Thursday, June 21, 2007

Doomed To Repeat It

Tune in Saturday morning at 9:00 AM PST for the Basham and Cornell Progressive Radio Show. On this weeks show we will have James Paul, who is Executive Director for the Global Policy Forum. He will be discussing the "War and Occupation in Iraq." You can listen online at the Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk Show


Guest Post by Mike

I was always fascinated by Ancient Rome, a civilization to which we owe much of our current legal system and democracy, and that controlled much of the known world at the time. I wondered how a civilization that endured for almost 1000 years and was the envy of the ancient world and the preeminent world power could collapse and fall so low that its fall ushered in a dark age where knowledge, science, peoples standard of living and quality 
of life all declined substantially and chaos reigned.


Before we look at The reasons behind Rome's tragic fall and the fall of all civilizations that aspire to empire, lets first look at the fragility of civilization, particularly complex civilizations, since they are the easiest to destroy. The reasons for this are precisely the very factors that allow the civilization to attain its high level of complexity, such as a well developed division of labor with each job requiring highly specialized skills and knowledge. Think for a moment, if most of our civilization were wiped out except for a small portion of the population, would any of you be able to design and build an airplane, build your own house, make a computer, a 
TV, grow our own food or make our own clothes etc....

History and science support the conclusion that our civilization is far more fragile than we dare to think. Michael Shermer in Scientific American, Aug 2002 studied 60 civilizations, both ancient and modern in order to determine the average life span of civilizations, Shermer, discovered that the average civilization endured 421 years, he also concluded that modern civilizations do not last as long as ancient ones. Among the 28 most recent civilizations post Rome, the average life span was reduced to only 305 years. The main reason is likely that modern civilizations are far more complex. By complex I mean we have a well developed division of labor, with jobs requiring specialized skills, as well as complex distribution systems and a complex hierarchical government. In addition modern civilizations, particularly those whose existence are based on cheap energy and consistent economic growth are far more likely to be adversarial and in direct competition for the natural resources required to maintain and protect their way of life.


Lets examine why dominant civilizations that start out so good and become world powers eventually collapse. There are MANY factors as well as clear signs which constantly are associated with the fall of civilizations. First and foremost is the greedy desire for empire. Rome squandered and wasted its resources fighting petty wars to grow and later to merely maintain their empire. Initially the plan was, since they were a dominant world power they would conquer and take the resources and money they needed, this worked while they were growing and had the money and military power to sustain that growth, however once they became so big that they no longer had the military or economic power to maintain, control and defend what they had no less keep growing, the empire imploded. When this happens, civilizations either decrease in complexity and are replaced by another dominant civilization and world power or the civilization falls completely, followed by chaos and a power vacuum.........in other words a dark ages ensues.


There are many clear warning signs exhibited by empires in decline such as the Roman Empire, The British Empire, Spain, and arguably America today These include:

1) huge debt levels


2) political corruption


3) unsustainable wars and military occupations


4) inflation


5) inequitable distribution of wealth, with the rich and powerful becoming ever richer, while the middle class is destroyed and is relegated to a huge underclass of poor, much like the plebeians or serfs


6) a rigid caste or class system with little chance of bettering oneself and little class mobility


7) debasing of the currency, followed by a corresponding increase in the price of commodities

8) a depletion of vital natural resources


9) a clear economic shift away from being a manufacturing economy that makes and designs things, to being a finance or money changing economy that doesn't make anything and shifts money from the poor and middle class to the wealthy elite money changers



10) Disdain for and neglect of the poor by the wealthy elite leadership


11) a destruction of freedom and democracy and a move to a totalitarian form of rule, with power being concentrated almost exclusively in the hands of a king, emperor or a "Decider" who does not tolerate dissent and supports the same ideas Hitler and the Roman emperors or the current Neo Con/PNAC "Unitary Executive" concept embrace.


Lets move forward and examine PNAC's "Unitary Executive" theory which goes against everything our Founding Fathers as well as Jesus stood for. PNAC is obsessed with making America the Preeminent Superpower by bullying, holding down and exploiting other countries. This concept of bullying those weaker and preventing them from bettering themselves seems to be a timeless and classic core tenet of conservatism and is in direct opposition to the Golden Rule. The greedy wealthy elite have used these tactics to oppress the poor since before Ancient Rome, and it has NEVER worked, the result of sinfully inequitable distribution of wealth combined with authoritarianism is ultimately economic depressions, revolutions and misery.

Historically we have done much better economically under Democratic administrations where policies are designed to benefit the vast majority of citizens rather than a tiny minority of powerful wealthy elites. We need to have good healthy relationships with other countries, that include cooperation and goodwill rather adversarial destructive relations where we are so hated, feared and reviled that terrorists can easily recruit people so committed to destroying us that they are willing to sacrifice their lives to do so. GWB's inept and bellicose policies have certainly made us more of a target to terrorists and helped to create more terrorists, however I think the biggest threats to our civilization and prosperity as well as to our military and economic dominance is an an energy crisis and/or a debt implosion.



The British Empire also collapsed from an unsustainable empire and high debt levels, they moved from a manufacturing economy to a finance/money changing economy and were replaced by the United States, both militarily and economically as the World power in the 20th century. The reasons for their decline were similar to Ancient Rome's decline and mirror our own decline in the 21st century. Our primary dangers today are unsustainable debt levels and a lack of energy resources. Great Britain faced a similar problem to the one America faces today in the 16th century, when they too were faced with an energy crisis, at that time their economy was based on wood, much as ours today is based on oil, wood was used as energy for heating homes and manufacturing as well as ship building. Britain's forests were rapidly depleted, much as our domestic oil reserves are today, wood prices rose eightfold and Britain began importing wood at great cost, echoing what we are doing today with oil, what saved Britain from collapsing as a civilization was not ignoring the problem and denying it, but taking action and changing the economy to one based on a new more readily available source of energy. Britain progressed to a coal based economy which helped them become the most productive economy of the time, and ushered in the Industrial Revolution that made them a world power and brought much of the prosperity the West has enjoyed since then.


To avert a collapse similar to Rome's, we need progressive leaders who think of the future and are willing to break from the preconceived group think of the past and take us in a new direction. I'd like to hear your opinions on who those leaders are that can take us in that new direction and ensure our continued prosperity and fix our tarnished image as a symbol of justice and freedom for all.


472 comments:

  1. Excellent article Mike:

    Few have thought about this connection.

    ReplyDelete
  2. President Bush has talked with British Prime Minister Tony Blair about taking a role as a Middle East peace envoy after he leaves office next week.

    That's all we need. Bush's lapdog stirring up another war in the Mideast.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Karen Stevens, Tovah Calderon and Teresa Kwong had a lot in common. They had good performance ratings as career lawyers in the Justice Department's civil rights division. And they were minority women transferred out of their jobs two years ago -- over the objections of their immediate supervisors -- by Bradley Schlozman, then the acting assistant attorney general for civil rights.

    Schlozman ordered supervisors to tell the women that they had performance problems or that the office was overstaffed. But one lawyer, Conor Dugan, told colleagues that the recent Bush appointee had confided that his real motive was to "make room for some good Americans" in that high-impact office, according to four lawyers who said they heard the account from Dugan.

    The Bush administration showing they view women as lesser than their arrogant swaggering selves.

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  4. New York Times:

    After nearly two years of work, the Army Corps of Engineers revealed yesterday which New Orleans neighborhoods and blocks were the most vulnerable to flooding, and which were the best protected. The report shows that despite considerable improvement, large swaths of the city are still likely to be flooded in a major storm.

    Bush really cares about those poor people in New Orleans.

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  5. AFP:

    Osama bin Laden may have chartered a plane that carried his family members and Saudi nationals out of the United States after the September 11, 2001 attacks, said FBI documents released Wednesday.

    The papers, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, were made public by Judicial Watch, a Washington-based group that investigates government corruption.

    One FBI document referred to a Ryan Air 727 airplane that departed Los Angeles International Airport on September 19, 2001, and was said to have carried Saudi nationals out of the United States.

    "The plane was chartered either by the Saudi Arabian royal family or Osama bin Laden," according to the document, which was among 224 pages posted online.

    The flight made stops in Orlando, Florida; Washington, DC; and Boston, Massachusetts and eventually left its passengers in Paris the following day.

    In all, the documents detail six flights between September 14 and September 24 that evacuated Saudi nationals and bin Laden family members, Judicial Watch said in a statement.

    The Bush administration knew nothing of this??????

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  6. BAGHDAD - A suicide truck bomber struck the city hall in a predominantly Sunni area in northern Iraq on Thursday, killing at least 13 people and wounding 70, an Iraqi commander said.

    Another party for Bush!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The latest from the conservative MSM....

    "ALEXANDRIA, VA --- Bill Dedman, investigative reporter for MSNBC.com, published a story today that documents, through Federal Election Commission records, the political contributions of 144 journalists from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign. The facts show: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes while only 17 journalists gave to Republicans; another 2 gave to both parties."

    Yep, the media IS conservative isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mike, it's a powerful article. But I think that the collapse of US Civilization is unavoidable. The center cannot hold, and we are going to break apart.

