A German-Afghan man was sentenced to life in prison for the honour killing of his sister on Friday, creating mayhem in the court room as family members screamed, assaulted journalists and attempted suicide.
The 24-year-old Ahmad-Sobair O. was convicted of murdering his 16-year-old sister Morsal O. on May 15, 2008 because she had turned away from her family. The girl died after suffering 23 stab wounds in a Sankt Georg district parking lot in Hamburg. Both siblings, who immigrated to Germany 13 years ago, have German citizenship.
He killed out of pure intolerance, Hamburg Judge Wolfgang Backen said while reading the verdict, adding that the murder was treacherous and a premeditated bloodbath after all other attempts to discipline his sister had failed.
His verdict sparked dramatic scenes in the court room as Ahmad Sobair O.s family and friends wailed and hit the security glass behind which he was sitting. The accused himself began screaming: You son of a whore! What is this, honour? I know no honour!
He also yelled that had the trial taken place in Kabul, Afghanistan, he would have already been released long ago.
The murderer's mother then tried to throw herself out of a courtroom window, but was restrained by family members. Relatives of the accused also assaulted and threatened a journalist in the room.
According to Backer, the late Morsal O. had been victim to many years of martyrdom in the form of threats and assault from her brother.
Before she was murdered, Morsal O. had been seen by emergency youth services on several occasions, suffering from pressures by her family, which did not approve of her Western lifestyle. After the verdict, her parents sharply criticised the judge, saying the girl bore some of the guilt for her own murder.
Backer said her parents had made their son into the executioner of their parenting methods.
Ahmad-Sobair O. has already been prosecuted for assaulting her and others. He was sentenced in March to one year and five months without possibility of probation on an assault charge. He had requested his March sentence be deferred, but was notified in writing - a day before the stabbing - that the request had been rejected.
A series of six honour killings - including the shooting at a bus stop of 23-year-old Turkish woman Hatun Sürücü in Berlin - shook Germany in 2005. Sürücü's youngest brother, Ayhan Sürücü, later confessed to killing her because his family did not approve of her lifestyle.
According to news agency DPA, some 50 women have been the victim of honour killings in Germany over the last decade.
Sometimes, things have to get worse before they get better. What incidents like this do is cause Muslim women who want to assimilate and don't want to be killed by their families to completely dissociate themselves from both their kin and the Muslim community. I don't see any downside to the complete assimilation of foreign women into the German community.
Barbarian meets civilization. Justice triumpts. End of story.
Posted by: Richard of Oregon ||
02/13/2009 15:27 Comments ||
And in more European Muslim male "honor" news...
A Pakistani man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison by a French court for setting fire to an ex-girlfriend who had refused to marry him. Amer Mushtaq Butt doused the woman with petrol and set her alight as she was leaving her home in a Paris suburb. Chahrazad Belayni, a 21-year-old Moroccan-born woman, suffered third-degree burns to 60% of her body. The case has highlighted violence against women in poor urban communities with large Muslim populations.
Ms Belayni broke down in tears after the sentence was announced in court late on Thursday. "It sets a good example. For women who are victims of violence, I think 20 years is a good step," she said.
Prosecutor Camille Palluel said Butt had meticulously planned his attack "to end the life" of his former girlfriend in an attempt "to restore his honour".
Butt set fire to Ms Belayni in the street in the impoverished Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Marne in 2005 after she ended their relationship. She told the court how she threw herself to the ground and tried to extinguish the flames. She fell into a coma after the attack and has since undergone several operations.
Butt fled France for Pakistan after the attack but later returned to hand himself in. He pleaded guilty at his three-day trial, claiming it was a crime of passion.
I think the Chinese approach would have been better. Line up the guy in front of a firing squad, shoot him, haul the family in front of a magistrate where they have to pay for the cost of the bullet and other costs associated with the firing squad, and for raising a child who turned out to be such a bloody waste as to need a .308 lobotomy.
I think the Chinese approach would have been better.
