Thursday, December 27, 2007


In my choosen professtion is alway a good thing to learn something new but it can be very frustrating to be force to learn something on my own through research. The frustrating part is no knowing if the lesson was learned right until the piece of equipment is turned on and any mistake is glaringly obvious. In a good work environment it is a just an opportunity to learn from mistakes. In a bad environment, the blame game comes out, the accusation of not knowing the job is implied and there is a loss of trust in future judgement. Matters are made even worse when the situation is a must have last week.

I am a firm believer in "the right tool for the job" and for this situation, I am not the right tool. The problem is the company, despite my and others requests, doesn't see the need to get the right tool.

This is a growing issue in America that comes from the idea of getting more for the dollar. It is the biggest reason capitalism is unsustainable in the long run. This is most definitely not a call for socialism because socialism is unachievable. At least capitalism works for awhile, socialism only works if it is completely voluntary and 100% followed.

So where am I going with this rant turned into preaching? Not sure but there is a need for the Next Step.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Busy Month

This month has been so busy with the holiday and work that I haven't even really considered posting much. My news reading has suffered also. With all of the holiday stuff over for the most part, I hope to get back into more than just the ECN posts. My goal for January is to have a actual post every week day and some ECN. As I post more the ECN will fade but that may be awhile yet before it disappears. It may never completely go away because there will always be items I think are important but don't have enough to say about. Anyway back to the grind.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Trying to be the Center

I have always been a man made global warming skeptic because I just don’t think man is as important as people think we are. It is true that man could seriously affect the planet with a couple hundred nuclear bombs but that is not what I am talking about. If man went on all fired effort such as chopping down every tree there would also be a significant effect. I do believe mankind has a responsibility to manage natural resources that limits our impact to the climate but not to the level the eco-prophet Al Gore demands. I also base my skepticism on more than just my lower opinion of mankind.

According to a new study on global warming, climate scientists at the University of Rochester, the University of Alabama, and the University of Virginia found
that the climate change models based on human influence do not match observed warming.

That is contrary to the views held by former Vice President Al Gore, who accepted the Nobel Prize on Monday along with the U.N.'s Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and who thinks that climate change is largely caused by human action.

Does man have an effect, of course we do but there is much greater influences then mere man. The idea that man is the center of the universe is not new. There once was a time that man thought the sun revolved around the Earth. Not much has changed through the years. Man is still trying to assume a level of importance much beyond our actual place. Instead of being the center we now want to believe that we are final and all incorporating control of the planet. We also want to think we can eventual conquer the universe that had the audacity not to place us at the center.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Case Story for the Fence

On Friday I made mention of being a Jew in the Gaza Strip but the Christians don’t have it easy either.

Jerusalem ( - The tiny Christian community in the Gaza Strip has been shaken for the second time in two months by the attempted murder of a Christian by Islamic fundamentalists who want to rid the area of Christian presence.
The proof is in the pudding and I stand by my assertion of life of a Muslim in the hands of non-Muslims versus the life of a Non-Muslim in the hands of a Muslim. This is by no means a call to suppress Muslims but it is a reminder about where the true aggression is originating from. I’m not even sure they can be called radical Muslims because the source is too mainstream. In the West there is a complete lack of understanding of Islam and the Muslim community. So declare one group as radical and another is as moderate is impossible by most people including the so called experts.

Friday, December 7, 2007

ECN 12/7/07

Hopefully I will start added more then just mainly ECN as things get back to normal.

Kosovo Conflict Fears Rise
By Patrick Goodenough International Editor
December 07, 2007( - On the eve of the deadline for a decision on Kosovo's "final status," Russia shows no sign of backing down on opposition to independence, and the Serbian government reiterated that it would never give up the province.

The world’s real quagmire is still going and going and going.

EU looks to redefine relations with Africa

06.12.2007 - 17:23 CET
EU and African leaders will gather for their first summit in seven years on Friday with the state of human rights in several African countries taking a back row seat as the EU tries to win more influence in the poor but resource-rich continent.
See more >

Despite Report, France and Germany Keep Pressure on Iran
President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel said they had not changed their minds despite the findings of new American intelligence released on Monday. By Katrin Bennhold in Paris more...

Prodi, despite all predictions, still is the prime minister
Famously unexcitable, Romano Prodi nonetheless has weathered many storms in office. But now he is facing new challenges as his opponents realign themselves.

For Myanmar junta, crisis is over
Two months after their bloody crackdown on demonstrators, the international outcry has faded and the generals' grip on power seems firm.

There was a major opportunity missed here. India could have been a big time player but instead to the route of enabler like Russia and China.

What About the Reason for the Fence?

I have an alternative suggestion to this misguided effort.

London ( - A British charity is giving the traditional nativity scene a political twist this year by dividing it with a wall symbolizing Israel's controversial security barrier.

The Amos Trust, a Christian group that works with needy communities around the world, is selling what it calls a nativity set with a difference -- one where "the wise men won't get to the stable."

The alternate would be the wise men reaching the site only to find the stable blown up by a suicide bomber or it is an impact zone for the multitude of missiles launched in to Israel.

The proceeds for this “political carp fum” is touted as being for the trades men hurt by the loses of tourism this fence is causing but I have to wonder do you really want the tourist stopped by this fence? They generally sneak though with bombs strapped to their bellies. If I wanted to I could easily jump on a plane and play tourist. This fence does absolutely nothing to stop me, in fact with the fence up I would feel safer in doing a visit because there will be less of a chance of me returning in a body bag.

This Amos Trust has missed the point in my opinion and I as a Christian do not subscribe to their point of view. The fence is not a weapon of aggression it is a tool of defense. On the other side is a group of individuals dedicated to the destruction of Jewish Nation. To say that Israel does not have the right to build a defensive wall is to say they do not have a right to exist as a nation. If they really wanted this wall to come down, these misguided individuals need to address the real problem.

I would much rather be a Muslim living in Israel then a Jew living in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank. My life expectance and quality of life would be much better. This is an easy thing to see so I really wonder why these people miss the obvious. Why don’t they look at the full situation? Could it be that insulting Israel is easy and safe while pointing out the real issue is not so safe? After all a simple teddy bear name rallied thousands to call for execution.

Although she protested tearfully that she never meant to offend anyone, Gibbons was convicted of insulting Islam and sentenced to 15 days in jail. She was spared the more serious punishment of 40 lashes.

Angry Sudanese who did not consider the penalty harsh enough rallied in the capital, calling for Gibbons’ execution.

The reaction stunned Britons, including Muslim Britons.

Those who were stunned must not have been paying attention to the last 10 years.

Church and State

Monday, December 3, 2007

ECN 12/3/07

No Surprises as Pro-Putin Party Sweeps Russian Election
By Sergei CorrespondentDecember 03, 2007Moscow ( - With President Vladimir Putin as its top candidate, the United Russia party won an overwhelming majority in Sunday's parliamentary elections, and together with its allies, it will have enough seats in the Duma to change the constitution.

Venezuelans Deny Chávez Additional Authority
President Concedes Defeat in 51-49 Vote
By Juan Forero
Washington Post Foreign Service Monday, December 3, 2007; Page A01
CARACAS, Venezuela, Dec. 3 -- Venezuelan voters delivered a stinging defeat to President Hugo Chávez on Sunday, blocking proposed constitutional changes that would have given him political supremacy and accelerated the transformation of this oil-rich country into a socialist state.

50/50 for future dictators. Putin still has work to do and Chavez has plenty of time to get what he wants (2013).

EU to push for concrete talks on new climate deal in Bali
International talks on how to fight global warming begin on the Indonesian island of Bali today with the EU hoping to push other countries to sign up to negotiations on another climate change treaty after the current one expires in 2012.

