“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."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Make Believe Judging and the judicial fix that protects the willingness of judges to accept demonstrably preposterous explanations for government action and to turn a blind eye to what government is really doing in a wide range of cases. - Clark Neily

Here is a two year old interview specifically dealing with “judicial activism”.


  1. Here's a quote for you -

    "The Constitution is dead."
    Justice Scalia

    His meaning is of course that it should be dead. The Courts shouldn't be making things up - 'the living Constitution' idea.

    We have a perfectly good way to change the Constitution - the amendment process.

    Which those in a hurry always want to by-pass.

    1. The final arbiter of a court decision should be a 2/3 vote of the state legislatures.

    2. Which of course will result in a recursive loop that will destroy all of reality as we know it when an appellate court judge says a certifying vote taken by a supermajority doesn't pass Constitutional muster.

    3. :)

      Reality as I knew it growing up has already been mostly destroyed.

      I'm ready for that spiritual retreat in the Himalayas.

    4. The Congress can impeach a Judge, for almost any reason, not merely criminal behavior.
      The Congress could withhold funding for the Courts.

      David Barton - 09/2002

      The Founders' intent for impeachment was to protect the fundamental principle of “the consent of the governed.”
      The Constitution carries no title but “We the People,” and impeachment removes from office those officials who ignore that standard.
      (Recall that the Constitution does not guarantee a federal judge his position for life, but only for the duration of “good behavior.” Art. III, Sec. 1)

      For this reason impeachment was used whenever judges disregarded public interests, affronted the will of the people, ...
      ... or introduced arbitrary power by seizing the role of policy-maker.
      Previous generations used this tool far more frequently than today's generation; ...
      ... and because the grounds for impeachment were deliberately kept broad, ...
      ... articles of impeachment have described everything from drunkenness and profanity to judicial high-handedness and bribery...
      ... as reasons for removal from the bench.
      (Sixty-one federal judges or Supreme Court Justices have been investigated for impeachment, ...
      ... of whom thirteen have been impeached and seven convicted.)

      Today's judiciary, not having experienced any serious threat of impeachment as judges in earlier generations, ...
      ... repeatedly flaunts its contempt for the will of the people.
      It recently has overturned direct elections in Washington, New York, California, Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, etc., ....
      ... simply because it preferred a different outcome.
      This is not to suggest that the results of all citizen elections are final and infallible, for it is the duty of the Court to protect the Constitution.
      However, the above elections violated at most the judiciary's ideological leanings rather than any manifest provision of the Constitution
      (e.g., English as a State's official language, ending government assistance for illegal immigrants, enacting term-limits, prohibiting physician-assisted suicides).

  2. Why is it that you have to go to sources like RT to get some intelligent and independent perspective on the so-called news?

    1. Cause our press mostly sucks up to Obama?

      Out this way the cost of newspapers is ridiculous now. They are just hanging on. People would rather read the news - except for the local news - on the internet. The thirst for local news is all that is keeping our newspapers going out here.

    2. Pravda (RT) has it's own agenda.

      American media today has another and American MSM is not necessarily honest.

    3. Best way to get the news is Twitter. I had someone tell me about the earthquake in Bohol, about a hundred miles from where my parent's relatives live, within minutes of it happening, when the shaking was still going on (that was a twenty minute ride, with aftershocks).

    4. October 20, 2013
      Conventional Unwisdom
      By Clarice Feldman

      Read more:

      "pathogenic memes" - you can't like the sounds of that?

      >>>>"In an essay "Freedom of the Press" George Orwell wrote presciently about the dangers of a press too bound to prevailing orthodoxy to print anything else:
      "Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban. Anyone who has lived long in a foreign country will know of instances of sensational items of news -- things which on their own merits would get the big headlines -- being kept right out of the British press, not because the Government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that "it wouldn't do" to mention that particular fact. So far as the daily newspapers go, this is easy to understand. The British press is extremely centralized, and most of it is owned by wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics. But the same kind of veiled censorship also operates in books and periodicals, as well as in plays, films and radio. At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is "not done" to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was "not done" to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.

      Substitute the American mass media and entertainment industry today for the British equivalents in the 1940 about which Orwell was writing and you will accurately describe the situation we find ourselves in, where from the purely political to the notions of proper nutrition, energy policy, transportation -- you name it -- there is a conventional orthodoxy, often unsound and lacking in factual foundation, which has an iron grip on the average mind of those who do not actively seek out alternative sources of information or whose work and life experiences have not shown them the prevailing conventional wisdom is bunk.
      My friend James Lewis offers up the notion that the mass media are "pathogenic" and are "turning our national discourse into pathology". He explains, "If you have free and open debate, crazy ideas tend to get exposed. If you don't (the way we don't in the MSM), you [amplify] pathogenic 'memes.'"<<<<

    5. I feel as if I am being suffocated by amplifying pathogenic memes.

    6. That is because you only watch FOX News and do not read from a wide variety of sources. Dimwit.

    7. .

      That's right, Anon.

      Try reading the Tetrahedron Publishing Group.


    8. Try the New Yorker, Politico, NYTimes, WaPo, LATimes, The Globe&Mail, Guardian, Haaratz, JPost.
      Google it, bitch


    9. Utilize the technology available.

      We all know that Farmer Fudd has an aversion to technology, but that Quirk is also a Luddite, ...
      .... worthy of a News Flash! here at .The Libertarian.

    10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    11. .

      Naw, rat, my only aversion is to rat droppings especially those from disciples of Saul Alinsky. Which would be bad enough were you not such a poor student of the man. Even at that you come up short.

      Most here judge a performance by its effectiveness, but most here also know that you are simply full of shit, the assertions you make simply pissing into the wind. You are a deluded cypher and of little consequence.

      Your only entertainment value that of a cat's paw.


    12. Consequential enough to keep you engaged.

      You can go back to reading your copy of "The American Thinker", now.

    13. Seeing as how it was Quirk that decided he need to fulfill his ...
      ... Responsibility to Protect ...
      .... having to save Farmer Fudd from certain destruction.

      And how now he says my missives are of no consequence ...

      Is he going to withdraw?

      Or is the "No Consequence" statement just part of his subterfuge.

      Stalling for time while he builds his "ultimate weapon" ....
      .... the post that will ....

      Wipe the rat from the blog!

    14. .

      As I said, rat, you are but a cat's paw. For the moment, it suits me to treat you as such.

      As I said, tit for tat in cyber-space.

