“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, November 15, 2009

American workers under siege from China?

China has now become the biggest risk to the world economy

Far from taking over as the engine of growth from an exhausted West, China is making matters worse. Its "beggar-thy-neighbour" policies continue to play havoc with global trade and risk tipping the world into a second leg of the Great Recession.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Telegraph

Published: 6:21PM GMT 15 Nov 2009

"The inherent problems of the international economic system have not been fully addressed," said China's president Hu Jintao. Indeed not. China is still exporting overcapacity to the rest of us on a grand scale, with deflationary consequences.

While some fret about liquidity-driven inflation, Justin Lin, World Bank chief economist, said the greater danger is that record levels of idle plant almost everywhere will feed a downward spiral of job cuts and corporate busts. "I'm more worried about deflation," he said.

By holding the yuan to 6.83 to the dollar to boost exports, Beijing is dumping its unemployment abroad – "stealing American jobs", says Nobel laureate Paul Krugman. As long as China does it, other tigers must do it too.
Western capitalists are complicit, of course. They rent cheap workers and cheap plant in Guangdong, then lobby Capitol Hill to prevent Congress doing anything about it. This is labour arbitrage.

At some point, American workers will rebel. US unemployment is already 17.5pc under the broad "U6" gauge followed by Barack Obama. Realty Track said that 332,000 properties were foreclosed in October alone. More Americans have lost their homes this year than during the entire decade of the Great Depression. A backlog of 7m homes is awaiting likely seizure by lenders. If you are not paying attention to this political time-bomb, perhaps you should.

President Obama said before going to China this week that Asia can no longer live by shipping goods to Americans already in debt to their ears. "We have reached one of those rare inflection points in history where we have the opportunity to take a different path," he said. Failure to take that path will "put enormous strains" on America's ties to China. Is that a threat?

It is fashionable to talk of America as the supplicant. That misreads the strategic balance. Washington can bring China to its knees at any time by shutting markets. There is no symmetry here. Any move by Beijing to liquidate its holdings of US Treasuries could be neutralized – in extremis – by capital controls. Well-armed sovereign states can do whatever they want.

If provoked, the US has the economic depth to retreat into near autarky (with NAFTA) and retool its industries behind tariff walls – as Britain did in the 1930s under Imperial Preference. In such circumstances, China would collapse. Mao statues would be toppled by street riots.

Mr Hu sounded conciliatory last week. China is taking "vigorous" steps to cut reliance on exports, still 39pc of GDP. "We want to increase people's ability to spend," he said.

Beijing is indeed boosting pensions and extending health insurance to the countryside so that people feel less need to save, but cultural revolutions take time. All we have seen so far are "baby steps", says Morgan Stanley's Stephen Roach.

The reality is that much of Beijing's $600bn stimulus has been spent building yet more plant and infrastructure so that China can ship yet more goods, or has leaked into property and stocks.

Credit has exploded. Allocated by Maoist bosses for political purposes, it has become absurd. China is rolling as much steel as the next eight producers combined. It is churning more cement than the rest of the world. Fixed investment is up 53pc this year. Once you know that Hunan authorities have torn down two miles of modern flyway so that they can soak up stimulus by building it again, or that the newly-built city of Ordos is sitting empty in Inner Mongolia, you know what must come next.

Pivot Asset Management said lending has touched 140pc of GDP, "well beyond" levels that have led to crises in the past. With the revolution's 60th birthday out of the way, the central bank has begun to tighten. New yuan loans halved in October. So be careful. Pivot said a hard-landing in China could prove as traumatic for world markets as the US sub-prime crash.

The world economy is still skating on thin ice. The West is sated with debt, the East with plant. The crisis has been contained (or masked) by zero rates and a fiscal blast, trashing sovereign balance sheets. But the core problem remains. The Anglo-sphere and Club Med are tightening belts, yet Asia is not adding enough demand to compensate. It is adding supply.

My view is that markets are still in denial about the structural wreckage of the credit bubble. There are two more boils to lance: China's investment bubble; and Europe's banking cover-up. I fear that only then can we clear the rubble and, very slowly, start a fresh cycle.


  1. yep a clusterf*ck...

    As long as the yuan is peg'd artificially

    As long as the chinese dont spend money on healthcare, earthquake proofing, better quality for the average chinese....

    As long as they remain a mass producer of stolen intellectual property rights they will be the back water 3rd world nation that they are...

    If china seeks an equal seat at the table of nations, it must reform it's currency manipulation, it's lack of true quality control and it must live up to human rights and laws...

    Free Tibet is but a SMALL price china may or may not be willing to pay for to achieve international greatness...