Peace Talks Back from the Dead
Peace in the Middle East has been but a faint glimmer on the horizon since the 2000 Camp David talks failed. But now, both the Israelis and Palestinians say they are once again committed to reaching an agreement. But it might depend on their neighbors. By Ralf Beste, Christoph Schult and Bernhard Zand more...

Do your Job

I have been saying this for awhile.

Bush used his weekly radio address Saturday to call on lawmakers to "do their job.

On one of my desks I have a quote "Shut your mouth and do your job" which seems to be the perfect advise for the 110th Congress. They apparently want to spend more time running their collective mouth then to actually do any thing meaningful. Congress is the place for many of the headlining issues in America.

  • Congress can either continue or end the situation in Iraq.
  • Congress can address the illegal immigration. Pres. Bush can direct the enforcement of current laws (Which does leave a lot to be desired) but he can not make any new one.
  • Congress has yet to make any headway on health care issues.
  • Only Congress can change the tax codes.

    Legislative branch makes laws while the Executive Branch enforces laws. This post could easily turn in to bashing for any of the Senators currently running for President. Each of them claims they have ideas on how to help the US with each of these issues. If you want to find a pretender look at their Senate record and see what bills they introduced. When you don’t see their name as a sponsor or co sponsor on any major bill concerning these issues then you have found a pretender. If they were serious about changing things then they are already in the right place.

Friday, November 30, 2007


It is done for me and I have accomplished the 50,000 word minimum in 30 days. It took up quite a bit of my free time but was well worth it. What next? I am taking Dec off from the novel and then come back to it in Jan for the first edit. One I have gone through and turned it from total crap to somewhat crap, I will run it through a online writer workshop.

My wife also completed the 50,00o requirement but doesn't feel it is complete yet.

I would suggest trying this to anyone who have ever thought about writing a novel. It is hard but rewarding.

ECN 11/30/07

It Was No Misunderstanding, Says China( - China made it clear Thursday that its recent decision to deny three U.S. Navy ships entry to the Hong Kong port was not a "misunderstanding" -- as the White House said earlier this week -- but retaliation for American policies. Full Story

Students stage anti-Chavez rally
Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have protested against changes to the constitution proposed by the president.

I wonder how long the future dictator will allow this or if it will even make a difference in his march to absolute control?

Iraq lacks plan on the return of refugees, military says
American military officials said the Iraqi government had yet to develop a plan to absorb an influx of refugees returning to Baghdad and prevent it from setting off a new round of violence.

Why is this important, because people want to come home to Iraq. People do not move willingly to bad places.

Party led by Putin steamrolls opponents
Intimidation cited as Russian elections loom
By Peter Finn
updated 3:20 a.m. ET, Fri., Nov. 30, 2007
MOSCOW, Russia - Across Russia, officials loyal to the Kremlin have used unprecedented administrative pressure and harassment to disrupt the electoral campaigns of opposition parties and maximize the vote of United Russia, the party that President Vladimir Putin is leading into Sunday's parliamentary elections, according to opposition party members, independent monitors and political analysts.

Another future dictator in action. President Bush on the other hand will leave office peacefully in a little over a year without attempting one thing to stay.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

ECN 11/29/07

What's Putin Up To, Russians WonderBy Patrick Goodenough International EditorNovember 29, 2007( - Ahead of Russian parliamentary elections this weekend, critics of President Vladimir Putin are accusing him of going to great lengths to ensure an overwhelming victory for his United Russia party, thereby providing a way to hold on to power.
Here I thought Bush was the dictator.

European gun rules to be tightened
29.11.2007 - 09:18 CET
The 27-nation EU is set to tighten existing rules on the acquisition and possession of firearms, an issue that has come to the fore again in Europe after a recent shooting at a Finnish school.
See more >
The gun didn't kill anyone, it was the willingness of the individuals to kill that is the problem.

Slovak Authorities Seize Radioactive Material
Slovak and Hungarian police, after a months-long operation, have arrested three people for trying to sell a kilogram of unspecified radioactive material. more...

Musharraf defends actions after taking oath
Pervez Musharraf was sworn in as a civilian president Thursday, a day after giving up his post as army chief.
Will it be enough to stabilize the situation or is he just like Putin and Chavez?

Monday, November 26, 2007

ECN 11/26/07

Russia Gives No Leeway on US Missile Shield ProposalsBy Sergei CorrespondentNovember 26, 2007Moscow ( - Amid continuing suspicion about U.S. motives, the Russian government has reiterated its skepticism over a U.S. suggestion that it delay its missile shield plans for Europe.

Why is there so much suspicion, because that is what they would do if they were our position. It makes no sense to them that we mean what we say.

EU should favour energy efficiency over renewables, says industry
26.11.2007 - 17:23 CET
The European Union should focus on increasing energy efficiency rather than on promoting renewable energy if it wants to keep its industrial base and tackle climate change, a major EU business confederation has said.
See more >

Boycott of Tehran Hits German Coffers
Germany's Finance Ministry is estimating that the current business boycott against Iran has already led to a triple-digit million shortfall in the federal budget. If additional sanctions are imposed, the figure could soon swell to a few billion euros. more...

As I said before Germany is opposed to additional sanctions for economic reasons not out of idealogy.

Putin says U.S. is meddling in Russian election
President Vladimir Putin of Russia accused the United States of pressuring election observers to abandon their mission.

Leave no witnesses or more to the point allow no witnesses

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

GOP Running Mate

As Giuliani widens his lead as national frontrunner the question of his running mate has to come up. There have been different names through around over time but it has been ruled out by most and the candidates that McCain, Thompson and Romney would not accept the job. What about Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee who just jumped into third place. For Giuliani this would help shore up a weakness with the conservative Christians. Huckabee has always been a long shot as president in my eyes but I would prefer him the McCain or Romney. He has joined the ranks of candidates I would for vote instead of voting against whomever the Dems. put up.

What do I have against McCain and Romney? Well McCain is a senator and I have gone into that before plus he really doesn’t work well with others. I don’t see him as a leader. With Romney it isn’t a question of leadership or him being Morman, it comes from him getting elected in Massachusetts. I question any politician that gets elected in state that continues to elect Ted Kennedy and John Kerry (especially Ted).

Back on track, who would be a good VP Candidate? My first choice is still Michael Steele but maybe Huckabee should be thrown into the lot (I just don't see him getting the nomination).

ECN 11/21/07

Musharraf leaves for trip to Saudi Arabia
Pakistan releases thousands of jailed political activists
By LAURA KINGLos Angeles Times
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — In a signal he believes his grip on power is secure, President Pervez Musharraf flew Tuesday to Saudi Arabia for two days of meetings, his first absence from Pakistan since he imposed a state of emergency on Nov. 3.

EU-Turkey membership talks to move a step further in December
20.11.2007 - 17:26 CET
The EU is planning to open two new chapters of its accession negotiations package with Turkey in December, hoping the move will spur the reforms still needed in the country.
See more >

Gates halts cut in U.S. Army force in Europe
The U.S. defense secretary has decided to freeze plans for further reducing army forces in Europe, according to senior Pentagon and military officials.

Personally I think we should pull out a good portion of our troops. They have become targets and their presence is an enabler for a weak Europe. Some say it is a show of strength and influence to be able to keep troops in Europe while still engaging Iraq and Afghanistan.

Iraqis return home 'in thousands'
About 1,000 Iraqis a day return home after fleeing the country to escape violence, say Iraqi authorities

Chirac formally probed over scam
Ex-French President Jacques Chirac faces formal investigation over a fake jobs scheme, his lawyer says

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The End of Embyronic Stem Cell Research?

I have always been skeptical of the embryonic stem cell promise. The research keeps say that the major discovery is just around the corner. All it needs is just more money and the government is the only source. The other thing needed was the willingness to destroy an embryo which is consider alive by some. To listen to some, there is no other way. The major advances with adult stem cell mean nothing, it can’t get the human race to where it should be. Well there is another way, it does require destroying an embryo and it was found in the private sector.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two separate teams of researchers announced on Tuesday they had transformed ordinary skin cells into batches of cells that look and act like embryonic stem cells -- but without using cloning technology and without making embryos.

Their breakthroughs could make possible the long-sought goal of tailor-made medicine, but without the political, scientific and ethical roadblock of using human embryos. (emphasis mine)

If the embryonic stem cell crowd had won, research would have been delayed for unimaginable years instead of sped up. It would have been inferior and destroyed countless embryos. Instead, we have a multitude of alternatives and have found a superior source for testing. This may be the corner turn for this type of stem cell research, a corner that never would have been found by those who hold life to be only starts outside of the womb.

Captain’s Quarters

ECN 11/20/07

Violence Declines Because Iraqis Tired of War, General Says
By Terence P. Editor in ChiefNovember 20, 2007( - Violence is declining in Iraq because Iraqis have grown tired of war, Army Maj. Gen. Mark Hertling told reporters Monday in a teleconference from Contingency Operating Base Speicher outside Tikrit, Iraq.

They have grown tired of a certain kind of violence.

Putin warns NATO against border build-up
MOSCOW (AFP) — President Vladimir Putin warned NATO against "muscle-flexing" on Russia's border Tuesday and ordered top generals to raise the combat readiness of the country's nuclear missiles.

Ahmadinejad, Chávez forge alliance
Promise to work together to end US imperialism
TEHRAN - Venezuela's president joined with Iran's leader yesterday in boasting that they are "united like a single fist" in challenging American influence, saying the fall of the dollar is a sign that "the US empire is coming down."

Left unsaid, so they can make their own empire. We these two individuals oppose the US, I'd say the US is doing the right thing.

Berlin Faces Hurdles in Push to Get Business Out of Iran
In an effort to forestall an American military strike against Iran, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing for tougher economic sanctions against the mullah-controlled regime in Tehran. But critics say Merkel's plans are sketchy and difficult to implement, while experts disagree over their effectiveness. more...

Until they quit propping up IRAN with their money, there can never be any significant leverage again a nuclear IRAN.

Monday, November 19, 2007

ECN 11/1907

Ahmadinejad and Allies Want OPEC to Dump the DollarBy Patrick International EditorNovember 19, 2007( - An Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries summit ended Sunday with calm assurances of reliable supplies following efforts by the U.S.-baiting leaders of Iran, Venezuela and their new ally, Ecuador, to politicize the event and push for OPEC to dump the U.S. dollar.

Former guerilla leader wins Kosovo elections
19.11.2007 - 09:23 CET
Former Kosovar guerrilla leader Hashim Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo won the legislative elections held in the province on Saturday and said independence would be proclaimed in December. The EU welcomed the way the elections were held, but regretted the boycott by Kosovo's Serbian minority.
See more >
Kosovo has been in the state of quagmire for over nine years under the UN and finally held an election, well almost.

Aid Begins to Reach Bangladesh Storm Survivors
The death toll from Cyclone Sidr has topped 2,400, and some groups are warning that it might reach 10,000. As rescue efforts continue, aid is beginning to reach the three million Bangladeshis displaced by the storm. more...

Court dismisses challenges to Musharraf
With the dismissals made by the hand-picked justices on the new Supreme Court, General Pervez Musharraf is almost guaranteed confirmation for a new term as president.

Friday, November 16, 2007

NaNoWriMo Madness Midway

The 15th being the halfway point time wise and I hit the halfway point in word wise (Actually 25042) before I called it a night. I have been able to maintain the overall story arc but several small details have changed from the original concept. There are times when the story tells me what it will be and the words flow out. Other times it is like crawling up a hill, backwards in a snow storm.

Right now I feel pretty good about getting to the 50000 word make but I am not confident the story will be wrapped up properly. I suppose I could put in little one line goal completions but that wasn't what I was worried about when I started. I only hoped I would be able to spread the story out that much.

Both me and my wife are all ready talking about what we will do next year. It has been a positive thing on many levels. The most unexpected benefit has been the small group we are doing this with. We have spent more time socializing this month then we have for the last 6 months.

Current word count as of little break 26,000.

US renting Mexican Slaves

Why does Mexico care how we treat Mexican illegal immigrants? An easy answer, it is about money.

Calderón coupled his criticisms with several broad-ranging initiatives to better the lives of Mexicans in the United States, who are an important constituency in Mexican politics.

The government estimates that there are 11 million Mexicans in the United States, about 6 million of them illegally. It calculates that they sent back to Mexico more than $23 billion in remittances to help support their families last year.

“Remittances from the United States are a major source of income for our country, at present the second largest after oil exports,” said Maria Rosa Márquez Cabrera, the secretary of rural development. (emphases added)

It isn’t about treating them fair. The current topic around Illegal Immigrants is about whether they should be issued driver’s licenses. The US can easily turn to Mexico to find out what would be fair concerning this topic.

MEXICO CITY — The question of whether to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants has ignited a national debate in the United States.

Yet in Mexico, the biggest source of immigrants to the USA, there's no debate: If you're not in the country legally, you can't get a driver's license.

That is right Mexican government officials demand we take their poor and at times their criminals so they can send money back to support the Mexican economy. They say we, the US, are not being fair if we don’t let their exported get driver’s licenses, vote and work. The say we don’t have a right to be mad about all of it. If they are concerned about how the US treats their people, there is one simple thing they can do, become a country people want to live in.

With 23 billion dollars a year, does anyone think Mexico has any interest is stopping the exportation of their poor and unwanted? The US would be better off sending that 23 billion dollars a year direct or organizing things so the exported poor aren't vicimized by their own government.

Church And State Trackback

ECN 11/16/07

EU must improve military capabilities, UK says

16.11.2007 - 09:27 CET
UK foreign secretary David Miliband called for a strengthening of the EU's military capacities during his first major speech on EU policy on Thursday. He also said the EU should be a "model" in the world rather than a "superpower".
See more >

Will they do I really doubt it.

Bhutto, freed from house arrest, rejects caretaker government
Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto renewed her demand that Musharraf resign, telling reporters that the state of emergency had targeted his moderate opponents, not Islamic extremists.

Watchdog cancels Russia poll plan
The international election watchdog, the OSCE, says it will not cover Russian polls because of visa problems.

Not good news for Putin opponents. I wonder what cause the visa problems.

Uncertainty hovers over OPEC summit
Cartel contends with politics, prices and its future
That's why this weekend, when the heads of state from the 13-member group gather here for OPEC's third summit, it should be a celebration. Yet the summit's Saudi hosts worry that the meeting could turn into a political embarrassment.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

ECN 11/15/07

EU capitals set for clash over taxes

14.11.2007 - 09:22 CET
The European Commission has indirectly backed a Franco-British proposal to make environment-friendly products cheaper with value added tax cuts, saying it will make it part of its wider overhaul of reduced VAT rates to be tabled next year.
See more >

'Persepolis' Hits the Big Screen
By Elke Schmitter
"Persepolis," Marjane Satrapi's poignant comic-book account of life during and after the Iranian Revolution has been adapted for the big screen and promises to become an international box-office hit. It skillfully combines the universal theme of teenage angst with an examination of war and dictatorship.

U.S. is looking past Musharraf in case he falls
Bush administration officials are losing faith that the Pakistani president can survive in office and have begun actively discussing what might come next.

Iraqi ministers' inaction ripped
U.S. commanders criticize 'very painful' obstructionism and urge government to reach out to opponents. Full story

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

ECN 11/14/07

Free marketism should not be Europe's 'creed', says Sarkozy
13.11.2007 - 16:24 CET By Honor MahonyEUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - French president Nicolas Sarkozy has outlined a vision for Europe that would see "untramelled" capitalism pushed far down the political hierarchy to be replaced by a focus on cultural and spiritual issues with more than a hint of European protectionism.

Danes Re-Elect Conservative Prime Minister
By Anna Reimann
Denmark's right-left political blocs will remain in place, but political relations will be more uncertain as a result of Tuesday's poll. Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen will enter into a third term in office, but right-wing populists are also demanding more influence in government decision-making as a result of his victory.

Coalition shaken by German resignation
By Judy Dempsey and Nicholas Kulish
Published: November 13, 2007
BERLIN: Vice Chancellor Franz Müntefering, the second most powerful politician in Germany, announced Tuesday that he would resign, a departure that could further destabilize the shaky power-sharing coalition between the two biggest German parties.

'Fast economic growth' in Africa
The economic outlook for Africa is improving after a decade of growth of 5.4% for the continent that matches global rates, the World Bank has said.

Tax the "Working" Rich

A great post can be found over at Eternity Road about the changing demographics of the political parties. There is a constant call by Dems. to raise taxes to pay for social programs, not all taxes but income taxes. Hedge funds are being left alone because they store wealth. By taxing incomes, it is taking money away from people who make money or work for a living. If hedge funds were taxes, then it would be on people who have money. These are the people that are already wealthy and these are the people that vote and fund the Democrats. By taxing the income of people, it keeps them from become wealthy while not taxing hedge funds allows the wealthy to get even wealthier.

A legislative proposal that was once on the fast track is suddenly dead. The Senate will not consider a plan to extract billions in extra taxes from megamillionaire hedge fund managers.
When a Dem support claims to be concerned about the poor and the middle class, ask them to explain this one. By taxing income and not “protected” money they show their concern and their desire to keep them poor and middle class.

NY Gov Logic

I really don’t get this one. If I am still in NY when this “politician” comes up for re-election, I hope to see him tossed out on his butt.

"We want security. We want our roads to be safe, which is the initial impetus behind letting them get a license so we know who they are, where they are. They can get insurance, everybody is safer."
If we can find out who they are and where they are, we shouldn’t be giving them insurance. We should be following the law and deporting for being in the country illegally. If they aren’t in the country then they can’t put people on the road at risk.

If people really want to help illegal immigrants, then efforts to make the country they are fleeing from a better place and the world in general would be the place to start. Not making it easier and even more promising to come to the US.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You must listen to me.

If one needed any more proof that Chavez feels superior, the future dictator has issued a statement to the fact.

"If I stopped talking, the stones of Latin America would cry out, because the people are willing to be free of any kind of colonialism after 500 years," he added.In case the allusion to Jesus was missed, the office of the presidency issued a statement giving the biblical reference (Luke 19:38-40).

Urged by his critics to rebuke his disciples for praising him as one sent from God, Jesus replied, "I tell you, if these keep silent, the stones would cry out."

He treads dangerous ground by assuming a messiah figure in himself. There is point I feel he misses completely. Christ never forced anybody to accept him into their life, he offers a gift. This is also something many Christians forget when spreading the word. Everyone has a choice to make and they are the only ones that can make. Trying to force someone in to a choice will lead to some very negative repercussions. This is the center of my issue with socialism in general. It forces the idea of sharing (which is a good thing) on to the unwilling and creates oppression. For socialism to work it has to be voluntary by all and no cheating can occur. I have not seen anything in my time to show that this is possible.

If Chavez want to be like Christ he needed to remember free will and that includes the right to say no thanks.

Monday, November 12, 2007

"por que no te callas?"

When will the Hollywood elites get as smart as the King of Spain?

As the current prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zaptero, scolded Chavez and urged him show respect for the legitimately elected former Spanish leader, he drew a flow of interruptions from the Venezuelan leader, who said he had the right to say what he liked.
Then the king -- sitting next to Zapatero -- leaned forward and said to Chavez, "Why don't you shut up?"

Not only did he tell Chavez to shut up, he walked out on the future dictator. This approach from the King has gotten rave reviews and has sparked national pride on many levels. Is it enough to show the world Chavez’s true colors. It shows the difference between respecting people and hating your opponents. Chavez was mystified at PM Zapatero's defense of Aznar. Perhaps he can’t understand that people can disagree without demonizing their opponent. A lesson the politicians in the US need to learn also.

So when you hear a US politician (on either side) demonizing the opposition just say "por que no te callas?"

ECN 11/12/07

Thousands of Palestinians attend Arafat service
Palestinian peace negotiator decries being held up at an Israeli roadblock
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Tens of thousands of Palestinians packed a memorial service for the late Yasser Arafat on Sunday, an event used to rally support for his successor, President Mahmoud Abbas, as he prepares for peace talks with Israel.

Arafat was the Clinton of the ME, no matter what he did his people always saw him in the best light. Maybe Presdient Clinton is the Arafat of DC since he was around first.

Bhutto 'ends power-sharing talks'
Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto says she has ended negotiations with President Pervez Musharraf on a power-sharing agreement.

Bhutto was cleared of several corruption charges but how clean is she really?

Hurdles Stall Plan For Iraqi Recruits
Shiite Leadership Wary of Bringing Fighters Into Ranks
By Joshua Partlow and Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writers Monday, November 12, 2007; Page A01
BAGHDAD -- The U.S. effort to organize nearly 70,000 local fighters to solidify security gains in Iraq is facing severe political and logistical challenges as U.S.-led forces struggle to manage the recruits and the central government resists incorporating them into the Iraqi police and army, according to senior military officials.

Despite the growing number of good news that is coming out of Iraq, there is still some fundamental culture and trust problems.

'Warmongering Has Weakened Washington'
There was lots to discuss during Chancellor Merkel's visit to President Bush's Texas ranch. But mostly, the two leaders tried their hardest to be friends. German commentators wonder if anything of substance came out of the visit. more...

Despite the misleading title, the article does take a good look toward the end of the different perspectives (The title is from the left leaning Die Tageszeitung take on things).

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Blinded by the Money

I was reading this story and just felt flabbergasted at this comment.

This has made him apprehensive. "We must ask the United States to provide proof to back up their accusations against Iran," he says. Guttenberg hasn't forgotten how claims that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's possessed weapons of mass
destruction were used to justify the invasion of Iraq. Until now, says Guttenberg, the notion that Tehran is smuggling weapons to Afghanistan and that Iranian al Quds brigades are operating inside Iraq is little more than a rumor. "But it's important," he says, "that the Americans provide us with solid evidence
NY Times knows that Iran is in Iraq and so does the Guardian, so why does the government of Germany know this? As for Iranian made arms in Afghanistan well:
WASHINGTON, April 17 — A shipment of Iranian-made weapons bound for the Taliban was recently captured by allied forces in Afghanistan, the Pentagon’s top officer said Tuesday.
But I imagine one can overlook such things when Germany is exporting over 5 billion dollars worth of goods to Iran.

ECN 11/8/07

France, US Will Be Allies 'Forever,' Sarkozy Tells CongressBy Monisha Staff WriterNovember 08, 2007( - French President Nicolas Sarkozy addressed a joint session of Congress on Wednesday and spoke of strengthening ties between the U.S. and France. While some hailed the foreign policy shift, others said it is more symbolic than substantive.

