Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mark Sanford: "The biggest self of self is indeed self."

Analysis of what that might mean here and here.

Arrival of the Queen of Sheba

I hope no one got tickets to Addis Ababa

Apparently something was lost in translation from the original Italian article. What the patriarch really said was it's not so much that the Ark will be revealed, it's that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has the Ark and could reveal it if they wanted to, or something like that.

Added:
Yesterday, millions were waiting to watch eagerly the Ark of the Covenant revealed. A day passed but it was not made public. “No, the ark is not going to be revealed. Nobody could touch it. If you do so, God will smite you.” Aba Gebremedhin said.

Paulos puts the blame on the Adnkronos journal, which originally posted the news, and rectification later on.
Ethiopian Review

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ark of the Covenant about to be unveiled?

Ethiopian patriarch tells pope he will show artifact to world

The patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia says he will announce to the world Friday the unveiling of the Ark of the Covenant, perhaps the world's most prized archaeological and spiritual artifact, which he says has been hidden away in a church in his country for millennia, according to the Italian news agency Adnkronos.

Abuna Pauolos, in Italy for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI this week, told the news agency, "Soon the world will be able to admire the Ark of the Covenant described in the Bible as the container of the tablets of the law that God delivered to Moses and the center of searches and studies for centuries."
more

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Neda, a martyr for the revolution

RIP



Twitter feed on Neda.
h/t
Althouse

Neda's passport photo



The gunman, who was "hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house, aimed straight [at] her heart," said the video's poster, a doctor who made a desperate bid to help.

Heroic people are laying everything on the line, and we say nothing. I don't count Obama's tepid statements as saying anything.

Wolf Howling says "The regime, concerned that the basij and IRGC may balk at killing their unarmed countrymen - people whose sole sin is to protest the corrupt regime - is importing Hezbollah from Lebanon and Hamas from Gaza to form seperate basij units. They speak arabic, not farsi."

And these people are fighting them with rocks.

God bless these kickass Iranian women



Long live the lipstick revolution

Friday, June 19, 2009

Junior Brown

Big media snoozes through biggest financial crime in history

Suitcase With $134 Billion Puts Dollar on Edge

It’s a plot better suited for a John Le Carre novel.

Two Japanese men are detained in Italy after allegedly attempting to take $134 billion worth of U.S. bonds over the border into Switzerland. Details are maddeningly sketchy, so naturally the global rumor mill is kicking into high gear.

Are these would-be smugglers agents of Kim Jong Il stashing North Korea’s cash in a Swiss vault? Bagmen for Nigerian Internet scammers? Was the money meant for terrorists looking to buy nuclear warheads? Is Japan dumping its dollars secretly? Are the bonds real or counterfeit?

The implications of the securities being legitimate would be bigger than investors may realize. At a minimum, it would suggest that the U.S. risks losing control over its monetary supply on a massive scale.

The trillions of dollars of debt the U.S. will issue in the next couple of years needs buyers. Attracting them will require making sure that existing ones aren’t losing faith in the U.S.’s ability to control the dollar.

The dollar is, for better or worse, the core of our world economy and it’s best to keep it stable. News that’s more fitting for international spy novels than the financial pages won’t help that effort. It is incumbent upon the U.S. Treasury to get to the bottom of this tale and keep markets informed.

Think about it: These two guys were carrying the gross domestic product of New Zealand or enough for three Beijing Olympics. If economies were for sale, the men could buy Slovakia and Croatia and have plenty left over for Mongolia or Cambodia. Yes, they could have built vacation homes amidst Genghis Khan’s Gobi Desert or the famed Temples of Angkor. Bernard Madoff who?

These men carrying bonds concealed in the bottom of their luggage also would be the fourth-largest U.S. creditors. It makes you wonder if some of the time Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner spends keeping the Chinese and Japanese invested in dollars should be devoted to well-financed men crossing the Italian-Swiss border.

[...]

On his blog, the Market Ticker, Karl Denninger wonders if the Treasury “has been surreptitiously issuing bonds to, say, Japan, as a means of financing deficits that someone didn’t want reported over the last, oh, say 10 or 20 years.” Adds Denninger: “Let’s hope we get those answers, and this isn’t one of those ‘funny things’ that just disappears into the night.”

