“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."

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Barney Frank and the Market Meltdowns

Let The Inquisition Start With Frank
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, March 06, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Congressman Barney Frank says he wants some of those responsible for our current financial meltdown to be prosecuted. And we couldn't agree more. First up in the court dock: Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.

Even by the extraordinarily loose standards of Congress, it takes some chutzpah for someone such as Frank to suggest that he'll seek prosecutions for those behind the housing and financial crunch and for what he called "a strongly empowered systemic risk regulator."

For Frank, perhaps more than any single individual in private or public life, is responsible for both the housing market mess and subsequent bank disaster. And no, this isn't partisan hyperbole or historical exaggeration.

But first, a little trip down memory lane.

It was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two so-called Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), that lay behind the crisis. After regulatory changes made to the Community Reinvestment Act by President Clinton in 1995, Fannie and Freddie went into hyper-drive, channeling literally trillions of dollars into the housing markets, using leverage and implicit taxpayers' guarantees.

In November 2000, President Clinton's Housing and Urban Development Department would trumpet "new regulations to provide $2.4 trillion in mortgages for affordable housing for 28.1 million families." The vehicles for this were Fannie and Freddie. It was the largest expansion in housing aid ever.

Still, from the early 1990s on, many people both inside and outside Washington were alarmed by what they saw at Fannie and Freddie.

Not Barney Frank:
Starting in the early 1990s, he (and other Democrats) stood athwart efforts by regulators, Congress and the White House to get the runaway housing market under control.

He opposed reform as early as 1992. And, in response to another attempt bring Fannie-Freddie to heel in 2000, Frank responded it wasn't needed because there was "no federal liability there whatsoever."

In 2002, Frank nixed reforms again. See a pattern here?

Even after federal regulators discovered in 2003 that Fannie and Freddie executives had overstated earnings by as much as $10.6 billion in order to boost bonuses, Frank didn't miss a beat.

President Bush pushed for what the New York Times then called "the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago."

If it had passed, the housing crisis likely would have never boiled over, at least not the extent it did, taking the economy with it. Instead, led by Frank, Democrats stood as a bloc against any changes.

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not facing any kind of financial crisis," Frank, then the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, said. "The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."

It's hard to say why Frank did all this. It could be his close ties to the Neighborhood Assistance Corp., a powerful housing activist group based in Boston, which controls billions in loans. Or that he received some $40,100 in campaign donations from Fannie and Freddie from 1989 to 2008. Or that he has been romantically linked to a one-time executive at Fannie during the 1990s.

Whatever the case, his conflicts are obvious and outrageous, and his refusal to countenance reforms of Fannie and Freddie contributed mightily to today's meltdown. If you're looking for a culprit in the meltdown to prosecute, no one fits the bill better than Frank.


  1. Seems that the Ranking Minority Member was more powerful in the GOP run House than they are now.

    When Barney was in that position he must have "Reuled the Roost", but now, the GOP Ranking Member is just another chicken, by comparison.

    Seems a shame that the GOP, in the House, back in the day, could not excercise the control that their majority gave them, instead they let the Minority own the field.

    Let the Show Trials begin!

    Watch who hides from the light

  2. Both parties let this situation with Fannie and Freddie get out of control. Some individuals (primarily Republicans) tried to prevent it, other individuals (primarily Democrats) stood in the way of reform attempts. Now, the "wheels have come off" and it's unfortunate that Obama, Pelosi, Reid and Co. are in charge and control the big microphone. Pelosi got out in front of the story early with her finger pointing at the "last eight years." The danger for the Dems will come if they try to take a witch hunt too far.
    Speaking of the "last eight years," how many times have we heard that lately? It's convenient to blame everything on the Bush administration and by implication the Republican controlled Congress.

    While Rome burns.

  3. You haven't read anything about the Massachusetts Health Care Plan for a year, or so, now; have you?

    Do you wonder why?

