“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, July 03, 2012

The PC Pentagon is a Threat to our National Security


Insight: "Green Fleet" sails, meets stiff headwinds in Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy oiler slipped away from a fuel depot on the Puget Sound in Washington state one recent day, headed toward the central Pacific and into the storm over the Pentagon's controversial green fuels initiative.

In its tanks, the USNS Henry J. Kaiser carried nearly 900,000 gallons of biofuel blended with petroleum to power the cruisers, destroyers and fighter jets of what the Navy has taken to calling the "Great Green Fleet," the first carrier strike group to be powered largely by alternative fuels.

Conventionally powered ships and aircraft in the strike group will burn the blend in an operational setting for the first time this month during the 22-nation Rim of the Pacific exercise, the largest annual international maritime warfare maneuvers. The six-week exercise began on Friday.

The Pentagon hopes it can prove the Navy looks as impressive burning fuel squeezed from seeds, algae and chicken fat as it does using petroleum.

But the demonstration, years in the making, may be a Pyrrhic victory.

Some Republican lawmakers have seized on the fuel's $26-a-gallon price, compared to $3.60 for conventional fuel. They paint the program as a waste of precious funds at a time when the U.S. government's budget remains severely strained, the Pentagon is facing cuts and energy companies are finding big quantities of oil and gas in the United States.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the program's biggest public booster, calls it vital for the military's energy security.

But to President Barack Obama's critics, it is an opportunity to accuse the U.S. leader of pushing green energy policies even if they don't make economic sense. The bankruptcy of government-funded solar panel maker Solyndra last year was a previous example of that, they say.

Senator John McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, expressed outrage over the costs of the fuel at a hearing earlier this year.

"I don't believe it's the job of the Navy to be involved in building ... new technologies," he said. "I don't believe we can afford it."

But the U.S. Defense, Energy and Agriculture departments are moving ahead with their plans, jointly sponsoring a half-a-billion-dollar initiative to foster a competitive biofuels industry.

Mabus and officials at the Energy and Agriculture departments announced on Monday that they would make $30 million in matching funds available for companies working to produce large-scale biofuels plants. A second phase sometime next year is expected to provide another $70 million in follow-on funding.


The biofuels effort is one of the most ambitious Pentagon energy programs since then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld set up a task force in 2006 to find ways to reduce the military's fossil fuels dependency, involving more than 300,000 barrels a day.

"The reason we're doing this is that we simply buy too many fossil fuels from either actually or potentially volatile places on earth," Mabus told a conference on climate and security last month.

He says the Pentagon can use its buying muscle - it is the largest single consumer of petroleum in the world - to guarantee the demand needed for biofuel businesses to produce at a scale that will eventually drive down costs.

"We use 2 percent of all the fossil fuels that the United States uses," Mabus told the conference. "And one of the things that this means is that we can bring the market. And to paraphrase the old 'Field of Dreams' line, if the Navy comes, they will build it."

Mabus, a former Mississippi governor and ambassador to Saudi Arabia, aims for biofuels to supply about half of the Navy's non-nuclear fuel needs by 2020, about 8 million barrels a year.

His main tool in pushing the effort is the Defense Production Act, a measure passed in 1950 in the early stages of the Korean War to help the president mobilize the civilian economy for the war effort.

The act lets the Pentagon provide funding or loan guarantees to ensure production of critical defense needs. Since the 1970s it has been used to do things like bolster beryllium production and develop a specialized integrated circuit.


But the initial small-batch cost of some biofuels has raised eyebrows on Capitol Hill, even among lawmakers used to dealing with billion-dollar defense cost overruns.

The Pentagon paid Solazyme Inc $8.5 million in 2009 for 20,055 gallons of biofuel based on algae oil, or $424 a gallon.

Solazyme's strategic advisers, according to its website, include T.J. Glauthier, who served on Obama's White House Transition team and dealt with energy issues, but also former CIA director R. James Woolsey, a conservative national security official.

For the Great Green Fleet demonstration, the Pentagon paid $12 million for 450,000 gallons of biofuel, nearly $27 a gallon. There were eight bidders for that contract, it said.

