“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, August 14, 2012

What happens as water resources become depleted?

Fotolia_1060323 Jaroslav Machacek - Fotolia 2006


'Groundwater used faster than it can replenish'

A new study has revealed that almost a quarter of the world's population lives in places where groundwater is being used up far too quickly. DW spoke to Dr. Marc Bierkens, a professor of hydrology at Utrecht University.
DW: Professor Bierkins, could you tell us what groundwater is and why we should be concerned about it.
Marc Bierkens: Groundwater is the water that is stored in the pores and fissures of the geological formations below the ground. If you dig a hole in the western part of the Netherlands, within one meter you will find that the hole will fill with water - that's groundwater.
Has it recently arrived or is it water that has been there for a long time?
That differs, depending on where you are. If you are tapping shallow groundwater in my country, the Netherlands, it might be a few months to a few years old. But if you go to the Sahara, they have actually found water there that has been dated up to a million years old. So, it is quite variable, but on average it's a little older than the water you find in the rivers. It's preferred for drinking water because it's usually much safer and much cleaner than surface water, and less bound to be polluted.
Farmer in West Bengal, India, pump groundwater to water their crops. The rise of groundwater irrigation in South Asia has put control of water in the hands of farmers and helped many improve their income and livelihoods. However the downside is overexploitation of the resource resulting in a rapid decline of water tables. Photo credit : Aditi Mukerji
Irrigating crops with groundwater has improved production on Indian farms, but the region's water tables are declining
Why is it cleaner than the other water available?
A lot of that water has travelled through the soil… there is air, sand grains and fissures. The water slowly percolates through that, sort like a sponge. And it is being filtered before it reaches the actual groundwater body.
Looking at your findings, can you tell us what you've discovered?
We looked at groundwater-carrying layers all over the world, these are called aquifers. For each aquifer, we checked how much rainwater percolates down to the groundwater per year. We also worked out how much water was extracted from the ground. If there is more water extracted than replaced, you are depleting those resources. It's like taking more money out of your bank account than you earn.
Indian farmer in a field. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
Groundwater is being tapped in areas with low rainfall
Your study shows that some regions are headed for real trouble if action isn't taken right away. Can you give me an example of a place where the problem is particularly bad?
The area that really stands out is north-western India and north-eastern Pakistan. Other areas are north-eastern China, the central United States, the central valley of California, places in Mexico and Saudi Arabia and Iran. Those are the hotspots of the world.
Can you tell us more about the situation in India?
In India, the western part is quite dry during the growing season. Now I have to explain, this area is tropical. There used to be just one growing season there in the past, only during the rainy season. But they figured out how to irrigate there so they are taking water from surface water, but also from groundwater and use it to irrigate crops.
Corn stalks on a dry US farm. (Foto:Seth Perlman/AP) / Eingestellt von wa
Farmers in the US are redirecting surface water into the aquifers to prevent catastrophic shortages
This means they can have two, sometimes three harvests per year. They can do that by continually irrigating those crops - including during dry periods. So you see an extension of irrigated areas and that's all driven by population growth.
Population numbers have soared in those areas. There's not enough surface water - not enough water in rivers and lakes - to supply them. So they have been taking it out of the groundwater. With this, they slowly entered a situation of overuse. There are areas there where the groundwater tables are dropping more than a meter a year.
Looking at the situation here in Europe, what were your findings in this part of the world?
Here the situation is quite different. If you talk about Germany and the Netherlands, this is an area where, on average, there is much more precipitation than evaporation. So, we have high rates of groundwater recharge. On average, we have sufficient groundwater to feed our needs. We also don't need to irrigate our crops so much because we have enough rainfall.
But there are other parts of Europe, not as severe as India, but look at south-eastern Spain, where there is not much rainfall. It's quite dry. They have been using groundwater as well, to irrigate crops. That has also led to groundwater depletion. Other areas include the lower parts of the Danube, Romania and Bulgaria. There you have irrigated crops that use groundwater. And, at least in the summer, much more groundwater is pumped up there than recharges during that period. So, there you also have some problems with groundwater depletion.
Olive grove landscape.  (Photo by JMN/Cover/Getty Images)
New legislation in Spain protects the groundwater from exploitation
What about places where they were using their groundwater in ways that were not sustainable, but are now meeting demand without overusing available resources?
In the southeast of Spain, legislation has come into place to limit the extraction rights of farmers, which means they have to start growing crops that are much less dependent on water. In the central United States, in the high plains or the Ogallala aquifer, they've been working on recharge projects. They have been redirecting surface water into those aquifers, thereby increasing groundwater recharge. That has reversed the decline of water tables, at least in the northern part of that aquifer.
Dr. Marc Bierkens is a professor of hydrology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He is a co-author on the report 'Water balance of global aquifers revealed by groundwater footprint' along with with Tom Gleeson of McGill University in Montreal.
Interview: Saroja Coelho
Editor: Mark Hallam
Source: DW


