Thursday, May 24, 2007

Iraqi girl stoned to death

This is just too horrifying to watch. I don't want to blame Islam because these kinds of actions predate Islam. This is tribalism at its most horrific. What it shows is that the people we are trying to democratize are really so far away from the basic tenets of decent human behavior that democracy is a pipe dream. This girl belonged to the Yazdi clan in Kurdistan. They are not Muslims per se but follow tenets of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. The girls crime....she was dating a Sunni Muslim.

I personally couldn't get through a few seconds of it because I felt physically ill. What is reprehensible is that the police men in the video are watching and doing absolutely nothing.

Throughout the Islamic world especially in Jordan, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq honor killings happen with alarming frequency. Surprisingly we don't hear of honor killings in Malaysia and Indonesia. I think south east Asian Islam is more temperate than its Middle Eastern / Pakistani counterparts. More diluted perhaps because the followers are more influenced by the pacifism of Buddhism and Hinduism or maybe they are just less tribal.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My favorite American women

Ive been thinking about this. In an era where Hillary Clinton gets so much of the airwaves who are the women that I instinctively like when I see them on TV or read about them. Women who have something to say and say it well. Its an ecclectic list indeed...In order...

1. Sandra Day O' Connor - because of her grace, her eminence and her scholarship
2. Madeline Albright - Divorced mother who got a PhD and became our first female Sec of State
3. Oprah - No explanation needed....for seeding the world with the next generation of women leaders....for turning adversity into prosperity and darkness into light
4. Melinda Gates - smart, focused, the brains behind the greatest act of philanthropy in the history of the world
5. Laura Bush - for her poise, her panache and her Job like faith to stay married to the biggest horses ass in recent American history
6. Nancy Pelossi - Madame Speaker - For engineering the 2006 victory, for standing up to Dick and Bush (Shes #1 on the Hottest Granma list :)
7. Cokie Roberts - The female Edward R. Murrow. The voice of reason and reasonableness. A great writer, news woman and wonderful mom and grandmother
8. Venus and Serena Williams - Oodles of talent, great attitudes, changed the game forever
9. Meg Whitman - for taking ebay from a nice idea and making it an icon of the web
10. Maya Angelou - for making words sing and caress my heart

Hillary does not make the list because I think she is actually a man!!!!
Condi doesnt make it either because Presidential lap dogs is a whole other post

Carters amazing back flip

First he showed he had some cajones by saying it like it is..."This Administration is the worst in history" to the BBC....then he recanted the very next day and said that he was taken out of context because he was referring to President Bush's foreign policy when contrasted with Richard Nixons.....What crap......... Here is what he said....

He probably chickened out when his advisors told him that it was not kosher for an ex President to diss a sitting President even though the incumbent is Dubbya....He should not have recanted......dumb move. Makes him even more irrelevant.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The girls on The View get serious

not a discussion of Sanjaya's hair or the last Lost episode........a real good debate. Unsure where Rosie gets her 655K dead Iraqi number from but an excellent discussion. No wonder the GOP establishment have put the word out to silence Ron Paul. He is making us think....Cheney cannot have that

Jerry Falwell (1933-2007)

There are three events that got Christians involved in national politics and handed the South to the GOP. The first was Nixon's decision in 1968 (the so called Southern strategy) to woo disaffected (and racist) Southern whites after the Democrats passed through the Civil Rights Bill and the Great Society Reforms in the 1960s, the second was the passing of Roe vs. Wade in 1973 by the US Supreme Court and the third was the creation of the Moral Majority by Jerry Fallwell and Paul Weyrich in 1979 to organize religious voters.

In my opinion the organized entry of evangelicals into national politics completely changed the political game in the United States and so in that sense Jerry Falwell is one of the most important politicians (although he never held public office) in the history of the United States.

I think that Jerry Falwell represented sometimes the best that America has to offer (private enterprise, faith, charity, education and dialog across the aisle) but most times represented an unforgiving hard heartedness that would likely have made the founder of his religion very unhappy with him.

His statements the day after 9/11 to Pat Roberston that the US deserved the attack (because of our support for Abortionists and gays) was particularly galling. To his credit he apologized the very next day and blamed "fatigue" for the mis-statement. His fight throughout his life to cast the first stone on issues like gay rights (not marriage just simple gay rights) also was troubling while his stand on desegregation and civil rights (he initially opposed it) in the 60s and his opposition to sanctions against the apartheid government in South Africa in the 80s was downright shameful.

He was a humble country pastor who through force of will and conviction of his ideas rose to the national stage. Once he grabbed the national microphone, he used it to lower the wall between church and state and make other Christians like him realize the awful power of their voting franchise and their voting bloc. His movement definitely elected Reagan in 1980 and probably elected Bush 41.

In that sense he acted as an innovative capitalist in our marketplace of ideas. He debated his ideas publicly and allowed people to make up their minds (of course he also threatened them that God would eternally damn them should they not see it exactly his way).

I disagreed strongly with almost every thing he stood for, but the addition of his voice to the national dialog showed that Democracy and the First Amendment still work in this country.

Rest in Peace.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Is Reagan all that and more?

Does Regan get too much credit for bringing down the Wall? Sometimes I think he does. Its a fair question to ask from a historical perspective. There were other significant anti Soviet actors that strode the world stage in the build up to 1989. Maggie Thatcher, John Paul II and Lech Walesa being the three most important. In addition Reagan was helped by having a somewhat kindred spirit in Gorbachev on the inside to help with tearing down the wall of the corrupt and bankrupt Soviet system. What are your thoughts?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A vote for Romney is a vote for Satan

Aahh the religious right.....yawn!!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ann and Barry

Ann Coulter is referring to Barack Obama in her columns as B. Hussein Obama...I must say seeing his name as B. Hussein Obama was startling....makes him look very, very foreign....I can see how this would resonate very negatively in the heartland.....

Makes you wonder why didnt the dude just change his name to Barry O' Bama - you know kinda like dem Black Irish in South America...:)

Oh and one of the rags either the Enquirer or Globe had a picture (Photo Shopped of course) of Obama in full Muslim garb with the topi and was funny but once again Jack and Jill Six Pack aren't gonna really know the difference.....luckily Jack and Jill Six pack don't usually vote

And one more thing - this week on American Idol 45 million people voted....that is slightly less than half the number of people who cast votes in a Presidential election....and we wonder why this country may be on the wrong track....

Friday, May 04, 2007

Stay at Home Moms worth $138,000 per annum

This issue has always been an interest of mine from an economics perspective. It is clearly one of the most important jobs in society and one of the key inputs (investments in human capital) for a nations stability and ultimate productivity and growth but yet completely unmeasured in any traditional GDP calculation.

While there have been calls (mainly from feminist groups) to amend the GDP equation to account for non monetary transactions I don’t see this happening anytime soon as it would require a fundamental alteration in the definition of what a good or service is.