“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."

Monday, November 08, 2010

All That Glitters Should be Gold

This video is three years old when gold was $875 an ounce.

World Bank chief calls for new gold standard
By Chris Oliver, MarketWatch

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) –- The president of the World Bank said in a newspaper editorial Monday that the Group of 20 leading economies should consider adopting a global reserve currency based on gold as part of structural reforms to the world’s foreign-exchange regime.

World Bank chief Robert Zoellick said in an article the Financial Times that leading economies should consider “employing gold as an international reference point of market expectations about inflation, deflation and future currency values.”

Zoellick made the proposal as part of reforms to be considered at this week’s G-20 meeting in Seoul.

“Although textbooks may view gold as the old money, markets are using gold as an alternative monetary asset today,” said Zoellick.

He said such a reform would reflect economic realities and should be considered as a successor to the existing global currency paradigm known as “Bretton Woods II.”

Bretton Woods II refers to the system which began in 1971, when U.S. President Nixon ended the dollar’s link to gold as established under the Bretton Woods agreement.

Zoellick said a return to some sort of currency link to gold would be “practical and feasible, not radical.”

“This new system is likely to need to involve the dollar, the euro, the yen, the pound and a renminbi that moves towards internationalization and then an open capital account,” he said.

Chris Oliver is MarketWatch's Asia bureau chief, based in Hong Kong.


  1. Projected GDP growth for 2011 around 2%. Analysts say cut that in half if Bush tax cuts expire.

  2. Bob is blue. Welcome to the Twenty-Teens.

    Oil output in Russia, the world's top crude producer, rose 4 percent to a record 10.26 million barrels per day in October as new fields went on stream on Sakhalin Island, Energy Ministry data showed on Tuesday.

  3. Taken all in all sounds ok to me.

    I've got some gold fillings.

  4. Note to mortician--remove gold fillings, give same to wife.

  5. Gus "The Great" Johnson, our Idaho NBA star, had a golden star drilled into his front tooth. Looked good.

  6. CL, I wanted to mention, now is good time as any, Art Bell swears up and down on Bibles he watched as a huge triangular UFO floated low and soundless over his house in Pahrump. Said he could almost touch it. Came generally from the area toward Nellis and 51. What to make of this I do not know. Art's an entertainer, but is he an out and out fraud? Inquiring minds want to know. My take? Probably an out and out fraud.
    Nobody else seems to have seen it.

  7. Bond Bubble:

    Smith recommends investors look to establish a neutral position in equity markets by holding long and short equity positions within the same sector or industry — a strategy among hedge funds which allows investors to offset exposure to broader market moves.

    In addition, he notes that alternative investment strategies such as managed futures funds present solid opportunities for double-digit returns.

    Neither of which is particularly encouraging for market participation at the retail level because it implies (1) you have to open an options trading account, to trade puts and calls and (2) you have to open a futures trading acct which means FOREX, both of which require a certain level of investing sophistication and/or hiring a trader in order to be a player in this market.

  8. Or (3) you have to open a hedge fund acct which typically requires minimum investments well outside the retail mom and pop range.

    It's getting ugly out there.


    As does Sarah Palin, who urged a cease and desist order yesterday.

  10. CL, where do you place your money?

  11. I don't know about Bell's story, but I think UFO's are real and I think there's some interesting stuff buried in Area 51.

    I absolutely do NOT think or believe that we are alone in the universe.

    Just a matter of time.

  12. CL, where do you place your money?

    Depends on what day of the week it is.

  13. If I had any money I might buy Alternative Energy Holdings Inc., and probably lose it.

  14. I'm old school Deuce - low cost, high quality mutual funds diversified over asset class (not indexed - or at least not overtly) with reasonable long-term performance history. I have trouble abandoning the buy and hold quality paradigm. Feels like breaking with God all over again.


    That's why this market troubles me. I may pull out yet. There's no longer a retail space.

  15. Alternative Energy Holdings Inc.

    We'll all be dead by then. Our ashes will be fueling your portfolio.

  16. heh right on time UFO Over Centerville, Virginia

    good quality video from Drudge

  17. We'll all be dead by then. Our ashes will be fueling your portfolio.

    I knew there must something wrong with it.

  18. Try This

    or go to Drudge if it doesn't work

  19. Right now I trade in and out over asset classes, including emerging markets, which I think Morningstar just added as an asset class. I also check in at Zack's to see what their indicators are saying.

    I'm wary of commodities and ETF's but maybe I need to get a pair. I don't know. Still recovering from the multiple shocks of 2008 and not convinced of the long-term market environment or investment horizon.

    At all.

  20. Bob, the blue light dancing in synchronous disharmony in the night sky.

    The bizarre patterns of movement intrigue more than anything else.

    But consider this on the subject of "quiet" stuff: the public gets a video shot by some kid with a cell phone. Are we to believe that none of our sophisticated intell gathering satellite equipment, purportedly being used to such great effect in the ME, picked up whatever it was?

  21. Squeeze the Middle Class a little harder and soon enough won't be anyone left to pay the debt, let alone fight the wars.

  22. The WB is just dicking around, trying to look busy; using the time-honored technique of "stalling the ball." They know all recessions end, eventually. Always of their own accord, on their own time-table.

    This one, however, might very well be different. I figure when things start to pick up again oil will rise, and stuff us one more time.

  23. Russian "oil taxes" rose starting Nov 1. The oil companies pushed through all production they could in Oct. Daily production numbers from Russia show production is running Below November levels.

    Russian production was up a bit the first 9 months compared to 09' but Exports were down.

    Russia's brought several new fields online this year, most notably the very large "Vankor" field. Not much new coming online in the near, to intermediate future. The old fields are declining at up to 19%, annually. Russia has, for all intents, and purposes, Peaked.

