“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."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Step 1 Talk about raising Interest Rates

Fed talking tough on the threat of inflation

WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues are updating Teddy Roosevelt's admonition to speak softly and carry a big stick. The Fed policymakers are starting to raise their voices while brandishing the stick even though they don't appear ready to use it.

When the Fed concludes a two-day meeting on Wednesday, it is widely expected that the central bank will express more concerns about inflation and in that way signal that rate increases could be on the way.

However, at the same time, private economists are widely in agreement that the Fed will not actually start raising interest rates, given how weak the economy is at the moment.

"The Fed is caught between a rock and a hard place," said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University. "The economy seems to be slipping into a recession at the same time that inflation is getting worse."
I made my prediction here.


  1. Step 2
    Further the losses of middle class homeowners, as topline values of homes tank, further.

    All 20 of the metropolitan areas surveyed in the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index, released Tuesday, recorded year-over-year declines in the value of single-family homes from April 2007 to April 2008.

    Las Vegas and Miami were the hardest hit, with 12-month declines of more than 26 percent. Charlotte, N.C., which in March was the only city of the 20 surveyed to maintain a gain over the previous 12 months, slipped to a 0.1 percent decline. (Only single-family homes are included in the Case-Shiller survey.)
    many economists said the housing slump was nowhere near its bottom.

    “House prices still have room to drop a lot more,” wrote Patrick Newport, an economist at Global Insight, a research firm in Lexington, Mass.

    “Given the current level of unsold homes on the market, the number of foreclosures already in or about to enter the pipeline and the run-up in prices over 2000-6, this index is likely to drop much more,” he wrote.

    The average home price in all 20 regions fell 1.4 percent from March and 15.3 percent from a year earlier. That was worse than the 14.3 percent year-over-year drop recorded in March.

    A smaller survey, which measured only 10 metropolitan areas, dipped 1.6 percent from March and 16.3 percent from a year earlier.

    In the New York City area, prices fell 8.4 percent from April 2007 to April 2008. On a monthly basis, prices slipped 1.3 percent in April

    So, the store of value, for most of the electorate has lost almost 20% of its' value, in the past year. Raising interest rates will further that decline.

    HOME prices in the United States are plunging, and the president’s economic policies are unpopular.

    There are certainly other factors at work, but over the years there has often been a general relationship between the two sets of data: When home prices are rising at a pace moderately faster than the rate of inflation, consumers tend to think well of the government’s economic policies. But when they fall, that can set off anger.

    In the May consumer sentiment survey by the University of Michigan, 6 percent of respondents said they thought that government economic policies were “good,” while 37 percent thought they were “only fair” and 55 percent deemed them “poor.” The other 2 percent had no opinion.

    As John campaigns to extend GOP economic policies, 55% of respondents think those policies "poor", already.

    Raise interest rates and further erode home values, that number will climb. Leaving John's only hope...
    Skim as much of the $84 million in Federal funding as he can, because he'll not be moving into the White House.

  2. ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The bodies of 22 members of a government-sponsored peace committee were found dumped near South Waziristan on Wednesday after fighting broke out between the Pakistani Taliban and a rival tribe, government officials said.

    The peace committee was attacked by supporters of Baitullah Mehsud, the head of the Pakistani Taliban, in the town of Jandola on Monday, not far from the Afghan border and about 200 miles west of Peshawar, the capital of the North-West Frontier Province, according to Berkatullah Marwat, the district coordinating officer.

    Some of the 22 bodies had bullet wounds, others had been slashed with knives, Mr. Marwat said.

    The killings come after the Pakistani Army negotiated a ceasefire with Mr. Mehsud’s forces earlier this year, and pulled its soldiers back from Mr. Mehsud’s territory in South Waziristan. Under the terms of the accord, the military has exchanged prisoners with Mr. Mehsud’s forces.

    The movement of Mr. Mehsud’s Taliban fighters into Jandola, and the murders of the peace committee members from the rival Bhittani tribe were likely to raise questions about the accord between the army and the Taliban.

