COLLECTIVE MADNESS


“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."

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Recession in Central America and the Carbibbean


Encourage this.

Throughout Latin America, many small manufacturers and farmers have been decimated by cheap goods from China. For instance, it is now next to impossible to find garlic grown in Costa Rica. It all comes from China, which flooded Latin America with it when US consumers started looking at labels and rejected food grown or produced in China.

Countries such as Costa Rica, foolishly bet the farm on foreign tourism and that has slowed significantly.

Most Latin American countries have no social safety net. There is no unemployment compensation, food stamps or local relief when you are unemployed. This is a potential serious problem for the US in many ways: illegal immigration, increased crime, drug trafficking, and social unrest from the radical left.

It is also an opportunity for the US to develop a program that can help small manufacturers and farmers survive in their own countries and would assist the US in reducing its dependence on Chinese trade and offset the distortions in currency flows.

Free and fair trade with Latin America is vital to US interests.


____________________

Tico Tomatoes and Peppers to US Market
By Vanessa I. Garnica
Tico Times Staff | vgarnica@ticotimes.net

Beginning next May, 15 local producers will be able to export tomatoes and peppers to the United States. These growners have met the conditions of a rigorous protocol which took producers and government agencies, from both the United States and Costa Rica, about three years to finalize.

Last Friday morning, representatives from both Countries signed a public health agreement that will allow local producers to export their products to the North American giant.

The protocol states specifically that producers must “take the necessary actions” to keep greenhouses free of at least ten different pests and viruses of quarantine importance to the United States.

“The process is very long because before farmers could even think about exporting, the United States' APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) and the Costa Rican Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) together had to determine areas that are either free from fruit flies or have a very low prevalence of (them),” said Eric Hoffman, agricultural specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“You don't want to build the (greenhouse) facilities until you have proven that you can export from that area… then the producers can begin to construct, plant and the whole process that that takes.”

According to the Protocol, measures producers must take in order to prevent such pests from entering their crops “include but are not limited to: good agricultural practices for the pest control in the nurseries and culling of infested vegetables.”

Mauricio Blanco, president of the Asociación de Productores de Cultivos bajo Medio Controlado (Association of Crop Producers under Controlled Medium), said his group hopes to export about 100,000 kilos of tomatoes within the first six months.

“Being able to export tomatoes to the United States is the beginning of a dream for any farmer,” Blanco said. “To produce for a premium market, where we will get paid in dollars and where we won't pose competition for the local producers, is a definite dream come true.”

His association currently has 50 member producers, although only 15 will be able to begin exporting next May. Some of the participating greenhouses are located in Alajuela, Cartago, Turrialba, and the Nandayure areas.

“We expect our project to grow by 50 percent during this year,” Blanco said.

Tomatoes exported from Costa Rica to the United States will cost about $3 per kilo. Only growers who have been approved by both MAG and APHIS have the right to export tomatoes and peppers to the United States.

“This is proof positive that CAFTA is going to open new opportunities for both the United States and Costa Rica,” said Peter Cianchette, U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica, who signed the health agreement on behalf of the U.S. government.

Presently, México, Canada, Guatemala, Chile, El Salvador, and Nicaragua are exporting greenhouse-grown tomatoes in the United States.

Marco González Vargas, another agricultural specialist for the USDA, said he was satisfied with his findings during his numerous visits to the participating greenhouses.

“All of these producers were really, really clean and really organized. They know what they are doing,” González said. “They really want to get into the market.”

“We do an informal inspection when they are ready to export. APHIS will carry out surprise spot checks on the greenhouses at least twice during the season.”

Another advantage to growing tomatoes and peppers in greenhouses is that fewer pesticides are needed to prevent viruses and infestation by fruit flies, González explained.

Hoffman insisted that it is not only important for these producers to meet the protocol at the initial stage, but always.

“When Marco goes out and inspects he makes sure that all netting that prevents the entrance of insects has no holes and that (the greenhouse) is completely closed off,” Hoffman added.

The same goes for boxes and trucks, Hoffman said. Both must be kept in an area out of the reach of insects..

“We have to be able to trace back where each of the boxes came from, so if we do happen to find an insect of quarantine significance in the United States, then we can know exactly where it was produced,” Hoffman said.

Minister of agriculture Javier Flores said that this agreement, which took more than three years to settle, will open doors to local farmers and will allow the possibility of exporting other crops in the future.

“This is a very important step where we will be able to access a market that was previously closed off for us,” Flores said on Friday. “This market represents a $3 million a year market for these 15 producers.”

In the past, Flores said, producers were only able to grow their tomatoes and peppers six months out of the year. However, the greenhouse will allow these farmers to grow and export their products all year long.

“Right now, the fact that some of the agricultural production in the United States is stalled allows us the possibility to grow these crops,” Flores said.



133 comments:

  1. In the past, Flores said, producers were only able to grow their tomatoes and peppers six months out of the year. However, the greenhouse will allow these farmers to grow and export their products all year long.


    Good!

    A greenhouse is a great thing, and we know what they did with the greenhouses in Gaza.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The are a billion Americans, less than a third of them living in the United States of America.

    Seems a frightful thing to ignore, when the consequences of that ingnorance can walk to right up to your house.

    Invited or not.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My favorite poet, Theodore Roethke, that wonderful man, basically grew up in a greenhouse, beautific, and horrific, and saw there more than meets the normal human eye, and passed it on, for which I get on my knees and thank the Man. The eye that alters, alters all.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Some things take on a greater import as Symbols, bob, than they really deserve.

    Take that statue of Saddam that was pulled down, in Baghdad. You know the one I mean. There was no real reason it became etched in our collective memories, except for the symbolism of the event.

    So to did those Gaza greenhouses representIsraeli occupation and oppression to the residents of Gaza, as much as that statue represent Saddam to the liberated Iraqis.

    That symbolism far outweighed any rational arguement concerning the economic value of those greenhouse facilities.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just wondering ... how about the Cuban cigars? Do they also come from China these days?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Only a fool destroys.


    The greenhouses of Gaza--you can say they pulled down a symbol of Israeli occupation--but have they built any of their own?

    No.

    Only a fool destroys a gift.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'd like to ask Russian President why you keep on bumping off the journalists, among others. You really ought not do that. T'aint sivilized.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Joseph Campbell said--though he also said he didn't want to push the idea--that he thought the old hunter/fisher/gatherers actually may have had a fuller blast of the shock of being than we have today, with our 'society'.

    That's a heck of an intriguing idea.

    How can one attend to reality, when one is balancing the checkbook?

