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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-

Friday, June 30, 2006

I Saw This Headline Today...

Arab Anger Flares at Israeli Incursion
These people make me ill. No one should expect much less from these clowns. In fact, Arab anger flared due to cartoons such as this...

We get all kinds of Arab anger. But no anger when the Arabs go on rampages, slaughtering and maiming innocents, even their own people. No Arab anger when children are beheaded or slaughtered. No Arab anger when a twisted and evil suicide bomber blows himself up on a bus full of innocent children. These idiots are celebrated and therefore, how can a civilized people accept that? There really is no clash of civilizations between the West and the Arab world. That implies that there are two civilizations that are clashing. There isn't. The Arab world is no longer a civilization but a cesspool of lunacy. So it is civilization and a cellpool of lunacy that are clashing.

And what do you expect when the barbarian Palestinians kidnap citizens and soldiers, al Qaida style, for propaganda. Does one really expect that Israel is going to beg Hamas, the kidnappers, for them back? Hamas wants to pick this fight and so I suggest, let them get destroyed. What is a sovereign nation like Israel supposed to do? Israel has decided on a course of action, when there is an aggressive hostile act towards their citizens, they will respond with a costly display of their abilities.

Arabs are going to be angry no matter what one does, since they are a weak and largely worthless people, without the oil that they sit on. The people there do not contribute to science or bettering the world, they moan and complain and then lash out and kill people.

Palestinians are a vanquished people, and their actions prove why they are.

Our Enemies At Home....

Makin' life more dangerous for us all...

Bolivia, Marching For Freedom....

And Glenn Reynolds thinks that it is a nice place. I agree with that assessment.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hitler Cats.....


The New York Times....

Will publish classified secrets on how our government is going after terrorists, reasoning that the reading public has a "right to know." However, the same newspaper will not publish the innocuous cartoons of prophet Muhammad that caused rioting, death threats and general mayhem amongst the barbarian Muslim crowds around the world, who think that WE have to conform to their petty sensitivities and our right of free speech should be limited by their every desire. Do you think that this cartoon is not appropriate?

Well, apparently, for New York Times readers, you do not have the "right to know" or in this case see the alleged offensive cartoons and judge for yourself. Is the New York Times more scared of the Muslim reaction to the cartoons than the increased terrorism risks that they are putting ordinary Americans under with their reckless revelations of defense secrets? Or do they have other agendas? Are they wracked by BDS? Has the paper reached such a level of flashback induced "Pinch" Sultzberger inducedmodern liberalism that they are loath to reveal something that would be considered not politically correct? Will they treat Southern Baptists with the same deference?

The New York Times is not a paper than we, as citizens of the US or as Americans, can take seriously anymore. I can't and I won't.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Another Letter To The New York Times...

I think that what you did was right....If one thinks that freedom of the press is more important than all our other freedoms. As far as I am concerned, you people have gone way to far. And the next time that we pull the mangled bodies of our dead sons, daughters, fathers and mothers from the scene of the next terrorist attack, we can be assured that The New York Times will be right there, reporting on the event and laying blame on everybody else.

You people are a disgrace to thoughtful Americans everywhere.


Who Is Wen Ho Lee?

For all of you that hold the New York Times in such high regard, this is just another example of the paper doing the dirty work for the Democratic party...
Wen Ho Lee (Born in Nantou, Taiwan December 21, 1939) is a Taiwanese American scientist who worked for the University of California at Los Alamos National Laboratory and was accused of stealing secrets about the U.S.'s nuclear arsenal for China. After investigators dropped these original accusations, the government conducted a new investigation and charged Lee with improper handling of restricted data, one count of which he pleaded guilty to as part of a plea bargain. Lee's case has been compared to the Dreyfus Affair, and some consider it to be a textbook example of the harm that can be done to an individual when the power of government and the power of media unite against one person.
His named was leaked to the New York Times at a time that the Clinton administration was under pressure for taking illegal campaign donations [bribes] from fronts for the Chinese government. At the same time, there was credible evidence that Chinese espionage had secured some highly classified weapons secrets on the US nuclear arsenal and the Clinton administration was also taking heat over that. As the connection was being made over the illegal Chinese campaign contributions and the secrets being spirited to the Chinese government, in a pique of racial profiling, ...
The assumption that Lee, whose roots are in Taiwan and who has no relatives on the mainland, would be the prime target of an investigation simply because of his skin color and ethnic identity has sent shock waves through the Asian-American community.
Dr. Wen Ho Lee was arrested and kept in solitary confinement for 9 months and his name was splashed all over the front pages of the papers. It is interesting to note, that the Clinton Administration, in order to again play the race card, had been prosecuting a course of action accusing the State Police in states with Republican governors of racial profiling in stopping cars on interstate highways.

Unfortunately, for the papers, he was innocent of what he was accused of....
On June 3, 2006, the U.S. federal government and five media organizations (the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, ABC News, and the Associated Press) announced they would jointly pay Lee a total of $1.6 million to settle allegations that government leaks violated his privacy.
On June 2, 2006, it was announced that the government and five news organizations settled the privacy lawsuit with Dr. Lee. The government agreed to pay $900,000 in legal fees and associated taxes, while the news outlets will pay $750,000. Lee quoted "We are hopeful that the agreements reached today will send the strong message that government officials and journalists must and should act responsibly in discharging their duties and be sensitive to the privacy interests afforded to every citizen of this country."
But that is only part of the story of the New York Times complicity into the racial profiling of Dr. Wen Ho Lee, his subsequent abduction and jailing in solitary confinement. They still have been unable to come to grips with their shoddy journalism on this story...
While Reno and Freeh defended their handling of the case before Congress, the New York Times, in one of the most contorted editors' notes in that paper's history, and on its editorial page two days later, defended its journalism in the Lee case while offering up some faint notes of apology. But like the ravings of an addict promising to abstain, the Times again committed egregious distortions in the very editors' note intended to set the record straight. For one thing, the September 26 note implied that Lee might have had something to do with espionage and also with the theft of information critical to building the W-88 warhead, even though he was never charged with either offense.