Republican lawmakers are pushing measures that would bar the Navy from spending funds on alternative fuels that are not priced competitively with petroleum and are accusing Mabus of failing to provide Congress with a full analysis of the cost and time it would take to create.

"They couldn't answer some of the very fundamental questions that you would want on that issue," said Randy Forbes, a Republican on the House Armed Services Committee who says studies show that biofuels would always be more expensive than petroleum.

Mabus rejects the criticism, saying that as production rises, costs will come down. He notes that prices have fallen dramatically over the past few years, even with the Navy buying only small test batches of alternative fuels.

"Of course it costs more," he told the climate conference. "It's a new technology. If we didn't pay a little bit more for new technologies, we'd still be using typewriters instead of computers. ... And the Navy would never have bought a nuclear submarine, which still costs four to five times more than a conventional submarine."


Alternative fuel manufacturers see two promising avenues for creating so-called "drop-in" fuels that can be used in petroleum engines without any changes to the system. For now, they both have drawbacks.

One, called the Fischer-Tropsch process, is used to convert coal, natural gas or biomass into fuels. But the side effect is high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, said James Bartis, an energy researcher at the RAND Corporation think tank who has analyzed the Pentagon's alternative fuel effort.

Alternatively, lipids and fatty acids produced by animals and plants can be treated with hydrogen in a refinery process similar to that used for oil to produce fuel, Bartis said.

Camelina seeds, rendered chicken fat and algae oils are some substances currently being used in this process, and they produce a very clean-burning fuel, Bartis said.

The problem, he said, is that most of the seed- and animal-based oils cannot be produced at the scales the Pentagon needs.

The United States consumes about 19 million barrels of oil per day, with the Pentagon using about 321,000 barrels per day in 2011. Bartis estimated maximum fuel production using chicken fat would be about 30,000 barrels per day, while camelina seed might eventually produce 40,000 to 50,000 barrels daily.

"That's a drop in the bucket," he said. "It's a dead end. You can't make much."

He said algae appeared to offer the best potential for large-scale production, but current efforts were aimed at genetically modifying algae to be more efficient.

"It's not a tomorrow problem," he said. "It's a decade away."


The Navy disagrees. Instead of focusing on one feedstock, it is pursuing an all-of-the-above approach, open to using any biofuel that meets its specifications, regardless of whether it is produced with seed oil, animal fat or woody biomass.

"We need to pursue all the ones that seem to have promise to be able to deliver for us," said Tom Hicks, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for energy. "What we're trying to say is if it can meet the criteria that we have ... then we're an interested buyer. And so that leaves open a whole range of opportunities."

So far the Navy has used fuels based on algae, camelina, agricultural waste oils and food waste oils, Hicks said in an interview. Municipal solid waste could be an option at some point, as could woody biomass, he said.

He said researchers estimate that some biofuels could be cost-competitive before the end of the decade once they move to large-scale production.

A Defense Department study conducted with LMI consulting last year noted the Pentagon could take steps, like long-term contracting, that would speed up creation of a competitive biofuels market by providing certainty to growers and helping manufacturers gain access to capital to build refineries.

"Although DoD has requested 20-year contracting authority, similar commercial industry efforts have suggested that even 10 years would represent the tipping point for more mature renewable fuel producers to obtain financing to build the necessary infrastructure and plants," the report said.

Some industry participants believe Mabus is correct in asserting that the Navy's purchasing clout and other powers can be used to create a breakthrough in the biofuels industry that will eventually lead to competitive pricing.

"We've actually looked at that precise question and we believe they can in fact create that market," said Dr. Ray Johnson, a senior vice president at Lockheed Martin, which is looking at investing in the Navy's proposals.

Mabus remains undeterred in his pursuit of alternative fuel.

The Navy has been at the forefront of energy innovation for over a hundred years, Mabus says, transitioning from sail, to coal, to oil and then to nuclear from the 1850s to the 1950s.

"Every single time there were naysayers," he said recently. "And every single time, every single time, those naysayers have been wrong, and they're going to be wrong again this time."

