Friday, December 22, 2006

Does Santa Get Spam?

This story about NORAD tracking Santa Claus is cute.

The website has many goodies and amusements (although it is getting a bit trashy). But when I looked at the link to send an email, the question popped into my head.


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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Complicated times

Wow, I have been off this blog for a long time. Thing is, we have adopted a 4 year old boy and we are still in a state of shock.

I won't bore you with details but suffice it to say its great and also.. it hasn't been all rosy.

But we are happy. I just cannot really go on about the adoption stuff due to stuff that is pending, legally, and I guess out for reasons of privacy, for want of a better explanation.

Also, I have a new job ... and I am suing my old employer for not paying me my bonus.

So, its a complicated time.

New job is cool and very exciting, daunting, promising. Working for an Emissions Credit Asset Manager, helping to raise a fund that invests in Carbon Credits through JI projects in Ukraine. So much of my past is brought to bear on this project; living in Ukraine, financial markets and commodities trading, starting up financial trading desks (my third), my huge contact base, and my never-ending desire to do something more interesting.

Oh, and an office window a stone's throw (literally a stone's throw) from Charles Bridge.













"Joint Implementation project in Ukraine" "CDM/JI" "Carbon Trading"

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rumsfeld's Departure: The One Good Thing

Think about it. All the news is covering this story. And NOT the Democrat’s win.

 

Talk about stealing the show.

 

 .

 

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pot in the Hamburger?

"It gives a whole new meaning to the word 'Whopper,"' the officers' attorney, Sam Bregman, said Monday.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ouch, Lynne Cheney.

She is good. I am not on the same page religiously, but what she is says, in my opinion, is accurate.



Story here.

You have to hand it to her. To be able to get on CNN and be prepared to take on all comers, and do it with quite fierce determination. There are so many of pitfalls that lie in wait. And if something goes bad, the spin explainers have to come and and say 'what she really meant was' type comments. But this time it looks fairly clean, direct and hard hitting.

PS : Is it "Lynne" or "Lynn"? Wikipedia writes the former, but many links have it the latter.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Media Keeps Trashing Emissions Trading.

I responded to a comment found on Larvatus Prodeo which seemed to me to be symptomatic of the general take on Emissions Trading:


I find it interesting that the idea of emissions trading - when taken from what the MSM puts out - always receives the initial negative response. The system is not perfect, I grant you, but it is really the first global effort that has some sort of organizing umbrella organization (the UN [link] ) that has the galvanizing support of one very important group behind it: financial market types.

Sure you may laugh at my comment, but if you consider other suggestions as put forth by the environmental types (um, basically shut down everything) or the individual “taxation” routes adopted by governments, you might begin to see why the idea of bringing into the realm of financial markets trading has some street cred.

I am, you should be aware, a financial markets type and a cynical one at that. My first salvo of cynicism is this: it would not ever have the chance of succeeding from the get-go unless bankers saw a profit in it. Sure, greed plays a major part in the success of the emissions trading scheme.

Next I will say that when people begin to understand emissions trading, they will see that the issue of ‘too many credits’ could very well be considered (in my opinion) a carrot rather than the stick, approach. Later on these carrot addicts will be facing the stick but entirely too far along to get out the carrot-stick world. I mean, basically, that the credits given out will be less and less over time.

Next, and this is very important, is that while there is emissions trading in the 25 nations of the EU (and 27 next year when Romania and Bulgaria join), credit can be incubated and harvested from around the world. For example, an energy user in China which burns coal, may be converted to gas, a cleaner fuel. They are enticed to do this because they can sell the future credits to willing buyers (to be used by the EU25 companies who must pay with these credits at the end of each year).

It may surprise you that there are huge amounts of money being invested into such funds now and a financial markets type like me begins to see the value of it (and begins drooling).

Ok, so now I am appearing to be a self=serving greedy trade. Well I am. But it proves to you one thing, capitalism, the pursuit of profit, has done what a bunch of greenies could not do: bring real action into the equation.

Yes, yes, there are problems. There are inequalities of access, far from transparent markets, perhaps too many credits to begin with. But it is a start!

Another criticism is that it is not so easy to understand is the economists’ wish of an auction.Well, I hate to say it, but I have now experience first hand the threat of a financial markets boycott. How? Well if the bankers are involved, they see ways that they can subvert the system to trade as they do Bonds or Equities. This is very cynical, but in my opinion, very accurate.

Lets say that the EU 25 companies were all given their credits, EUAs (European Union Allowances), all on one day, and told to trade them all on one exchange, via one electronic platform. A system like this would have been ideal, free from the issues of credit line relationships, payment worries, price transparency, and unequal access, as well as being cheaper to set up. But it wasn’t to be. In my opinion it would never have enlisted the support of banking and energy trading organizations that dominate the market (but represented through their governmental representatives).

Ok. Cynicism aside. I am in it because I enjoy new markets, found a niche for my company (as an intermediary between sellers from Eastern Europe to buyers in Western Europe). But also, I must say that even if one does not believe in global warming, the overall efforts of the Kyoto borne emissions trading scheme gives me succor on two fronts : 1) I do believe lower emissions is better from a general environmental view. I.e.., cleaner skies, cleaner neighborhoods, cleaner rivers. (oops, do NOT call me a greenie, please). 2) It really helps to promote energy efficiency by virtue of the huge R&D money thrown at the search for renewable energy. I don’t know if you have heard, there might be an energy shortage soon.

Ok back to cynicism. Windmills? Not in favour of them. I do not care of the blight on the landscape, but since wind does not come with an on/off switch, its hard to figure into the electricity trading grid. Storing it?: this means using the windmill power, converted to electricity, to pump water up a hill to a reservoir, to be let down the hill, to be converted into electricity. I cringe when I think of this waste.

Other backyard solutions? Solar panels, friction magnets in the oceans, even, if you believe the latest commercial on CNN, small generators under dance floors??? They do have some home applications such as heating the bath water, but the only real hope in my opinion is Nuclear. This is because it is the only big, big, BIG source that can begin to make a dent in the coming energy deficit.

Sorry I have run on a bit, but there are many things people need to understand about the emissions trading schemes. It is driven by the high-minded efforts to help the environment, stop global warming, save us from and energy deficit, etc etc. But only after some greed is thrown into the equation.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Darn!

Well, I mentioned Kinky Friedman in the last post and now I truly am worried. The pollsters have him grouped with others well behind the leader, Perry.
 
Referring to some attacks he has faced from opponents, he replied:
 
"You don't tackle anybody unless they're carrying the ball, and I think we're carrying the ball right now,"
 
Go Kinky!
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Scenarios That Hurt

I have always wondered which of these scenarios more accurately describes the real relationship of posturing to actual results.

A. You say that your candidate/party/referendum is likely to win, so some supporters of said candidate/party/referendum don't come out to cast their vote and your candidate/party/referendum loses.
B. You say that your candidate/party/referendum needs every vote because we are neck and neck so get out there and vote, but this causes some despair and some supporters don't cast their vote.
C. The media purports one candidate/party/referendum is doing very well and the other candidate/party/referendum is likely to lose, so the same supporters of that one candidate/party/referendum do not come out to cast the vote, feeling secure that their candidate/party/referendum will do well.

Lately we have had the Democrats saying that Bush and his cronies will be removed, the tide is turning, run the crooks out of office, etc, etc. I think this might very well be working against the Democrats. (Perhaps rod will help but showing me a few 'here, here and here' links to show me which of the choices more aptly describes these situations - without succumbing to whining about one or the other party).

After all, I don't think it is a situation like the battlefield where one side overruns the other's defenses, and, upon seeing that, the rest of the soldiers run to join the victorious charge. Its sounds more like a few lieutenants are attempting to rally the troops, only to be found later face down in the mud.

Okay, okay, I personally can easily imagine the Republicans losing control of one or both houses of congress (well, yes that could be due, in part - a large part - to the fact that I read a lot of the MSM). But then I have two problems with this portrayal of the situation :
"I'm confident we're going to keep the Senate; I'm confident we're going to keep the House" and later "Mr. Rove was upbeat, telling stories from the campaign trail and joking about skewed political coverage that disproportionately shows Democrats poised to take control of Congress"
Problem 1. Rove seems to be adding to the weakness of a potential scenario A. mentioned above.
Problem 2. If Rove says this, he must be quite secure in the knowledge that the Republicans will hold both houses. After all he would not like to give ammunition to the Left that will accuse him of losing his evil superpowers (I still love the 'dark side' analogies). So, it would seem he is not at all worried about scenario A.

Doesn't it seem that in the last few elections that the Democrats were purported to be closer than the actually were? No need to challenge me on that. I am not looking at numbers. Just comparing what the press says and the fact that the USA has a Republican president, senate and house. Go figure.

Ps, A. and C.above are indeed very similar and that is because A. represents the Democrats and C. represents the media. B? Well that represents the Texas Gubernatorial race. I am worried about Kinky Friedman. I want him to win. So much so, that I asked someone how difficult is it for me, a lapsed yank, to vote in Texas!
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Property Buying

Wow, what a pain.
 
The wife an I have been trying to find a mountain cottage for the last few months. Admittedly wife number 1 has been doing all the work.
 
Problem is, of course you might know already, I keep finding things wrong with whatever we see. So I come across as being Mr. Negative.
 
But we sooo want the weekend house.
 
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Friday, October 13, 2006

Found on Clayton Cramer.


Innumeracy Among Journalists

The more I think about the Lancet article, the more obviously bogus the results are. The claim is 654,965 excess deaths caused by the war from March 2003 through July 2006. That's 40 months, or 1200 days, so an average of 546 deaths per day.

To get an average of 546 deaths per day means that there must have been either many hundreds of days with 1000 or more deaths per day (example: 200 days with 1000 deaths = 200,000 dead leaves 1000 days with an average of 450 deaths), or tens of days with at least 10,000 or more deaths per day (example: 20 days with 10,000 deaths = 200,000 dead leaves 1180 days with an average of 381 deaths).

So, where are the news accounts of tens of days with 10,000 or more deaths? Where are the news accounts of hundreds of days with 1000 deaths or more? This article claims that there are perhaps 100 Iraqis a day now being killed in sectarian violence--and this is described as escalating violence. This horrifying article talks about 65 bodies found around Baghdad--with the claim that the day was "notable in its number."

Either the news media have been ignoring hundreds of days with 1000 or more deaths--or tens of days with 10,000 or more deaths--or the Lancet article is utterly wrong.












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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Google Reader

I am fascinated by Google's Reader. I have been using their Blogsearch function (a different page) and then pasting the rss feed to the Reader. In the Reader I can make folders and look for the latest on the topic. I have also used the reader to set up a job search using the rss feeds from Careerbuilder.com. This way I can see the latest jobs that meet his criteria. (ok, these job sites are a bit too much like fit the peg in the hole, plug in type jobs, I have to admit. But if you use them, you might as well have them all readable in one Reader).
 
Wasting time? Perhaps.
 
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A Bank With 107 million Customers

Reading yesterday's Financial Times on the tram to work today. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China will IPO soon. What caught my eye? "..this is a bank that has 18,000 branches and more customers than there are people in Mexico".
 
I checked the CIA Factbook and saw the there are 107.4 million people in Mexico.
 
Wow.
 
This seems like some science fiction futuristic bureaucracy.
 
Could you imagine, for instance, how many people will be on the phone, being redirected by the automated phone system? "If you would like information on your balance press 238, if you would like information on your overdraft, press 1402, if you would like to hold for an operator, please press zero ... Estimated waiting time is ... 25 days, 2 hours and 4 minutes. We value your patronage! "
 
 
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Monday, October 09, 2006

South Park Trainer Video

If you have never watched South Park and cannot understand the popularity of the show, perhaps this is where you might start ... to believe!

Sorry, just at home with huge tooth ache. Waiting for dentist to give me morphine...or whatever is OTC legal (heh, over the counter legal).

This episode (in three parts) really displays their virsatility. Very witty, and an interesting use of the online-games genre. (Although, the poop scene was a bit too much ).

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Pelosi and the Swamp Creatures.

I got to admit, Drain the Swamp, is a catchy soundbite.

Speaking of swamp creatures...

Oh, nevermind, ... too obvious. I bet Jay Leno will already have had his writers on that one.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Osama Wears Croc Shoes!

