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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Our continuing expertise in the Middle East





(NEWSER) – While Western nations pressure Iran with sanctions, Iraq is helping its neighbor by smuggling oil and letting Iran secretly move cash through daily bank auctions, the New York Times reports. President Obama has already reprimanded one Iraqi bank that helped Iran, but now a Treasury official says the US is "actively pursuing" efforts to stop Iran from skirting sanctions "in Iraq or anywhere else." Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki all but controls Iraq's central bank and is "right in the middle of this,” said a former US intelligence official. Even worse, Iraqi and US officials say Iranian organizations have de facto control over four Iraqi banks—which violates sanctions by giving Iran access to the world's financial system. An Iraqi official insists that Iraq "is not intending to break any rules," but "we also have good relations with Iran that we do not want to break." As for the oil smuggling, sources say Iraq is smuggling fuel oil into Iran and allowing at least some Iranian oil to find its way to Iraqi ports for sale.

102 comments:

  1. Hell of a situation. The Shia Iraqis sure know how to say thanks, Unca Sam, for getting Saddam off our ass. Maybe they are thinking about when Iran gets the bomb. Who knows what the hell they are thinking. I sure don't.


    But I can understand this -- heh --




    Timing is everything, and seeing her opening. Sarah suggested Obama replace Biden with Hillary.

    ((Once again she demonstrated her superb political skills.)) Her jibe locked Obama into running with Biden again; reminded Hillary supporters how much better a choice she would have been than Joe; showed how much smarter Sarah was than Biden, the dummy Obama ran with and whose constant gaffes (like Obama's) had been downplayed or covered up by a then love struck press.

    Since Palin made the suggestion, Biden and Obama are now shackled together, like Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis in the old movie "The Defiant Ones." ((It's as if she tattooed on their backsides "Together Forever.")) Joe's many fumbles this week caused Obama publicly to meet with Hillary and Joe. Afterward , Biden was shipped off to Delaware where it is unlikely he will be allowed out without minders and prepared statements until the election is over. Polls show what common sense suggests, Biden's a liability to Obama.


    Sarah tattooed Joe to Barry's backside. heh heh

    And so many people have said she's a brainless broad who stinks of dead moose.

    heheheh

    Do read more, there is a wonderful picture of Biden gaged and masked.

    He can't go out without minders anymore.

    Even I can do that.

    The President is the most unfree man in America, said Emerson.

    He might today say the Vice-President.


    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/08/the_defiant_ones.html#ixzz23yTKhpR2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it was Quirk who said what a brainless broad Sarah is, and how he would vote for Obama over her.

      She tweets a few words, and changes the world, and controls who's on the Democratic ticket.

      heheheh!

      Delete
    2. .

      Bob, you're assumption that Obama would be swayed by anything this dizzy chcik said, is paramount to the "Number 42" theory promoted by some on this blog.

      You are certifiable.

      .

      Delete
    3. .

      People talk about what a political genius Palin is and cite some races she has supported that won. Hell, during 2010, she supported as many (if not more) losers than she did winners. Fifty/fifty? That's not genius, that's the law of averages.

      I have often cited Palin's ability to make a buck, even complemented her on it. Unfortunately, she makes the money by being a 'political pundit' just like Rush, Hannity, Chris Matthews, and Lawrence O'Donnell. She does it by feeding nonsense to guys like you and the other Chip Dillers out there on the GOP side.

      I would try to explain further but you are hopeless.

      .

      Delete
  2. The collective genius of our rulers and masters is not just limited to military adventurism and MEM ( Middle East Meddling)

    When it comes to trade we are truly amazing:

    Chinese foreign direct investment, or outbound FDI, in the US reached $3.6 billion in the first half of this year, and covered 33 projects. $3.6 Billion. My God what a staggering figure! Huge baby, huge. We are showing the Red Chinese the real tricks of the trade when it comes to capitalism. We are truly a great foreign trader.

    No?
    Maybe?

    Maybe not.

    Our trade deficit with China for 2012 will hit $145 billion.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Reading history and literature will not teach you how to make a living, but it may teach you how to make a life."
    Laibl Glick

    May.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Racism: term used by a liberal to concede an argument.


    “When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become corrupt as in Europe, and go to eating one another as they do there.”

    Thomas Jefferson in a letter to James Madison on December 20, 1787

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations"

      - James Madison

      Delete
  5. Sir Winston, upon being asked if he had any criticism of the United States, replied tersely: "Toilet paper too thin, newspapers too fat."

    Mark Steyn

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hooligans in song -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALS92big4TY

    Pussy Riot sings the cathedral

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. or, Pussy Riot does the cathedral

      Delete
  7. Reserve Currency status normally lasts about 100 yrs. We're coming up on 100 yrs.

    Zerohedge

    Countries abuse the status, and get overly extended in foreign adventurism. Then, they, invariably, get broke.