(Editing by Warren Strobel and Eric Walsh; Desking by Cynthia Osterman)


  1. Besides wasting money, succumbing to political correctness, kissing political asses, creating jobs for useless and redundant general officers, procuring absurd weapon systems and getting in the way of actual fighting which is all done at the regional command level, why do we even need the Pentagon?

  2. Caught a few minutes of Mark Levin last night. Heard the best line about the Supreme Court and Roberts. Levin was wound tight talking about the idiot Republicans and so-called conservatives talking about “the silver lining" in the Roberts decision on Obamacare.

    “Silver lining, what silver lining. There was a silver lining in the Hindenberg.”

    1. Caught that also. Broadcast from the bunker, deep below a nondescript brick and steel building, somewhere on a mean street in some major city.


  3. .

    In its tanks, the USNS Henry J. Kaiser carried nearly 900,000 gallons of biofuel blended with petroleum to power the cruisers, destroyers and fighter jets of what the Navy has taken to calling the "Great Green Fleet," the first carrier strike group to be powered largely by alternative fuels.

    This says it all in my opinion.

    I have no problem with them spending 'millions' to develop a new technology. Hell, I saw yesterday that the F-22 (at the reduced levels they are buying) now costs about $150-$180 million a pop with one estimate putting the true per plane cost at $400 million. This for a plane that has been around for a decade and never flown in combat and one that has been grounded for safety reason on more than one occasion due to design problems with the pilot/plane interface.

    However, calling this program "The Great Green Fleet" instead of just going about their business and developing the alternative fuel is just one more example of how the program is being politicized. One wonders which is the bigger goal, energy independence or politics.


  4. We had a great green fleet. They were called “clipper ships.” One of the last great clippers is docked in Philadelphia. It is a massive steel hulled four-masted Barque of 3,200 tons gross, was built by
    William Hamilton & Co., Glasgow, Scotland in 1904 for the G.J.H. Siemers Co. of Hamburg , Germany. Originally launched as the KURT, this state of the art sailing ship was the finest and latest of man's achievements in the world's shipbuilding industry.

    The vessel has a length of 335 feet at the waterline, a beam of 47 feet and a depth of hold 28. She was heavily constructed and sparred for the long and arduous passage around Cape
    Horn. When World War I broke out, Siemers ordered the Kurt to remain in port (Astoria, Oregon) for the duration to be safe from British cruisers. When the United States entered the war , the Kurt was appropriated by the U.S. Government. The Kurt was first renamed the Dreadnought and then the Moshulu by Mrs. Woodrow Wilson. The Moshulu sailed under the American flag until 1935 when she was bought by Gustaf Erickson. It was under Gustaf Erickson's ownership that she took part in the famous "grain races" of the 1930's. After a passage from Buenos Aires in 1939, the Moshulu lay in Kristiansand, Norway, a nation that was occupied by Nazi forces. In November of 1942, she was towed to Oslo fjord and at the orders of the German military command was rigged down.

    It is now a restaurant on the Delaware River at Penn’s landing in Philadelphia.

  5. Ironically the wind powered ship was originally used to haul coal.

  6. Another example of civil disobedience of the left: They simply ignore laws they do not like. When will we learn and really teach them a lesson?

    Federal immigration authorities have begun granting tentative legal status to illegal immigrants under President Obama’s deportation halt — and in some cases are even ignoring the administration’s eligibility rules to stop deportations for those who shouldn’t qualify, according to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

    Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, said he’s learned some illegal immigrants who have been in the US less than five years have had their deportations canceled, even though Mr. Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano had listed the five-year mark as one of their criteria.

    Mr. Smith also obtained documents laying out how US Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) officers should actively search for illegal immigrants who are “apparently eligible” to have their cases dropped. Those illegal immigrants then would be granted tentative status.

    “President Obama is granting amnesty to illegal immigrants behind Americans’ backs,” Mr. Smith said. “Although administration officials told congressional offices that it would take 60 days to implement the president’s amnesty plan, internal ICE documents show that illegal immigrants have already benefited from it, even though there are no standards in place.”

    1. .

      Mr. Smith also obtained documents laying out how US Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) officers should actively search for illegal immigrants who are “apparently eligible” to have their cases dropped. Those illegal immigrants then would be granted tentative status.

      Merely being proactive.

      Reminds me of the case of Ramos and Campean who shot a Mexican drug smuggler in the ass as he was trying to escape. The justice department sent agents to track the smuggler down in Mexico, not to extract any kind of punishment but rather to grant him amnesty and a temporary visa to come back to the US and testify against the agents.

      Congressmen Ted Poe and John Culberson indicated that the Department of Homeland Security lied to them about the case when it indicated that it had evidence that the agents "plotted and conspired that day to go out and shoot" Mexicans. Richard Skinner, Inspector General of DHS, apologized to the congressmen for misleading them.[6]

      Trust Me. I'm From the Government and I'm Here to Help.


  7. Sounds like Rufus has finally made Admiral, to me.


  8. If it gets any colder here we will have snow tomorrow the 4th for the second time in my lifetime.


  9. First stop: Amnesty Second stop: voter registration.

  10. Get used to Obama. Romney's campaign strategist Eric Fehrnstrom, decided it would be a good idea to go on MSNBC. Why? What kind of strategy is that ? Where is the upside? Nice going Mitt.

    1. The problem is, as Rick Santorum said, Mitt Romney is the worst candidate to be running for the Republican party for President. .

      Now we see why.

  11. When even Rupert thinks you're an amateur...

    "The governor believes that what we put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty and he disagrees with the court's ruling that the mandate was a tax," Fehrnstrom said on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown.

    Asked by MSNBC's Chuck Todd if Romney agrees with Obama "that you should not call the tax penalty a tax, you should call it a penalty or a fee or a fine," Fehrnstrom responded: "That's correct."

    The remarks by Fehrnstrom bring into focus what News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdock has said:
    "Mitt Romney needs a better team around him."

  12. The Military commissioned a study in 2010, I think it was, that concluded that global oil supplies were going to take a big hit around 2015.

    I think the Republicans are losing their damned minds.

  13. China Quadruples its 2015 Solar Energy Target.

    There goes those damned Chinese, being P.C., again


    The bastards are trying to steal the election from Charlie.


  15. U.S. sends Ships, Planes to Persian Gulf amid Tensions

    As I Was Saying


    EPA drones up in midwestern skies protecting the privacy of farmers/ranchers.


  17. Who needs solar when the big bad fossil fuel companies have the price of natural gas down to the point where the utilities company here is petitioning our Public Utilities Commission to no longer be forced to offer the discount for energy saving furnaces? And the recent wind storm and cloud cover has not interrupted the natural gas power supply?


  18. The bad news concerning the ObamaEconomy is so bad now that more bad news is beginning to seem like good news --

    One can only hope things get worse, it seem.


  19. I give up; you can't fix stupid.

    1. I knew you'd rise to a Royal Coachman. heh

      Solar Trust of America Joins the List of Bankrupt Solar Companies

      like +6 (0) dislike
      Comments (0)

      By Stephanie Ginter
      Thursday, April 5th, 2012

      California-based Solar Trust of America filed for insolvency this week after its German parent company – Solar Millennium AG – filed for bankruptcy in December.

      This is bad news for U.S. solar in particular because Solar Trust's Blythe Solar Power Project – set to be the world's biggest solar project, capable of powering 300,000 homes across America - operations have been stopped before they even started.

      Solar Trust of America has been added to the lengthy list of renewable energy companies that have filed for bankruptcy in the last year. In the U.S. alone, Energy Conversion Devices Inc., lithium-ion battery manufacturer Ener1 Inc., and solar panel maker Solyndra LLC have all gone under.

      In 2005, Germany issued feed-in tariffs to spark growth and support the fledgling industry, mainly funded by taxpayer dollars. But after installations of solar panels wildly surpassed projected annual targets and the prices of solar panels dropped, the government introduced subsidy cutbacks to limit the impact on energy consumers and potentially make solar power more affordable, which it failed to do.

