“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."

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Why are we in this mess with North Korea? Because we are still in South Korea. Why?


By: Patrick J. Buchanan
4/5/2013 09:05 AM

“If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you,” said Calvin Coolidge, who ever counseled patience over the rash response.
Unfortunately, the troubles presented by North Korea’s Kim Jong Un seem unlikely to run into a ditch before they reach us.
For Kim has crawled out on a limb. He has threatened to attack U.S. forces in Korea and bases in Asia, even U.S. cities. He has declared the truce that ended the Korean War dead and that “a state of war” exists with the South. All ties to the South have been cut.
The United States has sent B-52s and stealth fighters to Korea and anti-missile warships to the Sea of Japan. Two B-2 bombers flew from Missouri to Korea and back in a provocative fly-by of the Hermit Kingdom. And both South Korea and we have warned that, should the North attack, swift retribution will follow.
Kim Jong Un is in a box. If he launches an attack, he risks escalation into war. But if his bluster about battling the United States turns out to be all bluff, he risks becoming an object of ridicule in Asia and at home.
Why is he playing with fire? Because his father and grandfather did, and got away with murder.
In 1968, Kim Il Sung hijacked the U.S. intelligence ship Pueblo and held its crew hostage. America, tied down in Vietnam, did nothing. In 1976, North Koreans ax-murdered two U.S. officers in the DMZ. In 1983, Pyongyang tried to assassinate South Korea’s president in Burma and blew up three members of his cabinet. In 1987, North Koreans blew up a South Korean airliner.
These unpunished atrocities all occurred during the rule of Kim Il Sung.
Under Kim Jong Il, Pyongyang torpedoed a South Korean patrol boat, killing 47, and shelled a South Korean island, killing four. Neither Washington nor Seoul retaliated.
The danger is that Kim Jong Un believes he, too, can get away with murder and he, too, will be appeased with aid and investments.
Yet neither President Obama nor President Park Geun Hye — whose father, President Park Chung Hee, was the target of assassination attempts and whose mother died in one — can be seen as tolerating another North Korean outrage.
To avoid a collision, a diplomatic path will have to be opened for Kim to back away from the confrontation he has provoked. But, in the longer term, America has to ask herself:
What are we doing, 20 years after the end of the Cold War, with 28,000 troops in Korea and thousands on the DMZ facing the North?
What are we doing there that South Korean soldiers could not do for themselves? Why is South Korea’s defense our responsibility, 60 years after President Eisenhower ended the Korean War?
For over a decade, some of us have urged the United States to pull all U.S. troops off the peninsula.
Had we done so, we would not be in the middle of this crisis now.
South Korea is not inherently weaker than the North. It has twice the population, and its economy is 40 times as large. And the South has access to U.S. weapons superior to anything the North can acquire.
After Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, as Robert Gates said, any defense secretary who recommends that America fight a new land war in Asia ought to have his head examined.
Why, then, are we still on the DMZ?
The long-run danger that has to be addressed is this: Kim Jong Un is about 30, and his life expectancy, absent a coup, is 40 or 50 years. Yet, within a few years, if he persists as he promises to do, he could have dozens of nuclear-armed missiles pointed at South Korea, Japan and Okinawa.
And if Pyongyang becomes a nuclear weapons state, it is difficult to see how Seoul and Tokyo will not be required to match its nuclear arsenal, as Pakistan felt compelled to match India’s.
And a nuclear-armed South Korea or Japan would hardly be welcomed in Beijing.
What would China do? Some Chinese are urging Beijing to dump North Korea as an unreliable and uncontrollable ally that could drag them into war. Hard-liners are said to be urging China to stand by her longtime ally and buffer state.
Whatever comes of this crisis, U.S. policy, seemingly frozen in the 1950s, is in need of review. We cannot indefinitely be responsible for the defense of South Korea from an erratic dictator hell-bent on acquiring nuclear missiles.
In the near-term, even a conventional war on that most heavily armed border on earth, between South and North Korea, would be a calamity. To avert it, if necessary, Obama should pick up the phone, call North Korea and talk directly to Kim.
In a far graver crisis, perpetrated by Nikita Khrushchev in 1962, John F. Kennedy did not hesitate to communicate with the culprit.


  1. The Korean peninsula has raely been united. It has been, historically, as many as three distinct nations.

    The South has over a million men in its' army, just like US.
    It has armored personnel carriers, main battle tanks, and ground support planes. Just like US.

    The South does not need US troops, it has its' own.

  2. >In an op-ed piece in the Haaretz daily Wednesday, Israeli journalist Amira Hass wrote that Israel has engaged in systematic violence against the Palestinians as part of its well-oiled machinery of occupation.

    "Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule," wrote Hass, who covers the Palestinians and lives in the West Bank. Limitations of that right could include "the distinction between civilians and those who carry arms," she wrote.

    1. She told The Associated Press on Thursday that she believes those skewering her intentionally ignored her reference to the limitations of resistance.

      "The choice not to read those very clear sentences is part of the Israeli culture of denial of its institutionalized violence against the Palestinians," she said in an emailed response to questions.

    2. the Israeli culture of denial of its institutionalized violence against the Palestinians

    3. .

      "Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule," wrote Hass



  3. Trayvon Martin's parents have settled a wrongful-death claim for an amount thought to be more than $1 million against the homeowners association of the Sanford subdivision where their teenage son was killed.

  4. More Federal waste in space.
    If this project was worthy of a $100 million USD, a business consortium would fund it.

    NASA unveils plans to tow asteroid into Earth's orbit for astronauts to explore:

    Florida Sen. Bill Nelson said Friday $100 million of President Obama's budget will be set aside for the space mission. The two-phased plan would help put an astronaut on an asteroid by 2021, four years ahead of Obama's previous goal.

    Read more:

    Another foreign adventure we will borrow the money to fund.

    1. .

      If this project was worthy of a $100 million USD, a business consortium would fund it

      The same could be said for most projects the FEDs funds including your favorite renewable energy projects.


    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. As I've said, Q, as a practical matter I do think that tax holidays and such should be available to 2nd generation ethanol distilleries.
      As a matter of fact private capital has funded ethanol projects to a total much higher than $100 million.
      InBrazil private capital ...
      Petrobras, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Petrobras Biocombustível, will invest US$2.5 billion in increasing biodiesel and ethanol production between 2011 and 2015. This amount is part of $4.1 billion earmarked for the biofuels business, which also foresees $1.3 billion for ethanol logistics and $300 million for research in this segment.
      In the biofuels research area, meanwhile, $300 million will be invested in advancing the development of second-generation ethanol (cellulosic ethanol) with a view to industrial-scale production.