    I'll tell you. It's working like a charm. That's what we could have had. But, no. It had "Mandates." And, Mitt Romney was a "Mormon."

    I hope you dumb sonsabitches like what you're going to get.

  4. "I hope you dumb sonsabitches like what you're going to get."

    Don't worry Rufus, Obama's Lewinskys will explain how it is always everyone at fault except the Obama admin. and his comrades

    Besides, don't you like the disavowal of the pursuit of middle classness? President Obama informed you he was going to spread the wealth around.

  5. BTW, some GOPers did call out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during hearings, but were informed they were a lynch mob and racists for doing so.

  6. Elijah, the wealth has to be "spread around," every now and then. That's just the way it is.

    Our mistake was not doing it ourselves (efficiently,) but, instead, letting the Dems make a mess of it.

  7. Rufus,
    Didn't you say you WOULDN'T vote for Romney early on on this forum?

  8. ...the wealth has to be "spread around," every now and then. That's just the way it is

    Who says?

    And besides that, there's still plenty of controversy about the Mass Health Care Plan. Apparently, the left doesn't like it beside it isn't universal enough.

  9. Mass. healthcare reform is failing us

    Boiled down:
    Premiums too expensive, costs too much to state. Too many uninsured.
    Writer (An MD) says the Feds should take over.
    Yeah, that would make it more affordable to everyone...:(

  10. No, Doug. I declared my support for Romney very early on.

  11. Whit, your link doesn't work.

    Look, of course there are going to be people that don't like it. People can be found that are in opposition to anything on this God's Green Earth.

    But, when you have something so large, and so initially controversial that becomes a non-story you can bet your sweet bippy it's working pretty danged well.

  12. There's a bigger structural problem here, and that problem is the deliberate placement of corrupt and incompetent personnel in key positions, which then facilitate the looting of the nations by the military/corporate mafia. I was listening to Harry Markopolos' testimony regards the SEC and others, and it's just amazing to hear of the corruption and incompetence that is rife in all the regulatory agencies and the industries they're supposed to oversee. This is a very serious problem, and as Harry Markopolos correctly points out in his testimony, it will lead to a total lack of confidence in the system (both financial and political) and its eventual collapse.

  13. and so initially controversial that becomes a non-story you can bet your sweet bippy it's working pretty danged well.

    Like Aunt Fannie and Uncle Freddie, which Bush tried to rein in back in '01, even before 9/11, and McCain did in '06 but it died not even getting out of the Senate, as the dems had the votes. Working good, until the world economy collapses.

    What we need is more qualified doctors, and not a bunch of burrocrats making the life and death decisions for Rufus.

    Who was for Romney, as I was. Switched to Thompson, too, I think.

    Though everybody gets mad at the lawyers, and some of the suits, we need to keep the doctors up to snuff. Make a mistake, get sued. Will we be able to do this in the new Obamanirvana?

    See he's going to change the policy to Cuba.

    Castro outlasted them all.

    Soon he'll be traveling to Venezuela.

    and it's just amazing to hear of the corruption and incompetence that is rife in all the regulatory agencies and the industries they're supposed to oversee.

    Why would it be any different in medicine?

  14. It's amazing isn't it? The very same guys that brought us Fanny and Freddie are in charge of 'fixing it'.


  15. We need more doctors?


    We Need More Nurses, Too

    I could get the Sunday paper here, and quote a half page of ads for nurses around the area.

    Always the same, week after week.

    So if you want a good paying job, come to LCSC, get yourself in the Nursing Program
    and you're on your way.

    Well, we're paying $1.3 million for two, in our little portion of the stimulus bill.


    In Medieval times the classic scam was for a city slicker to sell a rube from the country a “pig in a poke,” a supposed suckling pig in a sack (poke) while convincing the rube somehow not to immediately open the poke and check out the pig. Later, on the way back to the farm, when the rube opened the sack, he would discover that a rat, or more likely a kitten, was in the bag thus, “letting the cat out of the bag” and when the cat escaped, “being left holding the bag.”

