Month: October 2006

Article: Report’s stark warning on climate

From the BBC, October 2006:

Report’s stark warning on climate
By Robert Peston
Business Editor, BBC News

The Stern Review says that climate change represents the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen. And on the basis of this intellectually rigorous and thorough report, it is hard to disagree.

Sir Nicholas Stern, a distinguished development economist and former chief economist at the World Bank, is not a man given to hyperbole.

Yet he says “our actions over the coming few decades could create risks of major disruption to economic and social activity, later in this century and in the next, on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the 20th Century”.

His report gives prescriptions for how to minimise this economic and social disruption.


WSJ Picking Up on “MySpace Has Peaked” Thread of Two Weeks Ago

The mainstream media (Wall Street Journal) is finally noticing that MySpace has peaked, which I noted two weeks ago in this posting The AOL-ing of MySpace. Also see my post October 10th posting, Does the YouTube Acquisition Mark a Web 2.0 Peak?. Yes indeed folks, MySpace is officially on the downward slope and sites like BuzzPal will be the beneficiaries, as the never-ending cycle of creative destruction continues. Click through to read today’s WSJ article in its entirety. Cheers!


This Is The Main Reason Why We’re Looking at a Recession in 2007

That’s why the yield curve has been inverted and why the current bull market extension is just that, an extension of an old, tired bull market, not the begging of a new one. With a very high probability, we can’t have a new bull market until after we have a new bear market. See my Housing Market Article Index, which goes back to October, 2004, just after I put my money where my mouth was and…


Book Review: The Great Risk Shift

From the October 22, 2006, NYT:

The Economic Miracle as an Economic Mirage

WHATEVER happened to the good old days of cradle-to-grave security — of a steady job, a lifetime pension and paid-for health care along the way? This is the question at the heart of “The Great Risk Shift: The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Health Care, and Retirement–And How You Can Fight Back, by the political scientist Jacob S. Hacker, and his answer is impassioned and angry.


File This Under “No Shit Sherlock!”

From CNN: U.S. ‘arrogant, stupid’ in Iraq

A senior U.S. State Department diplomat causes embarrassment in Washington after telling Arab satellite network Al Jazeera that there is a strong possibility history will show the United States displayed “arrogance” and “stupidity” in its handling of the Iraq war. The White House has distanced itself from the comments.


I don’t hold out much hope for Bush ever admitting a problem, at least not a real problem like this. Remember during the presidential candidate debates when he was asked to recall something he did wrong or could have done better? He was stumped. The man cannot admit mistakes. It’s ironic because his name is the very definition of “failure” just do a Google search under the word “failure” and see for yourself. Anyway, here’s the story, from the front page of on October 22, 2006:

[click through to read the full CNN story]


Article: Bush Paraguay Land Grab Incites Unease

Bush acquiring 100,000 acres on top of world’s largest single body of fresh water, the Guarani Aquifer.

So let me see if I understand: Bush denies global warming out of one side of his mouth and out of the other side he acquires land on top of what you might call the Saudi Arabia of water. This at the same time he says there’s plenty of water to go around, even as parts of the world dry up (including parts of the American southwest). Well, I guess there’s no denying that Bush understands his liquids, starting from the party-boy days at Yale to the drunk driving convictions to his blood-for-oil war. And now it’s on to another liquid grab.

One other note about the spot where Bush just happened to pick for “Crawford South”:


Article: Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite?


From the October 17, 2006, NYT:

Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite?

FOR the past several months, I’ve been wrapping up lengthy interviews with Washington counterterrorism officials with a fundamental question: “Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?”

A “gotcha” question? Perhaps. But if knowing your enemy is the most basic rule of war, I don’t think it’s out of bounds. And as I quickly explain to my subjects, I’m not looking for theological explanations, just the basics: Who’s on what side today, and what does each want?


The AOL-ing of MySpace

MySpace has peaked and the void will soon become apparent, even to the mass media. MySpace can expect to suffer about the same fate as AOL did. In other words, it’s going to become un-cool and members are going to start churning off at an accelerating rate, lead by the coolest kids on the block, followed by… well, the followers. This process has already started. BuzzPal ( has a differentiated strategy to benefit from the AOL-ing of MySpace. We are currently recruiting our founding team members. Do you have what it takes? Click through to read more.


Article: The Gay Old Party Comes Out

The Gay Old Party Comes Out

PAGING Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council: Here’s a gay Republican story you probably did not hear last week. On Tuesday a card-carrying homosexual, Mark Dybul, was sworn into office at the State Department with his partner holding the Bible. Dr. Dybul, the administration’s new global AIDS coordinator, was flanked by Laura Bush and Condi Rice. In her official remarks, the secretary of state referred to the mother of Dr. Dybul’s partner as his “mother-in-law.”


Article: Iraqi Dead May Total 600,000

From the October 11, 2006, New York Times:

Iraqi Dead May Total 600,000, Study Says

BAGHDAD, Oct. 10 — A team of American and Iraqi public health researchers has estimated that 600,000 civilians have died in violence across Iraq since the 2003 American invasion, the highest estimate ever for the toll of the war here.

The figure breaks down to about 15,000 violent deaths a month, a number that is quadruple the one for July given by Iraqi government hospitals and the morgue in Baghdad and published last month in a United Nations report in Iraq. That month was the highest for Iraqi civilian deaths since the American invasion.


Book Review: Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell


Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell
A few quotes from the review: The portrait of the Bush White House that emerges from this volume ratifies those drawn in many other recent books: it is an administration in which traditional policy-making channels are subverted, expert advice is frequently ignored, and substantive debate and discussion are avoided. “The president tended to pay most attention to the last person to whisper in his ear, Powell thought, and that person was usually Cheney.” Click through to read the entire review.


Article: The Paranoid Style


From the October 9, 2006, New York Times:

The Paranoid Style

Last week Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House, explained the real cause of the Foley scandal. “The people who want to see this thing blow up,” he said, “are ABC News and a lot of Democratic operatives, people funded by George Soros.”


Does the YouTube Acquisition Mark a Web 2.0 Peak?

Google, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG): 2:15 PM NYC time, October 10th: Still almost two hours left in the trading day, but GOOG is working on a major intraday reversal, as is the rest of the market, notably the Cubes (NASDAQ: QQQQ), which have run up in low volume on last week’s breakouts. At $1.6 billion for a reportedly unprofitable YouTube, with all its copyright infringement lawsuit risk, this will be interesting to watch. I am 100% bullish on the growth of UGC (user generate content) on the Internet, but…


Article: Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’ Comes Back to Haunt


From the Tuesday, October 10, 2006, Washington Post:

Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’ Comes Back to Haunt United States
By Glenn Kessler and Peter Baker

Nearly five years after President Bush introduced the concept of an “axis of evil” comprising Iraq, Iran and North Korea, the administration has reached a crisis point with each nation: North Korea has claimed it conducted its first nuclear test, Iran refuses to halt its uranium-enrichment program, and Iraq appears to be tipping into a civil war 3 1/2 years after the U.S.-led invasion.