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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


My first trip to Australia. The weather is lovely 25-28 during the day and lovely cool weather at night. Have planned a few days up in wine country for New Years.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Abbott And Costello Meet The Bird Flu....

This headline caught my attention since it sounded somewhat like one of my favorite comedy sketches on baseball players names.....
WHO wants China bird flu samples
I don't know. WHO wants the samples. Yes...WHO? Yes. Etc. Audio version here.
Abbott: Well Costello, I'm going to New York with you. You know Bucky Harris, the Yankee's manager, gave me a job as coach for as long as you're on the team.
Costello: Look Abbott, if you're the coach, you must know all the players.
Abbott: I certainly do.
Costello: Well you know I've never met the guys. So you'll have to tell me their names, and then I'll know who's playing on the team.
Abbott: Oh, I'll tell you their names, but you know it seems to me they give these ball players now-a-days very peculiar names.
Costello: You mean funny names?
Abbott: Strange names, pet names...like Dizzy Dean...
Costello: His brother Daffy.
Abbott: Daffy Dean...
Costello: And their French cousin.
Abbott: French?
Costello: Goofè.
Abbott: Goofè Dean. Well, let's see, we have on the bags, Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third...
Costello: That's what I want to find out.
Abbott: I say Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know's on third.
Costello: Are you the manager?
Abbott: Yes.
Costello: You gonna be the coach too?
Abbott: Yes.
Costello: And you don't know the fellows' names?
Abbott: Well I should.
Costello: Well then who's on first?
Abbott: Yes.
Costello: I mean the fellow's name.
Abbott: Who.
Costello: The guy on first.
Abbott: Who.
Costello: The first baseman.
Abbott: Who.
Costello: The guy playing...
Abbott: Who is on first!
Costello: I'm asking YOU who's on first.
Abbott: That's the man's name.
Costello: That's who's name?
Abbott: Yes.
Costello: Well go ahead and tell me.
Abbott: That's it.
Costello: That's who?
Abbott: Yes.
Costello: Look, you gotta first baseman?
Abbott: Certainly.
Costello: Who's playing first?
Abbott: That's right.
Costello: When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?
Abbott: Every dollar of it.
Costello: All I'm trying to find out is the fellow's name on first base.
Abbott: Who.
Costello: The guy that gets...
Abbott: That's it.
Costello: Who gets the money...
Abbott: He does, every dollar. Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.
Costello: Whose wife?
Abbott: Yes.
Abbott: What's wrong with that?
Costello: Look, all I wanna know is when you sign up the first baseman, how does he sign his name?
Abbott: Who.
Costello: The guy.
Abbott: Who.
Costello: How does he sign...
Abbott: That's how he signs it.
Costello: Who?
Abbott: Yes.
Costello: All I'm trying to find out is what's the guy's name on first base.
Abbott: No. What is on second base.
Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second.
Abbott: Who's on first.
Costello: One base at a time!
Abbott: Well, don't change the players around.
Costello: I'm not changing nobody!
Abbott: Take it easy, buddy.
Costello: I'm only asking you, who's the guy on first base?
Abbott: That's right.
Costello: Ok.
Abbott: All right.
Costello: What's the guy's name on first base?
Abbott: No. What is on second.
Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second.
Abbott: Who's on first.
Costello: I don't know.
Abbott: He's on third, we're not talking about him.
Costello: Now how did I get on third base?
Abbott: Why you mentioned his name.
Costello: If I mentioned the third baseman's name, who did I say is playing third?
Abbott: No. Who's playing first.
Costello: What's on first?
Abbott: What's on second.
Costello: I don't know.
Abbott: He's on third.
Costello: There I go, back on third again!
Costello: Would you just stay on third base and don't go off it.
Abbott: All right, what do you want to know?
Costello: Now who's playing third base?
Abbott: Why do you insist on putting Who on third base?
Costello: What am I putting on third.
Abbott: No. What is on second.
Costello: You don't want who on second?
Abbott: Who is on first.
Costello: I don't know.
Abbott & Costello Together:Third base!
Costello: Look, you gotta outfield?
Abbott: Sure.
Costello: The left fielder's name?
Abbott: Why.
Costello: I just thought I'd ask you.
Abbott: Well, I just thought I'd tell ya.
Costello: Then tell me who's playing left field.
Abbott: Who's playing first.
Costello: I'm not... stay out of the infield! I want to know what's the guy's name in left field?
Abbott: No, What is on second.
Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second.
Abbott: Who's on first!
Costello: I don't know.
Abbott & Costello Together: Third base!
Costello: The left fielder's name?
Abbott: Why.
Costello: Because!
Abbott: Oh, he's centerfield.
Costello: Look, You gotta pitcher on this team?
Abbott: Sure.
Costello: The pitcher's name?
Abbott: Tomorrow.
Costello: You don't want to tell me today?
Abbott: I'm telling you now.
Costello: Then go ahead.
Abbott: Tomorrow!
Costello: What time?
Abbott: What time what?
Costello: What time tomorrow are you gonna tell me who's pitching?
Abbott: Now listen. Who is not pitching.
Costello: I'll break your arm, you say who's on first! I want to know what's the pitcher's name?
Abbott: What's on second.
Costello: I don't know.
Abbott & Costello Together: Third base!
Costello: Gotta a catcher?
Abbott: Certainly.
Costello: The catcher's name?
Abbott: Today.
Costello: Today, and tomorrow's pitching.
Abbott: Now you've got it.
Costello: All we got is a couple of days on the team.
Costello: You know I'm a catcher too.
Abbott: So they tell me.
Costello: I get behind the plate to do some fancy catching, Tomorrow's pitching on my team and a heavy hitter gets up. Now the heavy hitter bunts the ball. When he bunts the ball, me, being a good catcher, I'm gonna throw the guy out at first base. So I pick up the ball and throw it to who?
Abbott: Now that's the first thing you've said right.
Costello: I don't even know what I'm talking about!
Abbott: That's all you have to do.
Costello: Is to throw the ball to first base.
Abbott: Yes!
Costello: Now who's got it?
Abbott: Naturally.
Costello: Look, if I throw the ball to first base, somebody's gotta get it. Now who has it?
Abbott: Naturally.
Costello: Who?
Abbott: Naturally.
Costello: Naturally?
Abbott: Naturally.
Costello: So I pick up the ball and I throw it to Naturally.
Abbott: No you don't, you throw the ball to Who.
Costello: Naturally.
Abbott: That's different.
Costello: That's what I said.
Abbott: You're not saying it...
Costello: I throw the ball to Naturally.
Abbott: You throw it to Who.
Costello: Naturally.
Abbott: That's it.
Costello: That's what I said!
Abbott: You ask me.
Costello: I throw the ball to who?
Abbott: Naturally.
Costello: Now you ask me.
Abbott: You throw the ball to Who?
Costello: Naturally.
Abbott: That's it.
Costello: Same as you! Same as YOU! I throw the ball to who. Whoever it is drops the ball and the guy runs to second. Who picks up the ball and throws it to What. What throws it to I Don't Know. I Don't Know throws it back to Tomorrow, Triple play. Another guy gets up and hits a long fly ball to Because. Why? I don't know! He's on third and I don't give a darn!
Abbott: What?
Costello: I said I don't give a darn!
Abbott: Oh, that's our shortstop.

If You Are Interested In The Authority Of Presidents To Gather Intelligence....

Here is an interesting letter by an Assistant Attorney General. Since it is in PDF format and looks as if it has been photocopied, I do not know if it is real but it has come through fairly reliable news sources.

Although the press is insisting on a less than truthful labeling the recent NSA brouhaha as a domestic spying program, it is not purely domestic. It is targeted at communication between foreign sources and domestic receivers or vice-versus. AS September 11 the has shown us. The threats can come from our soil by foreign combatants and these types of tools are necessary for the security of our people.

The risk is that the program transforms itself to a domestic intelligence gathering program for political purposes. This is what the FISA court was established for, so that purely domestic spying has oversight.

I personally think that spying on the foreign communication of known al-Queda operatives is not only desirable but is necessary given that the risks could include large scale attacks that can be very costly in property and life, as September 11th has shown.

Remember, that our nation is at war and this means that aggressive measures must be taken in order to ensure the safety and well being of the population. I think that GWB is doing a good job on this account.

Warm Holiday Wishes....

For Our Democratic Friends:

"Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2006, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. And without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee. By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher."

For Our Republican Friends:

Here's wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Executed Chinese Prisoner Organs Sold As Far Away As England...

