The 2006 year-in review
2006 was hell of a year for the markets.
The Sage of Eco-blogalnd says:
Better still in in 2007.
The Daily Musings of Ben Wattenberg
During the Cold War somehow India became allied with Soviet Union.
The U.S. Ambassador to India Daniel P. Moynihan blamed much of it on the inlfluence of the British Fabian Society which promoted peaceful socialism.
Today, the Indians and the Americans share at least five major common features:
1) They are free market economies,
2) They are pluralist,
3) They are large sub-continental societies
4) They are English-speaking,5) They are democratic.
For this economic pundit this adds up to --- after the U.S. --- "Buy India."
|By the NewsMax.com Staff|
|For the story behind the story...|
Dick Morris: I’m Leaving if Hillary Wins
Political strategist Dick Morris is so disgusted by the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency that he’s announced he’ll leave the country if she wins the Democratic nomination.
Appearing on Fox News Channel’s "Hannity & Colmes,” Morris – a former aide to President Bill Clinton – said that Bill and Hillary both suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder: "When they don’t get enough attention, they’re disordered.”
Dec. 25, 2006 - Jan. 1, 2007 issue - It may sound unreal, given the daily images of carnage and chaos. But for a certain plucky breed of businessmen, there's good money to be made in Iraq. Consider Iraqna, the leading mobile-phone company...
Civil war or not, Iraq has an economy, and—mother of all surprises—it's doing remarkably well. Real estate is booming. Construction, retail and wholesale trade sectors are healthy, too, according to a report by Global Insight in London. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports 34,000 registered companies in Iraq, up from 8,000 three years ago. Sales of secondhand cars, televisions and mobile phones have all risen sharply. Estimates vary, but one from Global Insight puts GDP growth at 17 percent last year and projects 13 percent for 2006...
... there's a vibrancy at the grass roots that is invisible in most international coverage of Iraq. Partly it's the trickle-down effect. However it's spent, whether on security or something else, money circulates. Nor are ordinary Iraqis themselves short on cash. After so many years of living under sanctions, with little to consume, many built up considerable nest eggs—which they are now spending. That's boosted economic activity, particularly in retail. ...
Consider some less formal indicators. Perhaps the most pervasive is the horrendous Iraqi traffic jams. Roadside bombs account for fewer backups than the sheer number of secondhand cars that have crowded onto the nation's roads—five times as many in Baghdad as before the war. Cheap Chinese goods overflow from shop shelves, and store owners report quick turnover. Real-estate prices have risen several hundred percent, suggesting that Iraqis are more optimistic about the future than most Americans are...
Meanwhile, Iraq's official economic institutions are making progress, improbable as that might sound in the context of savage sectarian violence and a seemingly complete breakdown of leadership and law...
It goes without saying: real progress won't be seen until the security situation clears up. Iraq still lacks a functioning banking system. Though there's an increasing awareness of Iraq as a potential emerging market, foreign investors won't make serious commitments until they are assured a measure of stability. Local moneymen are scarcely more bullish on the long term. In Iraq's nascent bond market, buyers have so far been willing to invest in local-currency Treasury bills with terms up to six months, max.
Iraqna isn't the only success story. There is also Nipal, a money-transfer service that is the backbone of Iraq's cash economy, as well as a slew of successful construction firms in Kurdistan. Such companies are not waiting for Iraq's political crisis to resolve itself. Yet imagine how they would prosper if it did, and how quickly they would be joined by others. As things stand, Iraqna faces extraordinary difficulties. It builds towers but lives in constant fear that they will be blown up....
But again, that's the remarkable thing. In a business climate that is inhospitable, to say the least, companies like Iraqna are thriving. The withdrawal of a certain great power could drastically reduce the foreign money flow, and knock the crippled economy flat.
They're either too young, or too old,
They're either too gray or too grassy green,
The pickings are poor and the crop is lean.
What's good is in the army,
What's left will never harm me.
They're either too old or too young,
So, darling, you'll never get stung.
Tomorrow I'll go hiking with that Eagle Scout unless,
I get a call from grandpa for a snappy game of chess.
I'll never, never fail ya,
While you are in Australia,
Or off among the Rooshians,
And flying over Egypt.
Your heart will never be gypped,
And when you get to India,
I'll still be what I've been to ya.
I've looked the field over
And lo and behold!
They're either too young or too old!
They're either too bald or too bold,
I'm down to the wheelchair and bassinet,
My heart just refuses to get upset.
I simply can't compel it to,
With no Marine to tell it to.
I'm either their first breath of spring,
Or else, I'm their last little fling.
I either get a fossil or an adolescent pup,
I either have to hold him off,
Or have to hold him up.
The battle is on, but the fortress will hold,
They're either too young or too old.
THE TRIUMPH OF CHANUKAH
By Jeff Jacoby
Because Chanukah usually occurs in December, it is sometimes thought of as the "Jewish Christmas." It isn't, of course. And yet it is fair to say that the reason for Chanukah's popularity -- especially in
Chanukah used to be regarded as a minor half-holiday, cheerful but low-key. It has become something bigger and brighter in response to Christmas, which transforms each December into a brilliant winter festival of parties, decorations, and music. Attracted by the joy of the season, not wanting their children to feel left out of all the merriment and gift-giving, American Jews in the 20th century began to make much more of Chanukah than their grandparents ever had. Today Chanukah is well established as part of the annual "holiday season," complete with parties, decorations, and music of its own. Its enhanced status is a tribute both to the assimilating tug of
Ironically, Chanukah was established to commemorate the very opposite of cultural assimilation. It dates back nearly 22 centuries, to the successful Jewish revolt against Antiochus IV, one of the line of Syrian-Greek monarchs who ruled the northern branch of Alexander the Great's collapsed empire. Alexander had been respectful of the Jews' monotheistic religion, but Antiochus was determined to impose Hellenism, with its pagan gods and its cult of the body, throughout his domains. When he met resistance in
Sabbath observance, circumcision, and the study of Torah were banned on pain of death. A statue of Zeus was installed in the
The fight to reclaim Jewish religious autonomy began in 167 BCE. In the town of
When Mattathias died, his third son, Judah Maccabee, took command. He and his band of fighters were impossibly outnumbered, yet they won one miraculous victory after another. In 164 BCE, they recaptured the desecrated
In truth, though, their cause *hadn't* prospered -- not yet. The fighting went on for years. It was not until 142 BCE -- more than two decades later -- that the Jews finally regained control of their land. Geopolitically, that was the moment of real triumph.
But Chanukah isn't about political power. It isn't about military victory. It isn't even about freedom of worship, notwithstanding the fact that the revolt of the Maccabees marks the first time in history that a people rose up to fight religious persecution.
What Chanukah commemorates at heart is the Jewish yearning for God, for the concentrated holiness of the
Chanukah is the only Jewish holiday not found in the Bible and the only one rooted in a military campaign. And yet its focus is almost entirely spiritual, not physical. For example, there is no feast associated with Chanukah, the way there is with Passover and Purim, the two other Jewish festivals of deliverance. Its religious observance is concentrated on flame, nothing more. And the menorah's lights may only be gazed at; it is forbidden to use them for any physical purpose -- not even to read by.
The lack of a physical side to Chanukah is unusual but appropriate. For the Maccabees' war against the Hellenists was ultimately a war against a worldview that elevated the physical above all, that venerated beauty, not holiness; the body, not the soul. The Jews fought to preserve a different view of the world -- one with God, not man, at its center. Had they failed, Judaism would have died. Because they triumphed, the Jewish religion survived. And from it, two centuries later, Christianity was born.
(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe.)
A fly in your coffee in Israel
What happens when a fly falls into a cup of coffee in Israel:
English customer - throws the coffee away and leaves the coffee shop.
American customer - takes out the fly and drinks the coffee.
Chinese customer - eats the fly and throws away the coffee.
Japanese customer - drinks the coffee with the fly; it's a free extra!
Israeli customer - takes the fly out of the coffee, sells the coffee to the American, sells the fly to the Chinese and then buys himself a new cup of coffee and also a pastry with the profit.
Palestinian customer - blames the Israeli shopkeeper for violence against him for throwing the fly into his coffee, requests aid from the UN, takes a loan from the European Union to buy a new cup of coffee and, instead, uses the money to purchase explosives which he uses to blow up the coffee shop where the Englishman, the American, the Chinese and the Japanese were trying to explain to the Israeli shopkeeper that he's too aggressive!
According to Ben Wattenberg the term “Ideopreneur” was coined by James Pinkerton. His definition of the term is: An ideopreneur is a person who has an ideology and tries to market it like an entrepreneur would.
This is exactly what we are attempting to do at Radical Migration. Our ideology is that allowing more immigration and emigration will make the world a better place for all. Our attempts to market the ideology are just getting going. We are taking a multi-pronged approach and are being opportunistic just like I did when I was an entrepreneur.
Thanks to Ben Wattenberg for introducing me to this very apropos description of what we are about.
To visit Ben Wattenbergs blog click here: Wattenblog
To learn more about James Pinkerton click here: The New American Foundation
The film crew has been busy. In November they were in Haiti and Miami and this week they are in Washington, Boston, New Haven and New York. I accompanied them for two days of this latest trip and sat in on interviews with Ben Wattenberg and Noam Chomsky. They are two of the smartest people in the country and both graciously gave us the time to ask our questions about immigration and the Right to Migrate. Both of them tend to agree that the world will be a better place when people can live where they choose.
Ben Wattenberg and Simon Burrow
For more information about Ben Wattenberg visit his blog at: Wattenblog.com.
Brian Ging interviews Noam Chomsky
I’ll be posting a lot more about both of these conversations in the next few days.
|Breaking from NewsMax.com|
Americans Don't Like John Kerry: Poll
Democratic Sen. John Kerry, mulling a second bid for the U.S. presidency, finished dead last in a poll released Monday on the likability of 20 top American political figures.
Among those placing ahead of Kerry were about a dozen potential 2008 White House rivals, including Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
"This is bad, bad news for Kerry," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in Hamden, Connecticut, which conducted the survey.
"Americans know who he is, and have pretty much decided they don't like him," said Brown. He noted the poll found that 95 percent of respondents said they had heard enough about Kerry, who lost the 2004 White House race to U.S. President George W. Bush, to rate the Massachusetts Democrat.
(c) Reuters 2006. All rights reserved.
Sunday, December 10, 2006; Page A01
Demoralized Republicans adjourned the 109th Congress at 5 a.m. yesterday with a near-empty Capitol, closing the door on a dozen years of nearly unbroken GOP control by spending more time in the final days lamenting their failures -- to rein in government, tame the deficit and temper their own lust for power -- than reliving their successes.Ben's comment: