08
Oct
08

Talking points 9th October

Hi everyone..it’s Karnie today. Here’s something to get you started: The financial crisis is still dominating global news..shares have risen across the globe following government intervention. A slow start, but perhaps in the right direction? BUT as yet nobody has been blamed.

Lots of people have had their livelihoods put on the line but still not one person has been prosecuted, nobody has been arrested. The perpetrators seem to have got away with it. Why has nobody yet been blamed for this recent turmoil? Do we need to see heads rolling?

Some commentators have said to go after individuals is victimisation. Do you agree? OR should those who were responsible now face legal action?

People are talking about it here in the New York Times. And here’s another interesting comment.


129 Responses to “Talking points 9th October”


  1. 1 Jessica in NYC
    October 8, 2008 at 20:28

    For you animal lovers here is an interesting story from the Washington Post: High Court to Settle Dispute Over Navy Sonar’s Impact on Whales

    It looks like the US Supreme Court will hears the case on Navy’s effect on whales. It looks like the justices are divided on whether environmental laws can or do protect the whales during military exercises. Any thoughts?

    Not to keep harping on about the economy, but the International Monetary Fund just release some bleak analysis of the state of finance saying “The world economy is entering a major downturn in the biggest financial crisis since the 1930s.” I have just been scared into not spending a single cent.

    From the BBC: ‘Major global downturn’ says IMF

  2. 2 Jessica in NYC
    October 8, 2008 at 20:30

    Hi Sheikh,

    Welcome. There are other moderators online, give a “shout-out” if you have questions… Someone will jump in to help you.

  3. 3 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 20:33

    So what are we all talking about

  4. 4 selena in Canada
    October 8, 2008 at 20:48

    Hello Robert,

    Good to see you back from your trip to Spain. Did you have a good holiday?

    And hello Sheikh… Have fun moderating!

  5. October 8, 2008 at 20:48

    Is it time to talk with the Taleban? Details have emerged that the Afghan President’s brother sat with former taleban leaders at a religious meal hosted by the Saudi King Abdullah. Recently, British and US officials said a resolution of the Afghan conflict would require negotiations with the Taleban.

  6. 6 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 20:50

    It was good thank you.

  7. 7 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 20:59

    I find that the United Kingdoms so called emergency cash to the big 8 could end up costing between £1,000 – £2,000 per adult tax payer in the population of the country. If you would like to look at the article which is on the BBC website.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/business/2007/creditcrunch/default.stm

    I personally find this a ridicious reason to spend up to £400bln or $800bln. I would have preferred the health and other departments get some of that cash. Although if this plan works then that would be good.

  8. 8 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 21:08

    Nelson personally I dont mind if we talk to the taliban. This is because it was not them who attacked America on 9/11. Lets talk to them find out where Al-Queda is and then we can bomb then out of existance.

  9. October 8, 2008 at 21:15

    Great welcome to all the regulars on the blog. i am happy to be back. I guess we have started already. Suicide Attack in Turkey, Obama leads CBS, CNN and many other issues on your mind will be a good menu for tonight.

  10. October 8, 2008 at 21:18

    Is there ever anything that we stand to benefit by committing suicide and in the process take other lives? Is there a moral justifcation to die in only in the name of religion?

  11. 11 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 21:21

    Last week I read an article were the local had raided a TV station is connection with a 500m euro fraud.

    If you want to have a look here is the link

    http://www.euroweeklynews.com/news/11459.html

  12. 12 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 21:23

    Sheikh I thought that if someone wanted to commit suicide then they would go and hang themselves or some other way

  13. 13 that one
    October 8, 2008 at 21:27

    another riveting debate, well both yesterday and here on the blog

  14. October 8, 2008 at 21:34

    @ How wars end

    We must learn to talk and negotiate with peoples and countries that hate us. Many people believe that all wars end in victory for one side and humiliation and defeat for the other. But this isn’t how most wars end… they fizzle out. Ten thousand spoken and unspoken agreements. Years, and generations pass, and slowly even the scars seem to disappear.

    America’s (and McCain’s, and Palin’s) insistence on “winning” in Iraq is totally political rhetoric… since America has no clear mission in Iraq. We are a foreign despised police force that holds competing politicized religious groups apart.

  15. October 8, 2008 at 21:40

    @ Robert!
    I certainly agree with you that a person should do just that. it beats my imagination to see people doing these things in the name of Islam. Suicide is unislamic and those who do so are codemned. Jihad, fighting in the course of Allah has no room for such evil.

  16. 16 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 21:42

    @ Sheikh

    Suicide bombing is not suicide its the mass murder

  17. 17 Anthony
    October 8, 2008 at 21:45

    Here’s a good one. Socialized Medicine!!!

    I have a republican at work saying how bad it would be, and that she would have to drive an hour away if the government chose her doctor, and I was telling her how canada, the UK, France, Cuba, etc. has is and it works great! What does everyone else think about socialized medicine???

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    P.S. She was saying that people in those countries have to wait forever at hospitals….I wonder if that is true???

  18. 18 Jennifer
    October 8, 2008 at 21:47

    @ Suicide Attacks

    I think that in the minds of some people; they believe that they will be rewarded. Even if that is truly what someone believes, I don’t think it’s right to take inflict your beliefs on to someone else and take their life because you choose to give your life for your religion.

