“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."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012



  1. At the 7:00 minute mark Friedman declares the belief that with a good defense and trade policy, the US would be be better off being 8 or 10 countries.

    I fully support the same notion. Without devolution, there will be a continuing decline in personal freedom.

    1. His father was only half nutty; this child is full-blown "looney-tunes."


  2. The Intermountain West, California and the Californicated coast up through Oregon and Washington, the South West, The Plains, Texas, the South, the old Industrial Heartland, New England, Alaska, Hawaii. What have I forgotten. I'd like northern Nevada to go to the Intermountain West, Vegas going to the South West.

    Sounds good to me.

  3. Anything to get away from Mississippi.

    Defense? A type of NATO, with a draft, and taxes to support it.

  4. Before I wobble back off to bed, let me point out: The place the dear child is describing has a name - Afghanistan.


  5. I flip on CNBC and they are all exited because the Orifice from Omaha is going to be on with an exclusive interview. Isn’t he past due to fall off his fiscal cliff?

  6. Add in a few city states. Nothing wrong with a city state. LA, San Francisco of course, Chicago by all means, Philly, New York and Las Vegas.

    1. Everyone else would be able to continue clinging to their guns and religion.

    2. What to do with Detroit remains a real problem. Maybe raze it.

  7. The Rice Diversion
    November 28, 2012 By Matthew Vadum Comments (9)

    After U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice lied her way through a tense meeting with Republican lawmakers yesterday about her role in the Benghazi scandal, the mainstream media escalated its attacks on those Republicans who continue daring to question the official account of that bloody day in September.

    A short time after meeting with Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Rice released a statement indicating that she had incorrectly described the attack at the U.S. consulate in Libya when she appeared on five Sunday TV talk shows days after. At the height of the election season in mid-September she peddled the Obama administration’s fairy tale in which a spontaneous demonstration over an anti-Islam video somehow led to the killing of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

    Rice said her comments were based on intelligence available at the time. “Neither I nor anyone else in the administration intended to mislead the American people at any stage in the process,” said Rice, who attended the meeting with acting CIA director Michael J. Morell.

    Rice contradicted the testimony of former CIA Director David Petraeus who told lawmakers Nov. 16 he never believed the Obama administration’s claim that the attack was a mob action prompted by a video. Petraeus said that he believed all along that Islamic terrorists attacked the diplomatic mission on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

    The senators were not moved by Rice.

    1. “It is clear that the information that she gave the American people was incorrect when she said that it was a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video,” said McCain. Echoed Graham, “Bottom line: I’m more disturbed now than I was before.”

      Graham and Ayotte indicated they plan to block Rice’s nomination as secretary of state if President Obama names her to replace Hillary Clinton.

      But because the senators won’t cave in to pressure, media figures are smearing them at every opportunity.

      McCain, Graham, and Ayotte are engaged in a “Benghazi witch hunt,” according to Martin Bashir, one of MSNBC’s most ardent Obama worshipers.

      The senators are grasping at straws, refusing to let go of their “ginned up controversy” even after meeting with Rice and other administration figures, said the tabloid journalist known for his interviews with Diana, Princess of Wales and singer Michael Jackson.

      After White House press secretary Jay Carney said the senators were suffering from an “obsession” about Rice’s comments on the Sunday shows, the Huffington Post website helpfully put together a video painting McCain and Graham as obsessed.

      Other journalists have leapt to the defense of Rice.

      Working with the White House and congressional Democrats, journalists invented the false side story that McCain and a group of Republican lawmakers were targeting Rice not because she lied to the American people but because she is black.

      A Washington Post editorial supports the left-wing Congressional Black Caucus’s wild contention that Republicans are out to get Rice “because she is an African American woman.” Perhaps the editorial writers forgot that President George W. Bush’s secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, an immensely popular figure in the GOP, was also a black woman.

    2. The newspaper then implies that Republicans are secret members of the Ku Klux Klan, citing a recent letter signed by 97 House Republicans questioning Rice’s fitness for the post of top U.S. diplomat. The paper casually opines that “[M]ore than 80 of the signatories are white males, and nearly half are from states of the former Confederacy.”

      Like defense lawyers for an obviously guilty client, these left-wing journalists are working overtime to confuse the public about what happened in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama administration’s role, and what it all means. Democrats and the mainstream media are trying to obstruct progress in the investigation by misdirection, grabbing at any shiny object within reach.

      But despite the leftist spin, the ugly truth remains: Four Americans were sacrificed to prevent President Obama’s pro-Islamist foreign policy from becoming a major issue in the closing weeks of the recently concluded election. President Obama let Americans die in order to secure reelection. On Sept. 11 President Obama rolled the dice, jetting off to Las Vegas for a fundraising event. He knew the media would cover for him.

