Monday, February 28, 2005

 

Aaaachooo

Bookworm is back. I think I know what she read while on vacation.

 

Martin Turns Thumbs Down on U.S. Missile Shield



Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin decided not to sign on to the U.S. missile defense network, despite urging from Washington, because the political risks were too great, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Must be nice to live in a country that puts political risk over the risk of military attack. No irony there. Of course, if the US wasn't the next door neighbor with the state of the art security system then they might be a little more concerned. Do you think this will slow the number of Democrats wanting to move north?

Friday, February 25, 2005

 

Fetus Blogging


That's him or her.

We went to the American Medical Clinic in Moscow for a sonogram. The French doctor told us that the length of the baby indicates it is 14 weeks old. He snapped a few shots for us, including the one above. We saw the baby moving and listened to its heartbeat. It was a real thrill for me and made the idea that I am going to be a dad much more tanglible. In this picture you can see the top of its head and arms and hands.

This is a picture of the sonogram photo that I took with my Sony DSC-T1. At the risk of sounding like instapundit, I like this camera for its utility. Very easy to carry around and to turn on if there is a quick shot or video that you want to take. The downside is that you must buy Sony proprietary memory cards which are more expensive than the standard universal memory cards that work for most other brands. The doctor measured the head and neck to check for Down syndrome. If the neck is above a certain thickness then that would indicate Down's. The baby checked out as healthy.

My wife decided she wanted to know if it is a boy or a girl but I want to be surprised. Now she is teasing me with this information. "Maybe we should buy blue baby clothes? What do you think?" I am happy to have a healthy child. I know she wants a girl to dress up. I found out from my mother that I was always dressed in the latest baby fashions as a child. I must have rebelled because I have absolutely no interest in fashion.


Thursday, February 24, 2005

 

'Irrational exuberance' -- again

The author of the book Irrational Exuberance, Robert Schiller, is putting out a new edition of this book with a chapter which covers the real estate market. Here is an except from the book from Money magazine.


There is no hope of explaining home prices solely in terms of population, building costs or interest rates. None of these can explain the "rocket taking off" effect starting around 1998.

So what did cause this real estate boom in so many parts of the world? My conclusion: Home-price speculation is more entrenched on a national or international scale now than ever before.


What is so difficult about dealing with bubbles, from the point of view of a central banker, is that the symptoms are the same as what you would see with a healthy economy, at first. Who wants to step in and take the punch bowl away (a common metaphor describing wouldbe bubbleenders) when everyone is having such a good time. To this day, there are economists that do not believe that there was a stock market bubble in the late 1990's and that it was Greenspan being overly cautious with monetary policy that caused the Nasdaq to collapse.


The ascent in home prices since 1998 has been much faster than the rise in incomes, and this raises concerns about the long-run stability of home values. From 1985 to 2002, the median price of a home rose from 4.9 years of per capita income to 7.7 years in the eight most volatile U.S. states; thus in these states, which account for more than a quarter of the country's population, there are significant new stresses on family budgets in making mortgage payments.


What defines a bubble is significant price increases beyond income. I am sure you know people whose home price increases have far outstripped their income. The danger for our economy is that many of those people have used their home equity as a piggy bank to be broken open in times of hardship. (By the way, LCD displays are coming down in price. I saw a 30" LCD for $999) With household credit market debt increasing to over 300% of GDP in the past few years, I can imagine that someone is going to take away the punch bowl very soon.

MattO: NO! NO! This can't be another bubble! Why, just this past friday I heard the CEO of Century21 say that "it's different this time." Where/When have we heard that phrase before? Oh yes, March2000 on the NASDAQ!

As my co-bloggers know, I just sold my California property and am planning on moving back to Sweet Home Chicago. My friends in finance call this the "coastal swap"; sell property on the coast (either of them) and buy in the midwest- sell high beta, buy low beta. I am quite comfortable that I won't regret this move.

BillC: Matt, when you end up buying a place in Chicago I am curious to know how close you come to buying twice as much home for half the money. Also, I don't know what home prices were like in our old 'hood 10 or 15 years ago but I know that Chicago has seen a lot of price appreciation in that time. Anyway, you will still end up with a lot for your money.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

 

Ward Churchill Hates America

He says America is "a force for evil"

From the Hawaii Reporter: "'The only thing I can do is to pursue a different slogan: U.S. out of America, U.S. off the planet, U.S. out of our lives, U.S. into the dustbin of history.' Ward Churchill"

Yikes. Maybe now his supporters will stop claiming he isn't anti-American.

I have heard Churchill speak a number of times. He is obviously deranged. His arguments are illogical. He's also an admitted fraud. Clearly, he has no business shaping young minds.

(Via Ace)

Bill C:

Dusty has more on the lack of interest in Chutch by the MSM.

 

Some professors back Harvard's Summers


Desperately lonely feminist Rachel Popkin joins students protesting against Harvard University President Lawrence Summers outside a faculty meeting at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts February 22, 2005. Faculty supporters and opponents of Summers spoke at the meeting following Summers recent controversial remarks on women in the sciences that have evolved into a wider debate on Summer's leadership of the university.

"In my 41 years at Harvard, I have never experienced a president more open to debate, disagreement, and dialogue than Larry Summers," wrote Dershowitz, adding that "professors who are afraid to challenge him are guilty of cowardice."

It seems like Larry Summers has a defender or two at Harvard. (Hat tip: Belmont Club) Well, maybe. That's nice. It would be nice to have that kind of freedom for the students but that won't be on the agenda. Students who go to the more elite/wacky schools will have to live with speech codes and various disincentives to speaking their minds.

More:
Bookworm's links discussing academic freedom.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

 

US To Sell India Patriot Missiles

A big development in US-Indian relations.

Bill C:
Here is some info on the Patriot advanced capability-3 (PAC-3) missle. We will be giving/lending the Indians the PAC-2 missile which is, obviously, an older version. I have heard that the US was trying to get direct control over Pakistani Nuclear weapons and I am not sure if we have or not. I think this deployment is part of a larger strategy in the region. We know Pakistan is a tinderbox and only as reliable as Musharraf's heartbeat. Good relations with India would help us counter China as well. A US/Indian axis should work well because of our democratic and English cultural traditions.

 

Did Jesse Jackson Really Plagiarize An Article by Michael Barone?

This is very odd.


Bill C:

Hey what rhymes with plagiarize? Scrutinize, delegitimize, ostracize: which is what will happen to Jesse when his buddies figure out he is cribbing a conservative in the Sun-Times.

I think this is just a case of someone putting the wrong byline on the op-ed.

 

Class Action Fairness Act of 2005


With apologies to my lawyer friends...

Monday, February 21, 2005

 

Indoctrinating Children...

...and putting them to immediate use.

It is despicable that a school would allow students to send soldiers in a war zone morale zapping letters. (Via littlegreenfootballs.) Teacher Alex Kunhardt should be fired. And principal Xavier Costello's public statement on the matter is simply outrageous. If Costello had any knowledge of what Kunhardt was doing or if Kunhardt in any way encouraged his students to write such noxious letters, he should be fired too.

Bill C:
Anne Haight covers the specific charges the children made against our soldiers.

 

Anglicans Could Face Schism Over Gay Priests



A bruising debate over homosexuality in the Anglican church has damaged the faith worldwide, perhaps permanently, its spiritual leader the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams warned, saying there was no 'cost-free outcome' to the issue.

In my post of of December 28th, 2004 (The next great schism), I spoke about the left's influence on the Episcopal church. It is tremendously sad that leftist members of the church continue to push for greater license but you can hardly blame them. They have been so successful in the past perhaps they believed that there would be only token opposition to openly gay priests.

Last month, U.S. Episcopalian bishops expressed regret for having consecrated Robinson but said they needed more time to respond to a call to halt such ordinations and stop blessing same-sex marriages.

Regret? Did the more liberal Episcopal bishops not antipate the reaction of the Anglican communion? Did they not believe the cries of outrage? Did they not witness the decline of the Epsicopal church in the US and perhaps wonder why?

