Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for November 11th, 2008

Kamiya Satoshi’s amazing origami

Posted by Charles II on November 11, 2008

Thanks to Eli, posting at The Sideshow

Posted in Just for fun | 1 Comment »

All’s Right With the World

Posted by MEC on November 11, 2008

Helen Thomas

White House Press Corps doyenne and national treasure Helen Thomas has been battling illness since May. I was overjoyed to read that she is returning to work soon, possibly as soon as tomorrow.

Posted in Helen Thomas | 2 Comments »

Gwalia in Khasia and Khasia in Gwalia/updated

Posted by Charles II on November 11, 2008

First, visit here and turn on the CD by Siân James to get in the mood.

Image by Confused Shreyasi (Image of waterfall near Cherrapunji by Confused Shreyasi See note at bottom of post)

I just finished Nigel Jenkins’s Gwalia in Khasia (i.e., “Wales in Meghalaya, India”), and want to write a review of the book before returning the book to its lender. Gwalia in Khasia deals with three principal themes:

• The life events of Thomas Jones, a Welsh Calvinistic Methodist (Presbyterian) missionary in the hills of northeastern India, and his colleagues
• The culture and history of an Asiatic people, called the Khasi (and their kin, the Jaintian Pnar), and their similarities to the Welsh ethos
• The colonization of a people by a colonized people, its consequences and sequelae

Meghalaya province (Image of Meghalaya from Indian government)
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India, religion | Tagged: | 6 Comments »


Posted by Charles II on November 11, 2008

Give American business credit. Backed into a corner and faced with extinction, they will do the right thing.

From The Big Picture

• Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are expected to announce plans today to speed up the modification of hundreds of thousands of loans held by the housing finance giants.

• The GSEs will reduce principal or interest rates on some loans and extend the terms of others. The program is an extension of the Hope Now alliance.

• The effort will target certain loans that are past due and will aim to bring the ratio of household debt to income for these borrowers down to 38%

• Citigroup is contacting 500,000 homeowners with $20 billion in mortgages during the next six months. About 130,000 mortgage customers are expected to qualify.

• JPMorgan Chase (and their Washington Mutual acquisition) announced plans last week to cut monthly payments by lowering interest rates and temporarily reducing loan balances for as many as 400,000 homeowners.

This is roughly a million mortgages. I don’t immediately know by what criteria the relief was chosen and whether the relief is large enough to matter. Hopefully, they chose the homes closest to foreclosure and were generous in the terms.

Even though this is not a panacea, even though there will be issues that will rankle, this is exactly what is needed!

Posted in Good Things, mortgage crisis | 3 Comments »

MN Ballot Security an ‘Issue’?

Posted by MEC on November 11, 2008


So says the Associated Press: Somebody is concerned that the Minnesota ballots could have been tampered with, because there are no “uniform standards” for “safeguarding ballots”.

The AP report doesn’t mention who is raising the alarm, but I suspect it’s the candidate who tried to prevent the recount.

Call me cynical, but I suspect the reason the alarm has been raised is not because there are any lapses in security but because Somebody wants to be able to cry foul if he loses the recount. County officials do take the sanctity and security of the ballot seriously, and I won’t blame them one bit if they resent the aspersions cast upon their integrity, not to mention their intelligence.

(It’s probably too much to hope for that a county official, if pressed for how the ballots are kept safe from tampering, would reply that they’re stored in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.)

Posted in bogus "voter fraud" claims, Minnesota | 1 Comment »

Send them back to Africa

Posted by Charles II on November 11, 2008

The people who are offended by the name of their new president-elect, that is. Via Johnny Wendell, from Sandy Maple on AOL’s ParentDish (no link):

The ACLU has received complaints from students and parents in that state [Mississippi, of course] claiming they are being told not to say Barack Obama’s name or wear shirts or other items expressing their support for the President-Elect. At Pearl Junior High School, two students were kicked off the bus for daring to utter Obama’s name. Players for the girls’ basketball team were told they would be suspended if they spoke Obama’s name. And at Puckett Attendance Center, two students were informed that Barack Obama was only to be discussed in history class, not in other classes or in the halls.


Posted in Barack Obama, eedjits, Republicans acting badly | 9 Comments »

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