“This site is dedicated to preying on peoples vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.”

Friday, February 20, 2009

The UK and US are giving up Freedom with Hardly a Protest.


The erosion of civil liberties in the UK and in the US is past the concern phase and is getting frightening to most civil libertarians. Personally I am alarmed at how docile most Americans are about the subject. We have acquiesced to allowing corporations to maintain dossiers on every aspect of our lives.

Why do we accept that three major rating agencies can maintain all of our private affairs on databases and sell them to all comers for a pittance? In the not too distant past an interested party would have asked for your permission to do a credit check and requested you to bring in your private papers and provide your references.

Why can a Google accumulate an eternal file on every aspect of your life? All this happened under Republicans and Democrats.

It will get worse as the Obama Administration now has the money and the law to put all your medical records in centralized data bases. What will be next?
___________________________

Revealed: the full extent of Labour's curbs on civil liberties
Audit report highlights 'permanent erosion' of freedoms since 1997


By Michael Savage, Political Correspodent Independent
Friday, 20 February

'We have lived under one of the most authoritarian ages in living memory,' says Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty

The full extent of state powers to detain people without charge, cover up Government errors, hold the DNA of the innocent and share personal data between public bodies has been revealed in a devastating analysis of the erosion of civil liberties in Britain over the past decade.

Almost 60 new powers contained in more than 25 Acts of Parliament have whittled away at freedoms and broken pledges set out in the Human Rights Act and Magna Carta, according to a new audit of laws introduced since Labour came to power in 1997. The dossier, compiled by the Convention on Modern Liberty, criticises police powers to detain terror suspects for 28 days without charge, new stop-and-search powers handed to police (allowing them to stop people without reason at airports and other designated areas), and restrictions on the right of peaceful protest.

It is the first time such a picture of the erosion of rights under Labour has been published. The rise in surveillance in Britain is also documented, including new laws allowing individuals to be electronically tagged, and the legal interception of letters, emails and phone calls.

"The right to privacy has been eroded, perhaps permanently, by broad powers to intercept, collect, store and share our private information," the dossier states.

The Coroners and Justice Bill, currently going through Parliament, is accused of seeking to hand the state the power to prevent embarrassing revelations of Government failure becoming public. Coroners are currently able to criticise the Government and any of its agencies that cause a death. But the Bill would hand the state new powers to suspend inquests, or force them into secret. It would also allow Government agencies to share personal data.

David Davis, the Conservative MP who resigned as shadow home secretary and called a by-election to campaign against what he described as the Government's growing attack on British liberties, said the measures cited in the report give hundreds of bodies the power to "snoop, spy and bug" on the public.

"It is a real, serious, systemic problem," Mr Davis said. "I cannot believe it is happening. It's up to us to make sure it is stopped."

Mr Davis said that he did not regret leaving his post as shadow Home Secretary to fight the cause "for a second". "We had to put a check on this process, dribbling away, salami slice by slice," he said. "And if I'd found a cheaper way of doing it, I would have done it more cheaply."

Henry Porter, one of the organisers of the Convention on Modern Liberty, said that there was "little doubt that there is a crisis of liberty in Britain".

"We needed an account to show the legislative programme that swept away many centuries-old rights and transferred so much power from the individual to the state actually existed," he said. "We now have that evidence [and can] oppose what is happening to one of the world's oldest democracies."

A spokesman for the Home Office said that CCTV surveillance and the use of a DNA database were "essential crime-fighting tools".

"The Government has been clear that where surveillance or data collection will impact on privacy they should only be used where it is necessary and proportionate," he said. "The key is to strike the right balance between privacy, protection and sharing of personal data."

New powers in 25 Acts have undermined civil liberties under Labour.


169 comments:

  1. The light of truth and justice can be blinding, or as dim as a single point of light.

    The Case for a Truth Commission

    By Patrick Leahy
    Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't see the problem. I want them to have my DNA, and yours, too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. For the record: My parents owned a Saab when I was a teenager.

    And my daughter's first car was the very Volvo wagon she, and her brother, grew up in.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I confess to having owned one volvo one time, but shortly there after is was an Alfa Romeo Spider veloce.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My realtor has a Volvo. Pretty good old car, he says.

    First headline from Drudge--
    Surveillance Cameras On Every Corner In Chicago

    It spooks me out, I tell ya. Eye in the sky.

    Banks of people sitting around monitors, watching, watching. And I don't have anything to hide.

    It's spooky.

    Some guy in Texas sitting at his home computer spotted something amiss and called London long distance, got the cops, and stopped whatever was going on. It's spooky.

    May have stopped a crime, but you want people WorldWide watching your every move?

    Your DNA, fingerprints, medical records, legal records, marriages, divorces, kids, traffic court, tastes, likes, dislikes, and in England even your kindergarten records spread out all over the earth.

    It's spooky, I tell ya.

    It's enough to make me consider the 'right to privacy' on which the abortion decision was based, found in our founding documents or the "penumbra" of the constitution somewhere, somewhere between The Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the last Amendment, as maybe having some merit.

    The Troy Resort, and the walled compound, holdouts of the last hour.

    But your not safe even there--Eye in the Sky.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm not kidding either. I was told a true story about the Frank Church Wilderness Area. There's even surveillance there, at times and places. Checking the floaters, checking the packbackers.

    ReplyDelete
  7. checking them packbackers :) jeez

    GoogleEarth's already implanted me

    ReplyDelete
  8. For the record: My parents owned a Saab when I was a teenager.

    We know, Trish, we know, we've known for a long time everything about you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well. The government certainly does, bob.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The first car my husband and I had when we were married was a silver Volvo P1800.

