“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, May 09, 2009

What do the people want?

Desperation in Pakistani hospitals, refugee camps
The Associated Press

MINGORA, Pakistan — Civilians cowered in hospital beds on Saturday and refugees looted U.N. supplies — all of them desperate for relief from the fighting that has engulfed a northwestern valley as troops and warplanes try to drive out Taliban militants.

The prime minister, directing millions of dollars to help the residents of a region where backing for the central government has sometimes been tenuous, described the offensive launched this week as a "war of the country's survival" but said the military alone could not be victorious in the Swat Valley.

The army "can only be successful if there is support of the masses," Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who authorized the Swat offensive on Thursday, told a news conference after an emergency Cabinet meeting.

Further south, a suspected U.S. missile strike killed nine people, mostly foreigners, in another militant stronghold near the Afghan border, officials said. The identities of the victims were not immediately unclear.

Ghafar Khan, who was injured by shell fragments during fighting in Pakistan's northwest Buner district a month ago, cries in a hospital in Mardan, Pakistan, Saturday, May 9, 2009. Ghafar, and his brother Akhter Ali Khan, right, were brought to Mardan by their parents in recent days as fighting intensified in Pakistan's latest offensive against Taliban militants. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)

The army said it killed as many as 55 more Taliban fighters in Swat on Saturday.

Encouraged by the United States, Pakistan's leaders launched the full-scale offensive this week to halt the spread of Taliban control in districts within 60 miles (100 kilometers) of the capital. Pakistan's army is fighting to wrest Swat and neighboring districts from militants who dominate the adjoining tribal belt along the Afghan frontier, where U.S. officials say al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden is likely holed up.

But the fighting has caused the flight of hundreds of thousands of terrified residents, adding a humanitarian emergency to the nuclear-armed nation's security, economic and political problems. The government is appealing for international aid to ease the plight of the multitude of weary, traumatized people who have abandoned their homes in search of safety.

Witness accounts indicated that scores of civilians have already been killed or injured in the escalating clashes in Swat and the neighboring Buner and Lower Dir districts.

Read more

"For now, the US is keeping its forces on the Afghanistan side of the border..."


  1. ok here is the list...






    Water UV purifier

    Maps of area...

    flashlights (mag) with extra batteries

    Med's for at least 4 -6 weeks

    1st aid kit...

    Rope (300 feet braided nylon)

    Waterproof matches, flint & steel other assorted camping / cooking gear...

    Sleeping bags

    This should be all we need for 4-5 weeks without water, food and power from the grid being knocked out...

  2. to add on to the list...

    50 gallons of veg oil for diesel

    shotgun & shells


    rubber gloves

    soap, bleach, salt

  3. "50 gallons of veg oil for diesel."
    How did I know that?

  4. GDamned years worth of French Fries for the whole family.

  5. Hey, WIO:
    Yesterday I picked up
    "Survival Wisdom and Know How"
    @ Costco for Twelve Bucks.
    Giant Whole Earth Catalogue Size Book of 480 pages filled with simple solutions for everyday needs.

  6. let's us remember...

    the chance that my worst fear (an emp attack) is slim but possible is super seeded by the likelihood that the electric grid will fail

    It has failed every year for anywhere from 3 - 11 days at a time without any attack or major failure...

  7. "7,845 Useful Skills and Step by Step Instructions"

  8. Doug said...
    Hey, WIO:
    Yesterday I picked up
    "Survival Wisdom and Know How"
    @ Costco for Twelve Bucks.
    Giant Whole Earth Catalogue Size Book of 480 pages filled with simple solutions for everyday needs.

    MUCH thanks...

    I have come back from DC with a new "plan"

    I no longer advocate "BE PREPARED" for 36-48 hours, I now want a 40 day plan...

    It is PLAUSIBLE that the grid could be out for 3-4 weeks in a several state area...

    so how do we deal with that without coming savages?

    Surprisingly the answers are not that hard...

    Without becoming radical (I am sure many in the BHO camp would call me radical) planning for a non-war power grid failure of prolonged timing seems to make more sense

  9. MANY of my friends quote the same logic...

    DONT be at the end of the line in a calamity...

    If you have food, water, fuel, guns, ammo & A PLAN your ahead of 60%...

    5 guys running from a campsite being chased by a rapid hungry bear...

    the 2nd to last on is barely running, when asked why he didnt tear out of there?

    he replied I just dont have to be last pointing to the fat guy being eaten by the bear...

  10. Agreed,
    It was a one-trial learning experience for me when the earthquake knocked out power here for a couple of days, and much longer for Oahu.
    You are either prepared, or you are not.
    Water, Rice, Propane, Inverter, CF Lights, rechargeable flashlights, radios, and etc.

  11. I am also looking to sell some canned foods as part of my business plan...

    this will allow me to inventory several hundred pounds of canned goods that are rotated and I get to write them off...

    One friend of mine is a hunter and is getting trained to "quarter" and field dress his deer...

    I am not a hunter (at this time) however i do think we all should look at our PLAN and make sure it's workable, where are the weaknesses and how we can be prepared

  12. Oahu has a large Multi-Story Turbine that is not Earthquake friendly.
    Had to shut it down and check it out carefully before re-starting.
    ...wouldn't want a Multi-Story Turbine fragmenting @ 10,000 rpm!

  13. ...a car battery, small inverter, and 13 watt (= 60 watt incandescent) CF Bulbs, provide a lot of convenient light for very little energy.