This is probably the reason the Chinese Muslim community abuts Pakistan, but you don't hear of honor killings in China. The death penalty and the persecution of the remaining family members can be a serious deterrent.
I wonder, do they call themselves "Afro Germans" over there?
Posted by: Rednek Jim ||
02/13/2009 19:20 Comments ||
FYI there's some footage of this on youtube.
Search for "Morsal", "Obeidi", "Ehrenmord" (= honor killing). The voice over is in German but
As for Redneck Jim's question, the murderer is referred to as "Deutsch-Afghane", which is preposterous, as he murdered his sister precisely because she wanted to assimilate.
This hostility and disrespect shown by Afghans of all people is a fruit of western restraint and kindness after 911.
The "War in Afghanistan" should have been a "War on Afghanistan", and liberation should have consisted of imposing western civilization on the Afghans, at gunpoint, without compromises, not of empty rituals involving fingers dyed purple.
Sorry for that rant, but that story really has me livid :(.
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) Heavily armed Somali pirates attacked six ships, including British, Indian and Singapore-managed vessels, earlier this week but all managed to escape, a global maritime watchdog said Friday.
"In the past two days, pirates have been actively attacking vessels with intent to hijack," Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur, said in a statement. "It appears that favourable weather conditions in the area and the high number of hijacked vessel that have been released recently may have prompted the pirates to actively seek for new targets," he added. But the ships -- managed by Indian, British, Greek, Singapore and Philippine companies and one unknown -- managed to escape from the pirates.
Choong said the strong presence of naval warships in strategic locations had prevented successful hijackings in recent weeks. "The number of successful hijackings has been reduced due to naval activities," he told AFP. He urged ships to maintain 24-hour visual and radar watches to prevent hijacks.
In one attack on Thursday in the Gulf of Aden, Choong said Somali pirates in a speed boat opened fire on a Indian-managed ship. "The master contacted naval warships. The pirate's boat came close to the vessel but aborted the attempt due to evasive actions taken by the vessel," he said.
In another dramatic attack, pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) at a Singapore ship in the Gulf of Aden. "The ship's master reported that pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades at the vessel. A military helicopter responded to its distress call," he said.
Choong said six pirates attacked a Philippine ship on Wednesday off Somalia. "Six pirates armed with RPGs and guns in a speed boat chased and fired their RPG at the bulk carrier. The vessel took evasive manoeuvres and escaped from the pirates," he said.
Choong said since January 2009, there had been 22 attacks, with seven vessels and 123 seamen being held by Somali pirates. Japanese warships are expected to soon join a growing fleet of foreign navies patrolling what have become the world's most dangerous waters, with more than 130 pirate attacks in 2008 alone. According to experts, a slightly lower rate of successful pirate attacks since the start of 2009 is due to a combination of weather conditions and increased navy surveillance.
MOSCOW (AFP) A Russian nuclear-powered cruiser has captured 10 Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean armed with grenade launchers, automatic rifles and landmines, a navy spokesman said Friday. "The nuclear cruiser Pyotr Veliky has detained three small pirate boats," said Igor Dygalo, adding that 10 armed men of Somali citizenship were seized in the operation Thursday.
The pirates had been spotted by the cruiser's helicopter southeast of the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean, the spokesman told AFP. "It was visually established how weapons were being dumped from the boats into the sea," Dygalo said in a separate statement.
He added that the navy managed to confiscate grenade launchers, automatic rifles, landmines and 500 grammes of a "narcotic substance," among other things.
The Russian military prosecutors were now investigating the pirates' case adding it would be then up to the Russian foreign and justice ministries to determine their fate.
The deputy chairman of the British financial regulator quits after allegedly contributing to a major banking failure by ignoring warnings.
HBOS ex-chief James Crosby left the Financial Services Authority (FSA) on Wednesday after his former head of regulatory risk Paul Moore accused him of contributing to the bank's failure.