Most unbelievable was one sentence that was so ingenuously dishonest as to be worthy of the most effective editorialist for Pravda in the bad old days. The Times editors wrote that at the time of the newspaper's first story, "Dr. Lee had already taken a lie detector test; FBI investigators believed that it showed deception when he was asked whether he had leaked secrets." The fact is that in December of 1998, three months before the Times's first story ran, Lee had passed an Energy Department lie-detector test with flying colors. What the note would seem to indicate is that the Times still could not acknowledge a single piece of evidence pointing to Lee's innocence.

In its very long editorial admitting to some errors, most important is the admission that "we find that we too quickly accepted the government's theory that espionage was the main reason for Chinese nuclear advances and its view that Dr. Lee had been properly singled out as the prime suspect." But then the editorial quickly segues into a non-sequitur argument about the need for increased security at the weapons labs.
What the New York Times was doing, was complicity engaging in the defense of the Clinton Administration that was concerned that Chinese bribes and stolen secrets may impact the upcoming Gore campaign. The New York Times took the Clinton bait hook, line and sinker and has still be unable to accept that they were hoodwinked by their dear Clintons.

A comprehensive report on the bungled Dr. Wen Ho Lee case can be read at The Nation.. The money quote...
As for Wen Ho Lee, the scientist came away thankful for a legal system in which the damage to him was limited by an ultimately courageous judge and a hopelessly bungled government case. But no one who cares about freedom of the individual in the face of abusive government power should ever forget how arrogant the FBI can be when backed by the shoddy reporting of this nation's premier newspaper. This was chillingly demonstrated on March 7, 1999, when Lee's FBI interrogators brandished the previous day's New York Times story as a weapon to threaten him:

FBI: Do you think that the press prints everything that's true? Do you think that everything in this article is true?
Lee: I don't think [so].
FBI: The press doesn't care.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

How China Deals With Their Internal Problems....

When local Communist Party officials steal money designed to compensate people for such things as losing their farms in the construction of the Three Rivers Gorge Dam, how do the two sides deal with the issue? Well the poor farmers write letters, complain and get ignored. When they go to the Western press ( I guess that the local press isn't allowed to report on such things) they get beaten and murdered by thugs hired by the local party officials that stole the money.

More here.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Secrets Or Not?

I have argued that there are two major reasons why certain government information should be kept confidential and secret.
1. From a business perspective, lets say that the President needs advice on matters and he asks for a variety of opinions from various industry leaders. If these industry leaders are assured confidentiality, then they can speak truthfully on their challenges, experiences and plans. As long as the information is not to be released they can argue their opinions, even if they are to the benefit of the companies that they work for, which is the business leaders job. However, if this information will subsequently released, then it is incumbent upon the business leader to not talk about sensitive information, new technologies and other information that a quick release may damage the competitiveness of the company. Information gathering for the purpose of decision making where it will be released for outside consumption can be hindered.

2. National security information critical to the defense of the US, particularly that which is timely and sensitive in nature. During WWII, there was a total blackout of sensitive information, as there should be since the country needed the advantage of keeping the enemy in the dark on the nation's plans and future actions. The confidentiality of secret information is obvious to the pursuit of winning a war as it was during many of the past wars. Information secrecy is critical to the safety of troops, people pursuing the strategies, allies collaborating in the war effort and the successful prosecution and winning of the conflict.
In example #1 above, Democrats have sued the Administration to release information on meetings designed to gather confidential discussions with energy company executives for the preparation on setting of energy policy.

The congressional Democrats cited their oversight responsibilities as precedent for obtaining the information. However, the desire for the access to the information was not for all confidential meetings on the setting of all policy, but just on energy policy. For me this is a contrived argument on several levels.

First, congressional oversight responsibilities do not require them seeing all the information seen by the executive branch. They too can gather their own information and should be doing so. In-fact, they can request the same executives to testify. But they know that they cannot compel these executives to release information that may potentially be damaging to their shareholders without offering confidentially themselves. So, therefore, reducing the political value of that information. But it would, as confidential information, be valuable in the setting of policy.

Second, seeking just the meetings on the setting of energy policy does not pass the smell test and reeks of political posturing. Democrats plan on using the potential information selectively to create certain impressions whereas the Administration would be unable to defend or respond in-kind, since they promised confidentiality. In other words, access to the information allows Democrats to reveal selectively what would appear to be damaging while the Administration would be precluded from revealing defending information from the same meetings due to their promise of confidentially.

Third, seeking just the information on just the energy policy and not all confidential meetings points to the political use of the information and not policy use. Why would congressional Democrats be interested in just that info if they are arguing that their oversight roles require it? Additionally, past Presidents have not been forced to reveal confidential information wholesale so there is no precedent doing so. Even if there were precedents, it is worthwhile long-term goal to create confidentially in these situations for to promote information gathering.

Fourth, by allowing outside access to confidential information, executives may not be as forthcoming in ANY area due to the chance that this information may become part of the public domain. In fact, in order to do their jobs, executives may be precluded from participating since they cannot be compelled to reveal information publicly that damage the competitiveness of their employers. Therefore, automatic risk of release of confidential information will hinder government capabilities for all future administrations going forward.

On the second point, I think that confidentially and secrecy of information and intelligence for military, both defensive and offensive in nature is necessary, particularly in a time of war or dangerous conflicts. It seems natural and reasonable that a sovereign nation seeks to safeguard these things for its own safety.

The reasoning and right to print recent stories on information gathering techniques revealed by the press centered on the risk to individual rights where there was concern over these rights being infringed upon over the national security value of this information. To me privacy concerns are not a particularly compelling argument to expose these programs unless one argues that the risks to Americans from terrorism are not very high. I think to argue that the risks to American lives or the lives of other peoples around the world from terrorists, particularly after September 11th, the Bali bombings, the Madrid bombings and the London bombings almost a year ago, being low would be very reckless. It is very difficult to argue that there is little risk or argue that the costs in deaths of innocents or civilians are worth the nebulous protections of individual information confidentiality of the ilk being discussed.

I think that the press, and particularly the New York Times, in its quest to either degrade the abilities of the Administration to gather information on terrorists, to embarrass or frustrate Bush, simply a vendetta by the NYT against the administration or the papers own narrow purpose of scooping news or writing very revealing information in its quest for notoriety or Pulitzer prices at the potential cost of greater terror attacks resulting in strangling the ability to monitor or gather information on these Islamic terrorist thugs is indeed very troubling. [nice long sentence, huh?]

Either you think that we are at war or we aren't. If you are willing to risk the lives of your family, friends or neighbors so that some Muslim terrorist thug can be protected by laws designed to protect law abiding citizens is just a mockery of all that our nation stands for. To demand that we apply rules and laws that were designed for completely other purposes in order to protect something that most of don't even care about is silly.

If one cares so much about the risks of information getting into the governments hands that could be used for other purposes than the prosecution of the War on Terror, then please design a system that provides the coveted protections and provides the needed TIMELY access to WOT useful information. Its up to those that want this protection not us that don;t value the privacy aspects.

Did You Feel Happy Yesterday?

According to a British researcher, yesterday is the happiest day of the year from most people...
Feeling more happy than usual this particular Friday? You should be, according to a scholar in seasonal disorders at a British university.

Cliff Arnall has analysed such factors as outdoor activities, nature, social interaction, childhood memories, temperature and holidays -- data gathered over a period of 15 years in interviews with 3,000 people around the world.

His conclusion: June 23 is the happiest day of the year.
I wonder if that holds true for other people where the weather patterns are different? Maybe late June represents a period of good British weather where it is possible to get together for outdoor activities.

However, I recall going to a celebration on June 30th, 2000, thrown by the Lord [Montesqieu???] of a town down near the New Forest to celebrate the millennium. There was food, drinks and a fireworks display. No one was eating any icecream that day but there were lots of people lined up, all the time, at the booth selling coffee. It was spitting rain all day and the Temperature reached 8-9 degrees Celsius. Wow.

My Letter to the Useful Idiots...Errr... I mean The Dangerous Idiots At The New York Times....

Publisher, New York Times:

As far as I am concerned, you people have become dangerous to the security of my family and the American community as well as many of the foreign communities that rely upon US intervention to track down terrorists now roaming the world today.

I would support the prosecution of your newspaper for revealing classified operations of my government as I am sure that many like minded people would. In fact, I would cheer it. You people have gone way too far. You are just insular ivory tower New Yorkers and have no right to put us at risk for your benefit.

Its not the 1960s, we are in the 21st century, now.


Friday, June 23, 2006

The Useful Idiots At The New York Times.....

Useful that is for al Qaida and their terrorist friends, as the loonie New York Times, led by the pea-brained "Punch" Sulzberger, self appointed apologist for all Americans, releases more terrorist data gathering methodology information to our deadly Muslim Arab foes.
The program is limited, government officials say, to tracing transactions of people suspected of having ties to Al Qaida by reviewing records from the nerve center of the global banking industry, a Belgian cooperative that routes about $6 trillion daily between banks, brokerages, stock exchanges and other institutions. The records mostly involve wire transfers and other methods of moving money overseas and into and out of the United States. Most routine financial transactions confined to this country are not in the database.
Actually, all international transactions involving moving US dollars also have to recorded at the US Federal Reserve. So its not really clear to me what difference getting access to the SWIFT data helps. Maybe it is in the format or patterns of wires involving known al Qaida suspects or something of the sort. Maybe its just more detailed information or access but without timeliness, since the data is several weeks old. Maybe the Federal Reserve only records the transaction between American banks that do business with overseas correspondent banks. But the sludgy leadfooted journalists doing the dirty work for the hard-left editors at the New York Times don't bother to even try to find out. So why was it so valuable when there are other sources of the similar data sitting in the Federal Reserve? I guess teh information isn;t so important as it is to out an important intelligence gathering program whose intention is to protect American lives from attacks from bloodthirsty foreign Muslim killers.

One may think that the reason that the New York Times continues to release these covert and classified operations is to make it more difficult for US authorities to track terrorists activities, therefore increasing the liklihood of a strike on US soil just so that they can say "AH-HA" we knew that all of this clandestine stuff wasn't going to work anyway. This guy, Executive Editor Bill Keller is, as far as I am concerned, dangerous to my family, my community and to my country.

I for one do not think that the New York Times has my family's or my best interests in mind nor do they deserve the right to determine what is in the best interests of the country. We elect representatives in the form of Presidents, Senators and House Representatives, to do it for us. Clowns like "Pinch" Sultzberger and the acid flashback crew reliving the 60s and 70s writing for the paper, for some deranged reason, think that they are doing us a favor and are protecting our 'rights.' Do me a favor NYTs, and please don't do me any favors, butt out where you are neither wanted nor needed. You clowns are going to cost innocent American lives.

Back From Manila.....

Took the Cebu Pacific Airline back from Manila this morning, to some wonderful weather here in Hong Kong. Puffy clouds and bright blue skies.

I am almost recovered from my bout of travelers sickness that I think that I contracted in cafeteria of the Asian Development Bank from a fish entree at lunch. Later that afternoon, I was fighting off a splitting headache when I sat down with Madame Chiang for before dinner drinks and all hell broke loose later that night when I returned home after a wonderful dinner in Malate.

Most notable about the flight back home is that when we were landing, no one was standing up and wandering around the aisles looking for the toilet on approach or seconds after touching down standing up and removing their baggage from the overhead compartments, jockeying for position. Also, people politely filed out of the plane allowing people to enter the aisles to deplane, holy cow, infront of them! I chalk this up to the observation that most of the people were Filipino on the flight and I did not see one single PRC passenger. If there was one, they would have stood up at the most inappropriate time and I would have noticed them.

I think that traveling with PRC passengers is one of the most unpleasant experiences one can have in the skies. On a flight to Shanghai a few months ago, there was a chorus of coughers and throat clearers for the first 30 minutes that made my skin crawl.

Connected, Asia Pundit has a post on politeness of Asian cities, finding them amongst the rudest on the planet. No surprise there, but Manila didn't score that high, either. I find the people almost always polite to me.

However, New York scoring the top of the list as the MOST polite city is no surprise to me. As a former New Yorker, and sometimes diffident sometimes unabashed, I did occasionally go out of my way to help strangers and I think that that is the norm for the City and not one that can be completely credited to former Mayor Rudolf Guiliani, despite his many accomplishments, or a post 9/11 phenomenon.

Look confused on a City street and someone will probably ask you if you need some help. We know how sometimes our City is overwhelming and that visitors need a halping hand. New Yorkers come to their aid!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Presbyterians Come To Their Senses.....

here, overwhelmingly.

Manila Madness.....

I had big plans for today. I wanted to go to some sunny or nice spot for the day, but unfortunately, I am fighting off 'travelers sickness.' I don't know if it is bad food or water, but it definitely is not pleasant. I was making presentations, with my pasty white face, to prospective customers yesterday and smiling while holding back the tide. No lunch and no dinner, and some yoghurt will hopefully do the trick.

Monday, June 19, 2006

My Dad And I....

Sometime around 1966, I think. We went to a conference together and I went swimming and playing in the snow. Its nice to spend time with Dad. Happy Father's Day. We will call you in the morning when we wake up.

My Dad means everything to me. I have always looked at his spirit and his faith as strength and guidance for my life. Its not only the comforts and security of a roof over ones head and food on a table that is important to a young person, but the core of the man that has made me a better and stronger person and father myself later in life.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

PRC Death Vans.....

The global quest for productivity has driven China to become more efficient in the execution of murderers, rapists, political prisoners, klepotcratic government officials and traffic violators. No more messy leaking heads to clean up after blowing the brains out of some poor Chinese sap. China can now drive to their house and do it right there with one of these (via Gateway Pundit and Right on Right).

I wonder if they have plans for a mobile court house, where the van would drive to the poor person's house, they get tried on route and then dropped off into the execution van and offed on the way to the hospital. Imagine that this could all take place in a matter of hours, from fresh live person to choice cuts of human meat.

And think of how much easier it would be to harvest the organs worth 10's of thousands of US dollars if the prisoners are executed in these labs and then chopped up into useful pieces and quickly stored in the fridge. Also, the prisoner can be done in where the organs are actually needed to cut down the distribution costs. Why not just off the prisoners in the parking lot of a hospital and then quickly move the fresh organs into operating room where the recipient is already prepped to receive them?

World Cup Fever......


Saturday, June 17, 2006

China Continues To Tighten Monetary Policy....

A rate rise a couple of months ago, jawboning by government officials and the central bank and now a rise in reserve requirements as China is starting to get more serious about the economy overheating...
The People's Bank of China raised the required reserve ratio for commercial lenders by 0.5 percentage point, it said in a statement on its Web site today, bringing the required ratio to 8 percent. The move comes less than two months after the bank raised interest rates for the first time since October 2004.
Monetary policy is very blunt instrument and China's central bankers do not have all the monetary tools available to them to tighten credit when asset prices rise too quickly or the economy overheats. With the repo market being undeveloped, the central bank cannot effectively use open market operations to sop up excess liquidity in the banking system. So, by increasing reserve requirements, the central bank is attempting to reign in credit availability in the PRC.

For those not in the know, when money is deposited in banks, central banks require that a certain percentage of that money be deposited interest free as backing against these banking system liabilities. In the US, the reserve requirement is 10%. Adjusting these reserve requirements up or down, allows for contraction or expansion of availability of funds for loans, respectively.

And to make the idea even simpler, lets say that a bank has a deposit of $100....
Reserve requirements affect the potential of the banking system to create transaction deposits. If the reserve requirement is 10%, for example, a bank that receives a $100 deposit may lend out $90 of that deposit. If the borrower then writes a check to someone who deposits the $90, the bank receiving that deposit can lend out $81. As this fractional-reserve banking process continues, the banks can expand the initial deposit of $100 into a maximum of $1,000 of money ($100+$90+81+$72.90+...=$1,000). In contrast, with a 20% reserve requirement, the banking system would be able to expand the initial $100 deposit into a maximum of $500 ($100+$80+$64+$51.20+...=$500). Thus, higher reserve requirements should result in reduced money creation and, in turn, in reduced economic activity.
So, therefore, using a reserve requirement of 7.5%, the previous number, the banking system generated 1,333.33 Yuan of credit for each deposit of 100 Yuan. This figure falls to 1,250 Yuan by raising the reserve requirement to 8%, a decline of 6.2 % in available credit in China as a result of this most recent action.

Barcepundit Posted This...

And its absolutely great.... StarTrek vs. Star Wars...

H RES 861.....

This symbolic piece of legislation on the support of the Iraqi people, the honoring of our soldiers and all of the soldiers involved in Iraq and the continued conflict in Afghanistan, was supported by Republicans but voted against by most Democrats. Just another reason to not trust Democrats with the security of the United States, they can't even symbolically support our troops.

Republican Yeas-214 Nays-3
Democratic Yeas-42 Nays-149
Independent Yeas-0 Nays-1
TOTALS Yeas-256 Nays-153

Whereas the United States and its Coalition partners will continue to support Iraq as part of the Global War on Terror: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) honors all those Americans who have taken an active part in the Global War on Terror, whether as first responders protecting the homeland, as servicemembers overseas, as diplomats and intelligence officers, or in other roles;
(2) honors the sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces and of partners in the Coalition, and of the Iraqis and Afghans who fight alongside them, especially those who have fallen or been wounded in the struggle, and honors as well the sacrifices of their families and of others who risk their lives to help defend freedom;
(3) declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq;
(4) declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq;
(5) congratulates Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and the Iraqi people on the courage they have shown by participating, in increasing millions, in the elections of 2005 and on the formation of the first government under Iraq's new constitution;
(6) calls upon the nations of the world to promote global peace and security by standing with the United States and other Coalition partners to support the efforts of the Iraqi and Afghan people to live in freedom; and
(7) declares that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the noble struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.
Read what the above says and you can see that it is crafted to be very agreeable. Honoring the soldiers, declaring that an arbitrary date for withdrawal from Iraq is not in the nations best interest and resolving to stay the course. So if these 149 House members want to do something different, then what is it? Dishonor the soldiers, not support the governments in Iraq or Afghanistan or maybe just set an arbitrary date for the pull-out of the American troops?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Neo-con Natan Sharansky....

Whenever I hear this guy speak or read his material I can see the wisdom of his ways. One cannot negoatiate with a dictatorship.
GP: Rarely do we hear the Left in this country speaking up for freedom and democracy of those being persecuted in the world today. Madeleine Albright recently spoke out about helping to build a country's infrastructure before haveing a free and democratic election. What are your thoughts?

Sharansky: What the Clinton Administration did in Korea was wrong and did not work. You can see what it resulted in. The North Koreans have nuclear weapons today. Likewise, when President Clinton refused to demand democratic change from Arafat for Palestine, fearing it would cause instability, he did not help the peace process at all.
I have to read more of his stuff.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Glad I Didn't Have To See This On The Streets Of Hong Kong....

Neither work safe nor safe for your sanity. Official site here.

No Rove Indictment Leaves Left Seriously Disappointed.....

Reported today, Karl Rove will not be indicted and charged with a crime in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. But there is a reason for this as reported here...
In five appearances before a grand jury Mr. Rove employed what one source called "his Jedi mind tricks."
I have posted on Rove's powers before and his insight on what is wrong with modern American liberal life.
Rove, President Bush's chief political advisor, said liberals "saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."

Conservatives, said Rove, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."
Liberals beware, the Rovester, the Rovemeister is BACK! Don your hats, you will need them for his mind control rays.

Hurricane Alberto Devastating the US Coast....


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Good News For Heavy Drinkers....

A recent study found that coffee consumption promotes better health in heavy and cirrhotic drinkers...
A U.S. study finds coffee may reduce the risk of liver cirrhosis caused by excessive alcoholic consumption, researchers reported in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study showed one cup of coffee per day cut the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis by 20 percent, and four cups a day reduced the risk by 80 percent, said researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Health Care Program in Oakland, California.
Good news for Starbucks too!

Bus Auntie...

After the famous bus uncle made newspaper headlines and became the topic of idle chatter around the globe, I had my own experience today on a bus with the 'bus auntie'.

All of us, that enjoy the luxurious limo ride of Hong Kong buses can appreciate that sometimes, in traffic, a bus sometimes has to stop quickly to avoid other drivers. Well, that happened today and although the bus was just accelerating out a stop and traveling at maybe 10kph, it had to stop abruptly and gave all the riders a jolt.

One unfortunate lady in the middle of the back seat was thrown forward to the ground. The bus driver called out and asked if everyone was alright. The lady that had lost her balance started haranguing the bus driver on his skills and chiding him to drive more carefully, in English, very loudly.

The thing is, this lady just wouldn't stop shouting and then she revved up the ferocious attack and threatened to report the driver. The driver hadn't moved since the lady was screeching and was not proceeding but looking back to ensure that no one was hurt.

I had to comment to the lady that it was unfortunate, the bus driver had to stop short due to a van popping out in front and that he had to stop to avoid the a crash, several times. This just incited her more and she charged up to the front of the bus continuing to shout and scream at the bus driver in accented English and shaking her finger at the sodden faced fellow. Maybe she felt that she had lost face or something, but the situation and the risk to passengers did not warrant such a reaction.

I again commented in shotgun style, several times, over and over that the driver had to stop short due to a van coming out and that she was holding up the bus. And then all the fury that was directed at the driver was redirected to me. She charged over to me and loomed over me haranguing me to stop shouting at her and asking me where I came from. I told her that I was a resident of Hong Kong and she harrumphed that I should return from whatever country that I came from.

I told her that I will stay just where am I am. She continued to ask me where I came from and then she emphatically stated, "I am Chinese." Wowsee-wow-WOW. I of course responded "so what!" and this infuriated her even more and her face started going into contortions. I was attempting to not play her game, not swear or curse and make her look as stupid as she was being. I refrained from saying something like "5,000 years of history and still not even a little bit of manners."

As her reddened face hovered over the seated me, I told her that if she was angry, then she should do something about it, otherwise she should sit down and shut-up. "Do something about it then" I repeated over and over. She continued to tell me to stop shouting at her, despite the fact that she was the one that was shouting at me and the driver.

She finally got out at the next stop and then told me to kiss her Chinese ass in Mandarin and stoemed away. Many of the stone faced spectators on the bus turned to me nodded, gave me a little quiet ovation and thumbs up signs. I guess that they appreciate when someone stands up to the wild PRC overlords, the crazed and power mad Tai-Tais and their fat uneducated spawn.

Promoting Monotheism....

On US coins and currency, the phrase "In God We Trust" is being attacked in the American court system as promoting monotheism.
A U.S. district court judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit brought by a California atheist against the U.S. government for its use of the phrase "In God We Trust" on its coins and currency.

Michael Newdow, the Sacramento, California lawyer and doctor who had previously launched a court challenge on behalf of his daughter over the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance said in schools, had argued that "In God We Trust" on monetary instruments violates his rights.
His argument is that by being forced to carry currency in his pockets that have that phrase embossed on them, he is being coerced and
forced to carry religious dogma, proselytise and evangelise for monotheism.
Poor, poor man. The suit was thrown out of the lower court but he is appealing the decision. He had previously failed in his attempt to have the phrase "under God" removed from the pledge of allegiance that his daughter had to say in school every morning. It went all the was to the Supreme Court but the court ruled that since he didn't have custody of the child that he didn't have a right to sue on this topic on her behalf. Michael Newdow...
The Rev. Michael Newdow is a Sacramento, California attorney and medical doctor. He is a strong atheist and an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church. In 1997, Newdow started a naturalistic organization called the First Amendmist Church of True Science (FACTS), which advocates a strong separation of church and state in public institutions.
In 1957, the words "In God We Trust" were added to the US 1$ bill.

There are several interesting features on US currency but I will only talk about the reverse of the US1$ bill...
What is the significance of the symbols on the back of the one-dollar bill? I'm particularly interested in the eye and the pyramid.

The eye and the pyramid shown on the reverse side of the one-dollar bill are in the Great Seal of the United States. The Great Seal was first used on the reverse of the one-dollar Federal Reserve note in 1935. The Department of State is the official keeper of the Seal. They believe that the most accurate explanation of a pyramid on the Great Seal is that it symbolizes strength and durability. The unfinished pyramid means that the United States will always grow, improve and build. In addition, the "All-Seeing Eye" located above the pyramid suggests the importance of divine guidance in favor of the American cause. The inscription ANNUIT COEPTIS translates as "He (God) has favored our undertakings," and refers to the many instances of Divine Providence during our Government's formation. In addition, the inscription NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM translates as "A new order of the ages," and signifies a new American era.
I have also read that the some of the objects come from the organisation known as the Free Masons. But that topic is fodder for a different post.

Friday, June 09, 2006

For Some Reason, I Thought That The HK Property Market Was Actually Holding Up....

But I read this piece today in the Standard with this little gem of information...
Nearly 90 percent of the 1,182 apartments at The Merton were pre-sold early last year at prices ranging between HK$6,000 and HK$7,000 per square foot ahead of project completion by the end of last year.....

Prevailing price levels for The Merton flats in the secondary market range from HK$4,000 to HK$5,000 psf, prompting some buyers, including those speculators who purchased the uncompleted flats last year, to give up the deals to minimize their losses, real estate agents said.
Ok, so lets see, according to the above, the average presold apartment is down about HK$2,000 a foot from HK$6,500 to HK$4,500 for a percentage decline of about 30%. Wow, that is a huge drop but I looked in the SCMP the other day and in all their fact and figures I did not notice much of a drop but more of a leveling off in prices as of late.

So what is this monster loss then? Is it just idiots being taken for a ride or has the market really been taking a huge hit that we are not really aware of since the newspapers here are reluctant to tell the truth and declare a disaster? I just don't know!

However, I did read this little gem...
Cheung Kong (Holdings) said earlier that no forfeited flat deals were recorded in its Caribbean Coast development in Tung Chung.
Well, I also know that the uber-tycoon, Li Ka-shing that poisons Hong Kong residents by selling them chemical tainted vegetables in Park-N-Shop, threatened to sue anyone that defaulted on a purchase and probably held some of these people's feet to the fire to ensure that he got paid. So, I am not particularly impressed with this statistic. And how many people made money with that piece of garbage REIT, Prosperity REIT, down 16% on its first day of trading that he bagged the public with a little while ago. Why anyone would do business with this crook is beyond my simple mind.

Another Bus Uncle?

The now globally famous bus uncle has many many imitators in Hong Kong, one of which I experienced today on the bus ride from Huanggang, China to Wanchai, Hong Kong. This guy talked at the top of his lungs for 30 minutes into has cell-phone right in-front of me. I was tempted to tap him on the shoulder and tell him to keep quite since I was "under a lot of pressure."

However, there were a half-a-dozen other passengers, directly in his line of fire, that kept turning around and giving him the evil eye. But, in typical non-confrontational Hong Kong style, no-one said a word to this blabber mouth.

The Thai Property Market Thrown Into A State Of Confusion....

The changes here and a discussion board. Thai law does not allow foreigners to own a majority of any land. Foreigners are generally limited to 49% but people have been getting around the law by forming corporations whose directors are Thai but the foreigner effectives owns control of the property. Now, laws are being enforced with land transactions, so that the corporation has to prove where the money comes in order to be a legitimate transaction. Obviously, the cash comes from the foreigner and not the Thai partners in most cases.

There are several problems in Thailand. First is that property prices are rising for the nicest areas out of the reach of all but the wealthiest Thais. Second, there is a substantial number of properties that have already been purchased by foreigners and it will be nearly impossible to sell them now. Third, there is a substantial amount of property being developed or purchased with the intent of development and is no longer possible with the rules since most properties are being developed with the intent of marketing to foreigners. The fourth problem is that these developments employ a substantial number of workers to build and operate and these people will probably be out of work.

So, either, Thailand actually wants to cool their property market and will uphold the laws restricting foreign ownership, or this may be a roundabout way to bring the issue up for discussion with the focus being on eliminating these laws as they find that the recent enforcement is hurting their economy.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Its Strange.....

My blog counter has vanished.

I Was Just Told....

That calling Zarqawi a pig insults all the pigs in the world. I also suppose that calling him shit insults all the shit in the world.

Zarqawi Killed!.....

Killed last night in a bomb attack by US Special Forces. News headline breaking story on Fox News TV. Another pig dead and now gets to enjoy burning in Hell for eternity. The guy was a beast and he should be buried in pig shit.

Its Official....

The bus uncle is now a global phenomenon. The story made the front page of the Wall Street Journal and was discussed at a card game attended by my buddy in Midtown Manhattan. "I'm under pressure!"

