“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, October 08, 2011

And Then There is Mitt Romney


  1. I like Mitt Romney. I am not sold on him yet.

  2. I am hoping for a third party candidate -- perhaps after the Tea Party rejects Romney and selects one of their theocratics, and then makes denial of evolution a party loyalty oath requirement, the Republicans will bolt the party they thought was theirs and run candidates against all the Tea Party candidates in all Senate and Congressional districts.

  3. Cain is a loose cannon ---- wired strangely. He wants to change the music like "Hail to the Chief" to gospel-type music instead. How ridiculous and inappropriate. He has some
    strange ideas - he's very hard headed and I think would be hard for him to take advice from anyone since he's so blockheaded and driven by the media's responses to his actions.

    He has a hard time getting his thoughts out and clear --- just says safe things that are well rehearsed. Can't anyone but me see through him? People are so naive and clueless to jump on his bandwagon.

  4. Sarah Palin said that Cain is the current flavor of the week…..I go with Palin on this one. None of the Republicans will excite the party. It is a third party or Obama.

  5. Deuce , your comments in a previous post about Lincoln startled me. I did a little googling and found this:

    My conclusion: maybe Abraham Lincoln wasn’t such a great president either. Consider some of the things ol’ Honest Abe and his administration did during his time in office:

    - He appointed generals and war planners so ineffectual they make Donald Rumsfeld look like frickin’ Sun Tzu.
    - When he did finally find generals worth a damn (Grant and Sherman), he let those generals engage in a bloody campaign that directly targeted Confederate civilians (Sherman’s March to the Sea).
    - He suspended the writ of habeas corpus, which allowed him to arrest thousands of U.S. citizens (including plenty of journalists) and hold them without cause or trial. When a U.S. Circuit Court overturned Lincoln on this, he simply ignored their ruling.
    - He won re-election in 1864 through a variety of questionable tactics, including having Union troops redeployed to states to pressure and intimidate voters.
    - He never had a particularly high opinion of blacks, starting from indifference to the plight of slavery and eventually concluding that freed slaves should be shipped back to Africa.
    - He fought for quite a while to preserve slavery in border states and only turned to emancipating slaves as a last-ditch strategy for weakening the Confederacy. (As for Lincoln’s views on the morality of the subject, keep in mind that he was not a Christian; in fact, Lincoln wrote a small book explicitly rejecting the veracity of the Bible.)
    - He kept border states like Maryland loyal to the Union by first promising not to end slavery there, then by hauling away political leaders without trial.
    - He responded to a Sioux Indian rebellion (sparked by refusal of the United States to abide by signed treaties) by not only sending troops out to stomp the insurrection, but by abolishing the Indian reservation there, canceling all treaties with the Sioux, and putting a $25 bounty on their scalps.

  6. The post I referred to:

    Deuce said...
    Lincoln pointed out that no national government has ever considered imposing a measure detailing its own dissolution, so there was never a "right" to secede, except for Texas, which had a succession clause in their Union Treaty.

    There is no surprise in those words. Those drawn to power love power. They love it to addiction. Lincoln was a politician first and foremost, probably the brightest thinker, certainly in the top five of all US presidents, but he also had a logical flaw in his character.

    If Lincoln believed there was no right to secede, then all the residents south of the Mason-Dixon line were legal US citizens, combatants and non-combatants alike, entitled to the same rights and protection as those north of the same border. If they did not have those rights, due to the fate of geography, and those non-combatant citizens were not recognized as citizens, then they were not bound by the duties of citizenship and allegiance. Logically, you cannot have it both ways.

    Lincoln had no trouble trampling the rights of Southern civilians, robbing them of their property, freedoms and right to life. He had no trouble allowing a homicidal maniac, Sherman, slaughter US citizens, destroy their property and their livelihood. Had Lincoln prevented the breakup, negotiated a peaceful resolution or loosened the federation, he would have been a great man. He did none of those things.

    Fri Oct 07, 08:12:00 PM EDT

  7. I am beginning to understand Trish's perspective on the EB.

  8. Mitt is Mitt, after five years 75% of the Republicans do not support him.

    If he is the nominee, a banker to the core of his corporate being, how does the "Other" run against him?

    There is his religion.
    Then his:
    "Corporations are People, too"

    Both of these traits, easy to "Demonize", amongst his own Base.

  9. The more important question?

    Will the Republican Party follow the Whigs into oblivion?

  10. Logos: Cain is a loose cannon ---- wired strangely. He wants to change the music like "Hail to the Chief" to gospel-type music instead

    There is energy in gospel music, it was mixed together with the sensuality of rhythm 'n' blues, the fun of hillbilly (now called country) music, the social consciousness of folk, the spontaneity of jazz and the swing of rebop to make the most enduring form of music in the last 60 years: Rock 'n' Roll. "We are together! We are one! The name of the game is power, and if you ain't playing power, you're in the wrong place!"

