April 18, 2009

'Tea parties' NOT a 'second revolution'

A second revolution?

You have Tax Day, when you have already incitement-ready people (see Rick
Perry and secession and nullification demagoguery; also see Andrew Jackson
and his threats 180 years ago to hang people like Rick Perry, including
South Carolina's governmor).

I'm sure on some other day crowds would be lower.

Second, what's your alternative? After all, you're the type of folks who
supported the financial system dereg that got us to this situation in the
first place.

So, what's your positive solution alternative?

Lincoln, when pushed to fire McClellen, asked Congressmen, "With whom?" Told
"anybody," he said he had to have "somebody."

And, don't give me "let the markets work."

They don't.

Adam Smith invented his invisible hand out of his Enlightenment Deism
background, a metaphysic refuted by two World Wars, the Holocaust, quantum
theory, and nuclear weapons, among many other things.

Why do so many conservatives fear feedback?

An event like the "tea (baggers?) parties" leads me to this conclusion.

Browse major conservative blogs vs. liberal ones. Which ones are less likely to allow for comments?

Ken Salazar still wants loaded guns in national parks

Yes, the government has decided not to appeal District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling that a Bush Administration Interior ruling “allowing loaded guns in national parks was illegal because it didn’t include an environmental impact study.

BUT, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is not having his department drop the idea entirely.

Instead, Interior is doing the environmental impact study.

That said, such a study will have to, theoretically, include public safety and the human environment.

Still, it’s just nuts that the Obama Administration is going through with this.

Ken Salazar is the worst Cabinet secretary this side of Tim Geithner.

And, yet, Gang Green groups that lauded his nomination still want money from me, when not asking me to petition Salazar to reverse his ruling on Yellowstone wolves.

April 17, 2009

Texas House bitch-slaps Lil Ricky Perry

It remains to be seen if the Texas Senate will follow, but the state House has cut Gov. Rick Perry’s official office budget “by 96 percent. On a voice vote, without discussion.

If you think you can get re-elected by using incitement to riot, talking up secession and promoting nullification, Lil Ricky, you’d better think again.

Of course, the House GOP has a different spin, claiming they didn’t want to waste time talking about Perry:
most Republicans said they went along simply to speed debate of the state budget – a debate that could last into Saturday.

“At the end of the day, the governor will be fully funded,” said House GOP Caucus Chairman Larry Taylor, R- Friendswood.

But Larry, not wanting to talk about Perry, and not trying to defend his budget against more funding for other issues, is entirely the point.
And, let’s see how this plays out in budget talks with the Senate, indeed, Jim Pitts.

Lil Ricky manages to beat Kay Bailey Cheerleader in the primary next year, by playing even farther to the right, how comfortable are you running with him in the general?

Sully joins Steve Benen in tanking for Obama on torture

Andrew Sullivan agrees that President Barack Obama is right to not prosecute torturers. For a while, on a few issues, Sully could be seen as the “enemy of my enemy” type. But, remember, folks, he’s NOT a Democrat, let alone not being an independent liberal.

And, this is AFTER Sully’s earlier post, saying, “We are now Indonesia.”

Hey, Sully. Not prosecuting will lead to “Indonesia amnesia.”

EPA – CO2 a ‘health risk’

The Environmental Protection Agency ruling that carbon dioxide emissions pose a significant health risk sets the stage for government regulation of the greenhouse gas.

But, this is the Obama Administration. And the devil is in the details. How strict will the regulation be, if any?

In this story, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the administration prefers Congressional action on some sort of cap-and-trade program. What if Congress passes something toothless? Or, what if Congress, as is rumored, punts many of the enforcement details, and standards, back to the EPA?

Obama abets torture and Congressional Dems start to follow

That’s the bottom line, from near the bottom of Mark Benjamin’s column.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who had earlier been a big advocate of a special commission investigating torture and its advocacy, meekly issued a statement yesterday applauding Obama for releasing CIA memos while not even mentioning the idea of such a commission.

Torture? No prosecution; Domestic spy whistle-blower? …

So, President Barack Obama says we’re not going to prosecute torturers, or their enablers, but…

He can still hold an indictment over the head of Thomas Tamm, the whistle-blower on the National Security Agency’s domestic spying?