      While Germany previously dominated the collective movement toward alternative energy, hasty decisions to reduce once-generous aid and above market prices put Germany back on the ground, no longer soaring above the competition, but one among low-cost contenders. Such drastic cuts have plunged the solar market into enormous debt, the epitome of “too much too soon."

      Foreshadowed in Bloomberg BusinessWeek in late February, the demise of German solar manufacturers, including Solarhybrid, Q-Cells SE, Conergy, and Solon, should come as no surprise.

      Proponents of the renewable energy industry are unwaveringly, and perhaps prematurely, committed to creating a green-powered economy, which is all well and good, but the growing list of failed energy companies is a red flag that such an ideological agenda needs a harsh reality check.

      Until next time,



  20. I'm in the process of designing a new wet fly called The Solar Sinker for use in slow moving pools filled with the most thoughtless fish. It's real shiny and it attracts them and they think it's some kind of 'real deal meal'.


  21. At one point the number of small garages building cars was over a thousand, if I'm not mistaken. In 2009 only ONE was left solvent. Does that mean the automobile business was a bad idea?

    Get a freakin' grip, people. We're in the middle of the all-time peaking of Oil Production. This is Not a good thing.

    We're probably only a few years away from "peak coal." Nat gas is getting way over-hyped. The largest "shale gas" play in the U.S. (the Barnett Shale) has peaked, and the Haynesville is right on its heels.

    In short, this milk shake is about half gone, and now China, and some others are sticking some more pretty large straws in the glass.

    Try to think beyond your next fill-up. This shit could start getting serious pdq.

  22. Which are the 5 worst "oil piggies" (states with the highest oil/energy ratio) in the Eurozone?

    Greece - numero uno, babee.





    Chart - worst to best

    1. Golly, those are the economic basket cases of the EU, the ones the folks at FOX News continually tell me the US is following.

      Lord have mercy!

    2. The last paragraph:

      These observations also show where the PIIGS have to work to become competitive economies. Energy Policy cannot target solely the Electricity sector, a serious Programme is needed to reform - revolutionize - the Transport Sector. Road transport has to be re-equated at large: either true alternatives to the present internal combustion engine show up or it simply has to be phased out. Starting with freight (where the impact on daily life is minimal), governments could concentrate on promoting rail and maritime modes, instead of putting up ever more tax and toll cuts to hauliers. PIIGS have also to reconsider their Industrial fabric, that may be too leaning on the Service sector. The Manufacturing Industry has to regain its proper role, perhaps taking advantage of business opportunities in alternative energy and efficiency, and together with Agriculture, increase the overall value per freight-km travelled.

      Easier said...

      What's radical about this last paragraph is not simply the reference to "Industrial Policy" (gasp) but to the next level - that of "programs" not unlike the Manhattan Project.

      The "free markets" aren't cutting the mustard, apparently, during times of transition.

    3. I meant to add another (gasp) to that last sentence.

    4. It seems, it takes a truly "upper quintile" thinker to not realize that the more dependent your economy is on oil, the more it will be hurt by rising oil prices. :)

  23. Some spinoff from the big bad oil companies and their knowledge -

    Doggerland - the real heart of Europe....once upon a time.


  24. As part of the deal, the U.S. is also expected to transfer more than $1 billion in military aid that had been frozen, a first installment on arrears which Islamabad says Washington owes.

    U.S. officials said the closure of supply routes through Pakistan was having no effect on day-to-day U.S. operations in Afghanistan but acknowledged that it would eventually complicate withdrawal plans.

    The U.S. will need to transport huge amounts of equipment out of Afghanistan as it pulls out before the end of 2014. U.S. officials say land routes through Pakistan will be the easiest and cheapest way to do that.

  25. By the end of the day, the Romney campaign sought to portray the episode as an example of Obama’s hypocrisy. “The Supreme Court left President Obama with two choices: the federal individual mandate in Obamacare is either a constitutional tax or an unconstitutional penalty,” said spokesperson Andrea Saul, in a press release.

    “Governor Romney thinks it is an unconstitutional penalty. What is President Obama’s position: is his federal mandate unconstitutional or is it a tax?”

