Saturday open thread

My calendar for Saturday scares me.  I’m going from 6:15 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. without pause.  This is an open thread for (I hope) your enjoyment and delight.

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  • Pingback: Right Wing News()


    Item #1

    Mr. & Mrs. Myers have been quite busy the past 30 years spying for Cuba.

    My memory is challenged as to the exact year, but was it not so long ago that the father and son team Hanssen & Hanssen were caught doing the same thing for the Russians for 20 years.

    Although the article is short on details, for obvious reasons, the fact that this has happened again and that it continued in both cases, for so many years undetected is appalling.

    Item #2

    The price of filling the tank.
    Before the election I was paying about $1.70 as of yesterday it was $2.70.
    That’s more than a 50% increase. Does anyone have a clue as to why?

  • BrianE

    Efforts are still being made to undo the Chrysler bankruptcy and return to some semblance of abiding by the law as relates to secured bondholders. While it seems obvious that investors in the future will avoid that class of bonds, I suspect that in time investors will return to them, though in the short term will require a higher return for what is now a new level of risk.
    I haven’t been able to determine is to what extent GM has shed its legacy costs, and if they haven’t, how does anyone but a deluded leftist think they will ever be profitable? Of course, the current residents of the White House can’t concern themselves with such practical matters in a time that requires so much effort to maximize their effect on the current crisis.
    I’ve read that the bailout is in the $70 billion range for both companies and may reach $100 billion dollars. While that seems like a lot of money, it scarely demands a mention in a year promising a $2 trillion deficit.
    The global warming jihadists must be salivating at the prospect of owning their own car company. Finally they can demonstrate to those capitalist pigs how a proper car should be built. They have spent the better part of the year reminding us that GM was building extravagant gas guzzlers when that’s not what the people wanted to buy. No reason to let the truth interfere with a good story line, though.
    Anyway, they are now free to build the car we need without concerning ourselves with such trivial matters as to whether the average Joe want to buy it.
    Since we’ve already invested huge sums in keeping the company afloat, and since there’s like more chance that hell will freeze over than GM becoming profitable, insanity will prevail and GM will become another GSE feeding at the public trough.
    You see, it’s not about the profit, it’s about saving the planet—and we just need enough time for people to come to their senses and flock to the car designed by the government.
    So, in the spirit of Amtrak, I give you the Government Motors Electric car. Range: 100 miles. Top speed: 72 mph. Fuel economy: exceeds 2016 epa standards. Price: priceless.
    Other than causing nightly brownouts as commuters plug their cars into the grid each night, a shining example of leftist technology.

  • suek

    I heard this AM that the biggest selling auto last month was the Ford F150. Better get them quick before the government finds some way to prohibit them.

    You know…I just don’t see how this can work. They can push the green cars all they want, but people still have to use trucks to get commercial goods from here to there. I don’t see how they can “green up” the trucks that are used commercially, and as long as trucks are available, people who want more oomph are going to buy them. Even if you made it a requirement to have some commercial license to buy one, how do they control the after market? Maybe require a commercial license to license the vehicle?

  • Charles Martel

    The coming collapse of GM under the guidance of our Moral/Intellectual Superiors could drive a stake through the heart of the American experiment with nationalization.

    First, the imposition of a new set of bureaucrats who are more clueless than the ones they’re replacing—especially given that they are bureaucrats who despise the market—doesn’t bode well for GM’s competitiveness or creativity.

    Second, the increased role in management and operations by a thoroughly corrupt union that is incapable of innovation or sacrifice means even more of the same old same old that brought about GM’s downfall.

    So, all that the Obamaization of GM does is to delay an inevitable, collossal failure. It’s going to be a bitch of a lesson to learn, but it could be the turning point in getting a majority of Americans to relearn the hard truth that government at best is a symbiote that turns into a full-fledged parasite whenever it’s given even the slightest opportunity.

  • Earl

    Sadie: the price of gas is related to the cost of oil. A barrel of oil is up to almost $70.00, the last time I checked. Supply and Demand. Demand is up — we are not doing anything to increase the supply, so the futures market is heading skyward. If the U.S. doesn’t drill, drill, drill….then everyone in the world knows that when the economy recovers, even a bit, we’re going to need a LOT more oil. “Whatever the market will bear” is an iron law of economics. There is no mystery about rising gasoline prices – don’t expect it to change soon, either. High gas prices are not a bug – they’re a feature, with this Congress and this Administration. Make your electoral decisions accordingly.

    Charles: Part of the answer is for every citizen to listen to Hugh Hewitt and NOT BUY A “GOVERNMENT MOTORS” VEHICLE. If no one will buy, the Feds will be more likely to divest themselves of the stock – hopefully on the open market. There is one Congress-critter who is sponsoring legislation mandating exactly this….that as soon as the bankruptcy of GM is finalized, the government shares be sold openly to private investors.



    I know about supply/demand laws, it was the source of the demand that I was curious about, since manufacturing within our borders is down or down and out or down, out, and shipped overseas.


    I think Charles has inadvertently has given the Gov’t Motor electric car you described, it’s name.


    “Symbiote that turns into a full-fledged parasite” Just plug that baby in and suck the electrical grid system dry!

    Btw…I know several of you are from California and I received this today from a friend in your neck of the woods…

    It is the month of August, on the shores of the Black Sea. It is
    raining, and the little town look totally deserted. It is tough times,
    everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

    Suddenly, a rich tourist comes to town. He enters the only hotel, lays
    a 100 Euro note on the reception counter, and goes to inspect the
    rooms upstairs in order to pick one.

    The hotel proprietor takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt
    to the butcher.

    The Butcher takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the
    pig grower.

    The pig grower takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to
    the supplier of his feed and fuel.

    The supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay
    his debt to the town’s prostitute that in these hard times, gave
    her”services” on credit.

    The hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100 Euro
    note to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that she rented when
    she brought her clients there.

    The hotel proprietor then lays the 100 Euro note back on the counter
    so that the rich tourist will not suspect anything.

    At that moment, the rich tourist comes down after inspecting the room
    and takes his 100 Euro note, after saying that he did not like any of
    the rooms, and leaves town.

    No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt,
    and looks to the future with a lot of optimism.

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the State of California is
    doing business today.

  • Earl

    SADIE: Demand is worldwide…who knows? Maybe China is picking up ahead of us — I doubt they’ve spent or committed trillions of dollars they will have to print or borrow. It could be India, of course – they’re also not hocking the ranch in order to service their electoral constituencies. On the other hand, maybe Russia has cut back on how much she’s pumping. I realize this doesn’t answer the question…but I’ve not seen anything specific, either.

    LOVED the story about the 100-euro note, by the way! I’m so sad for California — born there and lived 50 years in the state, but it was a completely different place back then.

  • highlander

    My wife and I ran across an interesting bumper sticker yesterday, which read:

    People — not Profit!

    It seemed to us that it very succinctly captured the different mindsets of socialists versus free marketers.

    Since there are so many thoughtful and intelligent people who comment on this blog, and since it’s open-thread Saturday, I’d be grateful for your help in clarifying what it is about that simple statement that is so just very wrong.

  • Earl

    The bumper sticker highlander mentions bears the same relationship to the true state of the world as what some of my teaching colleagues used to say (and probably still do)….”Relationships, not Rules”.


    You won’t have the one (in either case), without the other.

    Every relationship involves rules (Don’t hit girls!), and unless people I know are willing to follow at least the most basic ones, the relationship ends.

    Likewise, without profits we are all subsistence farmers — and that’s the way in which human extinction lies……


    People — not Profit!

    It reminded me of the bumper sticker…. Make Love – Not War, as if one precludes the other – totally disjointed thinking. Where do they think the got the money to buy the sticker from people or from profits.

    I’d love to have trunk full of bumper stickers to slap over the type that you saw, something that says:

    Reset Mind Set

  • BrianE

    Part of the increase in the rapid increase in gas prices is the weakening dollar.

    In case anyone is in a good mood this article should completely destroy it:

    “Our society is now based on consumption — 70% of the GDP. This is more than we produce. So to pay our bills, we use funny money invented in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve and the fiat dollar based on credit (debt) — the fractional reserve system. In 1930’s you bought what you could afford. You saved up to buy your home. The easy credit of the 90’s has destroyed the country. Now you borrow what you can’t afford – and the nation’s done the same.”

    Mr. Celente predicts the use of printing press money will cause the “greater depression”.

    “I predict continuing deflation of real estate, followed by extreme currency inflation — ultimately becoming worthless. This is why gold is the only honest money — the government can’t counterfeit it. Look for it to top at least $2000 an ounce”

    It is my understanding that a new wave of Alt-A loans will reset in the next two years, which may produce an additional 30% home price devaluation.

    It’s all good though.

    I just heard on CNN that the jobless rate dropped last month– proving the recession is nearly over. It’s kind of true. Instead of losing 600,000 jobs last month, we only lost 300,000.

    The government is spending upwards of $1 trillion stimulating the economy this year. $1 trillion dollars. For that kind of money we shouldn’t just be stimulated, we should all be having multiple orgasms.


    Welcome to Round 1 of Monopoly Money, you know that funny money played in the game born in that other Depression. Sure, no one wants to use the D word, but …the numbers are rising and not a tourniquet in sight to stem the bleeding.

    Well, BrianE, I wasn’t feeling too peppy before reading. My younger son was laid off last November and still can’t find employment. Needless to say, he’s not feeling peppy either.

    Those ‘upbeat’ unemployment stats (only 300,000) will rise again once the designated dealerships, factory closures and related businesses start to line up for their unemployment checks as well.

    “For that kind of money we shouldn’t just be stimulated, we should all be having multiple orgasms.”

    I think it was only Chris Matthews who even alluded to that one!

  • BrianE

    People- Not Profit!

    Reminds me of Obama’s speeches. Meaningless, but kind of catchy.

    Right On!

    Power to the People!

    It’s a hippe kind of thing.

  • Earl

    Fascinating stuff, BrianE…..and the guy has been on Oprah and Glenn Beck, so there’s certainly no reason to doubt him.

    However, if he really knew what was going to happen in the next couple of years, there would be no point asking people for money and spending his time and energy to explain it to them – he could just short this and that, and buy cheap futures of the other thing, and the money would come rolling in.

    So….entertain yourself with his “predictions”, if that’s your thing, but I don’t think I’d bet the farm on $2,000.00 gold anytime soon. Of course, it MIGHT go there, which is why I have a bit of my money in Fidelity’s gold fund. Diversify, baby……

  • BrianE

    Predicting the future is tough business.
    And yes, that’s why we have bulls and bears.

    Polish and Swedish officials appealed for swift action to help beleaguered Latvia on Friday to prevent its economic crisis from spilling over into other countries in Europe.

    The tiny Baltic state, facing a brutal economic contraction of up to 20 percent this year, is struggling to avoid a currency devaluation that would hammer heavily exposed Swedish banks and reignite worries over East Europe’s prospects.

    However, a senior IMF official, some economists and ministers from two other countries which like Latvia peg their currencies to the euro all played down the fears of regional contagion, arguing that Riga’s predicament was uniquely grim.

    Latvia’s prime minister, Valdis Dombrovskis, reaffirmed that his government was not planning to devalue the lat. The issue of Latvia’s currency peg was not raised in talks on Friday with the IMF and the EU, he said.

    “There is a threat that the situation in Latvia may spill over into the region,” Dariusz Filar, a member of the Polish central bank’s Monetary Policy Council, told reporters on the sidelines of an economic conference in Warsaw.

    “This situation is a challenge that requires a reaction on a broader scale than just Latvian, there is a need for more international assistance,” he said, without giving details.

    What happens when you hold a bond auction and nobody comes?


    What happens when you hold a bond auction and nobody comes?

    Appeal to the S & M crowd and see if they show up.

    Couldn’t resist taking a stab at humor…because holding a bond auction in a weak market is like asking someone if they’re into bondage.

  • Ymarsakar

    People, to be people, inevitably have self-interests that they work towards fulfilling. To eradicate profit is to eradicate the dreams of individuals who aspire to something better or more.

  • BrianE

    Ymarsakar makes a logical point. Is the local farmer under the same admonition to sell his vegetables at cost? Wouldn’t more people benefit if he just gave his vegetables away.
    As the Soviets created shortages fulfilling the collectivist dreams, even they realized that production increased as the workers were given autonomy over a slice of the land.
    Maybe the slogan should be People- Not Excess Profit!
    Equal to that, of course, is Taxes– The Rich Should Pay Their Fair Share!

    Problem solved, because the new god from America will recognize what is excess, and what fair is.

  • suek

    >>Is the local farmer under the same admonition to sell his vegetables at cost?>>

    I suspect that if you did so, we couldn’t afford them.

    Farmers work cheap.

    Besides…just like anything else, some are more skillful than others. If Farmer A is less skilled and averages an hour per ear of corn, and Farmer B is more skilled so that he averages 1/2 hour per ear of corn…will you pay both the same? Why would people – if offered produce by both – choose Farmer A’s twice as expensive produce over Farmer B’s produce?

  • Ymarsakar

    Why would people – if offered produce by both – choose Farmer A’s twice as expensive produce over Farmer B’s produce?

    Communism will work when it strips the free will of individuals away, making them slaves and automatons.That is totalitarianism is designed upon, the instinctive nature of humanity to obey and not to question or disrupt social hierarchies. But even still, humans have free will and self-autonomy, because they are self-aware, thus Communism and Totalitarianism are never as efficient as a grassroots system such as capitalism.

    The whole point of political correctness and Good Think is to make people do what you tell them to do by making them believe, feel, and think what you want them to believe, feel, and think. It works, to an extent, but never for long and never with smoothness. Because it is against human nature to be cogs. People want freedom. Not the liberty of the US Constitution, but the freedom to choose: between evil and good.

    The Left can only sustain itself at the cost of self-autonomy. Only by giving up your human liberties and dignity can you become a good cog in the machine. Abortion, nationalization, radicalism, psychological torture in extreme of the warranted threat levels, all are simply extensions of this one single basic truth. Human beings cannot be stripped of their free will and made into the components of a machine without dehumanizing humanity completely.

    And that, ladies and gentleman, is exactly what the Left must accomplish to further their goals. It is not a choice between Republicans and Democrats. It is a choice between human dignity, liberty, and duty or the existence of a Darwinian animal with no self-awareness, no free will, and no guilt over slaughtering anyone or anything that gets into one’s path.