  19. 19 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 21:48

    Anthony she would have been correct but that was 10 – 15 years ago

  20. October 8, 2008 at 21:50

    Jacob Zuma,ANC new leader is faced with managing his first crisis as head of ANC. Some party members threatened to form a new movement. Is the ANC in Crisis or at the brink of disintegration?

  21. 21 Anthony
    October 8, 2008 at 21:53

    @ robert

    So 10-15 years ago those countries health care systems sucked and now they’re much better? Just curious, what country healthcare system have you had to go through. I know, even in California with Blue Cross, I had to deal with VERY LONG waits, and Blue Cross is supposidly one of the better ones.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  22. 22 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 21:54

    Jennifer I dont understand the purpose of blowing yourself up with a suicide bomb. I know that it is popular with some fanatical followers of the islamic religions.

  23. 23 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 21:55

    Anthony I just ment in the United Kingdom

  24. October 8, 2008 at 21:56

    @ Portlandmike IMO, I think the costs of diplomacy and negotiations are far less than full scale military offensive in addition to loss of lives.

  25. October 8, 2008 at 22:03

    @ Robert.
    Those who killed in the name of religion be it Islam, Christianity, Judaism Etc, are only satisfying their own selfish desire but not for the benefit of their religions. My stomach sickens when i read about a suicide bombing, religious violence and intolerance. Religion is not intended to foment chaos or instill division. It is man own ego that has led to the misrepresentation.

  26. 26 Jennifer
    October 8, 2008 at 22:03

    @ Robert

    I think it depends how much someone believes in their chosen religion and what is acceptable and unacceptable to them to earn entrance to a higher place.

  27. October 8, 2008 at 22:07

    @ Jennifer.
    No belief can ever becloud my judgment and stupefy me to taking my own live or the lives of others.

  28. 28 Anthony
    October 8, 2008 at 22:08

    @ Robert

    I remember when I watched “Sicko”, it said you (in the UK):
    1) Get treatment no matter what (if I got a new job, with new insurance for a year, and had cancer that started 2 years ago, I would not get treatment for that)
    2) Paid NOTHING when you went to the hospital
    3) Paid 6.25 pounds for ANY prescription (and free if you’re under 18, a senior, or really poor)
    4) Are reimbursed for your fair if you took a taxi to the hospital

    Is all that true???

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  29. 29 Jack Hughes
    October 8, 2008 at 22:09

    UK health service is better than it was 10-15 years ago – but still poor compared with NZ and AUS.

    Here in NZ I can usually see my doctor the same day I call. Sometimes I can see the doctor right away, and sometimes I may have to wait a couple of hours.

    It costs me $NZ 30 – this is about £10 sterling.

  30. 30 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 22:09

    @ Sheikh

    Well thats good

  31. 31 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 22:12

    @ Athony

    That charge has gone up to £7.10 per item

  32. October 8, 2008 at 22:14

    @ Robert, Nelson and Anthony.
    I will appreciate if you guys can step up after i exit in 15 minutes. Hope to join you guys in the morning. Remember! Lets keep our discussion in focus and observed all standing rules of the blog.

    @ Nelson,
    As an African, what you make of what is unfolding in the ANC in South Africa?
    Did Obama actually win the debate or there is a tendency for things to favor a particular candidate in any political stage.

  33. 33 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 22:17

    @ Sheikh

    Thats cool no problem

  34. October 8, 2008 at 22:21

    @ Jennifer.
    I am surmising it is due to the differences in time zones.
    In a couple of hours, the regulars will step up and the debate will get heated.

  35. 35 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 22:22

    @ Sheikh

    Well, you are probably right.

  36. October 8, 2008 at 22:26

    Folks,
    I am heading out to catch a cab to go to my dormitory.
    Hope you guys manage the blog adequately.

    @ Nelson,i am interested in reading you response to my questions on your take about happenings in the ANC,Is Obama being overrated?
    Catch you guys in the morning.

  37. 37 Anthony
    October 8, 2008 at 22:26

    @ Robert and Jack

    SHOOT!!! I WISH!!! I remember, before my current “good” job, I had to play about $200.00 a month for my son and I, had to pay 20 bucks to see the doctor, which I would have to wait from 3 weeks to 2 months on average, and 20 bucks for a month prescription of something generic. And I could ONLY see one doctor (primary), and if I went to the Emergency room there was 100-200 dollar deductable!

    Man, I’m moving to the UK or NZ!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    P.S. @ Jack, I love Flight of the Conchord, haha!!!

  38. 38 Dennis@OCC
    October 8, 2008 at 22:28

    I have some good news to give to the WHYS friends:
    That finally after “some” time in Georgia, that Russia, is going to be
    “leaving” that the situation….

    Dennis

  39. 39 Dennis@OCC
    October 8, 2008 at 22:29

    Hi moderator,

    i think that one of my comments at 10.25pm was submitted
    but it is not appearing on the blog…

    could someone contact me…

    Dennis

  40. 40 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 22:31

    @ Dennis@OCC

    Finally some decent news from that region of the world

  41. 41 Dennis@OCC
    October 8, 2008 at 22:31

    @ FINANCIAL CRISIS:
    The world is pretty much on the edge of another 1987 collapse of the markets…like what happend here in New York….

    Dennis

  42. 42 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 22:35

    @ Anthony

    If some one has a condition such as Diabetes (appologies if thats wrong) then in the United Kingdom their precription is free

  43. 43 Dennis@OCC
    October 8, 2008 at 22:38

    Hi Sheikh in Liberia:
    Thanks for being the moderator!

    @ FINANCIAL CRISIS:
    It is becoming a very bad situation in which,
    not many people are able to work on the problems.

    @ HEALTH CARE:
    I am talking about the health care in the U.S. in the case of New York,
    It depends on your location, what kind of preventive care that you will
    received…in the bigger cities—if you are able the medical care is
    often better than in small “regions”…..

    Dennis

  44. 44 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 22:38

    @ Dennis

    I have looked but I couldn’t see one

  45. 45 Dennis@OCC
    October 8, 2008 at 22:42

    Re: DIABETES…..
    I know here in my home state of New York–Unless you have health insurance, or some other form of coverage! You will have to get the medicines for the disease….

    Dennis

  46. 46 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 22:47

    @ Dennis@OCC

    I think it is good that in the UK you dont pay because it would be very expensive if someone did it would be extremely expensive

  47. 47 Anthony
    October 8, 2008 at 22:49

    @ Dennis Re:Diabetes

    I KNOW RIGHT!!! Doesn’t that make you mad!!! My friends grandma has diabetes and heart problems, and she has to pay, out of pocket, PLUS she has Medicare, about $200.00 a month!!!

    I remember when my Grandparents were dying, they had to take out a second mortgage, and by the end, they owed $200,000.00 for all their medical expenses, and that was for JUST UNDER 3 YEARS!!! All that seriously gets me upset. Thats one reason I would prefer Obama over McCain.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  48. 48 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 23:00

    @ Anthony

    As far as I can tell Obama is slightly more popular

  49. 49 Anthony
    October 8, 2008 at 23:13

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,434311,00.html

    So a man was shot 3 times for wearing an Obama shirt. Hmmmm, something crazy like that was bound to happen, BUT IN LONDON?!?!?! YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME, I was thinking Alabama, or Georgia!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  50. 50 Venessa
    October 8, 2008 at 23:15

    re: Diplomacy

    Obviously the strategy of not talking to adversaries and just going to war doesn’t work. Violence begets violence and merely adds potency and vehemence to an opposing cause. Why must governments resort to such tactics without trying alternatives? How can any administration claim moral superiority without a willingness to have open dialogue and empathy? Having a discussion does not mean you concede to unreasonable demands but it certainly shows a willingness to work toward a peaceful resolution. In this day and age it seems preposterous to me that diplomacy cannot be employed more often instead of being a bully in the schoolyard. Having a great deal of power as a nation requires using that authority conscientiously. Unfortunately it has not been the standard.

  51. 51 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 23:15

    Anthony does it say which area

  52. 52 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 23:20

    I do think that a country should be prepared ALL diplomatic services to try for a peaceful resolution to the issue

  53. 53 Dennis@OCC
    October 8, 2008 at 23:36

    To answer Robert1987 and Anthony [and everyone else] question…

    It makes me very mad that people with diabetes are not able to get
    adequate medical care for there medical problems….

    I also, have many relatives that are diabetics….

    Dennis

  54. 54 Venessa
    October 8, 2008 at 23:38

    Anthony ~

    I have a relatively good plan I guess. I pay out of pocket to my employer about $1300 per year and my employer picks up the rest. My husband and I maintain separate plans since it is cheaper although we even work for the same employer. I have to pay $20 for each visit to my PCP. If I go to a specialist its $40 and every time I go to physical therapy for my knee I pay $40. Well, I’ve been going for a year now 2x per week. That sure adds up fast and on top of it in order for the visits to be covered I have to have an authorization from my insurance company through my PCP who had nothing to do with my Orthopedic surgery in the first place. For prescriptions I pay anywhere from $5 – $45. Guess which amount I pay more often at the pharmacy and for generic drugs on top of it?! My birth control costs me $45 per month. If I want to see my physician it can be up to 2 months before I can get in. If it’s an emergency I can usually get in the same week.

    Talking with friends in the UK, socialized medicine in the US in comparison to my current plan doesn’t seem all that bad. Especially when I consider I can either have my current plan through my employer or a similar plan as enjoyed by the congressmen/women in this nation. In addition the US is in a good position to examine how the systems in the UK, NZ, etc work and establish a system that could be an improvement in comparison. Some needed regulation might actually occur too!

  55. 55 Dennis@OCC
    October 8, 2008 at 23:39

    Re: robert1987 October 8, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    @ Dennis

    I have looked but I couldn’t see one

    If you are available could you please, explain
    your comments more, because i honestly
    do not know what you are talking about….

    Sorry,
    Dennis

  56. 56 Venessa
    October 8, 2008 at 23:40

    Anthony ~

    “Especially when I consider I can either have my current plan through my employer or a similar plan as enjoyed by the congressmen/women in this nation.”

    I meant to say under Obama as president.

