“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."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

George Bush Did Not Deserve This. Neither Did President Obama

First, I am on an extended business trip to Central America and am in and out of areas with poor communications. I expected to be back in the States for the inauguration, but just caught some on replay. This clip is very disturbing. There is a time and place to express your opinion. George Bush left a lot to be desired as a leader and POTUS. That criticism does not belong in a public state function. That it happened does not surprise me but certainly saddens me as it is obvious that the public behavior of many Americans is loutish on a good day.

On Sunday i happened to be in the company of some very conservative Cuban expats who thought is was quite remarkable that I expressed the opinion that the office is more important than the man and Barack Obama is my president now, regardless of my preference and vote. I gladly accepted their toast and genuine appreciation of what it means to be an American. It is regrettable that many in the world will see this video.


  1. And at this, the dawning of a new era of civility and decency, it became clear that neither was in the air. An inauguration is an occasion of hope, of transition and of respect.

    This crowd was excited for Obama, certainly, but almost as vocally they were out for blood. They booed John McCain, Cindy McCain, Barbara and George Bush, Dan Quayle and, of course, our outgoing president and his wife and daughters.

    Bush's appearance on the jumbotron caused so much outrage that even some die-hard Democrats felt embarrassed about the conduct of the crowd. When a smiling Cindy McCain appeared, only to be hissed at, shouts of "Leave her alone!" rang over the disapproval.

    BarackStock '09

  2. I can't get the image of Obama giving the dirty finger to both McCain and Clinton out of my mind. His supporters seem to have taken notice.

    But, a state function is another matter.

    People ought to be polite.
    Always support your country, and the government when it deserves it.

    I'm still in the outlook I was in earlier, not knowing whether he is actually qualified to be President. But the country and the courts don't care about such minutiae any longer.

    I wish the country well. An argument can be made that the country would be best served by an early failure, rather than a later one.

  3. There seems to be a whiff of the French Revolution in the air.

    Civilization is a thin veneer.

  4. We'll see the veneer peel back if the witch hunts go forward:
    Pelosi used a Fox News appearance Sunday to break with the president-elect on two key issues: the fate of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for families earning $250,000 or more and the possibility of congressional investigations into the actions of Bush administration officials.
    Pelosi draws her lines with Obama

  5. Work is the curse of the drinking class.

  6. DOW for the day--

    7,949.09 -332.13 -4.01%

    Worst ever for an Inauguration Day.

  7. Speaking of revolution, Obama's father, if he was his father, was a stone cold totalitarian, a fool. He wrote a paper, I read parts of it, advocating communal agriculture and nationalization of all industries in Kenya.

    He was an arse. Left kids scattered around everywhere, drank himself to death, lost his legs in one motor car accident, and his life in another, a blessed event.

    Has Obama sent that $100 to his half brother in Kenya yet?

  8. all day long I have kept a low profile with my obama supporting friends..

    mamma said if you have nothing nice to say keep your mouth shut...

    being a sore winner is worse than being a sad loser...

    My ex-party disgusts me...

    f*ck the dems...

  9. Kudlow seems to have declared Obama "a buy." How Big-Government is Obama?

    We have elected an intellectual and a leftist one at that. I doubt that his worldview inclined him to embrace traditional or conservative monetary policy. After all, review his campaign rhetoric. That he seems to be more of a pragmatist rather than an ideologue is both encouraging and unsettling. He's still a mystery.

    I think I'll keep tracking for now.

  10. There seems to be a whiff of the French Revolution in the air.

    These things need to happen much more often, and pursued with much more vigor and bloodiness. People are much too nice to these political/corporate wolves.

  11. Unnecessary comment: Brit Hume, saying as former President Bill Clinton walked through the Capitol, that President Clinton always looks as if he is searching for the right expression to give.

    What will certainly change: More people will learn how to spell Barack. According to, there were, before today, at least 60 million pages on the internet in which Barack Obama's first name is misspelled.

    I wonder: School children watched in classrooms. Will we continue that tradition regardless of party?

    Big Plans

  12. George Bush is speaking at a welcome home rally in Texas and he is splendid. Relaxed, funny, real. I hope you all get a chance to see it.

  13. It's estimated that total global yearly solar production for year ending Dec 2008 was 12.5 gigawatts. That's the the equivalent of 12 nuke plants built in one year. Another point to note is that solar production increased 50% in year 2008 over year 2007. And this growth is accelerating.

  14. An 'intellectual'? I'll take Doug's jive-ass as a better description.

  15. God Of Our Weary Years....When Black Won't Be Asked To Give Back....When Yellow Is Mellow....When White Will Do Right...

    Where does he get these Reverends?

    "When yellow is mellow"??

    "When black won't be asked to give back"??

    "When white will do right'??

    Damn, Big Bill "Bubba" Clinton looked pious!!

    I don't think I missed much.

  16. I hate to be tedious about this, whit.

    Your link: Although Obama has stressed the need to move on from the Bush years, Pelosi suggested during the Fox interview that she would allow Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. to proceed with his probe in the Bush administration’s sacking of eight U.S. attorneys. Congress, she said, “cannot let the politicizing of, for example, the Justice Department to go unreviewed. ... I want to see the truth come forth.”

    Some House Democrats do in fact have a Move-On-type laundry list of things they want to investigate - all of which have been through the Congressional investigative meat grinder at least once before: prewar intelligence, detainee operations, wiretaps, and the attorney firings. Out of that list, Pelosi chose the issue least animating to the rabid - that is, the last one, which resulted in the cashiering of the AG.

    There's both less and more going on here than meets the eye. (What *was* Nancy doing for all those years she was the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee? Twice, movements to impeach were introduced to her. Twice, she demurred, though famously angry Sheehan threatened to run against her in the event. Guess that really put the fear of God into Nancy.)

    Holden and Panetta are apparently consulting with some members of Congress on a rework of interrogation policy that either isn't really a rework or is a gamble of the sort that it's hard to imagine even Obama taking. But it's supposed to satisfy someone. We'll see.

