Open Thread

Swings and Roundabouts

Over the last several weeks Dick Cheney has been doing the political talk-show circuit. A couple of weeks ago on Face the Nation Cheney took what appeared to be a cheap shot at Colin Powell by suggesting Powell is no longer a member of the Republican party. As night follows day, Rush Limbaugh was quoted as saying that “Colin Powell represents the stale, the old, the worn-out GOP that never won anything” (source CNN). Even Bill Clinton jumped in with a brief comment linking Cheney and a need for target practice in the same sentence. Enter stage left – one General Colin Powell.

With 17 mins. on Face the Nation Powell delivers a message wrapped up in some serious statesmanship and just a touch of diplomacy (part 1/2, part 2/2).

And now things get interesting with the release of a CNN poll:

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Monday, suggests that 70 percent have a favorable opinion of Powell, who was Secretary of State during President George W. Bush’s first term, and who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Persian Gulf War. Only 30 percent of those polled have a favorable view of Limbaugh, the popular conservative radio talk show host, with 53 percent saying they hold an unfavorable opinion.

In poll numbers released Thursday, 37 percent say they have a favorable opinion of Dick Cheney, with 55 percent indicating they hold an unfavorable view of the former vice president.

Among Republicans, it’s a different story. The poll suggests that 66 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of Cheney, 64 percent give Powell a thumbs up, and 62 view Limbaugh in a favorable way.

One has ask the question – will Powell be the man to lead the GOP out of the wilderness? All of a sudden the minority party just got interesting (and just maybe Time Magazine have an answer).

661 replies on “Swings and Roundabouts”

Who’s the leader of the pack?

Shepard Smith Says His Email Is Becoming “More And More Frightening” (VIDEO)
Fox News’ Shepard Smith’s pretty well known — and oft praised — for the way he can size up a news event and expose his own authentic concern without seeming mawkish or phony. And in the wake of today’s shooting at the Holocaust Museum, Smith went on the air today to talk about the emails he’s been receiving for “the past few months,” and how they’ve been getting “more and more frightening.”

Following all the howling from conservatives over the HOMELAND SECURITY REPORT, Obama can’t move until there is a massive outcry from US citizens. (The left).
The Sydney Morning Herald

Let’s just hope they don’t get our friend before strong action is taken. Although from that report, they probably know who to look out for already.

Has Labour ever been led by a more cringeworthy, moralising, poe faced, unlikeable tossbag than Kevin Rudd?

Is he reflective of the modern Labour electorate?….or is he out of step?

Was he just handy kryptonite to Howardism?…(in that he was just enough removed from Howardism to get elected , while also being just close enough to Howardism to get elected)…..or is he indicative of a further trend?

God this god-bothering wannabe gives me the squirts.

Can the UN pls just take him now. Set him free to roam the Halls of the World with Gareth where his heart lies.

He’s done his job here….ridding us of Howard.

Unemployment figures here not so bad…
might be because 1 hour a week is counted as employed.
What a fucking farce.

Indeed, Harry, however the way Pixie operates, I’d say he’s gonna be PM for another four years. Julia Prole has been annointed if he drops his bundle bigtime or “walks under a bus”.

HH: “Has Labour ever been led by a more cringeworthy, moralising, poe faced, unlikeable tossbag than Kevin Rudd?”

Couldn’t actually call Latham “moralising”, so I’d have to say no, H.

Kirri, that’s a brain hurter alright. Absurd. Flummoxing.
Certaininly understand why most Iranian Jews want to publicly get with the strength and vote for a Holocaust denier as “the lesser of two evils”. They want to be left alone.
But why bother identifying as Jews when they insult the diaspora and their heritage? Pragmatism?

Gold medal doublethink, imo.

Yeah, Jen, bodgie stats orright!

( no toonies worth posting tinight, kiddies) 🙁

Norm Coleman Ordered To Pay Al Franken $95K By Minnesota Court.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Republican Norm Coleman must pay Democrat Al Franken $94,783 to cover court costs for his appeal of Minnesota Senate election results.

