September 16, 2007 archive

The Falling Dollar — Baby Let Me Follow You Down

Of course, by now we all know that the dollar is losing value at a swift pace. But do we know how that will affect our everyday life in the next 18 months?

More important, is there a way to protect ourselves? Hey, maybe there’s even a way to have fun with it and get rich at the same time.

Just about everything written on this topic is aimed at businesses and institutional investors. There’s never any clues for the little guys. We’re just collateral damage, after all. We share the same status as Iraqi civilians, in that regard.

(Bubbles) Greenspan: “Oops”

Greenspan alert on US house prices

US house prices are likely to fall significantly from their present levels, Alan Greenspan has told the Financial Times, admitting that there was a bubble in the US housing market.

Now he tells us! Now that, after encouraging the bubble, blowing it out of proportion, and claiming that it was not possible to tell if there was a bubble, said bubble is blowing in our faces as many observers have predicted for a number of years now, he claims that it was obvious all along.

What a lying piece of shit.

Exclusive to DD!

The Falling Dollar — Baby, Let Me Follow You Down

Of course, by now we all know that the dollar is losing value at a swift pace. But do we know how that will affect our everyday life in the next 18 months?

More important, is there a way to protect ourselves? Hey, maybe there’s even a way to have fun with it and get rich at the same time.

Just about everything written on this topic is aimed at businesses and institutional investors. There’s never any clues for the little guys. We’re just collateral damage, after all. We share the same status as Iraqi civilians, in that regard.

Will he stay or will he go?

Just a quick one, but an important one.

First, the Guardian reported that:

President Vladimir Putin today dismissed Russia’s government ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections and appointed a little-known ally Viktor Zubkov as the country’s prime minister.

After months of speculation about a possible reshuffle, Mr Putin said he had accepted the resignation of the prime minister, Mikhail Fradkov, and his government during a meeting in the Kremlin.

The Kremlin later announced that Mr Zubkov had been nominated as the new head of Russia’s government – ahead of parliamentary elections on December 2 and a presidential poll in March 2008.

Then, the Associated Press:

The chairman of Russia’s upper house of parliament said Saturday that Vladimir Putin, barred from seeking a third consecutive term in elections next year, should run again for the presidency in 2012, Russian news agencies reported.

The comments by Sergei Mironov are likely add to furious speculation about Putin’s intentions.


Bush looked into his soul and saw the man he’d like to be.

Four at Four

This is an OPEN THREAD, but it also features four stories in the news at 4 o’clock.

  1. BBC News reports on the deadly plane crash in Thailand. “At least 87 people have died after a budget airliner crashed after landing in heavy rain at the Thai holiday resort of Phuket, officials say. ¶ The aircraft slipped off the runway and exploded into flames. It was carrying 123 passengers – most of them foreigners – and seven crew. About 40 people escaped the burning wreckage and were taken to hospital. ¶ Flight OG 269, operated by airline One-Two-Go, had flown to Phuket from the Thai capital, Bangkok. Officials say at least 87 people were confirmed dead after the plane skidded off the runway in strong winds and driving rain on Sunday.”.

  2. According to The Telegraph, Osama bin Laden has been sidelined as al-Qaeda threat revives. “Osama bin Laden’s deputy has seized control of al-Qaeda and rebuilt the terror network into an organisation capable of launching complex terror attacks in Britain and America. ¶ Intelligence officials [claim] that bin Laden has not chaired a meeting of al-Qaeda’s ruling shura, or council, in more than two years. ¶ Instead, Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s nominal number two, is credited with rebuilding the terror network since the Afghan war in 2001. ¶ Intelligence sources in Washington have revealed that Western spy chiefs were recently forced to revise dramatically their view that al-Qaeda was so depleted that it was little more than a cheerleader for extremists. ¶ Instead, British and American intelligence agencies believe that a network of terrorist cells, funded, controlled and supported by al-Qaeda’s central command, based in the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan, is in place again. ¶ Al-Zawahiri’s task has been made easier because not a single prominent al-Qaeda leader has been captured since March 2006, nearly 18 months ago.” The Los Angles Times explains that al Qaeda is expanding by ‘co-opting’ new affiliate. “Secure in its haven in northwestern Pakistan, a resurgent Al Qaeda is trying to expand its network, in some cases by executing corporate-style takeovers of regional Islamic extremist groups, according to U.S. intelligence officials and counter-terrorism experts. ¶ Though not always successful, these moves indicate a shift in strategy by the terrorist network as it seeks to broaden its reach and renew its ability to strike Western targets, including the United States, officials and experts say.”I guess all those ‘important’ al-Qaeda number threes that the Bush administration trots out every few months are sort of like Star Trek’s red shirt guys.

  3. The New York Times reports that the state of New York has subpoenaed five energy companies that plan on building new coal-burning power plants. “Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York has opened an investigation of five large energy companies, questioning whether their plans to build coal-fired power plants pose undisclosed financial risks that their investors should know about… ¶ In letters accompanying the subpoenas, the attorney general’s office asked whether investors received adequate information about the potential financial liabilities of carbon dioxide emissions that exacerbate climate change. ¶ ‘Any one of the several new or likely regulatory initiatives for CO2 emissions from power plants — including state carbon controls, E.P.A.’s regulations under the Clean Air Act, or the enactment of federal global warming legislation — would add a significant cost to carbon-intensive coal generation,’ the letters said. ¶ They added, ‘Selective disclosure of favorable information or omission of unfavorable information concerning climate change is misleading.‘ ¶ Mr. Cuomo’s move represents a new tactic in an expanding campaign against some of the more than 100 coal-fired power plants currently under consideration.”

  4. While not really news, I found this piece of travel writing by Ellen Knickmeyer of the Washington Post quite evocative. So for your Sunday afternoon reading enjoyment, here is the opening excerpt from ‘Whiling Away the Night In the Salon of the Sahara‘.

    As darkness settled over Marrakech’s Djemma el-Fna Square and the crowds flowed in to pass the evening, a stylish young Moroccan couple in one corner of the plaza crouched by a necromancer, urgently whispering their troubles into his ear.

    Their counselor, a maker of magic charms, listened attentively, pen ready to jot down the right incantation on one of the scraps of paper lying at his feet on the gray stone of the plaza.

    In another corner, a Tuareg tribesman from the Sahara of southern Morocco was having a bad sales night. On a sheet before him lay withered ostrich legs, chunks of petrified wood from the rippling grasslands that once covered the Sahara, and numerous balms, potions, powders and scents. For now, no one was buying.

    From a plastic bin at the Tuareg’s feet, dried chameleons used in magic and folk medicine — their eyes bulging and their tongues extruding — glared sullenly at passersby. Under his blue turban, so did the Tuareg.

    Open fires roasting mutton for sale sent orange flames and towers of greasy smoke over Djemma el-Fna, adding to the medieval air of the ancient square, which is bounded by mosques dating to the 10th century…

So, what else is happening?

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Harry Nilsson

Everybody’s Talkin’

The Real Makah

Disclaimer: My only relationship with the Makah tribe consists of having enjoyed their hospitality on numerous occasions.

(map, right, courtesy of the Makah Nation – click to enlarge)

“. . . we are not going to sanction illegal activities. We are not that kind of tribe.”

–Ed Claplanhoo, Makah tribal elder, member of the tribal whaling commission

The statement above is from a Seattle Times article which does a pretty good job of presenting several of the differing viewpoints on the incident of September 8, when five members of the Makah tribe fatally injured a California grey whale in a criminal act that has been loudly condemned by the group angered the most:

The Makah tribal council denounces the actions of those who took it upon themselves to hunt a whale without the authority from the Makah Tribal Council or the Makah Whaling Commission.
We are a law-abiding people and we will not tolerate lawless conduct by any of our members. We hope the public does not permit the actions of five irresponsible persons to be used to harm the image of the entire Makah tribe.

That hope is vain, as the Makah know well. Hence the immediate dispatch of a delegation to DC in an attempt to repair the damage.

Is a Jewish Glasnost Coming to America?

Crossposted at PPF!

There is alot of news coming out of Israel/Palestine/Syria/Egypt and maybe I will write a catch-up diary this weekend. But this very relevant article on our foreign policies caught my eye. Got the link over at Marisacat. And yes, I think they are must reading for cutting edge commentary.

Here is the article in entirety(with permission), blockquotes mine for people that do not read every word, BUT I hope you do:

  Despite Backlash, Many Jews Are Questioning Israel
  by Tony Karon and Tom Engelhardt

  I often think of the letters that come into the Tomdispatch email box as the university of my later life – messages from around the world, offering commentary, criticism, encouragement, but mainly teaching me about lives (and versions of life) I would otherwise know little or nothing about. Then again, the Internet has a way of releasing inhibitions and, from time to time, the Tomdispatch email box is also a sobering reminder of the mindless hate in our world – of every sort, but sometimes of a strikingly anti-Semitic sort, letters that are wildly angry and eager, above all, to shut down or shut up commentary or debate of any sort.

The Official Moody Loner Fuck You Essay.


Yes, God help you, I’ve decided to chime in on the “civility” debate.

Apparently, as far as I can tell with sleep deprivation, being behind on my online projects, and having a small child climbing on me since  7 AM, the problem is that  we don’t say “fuck you” to each other enough.

Therefore, I offer this handy essay, by which any of our members can pass along the requisite “fuck you”s to any of our other members without having to actually type “fuck you” themselves. Civility and lively disagreement are maintained.

That said, let’s get to the fucking.

War can be better–ask argyle sweater!

(my deepest apologies for interrupting all the discussion about blog civility, which, given the state of things these days is absolutely crucial.)

Fresh from covering Hillary’s flank with his endorsement, War-is-Wes jumps guns to lay out his Sec’y of Defense duties.

There will be war!!!!!!!!!! Count on it. Know why?

Civility Lecturing: The short version

The long version is taking too long to write! It is coming out well and I will publish it later….most likely tomorrow, as the first Big Picture essay.

In the meantime…
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

On Civility

Mo’ Meta, Mo Beta.

NO Promotion, NO Recommends.

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