      I do not support direct Federal funding of any "renewable" project. The Federals have worked with business consortiums, on ethanol, why are thee no similar consortium to "Get" an asteroid?

      . On 28 February 2007, the U.S. Dept. of Energy announced $385 million in grant funding to six cellulosic ethanol plants.[37] This grant funding accounts for 40% of the investment costs. The remaining 60% comes from the promoters of those facilities.
      Hence, a total of $1 billion will be invested for approximately 140-million-US-gallon (530,000 m3) capacity. This translates into $7/annual gallon production capacity in capital investment costs for pilot plants; future capital costs are expected to be lower.

      The reality of ethanol distillation, fom our fiends at Wiki ...

      Expanding ethanol (and biodiesel) industries provided jobs in plant construction, operations, and maintenance, mostly in rural communities.

      According to RFA the ethanol industry created almost 154,000 U.S. jobs in 2005, boosting household income by $5.7 billion. It also contributed about $3.5 billion in federal, state and local tax

      Not a $100 million direct Federal expense for 2013, but billions paid into Federal, State and local tax coffers.

    4. .

      The Federals have worked with business consortiums, on ethanol, why are thee no similar consortium to "Get" an asteroid?

      Perhaps, there is no financial reward in trying to save the world. If you read the article you posted, you would note that the mission is a preliminary plan with two ultimate goals, eventually mining asteroids and also learning how to divert them from collision with the earth.

      In the first case, while it may be pie in the sky at this point, it may become a necessity in the future. In the second case, over the past month, we've witnessed the damage a large meteor could produce even without hitting the earth. Were a large one to actually impact a major population center, we would be talking much more than 'billions' of dollars.

      The reality of ethanol distillation, fom our fiends at Wiki ...

      You talk about 'reality' and corporate investment with ethanol yet you ignore the federal mandate that distorts the market and reduces the risk. You talk about 'reality' yet you only quote the DOE and the RFA, hardly independent observors. As I recall, it was the DOE that published that study from the UI that said ethanol was bringing down the price of gas at the pump by $1.09. Although, they were willing to publish it, even they had to write a disclaimer saying that although they reprinted it they weren't endorsing it.

      And "estimated jobs" tells us little about the reality when quoted by either side in a debate unless we are provided with the details. How many are permanent jobs, how many are implied (Mickey D workers providing burgers and fries to the real workers), etc.

      Not a $100 million direct Federal expense for 2013, but billions paid into Federal, State and local tax coffers.

      I assume you either don't know how the federal budget process works or you are deliberately wording this statement so as to mislead. The 2013 budget covers a 10 year period, so on average we are talking about $10 per year.

      As far as the cost of renewables, here is another article that provides different numbers.

      In a report earlier this year, the Brookings Institution put green stimulus spending at $51 billion. From 2009 to 2014, Brookings estimates the federal government will spend over $150 billion from both stimulus and non-stimulus funds on green initiatives.

      Nearly $100 billion of that will go towards supporting renewable energy, including subsidies for current wind, solar and biofuel projects as well as R&D for promising new technologies.

      Another $15 billion will go toward conservation, including the $4.8 billion spent on the home weatherization program. Funding for electric cars and high speed rail garner about $10 billion each, while smart grid and nuclear power get about $6 billion each.

      I'll stand by my original statement,

      The same could be said for most projects the FEDs funds including your favorite renewable energy projects.


    5. No, Q, I do not ignore Federal mandates, as a driver of business, anymore than I ignore corporate paid health insurance.

      It is a "Given".

      Anymore than I ignore the off shore tax havens.
      They ae a given.

      Givens are part of the current reality.

      I, myself, do not live in a fantasy whirled, were all things must be perfect.
      No, my over riding concern, what I consider the primary security objective for the nation, is to wean the US off of Wahhabi oil. Ethanol is the only pathway available that has a chance of making that goal a reality.

      The US vehicle fleet will certainly not be powered by batteries, that do not exist, for vehicles that need liquid, fluid energy to make them run.

    6. Then you, Q, give US a Brookings study that lumps all "Green" initiatives together.
      What a piece of shitty reporting.

      We are talking ethanol, but YOU include wind farms, electric cars and mass transit into the mix.

      What a load of off topic BS.

    7. .

      We are talking ethanol, but YOU include wind farms, electric cars and mass transit into the mix.

      What a load of off topic BS.

      Off-topic? Let's be clear. YOU were talking ethanol rat. However, the subject that started off this stream of posts was your commnent that "If this project was worthy of a $100 million USD, a business consortium would fund it" and my response that "The same could be said for most projects the FEDs fund including your favorite renewable energy projects."

      Try and keep up, rat.


    8. But, Q, those other items are not on my list.
      I do not support any of them. The only "alternative" I do support is ethanol. It is my only "Favoite"

      Wish you could read what you write.

    9. .

      I could give a shit what you support or don't support, rat.

      You put out a statement about funding for a government program. I responded that the same statement could be made about 'most' government programs including your favorite. That's when you launched into your defense of ethanol.

      The point is, it's a zero-sum game and how you feel about a program is dependant upon whose ox is being gored.


    10. .

      Wish you could read what you write.

      And I wish you could follow the initial premise of an argument to a logical conclusion.

      I'm off-topic? You make me laugh.


      And even when you move off-topic, you make my point for me.

      No, Q, I do not ignore Federal mandates, as a driver of business, anymore than I ignore corporate paid health insurance.

      It is a "Given".

      And I wish you would read what you write, at least, within the context of the original argument.


    11. No gain, Q.

      You response as to my "favorites" personalized the discussion.
      Putting it a limited field. When that turned on you, an attempt was made to introduce a Strawman to the discussion.

      You were called on it.

      My "Favorite" happens to fall outside your argument.

      As for the fuel mandates, I opposed them when introduced to Phoenix as part of a Clean Air campaign. The opposition was fruitless. Fuel mix mandates from the Federals, are now part of the national landscape.


    12. .

      Your favorate "falls outside the argument"?

      Nonsense, rat. You obviously are unaware of the billions that were poured into ethanol subsidies, reasearch, and grants over the years. You talk about mandates as being current 'reality' as if we should dismiss them as a quirk of nature, as if they don't distort markets. as if they don't ignore the law of supply and demand, as if they don't cost money, as if they don't create an advantage for ethanol producers by guaranteeing a market and reducing risk.

      Don't be silly.


    13. Again, you are talking about yesterday not tomorrow.

      We agree that the Federals should not be funding energy projects, directly.
      And they no longer directly fund ethanol projects, but they do directly fund space adventures.

