Friday, January 30, 2009
Yes we can: Schools, streets renamed for Barack Obama: "Yes we can: Schools, streets renamed for Barack Obama"
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
It is part of global effort to tackle piracy, says Admiral Willard
Maybe Obama is Sane?
17:25 28/01/2009 |Russia's Admiral Levchenko destroyer will patrol the Somali coast after taking part in joint Russia-Indian naval drills in the Arabian Sea in early February, a Navy source said on Wednesday."
Apparently Russia is standing DOWN its oplan to place missiles in Kalingrad after Obama has told them we will scale back plans for W's magic missile shield.
Chandrayaan II to be launched on GSLV
Bangalore: Chandrayaan II will be launched on a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) as opposed to the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle used to launch Chandrayaan I, Madhavan Nair, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation ...
Dr. Garrett Reisman, a New Jersey native, is the first Jew to have lived in the International Space Station."
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
UW, Department of Bioethics & Humanities:
"Brown Bag series:
I-1000: The Washington Death
with Dignity Act
Patricia Kuszler, MD, JD
Charles I. Stone Professor of Law
UW School of Law
Steve Milam, JD
Affiliate Assistant Professor
Bioethics and Humanities
Wednesday, January 28th, 2009
Plaza Cafe Conference Rooms A & B"
While I personally believe each of us has the right to choose death, the wording of I-1000 raises ethical issues that must be addressed in a practical way. These issues range from possible legal impact on current practices that permit palliative therapies intended to minimize suffering. Such therapies, for example use of morphine, may hasten death but are not covered by the DWD . Does the law now require a second consultation and psychological evaluation for these procedures as well?
I also have concerns for possible conflicts of interest associated with the much lower costs of care if a patient does choose suicide. Oregon has had one, relatively minor episode, where an HMO informed patients that money could be saved by choosing death. Will this sort of thing increase as demands on Washington's heath care system become more onerous? Can we assure that finacial conerns are NOT a motivating factor in this difficult decision?
Similarly, the Oregon version of this law must be disappointing to I-1000 advocates since it is little used. I suspect that the major obstacles imposed by I-1000, especially need for a record, inclusion of a second physician, and possible requirement for a psychological exam may be daunting to many. Reasons for this need to be discussed if we at the UW are to try and see that the option is made available freely to those who want to choose to end their lives rather than endure expensive and painful terminal care.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Bill Clinton, former US president
Gordon Brown, prime minister
George W Bush, former US president
Senator Phil Gramm
Abi Cohen, Goldman Sachs chief US strategist
"Hank" Greenberg, AIG insurance group
Andy Hornby, former HBOS boss
Sir Fred Goodwin, former RBS boss
Adam Applegarth, former Northern Rock boss
Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin
Joseph Cassano, AIG Financial Products
Chuck Prince, former Citi boss
Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide Financial
Stan O'Neal, former boss of Merrill Lynch
Jimmy Cayne, former Bear Stearns boss
Christopher Dodd, chairman, Senate banking committee (Democrat)
Geir Haarde, Icelandic prime minister
Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England
John Tiner, FSA chief executive, 2003-07
Dick Fuld, Lehman Brothers chief executive
The American public
... and six more who saw it coming
John Paulson, hedge fund boss
Professor Nouriel Roubini
Warren Buffett, billionaire investor
George Soros, speculator
Stephen Eismann, hedge fund manager
Meredith Whitney, Oppenheimer Securities
Kathleen Corbet, former CEO, Standard & Poor's
Brazil hopes to supply drivers worldwide with the fuel of the future -- cheap ethanol derived from sugarcane. It is considered an effective antidote to climate change, but hundreds of thousands of Brazilian plantation workers harvest the cane at slave wages. By Clemens Höges more..."
The German government is desperately trying to find a way to save the country's ailing banking sector. Can a so-called 'bad bank' solve the problem by taking over toxic assets? German commentators aren't convinced, but they are certain that something needs to be done. more..."
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Late Update: An NSF spokeswoman confirms that Olsen has reinstatement rights as a member of the Senior Executive Service, or SES. This could mean that civil-service rules preclude anyone in the Obama administration from acting on the matter. We'll keep you posted."
Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.
A few lawmakers are starting to look seriously at that question. Gov. Chris Gregoire questioned the need for something like half of the 470-plus boards in her inaugural address last week."
and then lets get rid of the huge number of elected offices in Wastate that would be better served by career employees. We have a Lt. Gov with NO job description, a State Superintendent of Education who runs a staff that spends $$ w/o educating kids, an elected satte auditor ... hell we ought to have elections for Ferry Captain!
Hatred of slavery drove Darwin ideas, book says | Lifestyle | Reuters: "By Mike Collett-White
LONDON, Jan 23 (Reuters) - A new book on Charles Darwin says a passionate hatred of slavery was fundamental to his theory of evolution, which challenged the assumption held by many at the time that blacks and whites were separate species.