  3. What's often being overlooked is that those markets that are down 20% YOY are still up 100% - 200% since 2001.

    We're in for several years of pretty tough sledding no matter what the Fed does. A few bad decisions regarding energy and we could be in for a depression that would make the thirties look like "the best of times."

  4. There is some truth to that, rufus.
    In my case whether the house in Phoenix is worth $250.000 or $210,000, today is wholly academic. But for many people that $40,000 floated their entire lifestyle.

    It just becomes gloomy, for most of the folk. I know that I'd be hard pressed to even find a real value on the mountain camp. Three hours from Phoenix, same from Vegas, up in the cool, where the entire market has crashed.

    The Real Estate people up there are slittin' their wrists.
    Traffic is way, way down.

  5. Keep in mind that interest rates have very little to do with inflation. Study Japan/Brazil.

    Inflation has to do with Employment (but, not in the way that you've been taught,) and productivity. Also, taxes, tariffs, unionization, and government regulations.

    The value of the currency, however, is, almost entirely, a function of trade balance. Ours sucks; and, the prognosis ain't good.

  6. Rufus: We're in for several years of pretty tough sledding no matter what the Fed does. A few bad decisions regarding energy and we could be in for a depression that would make the thirties look like "the best of times."

    Rufus, America has a free market that runs more or less on automatic, there's no politburo sitting there making decisions, good or bad. Take the Fed. They devalue the dollar, and prices automatically rise until the supply of dollars matches demand.

  7. There's one fellow that's happy as heck about this--his name is Mr. Buyer.

    I live in Lewiston, but, except for the roof over my head, all my worldly possessions are in Moscow, which is kind of a market of its own. So far, no big down turn there. There has been a little downturn here. I'm in Rat's paid off home owner category now, though, years ago, bless Carter, I think I was one of the few in Idaho who actually lost money on a home, an old wooden ramshackle, at the time. Paid and paid and paid, and, finally had to sell, and lost a little money, even after all those years. I've been through some real tough times too.

  8. there's no politburo sitting there making decisions, good or bad.

    This is a "Test," Right?

    L, the EPA will make a decision, regarding RFS Mandates, in a couple of weeks that will have "Enormous" implications for our viability over the next 5 - 10 Yrs. Just one Very Small example.

    Lilith, "Free Markets" are nice; but, they don't win "existential" struggles. For that, you need Governments. Energy, in the next twenty or thirty years will be an "existential" struggle. Oil is just the tip of the iceberg. Next comes Nat Gas.

    This is gonna get "Dicey," Darlin.

  9. My old home in Moscow was in the oldest neighborhood, and had been built years ago. It had woodchips in the walls as insulation, and an oil furnace, that I could fuel with the tractor fuel. But, it had a massive big fir tree in the front, and, in the night, I was making warm with my young wife, who is now my good older wife, not thinking much of the snow flying outside, or the cost of the mortgage, or whether prices were going up or down.:) Ah, memories....

  10. Bob,

    You should be writing for Hustler. :)

  11. Oddly enough, though I farmed my heart out for years, I've never really lived on the farm, the old homestead being torn down decades ago, but if I could get the bucks together, I'd like to build a place out there now, a place to die in, and pass on to the others. I'd also like to build a little dam where the creek runs through, back the water up over the cat tails, and shoot some ducks. I have the deed, from Ben Harrison, President, issued at the Lewiston land office. Nobody but a damned fool Swede would go through all this, just to winter in Idaho!

  12. Sen. Gordon Smith ad touts ties to Obama, and Democrats protest

    The Oregon Republican strives to emphasize his bipartisan efforts
    Wednesday, June 25, 2008
    The Oregonian Staff

    Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith, stepping up his efforts to run from his Republican roots in his advertising, on Tuesday released a new TV commercial that promotes his ties to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

    Smith's effort to enlist Obama's name in his advertising was met with protests from Democrats, but the McCain campaign said it wasn't concerned that it would hurt their candidate in Oregon.

