“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 10, 2013

President Obama told Ohio State students at graduation ceremonies last week that they should not question authority and they should reject the calls of those who do. He argued that "our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule" has been so successful that trusting the government is the same as trusting ourselves; hence, challenging the government is the same as challenging ourselves. And he blasted those who incessantly warn of government tyranny.

Why All of Us Should Mistrust the Government
Andrew Napolitano | May 9, 2013
It should come as no surprise that President Obama told Ohio State students at graduation ceremonies last week that they should not question authority and they should reject the calls of those who do. He argued that "our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule" has been so successful that trusting the government is the same as trusting ourselves; hence, challenging the government is the same as challenging ourselves. And he blasted those who incessantly warn of government tyranny.
Yet, mistrust of government is as old as America itself. America was born out of mistrust of government. The revolution that was fought in the 1770s and 1780s was actually won in the minds of colonists in the mid-1760s when the British imposed the Stamp Act and used writs of assistance to enforce it. The Stamp Act required all persons in the colonies to have government-sold stamps on all documents in their possession, and writs of assistance permitted search warrants written by British troops in which they authorized themselves to enter private homes ostensibly to look for the stamps.
These two pieces of legislation were so unpopular here that Parliament actually rescinded the Stamp Act, and the king's ministers reduced the use of soldier-written search warrants. But the searches for the stamps turned the tide of colonial opinion irreversibly against the king.
The same king also prosecuted his political adversaries in Great Britain and here for what he called "seditious libel" -- basically, criticizing the government. Often that criticism spread and led to civil disobedience, so the British sought to punish it at its source. The prosecutions were so unpopular here, and so contrary to the spirit of what would become the Declaration of Independence, that when the British went home and the Framers wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights was added, the First Amendment assured that the new government could not punish speech.
Yet barely 10 years into "our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule," in the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts, Congress at the instigation of President John Adams criminalized free speech that was critical of the new government.
How did it come about that members of the same generation -- in some cases the very same human beings -- that declared in the First Amendment that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech" in fact enacted laws that did just that?
As morally wrong, as violative of the natural law, as unconstitutional as these laws were, they were not historical incongruities. Thomas Jefferson -- who opposed and condemned the acts (he was Adams' vice president at the time) -- warned that it is the nature of government over time to increase and of liberty to decrease. And that's why we should not trust government. In the same era, James Madison himself agreed when he wrote, "All men having power should be distrusted to a certain degree."
The Alien and Sedition Acts were but the beginning of a long train of government abuses visited upon people in America as a consequence of the "experiment in self-rule." I am not quoting Obama's Ohio State speech to nitpick, but rather to establish a base line for my argument that he rejects core principles and historical lessons and, most troubling, the natural law itself when he opines that government should be trusted because it has gained power via self-rule.
Self-rule alone is hardly a basis for governmental legitimacy, unless it is accompanied by fidelity to the natural law and to the rule of law. The rule of law here means fidelity to the Constitution, that all laws are just and apply to everyone, so no one is excused from obeying the laws and no one is excluded from their protections. Yet, self-rule here has been unjust and has brought us the tyranny of the majority. And that tyranny has brought us slavery, unjust wars, Jim Crow laws, domestic concentration camps in wartime, slaughter of babies in the womb, domestic spying without search warrants, torture and death by drones -- just to name a few.
The reason Obama likes government and the reason it is "a dangerous fire," as George Washington warned, and the reason I have been warning against government tyranny in my public work is all the same: The government rejects the natural law because it is an obstacle to its control over us. The natural law is divinely embedded in our souls. It is manifested by the universal yearning for freedom and justice. It consists of areas of human behavior -- thought, expression, religion, self-defense, travel, acquisition and use of property, privacy, for example -- in which our behavior is subject only to the exercise of our free will and not the permission of our neighbors or regulation by the government. The natural law, properly understood, is a restraint on the government.
Government in America -- whether it consists of Congress protecting the slave trade, or John Adams or Abraham Lincoln or Woodrow Wilson prosecuting political speech, or FDR incarcerating Japanese-Americans, or George W. Bush promising immunity for torturers and domestic warrantless spies, or Obama killing whomever he chooses with drones -- has never hesitated to reject the natural law. All of these violations of the natural law were approved by the majority when undertaken. The government's persistent and systematic rejection of the natural law is alone sufficient to mistrust government and reject Obama's Ohio State advice.
The government that has come about by self-rule derives its powers from the consent of the governed. Because the tyranny of the majority can be as dangerous to freedom as the tyranny of a madman, all use of governmental power should be challenged and questioned. Government is essentially the negation of liberty. If we fail to challenge government at every turn, there will be no liberty remaining for us to defend when the government tries to negate it.