This is still a story with far more questions than answers. It’s odd, though, that it’s not garnering more media attention. Interest is likely to grow. The last thing Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke need right now is tens of billions more of U.S. bonds -- or even high-quality fake ones -- suddenly popping up around the globe.

more of the story

h/t
skinowski

UPDATE
Why is the apprehension of two Japanese men with $134.5 billion of U.S. Treasury bonds hidden in their suitcases not on the Nightly News? This is a huge story and could indicate a massive coverup by the U.S. and Japanese governments. Why isn't the Secretary of the Treasury being interviewed? Why is ABC handing over their network to the Obama propaganda machine when possibly the biggest financial fraud story in history is right under their noses. Only Karl Deninger is on top of this story. Read the almost unbelievable facts below and judge whether the whole truth will be allowed to be told. I'm sure 60 Minutes and their 90 year old correspondents are all over it, unless they have an hour planned for Michelle Obama's fashion sense and progress on the vegetable garden.

Milan (AsiaNews) – Italy’s financial police (Guardia italiana di Finanza) has seized US bonds worth US 134.5 billion from two Japanese nationals at Chiasso (40 km from Milan) on the border between Italy and Switzerland. They include 249 US Federal Reserve bonds worth US$ 500 million each, plus ten Kennedy bonds and other US government securities worth a billion dollar each.

Those sound like Bearer Bonds - at least the Kennedy ones do.

We no longer issue those (nor does pretty much anyone else) for obvious reasons - they're essentially money and can be had in VERY large size, making them great vehicles for various illegal enterprises.

But folks: This is $134.5 billion dollars worth.

If they're real, what government (the only entity that would have such a cache) is trying to unload them?

If they're fake, this is arguably the biggest counterfeiting operation ever, by a factor of many times. I've seen news about various counterfeiting operations over the years that have made me chuckle, but this one, if that's what it is, is absolutely jaw-dropping.

The cute part of this is that if the certificates are real Italy just got a hell of a bonanza - their money laundering laws provide for a statutory 40% penalty for failure to declare instruments and cash in excess of $10,000 Euros, which means they'd garner a close-to-$40 billion dollar windfall.

That ought to help their budget problems!

Notice, by the way, that the US Media has totally ignored this story - even though the securities in question are allegedly US instruments.

Gee, I wonder why? Might the authorities know they're real and be just a wee bit nervous that disclosure of a sovereign attempting to covertly dump nearly $140 billion in debt could cause a wee bit of panic, given that we're running nearly $200 billion a month in deficits?

Inquiring minds want to know what's really going on here.

more on the biggest financial crime in history

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE
From a commenter on Quinn's blog:

To add to the mystery, consider that Geithner, in April 2009 stated the following:

"Treasury still has about $134.5 billion (92 billion pounds) available out of an originally approved $700 billion for bolstering banks' capital and said he wouldn't need to ask Congress for more."

uk.biz.yahoo.com/21042...

$134.5 billion is the exact amount of the bonds that were seized.

City: Workers Must Wear Underwear

Deodorant Also Included In Florida City's Revised Dress Code

A Florida city has written common sense into its employee dress code: Wear underwear to work.

The Brooksville city council recently approved a revised dress code as part of its effort to update existing policies.

The revision instructs employees to observe "strict personal hygiene," including the use of deodorant. It lists "the observable lack of undergarments and exposed undergarments" as "unacceptable attire."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wendell Berry Picks Jail Over NAIS

Testimony of Wendell Berry at Kentucky NAIS “Listening Session”

The need to trace animals was made by the confined animal industry – which are, essentially, disease breeding operations. The health issue was invented right there. The remedy is to put animals back on pasture, where they belong. The USDA is scapegoating the small producers to distract attention from the real cause of the trouble. Presumably these animal factories are, in a too familiar phrase, “too big to fail”.

This is the first agricultural meeting I’ve ever been to in my life that was attended by the police. I asked one of them why he was there and he said: “Rural Kentucky”. So thank you for your vote of confidence in the people you are supposed to be representing. (applause) I think the rural people of Kentucky are as civilized as anybody else.

But the police are here prematurely. If you impose this program on the small farmers, who are already overburdened, you’re going to have to send the police for me. I’m 75 years old. I’ve about completed my responsibilities to my family. I’ll lose very little in going to jail in opposition to your program – and I’ll have to do it. Because I will be, in every way that I can conceive of, a non-cooperator.

I understand the principles of civil disobedience, from Henry Thoreau to Martin Luther King. And I’m willing to go to jail to defend the young people who, I hope, will still have a possibility of becoming farmers on a small scale in this supposedly free country. Thank you very much. (applause, cheers)

Listen to Wendell Berry's comments

h/t
Food Renegade

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Belated Happy Bloomsday

June 16, 1904

I've been dipping into Ulysses on and off for about 25 years now. Perhaps some day I'll finish it.



h/t
Gregory McNamee

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cows Eat Chicken Crap By The Ton

The youtube video of a cow being forklifted into the kill room at a slaughterhouse made a lot of people sit up and take notice of the barbaric nature of CAFOs. That may have been an extreme example, but the day to day life isn't much better. Cows wallow in feces and are force fed grain, which isn't what nature intended ruminants to eat. Cows are grass eaters, force feeding them grain makes them sick, which is why they're pumped full of antibiotics. The system isn't just barbaric, it's insane. Thankfully there are more small grass fed cattle operations in existence now than in quite some time, despite the Dept. of Ag's admonition to "get big or get out."

Turns out the cows in CAFOs are living on a bit more than force fed grain and corn, and further explains why they're so loaded up on antibiotics.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Willy!

On this day in 1865 William Butler Yeats was born in Dublin. Great poetry is better heard than read.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Family to lose home over $50 tax bill

BRIDGEPORT -- Ever since he came to this country from Haiti, Jean Castro just wanted to live the American dream.

He worked as a mechanic in Stamford before finally saving enough money to buy a house here for himself, his wife and three children.

Now, three years later, the city is foreclosing on the single-family home on Harral Avenue because Castro owes $51.69 in back taxes.

more on this sorry saga


The comment section of the Post article has several references to wealthy condo owners and corporations who are behind on their taxes. Will they be foreclosed on as well? I don't wish foreclosure on anyone, but the city needs to apply the rule uniformly and either lay off of this guy or go after everybody.

3 Famous Commas

1. THE FATAL COMMA
Czarina Maria Fyodorovna once saved the life of a man by transposing a single comma in a warrant signed by her husband, Alexander III, which exiled a criminal to imprisonment and death in Siberia. On the bottom of the warrant the czar had written: `Pardon impossible, to be sent to Siberia.' The czarina changed the punctuation so that her husband's instructions read: `Pardon, impossible to be sent to Siberia.' The man was set free.

2. THE BLASPHEMOUS COMMA
In several editions of the King James Bible, Luke 23:32 is changed entirely by the absence of a comma. In the passage that describes the other men crucified with Christ, the erroneous editions read: `And there were also two other malefactors.' Instead of counting Christ as a malefactor, the passage should read: `And there were also two other, malefactors.'

3. THE MILLION-DOLLAR COMMA
The US government lost at least a million dollars through the slip of a comma. In the tariff act passed on June 6, 1872, a list of duty-free items included: `Fruit plants, tropical and semitropical'. A government clerk accidentally altered the line to read: `Fruit, plants tropical and semitropical'. Importers successfully contended that the passage, as written, exempted all tropical and semitropical plants from duty fees. This cost the US a fortune until May 9, 1874, when the passage was amended to plug the hole.

http://www.canongate.net/

Holocaust museum shooter was a Bush hater and 9/11 truther

Von Brunn was the 9,196th person to sign the “Petition of Solidarity” hosted on the website Justicefor911.org, which claims it is sponsored in part by the organization 911Truth.org. According to the website over 16,600 people have signed the petition.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Killingly man runs truck on wood, leaves

From the Norwich Bulletin:

A Killingly man has spent the last few years resurrecting and modifying a 130-year-old technology that allows him to run a 4,000-pound truck on wood, leaves and trash.

Five years ago, Dave Nichols, fed up with the rising cost of fuel and wood waste disposal and concerned with the amount of emissions produced by traditional gas-powered vehicles, began constructing a biomass gasification system for his 1989 Ford F150 pickup truck.

“I got the idea after leafing through a couple of old books that mentioned this type of system being used to power gas lamps in the 1870s,” said Nichols, 42. “Then, except for a brief period during World War II, the technology disappeared.”

It disappeared, he said, because car and fuel companies concluded they could not reap substantial profits from vehicles that ran on a free fuel source.
rest of the article
h/t
CT Environmental Headlines

Added:
The above headline reminded Wharf Rat of this book.
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference!
by Lynne Truss

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bingo melee

Fox News and MTV are reporting that a California charity worker who organizes weekly bingo for the elderly is suing Borat and Brüno star Sacha Baron Cohen, alleging that he beat her up, "crippled" her and caused the demise of her marriage in a bingo melee.

h/t
Colin McEnroe

Feds Launch Probe Into Abortionist Killing

The Justice Department on Friday opened an investigation into the killing of Kansas abortion provider George Tiller to see whether the accused gunman had accomplices.

No word yet on any investigation of the murder of Private Long.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

D-Day

A tribute video to those who stormed the beaches at Normandy


h/t
Palouse Caboose

One of the British officers played a recording of the St. Crispin's Day speech from Henry V as they were heading ashore.

Supporting your local artists

It is vital that we support our local artists, especially the makers of handmade toys. :)

I recently picked up a CD at a local pizza shop (best New Haven style around - yum!) that one of the employees had for sale. This young lady has GOT IT! And the band backing her up is pretty good too.

Buy her CD now while they're still cheap - sure to be a collector's item!
Laura Ganci