    It's true that the hatred for the Bush administration among millions of Americans is extremely intense - rather like an animal hatred, though, it is subrational. (Of this I have intimate knowledge: My mother.) And it will take years to dissipate. There's unfortunately no speed-up for that dissipation.

    In the meantime, shit happens.

  17. 12.5 gigawatts, thats 4 Palo Verde plants, not 12.

    That would 12.5 gigawatts at peak production, not average or the zero gigawatts produced after sundown, wouldn't it?

    How are we storing that electricity generated but not used, immediately, for the dark as night hours?

    Now, as a long time off grid solar user, I really love your Johnny come lately enthusiasum, mat.
    The fire of a new convert burns bright, but still, there are no acceptable batteries, regardless.

    Same problem that has held back the application of solar technologies for decades, now.

  18. "It is an honest discussion to talk about what techniques we should use, but to assume automatically that the Army Field Manual would suit the needs of the republic in all circumstances is a shot in the dark," Hayden said.

    Who wants to take that shot?

  19. That would 12.5 gigawatts at peak production, not average or the zero gigawatts produced after sundown, wouldn't it?

    No. It was metered electricity. And that doesn't include solar thermal. I had the article, I'll see if I can find it again.

  20. You're speaking of prosecution, trish, which is not what the Light of Truth and Justice is all about.

    The Light is knowledge, to be seen seen by all, to be judged blatantly. The past will be repudiated, the evil doers crimes made public and they will suitably reviled. Ms Pelosi will get her pound of flesh for whatever slights she percieved recieved from the Intel community, where her position was never fully respected, no matter the reality.

    You think of her time on the Committee as making her complicit in the behaviours reported. Guarantee she does not see it that way.

    Ollie North is another example of the Light working its' magic without a criminal prosecution.

    Mr North found a savior in Mr Murdock, much like Cap the Knife found his in the Forbes family.

    The list is long, of politicized witch hunts. One is about to start, with or without Big O's stamp of approval.

    It's gonna be a feeding frenzy.
    Only those that make it above the fold find angels and saviors.

  21. The amount of poitical correctness that goes on in our media always astounds me.

    Through the day, I have read five different accounts of the jeering of Bush as he walked out on the Rotunda.

    I pictured in my mind faces of different colors and ages shouting the chants.

    Now that I have seen the video I know better. Young Black men and women with no class. Our media hasn't the balls to mention it.

    Would it do any good? Maybe not, but that wasnt mainstream America jeering, and it's too bad no one is calling it what it is.

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. But, mat, none of that current 12.5 gig were solar thermal.
    Betcha a donut.

    There have been no nukes that even started construction in the US since Palo Verde was completed, so what the "average" size being built is, is none.

  24. But, mat, none of that current 12.5 gig were solar thermal.

    They didn't calculate for solar thermal because that also used for heating water.

  25. Here you go:

    Photovoltaics (PV) is a solar power technology that uses solar cells or solar photovoltaic arrays to convert light from the sun directly into electricity. Photovoltaics is also the field of study relating to this technology and there are many research institutes devoted to work on photovoltaics. The manufacture of photovoltaic cells has expanded dramatically in recent years. Photovoltaic production has also been doubling every two years, increasing by an average of 48 percent each year since 2002, making it the world's fastest-growing energy technology.

    At the end of 2007, according to preliminary data, cumulative global production of solar PV systems was 12.4 gigawatts. Roughly 90% of this generating capacity consists of grid-tied electrical systems. Such installations may be ground-mounted (and sometimes integrated with farming and grazing) or building integrated. Financial incentives, such as preferential feed-in tariffs for solar-generated electricity and net metering, have supported solar PV installations in many countries including Germany, Japan, and the United States.


  26. It's gonna be a feeding frenzy.

    Tue Jan 20, 08:25:00 PM EST

    Rat, I fully appreciate your... certitude. I do not agree.

    As luck would have it, we will not have to rely on supposition in the matter. We're all going to find out.

  27. Michelle Malkin has an answer--

    A reader points to this old civil rights chant that adds context to Lowery’s remarks — but makes the jab against whites all the more egregious:

    Big Bill Broonzy Black, Brown And White lyrics

    This little song that i’m singin’ about,
    People you know it’s true
    If you’re black and gotta work for a living,
    This is what they will say to you,
    They says, “if you was white, should be all right,
    If you was brown, stick around,
    But as you’s black, hmm brother, get back, get back, get back”
    I was in a place one night
    They was all having fun
    They was all buyin’ beer and wine,
    But they would not sell me none
    They said, “if you was white, should be all right,
    If you was brown, stick around,
    But if you black, hmm brother, get back, get back, get back”
    Me and a man was workin’ side by side
    This is what it meant
    They was paying him a dollar an hour,
    And they was paying me fifty cent
    They said, “if you was white, ‘t should be all right,
    If you was brown, could stick around,
    But as you black, hmm boy, get back, get back, get back”
    I went to an employment office,
    Got a number ‘n’ i got in line
    They called everybody’s number,
    But they never did call mine
    They said, “if you was white, should be all right,
    If you was brown, could stick around,
    But as you black, hmm brother, get back, get back, get back”
    I hope when sweet victory,
    With my plough and hoe
    Now i want you to tell me brother,
    What you gonna do about the old jim crow?
    Now if you was white, should be all right,
    If you was brown, could stick around,
    But if you black, whoa brother, get back, get back, get back

  28. dRat,

    The Palo Verde facility consists of 3 nukes, each with a maximum capacity of 1.24 gigawatts.

  29. rat wrote:

    "It's gonna be a feeding frenzy"

    I wonder if you are projecting. There certainly is a...blood lust... for impeachment and things of like kind that I see primarily from the Republican side of the aisle and I wonder if this urge to 'shine the bright light' is not born of the same impulse. Maybe there are a few who desire to contort themselves over the past, and I am on who would not grieve over prosecution of clear examples of unconstitutional behavior, but I really think most are ready to move on and not dwell to seriously on past sins. I'm sure there are many, Bobal would being one who is chomping at the bit, who are keen on legal prosecutions of the current POTUS team but similar folk looking back trying to do it to Bush et al I think are few. Sure, the academics, and the press, and many others will continue to point out the illegality of many things of the past, and more will also simply point out the immoral and the absurd but not necessarily illegal (i.e. the clean air act and Cheney's oil cronies) but legal prosecutions...naw, not much.

