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Thursday, June 07, 2012

Weapons that have all the potential to backfire on us.




Drones Over America: What Can They See?

A Predator B unmanned aircraft lands after a mission at the Naval Air Station last November in Corpus Christi, Texas.
EnlargeEric Gay/AP
A Predator B unmanned aircraft lands after a mission at the Naval Air Station last November in Corpus Christi, Texas.
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March 12, 2012
Unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, have long played a role in military operations. But imagine thousands of drones flying over U.S. skies — something we may see in just a few years. In February, President Obama signed an aviation bill requiring the Federal Aviation Administration to make plans to integrate drones into American airspace.
On Monday's Fresh Air, John Villasenor, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a professor of electrical engineering at UCLA, explains what these drones will be able to see and how they work. He also talks about the privacy and national security concerns raised by using drones for surveillance purposes.
Villasenor tells Dave Davies that drones, which are currently in use over the U.S. border with Mexico, have an endless list of non-military uses, from providing overhead surveillance for police departments to spotting wildfires and monitoring illegal border crossings.
Drones could also be used commercially by real estate firms to get overhead images of a property, by surveyors and cinematographers, and even by paparazzi trying to fly over celebrity homes, says Villasenor.
"That is going to be certainly some of the tests of what the limits are going to be provided by [paparazzi]," he says. "The paparazzi will want to use drones if they can, and obviously that's going to raise some very significant questions."
One question about drone usage obviously concerns privacy. In 1986, the Supreme Court ruled that police officers who used a small single-engine airplane to spot hidden marijuana plants in someone's backyard in California did not violate the Fourth Amendment because they were in "public navigable airspace in a physically non-intrusive manner."
"Now if you take that ruling and apply it to a world in which there are hundreds or thousands of drones, that obviously gives rise to some very significant concerns," says Villasenor. "If you interpret that ruling by itself, as things stand today, that would certainly suggest that people would have a fair amount of latitude to make observations using drones."
But several rulings involving what can be observed from outside a property to look inside a property may also apply, says Villasenor. He points to the 2001 case Kyllo v. United States, in which the Supreme Court ruled that the use of a thermal imaging device to monitor heat radiated from inside someone's home without a search warrant violated the Fourth Amendment.
"There's a very interesting piece of language in that ruling that when you map it to drones is really interesting," he says. "[It says] 'Where, as here, the government uses a device that is not in general public use to explore details of the home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a search.' One of the interesting phrases in that language is 'not in general public use.' If we fast-forward two or three years from now, when drones are in public use, does that change the legal foundation for what you can and can't observe from the outside of a home that would have been previously unknowable without physical intrusion?"
John Villasenor is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a professor of electrical engineering at UCLA.
Carmen Bal /Courtesy of the guest
John Villasenor is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a professor of electrical engineering at UCLA.

Interview Highlights

On types of drones
"There are drones that are powered by jet. There are drones that could literally fit in a backpack or the palm of a hand. There are drones that are basically like balloons that sit up there in the sky in one place and can observe enormous swaths of territory."
On drones that can stay in the air for weeks at a time
"These drones aren't flying at 400 mph. They're going very slowly and they have wings which are paper thin, which have solar panels which are mounted on the top, and they also have batteries that store energy collected during the day so they can continue to turn the propellers and fly at night."
On whether drones can capture audio
"Drones generate some noise themselves, and so I don't think a drone could sit 1,000 feet above and hear the conversation of two people sitting at an outside table at a coffee shop. I think it's mostly imagery and then to a smaller extent, wireless signals."
On drones helping traffic patterns
"Five years from now, you can probably imagine that in addition to having helicopters with people in them, you'll have drones above the ground taking pictures of those things."
On drones being used by terrorists
"Unfortunately, I think that is a legitimate concern, and honestly it keeps me up at night. I worry about that. It doesn't take too much imagination to understand that a drone is very hard to stop. It flies low and it isn't stopped by all of the infrastructure we have in place to make sure people don't go to the places they're not supposed to go to. Fences and walls and gates and barriers, it simply goes over those things. ... As these drones get cheaper, more prevalent, easier to get, attract less attention, it raises the risks that they will fall into the wrong hands and be used inappropriately."
On the FAA and privacy concerns
"The FAA, I would imagine, has more aviation lawyers than Fourth Amendment constitutional lawyers. To be fair to the FAA, their primary mission ... is to provide what they call 'the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.' And frankly, I think they've done an extremely good job of that. So their concern, as they go through the steps of this aviation bill that was enacted on Feb. 14, 2012, is first and foremost to integrate drones into the airspace in a safe manner. And I think that is the right priority. In addition, of course, there are the privacy concerns. But I think it is going to be left to the broader government — obviously with the input of non-governmental groups — to address those."

131 comments:

  1. With every new use and misuse of drones and malicious software, developed and used by the government, comes with it an attractive inexpensive platform to be potentially used against our own security. We are spending tens of billions on security designed to stop the hijacking of commercial aircraft while simultaneously developing the technology that in the wrong hands could be massed in the the thousands against us.

    The price of a practical drone would appear to be available for under $1000. What defense defense system do we have that could counter the simultaneous assault by 1000 drones on a specified target? A one million dollar investment in a thousand drones could overwhelm and defeat a multi-billion dollar defense shield designed against a single or small-flight missile assault.

    A similar situation exists in malware cyber attacks.

    Have we once again opened Pandora’s box?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't want it to rust shut:

      She's no longer the spring chicken she once was.

      Delete
    2. Might as well sell our cars, buy oxen, shut down the power plants and start using marrow and wax again...

      Delete
    3. No way I'm using marrow and wax for lube.

