Nokia has launched a special-edition cell phone for Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa that features “a unique portfolio of pre-loaded applications including a collection of Azkars for the morning and the evening, an Islamic Organizer with audible alarms for the five daily prayers, a Qibla direction indicator and a Hijri calendar,” according to a press release. “The launch coincides with the Holy month of Ramadan and the offer includes a full range of applications, carefully tailored to meet the needs of consumers in the Arab world.”
Immediate fodder for anti-war activists? Hardly. In previous wars, journalists fell victim to collateral damage and stray bullets. In the Iraq War — and in the War on Terror in general — journalists are being specifically targeted for kidnappings and executions. Out of those 200 killed in Iraq, 88 percent have been Iraqi journalists brave enough to put their lives on the line to document the terrorism and sectarian B.S. that have been tearing apart their country. The 200th journalist killed in the war, CBS translator Anwar Abbas Lafta, was seized from his home by gunmen who specifically came for him, leaving his brother and sister behind. Freedom of information is the enemy of Islamic radicals, and journalists in their world are marked for death. More…
When the history of medicine in the late 20th Century and early 21st Century is written, one of the key figures and greatest contributors will be a native Chicagoan who was not even a physician. That man was James Watson, who earned his place in the annals of medicine as a molecular biologist and scientific visionary. In 1953, Watson along with Francis Crick and two less heralded scientists, Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, discovered the DNA double helix, a discovery that provided the avenue for the current genetics revolution in medicine.
A few months ago in this space, I cautioned against specuatlion that Virginia Tech killer Seung Hui Cho was autistic. Indeed, it now turns out that he had an entirely different problem, a social anxiety disorder involving “selective mutism.” Clinical psychologist Robert Schum told The Washington Post: ““He was not autistic.”
It doesn’t take long to discover that there are dog people and non-dog people. The latter don’t understand when I talk to my “kids” — as I often refer to my toy poodles — Biscotti, 9; and Campari, 4. My fur-babies are an integral part of my daily life. I’m told we even look alike, the same reddish hair color with the same wavy texture. They sense my moods, never judge, know when to play and when to comfort me. My holiday cards feature them, and friends always ask how they’re doing.
Yesterday we lost Richard Jewell, the former security guard wrongly identified as being the Olympic Park bombing suspect in 1996. Jewell was unfairly maligned, dissed and mocked and I have to admit I played a role in all that.
Here’s another Kudlow suggestion which is being implemented. The Fed in the usual Thursday repo actions took mortgage bonds as collateral. Larry called for that two weeks ago and Larry Lindsay and Robert Shiller and even Bob McTeer turned their noses up at the idea. A week ago the Fed did it - they accepted mortgages as collateral. What a difference two weeks makes.
My opinion piece in today’s New York Sun http://www.nysun.com/article/61497?page_no=1 concerns Christiane Amanpour’s “God’s Warriors,” a three-part series on religious extremism that strives to superimpose moral equivalency on religious Jews, Christians and Muslims of the variety who espouse jihad martyrdom. Maybe some of you will check it out. I will be discussing the piece and my thoughts on Amanpour’s series tomorrow morning at 9:30 on a show called “Seize the Day” on Sirius satellite radio’s channel 159, The Catholic channel, and this evening at 10:30 pm on WOR radio 710 in New York City, which broadcasts online at WOR 710.com.
I eagerly read through the annual Census report on income and poverty. The poverty rate is down in 2006. Actually it was down in 2005 as well, but by a small increment. So poverty dropped two years in a row. Income rose above the rate of inflation. Immigrants’ income rose faster than average. Single mothers, too. Oh and by the way, the gap between male and female income is the lowest ever recorded. This is the closest we’ve ever been to gender equality.
I’m sure you saw last Thursday’s WSJ piece by Wayne Angelle. Great stuff. Wayne makes the case as he did on Kudlow & Co. last week, that the Fed was too loose in 2003, and then too tight in 2006. This is the classical central bank historical pattern - overshooting. Too loose - inflation. Then too tight - deflation. Then repeat. It happens even when the Fed uses a price rule (as opposed to the disastrous fine-tuning the economy approach) because they almost always do it by looking backward. That’s like trying to drive by looking through the rear-view mirror.
Hey guys, here’s another we’re-from-the-government-and-we’re-here-to-help-you idea. This one’s from Obama in this morning’s FT - it’s filled with fines, re-regulation, and criminal penalties for ‘unscrupulous’ lenders. A witch hunt against lenders, doesn’t that sound like a great way to get the credit markets functioning again?
The third time was the charm for Abdullah Gul. The devout Muslim whose wife wears a headscarf won Turkey’s presidency Tuesday after twice falling short of the two-thirds majority in parliament needed to secure the position. In the third round of voting, he only needed a simple majority. Gul’s party, the Islamic-oriented Justice and Development Party (AKP) holds 341 of the 530 seats in the Turkish parliament, and he got 339 votes.
Thanks to YouTube, Miss Teen South Carolina is the village idiot of the global community. In the old days, her mangled answer to the question, “Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a world map Why do you think this is? would have been only heard by a few hundred people. Of course, in the old days, FDR would never have been elected President because he spoke from a wheel chair. Today’s imperfection is the next morning’s hilarious reality. Unfortunately, one small misstep for a man (or a woman) is bigger news than the first moon landing. In the interest of teaching young people today how to cope with really stupid questions, here are some alternative answers that she should have used with the wit and charm of the sassy teenager that better exemplifies her personality. I guarantee that these comebacks would have endeared her to smart alecks everywhere. First, the question:
One famous quote from Ronald Reagan explains the difference between a Communist and an anti-Communist. “A Communist reads Karl Marx. An anti-Communist understands Karl Marx.” I always applied this quote to Leftists/Liberals in general, since those two things are merely different shades of Communists — and without Republicans around, they always morph into Communists.
What are they afraid of? The economy is solid. There’s plenty of investment capital out there. People want homes; mortgage applications generally have been going up. And the Federal Reserve has been doing its job, opening the discount window to troubled banks.
William Shakespeare taught me how to read financial newspapers. My favorite play, Much Ado About Nothing, is well titled, because it is, in fact, a play about nothing. More precisely it’s a play about things which might be real, but turn out not to be. In other words, it’s a lot like today’s media.
A thief in Sterling Heights, MI, took a photo of himself when he accidentally left a camera on while installing it on an ATM to capture credit card and pin numbers, reportsThe Associated Press. A customer found the device and called the police. No one who had used the machine reported any losses.
Another documentary in the growing genre that could be called environmental panic, “The 11th Hour” is a maddening mix of good intentions and wild hysteria. The film’s eagerness to embrace alarmist speculation undermines the basic truths it tells.
Please forgive the stroll down nostalgia lane, but remember the good old days, when you could count on liberals to cheer for a nuclear freeze and for the Sandinistas and boo Ed Meese and nuclear energy?