“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, March 15, 2012

Texas Landowners and Their Rights to Private Property

Hat Tip: ?


  1. You Think?

    Analysis: Afghanistan increasingly looks like Iraq

    By ANNE GEARAN, AP National Security Writer –

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Afghanistan is not Iraq, U.S. officials have been fond of saying from the first days of Barack Obama's presidency.
    The difference, they said, was that one war Obama inherited, in Afghanistan, was worth fighting while the other, in Iraq, was best ended as quickly as possible.
    Now, Afghanistan has turned into Iraq: an inconclusive slog in which the United States cannot always tell enemy from friend. And like Iraq, Obama has concluded that Afghanistan is best put to rest.
    Just as he patterned his troop "surge" in Afghanistan on a successful military strategy in Iraq, now Obama is patterning his withdrawal from Afghanistan on the Iraq template as well.
    Obama and British Prime Minster David Cameron said Wednesday that NATO forces would hand over the lead combat role to Afghanistan forces next year as the U.S. and its allies aim to get out by the end of 2014.
    It's a gradual step away from the front lines, while pushing indigenous forces to take greater and greater responsibility. It's also a gradual lowering of expectations for a country whose internal divisions and customs bewildered the Americans sent to help and where the U.S. national security goals were often poorly understood.
    "Why is it that poll numbers indicate people are interested in ending the war in Afghanistan?" a contemplative Obama asked during a Rose Garden news conference Wednesday. "It's because we've been there for 10 years, and people get weary."
    Obama and Cameron stressed that they will not walk out on Afghanistan, whose uneven military is not up to the task of defending the entire country. But Obama in particular seemed keen to show he does not have a tin ear.
    Afghanistan is Obama's war — the one he willingly expanded and redefined as a frontal assault on al-Qaida — but like Iraq for former President George W. Bush, the Afghanistan war is becoming political baggage.
    Americans have little enthusiasm for the Afghanistan mission in this election year, and a string of violent or distasteful incidents involving U.S. forces have refocused national attention on whether the war is achieving its goals.

  2. {…}
    The resentment and contempt each side feels for the other appears to have reached some breaking point in Afghanistan, with a rising number of killings of American troops by Afghan recruits this year. The relationship was far from perfect in Iraq, but fratricide was rare by comparison.
    Six in 10 Americans see the war as not worth its costs, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Sunday but conducted before news emerged of a massacre of Afghan civilians, apparently by a U.S. soldier.
    Just 35 percent said the war has been worthwhile. More Americans have opposed the war than supported it for nearly two years, but the implications are stark eight months before the presidential election.
    Opposition to the war is bipartisan, and for the first time the Post-ABC poll showed more Republicans "strongly" see the war as not worth fighting as say the opposite.
    "When I came into office there has been drift in the Afghanistan strategy, in part because we had spent a lot of time focusing on Iraq instead," Obama said, a bit defensively.
    "Over the last three years we have refocused attention on getting Afghanistan right. Would my preference had been that we started some of that earlier? Absolutely. But that's not the cards that were dealt."
    He claimed his strategy has brought the war around the corner. He was careful not to predict victory, or use any of the traditional language of war.
    "We're making progress, and I believe that we're going to be able to make our — achieve our objectives in 2014," he said.
    In the same poll, a majority of Americans said they think a majority of Afghans are opposed to what the NATO-led mission is trying to accomplish in their country. A majority also said the United States should withdraw troops even before the Afghan army is able to stand on its own.

  3. {…}
    Obama used Cameron's visit to endorse a shift toward a back-seat advisory role for U.S. forces in Afghanistan next year, although the war will go on for another year or more. That follows the model of Iraq in 2010, when U.S. forces symbolically pulled back and placed their Iraqi hosts in charge.
    He said any sudden drawdown of U.S. forces in unlikely in Afghanistan. If he follows the Iraq model, the reduction will be steady and permanent, and taken with an absence of fanfare. The United States has roughly 90,000 troops in Afghanistan. Obama plans to drop that number to 68,000 by late September but has offered no specific withdrawal plan after that. Britain has the second-largest force in Afghanistan with about 9,500 troops.
    Britain is pulling about 500 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, leaving around 9,000 personnel, mainly based in the center of the southern Helmand province.
    Officials in London have already cautioned against public hopes that large numbers of troops will be able to leave in the first half of 2013.
    Cameron emphasized the scaling back of ambitions since 2001, acknowledging "we will not build a perfect Afghanistan" by the time international forces withdraw from the country. Where his predecessors hailed efforts to improve education, health care and governance, Cameron took office in 2010 saying he would accelerate the training of Afghan troops and police.
    He said Britain and the U.S. were now "in the final phases of our military mission," but — like Obama — did not suggest the timetable for British troops to withdraw would be accelerated.
    Like Iraq, the Afghanistan war has been given an artificial expiration date. U.S. and NATO forces will close out their current mission and leave by the end of 2014. The surge forces Obama added will be gone by the end of September.
    Obama came into office with an end date in Iraq already set by his predecessor — Dec. 31, 2011. Obama stuck to that schedule but added his own "end of combat" date — Aug. 31, 2010. That gave U.S. forces the remaining months to hand off security control to the Iraqis. By the end, American casualties were rare and U.S. troops often had little to do.
    The U.S. and its allies have not yet set a precise "end of combat" date in Afghanistan, although the mid-2013 target Obama articulated Wednesday looks to be the same thing. That calendar would give approximately the same amount of time — roughly 15 months — for U.S. and allied forces to complete the security handoff to Afghan forces.
    Like Iraq, fighting is sure to continue in Afghanistan after the transition to an "advise and assist" role for U.S. forces and after U.S. forces quit the country altogether. The relationship between the Afghan security forces and the Afghan government is even more tenuous than it was in Iraq, making it more difficult to ensure that security will hold up after the Americans leave.
    By the time the U.S. forces switched to the advisory role in Iraq, the back of the Sunni insurgency had been broken. The same cannot be said for the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan, which causes most of the U.S. casualties and functions as the main enemy even if Obama's preferred opponent is the al-Qaida terror network the Taliban once harbored.

  4. The Keystone Pipeline already in place in the U.S. has had 100 times more spills than was predicted by Transcanada.


  5. Rufus, I attached your link to the post.

  6. Rufus is so retro, so utterly old news, so repetitively ethanol.

    I can make gasoline from thin air.

    Farmers have known The Secret for decades.

    The Age of Energy Anxiety is coming to a close.

  7. Mike Klink of Auburn, Ind.., is seeking whistleblower protection from the U.S. Department of Labor.

    (Just for grins, Riley Bechtel, current CEO of the company constructing the first three phases of Keystone and likely contractor of the XL extension belongs to the Bohemian Club located in San Francisco.)


  8. Another announcement today that PetroChina has purchased the remaining 40% of the MacKay River oil sands in Alberta. Is there any doubt now that the Keystone XL oil will be bound for China and other parts of Asia, instead of providing the much claimed “energy security” for the US?


  9. The Canadians needed a conveyance easement. The proper way to acquire it was to ask nicely. And work around sensitive areas. They decided to lie and bully their way through. I can only conclude that the agenda is to make this a test case for gutting the environmental movement to pave the way for the next generation of oil extraction technologies, which present more environmental issues. None of this had to happen the way it did. But that seems to be true for everything.

  10. A lot of people are trying to obfuscate what that stuff really is. It's Not oil. It's a mixture of sand, and bitumin. They ship natural gas liquids into Alberta, to mix with the sand, and bitumin, to get it to flow (under heavy pressure) through a pipeline.

    A pipeline break over one of the 1,700 bodies of water that it will cross will allow the NGLS, and bitumin to separate, and allow the sludge to settle to the bottom.

    What would have been a fairly minor break (if it was oil) in the Kalamazoo River has created enormous economic damage to he area, and has cost upwards of $725 Million, so far, for clean-up.

    I'm not against the pipeline, but I am against, as Ann put it, the manner in which they attempted to bully it through.

    And, yes, the pipeline Will, on net, raise gas prices in the U.S.

  11. Environmental or design issues?

    Currently, tar sands crude oil pipeline companies are using conventional pipeline technology to transport this DilBit [diluted bitumen]. These pipelines, which require higher operating temperatures and pressures to move the thick material through a pipe, appear to pose new and significant risks of pipeline leaks or ruptures due to corrosion, as well as problems with leak detection and safety problems from the unstable mixture. There are many indications that DilBit is significantly more corrosive to pipeline systems than conventional crude. For example, the Alberta pipeline system has had approximately sixteen times as many spills due to internal corrosion as the U.S. system. Yet, the safety and spill response standards used by the United States to regulate pipeline transport of bitumen are designed for conventional oil.


  12. And, the "Age of Energy Anxiety" is just beginning.

    Those that don't like this year are going to truly Hate "next year."

  13. Forget Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and the rest of OPEC,

    the IEA states that there are A Million Barrels/Day Offline in January, and February in NON-OPEC Countries.

  14. Add to that recently declining production in China, and Russia, and Houston, we got a problem.

  15. No one gives a shit about the environment when they are paying 4 bucks (oh myyy) a gallon for their gas guzzlin' truck or SUV!

    drill baby drill!

  16. Recall that I've been saying for a couple of years that we would likely have a seriously serious meeting with the wall along about the end of This year.

    The reason for that is it takes about 4 Million bbl/day of New production Every Year to make up for the natural decline of the globe's existing wells.

    A good way to think of this is that the much-ballyhooed Bakken play will add about a hundred thousand barrels this year (or, about 2 1/2% of what we need.

    Bottom line is, we will probably add about 2 1/2 million barrels, or 1 1/2 million bpd less than we'd need just to hold production steady.

    Then, on top of that, you have ever-increasing demand out of China, India, the rest of Asia, Latin America, and the oil producers/exporters, themselves.

    No, the "age of energy anxiety," is Not coming to an end. It hasn't even gotten to the start line, yet.

  17. But, in case anyone is worried, this pipeline will get built. No doubt about it.


  18. Yes, it will get built. And, due to the fact that the pipe has already been bought (from China,) it probably will not be built to the standards that it should.

    At least they'll keep it out of the Sandhills (where the Ogalalla Aquifer comes right up to the surface.)

  19. Oh, thanks for the post, Deuce.

  20. And, we're still paying farmers to NOT grow biofuel crops on Thiry Million Acres.

  21. And, the car manufacturers are Still refusing to build a moderately high compression engine that will get the same mileage (and more power) with ethanol as a similarly sized engine would with gasoline

  22. One can only imagine how many pickup trucks, featuring such an engine, they would sell in Minnesota, and Iowa alone (two states where there is an E85 pump at approx. every seventh filling station.)

  23. The average pickup probably uses close to a thousand gallons of fuel/yr (these are "work" trucks, remember.)

    Today, due to increasing competition from more, and more stations carrying E85 in the Northern Midwest, you can buy E85 in Iowa for $2.87 - about $0.95/gal less than the national average for gasoline.

    You would be talking $900.00 to $950.00 per year in fuel cost savings.

    And, this, during a period of high corn prices. By the end of this year E85 could easily be selling in the $2.40 range.

    That could, easily, translate into a $1,600.00/yr savings with an ethanol-optimized engine.

    So, what's the hold-up? Damned if I know.

  24. Louisiana Light Sweet (the oil by the sea) is up $0.40 to $127.63

    despite the reports of Obammie, and Cameron holding talks on "releasing oil from Strategic Reserves."

  25. DRUDGE Headlines:

    Afghan president wants U.S. troops out of villages...
    U.S. moves massacre soldier to Kuwait; Afghans furious...
    Thousands protest, chant anti-American slogans...
    Taliban suspends peace talks with U.S....
    Obama Fills Out NCAA Basketball Bracket....


  26. I think I was the first to mention here at the EB the millions of acres that are not being used thru the CRP (pay farmers not to farm) program.

    Most of these agreements are 10 year contracts. Alot of them are expiring in the Midwest. We will have to wait and see what the farmers will do with them.

  27. SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Visiting Brazil last year, President Barack Obama expressed high hopes for the country's massive offshore oil reserves, offering technical support and pledging that "when you are ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers."

    Yet despite high expectations, Brazil's promise as a long-term energy provider has run into significant problems that threaten the country's continued economic growth and U.S. hopes that Brazil could become an alternative energy source to the volatile Middle East.

    Over the past year, Brazil's state-run oil giant Petrobras' financials have deteriorated and production setbacks have forced South America's largest economy to increase its oil imports. Recent offshore spills have . . .

    Read more here:

    Amid all the hooplah, and hype about Brazil's deep water discoveries, most people don't realize that Brazil is a "Net Oil Importer," and most likely, always will be.


  28. Most of these agreements are 10 year contracts. Alot of them are expiring in the Midwest. We will have to wait and see what the farmers will do with them.

    Some of mine is in that category. Coming out next year. A dollar is worth so much less than when it went in......

  29. They "rolled-over" about 2 1/2 Million Acres this year, IIRC.

  30. Reuters is reporting that "the deal is done." Britain will join the U.S. in tapping the "Strategic" Reserves.


  31. Joule Unlimited:

    The company's Helioculture™ platform incorporates proprietary, engineered photosynthetic microorganisms to directly produce infrastructure-ready diesel, ethanol and multiple chemicals with no dependence on biomass feedstocks, agricultural land or fresh water. In parallel, Joule has developed a novel SolarConverter® system to enable the direct, continuous process with productivities that will be up to 100X greater than biomass-dependent methods, which require numerous energy-intensive steps and downstream processing to achieve an end product. In contrast, using sunlight, non-potable water and waste CO2 from industrial emitters or pipelines, Joule can directly produce up to 15,000 gallons of diesel and 25,000 gallons of ethanol per acre annually at stable costs as low as $20/bble and $0.60/gallon respectively (including subsidies).

    The pilot plant proving the tech stream is on-line this year. [gotta give this one to Charles@BC who keeps a close watch on the energy/water nexus at his website which is out there somewhere. He's also betting on thorium reactors which allegedly are not easily weaponizable. As per usual, the Chinese are all over it while this country is all about getting its kids into a corner office at Goldman Sachs. I'm still not sure which was harder on this country - 2001 or 2008. Bin Laden and most of his buddies are gone but Wall St is doing its best impression of The Golden Buddha. I don't like my tone either (almost deleted this last part) but the way Wall St skated still makes me stutter.)


  32. Rufus - have you been watching Joule? Their approach is exciting I think.

  33. Ann, I haven't paid them the slightest attention. Nothing against them (or their technology - that I know nothing about,) I just haven't gotten around to looking at them.

    So many technologies; so little time. :)

  34. History:

    Bioengineer Jeff Way has seen what happens when the claims of algae biofuel companies get ahead of the science, when their promises of "renewable diesel" slam into the realities of engineering.

    He's been to the bankruptcy auction.

    Once the standard-bearer for the algae revolution, GreenFuel Technologies failed almost two years ago. Spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the company promised to convert waste carbon dioxide into fuel-producing algae. It opened a celebrated -- and, it turns out, expensive -- pilot plant in Arizona. It raised more than $70 million in private funds. Then it went bust.


    But before the green tide completely turns red, several groups of scientists and a few controversial startups are calling for what they say amounts to a shift in focus. By fixating, they say, on what was bleeding-edge technology in the 1970s -- tortured, plump microalgae -- many have missed what could prove the most promising path to algae fuels: photosynthetic bacteria.

    That's the pitch of Joule Unlimited


    Joule is not alone in its cyanobacteria work. Synthetic Genomics, the bioengineering firm begun by Craig Venter, the enterprising biologist famous for being one of the first to sequence the human genome, is also investigating the bugs in its $300 million algae collaboration with Exxon Mobil Corp. Flush with cash, the company operates in relative silence.


    Joule's secrecy is simply caution, said Harvard's Church, who has long collaborated with the venture capital firm, Flagship Partners, behind Joule. Flagship, where Berry serves as a partner, has created a series of biomedical companies but has had limited success in energy.

    "Obviously the stakes are quite high and they've put a lot of effort into this organism," Church said. "And it's not a totally obvious organism and they've changed it pretty radically, so it's not clear they can protect everything by patents."


    "The reality is," Sims said, "people have seen it. People are pretty blown away at what they hear."



  35. Using the free electron swarms to activate proton aggression the carbon chain is lengthened in a spiral manner allowing more lateral area for the contact with the promoter. Once promoted the reaction proceeds on its own, strengthening as the process gains speed and rhythm....

    from Fuel an' Shit - Progress Towards Rural Self Sufficiency"

    So far, $17.5 billion dollars of stimulus money has been expended on this research.

    The 'bigwinner'?

    Conical Engineering LLC out of Tepee, Idaho.

  36. Shoppers began lining up to purchase Apple Inc.'s third-generation iPad on Friday, as the technology giant tries to widen its lead in the fast-growing tablet market.


    Apple stores in 10 countries, including Japan, France and the U.S., are opening at 8

  37. The Obama administration’s fantasyland attempt at talks with the Taliban took another significant blow on Thursday. In a statement released online, Mullah Omar’s organization announced that it “has decided to suspend all talks with Americans taking place in Qatar from today onwards until the Americans clarify their stance on the issues concerned and until they show willingness in carrying out their promises instead of wasting time.”


    But the Telegraph (UK) reported in January that the Taliban was set to turn over Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier who has been held captive since 2009.

    Bergdahl is held by Mullah Sangeen Zadran, a Haqqani Network commander who openly proclaims his alliance with al Qaeda. In 2009, Sangeen was interviewed by al Qaeda’s media arm, As Sahab.

  38. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the insurgent group wanted to limit talks to prisoner transfers and the establishment of a political office in Qatar, but US negotiators wanted to broaden the discussion.

    The Taliban did not want the Afghan government included in the talks, he said.

    "Because of these American changes, the Taliban was obliged to stop the talks," Mr Mujahid said.

  39. On this day in 1820, Maine became the 23rd state in the U.S.

  40. Useless fact #7:

    After 100 years from now, Facebook will have 500,000,000 accounts of dead people.

  41. I really ought to sign up with Facebook while I still have time.

  42. You should.

    You and Rat can be friends.

  43. Ok, I give.

    Where is Rat, by the way?

    Did the FBI git im?

  44. I really ought to sign up with Facebook while I still have time.


    Peak oil my ass.

  45. I joined Facebook once on the insistence of my cousin.

    After a few hours I felt like I started growing a pussy so I cancelled my account quick smart.

  46. Anybody ever fucked their cousin before?

  47. Went to the pub last night. Wife was out at a comedy show. Walked down there. Nice walk there and back.

    Played the dogs. Drank a few beers and Jack 'n Cokes. Ended up about $10.

    Gettin' ready to go home and decided to play 1 $10 game of Keno. 3 numbers. Got 'em on the last number. When I cashed the ticket in the bartender said, Wow, now walk out now. I said, Fuckin' A. Walked out with another $320 smackeroos.

  48. I spent a couple of weekends in Las Vegas with an old flame playing craps. He was what you call "lucky." Knew when to roll and when to walk. I'll never forget the intense focus on his face, like he was listening to something, more like many things, perfectly still in the charged environment of a craps table. He always walked away couple hundred ahead. I guess it's a belief in "luck" that creates professional gamblers but he had an "instinct" in other decisions that I've only seen in one other person. I guess I should just submit that to Psychic Hotline.

    I am not lucky. I am the opposite of lucky. Like a magnet.

  49. Your luck might be turnin'.

    You found the EB.

  50. Could be - if there's any correlation between intensity and luck. In my case I think it's just fear - scared stiff. On general principles.

    Or maybe I shouldn't have watched Kudlow tonight.

  51. Sam: After a few hours I felt like I started growing a pussy so I cancelled my account quick smart.

    You did it just in time, Sam, before you felt the urge to stop at 7-11 and get Playgirl magazine.

  52. Maybe I should qualify that. Having the marines disarm in Afghanistan during Panetta's appearance, coupled with the "end of times," I-know-people-who-know-people speculation, coupled with the rather raw ideological hatred (anyone to the left of Attilla the Hun can take their leftoid progressive redistributionist welfare statist atheistic pinko entitlement loving credentials and fry in the fires of hell), coupled with $700 Trillion of derivatives debt that nobody talks about, coupled with what is sure to be a significant to catastrophic energy squeeze, coupled with Obama hatred that actually seems more visceral than Bush hatred: The emotional intensity of stress fractures around the globe is getting warm.

    Kudlow is angry over Obama's divisive rhetoric. Crap. I can direct him to a group that make Obama look like a naive school girl.

  53. Here's what I posted at Carpe Diem about "The Green River Formation."

    Good Lord *1.4 Trilyun, yes Trilyun with a "T"* in the "Green River Formation.

    Gimmee a break.

    That's Not Oil. That's Kerogen. And that's not "shale;" that's Marlstone.

    After years of trying AMSO gave up on it. Chevron is, for all practical purposes, calling it quits, and Shell is just fiddle-farting around, putting out a press release every 3 or 4 years.

    Total nonsense

    3/15/2012 12:01 PM

    Rufus II said...
    1.4 "Trilyun" barrels of a waxy, pre-oil type substance, locked up in a very hard (unfrackable) rock.

    Only a complete ignoramus, or a sociopathic charlaton would try to sell "the Green River Formation" as "Oil Reserves."

  54. Gambling's weird. Does weird shit to you. When you win big you have this incredible urge to start betting bigger and bigger. You think you're on a roll, you're the king, you can't lose, you're on top of the world, and there's no stopping you.

    You have to fight yourself with all your being to not give in to that temptation. After winning big, just run out of the pub as fast as you can.

    At least that's the way it is for me. But then I've got an addictive personality.

  55. You convince yourself that the strategy you've found is the winning one and there's no way you can lose.

  56. You should try rock climbing, Sam. Either way, the worst that can happen is you get a few bones broken.

    RE oil reserves, when I see the 100-yr to 400-yr supply estimates, the other thing these numbers do *not* include is the escalating per capita energy consumption of growing economies - like China - and India - and Russia. China alone is enough to skew those estimates back to planet earth.

  57. Maybe I should qualify that. Having the marines disarm in Afghanistan during Panetta's appearance, coupled with the "end of times," I-know-people-who-know-people speculation, coupled with the rather raw ideological hatred (anyone to the left of Attilla the Hun can take their leftoid progressive redistributionist welfare statist atheistic pinko entitlement loving credentials and fry in the fires of hell), coupled with $700 Trillion of derivatives debt that nobody talks about, coupled with what is sure to be a significant to catastrophic energy squeeze, coupled with Obama hatred that actually seems more visceral than Bush hatred: The emotional intensity of stress fractures around the globe is getting warm.

    Kudlow is angry over Obama's divisive rhetoric. Crap. I can direct him to a group that make Obama look like a naive school girl.

    Damn baby, I love when you talk that way.

  58. Medicinal rhetoric for a soon to be extinct species :)

    I keep thinking about Steve Jobs' alleged "oh wow" just before he died. Haunting.