Somehow I came upon this cartoon (Happy New Year from JerusalmOnline.com)where Nasrallah, Ahmadinejad, Assad and Osama are wishing everyone a happy new year by singing, Hava Nagila. Yes, the Jewish song.

But some flash animator has the wacky sense of humor to display Osama wearing Croc shoes. (The animator must really, really, hate Crocs!)

Now, I am offended that someone has the audacity to put Osama in a pair of my favorite shoes!

Actually, I can understand it. They are quite wierd looking. Comfortable, though. There are even some really aggressive Croc haters out there. Perhaps this video was hoping to target and aligh with that group? heh heh.


Happy New Year from JerusalmOnline.com
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An Expectant Nobel Dad

The father of a Nobel prize winner - who himself won a Nobel prize winner from 1959 - 'wondered why the second family Nobel was “so long in coming.”'

Those Nobel guys must have some wit! From Jewlicious.com.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Silly Afternoon Humor

I had to watch this at least 5 times at work today.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Republicans Are Masters of the "Reverse Spin"

I really believe that it is possible the leak of the National Intelligence Estimate report was another example of shrewd "reverse spinning". I got this feeling when I saw the CNN TV report last night when, after the initial comment that "jihadists will grow in number as a result of the Iraq War", the list given pointed out a list of positive results in an admittedly nasty undertaking.

For example, the NIE states that while the jihadists consider the Iraq War a "cause celebre", it is clear that doing well in Iraq will help diminish the urge of muslims to join the cause. Also, "the loss of key leaders, particularly Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and [Abu Musab] al-Zarqawi, in rapid succession, probably would cause the group to fracture into smaller groups."

Therefore the stratagem of the Democrats may fall flat since they will have trumped up the negativity of the report which does reveal some very negative things, but in fact illustrates some very plausible advice. Such as "exposing the jihadists' radical ideology and urging respected Muslim leaders to denounce terrorist tactics, according to the report." The respected-Muslim-leader approach is very valid, in my opinion.

I think comments like those of Rep. Jane Harman, will be thought of as ones that missed their target, because there was no target. Harman said "I hear it paints a grim picture. And because it does, I am told it is being held until after the November elections. If this estimate is finished, it should not be stamped 'draft' and hidden from the American people until after the elections." (CNN)

So the point is that the Democrats accused the administration of hiding a report that was negative. So they release the report that , surprise, surprise, has some good points. Sure it ain't nearly perfect, but it throws a bucket of water on the Democrat's plan.

I still wonder if the Plamegate affair was choreographed. Ok, perhaps this is too ridiculous, but the affect was advantageous to Bush and co. And the combined issues of the Clinton-Wallace interview cum The Path to 9/11 story, showing the underbelly (and bare calves, 1, 2, *) of the Democrat beast? It seems that these embarrassments are being prepared by a few clever puppet masters. Ok, now I am dreaming.

*great video last night mentioning the finger pointing and bare calves of Bill; I must find the link!
onal Intelligence Estimate
N
l Intelligence Estimate
National Intelligence Estimate

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Osama Lewinsky







Kudos to those that posted here.

Monday, September 25, 2006

"As a member of the infidels I am outraged."

That is how Marc at Neverdock qualifies the new move of British police to brief the Muslim Safety Forum before any raids are made against suspected terrorist cells in the UK.
 
Apparently this is a flawed approach (doh!) as some of the characters in the MSF are linked to unsavory groups.
 
Color me skeptical.
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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Can he speak the truth?

First watch this:




And then watch this:



I mean, CAN he?

Ok, they all lie. (politicians)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Lightning response, or um, static-cling?

 

Iran warns of 'lightning' response to any attack

 

"We want peace but we warn the expansionists not to think of an aggression against Iran as we can defend the fatherland and Islam," Vice President Parviz Davoodi warned.

"Our lions are so powerful that they can strike the enemy like lightning and destroy him," he added.

 

Somehow this seems like all the other weak tyrant-rap. 

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Kinky video

Had the idea to look up Kinky on youtube. Came up with this beauty.
 
Watch the ending, after Bob Dylan and Kinky Friedman end their playing. The presenters of what appears to be a telethon fundraiser, seeme, to me at least, to be Brooklyn accented rabbis that start doing a schmaltzy dance. Great comedy.
 
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Kinky the target

Apparently someone dug back in the past to find dirt on Kinky and came up with him doing something that, taken out of context, could look fairly discriminatory. I would like someone to direct me to that advertisement (used by his opponents) or the original source.

Kinky Friedman Campaign Statement

While Rick Perry was cheerleading in college and Chris Bell was being potty trained, Kinky Friedman was picketing segregated restaurants in Austin to integrate them. Now that Kinky’s in second place and a serious threat to the two-party system, Perry and Bell have paid political assassins to dig back as far as 30 years through fictional books, comedy shows and satirical song lyrics, desperately seeking to paint Kinky as a racist.

Republicans and Democrats have created an entire industry-- called Opposition Research-- whose sole purpose is to tarnish and destroy people’s reputations. This is why regular citizens don't run for office. If you do, and you start to threaten the system as Kinky has, you’re going to be attacked.

Kinky has overcome all of the obstacles placed before him - getting on the ballot, raising millions of dollars, building the largest grassroots network Texas has ever seen, and breaking 20% in the polls months ago. He's a serious threat to the establishment, and when you threaten the political establishment, they use the money generated from their formidable fundraising machines to pay for "dirty tricks" tactics to manipulate the press.

It's a slimy industry that exists for the sole purpose of destroying people and -- like cockroaches-- scurries for the shadows whenever a light is shined on it.

The latest political assassination attempt takes completely out of context a controversial word that Kinky was using in a 1980 stand-up performance to lampoon racists. Playing a character on stage, Kinky was exposing bigotry through comedy and satire.

It’s pathetic that the major-party candidates have sunk to this – trying to paint Kinky as a racist when, in fact, he was poking fun at racists. Shame on the press for being complicit. Rather than confront our opponents on their tactics and get the full story, they are allowing industries like opposition research to exist and operate outside the understanding of most voters.

