“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."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Get Prepared, Goldman Sachs Rules the World, The End is Near.

INTERNATIONAL TRADER: ‘I GO TO BED EVERY NIGHT AND I DREAM OF ANOTHER RECESSION’ | While European government and financial leaders are scrambling to prevent a financial crisis in the Eurozone that would likely throw the global economy into even more turmoil, stock trader Alessio Rastani took to BBC today to tell the world that traders were looking forward to the possibility of a second big recession. “For most traders, it’s not about – we don’t really care that much how they’re going to fix the economy, how they’re going to fix the whole situation,” he said. “Our job is to make money from it.” Rastani, who also claimed “Goldman Sachs rules the world,” said, “Personally, I’ve been dreaming of this moment for three years…I go to bed every night and I dream of another recession. When the market crashes… if you know what to do, if you have the right plan set up, you can make a lot of money from this.”



  1. Millions of people have lost much if not most of what they worked for because of people like Alessio Rastani or is Alessio Rastani warning people about what is ahead of them?

    I have a suspicion that there is much if not total truth in what he says.

  2. Anyway, if you go completely broke, there is always a Solar Max to entertain you:

    Be prepared for nature’s ultimate light show in 2012! NASA has predicted that 2012 will see the strongest Northern Lights activity in 50 years.

    The Northern Lights have increased in intensity since 2007, and are expected to reach their peak in 2012. The Solar Maximum, the period with the greatest solar activity, peaks every 11 to 12 years. According to NASA, 2012 is the year that we will once again witness the Solar Maximum, and it will be stronger than at any time in the last 50 years.

  3. The Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities sent a letter to the joint select committee on deficit reduction last week.


    UNC-W Chancellor Gary Miller contacted the APLU and asked to be added to the list of chancellors and presidents supporting the letter.


    The deficit “super committee” is not anticipated to respond to the letter. If it does not reach a decision by Nov. 23, a $1.5 trillion cut will be effective Jan. 1, 2013.

  4. Just watched the clip. Scary stuff.

  5. This debt crisis cannot be solved by higher taxes alone, regardless of what type of taxes are increased because of this deeply ingrained American hatred of taxation, but here are some facts:

    The top 1% of Americans control approximately 33% of all the nation's wealth.

    The top 1% own about 50% of all stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

    The top marginal tax rate has declined by 55% since the 1950's

    Since 1990, CEO pay (298%) and corporate profits (106.7%) have far outpaced workers pay (4.3%).

    In 1988 the average worker's income was $33,400. In 2008, adjusted for inflation, it was $33,000.

    No one likes taxes, but the dislike has always been magnified by Americans' arrogance and focus on getting more for oneself than for the betterment of others around them. Right-winger crazies consistently bash taxation for taking away all our "hard-earned money".

    There is no free lunch!!!

  6. He does speak with total conviction.

  7. The End never comes when you're expecting it. Sounded to me like the guy was trying to sell a newsletter, or book.

    The first Sovereign Default took place in 400 BC, by, you guessed it, 10 Greek City States.

  8. Income from Chinese people's assets presently accounts for little more than 2 percent of the total per capita disposable income, while the ratio for payroll income is about 65 percent.


    Statistics from the People's Bank of China show that the savings deposits of China's urban residents now amount to 30.3 trillion yuan ($4.73 trillion) in total, with each person on average possessing 23,000 yuan by the end of 2010.

    Premier Wen Jiabao said during this month's Dalian Davos that the per capita disposable income in real terms for both urban and rural residents has risen more than 7 percent over the past year. He added the government will continue to increase incomes along with the growth of the national revenue in a move to synchronize the development of both residents and the nation's wealth.

  9. Greece is trapped in a currency that is way too strong for its economy.

    The best thing they could do would be to tell the Germans, and French to go to hell, and default, get out of the Euro, take their year of hell (as opposed to the ten they have coming, anyway,) and go their merry way.

    By 2013 they would be back in the land of the living.

  10. "Lockerbie remains an open enquiry concerning the involvement of others with Mr. Megrahi in the murder of 270 people," the Crown Office said in a statement. "We have asked the [Transitional National Council] to make available to the Crown any documentary evidence and witnesses, which could assist in the ongoing enquiries."

    Two years after being released -- after a hero's welcome in Tripoli -- Megrahi remains alive. Scottish authorities have said they have no desire to seek Megrahi's extradition, as some of the victims' families have demanded.

    The UK, though, is looking to rebel authorities in the TNC to cooperate on bringing to trial the killer of Yvonne Fletcher, a policewoman who was shot outside the Libyan embassy in 1984.

  11. Meanwhile, Rep. Maxine Waters hit back at Obama for fiery remarks Saturday at a Congressional Black Caucus dinner, where the president riffed: “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes.

    Shake it off. Stop complaining.

    Stop grumbling. Stop crying.”

  12. Stop Crying
    Be Happy!

    Federal revenue, produced by taxes, as a percentage of GDP are about 3% below the historic norm.

    While Federal expenditures are about 3% higher, as a percentage of GDP, than the historic norm.

    If we are not all Keynesians, any more, than revenue must increase.

    Having the World's Reserve Currency makes that possible.

    Without raising taxes.
    Without more debt.

    While the Tax Code is reworked.


  13. (Reuters) - World stocks rose for a third straight session on Tuesday, with European shares up 2 percent, as investors took comfort from reports that officials were working to add to measures to calm the euro zone debt crisis.

    After losing more than 7 percent last week, the MSCI all-country world stock index was up 1.5 percent for a 2.5 percent rebound so far this week.

    The trigger has been rising expectations following weekend meetings of the International Monetary Fund that European policymakers will act to contain Greece's debt problems and resolve a debt crisis that threatens to do serious damage to the world economy.

  14. While at the National Enquirer they've announced ...

    The Dream is DEAD!

    Not only is SARAH PALIN’s marriage over BUT so is her political career, The ENQUIRER reports exclusively from Anchorage, Alaska!

    Bitterly stung by Joe McGinniss’ book, “The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin,” Todd Palin plans to file for divorce AND Sarah’s been advised to forget a White House run, sources say.

    “Sarah Palin has been destroyed by Joe McGinniss’ no-holds-barred biography,” a close source told The ENQUIRER. “It’s exposed all her lies, cover-ups and secrets.

    “As a result, she’s been told by her ad­visers that it would be political suicide to announce a White House candidacy. The press and her op­ponents would have a field day digging into the dirty details of her background.”

    The book has also put the final nail in the coffin of her marriage, added the insider.

    Todd was “completely embarrassed” by the book’s disclosure that Sarah hooked up with NBA great Glen Rice in 1987, said another source.

    That's Entertainment!


  15. For the FULL STORY with an exclusive interview with the victim of Todd’s “racist bully” beating it’s ONLY in the new ENQUIRER- now on sale!

    The National Enquirer, definitely not part of the Murdock Media Empire.

  16. Does Sarah really have a
    Basketball Jones...

    Looking for the open man
    On the give and go

  17. Funny stuff ...

    The Greeks have balked at laying off a single government worker or privatizing any of the immense assets—in land, resorts, and a lot more—owned by the government.

    While here at the Elephant Ba, the sentiment against selling Federal assets resounds as loudly as in Greece.

    When told recently by a visiting delegation from the EU, IMF, and European Central Bank that Greece must cut spending and the bureaucracy deeply to qualify for another bailout, the Greek finance minister abruptly left the room—and didn’t return.

  18. .

    While here at the Elephant Ba, the sentiment against selling Federal assets resounds as loudly as in Greece.

    It's a silly idea. At least at this time.

    Selling national land would be at most a short-term fix. A year ago I saw estimates showing if we sold all of it we would only cover the deficit for a year.

    Selling obsolete buildings would be a good idea if anyone would buy them. Who would right now? We might sell some but only at bargain basement prices.

    We would be better off using the properties instead of constructing all new buildings as when Homeland Security and the DNI were formed.
    Not only redundant organizations but also redundant facilities.

    As first director of DNI, John Negroponte spend his entire first year on the job constructing buildings and hiring staff. Talk about waste.


  19. While here at the Elephant Ba, the sentiment against selling Federal assets resounds as loudly as in Greece.

    Fannie and Freddy are trying to sell Federal assets, that's why my own home value assessment is down.

  20. I watched that advertorial from the trader guy in the video who makes his money when markets crash, and he and people like him are the problem. (I dream of recessions so I can make money, he says). He produces nothing and lives his vacuous comfortable life on the back of the misery of others.

  21. Todd was “completely embarrassed” by the book’s disclosure that Sarah hooked up with NBA great Glen Rice in 1987, said another source.

    Sorry Todd. Once you go black you never go back.

    Good thing we have moral, upright people like Sarah telling us that homosexuality is of the devil.

  22. First there's a vibration, a lot of blue smoke with little sparky stars seen in the rear view mirror, then a violent juddering…finally the wheel comes off.

  23. Why do you do that, T. Sarah has been, as far as I can tell, supportive of homosexuals' rights.

    You keep making comments about someone you don't seem to have studied in the least. That's not like you.

  24. Here is a good question:

    The government is the problem,” they say. “The government can’t create jobs.” Or: “The government should just get out of the way.” How many times over the past three — or 30 — years have you heard conservatives (and even a few liberals) say that there’s no role for government in fixing our economy?

    What has the government specifically done for me?

    1. They paid for two years in military schools.
    2. Paid for private courses while in the military.
    3. Helped my widowed mother when my father dies as a young man.
    4. Buried my father.
    5. Using my GI bill, I was able to go to college while married and with young children.
    6. Provided a mortgage for my first home.
    7. Through the SBA, helped me buy my first business.

    What has the government done for you?

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. .

    What has the government done for me?

    - Gave me $330 bucks when my father died (SSA).
    - Paid for my fathers tombstone (Vet)
    - Paid for two years of nursing home care for my mother under Medicaid after all her assets but her house were liqudated.
    - Deducted FICA from my pay for over forty years and now paying me SS benefits.
    - Forced me to take Medicare resulting in me losing health insurance from my employer pension plan.


  27. If you don't get killed or maimed, the military is a good economic trade for most young people.

  28. Rufus II said... Why do you do that, T. Sarah has been, as far as I can tell, supportive of homosexuals' rights.

    In an interview with CBN's David Brody, Sarah Palin signaled her support for a constitutional ban on gay marriage, a position that John McCain once described as "antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans."

    As governor she said she would support a ballot question that would deny benefits to homosexual couples. "I believe that honoring the family structure is that important," Palin said.

  29. The government got out (briefly) of the energy-regulating business, and Enron, single-handedly, almost busted California.

    The government eased up on the bank-regulating business, and Jamie Dimon, et al, almost completely destroyed the world's financial system.

    The government relaxed drilling standards in the Gulf, and we got Macondo.

    I'm getting a little sick of the thieves, and their republican sock-puppets' whining.

  30. What has the government specifically done for me?

    1. They paid for two years in military schools.


    2. Paid for private courses while in the military.


    3. Helped my widowed mother when my father dies as a young man.


    4. Buried my father.


    5. Using my GI bill, I was able to go to college while married and with young children.


    6. Provided a mortgage for my first home.


    7. Through the SBA, helped me buy my first business.


    What has the government done for you?

    Provided a safe and secure America for the most part.

    That is enough

  31. The L Word actress Leisha Hailey says she was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight after kissing her girlfriend.

    In a series of tweets Monday, Hailey wrote that she and fashion designer Nina Garduno, who have been together since 2006, "were escorted off the plane for getting upset about the issue."

    "I have been discriminated against by @SouthwestAir," she tweeted. "Flt. attendant said that it was a 'family' airline and kissing was not ok."

    (I hope I don't get kicked off the plane halfway to Manila next time, it's a long swim)

  32. A 13 Month, All-Expense Paid Vacation to Sunny Southeast Asia?


  33. You are all so short sighted.

    Q, if you believe that 20% of the land in the United States is worth only $1.2 trillion USD, you're foolish.

    I've never thought you foolish.

    Think it through.
    65% of Idaho is, more than likely, worth $1.2 trillion. Not even factoring in 85% of Nevada.

  34. Actually, I thought $1.2 T was slightly optimistic. :)

  35. Perhaps, rufus, but 20% of the real estate of the United States is worth well north of $1.2 trillion.

    Well north.

    The Government administrates the umbrella that shelters US all.

    If not for the Federals, you'd not be able to drive from State to Sates, quickly.

    The American autobahn, a feat of unimaginable success. One of the engines of our prosperity.

    Little thought of.


  36. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

    John F. Kennedy

  37. If the Feds hadn't forced AT&T to make their lines available for lease to other companies I doubt very seriously that we'd be sitting here blogging, freely.

  38. .

    The study was run by estimators in the real estate business.

    I took them by their word.

    Face it. A good portion of government land is desert or land not fit for farming. Much of the mineral and logging rights have already been leased out.


  39. While, when it comes to Deuce's question of:
    "What has the Government done for you?"
    we must look, then listen attentively, to the man that set US on course to the moon.

    My fellow Americans, ask not what your government (has done) for you, ask what you can do for your government.

    John F. Kennedy - paraphrased

  40. And much of it, Q, is not.

    What is asked of the Greeks, is rejected by US. Out of hand.

    Why would the Greeks be expected to take that course, when it is so thoroughly rejected, here?

  41. According to this study, your gasoline would be $0.89/gal more if the gov. hadn't forced the oil companies to blend ethanol into their gasoline.


  42. An appraiser, Q, is the fellow that will tell you how much a piece of real estate can be mortgaged for, after you tell him how much it needs to be.

  43. During the floods those gov. built levees kept me dry, and safe.

  44. CNBC got it wrong earlier. The Goldman ICSC retail sales number was DOWN 0.2 last week, and lost 0.6 YOY.

  45. My food is 1,000% safer than it was before the Food Safety Act, and the FDA has protected us from drugs such as Thalidomide.


  46. You know, if I listened to Michael Dukakis long enough, I would be convinced we're in an economic downturn and people are homeless and going without food and medical attention and that we've got to do something about the unemployed.

    Ronald Reagan

  47. The pursuit of peace through negotiations dies in the cradle, at the age of 44.

    Jerusalem (CNN) -- In a move that will further complicate international efforts to get Middle East peace negotiations restarted, the Israeli government Tuesday approved the construction of 1100 new homes in a southern Jerusalem ...

  48. Millions of visitors go to the Cincinnati Zoo every year, but the newest attraction isn’t the new baby giraffe — it’s a solar panel. More accurately, over 6,000 solar panels installed over the zoo’s parking lot, spanning an area the size of four football fields. The sheer size of the arrays is impressive, but not nearly as impressive as their price tag: absolutely nothing.
    Source: Clean Technica (
    Millions of visitors go to the Cincinnati Zoo every year, but the newest attraction isn’t the new baby giraffe — it’s a solar panel. More accurately, over 6,000 solar panels installed over the zoo’s parking lot, spanning an area the size of four football fields. The sheer size of the arrays is impressive, but not nearly as impressive as their price tag: absolutely nothing.

    Source: Clean Technica (

    No Lose Proposition


  49. So if you're the kind of person who likes to say "I don't follow politics," let me remind you that no one lives in a vacuum and that sentiment epitomizes what is wrong with our government. I don't blame Sarah Palin for thinking she can still toss her hat in the ring. I blame us voters for creating an environment in which a Palin or a Gingrich or even a reality TV star like Donald Trump can feel as if they can run and even be taken seriously.

    Last week I was bombarded with e-mails from readers who said Social Security should be protected because they paid into it, but they didn't care about Medicaid or Medicare because the government pays for those. And in 13 months some of these people will be voting for president.

    You want to know what's wrong with government?

    I just presented you with Exhibit C.

  50. Stupid voters enable broken government

    (CNN) -- Whenever I visit Washington, I can't help but think this is the town that elected a crackhead as its mayor.

    I know, I know it's not PC to say, but just because it's insensitive doesn't mean it isn't true.

    But think about this: There is footage of Marion Barry in a room of crack smoke saying, "Bitch set me up." And yet that image, that video did not disqualify him from being seen as a viable political option in the mind of voters. In fact, not only was he re-elected mayor after serving time in a federal prison, today he sits on the City Council, all because he managed to convince enough black people that the video of him with the crack pipe in his mouth was white people's fault.

    When analyzing what is wrong with our government, allow me to present this example as Exhibit A.

  51. Blogger Rufus II said...

    And, besides, all this ever boils down to in the end is what Winston Churchill referred to as the "price."

    If I said, "Quirk, Ash, Doug, would $30.00/gal gasoline crash the economy," you would all three say, "Well, of course, Rufus, that just makes sense."

    Your argument, therefore, is not in the "effect," but only in the level of price that would be necessary to "cause" said effect.

    I believe it lies somewhere, At. This. Time., in the $3.25 to $3.50/gal range. You, obviously, think it would be much higher.

    As a result, I think this feels much more like an "economic," or "scientific" argument than a "Religious" one.

    There is so much wrong with your logic here it is tough where to start. Basically there would be an economy even if gas costs 30 bucks a gallon. In addition with gas at that price it sure would make a lot of alternatives viable. The bike business would boom as would bus companies. But it wouldn't jump to that price overnight using the peakers scenario's - just a gradual perpetual climb.

    And, yeah, you certainly "feel" like you are presenting a scientific argument much like Creationists "feel" that they offer a viable scientific theory. You both violate a tenet of science - falsification.

  52. The basic discussion, ash, is not the economics at the pump, but the economics of subsidy, that are not reflected at the pump price.

    The real whirled security costs of being dependent upon Venezuela, Nigeria and the Persian Gulf emirates.

    The real whirled impact of the balance of payments deficits created by foreign sourcing our energy needs.

    There is an slowing effect, when the price of gasoline goes over $3.00 per gallon.

    Whether that effect is really a cause, not hard to extrapolate, but difficult to "prove".

    Much like the lack of growth in the M1 money supply, in the year preceding the 2008 meltdown.

    An effect of the recession, or a cause of it.

    A lack of cash and spiking oil prices, combined, had an economic impact, but was it the cause of the 2008 recession or just a preamble effect?

  53. Bullshit, Ash. My theory can be falsified. It May be falsified. It just hasn't been, Yet.

    My theory said that if gas prices went above $3.50/gal, and stayed there for awhile, this year we would go into recession.

    If we don't go into recession then you can consider my theory "falsified."

    If we Do go into recession is my theory "proven?" No. Of course not. Obviously, many causes can contribute to a recession. My theory states that Oil/gasoline prices are a Major Contributor, and that, at a certain level, will override virtually anything else.

    You only, by accident I'm sure, stumbled upon one very important point. The Effect is very dependent upon the rapidity of the rise in prices. A slow, steady rise will give us the opportunity to take mitigating steps (more fuel efficient vehicles, biofuels, electrification of railroads, etc.)

    It's the "Sudden" spikes that kill you.

  54. yes rat, and maybe rufus should note that fact as well - correlation does not imply causation.

  55. Correlation may not = causation, BUT

    100% Correlation Probably should not be discounted.

    Since WWII, 10 Oil Price Spikes have been followed by 10 Recessions.

    And, we're looking awfully likely to make it 11 for 11.

    Why would I possibly want to bet against a correlation like that?

  56. And, btw, you misstated that axiom. Correlation does not "Equal" Causation.

    Correlation CAN very well "Imply" Causation.

  57. I would just make one point: If a particular "school" of economics consistently "outpredicts" the other schools, doesn't it make sense to consider that their methodology might be superior?

    I'm not saying you have to, immediately, "join up," and get on board; but, wouldn't it make sense to at least "Consider" their perspective?

  58. "Correlation does not imply causation"

    "I opined "correlation is necessary but not sufficient for establishing a causal relationship." Jim opined "depending on precisely what Karl means by "correlation is necessary," I'd have to disagree strongly.

    More nearly precisely what I mean follows, but is long.

    First, let me give a short answer to the question "When does correlation imply causation?" The short answer is: When the data from which the correlation was computed were obtained by experimental means with appropriate care to avoid confounding and other threats to the internal validity of the experiment.

    My long answer will start with a distinction between correlation as a statistical technique and "correlational" (nonexperimental) designs as a way to gather data.

    It is not rare for researchers and students to confuse (1) correlation as a statistical technique with (2) nonexperimental data collection methods, which are also often described as "correlational." For example,...."

  59. Are you suggesting Economics is a Science Rufus?

  60. imply [ɪmˈplaɪ]
    vb -plies, -plying, -plied (tr; may take a clause as object)
    1. to express or indicate by a hint; suggest what are you implying by that remark?
    2. (Philosophy / Logic) to suggest or involve as a necessary consequence
    3. (Philosophy / Logic) Logic to enable (a conclusion) to be inferred
    4. Obsolete to entangle or enfold

  61. Nope. I wouldn't go That far. :)

  62. I put Economics in with the other "soft" sciences - sociology, psychology, etc.

  63. You can babble on, and nitpick, over the word "imply" till the cows come home. You're just trying to change the subject.

    You equated my theories on oil prices, and their effects on the economy, to some sort of "nutter religion." You used the word "falsification" w/o thinking it through, and now you're lost in whether ten for ten is sufficient to "imply" causation.

    You're wallowing, bubba. I'm going back to bed. later.

  64. Even if we take what you say about the 10 for 10 as true (you've misstated facts on numerous occasions so I not really inclined to do that) you still haven't offered any evidence as to whether the price was causative or not.

    With respect to religion, yes your constant assertions that the price of gas is the economic cause of all our ills resembles the arguments advanced by creationists where every instance of evidence to the contrary is answered by the "theory".

  65. Since WWII, 10 Oil Price Spikes have been followed by 10 Recessions.

    There are also price spikes in the stock market before every recession too. You've found one symptom of the end of the boom part of the business cycle, and you're calling it the cause of the bust.

  66. .

    Saw an interesting article in the local paper yesterday. Some airlines offer discounted pricing to people flying out of their hubs.

    Delta on the other hand charges business passengers $11,000 to fly direct from their Detroit Metro Airport hub to Tokyo.

    If you are willing to fly from Bishop International Airport in Flint, MI with a stop at Detroit Metro on the way, you can get the same ticket for $5,000.

    I live about 40 miles from Detroit Metro and about the same distance from Flint. The Flint airport is small, with convenient access.

    $11,000 vs $5,000

    Driving distance the same. Probably about a half hour flight from Flint to Metro. Figure an hour delay somewhere along the way.

    1 - 2 extra hours?

    $6,000 savings.

    In the future, I will spend more time checking out airline fares.


  67. My first word of advice for finding cheaper airline rates - don't fly business ;)

  68. .

    If I said, "Quirk, Ash, Doug, would $30.00/gal gasoline crash the economy," you would all three say, "Well, of course, Rufus, that just makes sense."

    Your argument, therefore, is not in the "effect," but only in the level of price that would be necessary to "cause" said effect.

    You continue to misrepresent my position on this issue even though I have explained that position to you a dozen times.

    I do not argue with you that oil pricies are important, perhaps the most important cost factor effecting our economy. High oil prices are the same as a tax and therefore a drag on the economy. The fact that a large portion of the oil is imported also negatively effects our balance of trade. Oil prices are important, very important.

    What I do object to is your position that our economic situation is entirely dependent upon oil prices. I do not call it a religious position. I view it as science fiction. Its like the number 42 in the Hitchhikers Guide To The Universe, the answer to everything.

    You say it was the jump to $3.50 per gallon that ultimately will force us into recession. You take no account whatsoever of the numerous other negatives in our economy even those that were in place before the significant rise in oil prices nor those that occurred afterwards for that matter.


  69. .

    My first word of advice for finding cheaper airline rates - don't fly business ;)

    I can't afford 1st Class.



  70. Wind developers across Canada are on track this year to nearly double the amount of wind power projects installed in 2010, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) said Monday.

    The association projects developers will install about 1,338 megawatts (MW) worth of wind power projects by the end of this year compared to 690 MW last year.. Representing approximately $3.5-billion in project investments. This year’s expected total would bring Canada’s total installed capacity beyond 5,300 MW or enough electricity for 1.5 million Canadian households.

    More than 6,000 MW of additional wind power has already been contracted to come online across Canada over the next five years, CanWEA said, pushing the total number of potentially wind-powered Canadian homes past 3 million by the end of 2016.

    Read more:

    Canadian Wind Energy on track for Record Year

  71. You are making an unwarranted assumption, Q. Of course I was considering other factors. If our economy had been stronger I would have probably put the bar around $3.75 to $4.00.

  72. T, which makes the most sense to you?

    1) The Economy was very strong, and the Stock Market rose, which caused a recession; or

    2) The Economy was strong, as evidenced by a rapidly rising stock market, which caused a Spike in Oil/Gasoline Prices, which, in turn, led to an economic slowdown, and, ultimately, recession.

  73. .

    You are making an unwarranted assumption, Q.

    Then don't drag me into your conversations on oil.

    You have continued to put up your dogma on oil and I have ignored them for the past couple weeks. It has been pleasant.

    This conversation reminds me of your position on IT training in HS while at the same time downplaying the need for the basic knowledge required for developing the IT training.

    "Why teach kids to add and subtract? They're not interested in it. Just give them a calculator."

    It's a way of thinking.


  74. I'm going to rename you, and Ash, the "Strawman Brothers."

    I didn't say "the ability to add and subtract" wasn't important. I did question the need for "Foreign" Languages in leiu of "Computer" Languages.

  75. .

    You say I am making an unwarranted assumption.


    You say you would have modified the price if the ecomony would have been stronger.


    You just don't get it.

    What you are saying is no matter what the state of the economy, what issues are out there affecting it, it will always be oil prices that in reality really affect the economy and push it into recession. It is just a matter of adjusting the price one way or the other.

    It is the number 42.


  76. Well, "Observation" counts for something, Q.

    Our economy grew very well all last year. It was clicking right along in January. Then, in the last part of Feb gasoline prices shot from around $3.00 through $3.25, and early in March they were in the $3.50 range.

    That coincided Perfectly with the Cratering of Economic Activity.

    That was Before Japan. That was Before the Floods. It was Before Libya went offline. The Only thing of any interest that happened at that time was the rapid spike in oil/gasoline prices.

  77. Oh goody! Now we get to BEAT palestinian men who drive in Israel without a license

    CAIRO (AP) — A Saudi woman was sentenced Tuesday to be lashed 10 times with a whip for defying the kingdom's prohibition on female drivers, the first time a legal punishment has been handed down for a violation of the longtime ban in the ultraconservative Muslim nation.
    Normally, police just stop female drivers, question them and let them go after they sign a pledge not to drive again. But dozens of women have continued to take to the roads since June in a campaign to break the taboo.
    Making Tuesday's sentence all the more upsetting to activists is that it came just two days after King Abdullah promised to protect women's rights and decreed that women would be allowed to participate in municipal elections in 2015. Abdullah also promised to appoint women to a currently all-male advisory body known as the Shura Council.

  78. desert rat said...
    The pursuit of peace through negotiations dies in the cradle, at the age of 44.

    Jerusalem (CNN) -- In a move that will further complicate international efforts to get Middle East peace negotiations restarted, the Israeli government Tuesday approved the construction of 1100 new homes in a southern Jerusalem ...

    Notice how the Rodent doesnt say how these apartments are located INSIDE a Jewish suburb already there, and there is a CLEAR title to the land...

    Notice how the Palestinians refusing to come to talks is not an issue.. Nor is the Palestinian's last week's UN theatrics somehow an end ot the peace talks...

    Just when JEWS build homes for their citizens..

    PS, no statement about the increase in ARAB building in Jerusalem

    Racist pussbuckets...

  79. Q, it is like talking to a religious nutter...

  80. Seer of Declining Net Oil Exports

  81. Prophet of Expanding Demand from China

  82. Defender of the Word of Biofuels

  83. .


    Ash brought up the difference between coorelation and causation.

    Well, "Observation" counts for something, Q.

    Our economy was clicking along fine?

    People had lost half the value in their 401k's. Unemployment was over 9%. Housing in the tank along with peoples net worth. No improvement in banking or construction, the two sectors that have historically led us out downturns. Businesses were doing great based on their productivity gains which were mainly due to cost cutting (but how long could that last?). Europe was in trouble and it was getting worse. There was political bickering and peoples optimism was dropping. There were geopolitical issues in the ME between Israel and the Palis. Some people were already asking if business earnings could be maintained in the second half. Feed prices and inflation were going up. Oh yea, and there was a rapid rise in oil prices.

    Followed by the Arab Spring, Libya, etc. The tsunami in Japan on March 11 followed later in the year by the reactor issues. The consequent drop in production in the auto and electronic segmants. Businesses started scaling back on earnings projections.
    Word that China was trying to control inflation and that the economy was slowing.

    Then there was...

    Well why go on? In the end, any slowdown was merely associated with the number 42.


  84. .

    Q, it is like talking to a religious nutter...

    Well when all you read is peak oil, that is all you know.

    I tried backing off the subject a couple weeks ago. As long as I am not drawn into the conversation, I will stay out of it in the future.

    Well, hopefully.



  85. .

    desert rat said...
    The pursuit of peace through negotiations dies in the cradle, at the age of 44.

    There never was a pursuit of peace through 'negotiations'. Both sides wanted peace based on their own terms. Neither was willing to compromise.

    I have no problem with Obama supporting an ally and vetoing the Palis request for statehood in the UN. However, he makes a fool of himself asking for further negotiations.

    Netanyahu asking for new negotiations? A political ploy. Pure hypocrisy. The last negotiations lasted three weeks.


  86. You guys sure do get upset about that subject, don't you? Interesting.

  87. All those other factors were present in the prior 12 months, during which we were growing at, what, about 2.7%?

  88. Germans tell Obama to focus on his own financial mess!!! Can you imagine anyone from the US government giving financial advice to anyone?

  89. One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, 'I cannot accept money from you; I'm doing community service this week.' The florist was pleased and left the shop. When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door. Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you; I'm doing community service this week.' The cop was happy and left the shop. The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door. Then a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The Congressman was very happy and left the shop. The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.

  90. CAIRO (AP) — A Saudi woman was sentenced Tuesday to be lashed 10 times with a whip for defying the kingdom's prohibition on female drivers

    I'd like to take a horse whip to certain women who ride my bumper on the freeway.

  91. The cradle, meant to symbolize infancy, Q, the 44 years, that symbolizes the intransigence of both sides.

    44 years, just to die in infancy.

    I pretty much agree, on the Obama angle. The US will veto in the Security Council, the General Assembly will approve observer State status, as it can.

    Then the Israeli will be in the dock, at the ICC, within a short time there after.

  92. As a way to solve the national debt crisis, North Carolina Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue recommends suspending congressional elections for the next couple of years.

    “I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover,” Perdue said at a rotary club event in Cary, North Carolina, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. “I really hope that someone can agree with me on that.”

    It will stay more Democratic that way.

  93. There is a price to be paid for civil disobedience.

    As Henry D Thoreau opined:

    "The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual.…

    Some civil penalties in foreign climes seem a bit harsh, but then, those are not my countries that limit privilege based on creed or gender.

    Another reason to cherish the United States and acknowledge the successful application of the principles of the enlightenment when and where they appear.

  94. Suspend the current House election cycle, but then not allow any current incumbent to ever serve, again.

    Could be worthy of discussion.

  95. Return the selection of US Senators to the State Houses, too.


  96. “Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it. ”

    ― Howard Zinn


  97. Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win.

    - Bernadette Devlin

    Step by step, slow as it is, the reformation of Islam continues.

    The ladies are stepping up.

    Willing to pay the price that revolution requires.

    If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.

    - Abigail Adams

  98. knowledge is good.

    Emil Faber


  99. I am trying to do two things: dare to be a radical and not a fool, which is a matter of no small difficulty.

    - James A. Garfield


  100. Postmodernists believe that truth is myth, and myth, truth.
    This equation has its roots in pop psychology.
    The same people also believe that emotions are a form of reality.
    There used to be another name for this state of mind.

    It used to be called psychosis.

    - Brad Holland


  101. The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic

    - John F. Kennedy

  102. There you go again.

    Ronald Reagan


  103. ...I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be.

    - Saul Alinsky


  104. Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    - John F. Kennedy


  105. If the King's English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!

    - Ma Ferguson
    Governor of Texas (circa 1920)

  106. The truth wins out ...

    (AP) CAIRO — Egypt's first parliamentary elections since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak will begin on Nov. 28, the country's military rulers said Tuesday in an announcement greeted with little fanfare by activists who have grown deeply suspicious of the generals' commitment to change.

    The military council, which took over from Mubarak as he stepped down in February, promised it would transfer power to civilian rule within six months, but no date was announced for presidential elections that would bring an end to military rule.

    The concerns reflect the broader uncertainty over Egypt's post-Mubarak course under a military council led by a man who served as Mubarak's defense minister for many years. Egypt's new revolutionary groups say
    the council has done little to dismantle Mubarak's legacy and bring figures of the old regime to account for corruption, human rights abuses and other crimes.

    "The new parliament won't reflect the real spirit of the revolution and will provide justification for the military council to continue to be present in the background of the political scene,"
    said Mustafa Shawki, a youth group leader.

    No foreign observers, for those elections, tambien.

  107. Hail to the first radical. The first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom----Satan.

    Saul Alinsky

  108. Saul being an interesting fellow

    Best guess for Saul Alinsky Religion is Jewish

    Mentioned on at least 3 websites including, and -

    Saul D. Alinsky - - ... religion, he would always say that he was Jewish. ...

    Saul Alinsky: Biography ... - - Religion, Jewish. ...

    Saul Alinsky - Wikipedia ... - - Religion, Jewish. ...

  109. While in practice, Saul was joined at the hip with the Catholic Church.

    In 1941 Alinsky wrote that "two basic social forces ... serve as the cornerstone ... to effect constructive changes in the life of the Back of the Yards neighborhood. These two elemental social institutions are, first, the Catholic church and, second, organized labor."(49) The Back of the Yards neighborhood was 90% Catholic, an immigrant neighborhood organized into national parishes. Each parish had its own national identity: Irish, Lithuanian, Slovak, German, and Mexican.(50) Alinsky observed that "the Catholic religion [was] the common spiritual denominator for the people of the community" and that Catholic parishes were organized "through the medium of the Back of the Yards Council ... as a solid bloc."(51)

    ...Catholic involvement was led by Bernard J. Sheil, auxiliary bishop of Chicago and honorary chairman of the Back of the Yards Council. Sanford Horwitt states that "Sheil's imprimatur gave Alinsky and Meegan's campaign added visibility and luster."(52) John L. Lewis also gave his imprimatur to the campaign. Lewis's Congress of Industrial Organizations was in the midst of a bitter organizational drive in Chicago's stockyards, and Lewis was scheduled to speak to the packing house workers to announce a national strike against the Big Four packers: Armour, Swift, Cudahy, and Wilson.(53) By engineering the public appearance of Sheil with Lewis and the founding convention of the Back of the Yards Council within three days of each other in May of 1939, Alinsky crafted a public linkage of organized labor and the Catholic Church, the two cornerstones of Chicago's Back of the Yards. Time reported that Sheil's involvement and his application of a papal encyclical (Rerum novarum) to Lewis's organizing drive "was making not only Chicago, but U.S. history."(54) Hours after the Lewis and Sheil appearance and immediately before the deadline of the strike threat, the meat industry capitulated.(55) The surrender of the meat-industry Goliath meant that Alinsky's David-like slum-neighborhood organization was publicly recognized as a power broker, an influential community organization. This was exactly the image and perception Alinsky wished.


  110. Alinsky was a featured speaker at national Catholic convenings from this time through the 1960s.(62) Invitations to organize came from cities throughout the nation, and within every campaign Catholics played a prominent role.(63) Through these activities Alinsky developed hundreds of relationships with Catholic leaders. Alinsky's friendship with Thomistic philosopher Jacques Maritain is perhaps the most fascinating Catholic connection. As Bernard Doering has shown, Maritain and Alinsky were close friends and influenced one another's work. Doering's articles "Jacques Maritain and America-Friendships" and "Jacques Maritain and His Authentic Revolutionaries" raise fascinating questions and issues within and about this friendship, questions still to be answered.(64) Maritain was so enthralled with Alinsky's writing and organizing that in 1958 he personally urged Archbishop Montini of Milan, the future Pope Paul VI, to meet with Alinsky.(65) The Archbishop met with Alinsky in 1965 to explore whether community-organizing could work in Italy.(66)

    Toward the end of his life Alinsky reminisced that "the biggest change I saw in the first twenty years or so that I was involved in social action is in the role of the churches.... In the 1960s they really moved into the social arena, the political arena. They took over the position organized labor had a generation ago."(67) That remark, coming from one who had written a biography of John L. Lewis, who had been involved in the coal battle between Lewis and Roosevelt, and who had organized in cities nationwide,(68) underscored the profound cultural upheavals of the 1960s.

    As the churches took over the position of organized labor in the political arena, a new type of church minister appeared to succeed "labor priests" such as Fathers Owen Rice and George Higgins. The growth of community organizations in the 1960s was accompanied by "community organization priests" trained as leaders in organizing political and economic power. At the head of the movement of the U.S. Catholic Church into community-organizing was Alinsky's friend and priest protege, Monsignor Jack Egan of Chicago.(69)

    Above are excerpts (from only page 1 to 5) of a 23 page article starting page 1 at;col1


  111. Toward the end of his life Alinsky reminisced that:
    "the biggest change I saw in the first twenty years or so that I was involved in social action is in the role of the churches.... In the 1960s they really moved into the social arena, the political arena. They took over the position organized labor had a generation ago."

  112. So, whatever religion claimed the soul of Saul Alinsky, he was doing Christ's work, in Chi-town, regardless.

    ... the head of the movement of the U.S. Catholic Church into community-organizing was Alinsky's friend and priest protege, Monsignor Jack Egan of Chicago

    From Monsignor Jack Egan's obituary...

    He was founder and former chairman of the Catholic Committee on Urban Ministry, and helped form the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago.

    Rabbi Robert Marx, founder of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, said Msgr. Egan’s work was “much larger than the walls of any church. In the world of action for social justice, he played a role that spanned religious beliefs and influenced an entire nation.”

    Msgr. Egan also served on the boards of the Industrial Areas Foundation, the Mexican American Cultural Center, the Parish Renewal Institute, the National Catholic Reporter weekly newspaper, the National Center for Law and the Handicapped, and the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization.

    In a 1976 talk in Cincinnati on the role of the laity in the church, Msgr. Egan said ``priests must be prepared to let their image die’’ and to see that all members of the church must be about the same work.

    Among his awards are Notre Dame’s first Reinhold Niebuhr Award in 1973, De Paul’s St. Vincent de Paul Medal in 1979

    Monsignor Jack Egan, a real Catholic and protege of Saul Alinsky.
    Marching in lockstep.

  113. Still, the odds of him jumping into the race at this stage remain long.

    On Tuesday, Christie's brother, Todd Christie, told the Newark Star Ledger that to his knowledge, his brother has still kept the door firmly closed on a presidential run.

    "I'm sure that he's not going to run. If he's lying to me, I'll be as stunned as I've ever been in my life," he told the paper.

  114. Geopolitically, a trip to Iran could not come at a better time. Iran is an emerging power seeking to exploit the vacuum created by the departure of U.S. troops from Iraq, which is scheduled to conclude in a little more than three months.


    The foreigner arriving in Iran immediately notices that despite 30 years of increasingly severe sanctions, the infrastructure and systems in the Islamic republic appear fairly solid. As a developing country and an international pariah, one would expect infrastructure along the lines of North Korea or Cuba.


    In sharp contrast with his first term, Ahmadinejad — the most ambitious and assertive president since the founding of the Islamic republic in 1979 — has been trying to position himself as the pragmatist in his second term while his opponents come out looking like hard-liners. In recent months his statements have become less religiously informed, though they have retained their nationalist and radical anti-Western tone.

    At a Crossroads

  115. That Congress was willing to even raise the specter of a government shutdown — if a deal wasn’t reached on the disaster money the funding mechanism for the federal government would have run out on Friday — so soon after a fight over the debt-ceiling that proved politically disastrous for both parties tells us two important things.

    1. The two parties in Congress don’t agree on much of anything. It’s hard to see the FEMA funding fight as anything but a debate on principle given the paltry amount of money at stake.


    2. Both parties are waiting until the 2012 election for a sign from voters. Politicians are a reactive species.

  116. Fast and Furious goes global: Obama had to bomb the crap out of Libya so terrorists could get their hands on 20,000 surface-to-air missiles. Yes, the kind that can shoot down commercial airliners

  117. Nine out of ten Muslims voted for Obama in 2008.

    Nine out of ten Jews voted for Obama in 2008.

    Must be that identical DNA.

  118. Koch:
    Lady Astor, facelifts, fedoras, baby elephants—oh...
    ...and Obama?
    I like the guy next year!

    blah, blah, blah,
    scroll to bottom of page:

    "The President should be praised for intervening with the Egyptian army to save the Israeli diplomatic personnel from physical assault and providing the Israeli military with bunker buster bombs, advanced military technology and providing military intelligence cooperation far exceeding his predecessors.