Steve Benen, neolib Obama torture cover-up apologist

I thought Washington Monthly was bad enough as a blog with Kevin Drum as a neoliberal squish.

Well, I was wrong; it’s become worse with Steve Benen as a Democratic Party hack. I’ve pretty much stopped reading, but went by there earlier today.

Proof of Benen’s hackery? This post claiming Obama hasn’t shut the door on indicting BushCo officials for torture. Even by Benen’s standards, it’s week.

Meanwhile, Sully joined him in the tank.

Andrew Sullivan agrees that President Barack Obama is right to not prosecute torturers. For a while, on a few issues, Sully could be seen as the “enemy of my enemy” type. But, remember, folks, he’s NOT a Democrat, let alone not being an independent liberal.

And, this is AFTER Sully’s earlier post, saying, “We are now Indonesia.”

Hey, Sully. Not prosecuting will lead to “Indonesia amnesia.”

Take child sexual abuse and child PTSD seriously

Let’s stop blaming priests, or dirty old men on park benches, and instead look inside the four walls of home, or relatives’ homes, a lot more. And, let’s recognize that this causes “PTSD on the home front” (now that, due to the Iraq War, we’re sadly aware of PTSD). That, and more, is in my annual April column.

Let's definitely take it seriously, unlike Joe Paterno. Let's remember the likes of Laveranues Coles.

I thought secular recovery groups were more scientific

It’s all right and good for a group like Lifering Secular Recovery to bash Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous for their reliance on a higher power, confession of sins, etc.

But, for Lifering to have the founder of an acupuncture-based addiction clinic as a principal speaker at its annual convention is, at least least, a bit uninformed and at the most, a bit hypocritical.

For the real poop on acupuncture and acupressure, read the Skeptic’s Dictionary.

Once a torturer, now a judge

In light of the release of the four last CIA torture memos, Jeff Toobin reminds us that torture memo author Jay Bybee now sits on the federal bench.

One thing Jeff forgot to mention.

From the Ninth Circuit, should EFF be successful in its wiretapping suit against AT&T et al, Bybee would be hearing that case on appeal.

Forests could flip-flop on CO2

If we don’t get a lasso on global warming soon, the planet’s forests, currently our carbon dioxide friends, could become our enemies.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that if global temperatures increase another 2°C, forests could become a net source of carbon emissions.

April 16, 2009

Owner of Dallas malls goes bankrupt

Hugh shopping mall owner General Growth has officially filed for bankruptcy, a move that was rumored to be likely a couple of weeks ago.

Dallas-Fort Worth properties of General Growth include the Galleria, Collin Creek, Stonebriar, Hulen, Vista Ridge, Town East and Parks at Arlington.

If it could find buyers, to save money, GG could dump Town East and Vista Ridge, as the two oldest sites. But, it's been looking for buyers and has been unsuccessful.

Company President Thomas J. Nolan said the bankruptcy would be "invisible to consumers."

Obama high-speed rail plan – a bit timid?

First, only in the United States would “more than 150mph” be considered high speed. In Europe and Japan, you have to break 200mph to be talking high-speed rail.

Second, what is the cost of this pegged at? And, besides $8 billion in economic stimulus money, how much will you lay out and how soon?

Also, not connecting the Chicago and Northeast corridors (PDF) makes no sense. Nor does running a South Central corridor up to Little Rock, rather than keeping it Texas-only, if you’re not going to then run it up to St. Louis and connect it to the Chicago corridor. Ditto for running high-speed from New Orleans to Houston, then not connecting it to either Austin or San Antonio.

Also, why would you not connect the California and Pacific Northwest segments?

Stupidest of all, on that map, is not connecting the Eastern corridor to proposed high-speed rail inside Florida.

Let’s look at these in more detail, and in light of not planning 200mph, rather than 150mph, speeds on these trains.

Chicago-New York, for example, is 711 miles. At 200mph, that’s just over three hours. By plane, since you don’t get up to 550 mph that fast, it’s about 2:25, per Travelocity. To avoid airport hassles, etc., for an extra 30-40 minutes? No brainer.