      The Obama administration concocted an anti-Islam video cover story that was plausible enough not to alarm voters. The U.S. Embassy in Cairo released a bizarre statement on Sept. 11 condemning “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” Expressing the views of many Americans, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said it was “disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

      Stateside, the Obama-worshipping media pilloried Romney for days for speaking truth to power and standing up for the First Amendment.

      In the end, the media vanquished Romney but not the story of what happened in that northeastern Libyan city.

      Now that they realize that the Benghazi scandal isn’t going away anytime soon, these left-wingers are scrambling to regain control over the narrative.

      As journalist Josh Marshall, a reliably partisan Democrat, huffed in a recent tweet while watching television, “Weird. Everyone on this Fox panel agrees Benghazi scandal is becoming really big deal.”

      No kidding.

    3. Other left-wing journalists are spending a lot of time lying in order to protect the Obama administration. The media establishment has been busy characterizing anyone who doesn’t follow the official line as kooks and sore losers shell-shocked at Romney’s surprising defeat.’s senior fabulist Alex Pareene refers to Benghazi as “an entirely made-up scandal” and accepts as Holy Writ whatever account the Obama administration offers at any given moment.

      Because Sens. McCain and Graham had the impertinence to question the White House’s obvious lies about the Benghazi saga, Pareene calls them “buffoons.” McCain is a “petulant loser” and Graham is his “reviled sidekick,” writes the young man whose career high water mark was working as a gossip columnist at

      Leftist academic Dominic Tierney claims the Benghazi scandal is proof that Obama’s foreign policy “is fairly successful.” Benghazi “is what a ‘scandal’ looks like when there aren’t any real scandals to talk about.”

      “Republicans are desperate to assail Obama for something, and they chose Benghazi as their best shot,” Tierney writes.

      Smug leftist Paul Waldman at the American Prospect, belittles “harumphing” Republicans for seeking the truth about what happened.

      Republicans have “scandal envy,” Waldman quips. “Republicans are indescribably frustrated by the fact that Barack Obama, whom they regard as both illegitimate and corrupt, went through an entire term without a major scandal.”

      In fact Obama has had several potentially major scandals in his first term but so-called journalists like Waldman have refused to take them seriously. Benghazi is the Obama scandal with the largest American body count.

      They include the NEA taxpayer-funded propaganda scandal, the wrongful termination of AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin, the appointment of self-described “communist” Van Jones as White House green jobs czar, Pigford, Obama’s ties to the criminal group ACORN, the handling of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case, Obama’s unilaterally granted immigration amnesty, Obama’s intimidation of Supreme Court members during a State of the Union address, the Justice Department’s refusal to enforce electoral integrity laws and attempt to intimidate the Gallup polling company, Solyndra, the Reichstag fire-like Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal, the administration’s failure to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA), and Obama’s ongoing appeasement of Islamofascists around the world. (This is not an exhaustive list.)

      And although Republicans happen to have the facts on their side this time, they should never underestimate the power of the Left to transform a potential GOP triumph into a crushing political defeat.

      The media have convinced a good-sized chunk of the population that Obama critics, and particularly, Tea Party supporters, are racist, mouth-breathing imbeciles and lunatics.

    4. During the Bill Clinton impeachment process, impeachment advocates in Congress such as the late Congressman Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) cited the Magna Carta and high-minded constitutional principles while Democrats regurgitated lies over and over and over again. The Left engaged in character assassination, taking the case of a president lying under oath, obstructing justice, and abusing his power to escape the civil consequences of sexual harassment, and transforming it into a case of sex-obsessed Republicans desperate to hunt down a Democratic president with an inspiring life story.

      This was accomplished not by the force of their arguments but largely by repetition. They wore people down and got them to believe the lies. It wasn’t that hard to do given that the public liked Clinton.

      In a 2004 case already largely forgotten outside Capitol Hill, Democrats were able not only to distract from their wrongdoing but also to claim the head of a top Republican congressional staffer in the process.

      Manuel Miranda was counsel to then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) until Republicans forced him out. During a battle over judicial confirmations, Miranda produced memos proving Democrats were taking orders from left-wing groups determined to defeat President Bush’s nominees. The groups included People for the American Way, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

      As Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote at the time, “[o]ne memo referred to Bush White House judicial candidates as ‘Nazis.’”

      The memos were found on an open computer network but somehow Democrats were able to turn the media’s guns around and aim them at Republican staffers, accusing them of unethically accessing computer files to obtain internal documents.

      Miranda said that “no unauthorized hacking was involved” in accessing the Democrats’ memos. He added, “I considered and studied the propriety of reading these documents. I knew that in legal ethics there is no absolute prohibition on reading opposition documents inadvertently disclosed.”

      President Obama’s legal team, schooled in the ways of Chicago, consists of ruthless lawyers like Robert Bauer.

