“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."

Friday, March 30, 2012

Uncomfortable Truths - The Good Guys Lost

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
Thats how it goes


  1. Well, I hate to be the one to break it to the worthless bastards, but this war ain't over till Rufus says it's over.

  2. Bunch a stupid yoots, that all, any of you, are.

  3. Hay, roofus is stealing my tractor.

  4. That mean old bastard is from Tahoe, came up this way, escapee, bought the first horse stables my daughter had her horse at. Yelled at the help. Help left. As did all the people renting the horse stalls, save one. I am expecting the place to be for sale this summer. In my mind, guy has always been the spitting image of Rufus. What do you think?

  5. Everybody knows that the dice aren't loaded
    Nobody rolls with their fingers crossed
    Everybody knows the war's never over
    Everybody knows how much it costs
    Everybody knows the fight's never fixed
    The poor become unaccustomed
    To their station in life
    The rich become accustomed
    To the mistress and wife
    And the rivers eat the hills
    The hills become the valleys
    Yet nothing becomes still
    In the ever becoming strife

  6. An error occurred please try again later, it says, when I click on the music

  7. Everybody knows dice aren't loaded
    Nobody rolls with their fingers crossed
    Everybody knows war's never over
    Everybody knows how much it costs
    Everybody knows the fight's never fixed
    As the poor grow unaccustomed
    To their station in life
    And the rich become accustomed
    To the mistress and wife
    And the river eats the hill
    And the hill becomes the valley
    Yet never becoming still
    In the ever becoming strife
    Of the never ceasing celebration
    Of life with itself

  8. Well, the Republicans have managed to kill off the last of the support for any, and all Renewable Energy Programs, but

    They did vote to extend the Oil Company Subsidies, today.

    No, this war isn't over. I won't be satisfied until every stinking republican in the land is out of a job. And, I'm already talking to my newest grandson about it. He's 4 (months.)

    1. If you want tax credits and subsidies for alternative energy projects why would you put them in a bill entitled ‘‘Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act’’?

      Politics, that's why. You know it's DOA but you think you can get a lot of mileage out of the issue come election time.

    2. I think the Democrats killed your cat.

  9. You both are on the same level then.


  10. They did vote to extend the Oil Company Subsidies, today.

    What a lot of rufus refuse.

    The oil companies write off the costs of production, of doing business, like everyone else.

  11. See how full of ethanol gas Rufus is


  12. Glad the little kid is doing well, though, man, is he going to be confused growing up.

  13. If it had been a white teenager who was shot, and a 28-year-old black guy who shot him, the black guy would have been arrested.

    So assert those demanding the arrest of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

    And they may be right.

    Yet if Trayvon had been shot dead by a black neighborhood watch volunteer, Jesse Jackson would not have been in a pulpit in Sanford, Fla., howling that he had been "murdered and martyred."

    Maxine Waters would not be screaming "hate crime."

    Rep. Hank Johnson would not be raging that Trayvon had been "executed." And ex-Black Panther Bobby Rush would not have been wearing a hoodie in the well of the House.

    Which tells you what this whipped-up hysteria is all about.

    It is not about finding the truth about what happened that night in Sanford when Zimmerman followed Trayvon in his SUV, and the two wound up in a fight, with Trayvon dead.

    It is about the exacerbation of and the exploitation of racial conflict.

    And it is about an irreconcilable conflict of visions about what the real America is in the year 2012.

    Zimmerman "profiled" Trayvon, we are told. And perhaps he did.

    But why? What did George Zimmerman, self-styled protector of his gated community, see that night from the wheel of his SUV?

    He saw a male. And males are 90 percent of prison inmates. He saw a stranger over 6 feet tall. And he saw a black man or youth with a hood over his head.

    Why would this raise Zimmerman's antennae?

    Perhaps because black males between 16 and 36, though only 2 to 3 percent of the population, are responsible for a third of all our crimes.

    In some cities, 40 percent of all black males are in jail or prison, on probation or parole, or have criminal records. This is not a product of white racism but of prosecutions and convictions of criminal acts.

    Had Zimmerman seen a black woman or older man in his neighborhood, he likely would never have tensed up or called in.

    For all the abuse he has received, Geraldo Rivera had a point.


  14. {…}

    Whenever cable TV runs hidden-camera footage of a liquor or convenience store being held up and someone behind the counter being shot, the perp is often a black male wearing a hoodie.

    Listening to the heated rhetoric coming from demonstrations around the country, from the Black Caucus and TV talkers -- about how America is a terrifying place for young black males to grow up in because of the constant danger from white vigilantes -- one wonders what country of the mind these people are living in.

    The real America is a country where the black crime rate is seven times as high as the white rate. It is a country where white criminals choose black victims in 3 percent of their crimes, but black criminals choose white victims in 45 percent of their crimes.

    Black journalists point to the racism manifest even in progressive cities, where cabs deliberately pass them by to pick up white folks down the block.

    That this happens is undeniable. But, again, what is behind it?

    As Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute has written, from January to June 2008 in New York City, 83 percent of all identified gun assailants were black and 15 percent were Hispanics.

    Together, blacks and Hispanics accounted for 98 percent of gun assaults.

    Translated: If a cabdriver is going to be mugged or murdered in New York City by a fare, 49 times out of 50 his assailant or killer will be black or Hispanic.

    Fernando Mateo of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers has told his drivers, "Profile your passengers" for your own protection. "The God's honest truth is that 99 percent of the people that are robbing, stealing, killing these guys are blacks and Hispanics."

    Fernando Mateo is himself black and Hispanic.

    To much of America's black leadership and its media auxiliaries, what happened in Sanford was, as Jesse put it, that an innocent kid was "shot down in cold blood by a vigilante."

    Yet, from police reports, witness statements, and the father and friends of Zimmerman, another picture emerges.

    Zimmerman followed Trayvon, confronted him, and was punched in the nose, knocked flat on his back and jumped on, getting his head pounded, when he pulled his gun and fired. That Trayvon's body was found face down, not face up, would tend to support this.

    But, to Florida Congresswoman Federica Wilson, "this sweet young boy ... was hunted down like a dog, shot on the street, and his killer is still at large."

    Some Sanford police believed Zimmerman; others did not.

    But now that it is being investigated by a special prosecutor, the FBI, the Justice Department and a coming grand jury, what is the purpose of this venomous portrayal of George Zimmerman?

    As yet convicted of no crime, he is being crucified in the arena of public opinion as a hate-crime monster and murderer.

    Is this our idea of justice?

    No. But if the purpose here is to turn this into a national black-white face-off, instead of a mutual search for truth and justice, it is succeeding marvelously well.

    1. Zimmerman is a dumbass who put himself into a precarious situation. He did not "stand his ground". He pursued someone who felt threatened and became hostile. I doubt that Zimmerman could have justified shooting Martin even under the law before "Stand Your Ground". Chances are that Zimmerman will serve time.

      The underlying agendas are 1: mobilization of the Democrat base and 2. gun control

  15. And Obama blames the oil companies for gas price increases.

    WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama said Friday that he was moving ahead with potential sanctions against countries that keep buying oil from Iran, including allies of the U.S., in a deepening campaign to starve Iran of money for its disputed nuclear program.

    The world oil market is tight but deep enough to keep the squeeze on Iran, Obama ruled.

    The sanctions are meant to further isolate Iran's central bank, which processes nearly all of Iran's oil purchases, from the global economy.

    Obama's move clears the way for the U.S. to penalize foreign financial institutions that do oil business with Iran by barring them from having a U.S.-based affiliate or doing business in this country.

    Obama's goal is to tighten the pressure on Iran, not allies, and already the administration exempted 10 European Union countries and Japan from the threat of sanctions because they cut their oil purchases from Iran. Other nations have about three months to significantly reduce such imports before sanctions would kick in.

