“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Who Won?


  1. McCain wasn't bad.

    If you can organize a political base to threaten to throw Ron Paul into office, you can threaten their whole fancy system. We can call it the 44 + 1 model.

    He and Pat Buchanan seem trying to carve out a new political block.

  2. Spengler has blamed Youth Culture, but otherwise this is elucidating:

    Gambling, economic growth and imagination

    We have no choice but to leap into uncertainty, where imagination takes the place of probability distributions. Standing still and doing nothing is the most dangerous strategy of all. The one thing we know about all places and all times is that if you stay in the same place doing the same thing long enough, someone is going to come along and rape the crops, burn the women and take you out of the picture.

    But what if our imagination goes wrong? If Ecclesiastes (4:4) recognized that business stems from rivalry, as Reuven Brenner maintains, this must be balanced against Jeremiah (7:24), which warns that the people "walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward". Brenner has given us as much as economics possibly can: he walks us to the moment of the mortal leap, describes the conditions that motivate it, and reminds us that we have no choice.

    But it is important to keep in mind that economics does not explain everything. If we decline to raise a next generation, and abandon ourselves to so-called youth culture, ultimately we will encounter imbalances that economic policy cannot cure. Our imagination is the basis on which we make leaps into uncertainty, and how we cultivate this imagination ultimately may be of greater import than economics as such.

  3. Bob did, by $143.00, Casino $0.00. Best debate I never saw.

  4. There are times in history when events make the man and others where the man makes events. Obama and McCain are reactive agents. Obama would rule by committee, doctrine and consensus. McCain is less cautious than Obama, he is more concerned with doing the right thing than the necessary thing. He would rely on instincts that have made him a survivor, of which he is a good one.

    In either event, one of them will have a job I do not envy.

  5. Obama has already shown himself to be a corrupt fascistic type, in Chi-town and in this campaign.
    ...before he even gains the office.

  6. I'll be honest. The economy is in such a mess I'm having a hard time paying much attention to these turkeys.

    Let me posit a thought. There is Nothing behind the Dollar, but "Confidence." It's a form of "Credit." A receipt, of sorts. A ducat. A "ticket to ride."

    There is no "Gold" that you can go down and redeem your script for. No Silver. Not even a tree in the german National Forest. It's just a "Promise." A promise that you can get whatever someone, somewhere say you can get.

    What I'm trying to say is, if people "quit believing" we're well, and truly f****d.

    Well, Bubba, the folks aren't there, yet (they're too mad;) But, they could get there. When, they do get there, when they start to get confused, and their head starts to "spin" who will they have "Faith" in? The Guys that got them into "this mess," or the "New" Team?

    This could be really important. Because, if "They (the folks) Don't Believe" there isn't a thing on God's green earth that can keep us out of the damnedest, deepest ocean of shit, imaginable. It could be a five, or ten year stretch (or more) that would have Lucifer, himself, crying tears of pity for us.

    I don't think McCain talking about Capital Gains Taxes, and earmarks is gonna do it.

    I think, as scary as the thought is, it's the "Hopey, Changey" New Guy that will get the vote.

    And, I think it's, probably, a Good Thing.

  7. Well, be that as it may. The "Only" issue I've seen come down that seemed like it might have enough "Firepower" to blast McCain out of this hole was the "Infanticide" of abortion-surviving infants, thing.

    If they made me McCain's campaign czar, tomorrow, I'd hit on that issue all I could, all the time, in Ohio, Co, Mo, NM, Fla, Va, and back, again.

    It's the only thing that knocked my daughter off the Obama bandwagon.

  8. I have been considering something very audacious.

    When there was serious debate on semi privatizing social security, the criticism was that it was far too risky. The government was the only place where money could be held intrust. The concern was what if the market crashed?

    Well, the market has crashed. It was certainly helped by the pirates with short legs. The government has created a de facto sovereign fund, to liquify the monetary system and save the banks, but think about this.

    The government is issuing debt certificates, printing money and now buying equity in the banks. Why not open the Social Security lock box and have the treasury cash in the social security debt instruments and on the open market buy stocks and bonds which are selling very, very cheap. That is when you are supposed to buy is it not?

    The government could buy the shares for the long haul, which is what social security is all about and put the shares in the lock box. It need not vote the shares and it could be quite entertaining watching someone trying to win a short attack on companies of interest.

