“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, January 24, 2009

The scene of the accident

The world economy is a car wreck
in a cloak of steam and smoke and fog.
Wheels spin round and round in the darkness.
In the twisted steel, lay the wounded, dead and dying.
In the silence comes the sounds of suffering, steam and sirens.
In the first light of day comes the wailing.

No one has a crystal ball but in midst of our current systemic meltdown, we have doubts, anxiety and questions about inflation, deflation, recession, and depression. We wonder about the nature of assets, debt and the loss of wealth. What is the future of the Banking industry? Can small banks or credit unions fill a gap or will we resort to government banks to provide the credit needed for a vibrant economy. What will capitalism look like when the smoke clears? Will we see the rise of reregulation? How big, really, is the Gross Domestic Product? What will the global realignment look like? Is this the decline and fall of the United States? Are we seeing the crib death of the European Union? What next for the BRICS?

Economy, Jobs Trump All Other Policy Priorities In 2009
Is the world, particularly Britain on the brink of economic depression?
One word for investors...antidepressants.

Battle for the soul of the Republican party.
Obama attempts divide and conquer strategy, while Rush Limbaugh warns the rank and file about the efforts of the Rockefeller wing to purge southern conservatives.


  1. Just what the Republican party needs, a purge.

    No, the Republican party needs to just chill out. They had the power and were kings of the political universe. They could have done many things. They sold themselves and most others on the theory that the best thing for all of us was to relax and let the experts and financial entrepreneurs do the magic of the markets.

    Major threats to the system, like Martha Stewart, were imprisoned. We were told bankers and titans of the financial world needed billion dollar incentives to do their magic.

    Well the magic has been broken. The Republicans have no coin to offer the American public that can stand the teeth test. They would be wise to shut up and let those who owe their present political power to the recent and past disastrous Republican rule, have their chance at governance.

    The Republicans failed at defining who they were, what they stood for, and failed in the great trust given them. God help all of us if the Democrats further foul things up so badly that we pine for a return to Republican power in the near future.

    No one takes anything the Republicans have to say seriously.

  2. No one takes anything the Republicans have to say seriously.

    That's the damned truth. They are the Clown Party now.

    Self-inflicted irrelevance.

  3. True the GOP is gutted...

    But let us not turn to those geniuses "carter, reid, pelosi & kennedy" for inspiration neither...

    Obama and trillions of wasteful wealth transfers aint the answer...

    it's a time to return to sold values in commerce...


    It's time to give those that actually create wealth and jobs tools to use their OWN money to best advantage...

    aggressive tax credits for capital investment in your own companies..

    accelerated depreciation levels raised

    tax credits consumers for energy smart items, this could be targeted towards USA produced cars and home devices (washers refig's, stoves, heating units, air conditioners, ect) we could retire old inefficient things and give people the ability to reinvest in themselves...

  4. This news cast, with some footage from Portland, Oregon, caught my attention. In addition to a financial depression, we're heading into an era of

    Personal Depression

    as well. We're heading into uncharted waters, leaving the disasterous Bush Years (2.3% real growth on average--which wasn't all that good historically--and no terrorist attacks) behind, with nothing left to look forward to. For any of us.

    "Now, and in the hour of our death."

  5. Take advantage of the hard times, begin your search for a foreclosed home--Here

  6. It's Alice in Wonderland...

    Dr claims Israel murders kids and is no more a state than hamas....

    Hamas is celebrating it's victory...

    According to the Dems 10 billion a month in iraq was killing us but now the Messiah wants 863 billion...

    650 million for tv converters, 20 million for STD's, billions for pet democratic projects & welfare checks to 25% of the poorest americans that pay no income tax...

    yep The Democratic controlled congress (now in it's 3rd year) are making GWB look frugal..

    and the good news? BHO has just murdered 22 pakis...

    not 3 days on the job and we've invaded another country and baby killed...

    I am sure d'rat will not now call the USA baby murderers..

  7. There is some Great money to be made in the next ten years. Just look where the Government is throwing the money, and try to get there.

    Wind, Solar, Biofuels/Biomass. Batteries. Health Care, and Biogenetics. Concrete. Rock.

    Banking, and Auto Manufacturing is too crowded, and going to stay that way. No more "Masters-of-the-Universe" Bullshit.

    I'll be ready for a new laptop, soon. I imagine everyone will. The hip will line up around the planet to buy the next I-Whatchacallit.

  8. Were there babies there?
    Was it a militarily justified strike?

    The reason the Israeli have become baby killers, wi"o", is because their military objectives, in Cast Lead, were accomplished in the first minutes of the Operation.
    A trusted source told US that.

