“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."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Cold Rush. Who Owns the Arctic?

Canada and the United States have an agreement to disagree over the Arctic. It is based on passage rights. Guess what will happen if other powers, say Russia, get involved, especially if energy resources become the issue. This could get to be a lot more interesting than Afghanistan.


  1. I got some "Eskimo" blood. Ya wanna buy it?

  2. The "Arctic," I mean.

  3. Cherokee, Eskimo, pretty close, right?

  4. Yeah, neither can hold their liquor!

  5. Here's a commenter that 'gets it'---

    The answer, the silver bullet that will kill the socialized medicine freight train is very simple. We need to recruit and graduate more doctors in this country. If we make enough doctors, they will compete in every way imaginable, and their competition will dissolve socialism like water on a sugar cube.

    Remember the TV show "Northern Exposure"? We can easily afford to build more medical schools and subsidize the education of doctors in order to promote this policy.

    It's really the only answer. So simple. If employed, the situation solves itself.

    Say goodbye to freedom of choice, the government bureaucrats will now decide what treatment your doctor will be allowed to give you.

    Socialized Medicine Here We Come


    When the mini ice age hit in Greenland and Iceland we Nordics couldn't compete with the Eskimos. Couldn't make the change from cows to seals. We left or died out, the Eskimos remained, so I read.

  6. I got to admit, I think it would be pretty bleak up there around the Arctic Circle. Damn, what would you do for fun? Hunting seals must get kind of old after awhile. And, 22 hours of darkness during the winter. How do you take a shower? I bet you'd stink like the devil when what passes for spring finally shows up. I'd be tempted to drink myself to oblivion too.

    Maybe nowadays you could sit in the igloo and blog, and read Doug describe the weather in Hawaii, and dream.

  7. Eleven States Declare Sovereignty Over Obama’s Action

    State governors — looking down the gun barrel of long-term spending forced on them by the Obama “stimulus” plan — are saying they will refuse to take the money. This is a Constitutional confrontation between the federal government and the states unlike any in our time.

    In the first five weeks of his presidency, Barack Obama has acted so rashly that at least 11 states have decided that his brand of “hope” equates to an intolerable expansion of the federal government’s authority over the states. These states — “Washington, New Hampshire, Arizona, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, California…Georgia,” South Carolina, and Texas — “have all introduced bills and resolutions” reminding Obama that the 10th Amendment protects the rights of the states, which are the rights of the people, by limting the power of the federal government. These resolutions call on Obama to “cease and desist” from his reckless government expansion and also indicate that federal laws and regulations implemented in violation of the 10th Amendment can be nullified by the states.

    When the Constitution was being ratified during the 1780s, the 10th Amendment was understood to be the linchpin that held the entire Bill of Rights together. The amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

  8. Wife and I have complained about the cold weather for over a month now!
    Life is hard.

  9. You poor little shivering puppy, you!

    Lionel Hampton Jazz Fest is on here now, through this weekend. We're going Saturday night I think.

  10. I just missed Jimmy Buffet here.
    Pisses me off, let the wife shame me out of spending $85.
    Steve Miller here now.
    Miller ain't no Buffet.

  11. Do you have Arctic Circle Drive-Ins in Ideehoe?

    What is the Bird?
    (Acey Bird?)

  12. Arctic Circle Drive In--yes, around, or used to be, but not in Moscow.

  13. What is the Bird?
    (Acey Bird?)

    No bell ringing.


  14. Obama expresses his distaste for Korean batteries
    During Obama's address to the nation Tuesday night, he wondered aloud how a nation that had invented solar energy had already fallen behind capitalizing on its use and how a nation that invented the automobile (false actually, a French guy did it first) must now rely on Korea to supply batteries for its hybrid cars.
    Couldn't be because his big union backers have made it so.
    Couldn't be because because his fellow Dems and Greens have made manufacturing economically unfeasible here.
    Couldn't be because...

  15. sputnikhousewares
    I have this too!
    I went to the one in Boise all the time when I was a kid.

  16. ah, Acey I remember

    Used to have 410 Drive Ins around, all closed now I think.

    410 Drive In

    Ronald McDonald run 'em all out.

  17. Just heard on Bennet show that FORTY PERCENT of the earmarks have GOP authors. problem, we'll just blame it on being too conservative.
    Reagan's fault, not the Bush Legacy.
    (always stood with the "moderates" at election time)
    What a bunch of losers.
    Probly would be better off now after 8 years of Ron Paul.

  18. 2 cheeseburgers and 1 curly for
    $3.95 in 1955???
    ...shoulda called it the Ritz Drive In!

  19. That price has got to be wrong.

    2. sgi:

    The other day I read an interview with Niall Ferguson who predicted a civil war in the United States before all of this is over. At the time, I thought he was exaggerating. I do not think so now. Obama plus the economy is a nightmare. I do not recall ever feeling so anxious about an American President.

    If anyone is interested, the interview was in The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper.

