We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, August 5. 2007
Postcards of the hanging. Iran increasing numbers of public hangings.
Jim Cramer is emotional about the need for a Fed rate cut. Core inflation is not a problem at present, home prices are falling fast in many regions - so why not?
A good question about the autonomy of localities in dealing with illegals, from Wizbang.
Lack of sunshine gives you breast cancer.
Look how the AP characterizes Sarkozy.
Did you read about Rep. Nancy Boyda? Reminds me of a kid plugging his ears and yelling "lalalalala" so as not to hear something he doesn't want to hear.
Maybe doctors will begin growing some real ones. The Lucidicus Project.
Militant Presbyterians charged with murder of Oakland reporter.
The new Tacoma Narrows Bridge photo update.
The 2007 Chap Olympics. Free Market Fairy Tales
Department of Useful Idiots. Chavez and Sean Penn. Mutual exploitation.
The Cap and Trade allowances market, at The Economist. Not exactly a thriving market yet, but the whole thing is pointless anyway, I believe.
When visiting Dubai, make sure you don't have even a microscopic amount of pot with you...or even in your bloodstream.
Should one bring one's faith to work? If so, how?
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HABU, BL, BD, Skook, and anyone else interested in Montana:
No comments @#%!&*
Thanks for the info...right now I'm good and should always remain so since I purposefully bought land with very few tress on it. None of them are within 500 yards of the proposed homesite..Got mostly wildflowers and views.
How are you fairing?
Re: FED and rate cut....last night until the wee hours Buddy, Rufus and I had a great colloquy on what's happening.
I definitely think the FED should cut rates NOW, Monday morning wouldn't be too soon. Why they haven't yet is a mystery to me.
If they don't cut we're gonna see more red than we care to see.
With a new Chairman he may not have the moxy to do the things that need to be done ..well the heats come to him and he can run but he can't hide.
I say cut'em at least 25 basis points ... 50 basis points within the next two meetings..he can't do more than 25 at once since that would send a panic signal, but I truly believe a "prudent man" would see the need for a cut.
We have to remain in a strong financial position because if the Chinese begin to sell off the CDO's they own we're gonna be in deep hole.
It is common for individual Americans and businesses to buy bonds and other securities, though much of the debt is now held overseas. At the end of 2006, foreign holdings of Treasury debt were $2.223 trillion, which was 44% of the total debt held by the public. Foreign central banks owned 64% of the Federal debt held by foreign residents; private investors owned nearly all the rest.
The country holding the second most U.S. debt is Japan which held $612.3 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2007. The People's Republic of China holds the most U.S. debt, ending the first quarter of 2007 with over $1.2 trillion in total foreign reserves, of which about $420.2 billion are U.S. Treasury securities.
That called exposure.
It's coming awful close- on a right angle, if Seeley is the bottom left point, and Ovando is top point we are about center. As the crow flies about 10 miles. There is also a fire north of Ovando about 20 and something over by Helena at the gates(I believe). Stay tuned to the Missoulian or click on the section management site.
We do have a lot of timber, and unfortunately a large area that needs to be cleaned up. In essence we have our buts up agains the big fire! ;-)
that's a mighty hairy fire, AP. the illo in the link is scary. Fifteen thousand acres and climbing. keeping fingers crossed for ya.
Mark Steyn: The vanishing jihad exposés
How will we lose the war against "radical Islam"?
Well, it won't be in a tank battle. Or in the Sunni Triangle or the caves of Bora Bora. It won't be because terrorists fly three jets into the Oval Office, Buckingham Palace and the Basilica of St Peter's on the same Tuesday morning.
The war will be lost incrementally because we are unable to reverse the ongoing radicalization of Muslim populations in South Asia, Indonesia, the Balkans, Western Europe and, yes, North America. And who's behind that radicalization? Who funds the mosques and Islamic centers that in the past 30 years have set up shop on just about every Main Street around the planet?
For the answer, let us turn to a fascinating book called "Alms for Jihad: Charity And Terrorism in the Islamic World," by J. Millard Burr, a former USAID relief coordinator, and the scholar Robert O Collins. Can't find it in your local Barnes & Noble? Never mind, let's go to Amazon. Everything's available there. And sure enough, you'll come through to the "Alms for Jihad" page and find a smattering of approving reviews from respectably torpid publications: "The most comprehensive look at the web of Islamic charities that have financed conflicts all around the world," according to Canada's Globe And Mail, which is like the New York Times but without the jokes.
Unfortunately, if you then try to buy "Alms for Jihad," you discover that the book is "Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock." Hang on, it was only published last year. At Amazon, items are either shipped within 24 hours or, if a little more specialized, within four to six weeks, but not many books from 2006 are entirely unavailable with no restock in sight.
Well, let us cross the ocean, thousands of miles from the Amazon warehouse, to the High Court in London. Last week, the Cambridge University Press agreed to recall all unsold copies of "Alms for Jihad" and pulp them. In addition, it has asked hundreds of libraries around the world to remove the volume from their shelves. This highly unusual action was accompanied by a letter to Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, in care of his English lawyers, explaining their reasons:
"Throughout the book there are serious and defamatory allegations about yourself and your family, alleging support for terrorism through your businesses, family and charities, and directly.
