“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 23, 2010

Socialism vs. Capitalism

Obama has returned to moralizing on greed. Of course the greed that offends Obama is private greed. Government greed is something not mentioned. Obama is offended that the private sector is greedy by taking up too many resources for health care. He wants to redistribute the resources from the greedy to the needy.

Obama and his supporters cite that too much of the economy is spent on health care. They never explain what is the right amount. If it is 16%, so what? Why not 30%? Is it better to buy goods we don't need from China than spending for something that keeps you healthier and helps you to live longer? Who is better to make that choice, the individual collective decisions of the private sector or the government and social engineers?

Always, the justification to take and redistribute wealth is that it was accumulated by greed.

This is nothing new for Obama. In his book, "Dreams for My Father," Page 293, Obama refers to The Rev. William Wright's "The Audacity of Hope" sermon.

Obama quotes:

"It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks’ greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere…That’s the world! On which hope sits!"

We will hear more and more about Obama's distaste for greed as justification for his policy of redistribution of wealth in his desperate attempt to force America to do what the majority does not want to do.


  1. Obama and his supporters cite that too much of the economy is spent on health care.

    They need look no further than here:

    Greed Personified


  2. That is an excellent post!

  3. To remain humane, discipline and competence must be stressed wrt enhanced interrogation.

    Troops should be drilled daily on the basics:

    1. Red, Positive.

    2. Black, Negative.

    3. Always remember to wet the scrotal sack.

  4. Thanks to Annie Laurie:

    We're stuck here until Monday, my husband and I. And slowly going insane.

    I did watch Comedy Central yesterday evening for the first time in...well, quite some time. In his opening segment, Jon Stewart took Olbermann to task for his outrageous characterization of Scott Brown, while allowing his rough and ready estimation of Limbaugh as "a giant sack of mashed-up jackass."

    Memorable turn of phrase.

    All the Bailey's and Godiva liqueur are gone. (Not that Mom and Dad left us with much of either; we'll talk about that and your shit-filled dogs when you get home.) Honestly. What's a person to do?

  5. Miller was heartened by Stewart taking Olbie to task, re:
    Calling Michelle Malkin a

    "Mashed Up Bag of Meat,
    with lipstick"

    or some such.

    I'd love to watch the "man" die.

  6. re:
    Limbaugh and Malkin,
    I detect an obsession, or lack of imagination on Olbie's part when it comes to humans being described as "mashed"

    Not worth the effort to delve into the true cause of the trolls excretions.

  7. 162 Views?
    Who is Annie Laurie?

  8. Oh, yeah: Daughter trashed the inside of the Gay Car for the 18 months she had it in our absence. Super, Pooh. You'd think you'd been living in it.

    Her dad gave her back the Pukemobile - 20 year-old 240 wagon purring along with 4K worth of restorative work, new stereo and speakers, and a rather immaculate interior - to take down to Richmond instead. He won't go back to driving a stick.

    I get the 15 year-old, gas-guzzling Jeep Cherokee back, whenever it arrives in port.

    At some point another automobile will need to be acquired. The Audis (of which there is a dealership here in Canonsburg) are looking miiiighty nice.

    Should have done it through Diplomatic Sales but we're foot-draggers on this matter.

  9. Someone who posts on occasion at Balloon Juice.

  10. Someday, someone in the family should check out a real car, just for giggles.

  11. The Mazda 6 - with which we have some remarkable, untold experience - is also quite lovely.

  12. The wife's 15 year MB costs up $3K a year ago and is in the shop now for another $2K... The car is one owner with only 70K miles but it's fifteen years old, so what can you do?

    We looked at a Honda Civic which we can lease for 36 mo at $159+tax ...that's pretty cheap a to b transportation.

  13. That's incredibly cheap, whit.

    We've had phone plans that cost far more.

  14. and the cars don't look that bad either. Spring for a little more money per month and you can get the car with power door locks and mp3. If it were going to be my car, I would definitely upgrade but my wife is somewhat technologically challenged (despite being on facebook) so it doesn't matter to me.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. We drive a Corolla and an Escort.