  30. Historians, of course, will shine their light where ever they can.

  31. Well, when the Gitmo detainees cannot be prosecuted, because of the illicit behaviour of the Intel folk. Then there will be a desire to blame someone for botching the prosecution. When, back in the day, prosecution was not the objective.

    The blame will not fall on the Dems or Obama, the MSM will see to that. So who does get called, for the misconcieved program.

    You all are right, it will not be Mr Bush or Mr Cheney. Mean while there are no female Spec4s with bleached blonde hair and a NCO boyfriend to lay this on.

    So the feeding will comence on the high end Military, those that violated the spirit of that Field Manual, if not the letter.

    We will see, it'll be an issue or gone, within 90 days.

  32. Missing from that vignette were the trappings of shifting power that are hallmarks of nations across the globe: There were no gunshots, there were no tanks — not a drop of blood was spilled. In Washington on Tuesday, power was transferred from one party to the other in a series of cordial, respectful, peaceful ceremonies.

    It is a testament to the strength of the American republic that the peaceful nature of Barack Obama’s rise to power is so unremarkable in the nation’s history. On the other hand, it is a testament to the foresight and judgment of our nation’s founders that the orderly transition of power is so remarkable on the world’s stage.

    Tuesday’s events remind us that we should be thankful for the fact that America is a nation that settles its internal scores in the election booth and not on the battlefield.

    Peaceful Transition

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. "So the feeding will comence on the high end Military."

    It's not the military they'd be aiming at. They've already been trotted out. Try again.

  35. Leadership principles were the first pencil marks of humanity, on the doorjamb, that measured human growth. The pencil marks are there still, can’t be erased, negotiated or litigated.

    Our departing President couldn’t reach them.

    I have the audacity to hope the arriving one can.

    Bugle Call

  36. (No, ash, in this particular case I think "projecting" is off the mark.)

  37. No, I don't think they'll chase after the top brass in the military - they were only following orders dontcha know?. If they chase anyone it'll be the political enablers and I don't see much appetite for 'truth commissions' or 'special prosecutors' to pursue the sins of the Bush era. Nope, it would shine a too bright light on US all. To top it off, Obama is big on not doing the 'gotcha' politics of the past. His opponents are keen on nailing him though and they'll not hesitate to appoint special prosecutors and the like... if they've got the power to do so. I can just see it now, Bobal heading up the truth and reconciliation special prosecution into Obama's parentage and land acquisitions.

  38. If not projecting then what? Not senile delusion ;D

  39. "His opponents are keen on nailing him..."

    Yeah, well, as John Cole stated so well, there is no such thing as peak wingnut. For either side.

    Blood lust there is, ash. The projection of which, in Rat's case, I don't think you're dealing with.

  40. Fred Phillips, 62, an African-American psychologist from Washington, came with his wife, and was overwhelmed with the emotion at taking part in the inauguration of the country’s first black president.

    “It’s a milestone in race relations in the US. We’re still not completely there but we can’t go back.

    The hopes from my ancestors have been realised, the efforts have been rewarded and the prayers have been answered,” he said.

    US History

  41. With every step he took along the journey that has now led him at last to the White House, you sensed that history was shadowing Barack Obama, never more than a half a pace behind him.


    Mr Obama seemed to sense it too - his speeches were littered with allusions to history, because he understood that you cannot shape the future unless you understand the past.


    Intriguingly, it was a quote from Thomas Paine that was borrowed by America's founder and first president, George Washington, which caught the eye in the inaugural address, rather than anything which echoed Lincoln.

    US History

  42. A Prince and Four Peaks: Peak Oil, Gas, Coal and Uranium

    Posted by Rembrandt on January 20, 2009 - 8:30pm in The Oil Drum: Europe
    Topic: Policy/Politics
    Tags: peak coal, peak gas, peak oil, peak uranium, princes and peaks [list all tags]

    Today the second three-day world future energy summit began in Abu Dhabi. One of the biggest energy conference in the world that is being attended by key policy makers, financiers, leading academics and no less than 400 journalists from all over the world. The conference was opened by the Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange and the Netherlands. He is perhaps the only prince in the world who regularly uses a bike to get around and save fossil fuels, as shown in the picture below. The prince spoke about the lessons that we need to learn from the collapse of the Roman civilization in perspective to the four peaks of oil, gas, coal and uranium that await us.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, did you know that when the Roman Empire finally collapsed, large parts of Europe had been deforested. Acres of forestland had been cleared for farmland and to provide firewood. Wood and food were essential, to maintain the roman empire. To meet their short term needs, the Romans overexploited their prime energy resource. They did not think about the consequences for later generations. So the demise of a seemingly invincible civilization was partially due to the unsustainable use of their prime energy resource. The question is, are we going to be any wiser?

    What the Romans were experiencing, we would now describe as peak wood. Reaching a point of maximum production after which it enters terminal decline. We are now facing a century of at least four undesirable peaks, peak oil, peak gas, peak coal and peak uranium. Mountaineers may be proud to conquer peaks, but there is no reason whatsoever for us to be proud. We can, however, change the course of history. The technologies we need are there."

    More information on the conference including the full speech by Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, links to the highly interesting program, and audio files of the presentations can be found below the fold.


  43. The table in the original movie about the plot to kill Hitler, back in the 60's or so, can't recall the name, or time exactly, was a much better table than the table in 'Valkyrie', which wouldn't have saved anybody's life, though the movie itself was better than expected.

    I hear that there is some type of clause in the new proposed interrogation directive that lets the pres do what might be necessary 'if need be'. In other words the old policy in new lingo. Change we can all believe in.

  44. The folks around Easter Island seemed to keep cutting stuff down, and building bigger and bigger moai for mana, til the whole shebang collapsed.

    In the United States, however, I've read there are more trees now than when the whites showed up, but I don't know if it's true or not.