      Seeing as how it was Quirk that decided he need to fulfill his ...
      ... Responsibility to Protect ...
      .... having to save Farmer Fudd from certain destruction.

      What a self-serving statement. You have assured us that Farmer Fudd doesn't exist, that he is a figment of your imagination, something you dreamed up. How can I save something that doesn't exist? Save it from 'certain destruction'? This sounds like a cry for help. One persona of the rat-brain asking for someone to save another persona of the rat-brain. Sad, but I don't feel qualified to help you. I would suggest professional help.

      Stalling for time while he builds his "ultimate weapon" ....


      What are you some kind of masochist or merely impatient. While I find you amusing, I do have other things to do, more important things, in this case, walking the dog.

      Wipe the rat from the blog!

      Why would I want to do that. You are always good for a laugh or two.


  3. One man's Judicial Activism is another man's Original Intent. Yet let Microsoft obtain a patent on "a means to change the case of a letter in a text file by depressing a key and sending the operating system a signal to shift" and politicians who get contributions from Redmond will swear up and down that Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin had precisely such protections of intellectual property in mind when they helped draft the Constitution.

    1. It is certainly OBVIOUS that ObamaCare is a tax and the the Founders would support OCare with their very lives.

      OCare is going back to the Supreme Court, so it seems now, on the religious liberty angle. Some people don't like the idea of paying for abortions for other people. This seems perfectly sane, logical and reasonable to me. At any rate it's a serious issue.

    2. I have no problem with Roberts' call on the ACA. He summed things up perfectly when he said it was not the role of the Court to shield voters from the consequences of the Constitutionally-defined Article I actions of the legislators they keep sending back to Washington. Hint. Hint.

    3. I have a problem with it. It was total bunk. It forces a person to buy something.

    4. You have to buy your neighbor kid's education. You have to buy car insurance. You have to buy tanks for Israel.

    5. I like buying tanks for Israel.

    6. That is because you are a fascist, that supports fascists.

    7. And you don't have to buy car insurance. Just don't have an accident or get caught. You are required to have car insurance to have the privilege of driving on the public roads so as to protect financially those you might harm. Perfectly reasonable.

    8. No, but you are a nitwit and I'm sure you support nitwits.

      I support Israel for all sorts of reason, none having anything to do with fascism, which I abhor.


    9. Israel is a fascist state, it is a secular state.
      The Ashkenazi Europeans have hijacked Judaism, stolen Palestine.

      Three key features characterize Israeli apartheid:

      • Four million Palestinians in the Occupied Territories lack the right to vote for the government that controls their lives through a military occupation.

      In addition to controlling the borders, air space, water, tax revenues, and other vital matters pertaining to the Occupied Territories,
      Israel alone issues the identity cards that determine the ability of Palestinians to work and their freedom of movement.

      • About 1.2 million Palestinian Israelis, who make up 20 percent, or one-fifth, of Israel’s population, have second-class citizenship within Israel, ...
      ... which defines itself as a Jewish state rather than a state for all its citizens.

      More than 20 provisions of Israel’s principal laws discriminate, either directly or indirectly, against non-Jews, according to Adalah: The Legal Center for Minority Rights in Israel.

      Millions of Palestinians remain refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere, unable to return to their former homes ...
      ... and land in present-day Israel.

      Even though the right of return for refugees is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    10. AbrahamSun Oct 20, 02:57:00 PM EDT
      Israel is a fascist state,.....


      Same shit different thread.

      I wonder why deuce allows rat to paste the same bullshit over and over again? Unless of course, Rat is posting what Deuce wants...

      "Israel is a fascist state"

      Nazi Germany was a fascist state. To say Israel is? Insults all those that died and all those that fought to defeat it.

    11. Our ignorant friend tries to equate fascism with NAZI, the two ideological and political systems are related, not synonymous.

      You don’t have to make a life of Jewish identity deconstruction like Shlomo Sand to realize that Jewish history isn’t 4,000 years old.  

      The likelihood of Abraham being a historical figure is next to zero. 
      Abrahamic history is for the synagogue. When you have a state, synagogue history won’t do. 

      Otherwise you end up with state theologies like those European Jews experienced. 
       State theologies are for self-appointed guardians of all that is good and precious in the universe. 
      They’re not for citizens of a state in their ordinariness and diversity.

      Netanyahu’s history sounded like the South Africa’s Afrikaners of previous times. 
      Jews as the latest – and last? – Afrikaner Calvinists doesn’t bode well for anyone.

      South Africa’s apartheid wasn’t only a political system.  It was an ideology wrapped in history and religion.
      Israel’s apartheid isn’t only a political system.  It’s an ideology wrapped in history and religion.

    12. quot is working his AIPAC handbook again ...
      When all else has failed, compare em to Nazis ...

      More dangerous than Hitler!

      It wears thin

      Limit dissent, stifle freedom of speech, that is what quot advocates for, just above.
      Like every other fascist that is afraid of an open exchange of ideas.

    13. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

      The strong MAN Bibi is the Dictator of Palestine.
      Palestine is controlled by stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

      Of which the Israeli policies of Apartheid stand in example.

      More than 5 million Palestinians are denied equal rights by the state of Israel under a system of apartheid, a deliberate policy of racial or ethnic segregation.

    14. Belligerent Nationalism, yep, that certainly applies.
      Institutionalized Belligerent Racism, yep, that is easily illustrated.
      Suppression of opposition through terror and censorship, yep, it's there to.
      Having F16 drops 500lb bombs on schools and hospitals, is terrifying.
      There is no "Free Press" in the OPT.

      All the pieces are there, call it what you will

      Those that can read, comprehend, they'll call it fascism.

    15. Bobby Fudd: And you don't have to buy car insurance. Just don't have an accident or get caught. You are required to have car insurance to have the privilege of driving on the public roads so as to protect financially those you might harm. Perfectly reasonable.

      So making people buy health insurances protects financially those they might harm, namely the doctors they don't pay when they blow off the bill, and the taxpayers who pay the doctor instead.

    16. "

      desert ratSun Oct 20, 03:18:00 PM EDT
      quot is working his AIPAC handbook again ...
      When all else has failed, compare em to Nazis ...

      More dangerous than Hitler!"

      I guess you cant read.

      You called Israel a fascist state, ie comparing it to hitler.

      I did no such comparison.

      Spamming as you do, posting the exact same quotes over and over without regard to the conversation, is not dialogue and restricting is is not limiting discussion.

