“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."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

50 Colombian Police Killed This Month

Successor To Killed FARC Leader Named
9/28/2010 4:55 AM ET

(RTTNews) -
Colombia's Leftist guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has named a successor to one of its top military commanders who was killed in a military air strike five days ago.

Víctor Julio Suarez Rojas, also known as Jorge Briceno Suarez, was killed in an operation by government forces last week in the Macarena region of FARC stronghold.

A FARC executive committee meeting on Monday decided to replace him with 51-year-old Felix Munoz, alias Pastor Alapa.

In an online statement, the guerrilla group vowed to intensify its fight to topple the Colombian government.

President Jose Manuel Santos, who took over the Presidential reigns and fight against rebels from his predecessor Alvaro Uribe last month, described the key FARC leader's death as "the hardest blow" in the nearly half-a-century-old history of the rebel movement.

Wanted by the U.S. for killing three of its citizens, terrorism and narcotics trafficking activities, Rojas was heading FARC's strongest fighting division, the Eastern Bloc.

Colombian security forces had been on the look out for him for almost ten years. Fondly called by his followers as Mono Jojoy, the FARC leader carried a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest or conviction.

The Colombian military had killed 22 FARC guerrillas by bombing a jungle rebel camp near the Ecuadorean border last Sunday. It was the result of an operation targeting FARC rebels who killed eight policemen in an ambush earlier this month in the town of San Miguel in Putumayo province.

Around 50 policemen and soldiers were killed this month in a series of attacks by the outlawed extremists.

Founded 46 years ago, FARC is the largest Leftist guerrilla group of the South American country with an estimated cadre-strength of 17,000.

Meanwhile, Senator Piedad Cordoba, a known mediator in the conflict, was stripped of her Congressional membership for her alleged links with FARC.

Colombia's Attorney-General Alejandro Ordonez also banned her from holding public office for 18 years.

by RTT Staff Writer


  1. Assume 55 Afghan police were killed the past month. Do you think we would have heard about it?

    Why don't we worry about the security threats close to home?

  2. Had 55 Israeli police been killed, we would hear that the end of Western Civilization was at hand.

  3. Anything in this hemisphere cannot be a threat, from La Raza and murderous drug gangs to Iranian sponsored undocumented immigrants.

  4. Uh, oh:
    Blogger eating comments again.

    Penalty in Colombia for Soccer Goal Fuckup:

    Escobar's infamous own goal occurred in a match against the United States on 22 June during the 1994 World Cup. Stretching to cut out a cross from U.S. midfielder John Harkes, he deflected the ball into his own net in the second match of Group A. The USA won the game 2–1, and as a result, the heavily favored Colombian side was eliminated from the tournament in the first round.[3]

    [edit] Death
    After the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Escobar decided to return to Colombia instead of visiting relatives in Las Vegas, Nevada.[6] On the evening of 2 July 1994, Escobar called his friends, and they went to a bar in the El Poblado, Medellín neighbourhood. Then they went to a liquor store. Shortly afterwards, they arrived at the "El Indio" nightclub. His friends split up.[8] At approximately 3 a.m., Escobar was alone in the parking lot of "El Indio" bar, located in a Medellín suburb. Escobar was in his car when three men and a woman accosted him. They began arguing with him. Two of the men took out handguns.[9] It was reported that the killer shouted "Gol!" (Spanish for "goal", as in the act of scoring one, mimicking South American sporting commentators for their calls after a goal is scored) for each of the 12 bullets fired.[10] The killer shot Escobar with a .38 caliber pistol.[4] The group then took off in a Toyota pickup truck. Escobar was escorted to the hospital and was pronounced dead 45 minutes later.[9][11]

    The murder was widely believed to be a 'punishment' for the goal that spiraled off his leg and went into his own goal.[12] It is not clear whether the murderer was connected to one of the gambling syndicates who had bet large amounts of money on Colombia to qualify for the second round. In the UK, the BBC issued a public apology the following day after its soccer pundit Alan Hansen commented during another match that "the Argentine defender warrants shooting for a mistake like that."[13]

    Escobar's funeral was attended by over 120,000 people. Every year people honor Escobar by bringing photographs of him to matches.[3][14] In July 2002, the city of Medellín unveiled a statue in honor of his memory.[15]

    Humberto Castro Muñoz, a bodyguard for members of a powerful Colombian cartel, confessed to killing Escobar.[when?] Muñoz also worked as a driver for Peter David and Juan Santiago Gallon Henao, who allegedly bet heavily on the Colombian team and was upset at having lost.[16] He was found guilty of Escobar's murder in June 1995. He was sentenced to 43 years in prison. The sentence was later reduced to 26 years because of his submitting to the ruling penal code in 2001. Humberto was released on good behavior due to further reductions from prison work and study in 2005 after serving approximately 11 years. His three accomplices were not charged.[14][17]

  5. South American Politics. As if my world isn't confusing enough.

    Either they find a lot more oil down there, or I'm going to have to politely dissemble on this one. :)

  6. Heck Ruf, you been dissembling ever since I've been here (at least).

    You better hope they find a lot more oil you don't want to go back to the last stream. Bob is wandering around over there.


  7. I thought you were on your deck, with Cosmo, a beer, and a towel.

  8. I was just trying to sneak out without you seeing me.


  9. Well let's not pollute this thread. As I was beginning to do.

    I'm hoping of course Chavez gets his.

    And agree with Deuce about his sentiments expressed above.

    We need a new President, to begin to even think more correctly about the situation.

    I thought I read somewhere FARC was weakening.

  10. God, Q, you had to bring that back up? I almost had gotten it washed out of my mind. Now, it's back for more psychotherapy.

    I suddenly got the shivers.

  11. Psychotherapy: The Saints playing the Lions down at the local Hooters.

  12. Oh, btw, I resemble that remark.

  13. FARC isn't on its last legs. Unfortunately.

    It's taken a serious and irreversible beating.

    Slight difference.

  14. Where is Trish when we need her to comment on all things Colombian, with an "o".

  15. You beat me to the punch, Ms. Trish.

  16. This would be just another European peak oil article if it wasn't for the interesting factoid that the most vulnerable EU countries (the ones that import the most oil/capita are the PIIGS - Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain.

  17. As far as Chavez getting his, he will probably be around - large and in charge - for a long while yet. Again, unfortunately.


  18. “With 5GW of wind energy capacity already feeding the UK grid (three-quarters of which comes from land-based wind farms) and another another 18GW of wind capacity in construction and in the project pipeline, the UK is well on its way to reach its renewable energy target of generating one-third of its electricity via renewable sources by 2020,” Timothy Hurst of Earth & Industry writes.

    Nice to see the UK making strong movements forward in clean, renewable, wind energy. While Northern Ireland and Scotland are aiming for 40% renewable energy by 2020 and 100% renewable energy by 2025, respectively, England isn’t doing bad either. The US, which is maybe going to set a Renewable Energy Standard of 15% by 2021, could learn a lesson or two from this old island nation.

    Interesting article on the U.K.'s new 300 Megawatt Offshore Wind Farm.

  19. "We need a new President, to begin to even think more correctly about the situation."

    I think we're doing just fine.

  20. Man, I gotta move to Wisconsin so I can vote for this guy. Sean Duffy - Logrolling Ad

  21. Here is A Real Purty Chart with some surprising (to most) information.

  22. I missing it Ruf.

    What is surprising?


  23. Notice that World Oil "Exports" (the metric that really matters to the U.S., Europe, Japan, and China) peaked in 2005, and that 2009 came in below 2004.

    What makes this really, really interesting is that exports were declining (esp. from OPEC) from 2005 to 2008 during a period of Rapidly Rising Oil Prices.

    btw, that decline in the early 80's was when the Developed countries were all switching their Electrical generation from Oil to Coal, and Nat Gas. We switched over 6 Million Barrels/Day, in the U.S., alone.

  24. Admittedly, past performance does not guarantee future results, but I'd bet more than a token amount that 2005 will turn out to be the "all-time" high.

  25. Another one of those purty charts. Purty Chart

    China-India Consumption up 4 Million barrel/day since 04'.

    What happens when Russia, the world's largest oil producer, joins the party? Can you say "parabolic?"

  26. Deuce said...
    Had 55 Israeli police been killed, we would hear that the end of Western Civilization was at hand.

    Most likely...

    but then again, One Israeli is worth about 1,000 moslem lives, this according to the moslems OWN trading demands.

    It is well accepted that 1,000 arabs/moslems for one Jew is the ratio that the arabs seek, sometimes even more..

    SO the loss of 55 Israelis would be a major event...

    But wait...

