"maybe some of those northwesterners can now get a bath while protesting the presence of US Soldiers and the wanton incursions of the United States Coast Guard"
Haven't seen any evidence of that on the tube, in print or via the various local news websites; most of the bitching and infighting was between the various levels of gov't to determine where to breach a dike to allow I-5 to drain, and then dredged up old feuds about who would pay for pre-emptive actions ( build better and more dikes). methinks the repair costs will far exceed the prevention costs, but since the Dems are running the state, it ain't like its their money. Even the senators and reps to the US Congress haven't exactly handed out any $$, wonder if that moeny Ted was gonna use for his bridge to nowhere is still around????
And Quenn Chris has not exactly acted in a manner like the Terminator did with the fires last month, but neither has she acted like the Loiusiana mafia, to her credit.
We've had 56 consecutive days without measurable precipitation, and will take any spare rain/snow/sleet/ice/fog you folks want to ship our way. Not too much, mind you, but a few inches would help. Otherwise, Colorado will slip back into the drought scenario we've lived with ten of the last twelve years.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
12/06/2007 18:44 Comments ||
Imagine what the global warming lobby could do with the 1930's dustbowl dataset.
The Hot Zone by Richard Preston (a book on Ebola, Marburg etc..) The book begins and ends in a place called Kitum Cave in the flanks of Mt. Elgon between Kenya and Uganda. This cave is where scientists and doctors suspect Ebola lives in nature, but they never do find out.
There is lots of clay near the cave. RNA and DNA are preserved quite well in some clays.
Lugo also reported that Chávez was ''enraged'' when he realized he would lose the vote. Some media reports even had him wrecking furniture in the presidential palace. At Wednesday's news conference, Chávez's left hand was visibly cut and swollen.
The commission created to grant Greenland greater autonomy has entered a state of limbo, Berlingske Tidende newspaper reports.
Formed in January 2004, the Greenlandic-Danish Self-Rule Commission was expected to present a timetable this year for granting more independence to the northern island province. A number of prickly issues, including the distribution of future oil revenues, had slowed the commission's progress.
It's all about the Benjamins Euros.
Greenland's representatives argued that the Danish government held a double standard when it came to how oil revenues were calculated. The Danish delegation countered that revenues should help to reduce the DKK 3.2 billion (EUR 432 million) block grant Greenland receives annually from Denmark.
The commission's 16 members nevertheless managed to agree on a number of issues, including a recommendation that the Greenlandic people could vote for independence sometime in the near future and that they in principle had control over resources under their feet.
But just when the commission was about to finalise the details of its official statement in November, PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen called a general election. Now, even the roster of the commission is cast in doubt. Two Danish members and a Greenlandic representative have left parliament. Another member, Birthe Rønn Hornbech, has been promoted to minister, which Søren Espersen, the representative for the Danish People's Party, feels disqualifies her from continuing.
Kristen Touborg, who represents Denmark's Socialist People's Party, admitted the commission had run aground. 'I hope we can continue with the current line-up,' said Touborg. 'Otherwise we won't be able to finish our work in 2008.' Oil talks, commissions walk.
Some commission members have called upon Rasmussen to decide the commission's line-up himself, while others insist the Danish parliament should vote. No date for finalising the commission's line-up has been set, however. For the time being, Greenland's path to independence is stalled.
Suppose for a moment that the Greenlanders just declare independence. Let's suppose that they have oil that can be exploited quickly. What could the Danes do about it, other than maybe press their Euro friends for some sort of meaningless sanctions? It's not like the Danes are going to mount an air/sea expedition to retake the place.
India today conducted an advanced Air Defence missile test, where an incoming hostile missile was successfully intercepted 15 kilometres above the earth. The test was conducted at Wheeler Island in the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Orissa.
The hostile missile was a modified version of India's Prithvi missile and the interceptor was a new generation indigenous missile. The critical detection radar is a modified version of an Israeli system.
A mock trial was held on December 2, when the interceptor successfully intercepted an electronic target. As a precaution, the Balasore district administration made arrangements to evacuate all civilians residing within two-km radius of the Chandipur launch complex.
Posted by: john frum ||
12/06/2007 6:00 Comments ||
The target missile, a modified indigenously-built 'Prithvi' was first test-fired from a mobile launcher at 11:00 hrs from ITR's launch complex-3 at Chandipur-on-sea, while 2 minutes 40 seconds later, the interceptor was fired from Wheeler's Island, 70 nautical miles from here, to intercept it at an altitude of 15 km in mid-air.
