“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ruled by Fools

Are Democrats foolishly playing a losing hand? This week a Dem talking point against US oil exploration was that the oil companies are exploring only a fraction of the existing lease areas in the Gulf of Mexico. To the 70% of Americans in favor of expanded drilling, this may not matter. They want relief. But for now, the Democrats continue to frame the issue in partisan terms:

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando, said speculators have been driving up the price of oil internationally — and that the industry has explored only 8 million of the 39 million Gulf acres it already has under lease. He said the Bush administration and the oil industry are using gas prices to hoodwink the public.

"Clearly, Americans are being gouged," said Nelson. "But we cannot allow the administration to take advantage of the situation to give away the store before the president leaves office."

Democrats seem to be united in their opposition to increasing US domestic oil production. Instead they once again accuse Republicans of being in bed with big business. Their solution is to impose more taxes on the oil companies for their "windfall profits" but they also agree that speculators have been contributing to the spiraling oil prices.

Saudi king blames oil prices on speculators, taxes

King Abdullah has blamed soaring oil prices on speculators, high fuel taxes in consuming countries and increased consumption in developing countries.

Abdullah said the kingdom is ready to meet any "additional needs in the future." But he did not specifically say Saudi Arabia would increase oil production beyond the 9.7 million barrels a day production it has already announced.

The king suggested the creation of an energy initiative to help poor countries confront the high cost of fuel.

The U.S. and other Western nations have put increasing pressure on Saudi Arabia to increase production, saying insufficient oil production has not kept pace with growing demand.
Goldman Sachs has been the golden boy of Wall Street as it continues, quarter after quarter, to show a profit even as lesser firms such as Bear-Stearns disappear altogether. Although their reported first quarter profits were less than a year ago, they are still in the black in large part due to their to speculation in the oil futures.

A convergence of circumstances and short-sighted policies has resulted in a perfect storm which will require more cooperation and less partisan politics. Democrats continue to blame the money grubbing capitalists but eventually they will have to face the political realities. As consumers pay higher prices at the pump, those who offer no relief will pay higher prices at the polls. Democrats are accusing politicians like McCain and Florida governor Charlie Crist of flip-flopping on the drilling issue but something tells me it won't be long before we see more and more poll reading, finger in-the-wind Democrats change their tunes. When it comes to drilling, it's a no brainer; either get on board or commit political suicide.


  1. Even this week, candidate Obama insisted on focusing on the politics of blame. While people are looking for relief, he continued the meme that Bush and Big Oil colluded on US energy policy. He once again resorted to "the obscene profits while people are hurting."

    He offered nothing that will provide real relief.

    The Democrats have boxed themselves into a corner.

  2. What this country needs is a single payer legal system! So said a new host talker on KGO last night. What we need is a single payer medical system and a single payer legal system too!

    Dammit! What this needs is a single payer tractor buyer system. That's what I say!

    And immigrant pickers with combine driving skills!

  3. Although [Goldman Sachs'] reported first quarter profits were 53% less than a year ago, they are still in the black in large part due to their to speculation in the oil futures.

    And when the oil bubble bursts, who doubts that the two oilmen in the White House will bail them out too, for being, like Bear Stearns, "too big to fail" ?

  4. On Friday the 13th, Dodd insisted in his meticulously crafted brief statement that he hadn't known he received special treatment as a "Friend of Angelo" — that's Angelo Mozilo, founder of Countrywide. Last Tuesday, Dodd's story shifted. He told Washington reporters he had known he was given special benefits but thought every repeat Countrywide customer got the velvet glove. He didn't mention that in a conference call with Connecticut reporters the same day.

    Ruled By Fools--and Crooks

    Folks, they're all dirty, every one.

    Why, I didn't know I'd gotten special treatment.

    Why, I thought everyone did.

    My lawyers advice: "Always vote against the person in office, Bob, until the day you die."

    'Deep is the wickedness in the heart of man.'

    Power corrupts. No, just brings it out. Maybe St. Augustine was right.

  5. I'll look up that piece tommorrow about an equal number of folks pissed about unlimited "free trade" (with slave states, et al) resulting job and wage losses, accompanied by wide open borders, and etc.
    ...actually costs citizens a lot more than gas prices.

    Sometimes their jobs, sometimes their lives,

    ...for 40 thousand plus on el Global Presidente Bush's watch.

  6. John evidently as adamant about NAFTA as he is illegals.

    ...I agree w/what he had to say about Canada re: NAFTA and Trade, disagree w/nearly everything else to do w/the globalist open borders agenda.

  7. (but I won't be voting for the Marxist Race-Monger!)

  8. (unless he vows to spend the second half of his life expressing his white self) Barry's synthetic case, that would be "self"

    The self-re-made "man."

  9. Why are Oil Prices so High [hat tip Maggie’s Farm]

    Conclusion: “Prices are becoming completely disconnected from the real market.”

    Why can‘t Iran sell its oil? I read about those tankers sitting around.

    It looks to me like speculation is at least as significant as supply-demand pressures - which is in stark contrast to what the professional economists have been saying.

    Yet Another Answer - The Intercontinental Exchange. I have heard people complain about - the regulatory transparency is not and the consistency with domestic laws make it hard to follow the transactions that go through ICE. I would not be surprised if speculation via ICE was a significant part of the problem. Which has nothing to do with the convenience of a collusion theory.

    I have also read that the big oil companies are buying back their stock - to the extent that their capital assets rival that of the new “sovereign funds” - on the order of trillions of dollars. In other words, as best as I can tell, there is a huge consolidation of capital in the sovereign funds - especially Saudi Arabia - and the [big] oil companies [not the wildcatters]. I have also heard (Jim Cramer) that oil companies made huge mistake signing all the international contracts - too much political instability and they are quietly pulling out.

    It just looks bad.

    We need a model.

  10. The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) was created in the UK by the Financial Services and Markets Act of 2000.

    From the ICE website:

    ICE® conducts its energy futures markets through ICE Futures Europe, its U.K. regulated London-based subsidiary, which offers the world’s leading oil benchmarks and trades nearly half of the world’s global crude futures in its markets.

    ICE conducts its soft commodity, foreign exchange and index markets through its U.S. regulated subsidiary, ICE Futures U.S, which provides global futures and options markets, as well as clearing services through ICE Clear USsm, its wholly owned clearing house.

    In other words, the oil speculation in futures goes through the European agency, not the US arm. ICE Europe was created in 2000, Clinton’s last year in office. Anybody who thinks the average futures trader gives a rats kneecap about political affiliation is borderline brain dead.

    1994 - NAFTA
    1999 - Repeal Glass-Steagall
    2000 - Commodity Futures Modernization Act
    2000 - Financial Services and Markets Act (UK)

  11. O'Reilly. over at FOX, says it's the speculators, as well.

    That the size of the futures market has just exploded.

    No I'm not sure about any of that, but even with off-shore oil production, there are no refineries to process that new crude.

    The Dems, if they keep their wits about them, will come on strong for the ag substitutes, which could be on-line much, much sooner than the off-shore oil.

    That would play right into their "big oil" buying off the GOP storyline. The Dems coming out for the "family farmer". Not using a food stocks, like corn, but other celluouse fuel stocks.

    The distilleries could be on line much, much sooner than off shore production and new refineries.

    Vote for plentiful "green fuels" and against "big oil".

    If they keep their heads, when all about them are losing theirs.

  12. Obama will carry Hawaii, doug, regardless.

    Vote Barr.

    Send a message that business as usual isn't, any more.

  13. Reinvest in the US, not the Middle East.

    Build infrastructure here, not there.

    It'll sell like hot cakes.

  14. It's not a matter of oil or alternatives. We will need everything in the mix especially oil and coal.

  15. Energy independence should not be a partisan issue. That said, I hope the Republicans will one-up the Democrats.

  16. If we bring on alternative fuels too quickly, the price of oil will plummet (We use 20% of the world's supply, right?) to below what we will be paying for our green and independent alternatives.

    That will present a whole new set of political and economic problems.

  17. That's practical, whit, not political.

    The new oil, off-shore or ANWAR is a decade away, at best.

    Ethanol production could be increased substantially within a year. With the promise of bringing down prices, then.

    Whether that turns out to be the reality, just doesn't matter much.

    Coal and nuclear will not fuel the fleet, so will not effect the price at the pump. That is where the battle lines will be drawn.

    Family farmer vs big oil.

    I'll tell you now where the MSM will come down, in the run up to the election. Little doubt they'll side with US farmers and families.

  18. "That will present a whole new set of political and economic problems."

    Bring manufacturing back to the US.

  19. This morning, I listened to a one hour podcast from the foreign policy (in their own eyes) elites at the Council on Foreign Relations. Condi Rice spoke and took questions.

    Not one word about South America or Mexico from the Sec State or the assembled illuminati.

  20. Total energy usage in US comes 40% from oil and 60% from other sources (coal, natural gas, nuclear power, and “renewable” sources such as hydropower, wind and wood.) Of the oil, 40% is used for automobiles (including SUV’s). So dealing with the car-gasoline question addresses only 16% of the total energy usage in US.

    So Drill Drill Drill must stay in the picture - the time frame for development can be accelerated by in introducing some common sense into environmental permitting.

    If the Dems can keep their wits - what wits would those be? There is just too much of
    this type of thing emphasizing conservation - together of course for the good of the country - over real structural reform.

    Pass the marshmellows.

    Some good numbers here.

  21. From the paper above:

    Prior to Sept. 11, U.S. vehicles, machines, buildings and factories consumed an average of 19.3 million barrels of gasoline, diesel fuel and other petroleum products each day. (One barrel of petroleum contains 42 gallons.) That’s one-quarter of the world’s oil, and close to 3 gallons for every man, woman and child in America — twice as much as per
    capita use in Western Europe, and seven times the world average outside the U.S.

    The propaganda machine at work. No mention of the fact that the US produces 25% of the world’s GDP.

  22. If I only had a brain.

    Four bolts snapped and a wheel blew, hitting Blake in the face and tearing it apart. He does not remember anything about the accident — he tells the story as it was told to him later — but the damage was so devastating that others could see part of his brain.

    “The cool part is that I know I’ve got one now,”
    he said Friday, smiling.

    “They’d all questioned it for years.”

  23. I read an article yesterday about oil speculation, but can't find it now. Argued against the pressures of speculation. Said the numbers weren't all that great, speculation is down as well as up, etc etc. I don't have a clue what is really going on. I'm still thinking it's got to burst, at least a little. South Dakota may actually build a new refinery, glory be.

    I'm starting to more and more little cars around here, for sure. Saw my first 'micro' the other day for instance, one of those about the size of a golf cart.

    Last week, thinking prices might drop, I made the mighty speculative call to hold off filling the tank a few days, with the result I paid 3 cents a gallon more. Never speculate in the summer I quess.

  24. Throwing Down the Gauntlet:

    Transnational Liberalism.

    While mainstream political, economic, and social policy has traditionally focused of the determination and achievement of Pareto-optimal solutions that are Nash equilibrium, there has been a growing movement in the United States over the past four decades that has searched for Nash equilibriums that are not Pareto-optimal. This movement has been the subject of much scorn and criticism (Ann Coulter), overlooking the success of its growth. In political terms, this phenomenon is known as the modern liberal movement. This interior solution is motivated by psychological security needs aptly illustrated by the behavior of weaker members of a herd to seek protection at its interior and by their innovations for the perpetuation of their line.

    Pass the red meat.

  25. An upside to all this fuel price rise is there will be less fishing pressure on the popular easily gotten to spots, allowing older farts like me a better chance, without the hiking and the heart attack risk.

  26. From Wretchard’s second most popular series Nowhere Man

    If America has any utility at all to transnational liberals it is as a garbage collector and checkwriter for all the dreams it peddles.

    Whit: Not one word about South America or Mexico from the Sec State or the assembled illuminati.

    Enough Said?

  27. Desert Rat: Ethanol production could be increased substantially within a year.

    Not Quite.

    The pilot plants are coming on line as of present out to 2010. After the pilot plants, full-scale production, which will take some time - on the order of several years. Interesting to see how tight the environmental permitting constraints will be. Takes time to hunt for endangered critters and habitat, not to mention the archeological digs and the Biological Opinions and the Noise Assessments and the Visual Impact Assessments and the structural footprint assessments.

  28. Here we go.
    Iraq Lets The Oil Boys Back In

    How many Anwars lie yet all undiscovered under the sands of Mesopotamia?

    A lot, I'd bet. Give this a few good years, things might look considerably better. Give us some time to build those nuke plants, create the best solar panel to capture the rays Helios, craft the blades to utilize the winds of Aeolus.

  29. Unless Obama throws it all away.

  30. "It is hard for me to find the words to express what a massive, fraudulent, pathetic excuse for an energy policy this is.

    But it gets better.

    The president actually had the gall to set a deadline for this drug deal:"

  31. If
    Friedman's democrats are coming out for nuclear power, I'm for that.

  32. Anwar must have most of the transportion infrastructure in place: (Prudhoe)

    Alt-Energy, entire shebang hss to be built from the ground up.

    But wouldn't you know:
    Big John ain't lettin us drill there.
    ...or in the Grand Canyon.

    So there.

    It don't get no better than this.

  33. "How many Anwars lie yet all undiscovered under the sands of Mesopotamia?"

    Ok, let's say 5 mil barrels a day? That's 6% of current world production. How long before this is used? 3 years of anemic 2% growth, and then what?

