“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."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wishful Thinking in Greece

The minister is essentially saying that the only hope in saving Greece and the euro is for Europe to become a political union, not just an economic union. Should that happen, that will be a major political earthquake, a threat to personal liberties and the beginning of a new wave of immigration from Europe to the US.


  1. Such a Europe would be dominated by the Germans. That should get Ivan's attention.

  2. Greece is reaping Karma....

    Italy, Spain, England, Malmo, Portugal, France?


    laughing my ass off...

  3. Bayh's leaving the Senate may signal an interest in the White House.

  4. the beginning of a new wave of immigration from Europe to the US.

    Lord, no, enough is enough.

  5. Bob, I have have a friend who was in a feud with her family for ten years because of the selling of her mom's house after she died. Her aunt lived with her mom and didn't want to pay the upkeep of the house after she died so, she had no choice but to sell it which caused this big family feud. She just reconnected with them before the holidays. What a difference in her spirit.

    WiO, did I mention, I am in such awe with President Barack H Obama? Do you know how much of a tax credit we got for buying a new car in 2009?

  6. That's a spat this was a war. I sued twenty two blood relatives which was all of 'em cept my aunt and dad, and he died. Don't know what's come over me. Cousin Sally had sent me a letter some months ago, only one in about two decades, and it almost went in the trash, and I finally answered.

    Maybe she's got breat cancer and wants to get right with the Lord.

    That would be like her, always thinking the angles.

  7. :)

    Yeah, but how much is your house worth now?

  8. Family corporations don't work for more than a generation or two. When the in-laws arrive, so do the lawyers.

  9. I'm about to develop a whole new attitude on this Greece/Euro deal.

    For the first time ever, I'm starting to view the Euro Monetary Union as a "Force for Good."

    Greece, Goldman Sachs, and Credit Default Swaps

  10. WiO, did I mention, I am in such awe with President Barack H Obama? Do you know how much of a tax credit we got for buying a new car in 2009?



  11. A dispute is unfolding about how long European Union officials have known that Greece used derivatives to conceal its growing budget deficit.

    The question of who knew and when did they know it could be asked in America.

  12. Greece turned to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in 2002, just after adopting the euro, to get $1 billion in funding through a swap on $10 billion of debt...

    Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs.

    That name is very familiar.

  13. Shine the light!

    European politicians this week criticized New York-based Goldman Sachs for arranging the Greek swap and are pressing for more disclosure. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats aim to push for new rules that will force euro-region nations and banks to disclose bond swaps that have an impact on public finances, financial affairs spokesman Michael Meister said yesterday.

    “Goldman Sachs broke the spirit of the Maastricht Treaty, though it is not certain it broke the law,” Meister said in an interview yesterday. “What is certain is that we must never leave this kind of thing lurking in the shadows again.”

  14. "Well, the Greeks got it all. Everything. They must have come fast all right. They picked her clean. First there was the birds, then me, then the Greeks, and even the birds got more out of her than I did."

    After The Storm---Ernest Hemingway

  15. After the Storm is one of Hemingway's best stories. Concise, based on single character, a classic lst person monologue. Guy has a fight in a tavern -- ugly, some knife work, his opponent goes down. This violence is just like the hurricane, and when the guy escapes into the sand reefs in the aftermath, it's like a hangover from a bad party. He sees some gulls gathering on the water, figures there's a wreck... and indeed it's a liner that was on its way to Havana and has gone down in the shallow water. Recognizing a salvage opportunity, he sucks in some air and dives to investigate. The imagery is sublime. Through a porthole he sees a drowned woman floating in her cabin, wearing expensive jewelry. He dives several times, attempts to break the glass and plunder the treasure. Symbolism? You bet. Sex-death matrix. The futility of it all is classic impotence, a Hemingway favorite. Guy's nose is bleeding from the underwater pressure and he knows the sharks will be around soon, so he has to abandon the salvage. Story ends with the cynical observation:

    quoted above


    Lawrence Russell

    After the Storm [2001] dir. Guy Ferland writ. A.E. Hotchner [based on the story by Ernest Hemingway] cine. cine. Gregory Middleton edt. Charles Ireland music Bill Wandel costumes Linda Fisher

    || star. Benjamin Bratt (Arno) Armand Assante (Jean-Pierre) Mili Avital Simone-Elise Girard Jennifer Beal Stephen Lang et. al.

    || Trimark Pictures 2001

    || color 103 mins

    || || DVD Lionsgate

  16. Read the books of Dr. Brian L. Weiss instead, they are a lot more cheerful.

  17. WiO, they call them PIGS. Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain. Shitty little countries all.

  18. Japan has six whaling ships in Antarctic waters under its scientific whaling program, an allowed exception to the International Whaling Commission's 1986 ban on commercial whaling. It hunts hundreds of mostly minke whales, which are not an endangered species.

    Whale meat not used for study is sold for consumption in Japan, which critics say is the real reason for the hunts.

    The Sea Shepherd sends vessels to confront the fleet each year, trying to block the whalers from firing harpoons and dangling ropes in the water to try to snarl the Japanese ships' propellers.The whalers have responded by firing water cannons and sonar devices meant to disorient the activists.

    Japanese Boat

  19. In the same interview, Mullah Baradar said he welcomed a large increase in American troops in Afghanistan because the Taliban “want to inflict maximum losses on the Americans, which is possible only when the Americans are present here in large numbers and come out of their fortified places.”

    Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, Mullah Baradar was assigned by Mullah Omar to assume overall command of Taliban forces in northern Afghanistan. In that role, he oversaw a large group of battle-hardened Arab and foreign fighters who were based in the northern cities of Kunduz and Mazar-i-Sharif.

    In November 2001, as Taliban forces collapsed after the American invasion, Mullah Baradar and several other senior Taliban leaders were captured by Afghan militia fighters aligned with the United States. But Pakistani intelligence operatives intervened, and Mullah Baradar and the other Taliban leaders were released, according to a senior official of the Northern Alliance, the group of Afghans aligned with the United States.

    Top Commander

  20. We're wobbling around, blind, over there.

  21. South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the North has won a massive deal from China for investment that is worth more than half its annual economic output, which could speed a return to the six-way talks hosted by Beijing.

    Marking his birthday called the nation's February Holiday, synchronized swimmers, figure skaters and dancing art troupe visiting from Japan sang gloriously and longingly of Kim Jong-il as the invincible and kind-hearted leader, KCNA said.

    "They performed on the ice-rink 'Push Back the Frontiers of Science', 'Higher and Faster', 'Let Us Meet at the Front' and other numbers reflecting the iron faith and will of the service personnel and people of the DPRK," it said.

    Turns 68

  22. Interesting. Thanks, Bob. Wonder if Australia has something similar. I'll have a hunt around.

  23. So, It is politically impossible for the strong economies of Europe to pass a bailout, it is politically impossible for Greece policy makers to pass sufficient budget cuts, if budget cuts are implemented then it will just push Greece further into debt deflation, a default by Greece will cause a run on the European banking system, the ECB has no legal authority to purchase Greece’s bonds, if Greece gets bailed out the EU will need to confront similar problems with Spain, Italy, Ireland, and Portugal which have a combined GDP larger than Germany, and if they all get bailed out Germany itself will be bankrupt. Did we say the markets hate uncertainty?
    Euro Collapse and Euro Crisis