    Make a deal with the Canadians to keep the Ruskies out, I say. Ruskies out of the Northwest Passage! Chinese too!

  20. Scientists Target Sheep Belching
    A global effort is being made to keep livestock from belching methane when they eat grass in hopes of curbing one of the most potent greenhouse gases.
    Sheer Fucking Madness
    May a Sheep Belch in Mat's Mouth!

  21. (Mat can convert it into DC to charge his Batteries.)

  22. The 'old' claims to Sovereignty were made though 'use' and 'passage' and stuff like that. There is a 'new' way now (I'm not sure if it is part of the Sea Treaty or not and I've no time to google around) and it involves continental shelves I think so up in the Arctic Russia, Canada, USA (via Alaska) Finland I think and a few others with continents reaching up there are trying to survey the ocean floor to see how far their continental shelves extend and thus their ownership of the mineral rights.

  23. Barack Obama's Address to Congress Outlines His Plan to Expand Government -

    We were especially struck by his determination to pass a carbon "cap and trade" regime, despite the costs it would impose on the economy amid a recession. Only last year Midwest Democrats rebelled against those costs when the Senate debated cap and trade. But in the past week Mr. Obama's green advisers have declared that the Administration will soon formally declare that carbon must be regulated like any pollutant under the Clean Air Act. This will unleash a flood of new regulatory controls across the economy, and perhaps Mr. Obama believes this imperative will drive Congress to act, almost as a kind of relief. But the economic uncertainty alone will further retard business risk-taking just when we need such daring for the economy to recover.
    Likewise, even many Democrats have argued that the political system can't accommodate both a cap and trade debate and health care reform in the same year. Mr. Obama declared otherwise last night.

    He urged Congress to pass a new universal health-care entitlement "this year," a request that was met with ecstatic applause among the Democrats who now run Congress. No one seriously believes that kind of commitment would cost anything less than $220 billion a year, which is real money even in today's Washington.

  24. " I've no time to google around"
    A description of the Senorita would be appreciated.

  25. On Tuesday, Mr. Obama spoke of the "historic investment in education" in the stimulus bill, which included a staggering, few-strings-attached $140 billion to the Department of Education over two years. But he also noted that "our schools don't just need more resources; they need more reform," and he expressed support for charter schools and other policies that "open doors of opportunity for our children."

    If he means what he says, Mr. Obama won't let his fellow Democrats consign 1,700 more poor kids to failing schools he'd never dream of letting his own daughters attend.
    So fucking hypocritical
    So fucking elitist
    Fuck Him and his bitch wife.

  26. @ BC
    "The implications from even “letting” NATO countries other than the US transit via Iran are rather staggering, in that the leadership there are not so silly as to miss the opportunity to lever-off most of the economic sanctions that are riling society there so effectively. The Europeans themselves would salivate at the opportunity to A) open Iran’s market again, and B) ship Central Asian gas to Middle Eastern ports. There have been recent overtures between Turkmenistan and Iran regarding greater cooperation for exactly that.

    The great prize, of course, would be if the US itself sat down to negotiate a supply route through Iran. Ah… the sweet victory over the infidel, and jizya from defeated foes could take many forms.

    Given that Obama’s administration is progressively pulling the veils off its orientation toward Israel (and by corollary, Iran), perhaps a better question to ask is what configuration does the world move into when Iran has it’s hand on the spigot for US troops in Afghanistan, Tajikistan is disintegrating into economic hell, and Taliban 2.0 is marching ever closer to having their second, nuclear country.

    What do you do if you’re Israel? What do you do if you’re India? Russia? China?"

  27. Cap and Trade will add 600 Billion in new taxes on our energy bills.

  28. Christopher Hitchens and the Battle of Beirut

    “When Hezbollah violently seized West Beirut last May,” I said, “the Syrian Social Nationalist Party followed them in. They put up their spinning swastika flags all over the neighborhood, and no one dared touch them until the prime minister ordered them taken down several months later.”

    It was a warning of sorts – or at least it would have been heeded as such by most people.
    I don’t go looking for trouble, Jonathan is as mild-mannered a writer as any I know, but Christopher is brave and combative, and he would have none of it.

    “My attitude to posters with swastikas on them,” he later told Alice Fordham at NOW Lebanon, “has always been the same.
    They should be ripped down.”

  29. Totten:

    Some SSNP members claim the emblem on their flag isn’t a swastika, but a cyclone. Many say they cannot be National Socialists, as were the Nazis, because they identify instead as Social Nationalists, whatever that means.

    Outside observers don't find this credible. The SSNP, according to the Atlantic in a civil war era analysis, “is a party whose leaders, men approaching their seventies, send pregnant teenagers on suicide missions in booby-trapped cars. And it is a party whose members, mostly Christians from churchgoing families, dream of resuming the war of the ancient Canaanites against Joshua and the Children of Israel. They greet their leaders with a Hitlerian salute; sing their Arabic anthem, 'Greetings to You, Syria,' to the strains of 'Deutschland, Deutschland ├╝ber alles'; and throng to the symbol of the red hurricane, a swastika in circular motion.”