    I am wrong, the loss of 55,000 moslems indeed is meaningless..

    According to those same moslems...

    Nasser once said it doesnt matter how many millions of moslems it takes to murder all the Jews, they could make more...

    and Iran has said they could care less if 50 million moslems would be destroyed if Israel was destroyed...

    So you original idea was correct..

    55 Israeli lives are priceless....

    Thanks for finally understanding the value of every Israeli...

  27. All the more reason to encourage MILLION of Israeli Jews to keep their babies...

    Make those Jewish Babies...

    Yeah go team go...

  28. I, at this time, just told 23 Israeli men (via facebook) to go, find their wives and have some pre-shabbat mitzvot and make some youngins....

  29. I want to start a charity to provide condoms to arabs and moslems...

    Condoms for Palestinians or CFP

    Cap it now! Condoms for Palestinians...

    Keep that seed from spreading...

    Cap that tiny, frustrated pecker now!

    Support CFP now!

    Every ten dollar donation, assists in the prevention of over 102 palestinian potential suicide bombers..

    Or maybe free tube tying for arabs....

    Give them a free toaster? Get a free tubal ligation.

    Or maybe...

    Let's start dumping arab porn via the internet called:

    "Your sister, your cousin, your mother, what's the difference"

  30. WIO Documents Testimony that the Muzzies can "Absorb" mass casualties.

    ...Just like Obama's America.

  31. Condoms for Commies in America!

  32. Where is 'Rat when there is humor to share:
    Beverly Hills Fag caller on Adam Carolla webcast:

    "What's the difference between a Pizza and a Jew?

    ...the Pizza doesn't scream when it's put in an oven.

    Carolla news delivered by Teresa Strasser:

    "If you don't listen,
    you're an anti semite!

  33. Adam Carolla Show year's worth of free podcasts and counting.

  34. Admittedly, past performance does not guarantee future results, but I'd bet more than a token amount that 2005 will turn out to be the "all-time" high.

    You watch this stuff all the time
    Ruf, but just looking at that chart doesn't convince me of anything. It's basically, a one year drop (2005 to 2006); reasons for the drop from 2007 on are fairly obvious.

    But then I don't recall anything about 2005 or why there would have been overproduction then if that's what it was.

    I noticed my memory tends to drop off rapidly on events older than two weeks ago.


  35. Without even looking at his purty graphs, sounds like Ruf will likely be proved right:

    Oil continues to become more difficult and expensive to produce.

    Developing countries continue to become ever larger oil consumers.

    The crunch coming is obvious and very likely unavoidable.

    Interesting times.
    Put mildly.

  36. The pipe alone to reach the Big Mac oil is 7.5 million bucks!

  37. Will the Facebook Fad ever end?
    No such luck, I fear:

    Victim of Secret Dorm Sex Tape Posts FACEBOOK Goodbye, Jumps to His Death...

    Rutgers Nightmare...

    Suspect wrote of using webcam to watch male roommate 'making out with dude'...

  38. Alred at Work

    The California governor's race took on a circus-like atmosphere Wednesday as a former housekeeper for Meg Whitman alleged the Republican gubernatorial nominee employed her for nearly nine years, even though Whitman knew the housekeeper was in the country illegally.

    Flanked by attorney Gloria Allred, former Whitman employee Nicandra Diaz made the accusations at a tearful Los Angeles press conference Wednesday. Diaz said she asked Whitman for help with her immigration status in 2009 and Whitman refused. "I felt like she was throwing me away like a piece of garbage," Diaz said.

    Whitman responded to the charges in a statement Wednesday. "After nine years of faithful service, Nicky came to us in June 2009 and confessed that she was an illegal worker," the statement reads. "Nicky had falsified the hiring documents and personal information she provided to the employment agency that brought her to us in 2000. Nicky told me that she was admitting her deception now because she was aware that her lie might come out during the campaign. Nicky said she was concerned about hurting my family and me."

    Whitman continued: "As required by law, once we learned she was an illegal worker, I immediately terminated Nicky’s employment. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I considered Nicky a friend and a part of our extended family."

    Whitman's attorney produced documents indicating Diaz filled out forms in May of 2000 in which she stated she was eligible for employment in the United States. Diaz also provided a Social Security Number on the form that turned out to be false. Allred said her client had been "exploited, disrespected, humiliated and emotionally and financially abused."

    A spokesman for Jerry Brown's campaign did not immediately comment on the allegations.

