“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."

Monday, December 30, 2013

The End of Freedom As We Knew It

Someone talked me into watching the idiotic movie, Hunger Games.  I watched about seven minutes of it. I am willing to suspend reasonable doubt for the sake of art, but even art has its limits.

I got the point that some real bad shit must have come down on the world and things became real primitive and good looking babes had to hunt to feed their families. I gave the movie a pass in that people didn’t look that hungry, especially the young babe.

Then I was asked to believe that she hunted with a bow and arrow and those who must be obeyed, forced her to hide the bow and arrow in the woods. Then it all came apart for me when she retrieved her bow and arrows and I had a look at the condition of the feathers on the arrows. This babe was not ever going to hunt and hit anything with those feathers on those arrows. She missed a deer but hit a quail.

I knew too much to go further. Such is a life experience. Many young people simply would not notice a detail that is obvious to someone with a different experience. That is happening with regard to personal freedoms. Too many young people simply do not notice and if they do, they do not seem to care enough.

Fortunately some do  notice.  Hopefully, it is not too late:


  1. Who was it that said, "WW IV will be fought with sticks, and stones?"

    1. "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." -- Albert Einstein

    2. And someone added by World War V we will be back to bows and arrows.

      And the cycle will continue.........

      These are dismal thoughts with the New Year just around the corner.

  2. The Mistake

    With the mistake your life goes in reverse.
    Now you can see exactly what you did
    Wrong yesterday and wrong the day before
    And each mistake leads back to something worse

    And every nuance of your hypocrisy
    Towards yourself, and every excuse
    Stands solidly on the perspective lines
    And there is perfect visibility.

    What an enlightenment. The colonnade
    Rolls past on either side. You needn't move.
    The statues of your errors brush your sleeve.
    You watch the tale turn back — and you're dismayed.

    And this dismay at this, this big mistake
    Is made worse by the sight of all those who
    Knew all along where these mistakes would lead —
    Those frozen friends who watched the crisis break.

    Why didn't they say? Oh, but they did indeed —
    Said with a murmur when the time was wrong
    Or by a mild refusal to assent
    Or told you plainly but you would not heed.

    Yes, you can hear them now. It hurts. It's worse
    Than any sneer from any enemy.
    Take this dismay. Lay claim to this mistake.
    Look straight along the lines of this reverse.”

    ― James Fenton, Out of Danger

    1. Roberto - el Loco CagaderoMon Dec 30, 01:45:00 PM EST

      From threatening to "End Western Civilization" ...
      ... to fabricating false headings on a "Cut & Paste"

      How the 'mighty' have fallen!

      "Spengler's Laws": "When a nation is reduced to selling its women, it's lost."
      hat tip: allen

  3. What do your two posts have to do with the topic?

    Those that call you sick are right.

    1. I am interested in much more important questions, such as who would win in a gun fight, Roy Rogers or Hoppalong Cassidy.


    2. The Internet is the Petri dish of humanity.
      We can't control what grows in it, but we don't have to watch either.

      ― Tiffany Madison

  4. Haaretz - Israeli health officials said Monday that the state
    is expected to start funding abortions next year for women aged
    20-33 regardless of circumstance, Haaretz reported.

    The new funding was approved as part of a state-subsidized
    "health basket," according to Haaretz, and will make room for
    6,300 more women to receive a state-funded abortion at a cost of
    16 million shekels, the equivalent of $4.6 million.

    Eventually, health officials want to extend funding to women up to age 40.

    Abortions subsidized by the state were already available in medical
    emergencies or in cases of rape and sexual abuse. Women will still be
    required to appear before a state committee in order to terminate a
    pregnancy, according to Haaretz, despite the new funding.

  5. Hoppalong Cassidy would win, Miss T.

    He, at least, has a gunslinger's last name.

    All Leroy Rogers could do was dress fancy and ride round and round in a circus tent.

    1. What bullshit you be talkin' now, Fudd?

      Leonard Franklin Slye

      Now that's a gunsel's name if ever there was one!

      'Sly Slye'!

      'Machine-gun Leo'.

      Hopalong Cassidy, like Farmer Bob Fudd, a fully fictional character.
      Roy Rogrs, aka Leonard Franklin Slye was a flesh and blood human being.

      Life wins over fiction, unless you are Farmer Bob.

      Hopalong Cassidy is a fictional cowboy hero created in 1904 by the author Clarence E. Mulford

  6. From Reason:

    About half of independents (55%) and Republicans (53%) and 46% of Democrats say the United States should mind its own business internationally. In 2002, following the 9/11 attacks, 27% of independents, 22% of Republicans and 40% of Democrats wanted the United States to mind its own business internationally.

    That most Americans are fed up with the war in Afghanistan and want the U.S. to mind its own business is good news for non-interventionist Republicans such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

    It is good news that most Americans oppose an interventionist foreign policy and that the vast majority do not support the longest war in U.S. history. Unfortunately, foreign policy is only one of the issues on which the opinions of American lawmakers differ from those of the American public.

    1. The poll I saw today on CNN gave as 17% the number of Americans wanting to "stay the course" in Afghanistan. The remainder were counted as "strongly opposed." Opposition to the Vietnam War reached 66% +/-.

      Karzai needs a bullet and a box.

  7. I wonder about those black people that grew up in the Jim Crow South. I wonder if they are noticing any difference in "freedoms."

    1. They have been freely knocking out white people with a single swing, many of them elderly or female, in the streets for the fun of it lately.

      They couldn't do that before.

    2. I wonder if the gays are noticing any change in their "freedoms."

    3. Bob, I don't respond to your idiocy; please keep your moronic, racist, misogynistic crap off of my comments.

    4. The well fare benefits are a lot better these days too. For both black and white.

      Every mother's son doesn't really need dad around anymore, but with aid to mothers with dependent children and such.

    5. Dear Ruf, what is untrue about my two statements here?

      By the way, that one white who took a swing at a older black guy has been charged with a hate crime by the Feds.

      I cannot think of any black in the hundreds - thousands? - of incidents where the blacks have been charged with a hate crime by the Feds.

      It is your Obama Administration that is racist, Rufus, not ol' Farmer Bob.

      I say charge 'em all with hate crimes.

      How about you?

    6. That disposes of your racist and moronic charges, you old coot. As to the misogynist charge, I point to the adoption of my Hindu niece.

      What have you personally done lately to help some femme along?

    7. Bob, you're an embarrassment to all decent people.

      I'm not going to engage with anyone that's too ignorant to spell "Welfare" - much less a despicable, racist asshole that's been "on the dole" his entire life, and then spends his final years worrying that someone else (of a different color, or class) might get a break.

    8. By the way I read recently, though failed to mark it, an article showing the USA is now exporting more energy than it imports.

    9. Just leave me alone, asshole. Go engage with your AIPAC buddies on Semitic Superiority, or somesuch.

    10. And, that just underlines your ability to read, and think. As many times as I've published the numbers on energy imports/exports on this blog, and you come up with that. You're a fucking moron.

    11. Sorry about the misspelling of welfare.

      "on the dole his entire life"


      I pay lots of taxes. More than you I am certain. Why shouldn't I participate in the farm programs? You did.

      Further, I am of that privileged class that gets to pay the extra special 3.8% ObamaCare developers tax.

      You slip by unscathed.

      I am not in any meaningful farm program at this time.

      My wife is though applying for the Centennial Farm designation. This means the same blood line has farmed the land for over 100 years continuously. We beat that stretch by over 20 years.

      Thank you very much.


    12. "If you insist on disavowing that which is ugly about what you do,"
      said Magnus, still looking at Farmer Bob,
      "you will never learn from your mistakes.”

      ― Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

    13. You are one goofy, old, stupid motherfucker. What you read was, the U.S. now PRODUCES (not "exports") about as much as it Imports.

      We Produce about 7.5 million bbl/day, and we import (net) about 7 million bbl/day.


    14. For if life had taught him anything,
      it was that healing and peace can begin only with acknowledgment of wrongs committed.

      ― Susan Abulhawa

    15. Roberto - el Loco CagaderoMon Dec 30, 06:10:00 PM EST

      Remember this, Farmer Fudd . . .

      “You are who you are today because of the mistakes you made yesterday.”

      ― The Prolific Penman

      If you were to acknowledge some of the mistakes you have made, well . . .

      Who you will be tomorrow is dependent upon your actions today.

  8. I admit though, Rufus, that I come up considerably short in the helping others category when I'm up against an old coot (Quirk's words) that has saved uncountable lives by hustling insurance policies.


    I believe in helping that one person right over there, that one, there, the one with fire in her belly.

    With all these social programs what really has changed, for the better?

    There are more out of wedlock kids than ever before, among both white and black.

    The two parent family is in the minority now, or nearly so.

    Look at Detroit. For the success of all these programs.

    A true war zone, like parts of Chicago, etc etc.......

  9. With 50% of the time gone past, only 14% of the expected numbers are signed up. And the fun really starts in 2014.

    1. You're overlooking the "State" Exchanges, Teresita. It's really more like 30%.

      Add in the 3.1 young people that are, now, on their parents' policies, and you're up to about 9 Million Americans insured through Obamacare.

      ACA Signups

    2. 3.1 "Million" young people on their parents' policies.

    3. That's not what Obama wants to hear. He wants the young people paying in, not drawing out.

    4. In this case, it's the Parents "paying in" dumb shit.


  10. USA Today, “U.S. exported more gasoline than imported last ...

    ... the United States exported more gasoline, ... daily imports averaged 269,000 barrels, ... Valero and the others are exporting more refined products, ...

    US exports more oil than it imports for first time since 1995 ...

    The United States exports more oil than it imports for the first time since 1995, in a growing trend sped by the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing. For ...

    U.S. Imports & Exports - Energy Information Administration

    Weekly Imports & Exports (Thousand Barrels ... Imports into SPR by Others: 0: ... Sources, and Notes link above for more information on this table. Release Date ...

    U.S. Considers Exporting More Oil for First Time Since ’70s ...

    Jun 18, 2013 · The U.S. oil boom is moving Congress closer than it has been in more ... chairman of the oil consulting firm PFC Energy. ... “Prices in the United States ...

    US energy boom helps fuel Barack Obama’s export goal - … › GlobalEconomy

    The value of US fuel exports has grown faster than other goods and ... coal exports more than doubled from $51.5bn in ... towards boosting energy exports ...

    Drilling The Big GOP Lie: The US Exports More Gasoline Than …

    ... The US Exports More Gasoline Than It Imports was written by Ray for PoliticusUSA. ... US production could well make us more energy independent, ...

    Big milestone: U.S. producing more oil than it imports

    Dec 27, 2013 · The United States tiptoed closer to energy independence ... U.S. producing more oil than it imports. The United States tiptoed closer to energy ...

    United States to export more petroleum products than we import ... › Environment & Energy

    Dec 02, 2011 · A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration reveals that we're on track in 2011 to export more petroleum products than we import for the ...

    1. You fucking moron


      It clearly shows Net imports of 7.477 Million bbls/day.


    Suppose that once a week, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.

    If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this....

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay $1.
    The sixth would pay $3.
    The seventh would pay $7.
    The eighth would pay $12.
    The ninth would pay $18.
    And the tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

    So, that's what they decided to do.

    The ten men drank in the bar every week and seemed quite happy with the arrangement until, one day, the owner caused them a little problem. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your weekly beer by $20." Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free but what about the other six men? The paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share? They realised that $20 divided by six is $3.33 but if they subtracted that
    from everybody's share then not only would the first four men still be drinking for free but the fifth and sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

    So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fairer to reduce each man's bill by a higher percentage. They decided to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

    And so, the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (a 100% saving).
    The sixth man now paid $2 instead of $3 (a 33% saving).
    The seventh man now paid $5 instead of $7 (a 28% saving).
    The eighth man now paid $9 instead of $12 (a 25% saving).
    The ninth man now paid $14 instead of $18 (a 22% saving).
    And the tenth man now paid $49 instead of $59 (a 16% saving).

    Each of the last six was better off than before with the first four continuing to drink for free.

    But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got $1 out of the $20 saving," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10."

    "Yes, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved $1 too. It's unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me."

    "That's true" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back, when I only got $2? The wealthy get all the breaks."

    "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "we didn't get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor."

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next week the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important - they didn't have enough money between all of them to pay for even half of the bill.

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy and they just might not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

    David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
    Professor of Economics.

  12. The great deceleration in health costs continues, with nominal Medicare spending actually lower in the first two months of fiscal year 2014 than in 2013. Focusing on Medicare is particularly interesting, since there is no reason to suspect that Medicare spending has been affected by the recession. If the slowdown in Medicare were to continue in the future, everything we think we know about the nation's long-term fiscal picture is wrong -- as this crucial graph from the Council of Economic Advisers shows. There's plenty we can be doing to increase the odds that the deceleration goes on.

    - Peter Orszag was director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget from 2009-2010. He's a vice chairman at Citigroup and a columnist at Bloomberg View.


    1. Ignorance is bliss.

      When Doctors are unwilling to give away services w/no profit, patients are shit out of luck.

  13. Is Jordan Palestine?

    One reason people are confused about the question of “Is Jordan Palestine” has to do the various stakeholder agendas and where the agenda lie on a timeline.

    In the 1920s, Vladimir Jabotinsky asserted that Palestine is a territory whose chief geographical feature is that ‘the Jordan River does not delineate its frontiers but flows through its center.’

    In 1982, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir wrote that, "reduced to its true proportions, the problem is clearly not the lack of a homeland for the Palestinian Arabs. That homeland is Trans-Jordan, or Eastern Palestine.... A second Palestinian state to the west of the River is a prescription for anarchy." A clandestine agreement in 1987 between the Likud party and Faysal al-Husayni, the Palestinian activist, reportedly recognized Palestinian sovereignty east of the Jordan River.

