“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."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Housing Prices Still Falling - Thirteen Trillion in Home Equity (Savings) Lost

The median price of a single-family house fell in 109 of 150 metropolitan areas in the second quarter as foreclosures devalued real estate. In 2005, owners' equity represented 58.5% of real estate values. According to most studies, people will increase their spending by about $5 for each $100 increase in their net wealth. Therefore, they will reduce their spending by $5 for each $100 reduction in their wealth as well. Unless we have increasing employment and rising incomes, there is no way to replace that lost savings. The attempt by individuals to replace this savings loss will only further reduce consumer spending. There is no way possible to export your way out of that trap.

Such a huge gap in demand can only be replaced by government spending on infrastructure projects or support for manufacturing that will replace imports. If you assume that people will save 7% of their income, it will take $100 Trillion spending to generate public savings lost in the housing debacle? How do you get out of that mess?


  1. It won't be long now before I rule.

    Back to bed....


  2. Just to remind you --

    Confedgal said:

    The only other segment of society that will survive the coming depression are farmers, hunter-gatherers and those who barter at the subsistence level. Bob will rule.


  3. I would estimate that more than half the jobs in the US are bullshit. Parasitic occupations such as accountants, lawyers, insurance salesmen, social workers, governmental agencies produce nothing of value. .Shit happens when everybody's jobs and livelihoods become dependent on everyone else spending money. Globalization and the proliferation of post-industrial jobs and Big Government have meant that hundreds of millions of people are now dependent on other people spending more and more money. But apart from the plutocrats and bankers, no one has any anymore. The only other segment of society that will survive the coming depression are farmers, hunter-gatherers and those who barter at the subsistence level. Bob will rule.

  4. You hear that Quirk?

    She's repeated it.

    You best be nice, and I'll hear your petition for relief.

    Now, really, back to bed.


  5. The best governmental action would be to ignore the price of housing and equities. Instead, the government should concentrate on removal of the toxic assets from the banks.

    The big political question, which Obama has not faced, is whether removal of toxic assets should be done by laws that force the private sector to absorb the costs or whether the taxpayer will pick up the tab. So far, the assuption is that the taxpayer is the only option avaiable.

    I disagree. The banks could be forced to cleanse themselves. A new law would require all banks to establish a new bank, that they would own, where all their toxic assets would be stored. This new law would also establish a new set of conditions for payout by this new bank to any creditor. Contracts will be fulfilled only when the new bank officers and the firm hoping to collect a debt agree on the new price for paying the debt.

    Firms that do not need cash immediately would be well advised to not ask for their payment. Firms that do need cash immediately would be required to negotiate to get any payout.

    Of course, this discriminates against holders of debt. Better they should take a hair cut than we either ignore the problem or expect the taxpayers to make good on the debts the private sector cannot pay.

  6. It seems to me that long-term government interference in the housing market helped drive home prices into a bubble in the first place. As for increasing stock prices, if we do that without increasing the underlying value of the companies, we've got another bubble.

    It's always amazed me the faith people have that government can repeal the laws of economics, they cannot, no more than they can repeal the laws of alfalfa.

  7. You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material.

  8. Even as Merkel and Sarkozy talk, Europe slides towards disaster. Dow futures down 200.

  9. Housing is only part of the problem Get ready because the second dip will occur. It will be nasty: unemployment will be higher and stocks will go lower than in 2009. I am convinced that it is politically unacceptable to have the government propping up the economy. The question now is one of timing: when will the government stop propping up the economy? The more robust the recovery, the quicker the prop ends and the sooner we get a second leg down.

    So to recap:

    1. A depression was borne out of high levels of private sector debt, the unsustainability of which became apparent after a financial crisis.

    2.,The effects of this depression have been lessened by economic stimulus and government support.

    3. Government intervention led to a reduction in asset price declines, which led to stock market increases, which led to asset price stabilization and more stock market increases and eventually to asset price increases. This has led to a false sense that green shoots are leading to a sustainable recovery.

    4. In reality, the problems of high debt levels in the private sector and an undercapitalized financial system are still lurking, waiting for the government to withdraw its economic support to become realized

    5. Because large scale government deficit spending is politically impossible, expect a second economic dip within three to four years at the latest.