    We've owned, ah, six Volvos total. And inherited another.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Let me rephrase that: The car we had when we were first married.

    We *are* still married.

    Occasionally to the surprise of both of us.

    ReplyDelete
  12. (And I've crashed two of those Volvos. Let me tell you how safe they are.)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm not sure about the math but is a 258,000% return decent?

    http://www.kctribune.com/article.cfm?articleID=18675

    ReplyDelete
  14. Key areas have been broken on the DOW. There is a chance this is a false breakdown, we'll wait and see. The old dinosaurs are dying. This is what we need. A good mass extinction of these fscks. The Nasdaq is doing ok.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Roubini Says Europe Bank Risks Becoming ‘More Severe’ (Update2)
    Email | Print | A A A

    By Timothy R. Homan and Erik Schatzker

    Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Europe’s banking system faces growing risks because of losses in the region’s emerging markets, and the crisis may require a region-wide rescue effort, said New York University economist Nouriel Roubini.

    “The banking problem in Europe is becoming more severe,” Roubini said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “You have a series of countries that are really in trouble,” Roubini said, citing Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Belarus and Ukraine.

    German and French officials this week expressed concern about a slide in investor confidence in smaller European economies. The cost of insuring Irish, Greek and Spanish debt against default has climbed to records, and mounting losses in eastern Europe among Austrian banks sent that nation’s bond-yield premiums to an unprecedented level.

    European lenders are taking steps that could increase state control of banks as the recession deepens. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved draft legislation this week that allows for the takeover of Hypo Real Estate Holding AG, which would be the first German bank nationalization since the 1930s.

    The continent’s largest financial companies have reported $316 billion in writedowns and credit-related losses since the collapse of the U.S. subprime mortgage market in 2007 spread to other asset classes and continents. The market turmoil has forced European lenders to raise $370 billion in fresh capital and government-led bailouts from London to Zurich to Berlin, according to Bloomberg data.

    [...]

    ReplyDelete
  16. trish said...
    The first car my husband and I had when we were married was a silver Volvo P1800.

    We've owned, ah, six Volvos total. And inherited another.
    ---
    Wolcott Reader Profile!
    There was a classic Prof @ UCSB that drove a red P1800 to death.
    ...but seemed to believe he was living a permanent adolescent fantasy.
    Wish I could remember his name/our nickname.
    TELLING, VERY TELLING.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Beserkley History Grad Teacher's 544 was also red.
    ...bet he;s still single and living in Marin.

    ReplyDelete
  18. ...not Ferrari Fire Truck Red.
    Dull Swedish "Red."

    ReplyDelete
  19. "The old dinosaurs are dying. This is what we need. A good mass extinction of these fscks. The Nasdaq is doing ok."
    ---
    Are Naked Battery Shorts a Fire Hazard?
    ...our Bunny Needs to Know.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yves at nakedcapitalism.com: Citibank has ceased all lending in Denmark. This is NOT good.

    (Trying to figure out what stage of the Titanic sinking we're at.)







    Used to be, Doug, that ownnership of one or more 240 wagons was as good a "tell" as a pair of Birkenstocks. You *knew* they read Mother Jones and cheered on Greenpeace.

    My husband (who owned two of those wagons in college before he met me) just happened to be the exception to the rule. If it's possible to be BORN a Republican, well, he was born a Republican. Like the love for Volvos, it runs in his family.

    James Wolcott, were he miraculously inclined to read him, would give the poor guy the dry heaves.

    I wouldn't do that to him, so I happily foist it upon you.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Are Naked Battery Shorts a Fire Hazard?
    ==

    No. They are terrorist that must be exterminated with extreme prejudice. And I'm dead serious.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The DOW is looking very ugly. The only consolation is that we're seriously overextended to the downside, and traders took the day off today. We'll see what happens next week.

    ReplyDelete
  23. We know dear host keeps a Land Rover in Costa Rica; wonder what he keeps in Philly?

    An Alpha Romeo-type chick magnet or no?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Scary Numbers

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/121753-scary-numbers?source=yahoo

    http://snipurl.com/cbbbh

    ReplyDelete
  25. Talking Points Memo:

    Best.Correction.Ever.

    Huffington Post: "John Gibson Did Not Compare Eric Holder To Monkey With Bright Blue Scrotum."

    --David Kurtz

    ReplyDelete
  26. Deuce plays
    "The Graduate"
    ...to gushing reviews by the AARP

    ReplyDelete
  27. Does Hubby have any Scandanavian Genes?
    ...not that that's a bad tning, al-Bob, unless you don't live in Kingsburg.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hey, you laugh, but I've seen far more gentlemen of a certain age driving around, say, Audi TTs than I have younger men.




    German descent. The Volvo thing may be explained by the family's long residence in Connecticut.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Yves:

    Why the Failure to Understand the Global Financial System?

    Some readers may take issue with the headline, but bear me out.

    Within ten days of 1987 stock market crash, President Reagan established what was popularly called the Brady Commission to investigate the causes of the meltdown and recommend remedies. A little more than two months after it was created, the Commission submitted its report.

    The 1987 crash was trivial in complexity compared to our current mess. Stocks trade on exchanges, so transaction sized, prices, and execution time are a matter of public record. Even though foreign markets swooned in sympathy with the US downdraft, the crisis was a domestic event.