  34. Breaking News

    *Get loopholes closed so the energy traders who are speculating and driving up prices come under regulations of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    Futures from the international oil companies are traded primarily through ICE under British control in London. It must be those British Republicans caught yet again in a compromising collusion.

    Nervous Norvus


    Tooling down the hightway doing 79
    I'm a twin pipe papa and I'm feelin fine
    Hey man dig that was that a red stop sign-
    Transfusion transfusion
    I'm just a solid mess of contusions
    Never never never gonna speed again
    Slip the blood to me Bud

    I jump in my rod about a quarter to nine
    I gotta make a date with that chick of mine
    I cross the center line man you gotta make time-
    Transfusion transfusion
    Oh man I got the cotton pickin convolutions
    Never never never gonna speed again
    Shoot the juice to me Bruce

    My foot's on the throttle and it's made of lead
    But I'm a fast ridding daddy with a real cool head
    I'ma gonna pass a truck on the hill ahead-
    Transfusion transfusion
    My red corpsuckles (sic) are in mass confusion
    Never never never gonna speed again
    Pass the crimson to me Jimson

    I took a little drink and I'm feelin right
    I can fly right over everything everything in sight
    There's a slow poking cat I'm gonna pass him on the right-
    Transfusion transfusion
    I'm a real gone paleface and that's no illusion
    I'ma never never never gonna speed again
    Pass the claret to me Barrett

    A rollin down the mountain on a rainy day
    Oh when you see me coming better start to pray
    I'ma cuttin up the road and I'm the boss all the way-
    Transfusion transfusion
    Oh doc pardon me for this crazy intrusion
    I'm never never never gonna speed again
    Pump the fluid in me Louie

    I'm burning up the highway early this morn
    I'm passing everybody oh nothing but corn
    Man outa my way I don't drive with my horn-
    Transfusion transfusion
    Oh nurse I'm gonna make a new resolution
    I'm never never never gonna speed again
    Put a gallon in me Alan

    Oh barnyard drivers are found in two classes
    Line crowding hogs and speeding jackasses
    So rememmber to slow down today
    Hey daddy-o
    Make that type O huh

    Nervous Norvus - Transfusion LYRICS

    GET Nervous Norvus - Transfusion ringtones

  36. Damned Tories.

    Buys some time Mat, gives you time to get those solar panels up and running, is all I'm sayin'.

  37. Remember, at $300 per barrel, the price of oil will consume 100% of the world's income.

  38. The lines in the road they just looked like dots...

    "Don't buy into oil futures if they go over $300/barrel."

    from Bob's Inside Trader & Speculator (Free trial subscription and low margin fees)

  39. "Buys some time Mat, gives you time to get those solar panels up and running, is all I'm sayin'."


    6/17/2008 02:50pm
    US Senate vote blocks extending wind and solar energy tax breaks

    - in a 52-44 procedural vote that blocked closure of debate on the bill, Republicans blocked the tax break extension for the second time this week. 60 votes are needed to end debate and move it toward a formal up or down vote.

  40. Zimbabwe 'elections'--

    Opposition Candidate Pulls Out, Cites Violence

    Thugs win.

    Send Pelosi to straighten things out. Send Maxine Waters along as advisor.

  41. Friedman:

    This from a president who for six years resisted any pressure on Detroit to seriously improve mileage standards on its gas guzzlers;

    Why bother when it's been pretty clear for awhile that peak oil is near and dear with major changes on the horizon - why impose this silly useless burden on an industry poised to transition to flex-fuel hydrids?

    this from a president who’s done nothing to encourage conservation;

    Conservation - the non-issue with legs that won’t quit. This whole mess would just go away with one square of toilet paper. But the Feel-Good Factor is huge.

    this from a president who has so neutered the Environmental Protection Agency that the head of the E.P.A. today seems to be in a witness-protection program. I bet there aren’t 12 readers of this newspaper who could tell you his name or identify him in a police lineup.

    Under the circumstances I think witness protection is a good idea.

  42. the fools' "... behaviour is staged and ... its function is to disguise his superiority over his audience"

    The Holy Fools of Byzantium and Beyond

    The joke's on us.

    The holy fools have conquered Congress(approval rating 12%), and gotten greedy too.

  43. Al-Qaeda Senior Leadership
    - Central Command or Leaderless Jihad -

    The Destruction of Sarposa

    Like in real estate sales, in insurgency and counterinsurgency operations, location is vital — and Kandahar is quite an interesting location.
    While Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan, Kandahar has been the spiritual and physical capital of the Taliban.

    Even when the Taliban controlled most of Afghanistan and assumed control of the government, their real headquarters remained in Kandahar, the place where they first emerged as a force in Afghan politics and where their leader Mullah Omar resided. Osama bin Laden also resided in Kandahar with many of his al Qaeda followers.

    Although the Taliban and al Qaeda militants were quickly forced to flee the city following the U.S. invasion in October 2001, much of the population in the area has remained ideologically committed to the Taliban, and we have long considered Kandahar city and province to be Taliban strongholds.

    From the perspective of the Afghan government and coalition forces, Kandahar is very much hostile territory.

  44. And the Fools have captured The Presidency too.

    Bush Plays the Fool, or, Is It Real?


  45. The Clusterfuck Nation Chronicle:

    August 27, 2007

    Back to School

    Bad financial paper, like rust, never sleeps.

    We may be in the traditional torpor zone of late summer when the whole nation takes off on vacation, but worms are still turning in the compost heaps of securitized alphabet debt (MBSs, CDOs, CLOs, et cetera) behind the glass banking towers in places like Wall Street, London, Frankfurt, and Shanghai, and the odor from all this garbage blowing 'round the world grows stronger by the day.

    Transfusions of loss-cover-loans from the Federal Reserve have enabled the The Big Fund Boyz to spend a last weekend or two rubbing elbows in the Hamptons with transcendent beings like Diddy and Kelly Ripa. The Boyz gather along the dunes at twilight, bongs in hand, to gaze at Hedge Fund Island, looming off-shore in the gray Atlantic mist, and they notice something alarming: the island, which the BFB's built themselves over the past ten years, seems to be either floating out to sea or perhaps just sinking!

    The scores of billions of dollars and euros that central banks have poured into the maw of losses lately will only paper over the essential problem for another few weeks, at most. The damage to global structured finance has been done, and it can be stated rather precisely: a widespread recognition that it's not possible to get something for nothing, after all. And that when you hold a lot of paper that was gotten for nothing, and put it up for sale, nothing will be offered for it. What a surprise.

    The task of people holding power now in the finance sector (which itself may be a conceit at this point) is to manage the rapid dissolution of hallucinated wealth in such a way that as few people as possible notice that x-trillions in dollar denominated pixels have vanished from the hard drives. Sooner or later, though, millions of shlubs dependent on pension checks, or annuities, or monthly payouts of one kind or another will notice that something has stopped landing in the mail box. Re-po men with bad haircuts and tattoos will be driving other peoples' cars to the auction barn. Young people accustomed to thrilling paydays will discover that their services are no longer required in the mortgage origination business, and will instead have to memorize dozens of excruciating formulas for different sorts of beverages more or less based on coffee. Millions of realtors will enter second childhoods as they move back in with Mommy and Daddy, who themselves must now change their plans, since it is no longer possible to flip the 1956-vintage raised-ranch in Hempstead to buy that half-million condo in Maui.

    Reality is biting hard. As with the little marmot caught in the Gray Wolf's jaws of death, the body simply surrenders and God's grace of physical shock softens the translation from free-willed joyful creature to dead meat. That is where we are at here in the final days of August, 2007. Digestion follows. The Big Fund Boyz and all their minions will end up as mere worm castings in the aforementioned global compost heaps.

    Terrible shocks are going to rip through the socioeconomic fabric of the USA as we turn the corner past these late summer doldrums. The fiasco of bad debt won't be contained. The choices for those who find themselves financially underwater in the fall of 07 will be 1.) liquidation, 2.) bankruptcy, or 3.) destroy whatever remains of confidence in the US dollar in order to erase debt by hyperinflation. People holding power don't like the first two, which translate into Depression (let's make it capital "D.") When a nation turns into a fire sale from sea to shining sea, and bankrupt citizens don't even have enough cash-on-hand to buy things desperately cheap -- well, that's a Depression. Everybody from Fed officials to news editors have favored the softer term "recession" the past half century because it implies a mere pause in the inexorable march of progress toward economic nirvana. That's not what we're heading into.

    There will be so many assets up for sale across the USA in the months and years ahead that the very sun in the heavens will take on a K-Mart blue-light-special glow. Houses with miles of granite countertops, Maybach automobiles, cabin cruisers that burn thirty gallons of diesel an hour, and much much more. There will be so much slightly used (or barely "pre-owned") stuff for sale that manufacturing another unit of anything (or importing it) will seem like a sick joke. Alas, there may be very few buyers, at least here among the current natives of North America. And so you get "new pricing," and a deadly downward spiral.

    Of course, all that creates a problem for the masses of human beings who theoretically support themselves by working to produce new things of value to be bought and sold . But let them watch Nascar! Let's take whatever little remains of our tax revenues (or bonding ability) and build a dozen more speedway ovals around the country, and tweak the stock car engines so those suckers can run on ethanol, and shower the fans with Little Debbie snack cakes as they count the laps. Bring on Britney Spears or Paris Hilton at half-time (do they have half-time in Nascar?) and let Justin Timberlake cut their hearts out on the hood of a Dodge Avenger. Believe me, the public will be so deliriously entranced by the spectacle, they won't notice anything else going on in the background of our nation.

    This is how America enters the Long Emergency -- in a Nascar rapture, with Jesus directing the pit crews and the Holy Ghost working the barbeque concession.
    I apologize for what has been a rather excessive spewage of mixed metaphors this week, but the extreme abnormality of events has just got me going. The bottom line, though, is simple and straightforward: things may appear normal for the moment, but we are heading into a shit-storm as sure as Sam Walton's descendents contracted to buy all the three-ringed loose-leaf binders made west of the international date line. America, you're about to go back to school the hard way.

  46. the worms are still turning in the compost heaps


  47. Just you wait, Mat, chaos wasn't created in a day, ya no.

    Later, drafted for chores.

  48. America, you're about to go back to school the hard way.


    Well this conversation ended well.

  49. Tell me we're not sleepwalking into this disaster.

  50. we're not sleepwalking into this disaster.

  51. Well, slade, just as the enviromental regs can be tweeked for oil, they can be for the "green" distilleries, too.

    Could become the central plank in the Dems energy platform, or not.

    Distilleries can come in varied sizes, so there is ample room for experimentation and implementation.

    Used to know an old boy from TN, he had the first distillery I ever saw, up close.
    Some folks called it a still.

    The point I was making, ethanol could have a greater impact, sooner than off-shore oil production can, if we wanted it to.

  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

  53. I have to say Bill O'Reilly is doing a bang-up job. I don't care for the yelling and screaming approach but I think it is time. O'Reilly screams pretty good.

    Cramer does well also. He says he hates this market because it is not well behaved - capricious, driven by psychology. You can't play a market like that.

    Waiting for "things aren't that bad" comment. Half a point. Things are bad but this country is resilient and will pull out but the cost will be in resources available for overseas commitments at a time of shakey stability. The other cost is that an energy squeeze on emerging economies will further contribute to the instability.

    Take your pick.

    Choir Boy or Dorian Gray.

  54. No, but with eyes wide shut, we may as well be sleepwalking.

  55. Yeah, sleep-walking is the wrong term. Sleep-running, is much more appropriate.

  56. Desert Rat: The point I was making, ethanol could have a greater impact, sooner than off-shore oil production can, if we wanted it to.

    I understand but there are issues with "scaling up" the moonshine distilleries to production scale that will require more than a year.

    Regardless, many reasons for moving forward on multiple fronts to leverage flexibility.

    It will be an interesting transition from centralized or at least concentrated monopoly to decentralized servers fed by multiple sources with recycling feedback loops. Very different internal systems architecture.

  57. I see Kunstler's outburst is dated August 2007.

    The second time in my life when I accumulated some serious money, I rushed to invest. Did my research and got it all tucked away in December 2007. Then waited.

    Somebody pass the Prozac.

  58. Slade,

    Kunstler may be somewhat of a drama queen, but let it not detract from his argument, which I believe is a very reasonable one. That said, all my stock holdings are long.

  59. Picture

    I'm fooling around trying to figure something out, pay no attention.

  60. Could really be two or three years, to any major impact is seen, but we'd have to start now.

    Which is the political point.

    Setting up alternate courses, then seeing which is sold to the public.
    The time line for Off-shore, let alone ANWAR is so long that there is ample room for the Dems to operate inside that loop.

    Whether any energy policy would really provide any downward impact on prices, that's a problem for after the election, for the winners.

  61. all my stock holdings are long.

    Oh yeah. That event horizon - a long way from tomorrow.

  62. Not if you're invested in solar. :)

  63. I thought I was buying low in early 2008. I am now hearing analysts say the markets will dip to mid 2006 levels 10750 or so.

    I have retired all my sharp knives into storage.

  64. Looks like the Dow is leading the march to the March lows.

  65. Scapegoating the Speculators

    The smart money is following bob's "Insider Trader & Speculator"

  66. That mid-2006 prediction surprises me a little bit. What I was expecting was a slowdown producing 6% to maybe 8% annual returns rather than some of the overheated 12% to 15% and even higher. I saw breaks being applied, but not that extreme.

    So I wonder about who is talking the market up or down. Cramer says the market makes no sense. Kudlow is doing his best to counteract the negative psychology.

    It's a jumpy world.

  67. A vote for Barr is a vote for Obama.

  68. Bob - I am still digesting the article but this caught my immediate attention:

    By the way, some acolytes are getting this theory wrong. A Washington Post editorial this week cited Masters as blaming hedge funds. In fact, he explicitly blames pension funds and university endowments for investing in those commodity-index funds. (In fact, that strategy is far too cautious for hedge funds.)

    Think AARP which is dominated by left-leaning ex-educators. Not to put too fine a point on it but I call hypocrisy. Vast Right Wing Collusion it is.

  69. Money quote:

    There is no mystery behind the rise in oil prices. They rose too high too fast because of booming demand for oil for petrochemical products, electric power and shipping from many emerging economies (particularly China, India and the Middle East).

    Meanwhile, the supply of oil slipped in the US, Mexico, Venezuela, Nigeria and Russia.
    But now JPMorgan analysts estimate that oil will drop to $85 a barrel from 2009 to 2011. Even Goldman Sachs analyst Arjun Murti, who recently guessed oil might reach $200, later told Barron's that oil will likely drop to $75 or less in the long run.

    The urge to blame speculators is as big a waste of time as blaming oil companies. Americans want more oil and gas - not more hot air from politicians.

    In other words, Friedman's thesis of gas-guzzling CAFE deficiencies coming out of Detroit are smoke and carbon?

  70. It depends upon which State you live in, gag.

    In Hawaii, it is not,
    in New York, it is not
    in Arizona it is not
    in Idaho it is not.
    In Florida, or New Mexico,
    it may well be.

    There are fifty Presidental elections, each one with its' own specific set of circumstances.

  71. True enough Rat, but no one who is thinking of voting for Obama will vote for Barr. Barr votes will come from the other side.

    I was in your fine state two weeks ago....wonderful golf...

  72. Slade, as you get to know me you'll realize I know very little about the economy. I know one important thing, the land is there in the morning and it don't talk back. What's worked for 3 1/2 generations can't be all bad. My economics, in a nutshell.

    Rat's right about that. There are many elections. In Idaho you can vote without direct consequences, cause McCain is going to win here.

  73. "In other words, Friedman's thesis of gas-guzzling CAFE deficiencies coming out of Detroit are smoke and carbon?"

    Pencil this in your book of smoke and carbon chicanery:

    dRat, some months back, made a very perceptive point re car regulations. It was in regards to the then new $2000 Tata Nano and why it would never compete in the US market. Why? Because Detroit deliberately legislated big heavy inefficient cars as a safety issue.

  74. It was a rhetorical question Bob. I was trying to point out the intellectual deficiencies of Friedman's "talking points" arguments. Pushing for fuel efficiency when we are on the verge of a - what transformative wave are we in now - the fourth or fifth? pushing for CAFE standards - or criticizing the President for not doing so - is dilletant and boutique - ankle biting politics obscuring the substantive structural reforms that seem to elude our grasp.

  75. Not totally correct, gag, as there may be some voters who, as the get to know both candidates, find them to be equally repulsive, as a potential President.

    As in my case, I'll vote for Shadegg for Congress. If I did not vote for Barr, I'd not vote on the President line, at all.

    There will be other voters in this category. Rather than not voting, better to protest the course the GOP has taken.

    Early morning, 04:45 tee times are still nice, but the temps here, the past ten days or so, over 110 by noon.

  76. Mat: Check. If that is true then nail the little f^ckers.

    Misinformation and Disinformation. I am trying to avoid the seductive trap of blaming Big Business for everything. I would also suggest that safety is a serious issue on the highway. It is also a regulatory issue that requires some rethinking of acceptable risk.

  77. That's in the flat lands, gag.
    Up in Sedona or Prescott, still very nice most of the day, highs in the low 90's.
    Up into Flagstaff, the weather is grand.

  78. "We have to empower women to be more aggressive in reaching senior positions," says Reem Badran, a Jordanian businesswoman who is also chief executive of Kuwaiti Jordanian Holding Company. "We are usually shy about taking our rights.

    Also the business community, which is male-dominated, has to give women a chance to prove themselves."

    She says it is not a matter of changing laws but of changing social attitudes. A member of the International Women's Forum, Ms Badran is part of a local group promoting female leadership though the provision of courses for women in management in ICT and finance.

    Male Territory

  79. Speaking of Jordanian women it reminds me of a conversation a friend of mine had with a Jordanian women, right before it was clear we were going into Iraq. My friend is a dental assistant, and was cleaning this woman's teeth, she was here cause her son was at the U., and they had a long talk. This woman, who was very nice, it is reported, felt we ought to go right in and bust Saddam. I don't put a lot of credibility in reports about the arab 'street' and I think we have a lot more friends around than we might realize.

  80. "If that is true then nail the little f^ckers."

    Have you seen the Tato Nano marketed here?

  81. After my aunt died I was left with an acre or two acres out in some bankrupt developement in New Mexico somewheres. Rio something or something Rio, I think. I keep getting $5 a year tax notices, and keep paying them, thinking, by God, I'll make something of this piece of land someday! And every once in a while, I get an offer from somebody to do a quik/appraisal to tell me what's it's worth. But I think the appraisal would be more than the land.

  82. " assistant, and was cleaning this woman's teeth.."

    That would be illegal.

  83. Taxpayers are also footing an estimated £500,000 a year bill to provide round-the-clock surveillance on Qatada, who has been described by a judges as a ‘truly dangerous individual’.

    He arrived in Britain 14 years ago on a forged passport and was granted asylum the following year.

    He was convicted in his absence in Jordan of involvement with terror attacks in 1998, and of plotting to plant bombs during the Millennium-celebrations. Last week a judge freed the cleric on bail after ruling he would face an unfair trial if deported to Jordan.

    Taxpayers Paying for Surveillance

  84. Have you seen the Tato Nano marketed here?

    Look we all know that global warming is real.

    I think Christiana's question had something to do with Tibet.

  85. Toyota Floritech is a 50-50 joint venture between Toyota Motor Corp. and Hakusan Co. Ltd., a Japanese firm dealing with seeds and seedling.

    The basic design of the automated farm came from Denmark. It employs only eight full-time, non-clerical employees who work in the greenhouse with support of 30 to 40 part timers.

    Toyota Motor, reputed for its production efficiency, has helped the subsidiary but its expertise does not always apply to agriculture, the farm chief said.

    CO2 Emissions no Villain

  86. In Canada maybe.

    Actually, maybe she isn't a dental assistant. I think her title is, Teeth Cleaner. She makes good money. Then loses a lot of it at the Clearwater River Casino. A nice woman, lonely, whose husband left her after 25 years, when he was fired as the pilot for Bennet Lumber Company when a relative wanted the job, after they had relocated here on the promise of a job until retirement. He was a chopper pilot in Vietnam. I just want everybody on earth to know, the people at Bennet Lumber Company have proven themselves to be pricks. Which I've known for years.