    Or it can continue to bleed the world, take over country after country and become a the thing that the world fears most...

    Imperial China...

    If i was a betting man, I would bet china is laughing it's ass off now that BHO is the so-called leader of the west...

  2. The most interesting number, there, was that "Export" was down to 39% of the Chinese economy. That is considerable progress.

    First Rule: No Sudden Moves.

    First Action: Keep hammering them on the Yuan.

    Thought of the Day: Remember Smoot-Hawley.

  3. Charlie laughed at Nixon, too.

    As far as the Chinese are concerned, THEY ARE the whirled.

    While everyone here at the Bar has been hyping the coming inflation, this piece tells us that deflation is the real danger.

    I happen to agree, that deflation of real assets, along with an increase in the money supply, equals stagflation the likes of which has never been seen before.

    Neither of our Federal Socialist political parties has a "Plan" for, let alone "Hope" of, a solution. Both still deny the basic challenge.

    While the solution, a greater emphasis on development in the Americas, falls on xenophobic ears. Though the author acknowledges that reality.

    Finally a piece from an author with some common cents.

  4. We've got some serious problems.

    China's not one of them.

  5. China is, if anything, one of the "solutions."

  6. We weren't taken down by China.

    We were taken down by crazed speculation, and corruption on Wall Street, and in our Financial Markets, and escalating gas prices.

    300 Million Consumers (us) are benefitted during these tough times by affordable goods at Walmart, and Pep Boys. We've got to keep hammering on them to buy more "High-Value Goods" from us, but we don't want to do anything stupid (trade war.)

    One thing: As energy costs rise, more manufacturing WILL, of necessity, move out of Asia, and Back to the Americas. It's the nature of things.

  7. We are in a symbiotic relationship with Charlie, the results of 100 years of Russell Company influence in both countries.

    Tied together at the hip, we are, now.

  8. Yes we are, Rat. Yes we are. Married. Till Death do us Part. For Better, or Worse.

    And, like most "grown-up" problems, the "feel-good" solution is, probably, the one that's going to lead to bankruptcy.

  9. I've heard that the Chinese claim a 5% unemployment rate but 20% is closer to the truth. That being the case, can you blame them for doing everything in their power to get their economy (it's an export economy) going again?

    Also, isn't it ridiculous for us to demand that they consume more? Think about it. What we need to do is take care of our back yard and not worry so much about everyone else's.

  10. Hell, whit, I've read that we've got a 20% unemployment rate, if those that fall off the report for being unemployed for "to long" are factored in.

    I guess if you cannot find a job in a year, well then you no longer are amongst the unemployed, as far as the Federals reports are concerned.

  11. Just give free healthcare to illegal Hispanics.

    THAT'll solve unemployment!

    (It was at this point before that 'Rat inserted some extraneous comment about service jobs. if there are not millions of REAL JOBs taken by illegals.)

    Work that now more than ever in recent history, Americans are more than willing to do.

  12. Why Does He Hate Us?

    It must be an odd thing to be President of a country that you think has an evil history. The roots of President Obama's anti-Americanism.

    In the area of foreign and national security policy, however, Obama can operate largely unchecked. And a weak, guilt-ridden policy toward our foreign adversaries is almost certain to produce grave consequences.

    To some extent, we have seen this act before. The damage of just four years of Jimmy Carter's America-effacing presidency included Soviet expansion, communist inroads in Latin America, the replacement of a friendly government with a virulently anti-American theocracy in Iran, and a prolonged hostage crisis that came to symbolize the new American impotence.

    But although Carter was ambivalent about America, his efforts to promote democracy abroad showed that he thought we had something to offer t[he] world. Obama will not grant America even that.

    Emulating Carter the ex-president, rather than President Carter, Obama has shown essentially no interest in human rights or democracy promotion. His belated support of the Iranian protesters following this summer's election could hardly have been more lukewarm.

    It seems that, in Obama's view, all we have to offer the world is our non-interference in its affairs, except perhaps when it comes to bullying our allies.

    Read it all

  13. No, doug, I do not talk aabout service jobs, but work at Tyson and the like. The diminishing of the skills required to build a house, and the stagnation of wages in the construction business.

    But that does not change the reality of the situation we find ourselves in, by design.

    Whether that design was faulty, does not much matter, now. We are where we are and there is no going back.
    It is not politically possible.

    So once the battle for America was joined, in 1836, there was no turning back. We either have to culturally change Mexico, or be changed, ourselves.

    It has been the mission of the Rockefeller family for over 60 years. Walmart is on the team, there is no turning back, no surrender, no retreat.

    We change the Mexicans or they change US. There will be no wall of seperation.