The Rev. Robert Duncan, bishop of Pittsburgh, in a speech from the podium just after the results were announced at 8 p.m., said he and other conservative bishops were "filled with sorrow." The Episcopal Church, he said, "has departed from the historic faith and order of the Church of Jesus Christ."

For too long the Episcopal church has been governed by those with a progressive agenda. None of what they have wrought since their ascendency in the 1970's has done anything but drive people away from the church. They have a problem with labelling anything as wrong. It is sad to say but I think they are too well entrenched to be removed. We can only pray.

Update:

"Supporting gay rights may be more important than unity within the worldwide Anglican Communion, Newark Episcopal Bishop John Croneberger told 600 people..."

"Putting those two statements together leads to either or both of two conclusions: 1) Griswold's signature on a piece of paper is worthless, because he will sign anything to get what he wants, whether it expresses what he thinks or not. 2) Griswold doesn't care about the future of the Anglican Communion, knowing that Robinson's consecration "will tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level" and planning on going ahead with it anyway.

In either case, Griswold is certainly not a man to be trusted with leadership in the ECUSA. If there is any way to depose him from the primatial office, proceedings should start immediately, IMHO."

Adequate Episcopal Oversight

Friday, February 18, 2005

 

Kyoto protest beaten back by inflamed petrol traders



Way to go you Futures trading, Cockney barrow boy spivs! (Hat tip: BotW)

WHEN 35 Greenpeace protesters stormed the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) yesterday they had planned the operation in great detail.

What they were not prepared for was the post-prandial aggression of oil traders who kicked and punched them back on to the pavement.



“We bit off more than we could chew. They were just Cockney barrow boy spivs. Total thugs,” one protester said, rubbing his bruised skull. “I’ve never seen anyone less amenable to listening to our point of view.”

Another said: “I took on a Texan Swat team at Esso last year and they were angels compared with this lot.” Behind him, on the balcony of the pub opposite the IPE, a bleary-eyed trader, pint in hand, yelled: “Sod off, Swampy.”

I have no idea what a 'Cockney barrow boy spiv' is but I would like to become an honorary member. As a futures trader who has traded in a pit, many years ago, I can tell you that if a bunch of Swampies tried this in Chicago, they would have gotten the same reception. This incident is proof that people are tired of the leftist thug tactics. I say zero tolerance for bullies trying to force their point of view on the rest of the world. If they want to protest, carry a sign and chant a slogan. But if they start locking themselves to or invading private property they should be prepared to deal with people who will violently defend what is theirs. In case you feel sorry for these people, remember that they are invading someone's place of business. Disrupting trading puts these trader's livelyhoods at risk. Given what we know about leftist protesters and violence, I do not blame these traders for reaction.

The minute I hit the ground, all hell broke loose. As I struggled to get up in the slippery snow, two anarchists began kicking me in the back; ProtestWarriors were being shoved and punched all around me. The DAWN marshal struggled to stop the anarchists' assault. When I finally got to my feet, I went over to the marshal, telling the ProtestWarriors to stop everything and not touch a single person; with the anarchists cursing at us, and my ProtestWarriors yelling back, we nearly had a riot on our hands. The marshal told us to leave, and this time I complied. We had came, we had caught the Leftists on tape, and we had made our point. There was no sense in endangering our bodies or lives by staying any longer.


Update: Dusty sends us the Cockney barrow boy spiv training video.

I love the British sense of hum(o)ur.


Monday, February 14, 2005

 

Socionomics

Update: Socionomics Part II

Socionomics is a new theory of market behavior with roots in behavioral economics; specifically behavioral finance. Behavioral analysis of the markets take human emotional response into account for economic decisions. This is counter to the efficient market theory which requires rational decision making among, more or less, informed market participants.

