Saturday, January 08, 2005

Perspective on US History and Iraq

From yesterday's Rocky Mountain News: Opinion: "Saturday, for those looking for a cause to celebrate, is the 190th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. As the Associated Press reminds us, that battle was, until it was subsumed by the Civil War, a national holiday complete with the usual parades and ceremonies. It marked the improbable defeat of crack British regulars by an outnumbered band of U.S. troops, local militias, frontiersmen, freed slaves and free blacks and even pirates. Unbeknownst to the combatants, the treaty ending the War of 1812 had already been signed, but the victory gave a profound boost to the psyche of a shaky new country that had seen its capital burned less than five months earlier. The victory also propelled the U.S. commander, Andrew Jackson, into politics and ultimately the presidency." Useful to think about given the history of the US, even prior to the Civil War and I think important context for the upcoming Iraqi elections and the current world tumult. Iraq is experiencing upheaval that is not dissimilar to our own past and with our help may become another success story of democracy.

Third World Problem Solving Beyond Amount of US Aid for Tsunami Victims

Per Dr. Sowell's rebuke earlier in the week, about the failure to use DDT to save millions of people in Africa from malaria and the ban due to environmental concerns, Nick Kristof in the NYT today: "I'm thrilled that we're pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the relief effort, but the tsunami was only a blip in third-world mortality. Mosquitoes kill 20 times more people each year than the tsunami did, and in the long war between humans and mosquitoes it looks as if mosquitoes are winning.
One reason is that the U.S. and other rich countries are siding with the mosquitoes against the world's poor - by opposing the use of DDT.
'It's a colossal tragedy,' says Donald Roberts, a professor of tropical public health at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. 'And it's embroiled in environmental politics and incompetent bureaucracies.'"

Mea Culpa

I haven't posted in the last few days and not due to any great reasons other than I wanted to do various things on my weblog and didn't know how. So I stopped posting until I learned how to do more of what I want to do eventually. (And also I haven't publicized my blog address until I knew a little better what I was doing but am leaving it up for all newcomers to see the learning curve.) I have learned quite a deal in the few days since I started this on 01/01/05, a day that even I can recall as in "I started this 'the first day of '05'...." I will get better with presentations, templates, offers to other sites, conciseness, humor, and so on but I have learned a lot so far and like most things with some work it's not as hard as it appears. My one point of pride so far is that I has found a legitimate bug that the google wizards are (have formally acknowledged a problem, and say they are) working on.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Internet Radio

Yes, I do like and listen to internet provided radio streams. For some reason, I think some stations sound better using 'real one player' and some are better on 'windows media player' which makes little sense. My two favorite stations that I listen to when I can are WNCW and KPLU (both '.org'). Try internet radio out when you are playing around with sounds and computers.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Inflation Fears for 2005?

The CBS MarketWatch Alert at 2:15pm today was: "Fed fretful over inflation at Dec. 14 meeting." To quote TAP (name of this blog if you have already forgotten) from the day before yesterday in my 2005 financial prediction: "...slightly worried about inflation concerns in middle to 3rd Q of 2005." Believe me I had no inside information just my sense of what is really happening contrary to many negative reports especially prior to the November election. I still would not place any bets on my number prognostications.

Here is the Alert: WASHINGTON (CBS.MW) -- The Federal Open Market Committee was roughly divided into two camps on the outlook for inflation at their closed-door meeting on Dec. 14, according a summary of the meeting released Tuesday. A number of FOMC members were worried that the weaker dollar, higher energy prices and a slowdown in productivity growth may lead to higher prices. But others on the FOMC argued that wages remained under control and that the risk to prices from a weak dollar might be overstated. This is the first time the FOMC has released the minutes from its meetings after a three-week lag. In general, FOMC members were upbeat about the economy, saying that the expansion was "firmly established" and "resilient."

Monday, January 03, 2005

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Quote of the Day Headed into First Business Day of 2005

"Ronald Reagan believed that people were basically good and had the right to be free. He believed that bigotry and prejudice were the worst things a person could be guilty of. He believed in the Golden Rule and in the power of prayer. He believed that America was not just a place in the world, but the hope of the world." -George W. Bush giving Ronald Reagan's eulogy.

I believe that too and hope you do as well.

Market Predictions for Yr End 2005

People are asking so here goes:
Yr End 2004 Yr End 2005
Dow 10,780 12,300
Nasdaq 2,175 2,800
S&P 1,200 1,400
US GDP Growth 3.9-4.0%? 4.25%
WSJ Prime Rate 5.25% 7.50%
10 Yr T-Bill 4.21% 4.85%
1 Mo. LIBOR 2.42% 3.95%
Fed Discount Rate 3.25% 4.75%
Fed Funds Rate 2.25% 3.75%

I am rather bullish on the US economy, not worried about either trade deficits or what I see as temporary spending deficits, and slightly worried about inflation concerns starting middle to 3rdQ of 2005.

Please do not use this as advice this is just my prediction. I haven't even looked at other forecasts so this is unbiased and perhaps ill-informed. We will find out this time next yr.

Middle East Envoy if POTUS

Suggestions for GWB (or my hero as one democrat friend says) I would ask former President Clinton to be the Special Envoy of the US to the Middle East, charged with the Israeli Palestinian problem reporting directly to the President. If WJC declines I would ask Sec Powell to take the role as he leaves State. Next I would ask James Baker. If persons of those stature all decline I would leave it with incoming Sec State Dr. Rice.

Deacs Win in Charlottesville!

WFU Demon Deacons 89- UVA Cavaliers 70. Line was Wake by 2.
No current Wake Forest BB player or coach had ever won in Charlottesville until tonight.
I am pleased.