“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, July 04, 2011

4 July 2011

And then we hear from the Grifter in Chief:

Down on the Fourth of July: the United States of gloom

...With the United States mired in three foreign wars, beaten down by an economy that shows few signs of emerging from deep recession and deeply disillusioned with President Barack Obama, his Republican challengers and Congress, the mood is dark.

The last comparable Fourth of July was probably in 1980, when there was a recession, skyrocketing petrol prices and an Iranian hostage crisis, with 53 Americans being held in Tehran...

...A recent New York Times/CBS poll found that 39 per cent think that “the current economic downturn is part of a long-term permanent decline and the economy will never fully recover”. That was up from 28 per cent last October. Last month, a CNN poll found that 48 per cent of Americans believe another Great Depression is somewhat or very likely….

...So what is going on? How did the land of the free, the home of the brave, and a country that less than three years ago elected a young, untested black man as president on a platform of hope and change, get into this funk?
The parlous state of the economy is only part of the explanation. More significant is the recession’s length. Obama’s promise of a national transformation after the Bush years, moreover, means that the thud of coming back down to earth has been that much harder.

The intoxicating atmosphere of the 2008 election and Obama’s inauguration has given way to a hangover. Americans were promised that the $787 billion Obama stimulus package would cut unemployment by funding so-called “shovel-ready projects”. Instead, unemployment is at 9.1 per cent compared to the 7.8 per cent Obama inherited, while the national deficit has tripled from less than $500 billion to a staggering $1.5 trillion.

To add insult to injury, at a recent gathering of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, during a discussion about the length of time it took to get projects funded, a smiling Obama interjected: “Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.” Members of the council sitting around him tittered but most Americans were not amused...

...On foreign policy, there was a brief spasm of celebration over the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. But Obama’s decision, against military advice, to capitalise on this by withdrawing 33,000 US troops from Afghanistan has been accompanied by a sense that the US is retreating, if not surrendering…


  1. Fuck all Brits, and fuck Brit commentators.

    Doesn't he have a soccer game to go to, or something?

    Maybe he can go stand on a streetcorner, and try to catch a glimpse of a "bonny prince," or "princess."

  2. The only leader worth a damn they've had in two hundred years was Winston Churchill, and as soon as he'd pulled their nuts out of the fire they Fired him.

  3. Obama was, of course, speaking of the enshrinement of Slavery in the Constitution. I'd say that was a bit of a flaw; right?

  4. Over the next couple of decades we're going to become "Independent" of Foreign Oil. Whether we want to, or not.

    We might leave foreign oil; but if we don't, we can be damned sure foreign oil will "Leave Us."

    It's just a matter of how we want to "manage" the break-up.

  5. And, the good news is: we're, actually, showing signs of getting started, today.

    "Gas Guzzlers" sat on the dealers' lots in June, and the fuel efficient models were flying off the premises.

    Almost half of the Detroit 3 vehicles will be Flexfuel in 2012, and new stations are offering E85 every day. The last count was 2,752, and Three Thousand by the end of Summer is a distinct possibility.

  6. The Chevy Cruze, and the Ford Focus are down to about a 20 day supply, while the F-150, and Silverado are at 110 Days.

    Since 50% of the miles are put on in the first 6 years it only takes a little while for a change in buying habits to start having an effect on total fleet fuel efficiency.

  7. And, Ford said, last month, that the pickups that were selling were the Turbocharged six-cylinder Eco-Boost Models that could deliver High Horsepower, AND Fuel Efficiency. Oh, and it's Flexfuel.

  8. Happy Birthday America.

    As an actual historian at Gettysburg told me 2 months ago, America has seen worse days, worse Presidents, worse waste of lives and treasure, and we will get thru this dark period.

    To what extent the nation will be changed forever? It's anyone's guess.

    Today, on this 4th of July, we must thank our elected President for inspiring MILLIONs of Americans to look inward and to see what is truly important as Americans.

    I personally want to thank Obama for just such inspiration.

    Without our current President I would have still been asleep at the wheel, as many other Americans on several topics.

    Our national debt, our standing in the world, our force for good and justice. All of these things that are now being trashed by the current administration wake me up and inspire me to seek change.

    America of our forefathers, America of Tocqueville, America actual liberation of the suffering masses. This is the America I wish for.

    Obama has personified everything I stand against, fore which I thank him, he has in less than 20 months destroyed decades of patience, loyality and devotion in millions of people, but has re-awakened those of us that DO believe in a GREAT and exceptional America.

    This liberation day, this 4th of July, is also my liberation day, MY freedom day, as it will be for hundreds of millions of other Americans, to which I will share this emancipation.

    Bravo America, Rise Up America, Shake off your dust, Shake off your tyrants.

    Our future lies in our own hands, not Washington's.

    After all this is still America.

  9. That was really excellent, WiO,


  10. Some of US never were asleep.

    There was no need for an awakening.

  11. But many have been asleep at the wheel.

    It expresses itself in their national loyalty.

    Still does.

    Happy Fourth of July.

  12. Obama personifies one of the things I stand for, to wit: Freedom from the Tyranny of Oil, and Coal Companies.

  13. From what I'm reading, I wouldn't be the least surprised to read, sometime toward the end of next year, of a Solar Farm being built with an "Installed Cost" of $2.00 Watt. Without Subsidies.

    That will change the way a lot of people think about electricity in Phoenix, Tucson, LA, San Diego, San Antonio, Houston, etc.

  14. In Phoenix, that $2.00/watt will get you about 3.5 kilowatt/hrs, annually, with no "feedstock" costs, no pollution, and no Hundreds of miles of Transmission lines.

    And, do it for somewhere between 50, and 100 yrs.