,week, that claimed that middle class wages/salaries have not moved upwards in two decades in real dollars, while Wall Street continues to hand out 50-100 million dollar bonuses.
    I know some of it is pure jealousy but I have a hard time believe'in that there's anybody worth that type of money. I would rather see a researcher given that caliber of bonus rather than the hacks on Wall Street.

  16. Mat couldn't bring himself to hazard a guess as to what Olmert will be giving away.

  17. Here today, Haifa gone tomorrow.

  18. Doug,

    What's left to give away? Not even self respect.

  19. Well, I know this, through my eyes. Since about 1986 the fellows that build the houses around here cannot afford to buy them. Where, prior to that, the construction tradesman could afford to buy the product.
    Since then the wages of the construtuon tradesmen have stagnated, while the price of the homes have tripled or more.

  20. AL MakiTV is reporting that the black scarf placed around Saddams neck was pasted on the inside with Vienna Sausage and other "animal by products". Not halah.

    This to assure that Saddam did not find Paradise.

  21. Habu1 said, "My 2007 predictions:"

    1. Porn will remain KING of the internet

    1a. Because the industry is so laid-back and inviting.

    2. Iraq will start to work better.

    2a. New tourism motto: "Come to Iraq.... we're having a blast!"

    3. Rufus will be called to testify in front of the House Energy Committee. Later he'll be arrested for swimming in the Tidal Basin with a coochie named Yolanda.

    3a. We will have solar energy because the utility companies will solve the final technical problem -- how to run a sunbeam through a meter

    4. Millions of children will discover the truth about Santa.

    4a. All I want for X-mas is Santa's list of bad girls.

    5. A nuclear device will be used somewhere as a terror weapon.

    5a. Bomb kill cocaine weapon president nuclear HELLO NSA!

    6. Marijuana will remain the top cash crop in the USA.

    6a. Promotion is just like marijuana - the harder you suck the higher you get.

    7. The 35 year War on Drugs will
    continue to fail.

    7a. Just say no to Big Pharmaceuticals.

    8. Muslims will begin to use the 1960's civil rights template to gain

    8a. And the US will jab with uncivil lefts to smack 'em back down.

    9. The world will move closer to a tri-polar set

    9a. More towards being tri-sexual -- we'll try anything sexual.

    10. Iran will be bombed by the US.

    10a. The Iran Country Club will open - A 18,000 hole golf course!

  22. That video, any transcript on that as yet?

  23. Just as in meatpacking, rufus, more than half of the workers are US citizens, working at a competitive disadvantage caused by the influx. But most of the contruction tradesmen are still US citizens, just forced to compete with criminally priced foreign competition.

  24. This is not Good!

    December 30, 2006

    Several hours after Saddam Hussein was hanged this morning in Baghdad, the state-run television channel, Iraqia, began to run edited video, without sound, of the run-up to the hanging. The video shows Saddam being guided up the steps to the top of the gallows, a scarf being put around his neck and then the noose placed over his head and tightened on his neck. Then it stops. This footage, about a minute long, was played and replayed over and over during the day, and quickly found its way onto all major television stations around the world.

    Later this evening, another video of the hanging popped up, this time being shown on Al-Jazeera and Arabiya, two Arabic TV channels based in the Gulf. The new video was of poor quality, was very jerky, and had clearly been shot on a cell phone or some similar device from below by one of the two dozen witnesses to the event. It also had sound. The picture it gave of Saddam’s last moments was very different from the edited, silent version that the Iraqi government had released earlier.