    This is not the first time Allred has emerged in a California governor's race. In 2003, just days before the recall election, an Allred client claimed she was the victim of sexual assault by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Those claims were later dismissed.

  39. I thought the interesting thing, Q, was that as prices went up from 2002 to 2005 Exports went up just like you'd expect, but in 2005, even as prices continued to rise, exports, counterintuitively, began falling.

    At the "Peak Price" in 2008 Exports were still well below 2005 (and, they were lower still in 2009.)

    Another Look

  40. But then I don't recall anything about 2005

    I noticed my memory tends to drop off rapidly on events older than two weeks ago.

    You appear to have both a short and long term problem.


    Improve Your Memory

    You might be low on estrogen.

    Quirk, you'll be rid of me tomorrow morning.

  41. Fascinating, but that's not the right word.

    Will Dodd-Frank Help High Frequency Traders Crash The Bond Market Too?

    The next thing we know, we're all hearing about emergency meetings down on Maiden Lane, where bankers and regulators are putting together a plan to fend off the next Great Depression. The plan is elegant and its proponents are articulate and highly adroit at defending it against critics. It involves the transfer of risk from the private market participants to the taxpayers. It is, in short, another bailout.

    Can we handle a flash crash in the bond market? Are we prepared for a freeze in derivative clearing? Has anyone even asked these questions?

  42. Quirk, you'll be rid of me tomorrow morning.

    Don't leave Bob.

    All the plants will die.


  43. At the "Peak Price" in 2008 Exports were still well below 2005 (and, they were lower still in 2009.)

    You follow this stuff Ruf. I don't.

    However, you seem to think that oil prices ove the past few years have been driven by market forces of supply and demand yet we've seen periods where there was no justification for the price hikes except speculation.

    We've seen what high production due to high prices can do. An ocean filled with full oil tankers.

    Too complicated for me.

    My previous comments were merely directed at the production and demand issues shown in your 'purty chart' and how they mesh with the recession.

    Whatever you said is probably right.


  44. Or Not.


    Nap time for Bonzo.


  45. I talk to plants. Cheers 'em up, too.

    Well, I'm convinced. If I get some big bucks out of my development, I'm giving it to the Cleaning Lady to invest. If she manages portfolios or whatever they're called and will have me as a client.

    I'd be a good client too as I expect zero return

    from the beasts that roar on the floor of the bourse.

  46. Rufus intimidates Quirk by playing the "counterintuitive" card, as if any of us should know what THAT means.

  47. "We've seen what high production due to high prices can do.
    An ocean filled with full oil tankers.

    Coinkydink does not prove causation, or whatever it is...

    The ocean filled with tankers was caused by the Worldwide Tanking of Command.

    Sad that Rufus is too damned lazy to inform you of that. :-(

    ...or not... :-)

  48. Well almost--

    In Memory of Yeats--W.H. Auden

    Now he is scattered among a hundred cities
    And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections;
    To find his happiness in another kind of wood
    And be punished under a foreign code of conscience.
    The words of a dead man
    Are modified in the guts of the living.
    But in the importance and noise of to-morrow
    When the brokers are roaring like beasts on the floor of the Bourse,
    And the poor have the sufferings to which they are fairly accustomed,
    And each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom;
    A few thousand will think of this day
    As one thinks of a day when one did something slightly unusual.
    O all the instruments agree
    The day of his death was a dark cold day.

    You were silly like us: your gift survived it all;
    The parish of rich women, physical decay,
    Yourself; mad Ireland hurt you into poetry.
    Now Ireland has her madness and her weather still,
    For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives
    In the valley of its saying where executives
    Would never want to tamper; it flows south
    From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
    Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
    A way of happening, a mouth.

    In the nightmare of the dark
    All the dogs of Europe bark,
    And the living nations wait, Each sequestered in its hate;
    Intellectual disgrace
    Stares from every human face, And the seas of pity lie
    Locked and frozen in each eye.
    Follow, poet, follow right
    To the bottom of the night,
    With your unconstraining voice Still persuade us to rejoice;
    With the farming of a verse
    Make a vineyard of the curse, Sing of human unsuccess
    In a rapture of distress;
    In the deserts of the heart
    Let the healing fountain start,
    In the prison of his days
    Teach the free man how to praise

  49. "Worldwide Tanking of Command."


    Fuckin cheap beer.

