Archive for the ‘BAT CRAP CRAZY’ category


September 22, 2013

On the surface this bill does accomplish some of the concerns to the fracking operations in California.  It finally requires them to research the surrounding ground water and notify residents nearby.  They have to reveal what’s in the fracking fluids and thats a good thing.

Where they will get the water to frack with is another question.  Water from the two major sources in allocated already under long term contracts, so the only way they can find the water to frack with is ground water  or to buy up farm allocations.  If past history is contains any clues they will be willing to pay more per acre foot then they can make farming.  The most likely water purchases will probably come from the users on the lower ditch as they produce low value crops.  Just how far the drillers reach will be . The major concern regarding water use is pollution of the aquifer, and the stripping of water from producing eatable crops.

Not mentioned in the bill is the dangers of causing a big earthquake.  Arkansas has already stopped fracking in their state do to an increase in earthquakes where there had been very few in the past.  According to experts California has been quivering on the edge of another big one for years.  Fracking is like sticking a sword into a already mad giant.  Will it trigger the big one, who knows but I sure as hell don’t want to find out.



May 23, 2010

I’m old and slow and have to simplify things down to there lowest common denominator till I can understand exactly what went on. The mortgage crisis that none of the big wigs saw coming , was as easy to spot as lipstick on the wrong end of a pig. You only had to look at a few simple everyday facts most of which were yelled and screamed and touted ofter in the MSM. House prices never in history have gone up 15 to 20% a year. A quick look at a chart on the average price of a house clearly showed a deviation from the normal 3% average increase per year. The frosting on the cake was that nobody can afford a house that cost more than 3 times your average wage. So exactly how did they pull this off.

Keep in mind , this bubble was created to hide the effects of the Dot Com Crash. The Fed used their most popular took, they lowered interest rates to zero. Even though this is often touted as the cause it’s not. If everybody had stayed hones a lot of folks could have bought and kept a house because of the low rates but that’s not what happened.

1.The Mortgage brokers because of deregulation and the knowledge that the government wouldn’t interfere started making all kinds of loans most of which they knew would fail in the first few years. They didn’t care how long they lasted as long as it was longer than the 30 milliseconds they took to unload them to banks. Meantime they collected handsome fees.

2. The banks gladly took the loans off the brokers hands knowing they were bad, but didn’t care as they were going to package them and hawk them to the Investment Houses.

3. The Investment Houses sent the packages to the ratings agencies to be rated as to investment grade (AAA the preferred rating)

4.The Rating Houses would rate 80% of the packages AAA making them of the quality that Pension Funds and Retirement Accounts were looking for. It is known now they didn’t really look very hard at the quality of loans in the package they just gave them the required rating. They normally sent 20% back as low quality , which were repackaged with other dogs, with a few good ones thrown in for luck and 80% of this junk package was rated AAA. This process was repeated over and over till there contents could be properly labeled JUNK OF JUNK.

5.The Investment Houses then sold these packages world wide and essentially turned the mortgage packages (about 7 Trillion bucks worth) and there derivative packages into a 600 Trillion dollar bomb. That you now see blowing up.

6.But wait that’s not all . Eventually the banks and investment houses knew these were pieces of crap and were buying bets they would fail while selling them as AAA investment grade instruments. In the beginning of the bubble they were betting long and did this for several years and during this time almost nobody was betting that housing prices would ever go down so they were buying derivatives packages betting the market would continue up.

7.One loan guy sitting in a darkened office running a small fund and known for his ability to pick good stock buys by carefully reading the quarterly reports . Suddenly he realized that these mortgage packages were based on the incorrect idea that housing prices would never fall. He called some of the biggest banks to see if he could buy a bet they would fall. Almost nobody was interested but a couple took the bait and sold him his shorts. This is all detailed in his book “THE BIG SHORT” a fast reading tell all tale of what started the crash. No it wasn’t his fault that it crashed as no more than 20 people knew and took advantage of this vehicle. When it became apparent because of the high number of these mortgages inside a package were failing (it took about 8% failure rate) to make a package fall like a rock from a tower. Ok , for all you Newton fans (an apple from a tree).

The above is a simple version of what took the mortgage market to hell. Don’t be fooled, we are only about half way through the residential mortgage mess with 2010 and 2011 forecasted to be as bad as we have already seen.

Another big factor in the downsizing of America is the tactics of Hedge Funds and the lack of government interest in controlling them or for that matter enforcing the laws already on the books. Naked short selling by these funds have driven a lot of companies stock to prices that allow the funds to buy the company for pennies on the dollar. (Naked short selling is illegal because it allows companies to bet stock they don’t own or rent, which sometimes throws more stock on the market than actually exists.) After they own the company one of first acts is to downsize the work force (they don’t like to say fire) , then it’s bust the contracts that control wages and benefits (aided by the courts) which often takes away health care and pensions from not only current employees but retirees too.