      Like the administration’s many supplicants in the media, Obama’s team won’t make uncovering the truth about Benghazi easy.

    5. To opinions:

      Chezwick · 2 hours ago
      The fact that we're all obsessing over Susan Rice and what she did and did not say one Sunday morning has served a very useful purpose. It has distracted us from the ugly reality of Sept 11, 2012, that for seven hours, an eternity under the circumstances, two very brave ex-navy Seals desperately fought off dozens of attackers, saving lives and waiting in vain for the air-calvary that never came.

      The REAL scandal of Sept 11 was not Susan Rice, not the post-event lies of this Administration, but the hours upon hours when our government could have sent air support from Sicily to save those two brave men, but chose not to....for reasons we can only guess, but that most likely have to do with 1) fear of upsetting the Libyans and 2) a President whose sole pre-occupation was on campaigning and getting himself re-elected.

      Gene W 1938 · 43 minutes ago
      The assination of Ambassador Chris Stevens and its cover-up is a horrific crime. The Ambassador knew too much [that he could have spilled during an investigation] about why we took-out Libya, who ordered the intercepted arms shipment from Libya through Turkey and terrorist funded crimes that have and are working to overthrough other countries.
      Muslim Brotherhood terrorists were hired to protect our consults !!! Our seals had to disobey the order to stand down [not to protect] and they went in [taking arms from passive gaurds] to provide protection and then their pleas for help ignored.
      Now the NeoCon, one world governance, RINOs in support of our administration should find answers to these and the Rice, Clinton ... cover-up would be understood.


    Benghazi/Syria Connection

    Timeline, good article, lots of spirited discussion

  9. .

    There is nothing wrong with our country except the government that runs it and a populace, who despite current performance, keep electing the same group of incompetents to that government.


    1. Well then we are in good shape really, with only a fucked government and a fucked populace.

    2. Today I find my Congressional representative, Mr Labrador, supposedly a very conservative guy, is for allowing family members of all Green card holders to migrate on in. Hard time believing that, though he is Latino sorta, and am going to find out what is up with that. Whatever happened to the Border Fence?

  10. November 28, 2012
    Civility lessons from the left
    Thomas Lifson

    Remember President Obama's sanctimonious words on violence and rhetoric in the wake of the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords? Well, where is the president now that a left wing talk show host has called for the "beheading" of "tea-baggers"? Using the public airwaves to spread his incitement to violence. Jack Coleman of Newsbusters reports:

    Left-wing radio host Mike Malloy keeps reaching for new lows in depraved discourse.

    Those familiar with Malloy from his numerous appearances at NewsBusters over the years are aware of his pathological obsession with violence, especially toward those who don't share his totalitarian politics. (h/t for audio, Brian Maloney at

    On his radio show yesterday, Malloy delighted in the specter of an avenging angel decapitating "teabaggers" --

    ... these teabag bastards, who by the way, I just wish they would all go away, or like in Passover, I just wish there was an angel of the Lord that would pass over, instead of killing the first born in all the households of Egypt, just wipe out all the teabaggers. Just, you know, the terrible swift sword, just (Malloy emulates sound of sword cutting repeatedly through the air) lop their heads off.

    The presidency of Barack Obama has witnesses an escalation in leftist rhetoric dehumanizing conservatives, including calls to violence, and actual violence, as with SEIU thugs.

    President Obama could reverse this trend by taking moral leadwership consistent with his fine rhetoric in Tucson. Instead, he ignores this incitement from his side, and speaks of voting as "revenge." No wonder gun sales are soaring.

    Nothing wrong with this country.

    Martin Adamson

    The only thing new in this is that leftists feel confident enough to broadcast their appeals to hatred and violence in plain English, rather than the pretentious disguised language of European philosophy which they used before.


    You should take this seriously. No one thought Hitler was serious when he wrote Mein Kampf, but the world found out he was deadly serious. It's not that this radio host will do this personally, he's just spouting the deep seated desires of the progressive movement. They cannot tolerate dissent. Desires can eventually turn into actions. Many mass graves have been found from Stalin's reign of Socialist terror. There is a long list of countries where this has occurred, e.g. Hungary, Vietnam, China, North Korea, etc.


    This is just the beginning of the new hard-core Marxist agitation. They are empowered knowing the media will provide cover for their intolerance of anything not Marxist.


    This is another reason why we .. need a new FOX program (60 Minutes-ish) to deal with a myriad of misrepresentations.

    The American people simply do not know what the Tea Party movement stands for.. and that is because the liberals/Dems have the lions share of all educational outlets.

    The liberals have successfully .. defined what the Tea Party stands for. The TEA PARTY needs an outlet -- and air time -- to be able to explain what it really is.

