Monday, November 30, 2009

Talking about a revolution

Standard Bank in bomb threat

SHOOT: We'll be seeing more and more of this as disgruntle3d workers take out their anger on companies they feel [rightly or wrongly] has victimised them. At AVUSA earlier this year there was also a bomb threat.
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Johannesburg - The Johannesburg head office of South Africa's second largest bank was evacuated on Monday afternoon following a bomb threat. has been told that the imposing Sauer Street head office was evacuated midday after an employee, who has been retrenched, allegedly placed a bomb on its premises.

Standard Bank spokesperson Erik Larsen confirmed the evacuation in a statement, saying an employee, "who showed visible signs of distress, created security concerns at Standard Bank Centre".

Larson said as a precaution all staff members were sent home and the buildings were evacuated. "Police and emergency personnel are still on site," said Larsen. "Business is not disrupted in any way."

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Here it is, a book for men on all they know about women

SHOOT: Which is very little.
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Was Woods having an affair?

Even with his first public comments on the 2:25 a.m. Friday accident, Woods left several questions.

— Where he was going at that time of the night?

— How did he lose control of his SUV at such a speed that the air bags didn’t deploy?

— Why were both rear windows of the Cadillac Escalade smashed?

— If it was a careless mistake, why not speak to state troopers trying to wrap the investigation?

SHOOT: If he has nothing to hide why not just make a statement.
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Two vehicles with the Florida Highway Patrol exit the front gate of Isleworth where Tiger Woods lives in Windermere, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009

The accident came two days after the National Enquirer published a story alleging that Woods had been seeing a New York night club hostess, and that they recently were together in Melbourne, where Woods competed in the Australian Masters.

The woman, Rachel Uchitel, denied having an affair with Woods when contacted by The Associated Press.

Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred confirmed she was representing Uchitel when she was reached by the AP on Sunday.

“She is with me in L.A.,” Allred said later in an e-mail to the AP. “We plan to meet and then we’ll decide on the next step, which we do not plan to announce to the press.”

Uchitel arrived at Los Angeles International Airport late Sunday morning, where she was met by Allred and escorted out of the baggage claim area and into a black car. Uchitel did not speak to reporters except to ask that she be left alone.

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The New Moon Lunacy

The Twilight Series very clearly demonstrates how susceptible we are - and in particular young women - to narcissism. Bella is pursued by a vampire from a wealthy family. In essence, he's a blood sucking parasite, but don't worry he has two ultimately redeeming qualities:
- he's rich
- he's good looking

Oh he's not a blood sucker you say? He's a vegetarian? That's what I mean by lying to ourselves. He's from a vampire family, which is the same as from a family of reformed gangsters, or reformed serial killers. The fact that he's vegetarian doesn't change the fact that he lusts for her blood, that she is like a walking line of heroine to an addict fresh out of rehab. Who is kidding who here?

Now you would think that mother's of daughters would warn about men like this? I mean, a vampire is literally a health hazard. But since Edward is sooooooooo in love with Bella, no harm can possibly come to her? Really? A papercut puts her in mortal danger, if she is not perpetually in mortal danger anyway.

The werewolf mythos is more sensible, although it is based on a hedonism, a pack mentality that shows men struggling to control their instincts. Is that any better than a vampire struggling to control his addiction to human blood? And the reason women adore this story is because in either case, they are the centre of the addiction, I mean attention - whether this attention is depraved, seems not to matter to them. There really is very little difference between Edward's obsessiveness and a stalker. The difference is a stalker is unwelcome and his attention seen to be more than is welcome. You'd think that someone showing such a lack of discipline [Edward says: "I owe my very existence to you"] would present a case of Stalker Jitters. But somehow, coming from a wealthy family is enough to allay such foolish ideas.

The inconsistencies are also laughable. Edward declares he will always love her and never leave her, and then, immediately does this. He says he will always protect her, but by leaving her side he puts her in danger, and by being with her, he does the same [in terms of the werewolf threat]. So you have to suspend reality in order to buy this story - something audiences seem very willing, and able to do.

