“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, December 24, 2008

Hume says Goodbye. Baer, competent but boring to replace.


  1. They couldn't find a single Democrat to say a good thing about Britt?

  2. Why doesn't he do it like Madonna, and Members of Congress?

    The last Cast would be his Skeleton at the News Desk.

  3. At least Brit isn't going out like Dan Rather.

  4. The First, and so far last, time the "right wing" blogosphere behaved like they all should all the time.

    ...but like DC Politicians, they have become more interested in the good opinion of others than the truth.

  5. ...but like DC Politicians,
    (and The MSM)

  6. His first tweet was: "Holy f****** sh** I wasbjust [sic] in a plane crash!"

    Later Wilson tweeted about losing his glasses, and being held in the Presidents' Club and not being able to get a vodka and tonic. He then goes into some detail about the actual crash.

    "By the time the plane stopped we were burning pretty well and I think I could feel the heat even through the bulkhead and window," he wrote. "I made for the exit door as quickly as I could, fearing the right wing might explode from the fire. Once out, I scrambled down the wing."

    You can read Wilson's full feed by checking out his Twitter page. If you can believe it, this is the second plane crash for Wilson, but he got back on the horse and flew to his intended destination, Houston.

    You can read Wilson's full feed by checking out his Twitter page. If you can believe it, this is the second plane crash for Wilson, but he got back on the horse and flew to his intended destination, Houston.

  7. It's like I've been saying ...
    Obesity a sign of poverty

    Targeting Obesity Alongside Hunger

    Obama Administration May Look to Tie Food Assistance to Improved Nutrition

    By Jane Black
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, December 24, 2008; Page A02

    The worsening economic crunch is causing the tab for food assistance programs to balloon, and with the rising costs has come an intensifying debate over whether -- and how -- the U.S. government can tackle simultaneously the paradoxically linked problems of hunger and obesity.

  8. The statistics spell out the dilemma. The number of Americans on food stamps topped 31.5 million in September, a record high. Obesity, too, is at epidemic levels: In 30 states, at least 25 percent of the population is dangerously overweight. Nationally, 31.9 percent of children are considered overweight or obese.

    For decades, the government has treated hunger and obesity as unrelated phenomena. But at a news conference last week in Chicago, Tom Vilsack, President-elect Barack Obama's choice for agriculture secretary, said he would put "nutrition at the center of all food assistance programs," a signal that he will get involved next year when Congress moves to reauthorize nutrition programs that support school breakfasts and lunches as well as summer food for children.
    Would Diet Coke pass the test? What about the juice drink Sunny Delight? In 2004, the Agriculture Department rejected a request from the Minnesota Department of Human Services to ban the purchase of candy and soft drinks with food stamps.

    More important, anti-hunger activists say, low-income people often choose higher-calorie snacks and fast food because such fare is cheaper and more readily available where they live than nutritious fruits and vegetables. The District's Ward 8, for example, had no full-service supermarket for nine years until a Giant Food store opened last December.

    "If there are areas in cities where there isn't an apple for sale within a mile radius, restricting food stamps goes beyond paternalism to a form of abuse," said Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center, a D.C.-based anti-hunger policy organization.

    But with hunger and obesity reaching unprecedented levels, some anti-hunger activists are beginning to soften their stance. According to a report by the Partnership for America's Economic Success,
    toddlers whose families have gone hungry are three to four times as likely to be obese.
    If the current recession resembles past downturns, the independent Center on Budget and Policy Priorities predicts, the number of Americans in poverty could rise by as many as 10 million, driving up obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

  9. One in ten Americans recieve food stamps.

    One of four in some thirty States are obese, wonder if they are the Reds or the Blus, for the most part?

    Gonna have to report back, on that.

    That is an immense ag industry subsidy, aye?

  10. You remind me, in the previous thread, I was gonna ask how much of all those dollars al-Bob cited that go into "food for the need," and how much goes for "administrative purposes," ie, the millions of Govt Drones that get PAID, with retirement bennies aplenty, for doling out other people's money.

    IOW, what percentage actually makes it to the targeted down and outters?

