“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Don't Blame the Messenger. Time to Slim Down.

Sure S&P is a deeply flawed organization. It would be interesting to see how many of the mortgages of repossessed and foreclosed properties are in AAA, S&P approved debt instruments. The messenger is flawed but the message has a ring of truth. Could anyone deny that the US Congress is anything less than AAA? The Senate under Harry Reid did not even bother to pass a budget for two years.

Has Obama overseen a AAA Administration? The Democrats passed a three thousand page healthcare bill that they did not read.

This is a long overdue wakeup call. Congress is worse than inept. It is hated and corrupt with some of the most stupid people in the country at the helm. Let's try and hold onto the AA.


  1. Bird With Two Right Wings

    And now our government
    a bird with two right wings
    flies on from zone to zone
    while we go on having our little fun & games
    at each election
    as if it really mattered who the pilot is
    of Air Force One
    (They're interchangeable, stupid!)
    While this bird with two right wings
    flies right on with its corporate flight crew
    And this year its the Great Movie Cowboy in the cockpit
    And next year its the great Bush pilot
    And now its the Chameleon Kid
    and he keeps changing the logo on his captains cap
    and now its a donkey and now an elephant
    and now some kind of donkephant
    And now we recognize two of the crew
    who took out a contract on America
    and one is a certain gringo wretch
    who's busy monkeywrenching
    crucial parts of the engine
    and its life-support systems
    and they got a big fat hose
    to siphon off the fuel to privatized tanks
    And all the while we just sit there
    in the passenger seats
    without parachutes
    listening to all the news that's fit to air
    over the one-way PA system
    about how the contract on America
    is really good for us etcetera
    As all the while the plane lumbers on
    into its postmodern
    manifest destiny

    Created Date : Friday, January 03, 2003

    Lawrence Ferlinghetti

    This seems more or less the attitude of many here, cept Doug 'n me.

    There is a really great poem by Ferlinghetti about the sameness of life in a big city, so long, and repetitive it wears you down at last to an unavoidable despair. But I could not find it.


  2. An unavoidable despair is a despair beyond any fixing through any conceivable political means.


  3. Sarah said, "If we were real domestic terrorists, shoot, Obama would want to pal around with us, wouldn't he?"

    Good ol' Sarah, one politician that's not afraid to actually say something!!!

    Yes, I think she could beat Obama. Yes, I hope she runs.

    Taken from an article in the QuirkDreadful American Thinker.


  4. Love the use of that quaint word shoot.

    Some people still do talk like that.


  5. We can never pay back the money we owe - certainly not without turning the dollar into worthless toilet paper.

    The fact that we raised the debt ceiling before implementing any meaningful cuts in itself warrants a sovereign downgrade - as it sends out the arrogant message that the world's biggest economy - even with the economy faltering, unemployment, homelessness, repossessions and destitution rising - doesn't give a fcuk what it's creditors think.

  6. Bad times for America. Change is needed. Painful change that will hit, have to hit all of us. No exemptions for the standard of living of poor welfare mommas or rich people asking to not sacrifice a dime.

    An end to the outlook of bearing any burden, anywhere for the cause of Freedom!! because we have unlimited wealth. Of free trade, as China has raped us, taken our jobs and industries. Of all the great ChinaStuff so cheap! cheap! cheap at the local MaoMart. A end to ag subsidies, oil subsidies, Israel subsidies.
    Time to close the Borders to illegals and refugees coming in....even if they "suffer" in consequence.
    Time to take away any job an illegal holds if an American wants it.
    The end of the Pentagon screaming "terrorist evildoers!!" and getting whatever money they demand for the Heroes of America.

    NO more COLAs for seniors. We announce we pay the same for drugs as Canada does and means test free drugs for seniors.

    We do huge Pentagon cuts, but also look to chop other Federal agencies.

    If need be, we shut down the courts by declaring a national emergency so critical projects like water for crops, developing energy resources, rebuilding infrastructure is not tied up for 10 years by lawyers.