According to Moore, Crosby risked too much and would not listen to warnings that the bank was rapidly approaching failure.
He also claimed that he had been sacked by Crosby in 2005 after confronting him on the issue.
The credit crunch took its toll on HBOS last month, prompting the bank to be absorbed into the Lloyds Banking Group as a result of a successful government-brokered takeover bid.
Premier Gordon Brown, whose government used to take Crosby's economic advice, however, insisted that the bank had sunk "because its whole business model was wrong" and not because of the surrounding allegations, BBC reported.
"It is important that the FSA show at this time that it is operating to the best standards possible," he added while defending the Crosby resignation.
SEOUL (AFP) North Korea has apparently started assembling its longest-range missile and it could be ready for launch late this month, a South Korean newspaper said Friday.
Chosun Ilbo, quoting an unidentified Seoul government official, said the first and second stages of the Taepodong-2 missile had been transported by train to the launch site at Musudan-ri on the northeast coast. "It seems that the first- and second-stage rockets are now being assembled," the official was quoted as saying. The missile is then expected to be moved to the launch pad, put in an upright position and fuelled for test-firing, the official said, adding that the earliest it could be launched is February 25.
The date is the first anniversary of the inauguration of South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak. The North views Lee as a bitter enemy because he has taken a firmer stance on cross-border relations than his predecessors.
Chosun said increased activities by vehicles and people had been spotted at Musudan-ri but the missile is inside a plant, out of sight of satellites. It was not possible to confirm the report. South Korean authorities refuse to comment on intelligence matters.
Analysts say a missile launch would be intended to put pressure on Lee to drop his harder line, and to persuade US President Barack Obama to make the North one of his policy priorities. The new US administration is reviewing its policy on the nuclear-armed communist state. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Japan, South Korea and China next week and a State Department official said the North would be an important topic.
The Taepondong-2 could theoretically reach Alaska but blew up after 40 seconds when it was first test-fired, from Musudan-ri in July 2006. South Korea has said any launch would bring the North increased isolation and added sanctions, while the United States said it would be provocative.
Chinese government and freelance hackers are the primary culprits behind as many as several hundred daily attacks against U.S. government, electric-utility and financial computer networks, a senior congressman said.
"Sophisticated hackers could really wreak havoc on our financial systems if they were successful," House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson said in an interview. The threat is "primarily from China."
While cyber plots to disrupt U.S. computer networks have been thwarted, significant vulnerabilities exist, said Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat.
Many of these problems will be detailed in a 60-day review the Obama administration on Feb. 9 said it would conduct on government cyber-security efforts, Thompson said. President Barack Obama also has said he would appoint a computer-security chief who will report directly to him, a move Thompson supports.
How about telling the Chinese government to stop the government hackers, or else ...
Currency trading is among the financial networks targeted by hackers, Thompson said. An attack would be particularly damaging in light of the financial system's troubled state, he said.
He said electric utilities' networks also have several points of weakness. "We were provided alarming data on the vulnerability of our electrical grid in this country," he said.
Wang Baodong, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in the U.S., denied that the Chinese government was attacking U.S. computer systems. "Allegations that the Chinese government is behind cyber attacks against the U.S. computer networks are totally unwarranted and misleading for the America public," Wang said in an e-mailed statement.
Wang said the Chinese government is "cracking down" on computer hacking and other cyber crimes.
Authorities charged a man Friday with lighting one of Australia's deadly wildfires and whisked him into protective custody amid national fury that arsonists may be to blame in the blazes that left more than 180 people dead.
...The suspect's identity was being kept secret for his own safety, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Dannye Moloney told a news conference. He was brought from Morwell, near the fire zone, to the state capital of Melbourne, Moloney said. I wonder if the mods will have to move the article from Non-WOT once the identity is revealed?
cuz I was just wondering if there is a way to thread somebody onto a spit without causing death
Easy make a smallish cage of re bar with a detachable end or side slide in arsonist, rotate until well done. Preferably over a fire the perp started.