By car miles, San Francisco-Seattle is about 100 miles more. So, bullet train vs. plane would probably be about 1:15 slower. Still a reasonable price to pay.

Dear Rick Perry: Andrew Jackson promised to hang ‘nullifiers’

When South Carolinians made noises about “nullifying” the federal tariff, President Andrew Jackson promised to personally lead the Army to Charleston and hang nullifiers.

So, STFU about your own “nullification” ideas, because that’s exactly what they are.

Obama officially torture sellout

President Barack Obama has officially said CIA torturers will not be prosecuted.

Our hopes are in the hands of either a Green Party president in 2013 or the long arm of Spanish Judge Balthasar Garzon.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the release of four CIA memos.

And, since Obama didn’t announce any prosecution plans for the BushCo officials who gave the advice to the CIA (which wanted it, by the way, President Sellout), that torture was legal, it means the Green Party is going to get every more publicity here.

Democrats who come here from liberal blogrolls and don’t like that? Tough. Shit or get off the pot.

Sign this petition asking Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor of the torture crimes.

Goodbye, John Madden

And, to up the ante on the Yahoo story, it was past time for Madden and his kankles to retire.

Collinsworth as his replacement will be good, I think. He’s not over the top, but he’s got an opinion as well as football knowledge.

Neanderthals had three subgroups

DNA sequencing (which is probably a bit iffy, given age and scarcity of remains) has identified three subgroups of Neanderthals.

Contrary to rumor, they are not the Rovian, Cheneyinsky, and Bushite subgroups. Actually, they were in different areas of Europe; a fourth has been tentatively identified in Asia.

If Southwest is losing money, we’re in a recession

Southwest Airlines has just posted its third consecutive quarterly loss. I’ve never heard of it offering buyouts before

Meet Obama’s economic Cassandras

Salon has a good set of thumbnail sketches of Paul Krugman, Nouriel Roubini and a dozen other economists and others who, from various economic and political points of view, question Obama’s economic program.

Unfortunately, Salon spoils a decent story by having Ron Paul and Michelle Bachman listed as the two elected politicians heading the opposition. WTF?

Say goodbye to your GM dealer June 1?

As part of its government-deadlined rush to restructure, the General is looking at giving the axe to nearly one-third of its dealers. Without termination payments, if possible.

Many smaller towns will lose dealers, dealer advertising in newspapers and dealer community support. Will Ford step in? The Japanese Big Three?

A National Child Abuse Prevention Month recession reminder

If you’re a parent, or know a parent, and you or the person you know has lost a job or has similar stresses, don’t (let them) get so stressed out as to abuse children like this. There is NO excuse. Period.

If Little Ricky Perry is for it, I’m agin it

That includes Gov. Helmethair’s near incitement to riot of Austin tea-partiers. Can’t Travis DA David Escamilla indict him for disturbing the peace?

April 15, 2009

New Dems in British Columbia go anti-enviro

In an end run that could cost it the provincial election, the New Democratic Party in British Columbia is rejecting an environmentalist-supported carbon dioxide emissions tax.

In Canada’s system of three major political parties, the NDP is the left.

The U.S. equivalent would be, say, Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey watering down his carbon emissions plans to move to the right of a liberal Republican challenger in his next election.

And, yes, Canadian enviros are HUGELY upset at NDP provincial leader Carole James. Her “populist” move last summer, already, to “axe the tax” may draw some voters to her banner over economic issues, but could have others sit out or vote Liberal. (Canada’s Liberals are that country’s centrist party. As for Greens, they’re weaker in western Canada than in much of the U.S.)

This is just bizarre.

NO, you first, Ron Paul, on Somali pirates

Color me highly skeptical of goldbug Congressman Ron Paul’s call to issue letters of marque and reprisal for American privateers to attack Somali pirates.

Just over 200 years ago, on the “shores of Tripoli,” we used the Marines, not privateers, and the Barbary pirates didn’t have machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, etc.

So, Goldbug Ron? You first, sir. I’ll even scrape up funding for the boat. And a two-way radio to alert the Somalis you’re coming.

Maybe you can bore them to death with a talk about “fiat currency.”

Either that, or they’ll think you’re going to pay a ransom note with Italian cars.

Dear tea-partiers in Duncanville and elsewhere

Get a clue.