    U.S. incomes plummeted again in 2009, with total income down 15.2 percent in real terms since 2007, new tax data showed on Wednesday.

    The data now revealed from 2011 studies showed an alarming drop in the number of taxpayers reporting in 2009....
    Shipping huge chunks of US industry to China along with all those middle class manufacturing jobs will get you that horrific drying up of taxpayers effect. And no, that revenue stream is not replaced by it all going to 30 owners that profit from the Chinese outsourcing and pay little or no taxes outside the 15% rate capital gains if their lawyers can't keep the profits offshore. And the no-tax paying clerks hired by the Owner Class to work at MaoMart to sell the ChinaStuff.

  7. Shipping huge chunks of US industry to China along with all those middle class manufacturing jobs will get you that horrific drying up of taxpayers effect. And no, that revenue stream is not replaced by it all going to 30 owners that profit from the Chinese outsourcing and pay little or no taxes outside the 15% rate capital gains if their lawyers can't keep the profits offshore. And the no-tax paying clerks hired by the Owner Class to work at MaoMart to sell the ChinaStuff.

    A true outrage.

  8. First, let's reform the Corporate Tax Code. Get that money back home from the overseas tax havens. Make Corporate Taxes, overseas, payable NOW.

    Get that money invested replacing Foreign Oil. An ethanol plant in every county. Get those Construction workers, pipefitters, electricians, boilermakers, carpenters, concrete workers, plumbers back to work.

    Make the CRP payable only to acreage planted in energy grasses.

    Cut all programs 10%, including entitlements, Congressional Pay, and defense.

    Act like we're serious for a change.

  9. 31 GI's killed by an RPG in US chopper attack in Afghanistan. The Chinese meanwhile:

    Afghanistan is not often perceived as a mineral Holy Grail.

    But, as it turns out, between $1-3 trillion in mineral wealth lies unexplored across the Hindu Kush. There's enough uranium, lithium, copper and iron ore to potentially turn Afghanistan into a commodities powerhouse.

    The Pentagon knows all about it - how could it not? And the Russians have known about it since at least the 1970s, when they mapped out all the uranium riches of northern Afghanistan.

    Washington may have complex geopolitical energy reasons to remain in Afghanistan - as explored in a previous Al Jazeera article that generated enormous reader response.

    For its part, Islamabad is still obsessed with viewing Afghanistan as a pliable satrap. But the going gets much juicier when one looks at key Eurasian players such as Russia, India and China and their own, non-Pentagonised reasons to come to this mineral Walhalla.

    Business suits, not bombs

    Early next month a crucial bidding war begins in Kabul. It concerns Hajigak, the world's biggest iron ore deposits, which are located in central Afghanistan (at least 1.8bn tons, according to a Soviet estimate made in the 1960s). To the sound of much predictable Taliban grumbling, all 15 bidding companies are from India - including giants Tata Steel and JSW, the country's third-largest private steel company.

    A stable, business-friendly Afghanistan is absolutely essential for India - a gateway to oil and gas from Iran, Central Asia and the Caspian. India is building power stations and strategic roads, such as the one linking Afghanistan with the Iranian port of Chahbahar.

    Few may know it, but it's not only Africa that is the object of a fierce India-China business "war". Afghanistan is also a key chessboard. There are five types of minerals on the Afghan horizon - gold, copper, iron ore, and inevitably, oil and gas - and the Indians and the Chinese are all over them.

    China Metallurgical Corporation already got a big prize in 2008 - the Aynak copper mine in Logar, southeast of Kabul - for $3.4bn. Why? Because Western companies were asleep at the wheel (or paranoid with "security"); because the Chinese wasted no time; and, according to the Afghan Ministry of Mines, "because of their package" (in characteristic Chinese style, that includes building a whopping $6bn railway connecting northern Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan with western China).

    Kabul will get up to $350m a year in royalties. At least 5,000 jobs will be created, with added benefits such as health clinics, roads and schools. Security may indeed be a huge problem; there's a war going on and safe transit routes are a mirage. But as war-weary Afghans are poignantly stressing, that's already a start.