    Son's (blown) WRX sti still sits in the driveway.

    Time to haul it to his newly-acquired property.

  17. If it were up to me, I would have a stable of older semi collectible cars like an MGB, CJ5, a 4x4 PU, etc. All bought relatively inexpensively and some without collision.

    That way, I would always have a backup during the inevitable breakdowns.

    This plan would also necessitate selling the current in-town residence, (another reason, Doug)

  18. Just saw a classified for abandoned upstate NY ten acre farm for $39K. There's the summer residence.

  19. In my dreams I aspire to Linear's Sierra Nevada setup.

  20. me = 01 Isuzu rodeo

    husband = 01 Nissan frontier and of course we can't forget the 09 dodge challenger that now sits on the garage because of the weather.

    Barrett Jackson had a really nice 66 convertible mustang for sale last night. I don't know what it went for and they also had 71 Plymouth Cuda 2 dr hemi convertible recreation. That went for just over 100,000.00.

    Is that what you're looking for?

  21. Aha.

    In South America you can almost name your price on a Jeep Cherokee of any age. (As well as any Honda or Toyota of any make, model, or year.) And offers - we had offers.

    The rule is you can't sell it for more than you yourself forked over in its purchase.

    Not having remotely decided on a replacement, we just brought it back.

  22. On Friday, the Labor Department reported private-sector unions lost 834,000 members, bringing membership down to 7.2% of the private-sector work force, from 7.6% the year before. The broader drop in U.S. employment and a small gain by public-sector unions helped keep the total share of union membership flat at 12.3% in 2009. In the early 1980s, unions represented 20% of workers.

    Labor experts said the union-membership losses would have a long-term impact on unions and their finances, because unions wouldn't automatically regain members once the job market rebounded. In many cases, new jobs will be created at nonunion employers or plants.

    Boo hoo.

  23. My dad has a cush extended cab F 150.

    You cannot reside here legally unless you own a PU or have references from five local households that do.

  24. My sister just bought a jeep Cherokee. She loves it. The special edition or what ever it's called.

    I would just enjoy the heated seats.

  25. My next car will be a four door pick truck. All the new SUV's look to much like a mini vans....and that just not me. I need a truck.

  26. I would be more interested in the cherry '69 Chevelle SS 396 which went for low $30s.

  27. Harleys (or as my son called them as a toddler, "Hardleys") are a bane of existence.

    I think of them as the grown-up version of the bicycle with the playing card affixed by clothespin to make that incredibly obnoxious noise.

  28. :) know whacha mean...

    went through motorcycle phase in my youth.

    been there, done that.

  29. Enjoy your personal transports while you can because government on all levels will soon be making it more and more expensive to travel that way. There is broad variety of new tax and fee options under review most of which are designed to get you out of your car and into public transit.

    The days of Seeing the USA in a Chevrolet and Bob's Sunday drives down to Grand Ronde are coming to a close.

    We're going European.

  30. We're entering the new American Century of Rail. Light rail, commuter rail, High speed rail....and trolleys, electric trolleys, hybrid trolleys, battery powered trolleys, steel wheeled trolleys, rubber tired.

    But only if Obama can keep the money coming, otherwise, everyone's broke.

  31. And while the Indians and Chinese are moving from bicycles to cars, we'll be moving from cars to bicycles and rickshaws.

  32. "We're going European."

    Not without European transit systems we're not. And those vary greatly depending on specific country and locales within.

    Taxing the hell out of your every vehicle anyway, esp in metro areas? Sure.

    Just another way to raise revenue.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. Not without European transit systems we're not.

    I know that but you wouldn't believe the "visions of new American progress brought to you by the new American Progressives." Barack and the Dems are dangling stimulus nirvana society sugarplums before salivating constituencies.

    You might be astounded by the number of transit plans being formulated by Metropolitan and Regional Planning organizations throughout the country.

    If only we had the money.

  35. Whatever you buy, kiddos, make sure it's a flexfuel. And, a flexfuel + Batteries isn't a real bad idea. Something like a One year old Ford Escape Hybrid.

    I'm quite sure my next vehicle will be a flexfuel PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.)

    There's no guarantees about anything, but the Odds are gasoline is going to get very expensive in a year, or two.

  36. We bought the VW Golf Diesel on perhaps the last day that diesel still looked like a bargain.

    And never found a convenient fuel co-up.

    Its gas mileage is quite nice, but still only just equal to the old 240 wagon.

    Plans, whit. Everybody's got plans. Wherever you have public transport, you're paying people to stay off the roads. And pray they really will in anticipated numbers.

    The Metro in DC does very, very well. But still must be heavily subsidized and always will be.

  37. I deleted a spam post for GRQ high-yield, funny-money investments. Sorry, Anonymous, we're ad-free at the EB.

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. With the uncertainties of fuel and the developing technologies, economically, it makes sense to pay the $159+tax for the 36 month lease and not be stuck with anything in three years.

    BTW - An ad in yesterday's paper stated, 2010 Honda Civic VP, 36 mo lease at $159+tax per mo with $1399 total due at signing with delivery taken by March 1.

    Yesterday, the Dealer tried to charge $1999. at signing and this morning came down to $1699 at signing but will honor the ad for $1399 if limited to one of the two VP's on the lot. One of which is ugly blue and the other is white. Wife wants black. Car shopping is a hassle.

  40. Whit: We're entering the new American Century of Rail. Light rail, commuter rail, High speed rail....and trolleys, electric trolleys, hybrid trolleys, battery powered trolleys, steel wheeled trolleys, rubber tired.

    Back in my day I walked eight miles home from school every day. I lived outside of my school district and got a special waiver to continue my Electronics Voc Ed at Fort Vancouver High School even though I lived near Prairie High School far away. When I got to the Vancouver Mall, which I went through on my walk, I was halfway home. One time I walked into the recruiters and joined the Navy. When I was in the Navy, I walked everywhere, even in Los Angeles. Trains and buses in a city's downtown core are more trouble than they're worth. More fun to walk.

  41. Car shopping is a hassle.

    Sat Jan 23, 11:36:00 AM EST

    Haggling in the souk.

    Some of us would really, really, really rather not.

  42. Buy an American-made car. How about a Chevy? I mean, after all, we DO own the Company.

  43. Life of the mind: All of this will be followed by economic shocks this Summer as the commercial real estate bubble collapses, the Chinese economy stalls, the American financial sector hemorrhages jobs and capital, and the Iranians and Putin seek to drive up the price of energy.

    The commercial real estate bubble has already collapsed in America, we're waiting for it to collapse in China, where it's currently being used as a store of value, like gold. China with its export-based system was banking on a "V" shaped global economic recovery, and they aren't getting it. The economic shock here will come in the next few months as unemployment begins to creep up again, this time into the 11s and 12s. Gas at $3.50 by summer, $4.00 by election time. The theme for November will be "Had enough? Now let the adults take the wheel."

  44. Heard on John Batchelor Show
    Jobs and 11%.

    The jobless official number is now 10.2% for the trailing month of October 2009. The projections now get iffy, but in 1982, it went from 10.2% in October to 10.8% in January before it moderated. We are now watching a death run for politicians, because 10.8% for December, reported on the first Friday of January, will be a pall for the Congress returning. More critically, Charlie Gasparino, author, "Sellout," reported Saturday 7 that the official jobless number is critical afterall, because the market gamblers are betting on it. The bet is simple. If it gets to 11%, all the wagers they have placed on recovery then blow up. Eleven percent is the fail point. The fail-safe point is about 10.8%. We are going to make this a near thing. The pols know it, especially the Dems. The Obama administration projections are for joblessness to remain at or above 9.5% through Spring 2010. The brutal months will be July and August. If the number declines to under 8.5%, then the Dems can protect the majority in the House. If the number stays above 9.5%, prepare Mrs. Pelosi's private cruiser for escape. The Senate is another story and not profound. The House is the battlefield. Every remark, every healthcare backtrack, the next debate about abortion and healthcare, about immigration and healthcare, all will be opening ploys to get the GOP to winter 2010 and the jobless number. Eyes on the jobs prize.

