“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."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hold Your Breath and Say Your Prayers for Tuesday.

I confess that when I first heard about hedge funds and derivatives, I was perplexed. I could not understand them at first and when I did I was convinced that I was wrong and did not understand them because they seemed unnecessarily complicated.

I had no idea that they were both complicated and almost unregulated. They were also about money, serious money, a lethal combination just begging for abuse. Unfortunately, I was not the only one not to understand them.

On Tuesday, the failed Lehman Brothers' legacy will be determined. Hope and Pray all goes well as our Rulers and Masters stand back in stunned amazement to see how the financial witch doctors unravel the snake that is strangling the global financial system.


Markets hold breath as $360bn Lehman swaps unwind

The $54trillion credit derivatives market faces a delicate test as $360bn worth of contracts on now-defaulted derivatives on Lehman Brothers are due to be settled on Tuesday.

By Louise Armitstead and Peter Koenig
18 Oct 2008 Telegraph

Due to the opacity of the market, which is one of the most complex, least regulated and least understood in the global financial system, it is still not clear how many contracts have to be settled or which institutions will take the ultimate hits once the billions of dollars worth of contracts have been unravelled. The collapse of Lehman Brothers, is expected to trigger credit default swap (CDS) protection pay-outs of about $400bn but because the contracts were sold many times through different counterparties it is not yet known who will be liable.

One commentator said: “This will be the greatest illustration of the follies of Wall Street and how unnecessarily complicated the wild off-track betting became in the past few years.”

Five years ago Warren Buffett, the iconic American investor, warned that the chaotic profusion of derivatives used by companies and hedge funds to fund financial growth were “financial weapons of mass destruction.’’

Bankers in the City and on Wall Street are bracing for yet another round of turbulence as the contracts are unwound.

The Bank of England and the Federal Reserve in America have said they will keep their special liquidity windows open late on Tuesday night to allow the contracts to settle.
“We’re in unchartered waters here and it may all prove an anti-climax,” said a senior City banker on Friday, “but everyone will be watching the situation and wondering what’s going to happen.”

An earlier auction of Lehman-related derivatives on October 10 prompted early fears that banks and investors could lose $400 billion. In the event, the discounts on the Lehman-related paper that day realised losses of only $6 billion.

At the core of Tuesday’s cash exchange between banks stands a quasi-insurance product, the credit default swaps. Investors buy CDS’s to protect themselves against the possibility of default on securities issues by firms such as Lehman. During the boom years, banks’ insurers and hedge funds created and sold CDS’s to raise what appeared to be risk-free cash in the form of premium payments.

On September 16, Lehman filed for bankruptcy, leaving them obliged to payout on CDS’s written to protect investors against the possibility of a default on Lehman paper.
City bankers say that Lehman also holds a portfolio of CDS’s written to protect against other institutions defaulting and these, too, could get caught up in Tuesday’s action.

“This will arguably be the biggest cash-exchange day and somebody will fail,” one analyst warned last week.


  1. Prayer is a very deep thing. The initiated know. Ash knows nothing, and people like him, know nothing.

    But, if you are sitting by the stream, and thinking to yourself, about your past, and your relatives maybe, you might start to get there.

    As the water flows on.

    Let's pray for Ash, even though it's a big pain in the ass.

  2. I have studied prayer.

    The upshot is--

    it's healthy

    done right.

  3. Nikkei's up. Futures up. Bonds ok.

    I figure maybe one, or two, small hedge funds take gas over Lehman. Fed will make sure nobody "Big" goes down. Wouldn't be good for confidence, you know.

  4. The thing about prayer is, it gets you past the day by day, and you begin to understand, you really don't give a shit about the stock market.

    That's what prayer is.

  5. Let's pray for Ash

    No, Bob. We don't pray for the souls of flies. Flies are disease carrying insects. And that's all there is to it.

  6. Your tradition goes back further than mine, Mat.

    I'm thinking about it, is all I can say.

    Night, friend.

  7. And all this from a Company recently Headed by an Air Force Vet!
    They came for Jessica, and I will not be silent

    Jessica's husband had heard Jessica's side of the original phone call and verified the actual quote. To which the female agent replied, "Oh? Well why would she (the Obama volunteer) make that up?"

    Jessica replied that the Obama volunteer was probably unhappy about what Jessica had said about her candidate. The female agent then said "That's right, you were rude!"

    The male agent then displayed a file with Jessica's full name prominently printed on it and asked her how she felt about Obama. At this point, the former Marine told the agent "in no uncertain terms" (as she later recounted) that this was America and that the last time she checked, she was allowed to think whatever she wanted without being questioned by the Secret Service. And was being "rude" a federal crime now too?

    The agents then admitted they had no tape of the conversation, just the quote from the Obama campaign.

    Responding to Jessica's questions, the agents would not identify themselves by name, nor reveal the name of the Obama volunteer who had made the complaint. The agents did indicate that Jessica was not in a court of law yet, and that they were trying to not embarrass her "by going to all her family and neighbors."

    To these implied threats, Jessica invited the agents to speak to whomever they wanted, and stated she would happily go to court since she had done nothing wrong.

    Jessica asked the agents, "Look, someone calls me unsolicited on my cell phone to ask me to support their candidate, and I can't tell them why I don't?"
    Jessica wrote later, "The fact that the volunteer lied, the fact that the Secret Service came to my house to question me about my thoughts and feelings and threaten to embarrass me to my neighbors and go to court if I didn't cooperate is not the tragedy here.

    "Because that girl on the phone doesn't have the pull to send the Secret Service to my home. Someone high in the ranks of a campaign working for a man who may be the next President of the United States of America felt comfortable bringing the force of the Federal Government to bear on a private citizen on nothing but the word of a partisan volunteer."

    Taken together with the intimidation campaign against WGN Radio because it aired an interview about the Obama-Ayers connection, the use of local criminal prosecutors to intimidate TV stations in certain states to not run ads critical of Obama, and the use of race to rally black voters and shame white voters, the Obama campaign's M.O. in Jessica's case is a warning.

    The pattern is unmistakable. The drumbeat of jackboots echoes now faintly, but persistently, in the fall breeze.

  8. Oct 20 2008

    In spite of the early rally, confidence in the markets remains fragile given last week's extreme volatility and interbank lending rates that remain abnormally far above central bank benchmarks, a sign of distress in credit markets.

    "We would be slightly more confident in suggesting that equities have reached a trough if we were to see some normalization in money market spreads or a reduction in measures such as equity market volatility," said Peter Dixon, an analyst at Commerzbank.

    "The fact that both remain elevated suggests that we cannot make such a call with any degree of certainty," he added.

    Particular focus will be on interbank lending rates this week and whether the logjam in credit markets is breaking, in light of the flurry of activity by governments over the last couple of weeks. There are growing signs that the government bailouts of banks around the world, the coordinated interest rate reductions announced earlier this month and massive liquidity boosts by central banks, are beginning to reduce lending rates between banks.

    Overnight, the Hong Kong interbank offered rate, known as Hibor, for three-month loans tumbled to 3.66 percent from 4.19 as the territory's de facto central bank pumped more money into the financial system.

    Divyang Shah, a strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, thinks that three-month interbank rates could fall "aggressively" this week.

    On Friday, the interbank lending rate for three-month dollar loans fell for the fifth day running, the first weekly decline in three months. It dropped 0.08 percent to 4.42 percent, while the three-month Euro Interbank Offered Rate, or Euribor, fell almost 0.045 percentage points to 5.045 percent.