Socionomics, as you can see from its wikipedia entry, is new and controversial. The theory postulates that human herding instincts govern market movements. (If you have the picture of lemmings running over a cliff, then you have the right idea) Social mood changes govern the markets and the economy, even esoteric subjects like fashion and whether somber or joyful music is popular. Social mood is endogenous. News events do not change social mood, the way we look at news events is shaped by social mood. You can see it in the way that markets are reported. If the market drops then it is because of some bad news that was reported that day and vice versa. Is it the trade deficit that is driving the dollar down? We have been running trade deficits for decades so why is the effect only felt now?

So how is the herding instinct reflected? By the fact that financial markets are robust fractals. That is, a fractal that has certain forms that it adheres to within randomness. A tree can grow any number of branches in random configurations. It still looks like a tree even though we cannot guess to what it will look like when it is a seed. This is completely contrary to the way that classic economics looks at the world. The following contrast is from the November 2004 Futures magazine:

Economic model
  1. Objective, conscious, rational decisions to maximize utility determine financial values
  2. Financial markets are random
  3. Financial markets are unpredictable
  4. Financial markets "tend toward equilibrium" and "revert to the mean"
  5. Investors' decisions are based on knowledge and certainty
  6. Changing events presage changes in the values of associated financial instruments
  7. Economic principles govern finance
Socionomic model
  1. Subjective, unconscious, pre-rational impulses to herd determine financial values
  2. Financial markets are patterned
  3. Financial markets are probabilistically predictable
  4. Financial markets are dynamic and do not revert to anything
  5. Investors in financial markets typically use information to rationalize emotional imperatives
  6. Investors decisions are fraught with ignorance and uncertainty
  7. Changing values of financial instruments presage changes in associated events
  8. Socionomic principles govern finance
As you might have guessed this has profound implcations for the way we view finance. What should have immediately caught your eye is the claim that "financial markets are probalitically predictable." The chief proponent of socionomics is a man by the name of Robert Prechter who began as a market analyst in the 1970's when he discovered the works of Ralph Nelson Elliott. Elliott's wave principle is a model of the markets that breaks market movements down into fractal patterns. (All long before fractals were "discovered") Prechter used Elliott's wave principle to predict the markets and achieved the title of "market guru of the decade" in the 1980's. Prechter took the next logical step with socionomics. It was a case of the useful tool being discovered before the science that could explain how it worked. If markets are fractals, does this say something about humanity? Socionomics is the answer.

Why am I writing about this? I want to give you an idea of what might be coming to the US economy in the near future which will not be very pretty. Rather than present my predictions in a vacuum I thought you would better appreciate what I have to say if you understood from where my prognostications are derived. One more thing I want to address. I am sure that some of you look at this as an attempt of some sort of predetermination. It is not at all. Probalistically predictable means that you can look at a chart of prices and make a better than random, but not certain, guess at what the next move will be. If you study the wave principle you will find that there are times when it is simply impossible to make a determination with confidence. And you will find that there are times when it seems like the market is screaming, "I am about to go up/down right now!"

My next post on this subject will make the case for deflation and depression.

 

Will Kerry run again?


We can only hope.

John Kerry has an amazing ability to blame other people for his mistakes and then to take credit for everything that goes right. His performance on Meet the Press two weeks ago is classic Kerry. He tells Russert how close he was in Ohio, a mere 60,000 votes but does not mention how close he was to losing in New Hampshire and Iowa.

Thank heaven for opponents like Democrats.

But, this is where my natural Old School Republican pessimism gets aired, the Republicans are in charge now and I see a lot of white water ahead. Cribbing from Rush, I think the Dem strategy right now is to play up scandals hoping that something will stick and as strategies go, this is not a bad idea. Not that this hasn't been tried before. They don't have much else to go with. My personal opinion is that the economy will be the issue. More on this later.

Right now, us wingnuts should be optimistic and the Bush administration should be thinking big. Fortunately, this is exactly what is happening.

 

Goodbye, Terry, Sorry We Lost (You)


Democrats pay tribute to their losing chairman

I thought I was going to miss Terry McAwful but I won't. Too much to look forward to with the Deaniac in charge. I have a feeling the Dems will come to appreciate having a party chair that can stay on message.

But seriously, Yaaaar! Sorry, I am having a hard time not imagining Chairman Dean losing his cool on some talk show, saying something stupid and/or turning bright red when he is made to look like a fool. I think Charles Krauthammer had Dean pegged when he described Dean as like many of the people with whom he went to medical school, egomaniacs with God complexes. There is that word maniac again.

 

Teresa Heinz drops 'Kerry'

Life imitates Brain droppings.

A campaign convenience is no more.

According to The Washington Times, Teresa Heinz, the erstwhile Teresa Heinz Kerry, has stopped using the last name of her husband, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, last year's Democrat presidential nominee.


I think we can safely say that John is not going to win the nomination next time around. I don't know if he knows about this but it is an incredibly tone deaf move. But nobody every accused John of being a political genius.


Thursday, February 10, 2005

 

Lynne Stewart convicted

A New York defense lawyer was convicted on Thursday of aiding terrorism by helping a client send violent messages to militant followers in a case that critics say could hinder the defense of future terrorism suspects.


Lynne Stewart, 65, a feisty defender of the poor and unpopular, was accused in the closely watched case of violating an agreement made with the U.S. Justice Department (news - web sites) to limit contact between her client, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, and the outside world.

Abdel-Rahman was convicted in 1995 of conspiring to attack U.S. targets, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Frontpage magazine has been all over the leftwing/radical Islam nexis and no other case shows how deep under the covers leftists have gotten with the Islamists. Here is a search of Frontpagemag.com using Lynn Stewart. (I am not sure if her name is spelled with an (e) or not)

I believe there are still many conservatives who do not believe that some on the left would ally themselves with an ideology that seems to be antithetical to leftist dogma. The simple reason is the Islamists are the enemies of the west and the left wants to see someone or something take on America and capitalism. Right now the Islamists are their best hope. From Europundit:

This newly ever-growing Western left, not only in Europe, but in Latin America and even in the US itself, has a clear goal: the destruction of the country and society that vanquished its dreams fifteen years ago. But it does not have, as in the old days of the Soviet Union, the hard power to accomplish this by itself. Thanks to this, all our leftist friends’ bets are now on radical Islam. What can they do to help it? Answer: tie down America’s superior strength with a million Liliputian ropes: legal ones, political ones, with propaganda and disinformation etc. Anything and everything will do.

We need to hold the left accountable for treacherous activities like the ones for which Lynne Stewart was convicted. We can lose this war if we refuse to fight it. The terrorists know they can defeat us if they break our will. If the morale of the American people is a crucial battlefield then we need to know who we are fighting. That is why this conviction is so important. She could get up to 20 years. Oh happy day if she gets the book thrown at her.


 

A Definitive History of the Goldberg-Cole Feud, and Some Comments

And so it ends



Wednesday, February 09, 2005

 

Is France Serious?



Condi is on a roll!

French Foreign Affairs minister Michel Barnier and new US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites) shake hands at the Quai d'Orsay in Paris. France and the United States declared a 'new chapter' in their rocky relationship, ending two years of feuding over Iraq (news - web sites) with pledges of cooperation to help stabilize the Middle East(AFP/File/Jack Guez)

Am I willing to give the French a chance? Sure, Europe have had some eye opening events recently. Of course the Jacques should drop the idea of selling sophisticated weapons to the likes of China.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

 

Cole vs. Goldberg II



Be careful Jonah! Juan's got backup.

Jonah Goldberg has responded to Juan Cole's debate challenge. I'm telling you, this will not end well for Professor Cole. Cole's response is straight out of the third grade:

I challenged Goldberg to a public debate on the Middle East, since that was the subject on which he attacked me. His response was not, quite frankly, the response of a man to a challenge. He wanted to put on all kinds of pissant conditions on the subject of the debate. It is sort of as though Wyatt Earp challenged a bad guy to a shootout after the outlaw burped rotgut whiskey in his face and called him a wimp. And when Earp challenges the black hat, the guy turns to jelly and says, "O.K., but you can't use that Colt, it has to be little bitty derringers like the one I use to shoot people in the back at night."

