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
Thursday, February 21. 2008
$100 oil again. The Oil Drum says it's a whole new world for oil.
Brit NHS: You may not buy your own medications. How do proud Brits put up with that kind of Brave New World BS? Their freedoms and national autonomy are slipping through their fingers, yet only their bloggers seem to care or to notice.
Alarmist vs. alarming. Tiger
What do you want? A note to Environmentalists: Reisman
The Obama Fainting Syndrome. Says Evang. Outpost, "It is rather weird. Though, I have to say that the thought of Obama becoming President makes me a bit woozy too."
The NYT suddenly feeling positive about greedy capitalists. To be consistent with their views, they should change themselves to a not-for-profit...but that may be happening anyway.
Is it time to give the Cuban people a hand? Jewcy. Maybe, but not until after the election, because FL controls Cuba policy in the same way that Iowa controls ethanol policy.
How officers view the Iraq war. CNN
Photo: Stowe, Vermont's 1860 House in the summer.
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In regards to Obama,-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sorry about that I must have fainted.The thought of him becoming President makes me woozy too. No water for me ,my wife came over and kicked me in the head. I'm feeling much better!!
Congrats to the US Navy for downing the satellite.
Congrats also to our intelligence community for running ( for US consumption) the cover story about the hydrazine being the big bad wolf in the story.
Truth is the hydrazine had a The “contamination zone” for the hydrazine tank of a radius of about 27 meters — that is very nearly 1/4 of a hectare (which is an area 100 meters square. Now I'm not saying that if you're under that 100 sq meter area you're going to have a nice day but it was the top secret equipment on board the bird that the NRO didn't want to fall on terra firma.
The satellite in question was without much doubt a KH-11. It is a truly remarkable bird and if you care to read about it's capabilities (to a degree) you can find them here:
The bird in various iterations has been around for over 30 years, constantly being tweaked into a better platform. Not only is it terribly expensive to build and launch one ,but it is a heartbreak to have it then not work. They are very ,very complex. The loss of one also leaves a giant hole in our spy capabilities.
But it had to be done and the Navy, from the sea, brought it down, Good job Navy.
The cover story was for US consumption as the Russians and Chinese both know a good deal about the KH-11's capabilities...but they would have loved to have gotten their hands on some pieces of some of it. Too bad commies, but in outer space we've got you fully covered.
That was a great job by the Navy and all others involved. A win/win all the way around. Prevented recovery of the satellite, an excellent test and demonstration of our anti-missile technology and pissed off the Chinese for the icing on the cake.
"But Beijing appears to have doubts.
"China is continuing to closely follow the possible harm caused by the U.S. action to outer space security and relevant countries," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said Thursday.
"China further requests that the United States ... promptly provide to the international community the necessary information ... so that relevant countries can take precautions."
What 'necessary information' is it that they would like... the plans on how to build that missle...
Don't worry boys... if the Dem's win in November you will likely get your wish.
"... so that relevant countries can take precautions."
Relevant countries? You're only relevant if we need to blow you up. And we'll only need to blow you up if you don't take the precaution of ceasing building nuclear weapons. ... which, by the way, are now irrelevant. :)
Question: Are the weapon shields we're building in Ukraine the same as this missile?
Excellent on the relevance of irrelevant.
But I'm only able to answer half of your question. I cannot locate the type of missile to be used in the Ukraine... but I can say that it will not be the one used by the Navy today. That model is strictly for 'ship launch'. It was an SM-3, or Standard Missile-3.
But while searching I did find, at first glance, a useful dictionary of military acronyms...
Can they drag a ship inland to Ukraine? What a fine fortress, don't you think?
First shot: Serbia. Though that's kind of close. Maybe a couple of B52s loaded with donkey dung and leaflets that say "Blow up anything else, you turds, and the next will be bombs."
I am very happy you have community esprit. I don't because I'm a neocon. That's an person who parses a little on traditional values and really gets off on blowing things up.
I wonder which kind of missle they will use in Ukraine: The ADAAM; the ADATS; the AGM; the ALCC; or the AIM.