    It’s a question that the Court already answered.

  26. On the claims regarding "unauthorised" sea charts, Costa Cruises said "the ship was equipped with all the paper and electronic nautical charts needed to complete the voyage planned… but what is most worth remembering is that the ship should never have been sailing so close to the coast".

    Francesco Schettino, the vessel's captain, is being investigated for multiple manslaughter and abandoning ship before all of the 4,229 passengers and crew. Eight others, including three executives from Costa Cruises, are under investigation.

    Operations to remove the shipwreck began in June and are expected to take up to a year to complete. The results of technical analysis will be revealed at a court hearing on July 21.

  27. "Obamacare is not, as one judge says, a national solution to a problem," argues James V. DeLong. "It's 2,000 pages...of special-interest-written law."

    As such, it exemplifies what DeLong, a long-time Washington insider who has worked for many think tanks and government agencies, denounces as "Big SIS" or the "special-interest state."

  28. Homeland Security Report Lists ‘Liberty Lovers’ As Terrorists

    Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty” deemed domestic threat

    Paul Joseph Watson
    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    A new study funded by the Department of Homeland Security characterizes Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.

    Entitled Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970-2008 (PDF), the study was produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland. The organization was launched with the aid of DHS funding to the tune of $12 million dollars.

    While largely omitting Islamic terrorism - the report fails completely to mention the 1993 World Trade Center bombing – the study focuses on Americans who hold beliefs shared by the vast majority of conservatives and libertarians and puts them in the context of radical extremism.

    The report takes its definitions from a 2011 study entitled Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism, produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, in which the following characteristics are used to identify terrorists.

    - Americans who believe their “way of life” is under attack;

    - Americans who are “fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”;

    - People who consider themselves “anti-global” (presumably those who are wary of the loss of American sovereignty);

    - Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority”;

    - Americans who are “reverent of individual liberty”;

    - People who “believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.”

    The report also lists people opposed to abortion and “groups that seek to smite the purported enemies of God and other evildoers” as terrorists.

    As we have exhaustively documented on numerous occasions, federal authorities and particularly the Department of Homeland Security have been involved in producing a deluge of literature which portrays liberty lovers and small government advocates as terrorists.

    The most flagrant example was the infamous 2009 MIAC report, published by the Missouri Information Analysis Center and first revealed by Infowars, which framed Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, people who display bumper stickers, people who own gold, or even people who fly a U.S. flag, as potential terrorists.

    The rush to denounce legitimate political beliefs as thought crimes, or even mundane behaviors, by insinuating they are shared by terrorists, has accelerated in recent months.

    Under the FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism program, the bulk purchase of food is labeled as a potential indication of terrorist activity, as is using cash to pay for a cup of coffee, and showing an interest in web privacy when using the Internet in a public place.

    As we have documented on numerous occasions, the federal government routinely characterizes mundane behavior as extremist activity or a potential indicator of terrorist intent. As part of its ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign, the Department of Homeland Security educates the public that generic activities performed by millions of people every day, including using a video camera, talking to police officers, wearing hoodies, driving vans, writing on a piece of paper, and using a cell phone recording application,” are all potential signs of terrorist activity.

    The DHS stoked controversy last year when it released a series of videos to promote the See Something, Say Something campaign in which almost all of the terrorists portrayed in the PSAs were white Americans.


    Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.


    1. Anybody here fit the profile?


    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. The irony is rich. The Republicans go into a screeching, hissy-fit over the Navy testing biofuels on the same day that the "fleet" sails for the Persian Gulf to try to dissuade the Iranians from cutting the world's oil supply.

    That Koch money runs strong.

    1. I'd suggest they power up with rape seed oil. We grow that here.



    2. And man o man do the deer love those rape seed fields, in the fall and early spring.

      Rape seed for deer, black winter peas for pigeons. You will have all you can handle.


  30. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 jumped 1% on continued hopes that the European Central Bank will cut its key interest rate later this week. Adding to investor expectations, May producer prices in the euro zone were up 2.3% from the same month a year ago, the smallest year-over-year increase since March 2010.