  45. I thought that was still undecided, bob, but it seems the intent's there.

    Like I said, I can't imagine the burden of conducting all interrogations in the conventional manner. I hope Obama can't either.

    A different take on the speech today: Oh my God. You would think we were falling apart at the seams. Somebody, please, throw us a rope!

    Eye of the beholder and all that.

  46. "...the old policy in new lingo..."

    Petraeus and Mullen are teed up for tomorrow. Old policy in new lingo. But maybe without the new lingo.

    Fancy that.

  47. I heard the speech sucked. I just read it. It sucks on paper, I can confirm that.

  48. Looks like the very first thing Obama's gonna do is Help Kill Babies Worldwide

    On your tax dime, too.

    Well, grrnite.

  49. Ladies and gentlemen, did you know that when the Roman Empire finally collapsed, large parts of Europe had been deforested. Acres of forestland had been cleared for farmland and to provide firewood. Wood and food were essential, to maintain the roman empire. To meet their short term needs, the Romans overexploited their prime energy resource. They did not think about the consequences for later generations. So the demise of a seemingly invincible civilization was partially due to the unsustainable use of their prime energy resource. The question is, are we going to be any wiser?

    This is an unmitigated crock of steaming green bullshit. The Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange and the Netherlands, who regularly uses a bike to get around and save fossil fuels, is as big a green revolution moron as mat, who quotes him.

  50. What we have, here, is a failure to communicate.

    There are wide swaths of Team O that are revved up about Gitmo and the torture, there.
    It may be that even Sheik Mohammed will have to 'walk' as it is a sure thing that he cannot be prosecuted.

    Without prosecution he cannot be held, indefinately. This is a terrible state of affairs that, when understood by the public, will demand redress.

    Any 'illegal' action that results in such a twisted ending to 9-11 closure will be met by demands for justice. Just as there were calls for 'stringing up' those that created the 'wall of seperation' between Federal agencies.

    Wait until the Sheik is ordered released, the wailling will be heard at the wall. Those in the military that were in charge of the interrogations will fade that heat, in an effort to placate Big O's base and the 'conservatives' that will be even more irate.

    Someone will be fed to the sharks.
    Someone always is.
    O is not enamoured with the military, neither is John Conyers nor Ms Pelosi.

    I could be wrong, maybe it will all fade quietly into the night, but I doubt it.

  51. Kudlow is a fool and a Suck Up.
    Moron Mike Murphy joins him in the Farcical Notion that Obama is a pragmatic centrist.
    (of course he regards McCain as a conservative, and now writes in Time Magazine...)
    If Central Planning qualifies, they're right.

  52. wrt al-Bob's
    Tue Jan 20, 05:56:00 PM EST
    A caller said Barry mentioned his dad but not his mom or grandparents that raised him both in his inaugural speech and another speech.
    I can not confirm, since I've heard zilch.
    Pretty Pathetic that "Black" mythology trumps all reality for the Kool Aid Crowd.

    Heard Tiger honored his honorable father's honorable service.
    I'll take Tiger!

  53. GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — A military defense lawyer says prosecutors are seeking to suspend all war crimes trials until they get more guidance from President Obama's administration after a military judge adjourned the Guantanamo Bay war crimes court on Tuesday, leaving open the possibility that the hearings might not resume.
    Navy Lt. Cmdr. Bill Kuebler says the prosecution has proposed an indefinite continuance. The proposal would pause the tribunals in a way that would allow them to be easily restarted again in the future.
    Kuebler says defense lawyers oppose the proposal. They want the charges withdrawn without prejudice, meaning they could be refiled later under a different legal system.

    Obama has said he will close Guantanamo and many expect he will suspend the widely criticized war-crimes trials created by former President George W. Bush and Congress. Obama's nominee for attorney general has said the so-called military commissions lack sufficient legal protections for defendants and that they could be tried in the United States.

    From the AP at FOX.

  54. Free the Gitmo 500!
    ...or whatever.

  55. Maybe one of them detainees is named Huey?

  56. Attorney General Eric Holder:
    More proof that Obama is
    "A Pragmatic Centrist."

  57. The Inauguration [Yuval Levin] - The Corner

    I watched today’s speech from the Capitol lawn, with a million or so shivering fellow citizens.

    This was, understandably, a very partisan crowd in which I was badly out of place.

    The loudest boos, to my surprise, were not for Bush and Cheney, who got plenty, but for Joe Lieberman when he was shown on the huge television screens—more than one voice could be heard shouting “traitor” around where I was standing, so my wife and I broke into applause for Joe.

    Most of the people around us were just happy and excited, though, and it was lovely to see so many Americans waving the flag with a smile.

  58. A Classless Society [Jay Nordlinger]

    When I read that the crowd today booed President Bush — and then saw a video of it — I thought of a quip my friend Eddie made, not long ago:

    “When the Left asks for a classless society, now I know what they mean.”

  59. Well, while watching the speech on replay, my wife had one observation.

    "Look at all those people"

    Which reminded me that someone had opined there should be some kind of "March on Washington" to show 'em the 'Real America'.

    Better line up a bunch of busses, if you want to even come close to matching what Obama's America turned out.

  60. Any group of people that leave This Much Trash around at the Washington Mall isn't capable of self government. And here I thought this was the party of the environment. Sheesh.


    I'm in the process of reliving my life, the profile photo is of the oldest Lutheran Church in Idaho, where I got hitched, a few miles from my place. Had to clean all the mouse turds out to make it usable from years of neglect. Now, it's become a place to get married for lots of folks. Neat place to get married. Beats the Chapel of the West, in Vegas, for instance.

  61. Jeez that looks like a twister went right through the landfill.

  62. - America -
    One Land, One People
    from the Isthmus to the Artic

    Mexican mogul Slim sees opportunity in NY Times

    New York Times offers prestige to Mexican billionaire looking to expand into US market

    MEXICO CITY (AP) -- A Latin American billionaire looks to expand his empire in the United States in a deal that could make him the largest shareholder of The New York Times Co.

    The $250 million investment by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim could provide some synergies with his telecommunications holdings in Latin America, analysts say.