  11. Southern states obesity rankings:

    Alabama – 3rd; 30.1%
    Arkansas – 9th; 28.1%
    Florida – 38th; 23.3%
    Georgia – 11th; 27.5%
    Kentucky – 7th; 28.4%
    Louisiana – 4th; 29.5 %
    Mississippi – 1st; 31.7% obese adults
    Missouri – 13th; 27.4%
    North Carolina- 16th; 27.1%
    Oklahoma – 8th; 28.1%
    South Carolina – 5th; 29.2 %
    Tennessee – 6th; 29.0%
    Texas – 15th' 27.2%
    Virginia – 27th; 25.2%
    West Virginia – 2nd; 30.6%

    *Rankings were based on a three-year average of state-by-state statistics for adult obesity percentages from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI: kg/m2) of 30 or more.

    Mississippi – 1st; 31.7% obese adults

    The most Republican of States, Haley Barbour's turf, where gambling is an industry, the fattest of the fat cats.

    The trend of obesity, across 50 States, from 1991 to 2001

    It's a fat fuck nation, America.

  12. New York state plans soft drinks 'obesity tax'
    By Jonathan Birchall in New York

    New York state could impose an "obesity tax" on high-calorie soft drinks such as non-diet versions of Coke and Pepsi as public concerns over obesity turn potentially fattening foods into a politically acceptable target for taxation.

    David Paterson, New York's governor, is to include a proposed tax of around 15 per cent in a draft budget aimed at closing the state's $13.3bn deficit.

    He is also expected to call for spending cuts, and for other revenue-raising measures including extra fees on sales of luxuries including furs and boats. Mr Paterson has said he will not raise state income tax.

    A number of US states have sales taxes on soft drinks, sweets and snacks, while most other foods are tax-exempt. But New York's proposals would be the first to distinguish between "diet" and "non-diet" products. It would also double the existing 7.5 per cent sales tax, already one of the highest in the US, potentially raising over $400m.

  13. There went the last news show. Damn!

  14. CountDown to Gaza war...

    Jews are not allowed to strike at the sub-human pagan palestinians on Christmas...

    But today over 60 rockets and mortars have hit israel..

    Egypt is now breaking the blockaid and offering open travel to and from the strip for aid...

    Personally if i was in command?

    I'd cut off all electricity, aid and water to GAZA at once.

    terms for cease fire?

    Return of all Israelis kidnapped by Hamas and a complete surrender of all weapons by all of the population of Gaza & all Hamas leaders should also give themselves up...

    If terms are not accepted by Gazans in 2 hours?

    IDF would start air and mortar attacks on all gazan military, industrial and infrastructure properties..

    I would also use aircraft and take out major portions of the border fence with Egypt thus allowing 100,000's of thousands of civilians to flee into the Sinai...

    At that point I would broadcast for the people of gaza to flee as gaza city was about to be leveled...

    Thus emptying the entire gaza strip of all non-combatants asap...

    Then I would LEVEL the strip.

    This Peace in our time..

  15. That may well be why, wi"o", you are not in command.

    As 20Jan09 fast approaches, ticking off the days, friend and foe, alike.

    It actually started well, on Kau Sai Chau, an island off Hong Kong, where I stood on a rocky hilltop overlooking the South China Sea and talked to my wife back in Maryland, static-free, using a friend’s Chinese cellphone. A few hours later, I took off from Hong Kong’s ultramodern airport after riding out there from downtown on a sleek high-speed train — with wireless connectivity that was so good I was able to surf the Web the whole way on my laptop.

    Landing at Kennedy Airport from Hong Kong was, as I’ve argued before, like going from the Jetsons to the Flintstones. The ugly, low-ceilinged arrival hall was cramped, and using a luggage cart cost $3. (Couldn’t we at least supply foreign visitors with a free luggage cart, like other major airports in the world?) As I looked around at this dingy room, it reminded of somewhere I had been before. Then I remembered: It was the luggage hall in the old Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport. It closed in 1998.

    The next day I went to Penn Station, where the escalators down to the tracks are so narrow that they seem to have been designed before suitcases were invented. The disgusting track-side platforms apparently have not been cleaned since World War II. I took the Acela, America’s sorry excuse for a bullet train, from New York to Washington. Along the way, I tried to use my cellphone to conduct an interview and my conversation was interrupted by three dropped calls within one 15-minute span.