An Exo-atmospheric interceptor missile PAD-01 had been successfully tested on November 27, 2006 to destroy an incoming Prithvi missile at an altitude of 50 km while a solo and mock trial of the present variant was conducted on December two, 2007 with a simulated electronic target from the wheelers island
Posted by: john frum ||
12/06/2007 6:01 Comments ||
Very impressive. So the radar is Israeli. I have to assume the kill vehicle and its homing sensor is Israeli too. Otherwise, it would be very surprising that the Indians had achieved this much progress this quickly.
(I also assume, BTW, that Israeli anti-missile systems use a lot of US technology, since the US spent decades on this stuff before the Israelis started on their Arrow project.)
Posted by: moody blues ||
12/06/2007 8:39 Comments ||
I have to assume the kill vehicle and its homing sensor is Israeli too. Otherwise, it would be very surprising that the Indians had achieved this much progress this quickly.
They might be. On the other hand, never bet against Hindu science geeks. Those kids are good.
Posted by: John Frum ||
12/06/2007 12:59 Comments ||
The trajectories of the target missile and the interceptor missile and the interception point on display on the consoles of the Mission Control Centre at Wheeler Island, off the Orissa coast, on Thursday. (Right): The interceptor missile roaring off from Wheeler Island.
Posted by: john frum ||
12/06/2007 14:38 Comments ||
Wheeler Island (Orissa): India on Thursday demonstrated its capability to defend itself against ballistic missile attacks by successfully testing a hypersonic interceptor missile. The missile destroyed an incoming target missile in a direct hit over the Bay of Bengal.
The interception took place at an altitude of 15 km, in what is called the endo-atmosphere. The debris fell into the sea. The launch has propelled the nation into the elite club, comprising the United States, Russia and Israel.
The target missile, a modified, single-stage Prithvi missile called TGT-04, lifted off from Chandipur-on-Sea, Orissa, at 11a.m. Five minutes later, the interceptor missile, named AAD-02 (Advanced Air Defence), roared off from a mobile launcher at Wheeler Island, about 70 km across the sea from Chandipur.
As the target missile climbed to an altitude of 110 km and had a free fall at a speed of 2.5 to 3 Mach, the AAD-02, speeding at 4.5 Mach, performed intricate manoeuvres and homed in on the target in a head-on collision. The interception took place 25 seconds after the AAD-02 took off.
Radars at Konark and Paradip in Orissa picked up the target missile in its ascent mode and communicated its velocity and position to the MCC.
The MCC classified it as a ballistic missile and assigned the task of waylaying it to the AAD-02. The interceptor lifted off, homed in on the target, using a radio frequency seeker on board, and achieved a direct hit.
Posted by: john frum ||
12/06/2007 14:39 Comments ||
Wheeler Island: Elated by the success of the interceptor missile test on Thursday from Wheeler Island, off Orissa, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is planning to take on harder challenges of engaging Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBMs) as part of its Area Defence programme.
In an interview to The Hindu after the interceptor missile, called the Advanced Air Defence (AAD-02), scored a direct hit and destroyed a target missile over the Bay of Bengal, V.K. Saraswat, Chief Controller, DRDO R&D (Missiles and Strategic Systems), said future missiles would be equipped with technologies to achieve near zero missed distance (four to six metres).
In April next, the DRDO would launch two interceptor missiles to intercept a single incoming target missile in both exo-atmosphere (above 40 km altitude) and endo-atmosphere (below 30 km altitude). However, there would be no endo-atmospheric interception if the exo-atmospheric test achieved a kill.
The AAD-02 was specifically designed and developed by the DRDO for endo-atmospheric interception of an incoming missile at an altitude of around 15 km. It is a single-stage missile powered by solid propellants. It is 7.5 metres tall and weighs around 1.2 tonnes. It had a diameter of less than 0.5 metres.
M. Natarajan, Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, who watched the two lift-offs and the interception live on a video-screen at DRDO Bhawan in New Delhi, likened the interception to almost hitting a bullet with a bullet.
On Thursday, the Army launched the target missile from Chandipur-on-Sea, Orissa, in an independent manner. The Mission Director for the target missile was Lt. Gen. (retired) V.J. Sundaram.
There were scenes of jubilation at the Mission Control Centre on Thursday soon after AAD-02 achieved a direct hit of the target missile at an altitude of 15 km in the endo-atmosphere.
