Sunday, December 27, 2009

Put Down That Shovel!

Forget old-fashioned infrastructure. Here are six government projects to foster a lasting economic recovery.

By Andy Kessler

Here's a fine article. Inventive, forward looking

It's worth the time to click through to read it in full

The House has passed a $154 billion jobs bill, and the administration has announced a plan to spend $50 billion of repaid TARP money to "create" jobs—this time its green jobs, "shovel ready" infrastructure projects ($27.5 billion for highway construction and repair) and a tax credit for small businesses.

Building roads and bridges willy-nilly won't make us more productive; and without increases in productivity and the associated corporate profits, there can be no sustainable job creation, no increase in standards of living, and no real economic recovery.

Stop thinking concrete and massive construction projects. Think small—photons, electrons and proteins. Here are six ideas:

These six ideas are here

College asks students to power down, contemplate

Good article here.

Please start it here and click through to read it

The Associated Press
Friday, December 25, 2009;
10:40 AM

The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project has
found that 82 percent of 16- and 17-year-olds own cell phones.
Ninety-four percent of teens spend time online.

But Lynch fears all that time spent in the 21st century's town square
leaves few opportunities for clutter-free thought. She wants the
students to also pursue the more elusive state of mind that comes with

Friday, December 25, 2009

Terror trials will pose tough questions about Islam

Here is another good piece in the Christian Science Monitor, written in anticipation of upcoming trials of 11 murder suspects moved to US soil from Gitmo,

Washington - The coming trials of 11 Muslim men in the United States for several separate acts of mass murder will sharply refocus attention on Islamic theology. It will also present the Muslim world with a "moment of truth."

Walter Rogers does an excellent job mostly by the simplicity and sincerity of the voice he has managed to secure for his article.  Because of this he is able as an outsider to bring the right questions before the Ummah, the global Muslim community

We hope the good questions raised by Walters will be engaged by the many fine Muslim leaders in the US, who bear these special challenges at the current time.

Read the entire article here

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Airlines expected to lose $5.6 billion in 2010

There is one huge oversight in analysis about Airlines. No one factors in the the fact that airlines fully lack what makes businesses successful.

Airlines, especially US carriers perfectly fail establish positive customer relations. Airlines do not respect flyers, flyers in turn don’t like airlines. There is no trust. Commerce is “hold your nose” and fly if you must.

Successful businesses are built on a corporate ethos of true care for clients, followed by clients loyalty and happiness to give our business.

Analysts examine every indicator when sobbing about airlines except the simple truth of what makes a business successful, customer care, and customer loyalty.

GENEVA – The global airline industry will face another harrowing year in 2010, with losses expected to reach $5.6 billion despite some recovery in passenger and cargo traffic, an industry group said Tuesday.

“2009 very quickly got much worse than we expected,” said IATA chief economist Brian Pearce.


North Carolina councilman may face lawsuit over his atheism

Surely we cannot affirm the notion that a public official should be removed from office for "not believing in God," but what do you think of his own defense? Do you agree that the matter is not relevant to public office?

Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell believes in ending the death penalty, conserving water and reforming government -- but he doesn't believe in God. His political opponents say that's a sin that makes him unworthy of serving in office, and they've got the North Carolina constitution on their side.

"The question of whether or not God exists is not particularly interesting to me and it's certainly not relevant to public office," the recently elected 59-year-old said.

The entire article is here

Cecil Bothwell takes the oath of office for the Asheville City Council Dec. 8. His opponents say the admitted athiest can't serve because North Carolina law disqualifies candidates who "deny the being of Almighty God."

Pak religious leaders declare suicide attacks 'haram'

Frank says:

This might be a big “duh” to most, but the formal establishment of this position by established, theological authorities is important

While this might seem obvious to the near total majority of normal, thinking people in the Muslim world and without, still the formal declaration forbidding suicide/genocide coming from several important, established, and respected theological schools in the region is a vital step toward solving the problem of violent militants who pervert religious teachings to defend their bestial horrors.
Lahore, Dec. 14 : Religious leaders from various schools of thought across Pakistan have termed suicide attacks ‘haram’ or un-Islamic.
See more at

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Phil Mushnick on Tiger Woods

Of all the ink on the sad sad tale of Tiger Woods, the piece that caught my attention was that of Phil Mushnick in the New York Post.

Mushnick focuses on an event 10 years ago on the links, and on the the 3 days after the 1 car accident rather than on the sordid, and prurient. He notes issues of character, real friends, and the challenges of wealth and power.

So what's the cost of good advice that it's too expensive for Tiger Woods? It seems that all he had to do was face the music before it became deafening. Disarm the alarm quickly, honestly, openly: "We're having some marital issues. Things, right now, are not good, but we hope to resolve them, one way or another. I've cooperated with the police in this matter. Thank you."

Chances are that much of what's blowing in would've blown itself out by now. Some of it wouldn't have even caught the wind. "Hey, from the start, he admitted his marriage is on the rocks, didn't he?" Or did Woods & Co. really think that they could keep the lid on a can of half-opened stink? Why, because he's Tiger Woods?

Woods was long ago attached to a climate-controlled, rep-firm-at-work immaculate image. Some recognized it from the start as nauseatingly bogus. It figures that Team Tiger on Saturday came up with a plan to send Woods into a bunker that no sand wedge, even in Tiger Woods' hands, could beat. But hadn't Woods & Co. always gotten its way? This would be just another sweet up and down to save par.

Playing the Phoenix Open in 1999, Woods, starting his third full year as a pro but already identified as extra super special, hit his drive behind a boulder.

Craig Jones/Allsport
A dozen fans moving a rock away from his ball is an example of the special treatment.

His approach to the green was blocked. No problem. A dozen spectators teamed to shove that boulder out of his way. A boulder that took 12 men to move was deemed, as per The Rules of Golf, "a loose impediment" -- it was for Tiger Woods.

On TV, that day, and for weeks to come, the announcers thought that boulder-shoving scene was great. Most media did, or so they claimed. So what that such an unnatural advantage wouldn't have been extended to some anonymous schnook who was trying to make a paycheck in that tournament, everyone loves Tiger!

But that was never the point. A few party poopers -- I was one -- didn't see the sport in what had happened. It set a bad example -- for Woods. He didn't have to deal with a boulder that was in his way; boulders are for the other guys to deal with.

I was hoping that Woods would have called the do-gooders off that rock, that he'd have recognized that such use/misuse of the rules is excessive, that it violated the "spirit of the rules" (failed the smell test).

But Woods passed on this golden opportunity to prove that he's a sportsman, that he'd do as everyone else must, that under the circumstances, he'd just have to do the best he could.

Ten years later, that boulder is back. This time, though, he had to deal with it, do the best he could. Unaccustomed to such circumstances, he didn't deal with them very well.

But when you grow accustomed to having it your way, every time, all the time, and you're surrounded by those who either serve that end or established it and maintain it, good advice isn't allowed past the gatehouse.

I've often wondered whether Donald Trump, for all his dough, has a real-deal best friend, the kind who can tell him when he's acting like a jerk and remain his best friend. Or does he surround himself with acolytes he confuses as friends, backslappers who tell him what he wants to hear -- or risk excommunication? I suspect it's the latter.

And I suspect that began to become Woods' reality, too. Woods' "pals" allowed him to think that he could beat this because he's Tiger Woods. A real friend wouldn't have allowed him to think such a foolish thing.