      Noteven for Pandora's box.

      Delete
    4. Marrow and wax is a bitch to use in the Deere when you're trying to get the fall plowing done before the snows. I know, I've tried. You feel like the Roosians before Moscow in WWII, trying to warm the tank engines up with bonfires.

      b

      Delete
    5. we could always melt the fat people down....

      Delete
  2. The combination and coordination of cyber weapons and drones is a potent combination especially aligned against a soft target. Every large city in the world has transportation choke points. Take the New Jersey Turnpike or any ring road servicing most US cities. They are undefended and un-defendable. A fleet of drones armed with nuclear waste filled aerosol canisters could contaminate huge stretches of highways, bridges and commercial retail areas, rivers, streams, refineries, food distribution facilities, airports and schools. Twenty such drones could carpet bomb a university campus with nuclear waste, closing it down for years.
    Such an attack could be done with a simultaneous cyber-assault against specific computer systems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. " Twenty such drones could carpet bomb a university campus with nuclear waste, closing it down for years."

      The GOP should investigate the cost-effectiveness of this tactic as a means of taking out Democrat recruitment tools.

      Delete
  3. Carolla thinks he's paid enough taxes to deserve sponsership rights on a Predator.
    Thinking about color schemes, and what decals should depict that he'll afix to the nose for each terrormaster killed, etc.

    Carolla and the Sklar Brothers

    Example:
    In the news segment, Newsreader Allison reads about Sheryl Crow's Brain Tumor.

    Carolla:
    That's from giving Lance Armstrong too many blow jobs.

    Sklar:
    You mean you think he blew his tumor into her brain?

    Carolla thanks him for the recognition, and "fleshing out" the joke.

    ReplyDelete
  4. .

    Not only does the U.S. develop and improve the technology, if there's a buck to be made, they sell it. We are currently selling them to all our friends (tomorrow's enemies?) who will likely turn into tomorrow's competitor's as they try to cash in on the growing market.

    One of the greatest impediments to war, the cost, is rapidly being eliminated.

    It's a brave new world.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  5. Put the drones on your 'free fire' list on your 'hunting license' along with the wolves.

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Conversly, Todd could buy one for Sarah.

      From the warmth of the hearth in Wasila,
      she could be takin out bears.

      Delete
    2. Excellent idea!

      You may have hit on the very idea to save what remains of the elk.

      The trouble with chopper gunships is the noise, and the expense.

      Armed drones with hellfire missiles/machine guns could loiter over the Lolo, day and night, silently, high tech mechanized death from above.

      Further, can they not be equipped with thermal sights, night vision, etc?

      Doug, you are a genius and I am going to incorporate this into my next letter to the editor.

      Thank you.

      b

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    3. Don't forget to tell Dale.

      Delete
    4. We shall see what D says -

      Dale - A genius I know in Hawaii came up with the perfect idea for controlling the wolves in the Lolo and elsewhere here in Idaho.

      Drones!

      I have been pushing poison, as you know, and meeting resistance because of it might hurt the badgers or something, even in the winter, but drones are discriminate, silent, lethal, quick and controlled from a computer terminal, and inexpensive compared to the current human piloted noisy ineffective helicopter gunships in use now.

      What do you think of this solution?


      b

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    5. Badgers?

      Sarah hasn't seen no stinking Badgers since she was in college!

      Delete
    6. But, from what I understand, it was a Hell of a Badger - a Big, Black Sumbitch from what I hear. :)

      Delete
  6. .

    The U.S. military argues that we have a substantive technological advantage even on the drones. We keep all the 'best' stuff for ourselves. However, the problem with the 'good, better, best' formulation in this case is that eventually as the technology advances the good eventually becomes 'good enough' and the better and best are no longer needed.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  7. Of all the things to worry about this one seems to me to be so far down the list as to be . . . . . . . . well, . . at the bottom of the list. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      Surely, this surprises no one.

      Peak oil is not the number 42. It was a nice hobby but you have to get out of the house once in a while.

      Read my lips. We will always have energy. It may not be the energy we want but it will be the energy we need; oil, natural gas, wind, ethanol, geothermal, wave, coal, nuclear, solar, fusion, kryptonite, something. There may be periods of shortages but we will get through them. We have already seen that we do in fact have the ability to cut back and stop wasting energy when we have to. The trend towards conservation of energy is not going to slacken. What we use may have bad ecological results but we will live with them and adapt.

      WE WILL NOT RUN OUT OF ENERGY IN THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!

      As for Saudi Arabia (ooooo...), there are reports daily of the shift in the center of the oil universe from the middle east to the western hemisphere, primarily N. America.

      As for cost, cheaper more expensive, you live with what you've got. If oil prices get higher this fall, it will not be because of 'Peak Oil', it will be because Bernanke kicked in a new round of QE, the dollar dropped, and the price of commodities rose.

      If you spent as much time solving the unemployment problem as you do reading Technica, your buddy Obama would be a shoe-in right now.


      :)
      :)
      :)


      .

      Delete
    2. Another "bad" day, Q?

      When did I ever say we'll "Run Out" of Energy? Or, even "oil," for that matter. What I've stated is that oil production is peaking, and thus our economies will be affected while we adjust.

      And, surely you realized after you wrote that little screed (screech?) that our energy policy has a LOT to do with "unemployment."

      Delete
    3. .

      It was not a screed or a screech, more a barb, possibly a shot, at most, a jibe. Didn't you see the three smiley faces?

      You know I consider you likeable and quirky, kinda like the Sheldon Cooper of Peak Oil.

      However, the post was only partly in jest. As was noted in the 'September Song', "the days wander down to a precious few". How many days have you invested in peak oil? How many will you continue to invest in peak oil? Time that could be spent with the grandkids?

      I've been thinking the same thing about myself.

      [link]

      :)

      .

      Delete
    4. .

      A LOT to do with unemployment?

      I don't think so. It may have a lot of implications to just getting around but as to unemployment (if you are talking the current state of unemployment) it merely plays a minor part. I think the current unemployment is a product of many things, globalization, a shift from a manufacturing economy to a service economy, productivity, technology, etc.; and it was precipitated by events in 2008, the housing bubble and the banking bust. It involved a paridigm shift to a new normal and it is unlikely that we will ever reach that magic 4% unemployment figure any time in the near future if ever.

      Right now, money is free, credit is loose, corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars, yet they are not spending it on investment much less on new people. Why? Well it's not because of energy costs. They are not doing it because of uncertainty; uncertainty about what will happen at the end of the year on taxes and spending cutbacks, uncertainty about the EU and the EURO and will they last, uncertainty about FED policy, uncertainty about the slow-down in China, uncertainty about the election and how that will impact on pending regulations and how it might affect them, and most important is the concern that there is just not enough demand out there to justify hiring new people.

      You can say demand is slack because of energy prices. I reject that. Over the past few months, unemployment has been rising at the same time average energy prices have been faily stable. Individuals are not investing in the market because having been burnt, they are cautious, not because of energy prices.

      If the FED institutes QE3 later this summer and the dollar drops and commidity prices rise, it may effect the election. People love to complain about high gas prices. But no, there are many reasons for our current unemployment but energy prices are not a prime mover in that equation.


      .

      Delete
    5. No, it's not important that virtually All Recessions since WWII were preceded by an energy spike.

      Delete
    6. .

      One day you may actually learn the difference between correlation and causation Rufus, (well, if you quit reading the Green Corn Gazette, maybe.)


      .

      Delete
  8. Gasoline Demand was down 4%, Year on Year, in the last four weeks. This is about where it's been for the last fourteen, or fifteen months (although it was down in the 7% range for awhile) IIRC.

    What makes this interesting is that "vehicle miles traveled (VMT,) which is, also, figured yoy, has been back on the rise for the last couple of months.

    So, to recoup: VMT Rising - Gasoline Demand Falling.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We've actually lowered the amount of "Petroleum" burned for private transportation by about 20%.

    While registering a slight gain in GDP (which, in all fairness, Is going almost exclusively to the top 0.1%)

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is why I think we might be able to "outrun" the Chinese in a peak oil world.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Doug!

    Honestly, you're a genius.

    I've been pushing the poison the son bitches idea and meeting resistance from the usual quarters for the usual lame reasons.

    But drones!

    That overcomes the 'indiscriminate' objections. And the oohthat'ssoawful objections.

    What American gives a damn about whacking a two legged enemy from above with a clean quick positive ID drone attack?

    Detect, identify, whack....

    Whack the four legs the same way....

    Beautiful.

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See above,

      Fixated on black gold, as always,

      Rufus went racial on your Sarah!

      Delete
  12. Another interesting (I think:)) factoid: We have reduced our btu usage, per household, by about 25% since 1980.

    Adjusted for square footage that would, more than likely, be in the 35 to 40% range.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Drones!

    Put that in your Philly wolf loving pipe and smoke it deuce.

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quirk, can't help but ask, what do you think of the idea, Tiger?

      b

      Delete
    2. .

      Surely, must seem a wise solution to some dumb hick with no morals or attunement to the web and cycles of nature.

      You know some guy who reads something in the paper or gets it from a guy named Dale and accepts it must be true. You know some dumb fuck.

      .

      Delete
    3. So, so, thou common dog, didst thou disgorge thy glutton bosom? Scrap the bottom of thy encrusted brain pan? Thou art essentially a natural coward without instinct. Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon. Thy backward voice is fit only to utter foul speeches and detractions. Go giddy fool-born knave. Thy face is not worth sunburning.

      b

      Delete
    4. .


      You are out of sync with the rythms of the universe, you accursed lout.

      Your gibberish is an insult to the language and befouls the page it is scribbled on.

      .

      Delete
  14. RE: Michael Young (Western 'Realists' in Syria from previous thread)

    Is that one of the sons of this Michael Young, Baron Young of Dartington who coined the term "meritocracy" (originally intended as a slur)?

    Certainly looks the part.

    I think I saw his face on one of BC's dartboards.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Belmont field expands -

    NEW YORK — My Adonis, a late addition to the Belmont Stakes field, landed the outside slot when post positions were drawn on Wednesday.

    That didn’t bother trainer Kelly Breen or owner George Hall. They are used to the underdog role in the 1 1/2-mile conclusion to the Triple Crown on Saturday.

    Breen and Hall combined to capture last year’s Belmont with Ruler On Ice, paying $51.50 to win.

    My Adonis, announced as a Belmont starter on Tuesday night, is 20-1 from post No. 12 as the colt makes his debut in the series. He was the “also-eligible” for the Kentucky Derby, a substitute standing by to replace a late scratch. When the deadline passed without an opening, Breen sent My Adonis to Pimlico to run a disappointing third in the Canonero II Stakes as the 1-5 favorite.

    The Belmont appears to be a reach, but Hall believes the winner of two of 10 races belongs.

    “Even though some of his races were disappointing, we think he’s shown enough talent that we can make a case,” Hall said. “Of course we have incredible memories of the Belmont, so just being in the paddock will be a privilege. But we wouldn’t do it just for the sake of doing it if we didn’t think we had a horse with enough class.”