    Contrast the 1987 panic with our credit meltdown. The 1987 crash was a single country event, in transparent markets (equities and equity futures). This crisis revolves around multiple over the counter markets (asset backed securities, including securitized auto, student, residential and commercial real estate loans, CDOs, CLOs, CDS) that were originated and sold around the world. The authorities have an weak to non-existent picture of trading volumes and prices. In addition. they also do not have a good feel for the terms of the instruments themselves (these were privately negotiated agreements; unlike registered securities, the offering documents are not a matter of public record). And the lack of an understanding of the range and mix of types of deals impedes developing sound policy. For instance: it is widely known that many residential mortgage-backed securities contain restrictions on modifying mortgages. Admittedly, some do not prohibit them, but some bar them completely, others limit them to a certain percentage of the pool. But since these deals were all sold OTC with no document registry, no one knows what the distribution among these three types is.

    I have complained for some time that it is inexcusable for the authorities to be fumbling in the dark as they are without trying to light a candle. One could argue that in the first two acute phases of the crisis (August-September 2007 and November-December 2007), the authorities. could tell themselves that their remedies would work, this would pass relatively quickly. like the Asian crisis (while the affected countries suffered a long aftermath, the international market disruption resolved itself much faster). But by the Bear failure, with other investment banks known to be in precarious shape, it was clear this crisis was not going to resolve itself quickly. That was when the need to get a better grasp on what was going on was undeniable.

    [...]

    ReplyDelete
  30. Roubini: Government-Backed Bank May Crack

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/121721-roubini-government-backed-bank-may-crack?source=yahoo

    http://snipurl.com/cbddy
    ==

    Read the comments.

    ReplyDelete
  31. BTW: That P1800 had no working gas gauge and no heat. And we were young and dumb enough to drive that thing into the Colorado Rockies midwinter.

    Oh, but we *looked* cool.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Had two Volvos, the last a 244 (245?). I remember the P1600s from the 60s. Sexy.

    Have a Saab, up on blocks, in the side yard. Bought it for my daughter. Bad decision. Weird electrical system, and the motor is in backwards.

    Gave up on the Swedes when parts got too expensive, and I discovered Toyotas.

    Colin Powell likes to rebuild Volvo 120 series. I wish he'd stay in his garage.

    _________

    When privacy is outlawed, only outlaws will have privacy.

    ReplyDelete
  33. My mind's in a fog.
    ...gotta find some Road and Track and Car and Driver Mags to get back in touch with reality, and purge the EB Energizer Bunny from my Consciousness...

    ReplyDelete
  34. "Sexy" is the word for them.



    One of the nice things about the 240s, from my husband's point of view, is that they were/are easy to work on. "Dinosaurs" as one mechanic put it to me, but that was a certain advantage - their lack of mechanical complexity.

    The 240 wagon that my daughter drove off to college - and that has made three ocean crossings and any number of cross country trips - is parked at my parents' now. Her father gave her his VW Golf before we left the country. "Dad's gay car," the kids called it, but she loves it.






    Mat, is it just me, or do you have outright physical violence on your mind most of the time?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Tom Cahill testing a 55 Chrysler Hemi 300 might be something to meditate on.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hey! The Chick has Scotch Plaid Shorts!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Mat, is it just me, or do you have outright physical violence on your mind most of the time?
    ==

    Damn straight, Missy. If you're an energizer battery causing naked shorts, I'm dead serious.

    ReplyDelete
  38. "Mat, is it just me, or do you have outright physical violence on your mind most of the time?"
    ---
    Remember the Peter Sellers Tooth Pulling Scene?

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Mat, is it just me, or do you have outright physical violence on your mind most of the time?"
    ---
    His posts are pure mental torture.

    ReplyDelete
  40. His posts are pure mental torture.
    ==

    Keep your hat on.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Blogger Doug said...

    "Mat, is it just me, or do you have outright physical violence on your mind most of the time?"
    ---
    His posts are pure mental torture.


    ____



    DITTO!!

    ReplyDelete
  42. EB, Energizer Bunny.
    Now I get it!
    Slow Learner

    ReplyDelete
  43. It wouldn't be so bad if there were a coherent point of view expressed but there isn't. The rationale expressed is badly flawed and repeated ad nauseum.

    ReplyDelete
  44. When privacy is outlawed, only outlaws will have privacy.

    (and backwoodsie Swedish fishermen)

    QUOTE. OF. THE. DAY.

    Make that quote of the month.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I've got the Wall Street Urinal Stock Page up on the door, throwing darts at it like crazy, but haven't established a buy or sell pattern yet. Stayed tuned.

    I work for a 2% commission.

    ReplyDelete
  46. You'd think I'd be the one with a Swedish car. But no.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Rufus, Linear,

    Would you comment on Rentech (RTK)?

    I know Rufus' feelings on CTL but I believe that CTL has to be a leg of the stool of our energy "manhattan project."

    Also looking for some place to go in my IRA. (Wish I was like al-Bob, equity free!)

    Happily driving a 960 wagon btw...

    ReplyDelete
  48. The NASDAQ Stock Market
    One Liberty Plaza
    165 Broadway
    New York, NY 10006

    ReplyDelete
  49. "flawed and repeated ad nauseum.
    "

    flawed and repeated ad nauseum.

    flawed and repeated ad nauseum.

    flawed and repeated ad nauseum.

    flawed and repeated ad nauseum.

    flawed and repeated ad nauseum.

    flawed and repeated ad nauseum.

    flawed and repeated ad nauseum...

    ReplyDelete
  50. Me got to make it to Arizona more often.

    ReplyDelete
  51. "Happily driving a 960 wagon btw..."

    ...seriously considers resigning from the Board.

    ReplyDelete
  52. A car says a lot about how stupid one is.

    ReplyDelete
  53. What does the Bunny Drive?
    ...or do you take the Canuck Electro Lev?

    ReplyDelete
  54. (spoken):
    Ooh, man, dig that crazy chick.