Posted by Kinky Web on September 21, 2006 04:18 PM |

By the way, I use one of Kinky's quotes in my normal email signature. I, too, am a dog person.
“They say when you die and go to heaven all the dogs and cats you've ever had in your life come running to meet you."
- Kinky Friedman
* I sincerely wish that this statement is true. I had some good dogs and cats and hope to see them again.

dantravels

North Turramura nsw

I am watching sitemeter. right now someone from North Turramura is on , presumably reading my blog.
who are you?
dantravels.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

This sucks

I liked this guy and the show.
TV presenter 'stable' after crash
Richard Hammond
The presenter is being treated at Leeds General Infirmary
Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond is stable but remains seriously ill in hospital after he crashed a jet-powered car during filming for the BBC show.

The 36-year-old was thought to be driving at about 300mph on an airfield near York when he crashed on Wednesday.

The BBC, which is likely to be closely scrutinised, and the Health and Safety Executive will investigate the crash.

Top Gear co-host Jeremy Clarkson, who was visiting the hospital, said many motorists were "rooting for" Hammond.

More here

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Longing for Oz

Feeling blue, missing Australia (again).

So here is a happy snap from Phillip Island

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Aussies, again.

Its so nice to see some memorable people praising the Aussie government for saying what they really think (1, 2, 3, 4) as regards some events of the last few years.

In case you don’t get the point, I have found Aussies to be very direct, although perhaps a bit more colourful. I lived there for 7 years and came away with citizenship (proudly, I might add).

So as an adopted Aussie, and a born American, I have to say that lately I recognize that what John Howard says is more accurately representative of my way of thinking.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

What the...?


Earlier this evening I was reading something about Warren Buffett saying that a nuke attack on US soil is “inevitable”.

And then I read this.

Being in Prague has some comfort. But where I really want to be is OZ
.

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He Watched It

Bill Gertz’ book, “Enemies” supposedly recounts a number of oddities that only the world of spies knew. While most are shocking and sad (since they show how the security services of the USA are more like a Jackie Chan movie), others are simply priceless for their ironic humour.

 

Apparently, if what Gertz says is true,

 

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il was so upset by the 2004 puppet comedy film “Team America: World Police,” that he ordered his intelligence agents to assassinate the producers.

 

 

Ha! When I saw Team America, and saw how Kim Jong-il was portrayed, I am sure I wondered if Kim had seen himself. What would he have thought?

 

It begs the question, do all leaders watch themselves portrayed in movies, cartoons or in print. Think about Saddam watching the South Park movie, (no, I mean before 2003, not the latest viewing, force-fed by his jailers), and the translator wondering if he was going to get himself killed for saying the real words.

 

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Aussies Say It Better (III)

Yet again, Howard Government speaks plainly, accurately and in a way that I wish many other politicians would speak: without being encumbered with Political Correctness.
"We live in a world of terrorism where evil acts are being regularly perpetrated in the name of your faith," Mr. Robb said at the Sydney conference.

"And because it is your faith that is being invoked as justification for these evil acts, it is your problem.

"You can't wish it away, or ignore it, just because it has been caused by others.

"Instead, speak up and condemn terrorism, defend your role in the way of life that we all share here in Australia."
 
That was from Andrew Robb, multicultural spokesman (ok, so the neologistic title is a bit PC) as noted on Instapundit .
 
The point here is that many do not wish to offend sensibilities. Crap! And look at the statements by the Pope! That was a ludicrous example of someone going nuts, taking the whole quoted passage out of context.
 
.
 
 
 

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ok, this is wierd.


For some reason I have recently noticed a huge site visit rise to my blog. I am not happy. I am ultra suspicious.

Perhaps it began with the "Path to 9/11" post. Or because I mentioned the Democratic Underground. Or ... ?? what could it be.

Did someone like Instapundit mention me? Hardly. I am a nobody.

What could it be? Please tell me.

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Kinky Taps People











I think Kinky is treading in a mine field (and also a snake-infested field) when he speaks about legalizing Marijuana. Just when he might have got some of the older folks ready to trust him (about schools and paying teachers; about cleaning house and change in government; about oil and other energy for the great state of Texas) he plays the drug card. I think that was a misstep.

This article does mention some salient points however. Some people he would like to 'tap' or join his team. I especially like the answer he gave when he was accused of saying that all the Katrina evacuees were "crackheads and thugs."

Friedman said Wednesday that his plan to give $100 million to Houston to hire more police "was not in any way racist."

"How can you possibly regret that, telling the truth?" he asked. "I am not a racist, I am a realist. In looking at the statistics, I know that 20 percent of the homicides in Houston have been committed by the element in the evacuee population.

"I never said what color their skin was. I never said all evacuees are crack dealers or crackheads. I'm smarter than that."


I am really, really rooting for this guy.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Master Play by ABC

I think that ABC knows full well what it is doing. The publicity for The Path To 9/11 has been dramatic, inspired, choreographed and, well, damn good.

Why?

Well, it seems that they have 'edited' the version that will go to air on Sunday night. Perhaps this was the plan all along. I am no expert in film making but isnt there quite a lot of lead time necessary? I mean, to shoot the film (lets say it was shot 9 months ago) and to do all the post production stuff, normally takes a lot of effort and time. To re-shoot seens in not unheard of, but always something to avoid.

So, they probably have many, many endings to the same scenes. My point is, that they were 'on purpose'.

Think about it. No, really. I read that there are 900 screeners out there. (you know, the things that are 1.given to reviewers and tv stations, 2.copied illegally and distributed over bit-torrent clients). These screeners may have included the most inflamatory scenes and probably were delivered directly to Clinton aides, and the like.

So, they see the inflamatory scenes, make a comment on it, press goes into a frenzy, and even the Democrats ask for it to be pulled!. Can't get much better than that!!

But when the final cut is shown? The mild scenes will probably be used.

I think the public could even say that the Democrats would have gone overboard to hide it. So ABC will come out smelling like a rose, the Democtic Underground will be marginalized for their efforts (You can bet that the DU supporters will be the most active viewers; isn't that ironic?)

Now don't get me wrong, I am sure it will be schlocky (or shabby) but I will still watch it because of this publicity.

See, ABC wins.

--

On a another note, I wonder if you might say that some of these actors were conservative types. I mean, they have Harvey Keitel. Sure the rest are not very well know. But they must have realized they would be up for blacklisting.

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Path to 9/11

I guess my only comment about this movie is that Democratic Undergrunts are trying 'bomb' Google and Technorati so that when people search the movie, they will come up with DU supporters' criticism. This post is my protest against the DU tactic.

I mean, what do Google and Technorati have to say about this? I would not agree with conservative bloggers doing the same (although I am sure someone will tell me it was the dark side's invention). Really, is it ethical/legal? Does it not further invalidate Google and Technorati?

Have not seen the film. I am certainly no fan of Clinton. I found him to be smarmy, like a car salesman.



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"The Path to 9/11" ABC Path 9/11

Friday, September 01, 2006

Croc Shoes Euorpe?

I want to find Croc shoes in Europe. And I want to work for Croc shoes to help market in Europe (in case Guy happens to check.)

Purchased in Maryland. Worn by a group of us on my last visit to the States. We bought 4 pair.



I am seriously thinking they need someone like me to market their product in Europe. They have the websites, but not the real presence.

And the shoes are worth the hype.


I have these.






But for next summer, I want these.






Yeah, yeah, yeah, they are supper comfortable, but they GRIP the pavement and are great in wet spots. I read somewhere that they were designed by boat enthusiasts for boat decks.

The open holes are cool for those of us who like sandles but don't favour the toes being naked for all to see in public.

I want them because my feet are hot, and I want the Islanders since they have a bit more collar,like the old Sperry (r) Topsiders.


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Biodiesel

"There was an incident in colorado where a bear attacked a truck full of biodiesel because it smelled like french fries."

"This is the downside of biodiesel. "

- Kinky Friedman

(national public radio pod cast on Deep-Fried Fuel: A Biodiesel Kitchen Vision )


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Kinky For Governor.:You got to love the guy.

Could Kinky Friedman really be our next governor?


I am fascinated by this guy. He won my admiration first for his love of dogs. No, really. He runs a dog sanctuary(?) that has a 'no-kill' policy.

But then I heard he had written a few humourous, pulp crime novels.

Then I heard that he was the front man for a country music band, called the "Texas Jewboys", and hangs out with Willie Nelson.

The Wikipedia entry about the Texas gubernatorial election, 2006, describes him as "Richard "Kinky" Friedman - Country Music Singer, Mystery Author, and Jewish Cowboy." Yuk , yuk, "jewish cowboy"

All this is in reverse, mind you, and I recognize theh fact that many people were probably well aware of his notoriety long, long ago.

Nevertheless, you got to love the guy.

Oh, yeah, he really is doing well in the Gubernatorial Race.


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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Aussies Say It Better

Once again it takes an Aussie to say it out loud.


  • "What concerns me greatly is the evidence of dishonesty in the reporting out of Lebanon. For example, a Reuters photographer was forced to resign after doctoring images to exaggerate the impact of Israeli air attacks. There were the widely-reported claims that Israel had bombed deliberately a Red Cross ambulance.
    In subsequent weeks, the world has discovered those allegations do not stand up to even the most rudimentary scrutiny. After closer study of the images of the damage to the ambulance, it is beyond serious dispute that this episode has all the makings of a hoax. Yet some of the world’s most prestigious media outlets, including some of those represented here today, ran that story as fact - unchallenged, unquestioned. Similarly, there has been the tendency to report every casualty on the Lebanese side of the conflict as if a civilian casualty, when it was indisputable that a great many of those injured or killed in Israeli offensives were armed Hezbollah combatants.

    My point is this: in a grown-up society such as our own, the media cannot expect to get away with parading falsehoods as truths, or ignoring salient facts because they happen to be inconvenient to the line of argument - or narrative - that particular journalists, or media organisations, might choose to adopt on any given controversy or issue." - Alexander Downer, Foreign Minister of Australia, via Melanie Phillips.

(Like this time).


Oh, and you should take a look at this video of Iraeli Defense Forces encountering Hizbollah fighters in a Lebanese village. Apparently, you must copy and past it, rather than simply clicking the link. (http://switch248-01.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ClipMediaID=209947&ak=63628786) .
And guess what, some of the Hizbollah were dressed as IDF.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Are You Sick of Media Abuse?

Well then, read this story about the staged Lebanese ambulance. Worth a read especially for those who believe that the Israelis were too hard on the Lebanese.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Lieberman

Seems like the democrats approach to the Lieberman issue is only going to hurt them.

"Quinnipiac's latest poll suggests that the anti-war sentiment in CT isn't as fervent as anticipated, which would be comforting news for the state's GOP incumbents.

-- The poll finds that 41% of likely voters agreed with Joe Lieberman on the Iraq war, and 21% more said it wouldn't be a decisive factor. (We'd still like to see more questions like this with different wordings.) In CT 04, 58% wouldn't boot Joe because of the war; in CT 02, 66% said they wouldn't. That gives Reps. Simmons, Shays and Johnson a decent-sized base to win over voters on their domestic record." from The Hotline : Hotline On Call: House Race Hotline Update: On Second Thought...

Also Declare Victory, Get Out

Spending too much time worrying about Joe is hurting the democrats across the country. Something about how they should go after easier Republican targets (because they will lose against Joe) - WSJ's Taranto

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Family Strolls By

I love this video on power line. How many times to you watch the fighting between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and think, 'is that really true? Is it accurate?'

This is a good expose of the methods used by those that wish to provide sound bites, film bites for international media.

Power Line Video


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Friday, August 11, 2006

Back in the US and A

Its wierd here. Thats all I can say.

My wife and I are visiting siblings and parents in Rockville, Maryland and San Diego. Just now in sunny San Diego.

Oh, and I am eating too much.

And now we have to travel after a terror threat. I guess I should be feeling safe since the security is beefed up.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Can a Laser be captured and used by Hizbollah?

Are all Laser sighting devices coded? Or is a Laser 'x-marks-the-spot" all you need?

I had this thought that perhaps Hizbollah has used lasers to mis-direct the falling ordinance and missiles. Perhaps it is naive. However, I saw a story about an IDF special forces soldier killed in Lebanon. His job was to aim these lasers. What happened to his, when he was killed? I could imagine the many uses of one. Hitting UN posts, for example. Saving a few rockets, at the expense of the apartment block?