    Look at a map.

  14. Those Ford and Government Motors plants in Mexico, do you propose that the President order divestment by US interests?

    Would that be part of your border agenda?

    How about that I-35 corridor project? Should we close that project down, or do we want the jobs?

  15. I'm watching WWII on the History Channel.

  16. "Peak Oil" may or may not be a geological reality. I tend to think it is a reality, regardless of the geology.

    If one figures the amount of oil reserves available, not in absolute terms, but per user.

    Could production capacity outpace consumption over the long term. I think the answer is no. Drill as many wells as can be licensed or leased, and it will not keep pace with "free market" consumption.

    Even if old Buddy Larsons' goal of free market oil can be maintained, the market's growth will out pace supply.

    Agricultural ethanol from non food stocks, that is a program that the Federals would be pursuing in earnest, if they were interested in energy security. That the Government is not, tells a tale all it's own.

  17. Rat, as you know, I've studied this ethanol/oil situation for four years, now.

    I will tell you that the Obama administration is quietly, subtly working "against" ethanol. The sins are mostly of the "omission" variety, not of the "commission" sort. From a distance it just looks like bureaucratic inefficiency, and inertia; but, it's more than that.

    Now, that, plus the fact that they're, pretty much, working against the oil companies and their "offshore" projects, and you begin to wonder "WTF?" Who IS that asshole working for?

  18. Lester Crown and the Sauds, rufus. That's who.

    The folks that have funded him, that got him to the White House.

    Make no mistake, the presence of General Dynamics is right there in the Oval Office.

  19. Oh, and ms trish, a 35 foot cat is all you'd require. More than enough space for two to live aboard.

    Small enough to sail alone.

  20. There is a large community of petroleum engineers, analysts, geologists, etc. that actively track information on oil fields, drilling, shipments, leases, bids, and so forth. They, largely to a man, say the world will never again produce as much Oil as it produced in 2005.

    The OECD countries used to be all that mattered. No more. Non-OECD countries are now 45% of global demand, and the percentage is growing rapidly.

    OECD demand is, due to the recession, Down by approx. 4.5 Million Barrels/day. However, Chinese, Indian, and Saudi demand is growing steadily. Chinese demand is exploding.

    Even though oil is "plentiful," today, the Traders are looking at next year. And, there's not much oil coming online, next year. Even less in 2011, and even less in 2012. That's why the price of oil is stubbornly refusing (so far) to fall in the face of large inventories.

  21. I don't think a lot of people realize that it requires the bringing online of about 4 Million Barrels of oil every year just to "stay even." We "might" bring 3 million online, next year. Two and a half is probably more likely. 2011 will be less. 2012 less again.

  22. Are American workers under siege from China?


    Does it have to be that way? Nope.


    Subject: Gun registration in Vermont

    Finally ..... A Sensible Gun Registration Plan That Will Work
    Vermont State Rep. Fred Maslack has read the Second Amendment to the U.S.
    Constitution, as well as Vermont 's own Constitution very carefully, and his strict interpretation of these documents is popping some eyeballs in New England and elsewhere.
    Maslack recently proposed a bill to register "non-gun-owners" and require them to pay a $500 fee to the state. Thus Vermont would become the first state to require a permit for the luxury of going about unarmed and assess a fee of $500 for the privilege of not owning a gun Maslack read the "militia" phrase of the Second Amendment as not only affirming the right of the individual citizen to bear arms, but as a clear mandate to do so. He believes that universal gun ownership was advocated by the Framers of the Constitution as an antidote to a "monopoly of force" by the government as well as criminals. Vermont 's constitution states explicitly that "the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State" and those persons who are conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms" shall be required to "pay such equivalent." Clearly, says Maslack, Vermonters have a
    constitutional obligation to arm themselves, so that they are capable of responding to "any situation that may arise."
    Under the bill, adults who choose not to own a firearm would be required to register their name, address, Social Security Number, and driver's license number with the state. "There is a legitimate government interest in knowing who is not prepared to defend the state should they be asked to do so," Maslack says Vermont already boasts a high rate of gun ownership along with the least restrictive laws of any state .. it's currently the only state that allows a citizen to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. This combination of plenty of guns and few laws regulating them has resulted in a crime rate that is the third lowest in the nation " America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."
    This makes sense! There is no reason why gun owners should have to pay taxes to support police protection for people not wanting to own guns. Let them contribute their fair share and pay their own way.

  23. Just when you think there's no hope a guy like that comes along and brightens your day.

    Concealed carry w/o a permit, and the 3 rd lowest crime rate in the nation. Astounding!

