“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."

Sunday, December 23, 2012

In 1848, Karl Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto. In 1846, Abraham Lincoln wrote the following:

“If we except the light and the air of heaven, no good thing has been or can be enjoyed by us without having first cost labor. And inasmuch as most good things are produced by labor, it follows that all such things of right belong to those whose labor has produced them. But it has so happened, in all the ages of the world, that some have labored, and others have without labor enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits. This is wrong, and should not continue. To secure to each laborer the whole product of his labor, or as nearly as possible, is a worthy object of any good government.”
Abraham Lincoln


  1. "to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service."

    - Lincoln

  2. Again, the film is a good one and I recommend seeing it. But perhaps next time, they will tell the real story.

    While black people escaped the chains of physical dependence on whites in 1865, we have yet to obtain economic and psychological independence. The next Abraham Lincoln for black America is not going to be a wise white guy with a beard and pointy hat.

    Instead, he/she is going to have brown skin, a great education and an abundance of self-respect. Black self-sufficiency is the next step in our quest for true equality, so the job is not yet done.

    Annoying Movie

  3. I believe that Abraham Lincoln stands alone as the single worst US President without a close second. For political reasons he is revered by Republican and Democrat alike for their own political reasons, truth be damned. We have the behemoth of a government that we have today because of Lincoln. Lincoln completely manipulated the Constitution at his will.

    It amazes and amuses that so many people defend Lincoln although they know so little of his legacy.they complain about the legacy but laud the fraud.

  4. I don't get it, Deuce. Lincoln was elected in 1860.

    South Caroina seceded in 1860.

    Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation in 1863.

    What would you have had him do? Allow the South to secede?


    1. 1. South Carolina (December 20, 1860)[39]
      2. Mississippi (January 9, 1861)[40]
      3. Florida (January 10)[41]
      4. Alabama (January 11)[42]

      5. Georgia (January 19)[43]
      6. Louisiana (January 26)[44]
      7. Texas (February 1; referendum the 23d)[

      In fact, the first seven states of the Confederacy seceded Before Lincoln took office (March 14, 1861.)

      They attacked Fort Sumter a month later.

      He stated numerous times in the Presidential campaign that he found slavery to be abhorrent, but that he wouldn't break up the Union over it.

      But, once secession was underway, and the confederacy was attacking the Union garrison, just what would you have had him do?

    2. Well, okay then; Asked, and Answered.

    3. Why did they attack Fort Sumpter? They asked Lincoln to withdraw federal troops. Why were federal troops there in the first place? Sumpter was there because of a foreign threat after The war of 1812. South Carolina was not party to involuntary fealty to a federal system. They entered into it voluntarily and elected to secede from it voluntarily. They repeatedly asked Lincoln to remove the federal troops from the state.

    4. Repeatedly? Come on, Deuce; he'd been President less than 30 days.

    5. South Carolina suffered mightily under the British during the Revolutionary War. They fought for independence before Illinois was even a state. They had every right to reject domination and resign from an affiliation that no longer was to their benefit and in fact was hostile to their economic self interest. In 1852, the South Carolinians cited the federal government as the party rejecting the constitution and decided to depart. it seems to me the argument continues.

    6. They didn't have to attack before they'd had a chance to talk.

      But, in truthfulness, they knew Lincoln wasn't going to go for secession. And, they are, also, Assholes. They wanted to fight. And, it wasn't, in their case, just slavery. There were the "Abominable Tariffs," etc.

      Anyway, they, and six other states, started the war. Lincoln didn't.

  5. Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner, who wrote the screenplay for Lincoln, recently joined Bill Moyers to talk about what Abraham Lincoln can still teach us all about politics, compromise, and the survival of American democracy.


    In the early 2000s, Kushner began writing for film. His co-written screenplay Munich was produced and directed by Steven Spielberg in 2005.

    Modern Politics

  6. Slavery ended everywhere in the western hemisphere without a civil war except in the United States. History is written by the winners. Why do you suppose the words of Lincoln referred to above were redacted from public records during the early fifties? For truth?

    1. Because they sounded "commie?"

      Deuce, I've been around southerners my whole life, and I'm as sure as I am that the sun is going to come up tomorrow, that there was going to be a War. It might have been in 10 yrs. Or 20 yrs. Or 40 yr. But there was going to be a War.

      It was going to start over California, or Kansas, or Colorado, or what the hell ever, but there was going to be a War. The Southerners were NOT going to coexist with the hated Yankees. There was Not going to be Two Countries cohabitating this piece of land. Not if one of them was led by Jefferson Davis, and his Plantationeers.

    2. And, Deuce, if you think those southerners were giving up those slaves without a fight, you better sit down and think again. Hell, you'd be amazed how many votes it'd get, Today.

    3. Amazed? No. Half of all Americans believe they are protected by guardian angels, one-fifth say they’ve heard God speak to them, one-quarter say they have witnessed miraculous healings, 16 percent say they’ve received one and 8 percent say they pray in tongues, according to a survey released Thursday by Baylor University.

      Read more:

    4. Thanks to the cotton gin, the antebellum south was making money hand over fist. The only limiting factor was the amount of cotton that they could get picked. And, we're talking Huuuuge Fortunes. The American South was the no. 1 Agricultural area in the world. All they needed was more slaves.

      No, they did't give a tinker's damn about Britain, or France, or New Haven, Connecticut. They weren't giving up their slaves.

  7. Marx justified the redistribution of wealth because he believed that all wealth came from labor. Lincoln, in his own words shared the same view. The argument continues.

    1. Lincoln, today, would be a very left-wing Democrat. Very left-wing. Or, just a Bernie Sanders Socialist.

      The modern Republican (tea) Partiers are just, basically, Feudalists (also called Laissez-Faire Capitalists.)

      Any sensible person would have to fall somewhere in between Marx, and the Romneyites. I happen to inhabit a space, at present, that's in fairly close proximity to ol' Bernie. This is a little bit Marxier than my old Dubya proximity, but way the hell further than the present bunch of crazies calling themselves republicans, with a few notable exceptions, of course (I'm sure I could think of one if you gave me awhile.) :)

    2. I'll go back to what I said before: "Marx was right about Capitalism, but wrong about Communism; The Capitalists, just the reverse."

  8. So we understood why our neighborhood streets had names like Stevens, Sumner, Birney and Stanton, and why, during Reconstruction, large-scale housing projects like Barry Farm came online.


    Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” which claims to zoom in on the raw power of Republicans and Democrats, could have easily been titled “Here We Go Again,” since the plot certainly proves that while the names of the players change much else remains the same in Washington.

    Ditto, by the way, “Django Unchained,” the Quentin Tarantino slave-era movie which takes place a couple of years prior to the Civil War and premieres Christmas Day.

    Lincoln Story

  9. All non sense, the both of you.

    What's labor?

    But Ruf is right about the south may have never given up slavery. The coming machines besides the point. There is always something else - factory labor for instance. We will never know. The Nazis were getting good at using slaves in factory labor, the Soviets had mastered the technique.

    By the way Santa Claus ought to be pulled before some court. Those elves are shrunken up and exhausted as they are cause they are worked nearly to death. Meaning: to much work is bad for the soul.

    I recommend everyone go see "Life of Pi". No violence, a little love interest, happy ending, well mostly, and uplifting. Third time for my wife, she NeVeR does that. And, her usual bo-ho at the end when the wife and kids come in.

    1. She saw it in 3-D too and recommends that. This was 2-D today. I am hoping for a 4-D movie someday. As long as it isn't porn.

    2. The first decent Mechanical Cotton-pickers didn't come along until the fifties. the 1950's.

      The end of slavery was economically devastating to the south, as they well knew it would be.

    3. If you bother to take the time, look at the link at the bottom of the post. It will take you to the actual Lincoln text in the e-book. Read on more a paragraph or two about Lincoln’s ideas on useful labor and useless labor. Cite me exactly which words and ideas are the works of a great man.

  10. What's the Greatest Christmas Movie of All Time?

    Ernest Saves Christmas doesn't even get a mention, shows how far we have fallen.

    Again, for your extreme enjoyment -

    Snake scene, Ernest Saves Christmas

    1. What is the greatest Christmas feature film of all time?

      A Christmas Carol (any version)

      Christmas Vacation

      A Christmas Story

      The Bells of St. Mary's

      Santa Clause


      Polar Express


      ChristmasDie Hard

      It's a Wonderful Life

      Miracle on 34th Street

      The Nativity Story

      Holiday Inn


      The Nightmare Before Christmas

      Jack Frost


      Disgusting, not a mention of the very best.

  11. And it's a real stretch to lay the massive government we now have on Lincoln. After each war the government has gotten bigger, WWI and particularly WWII. Then the Soviet threat, which was a real threat. Now it seems to have reached some kind of critical mass. And some of it is necessary. I don't like the EPA for instance, but I don't want the turds from Kamiah floating down the Clearwater River again, nor the mill dumping waste in the the river either, as it used to do. The problem is, as with all agencies, they end up going too far, far too often. And this spooking around crap is totally out of control.

  12. Target Harry: Fear of revenge strike on prince after claims he killed Taliban chief
    23 Dec 2012 23:10

    Now they'll try even harder: Prince Harry and his comrades are said to have unleashed a Hellfire missile to eliminate terror chief after tracking him in war-torn Helmand province

    Harry got his spunk from his mother. The other prince too.

    Grandfather always said, vat ve ned ist goot King.

    England shall rise again!!

  13. Replies
    1. Was just going to post that. There must be some mistake. Crapo is a Mormon and they don't drink. Some kind of set up going on here. :)

      December 23, 2012
      Obama and Bush Eulogies: The Grotesque and the Graceful
      Thomas Lifson

      President Obama has a very serious ego problem, and when he goes off teleprompter, it sticks out like a sore thumb. His eulogy for Senator Inouye on Friday was grotesque in its focus on the speaker, not the dearly departed.

      Unsurprisingly, President George W. Bush delivered a graceful eulogy for Gerald R. Ford's funeral, a model from which his successor should, but will not, learn. As David Paulin points out:

      A great funeral eulogy and not a single mention of "I" or "me" by President Bush. He says "us" and "we" at two points, both only in respect to the American people. Bush's speech is devoted entirely to Ford's life, character, and public service -- and he provides wonderful anecdotes that brings these things to life.

      Did you catch The One's eulogy to himself, Rufus? Quite a work of nausea.

      I think the guy is actually insane. It's unarguable that he is threat to the Republic. He has this Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and it is a true disorder. It is impossible for him to show real empathy, he only fakes it once in a while for the politics of it.

      He condemned that child who survived the abortion to the Comfort Care room as if he were talking about a trash can of garbage, or a toenail clipping. He needs an 'intervention'. He needs an impeachment hearing. We need a new Speaker who is up to the job.

    2. No, I don't normally search out eulogies of those I don't know (or, that I do know.)

      I could care less about his "personality," whatever that might be. I'm interested in what he's trying to do to get us out of this mess that the "graceful, eloquent Bush" got us into.

    3. Your usual nonsense. Bush was never in Congress. Congress, mostly the democrats, got us into the mess. Bush warned against it. Eight times.

      Because you repeat something endlessly doesn't make it true, nor even impress, O Rufus.

    4. You may not care about his personality, but the child in the comfort room would have, and the Ambassador and the others killed because of his narcissism and desire to guard his stupid 'campaign narrative'. He left them TO DIE.

      Like another 'bump in the road'.

    5. It is being reported here locally that Crapo had been drinking Five Wives Vodka

      which has been banned in Idaho and was smuggled in for him by the Senate Democratic secret paramilitary force and intelligence unit from Ogden, Utah, where it is distilled, and which he had mistakenly been led to believe was a male performance enhancer.

