Blank Page number 27

We’re always on the lookout for people to join our growing band of moderators so if you’d like to give it a go just email me. In the meantime Bob in Queensland and Mike in the US are your hosts this weekend. All ideas for WHYS welcome….

237 Responses to “Blank Page number 27”

  1. October 3, 2008 at 19:15

    I know it would never fly in this “free” western country. But wouldn’t it be kind of cool is you could walk into a store, swipe a card that holds your employment information, and the price would be spit back at you not in dollars, but in hours. so, i.e. you make $10 p/h bring home pay. you go to buy a pair of shoes, swipe your card, and the computer spits out, “that will cost you 10 hours of work. Oh you are paying with a credit card? That will cost you 12 hours of work. Thank you for shopping. Have a nice day.”

    Imagine, you go to buy a car and the salesman says to you, “You are going to work through Thursday on the first week of every month to pay for this new vehicle.”

  2. 2 Lauren
    October 3, 2008 at 19:22

    @ Dwight

    LOL! While it would make people stop and think about all those excess things that they buy, but it would be just depressing to see that your groceries for the week will cost you 16 hours of work 😉

  3. 3 Lauren
    October 3, 2008 at 19:31

    This kids going to wind up a serial killer:


    How should society deal with children who exhibit cruel and violent behavior? What about bullying? In the case in St. Louis where the girl committed suicide because of an online prank- should the people who where behind the prank be criminally liable?


  4. October 3, 2008 at 19:34

    Lol, Lauren

    It isn’t really that outlandish. WE force companies to put calorie counts on their food packages and people have to option to look and think, “oh my, I am going to have to exercise for two hours just to get rid of that muffin.”

  5. 5 Lauren
    October 3, 2008 at 19:38


    True about the calorie counts, but don’t try and tell me that finding out that you’re going to have to run a marathon to work off your favorite afternoon snack isn’t a little depressing!

  6. October 3, 2008 at 19:45

    lol, true, but it would scare me away from the snack I wonder if knowing they had to work a half of month to pay for the car, insurance, gas, and license fee of a new Cadillac would scare people away?

  7. 8 Julie P
    October 3, 2008 at 19:46


    I seem to recall within the last week that there is a university somewhere in America that wants its student union to take down the calorie counts that are available for students to use. The reason was because they felt it contributed to eating disorders.

  8. 9 Julie P
    October 3, 2008 at 19:49

    Woman, 90, shoots herself in foreclosed home in Ohio.


  9. October 3, 2008 at 19:56


    It is not that far off. Americans also have a “spending disorder”. The difference is that you will never hear the president come on TV and say we need to “eat our way out of the problem”. He will come on the air and tell the American people they need to spend their way our of financial trouble.

  10. October 3, 2008 at 20:04

    43 Alec Paterson TP October 3, 2008 at 2:43 pm
    A jihadist is a moderate Muslim.
    Any comments?

    Alec, I know that you mean well, but you really do not know what you are talking about. Please see the bottom of the WHYS discussion "How Can We Fight Islamist Extremism", where I have a series of posts under the ID "Shirley." I detailled an axplanation that jihadists defy Islamic Law, not obey it.

  11. October 3, 2008 at 20:06

    this bail out is necessary as it is not only for the Americans but for the world as a whole.
    people should acknowledge what president bush has done and applaud him for this rescue plan for America and the world economy’s.

  12. 13 Scott (M)
    October 3, 2008 at 20:31

    Chicken, Egg, America

    We often talk about Americans as if they are inherently defective. I also often enjoy this chatter—that Americans are evil. But, I think the reality is more along the lines of: Americans have the opportunity to be all those things because of the economic success of the country. There is nothing inherently wrong with the people—it is just a confluence of events and culture. Most other countries would be in similar circumstances if they only had the chance. Most of the world is not superior to America, and more responsible; they just don’t have the opportunity to be as reckless. It is a fine distinction, but I think an important one.

  13. October 3, 2008 at 20:34

    This historic decision by Congress after the necessary tweaking to past the 700 Billion Bail will not revive the US Economy but also majpr financial institutions around the world that have association with firms in the US.

  14. 15 Scott (M)
    October 3, 2008 at 20:51


    In matters of faith, there is no logical cause for support, but there is also not logical cause against—which is exactly the problem. So, those who claim “that jihadists defy Islamic Law,” you could easily claim that they are the true adherents. It is left up to the interpretation of faith, which is never solid ground. Extremist are not just the problem, they are just another facet of the problem and perils of faith in general.

  15. 16 Venessa
    October 3, 2008 at 20:55

    “He will come on the air and tell the American people they need to spend their way our of financial trouble.”

    Please someone help me understand?!?! I’m in bad debt, how does spending more money help me get out of debt? It doesn’t make sense to me and maybe I’m dense. I know banks aren’t giving loans and money is siezed up but I still don’t understand how adding to the debt is going to help America out of it.

  16. 17 Shaun in Halifax
    October 3, 2008 at 20:57

    Not sure who to be addressing this to, so I’m putting it here and hoping it get to the right people.

    I was trying to download this week’s shows and the podcast for Monday (because I love to hear myself speak), but Sept 29 is missing. Instead the post and show is from Aug 20.

    Any chance of getting this fixed?


  17. 18 Roy, Washington DC
    October 3, 2008 at 21:09

    @ Venessa

    It won’t help America at all. It will only help the banks that got where they are now because of their irresponsibility. Like I said on the air, if this was a true free market, we would let the mismanaged banks fail…which would leave the responsible ones with tremendous room for growth.

  18. 19 Dennis@OCC
    October 3, 2008 at 21:52

    Question: for anyone….
    I Have notice that we no longer have the colour squares above
    our names….

    Welcome to the BLANK PAGE 27–
    I remember when this was in its a small number!


  19. 20 Roberto
    October 3, 2008 at 21:54

    Woman, 90, shoots herself in foreclosed home in Ohio.

    ——— Wall street apologists would say she’s living beyond her means and responsible for the global financial mess.

    Never mind that whatever savings she had was barely making 1% interest, and she was likely too old to understand how to invest in today’s stock market which is just as well given the level of fraud today.

    They shoot horses when they are no good for anything anymore, but the US is civilized. We just kick 90 yr old women out on the street while kicking back money to wall street.

    Reminds me last summer, 105 degrees plus and I pull up to a stop light at a freeway access rd underpass right next to an old man. Had to be approaching 90, but still erect and proud and well groomed and dressed. He was having to panhandle to make ends meet and all I could think of was him having a heatstroke right there in the middle of the most advanced infrastructure in world history in the strongest, most wealthy nation that ever existed.

  20. 21 Bryan
    October 3, 2008 at 22:04

    Shaun, it might say 20th of August for some strange reason, but it’s the 30th of September show on the bail out:

    On air from Belfast: Who do you trust to sort this out?

  21. October 3, 2008 at 22:15


    It works like this. Back in the late 1800’s early 1900’s the coal mining companies didn’t pay you in US legal tender. They paid you in their worker in their own currency. IT was only good at the stores that the mining company owned. So, if your company was experiencing a slow down, it was because they couldn’t get the cash flow to you. The best thing for the minor to do was spend his whole paycheck at the company store. That would free up some capital so the mining company could use it to pay the minor more money. See how simple that was.

    Wal-Mart now employs the same technique. They come into town and employ cheap labor. But they sell cheap goods. So The employee can just shop at Wal-Mart an effectively become richer. See if you spend more money, the company becomes richer and that prosperity will surely be trickled down onto you. Because that is the goodness of human nature.

  22. 23 rick
    October 3, 2008 at 22:24

    From a green point of view I rejoice at the oncoming recession. Consumption of crap is killing the world.
    For a short while can we please stop buying SUVs, flat screen TVs, and and other stuff we don’t need.
    May it be deep and long and may we learn to pay for stuff as we go along instead of borrowing on the future.

  23. 24 Jens
    October 3, 2008 at 22:37


    and what about the poor and unemployed????? a little sarcastic your point of view. it does hit all segments of the population, me thinks.

  24. October 3, 2008 at 22:50

    Don’t you think it’s ironic that Palin would get a bigger tax cut under Obama’s plan than McCain? LOL

  25. 26 selena in Canada
    October 3, 2008 at 22:56

    How the markets really work!


  26. October 3, 2008 at 22:56


    Having no avatar means the page will load much faster.

  27. October 3, 2008 at 23:12


    That wasn’t very funny :|, It was down right scary. LOL, if there wasn’t a laugh track i would have thought it was a real talk show with a finical expert.

  28. 29 Venessa
    October 3, 2008 at 23:24

    Selena ~

    I finally understand! The bail out is for the “ingenuity of the market.” 🙂

  29. 30 Julie P
    October 3, 2008 at 23:54


    Thanks for clearing that up. I thought my webrowsers had freaked out on me, the one at home and the one at work.

    I have started having problems with pages loading though, plus sending comments. I hope this clears this up.

  30. 32 Julie P
    October 4, 2008 at 00:01

    Ok, now to lighten up the blog with some humor Homer Simpson humor. The Simpsons pokes fun at voting in the election.


  31. 33 Amy
    October 4, 2008 at 00:19


    SInce Fannie Mae forgave the mortgage of that woman, do you think this will cause more people to take this drastic measure? I fear that it may.

  32. 34 selena in Canada
    October 4, 2008 at 00:23


    Did you notice the last comment about scaring us with loss of pension funds etc. was exactly what the politicians and financial commentators said yesterday and today before the vote? LOL

  33. 35 Julie P
    October 4, 2008 at 00:25


    First, it wouldn’t surprise if people have not already attempted to kill themselves or attempt to harm others. This may be portrayed as an isolated incident, but I wonder sometimes about things like this. I don’t know if this one incident will cause people to take drastic measures, but if they do I would think they’ve had serious problems all along that have not addressed.

  34. 36 viola
    October 4, 2008 at 00:28

    A good background for the current financial crisis in the U.S. Anybody know any other good ones out there?


    Just as I thought: borrow $10, it’s my problem; borrow $1M, it’s the bank’s problem; unleash the banks, it’s the taxpayers’ problem.

  35. 37 Dennis@OCC
    October 4, 2008 at 00:45

    Thanks Will….

    I thought I was having problems with the WHYS BLOGS loads…It loads faster by the way…




  36. 38 Kelsie in Houston
    October 4, 2008 at 00:57

    In line with Viola:
    Our hosts have a chronological breakdown of the crisis as well:

  37. 39 Kelsie in Houston
    October 4, 2008 at 01:02

    Did you make that chart? That’s absolutely priceless…

  38. 40 Julie P
    October 4, 2008 at 02:23

    For a second I thought the crickets I am hearing were coming from outside, then I realized it’s coming from in here. It’s mighty quiet in here folks. Is there anything going on in your neck of the woods that you would like to talk about?

  39. October 4, 2008 at 02:31

    Julie P~

    We have had this creepy story in our local news for a while:

    “The parents of an Oregon City boy who died during attempts to heal him with prayer today pleaded not guilty to criminally negligent homicide.”


    How can such ignorance survive in this day and age?

  40. 43 Julie P
    October 4, 2008 at 02:35


    That’s creepy, but it makes me recall accounts I’ve heard or read in some other life about Christian Scientists being taken to court over child negligence over very similar things.

  41. 44 Dennis@OCC
    October 4, 2008 at 03:14

    Re: Portland Mike STORY:::

    This is creepy, the parents, should go to prison if they are convicted…


  42. 45 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 03:56

    @ Dwight

    I don’t understand about your idea for prices quoted in hours of work. Anyyone who knows his/her income, which has to be almost everyone, can already do the math easily. If you earn, say, $48K/yr, that’s about $24/hour, $4K/month, a bit under $1K/week gross. Anything from a lunch to a [choke] house is easy to understand in terms of one of those units, without even resorting to taking off shoes and counting on toes.

    Of course, it’s more useful to use net pay, after [argh, can’t help myself] federal tax, state tax, social “security” tax, medicare tax, and all the rest, and to include the sales tax on the purchase. Just for fun, one can do it both ways, compare them, and bask in that warm, wonderful “patriotic” feeling of paying high taxes, expressed in working twice as long.

  43. October 4, 2008 at 04:28


    lol, People don’t understand that math. It even gets harder to do when you start trying to figure it out once you put it on a credit card. That is just like saying, “If people understood how many calories the average person burns in a day, they wouldn’t be fat.” I think McDonald’s would still be a large franchise.

    However, If you want to really compare, imagine if you had to pay a toll to drive down the roads, pay the fire company up front before they put your house fire out or rescued you cat, had to pay more for food from a company that had a reputation of not making its consumers sick, fly on planes with no one controlling the airspace, or send the local jail a monthly payment to keep the prisoners locked up for another month. Now that could make living really expensive. Compare that to the few hundreds of hours most of us put in to pay for that stuff.

  44. October 4, 2008 at 04:29


    Sadly, no that is being passed around the net today. I would have loved credit for that one.

  45. October 4, 2008 at 04:32

    lol, Selena, that is why i though it would easily fool people if it weren’t for the laugh track.

  46. 49 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 04:37


    Never fear; I am here to banish those annoying crickets, unless and until I find something better to do with a Friday night anyway.

    Any gasoline yet? Are you really walking miles to and from work every day? How do you feel, other than hating it of course? By which I mean, are you noticing things/people/places as you walk through neighborhoods that you used to just whiz past? Liking the exercise, or wishing for a shower at your office? Is the air noticeably cleaner?

    “Has your daily life been changed by the recent crises in weather, economy, oil price, etc.?” sounds like a classic World Have Your Say question of the day, just bursting to be asked.

    I remember a couple of events in San Francisco (transit/taxi strike, earthquake-induced bridge closure/freeway failure/transit overload/traffic jams) that made pedestrians of us, but this is a tiny, human-scaled city with mild weather. Brutal hills though, and they seem to be getting steeper. Unless I’m getting older.

  47. 50 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 05:02

    Hey there Dwight–

    I didn’t say people wouldn’t get fat/spend money, just that we can keep track of it if we want to. We still gotta have discipline, but we don’t need to fly blind. We burn ~2,000 calories a day, so eating more than that will make us gain weight, and less will make us lose weight, very roughly.

    We all know how much we earn. So for the (convenient) $48K earner, a $12 movie is half an hour, a $50 dinner is two hours, a $10,000 car is about three months, etc. Or, rather, double it to account for taxes. About which, watch this space for another comment. I’d forgotten your colorful fantasy about having to pay a toll to walk on the sidewalks, breathe the air, etc., but for the blessings of our wise and wonderful governments.

  48. October 4, 2008 at 05:11

    No, Rick has a point. People go on about recycling and carbon footprints but that just isn’t on the radar in developing countries. Why conserve so the people with money can go on sitting in fool and being fool? We had the technology to put a man on the moon some 30 years ago and we still heat homes with forced air oil furnaces? Look at the auto industry and compare the engineering advances there with the engineering advances, the materials and efficiency of say a skateboard or a video game or just about anything that was developed by a smart guy in his garage.
    Instead of propping up the old sluggo corporations, why not let nature take it’s course and invest 700 billion dollars in new hotness. Let’s invest in tools and materials and techniques for homes that anyone can afford, that are truly responsive to the environment and energy needs, and that create jobs and products here at home. Sarcasm huh? The reason that you are bailing is because the f’n boat is leaking.
    If it takes a Dustbowl or the financial equivalent of the Titanic to get people to change, to pull their head out and look around, to reassess and reevaluate, then I’m with Rick, bring it on. Neo-Neolithic, do you want new tools or are you going to make fire by rubbing bigger and bigger sticks together?
    Did any of those sweeteners include extending the alternative energy tax credit? The answer to that is indicative of the situation we are in. Drilling, bailing, and spending isn’t going to work. This is America. Ingenuity, resourcefulness, and willingness to give it a shot, always have.