  14. Book has a Turtle Trap layout.
    Turtle Soup, I guess.

  15. We had only kerosene lamps for years on the farm.
    Algore would be proud.
    ...still keep a gallon of kerosene and lamp in case the outage persists.

  16. how does one re-charge a car battery?

    can one recharge it via a stationary bike?

  17. maybe a solar panel would be a good emergency investment...

    just one... for one car battery

  18. One solar panel can service many batteries, wi"o", but one at a time, usually.

    Depends on the size of the panel, really.

    Small panels are available at Pep Boys, if paying retail does not bother you.

    Another solar panel is more useful than another gun, unless there is a gun fight.

    .22 Magnum or at least long rifle is a good small game hunting round. It is not costly and can be stored for long periods of time.

    Also is an economical way to prepare for a high volume of fire scenario, without breaking the budget.

    That new FN round that gag was touting, seems like a real humdinger.

  19. You can avoid the effeciency losses, at the converter, if you build an entire 12 volt network.

    Lights, radio, etc are all available in 12 volt.

    Right out of the car accessory catalog

  20. For the 30-40 day plan a long rifle is a must...

    I was thinking something with a scope that i can hit from at least 800 yards...BG's at the entrance of the subdivision looking for home invasion then a distance "kiss" will be part of the plan...

    This week i got frag and hollow points for the .40 glocks and 38....

    Next week 12 gauge and shells

    Wife will be pissed...

    but in the end?

    who cares

  21. Map of Swat Valley, Pakistan, Asia.

    Zoom up a couple clicks and pan westward slightly.

    16k friendlies may handle the 4k Taliban in the valley, but looking closely at the country to the north is not encouraging. Good luck, there.

  22. Long distance, .308 which is the 7.62 Nato round or .30-06, which was the Springfield's cartridge.

    The 308 almost mirrors it, ballisticly.

    Bolt action for dependability.

    Optics would be required, for reliability of accuracy, at 800 yards. At my age, anyway.

    The eyes aren't what they once were.

  23. The 'up north' is all indian country clear to Tajikistan.

  24. Kid has AR 50 Caliber for distance work, WIO!
    Semi-Auto AK 12 Gauge for Home and Hearth.
    Just bought a Centme(?) or something.
    Some AK's
    ...the collection grows.

  25. I think it's an error to plan on going individualistic if chaos comes.

    The Mormons are well positioned to survive as they are not only prepared, but not going to be fighting against one another. Rather supporting one another.

    Perhaps one should encourage one's church or whatever to be prepared, even plan a self defense militia, that sort of thing.

    There's some strength--and solace--in being in it with some other folks.

    But, don't count on the power of prayer, alone.


    Everyone should also have a Mark 1 FlyShooter The Original Bug Gun to ward off the insects too, eh, Linear :)

    Sounds like you had a good time. With a little practice you won't have those 'wounded' littering the battlefield, they'll all be goners :)

  26. And for gosh sakes have at least one credit card that isn't maxed out :)

  27. He's getting certified as a Range Manager, or whatever it's called.
    Like I told al-Bob:
    Costco had a complete 60 watt solar setup, with pv panels, stand, wiring, and inverter for $299.
    I disagree with rat about the inverter:
    They are very efficient, I've got a little 250 watt job for very little at costco, automatically cycles up and down depending on load.
    The advantage of 115 volts is you can have standard small gauge extension cords to bring the light to wherever you want, Compact Florescents are more efficient than car bulbs, you can run small electric tools and appliances, and with a larger inverter for temporary jobs, just about anything.

  28. Best would be to start a Mosque, al-Bob, for safe and secure Ammo Storage Protected by the Feds.
    Also a no-fire zone for the oppo when the firefights begin.

  29. al-Bob's Mosques and Madrasas, Inc.

  30. Moscow Moslem Mosque, Madrasa, & Bar & Grill

    Just got back from Costco, no survivalist book I could see, and no solar setup either. Sold out?

  31. Joe Smith's Survival Center.

    I'd head south, take on the identity of a Mormon.

  32. Put a good sniper up there with Moroni, you could cover the whole parking lot, and surrounds.

  33. Plus with those windows around the building you could hold out quite a while.

    Basement full of arms, medicine and food, too.

    Let's see the ragtags storm that.

  34. Wonder if has em?

  35. Crisis at In and Out Burger. (no, lewdster, this is not sexual innuendo) Will the company survive?
    Will it 'go public', 'franchise', ruining the magic formula?

    All is in the hands of an heiress.

    In and Out Burger

  36. There's a little unit something like This on the bridge at Troy, Oregon, along with a dish and some kind of recording box. Not sure what it does. Might have something to do with monitoring river flow, but, I've been surprised it hasn't been ripped off yet.

  37. Fat Face must think "Eyes Right" means "everybody look at meeeee!"


  38. Doug,
    You must have seen those doctored bumper stickers from IN AND OUT BURGER with the B and the R trimmed off.

    Put one on your Yugo. Instant respect from the bubblegum crowd.

  39. " He depicted Martinez as an immature religious fanatic with a taste for "partying hard" who cast him from the company after concluding he was no "man of God."

    The company dismissed these assertions as "conspiracy theories" and said Boyd had been dismissed for fraud and embezzlement. Boyd called the allegations against him "demonstrably false.
    Nukular Fambly, to be sure.

  40. WiO,

    Do you sell any low calorie jerky?

    Might be worth looking into. I'd be interested.

    My package tells me I get 4 gms sugar for every 30 gms protein. Maybe that's a good tradeoff.

    I was just diagnosed as pre-diabetic so am watching labels closer. So far no strain.