    17. Gaza, still surrounded, besieged and controlled by Israel,
      has been sealed off and effectively turned into the world’s largest open-air prison.

    18. I called Israel a fascist state, which it is, as illustrated above.

      quot brought up NAZI, in comparison.
      No one else mentioned a comparison between Israel and NAZIs.

      All National Socialists may have been fascists ....
      But not ALL fascists are National Socialists...

      As I said, quot went to the AIPAC handbook, attempting to shield Israel from criticism, using the NAZI comparison as part of his subterfuge, the misdirection that is integral to Israeli propaganda.

      The only one who compare Israel to the NAZI, was quot.
      Setting up his strawman argument, just as AIPAC prescribes, in those situations.

    19. More Dangerous than Hitler!

      Reading quot, it's like listening to "Chicken Little"

      "The Sky is Falling!"

      Stick to the facts, quit talking about Hitler, quit talking about NAZIs.

      Talk about Apartheid.
      Talk about Palestinian "Right of Return"
      Talk about disenfranchising 5 million Palestinians, to suit the political desires of Europeon colonialists

      Colonialists with no hereditary ties to Palestine!

    20. Talk about how Israel could "walk back" from being a fascist state.

      Because it fits the definition, quot.
      Like it or not.

      Words do have meanings.

      You are not Humpty Dumpty ...

      "‘When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone,
      ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.'

    21. Rat the truth?

      Your pals in the arab world? Are HACKING each other to death.

      Meanwhile? Tourism in Israel? Breaking records. Innovation and Industry? Breaking records. Patients and invention? breaking Records. Immigration to Israel? still happening!

      In fact, now that the reality of the middle east is showing it's face? israel is satisfied that it's doing the right thing for it's citizens.

      Your screed against israel? worthless.

      Israel IS.

      Your pals? flushing themselves down the toilet of history.

    22. Israel ..
      IS an Apartheid and fascist state.

      Glad we all agree now.

    23. we agree you are insane, an asshole and completely full of shit about Israel, a place you have never been.

    24. We also can agree your pals are flushing themselves down a toilet

    25. I stand with Israel.

      You stand with jihadists and Islamists.

    26. I stand for Freedom and Democracy.
      For Liberty and Individual responsibility.

      You are standing with the Lost Boys of Europe.

      Folks that have lived a lie for so long, they cannot even recognize the truth.

    27. But since you want to know what we agree on? As you stated you cannot travel in America without going through check points and needing to carry your "papers". (this is why you hide on your stolen bottom lands rather risk arrest) America is more authoritarian than Israel.

      By your ever changing definitions?

      America is apartheid and is fascist.

    28. desert ratSun Oct 20, 07:36:00 PM EDT
      I stand for Freedom and Democracy.
      For Liberty and Individual responsibility.

      LOL You stand for criminals, jihadists and islamists.

      Your party has missed the train.

    29. The Ashkenazi live an institutionalized cultural lie.
      Whether it is part of a greater social pathology, or not, inconsequential.

      Their claims to "birthrights" and "maternal bloodlines" nothing but propaganda and bullshit.

      If you chose to stand in that ...
      Suit yourself.

    30. This comment has been removed by the author.

    31. Your so-called "colonists" had no need of hereditary ties to Palestine. The Ottoman Turks, who had held title to the land for four hundred years, picked the wrong side in a war and lost. As a result of losing a war, the Ottoman Turks were forced to cede vast tracts of land, including Palestine, to the French and British by way of reparation for losing a war. For better or worse, the British and French partitioned the property as was their right as owners of record under the so-called “law of nations”. The French insisted on Lebanon being a Christian state. The British agreed to the creation of a Jewish state. In both instances, the newly formed states rested on choice of religion and not ethnicity.

      There is clearly apartheid practiced in the ME. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and the Emirates, beginning 65 years ago, have treated Muslim refugees with utter contempt politically and have exploited their cheap labor mercilessly. The opposite has been the rule of law within Israel. Admittedly, Israel has been imperfect, but its 1.2 million Muslim "citizens" are not throwing open the gates to escape. Indeed, any poll taken of Israel's Muslim citizens shows an overwhelming preference for remaining within the fold of Israeli democracy, imperfect as it may be.

      Fascism, by definition, must have a dictator. Arafat fit the bill perfectly in his personal jungle. On the other hand, since 1948, Israel has freely elected fifteen prime ministers. Its Muslim and Christian citizens freely participated in these elections. In elections for membership to parliament, both Muslims and Christians have been fully integrated members in the Knesset. To date 69 have served as representatives in the legislature.

      ...glad I could disabuse you of a ton of agitprop baggage...

    32. A symbol of real fascism

    33. Yes, allen, that is I why I advocate for US withdrawal from the region.

      I have always said that in the Middle East there was an ...
      ....."Equivalency Standard" ....

      No one ever claimed that the other states of the region were exemplary.
      No ever claimed that "Western Civilization" emanated from Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq or Iran
      No one ever claimed that Saudi Arabia was a "Democracy".

      Those were claims that have been made about Israel.
      That the Europeons there were not colonialists, but the lost children of Israel dispersed by the Romans or Babylonians, now returned. None of the claims were ever true. That is where and when the "resistance" began

      Israel and its residents do stand in equivalency with their neighbors.
      Which is where they always have been.

      It is a region of the world that is a cesspool.
      Has been for thousands of years.

      If that's where the Europeons want to go, want to make their land grab ...
      Good on them.

      But do not wrap the colonialism, the aggression, the occupation and all the rest in a blanket of self-serving morality that they do not warrant or deserve.
      Admitting to the realities on the ground will get you and yours quite a bit further than beating the worn out lies into the dirt..

    34. It has taken a number of years, but ...
      Even with all the post of "no consequence" seems that they were

      Every time one of the Israel-First crowd would mention land in AZ, CO, or CA as "stolen", ...
      I had to chuckle.
      I always said it had been.
      It was Farmer Fudd who demurred, Who would disagree..
      Same is true of Hawaii, another outpost of US empire, or hegemony.

      When the Israel-First crowd tried to draw moral equivalency with the US, they were admitting I had been correct, all along ...
      ... but never could see beyond their own prejudices to the "Bigger Picture".

    35. Those colonialist folk in Israel, the tribe of Europeon Ashkenazi, they are no better, no worse, than any of their neighbors.

      The US supports, or has supported in the past, almost all of them.
      Syria may be the outlier, being as it was a French protectorate.

      But the rest, all have collected at the US pay window, at one time or another.
      All were and still are capable of being "allies" of the US

    36. The 5 million Palestinians are not permitted to vote, so there is no "Democracy", there is a "Tyranny of the Majority", in Palestine, a portion of which is Israel, but which the Israeli control, 100% of.

      Bibi is the current Dictator of Palestine, Arabfat, just an agent of the Israeli in their occupation of Palestine.
      As quot said, he was an Egyptian. Not a Palestinian.

      As Nelson Mandela said so eloquently ...
      There is no Palestinian government, just agents of Israel. Of which Arabfat was one of their best.

      Similar to the relationship of Herod the Great and Mark Antony and later, Augustus .
      He may come back and tell you that, himself.

      And the Europeons only have hat majority because they have ethnically cleansed the country, but still have to deal with the 5 million residents that were " not cleansed". Who the Europeons will not allow to participate.

      There is no d"Democracy", there is a propaganda event, that provides an opportunity for subterfuge and misdirection.

  4. This might offer some understanding of what is wrong with America. Whether "pathogenic", I cannot say.

  5. Did Anonymous' party filibuster the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Yes and the bill was first introduced by the Republican minority in congress, But Dem's rewrote the bill and introduced it themselves but southern Democrat's filibustered the bill. Additionally, The 1964 Civil Rights Act was an update of Republican Senator Charles Sumner's 1875 Civil Rights Act. In striking down that law in 1883, the Supreme Court had ruled that the 14th amendment was not sufficient constitutional authorization, so the 1964 version had to be written in such a way as to rely instead on the interstate commerce clause for its constitutional underpinning.

  6. Impeachment: The Founders' Solution

    As noted earlier, judges in previous generations who usurped powers from Congress or the people faced impeachment. But today's critics claim that the use of impeachment would either make the judiciary a “political” branch (as if it were not already a political branch) or that it would violate the “independence of the judiciary.” Yet, as Thomas Jefferson so accurately cautioned,

    It should be remembered as an axiom of eternal truth in politics that whatever power . . . is independent is absolute also. . . . Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass.

    No judge should ever be so independent that he is unaccountable to the Congress, and thereby the people. As Justice James Iredell (placed on the Court by President George Washington) so clearly explained:

    Every government requires it [impeachment]. Every man ought to be amenable for his conduct.


    2. Since the founding, only eight (8) federal judges have been impeached and successfully removed from the bench.. The tool is clearly a weak one. On average, then, it happens about every 28 years, or less than 3 per century.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. t would seem then, allen, that there is no great demand to impeach errant or over reaching judges.
      That being the case, there will not be much support for changing the system, so as to provide greater legislative oversight of them, either.

      If the remedy that now exists is barely used, where is there any evidence for a need for "change"

  7. This place has gotten so low now it isn't worth reading any longer.

    Every little Jew hating turd in the entire country is beginning to waft through here and it is really starting to stink.

    bob, returning to the football game


    1. Would that you had follow-through to match your rhetoric.

    2. Farmer Fudd has always lacked resolve, self-discipline and brains.

      "Love means never having to say you're sorry"

    3. Political correctness means always having to say you're sorry.

    4. I just need to read it, once.

      Drive on! ... Drill Sargent ... Drive On!

  8. On this day in 1803 the United States Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase. In 1947 the House Un-American Activities Committee began its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood, resulting in a blacklist that prevented some from working in the industry for years. In 1961 the Soviet Union performed the first armed test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, launching an R-13 from a Golf class submarine. In 1973 it was the "Saturday Night Massacre". President Richard Nixon fired U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus after they refuse to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who was finally fired by Robert Bork. In 1977 Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane crashed. In 2011 National Transitional Council rebel forces captured ousted Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown of Sirte and killed him shortly thereafter.

  9. Jamalul Kiram III, the self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu based in the Philippines who earlier this year ordered his followers led by one of his brothers to reclaim the eastern state of Sabah from Malaysia, died early Sunday of multiple organ failure. He was 75.


    Mr. Kiram was one of the heirs of the Sulu sultanate. He had a law degree and ran for senator of the Philippines in 2007 but didn’t win.

    He survived by his two widows and eight children

    Premiums for young healthy people will jump in 45 states under Obamacare
    BY JOEL GEHRKE | OCTOBER 19, 2013 AT 2:23 PM

    Young people in 45 states will see their health insurance premiums increase under Obamacare because the law relies on the money they pay into the system to offset the cost of caring for older enrollees, according to a new study.

    Virginia leads the pack, as individuals aged 27 and under will see their health insurance premiums jump by 252.5 percent -- $416.55 -- according to the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis.

    Virginians under the age of 50 will see their premiums jump by an even greater percentage, rising from $228 to $991.03.

    Such increases are not a surprise to the law's architects. “I have always said when looking at this bill, that if I were a young person, I can see elements of this bill that I wouldn't like in the short run,” Henry Aaron, vice chairman of the D.C. health exchange, told the Washington Examiner last November.

    Heritage expects monthly premiums for young people to drop in Colorado, Ohio, New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, "because those states had already over-regulated insurance markets that led to sharply higher premiums through adverse selection," according to study author Drew Gonshorowski.

    The Heritage Foundation's Chairman Jim Demint cited the premium increases as one of the chief reasons his organization pushed for lawmakers to defund Obamacare most recent continuing resolution to fund government in the absence of a proper budget.

    Demint argued that the defund push preserved one policy victory on spending. "If the Republicans had not fought on Obamacare, the compromise would have been over the budget sequester," he wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Thursday.

    1. "Virginians under the age of 50 will see their premiums jump by an even greater percentage, rising from $228 to $991.03."

      Are you a total moron, or do you just play one on the internet?

    2. Rufus!

      Are you a total moron, or do you just play one on the internet?

  11. It is rare to find someone in Hanford, a town of 55,000 people south of Fresno, who is not opposed to the project. Many landowners have been in financial limbo for years as the authority weighs different paths for the train, leaving farmers wary of planting crops or investing in new equipment in case their land ends up being gobbled up.

    Among them is Kole Upton, a farmer in Chowchilla whose family has put on hold plans to replace almond trees. The rail authority is busily signing contracts with engineering firms and contractors in hopes of getting shovels in the ground in the next few months.

    1. The idea of Affluent SoCal Greenies traveling by train to Poverty Stricken, Dangerous, Overrun by Illegals Hanford is hilarious.

