What’s Going on With This Blog?

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

UPDATE: August 6, 2010…Resurfacing for a bit…My beautiful betta Trooper passed away a couple of weeks ago after a vain attempt at curing whatever ailed him.  Probably old age…Rest in Peace, Trooper…Your beauty and grace lives with me…

Still learning about stocks…am totally immersed in this…With inflation that will eventually clobber us, must learn how to make money!

Continue reading

The Past Week: February 22-28, 2009 (Laura Bush Lives On; Budget Director Peter Orszag/Robert E. Rubin, Iceland Bankrupters; China Taking Advantage of U.S. Weakness As It Looks to Buy Foreign Oil Companies?; U.S. Deaths Spike in Afghanistan; Baracus Caesar Obamacus Meets Barackistanis)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

R.I.P. my camera, which died just after I finished taking yesterday’s pictures.  I’ve got to get a new one ASAP!!  I discovered today that a couple of my lantana plants are starting to send up shoots–which means, spring is really springing!!

***

While driving around a couple of days ago I heard a public service announcement for either the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs or The Big Brother program, I forget which one. Anyway, guess who was delivering the PSA?  Laura Bush!  Which got me thinking…I’m wondering when we start hearing from Michelle Obama?  I wonder what causes she will lend her services to??  Or is she too busy visiting all the governmental agencies so she can deliver hubby’s message of hope and change?

***

Truth is Gold had a really excellent post up on Friday called  Lest We Pay the Price Too Dear…Learn From History!

An excerpt, with permission:

I cross post today an urgent message, gleaned from three very well informed journalists who know their history well. Urgency dictates that I introduce them and furnish you with the links from which to read their messages in entirety.

The first, by Eric Margolis, reminds us of Afghanistan’s solid history of making mincemeat out of its invaders, from Alexander the Great in 327–325 BC, to the Soviets in 1989, disasters all.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/margolis/margolis138.html

In the second, Kevin Barrett reveals in OpEdNews’s “Obama: Political Messiah, or Just Another Third World Dictator?” the facts behind the most recent resident of our White House and cites Webster Tarpley’s work in detail, Tarpley being among the foremost political and historical researchers of our time. Further research has substantiated the fact that indeed, Tarpley’s work is almost faultless in terms of his list of players and the historical context in which they exist.
The third of this terrifying trilogy is Christopher Bollyn’s work on Obama’s new budget director Peter R. Orszag.

SNIP

Orszag, for example, could start by explaining exactly what happened to the Icelandic economy. Orszag was, after all, the founder and president of the economic consultancy firm which advised the Central Bank of Iceland – before it went bankrupt. How did Icelandic banks become so indebted? Ask Peter Orszag.

MORE

Read the whole post.  Read about his links to Robert E. Rubin, Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury and recently resigned head of Citigroup.  It isn’t looking good…

By the way, the Central Bank of Iceland just hired an interim governor, an economist from Norway. One of the former governors of the CBI who was asked to resign has been offered a job at….the Norwegian Central Bank. And, a possible snag?

“Law professor Sigurdur Líndal told Fréttabladid that he doubts a foreign citizen can be hired to the position, explaining that the constitution states that no one can become a public official in Iceland without holding the Icelandic citizenship.”

Central Bank of Iceland

Central Bank of Iceland

There’s that “citizenship thing” again…

***

Here’s some more news that will cheer you up…not.  Let’s catch up with some of China’s latest moves.  How will this play out?

First, China is on the prowl, looking to buy foreign oil companies.  From The Telegraph:

CHINA PREPARES TO BUY UP FOREIGN OIL COMPANIES

China is preparing to open a new phase in its race for the world’s resources by using its huge currency reserves to buy foreign oil and gas companies.

SNIPA conference of officials from the National Energy Administration has agreed to consider establishing a special fund for China’s state-owned companies to buy oil and gas firms overseas. The beneficiaries would be the Beijing’s three giant energy companies – Petrochina, Sinopec and CNOOC.

