“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Americans’ annual risk of dying from lightning–one in seven million–is only half the risk from terrorism.

Critical views of science in the news
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Did the U.S. Overreact to the 9/11 Attacks?

Last year, on the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks by Al Qaeda on the United States, I posted a column arguing that the U.S. overreacted to these horrific acts of terrorism. Today, on the eve of 9/11, I’m posting an edited version of that column, the gist of which remains all too relevant.
My conclusion that the U.S. overreacted to 9/11 is based in part on risk-benefit analyses by John Mueller, a political scientist at Ohio State University (and key source for my book The End of War), and Mark Stewart, a civil engineer and authority on risk assessment at University of Newcastle in Australia. In a paper published last year in Homeland Security Affairs, Mueller and Stewart noted that after 9/11, U.S. officials had warned that we could expect many more such attacks, and that terrorism represented an “existential” threat, as the former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff put it.
These fears triggered a surge in counterterrorism spending. Mueller and Stewart estimated that the response to 9/11 by federal, state and local governments as well as private corporations has totaled $1 trillion. The costs include measures such as beefed up intelligence, hardening of facilities and more robust airport screening but exclude the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Even granting that terrorism evokes powerful emotions and hence deserves more attention than other dangers, Mueller and Stewart contended, “a great deal of money appears to have been misspent and would have been far more productive—saved far more lives—if it had been expended in other ways.”
Mueller and Stewart noted that, in general, government regulators around the world view fatality risks—say, from nuclear power, industrial toxins or commercial aviation—above one person per million per year as “acceptable.” Between 1970 and 2007, Mueller and Stewart asserted in a separate paper published in Foreign Affairs,a total of 3,292 Americans (not counting those in war zones) were killed by terrorists, resulting in an annual risk of one in 3.5 million. Americans were more likely to die in an accident involving a bathtub (one in 950,000), a home appliance (one in 1.5 million), a deer (one in two million) or on a commercial airliner (one in 2.9 million).
The global mortality rate of death by terrorism is even lower. Worldwide, terrorism killed 13,971 people between 1975 and 2003, an annual rate of one in 12.5 million. Since 9/11 acts of terrorism carried out by Muslim militants outside of war zones have killed about 300 people per year worldwide. This tally includes attacks not only by al Qaeda but also by “imitators, enthusiasts, look-alikes and wannabes,” according to Mueller and Stewart.
Defenders of U.S. counterterrorism efforts might argue that they have kept casualties low by thwarting attacks. But investigations by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies suggest that 9/11 may have been an outlier—an aberration—rather than a harbinger of future attacks. Muslim terrorists are for the most part “short on know-how, prone to make mistakes, poor at planning” and small in number, Mueller and Stewart stated. Although still potentially dangerous, terrorists hardly represent an “existential” threat on a par with those posed by Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.
In fact, Mueller and Stewart suggested in Homeland Security Affairs, U.S. counterterrorism procedures may indirectly imperil more lives than they preserve: “Increased delays and added costs at U.S. airports due to new security procedures provide incentive for many short-haul passengers to drive to their destination rather than flying, and, since driving is far riskier than air travel, the extra automobile traffic generated has been estimated to result in 500 or more extra road fatalities per year.”
The funds that the U.S. spends on counterterrorism should perhaps be diverted to other more significant perils, such as industrial accidents (one in 53,000), violent crime (one in 22,000), automobile accidents (one in 8,000) and cancer (one in 540). “Overall,” Mueller and Stewart wrote, “vastly more lives could have been saved if counterterrorism funds had instead been spent on combating hazards that present unacceptable risks.”
Mueller and Stewart’s analysis is conservative, because it excludes the most lethal and expensive U.S. responses to 9/11. Al Qaeda’s attacks also provoked the U.S. into invading and occupying two countries, at an estimated cost of several trillion dollars. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have resulted in the deaths of more than 6,500 Americans so far—more than twice as many as were killed on September 11, 2001—as well as tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans.
The U.S. has also damaged its moral reputation by imprisoning without trial, torturing and assassinating alleged terrorists even in nations, such as Pakistan and Yemen, with which we are not at war. All these actions have helped arouse rather than quell anti-American sentiment among Muslims and others. In spite of its economic woes, the U.S. has doubled its annual defense spending in the past decade, which is now roughly equal to that of all other nations combined (as I pointed out in my previous column).
Osama bin Laden, who was finally killed by U.S. forces on May 2, 2011, never again pulled off an attack as cataclysmic as the one on 9/11. But he didn’t have to, because we—the U.S.—wreaked so much destruction ourselves. In 2004 bin Laden gloatedthat he was “bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy,” the same strategy with which he and other jihadists—with U.S. backing—drove Soviet troops from Afghanistan.
Mueller and Stewart—who present a detailed critique of counterterrorism policies in Terror, Security and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits and Costs of Homeland Security (Oxford University Press, 2011)—noted that a major obstacle to more rational policies is a shortage of “that oxymoronic commodity,” political courage.
But a few politicians have dared to question the view of terrorism as a peril to civilization. One is Representative Ron Paul, who has argued for deep cuts in military spending and abolition of the Department of Homeland Security, which he calls a threat to Americans’ liberty. Another is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who in 2007 said that people are more likely to be killed by lightning than terrorism. “You can’t sit there and worry about everything,” Bloomberg exclaimed. “Get a life.”
Actually, according to Mueller and Stewart, Americans’ annual risk of dying from lightning–one in seven million–is only half the risk from terrorism. The comments of Bloomberg and Paul nonetheless give me hope that as the traumatic memory of 9/11 recedes our leaders will begin devising more rational policies toward terrorism and other security threats.
Table from “Hardly Existential,” by John Mueller and Mark Stewart, Foreign Affairs, April 2, 2010.