  1. Increased levels of a radioactive form of hydrogen found at Nine Mile Nuclear Station pose no health risks to workers or the public, according to a company spokeswoman.

    Constellation Energy Nuclear Group spokeswoman Jill Lyon said Tuesday that elevated levels of tritium were found in a water sample from inside unit 1 at the Scriba plant.


    In 2011 The Associated Press reported that 48 of 65 nuclear plants in the United States, including the FitzPatrick facility in Scriba, leaked tritium into groundwater from buried piping.

    1. Article on Scriba, NY Tritium Leak:

  2. One Crisis at a time, ok? :)

    This only becomes a problem if you think the human race might survive Another 50 years, or so.

  3. If I were wont to worry about the "next" crisis (after peak oil, of course) :), I'd probably figure "phosphorous" would be the next big worry. Without phosphorous (fertilizer) there won't be nearly as many people rummaging around in the water supplies.

  4. I read, somewhere, once, that the stream of fresh water from the Amazon River extends as far as 200 miles out into the Atlantic.

  5. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and several potential responsible companies began drilling in nearby Burbank last week--with plans to also drill in Glendale-- and test the ground water for hexavalent chromium.


    The agency has not tested the water in particular areas of Glendale, Burbank and along the Los Angeles River, near the Golden State (5) Freeway. (See the EPA map of current or potential locations for drilling), Lisa Hanusiak of the EPA told Patch.

    Ten aerospace businesses could be potentially responsible for contamination in local ground water, she said.

  6. Here we drink 20,000 year old melt from the last ice age....filtered many miles out of the mountains, very deep underground, pure as good angel purity.

    The statements that the aquifer is dropping are incorrect. Guy I know in the Water Department, who runs the deepest well, assures me it is not dropping at all - only the shallow wells are dropping a bit.

    "deeper Grande Rhonde aquifer (mainly basalts) - water is 10,000-20,000 years old; currently may not be receiving recharge"

    We think it is receiving discharge.

    The land for this well was donated to the City by those slimiest of creatures, those takers, my ancestors. I was there when they finally hit water, that day.

    Mother was so happy. No washing clothes in yellow water any more!

    A street has been named for this situation, using a combo of the Nez Perce words for water, and deep underground.

    If we had to, we could pump water 30 miles from the Snake or Clearwater, but it will never come to that.

    1. Clarification: the water in our punch hole of the Grand Rhonde aquifer dropped a matter of a few feet when first put in use, but then rose a little and stabilized, and hasn't dropped an inch since, according to my Water Department source, who is really on top of that particular subject.

  7. Idaho is blessed with water resources. There is a lot of water out in the dry lands in the Snake River plain, for instance. From the Snake, and seepage out of the Idaho batholith.

  8. Doctor shortage looms -

    "Are you having trouble finding a doctor who will see you? If not, give it another year and a half. A doctor shortage is on its way."

    At least around here you'll still be able to get that cool drink of fresh water before you expire.

  9. My grandparents used to live in Otis Orchards in the 70's. Growing up as a kid, I used to spend the summers there. The very best water I have ever had in my entire life. Clean, cold, and fresh straight out of the tap. So good it burns into your memory forever.

    Man, that's good stuff.

    1. Yup, good stuff.

      Where ever you live, Sam, seems the best of surroundings.

      Melbourne, Australia Named Best City In The World To Live...