  57. 57 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 23:42

    @Dennis

    You asked where one of your post had gone and so I was answering your post enquiry

  58. 58 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 23:44

    @Dennis

    I have a parent who has diabetes and they dont pay anything. I think its because we are in the UK and it has its National Health Service

  59. 59 Dennis@OCC
    October 8, 2008 at 23:45

    Thanks Robert1987…thanks for the correct information….

    ********************************
    About my health care coverage:
    i am lucky to a point, that my coverage is
    provided to me thru the new york state
    government–since i am low-income and
    i pay $ 3.00 co-pay to visit the dentists & doctors,
    and 1.00 dollar for my prescriptions…

    Dennis

  60. 60 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 23:47

    @ Dennis

    No problem

    That system sounds like a decent system you have in New Your State

  61. October 8, 2008 at 23:50

    @ how wars end:

    PRI (www.pri.org) is doing a series on “how wars end.” You can read and listen to the podcasts here: http://www.pri.org/world/middle-east/how-wars-end-iraq.html

  62. 62 Dennis@OCC
    October 8, 2008 at 23:52

    @ Robert1987,
    Sometimes, i have gone weeks without getting an
    appointment to visit my dentist and or my doctor….

    **************************
    Re: Diplomacy…..

    i think that diplomacy, should be the first step
    before any threat of military action–should be taken…

    Dennis

  63. 63 robert1987
    October 8, 2008 at 23:54

    @ Dennis

    I have not had a dentist appointment for years

  64. 64 Dennis@OCC
    October 8, 2008 at 23:57

    @ Robert1987….
    I now see my dentist every few months per se….

    @ PortlandMike….
    Thanks for the link regarding how to end the war in
    Iraq…..

    Dennis

  65. 65 robert1987
    October 9, 2008 at 00:00

    @ Dennis

    Unfortunatly I had one bad experience which ment I didnt go back for several years and now I have not been because I got irritated with them all

  66. 66 Roberto
    October 9, 2008 at 00:09

    RE “” I dont mind if we talk to the taliban. This is because it was not them who attacked America on 9/11. Lets talk to them find out where Al-Queda is and then we can bomb then out of existance.””
    ——————————————————————————————————–

    ———- Time to study up.

    The US did talk to the Taliban in Afghanistan and Musharaff in Pakistan after 2001. The Taliban refused to give up Bin Laden, thus the invasion of Afghanistan.

    Musharraf agreed to cooperate and did as much as he could with the Taliban whilst walking the tightrope of assassination attempts and suspensions of democracy to keep the country from anarchy. In exchange he got military aid to strengthen the country.

    I’ll tell you right now, anyone knows that unless they agree to give up arms, negotiations with Taliban are fruitless in a democracy. They want full control and sharia government and law.

  67. 67 robert1987
    October 9, 2008 at 00:15

    Well if they wish to fight then so will we

  68. 68 robert1987
    October 9, 2008 at 00:27

    Can another moderator take over for the next few hours

  69. October 9, 2008 at 00:30

    okay robert

    Ill be around for a while.

  70. 70 Kelsie in Houston
    October 9, 2008 at 00:35

    Hi, Sheikh.
    A tidbit from the news–the ruling pro-Western coalition in the Ukraine has collapsed; I wonder what implications this could have for Russia, the West, and of course Ukraine itself? An historically critical nation to Russia–is there a possibility a pro-Russian government could tilt the political balance between the West and Russia?

  71. 71 Venessa
    October 9, 2008 at 00:36

    Roberto ~

    Just because there is a failed effort at discussions one-time years ago should not mean a dialogue cannot be sought again. Diplomacy is a door that should always remain open if it can result in saving lives and a peaceful resolution. I know I sound idealistic but it seems the worst that can happen is a continuation of military action if negotiations are ineffective. Some people will not compromise but one never knows if the idea is destroyed before it is even attempted.

  72. October 9, 2008 at 01:03

    Anthony

    Canadian healthcare is crap compared to the UK, and that isn’t as good as in France. It used to be then the conservative got hold of it.

    In the UK it is mandated that you can see your Dr ( it will be a local Dr or family member Dr who has you or you wife or children on his/her books). You NEVER have to travel out of your town unless you really, really are out in the sticks.

    If you go to the UK and have an accident – you will not be charged for being treated. Even if you have to stay in hospital for an extended stay. If you have medical insurance then that will pay for your trip back home – but you won’t be forced out of hospital until you are OK to fly home.

    You are not charged for ambulances they are all part of the NHS.

    There are many more things I can say but I don’t want to make the post too long.

  73. October 9, 2008 at 01:55

    Will,
    Can you blog about your experiences and observations with health care in the UK on your blog? You can almost guarantee that I will click to it, barring hell, flood, high wind, etc. (words: 34, chars: 186, posts: 3rd today)

  74. 74 Bob in Queensland
    October 9, 2008 at 02:19

    Hello all!

    Well, if I can’t post this here, where can I?

    Former BBC journalist Bob Friend died yesterday..

    I knew him a little via a mutual friend who worked with him both at the BBC and then at Sky. A tripartite enjoyment of good malt whisky helped us to get to know each other!

    Although I never worked with him directly, I know him to be a charming and genuine man and, by reputation, a consummate professional who was always ready and willing to help.

    He will be missed, both by his friends and by the industry.

  75. October 9, 2008 at 02:19

    Shirley

    Sure, I can’t see a problem with that.