Another analogy is possibly pornstars who feel that attention - no matter what the brand, the context - is justified. Because the porn industry is a similar blood sucking, parasitic industry. It mocks, it does not make. It preys on the innocent. It creates addictions. It cannibalises healthy drives, turning them into insatiable appetites that need more and more to satisfy them.

In essence then, New Moon demonstrates the extremes to which we now need to go to feel good about ourselves. In order to feel adequate about themselves, they now want wealthy slaves to worship and adore them. And for these slaves, these mythical men, women need offer no more than loyalty and a high school diploma. Dream on.

Some days are like this

SHOOT: Hope yours isn't ;-)

Dubai Debate: Isn't Dubai the place where individuals are sent to debtors prison if they can't meet their obligations?

SHOOT: The fallout in Dubai will probably be felt in other vulnerable economies in the region, principally Pakistan.
The United Arab Emirates central bank has arrived at the party a little late hasn't it? I dont think it will be enough to instill confidence in a venture that is increasingly resembling what it is, a hideously overhyped and ridiculously expensive theme park in the desert.
Dubai was borrowing the money to build all that junk? I assumed it was from oil profits. It looks like a kid playing in the sand on a massive scale.

Guess this proves that if the credit is there absolutely anyone might use it to do absolutely anything.
Now, I remember! Dubai World is the United Arab Emirates Government Investment branch that President Bush & Dick Cheney tried to convince the American people was safe to buy and operate our ports. Imagine that! Boy or Boy, would we have been doomed. US National security anyone?
There is some truth in the waggish saying, "if you owe the banks one thousand dollars, you have a problem; but if you owe the banks one billion dollars, the banks have a problem."
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Entire countries face bankruptcy

SHOOT: For example - Ireland, Iceland and Greece.
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Investors will probably begin to focus on the troubles of individual countries, banks and companies. Analysts say they expect the scrutiny to fall hardest on countries that have already been flagged for their financial weaknesses. That group includes Ireland, Greece, the Baltic states, Ukraine, Pakistan, Romania and Bulgaria.

There will be also be “recognition that for the first time in decades, there are sovereign risks among developed Western countries,” said Nouriel Roubini, the New York University economist who predicted last year’s financial crisis, referring to Ireland and Greece.

Simon Johnson, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, said that the cost of insuring against defaults by big Irish banks had risen quickly since the Dubai announcement.

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Dubai is far from alone in having taken on too much debt for dubious real estate projects

“What Dubai is going to do is make people think more intensely about the lagging implications of last year’s crisis. It’s going to be a wake-up call to the people who thought that the financial crisis was just a flesh wound.”

here will be also be “recognition that for the first time in decades, there are sovereign risks among developed Western countries,” said Nouriel Roubini.

SHOOT: In other words, entire countries are now at risk going bankrupt. This is a precursor to global bankruptcy.

“Dubai was particularly flaky in the sense that it seemed to be trying to make something out of nothing,” said Ila Patniak.

SHOOT: Making something out of nothing. Isn't that a good description of credit, of world property markets and the whole project known as suburbia?
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On Sunday, the central bank said it set up a “liquidity facility” for the Dubai banks, and tried to reassure investors that the banking system there was more sound and liquid than a year ago.

Whether these moves will restore investor confidence remains to be seen as soon as Monday, when most U.S. traders return from a long holiday weekend.

In recent days, investors have begun worrying that Dubai’s debt troubles might be the first in a series of panics in developing countries that borrowed too much money in the past few years — much as in 1997, when Bangkok became the first capital to crumple in the Asian financial crisis.

Many analysts said their biggest worries were not about whether Dubai would fully repay its lenders, or how much assistance it would receive from its neighbor Abu Dhabi. Rather, these people said, their main concern was what Dubai’s problems said about the rest of the world.

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Is Iran Defiant or Desperate?

SHOOT: Iran says they need to build nuclear power stations for electricity. This investment could conceivably free up oil resources for export. The US and mainstream media are insisting the nuclear facilities are for weapons. But then they would, as a pretext for invasion/controlling access to Iranian oil resources.
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Iran touted the expansion of enrichment as necessary for its plans to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity through multiple nuclear power plants in the next 20 years.