    Several years ago, I started thinking that there should be at least four separate nations carved out of the USA - and I believe this even today. Something has to change. And Bush is our Nero.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mike good article,

    Here are a few things happening around the planet to add to the mix:

    Australians now floating in a record sea of debt

    "The reality is that Mr Howard's eight rate rises (since 2002), together with soaring petrol and child-care costs, are putting many Australian families under serious financial strain," he said.

    Too bad they are facing the worst drought in recent memory at this time in Australia.....


    Britain could be facing a major debt crisis, the country's top banker has warned.

    Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said many of history's financial crises have been caused by excessive debt.

    His warning reinforced fears that there will be another rise in interest rates next month.

    That could tip millions of household budgets into the red.


    I'll bet the British government wishes it wasn't going from an oil exporting country to an oil importing country at this time.....

    BTW add in the US negative saving rate, housing bubble bursting, 9 trillion dollar national debt, and massive personnel debt held by most of the middle class.

    Add to the western former British Empire states woes the fact the Arabs who control the flow of oil around the planet are using it for THEIR benefit NOT ours;

    A paradigm shift

    by Dave Cohen

    Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you [about your future]. Just one word.
    Benjamin: Yes, sir.
    Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
    Benjamin: Yes, I am.
    Mr. McGuire: Plastics.
    — from the movie The Graduate

    In a recent personal communication sent to ASPO-USA, former Saudi Arabian exploration and production head Sadad Al-Husseini made the following statement.

    There has been a paradigm shift in the energy world whereby oil producers are no longer inclined to rapidly exhaust their resource for the sake of accelerating the misuse of a precious and finite commodity. This sentiment prevails inside and outside of OPEC countries but has yet to be appreciated among the major energy consuming countries of the world.

    Saudi Arabia's production declined 8% in 2006. This is a fact which requires interpretation, and there are two opposed views: they can't or they won't raise exports. Matt Simmons has doubts about current Saudi capacity, most prominently raised in his book Twilight in the Desert. At The Oil Drum, Stuart Staniford's analysis appears to buttress Simmons' position, but is hampered by a lack of current production data from Ghawar, which the Kingdom will not reveal. The "won't" position has gotten scant attention in the peak oil community. Al-Husseini's statement points to a fundamental reorganization of the world's future oil supply. Downstream investments in the Persian Gulf states lends support to his view that these producers will exert greater and greater control over their fossil fuel resources in the future.

    The paradigm shift reflects the historical trend toward resource nationalism. IHS Energy's Pete Stark summarizes the change.

    Considering that governments and NOCs control more than 80% of the world’s remaining oil reserves, are expanding and upgrading refineries and infrastructure, and are developing gas resources, the effect [of the shift] is considerable. But that has not always been the case. In the past, when oil prices were low, investments in exploration dropped, and governments were eager to create incentives to attract investments—including reducing tax rates and state participation, or providing royalty relief.


    Oh and a very telling paragraph,

    General Electric has already capitulated, selling its petrochemicals division to Saudi Basic Industries for $11.6 billion. The Kingdom's future is plastics.

    Think thigh oil supplies aren't really a world wide problem?

    try this;

    If your serious then follow this story back.

    Why is their no bunker fuel in South Africa logistical problem right ?

    Show me. I've been following bunker fuel now for about a year and I've seen persistent and chronic shortages to pop up world wide.
    This is back in 2003.




    here are shortages of bunker fuel in Port Suez and Port Said as Egypt's dominant fuel oil distributor has given priority to other commitments.

    One supplier told Bunkerworld on Wednesday they were out of product.

    "We have stopped taking nominations," he said.

    Logistical shortages right ??


    Now why would shortages of bunker fuel be a problem for YOU, you ask?

    Good question;

    Hmm a ship needs fuel to sail if it does not have fuel it won't sail. If it does not sail the cargo does not reach its port. To use my favorite example if its a cargo of oil drill bits or other parts for the oil business the drilling of a well is delayed. Less oil is available because of the delay leading to higher bunker prices and more shortages. Trade flows become increasingly erratic and the global economy slows. I gave a example of a direct feedback loop. But you can see that JIT inventory systems start to fail and we people begin to warehouse more product which puts them at a competitive disadvantage and increases the expense of doing trade or they endure empty shelves and lost sales. Worse I may travel to the store a few times in a row to discover the shelves are still empty before I get smart and call ahead.

    The point is the tightening supplies and spot shortages of oil and oil products will directly slow the world economy without even factoring in price. Thus its acts as a first order natural case of demand destruction. Later on it will be the primary factor for demand destruction not price.

    Its not clear to me which factor will actually be the largest demand destruction because of price even though the product is available or simple shortages. I'm leaning to simple shortages as the primary reason for demand destruction and I think high prices with product available is secondary. My assertion is we will have widespread demand destruction from shortages long before we have any significant price induced demand destruction.


    And that is not the only thing which is occurring right now just maybe....

    No it makes no sense. As long as the oil markets are in Contango the natural move is to buy and store. Effectively hoarding oil. You have to look at the price. OPEC is not happy with the what they now consider a bargain price for oil and they want it higher. I've posted a few times that the last thing we will see before TSHTF is low oil inventories in OECD countries and it will be at far higher prices than today.

    What I think is happening is OPEC is testing to see of non OPEC sources can deliver or if OECD stocks will go down. The reason is very sinister they want to repeat the 1970's embargo and get rid of Israel once and for all. At the moment they are a bit peeved because its not clear that a embargo would be devastating.

    I'd suggest you give it a year or so and the political goals of OPEC will become clear in any case I fully expect another Arab embargo in the next few years.


    Remember the last time they did this we pumped around 9-10 million barrels a day in the US and used around 10-11 million barrels a day demand.

    Today we pump 5.5-6 million barrels a day in the US (including Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico) HOWEVER we use upwards of 21.5 - 22 million barrels a day and it is NOT just the US which is addicted to their oil, the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and the Indians need the imported oil from the Persian Gulf for their expanding economies. This would mean that the Gulf States could hold the western societies and their east Asian suppliers hostage to the oil the gulf states have. Only the Former soviet States would be safe from a Arab oil embargo, but would in fact profit from it as they are an exporting country, and the pump 9-10 million barrels a day which they export around half.

    It looks like we face problems which Rome never even though existed in their time......

    Like I said good article Mike......

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  10. BTW dolty boy continue to play your Rovian games.............

    While the USA sinks under the re-pubie inspired massive debt and it's addiction to oil.......

    Which Reagan guaranteed we would stay addicted to oil instead of listening to the MUCH smarter man Jimmy Carter......

    Who tried to warn us all, we were just too stupid and greedy to listen till now when it is basically too late.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good information Clif:

    The U.S does look to fall like the Roman Empire and we all know who is t blame.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Divajood:

    It does look like the collapse of the U.S is unavoidable.

    The U.S economy is being propped up my Corporate America, but only until they reap/rape everything that they can get.

    It's coming.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The Oversight Committee has learned that over the objections of the National Archives, Vice President Cheney exempted his office from the presidential order that establishes government-wide procedures for safeguarding classified national security information. The Vice President asserts that his office is not an "entity within the executive branch."

    Cheney decides on his own that he is above the law.

    Just like Bush is.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The U.S. military announced the deaths of 14 American troops, including five killed Thursday in a single roadside bombing that also killed four Iraqis in Baghdad.

    Elsewhere in Iraq, a suicide truck bomber struck the Sulaiman Bek city hall in a predominantly Sunni area in northern Iraq, killing at least 13 people and wounding 70, an Iraqi commander said.

    Great day for the Bush administration, Cheney announces he is above the law, and 14 U.S troops have been killed in Iraq.

    ReplyDelete
  15. AP:

    The number of newly laid off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits shot up unexpectedly last week, rising to the highest level in two months.

    The economy is falling apart, thanks to the Bush love for war and imports.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Salon:

    There is growing evidence of high-level coordination between the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. military in developing abusive interrogation techniques used on terrorist suspects. After the Sept. 11 attacks, both turned to a small cadre of psychologists linked to the military's secretive Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape program to "reverse-engineer" techniques originally designed to train U.S. soldiers to resist torture if captured, by exposing them to brutal treatment. The military's use of SERE training for interrogations in the war.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Going DOWN?

    Bush falls to 26% in Newsweek poll.

    Pony for your thoughts.

    He's headed to the Cheney "teens" it looks like......

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  18. Clif:

    Great news of the further downfall of Bush and his ratings of the war on the world.

    Forever downward may he fall.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Bad news on the torture front;

    Israel: High Court permits torture of Palestinians:

    The Israeli High Court issued a ruling that allows the Shabak, which is the Internal General Security Service of Israel, to torture with impunity. The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) published a report condemning the practice of torture that is “derived from the darkness of the Middle Ages,”

    Looks like the neo-cons are true to form whether in Washington or Israel…….

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  20. Looks like another Bush plan to extend torture throughout the Mideast.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Try this one out, then (from last month): Caesar crosses the Rubicon - a sequel?

    ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks Mentarch:

    I had forgotten about that post.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The only problem with the Rubicon example is our "first Caesar" is also in the position of over extending the empire one country too far just like the Soviets did in Afghanistan did.

    At the same time the outsourcing of our industrial capacity and the middle class which it employed is almost complete which gutted the real value of the dollar and since the financial plays mean much more then the limited military ones, we face a real dilemma.

    Our military can no longer force the world to accept our terms for resource control thus prop up our currency which means we drop in relative terms of world power, and with Brazil, India, Russia and China rising at the same time we can not compete militarily against them all, and economically they already have us beat with our over bearing debt and outrageous balance of trade deficients....

    Bush might be trying to pull a Caesar, but the empire is in quite a decline for him to do much.

    He can't control congress the GOP or Iraq, come next fall he is totally irrelevant.

    The neo-cons have already hooked their hopes to Fred Thompson..... so widdle georgie is just a place keeper for them now. Given the fact even a Hollywood actor will have an uphill battle for the oval office this time the neo-cons are in a very vulnerable position.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I disagree with your analogy, Mike, but you're not far from what I perceive to be the truth.

    Pick up a book called "Rubicon" about the fall of the Roman Republic, and you'll see that is a far better parallel to our current situation.

    Citizens began not caring about those who governed them. Equality became a joke, supplanted by an aristocracy and plutocracy, much as is happening today.

    The fall of the Republic began the imperial outgrowth, which is where I feel America is heading towards. We haven't even begun to flex our imperial muscle yet.

    ReplyDelete
  25. ron said...
    The latest from the conservative MSM....

    "ALEXANDRIA, VA --- Bill Dedman, investigative reporter for MSNBC.com, published a story today that documents, through Federal Election Commission records, the political contributions of 144 journalists from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign. The facts show: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes while only 17 journalists gave to Republicans; another 2 gave to both parties."

    Yep, the media IS conservative isn't it?


    Journalists aren;t the media, shithead. The editors and publishers and networks are.

    You know, the bosses. Just like the asshole who pimps your sorry bunghole out for money...

    ReplyDelete
  26. Things might get interesting for wall street and those who get their values from it;

    Bear Stearns Fund Collapse Sends Shock Through CDOs (Update2)

    Merrill Lynch & Co.'s threat to sell $800 million of mortgage securities seized from Bear Stearns Cos. hedge funds is sending shudders across Wall Street.

    A sale would give banks, brokerages and investors the one thing they want to avoid: a real price on the bonds in the fund that could serve as a benchmark. The securities are known as collateralized debt obligations, which exceed $1 trillion and comprise the fastest-growing part of the bond market.

    Because there is little trading in the securities, prices may not reflect the highest rate of mortgage delinquencies in 13 years. An auction that confirms concerns that CDOs are overvalued may spark a chain reaction of writedowns that causes billions of dollars in losses for everyone from hedge funds to pension funds to foreign banks. Bear Stearns, the second-biggest mortgage bond underwriter, also is the biggest broker to hedge funds.

    ``More than a Bear Stearns issue, it's an industry issue,'' said Brad Hintz, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York. Hintz was chief financial officer of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the largest mortgage underwriter, for three years before becoming an analyst in 2001. ``How many other hedge funds are holding similar, illiquid, esoteric securities? What are their true prices? What will happen if more blow up?''

    Shares Fall


    Now go back to your shopping....

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hey guys, the information about the stocks that Clif has posted is very scary, maybe we are headed for a fall.

    ReplyDelete
  28. From,

    Address by President Dwight D. Eisenhower "The Chance for Peace" delivered before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16,1953.



    The worst to be feared and the best to be expected can be simply stated.

    The worst is atomic war.

    The best would be this: a life of perpetual fear and tension; a burden of arms draining the wealthand the labor of all peoples; a wasting of strength that defies the American system or the Soviet system or any system to achieve true abundance and happiness for the peoples of this earth.

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    This world in arms in not spending money alone.

    It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

    The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

    It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.

    It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.

    It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.

    We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat.

    We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

    This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

    This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Remember we did this for the last 54 years AFTER President Eisenhower made this speech.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Bush-Cheney and the neo-cons have promised us generation more of the same at best.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Mike, great job. This article reflects my thinking so well that I might have written it myself, albeit not as well as you did.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Right now the leader that I would pick has to be Hillary... maybe because Bill is beside her. I understand why so many hates her for no true reason.

    It would seem that if one would forget about what the conservative and the right-wing talk show host has labeled her, just maybe you want hate her so much.

    Her husband did a great job with the economy. Maybe he has some advice for her.

    The warning signs you listed are somewhat upsetting, when it seems that we are in the middle of them all.

    I just hope we are not for that type fall as was the Romans and such. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Let's Talk:

    Thanks for stopping in and for the comments. I visit your blog everyday and find it informative.

    It does look like Hillary will be the one.

    ReplyDelete
  34. The Bush administration is nearing a decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detainee facility and move the terror suspects there to military prisons elsewhere, The Associated Press has learned.

    Wonder what finally brought this on?

    ReplyDelete
  35. DivaJood said...
    Mike, it's a powerful article. But I think that the collapse of US Civilization is unavoidable. The center cannot hold, and we are going to break apart.

    Several years ago, I started thinking that there should be at least four separate nations carved out of the USA - and I believe this even today. Something has to change. And Bush is our Nero.


    Well Divajood..........I'm certainly in agreement that Bush is our Nero.............however although collapse is highly likely if we CONTINUE to do nothing.......I prefer to remain hopeful that if we take swift and decisive action, and make a firm and strong committment to a solution then we can avert a collapse although it is too late to do so without significant pain and hardship.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Clif said "There has been a paradigm shift in the energy world whereby oil producers are no longer inclined to rapidly exhaust their resource for the sake of accelerating the misuse of a precious and finite commodity. This sentiment prevails inside and outside of OPEC countries but has yet to be appreciated among the major energy consuming countries of the world. "

    Clif, I have noticed the same thing...........the OPEC countries appear to have consciously decided to cut back production which is a clear indication they have decided to hoard or sit on their resources because they KNOW higer prices are coming and if they sit on their resources and only sell as much as they have to they will get significantly HIGHER prices at a later time.

    American Oil Giants like Exxon are using similar tactics instead of investing in increased production, Exxon is only investing enough to maintain production and is buying shares back and relying on steadily rising oil prices to boost earnings per share so the CEO's and other execs can award themselves hundreds of millions in bonus and/or options.........what they are essentially doing is managing the share price just enough to hit objectives so the execs can be in the money and siphon of a fortune at shareholder expense........a nice gig if you can get it.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Clif said "No it makes no sense. As long as the oil markets are in Contango the natural move is to buy and store. Effectively hoarding oil. You have to look at the price. OPEC is not happy with the what they now consider a bargain price for oil and they want it higher. I've posted a few times that the last thing we will see before TSHTF is low oil inventories in OECD countries and it will be at far higher prices than today.

    What I think is happening is OPEC is testing to see of non OPEC sources can deliver or if OECD stocks will go down. The reason is very sinister they want to repeat the 1970's embargo and get rid of Israel once and for all. At the moment they are a bit peeved because its not clear that a embargo would be devastating.

    I'd suggest you give it a year or so and the political goals of OPEC will become clear in any case I fully expect another Arab embargo in the next few years.

    Remember the last time they did this we pumped around 9-10 million barrels a day in the US and used around 10-11 million barrels a day demand."


    Clif that makes a lot of sense.........I discussed something similar several weeks ago and I stated that could very well be a plausible scenario as well.......but your right we will need more time to see how this plays out and what the players motives are.............if your around tonight i'd like to hear you expand on this idea.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Today we pump 5.5-6 million barrels a day in the US (including Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico) HOWEVER we use upwards of 21.5 - 22 million barrels a day and it is NOT just the US which is addicted to their oil, the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and the Indians need the imported oil from the Persian Gulf for their expanding economies. This would mean that the Gulf States could hold the western societies and their east Asian suppliers hostage to the oil the gulf states have. Only the Former soviet States would be safe from a Arab oil embargo, but would in fact profit from it as they are an exporting country, and the pump 9-10 million barrels a day which they export around half.

    It looks like we face problems which Rome never even though existed in their time......

    Like I said good article Mike......"

    Clif I also discussed this issue several weeks ago the person I talked with thinks Japan will take Sakhaline island by force to insure their access to oil........he also stated America would use its navy to seize Mexico's and possibly Brazil's off shore oil wells if the crisis becomes severe...........whats your opinion on this.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi Lydia and Guys!

    Oh, sheesh, I was posted some comments earlier today but I was on the wrong thread! LOLMAO

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anyway, thank you Lydia! :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Clif said "If your serious then follow this story back.

    Why is their no bunker fuel in South Africa logistical problem right ?

    Show me. I've been following bunker fuel now for about a year and I've seen persistent and chronic shortages to pop up world wide.
    This is back in 2003."

