Sunday, January 31, 2010

Roger Federer wins Australian Open

As if there was any doubt that Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all-time the Swiss genius won his 16th Grand Slam title. He now has six Wimbledon's, five US Opens, Four Aussie Opens ans one French Open to his credit.

Tough luck for Scot Andy Murray as the hurt for British tennis conrtinues.

For more go to: Globe and Mail

Obama reaches out to small business

Not sure if this will morph into more hot air but I will give Barry O. the benefit of the doubt for the time being.

By Jennifer Heldt Powell

The small business community is thrilled that President Obama spent a good chunk of his State of the Union speech making proposals to help tinier companies thrive and grow

His words were a significant recognition of the crucial role small businesses will play in the ongoing economic recover. The actual proposals, however, have drawn mixed reviews. Some say anything is better than nothing, while others contend that the effect will be so minimal the money should be spent elsewhere.

The important thing is that something is done, said Ed Shapiro, a local business adviser.

“There are any number of ways that one could precede, but failing to try something isn’t going to work,” he said

Source: Boston Herald

Haitian Death Toll over 180,000

It has been difficult to obtain a reliable tally of the death from this tragedy but so far 180,000 seems reasonable.

Source: News 24

Port-au-Prince - Haitian President Rene Preval Saturday apologised for his long silence during the two and a half weeks since a mammoth earthquake destroyed the capital city of this Caribbean country

The death count had reached 180 000, a government spokesperson said, adding that new victims were being found every day. Haitian elections scheduled for the end of February were to be postponed for two years, officials said.

For the rest go to the souce above.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

An Introduction to Obama speak

Source: Townhall

Obama seems to use the same phrases over and over again...this is what they really mean

Failed policies of the past": Don't blame me! Blame Bush!

"Teachable moment": I screwed something up, now I'll brag about it.

"Tax cut": Redistribution of money from those who pay a disproportionate amount of taxes to those who pay none.

"Transparency": Deliberate opaqueness, hiding crucial facts from the American public.

"Accountability": Don't worry, I'll fire someone.

"Stimulus": Payoffs to friends.

"Shovel-ready jobs": Jobs that no one wants and that last for two months.

"Green jobs": Imaginary jobs.
"Saved or created": Old Obama language used to futz the numbers on jobs.

"Recovery": Continued economic stagnation.

"Jobs funded": Jobs Obama will take credit for, even though he has done nothing to either save or create.

"It won't happen overnight": It will never happen.

"Progress": Redistribution.

"Cynics": Anyone who doesn't believe in the Obama radical agenda. Obama uses this word to disparage his critics as angry and lacking in basic qualities of human kindness.

In the News LXVI

Judge Alito makes his views heard...apparently
Looks like the Judge seems to think that Barry O is full of hot air..he is not the only one

Scott Brown praises Obama...sort of
.....The calm before the storm perhaps...then again he could morph into a RINO like so many before him.

US Economy still has a long way to go is possible that there may be an illusionary recovery but what will happen if Obama and co. raise taxes in the not to distant future?

More lies from Hamas
......they claimed to have targeted military sites...I guess nobody told them that the Israelis don't locate their military sites in hospitals/schools/civilian facilities as Hamas do....

Northern Ireland Deadlock
Northern Ireland was one of Tony Blair's successes.....Brown may have to play hardball on this one as well....not sure his up to it though.

Mugabe digs in his heels

The Zimbabwean despot has run the country into the ground but seems unlikely to lose power as the West and the Rest of Africa are not nearly as focused in bringing down his government as they were with the White Regime in South Africa. The people of this landlocked country will suffer as a result of such a selective bias.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Why I write....

This piece, that I wrote in 1998, sums up why I have written speculative fiction

There is much to fear in the world of Existentialism where the dread of oneness to a nothing stands as testament. To escape such baroness of indescribable angst I choose to retreat to a world of my own making. A castle of my ideas where the fractals of mind crystallize into a uniformity creating gateways to 'playthink'….the heaven of my imagination.

It is here that I am a master. A contented deity toying with elements, envisioning scenarios and building story book tales that span the infinity of time.

I live in a peace-like-vapour summoning the greats of history to live in a fantasy with ideas that cry of my making. I am free unbounded by restrictions accosted only by particles that I have exorcised from the demon of idleness to make use in a mechanism of my conception.

The energy that I receive defies physics, crashing limits as it grabs the soul opening up a zest that rekindles a love for my own being.

No longer do I quiver in a dormancy cowered as a prisoner of self doubt. I now can write. An artery linking thought to pen is fused, transporting the sustenance of the pure brain-plan to the reality of the structured form. I am sculpting, developing, churning furrows as I lance continuously into the rich streams of make-believe

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Top Six Interests

I have had many interests over the years - some have faded (genetics, eastern religions, sociobiology, Fortean phenomena) others have grown (parenting philosophy, global warming science, debunking pseudoscience and macroeconomics) but the following big six have been with me some time and continue to excite my passions. These are:

1. Physics

I am a physics teacher and have been enthralled by the science for close on to 25 years now. My current specific sub-interests include concept clarification within classical physics and early modern physics, cosmology, Theories of Everything , the history of physics and the congruence between physics and philosophy.

2. History

I have focused on developing a strong overall understanding of the discipline (see my book) from a generalist perspective since age 6 but even generalists have their preferences. For me it is the History of the Twentieth Century (with particular emphasis on WWII and the Cold War), The French Revolution/Napoleon as well as the Period of Roman History that spans the first 12 Caesars. I also have an inclination towards understanding the development and application of political philosophy (a zest that at times spills over for me into contemporary politics).

3. Psychometrics

Chief interest here is the measure of intelligence as well as the influence of nature/nurture factors on the development of intelligence. This has intrigued me since age 16.

4. The Future of the Human Race

Science fiction sparked my interest in this field, which also drove me to write A History of the Future. Again this has been a long time passion driven by the writings of HG Wells and Jules Verne, the universes of Isaac Asimov and Larry Niven and the dystopias of Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper. Of late I have started looking into the work of Olaf Stapledon.

5. Sports

I have at times (and still do with some) followed baseball, hockey, boxing, rugby, tennis, athletics and cricket closely but none can rival my love for soccer. My specific focus is on the English game but I adore the internationalism of the World Cup, the European Championship and the Champions League.

6. Self Betterment

This involves understanding my purpose for being, developing a relationship with G-d, doing whats best for my family and acting with defined ethics and meaning that demonstrates an extension of my sense of self.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ridiculous Comment of the Week

Pat Robertson on Haiti and the 'Pact with the Devil'

See the following You Tube Clip.

The Economy in Obama's first year

Some good and bad news. My comments in Red.

7,949.09 -- Dow Jones Industrial Average close on Jan. 20, 2009.
10,609.65 -- Dow Jones Industrial Average close on Jan. 15, 2010. (The Bright Spot..but how much of this is due to the natural recovery as opposed to the stimulus plan?)

13 million -- Number of people 16 and older unemployed as of January 2009.
14.7 million -- Number of people 16 and older unemployed as of December 2009. (and now for the bad news...)

7.7 percent -- Unemployment rate January 2009
10.0 percent -- Unemployment rate December 2009 (Wasn't the stimulus plan supposed to help with this?)

$787 billion -- Cost of economic stimulus approved by Congress. (and paid for by the taxpayer...)
$10.6 trillion -- Outstanding public debt Jan. 20, 2009. (A killer for future generations)


Saturday, January 16, 2010

It still astounds me...

The following phenomena still astound me in how they defy rationality. Here they are:

1. The Huffington Post as the most popular blog on the Net - The blog run by pseudo-intellectual and new age phony Arianna Huffington is a ranting ground like the Daily Kos (although the Kos is often worse) for the lib/left. Politically it offers very little in meaningful analysis, a lot on Bush Derangement Syndrome and even more........ on such critical issues to world politics as Lindsey Lohan's breasts.

2. Naomi Klein - She is short on originality, long on exaggeration and very quick to grant absolution to human rights abusers in South America and the Middle East - while condemning the US and Israel at every turning point (sort of a Noam Chomsky in a skirt but less of an intellect). I knew her at University and once challenged her anti-Israel bias...she responded in the only way that she could with an emotional outburst...enough said.

3. Oprah Winfrey - She is arguably the biggest ego in television, an oversimplifier of the complex and somewhat of a race baiter...yet millions of Americans live and die by her opinions on cooking, health, life, books and politics. What did they say about the era of idiocracy?

4. Avatar - The movie rehashed the overplayed 'Noble Savage-USA bad guy theme' with special effects and conned the vast hordes to hand over their dollars at the box office. 'Credit' to James Cameron - the Father of the Bloated Movie Epic.

5. Howard Zinn - You could drive a snow plough through the oversights in his People's History Book but don't tell that to the many high school history teachers who see Zinn as a great mind and use his text to uncritically reprogram future generations.

6. Jimmy Carter - He has deceived many into believing that he is a man of peace despite his championing of the terrorist Hamas organization, his free pass to Cuba and the Haitian dictatorships and his downplaying of the genocides in Darfur and Rwanda. Looking forward to the day when Dhimmi C. - the Father of the Iranian Revolution - steps aside and stops providing propaganda for the enemies of the enlightenment.

7. David Beckham - He is a competent player but not a footballing genius...yet more peoplecan identify him on a worldwide basis than the far better talents of Ryan Giggs, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

8. Ultimate Fighting - Contests almost always devolve into ever so boring grappling matches...yet the public still continues to lap up this quasi-entertainment...Give me Bruce Lee any day

9. World Poker Tour....I'll let the reader be the judge...another yawn manifesting as entertainment

10. Intelligent Design - it has been discredited on so many levels yet it continues to survive....

11. Time Sharing - Its constraining and often sold by scam artists yet its popularity persists

12. Al Sharpton - The man has made a fortune out of exploiting race relations despite being wrong on so many occasions (Tawana Brawley, the Duke Lacrosse Fake Rape Case). Nevertheless he is still the man that Don Imus and Dog the Bounty Hunter sought absolution for with respect to their 'racial sins'...shame on them for bearing their souls to this charlatan (shame as well for Glenn Beck for giving Sharpton credibility by allowing him air time on his show).

13. Hillary Clinton - yes it takes a village or maybe a voting bloc of village idiots...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

On Reflection

I stand at one of those political junction points which is not easy to define. It is a position that is driven less by ideology but more about a critical examination of the facts. In a sense I am a rejectionist from both the traditional right and left as I refuse to adhere to a dogma of inflexibility. To many, that I debate, my position is frustrating as it eschews pigeon holing. Just as they have me pegged as a right-winger I provide a multitude of distinctions that separate me from both the conservative and libertarian strata - the two worldviews that appear to define modern rightism. Similarly when chiseled into a leftist framework I stand out like a Cezanne in a Picasso collection.