    All I could think to myself was: If we’re so smart, why are other people living so much better than us? What has become of our infrastructure, which is so crucial to productivity? Back home, I was greeted by the news that General Motors was being bailed out — that’s the G.M. that Fortune magazine just noted “lost more than $72 billion in the past four years, and yet you can count on one hand the number of executives who have been reassigned or lost their job.”

    My fellow Americans, we can’t continue in this mode of

    “Dumb as we wanna be.”

  16. Only a Bold Stimulus

    I've spoken at length about the current economic crisis with other governors, including Deval Patrick (Mass.), David Paterson (N.Y.), Jim Doyle (Wis.), Jennifer Granholm (Mich.) and Ted Strickland (Ohio). We agree that our states -- however diverse they may be -- have similar needs and problems that should be addressed by the economic recovery package being developed in Washington. That can best be achieved if Congress and the new administration keep in mind the following principles:

    First, the states, local governments and the federal government must be full partners in the recovery process. Working with counties and municipalities, states have mechanisms in place to pump stimulus funds into the economy quickly and responsibly. But we don't have the federal government's financial capacity or borrowing authority. Any recovery effort should reflect our mutual strengths.

    Second, the package should be large. Some estimates put the cost of the economic crisis next year at $700 billion, or about 4 percent of gross domestic product. To offset this, the cumulative value of the stimulus plan should be $1 trillion over two years. This is a large sum, but if the spending is executed effectively, it should be a significant investment in our country's physical and human resources that will pay long-term dividends while also creating and saving jobs.

    By Jon S. Corzine

  17. Reinstute the concept of fatso.

    Institute the UPS solution on airline flight:

    Charges tickets by the pound and distance, luggage included.

  18. I have never seen a starving person in either the US or Costa Rica. Costa Rica has no food stamp program, unemployment compensation or welfare. People spend their own money on nutritious fresh and simple food.

    In Costa Rica, fatness started about ten years ago. It is mostly fast food oriented.

    I have never seen more fatter people than in the US, with the thinest and best looking in Manhattan.

  19. Fat wallet, thick waistline


    From Thursday's Globe and Mail

    December 18, 2008 at 8:56 AM EST

    "There's truth to the old expression "dollars to doughnuts."

    The richer a man is, the greater his chances are of being fat, according to a report from Statistics Canada released yesterday."

  20. Want fat, may I suggest Scranton?

  21. Rat,

    I've noticed you suggesting that a failed Mexican state would hasten a North American Union. It seems to me the opposite would be the case - a failed Mexican state would prompt the building of a bigger/thicker wall between the US and Mexico. I certainly don't see the Israelis embracing a union with the failed states around it, for example.

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. In Seattle a lot of travelers were stuck with cancelled flights, a caroler tried to cheer them up, and it was working until he sang "I'll Be Home For Christmas"

  24. Yes, but what you either discount or do not fully appreciate, ash, is the numbers of US citizens in Mexico and Mexican citizens in the US. Along with the dual nationals.

    The 4,000 migants per day, that came for work would be swarfed by the flood of civil war refugees.

    10% of Iraq's population fled, if we had the same rate in Mexico, that's another 11 million, in a short period of time. Less than a year, maybe two.

    The seven northern Mexican States, we'd annex 'em. Sure as shootin' to "mantain stability". There is not the bloodlust between US and Mexicans, as exists 'tween Israel and the others in their neighborhood.

    As Obama's thunder, Rahm Emanuel, has been quoted as saying "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste". (h/t John Stossel)

    The US and the Unionists would not let it, go to waste.

  25. The Union of America, the expansion of the States United, will come as part of a greater crisis. We'll HAVE TO act.

    The assets of northern Mexico will be packaged as part of the solution.

    It is the historical trend, US annexing Mexican territory. Well over a third of the lower 48 was acquired from Mexico or Spain, let US not forget.
    The Mexicans have not.

    The new Union could have as many as 100 States and 500 million residents.

  26. To much opportunity to let it slide on by, for any President.

    Day by day events are leading to it.

