“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, February 11, 2013

Who cares headline of the day: “As many as 1,000 Secret Service agents, officers and workers could be furloughed as Homeland Security prepares for sequestration."

This video was made three years ago:


  1. oh but the real tragedy will be those Heroes in the military suffering from budget cuts! The nation risks being left DEFENSELESS!!



    2. yeah, they are going to have to park one of the Carrier groups, or so some say.

    3. Hard choices!! - Park a carrier group or tax the rich ;)

    4. Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower subcommittee released a statement denouncing the need for decision.

      Forbes called the delay, “another example of how these reckless and irresponsible defense cuts in Washington will have a long-term impact on the Navy’s ability to perform its missions. Not only will the Lincoln be delayed in returning to the Fleet, but this decision will also affect the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) defueling, the USS George Washington (CVN-73) RCOH, and future carrier readiness.”

    5. oh, the horror, the horror!

    6. Secret Service agents, officers and workers we can do without, but it does seem prudent to have a working Navy. Since we are surrounded by oceans. And Canada can't defend itself. Which is surrounded by oceans too.

    7. .

      Military bands.

      Total: 154

      Cost: $320 million per year. (Estimated to cost $50 billion over the next 50 years.)

      Seems like $320 million would pay for a lot of fuel.


  2. Those who think the Federal Government is too big are seen as enemies by many who believe in Big Government. Enemies!

    Washington, D.C. is corrupt and corrupting. As Steve Forbes prescribed, we must "starve the beast." But how does one do battle against Babylon? How do we effect change against such a formidable machine? Is John Galt the example? Do we call for a National Strike?

    Can we divorce ourselves from their system?

    1. Cut the military budget hard, starve that hungry beast, right!?

    2. DOD to extend benefits to same-sex partners...drudge

      We could fuel the carriers, and quit using the military as a sociology experiment.....

      But, but, that would be.......

    3. heck, to keep the carriers refueled, why not take away everyones benefits?

  3. Paolo Gabriele for Pope, the only honest man in Vatican City.

    1. Or one of the black cardinals. Shore up Africa against the muslim advance.

  4. Graham To Block Hagel, Brennan Nominations Without Benghazi Answers...drudge



    1. Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote in Urgent National Poll.
      Home | News Feed

      Tags: Barack Obama | Graham | Confirmation | Brennan | Hagel
      Sen. Graham Vows to Block Confirmation of Brennan, Hagel

      Sunday, 10 Feb 2013 12:05 PM

      By Amy Woods

      Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” he will block the confirmation of both John Brennan and Chuck Hagel until President Barack Obama explains his actions the night four Americans were killed in Benghazi, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

      “No confirmation without information,” Graham told host Bob Schieffer. “I don’t think we should allow Brennan to go forward for the CIA directorship, or Hagel to be confirmed for secretary of defense, until the White House gives us an accounting.”

      The South Carolina Republican chastised the administration for “complete system failure” in response to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2012.

      “I don’t know what the president did that evening,” Graham said. “I don’t know if he ever called anyone. This was incredibly mismanaged, and what we know now, it seems to be a very disengaged president. What did he do that night? That’s not unfair.”

      Graham also criticized then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

      “When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she had a clear-eyed assessment of the threats in Libya, that proved, after this hearing, not to be true,” he said. “She was blind. The president was just disengaged and the Department of Defense never launched one airplane to help these folks for seven-and-a-half hours. This is complete system failure, and I’m going to get to the bottom of it.”

    2. .

      I share the disgust over the lack of accountability over Benghazi. Worse is the fact that that as a result of Benghazi nothing in evidence has changed.

      That being said, the Benghazi scandal is small potatoes to the real the real issue that Graham should be emphasizing, the extraconstituional actions of the executive.

      In the 80's, the world condemned as acts against humanity and/or war crimes, the 'disappearances' that took place in South America under military regimes. These consisted of 30,000 of people just disappearing with no explanation, no court process, no indictments, no trials, not even any explanations. Eventually, because of universal condemnation the process was halted and many of the people who were disappeared were offered restitution in amounts up to $200,000, quite a bit to an Argentinian in the 80's.

      Now in this country, in the name of some amorphous enemy, the executive claims the right to execute anyone even American citizens on the basis of the opinion of high-ranking "informed" persons without the need for warrant, review, indictment, or trial. And those judged guilty are done so on the basis of affiliations only vaguely defined and never substantiated. Anyone can be defined as a terrorist if he is of military age and is in the general vicinity of a US attack. And if he is not of military age? Simple, don't acknowledge the attack.

      Papers all over the world, enemies and allies alike, are starting to not only question the US policy but also to condemn it. Here we get only muted protestations from a feeble MSM who when not justifying the policy merely go along to get along.

      And what other recourse do we have? Little. For the administration, while pointing out all the reasons for its assassinations and contracting lawyers to write papers justifying the practice on legal grounds, refuse to present those papers or to even admit officially that they actually committed the assassinations; thereby, preventing lawsuits that would eventually halt these practices.

      The victims, including the innocent children that are killed?

      In effect, the victims merely "disappear".

      That is what Graham should be railing against. Compared to that, Benghazi is small potatoes.


    3. Drone violence is not only immoral, it is counterproductive. Drone operations require a fair amount of intelligence and infrastructure support from local governments and populations. This support will evaporate with increased anti-American sentiment. So, supporters of the drone policy ought to consider self-restraint even if they are ambivalent about the morality.

There are ironic features of this weapon in that through disinformation, foreign agents could be using the US war machine to settle old scores by making false claims about certain individuals being terrorists. Who verifies the accuracy of the reports and how are they verified? Would Turkish, Iraqi or Israeli source-agents be considered equally?

      They could be enticing decision-makers into strategies that are not viable in the long-term. Of course we expect to hear about “American interests” when the thinking starts to hurt.
      The ever squishy “American Interests!”

      American interests in the Middle East include propping up monarchies in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states, thuggish regimes in Mubarak Egypt and Israel or any government that the US finds useful. These are all American interests and warrant a violent American response if threatened.

      Of course people trying to overthrow these oppressive regimes become “Unlawful Enemy Combatants”. People denouncing oppressive governments and advocating their replacement become “Unlawful Enemy Combatants”. People supporting such “Unlawful Enemy Combatants” such as taxi drivers, family members, neighbors, etc, also become “Unlawful Enemy Combatants”.

      War creates a moral swamp where such logic starts to make sense. We not only need to fight such logic we also need to end the reflexive reliance on war.

    4. American interests in the Middle East include propping up monarchies in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states, thuggish regimes in Mubarak Egypt and Israel or any government that the US finds useful. These are all American interests and warrant a violent American response if threatened.

      This is really confused, but agree with Quirk's main line above. Elect a republican Senate, might even be able to impeach the guy.

  5. .

    As I recall, sequestration would result in 'cuts' (D.C. speak for a slow down of the rate of increases) of about $2.4 trillion over ten years.

    Over the same 10 years they plan on adding $6 trillion in new spending.

    There is no such thing as a "cut", as any normal person would define a cut, in D.C.


    1. Amen.
      Yet most politicians and "Newspeople" refuse to aknowledge that fact.

      (what percent of the adult population knows it?)

      Would a single Democrat admit it?

      Does Ash aknowledge it?

    2. Cut that military, cut her down good, and raise taxes and maybe, just maybe, that deficit will shrink!

      Sure I acknowledge it!

  6. .

    A thousand intelligence agents?

    Big whooping deal.

    The WaPo reports,

    the publicly announced cost of the U.S. intelligence system is "$75 billion, 2½ times the size it was on Sept. 10, 2001. But the figure doesn't include many military activities or domestic counterterrorism programs."


    They have almost 900,000 of which about 30% are contract employees.

    Homeland Security?

    An homage to bureaucratic growth and incompetency. The agency encompasses 16 separate agencies and was supposed to coordinate their efforts and take down smokestacks. In truth, it does neither. It merely adds another level of redundancy and bureaucratic drag.

    The loss of a 1000 agents should only make things move, albeit minusculy, better.


  7. Maybe Quirk will begin to take a liking to American Thinker as they are on the same page on this -

    Two revelatory pieces of news hit Washington last week. The first was a Justice Department "White Paper" that outlined which people the Executive Branch can kill without recourse to courts or review by Congress. The second was Leon Panetta's "exit interview" with the Senate Armed Services Committee, in which he shed light on management -- or lack thereof -- in the Benghazi debacle.

    One presents a president killing -- including American citizens -- to dispense justice as he sees fit, the other a president absent while someone else was killing Americans abroad.