    "Early indications are that 3-month Libor could fall by around 0.24 percent today," said Shah.

  9. Librarians United!

    2.0 Economic Liberty

    A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.

    2.4 Government Finance and Spending

    All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution. We oppose any legal requirements forcing employers to serve as tax collectors. Government should not incur debt, which burdens future generations without their consent. We support the passage of a "Balanced Budget Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution, provided that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes.

    2.5 Money and Financial Markets

    We favor free-market banking, with unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types. Individuals engaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use as money any mutually agreeable commodity or item. We support a halt to inflationary monetary policies, the repeal of legal tender laws and compulsory governmental units of account.

    2.6 Monopolies and Corporations

    We defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives and other types of companies based on voluntary association. We seek to divest government of all functions that can be provided by non-governmental organizations or private individuals. We oppose government subsidies to business, labor, or any other special interest. Industries should be governed by free markets.

  10. Well, Howard Kurtz, over at the WaPo, writes about how the people of the Press are reporting the election, and how it may well continue to.

    McCain has also been hurt by conservative commentators -- including David Brooks, George Will, Kathleen Parker, Peggy Noonan and Christopher Buckley -- who have chastised the Arizonan's campaign and the choice of Palin. (Buckley, in fact, lost his National Review column last week for the heresy of backing Obama.) The saturation coverage of Colin Powell's "Meet the Press" endorsement of Obama yesterday -- his remarks outside the NBC studio carried live on cable, his words leading many newspaper Web sites -- added weight to the media verdict that Obama has sealed the deal.

    "You've got people on the right side of the political equation saying the McCain campaign's screwed up and he's picked a running mate who is unqualified," Greenfield says. That adds to the impression of a sinking ship.

    But the theater-criticism aspect of modern journalism is a factor as well. After McCain's most aggressive performance in the final debate, much of the media focus was not on his specific attacks but whether he looked angry and exasperated while Obama stayed calm and collected. Is criticism valid only if it makes your opponent whine or tear up?

    McCain's invocation of Joe the Plumber to make the case against Obama's tax policies dissolved in a series of dispatches about how Joe Wurzelbacher is not a licensed plumber, he's not in the high-income bracket targeted by Obama, and what's more, his first name isn't Joe. And McCain is never going to draw the kind of attention for his mortgage bailout plan that he did for telling David Letterman he "screwed up" by canceling an earlier appearance, or that Palin did in appearing with Tina Fey on Saturday night.

    For all the complaints that the media swoon over Obama -- he has garnered editorial endorsements in recent days from The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times -- journalists are ultimately driven by electoral math. If McCain were to make a comeback in the almighty polls, the narrative would abruptly change. If the numbers don't move, the chatter about an Obama presidency will grow louder, perhaps drowning out the campaign's final days.

    Becoming a self fulfilling prophesy.
    The media will quit reporting on the anti Ayers campaign, right about now. Old news, you know.

    They'll change to Team Maverick news clips being aired to other "Issue Oriented" McCain moments.

  11. A lot of folk have an interest in Mrs Palin, her appearance on SNL garnered that shows highest ratings, in 14 years.

  12. Night, friend.

    Good morn, Bob. I was already asleep @02:41:00 AM. :)

  13. Other financial clouds on the horizon seem to revolve around all the Leveraged Buyout (LBO) activity or the past bunch of years. LBO specialist would lever the heck out of a company, take it public, slice and dice the debt into securities and run out the door with their bags and bags of money (fees ect.) leaving the company to fend for itself with the massive debt load. It seems this will also magnify the pain of some corporate failures. All fair game in a free market I guess, eh rat?

  14. There is only one reason, Ash, Powell is black. Blacks vote for blacks, whites vote for whites, nothing new here, nothing to see, please move along.

    Powell is not and never was a Republican, he just worked for them a while.

  15. How'd she do on Saturday Night Live? I missed it.

  16. Really nice videos, Charles.

    I've been wanting to post "The Rose" by Theodore Roethke, but dang, I can't find it. I almost have it memorized, but I quess I'll have to order the book from Amazon.

    It's about the last poem of his life, and he really 'get's it'.

  17. Buyer beware, ash, buyer beware.

    Seems reasonable, to me.

    But then an undiluted Librarian ideology will never become the Law of the Land, but it should give guidence to the helmsmen.

    A "Free Market" would not have had a Frannie and Fraudie given an implicit guarantee from the Federals.

    The Government's interference with the market is what allowed for the crisis to build. Then uneven regulation of the markets exasperated the situation.

  18. I hear you on the buyer beware aspects of commerce but we do see fit to regulate the ability to publicly market ponzi schemes and other cons. In short, when the problems due to leverage threaten systemic failure then we've got to do more than cry "buyer beware". It seems the 'natural' boom bust cycle has a greater amplitude in an unregulated world and the pain is spread across the many and the gain the few.

  19. Powell was certainly a Republican, a Ronald Reagan Republican, then he became a George HW Bush kind of Republican, then, finally he was the consumate George W Bush kind of a Republican.

    He just is not a John Sidney McCain kind of Repubican.
    He and Jim Webb, a wite man, are Republicans that the Republican Party has left behind, to be picked up by Team Obamasan.

    Powell, he has had the benefit of knowing them all, personally, and letting that guide his judgement.

  20. Exactly, ash, the Federals and their elites have defrauded the market, to gain further control of it. At the expense of the public.

    But enpowering the Regulator to be the owner, only enthrones the status que.

  21. Palin this past Saturday was a revelation. Simply stunning. So much so that every SNL regular stayed off drugs and couldn't have been nicer or more humble.

    Choosing Sides

    I quess I've answered my own question, how'd she do?

    What I love about Palin is she is such a great advertisement for the Christian outlook on life. She is so filled with life, and all good things, and she is so filled withs Joy, the best of all things.

    I hope and pray for her, that she never gets corruputed. May the Lord watch over her forever.

    And, after the elections are over, and the Colin Powells of the world have won, and the pubs have lost, may she go back to Alaska, and continue to be her wonderful self.

    That is no land for shysters.

    Or for people like Ash.

    And, it is liberating too.

    I am finished with the PC politness.

    Bow your heads in prayer now gentlemen....

  22. I agree the regulator should not be the owner. The Federals are desperately trying keep the system afloat by becoming the (partial) owners bought with newly minted money. Whether it will mitigate the amplitude of the bust remains to be seen but the options seem to be failure now or, maybe, failure down the road. As individuals caught up in the game how does one protect ones stash? Inflation kills the cash and the financial wizards skim the public corporation. Buy a hair salon maybe? A beach house in Costa Rica? A farm?

  23. Still no storyline on how Senator Byrd, the ex Grand Exalted Wizard of the once and future Knights of the KKK, has joined the Black tribe in taking over the United States?

    Is he paricipating in leading all of US to oblivion, in a vain attempt to save his own soul?

  24. And the first thing we should do, is be honest about it. Get rid of this political correctness. Get rid of affirmative action. Let them all compete on their own abilities. Take skin out of it.

    As for me, I'm damned tired of watching all this kow tow ing for some alleged past sins.

    The blacks in Africa can't compete. They can't run a democracy. They needed another two hundred years of colonialism, just like Habu said.

    I remember coming back from England on a plane. A big discussion took place, between a smart ass Englishman, and a woman from Rhodesia.

    Over rights, etc.

