“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 13, 2008

Tangled Webs

"Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive."
Sir Walter Scott

Day by day, the story changes. Today, it seems that contrary to what the President-Elect said two days ago, someone from his staff had indeed been in contact with Illinois governor "Hot-Rod" Blagojevich, (D)

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that this man
had talked to the grafting Governor about who should fill Obama's Senate seat.


  1. How’s That Again, Guv

    The governor’s astonishing dare — Go ahead and tap my phones — brings to mind the much more normal Gary Hart’s “Follow me.”
    (They did.)
    It is explained by the sociopath’s absolute conviction that he is somehow immune from being caught.

    This appears to be connected to the sociopath’s trait of confusing his lies with reality.

    Unable to distinguish between the two, he proceeds on his brazen way, willing, like Richard Widmark in “Kiss of Death,” to push a wheel-chaired old lady down a flight of stairs to gain his purposes.

    Gaylin reminds us that sociopaths are not always obvious misfits, as evidenced by their being found, for example, running major institutions. Often they have the acting skills of award-winning thespians, can exhibit great charm (though not in this case) and can fool even experts.

    To give but one example of the bizarre and extreme forms of the disease, I cite a case from Cleckley’s famous work on the subject,
    “The Mask of Sanity”:

    A man having been lengthily and apparently successfully treated for sociopathy, was at long last released. His relatives delighted in his apparent recovery, the resumption of good grooming, the return of his cheerful personality, and his entertaining and humorous discourse, polite manners and social affability.

    Some weeks into his recovered freedom — at his sister’s wedding — he politely made his way along a row of seated wedding guests to the aisle.
    There, he defecated.

    Does this mean there can be more surprises in store from the governor?

  2. Miller's Chicago callers explained how this big-haired obvious crook got elected and re-elected.

    Aldermen control all the elections, and Blogo's father-in-law was a long time legendary Alderman/Crook.

    Sure raised a sweet daughter, tho.

  3. The question is:
    Will the MSM tire of

    "That's not the [insert latest crook, racist, murdering terrorist] blank I knew."

    in less than 8 years?

    ...I doubt it.

  4. That's funny, Whit, using my tattoo. At least you didn't put the one with my knickers up there.

  5. RWE:

    I quote Robert Heinlein:

    “The guy who goes broke in a big way never misses a meal; its the guy who is short half a buck that has to tighten his belt.”

    Back in the 80’s a friend who had recently completed his Masters at USC observed that the engineering department had a predominance of foreign students but that “the people studying to be investment bankers were all Americans.”

    I am hoping that the financial meltdown – and non-meltdown of foreign carmakers – will at last end the mystique of the people who use other people’s money to become rich but produce nothing on their own.

    Let them all end their careers saying
    “Do you want fries with that?”

  6. Doug: What happens when the Chinese want the benefit of years of saving?

    Treasury notes aren't pay-on-demand instruments like cash, they have dates of maturity. If people were cashing them in rather than buying them, the interest rates they pay would be bid up higher and higher as the market tried to find a price where people would buy them. What is the interest on a three-month T bill right now? 0.01 percent. Take out admin costs and it actually yields a negative return. People are actually paying the Treasury to keep their assets from declining too much right now.

  7. "There's a big difference between a subsidy and an incentive," says Michael Randle, president of Southern Business and Development and an expert on the southern auto industry. "A subsidy pays to keep jobs. An incentive pays to bring them. If you're paying to keep them, it means somebody wants to leave."

  8. Ruby said:

    "People are actually paying the Treasury to keep their assets from declining too much right now"

    Seems a sucker's bet to me. Ahhh, the madness of crowds.

    With respect to British weather - it is highly dependent upon the flow of the gulf stream. The warm water flows up to the British Isles. If this should alter then look to weather in Britain on par with other land on similar latitudes (coooooold).