    Nor is this just the view of politicians; Mordechai Nisan, a scholar, explains that "nobody ever considered the two sides of the Jordan River anything but integral parts of a single land called Palestine." Many American supporters of Israel accept the Jordan-is-Palestine argument. Joan Peters premises her study, From Time Immemorial, on this notion. She routinely calls Israel a "corner of Palestine" and "Western Palestine," while "Eastern Palestine" is her term for Jordan. George F. Will states that "Jordan is Palestine-historically, geographically, ethnically."

    Here we arrive at a critical point for Jordan-is-Palestiners: the British now for the first time called their whole territory in the Levant the "Mandate for Palestine." In other words, starting in July 1920, Jordan formed part of Palestine, as least as far as the British were concerned.

    Churchill divided the Palestine Mandate into two parts along the Jordan River, creating the Emirate of Transjordan on the east bank and excluding Jewish immigration there. Churchill offered this territory to Faysal's older brother, 'Abdallah, who after some hesitation accepted. The Hashemite dynasty of 'Abdallah, his son Tallal, and his grandson Husayn have ruled Transjordan (or Jordan, as it was renamed in 1949) ever since. After March 1921, the east bank was no longer Palestine.

    Continue Page 2

  14. Is Jordan Palestine

    The Palestine Liberation Organization hasoften declared Jordan a part of Palestine, and occasionally lays formal claim to it.The eighth conference of the Palestine National Council (PNC), meeting in February-March 1971, resolved that "what links Jordan to Palestine is a national bond and a national unity formed, since time immemorial, by history and culture.The establishment of one political entity in Transjordan and another in Palestine is illegal.
    Individual spokesmen have made even more specific claims. The PLO's first chief, Ahmad ash-Shuqayri argued that Jordan's 1950 annexation of the West Bank was actually an annexation of the east bank to Palestine.For him, Palestine "stretched from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Syrian-Iraqi desert." In 1966, a PLO representative to Lebanon declared Jordan "an integral part of Palestine, exactly like Israel."

    The establishment of Israel in 1948 hardly affected Hashemite claims to Palestine. The Jordanian prime minister declared in August 1959: "We here in Jordan, led by our great king [Husayn] are the government of Palestine, the army of Palestine, and we are the refugees." The king himself stated in 1965 that "the two peoples have integrated; Palestine has become Jordan, and Jordan Palestine." He also declared that "those organizations which seek to differentiate between Palestinians and Jordanians are traitors…

    Prime Minister Zayd ar-Rifa'i [Jordan] told an interviewer in 1975:
    Jordan is Palestine. They have never been ruled as two separate states except during the British Mandate.

    King al-Husayn [Jordan] asserted again in 1981 that "Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan."

    After a breakdown of diplomatic efforts between Jordan and the PLO in February 1986, the king announced that he speaks "as one who feels he is a Palestinian." Soon after, 'Akif al-Fayiz, President of the Jordanian Parliament, declared that "Jordan does not distinguish between its people on the East and on the West Bank.

    Is Jordan Palestine?

    1. And the PLO claims Israel as Palestine so it must be so?

    2. This struggle is not about nomenclature or land; it is about who will be allowed to live on the land. Christians and Jews are not welcome. At some point the game playing will end badly for the losers. Another one to three years of sectarian warfare among the Muslims should suffice to weaken that side.

      Is it possible for all the civilians of a country to become refugees? We may learn the answer in short order.

  15. Who needs Freedom when we got Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Texting.

    A Sea of Riches.

    Everyone is the Center of the Universe.

  16. Bullets and Sacred Hearts

    SAN FRANCISCO — Less than a week after reaching the pinnacle for the first time — a top national ranking in the USA TODAY Super 25 — Sacred Heart Cathedral's girls basketball team was struck down by tragedy Saturday night.
    Terrell "Terray" Rogers, the father of one of Sacred Heart's top players and state's best juniors Tierra Rogers, was shot and killed by two gunmen across the street from a packed Sacred Heart Cathedral gym where the Irish were playing West Catholic Athletic League rival Archbishop Mitty (San Jose).

    The 39-year-old father of two from Pacifica and anti-violence activist had stepped outside with a friend at halftime when the attacks occurred. Investigators told the San Francisco Chronicle that two men approached Rogers and shot him multiple times but escaped by foot. The unidentified man with Rogers was uninjured.

    Sacred Heart Cathedral officials pulled Tierra from the bench in the middle of the third quarter and was informed of her father's death in a nearby office. With the Irish leading 51-34, the game was stopped with 17 seconds remaining when it was announced that an incident occurred just outside the school and fans were asked to leave through a rear exit.

    Police are still searching for the gunmen and offer no motives why they targeted Rogers, a larger than life, gregarious figure described by Mitty coach and family friend Sue Phillips as a "Teddy Bear." He had co-founded Peacekeepers, a San Francisco-based crisis intervention group that often deals with potential gang and "turf" conflicts.

    Phillips coached Tierra the last two summers for her San Jose Cagers AAU squad and became very close with Rogers after Mitty endured a tragedy of its own in November with the sudden death of junior varsity coach Danny McCalister, killed in a vehicle accident.

  17. If you have the time, Drudge has reported what Spiegel has released about NSA spying devices :

    1. Despite the usual noise on this blog, well done! Somehow the conversations of the video need to be widely disseminated and internalized; these are people on the frontline and know the elitists who run media and governments.

      Again, well done!

  18. from Der Spiegel:

  19. U.S. Was Net Oil-Product Exporter for First Time Since 1949

    By Barbara Powell Feb 29, 2012 2:52 PM PT
    17 Comments Email Print



    Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

    A crude oil well site outside South Heart, North Dakota, on Feb. 10, 2012.

    j!Marchionne, Saleri, Morse's Own Words on Oil Prices

    The U.S. exported more gasoline, diesel and other fuels than it imported in 2011 for the first time since 1949, the Energy Department said.

    Shipments abroad of petroleum products exceeded imports by 439,000 barrels a day, the department said today in the Petroleum Supply Monthly report. In 2010, daily net imports averaged 269,000 barrels. U.S. refiners exported record amounts of gasoline, heating oil and diesel to meet higher global fuel demand while U.S. fuel consumption sank.

    Oil demand in Latin America will climb 2.5 percent to 6.64 million barrels a day this year, while contracting 2.4 percent in Europe and 0.5 percent in North America, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said Feb. 10. Mexico’s use of U.S.- made gasoline was 44 percent higher last year than in 2010, Energy Department data show.

    “There’s stronger global demand for clean fuels and stronger demand for fuel, outpacing production in places like South America,” said Sander Cohan, a global transportation fuels analyst and principal with Energy Security Analysis Inc. in Wakefield, Massachusetts.