      If there was any economic justification for capturing an asteroid, a business consortium would be involved. There is no economic justification for this asteroid adventure, it is a sop to Florida and Senator Nelson. A $100 million expenditure in 2013 as a down payment on a ten year project you seem to support. By the time it is finished, multiple billions will have been spent, or the project will be abandoned.

      The "Seed Money" wasted.

      The asteroid capture is bad business and worse government.

    14. .

      Again, that's your opinion, and again it misses the point.

      The allocation of funds by govenment is a political process. Every dollar that is allocated has its detractors and proponents.

      Again, you are talking about yesterday not tomorrow.

      What a specious argument and easy to say now that the money has been spent. And are you saying you want the government to stop the work it's now doing with regard to financing research and development on cellulosic ethanol? Do you want them to cancel RFS2 with regard to the mandate on cellulosic?

      Give me a break.


    15. No breaks, Q.

      I am saying that to start a new ten yea project, which will run a least a billion dollars, to "capture" an asteroid and bring it into earth orbit is an example of "Waste in Space".
      If it were not so there would be private money available to help fund the project.

      There were private consortium that the Federals "partnered" with for those energy projects you mentioned, both alternative and petrochemical. There was an economic opportunity that private enterprise would sign on to. There is no such viability to "Asteroid Hunting". There are no private partners helping to fund the adventure.

      The "Great Asteroid Harvest", creating a "new" moon for the earth.
      A grander example of "Waste in Space" could not be envisioned.

    16. As for the Federal spending on research on cellulosic ethanol, it matters little to me.
      The Brazilians will spend $300 million USD on the effort, the technology will be available, for purchase or theft.

      The Federals do not need to spend a dime on research, just create an environment where the ethanol enters the market, justified as a National Security priority.

    17. .

      A grander example of "Waste in Space" could not be envisioned.

      It's obvious you lack vision, rat.


      ...create an environment where the ethanol enters the market, justified as a National Security priority.

      What you mean is create an environment where ethanol "must" enter the market (refer back to the definition of mandate).

      National security priority?

      The same rationale used by McCain and Graham to justify continuing $ trillion dollar military budgets. The last I saw, the US gets 84% of its total energy needs domestically. Likewise, from the recent RINS debate the point was made that if the Oil companies couldn't sell enough fuel to meet mandated ethanol usage or the RINS credits were too expensive they could export their products rather than increase their costs for producing here, an action you would no doubt support given your concern for corporate interests.


    18. Whether J McCain makes an unrelated argument on a different subject that echoes mine, or not, has no bearing on the dangers of the US being dependent upon Wahhabi oil from the Persian Gulf region.

      That dependence upon Wahhabi oil is truly a National Security interest. One of the primary reasons we continue to maintain those 12 carrier battle groups.

      That entire region is a cauldron of sectarian turmoil.
      To be dependent upon them, poor strategic policy.

      The only fuel that can be produced in the Americas, in abundance, that will mix with petroleum is ethanol.

    19. .

      Wahhabi's? Dependent upon them?

      Good lord, rat. The last I saw, we get about 12% of out total oil usage from the ME, a little more than the 10% we get from Africa. From Saudi Arabia? About 8% of our total usage. We would do better having our fleet stationed around Canada.


    20. That's right, Q, we only have to be able to produce 10% of US consumption to have the capacity to embargo the Persian Gulf. US ethanol production is now 10% of US consumption.

      Using the petroleum of the Americas, including US, Canuck and Mexican and adding current and under construction ethanol distillation capacity the US could now be free of Persian Gulf imports. If there were a strategic crisis which eliminated those supply sources from the global market.

      Your Welcome.

      We defend Canada, through NATO agreements and with regards Mexico.
      The Merida Initiative opened the door to increased engagement in 2007, with the United States providing funding and equipment to help Mexican law enforcement fight drug cartels and related criminal elements.

      Five years later, the United States expanded the mission to include other efforts that contribute to security. Today, the Merida framework includes disrupting organized crime, training state and local police, supporting judicial reforms, promoting legal cross-border commerce while stopping illicit shipments and building strong communities that discourage criminal activity.

      The bottom line -- for the Merida Initiative and for all other theater security cooperation -- is about building partnership capacity, Mahon said.

      “The end state for Mexico, from our perspective, is that we are their strategic partner of choice in the region, and they are a regional partner who can then assist other nations in the region or respond to other crises in the region, for example through humanitarian assistance or disaster relief,” he said.

      The Mexicans, for example, are modernizing their aviation platforms. Northcom worked with them, through the State Department, to help upgrade their RC-26 aircraft and acquire UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for SEMAR, he said. The United States also is helping Mexico buy C-130J Hercules aircraft through the foreign military sales program, along with the logistics capabilities required to maintain these latest-generation cargo aircraft, Mahon said.

    21. OTTAWA | Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:37pm EDT

      (Reuters) - North America's three defense ministers declared their first-ever dialogue on common security threats on Tuesday an "historic occasion," even though their main accomplishment was to agree to continue regular discussions.

      Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay, who hosted the gathering in Ottawa, said he and his counterparts from Mexico and the United States decided to develop a common assessment of threats facing the continent and to cooperate to address them.

      Key among the common security concerns are illegal drug trafficking, organized crime, disaster response and cyber security - a growing concern in a region where officials say critical infrastructure like electrical grids often do not stop at the borders.

      "Through our discussions today we were able to identify a number of opportunities to better coordinate our efforts on issues related to national defense," MacKay told a news conference.

      "We discussed the need to advance a common understanding of the threats facing North America," he added. "We will work together to develop a trilateral threat assessment for the continent that will provide the basis for common understanding and approach as we work to address these challenges."

      U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the gathering had provided an "unprecedented opportunity to try to bring together our nations in a common approach to continental security."

      "All of us have been part of what I think has been a very historic occasion," he told a news conference. "This is the first trilateral meeting of defense ministers from the United States, Canada and Mexico."

      Panetta and MacKay held bilateral talks with each other and also with Mexico's defense and navy secretaries, General Guillermo Galvan Galvan and Admiral Francisco Saynaz Mendoza, before all the ministers met together.

      "For Mexico," Galvan told the news conference, "fighting organized crime and narco-trafficking represents our highest priority." More than 50,000 people have been killed in clashes between drug cartels and Mexico's government over the past five years.

      Panetta said he and his Mexican counterparts had "a great discussion about the effort against the cartels and how we can continue to improve our efforts against them." He said they also discussed improving the military response to disaster relief, as well as military training and exchange programs.

      Senior U.S. defense officials, speaking ahead of the meeting, said they thought its main accomplishment would be to agree to institutionalize the forum as a way to address hemispheric security issues.

    22. .