A Ramsey County court administrator entered the judgment Wednesday. It results from the two-month trial that ended with Coleman 312 votes short of Franken.

more on The Huffington Post.

Sweet Jesus, poke Uncle Sam in the eye:

Health Minister Jesus Mantilla said the zero-calorie Coke Zero should no longer be sold and stocks of the drink removed from store shelves.

“The product should be withdrawn from circulation to preserve the health of Venezuelans,” the minister said in comments reported by the government’s news agency.

Despite Chavez’s anti-capitalist policies and rhetoric against consumerism, oil-exporting Venezuela remains one of Latin America’s most Americanized cultures, with U.S. fast-food chains, shopping malls and baseball all highly popular.

Mantilla did not say what health risks Coke Zero, which contains artificial sweeteners, posed to the population.

…so there it is ladies and gentlemen, the only country in the world where a Health Minister makes a (sideways) claim about aspartame!

You can’t ingest it if it comes in a can of Coke Zero (but can no doubt buy it thousands of other products! LOL)

Gotta love those crazy Venezuelans!

Well Ecky, since you can’t amuse us with a toonie on this morbid, sour evening…..Here’s a little offering of wry, gentle humour from the premier puppy.

Meanwhile…..on the Telscum front.
It looks like there might be some real movement at the station on the separation of the wholesale/retail business. Let’s hope this article is correct.

Splitting Telstra’s difference.
Tony Boyd
Sometimes it is obvious that Telstra is operating in a parallel world to the one inhabited by just about everyone else in the telecommunications industry.

In Telstra’s world, the division called Telstra Wholesale operates in a transparent manner and treats external customers on the same basis as its own retail units.

This view of Telstra Wholesale pervades the entire organisation from the chief executive down. It is a view that has not changed with the appointment of David Thodey as CEO to replace Sol Trujillo.

It is a view of the world that has shaped the company’s interaction with government, regulators and competitors and continues to do so. ……….

All eyes on the US bond market tonight as they try to auction off another 11 billion bucks worth of 30yr bonds.

The 10yr is sitting just one pip under 4% at the moment.

Watch this space.

Obama is already well on the road to saving thousands of lives!

Senate Passes Historic Anti-Smoking Bill.
The Senate struck a historic blow against smoking in America Thursday, voting overwhelmingly to give regulators new power to limit nicotine in the cigarettes that kill nearly a half-million people a year, to drastically curtail ads that glorify tobacco and to ban flavored products aimed at spreading the habit to young people.

President Barack Obama, who has spoken of his own struggle to quit smoking, said he was eager to sign the legislation, and the House planned a vote for Friday. Cigarette foes said the measure would not only cut deaths but reduce the $100 billion in annual health care costs linked to tobacco.

Fierce opposition by the industry and tobacco-state lawmakers had prevented passage for years, along with veto threats by the George W. Bush White House. In the end, the nation’s biggest tobacco company supported the measure, though rivals suggested that was because it could lock in Philip Morris’ share of the market.

Cigarette smoking kills about 400,000 people in the United States every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 45 million U.S. adults are smokers, though the prevalence has fallen since the U.S. surgeon general’s warning 45 years ago that tobacco causes lung cancer.

Victory against the forces of evil!
more on theThe Huffington Post

Ferny Grover

Is that a margin call from God I hear?

O ye of little faith in equities, give us this day our daily capital gain, for lo, even as we walk through the valley of index slumps, there will always be another flock of sheep to fleece to turn empty coffers into full.

Ye, verily, it will be another miracle.

Ferny, regardez les votres emails s’il vous plait, monsieur. Merci.
The latest on a former Australian political prisoner tortured under the name of Hicks:

David is getting on with his life in Sydney.

Dad, Terry, is unemployed. Remember how Tez “locked” himself in a cage on a Manhattan Street sidewalk at rush hour to draw attention to his son’s plight in Gitmo.

And David’s former Gitmo legal rep, who really put in some hard yards for his client ain’t no Major no Mori. And he wants to stay in touch with his former client too.
Bewdy, Lt. Col. Mori. Bloody lovely to see a man with integrity get some just desserts.