    They wish to resurrect the ancient pre-Islamic and pre-Arabic Syria and annex Lebanon, Cyprus, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Israel, and parts of Turkey and Egypt to Damascus. Jews would have no place in the resurrected Syrian empire.

  30. John Cornyn,

    " The first people to notice inflation are the Poor."

    No Shit.

  31. Jews are Geniuses,
    "Jews" are Morons:

    1. Rob:

    Over seventy percent of US Jews voted for Obama. Now, they know one billion dollars of their tax money is going to support Hamas and its planned destruction of Israel. And now a Saudi stooge is the gatekeeper for the President’s intelligence assessments. The irony of the Jews repeating history would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

    Peretz was a huge Obama supporter. When will he be able to admit his error? Will it be too late?

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Does not pay to be poor, doug, as it certainly limits the options available.

    We could have been promoting a 44 Senator strategy, but it was more fun, easier and much less effective to create a boogieman of Rev Wright and talk about Hawaiian law regarding the maintaince of birth certificates, which to this day still does not effectively enter the conversation.

    If those States are really going to trot out the 10th Amendment, the shit is out of the frying pan, as the 10th is the most ignored of all the Amendments to the Constitution.
    Constantly overridden by the Establishment Clasue.

  34. It certainly seems, doug, that Mr Olmert understood the Jews that reside in North America, better than the more conservative commentators, here at the Bar.
    When he said they would abandon Israel if they continued to deny those self evident truths, 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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed the US would not be able to support the Israeli position.

    Not only was Mr Olmert correct, but the marjoriy of the Jewish electorate, in the US, is ahead of him on that curve, as evidenced by their votes in the election last November.

  35. As for the Carbon Cap & Trade, that is a McCain/Lieberman proposal redux, from last year, as I recall.

  36. Barack Obama and the Book Business

    Peter Osnos,
    The Century Foundation, 10/30/2006

    In 2004, after a stint as a state senator in Illinois and an unsuccessful run for Congress, Obama got the U.S. Senate nomination. His Republican opponent dropped out in a sex scandal and his replacement, Alan Keyes of Maryland, never had a chance. When Obama was selected to be the keynote speaker at the Democratic Convention in Boston, Dystel, who had stayed in touch with Obama, had the idea of reclaiming rights to the book and reselling it. But an alert editor at Crown had already spotted it on the proverbial shelf and it was quickly reissued in paperback. After Obama’s brilliant speech at the convention, the book took off. In just over two years, it has sold about 500,000 copies in the United States and is widely admired for its writing (all Obama’s) and message. “The absolute best book I’ve ever read,” wrote a woman on this month in a typical comment. A rough guess as to the royalties the book has earned from all its versions (Obama won a Grammy for his reading of the audio version) is about $1 million. This bonanza for Obama and Dystel was good fortune at its absolute earned best.


    Between Election Day 2004 and his swearing in as a Senator, Obama signed a two-book deal with Crown for “seven figures” (probably somewhere in the vicinity of $1.5–$2.0 million). By signing the contract before taking office, which Hillary Clinton also did on her book deal, Obama does not fall under various requirements for disclosure and reporting that applies to members of Congress. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream was published this month to great fanfare and sold, according to Bookscan, the service that tracks about three-fourths of book sales, 67,000 copies in its first week.

  37. Is Newt still a real Republican?

    Newt Gingrich Supports Obama on Health Care Reform

    Submitted by jmeasley on Thu, 02/26/2009 - 00:30.

    Gingrich said, “President Obama is right: we cannot wait any longer to fix the problems we face in health - they are beyond critical. We waste billions of dollars every day and people die unnecessarily every day at the hands of a broken, fragmented healthcare system.”
    Gingrich called for a health care reform plan that focuses on four priorities, adoption of the practices that work best, modernization of health information technology, the rooting out and prevention of health care fraud, and elimination of the broken models of budgeting and scoring.

    He also stressed that both parties need to work together on health care reform, “There is a time for Republicans and Democrats to stand their ground when they must; but it is equally as important to have the courage to collaborate when they should. Health reform is one of those moments. With these priorities, the president will find eager and energetic Republican partners if he truly seeks them.”

  38. We're still feeling the Libertarian vote, up in Minnesota.

  39. What do you do if you’re Israel?

    We'll manage.

  40. Newt's been preaching this line, from before the election of '08, so either he foresaw the result or it didn't matter to him where McCain would stand on the issue.

    As Newt wrote in the Washington Times, back in October of '08.

    That is why any legislative efforts in 2009 must put the health back in health reform.

    First and foremost, we must make a serious investment in health information technology (IT). Health care is the last and largest segment of our economy that still refuses to embrace technology from the 20th century, let alone the 21st century.

    Health IT should be what railroad tracks were for transportation 150 years ago: basic infrastructure. A modernized, interconnected health system that electronically links patients, physicians, hospitals, pharmacies, public health agencies, payers and key emergency responders would allow all to share accurate, patient-protected information, and that will undoubtedly save lives and save money.