  76. 76 Bob in Queensland
    October 9, 2008 at 02:32

    @ Will

    Re: Health Care

    Although France is generally reckoned to have the best actual health care in the world (at a cost of almost 12% of GDP) I’m less convinced by their payment system This still involves a large element of the patient having to find the money up front then claim a varying proportion (usually 70-100%) back.

    For all it’s flaws, the basic theory of the UK NHS is that it’s a universal service “free at the point of delivery”. Having experienced a couple of other systems now, I think THAT aspect of the NHS is something Britain should be proud of.

  77. 77 Roberto
    October 9, 2008 at 02:37

    RE US economy:
    ————————————————

    ——- Reports are the US retirement programs, just the retirement programs alone have lost $2 trillion the past 15 months.

    http://kut.org/items/show/14301

    That’s 8% of value of all the world’s mutual funds.

    Thus the primary reason for the failure. All these investment banks speculating with an unceasing supply of funds with retirement programs and foreign investment. My retirement program, Fidelity, was the largest shareholder of Enron stock.

    You’d think when they made an investment that size, qualified accountants could look at the books and figure it out. Instead, they and nobody else did until too late.
    Yet both companies top management made obscene millions of dollars apiece.

    As long as white collar crime, corporate fraud, and corporate welfare are legal enterprises, nothing will change. Americans have show they cannot elect the leadership needed to do the job.

    Which is why I feel this election makes little difference. The meltdown is bigger than the election and whomever is elected will be forced to act by circumstances, not by design or principle.

    Still, it’s important to vote your conscious, your beliefs. In the end, that’s all you got and they can’t steal that.

  78. 78 Dennis@OCC
    October 9, 2008 at 02:38

    @ The passing of The SKY NEWS Journalist:
    I want to send my heart-felt condolences to his family, friends and the United Kingdom public….

    @ HEALTH CARE….
    Here in the U.S., the health care system is in need of a massive overhaul….

    @ROBERT1987:
    I also have a thing against dentists, until i found one–who i like very much….

    @UKRAINE:
    It is not surprising that the government there was going to collapse…

    Dennis

  79. 79 Dennis@OCC
    October 9, 2008 at 02:41

    On the BBC website, the U.S. is warning against more banks failures….

    It is going to be a scary–time in the U.S. and around the world….

    Dennis

  80. 80 Jonathan
    October 9, 2008 at 02:44

    @Venessa~

    Do you know theactual cost of:

    Health care in the UK?
    Health care under your current insurance plan?
    Health care under “the same insurance plan that Congress has”?
    The premiums of your current insurance plan?
    The premiums of the “Congress” plan?

    I’m thinking that would be helpful information for comparing them….

  81. 81 Roberto
    October 9, 2008 at 02:46

    RE Taliban…”” Just because there is a failed effort at discussions one-time years ago should not mean a dialogue cannot be sought again.””
    —————————————————————————————————

    ———- Rest assured, the enemies are often in contact with each other in the field.

    Already stated the conditions needed by both parties, both being diametrically opposed to each other. We don’t negotiate with murderers unless they are holding someone hostage we wish to rescue, including ourselves.

    Right now the only power they have is the lack of coordination of the relevant states involved.

  82. 82 Kelsie in Houston
    October 9, 2008 at 02:47

    Roberto:
    “Still, it’s important to vote your conscious, your beliefs. In the end, that’s all you got and they can’t steal that.

    You’re absolutely right–but I’m still screwed.

  83. 83 Julie P
    October 9, 2008 at 02:48

    Japanese police release British man after a nude swim in the moat surrounding the Imperial Palace.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7656765.stm

    I kind of like news oddities. It’s a small break from all of the heavy stuff.

  84. October 9, 2008 at 02:48

    Shirley

    http://willrhodesportmanteau.com/2008/10/08/every-now-and-again-i-get-asked-to-blog-about-something-specific/

    Bob – I do have to agree with you. I know the NHS costs a lot of money, but when you look at what you get – I still feel the NHS is the best in the world. Not perfect but still I wouldn’t trust any other organisation.

  85. 85 Bob in Queensland
    October 9, 2008 at 03:14

    @ Jonathan

    Re: UK Health Care

    Well, I can help with one set of numbers. The total budget for the NHS in 2007/2008 was £105.6 billion. This amounts to a cost of £1,760 per person in the UK…call it about $3,200.

    Obviously what each person in the UK pays varies with income and circumstances (and much of the cost comes from general taxation) so it’s pretty much impossible to tell you what the “premiums” are. However, I believe the “per person” cost compares pretty favourably with what is spent on health care in the USA.

    The big difference, of course, is that this is buying you “cradle to grave” coverage. Private insurance works perfectly for young, healthy wage earners. However, what private scheme is going to cover you when you develop a long-term ailment afer retirement when your earning power has just fallen off steeply? I’d love to hear the free market libertarian view of how health care should be covered for that part of the demographic?

  86. 86 David N in Oregon
    October 9, 2008 at 03:17

    RE: World Economy

    I keep hearing this drumbeat about “taxing the rich” or otherwise re-distributing wealth in order to heal the economies of the world.