  49. 52 Julie P
    October 4, 2008 at 05:20


    Gas supplies are still very low, but there are enough gas stations open with limited supplies of gas, so that being concerned with having enough gas to get to and from work is not as big a concern as was a week ago. It still is rough going though. We still have nearly two weeks to go before gas supplies are back to pre-hurricane Ike levels.

  50. October 4, 2008 at 05:26

    lol, fantasy huh? This is what happens in absence of taxes. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89760892

    Anybody who thinks that the DOT, DOA, DOE, FDA, OSHA, DOJ, DHHS, CIA, FBI, NIS, DVA, and many many other organizations are not imperative to our “fat” lifestyle should visit a country without them. Here is a little shocker. These organizations are paid for with, tax money.

    I am sure I will be waiting breathlessly for your response as I have before. Lol. It isn’t like I got anything better to do. I am just sitting here sucking up your tax dollars anyway.

  51. 54 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 05:44


    Glad things are getting a bit better anyway. I’ve seen some news coverage of the fuel shortage in much of the southeast. (It helps to have CNN in Atlanta.) No colorful stories then. Oh well….

    How do you feel about the “gouging” laws that discourage anyone from supplying gasoline via (relatively expensive) tanker trucks by promising to reward their effort and expense with fines and/or jail sentences instead of fair prices?

  52. October 4, 2008 at 05:45

    Why can’t the Republicans put a guy like this on the ticket? If McCain had picked him as his VP, Obama would have been sunk.


  53. 56 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 05:47


    So you’re the one sucking up my tax dollars! Fella, I am big-time ticked off at you. Stop it, doogone it, stop now! Don’t make me go and kick your butt. I mean it.

  54. October 4, 2008 at 06:22


    lol, I would love to stop, but my wife has grown accustomed to not living pay check to pay check for a change. She also feels a life on the high seas in my giant 25′ sailing vessel is not accommodating to the comforts she expects. She is really annoying that way. (You know she won’t even let me have other girlfriends. even if I promise not to like ’em.) She’s Mean I tell yah.

    Note: To the gay community, careful what you wish for by pressing this marriage issue. Right now you got a good thing. A great reason to not do it.

  55. 58 Julie P
    October 4, 2008 at 06:40


    How do you feel about paying 60 cents a gallon less for a gallon of gas that is supplied by the same tankers?

  56. 59 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 07:04

    LOLbackatcha Dwight. I knew someone was gonna blame it all on women, but I didn’t know it would be you.

    Gay folks are getting married here (and the earth continues to turn). What’s that proverb–when the gods wish to punish you, they grant your wishes?

    @ All theworld’s a stage

    After hearing the television commentary comprising the post-mortem on the VP debate, all about eye contact and stance and poise and affect and inflection, I realize there’s been a mistake: This stuff is not properly the work of political pundits, but of theatre critics.

  57. 60 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 07:24

    @ Julie~

    I don’t understand. I pay sixty cents less than whom, where? Price here is usually the highest in the country, but it doesn’t bear on you folks. We didn’t have a pipeline break. You said you would pay more if only you could get the stuff, You also said that one station had gasoline and it’s being prosecuted. I’m just pointing out the connection: you’d have gasoline, shipped by expensive alternate means, if the state didn’t deny you that option. San Francisco prices aren’t part of the picture for Atlanta.

    (Did I say something unpleasant to you? If so, I’m sorry.)

  58. 61 Roberto
    October 4, 2008 at 07:30

    Look at the auto industry and compare the engineering advances there with the engineering advances, the materials and efficiency of say a skateboard or a video game

    ——– Come now. Compare a skateboard to the efficiency of a sticky note and skateboard can’t come close. Video games just future landfill in the name of mindless entertainment.

    The auto industry has always had an incredible variety of selections. Americans have been THE most car intense culture. Over the past two decades they’ve
    shown a preference for fuel burning SUVs and large trucks which confer group status.

    No matter that my mom’s 67 Buick Sportwagon was vastly superior in design or performance to any SUV built today save for modern tires, mapping and sound systems. Today marketing trumps design and engineering. Why do you think people pay 1000x the price of tap water for tap water in little plastic bottles?

    Fuel efficient vehicles were introduced in 60s, but driving an economy car was considered the kiss of death to any self respecting teen cum businessman.

    These are lifestyle choices people make. There is no reason for a mentally healthy person to live in some audacious 5000-20,000 square foot home save group status. Remember when The Donald built a 10000 square foot closet for Ivana? How many bathrooms did that require for dear Ivan to negotiate from one end of the closet to the other?

    I doubt anyone on this blog can claim a lower carbon footprint and energy use than I, and I don’t have solar anything, modern windows/insulation, home sealed up like a crypt with advanced thermostats/heating cooling systems. My home was built in the 50s, and other than some structural and design modifications I’ve made to maximize the aesthetics and efficiency, it’s pretty much in it’s original state.

    Electric avg 200-400 KW per month and that running my 1950 GE fridge I bought in 1975 for 50 bucks which has out lasted my marriage, my kids childhood, and a couple of my ex’s new fridges. Gas approx 10-20 cubic feet, water approx 1000 to 4000 gals, dependent on the season. I see their extra large garbage cans overflowing next to my tiny can that is seldom even half full, and I think of all the garbage they fill themselves up with.

    There are very few in my so called progressive community with a lower footprint, yet they are trying to pass a law saying that if I sell my house, I would be responsible for a full energy audit with mandated upgrades. Yet the city is taking my tax monies and investing in all these fancy new “status conferred” energy bling bling so when they go home and eat their organic free range chicken dinners that they can afford with my tax money, they can live with themselves as making a difference.

  59. 62 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 07:57

    @ Roberto

    That is a seriously interesting comment. I hope I won’t spoil your day if I suggest you’re making a case for a market mechanism for carbon/energy consumption–you should be getting tangible credit(s) for your conservation that would be worth money, instead of being punished by a ham-handed city government that thinks one size should fit all.

  60. October 4, 2008 at 09:00

    Wow Roberto! ….Feel better?
    Yes, all of the above, especially about the ’67 wagon, though I was a LeSabre convertible guy myself. We may have a great number of cars on the market but they are still burning oil. The hybrid car might save on gas but it takes the same kind of heavy industry to produce it. The carbon savings from driving it are negligable compared to the carbon output of the Henry Ford School of producing it. The industry is still hemoraging money while trying to figure out how to get in line for the next round of bailouts.
    The steel industry was revolutionized by the continuous caster. Where is that innovation in the automobile industry, in the housing industry, in transportation? The sticky note is an invention that works well and doesn’t need to change. Look at the products that do, that take advantage of materials and techniques and reinvent themselves the way computers and consumer electronics have. Why has the price of a computer or a cell phone dropped to where they are accessible to everyone and the price of housing hasn’t? The only thing the housing market has got creative with was the financing. When these big unresponsive industries feel the crunch they pay elected officials to be unresponsive to the public. Their idea of innovation is to sacrifice quality to the point where goods end up in those landfills because they were junk to begin with.
    And the world is watching, the Euro proles jeering at our demise and the developing nations looking to their own future. Do we lead, or is it more of the same old?

  61. 64 rick
    October 4, 2008 at 09:08

    that is just the point, you, me and Al Gore could grab our bow and arrows and join the lost tribe in the Amazon and it won’t make any difference. We all have to make a contribution and change our wastefull ways and the most effective method would be a serious recession and $200 a barrel oil. Keep in mind…
    Green issues rate 5th in the US election.
    The republican audience boo-ed when Biden mentioned man made climate change (CNN).

    People like you are few and far between.

  62. 65 Bryan
    October 4, 2008 at 09:33

    I have been contributing on and off to Have Your Say, this blog’s sister blog (or is it the parent blog) for some time now and have watched it evolve from what in the early days was Have Your Say As Long As It Generally Agrees With Our Say to a fairly open forum. But it is still seriously limited by moderator bias. This is evident in a number of areas but perhaps no more so than on the topic of Iran. As an example, I submitted a comment on Iran including the fact of the Karine A, the ship used in an attempt to smuggle Iranian arms to Gaza. That bit was edited out. The moderator objected to this truth, obviously for political reasons.

    Apart from editing, there a number of techniques the moderators can use to stifle opinions they don’t like. One is simply to leave comments languishing in the “Moderation Queue” until the debate is closed so that they remain unpublished. This happens frequently. Another is to delay publishing a comment for days, while publishing other comments submitted after it, so that when it is finally published, in its original time slot, few if any people will see it since the debate will have moved on. Another is to reject the comment. This is supposed to be done only when the comment has broken the rules, but it is frequently used to express the moderators’ personal displeasure at the comment. I have had a number of comments rejected that were on topic and broke no rules. A few were on Iran, the moderators evidently objecting to the truth of Iran’s arming, training and funding of Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic jihad terrorists for the murder of Israeli civilians.

    This inexplicable bias is not limited to the blogs but is rife throughout the BBC and other media. And it is obviously not limited to Iran. There are subjects that the decision-makers of the world’s left wing Mainstream Media, including the BBC, regard as strictly taboo, even though they are vital to an understanding of today’s conflicts.

    So here’s a question for WHYS to talk about. I’ll frame it politely, but emphasize it in the hope that someone will notice it:


  63. 66 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 09:49


    Housing hasn’t gotten cheaper like computers mostly because housing includes cost of the land under the house, and as they say, they ain’t making any more of that. Also, technology deploys automated production, whereas building a house is labor-intensive and low-tech.But mostly it’s the cost of the dirt.

    @Pat and Rick

    Not very nice, to say hooray for recession, bring it on, make it worse. Not everyone can afford to take a hit, lose a job, tighten belts, cut back, cuz some are just squeaking by. Your attitude sounds like “Let ’em eat Green cake.”

  64. 67 Bob in Queensland
    October 4, 2008 at 10:08

    @ Jonathan

    One addendum to your post on house prices: kit houses produced by high-tech, semi automated means are quite big business in Australia and are by far the cheapest way to get a house to put on a property so technology works even there if given a chance. However, the price of land keeps going up.

  65. 68 Julie P
    October 4, 2008 at 10:10


    You are paying 60 cents less a gallon than we are, other than Alaska no one has gas price more expensive than us right now.

    Atlanta has a population of 5.1 million people. It’s ineffective and futile to truck in gas. It was getting done for Charlotte, which has a smaller population than we have. It was a stop gas measure that they would only work for a couple of days.

    Georgia, North and South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee have gouging laws. Gas station owners are the ones who get prosecuted, no one else, for price gouging.

  66. October 4, 2008 at 10:22

    Hi Bryan
    Your warning comes too late. The American Iranian Council has just been granted a licence to operate in Iran. in the words of AIC Executive Director Brent Lollis: “We look forward to helping promote respectful, rational and direct dialogue between the US and Iran.”

  67. 70 Bryan
    October 4, 2008 at 10:31

    Akbar Javadi October 4, 2008 at 10:22 am,

    Thanks for the laugh, Akbar. Meanwhile, what do you suggest we do about Iran’s sponsorship of terror, since it is unlikely that the Mullahs will stop it on their own volition? Do you think it is appropriate that Israeli civilians continue to die at the hands of Iranian funded, armed and trained Islamic terrorists while Mr. Brent Lollis has tea and sandwiches with his Iranian friends?

  68. October 4, 2008 at 10:47

    But how do you reach those people who booed. These are the same people yelling, drill baby drill…..Even with this last trainwreck where they just gave it a 700 billion dollar paint job rather than clearing the tracks, they were lobbying for it on a basis of fear and partisanship and maintaining the charade of business as usual. The only good thing I can say about it is they can never go back to that well. This works or they perish. That’s probably too bad for the airlines but what it does do is force their backs to the wall and to hell with the environment and everybody who isn’t vested in their survival. For them, drill baby drill, is a working mantra. For environmentalists all there is are green issues? If you can’t sell the dire consequences then you are dead in the water. Financial crisis trumps environmental crisis. It isn’t until environmental considerations become economic opportunities that you get any traction. Do we sell China drill baby drill, or clean alternative energy in a growing dynamic marketplace? Are Japanese engineers working on internal combustion engines or frictionless bearings and energy storage systems? The rap against the Dems is that they are chanting spend baby spend. If things fall apart then maybe we can forge a party that chants innovate, develop, and reinvest. One that pays for itself as it goes while solving a lot of the problems that it used to throw money at.
    I can’t imagine being stuck in the jungle with a useless yuppie tit like Al Gore. Deer, Grouse, and trout streams, country boy will survive…….

  69. 72 rick
    October 4, 2008 at 10:56

    I am a blue collar worker in the lower middle class income bracket so the Marie Antoinette quote is not appropriate.
    For some reason I don’t understand , I care where humanity is headed.
    I have championed green causes for 30 odd years to no avail. The accomplishments of the green lobby are puny in comparison with ever increasing desecration of our planet.
    It’s not that I am uncaring about those on the bottom who will be worst affected, its just that we as a species are too personaly greedy and selfish to act in our own best interest in the long term.
    If it is recession that gets the job done then hooray.
    The richest man in Australia lost $5 billion in the last year and guess I like that just a little bit too.

  70. 73 Robert
    October 4, 2008 at 11:05

    I found her comments about what she wanted to talk about during the interview very interesting given the on air from a few days ago. Should the media be a a passiveforum in which politicians fight between themselves, or should the media control the agenda of the interview and ask the questions that the politicians don’t want to answer?


  71. 74 Pangolin-California
    October 4, 2008 at 11:19

    @ Jonathan~ The hills in San Francisco are there to balance the effect of all the restaurants. That’s also why a ride on the MUNI is equivalent to an equal amount of time spent at the gym.

    “This stuff is not properly the work of political pundits, but of theatre critics.”- Genius

    @ Phil~ Shipping container housing. And yes, there was some energy tax credits in that bailout bill.

    @ Roberto~ I would have to agree with the full energy audit with mandatory upgrades upon sale. Sorry, bud but your energy use is no longer as private a matter as you would like and less so when you transfer a property. Just be glad they don’t make you do that now. I’ve seen houses sold for re-occupancy that should have been condemned.

  72. October 4, 2008 at 11:21

    Hi Bryan
    There are so many issues in Iran including inflation, lack of Forex, unemployment, petrol rationing and political discontent. Any one of these issues could bring the nation to a standstill and evict prelates.
    Perhaps the nuclear issue has complicated matters. Has Iran nuclear capability? Where does Iran stand in the Afghan, Pakistan terrorist ring? It’s not so simple.
    America is treading on a very thin line in Iraq. There is so much resistance to US presence in Iraq. What is the long term future of US influence in the Gulf region in the post Bush era?
    Regading Israel proper, direct Tehran, Tel Aviv dialogue would eliminate much of the distrust and animosity. Iran and Israel are complimentary in many ways. We trained the Israeli pilots who destroyed the Egyptian air force on the ground in the 1967 war.
    I have enormous respect for Israel and the sooner we eliminate contention with Tel Aviv the better.