  13. rufus said...
    What's often being overlooked is that those markets that are down 20% YOY are still up 100% - 200% since 2001.

    I'm with rufus. The housing market was overdriven by speculation, negligent lending practices and in some cases, outright fraud.

    When a person has to spend $650K for a 1500 sqaure foot house on .13 acres in a modest neighborhood, you have a problem.

    When that house gets back down to $300K, then come talk to me.

    The fact is, the sheeple and greedy lenders drove themselves off of a cliff in another mass wave of hysteria where all logic was suspended and real estate was going to appreciate at 10% -12% a year for eternity.

    A guy earning $40K/yr was entitled a $600K home and ran the deal like he was day trading penny stocks.

    The net-net is, 94% of mortgage holders have managed to continue to pay their bills on time. 6% have screwed themselves, and our ever watchful whores in Congress - never missing a chance to create another entitlement program to drive the country into the ditch - are about wipe the collective bottoms of the stupid 6% by sticking a gun in the backs of the 94% to extract more money to cover their stupidity and the greed and incompetence of WaMu, Countrywide and Wachovia.

  14. Green Blob In Space--You Win Prize If You Can Identify

    Astronomy Picture of the Day

    There are two Oregons Rat, alas, now melding into one. Over on the coast side, past the Cascades, you got the Portlandpeople, out this way some still independent thinkers, fading fast.

    I'd love to show you the desert parts of Oregon, and the mountains over on this side, the Steens, and all that part where nobody is. And some of the beautiful rivers.

  15. The hardest hit, here, are the houses in $350,000 range.
    That's where the foreclosures are happening, for the most part.

    Can't even give 'em away.

    Know more than a couple of anedotal stories to that effect.

    The effects of the bust are rippling through the local economy, here.
    Housing construction and its' many offshoots the main economic engine of Arizona, southern Nevada, too.

    The car count continues to decline in Williams AZ, "Gateway to the Grand Canyon".

  16. The Portlandpeople, I might add, all think the same, all on the same wave length. Like Robots, like Frozen People, like Sam's Zombies. They'll drive off to
    Eastern Oregon and give money to some Guru.

  17. Does McCain Understand Markets?
    By John Stossel

    "I believe there needs to be a thorough and complete investigation of speculators to find out whether speculation has been going on and, if so, how much it has affected the price of a barrel of oil. There's a lot of things out there that need a lot more transparency and, consequently, oversight."

    Those are the words of presidential candidate John McCain. This man is the Republican?

    There's more.

    "I am very angry, frankly, at the oil companies not only because of the obscene profits they've made but at their failure to invest in alternate energy to help us eliminate our dependence on foreign oil. They're making huge profits and that happens, but not to say, 'We're in this so we can over time eliminate America's dependence on foreign oil,' I think is an abrogation of their responsibilities as citizens."

    Let me get this straight. A potential president of a putatively free country scolds companies for "obscene profits," failure to invest in competing products, and therefore irresponsible citizenship. Why? Is McCain running for national economic commissar?

    This is not the first time McCain has displayed what I would call an anti-capitalist mentality. In an early presidential debate he countered former businessman Mitt Romney's claim to superior executive experience by saying, "I led the largest squadron in the U.S. Navy, not for profit but for patriotism".

    Why the put down of profit?

    A life long member of the collective, he belittles those that are self-serving.
    Except, of course, his wife and children.

  18. Great time to go to Glacier National Park this summer, I think, if you can afford it.

  19. Mrs McCain only had income of $6 million, last year.
    Which leaves her out of this exclusive club.

    But close enough, for Government work

    They report that one out of every 10,000 American families has income in excess of $10.7 million. These lucky duckies number less than 15,000. ...

    What’s more, the superrich have been getting an increasing slice of the economic pie. In 1980, the top 0.01 percent of the population had 0.87 percent of total income. By 2006, their share had more than quadrupled to 3.89 percent, a level not seen since 1916.

    Back to the future, in so many ways

  20. Williams, AZ.

    Two motels, a highway, and a rail line. Decent steak house.