      It is a sad story of a good man trying to be 'better' to his family of wives and being led astray by 'democratic operatives'.

    6. Rufus, Five Wives can be ordered online, if you need your performance enhanced, here -

  14. Arguing about who started the war is a diversion from the fact that Lincoln abused the Constitution like no other.

    1. Arguing about all this is like arguing that slavery is not a true abomination. It has no place in a nation dedicated to freedom and the rule of law, not the rule of men, and not the rule of men over other men. Where another man, woman or child is not a human being but an instrument, a tool, like a hoe or plow, to be thrown away when useless.

    2. If you bother to take the time, look at the link at the bottom of the post. It will take you to the actual Lincoln text in the e-book. Read on more a paragraph or two about Lincoln’s ideas on useful labor and useless labor. Cite me exactly which words and ideas are the works of a great man

    3. I admit that much of it seems a little convoluted and lacking in great words and ideas.

      My question on labor was more along the line of creative ideas are labor,etc. particularly today.

      Anyway I don't see it touching the issue of using another human being as a beast of burden, to be beaten to death for disobedience, or on a whim. This seems to me an issue beyond economics or labor. It is denying another person the humanity one values so highly for oneself. It also makes one chained to the slave so both are in chains, one more tightly bound than another. Who would really want to have a slave these days, other than democratic politicians?

  15. Slavery was an abomination everywhere. It also ended everywhere peacefully, except in the United States under the misrule of Lincoln. Were Americans uniquely violent and inept and so lacking in the arts of government that 600,000 Americans had to die and millions more had to suffer to do what was done everywhere else without such violence and domestic terror?

    Or did the buck stop at the desk of a disaster of an evil or inept politician?

    Lincoln was a disaster as bad and worse than any other US president living and dead. To argue that the ends justifies the means puts one in a position of having to defend some of the most evil bastards in history. Why do we glorify such men and vilify others when there is not a spit of difference between the character of any of them?

  16. In the continuing to be helpful department, here we go again

    U.S. Africa Command, the military’s newest regional force, will have more troops available early next year as the Pentagon winds down from two ground wars over the past decade, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Army chief of staff, told The Washington Times.

    As part of Gen. Odierno’s Regionally Aligned Forces concept, about 1,200 soldiers will deploy to Africa as early as March in an effort to place troops strategically around the globe to respond quickly to sudden challenges in hot spots such as Libya and to develop ties with the people and officials in host countries.

    “It’s about us moving towards a scalable, tailorable capability that helps them to shape the environment they’re working in, doing a variety of tasks from building partner capability to engagement, to multilateral training to bilateral training to actual deployment of forces, if necessary,” Gen. Odierno said in an interview.

    Amid budget cuts and with President Obama’s new military strategy downplaying the chances of another major land war, the Army has sought to maintain its relevance among admirals and generals in the Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa — likely places for the next flash point. When terrorists attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, no U.S. troops were close enough to help.

    1. Well, Deuce, on Lincoln we'll just have to agree to disagree. I blame the South; you blame Lincoln. Whatever, the deed is done. C'est la Guerre.

      As for his "pro-protectionist" argument, that's still going on today, isn't it? And, once again, the answer has to lie somewhere in the middle.

      And, as for N. Africa, well, as Gomer would say, "Suprize, Suprize," they seem to be finding a little oil over there. Whodathunkit?

    2. But, the Northern States, with more votes in Congress, were beating the Southern states to death with the "Abominable Tariffs."

      They were placing a heave "Export" Tariff on the South's Cotton (virtually, forcing the south to sell their cotton in the North, and not Europe,)

      And, placing heavy "Import" Tariffs on the Industrial Goods from england, forcing the farmers to buy from the Northern Factories at higher prices than they would have otherwise been able to buy the same goods from England, and the rest of Europe.

