Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fresh produce nearby!

Here's a nice utility: a peak-season produce map.

What I'd like to know is why artichokes, asparagus and rhubarb are available in May in New Hampshire but not Massachusetts?

Hat tip to Knowledge Problem

Oh pretty please John McCain, please win in November!

One very good reason to vote McCain in the fall. The utterly obnoxious, self-important Susan "Saranwrap" Sarandon pledges to leave the country. Hopefully with her pretentious common law husband and failed playwright Tim Robbins (who should stick to acting).
SUSAN SARANDON, who appeared in three films last year and won kudos for her TV movie "Bernard and Doris," is still not a contented soul. She says if John McCain gets elected, she will move to Italy or Canada. She adds, "It's a critical time, but I have faith in the American people."

OK, American people. You don't want Susan to move out of the country, so it's up to you to elect Barack Obama. What? You thought Susan of all people would be for Hillary Clinton? Well, no. She told John Hiscock: "I thought the whole point of feminism is that you're not supposed to be defined by gender. I don't understand the reasoning behind that, because I wouldn't vote for Condoleezza Rice, and I hated Margaret Thatcher."
Let's see who has a greater impact in their respective fields Secretary Rice or Lady Thatcher or a run-of-the-mill Hollywood liberal? The incentives to vote for the Happy Warrior grow each day! But rest-assured, Sarandon will hang around even if McCain wins. Hollywood liberals act in bad faith. Just ask Alex Baldwin.

It's Walt Whitman's Birthday

"Here are the roughs and beards and space and ruggedness and nonchalance that the soul loves."
-preface to the Leaves of Grass.

Here's another Whitman gem:

The true government is much simpler than is supposed, and abstains from much more. Nine tenths of the laws passed every winter at the Federal Capitol, and all the State Capitols, are not only unneeded laws, but positive nuisances, jobs got up for the service of special classes of persons.
Who knew that Whitman was an anti-government libertarian?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Fed's Rosengren: A little more pain

The President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston says that the road ahead is a little tough but that growth will pick up later in the year. As for that housing mess..

BOSTON (Reuters) - Falling home prices continue to threaten U.S. economic growth, and banks could face trouble from rising delinquencies in consumer debt, Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren said on Friday.
more stories like this

Rosengren noted that the housing sector's free-fall, which he characterized as the worst in 50 years, has taken place against a backdrop of relatively low unemployment.

Any rise in joblessness could put more pressure on an already wobbly economy, he said.

"This has been an unusually long period of continuous decline in the housing sector, and coupled with falling housing prices nationally, has complicated predictions of what will happen in the economy going forward," Rosengren told a conference at the Boston Fed.

"Falling housing prices continue to be a significant source of down-side risk to the economy," he said.

Rosengren, however, did say he sees growth picking up later in the year.

U.S. gross domestic product grew very modestly during the past two quarters, and home prices have dropped nearly 15 percent nationally, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller index.

Rosengren said the Fed's aggressive monetary policy, which has taken the benchmark lending rate down to 2 percent from 5.25 percent in just nine months, has in part buffered the worst effects of the decline in home values.

Not "O Superman" but "O say can you see.."

O Laurie Anderson, let me sing your praises! Deconstructing the national anthem...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Where there's smoke, there' s fire!

Are terrorists-in-the-making just sitting ducks in Europe? Strategy Page thinks so.
The Europeans have been far more successful at finding and arresting Islamic terrorists than their American counterparts. Part of that is because there are ten times as many Muslims in Europe as there are in the United States, and it's much easier for Islamic terrorists to get into Europe (mainly because the homelands of Islamic terrorists are close). Another reason is the tendency of American Muslims to integrate into their communities more than is the case in Europe (where governments have long encouraged migrants to maintain their language and culture.) Thus U.S. Muslims are more likely to report any suspicious activity. For this reason, even before September 11, 2001, al Qaeda warned terrorists operating in the United States, to avoid American Muslims. The greater integration into U.S. society also means American Muslims are more economically successful than their peers in Europe. It's the unemployment and sense of helplessness among European Muslims that causes so many of them to become Islamic terrorists.

There are al Qaeda fans in the United States. Some are just young, or not-too-bright. But others are older and smarter and dedicated to the goals of Islamic radicalism. It's just that there aren't that many of them (the FBI won't say exactly how many, just that the number is growing), and apparently they are carefully monitored. But if a few of these lads go unnoticed, for too long, there could be another terror attack.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Wishing the senior senator well

Hell knows we aren't fans of the senior senator from Massachusetts. But we wish him well. The AP is reporting that Sen. Kennedy was rushed to the hospital this morning around 8:30. His situation was deemed serious enough to transfer him by helicopter to Mass. General according to radio reports.

Decency from the loyal opposition requires such sentiments.