A company, based in Guangzhou, has been recruiting patients for the organs of executed prisoners, reportedly as far away as England.
A Chinese company has begun marketing kidneys, livers and other organs from executed prisoners to sick Britons in need of transplants.

Hospital Doctor, a British magazine, earlier this month reported that a firm called Transplants International was trying to recruit British patients.

Operations were to be carried out at Guangzhou Air Force Military Hospital by doctors from a hospital affiliated with the nearby Sun Yat-sen Southern University.
I guess what they do is the patient flies into Guangzhou [the organs are not shipped to England-and apparently no one from England has yet to have a executed prisoner organ transplant] and the transplant is done there. The operations are done at military hospitals since they have access to the patients for some time prior to execution. It also allows the doctors to check blood-types to ensure greater compatibility. I suppose waiting for bodies from the multitudes of fatal accidents in China is just not very convenient.

One may wonder why patients come? I suppose that if you are in a desperate need for an organ, this is one way that you could save your life. But I also suppose, that if there are risks that people may be found guilty of crimes punishable by execution if there is a huge demand for these Frankenstein monster body parts. So don't piss-off your local officials there or they may turn you into to harvest your organs for profit.

The Holiday Season Always Brings Out The Drunken "Bad" Santas Too.....

During the holiday season, while your sweet child is sitting on a red suited strangers lap, think about these bad Santas...
Drunken Santas on a rampage in New Zealand, armed German robbers in Santa disguises, a British St. Nick wanted for flashing, and a Swedish vandal in a Santa outfit are giving the big man in red a bad name this year.

Reports of "Bad Santas" breaking the law or otherwise wreaking havoc have been circulating around the world.

Armed with a gun, a man in a Santa outfit held up a furniture store in the German town of Ludwigshafen on Saturday and forced two cashiers to open the safe. He filled his sack with cash, locked the two women in the safe and escaped.
And this normal jolly Christmas season behavior...
One Santa was stopped by police for driving 150 kph (90 mph) on a northern German motorway, 50 kph over the speed limit.

"He said he was in a rush because he still had packages to deliver," said a spokesman for the police. They gave Santa a fine and took away his license.

Last week an inebriated half-naked Santa disrupted a Christmas market in Dabringhausen before police intervened.

That incident paled in comparison to what happened in Auckland on Saturday when 40 drunken Santas rampaged through the city center, stealing from stores and assaulting security guards in a protest against Christmas becoming too commercial.

In Britain, police said they were looking for a Santa acting suspiciously -- a flasher who exposed himself to women.


Read what it is and why it exists. But there are some interesting pieces like this...
"[A]gencies are not authorized to use such techniques as electronic surveillance, unconsented physical searches, mail surveillance, physical surveillance, or monitoring devices unless they are in accordance with procedures established by the head of the agency concerned and approved by the Attorney General." EO 12,333, para. 2.4. Dep't. of Defense (DOD) Directive 5240.1-R implements FISA and EO 12,333 within DOD. These authorities govern the collection of intelligence by the U.S. government against United States persons, whether they are located within the United States or outside the United States.

FISA does not regulate the use of electronic surveillance outside of the United States. For instance, electronic surveillance of electronic communications like e-mail is only governed by 1801(f)(4) if the surveillance device is installed "in the United States." When e-mail sent by a U.S. person to a foreign person is intercepted outside the United States, that interception does not meet this definition.
Generally, the law does not allow evidence collected against individuals in the US to be used against them without FISA court approval. But in reality, the recently revealed surveillance is not designed to produce evidence to convict, but evidence enough to uncover plots or to neutralize potential threats against US interests. FISA originally came about since Nixon used domestic surveillance to gather data on foes under the guise of national security. FISA provides an oversight for those activities inside the US where the ultimate goal is to prosecute.

Don't Worry!!!!

Your holiday calls to overseas operatives of al Queda are now being protected by the likes of The New York Times and the American Democratic party. So why wait? Attack the US with your suicide vests, dirty bombs and the like...the time has never been better. Of course, our Constitution calls for the right to privacy and if you are planning to kill some Americans, The New York Times and the American Democratic party wants to ensure that you can do this in privacy and total and absolute secrecy. And of course, Bush is guilty as sin of perpetrating a heinous crime of domestic spying [not really domestic since it is done from overseas on overseas communication] in violation of all kinds of rules, real and imagined. We have all kinds of rights activists up-in arms over this, as here. I can barely look at the DU website today knowing that all kinds of leftist America haters will have all kinds of nasty things to say. They all knew that something like this would happen.

And What is GWB really guilty of? Trying to protect American lives. What is his motive? Trying to protect American lives. If he did this on the battlefield, he would get a medal.... for trying to protect American lives. Does this "supposed" spying irreparably damage the US? Come on people. We are fighting a war. Or do you yellow bellied leftist forget that there are maniacal Muslim fanatics ready to slice the throats of your children if given the chance because you are an American. Duh. How anyone could ever vote for a Democrat is beyond me. And who could ever trust The New York Times to honestly report news?

Bellicose Iran...

The country that is pursuing the destruction of Israel as its primary policy objective, Iran, has been planning a strike against Israel for some time. In 2001. Moderate cleric Rafsanjani said that Iran could strike Israel with a nuclear weapon and that the retaliation would only moderately damage the Muslim world.
One of Iran's most influential ruling cleric called Friday on the Muslim states to use nuclear weapon against Israel, assuring them that while such an attack would annihilate Israel, it would cost them "damages only".

"If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world", Ayatollah Alihar Hashemi-Rafsanjani told the crowd at the traditional Friday prayers in Tehran
Of course, these people were and still are so crazed, that no one in their right mind can trust them to have nuclear capability.

This frothing at the Muslim fanatic, that is arguing that a nuclear exchange with Israel is a winnable scenario, has of late been joined by the psychopath maniac President "unpronounceable" Ahmadinejad that also advocates wiping Israel off the map or moving the state to Europe or Alaska.

I prefer the simpler times when the Mongols used the bubonic plague ravaged corpses as projectiles and launched them over the walls of their adversaries castles. Those were the good old days.

Anti-Americanism On the Wane In The Muslim World...

The frothing at the mouth Muslim terrorist lifestyle just does not hold as much interest for the typical MTV indoctrinated individual in Pakistan and Indonesia these days. So with attitudes changing in these far-flung places, what do we have to do to get those Germans and French to like us?... I personally thin that European are close to a hopeless case, but the Muslim world is finally realizing that we do more for their liberties and quality of life than most of the worthless Europeans.... Want to spend weeks negotiating?... Call an European. Want to get a job done?... Call an American.
Released today, the poll commissioned by the nonprofit organization Terror Free Tomorrow and conducted by Pakistan's foremost pollsters ACNielsen Pakistan shows that the number of Pakistanis with a favorable opinion of the U.S. doubled to more than 46% at the end of November from 23% in May 2005. Those with very unfavorable views declined to 28% from 48% over the same period. Nor is this swing in public opinion confined to Pakistan. A similar picture is evident in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation. Again that's largely because of American generosity in the wake of a natural disaster. A February 2005 poll by Terror Free Tomorrow showed that 65% of Indonesians had a more favorable opinion of the U.S. as a result of American relief to the victims of last December's tsunami. If these changes in Pakistan and Indonesia influence thinking in other countries, then we could be looking at a broader shift in public sentiment across the Muslim world.
So would you rather have a head-in-the-sand German or French at your side when the chips are down, or a take action oriented American? On a side note, in battle, I would choose an Israeli or British soldier at my side. I think that they would see things the same way.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

New Headline...Secret Domestic Spying...

As the AP reports in their blockbuster, less than truthful reporting...
Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday vigorously defended the Bush administration's use of secret domestic spying and the expansion of presidential powers,
But as Bush explained yesterday...
I appreciate that. First, I want to make clear to the people listening that this program is limited in nature to those that are known al Qaeda ties and/or affiliates. That's important. So it's a program that's limited, and you brought up something that I want to stress, and that is, is that these calls are not intercepted within the country. They are from outside the country to in the country, or vice versa. So in other words, this is not a -- if you're calling from Houston to L.A., that call is not monitored. And if there was ever any need to monitor, there would be a process to do that.
So in other words, President Bush said that it isn't a domestic spying operation. Hello AP. So if Cheney says otherwise, then this is a real story, but you call it a domestic spying operation in your headline and your text is contradicting what the President said last night, then that too is a story. So, did Cheney call it a domestic spying operation or did you? Bush said that it wasn't for communications; calls and emails within the US, so, if is for calls that are either originated from outside the US into the US or those that operate vice-versa then is it a domestic spying operation? And is the AP making an argument that these types of "spying," if they are conducted from outside the US are really spying? Additionally, lets make the silly argument that these spying operations were actually conducted by those under the employ of other than the US government. Would this also be spying since it seems as if this program is in the area between national boundaries Who actually does regulate that security, AP? Gateway Pundit has a roundup of some the relevant facts authorizing international electronic surveillance. I am sure that any reader, with a half-a-rain can see that I am getting at the jurisdiction issue... is it spying if it is conducted outside of the Us on international communications. Does the liberties of the American legal system extend beyond our shores? Come on, you could find some dopey expert to support that position, I figure, but you clowns don't even bother. And if its not, then please, AP explain why you call it a domestic spying operation? Is it or is it not a domestic operation. If one asked me what a domestic spying operation is, I would somewhat more narrowly define it as spying on Americans INSIDE THE US.