    That is if there ever was a military objective to Cast Lead, which another impeccable source, as well as a friend of Israel, told US was nonexistent. That Cast Lead was wholly an internal Israeli political ploy.

    I believe that while Cast Lead was a political ploy, there may have been military objectiives within it. I also believe those objectives were accomplished within the first five minutes of the air operation.

    Those killed during the justified military operations, collateral damage, those killed afterwards, were murdered.

    Seems clear enough to me.

  9. You Gotta See This.

    The TARP Song

    Save a Little bit for MEee,

    I Want Some Tarp


  10. Just as those killed when the Germans took Warsaw, were casualties of war.
    While those killed after the city was under German control, were murdered.

    The former sad enough, the latter a crime for which people should have been executed.
    While remembering that some where.

  11. D'rat

    Those killed during the justified military operations, collateral damage, those killed afterwards, were murdered.

    Seems clear enough to me.

    To you clear is clpudy and cloudy is clear...

    To, a me, israel didnt go far enough in it's operation,,

    In the 1st 3 minutes israel did a nice OPENING salvo...

    but clearly Hamas is CLAIMING victory...

    But in the end took took 3 weeks AT LEAST to teach the Gazans you reap what you sow...

    The true accomplishment of the 3 weeks was to show the GAZAN's that if you fire and TRY to murder Israelis they will in fact punish you..

    The fact that Hamas hid within schools, mosque, UN buildings, booby trapped civilian homes, dragged their own people's kids as human shield just proves that they are infact beyond any reasonableness

    I used to really get pissed at the Catholic Church for all it's anti-semitism

    They we all learned about the systematic raping of young catholic boys across the globe and it's decades and decades long cover ups...

    what it did for me to see that? i let go of my personal anger at the catholic church now that i see how they TREAT THEIR OWN...

    I do not get personally upset with palios that seek to murder me I have learned they treat their OWN people far worse...

    and for the PALIOS the only thing they understand is pavlavion conditioned response, just like DOGS...

    If you shott rockets (regardless of their effectiveness) at Israel be prepared to live in rubble...

    if israel wanted to be like the palestinians, or america in hiroshima, or england in dresden, or syria in hama, or lebanon in the palio camp last summer, of mugabe, or sudan, or jordan, or egypt, or be like the japanese in ww2, of be like russia in chechnya, or and other of every other nation in the world Israel COULD have been 20 years ago let along the 1st 3 minutes...

    Israel COULD have just cluster bombed any one of hundreds of hamas rallies and caused a severe blow to them and killed thousands in seconds...

    But sadly Israel is not what you claim it is...

    If only Israel was as you see it, there would be no "palestinian" issue...

    and that would have been solved DECADES ago...

  12. Bob is right, the Democrats are just as culpable as the Republicans, maybe even more so. Both should now be seating in the penalty box with a third party governing. It's also very clear that this carnage could/would have been stopped 2-3 years ago, if the US was a multi party parliamentary democracy.

  13. Rufus is dead on when he says there will be a lot of money to be made. I have been doing some engineering revisions on a product that we manufacture. We are focusing on using as much recycled material as possible.

    I made a decision a long time ago that I am not retirement material. I intend to throw all my energies and creativity into the project and have fun and make some change that jingles.

  14. Rufus is dead on when he says there will be a lot of money to be made.

    Domestic green energy production is where it's at.

  15. Israel COULD have just cluster bombed any one of hundreds of hamas rallies and caused a severe blow to them and killed thousands in seconds...

    If they can't pull the trigger they shouldn't pretend they can. Smartutim. Useless rags is what these guys are.

  16. Deuce, if any of your products contain an appreciable amount of plastic you might want to be looking for a source of "bio" plastic.

    It's not only good PR, but petroleum-derived plastic will get more, and more expensive. Plus, there might be positive tax/carbon credit ramifications.

  17. I believe that while Cast Lead was a political ploy, there may have been military objectiives within it.

    How can there be any doubt?

    What if an incumbent mayor of Scottsdale initiated a sweep of illegals within your city limits three weeks before your elections?

    Would it be a cheap political ploy, or just months or years over due?

    I also believe those objectives were accomplished within the first five minutes of the air operation.

    We can all disagree. I'll even give you slack on your first five minutes claim. And, even if the priority objectives were accomplished within the first few days, there's much to be said for a pulverizing, paralyzing, long enduring shit kicking, including around the clock fireworks and sound effects. The fallout was sure to occur, short or long, surgical or pulverizing. So they elected to pile on for a more lasting effect, since the marginal price was negligible and the bastards needed to be sent a message.

    Those killed during the justified military operations, collateral damage, those killed afterwards, were murdered.

