Friday, January 30, 2009

Am I Even Supposed to Believe This?

    The Sri Lankan government, having surrounded a 120 sq. mi. region in the northeast of that country, has had its President say that the LTTE, the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Elam, should *not* prevent the 250,000 civilians from fleeing the area.

     Just days earlier this SAME Sri Lankan government claimed there were only 1,000 LTTE fighters left.

     I think we all know that each LTTE fighter is not in charge of guarding 250 Sri Lankans and preventing them from leaving the region.

     Of course not.  The Sri Lankan government is Covering Its Globally Visible A** by saying this, so it can later say "We wouldn't have killed all those civilians if it the LTTE hadn't prevented them from leaving."

     What's even worse, in my humble opinion, than the words of the Sri Lankan President is that the NY Times-owned International Herald Tribune runs this AP story with the headline that re-inforces the governments claims.  Are the AP and NY Times secretly in the thralls of the power of Sri Lanka?  No, it is simply that they are against anyone, including the American Revolutionaries (see: Boston Tea Party, where uniforms were not worn), who would use violence to achieve a political end regardless of the merit of that end.

     In addition, the Sri Lankan military, PERFECT IN ITS ABILITY TO DISTINGUISH LTTE FROM TAMIL CIVILIANS, has decided not to declare any sort of ceasefire while encouraging the Tamil-speaking community to charge them and attempt to push through their battle lines (i.e. leave).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Obama's Huge Blind Spot: Iran

     While I am not unpleased with what's going on with the Obama administration in the Levant, I am constantly displeased with Obama's fact-free rhetoric concerning Iran's nuclear ambitions (ambitions which, when the Shah ruled Iran, America promoted).

     There is no evidence of any current nuclear weapons program, and, in fact, the Iraq war haters (of which I count myself) have to deal with the NIE that says Iran stopped what little they had that qualified as a nuclear weapons program in 2003 as a result of the Iraq War.

     So, predictably, this is bad news

     "While Obama is taking the lead on policy towards Iran, the administration will soon announce that Dennis Ross will become a special envoy to the country[.]"

     Putting Dennis Ross in charge of Iran policy feels like declaring war on Iran. Let's all hope Dennis Ross suffers a career-ending (and severly painful) case of hemorrhoids, and let's hope Obama wakes up on Iran before we get in another war.
The Bush Legacy and "His Fraudulency"

     I suppose one of the best ways to look at the Bush administration is Southern vengeance over what the Northerners did in 1876.  The night of the election, Rutherford B. Hayes, soon to be known as "His Fraudulency," went to sleep thinking he'd lost.  The Chair of the DNC was poring over the numbers, and realized Hayes was down by only one electoral vote.  At this time there were still three Reconstruction governments in the South.  (Northern) Federal Troops, numbering in the thousands, controlled a few square blocks around the capitols of South Carolina, Florida and Louisiana and kept a Northern-installed government in power.  The Chair of the DNC called these occupation Governors and told them to prevent their States from being called, and then worked to disenfranchise as many Southern-sympathetic voters as they could.  The tactic worked, and eventually all three Reconstruction States were counted for Hayes, although, it should be noted, this process took nearly four months.

     Not that Illinois Democrats were blameless!  The only atheist ever appointed to the Supreme Court, Davis, had been selected as the "non-partisan" member of the Electoral Commission to decide what to do.  The Illinois State Congress appointed Davis, a Republican appointee to the Court, as Democratic Senator from Illinois to curry favor for their side.  Instead, Davis used this as an opportunity to recuse himself from the "non-partisan" slot, which was later filled by a Republican. The votes, the votes by the Commission on whether the three states would go to the North or the South split along party lines in all three cases.

     There has not been, nor likely should there be, an "Electoral Commission" again. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


     So, Rwanda arrests Laurent Nkunda, a Tutsi wreaking havoc among the Congolese Hutus and anyone foolish enough to be standing near them, but days later the Tutsi militia operating in Congo, a group that broke away from the Congolese Army, announce their re-integration into the military will take some time yet. These are the forces who, for some years, alongside the Rwanda Tutsi militias, have been roaming the Congo hunting the 1994 genocidaires and anyone who tries to stop their murderous rampage.  This has been the deadliest conflict of the last decade, and one which America (Bush and Clinton) have made worse.

     What I was thinking was that Obama stepped into the President a bit more Africa-Aware than the average bear, contacted Kagame (through an intermediary) and told them to pull back, but that forces (the relatively independent-of-Kagame ex-Congolese Army Tutsis) are still on the warpath.  Please don't get me wrong, they didn't *actually* say "And we won't stop till every Hutu this side of the border is dead" but it is certainly clear that they don't want to take anyone's orders, and they live by the gun, so it is hard to imagine anything _but_ further pillaging/expropriation-of-natural-resources-by-force.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jeb [...] wins the Presidency in 2016, easily defeating Caroline Kennedy and her "My father was shot in office--what else do you want?" campaign

     Some funny stuff here

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Secret Truth About Sarah Palin, the Second Coming

     Palin actually means "again," so that Palingenesis would be to be born again, a clear reference to the arrival of Jesus Christ again.

     I hope Governor Palin goes ahead and writes a children's book entitled "How Godless, Criminal Democrats Stopped Me From Being Mommy to All America."
Sanity Makes Me A Bit Teary-Eyed

     I watched President Obama speak about Energy today.  I know, I know, all the Conservatives are saying this recent economic downtown is really the result of Bill Clinton's economic policies, and if it wasn't for the Bush tax cuts of 2001, 2002 and 2003 (widely trumpeted as being good for the economy) this would be worse than the Great Depression.  Personally, however, I am glad that we have a sane President.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I never got to post this...


Bush Buddy Busted

Narco-Nabob, Not to be Named, Nipped Napping

Coke Connection for Connected Kids Collared

President Dude Ranch's School Daze Dealer Dropped

I Have Never Had A Credit Card

     This is a graph, copied from Megan McCardle at the Atlantic, who copied it from someone else, of the ratio of Debt to GDP.  If I had to guess at the circa 1980 action which led to the current explosion, it would be Fed Chairman Volcker's decision to radically(?) change the main tool by which the Fed attempts to manipulate the economy.  Previously, the government would print more, or less, money, in order to to grease or slow the wheels of industry.  Since then, effectively, money supply has remained fixed, while the Fed has adjusted interest rates (the cost of debt) to achieve the same ends.

     One (unintended?) consequence of this is that bond(debt) trading went from the sleepy backwater of "5%" to a market where millions could be made or lost quickly.  Some of my understanding of this issue comes from the very readable "Liar's Poker," by Michael Lewis, which, although a bit naive at times, is a firsthand account.
Debt to GDP, 1920-2008
Department of Fatherland Security, Joe Lieberman and Janet Napolitano?

     As punishment for endorsing John "I picked Palin, but can't remember whether al-Qaeda is a Sunni or Shia group" McCain, Joe Lieberman gets to Chair the Senate's Fatherland Security Department Committee. Obama nominated Janet Napolitano to succeed Tom "Plausible" Ridge and Michael "I hunt Whitewater criminals!" Chertoff as Secretary.

     Chertoff was an abomination.  No sane Senate should have confirmed the highly partisan Chertoff, unless they though Osama was doing questionable land deals through political connections in Arkansas.  May Chertoff's name be ever associated with the Bush administration, and may the Obama administration's success be even greater, so that an appropriate amount of soil and shame falls on the 2001-2008 years.

     But does someone think Janet Napolitano is a security expert?  She did work on part of the Oklahoma City Bombing case, but her first big political law case was Anita Hill.  She should be appointed to the cabinet, as a successful politician from Arizona who is term-limited from running in 2010, but Fatherland Security?  How about Interior?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I have been sorely remiss, the LTTE

     The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam.  The world's most prolific suicide bombers (Hindus killing Buddhists).  This, like so much conflict today, has some roots in Colonialism.  The British wanted to weaken the Sinhala-speaking, Buddhist (~75%) majority, so they gave all the powerful positions to the Tamil minority, who were a tad bit more sophisticated before the Brits arrived.  After the Brits left, and Democracy was adopted, things went ever downward for the Tamil.  The Sinhala bastards even tried to effectively outlaw their language, which led to mass riots. 