    It may be distressing to discover that in the end the “rich” don’t really have much of actual value. What they mostly have is paper and promises, backed by laws they have had enacted. In a push-comes-to-shove economic crisis such as we have developing, paper and promises won’t get you a cup of coffee, and their laws may very well be changed and/or ignored in the mess our dear capitalist countrymen have created.

  87. October 9, 2008 at 03:18

    Re: Taliban

    Roberto you say, “Right now the only power they have is the lack of coordination of the relevant states involved.”
    …………………………………………..

    I agree, the Taliban live comfortably inside two “failed states,” Pakistan and Afghanistan. There is no way we can build them into democratic nations. We have poured billions of dollars, and blood into this misguided military disaster. The countries where our soldiers are, including Iraq, don’t like us, or want us there… except if we are passing out money and salaries for “make work” jobs.

    I’m with Obama. I want to “surge” into Warizstan and bring out Osama. And then pack up our stuff and go home.

  88. 88 Jennifer
    October 9, 2008 at 04:10

    @ Sheikh

    I was meaning Bryan and Steve specifically…..

    @Dennis

    My post is missing too….the one Sheikh answered? I don’t know what’s going on.

  89. 89 Jonathan
    October 9, 2008 at 04:45

    @Roberto

    White collar crime and corporate fraud aren’t legal. That’s why they call them that.

    @Bob

    I’m no expert by a long stretch, but there’s all kinds of insurance for retired folks, including for long-term care, plus Medicare magically pays medical expenses for those over 65 (by employing accounting tricks to shove tens of trillions of dollars off onto future generations)–a small-scale preview of what “free” medical care for all would look like.

  90. 90 Jonathan
    October 9, 2008 at 05:23

    Thanks Bob, yes, that’s what I was after: Real cost, which can then be expressed as per capita and as percent of GDP. (I don’t care a fig for what one does or doesn’t pay at the point of delivery, because hiding the cost doesn’t make it go away.)

  91. 91 Pangolin-California
    October 9, 2008 at 07:09

    @ The myth that medicare in the US pays sufficient coverage for adequate care of the elderly can be quickly shattered by asking anyone with an elderly parent in a nursing home. The rules are that the elderly person in charge has to burn ALL of their assets to pay for their own care before Medicare will cover 100% of the cost of the bottom tier establishments.

  92. 93 robert1987
    October 9, 2008 at 09:36

    @ Pangolin – California

    That makes total sense

  93. 94 Roberto
    October 9, 2008 at 09:37

    RE “” White collar crime and corporate fraud aren’t legal. That’s why they call them that. “”

    ——– Sorta like war, slavery and occupation, eh?

    Yeah, the good ‘ol rule of law that allowed Iceland to ranked as the 4th most productive nation per capita in the world and ranked by the UN as the most developed country in the world yesterday, and belly up today.

    Yeah, that rule of law the kicks 90 yr old widow women out in the street. Yeah, that’s the one.

  94. 95 Katharina in Ghent
    October 9, 2008 at 11:08

    Good morning, Karnie!

    Re: Why has nobody yet been blamed for this recent turmoil? Do we need to see heads rolling?

    I would love to see some heads rolling, and I generally blame those who came up with the idea of giving out mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them. The question is though, whose head exactly?

    -) The person who got the mortgage, and may have even exaggerated their incomes a little,
    -) the mortgage broker who was more interested in his cut of the deal than checking the background of the applicant properly,
    -) the mid-level employees of the banks and investment houses who provided the money,
    -) the CEO’s who approved everything and got a big bonus for their clever business strategies,
    -) the stock holders who wanted their companies to make big short term profits to get a nice dividend off their shares
    -) or the big banks overseas who were stupid enough to buy these bundles, not knowing or checking what’s actually in them;
    -) not to forget the rating agencies that gave these bundles AAA ratings.

    If all these heads started rolling, it would be a truly bloody mess, but I would be happy to see at least the heads of those who came up with the idea of subprime mortgages in the first place. I just fear that now nobody wants to claim ownership for this idea.

  95. 96 robert1987
    October 9, 2008 at 11:18

    @ Katharina

    When did someone actually come up with the now famous word subprime

  96. 97 Katharina in Ghent
    October 9, 2008 at 11:24

    @ Robert

    It sure wasn’t me… 😉 [innocent look in my face]

  97. 98 robert1987
    October 9, 2008 at 11:35

    @ Katharina

    I knew it was not you its the dumb rich people who came up with this idea to get even richer I suspect

  98. October 9, 2008 at 11:37

    Hi Karnie
    It will be a long time before we get to the bottom of the financial turmoil. It is a question of buying something that didn’t exist with someone else’s money.
    As it is happening, big money is bailing out banks and security firms, but it is just as well to get back to basics now and then.
    There is also the issue of dumping and cheap goods flooding Asia, Europe and US. obviously if cheap goods are on the market, local firms and manufacturers will close, bringing unemployment and hardship. This is fine at times of war because it makes up for shortages but what happens in the long run?
    The Euro is over-priced and bound to cause problems for European manfacturers. The expansion of EU was aslo premature. Look at Turkey, it is worth more in terms of prospects than Hungary, Poland and Romania put together, but there it is.

