“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."

Friday, May 06, 2011

I believe in the old and sound rule that an ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood.

Hat Tip : International News

All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle...Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.


  1. What kind of car did you say that was? Let me know when those guys come knocking on your door?


  2. "Terrorist Leader" is turning into a, decidedly, "non-growth" business.

  3. Jus' for my dear buddy, Quirk:

    "It is important to emphasize that even as oil prices are pulling back from their recent highs, we expect them to return to or surpass the recent highs by next year," Goldman Sachs' analysts said in a research note.

    "We continue to believe that the oil supply-demand fundamentals will tighten further over the course of this year, and likely reach critically tight levels by early next year should Libyan oil supplies remain off the market," it said.

    Good ol' Goldman, churning the pot - trade, trade, trade

  4. Wall St, being the shameless whores that they are, have misrepresented the Jobs Report this morning. It was, actually, pretty bad.

    You have to go Here

    and look at the "Household Survey." It shows a Decrease of 200,000 Jobs. Thus the increase in the Unemployment rate to 9.0%

    When the "Household Survey" and the "Establishment Survey" disagree, as they do this time, I would strongly urge anyone to pay attention to the Household Survey. It will tend, over time, to be more accurate.

  5. Obama as Patton, pretty good.


  6. What I'm going to do tomorrow is throw a couple of darts at that Kentucky Derby list, and bet those two nags.

    My daughter will have already picked her horse out.


  7. Here You Go -Every Derby Song Ever Wanted And More

    That ought to keep you entertained for an evening.


  8. Here You Go hQuirk - Misreading Obama

    Says Obama has a firmer grasp of American history than any Prez since Woodrow Wilson. Who can argue with that, a professor said it.


  9. Norah Jones

    Catch you on the flip side…time to party.

  10. Per Capita Income, UP?

    Only if you consider "unemployment claims, food stamps," etc.

    Food Stamp Recovery

  11. Party hearty hardy but stay away from the hot tubs.


  12. Best Fly Fishing in Idaho

    I know the truth of all this but I'm not telling. The best are not on the list,except for the mountain lakes, I'll give you that hint.

    Have a good evening.


  13. Notice the list is most popular, not best.


  14. The problem the "Rightists" have is that Obama is a "fast-moving, fast-evolving" target.

    I'm reminded of the Cliff Robertson character in "Charly."

  15. .

    Food Stamp Recovery

    Remarkable numbers Ruf.

    It's obvious the Dems don't know how to turn this around. Merely shooting in the dark. Probably the only thing that will get us out of this is the normal cycles of the market over time.

    People who are giving such a heavy advantage to the president next year must be making at least one of two assumptions: (a) the economy is suddenly going to do better than it has done in the last two years; (b) the GOP nominates a dud.

    You know which one I'm betting on.


  16. .

    Wall St, being the shameless whores that they are, have misrepresented the Jobs Report this morning. It was, actually, pretty bad.

    There is plenty in the numbers to allow people to "lie with the statistics" no matter what side they are pushing.

    Austan Goolsbee was on CNBC today stating that the numbers were great. That the US had created 2 million jobs over the past two years. I have no idea where he got that number from.

    Even if true, it is evidently insufficient to keep up with the growing population since the actually employment rate is dropping.

    But according to Austan we are doing great.


  17. I know you're going to think I'm crazy, and I don't blame you; but if we're not back in full-blown recession (in which case, I think a lot of Pubs could win,) but just barely muddling along with $4.00 + gas, I believe Sarah Palin could win.

    If she can get her "voice" under control (quit bouncing up and down like a girl when she speaks,) and push her experience with Energy issues in Alaska I believe she can "strike a chord" with voters.

    Getting rid of those two neocon advisors that McCain stuck her with will help a lot.

    I bet if you mention high gas prices to ten people, nine will say something to the extent of, "why don't we drill our own oil?" This should be right in her wheelhouse if she can come off as a serious "expert," and not a shrill, partisan hack.

  18. Yes, rufus, if Mrs Palin can appear to be something she is not, why, she may get some amongst the electorate to support her.

    Yet, as Mr Lincoln said, all the people cannot be fooled, all the time.

    She cannot become something she is not, mental acuteness and competency is not part of the character.

    That is the reality of it.

  19. I believe you're misjudging her, Rat; but we'll see.

  20. She quit the job she wanted and had been elected to.

    The kitchen got to hot, she quit.

    That is a disqualifies her, for the Presidency.

  21. Rat, you might be interested in This:

    During his presentation, Jennings pointed out several specific benefits of the crop, including its environmental benefits, the potential for high yield, as well as a high profit potential for famers. He noted that current analysis projects yields measuring up to 25 tons per acre, depending on the specific variety grown, farming practices, geographical location and soil class.

    Giant Miscanthus, which can reach heights of up to 15 feet, contains approximately 10 to 15 percent moisture at harvest. The perennial crop is also highly efficient when it comes to fertilizer use, Jennings said. In addition, it has been shown to be highly drought-tolerant with no known pests. Furthermore, the dense growth pattern of the grass tends to crowd out weeds. The sterile plant is grown using rhizomes.

