Monthly Archives: December 2008

Memo To The President: Hire This Guy!

Fund pockets fees, shuts door

One of the fund’s directors, Grant Vickers, said it was performing as expected.

Mr Vickers, who has twice been bankrupt but is now solvent, also said rigorous auditing in Australia and the US had ensured the integrity of his company and its business model.

I mean, why not?

On The Bright Side

Broader Unemployment Rate Hits 12.5%

The U-6 rate rose sharply in November, from 11.8% in October, and is markedly higher now than the 8.4% recorded in November 2007.

That’ll inflate the blogosphere.

It’s The World I Know

Iran’s breakout incapability

In his latest report, co-authored with two colleagues from the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), Albright contends that Iran “is moving steadily toward the nuclear breakout capability”, and puts a firm dateline on it. “This capability is expected to reach that milestone during 2009.” [2] The authors’ next concluding sentence deals with the search for solutions: “In the short-term, the response should include increasing economic sanctions on Iran and accelerating the timetable for US-led negotiations with Iran over the fate and transparency of its nuclear program.”

Yeah right. Let me add this up, Obama may keep 70K troops in Iraq, because having provoked Russia into showing its’ capabilities in Georgia there is nothing to keep American from taking the Caspian Sea gas field Iranian nuke capabilities out.

Something like that. Manifestly Destined?

American Dingle Berries

Powergrab in Ottawa

Harper’s connection to extremist organizations may sound far fetched, until one one sees a video of him giving a speech that was also given by Australian PM John Howard prior to the war in Iraq. The speeches are identical — word for word — indicating that they must have been written by a third party somewhere in the bowels of the Pentagon or a nearby think tank. The video dispels any illusion that Karzai, Abbas, and Siniora are the only sock-puppets working for Washington.

There is nothing wrong with the English speaking world, other than an inability to listen to and understand it.

So

When the 533K figure is revised…

Better Drink Another Budweiser And Think About It Some More

Obama’s thoughts evolve on U.S. troops in Iraq

WASHINGTON: On the campaign trail, Senator Barack Obama offered a pledge that electrified and motivated his liberal base, vowing to “end the war” in Iraq.

But as he moves closer to the White House, President-elect Obama is making it clearer than ever that tens of thousands of American troops will be left behind in Iraq, even if he can make good on his campaign promise to pull all combat forces out within 16 months.

That status-of-forces agreement remains subject to change, by mutual agreement, and U.S. Army planners acknowledge privately that they are examining projections that could see the number of Americans hovering between 30,000 and 50,000 – and some say as high as 70,000 – for a substantial time even beyond 2011.

Sound like an occupation to me. Or a dagger pointed at Iran.

I hope Obama isn’t talking to God too.

Be Happy

ABC informs me that happiness is contagious.

Update: More here.

Misery, on the other hand, does not love company as much as happiness does. “Unhappiness doesn’t spread as intensely or as consistently as happiness,” he says.

Now you know.

Update 2: SOCIAL NETWORKS AND HAPPINESS

We found that social networks have clusters of happy and unhappy people within them that reach out to three degrees of separation. A person’s happiness is related to the happiness of their friends, their friends’ friends, and their friends’ friends’ friends—that is, to people well beyond their social horizon. We found that happy people tend to be located in the center of their social networks and to be located in large clusters of other happy people. And we found that each additional happy friend increases a person’s probability of being happy by about 9%. For comparison, having an extra $5,000 in income (in 1984 dollars) increased the probability of being happy by about 2%.

Yes, I’m lagging CNN on this one. via (via added to keep everyone happy)

This Ain’t Rocket Science

Matt 5:43″You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[h] and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[i] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.*

*It should be obvious, but it isn’t, that perfect in this sense cannot mean without flaw as He who lives forever is, given the nature of man, so that perfect must denote something else, which would in these passages would be complete. We cannot be without flaw, but we can be complete in our love even if that love is in fact flawed.