    She finally said,"Well for Christ's sake they didn't have any clothes on."

    I can understand that.

    And, she was right, because look at it now.

  25. All the real wealth, it is wealth because it is enduring.

    Land, cattle, copper.
    Factories, mines, fishing trawlers, refineries and oil wells.

    Here today, here tomorrow.

    As has been said many times through the years, by many folk, a society cannot exist upon service.

    It has to make stuff.

    Which the US does better than anyone. Makes more stuff, and sells more stuff than anyone, buys more, too.

    But the Boners have created valueless wealth and now want those of us with real wealth to cover their percieved losses.

    A grand, grand fraud. A conspiracy so wide, it was not even a conspiracy, but a bi-partisan movement to greater socialism in the guise of Federalism.

  26. It has to make stuff.


    I'm gonna tend my farm.

  27. That's what it comes down to, you got to do.

    Do something. Don't whine.

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Look at it now, Ashley.

    You go to Rhodesia, help 'em out, with all your 'knowledge' and PC crap.

    I'll pay for your plane ticket.

  30. Closet Democrat carrying water for those in power, taking advantage of Affirmative Action to get his stars.

    He is now showing his true colors, no pun intended.

  31. Here is a copy of The Rose by Theodore Rothke. You have to skim down the page for it.

  32. Thank you, Charles.

    I think Sarah Palin is the best we Christians heve to offer.

    Whether one is more of a trinitarian type, like Charles, or more of an arian type, like myself.

    Sarah Palin is the best we have to offer.

    She is an example of a good Christian woman.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. A Christian, in my case, with a heavy load of Joseph Campbell in the boat, of course.

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. The Rose

    Theodore Roethke

    There are those to whom place is unimportant,

    But this place, where sea and fresh water meet,

    Is important-

    Where the hawks sway out into the wind,

    Without a single wingbeat,
    And the eagles sail low over the fir trees,

    And the gulls cry against the crows

    In the curved harbors,

    And the tide rises up against the grass

    Nibbled by ship and rabbits.

    A time for watching the tide,

    For the heron's hieratic fishing,

    For the sleepy cries of the towhee,

    The morning birds gone, the twittering finches,

    But still the flash of the kingfisher, the wingbeat of the scoter.

    The sun a ball of fire coming down over the water,

    The last geese crossing against the reflected afterlight,

    The moon retreating into a vague cloudshape

    To the cries of the owl, the eerie whooper.

    The old log subsides with the lessening waves,

    And there is silence.

    I sway outside myself

    Into the darkening currents,

    Into the small spillage of driftwood,

    The waters swirling past the tiny headlands.

    Was it here I wore a crown of birds for a moment

    While on a far point of the rocks
    The light heightened,

    And below, in a mist out of nowhere,

    The first rain gathered?

    As when a ship sails with a light wind-

    The waves less than the ripples made by rising fish,

    The lacelike wrinkles of the wake widening, thinning out,

    Sliding away from the traveler's eye,

    The prow pitching easily up and down,

    The whole ship rolling slightly sideways,

    The stern high, dipping like a child's boat in a pond-

    Our motion continues.

    But this rose, this rose in the sea-wind,


    Stays in its true place,

    Flowering out of the dark,

    Widening at high noon, face upward,

    A single wild rose, strugling out of the white embrace of the morning-glory,

    Out of the briary hedge, the tangle of matted underbrush,

    Beyond the clover, the ragged hay,

    Beyond the sea pine, the oak, the windtipped madrona,

    Moving with the waves, the undulating driftwood,

    Where the slow creek winds down to the black sand of the shore

    With its thick grassy scum and crabs scuttling back into their
    glistening craters.

    And I think of roses, roses,

    White and red, in the wide six-hundred-foot greenhouses,

    And my father standing astride the cement benches,

    Lifting me high over the four-foot stems, the Mrs. Russells, and his own elaborate hybrids,

    And how those flowerheads seemed to flow toward me, to beckon me, only a child, out of myself.

    What need for heaven, the, With that man, and those roses?


    What do they tell us, sound and silence?

    I think of American sounds in this silence:

    On the banks of the Tombstone, the windharps having their say,

    The thrush singing alone, that easy bird,

    The killdeer whistling away from me,

    The mimetic chortling of the catbird

    Down in the corner of the garden, among the raggedy lilacs,

    The bobolink skirring from a broken fencepost,

    The bluebird, lover of holes in old wood, lifting its light song,

    And that thin cry, like a needle piercing the ear, the insistent cicada,

    And the ticking of snow around oil drums in the Dakotas,

    The thin whine of telephone wires in the wind of a Michigan winter,

    The shriek of nails as old shingles are ripped from the top of a roof,

    The bulldozer backing away, the hiss of the sandblaster,

    And the deep chorus of horns coming up from the streets in early morning.

    I return to the twittering of swallows above water,

    And that sound, that single sound,

    When the mind remembers all,

    And gently the light enters the sleeping soul,

    A sound so thin it could not woo a bird,

    Beautiful my desire, and the place of my desire.

    I think of a rock singing, and light making its own silence,

    At the edge of a ripening meadow, in early summer,

    The moon lolling in the close elm, a shimmer of silver,

    Or that lonely time before the breaking of morning

    When the slow freight winds along the edge of the ravaged hillside,

    And the wind tries the shape of a tree,

    While the moon lingers,

    And a drop of rain water hangs at the tip of a leaf

    Shifting in the awakening sunlight

    Like the eye of a new-caught fish.


    I live with the rocks, their weeds,

    Their filmy fringes of green, their harsh

    Edges, their holes

    Cut by the sea-slime, far from the crash of the long swell,

    The oily, tar-laden walls Of the toppling waves,

    Where the salmon ease their way into the kelp beds,

    And the sea rearranges itself among the small islands.

    Near this rose, in this grove of sun-parched, wind-warped madronas,

    Among the half-dead trees, I came upon the true ease of myself,

    As if another man appeared out of the depths of my being,

    And I stood outside myself,

    Beyond becoming and perishing,

    A something wholly other,

    As if I swayed out on the wildest wave alive,

    And yet was still.

    And I rejoiced in being what I was:

    In the lilac change, the white reptilian calm,

    In the bird beyond the bough, the single one

    With all the air to greet him as he flies,

    The dolphin rising from the darkening waves;

    And in this rose, this rose in the sea-wind,
    Rooted in stone, keeping the whole of light,

    Gathering to itself sound and silence-

    Mine and the sea-wind's.

  37. Having recently read both the article and 25-20 posts on the return of the Fairness Doctrine. And having recently read the Obama platform and responses to it , the one striking thing is that nobody talks of revolution.

    Is it that there exists such faith in a Marxist President and government bureaucracy that no one feels anything will change? Is it that as a people we have become so illiterate in history that we have forgotten what come with Marxist rule?

    I am truly in wonderment over the lack of discussion of the trouble this country faces with the degree of radicalism we are about to face with two, perhaps all three of the branches of government. I assure you all you have to do is read Russian history from 1917 onward to get a taste of what we are moving rapidly toward.

    I fully expect “community organizers” to begin very quickly taking names of those who pose a threat to the state.

    Is this not a synopsis of what Obama has in store?

    "The degree of his slavery varies according to the ratio between that which he is forced to yield up and that which he is allowed to retain; and it matters not whether his master is a single person or a society. If, without option, he has to labour for the society, and receives from the general stock such portion as the society awards him, he becomes a slave to the society. Socialistic arrangements necessitate an enslavement of this kind; and towards such an enslavement many recent measures, and still more the measures advocated, are carrying us ."