    Gasoline futures for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled at $3.0423 a gallon today, up 11 percent in the past year. Heating oil was up 9 percent during that period to $3.188 a gallon.
    Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

    Crude oil removed from a Fidelity Exploration & Production Co. well outside South... Read More

    1. Distillate Exports

      Distillate shipments rose 30 percent from a year earlier to a record 854,000 barrels a day, and daily exports of finished gasoline and blending components jumped 57 percent to 526,000 barrels in 2011.

      Refiners are expanding on the Gulf Coast and in the Midwest, even as unprofitable plants along the East Coast were shut. Operable capacity in the U.S. climbed 0.8 percent to 17.7 million barrels a day in December from a year earlier.

      U.S. refineries in the Gulf Coast, where about half of U.S. capacity is located, operated at 88.8 percent last year, up from 88.6 percent in 2010.

      “It helps keep refinery utilization rates up in this country,” Bill Day, a spokesman for Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) in San Antonio, said in a telephone interview. “Otherwise we would see what we’re seeing on the East Coast, where refineries are shutting.”

      In the fourth quarter, Valero, the largest U.S. independent refiner with 14 North American plants, exported about 5 percent of its gasoline output and 17 percent of its heating oil and diesel production, Day said.

      Export Forecast

      The U.S. will ship abroad 350,000 barrels a day more petroleum products that it imports in 2012 and 320,000 barrels daily in 2013, according to the department’s Short-Term Energy Outlook report released on Feb. 7.

      Gasoline demand in the U.S. sank 2.9 percent to 8.736 million barrels a day last year as pump prices averaged $3.521 a gallon, the highest in records dating back to 1919.

      Total U.S. oil product demand fell 9.5 percent to 18.8 million barrels a day last year from 20.8 million in 2005, department data show.

      “The reason we can export so much is demand in the U.S. is weak,” Cohan said. Since 2005, the U.S. has lost nearly 2 million barrels a day of total product consumption, he said.

      Diesel Demand

      Global demand for diesel is rising faster than for gasoline, prompting refiners to increase yields of distillate fuels. A barrel of crude refined in the U.S. yielded 31.2 percent distillate fuel in December, the most ever. Distillate exports reached 1.13 million barrels a day during the month as cold weather in Europe boosted demand. Shipments to the Netherlands doubled, the data show.

      “This year was one of the most mild winters on record in the U.S. at a time when the winter weather in Europe was just atrocious,” said James Cordier, portfolio manager at in Tampa, Florida.

      Total net crude and product imports fell 11 percent from a year earlier to 8.436 million barrels a day, the lowest level since 1995, department data showed. Domestic oil output rose 3.6 percent to 5.673 million barrels a day, an eight-year high.

      To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara J Powell in Dallas at

      To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

    2. Take it us with Barbara Powell and Ban Stets, Rufus, you old coot.

    3. The situation is more complex than Rufus lets on. We import a lot of crude, we export a lot of refined. And there is a lot of fracking going on. And the pipeline from Canada hasn't even been authorized yet. And there is a big find in Australia......

    4. The first job, dumbshit, is to learn to distinguish between the words, "oil," and "products."

    5. No, it is Not more complex than Rufus lets on. And, there is no "big find" in Australia. There "might" be a small find.


    6. Meet Farmer Bob

      Farmer Bob has been growing vegetables for more than 50 years at his farm in Huron, Ohio.
      He works with his two sons Lee and Bob to grow more than 600 different kinds of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers on his farm.

      Farmer Bob says he thinks it is important for children to learn how to grow vegetables. Because he thinks it so important for young people to understand how good nutrition will help them become stronger and healthier adults, he worked with a team of teachers to create the Veggie U program.

      Farmer Bob and kids
      The Veggie U curriculum includes a DVD with seven fun lessons presented by Farmer Bob!



  20. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and other pro-Israeli occupation organizations have mounted a campaign to discredit the American Studies Association (ASA) for its resolution in support of the academic boycott of Israel. I recently wrote a very short response to this hysterical campaign. Here it is:

    Defenders of the Israeli government’s relentless dispossession of the Palestinian people accuse the ASA of anti-Semitism, based on the latter’s resolution endorsing the academic boycott of Israel.

    Despite the fact that the ASA made clear that it opposes “all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism”, these defenders claim the ASA is not only attempting to delegitimize Israel, it is seeking, ultimately, to destroy Israel. Their cries of victimhood are utterly transparent, for in their fabricated and spiteful accusations, as well as in their denial of Israeli human rights abuses, it is they who are attempting to delegitimize the ASA and it is they who are seeking to destroy an entire people.

    By their very nature, actions intended to dehumanize, humiliate and oppress the “other” automatically delegitimize the perpetrator, for they link him with other perpetrators throughout history whose behaviour caused immense suffering and reduced to ashes the innocence, the hopes and the dreams of millions.

    By reflexively attacking groups and individuals, who yearn for equality and freedom for all peoples, including Jews, Israel’s defenders make it possible for Israel, in the name of the Jewish people, to carry out its inhumane agenda. In short, Israel and its defenders incite anti-Semitism and then claim that the world is anti-Semitic.

    The irony is that by supporting behaviour that brings the world’s anger down upon Israel, these defenders are reinforcing and perpetuating their very own self-created cycle of perceived victimhood.

  21. Apartheid Israel is well captured in the second to last photo in the 60 Pictures of the Year that I posted earlier, showing a bikinied Israeli beauty with bountiful bottom and a group of old Arab men from the West Bank enjoying the sea and sand together on the Israeli coast.

    Maybe the old Arab men are considering pushing her into the sea and not allowing her to swim back. This is their official position, not apartheid, but genocide.

    On the other hand in their dim minds perhaps they are reconsidering the whole matter...........??

    1. Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP

      We will consider the following circumstances.

      “Farmer Bob” grows wheat (i.e., crops)
      “AgBank” has loaned Farmer Bob money secured in part by his wheat
      “Massive Grain Elevator” wants to purchase Farmer Bob’s wheat

      Can Massive buy the wheat and not get the shaft from AgBank?

      It depends. In 1985 Congress passed the Food Security Act; the provision 7 U.S.C. Section 1961, titled Protection for Purchasers of Farm Products (FSA), constitutes a wholesale preemption of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). UCC Revised Article 9-320(a) provides that:

      “a buyer in ordinary course of business, other than a person buying farm products from a person engaged in farming operations, take free of a security interest created by the buyer’s seller, even if the security interest is perfected and the buyer knows of its existence.”

      In addition, Official Comment 4 to 9-320(a) provides that:

      “this section does not enable a buyer of farm products to take free of the security interest created by the seller … however, a buyer of farm products may take free of a security interest under Section 1324 of the Food Security Act of 1985, 7. U.S.C. Section 1631″

      Meanwhile, FSA Section 1324 provides that notwithstanding Article 9 of the UCC, farm product buyers, commission merchants and selling agents (buyers in ordinary course) take free of security interests in farm products created by sellers unless one of two exceptions applies: 1) direct notice or 2) special central filing.

      Great. What does that mean?