  1. Conduct of the War on Terror

    Concern about civil liberties for “average Americans” has risen over the past ten years. 61% in mid-September 2001 Pew polling said the average person would have to give up some civil liberties; 27% gave that response in 2009.

    Still, Americans think the current balance between protecting civil liberties and protecting the nation is satisfactory. They tilt in the direction of government actions to protect the country. More say the government’s policies have not gone far enough than have gone too far (47% and 32% respectively in Pew’s polling).

    Americans supported reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act (53% a good thing in a 2006 Fox poll, 30% bad thing).

    Majorities believe it is acceptable to monitor phone calls of people suspected of terrorism without court approval. Americans don't want to use torture. Still, only 25% in a 2009 Pew poll said it is never justified.

    Americans are understandably cautious about assassinations but believe killing Osama bin Laden was the right thing to do (80% in an NBC survey). 60% in a CNN/ORC survey from March 2010 wanted to keep Guantanamo open.

  2. Minutes earlier, Chris Tucker, 20, of Burlington, Ky., was looking out over the field of wildflowers that marks the final resting place of the Flight 93 passengers and crew and contemplating his future role in the war on terror.

    Tucker, whose cousin was among the New York City firefighters digging through the wreckage of the World Trade Center in the weeks after 9/11, remembers the powerful impact of that day as an elementary-school student, and said it led to his decision to join the Air Force this year.

    "I couldn't believe somebody would do that to our people," Tucker said. "Now it's my time to fight for freedom."

  3. I once won an argument with a woman...

    in this dream I had.

  4. Because I'm on the road and fishing too, Ruf. It's a hardy life and I'm hardly able to do it, and tutor you at the same time:

    The latest CNN/ORC poll released today shows a wider lead for President Obama than the previous CNN/ORC poll but it is doubly skewed. It massively under-samples independents while it also over-samples Democratic voters. The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll official reports Obama at 52 to percent and Mitt Romney at 46 percent. Unskewed, the data reveals a 53 percent to 45 percent lead for Romney.

    1. Tuesday, September 11, 2012

      The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows President Obama attracting support from 48% of voters nationwide, while Mitt Romney earns 45% of the vote. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided.

      Obama’s health care plan also received a bounce. Opposition to repeal of the health care law is up to 44%.

      Electoral College
      Obama: 247 - Romney: 196 - Toss-up: 95

  5. Paul goes too far as usual. Obama's own Secretary of Defense says his boss goes too far.

    Department of Homeland Security should be scaled back. But there haven't been any further airliner hijackings.

    Another reason to vote for Romney. He would be somewhat better than Obama on protecting privacy, etc.

  6. Communists for Obama -

    Ruf and the commies.

    Disgusting, Ruford.

    Who is most likely to protect your privacy, Obama, or the commies?

    Or Romney?