  11. Which trish?
    The Officer or the Lady.

    They both used the log-in.

  12. DR: Will the Republican Party follow the Whigs into oblivion?

    The names always change, but one thing remains constant: It is always the Traditionalists vs. the Experimentalists.

    In the 19th Century, the Traditionalists were the Democratic Party slaveholders and the Experimentalists were the Republican Party abolitionists.

    In the 20th Century, the Traditionalists co-opted the Republicans and defended the robber barons, while the Experimentalists, in reaction, began to defend the working class. They sympathized with blacks, and this led the Democratic Party to be abandoned by the rednecks and peckerwoods by 1968.

    In the 21st Century, the Democratic Party Nanny State that transfers wealth to victim classes in exchange for votes are the Traditionalists, and it is the Tea Party and 9-9-9 and reforming Social Security that seems to be the wild Experiments. Thus the Big Wheel spins round and round.

  13. Another view of rufus's personal credit number

    Complete with charts and such.

    on the other hand, here's the year-over-year, first derivative look.
    You know, the 'green shoots'


    Obviously, revolving credit is getting closer and closer to going positive on a year-over-year basis.

    This was the smallest-year-over-year drop since the collapse began.

    Walkin' on the Sunny side
    Always on the Sunny side ...

  14. You misread history, Ms T.

    There are two factions, more or less.
    Always have been, in the US.

    The Federalists of Hamilton and Monroe. Banks and corporate interests. Wall Street

    The Democrats of Jefferson and Jackson. Shop owners and craftsmen. Main Street

    When Mr Lincoln was a Congressman, he represented the "Democratic" or Main Street interests, as a liberal Republican he was anti-war and advocated for massive wealth transfers, from the Federal's "National Heritage" account to private ownership.

    As President, Mr Lincoln became an ardent Federalist. Killing, as Deuce points out, 600,000 citizens in the process.

  15. Within the political Parties, especially today, the Federalist perspective holds sway.

  16. .

    And please don't call me "Dougo"

    So let it be written. So let it be done.

    You should have said something before Doug. I didn't know it bothered you.

    I thought is kind of made you sound like "Dano" from Hawai Five-0 only with less hair.

    The only problem with calling you Doug is it always reminds me of that Far Side cartoon.

    Beware of Doug


  17. Today, after 100 years of Federalist progressivism, there are few organized Democrats left.

    In either Party or in the fields.

  18. Mitt Romney is the Nelson Rockefeller of this generation.

  19. When those most ardent of Democrats, Jefferson and Jackson, they pushed the envelope, expanding Federal power almost exponentially.

    It is a natural law, the progression of power after it is gained.

  20. The move to secession, did not start with the election of Mr Lincoln.

    Those forces were afoot, even during the "Old Hickory" era,

    "Disunion by force is treason." A. Jackson

    The Southerners a tad more respectful of Mr Jackson, than "Honest" Abe.

    "Nullification means insurrection and war; and the other states have a right to put it down." A. Jackson

    Those Southerners, they thought they were just dealing with community organizer from Illinois, when they ran into Abe Lincoln.

  21. .

    For those who take solace that we are getting out of Iraq.

    The State Department readies Iraq operation, its biggest since Marshall Plan

    The State Department is racing against an end-of-year deadline to take over Iraq operations from the U.S. military, throwing up buildings and marshalling contractors in its biggest overseas operation since the effort to rebuild Europe after World War II.

    While attention in Washington and Baghdad has centered on the number of U.S. troops that may remain in Iraq, they will be dwarfed by an estimated 16,000 civilians under the American ambassador — the size of an Army division.

    The scale of the operation has raised concerns among lawmakers and government watchdogs, who fear the State Department will be overwhelmed by overseeing so many people, about 80 percent of them contractors. There is a risk, they say, of millions of dollars in waste and limited supervision of bodyguards...

    Out With The Army in With the Contractors

    What could go wrong?


  22. .

    When judging the quality of the candidates, their views on the US military footprint should probably be taken into account.

    Cain and Romney have indicated they like big feet.


  23. Call your Congressman, Q.

    Tell him of your concerns.
    That'll make ALL the difference.


  24. Perry wants to grow a bunion, in Mexico.

  25. The Billionaire Mayor of NY City reports:

    Occupy Wall Street is trying to destroy jobs

    The pot calling the kettle black?

    He did acknowledge:

    "There are some people with legitimate complaints,"

  26. .

    Call your Congressman, Q.

    I did, Congressman and Senators, on the Libya deal.

    The response was a bit of a disappointment. Perhaps I should have been more circumspect in offering my opininion of the operation.

    On the other hand, all I got back was a form letter so it probably didn't make much of a difference.