    Always wondered where the term came from.

  16. Why would it be any different in medicine?

    Pfizer is not medicine, Monsanto is not farming, AIG is not insurance, GM is not cars, etc. When you understand this, you understand the problem.

  17. Whit, statements like This One, "For an individual earning $31,213, the cheapest plan can cost $9,872 in premiums and out-of-pocket payments" always bother me.

    Under "What Circumstances" can this plan cost this much?

  18. Obama's Health Plan Fails In Hawaii


    Chlorian Theoreticus:

    In 1620 Francis Bacon published The New Organon, an epigrammatic treatise challenging scholasticism and promoting a more empirical approach to science.

    In the Organon, Bacon identified four kinds of illusions (idola—usually translated as “idols”) that “block men’s minds.”

    First there are the “idols of the tribe.” These are the illusions or distortions that are common to all men. In modern terms we would identify these with the physical limitations of our perception organs and the physical nature of the brain: we are all limited in the frequencies that we can see and hear and our brains produce artifacts and distortions that we all share.

    Next are the “idols of the cave.” These are the illusions peculiar to an individual.

    “For…each man has a kind of individual cave or cavern which fragments and distorts the light of nature.”

    Third, there are the “idols of the marketplace.” These are distortions due to the shared use of false, equivocal, or fatuous language. Bacon recognized that language can function not only to elucidate but also to obfuscate reason and perceptions, and that furthermore, this power of obfuscation is proportional to the degree of general acceptance of misleading language.

    “Plainly words do violence to the understanding, and confuse everything; and betray men into countless empty disputes and fictions.”

    Finally, there are the “idols of the theatre.” These are shared illusions implanted by education.

    “…for all the philosophies that men have learned or devised are, in our opinion, so many plays produced and performed which have created false and fictitious worlds.”

    Bacon sensed that the versions of reality created by man-made philosophical systems–both the “facts” and the “logic” derived from these systems–are often more compelling, and have greater influence upon thoughts and perceptions, than true facts and proper logic. Furthermore, the influence of these philosophical systems is often invisible (in modern terms, subconscious) to those they afflict.

    Bacon anticipated Karl Popper by noting that the “idols of the theatre” represent complete systems that can accommodate any external datum and bend any logic to fit their intrinsic curvature.

    “There is no possibility of argument, since we do not agree either about the principles or the proofs.”

    Bacon also recognized that the smart and well educated are more susceptible to the idols of the theatre, precisely because they are smart and well educated:

    “It is absolutely clear that if you run the wrong way, the better and faster you are, the more you go astray.”

    Mar 7, 2009 - 4:09 pm

    2. SCOTT:

    “Bacon also recognized that the smart and well educated are more susceptible to the idols of the theatre, precisely because they are smart and well educated”

    Once again, Stove : “But the more powerful minds will fall into the worship of some dangerous and intelligent lunatic like Plato, Augustine or Hegel, Comte or Marx” I’d add Obama, but his real talent is inspiring the masses(which, of course, is far more dangerous); indeed this in an important skill, but it doesn’t require exorbitant degrees of intelligence. His talents as a demogogue far outweigh his intellectual abilities; that’s the part that scares me the most.

  19. GM's Detroit:,29307,1864272_1810098,00.html

  20. rufus, I have read that the cost of corporate health insurance runs a tad over $12,000 annually.

    This I have never seen disputed

    So, that the lowest cost program available would be under $10,000 seems reasonable.

    A lot of the people in Mass. moved to NH, moving over the line in economic flight, hence Romney losing and McCain winning, there, in New Hampshire.

  21. reining in costs seems to be an important aspect for managing health care in the US. I think the US has the highest cost per capita by far than other industrialized nations. A single payer system is well worth considering. It works well elsewhere in the world.

  22. Stimulus Nation: Pump It Up - TIME,9171,1864419,00.html

    There's no liquidity crisis, it's an insolvency crisis. The US is broke. Bankrupt - psychologically, morally, politically, economically, collectively and personally. God's reckoning is here, and the solution per usual, is to lie cheat and steal.

  23. reining in costs

    That's fine to say Ash, but how to do it?

    We just 'reined in' costs here with $1.3 million ObamaStimulusBucks for a couple of nurses.

    One way to 'rein in' costs, is to deny services.

    Once buried, the dead don't cost much, unless they have an 'eternal flame' buring away in some cemetary.

  24. Detroit Reliquary,29307,1882089_1850973,00.html

  25. Having a single payer system allows the payer to dictate (to a certain degree) the price.

  26. Having a single payer system allows the payer to dictate (to a certain degree) the price.

    heheh, well certainly, and any savvy payer will say "a buck twenty five and a dime".

    Uncle Sammy Obama wouldn't want it any other way.

  27. "and the solution per usual, is to lie cheat and steal."

    Well, yeah; that always worked for me. :)

  28. In fact, why pay anything at all?

    Ash, there's a position for you at the LCSC Nursing School. You can 'clean up' the sitution
    from the inside.

    Wiping ass isn't all that bad, once you get used to it.

  29. Yeah, Rat, but I'd still like to see some details on that number. The first question that popped into my head was, "Is there some means testing going on." ie. would this be someone with a ton of assets?

  30. Always cheat and steal, then lie if you have to.

  31. And, about those out of pocket expenses. Did this plan-holder have very high deductibles that were all met in one year? Perhaps along with max on vision, dental, etc?

  32. Well, yeah; that always worked for me. :)

    That's right, Rufus. And when the corn franken food and franken fuel scam finally exhausts itself with zero top soil left, you'll go to work for Monsanto as a real farmer and custodian of the land.

  33. Some people like the word 'dictate'.

  34. The food supply has been genetically altered all my life.

    That's what the wheat breeders at WSU do.

    We'd still be raising lodging, mostly stalk, little head 'Red Roosian' if they hadn't been able to come up with something else.

    I'm still hoping the boys in the lab can figure a way to insert that legume nitrogen fixing gene into wheat, and make it stick.

    'franken fertilizer'

  35. By the way, being the perfectly objective and fair guy I am, always giving credit, I note this unexpected item--

    Obama Delists Wolf In Idaho, Montana

    which may lead to more law suits.


  36. Jenny Harbine/Hairbrain, a lawyer with Earthjustice in Bozeman, Mont., which has sued to keep the federal protections, said, “We’re disappointed.” She added, “Idaho has shown an eagerness to kill as many wolves as possible, and they are drawing up plans for killing wolves as we speak.”

    Translated into rational thought, this means many of us are concerned about our friends the elk and deer, not to mention our cattle and sheep.

    John Carbine


  37. Swedish muslims Riot Against Jewish Team

    I await the day the Swedes get fed up with the Swedish muslims.

  38. I await the day the Swedes get fed up with the Swedish muslims.

    Swedes? What the hell is a Swede but a member of an Apartheid racist colony. Who the hell are the Swedish to think they be allowed to be "fed up" with Swedish muslims. Your arrogance and racism is just staggering.

  39. Bob, did I make you turn pale translucent white after reading the above? :)

  40. Shit, I think my little prank just killed Bob.


    Tiz all good. Tiz the American way. It will all work out in the end.

  42. :)
    Just back from a short afternoon contrajihadi headchopping hunt, got three of the scarfwearers...

  43. O, it's hard to be humble
    When you're Mr Obumble

    Though the stock market tumble
    And real estate crumble

    Foreign policy a fumble
    The nation a jumble

    O. it's hard to be humble
    When you're Mr Obumble

  44. The Chicago Tribune reported on March 5, 2009 that Dr Robert
    Weinstein will plead guilty in his corruption indictment.

    “A Deerfield urologist caught up in the corruption probe
    surrounding Antoin “Tony” Rezko and other state government
    figures is scheduled to plead guilty next week, court
    records show.”

    Read more:,0,6001971.story

    The article is very short and consistent with the Chicago
    Tribune underreporting on the Dr. Weinstein indictment and
    his connections to Rezko, Levine, Blagojevich and Obama.
    Why the Tribune has mentioned very little about Dr.
    Weinstein is anybody’s guess.

    However, if you are left with the impression that Weinstein’s
    involvement is insignificant, consider the following:

    Dr. Robert Weinstein Indictment

    Governor Rod Blagojevich Criminal Complaint

    Citizen Wells request to Patrick Fitzgerald, Indict Obama

    Anyone that followed the Tony Rezko trial,
    read the indictments of Rezko, Stuart Levine, Dr. Robert
    Weinstein and a host of others and compared those revelations
    to the details of the Blagojevich criminal complaint knows
    of Rod Blagojevich’s deep involvement in Chicago pay to play

    Barack Obama’s role in rigging the IL Health Facilities Planning Board
    by reducing the number of members from 15 to 9 and therefore allowing
    Tony Rezko, Stuart Levine and Rod Blagojevich to control the board with
    only 5 members, is examined in detail. The indictments and criminal
    complaints of Rezko, Levine, Blagojevich and Weinstein reveal their
    involvement in board corruption. Obama should be indicted as well.

    Dr. Robert Weinstein
    “The false statements count alleges that on May 24, 2004, Weinstein
    lied to an FBI agent when he said that Levine never told him that
    Rezko had influence over the Illinois Health Facilities Planning
    Board, the state board that regulates hospital construction and
    expansion. In fact, the indictment alleges Weinstein knew that he
    and Levine had discussed Rezko’s influence over the Planning Board,
    including in a recorded conversation on April 21, 2004, in which
    Levine explicitly advised Weinstein of Rezko’s role in manipulating
    the Planning Board’s vote earlier that day on the Certificate of
    Need application of Mercy Health System Corp. Hospital and other


  45. :)
    Just back from a short afternoon contrajihadi headchopping hunt, got three of the scarfwearers...

    Good. Cause I need you nice and healthy for our Carmel forest biking expedition.

  46. No one talking about the big O opening ties with syria?

    no chas freeeman talk?

    Iran launches another new rocket to celebrate the winning of their war against the big satan

    Iran now has fuel for nukes...

    the BIG O is putting that nice ass of america high in the air for all to poke...

    meanwhile russia signs 20yr oil deal at 20 bucks a barrel with china...

  47. Michael Hudson on the "new" Kleptocracy:

  48. O, it's hard to be humble
    When you're Mr Obumble

    Though the stock market tumble
    And real estate crumble

    Foreign policy a fumble
    The nation a jumble

    O. it's hard to be humble
    When you're Mr Obumble

    Great Bob!

  49. meanwhile russia signs 20yr oil deal at 20 bucks a barrel with china...

    Didn't see that. Can't figure that out. Seems foolish.

  50. The show’s host chuckles and asks whether President Obama has called Jonathan “a little fascist.”

    “The president hasn’t come after me yet,” Jonathan says chummily, “but we’ve had other people come after me!”

    “Jonathan!” his mother hisses from the driver’s seat.

  51. John Milton’s Paradise Lost was first published in 1667. This initial edition was comprised of ten books. This is an epic story of creation and the central role that man plays in it. It was not until 1674 that the work’s twelve books were published in a single volume.

  52. Nothing in politics is an accident.

  53. 24. JFSanders:

    Nice link. And there is no wonder why the Hells Angels of Sweden and Denmark are putting the hurt on the “immigrants”.

    The HA will do what the “gooberment” is unwilling and unable to do.


  54. 17. Mongoose:

    Hear about Irish Alzheimer Disease?

    You forget everything, except the grudges.

  55. Looks exactly like me at that age.

  56. Actually I think the poor little kid has gone astray, politics being a degrading diversion from plowing.

    You grow up fast on the farm, politics stunts the growth.

  57. Moon and Venus

    Don't know if anyone has noticed it, but Venus had been really bright, around here.

  58. Obama Intel Appointment Angers Israel Supporters (Newsmax)

    ...For the past 12 years, Freeman has been president of the Middle East Policy Council (MEPC), which has received funding from Saudi Arabia and lobbies on behalf of the Arab world.

    The MEPC’s political action group publishes a book that teaches children that Muslims discovered the New World. It cites two sources that claim Muslims reached the Western Hemisphere in pre-Columbian times and spread throughout the Americas.

    When explorers reached the New World, according to the sources, they met “Iroquois and Algonquin chiefs with names like Abdul-Rahim and Abdallah Ibn Malik."

    Venturing further west, the exploring whitemen eventually encountered Swedes in Idaho bearing names such as Albob, infidels hailing from California named Aldoug...

  59. LT,

    How come in the last 6 years, when oil has gone from $30 to $150, there was zero net gain in non-OPEC supply?

  60. When I pointed out the Malmo moho problem a year or two back, I was pooh-poohed by a certain lady who frequents this establishment.

  61. Are you serious, Mat?
    Have you ever heard of the Left-Green-Politico Conspiracy?

  62. - A.I.G. for Dummies -
    (that would be me) might even get something out of it, al-Bob!

    Now, however, A.I.G. not only has to meet collateral calls as the value of the debt it insured withers, but also has to post collateral related to the interest rate swaps.

    Another troubling aspect of these deals is how long it takes to untangle them when they go awry. Back to Mr. Buffett’s recent shareholder letter: when Berkshire acquired the insurance company General Re in 1998, he wrote, General Re had 23,218 derivatives contracts that it had struck with 884 counterparties.

    Mr. Buffett wanted out from under the contracts and he began unwinding them. “Though we were under no pressure and were operating in benign markets as we exited,” he said, “it took us five years and more than $400 million in losses to largely complete the task.”

  63. Are you serious, Mat?
    Have you ever heard of the Left-Green-Politico Conspiracy?

    No, I have not heard of it, Doug. Is Russia Mexico Britain Norway etc, part of the conspiracy?

    But I do know of the Canadian tar sands, and I don't like it one bit.

  64. Thanks, Doug.

    It's always prudent to wait and see what develops before responding to mat. Especially when he attempts using arithmetic in support of his fable.

    I think he'd be happier in Berkeley, than in Toronto, surrounded by his soul mates and only a block or three from KPFA/KPFB, communist central for the peoples' republic of northern california.

  65. What's the most liberal Sorority at Cal?

  66. We used to ride our bikes up to
    "Tar Canyon" Mat.
    ...seeped right out of the ground.
    Maybe I'll become impotent from the poisoning?

  67. ...then I wouldn't have to worry about getting any of your sisters up there pregnant, when I go to celebrate All Cal weekend.
    (vs the Bruins)

  68. No, I have not heard of it, Doug. Is Russia Mexico Britain Norway etc, part of the conspiracy?

    Norway's protecting their North Sea field reserves by arbitrarily limiting development and pumping. Same thing with Netherlands. I'd assume what little development is available for Britain would be a fraction of the North Sea fields, and subject to the same misguided enviro-fascist manipulation as the US industry. Mexico is a rust bucket. Leaving Russia, which can always be relied on to be part of a conspiracy.

  69. I think he'd be happier in Berkeley..

    Yes, and I wonder how many millions Cynthia Mckinley and the International Workers Party receives from Republican operatives and the CIA.

  70. Never thot of that as a lad:
    The Bears
    ...the Bears!

  71. Mckinney.
    Don't impugne our President!

  72. can always be relied on to be part of a conspiracy

    Yes, the conspiracy to pass up revenues from $150 oil.