  24. CL, there have been a few cases where the object was observed by multiple people visually, by radar, and by whatever that other device is that is used. These intrigue even a sceptic like me. It's there, then, zoooom.

    Hell if I know.

    My realtor during college and some of his friends experienced some light show out by my farm. Drinking beer, it scared the shit out of them, and they got out of there.

    heh, I have no idea.

    I think the universe must be seeded with life, most of it very low level, but the distances are so vast, and the necessary conditions quite rare, to make it work it's way up, so to speak, that I'd be surprised if we are being visited.

    There are more galaxies than sand grains on all our beaches.

    Think of that.

  25. Swoosh.

    Who was that blinding flash of analytic brilliance?

    Why we call him Rufus.

    Seriously do you ever break into a sweat?

    Jim Iuorio thinks the global recovery is real and here, right now. I may have to put my sharp knives away for awhile longer.

  26. Cantor's set theory Bob - infinities come in different sizes, some are bigger than others. Think about that.

  27. I suppose. To a prosaic mind like mind, an infinity seems an infinity. Maybe there are infinities of infinities.

    I can't even get around how you don't age much if you go really really fast.

  28. The UFO question parallels the ESP issue. Sane and rational people experiencing the inexplicable surrounded by a media circus of psychological fault lines disguising whatever reality lurks in the shadows of either phenomenon.

  29. Then there's Fermi's idea. If they are out there, they should be here by now.

    But somebody said he did his math wrong.

  30. Exactly.

    There was that Harvard professor what his name who almost got drummed out for writing books about abductions.

  31. Then there was Ken Ring who wrote a book claiming the UFO's R us, our higher selves trying to wake us up, to avert disaster.

  32. 2x4 at BC posted a link to a researcher who claims to have cracked the nut of time travel. 2x4 claims to have experienced several temporal "resets" in his personal life. What's discouraging is that I'll be long dead by the time the interesting stuff starts.

  33. I wouldn't mind having a temporal reset. I'd go back about, hmmm, twenty years.

  34. Then I'd get one of those total body makeovers Melody's hair dresser offers.

  35. Or maybe 2 x 4 got hit by a 2 x 4.

  36. Robert Gibbs here: Not that the current mess lacks interest. I am just more geared in other directions. I can't read BC much anymore. Feels like my brain is being machine-gunned by sadistic zombies. Something to do with squeaky wheels probably. With that trivial bit of TMI, out for now.

  37. I wouldn't go back to my youth though. Don't want to recapture that. Too damn painful.

  38. Funny thing about twobie. Serious scholar and serious person. Not one of the stress-fractured flakes.

    A temporal reset wouldn't do me much good. I'd just find a whole new set of ways to fuck up.

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. (and no, that wasn't a subliminal signal ::))

    Besides, I think they've all been corralled into CA.

  41. Our problems are no longer "monetary." They are structural, and "fiscal." Our income is too small, and our "out-go" is way too large.

    Bernanke has done a Brilliant job, but now it's up to the Congress, and the Administration - whether they like it or not.

    Our Fiscal deficit is 9%, and we've got to get it down to a manageable 2, or 3%. Simple as that. Everything else is misdirection.

    China is growing like crazy, and is experiencing Diesel shortages, as we speak. World oil production has been on a "Plateau" since 2005. It's never going to be much more than it is Right Now.

    That is our problem. Those that know it don't want to talk about it, and, as a result, the vast majority are totally clueless, and are going to get blind-sided.

    Buy a "flexfuel" car, and stay diversified.

  42. Yeah, but we'd all fuck up in new ways, keeping it interesting.

  43. The industrial materials play I made in Jan 2008 - it's happening now.

    I saw the Third World coming. I just didn't see home plate sink into quicksand.

  44. Last name Mack was the abduction guy from Harvard, his first name seems to have taken a time travel.

  45. however it was a drunk on a dark lonely street who achieved what the inquisitors couldn't… steal away a powerful voice of a real scientist and a good man.

    Got hit by a drunken driver looks like.

  46. Glad to see this country we subsidize to the tune of $3 billion a year has moved out of the bronze age.

    JERUSALEM — A new law for the first time will allow some Israelis to marry outside the strict religious establishment.

    The law permits civil marriage only for couples who have no declared religion — just a few hundred Israelis. Everyone else must still pursue religious marriages in Israel or hold a civil marriage abroad.

  47. This was my first thought - that there isn't enough gold to back global trade, reducing the idea to rhetoric, just confirmed minutes ago by CNBC traders. ("haven't heard anything that preposterous since, well, last Tuesday.")

  48. Rear Admiral Lawrence Rice - Energy and Security

    A lot of Great Stuff toward the end on what the military is doing in Iraq, and Afghanistan. Pretty impressive, really.

  49. Our guy here in the 2nd district, Rep. Mike Simpson, looks to be the guy in the new House to be overseeing the EPA.

    This is good news. Put some Idaho values into the equation.

  50. That was great Rufus. What an actor. And those defensive linemen must feel like such stupid shits.


  51. Dick Morris

    One of the first orders of business to come up in the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives will be the demand for bailouts of states where expenditures have been especially profligate - California, New York, Michigan, Illinois, and Connecticut. Throughout 2009 and 2010, these states governments have stayed above water by repeated infusions of federal cash. These one-shot stimulus payments must be repeated each year. They are all non-recurring expenditures requiring separate annual appropriations.

    The Republican House must say no and hold the line, stopping this raid on the federal Treasury. The cry in the caucus must ring loud: "No More Bailouts!"

    But, as the Republicans demand fiscal discipline and refuse to make the citizens of the other, more responsible states subsidize the wayward finances of California and New York, we need to focus on the union power that has forced states, localities, and school boards to raise taxes, borrow money, and - ultimately - to depend on federal bailouts.