    Your "justified military objectives" carries the taint of approval seeking, which leads us eventually to can kicking, which just sooner or later pushes the activity into the realm of "cheap political ploys."

    I'd say the only thing to fault the Israelis for is waiting around too long to do the obvious, and a good part of the blame there can be dumped on Rice, Bush, et al. And now we're to be treated to the George Mitchell show. Is this another chapter in The Never Ending Story?

  18. Amen, Linear and the answer to your final question is "Oh yeah!"

  19. All true, fellas. There was no existental threat emenating from Gaza, or the Israeli would not have scheduled to leave on the day prior to the One.

    Teachin' them a lesson, showin' em what for, and all the like, wonderful stuff. But illegal under the auspices of the folk that authorized the founding of the Israeli refugee camp, the UN.

    An organization which the US ratifies every time it pays its's dues, which amounts to 25% of the UNs' General Budget.

    Sorry that you all dislike the 'Rules of War', I often do complain of the strait jacket that the US has put itself into with regards its' own 'Rules of Engagement'. But that does not change the fact that the law of war, as presently construed, puts the Israeli actions, as you all have described them, well beyond the pale.

  20. As to the illegal analogy, that does bring a smile.

    If the Mayor promised to remove the illegals in the town, and had to skirt the rule of law to do it.
    And succeeded in the attempt to remove them all, while arresting and detaining then deporting an equal number of legal residents in the process.

    That'd be sketchy politics. But success is a force multiplier.

    But if the Mayor only succeeded in removing 10% of the illegals, while still deporting an equal number of legal residents, there'd be no respite for her.

  21. Is this another chapter in The Never Ending Story?

    Exactly. And how many Israeli families lost their husbands sons cousins and uncles because of these fscking poodles. There isn't a family in Israel left that isn't scarred by these useless fscks.

  22. There was no existental threat emenating from Gaza, or the Israeli would not have scheduled to leave on the day prior to the One.

    The existential threat is there. People will say enough is enough and simply leave. 60 years of non stop war enough. They need to kill them, without reservation, and kill them all to the last one. And if some don't like it, they can go fsck themselves.

  23. 60 years of non stop war ^is enough.

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  25. The most massive block of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem consists of ten neighborhoods, where more than 200,000 Israelis live. According to international law these are illegal settlements by any possible parameter – Ramot, Gilo, Pisgat Zeev, Neve Yaacov, Talpiyot East, Har Khoma, Ramat Eshkol, French Hill and others. Most Israelis didn't move there for ideological reasons, but simply by economic ones (the easiest possibility of housing which young couples and families can afford is a flat in East Jerusalem).

    Mitchell is going to roll the Israelis back, making them abide by the Treaty obligations they have undertaken.

    Putting International piecekeepers on the ground to ensure the piece, if it comes to that.
    Obama is going to end the crisis that has been forty years in the making.
    If the Franks, Romans and Ottomans have to return to keep the piece, as the locals cannot seem to, after 60 years of not trying very hard, then they will.

    All the past occupiers, working in concert, to bring a lasting piece to that part of the whirled.

  26. According to international law these are illegal settlements

    BS. And all the bought lawyers judges and talking heads in the world will not change that.

  27. All the past occupiers,..

    Will have their grubby fingers cut off.

  28. It's "Back to Masada", for mat.

    But it's gonna be hard to do much cuttin', from Canada.

  29. It's "Back to Masada", for mat.

    No occupying Roman Imperialists on Israeli soil, no Masada.

  30. Recovery beginning in 2010 means no depression but the consequences of all this bailout money flowing into the economies of the world risks an inflationary spiral that would be even more devastating....

    The bottom line is that this crisis is not over. And given how many economists believe that Obama's stimulus plan will only make things worse, it's hard to be optimistic at this point.

    The Real Hockey Stick Chart

    The Crisis Has Not Bottomed Out Yet

  31. Linear. I thought you were going fishing for the next four years. I do appreciate the sentiment behind it - if not the activity itself. (My grandfather, an avid angler, endeavored to introduce us kids to its charms. We found it dull and anyhow preferred fish sticks. Which come from the cruelty-free fish stick farm.)

    Earlier in the week I tried and failed to locate a good online fishing video. Twenty minutes of arduous, painstaking effort, all for naught.

  32. International law can be a confusing thing and often depends on whose doing the legaling. The area wasn't a part of any nation at the time of the '67 War, was it?

    Legal status

    The West Bank is currently considered under international law to be, de jure, a territory not part of any state.[citation needed] The United Nations Security Council,[45] the United Nations General Assembly,[46] the International Court of Justice,[47] and the International Committee of the Red Cross[48] refer to it as occupied by Israel.