  10. I'm in Adelaide. 9 1/2 hour drive west (and slightly north) of Melbourne.

  11. Melbourne's a cool town alright. Been there lots of times. I could live there easily.

  12. Do you know where the water sources are for those Australian cities?

  13. Reservoirs. Capture the runoff from the hills.

  14. In Adelaide, in addition to reservoirs, we get it piped in from the Murray River about 50 miles to the east.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Of course, you knew this was coming, does the Murray River have any fish in it?

    New Zealand is a paradise for that, but it's looking like for me it will have to be some other life before I wet a leader there.

    1. .

      Is that a sexual reference Commando?


    2. Only in your twisted urban degenerate foul mind, my man.

    3. I'm truly surprised that back when you owned the company you didn't bring out some fraudulent SoulsRUs Pure Ice Age Mineral Health Water, Quirk.

      But, you had obviously lost your touch by the time you came crying to me.

      "Nurse my baby back to health, Bob, paleeezee" whimpering like a puppy.

    4. .

      Sorry, Bob, I can't talk to you on this subject. I received a tear-stained letter from your wife and daughter pleading with me to stop all communication with you on the subject of Souls-R-Us. The letter was sent to our corporate offices in CT.

      The letter indicated that although they now have you locked up again in your double-wide horse trailer they still grant you access (actually monitored access) to the computer and the net. They indicate that even in your disabled and disoriented state you are able to access the net using a few simple keystrokes and the color-coded keys your daughter has set up for you. Similar to how they teach monkeys to communicate I would imagine.

      They indicate that while you often forget your name and how to access the net or use Google, it ususally only takes a small effort on your daughter's part to get you back on. They then went on to explain that while the net acts as a pacifier for you and a harmless outlet for your aggression, whenever the subject of Sould-R-Us comes up it reminds you of your fall from grace that started there with your firing for stealing restroom supplies and you transform into an uncontrollable, drooling, delusionary, nit.

      They have tried taking away your computer altogether but then your mania becomes more pronounced and is evident as you start talking to an imaginary pack of squirrels or withdraw in fear into the corner shouting, "The wolves. The wolves."

      Therefore, your wife and daughter indicated that while they realize my heart is pure and that I was merely trying to help you, they would prefer that I did not bring up the subject of Souls-R-Us in direct conversation with you again. They further indicate it would be best for you and that it would make their lives so much easier.

      I can only comply.

      Best of luck to you, big boy. Don't let the wolves get you.


  17. Yep, lots of different kinds of fish in the Murray but mainly cod and callop. Cod can grow up 250 lbs. Callop is kinda like a perch.

  18. New Zealand's got way better fishing.

  19. Nevada is interesting, water wise. Used to be lakes in all those dry to the bone now valleys, monster animals, and.....people. Climate changed, animals died out, people moved south, south east and south west it seems.

  20. Hmm, I've never acutally fished for Murray Cod but just looking around on the net has got my interest sparked a little bit.

    You should come down, Bob. We'll give it a whirl. Take the kayak out.

    1. I would love too, got to make mo money first.

  21. Ethanol supporters don't seem to care much if children die -

    - as long as they can drive to the fast food joint on any whim.

    1. Even the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has requested a suspension of America's ethanol program, but Obama refuses to act. Presumably, he refuses to act because ethanol producers contribute a great deal to his campaign. lists 21 industry groups associated with biofuels supporting Obama. Yet the Obama campaign, which has attacked Mitt Romney for his connection of 13 years ago with Bain Capital, has never been forthcoming as to how much it is now receiving from biofuel lobbyists. Suffice it to say he has given them everything they asked for, including support for raising current ethanol additive limits from 10% to 15%.

      Read more:

      Obama doesn't even care about his own brother living in a dilapidated hut in Kenya. Does anyone think he gives a rat's behind about all the rest of the people in Africa? They can't vote for him, so he doesn't care. Obama has not an ounce of empathy in him.

    2. flamewarrior7
      Old people will have medical care withheld from them under Obamacare. Millions die from ethanol production. How many more have to die? Maybe Obama is a Malthusian? Maybe depopulating the human race has begun? Are we to be rounded up and slaughtered? Who knows with Obama. Liberal Elites are killers. What did Prince whomever from England say? He said he wants to be reincarnated as a virus to kill as many humans as possible. Did he mean that he wishes he was the HIV virus? Who really knows with Liberal Elites? Which of us are seen as expendable and untouchable? Who is next?