  59. I keep thinking about Steve Jobs' alleged "oh wow" just before he died. Haunting.

    When I stepped off the plane in Manila last time, it was hotter'n a sumbitch, and I went "Oh wow!"

  60. I see everyone is finely tuned tonight.

    His legacy is mixed by the standards of this reality. Another interesting thread at BC. No neutral ground - he was either revered or hated.

  61. Whatever he was, he was most definitely a genius.

  62. As was Genghis Khan, and Mohandas Gandhi.

  63. In fact I think I was the sole voice of neutrality, Jobs being more of an historic icon to me, symbolizing a time that has passed far too quickly, than a person of admirable repute; a man of vision in the technological sense but far from humanitarian, which of course is not a requirement for any of us.

    he was most definitely a genius

    Now that's a meaty subject. The world has more geniuses today than ever before. As Goldman Sachs well knows. As Greece well knows. (Probably Portugal and Spain.) Lot of Mensa meat at BC and EB.

    Why Gandhi Rufus?

    And why does the American genius end up in Silicon Valley or Wall St?

  64. Is a smackaroo related to a kangaroo, or one of my craparoos, by any chance? Or are they all different things.

    A craparoo has nothing to do with a bowel movement. At least in Idaho. At least not directly.

    I got fucked by my cousin once. Eight year lawsuit over gramps assets. Was a real craparoo.

    I watch the 'megaloads' come through here. I can hear them, if I don't get out of bed, three or four times a night.

    Big suckers, huge, the show is always the same, State Police, flashing lights, megaload trucks, protestors, all know their place in the dance, by now. When the loads head out of town on up 95 the show is over.
    Everybody goes home, the protestors driving home in their cars, proving what idiots they are, wanting the gas, but not the industry. They are about 1/10th of 1% of the people here but get about 60 or 70% of the news headlines, three times a week. Claim to be worried by the sands, which they have never seen. I asked one, why not drill Alaska, then? Bad for the animals, was the reply. Bad for the tundra. Good for the Tundra Pickup though, says I, smartassed.

    It's a real craparoo.

  65. Or, ahem, of course parked in places more private.

  66. .

    Where is Rat, by the way?

    Did the FBI git im?

    He's been hiding out as Mel's vacation got closer. She talked him into being here guide on her vacation out west but I suspect he thought he might not be able to keep up with her and is hiding out.

    I look for him to be back in early April.

    He's been gone a while. He'll have had a lot of time for googling and I suspect Bob and WiO will be busy when he gets back.


  67. Duality, Ann. Genius plays on both sides.

    Bloodthirsty conquerer, or humanitarian gadfly. Makes no nevermind.

  68. Bloodthirsty conquerer, or humanitarian gadfly.

    So, it's the footprint. The "i" in the product. Right you are.

  69. Steve Jobs was a dog-shit dumb human being. He killed himself dicking around with homeopathic bullshit when standard medicine would have saved his life.

    He was, also, undoubtably, an asshole. No one has ever been known to gush, "Boy, that Steve Jobs is a Great Guy, huh?"

    But, Apple is now the most valuable company in the history of the World, and it was ALL Steve Jobs.

    Genius doesn't care about all that other stuff. Genius is genius. It is what it is.

  70. (For a minute there I thought an ex-Marine had taken up yoga, and pilates!)

    I'm not sure that humanity is ready for passive resistance. Or maybe I should speak for myself. Been ambivalent about Gandhi all my life.

    But he left a footprint which is more than I can say.

  71. :)

    APPL market cap expected to reach $1T. I'd say that's more than luck.

  72. I haven't paid much attention to Gandhi. From what little I've read of him he seems to have been an asshole with a charismatic personality.

    But, he had a "genius."

  73. The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. - Einstein

    I too was judgmental about that nine months of green tea and fish oil. Always wondered about the conversations with his wife at that point. But it's now history.