    I'm a lucky man, though I also stuck with it. I think I have another sale going, and if so, I'm gonna get a shack on some Canadian lake, there to die.

    And there try to attend to reality, as best I can.

    Maria McCool

    ReplyDelete
  9. Free trade?

    Time to educate the world to the concept of "Chinese Quality Control"

    China is at war with us, supplies Iran, Syria, Hezbollah & many African despots weapons....

    China seeks to dominate and control resources across the globe.......

    China steals BILLIONS a year in copyright infringement...

    China has dumped trillions of undervalued products on the world's stage to destroy competition

    China has screwed us with their under valued yuan...

    Not to mention the screw up with cheap credit caused by china's trade imbalance...

    The way to fight?

    WIn WIn Trade deals with others...

    Make China pay for things it steals...

    But the easiest way? Dont BUY Chinese goods

    ReplyDelete
  10. With my good wife, a good wife being a blessing to all men.

    ReplyDelete
  11. rat:
    So to did those Gaza greenhouses representIsraeli occupation and oppression to the residents of Gaza, as much as that statue represent Saddam to the liberated Iraqis.

    That symbolism far outweighed any rational arguement concerning the economic value of those greenhouse facilities.

    NONSENSE....

    those greenhouses TO THE GAZANS were a LOOTERS DREAM...

    Plastic sheeting, concrete, piping, wiring....

    The palios burned to the ground the Schuls the Israelis left...

    Funny, Jews as Occupiers in lands that they lived in 2000 years before the arab called himself "palestinian"...

    Was Samson an "occupier"?

    When the squatter/thief starts to believe his own propaganda you get the national identity called "palestinian"

    Jews are NOT occupiers in GAZA, West Bank or Jerusalem....

    If they are?

    Then what peoples can claim to be native anywhere?

    ReplyDelete
  12. My understanding is, that when the Jews started to come back to the old land from Europe, their industry and spunk attracted a lot of arab labor.

    The Jews were badly mistreated in Europe, to say the least.

    Now they are up against the old koran.

    The Jews that I have known, my father's partner, my lawyer, some others, have all been wonderful people, from whom I have learned much.

    They may have a bad ass once in a while, but I've never met a Jewish bad ass myself.

    I do not understand anti-semitism.

    Long Live Israel.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My understanding is, that when the Jews started to come back to the old land from Europe, their industry and spunk attracted a lot of arab labor.



    Jews NEVER left Jerusalem...

    Yes we were diminished by exile...

    But in the middle 1800's Jews started to make the trek back.. Once there they joined the jews already there who lived in tremendous poverty (for a thousand years) under the most recent occupier, the ottomans (turks) and before that a role call list of others...

    in 1948 660,000 jews from the arab occupied middle east were expelled by these arabs and the jews FLED to the nascent place called israel...

    At the same time jews (what were left of them) migrated to israel...

    and thus the situation we have today...

    the arabs (with force) expelled from 649/650th of the middle east the historic jewish populations (that had been in these places for thousands of years before the arabs migrated out of arabia in 640 ce)

    the funny thing?

    israel is less than 1/659th of the middle east and yet has more arabs that live as citizens today than lived in all palestinian and israeli territories in 1948...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Jews NEVER left Jerusalem...

    Yes, I understand that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. We heard, "Wall Street fell."

    We were so poor

    we couldn't tell.


    Song of the South:

    by Alabama

    ReplyDelete
  16. As much as I disliked Bill Clinton, he supported NAFTA, and the WTO. And, say what you will about DUBYA, he expanded Trade, and gave us CAFTA.

    When times get tough trade will "carry you through." It keeps people working, and money flowing.

    You can't have a good "world-wide" Depression if "Trade" keeps going.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yep, where Samson started his heroic story, was in Philistine, not Israel. Not at Dorah, his home, but in Timnah, where he was invited as the bridegroom of a Philistine woman.
    When confronted with his crimes of murder against the Philistines, he starts an Arab-Israeli war, rather than submit to eye for an eye justice.

    So, it have to be said that Samson was an aggressor, an occupier and not a man of peaceful coexistence nor justice.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  19. As the Israeli were occupying the "Land of Canaan" at the time. All the Israeli, in the time of Samson, were occupiers of the Canaanite Kingdom.
    Being, as they were, migrants from Eygpt.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Let's see Obama/Biden work their magic on our allies of old Europe.
    MUNICH – NATO's top official chastised Germany and France for refusing to commit more troops to Afghanistan, but the two European powers skirted the issue Saturday even while agreeing that Washington should not be left to fight international conflicts alone. Read more
    -----------------------------------
    I think we'll soon find out how well Obama and Co. can fend fences.

    ReplyDelete
  21. We know they are no good at fending pence.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yeah, but what about "fencing pend?"

    Yeah, I got you on that one, didn't I?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Fending Pence!

    Like anyone cared about that.

    ReplyDelete
  24. ..."World trade contracted 60 percent between 1929 and 1932. Industrial production in the United States and European countries fell by more than 35 percent. Unemployment topped 30 percent in Germany. The price of Malaysian rubber fell 84 percent, and that of Argentine wool tumbled 72 percent. Beginning in 1931, all big Latin American countries defaulted on their debt. Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931. Hitler came to power in 1933.

    The world is different today. Economic links have deepened as companies have set up worldwide production networks. Multilateral institutions, including the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund, police an open economic order. We have learned some of history’s lessons. But not enough.

    Russia and India are already raising tariffs on cars and steel. Anti-dumping tariffs are on the rise around the world. The European Union is reintroducing trade distorting subsidies. And the “Buy America” clauses in both the House and Senate versions of the fiscal rescue package are disturbingly reminiscent of the Smoot-Hawley tariffs levied by the United States in 1930.

    Instead of fanning the flames, the United States should be dousing them — fast."

    - Todays New York Times

    ReplyDelete
  25. I've always thought that a top quality line or fresh/canned/frozen organic foods and pre-made meals would do well. Costa Rica could be a good place to farm and depending on the economy (and market studies) a premium product could justify the extra shipping costs.

    Couple that with a little spirits and beer export/import and voila, you could make a living.

    And don't forget ceegars.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Bobal @ 10:07 am

    "I'm a lucky man, though I also stuck with it. I think I have another sale going, and if so, I'm gonna get a shack on some Canadian lake, there to die.

    And there try to attend to reality, as best I can."