    That my friends is the direction we will forced into taking,….

    and receives from the general stock such portion as the society awards him, he becomes a slave to the society .”

    Herbert Spencer in Man versus the State

  38. I've not quite understood, ash, why you've seemed to grow angrier and more provocative the closer we get to the end of this administration, on the one hand, and on the other its replacement by the one you favor - all the while avoiding, as I said we would, the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Thing.

    Defeat doesn't bring out the best in people (witness: all major conservative outlets through the summer and fall of 06; witness also the present}; victory, or at least its genuine prospect, although invariably accompanied by some gloating, usually encourages a more blithe aspect. Is my psychology off?

    Maybe it's the weather in Canada. Northerners are a crabbed lot, it's always seemed to me.

  39. Guy finally 'got it', and I am glad he did, as he has helped me out a lot--

    Among the half-dead trees,

    I came upon the true ease of myself,

    As if another man appeared out of the depths of my being,

    And I stood outside myself,

    Beyond becoming and perishing,

    A something wholly other,

    As if I swayed out on the wildest wave alive,

    And yet was still.

  40. maximum leader..

    "L'État, c'est moi"

  41. What's gonna happen, Habu, is nice white folk like myself are finally going to get pissed.

    Count on it.

  42. I'm tired of paying for it, let them do something finally.

    If they can, which they can't, which is the root of the problem, and everybody knows it.

  43. I was a big fan of joseph campbell for a number of years. Until it occured to me that his ideas on myth were descriptive rather than prescriptive.

  44. Marxism doesn't bring out the best in people

  45. I'm open to talking, Charles. I must confess, I don't "know it all".


    or much of anything really...

    But, I like Campbell, and the Bible, and Mat, and you.

    Let's talk, as time goes on....

  46. wellll, trish, I have been harping on some of this stuff for a long time now and there is a certain gratification in seeing general public opinion follow suit. I have tried not to gloat or crow "I told you so" but when I am faced with the same blind urges still (all muslims bad, attack Iran, Palin is wonderful ect.) spouted with invective by a self described christian I think a response is in order. My problems started in earnest with Bobal when I first stated that I thought McCain selecting Palin was a mistake. He asked why and I explained why I thought it was a mistake and he exploded. Ever since he has been a twit and when twits continue to spout it can be humorous to prod them. For the most part I will ignore him but when they get particularly obnoxious (such as Powell is a black piece of shit) I think ignoring them is not a particularly good choice. When a person spews such drivel they should be confronted. All in all Bobal seems like a nice thoughtful guy BUT, as he said above, it's all been a PC front covering what he really thinks.

  47. See what I mean, ash? A putrid tide like raw sewage will upwell and overflow into the street gutters. The losers - such is the pain of losing - will have no choice but to remark and release their inner [inappropriate racial characterization].

    Be the magnanimous winner. Have pity on the defeated. It's the American way, after all.

  48. Mmm...Everyone needs a little snake wrapped around them, once in a while. Don't ya think?

  49. "My problems started in earnest with Bobal..."

    Bobal who?

  50. Colin Powell is a piece of living human shit.

    But, I've said that already....


    Please, say something meaningful, woodja finally?

    I'm begging.

  52. That's part of the problem I have with the whole blasted American political scene - either you are a winner or a loser and the whole shebang is split into a binary 'our team' vs 'their team'. So many vote 'my team right or wrong'. I politely suggest one should look to the individuals and what they say and do, no their party.

  53. Ash is a moron, and thankfully, having worked all my life, I can go back to bed now, 'in the mid 'o the day'.

    With no repurcussions.

  54. How about some prose from a great American poet Charles Bukowski

    "There's nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don't live up until their death. They don't honor their own lives, they piss on their lives. They shit them away. Dumb fuckers. They concentrate too much on fucking, movies, money, family, fucking. Their minds are full of cotton. They swallow God without thinking, they swallow country without thinking. Soon they forget how to think, they let others think for them. Their brains are stuffed with cotton. They look ugly, they talk ugly, they walk ugly. Play them the great music of the centuries and they can't hear it. Most people's deaths are a sham. There's nothing left to die."

    —The Captain Is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship, 1998

  55. You *can* politely suggest - polite suggestions being the best suggestions, the easier to embrace or ignore.

    But it is suggesting too much, ash. Even little ole me knows that.

  56. Why is that trish? Why the hardcore tie to a political tribe, or more accurately, as Vonnegut would say, a "granfalloon"?

    Granfalloon from wiki:

    "A granfalloon, in the fictional religion of Bokononism (created by Kurt Vonnegut in his 1963 novel Cat's Cradle), is defined as a "false karass" (imagined community). That is, it is a group of people who outwardly choose or claim to have a shared identity or purpose, but whose mutual association is actually meaningless. The most common granfalloons are associations and societies based on a shared but ultimately fabricated premise. As examples, Vonnegut cites: "the Communist Party, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the General Electric Company, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows—and any nation, anytime, anywhere." A more general and oft-cited quote defines a granfalloon as "a proud and meaningless association of human beings." Another granfalloon example illustrated in the book was Hoosiers, of which the narrator (and Vonnegut himself) was a member."

  57. I'd say one other thing. That--satisfaction? That final ease? that 'at home'? that the poet tries to express-in "The Rose"-that is what we all want, down deep, cause we all all human, and that is what we want.

  58. "I think ignoring them is not a particularly good choice. When a person spews such drivel they should be confronted"
    My, what high standards.

    Then why the refusal to condemn Obama's funding Racists?

    And why the refusal to condemn having his young girls indoctrinated in hate and racism?

    Simple questions, Ash.

  59. geez all this hostility.

    can't we just all get along

    ash is a do do head

  60. Very cute Ash.
    Speak out about the 20 years he did, or expose yourself as the fraud that he is.

  61. Bobal, trying to find some Bukowski poetry you might find...not too gritty. Trying to mend fences at the prodding of trish:


    waiting for death
    like a cat
    that will jump on the

    I am so very sorry for
    my wife

    she will see this
    shake it once, then


    Hank won't

    it's not my death that
    worries me, it's my wife
    left with this
    pile of

    I want to
    let her know
    that all the nights
    beside her

    even the useless
    were things
    ever splendid

    and the hard
    I ever feared to
    can now be

    I love

    Charles Bukowski

  62. Selective Morality, huh Ash? Obama encouraging others to share, as he covetously hangs onto his record campaign funds
    (and his crook crony "organizers"}

    Let the record stand:

    Racism by those that Ash supports is above criticism.

  63. "Why is that trish? Why the hardcore tie to a political tribe..."

    Beats me. The contemporary nation state's equivalent of its crude, but environmentally appropriate, forerunner? Running at a fever pitch in a more or less evenly divided nation?

    (Such a feature of life is this that I thought, until I was forced at some point to stay awake in high school and earn my escape, that the two-party system, like the bicameral legislature, was Constitutionally decreed.)

    Look up Political Psychology.

  64. There are many nations where there are more then two parties, and some, just one. Hardly etched in stone - the two party state. Funny, though, it seems that way in America.

  65. Trish, who declared herself not to be concerned by Obama's Racism, discusses Psychology with Racism Defending Ashley.

    I condemn your hypocritical defense, Ash!