This Is What I don't Like About The Press And The American Left....

They celebrate and give this idiot press time while practically ignoring the 100,000s of others doing their duty.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My Attempt To Put A Video Up...

Stop The Air Polution Petition....

Sign it here, at AsiaXpat.

Despite Having The Best Team Ever Fielded....

Ranked number 5, it appears as if the USA doesn't have a shot at the World Cup since they had the terrible luck of drawing to play the number 2 and 3 teams in the first round.

During the last World Cup, I was in Africa for a project and had to work while everyone else watched the games on the big screen TV on the trading floor. After Denmark's defeat at the hands of England, taking American team to the quarter finals, I stood up and shouted that the "USA was destined to dominate football like it dominates everything else in the world." A uneasy silence spread across the room, while minds were feverishly considering this prophesy. The big glassy eyes of Europeans and Africans alike gazed at me considering if I was serious are just giving them a hard time before formulating a comment. A few guffaws later and lots of hurumphing and weak protestations I again made my claim with more enthusiam. I was actually surprised that no one rose to take the colorful bait that I trolled out leading to a fun argument on the sport, which I know precious little about. Unfortunately, Germany beat the USA 1-0 in the quarter finals in a well played match.


Around 2 years ago.... 17 years ago.

The New York Slime....

Its completely foolish to believe anything one reads in the New York Times these days. Soon, New Yorkers will the most ill-informed people on the planet.

Yuppies, Guppies, Chuppies.....

And now Lohasians.

With Tomorrow Being 666 And All.....

The current rapture index is 159, fasten your seatbelts, can be found here.
Rapture Index of 85 and Below: Slow prophetic activity
Rapture Index of 85 to 110: Moderate prophetic activity
Rapture Index of 110 to 145: Heavy prophetic activity
Rapture Index above 145: Fasten your seat belts
But the apocalypse odds are only 100,000 to 1 for tomorrow, so don't expect much.

I remember in high school reading Hal Lindsey's books....
The rebirth of Israel. The threat of war in the Middle East. An increase in natural catastrophes. The revival of Satanism and witchcraft. These and other signs, foreseen by prophets from Moses to Jesus, protend the coming of an antichrist... of a war which will bring humanity to the brink of destruction... and of incredible deliverance for a desperate, dying planet.
and he was arguing that the end-of-the-world was coming and that I was probably going to perish as a young man. This kind-of upset me since I only about 16 years old at the time and was looking forward to an interesting and eventful life. But alas, none of that came to pass.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The American Grilling/BBQ Season Is Here, Marked By last Monday's Memorial Day Holiday.....

For those that are not familiar with the American tradition of BBQ during the summer, here is some important information to familiarize oneself with one of the great American pastimes...
Grilling Season Is Here

After the long months of cold and winter, we will soon be coming up to summer and grilling season. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking as it's the only type of cooking a real man will do, probably because there is an element of danger involved.

When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:

1) The woman buys the food.
2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.
3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - beer in hand.

Here comes the important part:

More routine...
5) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he deals with the situation.

Important again:

More routine.....
8) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces and brings them to the table.
9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all:
10) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.

11) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed "her night off." And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women....

Having Fun With Global Warming....

College Republicans having fun with global warming. I guess that if global warming and the destruction of the planet is inevitable, then one may as well sit back and enjoy it.

Party In Hell.....

Hell, Michigan that is, on Tuesday. I wonder what that place is/was like to get a name like that. I have never been to Michigan but there are a couple of theories...
According to the town's semiofficial Web site, there are two leading theories about how Hell got its name.

The first holds that a pair of German travelers stepped out of a stagecoach one sunny afternoon in the 1830s, and one said to the other, "So schoene hell" -- roughly translated as, "So bright and beautiful." Their comments were overheard by some locals and the name stuck.

The second holds that George Reeves was asked after Michigan gained statehood what he thought the town he helped settle should be called, and reportedly replied, "I don't care, you can name it Hell if you want to." The name became official on October 13, 1841.
Tuesday is 6/6/06, 666 is the number that represents the mark of the beast or the anti-Christ. Seems like a good day to go out and party!! My first ever post was on Satan.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Royal Tall Inn is a ripoff....

Never ever stay there. Otherwise you are an idiot. I am an idiot because I stayed there.

Never, ever stay at the royal taal inn.

Its a complete rippoff.

Friday, June 02, 2006

What Is Intolerance?

As defined here.
n 1: impatience with annoyances; "his intolerance of interruptions" 2: unwillingness to recognize and respect differences in opinions or beliefs [ant: tolerance]
Also can be an extreme sensitivity to things such as foods and medicine. In the case of foods and medicine, these items may be considered necessary to life and hopefully one would be tolerant of such things.

The word intolerance is bandied about quite frequently and is particularly useful in bludgeoning Southern [Baptist] Christians and the likes of Gary Bauer, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson whose beliefs preclude them from accepting certain things. As Howard Dean famously bloviated last year...
Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, unapologetic in the face of recent criticism that he has been too tough on his political opposition, said in San Francisco this week that Republicans are "a pretty monolithic party. They all behave the same. They all look the same. It's pretty much a white Christian party."

"The Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people," Dean said Monday, responding to a question about diversity during a forum with minority leaders and journalists. "We're more welcoming to different folks, because that's the type of people we are. But that's not enough. We do have to deliver on things: jobs and housing and business opportunities."
Ok, then. Sounds a little bigoted to me that white people, Christians or a subset of the two are to be defined as unfriendly and bigoted lot. Or is that just the white people who are Republicans so its not really all white people at all, a self selected lot of bigoted people. Maybe Howard would like to see all people marked with a D, R or I to confer their bigotedness to all people to know and see. But lets not dwell on a dufus like Howard Dean that tends to open his mouth-insert his foot and he is just attempting to defend the DemNOcrats racial turf and stir up the base that increasingly loves to hear this kind of divisive demogogary. So, I see it as just the DemNOcrats playing the race card again, for all intensive purposes, something that they do frequently and with very little reaction from the left-leaning press. But to call the GOP a "white Christian party" is a comment loaded with trouble. The comment itself is dripping with hate or maybe intolerance itself. And I argue, that is itself intolerant of the beliefs of the white Southern Christians.

But all of this leads me to argue, that intolerance can only be intolerance if the 'victim' is deserving to be tolerated. For example, most societies do not tolerate murderers or child molesters amongst them. That seems very normal to me. So they lock them away and there is a social benefit to doing so. Society will not tolerate murderers and child rapists to walk in our midst and risk further trouble. Sounds logical I think. So, are the beliefs, Christian or not of white Southern Christians worthy of being tolerated?

However, most issues are not as black-and-white as murderers and child molesters, so therefore one has to use a decision threshold to decide what policy to support and which ones to go against. Simply which social issues deserve tolerance and for those that you think deserve tolerance, what is the societal benefit.

So for many issues, its not that they, just for the virtue of being issues deserve tolerance, but the burden of proof is on the issue or those that benefit from it. So lets take the example of gay marriage. Just the fact that gays exist don't give them the right to marry. Many things exist and just simple existence doesn't give them the right to marry. I cannot marry a rock, for example, no matter how much I attest that I love this particular rock. There is no societal benefit to me marrying a rock. So what is the point? There is a societal benefit to marriage. I argue that the societal benefit despite the soupy Hollywood argument that marriage exists for the sole purpose as a attestation of love, is that this is the natural structure for raising children. Unions between a man and woman typically, but not all the time, result in the creation of children. This is the stable state of this natural situation and society generally asks that people marry and plan to support their children financially and in a stable living situation.

Generally, gay couples will not produce offspring. So what is the societal benefit to allowing them to marry? So they feel more comfortable? Or to shove their relationship down the throats of everyone else and force feed society the need for accepting this? Where is the benefit to society as a whole? In fact, I argue that there maybe a net cost to society. The benefits of marriage generally include the passing on of assets to the spouse and children in a tax beneficial structure. This allows the family to stay together in the unlikely event of an untimely death of either or both of the parents, particularly the breadwinner. Do able bodied gay couples need this protection? Particularly if they are not expected to bear children? And how about something like health insurance costs? If both are able bodied, does society or corporations then have the responsibility of supporting the other person that should be able to support themselves on their own? The system that was setup to support families where one spouse may not be able to participate in the labor market due to the caring of children is now transformed to something that it wasn't designed to be. Then why shouldn't non-lovers be allowed to marry in order to gain the benefits presented by these kinds of relationships? It it just sex that defines what is a proper marriage or the ability to generate children? Maybe the benefits that are accorded to married couples are no longer necessary since times have changed. Maybe all of these benefits should be eliminated.

Furthermore, I have heard the argument that in order for these people to be accepted by society, then marriage is the way to go. Well, it appears as if they are already accepted by a portion of society, so what do they mean by this? That their loving relationship be codified by the laws of the land to grant them certain rights? To what ends? For personal ends for them or for the benefit of society as a whole? Well this is where I think that the proponents of gay marriage have failed to make their case. What exactly are the societal benefits and how do they offset the very real costs that I offered earlier that will be incurred by this?

Getting back to the 'intolerant' Christians, their intolerance is more subtle and largely limited to abortion and issues surrounding the rights of gays...
Church-going Americans have grown increasingly intolerant in the past four years of politicians making compromises on such hot issues as abortion and gay rights, according to a survey released on Saturday.
I have to take issue with the writer and the 'survey' that purports that Christians are less tolerant of these issues. They have never been tolerant of these things. They may have kept their mouths shut, but they were never comfortable tolerating these kinds of things and now that politicians are making compromises do they or do they not have the right to push back against it or are they just expected to tolerate these changes? And does having an opinion or espousing an opinion or actually fighting for or against certain issues intolerant?

Religious values and the tolerance of religious thought is an issue that was dealt with 400 years ago by philosophers Hobbes, Locke and Rosseau as I wrote about here. Religion is a moral map for people to follow. It is part of the societal fabric of people and communities, so I argue that by the virtue of being religious and by definition of religious tolerance that their ideas are to be respected as part of the debate as long as their right is not infringing upon the rights of others. Their decision to pursue this fight through publishing their ideas and pursuing them through the political process is exactly what the early philosophers had in mind when discussing the social contract, religious tolerance and rights of individuals. I also remind you that I am not advocating the kind of deadly intolerance of Islamic fanatics where they threaten death to those that do not follow their narrow definition of life. They are violating the rights of people to remain alive by threatening death.

This Looks Like It Could Be An Interesting Flick...

The War Tapes.

Ted Nugent Interview....

Highly entertaining. The interviewer asks Ted about all the wild animals on his property in Crawford, Texas [yes, GWBs neighbor] that are being fed so that he can shoot them and eat them one day....
"What do these deer think when they see you coming?" I ask him. "Here comes the nice guy who puts out our dinner? Or, there's the man that shot my brother?"

"I don't think they're capable of either of those thoughts, you Limey asshole. They're only interested in three things: the best place to eat, having sex and how quickly they can run away. Much like the French."
Ted hasn't eaten any meat that he hasn't slaughtered himself since 1971. Known for his hit "Cat Scratch Fever" he is also known for such songs as "My Baby Likes My Butter on Her Grits" and "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang."

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Wowie, Zowie...

She speaks the truth....
According to Fallaci, Europeans, particularly those on the political left, subject people who criticize Muslim customs to a double standard. “If you speak your mind on the Vatican, on the Catholic Church, on the Pope, on the Virgin Mary or Jesus or the saints, nobody touches your ‘right of thought and expression.’ But if you do the same with Islam, the Koran, the Prophet Muhammad, some son of Allah, you are called a xenophobic blasphemer who has committed an act of racial discrimination.