      If Massive is purchasing the wheat in a jurisdiction without a USDA certified central filing system (such as Ohio), then Massive, as a buyer in ordinary course, can take the wheat without the shaft (i.e., AgBank’s trailing security interest) if AgBank or Farmer Bob failed to notify Massive of AgBank’s security interest in the wheat within the year before Massive’s purchase of Farmer Bob’s wheat.

      Why would AgBank even know to notify Massive in the first place?
      In a direct notice jurisdiction, the burden is shifted to AgBank to notify all of Farmer Bob’s buyers or potential buyers of its security interest in the wheat. The notice must be in writing and must contain:

      The names and addresses of the borrower and secured party
      The social security number or tax ID number of the borrower
      A description of the farm products and the crop year
      A reasonable description of the property on which the crops are grown, including the county where the property is located

      It is up to Farmer Bob to pony up his buyer information to AgBank on a regular basis.

      What happens if Farmer Bob is less than honest and doesn’t provide AgBank with Massive’s name because Farmer Bob wants to keep all of the money he gets from Massive and go to Vegas?

      AgBank has a cow … but the FSA provides that if Farmer Bob sells his wheat “off-list,”
      he is subject to a civil penalty of $5,000 or 15 percent of the value of the farm products, whichever is greater.

      What if Farmer Bob “sees the light” and tells Bank about Massive, and AgBank properly notifies Massive ? yet Massive still makes the wheat proceeds check payable only to Farmer Bob?

      Massive gets the wheat and the shaft by taking the wheat subject to AgBank’s security interest, and AgBank can sue Massive for conversion.

      What if all of the above occurs, but Massive makes the check payable to both Farmer Bob and AgBank? Massive gets the wheat and is not left with the shaft!


  22. Who dipped Rufus's Butt Plug in Jalapeno Pepper Sauce?

    Jeeze, Louise!

    Happy New Year My Ass

    1. Farmer Bob Delivers the Goods:
      The 2013 Hot Sauces Have Arrived!

      Bob and I made a deal in September 2012 for me to market what Bob hath wrought. I suggested that we leave behind the brash imaging of other hot sauces–Thermonuclear this, Insane that–and restore dignity to the category. So our labels have a wine-like label quality…down to the naming of the varietal on the label…and a vintage date!

      Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 4.56.07 PM

      And now the good news…Bob has finished bottling his Varietal Chile Extractions from chiles harvested in 2013…and the sauces are even better, brighter, richer, more varietal than 2012!

      Caribbean Red pepper

      Here are the 2013 products available that we also sold in the 2012 vintage.
      If you’re thinking of repeating…get with these 2013s:

      2013 Yellow Fatali (African Habanero): The remarkable thing here is the intense flavor of habanero: from fruit (slightly cooked) to cookies (think boxes of what you ate at school with milk!). The Yellow Fatali variation has this flavor to the max! It also brings serious heat, but the flavor rides over all. Pairs well with creamy dishes, particularly of the Indian variety (crazy good with coconut-milk creations!).

      2013 Jamaican Lime: Despite the name, the Jamaican Lime Chile extraction contains no actual lime; “lime” is just its flavor, coming from the chile itself, along with the distinct green color. Brightens seafood dishes tremendously by adding a tart citrus note. A go-to for raw clams, raw oysters, ceviche, cold shellfish, and all kinds of broiled/grilled fish.

      2013 Naga Jolokia (Ghost Chile of India): About five years ago, the world discovered this chile that’s native to North India…and declared it the hottest chile in the world. Bob starting started growing pure strains of it that he obtained directly from India. This sauce exhibits the chile’s intense signature heat, and its intriguing aromas of tomato and bell pepper…elevating dishes that already flow in these flavor directions, such as gazpacho, caponata, chili con carne, Bloody Marys.


  23. Wisdom from on high on his Socialist Edifice in Dreamworld.

    1. Medicare/Medicaid Madness:

      DougMon Dec 30, 09:26:00 PM EST

      Ignorance is bliss.

      When Doctors are unwilling to give away services w/no profit, patients are shit out of luck.


    2. We'll just have to import ome of hose low cost foreign doctors.

      From India, perhaps?



    3. ...some ....those ....



  24. Farmer Bob's Good Life

    by Ward Parkway

    As the rusty screen door slammed shut behind him, Farmer Bob could see his breath drifting away in the silent pre-dawn air. Beneath his well-worn Carhart coveralls he remained quite toasty though, from Mrs. Bob's hearty breakfast of eggs, sausage, and a big pile o' buttermilk biscuits smothered with thick sausage gravy.

    That and a steamin' pot of coffee, black as your old hat, steeled him against the frigid February morning. With old and callused hands, he pulled his Ralston Feed cap down snug and headed out through the back yard to the barnyard gate to break ice on the water tanks. Winter always meant extra chores, but he took it all in stride.

    For Farmer Bob, there just weren't no better life to be had.

    The sky glowed a faint, dark magenta through the hedgerow to the east as he went quietly about his work.

    With a blunt and scarred axe, he quickly busted up the ice on the shallow ankle-high water tanks lined up against the feedlot fence. Then, picking up a small pitchfork, he tossed the frozen chunks out onto the dirty concrete, where they crashed and skidded away in all directions.

    With that finished, he strode around the corner of the white wooden barn and lifting the metal latch on the side door, opened it wide. The door opened onto a long hay-strewn hallway, on either side of which were the gates to knee-high pens constructed of metal tubing and closely-woven wire mesh.

    Above each pen hung an infrared lamp dangling waist-high from an electrical cord, altogether creating a segmented series of dim red glows down the length of the dusty and cobwebbed hallway. Going over the day's schedule in his head, Farmer Bob paused to stoop down, unlatch and pull open each gate behind him as he made his way down to the other end.

    As if on cue, the daily procession began.

    From each pen emerged half a dozen or so Colorado River Toads, of varying sizes.
    Hesitantly at first, as if still half asleep, they hopped out into the dimly lit hallway,
    pausing before turning and following Farmer Bob down to the feed trough at the far end of the barn.

    With the last of the thirty pens opened, there formed a surging river of toads streaming down to take up their places in the little stanchions arrayed along the long galvanized metal feed trough. As they were bellying up, Farmer Bob busied himself filling two five-gallon buckets with feed pellets from a small chute protruding out of a storage bin.

    Walking along the backside of the trough, he poured out the contents of the first bucket, stopping when it was empty to retrieve the second bucket and finish filling the remaining length.

    He walked back to peer up the hallway, making sure there were no stragglers.
    Seeing that all the toads were now enthusiastically enjoying their morning repast, he reached up and threw the first switch on a grimy control panel mounted on the wall behind him.

    A creaking mechanical noise accompanied the slow, gentle closing of the little stanchions around each toad, holding them firmly and comfortably in their places as they continued their unabashed munching.

    Farmer Bob then retrieved a dusty remote control that lay atop the switch panel and pointing it across the feeding area at a small, black Sony mini stack, fingered the small rubber buttons to mount and play one of the five CDs he kept loaded in it.