So it appears to dense little me as if this is just another example of a anti-Bush hatchet job by the US press, intent on discrediting the man in charge of the security of its citizens. The American press won't be satisfied until they hamstring the President, whether it is this one and risking on limiting the capacity of future Presidents to the extent that terrorists may have totally free access to American soil and then perform an operation that kills Americans. Then these clowns, wrapped in all their colorful 1st Amendments rights, will be able to wring their wet and sodden hands and analyze why Bush was faulty in his approach to defending American soil, irrespective of what happened, when the blood will truly be on their cowardly hands.

Remember, readers, that we are at war. We have been attacked and our enemies want to attack again. The Democrats and the American press [one-in-the-same] want to see disaster strike for a simple plain political reasons so that they can argue that the methods used by the current administration were ineffective. If we leave our liberties and safety to such irresponsible entities as the anti-Bush press and the cowardly Democrats we will surely perish. I will never, ever vote for a Democrat again.

Shanghai Mag-Lev Train....

An absolute marvel but unfortunately, it only runs to the burbs of Pudong. It took 20 minute so to take a taxi to the train from downtown...

Sleek looking....

Fast out of the gate...

And 431 KPH at its top speed. Only 8 minutes to the airport from the terminal for the 30 kilometer trip.

Bizarre Ear Damage...

[Click on photo to enlarge] I never had blood pouring out of my ears after talking on a mobile phone, though. And I not sure why its better to destroy the left-side of one's brain instead of the right-side. Maybe, its just better if one destroys the left-side logic while the right-side artistic qualities remain. But as some people have commented that I am dense, I figure that maybe that density helps protect my brain- that is my secret weapon.

I Have Thin Lips...

But I got this spam today...
Lips that look and feel full, plump and moist?
Lips that hypnotize, mesmerize and make others hang on every word you say?
Lips as sensual and sexy as the supermodels and Hollywood starlets?
Some topical cream so that your lips puff up just doesn't sound that healthy.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Kirin Brewery Develops Antibodies For Avian Flu....

I kid you not! The Kirin Brewery has apparently discovered or developed avian flu antibodies to protect humans from the flu...
The antibody proved effective in fighting avian influenza, including H5N1 strains, according to Gemini Science Inc., a U.S. unit of Kirin, which reported the findings at a meeting of the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Washington. The antibody proved effective in experiments with mice, the company said.
I wonder if they found them in the beer?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Deal With The Devil In Iraq.....

Or an essential splitting of the enemy?
Earlier, the results of the decisions to halt violence, taken without a public announcement, were much in evidence on the fields of battle. An unparalleled calm descended on Iraq, in contrast to the bloodshed before the elections in January.
"We're shifting the battlefield. The arena -- if things work out -- is about to become parliament, not violence," one official said.
The decision to negotiate, taken by the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, met with resistance from several of his fellow officers. It was then decided to make no public statement, but simply to act on the new orders in secret.
Lets see how long that this peace can hold. But being able to negotiate one peace means that the parties should be able to negotiate another in the the future. Read more here.

Does Singapore Disqualify....

purple dinosaurs running a marathon?

Mao And Insurgency....

Mao was a pioneer in insurgency strategy/tactics and wrote the book on how to engage and defeat a superior military foe.
Most importantly, Mao understood that effective insurgency warfare was more than a nagging guerrilla campaign.

At its heart, it was political. Win the hearts and minds of the people and you have created a conflict too costly in blood, money and, most importantly, political capital for your enemy to pursue.

The Americans won almost every major battle in Vietnam, and yet they lost the war. Near the end, they were facing a massive, full-blown nationalist insurgency, meaning they had fully lost the support of the Vietnamese people. At that point, the choice was kill millions more Vietnamese in an untenable war, or leave.
So Iraq has just completed their elections on December 15th. Do you think that the insurgents in Iraq are winning or losing in this war? Are the hearts and minds of the common people being won by the insurgents? With a turnout of 70% in the elections on the 15th, it looks to me as if the terrorists are not getting the cooperation from the population that Mao or Ho Chi Minh had.
Mao also realized time could be an extremely effective weapon. He realized early that the urban proletariat didn't have sufficient force to control China so he had to win the support of the peasants. This was a slow process, but it taught Mao that even a vastly superior enemy could be worn down over time.
The insurgents, in my opinion, made a critical mistake and targeted civilians, sometimes randomly in their attacks. The Terrorists in Iraq let the strange and hateful Islamic ideology of blood lust and death get in the way of tactics proven to work in China and in Vietnam. The insurgency of Saddamites and 7th century Islamists have been unsuccessful at proving their case to the common people of Iraq.

The the phases of an insurgency as written by a Rand piece I read today...
1. Survival-the insurgency infrastructure of guerrilla warfare is developed: a recruiting campaign, repositioning of weapons and munitions, and a new ideology of resistance and a propaganda apparatus to spread the ideology.

2. Military rampup - A small-scale offensive designed more to shake the determination of the invading forces and their countrymen than to have a serious military impact. In this phase, the insurgency progresses from sporadic, relatively small- scale activities to carefully planned, coordinated, calamitous attacks. "Command cannot be highly centralized," Mao wrote, in words that could describe today's Iraqi resistance. "If it were, guerrilla action would be too limited in scope."

3. Conventional warfare - After a successful campaign of small-scaled activities, more coordinated attacks, conventionally can be conducted. At this point, the insurgents must have the hearts and minds of the population in order to effectively launch these operations. Without local support, they will fail in the preparation as locals inform authorities.
The phase 3 operation is where it all comes together.... from the Mao homepage...
An insurgency may not require all phases for success, nor are these phases separate and distinct from each other. Regardless of the number or the duration of the actual phases the insurgency undergoes, its leadership necessarily will initiate some type of final consolidation activities. These may include removing potential enemies or establishing additional control mechanisms. At a minimum, they will probably include educating the society about its new government.
So really who are the insurgents in Iraq? Are they the Saddamites, the frothy mouthed Islamists or the US itself? It appears as if you look at Mao's formula for success, there are elements of this process in GWB prosecution of the war. In order to win, one must organize and educate the population. In Vietnam and 1940's China, its largely uneducated and poor populations were large masses of people looking for something new. Iraq has a relatively literate population where some remember prosperity and peace prior to the Saddam years. The insurgents in Iraq have been somewhat successful at these tasks...
Throughout this period, the insurgents use psychops to--
*Exploit grievances.
*Influence the populace.
*Heighten expectations.
*Promote the loyalty of insurgent members.

As the insurgents consolidate their initial plans, their organization coalesces into a shadow government. After this, they concentrate on--
*Gaining influence over the populace.
*Infiltrating government, economic, and social organizations.
*Challenging the government's administrative ability.
*Recruiting, organizing, and training armed elements.
But it appears as if this effort has been losing ground as of late. As more and more of the typical people are drawn into the political process, we can expect less and less support for the insurgents. It seems as if the Iraqi government and the US are actually achieving the consolidation phase of the insurgency as oultined in the last part of the previous quote.

And the critical element of moving from the 2nd to the third phase involves setting up a government that can draw people in. Mao used the Communist Party mechanism to achieve the 3rd step...
The Maoist and Marxist party organization illustrates how to achieve effective centralized direction of a mass-oriented insurgency. Analysis of this organization provides a basis for understanding mass-oriented insurgency.
The party focuses on eventual control over all three main elements of the organization: the core element, mass organizations, and armed elements. It begins with control of "liberation" committees that parallel the country's existing government at the local, subnational, and national levels. These committees interlock organizationally to ensure party control over their activities. The interrelationships of these elements may vary from one insurgency to another, but this interlocking arrangement, with its high degree of centralized control, usually emerges.
But it appears as if the US and the new Iraqi government have been able to achieve these goals quicker and more effectively than the insurgency in Iraq has.