    1. This is what I don't look forward to: Kids in Politics. Like Babes in Toyland.

      "You don't really know who I am." Sounds like two teenagers breaking up - say Kristin Stewart and Rob Pattinson. Wait until Kristin gets seduced by "someone Older" and thirstier. Only thing worse is finding someone who knows who you really are. Careful what you wish for.

      Dems [Repubs] have all the tenure [think tanks/news media/better cars/foxier chicks, cooler drugs........] The deck is stacked. The line is rigged. IT'S NOT FAIR!!!

      Dudley Doright in a skirt.

      So The Tea Party is all about social justice. They're right. I didn't know that.

      Blow me.

      The very best and brightest of the modern western word migrated in hoards to Wall St where they crapped out and somebody's got to pay or kneecaps start popping. Fair is hardly the issue.

      As this guy knew.

      Get that warp drive working and I'd be out of here.

    2. I want a planet of my own.


    Russia's Beauty crowned

    Russian Beauty Contest Photos, from Pravda, which is better than our American press.

  12. Just following the advice of her lawyer as well she should.

    Ash, are you a belly putter?

    1. November 28, 2012
      Less guns, more crime
      Ethel C. Fenig

      Liberals laughed in 1998 when economist John Lott first published his book with the controversial (to some), logical (to others) title "More Guns, Less Crime." The four word title sums up the book; the book itself is backed with studies and statistics proving the pithy title, none of which of course convinces the gun control people.

      In an interview about the book Lott explained

      John R. Lott, Jr.: States with the largest increases in gun ownership also have the largest drops in violent crimes. Thirty-one states now have such laws-called "shall-issue" laws. These laws allow adults the right to carry concealed handguns if they do not have a criminal record or a history of significant mental illness.

      Question: It just seems to defy common sense that crimes likely to involve guns would be reduced by allowing more people to carry guns. How do you explain the results?

      Lott: Criminals are deterred by higher penalties. Just as higher arrest and conviction rates deter crime, so does the risk that someone committing a crime will confront someone able to defend him or herself. There is a strong negative relationship between the number of law-abiding citizens with permits and the crime rate-as more people obtain permits there is a greater decline in violent crime rates. For each additional year that a concealed handgun law is in effect the murder rate declines by 3 percent, rape by 2 percent, and robberies by over 2 percent.

      Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves.

      Liberals are probably still laughing--or more likely, condemning Lott--despite the latest news from Virginia.

      Gun-related violent crime in Virginia has dropped steadily over the past six years as the sale of firearms has soared to a new record, according to an analysis of state crime data with state records of gun sales.

      The total number of firearms purchased in Virginia increased 73 percent from 2006 to 2011. When state population increases are factored in, gun purchases per 100,000 Virginians rose 63 percent.

      But the total number of gun-related violent crimes fell 24 percent over that period, and when adjusted for population, gun-related offenses dropped more than 27 percent, from 79 crimes per 100,000 in 2006 to 57 crimes in 2011.

      While this latest bit of news seems to back Lott, he will delay drawing conclusions because

      I generally find it better to examine panel data rather than what seems like purely time-series data, but I haven't had a chance to look at this research.

      Meanwhile, back in Obama's home city of Chicago

      Illinois is the only state that doesn't allow residents to carry concealed weapons - and a group of religious leaders, anti-gun activists and lawmakers hope to keep it that way.

      The newly formed "Stop Concealed Carry Coalition" announced today at the Chicago Temple its commitment to fight any bill that would legalize concealed carry in the state.

      "I can't fathom the idea of going to the mall and just thinking that under that coat over there, or in that purse, there might be a weapon," said Ald. Ricardo Munoz of the 22nd Ward. "We cannot allow concealed carry to be the law of the land."

    2. While "the concealed carry foes" were meeting in concealed carry banned Chicago, "status quo" continued.

      Girl, 15, fatally shot: 'This is somebody's child killing another child'

      Cops: Gang member killed, another seriously wounded at funeral

      Man shot while driving two sons on Northwest Side

      Man killed on West Side

      The first two incidents occurred several miles from the Obama family home.

      These latest shootings seem to guarantee that in illegally gun carrying Chicago, the city will end 2012 with the highest per capita murder rate in the nation.

      Perhaps if the latest statistics from Virginia and Chicago, not to mention Lott's studies, don't convince the anti gun folks to rethink perhaps science fiction writer Robert Heinlein's observation will.

      An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.

  13. The world is in a goofy place right now.

    Two Asian news agencies picked up an Onion satire about Kim Jong Un being the 2012 Sexiest Man Alive - while missing the satire.

    Demi flirting with her next Ashton replacement.

    Fiscal Cliff! Fiscal Cliff! Fiscal Cliff!

    Man boob surgery.

    All white male committee chairs.