    This is a piece of correspondence I had with Whit from last year:

    "We're on the same wavelength, Whit. My wife retires in 18 mos and, after she does, we're going to live on a 400 acre property that we own about 50 mi north of Kenora, Ontario, Canada. We bought it cheap, about 30 yrs ago. It had been logged over and was a sorry sight. But 30 years later it is thickly wooded and crawling with wildlife. When I expire that is where I want to be.

    We have built a small cabin on the property and intend to spend Christmas there. It's a 3500 mi round trip. I'll drive but my wife will fly. I'm looking forward to being alone during the long drive."

    And speaking of "attend(ing) to reality": While driving through the mountains in British Columbia at 2am, on the way back from the cabin at Christmas, I had a collision with a deer. An omen? Jeez, I hope not.

    I read you guys every day and am tempted to comment but I can't. I hope you understand.

    Best to everyone,
    Viktor

    ReplyDelete
  27. That's the beauty of Free Trade "Treaties." You can dick around the edges of them; but by the time you tackle them head-on, and abrogate them the recession is over, and cooler heads have prevailed.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Well,well Victorsilo. Welcome back. It's been a while since your shadow darkened our door.

    Hope all is well.

    ReplyDelete
  29. "So to did those Gaza greenhouses representIsraeli occupation and oppression to the residents of Gaza, as much as that statue represent Saddam to the liberated Iraqis.

    That symbolism far outweighed any rational arguement concerning the economic value of those greenhouse facilities."

    rat, either you say stuff like this for the purpose of creating discussion or you walk around with blinders on. they wouldn't use the greenhouses because they had kooties but the oil and energy supplied to them from israel does not?? sometimes i think you are just plain silly.

    ReplyDelete
  30. It's sad to see the level of Denial here.
    If those of us that are honest here can accept the FACT that the Reverend Wright is RIGHT.
    (9-11 is our fault, we made Atta do it.)

    Why are others so unwilling to admit that the Jews made the Palis tear down them Greenhouses?

    ...the length people go to to avoid reality.

    I Swear.
    (course the Devil makes me do it)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Trish calls him

    "Bat Shit Crazy"

    when he gets like this.

    Whose to say?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Just Standard Operating Procedure,
    in comflict resolution.

    Sat Feb 07, 03:25:00 AM EST

    I'd like to know what you found remarkable in that little snippet of yours. Insofar as reconstruction and stabilization go, it's the standard fare. And we've been doing it with and without the UN - with and without the international community - for a long time now. All over the globe.

    Did you think he was being novel?

    ReplyDelete
  33. He's not batshit crazy. He's just a sorry jackass. There's a difference.

    ReplyDelete
  34. 147. geoffgo:

    If my calculations are close (Buddy feel free), then we could have bought a “controlling interest” in every one of the Fortune 500, plus a majority shareholder position in the next 300 companies on the list, for $800+ BILLION.

    Of course the methods the Dems are using assures they will never have to offer anything like fair market value.


    148. buddy larsen:

    they’re stealing the giant production machine. Our TARP and Stim Plan trillions are just a forced purchase of a right to earn daily bread in the gov’t salt mines. The next TARP will buy us our little tin mess kits, with which we will stand in line every spare moment to get a bite to eat. that is those of us who aren’t “troublemakers”.


    149. Leo Linbeck III:

    There once was a man named Barack
    Who brains he did surely not lack

    But with experience nil
    He soon sounded shrill

    While he panicked and gave us a smack.

    ——–

    There once was Obama, the Cool
    Who caused all the young folks to drool

    But when times became tough
    And folks saw he was fluff

    Then he began to be seen as a fool.

    ——–

    I can hear buddy now: “I know Walt. Walt is a friend of mine. And you’re no Walt.”

    You are correct, sir.

    L3

    ReplyDelete
  35. "there's a difference"
    :-)
    LOL

    ReplyDelete
  36. Whit

    "Well,well Victorsilo. Welcome back. It's been a while since your shadow darkened our door.

    Hope all is well."

    In some ways everything is OK but in others, I'm not sure.

    Have you seen the movie "No Country for Old Men"? There's a scene where Sheriff Bell is talking to an old friend:

    Ellis:

    All the time you spend tryin to get back what's been took from you there's more goin out the door. After a while you just try and get a tourniquet on it. ...Your granddad never asked me to sign on as a deputy. I done that my own self. Loretta says you're quittin. How come're you doin that?

    Bell:

    I don't know. I feel overmatched.

    That's about how I'm feeling, Whit - overmatched.

    ReplyDelete
  37. “War is politics by other means”

    if one can control the narrative in politics

    is it also possible to control the narrative of conflict or war?

    ReplyDelete
  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  39. 2164th citing NYTImes:

    "The world is different today. Economic links have deepened..."

    I'm not so sure that is true, that the 'freeness of trade' is more now than then...maybe, but Niall Ferguson has suggested on a number of occasions that there was tons of world trade going on under the British empire and that was rolled back as the Empire disintegrated. We should keep trading as free as possible IMHO.

    Rick Salutin on the Buy American thing:


    'Buy American' mayhem
    Headshot of Rick Salutin

    RICK SALUTIN




    February 6, 2009

    So was that just a dream we dreamed after all - that we had a free-trade deal with the U.S. giving us secure access to their markets and their public procurement? Because we learned this week that their Congress added a Buy American clause to its huge stimulus package excluding us, causing people both here and there to panic. Or maybe what we got was free trade with a different United States, not the one just south of here?

    No, Virginia, it's even weirder. This week's horror and hysteria over a U.S. move to "protectionism" like the Smoot-Hawley tariffs of the 1930s, leading to global "trade war" and disaster - was sheer myth. The Buy American clause and the ensuing "backdown" by Congress meant nothing. Those policies have been in place for decades; they still are. It sounds unreal, yet - Buy American and Buy America aren't demagogic slogans. They are the legal titles of U.S. legislation that goes back to the '30s. It says public spending on things like roads and bridges must go to U.S. companies, but it includes waivers for countries like us that have deals like NAFTA with them. The waivers only apply to direct federal spending, not to spending by state or local governments that receive federal funding. So we're seriously, but not totally, out of luck. End of story. These rules would apply whether Congress added them explicitly to the stimulus package or not.

    The rest is posturing.

    If you don't believe me,..."

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090206.COSALUTIN06/TPStory/?query=salutin



    Victor Silo, overmatched? Naw, I seriously doubt that.

    ReplyDelete
  40. From the above Salutin op-ed for Rat:

    "What's my point? The U.S. is protectionist. It used NAFTA to destroy the cheaper prices Canadians had been paying for generic drugs, and to flood Mexican grain markets, leading to a border-crossing and immigration crisis. Canadian companies adjusted to this U.S. protectionism long ago."