    Spain's IBEX 35 index rose 1.3% as jobless claims in the country fell 2.1% in June, the third consecutive monthly drop.

    Asian markets were mostly higher, with Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rising 0.7% and China's Shanghai Composite adding 0.1%. Australia's S&P ASX 200 eased 0.1%, after the country's central bank left its key interest rate unchanged.

  31. On this day in 1985, the science-fiction hit movie “Back to the Future” was released in movie theaters.

  32. Indeed, a Newsweek/Daily Beast poll, taken after the ruling, asked whether likely voters approve or disapprove of Obama’s handling of “the economy,” “foreign policy,” “health care,” “the federal budget deficit,” and “creating jobs.” Of these headline issues, Obama gets by far the worst ratings on health care. Take a look:

    Obama’s net approval rating by issue:

    Health care: minus-21 points (37 percent approve, 58 percent disapprove)
    The deficit: minus-10 points (44 percent approve, 54 percent disapprove)
    “Creating jobs”: minus-6 points (46 percent approve, 52 percent disapprove)
    The economy: minus-2 points (47 percent approve, 49 percent disapprove)
    Foreign policy: +1 point (48 percent approve, 47 percent disapprove)

  33. The two-hour Q&A session in the formal, two-tiered conference room at IET was more like a raucous girl's night in, with the audience giving EL James – real name Erika Leonard – a standing ovation as she sat down to talk about her inspiration for the characters, and the "kinky-f*ckery" that populates her fiction.


    Many asked how close she got to her subject matter, while some wanted to send thanks from their husbands for improving their sex lives. One woman stood up to say "My 82-year-old granny read it and now she's as horny as hell."

    James said she would be doing more events as the over-heated audience formed a queue to have their free copy of the book signed by her. The party for James's erotica fans, it seems, has only just begun.

  34. The green warship would seem to be a long way off, then. But at least the Royal Navy might enjoy a bit of freedom from oil imports out of this; the UK currently grows large amounts of rapeseed.



    Colorado Wildfire Photos


  36. Best and Worst Presidents according to poll --

    33. (tie) Andrew Johnson, -2 points (0 percent place in top-2, 2 percent place in bottom-2)
    33. (tie) Warren G. Harding, -2 points (0 percent place in top-2, 2 percent place in bottom-2)
    33. (tie) Calvin Coolidge, -2 points (0 percent place in top-2, 2 percent place in bottom-2)
    36. (tie) Lyndon B. Johnson, -3 points (1 percent place in top-2, 4 percent place in bottom-2)
    36. (tie) Gerald Ford, -3 points (1 percent place in top-2, 4 percent place in bottom-2)
    38. Herbert Hoover, -4 points (0 percent place in top-2, 4 percent place in bottom-2)
    39. George H.W. Bush, -9 points (4 percent place in top-2, 13 percent place in bottom-2)
    40. Jimmy Carter, -20 points (5 percent place in top-2, 25 percent place in bottom-2)
    41. Richard Nixon, -24 points (2 percent place in top-2, 26 percent place in bottom-2)
    42. Barack Obama, -25 points (11 percent place in top-2, 36 percent place in bottom-2)
    43. George W. Bush, -39 points (4 percent place in top-2, 43 percent place in bottom-2)

    Note: there are only 43 (rather than 44) presidents because Grover Cleveland (who tied for 25th) was both our 22nd and 24th president.

    The best President?

    O, oh --Abraham Lincoln


  37. The Chinese are building ghost cities for their future American slaves, whom they call 'white ghosts'?

    This is startling indeed. I'd almost rather live in Detroit, though it is a close call.

    Sprouting up all over, even in Mongolia.

    Inscrutable, they are.


    1. (((((((((((Agenda 21))))))))))


  38. Christ, I ask “where is Romney?”

    Mitt is on a jet ski.

    1. :)

      I saw that.

      Looking not bad too.

      If I had the opportunity, I'd prefer to wind surf. That looks like a hoot.

    2. I thought he had gone horse back riding. He has sent me two pictures of his RINO self, both times standing in front of a barn.