    This Justin Bieber look-alike calling his TV show "filth" apparently under the influence of a 7th Day adventist preacher boy-man.

    Fiscal Cliff! Fiscal Cliff! Fiscal Cliff! founder Erick Erickson, the conservative blogger who endorsed the "sweet meteor of death" over any of the GOP candidates for president, is considering entering the political fray himself, CNN reports.

    (Erickson wasn't a "founder" of RedState. He was a political hack brought in after the fact.)

    Fiscal Cliff! Fiscal Cliff! Fiscal Cliff!

    Women sue Pentagon for right to fight in combat.

    No list is complete with the piece de resistance: The [abandoned] bill proposed banning abortions after the first fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

    Not to even get into that frightening looking broad standing behind Obama at his press conference.

    1. Not sure how I missed this little gem:

      Sheryl Nuxoll, a Republican state senator from Idaho, recently joined the ranks of conservatives so deeply distraught over President Barack Obama's reelection victory that they believed they could coordinate a mass Electoral College boycott in order to deny him a second term.


      According to the linked article, first written by Tea Party Nation founder and craftsman of bad ideas Judson Phillips, Obama's win could be nullified if two-thirds of the Electoral College states boycott the official selection process.

      Only in America

    2. I don't know who Sheryl is, possibly a pissed-off Mormon from Twin Falls, great Mormon Temple there.

  14. Obama is on TV making a case for tax hikes on the "wealthy" (those making over $250K) while heading off the pending tax hikes on the middle class.

    Republicans should give him what he wants. I know some wealthy Democrats who I would love to see get their assets taxed off.

    1. Meanwhile, Cuba is starting to tax everybody, putting them to the right of us.

  15. "Lots of different sounds make up each song," Ms Garland explained.

    "There are low frequency moans, groans and growls then higher cries and shrieks and all variations of ascents and descents."

    Repeating the verse

    Patterns of these sounds make up phrases, and the whales repeat the phrases - like repeated verses - for up to 30 minutes.

    Using sound analysis software, Ms Garland and her colleagues discovered that four new songs that had emerged in a population in Eastern Australia gradually spread eastwards.

    Within two years of this new song being invented, whales in French Polynesia were singing this same "version".

    "It's a culturally-driven change across a vast scale," said Ms Garland.

    Humpback Hit Parade

  16. Well shoot. I had hoped that marijuana would be the one mind-altering substance that wouldn’t alter my mind – The Onion.

    More on the dangers of loco weed -

  17. It's a Conspiracy.

    That goes all the way to the top.

    Well, not quite.

    1. CBS News Feb 11, 2009

      A poll released earlier this year by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that 21 percent of people aged 18 to 29 cited "The Daily Show" and "Saturday Night Live" as a place where they regularly learned presidential campaign news.

    2. "A lot of them are probably high," Stewart cracked. "I'm not sure, coming off of robots fighting and into our show, what we're dealing with out there."

  18. Such capital flows have been a prop for sterling. Foreign investors have been net buyers of gilts since July, according to Bank of England data.

    In September, nonresident investors purchased £1.839 billion ($2.943 billion) more gilts than they sold, and the pound appreciated almost 6% against the dollar and hit $1.6307, its highest level in more than a year. Late Wednesday, it traded at $1.6018.

    Another support could come if other countries face downgrades, neutralizing a more critical view of the U.K. "The respite may be that other European countries are downgraded too, and the U.K. could be in good company," said Standard Life's Mr. Milligan.

  19. Students are being offered up to £15,000 a year to cover their university studies in exchange for having sex with a stranger, an undercover investigation by The Independent has revealed.


    Attempts to confirm the true identity of the “assessor” have since proved unsuccessful.

    ... had been changed tonight to say simply: “Sorry website unavailable for maintenance”.

  20. Argentina faces 42 claims at the World Bank’s ICSID in which the plaintiffs are demanding compensations for almost 65 billion dollars, revealed Eduardo Barcesat legal advisor to the Argentine Treasury and one of several lawyers who has defended the country in those litigations.


    Argentina has not paid any of the compensations as dictated by ICSID said Barcesat who is also a professor at the University of Buenos Aires and participated in a forum in Quito relative to investment disputes organized by the Ecuadorian government.

  21. Nearly the entire Arkansas Republican Congressional delegation – save for Rep. Rick Crawford – are considering campaigns against Sen. Mark Pryor, a moderate Democrat whose surname is nearly as storied in the state as the Clinton name.. (He’s the son of former Sen. David Pryor, who served the state as governor, senator and representative.) Pryor was so untouchable six years ago that not a single Republican stepped forward to challenge him; he won 80 percent against a Green Party candidate.


