Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More on New Reserve Currency...

It looks like more are falling behind the U.N. Panel's recommendation that is due out soon...
Original post is here: One World Currency.

"Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, argued that what he called a super-sovereign reserve currency would not only eliminate the risks inherent in currencies such as the dollar, which are backed only by the credit of the issuing country and not by gold or silver, but would also make it possible to manage global liquidity," reported the Times Online.

However, the technical and political hurdles to implementing China's recommendation are enormous, so even if backed by other nations, the proposal is unlikely to change the dollar's role in the short term. Central banks around the world hold more U.S. dollars and dollar securities than they do assets denominated in any other individual foreign currency. Such reserves can be used to stabilize the value of the central banks' domestic currencies. Mr. Zhou's comments -- coming on the heels of Mr. Wen's musing about the safety of China's dollar holdings -- appear to be a warning to the U.S. that it can't expect China to finance its spending indefinitely.

he central banker's proposal reflects both China's desire to hold its $1.95 trillion in reserves in something other than U.S. dollars and the fact that Beijing has few alternatives. With more U.S. dollars continuing to pour into China from trade and investment, Beijing has no realistic option other than storing them in U.S. debt.

Information from Times Online & The Wall Street Journal Online

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wisconsin Rapids Man Accused of Assaulting Toddler

From my hometown of Wisconsin Rapids.
If guilty, this guy is a sick bastard. 25 year-old Jeremy Lund of Wisconsin Rapids is accused of sexually assaulting and abusing a 17 month old toddler. If he's convicted he faces 79+ years in prison. Some will say if he is guilty he should be killed, castrated, strung up by his junk, etc. I say just let him go to prison. I hear prison is a very unpleasant place for child rapists. Justice would be served.

According to the criminal complaint:
On Jan. 20, a Wisconsin Rapids couple left their daughter with Lund while they went grocery shopping. They were gone a little more than two hours. When they returned, Lund was not there, and the woman found baby wipes with blood on them on the floor of her daughter's playroom. She found the baby in her crib, injured and bleeding. The woman wrapped her daughter in a blanket and took her to the Riverview Hospital Emergency Room, while the man waited for Lund to return.

At the hospital, doctors reported the baby had a large bruise on the left side of her face, a large bruise on the left side of her forehead, scratch marks throughout her neck and bruising on both of her ears. She also had injuries consistent with sexual abuse. When confronted by the baby's father, Lund said he didn't mean to hurt the child and asked for a chance to explain. The father got into a physical confrontation with Lund, and a janitor pulled the two men apart. Lund told Wisconsin Rapids detectives that he "blacked out" and didn't remember what happened to the baby. He said he was willing to take responsibility for what happened, even though he didn't remember doing it. DNA evidence from the baby was found on Lund and DNA evidence from Lund was recovered from the baby. According to court documents, Lund was sentenced to six months in jail in 2003 for a Marshfield child abuse case. In that case, Lund told authorities a baby fell from a table.

In the Wisconsin Rapids case, Lund first told the father the girl fell from the couch, the complaint said.

Jeremy Lund, 25

Saturday, March 21, 2009

One World Currency Conspiracy-Heading Towards Reality?

Just a few minutes ago I was thinking about writing a post about how I'm tired of politics being such a negative force in our world today. I was thinking about focusing all on the positive. Then my conspiracy bug took hold when I ran across a story about a U.N. Panel's findings:

Truthout has a story about a recommendation to be made next week by the U.N. Commission of Experts on International Finance Reform (I'll call them CEIFR). CEIFR seems to believe that the dollar should be ditched by the world as its reserve currency in favor of a "shared basket of currencies."

I am in no way a financial expert. Not even close! But this move concerns me. It further degrades the value of the dollar during this current financial crisis. It also allows Russia to have a stronger position when introducing their plan for the creation of a new reserve currency at the G20 meeting in April. One positive is that it could prevent the move towards using the Chinese Yuan as the global currency reserve. Does this mean that if the proposal becomes policy, we move one step closer towards a world currency? 

Now I'm seriously considering investing in gold. Gold is the standard by which all currencies are based. Having that significantly improves our chances of staying financially strong and viable in a rapidly changing global economy. 

I'm open to people's thoughts about this. Is some group purposely trying to devalue the dollar to prevent or delay economic recovery for the United States?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Gangland Shootings at Walmart? (No Its a Hoax, Maybe)

Friday X-File:

There is a suspicious text message going around from an unknown sender to cell phone owners in Dane, Rock, and Dodge counties in southern Wisconsin. The text message says that 3 women will be shot at a Walmart as a gang initiation. The texter does not specify which Walmart it will happen at.

The police have now decided it is (most likely) a hoax.
Of course, there was a similar text message circulated in the past in other parts of the country as well as email chain warnings which were very similar:

"S'port & Bossier police are asking that no women go to walmart tonight. A possible gang initiation, 3 women will be shot. Please send this to all women."
So nice to have a little drama outside of work for a change. Of course its a sick idiot who started the hoax. Idiot being the key word.