    3. Obama In '09 Pledged To VETO Attempts To Undo Medicare CUTS...

  22. Jeanne+T.
    I'll be adding a Romney/Ryan bumper sticker to my car as soon as it comes in the mail. I also plan to get a sign for the front. I'm also going to get one made at Cafe Press or another place where you can design your own that says "Reelecting 0bama is like backing up the Titanic a second time." At the moment I have two bumper stickers on my car; one reads "NO Sharia in America". The other one is from Purcellville Arms in Purcellville, VA, and it reads, "Today the voices told me to stay inside and clean the guns"

    That last is the bumper sticker I was thinking I had seen.

  23. This is why it was so dumb to try to route the XL pipeline through the Nebraska Sandhills (the only place in America the Ogallala Aquifer reaches the surface.

    The idea of risking a spill of just about the most toxic stuff in the world into an aquifer that spreads from the upper midwest all the way to Texas was crazy in spades.

    The XL is being built, as we speak, but it is being re-routed around the Sandhills.

  24. Power plants are a hidden casualty of droughts, says Barbara Carney of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Morgantown, West Virginia, because they are completely dependent on water for cooling and make up about half the water usage in the US. That makes them vulnerable in a heat wave. If water levels in the rivers that cool them drop too low, the power plant – already overworked from the heat – won't be able to draw in enough water. In addition, if the cooling water discharged from a plant raises already-hot river temperatures above certain thresholds, environmental regulations require the plant to shut down.

    At least four nuclear plants had to shut down in July for these reasons. Nationwide, nuclear generation is at its lowest in a decade, with the plants operating at only 93 per cent of capacity.

    Nuclear is the thirstiest power source. According to NETL, the average nuclear plant that generates 12.2 million megawatt hours of electricity requires far more water to cool its turbines than other power plants. Nuclear plants need 2725 litres of water per megawatt hour for cooling. Coal or natural gas plants need, on average, only 1890 and 719 litres respectively to produce the same amount of energy.

    Another good argument for Wind, and Solar.

    Speaking of Solar, California just had its first 1,000 Megawatt/Hr.

    Ca ISO

  25. .

    I just saw Romney's campaign manager on CNBC. What a slimebag.

    That's it for me. I won't be wasting any more time listening to either of these dicks between now and the election. I wouln't be voting for either of them anyway.

    When I do vote it will be either for the Libertarian or the NLP. At least with the NLP it may grant me the serenity to get through future election seasons.

    NLP Platform

    Among other things, the Natural Law Party proposed to:

    Establish a team of 1,000 yogic flyers. According to the party, such a group "dissolves collective stress, as indicated by significant reductions in crime, unemployment, sickness, and accidents, and improved economic indicators and quality of life". They would also provide an "invincible defence".

    Introduce daily Transcendental Meditation for all school students

    Lower taxes, as yogic flyers will supposedly increase prosperity, allowing the government to collect the same amount of money with a lower tax rate

    Ban genetic engineering, and encourage organic farming

    Controversial? Even nutz, you say? No more nutz than what we are being offered by the current bunch of whackjobs in D.C.


    1. I'm down with the yogic flyers. After all, they were said to have lowered the crime rate for a month in some large eastern city they were working on, maybe it was D.C.

      I must object to the 'encourage organic farming', though.

      It always sounds so good. My neighbor, a former county commissioner, got all excited about it, and made a big effort at a community garden for the young adults to learn techniques. Went tits up in a hurry, three or four years, now she is back to planting pine trees and such on their farm.

      Organic farming, if taken up on scale, would quickly starve to death 3/4ths of the country.

      Some might say this would be a good thing. I disagree.

      On the other hand, yogic flyers are said to be able to go a long long time on few calories, taking in prana from the air,

      (Prana (प्राण) is the Sanskrit for "vital life" (from the root '' "to fill", cognate to Latin...)

      so if the entire country took up yflying, we might just squeak through.....

    2. "Ban genetic engineering"

      Terrible idea.