If you need one, even though this isn’t PR by Faux News, start by reading this.

Beyond that?

First, you ARE represented. If (assuming you’re Republicans) your party is out of presidential power after eight years …

It¹s called “democracy.” Deal with it.

Fortunately, nobody I talked to personally is a Ron Paul-style goldbug, although many pity partiers (a truer name for them) are.

Gold has little intrinsic value; what pricing it has is largely assigned by human greed.

You want something material to back our Federal Reserve notes? Try oil or coal instead.
As for “overtaxed”? Nobody’s increased your tax rate. Even above $250,000, it’s still only being moved back to what it was when Clinton became president and less than what it was when Reagan left office.

And, offering a constructive alternative would be better than just mentally holding your breath over alleged overtaxation.

When I was at a protest recently, I had a constructive option nationalizing banks. I didn¹t offer a vague “something.”

As for tea-party pusher Dick Armey, if his flat tax idea is so good, why did he never, ever propose a flat tax for corporate income taxes?

Answer is ALWAYS the same.

Whether rich individuals or rich businesses, flat taxes always benefit the rich.

Our man in A-stan – religious AND gender bigot

Afghanistan’s new “women are sexual property” law? The one that President Hamid Karzai claims in no way restricts women’s rights?

Well, it’s anti-Shi’ite as well as anti-woman.

It applies to them only, and gives Shi’ite clerics absolute control over women.

Now, I look fairly askance on nation-building, but, on the other hand, propping up the Mayor of Kabul much longer is ridiculous.

Especially since the law is an election-time pander for Shi’ite voters – and Shi’ite clerics in Afghanistan are strongly influenced by those in Iran, we need to ease Herr Karzai out of power, now.

Obama taking CIA stance on torture memos?

The Wall Street Journal reports the Obama Administration is now leaning toward the CIA’s side in a legal battle on whether or not to release three 2005 memos supporting torture, or at the least, whether or not to redact them before release.

Obama to name ‘czars czar’

He’s going to have to, pretty soon, to keep track of all the quasi-unconstitutional “czars” he’s already named? The latest? Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has tabbed a “border czar” to deal with issues on the Mexican border.

Sorry, folks, it wasn’t Kinky Friedman and his “pay the Mexican generals” idea.

Unfortunately, El Kinkster is acting more and more like a real-world politician, having now formed an exploratory committee with an eye on a 2010 Texas gubernatorial re-run.

If he follows through, Kinky will target teabagger types who think Kay Bailey Hutchison is certainly a RINO, and that Rick Perry is on things like the Trans-Texas Corridor. But, anybody who claims to be any sort of progressive, and actually has a brain, will surely avoid the Kinkster like the plague next year.

Obama does head fake on medical marijuana

Counterpunch has the details. Are you surprised

April 14, 2009

Wingnuts hoist by Homeland Security petard – militias revival?

Glenn Beck, Mark Steyn, Michelle Malkin, and other wingers who dismissed complaints that the Bush Administration’s Department of Homeland Security targeted antiwar activists and civil libertarians the past six years now find out that …

Homeland Security is really worried about the white supremacists, Richard Poplowski conspiracy theorists, etc., as conservative newspaper organ the Washington Times reports. (Here’s the full DHS report [PDF].)

Here’s your pull quote:
Rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.

In other words, the old militias movement, waking back up.

At the same time, the Times story notes DHS warned in January about far-left groups increasing cyberattacks in the future.

Meanwhile, Brendan Calling reminds us exactly why we, and DHS, should worry.

Hat tip to Glenn Greenwald, who notes DHS started work on this report while Bush was still in office.

Morning Snooze tanks for John Wiley Price

Congrats, JWP, you’re officially an establishment politician, I guess.

Sunday, the Dallas Morning News, only a few weeks behind the times took its own belated look, and spinmeistering, at Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price’s attempted shakedown of would-be Dallas-area Inland Port developer Richard Allen.

Given his past, part of the JWP shakedown is likely for jobs for his friends. How much he’s in bed with Dallas Mayor Tom Leppart and/or Ross Perot Jr. is unknown.

