30 June 2011

Lesson from Iran

If Iran can do it...

...how the Government not only enacted a brave reform — which quadrupled bread prices and increased the cost of diesel by 2000% — but also skilfully avoided public protest through a simple and well-designed compensation package for citizens.

...then just maybe wealthy Australia can also rejig its tax system to incorporate a carbon tax while ensuring the people are no worse off.

Fire sale possible: RAND

According to this report by RAND Corporation, a 'fire sale' as depicted in Diehard 4.0 is possible.

The US is however on the lookout for precisely such an attack.

But America has long been on the alert for such an attack because it could take down major computerized systems on which significant commerce and government functions depend. Such an attack would likely be aimed at key cyber systems and be intended to interfere with electrical grids, interrupt transmissions from the Global Positioning System (GPS), or foil electronic fund transfers.

The United States acknowledges a vulnerability that stems in part from widespread use of commercial software for military purposes. That dependence enables potential adversaries to buy the same software, study it, and practice attacks that could be devastating to both private commerce and public defense.

Pirate stock exchange helps fund hijackings

From the Society for International Development:

Source: Financial Post

According to Mohamed Ahmed, Reuters, in Somalia’s main pirate lair of Haradheere, the sea gangs have set up a cooperative to fund their hijackings offshore, a sort of stock exchange meets criminal syndicate.[... ] It is a lucrative business that has drawn financiers from the Somali diaspora and other nations and now the gangs in Haradheere have set up an exchange to manage their investments. “The shares are open to all and everybody can take part, whether personally at sea or on land by providing cash, weapons or useful materials … we’ve made piracy a community activity.” full article

A flourishing economy in a power vacuum…who would benefit from a change?

20 June 2011

Austerity Measures in a Recession

I thought it was just me who was observing this phenomenon - and I thought "surely I am seeing things". But no, far finer minds than mine assure me that the furphy disposed of in Jim & Jane Have Fun with Economics has returned from the grave:

For the last few months, I and others have watched, with amazement and horror, the emergence of a consensus in policy circles in favor of immediate fiscal austerity. That is, somehow it has become conventional wisdom that now is the time to slash spending, despite the fact that the world’s major economies remain deeply depressed.


Even my elderly grandmother laughs at this. She asked me what kills zombies. I said I don't know.

06 June 2011

Final Remarks of Geert Wilders at His Trial

This deserves to be noted.

The best quote:

Franz Kafka said: "One sees the sun slowly set, yet one is surprised when it suddenly becomes dark."

05 June 2011

What I Hate about Amazon

I have some ideas for improving Amazon.

I want to give my ideas to Amazon for free. I am motivated simply by a desire to improve my experience.

There is no way that I can find to give them these ideas.

02 June 2011

What to do if you are waterboarded

What to do if you are waterboarded:

There's also evidence coming to light that waterboarding isn't the "open sesame" some would have us believe. According to Marc Thiessen, a Bush speechwriter, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed counted the seconds he was being waterboarded on his fingers, determining that his interrogators were limited to 40 seconds of controlled drowning at a time. Thiessen's point was that limiting waterboarding, which was crucial to the administration's claim that it wasn't torture, also made it ineffective.