  21. World famous, apparently.

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. More than two motels.
    Maybe six or eight.
    Dozen fast food vendors
    Two bars, three decent dining establishments.
    A NAPA store, lumberyard/hardware and the Regional Forest Service Headquarters.

    Set on I40, Williams is a car count town

    As to being the railhead to the Grand Canyon, the train is a fun trip.

  24. Four, actually.

    It's an old Route 66 town that I40 runs by, now.
    One good supermarket, a Safeway.

    Been a declining count for three years, but really dipping now. from same time last year.

    Got twenty acres thirty minutes from main street. Only at 5200', not 7200'. My place is not quite as cold in the winter, but a tad warmer in the summer.

    The car count in Williams is a leading economic indicator.

  25. dRat,

    The Indians did a better job at Page. A much better job.

  26. They're Federally subsidized.
    And given the Casino opportunities.
    There is also the Lake, at Page, which is a fabulous draw. Better than endless forest trails, us desert folk love our boats.

    Bet that traffic is down, too.

    But, yeah, the consumer product in Page is better.

  27. Fewer visitors going to Grand Canyon
    Grand Canyon National Park and the privately run Grand Canyon West each saw visitation rise last year but are feeling the impact of the weakening economy this year.

    The number of visitors to the park fell 5.4 percent in February (the latest month available) compared with a year ago, and attendance is down 8.3 percent on the year.

    The Grand Canyon wasn't alone. Attendance at all national parks and monuments in Arizona is down 10.7 percent through February, according to the National Park Service.

    Grand Canyon West doesn't release monthly visitor numbers but estimates that business is down as much as 15 percent compared with the same time last year.

  28. Could be the effect of the bad weather, as much as anything to with the economy.

  29. ..anything to ^do with the economy..

  30. It's on a track of accellerating decline, mat.
    Started three years ago.

    Vehicles out of CA. or Vegas headed east, or to CA or Vegas headed west. Some in-State tourism.

    There is less traffic.
    It's always been a economic indicator, here. If weather is the cause of the impact, there still is an impact.

  31. Hotel occupancy continues to fall in Las Vegas (6/17/2008)

    The numbers in Vegas keep falling.

    The latest report from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority show visitor volume, room rates, hotel occupancy and gaming revenue continued to fall in April. The only number on the rise was room inventory, which increased 2.6%.

    In April, visitor volume was down 1.5% and the hotel occupancy rate dropped 3.8%, to 90%. For the first four months of the year, visitor volume was down 0.1%, while hotel occupancy was down 1.7%.

    Room rates were down 7.4% in April, to $135.67. For the first four months of 2008, rates declined 4%, to $132.74.

    Gaming revenue also has been down all year, dropping 1.3% on the Strip in April and 2.6% for the first four months of the year.

  32. "In April, visitor volume was down 1.5% and the hotel occupancy rate dropped 3.8%, to 90%."

    90% occupancy rate. Geez, that must be awful.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. dRat,

    It's a beautiful countryside. The less tourist traps to spoil it, the better.

  35. They were running at 95% occupancy, mat.

    Taken a tumble, and new capacity coming on line. Vegas is a strange venue, to be sure.

  36. Great time to go to Glacier National Park this summer, I think, if you can afford it.

    And if you aren't afraid of driving up highways that look like they belong on the Road Runner cartoons with a little wall of stone a foot high between you and 50,000 feet of nothing.

  37. Bobal: The Portlandpeople, I might add, all think the same, all on the same wave length. Like Robots, like Frozen People, like Sam's Zombies.

    I resemble that remark. I was born in The 'Couve.

  38. You're one of the escapees, Lil. You're not like them, not like them at all. I don't see you giving your money, much less your body, to the guru, for phoney spiritual solace.