  73. 76 rick
    October 4, 2008 at 11:23

    @ pat
    “useless yuppie tit like Al Gore” ha ha ha ha good one Pat. Im still laughing. Obviously I don’t know him like you know him.
    Actually I didn’t know you could get the word tit through the mods. I used A** (other word for donkey)once and got censored.
    Like him or hate him though, he has done more to publisize the mmgw issue in the last few years than all efforts that went before him. So, once again, whatever gets the job done…

  74. 77 Pangolin-California
    October 4, 2008 at 11:33

    @ Bryan~ OMG!! BBC World service is allowing a Palestinian to talk about the economic restrictions that the Israeli’s put in the way of economic self-development.

    Then later in the program some Israeli traitor says that the smartest and best educated Israeli’s are leaving the country for better job opportunities elsewhere while foreign banks hesitate to lend money to a nation with continued border warfare.

    The horror. Bwa-haha-ha!

    It was a great program and very well balanced.

  75. 78 rick
    October 4, 2008 at 11:35

    @ Akbar
    in Canada Forex is a brand of condoms.
    Must be something different in Iran???

  76. 79 Pangolin-California
    October 4, 2008 at 11:50

    @ Assorted anti-environmental snarkiness

    Nothing, and I do mean nothing, is going to rescue the happy motoring utopia short of cheap cold fusion. People need to live within the means of their local environment OR ELSE. See New Orleans, Galveston, Maine (getting cold yet?), California (mudslides tonight) and Las Vegas to find out what that ‘or else’ is doing to lives. No building houses or, FSM forbid, cities on sand bars, under avalanche paths, in swamps or 100 miles from the water supply.

    Spending money putting solar panels on houses, wind turbines on ridges and new rails everywhere will put people in the US to work which is something GM can’t do right now. The important part about that kind of spending is that a solar panel then produces power for 30 years with minimal maintenance.

  77. 80 Robert
    October 4, 2008 at 12:02

    Pangolin and Roberto

    I like the idea of an audit, but any plan has to be thought out fully before being put in place. The UK government introduced a Home Information Pack (HIP) which included an energy audit. The problem is that rather than sticking to their guns making the HIP a useful document, the proposal was watered down and changed. The core principles of what it tried to achieve was lost. All of the usefulness of the pack vanished and it simply became an added layer of paperwork to be completed.

    Rough outlines of the pack can be found in this article.

  78. 81 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 12:11

    @ rick

    That’s good, to care about where humanity is headed. And nice that you’re “not uncaring about those on the bottom,” even though you wish them ill by hoping for a severe recession. (An American “lower middle class worker” is, by the way, not one of the world’s poor but one of the world’s rich.)

    Anyway: Why would you think a recession would “get the job done” to “change our wasteful ways?” Desperate people act even more for the short term; they can’t afford a long term view. (Drill baby drill, deforestation of Haiti to make charcoal, etc.) Mitigating pollution costs money. It’s more readily done by people who can afford it. China builds another coal-burning power plant every day.

    Unless you seriously want to go all the way like Pol Pot and force a return to preindustrial society, I’d suggest you might be rooting for the wrong team.

    Finally, what does it mean for a species to be “too selfish to act in our own best interest?” Selfishness means acting in your own interest. The unlovely instinct that gives pleasure at the thought of another’s bad fortune is something different and worse.

  79. 82 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 12:23

    Hi Akbar,

    “Perhaps the nuclear issue has complicated matters.” Oh, do ya think? Maybe a little!

    About a thousand time more complicated. That’s the principal problem. That’s the impediment preventing Iran from achieving a nice quasi-empire, absent the Iraqi enemy, is it not? And the major reason for sanctions? That’s my impression anyway.

  80. 83 rick
    October 4, 2008 at 12:43

    you miss quote me. I said ” as a species we are too PERSONALY greedy and selfish to act in our best interest IN THE LONG TERM.
    acting like pigs at a trough is not in our long term best interest.
    Every day at work I brush up against people with too much money and who think of nothing but their own self-indulgence. Sorry, but they disgust me and I have no sympathy at their loss.
    Recent $150 a barrel oil was the only thing that has made us consume less of the stuff.
    Lack of credit will have the same effect on the rest of our wastfull consumption.
    oh, and the people on the bottom already have nothing to loose.
    China won’t build a new power plant every day if we stop consuming the crap they make.
    If we can’t afford Big Macs, maybe we will even stop cutting down the Amazon rainforests to ranch cattle.
    I know, I know, that’ll never happen.

  81. October 4, 2008 at 13:00

    Hi Jonathan
    It all sounds so simple. Get your nuclear warheads, scare the hell out of the littoral states of the Persian Gulf and rule unopposed.
    Whatever led to this absurd strategy, there is some truth in it. EU, US, NATO and UN are supposedly against it.
    Iran has failed to see the writing on the wall. The presence of President Ahmadinejad at the UN General Assembly was a disaster. Problems at home and four rounds of recent EU sanctions have crippled the Iranian economy.
    Theologians are worried and, God willing, the end of the regime of the Mullahs is in sight. Divine marble pillars are shattering. No money, no food subsidies, no medicare, things are going from bad to worse.
    All said and done, everyone is opposed to Ahmadinejad, including Mullahs, fundamentalists, Reformists, the financial district and the army. He is the ideal man, in the right place at the right time. as the house comes tumbling down.
    With a bit of luck and money, the Provisional Government will shortly take over.

  82. 85 roebert
    October 4, 2008 at 13:01

    Jonathan, it may be that the nuclear question in Iran is the OSTENSIBLE reason for US led sanctions, as WMD was the ostensible reason for the current state of affairs in Iraq.

    At any rate, the whole problem could be approached from another angle: instead of bankrupting Iran in the effort to keep them non-nuclear, why not make a counter-proposal: dismantling of Israel’s nuclear capacity in exchange for Iranian compliance? Wouldn’t that balance things out a little more fairly?

  83. 86 Pangolin-California
    October 4, 2008 at 13:05

    @ Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions

    I sincerely think that the Israeli-US drumbeat over nuclear fuel enrichment in Iran is a lost cause. If the Iranians are even half awake the crucial production units are under a mountain with multiple tunnel entrances.

    There are no technological barriers to enriching the uranium just cost barriers. Once Iran has sufficient independent fuel to maintain a reactor core they can use thorium reactors which don’t require enrichment but only a uranium or plutonium seed or they can make a fast-breeder reactor.

    The important thing is that the Iranian government understands that the oil is limited and they are preparing to convert to other power sources. I would prefer a conversion to solar power but the best solar technology is in the US.

  84. 87 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 13:11


    “The people at the bottom have nothing to loose [sic].”

    So, that’d be a yes on the Pol Pot route, then, I think. Right, then, we’re just wasting each other’s time.

    I’m sorry; I had for some reason thought you were serious.

  85. 88 Pangolin-California
    October 4, 2008 at 13:12

    @ Rick~ I think that there is a bit of hope in that the exploitation of the amazon is as dependent upon cheap oil as everything else. Even in Brazil reality will bear down on those who thwart nature.

    Nature bats last. Always.

  86. 89 Roberto
    October 4, 2008 at 13:15

    RE “”I have championed green causes for 30 odd years to no avail. “”

    ——– Well now my friend, your wait is coming to an end just as sure as the wallstreet bailout is the dead canary in the coalmine.

    Unfortunately, greens will have to adjust their thinking as the solution runs counterintuitive to green status quo.

    1. You have to embrace full and massive drilling, yes, even at AWAR. Everything is open to the oil companies EXCEPT they will have strict environmental regulations and large profit set asides as bond money to pay up front for any damages. Let em suck the nation dry and move elsewhere.

    2. Another portion of oil profits taxed with that money going into alternative energy research and and product innovation.

    3 Massive upgrades to auto emission requirements with IRS tax breaks given on certain eco friendly models.

    4. A complete moratorium on new house and business construction which should effectively gut these heavily subsidized builders as already there are too many vacant and in foreclosure. Any CITIZENS involved in these industries could then go to work on the innovative and carefully regulated remodeling industries that also retrofit latest energy innovations and subdivide vacant MacMansions into du/tri/fourplexes for lower cost housing alternatives.

    5. The millions of illegal non citizens have been the fuel that allowed the scale of massive mortgage fraud should be allowed to find their way back home since all business shall have to be certified with US citizens or legal immigrants only. The real cost of doing business to be returned.

    6. Especially with the overhaul of IRS, accounting, banking, and wall street where these accounting schemes and speculative insider trading carries HUGE financial and punitive measures.

    7. A carbon tax through the yearly IRS filing. People like me could finally qualify our small environmental footprint as being worth a tangible credit, and all these high end big snots can pay through the nose for their arrogance towards the world.

  87. 90 Pangolin-California
    October 4, 2008 at 13:19

    @ Akbar~ Iran may get rid of it’s clerics but there will still be the problem that the population growth exceeds the resources of the farmland. If Iran were an island there would still be massive problems bringing the resource base into alignment with the growth and expectations of the population.

    It would be good if Iranians remember that whatever arrives in a ship can stop arriving with little notice. Trade can be a noose as well as a blessing.

  88. 91 Pangolin-California
    October 4, 2008 at 13:39

    @ Roberto

    1) ANWAR isn’t going to do anything to make the US energy independent. Nada, nothing. The choices are conservation or consumption until we hit hard depletion and crash.

    2) Alternative energy installation would provide more oil capacity faster than ANWR. We use more oil for building heating than Alaska will produce. Converting those buildings to geothermal heating would save money and fuel. A zero-interest loan program would suffice. It would also provide thousands of jobs.

    3) We can’t replace the auto fleet fast enough. Oops. A commitment to public transportation and bicycling will have to do the job.

    4) I have to agree with this one verbatim.

    5) This is a bit tricky since many US citizens are dependent upon the incomes of “illegals” for survival. Dumping a minor citizens parents back to wherever will just create chaos. It happens to kids my daughter goes to school with. Nasty and tragic.

    6) I like the idea of the pillory.

    7) That’s called carbon tax shifting. Tax carbon at the well, mine or port and give a per-capita tax credit to all citizens. Just like they do in Alaska. It’s revenue neutral but hard on the guy in my town who uses his Hummer to tow his rock-crawler jeep. (true story!!)

  89. 92 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 13:40

    LOL– It’s a safe bet that Iran knows very, very well that “whatever arrives in a ship can stop arriving with little notice.” It’s withering under severe sanctions of all sorts, remember?

    Absent that sort of behavior though, how is trade a noose? Hong Kong has zero farmland, but its people don’t miss a lot of meals. They don’t even have their own source of water, if I remember right. All you need is cash. Farmland, not so much. And trade builds peace.

    (1) So what might the real reasons be? (2) No, it wouldn’t. Israel has been entirely responsible with her nukes. Pakistan has not. Iran seems unlikely to be. What’s Israel got to do with it?

    Sounds like Iran is following your plan for betterment through desperate poverty. Let’s ask Akbar how that’s working out for the environment there.

    Illegal immigrants to blame for the mortgage mess?? Wow, that’s creative! How do ya figure that?

  90. 93 Robert
    October 4, 2008 at 13:41


    A carbon tax through the yearly IRS filing. People like me could finally qualify our small environmental footprint as being worth a tangible credit, and all these high end big snots can pay through the nose for their arrogance towards the world.

    Very inefficient way of doing it. Why tax 200 million or so people asking a vast array of questions that is open to fraud? When fraud does occur its not worth chasing because an individual may only owe a couple of hundred dollars.

    Try this simpler more efficient way of achieving the same thing. Set your carbon tax based on a value per ton. Find the companies that produce the fuel (oil, gas, coal) and tax them at source based on how much they sell. So if Exxon pump X liters of petrol, which would produce X tonnes of CO2 and therefore pay Z dollars. The companies then pass on the cost to the consumer as a price rise.

    In one go you reduce the number of claims from millions to a few thousand. And if one company does try and get out of paying, the amount they owe makes it worth while to chase them.

    It also prices fossil fuels up so that alternatives are economically viable. You then don’t have to regulate the transition to alternatives, the consumer will do it itself.

    For the tax payer, same amount of money paid as your scheme, but one less form to fill in (think of the trees), 30 minutes of accounts time saved.

  91. October 4, 2008 at 14:01

    Hi Pangolin-California
    Reyr October 4, 2008 at 1:05 pm post
    The danger is that the pact between young hot-heads, extremists and fearful Mullahs is that the regime is taking out insurance in the form of nuclear capability. These plans will be foild but the problem coincides with sticky issues in US, money markets, and extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    Iran is not unassailable.
    Oil and gas are lost causes in Iran since we simply don’t have the money or technology to develop these assets.
    Regarding food production, Iran has enormous resources and arable land which can feed the home population and far in excess of local needs. Currently, much of the food supply of the Persian Gulf states, including fruits and fresh vegetables and lamb come from Iran.
    Solar power at current technology levels is not satisfactory, and largely designed for homes.

  92. 95 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 14:07

    Pangolin, you are joking about Iran’s nuclear “power sources,” right?

    Solar power, LOL. Gee, I wonder why they didn’t think of that for their “power.” Oh, right–can’t make bombs out of it. Really, you gotta be the only human who believes that, if you really do. No Iranian does. They talk openly about deterrence; they don’t mean deterring climate change. It’s the thinnest of fig leaves and they don’t bother to go through the motions anymore, cuz of giggles all around. You don’t need to do enrichment for power plants; you do for bombs. Look: NPT says you can build civilian nukes but not bombs. You want to make bombs. What loophole suggests itself? Right: Call it “civilian” and then use the stuff for bombs. When you announce the fait accompli, tough cheese for everyone. Except you, who I trust will still think they’re power stations.

    Yes, of course it’s all underground in dispersed hardened military bunkers, like any “power station” would be. But we and Israel have some very clever bombs, which I hope won’t be used, that would damage a few chokepoints enough to slow things down for a while. No invasion required. Just a quick visit from the Israeli air force, dropping by for tea, as in Syria recently, and Iraq long ago.

    Solar power…., you are the gift that keeps on giving….

  93. 96 Dan
    October 4, 2008 at 14:13

    RE Energy, Global Climate and Fossil Fuels
    I wonder if we all haven’t succumbed to Al Gore’s Chicken Little syndrome too much or Joe Biden, a politician, having scientific certainty of humans being the ONLY cause of “climate Change”.
    People talk of carbon tax but why not talk of an incentive rather than a punishment.
    Suppose we all made small adjustments in our lives.
    How about if we make a personal reduction in our utility (Gas, Electric and Water) useage 10% from the previous month or from same time last year so that we save energy.
    Similarly if we plan our shopping trips better we can set a goal of saving 15% on gas.
    If we acheive that goal working people would be elligible for a tax credit, unemployed a 10% increase in benefits, elderly a 10% reduction medicare premiums, students a 10% reduction on tuition.
    Then we can talk that if as individual county’s we do not acheive our goals there will need to be a carbon tax for that county.
    Easily monitored and easily administered and 10% is an easily acheivable goal.

  94. 97 Bryan
    October 4, 2008 at 14:14

    Akbar Javadi October 4, 2008 at 11:21 am

    We trained the Israeli pilots who destroyed the Egyptian air force on the ground in the 1967 war.

    I’m sure this is incorrect. It’s the first I’ve heard of it and I can find no references to it.

    roebert October 4, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Yup, that’d balance things out all right. Two minutes after it had become clear that Israel had lost its deterrent capacity, the Muslim world would start marshaling its forces for another holocaust. So I’m not sure it’s a good idea.

