“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, November 13, 2010

More on Governor Chris Christie Taking on NJ Public Schools

Taking names and kicking ass.


  1. LAREDO, Texas — The final chapter has been written for the lone bookstore on the streets of Laredo.

    With a population of nearly a quarter-million people, this city could soon be the largest in the nation without a single bookseller.

    The situation is so grim that schoolchildren have pleaded for a reprieve from next month's planned shutdown of the B. Dalton bookstore. After that, the nearest store will be 150 miles away in San Antonio.

    The B. Dalton store was never a community destination with comfy couches and an espresso bar, but its closing will create a literary void in a city with a high illiteracy rate. Industry analysts and book associations could not name a larger American city without a single bookseller.

    "Corporate America considers Laredo kind of the backwater," said the city's most prolific author, Jerry Thompson, a professor at Texas A&M University International who has written more than 20 books.

    Since the closing was announced, book lovers in Laredo have flocked to the small store located between City Trendz ("Laredo's No. 1 Underground Hip Hop Shop") and a store that offers $4 indoor go-kart rides to stock up on their favorite titles.

    Schoolchildren even wrote letters to the parent company, Barnes & Noble, begging for the store to stay open.

    "Without that store, my life would be so sad and boring," wrote a fifth-grader named Bryanna Salinas, who signed her name with a heart.

    The Laredo store is among 49 remaining B. Daltons nationwide that Barnes & Noble will close by next year.

    Wonder if they have a library.

  2. I bet he was One Hell of a Prosecutor.

  3. Yep, They have a Library

    Open 9:00 till 6:00 six days a week, and Sunday afternoons.

  4. Thanks Rufus, why didn't I think of that.

    250,000, which is just a little smaller than Spokane, without a bookstore, seems kinda hard to believe.

    Bet they have some great horse tack shops though.

  5. Maybe things will turn around faster than we thought. Everyone who comes to this country remarks on the social (not always good in some views) and structural fluidity.

    Gun Registration: The end or the means to a Nazi State?

    [h/t buddy larsen@BC]

    With 375 comments (last I looked) it's not for the faint of heart but bl says the discussion is good so have at it.

    My initial reaction is that I don't cotton much to registrations of any sort.

    The subject is an important "tell" as we move more seriously into the 21st century. Resource scarcity always puts pressure on politics and politicians.

  6. Every time you buy a gun these days, it's registered. They do that background check, and you're in the system, serial number and all. I even got checked when I bought a gun at an auction. Had to pick it up at a gun sellers. Only way around it is totally private, I think.

    Back after Kennedy got shot for awhile we even had to go through some stuff to buy a box of shotgun shells.

    In that Mexican town across from El Paso they are over 2700 murders so far this year. Bang, bang.

    Maybe they need universal gun ownership.

    Or, probably, a whole new culture.

  7. I'm going to watch Orwell's 1984 on direct download through Netflix.

    The hard part is that times are changing. It's just that nobody told Congress yet.


  8. We proles haven't even made it to the Outer Party, much less the Inner Party. What to do? How to escape Big Brother?

    Retreat to the interior of Idaho, is all I can suggest. Secesh Hot Springs. It's Melody safe, no electrical cords, and room enough for us all.

  9. If we could infiltrate one of our own into the Ministry of Truth, we could vanish Secesh Hot Springs from the mapping, and be perfectly secure, with bob being the guide.

  10. Looks like a Scandinavian fjord, does it seem familiar? :)

  11. I was just listening to George W. Bush on Hannity. Seemed perfectly sane to me, very interesting discussion.

    I agree with Whit, George is a good guy. Hannity is having him on TV tomorrow I think.

  12. Actually looks a little like what we call Snake Lake west of Lewiston, if the hills were a little dryer.

    Having failed again to win the lottery, guess I'll go to bed, and read the wife's Bush book.

  13. Was nice music, being already mellow tonight, it even raised the effect.

  14. Someone could be a good guy and a very bad driver. There is no correlation between being a good president and a good guy.

    By any measure of accomplishment, not intent, not what we wish but actual accomplishment explain to me what George Bush did to improve America?

    * War and peace.
    * Security and Personal freedom.
    * Economic security.
    * Financial stability.
    * Responsible governance.
    * American industry.
    * Political correctness.
    * Control of illegal immigration.
    * Use of the powers of veto.
    * Respect for the use and abuse of the US military.

    A man can be a great guy but a poor farmer, baseball player, umpire, truck driver, doctor, plumber and yes a president.

    George Bush did nothing that made us richer or more secure. He made government bigger, more repressive. He increased the social costs of government. We have a military that in many ways is in shambles.

    We are involved in the eighth year of two insanely costly wars.

    The economic worth of the American middle class has been eroded over the past ten years.

    At the same time the GNP of China has quadrupled over the past ten years. Their leaders are not good guys with cute smiles, but they get the job done.

  15. To the post, I am sure John Corzine as Governor of New Jersey, was a good guy, but he was an economic disaster for New Jersey taxpayers.

    Personally, give me a son of a bitch who can deliver.

  16. My biggest problem with Bush is his failure, not unique to him, in recognizing and doing something about the threat of China to the US.

    We have not just stood by while China accelerated its power and influence, we abetted it.

    Everywhere you look, if the Chinese are there, American interests are either lessened or threatened.

    Iran, Darfur, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Burma, Cuba, North Korea, Afghanistan, Bolivia, Iraq, the Chinese are making deals that will cost the United States in the future.

    We have allowed the Chinese, aided by the American financial and political elite to devastate US manufacturing, steal our technology and compromise our security.

    The eventual outcome of neglect and stupid decisions regarding China is yet to be known, but Bush, Clinton and Bush were there for twenty years. I have no time for any of them.