    There are five men in black face masks who are visible on the gallows platform around Saddam, acting as guards. As they guide him towards the trap door and put the noose over his head, they start chanting religious slogans with the names of Moqtada al Sadr (the head of the Mahdi army, accused of organizing death squads against Sunnis) and Baqr al Sadr (the father-in-law of Moqtada). Saddam, a Sunni, is outraged at this last-minute provocation, and tells them to “go to hell.” This is generally where the two TV stations cut the video, but on at least one occasion that we saw, Arabiya allowed the video to keep rolling: The cell phone camera is jerked down to the ground, as if the person holding it had to conceal the camera, then it is slowly raised up to Saddam again, and suddenly his body shoots down through the trapdoor. At this, the Arabiya anchor came on and made a scissors symbol with two fingers with a mischievous grin on his face, as if to say that they really shouldn’t have shown that, but so be it. A cynical voyeuristic ploy, nudge nudge wink wink…

    However, the impact of this video could be quite significant. First, it will reinforce Sunni suspicions that the execution of Saddam was merely an act of Shiite revenge for decades of repression under Saddam. The building where the execution took place was expressly chosen because it was once used as a detention center by a division of Saddam’s secret police that was focused on the Shiite Dawa party. Some of the witnesses whom the government invited to the execution had themselves once been tortured in that same building. Indeed, Prime Minister Maliki, who signed the execution order the day before the hanging, is a long-term member of the Dawa party and had himself been sentenced to death by Saddam back in 1980 before fleeing the country.

    Worse, it will also reinforce the fears of Sunnis that Maliki’s government is beholden to the Mahdi army, Moqtada’s militia. Executions are generally expected to be solemn affairs –- certainly not opportunities for thugs to score some final sectarian points before the “enemy” is disposed of. The video itself seems quite distasteful –- but it is informative to the extent that it reveals the political baggage that the current government carries on its shoulders. It does not add up to a pretty picture.

    December 30, 2006 | Permalink

  25. That post is from ABC and is up on Drudge. This my friends is going to be costly.

  26. Rufus refers to skewing due to immigrants.
    Used to be immigrants and esp first gen kicked natives ass.
    Then came Teddy's "Diversity" thing where the lowest qualified get in free as Doctors, Steyn, Hitchen types and etc are excluded or put through the wringer for years.
    'Rat refers to construction:

    That is the skewing that dares not be mentioned by the NeoEconWhores:
    Replacing legal citizens with illegal diversity immigrants lowers wages and shifts costs to all.

    Some guy in Florida was bitching that he couldn't get legal concrete workers for the princely sum of $11/hour! build multimillion dollar McMansions.
    I paid a Mexican guy (legal contractor, far as I could tell) 3 times that to help me on a project back in 89!
    He knew what he was doing, I busted my ass, job got done, nice that back in those days in CA we could both eat and live legally as a result.
    Now illegals shit in the Bushes at nite and we wonder why the lettuce stinks.
    Very economical, however.
    Govt rakes in money from illegals never to be repaid, citizens pay the bills, every honest body gets screwed, govt wins.
    Somalian Terrorists still get in on Ted's Diversity ticket, w/TerrorfighterIC GWB's approval.
    The Dhimmi countdown clock ticks on.

  27. Rat:
    Meatpackers used to make 22,
    now make $11/hr, and "Conservatives" knock natives for not taking the job.
    ("It's above minimum wage!")

  28. al-Sadr Rules!!!

    Pimp his ride!

    They whipped Saddam, whipped him good.
    Read some other stuff about the underlying meaning to hanging Saddam now.
    Lots of religious signifgance, someone said, to the Mohammedan Holiday, New Years and some other such stuff.

  29. Why do you want to turn the USA into the TURD WORLD?

  30. Do you propose to remove ALL the US citizens from physical labor, rufus?

    Meat packers, legal workers should be getting about $32 per hour, based upon demand. That US Citizens are denied a competitive wage because of criminal behaviour of others is in a word, criminal.

    I know, rufus, you enjoy the fruits of criminality when you eat out and that makes it okay.

  31. 1 It Ain't honest accounting, Rufus.

    2 It Ain't honest living when that population's crime, murder, auto mayhem (unininsured, unlicensed, illegals,) and disease stats are 3-10 times higher than legal citizens.

    3 It Ain't very smart not to secure our borders in time of War.

  32. Rufus eats out illegals named Yolanda???

  33. Used to be honest contractors hiring legal US Citizens at TRUE Fair Market Wages could make a good living.

    Maybe no US Citizens should aspire to being Contractors anymore?