    This yammering on about 'ohhh its cold this week' leading to 'those global warming folk are ninnies' is quite silly. Sure, the jet stream dips it'll bring the colder arctic air further south. What you measure is global averages over long periods to assess current direction of temps

  9. Did our resident token Jewish-Canuckistanian link this?
    ...looks like a buy.

    Assuming the superdepression is not yet to come.
    (The first post-globalized Depression)

  10. "Seems a sucker's bet to me. Ahhh, the madness of crowds."
    Where Ruby's wrong is that there is a market for T-Bills.
    When new bills are paying @28%, 0% Bills will essentially be worthless.
    (as the principal on which the the bill is based has become)
    (if I'm wrong, don't blame me, but the time this was "penned")

  11. The historic gold to oil ratio is incredibly consistent. Currently oil appears to be extremely cheap when priced in gold.
    Additionally, almost everyone (except Ruby) agrees the Federal Reserve Note rally is fundamentally unsound as it is tremendously encumbered.

    As the deflationary vortex has strengthened the price of Canadian oil and gas royalty trusts have plummeted. For example, over the past year HTE has fallen from about US$20 to US$8. It appears that market may be pricing in systemic collapse complete with breakdowns in food distribution accompanied with riots. Assuming that is not the case the current prices have resulted in many outstanding bargains in my opinion.

    Harvest Energy Trust (HTE) was founded in 2002 and headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

  12. Money Heaven

    "It appears that at least $15 billion of wealth, much of which was concentrated in southern Florida and New York City, has gone to
    'money heaven,'"
    he said.

  13. 'A List of Names Acceptable to Obama’
    December 13, 2008 by texasdarlin

    © 2008 TexasDarlin/TD Blog

    “I am quite confident that no representatives of mine would have had any part in any deals related to this seat.”
    – Barack Obama, Dec. 11, 2008

    A Chicago Tribune report today, Dec. 13, confirms the story that FOX News Chicago broke Thursday night. Via the Tribune:

    (A) source said that contact between the Obama camp and the governor’s administration regarding the Senate seat began the Saturday before the Nov. 4 election, when Emanuel made a call to the cell phone of Harris. The conversation took place around the same time press reports surfaced about Emanuel being approached about taking the high-level White House postshould Obama win.

    Emanuel delivered a list of candidates who would be “acceptable” to Obama, the source said. On the list were Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, Illinois Veterans Affairs director Tammy Duckworth, state Comptroller Dan Hynes and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Chicago, the source said. All are Democrats.

    Sometime after the election, Emanuel called Harris back to add the name of Democratic Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan to the approved list, the source said.

    Another source told the Tribune that “communications between Emanuel and the Blagojevich administration were captured on court-approved wiretaps.”

    OK, folks, what will Obama’s next excuse/explanation entail? We know that Emanuel is about to take THE ultimate hit for Obama, poor Emanuel. But once again…..A 5th-grader could figure out that Emanuel was acting on Obama’s behalf. He delivered a list of names acceptable to Obama.

    Will Obama proclaim that he did not know that Emanuel delivered such a list on his behalf?

    If that is indeed true, Americans have just elected an idiot to be President. And I don’t think Obama is an idiot, not by any stretch.

    Anyone who believes that Obama was unaware that Emanuel was representing Obama’s interests in delivering those names to Harris IS THE IDIOT.

    I will repeat the question we’ve posed several times this week, and I will keep repeating it until Obama provides an honest answer. Because I am a citizen, a voter, a constituent, an American, and I have the absolute right to demand an answer from the President-Elect. He serves the American people. He was hired by us, and he is accountable to us. He should NEVER forget that.

    Why did Obama deny that his camp had conversations with Blagojevich and his staff about the Senate seat? As Obama apologists are rushing to note, one would expect Obama and his team to discuss the appointment with Blagojevich.

    So why lie?

    Why is Obama lying? Is it because he’s a pathological liar, and it’s second nature for him to lie when confronted with tough questions, knowing that the Mainstream Media will assist in convincing the masses that he is pure as Louisiana snow?

    I’m patient. Let’s see what Obama says next.

  14. Speaking strictly, not that anyone does, it's none of Obama's business who the Governor of Illinois picks to fill his Senate seat.

  15. Cleckley’s famous work on the subject,
    “The Mask of Sanity”:

    3 used from $145.99---Amazon

    Hundred and forty six bucks for a used book?

    This isn't going to be a best seller.

    Never write a book that is going to cost over about 30 dollars for hardcover new.

  16. How do they grow those square watermelons? I've seen that picture before. Must put them in some kind of square grow box, like the Indians of the Columbia River region sculpted the forehead. The Flat Heads Weren't Flatheads

    A Tangled Web

    Two lesbians duking it out over the kid.