    According to Alan Dowty, legally the status of the West Bank falls under the international law of belligerent occupation, as distinguished from nonbelligerent occupation that follows an armistice. This assumes the possibility of renewed fighting, and affords the occupier "broad leeway". The West Bank has a unique status in two respects; first, there is no precedent for a belligerent occupation lasting for more than a brief period, and second, that the West Bank was not part of a sovereign country before occupation — thus, in legal terms, there is no "reversioner" for the West Bank. This means that sovereignty of the West Bank is currently suspended, and, according to some,[specify] Israel, as the only successor state to the Palestine Mandate, has a status that "goes beyond that of military occupier alone."[49]

    The current status arises from the facts (see above reference) that Great Britain surrendered its mandate in 1948 and Jordan relinquished its claim in 1988. Since the area has never in modern times been an independent state, there is no "legitimate" claimant to the area other than the present occupier, which currently happens to be Israel. This argument however is not accepted by the international community and international lawmaking bodies, virtually all of whom regard Israel's activities in the West Bank and Gaza as an occupation that denies the fundamental principle of self-determination found in the Article One of the United Nations Charter, and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Further, UN Security Council Resolution 242 notes the "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" regardless of whether the war in which the territory was acquired was offensive or defensive. Prominent Israeli human rights organizations such as B'tselem also refer to the Israeli control of the West Bank and Gaza as an occupation.[50] John Quigley has noted that "...a state that uses force in self-defense may not retain territory it takes while repelling an attack. If Israel had acted in self-defense, that would not justify its retention of the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Under the UN Charter there can lawfully be no territorial gains from war, even by a state acting in self-defense. The response of other states to Israel's occupation shows a virtually unanimous opinion that even if Israel's action were defensive, its retention of the West Bank and Gaza Strip was not."

    Anyway, wiki isn't exactly the voice of authority on such matters.

    Seems like the whole thing is open to differing opinions, depending on what one's outlook is.

    It's a perfect way to spend the next week arguing, a waste of precious time.

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  34. Tom McClintock, the man who should have become Calif. Governor instead of Arnold Kennedy, says Obama promises 3.5 Million New Jobs will be created by spending another 850 Billion dollars.
    (pre-Pelosi starting figure)

    ...he wonders why someone hasn't pulled out a pocket calculator and done the Math:
    Even if it truly did create those jobs, and did "only" cost $850 Billion, that would be about
    $270,000 per job!

    Rep. McClintock

    $350 Billion in Bailout Funds…No Way

    Rep. McClintock gave the following floor speech in support of H.J.Res. 3, which was a Republican measure to deny the authorization of the remaining portion of the $350 billion in bailout funds.
    "...Government cannot inject a single dollar into the economy that it has not first taken out of the economy.

    It’s true that if I take a dollar from Peter and give it to Paul, Paul has one more dollar to spend and that dollar will ripple through the economy.
    But we forget the other half of the equation: Peter now has one less dollar to spend, meaning one less dollar to ripple through the economy. In short, it nets to zero.

    In fact, it nets to less than zero, because you are shifting enormous amounts of capital from investments that would have been made strictly by economic calculations to investments that are made entirely by political calculations.

    We are not helping the economy with these bailouts – we are hurting it.

    If they actually worked, we should by now be enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity and economic expansion.
    To those who say, “Well, it’s just the way Bush administered it,” let me pose this simple question: when in the entire history of civilization have such bailouts actually worked?

    They didn’t work in Japan in the 1990’s. They didn’t work in America in the 1930’s. And they aren’t working today.

    Fortunately, we know what does work. Reductions in marginal tax rates and reductions in taxes on investment consistently do stimulate the economy.

    They worked when John F. Kennedy used them in the early 1960’s and they worked when Ronald Reagan used them in the early 1980’s.

    When taxes are reduced on productivity, productivity increases.

    But how typical of government to resist what we know works and to embrace what we know doesn’t work.

    This resolution offers the House one last, fleeting chance to admit its mistakes, to step away from rigid adherence to failed policy, and to offer the change that the people of this nation deserve"

  35. Stay the course!

    To full employment!

    As GW Bush was quoted as sayin'

    How'd we come to this?"

  36. But they are already in the Levant.
    Along that northern border.

    Much of Israeli soil is not recongnized as Israeli by those that authorized Israels' very existance as a City-State.

    They're going to moderate, in the real world.

    But by putting Mitchell in the mix, on Day Two, indicates course and speed. We'll stay the course.
    That's the American way, right or wrong, stay the course.

    Works that way with the TARP and other finance fiascos. The Treasury nominee, that 'forgot' to pay his 15% FICA tax, another example of Obama not deviating from his proposed direction.