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The View from my Bicycle [COLUMN]

To most of us, honesty often means cruelty. But actually honesty and compassion are the ones in sync. - A.J. Jacobs

The cut-to-the-chase way to live

Not long ago I was sitting in my car listening to casette tapes. No, not of music, of a high level meeting. After about an hour the cabin light of the vehicle flickered and I thought, Uh-oh, battery is going flat. Sure enough, when I tried to start the car it wouldn't start.

I phoned a friend to bring along his vehicle so we could connect the batteries with my jumper leads and have his car charge mine. He arrived after 9pm, a long work day for him. Here's the funny thing. When he arrived in quite a slick sportscar he didn't know how to open the engine compartment. He'd never done it before. We spent 5 minutes looking in the car, then resorted to reading a booklet to find out where it was. We did find it, the trick was that the door had to be open in order to release it. But the point of this anecdote is to demonstrate how chronically out of touch we are, and how dependent we are in our ignorance of machines that run on fossil fuels for almost everything we do. And the irony is this friend of mine and I often have debates about the impact of energy on the economy. But he doesn't even know how to open the hood of his car? Yes, we can comfortably intellectualise about this sort of thing - but reality is what it is whether you can find the handle or not.

Radical Honesty

As such some people have come up with an antidote to fooling ourselves [aka lying to ourselves]. It's called Radical Honesty:

I will say this: One of the best parts of Radical Honesty is that I'm saving a whole lot of time. It's a cut-to-the-chase way to live. At work, I've been waiting for my boss to reply to a memo for ten days. So I write him: "I'm annoyed that you didn't respond to our memo earlier. But at the same time, I'm relieved, because then if we don't nail one of the things you want, we can blame any delays on your lack of response."

Pressing send makes me nervous -- but the e-mail works. My boss responds: "I will endeavor to respond by tomorrow. Been gone from N.Y. for two weeks." It is borderline apologetic. I can push my power with my boss further than I thought.

Later, a friend of a friend wants to meet for a meal. I tell him I don't like leaving my house. "I agree to meet some people for lunch because I fear hurting their feelings if I don't. And in this terrifying age where everyone has a blog, I don't want to offend people, because then they'd write on their blogs what an asshole I am, and it would turn up in every Google search for the rest of my life."

He writes back: "Normally, I don't really like meeting editors anyway. Makes me ill to think about it, because I'm afraid of coming off like the idiot that, deep down, I suspect I am."

That's one thing I've noticed: When I am radically honest, people become radically honest themselves. I feel my resentment fade away. I like this guy. We have a good meeting.

In fact, all my relationships can take a whole lot more truth than I expected. Consider this one: For years, I've had a chronic problem where I refer to my wife, Julie, by my sister's name, Beryl. I always catch myself midway through and pretend it didn't happen. I've never confessed to Julie. Why should I? It either means that I'm sexually attracted to my sister, which is not good. Or that I think of my wife as my sister, also not good.

But today, in the kitchen, when I have my standard mental sister-wife mix-up, I decide to tell Julie about it.

"That's strange," she says.

We talk about it. I feel unburdened, closer to my wife now that we share this quirky, slightly disturbing knowledge. I realize that by keeping it secret, I had given it way too much weight. I hope she feels the same way.

I call up Blanton one last time, to get his honest opinion about how I've done.

"I'm finishing my experiment," I say.

"You going to start lying again?" he asks.

"Hell yeah."

"Oh, shit. It didn't work."

"But I'm going to lie less than I did before."

I tell him about my confession to Julie that I sometimes want to call her Beryl. "No big deal," says Blanton. "People in other cultures have sex with their sisters all the time."

I bring up the episode about telling the editor from Rachael Ray's magazine that I tried to look down her shirt, but he sounds disappointed. "Did you tell your wife?" he asks. "That's the good part."