    Perhaps more importantly, Slim, reputed to be the world's second-richest man, would gain the prestige of owning one of the world's best-known and most influential newspapers.

    "By having a stake in the New York Times, he's basically projecting himself as a powerbroker in this country, regardless of how his investment does," said Armand Peschard-Sverdrup, a senior associate of the Center For Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

    The Times announced late Monday the financing agreement with Slim's companies Banco Inbursa and Inmobiliaria Carso for $125 million each. Times President Janet L. Robinson said the cash infusion will be used to refinance existing debt and will provide the company with increased financial flexibility.

  63. Gordon Brown brings Britain to the edge of bankruptcy

    Iain Martin says the Prime Minister hasn't 'saved the world' and now faces disgrace in the history books

    By Iain Martin

  64. Crowd more than a million, may be record

    January 20, 2009 7:55 PM | 2 Comments
    More than a million giddy spectators convened on the national mall to watch Barack Obama take the oath of office today, but it is unclear if the crowd surpassed the record believed to have been set three and half decades ago at Lyndon B. Johnson's 1965 inauguration.

    Though early estimates Tuesday ranged as high as 2 million, satellite images of Obaam's swearing-in suggested the actual size of the throng may have been closer to half that, according to Clark McPhail, a sociologist who has been analyzing crowds on the mall since the '60s.

    "It was sparser than I thought," said McPhail, an emeritus sociologist from the University of Illinois. "There were lots of open spaces."

    The National Park Service -- long relied on to calculate crowds for large Washington events -- is expected to provide a firmer estimate later in the week, according to a spokesman.

    Crowd counting is an inexact and controversial science. And experts cautioned it would be difficult to quickly calculate the size of the gathering.

    "A million rolls off the tongue very easily, but most people have no idea what it really looks like," McPhail said.

    Tuesday morning, the hometown Washington Post initially cited security sources who put the crowd at 1.8 million.

    The Associated Press, which did its own analysis, estimated "more than 1 million."

    The park service has not done official estimates in more than a decade, following an order by Congress to stop in the aftermath of controversy over how many people attended the 1995 Million Man March.

    Then, estimates varied from 400,000 to over 1 million.

    Public affairs director David Barna said the agency would likely produce a number this year because of the historic nature of Tuesday's events and public demand for an estimate.

    "We don't think anyone in Congress will be really upset," he said.

    Johnson's inaugural crowd was estimated at 1.2 million.

  65. "What we have, here, is a failure to communicate."

    No, I don't think we do. I understand you perfectly. I regard your judgment of the matter as badly mistaken. That happens on occasion.

    We'll both get over it.

    It's Day 2 in the dawn of a new era! I don't know about you kids, but I feel remade, refreshed, uplifted, and in all ways a finer human being.

    But that could be just because it's not cold and pouring rain. At the moment. Hard to tell, really. In either event the doves and I are sharing a beautiful morning.

    'Obama's Mandate: Remake America.' At RCP. Think of it as four, maybe eight, season's worth of The Learning Channel's "What Not To Wear." But without Stacy and Clinton hosting.

    Big celebration=lots of trash, bob. No surprise there. The joyful amassed leave detritus in their wake.

    They'll be along presently to clean it up.

  66. I'm sure that we will, trish.

    This is worthy of a smile
    Not hysterics, but it is kinda funny.

  67. El Veces De Nuevo York


    My Spanish ain't so good.

    Where'd Slim get all his money?

  68. Where'd Slim get all his money?

    From oil advertisers on his blog. :)

  69. It's Day 2 in the dawn of a new era! I don't know about you kids, but I feel remade, refreshed, uplifted, and in all ways a finer human being.

    I feel like hiding under my bed with my pistol and some cans of tuna, can opener and fork.

  70. This is true in its own small way:

    What Drives Republicans Insane About the Media

    by John Cole

    This sort of nonsense:

    "But the most telling moment of the whole event was not that rehearsed display of unity—it came when Chief Justice John Roberts accidentally rearranged Obama’s oath of office by putting the word “faithfully” in a different spot. Obama smiled broadly at this display of judicial privilege, even as his eyes flashed with some newfound—and very telling—presidential steel."

    You can almost smell the fanboy, and this is the sort of silliness that drives Republicans INSANE.

    Becky Anderson of CNN's Business International was on CNN US this morning, reporting from London. I like Becky and used to watch her mornings in Europe. I like people who are cheerful that early. Today, she is not merely cheerful. She beams like a lottery winner - and one got the idea that everyone else in the UK is similarly overtaken with gushing excitement.

    Frankly, I think that kind of earned enthusiasm (that's right, we were the ones who elected the man) ought to get us all coupons for free drinks abroad for at least a year until we step into the shit again.

  71. I feel like hiding under my bed with my pistol and some cans of tuna, can opener and fork.

    Wed Jan 21, 10:04:00 AM EST

    You go, bob!! Canned goods and guns. Can't go wrong there.

  72. For four years we can go to Europe without fear.

  73. And, I thought ahead, and got that one free Obama button.

  74. Carlos Slim Date of birth: January 28, 1940

    Print Biography

    Carlos Slim's father, Julién Slim Haddad, immigrated to Mexico from Lebanon at age 14. With one of his brothers, he opened a dry-goods store in Mexico City. When foreign investors fled the country following the revolution of 1910, Julián Slim resolved to remain in Mexico. By the 1920s, he had acquired a number of businesses and substantial real estate in the capital city. Julián married Doña Linda Helú, a daughter of Lebanese immigrants. The couple raised six children, of whom Carlos Slim Helú was the fifth.

    The senior Slim encouraged all of his children to learn and understand finance. He gave each child a ledger to record expenditures. Young Carlos showed a special aptitude for numbers, and by age 12 was buying shares in the Bank of Mexico. When Carlos Slim was 13, his father died, and the next years were difficult for Carlos.
    Remembering the lessons of thrift he had learned from his father, he and his growing family lived modestly, while earnings from his businesses were re-invested in expansion and more acquisitions. Over the next two decades, Carlos Slim astutely acquired companies he believed were undervalued and skillfully overhauled their management. He diversified methodically, investing in real estate, then a construction equipment company, then mining interests. The portfolio of Slim companies grew to include a printer, a tobacco company and retail stores.