      Just the opposite, we need a copy to clone of your genome, Quirk, so future generations are able to reach the heights of your advancement.

  26. I can see why you find the NLP platform appealing, Quirk, but more on that later.

    Right now, Rufus, you really should be the first on your block to use on of these --

    "First place went to the California Institute of Technology for designing a solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen gas and electricity."

    Bill Gates kicks off search for toilet of the future --

    Some of these designs make fuel, clean the water, really amazing stuff.

    1. "Inventing new toilets is one of the most important things we can do to reduce child deaths and disease and improve people's lives," Gates said.

      "It is also something that can help wealthier countries conserve fresh water for other important purposes besides flushing."

  27. Jumpin Joe Biden. I think they may have gone just a little too deep with those hair implants.

  28. Glen Harland Reynolds:

    The 2008 Obama campaign was all about hope and change. Obama's nomination was to mark the end of rising sea levels, his presidency was going to mark the end of racial strife, and he was going to deliver "net spending cuts" and reduce the budget deficit "by half" before the end of his first term.

    The Obama administration sold its nearly trillion-dollar "stimulus" plan by claiming that without it, unemployment would reach 9 percent while with it, unemployment would stay below 8 percent. Despite the bill, unemployment hit 10 percent and has, in fact, remained more than 8 percent for the past 42 months. The "stimulus" money, meanwhile, seems to have vanished into a welter of crony-capitalism deals of which the Solyndra debacle is only the most famous.

    All that "hope and change" from the administration has turned to "attack and blame" as Obama and his surrogates launch one assault after another in an effort to turn the conversation to anything besides the economy. So much for the promised bright new day.

    With trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, and the exploding national debt (which Obama called unconscionable when it was about half as big as it has become under his stewardship), it seems time for a back-to-basics approach. That's clearly the direction favored by Romney, the turnaround artist who specialized in taking mismanaged entities and making them work. His choice of Ryan simply takes it to a new level. As Internet humorist IowaHawk tweeted Saturday: "Paul Ryan represents Obama's most horrifying nightmare: math."

    Yes, math. Ryan is the expert on the often Byzantine complexities of the federal budget. His budget proposal last year, though rejected by Democrats in the Senate, represented a serious effort to rein in runaway spending. The only cogent criticism, really, was that it didn't go far enough.

    In fact, the math shows our spending is unsustainable. Nothing can save it: not higher taxes, not lower interest rates on federal borrowing, not financial jiggery-pokery from the Fed.

    If we continue on this path, the result will be disaster: The United States will be Greece, but with nuclear weapons.

    Romney's selection of Ryan shows that he understands the dire nature of the problem and that he's serious about addressing it. But it also lays down a marker.

    If Americans take the future of their country seriously, they'll reject the Obama approach, which has been disastrous, and elect Romney-Ryan, along with a substantial number of fiscally conservative members of Congress. That will give America a chance to avoid financial ruin.

    But the back-to-basics approach has its risks. Though most Americans realize that our spending is irresponsible and unsustainable, there remain quite a few who aren't prepared to end it, at least if doing so might interfere with their ability to suck, unmolested, at the government teat. The Ryan choice leaves them certain of where Romney stands. Only some of them will be patriotic enough to vote against their own pocketbooks.

    But even if the Romney-Ryan ticket loses, it will have provided a valuable moment of clarity. If Obama is re-elected, there will be no doubt where the responsibility lies when the inevitable financial catastrophe occurs. Clarity, sometimes, has a value all its own.

  29. Glenn Harlan Reynolds, that is.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Ya know, in business, one looks to revenue growth AND cost cutting to address profit problems.

  30. When Republican Congressman Paul Ryan was asked at a town hall meeting in Waterford, WI, about the need to end subsidies to oil companies, he responded, "I agree." [1]

    But just one week later, Ryan voted to give Big Oil billions in taxpayer-funded handouts. [2]

    Now comes the shocking revelation that Congressman Ryan and his family are making thousands of dollars from oil companies that lease their land companies that stand to benefit from the same tax breaks Ryan is pushing.