Finally, I describe to him how I told Julie that I didn't care to hear the end of her story about fixing her computer. Blanton asks how she responded.

"She said, 'Fuck you.' "

"That's good!" Blanton says. "I like that. That's communicating."

Read more:

Every nibble now feels like a chunk of flesh ripped out

But are the financial markets communicating? Are they representing reality?

Recently there's been the default from Dubai to the tune of $80 billion. Lloyds bank crashed over 30% on the news. The NYSE invoked Rule 48 to prevent the markets from shedding too much. So what happened? Stocks were skewered [as much as Rule 48 would permit] and then as holiday fever took hold, recovered. You may think that $100 billion isn't a lot of money, but after the fat has been trimmed off banks, these billion dollar cuts cut deep, to the bone. I believe we will still see the markets run out of hot air on this news. Monday. Oil prices have already sunk $2-3 on this news.

Why should markets be effected? Because tens of billions of dollars is no longer a drop in the financial ocean any more. With credit markets wiped out, every nibble now feels like a chunk of flesh ripped out of what remains of the world's financial spine, its central nervous system. As far as I know RBS had huge exposure to Dubai. Great news is RBS is owned by the UK taxpayer. Problem solved!

Look, each time you get $20 billion owing here and there it starts to cut to the bone, because a lot, almost all the fat has been wiped off the system.

I do understand markets. And I was broadly correct - the markets dropped then 'recovered' on the news that things weren't so bad. Abu Dabi is supposed to come to the party and bail out Dubai. That's what's rescuing the market right now. Well, the idea of it being possible.

My prediction

Don't know if you remember but I once referenced an article by Mark Mobius who was crooning over the developments in Dubai. Mobius said then that the developing world and emerging markets would 'save' the world economy. I said that building skyscrapers in the desert, Las Vegas style, is the most wasteful investment imaginable. By the way the biggest defaults in the USA are in Nevada - in the deserts states, places like Las Vegas and Phoenix. Ever ask why? Because it's really expensive. Because now those energy costs really matter.
Anyway - the US wasn't down much because everyone was on holiday, you know, like a long weekend. Thanksgiving is one of the biggest holiday weekends in the USA.

I'm going to say the same thing to you as I said to you when subprime emerged. It's going to have a serious impact. It will have an impact on commercial real estate everywhere else. Dubai may not seem like a big deal but it will be. Maybe they've understated their debts. Maybe they'll only be out of pocket for $40 or $50 billion. Imagine if the oil price falls further and their Arab brothers say, Sorry, we can't help you, then oil prices fall further, then they are even more out of pocket. Because that region needed high oil prices to finance some of those expansions. Either way shit happens. If oil prices increase inflation around the world increases and consumers foreclose go bankrupt etc. If it drops, supply decreases even more, and you have these 'emerging' projects going down.

Hidden Resentments

Why is all of this happening? Because there are hidden resentments in the world economy that we'd rather not deal with. Radical Honesty again:

In his book, Radical Honesty, Blanton advises us to start sentences with the words "I resent you for" or "I appreciate you for." So I write him back.

"I resent you for being so different in these e-mails than you were when we met. You were friendly and engaging and encouraging when we met. Now you seem to have turned judgmental and tough. I resent you for giving me the advice to break that old man's heart by telling him that his poems suck."

Blanton responds quickly. First, he doesn't like that I expressed my resentment by e-mail. I should have come to see him. "What you don't seem to get yet, A.J., is that the reason for expressing resentment directly and in person is so that you can experience in your body the sensations that occur when you express the resentment, while at the same time being in the presence of the person you resent, and so you can stay with them until the sensations arise and recede and then get back to neutral -- which is what forgiveness is."

Second, he tells me that telling the old man the truth would be compassionate, showing the "authentic caring underneath your usual intellectual bullshit and overvaluing of your critical judgment. Your lie is not useful to him. In fact, it is simply avoiding your responsibility as one human being to another. That's okay. It happens all the time. It is not a mortal sin. But don't bullshit yourself about it being kind."