Posted by: john frum ||
12/06/2007 14:56 Comments ||
According to Dr. Saraswat, the AAD-02 was capable of intercepting M-9 and M-11 class of missiles which are with our adversaries.
Posted by: john frum ||
12/06/2007 14:58 Comments ||
Just one more thing for Perv to have on his mind. "They have just rendered our mighty nuclear force impotent. Impotent I tell you!"
Around 70 Pakistanis landed at Islamabad Airport on Wednesday after being deported by the US.
"GET OUT AND STAY OUT!"
Of them, 66 people were charged with overstaying and four for involvement in drug pushing. They flew back home in a special chartered plane from New York. Officials from the Pakistani embassy in Washington accompanied the deportees, many of who belong to Punjab. Officials of the US embassy in Islamabad were also present at the airport. The Anti-Narcotics Force took them into custody on arrival. The FIA Immigration department interrogated them. Many were freed, however, several are still in custody.
NEW DELHI - India is committed to non-proliferation and disarmament but would conduct a nuclear test if needed, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Wednesday in parliament. If we feel a test is necessary because of the geopolitical situation, refining of weapons is necessary, we will do it, Mukherjee said in the Rajya Sabha upper house.
He was replying to doubts raised by opposition and leftist allies that the agreement governing a civilian nuclear deal with the United States would impact Indias right to test nuclear devices. If India considers it necessary, India will undertake tests as we did in 1974 and as we did in 1998. The consequences will also follow as it did in 1974 and 1998, Mukherjee said. A range of sanctions were imposed on India by the US and other countries after the tests.
The proposed nuclear deal between India and the US would allow the latter to provide Indias civilian reactors with fissile materials and technology ending a 30-year ban. That deal can become operational only after India enters into a a country-specific international safeguards agreement, and amendments are made to the Nuclear Suppliers Group guidelines.
Continued on Page 49
Kangaroo farts! That's it, Johnson!! Notify Al Gore!!!
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian scientists are trying to give kangaroo-style stomachs to cattle and sheep in a bid to cut the emission of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, researchers say. Scalpel...retractor...kangaroo stomach...kangaroo stomach...Damn you, Igor! Pay attention or I'll be trying this on you!!!
Thanks to special bacteria in their stomachs, kangaroo flatulence contains no methane and scientists want to transfer that bacteria to cattle and sheep who emit large quantities of the harmful gas. Wonder if that'd work with German Sheperds? Mine can clear a room. But I wonder if it cuts down on our heating bills?
While the usual image of greenhouse gas pollution is a billowing smokestack pushing out carbon dioxide, livestock passing wind contribute a surprisingly high percentage of total emissions in some countries."Fourteen percent of emissions from all sources in Australia is from enteric methane from cattle and sheep," said Athol Klieve, a senior research scientist with the Queensland state government."And if you look at another country such as New Zealand, which has got a much higher agricultural base, they're actually up around 50 percent," he told AFP. I thought "climate change" was manmade?
Researchers say the bacteria also makes the digestive process much more efficient and could potentially save millions of dollars in feed costs for farmers. "Not only would they not produce the methane, they would actually get something like 10 to 15 percent more energy out of the feed they are eating," said Klieve. With that extra energy will the cows be able to jump like kangaroos? That'd be really cool...
Even farmers who laugh at the idea of environmentally friendly kangaroo farts say that's nothing to joke about, particularly given the devastating drought Australia is suffering. "In a tight year like a drought situation, 15 percent would be a considerable sum," said farmer Michael Mitton. Ya, mate. Might still have a drought, but it'd smell much better. Good on ya!
But it will take researchers at least three years to isolate the bacteria, before they can even start to develop a way of transferring it to cattle and sheep. Another group of scientists, meanwhile, has suggested Australians should farm fewer cattle and sheep and just eat more kangaroos. Either way, they'll need lots and lots of grants for the research...
The idea is controversial, but about 20 percent of health conscious Australians are believed to eat the national symbol already. ...with a side of koala fingers.
"It's low in fat, it's got high protein levels it's very clean in the sense that basically it's the ultimate free range animal," said Peter Ampt of the University of New South Wales's institute of environmental studies."It doesn't get drenched, it doesn't get vaccinated, it utilizes food right across the landscape, it moves around to where the food is good, so yes, it's a good food." It might take a while for kangaroos to become popular barbecue fare, but with concern over global warming growing in the world's driest inhabited continent, Australians could soon be ready to try almost anything to cut emissions. How about they try anything to make it rain?