Posted by: Rednek Jim ||
02/13/2009 19:13 Comments ||
On a related note, on a trip to Colonial Williamsburg I saw a big fan geared down to the spit, rotated by the rising gases for unattended roasting, it was in a chimney, but should work over open fires.
Posted by: Rednek Jim ||
02/13/2009 19:17 Comments ||
Feb 28 marks the anniversary of Operation Gunnerside in 1943, which was a commando attack against the Norsk Hydro power plant in Vemork, Norway. Feb. 20 marks the anniversary of the sinking of the Lake Tinn railroad ferry in 1944, containing the last of Vemork's heavy water slated for shipment to Germany for the Nazi atomic bomb project. These two attacks, combined with screwups by Hitler and his brass, prevented the Nazis from developing the atomic bomb.
The Nazi atomic bomb project required heavy water as a "moderator, a substance that slows down the neutrons emitted from U-238...Slower neutrons give more collisions and more fission elements. (Haukelid, p. 235)" When Germany conquered Norway, they gained the only plant in Europe to produce heavy water in any quantity; and it was a slow, slow process even at Norsk Hydro.
Hitler had been so convinced of his Wehrmacht's invincibility that he told those scientists working on the atomic bomb that, by the time they got the bomb ready, Germany wouldn't need it. As the Nazi war machine bogged down in Russia, Hitler changed his mind and gave the bomb project greater priority; but by then the scientists had lost more than a year of progress.
In 1942, the Germans demanded that Norsk Hydro increase its production of heavy water. The Special Operations Executive in London, directing organization for planning and supplying resistance fighters and commandos, decided to destroy the Germans' supply of heavy water. A 35-man British commando force in two gliders, Operation Freshman, crashed in Norway in bad weather. Those surviving the crash were tortured and shot by the Gestapo.
On Feb. 28, 1943, Norwegian commandos under the leadership of Jens Poulsson and Knut Haukelid infiltrated the Norsk Hydro plant . They succeeded in blowing up the machinery for creating heavy water, stopping production for two months. An Allied bombardment of the plant did some damage; and Norwegian workers carefully and continually sabotaged production by adding tiny amounts of cod liver oil to the water being processed.
The Germans decided to ship the remaining heavy water to Germany. The Germans carefully guarded the railway line--but forgot to post guards on the railroad ferry on Lake Tinn. Haukelid and fellow resistance leader Rolf Sorlie gained access to the ferry and planted a time bomb on the night of Feb 19, 1944. The bomb went off Sunday morning, when the ferry was over the deepest part of the lake. The ferry sank in 5 minutes, dropping the barrels of heavy water 1300 feet to the bottom of the lake. Eleven Norwegian civilians and between 13 and 20 German soldiers were lost in the wreck.
Haukelid's comments on why he fought the Nazis are valuable:
"(We) felt quite simply that our country and our people were worth fighting for....What counted was not where or how we lived, but that we were Norwegians, and were holding our bit of the front."
Oh man, if that had happened today, CNN would be all over the 11 civilian dead, interviews with the family, "the Nazis weren't going to make a bomb anyway, it's just peaceful nuclear research", and so on.
All of the major news outlets are reporting that the stimulus bill voted out of conference committee last night has a meager $789 billion price tag. This number is pure fantasy. No one believes that the increased funding for programs the left loves like Head Start, Medicaid, COBRA, and the Earned Income Tax Credit is in anyway temporary. No Congress under control of the left will ever cut funding for these programs. So what is the true cost of the stimulus if these spending increases are made permanent?
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) asked the Congressional Budget Office to estimate the impact of permanently extending the 20 most popular provisions of the stimulus bill. What did the CBO find? As you can see from the table below, the true 10 year cost of the stimulus bill $2.527 trillion in in spending with another $744 billion cost in debt servicing. Total bill for the Generational Theft Act: $3.27 trillion. Detail table at link.