  45. The American People don't like Republicans. There's a reason for this. Republicans are unlikeable.

    A more immediate reason is that the Republicans were as much responsible, if not more so, for this mess as the Dems.

    The people will elect the Pubs in Nov, but they won't, particularly, enjoy doing it.

  46. The response will, probably, be more like:

    "We've HAD ENOUGH, but Where ARE the Damned Grownups?"

  47. Here's the fact: If, in 20 years, your fingers aren't doing some sort of technical, value-added job on a keyboard you Won't be making a decent living.

    The Demands of the Work-place are changing, rapidly. Human muscle is a commodity with very little future in the market. Even Wars are, more and more, being fought with Robots.

    The new paradigm for the "Working Class" is: Leave High School, Spend a Year in "Technical School." THEN, go to work "In the Factory."

  48. We're in the 1930's, folks. Simple as that. Times is a'changin.

  49. A LOT of people Died in the '30's.

  50. Republicans are unlikeable.
    Michele Bachman is very likeable.

    if your fingers aren't on keyboard you won't make a decent living

    Licensed Plumbers and good mechanics will always make a decent living.

  51. In the '30's a man could farm 40 acres. In the fifties he could farm 160 acres. Today a Man can farm 1,600 acres and have a job "in town."

    Manufacturing, is now, on the same "glide path."

  52. "Personally," Michelle Bachman is very likeable. Some of her "policies/beliefs," maybe, a little less so (at least, to many.)

    Plumbers will, always, make a good living. But, an auto mechanic will, more and more, be a "computer technician."

    Sure, Whit, there are exceptions (we will always need someone who can climb up the pole, and not electrocute himself, or "black out" the countryside,) but a LOT of jobs are going away/changing.

  53. The "Good News" for us is, with energy costs (mainly petroleum) rising rapidly, a Lot of jobs will be leaving China, and coming back to the U.S.

    Right now, the best (cheapest) technology for assembling electronic devices is an Asian Woman working for Two, or Three Bucks an hour. But, it won't always be so.

    In twenty years the best/cheapest technology will be a computerized, robotic assembly-line controlled by a couple of tech school graduates pecking on keyboards in Dayton, Oh.

  54. And, shipping Chinese Steel to St. Louis when Oil is $200.00/barrel is definitely a non-starter.

  55. But, the Steel Mill in St Louie will have 1/3 the workers the one in Cleveland has, today.

  56. Ford is expecting to sell 20% more cars this year, than last, but they're offering More "BUYOUTS" as we speak.

  57. More from our current administration

    The U.S. will appeal a court decision dismissing manslaughter charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security contractors involved in a deadly 2007 Baghdad shooting, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday.

    Biden’s announcement after a meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani shows just how diplomatically sensitive the incident remains nearly three years later.

    Blackwater security contractors were guarding U.S. diplomats when the guards opened fire in a crowded Baghdad intersection. Seventeen people were killed, including women and children, in a shooting that inflamed anti-American sentiment in Iraqi.

    Biden expressed his “personal regret” for the shooting and said the Obama administration was disappointed by the dismissal. “A dismissal is not an acquittal,” he said.

    The U.S. rebuffed Iraqi demands that the U.S. contractors face trial in Iraqi courts. After a lengthy investigation, U.S. prosecutors charged five of the contractors with manslaughter and took a guilty plea from a sixth.

    But the case fell apart in December after a judge found that the Justice Department mishandled evidence and violated the guards’ constitutional rights. Prosecutors now face difficult odds getting an appeals court to reinstate the case.

  58. Guards Constitutional rights - combatants in Iraq get constitutional rights?

    If the underwear bomber wasn't read the Miranda rights wouldn't the risk be his walking having been apprehended in the US?