Now the ball is back in Jonah's court. Do I expect him to take the challenge? You bet I do. Cole is arrogant. I doubt he has much experience in front of a large audience debating issues. I have seen Goldberg make fools of people on shows like Crossfire. If Cole tries to pull one of these weak metaphors out of his pocket he will choke on it, guaranteed. The reason I am confident is that public debating is much different than exchanging written barbs via the internet. You have time to think about what you are going to say. Not so on stage. There is a reason that Presidential candidates put a lot of thought into the forum, structure and even the height of the podiums for debates. Can Cole match Goldberg's wit? What does Cole sound like on camera? Will he get nervous when the crowd is not automatically in his favor? Cole makes it clear what he wants:

I should be clear that I am not interested in wasting any more time on Goldberg's illogicality in print. If he will not agree to a debate this spring without any conditions or restrictions on subject matter, then I wash my hands of him.

Goldberg should give it to him.

Update:

Dusty Attic comments on Juan Cole's comments.

Because this back and forth is getting unwieldy, here are the chain of events/articles:

1) Goldberg starts it with a paragraph on Cole at the end of this article.
2) Cole responds.
3) Goldberg first responds in the Corner and then with a full article.
4) Cole's turn.
5) Goldberg's latest a/o today.

In today's NRO Corner, Goldberg posts that a "Consensus has emerged" that JG should drop this feud because it is going nowhere. Cole is being an ass and there is no more to argue. To which I say DON'T LET THIS GO! Jonah, if I my be familiar, this guy will take your gentleman's offer of stalemate as an opportunity to say that YOU wisely surrendered to his superior intellect. You have the opportunity to take down a leftist clown of the highest order. There is no surrender! Take his challenge and beat him like a red-headed step child.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

 

Iraq Wants Money Back; Annan Promises Action


And the manhunt continues...

The checks in the mail, Iraq. Hello Jacques, got room for another international fugitive? Maybe Kofi and Marc Rich can get together and play bridge.

 

Juan Cole vs. Jonah Goldberg


MC Goldberg

It began with this article on Jewishworldreview.com where Goldberg chided Cole for saying the 1997 Iranian elections were more democratic than the recent Iraqi elections. Cole responded the next day beginning by saying Goldberg should not comment on Cole because Cole was an expert who could read Arabic.

I think it is time to be frank about some things. Jonah Goldberg knows absolutely nothing about Iraq. I wonder if he has even ever read a single book on Iraq, much less written one. He knows no Arabic. He has never lived in an Arab country. He can't read Iraqi newspapers or those of Iraq's neighbors. He knows nothing whatsoever about Shiite Islam, the branch of the religion to which a majority of Iraqis adheres. Why should we pretend that Jonah Goldberg's opinion on the significance and nature of the elections in Iraq last Sunday matters? It does not.
I will comment on this shortly. First, the back and forth on this has been very entertaining. First Goldberg responds to Cole's rebuttal on NRO's The Corner. (Scroll up to see this controversy unwind. Goldberg quite correctly labels it as "piling on") Goldberg compares Cole to the Sovietologists (read Soviet apologists) who despite their intense knowledge of the Soviet peoples could not see how rotten the state had become. Then James Wolcott jumps into the fight trying to kick Goldberg when he thinks he is down. Goldberg dissects, destroys, humiliates Wolcott on the Corner. Pick your verb, it is not pretty but it is funny. Too bad Goldberg can't rap I think he would give Eminem a run for it.

Now back to Cole's criticism of Goldberg's credentials. There is no doubt that Cole is an expert on the cultures of Middle East. But that does not make him an expert on politics and that is what the elections were all about. Cole's criticism is based on the idea that it is important to have a deep understanding of Iraqi society. I don't think it is because I am working on the assumption that the Iraqi people want self-government. The desire for self-determination is cross cultural and reflects the human desire to be free. You may argue that the human desire for security is higher and, on occasion, I would agree with you. But, as quaint as it may sound, democracy has taken root very easily in different human societies and I see no reason why it should not in the Middle East. If Cole thinks so little of the Iraqi people as to not be optimistic about this new democracy's chances of survival I would have to question whether he has any respect for the people he has dedicated his life to studying.