      I'll have to learn to use that sarcasm font better since my comment about having the carriers around Canada was merely a sarcastic jab to point out that we now get twice as much oil from Canada as we do from Saudi Arabia and your fears of the Wahhabis as a major concern with regard to oil supply here are likely misplaced.

      We get more oil from Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, and Nigeria now because the transportation costs are cheaper than getting it from the ME. However, in the absence of another world war pitting east against west, oil will be sold on the global market and all suppliers will sell it wherever and to whomever they can to maximize their profit. If they can do that by cutting their costs they will do it. If they can do it by charging whatever the market will bear, they will do that. Despite assurances to the contrary, judging from past experiance, we see the truth in the fact that countries don't really have allies, merely interests.

      As to the rest of your post, it's hard to keep up as you tend to flit around like a fishfly in heat. How loan guarantees, grants, subsidies, mandates, etc. on ethanol production in the US somehow impacts on security agreements we have with Mexico to help them fight drug cartels or is pertinent for commercial agreements to help them upgrade their airforce is beyond me.


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  6. Non-large hydro Renewables comprised 21% of California's electricity, yesterday. Add in the Large Hydro, and you're probably close to thirty percent.


  7. Fort Bliss in Texas has just announced that it will get the single largest military renewable energy project ever undertaken by the US, in the form of a 20 megawatt solar array at the base. To ice the sustainability cake, Fort Bliss is one of the Army’s original “Net Zero” leaders, so the new project could
    Read more at . . . . . .


  8. .

    Liberals, old and young, they never change, intolerant elitists one and all.

    He who controls the language shapes the debate: In the same week the Associated Press announced that it would no longer describe illegal immigrants as “illegal immigrants,” the star columnist of the New York Times fretted that the Supreme Court seemed to have misplaced the style book on another fashionable minority. “I am worried,” wrote Maureen Dowd, “about how the justices can properly debate same-sex marriage when some don’t even seem to realize that most Americans use the word ‘gay’ now instead of ‘homosexual.’” She quoted her friend Max Mutchnick, creator of Will & Grace:

    “Scalia uses the word ‘homosexual’ the way George Wallace used the word ‘Negro.’ There’s a tone to it. It’s humiliating and hurtful. I don’t think I’m being overly sensitive, merely vigilant.”

    Right, Max.

    If they can't control your thought through indoctrination in school, they will at least make ever effort to shut you up or force you to use "acceptable" language.

    That is unless you are part of an "approved" group.

    The Reverend Al Sharpton, who famously observed that Africans of the ancient world had made more contributions to philosophy and mathematics than all “them Greek homos,” need not zip his lips — any more than Bilal Philips, the Toronto Islamic scholar who argues that homosexuals should be put to death, need fear the attention of Canada’s “human rights” commissions. But for the generality of the population this will be one more subject around which one has to tiptoe on ever thinner eggshells.

    I can see why gays might dislike Scalia’s tone, or be hurt by Irons’ “lack of strong feelings.” But the alternative — that there is only one approved tone, that one must fake strong feelings — is creepy and totalitarian and deeply threatening to any healthy society. Irons is learning, as Carrie Prejean learned a while back, that “liberals” aren’t interested in your opinion, or even your sincere support, but only that you understand that there’s one single, acceptable answer. We don’t teach kids to memorize historic dates or great poetry any more, but we do insist they memorize correct attitudes and regurgitate them correctly when required to do so in public...


  9. They need a stake through the heart

    The Most Important State-Federal Dispute You're Not Paying Attention To
    Walter Olson|Apr. 4, 2013 5:00 pm

    The Wall Street Journal editorializes today, not for the first time, about the long-running dispute between New York's suburban Westchester County and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Even if you're not a former county resident (as I am), it's a dispute worth knowing about, with many implications for property owners in the rest of the country. Excerpt:

    At issue is a 2009 settlement with HUD in which Westchester committed to develop 750 public housing units in mostly white neighborhoods over seven years. County executive Rob Astorino has financing for 305 units (110 of which are already occupied), putting Westchester ahead of schedule. ... [Not satisfied,] the agency is interfering with local zoning in Westchester to force more racial diversity on suburban neighborhoods. Last week, HUD New York's Director of Community Planning and Development Vincent Hom wrote Mr. Astorino and threatened to cancel $7.4 million in unrelated housing and community development funds. To keep the cash, Westchester must produce "a satisfactory zoning analysis and plan to overcome exclusionary zoning practices."

    Part of the county's defense is that under New York's system of home rule, towns enjoy legal independence and their surrounding counties cannot simply order them to change their zoning. These town zoning laws assuredly perpetuate economic stratification -- if every home needs to be on an acre or two with well-and-septic, you're likely to draw an affluent average resident -- and libertarians, with some notable exceptions such as Richard Epstein, have often dismissed zoning based on economic-stratification motives as bad policy, improper infringement on property rights, or both. But zoning for economic stratification, when distinct from a racial motivation, has not up to now been thought in itself to violate federal law, and part of the question in the Westchester case is whether HUD will succeed in developing such a norm. (Westchester argues with considerable evidence that affluent, heavily zoned towns like Scarsdale, Chappaqua, and Katonah have a history of being relatively welcoming to minorities, and have long scored well on measures of integration when compared with other similarly affluent communities.) {…}

  10. {…}For a libertarian, it's easy to click past stories like these on the grounds that 1) this is a complex dispute among levels of government, not directly between the state and the individual citizen; 2) it's about time someone pressed these towns to reconsider economic-stratification zoning, so why shouldn't that someone be the feds? 3) HUD's main leverage is its threat to cut off federal money, and from a limited-government standpoint, the more federal funds that get cut off the better.

    But as usual, it's more complicated than that.

    To begin with, in this case -- as indeed in most cases of this sort -- the threat of a federal funds cutoff is being deployed with the aim of raising government outlays, not lowering them. HUD is pressing the county to commit to extremely costly plans for subsidized housing, at a price tag estimated to run between $730 million and $1 billion. For more on how the modern arrangements sometimes called "cooperative federalism" operate to push all the participating levels of government into expanding their level of activity, rather than employing the ambition of one level to check another, see Michael Greve's recent work.

    Moreover, the question of whether the federal government can ban local government practices for which it cannot show racial motivation, but which have "disparate impact" on one or another protected group, is emerging as one of the hottest issues in housing and local government law. Consider, for example, the situation of a town council that is considering cutting back public bus schedules or recreation programs with more than their share of minority users. Even if motivated by budget concerns or an overall small-government philosophy rather than by a desire to harm or discourage minority patrons, such cutbacks might be arguably illegal if "disparate impact" concepts are to rule the day, as the Obama administration keeps suggesting.