Maybe GWB and the military have read the book too and understand how all of this works. Maybe this time, the US can actually pull off a seachange in the Middle-east. At least that is what I think and it appears that it is on course to happen. So, who really understands what is going on their in Iraq? The Howard "the coward" Dean Democrats or GWB and his formula for success?

Evil Rove.....

As everyone knows, Karl Rove, and his evil minions, have used their powers to control the world. Now all of this is finally being exposed by this email. The best part are the comments below the post!

See! He even looks evil. Here he is in the act of commanding his forces of darkness.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


[Via Simon linklets] This says a lot about the EU and the US...
The EU, you see, views U.S. donations of food to starving countries as a form of trade distortion -- and says that rather than giving food, the U.S. should give cash, which the local authorities could use to buy food -- presumably much of it from the EU. The EU complaint is part of a continuing effort to divert attention from the fact that everyone is saying the EU has to make a much better offer to allow market access to its own domestic agricultural market.
Aid is a distortion if it is given by the US but I lived in Africa and the French use aid to principally support their own companies. They gave cash or grants that had to be spent on goods and services from only their country. It hilarious for them to accuse the US of distorting when they are guilty of worse.

My Best Hong Kong Stock Choice....

Nam Tai EEP [2633] currently trading at around HK$1.35. No debt. Has around 27 HK cents of cash on the balance sheet per share. Annual dividends are around 7+% but there is no guarantee that this dividend rate will continue. The price/earning ratio is around 6x at current prices. The company is around 71% owned by Nam Tai [NTE] listed in the US. The US company trades at around 13x earnings, so there is lots of room for the price to rise on the HK company versus the US listed company. The US company also owns around 70% of another HK listed company JIC [0987].

The main problem with Nam Tai is that management tried to pull a sleazy fast one on the minority shareholders in Hong Kong. In August, the US listed company inexplicably sold several million shares on the open market in Hong Kong, far more than liquidity would allow and panicked holders, since they didn't know why the large amount of shares had hit the market. The price fell dramatically over several days ultimately settling below HK1.50 a share, down from a price of more than HK$2.50 a share at the beginning of the summer. A couple of months later, after manipulating the price lower, they tendered a buyout bid at a price much lower than the company is worth, in my humble opinion. Luckily, they didn't get enough shareholders to agree to the crappy price and they didn't steal the company away. I will buy more of this one since the company has to dividend up cash to US listed company so that the US company can pay a dividend. Therefore, we will get paid to wait while the market figures out that the price should be higher for this little gem.

I currently own a position in 2633 and may buy more in the near future. I may also buy shares in JIC but do not own any currently.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

More WTO Bull From The Left....

There are some things that Tom Legg says that I agree with, but those are few and far between mainly because he focuses on the negative, particularly if it has to do with something that America is involved in. I happen to agree that there is no point to subsidize or to slap on tariffs to protect ones home markets since it very rarely works or has trouble being effective over time as consumers shift behavior or people figure out ways around the blockages. Despite my grudging agreement on few of his points, I have to say that his humorless anti-American diatribe in this post is just silly...
But let's get back to my actual topic, which isn't about Alice or her restaurant. It's about agricultural subsidies and that all subsidies are not created equal. Walk in to Gr'eat in the basement of Pacific Place and check the fruit section.
Gr'eat isn't the first place that I would look since prices there are typically silly expensive anyway, but if that is where Tom shops, he must be doing fairly well for himself!
Compare the prices on lemons imported from France and from the US.
I happen to be in Gr'eat today and took a look at the lemons in question. One is branded Sunkist and the other Brio, a name that means vitality in Italian but has Celtic origins so could be early Northwestern French Celtic, but its difficult to know. I asked the fruit guy where they were from and he said that they were imported from France and the US as Tom claims. The only problem, is that France's climate is not really suitable for the wholesale growth of lemons, whereas, most of the Mediterranean lemons are grown in Spain and in Italy. Lets see, Italian name on a lemon? Maybe the 22 year old fruit guy got that one wrong [The only lemons from France are brand named Citroen, Renault and Peugeot]. Generally, but not in all cases, citrus is grown on the warmer sides of the 40th north and south parallels. It also notable that the American brand Sunkist is not limited to buying or producing fruit within the boundaries of 50 American states but also sources from other countries such as Argentina as noted here and probably lots from Brazil. Also, just maybe, the French are buying lemons from Spain or Italy and slapping their brand name on them like the Americans do. So one has to make a huge leap of faith that the French, being very benevolent to their neighbors and paying higher prices to them just so they can export them to clueless Hong Kongers and sell them at a multiple of their value. Hmmmmm, I don't think so!

It is important to realize that American brands are not the monolithic entities run by some Orwellian fruit king in the halls of the evil Bush empire but a market traded product that has global pricing external to the US too. Many US branded products are produced in other countries and this probably extends to the growing and marketing of lemons.
Both of these products are heavily subsidised by their governments, yet the French product is 8 to 32 times as expensive as the US products, which are competitively priced to Chinese products.
The "American" fruit was priced at HK$3.5 and the "French" fruit at HK$16.80...nowhere near the 8 to 32 times more expensive but actually a silly 4x, for a fruit that was probably 1.5 x the size. Only Great customers would have paid that price. The lady at the wet market does not carry the French brand, by-the-way. When i asked, "you mei you neige faguo.... the lady gave me a dirty look. So, Tom was thinking that the French fruit was 32 times the price of the American, so, would you pay HK$ 120 for a lemon? Or maybe HK1,000 for a French pineapple? Does the farm come with it? Thank god for the competition from the American fruit so that we don't have to go with out lemons with our tequila or have to suffer with avocado merengue pie!
So can you see that the subsidies and protectionism for Italian labour may deny the comparative advantage in domestic markets for Korean or Japanese rice, it doesn't skew the global market prices in the way that US subsidies for agriculture do.
Korea, China and Japan maintain gigantic tariffs to keep prices higher internally than they would normally be in their home countries. Who does this help or hurt? Well, by keeping tariffs high and subsidizing farmers, they effectively reduce imports to low levels, reducing the demand for rice from other countries that could benefit from higher prices in these nations. So, how does he know that these policies don't impact global pricing? In addition, it is notable that even China levies a 65% tariff on wheat and rice to protect their farmers, and I wonder how this impacts the prices at Great!!!!
The French subsidies raise the level of price which will help French farmers and given proper market channels could also raise the amount of cash going to third world farmers rather than EU tariff collectors.
This argument has absolutely no basis in fact. In order for this to hold true, using the lemon example, the equilibrium market price of lemons should be approximately HK$30-120 each. Maybe in Japan, but nowhere else int he world. When I lived in the Ivory coast, I used to buy 20 pineapples for HK$10. Fruit is just not that expensive. I was in Geneva last week and we crossed the border to France to buy our groceries there since it is so much cheaper to do so due to the direct subsidies that French farmers get. Why is food in France cheaper if the goal of French tariff and subsidies is to make goods more expensive in order to help out the poor farmers? Tom, please help me out with this logic, I am just too dense to figure out how they can make it both more expensive and cheaper. According to the Washington Post...
One French official recently defended subsidies as safeguarding the country's "gastronomic sovereignty." Unsurprisingly, France receives the fattest share of the European Union's subsidies, about 20 percent. Without subsidies, some French farms would fail; but many would survive and expand.
In the EU, farm subsidies account for 34% of farm revenue as compared to 20% in the US. So really what the French do is subsidize their farmers to keep prices low internally and then keep tariffs high to keep competition out from other countries. Not exactly helping the third-world farmer get better prices as Tom argues.
The US subsidies on the other hand drop the basement level of produce prices ensuring that all global farmers are destined to be poor.
And how do we know that prices for these goods are at basement levels? Or that it keeps farmers poor? This is because Tom says so, so it must be true. Yes, subsidies do lower prices on a global level if one is allowed to trade freely, that is the conundrum facing these trade talks, no-one THINKS that they can drop protection while the others do not. In fact, it is the US that has gone the farthest in suggesting reducing tariffs and subsidies but did not go all the way to completely reducing them to zero. The American offer has not been matched by Japan, Korea or the EU, the oprimary culprits of this game. At one point, I bet that the US does unilaterally lower tarriff and cut subsidies since the first to take the medicine usually gets better from the illness sooner.