At any rate, I am one of those who is angry at Hizbollah for using the citizenry as shields. And.. using the press to their advantage. Both these issues make me ill with rage.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Castaway on an "Island of Capitalism"

During the years of socialism in eastern Europe (I mean when the communists held sway, you know, COMECON, USSR controled business empire of communist nations) there were individual Foreign Trade Organizations within these economies responsible for various sections of the economic trade.

For example, in Czech Republic they had SkodaExport, responsible for engineering projects, TechnoExport responsible for turnkey operations such as idustrial plant operation and exporting of technology in the form of qualified engineers, or Omnipol which, I believe, did chemical and petroleum products. Or did they export guns?

Anyway, these organs were called 'islands of capitalism" because they operated as businesses, looking to handle the natural trade of Czech products and services, with the parent being the State, or goverment.

Today I met a fellow that used to operate in Arab countries and Eastern Bloc countries, doing various things for trade for the Czechoslovak government. He regaled me with stories of the wonderful life during those times. He could get anything. He had such a diplomatic life.

"And the girls..." he mused, with a nice smile on his face.

For two guys with Wanderlust, (i had to explain this word to him , but he understood and agreed wholeheartedly), it was a relaxing and pleasureable concept, sitting, as we were, out side on the Vltava River, having a few Gambrinus beers.

Amusingly he told me later, "oh and I met one of my favorite girlfriends from those days, just last week!"

"But you know what?" he went on, "She is an old lady now!"

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Two Billion watched a head butt?

"This was not something to do. I want to make it clear because it was watched by two billion people and by millions of kids," Zidane said.

Materazzi insulted mother and sister: Zidane | Reuters.com

I was not especially backing the French during this match. But when i read this...

"He (Materazzi) pronounced very tough words about my mother and my sister. I tried not to listen to him but he kept repeating them,"

"kept repeating them"


I can only conclude that it was an intentional taunt. Something to draw the action that was, accurately, completed. So.. I think if this was the object, that Italy should be stripped. But of course that is never going to happen.

Two billion watched it? I guess that could be the beginning of a new way of crime perpetrated by family insults, and perhaps justified?


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Monday, July 10, 2006

CNN.com - Japan debates strikes on N. Korea - Jul 10, 2006

It would be ironic and sad if Japan draws the ire of North Korea, to the point where Kim Il Jong drops a nuclear warhead on Japanese soil.

Ironic because it would make them the only contry to have been targeted - and hit - by aggressively antagonisitc forces, using the power of the atom, ... TWICE!

CNN.com - Japan debates strikes on N. Korea - Jul 10, 2006

Sorry if that came out a bit crude, but I think you get the point.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Dog Philosophy 101

The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.
-Anonymous

Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.
-Ann Landers

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
-Ben Williams

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
-Josh Billings

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
-Andy Rooney

We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their
all. It's the best deal man has ever made.
-M. Acklam

Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always
have to mix love and hate.
- Sigmund Freud

I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.
-Rita Rudner

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.
-Robert Benchley

Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.
-Franklin P. Jones

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few
persons.
-James Thurber

If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise.
-Unknown

My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can. That's almost $21.00 in dog money.
-Joe Weinstein

Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most
amazing haul -- chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!
-Anne Tyler

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
-Robert A. Heinlei

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference
between a dog and a man.
-Mark Twain

You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'Wow, you're right! I never
would've thought of that!'
- Dave Barry

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
-Roger Caras

If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.
-Phil Pastoret


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Friday, June 30, 2006

FT.com / Home UK / UK - Indonesian bird flu response criticised

Oh deary me. Here we have a reporter speaking about the problems with threat of Bird Flu and the problems in an emerging nation like Indonesia.

Risky scenarios that failed the test, completely. What the critics say is that the situation should have been contained (reminds me of the end of ET when all the guys come in wearing bubble suits and they wrap the place up, but good!). Ain't gonna happen in Indonesia, believe you me.



FT.com / Home UK / UK - Indonesian bird flu response criticised

I like the way the reporter is on the verge of insulting the Indonesians for being such a backward place. They even asked for money so they could build the institutions for health, which they should have had anyway. The reporter seems to be saying, "oh, so you want us to line your pockets with donated cash, because we all know the money will disappear, rather than stopping the spread of bird flu!"

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wounded soldier jogs with president on Yahoo! News Photos



Wounded soldier jogs with president on Yahoo! News Photos
Sure its a photo-op, but the dog, the soldier, the hand on the shoulder... works for me.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tom Green dot com

I haven't had much to say lately but I just found TomGreen.com which has a pretty good feed working. Take a look.

He is doing an internet Chat show format. Kind of cool.

I am secretly hoping he calls me up to interview me..



Danno

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Ethanol Production : Hardly Very Green

Nick Grealy at the NHS in the UK writes a compelling argument agains the wastefulness of ethanol production. Ie, to make ethanol is harming the environment, and rushing into it may be a mistake.

Reminds me of all the hype about battery powered cars: the electricity used for the battery charging is 1) wasteful due to loss in transmission, 2) only moves the pollution production to the place where the electricity is created, rather than smoke coming frm the tailpipe.


"In principle, making fuel from plants makes good sense. Instead of spewing fossilized carbon into the atmosphere, you're burning the same carbon that a plant removed from the air only a few months earlier - so, theoretically, you've added no additional carbon. Sounds pretty green - and would be, if the plant you proposed to make the ethanol from were grown in a green way.
But corn is not."

"But just because making ethanol from corn is an environmentally and economically absurd proposition doesn't mean ethanol made from other plants is a bad idea."


I think his opinion (The Great Yellow Hope) is very telling.


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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bird Flu : Has It Begun?

Report of humans infecting humans in Indonesia.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Da Vinci Code

So we saw The Da Vinci Code the other night. I have to say it was not as bad as what I was expecting after hearing all the comments out of Cannes. I read the book and factually they conveyed all the pertinent parts fairly well.

My only criticism was that Tom Hanks looked so wierd and to be honest, unhealthy. I guess I mean fat!

When you think about his diet during the movie Castaway, you would have thought he would be able to control his weight better.

Or maybe it was his wacky haircut. I love the guy, but every time I seem him nowadays, I think about how he looked during Bosom Buddies and Bachelor Party.