SNIP

The possibility of a Chinese state subsidy for overseas acquisitions may ring alarm bells in Western economies. Four years ago, CNOOC tried to buy an American oil company, Unocal, and succeeded in outbidding its main US rival. But the Chinese firm eventually withdrew its offer amid opposition from American Congressmen. They opposed the idea of a private US firm falling into the lap of a state-owned company, bankrolled by the Chinese Communist Party.

This time, China may calculate that Western governments are in a weaker position to object. They are, after all, spending billions on taking over their own companies, notably the banking sector.

MORE

More background on China’s increasingly bold investments abroad.

***

And what’s this? SPIKING DEATHS IN AFGHANISTAN??

***

While visiting RBO, I happened to see this ANNOUNCEMENT about America’s new name, Barackistan.

New! Congratulations to Cinie of Cinie’s World who has found the perfect title for the leader of Barackistan — “Just Barely President, Baracus Hubris Maximus (hail Ceasar!)”. Psst! Baracus Ceasar Obamacus is good, too.

Thanks to Insight Analytical‘s Grail Guardian, America will be referred to as Barackistan and all you little former free-thinking, openly-voting Americans as Barackistanis.

RBO couldn’t think of any more fitting name for the White House/West Wing/Congress than Barackistan HQ.

Any questions?

***

Signing off from Free America…where we’re still “thinking freely”…

THE PAST WEEK

*By Kenosha Marge

Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness–the Garden Waking Up! (Pic Heavy)

Obama Energy Plan Includes Nano-Generators That Bite

Canadian Banks On the Move Buying U.S. Banks While Bailout Recipient AIG Sells Canadian Life Insurance Business to Bank of Montreal (”Picking over the Carcasses”)

A Giant White Rabbit in Britain Reminds Us How “Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead”…

The SCANNER–International/Political Edition, 2/24/09 (Which Deficit is Obama “Halving”?; Canada Rubs U.S. Nose into Its Stable Banking System; GM/Chrysler Beg for Bailout Help in Canada, Too; Half of Foreign Criminals in Canada Are Fleeing to the U.S. [???])

*Maudlin Mawkishness in the Age of the Gush

The Past Week: February 15-21, 2009 (”Efficiency” Experts Michelle and “3-Card Monte” Barack Obama…Michelle’s Legacy at U of Chicago Hospital Under Fire by ER Physicians; Hubby Plans to Halve the Deficit via “Efficiency” (Among Other Things…); Spring Garden Prep!


I’ve Been Tagged…So Here Are Six Things About Me….

A few days ago (or was it MANY days ago…I forget, I’m losing track of time these days), I was TAGGED by our ex-pat in Italy (my ancestral homeland), American Indy in Italy….

Which means I have to write 6 things about myself and write to 6 other people. I’m going to include the crew at IA in this, too, just to cover all the bases here at IA.  I’ve probably broken the chain, but here goes:

1) I graduated #1 in my class in Automotive Technology back in the mid-80’s and then was given jobs like fixing water leaks on convertibles instead of the money jobs like brakes.  See how long my being pissed goes back??? (and it goes back even further, believe me!) (At least to my undergrad and graduate student days at Cornell and Rutgers School of Library and Information Studies, which is now called something else…)

2) I really love COOKING!  My latest kick is watching Gillian McKeith on BBC America. The show is “You Are What You Eat” and it is brilliant!  The one recipe that I have adopted with gusto is here Sweet Potato Pie Pizza….that crust is AMAZING!!  I top it with greens like fresh-from-the garden steamed mustard, kale or collards, or stir-fry up some broccoli and top the crust with that and lots of olive oil and garlic.   I’m making it tonight!!

3) I’ve gardened for at least 25 years and really got into it while recovering from foot surgery. I read lots of books since I couldn’t walk for awhile.  I had a huge garden in Jersey complete with a Troy-built rototiller. I canned tomatoes for the whole winter.  I’ve had to re-learn everything for the Southwest (high desert) and have two raised beds (about 3 feet high) to spare my back (had surgery 9 years ago).  You can see pictures of my winter garden on this site in various places.  I planted more lettuce yesterday, by the way.