    The Congress and the new president must call for the creation of this nationwide, electronic health system by December 2012 - the end of the next president's first term.

    That is bold, but there are models of presidential leadership to follow. For example, 52 years ago, President Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act, which authorized the construction of more than 40,000 miles of interstate highways and appropriated $25 billion over 10 years. This was a vast sum of money, considering that total federal spending in 1956 was $70 billion, making it one of the nation's highest priorities. But who can argue the investment did not pay dividends far beyond the initial cost? So, too, would an electronic health system today.

    Second, health IT will allow us to capture data and then determine which treatments work and which do not. Today, only about 10 percent of all health care is based on evidence. That means that 90 percent of the care we receive is, basically, informed opinion. We need a rigorous, clear system to measure the costs, benefits and value of a given procedure, technology or drug.

    A comparative effectiveness institute also can collect and understand the best practices of the country's best providers of care. There are innovators out there, such as Intermountain Healthcare in Utah and Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, that deliver the best possible care at the lowest cost.

    A comparative effectiveness institute, particularly one energized by local centers of innovation at the state and regional level, could not only educate other providers on how to improve, but also inform policymakers on how to design policy that promotes these best practices.

    Lastly, we must change the way we pay for care. Right now, we pay for all the wrong things. We do not pay doctors to coordinate care, to deliver care with electronic health records, to focus on prevention or to teach healthy behavior. We pay family doctors the least of all specialties, even though these physicians are often in the best position to provide low-cost, coordinated care.

    On the other hand, we pay doctors more the sicker their patients are, more for each additional service they deliver and more for each additional test they perform.

    There is no magic here: We simply need to pay more for what we want more of, and less for what we want less of. These priorities are absolutely essential. We will never cover the uninsured or resolve the looming budgetary nightmare without them.

  41. Big increase in the number of IRS agents coming our way.

  42. The third ellow, Dean Barkley, is no Libertarian, bob. Mr Barkley had already served as the US Senator from MN and represented a substantial portion of the electorate. The idea that those voters did not know the consequences of their vote is condescending, to say the least.

    Mr Barkley is a member of the Independence Party, which seems to be the legacy of Ross Perots' run for the White House.

    The Independence Party of America (IPA) is a political party in the United States, founded on September 23, 2007 by activists from the Independence Party of New York. Its current National Chairman is Frank MacKay.[1] Dean Barkley, a former United States Senator and Independence Party activist, has agreed to play an advisory role with the new party.[2]

    The Independence Party of Minnesota voted to affiliate with the new national party at its state convention on January 26, 2008.[3] The Reform Party of Pennsylvania affiliated on October 22, 2007[4] and the Independent Green Party of Virginia affiliated on January 10, 2008.[5]

  43. The upshot is probably going to be Frankenstein.

    I see Barkley was an independent, or rather Independence Party.

    Does this mean they want out of the Union?

    The Libertarian got-- (Libertarian) 0.482% of the vote, more than enough to send Frankenstein home.

    So the point remains, elect the worst in a fit of self righteousness.

  44. Frankenstein has less business being a Senator than I have.

  45. If you've waited until now, to mobilize, you're so far behind the curve, as to be laughable.

    Now, ash, he's finally made to the Banana Republics.
    Livin' the life...

    Down to the Banana Republic
    Down to the tropical sun
    Go the expatriated Americans
    Hoping to find some fun

    Some of them go for the sailn'
    Called by the lure of the sea
    Trying to find what is ailing
    From living in the land of the free

    Some of them are running from lovers
    Leaving no forward address
    Some of them are running tons of ganga
    Some are running from the IRS

    And late at night you will find them
    In the cheap hotels & bars
    Hustling the senoritas while they dance beneath the stars

    Spending those renegade pesos
    On a bottle of rum & a lime
    Singing, give me some words I can dance to
    Or a melody that rhymes

    First you learn the native customs
    Soon a word of Spanish or two
    But you know that you cannot trust them
    Cause they know they can't trust you

    Expatriated Americans feeling so all alone
    Telling themselves the same lies
    That they told themselves back home
    Down to the Banana Republic things aren't as warm as they seem
    When none of the natives are buying any second hand American dreams

    By: Steve Goodman, Jim Rothermel, Steve Burgh

  46. I just think your assumption that they'd have voted for Coleman, rather than not vote is flawed.
    As in my case for President, if I'd not voted for Barr, I'd have not voted for either of the popular, binary, choices. Just have left it blank, rather than confirm support for the positions of either of the Federal Socialists that were running.

  47. Well it's time to move on to the next election anyway. Coleman/Frankenstein is still in some doubt, it's deep in the courts and arguments about this and that. I really doubt Coleman will end up in the Senate, though.

  48. Hot Rod Cold Cocked--Man Screws Himself To Death--

    A SEX-MAD Russian died after guzzling a bottle of Viagra pills to keep him going for a 12-hour orgy with two women pals.
    The women had bet mechanic Sergey Tuganov £3,000 that he wouldn’t be able to satisfy them both non-stop for the half-day sex marathon.