    Not least, the Westchester dispute does relate directly to regulation of private citizens. As part of its pressure on the county, HUD is insisting that it is a violation of fair housing law for the county not to enact an ordinance commanding that private landlords not engage in so-called source-of-income discrimination -- which in practice mostly means banning them from turning away government-aided applicants like those from the Section 8 program. Nationally, landlord participation in the Section 8 program is supposed to be voluntary, and many apartment managers and private renters do not participate, sometimes because of less-than-happy experiences with Section 8 tenants. If HUD prevails, it will be one step closer to its apparent goal of requiring -- federal law or no -- that property owners nationwide consent to become Section 8 landlords, a status that brings them under a variety of additional regulations as well as itself seriously infringing their freedom to run their businesses as they please.

    That's one reason even those who aren't fans of restrictive zoning should hope HUD loses this fight.

  11. Rat's tail moved with the mind -

  12. "Talk with Kim."

    Talk with Big Bird.

    No difference, really.

    ...or Denise "Rod""man"woman.

    It's all BS.

    ...I'll watch their most powerful A-Bomb from 10 miles away.
    ...after their "missile" delivers it to Lahaina, Maui.

    Fat Chance.

    Fat Man was real.

    'lil Kim is...

    'lil Kim

  13. Message to Rufus from Johnny Cash and me:


  14. (from a pretty crappy version of "Wanted Man" by Johnny and Bob Dylan.)

    I'll take Ratt's Version.

    ...esp w/the hillarious video.

  15. B-24 Production began after WWII began, and ceased before it ended.

    ...they only built 18,000.

    ...the most of any 4-engined bombers.

    1. The first plane was delivered in one day under the 9 months specified in the contract.

    2. Prior to The Liberator, there was a 300 mile gap in the middle of the Atlantic that Allied Planes could not reach.

      The U-Boats gathered in Wolfpacks there to decimate our shipping.

      The B-24, w/it's 3,000 mile range, closed that gap.

      3,000 miles at 30,000 feet at 300 mph.

  16. Consolidated also built "Catalinas" in SOCAL.

    ...when SOCAL was our crown jewell, not the anus of the nation.

  17. Replies
    1. The bastards that flew those mo-fos had BALLs!

  18. The Catalina taxi-ing up onto the Beach would take Modern Washington DC 50 years to approve,
    ...after 10 million pages of red tape.

    Rufus's wet dream.

  19. Our biggest mistake in North Korea was giving them aid.

    Esp Food.

    Should have let the bastards live on stone soup.

  20. I move that the title of this blog be changed for this post to

    "The Liberator" loving memory of


  21. On your video, there is a huge graphic of that San Diego factory that declares: NOTHING SHORT OF RIGHT IS RIGHT

    Now I wonder, what great thought would be painted on a massive factory?

  22. Pictures of them chipping off ice in Alaska are scary.

    I talked with some guys on our farm from my home town who worked for the Electric Company.

    One guy who served in Alaska talked about them driving D-9's and other "surplus" equipment off the decks and into the ocean.

    My dad bought a cool 6 foot controllable target kite back in the Army Surplus Store Days.

    Sadly, I never got the chance to have it pull me up to the heavens.

  23. ...the same guy also talked about breathing clouds of asbestos mixed with glue which they mixed up with water to insulate the ship's pipes.

    At 45, he was still going strong.

  24. Just as well, you would have probably fucked it up. : )

  25. You squeezed another comment in on me.

  26. I was amazed at the way they stacked the bombs on the grassy slopes. Did you see the the part of the video where the dozed is going down hill to the water? I doubt he could get that thing back up that hill by himself.

    1. ...meanwhile, some luckier flyboys are playing cards outdoors in a tropical paradise.

      Life isn't fair. say the least.

  27. The Zero was a light, agile, acrobat.

    ...outfighting our faster heavier planes when piloted by skilled flyers.

  28. ...and the dreaded FW 190's.

  29. My childhood was spent watching movies of F-86 dogfights w/Migs over Korea.

    The most dramatic "video" being the canopy splattered w/blood.

    ...if I'd been old enuff, and had a pair, I woulda...

  30. Romainia supplied 30 percent of Germany's oil.
    We flew '24's out of North Africa. they time they got there, the groups were widely separated, meaning that the late arrivals were easy targets for the already alerted Nazis to their low level bombing missions.

    ...I wonder why they didn't stick together?

  31. "110 Combat Missions

    23 Enemy Fighters

    1058 Combat Hours

    1 Merchant Vessel

    1 Destroyer

    1 Tanker"

  32. Comment:

    "51:28 bombed by your own planes sucks"

  33. Keith Richards

    Model Father:

    "Kids straighten you out."


    Mick on Steve Jobs and The Mac.

    (w/o which I would probly never have bought my first, the

    "Zenith Easy PC")

    ...also an all in one computer w/o some of the annoying cables.

  34. You just wait 'til I tell you about my latest confrontation w/the kid.
    ...actually, I'll do it now.

    The LIBERATION one feels when you really don't give a shit if you die nice.

    He says he's gonna kill me.

    I say:

    "Have at it, what do I care?"

    He says he's gonna kick me out.

    I say:

    "Fine, I'll go up on your roof and smash every panel of the 10 kw solar system I bought for you."


    ...when the ungrateful bastard comes over w/a really bad attitude and ends up not helping me and my bad back for 5 minutes.

    Not as bad as Rufie, tho.

    Lucky he lives down in the swamps.

  35. The Libertarian

    The Liberator


    The Liberated.

    ...that would be me.

    Man w/o a mission.

    Dribble w/o a cause.

    Fugitive from reality. out all my favorite flicks and TV stuff.

  36. (Reuters) - Eleven children and a woman were killed by an air strike during a NATO operation targeting Taliban commanders in eastern Afghanistan

    1. The Captain Must Never go down with the ship.

      Women and Children must be the first to go.


      ...for the children.

  37. .

    If you are a member of PETA, look out for the drones.

    Yesterday I blasted the PC pricks of the left. Now the even scarier story of big-Ag and the right.

    But a dozen or so state legislatures have had a different reaction: They proposed or enacted bills that would make it illegal to covertly videotape livestock farms, or apply for a job at one without disclosing ties to animal rights groups. They have also drafted measures to require such videos to be given to the authorities almost immediately, which activists say would thwart any meaningful undercover investigation of large factory farms.

    Critics call them “Ag-Gag” bills.

    Some of the legislation appears inspired by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a business advocacy group with hundreds of state representatives from farm states as members. The group creates model bills, drafted by lobbyists and lawmakers, that in the past have included such things as “stand your ground” gun laws and tighter voter identification rules.

    One of the group’s model bills, “The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act,” prohibits filming or taking pictures on livestock farms to “defame the facility or its owner.” Violators would be placed on a “terrorist registry.”