    Pangolin-California October 4, 2008 at 11:33 am,

    I’d like to listen to this latest programme, if only to have my take on the WS confirmed yet again, but you haven’t said which one it was.

    The Wold Service falls all over its self to “allow” the Palestinians to speak. As an example from this very show, a few months back on WHYS some Gazans were given the opportunity to endlessly exaggerate their problems with no intervention from the BBC host and little concern for the other guests.

    When you think about it, the economic restrictions are put on the Palestinians by nobody but themselves. Before the Second Intifada, there was bustling trade between Gaza and Israel and workers flowed from Gaza into Israel.

  95. 98 Julie P
    October 4, 2008 at 14:26

    Ok maybe only people in Great Lakes states, this Georgian, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec may care about this. (There is a Canadian version of this new law.)

    Yesterday morning Bush signed into law the Great Lakes Compact. The bill first passed the Senate unanimously in August and then passed the House this month 390 – 25.

    The major purpose of this bill is to protect 20 percent of the world’s fresh water supply.

    Chicago Tribune


    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


  96. 99 Julie P
    October 4, 2008 at 14:27

    Oops! I see the link the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel didn’t go through.


  97. 100 Robert
    October 4, 2008 at 14:36


    I follow your sentiments about wanting an incentive rather than punishment but I don’t believe the system you describe could be easily monitored. This is a situation where It is easy to prove that you have done something, nearly impossible to prove that you haven’t done something.

    For energy users at home, your proposal punishes Roberto who already does his bit. He would likely not be able to get a rebate because there is not much he could do to further reduce his emissions. However the most wasteful users would probably still be wasting power even after a 10% cut. To make the most out of the system, they would phase the reduction so its always 10% a year, but they could easily make 20 or 30% in the first year, but there is no incentive to do that for them.

    How do you show that you have used 15% less petrol? Does this mean you’d have to keep all your receipts? How do you then prove that you did make fewer trips and used less fuel rather than conveniently losing the receipts? If you go on the millage what happens with hire cars? Or cars with multiple drivers? How do you allocate the mileage?

  98. 101 Roberto
    October 4, 2008 at 14:37

    ANWAR isn’t going to do anything to make the US energy independent. Nada, nothing. The choices are conservation or consumption until we hit hard depletion and crash.

    ——- Never stated it would do that by itself.

    Time to get off dreary old tit for tat status quo battles. US in a battle for it’s soul and it’s life. It’s rapidly becoming a paper tiger with a deplenished miltary and weak financial underpinnings collapsing like sandcastles at high tide.

    Removing Anwar and offshore drilling restrictions completely takes now useless political battles out of the equation. Straight up trade in exchange for the environmental profit set asides and taxed profits going to energy research and alternative products who’s tax credited implementation will be replacing those oil supplies.

    The US is poorly positioned at this moment to transition immediately to alternatives as you suggest. Forcing the oil companies to be part of the longterm solution in exchange for their 20-30 yrs or so guarantee of maximizing oil production helps move the country towards a better planned and improved transition.

  99. 102 Robert
    October 4, 2008 at 14:40


    And another one. There are people who do a set mileage as part of work etc. They won’t get the rebate in your system, but while if you tax the petrol they will have an incentive to buy a more fuel efficient car, under your system they have no incentive.

  100. 103 Pangolin-California
    October 4, 2008 at 14:57

    @ Jonathan~ While you might be a financial wizard your grasp of physics lacks detail. Uranium must be enriched for nuclear fuel. Simply using pure uranium at natural isotope mixtures will never yield a chain reaction. This is admittedly the same process that one uses to make the highly enriched uranium needed for bomb cores which Iran is surely making.

    Tough cookies for Israel. If they could stop it they would have. I think they are trying to get permission to use nukes from the US. Sara Palin sees Putin’s head rearing up here too or she should.

    Nuclear reactors do indeed provide civilian power and they can do so in Iran just as they do in Israel. Nuclear reactors also have the added advantage that such power allows easy concentration of political power. If a region gets too disruptive you just throw the switch and let them stew in the dark. A handy tactic you might recall Enron using on you.

    Solar power would be a fine idea for Iran much more so than San Francisco where solar panels are going up on roofs all over town. Concentrated Solar Power is also available to them as it doesn’t require high tech anything; tracking mirrors, a tower with a collector and normal steam turbines. If the US could use solar power then Iran could for all the same reasons with the added advantage that it’s harder to bomb. Which is why the Israeli’s are very rapidly pushing solar power.

    If Iran uses nuclear (or solar) power at home they can sell more oil and natural gas abroad. Solar is labor intensive; their labor is cheap. Oil is expensive and they can trade it for foreign goods. This doesn’t take much math.

  101. 104 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 15:00


    Please be assured that money and technology are abundant and will be provided after we resolve the current unpleasantness. Our oil companies will be lining up to invest billions in Iranian production, about ten seconds after we permit them to. You guys will be gagging on technology and swimming in delicious oil.

    The only thing the nuclear “insurance policy” ensures is its own destruction, and ferocious sanctions until then. That must be obvious.

    I see the US and Iran as economic and even strategic partners, either sooner or later. After all, we used to be both, under the…. um, I mean, in happier times.

  102. 105 Roberto
    October 4, 2008 at 15:01

    RE Veep debate:

    —– NPR’s Weekend Edition reports 18 million more viewers tuned into Palin/Biden debates than the ground breaking Obama/McCain debates.

    Also reported was that a concensus of all the current polls shows Obama in the lead, but 11 electoral votes short of the 270 majority needed. Means the election is currently a tossup and vote totals to be bitterly contested in critical states.

    The whole of the world will be watching Long term US credibility at stake as these local and state officials seriously need to get their acts together. I don’t care if they have to put the entire police force and national guard on the the streets to monitor for any alleged transgressions in the past, DO IT and make it right.

    It would also be helpful if intractable political firebrands could be mooted with the public message that the election is likely to be much closer than the margin of error allows to determine with full accuracy, so some civilized discourse and agreement has to transpire to prevent potential riots and violence.

    In short, STATESMANSHIP, something modern pols in short supply of.

  103. 106 Pangolin-California
    October 4, 2008 at 15:06

    Look what those crazy Israeli’s are doing. They must be insane….

    Israel to Build World’s Largest Solar Power Plant

    (IsraelNN.com) Israel is poised to build the largest solar power plant in the world. The solar power station is being planned in the Negev and will also be the first ever built in Israel. The web based Israel21c.org reports that the facility will be based on technologies developed in cooperation with the Ben-Gurion University’s National Solar Energy Center, part of the Blaustein Institute for Desert Research in Sde Boker.

    Dated today btw.

    So what was that about solar power being a bad idea for Iran?

  104. 107 selena in Canada
    October 4, 2008 at 15:10

    Can someone explain to me why the governor of California said that he would not be able to pay city workers if the bailout was not approved?

    How is the city financed? Surely it is not financed by bank loans! If it is, isn’t that irresponsible?

    People pay taxes and the city is run on those taxes and government grants. If they secure loans for infrastructure, surely they have the means to pay them back. Or, are they just as bad as the people who couldn’t pay their mortgages? Do they need a bank loan to pay the bank loan?

    How come all of a sudden, yesterday, the sky was going to fall on California if the bailout was voted down?

    Was this another scare tactic?

  105. October 4, 2008 at 15:10

    Hi Jonathan
    Reyr October 4, 2008 at 2:07 pm
    Iran’s nuclear porgram is coming under intensive scrutiny at home. The issue can be solved and diffused. There are signs that this will happen.
    Russia has stood beside Iran in the controversy, but at a price. Money is running out at this end; remains to see what Moscow will do now.

  106. 109 selena in Canada
    October 4, 2008 at 15:12


    So what was that about solar power being a bad idea for Iran?

    What a question!

  107. 110 Julie P
    October 4, 2008 at 15:19


    There are some elected leaders who can’t manage the finances. In Atlanta, Mayor Shirley Franklin, inherited a city on the verge of bankruptcy. Upon entering office she made some unpopular decisions, like cutting back on trash pick up, and laying off city employees. The crisis was so severe that it looked like the city would be unable to pay the police force. After a while it looked as though she turned the city around, then one day an auditor audited the city books. It turns out she was using some old GAAP standards, long since abandon, that made it look like the city had a surplus of money when they did not. The city is $70 million in the hole.

  108. 111 roebert
    October 4, 2008 at 15:19

    Jonathan, I think the real reasons have to do with the need to keep Iran weak in order for the US to carry out its full agenda in the mid-east, and to provide an additional (but false) reason for ongoing US activity there. It also keeps other countries in the region from forming compacts with Iran. In other words,even if Iran were not developing nuclear energy resources, the US would find some other reason to impose sanctions. What Israel has to do with it is that Israel possesses 4 bombs in a region that otherwise has none. Surely it would be in the best interests of the world as a whole if Israel dismantled that capability. After all, the bombs are not there for purposes of Israeli defence (just not needed), but as a nuclear presence to strengthen the US hand in the region. I think that if such a proposal were floated it would go some way to re-establishing trust in the US agenda in the region, and it would put Iran in a much more difficult position in regard to continuing their nuclear program. All that having been said, we are still awaiting evidence that the bomb is at all on the Iranian agenda. I agree with Pangolin that what the Iranians are seeking is an alternative fuel resource, just as they claim.

  109. 112 Pangolin-California
    October 4, 2008 at 15:47

    @ Akbar~ What Jonathan means is that as soon as Iran bows down to Israel and it’s puppet attack dog the US all will be well and the goodies will soon to be arriving. It’s strange that the Pakistani’s aren’t bowing down to Israel. Nobody knows why that is.

    Iran could also run nuclear reactors on thorium but they still would need an U-235 seed to start them up. The isotope decay chain from a thorium reactor produces a plutonium isotope that is generally thought to be too unstable to make ‘reliable’ nuclear weapons. I believe thorium is plentiful in iran.

    @ Roberto~ The votes go into computers with unknown software and a result is delivered. Without public access to the source code there is no way of knowing that those computers are reporting votes accurately. The computer reports the vote totals the programmer tells it to report. That may or may not be the totals entered by voters.

    @ Selena~ Apparently everything in the US is run on debt. Rather than cashing in short term investments we take short term loans. It is insane as it sounds.

  110. 113 Dan
    October 4, 2008 at 15:57

    My idea is not perfect as I do not have all the answers but I think I have a good start.
    Monitoring gas usage is easy as we all use debit/credit cards. Those companies need to provide us a year end accounting statement. If you use cash, too bad.
    There will be inequities but as I advocate keeping it on a COUNTY level those affected have better input and influence into the system.
    This is America and we respond to INCENTIVES better than punishment.

  111. 114 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 16:05

    @ selena~

    California is not a city but a state. If it were a country, it would be I think the 7th richest in the world. But for all its size, and wealth, and monstrous taxes, it runs its financial affairs like a stoned teenager. We actually didn’t have a budget for the last couple of months because the legislators couldn’t agree on one until a few days ago. For us, that high-drama fiscal cliff-hanger stuff happens routinely.

    I don’t know the details because I look away from the state budget, as from a car crash that never ends. We do borrow a heck of a lot of money, and if we couldn’t, things would get tight. To be fair, I don’t think we’re unique in that respect.

    That said, the “can’t pay the employees” ploy is the Governor’s favorite trick and nobody pays attention anymore. The Controller, who writes the checks, is an elected official and simply ignores the governor’s orders not to pay the employees. Hey, we’re wacky.

    Where the money from the monstrous taxes goes, I couldn’t tell you. Sugar and spice and everything nice, I guess.

  112. 115 Count Iblis
    October 4, 2008 at 16:13

    I think that the West will start to compromize on the Iranian nuclear issue, because the military option has effectively been taken off the table. The compromize will be that Iran will be allowed to enrich uranium, perhaps in exhange for more inspections and Iran giving the IAEA access to documentation about their past activities.

    The military option is no longer seen to be viable given the current economic problems the West faces. If the US or Israel attacks, then Iran can simply retalliate by attacking US targets with their missles. Iran can thus escalate the war as much as they please.

    The US will then be drawn into a big conflict, but there is no way the US could fight a large scale war without causing massive problems with the economy. Especially considering that no oil from the Mid East will flow to the West anymore.

    Unlike the first stage if the Iraq war, you won’t have a clear end in sight. It will be more like the Lebanon war. The US launches air strikes and Iran fires missiles at oil installations in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to keep them offline. This can go on for many months, even years.

    But the longer this continues the weaker the West will become. So, this may be the first large scale conflict the West will lose after the Vietnam war. And it will then have lost the war with real damage done to the West,

    This disaster which awaits the West in such a war is probably why the US has taken the military option off the table and told Israel not to attack Iran.

  113. 116 Dan
    October 4, 2008 at 16:18

    @Robert & Pangolin
    I am not sure how you draw the conclusion that Iran is seeking only alternative fuel sources with their Nucler Research. They sit on the worlds 3rd largest oil reserves.
    Israel cannevr give up their defenses nuclear or otherwise as Muslim hoards would swarm into Tel Aviv screaming “Allah Akbar” and murdering everyone in sight and returning Jerusalem to being the toilet they had made it before the 1967 war when Israel reclaimed their Capitol.
    Given that the Palestinians see themselves as perpetual victims perhpas their credo should be:
    “I ran out of gas
    I had a flat tire
    I didn’t have enough money for cab fare
    My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners
    An old friend came in from out of town
    Someone stole my car
    There was an Earthquake, a terrible flood, locust
    It wasn’t my fault!! ….. I swear to God!!”

  114. 117 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 16:20

    Oh, Pangolin. I didn’t say solar power is a bad idea for anyone. I said it was a silly idea as a substitute for Iran’s nuclear facilities, because those are not power generating stations but production facilities for materials to be used in bombs. You are the only person on the planet who doesn’t know that. If you still don’t get it, I’m gonna stop trying.

  115. 118 selena in Canada
    October 4, 2008 at 16:34


    LOL I do know California is a State. And I even know how big it is. Just a slip of the finger. That’s true… cross my heart! 😉

  116. 119 Robert
    October 4, 2008 at 16:34


    I had considered that but it still causes problems. For instance it means the petrol retailers will keep a large database of transactions. Whilst the oil majors and supermarkets could probably absorb the costs (and through loyalty card schemes probably already do this) what about the independent retails? They would be forced to keep even more detailed records and either bear the costs themselves or pass it on to the public. The margins on selling petrol (i.e. the profits on the forecourt) are tiny and may force many smaller retailers out of business.

    Then there is the privacy issues. The retailers should only keep enough records to ensure payments. I do not want every oil company and supermarket knowing were I live unless they are providing me a direct service. The proposal would ask us to pay if we wish to keep our details private from a private cooperation.

  117. 120 Robert
    October 4, 2008 at 16:44


    Apologies for the multiple posts, I just find this a very interesting topic and an enjoyable conversation. I can see this form of taxation occurring and I can see that if its not done probably then it will be either counter productive or ineffectual.

    Another issue is what will you drop from government spending to pay for the credits?

    The punishment form of taxation raises the income to the government allow them to either cut other taxes or subsides options to help (like public transport, insulation for homes etc).