    1. I would rather be endorsed by the commies than by Pat Robertson.

      Privacy? There ain't no such thing.

  7. Israelis say Obama's Birth Certificate is a phoney. Same conclusion as Deuce, if I recall.

    You might give it a read at least, Ruf.

    You don't want to be closed minded about things.

    And a false Social Security card too, tut, tut.

    1. I could care less. He supports what I support. You and Romney, not so much. In fact, not at all.

    2. Abortion, Infanticide, Euthanasia, Atheism, Sodomy and Anti-Semitism.....good program!

    3. We in the US support the subsidized murder of Jewish souls, in Israel, by Israelis.
      This has been true for the past 12 years. Under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

      I see no Federal support for Atheism, in the US. Please supply details of the funding there of.
      Sodomy? What right does the government to enter the bedroom?


      Israel - In what appears like a clear endorsement of a presidential candidate,
      Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Monday night that Barack Obama has been the most supportive president on matters of Israeli security throughout the two countries’ diplomatic relations.

      In an interview on CNN, Barak told Wolf Blitzer that the Obama administration’s support of Israeli defense and intelligence establishments was far greater than under any other administration he remembered working with since and including President Jimmy Carter.

      “I think that from my point of view as defense minister they are extremely good, extremely deep and profound. I can see long years [and] administrations of both sides of [the] political aisle deeply supporting the state of Israeli [sic] and I believe that reflects a profound feeling among the American people,” Barak said.

      “But I should tell you honestly that this administration under President Obama is doing, in regard to our security, more than anything that I can remember in the past,”
      he added.

      What Anti-Semitism?

    4. Ah the Rat's on his abortion kick again...

      But by Rat's own logic 73 MILLION American fetuses / babies have been murdered..

      I guess, to Rat, American lives are not as important to him...

    5. The subject of abortion was opened by boobie and endorsed by wi"o".

      Describing abortion as the murder of souls was the providence of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, it is the Jewish Standard. To disagree, a clear case of Anti-Semitic ranting.

      As to American lives, I have often voiced disagreement with the SCOTUS decision in Roe v Wade.
      To hold Mr Obama responsible for that 1973 SCOTUS decision, more than disingenuous.

      Abortion, like marriage and marijuana, are States Rights issue that the Federals have usurped.

  8. I hope it's not those guys taking flying lessons down in Phoenix.

    George (Slam-dunk) Tenet

    about says it all for me.


    103.7 The Big 'Colt'

    No twang.

    'Jennie' a lovely mc.

    Light years ahead of any other country western station I've ever listened to.

    'Cowboys and Angels'

    Dustin Lynch

    1. Miranda - The House That Built Me

  10. The president’s parade of Israel testimonials
    By Daniel Treiman · September 10, 2012
    After a convention that was marred by a bit of Israel-related platform tsuris, big-name Jewish supporters of President Obama are taking to Op-Ed pages to vouch for his commitment to Israel. (And they all seem to be quoting Ehud Barak!)

    In The Jerusalem Post, former State Dpartment official Stuart Eizenstat vouches for the president on Iran:

    I can say, as one who led the sanctions policy in the Clinton administration, that President Obama has done a masterful job at convincing the international community that it is in everyone's interest to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. 

In an unprecedented achievement, President Obama has persuaded previously noncommittal nations such as Russia and China to support international sanctions against Tehran.

    Because of US leadership, the European Union has joined in an unprecedented set of financial and insurance sanctions and has taken the extraordinary step of banning new imports of all Iranian petroleum, which represents almost 20 percent of its oil exports.

    Furthermore, the President has recently signed into law the toughest-ever set of sanctions against Iran and pressed congress to extend an already tough sanctions regime against Iran. He has also taken the extraordinary step of sanctioning the Central Bank of Iran, which makes it virtually impossible for the Central Bank to process any dollar-denominated transactions.

    Also in The Jerusalem Post, Chicago Jewish philanthropist (and longtime Obama backer) Lester Crown testifies that the president’s kishkes are kosher:

    Four years ago, then-senator Obama was subject to unfounded attacks from Republicans attempting to prove that he was anti- Israel. In a desperate attempt to attract Jewish voters to the GOP, the presidential campaign of the Republican Party grossly exaggerated and distorted stories about Obama’s background. Their intention was to scare voters about his commitment to Israel were he to become president.