    Who wears short shorts
    We wear short shorts
    They're such short shorts
    We like short shorts
    Who wears short shorts
    We wear short shorts.

    Who wears short shorts
    We wear short shorts
    They're such short shorts
    We like short shorts
    Who wears short shorts
    We wear short shorts.

    Who wears short shorts
    We wear short shorts
    They're such short shorts
    We like short shorts
    Who wears short shorts
    We wear short shorts.

    ReplyDelete
  55. What does the Bunny Drive?
    ==

    The best selling car in Canada. :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. A little perspective on the US banks Citi (C) and Bank of America (BAC). With Citibank's share price at these levels they are trying to run a $2 trillion balance sheet with just $14 billion of equity. You can work out that leverage ratio for yourself. It now looks like a self fulfilling prophecy is coming to fruition. So is Bank of America next? The market capitalisation of Goldman Sachs (GS) is now more than Citibank and Bank of America combined, sad.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/121716-preview-from-europe-six-year-low?source=yahoo

    http://snipurl.com/cbk6m

    ReplyDelete
  57. Btw, Doug, the current model of the Civic is crap. It's the 2001-2005 model that I'm talking about.

    ReplyDelete
  58. My present vehicle is armored.

    But I don't drive it.

    ReplyDelete
  59. A civic lesson:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxPcJyypUKc

    ReplyDelete
  60. Wait 'til Whit shows up and confesses to being a Volvo owner, Doug.

    You know it's comin'.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

    A little perspective on the US banks Citi (C) and Bank of America (BAC). With Citibank's share price at these levels they are trying to run a $2 trillion balance sheet with just $14 billion of equity. You can work out that leverage ratio for yourself. It now looks like a self fulfilling prophecy is coming to fruition. So is Bank of America next? The market capitalisation of Goldman Sachs (GS) is now more than Citibank and Bank of America combined, sad.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/121716-preview-from-europe-six-year-low?source=yahoo

    http://snipurl.com/cbk6m




    ----

    Mat, that is an example of why your posts are mental torture. It is nonsense. The stock price of a bank has little to do with whether it is adequately capitalized. If you took those cited numbers as a reference of the capital health of the bank (which it isn't) then it is sitting at 7% which isn't that bad (assuming those numbers were meant to reflect the actual capitalization of the bank). Now Citi and BAC are in trouble, no doubt, but that post of yours sheds no light whatsoever on the issue. Here is a little primer for you:

    "To be adequately capitalized under federal bank regulatory agency definitions, a bank holding company must have a Tier 1 capital ratio of at least 4%, a combined Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital ratio of at least 8%, and a leverage ratio of at least 4%, and not be subject to a directive, order, or written agreement to meet and maintain specific capital levels. To be well-capitalized under federal bank regulatory agency definitions, a bank holding company must have a Tier 1 capital ratio of at least 6%, a combined Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital ratio of at least 10%, and a leverage ratio of at least 5%, and not be subject to a directive, order, or written agreement to meet and maintain specific capital levels. These capital ratios are reported quarterly on the Call Report or Thrift Financial Report"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_requirement

    ReplyDelete
  62. I've always wanted to have an armoured car with suicide doors!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Mat, that is an example of why your posts are mental torture.
    ==

    Good. Now go away.

    ReplyDelete
  64. It is easy enough to spare myself torture by ignoring, or simply laughing at, your posts. Hop along now boy and have a good day!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Yes, move along, or you'd be late for your Salat ritual.

    ReplyDelete
  66. No suicide doors.

    Inch-thick glass, though. And the windows don't roll down.



    You demolish anything you hit.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Which, given the unfortunate habits of the road here, is good enough reason to avoid driving them oneself.

    I'd be leaving twisted, flattened metal and broken, bleeding bodies in my wake.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Grandpa had an old car with a Rumble Seat a Ford, I think, but we probably couldn't have one now, ever if someone made them. Wouldn't be safe, you know. Couldn't put the kids back there, though they'd love it.

    ReplyDelete
  69. As would any self respecting dog.

    ReplyDelete
  70. On long trips with Ash, we could put him back there.

    ReplyDelete
  71. In a carriage, a rumble (short for "rumble-tumble") was a seat behind the body used by servants.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Am armoured two seat convertible roadster with suicide doors and a rumble-tumble seat and a V-12, that's my ticket home.

    Instead I got a 1960 Ford F-600.

    ReplyDelete
  73. An Alpha Romeo-type chick magnet or no?

    I have a driver.

    ReplyDelete
  74. There's definitely something to be said for keeping a vehicle - any vehicle - in good running shape that long.

    And God knows there are few things on this earth less justifiable than new car/truck payments. It's highway robbery. Without the gun.

    ReplyDelete
  75. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  77. bobal said...
    "Grandpa had an old car with a Rumble Seat a Ford, I think, but we probably couldn't have one now, ever if someone made them. Wouldn't be safe, you know. Couldn't put the kids back there, though they'd love it."
    ---
    Brother's best friend's dad had a Model A with a Rumble seat.
    That's where I was when he went hill climbing, which you had to do in reverse, cause of the gravity fuel feed from the cowl mounted gas tank.
    (behind the Dashboard)

    ReplyDelete
  78. Here's what all you investors have been waiting for, a little insider analysis that means something--Tonight on Coast To Coast with Art Bell himself---

    Fri 02.20 >>
    Art Bell will be joined by Wall St. insider Michael J. Panzner, who'll discuss how current economic events herald the end of the American Era, and how entire sections of the U.S. will become ghost towns.