4) My doggies and betta fish are my babies. Toro, the oldest and the one we bought via the vet, a chi but with lots of rat terrier in him (a “deer chi”).  Tico, who is probably a mix of chi and Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Slick, the min pin rescued from the street.  The fish is still unnamed and I could use a  few suggestions.  I’m trying to learn chess, and still listen to shortwave radio.  But I’ve just found a new site that I will be writing about that is really great…foreign TV!  My favorite TV channel is Turner Classic Movies, especially anything they air that’s pre-1970.  Preferably black and white.

5) I lived in London during the mid-80’s and made a lot of trips there before and after that experience (and the rest of Europe, too, including behind the Iron Curtain, including a foray alone into East Berlin). I had a work permit and had a blast working around London. I also attended Vidal Sassoon to perfect my haircutting (I had graduated from a local “academy” and got a work permit for the UK since I had been a student at 35!)  The only time I ever got sick traveling was when I went to Paris for a quick few days. On the train to the Hovercraft, it started.  So, I actually got sick in London, not from the traveling!!  I had also planned to go to Moscow and Leningrad and had my tickets all set from the official tourist bureau…but Chernobyl blew up.  The Russians decided to refund my money….I guess I was caught in the radioactive cloud as I walked around Kew Gardens that day…

6) I started inviting folks to contribute to the blog and wound up with the crew you see on the sidebar! Kenosha Marge is a really talented seamstress!  Grail Guardian is a history buff and works with computers!  American Lassie has worked in the tax field!  And Leslie works in a Chicago hospital setting and is a long sufferer as she deals with the media there!

So now I have to write to 6 bloggers…I don’t know who’s been tagged, but I’ll find some folks and tag them as soon as I eat lunch!!!

Make Your Plans for Inauguration Day NOW!! Important Info on Alternate Events to Help Get Through the Day!!

~~By Chicago Correspondent Leslie & InsightAnalytical-GRL)                                                     

(Alternate activities planned here at IA and Partizane.com follow Chicago Ball Information!)

GRL writes:

OK, gang! With the inspiring images of Democrats and Republicans joining together yesterday in the spirit of “bipartisanship” and the media’s glow about how this was SO MUCH better than Bill Clinton’s pre-election activities (what happened to “W”?), don’t you think it’s high time YOU started planning how you’ll be celebrating Inauguration Day on January 20th? If you check out the official Countdown Clock, you’ll note EXACTLY how long you’ve got to finish your preperations and get ready for the joyous celebrations possible riots in the streets of D.C. on this historic day!

Now, in case you couldn’t come up with the change for a ticket to the D.C. celebrations, here’s the latest on the big blow-out in Chicago! YES, YOU CAN ATTEND THE CHICAGO INAUGURAL BALL!!  

Here’s your OFFICIAL INVITATION courtesy…Chicago Correspondent Leslie! Leslie is in a real party mood (well, not really), BUT she’s offering her place to those who decide it’s an event they can’t miss!

CC Leslie writes:

Let’s all meet in Chicago – you can stay at my place and do the Inaugural Ball !!!

I do wish I could get excited about this inauguration. I know this is a historic
event – despite the person who is being “crowned”.
Alas, I cannot. I may not even tape it.
And I’m sure as shootin’ not paying $175 for a ticket to this party. — Leslie

—– Original Message —–

From: Chicago Inaugural Ball

To: undisclosed-recipients
Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 3:27 PM
Subject: Invitation to Inaugural Ball

In honor of
The President of the United States,
Barack Obama, and Mrs. Obama
The Vice President of the United States,
Joe Biden, and Mrs. Biden
the Chicago Inaugural Committee
requests the honor of your company
at
the Inaugural Ball
Tuesday evening the twentieth of January
two thousand and nine
in the President’s home city of Chicago

Formal attire          seven o’clock

Not everyone can be in Washington, DC to witness the historic
Inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.  If you can’t be in the
nation’s capital, why not celebrate this event with other supporters and
friends right here in the President’s hometown?  We will be toasting
Barack Obama’s swearing-in on the evening of January 20th, 2009 at the
Skyline Ballroom in McCormick Place — and you are invited!