In the every day market these huge funds because of their piles and piles of money can drive commodity prices anywhere they want. Take a look at a oil price chart, or money, or corn, or just about any damn thing and notice the prices swing widely. Most know now they are artificially swinging the prices so they can make huge profits up or down and exercise huge control of our economy itself by deciding where we would have to spend our money. Will it be on gas, or food, or health care, you got the picture by now I’m sure. The song and dance they do to explain all the price moves are wearing thin now days and most just scream bullshit , put have to pay the piper anyway.

70% of the market today is controlled by what they call “FAST TRACK TRADING” , just a fancy high priced bunch of computers and software that control the market. Did you like the 1000 point swing the other day, all started by a bet of 7.5 million that the DOW would fall, to buy a bet somebody has to be on the long side, they were , and realized they better cover their asses with a fall bet too, somebody had to be on the other side and on and on it went . When the first execute button was pushed (no fat finger mistake) a deliberate bet , the shit hit the fan. They jumped on the panic button and sent the market the other way…Somebody made a shitpot full of money and of course somebody lost. One thing for sure we didn’t have time to do a damn thing but watch and take an extra dose of heart medicine .

The bottom line is this, how can us commoners plan for investment vehicles to provide for college for our kids , or retirement funds for ourselves with this kind of bullshit taking place. Don’t think for a minute that the Financial Reform package will do anything for us, we ain’t got the bucks to buy that kind of deal. Did you notice the shit storm caused by Angela Merkel banning naked short selling in Germany caused, ever some of my favorite economic writers criticized her for it. It’s those kinds of sudden moves that can bust these hedge funds and this automatic trading nonsense overnight. Sounds like a hell of an idea to me. Don’t hold your breath for those kinds of changes happening here, it won’t.


February 17, 2010

This letter was first published in June of 2009 but has suddenly appeared again in my email box.  A friend sent it to me for opinion (he already knows what I will say) but what the hell I’m game.  Janet claims to be fed up with both parties (and who isn’t) but seems to be reading from the far right play book trying to hide in  a Tea Bag. Since this was written almost a year ago lots of happened in the Teabagger movement and one could hardly say they have gotten stronger.  Talk on the street is that it will destroy any conservative chance of winning the White House in 2012 , but it is pretty easy to see they might be somewhat more successful in the 2010 races for Congress.  A lot of  talking points in this letter have been out there since they were first aired in the 08 election by those who are against Obama.  My political stance is known as Political Atheist , I’m not locked in to either party but it will be easy to see I am way more progressive than Janet or Beck.  So dig in and check out my comments in RED


Janet Contreras Letter, Glenn Beck Program

The text of the letter is below along with an audio video from the show as carried on air. You can visit the Glenn Beck website to sign a petition endorsing the letter.

Janet Contreras (see photo) is a former Democrat who switched parties to Republican to vote for John McCain but she is already fed up with the GOP’s reluctance to stand for the constitution and against Barack Obama’s socialist agenda.

Curious as to reader thoughts.


– Janet Contreras

June 17, 2009

I’m a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you’re willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?

Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:

One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I’m not a racist. This isn’t to be confused with legal immigration.

By this I suppose she means the rounding up and deporting all illegal immigrants .  Good luck with that !  Where are you going to get the 94 billion bucks to do that job.  The time for you to stop this problem has long since past and would have cost a lot less money.  All you had to do was throw any CEO , owner, manager who hired an undocumented worker into jail for a nice long rest.  The problem would have ended quickly.  By now it is pretty apparent the flow has reversed, they are going home, there are no jobs.

Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.

I actually agree with her that TARP should never have been .  Too late now, it’s been done and the banks are still in the same trouble or bigger.   That was a Bush plan and Obama played along with it so he shares the blame.  Once again though the need for TARP was caused by (what else) a Free Market philosophy endorsed by the everyone from Regan on (yeah Clinton too) .  Dear ole Greenspan recently before congress said OH GEE I was wrong , financial markets need regulators (NO SHIT SHERLOCK)

Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.

Czars are just a name really that brings froth to the mouth of  a lot of people.  They have been used forever almost and simply are a way of pointing out the head of an agency or a policy that the President has authority to control.  Here’s the dictionary definitionn of the job .  Any authority a Czar may have is bestowed because they are head of an agency that control a focused problem.  Drug Czar for instance.

Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.

Cap and Trade sucks, nothing more to say.  It might just be Climate Change, check the pictures of ice melting throughout the world and you’ll know that something is going on.  Cap and Trade will not stop the problem and most likely the problem will not be stopped, we will go into an Ice Age when the Great Conveyor stops.

Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don’t you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!

Call it whatever you want, but if you expect the Country or each one of us to remain solvent we have to go to a Single Payer program of some kind, The Congressional Budget say that a Single Payer system is the only way the budget can be brought under control.  Why pay insurance companies a 30%  bonus for just paying the bills , something the government does now for 3% .  And while were at it why not go to a drug program like the VA the most efficient in the world and save Medicare 400 billion a year in the process.

Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don’t you start there.

Don’t seem like the States are doing a bang up job either, they are broke too.  This is another area where you should have been outraged but probably supported , wire tapping, arresting and jailing citizens without due process, no knock and on and on.  She have been fearful and sucked up the safety under the cloak of Uncle.

Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don’t trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.

Most of the crap out there about Acorn was a straight out lie that has been debunked by all, forget about it.

Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why ‑‑ what do you have against shareholders making a profit?

Gee lady, I have paid the same 8 or 9 %% federal tax just about forever, those that make the big bucks can not say the same, nor can the corporations, check the charts the middle class are the only ones who have not got a tax break of any size.  While I wish I had more say in how my bucks are spent (war spending at current levels is nuts) I don’t mind paying my taxes,  All in All I have gotten a lot for my money, too bad they didn’t get more from those that could afford it .  They sure as hell didn’t do any Trickle Down it was more like Piss On the middle class.

Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.

Closet talk , what she really means is destroying Social Security and Medicare and I’m sure Unemployment Insurance is included.  You want to give, then give, but the government will help just in case your a penny pincer.

Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we’ll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band‑Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.

Some agreement here, I don’t think the banks should have been bailed out, but I do think the car companies and any other industry that is in serious trouble should be helped.   Remember the wailing from some when we bailed out Chrysler, well we made money on that deal ,   Without good paying blue collar jobs we are doomed,  want to save some money then cut subsidies that are given on a routine basis for ever, corporate farms, big oil for example.

Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let’s have it. Let’s say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try ‑‑ please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.

Good luck with this wish.  They might publish the information and even televised hearings , but tell me how much did you know or learn from the health care debate that went on for year.  Not much!!  If they do publish data you can count on it being twisted so far from the truth the info will be worthless.  Take the unemployment numbers that are published now 9.8%  try 22% for a closer number.

Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.

UNPRECEDENTED SPENDING, I assume you mean Obama here.  Golly Gee I didn’t think this was a new thing seem like since Regan’s day we have been doing a great job in this field.  Has Obama spent a bunch on things you don’t like, is that what your whining about?  TARP wasn’t his, the Recovery Act is and just about most who have studied the Great Depression know that in these time you need to spend to create jobs, and keep people from starving .  But of course you have never thought this was a good thing, you have been against the Social Programs forever, you would like to go back to the pre Social Security days when 80% if seniors were classified as poor.

Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let’s just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I’m busy. I’m busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington. Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don’t want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we’re morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we’re so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn’t ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when hewill rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don’t care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.

YEAH SURE, YOUR COMING, LED BY WHO? AN ANGRY MOB?  HONEST POLITICIANS ?  REALLY???   You have a right to believe what you want but don’t pretend to be anything but RIGHT WING, CONSERVATIVE, CRUEL HEARTED, STINGY, FEARFUL, NASTY PEOPLE WHO OPERATE ON FEAR. WELL SORRY LADY, I’M NOT SCARED OF YOU OR YOUR TEABAGGERS,  and if you want to follow a crybaby like Glenn Beck then have at it.

– Janet Contreras

June 17, 2009


January 6, 2010

First I confess to having a vested interest in the internals of schools and how they are run.   One of my sons is a teacher and I hear stories of the goings on inside his district.  Knowing from the experience of raising 3 sons through various systems I have not been impressed with how they are run.  Administration universally sucks, stupid self serving nonsense that actually impairs the education process.  California supposedly has a strong teachers union and of course they are under attack for all those budget problems school districts have all over the country.  Bullshit!! is the only word that fits.

Mish Shedlock (an investment advisor) address the Illinois education budget short fall and of course this anti union maggot blames it on the teacher’s union.  He lambasted their wages, their pensions, their health care benefits and never addresses any of the real problems in all systems everywhere,  Administrators from Hell.  They couldn’t teach so now they tell you how your going to teach.  The fraud , waste and abuse from the heads of the system are clear for anybody that has the time to look can see.  You have to study hard though their budget is a linguistic work of art.