    "What's bad for the country is good for the University of Idaho"

    ReplyDelete
  79. .
    .
    Bank of America shares fell 14 cents, or 3.6 percent, to close at $3.79 Friday, after tumbling to a 26-year low of $2.53 earlier in the session. Citi shares lost 56 cents, or 22.3 percent, to $1.95, having traded as low as $1.61 earlier in the day.

    On Friday, Lewis found himself defending his bank's stock price -- again, posting a memo entitled, "Rough week for stock, good week for business," on the company's internal Web site.

    "Bank of America does not need any further assistance today, and I am confident we will not need any further assistance in the future," Lewis said in the memo. "I believe our company has more than enough capital, liquidity and earnings power to make it through this downturn on our own from here on out."

    The memo did not mention the subpoena.
    .
    .

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/BofAs-Lewis-is-subpoenaed-by-apf-14428507.html

    http://snipurl.com/cbpfi
    ==

    Business is so good in fact, that a stock buyback at these historic 26-year lows is virtually guaranteed. Just as soon as Ashley finishes her daily Salat rituals.

    ReplyDelete
  80. That's where I was when he went hill climbing, which you had to do in reverse

    That sounds vaguely like one of Mat's scooters:)

    ReplyDelete
  81. The old saying on the farm, when they'd take out for town was:

    "Off we go in a cloud of horse manure."

    ReplyDelete
  82. 93 Escort Station Wagon
    93 Corolla
    (bought from my sister who had underground parking in Long Beach, 30,000 miles)
    ...her son bought her a new Camry back when he was rolling in the New Century Dough.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Just joking Mat:)
    ==

    LOL. :)

    Don't worry. Bob. I'm not a violent person. Really, I'm not. I just have a short fuse, compounded by zero patience. :D

    ReplyDelete
  84. You and me, Mat, cross country in a two seat armoured convertible roadster, V-12, Ash in the back in the rumble seat:)

    ReplyDelete
  85. Hey, it was a damned Jew Dentist in San Rafael that took a Chisel and Hammer to my wisdom tooth!

    ...back of my throat was black and blue and I couldn't swallow for a week.

    ...carried a plastic glass around to spit in!

    Jeesus H Christ!
    Probly smelled my German Blood!

    ReplyDelete
  86. I had an emergency root canal over the noon hour, dentist was hungry, irritated, kept pouring the pain killer in, again and again, cause I was moaning, suddenly my heart starts to flutter and he has to give me oxygen and I think he stuck me with a needle, to stabalize me. I hate - most - dentists.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Nope, whit does not and has never owned a Volvo.

    I did drive a twenty year old 544 for a few weeks.

    ReplyDelete
  88. I was describing that to my wife:
    Teacher was a tall guy with a big ass.
    544 had plenty of head and leg room.
    ...wouldn't have fit in a VW.

    ReplyDelete
  89. In my part of the country, the deep south, I've heard Volvo owners characterized as "pacuya".

    ReplyDelete
  90. I took a nap, Gnossos.

    I confess I'll have to do some research on Rentech. Looks interesting at first pass.

    ReplyDelete
  91. PV544 Road Test November 1963 PDF

    0 - 60 in 14 seconds

    Beat the crap out of VW, guess it just wasn't dangerous enough for me.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Hot Air » Blog Archive » Smelling a RAT
    Feb 19, 2009 ... In the name of accountability and transparency, Congress has given the RAT Board the authority to ask “that an inspector general conduct or ...

    The name of the RAT Board is Orwellian, as is its appearance in the administration that claimed it would have the most transparency in American history.

    Putting IGs under Nancy Pelosi’s thumb eliminates transparency and accountability, and calling it an Accountability and Transparency Board is a grim joke.

    It’s simply a mechanism to shut down potentially embarrassing (or worse) IG investigations while commanding others against political foes.

    Put simply, it brings the worst aspects of the Chicago Machine to Washington DC — a result which we repeatedly warned would happen with Obama’s election.

    ReplyDelete
  93. DALIDA Buenas noches mi amor

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO8TqLZ0nTg

    http://snipurl.com/cbvcb

    ReplyDelete
  94. DALIDA Histoire d'un amour

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_Bmbv13y9c

    http://snipurl.com/cbwbe

    ReplyDelete
  95. WH lashes out at CNBC's Santelli

    By JOSH GERSTEIN | 2/20/09 3:46 PM EST

    The White House is lashing out publicly and personally at a CNBC reporter whose attack on President Barack Obama’s anti-foreclosure plan caught fire on the Internet on Thursday.

    White House press secretary Robert Gibbs jumped at the chance to go after the CNBC journalist, Rick Santelli, when a question about his bracing critique was asked at Friday’s news briefing.

    “I’ve watched Mr. Santelli on cable the past 24 hours or so. I’m not entirely sure where Mr. Santelli lives or in what house he lives but the American people are struggling every day to meet their mortgages, stay in their jobs, pay their bills, send their kids to school,” Gibbs said. “I think we left a few months ago the adage that if it was good for a derivatives trader that it was good for Main Street. I think the verdict is in on that,” the press secretary said, poking directly at the cable journalist, who reports from the trading floor at the Chicago Board of Trade.

    Gibbs insisted Santelli was misinformed when he said Obama’s program would amount to a transfer of money from prudent taxpayers to those who had taken reckless risks.

    “Mr. Santelli has argued, I think quite wrongly, that this plan won’t help everyone,” Gibbs said. “This plan helps people who have been playing by the rules. ... I would encouraged him to read the president’s plan. ... I’d be more than happy to have him come here to read it. I’d be happy to buy him a cup of coffee — decaf,” the press secretary said, in a not-so-subtle jab at Santelli’s frantic style.