      Hilariously Sad.

  12. Rufus favors a Party and a President that never produce a budget as required by law.

    Outlaw Big Spending Hostage Takers.

    Temporarily blocked by the sequester.

    Rufus giving credit for slightly slowed spending to the outlaws fight same.

    1. "the outlaws WHO fight same."

    2. Or, more clearly,

      ...who rail against any control on more spending for bigger Government.

  13. Crater Lake:

    "Surface temperatures of the lake water vary between 32°F (0°C) and 66°F (19°C). Summer temperatures range normally between 50°F (10°C) and 60°F (16°C). Water more than 260 feet (80 meters) beneath the surface remains cold all year long at a temperature near 38°F (3°C). During the hottest time of the summer, the top water layers warm and become less dense than colder water below. This condition of thermal stratification usually continues into September."

    Sorry, T.

    I couldn't get to the library last nite, it was already closed.

    1. A Natural Wonder, to be sure.

      (I got it off Microfilm and carried it home on a USB Stick)

    2. Google, doug, it is the in-home library.

      The knowledge of the world, at your finger tips, in your own living room.

    3. It is available to users, free of charge.
      Open 24/7/365.25

      Don't be a Luddite, stuck in the 20th century!

      Use the technologies available to you, it will empower you!
      Do not be a Sheeple, do not let the elite intimidate you into avoiding the knowledge now available to YOU!

    4. I've heard tell you have to PAY for "Internets Access"

      Whatever those are.

    5. How could I be sure a Wikipediac did not harbor a hidden agenda when posting material about a harbor at Crater Lake?

    6. Today's Librarians are not Libertarians, of that we can be sure.

  14. At Doctor Housing Bubble,
    October 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    SylviaP Commented


    "The Federal Reserve has been buying 85 billion dollars a month in U.S. Treasury bonds (government debt) with their “Quantitative Easing” program in which the government basically prints up money electronically and then purchases the U.S. Treasury bonds. Quantitative easing is helping to destroy the USA dollar.

    Ron Paul recently said:

    The longer [Quantitative Easing] lasts, the worse the correction will be when eventually people give up on our dollar and give up on our debt.

  15. Here ya go, Senor Rat:

    October 18, 2013 at 7:53 pm
    I hope the good Doctor will allow me to indulge myself with another brief boomer history. I am an original one, 66 years old. I have four university degrees, three graduate, including a PhD. I paid less than $10,000 tuition at both public and private universities for three of the degrees. I had a scholarship for the PhD. My undergraduate tuition at UT Austin in 1965, my freshman year, was around $100 a semester. That covers education cost.

    With regard to real estate, I bought my first home four years ago. I rented up until then mainly because I have lived all over the world in three continents and eight countries. I speak three languages which have been worth their weight in gold. My one and only home cost $60,000 and would easily be worth over a million in a “nice” California neighborhood. It is mid-century, with over 2,500 sq. ft. My real estate taxes are around $50 a year. I am retired now and the city I live in, Merida, Mexico, is much more modern than my Texas hometown. It has all the amenities of any mid-sized US city, with all the big box stores but also the charm of a village because each colonia (neighborhood) has its own market. Just about anything one would need is within walking distance as well. The medical care is better than most US facilities. People come for medical tourism. National health coverage is by age and I pay about $350 a year. Needless to say, there are a lot of boomers heading to similar places. But, it will always be a small minority. As the Doctor says, people generally stay in one place, sometimes for the wrong reasons.

    I have a close relative with a similar career but he stayed put at UC-Berkeley for 30 years and ended up with a house in Forest Hills, SF that he paid $65,000 for in the 1960′s that when he died in it was worth $1.5 million. Luck of the draw. Happy I took the road.

    1. Wouldn't Merida be pretty humid year round?

    2. 36-hours-in-merida-mexico

      Dec 1, 2011

      - The city, now one of the safest in Mexico, is an architectural jewel, with one of the country's largest historic centers outside Mexico City.

    3. There is house, on Milton Road, Rye, NY hat we had when I was in 8th grade.
      Giant monstrosity of a house. We refurbished it over the course of a couple of years, while living in it.

      Saw that it was on the market ... $3.5 million.

      The folks did not get 7% of that, way back when.

      Did spend some time in Merida and Cozumel, Mexico.
      I may go back to both of those spots, much more likely than my ever going back to Rye, NY.

      In Merida, now were talking 1970ish ...
      Every pharmacy was a doctor's office, every pharmacist a doctor.
      They were not put on a "pedestal" as they are in the US.
      Doctors, I mean, not pharmacists.
      To have had spent a lifetime in Rye, NY would not have been worth $3.5 million.

      We went west ... I've never gone back. Doubt if I ever will.

    4. 9 p.m.

      The outdoor bar at the Piedra de Agua hotel (498 60th Street, 52-999-924-2300; has a spectacular view of the brilliantly lighted cathedral towers. Local groups play jazz and blues on Fridays. The specialties are mojitos (48 pesos) and lemon daiquiris accented with basil leaves (55 pesos). Try a pizza topped with huitlacoche, Mexico’s signature corn fungus (120 pesos).


      I preferred the fresh simple seafood fare w/beer @ Playa De Los Cocos.
      Those were the days, and nites.

    5. Humid, no more than Hawaii.
      A lot more than Phoenix.

      It's inland, but not that far.

    6. Dad was a Pharmacist who stood in for Doctors esp for Mexican farm workers.

      Did not endear him w/some Doctors.

    7. We live in the Arid Rain Shadow of 10,000 ft Haleakala.

      Just the opposite of the Northshore.

      Playa was a nice compromise, climate wise.

    8. Dry cool Mountain air flows down the mountain at nite.
      Good sleepin weather.

      Some summer days in downtown Kihei are brutal.

      We live up a bit, further South.

    9. Rosas & Xocolate (480 Paseo de Montejo at 41st Street, 52-999-924-2992; is a 17-room luxury boutique hotel in two 1930s renovated mansions, decorated with the bright colors of the tropics. Even the spa serves chocolate treatments. Rates from $215 plus tax, includes full breakfast.

      Los Arcos (448B 66th Street, 52-999-928-0214; is a three-room bed-and-breakfast in a renovated 1890s house crammed with bric-a-brac collected by the owner, David Reed, who serves breakfast in his luscious garden. Rates from $85.