    But minutes after winning the wager, the randy 28-year-old dropped dead with a heart attack, revealed Moscow police.

    One of the women, named only as Alina, said: “We called emergency services but it was too late, there was nothing they could do.”

    If only they'd had electronic medical records, and a single payer plan.

    But he did win the wager, bless him.

  49. When God is about to reposition your life know that the devil will begin to attack.

  50. Valley Medical Center one of our main clinics, could have cared for that Russian.

    That Russian's twelve hour hard on, Mat, that is something to be proud of! Would you agree:) Something to be remembered for, something to die for.:)

    That story has me chuckling.

    One full 12 hour Hawaiian night. Not even Sonia puts that much pressure on her man.

  51. Twelve hours, and they're still not satisfied. Might as well declare those girls clinically dead.

  52. "If only they'd had electronic medical records, and a single payer plan.

    But he did win the wager, bless him.
    I did the same thing, but w/o drugs.

    Bless me if you must:
    I still got the Victory in My Mind.

  53. But he did win the wager, bless him.

    After 12 hours. WTF.

  54. CAIRO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - A dozen Palestinian groups met under Egyptian auspices in Cairo on Thursday at the start of a long-awaited dialogue which could reunite Palestinians after 18 months of schism between Gaza and the West Bank.

    All parties say they hope the dialogue will lead to a new national unity government to oversee the reconstruction of Gaza after a three-week Israeli offensive and then to organise presidential and parliamentary elections. But the Islamist group Hamas and the rival Fatah group, which dominates the Palestinian Authority, have different visions of the crucial question of how to deal with Israel.

    Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since June 2007, reserves the right to fight Israel, although it is prepared to accept an 18-month truce. Fatah, which controls the West Bank, has renounced violence and puts all its hope in negotiations.

    Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman told the opening session of the dialogue: "(Egypt hopes) that this meeting is the real start of a new period ending the state of division which has gone on too long."

    "The time has come for us to turn the page once and for all," he told the Palestinian delegates, who sat at a long table in a room at Egyptian intelligence headquarters.

    Suleiman added: "Everyone is looking towards you ... and hanging their hopes on you. So do not prolong the disagreement and deepen the division. Unite ranks to fulfil the hopes of all for an independent Palestinian state."

    The United States and European governments want the Palestinians to set up a government of non-partisan technocrats. That would spare them the problem of deciding how to deal with representatives of Hamas, which they call a terrorist group.

    But senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed left open the question of what type of government would emerge.

    "There is an agreement on a government of national unity," he told a news conference on Wednesday night. "The nature of this cabinet is up to the committee that will be formed."

    Fatah is pressing for quick decisions but a senior Hamas source said it would take more than a few days.

    An Arab diplomat said on Wednesday the Egyptian mediators hoped to complete an agreement in time for endorsement by an Arab summit scheduled for Qatar in late March.

  55. Obama wants to raise money via pollution caps: reports

    About time. Put these environmental pirates out of business.

  56. What, do Nitrous Freaks Whimp Out After an Hour or Two?

  57. U.S. Moves Against Top Mexican Drug Cartel


    More than 750 people nationwide have been arrested, tons of cocaine and marijuana have been seized and the distribution of drugs has been disrupted through a series of raids and arrests as part of an investigation begun under the Bush administration 21 months ago, Mr. Holder said.

    The operation comes at a time of rising concern over Mexico’s drug violence and the reach of trafficking organizations into the United States. It has focused on the Sinaloa cartel and culminated with a wave of arrests, unsealed indictments and seizures on Tuesday and early Wednesday in California, Maryland and Minnesota.


    The investigation, known as Operation Xcellerator, included the arrest of 755 people, among them leaders of the cartel’s cells based in the United States that helped transport and distribute drugs, Ms. Leonhart said. She said the arrests had also “seriously impacted” the cartel’s Canadian operations.

    The authorities said they seized $59.1 million in cash, more than 13 tons of cocaine, 8 tons of marijuana, more than a half-ton of methamphetamine and lesser amounts of other illicit drugs. Agents confiscated 149 vehicles, 3 aircraft, 3 vessels and 169 weapons, the officials said.

    In the crackdown announced Wednesday, federal authorities said the Sinaloa cartel had established “an enterprise of distribution cells” in the United States and Canada.

    It was unclear how many of those arrested were considered members of the cartel, but officials said they all played a role, some of them vital, in distributing its drugs. They were charged with offenses including money laundering, engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise and conspiracy to import controlled substances.

  58. An Arab diplomat said on Wednesday the Egyptian mediators hoped to complete an agreement in time for endorsement by an Arab summit scheduled for Qatar in late March.

    Takes two to tango. And Israelis aint gonna dance to that tune.

  59. This fellow, George Iknadosian at X-caliber Guns, his shop was less than a mile from the house.

    PHOENIX, Arizona: The Mexican agents who moved in on a safe house full of drug dealers last May were not prepared for the firepower that greeted them.

    When the shooting was over, eight agents were dead. Among the guns the police recovered was an assault rifle traced back across the border to a dingy store here called X-Caliber Guns.

    Now, the owner, George Iknadosian, will go on trial on charges that he sold scores of weapons, mostly AK-47 rifles, to smugglers who supplied a drug cartel in the western state of Sinaloa, fueling the gang warfare in which more than 6,000 Mexicans died last year.

    The Mexican authorities have long complained that American gun dealers were arming the cartels. This case is the most prominent prosecution of an American gun dealer since the United States promised Mexico two years ago that it would clamp down on the smuggling of weapons across the border.

    It also offers a glimpse of how weapons delivered to American gun dealers are being moved into Mexico and used in horrific crimes.


    We had a direct pipeline from Iknadosian to the Sinaloa cartel," said Thomas Mangan, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives here.

    Drug gangs seek out guns in the United States because the gun-control laws are far tougher in Mexico. Mexican civilians must get approval from the military to buy guns and they cannot own large-caliber rifles or high-powered pistols, which are considered military weapons.

    The ease with which Iknadosian and two other men transported weapons to Mexico over a year and a half illustrates just how difficult it is to stop the illicit trade, law enforcement officials here said.

  60. What, do Nitrous Freaks Whimp Out After an Hour or Two?

    No. But some have the good sense to try and live, and fight another day.

  61. Makings of a deal with the Mexicans, we'll crack down on guns going across the border, you crack down on Mexicans coming this way. Everybody wins.

  62. Which references back to your link about goin' to Montana, bob.

  63. A leak proof border would eliminate all three related problems, drugs, guns, illegals.

    But now we're going the other way.

  64. Alaska Green Power With its windy coasts, untapped rivers and huge tidal and wave resources, Alaska can quickly become a national leader in producing alternative energy. Although Alaska is the second-largest oil producing state in the country, the citizens have had to pay very high electricity bills recently; oil is no longer easily available for producing and generating power.

    There was a time when the Alaskans used to be very skeptical about anything sounding like environmentally friendly or alternative fuels but the outlook is changing rapidly with people realizing that producing nonpolluting energy is much cheaper than extracting oil, and this is the primary reason why they are considering the alternatives. Compared to wind energy it costs more to run power generators with diesel. Another factor that makes alternative energy sources a viable option is that most of the oil produced in Alaska is sold outside of the state. Yet another factor that makes the Alaskans more sensitive and receptive towards environmentally friendly fuels now is most of the impact of global warming is being borne by regions like Alaska.

    The icy winds of Alaska are now rotating windmills to bring warmth to people's homes.

    The importance being given to alternative energy sources can be gauged from the fact that the State government last year pledged $300,000,000 for the next five years in the form of grants to utilities, independent power producers or local governments, for producing clean energy for a population of only 670,000 residents.

    "Oil used to be cheap and convenient," said Steve Haagenson, appointed last year by Governor Palin as statewide energy coordinator. "Today, it's just convenient."

    Alaska is already generating 24% of its electricity from renewable sources. Ms. Palin announced last month that the state will be producing 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025. She is well aware of the fact that the sudden plunge in oil prices is a temporary phase. "Today's current low oil prices should not lull Alaskans into a false sense of security, as if these low prices are going to last," she said

    You go, girl!

  65. We've always been going the other way, bob.

    There's been no change along the border, that's for certain.

    Arrests every 18 months or so, the Cartels reorganize and continue. Shipping quantitiies of contraband that would make the boys in Gaza green with envy, instead of Islam.

  66. One thing I hope they don't do in Alaska is dam those rivers. I know, I know, it's the greenest source of all, but it isn't worth it. Build a nuclear power plant or two, build windmills across the horizon, but don't dam the rivers, not up there. They don't need that much power anyway.


    $25,573.48 PER TAXPAYER..

    PDF FILE: 'A New Era of Responsibility'...

    US banks post first quarterly loss since 1990... Developing...

    Record Government Note Auction; Unprecedented amount of debt... Developing...

    Shit... Developing...

  68. Another newspaper goes down---

    Rocky Mountain News to close after Friday

    Parent company Scripps said it was unable to find a buyer for newspaper

    DENVER - The Rocky Mountain News in Denver will publish its last edition Friday.

    Owner E.W. Scripps Co. announced on the newspaper’s Web site Thursday that its search for a buyer for the paper was unsuccessful.

    Scripps CEO Rich Boehne said in a statement the newspaper is “a victim of changing times in our industry and huge economic challenges.” Scripps says the paper lost $16 million last year.

    The News has 230 editorial employees. It will close just two months short of its 150th anniversary.

  69. They don't need that much power anyway.

    Exactly. Nukes are overkill.