  50. I suggest the bar treat poetry as hate speech.

  51. That shows your personality, Doug

  52. Was 98 in Vegas today. Yesterday in LA it was 113, a record.

    Scientists Find Habitable Planet

  53. Well, I'm convinced. If I get some big bucks out of my development, I'm giving it to the Cleaning Lady to invest.

    I've been thinking about this post-crash market. We're constantly told that 2008 was a 'normal' recession - just wider and deeper.

    Possibly, but I see a lot of changes that dramatically alter the landscape and do not necessarily favor the retail investor.

    One, increased regulation will encourage hedge funds to find returns on the periphery where retail investors can't play.

    Instead of exploiting opacity and employing informational arbitrage, the hedge funds will seek to exploit advantages of calculational speed, algorithmic adeptness, and computational sophistication to squeeze out profits in clearing house processed and exchange traded derivatives.

    Retailers can't play in this space without considerable capital and without investment advice.

    The small investor is being told to diversify his holdings from the traditional bond, equity, cash portfolio to include currency options, commodities, ETF's, and options trading accounts. That's not something the average person can do without hiring an investment manager.

    At any rate bob needs to accelerate his development plans. FWIW I happen to agree with Paulson.

  54. If someone came along and put some real money down I'd probably sell the whole shebang now.

    But it's doubtful. I've only got about 4 customers, know them well, these builders, nice to work with, no big problem negotiating every last thing.

    But they do it step by step, so it's doubtful I can accelerate anything.

    A lot with be left to the kids to fight over.

  55. Funny, I almost never click on any hyperlinks here anymore.

    I'm not sure why.

  56. Want me to get you a wild pony in Ely, Trish?

    My daughter wants one, but it's gonna wait a year.

    Cost about couple hundred I think, plus you got to pay the shipping, storage, hay, vaccines, training costs, vet bills, and grooming and long term lodging.

    Not to mention you can never leave home again.

    I ask nothing for picking it out and setting the deal up for you.

  57. If I could figure out how to link some photos, I put some up of her horse riding class. But she was here yesterday, and couldn't figure it out either.

  58. Tumbling Star of David is a stretch, but stylistically the design evokes chaos and destruction and entrophy - structural elements beneath a white veneer.

  59. Tumbling Star of David is a stretch, but stylistically the design evokes chaos and destruction and entrophy - structural elements beneath a white veneer.

    I thought they were just trying to save on material costs but what you said makes sense too.


  60. I never for one moment considered the impact of a cost benefit analysis on a Muslim learning center. Such a western concept.

  61. I wouldn't like it even if I knew it wasn't a mosque.

    It's horrid.

    Chaotic emptiness, like islam itself.

  62. indoctrination center

  63. "Want me to get you a wild pony in Ely, Trish?"

    Just one?

    It'd get kinda lonely all by itself.

    Make it a pair.

    When they jump the fence it'll give the neighbors something other than a small brown dog to watch racing across their back yards.

  64. OK, of the opposite sex.

    You can go into the horse breeding business.

  65. I never for one moment considered the impact of a cost benefit analysis on a Muslim learning center. Such a western concept.



  66. I guess I'm wondering if the architectural style would be considered tortuous or torturous.

    Winding road or painful ordeal?

  67. "You can go into the horse breeding business."

    I watch the Discovery channel.

    There can be some hands-on unpleasantness involved.

    No, I think I'll pass on the horse breeding.

  68. There can be some hands-on unpleasantness involved.

    No kidding.

    I'm not going to describe what I saw the vet doing with the gelding, unpleasantness doesn't get that far, though the vet didn't seem to mine.

    The horse whinnied after, joyously, feeling so much better.

  69. These horses are much more sensitive than I gave them credit for being. They didn't like the high school students, it was reported. This may just show good horse sense. In other ways too though--Shadow, my daughter's feisty, obnoxious one, got the hell kicked out of him, so she had to ride Scooch. Shadow, I believe, deserved it. And they seem to like routine. Creatures of habit, they seem to get torqued off if things are not done in the proper sequence, if the old norms aren't observed. Maybe the horse would make a good symbol for a political party.

  70. Actually, There can be some hands-in unpleasantness involved.

  71. Well, the night couldn't get much shittier.

    But I shouldn't say that. It's rather early.

  72. I find it hard to understand someone following a dog with a plastic bag on their hand.

    Just another reason to hate the deplorable cultural ritual of a hand shake.