    The business track in Afghanistan now runs parallel to the political track.

    Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari visited Tehran twice within only three weeks. He had two face-to-face meetings with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The House of Saud, to put it mildly, freaked out.

    Would we have to import guillotines?

  10. So the same credit agency that gave credit default swaps an AAA rating now downgrades the US debt. Why should anyone care? Why is S&P still operating after the last major screwup?

    Why does anyone pay attention to this crap?

    I didn't take long for Cedarford to drag Israel into the loop.

  11. Time to exit Afghanistan. If the Chinese want to mine iron ore there let them send their own army. Good luck to'em. We're pissing off $100 Billion + that we can not afford.

    Iraq? Gotta go. Piss on their oil. Time to produce our own energy. Time's are a'changing. We have to as well.

  12. Where is Obama on the ongoing assault on whites by federally-funded black youth? This happens daily in every American city with a sizeable black population.

    No sit down for a beer in the Hip-Hop White House? Better not mention it louder than a concealed whisper.

  13. Empire comes with a cost, and we're not getting paid. Time to wrap it up.

  14. Rufus, I used to think Obama's policies were about a grand change... a liberal utopia where outcomes were all "fair"... but the more I see of this man, the more I believe it's just about him - not even those who helped him get there, although they are useful enablers. Rome is covered in gasoline folks.

  15. S&P did us a huge favor.

    Let's see if we can take advantage of it.

  16. Obama has done some good things, as did Bush before him.

    The push on Wind, and Solar, and, yes, even healthcare, are very powerful "Long-term" Strategies.

    He just didn't grok the need to keep the books balanced (somewhat) in the short term.

    It isn't "All" Obama. All of the politicians missed the importance of imported oil, and the decline, thereof.

  17. Remember, Bush (and the ratings agencies) gave us the worst Financial Crisis since the early thirties, and we were slowly digging out of that,

    until gasoline prices went from $2.50 to $4.00/gal.

    That sent Demand/employment/job creation back into the toilet, and stalled our advance toward fiscal stability, and recovery.

    We will continue this "one step forward, one step back" accordion affect until the powers that be recognize, and confront our declining energy availability.

  18. You can't emphasize this enough: Foxconn has, arguably, the most cost-effective labor force in the world, ie young, Chinese females.

    Yet, they are replacing Half of them (500,000) with Robots.

    THAT is the 21st Century.

    When you see a video clip on tv of Bubba putting a wheel on a new Chrysler, and using a hand-operated air wrench to tighten the lug nuts you are looking at a 1950's model production line.

    It doesn't matter if Bubba is "unionized," or not. Or, whether you pay him #25.00/hr, or $5.00/hr you can't compete with a modern assembly line.

    We have to rethink, rebuild, and retool. The 1950's were fun. But, they're dead and gone. Time to move on.

  19. Fighting in Arabia for oil has become a Mug's game.

    Putting that expensive, imported oil in a 5,000 lb SUV to drive thirty miles to work, and back is, now, a "rich man's" game.

    If you're a rich man, more power to you. But, Bubba's going to need another option. And, he's going to need it PDQ.

  20. We should just bite the bullet and do what a bank would do. Faced with a bad year, drag all the shit up from the basement, clean house take all your losses at once instead of the steady drip drip drip of economic water torture.

    Cramdown all government pensions to the amount in the funds and allocate the payments on a pro rata basis. If their is none in the kitty, cram them down to a civilian equivalent, sort of like a reverse Davis-Bacon Act. Call it a Cooked Bacon Act.

    Do the same with entitlements and debt.

    Take the liabilities that represent 100% of GNP and cram that down to 40% of GNP, ten-twenty -thirty year, interest bearing, and issue ten year notes stripped of interest for the balance 60%.

    Tell the World this is the medicine for the US providing sixty years of security that made this thing of ours possible.

  21. :)

    Sounds a little drastic, don't it?