And, Gromer Jeffers and Kevin Krause claiming that “Allen ... appeared blind to the county's complicated racial politics" sure sounds like excuse-making for JWP..

OTOH, per Pettis Norman, and a sideways riff, the best one could argue is that Allen was naive about Dallas politics with consultants in general, not specifically about racial issues.

Finally, though, the DMN duo ignores Hutchins Mayor Artis Johnson, also black, and JWP's apparent attempt to shake HIM down over the bridge, too.

As for noticing the Dallas Observer, it's either to follow up after them, try to re-spin what Schuetze reports (as here) or similar.

Meanwhile, on the Snooze’s opinion page blog, Tod Robberson tries to spinmeister for the spinmeisters.

Could carbon sequestration cause earthquakes?

Even before I saw the last graf of a NYT story about human-induced changes to planetary geology, such as the building of dams, and increased seismic activity, I started thinking “Hmm” about whether deep-well carbon-dioxide sequestration could do the same thing.


Well, read the last graf of the story for yourself. Let me just say that my analytical ability hasn’t faded away.

And, if my analytical ability is spot on, it’s one more argument to beat the tocsin of conservation first, alt-energy second (the earthquakes in Basel were caused by a geothermal plant) and old fossil fuels third.

Tom Hicks could lose Texas Rangers

Its creditors have officially found Hicks Sports Group, owner of the Rangers and the Dallas Stars, to be in default.

Maybe Tom can borrow some money from A-Roid, and finally get something worthwhile out of that $25 million contract.

New orang population in Borneo

Scientists now estimate that East Kalimantan province may have 5,000 orangutans.

Obviously, this is a huge improvement in orangutan numbers, if it pans out.

But, let this not be an excuse for the government of Indonesia, and governments and individuals in the outside, to relax vigilance on logging in Borneo. That’s you we’re talking about, Beijing.

April 13, 2009

Meghan McCain tells GOP to go gay

And, Ms. Laura Ingraham, she says that includes gay marriage.

She even touts St. Ronald of Reagan as Example No. 1 of a GOP politician of yore who fought gay-bashing.

Unemployed? Delete one item from your resume

The year you graduated, whether college, high school or grad school.

If you’re an older employee, especially over 45, per this story and the inspiration it gave me, you may thank me.

So what if you get asked later? Handle it just like a salary question and say you’ll discuss it as, if or when appropriate.

Rick Warren, chicken

A week after stereotyping atheists, Part of America’s Pastor, Rick Warren, ducked an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.” He was supposedly going to try to address how he lied about not supporting California’s gay-marriage banning Proposition 8 last year when he’s on videotape record as actually doing that.

His excuse for skipping? Via a spokesperson (Sign No. 1 Rick’s about to tell another lie), he claims it was because of Easter week.

You knew where Easter fell on the calendar when you signed up for the booking.

He either never should have signed up in the first place, or else signed up for another date. It looks like he wanted an out.

Treasury tells GM to prepare bankruptcy plans

“Good” company vs. “bad” company?

The Obama Administration is so doubtful of General Motors surviving without major retooling that it’s quasi-ordering the General to prepare for a structured bankruptcy. The announcement is also, of course, another warning shot across the bow of GM bondholders.

At the same time, new GM CEO Fritz Henderson is more committed to the idea than was the deposed Rick Waggoner.

Of course, this ain’t gonna be easy, as the story spells out.

And, from where I sit, Henderson has to also overcome Waggoner’s long-term commitment to the SUV as the salvation of GM, a commitment that he renewed after the recession slashed oil and gas prices.

Obama hypocrisy & chutzpah - GM vs. G. Sachs

“Good” company vs. “bad” company?

It’s becoming clearer by the day that Team Obama doesn’t think GM can survive without a massive retooling, so it’s no surprise the Treasury Department is telling the General to prepare for a structured bankruptcy. The announcement is also, of course, another warning shot across the bow of GM bondholders.

At the same time, in a mix of irony, hypocrisy and chutzpah, an idea is being floated of dividing GM into “good” and “bad” companies.

So, lemme see.

Team Obama can push to fire Rick Waggoner at GM but NOT Kim Lewis at Bank of America?


Team Obama can push good/bad company division at GM but NOT in the banking sector?