    Incrementally, to be sure, but Mexico is slipping into anarchy and it is much more vital to US than anywhere else we have a military presence.

  27. Biofuels
    Fill 'Er Up With Human Fat

    Peter C. Beller, 12.22.08, 05:00 AM EST
    How a Beverly Hills doctor powered his SUV using his patients' spare tires.

    Liposuctioning unwanted blubber out of pampered Los Angelenos may not seem like a dream job, but it has its perks. Free fuel is one of them.

    For a time, Beverly Hills doctor Craig Alan Bittner turned the fat he removed from patients into biodiesel that fueled his Ford SUV and his girlfriend's Lincoln Navigator.

  28. Nah, no chance. They're running out of oil. All they'll have to offer is another 100 Million Welfare recipients. The American people will never go for it.

  29. They are not running out of oil, rufus, their socialistic national oil company cannot utilize their assets, effectively.

    This is true of most government run industries, Mexican oil is no different, in fact it is an excellent example of poor management.

    Watch and learn, we're in the midst of the incrementalism of a crisis induced power grab.

    There is no other country that poses as great a threat, to US stability, than Mexico. The path forward has already been charted.
    We'll be staying the course.

    Walmart is leading the posse, fall in boys, and be ready to ride.

  30. It is all in how it's packaged, rufus. Whether Americans will buy, or not.

    Hell, they bought Obama, lock, stock and barrel ...
    And no one here thought that was a real possibility, early, except, maybe, ash.

  31. Why is Mexico such a threat to the US? If it is such a threat then why would absorbing it help with that threat?

  32. The Alamo is the perfect metaphor, duece. Where US expatriots entered Mexican territory and tried to corrupt the culture, by importing slavery. Which was illegal in Mexico, at the time.

    So yeah, strike the colors of slavery and remember the Alamo.
    Where freedom won, and legions were born.
    But really remember the Battle of San Jacinto, where freedom lost and the slavers won.

    Putting Texas in the Confederate camp during the War between the States, traitors to the American concept that there are some truths that are self-evident, expicitly
    that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    The expatriated from the United States rejected that American ideal, Santa Anna and the Mexican Federales did not.

  33. It is a threat due to the under developed economy, there.
    That and 110 million folks.

    If or really, when, their country destabilizes then US energy supplies will be threatened, the US industries that have been built there could be lost, and the wave of refugees will swamp the border regions of the US.

    Just as the Pakistani Army doctrine as well as US past doctrines state, forward defense will be advocated.
    All those that supported the Iraqi adventure will support the Mexican one, for the same reasons.

    The oil, terrorism and homeland security.

    To stop the refugees from entering the US, a "free zone' in those seven northern States will be established, by US. We will never leave, once in place. Look to Germany and Korea as prime examples of that. Even Iraq, for that matter.

    Once we stay, will eventually assimilate those States. First militarily, then economicly, finally politically.

  34. It is manifest that the US expand to fill the continent, ash.

    Even George Washington was on board with that ""Foreign Adventure".

  35. The threat from Mexico is of a huge failed state on our southern border. Security or the lack thereof could very well be the issue which brings about Rat's scenario, although it looks as if we will give up on the drugs war before we are forced to occupy Mexico.

    There is a significant number of open border, Strobe Talbot, one world government types amongst the illuminati. A North American Union falls right in line with their goals and aspirations. Some of these thinkers have also prognosticated about the devolution of Canada with some of the provinces joining the US and the Francophones forming their own country.

    In any case, I'm sure the smokers, fat-asses and irredeemable conservatives will banished off to places like Mississippi and Arkansas.

  36. Go dig a hole, DR, and fill it with guns, and get off the grid.

    There may come a time when Americans are sneaking across the border into Mexico, if we turn the whole country into Detroit.

  37. If This chart is right, Mexico has the second largest number of lard asses in the world after us.

    So what's the solution? Stop welfare payments and food stamps? You can't blame the farmers, we just grow the food.

    In some former times, a little heft was a sign of beauty. And, sometimes, a little gut looks good on a man, as they say.

    If being overweight is the worst of our problems, I'll trade that for living in Zimbabwe, where the problem doesn't exist. Or the Sudan.