    Gibbs brandished a copy of a fact sheet about Obama’s plan. “Download it, hit print, and begin to read it,” he said. In an unusually personal and direct attack on a specific journalist, Gibbs used Santelli’s name at least five times.

    ReplyDelete
  96. DALIDA - HAVA NAGILA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFl0ud4i4H8

    http://snipurl.com/cbxls

    ReplyDelete
  97. In my part of the country, the deep south, I've heard Volvo owners characterized as "pacuya".

    Fri Feb 20, 05:53:00 PM EST

    IS that a euphemism, like "women in comfortable shoes"?

    ReplyDelete
  98. No, not a euphemism, more of a synonym for quirky, eccentric or odd.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Well, based upon the Bush Standard, the Obama Administrations' first month has been a success.

    No terrorist attacks within or upon the Homeland!!

    Three cheers for the success of Team Obama, continuing and building upon the past success of the Bush years.

    Here's to hoping for their continued success in meeting the Bush Standard of deterring terrorist attacks, here in the USA!

    ReplyDelete
  100. In my part of the country, the deep south, I've heard Volvo owners characterized as "pacuya".

    I was almost par boiled at the rim of Volcan Pacuya on my birthday in '75. It's days like that that reinforce one's belief in angels.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Here's hoping for a botched Nuke attack that goes off just North of the Border to Wake Up the damned country.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Ohhhhhh. You mean peculiar, as in...peculiar.

    Sad/funny story: We were up in Conn. once and meeting with some old acquaintances of my husband's. They inquired where we were presently living. "Georgia," we said. "Gee, I'm sorry to hear that," came the response. They felt sorry for us.

    Unbelievable.

    ReplyDelete
  103. I never did ask you what you were doing there, Linear. Odd place for a vacation.

    ReplyDelete
  104. We were en route to Costa Rica. A vacation after grad school. Some cute girls we'd met in a bar in Corvallis told us how nice it was there, once you ran the gauntlet through Nicaragua. They'd been "detained" at a checkpoint. Pulled off the Tico bus.

    Never made it out of Guatemala for a combination of reasons. Spent most of our time in the hinterlands. Climbing volcanos.

    It was the mid-70s.

    You know.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Yeah. I was in elementary school then, but various movies and documentaries later filled me in.

    Plenty of refugees from the Seventies here. Some of them haven't bathed in awhile. Their elderly parents' might still be wiring them money.

    OTOH, climbing volcanoes in Guatemala sounds like a helluva good time.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Actually, I was wiring myself money.

    On those trips back to civilization when I kept encountering the elusive "Camarones el gusto".

    Those were the days you could save money during grad school. With the right program.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Save money?! In grad school?! Why, I think we just recently wrapped up the payments on my husbands' from the Eighties.

    We're planning to win the lottery to pay for our daughters'. If that doesn't pan out, acquire and sell a few kidneys.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Both of Mat's kidneys, for instance.

    ReplyDelete
  109. "...acquire a few kidneys..." :)

    Get me some will ya?

    I just got my latest utility bill; the highest ever. Just over $400. That is NOT sustainable!

    I heard some wag the other day saying that with this coldest winter in 30 years, his indoctrinated children are beginning to question Al Gore's veracity.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Trish, do you remember a little place called the Cannon? On the main street by the river.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Um, got a particular country, state, and city in mind?

    The Cannon rings no bells.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Sorry to say, I've never been to Columbus.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Well shit, if I'd known you were going to run it on the front page I would have gone on another 10 pages.

    And run spell-checker.

    ReplyDelete
  114. (Half a bottle of wine and one gets sloppy with the apostrophes. I have noticed.)

    ReplyDelete
  115. Ft Benning was just a presumptive guess.

    ReplyDelete
  116. And I see Lang has directly taken up your cause.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Been to Benning, but no, that's not where we were.

    ReplyDelete
  118. First you lead us to believe that you had been married, then you indicate that you have multiple sons' and daughters' education to finance.

    ReplyDelete
  119. "...written ten pages..."

    Okay, sinless, you can work up a post or several this weekend. You could work one around the Friedman/Klein youtube video.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Ya got me.




    Robins AFB, GA. He stood up the JSTARS Det.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Okay, last post for the night.

    Here it is 10:08 eastern, and it's 34 degrees here in Florida.

    34 degrees! It's like the old days.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Yes I know the economy is crashing around the world. Eastern Europe threatens to bring down the Austrian and Italian banking systems. Britain is in the tank, along with Spain, Greece and Ireland. Everybody is hoping the Germans have saved enough to bail out the European Union.

    It's as bad or worse in Asia. Japan's exports have plummetted, the results so terrible the Japanese Finance Minister was dead drunk at his press conference. Singapore was stung badly by Wall Street scams. Dubai, the fabled playground of the Middle East rich, is tumbling. South Korea wants to jail bloggers who reveal how bad things are in that country.

    Now the latest American scamster, Allan Stanford has ripped off billions from investors all over the world, especially in Latin America. ABC News is reporting the Texas big man, lately based in Antigua, is connected to money laundering for Mexico's most vicious drug gangs. And speaking of off-shore pirates, the giant Swiss bank UBS is paying up 780 million in taxes ripped off from the American government, as the Swiss advised the very rich how to avoid paying their share. Really, it's been a pirate economy all along - and the worst scams were run by the very best companies.

    Against the backdrop of kicked out families, closed factories, and worried populations, our climate threatens changes worse than any all-our nuclear exchange. Scientists warn the coming changes are huge, irreversible, and likely fatal to most species we know. Including us.