  73. The worst being when seated at a restaurant, when someone you know returning from the rest room, possibly well rested, extends their hand while you were just ready to grab some bread.

  74. Hands-in, hands-on. Yeah.

    I'm thinking you have to REALLY like horses.

  75. I was thinking about cow insemination. I never saw it done to a horse. The cows can get quite affectionate.

  76. That's, ummmm...


    Possibly need a change of subject at this point.

  77. Those cities did not get to be the size they are because people enjoyed life on the farm.

  78. Farms are best enjoyed passing them at 25 mph in a new ( take your pick). The countryside around Charlottesville will do, although my favorite is Goshen Road in Chester County , Pa.

  79. As for this recession, there's been something gnawing at the back of my brain for a few months, and I can't, for the life of me, find the proper words.

    It starts off something like this. We all, already, have cars. But, the cars don't last 60,000 miles like they used to; they last somewhere over 200,000 miles. The tires don't last 6, or 8, or even 10,000 miles. They last 40, or 50,000 miles.

    We all have TVs. We have TVs coming out the ears. We have TVs in Every Room. 'sides, they don't cost much any more.

    We all have central heating, and air. Those damned things last forever, too.

    We all have microwaves, and computers, and laptops, and what-all. Everything is much less expensive than it used to be, and it lasts fucking forever.

    We don't need anything. We got every damned thing you can think of. Not only that, but we've bought the exact same kit for even the poor people.

    We're not getting trapped in these bubbles because we're "investing." We're getting slapped around because we're bored, and rich, and don't have much to do.

    I really feel a "Fundamental" change brewing. The way we live, and work is going to change. Or something. This is as far as I can get. Help me out here.

  80. It is a good observation. From a material standpoint, after you achieve about $75,000 per year, you can only get bigger and better of the same things. Their marginal utility comes with a very steep cost curve.

    The durability of the products really permits one from making new purchases for years.

    Logically that would imply the US should be a great savings nation. Something went wrong.

  81. Damn Rufus.

    I walked in in the middle of Deuce's hand shaking phobia episode. That kinda shook me. Now you are projecting a not so brave new world.

    I'm starting to get creeped out.

    The night shift isn't the same as it used to be.

    I was hoping Sam would show up to spin some tunes.


  82. Shifting away from consumer spending into capital production should be a no-brainer, but that would mean reducing regulations and laws that favor consumption over investment.

    Privatizing social security would have created massive pools of capital that could have allowed working men to live like their rulers and masters and enjoy the income from their investments instead of transfer payments.

    The private capital pools could have been done on a global scale, instead we had bizarre laws that squandered domestic capital.

    It can still be fixed. It won't be, but it could.

  83. You crept in only to be creeped out.

    No justice.

  84. Sorry Sam.

    I didn't see you come in.


  85. HBO is holding out on putting up the last half of Season Five of The Wire.

    Sorry about that.

    I'll find something from John Bachelor to listen to. He is always good for some shut eye.

  86. Privatizing social security would have created massive pools of capital that could have allowed working men to live like their rulers and masters and enjoy the income from their investments instead of transfer payments.

    I disagree with you here. The privatization porposals were all a scam. The game is rigged. One way or another the money would be gone. Either to the bankers or to the government.


  87. The barons of capital somehow manage to maintain their wealth and pass it on. Surely we can trick them , copy their methods and do as well.

    The trick is to keep the shit birds in Wall Street and Washington out of it. No easy feat.

  88. I think Q hit it. We really Are looking dead on to some kind of "brave new world." It's going to be "easy," but it's not necessarily going to be "Good."

    There really is something rewarding about work. Riding that combine was just about the most satisfying experience of my life. Months of hard work, sweat, and worry finally paying off. And, "paying off" good. With the sight of the corn, or beans disappearing up into the heads, being stored in the hopper; the smell of it, the sound, the empty rows behind. It was a damned good feeling. Then you got to take it down to the elevator, have it weighed, tested, get the chit. Sit in the truck, and figure out what you made. It made all the other bullshit worthwhile.

    10 years from now the only reason a man will ride on a combine is because he likes riding on a combine.

    30 years from now if he works in an auto plant he will wear a sports shirt, and khakis, and spend the day watching monitors, and pecking on a keyboard. Not a spot of grease, anywhere. (well, he probably won't be "pecking" on a keyboard - it'll probably be like the fighter pilots do, now. Look, and command, or whatever they call it.)