    Biomass Conference

    I really wanted to go to this, but "life" intruded.

  22. You need to read up on the laws that were in place up there at the time, Rat. They were going to bankrupt her, and her family. I think she made a defensible decision.

    But, as you well know, it won't be up to me, or thee. I would have bet any amount of money against a Black, Marxist by the name of Barack Hussein Obama 7 yrs after 9 - 11, but I'd a surely been wrong.

  23. .

    I don't think your crazy but I also don't think it will happen. Time flies when you're not having fun and there is only a little over a year for any major changes to occur.

    I base my opinion on two things. The first is unimportant. It is that Idon't like her. She says the right things to appeal to her constuency, they all do, they are politicians. However, saying and doing are two different things. I don't think she has it in her to get anything done. That is just my personal opinion.

    More importantly, the highest popularity she has ever achieved in a head to head poll was about 30% and that number has been steadily dropping lately.

    Worse, are the negatives. In a recent poll of expected voters 58% said they would "absolutely not" vote for her. I have no idea how good the poll was, but even if you were to assume a 10% margin of error, the negatives would be almost impossible to overcome in the little time she has left.


  24. A really cute little video explaining Intel's 3-D Chip

  25. .

    Time has become a factor in the 2012 election. There is just not that much time left. If there was going to be a major shift or change we shoud have seen some indication of it.

    Neither party seems to want the presidency so at this time I'm assuming the status quo will prevail.

    Neither party seems to get it.

    In 2008, the majority of Americans wanted change, from GWB and from the economic disaster they blamed on him. The Dems won, declared it a mandate, took their eyes off the prize, and forced through Healthcare and everything else they could think of that fit their agenda. Everything that is except jobs and the economy. The things that were most important to the American people.

    In 2010, The GOP won and took over the house. Immediately, they declared it a mandate, took their eyes off the prize, and forced through an extension of the Bush tax cuts, the Ryan budget, and anything else they could think of that fit their agenda. Everything that is except jobs and the economy. The things that were most important to the American people.

    None of them get it.


  26. I've gotta agree.

    The only thing I can figure is, they think this recovery is going to be "automatic," like recoveries normally are; and they figure they'll just jump out in front of the parade, and declare that it was "their" policies that brought it on.

    If that is their though process they might be in for a rude awakening. I, personally, think this is a much more serious situation than any we've been in since 1929. But, I could be wrong.

  27. .

    As a proof regarding the statement that neither party gets it.

    The Dems say their policies are working and are creating lots of jobs. Posts like Rufus' above point out the obvious, they are not. The GOP states that by cutting spending we will "eventually" create jobs. Well, hell, eventually the business cycle will create jobs.

    Cutting spending is warranted and desirable. But only a nitwit or a Kool-aid drinker would think it gives us what we need, more jobs, right now.

    Both parties indicate they have actual plans proposed to help the jobs issue. The problem is that the plans are not being proposed by the leaders of the parties, they are being proposed by back-benchers who have no power to push them through. The leaders are too busy pushing their agendas.

    Worse, the Senate plan was started by the GOP (the minority); and the House plan was started by the Dems (the minority) pretty much guaranteeing that nothing will get done.

    It amazes me that anyone can still say one party is doing better than another.


  28. On the other hand, stuff like that Intel chip have to account for something.

    For instance, I'm just gobsmacked by the speed, and power of my new $328.00 Compaq laptop.

    Three hundred and twenty eight freakin' dollars! I kinda took a flyer on it thinking that if it wasn't "up to speed" I'd just give it to my sweetie (her desktop was getting old,) and get a better one.

    Now, the only way she gets it is to pry it from my "cold, dead hands." :)

  29. .

    The only thing I can figure is, they think this recovery is going to be "automatic," like recoveries normally are...

    Of course that's what they are counting on. (And it may be the only thing they can do. I wish I had a suggestion as to what they could do to fix things. I, like I suspect most of the people in D.C. haven't a clue.)

    Delay is part of Obama's MO. Whether that policy results in more good than bad is hard to say. But we've seen the same approach applied by his flunkies like Geitner.


  30. Rufus is right about Palin. The laws in Alaska were such that any smuck could bring some faked up ethics charge, and they were out to bankrupt the lady. That she fought them all off, she is given no credit for that. That lady from Minnesota has been cutting into her totals, and Huckabee too.
    She could win the Presidency, but I don't think she could win the nomination. Therefore her biggest fan here kinda hopes she doesn't run, as I'd surely hate to see her lose.

    Though she could surely "get something done" if she had a republican Congress behind her.

    Huckabee was talking about the big flood of 1927 this morning. I do remember my wife saying her place had flooded once, back in the twenties. That must have been it.

    Start to fix it by getting rid of the capital gains tax - a tax on the passage of time.

    Derby Day and we're heading north after breakfast.

    Have a good day.....dhQuirk

    dwr :)

  31. .

    For instance, I'm just gobsmacked by the speed, and power of my new $328.00 Compaq laptop.

    I should update too. I guess if you let them, a lot of the stores will transfer the data from your old machine to the new one for you.