However, I fail to see how the US benefits in this evil scheme to keep the world's farmers poor, if in fact, as Tom insinuates, that this is the goal. Yes, its nice to buy things cheaper but there is a market price for everything that determines the global distribution of capital committed to producing that product. If US subsidies are used to keep prices of certain goods down then resources will shift away from these products to those that provide a better return, thus reducing supply of the targeted good and therefore, ultimately raising its price back up to an equilibrium level.

But Tom's hopeless America bashing is just a sorry example of silliness. The USA is not the worst, by far, on the global trade stage and there is little in fact to support his position, except some fantasy of Italian/French lemons and some wild hallucination of evil pricing schemes designed to keep everyone else poor. It must be awfully quiet out there on Lamma.

Iran's Raving Manic President Continues His Diatribe Against Jews....

He figures since it was Europeans that killed the Jews, then it should be them to give them the land to live on...
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday the Holocaust is a "myth" that Europeans have used to create a Jewish state in the heart of the Islamic world.

"Today, they have created a myth in the name of Holocaust and consider it to be above God, religion and the prophets," Ahmadinejad told a crowd of thousands in the southeastern city of Zahedan.

Six million Jews were killed in Europe during the Nazi Holocaust of World War II.

Ahmadinejad said it was the Europeans who committed crimes against the Jews and they, the United States or Canada, should give part of their land to the Jews to establish a state.
Well, it was the Europeans that gave the Jews the land to live on, specifically the Balfour agreement that ceded parts of Palestine to create a Jewish state. And what reason should it be the US or Canada? Is this fellow for real?

But, Iran's frothing at the mouth President seems to misunderstand, that this has very little to do with him or with Iranians since nothing between the Palestinians and the Israelis comes even close to affecting the rights, liberties or lands of Iranians. Or maybe he fancies himself to be the new pan Arabic leader? Oops sorry, I don't think that this Aryan Persian is Arabic. So this guy is just another crazy Moslem leader in the Middle-east? Oh well, it will be even more interesting when these crazy people get the bomb.

Tookie Debate...

I should read her more. I still don't believe in capital punishment.

Update: The Belmont Club weighs in with the argument that the death penalty debate is now a political debate buttressed by the culture wars between European and American sensibilities and less about punishing crime.

For me this is not an issue. The Europeans can choose whatever they want to do for whatever reason. My bottom line is that the judicial process has proved fallible where innocent people have been put on death row and executed. Until we get this problem straightened out, then I feel that no-one should be put to death by the state.

CQ opines.

Attacking Cars...

After the big to-doo in France, now in Australia, youths [of apparently Middle-eastern origin] are attacking cars. Of course, as it appears in the press, this is retaliation to the drunken rampage of some Caucasian youths that attacked some youngsters of Middle-eastern origin.

Tim Blair keeps updating the goings on, here. But I feel its better to attack cars than to injure people. Its a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

An Eloquent Viewpoint On The Death Penalty...

I have written about this many times before, here and here and here. But I like the way that Donald Sensing says it, here.

Execution is irreversible and if the state makes a mistake, one cannot give back an innocent person's life.

Clinton Back Up To His Old Sleazy Tricks...

Former President Clinton was in the news the other day saying that Present Bushes approach to deal with global warming is flat wrong.
Former President Clinton told a global audience of diplomats, environmentalists and others Friday that the Bush administration is "flat wrong" in claiming that reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to fight global warming would damage the U.S. economy.

With a "serious disciplined effort" to develop energy-saving technology, he said, "we could meet and surpass the Kyoto targets in a way that would strengthen and not weaken our economies."
This is just another form-over-substance stance by slick Willy. Bushes approach is only flat wrong since Clinton basically signed the pact knowing that the Senate would never ratify such an agreement. In fact, the Senate voted against the pact 95-0 in 1997 and where was Clinton jawboning all the Senators to agree to this pact? Maybe he was trying to convince Monica to assist him in reducing the heat building up in the atmosphere. The Senate vote was a bipartisan effort against what is truly a terrible deal for Americans and Clinton was able to appear like he was for it when it doesn't really matter what he thinks since the US wasn't going to ratify it anyway. Clinton type politics.

Bush, when he entered office in early 2001, cleaned the decks of some of the Clinton leftover sludge such as the festering carcass of the dead Kyoto agreement. So, Bush is actually being honest or reasonable on what can actually be achieved in the US since there are many questions about the US government's ability to monitor and force changes in business in what would be just another unfunded mandate foisted upon Americans.
If the EPA is already unable to administer existing regulations, how would they effectively be able to incorporate the mammoth task of regulating (particularly) CO2 emissions? Could they even get companies to comply?
An interesting outline of the is issues can be found in this 2003 essay. Sorry, but Clinton was being his same old Slick Willy self by taking, again, another form-over-substance stance on this issue. I am glad that this deadbeat isn't President anymore.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Why I Am Stupid...

Or how to win almost any argument using flawed logic.

That's not An Ugly Car, THIS Is An Ugly Car.......

Flagrant Harbor had a post claiming that the Rodius SUV by Korea's very own SSangyong Motors or Porche's Cayenne is the ugliest car. [I just didn't understand which one he was actually saying was uglier or the ugliest since I think that I am getting him confused with some Marmot comments]. But, from my experience, the Fiat Multipla is the ugliest car I have ever seen. Even the name is odd. The Multipla... Better named Multibla or Multiblahhhhhhh. The original Multipla 600, manufactured between 1956 and 1965, looks like a cross between a VW Beetle and one of those old strange looking Renault cars that rattle like hell at all speeds. Wikipedia has this to say about the new one...
Based on the Brava, Fiat's offering in this size of car was quite unlike any other on the market. It has six seats, three on two benches. The exterior and interior design of the Multipla is unique and has a polarizing effect-some people love it, many hate it. Nonetheless, the Multipla was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York during its "Different Roads - Automobiles for the Next Century" exhibition in 1999.
Wow, The Museum of Modern Art displayed the Multibhah? You know that they charge something like US$20 to get into the ?Moma these days and you could probably rent one of this things for not too much more than that.

To me, the Multiblah looks like a box was plopped onto the body of some non-descript European piece of hoo-ha sedan [actually the Brava] creating this multi-level monstrosity, and even more of a monstosity when the thing starts to rust.

I had the opportunity to rent one for a couple of weeks in France when I went to the Loire Valley and to Brittany. It didn't drive to bad, though, but was somewhat underpowered.

Iran Airstrike....

Last trade on Tradesports at 23 on the chances for an overt airstrike on Iran by the US and or Israel by Jun 2006. Up from 11-17 a few days earlier.

American Democrats Testing Themes For Elections In 2006 and 2008....

And the word to summarize their campaign? Community. Sounds ok to me. I have written about this topic but not in the depth that I wanted to. So maybe this theme will drive me towards finally doing it. But a Democrats community is probably somewhat different than what some people think when they hear or read the word community.
1 : a unified body of individuals: as a : STATE, COMMONWEALTH b : the people with common interests living in a particular area; broadly : the area itself c : an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location d : a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society [a community of retired persons] e : a group linked by a common policy f : a body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, and political interests g : a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society
2 : society at large
3 a : joint ownership or participation b : common character : LIKENESS c : social activity : FELLOWSHIP d : a social state or condition
What worries me is #3, joint ownership or participation. As presidential candidate Tom Vilsack said,
"When we work together, when rely on one another, when we care about one another we remove the fear of sharing," Vilsack said. "I believe the current administration and its polices is eroding the sense of community. This country's two great things - the self-reliant individual supported by community - is what made the American dream ... possible."
I become more fearful of the of sharing if a Democrat says he wants to remove the fear of sharing. What that means to me is HIGHER TAXES and utopian wealth redistribution. Oh, how I hate that. More taxes and more "fairness" in the distribution of wealth by Democrats in Washington. Another reason why I cannot vote for Democrats.

Lighten Up Tom....

Tom Legg had this comment on my response to his criticism of Disney...
At 9:35 PM, Tom - Daai Tou Laam said...
Living in China and you think that Mulan is actually a Disney character? *geesh* I figured you for dense, but really...

And for good measure I'll toss in Pocahontas as well as another example of a character that Disney has appropriated from the creative commons. *geesh*

And for the record I don't live on Lamma either. So much sad information for such a short post.

At 3:31 AM, Glenzo said...
I figured on such a response. We love you Tom!!!
I do enjoy reading Tom's posts since he has nothing good to say about anybody. But I have to say, his humorless and feckless response by calling me dense is typical of the liberal left. They are all so much smarter than we war-mongering, Halliburton supporting, Jesus worshiping, Republicans. I have come to expect it and wear it like a badge of honor.