    One can only hope that they have some intern sitting there at least keeping track, checking off "For" or "Against".


  27. DR: Top 20 Bigfoot Sightings

    This is a no-shitter:

    When I was in Girl Scout camp on Spirit Lake, on the northern flank of Mt. St. Helens, on that last glorious summer of 1979 before she blew, I went on a hike that started at Harry Truman's lodge and went over Windy Pass and down to the Plains of Abraham.

    Our destination was Ape Canyon, at the bottom of which some miners had built a cabin in 1924 to work their claim. One day they were scared out of their claim by an attack of pumice stones. When they looked up at the canyon rim they saw dark figures up there against the sunlight, screaming with high, eerie voices, tossing the stones down on them, and they scrammed out of there for good.

    They creatures were really very naughty Girl Scouts throwing the remarkably light pumice into the canyon to see how far they would fall. And their laughing voices were mangled by the close stone walls of the canyon, which closes to within eight feet at one point.

    That is the tradition that was handed down to me.

  28. That is the common response, I do believe. I've received similar results from Mr McCain's office.

    A nice letter on some fine stationary.


  29. New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, has also said he understands the anger being felt by the protesters but had to balance that with the economic importance of Wall Street to the state.

  30. Regarding state's rights to declare independence. What is not good for US citizens is just fine for citizens of other countries.

    We fought a war in the Balkans so that the Kosovars, Albanian transplants, could assert their independence. Ratko Mladic, now a war criminal, was determined to maintain a greater and united Serbia. In 2008, the United Nations sought advice from the International Court of Justice regarding the legality of independence of Kosovo. The court's response was that “Kosovo’s declaration of independence did not contravene international law.”

    Lincoln and the psychopath Sherman would be in direct conflict with stated US policy today. Why Lincoln is revered by free people has been a wonderment to me since my American history classes in high school.

    Sherman never quite lost his appetite for mass murder and slaughter. He wrote some interesting things about slaughtering the Sioux after he retired. Sherman was Lincoln's guy.

  31. .

    DR: Top 20 Bigfoot Sightings

    This is a no-shitter:

    Eye witness testimony over transient events can be tricky.

    On vacation, while travelling next to Loch Ness, I saw a distubance in the water that looked eerily like those films they show on the Discovery Channel purportedly of the Loch Ness Monster.

    Unfortunately, I saw the disturbances four or five times over a couple mile stretch. Don't know if its the current or wind or topography but you get these little (sometimes big) rills on the surface of the water. Easy to see how someone could think they were caused by something moving in the water.


  32. It always struck me as ironic that Lincoln is given credit for "freeing the slaves" by taking away the lives and freedoms of 600,000 Americans. had lincoln been interested in freeing the slaves, he could have campaigned for a civil rights act to do so. It was never necessary to fight a civl war that ended with the violent death of 2% of the US population, a number today that would be six million, a holocaust figure.

    Slavery was already on the way out. It was practiced throughout Africa and the Americas but mostly ended in the the Americas during the 19th century. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela all ended slavery during the same period, without the slaughter of their own citizens.

    The Republican party states that it is against big federal government. Abraham Lincoln was the father of Big Federal Government.

  33. I will never win a popularity contest over that one.

  34. Deuce: Sherman never quite lost his appetite for mass murder and slaughter. He wrote some interesting things about slaughtering the Sioux after he retired. Sherman was Lincoln's guy.

    The March to the Sea by Sherman's hand-picked 62,000 men was relatively bloodless. You object to it because it was the winning strategy. Sherman made war upon his enemy's infrastructure, and it was more merciful than the bombing campaign on Germany and Japan, because bombs do not discriminate between factories and children. It also brought the war to a more rapid conclusion, because Johnny Reb had to decide between staying with Marse Robert and maybe going guerrilla in the Blue Ridge Mountains for twenty years, or going home to see to the well-being of his family and make sure they made it through the winter of 1865-66.

  35. I believe the war was pre-ordained. I know Southerners, and they weren't giving up Slavery without a fight.

    Also, the North had the money, and the political power. They weren't going to ease up on the "Abominable Tariffs," either.

    I agree with T. Sherman got it over with. Was he a "Great Christian Man?" I don't know, and don't really care. But he brought the thing to a close; and that was probably better for everyone, Northerner, and Southerner.

  36. As for Lincoln? Well, he was, as Deuce said, "just a politician." Not much different than any other.

    He did, however, win the "existential" war, and, thus, is recognized as one of the United States' 3 "Great" Presidents.

  37. I suppose it could be argued that Sherman helped end the catastrophe that Lincoln was unable to do. Lincoln was inept at the politics and weak as a leader. Had Lincoln been a great president, we need not have had the war. There was nothing inevitable about the war between the states. It was a war against states by a believer in strong centralized power. There is nothing new there, Kings have fought to take and have and fought to hold what they have since mankind began.

