Sunday, June 29, 2008

Building Detente with Radical Muslims

Okay, so the problem with militant Islam is that it's militant: they kill men, women, and children and nothing we do or say can stop them. Some people say they hate us because of poverty, or colonialism, or Israel, none of which is true. The real problem is Islam itself, and the promise of an instant one-way ticket to Heaven (and 30 virgins). To understand this problem more deeply, once small insight into Arabic society is needed: under conditions of polygamy, better-connected men have a better choice of women. As a consequence, there remain large numbers of poor, uneducated men who have no available partners. This does not produce a harmonious society and thus the dream of having 30 virgins. Since we cannot negotiate with these radicals, we need to threaten the only thing they hold dear: the mosques in Jerusalem and Mecca. We need to make it very clear to the muslim fanatics around the world that if a WMD is detonated in the United States, we will wipe out their mosque in Jerusalem. If another is detonated, then we will destroy the one in Mecca. In my opinion this is the only way to prevent the deaths of millions of Americans and will ensure a new style of religious "detente" with the mad mullahs of the world. With Mecca in jeopardy, the radicals will police their own and ensure safety and security for the rest of the world.



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How just one Person can Change the World
In 1997, Jodie Williams, then a Vermont-based grassroots activist, won the Nobel prize for helping to create a treaty banning antipersonnel land mines despite the opposition of the Pentagon, the strongest bureaucracy in the strongest country in the world. She organized her campaign largely on the Internet.



Global stock and credit crash alert
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor
Last Updated: 12:19am BST 19/06/2008

The Royal Bank of Scotland has advised clients to brace for a full-fledged crash in global stock and credit markets over the next three months as inflation paralyses the major central banks.

"A very nasty period is soon to be upon us - be prepared," said Bob Janjuah, the bank's credit strategist.

A report by the bank's research team warns that the S&P 500 index of Wall Street equities is likely to fall by more than 300 points to around 1050 by September as "all the chickens come home to roost" from the excesses of the global boom, with contagion spreading across Europe and emerging markets.

"I do not think I can be much blunter. If you have to be in credit, focus on quality, short durations, non-cyclical defensive names.

"Cash is the key safe haven. This is about not losing your money, and not losing your job," said Mr Janjuah, who became a City star after his grim warnings last year about the credit crisis proved all too accurate.

RBS expects Wall Street to rally a little further into early July before short-lived momentum from America's fiscal boost begins to fizzle out, and the delayed effects of the oil spike inflict their damage.

"Globalisation was always going to risk putting G7 bankers into a dangerous corner at some point. We have got to that point," he said.

US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank both face a Hobson's choice as workers start to lose their jobs in earnest and lenders cut off credit.

The authorities cannot respond with easy money because oil and food costs continue to push headline inflation to levels that are unsettling the markets. "The ugly spoiler is that we may need to see much lower global growth in order to get lower inflation," he said.

Morgan Stanley warns of catastrophe
"The Fed is in panic mode. The massive credibility chasms down which the Fed and maybe even the ECB will plummet when they fail to hike rates in the face of higher inflation will combine to give us a big sell-off in risky assets," he said.

Kit Jukes, RBS's head of debt markets, said Europe would not be immune. "Economic weakness is spreading and the latest data on consumer demand and confidence are dire. The ECB is hell-bent on raising rates.

"The political fall-out could be substantial as finance ministers from the weaker economies rail at the ECB. Wider spreads between the German Bunds and peripheral markets seem assured," he said.

Ultimately, the bank expects the oil price spike to subside as the more powerful force of debt deflation takes hold next year.



Random Thoughts
1)After 9/11, most Americans aren't anxious because their "rights" are being impinged. They are anxious because there's chaos all around: foreign policy chaos, fiscal chaos, cultural chaos. The authority structures they rely on have let them down

2)Most Americans are now looking for leaders who are practical, anti-ideological, modest, and centrist.

3)All countries, including the United States, are facing a growing list of problems that are difficult to control within sovereign boundaries--financial flows, drug trade, climate change, AIDS, refugees, terrorism, cultural intrusions---to name a few.


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"Those who would be free....themselves must strike the first blow." Lord Byron

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