Loss of control of the Justice system - no weight nor measure,
Impossible monetary policy. Currency drift and inflation. Loss of control of rates.
Policy will force business to close under difficult regulatory requirements forcing more stress upon the economy.
Government revenue shall continue to decline.
The SEC still has not cleaned house at the banks and the CRA is still not fixed ruining lots of trust out of the window.
Lack of confidence is the lending market.
Health care companies may be fored out of business by competiton from the government.
Now up to 1600+ pages which few could have possibly read or digested. Poor start for confidence building of the little people..., but that really isn't the goal of the package anyway. What was I thinking?
In a small attempt to regain some human perspective, Mrs. Besoeker and I extend our prayers and thoughts to the families of the victims of Continental Flight 3407. Dear Lord take them into your care.
Conversation at the store other day:
guy: was shopping the other day and I saw this 18-19 year old girl, good looking, had on a tight shirt which said, "Got d!ck?"
me: Well, that had to make the shopping interesting huh?
guy: well, yeah she was good looking but honostly all that tells me is tramp and as a father would never let my daughter dress like that. Personally, when I see a girl I like I like to work for it, its more satisfying. I don't like it thrown in my face and just given to me. Its slutty.
me: sooo...you're not a democrat?
guy: (laughing) heard this the other day, "If Obama is the answer then what the h*ll was the question?!"
Seeing how all neo-hippies and baby boomers like to quote Eisenhower's "Beware the military industrial complex" (a quote I find ironic since it was just that which gave him the materials to fight, but that's for another thread) try this one we came up with last night, "Beware the agenda driven political machine."
So to all you who voted these thieves into office thinking, maybe sincerely, hope would triumph morality onto a ruling machine built on power and greed I offer this: "I changed my baby's diaper this morning, has Obama changed you?"
Bangalore: In a shift that has Russia and Europe worried, Israel may have overtaken Russia as the biggest beneficiary of India's defence budget in the last two years, officials in the know said. Also worrying the Russians and the Europeans is the growing importance of the US for the Indian military.
Requesting anonymity, a senior official in the defence ministry said that Russia has been the biggest supplier to India's defence sector for decades.
But it may have lost out to Israel, which seems to have cornered a larger share of India's defence spend recently. "I don't have country-wise data but it may be due to differences over Gorshkov and other Russian programmes," the official said.
The Americans, too, have grabbed significant Indian deals. Worried over the developments, Europeans are hoping that India brings in more transparency and balance to its procurement process. Several European firms at the Aero India expressed concerns over the influence that politics has on the country's defence purchases. Of particular concern to them is the trend of purchases without a multi-tender process.
Requesting he not be named, a senior executive of a European defence firm said, "We are okay with open tendering. But the trend of FMS (foreign military sales) deals and joint development programmes are skewed against us, and in favour of the US and Israel."
Over the past few years, India has entered into joint development of several missile systems with Israel as also procurement of top-end technologies without a tender process. After the November 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai, the two countries decided on the joint development of medium-range surface-to-air missiles (MRSAM) for the Air Force.
Though it is technically a joint development between Israel's IAI and Rafael, and India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), a significantly large portion of the contract - worth Rs 12,000 crore - will go to Israel. On similar lines, there's a Barak new generation missile project underway for the Navy. "Most of Israeli procurements have not been through open tenders," said the European firm official.
Another European executive said that some of the biggest deals India has signed with the US, too, have been without an open tendering process. Among them are the purchase of USS Trenton for the Navy and the purchase of C-130 J Hercules transport planes. These were done through the FMS route, meaning a government-to-government deal.
Unlike the US, Europe hasn't been able to corner India's defence share by offering government-to-government deals. A missile programme between European manufacturer MBDA and DRDO is on the cards but otherwise, the last few years haven't been very encouraging for European firms. In fact, a deal for the purchase of 197 Eurocopter helicopters was cancelled in the final stages after several years of field trials and evaluations. The Europeans are still not convinced on the reasons given for cancelling the contract.