  99. 100 robert1987
    October 9, 2008 at 11:39

    Karine the CEO of Lehman Brothers I think should go to jail for taking home $200m to $300m before the collapse of his business

  100. 101 Bob in Queensland
    October 9, 2008 at 12:06

    Flipping the “who’s to blame” on it’s head, are people blaming the “credit crunch” for their own greed?

    I ask this because a UK event production company has just written to all its regular freelancers. Citing the credit crunch, the freelancers have now been informed:

    1. There will be no increase in freelance pay for at least a year.

    2. Freelancers who give the company a 5% reduction in their charges will be paid within 23 days, otherwise…..

    3. Freelancers who insist on the full amount of their invoice will not be paid for 60 days.

    In the same letter, the company claims that, on average, THEY don’t get paid by clients for 73 days!

    Credit crunch? Or just an excuse to squeeze a bit more out of their freelance employees?

  101. 102 robert1987
    October 9, 2008 at 12:11

    @ Bob in Queensland

    That sounds like a rather dodgy company

  102. 103 Jonathan
    October 9, 2008 at 12:19

    @Roberto

    Oh, good heavens. Takea deep breath. Let it out slowly. It’s got nothing to do with slavery or occupation or old widows or Iceland or any other bogeymen, straw men, or other denizens of a fevered fantasy world.

    It’s very simple: There are no legal crimes. If it’s a crime, then it isn’t legal. If it’s legal, then it isn’t a crime. That’s what the words mean.

  103. October 9, 2008 at 12:41

    Money talk is the new virus taking over our world.

  104. 105 Jonathan
    October 9, 2008 at 12:43

    @Katharina~

    Out of your comprehensive rogues’ gallery, only the first two groups are clearly criminal. There’s not much political mileage go be had from prosdecuting Jack and Jill Homeowner though, and not much capacity or appetite for prosecuting millions of them. Mortgage brokers, maybe.

    I think the lumpen prole populist zeitgeist will demand, and get, a few sacrificial lambs from the ranks of the investment banking community, so that we may be entertained with tales of large amounts of money, and the things that can be bought with it, that we don’t have, stoking our envy and resentment. There will then follow the edifying and tribally purifying spectacle of seeing those terrible “elite” people hauled off to prison, and we will all feel so much better, because we know thatrich people, and “elite” people, are bad.

    Criminal condust isn’t really relevant; charges can be conjured up as needed. The laws are so numerous and vague, and juries so primal and stupid, that it’s usually child’s play to convict rich people of, essentially, being rich. The mob is ugly and dangerous. Purification ritual coming soon.

  105. 106 robert1987
    October 9, 2008 at 12:46

    @ Sheikh

    Thats because people need to ensure that their money is secure

  106. 107 Kelsie in Houston
    October 9, 2008 at 12:52

    What a surprise:
    The National Rifle Association just endorsed John McCain for President…

  107. 108 Bob in Queensland
    October 9, 2008 at 12:53

    @ Jonathan

    You don’t have to be a criminal to be accused of greed or mis-management though.

  108. 109 robert1987
    October 9, 2008 at 12:55

    I have just received this email

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5g8-DEMtAE9q4i4ySQ0eV_qZefmRQD93MU25G0

    So Bush is considering buying shares in banks just like the UK

  109. 111 Kelsie in Houston
    October 9, 2008 at 13:08

    @Jonathan–the very early rumblings of the “purification ritual” have started…
    • in the U.K.:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/3163739/Financial-crisis-Day-of-big-bonuses-is-over-declares-Gordon-Brown.html

    • in the U.S.
    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/fed-lend-billions-more-aig/story.aspx?guid={C737F6B1-A4B5-43C6-BA86-F1CCB78D69BB}&print=true&dist=printMidSection Link not working.

  110. 112 robert1987
    October 9, 2008 at 13:11

    @Julie P

    I persoanally would be rather uncomfortable having a pregnancy pact school

  111. October 9, 2008 at 13:14


    FOX Freakout Over Unretouched Palin Photo On Newsweek Cover

    Hahahaha, way to go Fox…

  112. 114 Kelsie in Houston
    October 9, 2008 at 13:18

    @Julie:
    With parental consent–perhaps this will encourage the parents to be a bit more involved than they evidently were in the first place. I see an underground market for contraceptives in Gloucester 😉 .

  113. 115 Kelsie in Houston
    October 9, 2008 at 13:25

    Brett:
    “It is ridiculously unfair to her”–it’s ‘ridiculously unfair’ to her right eye, to be cut out of the picture like that…

    “This cover is a clear slap in the face to Sarah Palin. Why? Because it’s unretouched.”
    Yet another instance of that pesky gotcha journalism–because the election is going to be won or lost over Mrs Palin’s “unwanted facial hair, pores, wrinkles [&c].”

  114. 116 Julie P
    October 9, 2008 at 13:28

    @Kelsie,

    To me it was inevitable that some kind of proactive step was going to happen, especially after the national and international stir that pact created.

  115. 117 Kelsie in Houston
    October 9, 2008 at 13:31

    @Julie:
    Of the three possibilities that were outlined, I think the council definitely took the best one…it’s not ideal, but I suppose the situation that gave rise to this in the first place isn’t ideal.

  116. 118 Bob in Queensland
    October 9, 2008 at 13:31

    @ Brett

    LOL…Faux News strike again.

