Category Archives: ceterum censeo tribuo Lieberman tabernus

And Do Not Damage The Oil And The Wine!"

Yet More Trade Finance Worries (Not for the Fainthearted)

If cargo trade stops, a whole lot of supply chain disruption starts….

If cargo trade stops, the wheat doesn’t get exported. If the wheat doesn’t get exported, the mill has nothing to grind into flour. If there is no flour, the bakeries and food processors can’t produce bread and pasta and other foods. If there are no foods shipped from the bakeries and factories, there are no foods in the shops. If there are no foods in the shops, people go hungry. If people go hungry their children go hungry. When children go hungry, people riot and governments fall.

What say ye Hagee?

U-3 or U-6?

Doubts raised over prospects of success for ‘hasty summit’

With US unemployment at its highest level in 25 years, the eurozone in recession and Chinese growth slowing, the challenges confronting the global economy are daunting. But the expectations are limited for what will emerge from those five hours of discussions. Two years of work went into the original Bretton Woods, compared with a month of scrambled preparations for this summit. “There hasn’t been enough preparatory work for this summit to come up with any systemic recommendations,” said Dani Rodrik, a professor of economics at Harvard University.

Perhaps just in time leadership is the new political norm. In any case, one should not underestimate the ability of the world’s leaders to totally screw things up on short notice.

Comon’ Joe, You Can Do It!

Obama aide apologises to US-Arabs

President-elect Barack Obama’s White House chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel has apologised to the US-Arab community for remarks made by his father.

On its website, the committee quoted Mr Rahm as saying: “From the fullness of my heart, I personally apologise on behalf of my family and me. These are not the values upon which I was raised or those of my family.”

I am quite sure that there are those within the Democratic Party that will not accept any apology from Joe Lieberman, even if he were to follow his own traditions and ask for forgiveness three times along the lines of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis, and duly noted here.

I haven’t any idea what the tradition is amongst Democratic atheists, although I doubt it is any worse than those of the Christians who seek forgiveness often but do not do grant it themselves, even though the tradition is to forgive freely as often as one is asked to do so, regardless of sincerity as is conveyed by the instruction to forgive seven times seventy times.

So it is best not to digress into a theological dissertation on matters that are political, and accept things such as this pro forma apology as a political necessity so as to acquiesce to the desires of the President elect.

In doing so we acknowledge the separation of our faith from our politics since they are incompatible with their respective necessities. This of course gives me great glee, as it highlights the necessity of keeping church and state separated so as to keep the hypocrisy of human affairs from spilling over into our religious affairs and making us hypocrites in both secular and spiritual realms, a thing which I believe is the horn of your current dilemma, as well as many others pertaining to those of the Christian right.

To that end I pray you will circumcise your heart and head, and assure you that I will accept your apology if and when it is forth coming. I am speaking only for myself of course, and those whom you have insulted must make up their own minds as to whether pro forma contrition is acceptable to themselves in this situation. I will promise only to neither inhibit nor encourage their response.

Fact Is The Facts Are

Leahy Becomes First Senator To Demand Lieberman’s Ouster From Homeland Security Committee

“I’m one who does not feel that somebody should be rewarded with a major chairmanship after doing what he did.”

“I felt some of the attacks that he was involved in against Senator Obama…went way beyond the pale,” Leahy continued. “I thought they were not fair, I thought they were not legitimate, I thought they perpetuated some of these horrible myths that were being run about Senator Obama.”

“I would feel that had I done something similar,” Leahy concluded, “that I would not be chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the next Congress.”

Bernie Sanders Joins Leahy In Demanding Ouster Of Lieberman From Chairmanship

“To reward Senator Lieberman with a major committee chairmanship would be a slap in the face of millions of Americans who worked tirelessly for Barack Obama and who want to see real change in our country,” Sanders in the statement sent our way by his office.

“Appointing someone to a major post who led the opposition to everything we are fighting for is not ‘change we can believe in,'” Sanders continued. “I very much hope that Senator Lieberman stays in the Democratic caucus and is successful in regaining the confidence of those whom he has disappointed. This is not a time, however, in which he should be rewarded with a major committee chairmanship.”

The fact also remains that were he not a super delegate he wouldn’t even be allowed to be a delegate, and Joe and the rest of the Congress know it.

Not Oils Well That Ends Well

Investor Lawsuit Closes Kuwaiti Bourse, Gulf Markets Pummeled

AMMAN – The global financial crisis continued to pummel the oil-rich Arab Gulf markets this week, prompting an unprecedented and controversial court order that closed down the Kuwaiti bourse after an investor sued government and finance officials for compensation for his heavy losses.

Dubai is feeling the pinch as well. (HT)

May I Borrow Your Lawyers Mr. President Elect?