    It's time we leave the middleeast to the middleeasterners, and get back to our knitting. Time's running out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice link, Rufus. Here's what I got when I went there -

      ATP Oil And Gas Files For Bankruptcy, CEO Blames Obama


      Now that the "alternative energy" industry is in shambles following one after another solar company bankruptcy, as the realization that at current prices, alternative energy business models are still just too unsustainable, no matter how much public equity is pumped into them, more "traditional" companies have resumed circling the drain. First, it was Patriot Coal, which finally succumbed to reality a month ago. Now it is the turn of ATP Oil and Gas, which filed Chapter 11 in Texas last night.

      Delete
    2. PICKET:Obama camp - We are intentionally limiting crowd size at rallies

      Kerry Picket Published on August 18, 2012

      The presumptive GOP presidential and vice presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan are attracting thousands of supporters to their campaign rallies since Mr. Romney named Mr. Ryan to the bottom of the ticket. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has taken notice of the massive crowds at the Romney Ryan stump speeches and sent out an urgent e-mail to their supporters, reported The Washington Examiner last week.

      However, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are not drawing the crowds they once could. The New York Times is reporting that the Obama campaign is saying that it is intentionally limiting crowd size at their events because of security and cost:

      “We have plenty of time for big rallies,” a campaign spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said between the rallies on Thursday. “Our focus right now is on exciting our supporters and winning over undecided voters and the smaller and medium-size events are the best venue to accomplish that because the president can closely engage with the crowd.

      ”Big rallies are expensive, especially given the logistical and security challenges for a president as opposed to a mere United States senator. And Obama campaign operatives, both at the Chicago headquarters and in swing states where Mr. Obama recently has stumped, say the campaign intentionally limits crowds by restricting tickets. The reason is to allow the president to better connect with supporters, aides say


      ...

      ...Mickey Davis • 8 hours ago
      Its the same with CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC they are limiting their audience so those that still listen to them can better interact, It just cost to much to reach millions,


      john_robinson • 10 hours ago −
      Seriously? Are they really trying this lame excuse? If they were outdrawing Romney, they'd be crowing about it... but because they're not, "they meant to do that"?
      This is a joke, right?


      Gerald Meazell • 2 hours ago
      Hey, Øbama, you didn't mean to do that, but you're surely the one that made that happen.

      Delete
  8. If an asteroid hit DC, what part of it, if any, would we need to replace?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Smithsonian?

      Oh, I know.

      The Lincoln Memorial.

      :)

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. 1. Traditional Medicare works better, and more cheaply, than most private-insurance plans.

      With tens of millions of enrollees, Medicare can exploit its bargaining power to pay health-care providers less than private insurers do: that is the great advantage of a single-payer system. Typically, doctors and hospitals receive twenty or thirty per cent less from Medicare for a given procedure than they do from private insurers. They don’t like it, but they need the business.

      Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2012/08/privatizing-medicare-a-supporter-recants.html#ixzz2406Wft3B

      Delete
    2. 2. Medicare’s big challenge is demographics, not cost inflation.

      We’ve all seen the projections: if nothing is done to constrain it, spending on retiree health care will virtually swallow the federal budget. But what’s driving that spending is the growing number of enrollees—another million and a half Baby Boomers every year—rather than rising spending per person. “[W]hen it comes to what health-care costs per person, Medicare’s growth rate is remarkably low,” Feder pointed out—about three per cent a year over the next decade, according to the latest projections, which is considerably less than the cost inflation in the private-insurance sector.

      Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2012/08/privatizing-medicare-a-supporter-recants.html#ixzz2407MlNQC

      Delete
    3. 3. In the health-care industry, competition hasn’t produced the savings that economists expected, and it has led to other problems, such as gaps in coverage.

      Remember the rise of H.M.O.s, another idea promoted by Enthoven that was supposed to revolutionize health care and drive down costs? Part of the problem is the advance of costly treatments. But a bigger problem is that private insurers, rather than haggling with doctors and hospitals, try to make money by limiting the procedures they cover and by aggressively managing their risk pools—that is, taking on fewer sick people. This problem can be addressed through vigorous oversight, but that’s not an easy thing to implement, especially when half of Congress is controlled by a party that breaks out in hives at the very idea of government regulation.

      4. Significant measures have already been taken to reduce the future growth of Medicare spending.

      Under the Affordable Care Act of 2010—“Obamacare”—the formula that governs payments to health-care providers was altered to reduce outlays significantly—about five hundred billion dollars over ten years. Assuming that these measures go into effect, their impact will be very noticeable. Citing numbers from the Congressional Budget Office, Feder wrote that “Medicare premiums, currently estimated to be 11 percent lower than private insurance premiums for the same benefit package, will be about 30 percent lower by the end of the next decade.” (This change in the growth in outlays accounts for much of what Romney has been referring to as money taken away from seniors.)


      Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2012/08/privatizing-medicare-a-supporter-recants.html#ixzz2407iz0eN

      Delete
    4. 5. Retirees can already make choices about what sort of health-care coverage they want.

      Although Medicare is often regarded as a monolithic system, it has actually changed quite a bit. Aaron noted: “The sort of competitive system that voucher advocates say they want to create already exists. The average Medicare enrollee today may choose among an average of 24 plans, in addition to traditional Medicare, including 10 health maintenance organizations.”

      6. For many elderly patients, choice isn’t necessarily a good thing. Back to Aaron: “The Medicare population contains many people with mental disabilities and early or advanced mental decline. The recently announced Wyden-Ryan plan promises to provide voucher recipients with ‘clear and easy to understand information’ on various plans. Has any of you actually read the clear and easy to understand (!) information that Medicare and private insurers now distribute to enrollees? To think that providing ‘clear and easy to understand information’ equips those with mental disabilities or early-state dementia to deal with competing insurers is delusional.”


      Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2012/08/privatizing-medicare-a-supporter-recants.html#ixzz2408DJVuL

      Delete
    5. Can't you use a damned link?

      Delete
    6. I don't like having your crap slapped in my face like that.

      Delete
    7. Now look who's complaining about links.

      Scroll, nutcake, scroll.

      Delete
    8. I knew you couldn't make a link; I was afraid you didn't know how to Use one.

      Delete
  10. Obama has done in the last 3 weeks...

    unfrozen 200 million for the PA (palestinian authority) that was frozen by Congress for violating the spirit and meaning of the Oslo Peace Process and going directly to the UN for Statehood. a major, clear violation on the basis for the Oslo Accord.

    funded 300 million in USAID projects for the West Bank, no American companies need apply, these are for Palestinian ONLY own companies.

    congratulated the moslem brotherhood complete take over of the military in egypt and promised more than 1.5 additional billion in USA funding for Egypt...

    Makes you proud to be an American, a nation that supports savages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An American armed, modern Muslim Brotherhood Army and Air Force!

      Ushered in with the beginnings of crucifixions.

      Delete
    2. We've got a damned moslim loving President, and Hillary,the great feminist, is cheering right along as sharia is imposed in Egypt.

      Our nation is teetering on the brink.

      Delete
    3. And our President whispers to the Russian, be patient, this is my last election, it will be easier then...to weaken our country).

      Delete
  11. Dove Fight!!!

    Two other doves, sex unknown, tried to monkey with her and her nest making, and man did she let them have it!

    Right out on the pavement in the street. For a few seconds there it was like a three way wrestling match, down on the pavement and rolling around.

    She pushed the other two into retreat, and is back at work.

    She doesn't have a union or goverment job here on this, she started at 7:00am on the dot. Yesterday she worked straight through to 2:30 pm, and knocked off because of the heat. No lunch break. Then was back when it cooled in the evening.

    She's gettin' her done.

    I wonder what those other two were about? Whatever it was she was having none of it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. An excerpt from the Ezra Klein - Chris Van Hollen interview

    CVH: I do believe it’s been missed. But I do want to emphasize that the Romney-Ryan Medicare plan would have immediate cost increases for seniors. I know they like to talk about the fact that their plan doesn’t really begin till 10 years from now, but for seniors with high prescription drug costs, the Ryan-Romney plan would increase their costs immediately. And if you decide not to take the savings in Obamacare, you pass that onto seniors in the form of higher co-pays. So it’s not true their plan doesn’t have an impact for 10 years.

    That said, I certainly agree that the Romney-Ryan budget has a dramatic, negative effect on Medicaid. According to the Congressional Budget Office it will cut Medicaid by one-third over 10 years. That’s a huge hit, and a lot of people don’t realize that two-thirds of Medicaid spending goes to support seniors in nursing homes and individuals with disabilities. That would dramatically hurt seniors who rely on Medicaid and low-income families and kids.

    EK: That’s an interesting point, and one I haven’t thought about before. A key argument of both Romney and Ryan is their cuts won’t affect you if you’re over 55. But if you’re a senior on Medicaid, and a lot of the sickest seniors are on Medicaid, they would.

    CVH: That’s right. While seniors represent a smaller part of the Medicaid program, they represent most of the costs. And again, you’ve got two-thirds of the costs in Medicaid going to seniors in nursing.

    Complete Interview

    ReplyDelete
  13. Current voting on Obamateurism of the Week -

    Thank you for voting!

    Wants to "do the same thing" to all industries as he did with auto industry 35.19% (891 votes)


    Ryan gets overflow hometown crowd, Obama gets half-empty venue 2.21% (56 votes)


    Blames Ryan for blocking farm bill ... that the House already passed 18.64% (472 votes)


    Laments that First Ladies don't get paid, while paying women on WH staff less than the men 5.81% (147 votes)


    Hiding from WH press corps while giving interviews to People and Entertainment Tonight 38.15% (966 votes)



    Total Votes: 2,532
    ......