  66. High minded verbiage, covering your base impulses.

  67. Funny, though, it seems that way in America.

    Mon Oct 20, 05:37:00 PM EDT

    Doesn't it though. As the Church Lady would say, how very conveeeeenient.

  68. until I was forced at some point to stay awake in high school and earn my escape, that the two-party system , like the bicameral legislature, was Constitutionally decreed

    please don't tell me you're talking about the US Constitution decreeing a two party system? Where exactly is it in the Constitution? Must be one of those phantom sections.

  69. I'll leave you and Ash to your hypocritical Bilge, Trish.
    Your entitled.

  70. I'm tired of paying for it, let them "do" something finally.

    Be careful what you wish for, Bob. You probably won't like what they do.
    Maybe "produce" is a better verb.

    Rat: Good post @ Mon Oct 20, 01:38:00 PM EDT.

    Doug: Good catch @ Mon Oct 20, 05:14:00 AM EDT

    Trish: Well, Trish is an enigma again. But then I'm just a northerner, I guess. Coy, though.

    Still catchin' up here.

  71. I'm waiting for the Bard (or is that the Bilge?) of the Bar to take his lithium. I've got time to kill with another poor, misguided soul. Prob'ly plenty of it.

  72. Damned good potry Ash, guys gonna miss his wife, or the reverse.

    Try again, with some birds or somethin'.


  73. please don't tell me you're talking about the US Constitution decreeing a two party system? Where exactly is it in the Constitution? Must be one of those phantom sections.

    Mon Oct 20, 05:47:00 PM EDT

    Exactly my point.

  74. As the Church Lady would say, how very conveeeeenient.


    careful now or you'll continue the slide to a one world conspiracy like our pal rat.

  75. oh well, so much for mended fences...

    What Can We Do?

    at their best, there is gentleness in Humanity.
    some understanding and, at times, acts of
    but all in all it is a mass, a glob that doesn't
    have too much.
    it is like a large animal deep in sleep and
    almost nothing can awaken it.
    when activated it's best at brutality,
    selfishness, unjust judgments, murder.

    Charles Bukowski

  76. The Genius Of The Crowd

    there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
    human being to supply any given army on any given day

    and the best at murder are those who preach against it
    and the best at hate are those who preach love
    and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

    those who preach god, need god
    those who preach peace do not have peace
    those who preach peace do not have love

    beware the preachers
    beware the knowers
    beware those who are always reading books
    beware those who either detest poverty
    or are proud of it
    beware those quick to praise
    for they need praise in return
    beware those who are quick to censor
    they are afraid of what they do not know
    beware those who seek constant crowds for
    they are nothing alone
    beware the average man the average woman
    beware their love, their love is average
    seeks average

    but there is genius in their hatred
    there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
    to kill anybody
    not wanting solitude
    not understanding solitude
    they will attempt to destroy anything
    that differs from their own
    not being able to create art
    they will not understand art
    they will consider their failure as creators
    only as a failure of the world
    not being able to love fully
    they will believe your love incomplete
    and then they will hate you
    and their hatred will be perfect

    like a shining diamond
    like a knife
    like a mountain
    like a tiger
    like hemlock

    their finest art

    Charles Bukowski

  77. It's in the penumba section, Habu, which you ain't read, yet.

    But, you are about to get it read to ya.

    As for myself, I think the two party way has served ok, so far.

    I like stymie. That's the best govmint.

    In my view, so far.

  78. Give me something about what happens at death, not about husbands and wives, or society, it's death all the good poets care about, as do I, and you too, moron.

    Then I'll try to start and take you seriously.

    It will be a hard job.

    In Dante, he could recognize his friends, in the other world.

    But, all the Buddhas are the same, in the east.

    The difference tween east and west.

  79. I'm one real estate sale away from joining you there in Australia, Sam, if you will have me.

  80. No prob, Bob. I can show you a lot of neat stuff down here. It's pretty fun.

  81. Too bad you don't drink. Lots of great wineries to visit down here.

  82. U.S. Pilot Ordered to Shoot Down UFO Over England

    Monday, October 20, 2008


    The October surprise?

  83. Sam, all good poetry is about death, one way or another. All this shit about husbands and wives, and society, is crap, and we all know it.

    It's death we are concerned about.



  84. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and U.S. President George W. Bush met Oct. 18 to discuss the possibility of a global financial summit. The meeting ended with an American offer to host a global summit in December modeled on the 1944 Bretton Woods system that founded the modern economic system.


    The origin of Bretton Woods lies in the Great Depression. As economic output dropped in the 1930s, governments worldwide adopted a swathe of protectionist, populist policies — import tariffs were particularly in vogue — that enervated international trade.


    Think back to July 1944. The Normandy invasion was in its first month. The United Kingdom served as the staging ground, but with London exhausted, its military commitment to the operation was modest. While the tide of the war had clearly turned, there was much slogging ahead. It had become apparent that launching the invasion of Europe — much less sustaining it — was impossible without large-scale U.S. involvement.

    Woods II

  85. Bob, not sure what you are on about as I haven't read the thread yet. I'll try to skim through it during the day 'though.

    On the surface of it 'though I find death a depressing subject. I don't want to die. I would like to live forever. I love life. So much to see/do/experience on this great planet.

    Life is so unpredictable. Never know what's going to happen today or tomorrow.

    How could you not love it!

  86. Love & Fame & Death

    it sits outside my window now
    like and old woman going to market;
    it sits and watches me,
    it sweats nevously
    through wire and fog and dog-bark
    until suddenly
    I slam the screen with a newspaper
    like slapping at a fly
    and you could hear the scream
    over this plain city,
    and then it left.

    the way to end a poem
    like this
    is to become suddenly

    Charles Bukowski

  87. "Ayers will be joined by Sen. Barack Obama, Senior Lecturer in the Law School, who is working to combat legislation that would put more juvenile offenders into the adult system," the University of Chicago Chronicle reported on Nov. 6, 1997.

    Obama has been criticized for refusing to elaborate on the extent of his relationship with Ayers and for claiming to have had no idea Ayers was a co-founder of the Wesather Underground, which claimed responsibility for bombing the Pentagon, U.S. Capitol and a New York Supreme Court justice's home in the Sixties.

    The Obama campaign has noted that Obama was 8 years old when Ayers and the Weather Underground were active and has no link to their activities. Ayers has said he has "no regrets" about his participation in the domestic terror group.

    Book by Ayers

  88. "Death is different than anyone supposed, and luckier."
    Walt Whitman

    "The gentle finger of the Lord brings up the laggards."
    Walt Whitman

    The appearnace of death is not the experience of death.

    old IANDS saying

    I didn't mean to be a bummer, Sam ,and I apologize.

    Most of the poets though, that I know, are positive about it.

    It is death's outcall for more life, is what most say.

    I would urge everyone to read the near death literature, and read all the IANDS literature.

    It is very bracing.

    The question I have had, is why do you have to say goodbye to your loved ones.

    Like, my wife and I talk about it a lot, and joke. We both want to be the first to go, so as not to be left alone. Neither of us wants that.

    My good wife of nearly thirty years. I don't want to be without her.

    It's just human.

    But, you may not have too. Or, it may be so much more than that that you don't care.

    It is good, uplifting literature. I wish everyone would read it.

  89. The heart is in the right place there, Ash, but not the 'first heaven of knowing'.


  90. The appearnace of death is not the experience of death.

    That's a good one. I like that.

  91. The Ballad of
    East and West

    Rudyard Kipling

    OH, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth!

