“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."

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Rep. Hank Johnson is not an April Fool's Joke.

Rep. Hank Johnson, one of our rulers and masters in Congress, who the good people of Georgia saw in their collective wisdom to send to their nation's capital to guide us through perilous times.


Rep. Hank Johnson has in the past shared his wisdom on other things such as the US Constitution:


  1. Uh . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  2. Ah, . . . . . . . . .

  3. "It's the government's job ... to do a better job of restraining that kind of risk-taking."
    ___Timothy Geithner

    No it is NOT! The United States became the economic powerhouse it is by PRIVATE risk taking; and if the United States wishes to retain its position, risk taking by the PRIVATE sector must be the norm.

    The government was a strong catalyst if not the actual cause of our present financial, monitary and fiscal woes.

    Geithner: Jobless rate to stay 'unacceptably high'

  4. So, taking FDIC insured depositors money and gambling with it at the casino is your conception of PRIVATE risk? More silliness!

  5. "The church that hates dead soldiers

    "The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the family of a slain Marine to pay $16,510.80 in court costs to a congregation that organized an anti-gay protest during the Marine's funeral. The congregation, which claims God is using soldiers' deaths to punish America for "the sin of homosexuality," plans to use some of that money to fund more demonstrations at soldiers' funerals...

    "Seems like the only people being punished here are grieving family members of the dead soldiers.
    "By the court making this decision, they're not only telling me that they're taking their side, but I have to pay them money to do this to more soldiers and their families," Albert Snyder, whose son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, was killed in action in Iraq in 2006, told CNN..."

    God's Children?

    Not being a constitutional lawyer and still a big supportor of the First Amendment, I'll hold off judgement on this case until the SC has a chance to rule.

    That being said, if this group is ruled justified in it's actions, it should prompt their other victims to act in a different manner.

    The next time they show up at a vet's funeral, they should have the shit beat out of them. First, if the cops are there, they will end the disruption in the name of public safety. Second, if the family is charged, there is no jury in the country that would convict them for pounding on this scum.


  6. Ash,

    Try READING my post. Trust me, I will, in future, give you ample opportunity for snarkiness. This just isn't it.

    For example (and the fault could be the difference in Arabic and English as to tense), I used the PAST tense when speaking of "PRIVATE" risk taking.

  7. Big Brother is Listening

    Cell Phones?

    "...For years, the cops may have been using it to keep close tabs on you without your knowledge, even if you have done nothing wrong.

    "They don't have to get a search warrant -- which would limit them to situations where they can show some reason to think you're breaking the law. All they have to do is tell a judge that the information is relevant to a criminal investigation and send a request to your service provider.

    "This does not appear to be an uncommon event. Al Gidari, an attorney for several service providers, told Newsweek they now get "thousands of these requests per month."

    "Oh, and the data are not limited to your movements today or in the future. The government can also see records of where you've been in the past. So if you got skittish and decided to stop packing a wireless communications device, your privacy would still be at risk.

    "You can be vulnerable even if the police have no particular interest in you. Michael Sussmann, another lawyer for service providers, said in 2006 that sometimes, "we get a subpoena for information on one person and then they want all the information on the persons calling or called by them."

    "These developments explain why a coalition of organizations and companies -- including Google, AT&T, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union -- have joined in asking Congress to drag our privacy laws into the 21st century. They think search warrants should be required before law enforcement can demand this sort of electronic communications information.

    "You might assume unchecked government surveillance of innocent people went out of style when George W. Bush took his leave. But this is one of those instances that seem designed to show the futility of trying to change policy by changing the party in power. Barack Obama's Justice Department also insists it should have the authority to conduct such tracking without a warrant..."

    Big Brother?

    Does this mean Google's next argument will be with the US government?


  8. Commercial bankruptcies rose 52 percent in 2009

    This percent means little without the dollar amounts involved.

    There is always some way to avoid bad news while avoiding the accusation of failing to report same.

  9. Watching Obama on TV right now in Mass. trying to sell the HC bill.

    He was touting the small business credit (up to 50%) that is offered to some companies. Unfortunately, you can't have more than 10 employees to get this large credit.

    That's not where the jobs (or the costs) are going to come from. They will come (when they come) from small businesses in the 50 - 500 employee size. These companies suck wind when it comes to the new credits.

    More bloviating from the POTUS.


  10. "According to Equifax data, average past due dollars for lines of credit reached
    $37,160 in Q4 2009, a 273.4% increase over Q4 2006...Also not immune to this trend were credit
    cards, with the average account delinquency totaling $3,255 in Q4 2009 – a
    43.3% jump from Q4 2006."

    Equifax Study Shows the Ups and Downs
    of Commercial Credit Trends

  11. Should Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, be criticizing our allies on a social issue such as abortion?

    Abortion Disagreement


  12. "Commercial bankruptcies among the nation’s more than 25 million small businesses increased by nearly 81% in June 2009 from June 2008..."

    ...not much help...


  13. "What is most worrisome here are the elitists' blatantly anti-democratic attitudes and authoritarian impulses. Three examples have been on raw display this week -- by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, and James Lovelock, the British scientist who is revered by global warming crusaders...

    "… Lesson: Elitists hate limits on their power.

    "… Lesson: Elitists disdain explaining their actions.

    "… Lesson: Elitists believe important decisions should be left to bright people like Waxman, Jackson, and Lovelock."

    Elitists vs The Rest of US


  14. Tougher Sentencing on the Border.

    Border Sentencing Up


  15. Deja vu.

    Jackass the Movie Sequel: Pirates in Skiff Redux Their Attack on Warship

    US Navy frigate captures 5 pirates near Seychelles

    "The small gang of Somali pirates fired on an approaching ship, hoping their midnight attack would bring them millions in ransom. The ragtag bandits, though, had taken on far more than they could handle: a U.S. warship.

    The USS Nicholas, a guided missile frigate, was tracking the pirates when they opened fire early Thursday in Indian Ocean waters, the U.S. military said. The Nicholas, which saw combat in the first Gulf War, returned fire and disabled the skiff.

    "Navy personnel later boarded and detained three suspects. The Americans found two more bandits on a nearby mothership and later sank the skiff.

    "It was not the first attack against a Navy ship, but it underscored the fact that most pirates aren't terribly sophisticated, said Roger Middleton, a piracy expert at the British think tank Chatham House..."

    Pirate Attack or Suicide by Cop?

    "If you think of the kind of young men who are doing this, they go out into the middle of the ocean in a tiny boat. They might not always make rational decisions, and they often attack things that are bigger than they should (attack)," said Middleton."

    Duh. Do you think?


  16. Time to arm US citizens

    If armed illegal invaders come onto your land?

    Shoot em....

    Or dont, just bend over and allow your ass to be a Mexican's playground...

    Your choice...

  17. When that island tips over it could take out the coral reefs. So, the coral reefs are endangered from a burgeoning population or global warming whichever comes first.

    That's some serious fecal matter, my friends.

  18. Either way, Guam is living on borrowed time.

  19. And so are we for electing buffoons like that. People get the government they deserve and based on the government we have, we're fast becoming candidates for the Darwin Awards.

  20. In Canada, Hillary used so many euphemisms that I was surprised when she actually said, "abortion."

  21. FYI:
    The news came out today saying that Florida has lost so many jobs that it will have to add 211,000 per year for five years to get back to 2007 levels. The story is about the same for the nation except that some experts believe that the new normal for unemployment will be in the 7% range.

  22. Federal Judge Finds N.S.A. Wiretaps Were Illegal

    "WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the National Security Agency’s program of surveillance without warrants was illegal, rejecting the Obama administration’s effort to keep shrouded in secrecy one of the most disputed counterterrorism policies of former President George W. Bush. ..

    “The ruling delivered a blow to the Bush administration’s claims that its surveillance program, which Mr. Bush secretly authorized shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was lawful. Under the program, the National Security Agency monitored Americans’ international e-mail messages and phone calls without court approval, even though the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, required warrants…

    “In the midst of the presidential campaign in 2008, Congress overhauled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to bring federal statutes into closer alignment with what the Bush administration had been secretly doing. The legislation essentially legalized certain aspects of the program…

    “As a senator then, Barack Obama voted in favor of the new law, despite objections from many of his supporters. President Obama’s administration now relies heavily on such surveillance in its fight against Al Qaeda."

    Court Rules Warrantless Surveillance of Citizens Illegal

  23. Every war produces refugees.

    Where will the refugees from the civil war that is brewing in Mexico walk to?

    Why to the US, of course.

    To Texas, California, Arizona, Arkansas and Illinois, to mention just a few destinations of choice.

    Or to camps, set up to house those fleeing the ravages of another Mexican revolution.

    As the US funds the further escalation of the military option.

    After the successful training of Los Zetas founders, at the School of the Americas, Fort Bragg.

  24. Iran Plays Host to Delegations After Iraq Elections

    "BAGHDAD — Iran may seem an unlikely place to turn for guidance when it comes to putting together a democratic government, but that is exactly what most of Iraq’s political class did immediately after last month’s parliamentary elections.

    "The ink was hardly dry on the polling results when three of the four major political alliances rushed delegations off to Tehran. Yet none of them sent anyone to the United States Embassy here, let alone to Washington…

    Iran a Kingmaker?

    What the ...?