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006


A very real patent in the USA.









Thank goodness for that "outflow one-way flap sphincter"!






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Monday, May 01, 2006

Bird Flu Movie

Fatal Contact
Bird Flu!

A new disaster movie is coming out called Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America
In times like these I believe its useful to link to the gov't agencies and the sites for treatment. I am very pessimistic, as you can see.

Key Facts About Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) and Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Virus


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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ah, Mrs Emma Peel



























I stumbled upon the Avengers' website.
And the link to photos of Emma Peel ...

UPDATE ... I made a big mistake when i first posted... I called her "Miss" when everyone knows she was "Mrs Peel". That added some allure to it, don't you think?

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What I Look At All Day


Carbon Emissions prices going up , up, up. Following oil.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Floodsurfing


There is something about these photos... I don't know what it is. Something sadly ironic. But Prague-spot.com probably gets credit for the term "floodsurfing".

Its like the opposite of the expression "make hay while the sun shines", "windsurf while its flooding"






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Whiskey and Endorphins

After an hour in the Gym I went to meet my wife for dinner at Rhapsody in Prague 7. Its a really comfortable piano bar/restaurant.

But I tell you what. After a very tough workout, there is nothing like having two neat J&B whiskies. (Did you know Whiskeys and Whiskies are both accurate?), the combination of the alcohol and the endorphins was pretty good.

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Dog Friday





We had a heap of snow this winter. Every morning at 6 my dog walk was something like this, from a photo taken a few weeks ago. Red sky at about 6:15 am, and very, very cold.







Ginger here, and Semik (SHEH - mik) is the big blonde guy.












Usually they drop on the most comfortable place after an hour outside.













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And now we have a bit of a flooding problem.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Andy Rooney -

You got to love Andy Rooney.

Andy Rooney to Katie: Welcome to CBS, Now Get Out | NewsBusters.org

Admittely, I do not know what all this fuss is about with Katie Couric especially since I am not in the states for yonks.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

A Different Type of Flood Measurement

The Czech Republic is experiencing a sudden thaw the last two weeks and that has caused a lot of flooding since we had a quite a bit of snow in this last, very long, winter. In Moravia, around Olomouc especially but also on the Vltava River, from South to North.

My wife told me of this impending flooding last week by saying "Did you hear that we will have a one in ten years flood?".

I replied by saying "Didn't we have that flood in 2002?" In 2002 there was a really bad flooding of the Vltava that affected Czech Republic and also Germany (Remember Gerhard Schroder visiting the site of the floods which some say won him the elections in 2002?).

She said, "No, that was the one in 100 years flood!"

I never realized that type of measurement could be used. "One in X years". But it makes some sense.

Bad news, yesterday the flooding was upgraded to a "one in 30 years flood".

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Those Are Some Grandads!

Last night I was in a pub with a group celebrating a birhday. At one point i am at the bar with a few Czech guys and somehow we got on the topic of grandfathers after I mentioned that my father's father flew a plane in WWII and the other was a German that came from Silesia in 1913 to live in Brooklyn.

But then these guys started speaking of their grandads.

One guy, Miky, told us (in broken English) about his grandfather being a White Russian and how he escaped south through Turkey and ended up in Prague. "He hate Lenin!".

Nikos, (Greek and Czech) had a grandfather that was a communist in the Greek civil war and was given sanctuary by the Russians in Kazakhistan. He made his way to Czech Republic also.

Pepa (in better English) spoke of his grandfather who was a doctor in the Korean war. .. for the Chinese and North Koreans. "Lke MASH, but on the other side!!"

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Tom Jones collects his knighthood

BBC NEWS | UK | Wales | Tom Jones collects his knighthood

Since I took Australian Citizenship in 1995, I have always fancied the idea of being Knighted. If I am, I will use this line as spoken by Tom Jones, he said: "It is fantastic. It was lovely to see the Queen again."

(No, I did not meet the Queen once before. )

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Cranky koala

Someone tries to steal a koala and then a crocodile to sell so they could buy drugs.

Cranky koala meaner than stolen croc - National - smh.com.au

The point of this story is the amusing way that Aussie newspapers will print profanity (perhaps if it is a direct quote?).

"[But] apparently [the koala] scratched the shit out of them.''

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Earl and Ferrell

I had a cold for a few days last week and over the weekend. It gave me the opportunity to watch some movies and DVD Television series.

Digression: since I left the states in 1989, its always been something of a problem for me to get the good stuff from Amercan television and especially the Cable programs. I am amazingly ignorant of what is playing. When I meet an American traveling through Prague and something comes up regarding a good show that everyone knows about, its always a bit wierd. In fact, I never could tell which shows were on cable and which shows were normal free-t0-air TV.

Digression 2: If you have any DVD shows that you might want to snail-mail over to me, I would always appreciate it.

Anyway, I have been watching "My Name Is Earl" and also some old Wes Anderson movies, and movies with the Wilson brothers.

Quick comment? Earl is pretty good. Good character relationships, and Jason Lee is might not have formal acting training, but I like the guy.

Anderson movies: I liked Steve Zissou and the Life Aquatic movie. The Royal Tenenbaums was quirky and fun, but Steve Zissou was far more happy, if you will.

Wilsons: Bottle Rocket was fun. Luke Wilson is not as well known as his brother Owen but better only because Owen has this Schtick that gets old.

Oh, and I saw Old School with Luke Wilson, Vince Vaugh and Will Ferrell. I have seen a few things in the last year with Will Ferrell and, well, somebody has got to tell me what is it about Ferrell? I just don't get it.

Anyway, thats my head-cold review.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

What Planet?


What the heck?

This is a photo from the FT website about the latest Basque overture for a ceasefire.

But let me ask ... who designed their outfit? Looks like the same guys from the Scary Movie series (I couldnt find a photo of the white mask and black hooded robe, villan).

I will say they look much cooler than your average muslim thug (PLO, Al Quaeda, etc).

(Note: I don't agree with the Basque terrorist acts of blowing up things. At least they aim not to hurt people these days. )

But still, they look almost as if they are Aliens.

ps. I went back to find the link to the photo and it mysteriously disappeared. The article is linked above, however.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dude, Where's My Civil War?