  17. You could grow a square cantelope, but could you grow a square turnip, carrot, head of lettuce?

  18. As the little article says, it's not exactly a square watermelon, it's a cubical watermelon.

    You could grow watermelons in the shape of a pyramid, if you were an Egyptian.

  19. And now the Cholera Comes To Zimbabwe

    What's your prescription for fixing up Zimbabwe, Ash? I'm sure you are one of the ones who criticized the former white regime, when the country could at least feed itself.

  20. A Vietnamese tries to crash the Black Congressional Caucus. Why do we have a 'Black Congressional Caucus' in the first place? I thought we were supposed to be color blind now. What would the reaction be if we had a 'White Congressional Caucus'?

    OT, but speaking of Louisiana, did ya’ll see that newly elected Vietnamese immigrant Anh Cao has asked to be admitted to the Congressional Black Caucus?

    In all the hooplah surrounding Obama’s win, Cao’s history-making victory got buried.

    He is the first Vietnamese member of Congress.

    Since he represents a heavily black district, it will be interesting to see how his request to the Caucus — usually quite strict about race-based admission criteria — responds to his request.

    Congratulations, Mr. Cao!

  21. Abortion Socialism

    Obama is a sick man.

    Well, I've had my say for the day.

  22. Back in CONUS, my oh my, lots of good stuff while I was gone. I will try and catch up later.

  23. Anyone who gets their news from WorldNetDaily needs to get a life.

  24. Those who don't like a particular message tend to blame the messenger.


    The 'Government of Zimbabwe' is blaming the cholera outbreak on the---West!

    Just heard this breaking news on the radio---what'shisname Moon at the U.N. denies the charge.

    If there was ever a situation needing some outside intervention, it's Zimbabwe.

    And, it wouldn't be all that hard to do. Certainly couldn't make things any worse.

  25. I was more interested in the story of the conflicting jurisdictions and laws, than the spat between the two women.

  26. Read what 650 REAL Scientists have to say about "Global Baloney" . . . . er, warming.

  27. Al Gore says they are outside of the mainstream and probably paid off by Big Oil.

  28. It's snowing here in the banana belt of Idaho---National Film Board of Canada presents How To Build An Igloo

    This is from 1949 but I doubt the method has changed any since then.

  29. Watched 10 minutes of Scalia. Thanks, Bob. It's good.

  30. They forgot to hi-5 each other after completing.

    How do those top 2 roof blocks stay put?

  31. On Saturday, Senator Joseph Griffo renewed the call for a bill he proposed last year to have direct elections for the statewide offices of Attorney General and State Comptroller, using that same idea for all statewide elected positions that are vacated. "When a vacancy occurs in an elected office I believe the people should make the choice in the replacement.


    "It will take some time to do this constitutionally, but I think it's worth doing it that way because that makes it permanent and a part of law," said Griffo.

    The Governor’s office declined comment on the proposal. They did want to point out that whomever is appointed to replace Hillary Clinton will have to stand for statewide election at the next general election in 2010 and is not appointed for the duration of the six year term.

    Special Elections

  32. A number of Indian lawyers — including a prominent group of Mumbai attorneys — have refused to defend Kasab against criminal charges amid outrage over the attacks.

    Kasab is being held on 12 offenses, including murder and waging war against the country, but has not yet been formally charged.

    Islamabad has refused to acknowledge Kasab's nationality, complaining that India has yet to furnish any evidence.

    Planned Rooftop Standoff

  33. Drew Ferguson is a believer. He initially got an inkling that KIA was coming from his father, Drew Ferguson III, a banker in West Point who heads the town's economic development commission.

    "Son, I've got some good news," he said several years ago. "But I can't tell you."

    The news was KIA's interest in West Point. Georgia officials, it turned out, had tried in vain to sell KIA on a fully developed site outside Savannah.

    Auto Industry

  34. Around the four cities here--Moscow, Pullman, Lewiston, Clarkston--Santa doesn't rely on Rudolf and the other reindeers, but is pulled along behind a helicopter, making the circuit each year.


    Special elections for a vacant Senate or House seat--that ought really be the way to go, nationwide.