Some European and Russian officials warn that strict export controls and technology denial regime in the US may become a challenge for India later. A case in point is the recent replacement of Boeing with a European consortium EADS for consultancy for the light combat aircraft Tejas.
Also, with the US Navy/Marine Corps being the only large scale users of LPHs and LPDs, where else were the Indians going to buy a ship like the USS Trenton? At least if the Indians buy the older class of LPH/LPD from the US, they can be certain of getting more than one of the class at a time if they so wish. And the ship(s) will have already passed sea trials and the shakedown cruise.
Kadima will not join 'an extreme right coalition' led by hawkish Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu, a senior party member says.
Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit told the Army Radio on Thursday that Kadima would not allow itself to be persuaded into joining a government with values opposing the party lines. "We will join a Netanyahu government only if it is not an extreme right-wing government," he was quoted by Haaretz as saying. "We are not afraid to sit in the opposition."
The remarks were made amid speculations that Netanyahu would ask Kadima leader Tzipi Livni to join his coalition. Netanyahu's Likud party may also offer Kadima portfolios of foreign affairs and defense.
"We need to think about what's best for Israel and get away from the politics," Sheetrit said. "Currently, it seems most likely that the government to be formed will be an extremist religious coalition led by Netanyahu."
"If a government like this is established I anticipate it will have a very hard life, and the lives of Israel's citizens will be even harder," he added. "With all due respect to Netanyahu, he can not manage a government like that. He will have trouble in every realm."
Ambiguity in the result of Israel's election has left the regime in a political limbo. With both Likud and Kadima claiming victory, right wing Yisrael Beitunu of Avigdor Lieberman has been sending mixed signals. Lieberman had earlier said that the party did not rule out joining Kadima despite Yisrael Beitunu's right wing leaning.
Japan's plan for any future influenza pandemic calls for shutting down airports, closing schools and organizing mass cremations of the dead in hopes of keeping the virus off its shores or at least containing it.
The government plan estimates that a new human flu virus could infect a quarter of the population and force 40 percent of the workforce to stay home. It could cause as many as 640,000 deaths in Japan if it were to spread across the country, the health ministry said Thursday.
While there have been no warnings of increased risk this year, flu fears have been stoked in Japan in the wake of hit film "Kansen Retto" ("Infected Archipelago"), which portrays an outbreak that causes death and chaos. The government also held a highly publicized pandemic preparedness drill last month.
This week, major electronics maker Panasonic Corp. ordered the families of Japanese overseas employees to return home from developing countries that may be at risk, including China, most parts of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The company denied the measure was taken to save money...
The World Health Organization has called on countries to develop national plans on how to control the virus should it begin to spread among humans.
Japan's plan would keep open just four airports and three ports, where a strict quarantine would try to prevent the virus' entry if it emerges overseas. Charter flights would bring healthy Japanese back home, but those infected would be asked to stay abroad and foreigners would be restricted from entry.
WASHINGTON The compromise economic stimulus plan agreed to by negotiators from the House of Representatives and the Senate is short on incentives to get consumers spending again and long on social goals that won't stimulate economic activity, according to a range of respected economists.
"I think (doing) nothing would have been better," said Ed Yardeni, an investment analyst who's usually an optimist, in an interview with McClatchy. He argued that the plan fails to provide the right incentives to spur spending.
"It's unfocused. That is my problem. It is a lot of money for a lot of nickel-and- dime programs. I would have rather had a lot of money for (promoting purchase of) housing and autos . . . . Most of this plan is really, I think, aimed at stabilizing the situation and helping people get through the recession, rather than getting us out of the recession. They are actually providing less short-term stimulus by cutting back, from what I understand, some of the tax credits."
House and Senate negotiators this week narrowed the differences between their competing stimulus plans. In so doing, they scrapped a large tax credit for buying automobiles that would've caused positive ripple effects across the manufacturing sector. They settled instead on letting purchasers of new vehicles deduct from their federal taxes the state and local sales taxes on the cars they bought.