For more information and tickets: http://chicagoinauguralball.com/index.html

***

Special Announcement from InsightAnalytical-GRL

Well, I have to say, that’s impressive.  But is Chicago REALLY his hometown??

Now, if you really can’t make it to THIS event, then here are some alternatives.

First of all, Partizane.com is planning to hold it’s own “PUMA BAWL.”  Here’s your special invitation !!!!!

Everyone is invited to the World Famous Partizane PUMA BAWL Open Chat

Tuesday January 20, 2009 10:30 ish AM until Whenever.

The only time management can gaurantee a presence is at night but the chat room will be open in the morning.  I will open the chat room in the morning so folks can chat throughout the barf barf Inauguration.

Dress Code:  Black tie for the boys, red for the girls.  No other clothing required but if you really want to wear a gown, please do.

Please join us.  BYOB BYOK (kleenex)

~~New Hampster

***

We here at IA, of course, have our own party planned…which ties in nicely with the PUMA Bawl!  If  you want to take a break from the festivities there, maybe to go to the ladies’ or gents’ room or to vomit in private, please stop by IA, where we will be an entirely OBAMA-FREE SAFE ZONE!!

We’ll be offering up a lovely selection of soothing pictures of sunny NM skies, mountains, and loving animals– as well as perhaps some other goodies–to help offer a place to work off all that partying !

And, if any other PUMAs who stop by care to announce their OWN plans, please DO provide a link and a brief description if possible in the comment section and we will gladly post them here at IA on Inauguration Day!!

SO, MARK YOUR CALENDARS and plan to drop by on the big day!!!

5. The Heart of the Season: Hats for Grail Mama and Friends Beyond Family

~~By Grail Guardian

We all know that 2008 has been a very trying year for all of us; the devastating election season, rampant misogyny and racism, the trampling of the Constitution, the endless betrayals of Congress and the President, the collapse of the world economy, the horrific tragedy of Bettyjean Kling and her family, the list seems to go on and on. For me there has been an added trial. This summer, my mother came down with what she described as a stomach bug. She was tired, weak, and couldn’t hold down solid food. After 2 weeks of applesauce and Jell-O we dragged her kicking and screaming to the doctor, and an ultrasound scan revealed she had gall stones. Or so we thought. After what was supposed to be simple laproscopic surgery, she emerged from the operating room with a ten inch abdominal incision and a diagnosis of aggressive gall gladder cancer.

What made this diagnosis especially awful is that about 40 years ago, she had developed Hodgkins Disease (cancer of the lymph nodes). At the time of her diagnosis, medical science was still a bit backward (although I’m personally not convinced we’ve come that far) and she underwent some of the first chemo and radiation therapy used to fight cancer. The ordeal she went through was indescribably awful; the primitive nitrogen-mustard chemo left her unable to life her own head and the radiation left her with disrupted balance and co-ordination, scar tissue, and brittle bones for the rest of her life. But she defied the medical community and lived. Though confined to a wheelchair and unable to do simple things like drive or put a holiday turkey in the oven, she eventually went on to go horseback riding, bowling, scuba diving, and even skiing!

Her life had been transformed, but she lived as normally as she could until she started to slow down again this summer. The surgeon was able to remove most of the cancerous mass, but there was a small bit in her liver that was inoperable. Although I know she was terrified by the memory of her first experience, after the oncologist assured her that they used much gentler stuff these days she summoned her strength and agreed to try chemo and radiation again. The doc was truthful – it was less obnoxious, producing some nausea and extreme weakness and tiredness, but nothing like the first time. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, we discovered it also hadn’t worked.