    ReplyDelete
  41. It's all good, Ash.
    "Free Trade Uber Alles"
    ...even with deadly foes with Slave Labor Camps.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Well, there is no doubt that there is an Arab-Israeli conflict.
    Has been since the inception of Israel, in the modern era.

    The SOP solution entails
    1. It is incumbent on the international community to guarantee peace and impose law and order in the absence of a widely accepted rule of law.

    Since the arbiters of the Geneva Conventions find that the Israeli are in violation of the Conventions, and the Palis fire rockets almost every day there is no "rule of law".
    It has to be imposed by the international community.

    2. The process must start to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate (DDR) warring opponents.

    This would include the both Israelis and the Palistinians, along with Syria.


    3. Elections, when conducted too soon, can be detrimental, forcing competition among previously warring factions ...

    Trouble in mats' 'Greater Israel" one man, one vote, with all the refugees, as defined by the UN, voting, the "Jewisness' of the State of Israel will not remain, for more than a few election cycles.
    In either a One or a Two State solution, there is the 'Right of Return' question. Which an International body would have to adjudicate and then impose the judgement on the warring factions.

    4. societies recovering from conflict must address the factors that drove them to fight in the first place. If they do not, these issues—such as exclusion from politics, ethnic or religious persecution, massive poverty, corruption, and land and water disputes—will at some stage resurface.

    Definately speaking to the disenfranchising of the Palis in the occupied territories, again. So, again, an International adjudication will be required.


    So there are the first 5 points of an Arab-Israeli conflict resolution, as proposed by the new wonks of the Obama Administration.

    The resolution must be imposed upon the combatants and no favor given beyond an impartial, international security force ruling equally over both sides for a considerable period of time

    most stabilization and reconstruction missions take at least five to ten years.

    That, as wi"o", slimslider or even doug, let alone any other 'Friend of Israel' will tell you, is just plain GOOFY.

    But that is where the US is headinng, today.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Or perhaps there is a different SOP for the Arabs and Israeli.

    But then it'd not be the SOP.

    Which is my point, trish.
    The solution which Obama will come to is to Internationalize the resolution and impose order.

    But the Israelis and their friends will scream to high heaven of the injustice, nay, the genocide that will follow.

    The Israeli have already offered to let the Pali areas be administrated by the International Community. Now they'll be held to the "Goose and Gander' standard.

    Bibi will play a hardline and the apartheid issue will gain prominence in the US, just as Mr Olmert warned his people.

    The South Africans were blindsided, by US, so to will be the Israeli.

    ReplyDelete
  44. 'Greater Israel' being small enough that order can be imposed, on both sides, by the International Community.

    Just 15 million people livin' on a postage stamp sized piece of dirt, relatively speaking.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Specter: Stimulus deal 'best we can do'

    By Thomas Fitzgerald

    A small group of moderate senators including Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) reached the deal that appeared to assure Senate passage of an economic stimulus bill yesterday after more than 10 hours of near-constant private meetings.
    Specter was in the middle of the action, with many critical talks occurring in his private "hideaway" office on the first floor of the Capitol.

    Nobody involved was really happy, but there was a consensus that the group did not want to say no to the president or an anxious nation.

    "Personally, I would prefer not to be on the edge of the pin, as so frequently is the case in this body," Specter said in a floor speech last night. "But I do believe we have to act, and under the circumstances, this is the best we can do."

    In announcing that a tentative deal had been reached, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) credited Specter and Sens. Susan Collins (R., Maine), Ben Nelson (D., Neb.) and Joe Lieberman (I., Conn.) with saving the package.

    "But for them we would not be here," Reid said, yielding the floor to the Gang of Four to detail the agreement.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Specter said that based on the calls his office had received, supporting the stimulus legislation is a "very unpopular vote." Some calls, he said, thought the bill had "too many expenditures" and others said not enough money was being spent.

    Indeed, some conservative Republicans have vowed to punish Specter, who is running for reelection next year, if he votes for legislation that they consider wasteful.

    Lieberman, in a news conference, said Specter and Collins "really deserve the medal of honor for what they've done here tonight. They've put national interest ahead of party interest."

    Specter said that against the backdrop of mounting job losses announced yesterday, "the psychological impact if we were to reject an activist approach would be devastating." He said the "eyes and ears of the world" were on the U.S. government, watching its response to the economic crisis.

    Specter said he had already noted "certain grave concerns" with the stimulus legislation and had asked President Obama why he was "wedded" to completing action on it by Feb. 13. Specter said he told Obama this was too fast "for a bill of this magnitude."

    But he said that Obama had stressed the urgency of action, so while "I don't like it," Specter said, "we're responding to this timetable."

    ReplyDelete
  47. desert rat said...
    Well, there is no doubt that there is an Arab-Israeli conflict.
    Has been since the inception of Israel, in the modern era.

    =======actually in the MODERN era it dates from the arab pogroms of the early 1920's

    The SOP solution entails
    1. It is incumbent on the international community to guarantee peace and impose law and order in the absence of a widely accepted rule of law.

    ===the "international community" has never stopped genocide against the jews, nor has it lived up to it's agreements, perfect exmaple? 1967 and our POTUS Johnson not enforcing our treaty with Israel against egyptian violence, in fact the UN it'sself was guilty of running away and allowing the arabs to attack israel without provcation

    Since the arbiters of the Geneva Conventions find that the Israeli are in violation of the Conventions, and the Palis fire rockets almost every day there is no "rule of law".
    It has to be imposed by the international community.


    -----the palios are not signers of the geneva convention, nor are the "territories" PART of the geneva convention and terrorists from civilian areas under the geneva convention are held responsible for any and all deaths that occur while trying to supress such violence....


    2. The process must start to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate (DDR) warring opponents.

    This would include the both Israelis and the Palistinians, along with Syria.

    ---actually you would have to add in the entire islamic world and persians to boot


    Trouble in mats' 'Greater Israel" one man, one vote, with all the refugees, as defined by the UN, voting, the "Jewisness' of the State of Israel will not remain, for more than a few election cycles.
    In either a One or a Two State solution, there is the 'Right of Return' question. Which an International body would have to adjudicate and then impose the judgement on the warring factions.


    ---there is no guarantee that the arabs need or require a 21 st state...