    Other races have yet to take shape, but there’s interest from Republicans looking to challenge sitting Democratic senators. In Louisiana, Rep. Bill Cassidy has banked over $2 million in his campaign account, most of that coming in the last year, despite facing no serious re-election campaign.

    In solidly-Republican Alaska, Democratic Sen. Mark Begich is expected to face a tough challenge, with the state’s lieutenant governor Mead Treadwell a possible opponent. And we’re not even in December yet.

  22. Michigan Governor Won't Rule Out Dissolving City Of Detroit...

    Raze it, and salt its earth.

  23. Ask an Expert
    How many hours were in a dinosaur's day?
    Concrete dinosaurs

    Real dinosaurs lived in a world that would have been different to ours in more than the obvious ways (Source: tobyfraley/iStockphoto)

    I heard a scientist say that a day was 21 hours long during the time of the dinosaurs. Is this true and if so why?— Irene

    The 24-hour clock is locked into our mammalian biology, our technology and our culture. But it hasn't always been that way.

    The length of an Earth day has been increasing slowly throughout most of the Earth's 4.5-billion-year history, says Dr Rosemary Mardling, mathematical scientist at Monash University, and it all has to do with the Moon.

    "The reason is that the Moon is attempting to slow down the spin of the Earth. The Earth was spinning very much faster when the Moon was formed," says Mardling.

    Back when the Moon was formed the length of an Earth day was a very brief two to three hours, and a much closer Moon was orbiting the Earth every five hours.

    So how did the Moon slow us down? It has to do with gravitational force and the transfer of angular momentum.

    "If someone was sitting on a chair that could spin and you tried to slow them down with your hand, they would slow down a little bit and you'd be flipped around a bit. You'd get some angular momentum."

    And that's what is happening with the Earth-Moon system. Much like the hand interrupting the spinning chair, the gravitational pull of the Moon exerts a force on the Earth that transfers angular momentum from the spin of the Earth into the orbit of the Moon.

    "In doing so, the Earth slows down a little bit and the Moon moves away from the Earth," says Mardling.

    We can measure the speed of the Moon's retreat — reflective panels on the Moon allow for fine calibrations that show that it's currently moving away one to two centimetres a year.

    We also know that the spin of the Earth is slowing.

    "The spin down rate is very slow," says Mardling, "It's about two milliseconds per century. So the Earth's day is getting longer by a 500th of a second every century"

    In the time of the dinos

    So would the day length during the age of the dinosaurs have been 21 hours?

    "The dinosaurs were around 100 million years ago, which at the current rate [of day lengthening] adds up to 2000 seconds, which is less than an hour."

    But while the lengthening of the day adds up, "the spin down rate was probably greater in the past," she adds.

    Geological evidence for increasing day length can help us pin this time down more accurately. Tidal records laid down in ancient estuaries can show daily, monthly and seasonal cycles in alternating deposits of sand and silt. They indicate that 620 million years ago the day was 21 hours, says Mardling.

    Since the dinosaurs lived during the Mesozoic era, from 250 million years ago to 65 million years ago, day length would have been longer than 21 hours and probably closer to 23 hours.

    At that time the Moon would have been closer to the Earth too. So the world the dinosaurs lived in would have been different to ours in more than the obvious ways, she says.

    1. Earthquakes and day length

      Significant earthquakes can also affect the length of the day, but only very slightly.

      They do so be changing the Earth's "moment of inertia" which describes how mass is distributed inside the Earth. The principal of conservation of angular momentum means that a change to the moment of inertia results in a change to the spin rate.

      "Imagine the Earth is made of lots of little bricks. You can measure the position of each brick and its position from the rotation axis of the Earth. If you squared that distance, multiplied it by the mass of the brick and then you added it all up over all the bricks, you would get the moment of inertia.

      If you move the bricks around a little bit you get a different answer, and that's what can happen during some very large earthquakes.

      The future

      The Moon and Earth's celestial dance theoretically will take billions of years to end.

      "This process finishes when the length of the day is the same as the length of the (lunar) month," says Mardling, who once worked this out to be around 45 (current Earth) days.

      This means that the Moon will take 45 days to orbit the Earth and the Earth will take 45 days to complete a rotation that currently takes 24 hours.

      "At that point the Earth will always show the same face to the Moon, as the Moon already does to us."

      This will occur when the Moon has "spun down" the Earth, says Mardling.

      "We spun down the Moon a long, long time ago because it is so much less massive than the Earth".

      "However", says Mardling, "it's such a ridiculously long time away that by then the Sun will have become a red giant."

      And if humans are still around then we'll have bigger things to worry about than day length.

      Dr Rosemary Mardling is a senior lecturer at Monash University's School of Mathematical Sciences. She studies the dynamical evolution of stellar and planetary systems. Dr Mardling spoke to Kylie Andrews.