  22. Ahh, all we need is a little "growth."

    Cut a little outgo, dredge up a little more "income."

    Gettin' the people back to work will cure a lot of ills.

  23. No more drastic than hanging the US middle class out to dry for the next 25 years. More than one fire storm, manmade and otherwise modernized a city.

  24. The Middle Class will, eventually, start to figure out the problem. They've been fed a lot of lies, and disinformation from the powers that be for quite awhile, now; but they'll wake up sooner or later.

  25. The Oil Cartel's powerful, but they're not Omnipotent.

  26. There may be some element of truth in your whimsy.

    However if Moody's or Fitch add another downgrade, then huge pension funds here, as well as in Europe and the US, will have no choice but selling all these Treasuries they hold. Please don't even get me started on all these trillions in communal bonds in the US that are all supported by the AAA of the US Federal government.

    This spells impending disaster, because a lot of financial and insurance corporations are heavily invested. If they go down, our whole financial system will blow up. And nobody will be able to play lender of last resort. All this without even considering the effect of rising interest payments that will have a tremendous impact on the viability of banks, businesses and mortgages. Oh, did I mention that rising interst payments will, in all likelihood, lead to rising taxes?

    As the US is still the largest and most important part of the global economy, that means that, if you will not get hit by the direct consequences, the cascading consequences will affect you sooner rather than later.

    This is as serious as it can get for our current financial system.

  27. Make the CRP payable only to acreage planted in energy grasses.

    This is a good idea. Why have all that biomass out there unharvested each year.

    Yup, Cedarfart did slip in Israel, like always.

    My guy is working on the second alfalfa cutting yesterday and today. Early in August, it's possible he'll get a third too, with some rain and warm into late September.

    Alfalfa is the answer, I'm telling ya, to all our economic woes!


  28. It doesn't matter if Bubba is "unionized," or not. Or, whether you pay him #25.00/hr, or $5.00/hr you can't compete with a modern assembly line.

    My strategy is, I'm the girl who fixes the assembly line when it stops. Can't get robots to do that.

  29. Even Carlos Slim is having a hard time -- Carlos Slim Loses $6.7 Billion in a Week

    Now he's down to only 60 billion or something.


  30. That is just about the best strategy in the world (at least for the next 50 yrs.) T.

    It makes me feel good for you. :)

  31. .

    There is a really great poem by Ferlinghetti about the sameness of life in a big city, so long, and repetitive it wears you down at last to an unavoidable despair. But I could not find it.



  32. $6.7 Billion, here; $6.7 Billion, there; pretty soon you're talking "real" money (even for Carlos Slim.) :)

  33. The case could prove to be a bombshell on par with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' "Operation Fast and Furious," except that instead of U.S. guns being allowed to walk across the border, the Sinaloa cartel was allowed to bring drugs into the United States. Zambada-Niebla claims he was permitted to smuggle drugs from 2004 until his arrest in 2009.

    <a href="</a>

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. This Drug Cartel thing reaches all the way to the highest level of the Mexican Government (and, pretty damned far up in ours.)

  34. When robots start fixing themselves, it's only a matter of time before they start making themselves, and then it's all over for us anyway. By then I'll be safely and cozily dead.

  35. Slim slimmed down.

    Was thinking of you Quirk, really didn't look very hard.

    It's attack whitey night at the state fairs around the nation. Where is B. Goetz when we need him?

    Not even a statement on the situation out of our Justice Department

    Another thing we could do to help the economy is get rid of most of the EPA and The Endangered Species Act.

    Local enviro groups are appealing the latest federal court ruling that allowed delisting of the wolves, so the saga continues. Might end up in the Supreme Court.

    Where Friends of the Clearwater gets its money I'm not sure. They must have some rich sponsor though as I know them and they are local ragtag, but always able to pay their lawyers.

    Wolf Season Can't Come Too Soon

  36. The Robots are very definitely nearing a break out point, Miss T.

    The two legs are doomed.