      Hotel Eclipse (491 57th Street, between 58th and 60th Streets, 52-999-923-1600; has 14 rooms, all designed around a theme (lava, disco, zen). It is relatively cheap at 900 pesos a night (about $65), or less, with one of the hotel’s frequent promotions


      That's about like here, leaving out the super rich folks staying in Wailea.

    10. Had some bananas and cream in Waikiki once upon a time, heaven on Earth.

    11. Got good, long time friends of the family that live in Waimea, Hawaii. Nice joint.

    12. Snorkling at Hanuama Bay State Park is a must, like swimming in an aquarium.

  16. "The National Security Agency (NSA ) of United States hacked into the Mexican president's public email account and gained deep insight into policymaking and the political system. The news is likely to hurt ties between the US and Mexico. This operation, dubbed 'Flatliquid,' is described in a document leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Meanwhile U.S. President Barack Obama's administration is urging the Supreme Court not to take up the first case it has received on controversial National Security Agency cybersnooping."

    1. The Hatred those people have for our Ethanol Fuels!


      Just 'cause the poor fucks can't afford to eat.


    2. That is a sizable crock of shit you are peddling, doug.

  17. Not long ago, I cared for a middle-aged attorney who had a sarcoma. This kind of cancer arises from connective tissues like muscle and bone; if confined, it usually can be cured.


    Typically absent from the claims about many “alternative treatments” are their risks. The significant harms that they can pose form the fabric of Paul Offit’s important and timely book.


    This makes his argument—that we should be guided by science—accessible to a wide audience.

    Although conventional therapies can be disappointing, alternative therapies shouldn’t be given a free pass.... All therapies should be held to the same high standard of proof; otherwise we’ll continue to be hoodwinked by healers who ask us to believe in them rather than in the science that fails to support their claims.

    1. Even in my tiny home town, by the time I was 18, I'd heard of several locals that went to Mexico for alternative cures.
      All died rather quickly.

  18. The kid and his gurl do nothing but eat out lavishly (so to speak) when they go to Honolulu to visit her mom.
    All kinds of local yummy dishes courtesy of all the different ethnicities, plus "native" fare.

  19. Enjoyed many a shave ice on the beach when the kid was...
    a kid.

  20. A few weeks ago, as the shortage of toilet paper [in Venezuela] became acute, the government seized a private factory manufacturing that basic commodity and declared a “temporary occupation.” Mr. Maduro said the country’s oligarchs and the political opposition conspired to create the shortage, instead of placing blame where it belongs — a rigid system of government-imposed price controls that has destroyed the private sector.

    Socialism transforms supplying toilet paper into a first class economic problem.

  21. Done Hanuama Bay. Feeding the fish is pretty cool, also.

  22. Replies
    1. Me, I just cover my mouth and mutter "Hanumishimoto" or something really fast.

    2. humuhumunukunukuapua'a are cute little fish.

      (These trips to the library are getting tiresome)

    3. Reef triggerfish

      The reef, rectangular, or wedge-tail triggerfish, also known by its Hawaiian name, humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa, also spelled Humuhumunukunukuapua'a or just humuhumu for short; meaning "triggerfish with ... Local Library

      Scientific name: Rhinecanthus rectangulus

    4. Pronounced:

      Humu Humu Nuku Nuku Kuaw Pua a.

      ...bu\ut all one word.
      Just try.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.


  23. As to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, there is an additional factor.
    The so-called “Palestinian autonomous areas” are Bantustans.
    These are restricted entities within the power structure of the Israeli Apartheid system.

    The Palestinian state cannot be the by-product of the Jewish state, just in order to keep the Jewish purity of Israel.
    Israel’s racial discrimination is daily life of most Palestinians.
    Since Israel is a Jewish state, Israeli Jews are able to accrue special rights which non-Jews cannot do.
    Palestinian Arabs have no place in a “Jewish” state.

    Apartheid is a crime against humanity.
    Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property.
    It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality.
    It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law.
    It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular children.

    1. Nelson Mandela

      A convicted terrorist.

    2. King David Hotel type terrorist, or just a political dissenter so he must be in cahoots with Qaeda terrorist?

    3. There are no Israelis in Gaza, dumb shit.

    4. Mandela was never a Fascist Fudd, indeed he was a ...

      . . . .FASCIST FUDD BUSTER . . . .

    5. I'm not Fudd.

      There are no Israelis in Gaza, dumb shit.

    6. The Israeli rule Gaza, all the residents are Israeli
      Every one in Gaza is an Israeli.

      Whether they want to be, or not.

      Like everyone in Idaho is an American
      Whether they be black, white, yellow red, Catholic, Jewish, Baptist.

      Shit on your slippers


    7. Apartheid is a crime against humanity.

      Then Islam is a crime against humanity.

    8. If there were any Jews in Gaza they would be shot dead.

      But there aren't any.

      The PA says if they get a country there will be no Jews in it.

      And you blab on like an asshole.

    9. Fascist Fudd is which ever Anonymous fuckhead I want him to be, Farmer Fudd
      You qualify today.
      A fascist, racist fucking Farmer Fudd, that's YOU

    10. If you want to make a case against any particular country, have at it, Fudd.
      If you want to describe Islam as equivalent to apartheid, make your case.

      Who cares about Islam, anyway?
      Just another one of the Three Religions of Abraham.

      All three are bathed in blood, gore and mass murder.

      Regardless, you are still a fucking Fascist Fudd, dimwit.

    11. You don't HAVE to be a Jew to be Israeli, Fudd.
      Our Israeli passport holder, quot, has told us so, many times.

      All those Palestinians in GAZA, are under the jurisdiction of Israel.
      They are Israeli ...

      . . . . One State, One Nation, Two Religions . . . . .

      Get used to it, cause it's comin' right at you!

    12. It is going to be a terrible place to be, when the balloon goes up.
      Blood in the streets.
      Muslim blood, Jewish blood, lots and lots of blood.
      Lots of gore and mayhem.

      Truth of the matter, no one will give a shit.

      No more than they do when innocent people die in Syria, die in Sudan, die in Afghanistan.

      The living won't care andt he dead won' know.

      And Fudd, it is not going to happen where I live.
      No matter how much you pray it may, or curse me to the Man of the Mountain...

      We'll just piss on that burning bush...

    13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    14. .

      Fascist Fudd is which ever Anonymous fuckhead I want him to be, Farmer Fudd
      You qualify today.
      A fascist, racist fucking Farmer Fudd, that's YOU

      Good heavens, the rat is talking to himself again.