  24. I'm trying to figure out if our future lies with Spain, Greece, or Argentina.

  25. Spain, Greece, Argentina, or Afghanistan.....

    Home » News
    DC Takes Top Honors -- for Worst Graduation Rate in U.S.
    By Pete Winn
    November 28, 2012
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    High School graduation

    ( – Washington, D.C., had the worst high school graduation rate in the country in 2011, according to state-by-state statistics released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Only 59 percent of high school students who started as freshmen in the 2006-2007 school year graduated four years later from District of Columbia schools, according to the data, which details state four-year high school graduation rates in the 2010-11 school year.

    That compares with a 76 percent rate during 2009-2010.

    There were 71,284 students in 191 schools in the District of Columbia, which is not a state but comprises the nation’s capital city. The district received $98.3 million dollars in federal funding during 2011.

    Second from the bottom is Nevada, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), with a 62 percent graduation rate.

    At the top of the list, meanwhile, Iowa stood alone, with an 88 percent graduation rate.

    Wisconsin, the home state of GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, tied for second-best with Vermont, posting a graduation rate of 87 percent.

    Delaware, the home state of Vice President Joe Biden, had a 78 percent graduation rate, while California – home of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) – stood at 76 percent.

  26. This fellow argues the answer is - Greece!

    Thus, if all goes as planned, he will leave office with a national debt of $20 trillion, and a debt-to-GDP ratio far above 100 percent.

    That’s Greece. It is an unsustainable governing model, so we should be asking not just about the demographic destiny of the GOP, but also how soon Dems will be condemned by the fiscal facts.

    O, put our ashes in a Grecian urn.

  27. We'll get to 'blame it all on Obama' soon.

  28. A full month after Superstorm Sandy slammed into the Northeast, business owners in the region are shifting efforts away from clearing roads or restoring power, to coping with the storm's long-term costs—and getting back to business.


    In the fourth installment of the Journal's monthlong multimedia project following three business owners in the wake of storm, all three owners are facing challenges that weren't covered in their business plans a month ago—from slower deliveries to makeshift production.


    Joann Thompson was worried that she wouldn't be able to attract new clients to her interior-design business after her furniture showroom flooded in Superstorm Sandy. Last week, to her surprise, a local homeowner who had never visited the store before called to schedule an appointment with her design staff.

  29. On this day, Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” celebrates his 50th birthday.


  30. Rove's fall from grace is perhaps unsurprising, given his group's disastrous performance this cycle. According to a new report, American Crossroads got a mere 1% return on its $104 million investment in 2012 races.

    For social conservatives, the treason began long before election day, when Rove led the party's tar-and-feathering of Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, after Akin's now infamous "legitimate rape" comments. The GOP's perceived betrayal of Akin confirmed what many grassroots conservative activists had long suspected: That the Republican Establishment was willing to throw the base under the bus to serve the interests of deep-pocketed donors.

    Chief among Rove's critics is David Lane, a powerful evangelical kingmaker and conservative operative who organizes briefings between pastors and politicians. In an email obtained by Business Insider, Lane lays out his criticism of Rove and sets the stage clearly for the coming war between the GOP Establishment and the party base.

    The Obscure Civil War Dividing the Republican Party

    Yes, Virginia, the Republican Party has Evangelicals. They are not a figment of your imagination nor an obscure fabrication by the news media.

  31. I'll see that warp drive and raise you one replicator box.

  32. Can you make girls with one of those? The Yacht Club is lonely tonight.

    1. I came down here expecting to be swamped with offers as I was led to believe to reproduce my species. So far, no luck.

  33. A color-coded map of the world’s most and least emotional countries

  34. The United States places 17th in the developed world for education, according to a global report by education firm Pearson.

    Finland and South Korea, not surprisingly, top the list of 40 developed countries with the best education systems. Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore follow. The rankings are calculated based on various measures, including international test scores, graduation rates between 2006 and 2010, and the prevalence of higher education seekers. (See the list of top 20 countries in the slideshow below)

    Pearson's chief education adviser Sir Michael Barber tells BBC that the high ranking countries tend to offer teachers higher status in society and have a "culture" of education.

    The study notes that while funding is an important factor in strong education systems, cultures supportive of learning is even more critical -- as evidenced by the highly ranked Asian countries, where education is highly valued and parents have grand expectation. While Finland and South Korea differ greatly in methods of teaching and learning, they hold the top spots because of a shared social belief in the importance of education and its "underlying moral purpose."

    The study aims to help policymakers and school leaders identify key factors that lead to successful educational outcomes. The research draws on

    What works

  35. Lena is pregnant with Ole's child.

    Late one night, Lena vakes Ole and says, 'I tink it's time!'

    So Ole fired up the Yohn Deere tractor and took her to the hospital to have their first baby.