    Ramon Dominguez will ride.


    from Inside The Paddock

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Adonis gets the jump on I'll Have Another early on, I'll Have Another may end up eating dirt for a mile and a half. Belmont is longest dirt track in USA I think. I can imagine I'll Have Another boxed in big time.

      b

      Delete
  16. You think Democracy is hard? You think Cellulosic Ethanol is hard? You think sneaking up on wolves is hard?

    Compared to winning the "Triple Crown," those things are a walk in the park.

    Getting a young horse to peak at just the right time to win 3 preselected races, in a crowd, at different distances, with the last race being a mile and a half? Thass hard!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Not as hard as reading the latest BC thread without reaching for the nearest strychnine cocktail.

    ReplyDelete
  18. A group opposed to the teaching of evolution has won a major victory in the Deep South—of the Korean peninsula. A creationist group has successfully petitioned South Korean publishers to remove several references to evolution from high school textbooks, Nature reports. The group—set up by the US Institute for Creation Research in the '80s as Christianity spread across South Korea—says it wants the "error" of evolution removed from textbooks to "correct" students' view of the world.

    Damned godless socialists.

    ReplyDelete
  19. After many years of absence from the debate, I attended a conference on the Swedish economy in the southern city of Malmo last month. Swedbank, a large bank, was the organizer, and the 180 speakers represented the full range of Swedish views. I was amazed to hear how far the consensus had moved to the free- market right, even among Social Democrats and trade-union leaders. The values are competition, openness and efficiency, while social and environmental values remain -- a social-welfare society without the social-welfare state. The idea is to make it more efficient through competition among private providers.

    .....

    Sweden is still offering good social welfare, but more efficiently and sensibly and increasingly through the private sector. This model of falling taxes and public spending is rapidly proliferating from the north of Europe toward the south, and the northern Europeans have little tolerance for the statist conservatism and fiscal negligence of Southern Europe. Nor do the Swedes understand the fiscal irresponsibility of the U.S., while they still admire American research and innovation.

    LINK

    LINK

    Nor do the Swedes understand the fiscal irresponsibility of the U.S.

    I was on board with the writer's general thesis until that statement, which is perniciously ill-informed - not to mention overtly smug. Welcome to the new Intellectual Chic. Coming directly to you from Sweden.

    Details, my dear boy, details.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are asserting that the US is the epitome of fiscal responsibility? That is funny!!

      Delete
    2. I knew the conversation would finally come round to something meaningful like Swedish The Models --

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoqBq61S6tc

      b

      Delete
    3. Nothing more irritating than a "reformed" drunk.

      Delete
    4. .

      Other than Swedish meatballs, what have we ever gotten from Sweden (that we didn't want to send back)?

      The Swedish Model

      .

      Delete
  20. “But you can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can't last.”

    ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

    ReplyDelete
  21. We've got a scumbag for a President -

    Obama's joke?

    By BYRON TAU |
    6/7/12 12:54 AM EDT

    President Obama, in Los Angeles for a fundraiser, offered this observation on his wife's exercise routine, via the pool report:

    “Michelle outdoes me in pushups as well,” he said, after saying that she’s taken some criticism on her technique “because she doesn’t go all the way down” – a line that he let hang, naughtily, provoking laughter from the crowd.


    This is the President, for God's sake. I'd vote Romney just to recover a little decorum.

    It's not a burlesque club back there (or rather shouldn't be seen to be so in public places) and the President isn't George Carlin.

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      A wry observation and one I can totally agree with.

      Even a broke clock...

      .

      Delete
  22. The final bill [for Iraq and Afghanistan] will run at least $3.7 trillion and could reach as high as $4.4 trillion, according to the research project "Costs of War" by Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/29/us-usa-war-idUSTRE75S25320110629

    Which doesn't include the unfunded cost of Bush's Prescription Drug bill or the tax cuts.

    Short span story being the country was 'managing' its fiscal books just fine until health care and the ME kicked into high gear. (As posted on a regular to boring basis many times, the revenues and expenditures hovered around 18% to 20% for the last half century. Stability.) Highly situational causation. Far from structural. Parliament not yet required.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's face it, the fact is Bill Clinton handed GW Bush a budget that had been balanced (in Surplus, actually) for 3 years.)

      If Bush doesn't try to turn Iraq and Afghanistan into Iowa, and Minnesota, and Wall St. doesn't completely lose its collective mind, and decide to loan a few Trillion to people that had absolutely No chance of paying them back . . . . . . . . .

      Delete
    2. Clinton doesn't look too bad now, does he, in hindsight.

      b

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. Here is a year by year tracking of budget surpluses vs deficits. It seems the deficits have HUGELY outweighed the surpluses.

      http://www.davemanuel.com/history-of-deficits-and-surpluses-in-the-united-states.php

      and sure, if you ignore health costs and the cost of waging numerous wars, the picture looks even better but once you toss in the unfunded liabilities (Social Security) and one shakes ones head in disbelief at the assertion that the US is the model of fiscal prudence.

      It should be noted that deficits in their own right aren't necessarily bad but you couple perpetual deficit with large current account deficits and you've got a recipie for disaster. Good thing the US has biggest, baddest, bestest printing press going these days.

      Delete
    5. Max wrote:

      "the revenues and expenditures hovered around 18% to 20% for the last half century"

      It sure would be nice to see where those numbers came from and, even better, what that sentance is supposed to mean - i.e. 18% to 20% of what?

      Delete
    6. % of GDP.

      And I've posted those numbers too damn many times to indulge you now. Rufus may if he feels like it but I won't.

      Delete
    7. Nope, me neither. If he doesn't know'em by now he needs to find a different place to hang out.