Struth, Ecko. Ain’t that bloody Mori the duck’s nuts? More brass than a fair shake of a hat full of brass monkeys.


Thanks for posting the updates on the Hicks family and Major Mori. I would dearly love to read about David Hicks and feel that the politicians have been censoring our access to information.

Do you know whether there is anything we can do so David and or his father can publish the information that they know SAFELY?

Paradise awaits the Uighurs, and the nastiest most chauvinistic (not to mention racist) this side of North Korea:

As a foreigner, you’re constitutionally banned from owning land. Instead, why not open a business? Just make sure it’s not a travel agency, scuba diving shop, grocery store, or any other type of retailer or wholesaler, since these are the exclusive domain of Palauans. (Of course, for the right price, you might find a local “owner” to partner with, but make sure it’s someone who won’t suddenly become a strict interpreter of Palauan statutes.) Legislation passed by the Senate and awaiting House action would also rule out work as an airport greeter, taxi driver, and tour boat operator—and, cherry on top, a separate bill also passed by the Senate would bar foreigners from fishing without a Palauan chaperone. Marrying a local could help, but bear in mind that citizenship is granted only if you have Palauan blood. (Last year, voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have allowed foreign-born children adopted by Palauans to become eligible for citizenship. The ballot included 22 other amendments, all of which passed.)

Making things worse for Palau’s foreign underclass (which may soon include the Uighur detainees) is a series of unjust labor laws. For Palauans, the minimum wage is $2.50 an hour. For foreigners, it’s $1 less—and often disregarded. Work contracts are also one-sided: When a foreigner quits his job before the end of what is typically a two-year term, he is forbidden to work again in Palau for five years. If his employer breaks the contract, there is no penalty.

…they’ll be asking to go back to Guatanamo with the month!

Can’t help you there, Grace, sorry.

On Release:

He(Hicks) said he would tell his full story at a later date when his release conditions gag had expired.,21985,22986121-661,00.html

On expiry of gag order:

“Convicted terrorism supporter David Hicks has yet to say whether he will tell his story when a gag order expires this weekend.

The 32-year-old former Guantanamo Bay inmate has received a number of requests to tell his story once the gag order imposed by US military officials expires on March 30.(2008)

His father Terry Hicks says his son has yet to decide whether he wants to talk.”

So it’s nothing to do with “government censorship”, but some reasonably might think that David was left in no doubt about what might happen if he severly embarrassed the wrong people.

Quo vadis?

Take the megabucks for a “Hicks Tells all” and live thereafter in perpetual fear of:

1/”accidental” whacking

2/ kidnap/rendition to a blacksite for the terminal pleasure of Company sadists.

3/harrassment of loved ones etc.


4/ shut it and suck down the sweet breath of relative freedom in frugal domestic comfort “going foward”?

This is what a man who just got off the boat yesterday looks like.
Democracy is supposed to give you the feeling of choice, like Painkiller X and Painkiller Y. But they’re both just aspirin.
Gore Vidal

Jun 12:;_ylt=A0WTUeZOCzJKmf4Azg0DwLAF;_ylt=A0WTUeZOCzJKmf4Aww0DwLAF

Just yesterday I was telling someone that interest rates were about to rise, and today I read in the SMH that Combanks 0.1% hike in rates was a ‘surprise move’.

It’s no surprise to me and anyone watching bond rates in the US, for they are the canary in the mine so to speak. (Friggin’ huge canary, but one nevertheless! LOL)

Rates are going to rise because there’s only a finite amount of world savings to plug an almost infinite hole of debt.

But the interesting part is the reaction of Swan Diver and Her Madge’s Opposition Mouthperson on things fiscal, one Joe Hockey.

Swanny: “shame on that evil bank. And more shame on any other bank that tries such a dastardly stunt”

Hockey: “see how Rudd’s massive debt has caused rates to rise!”

Both of them are playing against the clock folks, because this is not the finish, it’s only the beginning.

Swan wants to paint it as the bank’s greed so he doesn’t have to get into the nasty side of how our great ally, Uncle Sam, has fucked the world so badly it’s left the world’s financial system broke and needing recapitalisation. It’s too complex and sophisticated an explanation for the punters, so he’s playing defence. Blame the banks now, and stick to that story.

Hockey is, surprise, opportunistically grabbing anything that comes past and blaming it on the government. It’s got nothing to do with the government, and in fact we’re getting good support for our debt from the Japanese who have aggressively started buying. (Anyone noticed our dollar is doing VERY well? Same reason.)

The banks, who have published details of why they doing it, have pointed out that global markets are putting up the price of capital and they are just passing it on.

This time folks, who do you believe? Which bank? Or which polly?

Anyway, there’s plenty more of it coming, as I’ve been saying for months.

“If you put a group of Uighurs on a desert island, they will get together and build a boat. If you put a group of Americans on a desert island, they will start arguing about property rights.”

~Peter Goodchild. (as amended)

Kirri, there must be a compassionate contrarian or two with some influence already living in Palau who’ll show the poor bastards the ropes or the nets or whatevs.

Done right, Palau could covert media interest in the plight of the Uigyurs into tourism revenue. A decision based no so much on altruism as sould business practice. If bigotry runs rife against the New Palauans, many Old Islanders will miss out.
Expect Foreign Correspodent to sent a crew there by September.

Evening Ticsters.
Good to see ya all behavin while i have been rumblin up and down the east coast again. Tryin to keep ahead of the showies and keep away from one of the many varieties of flu they invariably inject into the district when they visit. Show fever is usually a bit more hostile than swine flu.

Hope they have all read Papiilion (spelling) on how to build a boat with local materials.
Actually some quite good photos of some of the local scenery on Google Earth.

So Kirri – sounds like you are saying that things are starting to speed up, (or slow down to be more precise) …is that right?
Because despite all the figures getting thrown around it seems as if we are all trotting along as of it’s not really happening- or`that’s the impression I get at the coal face. Everyone is still talking about expanding their businesses, increasing stock etc etc, while I am hunkering down.
Biggest case of denial I’ve ever seen.

Jen, the shit has not even got close to the fan, well, not here at least, but it IS coming.

The spruiking for ‘green shoots’ is a delightful exercise in lies and statistics, but read Ross Gittins in today’s SMH. The next leg of the journey is not nearly so rosy, as our exports will tank in both price and volume and our rising dollar will hurt too.

That was what was holding the accounts above the line, but not for long. And the rest of the economy doesn’t look too flash either.

If you want a good hint of how things are going, just notice the disproportionate hysteria over Combank’s one tenth of a percent rate hike, and ask yourself why. I think the government knows what’s coming and want to both stall the banks with some huffing and puffing, and at the same time shift the blame to them. In the commercial world this was a very small shift, but the idea that bank lending rates will start to rise despite the Reserve’s efforts just terrifies the government. Remember Howard saying that interest rates would always be higher under Labor? Well, they are now at historical lows, BUT they ain’t going to stay that way and Swan is trying to deflect attention now, before the idea takes root in the electorate.

My guess is that they will be forced to go a DD if they see this trend getting legs, and they can’t afford to wait while banks jack up rates in response to world capital prices as the government will cop the blame.

Anyone who just got hocked with debt in the hope that we’re on our way back to nirvana is about to get a VERY rude shock.

(See Peter Schiff on Jon Stewart talking about the US just trying to do a return to a massive credit bubble without structural change ie savings NOT debt. The US can put its head between its legs and kiss its proverbial goodbye, and instead of just letting its major banks fail, Obama has squandered a mountain of money keeping the worst players alive to do it all over again. They are truly fucked.)

Ah Miranda…
“Fielding has been smeared as a religious nutter, even though the real religious nutters are the green zealots who are hell-bent on destroying farming and mining for the sake of, at best, a minuscule environmental benefit.”

She’s fucking nuts. 😆

Kirri-@ 630
thanks – that’s what seems to be the reality out here in Retail land. I’m doing the opposite to those around me – not borrowing, running down stock and cutting back wherever I can, including closing a day a week to save costs and wages, and working part-time in a paid job. I feel relatively safe , but am branded an alarmist by those around me. I’ll keep listening to you….

Some one likes them US Bonds but maybe they are going to come up short now.
They will no longer be happy jappy chappys.

249 bonds of the Federal Reserve of the United States, each with nominal value of 500 million dollars, as well as 10 Kennedy bonds each of 1 billion dollars in value, hidden in the double bootom of a suit case, for a total of a good 134 billion dollars, equal to more than 96 billion euros.–134-BILLION-by-Max-Respect-090611-464.html

Coming to a GI Joe near you soon!
Not being one for the promotion of war i can only say that if this little bunger gets off the ground it may save a few wedding parties being bombed inadvertantly by drones etc to take out a sniper or two.
How GI Joe can now shoot round corners!!!

The US army has developed the XM25 rifle to give its troops an alternative to calling in artillery fire or air strikes when an enemy has taken cover and can’t be targeted by direct fire. “This is the first leap-ahead technology for troops that we’ve been able to develop and deploy,” says Douglas Tamilio, the army’s project manager for new weapons for soldiers. “This gives them another tool in their kitbag.”

gaffy, an open and shut case with a billion dollar dollar lining, eh? Musta been a Louis Vuitton.

Jen and Kirri, reckon Randy is beyond mere nuts. She’s a true zealot. A focused cultural warrior of Windschuttlean dimensions.

KR: Go along with your gloomy economic outlook. Considering the dodgy state of the fundamentals, the whole kit and kaboodle is being conjured (’til use-by-date) by bullshit, HOPE, spin and lashings of irrational exuberance.

Not that any of that sort of thing could possibly happen here…

I am off to check out the temperatures in Cooktown for a while.
See you all in a couple of weeks.

Those Iranians really don’t know that cheating has to be sublte, do they? Get this:

The official results prompted further skepticism, in part because Mr. Ahmadinejad was said to have won by large margins even in his opponents’ hometowns. Mr. Rezai’s hometown, for example, gave him less than a tenth of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s total there, the Interior Ministry said.

…so blatant it’s almost like saying, point blank, “we have the power to do what we want”.

It’s a slap in the face that may come back to bite them on the bum, to mix a metaphor with body parts.

From the NY Times:

Update | 6:50 p.m. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports that the Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf said on Saturday that officials from Iran’s Interior Ministry had contacted Mir Hussein Moussavi’s campaign after the polls closed on Friday night, saying that he had won the election, but asking that he not make any announcement. Mr. Makhmalbaf, who is currently in Paris, said, “After security forces attacked and shut down the press offices of Moussavi’s campaign in Gheitarieh yesterday, I was asked to act as their spokesperson abroad.”

He added that he was asked to spread the word that “last night Interior Ministry officials told Moussavi and his staff that he has won the elections but they should not make it public yet. Moussavi’s campaign, accordingly, began preparations for a public celebration on Sunday.”

Of course Mr. Moussavi ignored the Interior Ministry request and did announce that he had won. Soon after that, the Interior Ministry made what even Iranian state media reported was a “surprise” early declaration that Mr. Ahmadinejad had won, after less than 20% of the ballots had been counted.

….there was clearly some jiggery-pokery going on with the early pre-emptive announcement of Ahmadinejad’s victory.

On Insiders this morning, Cassidy interviewed Stephen Fielding, who waved his hands around a lot and told us, over and over, that there are ‘facts’ like carbon dioxide levels rising but ‘temperature’ hasn’t in the last decade, and nobody on the show even mentioned his claims.

Are they so ignorant of such an important bit of science that they could not easily refute this claptrap. Cassidy did not even ask him about solar activity (which Fielding didn’t mention, but has been reported in the press as saying IS the cause of global warming! Oh, the ‘global warming’ that ISN”T happening?). Fielding’s stuff is all over the shop, point blank WRONG on the facts, and discredited on solar activity, yet not one of them took this on!

If this is the best the ABC can do, then they need to get some real talent on the show, not just tired old hacks like Greg Milne. Although for once Gerard Henderson was reasonable on the stupid issues like Kev’s ‘sauce bottle’ moment.

Really, they wasted breath on the ‘sauce moment'(a lot of it), but couldn’t refute the silliness coming out of Fielding’s mouth.

What a fuckin’ travesty.

Kirribilli Removals:
…Gerard Henderson was reasonable on the stupid issues like Kev’s ’sauce bottle’ moment.

Gerard has always been the most sensible and moderate of those who get to sit in the “Loonies Chair”. Don’t know how Glenn Milne got to sit in the “grown-ups” chair though.

The farce that was the Fielding Interview was pure comedy gold. I think they are aiming to fill in for “The Chasers” while they are in exile.

I’m with Bill.
Irony: after FL 2000….. high-powered Seps getting their knickers in a knot over the rigged Iranian election.

None of the “Insiders” getting stuck into Flares Fielding’s junk science on global heating is piss-poor beyond belief. Being govererned by tickerless morons and their functionaries is one thing, having OUR National Broadcaster allow nincompoops like Fielding a free pass on his gobbeldegook is worthy of Fox.

It’s our kids and theirs who will be living with the consequences of such denialist folly.

Here’s a smidge from Tim Flannery’s review of James Lovelock’s latest book “The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning” in the current Monthly.

In a nutshell (bio-shell?), Lovelock reckons we’re already rooted and things are going to escalate bigtime during most of our lifetimes.

In a few years or a few decades at most, abrupt changes in Earth’s climate will begin, which will will end up killing nearly all of us and cause the extinction of almost all life on Earth. The tropics and the subtropics will be rendered uninhabitable by this shift, and the few survivors will cling to favoured regions such as Britain and New Zealand. Lovelock believes there is little we can do to avoid our fate, for the causes of climatic shift are now so entrenched that they are in all likelihood irreversible. In his view the best we can hope for is personal survival in a world of warring nations or, if we are particularly unfortunate, a world ruled by warlords.

Have a nice day. 🙂

Geezus Ecky – that’s pretty much ruined my day. (Although nothing I haven’t heard before)… Fucking Stephen Fucking Fielding getting away with his utter claptrap on Insiders is testiment to the sway of Windschuttle and Albrechtson still having their grubby hands all over the reins at Aunty.
Rudd is pathetic if he is going to allow this policy of so called “balance” (ie- as long as it is an opposing view to anything perceived as Left it doesn’t matter if it is utter bullshit) to comnytinue.
Not quiet as pathetic as his useless carbon trading scheme though- complete waste of time. Might as well do bloody nothing.

More wine.

Flaneur, you’re right about Fielding being pure comedy, bordering on idiocy. Either he’s a complete twit, or he’s grandstanding for more attention now that alcopops are off the agenda. (I strongly suspect the latter. How is possible ANYONE could claim the issues haven’t been debated, or that what he’s now touting is not many years out of date and well refuted by the most recent science? He claims to be dealing in the ‘facts’ when he most clearly isn’t, and I suspect he’s just getting some limelight. Was the panel being deeply ‘ironic’ and doing a Kevin, as in the way he didn’t comment on Latham so as to not give him oxygen? I’d like to wish they are that clever, but let’s face it, Milne is but one degree of separation from some pretty rightwing nutjobs.)

In any case, he’s a fool, and for the panel not to even mention the fact was bloody piss poor form in my opinion.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall when Wong and Co. meet him tomorrow.

Ecky, few people are really aware of what this thing can bring if the worst happens. It’s the job of our national broadcaster to do more than let grommets like Fielding tell us about how we are all sucked into a ‘faith’ in global warming, for which there is AMPLE scientific evidence, when he has it on complete faith, with NO evidence, that a Big Sky Daddy exists who doesn’t like human beings copulating without His sanction.

For fuck sake, Barry Cassidy, where are your balls when he sprouted that nonsense?

One for the Senator:

ScienceDaily (June 13, 2009) — The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than expected, according to a new study led by a University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher and published in the journal Hydrological Processes.

Study results indicate that the ice sheet may be responsible for nearly 25 percent of global sea rise in the past 13 years. The study also shows that seas now are rising by more than 3 millimeters a year–more than 50 percent faster than the average for the 20th century.

Virologists have estimated the recent flu strains evolution:

The international team also used a “molecular clock” method to compare the current virus to its relatives and estimate its age based on the mutations. This gives a rough idea of when the new virus is likely to have emerged.

“We found that the common ancestor of the (new H1N1) outbreak and the closest related swine viruses existed between 9.2 and 17.2 years ago, depending on the genomic segment, hence the ancestors of the epidemic have been circulating undetected for about a decade,” they wrote.

“Thus, this genomic structure may have been circulating in pigs for several years before emergence in humans,” they added.

…but the rabid conspiracy theorists will still believe it was hatched in a US conglomerate’s piggery in Mexico in April. Yep, and the earth is therefore only 6,000 years old too!

You can’t have it both ways.

Either accept the science (even with it’s ‘rough’ estimate, but verifiable methodology) or have ‘faith’ in some nutter’s convenient non-truths.

Michael Moore may have put the town of Flint on the (media) map, but now local government is taking it off…literally:

The government looking at expanding a pioneering scheme in Flint, one of the poorest US cities, which involves razing entire districts and returning the land to nature.

Local politicians believe the city must contract by as much as 40 per cent, concentrating the dwindling population and local services into a more viable area.

…an interesting necessity, and worth doing in a lot of US towns that have grown last century but now cannot maintain either the population or services.

Kirribilli Removals at 653
It’s an interesting topic. Here is another article on the same subject from back in April 2009.
The incredible shrinking city!

Many of the world’s cities are shrinking, and some urban planners say that’s a great opportunity to redesign and re-green urban spaces. Forget smart growth. The new trend is “smart decline.”

While this topic has an interesting twist on the economic decline axis, and the solution is something positive and pragmatic, almost all of the blogs featuring the subject contain some heavyweight ideological rantings.

From the far left comes the argument that this is about bulldozing out disadvantaged minorities. From the right comes the argument that this is about moving lazy thieving drug addicted blacks into good upstanding white neighbourhoods.

Jen, havn’t given up on Gaia but her prospects are not looking good. Gallows humour helps. So does, according to “evil lawbreakers”, educating people in one’s community by word and deed in boycotting Big Carbon & Allied’s products. Money doesn’t talk, it swears, said The Bobster. And megabucks formerly spent on Big C product that will now get spent on installing renewable energy systems is gonna provoke a whole heap of cussin’ from them….before they get the message that the times have changed.
Re-apprasing our consumption habits can really hit them where it hurts with the only thing they care about—-their bottom lines during “reporting season”.

Kirri, this piece from the boy from Flint hit his site about a week ago.
Roger won……. but The General, GM, lost.

Wonder if E-VM will rise phoenix-like from the ashes of Motown?

Every Adam in Eden’ll be hot for some E-V Motors action.

It’s a natural choice!



644 Enemy Combatant I am still very cautious. If they rush in too quick and turn people off like Bill Clinton did. Then the Democrats could have everything undone by loosing badly in 2010!

Along with the added issue of redistricting, which makes the 2010 doubly important. Especially of the Democrats want to stay in power for a long time.

Redistricting looms over 2010 election landscape.

Though two years in the future, the prospect of the next round redistricting is already rearing its ugly head for many actual and would-be members of Congress.

As they enter a key decision-making phase of the 2010 election cycle, the chance that they will encounter a very different map in 2012 could serve as both a deterrent and motivation to go for it.
For some, 2010 might be their last best hope to win a given district before it is shored up by redistricting, while others might want to wait for the post-redistricting election, when the grass could be greener thanks to a friendly reapportionment process.

And because so many conservative-leaning districts are now represented by Democrats, the difference could be drastic.

“They have to be thinking: Could it affect their chances moving forward two years from now?” said Jonathan Williamson, a professor at Lycoming College who has studied the effects of redistricting on potential candidates. “In states that are losing or gaining seats especially, that’ll make a huge difference.”

read more on The Hill

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