    These unions have forced contracts on their states, localities, and school boards which provide for ever higher wages, benefits, and pensions. Even now, teachers are on strike in a suburb of Pittsburgh because they feel a 4.5% annual wage increase is inadequate!

    The House must create a federal bankruptcy procedure for states that cannot make ends meet requiring, as happens in corporate bankruptcies, that the state governments abrogate all their union contracts. The new state bankruptcy procedure should offer all states - and through them, their localities, counties, and school boards -- the ability to reorganize their finances free of the demands and constraints of their union agreements.

    This measure will return our state and local governments to the sovereignty of the people and take them away from the thug-ocracy of public employee unions.

    When states like California and New York come to Washington begging for relief, they will threaten us with the closure of their schools and the release of their prison inmates if we deny them subsidy. Liberals and President Obama will try to portray the battle as school children vs. niggardly Republican legislators.

    But the real fight will be between school children and citizens on the one hand and unions on the other. The House must shape the issue so that it exposes the real cause of the state shortfalls: The excessive agreements public employee unions have won over the years.

    The unions are about to fall prey to what Margaret Thatcher identified as the terminal drawback of socialism - that eventually one runs out of other people's money!

    Such an approach will also have a larger political impact.

    Election Day 2010 demonstrated the enormous power of public employee unions and their integral relevance to the Democratic Party. In state after state, the vote totals of Democratic candidates, particularly those running for Senate, exceeded the predictions of all pollsters. This gap between pre-election anticipation and Election Day results had one main cause: the militancy, money, and manpower of public employee unions. It was the combined efforts of the SEIU (Service Employees International Union), the NEA (National Education Association), the AFT (American Federation of Teachers), and AFSME (American Federation of State and Municipal Employees) that preserved the Democratic control of the U.S. Senate.

  52. .
    Money concerns didn't drive Deepwater Horizon decisions, panel counsel says

    The chief counsel for the president's oil spill commission said Monday that concerns about money didn't drive key decisions made on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig before the April 20 blowout that caused a massive oil spill and killed 11 people.

    The conclusion is good news for BP, which has been widely criticized for letting concerns about the roughly $1.5 million a day cost of the drilling rig affect choices that might have prevented the blowout...

    Costs Not a Factor in BP Decisions


  53. .
    It's Maureen in America Again

    Especially after bad days, liberals like to go to columnists like Maureen Dowd at the New York Times for some reassurance that everything's fine with liberalism and it's just the rest of us who are a bad mix of weird, greedy, ethnocentric, dumb and scary.

    Like a lighthouse in a storm, Dowd unfailingly guides lost-at-sea liberals back to the safe port of bigger government, political sneering, higher taxation, centralized planning and economic envy.

    Here was Ms. Dowd's instant analysis on the morning after the nation's voters delivered a stunning and nationwide defeat to Democrats: "Even though it was predicted, it was still a shock to see voters humiliate a brilliant and spellbinding young president, who'd had such a Kennedy-like beginning."

    Mo Do


  54. .
    Today's Power Play: GOP Sweetens its Offer to Manchin

    Republicans are making some big promises to try to lure West Virginia Senator-elect Joe Manchin to cross the aisle.

    Aside from his pick of committee assignments (likely the Energy and Natural Resources Committee), Manchin might get support for one of his pet projects - a plant to convert coal to diesel fuel that has stalled under Democratic leadership in Washington.

    It's one of Manchin's pet projects and could mean big money for the state's coal producers.

    "Republicans believe in an ‘all of the above' approach to energy," one top Senate aide told Power Play. "And coal-to-diesel could certainly be part of that."

    Manchin's switch could mean Republican support for not just $1 billion in seed money for the project but also a deal, much sought in coal country, to require the armed forces to use converted coal for fuel...

    Manchin to GOP?


  55. .
    Chris Christie irks NBC’s David Gregory by calling him an advocate

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie irked NBC’s David Gregory — and probably won over more conservatives weary of the media in the process — by suggesting on “Meet the Press” that the host was acting as an advocate for Democrats in the way he spoke about taxes.

    Christie, a Republican known for his tell-it-like-it-is attitude, disagreed with Gregory’s characterization of the looming battle in Congress over the Bush years tax structure as “tax cuts.”

    Christie, saying such word choice drives him “crazy,” said: “This is maintaining the current tax policy in a weak economy, and what you’re advocating through your question is…”

    Gregory interrupted: “That’s not fair. I’m not advocating. I’m questioning whether or not they have to be paid for.”

    Christie Slams Gregory


  56. Human Rights: A Kind of Tyranny

    But to equate individual freedom of choice with personal consent merely begs the question, since both are grounded in the idea of sovereign will. But where there is only volition (and no substantive shared norms or moral codes), conflicts are arbitrated either by the power of the state (and the market) – as for atheists – or by references to absolute divine will – as for religious fanatics. So militant atheism and religious fundamentalism are merely two variants of the same absolutist politics.

    Similarly, appeals to human rights are entirely compatible with cultural relativism. Either secular state guarantees to protect the freedom of conscience present little more than tolerating belief or religious faith as a matter of private taste and personal opinion – void of any universal validity or significance. In that case, the exercise of individual of sovereign will – backed by absolute state-market power – produces what Pope Benedict XVI has so eloquently described as the "dictatorship of relativism that does not recognise anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires".

    Or else the secular state enforces its own norms and standards upon all groups and belief systems. In that case, the liberal promise of equality amounts to little more than the secular imposition of sameness – forcing UK-based Catholic adoption agency to promote adoption for homosexual couples or face closure. In either case, the human rights discourse is unable to recognise religions in their own right or grant them their proper autonomy.

    The fundamental problem with modern human rights discourse is that it reduces all rights to subjective rights granted to, and exercised, by freely choosing individuals – an entirely circular logic that brackets questions about the source of rights and practical ethical guidance for their exercise...

    Subjective Human Rights


  57. .
    Once More, Without Feeling

    No one expects anything other than a big election win for Burma’s ruling junta. A dejected population is giving up on hoping for better.

    ‘This election is nothing special,’ says Daw Sanda as she reclines in her home after voting in Burma’s first election in 20 years. ‘I really love Aung San Suu Kyi, but we don’t have that choice. Our situation is hopeless but I wanted to vote today for the kamauk (or hat—the symbol for the National Democratic Force) as a protest against our leaders. It’s the only thing I can do.’

    For a nation supposedly embarking on a democratic path, there was little fanfare in the run-up to Sunday’s election. Few posters adorn Yangon’s crumbling Victorian buildings except billboards depicting the ubiquitous white lion of the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). There have been no TV ads or debates in the tightly-controlled state media, and barely any campaigning in the streets.

    In most countries, election campaigns are typically a noisy affair, but not in Burma’s military dictatorship. After decades of repression, the subject of the election was broached in quiet whispers in teashops and through resigned jokes in the privacy of people’s homes.

    Sanda’s sister, Daw Thida, voted nearly a week before Sunday’s ballot—as a civil servant there was pressure on her and her colleagues to ‘pre-vote.’ But they only had one choice—the USDP.

    Burma Elections

    Very little if anything mentioned about Burma at the EB, but it's a sad case.


  58. I heard that Gregory interview of Christie. Gregory uses "paying for tax cuts" like any Dem.

    Tax cuts are not "paid for!" It's intentional twist of language to say so.

    And never mind that the Bush tax cuts have been the tax law of the land for the last ten years.

    We need a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment. New spending would have to be paid for.

    Short of an amendment and despite not having one.

    We need to shoot for a balanced budget in six years with nothing backloaded. Immediate across the board cuts in Federal Payroll and budgets.

    That would take us through all the election cycles. Any pol not on board would come up for reelection.

  59. .
    The real choice Turkey has to make when it comes to Israel

    The motivations of Prime Minister Erdogan and the AKP government for eschewing Turkey's alliance with Israel are unclear. It would be easy to write them off as mere populism -- what easier way to garner votes in the Middle East than going after Israel? And certainly domestic politics sits atop the AKP's agenda at the moment as the party completes a near total consolidation of power.

    However, this explanation may confuse cause and effect. Public support in Turkey for close ties with Israel was not always low, and previous Turkish governments have made the national-interest case for the alliance successfully. Instead, it appears that Ankara's recent antagonism toward Israel is a result of its pursuit of "strategic depth," a concept popularized in Turkey by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davotoglu. "Strategic depth" has meant distancing Turkey from the West and cultivating closer relations with Middle Eastern states like Iran and Syria.

    Far from bolstering Turkish influence, however, deteriorating ties with Israel can only diminish Ankara's standing. Prior to the December 2008 Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza, Turkey -- uniquely among regional states -- enjoyed the trust of both Israel and its Arab neighbors. This status allowed Turkey to serve as a mediator in Israeli-Syrian peace talks from 2007 to 2008 -- the most serious negotiations on that track in years. Turkey has not only sacrificed the trust of Israel since then, but through its outspoken defense of Hamas and Iran, has distanced itself from the positions of Arab states who see Tehran and its proxies -- and not Israel -- as their "principal threat."

    Turkey's Choice: Opportunism or Responsibility


  60. Turkey is moving away from western values and toward fundamentalist Islam which requires the umma to fall in line with the anti-Israel meme.

  61. Fundamentalist Islam will not accept Israel because of Judaism. Lands that have been conquered and lost must once again be reconquered. This is what jihad really is.

    Thinking that leaves Israel all alone to fight off the Mohammedans is like thinking that left Poland all alone to fight off the NAZIS.

    First Israel, later Andalusia... You know where that is.

    Much as we wish it to go away, this is not going to end nicely

  62. I remember shoveling coal into the big furnace at grandfather's huge house, a dirty job. Was a neat heating system though. Circulated hot water around. You could never get the temperature just right. Always too cold, or too hot. And ice would form on the roof all the way to the ground, two stories below.

  63. Had the most marvelous twisting staircase right in the middle, and I'd slide down the banister in the mornings, whoosh. Ah, memories.

  64. They've turned it into apartments now, the bastards.

  65. I remember my grandpa shovelling coal into the furnace in his basement, also. In Spokane, right near West Valley High School. Must have been around '71, those memories.

  66. There used to be a passenger train, Sam, that went from Moscow to Spokane. That was always a big deal when we took that to go shopping in the "big city".

  67. Hundreds of passengers have been delayed in Los Angeles by the grounding of the A380 fleet, and 30 are stranded in London, but Qantas had put on additional flights and expects to get everyone back to Australia by the end of today.

    Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce says the Qantas engine explosion has no connection with the failure of a Trent 1000 engine on a test bed at its English headquarters in August this year.

    It says that incident happened during a development program with an engine operating outside normal parameters and the problem has been identified and solved.

    Engine Progress

  68. Who is the King of Islam that will invade Spain?

    Where are the Islamic Divisions?

    How many troops can the King of Islam muster?

    Where are the landing craft?

    Granted, there is a cultural divide, perhaps a struggle, but there is no "war".

    There will not be one, either. Unless, of course we want to dictate lifestyle choice to Turks, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Afghanis and Iranians.

    The land in the Levant has been constantly fought over for well over 3,000 years. Why would anyone expect a change, there?

    It has ALWAYS been the Europeons, Persians and Turks who fought over and conquered the Levant, then were repelled, only to return again. Dating back to before Alexander the Great.

    The battle for the Levant has LITTLE to do with Islam, and everything to do with geography.

    The battle for the Levant predates Islam, by millenniums.

  69. As for Rand Paul, there it is, the Tea Party is over, before it even began.

  70. Indeed, I just read that there is a schism, in Islam, between the Sunni Arabs and the Persians.

    That the Turks have been demoted, in the Islamic scheme of things, because they are siding with the Shia of Persia and Hamas. Instead of the Islam of Wahhabi Saudi Arabia.

    How could such a fractured ideology pose a threat to the nuclear "West"?

    They cannot even mount tanks of their own manufacture. Without the Russians and Chinese, they'd have no military might, at all.

    Without Russians the Iranians have no air defense capacity.

    To tout the Iranians as a threat to US interests, outside the borders of Iran, comical.

  71. Since 1967 the Israeli have killed more US citizens and had more spies convicted of spying on the US, than have Iranians.

    The Beirut bombing of the Marines, done by Lebanese, not Iranians.

    Iranians are not big on suicide.
    Because they are not occupied

    Though the will use proxies to protect and project their national interests.

    But as per Mr Pape:

    "We have lots of evidence now that when you put the foreign military presence in, it triggers suicide terrorism campaigns, ... and that when the foreign forces leave, it takes away almost 100 percent of the terrorist campaign,"

  72. To tout the Iranians as a threat to US interests, outside the borders of Iran, comical.

    I'd revise that a tad:

    To tout the Iranians as a MILITARY threat to US interests, outside the borders of Iran, comical.

    The may pose a political threat, to US interests, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  73. Even the Egyptians have a history of invasion and occupation of the Levant. Extending back, well before the founding of Islam.

    As do those people of the Tribes of Israel.

    That part of the whirled has constantly been in flux.

  74. I was waiting for that overreaction. I merely stated that if Israel is destroyed we could expect the next target to be Spain.

  75. Did I say anything about fundamentalist Islam that you disagree with?

  76. Why?

    Where is the indigenous Islamic population, in Spain?

    20% of Spain is not Islamic.
    There are no Islamic countries adjacent to Spain.

    Just because the Carthaginians took Spain does not mean they will return.

    Same probably goes for the Vandals.

    It is as likely that the French will return and attempt to conquer Spain, again, than it is the Libyans.

    Where are the landing craft that will be required for that amphibious assault?

  77. Yes, you did say things I disagree with.

    That 'they' will attempt to conquer Spain. That is comical.

    That radical fundamentalist Islam is the driving political force in the region of the whirled.

    There is no basis to believe that radical Islam is a driver at all, except as a power tool of politicos, there in that region.

    Islam is no more the driver than radical Judaism is the cause of the Israel/Arab conflict that began in 1949.

    It is the OCCUPATION and cultural manipulations, by Europeons, that are the drivers of discontent.
    An occupation that extenuates the cultural and economic disparities of the different societies involved.

    Both in the Middle East and in Apacheria.

    That is the essence of Mr Papes study, the truth of which is borne out around the whirled and in Arizona.

  78. The Muslims were bloodthirsty and treacherous. They conducted a sneak attack against the French army and slaughtered every single soldier, 20,000 in all. More than 1,000 years ago, in the mountain passes of Spain, the Muslim horde cut down the finest soldiers in Charlemagne’s command, including his brave nephew Roland.


    With their irrational fear of spiders, arachnophobes are scared of both harmless daddy longlegs and poisonous brown recluse spiders. In extreme cases, an arachnophobe can break out in a sweat while merely looking at photos of spiders. It is, of course, reasonable to steer clear of black widows. What makes a legitimate fear into an irrational phobia, however, is the tendency to lump all of any group, spiders or humans, into one lethal category and then to exaggerate how threatening they are.


    In 1951, the CIA and the emerging anti-communist elite, including soon-to-be-president Dwight Eisenhower, created the Crusade for Freedom as a key component of a growing psychological warfare campaign against the Soviet Union and the satellite countries it controlled in Eastern Europe. The language of this “crusade” was intentionally religious.

    Crusade 2.0

  79. It takes Armies and navies to support an amphibious invasion.

    There is no Islamic country that has the capacity to do that.

    There is no Islamic country that can build a main battle tank.

    To tout them as a military threat, to US or EU interests, beyond ludicrous.

  80. The Turks are looking East, because they have been rejected by the EU.

    That was not likely to change.

  81. Why?

    This is what they have stated they wanted to do. They want to reclaim Andalusia. After all, one of their centerpieces is the Cordoba mosque. It's only logical that after reclaiming the entire Levant for Allah, they would be emboldened to redouble their efforts and in Europe, they are rapidly changing the demographics to provide an "army" when the time is right.

    The wet dream of the fundie Mohammedan is whirled domination. I guess those are direct orders from Allah via Mohammed.

  82. Yes, CL, Rockman is, it seems to me, the most knowledgeable poster over there in regard to the oil bidness as a whole.

  83. If we left the Islamic Arc, they'd wallow in their own despair, without the "Great Satan" to blame.

    That we feel obligated to civilize those folks. That has not changed, since the trend was noted, by Rudyard Kipling, in 1899.

    The White Man's Burden

    Take up the White Man's burden--
    Send forth the best ye breed--
    Go bind your sons to exile
    To serve your captives' need;
    To wait in heavy harness,
    On fluttered folk and wild--
    Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
    Half-devil and half-child.

    Take up the White Man's burden--
    In patience to abide,
    To veil the threat of terror
    And check the show of pride;

    By open speech and simple,
    An hundred times made plain
    To seek another's profit,
    And work another's gain.

    Take up the White Man's burden--
    The savage wars of peace--
    Fill full the mouth of Famine
    And bid the sickness cease;

    And when your goal is nearest
    The end for others sought,
    Watch sloth and heathen Folly
    Bring all your hopes to nought.

    Take up the White Man's burden--
    No tawdry rule of kings,
    But toil of serf and sweeper--
    The tale of common things.
    The ports ye shall not enter,
    The roads ye shall not tread,
    Go mark them with your living,
    And mark them with your dead.

    Take up the White Man's burden--
    And reap his old reward:
    The blame of those ye better,
    The hate of those ye guard--
    The cry of hosts ye humour
    (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
    "Why brought he us from bondage,
    Our loved Egyptian night?"

    Take up the White Man's burden--
    Ye dare not stoop to less--
    Nor call too loud on Freedom
    To cloke your weariness;
    By all ye cry or whisper,
    By all ye leave or do,
    The silent, sullen peoples
    Shall weigh your gods and you.

    Take up the White Man's burden--
    Have done with childish days--
    The lightly proferred laurel,
    The easy, ungrudged praise.
    Comes now, to search your manhood
    Through all the thankless years
    Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
    The judgment of your peers!

    As it was, so it is.

  84. To tout them as a military threat, to US or EU interests, beyond ludicrous.

    Who did that? Who touted them as a military threat to Spain?

    Asymmetrical warfare.

  85. What "they" want, and what "they" are capable of ...

    Not even in the same league.

    Many want to be rich, many announce their ambitions, few achieve it. Even in the US where it is possible.

    The Islamoids cannot build a main battle tank.

    "They" can say what "they" will, but "they" have no abilities.

    "They" have no capacity to fulfill their statements.

    They are comically insane, too.

    Why should we follow their lead?

  86. That is misdirection. No one touted them as a military threat to US or EU interests.

    To think that all would be well in the west wrt Islam if we simply withdrew from the Islamic arc, is beyond ludicrous.

  87. The Islamoids cannot build a main battle tank.

    But they can build nuclear plants. You would suppose that anyone who could build a nuclear power plant could weaponize a warhead and build an ICBM. That's not a far reach is it?

  88. That is not warfare, that is terrorism.

    It got the Basque no where.

    It achieved nothing for the Catholics in Northern Ireland.

    Red Brigade terrorism did not alter Italy's society.

    The Red Army Faction (RAF), a German terrorist group that operated for over thirty years had no effect on their foreign policies or economy.

    None were rooted in Islam, all were asymmetrical "war", if that is what terrorism has been elevated to.

    Terrorism is crime, not war.

    Unless there is a "King of Islam".

  89. They only Islamoids that have built a nuclear power plant are the Pakistani. The Russians built one, for the Iranians. They could not do it, for themselves.

    That is a fact.

    If you want to advocate war with Pakistan, welcome aboard.
    But it has nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with the Pakistani providing support for the raids of 11SEP01 on NYCity and DC.

  90. That the US has paid the perpetrators of those raids upon US over $10 billion dollars, since they supported those raids of 11SEP01, indicative of Republican led bi-partisan politics, in the United States.

  91. Rockman operates his business out of Thompson Falls, MT. I thought Habu said something about his place being near there.

    Not that it matters. Small world comment.

  92. Terrorism is a tactic of war and crime. In Mexico it's crime. With Islam it's war.

  93. The enemy is in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, but it is not Islam, the religion.

    It is the King of Saudi Arabia and his cronies as well as the Pakistani Army, which runs Pakistan, on the ground.
    Did in 2001, still does, today.

  94. The fact is, the Pakistanis have the bomb and the Iranians are moving closer to having one.

    The Pakis have it because they are Muslims at war with India.

  95. Who represents "Islam"

    What is the name of the fella that speaks for those 1.2 billion people across dozens of disparate countries?

  96. No, whit, it is because Pakistan is at war with India.

    India is the whirled's largest Muslim country.

    There are 136 million of them, there. More than in any other country. There is no civil war ongoing in India.

    The attacks in Bombay were instigated by the Pakistani, not home grown Indian Muslims.

  97. If the US is at war with Islam, then we must be at war with India, too.

    More of them there than anywhere else.

  98. While the Chinese allege that they impose tight controls in this area and along the border with Afghanistan and Pakistan, the fact remains that this area is one of the most corrupt places on earth. They beat our top bank gurus by a mile.


    During Afghanistan's ten (10) year successful fight with the Soviet Union the Afghans certainly studied this geographical region to death in order to gain an advantage over the Soviets. It was this knowledge which allowed Osama bin Laden to elude capture from the forces to which we outsourced our task to corner him in Tora Bora.

    Osama bin Laden did what any sensible boy scout would also do; he moved to China.

    Laden in China?

  99. That Afghani you once referenced, killed by the Taliban on 9SEP01 was a Muslim that was allied with the Indian government.

    The Pakistani had their proxies in Afghanistan kill him.

    Exemplifying that it is not Islam that is the culprit, but the Pakistani and their proxies.

  100. I haven't argued that we are at war with Islam. With a President named Barack Hussein Obama, that should be apparent to anyone.

    I have argued that fundamentalist Islam is at war with the whirled. On a mission from Allah with instructions taken literally from their book.

    They are the devout Muslims, the true believers according to their book.

  101. Scroll to the 2:20 mark unless you're in the mood for the full dose.

    Hard to think too highly of a people - 1.2 billion strong - who allow a peaceful religion to be hijacked by a handful of radicals for violent purposes not supported by scripture.

    Oh wait.

    The Muslims have to do more to convince me. Removing the concepts of jihad, dhimmitude and submission from the Koran will require an aggressive internal effort that I don't expect to see since the broader Islamic community does not appear to be activist by nature or nurture.

    It's one thing to accept the notion of radicals hijacking a cover story from religion or ideology but it's another matter when the cover fits the behavior like a glove and no one seems to care or we are carefully instructed not to notice. Circumstances matter and coincidences are seldom found in the real world.

  102. I also said that the fundamentalists resort to terror to gain dominance and force others into submission. It's a fact that fundamentalist Islam is in a waxing phase and where the demographics are favorable, the fundamentalists are active. This includes Iran where the fundamentalists Twelvers are in power and have cowed a formerly westernized people into submission.

  103. Wars are waged by countries.

    Crime is done by gangs and individuals. What country is ruled by radical Islamoids that is at war with the whirled?

    If there is one, it is Pakistan.

    If it is not Pakistan, there is no war, just crimes, possibly motivate by religious beliefs or even ethnic discrimination, but that is not war.

    Like in Northern Ireland or Basque region of Spain.

  104. It wouldn't surprise me if the same thing happens in Turkey.

  105. What is fundamentalist Islam, if not a criminal conspiracy, out for political and financial gain.

    As in Mexico, with the drug cartels.
    As in Afpakistan, with the drug cartels.

    The religion is an excuse, not a cause. As per the research complied by Mr Papes.

  106. The so-called Cordoba Learning Center proposed for the World Trade Center site cemented my skepticism.

    It is obvious to me that Muslim religious leaders have some serious housecleaning to do, but where did the elites choose to begin?

    By educating the victims.

    Serious miscalculation and a very revealing one at that.

    They need to clean up their book first. Until that happens, the entire 1.2 billion are susceptible to the influence of totalitarian thought and the consequences to society and geopolitical relationships that derive therefrom.

  107. What difference does it make whether we call it crime or war? You call it crime, the fundies call it war on the infidel. Jihad. To them it's a religious war. You insult them by casting them as mere criminals. They cut off the hands of criminals.

    If they had superior armies they would go ahead and use them for Allah. Since they don't, they use whatever weapons are at their disposal. Knives, bombs, guns, airplanes. "It don't matter."

  108. Trish (Up and R-U-N-N-O-F-T)

    On behalf of Trish and Allen I'm boycotting this year's "Bosco" awards.

    And who appointed Quirk to judge posts anyway?

    g'nite, I've got a trying day tomorrow.

  109. Good God rat, go read your koran.

    But, it's too much to ask you to make sense.

  110. Tenth-grader Afzal welcomes the impending changes. She comments, "We appreciate if the old courses are replaced with new ones.


    But there are voices of caution as well. Says Ayub Khan, a father of three: "Change is good, but it should be within Islamic context.

    Anything against Islam will flare up protests against the government. The government must avoid deleting Islamic verses from the courses."

    Crossing Extremism Out

  111. Osama bin Laden did what any sensible boy scout would also do; he moved to China.

    Somebody should talk to Maurice Strong.

  112. Pablo Escobar, the premier example of a criminal campaign that could have been classified as a war.

    But after his death, the civil insurrection in Colombia diminished, but the crime cartels continued.

    Whether the FARC insurrection was a war or a criminal enterprise, best left for trish to tell us.

    I lean to criminal enterprise, but it is debatable.

    Same is true in Oaxaca, Mexico. Are the Zapatistas merely criminals or revolutionaries funded by drug profits.

  113. Maurice Strong, heh, I had to look that up.

    Yep, looks like Maurice is the guy to turn to.

  114. The religion is an excuse, not a cause.

    The religion is a cover. It's been said that Islam is as much a form of government as a religion. The fundies (many not so militant) themselves claim that you can't separate Islam from government. Islam means submission and Sharia is "Allah's law" which we all know is a joke. Excuse is not quite the right word. A better word is pretense. Islam is the pretense.

  115. They have no Armies, whit.

    Not a single division.

    Not even a battalion.
    Pablo Escobar could field a larger combat capable force.

    You buy into the propaganda.
    The Islamoids, the Israelis and some of ours.

    Why read the Koran, bob, it is only literature.
    Bad literature, at that.

  116. ah, so you haven't read it.

    It tells 'em what to do, how to behave.

    I got to get to bed.

    Over and out.

  117. Since we agree on that, my work is done for the night. I was happy to be of assistance.

    Good night, Trish, wherever you are.

  118. A pretense, exactly.

    Not a cause for war, but a pretense for criminal enterprise.

    Exactly correct.

    Islam is a tool used by politicos.

    Not a driving force of their societies. But part of their culture.

    But the enemies are geographic and historical.
    The Libyans took Spain, when they were called Carthaginians. Italians did when they were Romans and the French did, when they were Vandals.

    That some Islamoid in Pakistan calls for the conquest of Spain, that is like wi"o" calling for the destruction of "the rock".


    That they call for the destruction of Israel, as a Jewish State, unnerving to some Israeli, but unlikely to occur, militarily.

    It is likely to occur, demographically, though.

  119. So does the Bible, bob.

    Christians read it, but do not follow the precepts of it.

    Why would the Islamoids be different?

  120. .
    If we left the Islamic Arc, they'd wallow in their own despair, without the "Great Satan" to blame...

    Charmingly amusing.


  121. It is likely to occur, demographically, throughout Europe also.

    I saw some very interesting numbers showing the correlation between Islamic populations and the virulence of the 'criminal enterprise.'

    Once it gets up near 10%, the 'criminals' begin to exert themselves under the pretense of religion.

  122. Christians read it, but do not follow the precepts of it.

    Why would the Islamoids be different?

    The real difference is when they do follow the precepts.