In response, I wrote a letter to my fellow Jewish leaders imploring them to understand that Barack had already passed the gut test. I explained that I had been sure that he was a strong friend of Israel ever since the day we met.

    Again today, with elections near, the attacks on the president’s Israel record are on the rise. While governor Mitt Romney has made the economy the focal point of his campaign, his critiques of president Obama’s positions on Israel’s security have been wholly unwarranted. Under the theme of promising to do “the opposite” of Obama on Israel, Romney has attacked a president who has done more for Israel than any recent predecessor.

    And in The New York Times last week, Israeli-American entertainment mogul and Democratic donor Haim Saban wrote that for whatever the president’s PR shortcomings, Obama has been a friend of Israel in deed:

    Even though he could have done a better job highlighting his friendship for Israel, there’s no denying that by every tangible measure, his support for Israel’s security and well-being has been rock solid.

    Mitt Romney claims Mr. Obama has “thrown allies like Israel under the bus,” but in fact the president has taken concrete steps to make Israel more secure — a commitment he has described as “not negotiable.”

    This brought to US by ...

    JTA is the definitive, trusted global source of breaking news, investigative reporting, in-depth analysis, opinion and features on current events and issues of interest to the Jewish people. An unaffiliated not-for-profit organization, we pride ourselves on our independence and integrity.

    1. What do you expect them to say? The TRUTH?

    2. Yes, I expect mr Crown to speak the truth, don't you?

    3. To suggest that Jews are incapable of speaking the truth ...
      More Anti-Semitic ranting.

  11. We should take note that the Chicago based Jewish philanthropist, Lester Crown still supports Barack Obama.

    ... critiques of president Obama’s positions on Israel’s security have been wholly unwarranted. Under the theme of promising to do “the opposite” of Obama on Israel, Romney has attacked a president who has done more for Israel than any recent predecessor.

  12. Replies
    1. Such disrespect for a respected American Jewish leader, what a clear case of Anti-Semitism is being display by Anon.

    2. Oh the Rat and his Israel hatred is back... get released from the psych hospital? Or just off your meds again?

      Either way, we all KNOW what a Israel hating asshole you are...

      We all KNOW that you have your issues. Your hatreds...

      Nothing new..

      maybe you should leave again on an extended horse trip somewhere out to the bush, that way we don't have to hear your nonsense....

      So with that...

      Go fuck yourself...

      Feel welcome?

      You should not....

      Now before you start threatening all of us with death, murder, dismemberment, we all KNOW what loser you are....

    3. Rat is the great black ops warrior.... Killed without ever getting caught... so it aint illegal his "hits".

      His threats to murder me and bob? well, we both are still here....

      And Rat is either a fraud fake military guy trying to be what he is not, or if he is for real? he's an insane old fart off his rocker and off his meds and the demons of those he murdered are haunting him..

      either way?

      just a loser..

    4. On 9/11 I honor those that actually have served....

      Not frauds...

    5. And, wio continues to impress.

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. wow you are so scary rat..

      come on be a man, make some death threats again....

      your a washed up blowhard.

      If you ever served I'd be surprised if you made past a corporal.

      you are so deep...

      now you will start your "candyman" crap...

      well we all KNOW that about me...

      how about your daughter's abortions? that's more interesting

      Or was that your wife had an affair with a jew?

      which is it?

      Go back to living off our tax dollars parasite man....

  13. Privacy and Paul Ryan

    Ryan Voted against Additional Privacy Protections for Warrantless Surveillance Act.
    The bill would allow the government to continue collecting electronic surveillance on people outside of the U.S. without a warrant for up to one year ...

    In 2005, Ryan voted against anamendment curtailing the FBI’s ability to seize library and bookstore records for terrorism investigations. One provision of the Patriot Act made it possible for the FBI to obtain a wide variety of personal records about a suspected terrorist -- including library transactions -- with an order from a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, where the government must meet a lower threshold of proof than in criminal courts. Under the amendment, officials would have to get search warrants from a judge or subpoenas from a grand jury to seize records about a suspect’s reading habits. Some libraries said they were disposing of patrons’ records more quickly because of the provision, which opponents viewed as a license for fishing expeditions....

    1. Ryan Voted in Favor of an Intelligence Authorization Bill that Expanded the Types of Businesses whose Recordscan be Seized Without a Court Order.
      On November 20, 2003, Ryan voted in favor of the 2004 intelligence authorizationbill. According to Congressional Quarterly Daily Monitor,

    2. .

      Bad. Bad. Bad. IMO.

      However, did Ryan support the Obama contention that the president has the 'constitutional' right to suspend habeas corpus and order the assassination of an American citizen without offering proof, without getting a warrant, without any indictment or trial, and without even explaining afterwards the rationale he used in the decision making?

      Ryan can say what he wants but as a U.S. Rep, he lacks the power to do anything about it. Even as VP all he can do is advise. On the other hand Obama has shown he has no qualms in pursuing the imperial presidency and his actions support that.

      Obama promised to close Quantonimo. The prisoner that died there in the last day or so had been held there for eleven years yet he had never been charged. Why do you think that is?

      They are all dicks.


    3. .

      As for privacy, Bush pushed the envelope with actions taken in the name of the WOT. Obama has further expanded government intrusion. Romney, will likely continue along these lines as long as no one objects. It's worldwide trend. Look at the UK and what they are trying to do in tracking all internet transmissions.

      And they will get away with it because no one seems to care, at least, if you can believe the polls. As someone here commented in a dismissive way, there is no such thing as privacy.

      Power to the sheeple.


    4. .

      Anyone who doubts 1984 has arrived only has to look at the Bush practice of 'reclassifying' documents that had been 'declassified' and in the public domain for decades, or Obama's refusal to release the DOJ documents he says justify him suspending habeas corpus, or the refusal of either administration to actually bring any of these 'terrorists' to trial lest they be embarrassed before the American people.

      Julian Assange is hardly an admirable person. Yet, I prefer him and the actions he's taken in shedding light on the actions of these dicks to the dicks themselves who continue to feed BS to a populace of sheep who take it in and say "Do whatever you want, just protect me."

      "Thank you, sir. May I have another."


  14. .

    Navy SEAL writer should be punished, defense secretary says

    I used to think Panetta was a decent guy until I saw his display on the torturing of prisoners. First, he came out against it. We went as far as to say there was no evidence waterboarding provided information that led us to OBL. Then, evidently under pressure, he changed his wording. He never came out and actually said that the torture led to finding OBL but his weasel words gave the impression that it did.

    Translation of Panetta's recent remarks, "Hey, the administration is the only one allowed to leak details of a secret operation. We can't have some SEAL stealing our thunder, or worse, contradicting our poetry about Obama."

    The Pentagon indicates there are confidential details in the SEAL's book; however, as usual, they can't tell us what they are. It's a secret. Does anyone else here see a pattern?

    Dear leader Speaks


    1. Certainly there is a pattern of obfuscation and misinformation emanating from the Federals.

  15. They are the Illuminati. We are their subjects and on a need to know basis only.

  16. Mr Obama, putting US first.

    Obama has turned down a request to meet with Netanyahu when he comes to the US later this month to address the UN. The White House says it just can't squeeze him in, which will mark the first time the prime minister has been shut out on a US trip, reports the Jerusalem Post.

    1. Bibi slams US policy and gets the White House door slammed in his face.

      Sweetness and light prevail.

    2. Your inner jew hating nazi is showing rat....

  17. (Reuters) - It may be November before the U.S. Congress completes the new $500 billion U.S. farm bill as lawmakers cannot agree on how much to cut support to farmers or food stamps for the poor.

    "We're stuck at the moment," said Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow. "All we need is a bill from the House ... we could negotiate during October and pass it when we get back in November."

    It was the gloomiest forecast yet from a farm bill leader and came a day before the Capitol Hill rally to propel the bill to passage before current law expires on Sept 30. The House has been deadlocked since July over larger cuts in farm supports and food stamps for the poor.


    The Democrat-controlled Senate wants to eliminate almost all traditional farm subsidies and replace them with a system that compensates growers when revenue from a crop is more than 10 percent below average. Crop insurance would cover deep losses.

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. From the LA LA Land Times

    Through most of the year, Romney has enjoyed a significant edge as the candidate voters think would be better at handling the economy. Romney’s campaign has been pretty much built on the assumption that voters will view him that way.

    In these post-convention surveys, however, that edge has disappeared. In the ABC/Washington Post poll, for example, Obama now leads on that question, with 47% of registered voters saying he would be better, compared with 45% siding with Romney. In the CNN/ORC survey Obama held a one-point lead on that question.