  70. Stocks took a tumble at the end of the day and ended at 7179, I've been kind of expecting it to break below 7,000.

  71. The market always does the opposite of what people expect. ;)

  72. I've got to get back to throwing darts, as my intuition doesn't seem to work.

  73. What you've all been waiing for, expectantly, a report on the mysterious 'bat death syndrome'.

    Thu 02.26 >>
    Investigative reporter Linda Moulton Howe will discuss mysterious aerial objects, bat death syndrome, Mars hot springs, and red rain cells in India.

    C2C tonite

  74. "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be reallized until personal experience has brought it home."

  75. Economist Warns Switzerland Could Go Broke

  76. Drudge has the headlines:
    $25,573.48 PER TAXPAYER...

    Do they think they'll ever recover this?

  77. Move afoot among the dems to give D.C. a voting member of Congress. It's unconstitutional, but, hey, what's that mean these days?

  78. would someone please go check out
    theobamaforum dot com and tell me that it is a spoof?

  79. If Charlie Rangel, Howard Dean and Che Guevara are posting there, it must be legit.

    "Stop Child Support Now!"

  80. Hey, I'm part Cherokee too!

    Which part?

  81. The deal comes with interest rates up to 8.27 percent

    Good Grief.

    Even The NBA Needs Money

  82. farmera1 Says:
    February 26th, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Here's my thoughts on why there seems to be no viable plan coming from the FED/Treasury to resolve the banking issues except to keep throwing money down the rat holes (banks, insurance companies and yes maybe auto companies):

    1) There are $500 trillion in derivatives floating out there, with many being held by the banks/insurance companies in one form or other and essentially many or most are worthless.

    2) The government had no idea or plan on how to control or deal with these derivatives when they started blowing up. It was reported that Bernanke had to be given a quick refresher course on derivatives/shadow banking system (hedge funds, investment banks etc) last August. The shadow banking system dwarfs what the government can do and the traditional banking systm. And it is thought that if the banks go down, the entire economy is in a depression for a long time and …….. no body knows for sure how long.

    3) Paulson (TARP I) wanted to buy these "toxic assets" with the original $750 billion allocated. When he really started looking under the hood, he found that there were many trillions of dollars held by the banks, (this is pure speculation on my part) and his measly $750 wouldn't even make a down payment. Results, Paulson didn't buy one toxic asset. INstead he gave money to the banks (aka direct cash infusion).

    So there you have it, there are so many toxic assets on the banks books that nobody knows what to do, except keep pumping money into the banks/insurance companies and keep things working as long as possible. The hope is that things might turn around in time before the government check book runs dry. That is the plan such as it is. In the mean time traditional banks are lending at probably a healthier sustainable way than previously, but the shadow banking system where much of the credit explosion came from during recent years is not loaning (a mere shadow of themselves, so to speak). An important point here is that capitalism depends on credit or it doesn't function, so many people contend.

  83. Are American Jews Waking Up To The Craparoos They Voted For?

    Hillary takes heat. $900 billion to rebuild Gaza doesn't seem to be going down so well with some people.

    For that money we could build a hell of a good medical school in Boise, keep away from the Ash ration-you-to-death-plan.

  84. Damn, I spend a day traveling and looking at this thread, I hardly know where to start.

  85. How long are these CDS contracts good for?

  86. Bob,

    Hamas received $3 billion/yr under Bush. Bush also forced Israel to supply Hamas weapons and accept Hamastan bombarding Israel on a daily basis.

  87. Sorry, I erred, $900 million. My brain has rotted from all these big numbers, can't keep them straight any more.

    Mat, they shouldn't get a dime.

  88. The core line of that link, bob:
    "Hillary had Mrs. Arafat here and she invited Mrs. Arafat for lunch when she was the first lady," added Babak Chafe of Great Neck. "She is pro-Palestinian 100 percent, really. Of course, we always knew it."

    Same goes for Obama ...

    "They are pro-Palestinian 100 percent, really. Of course, we always knew it."

    "Of course, we always knew it.
    And 70% voted for them, anyway. Because US Jews and Israel are not synonyms. Their interests are not one and the same.

    Next election is years away, even if their interests did begin to coincide, now ...

  89. Do they think they'll ever recover this?

    No, they think that they'll spend it.

  90. "We need to strengthen the Palestinian moderates and weaken the radicals by pursuing rapid economic growth and bolstering the security apparatus of the Palestinian security authority," Netanyahu told a gathering of American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem.

    Hattip to mat for mentioning the JPost, earlier

    So, there was not much "force" involved ... yet. We'll see what the US can "force" the Israeli to do, soon enough.

  91. Mat, they shouldn't get a dime.

    They always do, Bob. Why do you think that is?

  92. Federal expenditures are not a loan nor are they an investment, those expeditures are spending, pure and simple.

    The returns that are expected are political, not economic.

  93. "So, there was not much "force" involved ... yet."

    BS. That fsck might be many things, but thing he's not is stupid. Hamas/Fatah Paliwood theater, is all it is.

  94. Why do you think that is?

    It is in the best interests of the United States to provide aid and comfort to the Palistini. The bi-partisan support for that consensus is overwhelming.