  10. Obama is trying to keep morale up in Martha's Vineyard.

  11. Nation-States are difficult to govern. The talented, and connected will, eventually, enslave the "working" class.

    Then, the moneyed class will, sooner or later, have a bad time out on the town, blow a bunch of their money, and come home and beat the slaves (and cut their rations.)

    Happens every time.

    Democracy gives the slaves a vote, but since they're not as smart as the talented, and rich they will most often be "tricked" into voting more of the same.

    The result: Severe recession/depression once a generation.

  12. We are in the process, right now, of the elites clawing their bucks back from the hides of the poor.

  13. If you don't like it become an "elite." If you lack the ability to be an elite, then take some solace in the fact that your living standards are better than they were the last time this happened.

  14. Soon, when I rule, there will be alfalfa in the garden.

    And elk meat for everyone.

    Prince b

  15. But everyone will have to buck a bale or two.

    Prince b

  16. To be fair to O, I read the stats on Presidential vacations yesterday. He's somewhere in the middle, or a little higher than middle. Reagan was was more into vacations than O, but he had the excuse of age.


  17. .

    Ruf, I see DOJ is going after S&P over their rating process on mortgage based derivatives.

    Expect anything to actually come out of it?


  18. Egypt’s new liberal policy in Gaza has just borne its first deadly fruit

    This is the provocation some have been awaiting. Israel needs to strike across the border into Egypt in retaliation. Taking out some of the armor Egypt has just moved into the Sinai, contrary to its treaty with Israel, would be a good start.

    By the way, Ishmael’s kin killed civilians before striking a responding IDF patrol.

    This also made the papers in Rome.

    Is today sockpuppet day?

  19. Atlanta ranked number "1" yesterday in national housing "affordability", determined by the ratio of median cost to median family income (1.75). Whether anyone would want to live in one of Atlanta's "median neighborhoods" is another matter not covered by the experts.

  20. Perry is a big fraud.
    Worked for Al Ozone Gore.
    What he's got going for him is some rugged good looks and a fine ability to change his spots.


  21. Why anyone would want to live in Atlanta anywhere at all is beyond me.

    Housing prices have held up here pretty well, though we are counter cyclical.

    Don't you have a condo or something to show today Allen? You'd save yourself the daily soiling of yourself from exposure to the EB's dreadful toxicity and profanity and stupidity and sexuality and general drunkeness that you have commented on so often and find so offensive and you wouldn't have to take another purity shower at the end of the day. And we'd all be saved from another day of hearing about your views on the mid east, which are already well known.

    We're off to the stables early this morning, horse is getting some fine apples and carrots. And a bath with a garden hose.

    In Kentucky many of the horses live better than many of the people, last time I was there.


  22. bob,

    Obviously, there is much you don't know, as you proved yesterday on the business of Rome and two Jewish Wars. Do recall: You held forth with bluster. I merely tested your knowledge. You admitted to being a moron. That is a good start. Oh, bob, sleep deprivation doesn't help.

  23. More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, signaling the labor market is struggling two years into the economic recovery.

    Jobless claims climbed by 9,000 to 408,000 in the week ended Aug. 13, the highest in a month, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a rise in claims to 400,000, according to the median forecast. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls rose, while those receiving extended payments fell.

  24. Never let a market crash, a financial crisis, black on white crimes in the street, rising unemployment, rising deficits, impending bank failures or anything else get in the way of a vacation:

    President Obama leaves today for a 10-day summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, a trip that Republicans are casting as inappropriate given the economic straits in which the country currently finds itself.

  25. .

    During the Second World War, a future prime minister, Harold Macmillan, said America is “the new Roman empire and we Britons, like the Greeks of old, must teach them how to make it go.” How goes the tutoring of Rome by Athens?

    Nato, the UK, and the Dustbin of History

    Since the Cold War’s end, the combined gross domestic product of NATO’s European members has grown 55 percent, yet their defense spending has declined almost 20 percent. Twenty years ago, those nations provided 33 percent of the alliance’s defense spending; today, they provide 21 percent. This is why Robert Gates, before resigning as U.S. defense secretary, warned that unless Europe’s disarmament is reversed, future U.S. leaders “may not consider the return on America’s investment in NATO worth the cost.” Born to counter the Soviet army on the plains of Northern Europe, NATO may be expiring in North Africa.


  26. .

    President Obama leaves today for a 10-day summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, a trip that Republicans [while on their annual extended vacation from Washington] are casting as inappropriate given the economic straits in which the country currently finds itself.

    I do agree with Republicans on this. What Obama should do is skip the vacation and recall Congress, Dems and Pubs, back from their vacation so they can get some work done.

    They've already wasted 7 months this year talking about the debt ceiling.


  27. .

    What did we expect from the Arab Spring?

    A Commentary on US Foreign Policy

    The Telegraph


  28. Ah, Phillie Fed Down -30.7.

    Them's bad recession numbers.

    Just got home, turned on CNBC - Mass Denial. Blaming the loss in the markets on Europe. They're complete fucking idiots.

  29. .

    Tripped up by globalisation

    Jobs for low-skilled workers in manufacturing, and new investments in large swaths of industry, have been lost to international competition. Employment in the US and Europe during the 2000s was held up only by housing construction stoked by low interest rates and reckless deregulation – until the construction bubble collapsed. The path to recovery now lies not in a new housing bubble, but in upgraded skills, increased exports and public investments in infrastructure and low-carbon energy. Instead, the US and Europe have veered between dead-end, consumption-oriented stimulus packages and austerity without a vision for investment...

    The Problems of Globalization

    The article touches on many of the fixes mentioned by people here.


  30. About S&P, Q: Cain't read it.

    Too many "cross-currents."

  31. .

    New Rasmussen Polls on Libya

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that just 20% now believe the United States should continue its military action in Libya. Fifty-two percent (52%) oppose further military action there, while another 28% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

    Support for continued military action in Libya is at a new low, down from 24% in July and 26% in June. This also marks the first time a majority of voters oppose continued military action in the North African nation.

    Just 33% of voters now give the Obama administration good or excellent marks for its handling of the Libya situation, down from 36% last month and the lowest positive rating since the president announced his decision to get involved in March. Nearly the same number (31%) gives the administration a poor rating on the situation there...

    Obama Support on Libya


  32. .

    I'm hopeful Ruf.

    Wouldn't have been except that the S&P downgrade had just too much of the political about it.

    Now the same people who S&P ticked off are going after them.

    We'll see.

    Besides it's always interesting to watch a good cat fight when you've got nothing lose.


  33. Yeah, but it's kind of hard to "choose a side."

  34. .

    Half of Political Class voters (51%) support continued U.S. involvement in Libya, compared to just 15% of Mainstream Voters who feel the same.

    Seventy-five percent (75%) of all voters agree that “the United States should not commit its forces to military action overseas unless the cause is vital to our national interest...


  35. In 2009 gasoline prices got down to $1.65/gal. People were able to get out, and get moving around again.

    That won't happen this time. We're very unlikely to break $3.00.

    This is going to be a long, hard slog.

    We have another Million Barrels/Day coming off-line in just a couple of weeks as the IEA winds down its Strategic Reserve Withdrawals.

  36. I favor my idea of Government funding of fee paying or income generating manufacturing and infrastructure. It should be funded by issuing currency from the Treasury directly to the contractors and suppliers. This puts no additional burden on the existing debt. It bypasses the banking system. The currency would be withdrawn over time in relation to the fees generated by the completed projects.

    Since there has been an equity loss of $13 Trillion, money lost mostly by the middles class, this new issued currency would not be overly stimulative. To be effective it would need to be in the order of $2 Trillion per year for at least thrre years. As new private sector employment increased, a program of reducing government employees would have to be initiated.

  37. Well, the Koch-financed "Tea Party Force" is strong. There will be very little done; and, nothing done that addresses the real problem.

  38. From today's local fishwrap--

    Damn breaching back on the agenda--

    In the wake of their third straight legal victory, salmon advocates are calling for the federal government to take a hard look at dam breaching (four lower Snake River dams) as a vehicle for Snake River salmon recovery.

    "We think that is the starting point of what the Obama Administration should do, they should commit to take a close and in depth look and to us that means scientific, economic, and engineering," said Pat Ford, executive director of the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition in Boise.

    Although the coalition made up of conservation and fishing organizations has worked hard to keep dam removal as a viable option in the public debate over salmon recovery, the government has not seriously weighed the pros and cons of breaching since it was dismissed by a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study that wrapped up in 2001. Instead the corps backed a combination of habitat improvement...etc etc

    Two weeks ago federal Judge James Redden of Portland, Oregon ruled the details of a 2008 plan using that strategy remain too ill-defined and uncertain to pass muster with the requirements of the Endangered Species Act....blah, blah

    Fact is the salmon and steelhead are not endangered, there is a fishing season on them every year.