  87. Let Christiana lead the charge in liberating Tibet. She needs the karma gained.

  88. She's probably a dental hygienist, Bob.

  89. The long-running dispute between Japan and China had centred on where the boundary between the two countries' exclusive maritime economic zones falls, and has come to embody the sometimes bitter rivalry over influence and sovereignty.

    Japan says the median line between the two countries' coasts marks the divide. China says the boundary is defined by its continental shelf, extending its zone towards Japan.

    Tokyo had objected to Chinese development of the Chunxiao gas field, which lies just west of what Japan considers the boundary, and fears drilling there could drain gas through a honeycomb of seabed rocks from what Tokyo sees as its economic zone.

    Gas Project

  90. "The teeth cleaner lady in a white smock ..."

  91. Any Bennet for President then, bob.

    They'd fit right in

  92. Mat at Sun Jun 22, 05:18:00 PM EDT

    Yeah, that does stink.

    Always vote against the incumbent.

  93. "Look we all know that global warming is real."

    I know GM bought rail lines servicing cities to deliberately take them out of commission. Do you?

  94. D@mmit Sam we're trying to have a serious discussion here.

  95. Department documents reviewed by the AP identify 26 other posts at which embassies, consulates or offices are currently either under construction or in the advanced design stage.

    Those include projects in Abuja, Nigeria; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Guangzhou, China; Jiddah, Saudi Arabia; Jerusalem; Johannesburg, South Africa; Karachi, Pakistan; Manila, Philippines; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; and Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    An additional 19 projects are set to go to bid this year and next, including new buildings in Baku, Azerbaijan; Bangkok, Thailand; Belgrade, Serbia; Bucharest, Romania; Dakar, Senegal; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Kabul, Afghanistan; Kiev, Ukraine; and Pretoria, South Africa, according to the documents.

    U.S. Embassies

  96. I knew that Mat, if you're talking about LA, I think it was.

    "What's good for GM is good for Amerca"

  97. "Always vote against the incumbent."

    It's hard not to be cynical about these guys.

  98. I know GM bought rail lines servicing cities to deliberately take them out of commission. Do you?

    First off I was trying to lighten the levity.

    Second I did not know that. I will take your assertion at face value and assume you have the references to back up the claim.

    If Detroit is this dirty, what happened to the Ralph Naders? Serious question. Are we to blame this all on the media info-babes?

    The Kunstler article you referenced above says Americans go back to school. Where is the information? Not the Misinformation or the Disinformation or the Political Talking Points.

  99. And what's good for America is good for GM. It's about time GM learns this.

  100. "They think the Dalai Lama is their leader. But how is independence possible?" whispers Han Rugubai, a 26-year-old Muslim woman who sells clothing at the main market in Dawu.

    "With the country developing so fast, life is good. People have enough to eat.

    They have clothes."

    Tibetans vs. Chinese Muslims

  101. Slade, google 'GM destruction of California rail'

  102. She's probably a dental hygienist, Bob.

    That may well be
    But the teeth are plaque free
    For a large hefty fee
    Cause nothing's for free
    In America


    America, America
    Land of the fee...

    And, I know for a fact, nobody remembers to floss.

    Is it asking too much of you slobs to clean yourselves?

    I ask on behalf of my lady.

    What are you, Bedouin?

  103. "I knew that Mat, if you're talking about LA, I think it was."

    Not just LA. And not just California.

  104. Japan's stocks fell for a third day after UBS AG said Citigroup Inc. will probably have a loss in the second quarter, triggering concern asset writedowns at global financial companies have yet to end.


    Mazda, Japan's fourth-largest automaker, slumped 3.9 percent to 539 yen, and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., maker of Subaru cars, retreated 3 percent to 548 yen. Market leader Toyota Motor Corp., which gets about a half of its profit from North America, sank 2.6 percent to 5,270 yen.


    Nikkei futures expiring in September retreated 1.7 percent to 13,730 in Osaka and slumped by the same degree to 13,725 in Singapore.

    Bank Writedowns

  105. Not just LA. And not just California.


    The thing is about the United States, I've seen all this, stuff got going big time, really big time, unheard of big time, and from a historical perspective it is very good, because farming with mules sucks, but it really took off, cause the average man, me too, loved that car, the freedom of that car. So now, we got to think more carefully, and consider. We know now a good thing, taken long enough, goes somewhat sour.

    My mantra is still the same, same old tune--at this point in our national life we need no more people. Close that border. Only those that meet our ways need apply. Then build up from there. We got the resources. We've built the infrastuctures. We have the well funded universities. If we fail, we failed.

  106. 'GM destruction of California rail'

    Well ... it's going to take me awhile to digest this. Where is David Halberstam when you need him?

    My first comment is that this happened back in the 1930's. Talk about long-term vision - is it lacking in the current crop of CEO's?

    I don't understand why large oil companies are hoarding cash - with stock buy-backs - when the investment opportunities in future technologies with growth potential are enormous.

  107. Yeah, Mat is right, I remember this very well, I think if you follow it out you will see that early on there was a big effort by auto interests to change the transportation over to cars and highways, and leave rail to die on the vine. It was a big deal then. I don't have the references or the books, but I think Mat is right.

  108. Dave took a ride w/a differently abled student driver.

  109. Don't NEED to, al-Bob,
    My Water Pik does it while contributing to GlowBall Warming.

  110. Doug, you know of any Yoos that would live in Flint, Michigan?

  111. Doug, I paid nearly a hundred to get one of these new sonic boomers or whatever they are, not water piks, but some kind of sonic blaster, tooth brushes, liked it so much got one for each of the others in my family. They are really good, your mouth just tingles, and, the dentist said, it really does break that plaque down. They have my highest praise, until I learn, they are melting my brain, and lead to perpetual blogging:)

    Best thing I have run into on the market since the Costco megaspotlight!

  112. Recommended:

  113. Sonic Brushes


    Try it, you'll like it.

    bob owns no stock in any corporation

  114. Hey, Mat, you and I are of the new generation white teeth smily in group!

  115. :>=)

    That's supposed to show my large white healthy teeth.

  116. Doug, save your money:

    Btw, can you cover me on the subscription fees at BC?

  117. Interesting to see how tight the environmental permitting constraints will be.

    Slade, I am not making this up, even tho Rufus thought I was for awhile, but the envirofreaks got a thing here about the "Giant Palouse Earthworm".

    That none of the ancestors have ever seen.

    Google it. I am too into despair to think of it again, nor the horror of what I may have done, by being a human, and farming, to face the topic again.

