“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."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Which is more scary?


  1. Ash, and Wio with guns. :)

  2. I didn't say that right. What I meant was, the scariest thing would be "Ash, and Wio" with guns (for entirely different reasons, of course.)

    Aw, the heck with it; never mind.

    Actually, the Scariest person would be a man stupid enough to set off firecrackers behind a woman holding a gun (at least, if the video wasn't just a "staged for youtube," scam.

  3. I thought the first version was funny - the way you didn't mean it.


  4. And that's Michael Gross not Mr Keaton.

  5. Which is more scary?

    I think that would be me sitting in the drive through at the bank today watching the man unload all that money from the armored truck and thinking, I want to do that job just so I can carry that gun around my waist.

    See what you guys have done to me.

  6. I rarely watch videos unless I have time to waste, being an addictive personality type.

    Videophobia scariest for me, I guess.

    Nothing but gratitude about not having a TV, tho.

  7. Enlisted should ALL have a massive strike for sanity:

    "KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN -- To the U.S. Army soldiers and Marines serving here, some things seem so obviously true that they are beyond debate. Among those perceived truths: Tthe restrictive rules of engagement that they have to fight under have made serving in combat far more dangerous for them, while allowing the Taliban to return to a position of strength.

    "If they use rockets to hit the [forward operating base] we can't shoot back because they were within 500 meters of the village. If they shoot at us and drop their weapon in the process we can't shoot back," said Spc. Charles Brooks, 26, a U.S. Army medic with 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, in Zabul province.

    Word had come down the morning Brooks spoke to this reporter that watch towers surrounding the base were going to be dismantled because Afghan village elders, some sympathetic to the Taliban, complained they were invading their village privacy. "We have to take down our towers because it offends them and now the Taliban can set up mortars and we can't see them," Brooks added, with disgust."


    Read more at the Washington Examiner:"

  8. Mr collective salvation has now left "their creator" out of the Declaration for the third time. Reportedly posted on his website, also, I haven't found it yet.

  9. Ash with a gun, that'd be no worries, but "o", he thinks that posting a piece of real estate is a license to shoot.

    That is scary.

    Anyone that is so full of ill will towards others, definitely is not to be left alone with a deadly weapon.

  10. Gotta protect the villagers privacy, doug.

    Wouldn't want our troops lusting in their hearts for those Afghan dancing boys now, would we.

    That Afghan adventure has run its' course, time to bring those troopers home, funny thing though, "War" has fallen off the political radar.

    What's good for General Dynamics, that seems to be good for the USA, now-a-days.

  11. ...a man stupid enough to set off firecrackers behind a woman holding a gun...

    Exactly what I was thinking. May he knew that she had no ammo.

    Going back to the previous post with the Levine video on the McDonnel vs Coons debate on separation of Church and State. What's scary to me is that the country has become so dumb-downed and secular that so many are incapable of discerning or knowing the truth about the "religious shit" of the founders or the myth about the separation of church and state.

  12. Joseph Geobbels is credited with saying "Repeat a lie one thousand times and it becomes truth."

  13. Inge Lonning, a 72-year-old tourist from Norway said: "I thought the exhibition was very impressive. I wanted to see it because I experienced the German occupation of Norway as a small child, so it's not just history for me."

    But not everyone was convinced there was something new to be learned from the exhibition.

    "So much has been done about this period over the years, it was like, I knew this and I knew that," said Canadian Julien Cayer, aged 28. "I thought I'd find something new but I didn't."

    Opened Friday

  14. What's scary to me is that the country has become so dumb-downed and secular that so many are incapable of discerning or knowing the truth about the "religious shit" of the founders or the myth about the separation of church and state.

    A supra-human source of 'rights' is required in order to constrain the power of secular government. Nobody asked or ever asks me, but my personal view is that this is a very solid construct.

    It gets dicey when dogmatics insist on a version of god that is personal. (Storm Rider does this over at BC, with some subtle and effective rebuttal from Alexis who strikes me as more of a deist.)

    The very short story is that much of the 'religious shit' falls squarely into the personal god camp - either you do or you don't, but nearly always it gets misstated, one way or another.

  15. No buses were running in Marseille because unions were blocking the main bus depot.

    Protesters occupied the Marseille Chamber of Commerce before being kicked out by police.


    Students plan new protests on Thursday, with a demonstration in Paris hours before the Senate is expected to approve the retirement measure.

    French Airports

  16. The very short story is that much of the 'religious shit' falls squarely into the personal god camp - either you do or you don't, but nearly always it gets misstated, one way or another.

    That may be but it misses the point. Which is:
    The founding fathers were Christians* and intended only that there be no National Church. The rest of the separation myth is total revisionist bravo sierra. This is why we have a link entitled Wall Builders - Debunking Lies

    *Even Jefferson and Franklin were probably more Christian than diest.

  17. If there's anything that can make this country feel good about itself ...

    Of course Sarkozy beat us to the punch. A.B. Stoddard on Brett Baer tonight said the US response to such suggestions is unpredictable. I applaud her courage for saying I don't know and agree. Very solid touchstone: how we respond. I wouldn't even hazard a prediction.

    (Robert Reich says laborers can't be expected to increase their working life spans and that SS financing must come from the wealthy. The bar has been set. I will predict that the public debate will either be short and sweet or long and painful.)