"As a result of what we now know, we accept and acknowledge that all of those allegations about you and your family, businesses and charities are entirely and manifestly false."
Who is Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz? Well, he's a very wealthy and influential Saudi. Big deal, you say. Is there any other kind? Yes, but even by the standards of very wealthy and influential Saudis, this guy is plugged in: He was the personal banker to the Saudi royal family and head of the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia, until he sold it to the Saudi government. He has a swanky pad in London and an Irish passport and multiple U.S. business connections, including to Thomas Kean, the chairman of the 9/11 Commission.
I'm not saying the 9/11 Commission is a Saudi shell operation, merely making the observation that, whenever you come across a big-shot Saudi, it's considerably less than six degrees of separation between him and the most respectable pillars of the American establishment.
As to whether allegations about support for terrorism by the sheikh and his "family, businesses and charities" are "entirely and manifestly false," the Cambridge University Press is going way further than the United States or most foreign governments would. Of his bank's funding of terrorism, Sheikh Mahfouz's lawyer has said: "Like upper management at any other major banking institution, Khalid Bin Mahfouz was not, of course, aware of every wire transfer moving through the bank. Had he known of any transfers that were going to fund al-Qaida or terrorism, he would not have permitted them." Sounds reasonable enough. Except that in this instance the Mahfouz bank was wiring money to the principal Mahfouz charity, the Muwafaq (or "Blessed Relief") Foundation, which in turn transferred them to Osama bin Laden.
In October 2001, the Treasury Department named Muwafaq as "an al-Qaida front that receives funding from wealthy Saudi businessmen" and its chairman as a "specially designated global terrorist." As the Treasury concluded, "Saudi businessmen have been transferring millions of dollars to bin Laden through Blessed Relief."
Indeed, this "charity" seems to have no other purpose than to fund jihad. It seeds Islamism wherever it operates. In Chechnya, it helped transform a reasonably conventional nationalist struggle into an outpost of the jihad. In the Balkans, it played a key role in replacing a traditionally moderate Islam with a form of Mitteleuropean Wahhabism. Pick a Muwafaq branch office almost anywhere on the planet and you get an interesting glimpse of the typical Saudi charity worker. The former head of its mission in Zagreb, Croatia, for example, is a guy called Ayadi Chafiq bin Muhammad. Well, he's called that most of the time. But he has at least four aliases and residences in at least three nations (Germany, Austria and Belgium). He was named as a bin Laden financier by the U.S. government and disappeared from the United Kingdom shortly after 9/11.
So why would the Cambridge University Press, one of the most respected publishers on the planet, absolve Khalid bin Mahfouz, his family, his businesses and his charities to a degree that neither (to pluck at random) the U.S., French, Albanian, Swiss and Pakistani governments would be prepared to do?
Because English libel law overwhelmingly favors the plaintiff. And like many other big-shot Saudis, Sheikh Mahfouz has become very adept at using foreign courts to silence American authors – in effect, using distant jurisdictions to nullify the First Amendment. He may be a wronged man, but his use of what the British call "libel chill" is designed not to vindicate his good name but to shut down the discussion, which is why Cambridge University Press made no serious attempt to mount a defense. He's one of the richest men on the planet, and they're an academic publisher with very small profit margins. But, even if you've got a bestseller, your pockets are unlikely to be deep enough: "House Of Saud, House Of Bush" did boffo biz with the anti-Bush crowd in America, but there's no British edition – because Sheikh Mahfouz had indicated he was prepared to spend what it takes to challenge it in court, and Random House decided it wasn't worth it.
We've gotten used to one-way multiculturalism: The world accepts that you can't open an Episcopal or Congregational church in Jeddah or Riyadh, but every week the Saudis can open radical mosques and madrassahs and pro-Saudi think-tanks in London and Toronto and Dearborn, Mich., and Falls Church, Va. And their global reach extends a little further day by day, inch by inch, in the lengthening shadows, as the lights go out one by one around the world
Suppose you've got a manuscript about the Saudis. Where are you going to shop it? Think Cambridge University Press will be publishing anything anytime soon?
The war will be lost incrementally because we are unable to reverse the ongoing radicalization of Muslim populations in South Asia, Indonesia, the Balkans, Western Europe and, yes, North America. And who's behind that radicalization? Who funds the mosques and Islamic centers that in the past 30 years have set up shop on just about every Main Street around the planet
that's enough to make ya vote for Ron Paul, accept our economic depression, and rise back up with the 50s values that every American misses like they miss their favorite dutch uncle.
How about ordering Chinese tonight? Not.
FOOD stalls attached to Beijing's public toilets will be removed in good time for next year's Olympics, state media said
Complaints over toilets with poor sanitation and toilet operators turning them into commercial operations led to the ban, which comes into force in October.
“It is not proper to sell soft drinks or snacks right at the toilets,” the Beijing News said, citing sources within the Beijing Municipal Administration Commission.
“The city authorities also plan to publish a toilet guide, provide toilet information over the telephone and the Internet and erect more road signs to help toilet users.”
Billboards near toilets will also be banned, Xinhua news agency said.
Notoriously polluted Beijing is cleaning up its act before it hosts the Olympics.
It has also announced crackdowns on spitting and smelly taxis.
Apple Pie are you still hanging in there? My prayers are with ya.