    In 1982, Mexico plunged into an economic crisis. The government defaulted on its foreign debts, and many Mexican investors rushed to expatriate their capital. Carlos Slim's confidence in his country held firm, and he acquired the Mexican affiliates of Reynolds Aluminum, General Tire and the Sanborn's chain of stores and cafeterias. As the economy recovered, Slim's fortune grew, and his acquisitions accelerated. He acquired the Mexican interests of a number of U.S.-based brands: Firestone tires, Hershey's chocolate, Denny's coffee shops. He bought and merged a number of insurance companies into the giant firm Seguros Inbursa.

    The greatest opportunity of all presented itself when the Mexican government began to divest itself of a number of state-owned monopolies. After taking the holding company public in 1990, Slim's Grupo Carso, with French and American partners, purchased the state telephone company, Teléfonos de México (Telmex). Slim took a special interest in a small component of Telmex's operations, the company's fledgling cellular service. Slim had a unique idea for building the customer base for cell phone service in Mexico's struggling economy. He sold the handsets with a month's service prepaid, and rather than sending the customers a monthly bill, Slim enabled his customers to buy prepaid phone cards, using their minutes as needed. Telmex executives resisted the plan at first, convinced that aggressive promotion of prepaid cell phones would undermine the market for traditional landline service. As it happened, the prepaid program filled an enormous need, and the customer base grew by 66 percent every year for the next 15 years. In the wake of the bust of 2000, foreign-owned cellular ventures throughout Latin America floundered. Slim scooped them up, combining cellular services in a market he understood better than anyone else. Today, his company, América Móvil, is the largest wireless services provider in Latin America.

  75. Now, if you donot think Mr Slims believes that Mexico is part of America, well look to his choice of name, for his holding company

    América Móvil
    is a holding company owning companies forming the fifth largest mobile network operator and the largest corporation in Latin America, and a Fortune 500 company. The subsidiaries of the Mexican publicly traded holding company are wireless communications companies providing services to over 152 million wireless subscribers in the Americas, primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean as of March 2007. The company has been a venture of Carlos Slim Helú

  76. And, I thought ahead, and got that one free Obama button.

    Wed Jan 21, 10:09:00 AM EST

    Verrry clever. That oughta be good for free room and board in at least 40 countries.

  77. Slim took a special interest in a small component of Telmex's operations, the company's fledgling cellular service.

    Sounds like Slim's a self made man, more or less, got to hand it to him.

    Some people have the midas touch.

    Helps to be in the right place at the right time, when the government's selling off stuff cheap. Like in Russia after the breakup.

  78. 152 million subscribers, now that, amigos, amounts to some kind of cash flow, no matter the currency used.

  79. If Slim were a Swede, he'd be Slim Slimson.

  80. No shit, these cell phone companies are rich, plus, they bought the law on their side.

  81. Betcha Mr Slim would opt for a continental currency, so too will the NYTimes.

    Should the bet be in Ameros or Pesos, perhaps US Greenbacks.

    Oh, those Greenbacks were phased out in preference for Fed Reseve Notes. Never mind on that Greenback option.

  82. speaking of humor - the first segment of The Daily Show did a pretty funny take on the Obama Inauguration.

  83. Author Sees End Of Book Culture

    The writing was on the wall at the time of the Great Age of TV, back in the fifties.

    One of my favorites, Harold Bloom has remarked he can hear the gunfire from the projects as he writes, coming closer.

  84. This comment has been removed by the author.

  85. A list of the countries Mr Slim considers to be part of America, and his service base in each.

    As of December 2007 [4],

    México / Telcel 50.011 million

    Brazil / Claro 30.228 million

    Colombia / Comcel Colombia 22.335 million

    Argentina / Claro 12.927 million

    Paraguay Uruguay / Claro 9.618 million

    United States Includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands / TracFone Wireless 9.514 million

    Guatemala Nicaragua El Salvador Honduras / Central America Claro 8.157 million

    Ecuador / Porta 9.648 million

    Perú / Claro 5.455 million

    Puerto Rico Dominican Republic Jamaica / Caribbean Claro 3.496 million

    Chile / Claro 2.672 million

    Global Wireless Customers 153.422 million

    Americans, each and every one.

    Their America Movil invoice tells them so.
    So to will the NYTImes.

  86. .

    That video feed is not available to Canadians. So the only way for you to have seen it, Ashley, is if you are residing in the US. Jihadi Ashley is as much a Canadian as I am Pakistani. In fact, it wouldn't surprise at all if Jihadi Ashley is in fact Pakistani.

  87. I'm also suspect Jihadi Ashley lives on the east coast and not on the west coast as she purports.

  88. Step forward, Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss Ashley. Interrogation Room 4, on your left, please. We have some questions need answering.


    Slim may have made his first mistake buying into the New York Times, what with print media probably on a historic rearguard action, a downward curve to extinction.

    But, he's the guy with the touch, not me, for sure.

  89. Your are such a turd Mat. Yep, that is the US web source for the segment and I posted that link for our US friends here. If you are so feeble that you need the Canadian web source linked is the place to go.

    And, by the way, I actually saw it on my TV last night fool.

  90. It's a Brand that all the big media boys would like to have, bob.
    The story that Mr Murdock would have liked to gain control of the NYTimes are legend.

    It is still the leading meme marketmaker amongst the elites and the creator of the media storylines.

    Mr Slim always has an objective, while famous for buying at the bottom.
    "When blood is in the streets"

  91. You know how Mat likes to go on about how green he is and how a person should live in densely populated areas, well, the boy lives in Richmond Hill which is a bedroom community for Toronto. Hypocritical to say the least.

    For more info on Richmond Hill,_Ontario

  92. Speaking of the New York Times--

    NDEs in the News An IANDS Member Service

    Recently, The New York Times featured two articles that are of interest to those interested in NDEs and attitudes towards death.