He ends with this: "I don't want to spend a lot of time explaining things to you for your cute little project of playing with telling the truth if you don't have the balls to try it."

The solution is urban arrangements that are the exact opposite to skyscrapers in a desert

The problem is that there have been no new investments that make sense. China is doing a few good things with electric cars etc, but they're also building more coal powered plants. The net effect isn't positive. The answer, is fewer cars, more walkable communities, urban arrangements that are the exact opposite to skyscrapers in a desert. Rail and farming. No one is doing that on a scale that matters. No bailout money went into that. Nothing has changed fundamentally.

Falling energy prices spells bad news for Iran, which needs oil to be above $90 to break even on its investments. Iran is hurting.

Energy - being less abundant and more expensive - is and always will be the root cause why we can't move forward the way we're used to moving forward. Less energy = less money. For everyone.

But here's a tip. If you find that nothing is moving forward, you still can. Physically. Move your body, exercise. It is the least you can do. It is the most you can do. We need each and every healthy and sane human being right now.

How and when the Bible was written

The symbolism of the sun in Christianity [VIDEO]

This video demonstrates why the formula in Christianity is so powerful.

"The God Who Wasn't There" - Trailer

SHOOT: I've watched THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE - highly recommended.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The God Delusion Excerpt: Hate Mail

Other than currency devaluation, what's driving the price of gold and silver?

SHOOT: When things fall appart - as they are - the last remaining hedge, is gold.
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RW: Well, a lot of it is fear; gold is now basically considered to be money in many of the foreign countries, partially in the U.S., more overseas. I think a perfect example is Vietnam. It looked like they were going to have some things that would work out in their economy, and unfortunately for them, a lot of it's coming apart. And they know from experience that if they can get into gold and hang on, they're going to be a lot better off.
And, China is the number-two gold producer now, we've been told. They're not selling any and not only that, they're buying it. Further, they're encouraging gold sales to consumers.
And now I am more convinced than ever that with the next big drop in the stock market, the gold and silver shares could really depart from the rest of the mainstream market, especially with the dollar being so weak.
"If gold will stay above $1,000, it's never going under $1,000 again."
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Quote of the day: Buy gold

Shocks in emerging markets like Dubai are the flutter of butterfly wings that produce a hurricane elsewhere, and $59 billion is a bit more than a butterfly. Investors should exit all stock markets and buy bonds or precious metals or short emerging markets. Gold hit $1,195 as this article was written.

From SeekingAlpha

Dubai will break UK Banks

Despite expectations that output would expand by between 0.2% and 0.4% in the final three months of 2009 – the first growth in seven quarters – the chancellor will announce a 4.75% decline in activity in his pre-budget report - much worse than the 3.5% decline forecast in April's budget. The chancellor said today that "new data" showed the economy had been hit much harder than he had expected.
"At the time of the budget, my forecast for growth in 2009 was in line with the average of external forecasters. Since then, new data has shown that most economies, ours included, suffered a severe shock in the first quarter of this year," the chancellor told MPs.

SHOOT: Again and again you hear how surprised the experts are. The experts are at the top of greed pile, that's why.
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As concerns grew that a fledgling economic rally stimulated by rock-bottom global interest rates might have run its course, the price of crude oil fell by almost $2 a barrel and speculators shunned riskier markets in emerging countries. Banks were the hardest hit stock market sector, and shares in HSBC and Standard Chartered – which are exposed to a property crash in Dubai – fell heavily.

Graham Turner, of consultancy GFC Economics, said: "It gives you a picture of the fact that credit problem persists, despite everything that's been done."

Turner said the problems in Dubai were indicative of widespread malaise. "Despite having oil, it's still the case that many of these countries had explosive credit growth. It's very clear that in 2010, we've got plenty more problems in store."
"This may be the first sign that people are thinking you can't get back to the debt-fuelled halcyon days of 2007.
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Is gold feeling vertigo or is it a case of civilisation shift?

SHOOT: The latter.

Bottom line: “The scope for EM central banks to buy more gold is substantial, if they choose to do so,” he wrote cautiously in a note to clients.