    I’m now on board the Obama Reelection Express.

  119. "He holds up Texas as a model," Axelrod said. "You look at Texas and they have among the lowest wages in the country, the highest rate of uninsured people, some of the worst performance in their schools."

    "I think most Americans will look at that and say, 'Why would we want to emulate that?" Axelrod added.

    Obama's campaign has said that the 2012 election will be a "choice, not a referendum" on Obama, making clear they intend to draw sharp contrasts with whomever Republicans nominate next year. Democrats have begun raising questions about Romney and Perry's records both in and out of government, hoping to make the case that Obama would be best positioned to restore a middle class that has been battered by the economic downturn.

  120. Deuce,

    I watched the national news, ABC, down here last night after getting home from work. They showed your clip (to this post) on one of their segments.

  121. As of this afternoon the clip had "gone viral," and was in the hundreds of thousands of hits.

  122. - "Forced me to take Medicare resulting in me losing health insurance from my employer pension plan."

    How'd they do that Quirk?

  123. "I'm getting a little sick of the thieves, and their republican sock-puppets' whining."

    I've been sick of you running deception for the Dems for years.

    The thieves give more money to the Dems 'cause they're stupid?

    If you'd just stop claiming to be a conservative, all your whining would make perfect sense.

    It wouldn't even be whining anymore, it'd just be your Dem talking points.

  124. (Reuters) - Syrian forces backed by tanks and helicopters stormed into the central town of Rastan on Tuesday to crush army deserters who are fighting back after months of mostly peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad, residents said.

    Undeterred by the crackdown, more deserters declared the formation of another rebel military unit, of uncertain size, in the same area. And in a sign of increasingly heavily armed opposition to Assad, people in the nearby city of Homs said rebel soldiers hit a government tank with a rocket.

    Early on Tuesday, dozens of armored vehicles entered Rastan, a town of 40,000 on the Orontes river north of Homs, after tanks and helicopters pounded it with heavy machineguns through the hours of darkness.

    "Tanks closed in on Rastan overnight and the sound of machineguns and explosions has been non-stop. They finally entered this morning," said a resident named Abu Qassem.

    Hundreds of soldiers who have refused orders to fire on protesters have formed the Khaled Bin al-Walid battalion, named after the Arab conqueror of Syria, in Rastan. The force, led by Captain Abdelrahman Sheikh, has some tanks. Colonel Riad al-Asaad, the most senior military defector, is active in the area.

    In the area of Houla, across the Orontes, thousands of villagers held an anti-Assad rally on Tuesday during which a new battalion of defectors was announced. Several soldiers in fatigues were seen in a YouTube video as a crowd chanted "Freedom!" Houla residents said they had attended the event.

    To cheers, an announcer was seen in the video saying: "The Syrian Free Army declares the formation of the Ali bin Abi Taleb Battalion in Houla, Homs, under the command of First Lieutenant Colonel Fayez al-Abdallah, to be supervised by the Khaled bin al-Walid battalion ... to protect peaceful protests."


    Rebel soldiers, who are estimated to number in the thousands across the country, have attacked army buses and roadblocks manned by troops and pro-Assad militiamen, known 'shabbiha'. These have multiplied in recent days as security forces try to disrupt protests and hunt down activists in the Rastan area.

    Activists in Homs said at least six inhabitants were killed in raids by security forces and rebel soldiers hit a tank on Tuesday with a rocket propelled grenade in the Bayada district, which is inhabited by members of desert tribes who are now among the main opponents of Assad in the city of one million.

    The official news agency said "armed terrorist groups" killed three civilians in Homs on Tuesday.

    The region around Homs and the adjoining province of Idlib on the border with Turkey have emerged as hotspots of armed resistance, although the bulk of the armed forces, commanded by officers from Assad's Alawite minority, has remained nominally loyal, with tight surveillance by Alawite secret police and soldiers who disobey orders to crush protests risk being shot.

    A senior diplomat in Damascus said rebel units were a mixed bag of deserters but that only the efforts of the Alawite officer corps were preventing much larger units joining them.

    "The deserters so far are a hodgepodge," the diplomat said. "They did not train together and whole divisions are not leaving because of the Alawite control."

    Julien Barnes-Dacey, Middle East analyst at Control Risks said unless more defections occur "the regime won't face a meaningful military challenge."

    He said the key question is "whether or not this will spread and result in a more decisive break right across the military, (which is) unfortunately most likely to happen along sectarian lines with Sunni conscripts joining the opposition and Alawite officers and elite units holding firm with Assad."

    The United Nations says more than 2,700 Syrians, including 100 children, have been killed in a six-month-old revolt against 41 years of Assad family rule in a mostly Sunni nation of 20 million. The government blames the violence on armed gangs, who it says have killed 700 members of the security forces.

  126. "You have continued to put up your dogma on oil and I have ignored them for the past couple weeks. It has been pleasant."

    Ain't that the truth!


  127. Uniboob

    She also is no longer able to close her eyes.

    Done w/o request.

  128. Throughout Arabia, Christians are Cleansed.
    The silence is deafening.

    Fearing Change, Many Syrian Christians Back Assad

    SAYDNAYA, Syria — Abu Elias sat beneath the towering stairs leading from the Convent of Our Lady of Saydnaya, a church high up in the mountains outside Damascus, where Christians have worshiped for 1,400 years. “We are all scared of what will come next,” he said turning to a man seated beside him, Robert, an Iraqi refugee who escaped the sectarian strife in his homeland.


    “He fled Iraq and came here,” said Abu Elias, looking at his friend who arrived just a year earlier. “Soon, we might find ourselves doing the same.”

    But while the promise of the Arab revolts is a new order, shorn of repression and inequality, worries linger that Islamists, the single most organized force in the region, will gain greater influence and that societies will become more conservative and perhaps intolerant.

    “Fear is spreading among us and anyone who is different,” said Abu Elias, as he greeted worshipers walking the hundreds of stone steps worn smooth over the centuries. “Today, we are here. Tomorrow, who knows where we will be?”