'Darwin's Sacred Cause' is among the first of dozens of works about the 19th century scientist to appear in 2009, the bicentenary of his birth and 150th anniversary of the publication of his groundbreaking 'On the Origin of Species'.
Its authors, Adrian Desmond and James Moore, also expect it to be one of the most controversial, because it explores what they call Darwin's humanitarianism and challenges the notion that his conclusions were the result of pure scientific pursuit. 'There's got to be reasons why he came to common descent images of evolution when there was no precedent for that in the zoological science of his day,' Desmond told Reuters. 'It comes out of anti-slavery."
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
• The island is hoping to receive in excess of 2.34 million tourists this year
• FOR the fifth consecutive year, Cuba has already surpassed the two-million foreign visitors mark for this year, announced the Ministry of Tourism in a statement in which it highlighted the fact that on this particular occasion, the important target was reached on November 14, much earlier than in previous years."
Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.
The spokesman for President Abbas revealed that Mr Obama had told the Palestinian leader that their conversation was his first with a foreign statesman since taking office. Mr Obama also spoke to President Mubarak of Egypt, Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, and King Abdullah of Jordan."
Monday, January 19, 2009
By The Associated Press
Tags: israel news, vatican
Italy's rabbis said Tuesday they were pulling out of the Italian Catholic Church's annual celebration of Judaism, saying recent decisions by Pope Benedict XVI were negating 50 years of interfaith progress.
The chief rabbi of Venice, Elia Enrico Richetti, cited the pope's decision to restore a prayer deemed offensive to Jews in Easter Week services of the old Latin Mass.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Syria's Assad Makes Overtures to Obama
Syrian President Bashar Assad says he's prepared to work with US President-elect Barack Obama. 'The new American government must be prepared to engage in a serious peace process. We are prepared for any form of cooperation,' Assad told SPIEGEL in an interview. But he has a few conditions. more..."
Today is the birthday of Barack Obama’s “rock,” Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama. Mrs. O is 45 today. If you could wish the beautiful, vibrant, dynamic, sophisticated and accomplished First Lady Happy Birthday in person, what would you say to the sistah whose sacrifices gave us the first Black President?
Saturday, January 17, 2009
1. Is Aetheism INTRINSICALLY good?
Nahhh ... Lenin killed an awaful lot of folks unjustly, remember the Kulaks? Then there was Pol Pot, the older Mao and .. our current Dear Leader of North Korea.
Bottom live, religion or its absence do ntoseem to have a lto of affect on human capacity to do evil.
2. Jews in MUSLIM lands.
The idea that things were better for us in Muslim lands is very exaggerated.
Muhamud made the first step toward the future when he killedf or enslaved all the Jews of medina for their refusal to side with him. From then on Islam has had an awful opinion of Jews. The worst of this was the blood libel, a piece of gore that began in Turkey.
True, Jews were also honored citizens under the Abbasid Caliphs in Baghdad and in Spain until the early part of the last millennium when Berber fundies invaded el Andalus. BUT .. we were also prominent in Germany before Hitler. The Arms minister who masterminded what became Hitler's re-armament was a Jew!
It seems to me that anti-semitism and, therefore the need to reestablish Israel, was pretty much endemic in both of the religions that inherited their traditions from Rome ... Roman/Greek Catholicism and Islam. Even in the New World, until the US War of Independence, we were not given equal rights or were even burned to death in Hispanic lands.
The only places we have thrived, until now, have been in India, China and the USA. The first two markedly outside of the Roman Heritage and the last .. well another reason I am a proud American and NOT a Christian.
Friday, January 16, 2009
See photos and video of Barack Obama's step-grandmother, Sarah Obama, who has also traveled to DC.
Monday, January 12, 2009
"The best mindset for these last few days of the shrub era is to imagine it as the final act of the movie.
Even Bush’s critics will have to admit that as theatre, his performance may rank with Burton’s performance in Hamlet or .. perhaps more aptly … Olivier in Macbeth.
The pathos of failure, the small man behind the opulent podium, the ghost of Obama and his Dad wafting overhead, all play off the the self delusion to remind me of both Aeschylus and Willie Lohman.
Yet this is not merely a modern version of Sophocles. The playwrite has offered us a touch of comedy too with the funny accent and image of the failed counter hero retiring to a faux white house in Dallas.
Compare this great performance with Frank Langella’s work in Frost/Nixon! Bush’s portrayal of the shrub has more veracity and complexity than scowly Frank’s effort to be Nixon. Where the Langella movie leave us with tis denouement neatly tied off, The Bush performance leaves us with wonder about the life to follow. Will his wife leave him? Will he let his physical appearance go as he returns to drink? An image of a post movie sequel, perhaps located in a dingy New Orleans brothel, with Bush confessing to his for-the-night companion is too precious not to imagine.