    Has a reputation of smelling like a lily, and spitting at you, if you can ever find one.

  118. You can't find them anymore because a fisherman long ago caught Ogo Pogo with what turned out to be the last remaining 'Giant Palouse Earthworm'.

  119. Short story is that Rachel Carson's Silent Spring led to very good legislation to protect physical environment from contamination - their Erin Brokovitch period.

    Swollen with success - deserved I admit - they moved into the ecosystem sciences - endangered species and habitat.

    I have physically seen otherwise normal people stand in awe over a scraggly shrub surrounded by yellow protection tape right in the middle of a haul path preventing construction.

    They went looney almost overnight.

    Species diversity. I expect there is some value to this theory but I know for a fact that it's not inside the yellow tape.

  120. the horror, the horror...

    And yet, the steelhead have returned to Troy, Sam!

  121. Google "Deep Ecology" to get a drift of the underlying currents.

  122. Steelhead in Troy. Great news, Bob. Back to the future. Equilibrium attained.

  123. Whit - what was the question?

  124. I'm with you on that Slade. The thing is about the worm, I called my friends, seriously, we have been here since the beginning, I even put an ad in the paper, asking, has any old farmer ever seen one, answer, nada, and we were the ones that broke the soil. It got out of hand when the legislation was that any citizen could file, that is to say, any moron at all. So as a guy that knows that we got to protect stuff, I got to laugh sometimes. I can tell you this, I know, lawyers latch on to an opening in the law, to find a break, and find a fee, and run with it. I know.

    Being a farmer, I'm all for the protection of the environment. We need a good logical tool to do that. What has happened now, with that legislation is, the courts now run everything here. The court runs the National Forest here. The court runs even, and this is the court of Appeals in San Francisco, whether we can burn stubble here at all.

    For awhile we had a movement here to have an economic impact statement legislated to be filed along with an environmental impact statement, to protect the interests of homo sapiens. But, as the topic of the days is, fools rule, it seems right to say that seems to have gotten lost in the dust.

  125. The epidemiological statistics of air-borne and water-borne disease are pretty well understood. Pathogen A has a tolerance level of so many ppm.

    The statistical foundation of species diversity and habitat is far more complicated - involving non-linear dynamic systems analysis.

    And we all know the Left doesn't "do" numbers.


  126. Obama will enjoy a huge financial advantage over the cash-strapped McCain, potentially outspending him by five to one. The Arizona senator, who is accepting public financing, will be able to spend $84m in the two months between the Republican convention and election day on November 4, while Obama will have up to $500m at his disposal by remaining outside the system.

    Pawlenty believes McCain has “many advantages” over Obama: If you look at the way Senator McCain has lived his life, it’s an incredible expression of commitment, duty, valour and patriotism. He’s forged compromises and achieved great accomplishments in a way that Senator Obama has only talked about.”

    If Pawlenty sounds star-struck, it is no bad thing for a running mate whose job is to make the presidential candidate look better than he is.

    Obama Financial Advantage

  127. So now we are paying bookoo bucks right out our collective ass to fund a bunch of illogical shit about some worms that none of the people that were here in the beginning ever saw, and that dragged the natives into a legal system, or, if they did, which my research says they didn't, being men and women, wouldn't have given a shit about anyway.

    If we go on this way, I can tell you, for a certainty, WE'RE FUCKED.

  128. That sentence was emotional, and not well expressed, and I amend it this way--

    We came, we established law, we farmed, we saw no worms, and we wouldn't have cared even if we did, thinking life and law a higher value.

  129. Fearless

    You say the hill's too steep to climb
    Climb it.
    You say you'd like to see me try

    You pick the place and I'll choose the time
    And I'll climb
    That hill in my own way.
    Just wait a while for the right day.
    And as I rise above the tree lines and the clouds
    I look down, hearing the sound of the things you've said today.

    Fearlessly the idiot faced the crowd
    Merciless the magistrate turns 'round

    And who's the fool who wears the crown?
    Go down,
    in your own way
    And every day is the right day
    And as you rise above the fear-lines in your brow
    You look down, hearing the sound of the faces in the crowd.

  130. Bob - research "deep ecology".

    It's very interesting.

  131. Wife had an uncle on that highly esteemed court, al-Bob.
    But that was so long ago, he might just have been a liberal, not a complete loon.

    About ten years ago they had a function here and she met this old black judge that once worked w/the uncle.
    He really was no longer functional, due to age, but they wheeled him around and got the votes outta him for as long as they could.
    Don't think they count anymore once they shoot you the juice to replace the blood.
    Put a gallon in me Allen.
    Formaldehyde, that is.

  132. Does that "deep ecology" have anything to do with the Vagina Monologues?

  133. Do some reasearch re: dialogues.

  134. This comment has been removed by the author.

  135. Democrats have also turned to several hardy perennials, claiming that gouging and "excessive speculation" are chiefly at fault for the rise in the price of gasoline. These charges were aired during the 1970s and found to be false.

    But there's a new twist this time: the House authorized lawsuits against OPEC, the oil cartel, for price fixing. This tactic is unlikely to be pursued.

    The silliest of the ploys came from Rahm Emanuel, the savvy congressman from Chicago. He demanded to know if McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, favors drilling in the Great Lakes.

    Running on Empty

  136. Go down,
    in your own way
    And every day is the right day
    And as you rise above the fear-lines in your brow
    You look down, hearing the sound of the faces in the crowd.

    The right thing happens to the happy man.

    Jew and Gentile agree on that.

  137. Does that "deep ecology" have anything to do with the Vagina Monologues?

    Are you a real person?

    Deep Ecology is a well established environmental movement. Or have you spent too much time on kiddie porno patrol to know that?

  138. Doug - go piss up a rope. I am calling Rufus right now and he is going to beat you up.

  139. The Egyptian bureau of al-Hurra, an Arabic-language television network financed by the U.S. government, boasts a spectacular view of the Nile River and the capital's bustling streets. But inside, all is quiet.


    In April 2003, Congress created al-Hurra as a counterweight to al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based network that built a large following in the Middle East with aggressive coverage of the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Palestinian territories.


    Al-Hurra's founding father was Norman J. Pattiz, a Democrat on the Broadcasting Board of Governors who helped persuade Congress to fund the station. The chairman of Westwood One, a leading distributor of radio programming, Pattiz assembled the team to build al-Hurra.

    Mideast Mission

  140. Doug, don't be afraid. I'll be standing right behind you.

  141. Or Heinrich Schliemann, perhaps?

  142. I've read a lot about 'deep ecology', particularily since my pastor started on it. If you want deep ecology, listen to us old farmers, build nuclear reactors, save the elk from the wolves, and keep us away from this nonsense about the worm. And close the border. Immigrants cause global warming! And I can show so, tho not tonite.