  38. "We already knew that the world produced enough food to feed everyone.... Unfortunately, food doesn't always get to the people who need it most."

    It's not lack of food, it's lack of means to pay, and distribution.

    In Brazil and Colombia, the figure hovers around 40 percent -- a level comparable to a number of European countries.

    The Developing World's New Problem: Obesity

    My chart in the earlier post may not be too accurate. I was noticing that no muslim countries were included. But it seems there are overweights there too, at least among the women.

  39. Elie Wiesel Foundation Loses Everything To Madoff

    I've been reading about Madoff. Really, he ought to be shot. Living in some New York exclusive club where you got to have $100 million in liquid assets to get in. Sucking off his own people, mostly. What a turd.

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. I think the only scenario where Mexico were to become part of the US is by the border growing increasingly fuzzy as people migrate back and forth thus diluting opposition to further union in the Continental US. The military conquer followed by occupation method of imperialism seems to be not an efficient or comfortable mode for modern folk. The slow blurring of borders through 'globalaization' seems to be the 'modern' imperial way.

  42. If being overweight is the worst of our problems, I'll trade that for living in Zimbabwe, where the problem doesn't exist. Or the Sudan.

    Keep a little skepticism alive, Bob. Be wary of who's defining the disorder. I'll admit to being overweight today (as I type this from Arkansas), but when I first saw a few years ago that by their definition, I'd have to trim down to around 180 lbs at 6-0 ht, all I could do was shake my head. It's nonsense.

    Just as your folks used to sail around in Viking boats, my folks used to throw around telephone poles at family reunions. We like stocky legs. They look better with our kilts.

  43. I was wondering if you'd been on the road, Linear.

    I agree with you.

    I'm having trouble keeping it off myself, but when I was farming, I was a svelt tiger. Also, aging changes the metabolism, I believe.

    Sitting all day in front of a computer with nothing to do couldn't be a part of it, could it?

    Democrats say they have found a way to get around the two-thirds requirement by claiming their $18 billion plan does not technically increase the amount of taxes on Californians.

    Instead, they say it eliminates gas taxes and replaces them with a variety of other charges, including raising the state sales tax by three-quarters of a percentage point, boosting personal income taxes by 2.5 percent, taxing companies that extract oil from California and collecting taxes from independent contractors upfront.

    It then replaces the gas taxes with what Democrats call a gasoline fee that would go solely to transportation projects. Because the fee is dedicated to a single purpose, it does not require a two-thirds vote, Democrats say.

    California Tries To Fill Budget Hole

    For about the second time in my life, I agree with Ash. I think the chances of merging with Mexico and slight are none.

  44. HOUSTON – Crude prices tumbled Wednesday following a raft of bad economic news and growing stockpiles of unused gasoline that suggested demand for energy has continued to erode.

    Light, sweet crude for February delivery fell $3.63 to settle at $35.35 in a shortened day of trading. Prices fell as low as $35.13 just before the market closed for the holiday.

    It was the ninth straight day that crude has fallen.

  45. We will merge with Mexico when that big Ice Cube comes rolling down from the North.

    It'll be a messy "merger," though, with M1A2 (or, the equivalent at the time, and Strykers, and Bradley Fighting Vehicles leading the way.

  46. In fact, the more I read about the Ice Ages the more I think the next one might lead to "Mergers" all the way down to Colombia.

  47. Why would I ever do that, Ms X?

    Dig a whole hole to bury guns in?

    I've got some off grid land, already. No need to get further off of it.

    Grow or die, there is nothing sacred about the number fifty.

    We'll be 'invited in', by the illuminated of Mexico, sure as the days are cold and will get warmer by June. Scenes that we've all seen before.

    Vincente Fox is sure of it, the economic integration, at least.

  48. But bob, we've already "merged" with Mexico. So the chances are great that since we already have we will go further.

    California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Texas & Florida are all parts of old Mexico we have merged with.

    So your basic premise, that we would not, is flawed, because we already have. The open border, 20 million Mexicans here illegally plus twenty or more million here legally present a large bloc of Americans that will not object to a further integration of the two countries.

    I mean, really, bob, the oldest city in the United States was founded as part of Mexico, in Santa Fe. Fact of the matter.

    March or die.

