Sep 30 2008

Hang the CEOs!

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 10:20 pm

It takes Thomas Sowell to point out the obvious reason failing CEOs are often released early from their contracts with bonuses.

What really sets some people off is the fact that a CEO who has mismanaged some corporation into losing billions of dollars is rewarded with a severance package worth millions.

Think about it. If the CEO’s decisions are costing the company billions, it is a bargain to get him out the door immediately for millions, rather than having his departure delayed by either internal struggles or battles in the courts.

UPDATE: Now that I think about it, the USA would save enormous amounts of money, and be obviously better governed, if every single member of congress was offered 10 million dollars simply to leave. Cost: a mere 5.35 billion. Practically nothing. Only small change in comparison just to the pork in every year, yet alone the money wasted to the efforts of lobbyists and special interests, and the money spent in straightforward vote buying with entitlements.

One thing you’d know about the congress critters who stayed…  either they’d be the very honest ones, or the ones already making more than 10 million per term in less scrupulous ways.  So we’d have only the honest, or the very competent (scarily so), but at least we’d get rid of the weak minded dopes.  Think of it as funded term limits.


Sep 30 2008

Imagine: the vice presidential debate moderated by, oh, George Will… or even Hugh Hewitt

Category: Biden,election 2008,media,Obama,Palin,politicsharmonicminer @ 10:08 pm

Michelle Malkin reports on the “completely objective” reporter who will “moderate” the vice presidential debate.

My dictionary defines “moderator” as “the nonpartisan presiding officer of a town meeting.” On Thursday, PBS anchor Gwen Ifill will serve as moderator for the first and only vice presidential debate. The stakes are high. The Commission on Presidential Debates, with the assent of the two campaigns, decided not to impose any guidelines on her duties or questions.

But there is nothing “moderate” about where Ifill stands on Barack Obama. She’s so far in the tank for the Democratic presidential candidate, her oxygen delivery line is running out.

In an imaginary world where liberal journalists are held to the same standards as everyone else, Ifill would be required to make a full disclosure at the start of the debate. She would be required to turn to the cameras and tell the national audience that she has a book coming out on Jan. 20, 2009 — a date that just happens to coincide with the inauguration of the next president of the United States.

The title of Ifill’s book? “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.” Nonpartisan my foot.

…. Continue reading “Imagine: the vice presidential debate moderated by, oh, George Will… or even Hugh Hewitt”

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Sep 30 2008

Voting “present” even as a candidate

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 3:05 pm

Obama’s lack of effort to pass the supposedly critical bailout detailed at The Campaign Spot on National Review Online

voting present

Contrast time: McCain put his prestige on the line, and went and worked, out front, for the bill, even at some risk to his campaign. Obama just hung back to see how the wind would blow, while talking the talk in campaign stops.


Sep 30 2008

MESS, the new economic foreign policy

Category: Congress,economy,Russiaharmonicminer @ 2:50 pm

Russia’s economic prospects were looking up when the price of oil was in continuous ascent. But it’s stock exchange has lost enormous amounts in the last year or so. Which suggests a new strategy: instead of MAD (mutually assured destruction), the old Cold War stalemate, we should try MESS (mutual economic strategic starvation). We have more food than they do. Let’s destroy their economy by merely crippling ours. Maybe that’s the reason for the inexplicable congressional inertia for the last few years regarding Fannie and Freddie. It’s all part of the conspiracy to beggar Russia.

Russian stock indexes sank Tuesday despite the federal market regulator ordering a two-hour trading halt in anticipation of massive fallout from the rejection of a bank bailout in the U.S. Congress.

It sort of gives a new meaning to starving your enemy into submission.

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Sep 30 2008

Grounding the F22: if you don’t build them, they can’t be shot down

Category: militaryharmonicminer @ 2:40 pm

You can practically see Putin smiling as he reads in Pravda that the USA’s next president is likely to be a penny-pinching commander-in-chief.

The next U.S. president, John McCain or Barack Obama, is expected to be a penny-pinching commander in chief when it comes to buying new military weapons. And that’s bad news for the Air Force’s push to buy scores more F-22 Raptors, a supersonic jet fighter built to dominate enemy airspace.

Putin probably planted the article….  which doesn’t mean it won’t be true, especially if we still have a Democrat Congress.

Personally, I’d rather own an F-35 VTOL craft; better commuter vehicle, doesn’t need a landing strip.  And besides, then I’ll be able to do something about it when the Russians invade the USA via Mexico after staging in Venezuela, with help from the Chinese in Panama and Cuba.

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Sep 30 2008

Change you can believe in, because it’s all you’ll have

Category: economy,election 2008,Obama,politicsharmonicminer @ 2:29 pm

I still have not heard Obama suggest that he is willing to drop his planned tax hikes in the face of the economic downturn. I doubt you have, either.  Obama claims his planned tax hikes will only affect the rich.  It’s hard to tell if he’s simply lying, or simply ignorant, but no rational, honest person can believe that.  Check this out.

10 Things You Need to Know About Senator Obama’s Tax Proposals

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Sep 30 2008

Undiminished by Jewish Death

Category: appeasement,arab,election 2008,Hamas,Israel,middle east,Obama,politicsharmonicminer @ 11:10 am

A Hamas MP:Clip Transcript

Following is an excerpt from a press conference held by Hamas MP Fathi Hammad, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on September 7, 2008:

Fathi Hammad: The approaching victory, about which we are talking, is not limited to Palestine. You are creating the ethos of victory for all Arabs and Muslims, and Allah willing, even on the global level. Why? Because Allah has chosen you to fight the people He hates most – the Jews. Allah said: “You shall find the worst enemies of the believers to be the Jews and the polytheists.” In other words, the Jews, who number 15 million all over the world, are equivalent to 4.5 billion infidels in their corruption and their struggle against the religion of Islam. Therefore, our heroic prisoners who were arrested for killing Jews should know that by the grace of Allah, killing a single Jew is the same as killing 30 million Jews. Therefore, the reward of our martyrs is great, and your reward is also great.

There are about 80 Muslims for each Jew in the world.

I guess Mr. Hammad has never read Meditation XVII by John Donne

any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

Negotiate away, Barack. Maybe you can hit ‘em over the head with a teleprompter.

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Sep 30 2008

The Sky Is Falling, The Sky Is Falling!

Category: capitalism,Congress,constitution,economy,housing,liberty,politicsamuzikman @ 9:41 am

Once upon a time….

Be it myth, legend, tale or fable we all know these four words and understand them to be a preamble to the telling of a make-believe story (though possibly based on fact).  Such stories serve many purposes, not the least of which is to teach an object lesson to the very young, a meaningful and memorable way to instruct children about great and noble virtues such as loyalty, honor, courage and truth.

Chicken Little is one such story. The diminuitive foul who determines Armageddon is at hand after being struck on the head by an acorn.  The story proceeds with Chicken Little determining the best course of action is to tell the king whereupon a journey commences and various encounters with other creatures ensue.  Depending on which version of the story is told, a final encounter with a deceitful fox who manipulates the circumstances brings about a close call or bad ending to the story.

I find several interesting parallels to current events.

Continue reading “The Sky Is Falling, The Sky Is Falling!”

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Sep 30 2008

Obama endorsement surprise?

Category: election 2008,Obama,politics,socialismsardonicwhiner @ 9:39 am

Read the following, then click here.

By most media accounts Barack Obama’s tour of Iraq, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Western Europe was a big success. The visits showed his worldwide popularity is very broad and ranges from people in the street, to US military personnel, to heads of state.

Obama’s visit to Iraq – to the regret of Bush and McCain no doubt – revealed that the al-Maliki government supports his timetable for withdrawal. This was a big plus for the Democratic candidate for president.

Continue reading “Obama endorsement surprise?”

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Sep 30 2008

Whither the RNA?

Category: Evolution,scienceharmonicminer @ 8:46 am

Some interesting work is being done in trying to create artificial life.

What most researchers agree on is that the very first functioning life would have had three basic components: a container, a way to harvest energy and an information carrier like RNA or another nucleic acid.

Szostak’s earlier work has shown that the container probably took the form of a layer of fatty acids that could self-assemble based on their reaction to water (see video). One tip of the acid is hydrophilic, meaning it’s attracted to water, while the other tip is hydrophobic. When researchers put a lot of these molecules together, they circle the wagons against the water and create a closed loop.

These membranes, with the right mix of chemicals, can allow nucleic acids in under some conditions and keep them trapped inside in others.

That opens the possibility that one day, in the distant past, an RNA-like molecule wandered into a fatty acid and started replicating. That random event, through billions of evolutionary iterations, researchers

You have to love that phrase, “…an RNA-like molecule wandered into a fatty acid and started replicating.” Where’d the RNA molecule come from? Here’s an idea about it.  It’s all, uh, gobbledygook to me, so I leave the evaluation to others.  But in the science journalism area, I haven’t seen much made of this, and the biologists I’ve read still seem to find a fundamental disconnect between the kind of conditions that might have allowed spontaneous development of protein and those that would allow even the survival of RNA.  It seems to be a chicken/egg problem…  with the logical difficulty of rules which state you can’t have chickens without eggs, and you can’t have eggs without chickens, so both have to begin simultaneously, and no one really has an idea for how that could have happened.

The one thing that everyone seems to admit….  there is no evidence that any of these things are what actually happened.

I have no idea if scientists will eventually create “life”.  If they do, it seems likely that it will be a kludge compared to the elegance of the cell.  But one possible offshoot from this could be some incredible nanotechnology…

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