    "Live Free or Die"

  24. I don't think it's politically impossible to rid the country of significant numbers of non-citizens simply by stopping government programs that fund them with our money.
    Walmart and Ford are good things.
    The public education system and welfare for illegals breeds unpatriotic non-productive illiterates.
    Healthy young workers should be building the Mexican economy.

    Money Trickles North as Mexicans Help Relatives

    Some down-and-out Mexican families are scraping together what they can to support their unemployed loved ones in the United States.

  25. Dozens of Gitmo detainees finally get day in court
    More detainees are expected to soon be added to the prosecution list. But there will still be plenty of cases left among the 215 detainees now at Guantanamo to keep the judges here busy as they work to clear a legal morass the Bush administration created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    Bush administration Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once promised Guantanamo held "the worst of the worst." The judges here have rejected pleas for release from eight detainees, but they have concluded the government doesn't even have enough evidence to keep 30 other detainees behind bars.

    "There is absolutely no reason for this court to presume that the facts contained in the government's exhibits are accurate," District Judge Gladys Kessler wrote in ordering the release of Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed. He was repatriated to Yemen after a seven-year stay at Guantanamo, where he was brought as a teenager.

    "Much of the factual material contained in those exhibits is hotly contested for a host of different reasons ranging from the fact that it contains second- and third-hand hearsay to allegations that it was obtained by torture to the fact that no statement purports to be a verbatim account of what was said," Kessler said. She ruled the government failed to prove the detainee was part of or substantially supported Taliban or al-Qaida forces.

  26. I don't think you could show that Major Hasan was part of the Taliban or al-Qaeda either.

  27. SHANGHAI (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday the greatest threats to the United States continued to be terrorist networks like al Qaeda.

    "I continue to believe that the greatest threat to the United States' security are the terrorist networks like al Qaeda," he told students at a town hall meeting in Shanghai. "They have now moved over the border of Afghanistan and are in Pakistan, but they continue to have networks with other extremist organizations in that region and I do believe it is important for us to stabilize Afghanistan."

    I've got news for him. They have now moved over the border into Afghanistan...

  28. Hey Whit:
    A few years ago we were always hearing the latest human alligator meal story.
    ...seems to have quieted down:
    Anything Change?
    (Idle thot while watching my "pet" geckos on my window)

  29. Reptiles and Amphibians of the Hawaiian Islands

    Hawaii is unique in that there were no land reptiles or amphibians that were able to colonize the islands on their own!
    What got here? ...

  30. Both lizards and snakes are grouped in the order Squamata. Yet, most people have no problem differentiating them, and thus, I have split them up into two major groupings here. We'll talk about the Lizards, referring to the Suborder Sauria When you walk into the forest or through Waikiki its the lizards, you are most likely to hear and see. Geckos 'chirp' at night and can be seen running along window screens; Anole lizards perch quietly on foliage plants around populated areas; Skinks scuttle through the forest vegetation as we walk on trails. Yet, no lizard ever made it to Hawaii naturally! Its believed that a few geckos and possibly some skinks came over with polynesian voyagers and colonized the islands, but their habitation of the islands is still very recent. Today over 17 species can be found established on the islands. Some are more difficult to find than others. We've chronicled each species that you may find here, so that you can easily identify your last encounter.

  31. Geckos are one of the few reptiles or amphibians that are notorious for colonizing islands. Part of the reason for this is that some geckos have the amazing ability of pathogenesis. In essence, this means that one gecko, who successfully made it do an island can produce unfertilized eggs that later become a whole clan of female clones!

    That's pretty amazing isn't it!

    Its the same reason that the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park II and III were able to come back, even though they made them all girls!

    In Hawaii there are currently 7 geckos. They are all introduced, yet they are unsure which may have been introduced by polynesians.

  32. House geckos feast on juvenile geckos, including their own. They are less afraid when they are preying. Add to this that the earlier geckos, with the exception of the Stump-Toe, are parthenogenic or unisexual. They are, in fact, all female, laying fertile eggs without the help of a male.

    The House Gecko, however, has males and females, and the males are simply too strong, too big, and too aggressive.

    The friendly females, despite seniority, don't stand a chance and are forced to find their meals elsewhere.

    So much for equality.

  33. Good question, Doug. Gator stories, shark stories, man bites dog stories. It seems they all run in spurts. Maybe it's the way the stars align.

    Maybe more hunting licenses and gator hunters play a part.

  34. Skinks and geckos,
    tired and poor
    yearning to breathe free.

  35. Well. dougo, you get the "good" and the "bad" in every deal.

    That local schools are failing, cannot be laid at DC's door. Schools have been a local government responsibility. That many localities are poorly performing, not to be blamed upon the students, either.