    1. Has the “The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act,” been introduced, anywhere?

      Would filming from a drone, or a manned aircraft with the words "Video" painted upon it make filming overt?

    2. I thrive on animal growth hormones.

      ...and my revered Uncle Bob was in the First Wave of overdosing cattle w/hormones, the better to enhance the yield at market.

      Much to the consternation of my Pharmicist Dad.

    3. How could filming or a still photo defame an establishment?

      de·famed, de·fam·ing, de·fames
      1. To damage the reputation, character, or good name of by slander or libel.

      The truth cannot libel or slander.
      An unedited still photo cannot slander or libel, it represents the reality of a moment in time and place.

    4. Exactly.

      The Establisment is beyond defamation.

      Eat it.

  38. .

    It would be nice to think we would be free of Ben Bernanke next year, but Janet Yellen, one of his acolytes, is purported to be a favorite for taking over when he departs.

    Per capita income and median household income, when adjusted for inflation, declined by more than 7 percent between 2007 and 2011, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

    The official unemployment rate (7.6 percent in March) remains high, despite the fact that people who have stopped looking for work aren't counted in it. In 2007, 63 percent of American adults had jobs. In 2012, just 58.7 percent did.

    Yet the stock market is flirting with all-time highs. Do you find this odd?

    Part of the reason for the disconnect between Main Street and Wall Street is because the stock market more closely reflects corporate profits than it does the health of the economy.

    Many international corporations are earning more overseas than they are at home. And corporate profits are up in part because so few are hiring. Hoarding cash can be good for the stock price even though it is bad for the economy.

    But it's mostly because Wall Street has been the foremost beneficiary of the vast expansion of the money supply engineered by the Federal Reserve Board. The Fed has increased its balance sheet by more than 600 percent since March of 2000, David Stockman noted in an article last Sunday in The New York Times magazine. It's on pace to add $1 trillion this year.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @RCP_Articles on Twitter

    1. I do find it funny that so many were in a tizzy at the prospect of the Federals minting a trillion dollar coin, but so complacent about the fact that the Federal Reserve is creating a trillion USD out of thin air, this year.

      Minting the coin, honest.
      The Federal Reserve creating a trillion, part of the Ponzi con the Government is running.

    2. Japan, and apparently, most of the rest of the "developed" World is marching in step.

      Perhaps Weimar will be but a shadow compared to the coming Worldwide Appocalypse.

      Rufie will proclaim all is well under his hero Obama, right up until the Ship of State splits in two and heads for the bottom.

      ...nearly 10 million fewer in the workforce than the day he took office.

      Unemployment heading DOWN. the (government) numbers.

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. For Gag

    ...and all the rest of the hypercompetitive Armadillos.

  41. ...and demographically, we, and the rest of the "Western World" are fucked, demographically, caught in a slower version of Russia's population collapse.
    (other than our less than economically self-sustaining low skilled and educated, low wage Hispanic influx.)

    And a victim of the "Sexual Revolution" w/male offspring of single moms headed for disaster, in one form or another. (for blacks, think prison)

    Happy Times

    1. ...and delete the second "demographically"

      I'm fucked.

  42. Forget the link above, not the one I wanted,
    ...and I really probably should get some sleep.

    ...In spite of hating my spawn.

  43. The Highly Acclaimed DAG

    ...back in the old days before David Allen Grier became highly acclaimed.

  44. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that
    automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

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  45. This is AMAZING.

    We all know how

    (1)the quantity of Chinese-manufactured goods on the global market has exploded, and

    (2) how wages are increasing in China as Sino manufacturing companies are having to compete more energetically for available workers.

    What if I told you:

    (3) The number of Chinese workers engaged in manufacturing has SHRUNK by 15% over the last decade?

    Remember the One-Child Policy? It started in 1979, right?

  46. This is great

    America the war-weary and war-wary

    By David Ignatius, Published: April 5


    Talking with members of Congress at a gathering here last week was an education in the public’s wariness of new foreign entanglements — especially in Syria. It was a reminder that the post-Iraq era is only beginning, and that it may limit the United States’ ability to exercise power for the next few years.

    The great advantage (and on occasion, disadvantage) of the House of Representatives is that its members are so close to their constituents. Most of them spend nearly every weekend back home in their districts. So they know what the public is thinking in a personal way that’s sometimes missing in Washington foreign-policy debates.

    The discussion here arose during an off-the-record conference organized by a Washington group. One of the topics was possible U.S. involvement in Syria, and it provoked an intense conversation. Many members from both parties made clear how uneasy they are about new U.S. adventures in this part of the world, no matter how noble-sounding the cause.

    “I can’t adequately describe how unwilling the American people are to get involved in another war in the Middle East,” said one representative. “We’re almost unable to respond,” given what the United States has spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, said another. He described intervention proposals as “half-baked” and argued that “the last thing we need is something ineffective.” A third member summed up the public mood this way: “We are not just war-weary, we are war-wary.”

    The skeptical mood was underlined by one member who quoted former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt as saying: “The problem is that you Americans think every problem has a solution.” Well, not anymore — not after Iraq and Afghanistan.

    1. War weary, And WAR WARY; a wonderful turn of phrase.

  47. Ah the Arab Spring, The Neocon dream to destabilize the Arab world - Guess who is paying?

    CAIRO, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Clashes erupted during a Christian funeral in the Egyptian capital on Sunday, leaving one person killed and 66 injured, a health ministry official told Xinhua.

    The people were holding a funeral of four Christians, who had recently been killed in a sectarian brawl, but clashes then erupted outside the main church in Cairo.

    "One was killed and 66 other injured, five of whom are in serious conditions," Khaled al-Khatib, the ministry's director of emergency care department, told Xinhua.

    The dead person is a 30-year-old Coptic, Khatib said, adding that 61 people had left the hospitals as their status is stable now.

    Investigations revealed that the man died from a shot in the chest, state-run Ahram online reported.

    "Sound of gunshots from unknown sources were heard and a lot of people exchanged stone throwing outside the cathedral," said an eyewitness outside Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, located in Abaaseya district of the capital.

    Security forces rushed to the scene and used tear gas to disperse the crowds, the eyewitness told Xinhua.

    The Coptic funeral procession was held for four Christian victims who were killed overnight Friday. Some Christian children allegedly drew crosses on a wall of an Islamic institute in Khosoos town of Qalyubiya, near the capital, which led to the tragic confrontation.

    1. Ah the Arab Spring, The Neocon dream to destabilize the Arab world - Guess who is paying?


      Obama is the Arab Spring guy.

      Remember the Cairo speech?