The exception to this is for buyers of plug-in hybrids, cars that run off a battery that can be charged at home or in the office. Buyers of these vehicles, available in very limited supply, could get a tax credit of up to $9,100.
A Republican-backed proposal that would've provided a $15,000 tax credit to first-time homebuyers also was scaled back dramatically. Instead, the compromise provides first-time homebuyers a tax credit of up to $8,000, and it doesn't have to be repaid over the life of the mortgage. Incentives already in place offer buyers a $7,500 credit that must be repaid, so the bill is an improvement, but short of what many economists think is necessary.
Another reason that some analysts frown on the stimulus is the social spending it includes on things such as the Head Start program for disadvantaged children and aid to NASA for climate-change research. Both may be worthy efforts, but they aren't aimed at delivering short-term boosts to economic activity.
"All this is 25 years of government expansion jammed into one bill and sold as stimulus," said Brian Riedl, the director of budget analysis for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative policy research group.
The view wasn't much more supportive on the other side of the political spectrum. In a brief on the stimulus compromise, William Galston, a senior fellow at the center-left Brookings Institution and a former Clinton White House adviser, warned Thursday that a bank-rescue plan being finalized will make the $789 billion look like "pocket change."
"While the stimulus bill is a necessary condition for economic stabilization and recovery, it is hardly sufficient," Galston wrote. "As the lesson of Japan in the 1990s shows, fiscal stimulus without financial rescue yields stagnation at best."
" . . . Serious observers believe that recovery cannot begin until we acknowledge that losses in the financial system amount to some trillions of dollars, rendering many institutions insolvent. The temptation will be to muddle along, hoping that these institutions can gradually regain strength without putting massive amounts of taxpayers' money at risk. If we go down that road, we are likely to end up with zombie banks whose balance sheets are riddled with near-worthless investments banks that cannot lend to credit-worthy customers and who cannot trust one another," Galston wrote.
With the economy in a tailspin, doing nothing isn't an option, however.
"Something is better than nothing, and bigger was better than smaller in terms of the stimulus needed," said Chris Varvares, president of prominent forecaster Macroeconomic Advisers in St. Louis. "The economy needs a fiscal jolt."
Even some proponents of a stimulus are disappointed, however. Harvard University economist Martin Feldstein, a former adviser to President Ronald Reagan, was an early supporter. He said that government is now the only engine left to spark economic activity, but he said that the compromise falls short of what's needed.
"If the choice is between the current bill and an improved bill, I would say wait and improve the bill," Feldstein told CNBC on Wednesday after the compromise was announced. "I am disappointed with the structure of this bill."
Like Yardeni and other analysts, Feldstein wanted more incentives for consumers to make big purchases that have ripple effects across the economy. When a car is purchased, it helps not only the carmaker, but its suppliers, the trucking companies and railroads that transport cars, the states that issue license plates and so on.
Still, could this stimulus get the U.S. economy back on its feet?
By itself, probably not. The stimulus plan, however, is supposed to work in tandem with new efforts by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve to rid banks of distressed assets that are poisoning their balance sheets, and with other federal efforts to halt mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures. Much will depend on the details of both federal attack plans, which the Obama administration promises are coming soon.
There's also the problem of time. Much of the stimulus is to be spread over a two-year period or longer and 2009 looks increasingly bleak.
A Wall Street Journal survey of 52 mainstream economic forecasters published Thursday found that while most forecasters still think there could be slow growth by the second half of the year, that won't offset steeper-than-projected declines in the first half of 2009.
That means this is essentially a lost year for the economy. Most scenarios envision the economy picking back up again next year.
The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a speech in Detroit Thursday, tried to put a brave face on the tough year ahead. Thomas Donohue acknowledged that big business didn't get in the stimulus bill some of the tax-relief measures it most wanted, but promised the Chamber's support.