    Clif I checked out the link and skimmed most of the thread...........how serious is this, I was under the immpression that Sassol produces the majority of South Africa's energy by making synthetic fuels from coal and natural gas.......while i'm certainly not disputing that they also use oil and that there are Bunker oil shortages i'm just wondering overall and in context how serious of a problem this is........is it a serious problem or merely an indicator of tight oil markets or Peak Oil?

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  42. Hi SQ, were you posting on the previous thread?

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  43. Hi Mike!

    Yep, I sure did! LOL

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  44. Clif one more thing........i've seen the dollar Rally significantly over the last month or so and i'm scratich my head why........the only thing that adds up to me is Bernanke is printing money and monetizing our debt in order to prop up the dollar........if thats the case then all the hawkish talk about inflation certainly makes sense as well.

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  45. Larry said...
    The Oversight Committee has learned that over the objections of the National Archives, Vice President Cheney exempted his office from the presidential order that establishes government-wide procedures for safeguarding classified national security information. The Vice President asserts that his office is not an "entity within the executive branch."

    Cheney decides on his own that he is above the law.

    Just like Bush is."


    Gee Cheney thinks he is not an "entity within the Executive Branch...........well since he is part of the Senate which in turn is part of Congress I guess we are to assume Cheney is subservient to Congress since Bush is above Cheney and the Ececutive is EQUAL to the Legislative and Judicial branches..........so maybe Pelosi should make herself useful and tell Cheney to shut up and go sit in the corner with a pointy hat on!

    ReplyDelete
  46. clif said...
    Going DOWN?

    Bush falls to 26% in Newsweek poll.

    Pony for your thoughts.

    He's headed to the Cheney "teens" it looks like....."


    Thats an ALL TIME LOW!

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it Dolt!

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  47. Mike peak oil WON"T hit the US first, it will hit countries with lower GDP's and struggling economies, like Zimbabwe, Pakistan (which is suffering large scale riots from electrical blackouts )

    Wanna bet Musharraf wished AQ Kahn had spent his time building nuclear power plants instead of bombs right now because the greatest danger to Musharraf is HIS own pissed off people NOT anybody in Afghanistan or India,

    Indonesia used to be an exporter of OIL but they need to import it now a days but do not have enough capital to buy it at 76 dollars a barrel (the Tapis price) which is what Asian countries bid against each other with.

    In Africa Senegal and other countries are experiencing electrical generation problems and smaller growing economies are finding things like Bunker C crude for large diesel engines for their ships and power generation is something they can no longer afford with Oil at $70 a barrel, and the Saudis are trying o drive the price higher?

    The real way to know how bad the "peak oil " problem is, is how many poor or struggling countries who can no longer afford oil for their economies......not who loud the soccer moms and trailer park bubbas screech they pay $5 dollars a gallon to fill up their 3 ton 7 MPG vehicles any more.

    At least they can still afford it.

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  48. the person I talked with thinks Japan will take Sakhaline island by force to insure their access to oil.

    who ever you spoke with knows NOTHING about Japanese military capability, because the Russians could easily defend that very strategic and economically important island, especially since they still have around 10,000 nukes and would definitly remind Japan that they could do as the Americans did to them for any such attack, and the Russians probably wouldn't just nuke two cities to make their point.

    At the same time if japan was so foolish, the Chinese would take advantage of the totally destabilized situation to take Taiwan, and with the US trying to solve the Russian Japanese situation we wouldn't have enough forces or logistical capability to resolve a foolish Japanese attack and the resulting response by the Russians and the Chinese move to capitalize on it.

    Especially since we have most of our forces tied up in the Persian Gulf and Iraq.....

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  49. Bush is BELOW Jimmy Carter's worst ever poll, and is challenging Richard Nixon for lowest poll ever.....

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  50. Carl said...
    I disagree with your analogy, Mike, but you're not far from what I perceive to be the truth.

    Pick up a book called "Rubicon" about the fall of the Roman Republic, and you'll see that is a far better parallel to our current situation.

    Citizens began not caring about those who governed them. Equality became a joke, supplanted by an aristocracy and plutocracy, much as is happening today.

    The fall of the Republic began the imperial outgrowth, which is where I feel America is heading towards. We haven't even begun to flex our imperial muscle yet."


    Carl, I will check out Rubicon, but I think we are in complete agreement.......I also think the Fall of the Roman Republic most closely resembles ours.

    Let me elaborate firstly I could go into as much detail or be as clear as I would have like on the article because my length was limited.......in fact I revised the article twice to shorten it and it still came out longer than we wanted........I dont do to well expressing ideas that I have well fleshed out beliefs and am passionate about in less than 800' words although I think I am getting better and appreciate Lydia and Larry for being understanding with me in the future I will narrow the scope of my articles. But again when I wrote this I was hoping to ellicit these types of responses to clarify anything that might have been vague or not explicit and to hear your opinions on these key issues.......because as stated orininally in my title "those that are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it,

    Lastly Carl, I think Rome's decline and collapse is far more akin to our current situation.......however the reason I devoted a paragrapgh comparing us to the British Empire is

    1) I didnt want to be all doom and gloom, and i wanted to show how forethough, planning and descisive action can avert an impending energy crisis VERY similar to the one we now face..........I also wanted to show the most current and modern example of an Empire/World Power falling and being supplanted by a New world power US.

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  51. Clif, so how do you think the demand destruction will play out and do you think it will happen in the next year and will be an election issue?

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  52. As far as the currency manipulation goes I would Look to Asia, with both China and Japan both holding 1 trillion dollars in their currency reserves, they might be trying to prop the dollar up at specific strategic points when they are going to make moves with some of their reserves.

    That is as possible as the US governments trying to push it's value back up, there are too many players with too many dollars who can "influence" the markets to watch just one of them and subscribe all anomalies to one of them.

    Each player is trying to get the best position they can.

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  53. While I find the dollar rally an anomaly or conundrum as Greenspan would say.........I remain confident the direction of the dollar will ultimately be down........and down SUBSTANTIALLY!

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  54. Welcome "letstalk", is this your first time here?

    I like your blog, are Ron and Mentarch regulars on your blog as well?

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  55. Thanks Tomcat, i'll try and pop over to your blog this weekend and catch up on my reading.........I've been REAL busy I worked 12 days straight.

    But I love your writing, You and GEF think so much like me (more so than even Lydia or Worf)

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  56. The demand destruction is already playing out.

    The "rich" industrialized societies are bidding up the price of oil so the poorer ones can no longer afford it.

    As this happens everything which uses oil either for an energy source or resource stock for it's products like Fertilizer, Plastics, or Big Pharma will see a rise in their costs which will get passed on to the consumer.

    The cost of growing food and transporting it to market goes up, food prices rise.

    The costs of everything plastic rises.

    The costs of things which use the by products of the refinery process like asphalts, either get more expensive (roofing shingles and road tar.)

    This has the effect top raise the costs of building housed and new neighborhoods as the price of housing is dropping because of the housing bubble.

    A side effect is also local and state transportation departments do less maintenance to the roads which creates poorer infrastructure rising to costs of travel.

    Also as the costs of shipping rises the costs to the retail establishments rise at the same time people have less to spend, which causes a recession in the retail industry which spreads out through the housing and other markets which cause a recession for the entire economy.

    This may not play out by the fall of 2008, but if you look close the signs it is beginning are already there.

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  57. MIke:

    Ron and Mentarch are regulars on my blog and in fact, Mentarch is an author on my blog. :)

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  58. Clif, I agree that its STARTING today, i'm just wondering how it will play out........meaning will there be a severe oil spike followed by a severe recession that causes Global demand destruction.............or if the oil companies will TRY to lower the price and crank up supply when they see the whires of the industrialed world's eyes so to speak to try at stave of severe demand destruction at the last minute....which will probably prove far too difficult to time.

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  59. I'll stop by your blog this weekend to SQ, i've been REAL busy lately.........it looks like you ganied a lot of great new commenters though.......thats cool!

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  60. Mike:

    Looks like you have some interest in your post.

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  61. Mike there are far too many separate pieces of the puzzle to play with to know how it will play out.

    1. The Hurricane season in the Gulf.

    2. The situation in Iraq.

    3. The situation in Nigeria

    4. Any accident in any US refinery

    5. A economic slow down which will by itself destroy demand just like the Asian meltdown of the late 90's did.

    6. The situation in Iran

    7. A possible OPEC embargo

    8. A worse than projected Housing meltdown, or another Enron surprise to the stock market.

    9. A meltdown in Pakistan which throws the western middle east into total turmoil, which affects India and Afghanistan directly.

    10. Any Other Unknown.

    11. An unknown unknown, (thanks Ronald Mcdumsfeld)

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  62. Larry said...
    Mike:

    Looks like you have some interest in your post."

    Yeah thats great Larry, I've been interested in Ancient Rome and its fall since I was a little kid, it IS a REAL interesting topic and one we should all be more aware of particularly since the parallels and warning signs today are chillingly similar.

    But truth be told it was Lydia that suggested I write about this topic, so she deserves the credit.

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  63. Clif should write about the falling of the economy. He knows his stuff.