  18. Even Jefferson and Franklin were probably more Christian than diest.

    Before I go on, can you provide your brief version of the distinction?

    Government protects certain 'unalienable" rights that are bestowed by divine origin on all humans. That does not imply a personal - or a Christian - god.

  19. Going back to the Levine video:

    He pointed out with Plessy v Ferguson how the left conveniently uses settled law and precedent when it serves their purposes.

    He also reminded us that for close to 170 years, until 1947 and Everson v. Board of Education, the country did not worry about the "wall of separation."

  20. Christian v Deist.

    Do I really need to do that?

    No, the Constitution does not imply a Christian God, but the words of the Founders explicitly do.

  21. While I agree that the original intent was for there to be no National Religion, it is also clear English that the Constitution forbids the outlawing of any religion, as well.

    As that would effect the "establishment" of it.

    Much to the chagrin of those that believe Scientology, and the Latter Day Saints are not religions, but cults.

    It is also clear that no where in the Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence nor even the Federalist Papers is Christ mentioned.

    That was no oversight on the part of the Founders, either.

    Mr Madison does remark that religion and morality are needed to maintain a functional society, but even he does not invoke Christ as part of the formula.

  22. The Jefferson Bible

    The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth
    Extracted Textually from the Gospels

    Compiled by Thomas Jefferson

    . . . Thomas Jefferson believed that the ethical system of Jesus was the finest the world has ever seen. In compiling what has come to be called "The Jefferson Bible," he sought to separate those ethical teachings from the religious dogma and other supernatural elements that are intermixed in the account provided by the four Gospels. He presented these teachings, along with the essential events of the life of Jesus, in one continuous narrative.

  23. Or, as our friends at Wiki describe Mr Jefferson's Bible

    The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled, was Thomas Jefferson's effort to extract the doctrine of Jesus by removing sections of the New Testament containing supernatural aspects as well as perceived misinterpretations he believed had been added by the Four Evangelists.
    The Jefferson Bible begins with an account of Jesus’s birth without references to angels, genealogy, or prophecy. Miracles, references to the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus, and Jesus' resurrection are also absent from the Jefferson Bible.[5] It does however include references to Noah's Ark, the Great Flood, the Tribulation, and the Second Coming, as well as Heaven, Hell, and the Devil. The work ends with the words: “Now, in the place where he was crucified, there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus. And rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.”

  24. David Belton, the series director, is an Englishman who entered the project with "some pretty horrific preconceived ideas about American religion," particularly that fundamentalism imposed itself on the country's politics. Sarah Colt, who produced and directed the second night of the series, called herself "a secular nonbeliever."


    The dissidents and combatants of "God in America" encompass the evangelist George Whitfield; the Reform Jewish leader Isaac Mayer Wise; the Catholic bishop John Hughes; and Jerry Falwell, a prime figure in the Moral Majority. In presenting them, the filmmakers learned as much as their audiences now may.

    "I've made a lot of American history films before, but religion had never been part of them," Colt said. "But once you put a religious lens on American history, it's hard to separate the two."

    Gon and Country Intertwined

  25. I have no intention of getting into a cut and paste contest so this will be it:
    From Wall Builders:
    The reader, as do many others, claimed that Jefferson omitted all miraculous events of Jesus from his “Bible.” Rarely do those who make this claim let Jefferson speak for himself. Jefferson's own words explain that his intent for that book was not for it to be a “Bible,” but rather for it to be a primer for the Indians on the teachings of Christ (which is why Jefferson titled that work, “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth”). What Jefferson did was to take the “red letter” portions of the New Testament and publish these teachings in order to introduce the Indians to Christian morality. And as President of the United States, Jefferson signed a treaty with the Kaskaskia tribe wherein he provided—at the government's expense—Christian missionaries to the Indians. In fact, Jefferson himself declared, “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.” While many might question this claim, the fact remains that Jefferson called himself a Christian, not a deist.

    James Madison trained for ministry with the Rev. Dr. John Witherspoon, and Madison's writings are replete with declarations of his faith in God and in Christ. In fact, for proof of this, one only need read his letter to Attorney General Bradford wherein Madison laments that public officials are not bold enough about their Christian faith in public and that public officials should be “fervent advocates in the cause of Christ.” And while Madison did allude to a “wall of separation,” contemporary writers frequently refuse to allow Madison to provide his own definition of that “wall.” According to Madison, the purpose of that “wall” was only to prevent Congress from passing a national law to establish a national religion.

  26. There is no Christian god Whit. I know that as surely as I know that I will die and spend eternity in hell - along with a few others.

    But there is right and wrong - decent and barbaric - civilized and abominable. One does not need to invoke a Christian god to work with that construct. And I do not.

  27. Jefferson was also a savvy public persona.

  28. Coons said evolution was science, creationism a religious doctrine.

    O'Donnell upset Delaware's Republican establishment last month with her victory in the primary, and former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove has predicted she will cost the party a Senate seat.

    Money has been pouring into her campaign from across the country - she raised nearly $4 million in just over a month through the end of September - but she has recently criticized the Republican establishment for not spending more to help.


  29. But there is right and wrong - decent and barbaric - civilized and abominable. One does not need to invoke a Christian god to work with that construct. And I do not

    That's fine. I have no problem with that.