    The first article appeared last week in an op-ed column by David Brooks at in which Brooks described the NDE of theologian and Catholic priest Father Richard John Neuhaus. Vital Signs, the IANDS member newsletter, reprinted a column by Fr. Neuhaus several years ago in which he described his NDE and the aftermath.

    This past Sunday, the front page of The Week in Review section had an article titled “The Afterlife of Near-Death.” Dr. Bruce Greyson, former long-time editor of the Journal of Near-Death Studies which is published by IANDS, is quoted in the article which you can read at

    It is interesting how near-death experiences are becoming an integral part of mainstream consciousness.

    PLEASE NOTE: Readers might need to create a free account with the online edition of The New York Times to access these articles.

    A service of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (

    IANDS depends on the financial support of its members and friends to carry out its mission. Go to to make a contribution to this effort.
    This email was generated by the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS). You are receiving this email because you are subscribed to this IANDS Email List. If you want to be removed from this list, please click the Unsubscribe link below.
    To unsubscribe from this list visit this link

    To update your preferences visit this link


    I take you at your word, Ash. You've got most of the Canadian outlook bonavides, anyways.

  93. I state very clearly that I live in Thornhill, ashley. No secrets there. I don't live downtown because that's not where I work. My office is a 1 minute walk from where I live. :)

  94. oops, sorry, Mattie is in Thornhill which is even more a commuter community. Suburbia to the max.

  95. And btw, Ashley, the whole of Toronto and greater Toronto is a bedroom community. Not much different in planning than Los Angeles. But you wouldn't know that, because you've never been here.

  96. That WAS funny, ash. I don't catch Stewart very often (and our cable doesn't give us Com Cent anyway) but he's always good for a laugh. (Not as fun to watch with certain Republicans, though. Some forms of jocularity are appreciated; some not. It requires a certain ambidexterity.)

    There's a surprising and quite humorous story regarding Cheney and Lord Vader. I just don't think I'm at liberty to relay it.

  97. I'll leave it to your imagination.

  98. As to the rude comments, come on guys ...

    Adrew Jackson fought off a disaffected veteran

    The first attempt to do bodily harm to a President was against Jackson. Jackson ordered the dismissal of Robert B. Randolph from the Navy for embezzlement. On May 6, 1833, Jackson sailed on USS Cygnet to Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he was to lay the cornerstone on a monument near the grave of Mary Ball Washington, George Washington's mother. During a stopover near Alexandria, Virginia, Randolph appeared and struck the President. He then fled the scene with several members of Jackson's party chasing him, including the well known writer Washington Irving. Jackson decided not to press charges

    Sticks and stones and all that jazz.

    The hecklers are low rent, to be sure, but pure Ameicana

  99. Geithner Apologizes For Not Paying Taxes

    Well that just makes it all OKy Dokey then.

    At least it's a step that Charlie Rangel and Frankenstein have yet to take, far as I know.

    Just write the IRS, say "Attention:
    , and apologize for not paying your taxes.

    In California, you might consider paying your taxes in IOU's, as that's how you might get your refund, if you get it at all.


    gotta run, don't kill one another

  100. While I wouldn't try to argue that Toronto doesn't suffer from urban sprawl designed around easy cheap access to a car the downtown core is very livable (unlike most US cities) with very pleasant neighborhoods (would you be happier if I spelled it neighbourhoods?) Rosedale, Forest Hill, The Annex, Cabbagetown, and Leaside being a few.

  101. They're all low density bedroom communities. The only difference is their age, Thornhill being relatively new.

  102. The only high density area is the Yonge Street corridor, mostly occupied with Chinese from Hong Kong.

  103. well, age and distance to the core and surrounding shops. You don't need a car to get out of the residential area and into the shopping area. All easy biking distance to the central downtown business area as well. Loads of tall condo buildings in the centre of downtown as well but what an ugly way to live - a living cubicle in the sky. Hardly ideal planning (a la Knustler) but a far cry better than Etobicoke, Mississauga, Scarborough, Don Mills, Brampton, Richmond Hill, and Thornhill.

  104. Loads of tall condo buildings in the centre of downtown

    Yeah, and they cost about a million dollars.

  105. Certainly the cost of housing is more expensive toward the core but, no, you can get 600 - 700 sq ft. condo's for about 250k. Like I said, "A living cubicle in the sky" but it is dense and right downtown.

  106. I'm trying to imagine ash as a jihadi, what with his gentle concern for our national moral health and economic well-being, as well as skeptical regard for our strategery - by day - while by night planning the slow, steady undermining and eventual devastating blow to his Province, keeping his morale up by watching beheading videos.

    I'm trying.

  107. Actually a little research revealed my pricing thoughts to be somewhat high.

    361 & 373 Front St. W.


    * A stunning architecturally designed oval shaped building
    * Located in the heart of city's theatre and sports districts, between downtown and the waterfront
    * Extensive efforts have been spent to maximize efficiency of suit layout and space usage
    * Curved window walls offer wider angled view
    * Expansive use of floor to ceiling glass panels ensure an abundance of light
    * Designed to allow most suits to capture unobstructed lake and/or downtown city views

    includes large indoor pool , whirl pool , steam room ,exercise room ,theatre and much more


    * An integral part of the Cityplace Digital Neighborhood the fastest residential internet connection
    * 50 times faster than cable modem

    1 Bedroom 482 Sq. Ft. $190,500 $1,400/mo
    1 Bdrm + Den 620-733Sq.Ft $214,000 $1,500/mo
    2 Bedroom 848-1,448 Sq.Ft $287,500 $1,800/mo
    2 Bdrm + Den 848-1,448 Sq.Ft $295,500 $2,100/mo

  108. Condos and high rise buildings is not what I am (nor Jim Kunstler are) advocating for. These are modern architectural atrocities/monstrosities, and I want nothing to do with these. What I am (and Jim Kunstler) advocating for is city planning/design and structures of a traditional European city of past centuries. See old Paris, Barcelona, Milan, etc.

  109. ...and the older neighborhoods of Toronto are more in line with that model.

  110. I'm trying to imagine..

    No need to imagine. She's been actively shilling for Jihadis and Sharia law since she first stepped foot here. Her constant peddling of Jihadi propaganda and argumentations is also very easy to observe.

