This man is perfection: Elegant, great execution, and I love the suit.
Archive for March, 2009
According to the Washington Post, U.S. to Join U.N. Human Rights Council
The Obama administration decided Tuesday to join the U.N. Human Rights Council, reversing a decision by the Bush administration to shun the United Nations’ premier rights body to protest the influence of repressive states, according to U.N. diplomats and rights activists.
The United States will participate in elections in May for one of three seats on the 47-member council, joining a slate that includes Belgium, Norway and New Zealand. New Zealand has offered to step aside to allow the United States to run unchallenged, according to a U.S. official.
As Anne Bayefsky put it, the current administration is following A Foreign Policy of Obsequiousness.
Ralph Peter has a list itemizing O’s foreign failures. Add this one to the list.
The Sword of Islam, the Pen of the UN
Here’s the roster of UN Human Rights Council members.
I’m a guest at Betty Jo Tucker‘s podcast, tribute to Michael Caine. Join us!
This is horrendous:
March 31 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or guaranteed $12.8 trillion, an amount that approaches the value of everything produced in the country last year, to stem the longest recession since the 1930s.
New pledges from the Fed, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. include $1 trillion for the Public-Private Investment Program, designed to help investors buy distressed loans and other assets from U.S. banks. The money works out to $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. and 14 times the $899.8 billion of currency in circulation. The nation’s gross domestic product was $14.2 trillion in 2008.
That is, debt equal to 90% of GDP, an exorbitant and unprecedented amount in all our history.
Daily Finance asks,
But here’s the big unanswered question: Why is it necessary to put so much taxpayer money at risk? Beyond apocalyptic arguments that remind me of the Iraq mushroom cloud from its non-existent WMDs, I have not heard a convincing reason why this money needed to be spent.
But the reality is that the money is now out there so I think it’s time that Americans got an accounting of exactly how that money has been spent and how much of a return us taxpayers have gotten from that investment.
Corrente‘s nowhere near as sanguine.
Take a look at what $12.8 trillion looks like, and then
remember that $1 trillion is about what the US collects in taxes in a year. So to pay for this recovery, the government would have to raise our taxes nearly 13x. Either that or pass it onto future generations.
All part of the punch-drunk plan.
And no, those numbers do no include universal health care.
I was at tango last night when Drudge reported this:
NANNY STATE: GOVERNMENT WEBSITE TO WARN OF SADNESS/CRYING OVER ECONOMY
Mon Mar 30 2009 18:43:56 ET
The U.S. government is set to offer an online emotional rescue kit!
“Getting Through Tough Economic Times” will launch Tuesday with a media push across all platforms.
The site is meant to help people identify health concerns related to financial worries.
The feds will warn of depression, suicidal thinking and other serious mental illnesses. It will raise warning flags for: Persistent sadness/crying; Excessive anxiety; Lack of sleep/constant fatigue; Excessive irritability/anger.
The guide will be available starting at midnight at http://www.samhsa.gov/economy.
Sure enough: You go to http://www.samhsa.gov/economy/ and the “Resources in this guide” sidebar has a whole list of government programs.
- “Making Housing Affordable” through policies that curtail supply:
- Onerous zoning requirements and building restrictions
- Price controls on rents and sale prices
- Union rules and “living wage” restrictions
- Forcing banks to make mortgages to the insolvent under the Community Reinvestment Act
- “Foreclosure Assistance” to people who under the Community Reinvestment Act (which is still in the books) went way over their heads buying houses the could not possibly afford
- “Worker Reemployment” in government jobs that do not create wealth, manufacture goods or provide services competitive in the world economy;
All the while confiscating earnings of “people who earn too much,” politicians not included
- “Government Benefits, Grants, and Financial Aid” so you can live forever dependent on the governmental teat.
And don’t forget that “Starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warrantee (sic).”
While you sit in front of your TV flagellating yourself into a frenzy of self-pity watching Oprah, do you want some cheese with that whiiiiiiiiiiiiiine?
Or you can join the tea party movement, get involved in activities you’re passionate about, take any job you can if you have been laid off, pay up your bills, do something constructive for yourself and your family every day, and not cede all your power to the government.
The government is not here to help.
My friend Richard:
Like everything else, the desire to be cared for by a nanny bureaucracy comes at price: that of being treated like a child. There is no free lunch.
In one of those happy coincidences and convergences that have marked my entire life’s journey, last night at tango a friend told me that the guy who wrote All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten took up tango at age 70 and blogs about it, so of course I had to look him up.
I thought the book was a nice enough book but not quite the sort of thing I read, however the combination of tango dancer/blogger is irresistible.
Sure enough, Robert Fulghum does blog about tango:
A dear friend died last week.
Died, as we say, peacefully in his sleep after a long life and a quiet retirement. His files were organized, his basement and garage clean, and all his dues paid up. A tidy end.
Not for me. My goal now is to dance. All the dances. As long as I can.
And then to sit down contented in a chair after the last elegant tango some sweet night and pass on because there just wasn’t another dance left in me.
He also has something to say about other things more pertinent to the subject of this post. From Robert Fulghum’s blog, Act:
Have you ever regretted doing something useful, kind, or generous?
GA: Well, Fulghum it’s time to get busy. You know what you can do, right?
GA: Then do it. Get off your butt. The world doesn’t need passengers or observers now. Roll up your sleeves. Get behind the wagon. Lift and push. I’ll give you a one-word motto for the time being.
RF: What’s that?
And tango for as long as you can.
Welcome, Dr Helen readers.
UPDATE, Wednesday 1 April
Help needed, for actual help in dealing with crisis.
How to find your way when the compass doesn’t work? Get out your panties!
Here’s the story at Gizmodo,
Panties Help Guide 700-Mile Arctic Expedition When GPS, Compasses Fail
When compasses and GPS fail the Catlin Arctic Survey expedition, they go with a low tech “gadget” to help them navigate the freezing wastes and find their bearing: A lacy pair of panties.
The panties serve as a wind sock of sorts, as the team attaches them to a ski pole and uses wind as a guide to the North Pole, where they will measure just how thin the ice shelf is these days. They can’t use a compass because of their proximity to the magnetic North Pole. GPS is apparently useless because the frigid temps freeze the equipment. The team also navigates using the sun, but when it’s cloudy they pull out the lacy panties.
I checked the calendar and it’s not April 1 yet, and the Telegraph is also reporting on the story, including a semi-scientific explanation:
Speaking from the Arctic via satellite phone, he said: “It an entirely genuine situation. If you can get gossamer thin material and attach it your ski pole it is particularly useful for this project because we can cannot use the compass as we are so close to magnetic north and it is too cold to use the GPS.
Prince Charles is supporting the expedition.
Cross-posted at PoliGazette
“Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il, a gourmand, has opened an Italian restaurant after sending cooks to Naples and Rome to learn how to cook authentic Italian pizza and pasta.
Would you like some fries with that, Kim?
The Saudis would have you believe that Islam in Latin America began with Muslim journeys to the continent even before the arrival of Columbus. I guess they heard about it from the Vikings.
The Anchoress likes Mike Rowe, and I love him, too – and he can sing.
No, I think Biden would have been blunt enough to just say, “Thanks for ticking off George Bush.” It should be noted that the Spanish Finger to the US didn’t just include pulling out of Iraq, but also refusing to train Iraqi security forces
One way in which the Enron scandal differs from the AIG scandal.
If you aren’t worried yet, maybe you should read that UN offers aid for Bolivia to exploit uranium. In the meantime, read this article asking, Iranian Influence Also Connected With Mexican Drug Cartels And FARC?
Doug is brilliant.
More blogging later.
At times like this I’m glad The Husband and I bought a Toyota and a Volvo, respectively.
Straight out of President Obama’s remarks on U.S. car industry:
It is my hope that the steps I am announcing today will go a long way towards answering many of the questions people may have about the future of GM and Chrysler. But just in case there are still nagging doubts, let me say it as plainly as I can — if you buy a car from Chrysler or General Motors, you will be able to get your car serviced and repaired, just like always. Your warrantee (sic) will be safe.
In fact, it will be safer than it’s ever been. Because starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warrantee.
I mean, Gerard is so confident in this bit of news he’s even quoting scriptures!
Welcome, Jules Crittenden readers. Please visit often.
Scott Ott is only slightly ahead of the news cycle: Obama Taps Ralph Nader to Run GM, Nader Joins UAW
And now, for Geithner‘s input…
I chose the “Who painted it?” theme for today’s Carnival since it’s yet another sign of the current administration’s ignorance of the history and traditions of the region. “You have a marvelous virgin!” indeed.
Central America: An Emerging Role in the Drug Trade
Tirofijo honored in Caracas
Don’t miss also the best of me symphony
The week’s posts and podcasts:
If you can call it “vindication”
Hezbollah using Mexican drug routes into the US
“We won’t pay for their crisis”
Hiding the story with the headlines
More on Lula’s “people with blue eyes”
Lula: “White people with blue eyes” created the financial crisis
Venezuelan Military Takes Control of Transportation Hubs
Clinton: US shares blame for Mexican drug war
Today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern: Argentina Downgraded to Kazakhstan on Foreign Fund Restrictions
At Real Clear World
Lula’s ‘White People with Blue Eyes’ Spices Up G20
Venezuelan Military Takes Control of Transportation Hubs