    Govt has not minded since back in the 70's in Calif when they started hiring ILLEGAL Drywall hangers.
    Good Govt. Indeed!

  34. P'tater:
    What's Mistah Rufus gnawing on Habu?

    He's just enjoying the fruits of criminality, 'tater,
    now hush up or they'll hear us rustling in the Bushes.

    "Govt hires retired spooks to keep tabs on illegal enablers"

    (after next attack/GWB, of course)

  35. Hell, Rufus, down there in the 1820's you could "hire" folks to pick cotton for next to nothin!

    ...bring back them good old days.

  36. But times change, rufus.
    There is a shortage of workers willing to do the hard physical labor. When the wages rise, the jobs will be filled. As you know it is hard to automate some jobs.
    Supply and demand, rufus, not old stereotypes command wages. If the criminal element was removed from the physical labor equation, the wages would rise dramaticly.

    If we do want socially manage the low end of the income scale to fit old stereotypes, legalize the influx.

    In the early 80's, in AZ, skilled carpenters earned 5 to 7 times the minimum wage.

  37. Talk about hitting a slump, the BC these days, hardly double digit comments on any of the current threads.

  38. DR,

    re: BC

    Was it something I said?

  39. Even the most steadfast are disheartened sensing, I believe, that any "Plan" comes too little, too late.

    While I would like to think the Iraqi experience will clarify for most Americans the tribulations faced by Israel in dealing with these savages, I have doubts.

    Hearts and minds cannot be won where there are none to win.

  40. Trish, when everything we do is with hands tied, hard to think faith or doing will have desired effect:

    Milbloggers Interview

    7 . Wednesday December 27, 2006
    T.F. Boggs, Bill Roggio, Froggy Ruminations With Hugh Hewitt
    Hewitt: Hour 3 - Hugh concludes his three hour mil-blogger show, featuring co-host T.F. Boggs.
    Length: 00:35:08

    All agree ROE's stink and cost lives, Froggy esp bitter.

    Someone said that the difference between 2004 and now is enormous, relating paperwork that would put cops to shame for every bullet fired. they always think twice, sometimes decide it's just not worth the hassel. of firing flares at a guy to avoid bullets, even tho they SAW him plant an IED!
    Hell of a way to fight a war!

  41. trish,

    The President seems to want to get on the “road” and stop the mindless spin of the hamsters training wheel. He cannot succeed alone. Given the reluctance of his service chiefs to any step away from the status quo, I see no plan going anywhere. How can it be otherwise, when the President’s primary military advisers take public exception to the President’s proposed shift on the very day he announces his intentions?

    Like your father, I have often found that doing something, literally anything, differently draws attention to heretofore hidden possibilities. Also like your father, I suspect, the destination is never in doubt, only the means to the end.

    Sadly, for a journey without a destination, any direction will do.

  42. trish,

    The brigade concept is a good idea on paper, given the firepower that can be brought to bear in a conventional (historic) conflict. But conflicts, such as Iraq, do not fall within the conventional construct.

    Moreover, any methodology can be abused by clever manipulation. In the instance of brigades, downsizing each will produce a larger number of paper brigades. As you point out, this does nothing for the absolute number of boots on the ground. Eventually, through sophistry, one arrives at an “Army of one”.

    I’m all for leaner, meaner force structure. Be that as it may, sending a 140 lb. boxer into the ring with a heavy weight will generally not end well for the smaller man, especially when the far larger man knows the little guy has no backup.

  43. "Hey, I'm NOT a big fan of illegal immigration. The problem is, the "Legal" part is all fouled up. Most Americans want decent laws, and want the laws enforced."

    Rufus, you sure about that? It seems at least 20-40% of the voting population disagree. Just look at the amount of support the illegal immigrant protests garnered from the insane and moderate left.

    Well, 60% can still be considered 'most', but I think it's a stretch.

  44. d'Rat,

    Re: BC slump.

    You have a very selective and often selectively false perception. W posted 4 or 5 threads, all on 12/30/2006. People have better things to do than to spend Sat and Sun New Year's eve than hanging on the internet all day and night.