  1. Replies
    1. Don't worry, I'm past counting.


      I do have an article on your topic above that I will post below when I find it.

  2. I will continue to criticize what I know to be wrong including support for this kind of individual injustice, regardless of who does it:

    AFP - Jerusalem police on Friday arrested five ultra-Orthodox Jewish men trying to disrupt landmark prayers by female Jewish activists at the Western Wall plaza in the Holy City.

    Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that 1,000 ultra-Orthodox men were being kept away from dozens of "Women of the Wall" activists conducting their monthly prayer using prayer shawls, after a court ruled they could do so.

    "Until now five men have been arrested for public disturbances," Rosenfeld said.

    Ultra-Orthodox men tried to break through police lines and reach the women, some of them throwing water and bags of rubbish at the police and women.

    The women activists have for more than 20 years demanded to be allowed to pray using their form of liberal Judaism at the site, while wearing fringed prayer shawls and other religion-related objects and reading from Torah scrolls.

    But police, acting under court orders, would distance and detain them for conduct considered "provocative" to ultra-Orthodox believers, some of whom would accost the women, creating disturbances.

    1. yeah like the above stories COMPARES to the injustices in the below story?

      100,000 murdered in Syria, 1 million homeless. Abortion Doctors in America snipping spinal cords of live births, Women kidnapped for a decade in Cleveland raped and beaten

      But Injustice will be fought HERE!!!!!

    2. If woman had equal right everywhere, radical jihadism would be impossible.

    3. On your general point we agree.

    4. Then start with Islam.

      The "women of the wall" are not about "equal rights" but are about dressing as men and doing male obligations. If women dressed as Priests and demanded and pushed their way into a Mass would it be news and would you be saying it's about equal rights?

      I doubt it.

      Maybe if you spent 1% on your time about women in rest of the world besides Israel and the Jewish community and see the BILLION women who have literally NO rights, are forced to have their genitals mutilated, denied driving rights, the right NOT to marry, the right to control their bodies 1st you'd have SOME legitimacy on this issue.

    5. Maybe MEN should where dresses and try to take over Women's Study Programs?

      Is that equal rights?

      How about White men in Black face storming into NAACP meeting demanding they be recognized?

      Equal rights?

    6. But quot ...

      The US is subsidizing Israeli injustice.

      We do not send the Syrian government a dime.

      If the Israeli were not in the US with their hands out, looking for gifts, loans and free stuff from Uncle Sugar, well, we'd not give a shit about Israeli injustice, either.

      When you are first in line for the free stuff, well, get ready for criticism.
      We hardly ever speak of Rhodesia, either. Not because we approve of what happens there, but because it is not done in our name, on our dime.

  3. In a small house on a hill overlooking Lake Kivu, a young Congolese soldier recounts the crimes he and his comrades committed in Minova a few months ago. "Twenty-five of us gathered together and said we should rape 10 women each, and we did it," he said. "I've raped 53 women. And children of five or six years old.

    "I didn't rape because I am angry, but because it gave us a lot of pleasure," says 22-year-old Mateso (not his real name). "When we arrived here we met a lot of women. We could do whatever we wanted."