    The incentive form of taxation through means those that continue bad behavior suffer a tax cut, whilst those that do change they’re behavior reduce they’re tax. Overall the tax income to the government will reduce. Therefore the government must either 1) increase the level of tax before starting the scheme 2) Increase some form of non income tax 3) Cut spending.

  118. 121 Dan
    October 4, 2008 at 17:07

    Not to worry.
    I think that your database privacy concerns are valid but the Gov’t has so much data on us now maybe this is a mute point.
    I share your spending concern. We are now $11.3 TRILLION in debt and facing a recession. We must find cuts somewhere.
    I will not lie to you and tell you that I am a Global Warming believer but I will tell you that we most definitly need to reduce our pertochemical footprint and we can do it. JFK inspired my generation and we acheived great things. Without getting into a political debate Obama is inspiring a new generation.
    I may not be happy with what this new generation wants to do but soon we will turn the country over to them. If we all believe in American Exceptionalism and want to lead the world, we need to show the world by example.
    Jeez…did I “bloviate” too much?

  119. 122 Alec Paterson
    October 4, 2008 at 17:09


    You are the one who is totally confused.
    Give me examples of Islamic religious scholars rejecting, on Islamic grounds, jihad violence against non-Muslims; rejecting the idea that Sharia law should be instituted in the Muslim and non-Muslim world; and teaching the idea that non-Muslims and Muslims should live together indefinitely as equals. Send me rejections of the ideas that women should not enjoy full equality of rights with men. Give me information that shows that those who write such rejections are not lone voices crying in the wilderness, with the wolves of Islamic orthodoxy ready to pounce upon them, but that they represent broad traditions within Islam and have large followings.

    Now we are told that Osama bin Laden and his ilk don’t actually know anything about Islamic law. Give me a break.

  120. 123 Bob in Queensland
    October 4, 2008 at 17:21

    @ Moderators

    Tis coming up to 2:30 AM here…could any of you awake and online look out for things until Portlandmike is back in the hotseat?


  121. 124 Dan
    October 4, 2008 at 17:29

    I worry about adding taxes to the Government coffers. The politicians tend to spend new monies on their pet projects and on congressional executive travel.
    We are so far in debt that I think that a new revenue paradigm must be developed.
    I prefer to keep as much money in local hands as possible. In my area we wanted to take several repossessed buildings now lying empty and convert them into assisted living facilities for mentally handicapped but functional people. The Fed’s said “NO” rather emphatically. Working with local politicians we found a way to make it happen at least in a very small way.
    The more money & power that goes to DC the less we are individuals and more like Cogs in their machine.
    I believe as individuals we can change the world. We can reduce our energy consumption. We can make a difference. Maybe I am too Pollyannaish but to my dying day I will hold that belief.

  122. October 4, 2008 at 17:30

    You go to bed, Bob – I’m here.

    Mike let me know when you’re ready to take over.


  123. 126 bjay
    October 4, 2008 at 17:37

    1. A blog for all?
    yeeeee !

    The Sillence of the lams would make me unhappy.

    2. A gypsy problem or a problem with gypsies?

    If the ‘fruit-flies’ would be your next door neighbor, wouldn’t be looking out for your garden?
    But of course, some might be not vegeterian.com.
    I am not always full of courtesy; I do apologies to those.

    bjay connotation with eeeeeeeeccent.

  124. October 4, 2008 at 17:47

    Hi Roebert
    October 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm
    In many ways you are right. If there were no problems and Iran acquiesced in everything that Washington wanted, someon would have to invent another enemy for US plans to take shape.
    There will be a lot of bargaining in the coming months. No one has the stomach for another war. I still can’t see the opposition to US Coalition Forces remaining in Iraq disappearing overnight.
    Ultimately, Iran has been on the receiving end from its so-called allies and enemies. We had to give billions of dollars’ worth of oil to Syria to assure their support during the Eight Year War with Iraq.
    Busheher Power Plant is over-priced at plus $1 billion, and it is still not functioning, but we have to appease the Russians. So the saga continues with handouts to Afghanistan, Pakistan etc..
    Tehran, Washington dispute has hurt both sides. I also sympathise with millions of Americans who have lost their savings and forfeited their homes in bank foreclosures.
    Israel has escaped the brunt of the fighting in the region, and I am happy for them. Tel Aviv is in many ways a European, American buttress in the region. It was destined for greater things but it will have to make do with what it is given for the time being. The dilemma in Tehran is that the nuclear issue has become a bargaining chip in the hands of Ahmadinejad and extremists, this we cannot tolerate.
    Pls pick up where you left off, but I think I answered your querry.

  125. 128 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 18:06


    I sorta figured you knew California was a state…. but you said “city” three or four times so I thought I’d gently poke you on it. LOL both ways.

    Not kidding about the money though; they are like children. We had a surplus a couple of years ago, by sheer accident, when Google employees were first allowed to sell their stock. It’s never happened again.

  126. 129 selena in Canada
    October 4, 2008 at 18:08

    Something strange has happened to me.

    I just called a number to get a credit card reactivated. That used to be automatic if I called from the number associated with the card. This time I was transferred to an operator.

    That was straightforward enough but I was asked questions for which I am pretty certain I have never given the company answers.

    They had the answers and the card was activated but I am perplexed.

  127. 131 Roberto
    October 4, 2008 at 18:16

    Israel possesses 4 bombs in a region that otherwise has none. Surely it would be in the best interests of the world as a whole if Israel dismantled that capability. After all, the bombs are not there for purposes of Israeli defence (just not needed), but as a nuclear presence to strengthen the US hand in the region.

    ——— Your assessment is polluted by inaccurate politics.

    Everyone knows with a concerted effort, eventually Arabs could overwhelm Israelis because of a 50 to one population advantage. The only reason this ain’t happened is because the Arabs are as busy fighting each other as they are the Israelis, but only for now.

    The nukes, and my dear sir, nobody knows how many they have since they don’t even admit to having them, the nukes are a deterrent, plain and simple, Israel controls the deterrent and history has shown they cannot alway rely on the kindness of friends. If push comes to shove and they are being overwhelmed, there will be hell to pay, plain and simple.

  128. October 4, 2008 at 18:35

    Jonathon….When I agree with Rick that if a financial meltdown is what it takes to get people around the world to reconsider the path we are on, that is shoring up old guard extractive industries, then I am not advocating that people have to suffer through another depression or worse. For one thing I just don’t buy the Weapons of Mass Financial Crisis. There aren’t any big piles of furniture on the street around here. I had to wait in line to bank at WAMu on Monday. What you do have is a lot of middle men and speculators who have driven up the cost of every commodity from housing to orange juice, and given free rein they have found themselves in a crack. It’s sad that they have taken some investors with them but that was their risk to take. I doubt I’ve offended anyone already in dire straits. More likely I have voiced an opinion they agree with. It’s just farsical and cruel to go to the homeless, or someone stuck in the rent rut, and tell them you are spending 700 billion dollars to bail out the banks who made bad home loans to people who couldn’t afford them….
    And no way I’m a green. Those are disenfranchised and ineffectual Europeans waving placards that nobody reads or really cares about. If it takes a massive crisis to get the sheep filing their teeth and thinking about sustainability and a viable economic future then I’m all for it. Innovate or stagnate. Europe has chosen stagnate and internecine conflict for hundreds of years. Do you really want to go there?

  129. 133 Syed Hasan Turab
    October 4, 2008 at 18:58

    Commonly beside religion our prvailing wise society choose to operate there economy under three System’s:
    (1) Capitalism
    (2) Socialism
    (3) Mixed Economy
    An economic system always understand spinal cord of a country & need sharp brain’s to operate the system.
    As far as US Economic failour is considered sound like Capital gone & only Ism is left over for common public dreems. A bailout technique dosent exist in Capitalism because of free trade enterprise, infact bailout logically exist in mixed Economy because of Public, Private & Govt investment.
    This Economic slump is a total failour of Private sector, total failour of Govt monitor’s & this bailout will give a birth to HIV infection in US economy as unlimited bailout repeation’s are expected.
    Why not US Govt provide them a chance to survive at there own.

  130. 134 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 19:18

    @selena re credit mystery~

    Oooh, I know that one, it’s easy. Banks know everything already; they just like to confirm it. And to say howdy.

  131. October 4, 2008 at 19:31

    Roberto…..The US isn’t a paper tiger. It’s always been a mutt. It has all the great qualities of the breed. And it probably isn’t advisable to corner it or jab it with sharp sticks. Militarily I doubt we have ever been stronger. We are fighting a limited action on two fronts and spending a good chunk of change to do it. While the rest of the world is sitting back and heckling, the US military machine is working. Every day they are working and reworking things like signal intelligence and electronic warfare, logistics, and training. We have an all volunteer force of primarily young kids out there getting the job done. We are doing that with F-16s. When the F-22a comes to work people will sit up and pay attention. Air superiority isn’t something to sniff at. I have no doubt they have been testing the operating systems for the F-22 in combat situations all along. So no, I don’t think the US is crumbling any time soon and I don’t understand all the running around and panic mongering. Nothing is collapsing on my end, what about you? Those big garbage cans your neighbors put out are full, aren’t they?
    I’m not some military wahoo. I opposed going to Iraq and I opposed staying after we had Saddam by the scruff of the neck and I oppose being there now.

    The F-22a is by all accounts an amazing aircraft. It’s a collaboration by McDonald Douglas, Boeing, Pratt and Whitney, and whoever else. They worked together rather than trying to underbid each other and created a superior product using innovative materials and technology. Why can’t we do that with housing, transportation, and alternative energy? Who is dragging their feet and why?

  132. 136 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 19:36


    The other reason Israel sleeps most nights is that their snarling neighbors turned out not to be especially formidable soldiers, to be charitable. Also, as you say, it has no nukes.

    Plus it has way more than four, it has handled them with absolutely faultless responsibility, and they’re a stabilizing force, inasmuch as they discourage impulsive military attacks on Israel and avert the inevitable humiliation and awkwardness the next morning.

  133. 137 selena in Canada
    October 4, 2008 at 19:43

    For those of you who wonder why we do the things we do, now there’s a reason and proof.


  134. 139 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 22:00



  135. 140 Robert
    October 4, 2008 at 22:06


    America’s problem militarily is that they are fighting a war of attrition against terrorists using tactics and equipment designed for all out war with a country. Your army is the best in the world for attacking a country or defending against invasion granted. But you leadership do not understand how to fight the type of war your in at the moment. If you go against Iran you will end up in the same situation as you are in Iraq. Air superiority is great during the first month of operations when you overwhelm the opposing Army, but afterward is pointless against suicide bombers.

    The one thing you miss in your description on the skills of the US Army is skills in dealing with civilians. Unless you have the average Joe on the street on your side your fighting a losing battle (with the wrong tactics)

  136. 141 Roberto
    October 4, 2008 at 22:08

    The US isn’t a paper tiger. It’s always been a mutt. It has all the great qualities of the breed. And it probably isn’t advisable to corner it or jab it with sharp sticks

    ——–That ain’t even close to what is happening.

    Just as sure as the F22a you swell your chest in pride over as advancement of major military assets, the suicide bombing tactics of modern Islamic terrorists are a new wrinkle in guerrilla war, a power to the evil people moment.

    This adminstration has been involved in a fight to the finish, yet chose to preen for mission accomplished photo ops in the early rounds and refused to adjust tactics for the longest time when they started to get pasted badly.

    I’m no military expert, but when I saw the Iraqi army shuck uniforms and arms to disappear into the populace, saw the mission accomplished banner, and saw the arrogant dismissal by highranking brass of an early guerilla attack of by an Iraqi guerilla group who bedeviled US forces for a week by use of a donkey powered, mortar equipped cart, I knew the real fight had only begun.

    Takes money to buy the F22a, and if nobody lines up to buy $700 billion new US paper bonds, guess what?

    The US won most every battle against another sandal clad bunch of illiterate peasants in Vietnam. Military superiority don’t guarantee victory in war and I’d think that would be obvious to all but the usual civilian cheerleaders and mentally shortchanged military brass far removed from actual ground conditions and true responsibility.

    It costs tens of thousands of dollars to put a US soldier in operation. It only cost a few petrol profit dollars to put the terrorists into operation. America sadly has a bad reputation for math illiteracy, and this administration will go down along those lines and worse.

    But, hey, the Vietnamese and US have never been closer than today. Maybe it’ll be the same in Iraq, but what a terrible 40 or so years to go through. Can’t believe I saw it with my own eyes as I wouldn’t have believed otherwise.

  137. 142 Pangolin
    October 4, 2008 at 22:15

    @ Pat~ About all that military puffery. Exactly how does one win an occupation? It’s true it’s called a war on terrorism but that’s like having a war on opium use. You can get most people to stop but never everybody. Afghanistan is called the graveyard of empires for a reason. Our forces are trained to fight; Afghans are born to fight.

    About the F-22; please explain why the US needs a hundred million dollar a pop airplane to bounce rocks in Afghanistan. Neither the rocks nor the Afghans will notice any difference if we dropped ordinance from old A-10s. Also, any country that really wanted to snatch air superiority from F-22s would simply have to send up robotic drones with programming to knock down anything that’s not them. An unmanned aircraft can out fly a platform that has to keep a human alive. It also doesn’t have to worry about surviving the mission if it takes down a more expensive opponent.

    Think harder on that military wahoo bit.

    p.s.- The Hmong next door are the best neighbors a guy could have.

  138. 143 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 22:21

    @ pat

    Again, I just don’t see how a financial meltdown would make people reconsider their path–not in any good way anyhow. I don’t know quite what the line at Wamu means to you; I draw a blank. It’s not exactly a taxpayer “bailout” of banks–unfortunate term! (Poor people don’t pay taxes, so they’re not on the hook.) It’s a purchase of bonds and maybe some other instruments for later sale. We should get most of our money back, and might even turn a profit, ha ha. We also might buy preferred stock in banks etc., and this is a PERFECT time to do that because they’re on sale. We borrow the money anyway; they won’t send us a bill for the $700 billion. Thank God, US treasury debt is still solid gold; if it weren’t, we’d be screwed far worse.

    Oh, there is absolutely definitely a big huge urgent crisis, right now. The world financial system has frozen solid. It’s started already. We are still in for a nasty recession and probably inflation too, hooray. But this monster is a whole different dimension and we don’t’ want to go THERE. AT&T and GE couldn’t get money last week–that’s serious. And we all profited somehow from the good times, even if we don’t know exactly how.

    Europe is stagnant alright, but they’ve avoided conflict outside of a couple of hot spots, for 60 years or so. The EU is working better than I ever expected, especially the common currency.

  139. 144 Pangolin
    October 4, 2008 at 22:23

    @ Jonathan

    When you can explain how Israeli nukes deter single rail Katyusha rocket launchers please get back to us. True the Katyusha’s can’t destroy Israel or even do significant damage. But the best educated and trained Israeli’s are leaving the country anyway.

    That’s all that has to happen.

  140. 145 Robert
    October 4, 2008 at 22:24


    I came across the same article a couple of weeks ago and posted it up here. I wonder what came first though. Are people sensitive to loud noises more politically conservative because it tends to produce slightly fewer surprises and lowers their stress levels. Or does somebody who lives a more conservative oriented life became so comfortable with the slightly predictable ethics it involves that any sudden change startles them?

  141. 146 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 22:32

    @ F-22 — the right solution for the wrong problem

    Robert, Roberto, Pangolin,

    Thanks for writing the comment I only wrote in my head, about the very limited utility of the F-22 in counerinsurgency operations. Fabulous plane, utterly irrelevant now and for the foreseeable future, except for air force guys to drool on.