      Rat, you have assured us that Farmer Fudd doesn't exist, that he is a figment of your imagination, something you dreamed up. Now you, like Elwood P. Dowd talking to Harvey talk to this pooka you have dreamed up as if it/him is an actual entity.

      Fascist Fudd. Farmer Fudd. It all getting pretty complicated.

      Get a grip, son. Set a grip.

      You are losing it.


  24. I leaked some of the Mexican NSA info above, T.
    Don't tell Rufus.

  25. Fulano
    October 19, 2013 at 5:06 pm
    Yes, I feel safe in Merida. Other parts of Mexico, especially the border area and obvious problem states that are well known, are not safe. However, if you are retired and not working it is quite a different environment. Do some research and you will see that most of the crime is directed at drug dealings and their assorted peripheries. Merida has a population of about a million with 12 murders a year. Oakland, for example, which is not the murder capital of the US, had over 35 times the murder rate of Merida.

    “Visitors can relax in Yucatán, the safest state, which has about the same murder rate as Finland.”

    1. 12 Murders a year!

      This ain't Chicago, Mabel!

  26. October 20, 2013
    Islamic Doctrines Justify Sex Jihad
    By Raymond Ibrahim

    As news of the sex jihad continues to proliferate in Mideast media, and as the West continues to bury its head in the sand -- here for example is Der Spiegel's attempt to portray as "false" the "tales of rebels engaging in 'sex jihad' and massacring Christians" -- it is instructive to note that even the practice of sex jihad has specific doctrinal validation in Islam (which should not be surprising, considering that so too do things like "adult breastfeeding").

    First there is the general justification for sex jihad -- namely that because Muslim men waging jihad have become sexually frustrated in their camps, losing morale and quitting the theatre of war, it is permissible, indeed laudable, for Muslim women to volunteer to give up their bodies to these men so that they can continue the jihad to empower Islam, in accordance with the Koran: "Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain" (Yusuf Ali trans. 9:111).

    While this verse has traditionally been understood as Muslim men selling "their persons" -- that is, their bodies -- in the jihad in exchange for paradise, in the context of sex jihad, Muslim women are also selling "their persons" (their bodies to be used for sex) to help empower the jihad, in exchange for paradise.

    Aside from this logic, which involves intention (niyya) and the idea that the ends justify the means -- this is the same rationale, for example, used to justify Islamic suicide attacks ("martyrdom operations") -- in the hadith and teachings of early Islam, precedents exist that Islam's ulema use to justify the sex jihad.

    Recorded in Sahih Bukhari -- for most Sunni Muslims, the second textual authority after the Koran itself -- is an anecdote of one Muslim giving another Muslim one of his wives for sexual purposes. The story is as follows: When some of Muhammad's followers from Mecca migrated to Medina, a complaint was raised that the people of Medina had better profited from following Muhammad than his original Meccan followers, who had suffered more deprivations. In this context, Muhammad paired up the Meccan Abdul Rahman bin Awf with Sa'ad bin Rabi'a of Medina, for the latter to share some of his possessions with the former. So Rabi'a offered to Rahman half of all his possessions, adding, "Look at my two wives, and whichever of them you desire, I will divorce her so you can have her" (Sahih Bukhari: 118, 1943).

    1. Based on this, divorcing one's wife for the use of another Muslim became acceptable -- indeed, laudable and generous behavior. Indeed, Sahih Bukhari has an entire chapter (bab) on the jurisprudence of this practice. Nor should it be forgotten that, recorded in the Koran itself, one man divorced his wife and gave her to Muhammad simply because the prophet desired her.
      In several of the videos that interview people involved with the Syrian sex jihad, this very same logic plays out. In this video, for instance, one Muslim man explains how he was told that, since he had three wives, he should divorce one of them so she can wage sex jihad with the "freedom fighters" in Syria. This, both he and his wives were told, was laudable, and so they complied.
      Then there is the whole idea of mut'a marriage. Often translated as "temporary" marriage, the word mut'a simply means "pleasure" -- i.e., a marriage for the sole purpose of "pleasure." These "marriage" contracts are made between a Muslim man and woman for a temporary duration and often for the sole purpose of legitimizing otherwise banned sexual relations -- basically a legalized form of prostitution.
      Koran 4:24 exonerates pleasure marriage, as many Muslim doctrinaires hold:
      And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except those your right hands possess [sex slaves]. [This is] the decree of Allah upon you. And lawful to you are [all others] beyond these, [provided] that you seek them [in marriage] with [gifts from] your property, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse. So whatever you enjoy of them, give them their due compensation as an obligation. And there is no blame upon you for what you mutually agree to beyond the obligation. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.
      Although the practice of mut'a marriage is often pinned on the Shias, it -- as with taqiyya, which is also often treated as a Shia phenomenon -- often manifests itself among Sunnis, especially in the context of sexually deprived men waging jihad. Moreover, it is well known that Muhammad and his followers used to have sex with the women of conquered tribes, hence the recent rape fatwa in Syria.
      In light of all this, it is amazing that some in the West are still trying to exonerate the jihadis in Syria from the practice of sex jihad, since, apparently, those "noble freedom fighters" would never stoop to such a level (the rampant beheadings, church bombings, and Christian persecution is all a "myth," too, according to Der Spiegel).
      Finally, below is a 15-minute video of several people -- men and women from various nations -- discussing their experiences with the sex jihad in Syria, translated from Arabic to English by some of my colleagues (you may need to click on "CC" [closed caption"] for the English subtitles to appear).

      Read more:

  27. Many tea-party supporters are small businessmen who see taxes and regulations as direct threats to their livelihood. Unlike establishment Republicans who see potential gains from government programs such as infrastructure funding, these tea partiers regard most government spending as a deadweight loss.

    Because many of them run low-wage businesses on narrow margins, they believe that they have no choice but to fight measures, such as ObamaCare, that reduce their flexibility and raise their costs—measures to which large corporations with deeper pockets can adjust.

    It's no coincidence that the strengthening influence of the tea party is driving a wedge between corporate America and the Republican Party. It's hard to see how the U.S. can govern itself unless corporate America pushes the Republican establishment to fight back against the tea party—or switches sides.

    1. Pew reports ...

      The Tea Party is less popular than ever, with even many Republicans now viewing the movement negatively.
      Overall, nearly half of the public (49%) has an unfavorable opinion of the Tea Party, while 30% have a favorable opinion.