    Kamal is out with twenty men to raise the Border side,
    And he has lifted the Colonel’s mare that is the Colonel’s pride:
    He has lifted her out of the stable-door between the dawn and the day,
    And turned the calkins upon her feet, and ridden her far away.
    Then up and spoke the Colonel’s son that led a troop of the Guides:
    “Is there never a man of all my men can say where Kamal hides?”
    Then up and spoke Mahommed Khan, the son of the Ressaldar,
    “If ye know the track of the morning-mist, ye know where his pickets are.
    At dusk he harries the Abazai—at dawn he is into Bonair,
    But he must go by Fort Bukloh to his own place to fare,
    So if ye gallop to Fort Bukloh as fast as a bird can fly,
    By the favor of God ye may cut him off ere he win to the Tongue of Jagai,
    But if he be passed the Tongue of Jagai, right swiftly turn ye then,
    For the length and the breadth of that grisly plain is sown with Kamal’s men.
    There is rock to the left, and rock to the right, and low lean thorn between,
    And ye may hear a breech-bolt snick where never a man is seen.”
    The Colonel’s son has taken a horse, and a raw rough dun was he,
    With the mouth of a bell and the heart of Hell, and the head of the gallows-tree.
    The Colonel’s son to the Fort has won, they bid him stay to eat—
    Who rides at the tail of a Border thief, he sits not long at his meat.
    He ’s up and away from Fort Bukloh as fast as he can fly,
    Till he was aware of his father’s mare in the gut of the Tongue of Jagai,
    Till he was aware of his father’s mare with Kamal upon her back,
    And when he could spy the white of her eye, he made the pistol crack.
    He has fired once, he has fired twice, but the whistling ball went wide.
    “Ye shoot like a soldier,” Kamal said. “Show now if ye can ride.”
    It ’s up and over the Tongue of Jagai, as blown dust-devils go,
    The dun he fled like a stag of ten, but the mare like a barren doe.
    The dun he leaned against the bit and slugged his head above,
    But the red mare played with the snaffle-bars, as a maiden plays with a glove.
    There was rock to the left and rock to the right, and low lean thorn between,
    And thrice he heard a breech-bolt snick tho’ never a man was seen.
    They have ridden the low moon out of the sky, their hoofs drum up the dawn,
    The dun he went like a wounded bull, but the mare like a new-roused fawn.
    The dun he fell at a water-course—in a woful heap fell he,
    And Kamal has turned the red mare back, and pulled the rider free.
    He has knocked the pistol out of his hand—small room was there to strive,
    “’T was only by favor of mine,” quoth he, “ye rode so long alive:
    There was not a rock for twenty mile, there was not a clump of tree,
    But covered a man of my own men with his rifle cocked on his knee.
    If I had raised my bridle-hand, as I have held it low,
    The little jackals that flee so fast, were feasting all in a row:
    If I had bowed my head on my breast, as I have held it high,
    The kite that whistles above us now were gorged till she could not fly.”
    Lightly answered the Colonel’s son:—“Do good to bird and beast,
    But count who come for the broken meats before thou makest a feast.
    If there should follow a thousand swords to carry my bones away,
    Belike the price of a jackal’s meal were more than a thief could pay.
    They will feed their horse on the standing crop, their men on the garnered grain,
    The thatch of the byres will serve their fires when all the cattle are slain.
    But if thou thinkest the price be fair,—thy brethren wait to sup,
    The hound is kin to the jackal-spawn,—howl, dog, and call them up!
    And if thou thinkest the price be high, in steer and gear and stack,
    Give me my father’s mare again, and I ’ll fight my own way back!”
    Kamal has gripped him by the hand and set him upon his feet.
    “No talk shall be of dogs,” said he, “when wolf and gray wolf meet.
    May I eat dirt if thou hast hurt of me in deed or breath;
    What dam of lances brought thee forth to jest at the dawn with Death?”
    Lightly answered the Colonel’s son: “I hold by the blood of my clan:
    Take up the mare for my father’s gift—by God, she has carried a man!”
    The red mare ran to the Colonel’s son, and nuzzled against his breast,
    “We be two strong men,” said Kamal then, “but she loveth the younger best.
    So she shall go with a lifter’s dower, my turquoise-studded rein,
    My broidered saddle and saddle-cloth, and silver stirrups twain.”
    The Colonel’s son a pistol drew and held it muzzle-end,
    “Ye have taken the one from a foe,” said he; “will ye take the mate from a friend?”
    “A gift for a gift,” said Kamal straight; “a limb for the risk of a limb.
    Thy father has sent his son to me, I ’ll send my son to him!”
    With that he whistled his only son, that dropped from a mountain-crest—
    He trod the ling like a buck in spring, and he looked like a lance in rest.
    “Now here is thy master,” Kamal said, “who leads a troop of the Guides,
    And thou must ride at his left side as shield on shoulder rides.
    Till Death or I cut loose the tie, at camp and board and bed,
    Thy life is his—thy fate it is to guard him with thy head.
    So thou must eat the White Queen’s meat, and all her foes are thine,
    And thou must harry thy father’s hold for the peace of the border-line.
    And thou must make a trooper tough and hack thy way to power—
    Belike they will raise thee to Ressaldar when I am hanged in Peshawur.”

    They have looked each other between the eyes, and there they found no fault,
    They have taken the Oath of the Brother-in-Blood on leavened bread and salt:
    They have taken the Oath of the Brother-in-Blood on fire and fresh-cut sod,
    On the hilt and the haft of the Khyber knife, and the Wondrous Names of God.
    The Colonel’s son he rides the mare and Kamal’s boy the dun,
    And two have come back to Fort Bukloh where there went forth but one.
    And when they drew to the Quarter-Guard, full twenty swords flew clear—
    There was not a man but carried his feud with the blood of the mountaineer.
    “Ha’ done! ha’ done!” said the Colonel’s son. “Put up the steel at your sides!
    Last night ye had struck at a Border thief—to-night ’t is a man of the Guides!”

    Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the two shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth.

  92. That is the testimony of so many people. They say, when they really get there, it isn't like that at all. They say, I left my body, and could look down on it.

    I don't know what to make of it, but I have read so much about it, my eyes have half fallen out.

    I know all the de-bunking theories, and they have all fallen short.


    Cheer Up!

    There may be always something more...

    always something more, I love those words...

    Believe in beauty, the Lord and the hereinafter...

    You may not be let down.

  93. Now that the most prominent military figure of our era - also a lifelong Republican, also George W. Bush's first Secretary of State, also a friend of John McCain's for 25 years - has publicly endorsed Barack Obama, it will be fascinating to behold the McCain surrogates and under-the-radar whisperers as they try to spin this one away. Maybe we'll get variations of these:

    1. Colin Powell has no credibility anymore, ever since he lied at the United Nations.

    2. Colin Powell, a longtime moderate and supporter of abortion, has never been a real Republican anyway.

    3. Colin Powell lives in McLean, Virginia, and we all know that Northern Virginia is not the "real" Virginia.


    This endorsement will dominate the news cycle for a day or two, and there are precious few days remaining. I instinctively recoil from uttering certitudes, so I won't make the case that the Powell validation constitutes game, set, and match for Obama.

    Symbolic Power

  94. Steve Benan at WaMonthly:

    GOP TICKET TRIVIA.... I was born in 1973, and it's been fun to note that every single Republican presidential ticket in my lifetime, before this year, has featured someone with the last name Bush or Dole. It's not unusual to take this one step further and note, again before this year, that every Republican presidential ticket since 1952, with one exception, has featured someone with the last name Bush, Dole, or Nixon.