    Just a thought as our good friend Rufus likes to say.

  9. I just love imagining politicians' desperate exuberant squealing as they all jockey and wrestle before a trough, mortally eager to stick their snouts in it and start slurpring.

  10. Maybe we're in a Tulip Bulb Collapse

    Obama has lucked out by the people blaming Bush for our tulip bulb collapse, when he wasn't even in Congress(never has been in Congress) when the seeds were planted, and at least did something to warn against it, as did McCain, while Franks was literally in bed with another of an endless line of male lovers, this one working over at Freddie or Fannie.

    The Canadians have elected the Conservatives again. The Americans will pay dearly if they elect B.O.

  11. Would it not be preferable to have the stock market rise due to increased demand for stock and have US firms stay in US hands? As the good times return and the fed decides it needs to mop up liquidity could it not do so by selling shares, at higher prices and use the cash to make social security payments?

  12. I gotta admit, Deuce, I broke out grinning trying to imagine you selling this plan to Pelosi, and Reid.

    Well, okay, you're elected. Let us know if there's anything we can do to help. Like, "ship the body," or sumpin.

  13. Bob, had W supported the Republicans in congress, he could have taken action to reign in freddie and fannie. He could have scared them shitless with the Justice Department and the bully pulpit, but he did something else with his political capital. I forget what it was.

  14. tell them it is price support for union IRA's.

  15. Deuce, I'd go for it. Of course, Verasun is still down 30%, too.

    I'm not for sure how "Joe the Plumber's" going to feel about it, though. His IRA just took a 40% Haircut, and now you're gonna stick his dad's social security money in the same meatgrinder.

    Hmm, I just don't know.

    Ya know?

  16. When Uncle Warbucks buys against the market, his IRA will go up. Just sayin.

  17. Well, I'm going to bed. Can't wait to wake up, and find out if we have "Any" money left.

    Hope they save me enough for a casket. At least a pine box. Wonder what the law IS regarding buryin Gramps in the neighbor's slough in Ms. I guess it's cool as long as no one's looking. :)


  18. You are guaranteed a flag and an aluminum one, and some perpetual government real estate. Sleep well.

  19. Crazy times. It almost makes sense. Unca Sam the "Hedge" Fund.

    Short This!

  20. A president with a sense of humor is what we need.

  21. Never did like "formations." (Hated Salutin) Maybe I'll stick with the Mississipi slough. Me, and the critters; and the worms.


  22. Think of it this way, Rufus, when the tulip market has collapsed, you'll be the one 'pushing up tulips'.

  23. How many of the Trillions that they've talked about have already been committed?
    Scratch those plans and use an equal amount of Trillions to eliminate taxes for how many years?

  24. Cheer up, boys, Karl Rove says it isn't over.

    Barack Obama holds a 7.3% lead in the Real Clear Politics average of all polls, but the latest Gallup tracking poll reveals that there are nearly twice as many undecided voters this year than there were in the last presidential election. The Investor's Business Daily/TIPP poll (which was closest to the mark in predicting the 2004 outcome -- 0.4% off the actual result) now says this is a three-point race.

    Karl Rove Speaks

  25. White women, Hispanics, older voters, and lower to middle income voters seem to be the most still 'undecided' in the poll.

    The young have already made up their minds to the greatest degree.

  26. starling said,

    I am forwarding you an email I sent to a friend about what happened over at Commentary Magazine's "Contentions" blog yesterday. ...


    On a related note, I don't know if you ever read stuff from Commentary magazine. It's the magazine started by Norman Podhoretz over some 50 years ago. It's mosty neo-conservative and with a small but dedicated readership. There is a blog there along with the articles which are typically quite long and very well-argued. Anyway, I mention it because the Commentary blog, called "Contentions" got swarmed yesterday by leftish commenters on how BHO's associations with Ayres, Rezko, and Wright are irrelevant and/or no worse than John McCain's associations. Pretty amazing stuff and, to the best of my knowledge, quite well coordinated. The blog usually gets a few dozens comments or less on its posts. The post in question, entitled "A Matter of Character" got over 300.

    something to consider about what is to come if BHO wins.

  27. Well, j willie, I said that the Federals should put monitors in the Philidelphia voting places, after 1,500 bogus registration forms were turned over to the US Attorney.

    What else should be done?

    If the Republican Attorney General will not act, why ask why?