The attack on unions is not new for Mish, he has done this before.  Why , he’s another conservative, Austrian School economic/Libertarian freak that thins the working folk should be a slave or at best a servant.  You know like the good old Feudal system (of course he thinks he’s of the king class) but his type is why God invented pitch forks.  Check out the books he recommends . Take your puke bucket with you.

Mish has in the past attacked my pension system too (US Navy and The Bureau of Reclamation) and my healt care system as well.  He definitely has an agenda and it’s anti worker.  We really , really need another one of those.

What should be cut before wages and benefits, that’s really pretty simple.  Lets start with the stopping of all inter school sports.  They will tell you we can’t because sports teachers leadership.(think Michael Vick) and let then we will talk about leadership.  The total lack of interest in anything but College Prep costs a lot of money and is wasted on up to 50 % of the kids who will not, can not and don’t have the ability to go.  Let’s reduce the number of administrators first and lower their salaries first.  When they bleed maybe they will learn to read.  Abolish School boards, they don’t have a clue what they are doing and are paid benefits they don’t deserve .

Districts everywhere are in trouble due to loss of income caused by guess who (investment advisers) and their fancy funny money deals and the Banksters that put the packages together.    The reduction in property values is the result and that reduces tax income.  Along with lost revenue from lost jobs.

The problem is not teacher wages and benefits.  Anyone who thinks they are over compensated should do a month in the front of the classroom (I’d pay money to see that) .  They would be singing a different tune.  Teachers are the hardest working , putting in lots more time and energy then they are paid for.  We give them such good tools to work with, textbooks written by and for right wing idealogs who believe the earth in 5000 years old and dinosuars co-existed with man.  But not to worry they also believe the world will end in 2012 so lets hurry up and with our rape and pillage of the earth .  With the Destruction of America thrown in as a kicker.


I almost forgot they want to privatize all the schools. (that means in fine print, no unions, slave wage,no  benefits and you sure as hell don’t need no stinking college degree to teach the fine art of weeding vegetables .

A side note you progressives will love.  Obama’s Secretary of Education last job , Running the Chicago school system.


January 6, 2010

When you hear Ron Paul talk you can easily get sucked into his story.  You hate the FED and so does Ron, you hate deficits so does Ron and on and on.  When you look deeper into his economics you open another bottle of Scotch (Johnny Walker Red if your going to send me some)  he’s just another Free Market LIbertarian/Austrian School Economics screwball.  There is a real reason Austrian School Economics has never made the main stream , they are totally and without a doubt full false assumptions and believe theories that are not and never have been held by anyone else.

I was deeply disappointed when I looked into Mr. Paul , his rhetoric sounded good , when you get inside the engine it full of the same ole grit and grime brought to us by our last four presidents (yeah Obama too)  .  Look around the country , we are becoming a banana republic and all to the thanks of Free Market Thinking , the exact same as Ron Paul is  pushing.

Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis headlines today” ‘RON PAUL ON THE RISE”

Based on exactly what he doesn’t say.  Mr. Paul and Mr. Larouche were heavy hands behind the Tea Party movement, at least in the beginning , as I predicted a long time ago The Tea Baggers would self destruct because of the many nut job factions involved in the movement.  Yeah, I know the people are “MAD AS HELL AND AREN’T GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE”  nope, they are going to rant, rave , sputter around, foam at the mouth and then vote as they always do.

If you believe that more Free Market philosophy is what this country needs , then don’t bother taking another look at Mr. Paul and or the Tea Baggers, just go pull the right (pun intended) lever.


January 3, 2010

Here’s our state of affairs , but it doesn’t make any difference were still going to send 30 billion bucks  in Israeli aid over the next ten years.  Meanwhile back here in the states were talking of cutting pensions, Social Security, Medicare, education funds, pinching penny’s in internal defense systems, padding bankers pockets, dealing under the table to the working stiffs.  BUT NEVER FEAR WE WILL STILL SEND MONEY TO THE SECOND BIGGEST BUNCH OF BAD ASSES ON THE PLANET.

I might mention that we are spending at best estimates 1 TRILLION DOLLARS  a year on the military.  That’s almost a third of the whole budget.  Not a peep is heard when double digit increase in defense spending are put on the table but they all froth at the mouth about cutting social services.  There is something terribly wrong with this picture!!


December 29, 2009

An exclusive report on Rachel Maddow tonight says the Afghanistan army  leadership from the Brigade level up is so corrupt, and often fails to show up for work, or makes token appearances that they probably never will be able to handle independence.  The report says we have about a year to salvage the operation and it also say that it is an impossible task.  Hillary said it the other day,, 50 years!!!   God love a duck, are we crazy, our troops are dying and being maimed in a country that doesn’t give a shit.   BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW , LET THE AFGHANS  FIGHT IT OUT AMONGST THEMSELVES.