    There's a little hole at the top of the igloo to vent the place, I quess.

    Maybe those last two are just froze together. I wonder what the temperature is inside? Couldn't be real toasty in there I wouldn't think, just from body heat.

    It's the poor dogs outside I feel for. What a way to treat a dog. I'd let 'em inside the igloo, too.

    Mat's solar panels wouldn't work that far north, but maybe they could fix up some wind power, get satellite tv, and have a computer too. Join the Elephant Bar.I'm not making fun of the Eskimos, they proved to be tougher than the Scandinavians in Greenland, when the real cold came.

  35. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Friday asked the state Supreme Court to temporarily remove Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office, saying he has been effectively "disabled" by the public corruption charges brought against him.


    Madigan said the public corruption allegations against Blagojevich have severely hampered the state's ability to borrow money to fund state services, including medical care, schools, day-care centers, nursing homes and mental health institutions.


    Senate Democrats have warned Blagojevich not to name a replacement. The Illinois state Legislature has planned a special session Monday and could strip Blagojevich of his power to fill the seat.

    Aide Quits

  36. But Republicans failed to rally around the Corker plan until late Thursday, preventing them from properly explaining it to the public. McConnell dispatched Corker to find a bipartisan solution with Democrats, but the talks stretched through the night, and Corker ultimately failed to sell a revised plan to the GOP caucus.

    Republicans will now have to convince the public that they sought a middle ground, but ultimately decided to side with the taxpayer.

    Otherwise, “they look like they’re in disarray,” said one top GOP strategist, speaking on the condition of anonymity because one of his auto clients backed the $14 billion in loans.

    Hoover Time

  37. Ushering in the Holiday Season, arsonist(s) exhibit Christian spirit by setting Sarah Palin's former Wasilla Church On Fire

  38. This stuff is going to Really "Bug" some folks in the future.

  39. Mat's solar panels wouldn't work that far north

    Bob, they're now working on full spectrum solar panels. Day, night, these panels will still work. What we need to do is get dirty coal and nukes out of the way, and get green sustainable solutions adopted.

  40. Good Grief--MMAV's--what's next?

    And I thought those were Morning Doves sitting on the phone wire.

  41. Ushering in the Holiday Season,..

    You think it's the Russians?

  42. Good Grief--MMAV's--what's next?

    Electronic jammers? :)

  43. Then, there's hope for Polar Igloo Urbania yet! Igloo compounds configured according to the most up-to-date people friendly urban designs, shops below.

    Seriously, I've read about those full spectrum solar panels. All for it, if they work.

    One thing about igloos is, they don't burn like a Wasilla Church.

    Though they can melt, if you have a flame thrower.

    Electronic jammers? :)

    Electronic RAID.

  44. Tend to doubt the Russians, though they are close by. I'd bet it was politically motivated though. Maybe a combo of EarthFirst, Gay Pride, Planned Parenthood, and Atheists For A Secular Society. With a few jihadis thrown in, for technical assistance.

  45. Don't forget, these people are on The March. Karel, at KGO, wanted to off Joe the Plumber, caught with the open mike, and he wanted to cleanse the country of Mormons, no joking.

    Luc is the 'spiritual advisor' of the group.

  46. "I want Joe the Plumber dead", he said. I heard him say it.

    Then, later, explaining away, "it was only a metaphor".

  47. So we need to perform an exorcism.

  48. Kenyan Refugees Resort To Fraud

    And why not? Others reported to have been born in Kenya have done the same.

    from the dastardly pages of WND.

  49. Exorcism


    Exorcism is (1) the act of driving out, or warding off, demons, or evil spirits, from persons, places, or things, which are believed to be possessed or infested by them, or are liable to become victims or instruments of their malice; (2) the means employed for this purpose, especially the solemn and authoritative adjuration of the demon, in the name of God, or any of the higher power in which he is subject.

  50. Maybe Tes can perform one for WND?

  51. From Mat's post, in the you learn something new everyday department--

    Holy water, the sacramental with which the ordinary faithful are most familiar, is a mixture of exorcised water and exorcised salt.


    (E)NaCl + (E)H2O = HolyWater

    Some entrepreneur with a little imagination and a good advertising campaign ought to be able to turn this into filthy lucre.