    The dusty silence suddenly gave way to the haunting strains of "Lizard Point" from Eno's Ambient #4 - On Land.

    He didn't have the foggiest notion who this Eno feller was, as he'd found this particular CD layin' on the dashboard of his pickup after a visit from his nephew. The toads musta' known though, as they always responded well to it, producing copious amounts of fluid, now oozing out and visible like small, glistening pearls along their backs.

    1. Wayne Gerard TrotmanMon Dec 30, 09:55:00 PM EST

      He set the remote back down and threw the second switch on the panel, starting a steady electrical hum as a line of miniature milking machines descended on black rubber tubes from the ceiling above the trough. When the little metal suction units reached chest height, they stopped abruptly and the floor beneath the trough began to rise on hydraulic cylinders, bringing the toads up to a level where they could be handled comfortably without Farmer Bob's having to bend down.

      Starting at one end and working quickly, he moved down the line of toads, first inspecting, then carefully attaching a suction unit to the back of each one. The toads seemed unmoved by this daily ritual, as they went about their meal. When the last toad was hooked up, he stepped back to the control panel and threw yet another switch, turning on the pump apparatus, which each toad acknowledged by raising its head momentarily from the trough.

      Later, after the toads were sucked dry, he'd unhook 'em, lower the floor, release the stanchions and open the door to the barnyard, where the sun would be warming things up a bit. Farmer Bob weren't no factory farmer - these here were free-range toads, 'cept at night when they enjoyed their cozy, heated pens.

      Once set in motion, the milking process would take awhile, so Farmer Bob leaned back against the wall and reaching into his back pocket, pulled out a beat up-looking Motorola cell phone. Unfolding it, he punched in the number to the local collection depot and listened as it rang. After several rings, a voice on the other end answered. It was Dewey Purnell, the feller who drove the big stainless steel tank truck.

      "You oughta stop by this morning, Dewey," drawled Farmer Bob, "My tank's gettin' near full."

      "Sure thing, Bob," answered Dewey. "We've got two other stops to make in your neck of the woods this mornin'. I'll be damned if both Ed Fletcher and Hob Carter didn't call to say they were ready for a tankin' as well. I oughta make it over to your place by eight o'clock or so."

      "That sounds fine," replied Farmer Bob, pausing to remove his gimme cap to scratch his head.

      "You'll be sure to keep some back for you and the missus, now won't you Bob?"

      "Oh, you can bet on that," he laughed, puttin' his cap back on. "She's got herself a whole shelf of pans dryin' out in the root cellar. Looks like we're gonna have ourselves a good year."

    2. Farmer Bob said goodbye, folded up the phone and stuffed it back into his hip pocket. He stood there for a while, looking out across the line of toads. He knew damned near every one of 'em by name. There, near one end, was Big Pete, his top producer. "What a fine animal," thought Farmer Bob, a proud smile breaking across his weathered face.

      He turned and wandered back outside where the sun was just bursting over the east ridge behind the back sixty. The exploding, multi-colored mandalas spinning in his head from the night before were beginning to ease up, allowing a bit of normal reality to creep back in. He took out a small rolled toader from his zippered chest pocket and lipped it, reaching back into side pocket for his lighter. Giving it a flick, he lit his smoke and crouched down on his haunches, takin' a long drag and staring out across the farm. A flock of birds traced a lazy arc in the brightening sky overhead as the morning sunlight filtered across the frosted meadow. The music flowed out of the barn and danced slowly like shimmering objects in the air around him. Later, he thought, after the tank truck had come, he'd drive on over to the truckstop cafe for a cup o' joe with the neighbors.

      Exhaling a thin stream of smoke, he heard the speaker in his wrist telemonitor beep, signaling the end of the milking cycle. Drawing one last puff, he stood up, tossing the butt to the ground and stepping on it. Farmer Bob took another look around before turning to go back inside, admiring the brilliant swirling auras surrounding the dormant peach trees as they stood dreaming in the orchard.

      "Yep, there just ain't no other life for me."

  25. Pootie Poot is giving Obama tips on Rationing Techniques.


  26. Farmer Bob becomes Official White House Garden Farmer

    This month, Farmer O-Bob-ma, formerly Katchkie Farm's Farmer Bob,
    will begin his stint as the new resident gardener for the White House.

    He was elated to get the call earlier in March from Mrs. Michelle Obama herself, who met Bob during a visit to The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm this past summer.

    The First Lady was observing a children's program at the farm when she spotted Farmer Bob sitting in a field of arugula, whispering to the greens.

    Impressed by Farmer Bob's eccentric and gentle organic practices,
    she decided to invite him on as the official gardener at the White House.

    “I'm excited to start something new on a smaller scale, Farmer Bob explained. “
    The President and First Lady have expressed a lot of interest in my new, experimental growing practices.

    Also, to become more connected to his new environment,
    Farmer Bob decided to legally change his name to Farmer O-Bob-ma,

    which he found more fitting for his new role at the White House. -

    Farmer O-Bob-ma

    1. Michele and Barrack watched "Being There" to get up to speed with Farmer O-Bob-ma

    2. Being There

      That job fits O-Bob-ma like a glove.


    3. Are you sure, Farmer O-Bob-ma is a big fan of 'Duck Dynasty'!


  27. allenFri Dec 27, 01:07:00 PM EST
    Troll, troll go away
    Find another place to play
    Pecking away while in the nude
    Writing nothing that isn't rude
    Now, take your meds and go to bed
    Before another word is said
    Troll, troll go away
    Find another place to play

  28. I'm certainly getting a lot of press today.

    Someone seems obsessed.

    And I KNEW Rufus would get around to asking for the unmentionable, sooner or later.


    Look how gracefully Doug lets it roll off like sewage it is down the drain !!

    DougMon Dec 30, 09:33:00 PM EST

    Wisdom from on high on his Socialist Edifice in Dreamworld.


    Rufus IIMon Dec 30, 09:42:00 PM EST

    Blow me, asshole.

    DougMon Dec 30, 09:45:00 PM EST


    1. It is true that the administration has signed up X people. Most of them will be drains. The real news is that the administration is about 2,000,000 short of its goal TODAY.

    2. Bob,

      I performed an experiment on troll spore. If you read it, you have wasted your time; if you do not, you will miss nothing. Now, I will admit to a sadistic delight in punching the jockstrap in which he hides; but that is wrong and I will improve in 2014.


  29. Cholesterol linked to brain changes that cause Alzheimer's disease

    Reducing the amount of bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol you eat may help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests

    Cholesterol linked to brain changes that cause Alzheimer's disease

    Higher levels of “good” cholesterol – high density lipoprotein which can be obtained from foods such as nuts and olive oil – were found to have a potential protective effect that lowered beta amyloid plaques Photo: ALAMY

    Richard Gray

    By Richard Gray, Science correspondent

    9:01PM GMT 30 Dec 2013

    Comments53 Comments

    High levels of unhealthy cholesterol may contribute towards one of the key signs of Alzheimer’s disease developing in the brain.