    Still, administration officials said that Obama is ready to slap sanctions on U.S. partners and that his action on Friday was another signal.

    At issue for Obama was ruling, by Friday, whether oil supplies were sufficient to keep demanding that nations cut off Iran -- not an insignificant matter in a time of high election-year gas prices at home.

    Obama gave his OK after considering available reserves, increased oil production by some countries and global economic conditions. The White House emphasized that he would continue to keep an eye on the oil market to make sure that it -- and its consumers -- could withstand shrinking purchases out of Iran.

    With oil prices already rising this year amid rising tensions over the nuclear dispute between Iran and the West, U.S. officials have sought assurances that pushing countries to stop buying from Iran would not cause a further spike in prices.

    The U.S. sanctions are set to take effect on June 28. A European oil embargo, approved in January, starts in July.

    Put together, Obama administration officials contend Iran is about to face its most severe economic pressure ever.

    The U.S. doesn't import any oil from Iran. The main importers of Iranian oil that have not received exemptions from the U.S. are China, India, Turkey, South Africa and South Korea.

    1. If you go around shaking your fist at everyone, threatening and cursing them in every public venue you can find, you can expect problems.

      Iran is a rogue nation. Iran has made the US (the great Satan) its enemy. They oppress their own people, they export is Islamic revolution. They make alliances with other rogues.

      It doesn't have to be this way but this is the way Iran has chosen.

  16. Dumber and uglier, day in and day out. Romney or Obama? Good luck. I wish I could try and not notice.

  17. Zimmerman is a dumbass who put himself into a precarious situation. He did not "stand his ground". He pursued someone who felt threatened and became hostile. I doubt that Zimmerman could have justified shooting Martin even under the law before "Stand Your Ground". Chances are that Zimmerman will serve time.

    The underlying agendas are 1: mobilization of the Democrat base and 2. gun control

  18. Crude + Condensate (the stuff we call "oil") extraction has remained flat since 2005.

    Since the Oil Exporters, themselves, are prospering, and using more of their own product, "Exports," the part of the equation that concerns us, is falling - and has been since, you guessed it, 2005.

    On top of that, more and more of exports are "Heavy" oil, which yield less gasoline, and diesel, than "light sweet."

    This situation will only get worse.

    1. As the situation gets worse, good 'ol Yankee ingenuity will find a way. High prices at the pump will do more for alternatives than the Federal Tax Codes can.

  19. The "weakest" swimmers will drown first.

  20. The "hottest" air will rise the highest.

  21. Conscience Stricken Mob Rat Sleeps With Fishes After Killing Self

    Now this is a heartening article. Our country needs more mob rats with a little integrity. What can one say but "well done".

  22. In 2005 C + C Production was 73,670,000 bbl/day

    In 2011 C + C Production was 73,960,000 bbl/day

    An increase of 0.004 (four tenths of one percent)

    EIA Website

  23. ABOARD THE USS PELELIU – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Marines and sailors on Friday that Congress would be irresponsible if it doesn't act to prevent drastic military budget cuts.

    Read more:

  24. Quite amazing, the Defense Secretary urging Congress to block the cuts planned by the boss. My opinion of Leon "The Defender" Panetta has risen a little.

    To always be ahead of the curve on mob news, read Gang Land News.

  25. HVAC wrote: What the fuck does FTL neutrinos have to do with global warming?

    Same rush to publish as Pons and Fleischmann of cold fusion infamy. Same lack of attention to detail.

  26. Not digging the change to the interface here, Deuce. Couldn't post under Win98 Firefox or Mozilla Seamonkey or DOS Lynx, had to install Opera 10.

  27. The weakest swimmer is Europe (specifically, the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain.) They are in Recession, now, and they may not get back out in our lifetime.

    Japan, it looks like, is the next weakest. They are also in Recession; and they, also, may be there for a long, long time.

    That leaves us, and China. The "smart" money is betting on China being the "last man standing." I'm not completely on board with that, but I'm, also, not betting.