    Got an enviro Judge here.

    Whole issue was put to rest some years ago when then Senator Larry 'Widestance' Craig, took a firm stance against breaching the dams.

    They still might get breached. Winners: fishermen and fish. Losers: farmers, Potlach Forest, and energy production.

    I'm kinda neutral. If they are breached they ought to be replaced by nuclear reactors at the dam sites. We need the energy.


  39. Since all spending ends up as payroll or savings here is what happens with $6 Trillion:

    * It results in $300 billion in new private savings.
    * At $100,000 per job, it creats 6,000,000 new jobs.
    *At a tax rate of 25%, it creates an additional $1.5 Trillion in annual tax revenues at the third year and every year thereafter.

  40. .

    Your idea sounds pretty good to me Deuce but ideas like that should have been started 2 1/2 years ago. Still not sure how many of these jobs are shovel ready (Obama chuckles).

    It might take awhile but it's worth getting started. Any positive action is better than just sitting around as they are right now. As a matter of fact I think they still have a couple hundred billion left in stimulus funds available.


  41. Presidential Vacations: How Does Obama Compare?

    Good argument might be made we're better off the more vacations he takes.



  42. They don't need funds with my concept. They issue currency directly to vendors. There is no debt service. A $100 million project amortized over 25 years means that issued currency woyl be withdrawn at the rate of $400,000 per year by the Treasury. The money issued will end up in payrolls. With so much slack in the economy and since it is issued over the life of the construction of the project, I doubt there would be a blip in inflation.

  43. The gross affect on the economy is that spending is shifted from consumption of imported goods to income producing assets , private and public. All the public projects could be privatized after they become operational and the project specific currency could be withdrawn at that time depending on how the divestiture is handled.

  44. Buyers Wary of Building Bubble (not really – they’re just playing the “greater fool” game)

    But strong demand for a limited number of buildings has boosted prices of big-city skyscrapers so high they are approaching record levels.

    …To make matters worse, income produced from the buildings hasn't risen as quickly as valuations have, compressing capitalization rates…

    Major coastal markets have seen significant price appreciation that has not coincided" with increases in either occupancy or rental rates…

    An index of commercial-property values by Green Street Advisors, which is tilted toward high-end and trophy buildings, has risen more than 45% from its 2009 lows…

  45. Hamas has evacuated headquarters in anticipation of a retaliatory Israeli strike in response to the murder of innocent Israeli civilians. This is where out-of-the-box thinking could make such a difference: Forget Hamas for the moment and strike their enablers, the Egyptians (who are, by the way, pretending to diligently pursue leads that will lead to the Hamas murderers). Since Egypt has broken the treaty and permitted the free movement of Hamas across its border, Egypt is fair game. Egypt’s armor and air assets make tempting strategic targets. Should poor Egyptian civilians be killed as they sit in/on air and armor, well, that would be pretty lame for all one the most vacant.

    IDF bombs …

    Note: “Barak” was the Hebrew leader humiliated by Deborah, who led Israel to victory when Barak hesitated. There is something in a name.

  46. Wonnerful, wonnerful out of the box thinking.

    Off the wall thinking.

    Start a war with Egypt, radicalizing all of Egypt, when the real coming problem is Iran.

    Some idiot saying about moderation comes to mind.


  47. I got a meeting in a few minutes with a new Christian Church, and I'm trying to get everything in their collection plate. Later.


  48. And at a time when you're going to get precious little support from the United States, too.


  49. Hamas has evacuated headquarters in anticipation of a retaliatory Israeli strike in response to the murder of innocent Israeli civilians. This is where out-of-the-box thinking could make such a difference: Forget Hamas for the moment and strike their enablers, the Egyptians (who are, by the way, pretending to diligently pursue leads that will lead to the Hamas murderers). Since Egypt has broken the treaty and permitted the free movement of Hamas across its border, Egypt is fair game.

    The US made a serious error by not responding to early AQ attacks with extremely violent and disproportionate measures. Let the Egyptian enablers be taught a lesson they will not soon forget. It is Israeli business and we should neither support nor condemn their legitimate rights to teach their attackers a remedial course in the rules of the road.

  50. bob said,

    Some idiot saying about moderation comes to mind.

    That would be John Adams. I realize Adams has nothing on the sage (bob) from Elk's Rump, Wherever, but opinions will vary.

  51. At approximately 12:35, a mortar was fired from Egypt to Israel. No casualties were reported.

    That is an act of war, particularly now that Egypt has publically allied itself with its Muslim, Gazan, Hamas brethren.

    Will Israel strike or will she honor the President's vacation? Vacation on no, "The Won" will have something insipid to say. In all honesty, were the spokesmen Dr. Condi or G. W. Boosh, the admonishment would be either/or cynical or stupid.

    Israel needs to ride its own shoot.

    Seven murdered by Hamas in cross border attack"

  52. Syria, Lebanon and Lybia are in various stages of civil war. Jordan is hunkering down waiting to see which side it will join. Egypt is "wobbly" and divided. There has never been a better time in my lifetime for Israel to take out Egypt's naval, air and armored assets.

    As a possible unintended consequence, Mr. Obama might mount an emergency military aid run to his friends the Egyptians. That would certainly spell the end of his presidency. Were he to order the US military into action, I feel mutiny in the air and ...

  53. Gosh, I am sorry: That would be cynical and/or stupid.

    But, by golly, what a perfect time to call in the French, again. Given the last action in which the French played an honorable and meaningful role was at Chateau Thierry/Belleau Wood (visited during my June honeymoon in France), Israel has little to fear on that front.

  54. Will Israel strike or will she honor the President's vacation? Vacation on no, "The Won" will have something insipid to say.

    Gosh, that means in 2012 Obama's portion of the US Jewish vote is bound to collapse from 80% to 78%.

    O devil, devil!

    If that the earth could teem with woman's tears,

    Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.

    Out of my sight!

  55. Bill 'Bubba' Clinton Goes Vegan

    He wasn't talking teaching a lesson he was talking taking out the Egyptian air force and armor, that is, a full scale war.

    That'll piss 'em off, over there.

    And they might not be able to pull it off all that easily.

    Would be a fanes attack.

    And the rockets would start to rain down from everywhere.

    Sounds a little rash to me and I have Israel's best interests at heart, whether I'm right or wrong about this current situation.


  56. “…unemployment rose above 20 percent in the United States during the 1930s…

    “Even by the highest estimates - which include people discouraged from looking for a job, thus not registered as unemployed - the jobless rate reached around 16 to 17 percent…”

    The population of the US in 1930 was slightly less than 123,000,000.

    In the year 2010, the population was tallied at a hair under 310,000,000.

    “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

    A Second Great Depression, or Worse?

  57. Allen,
    Couldn't the Israelis improve things by not regularly giving Hamas leaders time to evacuate before strikes are called in?

  58. Medved claims unemployment for college degreed is only 4%.

    Kinda hard to believe given all the stories of no jobs for new graduates, and all the stupid degrees granted in fields that serve no useful function.
    ...probly all get jobs dependent on Guvmint Money.

  59. One thing this country doesn't need is another gummint plan spending more money to further distort and ultimately destroy the economy.

    A lot of money is sitting around making more money with no risk courtesy of The Bernanke (Gummint) free money for bankers policy,

    ...and a lot of money is waiting on Government Madness of Regulation, confiscation, and spending to come to a halt before making reasonable risk investments.

  60. Doug said...
    Couldn't the Israelis improve things by not regularly giving Hamas leaders time to evacuate before strikes are called in?

    Bingo! And that is why in short order a lot of Israelis, both military and civilian, are going to die.

    Israeli action against Egypt is not provocative - Egypt struck first when it moved armored units into the Sinai in violation of the treaty and secondly when it permitted its territory to be used by Hamas to launch murderous attacks upon Israeli civilians.

    There are some who apparently cannot grasp that war usually begins when one side lobs something into the territory of a neighbor. For instance, this week Turkey made an armored incursion into Iraq, taking action against the Kurds. Interestingly enough, I have not heard much about that. Wonder why? Could it be Satan :-)

  61. Doug,

    Consider the difference between Hamas attacking Israel from Gaza and Hamas attacking Israel from Egypt. In the first instance, the lovers of Gazan "women and children" will claim the Israeli blockade of Hamas justifies any means. But what can they say about Egypt violating a treaty and attacking Israel from its sovereign territory? Oh, some airheads like Rachel Corrie or T will come up with some drivel, to be sure; no thoughtful person will pay much attention.

    Egypt is testing Israeli resolve. At the moment it is Egypt 2, Israel 0.

  62. I hope Israel knocks the shit out of them, i.e., Egypt and Hamas

  63. Rachel flunked

    Clinical Diagnosis 101

    and can no longer be relied on for on the spot analysis:

    "My back is broken,"

    Corrie gasped.

  64. The Homeland Security Department said Thursday it will halt deportation proceedings on a case-by-case basis against illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria such as attending school, having family in the military or are primarily responsible for other family members’ care.

    The move, announced in letters to Congress, won immediate praise from Hispanic activists and Democrats who had chided President Obama for months for the pace of deportations and had argued he had authority to exempt broad swaths of illegal immigrants from deportation.

  65. Perry will be thrilled:
    One less job for him to do.

  66. The worst housing crash since the Great Depression just got worse. What happens when home values pop in other bubble metro areas?

    New home sales fall 82 percent from peak versus 80 percent during the Great Depression

    This is likely to be the first ever global economic disaster caused by real estate sponsored by big banks. During the Great Depression real estate values collapsed as the economy contracted and millions lost their jobs.

    That is the typical pattern of real estate bubbles bursting. Something in the economy creates a vision of a new paradigm and money starts flowing into real estate as a consequence of this euphoria.

    This happened in Japan as their economy and stock market frothed over with mania.

    There is no time in history that the entire world from the U.S. to Canada to Australia to Spain to China suddenly went into a massive trance and believed that real estate suddenly would carry the weight of every single economy forward.
    Of course what we are seeing is the unraveling of this system.

    The bubble has burst. Yet the banking system that relied on real estate as their game of choice in the casino cannot come to terms with reality because it would render them insolvent (which they are by the way).

    So instead, the charade continues yet the public is catching on to this mass deception. What happens when the worst housing crash since the Great Depression gets worse?

  67. What was supposed to be a friendly exhibition between the Georgetown basketball team and a Chinese pro team descended into a chaotic brawl Thursday, as players threw punches and chairs at one another.


    "The team's two-week visit to China reflects an ongoing push to expand people-to-people exchanges between our two countries, as well as an effort to strengthen the US-China relationship through sport," Biden's deputy press secretary, Amy Dudley, wrote on the White House blog Wednesday.

    Georgetown was scheduled to go to Shanghai Friday, but it is unclear whether they will continue with the goodwill tour.

  68. It is summer in Juarez, and again this year we find the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes organization (VCF), also known as the Juarez cartel, under pressure and making threats. At this time in 2010, La Linea, the VCF’s enforcer arm, detonated a small improvised explosive device (IED) inside a car in Juarez and killed two federal agents, one municipal police officer and an emergency medical technician and wounded nine other people.


    Despite their public manifestations of machismo, the cartel leaders clearly fear and respect the strength of the world’s only superpower. This is evidenced by the distinct change in cartel activities along the U.S.-Mexico border, where a certain operational downshift routinely occurs.


    While Mexican sovereignty and international law combine with corruption and economics to create a barrier to assertive U.S. intervention in Mexico’s drug war, this barrier is not inviolable. There are two distinct ways this type of barrier has been breached in the past: by force and by consent.

    An example of the first was seen following the 1985 kidnapping, torture and murder of U.S. DEA special agent Enrique Camarena. The DEA was not able to get what it viewed as satisfactory assistance from the Mexican government in pursuing the case despite the tremendous pressure applied by the U.S. government.


    But in addition to unilateral force, sometimes the U.S. government can be invited into a country despite concerns about sovereignty. This happens when the population has something it fears more than U.S. involvement, and this is what happened in Colombia in the late 1980s.

    Cartels and the U.S. Government

  69. The gas pipeline bombings were the first direct effect on Israelis from the revolution because it cut off an important energy source, and, if Thursday’s attackers came from the Egyptian Sinai, the collapse of Egyptian security has now cost Israeli lives as well.

    But at the same time many in Egypt say they resent Israel’s impatience with Egypt’s efforts to restore security, calling it the cover for a deeper fear of Egyptian democracy. “This comes against the background of Israeli unhappiness and discomfort with political developments in Egypt,” Mr. Gawad of Al-Ahram said.

    “Israeli officials need to make a distinction between the political developments in Egypt and the security arrangements in the Sinai Peninsula, because by expressing this kind of unhappiness with the political developments in Egypt, they are to a great extent poisoning the future relations between the two countries. Israel does not need to put itself in the way of the will of the Egyptian people.”

  70. The opening days of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination have revealed a stark contrast between his approach to reviving the economy and that of the presumed front-runner, Mitt Romney.


    Perry’s entry has jolted the Republican contest, for the first time putting Romney on the defensive over the very credentials that he thinks could win him the party’s nomination. So far, Romney has shown no desire to engage his Republican rivals, emphasizing his business acumen instead and focusing on Obama.


    Not surprising, Romney and Perry emphasize those aspects of their records that are most favorable to them.

    Romney talks more about his business career than his four years as governor of Massachusetts, when the state’s job-creation record was among the worst in the nation. The state did add jobs, about 1 percent, but it bested only Louisiana, devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and Michigan and Ohio, both beset by declines in manufacturing.

  71. As the violence continued and intensified with the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Mr. Obama spoke with Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and said he wanted to move more quickly, an administration official said.

    Turkey, with a shared border and deep historic and economic ties to Syria, did not join in the diplomatic chorus on Thursday. “Turkey was the first country to say that there was no point in continuing talks with Syria while military operations continued,” a Turkish government official, who asked not to be named because of his diplomatic position, said.

    “Turkey, however, is not at the point mentioned in President Obama’s speech today.”

  72. “I think the economic numbers, combined with further problems in the euro zone, is hitting a market that was prone to selling anyway, so fundamentally you are not getting good news,” Alan B. Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz & Associates, said.


    He said the aftermath of the meeting between the leaders of Germany and France, the euro zone’s two largest economies, earlier in the week failed to meet the expectations of the market for sufficient action in addressing the euro debt crisis.

    “It was almost like a perfect storm of events,” he said, referring to the composite of worries that pushed down the financial markets on Thursday.

  73. Others just wanted to get a first glimpse of Perry -- though no one in the crowd seemed to be a committed supporter of the candidate. Among the curious was George Carlisle, an owner of Olde Port Properties, who found Perry “personable.”

    “He’s doing a good job handling the protesters,” said Carlisle, who wants the 2012 campaign to be a conversation about the role of government.


    “I’ve really enjoyed, over the last few days, getting to meet the people of New Hampshire. I’m learning a lot about you,” said the candidate.

  74. Attention Gaza....

    Attention Gaza....

    This is a warning to evacuation at once.

    This is a warning to evacuation at once.

    The non-national land of Gaza is hereby served to be a war zone.

    All civilians must leave at once, please travel to the tunnels and to the Rafah border.

    Any persons left alive in Gaza after September 22nd will be considered to be a terrorist.

    This is fair and due notice.

    Any civilians or children left in the strip who is killed or injured will be the responsibility of Hamas and/or their parents.

    Please keep any and all regrets, anger or comments about the upcoming death toll to Gaza to yourself. You have been warned.

    Evacuation at once...

    This is not a drill.

  75. :)

    Is not my fight, but I hope it's kept to Gaza, and they don't go mucking around in Egypt proper and start a full scale war.

    "Moderation has its place in the scheme of things."


  76. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington "condemns today's attacks in southern Israel and all acts of terrorism in the strongest terms.

    "These brutal and cowardly attacks appear to be premeditated acts of terrorism against innocent civilians…

    "This violence only underscores our strong concerns about the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula. Recent commitments by the Egyptian government to address the security situation in the Sinai are important and we urge the Egyptian government to find a lasting resolution."

  77. "Moderation has its place in the scheme of things."

    Neither John Adams nor his cousin Sam counseled moderation in war.

    John did so counsel those with dropsy - a condition where, in the course of stumbling into a point or poem, ones marbles fall out in public. Why, some people can go on living, breathing and spouting nonsense for days before realizing only air lies between the ears.

  78. The Gazans are all fucktards.

    O, in war.

    Here I thought we were talking about going to war. An entirely different situation.

    You probably wouldn't be in the position you are in if you had listened to moderation before going to war 2,000 years ago.

    But, there wasn't much moderation back then, anywhere, and the early scriptures are a war poem.

    Attack Egypt if you wish. Doesn't make any difference to me, but I think it's foolhardy.

    You had your purity baths yet today?

    You've been around here so much you must be thoroughly soiled by now.


  79. bob the great sage said...

    re: moderation

    Israel is at war. That's what happened when the Egyptians broke the treaty and allowed the murder of Israelis to come from their country.

    I quoted an 18th C. Founding Father's take on civilized politics. You have distorted his views and purpose to please your perverted ends. You are cracking. By tomorrow, you will be talking again about "why you people are hated". bob, how do you face yourself?

  80. An explosive device was discovered near railroad tracks in Seattle Thursday as investigators probed the death of a woman who was struck by a train, KIRO-TV reported.


    A crew investigating the scene of the accident found what appeared to be an explosive device with a fuse, similar to a pipe bomb, KIRO-TV reported, citing BNSF railroad personnel.

    It was not immediately known whether the woman had been in possession of the device when she was killed.

  81. I am more concerned about the US than Israel and our idiot President that does not think he has to follow the law. Why don't we all stop paying taxes? We have elected and appointed representatives who refuse to honor their oath of office and our laws, yet still continue to draw a salary for a job they are not performing.

    We pay billions in taxes for a bogus DHS/ICE/DOJ - the majority of employees in each are either corrupt or incompetent. In either case as long as we continue to fund their illegal activities we are, by default, complicit.

  82. Allen, why not just join the IDF?

    Or, better yet, just take a break from your tradition for ten or fifteen years. It would do you a world of good, and get you out of this tunnel vision syndrome you are in, where you think the whole world revolves around Jerusalem.

    Allen, dear, there is nothing 'special' about your tradition, anymore than there was anything 'special' about the Nimiipuu tradition, though they certainly thought there was.

    The basics of your tradition can be found in the Hopi for God's sake.

    I know it makes you feel special to think you are special.

    But, you ain't.

    Much better than the competition in the mid east these days for sure. And I hope Judaism lasts and lasts.

    While you of course gleefully predict and hope for the demise of Christianity.

    Which isn't going to happen, if the church I dealt with today is any indication, and it is.

    Your tradition has been influenced by ours - western -you are a democracy these days, with human rights, no stonings - and have developed a sense of individualism-- and ours by yours.

    But, you really really need a break.

    This ritual bathing ain't getting you anywhere, it isn't working.

    Try trout fishing.


  83. Most of us knew before Obama was elected that it would only be a matter of time until the nation woke up and realized that we put an inexperienced fake in the White House. The real surprise is how quickly this all came about -thankfully.

  84. And if you are going to attack somebody, as you certainly seem to have the lust to do so, for fuck sake get your head together and attack the right country, and not waste your energies on Egypt, certainly not yet anyways.



  85. Anonymous said...
    Allen, why not just join the IDF?

    I merely thought you a fool, until you opened your mouth and removed all doubt.

    My son will. Others are. Why, bob, even an old Marine like me has his uses.

    What was the war in which the great sage, and Nordic warrior Bobby the Verber fought? Oh, yes, the war against Melody.

  86. Two suicide bombings early Friday rocked a Kabul neighborhood near a hotel popular with Westerners.


    The city's police chief later confirmed that there had been two suicide explosions.

    "There have been two suicide explosions. My boys are engaged.

  87. Oz market:


    2 hours left.

  88. .

    Obama orders improved workforce-diversity effort

    President Obama on Thursday issued an executive order requiring government agencies to develop plans for improving federal workforce diversity.

    The long-awaited executive order directs a group of high-ranking officials to create a government-wide plan, followed by specific plans in each agency. It marks the highest-profile response to a problem that has been on the administration’s radar: Whites still hold more than 81 percent of senior pay-level positions.

    According to the latest Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program Report, women hold 31 percent of senior positions, African Americans 7 percent and Latinos 4 percent...

    Officials did not commit to specific goals or measures, which they said will vary by agency.

    Strength Through Diversity


  89. .

    Bachmann, speaking at a rally today in South Carolina, said:

    “We change the economy by changing the tax code. How many of you love the IRS? No! It’s time to change it. I went to work in that system because the first rule of war is ‘know your enemy.’ So I went to the inside to learn how they work because I wanted to beat them.”

    Insane Clown Posse