Can an Oscar be in the future?"
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Will Ferrell says audiences should expect the unexpected from his upcoming one-man Broadway show and HBO special about President George W. Bush."
Sunday, January 11, 2009
A large part of the concern reflects our commitment to serving the needs of minority kids in Washington State. . There is a wide spread belief in the minority community that the UW is only interested in kids if they have talents on the athletic field. This concern is reinforced by the very large percentage, I have read that it may be 50%, of the AA students on campus supported by athletic scholarships.
None of this says athletic achievement should not be considered a criterion for admission. For example, athletic admissions to Harvard College end up in the top academic ranks of the school. However, this record at Harvard reflects their belief that high school athletic success is a good measure of drive to achieve in other spheres. Moreover, a real commitment by the UW to these kids would assume that once admitted, a kid's scholarships does not depend on his athletic performance.
This is a long simmering issue. Last year, I served on a a faculty committee concerned with minority students. The Athletics Department made it very clear that they work hard to see that the athletes get degrees. However, we were unimpressed with expectations of football players other than gradation. Many of these kids seem to enroll in programs whose main purpose is graduation rather than a college education. Moreover, we were told clearly that academic criteria, beyond meeting minimal; standards, were NOT important in awarding athletic scholarships.
My final worry is that the over emphasis on these professional programs comes at the expense of opportunities for students who do meet our academic criteria to compete at the college sports level.
My main issue, however, is less with reforming the program than with assuring the voters that a healthy"
Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Le Monde diplomatique - English edition | January 2009: "Must read
by Wendy Kristianasen
There is growing Islamophobia in India as the BJP’s systematic policy of hate, and terrorism, claimed in the name of Islam, converge. Meanwhile Muslims’ traditional ally, Congress, in power for four years, has done little to address their poverty and disadvantage. So how will they vote in this spring’s national elections? A week after the Mumbai attacks, the Congress party, which heads the (...)"
Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Haaretz Daily Newspaper Israel, Israeli News Source: "Sarkozy: Halt to arms smuggling is key to Gaza cease-fire
French President, Germany's Merkel say ready to do whatever needed to end fighting in coastal territory"
All else aside, the image of a devout Jew, restricted by our ethics codes, and innocent children on the hamas side, is terribly painful.
I honestly believe there is an opening here, an opening for someone to come into this as the adult. Hamas is not going to defeate Israel in ten or twenty years. As glorious as they may see their ideology, another generation of this will scar Palestianians forever. The same is true for Jews.
Neither Hmas nor Israel has any real power IF the world would just stand up to both parties and set terms for an equitable peace.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Want to bet on Hamas' response?
Lord who is the creator of all children, hear our prayer this accursed day. God whom we call Blessed, turn your face to these, the children of Gaza, that they may know your blessings, and your shelter, that they may know light and warmth, where there is now only blackness and smoke, and a cold which cuts and clenches the skin.
Almighty who makes exceptions, which we call miracles, make an exception of the children of Gaza. Shield them from us and from their own. Spare them. Heal them. Let them stand in safety. Deliver them from hunger and horror and fury and grief. Deliver them from us, and from their own.
Restore to them their stolen childhoods, their birthright, which is a taste of heaven.
Remind us, O Lord, of the child Ishmael, who is the father of all the children of Gaza. How the child Ishmael was without water and left for dead in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba, so robbed of all hope, that his own mother could not bear to watch his life drain away.
Be that Lord, the God of our kinsman Ishmael, who heard his cry and sent His angel to comfort his mother Hagar.
Be that Lord, who was with Ishmael that day, and all the days after. Be that God, the All-Merciful, who opened Hagar's eyes that day, and showed her the well of water, that she could give the boy Ishmael to drink, and save his life.
Allah, whose name we call Elohim, who gives life, who knows the value and the fragility of every life, send these children your angels. Save them, the children of this place, Gaza the most beautiful, and Gaza the damned.
In this day, when the trepidation and rage and mourning that is called war, seizes our hearts and patches them in scars, we call to you, the Lord whose name is Peace:
Bless these children, and keep them from harm.
Turn Your face toward them, O Lord. Show them, as if for the first time, light and kindness, and overwhelming graciousness.
Look up at them, O Lord. Let them see your face.
And, as if for the first time, grant them peace.
With thanks to Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman of Kol HaNeshama, Jerusalem.
Cubans pin hopes on Obama
Many islanders expect better relationship with U.S. under new president
Monday, January 05, 2009
He's already published a volume of Obama photography, above, and some examples of his style, some intimate, some iconic, are on his website."