    I always thought it was the liberals that blamed the victim, but here, on the education issue, it is you. Living in Polynesia does seemed to have mellowed your stance. It is not, seemingly, as wide as it once was.

  36. Two comments within 24 hours about the stars being in alignment, now instead of Abrahamic doctrine, you fellas are advocating Astrology?

    The future is in the stars.

    Or is it the past?

  37. Funny thing about "Abrahamic" doctrine that the Rat Farter likes to quote...

    The Jews, thru Sarah and Abraham went forth with this concept for 1400 years ALONE...

    All the while the arabs of arabia worshipped pagan gods and ignored all traditions about ethics, law and monotheism...

    ONLY after another 400 years or so did Christianity arise with any force....

    Then in 640 CE did the arabs of arabia find the enlightenment of an "Abrahamic" tradition...

    One MUST ponder when someone talks of shared, so called "Abrahamic" tradition what that really means...

    there is no Abrahamic tradition in the trinity...

    there is no Abrahamic tradition in circling the kaaba

    there is no Abrahamic tradition in jihad

    there is no Abrahamic tradition in virgin birth

    there is no Abrahamic tradition in the devil

    hmmm... it sounds like another false fantasy based on the power of false myth...

  38. Mao's Jacket Fits Oba-Mao

    It probably works like this.

    Every morning when Obama rises he takes a deep and refreshing hot coffee high-colonic. During this meditative phase of his day he thinks,

    "Let's see... how can I show my contempt for America in a manner not previously thought possible?
    Last week I was giving the American flag my trademarked "crotch salute."**
    A day or so ago I was bending over for the Emperor of Japan.

    Humm, what's left? I know,

    I'll put on the biggest mass murderer of the 20th century's signature jacket for my photo-op. And some lip gloss! And pantyhose! Fuck yeah! [Fist pump]"

    Don't think so? Then, as Bird Dog notes, "figure out these photos of the O in a Mao jacket from today or yesterday.

    Good grief. Never thought I'd see the day that an American Pres would put on a Mao jacket. It sends a peculiar message. I would wear a tutu before I'd put on one of those - except maybe for Halloween. -- Life imitates satire - Maggie's Farm

    **Signature Crotch Salute as the Flag passes:

  39. "I'll put on the biggest mass murderer of the 20th century's signature jacket for my photo-op. And some lip gloss! And pantyhose! Fuck yeah! [Fist pump]"

  40. .....Good grief. Never thought I'd see the day that an American Pres would put on a Mao jacket. It sends a peculiar message. I would wear a tutu before I'd put on one of those - except maybe for Halloween. -- Life imitates satire - Maggie's Farm

    **Signature Crotch Salute as the Flag passes:



  41. In Hawaii there are currently 7 geckos. They are all introduced, yet they are unsure which may have been introduced by polynesians.

    There are only 7 geckos, in all Hawaii?

    That's less than one gecko per isle.

    Least they all know one another.

    Them Polynesians, always trying to make matches.

    Them geckos, always did have poor memories.

    "Haven't I met you before, somewhere?"

  42. Our President, scratchin' his crotch like an outfielder during the Anthem, and in a Mao jacket too.

    Sad commentary.

  43. " America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."

    Vermont State Rep. Fred Maslack

  44. Gunmen were seen firing from the roofs of houses on the advancing column of vehicles during the pre-dawn operation Sunday.

    If gunmen could be seen from the ground, they would have been visible from the air. If visible from the air, they could have been eliminated from the air. Of course, collateral damage might have occurred, but that is the cost of war.

    On the matter of collateral damage, when this happens next our commander should let it be known that he will apologize as soon as the Taliban starts apologizing for same.

  45. During my absence I note that both trish and Judaism were given a royal, EB reaming.

    In trish’s case, I agree with her: This is not VJ day; we live in a society filled with Major Hasan’s, his sympathizers and all manner of self-indulgent cretins. About seven years ago, as my former spouse was preparing for deployment, she was advised by her boss, a full bird and Jew, to have her dog tags changed to “No Preference” as to religion. He had done so as a matter of self-preservation. You see, in a world filled with DR’s you have to consider the possibility that your adversary will be an uncivilized, frothing bigot.

    I will say nothing in defense of Judaism. We have managed to survive for millennia without the consent of anyone at the EB. Something tells me we will still flourish when America is the subject of ancient history.

  46. An 11-year-old boy killed a bear at point-blank range....

    The boy was at his home near Driggs with his younger sisters

    Just lookin' out for his little sisters.

    Driggs is a city in Teton County, Idaho, United States. It is part of the Jackson, WY-ID Micropolitan Statistical Area, and is located in Teton Valley. The population was 1,100 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Teton County.[1] It was founded by Don Carlos Driggs, whose descendants later moved to Arizona and founded Western Savings and Loan where most live still, though some remain in Idaho. John Driggs, a descendant of Don Carlos Driggs, later became the mayor of Phoenix, Arizona in the 1970s. National Geographic magazine listed Driggs as one of the 10 best outdoor recreation destinations in the U.S.[2]

    Driggs is down there sorta over towards Yellowstone.

  47. I have no disdain for Jews, but for the government of Isreal.

    That you continue to equate the two, that's on you, not me.


  48. And, finally, allen answers the question as to his true loyalties.

    Funny as how they are not to the folks that pay him.

  49. Well, not funny, but sad.

    That an American military man would place his allegiance first to his religion and not his country and fellow citizens.

  50. But that does qualify allen as an Isreali and not really one of US.

  51. I separate church and state, that you do not, allen.
    Why that's just anti-American.

  52. Rat Farts again: desert rat said...
    I separate church and state, that you do not, allen.
    Why that's just anti-American.

    You separate church and state, jew and israel from the world JUST as the USSR did...

    There is no other nation in the world who you do not miss-spell on purpose...

    You find Jews to bash on a weekly basis...

    You can try to wrap your farts in perfume...

    but it's still fecal vapor to ANYONE with a nose...

  53. One of our high school teachers - she was really good - told us that if a person or group possesses qualities or talents that are admirable and that you lack or possess in a lessor manner than they, what you do is not shuffle your feet in envy, chewing the cud of have not, rather what you do is respect it, and, if you can, try to emulate it.

    If that's found to be an impossible task, what you do, instead of picking at the scab of envy every day, and in public too, is shut the fuck up, and go your own way, in peace.

    Jewish people possess many admirable qualities, not the least of which is humor. On a good day, after a couple drinks, I might put up a good fight with them on that front. Other qualities that many of them possess in a greater amount than I, say higher mathematics, or a cultural tradition and cohesion greater than any I was born into, I celebrate, as being life affirming, competent, good.

    Recommended, as a healthy outlook.

  54. Joos are DIFFERENT.

    - Sal,
    Miller's go to Jew.

  55. al-Doug pulls cover up over his head in fear.

  56. An odd little story but what I find interesting is that there now seems to be a height requirement for women being recruited to Islam.

    A reporter for Italy's ANSA news agency went undercover with the women, who were hired for euro50 $75) by a modeling agency for the event Sunday evening. Journalist Paola Lo Mele said the women assembled at a hotel, where some where left behind because they were not tall enough or dressed modestly enough.

    Gadhafi Hosts Italian Women

  57. The longest journey starts with a single step. This is troubling.

    "Our government has now made the decision that Americans will return to engagement with the ICC," Rapp said. The U.S. is also considering how it will co-operate with the court in future, he said.

    US Envoy to Attend War Crimes Court Meeting

    I saw an another article the other day arguing that having the KSM trial in a civil court in NY was a back door move by the Big O to make information on the Bush administration policies (torture, rendition, lack of due process) made public without taking responsibility for it. In other words when the court supports the defense's demands for classified info the administration can say "hey, it wasn't us. The judge demanded it."

    My first reaction was here we go again, another conspiracy theory. The strange thing was that in the same article the idea of us eventually joining the ICC for the same political reasons was also brought up.

    Regardless of the reasons, bowing to the ICC on American sovereignty is a bad idea.

  58. It's a terrible idea, but what can we expect from this crew.

  59. Allen! Jesus Christ, where were you?! I had to spend the rest of the afternoon critiquing erotic literature. And doing my hair.

    Out in the sticks, allen (AKA: A Long Way From Dinner) it's no wedding band, nor tell-tale sign of one ever having been worn - and some manner of cross around your neck and under your garments. So that while you are obviously not a Member of the Club at nearer than ten paces and more than a second glance, you may nevertheless helpfully as A Person of the Book offer impromptu Bible instruction to your captors.

    That you're a bona fide bachelor and perhaps a fine suitor for so-and-so's niece, well, that just renders you a twofer in the event.

    Keep these things loosely in mind for future reference.

  60. I have the feeling we're going to get hit again, and soon, and hard.



    Published in the New York Post on November 16, 2009

    As he flew to Asia on Saturday, President Obama told the media in Alaska that he opposes a congressional investigation into the Fort Hood massacre, saying that we must "resist the temptation to turn this tragic event into political theater." Yet, even as he was posturing against political theatrics, he had just decided that the prosecution of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would proceed on the greatest of public stages -- New York City.

    With the strict evidentiary rules in force in federal civilian courts, it is easy to see how the prosecution of Mohammed could morph into an indictment of the Bush administration's interrogation techniques and waterboarding. As in rape trials, the magnitude of the underlying crime (masterminding the 9/11 attacks) might well be lost as the defense puts the victim (in this case, the government) on trial.

    It is not political theater itself to which Obama objects -- but theater that highlights issues that liberals would rather forget. He is quite content to let the Mohammed trial become the theater of the left. Perhaps even eager.

    Obama and his handlers know that the key to building favorable ratings is to control the agenda. And the more the national discussion centers on national security and terrorism, the more Republicans gain. So the Fort Hood terror attack comes at an awful time for an administration trying to turn the nation's attention away from the terrorist threat.

    As soon as the killing spree was over, Obama hastened to call it "an act of violence" -- obscuring the obvious fact that it was the most serious terror attack on US soil since 9/11. And, as evidence mounts that the FBI was on to Major Nidal Malik Hasan for years, the president is doing his best to stop Congress from finding out why these warnings went unheeded.

    Even as Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee confirmed that the government knew of 10 to 20 e-mails between Hasan and a radical imam in Yemen -- who was urging the killing of American troops -- starting last December, Obama hastened to urge Congress to refrain from investigating why the danger signs were ignored.

    The Obama administration has a clear agenda here:

    1) Stop people from focusing in how his administration permitted the worst domestic terror attack in eight years.

    2) Avoid a national airing of how liberal policies -- restraints on the intelligence community, political correctness in the armed forces -- might have inhibited the military from reining in Hasan.

    3) Re-ignite a firestorm on the left and abroad against the aggressive anti-terror policies of the Bush administration.

    Making all this particularly important for Obama are his other political needs.

    As he likely decides to send more troops to Afghanistan and eyes abandoning the "public option" to secure Senate passage of his health-care plan, Obama has to rebuild his credibility on the left. A public circus that focuses on waterboarding and interrogations could be just what he wants and needs.

  62. I'm no fan of most UN programs; however, I find it a bit ironic that one of the reasons countries refuse to help feed people today is that they expect to have to commit money next month to help poor countries pay to protect against climate change that may never happen.

    FAO's Assistant Director-General Alexander Mueller said governments kept away from firm commitments due to the economic crisis and because they expect they will need to channel money to the developing world at next month's summit on climate change in Copenhagen.

    Food Summit Turns Down Funding Appeal

  63. And precisely because it matters to no one here but me:

    The Marine Ball this year was not like last year. It was very pleasant; it was very well-orchestrated; it was, per usual, a sell-out event. (A note on the attendance: It's an embassy, and a very large one at that, so for every Marine there are 10 non-Marines and for every American there is one non-American - the idea being, in part, to share this tradition as widely as possible.) The music was fine. The booze was flowing. But it nevertheless comparatively lacked. And a handful of us was standing around in a thick cloud of cigar smoke wondering why.

    A number of unrelated elements spontaneously coalesced to make last year's event unexpectedly...noteworthy. And we made the innocent mistake this year of setting our expectations as high, if not higher.

    Sometimes everything magically, mysteriously comes together; sometimes it doesn't. This time it didn't.

    It will probably best be remembered by a few for a conversation involving Barry White, a purple plaid thong, and childhood sumo aspirations. On the way home. Shortly after midnight.

  64. trish wrote,

    "Allen! Jesus Christ, where were you?! I had to spend the rest of the afternoon critiquing erotic literature. And doing my hair."

    ...what a coincidence!

  65. trish,

    The lady of my life is a much younger woman from Atlanta. That she is a pediatrican helps (it having been my belief for several decades that men rarely move beyond the emotional state of a thirteen year-old). Clearly, then, I have chosen wisely.

    I try to get to Atlanta every Saturday for synagogue. Sunday is spent decompressing. So if you must fight, try to do so from Monday morning through Friday, 1700 :)

  66. Oops - pediatrician - I rest my case...

  67. Allen, I earnestly hope all proceeds into lasting happiness.

  68. Song

    "My heart is low, my heart is so low, as only a woman's heart can be"

    I dispute this affirmation.

    Sorry to repost the song, I've gotten to love some of these females Irish singers.

  69. female

    "memories flood my troubled heart...

    "while I know I'll survive alone, my heart is so alone, as only a woman's heart can be"

    Isn't she good!

  70. trish,

    Thank you!

    To her credit, she served in the USA - Bragg and Fort Sam, among others.

  71. chauvinism-: an attitude of superiority toward members of the opposite sex

    Song's definitely an example of overbearing female chauvinism!

  72. Mon Nov 16, 04:10:00 PM EST


    I admit to having bought a bottle of Bicardi today, and having a great time, reading Trish.

    And, listening to this wonderful music.

  73. This guy had as much business being an MD and an officer as my friends old cat.

    The cat would do much better, by licking the wounds, and not asking for pay.

  74. "The report says New York Fed officials mismanaged the negotiations with other banks, removing the threat that AIG would go bankrupt and bowing to a demand from French regulators that French banks holding AIG's debt insurance be paid in full.

    The initial bailout "was done with almost no independent consideration of the terms of the transaction or the impact that those terms might have on the future of AIG," the report says."

    But not to worry if these same guys manage health care

  75. ...officials did not intend to provide further assistance to AIG after an initial $85 billion bailout that the report says tied their hands. But AIG's total bailout package eventually amounted to more than $180 billion.

    "This report overlooks the central lesson learned from the" AIG rescue, Treasury spokeswoman Meg Reilly said in a statement. "The lesson is that the federal government needs better tools to deal with the impending failure of a large institution" in times of crisis."

    Or possibly the Federal government needs to concentrate on matters it can making war and printing money..."If I only had a brain"...

  76. Pull up a chair and share that shit, Bob. I'll have mine straight up, thank you very much.

  77. Melody, my Darling, my poem goes slow, trying to transform lust to love, much less, spirituality, is a task for the gods.

    I have been reading Paul Johnson's "A History of the American People".

    We made some fuck ups with the Constitution, no doubt, leaving too big an opening for D.C.

    The Constitution, rightly understood, is a dead letter.

    I think it can't work in a society of 300 millions.

    It's better than Kingship, much less theocracy, but, true people sing another song, more true, what's the Constitution, when I see that wonderful women, over there?

  78. Well, allen, if the results of the last 8 years are any kind of an indicator, winning a war is beyond them, too.

  79. Hell, Rat, we haven't even tried.

    We've tried to harvest the crop with horses, leaving the combines in the shed.

  80. I have faith that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

    I'm flattered.

  81. Well, bob, tell that to the families of the dead and wounded.

    They'll be interested to know that their loved ones were not even trying.

    No, bob, we sent our "best" and the "brightest" that the US military has to offer and came up a cropper.

    Recall that Mr Bush left the war planning and strategies, as well as the ROEs, to the military itself to devise. He sent Mr Bremer to administrate the democratization and nationalization of Iraq.
    Eliminate the tribal power centers, that was the goal of the military operations in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
    We failed to achieve that.

    Mr Obama carries on.

  82. Melody, there has been some talk of late, of an 'imaginal realm', in the deep philosophical books I read.

    This realm is affirmed to be, quite more than our reality.

    Like in Blake.

    An old theme really.

    The affirmation is, it is more real than here, nothing 'imaginary' about it. It is more real than here.

    And, it has nothing to do whatsoever with politics, or worldly affairs, but rather with human emotions, and the human heart.

    This place is built, brick by brick, with kindness, lust, the primal instinct, which, leading to love, and loyalty, leads us upwards, to something we do not know.

    It is what Romeo and Juliet got a glimpse of.

    Prove me wrong.

    If I believe in anything, I believe in that, my Darling.

    It is the confirmation of all we knew.

  83. Yes, yes, Rat, I know all that.

    Can't you let me talk to Melody in peace?

  84. LOL.....

    That was sooooo funnny!

    Thanks, fellers...

  85. We are only beginners here.

  86. An academic who specializes in Japanese culture said that Obama's bow to the Japanese emperor was too low of a bow.

    "The bow as he performed did not just display weakness in Red State terms, but evoked weakness in Japanese terms....The last thing the Japanese want or need is a weak looking American president and, again, in all ways, he unintentionally played that part.

    "But if Obama can get the dollar to stop bowing to the Yen I take it all back."

  87. In that place, it's not a high priest entering into a secret place, but a total merging, face to face.

    The angels erupt in song.

    Those that cannot hear, are long, long gone.

  88. What ticks me off about the Gospels is, they have less than nothing to do with the sensual/sexual leading to the higher, and incorporating that into ecstasy, which is a denial of the human truth.

    Well, I've had enough to drink, I'll dream of you, Melody.

    Rufus's relative died for me, just as much as Jesus ever did.

  89. We can only imagine a world without politics, worldly affairs, hatred, war...but there's nothing more real then the world in which we live now.

    Your dreams will take to you to your imaginal realm that's only filled with kindness, loyalty, lust and love.