    Israel is a state... the lands of gaza can go back to egypt and jordan, the west bank.

    or not... no guarantees in life...


    forget the idea of killing israel with one man one vote...

    look for the arab world to kill each other and the west and that will cause the fight to be over

    ReplyDelete
  48. Ash, you need to explain this:

    It used NAFTA to destroy the cheaper prices Canadians had been paying for generic drugs,

    It doesn't make any sense to me.

    Also, you're all wet on the "grains to Mexico," thing. Mexico maintained it's high tariffs and import controls on U.S. grains until Jan of 2008.

    And, Doug, the fact is, NO ONE gives a rat's ass (pardon the pun) about Israel, and the Palestinians. No One.

    ReplyDelete
  49. The point is not the rightousness or lack thereof in the Israeli tale, wi"o".
    Team Obama is going to solve the 'problem', that is the Goal.
    The primary team members, Samantha Powers and Carlos Pascual have histories and perspectives that will find their way into US policy.
    John Bolton said diplomacy was all about the individuals involved. I doubted that, but admit he'd know better than I would, so the people are the policy. So to speak.

    I do not doubt that there will be many disadvantages to Israel in the impose Peace, they have been accostomed to a preponderance of power. The advantages that they've accumulated well, Mr Obama is not above 'Spreading the Wealth".

    Put him in league with Lincoln if he forced a settlement, using the SOP.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Mat had used the timeframe of a 60 year war, wi"o". If you want to go back another 20 or so, fair enough.

    Israel, though is bound by the Conventions, as it signed on in 1949. In regards the occupied territories this is the latest news, I could find, from a "Friend of Israel" so as to not be biased.

    The Fourth Geneva Convention on Rules of War was adopted in 1949 by the international community in response to Nazi atrocities during World War II. The international treaty governs the treatment of civilians during wartime, including hostages, diplomats, spies, bystanders and civilians in territory under military occupation. The convention outlaws torture, collective punishment and the resettlement by an occupying power of its own civilians on territory under its military control.
    ...
    Israel rejects the interpretation of the Fourth Geneva Convention applying it to Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, stating that those territories were captured in 1967 as a result of a defensive war against countries which had illegally occupied them since 1948.
    ...

    International efforts led by the United States were successful in scaling down the July 15th special UN meeting in Geneva. The closed-door meeting lasted a mere 45 minutes.
    However, a resolution was unanimously passed stating that the Fourth Geneva Convention does apply to Israeli settlements in the "occupied territories."

    --------------------------------------------

    Source: Copyright Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

    The Israeli are operating in violation of their Treaty responsibilities. That they do so, just more evidence of the need to impose the Reule of Law on the entire cast of characters, on both sides.

    Admit the errors made in 1948 and start a new.
    Team Obama - Mitchell, Powers, Pascual and Clinton. With Barack Hussein Obama charting the parade route from the Oval Office.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Neither Clinton nor Obama have any problem apologizing for 'mistakes' made, back in the day.

    As long as those mistakes can be used.

    “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid.”

    — Rahm Emanuel

    ReplyDelete
  52. I think Rufus is correct. The entire Israeli-Palestinian, Hatfields and McCoys feud, while tragic for those affected is tedious. Talk about Ground Hog Day.

    There are more people in Mexico City than in Palestine and Israel combined.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Exactly right, duece.

    That's why it can be 'solved'.

    An imposed settlement, as per the SOP.

    Unless one thinks that is goofy.

    But trish, Ms Powers, Mr Pascual and George Mitcell do not think it is goofy, neither I'd wager does Barack Hussein Obama.



    $500 million in military aid to Mexico, when their nationalized oil company sold US 1.296 million barrels of oil per day, in November. At say $40 per barrel,
    that's $52 million a day.

    Why would they need our $500 million to keep from becoming a 'Failed State". With a GDP of $1.578 trillion (2008 est.), the $500 million is just bribe money.

    I mean Carlos Slim loaned the NYTimes $250 million, at 14%, but it does show that if the Mexican elites were in any real fear, they'd raise their own $500 million, easily enough.

    ReplyDelete
  54. T'aint sivilized.
    ==

    Neither is being a Jihadi. Putin is doing good in that regard. More, faster.

    ReplyDelete
  55. The Fourth Geneva Convention on Rules of War
    ==

    And all that goes out the window when the enemy ignores it.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Great post! I really enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work.

    I recently started a new blog that will be highlighting the dangerous advances of the secular progressive movement (pro-gay “rights”, pro-abortion, anti-religious freedoms, etc).

    We’re looking to build a solid group of conservatives who’ll frequent our site regularly and contribute to some good discussions. The site gets updated daily with breaking news, so you’ll want to check back often, or you can just sign up for our News Feed.

    If you’ll add us to your blogroll we’ll gladly add you to ours. Our blog is called Religion and Morality.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  57. As the Israeli were occupying the "Land of Canaan" at the time. All the Israeli, in the time of Samson, were occupiers of the Canaanite Kingdom.
    ==

    Actually, no.

    The Cna'anaties were city dwellers and dependent on global trade.

    The early Israelites were not city dwellers. They were shepards and lived in the mountains and hills of Judea/Samaria/Galilee.

    And anyway, if you can't exert control over land you claim is yours, than obviously it's not yours.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Mat, it's the old story of the mideast.

    The desert folk, they like the look of the city.

    Attack.

    The Israelites, they produced a great book, out of all the scrambling around.

    I love your people's book.

    It's almost like, God really is trying to talk with us.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Buddy posted some subscriber only text here.

    The Testimony of Harry Markapolis

    Save the file while you can, he's gonna delete it.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I love your people's book.
    ==

    Thanks, Bob.

    I wish you could read the Hebrew. And I wish you could read Bialik's writings. You can say Bialik's writings are super-Biblical. I'm sure if Bialik lived in a earlier era, he would have been included in the biblical canon. Bialik's writings have such poetry and lyricism, and produce such a strong tag on the Hebrew heart and sense of history, I've yet to encounter anything like it.

    ReplyDelete
  61. For Doug:


    Take Me Under Your Wing

    Take me under your wing,
    Be to me a mother and a sister,
    Let your breast shelter my head,
    Be a nest for my lonely prayers.

    In the merciful time, at twilight,
    Bend your head and I’ll tell the secret of my torments:
    They say there is youth in the world –
    Where is my youth?

    And another secret I will confess:
    My soul has been seared by a flame;
    They say there is love in the world –
    What is love?

    The stars deceived me,
    There was a dream – but it too has passed;
    Now I have nothing in the world –
    I have not a thing.

    Take me under your wing,
    Be to me a mother and a sister,
    Let your breast shelter my head,
    Be a nest for my lonely prayers.


    -Bialik

    ReplyDelete
  62. I don't want a breast to whine on, I just want a good fuck.

    ReplyDelete
  63. (then again, I weren't no English Major)

    ...probly was always obsessed by Biology.

    ReplyDelete
  64. ...and farming, back when I was outstanding in my field.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Well, I think I've got a sale going through, Mat, and all I really want to do, is sit and read.

    I've got that Bialik on my 'buy'
    list.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I've got that Bialik on my 'buy'
    list.
    ==

    Bialik doesn't translate to English, Bob. You really need to read him in the Hebrew. But Hebrew is the easiest of languages to learn. A couple of years in Haifa, and we'll have you conversing fluently. :)



    A little taste of Hebrew:

    http://radiotime.com/station/s_45475/Reshet_Gimel_978.aspx

    ReplyDelete
  67. Sila, an Eskimo god, can only be found far from men and women, far away, out there on the ice, far far away from all we know.

    And the swan glides, mysterious, on the lake, on the beautiful lake, beautiful head and neck in the hieroglyph of a question mark, mysterious, and deep.

    ReplyDelete
  68. 201. peterike:

    "And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."

    ReplyDelete
  69. 202. peterike:

    "So take that look out of here it doesn’t fit you
    Because it’s happened doesn’t mean you’ve been discarded
    Pull up your head off the floor—come up screaming
    Cry out for everything you ever might have wanted
    I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered
    But you can’t stay here with every single hope you had shattered

    I’m not expecting to grow flowers in a desert
    But I can live and breathe
    And see the sun in wintertime

    In a big country dreams stay with you
    Like a lover’s voice fires the mountainside
    Stay alive

    In a big country dreams stay with you
    Like a lover’s voice fires the mountainside
    Stay alive
    Stay alive
    "

    ReplyDelete
  70. In case you're experiencing cognitive dissonance, you're right; Ramitin Manuel isn't nearly smart enough to come up with that thought on his own.

    We are on the verge of a global transformation.
    All we need is the right major crisis…”

    - David Rockefeller,
    Club of Rome executive member

    ReplyDelete
  71. "And the swan glides, mysterious, on the lake, on the beautiful lake, beautiful head and neck in the hieroglyph of a question mark, mysterious, and deep."
    ---
    So when you can experience that first hand, what's the point of masturbating to it in Hebrew?

    ReplyDelete
  72. 'Rat's gonna love you forever for that Ruf.

    ReplyDelete
  73. The desert folk, they like the look of the city.

    Attack.
    ==

    The Cna'anaties were city dwellers and dependent on global trade. When global trade collapsed, so too the Cna'anite city states. The elites lost their kernel of power and their temples and cities were abandoned.

    ReplyDelete
  74. And the swan glides, mysterious, on the lake, on the beautiful lake, beautiful head and neck in the hieroglyph of a question mark, mysterious, and deep.
    ==

    Until you see the swan up close. Then it's not so mysterious or so beautiful or so deep.

    ReplyDelete
  75. More hopey, changey stuff:

    “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue.
    Even if the theory of global warming is wrong,
    we will be doing the right thing in terms of
    economic and environmental policy.”

    - Timothy Wirth,
    President of the UN Foundation

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony…
    climate change provides the greatest opportunity to
    bring about justice and equality in the world.”

    - Christine Stewart,
    fmr Canadian Minister of the Environment

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and
    spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest
    opportunity to lift Global Consciousness to a higher level.”

    - Al Gore,
    Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “The only way to get our society to truly change is to
    frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.”

    - emeritus professor Daniel Botkin

    ReplyDelete
  76. These are interesting questions. The truth is buried under the sands, but I see a rhythm of desert folk attacking the cities.

    Why, then, the walls?

    Except for defense?

    ReplyDelete
  77. Rat love means Everything to me.

    :) :) :)

    ReplyDelete
  78. Why, then, the walls?
    ==

    Territorial markers.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Until you see the swan up close. Then it's not so mysterious or so beautiful or so deep.

    But the secret of the swan may be that there is always something more,always something more, like our national poet, Walt Whitman said, beyond today's experience.

    Who knows?

    ?

    The swan glides on the lake, mysterious.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Mətušélaḥ said...
    Why, then, the walls?
    ==

    Territorial markers.

    Yes, sure, like dogs piss.

    But, the question is, why the walls, if they were not afraid?

    ReplyDelete
  81. The swan glides on the lake, mysterious.
    ==

    I think that's dependent on what shade of green your eyes are. :)

    ReplyDelete
  82. The "Old Testiment", as we call it, my ancestors having been brutalised to accept it, against there true will, is a war poem.

    I think it is an absolutely work of beautiful literature, to be remembered.

    But, we should see it for what it is.

    ReplyDelete
  83. But, the question is, why the walls, if they were not afraid?
    ==

    Hmmm,..

    I think you're missing a sense of geography here. Israel lies at the crossroad of trade routes. The walls serve as fortification of forts as much as anything else. They have as much an offensive purpose as they have a defensive purpose.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Actually, to get right down to it, the ideas in the
    Bible don't mean a fig to me, though I am all on the side the Jews in this fight.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Cause the people surrounding them are such an obvious bunch of assholes.

    ReplyDelete
  86. ancestors having been brutalised
    ==

    Eating herring and Irish girls to please Thor can be a tough slog.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Hope you were alerted to the Rat Lung Disease Menace, Ruf.

    If not, al-Bob can bring you up to date.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Actually, to get right down to it, the ideas in the
    Bible don't mean a fig to me
    ==

    And they shouldn't. The Bible is the Hebrews' historical archive. Why it should mean anything to anyone else is beyond me.

    ReplyDelete
  89. G'Nite, Bob.

    Next year in Haifa!

    ReplyDelete
  90. "The first step in the implementation process is to determine the assets and liabilities that are required to be measured at fair value. Basically, FAS 157 will need to be applied in any instance in the U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles where there is a requirement for an asset or liability to be recorded at fair value. The potential list of such circumstances is immense, since the application of the new standard is ubiquitous—FAS 157 refers to no fewer than 28 accounting statements, opinions, and interpretations published since (gulp) 1971 that have been amended by the new standard. And that doesn’t include the 39 other FASB pronouncements that refer to fair value, the dozens of Emerging Issues Task Force documents that address the issue, the myriad Securities and Exchange Commission bulletins, and other industry documents that are affected by FAS 157. A catalog of the affected pronouncements is included in an appendix of FAS 157, and preparers should carefully review that list to determine where they need to focus their implementation efforts."

    ReplyDelete
  91. Actually, it the STRD's that worry me the most.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Needless to say:

    "In planning for implementation, it is also important to recognize that valuation processes and procedures need to be analyzed under FAS 157, then documented and audited. One of the lessons learned by early adopters has been to start early, and to commit a generous amount of resources, as the process takes a lot longer than one might expect."

    ReplyDelete
  93. ?
    you talkin

    Nonlinear Least Squares Regression Datasets?

    ReplyDelete
  94. ...Maybe I SHOULD learn Hebrew...
    hmm

    ReplyDelete
  95. most stabilization and reconstruction missions take at least five to ten years.

    That, as wi"o", slimslider or even doug, let alone any other 'Friend of Israel' will tell you, is just plain GOOFY.

    - Rat

    No, it's just plain true.

    And everything else, as stated, is old hat. As controversial, as revolutionary, as the sun setting.

    That you take its well-worn generalities as an administration blueprint for Israel/Palestine, is what I find interesting - rather, compelling - as your purpose has long since ceased to be, if it ever was, to remark and reflect.





    It's easy to say, dear host, that no one gives a shit about the Middle East issue - when it begs interest on your own part. The Mexico portfolio, similarly, is of little concern to those wrapped up in their own hairy geographical problems.

    In order to get real and lasting movement on the former, Mexico City itself is going to have to reach a point of, let's say, God fearing.

    Apparently, they're not yet at that point.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Rufus,
    One of your posts sparked this question:

    Does mark to market mean that if next month in California ALL sales were foreclosure sales, the entire housing stock would be valued based on those sales?

    Bud answered w/that @%^$&** #157

    Hopefully your answer will be simpler.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Sexually Transmitted (cough) Rat (cough) Diseases

    ReplyDelete
  98. To a large extent they are, already.

    The good news is that the foreclosures will, fairly soon, go away, and we will start moving (perhaps, rapidly) back up.

    First step will be "replacement" cost.

    ReplyDelete
  99. When I say, "fairly soon," I mean within a year, or two.

    ReplyDelete
  100. "They are totally incurious individuals and totally implacable as to their intent:
    To exploit this moment in history to get what they’ve dreamed of forever, and to a degree never dreamed of:

    Power and Control to change the fundamental orientation of American life.
    "

    Here I come to save the day

    ReplyDelete
  101. Will we be able to recognize anything two years from now?

    ---
    Also, what do you think about the credit card meltdown refered to above?

    ReplyDelete
  102. Doug, I'm pretty clueless about the whole credit card thing, but I kinda think they did the same thing with credit cards that they did with mortgage loans. ie: they gave them to a lot of people that were totally unqualified, and then loaded them up with max. fees, and interest rates.

    They're going to default, but the companies are making a fortune off the ones that don't.

    Again, this is a pretty good, "classical" recession. It won't be worse than the 82' downturn; but it won't be as benign as the 01' recession, either. I think the 2010-2011 recession will be more dispiriting.

    ReplyDelete
  103. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Well, trish, if the taking of well-worn generalities as an administration blueprint for Israel/Palestine, is compelling, it is only because the SOP for conflict resolution is the SOP.

    If it is not to be implemented, in the Israel-Palistinian conflict, one must ask WHY NOT?. Especially if it so 'shop worn' that the maturity of the Procedure assures its' success.

    If those 5 steps are the Standard Procedure to conflict resolution, why in heavens name would they not be implemented in the Levant, before?

    If Peace and Stability, as Mr Mitchell told US, is the Goal of US National Interest in that Region, then the Standard Procedures must be implemented, or Peace and Stability will elude the whirled.

    Unless there is some special SOP for them folks, over there in the Levant. In which case the SOP, it is not one, at all.
    Is this SOP of yours is just shop worm phrasing, why is it that Team Obama has to write it down and make it public, as the keystone to their foreign policy?

    One would have to ask, if it is so shop worn, amongst the knowledgable, why does Team Obama make a point of it, at all?

    Because, trish, it is the "International imposition of the remedy" that is not 'shop worn' phrasing, but new and exciting policy, for that Region.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Well, I am ALWAYS up for new and exciting. Goodness knows.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Here is Mr Biden, speaking to the issue, just yesterday picking out the 'Key Words', is easy.

    Senator Mitchell just completed his first trip to the Middle East. Above all, he went to listen. In the near term, we must consolidate the cease-fire in Gaza by working with Egypt and others to stop smuggling, and developing an international relief and reconstruction effort that strengthens the Palestinian Authority, and not Hamas. Neither of these goals can be accomplished without close collaboration among the United States, Europe, and our Arab partners.

    Then, we must lay the foundation for a broader peacemaking effort. In the past -- well, look at it this way -- it's long time passed for us to secure a just, two-state solution. We will work to achieve it. And 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, we'll work toward a broader regional peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors, and we'll responsibly draw down our forces that are in Iraq in the process.


    Add in what Pascual wrote and Ms Powers' earlier perspectives and the outlines of both the Hope & the Change, well, it becomes clearer.

    ReplyDelete
  107. The Saudi Proposal, in a nutshell, the one that will form the basis of the what the US will be "building on".



    1. Requests Israel to reconsider its policies and declare that a just peace is its strategic option as well.

    2. Further calls upon Israel to affirm:

    I- Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4, 1967 lines as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon.

    II- Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194.

    III- The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

    3. Consequently, the Arab countries affirm the following:

    I- Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region.

    II- Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.

    4. Assures the rejection of all forms of Palestinian patriation which conflict with the special circumstances of the Arab host countries.

    5. Calls upon the government of Israel and all Israelis to accept this initiative in order to safeguard the prospects for peace and stop the further shedding of blood, enabling the Arab countries and Israel to live in peace and good neighbourliness and provide future generations with security, stability and prosperity.

    6. Invites the international community and all countries and organisations to support this initiative.

    7. Requests the chairman of the summit to form a special committee composed of some of its concerned member states and the secretary general of the League of Arab States to pursue the necessary contacts to gain support for this initiative at all levels, particularly from the United Nations, the Security Council, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the Muslim states and the European Union.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Socialist Kevin made an appearance....

    "Your arguments are ahistorical, counterfactual, contradictory, and hollow.

    Other than that, I enjoyed reading your piece.

    Cheers,
    L3
    "

    ReplyDelete
  109. With, as rufus noted, the support of David Rockefeller and Lester Crown.

    Standard Oil and General Dynamics, both on board.

    Mr Mitchell represents the Imagineers, the Redstones are on the Team, while the position of General Electric causes a tingle in Chris Mathews leg. Just a little prologue to electricution.

    ReplyDelete
  110. The Saudi Proposal, in a nutshell, the one that will form the basis of the what the US will be "building on".
    ==

    LOL. The Saudi plan. They got you bitch slapped pretty good, don't they cowboy.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Not me, myself, but it seems that the US of A is moving to see things from that Arabian perspective, more now than before.

    Should have been planting switch grass, on 14 Sept 2001, instead we spent a trillion bucks we did not have and moved closer to the Wahabbists, to boot.

    While waiting on batteries to charge.

    ReplyDelete
  112. We should recall that Mr Mitchell abdicated the Chairmanship of the 9-11 Comission, along with Mr Kissinger, rather than open their client lists to public review.

    ReplyDelete
  113. By Bappa Majumdar

    NEW DELHI, Feb 7 (Reuters) - India's Congress Party on Saturday said the international community should consider declaring Pakistan a terrorist state in light of the latter's release of a scientist who sold nuclear secrets around the globe.

    "It is time for the international community to think whether to declare Pakistan a terrorist country," Manish Tewari, the Congress party spokesman said in New Delhi, in reference to the end from house arrest of Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.

    India's Congress Party rules in a coalition, and the call to the world community was from the party, not from the Indian government.

    Khan, the man at the centre of the world' most serious nuclear proliferation scandal, was released on Friday after five years of house arrest.

    ReplyDelete
  114. "Defending him proves Pakistan as not only an exporter of terrorism, but has also given rise to doubts of certain countries, including (United States) America, that nuclear weapons could go into the hands of terrorists," Tiwari told reporters.

    Earlier, the Indian army chief said militant camps in Pakistan were thriving and had increased in the past year, as India put pressure on Islamabad to bring militants behind last November's attacks in Mumbai to justice.

    "I would not talk about the numbers specifically right now...but infrastructure is existing and active," General Deepak Kapoor told the Press Trust of India (PTI).

    India has said the militant attack on its financial capital Mumbai last November, in which 179 people were killed, was planned from a camp in Pakistan.

    ReplyDelete

  115. (CNN) -- The death toll from the wildfires in southeastern Australia rose to 65 as scores of firefighters continued to battle the flames, police said Sunday.

    Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced the creation of an Aust $10 million relief fund to help immediately assist the more than 600 families that have lost homes to the blaze.

    "Unfortunately those numbers will increase as we move through the day," said Kieran Walshe, deputy police commissioner of the state of Victoria.

    Authorities are hoping that mild weather moving into the area later Sunday will help the scores of firefighters who have been battling the flames. Troops are also being deployed to assist, the prime minister's office said.

    ReplyDelete
  116. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  117. "Not me, myself, but it seems that the US of A is moving to see things from that Arabian perspective, more now than before.

    Should have been planting switch grass, on 14 Sept 2001, instead we spent a trillion bucks we did not have and moved closer to the Wahabbists, to boot.

    While waiting on batteries to charge."

    -the genius of GWB, and all he had to do was take out the those training camps with a few tactical nuclear weapons, which we have by the thousands, and enforce immigration laws, which we also have by the thousands.

    That would have helped clarify the Islamic mind.

    ReplyDelete
  118. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnO-Nhexfks

    The fire-making scene. Is awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Worse than Calif, Phoenix too, right, 'Rat?
    What's going on around you, Whit?

    In Florida, Despair and Foreclosures

    Fort Myers

    Residents remember the boom for its noise, with dump trucks lining the streets and power tools heard in nearly every neighborhood. Housing prices doubled, then tripled, and jobs were plentiful, nearly all of them tied to real estate.

    Signs of trouble were ignored. “Sometimes houses would sell three or four times in a few months, and no one would move in,” Mr. Elliott said.

    Then in 2007, it all went quiet. Houses stopped selling. Foreclosures multiplied. The median home price in the Fort Myers area dropped to $215,200 in December 2007, from a peak of $322,300 in December 2005. It had fallen to $106,900 two months ago.

    ---------------

    And home sales in Lee County are picking up, running roughly even with foreclosures.

    “Six months ago, you might get one out of 20 houses with a multiple offer,” said Kevin Williamson, a real estate agent who has lived in Lehigh Acres for 22 years. “A couple of weeks ago, I had one with 13 offers.”

    But no one here would describe Lehigh Acres as out of the woods. Real estate agents said the homes that are selling here typically go for only about $45,000, a third of what they cost to build. They predict that foreclosures will continue to keep prices low for two more years.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Porsche Moves to Reverse VW’s Wild Ride

    Shares of Volkswagen fell sharply Wednesday after its controlling shareholder, Porsche, took steps to ease a squeeze on short sellers that had caused VW’s stock to quadruple, making it for a time on Tuesday the most valuable company in the world.

    On Tuesday, Volkswagen’s stock soared to as high as 1,005 euros a share, about $1,258, before closing at 918 euros. The shares ended last week at 210 euros.

    ReplyDelete
  121. It’s not merely that al-Bob finds women’s feet attractive.
    It’s that, for him, “the feet were the breasts, the legs, the buttocks, the genitals.”

    Simply hearing the words “size 8” or “size 9” can get him excited. Like a man partial to a particular breast size, al-Bob also has his ideal foot shape: a high arch, a wide instep and a staircaselike progression of toes.

    Once when he was stalled in traffic, the woman in the car next to him had her feet up on the dash — his version of a naked swimsuit model — and he climaxed seconds later.

    ReplyDelete
  122. In my part of Florida (north), the most obvious effect of the burst is the slowdown in home sales. Foreclosures are not a big issue but time on the market has lengthened. Asking prices have remained too high but price reductions are beginning to kick in as sellers let go of their unrealistic expectations.

    Of course, the new home market is dead in the water.

    The big problem I see going forward is that unless the once overheated and still overpriced market is allowed to correct (which could take many years) we'll be stuck in the doldrums.

    ReplyDelete
  123. That's still the case in a lot of California:
    Prices still above 2003 levels, and no more economy to support them, as more and more productive people give up and head for saner pastures.
    At least Florida's government isn't THAT Bad.

    ReplyDelete
  124. We have a problem.

    On one hand, we want to stimulate the economy...promote consumer spending and the housing market.

    On the other hand, we're already deep in debt and our houses are overpriced.

    Bad as the medicine may be, the market is the best way to find equilibrium. Government intervention will only delay or ultimately make worse the problem.

    ReplyDelete
  125. That's what Govts are For.

    (Music by Whitney, natch)

    ReplyDelete