      The balance of opinion toward the Tea Party has turned more negative since June, when 37% viewed it favorably and 45% had an unfavorable opinion.
      And the Tea Party’s image is much more negative today than it was three years ago, ...
      ... shortly after it emerged as a conservative protest movement against Barack Obama’s policies on health care and the economy.

    2. Tea Party Republicans are more likely than non-Tea Party Republicans to say that the Tea Party is part of the GOP, rather than a separate movement (41% vs. 27%).

      27% of Real Republicans think the Tea Party is part of the GOP.
      73% of Real republicans think the Tea Baggers are, at best, RINOs. But really separate from Real Republicans

    3. While Rasmussen has Mr Obama's numbers ...

      Approve - 50%
      Disapprove - 49%
      Spread +1

    4. Rush spent most of last week decrying establishment Republicans and their disdain for the Tea Party types.

      ...and their selling us out to meet the Corporate desire for more cheap labor via Amnesty.

      Sees no substantive difference between establishment Pubs and establishment Dems.

      Who knew?

    5. Hate to say ...
      I told you so ....

      ... but ....

      I told you so!

      Way back when, doug.
      Before Obama, before you told me Johnnie Mac should get my vote, before GW Bush made it plain for one and all to ee that there was no difference 'tween the two parties. That were the same coin, head, tails, didn't matter it was still worth a nickel.

      But there is no Tea Bagger base.
      They can win a GOP primary here and there, but not many General Elections.

      Then again the Real Republicans have had a hard time with General Elections, here lately.

    6. The other interesting number ...

      59% of the Tea Baggers, themselves, do not think THEY are Republicans.

      The original Tea Baggers, they were terrorists and revolutionaries, how about this generation of Tea Baggers ...
      Are they terrorists, revolutionaries, too?

      Will they man a barricade?
      Stand up to the Regular Army, eye to eye and fire on their own countrymen?

    7. Yeah, but we mighta got Amnesty if Mac were President.

  28. Checked the price of corn while ago. $4.40/bu.

    Lessee, 56 lbs to the bushel would be about . . . .

    $4.40 / 56 = 0.0785

    A little less than 8 cents per pound.

    8 cents per pound.

    I wonder how many tortillas are in a pound?

    1. What Does Biofuel Have to Do With the Price of Tortillas in Guatemala?
      Jan 9, 2013

      Elisabeth Rosenthal's excellent New York Times article on the effect of US/EU biofuel policy in Guatemala has knocked me out of my torpor.
      Rosenthal lucidly explains the double pinch the biofuel craze puts on citizens of developing nations. For urban residents, the US biofuel mandates—now sending 40 percent of the US corn crop into ethanol production—are pushing up the price of corn, a staple food in Guatemala.

      Rosenthal points to an Iowa State University study estimating that US biofuel policy added about 17 percent to global corn prices in 2011—bad news for people who rely on tortillas as a staple.

      "Just three years ago, one quetzal—about 15 cents—bought eight tortillas; today it buys only four. And eggs have tripled in price because chickens eat corn feed," she writes. The result is dire:

      In a country where most families must spend about two thirds of their income on food, "the average Guatemalan is now hungrier because of biofuel development," said Katja Winkler, a researcher at Idear, a Guatemalan nonprofit organization that studies rural issues. Roughly 50 percent of the nation's children are chronically malnourished, the fourth-highest rate in the world, according to the United Nations.

      And for Guatemala's subsistence farmers, biofuel mandates in the Global North mean less land for growing food. The country's lush farmland is largely "owned by a handful of families," Rosenthal reports, and they're finding it much more profitable to grow sugarcane and palm to satisfy Europe's biofuel mandates than to rent it to peasant farmers to grow food. The change in land use has been rapid and stark: "Suchitepéquez Province, a major corn-producing region [for domestic food consumption] five years ago, is now carpeted with sugar cane and African palm."

      Pushed aside, small-scale farmers are scrambling for access to land. The article opens with a farmer who has had to resort to growing his family corn on the median of a busy highway. As a Guatemalan farm advocate told Rosenthal, "There are pros and cons to biofuel, but not here…These people don't have enough to eat. They need food. They need land. They can't eat biofuel, and they don't drive cars."

      Guatemala isn't an isolated case...

    2. .

      The following study comes out of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University.

      In looking at the chart at the bottom,

      The horizontal line (at 25 cents per gallon) aims to represent the costs of capital. Profits are implied under the current set of assumptions when operating returns exceed the horizontal line.


  29. What have we done?

    PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Public disclosures about U.S. government surveillance threaten the ability of police to use powerful new technologies such as drones and mobile license plate readers, a top law enforcement official said on Sunday.
    The leak of highly classified documents by National Security Agency Edward Snowden prompted tighter restrictions on key technology advances, said Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan, speaking at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference.
    The disclosures, including about monitoring of U.S. phone records, threaten to erode existing authority to use high-tech equipment, he said.
    "The scrutiny that the NSA has come under filters down to us," Keenan said at the annual gathering that draws top law enforcement from the United States and elsewhere with workshops, product exhibits and conferences.
    He said guidelines for collecting data varied widely from state to state. License plate data is retained for 48 hours to five years, for example, depending on local law, he said.
    For many new technologies, there is no clear legal standard to govern their use, he said.
    "If we are not very careful, law enforcement is going to lose the use of technology," he said.
    New technology including advanced facial recognition software, mobile license plate readers and unmanned aircraft are reshaping U.S. law enforcement, officials said.
    Such advances will be "both the benefactor and the curse of policing" and demand that law enforcement be thoughtful about their deployment, Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey said on Saturday at the start of the weeklong conference.
    "Imagine instead of driving down the street scanning license tags, driving down the street checking the faces of individuals walking down the street," Ramsey said.
    "We have to remind ourselves - just because we can do something doesn't mean we should do it."
    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation are scheduled to address the roughly 13,500 conference attendees on Monday.

    1. You Libertarians are going to compromise our safety and security. The Muzzies are going to kill us all now that we cannot track those license plates. We need facial recognition, haven't you seen that TV show where it helps stop crimes before they happen? That is what we need across the country. If you are not a criminal here is nothing for you to worry about. Dope dealers are just like terrorists and deserve to be arrested and thrown in jail. Then throw away the key afterwards!
      The Muzzies are coming and thanks to you we will not be ready!

    2. It's us or the muzzies.