    "Newsweek" and the "Daily Beast" reported recently on what appears to be Ryan's shocking conflict of interest:

    "The financial disclosure report Ryan filed with Congress last month and made public this week shows he and his wife, Janna, own stakes in four family companies that lease land in Texas and Oklahoma to the very energy companies that benefit from the tax subsidies in Ryan's budget plan.

    "Ryan's father-in-law, Daniel Little, who runs the companies, told Newsweek and The Daily Beast that the family companies are currently leasing the land for mining and drilling to energy giants such as Chesapeake Energy, Devon, and XTO Energy, a recently acquired subsidiary of ExxonMobil.

    "Some of these firms would be eligible for portions of the $45 billion in energy tax breaks and subsidies over 10 years protected in the Wisconsin lawmaker's proposed budget." [3]

    Not only has Ryan voted to give Big Oil companies like ExxonMobil billions in government handouts, but as the article notes he has also proposed a 2012 budget that also gives Big Oil billions in special tax breaks. [4] And as the point person on the budget for the Republican House leadership, Ryan has significant sway and influence on the congressional budget process.

  31. Now, back to the real world, Romney has defintely picked up two, or three points in the last couple of days.

    Whether he can keep them, I don't know, but if the election were held today it would be too close to call, with maybe a slight advantage to the pubs.

    1. Romney has, temporarily, at least, managed to completely nullify any expected Dem advantage from Ryan's Medicare Proposals.

      Flying down to Fl, and attacking Obama's Obamacare/Medicare cuts was pure genius. The best defense IS a strong offense.

    2. Yep.

      The man's no dummie.

      A lot of other things, in my opinion, but absolutely Not a dummie.

  32. Rufus, you too might still find political salvation, what worked for Davis might work for you:

    Former Obama campaign co-chair to stump for Romney
    Posted by
    CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser

    (CNN) - A former four-term Democratic congressman from Alabama and one time strong supporter of President Barack Obama will campaign for Mitt Romney Wednesday.

    A Romney campaign aide confirms to CNN that Artur Davis will stump for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in the battleground state of Virginia.

    Davis, who is black, may be best known for seconding Obama's nomination at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, when he served as an Obama campaign co-chairman. Davis said he had hoped Obama's presidency would make a huge dent in race relations, as well as move the Democratic Party further to the center.

    In 2010, Davis made an unsuccessful bid for governor of Alabama. In May he announced he was switching to the GOP, leaving the door open to a future political bid as a Republican.

    Davis said in June that he thinks his one time political party was becoming more unwelcoming towards Southern conservative Democrats.

    "I think the Obama administration has candidly gone too far to the left. You can raise all kinds of questions on whether that's good politics or not," Davis said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." "Obviously the election will determine that."

    The Romney campaign says Davis will team up with Virginia GOP Victory Chairman Pete Snyder and a local business owner at an event in Arlington.

    Buzz Feed was first to report on the Davis appearance at the Romney campaign event.

    1. No, Bob, you don't understand either. I think Romney is a tax-evading, crooked piece of shit (although, a smart, tax-evading, crooked piece of shit.)

      Ryan, is, in my estimation, a greatly over-rated fraud, and semi-crook.

      I think their election would be a very bad thing for our country. They might even put us in a Depression.

      Don't mistake my attempt to interpret reality as an endorsement of a crew that is against everything I believe.

    2. Don't mistake my attempt to interpret reality

      I won't, promise, promise.


  33. Joe Biden is REALLY on a roll. Today it is calling Representative Ryan "Governor Ryan" --

    Biden Refers to Ryan as ‘Governor’ -

    Yesterday he didn't know what century we are living in, the day before he didn't know where he was, tomorrow he may say something like "When I became President in 2008..."

  34. Biden totally unhinged -

    'The Crazy Uncle in the White House Attic' is one heartbeat away from the Presidency.

    Obama: Making Joe Biden Vice President was "The single best decision I have made" reported by CBS News back in 2010. At first blush, this seems like a ridiculous statement. Upon examination of Obama's subsequent record, it may be valid.

    That is the same Joe Biden that Charles Krauthammer (a psychiatrist) referred to as the "crazy uncle in the attic". His recent racist comment claiming Romney and Ryan will put people 'back in chains" is the latest gaffe. The White House stands behind the comments.

    Situation as serious as a heart attack on the White House basketball court.....

    If Obama is still snorting coke......

    We are living a nightmare......

    1. I just looked at it as an exercise in truthiness.

    2. Truthiness, fortitudiness, nobilitysomeness, righteousnessness, and tactty tactty, all qualities lacking in the dems.

  35. Gag must have it right, it must be something about those hair implants.

    Maybe the roots have grown deep down through the skull......

  36. Soon you won't even be able to afford McDonald's --

    Campaigning in Missouri Valley, Iowa, yesterday, President Obama announced yet another government spending program -- this time designed to inflate meat prices in Midwest swing states. "Today the Department of Agriculture announced that it will buy up to $100 million worth of pork products, $50 million worth of chicken, and $20 million worth of lamb and farm-raised catfish," Obama explained to reporters in front of a drought-stricken cornfield.

    "Prices are low, farmers and ranchers need help, so it makes sense," Obama explained. "It makes sense for farmers who get to sell more of their product, and it makes sense for taxpayers who will save money because we're getting food we would have bought anyway at a better price."

    None of this makes sense. In fact, Obama's move only harms American consumers while protecting a corrupt federal program.

    A drought is currently driving down corn production. The shortage of feed is forcing livestock producers to slaughter animals early, putting downward pressure on meat prices in the short run and guaranteeing shortages and higher prices next year. But nature is not the biggest factor in this crisis -- the government is. Specifically, the federal government's ethanol mandate, which requires that 13.2 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol be produced in 2012.

    Thanks to the ethanol mandate, more than 40 percent of the nation's corn crop now goes into the production of a useless fuel that hardly anyone would buy if the government didn't require it. That's up from just 17 percent in 2005, before the mandate went into effect. Only 36 percent of the corn crop now goes for feed, and 24 percent goes for food.

    Obama could solve this problem instantly by suspending the federal ethanol mandate -- something his EPA actually can do unilaterally and legally. Instead, Obama will buy up meat -- a move that meat producers say won't help them much anyway. "It doesn't solve the problem of having enough affordable corn next summer," industry analyst Steve Meyer told Reuters. "Without changing the ethanol program, nothing can be done," he said.

    It's all Obama's fault. If Obama had a son, the son would look a lot like Joe Biden.

    Big Mac Meal: New Super Saver Meal at only $12.99 + tax and soda cup charge, ketchup extra

    1. The cattle ranchers want to go back to the days when they paid $1.50 for $3.00 Corn, and the taxpayers picked up the rest.

      After allowing for the High Protein DDGS, we will actually use somewhere a little South of 25% for ethanol.

      The fact is, an extra 15 Million Acres got planted BECAUSE of Ethanol. So prices would be where they are now, anyway.

      Obama would drop the mandate in a heartbeat (it wouldn't make any difference, the blenders are overshooting the mandate as it is, due to the fact that ethanol is about $0.50/gal cheaper than the gasoline they would have to replace it with) but, it would look to some Iowans, and Buckeyes, that Obama was cavin' on them.

  37. Making a lot of money, having a lot of money is evil according to some on this blog.

  38. It depends, gag, on where that money came from ...
    and how the earning of it squares with policy positions.

    Mr Romney is a vulture capitalist, your governor, Rick Perry told me so.

    Mr Ryan decries Federal subsidies and handouts, while those have financed his life, making HIS family lots and lots of money.

    1. If a man uses his power and influence to guarantee that he will never have to pay taxes on his billions, while I have to sweat to pay the tax-man every year on my paltry little earnings it may not make him "evil," but it sure as hell makes him someone I'd like to have a couple of minutes alone with.

      I can't imagine supporting an asshole that wants to lower "his" taxes while "raising" mine.

    2. Then you will be able to understand only one of my objections to ObamaCare, Ruf, because it has a 'special tax' on guys that do a little developing, like me. While you scoot through 'tax free' in that regard. But, that's okeedokee, cause you ain't payin'.

    3. Why in hell should I be singled out to pay for Ruf's medical care?

    4. Oh, I forgot, Ruf is one of those who will be 'deleted early' so in his particular case there is no hypocrisy.

    5. Bob, if you and Gag will pay less taxes under Romney, then, by all means, vote for him (and, I won't say a word about it.)