    Most people are just going to be pretty damned unnecessary (to anyone but themselves, of course.) Think of the trouble They can get into.

  89. Please do not interpret my exit as a personal slight.

    Na dobranich.

  90. That's okay, Deuce; I'm freaking myself out.

  91. We live in a 'soylent green' society. Only instead of eating our flesh, they eat our jobs which eventually amounts to the same thing.

    It can still be fixed. It won't be, but it could.

    That would require that the guys making the big bucks right now would be willing to change. What do you think the odds are?

    I just read a story yesterday by a guy named Cohen. Think it was in the WaPo. In 2000, he was working for a large financial institution. The BOD met to discuss bonuses in light of the downturn in the economy. They were told that they had one of two choices. They could take the bonuses they were promised or they could take 75% of what they were promised and avoid laying off a large amount of employees. There were like 33 people involved. A show of hands was called for. Of the 33, 3 people voted to take the reduced bonuses in order to save the jobs.

    It's not the same country I remember growing up in Deuce.


  92. Ruf, nothing is going to change until things change in Washington.

    The "free traders" here make me laugh.

    I noticed the House just passed legislation authorizing Obama to use tarriffs against China unless they are willing to modify their stance on exchange rates.

    What do you think are the chances the GOP will let that legislation pass in the Senate.

    That is the downside of having gridlock in Congress.


  93. How did I get the idea you were in insurance, Rufus?

    That was a good description of combining etc. you gave there.

    I think people left the farm for economic reasons, not because they didn't like the life style.

    And with the machinery the jobs weren't there.

    Around here most everyone would like to have some acres out there somewhere. Thus the fancy prices that farming certainly can't justify.

  94. We're getting slapped around because we're bored, and rich, and don't have much to do.

    That's good too.

    When I think of grandfather.....

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  96. Hard to keep'em down on the farm Bob. :)

    That Yuan is taking off like a moonshot, too, Q. Congress has difinitely got Charlie Chicom's attention. That's the way it worked last time, and that's the way you want it to work. Them being scared of the threat is much better than having to, actually, pull the trigger.

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  98. G'nite Ruf.

    Remember free trade doesn't work when there is only one country doing it.

    Have a good trip Bobbo.

    Stay away from Red 17.

    Just saying.


  99. My 'puter is gasping for air. I can't get any links to work. I guess it's time to call it a night.

    Later all.

  100. Just use a driver and finish the match, A-hole!
    What kind of Golfer quits because of defective putter?

  101. Ghost Bike

    'Ghost bikes' are tributes to fallen cyclists

    White bicycles placed near spots where riders were killed 'serve as a reminder' that more must be done to make roads safe, say cycling advocates and family members of victims.

  102. See ya all later. Packed and gassed.

  103. How odd is it that I woke up to read a thread that I just had a dream about.

    I was driving down a winding road I think I was alone. When the car stopped, I got out only to be on a farm. I was so proud that I had my new cowboy boots on that I pranced around like a real cowgirl. Next thing I know I was mounting a horse and then I woke up.

    I swear this is a true story. And I don't need any feedback from any of you Freudians.

  104. :)


    I just turned the computer on.

    I'm glad to hear it about the cowboys boots though. Maybe they were pink. A lot of the girls wear pink cowboy boots these days.

    I got to get money at the bank at 9:30 then we're on the road.

    English saddle or Western?

    Or bareback?


  105. hmmmm

    An interesting case. Anna, my cigar.


    I need to know, was the horse a stallion, per chance?

    Or a mare?

    God forbid a colt or a filly.

    Not a gelding!

  106. I have the perfect picture to put up but don't know how to do it.


  107. Just one question:

    What kind of saddle?

  108. There's been some talk of coming back through Yellowstone, thence to Missoula to buy some stuff. Nevada (I think) has a sales tax, but no income tax. It does look to be a perfect day for touring today.

  109. Healthy minds demand to know.

    Daughter is doing English, this afternoon.

    Bareback, well we know what that means.

  110. Course the Western has that wonderful saddle horn.

  111. Think of that wonderful muscular rhythmic surge when a woman rides a bareback horse! O my.

    She doesn't seem to be answering, Deuce.

  112. Stallion? Saddle? Bareback?

    Oh my…wouldn't you guys love to know, eh?

    I can't give away all my secrets now can I?