    One hundred million dollar drones would be 1000 times more useful, and no flying machine can win hearts and minds, to understate the case.

    Nice to be on the same side with you guys for a change!

  142. 147 selena in Canada
    October 4, 2008 at 22:45


    I don’t know which comes first that’s for sure. But I have always had a belief that it is fear that is the cause of most of the problems we face as humans. People who are fearful tend to be more frightened of everything and they will do anything to protect themselves. Hence the conservative bent!

    Some one sent me the link because he knew how I feel about fear.

  143. 148 Julie P
    October 4, 2008 at 22:45


    Did I gross you out?

    That is really a brutal way to murder someone. Of all of the ways to die getting burned alive and drowning have got to be the worst ways to go.

    Karma is going to get the son in law.

  144. 149 rick
    October 4, 2008 at 22:53

    Good Morning
    @ Jonathan Re: I thought you were serious
    Nice line, I’ve seen you use it before when you didn’t want to take up any of the other points made.
    Dan just said it, It’s about sustainability and also how much abuse one planet can take.
    Perhaps you think we can just carry on as we are and there will be no consequenses.

  145. 150 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 22:55


    Oh, I’ll probably live. Kind of a thrill, even. I can save the $11 for the horror film now. 🙂

    Yeah, fire or water, can’t be fun. I hope I die in my sleep, or at least in bed, ha ha.


    I now have the Temptations’ song in my head: “The way you do the things you do.” I love it. It makes some sense– the research findings I mean– we keep hearing that the right wing is “playing the fear card.” And conservatism means sort of “playing it safe,” crudely construed. I’ve skimmed that story recently. Hmmm…..

  146. 151 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 23:06


    As I’m sure you know, nukes can’t and don’t’deter terrorism, which is what those rockets are. They deter oganized, old-fashioned military wars, with armies and tanks and stuff.

    While we’re having this little talk, real quick, the reason why using credit as part of normal business operation makes sense is this: A business is productive and makes a profit. The profit should and does well exceed the cost of money, so the business grows and plans and thrives and innovates etc. Interest is an expense, like employees or paper clips, that you are aware of and you decide is a good investment–it lets you do things you couldn’t do without it.

    Totally different from a onsumer running up credit card debt. Consumption by definition doesn’t make a profit, so paying any interest is a bad thing. You can keep up if your income rises, but it’s not smart even then, except for special things–maybe tuition for a course, something that you expect will pay for itself in career path and raises.

  147. 152 Jonathan
    October 4, 2008 at 23:23


    I didn’t mean to use some cheap trick on you, or to be dismissive.

    The fact is that I have a sore spot when I feel that someone is approaching what I call the Pol Pot mentality–deep concern for Humanity combined with icy absence of feeling for actual people. Not saying that’s you, but when I feel the vibe, it’s best for me not to get started, lest I become unpleasant. But since you insist:

    I saw your comments as essentially saying, hey, what the fork, let’s blow up the world and let God sort it out, and maybe we’ll emerge (those of us who do emerge) the way you want us to be–proper proletarians, or for you, ecologically aware, or whatever the perfect human is supposed to be. It struck me as remarkably careless and contemptuous and reckless, to be frank.

    It didn’t help that you saw yourself as poor, and delight at the thought of somone losing $5 billion for some reason, and don’t seem to realize that most people in the world are far poorer than you, and you casually dismissed a billion or so fellow humans on the brink of starvation as “not having anything to lose” (right, except their lives), so you needn’t temper your dream of global salvation by world destruction with concern for its effects on them. Cheerful disregard for the real poor, hateful feeling about the rich–it seems almost that you look forward to the destruction more than the supposed beneficial outcome you imagine. Bringing down the folks you resent is its own reward.

    Does that clarify things, and do ya wish you’d let it drop before? 🙂

  148. 153 Pangolin
    October 4, 2008 at 23:32

    @ Jonathan~ I get the part about how manageable, low interest, low risk, loans can provide more assets in production than simply sitting on a pile of money.

    Until they cut off your credit.

    It’s kind of like building a mansion on a lot that you own but have no legal right of way to access. Fences can appear that can render the asset on the other side moot.

    The use of such credit vehicles risks an unacceptable loss of control.

  149. October 4, 2008 at 23:33


    I want to understand this point you are making but I just can’t get my brain around this: “the reason why using credit as part of normal business operation makes sense is this: A business is productive and makes a profit. The profit should and does well exceed the cost of money, so the business grows and plans and thrives and innovates etc. Interest is an expense, like employees or paper clips, that you are aware of and you decide is a good investment–it lets you do things you couldn’t do without it.”

    What does, “The profit should and does well exceed the cost of money, so the business grows…” mean?

    I had a gorgeous small business for 15 years making desserts for restaurants. I never borrowed a nickle, and I never had any interest payments. When the time came where I could expand and grow, I had capital in the bank, wonderful employees, and an impressive client list, plus years of success. So, I went into the bank, and sat down with them and talked over my options for growing, that is I would have to borrow to grow. I couldn’t allow those bankers into my business and life. It seemed so clear to me then, and this is years ago, that borrowing money from the bank was selling my business to the bank.

  150. 155 Robert
    October 4, 2008 at 23:48


    The use of such credit vehicles risks an unacceptable loss of control

    That all depends. If your using the credit vehicle to cover short term, one off events (like a major project, business expansion or start up) with a short payback period then the risk may be acceptable and considered as part of the decision to go ahead with the project. How risk averse is the company.

    But however what using credit for what I think your talking about (day to day operating costs of an existing business) with a long pay back period is unacceptable for no other reason that the business is neither sustainable nor for all intents solvent.

  151. October 5, 2008 at 00:00

    Puffing my chest up? I just don’t agree with the assertion that the US is a paper tiger or that it’s time to fold the bigtop and slink out of town now that your economy has “collapsed”. No puffing here………Curious George and crew have been doing nothing but bolstering the military and damn the expense. I see absolutely no reason to be in Iraq right now except that they are having live fire maneuvers while training to meet a new guerrila insurgency. As for the doom and gloom about the F-22, it’s not like they are knocking the F-16 out of the sky. That highway to Bahgdad looked pretty chewed up to me.
    Again my economy isn’t collapsing and I don’t know anyone’s whose is. This is about vested interests having their way while the people on the street who have zero understanding or interest are seeing themselves as victimized and with very little voice in the process. All they expect really is to be able to get up and go to work and support their family in the manner they see fit. If your economy falls apart do you think they care? It’s trickle up economics to them. If you don’t believe me then go down and ask.
    I’m glad I’ve provided some gristle to chew on. I don’t need Al Gore to tell me something is wrong with the environment. I have zero say on how the military is deployed. I’d have bombed the Vietnamese with 7-11’s and auto parts and soft drinks. The Russian economy faced a readjustment, the Asian economy followed and I expected us to get our turn. In your frozen global slush fund all my skills are way more valuable. I’ve just been waiting for the storm to hit and I’ll ride it out just fine. Change is coming whether anyone likes it or not. Old sluggo dogma or new creative solutions? When the smoke clears let’s compare notes and see who is right.
    I have to get to work, I’m not running off on you. I just have to get on a machine that actually produces something.

  152. 157 Pangolin
    October 5, 2008 at 00:34

    @ Pat~ I’d have bombed the Vietnamese with 7-11’s and auto parts and soft drinks.

    Now you’re talking my language. The path to victory in Afghanistan was not to send in military forces but to empty every storage unit in america, stuff it into air drop containers and leave them all over the Hindu-Kush. By the time they sorted out all the old porn, televisions, cheap furniture, auto parts, booze and third hand tools they wouldn’t recognize their own culture.

    In a stroke we could have turned the whole nation into a giant saturday flea market. Instead we still have gritty mountain warriors sniping at every move we make because they can’t get married and move on with their lives. Nobody’s more angry than a Muslim that sees a wedding get bombed by US aircraft. The guy was finally going to get some and we blow away half his tribe. Talk about unfair.

    We’re just not thinking clearly.

  153. 158 rick
    October 5, 2008 at 00:37

    @ Jonathan
    No, I just love the way you put words in my mouth and try to make it stick to me!
    You still fail to address sustainability or if you think we can just carry on as usual or what the alternative can be. You seem to champion the rich, champion the poor and champion the statis-quo.
    I have as much as most to lose in a recession such as my superanuation and my job but I am confident I can cope with those eventualities. The big losers are going to be those that have used credit to satisfy their every immediate whim. Again, no simpathy!

  154. 159 Pangolin
    October 5, 2008 at 00:38

    For those of you who desperately want to understand how people vote Republican this YouTube video should help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RdoH1Riheg

    It’s a video of “a highly commercialized voter registration event at the University of Arizona on Sept. 26th”

    I swear it’s worth the trouble to check it out. 😉

  155. 160 Jonathan
    October 5, 2008 at 00:45

    That’s great that you had a successful business; nothing wrong with that. Sounds delicious. We two have an ongoing discussion about the wisdom of debt. My point is that credit is just part of business, and a productive part, whereas consumer credit is just an expense. (It’s sensible to buy a house, even though one pays a lot of interest; if one had to save up cash, one might never catch up with costs.)Borrowing is different for production vs. consumption, investing vs. spending. Business revenue should exceed expenses, and interest is just another expense, without moral or emotional charge. It’s smart to borrow to expand a profitable business, to fund expansion now vs. having to wait until you save up the money yourself. You make more money sooner and everybody wins. Also, you don’t need to put your life savings at risk. You retain personal capital. It’s just prudent. If the business fails, it needn’t bankrupt you in the process.

    Most people don’t have the money to start most businesses. It’s wonderful that ordinary people can borrow money to start businesses. In most of the world, they can’t. Here in the San Francisco area, venture capital has made possible the whole computer/internet/tech revolution.

    You’d hate the venture capitalists; they literally do own part of your company in return for their risking a few million dollars. On the bright side, they then have a compelling reason to help you succeed, so they supply advice and connections and expertise etc. as needed.

  156. 161 Roberto
    October 5, 2008 at 00:47

    Again my economy isn’t collapsing and I don’t know anyone’s whose is.

    ——- OK, you live in an insular bubble. Real disasters that surround you have no real meaning.

    They’re just images on the boob tube like the war and deaths. You ain’t dyin’ and don’t know anyone who died in the war, so everything hunky dory.

    Your’s a very common human condition as personified by Alfred E Neuman, “What, me worry?”

  157. 162 selena in Canada
    October 5, 2008 at 01:24


    Are there any stats on the numbers of businesses (other than the early the tech businesses) that have succeeded with venture capital?

    From what I have seen with such businesses, they use up money and then fail. It seems like with failure everyone gains something in the short term, so there is not real incentive for success.

  158. 163 Jonathan
    October 5, 2008 at 01:56

    You don’t have an economy; you have a budget. Your life involves interacting with various businesses. (The ATM was my clue.) If they go away, your life will be less pleasant.

    What words did I put in your mouth?? Why shouldn’t I champion everybody? A depression does not bring a morre “sustainable” world. Nobody wants to “sustain” bad times. One last time: Those who will lose the most are not people who buy things on credit (they have what they want), but people on the brink of starvation or poverty. They will go over that brink and become poor, and starve, and die.

    Life in the developed world for at least the past 60 years has been sweet in many ways. Mankind is healthy, wealthy, well educated, and hopeful. We expect that life will get better. But we may be entering bad times. Apparently you think a depression would somehow bring a cleaner environment? (You’re a bit vague.) I do not.

  159. October 5, 2008 at 01:58

    98 Julie P October 4, 2008 at 2:26 pm
    The bill first passed the Senate unanimously in August and then passed the House this month 390 – 25.

    One of our House Representatives voted against the Great Lakes water bill because ot still allows water companies to take water from the lakes, bottle it, and sell it.

    111 roebert October 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm
    Israel possesses 4 bombs in a region that otherwise has none.

    Israel has hundreds of those. You are right , though: Israel is the only nuclear power in the Middle East. I think that it has not signed the NPT, either.

    138 Julie P October 4, 2008 at 7:55 pm
    Austrian man kills in-laws with a flamethrower.

    pics? (Why always Autria?)

  160. 165 Jonathan
    October 5, 2008 at 02:33


    I’d say that congressman must have a “glass half-empty” mentality. 🙂

  161. 166 rick
    October 5, 2008 at 02:40

    What words??
    How about the bit that goes “I saw your comments as essentialy saying Hey, lets blow up the world …..
    Gee I can’t remember saying that!
    Because I’m a greenie, I’m a Communist??
    Actually, when I ask a question, I’m asking for an answer,not telling you what I think that you think and then attacking you for that.
    Have another look at your blogs, your hilarious.

  162. 167 Jonathan
    October 5, 2008 at 02:47


    Are there numbers? Sure. Do I have them? No. You could try the google, which may itself be a VC baby. Name any tech company, and there’s a fair chance it deployed VC at some point.

    I’m puzzled about your notion that “everyone gains” when a business fails. In fact, everyone loses when a business fails. Investors lose money. Entrepreneurs lose money and time and credibility and pride and hope. The “incentive for success” is the preference for gain over loss; most find it compelling.

    We mere mortals look on and wish them the best of luck, while silently hoping that if they fail, they will do so before they have a chance to sell stock to the public.

  163. 168 Julie P
    October 5, 2008 at 03:24


    There were some objections to the Great Lakes Compact, but very little. I’ve read them.

  164. 169 Julie P
    October 5, 2008 at 03:35


    Here is the link to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the House of Representatives vote.


    I’ve blogged a lot about the Great Lakes Compact. I grew up three miles from Lake Michigan and my dad made his living with railroad – shipping company. My brothers loves to diving in Lake Michigan.

  165. October 5, 2008 at 04:51

    SNL nailed the debate. If you didn’t catch the VP debate. SNL just did their version which was much shorter, but pretty much conveyed all of the highlights.

    “for all of you Joe 6 packs out there playing a drinking game tonight, here is one for you. ‘maverick'”.

    that is great.

  166. 171 Jonathan
    October 5, 2008 at 05:13


    We are so busted.

  167. 172 rick
    October 5, 2008 at 05:36

    So Jonathan, since I’m being a bit vague, let me try to be a bit more precise.
    The earth is not infinate. For example, if we log more trees than can regrow, logging will come to an end. Same for fishing, same for the planet’s capacity to absorb co2. These limits are called sustainability.
    Human activity (consumption)is what is pushing the planet’s ability to regenerate itself. Less consumption = less push on those limits. Depression = less consumption. Temporary, yes, but effective all the same.
    Maybe even long enough for Bangladesh to go under, the mideast, Spain, Australia and Nevada to run out of water, and the world to wake up to what is realy important. If you think the world’s poor will be better off with more of the same think again. All you have to do is look at the hurricanes that swept through the Caribean last month, the typhoon in Burma and floods in India. Compare them to the toll in the
    US floods this summer.

  168. 173 Bob in Queensland
    October 5, 2008 at 06:18

    Okay. HERE’S A STORY for all you financial libertarians out there (nudge nudge wink wink…you still awake, Jonathan?).

    It seems countries all over the world are tripping all over themselves to distance their policies from the previous American ones and introduce far stricter regulation of financial markets.

    Leaving aside the truism that legislation made in haste is rarely good legislation, what effect is this global backlash against the policy of loose regulation going to have on the whole world order?