      In fact, I intend to vote "my interest."

      It's just that I perceive MY interests, and serendipitously, the best interests of the country, will be best served if the Dems are elected. Simple as that.

  39. And your answer is Obama who has done nothing but skate thru his intire life On someone else's dime?

    1. No, the answer is Gary Johnson who built, from scratch, the largest construction company in New Mexico.

    2. If you want to vote for someone that signed an assault weapons ban and favors Federal mandates on individuals, go ahead.

      Myself, it is not going to happen. I will not vote for a l"Big Government" liberal Northeastern politico to be President of the US.
      Nor will I vote for a liberal Chi-town politico to fill the job.

      I will vote my conscience.
      In my heart, I know I'm right.

  40. To be sure, gold could yet have further to run. Additional quantitative easing in the U.S., or the euro zone's debt crisis worsening could reignite demand for gold and drive prices above $2,000 an ounce.

    Still, many miners worry they might end up with burned fingers again if the global economy turns down sharply again and prices surge.

    Hedging is "a very emotive issue" within the gold industry because of past losses, said Tim Schroeders, manager of a resources fund at Pengana Capital in Australia, which manages about $1 billion of assets. "But now emotions are getting in the way of common sense."

  41. Thinking about all this craparoo about money, and taxes, and subsidies, any Libertarians around here every support/vote for Ross Perot?

    1. Ross used his expertise at gaming the system as part of his resume, b.
      He did not decry Federalism, he said that NAFTA would create a "Giant Sucking Sound" as manufacturing jobs left the USA. He was correct, it did.

    2. I believe he was right on that, too, the rich son bitch.

    3. Some of my relatives voted for Ross. Thought he might be able to 'jump start the economy'.

  42. The tensions in Lebanon, whose politics and religion are intricately linked with that of Syria, come as the conflict there becomes increasingly sectarian. The flames have been fanned by a proxy battle between Sunni Arab states – led by Saudi Arabia and Qatar – who back the opposition on the one hand, and the Syrian Alawite regime, backed by Iran and the Lebanese Shia militia Hezbollah.

    The US has accused Iran of training militias to fight for the regime, a belief widely held by rebels, which has fuelled the sectarian kidnappings. The Iranian embassy came under attack by opposition forces yesterday as a fuel tanker exploded in a car park yards from a hotel where UN observers are staying.

    There was confusion over who was responsible, with conflicting claims from within the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

  43. The great 20th-century libertarian H.L. Mencken lamented, "A government at bottom is nothing more than a group of men, and as a practical matter most of them are inferior men....Yet these nonentities, by the intellectual laziness of men in general...are generally obeyed as a matter of duty (and) assumed to have a kind of wisdom that is superior to ordinary wisdom."

    There is nothing government can do that we cannot do better as free individuals—and as groups of individuals working freely together.

    Without big government, our possibilities are limitless.

  44. The conventional wisdom on the state of the 2012 presidential race is that, thanks to his endorsement of the House GOP Budget and his selection of Paul Ryan to be his running mate, Mitt Romney has opened himself up to one of the Democrats' favorite attacks -- fear-mongering over Medicare, or "Mediscare."


    The following is from the chief actuary for Medicare:

    The Affordable Care Act requires permanent annual productivity adjustments to price updates for most providers (such as hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies), using a 10-year moving average of economy-wide private, non-farm productivity gains. While such payment update reductions will create a strong incentive for providers to maximize efficiency, it is doubtful that many will be able to improve their own productivity to the degree achieved by the economy at large...


    In the mixed-up world of Beltway accounting, you can do this; in the real world, you (obviously) cannot.

    Again, the chief actuary of Medicare:

    The combination of lower Part A costs and higher tax revenues results in a lower Federal deficit based on budget accounting rules. However, trust fund accounting considers the same lower expenditures and additional revenues as extending the exhaustion date of the HI trust fund.

  45. On this day in 1947, India gained its independence and became part of the Commonwealth of Nations.

  46. Great picture here of Obama and his 'Pakistani lover' --

    What dudes.

    Interesting article too - you decide -