Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cab Thoughts 3/2/13

The Communists have been the dominant influence in the Progressive Party…. If it had not been for the Communists, there would have been no Progressive Party--I.F. Stone

On the eve of the Second World War, the U.S. had the 16th largest army in the world, right behind Portugal.

From Christine Hertzog at "Renewables are going to permeate the grid, and current technologies used in many natural-gas powered generation facilities are not designed for the start/stop operations needed to firm the amounts of intermittent renewable power envisioned in some energy plans. Therefore, we will need to figure out how to modulate load versus demand with other technologies, including storage and consumption management. Berberich also noted the need for a new grid business model, in which the volumetric billing structure must change." Note "consumption management." Just imagine what the bureaucrats are thinking.

The social climate in S.A. might influence the Pistorius killing: Independent researchers have compiled accurate statistics demonstrating convincingly that murders among White farm owners occur at a rate of 97 per 100,000 per year, compared to 31 per 100,000 per year in the entire South African population, making the murder rate of White SA farmers one of the highest murder rates in the world. The South African Government for the last 18 years has adopted a policy of deliberate government abolition and disarmament of rural Commandos run by farmers themselves for their own self-defense. The policy has resulted in a four-fold increase in the murder rate of Afrikaner commercial farmers. This policy is aimed at forced displacement through terror. It advances the goals of the South African Communist Party’s New Democratic Revolution (NPR), which aims at nationalization of all private farmland, mines, and industry in South Africa. Disarmament, coupled with Government removal of security structures to protect the White victim group, follows public dehumanization of the victims, and facilitates their forced displacement and gradual genocide. (This is from a web site named, believe it or not, Genocide Watch.)

"...I thought about all of your pain and perseverance, your unique family situations, school environments, health issues, homelessness, identity struggles." A religious figure? Obama? Another politician? No, Lady Gaga after her hip surgery.

Knacker (British term):
1. A person who buys worn-out or old livestock and slaughters them to sell the meat or hides.
2. A person who buys discarded structures and dismantles them to sell the materials. (online dictionary)
In the light of the recent horse-meat scandal in Europe this term is being used by economists to describe the mixing of good and bad debt in European bonds.

Silver investors acquired 27.1% of all silver demanded in 2011, compared to only 10.2% in 2006. In just five short years not only did investment demand grow by nearly 170%, but it also grew so quickly that investors were able to displace the rapid decline in photographic, jewelry, and silverware demand. So, in a declining business market, silver prices were maintained by investors. That sounds like the definition of a bubble.

For those worried that regulations will push down coal use and, consequently, rail usage, petroleum is much more expensive to ship by pipe than rail. And slower. It takes a minimum of 8 days for a barrel of oil from Alberta to pipeline its way down to Cushing but is a two day trip by rail. Petroleum will be a good replacement as cargo for rail. Summary? Never bet against Buffett. This also has relevance to the Keystone Pipeline debate.The weight of the crude and relative transit time of pipe vs rail is never discussed. The debate is always environmental, vague and worried, rather than hard and cold economics which weigh against the Keystone.

Iran and its efforts to develop nuclear weapons seems to be an overriding concern in the West. Are they more of a problem than the Pakastanis who have demonstrated their hostility to the West and are armed to the teeth?

The French term, "Jacobin," has become a complex term. The Jacobins are an order of Dominican friars that have practiced in Paris since the 1300s. During the French Revolution, Parisian radicals quartered themselves in the Jacobin convent of Saint Jacques in 1789, and now Jacobin can refer to revolutionaries or extremists of any kind.
The West has spent $2.3 trillion on foreign aid over the last five decades.

Who was..Henry Wallace?

"Lincoln" is not a documentary. Nor is it a McCarthy mixture of fact and fiction. It is most definately not an Oliver Stone entrepreneural docudrama. "Lincoln" is a two hour film taken from two pages of "Team of Rivals." And some of it is not factual.
Steven Spielberg said, that to explore the unknown is "a betrayal of the job of the historian” But it is the job of the filmmaker to use creative “imagination” to recover what is lost to memory. Unavoidably, even at its very best, “this resurrection is a fantasy ... a dream.” As Spielberg neatly put it, “one of the jobs of art is to go to the impossible places that history must avoid.” "I think we still don't understand, sadly, although historians have been telling us this for a generation - that slavery really was a cause of the war. However, Lincoln did start the war to save the Union; he did not start the war originally to free the slaves. But that became a purpose for him when he realized that he could no longer move forward without a true understanding of liberty and union. He ran in 1864 for re-election on the slogan 'Liberty and Union,' and so it becomes the second purpose of the Civil War."
Distinguishing the great efforts of Spielberg and McCarthy from the crass, stupid, sensational and capitalistic efforts of Stone and Moore will be with us forever.

Marilyn Monroe was baptized by Aimée Semple McPherson, analyzed by Anna Freud, befriended by Carl Sandburg and Edith Sitwell, romanced by Jack and Bobby Kennedy, painted by Willem de Kooning, taught acting by Michael Chekhov and Lee Strasberg, photographed by Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. She managed to work with some of the greatest directors in movie history: twice with John Huston, Billy Wilder, and Howard Hawks, and once each with George Cukor, Joseph Mankiewicz, and Laurence Olivier. Where there's smoke...?

To “Judaize,” to use a word Paul coined, meant to be a prisoner of this world, to believe in the visible rather than the invisible, the superficial appearance rather than the true meaning, law rather than love. More than a theological error, Judaism was an error in perception and cognition, a fundamentally wrong way of being in the world. (A guy has written a book saying that the western world defines itself in opposition to this idea, whether Jews are present or not.)

From a review of the book and TV series by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick called Untold History of the United States: "This book is less a work of history than a skewed political document, restating and updating a view of the world that the independent radical Dwight Macdonald once likened to a fog, “caused by the warm winds of the liberal Gulf Stream coming in contact with the Soviet glacier”—but now more than twenty years after the dissolution of the Soviet empire." (From the "New York Review of Books," no less.) Interestingly the authors admit that this is really not "untold" but rather has become “the dominant narrative among university-based historians.” The real problem, they say, is that this revisionism has yet to penetrate the public schools, the mainstream media, and “those parts of America that cling to the notion of American exceptionalism.”
So this biased, slanted and political compilation has already become college gospel but, so far, has not successfully penetrated grade school and high school?

Most of India's population lives in the more than half million small villages that dot the countryside,  closely connected to the other members of their jati. Jati means caste, a kinship group larger than a family, but smaller and less self-sustaining than a tribe. There are thousands of jatis in modern India, tight-knit groups preserving ancient customs and traditions, and they should not be confused with India's ancient class or varna system of warriors, landowners and untouchables.
Kim Jong Un and Rodman tells us a lot about politics, celebrities and diplomacy.

AAAAaaannnnnddddd.....a graph:

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