    She had a little boy, and the doctor looked over at Ole and said, 'A son! Ain't dat Great!' Well, Ole got excited by dis, but yust den the doctor spoke up and said,

    'Hold on! We ain't finished yet!' The doctor den held up a little girl.. He said, 'Hey, Ole! You got you a daughter!' She's a pretty little ting, too.'

    Ole got kind of puzzled by this, an then the doctor said, 'Holey Moley, Ole we still ain't done yet!' The doctor then delivered another boy and said, Ole, you yust had yourself another boy!'

    Ole was flabbergasted by this news!

    A couple days later, Ole brought Lena and their three Children home in the self-propelled combine. He was real

    Serious and he asked Lena , 'How come we got tree on the first try?'

    Lena said, 'You remember dat night we ran out of Vaseline and

    You vent out in the garage and got dat dere 3-in-1 Oil?'

    Ole said, 'Yeah, I do.. Uffda! It's a dang good ting I didn't get the WD-40!!

    1. :) heh

      Dat very goot ting, goot joke, Sam.

  36. Lead Story
    Obama the Job-Killing Owl-Killer

    By Michelle Malkin • November 28, 2012

    Welcome to the pretzel logic of liberal environmental protection: In order to “save” owls, the Obama administration is going to shoot them dead.

    This is not — I repeat not — an Onion parody.

    Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the White House released a big fat policy turkey: its final critical habitat rule for the endangered northern spotted owl. The Obama plan will lock up 9.6 million acres of land (mostly, but not all, federal) in Oregon, Washington and northern California. This is nearly double the acreage set aside by the Bush administration. Thousands of timber workers (along with untold thousands of related support jobs) will be threatened in the name of sparing a few thousand spotted owls from extinction.

    As House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., pointed out earlier this year, timber-dependent counties hit hard by the federal land grab and unending environmental litigation remain racked by high unemployment. “The loss in economic activity caused by the original spotted owl plan caused an astounding decrease in federal tax receipts of nearly $700 million per year — all from rural Northwest communities.”

    Despite two decades of massive government intervention and the near-destruction of the northwest timber industry, the furry bird is vanishing faster than ever. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, “(t)imber harvest on 24 million acres of federal land had dropped 90 percent from its heyday” by the year 2000. Yet, northern spotted owls are now “disappearing three times faster than biologists had feared.” Indeed, spotted owl populations in key parts of Washington State “are half what they were in the 1980s.” And overall, the bird has seen a 40 percent decline over the past 25 years, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Punishing loggers and bringing the timber industry to its knees have made vengeful environmental groups fat and happy. But the northern spotted owl they claim to care so much about is catastrophically worse off thanks to green zealotry. One root cause: habitat loss (thanks in part to raging wildfires resulting from poor forest management and green opposition to thinning/controlled burns).

    The other major, nonhuman culprit: the barred owl.

    These barred owls began migrating from the East Coast in the 1950s, and the USFWS reports that the larger, more aggressive and more adaptable birds “are known to displace spotted owls, disrupt their nesting and compete with them for food.” Barred owls are more prolific breeders, less finicky about their food and less picky about where they live. They also don’t bow down before the Endangered Species Act or the hallowed “threatened” status of its weaker brethren. They are brutal predators known to slam into spotted owls, slicing them with their talons and decapitating them in their nests.

    1. Conservation groups whine that barred owls are victims of “scapegoating.” But USFWS Director Dan Ashe spoke the truth earlier this year: “We can’t ignore the mounting evidence that competition from barred owls is a major factor in the spotted owl’s decline.”

      Instead of admitting failure and letting nature take its course, however, command-and-control bureaucrats have appointed themselves Mother Nature’s judges, juries and executioners. Their “main priority” is “reducing competition from barred owls.” How? By gunning them down. Final details are still in the works, but the agency has floated past removal schemes that involve “luring territorial barred owls into close range … using recorded calls and an owl decoy. … A shotgun would be used to prevent wounding and ensure rapid and humane death.” Experts say such an eradication plan would need to continue for centuries.

      Twenty years of regulatory salvation have failed the northern spotted owl. Who believes that another top-down government exercise in species engineering — this time backed with bullets — will do the trick? When the government picks winners and losers, taxpayers always get screwed. No matter the job losses. No matter the death toll. Arrogant and unaccountable central planners never give a hoot.

  37. uses a variety of images of women and glowing testimonials claiming to come from satisfied customers which it is feared could attract young women struggling financially.

    The website claims that most of the sponsors are “men between the ages of 28 and 50 who run their own successful business and want to have discreet adventures with a student whilst helping them fund their studies through a scholarship”. It even suggests the amount is tax deductible.

    However, opponents say that the unequal power relationship between sex worker and client leaves particularly women open to sexual exploitation whilst safety groups have warned women against going off with people they do not know.

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