    Interesting times ahead methinks.

  169. 174 Jonathan
    October 5, 2008 at 06:52

    Bob! You’ve been scarce around here today….

    Oooh, I’m awake now, yes. I’ll read the story; thanks. And I’ll try to squeeze out a word or two. You know how I hate to talk about stuff like this. 🙂

    Interesting times? Well, not if everything is all boring and gray and dry and regulated! Phooey.

    I heard that this mortgage-backed-securities problem has happened in the same fashion (smaller scale of course) six times in US history. Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it, first as tragedy, then as farce….

  170. 175 Bob in Queensland
    October 5, 2008 at 06:59

    Hmmm….to enter recession once due to mortgage-backed securities is unfortunate; to enter recession twice due to mortgage-backed securities may be regarded as careless. To enter recession six time due to mortgage-backed securities is …..well….something about 3 times worse than careless! (With apologies to Oscar Wilde.)

    Does history show what remedies were tried the previous six times and if any of these remedies worked?

  171. 176 Jonathan
    October 5, 2008 at 07:06


    OK, so my interprtation was exactly right. The logical conclusion–I think–from your formula is that the fewer people inhabit the planet, the better off the planet will be, at least within some range. (If we were down to one million people, you wouldn’t want fewer.)

    Would it be fair to say that removing maybe a couple of billion people would be a swell idea in your view? I’m not talking Auschwitz; maybe some sort of plague, or just reliable old starvation? If so, would it be right to suppose that the winnowing would be most beneficial if it takes place among the high-consuming, high-emitting, polluting people of the industrial Western countries, vs. the relatively light-footprinted poor placed of the earth?

    I guess I like people, and the planet, and though your explanation puts them as enemies, I think it’s at least possible that we can find a way to be less destructive, and thus accomodate people on the planet in happy harmony. People have been worrying about overpopulation for hundreds of years, and we’ve managed to feed thousands of times more people than we thought we could. I think we can do the same for greenhouse gas emissions, and pollution, etc.if we seriously try. It’s pretty monstrous to wish a depression on people.

  172. October 5, 2008 at 07:28

    Bob and Jonathan,

    As long as politicians find it beneficial to their future employment by increasing the number of gainfully employed, and as long as they are willing to do it buy employing strategies they know will only be sustainable long enough to get them re-elected, and as long as they can blame it on the other guy when it finally comes crashing down, history will repeat itself.

    In reality, this problem has only occurred once. Our policy makers have found a way to successfully beat it back under the surface 6 times. With this 700 billion we can “successfully” give a bunch more people money to buy things they can’t really afford. When the study stream of credit card offers stop flowing into the homes of the already finically stretched, then it will mean somebody addressed the problem.

  173. October 5, 2008 at 07:34

    @ Jonathan and Rick,

    I recently had the thought that it would be great to kill everybody on earth that wanted other people kill. That would lead to lasting peace. However, you see the dilemma in that logic stream right?

  174. 179 rick
    October 5, 2008 at 08:00

    @ Jonathan
    No, the logical conclusion isn’t a couple of billion less people, there you go putting words in my mouth again, it is less consumption by those top 2bn though.
    My point is this, give consumers $2 a gallon gas and ask them to conserve for the planet’s sake. Good luck!
    Now charge $5 and guess what happends?
    You just can’t get through to some, maybe most, people if if doesn’t affect their hip pocket before next payday.

  175. 180 Bob in Queensland
    October 5, 2008 at 09:31

    @ rick

    If my conversion maths is right, the present price of petrol (gasoline) in the UK is about $8.70 a gallon. The impact on consumption is much smaller than you might imagine. The majority of people’s journeys are perceived as “necessary” so they scrimp and save on other things to keep fuel in their cars.

    I’m of the firm belief that “the stick” of high prices will not, alone, reduce consumption. You have to provide alternatives, be they non polluting private vehicles or workable public transport or both.

    The one thing that high fuel costs does do is make these alternatives economically competitive where previously they weren’t

  176. 181 Jonathan
    October 5, 2008 at 09:34


    No, I didn’t put words in your mouth this time either. I asked you a couple of questions. You didn’t see fit to respond tothem, or to anything else in my reply.

    I’ll answer yours though: My guess is that people get more serious about conservation when the resource is highly priced than when they’re told to conserve “for the planet’s sake.” Did I get it right? The remarkable thing is that this outcome is remarkable to you. I hope you take the lesson to heart as you go about your business. But make it the right lesson. Not that people should be poor, but that incentives are more effective than exhortation. People’s decisions should “affect their hip pocket[s].” Effective environmental policy employs this fact rather than deploring it.

  177. October 5, 2008 at 09:41


    I am in favor of tele-portation devices. These should be stuck in every major city in the world.

  178. 183 Jonathan
    October 5, 2008 at 09:47


    I don’t even know where I saw that bit about the six crises, or whether I believe it. I do know that’s all I came away with though.

    Gasoline at $8.70/galon hasn’t fazed them! Hmm. Wonnder what it cost before. Their taxes (I had to say it) are so high that maybe this wasn’t such a big spike? The brief move past $4 has changed the picture here in a big way. Our consumption is down significantly, car companies are getting slaughtered, you can’t give away an SUV. The definition of “necessary” changes when you double the price.

    High prices don’t just have the one effect of reducing demand; they’re also an incentive to produce more oil or whatever, and they provide the means to do that expensive work. Unless some bozo snatches it away in a “windfall profits tax.” Duh.

  179. 184 Bob in Queensland
    October 5, 2008 at 09:58

    @ Jonathan

    Your guess is correct–prior to the recent price bubble, more than 70% of the pump price in the UK was tax. These are mainly a “flat rate” tax rather than a percentage so there was much less of a spike than the USA suffered. When I left the UK, I was paying around 93p per litre; today the price seems to be about £1.10 a litre. I’m not sure what the peak was.

    Down here in Aus we’re sort of half way between the two…. higher taxes on fuel than the US but a lot less than the UK.

  180. 185 Jonathan
    October 5, 2008 at 10:26


    Half the world is subsidizing, half is taxing. Sigh. So silly.

    Pardon my French, but Laissez-Nous Faire!


  181. October 5, 2008 at 10:33

    Jeezuz Jonathan…You have no clue what I have or what my life involves. Not everything is going to fit into a box of your design. You and Roberto both take a post and instead of taking it and turning it over and considering it as an object to pass around the fire, or just ignore, you categorize it and then berate it and then you both come back like attorneys on redirect and say, “Oh so it’s like this….” And most often you are wrong. If it’s posted it already got past the moderators.
    You say nobody is going to reconsider their values due to economic hardship? They are already doing it . They are walking away from the electoral process because it answers none of their concerns. You can’t find a town in America where the park isn’t full of tents every weekend with people selling and trading on their own. Oh yeah, pooh pooh, until you figure out across the country, how much money just changed hands. San Francisco is cloudier than Seattle but solar panels are going up? There is a wait list to buy hybrid cars, but how much of that technology came out of the US?
    Honda spins off Honda Soltec. The wind units going up here are from Denmark. Why are we financing a busted past rather than a viable future? Since when do we take back seat in a global economy? The technology and innovation in alternative energy is going to drive this economy the way computers did where one advance lays the foundation for the next. I’ll take green as in money over paper tiger any day.
    The poor are going to get pushed over the brink where they will just lay down and starve and die? Good thing they don’t have guns and machetes. You averaged a post every 30 minutes today and that’s the best you came up with??

  182. 187 Jonathan
    October 5, 2008 at 10:47

    @Dwight re teleportation devices stuck in tevery city

    Well, if they’re getting stuck, there’s your problem right there.

    No wonder sales aren’t taking off.


  183. 188 rick
    October 5, 2008 at 11:01

    @ Jonathan 9:47 am
    uh gee Jon, didn’t I just say that and get a sanctimonious lecture for my trouble?
    Did I say the outcome was remarkable to me?
    Did I ever say people should be poor?
    I seem to write somthing and you take it to mean whatever you please and proceed lecture me based on your meanings. And I thought YOU were serious.

    Goodnight all. been a slice!

  184. 189 Bob in Queensland
    October 5, 2008 at 12:04

    @ Jonathan

    Half the world is subsidizing, half is taxing. Sigh. So silly.

    Yup. Two very different goals: one set of governments is trying to save their economies (or their cushy jobs); the other set is trying to save the world (and just happens to make billions in tax revenue in the process).

    Of course, neither scheme works.

  185. 190 Pangolin-California
    October 5, 2008 at 12:06

    It looks like once again the enviro meets capitalist conversation has been replicated. The green expresses well founded concern over the continuation of ecosystems and the capitalist declares that all is well as long as there are new ecosystems to exploit and destroy.

    I wonder if there was ever a conversation on Easter Island that went like this. “Hey chief, maybe we shouldn’t chop down these last palm trees here. They don’t seem to have any baby palms growing” Then the chief smacks the lacky and says “Idiot, the gods refuse to grow new palms because our fires have been too small up till now. Chop them down.”

    There is no rule in physics that says the human race gets to survive and thrive in a depleted ecosystem. We are deeply and profoundly dependent upon a varied and healthy ecosystem for our survival. An ecosystem that we are doing our best to destroy.

    Nature bats last.

  186. 191 roebert
    October 5, 2008 at 13:45

    Akbar Javadi, I think you give the US too much credit for eventual straight dealing in your region. Unless Iran has something that the US wants and is willing to play the role of regional pariah as a friend of the US (vide Pakistan), and is even willing to have itself destroyed in the interests of the US, Iran will remain in American disfavour. There are no more reasons for trusting the US in anything it does, says or promises. Wherever the US is active in the world there is disaster and concomitant flouting of basic human rights, including the right to life. Until the US shows a willingness to depart from military solutions to its problems, this scenario will continue, and worsen, leading the entire world into increased tensions and open conflict. Even in the financial sector, the US has shown itself willing to sustain basically criminal financial methods ( at least one economist has labelled it a ‘pyramid scheme’), and that to the detriment of its own poorer classes. Whether all this is attributable only to the current administration, or whether it is just a US way of life that will endure, remains to be seen. With Obama making a big noise about ‘getting bin Laden’, my own hopes that things may soon change for the better are also not very high.

    I don’t believe Iran, even under Ahmadinejad, would want to make a bomb. But they would want the US to take them seriously as country with the technology and know-how to do so. Even then, I agree that it is a bad idea.

  187. 192 selena in Canada
    October 5, 2008 at 13:58


    There is no rule in physics that says the human race gets to survive and thrive in a depleted ecosystem.

    Is there a rule that says humans should survive?

  188. 193 Pangolin-California
    October 5, 2008 at 14:45

    @ Selena~ Is there a rule that says humans should survive?

    “Should” That word is strictly in the wishful thinking category. I “should” have several million dollars in the bank and a harem of devoted college girls. Reality, will have it’s way however.

    My brother “should have” quit using cocaine before he was so damaged that suicide was a good idea to him. There “should have” been effective medical treatment for his condition available.

    Reality again.

    You have to understand the world as it is before you know where to push for a change. As the biologists I know understand carrying capacity of this planet the human race in a severe case of overshoot.

    Remember that if the planet feeds you for 360 months and stops at the 361st the odds are that you stop there too.

    Like these potato farmers in the Andes are finding. Things can change in your environment and you die. The “market” doesn’t care if you live or die either.

  189. 194 Alec Paterson
    October 5, 2008 at 16:44


    I am still awaiting a response to my post at 5.09pm 4 Oct.

  190. 195 Pangolin-California
    October 5, 2008 at 17:09

    @ Alec~ Why should Pink, or anyone, attempt to answer that hash. It’s a list of attacks with the pretense of dialogue painted on. Modify it slightly……

    Give me examples of Talmudic scholars rejecting, on religious grounds, Israeli violence against non-Jews; rejecting the idea that Talmudic law should be instituted in Israel and the secular world; and teaching the idea that Jews and goyim should live together indefinitely as equals. Send me rejections of the ideas that women should not enjoy full equality of rights with men. Give me information that shows that those who write such rejections are not lone voices crying in the wilderness, with the wolves of Jewish orthodoxy ready to pounce upon them, but that they represent broad traditions within Judaism and have large followings.

    Now we are told that Ehud Olmert and his ilk don’t actually know anything about Talmudic law. Give me a break.

    Change a few words and it’s exactly as worthless as the original. It’s Sunday, maybe you could consider meditating on humility and peace. It could be a nice change for you.

  191. 196 Dennis@OCC
    October 5, 2008 at 18:36

    Russian troops start withdrawal from posts in Georgia!!!

    I am very happy that Russia is doing what they should have done, almost 2 months ago…

    But, they are taking into account the international community wishes.

    Interest of full disclosure: This story broke on my Weekend on Blank Page!


  192. 197 Dennis@OCC
    October 5, 2008 at 18:48


    This guy, has some SEVERE mental health problems to
    do with!

    I think this guy, if he is GUILTY, he should spend a very long time in
    the prison system [or in my opinion: a psychiatric centre].

    Austria, has many things to overcome about the justice and
    legal systems…and no, i am not picking on the country….

    I am sending the members of the affected family, my
    deepest sympathy and condolences!


  193. October 5, 2008 at 18:48

    168 Julie P October 5, 2008 at 3:24 am
    There were some objections to the Great Lakes Compact, but very little. I’ve read them.

    Thank you for the link :). Did you see this story from the Detroit Free Press? I have popped several articles and hope to be able to read through them.

    What does the compact mean to you now that you live in Georgia?

  194. 199 Julie P
    October 5, 2008 at 19:01


    It means that John Linder (R – GA) can’t force the governors of any of the 8 Great Lakes states or the 2 governors from the Ontario and Quebec into sending water down to GA. as he wanted them to do.


  195. 200 Dennis@OCC
    October 5, 2008 at 19:07

    I know that the GREAT LAKES COMPACT has a lot of impact on the State of New York…But how in Georgia…


  196. October 5, 2008 at 19:21

    122 Alec Paterson October 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm
    You are the one who is totally confused.
    Give me examples of Islamic religious scholars rejecting

    Did you even bother reading what I posted (1, 2, 3, 4) at the bottom of the WHYS Islamist Extremism blog? Did it occur to you that perhaps clicking some of the links that I offered in some of those posts? (time stamps: June 26, 2008 at 12:55 pm; June 26, 2008 at 12:58 pm; August 16, 2008 at 7:49 pm; August 20, 2008 at 10:56 pm)

    While you are at it, why not check out some of the recent archives on my blog? The ones whose titles begin with “Muslim Myths” might make for good reading on women’s issues.

    Do you read any Arabic at all? Do you know the titles of major scholarly works? Could you access them if you wanted to read them? Do you know how to contact a scholar and pose a question to him/her? Would you even be able to pick out a scholar if you saw/read/heard him/her? Then who is it that is confused about this religion of mine?

    I have had it with people who do not even take Islam seriously postulating about what really are truly Islamic beliefs and practises. Y’all are standing on my last nerve. *steam*

  197. 204 Tom D Ford
    October 5, 2008 at 21:19

    Frankly, it scares the heck out of me that some one like Sarah Palin, who desires to be Raptured, has a possibility of being in control of our “Football”, that briefcase that is always within the immediate reach of the US President and contains our nuclear launch codes in case of Nuclear War.