  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

  50. That there are so many fat asses in Mexico, bob, will make the integration go all the smoother.
    We're made for each other

  51. Then, to further the integration we have instituted the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America

    Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America" little noticed when President Bush and President Fox created it in March 2005:

    In March 2005, the leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States adopted a Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), establishing ministerial-level working groups to address key security and economic issues facing North America and setting a short deadline for reporting progress back to their governments. President Bush described the significance of the SPP as putting forward a common commitment "to markets and democracy, freedom and trade, and mutual prosperity and security." The policy framework articulated by the three leaders is a significant commitment that will benefit from broad discussion and advice. The Task Force is pleased to provide specific advice on how the partnership can be pursued and realized.

    To that end, the Task Force proposes the creation by 2010 of a North American community to enhance security, prosperity, and opportunity. We propose a community based on the principle affirmed in the March 2005 Joint Statement of the three leaders that "our security and prosperity are mutually dependent and complementary." Its boundaries will be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter within which the movement of people, products, and capital will be legal, orderly and safe. Its goal will be to guarantee a free, secure, just, and prosperous North America.

  52. ¡ni soñarlo!,

    Un pez gordo viviendo a cuerpo de rey, hacerse rico a costa de los demás, como Madoff

    ¡la que se va a armar!

    ricos gordos

  53. Its boundaries will be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter within which the movement of people, products, and capital will be legal, orderly and safe. Its goal will be to guarantee a free, secure, just, and prosperous North America.

  54. Wife say Flying J gas station company is filing bankruptcy. This surprises me. Flying J here is one of three or so stations that does about 80% of the business locally. Maybe they bought some hefty supply contracts when gas was higher.

  55. I mean, bob, these fellows publish papers on the integration and the details involved.

    They are serious people with serious capacity.

    They do not need the Supremes to make a decision. As you fret about Obama's birth rights, the country is on a path you both abhor and are in denial about.

    One that is of greater consequence than the results of Berg or the recount in MN. Truth be known.

    Just is ti serious an issue to be covered by the "Globe"

    Private oil company Flying J Inc. filed Monday for reorganization under U.S. bankruptcy laws, citing the collapse in oil prices and tight credit markets as the roots of its financial troubles.

    The closely-held Ogden, Utah-based company said the bankruptcy protection applies to itself, its refinery operations and a refined-products pipeline. Its other units, which include an oil exploration and production business, aren't included in the filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

    Flying J, one of the 20 biggest private companies in the country, is among the first in the energy sector to file for bankruptcy.

    Flying J's plight is indicative of the pressures facing other refiners, which are operating under very tight credit conditions at a time when their profits are battered by weak demand for gasoline. ...
    Flying J's liquidity problems stem from loans that were secured with oil and refined product inventories, the company's Chief Executive J. Phillip Adams said in an interview. The plunge in oil prices, which fell more than 70% from record-high levels in July, lowered the value of their loan collateral and triggered additional payments, or margin calls, that led the company's refining arm Friday to default on a $200 million loan provided by a group of lenders led by Bank of America Corp.

    A day later, the company's distribution arm defaulted on a $120 million loan provided by a group of lenders led by Merrill Lynch Capital Corp. On Monday, Newfield Exploration Co., an oil producer, said it ended a crude oil sales contract with Flying J's refining arm because it failed to pay.

    Mr. Adams said that although Flying J has profitable assets, it was unable to sell them or secure other sources of credit in time to avoid the defaults.

    Flying J said its truck and fuel stops will remain open during the reorganization. It expects to avoid layoffs and be able to meet its past obligations in full, it added.

    Zion Bank, which is owed some $85 million, is Flying J.'s largest unsecured creditor, ...

  57. Good thing that Zions already got a $1.5 bn infusion from the Federals.

  58. Marking to market strikes, again

  59. Ultimately, the appeal and success of regional integration
    will depend on how well a deeper North American partnership actually
    serves the interests of average citizens in all three countries.

    I can buy into the idea - not saying I like it - of more economic integration, but I can't see the Americans or Canadians opting for political union with Mexico. Nor can I see most Senators voting for such a proposal, which would dilute their own powers. And I can't see the American people buying into either.

    Flying(grounded) J-- The plunge in oil prices, which fell more than 70% from record-high levels in July, lowered the value of their loan collateral and triggered additional payments, or margin calls

    Ah, that explains a lot.

    Who knows, maybe we are facing a catastrophe. It's beyond me, what's going on.

  60. It would increase the Federals power position, bob.

    Read the CFR plan, they aren't kidding. It'll be spun to make most all patriotic Americans believers. The report mention "northern" Mexico, specificly at least a half dozen times. The first steps have already been taken.

    It's Manifest Destiny, bob.
    As American as apple pie and Chevrolets.

  61. Russia to raise nuclear missile output fourfold; More tanks, ships and planes...

    Beijing Considers Upgrades to Navy...

    Iran works towards bomb....

    As we consider dumping missile defense, laser weapons....

  62. You're ruining my Christmas, Rat, knock it off!:( :)

  63. Go to page 62 and check out the Team Members, serious people.

    Backed by serious assets.

  64. On Dec 24, 1968 Apollo 8 was inserted into lunar orbit, the first time men had voyaged to the moon.

    These days we just study the effects of weightlessness on the sex life of cockroaches.

  65. I'll read it more carefully later, Rat. We're going to a movie, and Christmas services.

  66. Just a matter of improved priorities over time, Ms X.

    We have to be sure we can take our roaches with us, to the stars.

    Otherwise a lot of folks wouldn't feel "at home", while lost in space.

  67. Looking Back, Bush and Cheney Reveal Different Views

    In exit interviews, President Bush sounds reflective, even chastened, while Vice President Dick Cheney is defiant to the end.

    (W must be surprised you get butt-fucked a lot when you are constantly holding your ankles)


    In Worm, at Least, Making Sperm Is Found to Shorten a Male's Life

    The simple act of making sperm substantially shortens a male worm's life span, a researcher has discovered in results that overturn accepted biological dogma about the relative cheapness of a male's ejaculation compared with the preciousness of a female's egg.

  69. (How to Raise a Cereal Killer:
    Obesity is Often Fatal.)

  70. Kids got me a web-cam. Thirty bucks at Walmart, I understand.

    Most amazing thing I've ever seen. Three bucks/mo for skype and I can spend 24/7 video-talking/conferencing/romancing/hanging out with anyone in the USA or Canada. $9.95/mo - Anybody in the world.

  71. desert rat said...
    That may well be why, wi"o", you are not in command.

    As 20Jan09 fast approaches, ticking off the days, friend and foe, alike.

    Time will tell...

    If someone like Obama can become the President then I AM MORE than qualified...

    But as for the upcoming war...

    I understand the Jihadists will not stop until they are wiped from the earth like a dirty asshole after a messy crap...

    the thing you CAN count on, is they will not stop, so it may not be the Israelis that wipe them from the earth, after all study Hama, study Jordans Black September..

    No the Arab & Islamic world will have to cut the cancer out or the chinese, russias, arab nationalists/communists will..

    it's about to hit the fan, and the "ONE" swearing in will not stop the oil crash, will not stop iran & it's suicide path, nKor from being crazy, russia from becoming xenophobic....

    yep the ONE's ascendancy to his perch/throne will be historic... and no, his BEING POTUS will not solve one issue....

    more likely to create a hugh number more...

  72. Uh, actually, I think it comes out to something like 5 hrs/day, but what the hell.

  73. Toshiba Plans Big Production Jump for Fast Charging Battery

    Toshiba will kick production of its long lasting, fast charging SCIB battery into high gear in 2010 with a new factory to be...

    Martyn Williams, IDG News Service
    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 07:30 PM PST

    Toshiba is planning a big increase in production of a new type of Lithium Ion battery that can charge to 90 percent of its capacity in a few minutes and is highly-resistant to short circuits.

    The Super Charge Ion Battery (SCIB) is a Lithium Ion battery based on proprietary technology developed by the company and is targeted at both industrial and electric vehicle applications and consumer laptop computer use.

    Production of the battery, which has been in development for several years, has already begun for the industrial market at the relatively low volume of 150,000 cells per month.