    But Mark Halperin asks a fun one: "When was the last U.S. presidential election the Republican Party won without a Nixon or a Bush on the ticket?"

  95. "I've not quite understood, ash, why you've seemed to grow angrier and more provocative the closer we get to the end of this administration, on the one hand, and on the other its replacement by the one you favor - all the while avoiding, as I said we would, the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Thing."

    That's because you've never understood the person you've been humoring all along.

  96. Bobal: What's gonna happen, Habu, is nice white folk like myself are finally going to get pissed.

    I'll concede the "white" part, but "nice"?

    "A Piece of White Crap Like Ash..."

    "The blacks in Africa can't compete. They can't run a democracy. They needed another two hundred years of colonialism, just like Habu said."

    "Colin Powell is a piece of living human shit."


    Colin Powell was right about one thing. Obama is indeed a transformational figure, but this isn't what I had in mind bobal.

  97. Behind the European proposals is a sense that the financial crisis and America's darkening economic prospects make this an opportunity for the European Union to play a bigger international role. Last week at the close of a two-day EU summit on the financial crisis, Sarkozy predicted that an international summit would take place before the end of the year because "Europe wants it, Europe demands it.

    Europe will get it."

    More than a show of unity with a declaration for a series of summits will be needed if the world is truly to come together to address the crisis, some observers note. "Unity of purpose is not found in a meeting or series of meetings. It's found in purpose," says Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

    New World Order

  98. This is a close race and McCain is a wily underdog. More important, perhaps, he's an underdog who is often helped by outside events.

    The success of the surge strategy in Iraq helped McCain win the GOP nod. Over the last month, the financial crisis and McCain's haphazard response to it all but torpedoed his chances to win the presidency.

    But now, thanks to a global effort, the immediate crisis seems to have passed, and the worst seems to have been avoided. Yes, we are probably in a recession, and there are tough economic times ahead.

    Done Deal?

  99. Death is a spirit leaving a body, sort of like a shell leaving the nut behind. -- Erma Bombeck

    Death is better; a milder fate than tyranny. --Aeschylus.

    Death is that state in which you exist in the memory of others

    Death is the one experience that we cannot put in perspective afterwards.

    Death isn't the greatest agony, only the final one.

  100. The blacks can't run their own countries, Kim.
    And everybody knows it, including you, but, I'll be the first one to say it here.

    Habu was right.

  101. Do you remember what it was like before you were born? Well, that's what it's like when you die.

  102. Erma Bombeck


    My wife has a girl friend who married a black. They was talking about it forever, if she should do so, or not.

    She did.

    The last I heard, the guy doesn't beat her up, but all he does is sit there and watch tv.

    She wants out.

    The gloves comes off.

    Let the blacks earn their own money.

  103. hehehe, I can just see Ms. Bobal now with her friends lamenting how Mr. Bobal just sit there at the computer tapping away talking with some elephants in a bar. At least he doesn't beat her up though.

  104. ...and he does venture to the casion for a coffee every now and then when not napping.

  105. The last I heard, the guy doesn't beat her up, but all he does is sit there and watch tv.

    According to the lasr authoritative report via my wife.

    "All he does is sit and watch tv."

    The gloves come off.

    Let the blacks finally earn their own damned way.

    She brings in the pay check.

  106. She wishes now, she had never married this black tv sitter, and is asking my wife how to get out.

    And that is the post Powell truth.

  107. Joe Biden said it was a sure bet that Barack Obama would be tested with a national security crisis within the first six months of taking office. I'll bet Obama was thrilled by that. Way to go Joe, you really are earning your double agent paycheck.

    He said it, ironically, at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.

  108. These white women talk, Ash, among themselves.

  109. OR maybe not ironically, but "appropriately enough"

  110. By Gloria Borger
    CNN Senior Political Analyst

    Yet the Powell endorsement was not just a pro-forma, "he's my guy" announcement. Instead, in supporting Obama, Powell decided to get specific -- and not only about McCain's uneven performance during the financial crisis and his judgment (or lack thereof) in choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate.

    In fact, what was most notable was Powell's dire assessment of the state of the GOP: "The party has moved even further to the right," he said, adding that, "over the last seven weeks, the approach of the Republican Party and Mr. McCain has become narrower and narrower."

    That's the key indictment, and the key problem, for the GOP. While the political world shifts towards independent voters -- who, by nature, are more about pragmatism than dogma -- the Republican Party remains unable to redefine itself back into a working majority. Watch the effect of Powell's endorsement

    Is it still the party of Ronald Reagan? Or has it moved beyond Reagan's innate optimism and into a party that wants to build fences and demand ideological purity? Or can it come up with new ideas that could eventually provide some rejuvenation?

    Truth is, after more than a decade of political dominance, the GOP is out of steam and on the verge of a civil war -- with factions splitting among the foreign-policy hardliners, the tax-cutters and the social conservatives.

    What's more, the party that had distinguished itself in the 1990s era of Newt Gingrich and his revolutionaries is now suffering from the political gout that afflicts the powerful when they get too comfortable.

    It all comes back to gout.

    Where's that cranberry juice?!?!?!

  111. DR: It all comes back to gout.

    Where's that cranberry juice?!?!?!

    Cherry juice. And it's not working for shit this time.

  112. jeeeze rat, can't you get it right, ever!!?? It's cherry juice not metrosexual juice.


  113. In Australia, I'll check this out with Sam, I believe the welfare payments to the blacks, who don't do anything, are called "sit down money"

  114. I was just sittin' here pondering how a poly putting INDEPENDENT on his sign might be branding himself if a favorable way these days. Maybe the next go 'round we'll see it happen.

  115. There are few cherries in this crowd

  116. Hey, bob, this fits your wife's scenario, almost to a "T". Fella registered at his "bothood home" though he really "lived" some where else.
    Bail was $50,000.

    Republican Voter Registration Chief Arrested for Fraud in California

    The head of a signature-gathering firm hired by the California Republican Party was arrested over the weekend for allegedly lying about his address to to vote in the state.

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    The head of a voter registration group hired by the California Republican Party was arrested over the weekend for allegedly lying about his address in the state in order to vote illegally, the office of California's secretary of state announced Sunday.

    Mark Anthony Jacoby, the owner of a signature-gathering firm called Young Political Majors, was taken into custody by Ontario police just after midnight Saturday and booked with a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

    Jacoby allegedly registered himself at his childhood home in Los Angeles, even though he no longer lives there. It is voter fraud to register if ineligible and perjury to provide false information on a voter registration card. Jacoby was charged with two counts of each relating to his 2006 and 2007 registration.

    "Voter registration fraud is a serious issue, which is why I vigorously investigate all allegations of elections fraud," said Bowen, California's chief elections officer. "Where there's a case to be made, I will forward it to law enforcement for criminal prosecution."

    An arraignment date has not been scheduled yet. Bail was set at $50,000.

  117. In Australia, I'll check this out with Sam, I believe the welfare payments to the blacks, who don't do anything, are called "sit down money"


    I have a dentist friend who has to deal with them white hicks in them Pennsylvania towns. They're not much better than blacks. Scammers the whole lot of them. Often times the whole town is on the dole. This isn't just a black thing.

  118. Scammers the whole lot of them.

    I can believe that, Mat, and I invite you down for a trip on the Mississippi, with Teresita and me :)

  119. :)

    I'm going to bed,Mat.