    If we want to talk “unflattering” the “halo” picture of Obama they talk about is pretty bad….he’s squinting in that one!

    Let’s manufacture a story where there isn’t one, shall we?

  117. 119 Julie P
    October 9, 2008 at 13:32

    @Brett,

    I did like Obama’s halo. Nice touch.

  118. October 9, 2008 at 13:35

    Hard hitting news, right? LOL

    Fox needs to swap out their news programs for The Inquirer or Star.

    Upset about not being able to project a visual lie….. lol. Why not tell the truth? Even maverick’s have pores and facial hair 😉

  119. 121 Kelsie in Houston
    October 9, 2008 at 13:36

    @Brett:
    Perhaps Mrs Palin should view it as in-line with her campaign’s message of “maverickness”–while Mr Obama got the “halo” treatment, Mrs Palin’s photoshoot revealed her as “one of the folks.”

  120. October 9, 2008 at 13:40

    @ Kelsie:

    Awesome idea! lol

    She needs to get all “mavericky” and embrace that beard her party is afraid shes working on.

    This isn’t a Miss America competition. I don’t see them chopping out McCains blotches, scars, and imperfections…. Why should she receive different treatment?! Thats sexist that she get special photoshop treatment and the uglies dont!

    😉

  121. 123 Julie P
    October 9, 2008 at 13:40

    @Kelsie,

    I’m glad I don’t go to that school!

  122. 124 Alby
    October 9, 2008 at 13:45

    I blame the US Federal Judge is SF District in the First Alliance case. He went against a jury and gave Credit Suisse a tiny fine in comparison to the money they’d made on the securities they created and issued off of First Alliance bad mortgages. This was in like 2003 or 2004. That judge set the precedent for Investment Banks to pump money into mortgages written by all kinds of mortgage companies all over the country regardless of business practices. It wouldn’t have mattered what Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac had been up to if the spigots from Wall St hadn’t been turned on full tilt. But, that small fine in that court case set the precedent and gave Wall St guys the license they needed to play.

    There are many more to blame. Ratings Agencies, Insurance companies who bought those securities and now can’t pay out on their policies. Many other supposedly ‘sophisticated’ investors who are supposed to ask questions and know what they hell they are buying with other people’s money.

    There will be lots of court cases, there already are,and there will be some criminal prosecutions. That takes time. To think the charges should be there already is naive. It takes time to get evidence and build criminal and civil cases.

    But, for me, that Judge was the proverbial butterfly’s wings that allowed this whole thing to gain the momentum it did. I would like to see him skewered.

  123. 125 Kelsie in Houston
    October 9, 2008 at 13:46

    @Brett:
    “She needs to get all “mavericky” and embrace that beard her party is afraid shes working on.”

    And some muttonchops for good measure…

    That’s a good point about Mr McCain, though; and on the subject of wrinkles, Mr Biden didn’t exactly get the PhotoShop treatment from his own team:

  124. 126 Kelsie in Houston
    October 9, 2008 at 13:48

    @Julie:
    Ditto. Call me “old-fashioned,” but when I was in school (not so long ago), the worst thing a student could do was run down the hallway…the times, they’re a changin’ 😉

  125. 127 Pangolin-California
    October 9, 2008 at 14:55

    @ The ‘virus’ that infected the banking system could have been exactly that but without the protein packaging we call these things ‘memes.’

    There is a need to define very precisely what part of the banking system is toxic and correct it with regulations that will excise this. We need information antibodies at least as much as we need flu antibodies. Information hygiene if you will.

    The information hygiene of the past was for our holy books simply to declare that all forms of lending for interest to be usury and contrary to holy law. This ‘meme’ is very explicit in the Koran and less robust in the Bible or Torah.

    The infection is still very viable. Banks are going to continue to propogate poisonous memes without strong, precise regulation.

  126. 128 Roberto
    October 9, 2008 at 16:16

    RE “” The laws are so numerous and vague, “”
    —————————————————————————————————-

    ——– Of course, that’s the classic ruse of a conman, to confuse and divert attention.

    It’s against the law to steal, unless there is no specific law forbidding the criminal from stealing in a specialized way. So, numerous and vague laws are written which allows the criminal to act like he’s following the law, whilst actively tweaking the system to break the law.

    The mere fact that these subprimes were mixed and matched with primes without identifiers and sold in bulk is no different than the Chinese melamine and milk mixing scheme, or mixing extra sand into a concrete slurry used for building. That’s fraud, that’s stealing by any other name by deliberately adulterating a product to steal it’s quality before being sold for full value.

    The law in the US was written to minimize the risk for white collar criminals to steal. Now, go ahead and excuse the crooks, but don’t expect me to have any respect for THE LAW that allows stealing.

    Now the crooks want to steal taxpayer money upfront in a bailout. Stealing their life’s savings not enough. Yeah, but they’ll do it nice a legal and lawlike.

    How sweet and noble of them, just full of the melamine milk of kindness they are.

  127. 129 Dennis@OCC
    October 11, 2008 at 04:27

    Remember on the TP’s [on Thursday night]

    That Gordon Brown in the United Kingdom, wanted to sue Iceland for the country’s involvement!

    I did a little research: Here is a slight problem: How can a country get money from a “nearly” bankrupt country?

    [/bold] Could someone answer that question….


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