Team Obama in the pocket of the financial “industry”?

Pakistan ‘in danger of collapse’; And?

Former Bush Administration, and current Obama Administration, Aussie terror consultant David Kilcullen says we should be very, very afraid of the government in Islamabad collapsing, then followed by a possible al-Qaeda takeover.

To use a British English word, “tosh.”

First, al Qaeda is NOT the Taliban.

Second, while Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence does support the Taliban, it also has plenty of hardware to keep the Taliban on about the length of leash it wants.

Yes, the ISI may screw that up at some point.

But, that’s much less likely than, if push comes to shove, a military coup.

‘Audrey’ lies about changing the game at Palin’s Deceptions

Her latest post claims that she’s always been about proving Sarah Palin is not Trig’s mom; as for who is, she says her game plan is “leave the question of whom exactly Trig's mother really is to the "clean-up" crew.”

What a lie, biatch.

From early on, you’ve acted under the assumption that your playing around the edges with SP pregnancy pics proved she wasn’t pregnant. And, it did no such thing.

Then, acting as if your assumption were fact, you’ve always tried to finger Bristol as Suspect No. 1 to be the “real mom” of Trig.

Made in China – your new home

No, I’m not talking about kids’ toys, and I’m not joking, at least not about the sheetrock that may be making you sick.

April 12, 2009

Amazon has anti-gaydar

Or, so it would seem.

The online bookseller giant has implemented a new policy of “deranking” so-called “adult” books from its sales rankings.

And, along with that, it seems the book disappears from being listed if it doesn’t have a sales rank.

Just one problem, though.

As both that story and author Mark Probst note, the sales rank ban appears to be targeted at gay books. Write a book about a gay stripper? Get deranked. About a “straight” stripper? Keep your rank.

Write about preventing gay teen suicide? Get deranked. Write telling parents how to “convert” their gay kids back to heterosexuality (which probably will increase suicidal tendencies)? Stay ranked.

Gay pornstar bios? Deranked. Straight pornstars’ bios? Still ranked.

More on the situation, and Amazon’s apparent lies about it, here.

If you don’t like it, sign the petition to Amazon.

Germany tells Obama to pledge more CO2 cuts

German Environmental Minister Sigmar Gabriel said President Barack Obama needs to pledge the U.S. to match pledged European Union carbon dioxide emissions cuts.

But, as the New York Times notes, you shouldn’t expect much.

Calling Obama cautious — with two big exceptions — hits the nail on the head.

And, those are?

Helping his financial BFFs, or following Bush on anything in the “War on Terror,” while claiming to do differently.

Yes, per the Gray Lady’s story, the EPA is looking at how to regulat CO2 emissions. But, that could take years to get to reality, and Team Obama might be perfectly happy if it gets slowed down or sidetracked. Remember, this is the Team Obama that recently offered oup a lower CAFÉ standard for cars than what BushCo proposed last year.

Someone skeptical, not even cynical, would expect at least some foot-dragging, vagueness on goals, or both, from Just.Another.Carbon-Belcher.™

Fla sheriff violates church-state AND mixes civil-criminal law – and Google complies

How, how, how did Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Detective Robert Hinson get the idea of investigating, as in legally investigating, a blogger complaining about his own church, and doing so without making any threat or anything else.

Parishioner Thomas A. Rich of Jacksonville’s First Baptist Church criticized Rev. John Blount and the amount of financial favor he was getting from a church. Blount was worried about his “vitriol.” He made a couple of minor criminal complaints, which were never even close to being linked to Rich.

But, Hinson served a subpoena to Google, anyway, and…

Google unmasked Rich.

That’s Google, the Barack Obama of blogging privacy.

UK govt minister – distance UK from US on Pakistan

The Labor Party’s Minister for Social Cohesion, Sadiq Khan, says No. 10 Downing has to distance itself from U.S. policy on Pakistan to avoid the possibility of a future generation of Pakistanis hating Britain. Khan, whose parents are from Pakistan, just returned from a fact-finding mission

Goldman Sachs can’t stand the heat

So, it’s getting legal heavy muscle to try to shut down critical blogger Mike Morgan.

So, Messrs Obama, Summers and Geithner, is G. Sachs blowing TARP money on this