    The figures of 600,000 Americans killed in the civil war are incontestable. The war was unnecessary. Slavery could have been ended as it has been in most other places in the world without a self-destructive war. Sherman ravaged South Carolina. I don't have time to look up exact details, but I read a biography on Sherman and recall his comments on the Sioux.

    We are vilifying the tyrants in the middle east for the murder or killing of people that want more freedom. Nato is siding with those that want to break away from the tyranny of strong central states. They should be vilified.

    I see no reason to glorify politicians and leaders who can't stop wars from happening. The Soviets crushed the states that tried to exercise their rights to be free. They did it in Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia and East Germany. The US helped end the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe without major bloodshed. The presidents who were responsible for that, should be considered far greater than a president that failed to prevent a war in his own country.

  38. As the war drew to a close Lincoln said "Let 'em up easy" but then he was assassinated, and not very many people in the North were interested in doing just that.

    General Lee did much to keep things from spiraling out of control into the typical civil war aftermath you see in places from Sri Lanka to Viet Nam. And that is why he is beloved by both sides. Read "April 1965: The Month That Saved America" by Jay Winik.

  39. Well, 1865. One of those 65s.

  40. this is far more important:

    The federal deficit reached $1.3 trillion for fiscal 2011, according to the preliminary estimate Friday from the Congressional Budget Office, matching last year’s total despite all sides’ agreement on the need to cut spending.

    And the $64 billion deficit for the month of September meant the government has been in the red for 36 straight months — a record streak that means the government hasn’t had a monthly surplus since near the end of President George W. Bush’s term.

  41. I find it humorous when Northerners say they know Southerners, just because they have lived with them for a while. Over 90% of Southerners didn't own slaves and didn't care about slaves. But they wouldn't tolerate a bunch of carpetbagging Yankees dictating policy to them. They only tolerate Northerners amongst them today because their mommas taught them to be nice.

  42. I find it humorous when Northerners say they know Southerners, just because they have lived with them for a while. Over 90% of Southerners didn't own slaves and didn't care about slaves. But they wouldn't tolerate a bunch of carpetbagging Yankees dictating policy to them. They only tolerate Northerners amongst them today because their mommas taught them to be nice.

  43. Sherman was a murderer. When he was through murdering Southerners he turned to Native Americans.

    "The only good Indian is a dead Indian."

  44. Gag, Gag, Gag :) I love ya, baby.

    I was pulling a tow sack when I was six years old, Gag. At least as long as my mother was watching. Grew up throwing watermelons, and cantaloupes. Don' be calling me no "northerner."

  45. No offense Ruf, but if you were born north of the MD line you be a Yankee. That's just they way it is.

    I'll go back to my lurking.

  46. I lived in Pensacola for a couple years, because that's where CT "A" and "C" school is. That's the buckle of the Bible Belt. No, I don't get Southerners, and I don't want to get Southerners.

    Awful House:

    "What are grits?"

    "Grits are fifty, hon."

    "Yes, but what are they?"

    "Grits are extra."

  47. You could get seriously fussed at calling those people in the Bootheel, Northerners, Gag. :)

    Let me put it this way: the cavalry saddle in the barn had a CSA badge.

  48. Remember this one?

    "Why are you fighting us Johnny Reb?"

    "Cause y'all are down here."

  49. True enough Ruf. My mom was born in Kennett. Family cemetery between Zalma and Dexter.

    I stand corrected.

  50. The young boys went and fought, cause that's what young boys do. You're right, of course, those young infantry privates didn't own any slaves. Most of them had never been outside their own county.

    But, the Power Brokers owned Slaves, and/or represented people that owned slaves, or represented people that made money off of people that owned slaves, And They ran the show. That deal wasn't going down w/o a fight.

  51. I'll guarantee you, Gag. No one else that will ever read this has trolled for 'tang between Parma, and Zalma.

  52. Or frog fogged on the Castor.

  53. Or, hunted "swampers" in Fair Dealing. :)

  54. There's hardly a money crop on earth that can't be grown within 20 miles of the St. Francis River. And, the fish, and game are thick.

    If the shit really, and truly ever hit the fan that wouldn't be a bad place to be.

  55. Gigged. Spell check got me. Frog gigged.


  56. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama launched an onslaught against banks and Republicans on Thursday for working to block financial reform, using a populist tone amid public anger over Wall Street practices.

  57. Would Mr Perry really send the USMC back to Veracruz?

    REPORTING FROM MEXICO CITY -- Mexican authorities say they have found 10 more bodies in the port city of Veracruz, adding to scores of dead there in recent weeks as drug violence rages.


  58. FOX News By Alexander Burns

    Politico Rick Perry closed his speech at the Values ... and reiterating his openness to conducting US military operations in Mexico. ...