Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for July 17th, 2008

Really free markets

Posted by Charles II on July 17, 2008

Bloomberg, via Paul Kedrosky:

Pakistan investors stormed out of the Karachi Stock Exchange, smashed windows and cursed regulators after the benchmark index fell for a 15th day, the worst losing streak in at least 18 years….

The Karachi Index has plunged this year on concern that the ruling government coalition would collapse because of disputes between Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, the biggest group in the ruling coalition, and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The leaders have failed to resolve differences over how to reinstate judges dismissed by President Pervez Musharraf and whether the former army chief should be removed and stand trial.

Basically, the investors want trading curbs to be installed so that the market can crash slowly. The real cause for the decline is panic withdrawal of foreign hot money. When China does it, we call it “currency controls;” we whine but accept it as their way of doing business.

It’s becoming ever clearer that the loss of Bhutto was a serious one. I don’t think she’d get hung up over judges.


Posted in Pakistan, stock market | 1 Comment »

Until We Get Really Good Batteries…

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 17, 2008

this may well become one of the main ways that our military and commercial jets will be powered:

Tyson Foods and Syntroleum Corp. have approved plans to build and fund Dynamic Fuels’ first renewable synthetic fuels facility in Geismar, La., clearing the way for construction to begin.

Dynamic Fuels is a 50-50 joint venture between Tyson and Syntroleum to convert low grade, inedible fats and greases into renewable transportation fuels for the military and civilian markets.

I’ve noticed two distinct mindsets among military types. The one that gets the most press is of course the Rumsfeld-Cheney “invade our way to energy security and devil take whoever stands in our way” mindset.

The other one is the one that led a number of top brass to buy Priuses instead of limos or SUVs as soon as the Priuses were available (and has led to other military personnel making solar-based Prius conversions), and the one behind the Tyson Foods synthetic fuels plant, and the one behind this waste-to-energy refinery supplying an Army base in Baghdad (the more garbage they can turn into fuel, the less truckloads of diesel coming and garbage going out, and the fewer targets for insurgents). It’s the one that’s led the Navy to put solar-power systems in Naval housing in Hawaii. It’s the one that led the Air Force to install the country’s biggest solar-power system at Nellis AFB, along with wind power, geothermal and even biomass facilities.

In the meantime, the Navy’s investing in battery reserarch. They understand Peak Oil, even if Bush doesn’t.

Posted in energy, environment, military, Oil, saving the earth, solar, supporting the troops, sustainability, technology | 2 Comments »

Things You Won’t See On The US Evening News…

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 17, 2008

…because they’re too busy obsessing about Jesse Jackson:

At least one of the Colombians involved in the hostage-rescue raid stunt pretended to be a Red Cross worker. Posing as a Red Cross worker is a violation of international law, because Red Cross workers are tasked with being neutral aid workers. Now the Colombians have made it more difficult for Red Cross workers to do their jobs. Lovely.

— Minnesota, which once had schools, roads and bridges that were second to none in the nation, has been revealed to have spent less on bridges from 2002 through 2007 than all other states except Arizona. That’s what happens when Republicans control your state government for the better part of the past few decades.

Posted in abuse of power, infrastructure, international, Minnesota, wrong way to go about it, WTF?, You're On Your Own-ership Society | 1 Comment »

The pen or the sword?

Posted by Charles II on July 17, 2008

I guess people who thought that invading Pakistan was a brilliant idea are about to get that tested.

Dawn editorial, “Nato flexes its muscles?”:

THE fog of war along the Durand Line grows thicker. Troops, helicopter gunships, tanks and armoured personnel carriers of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) have arrived on the Afghan side of the border along the North and South Waziristan tribal agencies in what appears to be preparation for attacks inside Fata. A spokesman for Isaf has denied that plans are afoot to enter Pakistan and emphasised that Isaf’s mandate “stops at the border”. However, statements emanating from Washington suggest otherwise. Speaking at a White House press conference, President Bush said: “No question … that some extremists are coming out of parts of Pakistan into Afghanistan. And that’s troubling to us, it’s troubling to Afghanistan, and it should be troubling to Pakistan.” Keeping up the pressure on Pakistan, presidential hopefuls, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain, have emphasised that the violence in Afghanistan remains a key issue for the US. Events in Afghanistan also suggest that the US may be ready to set aside restraint. The death of nine US soldiers on Sunday in an audacious attack by the Taliban on an Isaf outpost in northern Afghanistan was the worst loss the Americans have suffered in Afghanistan since June 2005. The 32,000 American troops in the country remain very much in the Taliban’s crosshairs.

However, US or Isaf troops must not cross over into Pakistan, in hot pursuit of Al Qaeda and Taliban militants or otherwise. Doing so will be irresponsible in the extreme and will only fuel the cause of militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan while undermining the political process in Pakistan. The Taliban are itching for a battle with American forces, the “enemies of Muslims” according to Bajaur Taliban spokesman Maulvi Omar, and any US intrusion will further dent American credibility in this part of the world and burnish the credentials of the Taliban as defenders of Muslim populations under siege. Moreover, an attack by Isaf or American forces inside Pakistan will make it very difficult for the government to do its part in the fight against militancy, a war that is as much Pakistan’s as it is Afghanistan’s. Already the ominous troop build-up on the borders of Fata has stirred opportunist political dissent that threatens to paralyse the government. However, it must also be acknowledged that frustration amongst the Americans and Isaf is on the rise because of the perception of political drift in Islamabad. What is missing and is urgently required in Islamabad is a coherent policy for dealing with militancy in Fata and northern Pakistan that goes beyond the vague three-pronged strategy mooted by the prime minister. The world and all of Pakistan is looking to Islamabad for leadership and vision. The time to act is running out very quickly.

Zahid Hussain of The Times of London is also reporting this story, with some details of interest (via ICH).

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

The Internet And The Millenials Are To Blame For All That Is Wrong With America! (And The Boomers Had Nothing To Do With It!)

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 17, 2008

As georgia10 and Michael Connery point out, that seems to be what several finger-wagging Boomers are saying. (The biggest irony: One of the Boomers belching this Millenial-blaming bilge is none other than Iraq War cheerleader Thomas “Suck on this” Friedman.)

Posted in activism, getting a clue, Internet, Iraq war, Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Internet And The Millenials Are To Blame For All That Is Wrong With America! (And The Boomers Had Nothing To Do With It!)

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