    Voting is going on now. Got to Hot Air to participate!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. American citizens only.

      Must show photo I.D.

      Delete
    2. That would have made your wife ineligible to vote, in 2008.
      She had no Ohio photo ID. Nor could she vote, legally, in Ohio.

      did not stop her, nor even slow her down, in the desire to get McCain elected President.

      Oh, the lengths of unethical behavior, even illegality zealots will go to, for ideological purposes.

      Delete
    3. B's basic misunderstanding of reality show through.

      America has no citizens.
      America is not a country.

      The United States is a country in America that does have citizens.
      Not all of the States in America are in that Union.

      b's basic misunderstanding of geography and geopolitics shines through.

      Delete

  14. Trevelyan couldn’t have said it better—and didn’t. In his numerous speeches in Parliament, as the fate of the Irish deteriorated direly, he continued to pound that same theme Ryan used on the budget—a theme Romney picked up several days before his selection of Ryan (at conservatives’ strong insistence), by adopting that same language at public events: President Obama was encouraging a climate of “government dependence” by the poor, which Romney vowed to aggressively reverse.


    Back in mid-19th century Parliament, Trevelyan wasn’t alone, just as Ryan and Romney aren’t now. Sir Randoph Routh, the head of the Irish Relief Commission, was such a fervent crusader for the free market that not even mass starvation and mass death failed to shake his belief. When a starving delegation from famine-struck County Mayo visited Routh’s office, he presented his guests not with food— but instead with a copy of Edmund Burke’s pamphlet Details on Scarcity, in which Burke explains how market forces deliver food more efficiently than the government. In Routh’s enthusiastic gifting of Burke’s book are shades of Ryan’s fervent profferings, for years, of the works of Ayn Rand. (To be fair, Ryan didn’t give copies of Atlas Shrugged to any starving peasants.)

    Paul Ryan's Irish Problem

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Burke explains how market forces deliver food more efficiently than the government

      Yes, we remember the efficiencies of Soviet agriculture, and the wonders of government farming in Zimbabwe.

      I imagine these incidents took place during the years of the Irish Potato Famine, which was around 1845 or so, and an entirely unique situation.

      If the crop utterly fails on 90% of the land from the potato blight, even we would have problems. At that point you need the government to cough up big cash, and buy food on the world market, and pronto.

      Delete
    2. What's the number of this Talking Point Memo, Rufus?

      Delete
    3. And by the way, your argument for government involvement in agriculture favors the price support system, to even things out, and avoid the boom, bust, scarcity, even starvation scenario.

      Delete
  15. Self-Fulfilling Prophecies



    Is the Federal Reserve doing enough? Joe Gagnon says no:


    For more than two years, the Fed has dragged its feet and resisted the obvious need for more aggressive action...

    ...A large majority of the committee projects [pdf] that inflation will be below target over the next two and a half years. If they assign any weight to their employment objective, they should be willing to accept inflation at least modestly above target in order to get a better outcome on employment.

    Considering that more aggressive action has not been taken, monetary policymakers appear to disagree. The willingness to accept the current state of affairs suggests that fear of the 1970's remains alive and well on Constitution Ave. The risks of inflation simply outweigh the expected benefits of additional easing, at least from the point of view of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Earlier this spring, Brad DeLong made an insightful observation about the real parallels with the 1970s:

    Self-fulfilling Prophecies

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      I would listen to Joe Gagnon about as much as I would listen to Paul Krugman.

      The FED did what needed to be done in 2008/2009 and I give them credit for that. Since then QE has been an expensive experiment that has done little or nothing to accomplish the FED's mandate, price stability and full employment.

      On interest rates they have kept them artificially low and on jobs they have accomplished zip.

      What Benanke has done is define two more jobs for the FED which he was never granted a mandate for, pumping up the stock market and and supporting the banks. As for joe six-pack or Bubba as Rufus would say, Bernanke appears to care less what the impact of his actions are.

      The FED has shot all its bullets and I suspect Benanke knows it. If the FED does eventually go for QE3 as the market seems to believe he will, it will help the DOW but it will do nothing for job s and thos on fixed income will continue to suck wind.

      .

      .

      Delete
  16. Replies
    1. Here's the problem as I see it, that Chinese factory worker with the new 3-cyl whatchamacallit can afford to drive when gas gets to $5.00, or even $6.00/gal.

      Bubba's gonna have a problem - a Big problem.

      Delete
    2. Chinese auto sales were up 22% Year on Year in May.

      Delete
    3. That is what will make Government Motors "Number One", again!

      Delete
    4. Yep, but, unfortunately, that doesn't hep Bubba much. He works in Biloxi, and those Chinee cars are made in Beijing.

      Delete
    5. Now, if he worked in Effingham, making ethanol, he would have a shot.

      :)

      Delete
  17. While the basic thread of this thread, the failure of Bush/Cheney post 11SEP01 Mid-East policy goes relatively unmentioned.

    Their empowerment of the Iraqi that had found shelter in Iran during the reign of the once US ally, Saddam, becomes forgotten

    That the Iraqi have longer memories than their US counterparts, par for the course.

    That the US under George the First allowed Saddam to slaughter the Shiite of southern Iraq neither forgotten nor forgiven.

    They are now repaying US for that policy choice, back in the day.
    A day that even b has forgotten. Willfully or through dementia due to illness, who can say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have no more understanding of mideast politics than a pig does of Christmas.

      Delete
    2. That guy in the picture up there, the one with the AK on his shoulder, he's the expert in Mideast politics. His life depends on it.

      I've always tried to teach the kids - don't mess with the "professional." he'll have your lunch every time.

      Delete
    3. .

      I read Deuce's post as a general indictment of US policy in the ME. Bush obviously made the biggest errors there; but Obama and Hillary are continuing their own brand of lunacy.

      .

      Delete
    4. You bet, Q.
      They are "Staying the Course!"

      Delete
  18. If b were to look at his passport, he would not find it issued by "America".

    Then again, one must wonder if b even has a passport?
    Wonder what kind of documentation he does have?

    Who issued his photo ID, I do know it was not America.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What in hell is all this rambling about my passport?

      Delete
    2. Just wondering who issued it, b.

      We all know that it was not really America. As America does not issue passports or have citizens.
      Just wondering where you have citizenship.
      Who manufactured your papers?

      Delete
  19. .

    Jimmy Kimmel points out that crime doesn't day. Kimmel repeats the video but all the blood from the first action doesn't show up in the slow motion cuts. It's a kind of PC cut. Looks like a video Ash may have edited.


    Damn

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who's Jimmy Kimmel? Sounds like a southern revival preacher. Who's the pot bellied second banana? First time I ever saw either of them. Is this really the way you spend your time?

      You need to get a job, 3Q, now that you're 'out of business', having found crime doesn't pay, usually.

      Delete
    2. .

      Jeez, Bob, do you live in a bubble.

      You need to get out more than just those occasional trips to the casino for a meal and the T-shirts.

      We'll need to start calling you bubble-boy.

      By the way, the fat guy was that basketball player Palin was messing around with.

      .

      Delete
  20. The Spanish government is preparing a series of banking-sector reforms required under the terms of the aid package. At its Aug. 24 cabinet meeting, it will present a revamp of Spain's Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring, known as the FROB, to give it more powers to seize ailing institutions.

    ...

    The Spanish finance minister said he was optimistic that tough new budget cuts and economic overhauls won't be demanded of his country, saying Spain is already "doing its homework."

    Spain in recent weeks has detailed spending cuts and tax increases valued at more than €102 billion through 2014 in an effort to lower its budget deficit to 2.8% of gross domestic product that year, just under the 3%-of-GDP limit for European Union countries. Spain's budget deficit stood at almost 9% of GDP last year.

    ReplyDelete
  21. More than 50 countries worldwide now have the use of UAVs. The most dynamic sector in the aviation industry is estimated to be worth £4 billion a year with millions being poured into researching more sophisticated varieties such as autonomous drones that do not even require remote pilots.

    The RAF's Predator MQ-9 Reapers, launched from Kandahar but piloted from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada by 39 Squadron, are used for surveillance in Afghanistan.

    MoD figures from May state that UK drones had flown a total of 34,750 hours and fired 281 missiles and laser-guided bombs.

    ReplyDelete
  22. In spite of the international outcry, three members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot were found guilty today for "hooliganism" motivated by "religious hatred." Their punishment is two years in jail, which is less than the previously mentioned feared sentences of three and seven years, but is still disappointing to the women's supporters.

    ...

    Back in February, just days before their arrest, Vice did an interview with the band. A particularly endearingly optimistic passage:

    VICE: So what inspired you guys to start Pussy Riot?
    Kot: Pussy Riot came to action around the end of September 2011, right after Putin announced that he was planning to return as president and brutally rule Russia for at least 12 more years.

    ...

    Two years in prison could be worse, but it's still a bleak reminder that states will do what they like with people who make a fuss— even with such a large backing of international support. And in all cases, in all countries where people end up in prison for terrible reasons, these women have families back at home, two of them have young children.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I’LL never forget my first globe. It was a basketball-size sphere with textured mountains and shining cerulean seas, but its crowning inner glory was a light bulb.

    ...

    A home globe doesn’t have to look old-fashioned. There are clean, modern designs now.

    Find one you like, and put it where you’re likely to stand up and touch it, to feel under your fingers what’s under your feet. Spin it slowly around and think of Marilynne Robinson’s reminder in “Gilead,” that the sun’s “light is constant” — that there’s only ever been one day.


    First Globe

    ReplyDelete
  24. Since Aug, of 2005 we (the U.S.) have cut our total oil usage by 3.4 Million bbl/day. That doesn't consider that we now use about 900,000 bbl of Ethanol a day. Once you consider that we have cut our actual Oil Usage by 4.3 Million bbl/Day.

    And, we're still standng. Quite a remarkable feat, really.

    EIA Interactive Data

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, rufus, it is quite a recession we're experiencing.
      Quite a remarkable one, really.

      2005
      Nonfarm employment increased by 146,000 in June, and the unemployment rate continued to trend down, reaching 5.0 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Over the month, payroll employment continued to grow in several industries, notably professional and
      business services and health care.

      Unemployment (Household Survey Data)

      The jobless rate in June was 5.0 percent, seasonally adjusted. It has trended downward since February 2005 and is now 1.3 percentage points lower than its most recent high in June 2003.

      The number of unemployed persons was little changed over the month at 7.5 million, but is down by 1.7 million since June 2003.


      The jobless rates for most major worker groups--adult men (4.3 percent), adult women (4.6 percent), whites (4.3 percent), blacks (10.3 percent), and Hispanics or Latinos (5.8 percent)--showed little or no change in June. The unemployment rate for teenagers edged down to 16.4 percent over the month. The unemployment rate for Asians was 4.0 percent, not seasonally adjusted.


      Now lets look at June 2012

      Nonfarm payroll employment continued to edge up in June (+80,000), and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Professional and business services added jobs, and employment in other major industries changed little over the month.

      Household Survey Data

      The number of unemployed persons (12.7 million) was essentially unchanged
      in June, and the unemployment rate held at 8.2 percent.
      (See table A-1.)

      Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for blacks (14.4 percent) edged up over the month, while the rates for adult men (7.8 percent), adult women (7.4 percent), teenagers (23.7 percent), whites (7.4 percent), and Hispanics (11.0 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.3 percent in June (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.


      5 million additional unemployed will make up for the 4.3 million bbl/day.

      Not that remarkable, really.

      Delete
    2. Clarification: That interactive graph uses "Total Oil" in the Consumption category. "Total Oil" Includes Ethanol. So you have to take into consideration that we used very little ethanol in our gasoline in 2005, and now use 900,000 bbl/day of it.

      Delete
    3. No one is paying any attention anyway, Rufus.

      Delete
    4. It makes a difference, but it doesn't cover it Rat - Not unless those people are using 36 Gallons/Day Less than they were.

      4.3/5 X 42 = 36.12

      Delete
    5. I don't care, I park my yacht in Rio this time of year.

      Delete
    6. That comes out to a decline of about .8 gal per car in the U.S.

      A two-car family is using about 1.6 gal/day less

      X 365 days that would be 292 Gallons per year

      Delete
    7. And, consider this, Rat: We've probably increased our population by close to 10 Million over that time-span. And, those unemployed, while using less gasoline than the employed, still use Some gasoline.

      So, we have 5 Million using less, but we have another 5 Million using some.

      Delete
  25. Damnit, my mega-yacht, The Idaho Princess, anchored off Sardinia, has been targeted by Italian tax bounty hunters. Can't everyone just leave me alone? I'll have to call Ash now, and find out how he handles these situations. He's in the area I think. One of his men can maybe take Princess out to sea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/19/sardinia-super-rich-tax-coastguards

      Delete
  26. If the Russian Orthodox Church can forgive Pussy Riot, can't the Pope, Vicar of Christ, forgive his own Butler?

    He better --

    If you forgive others their wrongs, your Father in heaven will also forgive yours. If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive you either. (Matthew 6:14-15)

    -- or he's gonna get it.

    ReplyDelete
  27. So, what's happening is, every time gas goes up a penny a couple of thousand Chinamen are outbidding a couple of thousand Americans for the last barrel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      Lord, Rufus. You're going to explode.

      .

      Delete
    2. What? I post about something that interests me, and I think is important, and you and Bob have a hissy fit.

      I don't get it.

      Delete
    3. I'll just tell you what I told your partner;

      Hit that Scroll button, brutha.

      Delete
  28. Asian consumers have kept their countries' economies humming while exports to Europe and the U.S., long key sources of growth, have been a drag. Now there are signs consumer spending also is ticking down, which is bad news for one of the global economy's few bright spots.

    Koreans are buying fewer cars. Chinese consumers are cutting back on new clothes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We still have a couple of tricks up our sleeve. We've stayed semi-alive with NO housing market. We will, eventually, start getting a little growth, there.

      Delete
    2. Speaking of Korea, I picked this little tidbit up the other day.

      The Japanese car companies, due to the U.S./Korea FTA, are finding it more profitable to make cars in the U.S. and ship them to Korea than to build those Korean Exports in Japan.

      So, now, when a ship pulls into port in Korea carrying Japanese cars, they carrying cars "built in the U.S."

      Delete
  29. Oh, Lord, this is beautiful:

    Republican Senate Candidate in Missouri informs the electorate that there shouldn't be an exception for rape in the anti-abortion law

    Because WOMEN DON'T GET PREGNANT FROM RAPE ("LEGITIMATE" RAPE, THAT IS)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, saw that one earlier today. He's in 'back-track' mode now.

      Delete
    2. But then Obama said you got to kill a baby that survives an abortion.

      The 'comfort room' treatment.

      And he's a 'constitutional law professor'.

      Kid is a United States citizen at the point he's out of the womb.

      They are all morons.

      Delete
  30. Claire McCaskill, the Dem Senator whose job he's trying to take actually Spent Money on His Primary Campaign.

    He Was the Favorite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we can take Missouri out of the "possible pickup" bin. :)

      Delete
    2. Not so sure. It is Missouri you are talking about.

      Delete
  31. Romney +6.3 in Missouri at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yeah, Romney will take Missouri.

      Akin, however, might not. :)

      Although, like you said, it is Missouri.

      Delete
  32. Watching my nest building dove today, I thought of Roethke's line:

    What the grave says, the nest denies.

    ReplyDelete
  33. On the WTF? front,

    For the third day Gallup has Romney +2

    and Rasmussen has Obama +2

    It gets curioser, and curioser.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Replies
    1. Akin's apology -

      http://www.akin.org/updates/akin-statement-jaco-report-interview

      Delete
  35. Just got a text from Ash:

    Admiral Bob, by serendipity was asail off Sardinia. Am on your ship. Schmee, your ship-sit sez was taken surprise by 2 non descript filthy, orderd "freeze, Itallian IRS" borded from dingy rifled whole boat gone gold, ice, pearls, $box, vandal mask and helmet, any of value, drawers tossed about, beds overturned, mess. Stowed goods in dingy rowed sunsetward. Schmee sez one called the other 3Q got big icy stare and ziplip sign & cutneck sign. Tried to start fire in galley to burn ship auto sprinklers worked good bulge pumps on CH20 nearly out. Really sorry about your loss, Bob. Instructions? Your friend and mentor Admiral Ash.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Like remarriage, Obama is now pushing, instead of Hope and Change, the "triumph of hope over experience" line.

    Rufus is biting.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Over the months I've developed a lot of respect for Standing Wolf -

    Standing+Wolf
    Hmmm! Perhaps we ought to ask whether any Islamic nation can actually be governed.
    The distinction duncer above draws between Christian societies being governed with their consent and Muslim societies being controlled is worth looking into and developing.
    I'm inclined to say many western nations are self-governing with the consent of the governed, or at least, their acquiescence, whereas among Islamic nations, autocratic rule by dictators, oligarchs, theocrats, or military tyrants is the norm, self-governance not only the exception, but the unstable, short-lived exception.
    To be fair, self-governance is a new idea for nations. Any number of so-called "primitive" tribes practiced self-governance long before the emergence of writing and recorded history. I don't have facts and figures at my disposal, but would guess varying forms of self-governance were more common than autocracy until tribes began to gather and coalesce into urban groups. What kind of self-governance? What degree of it? How was governance related to patriarchy or matriarchy, and how were those related to forms of worship? It would take an anthropoligist or two even to get us started, still less tell us with any very serious claim to authority. That aside, I'm reasonably sure of this much: the history of autocracy coincides with the history of city states and nations and empires.
    I'm deeply reluctant to tip-toe even a seventy-twelveteenth of an inch down the noble savage path, if only because our "knowledge" of Homo sapiens æons ago—"eons," if you'd prefer—consists of bits and pieces of evidence and great quantities of interpretation and hypothesis. That said, tribes probably tended toward self-governance of one kind or another, one degree or another. The larger and/or less nomadic the group, I'd guess, the more rigid the social stratification and inflexible the authority.
    By the time nations showed up, kings and aristocracies were solidly established. I doubt there was ever a dearth of high political upheaval, much of it bloody, but here, in my opinion, is the salient fact: kings and aristocrats always ruled. Ancient Athens briefly tried democracy, which was an abysmal failure. Tribes continued to govern themselves, but nations seem always to have accepted kings or tyrants or military rulers or emperors until... Well, until...
    The trend beyond autocracy probably begins with English King John's signing the Magna Carta, unless the Swiss cantons were self-governing by then. I am sure of this: the United States was the first no holds barred nation founded upon the explicit principle of self-government with the consent of the governed, and our Constitution is the oldest in the world that's still (nominally, at least) adhered to. The UK still has a royal family, but is predominantly self-governing, as are most parts of the former British empire. Europe is self-governing in name, though the EU seems to be fundamentally an economic and/or fascist oligarchy. Singapore is self-governing, and I'd guess Hong Kong still aspires to be, though it's actually a small, semi-exceptional part of autocratic communist China. Japan is self-governing in name, albeit largely oligarchic in practice. South Korea has evolved from dictatorship to self-governance within my lifetime; unfortunately, it's the exception in Asia rather than the norm.