    I just picked up one of those small digital camers for less than $100 buck. It's a 1/4 inch thick so you can carry it around in your shirt pocket. It's got a zoom lens and it's programmed so you can sent info to the web with the push of a button.

    My other digital camera (obviously a lot larger) is only a few years old and it came with a 35 picture memeory card. When I upgraded to a card that would take 135 pictures, I thought it was great.
    The new one takes a mini HD card that takes 2000 pictures.

    (Yea, I know I am pointing out my own technical irrelevance by talking about a "camera". My cell phone is around 10 years old.)



  32. I have a place to start (but you don't like it. :) )

    Put 1.8 Million people to work building Biomass Refineries.

    Once they're completed fuel prices come down to a level people can afford, and our balance of payments get much, much healthier.

    It, also, allows us to bring our forces, and our money, home from the Middle East, and S. Asia, and breaks the back of the Saudi/Exxon Oil Cartel.

  33. The chart above helps to tell the story of rising worker productivity in America’s manufacturing sector based on new GDP-by-industry (value-added) data released last week by the Bureau of Economic Analysis for 2010. Between 1947 and 1980 real manufacturing output per worker doubled from $35,000 to $70,000, and since 1980 output per worker has more than doubled to almost $150,000 in 2010, a new record high. The ongoing gains in the productivity and efficiency of American manufacturing workers allow the U.S. to produce ever greater amounts of manufacturing output with fewer workers, and that’s a sign of a thriving and vital industry, not an industry in decline.

    Amazing Chart

  34. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) raised its oil- price forecasts because OPEC and other producers aren’t matching rising demand and consumers will take time to react to higher prices.

    The bank boosted its 2011 Brent crude forecast to $120 a barrel from $110, and changed its estimate for West Texas Intermediate crude to $109.50 from $99. Forecasts for 2012 prices were raised to $120 and $114, respectively.

    JP Morgan boosts Price Targets on "Weak Supply."

  35. rufus, part of what exemplifies the Mrs Palin's lack of qualifications is that she lost the battle, in Alaska.

    She knew the ground and the rules, and allowed herself to be flanked.

    Her opponents drove her from her elected position, without much of a fight.

    Her ideological progeny subsequently losing the Senate race in her wake. Losing to a candidate that was not even on the ballot.

    Mrs Palin was a talking head wannabe before entering politics, she is a talking head, now.

    Her resume is lighter than Obama's was, in 2008.

    She is, like Mr Trump, a television personality first and foremost. It is what she worked for. Using politics to gain a career in the video spotlight.

  36. I think you just don't like her, Rat. And, that is certainly your right. I just think she's a little sharper than you think she is. I'm quite positive I won't change your mind, and it's very doubtful you'll change mine.

    I guess that's what elections are for. :)

  37. If Anyone ever tells you that "Renewables Don't Work" show them this page:

    California's Renewable Energy Usage, Yesterday

    Also, when you go to the bottom chart keep in mind that a very large part of that "imported" electricity is from Renewables, also.

    On average, about 20% of their electricity is now from Renewable sources (and, that doesn't include Large Hydro, or Nuclear.)

  38. Another way of putting that would be, "possibly only about 1/3 of California's electricity is now coming from Fossil Fuels - Coal, and Nat Gas."

  39. .


    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

    Once again a chart can tell many things.

    It used to be that there was little downside associated with higher productivity. Efficiancy went up, productivity rose, profits grew, the profits were then shared by the owners and workers and retained earnings fueled investment which in turn led to more jobs, an expanding middle class, and a growing economy.

    A sweet deal.

    However, merely looking at your chart for the years 2009/2010 you can see the perverse side of the equation.

    Productivity is going to the moon and admittedly corporate profits are hitting all time records. But were is the productivity coming from?

    Unlikely from increased demand given the current economy worldwide. Sure there is a technical aspect to it also but the real driver is lower real wages and layoffs. The profits are not driving any increase in jobs. In fact, many of the new jobs are in the service industry rather than manufacturing.

    Employers are reluctant to hire new workers until demand is there. Demand won't be there until there are jobs. It's a vicious circle.

    Even the people that are working are doing so with longer hours and lower wages.

    Productivity is great unless you are one hurt by it.


  40. No doubt about it; it's painful as hell in the short term (and, unfortunately, this "short term" could last awhile.)

  41. As I posted over at Carpe Diem, the most interesting number, yesterday, was "Consumer Credit."

    Consumer Credit was up somewhere in the range of $6.5 Billion, and most (about 80% IIRC) of it was Student Loans.

    A Lot of Joe, and Jane Sixpacks are goin' "back to school."

    Also, I'm pretty sure a Lot of those new students are Minority students (mostly young, black girls, I believe.)

  42. They don't need nearly as many Bubbas as they used to on those assembly lines.

    They need someone to operate, program, maintain, and repair those computers, and robots. Bubba can either learn to do that, or he can go fishin'.

    Bubba don' like it. He'll piss, and moan; but, he'll learn to do what he has to do. That's just the way Bubba is.

  43. Of course, I'd give Bubba a little respite from the "schoolin'" with a little construction work for a couple of years. But, that's just me. :)