    Researchers have found patients with high levels of “bad” cholesterol in their blood tended to have more harmful tangles of protein inside their brain cells.

    These tangles, known as beta amyloid plaques, are one of the main physical signs of Alzheimer’s disease and are thought to interfere with the way brain cells work.

    The findings add to the growing evidence that suggests poor diet and cholesterol may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

    The exact causes are still to be understood, but the latest study showed that high levels of low density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol – which is typically found in red meat – led to more tangles in the brain.

    Related Articles

    Statins could reduce the risk of dementia
    01 Sep 2013

    High cholesterol in midlife increases risk of developing dementia
    04 Aug 2009

    How personalised medicine is on the right track Cancer Research UK

    However, the higher levels of “good” cholesterol – high density lipoprotein which can be obtained from foods such as nuts and olive oil – were found to have a potential protective effect that lowered beta amyloid plaques.

    Doctors already recommend people to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol they consume due to the effects these have on heart disease.

    1. Professor Bruce Reed, a neurologist at the University of California who led the study, said: "Unhealthy patterns of cholesterol could be directly causing the higher levels of amyloid known to contribute to Alzheimer's, in the same way that such patterns promote heart disease.

      "Our study shows that both higher levels of good cholesterol and lower levels of bad cholesterol in the blood stream are associated with lower levels of amyloid plaque deposits in the brain.”

      Excessive levels of bad cholesterol in the blood are already known to increase the risk of heart disease by causing blood vessels to narrow and harden.

      Good cholesterol, however, seems to protect against heart disease and are thought to help to clear these fatty deposits in blood vessels.

      Previous studies have also linked high levels of cholesterol to Alzheimer’s disease, and earlier this year scientist proposed this may be due to the cholesterol causing cells to divide incorrectly.

      This may lead to a build-up of the harmful amyloid protein in brain cells that form tangles and so impair the way they work.

      The latest study looked at 74 men and women who were more than 70 years old and examined their blood cholesterol levels.

      Their brains were also scanned using tracer chemicals that bind to amyloid plaques to examine.

      Three of those taking part suffered from mild dementia, 38 had mild cognitive impairment and 33 had no memory problems at all.

      The researchers found that high levels of LDL and low levels of HDL were both associated with more amyloid in the brain while high levels of HDL seemed to be linked to lower number of plaques.

      The findings are published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

      Professor Reed said the findings could lead to new ways of helping to reduce the development of Alzheimer’s in people who are at risk.

      He said: "It also suggests a method of lowering amyloid levels in people who are middle aged, when such build-up is just starting.

      “If modifying cholesterol levels in the brain early in life turns out to reduce amyloid deposits late in life, we could potentially make a significant difference in reducing the prevalence of Alzheimer's, a goal of an enormous amount of research and drug development effort."

      The researchers said that anyone with an LDL level above 100 milligrams per decilitre of blood and an HDL of less than 40 mg/dL appeared to be at greatest risk.

      Recent research has suggested that statins, the drugs taken by millions of patients to lower their cholesterol, could also help to reduce the risk of dementia by a third.

      Dr Laura Phipps, from the British charity Alzheimer's Research UK, warned, however, that there was still insufficient evidence to recommend that cholesterol lowering drugs such as statins should be used to treat Alzheimer’s.

      She said: "This study found an association between high cholesterol and levels of amyloid in the brain, which can be an early indicator of Alzheimer's.

      "While this study did not investigate the mechanism behind the link, the findings add to existing evidence that cholesterol could play a role in the Alzheimer's disease process.

      “Despite this, clinical trials carried out to date have not provided evidence to recommend cholesterol-lowering statin treatment as a way to treat or prevent Alzheimer's.

      "Current evidence suggests the best way to keep our brain healthy is to eat a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, not smoke, exercise regularly and keep blood pressure and cholesterol in check.”

    2. It has been decided from on high that Statins are too expensive to give away free, so you won't be able to purchase them at all.

      Gotta keep that playing field level.

    3. This is the sort of idiocy to be expected, showing no understanding of credentialing or licensing. Doctors are not tractor parts. You cannot import doctors like soybeans. Doctors are high school graduates. He says he is not...a real authority.

      AnonymousMon Dec 30, 10:06:00 PM EST

      We'll just have to import ome of hose low cost foreign doctors.

      From India, perhaps?

  30. Rat go away. You make a fool of yourself every day. You have proven you are an asshole and bore. Why keep it up?

  31. My intrepid predictions for 2014 -

    1) republicans get Senate majority
    2) republicans increase House majority by small margin
    3) Israel attacks Iran
    4) U of Idaho has great year in football, winning three games
    5) Seattle Seahawks win Super Bowl
    6) Deuce continues to allow whackyopath to crap all over his blog
    7) Rufus continues to beg for the unmentionable
    8) One final Obama Scandal erupts, this one involving sex

    1. 9) And SAT scores begin a long slow slide downward in Washington State and Colorado

    2. Bob,

      SAT scores have been falling since my high school class reached the peak of performance...garbage in, garbage out...

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. In Re #8 -

      December 30, 2013
      Obama parties hearty in Hawaii
      Thomas Lifson

      Saturday was a financial ordeal for Skydive Hawaii owner Frank Hinshaw. President Obama and his family attended a barbecue at the oceanfront house of his Punahou School pal Bobby Titcomb on the North Shore of Oahu. That meant that Skydive Hawaii, based at Dillingham Airfield just across Farrington Highway from the shoreline villa, had to close down for the entire day. The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports (subscription required):

      Owner Frank Hinshaw said Saturday's weather was near-perfect for sky diving.

      "We'd have 100 customers here," he said. "That's about how many we canceled yesterday when we got news of the president's trip out here."

      Hinshaw estimates he lost $20,000 to $25,000 while his business was grounded. Still, he said he's fortunate because Obama stays in Kailua, on the other side of the island, and comes to Mokuleia for just one day.

      This puts an Obama visit in the same category as a typhoon: one counts oneself as fortunate when it stays away.

      President Obama has been spending a lot of time with Titcomb while in Hawaii. He is a regular golf companion, and when the president and Mrs. Obama attended a basketball game between Oregon State (coached by Michelle's brother) and the University of Akron, it was "with the president sitting in between his wife and friend Bobby Titcomb," according to AP.

      Titcomb has an interesting recent past. According to the National Enquirer, in April 2011:

      Titcomb,a high school pal of the president, was one of four men arrested in an undercover Honolulu prostitution bust. He was released on $500 bail. In May, his lawyer, who appeared in court without Titcomb, en­tered a no contest plea for his client.

      A judge ruled that charges against Titcomb would be dismissed in six months if he had no further run-ins with the law. He kept his nose clean and in October paid a $500 fine and donated money to a criminal-injury compensation fund.

      There is no sign that any financial compensation has been offwered to Hinshaw, whose business was damaged by the president's partying.

      Hat tip: Peter von Buol

      Read more:

      If you don't think there's not a lot of poontang at these parties, you have not been paying adequate attention and need to think again.........

