Tuesday, July 17, 2007

From the Mouths of Hoosiers, Ye Shall Learn the Truth

From the Journal-Courier..., in West Lafayette, IN, an article by T. Craig Ladwig, of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation.

It is in Indiana's geographic good fortune to be surrounded by some of the nation's highest-taxing, biggest-spending, most anti-business states.

But Indiana government, even during the recent Republican years, has become the enemy of economic growth, the enemy of its citizenry.

Cecil Bohonan, reviewing recent Statehouse decisions, makes clear that leaders in both legislative houses, abetted by an arrogant judiciary, protect a tax structure ruinous to our families', friends' and neighbors' fortunes.

Why? They have no concept beyond personal ambition of what they want to accomplish. They lack the political courage to risk that ambition even in the interest of what they know to be right.

Hard words. We chose them carefully. Our tipping point came last session when the Legislature, instead of passing a bill to finally cap taxation of private property at constitutionally prescribed levels, raised taxes -- on the very segment of our society that defines economic growth, business and industry.

Why a government becomes an enemy of its own people is a mystery that won't be solved here. We can only note that this nation's founding documents consider it a recurring challenge, that there are times when government must be ... yes, revolutionized is the right word.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Please, Reach Me the Way I Want to Be Reached

From the NYT:

AT a planning meeting I attended earlier this summer, a legal pad was passed and we were each asked to write our name and our “communication preference.”

Some people prefer e-mail, some prefer cellphones, some want to be sent a text message on their cellphones,” the leader of the meeting said. “We want to reach you the way you want to be reached.”

Time was when making contact meant finding someone’s phone number and dialing. You might connect with your party; you might leave a message. But you had done all you could.

Now contact means decoding the quirks of the person in question, the better to predict how to actually get your message through. And if you misread your target, it means the risk of a frosty response, or sometimes deafening silence.

Does he or she hate e-mail, letting it build up in the inbox, but quick to answer the cellphone on the first ring? Does the person refuse to carry a cellphone, but grab the office line through the Bluetooth that is literally attached to one ear? Is it solicitous or stalkerish to send an e-mail message, then leave an office message, then try the cellphone just to be sure?


(Nod to Anonyman)

Hard to Make Predictions...

...especially about the future.

In 2005, Amerihaters were puffed up with pride about Airbus.

How's that working out for you? Airbus? Hello!

Well, I can answer, since Airbus seems to have lost its voice: the demise of Boeing was somewhat exaggerated.

(Nod to WD)

Markets in Everything: Growth in Islamic Accounts

Islamic accounts: the ad seems to recognize that Islamic consumers expect to pay high fees if they want to get around the problem of interest.

But there is a market response:

Do Islamic Accounts have to mean additional costs?

Surely not. Our prime ambition is to show you that additional costs are not necessary. The present situation in the world of investment has made us wonder why this type of practice is acceptable. Social, cultural and religious beliefs should not be taken advantage of. This is exactly what we would like to present you with.
Due to the growing interest in Islamic accounts, we have decided to introduce investment accounts compliant with the Shari’ah or Islamic Law. What this means is that these accounts will be swap free and that no interest will be charged neither for investors nor against them.

What does this mean?
Commission free accounts.
No swap points debited or credited for investors.
Widened spread on the FX market by only 1 pip.
Regular spread for all other instruments.
10 USD daily charge per lot for every transaction held through the weekend.

1. 5 lot transaction opened on Monday and closed on Thursday. No charge.
2. 1 lot transaction opened on Friday and closed on Tuesday. 40 USD charge.
3. 0.5 lot transaction opened on Wednesday and closed on Tuesday. 30 USD charge.

In case of any questions don’t hesitate to contact – we speak Arabic, too: Omar Arnaout

(Note: "MiE" is a registered trademark of MR)

Angii in the Mist

(Posted remotely, by Angus)

OK people, if the Grumeti river gators or Rwanda Airlines haven't gotten us, today we will be in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, mountain gorilla trekking!!

The park contains 5 dormant volcanoes, Sabyinyo (3.674 m), Gahinga (3.474 m), Bisoke (3711 m), Muhabura (4.127 m), and Karisimbi, the highest volcano with an altitude of 4.507 m.

They look like this (that is Sabyinyo):
And we are hoping to see a lot of this:
If you prefer your images to move, try this youtube video