      Delete
    8. How about it Rufus? It appears that Max is pouting and won't support her claims.

      Delete
    9. If I spent even a tiny amount of time researching claims made by posters here then I would hardly have time to do anything else with my life. Your assertion that the US federal deficit is in the range of 2% of GDP appears, on a quick google, to be patently false, and no, having a few years actually hitting the range that you assert does not qualify as a quick google reveals.

      http://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/federal_deficit_chart.html

      Rufus and Max are liars - please google for verification!

      Delete
    10. They are only off by a factor or, oh, 200%, 300%, 1000%

      What a load of shit.

      Delete
    11. Are you drunk? Who said anything about the deficit being 2%?

      Delete
  23. Of course, it Was his administration that allowed Al Queda to gain strength to the point that they could pull off 9-11.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, well, he was too busy with Monica, fending off rape charges and other sundry from who knows all, impeachments, that kind of thing...we need to be understanding here.

      b

      Delete
  24. The final bill will run at least $3.7 trillion and could reach as high as $4.4 trillion, according to the research project "Costs of War" by Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/29/us-usa-war-idUSTRE75S25320110629

    Which doesn't include the unfunded cost of Bush's Prescription Drug bill or the tax cuts.

    Short span story being the country was 'managing' its fiscal books just fine until health care and the ME kicked into high gear. (As posted on a regular to boring basis many times, the revenues and expenditures hovered around 18% to 20% for the last half century. Stability.) Highly situational causation. Far from structural. Parliament not yet required.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm done for awhile. Tried to post new but generated a repeat of the above.

    ReplyDelete
  26. The Belmont Breeze
    Official drink of the Belmont Stakes
    Created by Dale DeGroff

    BELMONT BREEZE*
    Dale DeGroff's original signature
    drink of the Belmont Stakes

    1 1/2 ounces Bourbon (can be doubled for those from Mississippi)
    1/2 ounce Sherry (ditto above)
    1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
    1/2 simple syrup
    Splash fresh orange juice
    Splash cranberry juice
    5 mint leaves
    1 mint sprig
    1 orange zest

    Assemble the first six ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with orange peel and mint sprig.



    Belmont Breeze --

    http://www.kingcocktail.com/belmont.htm


    Nice looking drink.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  27. The losers are China's banks. A narrower spread between lending and deposit interest rates eats into the interest margin that is their main source of profitability.

    For Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China's biggest bank by assets, the interest margin accounted for 77% of income in 2011. Thursday's move threatens to take a significant bite out of that.

    Lowering the cost of capital for borrowers also comes with a price tag attached, risking reinflating China's house price bubble, and exacerbating the economy's unbalanced reliance on investment as a source of growth. Wang Qinwei, China economist at Capital Economics, said "There could be no stronger signal of the government's commitment to growth than this, but another round of stimulus will make the economic structure worse not better."

    ReplyDelete
  28. “We have a choice,” Ryan told reporters, mostly ignoring jeers from a protester holding a sign that read “Say No to Romney-Ryan Budget.”

    “Do we want to go on the current path we are on, that President Obama has put us on – a nation of debt, a nation of doubt and a nation of decline with a terrible jobs result? Or are we going to elect a new president who will tackle these fiscal problems, who will get the economy turned around, who will get job creation, and who will prevent a debt crisis so our kids will have a debt-free nation and our seniors can rely on the promises that have been promised to them.”

    If Wisconsin is to be competitive this fall—and it should be—it’ll be hard to ignore advice from two of the most popular conservatives in the state, and in the country.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Mr Cameron said: “If these reports are true, it is yet another absolutely brutal and sickening attack.

    ...

    “We need to do much more to isolate Syria, to isolate the regime, to put the pressure on and to demonstrate that the whole world wants to see a political transition from this illegitimate regime and to actually see one that can take care of its people.

    “It really is appalling, what is happening in that country, and I want to see concerted action from the international community.”

    ReplyDelete
  30. But...but...but...bath salts make you a zombie cannibal, don’t they? You can hear the Sen. Schumers of the world ask that question.

    ...

    So instead of banning bath salts, how about enforcing the existing ban on zombie cannibalism? And if we can’t do that, can we at least ban opportunistic, incompetent legislators?

    Oh, Calgon, take me away!

    ReplyDelete
  31. On this day in 1972, the musical "Grease" first opened on Broadway.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Two Aboriginals were riding along the highway on a motorbike. They broke down and started trying to hitch a lift.
    A friendly trucker (Wilko) stopped to see if he could help and they asked him for a lift.
    He told them he had no room in the rig because he was carrying 20,000 lawn bowls.
    The Aboriginals put it to Wilko that if they could manage to fit in the back with their bike, would he give them a lift, and he relented.
    They managed to squeeze themselves and their motorbike into the back of the wagon so Wilko the driver shut the doors and got off on his way.
    By this time he was really late and so pushed his foot down hard.
    Sure Enough the Highway Patrol pulled him over for speeding. The good officer asked Wilko what he was carrying to which he replied jokingly-- Indiginous eggs'.
    The Highway Patrol Officer obviously didn't believe this so wanted to take a look for himself.
    He opened the back door and quickly slammed it shut it and locked it. Then he got onto his radio and called for immediate backup from as many officers as possible.
    The dispatcher asked what emergency there was that required so many officers.
    'I've got a wagon with 20,000 ABBO eggs in it - 2 have hatched and the bastards have managed to steal a motorbike already'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It could have been worse. They could have been ABBA eggs.

      Delete
    2. I hear the ABBOS will steal anything but a Saab.

      Nobody ever said they were "stupid."