     Now the Sri Lankan government, dominated by the Sinhala, is on a tear, blowing up women and children and men and militants, asserting that they might be on the verge of destroying a terrorist group by force for the first time in history.  Could someone talk to them?  They are making sure the media is not allowed to witness their actions, atrocity or liberation, but, per usual, if it were just liberation, what would they have to hide?
The News is Abominable: UPDATE 1

     UPDATE 1: Add third paragraph
     I watched some Fox and CNN last night. Even NY1 news was pretty bad.  NY1 ran a segment on Gillibrand, who, instead of the entirely and wholly unqualified Caroline Kennedy, will be appointed Senator for New York by the Governor.  Instead of teaching us anything but a sentence about Gillibrand, NY1 took time out of New Yorker's lives to ask them if they knew anything.  Naturally, like myself, they didn't.  One person said she was very smart and knew her stuff.  I know some people don't think that matters, but for me, this is essential!  If she is smart, and knows her stuff, THREE CHEERS FOR GOVERNOR PATTERSON.

     Except, of course, that he felt constrained to pick someone based on which reproductive organs they were born with.

     NY1 calls Gillibrand a "conservative" Democrat.  She is, according to VoteView, a centrist, the most centrist of all NY Congresscritters, a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, and to the right of all but about 20 House Democrats.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The International Fugitive Gazan Law

     Whereas it is unlawful for any Gazan to leave the Gaza Strip, and

     Whereas it is possible, even likely, that some perfidious Gazans have escaped,

     Be It Therefore Resolved that any Federal Officer, of any of the Nations of Earth, who does not arrest and return a Fugitive Gazan shall be fined $1,000, and that the testimony of a single Israeli shall be proof that someone is Gazan and needs to be returned,

     Furthermore, Officers that do return Gazans to their just bombing shall be rewarded.
The 1850 Fugitive Slave Law in America fined federal officers $1,000, and were obliged to arrest and return any person to the South, to slavery, on the affadavit of a single slaveholder.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Economic Wisdom You Can Trust

     The Bush Boom.

     Lawrence Kudlow needs another television show, after writing the foreword to this book.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Bad Cop, NO DONUT!

     Why is it when cops take time out of my life to hassle me, they always call me a gentleman? Do these idiots get training to do so? Is it just a coincidence?

     Today, within five minutes of 3:3Opm, at 78th and 3rd avenue, a cop van, in the intersection, decided to turn on his siren to get a moving truck, a couple cars east of the intersection, to get out of its way. Then the cop raised his hand as if to say "What the F?" and I raised my hand back at him (after all, I moved in, myself, less than a month ago) and the cop asks me, in a manner I am 100% positive he considered intimidating "Do you have a problem?"

     Our conversation went on for a couple minutes, proof, if anything, that his blaring of his siren had nothing to, whatsoever, with any police emergency. After that, he dropped off a woman, likely a date, out of the truck.  Who watches the watchers?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Bush Trying to Usher In Rapture

     Legacy to include unqualified support for one more war, this time in the Holy Land.

     which really sucks, because I have just moved into this apartment and am cleaning it up sweetly.
What do Military Planners Call This?

     The Israelis, who control most of the borders around Gaza, are not letting any Palestinians leave during the aerial bombing and artillery shelling.

     Is there a word for this? America did something similar in Fallujah in 2004, although America let women and children leave before the seige that cut off water and electricity.

     Is it called a Turkey Shoot? Shooting Fish in a Barrel? Inscribe and Conquer? I have to say, it doesn't seem very sportsmanlike.
What do Military Planners Call This?

     The Israelis, who control most of the borders around Gaza, are not letting any Palestinians leave during the aerial bombing and artillery shelling.

     Is there a word for this? America did something similar in Fallujah in 2004, although America let women and children leave before the seige that cut off water and electricity.

     Is it called a Turkey Shoot? Shooting Fish in a Barrel? Inscribe and Conquer? I have to say, it doesn't seem very sportsmanlike.