Cairo demands Hamas accept immediate cease-fire; Hamas sends delegation to Egypt for talks. 18:05 Haaretz.com TV"
|Eric Margolis |
There are two completely different versions of what is currently happening in Gaza.
In the Israeli and North American press version, Hamas - 'Islamic terrorists' backed by Iran - have in an unprovoked attack fired deadly rockets on innocent Israel with the intent of destroying the Jewish state.
According to the UN, most of Gaza's 1.5 million Palestinian refugees subsist near the edge of hunger. Seventy per cent of Palestinian children in Gaza suffer from severe malnutrition and psychological trauma.
Medical facilities are critically short of doctors, personnel, equipment, and drugs. Gaza has quite literally become a human garbage dump for all the Arabs that Israel does not want.
Call it a prison riot, writ large.
This has pleased Israel's supporters in North America who have been cheering the war in Gaza and have been backing away from their earlier tentative support for a land-for-peace deal.
Arab deal killed
The plan, now likely defunct, had called for Israel to withdraw to its 1967 borders and share Jerusalem in exchange for full recognition and normalised relations with the Muslim world.
Arab governments will now be unable to sell the deal as they face a storm of criticism from their own people over their powerlessness to help the Palestinians of Gaza. .................
I posted these excerpts to try and get some balance but I disagree with the author's pessimism. The Iraq war has changed the balance of power in the micro-environment around Israel. There is no strategic combination of Arab forces that can prevent Gaza from being occupied, at a terrible price to the Palestinians.
However, Israel knows it can not make such an occupation long term. They will withdraw, as they did in Lebanon but this time the withdrawal will differ in two ways. First, there will be the appearance of victory. That appearance is important for Israel's politics and to provide That One with the opportunity he needs to move fro peace through strength.
The trick I see is to let beneficent Arab states enter this fray as liberators of Gaza without doing so with tanks and bombs. Clinton will negotiate a peace force, perhaps under the UN flag but I hope under the banner of the Arab states. These Arabs will be able to pose, with justice, as the force that contained Israel while also providing a meaningful replacement for Hamas.
This would serve MANY interests:
Egypt ... The government is threatened by the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, as an arm of that movement, is a huge danger to Egypt's governing oligarchy. An Egyptian force, under an Islamic flag of peace, could be seen as heroic.
Jordan .. Jordan needs a stable economy tied to Israel's economy.
Israel needs a way to close the West Bank settlements but has to do it in a way that can be seen as coming from strength.
Call me an optimist.
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Predecessor all modern physics. Described laws of momentum, refraction, and planetary motion. Derived rules of vision, including evidence that the eye uses ambient light.
Wait, WTF, Pope Ratzi Smokes Cigarettes?In this Wall Street Journal boring article about how Europeans sure love cigarettes yadda yadda, we were intrigued by this paragraph calling Nazi Pope Joe “the Plumber” Ratzinger a known smoker! Is this some hilarious WSJ New Year’s joke? Because there is no evidence we can locate, outside of some obviously photoshopped images of Ratzi in a cloud of cancer, to suggest our crappiest pope indulges in this particular variety of sucking on cylindrical objects.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Interesting article by McClatchy's Warren Strobel on the possibility of an international force in Gaza as the basis of a new ceasefire. Part of the equation might be having Fatah reassume control not over Gaza itself but over the border crossings into Gaza."
I think that regulations for its own sake happens too often and to no end. One obvious fact, from biology and economics, is that survival mechanisms are nearly infinite. No matter what regulations we create, someone will find a way around them.
That said, you are correct in one way ... transparency does require some form of regulation. The problem is that I am not sure what this might be and how it avoids the likely evolution of yet more complex strategies.
I do not know enough to suggest the sort of regulations that would be most robust but here are two suggestions:
a. Wealth Tax. This would diminish the incentive for leverage by taxing this sort of gain in wealth. A big part of the incentive of mumserem like Madoff is that there gains were hidden or not taxable even if visible.
b. The Madoff Rating We should establish a quasi government but for profit entity that assesses risks. We can call the product of this firm the Madoff Rating. MRs would be provided by the Madoff Rating Institute (MRI .. inside joke?).
MRI would have full access to the financial records of any firm seeking an MR, including confidential documents such as tax returns.
Because MR ratings would be very strict, there would be a huge incentive for investors to determine their investment based on these ratings. Obviously this preserves the freedom of investors to take risks by suing investments with low MR or no MR. t.
Friday, January 02, 2009
Thursday, January 01, 2009
I see this as a casualty of the war gays have waged on the definition of marriage Westerners have had for centuries. The Muslims, of course, want their definition of marriage to be included as well, which leads to polgynous marriages in which an aloof father produces many sons who take out their anger at their distant father on everyone else. Osama bin Laden is one of Sheikh bin Laden's 70 or so sons, and his jihad, I suspect, is due in no small part to daddy issues."