Speaking of work drama: Dear God, LOUD TALKER is at it again!
I need it to be 3:30 so I can GO HOME.

Lehman Sisters

Wives/girlfriends of recently-orphaned Lehman Brothers executives who bond to share their collective, unexpected fall down the socio-economic ladder.

Amande and Jane are now the Lehman Sisters 'cause the Devil took away their Prada when their boyfriends lost their jobs on Wall Street.

George Bush is writing a book

Former president Bush is writing a book about the decisions he made while president of the United States and defining moments. I really hope he titles it "The Decider". I still wouldn't read it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Loud Talker

OK. I can't stand it anymore!!!! I have to bitch! Somewhere! To someone! (Lucky you)

I sit next to a person @ work who tends to "talk a little loud" when she's on the phone. When I say a little loud, what I really mean is she makes the ears bleed of anyone within about 30 feet of her. I'm going to need hearing aids. I seriously thought about buying duct tape at lunch. But I pussed out. But that's not the only thing. She types like she's working on a type writer from the 1820's. And then she trims her nails...at her desk...which is like nails on the chalkboard to me.

The beauty of it all? If you say anything to her, she gets all offended and upset. Dear God I wish I could have a drink right now.

How much do you think it would cost to soundproof her cube?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wisconsin Stories & Opinions

Dane101 posting: Lifting the Ban on Gay Marriage. Couldn't agree more.

From The Capital Times: A proposal in Governor Jim Doyle's budget would allow the secretary of the DoA (Department of Adminstration) to transfer state employees from agency to agency "at will." Not sure I'm supportive of this idea. Gut reaction: No. I'd like to hear what AFSCME has to say about it...so far they've been silent.

And today is going to be the warmest day in southern Wisconsin in a very long time, so get out and enjoy it!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Ides of March

The Roman Calendar names the 15th of March the "Ides of March." This is the date that a soothsayer supposedly warned Caesar about on his way to the Senate after he declared himself dicator for life. Caesar was murdered by members of the Senate on this date in 44 BC.

At least the Romans stood up to those who would be dictator.

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Paranormal

A little Monday distraction from politics.

I want to hear Ghost Stories. I'm going to go into more than just politics on this blog, in the spirit of "The Truth Is Out There" (aka The X-Files).

I'm a huge fan of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International, and really enjoy that there is reasonable and understandable explanations for a lot of the activity. For instance, at my home, the basement is a place where I "creep out." I feel very uncomfortable, feel like I'm being watched, and sometimes begin to have trouble breathing. After watching GHI for several episodes, I took a look around at the wiring in our basement. The house I live in is ancient (the basement has not been redone as the rest of the house has), and I'm convinced that there is Electromagnetic interference in the basement. Nothing spiritual or supernatural, just old wiring.

I'm going on some haunting trips this summer in the Midwest (mainly Wisconsin). So let's have some story time...

Lifting The Ban on Stem Cell Research

In his own words...

Remarks of President Barack Obama - As Prepared for Delivery
Signing of Stem Cell Executive Order and Scientific Integrity Presidential Memorandum:


Today, with the Executive Order I am about to sign, we will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers; doctors and innovators; patients and loved ones have hoped for, and fought for, these past eight years: we will lift the ban on federal funding for promising embryonic stem cell research. We will vigorously support scientists who pursue this research. And we will aim for America to lead the world in the discoveries it one day may yield.

At this moment, the full promise of stem cell research remains unknown, and it should not be overstated. But scientists believe these tiny cells may have the potential to help us understand, and possibly cure, some of our most devastating diseases and conditions. To regenerate a severed spinal cord and lift someone from a wheelchair. To spur insulin production and spare a child from a lifetime of needles. To treat Parkinson's, cancer, heart disease and others that affect millions of Americans and the people who love them.

But that potential will not reveal itself on its own. Medical miracles do not happen simply by accident. They result from painstaking and costly research - from years of lonely trial and error, much of which never bears fruit - and from a government willing to support that work. From life-saving vaccines, to pioneering cancer treatments, to the sequencing of the human genome - that is the story of scientific progress in America. When government fails to make these investments, opportunities are missed. Promising avenues go unexplored. Some of our best scientists leave for other countries that will sponsor their work. And those countries may surge ahead of ours in the advances that transform our lives.

But in recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values. In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research - and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly.

It is a difficult and delicate balance. Many thoughtful and decent people are conflicted about, or strongly oppose, this research. I understand their concerns, and we must respect their point of view.

But after much discussion, debate and reflection, the proper course has become clear. The majority of Americans - from across the political spectrum, and of all backgrounds and beliefs - have come to a consensus that we should pursue this research. That the potential it offers is great, and with proper guidelines and strict oversight, the perils can be avoided.

That is a conclusion with which I agree. That is why I am signing this Executive Order, and why I hope Congress will act on a bi-partisan basis to provide further support for this research. We are joined today by many leaders who have reached across the aisle to champion this cause, and I commend them for that work.

Ultimately, I cannot guarantee that we will find the treatments and cures we seek. No President can promise that. But I can promise that we will seek them - actively, responsibly, and with the urgency required to make up for lost ground. Not just by opening up this new frontier of research today, but by supporting promising research of all kinds, including groundbreaking work to convert ordinary human cells into ones that resemble embryonic stem cells.

I can also promise that we will never undertake this research lightly. We will support it only when it is both scientifically worthy and responsibly conducted. We will develop strict guidelines, which we will rigorously enforce, because we cannot ever tolerate misuse or abuse. And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society.

This Order is an important step in advancing the cause of science in America. But let's be clear: promoting science isn't just about providing resources - it is also about protecting free and open inquiry. It is about letting scientists like those here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it's inconvenient - especially when it's inconvenient. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda - and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.

By doing this, we will ensure America's continued global leadership in scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs. That is essential not only for our economic prosperity, but for the progress of all humanity.

That is why today, I am also signing a Presidential Memorandum directing the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop a strategy for restoring scientific integrity to government decision making.. To ensure that in this new Administration, we base our public policies on the soundest science; that we appoint scientific advisors based on their credentials and experience, not their politics or ideology; and that we are open and honest with the American people about the science behind our decisions. That is how we will harness the power of science to achieve our goals - to preserve our environment and protect our national security; to create the jobs of the future, and live longer, healthier lives.

As we restore our commitment to science, and resume funding for promising stem cell research, we owe a debt of gratitude to so many tireless advocates, some of whom are with us today, many of whom are not. Today, we honor all those whose names we don't know, who organized, and raised awareness, and kept on fighting - even when it was too late for them, or for the people they love. And we honor those we know, who used their influence to help others and bring attention to this cause - people like Christopher and Dana Reeve, who we wish could be here to see this moment.

One of Christopher's friends recalled that he hung a sign on the wall of the exercise room where he did his grueling regimen of physical therapy. It read: "For everyone who thought I couldn't do it. For everyone who thought I shouldn't do it. For everyone who said, 'It's impossible.' See you at the finish line."

Christopher once told a reporter who was interviewing him: "If you came back here in ten years, I expect that I'd walk to the door to greet you."

Christopher did not get that chance. But if we pursue this research, maybe one day - maybe not in our lifetime, or even in our children's lifetime - but maybe one day, others like him might.

There is no finish line in the work of science. The race is always with us - the urgent work of giving substance to hope and answering those many bedside prayers, of seeking a day when words like "terminal" and "incurable" are finally retired from our vocabulary.

Today, using every resource at our disposal, with renewed determination to lead the world in the discoveries of this new century, we rededicate ourselves to this work.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless America.

Wars and Rumors of Wars

North Korea has decided to threaten war (yawn....again?) if the US or Japan chooses to intercept the so-called satellite launch that N. Korea intends to carry out shortly. Of course, the US and others in the region believe the real goal is to test a long range missile "capable of striking Alaska." Of course, I do not take their threat all that seriously. If they chose war, they would be crushed. But Kim Jong Il is nothing more than the boy who called wolf, which makes either the laughing stock of planet earth or the most dangerous man alive.
President Obama stated yesterday that the US is "not winning in Afghanistan." True enough. “There may be some comparable opportunities in Afghanistan and in the Pakistani region,” he said, while cautioning that solutions in Afghanistan will be complicated. And that's probably why we're not winning. "Complicated" solutions just were not Bush's forte. I believe that President Obama's actions so far with increasing troop levels and openly stating that Pakistan must participate is the right start to turn things around so Afghanistan is not a repeat of the Soviet failures for the US.
It appears that violence in the "Mexican Drug Wars" is beginning to spill across the border into the United States, opening a new front in the battles that have already claimed thousands of lives. The Merida Initiative,a security cooperation between the US and Mexico will flood the region with over a billion dollars in aid and training. Where this ends up going I have no idea.

In closing...what wars/rumors of wars do you think loom on the horizon for the citizens of planet earth? Are we headed towards a more dangerous time, reminiscent of the beginning of the 20th Century or are we heading towards the end of mankind (as we know it)? I'm an optimist. I think these "upheavals" are a part of a larger change that will end well for all humankind. Not necessarily a utopia, but a state of affairs where we are determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Today's Roundup

I'm finally back. After two years of no posting, I've decided to return to writing.
The times call for as many voices as possible.
Change is here.
But is it good enough? Is it change enough? And is it really the change we need?
More on that in future posts. For now...

An Ex-UN Prosecutor says that Bush should be next up for the International Criminal Court. I don't, even in my greatest of fantasies, ever see this happening. I do find it interesting that it was said at the Human Rights Council on the day that the US finally had observers there after the Bush administration's boycott of the council. 

I find the Royal Rush Limbaugh Saga immensely funny. And so does Stephen Colbert. Of course. The whole mess this is creating in the Republican Party is the reason for the Truth Blog's first poll available on the right hand side of this page. Rush along with the Tennessee Congressman saying that healthcare is "a priviledge" just goes to show what they really think about the middle class and working poor of this country.

Visit the Raw Roundup for your weekly review of stories from the Left.