    In this program, I'll pass on some of the horrible climate news, hot off the scientific press. Then we'll ask: is it already too late? Major scientists, in the United States, Australia, and Germany say the world is loaded up for at least 2.4 degrees Celsius of warming - that's over 4 degrees Fahrenheit AVERAGE global change. Temperature increases over land, and especially over the Arctic, will be much higher. The only thing saving us so far is smog, which can dissolve in a matter of weeks.

    These warnings come not from fringe scientists, but key advisers to governments in Western countries. I'll tell you who. This is major news: global warming has already taken place. Television and newspapers have not told the public, who are living in an illusion, a fairy tale, about their future. Things are not going back to normal. Not for thousands of years.

    As we will hear, one of the co-Chairs of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admits their reports greatly underestimated our real situation. We'll cover the latest news, and then work with reports from V. Ramanathan, of the Scripps Institution, and Joaquim Schnellenhuber, a science top adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    http://www.ecoshock.org/2009/02/forget-economy-is-it-too-late-for-our.html

    http://snipurl.com/cc7r2

    ReplyDelete
  123. I just got my latest utility bill; the highest ever. Just over $400. That is NOT sustainable!
    ==

    That's cheap! Wait til you'll need to buy a loaf of bread.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Gnossos, I don't know anything about Rentech.

    I'm sure they're a good company; but, personally, I'd be real nervous investing in anything with the word "Coal" in the name.

    Also, all of the CTL technologies that I've seen have been highly labor-intensive. Maybe, this one's not.

    I dunno. We'll probably do some of this, eventually; but you could be sitting on dead money for quite awhile. It would be my last pick, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  125. $400.00, bwahahahaha...that's a drop in the bucket, try more than double that. Even though, it's gas and electric combined, it's still a far cry than what we're use to.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Of course, I might ought to mention that I'm probably the worst stock-picker of all time. Culling, none.

    ReplyDelete
  127. "Okay, sinless, you can work up a post or several this weekend. You could work one around the Friedman/Klein youtube video."

    Don't know if it'd be kosher with the writing restrictions. I'd have already had it cleared and published but I figure it is too soon to acquire the reputation as the prince of darkness.

    There is no comparison between Vietnam, as most people commonly remember it, and Afghanistan. By 1960 Diem had already consolidated his government to the extent that it was pretty much a struggle between the government, weak as it may have been, and the VC/NVA. The drug mafias and warlords had been exstinguished, and the lingering malignant French finally ejected. By that point, it was a true counterinsurgency situation, not a nation-building operation. There are major distinctions between the two, though even people who should know better have been conflating them.

    The situation in Afghanistan is more analagous to the 1950s before the consolidation had been accomplished (and that itself was a mean feat for which Diem should, but never gets credit, because it would mean exorcising the ghosts of the Kennedy Administration). Except even then it is unfair to Vietnam, where we benefitted from among other things, easy acess by sea; a more pliable and coherent nation to build; massive reserves of manpower; easier terrain; supply lines from the north that we could have cut at a whim (setting aside the fact that the Johnson Administration stupidly chose not to).

    Much of his history is correct, but Lang's nevertheless wrong when he gives the impression that COIN itself is a simple formula easily applied, even if they taught him that in the SF. There's a lot of theory that often all boils bown to using carrots and stick and simply not acting stupid. Nevertheless, it is heavily case dependent, and like any attempt at social engineering difficult to control and something to strongly think twice on before you lay an unnecessary wager on it.

    He's also, of course, his typical obnoxious self.

    ReplyDelete
  128. He's right to refer to the old school theorists, though - men like Galula, Thompson, Godard, Trinquier. Although at times less sophisticated they had a better understanding of the difficulties involved than many of the modern prophets, who acknowledge them perfunctorily, and then go back to talking about how they're going to move mountains and transform societies.

    ReplyDelete
  129. CTL

    The thing is a couple of years ago I got into a number of conversations with some guys who'd done a demonstration CTL plant out here in the Ft Lewis hinterlands in the Carter years. Project closed down after Reagan got in and oil prices went down.

    These were engineer types and seemingly not into blowing smoke. Conversation turned to their background in the natural course and they'd half forgotten about it. Started wondering what happened.

    They claimed the process proved out well. That existing oil refineries could be utilized with a feed of pulverized coal. That emissions could be handled no sweat. Clean, clean. We figured, using the numbers from the '70s, that it would be viable at the equiv of $40/bbl oil.

    I did some googling around and found that the patented process might be being licensed by the DOE and co-owner (many times removed from original folks) to Chinese coal interests in the Mongolia area. The guys I spoke with couldn't confirm but said it sure sounded similar.

    Their process was similar to the SASOL process but better, thus the patent. The thinking was amongst us that the US must be using China as a full scale proof... But who knows.

    In any event these guys were very happy with their prototype work. Both in the efficiency and the cleanliness.

    And I've found it strange that we, the US, hadn't taken a second look. Until I heard the USAF did a dedicated plant.

    And now Rentech...

    ReplyDelete
  130. Linear, Coincidences abound. Was just talking to a friend about full moon parties at my rented place in Panajachel in the '70s. Can still remember the amazing light shows of the lightning to the left, between and to the right of the volcanoes...

    Such vibrant memories. Sometimes I'd leave,tell the partyers to clean up before they left, and escape to the peace of a shack near the lip between the volcanoes past San Antonio. Some Brits had rented it but weren't often there. Then walk back around the lake thru San Pablo and the other villages back home...

    Too many memories. Neighbor fell down drunk in the path outside my house. Rain came and he drowned. Another morning got up, went to the market. Strangely empty. Found out most of the gringos had been rousted the evening before by 15 yr old "soldiers" with AKs and German Shepherds...