      :)

      Delete
    3. :), where do you get all these Jokes?

      Delete
  33. ((((((QUIRK ALERT)))))))


    Quirk, Dale could find a place for even YOU in God's great plan for the world--

    BOB

    I SAY WHY NOT BECAUSE WOLVES ARE BECOMING DANGEROUS; A LADY SHOT A RATHER LARGE WOLF NEAR HEADQUARTERS, ID AND ANOTHER WAS SHOT IN SOUTHERN IDAHO AND IN BOTH CASES THE WOLVES WAS IN A CHARGING RUN.

    I THINK THAT EVEN ANIMALS ARE ALSO IN THE GOD'S PLAN OF ACTION, I HEARD THE THERE WAS NEVER A CASE WHERE A WOLF ATTACK A HUMAN UP UNTIL NOW.

    BLESSINGS DALE

    BY THE WAY THAT EVIL o THING IS GETTING QUITE UNPOPULAR BECAUSE EVEN THE DEMOCRATS ARE LEAVING HIM



    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The words of Obama's elder daughter (Malika?) run through my mind (paraphrased): First Black President? Better do a good job.

      She is turning into a beautiful young woman. I confess to feeling some pangs of sympathy for the families.

      Delete
    2. (((((((Detroit Area Zombie Alert)))))))

      DETROIT (WWJ) – Worried about a zombie attack? Buy zombie bullets.

      Talk about zombies and a possible zombie apocalypse has increased due to recent gory accounts of drug-induced, flesh-eating attacks in the news.

      Stores across the U.S., including in Metro Detroit, are getting in on the undead action by selling Zombie Bullets, made by Hornady Manufacturing.

      In promoting the product on their website, Hornady suggests, “Be PREPARED – supply yourself for the Zombie Apocalypse with Zombie Max ammunition from Hornady! Loaded with PROVEN Z-Max bullets… MAKE DEAD PERMANENT!”


      http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2012/06/07/zombie-bullets-in-high-demand-following-flesh-eating-attacks/

      Detroit has the nation's highest per capita concentration of zombies of both the flesh eating and brain dead variety.

      But, we here all know that.

      b

      Delete
    3. Obama had the perfect opportunity, due to his racial makeup, of being a real healer here in the USA. But he has consistently emphasized his black half.

      I've always thought all along he should have been saying -

      Hi, I'm Barry Obama, half and half, I represent you all. I've lived the whole thing. We're all Americans now.

      People would have responded to that.

      b

      Delete
  34. RE: the Chinese, the Taliban, and USA.

    The objective?

    This gives the appearance that the Taliban wished to use the hostages to establish direct contact with Beijing, exploit the vulnerability of Chinese interests in the region to intimidate China, discredit the Zardari government by demonstrating its inability to protect them, and encourage the Chinese to involve themselves in Taliban matters to help pressure Pakistan's civilian government.

    The Chinese Move?

    Aware of the weakness and instability of the Zardari government - and unhappy with its marked pro-US tilt - China appears to be reaching out to other stakeholders in the Taliban mess. A commentary in the People's Daily on February 23 contained a clear statement of China's desire that the threat of Islamic militancy be neutralized through concerted multilateralism instead of by a quixotic US-led military campaign of extermination.

    It warned the President Barack Obama administration not to rely solely on a unilateral hard power surge to solve the Afghan problem, and urged the United States to stabilize Pakistan, conciliate Russia, and be realistic in defining acceptable outcomes for Afghanistan.

    Peter Lee, Asia Times Online (2009).

    Enter Hekmatyar (again):

    The significance of the agreement - and the involvement of "one senior intelligence official" - probably indicates that China anticipates a festering crisis in the Taliban-controlled Pashtun areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan and doesn't expect that the Zardari administration will be especially responsive or effective in helping China with its security issues.

    Therefore, instead of relying on Pakistan's central government, Beijing is upgrading its direct contacts with the non-Taliban sectors of Pakistan's civilian polity, Islamist political parties, and intelligence apparatus.

    It may also mean that China is considering placing a cautious bet with one of the most important non-Taliban Pashtun insurgent commanders in Afghanistan, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK I'm going to try to post Part II.

      Delete
  35. Part II

    Gulbuddin Hekwho?

    Hekmatyar's war never ended, as today, more than three decades later, he fights the US-led coalition in Afghanistan, probably with some of the same weapons that US tax dollars paid for. To many, he epitomises the short-sighted alliances of the US, siding with unreliable figures who, even during their cooperation, openly expressed their dislike for the US world view.

    ...

    Richard Bulliet, a professor of history at Columbia University, attended one of Hekmatyar's talks in New York, and said the commander was accompanied by the Afghan-born Zalmay Khalilzad, a senior advisor on Afghanistan to Reagan's State Department.

    Khalilzad went on to become the Bush administration's ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, and most recently the United Nations. He is considered one of the main architects of the post 9/11 Afghan political system.

    Bulliet says the trip was under the close watch of Khalilzad, who had instructed Hekmatayr to avoid responding to any question about religion and politics.

    "I asked Zal [as Khalilzad is casually known] whether there wasn't a contradiction between US government's disapproval of a militant Islamic regime in Iran and its active support for Mr Hekmatyar, who seemed to me much more militant than the leading Iranians," Bulliet told Al Jazeera.

    "Zal said something to the effect that we would cross that bridge when we came to it. And that bridge, in my personal view, was 9/11."

    LINK

    The same Hekmatyar that (allegedly?) skirted bin Laden out of Tora Bora.

    ReplyDelete
  36. "Max (short for Maxine)Thu Jun 07, 07:29:00 PM EDT
    The words of Obama's elder daughter (Malika?) run through my mind (paraphrased): First Black President? Better do a good job.