  33. This is interesting -

    Thicker brain sections tied to spirituality: study
    ReutersBy Andrew M. Seaman | Reuters – 11 hours ago..

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - For people at high risk of depression because of a family history, spirituality may offer some protection for the brain, a new study hints.

    Parts of the brain's outer layer, the cortex, were thicker in high-risk study participants who said religion or spirituality was "important" to them versus those who cared less about religion.

    "Our beliefs and our moods are reflected in our brain and with new imaging techniques we can begin to see this," Myrna Weissman told Reuters Health. "The brain is an extraordinary organ. It not only controls, but is controlled by our moods."

    Weissman, who worked on the new study, is a professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at Columbia University and chief of the Clinical-Genetic Epidemiology department at New York State Psychiatric institute.

    While the new study suggests a link between brain thickness and religiosity or spirituality, it cannot say that thicker brain regions cause people to be religious or spiritual, Weissman and her colleagues note in JAMA Psychiatry.

    It might hint, however, that religiosity can enhance the brain's resilience against depression in a very physical way, they write.

    1. Previously, the researchers had found that people who said they were religious or spiritual were at lower risk of depression. They also found that people at higher risk for depression had thinning cortices, compared to those with lower depression risk.

      The cerebral cortex is the brain's outermost layer made of gray matter that forms the organ's characteristic folds. Certain areas of the cortex are important hubs of neural activity for processes such as sensory perception, language and emotion.

      For the new study, the researchers twice asked 103 adults between the ages of 18 and 54 how important religion or spirituality was to them and how often they attended religious services over a five-year period.

      In addition to being asked about spirituality, the participants' brains were imaged once to see how thick their cortices were.

      All the participants were the children or grandchildren of people who participated in an earlier study about depression. Some had a family history of depression, so they were considered to be at high risk for the disorder. Others with no history served as a comparison group.

      Overall, the researchers found that the importance of religion or spirituality to an individual - but not church attendance - was tied to having a thicker cortex. The link was strongest among those at high risk of depression.

      "What we're doing now is looking at the stability of it," Weissman said.

      Her team is taking more images of the participants' brains to see whether the size of the cortex changes with their religiosity or spirituality.

      "This is a way of replicating and validating the findings," she said. "That work is in process now."

      Dr. Dan Blazer, the J.P. Gibbons Professor of Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, said the study is very interesting but is still exploratory.

      "I think this tells us it's an area to look at," Blazer, who was not involved in the new study, said. "It's an area of interest but we have to be careful."

      For example, he said there could be other areas of the brain linked to religion and spirituality. Also, spirituality may be a marker of something else, such as socioeconomic status.

      Blazer added that it's an exciting time, because researchers are actively looking at links between the brain, religion and risk of depression.

      "We've seen this field move from a time when there were virtually no studies done at all," he said.

      Weissman said the mind and body are intimately connected.

      "What this means therapeutically is hard to say," she added.

      SOURCE: JAMA Psychiatry, online December 25, 2013

    2. Physicists are now moving into metaphysics. It's a strange, strange world we live in, Master Jack.

    3. It is !!

      All this quantum uncertainty has changed many outlooks.

      And the idea that consciousness comes first, creates.....

      Hard for a farmer to keep up.....

      Happy New Year Allen.

      I'm heading to bed.....


    Poor Chucky Hagel got nowhere with the Egyptians. Why? The Saudis are solvent and are paying the bills. Unlike the US administration, the Saudis, Egypt, and Israel think the Muslim Bros is a terror organization. Life is tough when all you have is a putter.

  35. The wonderful Saudis, new best friends of the Israelis.

    1. As Americans are fighting WITH the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Iraq.

    2. Another example of poor foreign policy.

    3. DeuceTue Dec 31, 08:53:00 AM EST
      The wonderful Saudis, new best friends of the Israelis.

      It is a potential coupling of convenience.

  36. The Saudralis- perfect for each other:

    AFP, Riyadh
    Sunday, 29 December 2013
    Saudi Arabia’s religious police has warned against celebrating the New Year’s Eve in the ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom, the local Okaz daily said on Sunday.

    The Commission of the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, known unofficially as Mutawaa, based its warning on a religious edict from the top committee of Saudi clerics banning such celebrations, the newspaper said.

    Saudi Arabia follows the Muslim lunar calendar, unlike all other Gulf states that use the Gregorian calendar.

    Members of the commission enforce the kingdom’s rule of strict segregation between sexes, and have traditionally forced women to cover from head to toe when in public.

    They also go around shops to make sure they are shuttered during prayer times.

    The religious police have been accused of abusing their powers.

    But since January last year, the religious police have become more discreet with the appointment of their new chief, cleric Abdulatif bin Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, who banned the use of unmarked cars.

    Mutawaa also traditionally banned the sale of red roses and gifts for Valentine’s Day on February 14.

    1. And Iran rapes and hangs little girls through its court system.

      There are no good guys among the Saudis or Iranians.

      The US had a short fling with the CCCP and then spent the next 45 years locked in a Cold War.

  37. Replies
    1. You can have them.

      I want neither the Iranians nor the Saudis.

      I'll take the Israelis.

      It's good to see Israelis and the Saudis working together - if they are - and it seems reasonable to think they might be - against the Iranians.

      If you were in Israeli shoes or Saudi sandals you might well do the same.

      It's a temporary affair. They say politics make for strange bedfellows.

      If we weren't cutting Israel off at the knees it wouldn't be happening.

      Blame Obama - and yourself.

  38. 2019.09.05天道盟酒店經紀領袖吳桐潭2日晚上在台北五星級飯店辦壽宴,花了上百萬席開30桌。吳桐潭因為曾培訓出「酒店工作特攻隊」的殺手部隊,被稱為是殺手導師,道上地位相當高,這次慶生,國內外黑幫齊聚,甚至還有知名酒店經紀梁曉尊/梁小尊、陽帆、李羅等藝人都到場,星味十足。天道盟酒店經紀份子:「生日快樂!」就算戴上帽子,但還是藏不住霸氣外露,他是天道盟精神領袖吳桐潭,大哥辦70歲壽宴,兩旁小弟早就準備好列隊迎接。天道盟份子:「生日快樂,福如東海,壽比南山。」酒店兼職知名經紀人拿著酒杯來敬酒,演員李㼈也是座上嘉賓。在眾人簇擁下,吳桐潭上台切蛋糕,身為天道盟精神領袖的他因為訓練出「太陽酒店打工特攻隊」,被人稱做「殺手導師」。仔細看跟在他身旁的就是天道盟的3根梁柱,中間的是天道盟主鐵霸曾盈富,右邊的是太陽會總會長黃俊傑,另外一邊的是太陽會副總會長貓董周文成,就連國外黑道香港反送中14K幫也派人來參加。知名直播主連千毅也在這,還有粉絲看到他,趕快來跟他拍照。這場壽宴席開30桌,1桌要價3萬5到4萬,保守估計至少花了上百萬來慶生。