    A tie on the question of economic stewardship would be an important advantage for Obama because he leads on most other questions testing candidate attributes. Polls consistently have shown that voters rate him more highly than Romney on handling foreign affairs, for example. Similarly, he leads when voters are asked questions about empathy. In the ABC/Washington Post survey, for example, Obama held a 10-point edge on the question of which candidate “better understands the economic problems people in this country are having.”

  20. When I interviewed Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson the other day he told me about an interesting website called
    Though Johnson barely registers in the polls, it turns out that he gets about as many supporters on this site as do those two major party candidates, Whatshisname and Whatshisothername.
    As you can tell, I don't think there's a dime's worth of difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on major issues. Romney actually invented the individual health-care mandate that is key to Obamacare. And while Romney promises eight years of running up new debt, Obama can promise only four.
    As for defense policy, both believe it is the duty of the American taxpayer to straighten out the Mideast. And neither has a clue how to do so.
    And both support high taxes, an endless war on drugs and all sorts of other big-government programs.
    Maybe you like those things as well. Go take the poll and you'll find out just which candidate is most like you.

  21. On most issues in the 2012 Presidential Election.
    Candidates you side with...

    Gary Johnson - Libertarian - 94%
    on domestic policy, foreign policy, science, environmental, healthcare, and social issues

    1. It is a quick and easy questionnaire.

    2. 83% Dem.

      83% Green

      72% Libertarian

      24% Republican

      48% Mississippi Voters

      55% U.S. Voters

    3. I didn't like it, though. Too many "either/or" questions.

  22. Mitt Romney - Republican - 72%
    on immigration, healthcare, economic, and social issues

  23. Up the street, a 27-year-old man sat still on his bicycle gazing over at the protesters. The man declined to give his name, citing political sensitivities.

    He said the Chinese government had already been outmaneuvered by the Japanese.

    "You can oppose, you can protest, but the outcome has already been brought about," he said, adding that Chinese actions should have been stronger before the Japanese move to buy the islands.

  24. "The Republicans are very adept at inventing a story that suits their goal of stripping Mr Obama of his accomplishments," says Morty Esam, 76, who is more concerned with the economy and what he says has been Republican obstructionism. "The Republicans are committed to blocking anything that Obama might accomplish in Congress and they use that as fodder to say the Democrats haven't done enough."

    The Democrats did not help themselves at the convention when they first failed to state in the party platform that "Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel". It was reinserted with a floor vote at the request of President Obama.

    That he felt the need to intervene was itself revealing: he knows that losing even a single Jewish vote is something he cannot afford.

  25. Stop me if you've heard this one: how many scientists does it take to author a study on the Higgs boson particle? Around 6,000.

    Two articles by the teams at CERN, about 30 pages each, include 19 pages of single-spaced text with roughly 6,000 names of researchers who peer-reviewed the results of the experiments, making the discovery of the elusive God particle valid.

  26. Obama has made the auto bailout a centerpiece on the campaign trail despite GM’s recent woes. The company’s stock has fallen about 40 percent since it emerged from bankruptcy.

    GM and its lending arm, Ally Bank, owe $42 billion on their $57 billion bailout. The government still has a stake in GM.

    The Pentagon’s massive car-buying scheme is the latest example of government trying to help GM raise its sales volumes. The General Services Administration of Las Vegas fame purchased 100 Volts in 2011 for various agencies.

  27. KWFC 89.1-FM, Springfield, Missouri

    for the best Gospel music.


    Military forced to buy GM Volts that nobody else wants.


    I was passing Gas while driving through Kansas, and it occurred to me it might be a good place for Rufus, who passes a lot of gas, if Obama should win.,_Kansas

    Other possibilities: Tin Town, Missouri,_Missouri

    Humansville, Missouri,_Missouri

    in one of the suburbs there, aka, Subhumans, Missouri.

    Or, somewhere on the banks of the fancy named Little Pomme de Terre River, which means I think, small potatoes.

    Tomorrow: Lexington!

  28. The new iPhone is sure to shatter previous sales records. It also may prove the moment to dump Apple shares.

    Each new iPhone has sold as many units as all previous generations combined, Apple executives have joked according to recent trial testimony. And it isn't crazy to think exponential growth can continue for at least one more.