I mean they aren’t exactly having to contest the election, and since you did deploy an army of them, if you could see your way clear to lend me a battalion of them, I would say something nice about you. Net Spying Firm and ISPs Sued Over Ad System

Net eavesdropping firm NebuAd and its partner ISPs violated hacking and wiretapping laws when they tested advertising technology that spied on ISP customers web searches and surfing, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Monday.

Maliki Says Lets Do It

Maliki now supports new U.S. troop deal, close aide says

While the United States didn’t give in to Iraqi demands for the power to prosecute American soldiers, Maliki now thinks that this is the best deal they can get, Askari said.

The draft will be presented to the Cabinet on Sunday with Maliki’s support, and if it passes it will move to the parliament on Monday, Askari said. The parliamentary process will take at least a week, and if it doesn’t pass there, there’ll be no agreement.

One less problem is good news.

India Plants A Flag

Over the moon.Congratulations India! Their probe is on the surface.

For the next two years, Chandrayaan 1 will map a three-dimensional atlas of the Moon and also check for the presence of water-ice with the help of instruments built by India and other countries including the US, Britain and Germany.

I think it will be cool when they release the pictures of the Apollo sites.

Heh, Heh

A positive aspect of the Bush legacy

The international community now has a potent new motivating tool to dissuade world leaders from engaging in tyranny and aggression — tell them they’ll be like George Bush if they do it:

Nicolas Sarkozy saved the President of Georgia from being hanged “by the balls” — a threat made last summer by Vladimir Putin, according to an account that emerged yesterday from the Élysée Palace. . . .

The Russian seemed unconcerned by international reaction. “I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” Mr Putin declared.


Mr Sarkozy thought he had misheard. “Hang him?” — he asked.

“Why not?” Mr Putin replied. “The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”

Mr Sarkozy, using the familiar tu, tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?”

Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah — you have scored a point there.”

Well! I never!

Update: Well that’s it. It is just all over the tubes.


GERSON FEARS FAIRNESS DOCTRINE…. We talked the other day about far-right bloggers’ irrational fear of the re-emergence of the Fairness Doctrine. Apparently, the same paranoia has reached Washington Post columnists. Here’s Michael Gerson, warning the President-elect about moves he might make that would “trigger explosive controversy.”

I wonder where they come up with this stuff.

A Worthwhile Blog

In case you think I’m entirely too partisan, and too anti-media, (whatever in the hell that means anymore.) For those of you who may have forgotten or perhaps may have never learned, I always pay attention to intelligent conservatives thinking and writing. This of course excludes television, radio and most newspaper conservative thinking and writing, which has basically become a conversation with the mirror.

Treebeard’s Plum

This Biden will take as weregild…

At the end of Olbermann’s show, while he was chatting with Rachel Madow, I learned a fascinating thing: Every 4 years the federal government publishes a “Plum Book” detailing various executive branch positions. The Office of the Vice President is described as follows:

The Vice Presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch, but is attached by the Constitution to the latter.

Oh, and a look through other recent editions shows that the special status of the VP’s office was first enunciated there in 2004.

More smoke from Mordor.

What They Say Ain’t What They Pay

Reality Debased Community

While the statutory rate for US corporations is relatively high when compared to the tax codes implemented by other nations, US corporations pay a low effective tax rate on corporate earnings due to the availability of loopholes and deductions. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as lower effective rates make the US an attractive place to conduct business compared to jurisdictions with higher effective rates. However, during the presidential election, McCain and the GOP claimed the opposite: that the high statutory rate was scaring off business, while completely eliding the reality of the low effective rate.

Of course we shouldn’t expect corporate media to point this stuff out to their viewers. There job isn’t to inform people of the facts, it is to inform people on what their opinions should be despite the facts.

The Universe Is Really Just A Cosmic Turd

Evolution: it works, bixbites

Sometimes, a news item comes out that makes me slap my forehead and say, why didn’t I think of that!

In this case, it’s about evolution… kinda. Scientists at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory have studied the different processes that change the types of minerals present on Earth over time. What they found is that, overwhelmingly, the biggest process that has changed the mineral abundances over time is… life!

Yeah, us. But it makes such obvious sense. Life takes in various substances, processes them, and then, um, excretes out a different substance. And it’s not just us lumbering apes eating, drinking, and pooping. Plants do it, birds do it, bees do it. Bacteria really dominate the planet, and are responsible for all sorts of chemical changes to the minerals on Earth.

Online Delusional Misanthropic Group Hugs

Online psychosis:

The New York Times has an article about the interaction between the internet and psychosis that explored online communities that may be focused on delusional beliefs or comprised almost entirely of people who are having psychotic experiences.

If this seems slightly familiar, it’s because it’s partly based on a social network analysis study I did in 2006 with some UK colleagues (which we covered previously).

In a nutshell, the study specifically selected a set of websites describing personal experiences of mind control that were independently assessed by three psychiatrists as describing delusional experiences. Using social network analysis, the study demonstrated that these people were part of a social network just like other online and offline communities.

Sort of like watching TV.