    As William Hague unveiled a sexual violence prevention strategy at a meeting of G8 foreign ministers in London this week, what happened in Minova is a stark reminder of the huge challenges facing those seeking to solve the problem of rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo .

    On 22 November last year thousands of exhausted, battered and bruised Congolese army troops descended on the town having just lost a battle with the rebel M23 fighters in Goma, the main city in eastern Congo some 30 miles away.

    Their retreat was haphazard and chaotic. The soldiers were embarrassed, angry, upset and out of control; their commanders had disappeared and the battalion and regiment structures had disintegrated.

    When they arrived in Minova they were drunk, hungry and violent. The locals suffered two nightmarish days of looting, rape and murder before the army restored some discipline among its troops.

    Hundreds of women were raped. It is impossible to accurately state the number of cases as victims often fail to come forward, fearing that their communities and even their husbands will reject them, but hospital director Dr Ghislain Kassongo said he dealt with well over 100 women with rape-related injuries after the army rampage.

  4. Observers hope a successful investigation can make Minova a watershed moment in the construction of a functioning justice system in eastern Congo. "Minova is at the centre of something, as far as justice is concerned in the DRC," says Charles Guy Makongo of the American Bar Association in Goma. "That the investigation is already ongoing is good. But the trials and certainly the convictions will change several things in the justice sector, in the fight against impunity and the process of building the rule of law in the DRC."

    To date there have been few concrete developments. Military justice personnel told the Guardian they did not want to be involved in the case if it would lead to charges against officers, as they feared a backlash from powerful army figures. So far only three soldiers have been arrested – a sub-lieutenant, a corporal and a South Kivu-based soldier of no rank.

    "If justice is done, this might stop the soldiers raping," says Chibalonza. "I will go wherever I need to go to in order to testify against these men because what they did to me was so awful. If they are punished I do feel justice will have been delivered."

    Until significant arrests are made, however the women of Minova remain sceptical that justice will be done or that impunity will end. "The government says it will arrest these soldiers and officers," says the head of the victim refuge centre, who wishes to remain anonymous. "They may arrest some, but then later they will just set them free again." Unfortunately it is the gloomy predictions of the sceptics that have so far proved correct

  5. Today's offering from Jihad Watch -

    Canada jihadists considered poisoning air and water to murder up to 100,000 people

    May 09, 2013 06:27 pm | Robert

    Plotting mass murder on a huge scale for their bloodthirsty god. "Via suspects discussed alternative plans to poison air/water to kill up to 100,000 people: Court docs," by Jessica Murphy for the Toronto Sun, May 9 (thanks to Santos): WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two of the Via Rail terror suspects allegedly...

    read more

    Like Canada jihadists considered poisoning air and water to murder up to 100,000 people on Facebook Google Plus One Button share on Twitter

    Indonesia: Seven dead in raids on jihad terror cells

    May 09, 2013 06:10 pm | Robert

    They were amassing weapons and ammunition, and clearly preparing for a very severe interior spiritual struggle. "Seven dead in Indonesian terror raids," by Michael Bachelard for The Sydney Morning Herald, May 9 (thanks to Kenneth): THE death toll from the latest anti-terror raids in Indonesia has risen to seven after...

    read more

    Like Indonesia: Seven dead in raids on jihad terror cells on Facebook Google Plus One Button share on Twitter

    Qaradawi in Gaza: "This land has never once been a Jewish land. Palestine is for the Arab Islamic nation."

    May 09, 2013 05:01 pm | Robert

    This deeply antisemitic revisionist history is no surprise. The most prominent and respected Muslim sheikh in the world, Qaradawi has said on al-Jazeera: “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of...

    read more

    Like Qaradawi in Gaza: "This land has never once been a Jewish land. Palestine is for the Arab Islamic nation." on Facebook Google Plus One Button share on Twitter

    "Moderate" "Palestinian" official: "I swear that if we had a nuke, we'd have used it this very morning"

    May 09, 2013 08:23 am | Robert

    Note that these are "moderate" PA officials -- members of Abbas's government -- the one that Obama tells the Israelis is a true partner for peace. "Senior PA official praises murderer and another official swears: 'If we had a nuke, we'd have used it this very morning,'" by Itamar...