"The bottom line is that at the end of the day, we're going to support the legislation. Why? Because with the markets functioning so poorly, the government is the only game in town capable of jump-starting the economy," Donohue said.
The segment of society most likely to spend the money, as said P.O.
Investers say no as well. Every time they d!ck with the economy it resets my wait 6 months before investing because the gov is involved clock. Businesses (and shareholders especially it is their duty/responsibility), if they want to not be gov gimps, need to stop rearranging deck chairs and get involved against the GTA quick.
Mortgage (for a house I can afford)
Network (Internet, Phone, Cable)
Clothing and Personals
Water, Sewer, Garbage (for a clean house)
Home Defense Budget (aka 'Guns and Ammo") Big Screen TV I'll never watch Boat I'll never use RV I can't afford gas for That trip to see inlaws in Philippines Vacation is Disneyland - someday! someday! Booze and Hookers (guess I'm not a Kennedy)
My Stimulus/Survival plan,
1. Whenever I go to the store I buy (Say) 2 cans instead of one, the other can goes into a pantry/survival food store
2. Likewise cash, an big manila envelope with "Emergency funds" printed on it gets half my cash.
3. No point in hording gas, when I did that my son found it and emptied it.keep the truck full and don't fill up until nearly empty. also keep a full 5 gallon can in the locked toolbox(doesn't use oil, so no reserves). Do carry water, also good for emergencies such as fires and when there's no water to drink
That's about it.
Posted by: Rednek Jim ||
02/13/2009 19:43 Comments ||
Forgot, Bank at a Credit Union, never at a Bank, keep very little in account use cash as much as possible.
Keep credit cards either paid low or not at all, we have one in my wife's name for emergencies (None yet)
Do not confuse credit cards with Check Cashing cards, very handy, I only write checks to pay bills far away.
NEVER, NEVER SET UP A PAYMENT PLAN THAT AUTOMATICALLY PAYS SOMETHING ON A REGULAR BASIS
Yep. I got burned that way, not again.
Posted by: Rednek Jim ||
02/13/2009 19:51 Comments ||
Predictably - they left off the cabal of Democrats in congress who forced banks to make risky sub-prime loans through the passage of the Community Reinvestment Act. They make only an oblique reference to Bill Clinton for this. Barney Frank and his butt-buddy at Fanny Mae, Herb Moses who engineering "affordable" loans are not mentioned. Oh and Chris Dodd is left out too.
It was a con job on several levels. Some big developers in the Atlanta area were targeting obviously unqualified or marginally qualified buyers, doing the finance and construction, then immediately selling the loans to Fannie and Freddie.
I have a son in the RE game and as he has explained to me the main problems with sub-prime loans weren't the really poor folk. Yes they were a small part of it but their biggest contribution was in affording the real crooks a moral footing. The requirements for sub prime lending fostered by Barney and the boys were taken full advantage of by every shyster, weasel and crook around. (See Besoeker's Atlanta example).
This was the impetus for every two-bit yuppie that thought his sociology degree and $40,000 a year job was enough to buy a $600k house and there were all the contractors, bankers et al were more than happy to puff it up.
Then the Wall Street sleaze took over with their AAA rated tranches.
The loans were one thing, but it was the derivatives of those loans that are the real pickle. I heard yesterday that the total derivative obligation exceeds the GNP of the entire world. That is criminal.
to #4, they most certainly were not mostly jewish. damn skippy my jewish grandparents who are turning in their grave right now would have kicked the lot of these con artists to the curb and told them to get real jobs besides ripping off fellow americans.
Oil prices slid closer to a new multiyear low Thursday because of growing doubts that the $789 billion stimulus package will reinvigorate the economy and demand for energy. Retail gas prices, meanwhile, reached a new high for 2009 on Thursday and appeared headed back to $2 a gallon as refiners cut back on production.
Light, sweet crude for March delivery tumbled $1.96, more than 5 percent, to settle at $33.98 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract has closed lower every day this week.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
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