Will they choose to do so?

“I suspect they will,” he told me.

Personally, I have been feeling vertigo with gold near $1180. All my contrarian instincts cause me to dislike momentum stories — but there again, maybe this is not momentum. Perhaps it is a civilization shift.

Stephen Jen from the hedge fund Blue Gold Capital has a warning for those who think that gold has risen far too high, is necessarily in a speculative bubble, and must soon come clattering back down.


Mr Jen is an expert on sovereign wealth funds from his days at Morgan Stanley. The gold story — essentially — is that the rising economic powers of Asia, the Middle East, and the commodity bloc are rejecting Western fiat currencies. China, India, and Russia have all been buying gold on a large scale over recent months.

The killer-term here is at current prices since any such move in the tiny global market for gold would send prices into the stratosphere.

Mr Jen said China alone accumulated $150bn in reserves in the third quarter, pushing the total to $2.3 trillion. These are colossal sums. China is amassing almost as much each month as the United States ($63bn) has built up in the entire history of the country.
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Hajj ideal incubator for the H1N1 flu virus

Like many here, Mikail Ocasio, a 28-year-old pilgrim from Maryland, dismissed the swine flu worries.

"No disease was going to stop me from making my hajj," he said. "Allah made the call to me and made it available and nothing is going to stop me."

SHOOT: So is the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
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MINA, Saudi Arabia — Millions of Muslim pilgrims, many wearing surgical masks, jostled together shoulder-to-shoulder furiously casting pebbles at stone walls representing the devil Saturday — the hajj ritual of highest concern to world health authorities watching for an outbreak of swine flu.

The annual Islamic pilgrimage draws 3 million visitors each year, making it the largest yearly gathering of people in the world and an ideal incubator for the H1N1 flu virus.

So far, only around 60 flu cases have been uncovered, but health officials warn it is likely spreading silently among pilgrims — and the true extent of the push that hajj has given to the virus won't be known until later, after the faithful have returned to their home countries around the world.

The stoning of the devil ritual, performed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, is when the crowds of pilgrims at the five-day hajj are at their height and contact between them is closest.

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The Evolution of God

As each Gospel was written, he argues, the differentness and additions about Jesus life show a slowly adapting story about his real life, somewhat glossing over inconvenient facts that might be used against his being the Messiah.
One reoccurring theme of the book is a discussion of how Judaisim, Christianity and Islam weren’t quite the strictly monotheistic faiths everyone likes to believe they were. That early leaders toyed around with polytheism and even chose monotheism because it suited the needs of society. Another theme is the search for moral truth and whether we can truly find it.
His conclusion, although he phrases it as a suggestion, is that if Christians, Jews and Muslims give up their monopoly on religion, their need for religious exclusivity, they would move forward evolutionarily. Of course, you can’t see the religious adaptation when you are right in the midst of it. Maybe that’s how God intended it.

SHOOT: The blind leading the blind.
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The essence of the book is to trace the history of Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam from their inceptions to current beliefs, reframing it in the context of scientific evolution and, more specifically, social evolutionism. That means wading through about 10,000 years of history in 483 pages.

Consequently, it’s not easy reading.

And if you are dogmatically Christian, his skeptical interpretation of how an unlikely Jesus, who talked in code so people wouldn’t convert, performed few actual miracles and who convinced very few people while he was on Earth managed to became savior of all humankind by being killed by the Romans will probably, at the least, mildly irritate you.

I particularly liked his analysis of the Gospels, showing how each one, written at a later time after Jesus’ death (they don’t appear chronologically in the Bible), expands upon Jesus’ life, adding new information.
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We are heading towards a currency crisis [where currencies have no value]

SHOOT: How will that happen? Well, by stocks crashing, principally bank stocks. Banks are too big too fail, and so far more important than taxpayers. When they disappear, they will disappear with everyone's savings. The result? Systemic, universal bankruptcy. Then the question arises: what, if anything, is worth anything? The answer will be - food, shelter, safety, the most basic commodities.
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Lloyds on Dubai
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Want to understand where global finance is headed? [VIDEO]

kakistocracy - Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.
Greek kakistos, worst, superlative of kakos, bad + -cracy, government, rule.