  6. Here it is - worst commencement address in American history -

    May 10, 2013
    Obama's Demeaning Commencement Address
    By Janice Shaw Crouse

    >As someone with a doctorate in communication theory who spent years analyzing presidential speeches and studying political rhetoric, I've never seen a presidential speech that was more repulsively self-centered and insidiously self-serving; nor has a previous president operated in campaign mode so unrelentingly throughout his presidency, regardless of the occasion or circumstances.

    Sadly, pathetically, Mr. Obama seems to really believe that anyone who opposes his agenda is un-American, and he continues to blame everyone but himself for his failures and for the multiple crises we face. His rhetoric is designed to stir up voters' emotions and mobilize them for the radical agenda in the community organizing campaign that is his presidency.<

    Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D., a former Presidential Speech Writer for President George H. W. Bush, is now Senior Fellow for Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute.

    From the damnable rag American Thinker, but I think it is a very good article.

    This is more or less how I view it -


    I will translate his speech: sacrifice, give, share, hate those who think differently than me--I mean you, hate hard work, sacrifice your youth, live the "American Nightmare," sacrifice your twenties and thirties for ME. Obama wants young people to reject common sense, planning for the future, logic, reason, and rational thought. Obama is scum. He wants slaves. He wants young people to "worship" him. He wants young people to "follow" him--off a fiscal cliff. Obama wants zombies who stop thinking in their best interest, and only think of his best interest.<

  7. Non-hydro Renewables in California continue to run in the 18% to 20% range.

    Not bad for the World's 10th largest economy

    1. Can you rap that news?

      Yo! non Hydro! Newables Cali dey runnin' fine, at this time, 18 ta 20 dat's da range, we need da change.....Yo! NonHydro! Newables dey runnin' fine....

    2. .


      Good stuff, Bob, very good.


    3. .

      Rather than let this good idea drop on this particular stream, I would suggest we continue it.

      If you want we could do another one on another subject next week. Not a contest, more a collaboration in honor of my new favorite band Rage Against the Machine.

      I would suggest we both come up with a set of lyrics. Timing? Say, a week from today, Friday, May 17. At noon.

      First subject? Take it from this Stream. The obvious choice, Obama.


    4. .

      Unless, since it was your idea, you want to continue it on your own, which is also fine.


    5. .

      However, if you choose not to it at all, I will likely steel your idea and do it myself. I am already thinking up lyrics that would fit Obama.


    6. .

      I might also steal your idea.


  8. Andrew Napolitano is a wonderful man.

    He said:

    >The Second Amendment is not about shooting deer. It is about shooting tyrants.<

    Exact quote, will always remember it.

    All together now: The Second Amendment is not about shooting deer. It is about shooting tyrants.

    I truly hope it never comes to that, but that is what it is about. Our old documents are really quite something.

  9. Question of the Day:

    Should gay Mexican immigrants applying for citizenship be able to bring in their gay partners?

    1. Meanwhile -

      Boehner, McConnell refuse to appoint members to 'death panel' to Obamacare... Drudge

      What a country.

  10. I’ve also been meditating on the similar matter personally lately. Pleased to see an individual on the same wavelength! Nice article.

  11. Partners For Peace :(

    >"I swear that if we had a nuke, we'd have used it this very morning."

    Jibril Rajoub is the Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee and Chairman of the PA Olympic Committee. The interview was broadcast on the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV channel and also published on Rajoub's Facebook page on May 2, 2013.

    Senior PA officials often state that avoiding violent confrontation or war with Israel is only temporarily, due to the PA's inability to take on such a conflict. They claim that negotiations with Israel are the right course of action for now, because conditions are not right for violence....<

    "Moderate" "Palestinian" official: "I swear that if we had a nuke, we'd have used it this very morning"