  123. U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange ruled Monday morning in Oklahoma City following a brief hearing. It prevents the state election board from certifying the results of Tuesday's general election in which the amendment was approved by 70 percent of the voters.

    The order will remain in effect until a Nov. 22 hearing on a requested preliminary injunction.

    It was issued in a lawsuit filed by the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma. Muneer Awad said during the hearing that the law stigmatizes his religion.

    Islamic Law

  124. .

    From Sam's post:

    The Oklahoma ballot measure orders judges not to consider Islamic or international law when deciding cases.

    But Rick Tepker, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma School of Law believes the "Save Our State" constitutional amendment may have the unwanted side effect of preventing judges from referencing the Ten Commandments. Tepker called the measure "a mess."

    "Many of us who understand the law are scratching our heads this morning, laughing so we don't cry," he told CNN. "I would like to see Oklahoma politicians explain if this means that the courts can no longer consider the Ten Commandments. Isn’t that a precept of another culture and another nation? The result of this is that judges aren’t going to know when and how they can look at sources of American law that were international law in origin."

    And this is supposed to be a bad thing?

    The definitions of murder, theft, or spousal abuse aren't dependent upon the ten commandments or the Koran.

    The judge should rule based on the law as written not on how some Muslim or Christian or Brit interprets the law based on his faith or natioanality. Were the judge to do that there would be no objective law merely a series of laws based on each individual's subjective moral compass.

    We've already seen how that would work out with the case of the judge in New Jersey who said it was ok for the Muslim guy to beat his wife because it was allowed by Sharia law.


  125. The airline was hit with a further setback on Monday night when a violent storm grounded some flights out of Sydney airport.

    A Qantas spokeswoman said three international flights were diverted, 13 domestic flights cancelled and seven diverted.

    Qantas, which last week said an engine design flaw could be to blame, said on Monday it was investigating oil leaks that might have caused the engine explosion on a Sydney-bound flight.

    Flying Technique

  126. .

    Oprah to fly her entire audiance to Australia for her shows at the Sydney Opera House.

    Meanwhile, Oprah's Harpo Productions has held urgent talks with Qantas over the future of her December trip...

    Don't mess with Oprah Quantas.


  127. .
    Save Florida Homes Inc. and its owner, Mark Guerette, have found foreclosed homes for several needy families here in Broward County, and his tenants could not be more pleased. Fabian Ferguson, his wife and two children now live a two-bedroom home they have transformed from damaged and abandoned to full and cozy.

    There is just one problem: Mr. Guerette is not the owner. Yet.

    In a sign of the odd ingenuity that has grown from the real estate collapse, he is banking on an 1869 Florida statute that says the bundle of properties he has seized will be his if the owners do not claim them within seven years...

    Adverse Possession in Florida


  128. US president Barack Obama has backed India's quest for a seat on the United Nations Security Council.


    Momentum built in 2005 to reform the Security Council on the United Nations' 50th anniversary, with Brazil, Germany, India and Japan launching a joint bid for new permanent seats.


    China, the only Asian nation in the Security Council, strongly opposed Japan's membership by accusing it of not atoning for World War II.

    Council Seat

  129. .

    U.S. Report Faults Christie, as Prosecutor, on Hotel Stays

    When he was a top federal prosecutor, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey routinely billed taxpayers for hotel stays whose cost exceeded government guidelines, according to a report the Justice Department released on Monday.

    As a United States attorney, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey often exceeded government guidelines on travel expenses without adequate justification, a new report by the inspector general of the Justice Department indicates.

    The report, by the department’s inspector general, examined travel expenses for all 208 people who served as a United States attorney from 2007 to 2009. It spoke of five who “exhibited a noteworthy pattern of exceeding the government rate and whose travel documentation provided insufficient, inaccurate or no justification for the higher lodging rates.”

    While the report did not identify any prosecutors by name, the travel patterns of an official called “U.S. Attorney C” — the one “who most often exceeded the government rate without adequate justification” in terms of percentage of travel — match records about Mr. Christie that were released in the 2009 campaign for governor by his Democratic opponent, the incumbent, Jon S. Corzine...

    We Report. You Decide.


  130. A former key financial adviser to entertainers Paul Hogan and John Cornell is planning to give adverse evidence about the pair's tax arrangements, the Federal Court heard today.


    The relationship between Cornell and Hogan and Mr Gibb "has broken down completely", said Noel Hutley, SC, representing the two celebrities and Tony Stewart, who took over from Mr Gibb as the pair's financial adviser.
    Advertisement: Story continues below

    The three men have been the subject of a five-year investigation by the Crime Commission into allegations that they avoided paying millions of dollars tax to the Australian Taxation Office by channelling the enormous profits from the Crocodile Dundee films into offshore companies.

    Testifying Against Hogan

  131. .
    I've posted on this story in the past.

    Some judges chastise banks over foreclosure paperwork

    A year ago, Long Island Judge Jeffrey Spinner concluded that a mortgage company's paperwork in a foreclosure case was so flawed and its behavior in negotiations with the borrower so "repugnant" that he erased the family's $292,500 debt and gave them the home free.

    The judgment in favor of the homeowner, Diane Yano-Horoski, which is being appealed, has alarmed the nation's biggest lenders, who say it could establish a dramatic new legal precedent and roil the nation's foreclosure system.

    However, I had to post this one because of the following paragraph:

    In his November 2009 ruling, Judge Spinner of Suffolk County blasted OneWest for negotiating with an "opprobrious demeanor and condescending attitude." He also cited the bank's "duplicity" in offering a forbearance agreement with a deadline that had already passed and for presenting contradictory paperwork claiming different amounts for what the family owed.

    "Opprobrious demeanor and condenscending attitude."

    Ya gotta love it.

    Banks Worried About Forclosure Rulings