    February 11, 2013
    What Happens When the Government Tells the Truth
    Shoshana Bryen

  8. Shep is on his way to Rome to get to the bottom of things, which are not as they seem.

    1. Lightning hits St Peter's hours after Pope resignation...drudge

      No, not as they seem.

    2. Photo of lightning strike here -

    3. Complete surprise: Several cardinals did not even understand what Benedict had said during the consistory and those who did were stunned, a Vatican spokesman said

    4. The Pontiff, who was known as 'God's rottweiler' because of his stern stand on theological issues, will then retire to the Pope's summer residence near Rome before returning to the Vatican to spend the rest of his life in cloistered accommodation.

    5. Benedict also served in the Hitler Youth during World War Two. Although membership was compulsory at the time, the issue dogged him through the early years of his papacy.

      Throughout his career, he has also been viewed as a deeply conservative man who had headed up the Church's modern-day Inquisition.

      I have it in for him because he put Edward Schillebeeckx and Hans Kung on the banned book list.

      'The New Inquisition? The Case of Edward Schillebeeckx and Hans Kung'

      $1.43 used from Amazon for those interested.

    6. Odds on new Pope -

      Within minutes of Pope Benedict's announcement, speculation was rife about who would replace him.

      There are several papal contenders in the wings, but no obvious front-runner - the same situation when Benedict was elected pontiff in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II.

      However, cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson has emerged as the early favourite, with Paddy Power offering odds of 9/4, closely followed by Canadian Marc Ouellet at 5/2.

      Here, MailOnline looks those in contention, their odds and some of their strongly held beliefs.
      Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana

      9/4 Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, 64

      Country: Ghana Cardinal in the Ghanaian Catholic Church

      Elevated to cardlinalate by Pope John Paul II

      Significant views: Would like to see a black pope. Believes condoms should be used in marriage if one partner is infected with Aids.
      Marc Ouellet

      5/2 Cardinal Marc Ouellet, 68

      Country: Canada

      Elevated to the cardinalate by Pope John Paul II

      Significant views: Belief that abortion is unjustifiable, even in cases of rape

      Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze

      7/2 Cardinal Francis Arinze, 80

      Country: Nigeria

      Elevated to cardlinalate by Pope John Paul II

      Significant views: Extreme conservatism on birth control and abortion

      Cardinal Angelo Scola

      7/1 Cardinal Angelo Scola, 71

      Country: Italy

      Elevated to become Archbishop of Milan by Benedict XVI

      Significant views: Wants to work more closely with Islam and support Christians in the Middle East
      Honduran cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga

      10/1 Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, 70

      Country: Honduras

      Elevated to cardinalate by Pope John Paul II

      Significant views: A moderate but is anti-abortion and criticised Ricky Martin for using a surrogate mother
      Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone

      12/1 Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, 78

      Country: Italy

      Elevated to cardinalate by Pope John Paul II

      Significant views: Blamed homosexual infiltration of the clergy for Catholic child sex scandals
      Angelo Bagnasco

      14/1 Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, 70

      Country: Italy

      Elevated to cardinalate by Pope Benedict XVI

      Significant views: Strongly against abortion and expressed anger towards same-sex unions
      Argentina's cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio

      16/1 Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 77

      Country: Argentina

      Elevated to cardinalate by John Paul II

      Significant views: Against abortion and euthanasia, is against same-sex marriage but calls for respect of gay people. Washed the feet of 12 Aids patients in 2001.

      Vatican's deputy secretary of state, Argentinian Archbishop Leonardo Sandri

      20/1 Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, 69

      Country: Argentina

      Elevated to cardinalate by Benedict XVI

      Significant views: Said Christians in Iraq under Saddam Hussein were more free than they are now
      Christoph von Schonborn

      25/1 Cardinal Christoph von Schonborn, 68

      Country: Austria

      Elevated to cardinalate by John Paul II

      Significant views: Said use of a condom by an Aids sufferer could be seen as a 'lesser evil'.

    7. .

      I like the young guy from Manila.


    8. 10 bones on the Cardinal from Canada.

    9. I'll take that. No base of support.

  9. It's none of my affair but I like the fellow from Ghana.

  10. Here is the inside scoop from an unimpeachable source -

    'Final pope' authors predicted Benedict would resign

    Looks to be either the Peter the African or Pietra from Romano, and the End of the World draws nigh.

    Place your bets, and spend your winnings quickly.