  52. Some entrepreneur with a little imagination and a good advertising campaign ought to be able to turn this into filthy lucre.

    He's called the Pope. :)

  53. Al Gore . . . . Al Gore . . . Didn't he get a Divinity degree, or something?

    Okay, I'll be fair. I'll dispense with appeals to anti-authority. I'll just make this deal:

    If it happens that the Arctic becomes "Ice-Free in Five Years" as "The Goreacle" stated it would in his Speech in Germany, yesterday, I'll admit I wuz rong.

    But, if it doesn't Gore is a big, fat, lying, crooked hypemeister. How's That?

  54. If it DOES, Gore is still a big, fat, lying, crooked hypemeister.
    How's That?

  55. If it DOES, Gore is still a big, fat, lying, crooked hypemeister.
    How's That?


  56. It's snowing in Portland, Oregon tonight, I hear, doesn't snow there very often.

    The novel, now being rediscovered, speaks to our ecological present: in the flush of a financial crisis, the Pacific Northwest secedes from the United States, and its citizens establish a sustainable economy, a cross between Scandinavian socialism and Northern California back-to-the-landism, with the custom — years before the environmental writer Michael Pollan began his campaign — to eat local.

    They'll be beggin' for bread 'fore the year is out.

    Stop Rape In The Congo, Mr Obama

  57. Leo Donofrio is an honorable guy, he is cutting his ties to Plains Radio Network, his main outlet during this court challenge, over some uncouth remarks by one of the talkers. It was interesting listening to him.

    [UPDATE - 6:20 PM Sat. Dec. 13, 2008]: Just became aware of Plains Radio’s gross statements regarding Barack Obama’s health. Leo Donofrio will not be on Plains Radio again.

  58. Mat's World

    Lime and limpid green
    A second scene
    A fight between the blue
    you once knew.
    Floating down the sound resounds
    Around the icy waters underground
    Jupiter and Saturn
    Oberon Miranda and Titania
    Neptune Titan
    Stars can

    Blinding signs
    Flap flicker flicker flicker
    Blam pow pow
    Stairway scare
    Dan Dare
    Who's there?

    Lime and limpid green
    The sound surrounds
    The icy waters under
    Lime and limpid green
    The sound surrounds
    The icy waters underground

  59. That was beautiful, Bob. Thank you.

  60. It's the snow outside got me in the mood--

    Nat King Cole


  62. Fool! I almost think he should have acted like Joseph Campbell's Eskimo shaman, when he was denied the woman he liked, when he shot the father, her brothers and all, out from around her, and just took her! Took his Lara, not watch her ride off in the snows, with others!

    After all, a woman like that doesn't come around just every day.

  63. After all, a woman like that doesn't come around just every day.

    They all the same, Bob. Haven't met one that's different.

  64. Got to disagree with you there, Mat.

  65. Must be my eyes fooling me again.

  66. Blinding signs
    Flap flicker flicker flicker
    Blam pow pow
    Stairway scare
    Dan Dare
    Flipper Fucker
    Blam pow pow

  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

  68. Well, McAsshole is back to doing what he does best. Slamming the GOP, backing O'Messiah

  69. Big John, the Maverick, is the GOP, personified. He is their Standard Bearer, the pride of team.

    Get with the program, rufus.
    If you're a Republican, then McCain is your most public headman, at least until 2011.

    Learn it, live it, love it.

    Or bolt to a group that better suits your style.
    Or work for "change" with the posse of Republicans that Maverick best represents.

  70. So, anyway, over to the Walmart, the checkout line news tabloid "Globe" is covering the Obama birth certificate and Kenyan birth story, headline reading that "Obama Election Illegal"

    The issue does not seem to be moving as well as the "Britney in Crisis" cover of the competition.

    But, at least now the story is recieving the MSM coverage it so richly deserves.

  71. The NYTimes reports
    Published: December 14, 2008
    BAGHDAD — President Bush flew to Iraq on Sunday, a final trip to highlight the recently completed security agreement between Iraq and the United States.

    Six months late, at best.

    Team43 completing a flawless transition to the "O Team", after the political damage to the United States was locked in place.

    37 days and counting, when will GWBush order the strike against Iran?

    It's got to come, habu promised.

  72. We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
    - Aesop