    Well the Troy, Oregon Resort was put up for sale again, I saw in the paper. Maybe I mentionedd this. It's not much of a resort, really. But, I've always liked it there. So, I called, how much? 3 million, the velvet voiced realtor shyster says. I laughed. Way out of my leaque anyway, but they aren't going to get that. I don't see it being worth $500,000, really, though they got one nice building. I doubt you could bring in $30,000 a year there, if you really worked at it. Probably more like $3,000. It hasn't even been open, the last few years. Well, I'll have to wait until the price drops:)

    It doesn't even have a web page I can find.

  39. Nor Does This

    But, since I am camera-ed up now, I'll post some pics, when we take a drive down that way. It's really very beautiful, always can see eagles in the winter, when they camp out down there, lurking in the big pine trees. Bald eagles, hanging around, just waiting for something to swoop down on, some luckless rodent, some rabbit making a mistake, exposing itself.

  40. Troy is most known today for it's phenomenal fishing.

    And, don't believe this. If you work at it, and know what you are doing, and like to hike, yes, you can do some good.

  41. If you want to buy a cheap condo, Vegas is the place for you, right now, if you can stand the goddammed place.

    You'll need to buy some jewelry to go about your neck, and some nice shoes, and sun glasses, and a light sport jacket, then you'll fit right in. You can walk round like you're Mr. Cool Dude.

  42. Hmmph...Gallup Has The Race Exactly Tied whereas a couple day ago Newsweek had Obama way ahead. Who to believe.

  43. Your reporter here in Idaho keeping you informed about the goings on concerning our new proposed nuclear power plant here--I note that radical irrational elements from outside the state have tried to use nazi like tactics here--

    Dear editor,

    As you may recall, anti-nuclear activists recently sought to disrupt an
    informational meeting about the Idaho Energy Complex. One of the people
    in attendance recently sent this letter to CEO Don Gillispie. Dr. Cooper
    grew up in Idaho and has worked in Idaho for 15 years and holds a
    doctorate and a masters degree from Oxford University.

    Thank you for your time,

    Martin Johncox
    Idaho Energy Complex spokesman

    Dear Mr. Gillispie,
    I attended the informational meeting you hosted in Glenns Ferry
    regarding the proposed nuclear power plant for Elmore County. Idahoans
    value the freedom to voice our opinions, and your meeting let supporters
    and opponents voice theirs in an open forum.

    However, I particularly found the actions committed by what I believe to
    be several members of the Snake River Alliance (SRA), who were with Ms.
    Andrea Shipley (SRA Director), and former Owyhee County P&Z member Mr.
    Joe Weatherby so disturbing that I felt compelled to write you. In fact,
    if you know of an official or agency that I can contact about what
    transpired, I would be happy to do so and lodge a complaint. You are
    also free to share this letter with whomever you deem appropriate.

    Personally, the arrest of Dr. Rickards is a non-issue. Several of us
    heard him insist on being arrested, and there was talk among his friends
    after the meeting that he had planned on getting arrested. But the
    disruption caused by the SRA and Weatherby during Dr. Rickards’ arrest
    was very alarming.

    As if on cue, the moment Rickards stood and announced that he was being
    arrested, the SRA and Weatherby simultaneously jumped up and started
    shouting a mix of profanity, threats and insults. While the woman in a
    red top who stood by Shipley screamed the largest number of obscenities,
    including the F-word at least 6 times, I was more concerned with
    Weatherby shaking his fist and yelling, ‘someone should take out Don
    Gillispie!’ Weatherby turned red, yelled other personal attacks
    against you and made small punching and kicking motions directly at you.
    The violence and profanity from the group was so intense that the two
    children in front of them cowered, and several people started to move in
    their chairs and voice concern. A local elderly woman yelled for them to
    be quiet, and one of the SRA women next to Andrea Shipley replied,
    ‘these locals are too stupid to know what’s good for them.’ The
    SRA and Weatherby only settled down once the MC Mr. Jim Tibbs and the
    Glenns Ferry Mayor JoAnn Lanham demanded the audience come to order;
    I’m sure that the appearance of more police officers didn’t hurt,
    either. I know that I was not the only one offended by their actions; I
    overheard the Mayor apologize to you and say that the disruptive crowd
    was not local when I went to ask you a question after the meeting.