  111. ...and the older neighborhoods of Toronto are more in line with that model.

    They're not. The older neighborhoods are not that old. And they were build as single home units.

  112. Sure, Canada is a relatively new country populated by many immigrants from those areas you so admire. The older neighborhoods do have many single family homes as well as duplexes but they are also very close (i.e. easy walking distance) to shops and other places of business. In addition you have the major streets (i.e Bloor St.) where the lower level is commercial space and the two levels above are living spaces. Many people are able to live and work in the same neighborhood. In addition public transit (i.e. the subway) is also within easy walking distance. You can also bicycle to the downtown core with ease. This is in stark contrast to what I saw when I was in Phoenix last year. This is also very different from much of the sprawling suburbia around Toronto like where you live. It is hardly perfect (a la Knustler) but it is actually quite good in the grand scheme of things.

  113. Etobicoke, Mississauga, Scarborough, Don Mills, Brampton, Richmond Hill, and Thornhill.

    You can drop as many names as you want, it still doesn't allay the fact that you haven't a clue of what you're talking about.

  114. ah geee, ya caught me. I've been outed as a Pakistani girl living on the east coast of the US somewhere.

  115. Now we only need to find out where you buy your halal food.

  116. Just for you, bob.


    When The Wicked Seize A Nation
    Posted on January 20th, 2009 by Scipio

    The end of the Republic will be broadcast live today from Washington. Never have a people been able to witness in a mere few hours the end result of their decades of flippancy toward their own heritage. We have become as Esau. Liberty is too burdensome, too demanding, too hard to maintain, and so we have sold it for the mess of pottage promised by those apes in silk who rule over us.

    Watch the mob gawk with hands outstretched as its new god draws near! Hear the teeming multitudes become as one as they cheer the coming of their messiah! See the media grovel and scrape as they perform their ablutions! We might even gape at the crass and vulgar idolatry of the thing.

    Why, one would think that a Roman emperor was approaching!

    Ave Caesar! Morituri te salutamus!

    We once produced a Patrick Henry. Now all we can offer up is a Harry Reid. We once produced a Washington. Now all we can offer up is a Barney Frank. We once produced a Lincoln. Now all we can offer up is a fey beast who revels in mendacity.

    This creature adopts the outward trappings of Lincoln—the train ride, the food, the Bible—but to those with eyes he looks like a boy child who puts on daddy’s shoes and scampers about the house yelping, “Look at me! Look at me!”

    And that is exactly what hundreds of millions of gawpers will do this day. They will stare in reverent awe as that callow and grim thing climbs the podium and assumes the mantle once worn by Jefferson. None will see him laugh, but he will be laughing all the same. He will laugh at the rank stupidity of his sycophantic believers. He will laugh at the slavish adulation of the media. He will laugh at the ease he fooled some of the people all of the time.

    So by all means come and watch the great events of this day. You will see live and in color the end of the affair, the end of America’s love of Liberty. John Adams saw today 220 years ago.


    Well, you know, it kind of goes on in that vein for a while longer. Don't say I never did you any favors.

    The jig is up, ash. The jig. Is. Up.

    And might I add that your continued employment in Jihad, Inc. - Frothy Paki Division - is thrown into question by your regular inability to out-conspiracy mat. Or to finally kill nahncee.

  117. My Madrassa taught me much...

  118. Well *apparently* not enough.

  119. FREEDOM EDEN: Obama Inaugural Address Transcript
    "one of the most anticipated speeches in decades, with many expecting his words to be chiseled into marble some day."

    Here's more on what the experts are saying about the speech.So does Obama's address measure up?
    I think it's brilliant.
    Obama's inaugural address is positively Lincolnesque!
    His words soar.
    They deserve to be chiseled into marble.

    ...Obama must also emphasize that his administration represents a fresh start for America and "kick away from that old history," said Peggy Noonan, President Ronald Reagan's speechwriter and a columnist for The Wall Street Journal.
    Too bad she does not give instructions in how we could kick her in the teeth first.
    Obama's speech shows that his greatness is comparable to that of perhaps the greatest president in our nation's history -- Abraham Lincoln.
    The two men are virtually indistinguishable in their words, their wisdom, and their stature.

    I think I heard that on MSNBC.(And according to Michael Beschloss, Obama's IQ is higher than Lincoln's IQ.) Score one for Obama.

    CORRECTION: The above is NOT the text of Obama's inaugural address. My misktake.Here is the full transcript of Barack Obama's inaugural address.I don't think it's very Lincolnesque at all.
    Maybe it's just me.

  120. My Madrassa taught me much...

    You haven't lived much in dar al-islam, so you don't know much. And what's bothersome is that you deliberately keep your eyes closed to what goes on there.

  121. This comment has been removed by the author.

  122. "And what's bothersome is that you deliberately keep your eyes closed to what goes on there."
    You are entirely too harsh in your criticism, Mat.

    It's merely a habit he acquired from constantly doing the same thing in Canuckistan.

  123. "To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."
    This from the boy who went to Chicago specifically to learn from the followers of the Master of Deceit, the Silencer of Dissent, Saul Alinsky.
    (and Obama's followers silenced dissent whenever they could throughout the campaign, as the MSM on the left and on the "right" is presently expending all possible energy to do so now.)

    Ash's Heaven has come to Earth!

  124. "All easy biking distance to the central downtown business area as well."
    Biking in Toronto in January sounds like a Weiner.

  125. Well, you know, it kind of goes on in that vein for a while longer. Don't say I never did you any favors.

    Thanks. It needed saying.

    I feel like going fishing. For four years.

  126. Come on Rat. Jeering an outgoing President on national television is not pure Americana. It's pure trash. Because some idiot punched a President in the face 200 years ago doesnt make it right either.

    I personally don't blame the ones doing the jeering. They obviously don't know any better. I blame the media for not drawing attention to who did it. I also blame President Obama for not calling them on it publically and apologizing on their behalf to Bush.

  127. Great Site. Was added to mybookmarks. Greetings From USA.