    The idea of the Rapture negates any usefulness of the concept of MAD, Mutual Assured Destruction, as a deterrent to Nuclear war, she actually wants the destruction to come about, she wants Rapture to happen.

    I have had more than enough of these Conservative religious wackos, putting one in the possibility of becoming President is foolhardy in the extreme.

  198. October 5, 2008 at 21:50

    Orthodox Jewish ‘Modesty Patrols’ Put Israelis on Edge

    Zealots are on a campaign to stamp out behavior they consider unchaste.

    Union Official: Teachers Who Engage in Consensual Sex With Teen Pupils Shouldn’t Face Prosecution

    A British teachers’ union representative has come under fire after claiming that teachers who engage in consensual sex with students over the age of 16 should not be prosecuted, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reported Sunday.

  199. 207 Jessica in NYC
    October 5, 2008 at 22:37

    @ Bryan

    [“Nobody has demonstrated why Palin would be incompetent as VP or P. That’s my honest opinion.”

    … Because I believe you believe this and all the other [interesting] comments, I think you and I live in different worlds fiction and non-fiction. I don’t travel to never-never land.

    I propose to emerge from never-never land long enough to reply if you do.]

    I accept your challenge from last weekend to debate me on Women’s Rights, pro-choice vs anti-choice values. Have I missed my opportunity? Next weekend sometime work for you? Maybe Sunday, after church, of course? Must run… I have a church group meeting at my local pub… 😛

  200. 208 Kelsie in Houston
    October 5, 2008 at 23:16

    Germany is moving to shore up Hypo Real Estate in an effort by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to forestall the effects of the growing global economic malaise…

    A meeting of European finance ministers failed to reach an accord on the creation of a “rescue fund” in Europe similar to the one recently formed in the United States. Are the dominoes, already falling in the U.S., reaching Europe in earnest?

  201. October 5, 2008 at 23:34

    197 Julie P October 5, 2008 at 7:01 pm
    Julie, I was wondering whether you think that it might impact you personally in Georgia. I understand that the southeast had something of a water shortage scare recently with a lake nearly drying up. I do not remember specific details any more.

    Did you see the articles on CS Monitor, US News & World Report, and the Grand Rapids Press? Each of them went into a bit of detail regarding the concern that Bart Stupak and others had about the bottled water leak in the Great Lakes Compact.

  202. 210 Kelsie in Houston
    October 5, 2008 at 23:44

    It’s disappointing and infuriating to watch the major American news outlets give Atlanta the cold shoulder. I’ve been looking for updates on your situation via CNN, FOX, and USA Today, and can’t find a single story related to the gas shortage.

    USA Today’s latest Atlanta story:

    Wednesday, October 1
    Atlanta – The end of September marked the end of smog season in metro Atlanta. Air quality experts said pollution controls, combined with good weather, gave the area one of its easiest-breathing summers in a decade. Michael Chang, an atmospheric scientist at Georgia Tech, said there has been “some measurable progress.”

  203. October 5, 2008 at 23:49

    201 Julie P October 5, 2008 at 7:19 pm
    Here is the Great Lakes Compact in its entirety from the Library of Congress.

    I really like Thomas.loc (awesome collection of Congressional stuff!), but the texts of all of these bills is looo looong! I wish that there were someone whose paid job it is to summarise them for us peons!

  204. 212 Julie P
    October 5, 2008 at 23:56


    For Atlanta news check out our newspaper the Atlanta Journal Constitution.


    Or WSB tv


    Currently running in the ajc is this story:


  205. October 6, 2008 at 00:13

    Julie, would it be ok to ask for a link to your blog? If you want to, you could have a mod pass it to me – be sure to establish email contact with a mod rather than just post it, if you do not want to post it.

  206. 215 Roberto
    October 6, 2008 at 00:22

    RE “”The idea of the Rapture negates any usefulness of the concept of MAD, Mutual Assured Destruction, as a deterrent to Nuclear war, she actually wants the destruction to come about, she wants Rapture to happen.””

    ——- Relax. Take a deep breath. Step away from the koolaide bowl.

    You will only be left scratching your shining pate as you wonder where the raptured people have disappeared to. Rapture don’t mean instantaneous destruction of the earth. It means “Adios Amigos.”

    Presumably McCain will be the first to go, him being senior and reigning Prez of the US, then Sarah, leaving the nuclear code in the capable communist hands of Nancy Pelosi, 2nd in the line of succession.

    You dears can hold an old fashioned pagan/wiccan bonfire, beerfest and BBQ featuring virgin tribal dances and fire breathing exhibitions around the new-clear code and then roll back newly nationalized wall street into it’s previour pagan anarchial form.

    Sounds like a beautiful plan for a McCain/Palin victory in 08.

    Who’d have thunk that single spark of your one genius braincell may end up sparking the rapture? Surely worthy a movie starring George Clooney as you, Harrison Ford as McCain, Tina Fey as Sarah, and Nicollette Sheridan as Nancy.

  207. October 6, 2008 at 01:26

    What the hay!! Why didn’t somebody tell me that there was going to be a bonfire, beerfest and BBQ This weekend. Man I sure love those “Virgin tribal dances”!! You people have to tell me when these things are going on. I would have taken leave, and brought the pudding!!

    @ Jessica, You must be catholic since you were having a religious gathering at the pub. You what they say about us Catholics. “Wherever you find 4 Catholics there is bound to be a 5th.”

  208. 217 Bob in Queensland
    October 6, 2008 at 02:40

    Good morning!

    @ Dwight

    Re: Catholics and drinking

    I have circumstantial evidence to support your suggestion.

    Despite my atheist leanings now, my father was an Anglican minister. In the small town where I grew up, the vicars at many of the different local churches would get together every few months for an evening of discussion and comparing notes.

    Dad would normally sip the occasional glass of sherry but he certainly wasn’t a drinker. The only times in my life I ever saw him “tipsy” were the evenings the interdenominational meeting was hosted by the Roman Catholic priests!

  209. October 6, 2008 at 02:55

    I have circustantial evidence to support I’m Catholic….

  210. 219 Julie P
    October 6, 2008 at 03:34

    @Bob and Dwight,

    Re: Catholics and drinking

    Born and raised in a Catholic household, and nine years in a Catholic grade school (not practicing anything) I can attest to many drinking episodes by the adults at Catholic functions, and just about everywhere else. In fact, Milwaukee, a strong Catholic city, has more bars (pubs) per capita than anywhere in the US.

  211. October 6, 2008 at 03:39

    lol, I didn’t intend to turn this into an AA meeting. I only retain my catholic identity so I can tell that and a few other jokes that would not be PC if I were not of the faith.

  212. 221 Pangolin-California
    October 6, 2008 at 04:39

    @ The Rapture Ready~ No worries. These whackos don’t believe that they’re getting raptured any more than people playing at Renaissance fairs believe they are really the Queen’s court. They aren’t quitting their jobs, spending their days in prayer, eating pure diets devoid of pork, leavened bread, owls and ferrets and taking ritual baths.

    It’s all an elaborate social code that means “we’re the preferred white people that shouldn’t have to work and everyone else is (insert local untouchable epithet) that should be worked to death for our pleasure.”

    The last thing a bible-reading Christian could ever do if they really believed what they read is keep excess money in a bank account where it might collect interest or participate in usurious schemes.

    Or as we say in California….”Since you’re going to be raptured; can I have all your stuff?” (they never say yes)

  213. 222 Pangolin-California
    October 6, 2008 at 05:15

    @ Georgia’s gas shortage~ The folks in the internet doomer community epitomized by dieoff.org keep saying that small failures in a complex society can lead to cascade failures in the larger community. No matter how many times this happens it seems that we don’t get the lesson and look to increase redundancy and resilience in our critical systems.

    Then a storm booms in and everybody acts surprised that one pipeline providing fuel to one quarter of the nations economy is so crucial. Pinch that straw and the economy as a whole chokes. The fact that we are unable to deal with these choke nodes failing does not bode well in a true national emergency.

    On a local note I’ve been growling for the past hour about helicopter overflights to the local hospital. I just learned that a busload of senior citizens flipped over about an hour out into the agricultural lands. Don’t complain until you know the whole story.

  214. October 6, 2008 at 06:13

    Pangolin…I meant to thank you for the links to both the storage container housing and the Israeli solar project, which I am particularly interested in. New generations of panels are coming out so fast that I wonder if we will ever catch up.
    I have friends who are still trying to give away the Y2K food that they piled up for the end of the world.
    And I really can spell. I’m just discovering that this keyboard doesn’t type some letters unless you really pound them out.
    The creeks are low and it’s time to pan for gold. Panic ! Panic! Maybe we can run it up to 1500 an ounce? I’ll check back in in a couple of weeks….Mas Tarde…

  215. 224 Pangolin-California
    October 6, 2008 at 09:18

    @ Pat~ You can’t be panning for real gold. I’m just downstream from the placer and creeks just got a gully washer. True they got a pile of new overburden released by the fires but it will take till spring to get the silt off of it.

    Your’re chasing paper dreams. Luck anyway.

  216. 225 Bryan
    October 6, 2008 at 09:32

    Jessica in NYC October 5, 2008 at 10:37 pm,

    Jessica, I give up. I concede the points. Sarah Palin wouldn’t be a successful vice-president of the annual Wassila charity garage sale and we all should have been aborted, leaving nature to restore and save the planet.

    Perhaps we can continue the discussion at the prize-giving of the Sarah Palin dartboard design competition.

    Gotta run. There’s a meeting of the local branch of the Greater Israel Foundation in the Jewish lobby of the hotel down the road.

  217. 226 Jonathan
    October 6, 2008 at 10:11

    I’m flattered that you’re counting my comments and calculating their frequency. I wish you’d actually read them. It takes more time and space to correct your misrepresentations of what I said than for you to make them. From the top: True, I “have no clue” about your life, but I didn’t say anything about it. I don’t design boxes. I can’t speak for Roberto. If you think the only acceptable responses to a comment are to accept it or ignore it, you’re in the wrong place. Nobody here is above question. That is what we do here, what our conversation is. No, I didn’t “say that nobody is going to reconsider their values due to [sic] economic hardship.” I said the new values might not be to your likng. I’m fine with people “walking away from the electoral process.” I love “people selling and trading on their own,” and I didn’t “pooh pooh” it. I hope nobody does “figure out… how much money changes hands” that way, because regulation and taxes would surely follow and spoil the fun. I didn’t know that San Francisco was cloudier than Seattle. I do know that “solar panels are going up” in SF, driven not by weather but by subsidies. Given a sufficient subsidy, people would install solar panels in their basements, but that wouldn’t make them useful. I don’t care where hybrid technology comes from (nor does the planet), just that it’s available. Because world trade is often restricted in bad economic times, this illustates my point that hard times for humans are not good times for the planet. Another argument against a depression, since you don’t find the humanitarian one compelling. (end part 1)

  218. 227 Jonathan
    October 6, 2008 at 10:18

    @Pat part 2 (continued)
    If “we” means the US, I’m surprised at your complaint that we “finance a busted past.” The more common complaint is that we do not. I agree that we shouldn’t, even as I regret the poverty in the “rust belt” regions, committed to dead industries. Some people have heard the music and moved to more promisng places. The others can be heard in the films of Michael Moore, reflected in the pandering of politicians, and echoed in the exhortations of people (who, from ignorance or error, believe themselves to be “liberal”) urging us to finance that busted past.

    Finally, the prospect of poor people taking up “guns and machetes” does not gladden my heart as it does yours, or inspire me to join you in wishing them worse poverty.

    (OMG, long comment, sorry, saved it for the end at least.)

  219. 228 Bryan
    October 6, 2008 at 12:22

    Well, since people on this site are evidently intent on winning the Sarah Palin-bashing Prize, I thought a bit of Obama-bashing was only fair. I caught a clip of Sarah Palin doing just that, on Obama’s association with Bill Ayers:

    Palin: Evidently there’s been a lot of interest in what I read lately. Well, I was reading today a copy of the New York Times. And I was really interested to read in there about Barack Obama’s friends from Chicago. Turns out one of his earliest supporters is a man who, according to the New York Times, was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, “Launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and the US capital…

    Don’t you guys just love this woman?

    I guess not.

  220. 229 selena in Canada
    October 6, 2008 at 13:10


    Don’t you know that no one is supposed to say it like it is? People never want to address anything head on. It is too painful.

    I watched the media on that one last night and, while acknowledging it was true, they made all manner of excuses for the man.

  221. 230 Roberto
    October 6, 2008 at 14:30

    RE Domestic and Foreign developments.

    ——-Liberty Uni in Virginia will suspend classes for Tuesday so all it’s students can have the opportunity to vote. Founded by Jerry Falwell and run by Jerry Jr, this puts 20,000+ voters potentially in the que since voter registration drives have been held on campus to get students registered locally.

    One suspects 90% will back republicans and Virginia appears to be up for grabs this year after going republican for many years previous

    ——–Christian militias in Iraq are starting to be formed and are working closely with Kurdish Coalition forces to prevent more church bombings and sectarian attacks on Christians. The militias appear to be financed by Coalition Finance Minister who is Kurdish.

    Kurds and Christian have much cooperative history in the region working with each other to limit the steady purges of their peoples by vastly numerical Muslims.

  222. 232 Pangolin-California
    October 6, 2008 at 15:49

    The engines Cap’n They’re gonna BLOW for sure!!

    She’s going down. Abandon ship!!!

    (lifeboats are provided for the wealthy, the rich, the well connected, property owners and CEO’s. All others please assemble on the Lido deck for deck chair re-arranging)

  223. 233 Pangolin-California
    October 6, 2008 at 16:21

    @ Mods~ apologies on that last post. It looks like I got multiple pastes somehow. If you could trim everything above the final @ symbol I would be grateful.

  224. 234 Jonathan
    October 6, 2008 at 17:55


    Being American, I won’t respond except to say (1) What a wonderful, rich multiple-link-bearing comment, and (2) It’s probably going to be unseen because it’s at the tail end of a by-now-old page.

  225. October 6, 2008 at 17:55

    I don’t know if anybody is watching CNN right now, but they are grilling the CEO of Lehman Bros. about is salary compensation. they asked him if getting a 1/2 billion in compansation from a company that went bank rupt and contributed the the collapse of the US finacial markets that is now leading to many people being out of work is fair. you should have seen him squirm.

  226. October 6, 2008 at 19:13

    Jonathan…..Again, you weigh in on every single post and rephrase it and when people point that out, you promptly rephrase that until you create this hopeless circular cycle of diatribe where eventually you come around and make the point you originally were opposed to. Nobody cares about what you think I think you think I think. That’s what you do here and then congratulate yourself on. Your conflict isn’t with me.
    Pangolin….Different creeks….I was down there last month. It’s a great time of year to be out there. As you can tell from my short sojourn here, I am only interested in the good nuggets. I could care less about the flakes. I roll with a smile and a light heart….

  227. 237 Bryan
    October 7, 2008 at 00:23

    selena in Canada October 6, 2008 at 1:10 pm,

    This is precisely what bugs me about politicians. They tie themselves in knots trying to figure out what the most powerful voter base is and then trying to please it while also trying not to alienate any voters who might be on the brink of joining the power base.

    But you can’t be all thing to all people and still retain your integrity. This is one of the main reasons I like Sarah Palin. with all her faults, she has a wonderfully liberated attitude. And she’s not trying to please anyone. It’s so refreshing to see a politician not frozen in political correctness.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: