Archive for February, 2010

Regarding Economists

Posted in Politics, Society on February 20th, 2010

In these turbulent times economists have risen closer to the forefront of many people’s thoughts. With the economies of the Civilized World in a level of disarray more common among the failed states of the Third World the words and opinions of economists are listened to and called wisdom.

If people are going to grant weight to these pundits’ often conflicting theories, however, it behooves people to remember one simple fact:

In all recorded history there has not been one economist who has had to worry about where the next meal would come from.

Peter Drucker

It would be utterly foolish to blithely discount the economists’ hypotheses and theories; they have, after all, studied the art form – it’s not a science at macroeconomic levels – of economics. Yet people should remember that these economists are safe and to a large extent protected from the results of their experiments.

Green Eggs and Bam

Posted in Humor, Politics on February 19th, 2010

I had hoped that Scott Brown’s election to the US Senate in Massachusetts would be a wake up call for President Obama and his Liberals in Congress, a call to slow down and reevaluate their approach to healthcare “reform.” At first I thought they might even listen to it since some of their key players seemed to get the broad hint that Americans were strongly opposed to ObamaCare.

But Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and their ilk are too childish to understand such things when they’re told in anything vaguely resembling an adult manner. Perhaps the great teacher of children, Dr. Seuss, can succeed where so many others have failed.


I Do Not Like It, Bam-I-Am. I Do Not Like Your Healthcare Plan.

Many thanks to BulletPeople for this hilarious and yet hopefully useful video based upon Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs And Ham.

And yes, to make clear and in language best suited to President Obama’s and the bulk of Congress’ cognitive and maturity levels, I do not like it, Bam-I-Am. I do not like your healthcare plan!

Nigerien Coup

Posted in Politics on February 18th, 2010

Nigeria's dictator of the moment, Mamadou TandjaA few overseas sources are reporting that there is currently a coup underway in Niger. Forces – currently unidentified – are trying to forcibly remove the quasi-dictator Mamadou Tandja from power. It seems to be a coup d’tat as opposed to a general uprising since smoke is reported to be coming from Tandja’s palace but there are no report of general violence beyond the normal “background noise” of Nigerian society.

Supposedly Tandja’s guardsmen are not doing well in defending their “President” and things look grim both Mamadou Tandja’s rule and, Given Sub-Saharan Africa’s politics, life.

From Ireland’s non-profit Public Service Broadcaster, RT:

A coup attempt is under way in Niger with the country’s President Mamadou Tandja described by a senior French official is ‘not in a good position’.

Smoke was seen rising from Niger’s presidential palace in what an intelligence officer said was a coup attempt President Mamadou Tandja’s guardsmen were trying to put down.

President Tandja, ruler of the uranium exporting central African nation for a decade, has come under heavy domestic and international criticism for last year orchestrating a reshuffle of the constitution to entrench and extend his power.

He dissolved parliament and orchestrated a constitutional reform in 2009 that gave him added powers and extended his term beyond his second five-year mandate, which expired in December.

The constitutional referendum in August, condemned internationally and at home, eliminated many of the remaining checks on Tandja’s authority, abolished term limits, and gave him an initial three more years in power without an election.

The constitutional court declared that vote illegal, to which President Tandja responded by abolishing the court and replacing its members with his own appointees.

West Africa’s regional bloc suspended Niger in October and the US terminated trade benefits for the country in December.

Niger is one of the world’s leading producers of uranium. It produces around 7.5% of the world’s uranium, according to the World Nuclear Association.

As the cost of oil and fears over global warming have rekindled interest in nuclear energy, Niger has handed out over 130 prospecting licenses, most of which have been for uranium.

However, just 10% of these are currently active as the political uncertainty comes on top of a two-year revolt led by Tuareg nomads calling for greater autonomy for the north, and a larger slice of the revenues from natural resources.

I doubt that this will be more than throw away one liner mentioned en passant by the American MSM since they’re myopic, parochial, and currently seemingly afraid of mentioning African unrest out of fear of it somehow “tainting” the half African President Obama. Despite their silence though, this is a matter of international importance that we should be more than a little concerned about.

The Dangers

Niger is an oil exporting country and China buys a large portion of their annual production. Anything that destabilizes oil production in Nigeria will impact not only oil prices in general but China’s stance on such issues as sanctions against Iran and various other trade agreements.

Niger’s uranium resources are also very important to the world. Not only, in the wake of the AGW hype, has nuclear power production returned to being an acceptable idea across the world, but it’s quite conceivable that unrest in Nigeria will facilitate the illegal sale of uranium to rogue states seeking either nuclear weapons or “dirty bomb” materials such as North Korea and Iran, both of whom have limited and “constrained” domestic uranium mining operations.

And, of course, one only has to look at Somalia to see that civil unrest and the collapse of the government – however vile and despicable that government is – gives the Islamists a chance at gaining control of large swaths of territory.

The Hope

On the other side of the equation, and equally deserving of media coverage, is the fact there is currently a coup underway to drive a vile and pernicious quasi-dictator from power in an African nation. This could well be cause for jubilation.

Currently Niger is sanctioned by the US and cutoff from relations with the rest of the West Africa’s regional bloc. A regime change could well, depending on what group of people is behind it, result in the normalization of relations between Nigeria and both the West and the rest of the West African nations.

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Just don’t expect to hear much of from the American Media. As I said, for their own reasons they’re uninterested in reporting news from Africa. 🙁

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UPDATE [February 18, 2010 4:45 PM EST]: Both the BBC and The Times in England are reporting that coup d’tat in Niger was initially successful and that Mamadou Tandja and much of his cabinet are the custody of the opposition.

The Times further states that the coup was by disgruntled members of the Nigerien military came after the collapse of talks between Mamadou Tandja’s regime and the Opposition over a recently “adopted” referendum allowing President Tandja to hold power indefinitely.

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And we finally have a US report on the issue. The Wall Street Journal posted an article about it. Say what you want about News Corporation but they’re global presence and coordinated efforts have their benefits.

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UPDATE [February 19, 2010 6:45 AM EST]: The Daily Monitor in Uganda is reporting coup was led by Colonel Adamou Harouna and was aided by Colonel Djibril Hamidou, both officers in Niger’s military. While Colonel Harouna is previously unknown, Colonel Hamidou was the spokesman for the 1999 coup that removed a military ruler, Colonel Ibrahim Bare, and ushered in elections that sadly led to Mamadou Tandja becoming President of Niger.

Colonel Karimou of Niger's CSRD
Colonel Djibril Hamidou of Niger’s CSRD

The Guardian is reporting that the junta that seized power calls itself the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD) and has appointed squadron chief Salou Djibo as its and Niger’s leader.

What fighting there was is reported to have died out and there does not seem to be a strong likelihood of a counter-coup in the immediate future.

Obama’s Hopes & Prayers

Posted in Humor, Politics on February 15th, 2010

President Obama, after months months of vacillating while his campaign committee analyzed his strategy, finally allowed US and NATO military forces forces to move ahead with the much-needed and long overdue extermination of the Taliban.

As US and NATO forces move to eradicate the vermin of the Taliban, Obama Hopes and Prays He Won't Be Goldstoned
Obama Hopes He Won’t Be “Goldstoned”

Of course that means he now has to personally face the Muslim terrorists’ most dangerous weapons, filth like Richard Goldstone and other vermin like him who are the true weapons of jihad wielded by the Islamists and their neo-Janissaries, the UN.

Personally, I’m not too worried about President Obama being “Goldstoned” by the Muslim-loving terrorist sympathizers. He and the White House press corps – MSNBC, ABC, NY Times, CNN, etc… – can easily handle such paper terrorism. It would be obvious, after all, that any such complaints would actually be just examples of racism and the UN’s deep-seated problem with a Black man being POTUS. 😉

Obama’s Job Creation

Posted in Politics on February 12th, 2010

President Obama’s and his Liberals’ Porkulus, commonly referred to as The Stimulus Package, has largely failed to create jobs in America and had to be rebranded by the White House as a jobs saving effort. Likewise, both the mythical “Green Jobs” and the upcoming “Jobs Bill” will not actually create jobs.

On the other hand, President Obama and the Liberals trying to rule Congress have caused a sudden and dramatic increase in one sector of the American economy – the lobbyists!

The financial sector hired 2567 lobbyists in 2009 and, in the first three quarters of the year, spent over $336 million lobbying Congress. The US Chamber of Commerce hired 127 lobbyists and paid them $52 million through September 2009.

Consumer Watchdog

That’s a fair amount of commerce going on there with almost $400 million changing hands in three fiscal quarters, and that’s just in lobbying for the financial sector; it doesn’t include the number of jobs created for lobbyists for other sectors of the economy and other interest groups.

See, President Obama and his Liberals can create jobs. 😉