    I am also concerned that Weatherby has misused his former position as an
    official of the Owyhee County P&Z committee for his personal benefit,
    much to the detriment of local citizens, without disclosure. He has been
    conveying that he is unbiased and has attained some level of bona fide
    expertise on energy generation and environmental issues based on his P&Z
    experience and his own research. However, Weatherby has alluded to his
    own personal involvement with a very large wind farm business venture
    (of over 5,000 windmills) on at least two occasions in public
    gatherings. Furthermore, I have heard complaints from several in Owyhee
    County about how Weatherby managed to have his personal property
    approved for subdivision while he served on the P&Z committee, but
    nobody else could get approval or his support. Indeed, it appears that
    he served on the Owyhee P&Z while conflicted, for his personal gain.

    And to make matters worse, I now hear that he has been very active in
    Elmore County, purportedly consulting and advising quite actively
    against your project. Why is it that Weatherby, who has no formal
    training or experience and who is using personal research that has not
    been vetted by experts, is attempting to advise a different county about
    your project? Since he remains evasive in answering whether or not he
    has a potential business conflict with your project and has no credible
    experience, it seems that he is pursuing his own agenda at the expense
    of the rest of us.

    Yet the depth to which Weatherby seems to have fallen almost pales in
    comparison to the SRA and its associates. I wasn’t surprised to find
    out that they had people from California and Oregon come to your
    meeting, and that members of the SRA handed out factually incorrect
    material at your meeting. Nor was I surprised how they continuously
    interrupted your talk with snide remarks—my favorite being from the
    woman next to me who quipped, ‘We don’t need more jobs! What’s up
    with that?’ But their apparent fabrication of a news story is
    unconscionable and Blair Koch and Claudio Beagarie should be reported.

    I entered the meeting behind the SRA group and Blair Koch. Andrea
    Shipley and Ms. Koch were quite congenial, and when Shipley asked if
    Koch needed any information, Koch responded that she had everything she
    needed. Koch sat by the woman from California, and before the meeting
    began I was walking around deciding where to sit. When I realized that
    she was a journalist, I told her that I had heard that Mr. Gillispie was
    happy to be interviewed and that he was standing at the next table. She
    replied that she didn’t need to interview him. I left to find a seat
    at the back corner of the room. Koch later sat behind me, and made a
    show of getting her materials ready. As if this was rehearsed, she stood
    up suddenly and managed to be on the scene exactly when the police
    officer confronted Dr. Rickards.

    Claudio Beagarie seems to have been working in collusion. I saw him
    arrive with Andrea Shipley and the SRA—in fact, I think he drove them.
    He then spent quite some time out front with Dr. Rickards, took photos
    and asked him a few questions. I later saw Beagarie inside, in the row
    in front of me. He told someone that he was with the Arbiter. Dr.
    Rickards came up to him at the beginning of the meeting and talked to
    him for a moment and then laughed together at something Rickards
    said—they made it hard for me to hear you talking. Rickards then sat
    in the row in front of Beagarie. When Rickards got up again and went to
    sit several rows closer to the front, Rickards smiled and waved at
    Beagarie again. Shortly after that, Beagarie pulled out a lens and
    prepared his camera. Almost immediately after that, a police officer
    entered the room. Beagarie jumped up and managed to position himself for
    a photo of Rickards before the officer had stopped moving.

    The subsequent article in the Time-News by Blair Koch clearly shows an
    agenda to anyone who attended that meeting, and included the photograph
    taken by Claudio Beagarie. I was surprised to see his photo with her
    article, since they represented different papers. I since have
    discovered that Beagarie was not representing the Arbiter at the

    The disregard that the SRA, Weatherby, and Rickards showed to the local
    populace was arrogant and puerile, but their lack of honesty and
    integrity is utterly unacceptable and should not be allowed to continue.
    Indeed, the deceptions, misinformation and blatant lies that they have
    used subvert our ability as Idahoans to make informed decisions.


    James E Cooper, DPhil., MPhil.