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  64. Clif, there ARE a lot of varibles and the odds of ONE of them going wrong are fairly high...........BUT it sure APPEARS GWN is hellbent on triggering the worst one of them all..........He clearly wants to attack Iran and that would be a nightmare for this country and could most likely be the end of life as we know it.

    The only logical thing I could conclude is to Rove and Bush attacking Iran and deliberately causing a collapse is a calculated way to USE the chaos and collapse to maintain power and avert their demise or the demise of the repug party and their power structure.

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  65. Larry I think a recession is almost certain........growth is anemic....and is actually negative when factoring in inflation.

    Now if you have an oil spike its all over the recession will be long and severe because the housing market is in dire shape and the Fed WONT cut interest rates.......so there is NOTHING to come to the rescue this time.........this reccession will be nasty!

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  66. I think we are already in a recession, that is propped up by Corporate America, before the fall.

    I do think it will get extremely worse.

    Warren Buffett is predicting a major recession by the end of the year.

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  67. I agree Larry, i'll take Warren Buffet's Word over GWB's or an idiot like TT!

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  68. The Pentagon confirmed that its e-mail system was hacked, CNN reported Thursday afternoon.

    "Here at the Pentagon, officials are confirming that they've been hacked," a CNN news anchor reported. "It's actually a fairly serious matter."

    The report continued, "About one third of the computer users here in the Pentagon that work for Defense Secretary Robert Gates had their email system penetrated.

    This is Bush's Homeland Security.

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  69. Mike I see it a little more complex then that, if McDumsfeld were still sec of Def, your thoughts might be operative, but with Robert Gates and the people he is choosing the Bush push to attack Iran is not going to be easy to push through the Pentagon.

    Two things to think about,

    First the push back from Admiral Fallon when they wanted him to take an extra carrier in the Gulf.

    Second is something the reichwing would do very good to pay attention to.

    The pentagon's push back against Bill Clinton when he wanted to integrate gays into the military.

    Les Aspin understood the military so he bacdked the generals against Clinton's attempts.

    The same is happening subtlety with Robert Gates. He is listening to the Wall Street people who know a war with Iran is insanity, and he is working to stop it, and since the orders for an attack go thru him and the Centom CINC Admiral Fallon it isn't as easy, because there are many logistical and tactically moves which need to be made long before the attack can be ordered itself. That is where the push back occurs, the Centcom CINC stating he didn't "need" the carriers. Bush either had to declare he was planning such an attack, or accept the military advice of his commander in the field......

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  70. "About one third of the computer users here in the Pentagon that work for Defense Secretary Robert Gates had their email system penetrated.

    Gates is NOT a neo-con, nor a "loyal" Bushie, which might be why his email system is getting hacked.....

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  71. WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a $32 billion package of tax breaks for renewable energy that would have been financed mostly by new taxes on major oil companies.

    Democrats came three votes short of overcoming a threatened GOP filibuster that was keeping the measure from being attached to a broader energy bill. Republican senators argued that the nearly $29 billion in additional taxes on major oil companies would have led to reduced production and higher gasoline prices.

    This is another indicator of the faltering economy. No taxes for big oil.

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  72. I wonder if Hillary, Biden or Obama was there to vote Larry.

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  73. I don't know Clif, but either way, Hillary and Biden would have done the wrong thing.

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  74. Thats very a very interesting and somewhat reassuring perspective Clif and it makes sense.

    But I still have to ask do you think I am right about Rove. GWB and Cheney's motives for WANTING to attack Iran........I personally think the obsession has nothing to do with Iran having nukes and everything to do with a last ditch back against the wall effort by the Neo Cons to attempt a power grab..........but at least there appears to be a reasoned strategy to throw a wrench in the PNAC fools plots and schemes.

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  75. clif said...
    "About one third of the computer users here in the Pentagon that work for Defense Secretary Robert Gates had their email system penetrated.

    Gates is NOT a neo-con, nor a "loyal" Bushie, which might be why his email system is getting hacked....."

    Probably part of the Idiot in Chief's spying on Americans program...........he must think the Pentagon is infested with terrorists...........he should try looking in the White House or better yet looking in the mirror if he wants to see a terrorist and war criminal.

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  76. Larry said...
    WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a $32 billion package of tax breaks for renewable energy that would have been financed mostly by new taxes on major oil companies.

    Democrats came three votes short of overcoming a threatened GOP filibuster that was keeping the measure from being attached to a broader energy bill. Republican senators argued that the nearly $29 billion in additional taxes on major oil companies would have led to reduced production and higher gasoline prices.

    This is another indicator of the faltering economy. No taxes for big oil."

    I've been saying this for years now Larry.........Tax breaks should ONLY go to those companies investing in alternate energy,or increased refining or production capacity...........the repugs are subsidizing and condoning high oil prices rather than working toward a solution.

    This is PRECISELY the type of groupthink, corruption and cronniism that will lead us to a collapse rather than a solution and a prosperous future.

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  77. Another reason why the rich should be very careful not to screw the poor and middle class - crime.

    When the poor truly have nothing and nothing to lose, they can commit the most vicious crimes.

    Hate crimes against the rich are very real. Virginia Tech. Jon Benet Ramsey. You can be the most powerful multi-millionaire, but it just takes one bullet by a crazed, suicidal gunman to lost it all.

    The rich really need to be more careful what monsters they breed, because monsters inveitably turn against their masters.

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  78. To lead us in a NEW direction I think we need a new age progressive like either Gore or Edwards.

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  79. Hey Sailerfraud:

    I was at yuor blog a few days ago. Glad you came by to comment.

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  80. although if I HAD to pick between Hillary or Biden I think i would lean towards Biden.

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  81. Sailerfraud said:

    The rich really need to be more careful what monsters they breed, because monsters inveitably turn against their masters.

    I like that comment. I hope it turns true in this case.

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  82. Mike attacking Iran was in the cards until the illegal occupation of Iraq went south.

    After that the neocons still want it, but the wall street backers of the GOP are done with the upstart neo-coons, and other forces within the power structure are also tired of their childish overbearing counter productive ways.

    Bush has no real power over the situation, either in Iraq nor any attack on Iran. He has played his hands and lost.The Iraqi people have overwhelmingly rejected the neo-con solutions, and only the Israelis and neo-cons want an attack on Iran any more. They are the real wild card in this not what Bush tries to "order".

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  83. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  84. In would pick Biden over Hillary anyday.

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  85. Excellent point Sailorfraud and one I didnt have the space to address in my article although I would have liked to............Excessive crime is exactly what happened in Ancient Rome during their decline and collapse.

    If you show disdain and neglect for the poor the consequences will eventually come back to bite you with excessive crime and possible revolutions..........the poor wont let their families starve.......they will try to take the food and supplies they need by force if neccessary.

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  86. I just hope Hillary doesnt win the nomination!

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  87. Money seems to talk, and the media looks to be building her up so the Repugs can bring her down.

    The conservative loving media.

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  88. A Pyrrhic Victory For The Fed

    Michael Pento

    June 13, 2007

    The recent sell-off in equity prices illustrates how vulnerable markets are to higher interest rates. It is my contention that the catalyst for the correction had more to do with Syria and Kuwait dropping their peg to the dollar than some epiphany from investors that the U.S. has entered into a secular trend of robust G.D.P. growth; regardless, the questions of particular saliency now are: how high will rates go? Why must they go higher at all? And does the Fed really target economic growth when it raises the Fed Funds rate?
    To answer these questions we'll start by asking another question: why are MZM (money of zero maturity) and M3 rising at 8% and 11%, respectively, when the monetary base has remained unchanged? The answer to that question is that of the three tools the Fed has at its disposal, the only one with any teeth is its ability to raise interest rates.

    Raising reserve requirements and open market operations have limited impact on money supply since current policy dictates that only transactional deposits are subject to reserve requirements. Not only can banks borrow from the Fed to meet those requirements, but since there is no reserve requirement at all on time deposits, those funds can be loaned out an infinite number of times. This leaves the Fed with one tool for fighting excessive monetary growth: raising interest rates high enough to choke off consumer demand for borrowing.

    When the Fed says it is worried about growth causing inflation, it is actually concerned with growth in the money supply causing inflation. They must be aware that real and productive growth in the economy cannot cause inflation, as there would be more goods and services to absorb any concomitant increase in monetary growth.

    Due to our fiscal policies along with help from the Fed and banks, we now have an intractable and growing inflation problem. But we have seen this situation occur before and thanks to a responsible Chairman like Paul Volker, inflation was tamed with a painful-but short-lived-economic disruption.

    Back in 1981 he was forced to raise the Fed Funds rate to 19% to soak up the superfluous liquidity. The resulting two-year recession was indeed painful as the U.S. economy suffered the most since the Great Depression. However, by 1984 the economy had turned the corner and so began secular bull market in equities and bonds. I must clearly state that I don't see inflation or interest rates rising to anywhere near the levels seen in the early '80s in the very near future, nor do I believe the direction for interest rates will be straight up-especially in view of the continued housing recession, which should lead to below trend growth for the next few quarters. That being said, the scenario which could unfold in only a few more years is especially troubling.

    Secular Bear Market for Bonds

    As I have stated before, I believe we have entered into a multi-decade bear market for fixed income that is only beginning. Not only are rates cheap in historical terms but longer term trends in the U.S. dollar, inflation and debt should lead to an upward trend in yields. Perhaps as early as the beginning of the next decade, these fiscal and monetary imbalances will engender inflationary levels exceeding those experienced by any other generation. The Fed will be forced to follow the yield curve higher using its only real method they have for fighting inflation: higher rates. There is little doubt how the economy will fare this time while the U.S. is saddled with record amounts of debt and rates are rising.

    Unlike in the early 80's,--when the U.S. was relatively unburdened by debt-America now stands as the world's largest debtor nation. Our national debt is now approaching $9 trillion dollars and the projected debt is over $59 trillion, which includes obligations for Medicare and Social Security (Source:USA Today). Debt as a percentage of G.D.P. now stands at over 65%. Back in the halcyon days of 1981 debt stood at just 32.5% of G.D.P.

    Victory at What Cost?

    How high will rates go over the next decade is anyone's guess but it seems clear that today's 5.25% is not high enough to retard the rate of monetary growth. The ramifications of much higher rates on an economy with such onerous debt burdens as ours are troubling. Imagine also what the effects will be for equities as borrowing becomes too expensive for private equity deals to be consummated while earnings fall under the weight of contracting G.D.P.

    Since the Fed has teamed with banks to inflate the economy and money supply, they will be forced to either let inflation rates soar or raise rates to such a level that causes a recession much worse than experienced in the early 80's. I have my doubts whether the Fed has the will to stick to its mandate of price stability, but if it does, we will all find that the cost of vanquishing inflation comes at a great expense for the economy. Then the Fed, like General Pyrrhus of Epirus after an early victory against the Romans in 280 B.C., may be forced to say "One more victory like that will destroy us completely."


    Michael Pento
    Senior Market Strategist
    Delta Global Advisors, Inc.
    866.424.9070

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  89. That is proving to be true and the guy who wrote the article is right on the point.

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  90. As of Thursday, June 21, 2007, at least 3,545 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,903 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

    Another party in the Bush White House.

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  91. Abu Ghraib Cover-up About to Explode

    (Brent Budowsky)

    Gen. Antonio Taguba is one of America’s most respected senior officers, was put in charge of the Abu Ghraib investigation, and has now leveled a series of powerful public
    charges that will soon blow this case sky-high.

    Gen. Taguba went public early this week in long on-the-record interviews with Sy Hersh reported in his New Yorker piece now on newsstands.

    Among other things, Taguba says:

    1. He was ordered not to investigate higher-ups in the chain of command, which means
    there was (is) a cover-up protecting the highest-ranking Bush administration officials who might have criminal liability.

    2. Early in his investigation he was threatened with career retribution if he dared to seek the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    3. After his investigation he was punished by being forced into early retirement.

    4. He suggests that Don Rumsfeld might have lied when he testified before Congress, which would be a criminal offense.

    5. He details meetings in which Rumsfeld spoke to him in terms that were sarcastic,
    rude and unprofessional shortly before Rumsfeld would publicly say how much he
    supported the investigation and wanted the truth to come out.

    6. He reveals specific acts of torture that are beyond what was publicly known, and videos of Abu Ghraib torture have not been released that provide strong evidence that the crimes of Abu Ghraib were known earlier and far higher up than previously reported.

    7. He expresses serious concern that the same forms of torture used at Abu
    Ghraib were (are?) also used at Guantanamo Bay, which remains open and the subject of world-wide condemnation.

    At some point Gen. Taguba will be called to testify publicly and will prove one of the most explosive witnesses in six years, while investigative reporters and almost certainly congressional committees are currently looking into Abu Ghraib.

    The implications of this are enormous because they go to potential perjury and giving false testimony to Congress and investigators, and lead outward throughout the dark side of the Bush years.

    There is a high probability that investigation of the Abu Ghraib crimes and cover-up will lead upward to Donald Rumsfeld and his coterie of neoconservative aides and their
    shadow CIA run through the Department of Defense.

    There is a substantial possibility this leads to the role of Alberto Gonzales on the range of torture issues at the Department of Justice and during his years as White House Counsel.

    There is significant possibility this leads to Vice President Cheney, the most aggressive
    advocate of what the world considers torture of any senior official anywhere in the free world.

    Gen. Taguba should be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his honor, integrity and courage throughout this shameful episode and for having the honor to speak out publicly, visibly and unequivocally now.

    The stakes are high and the storm clouds are gathering for those who committed, ordered or covered up crimes of torture.


    I guess things could get real interesting if this general ever testifies to congress.

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  92. He has Rumsfield and Cheney right in the frey.

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  93. From ThinkProgess
    Huckabee: ‘Most’ Prisoners In The U.S. ‘Would Love’ To Be In Guantanamo »
    Former Secretary of State Colin Powell condemned the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay yesterday, calling it “a major problem for America’s perception” and charging, “if it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo — not tomorrow, this afternoon.”

    Later, on CNN’s Late Edition, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) expressed his disagreement with Powell about closing Guantanamo, saying “most of our prisoners would love to be in a facility more like Guantanamo and less like the state prisons that people are in in the United States.”

    Pressed by host Wolf Blitzer to address the fact that “detainees are being held, by and large, without charges, without any evidence,” which is “causing a smear on the U.S. reputation,” Huckabee said it didn’t matter because hypothetically, “if we let somebody out” they could “come and fly an airliner into one of our skyscrapers.” Watch it:


    Huckabee’s fearmongering over the prospect of closing Guantanamo is ignorant of the facts. Critics of the current military commission system are not arguing we should let the prisoners go. Instead, the criticism is aimed at creating a constitutional legal system that would provide for the conviction of terrorists.

    The lawless environment at Guantanamo has dangerously tarnished the reputation of the United States abroad. As Powell noted, bad actors and “authoritarian figures” around the world are “using Guantanamo to hide their own misdeeds.”

    The Center for American Progress has urged shifting detainee operations to Fort Leavenworth, KS, and prosecuting the remaining detainees in general courts-martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    Digg It!

    Transcript: expand post »

    Filed under: Human Rights, Guantanamo
    Posted by Matt at 12:37 pm
    Permalink | Comment (88)

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  94. These are the clowns that want to run our country..........a bunch of authoritarians that love and condone torture, fear mongering and work tirelessly to turn our country into a fascist Orwellian police state............ANYONE that votes repug is a fool who loathes freedom, privacy and democracy!

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  95. So tired about dishonest BS propaganda in the MSM........WHAT happened to accountability these people have entire staffs to fact check and if they dont they should........they should be fined substantially for lying, saying have truths or conducting deceptive manipulative polls to deceice people.

    I was just watching Larry Krudlow on CNBC and he put up a poll that said the majority of Americans would not vote for Congress People who voted not to fund the troops..........he then said that All the Democratic Presidential candidates except Biden voted to not fund the troops that is more BS media sorcery to deceive people, The Democrats Most Certainly DID NOT vote to cut funding to the troops........Did they vote to cut the trops pay checks and make them work for free.......No, Did they vote to cut their food and leave them to starve in Iraq no...............They voted to cut funding to the war to bring them home safely rather than in body bags.............It was the White House who said the troops DID Not deserve a small pay increse despite having their tours extended and serving multiple tours.

    The General public who do not follow this closely will think the very different thiungs when they heat cutting funding for the troops and cutting funding for the war and Since that funding wasnt going in the troops pockets as salary that is a lie to say they were cutting funding for the troops.

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  96. Heres an idea Clif, how about they start paying the soldiers higher wages instead of dishing out the big bucks to the repug contractors..........I have a couple of friends that were planning on being career military guys that are looking to get out of the military and become contractors.............most of thos contractors are making between $100,000-$200,000..............Yet Bush and his cronnies said a small raise for the soldiers who are putting their lives on the line, seperated from their families, missing their children grow up and doing multiple tours or having their tours extended is "UNNECCESSARY".............thats how these hippocrites support the troops.

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  97. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Get ready for Congress to solve the energy problem just as it has previously solved the illegal immigration problem. A bill being debated in the Senate this week is described by some of its supporters as “far from perfect” but “a good start.”

    A good start, yes, to higher gas and food prices, to new taxes and to forcing consumers to pay for high-cost “renewable” energy sources — solar and wind, for example — that are to energy independence what bicycle trails are to traffic-congestion relief.

    The Senate bill, grandiosely and falsely dubbed the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007, should come with a section prohibiting price gouging — by Congress. The legislation “could result in significantly higher prices for gasoline consumers,” according to Heritage Foundation researchers. “A review of S. 1419, including the just-completed section on tax changes, reveals that the bill could increase the price of regular unleaded gasoline from $3.14 per gallon (the early May national average) to $6.40 in 2016 — a 104 percent increase,” write Heritage Foundation researchers William W. Beach and Shanea Watkins.

    “Gas consumers can expect to pay between $3.16 and $3.79 a gallon for gas in 2008 after adding in the estimated impact of the Senate energy bill. By 2016, all states can expect gas prices in excess of $6. As a result of S. 1419, consumers would spend an average of $1445 more per year on gasoline in 2016 than in 2008,” they write.

    Mike you and Clif will prove to be right. Gas prices in the near future, down goes the economy.

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  98. I have two past entries on why the rich need to be more careful when they scam the poor and breed hatred and violence, which is what the Republican party is best at doing.

    No one is safe from the right-wing terrorists, not even the rich Republicans

    Lessons for the rich on the right-wing fascist agenda

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  99. Clif, you mentioned this before a couple of months ago..........if the insurgents target the supply routes and convoys things could get REALLY ugly for our soldiers...............Thats why I wish congress would have showed some spine and cut funding and ended the war so our soldiers were out of Harms way.

    GWB is an incompetent fool not qualified to run a lemonade stand and he's running our country and making life and death decisions.

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  100. What the fooles in Washington do NOT understand is the Europeans did not HATE Germany in 1938 like they did in 1945.

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  101. Good comparison Sailerfraud:

    Satan 666 and Republicans watch who you breed. Good stuff.

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  102. EXCELLENT articles SailorFraud........I wish I could write short articles like that that have so much punch and are that powerful and concise.......good job!

    BTW were you on the Borchers blog or CoulterKamph last Summer........I'm trying to place where i've seen you before?

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  103. On the CoulterKampf blog. Dan Borchers contact me last year and I printed his Ann Coutler plagiarism article on my blog.

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  104. clif said...
    What the fooles in Washington do NOT understand is the Europeans did not HATE Germany in 1938 like they did in 1945."

    Great point Clif and one the PNAC idiots SHOULD have considered since they borrowed the Nazi plasy book and are following it almost to the letter........Rove even looks like a kraut eating jack booted Nazi........and he certainly acts like one the way his minions keep repeating a lie over and over just as Hitler did!

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  105. Mike:

    Read Sailerfraud's latest post about the Republican creep in the news.

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  106. I thought that was where I had sen you before Sailorfraud!

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  107. Sailerfraud pops in here occasionally to blog with Lydia.

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  108. Yikes he is a creepy and freaky looking character...........but then many repugs are!

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  109. Sailerfraud has a lot of posts on creeps like this.

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  110. Hey guys I must admit I am overwhelmed at some of the things you have written Mike but as I read what you and Clif say, I am beginning to put it together

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  111. Yeah, its good to have Clif back, we havent seen him much lately!

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  112. BTW Holly. thats a nice picture........I tried to get a pic last weekend and wasnt successful.......i'll have to keep at it.

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  113. Clif can tell you anything about the economy or oil.

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  114. It has to eat at Bush and Cheney that Congress and The Pentagon are tying their hands and NO ONE really takes them seriously........theyre own party even see;s them as a pack of fools that are a liability..........how long till they Throw the Neo Cons under the Bus and stop supporting Bush and he becomes a lauging stock to even much of the 26% of brainwashed fools!

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  115. BTW Volt/Tonja is 26% a lot..................BWAHAHAHAHAHAJHAHA!!!!!!!!

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  116. I think the Repugs have gotten so self absorbed in their own drives for power, that they will hang on till the last breath.

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  117. It is tremendous in the eyes of the listless drools.

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  118. Any word on Gonzalez being impeached................I mean even the repugs dont want to support this criminal..............repugs are pretty stupid..........but i'm not sure even they are dumb enough to support Gonzalez.

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  119. And what about Rove didnt that brownshirt violate the Hatch act and obstruct justice by destroying THOUSANDS of e-mail records.........yet he is still walking around free!

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  120. Gonzalez has been quiet lately, probably hoping his scandals will disappear.

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  121. Rove is untouchable or Fitzgerald would have nailed him.

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  122. Yeah but unless they get some shlub to fall on the sword for him it looks like they might have him dead to rights for violating the Hatch Act and Obstruction of Justice.

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  123. BTW Larry who would you like to see win the Democratic Nomination?

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  124. I still like Edwards. He seems to care more about the poor and working people.

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  125. I agree, I think Edwards and Gore (if he runs) are the only new age progressives and thats who I want to win.

    I like Mike Gravel also.....but I really dont think he has much of a chance.........they didnt even give in close to equal time at the last debate.......in fact it looked to me like they tried to silence him by limited his airtime.

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  126. Remember I said another "Enron"?

    Halliburton Accused of Accounting Irregularities

    Last year, Halliburton lost billions of dollars of revenue with the U.S. Army discontinued a worldwide supply contract with the oil-and-defense-services company. Yet Halliburton continues to report massive profits. What gives? A new reported column by Bloomberg's Jonathan Weil proposes an answer: Halliburton may be cooking its books.

    Through a Freedom of Information Act request, Weil got ahold of court papers filed by Halliburton's former director of technical accounting research and training, Anthony Menendez, who alleges that Halliburton reported "billions" of revenue from sales before the sales ever happened. For good measure, according to Menendez's court filings with an administrative-law judge for the Department of Labor in Louisiana, Halliburton retaliated against him after he went to the Security and Exchange Commission with his concerns last year.

    Menendez described Halliburton's "bill and sale" practices like this:

    "For example, the company recognizes revenue when the goods are parked in company warehouses, rather than delivered to the customer. Typically, these goods are not even assembled and ready for the customer. Furthermore, it is unknown as to when the goods will be ultimately assembled, tested, delivered to the customer and, finally, used by the company to perform the required oilfield services for the customer.''

    If true, that would violate generally accepted accounting principles. For companies to recognize revenue before delivery, ``the risks of ownership must have passed to the buyer,'' the SEC's staff wrote in a 2003 accounting bulletin. There also ``must be a fixed schedule for delivery of the goods,'' and the product ``must be complete and ready for shipment,'' among other things.


    Charles Mulford, a Georgia Institute of Technology accounting professor, reviewed Menendez's complaint for Weil. "I'm not using the 'fraud' word yet," he tells TPMmuckraker, but Menendez's allegations about Halliburton's bill-and-sale practices are "not in accordance with generally accepted accounting procedures."

    You can read Menendez's complaint in three parts (I, II, III).

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  127. People with nothing to lose like Gravel scare the establishment.........Hillary is clearly afraid of people like him or Edwards or Gore!

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  128. Well to be fair Georgie's friend Ken Lay did it, so Dead Eye's friends should be able to do it also;

    Right?

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  129. They have ignored Gravel so much he barely gets a notice.

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  130. I wish Halliburton would go the same way as Enron.

    Only difference is Bush and Cheney have too much at stake.

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  131. It couldnt happen to a more dispicable company Clif...........i'm invested in a lot of Energy companies and I wouldnt touch Halliburton with a 20 foot pole regardless of how much money it could make me.............the stench of Cheney and the Neo Cons is just too strong and putrid........in my eyes Halliburton is a symbol of torture, death, war and the destruction of freedom and truth I wouldnt touch that blood money.

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  132. I wonder if Cheney the bald faced liar that CLAIMS his holdings are in a blind trust and he has NO conflicts of interest is dumping his Halliburton Stock or at least selling covered calls on it?

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  133. I bet Bush and Cheney have a silent trust set up somewhere so Halliburton, Blackstone and Exxon can put their corrupt shares in, while they are raping the government funds.

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  134. Too bad Doug Basham doesnt pop in over here occasionally.........I really like his comments!

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  135. I don't think he blogs much. Too busy with other matters.

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  136. Mike an Larry:

    Edwards and Gore (if hw should run) are my choices too. :)

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  137. Holly:

    Do you have a blog?

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  138. Suzie:

    I realy don't think Gore will run. If he does, he would be good.

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  139. Cool, how we are all on the same page.........Clif and Lydia like Gore and Edwards as well.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Suzie:

    I wonder how the lesser candidates can still raise money when you never hear from them.

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  141. Hey SQ tell GEF to pop over here him and Tomcat write and think so similar to me i'm curious to hear his opinion on my article.......but if he's busy i'll probably pop over to your blog and Tomcats Sunday to discuss some interesting issues.......too many good things to read and not enough time LOL!

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  142. Like I said before I REALLY hope Hillary doesnt win..........I dont want to be forced to vote for her over Thompson or who ever the idiot repug is that wins........but i'm SURE it will be thompson!

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  143. I haven't seen GEF over here for some time, maybe you scared him away Mike.

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  144. I think the stupid Repugs will stick Romney in.

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  145. It appears the repugs are trying to ressurect Reagan with Thompson...........these old Cold war donosaurs are stuck in the past.

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  146. Thompson is an old washed up dragon that like Rumsfield and Cheney, wants one more round at the money wheel before he hits the home for old neocons.

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  147. whats pathetic and laughable is that Thomson PRETENDS to be some tough guy Special forces guy he acts like he is a Master of the Universe some courageous war hero or something when in reality all he is a pretend TV tough guy that has never served in the military at all.........but he sure talks a good game like all the other pretend tough guy repug chicken hawks!

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  148. Larry:

    I still hope Gore will run. :)

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  149. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  150. His current wife is 30 years younger, he has always had young armcandy by his side, he dated Lorrie Morgan until she got tired of the old blowhorse, so the "religious right" will have to alter their high moral standards for this old whoredog.

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  151. Mike:

    GEF has been very busy... chasing down those evildoers but I will give him the message. Of course, you can come over to my blog and tell him too. :)

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  152. well if "I" were Gore i'd wait till the last minute and jump in.......so i'm still hopeful he will do just that!

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  153. Suzie:

    Mike is afraid of GEF, so he wants to stay on his turf.

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  154. Dang Blogger! Everytime I try to post, I get an error message... ERRR!!

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  155. I get it also. I hate blogger. Will be glad to see it gone.

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  156. I will SQ, probably Sunday........Monday will be my first day off or at least most of the day off in 12 days........but I always take 4th of July week off every year, so I'll have a little more free time soon!

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  157. Evildoers?????

    Are you saying you got trolls SQ??????

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  158. Suzie has fleas on her blog and GEF is the blog exterminator.

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  159. Actually, my bike is out of commision, so I wont be going to the drag races this weekend.........so unless my buddy calls to help me fix the bike.......I should have free time tomorrow night!

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  160. Mike:

    Suzie's blog is getting like Huffingtonpost. Lots of updated news all the time.

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  161. Ahh you know your hitting the big time when you attract trolls.......i'll have to cme over there and help with the troll stomping!

    Our trolls here are all but dead!

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  162. She has a lot of contributors......I pop in and read a few times a week but i usually dont comment much.

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  163. Suzie has so many items to comment on that I just pick the latest post.

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  164. Mike said...

    Evildoers?????

    Are you saying you got trolls SQ??????
    -------------------
    Mike:

    No, I don't have any trolls. LOL

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  165. I think the trolls are afraid I will shoot them! LMAO

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  166. Larry said...

    Mike:

    Suzie's blog is getting like Huffingtonpost. Lots of updated news all the time.
    ----------------
    Larry:

    That's funny! I have a long ways to go to get even close! Thanks for the laugh!

    :)

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  167. Suzie:

    I got scared. I thought you were going to say I was the only troll.

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  168. Wow SQ, you have some great information up on the Warrantless wiretapping subpoenas and Cheney obstructing justice!

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  169. I told you Mike, her blog is getting big like Huffingtonpost.

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  170. SQ, is Carl a contributor for your blog as well?

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  171. Did you ever see Mentarch's articles on his blog. he has lots of links to support his posts.

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  172. I have on occasion........wow you know all the good blogs Larry!

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  173. Larry:

    Well, aren't you? LOL

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  174. I scour the blogs for ideas for a new blog.

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  175. Thanks Suzie:

    I didn't think you would notice.

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  176. Mike:

    Yes, Carl is an author on my blog. He writes some great articles too! :)

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  177. Suzie is trying to run Huffingtonpost out of business.

    She only needs one more ingredient.

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  178. Larry said...
    Suzie is trying to run Huffingtonpost out of business.

    She only needs one more ingredient."

    Whats that YOU?

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  179. Yeah, I like Carl's writing as well, I hope he pops back in to address my response to him........because we were actually on the same page and in complete agreement!

    ReplyDelete
  180. Suzie has banned me three times from her blog.

    She needs her own blog away from all confines like Huffingtonpost has.

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  181. Larry said...

    Suzie is trying to run Huffingtonpost out of business.

    She only needs one more ingredient.
    -------------------
    Larry:

    ROFLMAO

    ReplyDelete
  182. Larry said...

    Suzie has banned me three times from her blog.

    She needs her own blog away from all confines like Huffingtonpost has.
    ------------------
    Larry!

    You have never been banned on my blog! You're a bad boy for saying that!

    Yes, I do need one like HuffPo and I will have it someday! :)

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  183. Rupert Murdoch is still trying to get Dow Jones we need the SEC and FCC to actually do their job and tell the megalomaniac Neo Con that because of past actions he doesnt deserve any more control over the MSM...........diversity of opinion and truth in news has regressed to almost the dark ages primarily because of this greedy fool!

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  184. Suzie:

    I guess I got mixed up. I have been banned from so many, I thought yours was one of them.

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  185. Well getting off of Blogger was a good first step.............just curious SQ are you aware of all the problems Lydia had with Blogger/trolls last year?

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  186. Rupert Murdoch either threatened or bought off the other two potential buyers for Wall Street.

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  187. clif said...
    BTW dolty boy continue to play your Rovian games.............

    While the USA sinks under the re-pubie inspired massive debt and it's addiction to oil.......

    Which Reagan guaranteed we would stay addicted to oil instead of listening to the MUCH smarter man Jimmy Carter......

    Who tried to warn us all, we were just too stupid and greedy to listen till now when it is basically too late."


    You got that right Clif Carter was a good man and a smart one that got blamed for Nixon's ignorant policies and war related inflation and Reagan took the credit for his brilliant forethought in reducing our energy dependency and bringing down Interest rates that created the almost 20 year boom that Reagan stole the credit for...........................interesting how the repugs blame cater for what happened during his presidency but blame Clinton for what happened during GWB's namely a recession, terrorist attack and high oil prices.............what a bunch of hippocrites those silly repugs are!

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  188. You think he threatened GE and/or Microsoft?

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  189. It wasn't them it was two others who were in talks.

    Two lesser knowns.

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  190. Mike said...

    Well getting off of Blogger was a good first step.............just curious SQ are you aware of all the problems Lydia had with Blogger/trolls last year?
    -------------
    Mike:

    Yes, in fact when I first started posting here, there were a lot of trolls!

    Well, I gotta say goodnight now! :)

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  191. P.S.

    Holly:

    I have seen your posts on several blogs tonight and I hope you will come over and say hello on my blog too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  192. Go figure not too long ago Lydia said this blog was all men..........I think the last few days we may have finally tipped to more women or at least equal LOL!

    I guess the Trolls were scaring off all the women!

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  193. Of course the trolls scare off women. Trolls are neocons who only attract lizard scaled wart women.

    We have several women including Suzie and Lydia and the new ones we have acquired.

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  194. The Washington Post:

    The recent rise in U.S. troop deaths in Iraq is the "wrong metric" to use in assessing the effectiveness of the new security strategy for Baghdad, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said yesterday in a news conference with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

    Pathetic loser gets fired and he still tries to sugarcoat the U.S deaths.

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  195. Reuters:

    Blackstone Group LP priced its initial public offering at the top end of the range on Thursday, even as lawmakers pushed for its delay, raising $4.13 billion in the largest U.S. IPO since 2002.

    As if they didn't have enough.

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  196. Didnt the Neo Cons cry that Hary Reid is unpatriotic for calling Peter Pace a great soldier incompetent during a time of war...............interesting so I guess its Patriotic to FIRE a "competent" and GOOD soldier during a time of war.........it truly boggles the mind that these halfwits dont have their talking points absolutely shredded.......if they came out with something that lame and I was Reed or one of the Democrats i'd make them cry they would look so stupid!

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  197. Looks like they might have made a new breakthrough in biofuels;

    More sugary solutions for petroleum substitutes

    The global effort to develop new fuels and chemical feedstock from biomass - the so-called bio-refinery concept - has been neatly illustrated by two independent research groups. These demonstrate how sugars can be catalytically converted to hydroxymethylfurfural, a possible intermediate for the production of plastics and other products that currently rely on petroleum, and dimethylfuran, which can be used as a fuel with a higher energy density than ethanol.

    ......

    Compared with existing methods, the benefits of DMF production are clear. Using fructose as the starting material avoids many of the energy-intensive procedures common to thermochemical techniques - for example the gas compression step that is necessary to recombine carbon monoxide into synthetic diesel,' write Schmidt and Dauenhauer in the journal Nature. 'By replacing biological processes, such as fermentation, with more conventional catalytic methods the conversion of sugar to fuel can be hundreds to thousands of times faster than before. This permits the use of much smaller refineries and could reduce capital investment.'

    The authors add that the process 'will no doubt inspire many other combinations of chemical and biological reactions for biofuel production.'


    and

    Fuel From Sugar, Dimethylfuran

    Currently, ethanol is the only renewable liquid fuel produced on a large scale," says Dumesic. "But ethanol suffers from several limitations. It has relatively low energy density, evaporates readily, and can become contaminated by absorption of water from the atmosphere. It also requires an energy-intensive distillation process to separate the fuel from water."

    Not only does dimethylfuran have higher energy content, it also addresses other ethanol shortcomings. DMF is not soluble in water and therefore cannot become contaminated by absorbing water from the atmosphere. DMF is stable in storage and, in the evaporation stage of its production, consumes one-third of the energy required to evaporate a solution of ethanol produced by fermentation for biofuel applications.


    Looks like the corn-ethanol industry and their political hacks have something to block.

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  198. It seems to me like all the high yielding cash cow companies are being bought up by private equity............that tells me a recession is coming and the big money powers that be want to control all the companies that throw off loads of cash.............as cash is king during a recession...........once again the ultra wealthy rigging the system against the working class!

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