    When I think about this, I think about Emerson, one of our beginners--if the taxes are too high, people won't pay, and extrapolating, if the regulations are too severe, people will revolt, people will vote something new in. I hope that is right.

    We are allbeginners! in the economy of God.

  143. Resurrected, along with the steelhead, in Troy.

    Or has the messiah only raised trout?

  144. Waiting in line to piss up a rope, or git beat up by Rufus?

  145. "..Heinrich Schliemann.."

    It wasn't Troy. And it was Egyptian gold that he found, belonging to Joos escaping Ah-Moses (Brother of Moses).

  146. Don't talk about your trout around Slade.
    ...sounds like a gunslinger, don't it?

  147. Fear not, Bob. They got the steelhead back to Troy. They'll get the worm back to the Palouse. Just give 'em time.

  148. "Obama inspires Milan runway styles..."

    This is gonna get REALLY GRIM by November.

  149. I've read a lot about 'deep ecology', particularily since my pastor started on it.

    That is just frightening.

    I am still working through the
    "Heinrich Schliemann" stuff.

  150. Well Simone Weil that French Jewess whom DeGaulle called crazy thought that the spirit of Christ hovered over the Illiad, at the Battle of Troy, which was really a fight over trade routes. And I know what she means, about that battle of Troy, these fools, topic of the day, who know not what they do. And she, Jewess that she was, and rightly declinng to join the Catholic
    Church, to which she was very much attracted, said, I don't want to be a member of a body but rather all in all, and she spoke true.

    That is to say, she wanted the full shamans blast, not something mediated by a priest, the mediator of the mediator, and she got it, when she died.

  151. I love you all.

    Can't we just get along and be happy?

    I mean that.

    Or not.

    My night is over. See you all later.

  152. Slade, we've bin workin' our hearts out to get another contributor has something to say. Sleep well. Talk later.

  153. Sparks fly said...
    John 8:31-37
    31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

    Without believing Jesus the world sees the data of the truth but set it aside for various reasons. They do not RECEIVE the truth.

    So what is the truth? The truth is man is broken and needs a Savior. Save me Jesus; something is wrong with me.

    I heard from some Christian Missionaries second hand that many Iraqis are turning to Jesus. If that's the case then every nickle spent on this hanging of Saddam has been well spent.

    It used to be that every literate person was well versed in this Bible passage.

    The person in authority who gave the order to murder Jesus rhetorically asked Jesus, "What is the truth?"

    Right now though, Global Warming is the burning issue. Ha Ha.

    6/22/2008 10:14:00 PM

    bobal said...
    Save me Jesus; something is wrong with me.

    Ah, wake up sometime Sparky, there is noting wrong with you, my friend.

    Take Jesus as a guide, and he is an exellent one, rightly understood, though not the only one, relax a bit, relax.

    There is always somthing more.

    Chill out, dude.

    6/22/2008 10:29:00 PM

    Sparks fly said...
    Pray tell Bobal
    if noting is wrong with me
    then what is wrong with you?

    And Slade thought I was gitten too heavy bringing up the Monologues from the Vagina.

    ...must be the weather.
    Or Globall Warming.

  154. I think he means you need a tuneup, Mat.

    C4 could probly help.

  155. Even before the written word,
    The Monologues were animated by a rich Oral Tradition.

  156. Sparks fly said...
    Pray tell Bobal
    if noting is wrong with me
    then what is wrong with you?

    Nothin' really, according to my wife, who knows me best. The bones ache a little from age, but I mow the lawn, visit with my neighbors, attend church once in a blue moon, take great pleasure in looking at the lay of the land, and am open to the mystery of things. And wonder a lot about death, what it is, what it might mean, what it will be like. I spend a lot of time reading old religious tracts that cheer me up, and, books generally about religion, the way the old folks thought. That old divine, Thomas Browne, is by my bed, as is the ever present J. Campbell, and some others.

    Cheer up Sparks, you're not going to hell, less you place yourself there, by your own behavior.

  157. Does that "deep ecology" have anything to do with the Vagina Monologues?

    That’s actually not a bad question.

    It’s interesting that Bob’s pastor is talking about it. I left the church when I was 14 - got tired of the pastor telling me I was going to hell - no matter what.

    Which is not much different from the message of the Deep Ecologists who cannot reconcile anthropogenic presence within the ecosystem. They try but essentially the rules become so strict that man is left tiptoeing through the tulips.

    Christianity has often been a scapegoat for the environmental crisis. The most influential proponent of this view is the much quoted Lynn White, Jr.1 In a
    lecture given on 26 December 1966 at the Washington meeting of the
    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), he put
    forward the thesis that the Judaeo-Christian view of the physical creation
    paved the way for the science and technology that created the environmental
    crisis. (This thesis has been adequately refuted elsewhere.2) Along the way he
    makes the following statements about the Christian view of the creation:3 (i) it
    established a dualism of humanity and nature; (ii) it is anthropocentric: no
    item in the physical creation has any purpose save to serve humanity’s
    purpose; (iii) humanity is not simply part of nature; (iv) it insisted that it is
    God’s will that humanity exploit nature for its own ends.

    I read a wonderful meticulously-worded critique written by a mathematics professor at Univ of Colorado. I kept it for a long time rereading it because [some of] these people are just scarey. They Walk Among Us. True Believers they are.

    The Vagina Monologues remind me of String Theory - obsessive compulsive fixation with something you either can’t prove or can’t do anything about in a meaningful way. Yes women have vaginas. The point would be what? Something to do with Mother Gaia or the duality of the species (Ursula K. LeGuin) or the philosophical implications of dichotomies?

    The Monologues have too close a proximity to too many elements of especially the post-modern world where the seductive whiff of philosophical validation is used to disguise what is essentially fluff and in this case an excuse to talk about lesbian sex - or in some higher realm - an existential perspective that starts with sex. I don’t buy any of it. One Giant Pahlouse Worm. Same for the Deep Ecologists except they would ban both women and men.

    The commonalities are kind of interesting - that apocalyptic search for existential purity and perfection. My response [taken from Charles at Belmont]: Ya mon. What it wuz.

  158. And take off that propeller hat!

  159. 71 today:

  160. That's what I'm saying - boutique intellectualism.

    Except for String Theory which is hard core 11-dimensional methematics looking for home in a 4-dimensional world. I used to have two interests a long time ago - one was quantum theory after the science encountered some very strange discoveries that were published in Quarks for Dummies format alienating the scientists who thought their work was being trivialized by popular transformation into mystic pop psychology. The other was the environmental movement, in particular ecosystem sciences.

    The Monologues are the bridge between the two.

    Who knew?

    That Doug is psychic.

    I am surprised - but not much - that the Monologues got as far as they did. Right up there with the Piss Christ sculpture.

    Soft Core Pornography masquerading as Boutique intellectualism.

  161. This comment has been removed by the author.