And Mulan as the subject of Tom's wrath? Maybe I don't understand something. Mulan was a character in a Disney movie in 1998 based on the Northern Dynasties era poem "Ode of Mulan." Mulan is a cartoon character that you were referring to, right, in reference to Disney? So why all the mumbo jumbo and what on earth makes you think that I had never heard of the origins of that character? *geesh* Sometimes if you don't have anything nice to say about someone its better to say nothing at all.

As far as islands are concerned, Lamma, Lantau, Long Island, Peng Chau, they are all the same to dense little me.

I Wonder What The Pope Would Say About This....

The pope is concerned about the commercialism of Christmas...
"In today's consumer society, this time of the year unfortunately suffers from a sort of commercial 'pollution' that threatens to alter its real spirit," the Pope told a large crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square to hear his weekly Angelus blessing.
So, I wonder what he would think about this display for Christmas [Via Gateway Pundit].

Thought For The Day...

Just think, if it weren't for marriage, men would go through life thinking they had no faults at all.

If You Have Been Exposed To Spoons....

Protest yourself with spoonguard.

Israel Prepares For A Strike On Iran...

From the Times Online...
ISRAEL’S armed forces have been ordered by Ariel Sharon, the prime minister, to be ready by the end of March for possible strikes on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran, military sources have revealed.
The world will have deal with the crazy ayatollahs in Iran very very soon.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I Guess I Should Bid For This Contract...

Tradesports market on the bombing of Iran is only around 11-17. In other words, the market only thinks that there is around a 15% chance that Iran will get bombed. As I have said, I think that Israel will bomb them by summer.

Iran's Insane President....

Iran's crazy President, the unpronounceable Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, suggested that the slaughter of Jews during the holocaust in World War II may not have taken place and that Israel should be moved to Europe.
He said that if Austria and Germany believed Jews were massacred during World War II, then a state of Israel should be established on their soil.
He made these comments at a conference in Mecca hosted by Saudi Arabia designed to promote Islam's more moderate face. Wow, don't invite him to the party next time!

Arab leaders are aghast at his bellicose and wild statements as of late....
One Saudi official compared Ahmadinejad to ousted Iraq president Saddam Hussein and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, whose renegade statements frequently infuriated other Arab leaders and have targeted the Saudis in particular.

"The Iranian president seems to have lost his direction," said Gilan al-Ghamidi, a prominent commentator in Saudi media. "Iran should be logical if it wants to receive the support of the world. The president didn't score any points. He lost points."

Turkey also denounced the remarks, warning against escalating international tensions and mistrust between nations.
And even some of the hard-line Iranian supporters of this madman are worried...
Even some of Ahmadinejad's allies in Iran were growing disillusioned, fearing that he has hurt the country with his wild rhetoric.

"The president has to choose his words carefully. He can convey his message to the world in better language tone," Hamid Reza Taraqi, a leader of a hard-line party, the Islamic Coalition Society, said.
And of course, Iran is working hard on developing a nuclear bomb and this guy will have his finger on the trigger, a lovely thought! Israel will bomb Iranian nuclear facilities before summer and maybe with the support of others in the Middle-east.

The Iranian madman had also called for "wiping Israel off od the face of the map" recently, and I found this today...
Israel's defence minister Shaul Mofaz on Friday said Israel must prepare solutions "other than diplomatic" in the face of Tehran's persistent advancement of its nuclear programme, Israeli daily Haaretz reports. During a visit to a Tel Aviv market, Mofaz said "the right move would be to let a diplomatic approach guide us, but we must also prepare other solutions."

China Hiding Bird Flu Cases.....

Up to its old tricks, according to a researcher, China is covering up outbreaks of bird flu...
"Quite honestly, some provinces have the virus and they still haven't announced any outbreak. I can show direct evidence, even though China is still trying very hard to block my research. The government doesn't do any surveillance studies, but they say there is no outbreak."

He gave the example of Yunnan province, in southwestern China, which shares a border with Vietnam. More than 90 people have died from the bird-flu virus in Vietnam, yet the Yunnan officials denied any outbreak of bird flu in their province until Nov. 17. In reality, the virus has been circulating in Yunnan for months, according to Dr. Guan's data.
Up to its old tricks, China officials natural reaction to anything is to cover-up and lie not matter what the consequences are. It is only natural to assume that if they do this for such a serious global health situation that they also lie and cover-up in most everything else that they do. Never trust the Chinese government for anything.


During the battle of bulge, when men were desperately fighting each other for their lives in terrible conditions and there was a real fight over territory, General "nuts" McAuliffe AKA General Anthony C. McAuliffe was faced with a decision to surrender to German forces when surrounded...
According to various accounts from those present, when McAuliffe was told of the German demand for surrender he said "Aww, nuts". At a loss for an official reply, those around him said that his first remark summed the situation up well. The official reply: 'To the German Commander, "Nuts!"' was typed and delivered by Colonel Harper to the German delegation. Harper had to explain the meaning of the word to the Germans. Some sources have suggested that McAuliffe's initial remark was in rather stronger language.
In the face of Islamic terrorists, Democrats aren't saying "nuts", but "where do I sign up to surrender." I suppose right there next to the French. Unable to stand-up in the face of the least even tiniest bit of adversity, Democrats give in full force [except one]. No wonder that American serivepeople overwhelmingly vote Republican. Thank you "good man" Rep Murta for your steadfast defense against America's foes and trying to give Americans the reputation of being pussies. We all know that you are have our best interests in mind, as long as it involves in electing spineless Democrats to elected office. Democrats have no business defending the interests of the USA.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Gary Glitter...

I saw Gary Glitter, either as an appendage or some form of opening act for Madonna on the tour [I can't remember the name] where some topless chick started out as a stripper doing a pole dance or something [maybe 1995]. I had no idea who he was, then, but my more erudite friend filled me in on the details. I was amazed that there was someone more erudite than me.

Flagrant Harbor [sp?] has a full rundown of how he is going to become some Vietnamese meat dish fairly soon.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Quagmire....

is only in the United States.

Tom, What The Hell Are You Talking About??

Of course its great to live on Lamma, Jerry would have preferred there too I am sure, and not have to worry about anything. But when it comes to Disney, they are nearly your neighbors.
I would also encourage you to visit Disneyland, where you find many intellectual property items, like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and Mulan, which can only be found at Disneyland due to the value of a public cultural pool that companies like Disneyland have been draining rapidly in the 20th Century in order to protect their profit margins against their failure to produce new intellectual property
What are you growing in your garden there Tom? Mulan was only 1998.

If you weren't living on an isolated island, then maybe you would have heard of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, the Lion King etc.?? Of course these are also characters in the fabled 20th century stables. See the fascinating timeline here. Of course if you are comparing all the characters of the 20th century to those developed in the 21st, I think that you have to give them another 70 years or so to prove their worth.

Can't find anything negative with Disney, Tom?

In Manufacturing, There Is A Choice Between Capital And Labor...

Much of the US has and is still fretting about the loss of jobs in manufacturing, but the inevitable loss of jobs becomes a headline of changing times not something that one can do something about. As healthcare cost rise, employers can either move jobs overseas or redeploy capital to reduce labor expenses. In other words, at a cost, it makes sense to consider using a robot to do what was once done by a person.

So as American companies redeploy their resources, relatively high jobs in manufacturing are lost.... to robots. Of course the bogeyman of cheap Chinese labor is foisted up for all of us to take shots at, but in the long-term, this is something that will be adjusted away. The transformation of capital vs. labor is even greater in the Chinese economy as it is in the US as evidenced by decreasing manufacturing employment in China due to huge strides in productivity. Inefficient enterprises are losing workers at a faster rate than new ones are adding and the only reason that employment is growing is the shift of manufacturing assets to China that will inevitably slow down one day.

Even the Christian Science Monitor has to deal with these social issues and does so in an adult, non-New York Times [NYT always makes it into a class warfare issue] manner. However, it doesn't change the pressures that face American's today. We are competing on the global stage... so we can either be in the game or we can be out of it, like France is. Its our choice.

Muslims Nations Thinking Seriously About Islamic Terrorism...

As Gateway Pundit is arguing, Muslim countries are getting more serious about terror. But how serious can they be if they are still standing with the madman of Tehran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the guy that looks as if he doesn't belong. Remember, that he is the leader fellow that advocates "wiping Israel off of the map." Read about this pillow-biter, tyrant wannabee, here. And why we will be at war with these fun loving folks by summer.

Hong Kong Maid Abuse....

I read this column today by Philip Yeung in The Standard. Hong Kong people, particularly when it comes to maids, are amongst some of the most heartless and greedy people I know. Its as if a little kindness is an expense too great to incur for the fortunate people of Hong Kong.

But even more mystifying to me, is that in addition to the abuse meted out by the heartless Hong Kong employer, these people actually leave their children in the care of these maids. How fucking stupid is that?

Being Abrasive And Over The Top Critical Is Not Hate Speech....

In the PC world of the US, critical and abrasive speech, if it does not fit the politically correct agenda of the liberal lefty crowd is now being branded hate speech. I am not a big fan of Ann Coulter but she has every right to say the things that she does and I do not view it as hate speech. Yesterday, she was heckled during a speech at UC...
Conservative columnist Ann Coulter gave up trying to finish a speech at the University of Connecticut on Wednesday night when boos and jeers from the audience became overwhelming. Coulter cut off the talk after 15 minutes and instead held a half-hour question-and-answer session.

"I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am," Coulter told the 2,600 people at Jorgensen Auditorium.

Coulter's appearance prompted protests from several groups, including Students Against Hate and the Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center. They criticized her for spreading a message of hate and intolerance.
For those that are not familiar with Ann Coulter, she is essentially a female Rush Limbaugh. With a JD degree and after working as a law clerk for the 8th circuit of Appeals and for a Senator, she has pursued a career as a writer [How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must), Treason: Liberal Treachery From the Cold War to the War on Terrorism ; Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right; and High Crimes and Misdemeanors:The Case Against Bill Clinton], columnist and pundit.

In order to be hate speech there are 3 critical factors that must be met...
1. Is it the expression of personal thoughts, or is it a form of action that affects and can harm others?

2. Is the free expression of ideas which some perceive as hateful necessary for healthy public debate, or is it harmful to public debate?

3. Should governmental policies be founded upon the protection of interests and rights of individuals, or identifiable groups, such as homosexuals and racial minorities?
So is Ann guilt of these three things? Far from it. As far as #1 is concerned, it appears as if her rantings are personal thoughts, appears to be no worse than the rantings and ravings of liberal pundits such as Al Franken and his Air America crowd. In point #2, it appears as if her thoughts may be harmful to the public debate if it wasn't for the problem that the students didn't allow her to make any points are were actually guilty of themselves. Yes, she is definately harmful to Liberals and their talking points, but that is the idea of political debate. And, unless you think that Democrats or liberals need government protection as an identifiable minority group [Liberals are working harder every day to remain in the minority] who is it that she is bombastically attacking that needs protection from damaging speech?

Without knowledge of what she said during her first 15 minutes at UC, there is no way to know what it was that prompted the heckling. It appears to me as if the heckling and protesting was planned to happen no matter what Ann said. It was a prepackaged assault and ambush by the students. No matter what was said, there was going to be the heckling and jeering.

As far as I am concerned, the denigration of liberal ideas and ideals does not constitute hate speech. However, if one makes the argument that liberals stand for all that is good and just and this includes exclusively minority, religious and gender rights, then in ones small mind, this may, in fact, constitute hate speech. So if Liberals are the only champions of these rights and they take on themselves, even if they are white Northgesterners the oatina of these minoroty groups so that they are one-in-the-same, then yes, it is hate sppech. But unfortunately, without the use of mind altering drugs, this is not the case.

Ann has touched or crossed the line at times, and this is actually an area that she can be questioned on. And this is alos an area that people can claim that I promote hate speech, my blistering attacks on Islam and on the weakness of Arab males. If it is hate speech, then so be it. If a friend or relative you know gets blown up or killed by some frothing at the mouth Islamic militant, then maybe you may think like I do.

My Favorite Shiny Faced Dictator...

Schizophreniac madman President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, planned televised speech on solving the country's electricity shortage was blacked out due to a power outage in the capital.
Widespread power outages struck Zimbabwe on Tuesday, blacking out much of President Robert Mugabe's state of the nation address in which he promised to address the country's chronic electricity shortages.
this fellow is the poster boy of why dictators are bad for countries. Despite short-term solutions offered by despots in a time of crisis [as was once argued to me by an officer if the anti-corruption police unit here in Hong Kong that thought that during the Asian crisis that Hong Kong could use a dictator to straighten things out], they tend to hang around for additional 20-30 years completely screwing up stuff and sometimes sending the country back to the stoneage as Mugabe has done with Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe was once called the bread-basket of Africa but now cannot even come close to feeding itself.

Still coddled by the clueless morons at the UN, but shirked by the dictator and autocratic loving Chinese communists since Zimbabwe has no oil, his time has come and gone decades ago.

Bloodthirsty Muslims...

don't only blow themselves up in a rage trying to kill westerners, but also murder their own family members and children in what is known as honor killings [but there is no way to gain honor by killing your sister, idiots]. This horrific crime, typically kept under wrap in close knit local Muslim communities, has also becoming more practiced in the west as this article describes [via LGF]...
But a series of gruesome killings has forced Britons to recognize that such crimes, although still rare, are committed here too, often within the country's large ethnic Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani communities.

Girls and young women have been killed, abducted, physically abused and held prisoner in their own homes. Police believe scores have been taken out of the country, often to the Indian subcontinent, and have disappeared.

"They try to restore and reinforce their own social norms. They put pressure on their own members to conform, and if they don't conform there is sometimes some kind of retribution."

Specialists on violence against women also say social cultural changes, partly spread by globalization and mass media, have left men from southern Asia feeling threatened and women are bearing the brunt of their fear.
The behavior of these people is just amazing. If your daughter dates someone you don't like, then just kill her. Slit her throat, strangle her with a piece of wire or cord and watch her frightened eyes pop out of her head or stab her repeatedly till they look like hamburger. Or kill the boy using similar gruesome methods. These people just barbaric and don;t try to tell me that gruesome murders also happen in the US, they do and they are not acceptable there, but this is an acceptable practice in some Muslim communities and that just amazes me!

Healthcare Costs...

One of the major challenges facing American business today are healthcare costs. I am stating the obvious but in an op-ed piece in the WSJ, it is spelled out by the Chairman and CEO of General Motors...
So what are the fundamental challenges facing American manufacturing? One is the spiraling cost of health care in the United States. Last year, GM spent $5.2 billion on health care for its U.S. employees, retirees and dependents--a staggering $1,525 for every car and truck we produced. And the figure is going up again this year. Foreign auto makers have just a fraction of these costs, because they have few, if any, U.S. retirees, and in their home countries their governments fund a much greater portion of employee and retiree health-care costs.
He also goes on to say that people shouldn't blame them for the legacy costs of retiree healthcare but in some ways, we should blame them. These gold-plated retirement healthcare plans costs people nothing for essentially unlimited coverage whereas the fabled overseas healthcare plans rely heavily on rationing of healthcare and restricting pricing. These gold-plated healthcare plans also raised the bar for others trying to attract workers and other costly plans had to be offered that cost American business today. Giving everything away for free, therefore, reduced incentives for individuals to take care of themselves and little incentive for individuals to not see a doctor or get prescribed a medication for every little thing that happens. I know this since everytime one of my children gets sick, my wife shuffles them off to the doctor just to be sure, even if its an untreatable virus, cold or something mundane. She does this since there is no or little cost in doing this. So a rational retiree would and should do the same.

So, you may be asking yourself what the solution should be? Of course many will offer the idea that universal coverage be applied in the US and sometime cite the "successes" in Europe, but these systems are not all that they seem to be when the idea is being sold to Americans. Have a critical look yourself and truly see what these shortcomings are.

My own opinion is that Americans are very imaginative people and we will figure out other solutions than a leadweight central government administered behemoth that will dumbdown innovation, service and productivity to its lowest common denominator, where everyone will get poor and continuously decreasing quality healthcare. Of course, the wealthy will go to private doctors and clinics and the best and brightest will go into that end of the business but most of the best and brightest will probably eschew medicine altogether under that scenario.

So, my solution is that we should allow the market to decide. Here in Hong Kong, despite universal access to cheap healthcare available through the government, private clinics are springing up all over the place to service the minor healthcare needs of the citizenry. No they don't do open heart surgery but they do treat you when you have a common malady.

Something like this may not be possible in the US due to ambulance chasing lawyers and unbelievable greed by litigation lawyers, but fashioning a system where one cannot sue some of these smaller clinics would give people other options. Maybe some of these could be religion based organizations. Just some thoughts.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Ivory Coast...I Used To Live There....