  41. Could leave the R, if you wanna just be a Cheerleader.

  42. Is that your tabernacle, al-Bob?

  43. 91. Marie Claude:

    downtowdubai you’re an iranian goat f*cker

    Lebaneses have governmental institutions thanks to the French

  44. My true tabernacle is my body, al-Doug, my temporary transportable home, away from Home, but you knew that.

    That's the new Mormon digs in Twin Falls.

    Shines in the sun like a pyramid from far away.

    Very defensible.

  45. Tonto Basin, AZ, fellas, where the primary occupation is retired Marine, followed closely by retired Army.

    Terrain is a mirror of the country south of Tajikistan.

  46. That could certainly be viable, doug, about the inverter.

    I've had both, at the same ranch, in different buildings.

    The deal with the inverter, beyond whatever energy loss could be expected, is it is another thing that can break. A critical thing, at that.

    Just depends upon the scenario one is planning for, really.

  47. I saw the IN & OUT URGE bumber stickers, long before I had a taste of the burger.

    Whetted the appetite

  48. Nearly traversed Payson on trip home, but chose to scoot north to I-40 from Socorro and save the scenic route for the next trip.

  49. Another symbolic step forward. More praise for the President in leading US in the flight from fear.

    There is no more magnificent symbol of freedom on this Earth than the Statue of Liberty, and she is being returned in glory to the people whose souls she stirs.

    Come this Fourth of July, citizens of the United States and pilgrims from around the world, will once more ascend to the crown that has been barred to them since Sept. 11, 2001. The joy has been long in coming.

    Word yesterday that the U.S. government has determined to restore the Lady's dignity lifted high the spirits, for it sounded in resolve and spoke of the reclamation of a lost heritage.

    Read more
    : Proud to say we were 'clarion call' reopening Statue of Liberty

  50. Tonto Basin is about 30 minutes south of Payson, just north of Lake Roosevelt.

    Sorroco to Show Low, then across the top of the Rim, dropping down to Star Valley, then into Payson.

    Gramps Rat, he summers in Overgaard

  51. Well it is a heck of a monument. Back in the 50's mom and dad went to New York, ascended Lady Liberty. I think then you could even go up in the torch part, but may be confused. Brought me back a little statue of the Lady.

    Picked up th 56 Oldsmobile in Detroit and drove her home.

    Never been to New York myself.

  52. When I was there, bob, would have to have been before '68, there was no public access to the torch, but the public could walk up to the crown, look out the little windows, there.

    It should be open, if there is no structural challenge.

  53. This fellow explains, from the Paki perspective, why the Pakistani were slow to move against the Taliban.

    He also describes the conspiracy theories that are floating, in Pakistan, today.

    Saif Qarni is a foreign investment analyst based in Washington, D.C.

  54. DHULUIYA, Iraq Less than two years ago, Mullah Nadhim al-Jubouri, a charismatic 30-year-old Sunni cleric, was a senior leader of the Iraqi insurgent group Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. A member of one of this town’s most respected families, he stood in the largest mosque and preached death for anyone who dared join the army or the police.

    He then switched sides, becoming leader of one of the American-recruited Awakening security councils that fought Al Qaeda here in this strategic area of territory north of Baghdad, crisscrossed by conflicting sectarian and tribal loyalties. Now, he even wants to run for a seat in Parliament in the general elections in December.

    But on May 2, the Iraqi security forces arrested him and two of his brothers on terrorism charges, one of the latest and most significant instances of the Shiite-led government’s rounding up Sunni Awakening leaders.

    Speaking by cellphone from his detention in Tikrit farther north, Mr. Jubouri said the charges were old and instigated by his political enemies, and further ran counter to his exemption under an amnesty law for former insurgents that came into effect last year

  55. GAROOWE, Somalia Abshir Boyah, a towering, notorious Somali pirate boss who admits to hijacking more than 25 ships and to being a member of a secretive pirate council called “The Corporation,” says he’s ready to cut a deal.

    Facing intensifying naval pressure on the seas and now a rising backlash on land, Mr. Boyah has been shuttling between elders and religious sheiks fed up with pirates and their vices, promising to quit the buccaneering business if certain demands are met.

    Man, these Islamic guys want to cut my hands off,” he grumbled over a plate of camel meat and spaghetti. The sheiks seemed to have rattled him more than the armada of foreign warships patrolling offshore. “Maybe it’s time for a change.

    For the first time in this pirate-infested region of northern Somalia, some of the very communities that had been flourishing with pirate dollars — supplying these well-known criminals with sanctuary, support, brides, respect and even government help — are now trying to push them out.

    Grass-roots, antipirate militias are forming. Sheiks and government leaders are embarking on a campaign to excommunicate the pirates, telling them to get out of town and preaching at mosques for women not to marry these un-Islamic, thieving “burcad badeed,” which in Somali translates as sea bandit. There is even a new sign at a parking lot in Garoowe, the sun-blasted capital of the semiautonomous region of Puntland, that may be the only one of its kind in the world. The thick red letters say: No pirates allowed.

  56. The West Bank Archipelago.

    Didn't read the story, yet, but the map, it speaks to the realities, itself.

  57. Maybe you had the old technology inverter like I had long ago:

    With the new solid state stuff, they are very efficient, reliable, and inexpensive.

    Think my 250 watt job cost $34.
    @ prices like that, you can have backups.

  58. Who should control Bethlehem?

    A city with a long and Various Past--

    Used to be a majority Christian city, mostly gone now, pushed out by the muzzies. Just to illustrate how hard it is to establish any firm right and wrong in much of this.

    Perhaps it should be returned to the Canaanites where'er they may now be.

    I therefore call for the right of return of the Canaanites. To be put on the UN agenda forthwith.

  59. A chicken in every pot, cooked by a solar powered cooker in every hut, that's what I says.

  60. The idea that there can be no Israeli-Palestinian peace that bypasses Hamas has lately emerged as conventional wisdom among a broad range of Washington foreign policy experts — and it appears that the U.S. and some of its key European allies may be quietly in agreement. A senior Hamas official has told TIME that Western powers publicly committed to boycotting Hamas, which is officially designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and European Union, have nonetheless initiated discreet contacts with his organization. Osama Hamdan, the organization's top leader in Lebanon, said in an interview in Beirut that Hamas had in recent weeks established "solid, direct contacts" with four European Union countries, and that there had been unofficial talks between Hamas and the team of President Barack Obama's Middle East special envoy, George Mitchell. Hamdan refused to elaborate.

    Osama Hamdan, poetic license wouldn't be justification enough to use that name in a sellable script, but there it is, in real life.

  61. Oughta put all the Euros and Ameros Supporting Hamas and Nuke the F.....

  62. of my first Nuke calls since Torah Borah.

  63. You guys were right about Tora Bora.

  64. Could have driven on to Damascus, or had the 4th ID drive to Baghdad, from Haifa.

    But no, we half-stepped to the election of Barack Hussein Obama, instead.

    A perfectly good crisis, mismanaged, by the Republicans.

    Seems to have been the recurring theme, for Team43.

  65. Chicken in a can, bob.
    Leave the pot, behind.

  66. Who should control Bethlehem?

    Why that is simple, bob.

    The whirled, has an interest in controling the whole of the Levant, not just Bethleham.

    Peace and prosperity, for all.

    The same folks that Resolved to create Israel can Resolve to modify that existence, in light of changing times and mores.

    Nato, will provide the security manpower that disarms the local combatants, per the US Conflict Resolution SOP.

    In the form of Turkish, French and Italian Peacekeepers.

  67. Let China launch its flattop.


    This guy says that Charlie Chi-com is going to spend $10 bn USD building 2 carriers, then that amount again, for the rest of the battle group to support each carrier.

    $20bn USD.

    Betcha we'd get $25 bn USD for 2 turn-key diesel powered carrier battle groups.
    The US should sell 'em the Hornet CV-12 and another old boat.

  68. The PLA Navy just celebrated its 60th anniversary. Today, China is standing at the crossroads between continental power and maritime power. China is building up its military capabilities as other naval powers conduct more brown water missions with fewer ships to keep vital sea lanes open, but we should not be frightened by China's progress.

    Tetsuo Kotani ( is a research fellow at the Ocean Policy Research Foundation. The article originally appeared in PacNet Newsletter

  69. By Malcolm Moore in Shanghai
    Last Updated: 6:28PM BST 09 May 2009

    Welber Barral, the Brazilian trade minister, said total trade between Brazil and China had amounted to $3.2bn (£2.14bn) in April, representing a near twelve-fold increase since 2001.

    The sum was greater than the $2.8 billion of imports and exports to the US and represented the second consecutive month that China had topped the trade table.

    "It is a historic moment," he said, adding that he expected China to remain in pole position for the rest of the year because its economy is still growing healthily. "China is now a platinum account [for Brazil]," said Douglas Smith, a Latin American economist for Standard Chartered bank.

    The US has been Brazil's principal trading partner for nearly 80 years, but a sudden surge in Chinese demand for Brazilian iron ore in the first quarter of this year dislodged the Americans.

    The news is the latest sign of China's increasing challenge to US hegemony in Latin America. China has been steadily increasing its sphere of influence and has become particularly close to the four "Red" South American countries: Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru

  70. Brazil's a Vast Country. 10% bigger than the "Lower 48."

    They have more Arable land lying fallow than we have under tillage.

    They're, also, a pain in the ass to deal with, sporting just about the highest tariffs in the world.

    I'm not sure we have "hegemony" down there. They seem, overall, pretty much "oblivious" to our nonsense.

    The guy could have cut Peru some slack, though. Bush managed to push through a "Free Trade Deal" with them before he got run out of town.

  71. Since Pelosi can't remember being briefed, maybe she can't remember Uribe's our best friend down there, else if she did, she'd push for free trade w/ColOmbia.

  72. How bout some of that Chicken and Noodles in a Glass Jar, al-Bob?
    Part of young al-Doug's Bachelor Survival Fare.

  73. Chicken and Noodles in a Glass Jar, cooked in a solar powered microwave in every hut, says I.

    Gaza should go back to the Egyptians.

  74. NASA astronauts Gordon 'Gordon' Cooper, Neil Armstrong and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin are among the many atronauts who have reported in interviews to have seen UFOs.UFO Scoop Demanded--

    heh, one wonders if our astronauts are just plain crazy, become that way in space--or what?

  75. To the proprietors of the EB:

    My suggestion is to post Cadmus #102 in this thread as a guest post for the record.
    May not be 100% accurate, but captures a lot of stuff in a few words.

  76. May not be 100% accurate75%?



  77. heh, 98.6

    God's truth--

    captures a lot of stuff in a few words

  78. God is Dog spelled backwards.
    Goud is Doug spelled backwards.

  79. This comment has been removed by the author.

  80. This comment has been removed by the author.

  81. Maxi ha ha is Mini ha ha
    on Welfare.

  82. Mattaponi's one I'd never heard of, al-Doug.

  83. Since Pelosi can't remember being briefed, maybe she can't remember Uribe's our best friend down there, else if she did, she'd push for free trade w/ColOmbia.

    Sun May 10, 12:02:00 AM EDT

    Pelosi's a psychopath.

  84. Pelosi pretty much does whatever it is that her husband tells her to do, is what I read.

    If he says "Save the planet" she says "I'm saving the planet."

    Ah, for a wife like that.

  85. Whether it needs saving or not, or even deserves saving.

  86. In celebration of the news that one of the most hated bands in history, that nevertheless happens to be one of my favorites (in spite of a historically obnoxious frontman), is coming back together:



  87. The following comment, one that explains why you guys don't "get it"

    Been listening to this song since i was a kid. Im 17 now and it still rocks.

    Knowing in your heart of hearts that at 17 they're still kids.

    Not folks of discernment.

  88. If Obumble is an empty suit, then I think Pelosi is some kind of holograph, her husband writing the program and shining the light on it when he wants. Switch on, out she pops, "I'm saving the planet."

    heh, holographic politics

  89. Steven Malanga.

    Obsessive Housing Disorder
    Nearly a century of Washington’s efforts to promote homeownership has produced one calamity after another. Time to stop

  90. Today is Mother's Day. Don't forget to give mom or the little lady some appreciation.

    In my case, a simple singing card from Wal-Mart worked miracles.

    We're goin' for a drive.

  91. Don't let yourself get taken for a ride, al-Bob.

  92. local housing and zoning regulations have raised the price of home construction--


    from Rat's article

    I know this to be true. I'm required to put in sidewalks on both sides of all the streets--this is new--give nearly 10% to a park, when we have parks all over town now that aren't used, some not even maintained, and in a situation when many people simply don't like living by a park, put in a traffic circle, not to mention a bike path, and sundry other stuff, like tree planting and landscaping.

    The upshot is all over town there's not a lot to be had for under about $65,000 dollars, many much higher. Add on increasing rules in the building codes and finally the cost of housing prices many of the folks out of the market.

    I'm almost ready to say the hell with it.

    Makes for a nice town. Not a poor person in sight, if that's what you like. Zoned and priced out.

    You get these requirements enacted into the code, they are awfully hard to ever get back out.

    See ya later. I'm being taken for a ride....

  93. What did we do wrong? I cannot list all the things we did wrong. To start, we have a seven-year schooling. That is the average length of schooling in Latin America and it’s not the case with the majority of Asian countries. It’s certainly not the case in countries such as the United States and Canada, with the best education in the world, similar to the Europeans’. For every 10 students who enter high school in Latin America, in some countries only one finishes. There are countries with an infant mortality of 50 children per thousand, when in the more advanced countries it is 8, 9 or 10. We have countries where the tax load is 12 percent of the gross national product, and it’s no one’s responsibility, except our own, that we don’t tax the richest people of our countries. No one is to blame for that, except we ourselves.From a Speech by Oscar Arianas (President of Costa Rica) at the Summit of the Americas.

    Gateway Pundit has the speech.

  94. Add in the increased price of lumber over the last 20 years as the greenies closed down the PNW to logging.

    Course, they all live in wood frame houses with redwood decks out beyond the bright lights, or in old wood frame houses ala North Portland, where the sidewalks were put in 90 years ago.

    They're just doing it for your own good, Bob. Think of the children.

  95. I just hope your subdivision isn't a pasture with sidewalks, roundabouts, parks, and utility stubouts rising like weeds in a few years like many in NW Arkansas, sans the sidewalks.

    They reached too far.

  96. Still waitin' on the wife.

    Sidewalks are nice, but on many of these culdesacs aren't needed on both sides, and my plan calls for three small culdesacs. In Twin Falls, looking around, many of the gated communities had sidewalks on only one side. Fancy homes, gated, one sidewalk. Looks and works perfectly fine.

    I've noticed too sidewalks aren't really used all that much in many neighborhoods.

    But they are nice.

    A bike path? Well, that's just added fluff. People can bike in the street. Or, on the two sidewalks.

    Also, the utilities have to be underground, but I'm for that, looks better, easier to maintain, I'd imagine. Dad put in the first underground utilities in the city.

    Also, these days, we have to have water runoff mitigation ponds, or whatever they're called. For that hundred year flood. This too is probably necessary, the creek and water plant can't handle it all anymore. They even look nice, cat tails and plants growing up. Breeds mosquitoes though.

    And we don't really need a traffic circle. What's the point in that, with four streets coming together. Stop signs work fine. On another traffic circle in town, which should look nice, it turns out there is a forest of traffic signs around, kind of ruining the looks.

    I suggested we nix the green strip between the sidewalks and the streets, where the trees are planted, and instead have it for parking, with a tree box every few dozen feet, but got told no, makes snow plowing too hard. Would make for a little wider street. With cars parked in the street anyhow, plowing is always hard anyway, but the city planner thinks he knows best.

    All this stuff adds up fast.

    I'll go slow, the banker will make me, if nothing else. Developing can turn into a nightmare, fast.

    Now the wife is finally ready.

  97. -
    UCSB Alum Graduates from Prison, anticipates Ayers, ACORN Grants from Obama Admin.

    Kilgore joined the SLA after graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1969.Barbara Bodine, Joe Wilson, James Kilgore...

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The last captured member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, the radical 1970s-era group notorious for bank robberies, killings and the kidnapping of newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst, was released from prison Sunday, a corrections official said.