Ok; James, let's divide the tasks. You are going to study kangaroo farts in very aspect (smell included) and I will study real close the mysterious growth of Australian women's breasts. (announced in Rantburg a few days ago).
Australians should farm fewer cattle and sheep and just eat more kangaroos.
But kangaroos are neither kosher nor halal. That's 1.018 billion non-customers right there. Of course, as Angie Shultz pointed out yesterday, the 0.018 billion Jews get a carbon dioxide offset for the Othodox not driving or using electricity on the Sabbath, but that's nothing to do with methane. Oh, well.
Land animals have to have split hooves and chew their cud, twobyfour. Kangaroo doesn't have to be specifically forbidden, since it doesn't fall into the set of permitted animals. The laws of kosher as outlined in the Bible are pretty simple: of the birds, no carrion eaters or birds of prey; of the creatures of the sea, only those with both fins and scales; of the creatures of the land, only those that have split hooves and chew their cud, although pigs are specifically forbidden despite falling outside that set; of the insects, only that locust native to the land of Israel. All fruits, vegetables, and grains are permitted (I don't recall any mention of fungi one way or another -- I don't think the Hebrews were aware that they are a different Kingdom). No mind-altering substances are forbidden on that ground, so long as they are within the permitted sets. There are a few laws about preparation, such as not cooking a kid in its mother's milk.
All the rest, such as separate dishes for meat and milk, are rules made up by the rabbis to prevent inadvertently breaking one of the laws.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill saying that anyone offering an open Wi-Fi connection to the public must report illegal images including "obscene" cartoons and drawings--or face fines of up to $300,000.
That broad definition would cover individuals, coffee shops, libraries, hotels, and even some government agencies that provide Wi-Fi. It also sweeps in social-networking sites, domain name registrars, Internet service providers, and e-mail service providers such as Hotmail and Gmail, and it may require that the complete contents of the user's account be retained for subsequent police inspection.
Before the House vote, which was a lopsided 409 to 2, Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas) held a press conference on Capitol Hill with John Walsh, the host of America's Most Wanted and Ernie Allen, head of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Continued on Page 49
The Senate is hot to approve this too.
Washington wants to be able to make anyone a criminal. It's really all about them being in crushing power over us. The fines are just way out of scale showing how out of touch your member of Congress is with the average person and truly small business. If I was providing WiFi at my Business I'd shut it off the day this became law just to cover my ass.
The big thing is Cartoons != reality. Hentai Anime is not reality. Art != reality Artwork is not reality. Stupid Congress is stupid.
Maybe they're having trouble with child pr0n prosecutions because the perpetrators are just saying "one of my neighbors must be using my wireless". It would make me stop to think about passing something that would make clear who was responsible.
Sort of reminds me of the joke about the British switching to drive on the right hand side of the road from now on. To make it easier, they're going to do it in phases. The first phase will involve the lorries . . . . :-)
A bill to establish the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism, and for other purposes.
Looks like it would let the congress critters define as terrorism anything they wanted to. It has already passed the House. S-1959
Fly-by-Night was once never thought of in the US Congress. That process was done by thugs and dictators. After people go to bed in those countries, the apparatus would kick into gear, arrest someone or start a legislative process, hold a kangaroo court or hold a vote, and by the time the general populace awakes the next morning, they are beholden to the results, without their input.
This will probably be the best way to fix the credit fiasco. I can't say I feel too sorry for the credit companies for coming up with these subversive loans, and I can't say I feel too sorry for the consumer who doesn't subscribe to the "due diligence" thingy. This way it kind of splits the pain down the middle. The credit companies have to take the problem on for a few extra years, by when the homeowners have to figure out a way to get their act together or walk into the blast furnace. I would recommend using the five years wisely. I hope the five years just means that the homeowner has five years from the start of the loan. This would spread the refinancings out in time, otherwise there will be a rash of refinancings done in exactly five years from now, and for some reasons I trust the banks to be no more mature or honest about this than I do the contributors to the latest NIE on Iran.
The Bush administration has hammered out an agreement to freeze interest rates for certain subprime mortgages for five years to combat a soaring tide of foreclosures, congressional aides said Wednesday.
The aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details have not yet been released, said the five-year moratorium represented a compromise between desires by banking regulators for a longer time frame of up to seven years and mortgage industry arguments that the freeze should last only one or two years.
Continued on Page 49
So they can turn around and get a new Lexus, or that 52" plasma big screen, or that vacation to Orlando, or .....