I was surprised to see this story on AP.
On the streets of this skyscraper-lined West African metropolis, tension and rumors of an imminent return to war are always thick in the air - and so too, is the sweet smell of chocolate. Despite more than half a decade of coups, fighting and failed peace deals, a $2 billion a year cocoa industry is a booming in Ivory Coast, producing more of the raw material for chocolate than any other country on the planet.
I am not sure what he is trying to say here since he is short on actual facts. Has the cocoa industry and the higher prices found its way to the people's pockets? I know that harvesting has been a problem since the nationalist President Gbagbo has verbally attacked all foreigners as the root of Ivory Coast's problems resulting in rampages and riots against immigrant workers. May of them have been driven out of the country or fled for their lives, resulting in some of the cocoa crops not being harvested.

We know that the Ivory Coast has been the largest producer of Cocoa for quite some time, but with the civil war and difficulties with a nationalist, dysfunctional and corrupt government, production is down and erratic. As a result, as with many commodities, prices are up and this may be helping the economy a little. Lets hope so since cocoa and coffee production there is done on small family and village farms that had in the past resulted in rising incomes for rural farm owners and workers.

But there are other problems, since the dysfunctional government and tensions have driven out aid and investment the economy must be hurting in many ways. The country lost the African Development Bank to politically stable Tunisia but picked up thousands of blue-helmeted UN soldiers that should keep the bars full and the prostitutes busy.

Saddam's Torture....

of the Kurds, here.

Donald Sensing....

responds to Howard "the coward" Dean with Thomas Paine [via Michele Malkin].

A War With Iran Will Happen By Summer....

As I have written before, it appears as if confronting Iran strongly looks increasingly likely since Europe is dithering away time with useless diplomacy. In fact, Iran is playing the hapless Europeans for time since they are so convinced that they can actually achieve something. Despite the troubles with appeasement in Europe's past, where it arguably caused deeper long-term trouble with Nazi Germany, Europeans continue to put their faith in the silly belief that irrational people can be dealt with on rational terms. Without military might to back up diplomacy, who will ever take it seriously?
Neville Chamberlain, as with many in Europe who had witnessed the horrors of the First World War and its aftermath, was committed to peace at almost any price. Across the political spectrum in the major Western Democracies, there was a sense that war could, and should, be avoided by concession, negotiation and compromise. The theory was that dictatorships arose where peoples had grievances, and that by removing the source of these grievances, the dictatorship would become less aggressive. Chamberlain, as even his political detractors admitted, was an honourable man, raised in the old school of European politics. It was his misfortune, and Britain's, that the imperial rules and aristocratic norms in which he believed were, indeed, anachronistic. His attempts to deal with Nazi Germany through diplomatic channels and to quell any sign of dissent from within, particularly from Churchill, were called by Chamberlain "The general policy of appeasement" (June 7, 1934).
A good man that believed in people...
Chamberlain believed passionately in peace for many reasons (most of which are discussed here), thinking it his job as Britain's leader to maintain stability in Europe; like many people in Britain and elsewhere, he thought that the best way to deal with Germany's belligerence was to treat it with kindness and meet its demands. He also believed that the leaders of men are essentially rational beings, and that Hitler must necessarily be rational as well.
I too believe in people but I don;t believe that these crazy ayatollahs have the best interests in peace and of people in mind.

Is it in the best interest of your people if Iran get nuclear capabilities? Are you comfortable with that prospect? Is the IAEA really on top of the situation?
The International Atomic Energy Agency has found no "smoking gun" in Iran that would indicate a nuclear weapons program, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the director-general of the IAEA, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. At the same time, however, he acknowledged that, until three years ago, Teheran maintained an undeclared nuclear program for 18 years, which the IAEA failed to detect.
And this piece lays out in Officer's Club, a theory that Israel will be forced to attack Iranian nuclear capabilities before long and Natanyahu will be the one to do it....
Also today, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (widely expected to replace Ariel Sharon as head of the Likud Party in elections next month) asserted that he would "not hesitate" to strike Iran as Prime Minister.
And if Israel attacks, the US will be lumped in as accomplices and so may-as-well participate so that the job is done correctly.

And Iran is now run by a madman and a bunch of insane Ayatollahs...
Thousands of Iranians staged anti-Israel protests across the country Friday and repeated calls by their ultraconservative president demanding the Jewish state's destruction.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- marching with the protesters -- signaled he stood by his remarks, even as Iranian officials tried to defuse the issue.

"My word is the same as that of (the) Iranian nation," he told the official IRAN news agency.
I have written about the new President in Iran. He will prove to be a big problem for the sane world not too long from now.

So, I figure that there will be a conflict in Iran sometime the summer of 2006.

The Media's Big Bet On Iraq...

My take on why the media is so biased against Bush and Iraq is that most of the senior reporters and executives made their careers on the Watergate story, Vietnam and on President Nixon's fall and subsequent resignation. This, to them, is a winning formula that they think that they can use to clip a sitting president's wings and attack a war that is and may prove to be highly unpopular, although, to me it appears to be a necessary war.

So, in order to achieve these goals, the press must minimize the positive reporting and report the wholly negative while closing the box or limiting what the President can do. Iraq will make many careers in the press if it is handled right.

However, the press has now painted themselves into a corner and the storyline of Iraq being an unwinnable war and unnecessary may be come a big problem for them if it doesn't play out this way. An already somewhat skeptical public has invested much in what the press is telling us on a day-to-day basis. How would the public feel or react if one day, it all works out as President Bush outlined February 6. 2003. A victory or building successes in Iraq will be a source of problems for the press and their Democratic Party wards. Success in Iraq will injure many reporters and senior executives careers and reputations. Belmont Club sums this position up nicely...
The problem with using words to trump reality is that it wagers everything on a monumental bluff. The mesmerist must carry all before him or be humiliated. A King must be obeyed or lose the throne. There is no middle ground. Personally I think the repeated conjury of the master-spell of 'Vietnam' and the endless repetition of "we have been defeated" is a strained attempt to achieve what used to be accomplished effortlessly; almost as a background process. Now the spell is being used altogether too often to be convincing, like a lion-tamer who must repeatedly shout at the mountain of snarling flesh before him to sit down. One of the characteristics of the collapse of an illusion is the suddenness with which it comes. The Soviet Union; the EU superstate; the notion of an advanced, enlightened and progressive France, were like Atlantis separated from glory and oblivion by a single night and day. I would be careful about Vietnam because the '60s, like Vaudeville, may never come again.
Furthermore, the press no longer has the luxury of the single voice, where other large news organization with similar stakes fact-checked them. Maybe then it was a gentleman's business but it is no longer. The press is now thoroughly fact-checked and with strong rebuttals from cable and citizen journalist bloggers. They can no longer paint pictures with out other information coming to light that may contradict that picture and definitely cannot present hoaxes such as the fake Air National Guard memos peddled by Dan Rather and Mary Mapes with out being caught leading to the destruction of their careers. They are truly in a box and may have to resort to actually reporting news and doing a good job and bury their agenda journalism.

The press has largely lost my trust, a long time ago, particularly due to the antics of the New York Times. I disliked the paper before it was fashionable to do so.

Soldier's Take On Iraq...

I view The Christian Science Monitor are less biased and more honest deliverer of news than The New York Times. CSM tends to more thoroughly convey various viewpoints and experiences without having to meet the litmus test of the agenda that the New York Times needs to deliver to its constituents.

On Iraq, CSM has been both critical and understanding and the piece here on the soldiers thoughts gives both their stories and feelings. CSM also delves into why the MSM tends to have a narrow focus on reporting bombings killings and kidnappings with little else since most reporters do and cannot venture out to gather real stories. Maybe this is part of what the terrorists are trying to achieve in Iraq, is forcing the western media to report on the "biggest explosions" while leaving the smaller more positive accomplishments unreported.
Yet the Iraq of Corporal Mayer's memory is not solely a place of death and loss. It is also a place of hope. It is the hope of the town of Hit, which he saw transform from an insurgent stronghold to a place where kids played on Marine trucks. It is the hope of villagers who whispered where roadside bombs were hidden. But most of all, it is the hope he saw in a young Iraqi girl who loved pens and Oreo cookies.

Like many soldiers and marines returning from Iraq, Mayer looks at the bleak portrayal of the war at home with perplexity - if not annoyance. It is a perception gap that has put the military and media at odds, as troops complain that the media care only about death tolls, while the media counter that their job is to look at the broader picture, not through the soda straw of troops' individual experiences.
I will put CSM on my news organization blogroll, they deserve it and I should be scanning their front page everyday anyway.