  28. In a 51-47 vote, 43 Senate Republicans and four Democrats filibustered to protect $24 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil.

    The oil industry spent over $146,000,000 on lobbying last year.

    Put 146 million up front to get 24 billion, not a bad investment. Too bad our democracy is for sale.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. if we replaced all diesel locomotives with natural gas power, what would the impact be? About 250 million barrels of crude per year not imported into the US, and lower diesel prices for truckers as refinery capacity opens up, and less pollution

    Natural gas vs diesel powered locomotives

    a gallons/hr 150
    b hrs/year 3,000
    c qty of engines 24,000

    a x b x c = 10,800,000,000

    in bbls of crude 251,162,791

    $ at 105/bbl $26,372,093,023

    $ if nat gas $4,057,245,081

    savings per yr $22,314,847,943

    per engine $929,785

    And 100% USA fuel

    And frees up crude refinery capacity

    And lowers cost of diesel for trucks

    1. Nuclear power would be a natural fit for a locomotive.

  31. I would strongly recommend "going electric" vs. converting to nat gas.

    If nat gas remains relatively cheap, not at all a sure thing, the nat gas can be used to generate electricity.

    If nat gas explodes in price, again, (a very likely happenstance) Solar, and Wind can produce most of the electricity.

  32. Electrified Rail is, far and away, the cheapest land transport available.

  33. Hillary Clinton offers an added incentive to procure nuclear weapons

    The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, has said time is running out for diplomacy over Iran's nuclear programme and confirmed talks aimed at preventing Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon would resume in mid-April.

    With speculation over a possible US or Israeli strike adding urgency to the next round of discussions in Istanbul, set for 13 April, Clinton said Iran's "window of opportunity" for a peaceful resolution "will not remain open forever".

    She also expressed doubt over whether Iran had any intention of negotiating a solution that satisfies the US, Israel and other countries that believe Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran contends the programme is solely for peaceful energy and research purposes.

    "We're going in with one intention: to resolve the international community's concerns about Iran's nuclear program," Clinton said after attending a security conference in Saudi Arabia. "Our policy is one of prevention, not containment. We are determined to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.


    Your neighbor threatens you on a daily basis. He walks around the perimeter of your property armed to the teeth. He blocks your driveway and interferes with your commerce and ability to make a living. He cancels your credit cards and threatens your local banker if he deals with you. He has already gone to war with two of your neighbors and ruined significant parts of their property killing some of their kin.. He threatens you that if you go to town to buy a gun, he will burn down your barn and no place on your farm will be safe.

    I don’t know about you, but I would want to arm up and kill the son of a bitch.

  34. Thanks to fracking, the U.S. has suddenly become the world’s largest producer of natural gas, creating a massive glut that has more than halved the price of natural gas. Those liquefied natural gas ports that the U.S. was building to import gas will now be used to export gas.

  35. The A-packers have all their pawns in position. They play and you pay.

  36. The Dems are just trying to stall the ball until after the election. It's Not going to be easy.

    Obama has absolutely no intention of getting into a "shooting war" with Iran. And, China, India, et al are going to buy the oil they need, regardless of what the U.S. says, or does.

    If the Israelis start it, they better realize they'll have to "finish it."

  37. No, they have the old heavy-titted cow by the ring in her nose taking her down for a cold-handed milking.

  38. A couple of problems:

    1) The "Frackers" need a price of over Twice (really, more like 3 times) what they're getting, now, to be profitable.

    2) As a result, over half the drilling rigs have left the nat gas plays, and have moved to the oil plays.

    3) Fracked wells produce 90% of their total production in the first 18 months.

    4) Conclusion: Nat Gas Prices, within a year, or so, will Spike (quite possibly, to all-time highs.)

  39. :)

    A nice "turn of phrase," Deuce.

    But, I'm not so sure. I'm pretty convinced that Obama despises Netanyahou, and would like very much to break one off in him.

    I read, yesterday, that support for the war in afghanistan is down to 25%, and McCrazy's rants about intervention in Syria are being met with silence, and/or derision in ALL quarters.

    The old "cow" just might, one of these days, break that rope.

  40. Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, head of Har Bracha Yeshiva and a prominent Religious Zionism leader, said Iran does not pose an existential threat to Israel and a military offense against it was unnecessary. According to him, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are known to be "men of ego," and he fears this is their main motivation to act against Tehran.

    Melamed expressed his opinions in an article published in a religious magazine on Thursday. The Rabbi said he was not a strategic expert, but yet he feels obligated to express his reservations.

    According to his analysis, the unconventional arms race is a negative, yet inevitable phenomenon. Melamed explained that even if Israel will succeed in destroying all Iranians nuclear facilities, it would not end the arms race, but only delay it.

    Therefore, the entire world must learn to handle such threats. "Israel's predicament is not different than those faced by other countries," wrote Melamed and added, "contrary to what Barak and Netanyahu say, Iran is not the greatest threat on Israel, It is one threat among many.”

  41. McCain really is dribbling on his pajamas.

  42. Jason wrote: Interesting but it means nothing. Millions of jobs will be lost in the coal industry during the next 20 or more years. Obama and liberals don't care about the loss of those millions of jobs.

    Yeah, it will be worse than all those jobs that were lost pulling out asbestos when the government stuck their nose into private industry's business. Damn communists.

  43. A no-war party will have no base to call on after our withdrawal/retreat from Afghanistan, unless we are dragged into an Iranian/Syrian adventure. BUT how long can our corrupt government expect to ignore the voters wishes before a popular dictator comes forward. There are plenty of examples in history for this outcome.

  44. Those Coal jobs are going away, anyhoo.

    We get 40% of our coal from Powder River Basin mines that will be played out in 20 yrs by most authoritative estimates.

    Not to say that there isn't more coal, but it is deeper/more expensive to mine, and/or more sulfur/laden.

  45. Obama can't do any wrong.

  46. Obama has done a lot "wrong."

    However, it's painfully obvious that the stinking republicans have gone completely off their freakin' rockers.

    1. hammaknockaMar 31, 2012 06:27 AM

      If you want tax credits and subsidies for alternative energy projects why would you put them in a bill entitled ‘‘Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act’’?

      Politics, that's why. You know it's DOA but you think you can get a lot of mileage out of the issue come election time.
      hammaknockaMar 31, 2012 06:28 AM

      I think the Democrats killed your cat.

    2. Rufus went completely off his freakin' rocker about a year and a half ago.

  47. One group of hoodies shoots at another group of hoodies during a wake for some other hoodie.

    Join Hoodie Movement Without Leaving Home

  48. Yeah, they knew they didn't have the votes to get the Production Tax Credit through the Republican House, so they played a little election-year politics with it, I suppose.

  49. BCAP (Biomass Crop Assistance Program) would have, instead of paying landowners NOT to plant 30,000,000 acres, paid them almost exactly the same amount to PLANT their Thirty Million Acres in Energy Grasses.

    Boy, the stinkin' Pubs put paid to that idea in a hurry.

  50. sons a bitches, mofucks, btards, stinkin' aholes

  51. duck walks into a pub and orders a pint of beer and a ham sandwich.

    The barman looks at him and says,

    "Hang on! You're a duck."

    "I see your eyes are working," replies the duck.

    "And you can talk!" Exclaims the barman.

    "I see your ears are working, too," Says the duck.

    "Now if you don't mind, can I have my beer and my sandwich please?"

    "Certainly, sorry about that," Says the barman as he pulls the duck's pint.

    "It's just we don't get many ducks in this pub.. What are you doing round this way?"

    "I'm working on the building site across the road," Explains the duck. "I'm a plasterer."

    The flabbergasted barman cannot believe the duck and wants to learn more, but takes the hint when the duck pulls out a newspaper from his bag and proceeds to read it. So, the duck reads his paper, drinks his beer, eats his sandwich, bids the barman good day and leaves. The same thing happens for two weeks. Then one day the circus comes to town.

    The ringmaster comes into the pub for a pint and the barman says to him

    "You're with the circus, aren't you? Well, I know this duck that could be just brilliant in your circus. He talks, drinks beer, eats sandwiches, reads the newspaper and everything!"

    "Sounds marvellous," says the ringmaster, handing over his business card. "Get him to give me a call."

    So the next day when the duck comes into the pub the barman says, "Hey Mr. Duck, I reckon I can line you up with a top job, paying really good money."

    "I'm always looking for the next job," says the duck."Where is it?"

    "At the circus," says the barman.

    "The circus?" Repeats the duck.

    "That's right," replies the barman.

    "The circus?" The duck asks again. with the big tent?"

    "Yeah," the barman replies.

    "With all the animals who live in cages, and performers who live in caravans?" says the duck.

    "Of course," the barman replies.

    "And the tent has canvas sides and a big canvas roof with a hole in the middle?" persists the duck.

    "That's right!" says the barman.

    The duck shakes his head in amazement, and says .. . .

    "What the f#ck would they want with a plasterer??!"

  52. Wouldn't the Supreme Court overturning Congresses legislation on Health Care be Judicial Activism at its peak?

  53. What? You would call the Supreme Ct. overruling 60% of Senators, The Majority of the House of Representatives, and the duly elected President "Judicial Activism?"

  54. The stinking republicans might have won this battle, but they've lost my vote, Forever.

  55. On the Surface it sounds that way but then you have to have the firm conviction that the US Senate, The House of Representative and the President are honest, noble, committed to the written US Constitution and above all have an understanding and their commitment to the law and the welfare of the people that voted for them. It is a “trust me, I’m from the government” kind of deal.

    Then reflect on most of them groveling before the A-packers, accepting their bribes, genuflecting for Bibi Netanyahu and uproariously cheering his devotion to his country, forgetting their obligation to their own. The level of corruption has hit a critical mass and passed into a zone where it falls on the shoulders of one in 320 million, dressed as a wizard divining the way.

    It is inevitable that it will only get worse until it fractures beyond repair and like the Sunday morning videos of an old stadium being reduced to rubble, it will have to be taken down. At this stage it hardly matters.


    c'mon now we know it's April Fools Day but you can be honest for a change.

    Rufus IIApr 1, 2012 06:08 AM

    What? You would call the Supreme Ct. overruling 60% of Senators, The Majority of the House of Representatives, and the duly elected President "Judicial Activism?"

    The stinking republicans might have won this battle, but they've lost my vote, Forever.

    The very first thing the American people did after fuck you care was rip the gavel out of Pelosi's fingers soon as they could get to the voting booth.

    It's not the stinkin' pubs it's the stinkin' people of the United States still having the balls to think for themselves a little. That's what's got Ruf upset.

    Damn the people, they won't accept what I, Rufus, know to be best for them.

    Even though I haven't read the legislation.

  57. I mean, it's not like they're Only drafting them to go die in Vietnam, or some misbegotten, similar shithole. They are, (gasp), "Providing Health Insurance!"

  58. The unamerican communists are passing a program that has an 80% Approval Rating in Massachusetts, where it is in force.

  59. What I can't understand is, since I can't find ANYONE who has actually read the entire act, then, who wrote it?

    Read More About The Disaster That Is ObamaCare Here

    1. .

      Like all legislation these days, especially very complicated legislation, it was written by lobbyists for the various interested parties. Then Congress, without bothering to read it, passes it. Then Congressional Staff interprets it and tells us what it all means as they write the administrative rules (such as the recent one that demanded that religious institutions provide insurance that includes contraceptives and abortion services).


  60. .

    Wouldn't the Supreme Court overturning Congresses legislation on Health Care be Judicial Activism at its peak?


    I'm surprised you would even ask.


    1. For the stereo-typical Conservative it sure would be Quirk which is why I asked.

      As far as I'm concerned it proper for the Supremes to rule on Constitutional issues.