    But the catfish fishing is great!

  120. The people whom Huck and Jim encounter on the Mississippi are drunkards, murderers, bullies, swindlers, lynchers, thieves, liars, mows, frauds, child abusers, numbskulls, hypocrites, windbags and traders in human flesh. All are white. The one man of honor in this phantasmagoria is 'Nigger Jim,' as Twain called him to emphasize the irony of a society in which the only true gentleman was held beneath contempt.

  121. the catfish fishing is great!

    So are the local jerk pork restaurants. :)

  122. G'nite, Bob.

    Keep practice your fly swatting techniques. Amelekites are everywhere these days, it seems.

  123. Yes, that is the way T and me read it too.

    I think you have got it right.


    You are one of us.

  124. You are one of us.

    You too, Bob.

  125. Revolutionary paper is stronger than steel

    TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) -- It's called "buckypaper" and looks a lot like ordinary carbon paper, but don't be fooled by the cute name or flimsy appearance. It could revolutionize the way everything from airplanes to TVs are made.

    Buckypaper is 10 times lighter but potentially 500 times stronger than steel when sheets of it are stacked and pressed together to form a composite. Unlike conventional composite materials, though, it conducts electricity like copper or silicon and disperses heat like steel or brass.

    "All those things are what a lot of people in nanotechnology have been working toward as sort of Holy Grails," said Wade Adams, a scientist at Rice University.

    That idea -- that there is great future promise for buckypaper and other derivatives of the ultra-tiny cylinders known as carbon nanotubes -- has been floated for years now. However, researchers at Florida State University say they have made important progress that may soon turn hype into reality.

    Buckypaper is made from tube-shaped carbon molecules 50,000 times thinner than a human hair. Due to its unique properties, it is envisioned as a wondrous new material for light, energy-efficient aircraft and automobiles, more powerful computers, improved TV screens and many other products.

    So far, buckypaper can be made at only a fraction of its potential strength, in small quantities and at a high price. The Florida State researchers are developing manufacturing techniques that soon may make it competitive with the best composite materials now available.

    "If this thing goes into production, this very well could be a very, very game-changing or revolutionary technology to the aerospace business," said Les Kramer, chief technologist for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, which is helping fund the Florida State research.

    The scientific discovery that led to buckypaper virtually came from outer space.

    In 1985, British scientist Harry Kroto joined researchers at Rice for an experiment to create the same conditions that exist in a star. They wanted to find out how stars, the source of all carbon in the universe, make the element that is a main building block of life.

    Everything went as planned with one exception.

    "There was an extra character that turned up totally unexpected," recalled Kroto, now at Florida State heading a program that encourages the study of math, science and technology in public schools. "It was a discovery out of left field."

    The surprise guest was a molecule with 60 carbon atoms shaped like a soccer ball. To Kroto, it also looked like the geodesic domes promoted by Buckminster Fuller, an architect, inventor and futurist. That inspired Kroto to name the new molecule buckminsterfullerene, or "buckyballs" for short.

    For their discovery of the buckyball -- the third form of pure carbon to be discovered after graphite and diamonds -- Kroto and his Rice colleagues, Robert Curl Jr. and Richard E. Smalley, were awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1996.

    Separately, Japanese physicist Sumio Iijima developed a tube-shaped variation while doing research at Arizona State University.

    Researchers at Smalley's laboratory then inadvertently found that the tubes would stick together when disbursed in a liquid suspension and filtered through a fine mesh, producing a thin film -- buckypaper.

    The secret of its strength is the huge surface area of each nanotube, said Ben Wang, director of Florida State's High-Performance Materials Institute.

    "If you take a gram of nanotubes, just one gram, and if you unfold every tube into a graphite sheet, you can cover about two-thirds of a football field," Wang said.

    Carbon nanotubes are already beginning to be used to strengthen tennis rackets and bicycles, but in small amounts. The epoxy resins used in those applications are 1 to 5 percent carbon nanotubes, which are added in the form of a fine powder. Buckypaper, which is a thin film rather than a powder, has a much higher nanotube content -- about 50 percent.

    One challenge is that the tubes clump together at odd angles, limiting their strength in buckypaper. Wang and his fellow researchers found a solution: Exposing the tubes to high magnetism causes most of them to line up in the same direction, increasing their collective strength.

    Another problem is the tubes are so perfectly smooth it's hard to hold them together with epoxy. Researchers are looking for ways to create some surface defects -- but not too many -- to improve bonding.

    So far, the Florida State institute has been able to produce buckypaper with half the strength of the best existing composite material, known as IM7. Wang expects to close the gap quickly.

    "By the end of next year we should have a buckypaper composite as strong as IM7, and it's 35 percent lighter," Wang said.

    Buckypaper now is being made only in the laboratory, but Florida State is in the early stages of spinning out a company to make commercial buckypaper.

    "These guys have actually demonstrated materials that are capable of being used on flying systems," said Adams, director of Rice's Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology. "Having something that you can hold in your hand is an accomplishment in nanotechnology."

    It takes upward of five years to get a new structural material certified for aviation use, so Wang said he expects buckypaper's first uses will be for electromagnetic interference shielding and lightning-strike protection on aircraft.

    Electrical circuits and even natural causes such as the sun or Northern Lights can interfere with radios and other electronic gear. Buckypaper provides up to four times the shielding specified in a recent Air Force contract proposal, Wang said.

    Typically, conventional composite materials have a copper mesh added for lightning protection. Replacing copper with buckypaper would save weight and fuel.

    Wang demonstrated this with a composite model plane and a stun gun. Zapping an unprotected part of the model caused sparks to fly. The electric jolt, though, passed harmlessly across another section shielded by a strip of buckypaper.

    Other near-term uses would be as electrodes for fuel cells, super capacitors and batteries, Wang said. Next in line, buckypaper could be a more efficient and lighter replacement for graphite sheets used in laptop computers to dissipate heat, which is harmful to electronics.

    The long-range goal is to build planes, automobiles and other things with buckypaper composites. The military also is looking at it for use in armor plating and stealth technology.

    "Our plan is perhaps in the next 12 months we'll begin maybe to have some commercial products," Wang said. "Nanotubes obviously are no longer just lab wonders. They have real world potential. It's real."

  126. You can live pretty comfortably on the dole here, Bob. Lots of surfers do it as well as aboriginals. I'm not sure of the exact figures (dole payments) but I know it's a long long way from starving. I've also heard stories from more than 1 source that aboriginals in the Northern Territory also get free Landcruisers from the guv'ment.

  127. For anyone still awake or interested in revisiting the original topic of the post, this piece takes a far more optimistic view on the CDS market, principally because they DID follow mark-to-market rules on a DAILY basis, which creates quite a transparent market, as opposed to the opaque one the Brit misfit financial journals crow about. Haven't found a good British financial/economic analyst type in quite a while, but plenty like these and that ambrose-evans or whatever his froo-froo, sissy ass double name is. FWIW, this Felix guy at has written extensively, knowledgably and impressively about the last few weeks market conditions. He's definitely a go-to guy for reality based financial analysis. With that said, I'm still keeping my fingers crossed.

    On that note, my eyes crossed, too, so off to la-la land for me.

  128. 2164,

    Man o man, EB, the circular firing squad where nothing serious is discusses, only insults hurled. wow

  129. 2164,

    Taking down good posts to make room for the retarded ones. Well enjoy the power.