      This had the Southerners in a foul mood even before the subject of slavery came up.

  17. The thousand mark of advisors has a universal appeal to US politicians. Eisenhower has the distinction of beginning our involvement in the three wars in Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos with his initial introduction of 900 advisors By the time Kennedy was shot in 1963, there were 16,000 American military personnel in South Vietnam and good old big spending, LBJ liked clips of 50,000 and went big time to 555,000. No US president has ever had the distinction of serving in office while getting more US citizens slaughtered than Lincoln.

    1. I think Ike wouldn't have gone much further, but can't prove it. But he did say they don't want us over there, and that we shouldn't get in a land war in Asia, and to beware the military/industrial complex.

      I'd be happy to have Ike around today. He wouldn't be actively supporting the MB, even though he did say 'people need some religion and I don't care what it is', which often provoked laughter among my atheist cousins and agnostic uncle at the time.

      They, also, to be fair, mocked to no end all the time he spent on golf links.

      "He doesn't ever do anything" was the complaint, which I take to high praise.

  18. 150 YEARS AGO: Colonel disparages congressmen in letter to Lincoln
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

    ST. LOUIS — U.S. Reps. James Rollins of Columbia and William Hall of Randolph County "were elected by the votes of disloyal men," and their word should be given little weight in determining policy in Missouri, Col. Franklin Dick wrote to President Abraham Lincoln.

    Dick sent a letter to Lincoln in response to Maj. Gen. Samuel Curtis' suggestion that he explain the military and political condition of the state for the president. Lincoln and Curtis had again exchanged telegrams on the issue of loosening martial law.

    "Hon. W.A. Hall, member of Congress here, tells me, and Governor Gamble telegraphs me, that quiet can be maintained in all the counties north of the Missouri River by the Enrolled Militia," Lincoln telegraphed to Curtis. "Confer with Governor Gamble and telegraph me."

    The enrolled militia was not reliable, only skeleton formations of Federal troops were patrolling north of the river and Gamble was not in St. Louis to confer with, Curtis replied.

    Dick, the brother-in-law of U.S. Rep. Frank Blair, had more sway over the fate of accused rebel prisoners than almost any man in Missouri except for his commander. The danger from a rebel takeover of Missouri was as greater or greater than ever, Dick wrote.
    "Appeals and representations to the contrary may be made by Major Rollins, and Judge Hall, and other gentlemen who live in the worst part of the state — but those gentlemen are not regarded in Missouri as fair representatives of the Union men, who uphold the government…" Dick wrote. "I make these statements, not from a desire to injure them, for I esteem them both as gentlemen; but that their dependence upon disloyal men may be known."

    The effort to suppress the disloyal people of Missouri needed to be escalated, not reduced, Dick wrote. “T/o remove military supremacy, will be to let loose these evil doers again, upon true Union men.”

  19. Your criticisms of Lincoln only scratch the surface of his imperious nature of the man.

    Lincoln and his generals (e.g., Burnside) imprisoned newspaper editors who criticized him, and shut down or even destroyed their presses.

    Whether states had a right to secede is a matter that should have been debated in the press rather than settled by force of arms.

    Madison didn't invade the New England states talking secession after the War of 1812. Madison, not Lincoln, was principled.

    If Lincoln had lived, how much would the postwar mess have tarnished our understanding of him?

    1. One more time, The Confederacy attacked Fort Sumter (less than a month after Lincoln's inauguration,) Lincoln didn't attack the South.

      They were going to secede, kiddos. If you think they should have been allowed to, well, that's open for opinion,

      but, the Fact is, Lincoln did Not attack the South.

    2. If Lincoln had lived, how much would the postwar mess have tarnished our understanding of him?

      There's a good question. And an argument for some people sometimes to thank God for martyrdom.

  20. Green Room
    Video: Meet the woman who got fired for being irresistible

    “Dr. Knight acknowledges he once told Nelson that if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing,” the justices wrote.


    An odd situation, to be sure.....

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