  95. It is in the best interests of the United States to provide aid and comfort to the Palistini. The bi-partisan support for that consensus is overwhelming.

    Really? Exactly what are these interests?

  96. No, mat, further in that same article ...

    "I believe that the vast majority of Israelis believe that to keep Israel as a Jewish state as a democratic state, [the way] is by dividing land," Livni said.

    The centrist leader, who is vying with Netanyahu to lead the country, added that it was in Israel's interest to take the initiative so as to ward off unfavorable international proposals.
    "The ultimate goal is to keep Israel a Jewish and democratic state in the Land of Israel," she said.

    Livni also urged the US government and the West to boycott the upcoming UN conference on racism, known as "Durban II"

    The US is going to Durban II, has already ratified the ICJ decision concerning the "Wall", according to Ms Glick.

    The proposal that Team Obama will float, a modification of the Saudi Proposal, is one that Obama has said the Israeli would be "crazy" not to accept. If they are "crazy", then the Israeli government is, by definition, incompetent to make further decisions.

    Hence the SOP and Mr Bidens' reference, in Munich, to extremists standing in the way of Peace.

    ... we'll work to defeat extremists who perpetuate the conflict. And in building on positive elements of the Arab Peace Initiative put forward by Saudi Arabia, ...

    Since the majority of the audience for Mr Bidens' talk believe that the Israeli are the major impediment to peace, that line was the most informative as to new US policy, in that region of the whirled.

  97. Why do I think it is? Because the folk in D.C. like to think of themselves as the indispensible peace makers, brokering Nobel Prize winning events, placating the arabs, maintaining balances of power in the area, fucking around, basically, without knowing what the hell we're doing, really.

  98. In a word, oil, mat.

    'Stability' is the more nuanced phrasing though.

  99. Oil is included in my 'placating the arabs'.

  100. In a word, oil, mat.

    No. I used to think that too. I think Bob nailed it.

  101. Maintaining US energy supplies is in its National Interests, more strategic than any other interest, at the moment.

    If the Federals have to flip on Israel, to maintain those supplies, they will.
    Without a doubt.

  102. Maintaining US energy supplies is in its National Interests, more strategic than any other interest, at the moment.

    That's a bogus argument. All you're doing now is subsidizing jihadi oil (and influence peddling) instead of investing in real energy security.

  103. That is not the majority view, mat.

    Not at all.

    No one but you, a nonresident critic, thinks that we should accelerate writing off our existing vehicle fleet. As long as we do not, bobal still does not want to give up on his F-500 Ford, we'll need that foreign oil.
    As do our Chinese allies.

  104. We don't have to, we just got ourselves sitting in the middle of Iraq. But it seems the new group is doing so just the same. Nearly all the people Zero has appointed to the appropriate positions are Israel bashers.

    Obviously we ought to be securing our energy at home too as best we can.

    There's nothing wrong with getting energy overseas, if you can afford it, and it's reliable. Better is at home, to whatever extent possible.

  105. F-600.

    Which never gets driven. Hardly.

    I'm seeing more and more of these mini-cars around these days. Hardly a day goes by when I don't see one now, a year ago they were scarce as hen's teeth.

  106. If creating energy security, through other methods, was the majority position amongst the Federals, we'd have hundreds of thousands of acres in non-food grain ethanol production, by now.

    That we do not, tells the tale of reality.

  107. That is not the majority view, mat.

    Wanna bet?

  108. What year is that F-600, bob?

    1963 or 64, was it not?

    Forty some years, plus, right?

  109. Any amount, mat

    Just look to the last Poll, in November for verification of intent.
    Look to how many incumbents, at the Federal level, lost.
    Right next to none.
    The status que was ratified, we'll stay the course.

  110. Exxon Mobil might be the largest US corporation, but it does not represent the majority view of Americans. Not by a long shot.

  111. 1960, I think. Got it towards the end of the farming as a spare, and kept it. Got a hoist, and everything works. I've hauled a couple loads of gravel with it the last couple years. I'm not sure whether an 'old timer' is 50 or 60 years here, for an 'old timer' license plate.

    It leaks exhaust, or something, up through the floorboards, and I can't figure where that's coming from, neither can the mechanic. The engine needs to be steam cleaned, maybe it's just from that, when it gets hot.

    Kind of a bugger to drive, no power steering.

  112. But the Congress does, represent the majority view, of the electorate of the United States, mat.

    We're not speaking of America or Americans, but of the United States and its' government.

  113. Maintaining the flow of oil, to the US and China, is "placating" Main Street, much more so than the Arab Street.

  114. But the Congress does, represent the majority view, of the electorate of the United States, mat.

    Yeah. With a 20% approval rating.

  115. Anyway, just like the coal industry, the oil mafia fscks are going to get taxed into oblivion. And at $100 million a plane and $500 million a ship, neither will the days of the military mafia be much longer.

  116. About time. Put these environmental pirates out of business.

    Exactly. Down with environmentalist pirates.