  44. I have heard of the Snake River Alliance, but, I thought they had eroded away, or gone 'upriver', but it seems they are back in business.

    I say, arrest them.

    This disrupting of public meetings is childish, arrogant, and deserving of much punishment.

  45. Ladies and Gentlemen, these people are assholes--

    While the woman in a
    red top who stood by Shipley screamed the largest number of obscenities,
    including the F-word at least 6 times, I was more concerned with
    Weatherby shaking his fist and yelling, ‘someone should take out Don

    Jail them all, then we will have a civil discussion about the merits of the proposal, all invited to speak.

  46. Furthermore, I have heard complaints from several in Owyhee
    County about how Weatherby managed to have his personal property
    approved for subdivision while he served on the P&Z committee, but
    nobody else could get approval or his support. Indeed, it appears that
    he served on the Owyhee P&Z while conflicted, for his personal gain.

    We haven't had this in our neck of the woods yet, but, I have a lawyer, and would sue if I heard of it. And I mean it.

    I wasn’t surprised to find
    out that they had people from California and Oregon come to your
    meeting, and that members of the SRA handed out factually incorrect
    material at your meeting. Nor was I surprised how they continuously
    interrupted your talk with snide remarks—my favorite being from the
    woman next to me who quipped, ‘We don’t need more jobs! What’s up
    with that?’

    Give them a job on the chain gang.

  47. It just ticks old bob off.

    Almost right out of Ed Abby, except he wasn't a crook, and was respectful of precedure, and just wrote books for a living, and told them, told them, no violence.

  48. Gold fell as a decline in energy costs reduced demand for the precious metal as a hedge against inflation. Silver also dropped.


    ''Some post-Fed pressure on the yellow metal and gains in the dollar are the consensus expectations among speculators this morning,'' Jon Nadler, an analyst at Kitco Minerals & Metals, said in a report.


    ''The expectation is that the Fed is going to leave everything unchanged and continue the anti-inflation talk,'' McGhee of Integrated Brokerage Services said.

    Inflation Outlook

  49. Gold closed in NY @ $885.60 per ounce

    OIl prices should drop to the $88 per barrel range, as projected by the collectivists, if the postulation that one ounce of gold pays for ten barrels of oil proves accurate.

  50. If the ratio holds constant.

  51. The Crude Oil price increase, reaching $138 also hurt the greenback. After breaking under the 1.55 zone on Monday, the EUR/USD was traded just under 1.56 yesterday.


    Yesterday, the EUR saw mixed results against most of its major currency rivals. The most notable change was a bullish trend against the USD as the cross nearly reached 1.56 during the middle of the trading day.


    The JPY saw fairly bullish trends against most of its currency crosses yesterday. Like the EUR, the JPY rose against the USD following the weak data coming from the U.S.

    Market Overview

  52. Folks I'm on the north shore of oahu at a coffee shop in Haleiwa. Been here for two weeks will stay for another two.
    Here's a live cam of the place

    I really like this place. Its a great place to work online and socialize. One of the few places I've seen where you can still get into interesting conversations with strangers offline and where working and chatting online is fun too and seems to bridge seemlessly onto offline chatter. can anyone suggest other coffee shops like that anywhere?

  53. How's the surf? Flat I would imagine. Summertime.

  54. Who's that hot chick in front of you?

  55. She looks single, dude. Go for it!

  56. hehe--Glad to hear from you Charles, wish I was there, but, I'm getting older...are there any over fifties around, fifties nifties?

  57. How's the surf? Flat I would imagine. Summertime.
    yup flat.
    She looks single, dude. Go for it!
    she's not single
    are there any over fifties around, fifties niftie
    lots older and younger.
    Doug's place.
    Doug's over on Maui. That's three island's over.

    I do my business online. Trouble is if you stay in one place too long you get dull. The internet starts pushing in on you rather than you pushing out on the internet.

    You have to move around to stay sharp. I would be great to have a bunch of great destinations to go to around the country. where you could surf the net, shoot the breeze and work gainfully online.

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