    She is turning into a beautiful young woman. I confess to feeling some pangs of sympathy for the families."

    ---

    Yeah, me too:

    By the time she's ripe, Bill and Bernadine will be too old to teach her bomb making, The Rev will have retired, and she'll have nothing but his DVD'S and her fond memories of growing up in his Church.

    Well, that and mom's simmering anger and dad's flat out lies about who he really is and what he really wants for this country.

    Should turn into a real sweetheart.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Because this is like what would happen if Black Swan and Legally Blonde had a baby, and trust: you DO NOT want to see the end of that movie.

    (It helps if you've seen the movies.)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Replies
    1. I think she's cute, but my smiley face was aimed at Doug the Dagger.

      I may pass on the movie. :)

      b

      Delete
  39. Are not most of you children of the '60's or old enough to remember same?

    "Never trust anyone over 30."

    Etc.

    Or has youthful rebellion been so thoroughly removed from the cultural phenotype?

    Barack Obama was a cypher who got catapulted into history by virtue of his rhetoric, a savvy PR effort, and GWB's unpopularity.

    Obama is no more a Marxist than GWB.

    Mrs Obama has issues I think but she is no worse than Nancy Reagan, or Jackie.

    Doug and people like him are going to scream and holler the "two-dimensional"** Kudlow/Krauthammer line for the next five months.

    (**The 'black and white' treatment comes directly from the Illuminati literature.)

    Deal with it.

    I predict Obama will win - popular and electoral.

    Deal with that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's gonna be 363 to 175 Romney. Deal with that.

      Obama is no more a Marxist than GWB

      Good Grief. What to say to that.

      I'm reduced to silence.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGOhveZW8us

      Your slip is showing, it's red! And not Republican red.

      b

      Delete
    2. Make sure you bookmark my prediction.

      b

      Delete
    3. "(**The 'black and white' treatment comes directly from the Illuminati literature.)"

      What a lot of horse shit. More than at the stables.

      What "Illuminati" literature?

      What gibberish.



      b

      Delete
  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Relax, trust bobbo, you won't have to.

      We'll have a polite proper Mormon Pres with some decorum who doesn't tell dirty jokes at the Transgender Convention.

      You'll have to deal with that.

      b

      Delete
    2. .

      Which brings us back to the subject of this stream, drones. It is one aspect of what is happening in this country under Obama.

      Recently, Congress indicated they are planning to investigate the leaks associated with Obama's "Kill List'. The GOP is concerned that someone is leaking sensitive documents in order to "make Obama look good". They want to catch and punish the leakers, what in the days of the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate might have been called whistleblowers. How friggin screwed up is that bit of thinking?

      Obama personally authorizes who, be it an American Citizen or not, will be killed by the drones. This is done without the person being officially charged with a crime, without an indictment being drawn, without a trial, without a judge at any level being advised or consulted. The drones are then sent in to kill the person. Anyone around the target is considered a bad guy deserving of the same fat be the person a man, woman, or child. To those who question the legality or constitutionality of these actions, Holder indicates that the DOJ has drawn up a legal memo that outlines the rationale and justification. When asked to see the memo and the rationale, we are told that it is secret. However, we are assured that every victim of the drone attack has received 'due process'.

      So Obama is saying that the President has the power to target and kill anyone, even American citizens, without charging them, without indicting them, without trying them even in abstentia.

      Nixon must have been right, '...if the President does it, then it isn't illegal.

      Instead of investigating the whistleblowers, Congress should be investigating the 'kill-list' and the usurpation of power behind it.

      Yet, some here say the drones are at the bottom of the list of things to worry about.

      .

      Delete
  41. I wish I could get excited about Romney. That’s all I’m dealing with now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What if it's raining Nov. 6th? Hard to get "Unexcited" people out in the rain.

      Delete
    2. It doesn't matter. Deuce can't stand Obama, neither can most other sane folks. That's the motivator.

      Rain or shine, makes no difference.

      b

      Delete
    3. .

      I too find it hard to get excited about Romney and I have ranted and raged at the GOP for helping out their well-heeled friends and leaving the rest of us with the crumbs. Once again, the GOP is as bad or worse than the Dems.

      But I would rather the GOP help their friends out with borrowed money (which we will probably never pay back anyway), than to have Obama strip me of the few rights still guaranteed to me by the Constitution.

      .

      Delete
  42. Obama states, circa November, 2012 -

    Massachusetts
    Rhode Island
    Connecticut
    New Jersey
    Delaware
    Maryland
    D.C.
    New York
    Vermont
    Illinois
    California
    Washington

    Everything: Romney

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everything else: Romney

      dammit I worked hard on that.

      b

      Delete
  43. In China, the government usually has to decide between short-term growth and long-term economic reforms. This time, it has made a decent stab at doing both.

    Thursday's interest-rate cut, the first since December 2008, is a decisive move in favor of supporting growth.

    ReplyDelete
  44. What is this? New wave cultural puritanism?

    I was going to settle for reminding the stiff-collared in the choir about "Happy Birthday Mr President" but what the heck, lay it on a little thicker for the memory-challenged:

    Top Five

    ...

    What Illuminati literature?

    What is this? Dumb fuck night. Look it up for Christs sake.

    ...



    Money is pouring into this election. It may or may not work. (It usually does.) But the electorate is poised to surprise - in either direction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As significant a body of literature as Fly Fishing The Rockies In Spring Runoff literature.

      b

      Delete
    2. Money is pouring into this election.

      Oh?