Credit is earned. It is not an entitlement [regardless pie hole utterances of the race hustlers like Jackson and Sharpton]. Get the banks and their papered over fronts out of the speculation markets. There was a reason those laws were written during the Depression. They should never have been altered during the Great S&L bailout in the 80s.
Give the US Treasury Dept the main credit for this. They seem to have a found a solution that is acceptable to everybody.
Without some solution there would have been Congressional action which would have likely created a long term menace. Also, although the banks nominally lose by being forced to freeze rates, they (the banks) gain by preventing a worse foreclosure crises.
Although I am a supporter of markets, it seems clear that the current situation is the result of, at least partially, a market failure. If you see it that way (granted not everyone will), it seems this market intervention was reasonable.
I'm not so sure this is a good move. From Stephen Green, "What the "sources" didn't say is that loan-wary banks are going to become even warier, as their expected high-risk rewards vanish in a puff of unintended consequences. Now that's how you tank an economy, you big giant dummy head. I haven't seen a Republican pull an economic move this stupid since Nixon's wage/price freeze back in '72. And Bush's could be every bit as disastrous."
I hope not but the potential is there.
Posted by: Deacon Blues ||
12/06/2007 11:35 Comments ||
Remember that congress also pushed banks to give loans to more people for more to have the "American dream of home ownership". I blame every party involved for the screwup. Granted, I could get into a house that I would not have been able too because of lower standards. But, unlike many, I knew my loan premium was only 5 years and saved and refinanced into a fixed, lower rate. As people say, credit is earned. Use it wisely.
I always cringe when I see government getting involved w/private enterprise, i.e. the examples of Nixon w/the wage freeze. I agree w/AlanC that gov't is supposed to ensure honesty and openness. Other then that I don't like any precedents being set by gov't on the behalf of protecting people from who live outside their means & have poor money habits...fools and their money. Call me paranoid but it seems to lead to a slippery slope of incremental gov't encroachment on the market place. OTH, I did hear the credit card companies were caught pulling some fine print b.s. on rates this past week. I always pay my card off well in advance each month & my balance is never that big. However, some folks are prolly taking a hit they shouldn't do to plain ignorance and not from dumb spending.
IMO there are several things going on beside mass stupidity and greed.
1. Banks have been pressured to devise ways to get more people to qualify for loans, especially minorities. This pressure has come from govt officials among others - which itself is a market distortion.
2. There are so many 'warning' notes to sign when you take out a mortgage that it makes a mockery of informed consent. Sure everybody who had a low rate adjustible had to sign something saying they understood that the loan is subject to a big rate increase. But they also had to sign dozens of other things (e.g., statements attesting to their address, their legal vs. nicknames, etc.) which make it difficult to separate out the real warnings from the minimal elements.
3. No one has yet come up with a good way of preventing individual real estate sales personnel from subtly minimizing the risk of the adjustable mortgage. They have to advertise themselves as equal opportunity people (which has no meaning) but we allow them to pretend they understand taxes, finance and the like in order to sell their services.
My local rag (naturally) doesn't have anything about this at all.....'cuz Floridians don't even wanna hear the words "real estate", apparently.
Now, if anyone knows anyone heading to the Space Coast looking for a home....got a sweet one for sale! (nope, not a mortgage problem, we've got the standard vanilla 30 yr fixed....the Tsar got a job offer too good to pass up out of state, so that's why we're selling. Guess I'm gonna be "Iowa Blondie" next year. ;) )
The way I understand it is that is not really a government action, it is facilitated by folks who happen to be memebers of the government. Bush et al got the players all into one room and they sat down and agreed at the private/corporate level to freeze interest rates. They could have done this themselves, but you know that even thought it makes sense the corporations would have never done this by themselves, so I thank the private individuals who happen to work in the government for facilitating this much-needed meeting.
Also, when a house is foreclosed, the lender loses about 40% or so these days, and the borrower gets hammered. This is a lose/lose situation. This agreement puts us closer to a win/win situation, but not entirely because you know very well that some of the borrowers are going to do just like Procopius said in #1, and I'm sure the lenders will have something up their sleeve after having had five years to think about how they are going to screw the customer when the time comes. It would also be nice to see that borrowers would not be allowed to take any more money out of their home equity loans at the low rates if they want to participate in the agreement.
And if you're a banker, you can't afford (in the long run) to make too many of that kind of sub-prime loan before it all collapses.