    Shit, according to Coast - to - Coast about three nights ago, we got less than 10 years left.

    Live for the day!!


  37. Just good police work, Rufus. They need that info. Info don't come cheap, etc., hardeharhar

    I'm going to take some pics of the heroic alfalfa field, and some Black Eyed Susans that are ripe for photographing.



  38. Yup, Cedarfart did slip in Israel, like always.

    Subsidies to Israel (for votes from the Jewish block, started with Truman) are a lot like the giant $3000 plasma TVs we got when we took out a second mortgage backed by the "equity" we "earned" by sitting in a rising tide of home prices. But now that the whole country is underwater, we'll have to settle for the $300 LCD from WalMart. If that makes us "Nazis" in the eyes of WiO so be it. Can't squeeze blood libel from a destitute turnip.

  39. It's attack whitey night at the state fairs around the nation.

    Hope and change.

  40. .

    NATO copter crash kills dozens of U.S. troops

    Afghan officials say the crash during an operation near Kabul killed 31 Americans and seven Afghan soldiers. A Taliban spokesman claims responsibility for incident, says militants shot down aircraft...

    Two Helicopters Forced Down in Afghan Fighting


  41. .

    Financial crisis: G7 finance ministers to hold emergency conference this weekend

    "The unprecedented downgrading of the United States credit rating by Standard & Poor's has added a global dimension on top of the eurozone's debt crisis, raising the need for international co-ordination.

    "The G7 will confer by telephone. It's not yet confirmed whether it will be in one stage or in two stages, tonight and tomorrow," a senior European diplomatic source told Reuters.

    Francois Baroin, France's finance minister, who would chair such a meeting under the French presidency of the G7 and G20, said in a radio interview it was too early to say whether there would be an early G7 meeting and the decision will be determined to a large extend by how quickly they can procure the gelato to ricotta cheesecake that Burlesconni adores and some of the vintage Viognier Côtes du Rhône whites that Sarkozy demands...."

    Open Bar


  42. .

    Mr Obama attempted to calm the situation saying: “We are going to get through this. Things will get better.”

    European leaders faced criticism for indecision as the escalating debt crisis threatened to become a full blown economic crash.

    Louise Cooper, an analyst at BGC Partners, said stock traders were “starting to feel the fear” as governments appeared powerless to halt a slide into a global crisis.

    “The horrible reality is that those leaders in charge of our economy have no answers,” she said.

    When Mr. Obama was asked who the "we" was that he spoke of, he said, "I'll let my statement speak for itself.


  43. Ron Paul Paul maintains that if the federal government went back to 2004 spending levels, we would have a balanced budget right now.

    “Even now if you freeze the budget, within about five years it would be balanced again,” he explains. “But nobody’s quite willing to do that because they think they have to have steady increases.

    “There’s a strong appetite for government and that is where the problem is. People don’t want to cut back on the militarism or anything that looks like it might cut into the check they’re getting from government, and a lot of people are getting checks from the government.”

    Paul tells Newsmax the federal budget has doubled in 10 years because “the appetite for government never ends. There are more retired people because of the demographics, less people coming into the workforce. Unemployment rates go up so the benefits go up automatically. It’s endless.

    “And there are always new programs. There are hundreds and hundreds of programs that are brand new. They just won’t stop. It’s like an addiction. I don’t think they realize the seriousness of this problem.”

    Read more on Ron Paul: Debt Deal is a 'Fraud'
    Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama's Re-Election? Vote Here Now!

  44. It is all the fault of the Tea Party, pesky lot that they are, why, had they not mentioned there was a problem, who would have noticed? The Democrats in the Senate didn't notice, In fact they hardly noticed they hadn't passed a budget in two years, but then what would be the point?

    This crowd cannot be trusted to do their minimum duties but expect everyone to take it on face value that they have a ten year plan. Sure the Tea Party dropped a turd in the Congressional punch bowl. Good job.

  45. procure the gelato to ricotta cheesecake that Burlesconni adores and some of the vintage Viognier Côtes du Rhône whites that Sarkozy demands...."

    Nice try at editing Quirker but you forgot one of the most important items--the procured girls, silly, anyone would know to include that.


    When Mr. Obama was asked who the "we" was that he spoke of, he said, "I'll let my statement speak for itself.

    Me an' Michelle?

    Me an' the Teleprompter?

    Me an' ma statement?

    All of the above?


  46. Budgets are so old fashioned.


  47. Well, if the TOTUS ain't writin' a speech, right now, laying the blame squarely at the feet of the Tea Party I don' love alcohol.


  48. 'Syrian army defector: I was ordered to commit genocide'
    08/06/2011 18:09

    Hundreds of officers are sitting in jails for refusing to fire on civilians; 4,500 soldiers defected in Damascus, says Syrian lieutenant in interview.

    Ahmed Khalaf, a lieutenant in the Syrian army said that he was ordered to command his soldiers to shoot indiscriminately at everyone in Deraa, including women and children, London based Asharq Alawsat reported on Saturday.

    "I, along with other officers, was ordered by our commanders to commit genocide in Deraa and was told not to spare women and children.

    In an interview with Asharq Alawsat, Khalaf claimed that he told his commander that he followed orders while secretly telling his soldiers not to fire on anyone. However, when he was found out and put under house arrest he understood that he had to flee the country.

    Khalaf explained that hundreds of Sunni officers are sitting in jails around Syria for refusing to obey orders to fire on civilians, and claims that "4,500 soldiers have defected in the Damascus area."

    Lieutenant Khalaf managed to escape from Syria is currently hiding in an undisclosed location.

    Syrian security forces killed at least 18 protesters on Friday in attacks on tens of thousands of protesters who poured into the streets to demonstrate against the rule of President Bashar Assad on the first Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

    The four-month-old uprising has grown increasingly violent in recent days as tanks have launched an attack on the central city of Hama in an effort to quell pro-democracy protesters. An estimated 300 people have been killed since the military assault began on Sunday on the city of 700,000 people in central Syria.

    Beginning of the end for Assad. If the soldiers don't obey, the dictator doesn't stay.


  49. Sad day for the USA. SEAL Team 6, the ones that got Osama, most were on that chopper that went down in Afghanistan.



  50. Thirty-one U.S. special forces soldiers and seven Afghan troops were killed Saturday in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, marking one of the deadliest day in the war since the invasion in 2001. Among the dead were members of Navy SEAL Team Six, the unit that participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, although officials said they believed none of the members who participated in that attack were killed.


  51. Ahmed Khalaf, a lieutenant in the Syrian army said that he was ordered to command his soldiers to shoot indiscriminately at everyone in Deraa, including women and children, London based Asharq Alawsat reported on Saturday.

    Dern Muslims.

    1 Samuel 15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

    Dern Israelites.

  52. Our highest quarter of Real GDP was the 4th qtr of 2007.

    Do you realize it could be 2017 (or, if we do "everything" wrong, some time in the 2020's) before we see that number Again?

  53. An Article For Deuce

    Economic meltdown villain is George W. Bush and his staggering debt numbers.

    Not Obama's fault at all.


  54. Need to email that article to Doug. He'll get a kick out of it. :)

  55. The hawks have been soaring over the alfalfa field all day as the guy does the second cutting.

    Stirs up all those tasty mice, you know.

    A meal fit for a king o' the air.


  56. Untenured Female NYC teacher has sex with student, teacher's union will protect her because "It's all about the children"

  57. Well, maybe, she, at least, got kissed.

  58. Courtesy of Dale--

    The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it,think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the1500s:

    * LIFE IN THE 1500'S ***

    Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However,they were starting to smell,so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

    Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies.. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water.

    Houses had thatched roofs - thick straw - piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying. It's raining cats and dogs.

    There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

    The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, Dirt poor. The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a thresh hold.


  59. (Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

    In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old..

    Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, bring home the bacon. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

    Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

    Bread was divided according to status.. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

    Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

    England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a ..... dead ringer.