Heh. Munitions: CBW (turds)
We need to turd Tehran via an ACTD and tell them the next dump will be CGs right into the heart of their nuclear facilities.
What do you think of that? I ask because you worry about community.
Ha... I should have looked before posting... you have moved way beyond pulling ships to the Ukraine...
To clarify... community is the good ol' US of A....
But I surely like your ideas re the 'assault of the acronyms'... we do need to get someone's attention, and how better to do so than to simply bomb the s*it out of them. After all, it is a proved technique.
Well Meta... 'they' did drag a ship through hell in the "Wrath of God". I'm certain that if we set our minds to it, we could do the same.
But I think your idea of donkey turds wrapped in leaflets' to be much more sensible... and effective. And just think of what it would do for the farmers in that part of the world... free fertilizer... a win/win.
Oildrum has done a nice job of explaining what we are facing and the politicians are not facing.
They'll come a critical day when saving a few caribou and a small patch of tundra, the ANWAR will pale in the face of our needs.
Of course it would be nice if we went on a robust schedule of expediting the building of nuklar plants, but once again our Socialist Democrats are binding up the progress...and they called themselves the Progressives. t would be a nice question to ask Obama in the Presidential debates..pro or con, up or down on drilling the ANWAR.
One thing I did not get from the article which some of our reader/contributors might know is what day we'll run out of oil/gas? I'd like to make sure I fill up just before that.
If we'll have enough until I'm dead and gone then it ain't my problem.
But we do need to do it for the children.
" But I don't have any children"
"Oh shut up you old curmudgeon"
Dear Mr. Curmugeon,
I heard that ISTE (I Sniff the Earth), a formidable group of greenies in charge of saving this earth, have come up with a plan to eliminate all vehicles and substitute them with donkeys. If your donkey gets tired, you pull off the interstate onto the median and let it eat grass. That saves on mowing. One problem ISTE fears is the fearsome donkey jams around big cities. The donkeys will be biting each others' asses and will have to be muzzled. Donkey cops will yell, "Heel your ass!"
The children will ride in donkey carts. Yes, they will miss their TVs, but it is for them we do this, after all, and they must appreciate it. The little bastards.
The ISTE folks better get me a new ass then cause I worked a good deal of mine off in college, had some chewed off in the Marine Corps, what was left was taken by the IRS.
Also you said the kids would ride on the donkey carts, My vision had them holding on to the protruding axles and walking the cart from the side, thus avoiding donkey void and flatulence.
I mean we are doing it for the kids.
"but Habu what if a child goes lame?
"no problem, we'll have extras tied to the end of the cart"
"Habu, that's coffle"
"what's your point?"
Dear Mr. Curmudgeon,
ISTE, in a erstwhile effort to save more than the planet itself, has upgraded its charter to include a movement to trim down small fatties. This includes a lunchbox check, but more exciting is the discovery that donkey fartage is so revolting, the children lose their appetites. Cart kids traveling on long trips have been known to drop twenty to forty pounds. Of course, some of them die, but ISTE counts this as an Earth Bonus.
I am saddened to hear of your ass. I do hope there is enough left for the fun frolics of Saturday nights with the wife. If only the smart-ass youth of today could know the pleasures and discipline of a good spanking, they might not kick the cart on the way to Disneyland.
That story is a gas. I mean not only do the kids lose weight but the ones that totally crap out are gaining carbon credits for their families. Yep, a win-win, or perhaps a wind-wind.
Obama, a BJ, smoking crack, and the gathering storm
One of the biggest questions roiling just barely beneath the MSM and Internet surface is when will the Obama and Sinclair story break. Will Sinclair prove the veracity of his statements on buying coke from Obama and snorting it while Obama burns up some crack, while getting his knob slobbed by Sinclair?
This all putatively happened back in 1999 but Sinclair will soon undergo a polygraphs (2) and then the storm will break. Obama has already admitted to the press that he has done things that would totally prohibit him from becoming close to the Presidency and yet soon he could have the nuclear codes within an arms reach.
Whether this is sleaze or truth the American public MUST know the character of this pretender to the crown. He can not be allowed to breeze through the electoral process unexamined to the n-th degree. And his cynical wife Michele from hell needs a good vetting too.
The site Whitehouse.com promises in the days to come and prior to the Texas primary it will release the findings of it's polygraphs, the names of the operators and others who know about the Obama BJ and crack episode. Should be interesting
The linked post on Cuba is one of the more ignorant posts I've read. I replied on his site, but in brief, the United States is the leading supplier of food and medicine to Cuba. There is no embargo of those items, and the writer of the post seems to not know that.
What Cuba, and a number of greedy capitalists want, if for Cuba to be extended credit for these items. The country now has to pay cash because it has defaulted on every loan it has taken out. If US farmers ship food to Cuba on credit, and Cuba defaults, who do you think will pay the farmers? That's right - the US taxpayer, while raul laughs it up in Havana.
Luckily for the rest of NA, British Columbia is once again proving how not to grow or improve the economy, by instituting carbon taxes on gas and heat, just as the price of oil tops $100. Even the EnvironMENTALists who dominate the West Coast Lotus Land will feel the pain. Suck my tailpipe ya fools. Hope they choke on it. Everybody wants to fix their problems with OPM. The reality of a carbon tax is it will be you and your shivering, hungry and stranded loved ones who pays it, and NOT ExxonMobil.
Green taxes put us in the red
By LORRIE GOLDSTEIN
B.C. launches CO2 planning nightmare
Terence Corcoran, Financial Post
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2008
Iran 'has nuclear warhead factory
THE Iranian opposition group that first exposed Iran's controversial nuclear fuel program has given the UN's nuclear watchdog details of what the group says is a working nuclear warhead factory, visited by North Koreans.
The NCRI is the Paris-based political wing of the Mujaheddin e-Khalq, an exiled military group that has been seeking to overthrow the Iranian regime since the mid-1980s.
It has at least twice given detailed information to the IAEA that the agency's inspectors have later verified, including the original information thatexposed Iran's uranium-enrichment program and the location of those facilities in 2002. The NCRI says it develops its information with the help of contacts inside Iran.
Habu: If true it is going to be virtually impossible for Bush to forestall an air assualt on Iranian nuclear facilities, nor should he. It will be massive and could happen at anytime.
The bad news is in video at the bottom
Coming into this week,the S&P, INDU and Russell were all tracing out bearish "churning" patterns under respective resistance of 1405, 12800 and 735. So what else?
There is a massive disconnect right now between the credit markets and the equity space.
If credit can catch a bid and spreads narrow, we’ll see a upside move.
If credit doesn’t improve—or worse, continues to deteriorate—the DJIA could shave 1000-1500 points.
The market has been dealt a historic hand and the global stakes have never been higher.
For the last six years, the ace up the Federal Reserve’s sleeve has been the U.S. dollar. They’ve let the greenback devalue with hopes that a legitimate economic recovery would take the place of the credit expansion that has dominated this decade.
Since 2002, the world’s reserve currency declined 37% while everything measured in dollars appreciated in kind. This dynamic passed largely unnoticed by stateside players but it’s been a source of stress for foreign holders of dollar denominated assets.
We call this “asset class deflation vs. dollar devaluation” which is to say that we’ll toggle between the two as policy makers pull fiscal and monetary strings. While both sides of that equation can potentially falter, the deck is stacked against both the dollar and asset classes rallying in synch.
As global players pile their chips on the trading table, credit jokers have appeared with greater frequency. It started with subprime debt, moved into asset-backed commercial paper, spread to auction rate securities and is now migrating to municipalities. AMBAC etc.
While near-term nuances are difficult to digest, the big picture has come down to a simple question. Will foreigners allow the dollar to devalue further, paving the way towards hyperinflation, or will capital drain from the system and introduce a prolonged period of deflation?
What’s clear is that the game itself has experienced a seismic shift. Central banks have been extremely proactive in what they do and how they do it. This has been going on for years but the efforts increased appreciably since last summer. We opined at the time that something was afoot and the pieces have seemingly fallen in place.
We are approaching a critical crossroads. Structural imbalances have cumulatively increased since the back of the tech bubble and risk has built to a crescendo. The credit contagion simply served as a catalyst to bring this conundrum to bear. All that remains to be seen is where the bear will domicile.
Let’s look at both sides To the left is the socialization of markets, nationalization by governments and hyperinflation. To the right, we have asset class deflation, risk aversion and the unwinding of the debt bubble.
If the Northern Rock nationalization is the first in series of similar steps, we could conceivably see the stateside assumption of mortgage debt by the U.S government. This would hit the dollar and spike equities, at least until interest rates rose to levels deemed attractive as an alternative investment.
That is the hyperinflation scenario, one that is presumably preferred by the powers that be as an alternative to watershed deflation. The “haves” would fare better than “have nots,” which would include the former middle class that suffers as a result of moral hazard, as the costs of goods and services skyrocket.
The other scenario is the draining of liquidity from the system, which would ignite the fuse for a higher greenback as currency becomes scarcer. Asset classes across the board, from commodities to equities, would deflate and impact the top tier of our societal structure that is tied to the marketplace.
This is, quite obviously, problematic for many policy makers and the constituencies that bankroll them. Deflation in a fractional reserve banking system means that they have, for all intents and purposes, lost control of the economy. It is an admission of defeat, albeit one that may be unavoidable.
Problem is too tough
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson hands are tied with regard to how they publicly posture themselves.
The banking system, stymied with credit contagion, is not operating normally and the communication thereof is delicate. Hidden behind proposed bailouts, stimulus packages, super-conduits, term auction financing, mortgage rate freezes, foreclosure freezes and working groups are politicians attempting to engineer a business cycle that long ago lost it’s way.
None of these plans will affect the larger deflationary credit contraction. Debt deflation is occurring outside of the Fed’s control at the world’s money center banks, where supply and demand for credit has undergone a rapid and significant decline.
This process will take years to manifest but will ultimately yield positive results. The destruction of debt will allow world economies to build a solid foundation for future expansion that is entirely more secure than what we currently have in place.
Deflation will cause paper wealth to evaporate and rich nations will be forced to pour real money—as opposed to cheap debt—into developing economies as a redistribution mechanism. While the path might be painful, the destination will be a sustainable starting point for future generations.
There is a marked difference between taking our medicine, which is a function of time and price, and injecting the system with drugs with hopes that the pain will pass. The latter matter continues to be the diagnosis of choice, as evidenced by current events, but the patient would be well served to understand the prognosis.
There are no easy answers but there are certainly simple truths. The sooner we prepare for the worst, the better we can in good conscience hope for the best. ( most parts plagiarized by a dummy so he can sound smart)
THAT WAS THE GOOD NEWS, NOW FOR THE BIG REALITY
This is the bottom. If nothing else watch this interview
Yep... scary video as well as the rest of your piece, Habu. The kind of story that makes you want to say the hell with it and adopt the A.E. Neuman philosophy of 'What, me worry'. The odds do seem to be against winning this particular battle. 53 Trillion. Woe unto our children... if I had any that is.
Great minds ...after the article the first thought I had was of Alfred E. Neuman and "What, Me Worry"...and I guess it's probably not bad advice. In reality what can we do with numbers and problems that immense?
We can only do our best with our part, and I know we will.
Agreed, we can only do what we as individuals can... though it is all too easy to take on the burdens of the world, and to somehow feel responsible for them. That's not megalomania speaking there by the way. Just community spirit and worry for the same.
Not saying it is the same thing but Canada had a 60 cent dollar not that long ago. Was not the end of the world. No hyperinflation or deflation, just a very weak dollar and lots of tourists. Once Canada cleared some of a large and growing federal debt the Canadian dollar rose. That was painful, taxwise and the taxes never go down as much as they went up. Also Canada does serve as a hedge for some investors in the American market as Canadian economy is resource heavy as well as tied to USA market.