Doctors speak out about H1N1 VACCINE DANGERS

SHOOT: I mentioned early on that these vaccines weren't necessarily not detrimental. I argued with someone who studied virology, who believed vaccines simply *must* be the answer. Of course, the following must be remembered:
- Right now pharmaceutical companies are under enormous pressures - like all other companies - to turn a profit
- The vaccine contains neurotoxins including mercury and aluminum and in some cases squalene
- If you suffer any condition as a result of using the vaccine you may not turn to the law
- As in the case for any flu virus, you simply cannot vaccinate in large enough doses, and this being the case, H1N1 will develop resistance to this vaccine

If you want to use anything, use Tamiflu {an antiviral} within 24 hours of showing flu symptoms.

Keiser on 'Tsunami alert': Dubai debt crisis awakes storm?

SHOOT: Phase 2 of financial crisis is now underway...

After being dominated for all of the final quarter, the world champions produced frantic late pressure with Tendai Mtawarira charging to within inches of the Irish line

SHOOT: Ireland edged the Boks 15-10. The Boks tackled like crazy, because they lost possession throughout the game. Since the kicking was off, so was a win for the world champs. Not much of a victory tour but it has to be said they were in it at the death after a very long, tough season.
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Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll
Jonathan Sexton's five penalties proved enough for Ireland as they edged out South Africa at a misty Croke Park.

Sexton's penalty gave Ireland an early lead but Schalk Burger's try and five points by Morne Steyn helped the world champions move 10-6 ahead at half-time.

Steyn missed chances to extend South Africa's lead but in contrast, the nerveless Sexton slotted three penalties to put Ireland in control.

South Africa produced late pressure but Ireland deservedly held on.

The injury-hit Springboks were under-strength but the win nevertheless continued Ireland's upward curve after their Grand Slam triumph last spring.

Both teams produced running rugby in the early stages.

The South African line-out was under pressure early on with captain John Smit, back at hooker, struggling to find his jumpers.

Schalk Burger and Paddy Wallace
Schalk Burger scores South Africa's try despite Paddy Wallace's efforts
Brian O'Driscoll's massive hit on Zane Kirchner ensured the vital injury-time turnover as the Irish completed a famous victory.
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Markets in the Gulf will be hammered when they reopen on Monday

SHOOT: Those losses will swing world markets around. Sorry.
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Amid concerns that markets in the Gulf will be hammered when they reopen on Monday – and that pressure will mount on banks with exposure to Dubai – investors are looking to Abu Dhabi, the main financial powerhouse in the United Arab Emirates federation, to calm nerves. The crisis has undermined the assumption that Abu Dhabi and the federation would bail out Dubai. So far there has been no statement from the federal government or Abu Dhabi.

A rally in the stocks of European banks exposed to Dubai helped the FTSE Eurofirst 300 index recover 1.2 per cent. However, Tokyo suffered a 3.2 per cent fall, its biggest one-day decline in almost eight months.

US markets, closed Thursday for Thanksgiving, sold off heavily in a shortened trading session. The S&P 500 index closed 1.72 per cent down 1,094.33.

HSBC has the biggest loan exposure to the UAE
The second biggest lender was Standard Chartered, with $7.8bn.
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Ancient Hominids in 3D

SHOOT: Very realistic.
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For decades, paleoartists have told the story of human evolution through sculpture and drawing. Now their tools have evolved, too.

Computers allow a level of detail and control that isn’t possible with other media. Their creations can come closer than ever to bringing our ancestors to life.

“What’s driven my work has always been, ‘I want to see that thing alive. I want to see that world,” said paleoartist Viktor Deak, who provided the reconstructions used in the Becoming Human documentaries, which aired in November on PBS. “Computer graphics is developing to the point where, in movies like “Benjamin Button,” you don’t know what parts are not digital.”

I’ve taken it upon myself to be a voice for these fossils.”
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