  73. What's the most liberal Sorority at Cal?

    Tri delts? I haven't got a clue. Is this a trick question?

  74. Naw, just trying to find a sympatico place for Mat to stay.

  75. Some of my money's gone to Cynthis McKiney and the International Workers Party?

    Shit! And I said I wanted it earmarked for Sarah.

  76. He can just drop in at KPFA....they'll take him in.

  77. My sis and cousin were Delta Gammas. Said they were all a bunch of ditsy broads, thoughtlessly including themselves in the bunch.

  78. She's part of the conspiracy, you should be glad.
    She'd probly use it to build that pipeline.

  79. I'd never say the farmers are all greedy bastards.

  80. ...or he could take Bernie's place @ KGO!

  81. Some of my money's gone to Cynthis McKiney and the International Workers Party?

    Don't worry, Bob, it is a very tiny percentage compared to the money that's gone to your favorite mafia. So all considering, Mckinley and Nader more than earned their pay.

  82. ..or he could take Bernie's place @ KGO!

    Can anyone who's ever listened to Berie's KGO rants seriously doubt now that there is a God in heaven?

    Do you suppose his fan club sends him a weekly care package of Preparation H?

  83. Mckiney!
    It's MCKINEY!

    Actually, no.
    It's Mckinney!

  84. "Can anyone who's ever listened to Berie's KGO rants seriously doubt now that there is a God in heaven?"
    If there was a God, he woulda put Bernie in the Buttfuck Bay for his rants, and prevented all that child abuse.

  85. I celebrated for a week with the fall of The Great Bernie. I made posts about the 'affair'.

    Old Bernie, he was on 'Widestance' Craig like bark on a tree, saying how 'that type' always attacked the very thing they were.

    The whole thing beats The Ontological Argument for God for sure.

    I can't help but wonder sometimes how he's doing.

    What a bastard.

  86. I got it right, and let dumbf... al-Bob mess me up.
    ...goes to show.

  87. Bike time.
    We could have a virtual ride together, al-Bob, just go jump on your bike now.

  88. But no charge in the battery. :)

  89. True, the solar panels don't work. :)

  90. This comment has been removed by the author.

  91. Tiz called planned obsolescence.

  92. But did planned obsolescence answer when Tiz called?

    I can 'call the spirits of the vasty deeps' but they don't answer, when I can.

  93. Mat, here's one Theodore Roethke wrote just for you--


    Here from the field's edge we survey
    The progress of the jaded. Mile
    On mile of traffic from the town
    Rides by, for at the end of the day
    The time of workers is their own.

    They jockey for position on
    The strip reserved for passing only.
    The drivers from production lines
    Hold to advantage dearly won.
    They toy with death and traffic fines.

    Acceleration is their need;
    A mania keeps them on the move
    Until the toughest nerves are frayed.
    They are prisoners of speed.
    Who flee in what their hands have made.

    The pavement smokes when two cars meet
    And steel rips through conflicting steel.
    We shiver at the siren's blast.
    One driver, pinned down beneath the seat,
    Escapes from the machine at last.

  94. Thanks, Bob. I didn't read the title till I read the body. By the end, I thought of Detroit. Then I read the title. Highway of Hell. Michigan indeed.


    Michugane is yiddish means crazy. And it is crazy what we have done.

  95. the World Bank said the economic crisis that started with junk mortgages in the United States was causing havoc for poorer countries around the world, not only stifling their growth but also choking off their access to credit as well.

    Barney Frank and the democrats really screwed the goose. Now, they been elected to make the goose right, oh Lord.

    World Bank Offers Most Dire of Assessments

    My darts agree.

    grrnite, Mat (Roethke grew up in Michigan, Saginaw I think, father and uncle were in the greenhouse business, uncle Otto or his father was gardiner to the King of Prussia)

  96. G'nite, Bob.

    Michael Hudson says it was all meant for China and the various sovereign funds. But the plan to defraud the world backfired due to time running short.