Luke 6: 27″But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32″If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

These passages totally refute what Rick Warren is saying,

Last night, on Fox News, Sean Hannity insisted that United States needs to “take out” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Warren said he agreed. Hannity asked, “Am I advocating something dark, evil or something righteous?” Warren responded, “Well, actually, the Bible says that evil cannot be negotiated with. It has to just be stopped…. In fact, that is the legitimate role of government. The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers. Not good-doers. Evildoers.”

So yes, Sean, you are advocating evil, and Mr. Warren is bringing reproach on the Christ.

This is I believe the point where the one without sin may cast the first stone. That too, I believe, is also pertinent to the conversation. We are not obligated to assign a value to sin, since which sin does not cause death? Sin is not a function of the Law, which is pure and Holy, but the Law only makes sin manifest. Where are Job, Noah and Daniel if not dead? The Law cannot however make righteousness manifest, only God, who is love, can make righteousness manifest as he did through the Messiah. That one lives not by Law, but by love, and that love was made manifest before men.

The world has grown smaller with technology, and mankind with it. It is time to widened ourselves out.

UD: I put my stuff in blockquotes, just so you know.

Sometimes You Gotta Listen To Your Doctors

Infrastructure

… A bunch of other infrastructure projects are probably good ideas on the merits, could use some federal money, but are unlikely to really be able to get off the ground fast enough to really be a quality short run stimulus. But there’s another category of stuff, low level things like street and sidewalk repair, demolition of abandoned buildings, etc… that there’s pretty much an infinite demand for. They’re the types of things you can defer for a long time, so local authorities do, but they’re still worthwhile projects….

While the lists and amounts that could be spent on infrastructure improvements is almost endless, these are projects that are needed in rural and urban areas.

And while I agree with the necessity for bridge repairs, especially on the interstate system, and acknowledging the need within cities is greater than out here in the boondocks, I would only hope that transportation corridors would be build and designed with the idea in mind of where the country needs to be in fifty or sixty years when the population is approaching half a billion.

UD: More here, and here.

Ethical Bind

U.S. let Saddam gas Kurds for farm deal

Declassified CIA documents show that the US opposed sanctions on Iraq in the 80s when it was gassing Kurds because of fear of Iran and because, yes, they wanted to sell more food to Iraq.

Ian has the link to the CNN article.

I’m not aware of what will be in Amanpour’s report, but all of this stuff was pointed out before the Splendid. Little. War. There is still an inkling in my mind that this was the motivation for taking out Saddam, he knew too damned much, and a lot of what he knew the Iranians do too.

While it is easy to note that we exported our hypocrisy before our democracy, and of the two the former will probably be more lasting, the idea that this would be deemed news, or informative, which for many people it will be, it also highlights a reason why we are in the current bind, and not just in foreign policy, but economically as well.

The people are being fed on line of bullshit after another by the political class which has been aided and abetted by the media, which has been suborned for decades by the government, (Operation Paperclip,) and is now a pawn and tool of the corporatists that have profited from the sales of the munitions and farm produce, just as the government itself has become.

As such the coverup has been worse than the crime, since the coverup entails wars, of which this one incident spawned three. Anthropomorphic or religious and ethical implications aside, that is just the fact. How you rationalize it is your business.

Bailout Sprawl

Calls for $1 Trillion Stimulus Package Grow as Economy Tumbles

Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University professor who was an adviser to Republican presidential candidate John McCain, and Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winner who served in President Bill Clinton’s White House, are among those who say President- elect Barack Obama should push for a package of that size.

“They need a stimulus of $500-to-$600 billion a year for at least two years to counter what is going to be a collapse in consumption,” said Rogoff, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.

Everybody has an opinion on how much, if any, stimulus the government should provide the economy, but I don’t really see how the government can fail to act as more people perceive they are sinking into financial ruin.

Last Laughers Curve

Heh,

Anonymous Liberal has a doozy of a video for ya, wink wink.

Who Will Break It To The Media?

今日の緑さん

Did you know that Japanese is currently the most popular blogging language in the world? It surprised me, I must admit. According to The Telegraph, with several hundred million blog authors, there are more posts written in Japanese than in either English or Chinese (I presume, by Chinese, they probably mean Mandarin).

Interestingly, at least one japanese blog is written by a plant

Pesky Ferns