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Talking Dogs?

I’ve written that I wish my dog could talk, and I’ve wondered what his voice would sound like. Well here are some dogs that appear to be talking:

Talking Dogs Mover Mike

Update:


Inflation and War Finance

This is too good not to quote the whole thing:

From Congressman Ron Paul

The Pentagon recently reported that it now spends roughly $8.4 billion per month waging the war in Iraq, while the additional cost of our engagement in Afghanistan brings the monthly total to a staggering $10 billion. Since 2001, Congress has spent more than $500 billion on specific appropriations for Iraq. This sum is not reflected in official budget and deficit figures. Congress has funded the war by passing a series of so-called “supplemental” spending bills, which are passed outside of the normal appropriations process and thus deemed off-budget.

This is fundamentally dishonest: if we’re going to have a war, let’s face the costs– both human and economic– squarely. Congress has no business hiding the costs of war through accounting tricks.

As the war in Iraq surges forward, and the administration ponders military action against Iran, it’s important to ask ourselves an overlooked question: Can we really afford it? If every American taxpayer had to submit an extra five or ten thousand dollars to the IRS this April to pay for the war, I’m quite certain it would end very quickly. The problem is that government finances war by borrowing and printing money, rather than presenting a bill directly in the form of higher taxes. When the costs are obscured, the question of whether any war is worth it becomes distorted.

Congress and the Federal Reserve Bank have a cozy, unspoken arrangement that makes war easier to finance. Congress has an insatiable appetite for new spending, but raising taxes is politically unpopular. The Federal Reserve, however, is happy to accommodate deficit spending by creating new money through the Treasury Department. In exchange, Congress leaves the Fed alone to operate free of pesky oversight and free of political scrutiny. Monetary policy is utterly ignored in Washington, even though the Federal Reserve system is a creation of Congress.

The result of this arrangement is inflation. And inflation finances war.

Economist Lawrence Parks has explained how the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913 made possible our involvement in World War I. Without the ability to create new money, the federal government never could have afforded the enormous mobilization of men and material. Prior to that, American wars were financed through taxes and borrowing, both of which have limits. But government printing presses, at least in theory, have no limits. That’s why the money supply has nearly tripled just since 1990.

For perspective, consider our ongoing military commitment in Korea. In Korea alone, U.S. taxpayers have spent $1 trillion in today’s dollars over 55 years. What do we have to show for it? North Korea is a belligerent adversary armed with nuclear weapons, while South Korea is at best ambivalent about our role as their protector. The stalemate stretches on with no end in sight, as the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the men who fought in Korea give little thought to what was gained or lost. The Korean conflict should serve as a cautionary tale against the open-ended military occupation of any region.

The $500 billion we’ve officially spent in Iraq is an enormous sum, but the real total is much higher, hidden within the Defense Department and foreign aid budgets. As we build permanent military bases and a $1 billion embassy in Iraq, we need to keep asking whether it’s really worth it. Congress should at least fund the war in an honest way so the American people can judge for themselves.

Congressman Ron Paul, Republican, is a candidate for President in 2008.

Inflation Ron Paul Federal Reserve Mover Mike

Oregon Quakes

MAP 4.1 2007/01/31 15:38:47 42.383 -125.438 10.0 NEAR THE COAST OF OREGON

MAP 4.4 2007/01/31 15:24:47 42.366 -126.719 10.0 OFF THE COAST OF OREGON

Update:

MAP 4.3 2007/02/03 02:22:42 43.765 -127.707 10.0 OFF THE COAST OF OREGON

6.7 6.8Down Under

MAP 6.7 2007/01/30 04:54:50 -54.888 145.733 10.0 WEST OF MACQUARIE ISLAND

Update:

MAP 6.3 2007/01/30 21:37:49 21.096 144.829 49.8 MARIANA ISLANDS REGION

Update:

MAP 6.5 2007/01/31 03:15:56 -29.593 -177.935 53.7 KERMADEC ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND

Dakota Fanning Film Stirs Censors

From StarNewsOnline.com, the voice of Southeastern North Carolina,

Citing the controversy surrounding the Dakota Fanning film Hounddog, the leader of the state Senate Republicans, Sen. Phil Berger, says he wants the government to review scripts before cameras start rolling in North Carolina.

That system would apply only to films seeking the state’s lucrative filmmaker incentive, which refunds as much as 15 percent of what productions spend in North Carolina from the state treasury.

“Why should North Carolina taxpayers pay for something they find objectionable?” said Berger, who is having proposed legislation drafted.

Why is a Republican talking censorship? Why doesn’t a Republican respect the free market system for weeding out garbage? In the process of applying for a tax credit in the state, there has been a requirement that a copy of the script be included with the tax credit application. The state wants to see see whether it conforms to the budget and schedule information producers are required to provide.

We want to see if this film is doable and a good investment for the people of the state.

I am amazed that things have gone this far, that censorship is just one more small step.

Dakota Fanning Hounddog Sen. Phil Berger North Carolina Censorship
Property Rights Mover Mike

Movie Review: Letters from Iwo Jima

We saw Letters from Iwo Jima tonight and learned that prior to the battle in February and March of 1945, Japan had lost its fleet in the battle of the Marianas. The Japanese soldiers were told that Iwo Jima guarded the homeland and must not fall.

Moreover, aircraft losses throughout 1944 had been so heavy that, even if war production was not affected by American air attacks, combined Japanese air strength was not expected to increase to 3,000 aircraft until March or April of 1945. Even then, these planes could not be used from bases in the home islands against Iwo Jima because their range did not exceed 550 miles (890 km); besides, all available aircraft had to be hoarded for possible use on Taiwan and adjacent islands near land bases.

So my question: why did we bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945?


The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after the dropping of Little Boy.


The Fat Man mushroom cloud resulting from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rises 18 km (11 mi, 60,000 ft) into the air from the hypocenter.

Letters from Iwo Jima was a powerful movie that made a good case against war.

Oh My God, No!

Worse than anyone competing for a spot on American Idol. Unable to carry a tune. Not sure she even knows the words. It’s Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton singing the National Anthem:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton American Idol Mover Mike

Update:


Book Review: Jeremy Blachman Anonymous Lawyer

I received this email recently:

ANONYMOUS LAWYER is a fantastic black comedy (and perhaps uniquely a fictional blog which morphed into a novel?) that exposes the madness which lies at the heart of so many corporate institutions in a Bonfire of the Vanities kind of way. Its references are completely up to the minute – ANONYMOUS LAWYER can truly be described as a novel of the moment.

Please do let me know if you would like to see a copy.

Of course I would and indicated so. Last week I received the novel and read it every chance I got. If you are a lawyer, you have to read this book. If you hate lawyers, you have to read this book. If you married my ex-wife and you are a lawyer, you have to read this book. It is a novel that reads like a blog and I cringe at the things this Hiring Partner of a major, major law firm writes.

The reference to Bonfire of the Vanities is totally apt. Here’s a man who is at the top of the heap, billing at $675 per hour, and is mainly concerned with power and appearences. He has the power to f–k with peoples lives and thinks of almost every possible way to do it, yet he is powerless to make himself chairman of his firm.

I cringed at the story of the partner that offered a weekend at his vacation home in a silent auction. When a lowly maintenance man was high bidder, the partner was mortified that someone like a janitor would be sleeoing in his bed on his sheets. He thought he would have to have the house fumigated afterwards.

The style of the writing in a blog format leads me to believe that there is a book in all my postings on Mover Mike. Now I have to go call some publishers.

You can read more at the web site: http://www.anonymouslawyer.blogspot.com/

Jeremy Blachman Anonymous Lawyer Mover Mike

Brain Damage

Scientists have discovered that damage to the brain can lead the ability to quit smoking quickly and easily. And I thought it was a brain damage that caused a person pick up a cigarette, despite all the evidence about the dangers of smoking.

Smoking Brain Damage Mover Mike

UPDATE: More On Brain Damage http://bit.ly/9K010J Read more about Putamen and Insula at Mover Mike #PDX

Book Review: Deborah DeWit, Traveling Light

For my birthday my friends Bill and Connie sent to me a wonderful little book of some 80+ pages written by Deborah DeWit Marchant called Traveling Light, Chasing an Illuminated Life. Deb DeWit, who lives outside of Portland, Oregon, is an artist with a camera. I met her while I was a stockbroker back in the mid eighties. I was impressed by her talent and the fact that she didn’t crop any of her photographs. What she saw, you saw. I purchased from her a photo of an open white gate before an unpaved one lane road that ran off to the right. Beyond the gate in the background is a big light blue or gray sky, maybe its fog. The gate seems to stand at the top of a hill with no clue about what’s hidden over the rise or down the road. I always found it fascinating and calming to imagine what DeWit didn’t include in the photo.

The book is a tale of her journey as an artist fascinated by light and her quest to capture on film the feelings she had about the light. She quit college and took a train back to Scotland and she writes

…the light enveloped and caressed me as it throbbed across the dusky expanses of maroon hills and midnight valleys…Once again my pulse, like a thousand bouncing marbles, filled my ears, my veins, my heart, until
I thought I would burst.

It’s a tale of her growth as a woman and an artist, her shifting from capturing the outside to focusing on the inside. I am pleased to have known Deb in those early years and fascinated with where she is today. She writes on the last page,

Just as each photograph I stopped to take was the key that opened my eyes to the next image, I am convinced that what we see along our path is a reflection, a manifestation, of everything we have seen up until that moment.



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