    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/08/will_syria_become_ungovernable_comments.html#disqus_thread#ixzz243AbgoQY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry to tell you self-governance doesn't seem to be faring well. At least half of humanity is ruled in both fact and name: everyone in communist countries, everyone in Islamic countries with the possible exception of Turkey, nearly everyone in Africa, and people who live under de facto oligarchies in Latin America. Even where it still exists, representative government seems to be devolving into rule in all but name. We Americans still get to vote, for example, but to a greater and greater extent, we're actually ruled by feral government bureaucrats who decide which light bulbs we may and may not buy, how much water we can use while taking showers and flushing toilets, where we may and may not send children to school, whether we may or may not defend our lives and property, how much of our wealth we must surrender to our rulers, which toys are legal to give to children, what crops we may and may not grow and how much, et cetera.
      Overt, unabashed rule has always been the norm wherever Islam has become dominant; Turkey had secular representative government, though that's apparently becoming a thing of the past. We handed representative government to Iraq on a silver platter after deposing the tyrant Saddam Hussein; it doesn't, however, seem to be prospering. Without exception, communism has resulted in autocratic rule rather than self-governance. Europe has had and still does have some socialist countries with representative government, but it seems to me all have ended up having to make a trade-off: the more socialism, the less actual representation, whereas the more genuine the representation, the less socialist those countries become. I doubt it's an accident virtually the only people who immigrate to European socialist countries are from autocratic Islamic states, whereas natives of European socialist countries who can afford it leave for the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the like: noticeably less socialist, more prosperous countries.
      As I look at history, very few countries seem to remain very stable very long, but two interesting facts emerge from the gloom:
      1.) The record of autocracy is one of unvarying instability, poverty, mass starvation, mass brutality, and mass murder.
      2.) The record of self-governing nations is one of less instability, dramatically greater wealth, and considerably less mass starvation, mass brutality, and mass murder.



      Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/08/will_syria_become_ungovernable_comments.html#disqus_thread#ixzz243Ap6eNk

      Delete
    2. Do we want to talk about nations, or people? I'm always uneasy when the talk turns to nations. I'd much rather know about ordinary people's daily lives in this country or that. Again, I think two interesting facts tell the story:
      1.) Far more people leave ruled countries for self-governing than go the other way. If the people in motion are Muslims, many take along not only their religious beliefs, but their abiding hatred of all things non-Muslim, and try to inflict their sharia upon those who take them in.
      2.) Far more people enjoy far greater and widely distributed material wealth and live longer in self-governing countries than autocracies. If it need be said, self-governance tends to go hand in hand with open economic markets; in fact, I could make a good case for saying representative government is a political open rather than closed market.
      How can so many self-proclaimed "progressives" in our country be so bitterly determined to tear down the old constitutional, capitalist America and replace it with a "modern" socialist autocracy? Prima facie, their fantasies and intentions are pathological.
      In any event, what about Syria? I believe it's safe to predict so long as Syria remains Islamic, Syrians will be ruled rather than permitted to govern themselves. Why do they tolerate the horrors of mass religious and ethnic slaughter and the shame of submission to autocrats who despise them? In part, they may well not know anything else is even possible; in part, it's presumably easier for people of limited education to adhere to centuries-old beliefs than ask questions and come up with daring, rational answers, and in part, I have to suspect, people who don't get enough to eat tend to be depressed and passive, more easily ruled.
      If it were up to me, we'd refuse to be drawn into Syria's religious and ethnic slaughter, set a good example for the people of Syria, allow precisely none of them to immigrate here until Islam abandons its global jihad against Israel, the United States, and western culture in general, and hope for the best. No one in neo-aristocratic Washington, D.C. seems to care what any of us might think, so I predict the U.S. will side with the rebel Islamic terrorists, open our national doors to large numbers of so-called "refugees," more than a few of whom will presently turn out to be Islamic terrorists, and wonder why Syrians and Muslims the world over hate us.



      Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/08/will_syria_become_ungovernable_comments.html#disqus_thread#ixzz243AzAsjM

      Delete
  38. For Rufus, comments included -

    http://www.americanthinker.com/cartoons/2012/08/cartoon_by_richard_oliver_6.html#disqus_thread

    ReplyDelete