      It may or may not work.

      hmmmm

      (It usually does.)

      Qualifier.

      But the electorate is poised to surprise - in either direction.

      The backtrack from "I predict Obama will win - popular and electoral."

      b

      Delete
    3. And timing perfect, D sends me this --

      http://personalliberty.com/2012/06/07/why-obama-will-lose-in-a-landslide/?eiid=

      Wayne Allen Root, premier odds-maker in Vegas.

      (he got it from me)

      7 minute video

      The thing about predictions is, you want to make them early, and no ifs and or buts, but really solid. Because if you are wrong, people will forget in a day or two, but if you are right, they remember forever the one you got really right. Good for the reputation.

      b

      Delete
    4. What is that? Your "Doug the Dagger" impersonation?

      I engaged in hyperbole to incite the incitable (Doug and the rest of you.)

      I then segued back into reality for the sake of those who live in a world that is neither black nor white, right nor left, but easy vs hard, and usually the latter.

      Put up your dukes and fight! fight! fight!

      Show me the numbers! and fight! fight! fight!

      What is this "Oh?" crap. Did Idaho fall off the end of the earth?

      Oh I see, it's not Doug the Dagger but Quirk the Quixotic that you aim to imitate.

      You people are beginning to morph into a giant blob thing that gobsmacks itself without batteries (oh! a sexual innuendo!! Call the SI police.)

      I'm going to watch my movie now.

      Delete
    5. Intersection of Sands Avenue, Spring Mountain Road, and Las Vegas Boulevard, Maxine, you can see it there --

      http://www.rootofsuccess.com/main/stars.php

      :)

      Guy has a point. I, of course, having been saying it all along, but 'nobody listens' - Obama has alienated everybody, save a few gays.

      b

      Delete
    6. Have a good movie. Enjoy.

      b

      Delete
    7. In RealWorld tm you're just stupid and unfunny.

      Delete
    8. In HerWorld, she's Master of the EB and a Comedy Queen.

      Delete
    9. This is stupid.

      This is unfunny.

      This is comedy, much like our modern political system.

      Real world reminder.

      Delete
    10. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  45. Obama's going to win in a squeaker, unfortunately. By a couple points. His OBL take-down, and aggressive stance in general, towards AQ is going to get him over the line.

    ReplyDelete
  46. A few years ago all anyone could bitch about was Bush's "Rules of Engagement."

    Now, the same people are upset because Obama's killing the bastards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you trying to incite the incitable,
      or release our inner others?

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. .

      We've complained about GWB's rules of engagement and how they hamstrung the troops. We still complain about Obama's rules of engagement and how they affect the troops.

      I don't think many people care that much about the bastards being taken down; however, some care about all the 'little' bastards and the 'collateral' bastards that are taken down with them.

      But as they say in the South, you got to crack a few crabs and shell a few shrimp if you want a seafood gumbo.

      .

      Delete
  47. f D.C.’s lords of conventional wisdom would dismiss the Libertarian party as extremist and irrelevant, Republicans and Democrats do so at their peril. Libertarians are unlikely to win a presidential election anytime soon, but they may decide it: According to Public Policy Polling, Gary Johnson is polling at 7 percent and 15 percent in the crucial swing states of New Hampshire and New Mexico, respectively.

    ...

    Still, Johnson no doubt wishes party activists were more concerned with organizing to get his name on the ballot in all 50 states—a hurdle libertarian candidates often fail to clear—than, say, sitting around in a casino discussing the technical challenges of getting gas stations to offer variable price points that take into account the real-time fluctuations in commodity values used to back private currencies. If Johnson is serious about expanding the electoral appeal of the Libertarian party, at some point he’s going to have to contend with the purists in his own party.

    ...

    Until that’s sorted out, you have to give the Libertarian party this—they don’t just believe in freedom, they live it. Maybe cross-dressing prostitutes and arguments over competing currencies should take a backseat for now, but it’s their party and they’ll do what they want to.

    ReplyDelete
  48. A Welsh man buys several sheep, hoping to breed them for wool.

    After several weeks, he notices that none of the sheep are getting pregnant, and phones a vet for help.

    The vet tells him that he should try artificial insemination.

    The farmer doesn't have the slightest idea what this means but, not wanting to display his ignorance, only asks the vet how he will know when the sheep are pregnant.

    The vet tells him that they will stop standing around and instead will lie down and wallow in grass when
    they are pregnant.

    The man hangs up and gives it some thought. He comes to the conclusion that artificial insemination means he has to impregnate the sheep himself.

    So, he loads the sheep into his Land Rover, drives them out into the woods, has sex with them all, brings them back, and goes to bed.

    Next morning, he wakes and looks out at the sheep. Seeing that they are all still standing around, he deduces that the first try didn't take, and loads them in the Land Rover again.

    He drives them out to the woods, bangs each sheep twice for good measure, brings them back, and goes to bed
    exhausted.


    Next morning, he wakes to find the sheep still just standing round..

    Try again. he tells himself, and proceeds to load them up, and drive them out to the woods. He spends all day shagging the sheep and upon returning home, falls listlessly into bed.

    The next morning, he cannot even raise himself from the bed to look out of the window.

    He asks his wife to look, and tell him if the sheep are lying in the grass.


    No, she says,

    they're all in the Land Rover,

    and one of them is beeping the horn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where the fuck do they all come from?

      Australia is not an acceptable answer.

      Delete
  49. Friend of mine in Perth, Western Australia emails them to me. Along with a lot of T & A, I must say.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Replies
    1. Did you notice she put a pillow between what looks to be the bottom fixture and the ceiling?

      The feathers hit the ground after the Hippo.

      Delete