Month: December 2006

Article: Is That a Bow on the Christmas Goat, or a Bullseye?

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From the December 18, 2006, New York Times:

Is That a Bow on the Christmas Goat, or a Bullseye?
By Tom Zeller Jr.

In keeping with the holiday spirit, a good-news story (so far, at least) from Gävle, Sweden, where the town’s giant Christmas goat (a 40-year tradition) survived its first attack by arsonists (also a 40-year tradition) and remains standing today in Castle Square.

According to news agency reports, since 1966 when the town first erected a 43-foot wood-and-straw goat, the seasonal sculpture has “been hit by flaming arrows, run over by a car and even had its legs cut off” and has made it intact past Christmas Day only 10 times.

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Ediorial: Meat and the Planet

Sheepfart
From the December 27, 2006, New York Times:

Meat and the Planet

When you think about the growth of human population over the last century or so, it is all too easy to imagine it merely as an increase in the number of humans. But as we multiply, so do all the things associated with us, including our livestock. At present, there are about 1.5 billion cattle and domestic buffalo and about 1.7 billion sheep and goats. With pigs and poultry, they form a critical part of our enormous biological footprint upon this planet.

Just how enormous was not really apparent until the publication of a new report, called “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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Article: Helping the Poor, the British Way

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From the December 25, 2006, New York Times

Helping the Poor, the British Way
By PAUL KRUGMAN

It’s the season for charitable giving. And far too many Americans, particularly children, need that charity.

Scenes of a devastated New Orleans reminded us that many of our fellow citizens remain poor, four decades after L.B.J. declared war on poverty. But I’m not sure whether people understand how little progress we’ve made. In 1969, fewer than one in every seven American children lived below the poverty line. Last year, although the country was far wealthier, more than one in every six American children were poor.

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Article: Helping the Poor, the British Way

Americanpovertyinnewera2

From the December 25, 2006, New York Times

Helping the Poor, the British Way
By PAUL KRUGMAN

It’s the season for charitable giving. And far too many Americans, particularly children, need that charity.

Scenes of a devastated New Orleans reminded us that many of our fellow citizens remain poor, four decades after L.B.J. declared war on poverty. But I’m not sure whether people understand how little progress we’ve made. In 1969, fewer than one in every seven American children lived below the poverty line. Last year, although the country was far wealthier, more than one in every six American children were poor.

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Christmas Gift From Bush: U.S. deaths in Iraq exceed 9-11 count

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U.S. deaths in Iraq exceed 9-11 count
By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq – The number of U.S. military service members killed in Iraq has exceeded the number of victims in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to an Associated Press count. Car bomb attacks, meanwhile, killed at least 25 Iraqis.

Six more American soldiers were killed in Iraq, officials said Tuesday, pushing the U.S. military death toll since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003 to at least 2,978 — five more than the number killed in the attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

The milestone came with the deaths of the three soldiers Monday and three more Tuesday in roadside bomb attacks near Baghdad, the military said.

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Wall Street Journal on It’s Format Change

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Here’s a quote from the email I got today from the WSJ explaining how great it was that they’re reducing the size of the newspaper, but not it’s price:

“It will come to you in a slimmer, easier to handle size, with a more legible typeface.”

Translation: Not only will the paper be smaller, but it will have a bigger font size. And they say they are doing it to help their poor readers, who struggle daily with their oversized paper and undersized fonts.

This reminds me of the…

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Couple More From The New Camera

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Both pics taken on 18 December 2006. Delsjon is the lake up the hill from our house and the streetscape is the view from our balcony. You can see the Liseberg Tower has become a giant Christmas tree. For reference, it’s the 116 meters (381 feet) tall observation tower at Liseberg amusement park in Gothenburg, Sweden. It was built in 1990 and the observation deck has a height of 85 meters. Click on the images for larger size pics (but not full size since those files are pretty large).

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A Few Pics From the Digital Camera (Canon DSLR)

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This image was taken at 11:00 AM on 17 December 2006 on the island of Käringön (west cost of Sweden), where about a dozen of us spent the night after a Jul Bord (Christmas Table) party, which is a special smörgåsbord (“smorgasbord” in english), which in our case ran for about eight hours. By the way, Käringön means “old lady” or “old hag lady” in Swedish. If you look closely you can see a statue of the old hag lady (on the right hand side of the picture, about halfway up). Click image for larger size view. Click through for a few more pics, some from last weekend in Vienna Austria and some from St Lucia Day (13 Dec.). Click the following link to see (and/or buy) the camera we used (the one we bought with wedding gift money): Canon Digital Rebel Xti (400D).

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Article: They Told You So

Bushy
From the December 8, 2006, New York Times:

They Told You So
By PAUL KRUGMAN

Shortly after U.S. forces marched into Baghdad in 2003, The Weekly Standard published a jeering article titled, “The Cassandra Chronicles: The stupidity of the antiwar doomsayers.” Among those the article mocked was a “war novelist” named James Webb, who is now the senator-elect from Virginia.

The article’s title was more revealing than its authors knew. People forget the nature of Cassandra’s curse: although nobody would believe her, all her prophecies came true.

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Quote: Stephen Hawking on Bush’s War and Crimes

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The [Iraq] war was based on two lies. The first was that we were endangered from weapons of mass destruction. The second was that Iraq was somehow to blame for 9/11. It has been a tragedy for all of the families that have lost members. As many as [six] hundred thousand may have died, half of them women and children. If this is not a war crime, what is it?”

-Stephen Hawking

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Market Update – Potential Top Alert

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The Diamonds (Amex: DIA): 5:30 PM NYC time, December 7th: Just a quick market update to point out a pattern to watch, which is the 1, 2, 3 top: 1) break the trendline (done last week); 2) test the previous high and fail (may have done today); 3) close below the low at point 1 (unknown). Cheers!

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Another Bush Failure

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The man with the longest list of failures adds another one to his list and simultaneously marks his greatest failure to date and possibly in the history of the United States of America. Maybe that is why his bio is what comes up in the number one position on Google when you search for the word “failure.” In any event, I consider this news positive in that the first step to solving a problem is admitting a problem. And now that The Iraq Study Group Report has been published and there is a new Defense Secretary maybe we can start trying to figure how to clean up Bush’s latest enormous failure, if that’s even possible. Click through to read the article. Cheers!

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