Italy and Romania urge EU help with migrants

08.11.2007 - 09:21 CET
The prime ministers of Italy and Romania have urged the European Commission to help EU countries cope with the integration of other member states' citizens - in particular of Roma origin.
See more >

The Silenced, Imprisoned Opposition
Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf on Thursday announced that elections would be held in February. Still, oppression of the opposition continues, as thousands were arrested overnight. Legal recourse is non-existent. By Matthias Gebauer in Lahore, Pakistan more...

Stocks in Europe and Asia plummet after U.S. sell-off
Investors worldwide grew skittish over rising oil prices and the prospect of a substantial economic slowdown in the U.S.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

ECN 11/7/07

Venezuela's Planned Arms Purchases Leave Neighbors UnsettledBy Leandro CorrespondentNovember 07, 2007Buenos Aires ( - Venezuela is planning to extend its weapons purchases from Russia, adding to the $4 billion Chavez already has spent over the past two years.

How long before he “helps” his neighbors find the same perfection he has achieved?

EU split into several camps on Russia strategy, says report

07.11.2007 - 17:35 CET
Within the EU there are a least five camps when it comes to dealing with Russia, ranging from the 'Trojan horse' countries to the 'new Cold warriors', says a new study analysing the bloc's divided approach to its giant eastern neighbour. Greece and Cyprus are portrayed as most likely to defend Moscow's interests at the EU table.
See more >

Which means nothing will be done and that fits right in to Putin’s schedule.

America, Mon Amour!
The Bush administration long seemed to see the French as cynical cowards. But that has changed now that Nicolas Sarkozy, an avowed fan of the United States, is at the helm in France. Washington's policies toward Iran could pivot on Sarkozy's US visit this week. By Gregor Peter Schmitz in Washington more...

Oil prices top $98 a barrel, setting new record
Falling dollar, fears of limited supplies pressure crude

NEW YORK - Oil prices stalled in their climb toward $100 a barrel Wednesday after a government report said oil inventories fell less than expected last week while refinery utilization remained flat.

Specialty Breeds

I guess I am a big celebrate of diversity.

Pakistan Protest Scheduled

I was wondering what Benazir Bhutto take on things is. Up till now I had only hear where she was but not what she was going to do.

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto threatened on Wednesday to lead a mass protest march to the capital unless President Pervez Musharraf quits as army chief, holds elections and restores the constitution.

Bhutto, leader of the largest opposition party and the politician most capable of mobilizing street power, gave Musharraf until Friday to comply.

Bhutto was forced on Musharraf by the US in an effort to form a more moderate approach to the unrest that Pakistan is experience. She is taking her life in her hands right now even more so then when she came back. It starts me wondering if Musharraf was behind the assassination attempt when she first arrived and just tried to used the terrorist to hide blame.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

ECN 11/6/07

British Peers Analyze America's Role in the World By Kevin CorrespondentNovember 06, 2007London ( - The battle of ideas between Americanism and anti-Americanism will set the tone of the 21st century, according to several members of the British House of Lords.In a recent debate in the British upper house, Lord Maurice Saatchi said that hatred against America has spread into a global phenomenon, crossing borders and religion.

Brussels suggests new tools to fight terrorism

06.11.2007 - 17:27 CET
Following a series of terrorist attacks and foiled plots on EU territory, EU home affairs commissioner Franco Frattini has tabled an extensive counter-terrorism package moving largely into the area of member states' security. But MEPs have expressed concern about infringement of civil liberties.

Danish Party Threatened by Palestinian Militants
A right-wing Danish political party has been threatened by the Palestinian terror group al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade for using an image of the Prophet Muhammad in its campaign literature. The party wanted to show its commitment to free speech. By Charles Hawley more...

In Russian renaissance, safety takes backseat
Respect for law, safety and public health still lag far behind the Kremlin's restored sense of self, as evidenced by the scale at which Russia's population suffers from fires.

When a company fails to put safety first, the employees develop a sense of fatalism, the idea that the company doesn’t care about them. What happens when a country does the same thing?

Brinkmanship and the Second Choice

I have posted several links to different articles in the ECN about the situation between Turkey and Iraq. The PKK is seen as terrorist by the government of Turkey so much that they voted to authorize military action inside Iraq. This is strangely similar to what the US Congress did back 2003. May on the left have commented that they did so because they thought it was a negotiation tactic and it was in a sort. When you negotiate like that though, you have to make sure that it isn’t an empty threat. I have no doubt for Turkey, it also was not an empty threat. They even punctuated the fact by a limit incursion in to Iraq. When negotiation have gone this far, there is only two outcomes. The first being war, an option nobody wanted. The second outcome is only possible is when two mature nation understand that war is the worst option. Turkey understands that as well as the US and both are working to find a reasonable course of action.

WASHINGTON: President George W. Bush pledged Monday to increase intelligence cooperation with Turkey in its fight against Kurdish rebels, hoping to head off any significant Turkish military operation in Iraq.
The Kurds are the wild card in Iraq since they are essentially isolationist from the rest of the Muslims in the region. They want to have a lot more control of their destiny then they have ever had before. They don’t quite have what they want under the new Iraqi Constitution but it is enough that they are willing to work at keeping it for now.

To avoid war, the Kurds have to continue to see that what exists isn’t worth losing. If this is the truth;

Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) denied in a joint official statement supporting the Turkish Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"We in the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) are strongly denying these groundless statements of supporting the PKK, asserting that we are looking forward to bolster ties with Turkey", the joint statement said.

Then all side can approach the PKK as terrorist and resolve this without a full scale war.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pakistan and One Man

Over at The Amboy Times the question of “Are We Losing Pakistan?” was raised. I raised a couple of point that might be saying we are at least not losing.

I think Pakistan is too much on the edge to say whether we are winnign or losing. The above examples are frightning indeed but there are also several examples that would point to Pakistan moving away from being in support of a terror mentalty.

With the growing percentage of forgien fighter oppurating in the Afghan-Pakistan border war, shows that the movement may be losing steam.

The return former prime minister Benazir Bhutto maybe a sign of growing moderation in the poltical arena in Pakistan.

There has also be a major offense into areas that were left alone such as the Swat Valley and throughout northenr Pakistan

It is too early to be think of losing Pakistan to the terrorist and even if it is trending that way, it too important not to let it happen if at all possible.

A short time after that a state of emergency was declared in Pakistan and threw everything up in the air. Right now there are statements being issued about the scheduled upcoming elections.

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The Pakistani government said on Monday it would hold a national election by mid-January, as it came under pressure from the United States for imposing emergency rule and detaining lawyers and opposition politicians.

President Pervez Musharraf, facing international criticism after suspending the constitution and purging the Supreme Court, told diplomats on Monday he was determined to quit as army chief and become a civilian president.

The move by President Musharraf seems to be an aim at guarantying his continued role as President. I would guess he sees himself as the only one capable of leading the nation during these difficult times. It easy to convince yourself that nobody else see the thing you do and know how to get it done. It is a warm feeling to believe that you are irreplaceable, that you are the only one to see what is right. It is also a very dangerous thing to do. Nobody is irreplaceable and nobody has all of the answers. When a person limits the path, they also limit the unseen opportunities.

This may not effect some of the short term goals in the ME but it a serious step back when one looks at the long term situation. One man saving a nation isn’t too far from one man controlling a nation. One only has to look at Castro and Chavez for the harm that can follow.

Thanks to Church and State.

ECN 11/05/07

Iran Sees Venezuela as Doorway to Americas, Republican SaysBy Kevin Staff WriterNovember 05, 2007Exclusive Interview ( - Top U.S. officials who avoid confrontation with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez should exchange their passivity for a more forceful Latin American policy, Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) said in an exclusive interview with the Cybercast News Service.

This one is more speculation then actual news. I do believe that the future dictator of Venezuela is an important world figure to watch especially for America but the strength of the ties to Iran remains to be seen. Right now I think they are just buddying around together because of a perceived common enemy.

Italy moves to expel EU nationals as part of crime crackdown
05.11.2007 - 09:28 CET
Italian authorities have started rounding up illegally residing Romanian immigrants following a fast-track adoption of a decree allowing expulsions of EU citizens who pose a threat to public security. While Romania is protesting the measures, Brussels has confirmed they are in line with EU rules.

'Musharraf Can No Longer Be a Partner'
Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf says he declared a state of emergency in the country as part of his struggle against terrorism. The problem is, no one believes him. Commentators say that it's time for the West to finally support the Pakistani opposition. more...

PetroChina shares triple value in record IPO
The Chinese oil and gas giant became the world's first company to pass $1 trillion in market capitalization when it debuted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange Monday.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Abusive Relationship

The Republicans in general and the other Dem. Candidates are going to ride this story for all it is worth.

Addressing a crowd of Republican donors, the former Tennessee senator joined Clinton's Democratic opponents in seizing on her debate answer on whether she supported a plan by New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer to grant drivers' licenses to illegal immigrations.

At first, Clinton appeared to praise the plan. Pressed later in the debate, she seemed to backtrack, saying she didn't say it should be done. Her campaign sought to clarify her comments on Wednesday, saying she supported the governor's effort

Politicians are expected to double talk and everyone gets flustered at one time or another but when you do it during a presidential campaign it really gets noticed. When you happen to be the current front-runner it really gets noticed. The hardest thing for Clinton to overcome her will be the fact that it didn’t start from the right side but is a case of the Dems trying to eat their own. Both Edwards and Obama need a real big boost to bring down Hillary and they know if she wins the nomination that there is no room for them. It may have not been his first choice but when Edwards was offered the second spot for 2004 election, he jumped at it. That isn’t going to happen this year because he doesn’t add anything to Hillary. The only way Obama gets the second spot this year is if he pushes Hillary too hard and she needs to buy him off and the only way to push her is to tear her down. He is showing he can’t climb higher than her so he needs to bring her down to his level anyway he can.

Is this enough to pull Hillary down, I don’t think it is even close. She has waded through campaign irregularities so far without a scratch and there have been a lot of irregularities. There is this blind love affair with the idea of the Clintons. It is like an abusive relationship that a person just can put down for too long. A little “I’m sorry” and sweet talk and the Clintons are back in the house just waiting for the next time they can sucker puck American, steal some money and have an affair. Too many times the abused partner ends up in the hospital or worse yet dead. It easy to see the cycle but so hard to get out of. We keep thinking things will be different and rewrite history to cut out the bad times.

ECN 11/2/07

Rice in Turkey for Kurdish talks
The US secretary of state has arrived in Ankara for talks aimed at averting major military action by Turkey against Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq.
Ahead of her visit, Condoleezza Rice called the Kurdistan Workers' Party a "common enemy" of Turkey, Iraq and the US, and urged all sides to co-operate.

A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist.

Venezuelan troops use tear gas on Chavez protesters
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelan troops used tear gas and water cannons Thursday disperse demonstrators who turned out by the tens of thousands to protest constitutional reforms that would permit President Hugo Chavez to run for re-election indefinitely.

Could you imagine the outrage that would break out here in America if a sitting President tried this? Look at Chavez and his rise to power and you will see the fabled "Making of a Tyrant".

EU ministers give final nod to controversial gene therapies
31.10.2007 - 09:28 CET By Lucia KubosovaEUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - EU environment ministers have given their final approval to the bloc's guidelines on the development of gene therapies, leaving it up to member states to decide whether to ban research on human embryonic cells on ethical grounds.The legislation passed on Tuesday (30 October) sets out the technical details on regulating so called "advanced therapies" - gene therapy, adult stem cell therapy and tissue engineering – at the EU level.

Gene manipulation on humans is fine but don’t you dare touch corn.

Russian Youth and the Putin Cult
With elections just around the corner, President Vladimir Putin's popularity seems higher than ever -- particularly among Russian youth. The right-tilting group Nashi practically worships their leader, and isn't shy about letting the opposition know about it. By Anselm Waldermann in Moscow

Thursday, November 1, 2007

ECN 11/1/07

Iraq tries to thwart Kurdish rebels with more checkpoints
From wire reports
BAGHDAD — Iraq's government said Wednesday that it had set up more checkpoints to restrict the movement of Kurdish rebels in response to Turkey's demands for firm action against the rebels.

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the checkpoints would stop fuel, food and other supplies from reaching the Iraq-based Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which has killed dozens of people inside Turkey over the past month.

Will this be enough to hold off Turkey?

Japan ends Afghan naval mission
Japan has ordered the withdrawal of its two ships supporting US-led operations in Afghanistan.
The move follows the government's failure to agree a deal with the opposition to extend the mission beyond the end of its mandate on 1 November.

Hurricane season goes easy on USA
By Patrick O'DriscollUSA TODAY
The 2007 hurricane season, with a month to go, is on track to leave the coastal USA relatively unscathed for a second straight year.

As a result, parts of the Gulf Coast and Florida still recovering from the deadly batterings of a dozen hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 have had more time to rebuild and prepare for next time. The severe drought in the Southeast, made worse by 2006's mild tropical season, was prolonged this year by similar conditions.

Iraq's Christians Face Extinction, Advocacy Group SaysBy Patrick International EditorNovember 01, 2007( - An international organization supporting Christian minorities in Islamic societies has launched a new campaign to draw attention to the plight of Iraq's Christians, a community which it says "faces extinction."

The U.K.-based Barnabas Fund, a charitable and advocacy group, said this week that Islamic extremists in Iraq are telling Christians to convert, leave or face death.

Whispers of the Wind

So far to date the post that has generated the most amount of traffic here at the Dog's Den (the alternate title which has a little more flair), is Kansas Tosses Future into the Wind. Scott, in the comment section even suggested which talks about the role of coal in America’s demand of electricity. I live in an area that is actively moving in creating a small wind farm, but not instead of, more in support of the proven coal industry. Is it a good idea, well time and economics will prove it out.

I have seen the optimism of wind farms before, they failed 20 years ago. Technology and economics have changed in the passing years and every success story started with a long string of failures. I still think that the Governor of Kansas has made a huge mistake by relying on theoretical promises.

Hillary Twist "More please."

Appearently Sen. Clinton doesn’t have enough campaign money, even though she has raised the most, to buy the Presidency.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) top advisers, doing damage control after the candidate’s debate performance Tuesday, told supporters on a conference call Wednesday that the campaign needed more money to fight back.
She has taken money from poor areas in Chinatown, bundled money from a convicted criminal and from, but she doesn’t have enough. It sounds like a recurring theme in her life “The World is not Enough.”

On top of all that, life isn’t fair to Hillary because she gets asked tough questions while others get off scot-free.
Penn turned again to Russert. “The other candidates were asked questions like, ‘Is there life in outer space?’ ”
If the President want-to -be can’t navigate though unfair situations, how is she going to deal with the unfair world in general? This supposedly strongest and smartest woman in Washington can’t get her husband to stop protecting her, she can’t or won’t run on her own record and she isn’t sure if illegal aliens should get driver licenses. Of course I am cherry picking for the worst view but these are much more numerous than of her good features.
Captain’s Quarters

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Don't Look Behind the Curtain

Why would anybody, especially Russia want to limit outside observation of election results

Russia is seeking "unprecedented" curbs on monitors observing its parliamentary polls, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) says.
It wants limits on the size of the OSCE delegation at the 2 December poll, and consultation on its make-up.
The most obvious cynical answer is that there is an effort to put the” fix in”. Even if it isn’t true, it seems to me to be a bad time to pull such a move with the talk about Putin and his power grab. The Russian constitution has a term limit for the President. If this is not revoked, President Putin will be stepping down much like Pres. Bush. It is reported that Putin is very popular and there is a movement to keep him in power.
The Russian Constitution limits a president to two terms, which would mean a natural conclusion in 2008 to Vladimir Putin's presidency. So far, Putin says he will abide by the legal limit. But there are growing calls, whether spontaneous or orchestrated by the Kremlin, to change the Constitution.
Is this an effort to put the right people in place in order to change the Russian Constitution or am I seeing something that isn’t there? The Russian Federation is only 16 years old and is still struggling to find its’ grove in being a more open country. The rumor mill is stirred by questions surrounding Putin for his approach to free press, his involvement in the Ukraine election, and poison allegations. All of this only convinces some that he is perfectly capable orchestrating a permanent power grab.

Passing the Buck for Cheap Political Points

If member of Congress want to declare waterboarding and any other interrogation technique to be torture then should do so, since that is their job. Instead they continue to leave it ambiguous and open to interrogation so they can use it to score political points. If they had any real interest in doing away with the practice, they are completely within their rights, no duty to do so. The fact that the subject is being paraded around on a continuous basis only shows they don’t care at all, they just want political points. Is this the type of representatives we want in the government?

The US Attorney General does not make laws of any kind, he is the just to overseer and interrupt the existing laws and their enforcement. Why certain members of Congress are asking Michael Mukasey to do their job is beyond me.

All 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote to Mukasey last week asking that he clarify his position on waterboarding.
"Your unwillingness to state that waterboarding is illegal may place Americans at risk of being subject to this abusive technique," the senators wrote.
My response would be, “Your unwillingness to enact a law against waterboarding may place humans at risk of being subject to this abusive technique. If you want the technique to be illegal then do your job and make it illegal.”

ECN 10/31/07

Turkey to Present Its Case on PKK to White HouseBy Patrick International EditorOctober 31, 2007( - Turkey's prime minister will take to the White House next week a report showing alleged links between the U.S.-allied autonomous Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq and PKK terrorists holed up there who launch cross-border attacks on Turkish soil.Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is due to meet with President Bush on Monday, has warned the U.S. that failure to stop the PKK from operating out of northern Iraq will damage ties between the two NATO allies.

I thought there had been some progress in this area but apparently I was wrong.

BAGHDAD - Under growing pressure to crack down on Kurdish rebels using orthern
Iraq as a base for guerrilla attacks in Turkey, the Iraqi government ordered the rebels’ offices closed Tuesday and promised to curb their movements and block their funds.

Brussels wins final say over controversial GMO corn
30.10.2007 - 17:43 CET
Following intense debate, EU governments have failed to agree whether Austria may keep in place its ban on genetically modified corn - something considered illegal by the World Trade Organization – paving the way for the thorny decision to be taken by the European Commission.

Is GMO Corn controversial for health reasons or because it in area where the US dominates. I don’t know enough about it but it always seemed a little strange that Europe is full bore for stem cell research but not GMO (Not apples to apples in comparison).

Syria accused of plotting to kill Lebanon leaders
Top lawmaker Hariri says assassination plot targets him, prime minister
CAIRO, Egypt - The leader of Lebanon’s parliamentary majority claimed Tuesday that Syria was behind a plot to assassinate him and the Lebanese prime minister ahead of crucial presidential elections next month.

Democrats Must Turn Right to Win
By Gabor Steingart in Washington
Both John Edwards and Barack Obama want to move the Democrats to the left. But that's a sure way to lose the election. Many voters may live their lives on the left, but their hopes and dreams are well to the right.

It isn't easy to see the similarities between Germany's political system and that in the United States. Sure, they are both democratic. But whereas Berlin hosts a multiparty, parliamentary system that relies on coalitions to govern, the US has a two-party, winner-takes-all system.

I included this article in the ECN more because where I found it and it shows how much the world does watch the US.

Burmese Monks Venture Back on to Streets
Last month, protesting monks in Burma were being beaten up and detained by the thousands. Now they're are back at it -- in smaller numbers but with equal conviction. more...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

NaNoWriMo madness

Tomorrow night at 12:01 I will officially be able to start my novel, not that I will really start until the morning. I signed up to do the National Novel Writing Month with my wife.

If I can keep a pace of 1667 words per day I will produce a 50,000 word novel by the end of this month and the novel will be utter crap. It won’t be worth reading but maybe it may be worth editing and then re-editing and possibility editing for a third time. The novel is a fantasy that will deal with racism, loneliness, and confronting horrible monsters. Whether I can actually put together something that is worth anything remains to be seen, but I am willing to try. I have always enjoyed reading and have convinced myself over the years that I have a story to tell (several to be exact).

Overall my reason for engaging in the mad deadline is for the most part the same reason I started the blog, not necessarily for people to read but for me to write. 30 days from now I will find out if I have the disciple and the drive to fulfill one of my dreams.

ECN 10/30/07

Fatal blast near Musharraf's HQ
A suicide bomb attack has killed at least seven people and injured 11 near Pakistan's army headquarters, in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.
Officials said the blast occurred some 2km (1.24 miles) away from a secure compound containing the army HQ and President Pervez Musharraf's office.

Foreign fighters of violent bent bolster Taliban
The foreign fighters are not only bolstering the ranks of the insurgency. They are more violent, uncontrollable and extreme than even their locally bred allies, officials on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border warn.
They are also helping to change the face of the Taliban from a movement of hard-line Afghan religious students into a loose network that now includes a growing number of foreign militants as well as disgruntled Afghans and drug traffickers.

As outsiders become more of the movement, I think the local population will grow further and further away for the movement.

Where Have the Skilled Workers Gone?
By Juliane Kinast, Christian Reiermann and Michael Sauga
The German economy has hardly regained its stride, and now businesses are complaining about a lack of well-qualified employees. Voices in both the political and business worlds call for new immigration laws. But should Germany let in more workers when it still has 3.8 million unemployed?

This suggests to me a two fold problem, first training of skilled workers is deficient and those that are trained are going else where (leaving the country). The US also is suffering from a lack of skilled workers but there also a very low unemployment rate.

France and Britain suggest tax cut on green products

30.10.2007 - 09:27 CET
Following a joint initiative of France and the UK, EU finance ministers will discuss cutting value-added taxes on energy efficient products in an effort to stimulate consumers to shop in a more environmental-friendly way.

Special Inspector General Iraq Report

Here is the link to 244 page, 12,196 KB, ADOBE PDF that goes over the Inspector General Quarterly report submitted to congress. All of the reports dating back to March 2004 can be found here. So if you have some time for a little light reading you can go through and view what has been reported to congress every three months. So when they complain that they don’t know what is going on over there, you can tell who isn’t keeping up with their reading assignments.

USA starts off with a negative headline, but actually does do a fair job of breaking down the highlights. It can be found in the report but a important observation is condensed in the article.

Still, the record daily electricity production of 123,000 megawatt-hours on Sept. 16 met only 60% of demand. Proliferation of electric appliances such as televisions, air conditioners and laundry machines has helped drive up demand for power, the report says.
Modern appliance demand has sky rocketed, not just in the metro area but throughout the country. To me this sounds like people trying to make a better life or at least an easier life.

I can’t help but remember an episode of M.A.S.H where the question of why the US was in Korea got tabled by Hawkeye during an insomniac period to Burns. Burns being the idiot he is, replied along the lines of “they want our toilets.” Burns was wrong about the North Koreans wanting our way of life, but apparently the Iraqis are moving in that direction.

The BBC was not nearly as objectived as they cherry-picked the negatives.
As does the Washington Post.

Update II:
As I said in the first part of this post, there are some in Congress who claim they are underinformed and know they want to do something about it.

"This bill will inject Congress into the process, so that it can meet its constitutional responsibility," Jones said. "We will require more reporting from the White House, and we will require more consultation with the White House. This is a bill I think will have a lot of support in Congress."

This is just a sound bite to paint the WHite House secretive.

"We know that the Framers of the Constitution initially had language that said, only Congress can 'make war,' and changed it to only Congress can 'declare war' - they changed it because they realized that there were wars we would be in that were not officially declared," Rotunda said.

I have a feeling that Rotunda gets the wrong idea out of the change from "Make" to "Declare". After Congress declares war, it is up to the President (whoever the president is) to carryout the war or to "Make War". It was change to keep Congress out of the decisions, tactics and strategies because "too many cooks spoil the dish". The Congress can declare war and can stop wars through defunding it. The current Congress is appearently unwilling to stop it since they keep funding it.There is nothing for the Congress to re-assume since they haven't lost anything. Congress approved the military effort in Iraq and if they were mislead but someone who is supposedly an idiot, what does that make them? Perhaps those that were fooled so harshly need to be voted out of office and never let back.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Governor Spitzer Adding and Abetting

Is this adding and abetting?

A third type of license will be available to undocumented immigrants. Spitzer has said this ID will make the state more secure by bringing those people "out of the shadows" and into American society, and will lower auto insurance rates.
Out of the shadows and into American society should not be a high priority considering they have committed a crime by being here illegally in the first place that is what undocumented really means.
Those licenses will be clearly marked to show they are not valid federal ID. Officials, however, would not say whether that meant local law enforcement could use such a license as probable cause to detain someone they suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.
Any one with half a brain should be able to figure out that police officials in NY will not use them as probable cause because if they could then the illegal would not get them. Instead of making it easier for illegals to set up house in this country, should we as a nation be limiting their options, making business more accountable for who they higher, and securing the borders?

ECN 10/29/07

US hands over Karbala to Iraqis
US forces have handed control of the mainly Shia province of Karbala in central Iraq to local authorities in a tightly-guarded ceremony.
Karbala is the eighth of 18 provinces to be transferred to local control since the US-led invasion in 2003.

China touts crackdown on tainted goods
The arrests of 774 people in a nationwide sweep to root out unsafe food, drug and agricultural products was hailed on a government Web site as a big step forward in ensuring safety.

Capitalism does have a effect on China and the more they integrate themselves into the world economy the more effect it will have. Time will tell if it is a go thing or not.

Merkel Flounders in the Wake of SPD Turn to the Left
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has failed to live up to her promise of being a reformer. Instead of acting like an iron lady she is barely putting up a fight as her coalition partner the SPD turns to the left and demands a reversal of key welfare reforms.

News concerning national leaders are always something to watch. In Germany there leader is struggling while in Argentina there version of Billary comes into the lime light.

Kirchner claims Argentine victory
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (CNN) -- Argentine first lady Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner declared victory Sunday night as election returns showed her leading all rivals in her bid to succeed her husband and become the country's first female president.

US playing Kingmaker Again

Right now I see four major fronts in the ME to reduce the acceptance of terror tactics as a means for change:
1. Iraq of course
2. Iran without a doubt
3. Pakistan
4. Afghanistan

I put Pakistan in at number three because of the strategic importance and their nuclear capability. This front is managed in a different manner than any of the others and may deserve to be higher on the list.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The United States pressured Pakistan to allow former prime minister Benazir Bhutto to return from exile, promoting her as a moderate influence in a country facing a growing threat from Islamic extremists, a Pakistani government spokesman said.

When the US flexes its’ diplomatic muscle there is a certain amount of attention played by the world. Some will just thumb their noses at the US and continue on their own path. The case with Pakistan is they eventually moved in the direction the US thinks they want. I say think they want because diplomatic solution have a tendency to turn out a whole lot different than intended. When the US “peacefully” throws their collective weight around, there is always a push back against the US. There are countries out there that do not want the US to have that influence and take situations like this to undermine the direction. It is easy to stir up the hornets’ nest and then distance oneself of any blame. I believe this is what is currently happening in India and the push against the nuclear treat that was hammered out. I expect there to be a lot more resistance to this direction in Pakistan, after all there has already been an assassination attempt.

The US has played Kingmaker in the past and there are plenty of instances where it has come back to bite. Iran is just one instance to look at. When the US gets too close to picking leaders, it can become a rally point for anti-Americanism. Is this necessary for the short haul, most definitely but I can only hope the lang haul doesn’t lead down a very bad path.

McCain gets it Right.

McCain shows a sense of humor and points out one of many Clinton's misjudged priorities. I have to agree with the Big Lizard, somethings just have to be spread around.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Double-Edged Copper Sword

There are a number of reasons that could be the cause but the two most probable is either China has found another source or their economy is about to tank within 2 years.

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- China's refined copper imports, the world's biggest, may drop next year as domestic production increases, Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. said.

The official word it is an increase in domestic production.
Imports may total 1.35 million tons, from an estimated 1.46 million tons this year, as domestic production increases to 3.8 million tons from an estimated 3.4 million tons, Shen Haihua, general manager of Shanghai Maike Dickson Investment Management Co., a unit of the Maike Group, said Oct. 24.
Why is this an important piece of news, well I have always held copper prices to be a good economic predictor. When copper prices start to drop, a recession is the making. There is a short term boom as manufacturing cost drop due to lower copper prices. As mining companies make less money, they tend to spend less money and cut costs. Cutting costs generally include temporary shutting down or curtailing less efficient operations which is code for lay-offs. Unemployment rises, wage demand decreases and thus is born a recession. The recession continues until surplus copper is eaten up and prices start to rise again. It all goes back to supply and demand and the current fact of copper being an economic building block. If this move by China drives down copper prices look for some harder time.

ECN 10/26/07

Europeans Criticized for Attaching Strings to Use of Forces in AfghanistanBy Patrick International EditorOctober 26, 2007( - Australia on Friday joined the U.S. in criticizing some European countries for attaching restrictions to how their troops taking part in NATO-led operations in Afghanistan can operate.Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said European parliaments should lift restrictions -- known as "national caveats" -- they have placed on deployment, to allow their countries' troops to operate in the more dangerous southern area of the country.

Paris suggests EU tax on imports from non-Kyoto states
26.10.2007 - 09:37 CET By Lucia KubosovaFrance has thrown its support behind a European Commission idea to tax environment polluters and also urged Brussels to consider EU levies for imports from non-Kyoto countries, such as the US and Australia.

Why not expanded it to all non compliant countries? Oh that right then they would have tax everybody including themselves.

'US Unilateralism Is Risky and Unnecessary'
Rather than wait for the UN to agree on sanctions against Iran, Washington has decided to go it alone, imposing tough unilateral sanctions on the mullah regime. German commentators on Friday are divided on whether the move will have the desired effect.
The US seems to have run out of patience with the international community on Thursday, opting to impose sweeping sanctions against Iran on its own rather than wait for China and Russia to sign up to tougher United Nations measures.

Everyone with half a brain should know that China and Russia will never make things tougher on Iran. It looks like at least Germany may be looking to join or at least not oppose the India, China and Russia gambit in the King of Mountain worldwide match.

Europe's economies feel unease after summer's credit crisis
By Mark Landler
Published: October 25, 2007
FRANKFURT: Europe, which once hoped to avoid major fallout from the credit crisis last summer, is now feeling an autumn chill of slackening economies and warnings of further market upheaval.
The ill tidings came in several European capitals on Thursday: from a reduced growth forecast in Germany to a report by the Bank of England, which said financial markets were still vulnerable to shocks from the crisis that originated in the American home-mortgage market.