Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fantastic idea

Bloomberg reported Credit Suisse Group AG’s investment bank has found a new way to reduce the risk of losses from about $5 billion of its most illiquid loans and bonds: using them to pay employees’ year-end bonuses.
Fantastic idea. They are responsible for buying them. Make them eat them. The only thing better would be to fire them and put these illiquid securities in their Golden Parachutes.
The bank will use leveraged loans and commercial mortgage- backed debt, some of the securities blamed for generating the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, to fund executive compensation packages, people familiar with the matter said. The new policy applies only to managing directors and directors, the two most senior ranks at the Zurich-based company, according to a memo sent to employees today.


Wouldn't Chapter 11 be better?

Did you ever wonder why the Big 3 are in trouble. Maybe it is because of decisions like this: Autoblog reported Chrysler is shuttering all of its plants for one month, beginning December 19.... Chrysler plant workers will have a really, really long Christmas break at 95% pay. So they stop making cars, but keep paying their workers 95% of what they would pay them if they were making cars. And they wonder why they are losing money. And want the government to give them a lot of money while they try to figure out why they are losing money. Wouldn't Chapter 11 be a better idea?


Obama Selects Rick Warren for Inauguration Pulpit

The far left is upset that Obama Selected Rick Warren for Inauguration Pulpit. Firedoglake reported President-elect Obama chose eliminationist
What is eliminationist? Orcinus says
Eliminationism describes a kind of politics and culture that shuns dialogue and the democratic exchange of ideas for the pursuit of outright elimination of the opposing side, either through complete suppression, exile and ejection, or extermination.
Since when has Rick Warren done any of that. He supported Prop 8 in California, to define marriage as between a man and a woman, as it has been for thousands of years, as the people of California had called for before a group of judges overruled them and authorized gay marriage. If anything was undemocratic it was what the judge did, not what the people of California did.
hate preacher Rick Warren to give the invocation at Obama's Inaguration. With this choice, Obama sends three destructive messages. Number one: In Obama's America, equal rights and reproductive freedom aren't for everyone.
How does reproductive freedom enter into things. Gays can't reproduce, but it has nothing to do with whether they can marry or not. It has to do with biology. Their complaint should be with God, not Rick Warren.
Number two: President-elect Obama likes sharing the national stage with hate.
This apparently stems from this article which says
Dr Rick Warren has said he supports the decision by Ugandan bishops to boycott the forthcoming Lamebth conference in England, United Kingdom.... "The Church of England is wrong and I support the Church of Uganda(CoU) on the boycott,"Dr Warren said on Thursday shortly after arriving in Uganda. The Bishops are protesting the Church of England's tolerance a homosexuality. Announcing the boycott in February, Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi said that Uganda's action had been prompted by the invitation of bishops of The US Episcopal Church (TEC) who in 2003 elected as bishop, Gene Robinson, a divorced man living in an active homosexual relationship.
So Rick Warren is a hate preacher because he supported bishops that were upset by the US Episcopal Church selecting a practicing Gay Bishop? Rick was quoted as saying homosexuality is not a natural way of life and thus not a human right. It is not a natural way of life, and I don't know why it should be called a "human right." Persecuting homosexuals by depriving them of things that are human rights is not good, but homosexuality itself is not a human right.
Number three: While Obama enjoys his equality before the law, LGBT Americans can go to Hell.
It is the Old Testament of the Bible that says homosexuality is bad. Not Rick Warren. He just reads the Bible.
Literally. Gee. Is this change we can believe in?
Do you think Obama is going to change what the Bible says?
Does Obama's America include GLBT's, along with the fundamentalists who want to take away their rights?
Take away rights, or just not grant special rights?
John Hawkins blogged Although Rick Warren takes his Christian beliefs seriously, he has always come across as a centrist politically. In other words, he can fairly be called "religious," but he's not really a member of the "religious right."
He is much more a mainstream preacher, with some liberal tendencies.
Since that's the case and since Barack Obama has spent much of his adult life surrounded by ultra-left wing, pseudo-Christian wackadoodles like Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger, Warren seems to be a sensible choice to do his inaugural invocation.
He certainly does not want to involve his former preacher to damn AmeriKKKa.
However, Obama's selection of Warren is flipping out the left side of the blogosphere, which is generally appalled by people who hold mainstream Christian beliefs.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

DARPA Blood Pharming

Popular Mechanics reported New research from DARPA could open the door to on-demand blood-cell manufacturing on battlefields and in hospitals. All medics need is a machine that uses a nanofiber that mimics bone marrow to turn a handful of stem cells
And it uses umbilical-cord stem cells, not Embryonic stem cells, so rather than killing babies, they need to be born.
into gallons of blood. Who needs blood donations when you have blood pharming?

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds


Advent Conspiracy

I am not a Catholic, so I don't know a lot about Advent, but I liked what I saw at The Anchoress about the Advent Conspiracy


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Americans Losing Confidence in Teachers Unions

Rasmussen Reports™: The most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a presidential election. reported two-thirds of U.S. voters (66%)
Just 2/3? The other 1/3 must be asleep (or teachers).
say the teachers’ unions – the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers – are more interested in protecting their members’ jobs than in the quality of education.

Jazz Shaw blogged This brings up two related issues: unions in general and education policy in specific. I’m not one of the “destroy the unions” types and I recognize the important role they played in our nation’s early days of industrialization and the useful purpose they can continue to serve today.
I agree with the fact that they did serve an important role in the early days of industrialization, but seeing how the UAW was not willing to compromise any in the efforts to save the Big 3 Automakers, I wonder if they have not passed the point of being useful, and I certainly hope congress does not pass the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act
However, as the economic battleground shifts, I have become increasingly aware that some unions have grown into self-feeding beasts which can - in the wrong hands - grow into positions where they cease helping their own members and begin to damage the industries providing the jobs their workers need. While this has been more apparent in the auto industry of late, the current state of education in this country certainly warrants some attention to their policies and practices.

Unions seem to fight any change to the status quo, such as charter schools, vouchers, home schooling and other alternative theories.
Because they all offer to do a better job than the public school system.
With the sad state of affairs in American education, it would seem that anything might be worth a try. I’m not terribly surprised that voter confidence in the unions may be on the decline and this may be a well timed wake up call to union leadership. If we are truly moving into a “post partisan” age of new politics, here’s one opportunity to get started.


Pelosi lays down the law with Rahm reported In talks with Emanuel and others, sources say, Pelosi has “set parameters” for what she wants from Barack Obama and his White House staff — no surprises, and no backdoor efforts to go around her and other Democratic leaders by cutting deals with moderate New Democrats or conservative Blue Dogs.
I wonder how the moderate New Democrats and conservative Blue Dogs feel about knowing the radical left will not allow them to try to cut any deals. Maybe they should find someone else to be speaker.
Specifically, Pelosi has told Emanuel that she wants to know when representatives of the incoming administration have any contact with her rank-and-file Democrats — and why, sources say.
The why is they have a right to represent the people that elected them.
... Pelosi “is not going to allow Obama to triangulate her,”
Like Clinton did.
said a Democratic source close to the leadership. “It’s not going to happen to her.”