    James William Kilgore, 61, was paroled from High Desert State Prison after serving a six-year sentence for the murder of housewife Myrna Opsahl during an April 1975 bank robbery.

    Kilgore had eluded arrest longer than any of his fellow SLA fugitives. His cover unraveled after the 1999 arrest of his former girlfriend, Sara Jane Olson, who had become a doctor's wife in St. Paul, Minn. Olson, formerly known as Kathleen Soliah, was paroled from a California prison in March.

    The gang of mostly white, privileged would-be revolutionaries led by a black ex-convict also was responsible for the murder of Oakland school superintendent Marcus Foster, bank robberies, and the attempted bombings of Los Angeles police cars. Joseph Remiro is serving a life sentence for Foster's 1973 murder.
    " They were an extremely misguided group of idealists. They really believed they could make the world better by what they did," Jordan said. "I just think they tapped into some mythological fairy story. "

    Sorry about that, Mum,
    and oh, btw: Happy Mother's Day!
    Jon Opsahl, whose 42-year-old mother was shot to death by another SLA member as she deposited a church collection 34 years ago, expressed sympathy in a recent interview for a man he called an idealist who
    "got in with the wrong crowd."

  98. Thank the progressives, Bob.

    Mat included.

    Y'all will have much to debate, bicycle riding around Haifa. Never far from a bomb shelter.

    Tell him linear says hi.

  99. 45. Subotai Bahadur:

    #28 RAH

    You have laid out very accurately the real situation in international life, in the absence of the option of some power wielding an overwhelming force to impose some system of order [that order may not be 'just' by our principles, but it will be a system with its own rules. Keep in mind that tyranny is a system.]. If you are a small nation that has depended on the support of a larger patron to limit the worst attacks against your sovereignty or survival, and that patron disappears or changes sides, your only hope for survival is to be able to inflict enough damage on your enemies yourself to eliminate them, either completely or at least as a force that can do you harm.


    Some years ago, as I have mentioned before, I was involved in a project that considered amongst other things how far Israel could reach and where and how it could strike if it was in a literal existential crisis. There were a number of scenarios. The best I could calculate from open sources, Israel’s nuclear deterrent is far larger than publicly conjectured. There is a wide range it can fall into, but taking a credible median figure, and with the known Israeli means of delivery [which can be researched with far more confidence], it should have the ability to destroy the Ummah as a cultural and economic entity. It would take a slightly unorthodox targeting strategy, tailoring it to specific effects of nuclear detonations, but it could be done. And they would have enough left, and appropriate delivery means, that they could credibly threaten, not destruction, but the ability to inflict unacceptable damage to all other nuclear powers.

    There is absolutely NO benefit to Israel if it should choose a more “moderate” set of targeting parameters. Nothing short of absolute defeat will end the threat of attacks from the Ummah. And nothing short of the ability to credibly threaten the other nuclear powers will forestall their coming in on the side of the Ummah either actively during the hostilities or in vengeance afterwards. I am not of the Judeo-Christian persuasion, but in this case, Shema Yisroel.

    In passing, you applied the concept of power relations to internal matters in the Middle East, most accurately, and mentioned its relationship to the West:

    Western societies progress beyond that because we delegated justice to a third party and that third party delivered on the promise. When justice fails then people will take that power back and deliver it on their own. That usually makes a society more violent. If a family or clan fails to defend or provide revenge for a killing of one of theirs, that family will not survive. Simple law of survival. If the family calls out to its ally to provide justice and that ally only gives lip service, then the family must either get a stronger ally or do it on its own

    h/t Doug

    Happy Mothers' Day, y'all.

  100. Well, if the least expensive lot is $65,000, then the least expensive houses will be selling for over $300,000.
    You cannot build on a $65,000 lot and sell the house for less & have the project pencil.

    With Idaho in the number 8 spot, as far as forclosures go, with 1 in every 147 homes going back to the lender, I'd be careful about changing the property tax status on your "development", bob.

    But that may already have happened, with the permiting.

    Developing real estate is a risky business, in the best of times.

  101. In Latah County the average listing price for a home is:

    Latah $241,632

    Can't build a $240,000 house on a $65,000 lot, sell it and make money.

  102. The building valuation for permit fee, in Latah County:
    Residence .......$58.55/sq. ft
    Uncovered ..........$7.30/sq. ft.
    Covered ............$10.96/sq. ft.
    Covered and Enclosed....$14.44/sq. ft.
    Carport ............$14.44/sq. ft.
    Garage .............$21.14/sq. ft.

    The house has to be about 2500', at a minimum, so $145,000 for the livable space and a 400' garage for another $8,400.

    So the building permit is $1,500.
    Plus hook-ups to water, sewage and power.

    Those can really add up.
    Say, $5,000, mimimum.
    Real Estate commissions 5% of sales price. Of $240,000 = $12,000.

    Almost $20,000 in fees.
    So, we're at $85,000 and have not turned a spade or driven a nail.

    We now have a remainder of $155,000 to build a 3/2, 2500 sq ft home, with a 2 car garage.
    And turn a profit.

    To do this, at the $62 per sq ft remaining, unrealistic, in the extreme.

  103. This comment has been removed by the author.

  104. Even so, bob, her average listing is still shy of $254,000.

    At $65,000 for the lot, the completed project would have to sell for 5 times that, $325,000, to begin to make sense.