    2. Who said Obama, and, most importantly, some of his advisors, doesn't have "Neoconnish tendencies?"

  48. Obama is a cypher. I knew we were fucked with him the first time he set his skinny ass in the big leather seat on Air Force One, with the fawning press indolent of thought as Obama exercising his maximum kool said, “This is real nice.”

  49. Among the campgrounds shut down are those at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota. The state's Republican Senator John Thune is feeling particularly grumpy about that. He accused the Park Service of closing his campgrounds instead of cutting wasteful and duplicative spending, examples of which he neglected to offer.

    He's singing the whiny sequester tune popularized by Republicans who refused to raise taxes on the rich to reduce the impact of $1 trillion in indiscriminate, across-the-board budget cuts they demanded. They all said they wanted smaller government. They huffed and they puffed and they threatened to take down the nation's economy until they got it.

    Now that it's here, now that it's affecting their constituents, Republicans contend the $1 trillion in indiscriminate, across-the-board budget cuts they demanded should have been specifically targeted to eliminate only "waste, fraud and abuse."

    That's a confusing assertion, though, from the party insisting on smaller government, the party whose members swore loyalty oaths to Grover Norquist, the anti-government lobbyist who infamously said government must be shrunk small enough to drown in a bathtub. Even if every speck of waste, fraud and abuse that anyone could ever uncover were eliminated, it wouldn't add up to $1 trillion. And it wouldn't shrink government.

    Government might be more efficient, but it wouldn't be smaller. Smaller government requires cutting actual services and programs -- like Thune's campground.

    GOP Suffers "Big Yellow Taxi" Syndrome

  50. Political blogger Glenn Greenwald recently wrote about retired General Wesley Clark’s recollection of an officer telling him in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks that the then-U.S. Secretary of Defense had issued a memo outlining a plan for regime change within five years in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. We play an excerpt of Clark’s comments and ask Greenwald to respond. “What struck me in listening to that video just a couple of days ago is that if you go down that list of seven countries that he said the neocons had planned to basically change the governments of, you pretty much see that that vision, despite the perception that we have a Democratic president Obama and therefore the neoconservative movement is powerless, is pretty much being fulfilled," Greenwald says.

  51. Replies
    1. The United States has ...
      "Stayed the Course"

      Why would anyone expect anything different?

      Mr Obama is indebted to Lester Crowne, a past CEO of General Dynamics, for his entire career. Mr Obama has done moved forward with the Bush Plan in Iraq and expanded the military footprint in Afpakistan. Military spending has grown in each year of Obama's first term.

      The current era of drone tactics is a major improvement over the Bush era of physical occupation of foreign lands by US troops. The objectives seem to be about the same, increase Federal defense expenditures justified by the potential for foreign adventure in the Islamic Arc.

    2. Back to the Lester Crown delusion.

    3. It is no delusion, Mr Crowne made Obama a millionaire author, before he had written a single word.

      Mr Crown controls the liberal establishment of Chi-town, Obama owes him his entire career.
      Mr Obama's first substantial act as President, to cancel the F22.
      Revenge best served cold.
      If the reader is familiar with the F22 back story and how Lockheed turned the table on General Dynamics and obtained GD's Fort Worth facilities for the production of the F22, the cancellation of the program as a sop to Mr Crown becomes crystal clear.

  52. April 5 • Robert Wenzel

    The first lesson to be learned is not to trust pronouncements about the safety of banks. There were pronouncements, almost up to the minute of collapse, from the global banking community that Cyprus banks were safe. A second lesson to be learned is that your money in a bank is most unsafe over a long weekend.

  53. People didn't pay enough attention when Obama credited Ronald Reagan as being the most "transformative" President post WWII.

    Think, Lebanon (cut and run in the face of a major engagement,) and Grenada/Panama (gung-ho against a small, weak opponent.)

  54. EIA Oil price projection in 2004:

    "..Crude oil prices are determined largely in an international marketplace by the balance between production in OPEC and non-OPEC nations and demand. In the reference case, the average lower 48 crude oil price is projected to be $23.61 per barrel in 2010 and $26.72 per barrel in 2025 (Figure 93). In the high world oil price case, the lower 48 crude oil price increases to $32.80 per barrel in 2010 and $34.90 per barrel in 2025. In the low world oil price case, the lower 48 price generally declines to $16.36 per barrel in 2010, then rises to $16.49 per barrel in 2025..."

    from a comment on the oil drum

  55. Paddy, who was on holiday from Ireland on Bondi beach couldn't seem to make it with any of the girls.

    So he asked the local lifeguard for some advice. Mate, it's obvious,' says the lifeguard, 'you're wearing

    them old baggy swimming trunks that make ya look like an old geezer. They’re years outta style ...
    Your best bet is to grab yourself a pair of Speedos - about two sizes too small and drop a fist-sized
    potato down inside 'em. I'm tellin' ya'll have all the babes ya want!'

    The following weekend, Paddy hits the beach with his spanking new tight Speedos,
    and his fist-sized potato. Everybody on the beach was disgusted as he walked by,
    covering their faces, turning away, and laughing, looking sick! So Paddy went back
    to the lifeguard again and asked him, 'What's wrong now?'

    JAHEESUS Maaaate!' said the lifeguard, ‘............the potato goes in the front!'

  56. I walked past a black kid sitting at a bus stop as I went into the bank. When I came out, he looked at me and said 'Any Change?' I said, 'Nope, you're still black'.

  57. Two medical students were walking along the street when they saw an old man
    walking with his legs spread apart. He was stiff-legged and walking slowly.

    One student said to his friend: "I'm sure that poor old man has Peltry Syndrome.
    Those people walk just like that."

    The other student says: "No, I don't think so. The old man surely has Zovitzki Syndrome.
    He walks slowly and his legs are apart, just as we learned in class."

    Since they couldn't agree, they decided to ask the old man.
    They approached him and one of the students said to him, "We're medical students and couldn't help but notice the way you walk. But we couldn't agree on the syndrome you might have. Could you tell us what it is?"

    The old man said, "I'll tell you. But first you tell me what you two fine medical students think."

    The first student said, "I think it's Peltry Syndrome."

    The old man said, "You thought - but you are wrong."

    The other student said, "I think you have Zovitzki Syndrome."

    The old man said, "You thought - but you are wrong."

    So they asked him, "Well, old-timer, what do you have?"

    The old man said,
    "I thought it was WIND - but I was wrong, too!"

  58. Top 5 US Cities For Pizza:

    1. Chicago
    2. Providence
    3. New York
    4. Philadelphia
    5. Boston

  59. -- so altogether let's say it adds up to $2+ trillion of fiscal and monetary stimulus, to prop up asset values and hopefully inspire U.S. households to borrow more and spend more. Good news for investors, right?