I can't get this article title out of my head. Just because it is a sadly amusing, catchy title. (Indeed,I just googled it)

I was looking at the definition of civil war the other day and trying to apply it to past so-called wars of this nature. (A war between factions or regions of the same country.) I am sure that I am not an expert. But if I can find some holes, there must be something wrong.

Look at Greece after WWII. Was that a civil war, or take Liberia where the rebels were trying to remove Taylor. Was that a civil war or a bloody coup?

An online encyclopedia gives these first choices to study civil wars:
American Civil War
English Civil War
Irish Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
Russian Civil War
Spanish Civil War
Yugoslavian Civil War

I also tried to work from a big to small. That is, what would be obviously too small to be considered a civil war? Use that and try to consider other close-but-not-quite civil wars.

I mean, what does it take to really push a conflagration, or multiple gang wars, or feuding religious groups... to finally achieve the civil war status. Whatever it is, I don't think Iraq is even close to it. I am not counting numbers of involved people (and interestingly, neither is the MSM) but seems to me that the tensions between the two biggest religious groups, and the Al Queada terrorists, and even the disenfranchised old regime hangers-on, do not add up to the requirements for a civil war.

I might even go so far as to put the question, for it to be a war, who is the enemy or who is the target? When 40 or so civilians are blown up in a marketplace, they might be mostly one religious sect or the other, and this could be one qualification, i.e. a few factions dominating a region. But then the bombs in the areas with US troops, the thugs outside of town hunting down the road trains, the kidnappings of the odd, unprotected foreigner, are not really signs of a polarized affair. The enemy is not clear. And again, they are normally in a small troublesome sections of the country. Most of the country wants to get on with the future. Again, I am not counting numbers, but if you were to mistakenly believe CNN, it looks like the whole country is divided and involved, leading to a bloody overthrow. Of course this only helps :
  1. Those that want to continue the violence.
  2. Those who want to point blame at the US administration
  3. Those that want to be re-elected somewhere *(did you see that now even the former Iraqi prime minister is calling it a civil war; he should be sued for operating on someone else's advertising campaign).

"So why were we told that Iraq was irreversibly in the throes of civil war when it wasn't remotely true? I think the answers are straightforward. First, of course, some parties in the West are anxious to believe the worst about Iraq. They've staked their reputations on Iraq's failure. " Ralph Peters, New York Post

I think the net affect will be to have a loosening of the requirements for the usage of the phrase "civil war". Perhaps the next time gangs go on the rampage in California, they will call it a civil war?

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Bird Flu Advice: Keep this somewhere

I was going to say keep these links for when the outbreak comes. But now I think it would be better to copy this text and PRINT it to paper. Why? because when people start dropping no one is going to care if your internet is working. Hell, forget the generators that power your house!

Print this.
From a few links starting from the World Health Organization regarding the Bird Flu. The text below is about recommended treatment at the onset. Read the whole thing from the beginning, (not given below). It gets scary when it talks about organ failure at about the 5th day.

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/guidelinestopics/en/index1.html

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/353/13/1374

http://www.fda.gov/cder/news/relenza/default.htm


Antiviral Agents

Patients with suspected influenza A (H5N1) should promptly receive a neuraminidase inhibitor pending the results of diagnostic laboratory testing. The optimal dose and duration of treatment with neuraminidase inhibitors are uncertain, and currently approved regimens likely represent the minimum required. These viruses are susceptible in vitro to oseltamivir and zanamivir.46,47 Oral osel-tamivir46 and topical zanamivir are active in animal models of influenza A (H5N1).48,49 Recent murine studies indicate that as compared with an influenza A (H5N1) strain from 1997, the strain isolated in 2004 requires higher oseltamivir doses and more prolonged administration (eight days) to induce similar antiviral effects and survival rates.50 Inhaled zanamivir has not been studied in cases of influenza A (H5N1) in humans.

Early treatment will provide the greatest clinical benefit,15 although the use of therapy is reasonable when there is a likelihood of ongoing viral replication. Placebo-controlled clinical studies of oral oseltamivir51,52 and inhaled zanamivir53 comparing currently approved doses with doses that are twice as high found that the two doses had similar tolerability but no consistent difference in clinical or antiviral benefits in adults with uncomplicated human influenza. Although approved doses of oseltamivir (75 mg twice daily for five days in adults and weight-adjusted twice-daily doses for five days in children older than one year of age — twice-daily doses of 30 mg for those weighing 15 kg or less, 45 mg for those weighing more than 15 to 23 kg, 60 mg for those weighing more than 23 to 40 kg, and 75 mg for those weighing more than 40 kg) are reasonable for treating early, mild cases of influenza A (H5N1), higher doses (150 mg twice daily in adults) and treatment for 7 to 10 days are considerations in treating severe infections, but prospective studies are needed.

High-level antiviral resistance to oseltamivir results from the substitution of a single amino acid in N1 neuraminidase (His274Tyr). Such variants have been detected in up to 16 percent of children with human influenza A (H1N1) who have received oseltamivir.54 Not surprisingly, this resistant variant has been detected recently in several patients with influenza A (H5N1) who were treated with oseltamivir.21 Although less infectious in cell culture and in animals than susceptible parental virus,55 oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 variants are transmissible in ferrets.56 Such variants retain full susceptibility to zanamivir and partial susceptibility to the investigational neuraminidase inhibitor peramivir in vitro.57,58

In contrast to isolates from the 1997 outbreak, recent human influenza A (H5N1) isolates are highly resistant to the M2 inhibitors amantadine and rimantadine, and consequently, these drugs do not have a therapeutic role. Agents of clinical investigational interest for treatment include zanamivir, peramivir, long-acting topical neuraminidase inhibitors, ribavirin,59,60 and possibly, interferon alfa.61

Immunomodulators

Corticosteroids have been used frequently in treating patients with influenza A (H5N1), with uncertain effects. Among five patients given corticosteroids in 1997, two treated later in their course for the fibroproliferative phase of ARDS survived. In a randomized trial in Vietnam, all four patients given dexamethasone died. Interferon alfa possesses both antiviral and immunomodulatory activities, but appropriately controlled trials of immunomodulatory interventions are needed before routine use is recommended.

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