Update:
Bookworm links to us. Check out this excellent blog.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

 

Sevan's lawyer calls him 'scapegoat' in investigation


Benon Sevan, U.N. scapegoat

scape·goat Audio pronunciation of "scapegoat" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (skpgt)
n.
  1. One that is made to bear the blame of others.
  2. Bible. A live goat over whose head Aaron confessed all the sins of the children of Israel on the Day of Atonement. The goat, symbolically bearing their sins, was then sent into the wilderness.
I wonder how far out in the wilderness Benon is going to wonder before he starts turning states evidence.


Thursday, February 03, 2005

 

Clinton for Secretary General II


Former U.S. President Bill Clinton pauses during his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2005. Clinton has been chosen as a special U.N. envoy to ensure the reconstruction effort for the Asian tsunami victims remains a high-profile operation, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Let's do the math. You have a group of former Clinton foreign policy experts call Kofi Annan to Richard Holbrooke's apartment to discuss Kofi's fate. Kofi's still breathing so he obviously did not touch the Guacamole dip. Now Kofi appoints Clinton to a high profile role in the U.N. effort to do as little as possible for the Asian tsunami victims. You can almost hear the scheming. Somebody is playing someone. Or maybe Kofi and Bill have made a deal. In that case you can guess who is being played.

Will Bill turn on Kofi? How much/what is Annan going to get for stepping aside? (Cue dramatic piano music) Stay tuned to Legacy Watch.

P.S. Doesn't Clinton look like he has been eating dinner with Victor Yuschenko's Ukrainian buddies.

Update:

Were both to be successful, Bill and Hillary Clinton could become the political tag team of the 21st century, with the former heading the United Nations and the latter becoming the chief executive of the most powerful nation on earth. If, as president, Hillary's deep-rooted liberal proclivities won the day, her husband and the United Nations could become surrogates of U.S. foreign policy and instruments of a new world order.

Think about it. It scares hell out of me!
A certain slant of light

Me too!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

 

Happy Birthday Ayn Rand

From Cox & Forkum

I did not discover Ayn Rand until I was 30 years old. Bill O was looking to sell his 1991 Lotus Elan and I decided I would take it off his hands. Since he was in San Jose and I was in Chicago, that meant a roadtrip. That was the first and last time I drove across country from west to east. On the way, via Phoenix to visit my Grandmother, I stopped at a truck stop and was looking through their large selection of books on tape. That is where I found Atlas Shrugged. Yes, I listened to it before I read it. The book made the drive very enjoyable. It took me two days of 12+ hour driving to reach Chicago. After each stop I could not wait to get back in the car and hear the rest of the story. I have read some of her other pieces of fiction and non-fiction but none give me that soaring feeling like Atlas Shrugged.

P.S. I am sure that feeling was enhanced by driving a Lotus on near deserted highways at slightly above the speed limit.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

 

Did Iraqi militants take "toy" hostage?


It's worse than we thought Posted by Hello

They have also taken Optimus Prime hostage! Obviously, the "insurgents" are working with the Decepticons. This war is getting really ugly.

Update:
Bookworm
Powerline
Instapundit

 

Bush ignores immigration at his peril


That is the message coming from some on the right. John Fund writes in the WSJ
that there is a great deal of concern over unchecked immigration which is now a national security issue. John O pointed out that Hillary Clinton is running to the right of Bush on immigration.

Anti-immigration is not a position I would want to associate myself with. Too many people of questionable character hide their prejudices behind this issue. However, controlling our border is necessary for the security of our nation. Bush will need to address this at some point and I am hoping there will be a compromise that will allow a guest worker program and a secure barrier for our borders. Triangulating Hilllary aside, a terrorist attack carried out on our soil by illegal immigrants that had crossed our border would be Bush's fault. He has had plenty of time to sort this out.

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