    The "Fix" is in, obviously.

    If tens of thousands of voters are committing fraud, as duece relates, what else can be done, but turn to the Federals?

    And if they demur, if they fail to act, what else is there to do?

    Go to guns?

  28. Now I am not at all sure that voter registration fraud leads to actual voter fraud.

    It may, but there is little EVIDENCE of it, found by US Attorneys. Perhaps they did not look very hard, or perhaps it is not the real problem that it is being portrayed as.

    It looks, to me, to be similar to the 5 million homes allegedly bought by illegal aliens, where the FBI reportedly has found 58 cases of that type, that could be documented.

    But I could easily be wrong, in any case Federal monitors should be deployeed, seems simple enough.

    The Federals did it in the South, for years, I do believe.

  29. Bush Justice, isn't.

    ...but the Ohio bitch attorney general that banned poll watchers from early voting has been ordered by the sixth district court to check ALL the early ballots.

    "Not enough time,"
    sad she.
    "Do your job,"
    said the court.


  30. The Joker

    Got Photoshop 4.01 to sorta kinda run on Vista!
    (If I get into it and need 7, I'll fire up the Dell rather than clutter my cool computer w/Garbage)

  31. Well, doug, if Bush Justice is not, and Obamasan cannot be relied upon, why vote for the more of the status que?

    Is there any chance, at all, that McCain can carry Hawaii?

    If there is not, why waste your vote, on someone you do not and have never agreed with, on the most major of domestic issues?

  32. Them police probly didn't have nuthin better to do, 'Rat.

    ...and all the previous CONVICTIONS?
    Perhaps bogus?

  33. Cause I will never give any credit whatsoever to a punk ass commie.

  34. ...a thoroughly bogus and corrupt commie, at that.

  35. What previous convictions, doug?

    Who, what, where & when. I can figure the why out.

    The report I read and linked to, just yesterday, said there were few, very few prosecutions for voter fraud, let alone convictions.

    Enlighten me with the facts, please.

  36. ...McCain is closer to you on abortion.
    Closer to Trish on Columbia.
    Closer to me on Vouchers.
    What's to decide?

  37. Acorn's had plenty of convictions in prior elections. still linking MSM Garbage?
    I read a CBS load of shit that said John's Ayers ad was wrong.
    ...but they lie all the time.

  38. Well doug, the State of hawaii has the following people on the ballot,

    (C) BALDWIN, Chuck

    (L) BARR, Bob

    (R) McCAIN, John

    (G) McKINNEY, Cynthia P

    (I) NADER, Ralph

    (D) OBAMA, Barack

    So any of the five alternates would still be a vote against Obama.

    Any idea who Chuck Baldwin is?

  39. I've heard the name, don't rmember where, on LA Radio, I think.
    Have to think about Cythia, just for Chuckles.

  40. From 2002 to 2005 there were very few convictions, which elections, in what States, when?

    Basic reporting.

    Google acorn convictions voter fraud. Brings you to

    Where, it seems, there have been three documented convictions, not of Acorn, but of individual wrong doers.

    Hardly enough to steal the election.

    Seems to be some level of voter registration fraud, but very little voter fraud.
    The two are not the same thing.

  41. "Cynthia" or Cindy, as we call her down in the hood.

  42. In Washington State, it amounted to thousands of Ballots.
    T probly remembers all about it.

  43. no, not ballots, but phoney registrations, that historicly are not utilized.

    Donald Duck or Bart Simpson never show up to vote.

    Which is not to say that the Chicago or St Louis political machines do not stuff the boxes, but that is not Acorn, seems to me.

    The Daley's were letting the dead vote, well before there was ever an Acorn to plant.

  44. My primary issue, now, doug, is the Nationalization of the financial services sector of the economy.
    I am voting against anyone that supported it.

    McCain, Obama, Shadegg.
    The only three that are on the ballot, here, that qualify to be voted against.

  45. Wish I was there to nullify your shadegg vote.

  46. Did Barry give them 800 k just to have fun with?

  47. I think it did change the vote in Washington State. And it might do it this time too. Ask Miss T.

    Here's one we can all agree on.

    U.S. puts out travel advisory for sunny Mejico. Don't go there. But if you do, make sure you learn Spanish, as B.O. says you must, to be good citizens.

    The Age of Chaos Is Upon Us

    And Obama wants to give 'em all US drivers licenses, and make us, it would be 'embarrassing if we didn't', learn their language.

  48. He's givin em free college too, so what good would that do unless'n we all learn Messican?

  49. Guy on an Australian sheep ranch has a much clearer view than most Americans of what's at stake here--God Bless You, george.

    58. wes george

    I can not believe this is happening. I live on an isolated sheep farm in Australia and I can’t figure out why Americans are ready to commit national suicide, which will, as result, take what remains of Western Civilization with them.

    I understand from what I have read here that John and Sarah have not articulated their positions as well as Barry and Joe have hidden theirs, but this isn’t a Hollywood reality TV show. Or is it? As far as I can discern the debates were focused by Obama fawning moderators on micro-issues that favoured Obama’s mush, while dodging the meta-scale implications of Obama’s worldview.

    Are you people really going to “elect” a neo-Marxist, hate-America first handsome bloke in a sharp suit to the highest office on the planet merely because he’s hoodwinked the whole lot of you with used car salesman techniques and a smooth voice? Mates, your enemies overseas like to laugh at Yankee naivete but this takes the cake.

    …during the worst fiscal crisis since Carter’s malaise? …with a Congress controlled by leftist ideologues?…with China holding so many dollars that if they bolt, it’s all over? …with Iran ready to nuke Israel whenever they get it together? …with a militarily resurgent Russia? …with European allies that will stab you in the back? Jesus Christ, people, wake up! The cure for the failures of the Bush administration and a recession isn’t to hang yourself in the noose of post-modern academic defeatism and socialism, but can-do Yankee innovation!

    Obama is your (and our) worst nightmare. He’ll turn America economically into Argentina destroying your military advantage and diplomatic clout and thus hand the world on a platter to whomever is the most brutal and regressively hegemonic, ie China, Venezuela, Iran, Russia, the Taliban, while encouraging emergent dictatorships elsewhere, say, Bolivia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Iraq, Thailand and Argentina.

    Don’t the American people realize that they have too many enemies waiting for the opportunity to take the US down to risk installing one in the White House?

    Have Americans forgotten that they are the only thing standing between a world of free markets of ideas and capital, of democracy, peace and rule of law and the Chinese/Russian totalitarian collectivist gangster model?

    Joe Biden is right (an oxymoron?) This IS the most important election in our lifetime because the choice is so utterly stark–continue the project Ronald Reagan started or look to Noam Chomsky, The Weathermen, Daley’s political machine, ACORN, the UN and the EU for policy inspiration!

    By failing to stay true to the simple ideals that made America great, you are about to insure that the 21st century will make the economic insanity and political atrocities of the last century pale in comparison.

    God help us all.

    Oct 15, 2008 - 11:41 pm

  50. Don't know why nobody don't want free stuff.
    'cept for Joe:
    You know him.

  51. I saw about the last half, I'd guess:
    John did good.
    Shaefer was just fine, in the part I saw.
    ...first decent one yet.

  52. Australians seem to me, though I've know only a few, to be a heck of a fine bunch of people.

    Maybe Australia is the place.

    Though in the long run, they're sunk too without us.

    wes george, he wouldn't not vote for the better, because he isn't the perfect, insuring the election of the worst.

    Bet he knows how to shear a sheep, and the names of the stars at night.

  53. I always wanted to go to Perth.
    How did Sam end up over there?

  54. Perth = Santa Barbara South.
    w/o LA

  55. Top Ten Signs Xena Is A Republican:

    1. Her answer to Hillary's book "It Takes A Village" is "Take The

    2. For tribes of aborigines she's got "nothing but bad news."

    3. Her stand on defense is "Kill 'em all!"

    4. She gave Solon up for adoption because she is pro-life.

    5. She let Callisto sink into quicksand because she is pro-death penalty.

    6. She's a bigger closet case than half the GOP congressional caucus.

    7. She tells Eli to stop healing people for free like a commie and pull himself up by his own bootstraps--and he's wearing sandals.

    8. She hails Ares, god of war, with the greeting, "Megadittos!"

    9. She interrupts one of Gabrielle's stories and accuses her of being "biased" by the "liberal media."

    10. When she introduces Gab she sometimes slips and says, "This is my tax credit--I mean my best friend--Gabrielle."

  56. I don't know Doug. But if Kim is from Perth he went to the right place.

  57. Joe the Plumber is the winner.