    Toshiba will increase that to several tens of millions of cells per month at a new factory it plans to build in Kashiwazaki in Niigata prefecture in north west Japan, it said Wednesday. Construction of the factory will begin in late 2009 and production is scheduled to begin a year later, said Hiroko Mochida, a Toshiba spokeswoman.

    Initial production at the factory, which represents an investment of several tens of billions of yen (several hundred million US dollars), will likely be aimed at the industrial and electric vehicle markets although the same lines will be able to make SCIBs for laptop computers, she said.

    At September's Ceatec show in Japan Toshiba demonstrated a laptop running on an SCIB. The battery will keep its performance through up to 6,000 recharges -- more than ten times that of typical Lithium Ion batteries -- meaning a laptop should be able to run its lifetime on the SCIB without need to replace the battery. Due to its design it is also much less likely to catch fire or short circuit if crushed or damaged.

    Each SCIB cell offers a nominal voltage of 2.4 volts and a capacity of 4.2 ampere hours. Ten of them are typical combined to make a battery for industrial use and less would be required for a laptop battery.

    Kashiwazaki along with the neighboring city of Kariwa is perhaps best known as site of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant, which is the largest nuclear power plant in the world by output. The plant is currently idle after a magnitude 6.6 earthquake took it off line in July 2007.

    Toshiba said it chose Kashiwazaki because of the city's promotion of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles and associated businesses. As part of that promotion Toshiba will receive certain subsidies from the city.

  74. Skype A/V chat is free, Rufus. Yahoo, MS Messenger, Apple iChat, are all pretty good choices as well.

  75. Some bright, sunshiney day in 2010 Mexico will cease being a "Net" oil exporter.

    For the next ten, to fifteen years, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the ME will be important to mankind. After that? They're totally Fucked. There'll be more mushroom clouds in the Mideast than there will be "buttups."

    In the meantime, our Army/Marines/Navy/Air Force are optimally situated.

    I'll be extremely happy to see the "Age of Oil" come to an end.

  76. Mat, I just got this toy. I'll take your word for it. I think what I was reading was it cost that to call or do unlimited video/talk with non-skype users. It's free, of course, to talk/video those that have skype.

    BTW, Merry Christmas, everyone. I'm doing a bit of Crown Royal at the moment, and I seem to be gettin a bit of a buzz-on.

  77. Before we head on out--for your Christmas Eve pleasure--
    Original Audio of Art Bell's first interview with Mel Waters concerning Mel's Hole near Manastash Ridge, Ellensburg, Washington,

    Mel has disappeared from the face of the earth, last I heard.

    Merry Christmas back at ya.

  78. I think what I was reading was it cost that to call or do unlimited video/talk with non-skype users.

    Yes, calls to regular phones are charged local phone rates. Comp-to-comp are free. But who in this day and age doesn't have a computer?

  79. I used to have salemen in the field. If I was still "working," today, I would insist on every saleman having one of these units. They couldn't lie to me about what they were doing if I wuz lookin into their pearly whites.

    This is goin to be Hell on those ugly, fat folks tryin to do "internet dating."

    "Turn on yur videoh, sweetheart; let me see what you look like."

    Uh, my videoh's broke, dear.

    "Yeah, right, sweetheart. Call me when it's fixed." Heh, heh.

    Times, they is a'changin.

  80. After several snow storms, it's now raining here. The roads are treacherous, but I've got several Stelvio Cipriani albums I'm plowing thru with great delight.

    Merry Xmas to all.

  81. Good you told us what he does, I thot Stelvio Cipriani's were snow tyres.

  82. Hawaii gets greenie points:

  83. Har!
    Fox News launches green website:

  84. Mat, make a link and I'll look at it.

  85. Where's LT, I have a watermelon to donate towards his personal headgear!

  86. Geez, Rufus, can't you just copy & paste to the address bar.

  87. Mat, yep, you need to make links. :)

  88. I've made the links. Now waiting for LT to make the connection. :)

  89. Jingle Bell Rock

    This is the longest URL address I've ever seen. Let's see if it works.

  90. You all might have heard of this guy; he was from Mississippi. The gal's name is Martina Blue, blue, blue Christmas

  91. Just think; some dirty son of a bitch is "hitting" that. There oughta be a law.