    ReplyDelete
  131. You all, of course, realize that we will have to, either, airlift all vehicles, troops, supplies in, now, or blast out a road through Pakistan. In other words, invade, and hold a sizable portion of Pakistan without "conquering" the other half.

    This, chilluns, is madness.

    ReplyDelete
  132. Can we supply/support 20,000 troops in a land-locked, rock pile? Maybe.

    40,000? Not a chance in hell. Biden, and Obama are walking right into the trap that Cheney, and Rumsfeld kept Bush out of.

    ReplyDelete
  133. "The floor's the limit. You'll find a support level at zero"

    Michael J. Panzner Speaking To Art Bell Tonight

    This is neutral news to me, but bad news for practically everyone else.

    More realistically, he says we might lose another 75% on the DOW.

    I'm still throwing darts at the stock page.

    I think the guy is full of shit.

    My utility bill here in the dead of winter is a little over $300, in a big leaky house. What's wrong with you folks, don't you wear furs?

    Doug's utility bill is, or should be, near zero, if he has any spunk.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Linear, Coincidences abound. Was just talking to a friend about full moon parties at my rented place in Panajachel in the '70s.

    We rented a huge A-frame there for about a month. Took in a couple other gringos to help with expenses. Plenty of room.

    The marimba band playing on the edge of the socalo up at Solola, with the clouds over Lago Atitlan and Panajachel below us. The volcano in the background. Priceless.

    The rides to and from Solola from Panajachel in those old Jimmy 10-seaters. The drivers racing each other. The passengers looking down in the gorges below the road at the wreckage of buses that had gone off the edge.

    The day we hiked up Atitlan, we were stocking up on food at a little tienda in that last village before beginning the ascent. Was it San Pablo? Out of the jungle came this absolutely stunning young woman and a guy who looked pretty shifty. Community organizers I think. There were hot sulphur springs at the top. We rolled rocks from the summit. Crazy gringos.

    ReplyDelete
  135. There certainly was and is a difference between Viet Nam and Afghanistan. The conflict was ideological in Viet Nam. It was rational, at least as any war can be.

    The North were nationalists, anti-colonial, and believed that the greater good would be served by a communal organization. It was a both rejection of the European colonial model and an embrace.

    The war on both sides was between pragmatists.

    Afghanistan is a narco-criminal, tribal and cultural sewer, cursed by the worst of Islamic theology and repression.

    History and recent events proved that Viet Nam was both viable as a country and a society and capable of economic and philosophical integration into the modern world.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Gnossos,

    You're already ahead of me in understanding of both the technology and the players.

    I'd defer to Rufus on the financial suggestions, but he's already addressed that.

    Showing my intuitive grasp of the obvious, I'll just say that with oil so depressed right now, it'll be a while before it takes off. It is fascinating, especially that the process technology has been around for so long.

    ReplyDelete
  137. By the way, this is a great thread. Congrats to all.

    ReplyDelete
  138. My utility bill here in the dead of winter is a little over $300, in a big leaky house. What's wrong with you folks, don't you wear furs?

    My current PG&E bill came today. $14.27.

    ReplyDelete
  139. The Vietnamese had a lot going for them. The young men were natural con men, and the women were cute as a bug. And they all sincerely wanted to get rich. And, they knew how to work.

    In short, they were everything the Afghanis aren't. On top of that they had water, oceans, beaches, ports, all the resources for self-sufficiency. Oh, and they were fierce warriors. At least, the guys on "the other side" were.

    We could end up getting our nose bloodied pretty good in Afghanistan. If we end up in a situatiion where we have to "fight our way out" it won't be pretty.

    I hope to hell he doesn't go "Johnson" on us.

    ReplyDelete
  140. I'd defer to Obama, Reid, and Pelosi:
    Anything that has a chance of producing usable energy economically will be squelched, one way or another.
    One must purify oneself regularly by declaring yourself to be too environmentally concious to allow something as crude as additional energy extraction or production to occur within the confines of CONUS.
    ...while continuing to be energy gluttons reliant on imports.

    ReplyDelete
  141. He needs to stop those snappy salutes.

    ReplyDelete
  142. I sure as hell agree with you on Afghanistan, Rufus.
    Time for your 2 Centavos, Trish.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Gotta be the most outstanding volvo ever built
    The 1800 looked hokey with that swoopy piece of chrome trim, but this wagon is perfect, way ahead of it's time.
    ...one of the best cars we owned was a 68 VW Wagon.
    One of the first mass produced fuel injected cars.

    ReplyDelete
  144. rufus said...
    Of course, I might ought to mention that I'm probably the worst stock-picker of all time. Culling, none.


    Try my method, Rufus, of throwing darts at the stock page. It can't hurt your average.

    (by the way, that's my 'corporate' headquarters, all gotten legally, by throwing darts at stock pages, and investing thereon)

    ReplyDelete
  145. (but, it took me a lifetime of throwing darts to do it, and now they tell me I can't take it with me)

    ReplyDelete
  146. Returning to the thread--


    Buying Wine In England? Count On It--Spy Cameras Will Be Watching You

    Really insane. What could be the purpose of this? The English have lost their minds.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Soon Daddy Obumble will be watching you.

    ReplyDelete
  148. SAAB files for protection in Swedish courts.

    Swedish-based subsidiary Saab went into court protection from creditors so that the unit can be spun off or sold.


    GM worthless.

    In a note to investors, he backed his "Underperform" rating for the GM and cut his price target to $0 from $1.

    Value of $Zero is floor you can't go below.

    GM Blues

    ReplyDelete
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