    And that's the truth. Now, whoever said History was boring!!!


    Good Osprey link Sam.


  60. And, lest Quirk or Rufus make a crack like "that's like life in Ideeehooo to this very day" I want them to know I shower every day.


  61. LORDY MERCY! What an Incredible Link. What a Beautiful Bird. What Amazing Photography.

    That was just (Lord I hate to use this word) Awesome!

    Yes, Sam, Thanks a lot.

  62. Sat Aug 06, 05:24:00 PM EDT

    ...not worth a reply...

  63. No, I know Ideehowans cain't lie like that.

    Only an Irishman, or an Irishman pretendiing to be an Englishman could tell that many laughers in one day. :)

  64. Sam, my daughter and I are thinking about moving to Australia and living on the beach with the penguins.

    What is your take on the situation?

  65. :) heh

    With the penquins...r i g h t .


  66. I'm thinking of moving to Las Vegas to live with the Eskimos.


  67. Or to Mississippi or Detroit to live with the intelligentsia:)


  68. Come to Ideehooo I'll take you on a giraffe hunt.


  69. O that's right I forgot you're a vegetarian and wouldn't care for raw giraffe liver, we always start our meals with that.


  70. giraffe from Idaho really doesn't sound to appetizing.

  71. Beats Brussel sprouts or alfalfa.

    My wife was telling me today there is alfalfa for two leggers like us in the frozen food part of vegetable section. I told her to surely get some. Then I can dine out at the stables with Risky Alibi. :)

    Got to get to bed, g'nite.


  72. It looks to me as if Obama wil want to do more of what he has done to improve the economy and overcome the deficits that rose under Bush. The problem is that those steps aren't working. Ideologically, it sounds good to practice Keynesian economic policy when all it costs is the cup of coffee to discuss it over. But in the cold, hard light of real-life, something different has to be done.
    I'm willing to pay more in tax....BUT I don't trust Democrats to apply increased taxes .

  73. US financials will get the biggest beating. Quite simply the US banks are the biggest holders of US treasuries and will feel the heat most. Ditto China as the largest foreign holder of US treasuries and because it and other emerging markets are almost always more volatile to the downside.

    By contrast there should be a flight to safe havens like the AAA-rated bonds of other sovereigns and gold. We are not sure whether silver will be treated as a precious metal or industrial commodity tomorrow, and it could first behave like the latter and take a turn for the worse as it did on Friday.

    Clearly readers of our newsletter who bought our short ETF program will have a very good day (subscribe here). Is it too late to go short? That is always an issue as markets collapse. Stock brokers can becoming strangely hard to contact and IT systems crash. It may be hard to put a short position on.

    US dollar

    We will also be watching closely what happens to the US dollar. There are contradictory forces at work with the pull down from the credit rating and the push up from an equity market rout, for as stocks are sold dollars are bought.

    If readers are not out of the markets after last week then it is probably not too late to sell everything, and we will be surprised if looking back in a month or two that is not also the right course of action with hindsight.

    Hanging on while the world drops away can leave you dangling from the upended Titanic as it takes its last dramatic plunge.

  74. There are two interesting points of view. On one side we have:

    In the Cold War it was Russia that held the US in check. In the economic war between the US and EU it is China that is holding America in check. China will come in large with the Euro. They have beaten the US in market after market. The Chinese are willing to take a short term hit on their US holdings to further reduce American dominance.

    However the other side sees it this way:

    The Chinese leadership is in a state of panic. Their people know that $1 trillion has been invested in the US and may not be returned. Not easy to explain that to the masses and still keep your job and your head on yourshoulders. Don't think that China has the upper hand, it does not. Its the old story, if you borrow $10,000 from the bank and they want it back, you have a problem. Borrow $1m from the bank and suddenly its their problem!

  75. To hell with China. I gladly accept the verdict of S & P or whomever. The sky will not fall. The US will get its AAA back while Europe continues to grapple with the EU. China will have her comeuppance.