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February 19, 2012


Strawman Cometh

Our first winter in Durham we woke up to 3 inches of snow. I drove out to work to the then new IBM plant in RTP. Mine was the only car on the road the entire way. The plant was closed.


Well the earlier link, shows the other downside of these schemes, besides didn't
we see this scam before with BCCI.

Thomas Collins

Of course, then there are those who think that Shariah compliant finance has too many infidel elements. See LUN.


the Wikipedia explanation will probably make your head spin,but it is a straight line from the Bible to early Christian doctrine about "usury".

Some orthodox Jews participate in something called gemach of competely interest free loans between eachother.

I can't find it but I think others have some fee system to borrow from a common pot with the fee to cover expenses and the time value of money others can partake later.No one can profit from the loan.


Isn't this why they set these up,

Rick Ballard

The sweet scent of Arab Spring.

The UN estimates more than 5,400 Syrians died last year as Assad cracked down on protests that began in March, and Saudi Arabia says the current death toll is at least 7,000.

Let's hear it for R2P.


I can't find the admittedly dark humor in that, Rick, and this is one of the reasons;

Thomas Collins

It appears from Clarice's 10:22 PM links and narciso's 10:41 PM link that the monotheistic religions have employed several ingenious devices to avoid calling compensation for the use of money interest. But a rose by any other name . . . .

It appears from the NY Times article in Clarice's post that the gemach may actually contain a true charitable element (that is, there really may not be compensation for the use of money). However, It doesn't appear from the article that the gemach is the basis for any body politic's financial system. It seems to be an explicitly charitable endeavor.


Here's a great line from a link at Instapundit -

"What kind of enormous, unyielding, painful daddy issues have you got to have to think that Uncle Sam has to force a CHURCH to pay for your contraception?”"


Update on Verify the Recall: It took almost 36 hours from the time I submitted my name volunteering to enter the Walker recall petition data for verification until I got instructions on accessing the database. I think that's because they are flooded with volunteers.

The email I just received also included this status update:

The end is now in sight! With less than 25% of recall petitions left to enter into the database, we are in the "home stretch" of this project!


TC, that comment was the limit of my knowledge on interest.


Thousands of years ago I suppose the market system was more limited and people rarely had need to ask strangers for loans--alms maybe, but not loans.

I think fees to cover administrative expenses and a something to compensate for the time value of money is hardly "profiting" off a loan. It simply makes the lender whole and allows for further borrowers to be served..

Rick Ballard

The butcher's bill for the abject failure of the President's Arab Spring initiative is not humorous but I don't get why the activation of an AQ splodeydope brigade in Syria is a big deal. Why is that more important than the civil war in Libya or the ascendancy of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt?

Thomas Collins

There could be profit without private benefit, Clarice. That is, any net income could be left in the pot for subsequent borrowing. I wouldn't be surprised if the interest (the compensation for the time value of money) is below market. It sounds as if the program is being run in a similar manner to a charitable below market loan activity. If the borrowers are having credit problems, it may be well below market.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vnjagvet

Several days late and many dollars short, here's what to me are some interesting factual tidbits. In 1932 the price of a stamp for 1 oz of first class mail went up to $.03. In today's money, that comes to $.50, as it did until I was born in 1940. See LUN.

Also, I distinctly remember the cost of a prime rib dinner in a fancy restaurant in LA in 1956 was $4.50. In today's $$ that comes to $37.50 according to the same LUN. Two weeks ago, I celebrated an anniversary dinner at the best steakhouse in town ( and one of the top five in the country). Prime rib was $27.50 for the entree. Of course, all of the other food was a la carte, but the portions were larger today than they were then.


We're talking about 2 different kinds of programs. In the one referred to in the NYT--it's just a straight repayment. I indicated that though I could not find it, I believed there was another kind--akin to a credit union--where there were additional fees but only to cover administrative costs and the time value of money--to keep the fund from going broke, repaying for lost borrowing opportunities is not identical to interest in which one is paying for more than those two things.

I think If the sort of credit union lends you $10k for 15 years, that means it cannot lend that money to others and there must be a way of calculating what that means to those in the group whose opportunity to borrow is diminished by the outstanding loans.Making that square is not profit.It is a return to the status quo ante. Profit is the money you borrowed, plus administrative costs, plus the calculated time value of money, plus something more to the lender just for making the loan. If it weren't lenders would be out of business.


Because we've seen this story before,Rick, the Hama incident, led to Setmarian, and Darkanzali, to cite two examples from AQ's
greatest hit sequence, and of course the late Usama was half Syrian, as well as Yemeni.


I wasn't criticizing what you said, jimmy.
You're quite correct, but the drops sometimes get lost in the shuffle.

I knew you weren't, which was why I didn't say anything until chaco piled on. In fact, I know one of the math people involved in developing the kidney exchanges, in fact had him out last spring to give an honorary lecture. It's great work. But the scope of the tragedy is immense.

(Another) Barbara

But if you're one of that 10% of women who are going to get breast cancer and one of the even smaller number who will have it caught early enough by mammogram, then it's irrelevant to that person what the public policy is; it's her whole world.

Yes, Iggy. So true. None of my bidness, but was your wife younger than 35 when her disease was discovered? I thought that virtually all health insurance plans paid for a baseline mammo at age 35, and then at regular intervals after that. Am I mistaken? Please ignore me if I'm intruding.


However, It doesn't appear from the article that the gemach is the basis for any body politic's financial system. It seems to be an explicitly charitable endeavor.

That's my understanding, TC. The Jewish prohibition on interest in practice only relates to loans within the community to people in need. Interest on arms-length business transactions has long been allowed.




Typepad is my enemy. Please excuse a disjointed few posts to follow on an OT fun ramble today thru Paris.


Beautiful day in Paris so I decided to take another of those Paris Walking Tours, where you meet an English speaking guide at a particular Subway exit at a particular time and off you go.

Today's tour: "The French Revolution (Left Bank) In the historic Latin Quarter; see where the revolutionaries lived and met, the oldest café in Paris, and the hall where Danton and the radical Cordeliers' club held their debates. Understand the background to the chilling stories: Dr Guillotin’s sinister 'razor', Marat stabbed in his bath by Charlotte Corday. Meet at metro Odeon, at the statue (exit 1)"

Arrived an hour early just across from Danton's Statue, and perfect timing to have a little jambon and vin rouge at one of the many cozy cafe's just across the street. Magnifique!

Off we go with an excellent guide, showing us where Danton's House was, then heading down a cobblestoned block to Marat's Printing Press. As our guide explains how all these Revolutionary hotheads got whipped up, he leads us to The Salon De Tea, where in the 1780's these rabble-rousers all drank Coffee with that famous revolutionary, Ben Franklin...


Up the block we head toward The Senate, stopping en-route to see the residence of various Revolutionary figures; their most famous clairvoyant; their most famous actor (man who later coached Napoleon on presentation and public speaking, and the woman who introduced Napoleon to Josephine.

Paused to see The Meter, which the Revolution mandated as the new unit if measurement for the country---1 meter supposed to be their scientists best guesstimate of 1 ten-millionth of the distance from the North Pole to the Equator. Cool.

Next was on to the Medici Palace, and a discussion of all the guys stuck in there as prisoners during the Terror, awaiting Dr Guillotine. Guide told us that Thomas Paine, initially well respected, was imprisoned by Robespierre after he voiced opposition to the death penalty. Guide said that if your time was up a solider would come down the corridor with a list and a piece of white chalk, and would make an X on the door of whichever prisoner was supposed to get executed on the following day. Guide said that in Paine's case he was so well known that he had the walk of the place so his door was always open, and that the X was written on his door when it was open, so that when they came thru the halls to collect the days victims Paine's door was closed, so seeing no X on the outside of his door, he escaped his fate. (Don't know if it's true, but it made a good story.) 3 weeks later Robespierre was arrested and the Terror was ended...




Now headed back toward the river to see where Marat was stabbed in his bathtub.

Of Marat we learn that when they took his body out for public display as "The Martyr to The Revolution", he had developed rigor mortis: "What happened next is pure farce. On the 16 July his body was paraded through the streets . What the people did not know was that when rigor mortis set in both Marat’s arms had flopped out the side of the bath and his tongue was sticking out in the agony of death. So the solution was to go across to the Medical School and remove the tongue and stitch on another substitute arm, taken from another body , in a pose holding a pen , more fitting the martyred revolutionary leader and a laurel wreath round his head. So the body was displayed on a sort of sarcophagus , pulled by 12 men with young ladies dressed in white walking beside it and a little five year old boy holding a flaming torch sat perched at his head like an angel, the stench of the corpse was hidden by drenching it with alcohol and the body was wrapped in the tricolour flag. The cortege was accompanied by gendarmes and by students playing music by the composer Gluck which lent a solemn air to the procession. For six hours this parade continued during which time the young boy fainted, the body started to smell dreadfully in the July heat and an overzealous member of the crowd seized hold of Marat’s arm which came away in his hand . Towards midnight the procession returned to the Cordeliers Monastery, the main entrance would have been where you are now standing, and Marat was buried inside the grounds. Later he was dug up and placed in the Pantheon, the former church of Saint Genevieve which had only just been completed by the architect Soufflot . Later still as the Revolution took another turn, Marat was considered far too ‘revolutionary’ and was ‘de-pantheonised’ ,in other words dug up and his body thrown into the River Seine."

That was all marvelous and startling to hear. Our very witty and fun guide described it all beautifully, to great and gruesome comic effect.


Here's Marat BTW.

Other interesting places and locales followed, but what I enjoyed, now after having done a number of these walks, is that it's the exact same locations where the Resistance fighters were during WW2, and Abelard and Heloise in the 1200's, and the same with the Romans, etc. The city comes a lot more alive to me now because you've got all these markers on the walls if you know where to look, that let you know what happened of interest thru history.

Now we passed thru the winding bustling streets of the Latin quarter, and stopped at the hotel where a young distraught Napoleon was staying at when he was selected to save the revolution from advancing Loyalist troops. Around the corner we stopped at The Guillotine Pub, home of the last remaining head-chopper actually used back in Revolutionary Days. Learned that the brilliant scientist Lavoisier, when faced with his own execution, decided to do a bit of an experiment about how long consciousness would remain after having one's head severed, so he told his friends he would blink if still conscious. Lavoisier reportedly blinked 11 times. Yikes.

Finished up with a short lecture on the destruction of the various 13th Century statues of kings adorning Notre Dame, that had that been ordered pulled down by Robespierre and the Revolutionary council, as a way to destroy the idea of Religion justifying Kingship. The row of 30 kings you see in this photo were all replacements, stuck back up in the mid 1800's.

Anyhow, fine walk. Highly recommended. Very much fun.

(Another) Barbara

Oh daddy, that was stupendously wonderful. Thank you. (But the 11 winks will give me some wakefulness tonight, I fear. That's some dedication to science, isn't it?) Bises.


Narciso, re yrs on Iran up thread, I've been thinking it's a good thing their facility with the 10,000 km range missiles got exploded, otherwise they could just fire them at US nuclear facilities (military and commercial) even before enriching theirs, as a variant on the definition of Fourth Protocol*:

*Wiki: "The title refers to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which (at least in the world of the novel) contained four secret protocols. The fourth of the protocols was meant to prohibit the non-conventional delivery of nuclear weapons, i.e. by means other than being dropped from aircraft or carried on ballistic missiles. This included postal delivery services or being assembled in secret, close to the target...."


Next thing that needs handling is the Iran/Pakistan/Afghan alliance.


I wonder how well Hindus can impersonate Moslems. Well, I've always said the Sikh religion was established to save the Hindus from the Moslems, maybe more.


The name Pakistan means Land of (the) Pure in Urdu and Persian.

It was coined as Pakstan by Choudhary Rahmat Ali, 28 January 1933: "Now or Never. Are we to live or perish forever?"

So, if I abbreviate it to Paki, it loses the Land and is purified.


Standing Buddha
Gandhara, Pakistan
1st century AD


A lot of people are dying because we're not allowing markets to work..

Spirit of Play

Yes, Obamacare is tyranny.
Imagine the victory of immortality :)

Spirit of Play

When I was a child I had a form
Blithely unaware of blood and bones
At six I ran away from the doctor with the needle
He never did catch me
Then came the dentist
and I became aware of pain

So let all the doctors and dentists play golf
And we'll be better off!

Spirit of Play

Imagine if all beings had forms changeable at will. Who would need the Ten Commandments and if your spouse coveted his/her neighbor's spouse, you could "copy" their form. What a nice confusion :)

Spirit of Play

These are not the "End Times"
This is the end of Time as we knew it.

Spirit of Play

Go play golf


Honestly that is not a helpful graphic. The people who get it have a level of info that makes the graphic unnecessary. The typical low info voter or one looking to MSM sees that as mean and ceases to listen to real facts.

It reminds me of the Alinsky advice to send Klansman to your opponents' rallies to taint them by their presence.

LUN on the difference between constitutional and effectual liberty is right on the money. If our schoolchildren are systematically taught that the individual is the cause of exploitation and the group and consensus must have primacy, our liberty is gone. Even before Ruth finds another vote.


"Global Warming and the Death of Science" is as good a precis of any of the issues most of us are concerned with as I have seen recently.

LUN as it deserves to be read widely.

Thomas Collins

The modern view of central planning in law, rse, is based on a hustle that would be funny if it were not such a threat to liberty. The hustle is based on the notion that in history, the battle for pure prestige results in master-slave dialectics which evolve into a universal and homogenous state in which those administering the law and those seeking adjudication possess the same idea of justice (that is, law is no longer the mechanism by which the ruling class advances its interests). The reality is that in the imperfect world in which we live, the self-evident truths of our Declaration, and a society with the type of cross cutting cleavages that we have developed, provide the best promise of alignment of adjudicators and the adjudicated on what constitutes justice (with the added features of economic mobility and the changing of places between adjudicators and the adjudicated). The theory of the universal state is presented most starkly in Kojeve's Outline of a Phenomenology of Right, and in his lectures on Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. A fairy tale version was developed by Francis Fukuyama, but Kojeve is the man for an analysis of this view of history. Obama and Ayres are useful puppets for Kojeve.


Instapundit asks the appropriate question this AM:

If the Dems were confident, would they be making such frantic efforts to shore up the core of their base?

Would like to have each and every one of the doomsters to answer this simple and direct question.

Thomas Collins

The article behind that link in your 8:25 PM post, rse, is the best essay on the use of pseudo science for tyrannical political goals that I have seen in some time.


And when you hear some Democrat claim Catholic Charities is backing their compromise you can now say: "BS, that is not what their own website says." Here:

In response to a great number of mischaracterizations in the media, Catholic Charities USA wants to make two things very clear:

1. We have not endorsed the accommodation to the HHS mandate that was announced by the Administration last Friday.

2. We unequivocally share the goal of the US Catholic bishops to uphold religious liberty and will continue to work with the USCCB towards that goal.

Any representation to the contrary is false.

That would make the entire DNC liars. They can claim Sister Keehan. That seems to be the sum total of support from the hierarchy of the church in the USA.

Thomas Collins

GMAX, I don't know whether I qualify as a doomster, but I'll attempt to answer the question. It's not just about the POTUSey. The Dems are worried about the GOP keeping the House and gaining a majority in the Senate. There are also state races. With respect to Obama, sure they are concerned, but getting 48 percent of the popular vote and slicing and dicing and vote frauding their way to an Electoral College majority is still a distinct possibility, in my opinion.


TC the tsunami tends to carry everything not tied down back out to sea. Pretty rare in US election decision for their to be a split decision. Go look it up.

Thomas Collins

We've had plenty of split decisions in recent history, GMAX. Reagan's victory in 1980, for example, was part of a split decision.

As I have stated previously, if I am wrong, I will gladly eat crow. But tsunami is not in the cards when mainstream media are fundamentally providing free adverts for progism.


I'm entering petition data into Verify The Petition right now and I have just one thing to say:

Bring Back the Palmer Method!


True, something like an alchemist's garb would be better,


Would not surprise me in the least that the photoshopped image of Zero posted above was the work of Axel-plouffe.

Jack is Back!

John Fairfax is dead at 74.

Some call him the REAL Most Interesting Man in the World.


Or like my favorite meme, the Sorcerer's Apprentice skipping through Rules for Radicals

Captain Hate

Yes the article that rse links states what we've all known; namely that the warmists are scientists only in terms of political science who reject every bit of skepticism inherent in the scientific method. Aligning themselves with confirmed dimwits like Manbearpig doesn't help their position; in fact one of my acquaintances who is ordinarily seduced by anything the NYT fluffs was offended by the lack of scientific rigor in "An Inconvenient Truth".

On an almost completely different topic, over the weekend the Marcy Kaptur ads which have been running on television on Cleveland stations took a turn away from boosting her qualifications to contrasting them with some of Kucinich's votes. I'm not sure what the dwarf's strategy is regarding the primary but I've yet to see a single ad by his campaign. The little punk is a lot of negative things but he has the survival instincts of a cornered rat. I'm wondering if he hasn't been able to read the tea leaves from 2010 and isn't just packing it in.

Manuel Transmission

rse, thanks for that AGW essay. I follow in Kim's shadow looking at the science and seeing the sham from that perspective. However, to see it from the perspective of the credentialed morons losing the total game after pushing all their chips on the pile really pops it to another level.



I sniff some false conservatives this morning. Particularly from 7AM to 8AM.

Jack is Back!

For all you Baseball (and Kate Upton) fans:)



Maybe you can help me. When I pull up a petition, I can only do about 6 lines before I have to shrink the image to see additional fields. By the time I can see them, they are too tiny to read. Are you having this problem?

I sent an email to TTV, and they suggested increasing the image size, but then I see even fewer lines and can't scroll down far enough to get to the second half of the image.

Any ideas?

Agree about the Palmer Method! Yike.


You know Santorum almost in spite of himself, touched on a nerve, you do not blaspheme the
true Faith, or you will get something more than the Comfy chair;

David Roberts @drgrist

Santorum's "phony theology" comment is quite revealing. He would very much like to be in a contest of theologies.

Thomas Collins

See LUN for a Spengler article on the importance, for those of the Jewish faith, of pushing back against the Obama rules on contraception and abortion facilitation. Although the article focuses on the progs' attempts to dismantle Judaism, it is relevant to everyone who opposes the prog project of trampling religious freedom.

Jack is Back!

Just got another email from Lorreta Young - the hacked JOM Google Group - for Canadian Pharmacy. Need to change the password. Saw Hit & Run was copied also.



I can't tell you how much I appreciate your optimism. Please don't lose it.


I'm just a simple caveman lawyer, and the modern world scares and confuses me' but I think once you pass 100% you're in trouble,

Rick Ballard

"However, to see it from the perspective of the credentialed morons losing the total game after pushing all their chips on the pile really pops it to another level."


There really isn't a Plan B. Not for the reality bulldozing climate fraud and certainly not for the reality demolishing Keynesian modeling. Daddy gave us a brief tour of the end of an oligarchy in France this morning and most of us had a decent view of the end of an oligarchy in the USSR twenty years ago. If we're not 'there' today, we're one rest stop away.

It's unfortunate that one oligarch's pride and money has fogged what should be a clear distinction concerning the path going forward but his abject failure suggests that hoi polloi are rejecting more than just the climate or Keynesian modeling propping the degenerate classes.

Danube of Thought

Minus 13 at Raz today.


True, Rick, but the natterings of the Nexus 6's Tyrell Corporation support team, like Mankiw is a little discouraging. Somewhat like Nixon's 'we are all Keynesians now'
how well did that work out, could it be that
that Burns, admininstered the grandpappy of QEs in 1971-72.


Obama could only wish he had those thighs and calves.


JeanD: What browser are you using? I'm using Firefox and not having that image-size problem. The zoom/unzoom and both horizontal/vertical scrolling work as they ought to.

In the FAQ they sent a link to in the email w/ your login instructions, they mention that Firefox and Explorer are best, and that both Chrome and Safari might stretch the image or have other sizing issues.

If you're using one of those and cannot change to a different browser, you could try resetting your screen resolution.

There's some (not much) more in the FAQ on this. Just note the FAQ they give a link to in the email you got is a DIFFERENT VERSION than the one on the VTR website.

Hope that helps...


AliceH, thanks for the reply. I'm using Firefox, and have the correct resolution settings, but vertical scrolling is limited.

I have written VTR again and asked if I should continue doing partial petitions and then exiting the site, or whether this is just mucking up the works for them. I hope to hear from them today.


What is to be said about this level of insanity, or self delusion, described therein;


TC Have you looked at the split of Republicans to Democrats in 1980? The miracle was that Reagan got elected with that split. And you really have to understand the conservative Democrats ( mostly from the Southern states ) who have all but totally left the prog party, to understand 1980 and Reagan's ability to govern.

A split decision, where total Congressional control goes one direction and a President is reelected? Without looking it up in an almanac, I can not think of an instance. I am sure there is one, but it may be the exception that proves the rule...

Rick Ballard


Why shouldn't a Pigovian modeler help in relieving the terrible burden of wealth borne by a simple oligarch seeking power? Aren't you looking forward to the tremendous policy debates contrasting the stupendous differences between chains forged by Pigovian rather than Keynesian modeling? It will be almost as exciting as exploring the differences between homooúsios and homoiousios.

Rick Ballard


Why shouldn't a Pigovian modeler help in relieving the terrible burden of wealth borne by a simple oligarch seeking power? Aren't you looking forward to the tremendous policy debates contrasting the stupendous differences between chains forged by Pigovian rather than Keynesian modeling? It will be almost as exciting as exploring the differences between homooúsios and homoiousios.


Oh. Pardon me if I'm stating the obvious, but let me just point out there are going to be TWO vertical scroll bars on your monitor. The one on the far right border of the monitor scrolls the full rendered webpage itself, but the one inside the object box containing the scanned petition has its own vertical scroll for just the image.


I'm popping up the corn with Canola oil, in the expectation of it;


--Yes, Iggy. So true. None of my bidness, but was your wife younger than 35 when her disease was discovered? I thought that virtually all health insurance plans paid for a baseline mammo at age 35, and then at regular intervals after that. Am I mistaken? Please ignore me if I'm intruding.--

You're not intruding, AB. In fact it gives me a chance to say something I like to say, which I will at the end.
But it wasn't a matter of cost.
She was probably about 45 when a mammogram would have saved her life. She had been a dental hygienist and figured she had acquired enough exposure to x-rays doing that and there was no known history of breast cancer in her family and she really had an overly cautious aversion to radiation exposure so she took a chance. (Ironically of course she has been exposed to massively more radiation doing all the CT scans since she was diagnosed than she ever would have been exposed to, via mammograms)
She did do a couple right after she turned forty but then stopped. I asked her to do them a couple of times, but stupidly didn't insist, which is the subject of no small regret on my part. Mammograms do slightly raise the risk of cancer in the general population and if you're not one of the people going to get breast cancer it's a good plan not to do them, just so long as you're omniscient and somehow know that before hand.
Now the thing I like to say to women I meet:
If you are over 35 or 40 years of age and aren't already doing so, GO GET A MAMMOGRAM at least every couple of years, especially if you have any of the factors which raise your risk like your first period before the age of 12, late or no first pregnancy, being overweight, being white, a history of breast cancer in your family, having taken estrogen supplements for menopause, going through menopause late, having dense tissue in your breasts.


JeanD, there is another scroll bar on the right side of the petition box, in addition to the one on your browser window. You need to scroll with that one to reveal the bottom half of each petition page.

I am with Alice. The "printed" names are even hard to read and the addresses like hieroglyphics.

Who knew Wisconsin had so many zip codes? Onward and upward!


I thought George Mason has wiser folks in their shop


Should have known,


AliceH and caro,

How do you say "D'oh!" in sheepish?

Thanks you two. Now retreating in embarrassment to reflect on my limited mastery of the obvious, and to enter a few more petitions.



I'm glad it worked out.

If you want to go the extra mile, an email to VTR telling THEM the resolution might help improve them improve their next iteration of the FAQs/Instructions. After all... they didn't figure it out, now did they?


AliceH, a good idea. I will do it now.

I had no idea how challenging it would be to figure out this henscratch, er, handwriting.


Time for me to take a break! I actually did at least cursorily proof read my comment, but still posted this gem "...might help improve them improve their..."


JeanD, good work! I can only do three pages without a break. The henscratch is hard to decypher. My brain and shoulders hurt.

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