      If the Mandate is struck down the logical route to go would be some form of taxation to pay for it but given the absurd and Mal-functioning US political system I doubt that would happen much less advancing down a more rational route and having a single payer system backed by taxation.

  61. I know Quirk. It seems the people the furthest from the legislation are us, you and me.

    Rufus is trying to pull an April Fool's with that -

    The unamerican communists are passing a program that has an 80% Approval Rating in Massachusetts, where it is in force.

    The real approval rate is actually 107% for RomneyCare in Massachusetts.

    Ruf has his moments of brilliance though - he knows for instance that centralized farming isn't going to work well - he just doesn't seem to learn from them.

    1. Unfortunately, bob, you no longer have any moments of brilliance. Go read more American Thinker and pretend you are thinking too!

    2. When I first read American Thinker, I believe it took a fresh approach to certain topics. I changed or it changed, but then I feel the same about Pajamas Media, Hugh Hewitt and Power Line. I find The Independent, Reason, The Telegraph much more credible. On the other side, MSNBC has morphed into a reality show of the absurd. I can’t even stand looking at Joe Scarborough or looking at John McCain and Joe Lieberman. Glenn Beck is nuts and Sean Hannity is way too doctrinaire for my taste.

  62. Most of the killings have been in relatively small-scale, often drive-by, attacks on military targets or other symbols of the Thai government's authority, such as teachers and schools. Occasionally, militants have attacked commercial and tourist targets in Yala, Hat Yai and elsewhere.

    Saturday's bombings, though, mark a fresh escalation in the conflict, turning it from a relatively low-intensity bombing campaign into one in which high-profile commercial areas are targeted. The attacks also pose a fresh challenge to the country's large tourism industry and also to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the younger sister of former populist leader Thaksin Shinawatra and who was elected the country's leader last year.

    There are deep divisions between her Puea Thai, or For Thais, party and the army generals who ousted her brother in a military coup in 2006. Analysts say Ms. Yingluck will likely now come under pressure to throw her full weight behind the security forces as they try to defuse the worsening tensions in the south of the country.

  63. Republicans will need to run a campaign that explains. Explanation—as opposed to denunciation of others, or celebration of self—hasn’t much characterized the campaign of the likely Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, so far.


    The good news is that Romney is capable of turning around an enterprise that’s likely to fail. The bad news is that it’s harder to turn one around if the failure isn’t yet obvious.

    The irony is that a Romney victory in the primaries will then pose the ultimate test of his ability as a turnaround artist. We trust, for the sake of the country, that he’ll be tough and determined and self-critical enough to do the job.

  64. Most Burmese are wretchedly poor and uneducated, a situation that the series of military juntas that has ruled since 1962 has been happy to maintain. Many of those who said they would vote for Ms Suu Kyi said they supported her because of a blind trust that she and her party can bring changes to their lives.

    In Kawhmu, the most pressing needs are jobs, schools and clinics.

    Ahead of yesterday's polls, the NLD complained that the process had not been entirely fair and that there had been a particular problem with voting lists. International observers said there had been a number of irregularities but that many were the result of lack of democratic experience rather than intent.

  65. In the beginning ruling classes had a problem. It will be familiar to those acquainted with the Austrian critique of central economic planning: Rulers could not know what they needed to know to do the job they wanted to do.


    To use the term James C. Scott uses in his book Seeing Like a State, they could strive to make society “legible” in order to make it controllable.


    He adds:

    The more I examined these efforts at sedentarization, the more I came to see them as a state’s attempt to make a society legible, to arrange the population in ways that simplified the classic state functions of taxation, conscription, and prevention of rebellion. . . . I began to see legibility as a central problem in statecraft.

  66. A Canadian with brains (unlike Ash) gives his opinion of health care in Canada -

    4. Arnold on The Island

    “The Canadian government once proposed compelling newly graduated doctors to work in “underserved” regions of the country before allowing them to live and practice where they wished.”

    True..sort of. It only applies to the bigoted racist province of Quebec, not the entire country.
    In Canada,Quebec in particular all newly graduating doctors are FORCED to work in the boondocks regardless of where they want to work before they are permitted to practice in the larger cosmopolitan area. Many newly graduated doctors flee the province rather than get forced to relocate which results in doctor shortages that are severe.

    A typical trip to any emergency room usually ends up with a patient laying in a gurney in a crowded hospital corridor for anywhere between 24 to 36 hours before being attended to. Hopefully you survive, bring a minder with you.

    At any of the major hospitals in Montreal it typically takes more than 1 year to get an appointment for a colonoscopy. In some institutions the waiting list is 3 years! Stalagmites could grow in your butt before they get around to you.

    To cut costs euthanasia (you read “Death Panels”) is on the table. Whatever terms they try to couch it in it’s still an attempt at legalizing murder of sick elderly who cost too much money to maintain.

    My own father was a victim.

    Is this coming to a hospital near you?
    Socialized medicine at it’s best or worst?

    But to be fair I have to say the system did save my bacon on more than one occasion despite catching a post-operative infection in the hospital that although the original problem was dealt with successfully it almost killed me.

    We are forbidden to seek and pay for alternate services. You can’t use your own money to save your own life unless you leave the country to seek help elsewhere.
    And…we pay the highest taxes anywhere in NA to support this system.
    March 29, 2012 - 4:28 am

    From all I can gather, you are in for a really nasty surprise Ash, once you get sick. You've just never been in the system, yet.

    I've been meaning to ask, Ash, do you use those fancy carbon whatever they are called clubs when you golf? Are they any good?


    Hey, Ash, you ever read this? --

    Socialized Medicine Director Kicks Bucket Waiting For Operation

    In an odd way though, it gives one some confidence in the British system - doesn't seem to be playing favorites when it comes to culling the herd.

  67. The Mexican Maid

    The Mexican maid asked for a pay increase. The wife was very upset
    about this and decided to talk to her about the raise.

    She asked: "Now Maria, why do you want a pay increase?"

    Maria: "Well, Señora, there are tree reasons why I wanna increaze.
    The first is that I iron better than you."

    Wife: "Who said you iron better than me?"

    Maria: "Jor huzban he say so."

    Wife: "Oh yeah?"

    Maria: "The second reason eez that I am a better cook than you."

    Wife: "Nonsense, who said you were a better cook than me?"

    Maria: "Jor hozban.

    Wife increasingly agitated: "Oh he did did he???"

    Maria: "The third reason is that I am better sex than you in the bed."

    Wife, really boiling now and through gritted teeth. "And did my husband
    say that as well?"

    Maria: "No, Señora... The gardener did."

    Wife : "How much do you want?"

  68. Japan showed a slight improvement, with eight companies raising $198 million, compared to the seven that raised $206 million in the first quarter of 2011. Bankers said they expect the pace to pick up for Japan.

    "There is some lingering uncertainty about what's to come in Asia. With the exception of Japan, Asia will be defined by whether or not China's IPO and broader primary market comes back," said Viswas Raghavan, global head of equity capital markets at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in London.

    "If that market bounces back, it will be positive for the overall health of the capital markets."

  69. Chesapeake Energy, the poster child for shale oil/gas drilling is in trouble. They just turned 200 leases in the Niobrara back in, and seem to be about $8 Billion "short" on what they need this year. Look for them to get bought out by a Major, or go bankrupt in the Fall.

  70. Convicted war criminal John Demjanjuk, who died in Germany on Saturday, is deemed innocent there, despite being convicted last year of killings in a Nazi death camp.

    Munich state court spokeswoman Margarete Noetzel said this week that under German law, Demjanjuk is "still technically presumed innocent," because he died before his final appeal could be heard, and "a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty."

    Asked by Haaretz if that means there is no record of Demjanjuk's conviction, Noetzel replied, "Yes, it means Mr. Demjanjuk has no criminal record."

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