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Posts from — October 2007

Division Of Labor

The military fights wars and the diplomats make peace – until the Hedgemony. So now the diplomats are not happy about being ordered into a war zone, rather than handling the assignments on a volunteer basis.

CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports on the controversy: Diplomatic Call Up Riles State Department

…the union which represent Foreign Service Officers contends Iraq should be for volunteers only.

“We have concerns, many of our members do, about assigning diplomats who are unarmed civilians, who are not trained for combat, to combat situations,” said Steve Kashkett of the American Foreign Service Association.

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October 31, 2007   4 Comments

Can’t Win For Losing

So, Money magazine tells us thatOil jumps $4 on Fed, supplies:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Oil prices set a new record high Wednesday, jumping over $4 on an expected interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve and dwindling supplies in the United States.

U.S. light crude for December delivery jumped $4.15 to settle at a new record of $94.53 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, topping Monday’s record close of $93.80 a barrel. Prices rose as high as $94.74 in intraday trade, surpassing crude’s all-time record trading high of $93.80 a barrel, also set Monday.

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October 31, 2007   8 Comments

Tropical Storm Noel – 4

NoelPosition: 23.2 N 78.5 W. [10PM CDT]
Movement: North [0°] near 3 mph.
Maximum sustained winds: 60 mph.
Wind Gusts: 70 mph.
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 115 miles.
Minimum central pressure: 996 mb.

TS Noel is about 140 miles South-Southwest of Nassau in the Bahamas and about 210 miles South-Southeast of Miami, Florida.

Noel is back over the water and regaining some strength as it turns to the North. It will turn to the Northeast later as it reaches the prevailing Westerlies and will encounter significant wind shear forestalling development into a hurricane. The current gusty winds over South Florida are not directly related to Noel, but to a high pressure system that is moving in from the Northwest.

Unless something radical happens, I won’t be upgrading this post today.

October 31, 2007   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Noel – 4

All Hallowed Evening

Jack o' lanternWhether you celebrate Celtic New Year’s Eve [Samhain], the evening before All Saints Day [Halloween], or the posting of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 [Reformation Day], have a happy one.

Wikipedia does its normally thorough job of covering all of the bases on the holidays that share October 31st.

I’ll include my remembrances of Halloweens past.

These “harvest festivals” aren’t fooling anyone.

October 31, 2007   7 Comments

Looking For A Hand

CBS News reports that Safety Board Head Under Fire Over Recalls

(CBS/AP) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday called for the resignation of the head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission following the recall of millions of Chinese-made toys.

Pelosi says it’s clear that Nancy Nord, the acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation, because she opposes legislation now before Congress that would double the agency’s budget over the next seven years to more than $141 million a year, reports CBS News correspondent Chip Reid.

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October 30, 2007   23 Comments

Dam Nuisance

The BBC reports that an Iraqi dam ‘at risk of collapse’

The largest dam in Iraq is at risk of an imminent collapse that could unleash a 20m (65ft) wave of water on Mosul, a city of 1.7m people, the US has warned.

In May, the US told Iraqi authorities to make Mosul Dam a national priority, as a catastrophic failure would result in a “significant loss of life”.

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October 30, 2007   4 Comments

Internet In The News

Joining the Senate, the House Approves Internet Tax Ban:

(AP) A bill to extend a moratorium on Internet access taxes for seven years was approved 402-0 by the House Tuesday, less than two days before it was set to expire.

The House initially approved a four-year ban, but last week the Senate passed a seven-year prohibition, despite considerable support for a permanent ban.

So if I’m in Florida buying a memory upgrade from a company in California to be delivered to my brother in New York, who would get the sales tax?

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October 30, 2007   6 Comments

Who Do They Call

when FEMA has a disaster?

Weston Kosova at Newsweek covers The Real Fake News. [Not Maru or TBogg, but not bad.]

October 30, 2007   2 Comments

Tropical Storm Noel – 3

NoelPosition: 21.4 N 78.1 W. [10PM CDT]
Movement: Northwest [315°] near 5 mph.
Maximum sustained winds: 40 mph.
Wind Gusts: 50 mph.
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 175 miles.
Minimum central pressure: 1002 mb.

TS Noel is inland near Camaguey, Cuba and about 255 miles South of Nassau in the Bahamas.

[Note: I post one new item per day if the status remains the same, but update it throughout the day.]

October 30, 2007   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Noel – 3

Health Care Fraud

Fallenmonk has been watching Rudy and discusses Keeping it Honest.

Rudy has a new ad out in which he says: “You and I should be making the decisions about what kind of health care we get with our doctors, not with a government bureaucrat.”

He makes claims about prostate cancer survival rates in various countries which makes it rather clear that the Japanese have a much lower rate of prostate cancer than Westerners, and no matter where you live in the West, or what your health care system looks like, between 26 and 30 men per 100,000 die of prostate cancer.

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October 29, 2007   2 Comments

Stupid Candidate Tricks

Dave Johnson at Seeing The Forest notes that both Edwards and Obama are carrying Repub water on Social Security.

How many times do these people have to be told that the only problem with Social Security is that the Repubs have been raiding the trust fund to give their friends and supporters tax breaks, and now they are going to be forced to pay it back. The money has been paid by the people who will receive the benefits and Congress has to put back what they have taken. The Repubs have been looting the trust fund to drive the system under and they need to be called on it, not supported in their alibis by Dems.

October 29, 2007   11 Comments

Ignorance Will Get People Killed

The BBC notes: IAEA findings on Iran dismissed

France and the US have dismissed a finding by the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog Mohammed ElBaradei that there is no evidence of Iran building a bomb.

French Defence Minister Herve Morin challenged Iran to allow UN inspectors unlimited access to sites.

A White House spokeswoman said Iran was “enriching and reprocessing uranium, and the reason that one does that is to lead towards a nuclear weapon”.

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October 29, 2007   9 Comments

Get Ready For The Next Musical

Just so you know: Argentina’s first lady wins poll

Argentina’s current first lady, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, has secured victory in the country’s presidential election.

With most of the ballots counted, Mrs Kirchner had an unassailable lead with 44.9% of the votes.

Her nearest rival, former lawmaker Elisa Carrio, has admitted defeat, trailing on 23% of the vote.

Mrs Kirchner will succeed her husband Nestor Kirchner and become Argentina’s first elected female president.

Argentina wants you to know that this had nothing to with Eva Perón, but they wouldn’t say no to a visit from Andrew Lloyd Webber.

October 29, 2007   13 Comments

Oops, Maybe Less

Maybe Exxon will be able to pay the fine in a week: Oil price settles at record high

By close of trade in New York, US light crude for December delivery rose by $1.67 to $93.53 a barrel, marking a record settlement price.

We have to attack Iran because the oil market responds so well to things going boom in the region. This is the price for December delivery, but it will be reflected in your price at the pump tomorrow.

October 29, 2007   Comments Off on Oops, Maybe Less