The day the doc delivered the news, I was (needless to say) a bit overwhelmed. Winter in upstate NY is not for the faint of heart or body, and even the short trek to the cancer center left her cold and tired. She and Dad drove home (Dad said she had slept a bit on the drive over, but I seriously doubt she did on the way back). I finished out the work day in a stupor and headed for home totally disheartened. As my mind raced with thoughts of what we could do next (the doc wasn’t optimistic about alternate forms of chemo, and she told us the side effects would be much worse), I climbed the stairs and found a box sitting outside my door. It was my own little holiday miracle in the making.

In the flurry of medical activity of the week, I had forgotten that our very own Kenosha Marge had e-mailed me a few days earlier to tell me she was sending me a Christmas gift. I opened the box to find a delightful custom-made InsightAnalytical shopping bag and an absolutely wonderful warm and fuzzy fleece IA hat. My first thought was my mother. I knew the hat would be perfect for her! She absolutely loved it, and when we met for a family breakfast a few days later she showed it off to everyone, being sure they noticed the InsightAnalytical embroidered on the brim. She’s never been to the site, and I’m quite sure she didn’t know what IA was, but she pointed it out and made all her friends read it. She kept it on through breakfast and fought with Dad every time he tried to adjust it or get her to take it off.

I sent Marge an e-mail to thank her for her wonderful gifts, and told her I hoped she didn’t mind that I planned on lending the hat to my mother. Well, not only didn’t Marge mind, she immediately responded that she had a Christmas hat that was much prettier that she was sending. (In Marge’s words:” Most of us gals feel a little better knowing that we look better.”) Within a day or so, she e-mailed me again to let me know that not only was the Christmas hat on the way, but 2 others as well! It seems Marge has made hats previously for others with cancer and she had some extras. My mother was quite grateful and delighted! She hasn’t had the chance to wear them all out yet (we got a couple feet of snow here yesterday, so the parents are staying housebound for a bit), but I wanted to do something special to thank Marge for her generosity, talent, and friendship. So now IA readers can get an exclusive view of Marge’s Hatbatty Hats, modeled by Grail Mama:

clip_image004

Christmas Hat

In case you’re wondering, we’ve decided to try an herbal remedy called Graviola, and in January hope to see specialist Dana Flavin König (highly recommended by my cousin Christina).

So again, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Kenosha Marge and to GRL (who has also been very supportive to me personally) for doing their share to make the season bright! And I don’t want to forget American Lassie and Leslie, who also have been great friends in our IA community!

Whatever holiday(s) you may celebrate (if any at all), I want to wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!

On Reflection: These Are The Times That Try Men’s (and Women’s) Souls

~~By American Lassie

On December 10, 2008, Grail Guardian posted an article  entitled How Long Has This Been Going On? (”What They Want is the World”…The Roots of Our Current Coup d’Etat) .  The post opened with this quote:

“What is past is prologue.”

Her last statement in the article stuck in my mind and I couldn’t get past it. She said,  “The good news is America has been at it for 122 years, and some of us have no intention of letting go of our belief in our Constitution.”

A link in a comment by “Music Producer” on December 12, 2008, at 5:15 pm, following InsightAnalytical’s re-post of An Open Letter to Caroline Kennedy–July 13, 2008 (Reposted and Updated 12/11/08) pushed Grail’s statement to the front of my mind and I had to go back and read her post again. I’m sorry to say I missed the real gist of the post the first time because the reference to Oliver Stone turned me off.  My mistake – and I’m ashamed to say that took my attention away from the true message of the article, which was fabulous – and a little scary. But I’m finding many things scary these days.

> Vodpod videos no longer available.

Grail’s post and this video from “Music Producer” plus the disturbing comment on www.DemocraticDisaster.com from an asinine elector from North Carolina named Wayne Abraham  really ticked me off. (Abraham said that since the SCOTUS hasn’t defined “natural born citizen” he would use his own definition for the term. This elector is a hand-picked elector chosen by the Obama camp.) His reply is too long for me to repeat.  The comment that I saw when the site was operating is a sad example of  who made the choice for us on December 15, 2008. (Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, something strange has happened to www.DemocraticDisaster.com.)

A story from 11/26 in the Christian Science Monitor also quotes Abraham:

Wayne Abraham, a Democratic elector in Greensboro, N.C., says he’s received three letters – two signed, one not – and one phone call about Obama’s citizenship.

“I was surprised, but I’m not worried about it,” he says, dryly. “As I said to the lady on the phone, I figured that the Bush administration had ample opportunity to investigate Senator Obama, and if they had discovered he was not truly a citizen they … would have let us know.”

Wayne Abraham (L) Voting 12/15

Wayne Abraham (L) Voting 12/15

The idiotic comments by this elector made me think of Thomas Paine and his passage which includes “These are the times that try men’s souls” quotation.  Of course Paine wasn’t referring to electors, but to those men and women of the colonies who were not convinced that the fight for freedom could be won.

Thomas Paine (January 29, 1737 – June 8, 1809) was an English pamphleteer, a participant in the American Revolution and a great patriot.

Paine wrote the following on December 23, 1776. The timing is important. It was written just before Washington’s Christmas attack on the British.

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered, yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap (sic) we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods, and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated.”

He goes on to say:

“Tis surprizing to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. All nations and ages have been subject to them. Britain has trembled like an ague at the report of a French fleet of flat bottomed boats; and in the fourteenth (sic) (it was actually the fifteenth) century the whole English army, after ravaging the kingdom of France, was driven back like men petrified with fear; and this brave exploit was performed by a few broken forces collected and headed by a woman, Joan of Arc. Would that Heaven might inspire some Jersey maid to spirit up her countrymen, and save her fair fellow sufferers from ravage and ravishment.

(This  written while he was serving with the army on a narrow neck of land between the North River and the Hackensack, thus the reference to the “Jersey maid.”)

We could say this was prophetic in a way. We could have had a Joan of Arc, but we just didn’t have enough patriots to overcome the king’s forces. That doesn’t mean we have to give up, we can keep fighting for our Constitution as long as we remember what it really means and refuse to let those who want to undermine it win the  battle.

Our poor Joan of Arc has taken a different path now, but she should be wary. She is dealing with a devious crowd, and you know what happened to France’s Joan.

I have no illusions that the electors or the SCOTUS will have the guts of our forefathers to do the right thing about honoring our Constitution. I only pray that there are enough people left believing as Grail Guardian does (and many others, myself included) to keep the fight going even in light of the decisions made on December 15, 2008.

God Bless and keep our Constitution safe from those who would trash it, dishonor it, and condemn it to the dust bin of history. What our forefathers fought so hard for should not be allowed to be lost because a group of scoundrels wants to re-make America to suit themselves.

***

Click here for a report on North Carolina’s Wayne Abraham and the electors’ vote.

JUST FOR LAUGHS! Our Own Grail Guardian Hits the Big Time on CNNBC! Blamed for Obama Loss! See Video!! LOL!!!!!

Thanks to Grail for finding this and sending it all for all to see!!!

Congratulations Grail, from all of us here at IA!!  –GRL

~~Posted by Grail Guardian

Just when you think things can’t get any stranger, our “friends” over at Moveon.org have ventured into new (bizarre) territory with this nifty customizable ad that you can send to your friends. Click the link and watch as I am blamed for all that’s wrong with the world! You’ll be rolling on the floor in no time flat!

Honestly, I’m not sure which is weirder; the idea of the ad, or the thought that Moveon thought that there are actually people that might be persuaded by this.

***

GRL adds:

Click on “more about “Grail G…the One Vote” if the embed doesn’t work for you!

Here’s the text that goes along with the video:

FRI, NOV. 7, 2008

Obama’s Loss Traced
To Grail G.

Single Nonvoter Tipped Election
To McCain-Palin Ticket


Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Grail G….the One Vote“, posted with vodpod

PS–You’ll see the MoveOn bit at the end of the video!–GRL