    Not that the jouses couldn't be built and sold at that price, just in the current atmosphere, without a cashflow engine that could finance the infrastructure buildout, I'd be really wary of taking on that kind of debt.
    Especially if I was the kind of guy that wouldn't go to Haifa on a credit card.

    Betting the farm on a speculative real estate infrastructure buildout.

    It may be better for you sell the permited project and the land, as a package to a real developer.

  105. Team IdahoRun by Shelley, rich woman who works her heart out. Why folks do what they do when they don't need to beats me.

  106. These numbers are from your realtors powerpoint presentation, bob.

    In Moscow proper is selling lower than the County average, according to Ms Bennett.

    Moscow Residental Statistice
    1/1/08 - 12/31/08

    Homes Sold - 2007 = 347, 2008 = 307
    Avg. Sales Price - 2007 = $200,778
    2008 = $204,868

  107. They wouldn't let you put in townhouses or apartments?

  108. This comment has been removed by the author.

  109. The Moscow housing market, at 300 houses sold per year, is not very large. How many lots did you get approved, and what what kind of buildout rate will you need to carry the infrastructure costs?

    2 or 3 houses coming on line per month, in the S325,000 and up range will flood that portion of the local housing market.
    It'd be around 10% of all the homes sold, each year.

    An even larger portion of the upscale market.

    Even one a month, would be a healthy chuck of what was available.

  110. $72,000--
    Tad bit larger than normal maybe but just a lot on a culdesac street.

  111. I asked for R-4 on all of it which is apartments, high density, not because I thought it might all go that way--we are getting overbuilt now--but because with R-4, you can build R-3, R-2 and down to single family R-1 so I'd have the most choices in the matter, then let the market decide.

    Planner said the arterial street wouldn't handle the traffic, which is B.S.

    Then he wanted a connecting street to a guy who has a mobile home park over the hill, and 30 acres of R-4 on top of the hill next to mine, and that would put 30 acres of R-4 possibly utilizing my streets to get to the mall and U of I, the closest route.

    This didn't sit well with me so we are having a big argument. I'm going to the politicians now. If they don't support me, I will scale back the amount of land I am asking to be rezoned, because I'm not building that man's street.

    There it stands.

    Zoning I've agreed to is a mix of the above zones. In all a little over 100 lots.

    What Moscow needs right now is duplex lots, and we have front loaded the project for that.

    It is designed to be built in five stages.

    You're right, things move slowly here compared to other places. I imagine I'll be dead before I see the end of it.

    Wanted to take advantage of the current city council to get the zoning changed. Didn't realize I would have to plat out a project, which is a new requirement in itself.

  112. We have been getting some escapees from larger areas that find the place a relative island of tranquility. Trouble is, no golf in the winter, not much to do.

    But, you probably won't get mugged.

  113. Agency: Moscow Realty
    MLS#: 59160 Zoning: SF
    Terms: cash
    School District: Moscow
    Lot Dimensions: 14,844

    Covenants and restrictions reqire the following home styles: Cape Cod, Tudor, Bungalow or Craftsman. Read CC&R for details. Home Occupations allowed according to Moscow City Code. Owner will consider subordinating for qualified Buyer

    I think that this one, is a bit more informative, of the available lots.

  114. I've also got one lot for Motor Business for a neighborhood bar, which we desperately need. :)

  115. C.I.A. officials for months have resisted requests by Mr. Zardari to share the drone technology. In a television interview broadcast Sunday, the Pakistani leader said he would keep pressing to get his own Predator fleet.

    “I’ve been asking for them, but I haven’t got a positive answer as yet,” Mr. Zardari said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    “But I’m not giving up.”
    Al Qaeda

  116. I don't think we ought to give any technology to the Paks. Any more technology to the Paks.

    They might well put Dr. Bomb, whatever his name was, in charge of it. Soon Osama's men might have it.

    Bad idea.

  117. "We have been getting some escapees from larger areas that find the place a relative island of tranquility. Trouble is, no golf in the winter, not much to do.

    But, you probably won't get mugged."
    Careful, you're drifting toward thought crime yourself.

  118. It may be better for you sell the permited project and the land, as a package to a real developer.I've thought of that but the prospects are slim.

    The folks that could do it would be Albright and Sons, who built the first part. They could put those streets in and sell the lots. They're just not in that kind of business though, unless they got a nephew maybe in real estate.

    Just got to do it slow, keep the taxes down by growing alfalfa, sell piece by piece. That's the ticket, but, I'll be dead before I get that Zimmer Motor Car.

  119. Albright and Sons is one of those small companies that make you have some faith in America. Old man grandpa Albright started it maybe sixty or seventy years ago, and they can build practically anything now, still in the family, third generation, if I have my facts right. Did a good job for me.

    Obama will want to tax folks like them to death, and he isn't fit to tie their shoes.

    Albright and Sons

  120. Obama's opposition to taxing employer-provided health insurance isn't the only campaign position he might have to jettison to pay for health care.

    He once criticized his chief Democratic presidential rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, for proposing that everyone in the U.S. be required to have medical insurance. Yet such a mandate probably will be in what Congress puts together because requiring individuals to pay would lower federal costs.

    For Obama, there are no easy ways to pay for health care. Options include raising other taxes, cutting deeply into Medicare payments to providers, or phasing in the expansion of coverage for the uninsured -- beyond his four-year term.
    Health Care Plan

  121. Borking Machine gets an early tuneup.The president's farewell toast to David Souter suggests that he's not necessarily looking for a lawyer who understands the Constitution and the meaning of an oath to protect and defend that Constitution, but a nominee who knows all the words to "Kumbaya" and wants to give the world a Coke. "I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about abstract legal theory or a footnote in a casebook; it is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives, whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation. I view that quality of empathy ... as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions."