  59. "Harleys (or as my son called them as a toddler, "Hardleys") are a bane of existence.

    I think of them as the grown-up version of the bicycle with the playing card affixed by clothespin to make that incredibly obnoxious noise.
    You should try sleeping in a hotel in downtown Waikiki about 1 o'clock @ nite.
    Hawaiian Man-Children at Play,
    with their straight piped Harleys.

    Police not a visible force.

  60. One of the funnier lines at the Bar yet, from she who delights in puzzling normal folk with Military Acronyms:

    "What's a PU?"

    Better inform hubby never to retire:
    It's a strange World out here.
    Uncharted Territory.

  61. "If the underwear bomber wasn't read the Miranda rights wouldn't the risk be his walking having been apprehended in the US?"
    The risk is having even dumber, more traitorous fuckheads than you at the helm.

    Sanity would be The Gallows for all domestic enemys.

  62. "But the case fell apart in December after a judge found that the Justice Department mishandled evidence and violated the guards’ constitutional rights. Prosecutors now face difficult odds getting an appeals court to reinstate the case."
    Admission of Ignorance:

    I have some vague memory from grammar-school days about not being liable for being tried twice for the same crime after being found innocent.

    What is the grown-up version?

    Appeals against innocents don't count?

  63. ...In the '30's a man could farm 40 acres. In the fifties he could farm 160 acres...

    Dad and I farmed over 300 acres in corn and soy beans in '58. He was working 40 hours a week as a maintenance electrician in a forging factory. I turned 15 that summer and drove the truck hauling beans to the elevator that fall. Dad was 55.

    We were getting around 150 bushels of "dry land" corn per acre. Can't remember the price.

    Share croppers.


  64. Too bad we had no nanny govt to protect you as an innoncent child, subject to exploitation.

    Proby scarred/ruined you for life.

  65. We had one of those cast-iron hand powered corn huskers.

  66. 300 frigging acres by himself?
    No part-time, harvest time help?

  67. I'd see that 300 acres waiting,
    lay down, give up, and die.

    ...and you thot you had it rough.

    What if dad had been Doug?

  68. We're entering the new American Century of Rail. Light rail, commuter rail, High speed rail....and trolleys, electric trolleys, hybrid trolleys, battery powered trolleys, steel wheeled trolleys, rubber tired.

    All progressive wet dreams in the US.

    It would take a century of cultural transition to alter living patterns to fit the nannies' transportation dreams.

    Which is not to say the nannies won't try and force it on us anyhow.


  69. He was always up very early. The electricians had to get their work done before the hammers started at 7am. City ordinance prevented them running earlier due to noise. He'd be home and on the tractor when I got home from school. We'd work until after dark. It was fun.

    I rolled a tractor that summer. Good thing it wasn't the big Farmall MD.

  70. Did you get bucked off, or what else saved your lucky ass?

  71. If any of you Barrett-Jackson fans see a '40 Ford coupe come up, let me know. Preferably restored to original. Black.

    I'm due to hit the Power Ball soon.


  72. Quite a few folks used to be found drowned in the irrigation ditches in the valley.
    Like dearly departed Michael Kelly, w/o the rpg fire.
    RIP and bless his immortal soul.

  73. My brother had a cool Ford Coupe, the one with a tiny roof and a giant trunk lid.
    Had it set up with a hole in back seat area so he could have a bed their.
    Probly dreamed of besting Bill Clinton in the sack.

    Time to go grind some concrete.
    Any suggestions for dealing with a hump prior to laying down a wood floor will be appreciated.

  74. We went over sideways, the tractor and me. I was launched clear of the wreckage. Good thing there were no trees or fenceposts where I landed. The tractor was in gear and kept running, trying to spin around on the tire on the ground. I reached in and killed the ignition. The cultivator shovels kinda anchored it, so it wasn't really spinning.

    Very fast, anyhow.


  75. ...Any suggestions for dealing with a hump prior to laying down a wood floor will be appreciated.

    Ask Sonia to give you humping advice, dumbass.


  76. It is easier to use floor leveler.