    The fly in the ointment is energy. Global oil supply has plateaued and more demand will push up prices. Americans always think of themselves first, but we're not alone in consumption of energy. China, Japan, Korea, India, the EU, and exporters like Saudi Arabia and Russia are consumers, too. Last week Britain came within days of running out of natural gas until three LNG supertankers arrived from Qatar. Those cargoes were held, waiting to see who would pay the highest price. It was freezing cold in Britain, a pipeline from Belgium went down, and the Brits bid 30% above market for the LNG cargoes to stave off power blackouts, misery and death. Price was no object. They had to have emergency supplies and it's a seller's market.

    That's the ugly truth about oil & gas, flat supply and high demand.

    Oil inventories in particular are extremely tight. Spare production and market rigging are easily disproved. It's a competitive global market with thousands of brokers, shippers, production operators and service companies. OPEC quotas don't mean squat. Everyone is pumping as much as they can.

  60. Mr. Baucus is viewed as an important ally when it comes to including corporate tax priorities into legislation. Last year, he introduced a plan — most of which was eventually passed into law as part of the fiscal cliff deal in January — that contained more than a dozen tax breaks, some of them pushed by clients who had retained Washington lobbying firms that employ his former aides or political advisers.Shannon Finley, who served as a political consultant and fund-raiser for Mr. Baucus before joining a lobbying firm in Washington, was hired in late 2011 by Beam, the liquor industry giant, to protect a federal tax break that it gets a cut of for producing its Cruzan rum in the United States Virgin Islands. Despite protests from fiscal conservatives that it was a giveaway, the provision was included in Mr. Baucus’s package, costing $222 million over the coming decade. Ms. Finley declined to comment.

    The National Restaurant Association, whose board includes a senior McDonald’s executive, had three former aides to Mr. Baucus working on tax-related matters, including Patrick Heck, who once held the post of chief tax counsel to Mr. Baucus. The association helped secure three provisions in the January deal, worth an estimated $5.9 billion over the next decade to restaurants and other companies. Elizabeth Garner, a Restaurant Association lobbyist, said Mr. Heck had expertise and relationships that proved helpful in their push.

    With a debate on rewriting the tax code to streamline and simplify it expected to start this year — leaders in both the House and the Senate are working on their own drafts — lobbying could reach levels like that of the 2009 debate over health care, which also was . . . . . . .

    But, don't call it corruption

    However, Sarah-baby's "Crony Capitalism," seems to fit, doesn't it?

  61. I can't even attest to the efficacy of Mercy, the product in question. It's a carbonated beverage, said to be packed with vitamins and amino acids.


    No, I was more interested in Mercy—its genesis, marketing and potential for becoming the next Red Bull—from an anthropological point of view. In short, did Dave Shor, the company's founder and the beverage's inventor, create it because he's a shrewd businessman who spotted an unfilled niche in the beverage marketplace, or did he suffer one too many hangovers and resolve to do something decisive about it—not that the two are mutually exclusive?


    Indeed, ultimately, the Mercy executives would prefer that their drink not be associated with weakness, lack of discipline or anything sinful, but rather as one more weapon in a winning All-American arsenal that includes things like a take-charge personality, a Harvard Business School degree, and revolving-door stints running the U.S. Treasury and Goldman Sachs GS +0.49% .

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  63. The Iron Lady would never have said:

    "What difference does it make now?"

    1. "The trouble with socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money."

      The Iron Lady

    2. "The Lady is not for turning."

      The Iron Lady

    3. It was the Russians that gave her the nickname The Iron Lady.

  64. When are Coup d'état legal?

    On Monday the country's highest court summoned Mr Musharraf, 69, to appear before it on Tuesday in response to a petition claiming that his actions in toppling an elected government, suspending the constitution and sacking judges amount to treason.

  65. If there were any economic reason to capture an asteroid, private enterprise could fund the mission.

    GE to Buy Oil & Gas Giant Lufkin for $3.38 Billion

    General Electric agreed to buy oilfield services provider Lufkin Industries to expand its profitable oil and gas business. GE, the world's biggest maker of jet engines and electric turbines, has expanded in the energy industry with a series of acquisitions of ...

    1. IBNLive
      Google Rumored to Be in Talks to Acquire WhatsApp For $1 Billion

      Written by
      Seth Fiegerman

      Digital Trends reports hearing from an inside source that Google has been in talks to buy the hugely popular messaging app for the past few weeks and the current offer is said to be "close to" $1 billion.

  66. More Federal funds, wasted in space.

    Following a three-year competition, NASA has selected the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) project at MIT for a planned launch in 2017. The space agency announced the mission — to be funded by a $200 million grant to the MIT-led team — this afternoon.

  67. Renewables, excluding large hydro, continue to knock out about 23% of California's electricity:


  68. “If you and I don’t do this,” Reagan declared, “then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.” What you might not guess from the lofty language is that “this” — the heroic act Reagan was calling on his listeners to perform — was a concerted effort to block the enactment of Medicare.

    These days, conservatives make very similar arguments against Obamacare. For example, Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has called it the “greatest assault on freedom in our lifetime.” And this kind of rhetoric matters, because when it comes to the main obstacle now remaining to more or less universal health coverage — the reluctance of Republican governors to allow the Medicaid expansion that is a key part of reform — it’s pretty much all the right has.

    As I’ve already suggested, the old trick of blaming the needy for their need doesn’t seem to play the way it used to, and especially not on health care: perhaps because the experience of losing insurance is so common, Medicaid enjoys remarkably strong public support. And now that health reform is the law of the land, the economic and fiscal case for individual states to accept Medicaid expansion is overwhelming. That’s why business interests strongly support expansion just about everywhere — even in Texas. But such practical concerns can be set aside if you can successfully argue that insurance is slavery.

    Insurance and Freedom

    1. Let's put it this way: If you live in fear of losing your employer-paid health insurance, because a pre-existing condition precludes you from going out and buying a policy on the open market, You're Not Free.

  69. On this day in 563 B.C., in what is today southern Nepal, a son was born to King Suddhodana of the Sakya people. His name was Prince Siddhartha.

    Who is he better known as?

  70. For several weeks South Korean officials have said that activity at the Punggye-ri site indicates preparations for another nuclear test after North Korea exploded a nuclear device there on Feb. 12.

    "The North has been ready since February," said Park Soo-jin, a spokeswoman for the Unification Ministry. "It can go ahead with another nuclear test whenever it makes a policy decision to do so."

    Seoul also has been bracing for a possible missile test by North Korea since the isolated state moved a medium-range missile to its east coast last week.