That's only partly true. The banks and mortgage co's don't necessarily lose on sub-prime. Why? Because they just package them up and sell them to investors. They make money originating the loan, and often times servicing it - but they don't (necessarily) hold the paper. If it gets foreclosed on, the investors who speculated in the paper lose. That these customers need to go out and get a new loan actually benefits the banks and mortgage co's in additional orgination fees.
I don't think the govn't should stay out of credit. I think they should set fair laws that prevent shysters from preying on the ignorant - and then get out. They failed to do that and now this seems like a pretty good solution to clean up a mess everyone knew was coming.
We all benefit if this doesn't come crashing down around us. Sure, they may have gotten lucky compared to me, who paid extra for a fixed. But if they are making their payments on time, I see no reason why booting them out of their homes benefits anyone.
Socialist response. First they try to screw the banks using the Community Lending Act because they wouldnt lend to marginal borrowers. Then when they did lend to these borrowers, at a fair subprime rate, they get screwed again when these people come screaming about not affording payments.
As for the banks, this wont be a good bonus year for much of wall street. We've already had our expectations managed.
Six Gulf Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, will form a common market from the beginning of next year, said Abdul Rahman al-Attiyah, head of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Citizens and businesses of the GCC, which also includes Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, will have equal economic rights throughout the region, al-Attiyah told delegates after a meeting of heads of state in Doha, Qatar, today. GCC citizens, for example, will be able to buy stocks in listed companies within the bloc under the same conditions, he said. GCC countries eliminated tariffs between members' exports in 2003.
"The common market aims at creating a unified market in which GCC citizens can benefit from valuable economic opportunities in the Gulf," al-Attiyah said. "The agreement will open the way for intra-Gulf and foreign investment in the region and increase the usage of available resources in the Gulf countries."
A common market is one of the pre-conditions for the creation of a Gulf single currency. The 2010 deadline for the joint currency has come under pressure in the last 12 months as the project has fallen behind schedule. Somewhat like I predicted. However, I suspect it cannot work without democracy and transparency.
A MECM, to some degree based on the European model, if it worked, could spell the end of a lot of the potential trouble from the ME.
The European idea was based to a great extent less on free trade, than on the idea that European homogenization would result in no more major wars. In a way, it attempted to standardize democracy and replace dictatorship around Europe with this as a primary goal.
Why this would be potentially good in the ME, is because it would be an secular *alternative* to a Sultanate, Pan-Islamism or other theocracy, ethnic Pan-Arabism, or other opportunistic mass movement.
Ironically, Baathism was originally supposed to be a secular alternative to these things, but it got caught up in the Cold War and socialism, which ruined it.
Had it been a more European style social-democratic movement balanced with Muslim-democratic; a sort-of reflection of European SD and CD movements, it might have worked. But at the time, the Middle East wasn't ready for it.
So this is what eventually a MECM might evolve into: a few relatively weak constitutional monarchs, and a dual political structure between Social Democrats and Muslim Democrats. This would appeal to most people in the ME, and from there, open borders and free trade would evolve.
In turn, it would end a lot of the extremism, poverty, and a lot of the other social ills that not only plague the ME, but gravitate outwards to annoy the rest of the world.
The Senate gave decisive backing yesterday to a U.S.-Peru free-trade agreement, opening the way for expanded economic ties with the Andean nation and giving the administration a boost in its quest to shore up relations with Latin America. The 77 to 18 Senate vote on the bill implementing the agreement followed a 285 to 132 House vote last month. The agreement will go into effect after the two countries adjust laws to conform to the deal.
U.S. trade with Peru is small scale, about $9 billion a year, but proponents of the agreement argued that it has real political benefits.
President Bush said after the vote that he looked forward to signing the bill that would "level the playing field for American exporters and investors" and would signal "our firm support for those who share our values of freedom and democracy."
WASHINGTON -- Worker productivity roared ahead at the fastest pace in four years in the summer while wage pressures dropped sharply. The Labor Department reported today that productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, was up at an annual rate of 6.3 percent in the third quarter, the best showing since the summer of 2003, and far bigger than had been expected.
The 6.3 percent increase in productivity was a significant upward revision from an initial estimate a month ago of a 4.9 percent increase, reflecting the fact that total output was revised higher. Meanwhile, wage pressures slowed with unit labor costs dropping at a rate of 2 percent in the third quarter, the biggest decline in four years.
The combination of stronger productivity growth and fewer wage pressures should ease concerns about inflation at the Federal Reserve and help clear the way for another cut in interest rates next week to guard against the threat the economy could tumble into a recession.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.