    This is an odd job description from a man who once taught constitutional law, but there's a considerable difference between the Constitution and constitutional law. The Constitution is a remarkable document, written by learned men in the plain language that the common man understands. The modern study of constitutional law is the work of lawyers trained to deconstruct plain language in search of things the authors of the Constitution never put there. Mr. Sessions and his colleagues have thankless work to do.

    • Wesley Pruden

  122. Blogger linearthinker said...

    Add in the increased price of lumber over the last 20 years as the greenies closed down the PNW to logging.

    ehhh?? Take a look at the Canada/US softwood lumber dispute. That lumber lobby in the US is strong and interested in maintaining higher prices.

  123. Hey Bob,

    I yesterday's NY Times they had an article where they highlighted Idaho and spoke of housing developments just like yours sounds. You might find it interesting...

    "A lattice of trails threads into the surrounding Rocky Mountain foothills. A combination of outdoor appeal, local technology jobs and affordable homes has attracted thousands of families to the area. Many have escaped expensive, traffic-filled lives in cities like Seattle, Los Angeles and Phoenix. Some have settled in Craftsman-style homes north of downtown. Many have landed in suburbs west of town, where vast stretches of farmland have been carved into subdivisions.

    In what now stands as the guiding narrative of precrisis American life, abundant land fertilized by easy finance delivered a local construction boom, much as it did in Florida, California and elsewhere, on seemingly every patch of soil not occupied by a toxic waste dump. Speculators poured in on organized bus trips, driving prices skyward.

    But after too many homes were built and prices had climbed beyond any rational connection to local incomes, Boise suffered the same punishing pullback that has afflicted much of the country.

    Prices of existing homes in the Boise area leapt from an average of $130,000 in 2003 to $206,000 in 2007 but fell to $170,000 by the end of 2008, according to Moody’s"


    "Micron’s troubles help explain why Paramount — a suburban development with plans for 1,500 homes — remains only one-third built five years after it was begun. “THIS STREET IS TO BE EXTENDED IN THE FUTURE,” read placards affixed to barriers where pavement gives way to empty, scrub-covered earth.

    Paramount is the work of a local developer, the Brighton Corporation, whose principal, Peter Oliver, grew up in a hippie commune in New Mexico. “All I ever wanted was indoor plumbing and cable television,” Mr. Oliver recalls.

    Now he makes his living peddling the comforts he once craved, offering a quintessential slice of American suburbia. Yet the credit that nurtured this lifestyle for decades is gone, putting his homes beyond reach of many families. In this new, post-easy-money era, many households are relinquishing aspirations for more, bigger, newer.

    “This isn’t a correction,” Mr. Oliver says. “It’s a full-blown reset.”"


    "BOISE still faces hurdles. So much lending poured into real estate development that the area is encircled by a kingdom of empty lots, making banks on the hook for those loans reluctant to take risks on other ventures.

    “There’s probably an eight-year supply of building lots,” says Dave Player, senior vice president in commercial lending at Mountain West Bank, a regional lender.

    As speculators absorb losses, breadwinners surrender wages, and low introductory rates on mortgages reset higher, a foreclosure wave appears to be gathering force. In some suburban areas, like Meridian, foreclosures increased nearly 75 percent over the first three months of the year, according to RealtyTrac.

    “If we don’t get those foreclosures stopped, this is going to be long and painful,” says Ms. Boyle of Evergreen Home Loans. “Foreclosures are killing us.”

    The federal government has long portrayed foreclosures as a crucial national problem, but ever since the financial crisis began, it has failed to find solutions."

  124. Yeah, going to Twin Falls we looked over Boise too.

    Quite a change. Definitely overbuilt. But man, they have created some nice neighborhoods, if they can find some folks to live in them.

    My old realtor, who was from Boise, said to me some years ago. "Bob, you wouldn't believe Boise. They are building housing to put the builders in."


    then Bust.

  125. the trick, it seems, from a developers perspective, is to ride the boom and be out by the bust. Easier said then done of course...

  126. Ash:

    Blogger linearthinker said...

    Add in the increased price of lumber over the last 20 years as the greenies closed down the PNW to logging.

    ehhh?? Take a look at the Canada/US softwood lumber dispute. That lumber lobby in the US is strong and interested in maintaining higher prices.

    ...Since 1989, 168 mills had closed, and approximately 22,000 jobs had been lost in Oregon and Washington because of federal timber reductions. In 1994 one mill was closing in the Pacific Northwest every other week. For the first time the United States was importing more than half the newsprint it consumed. Saving the owl had effectively shut down an area larger than Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut combined, costing the economy tens of billions of dollars and casting tens of thousands out of work.

    Timber harvests on regional federal lands dropped from 5.4 billion board feet in 1989 to less than 800 million in 1994.
    As harvests dropped to a trickle, timber prices shot through the roof. By January, 1994 they were rising to their maximum daily limit in trading at the Chicago Merchantile Exchange.
    Stud prices were up 75 percent over the preceeding four months.
    In A Dark Wood, Alston Chase, p.398

    Prices peaked in 1998, fluctuating below that level since, but never returned to their pre-owl hysteria levels.

  127. Ash is partly correct in pointing out the lobbying effort to protect the US lumber industry from imported timber, but there are more factors to be included in that argument than I want to chase. Right now.

    Without looking I'd expect the prices are off significantly due to lowered demand.