Wednesday, April 30, 2008

War With Iran Imminent

From CNN: 6:19 a.m. EDT, Wed April 30, 2008
Iran dumps U.S. dollar for oil trades

If history is any indication, it looks like Iran has just drawn its last straw with the United States. Not a lot of people know this but in 2000 Saddam Hussein announced that he would no longer accept US dollars in the oil for food program and that all payments would need to be made in Euros. A couple years later we were invading Iraq and have now switched the sale of Iraq's oil back to the dollar. This was obviously an attempt to convince OPEC and oil producing nations not to do the same. Today, Iran announced that it would stop conducting oil transactions in US dollars. At a Summit last year Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the US dollar a "worthless piece of paper". Iran stopped accepting the dollar for oil transactions in Europe and Asia in 2003. What, you thought the war in Iraq was about spreading freedom and WMD's?

Oil has traditionally been sold in dollars. Since the US is no longer on the gold standard, we only needed to print money to make more dollars in order to buy our oil but this isn't the case for other countries who had to conduct business with the US in the form of loans, in US dollars, in order to buy oil. This guaranteed that the US and the US dollar would always dominate the world economy and profit from nearly every oil transaction world wide. Now that these oil producing countries are getting less for their oil due to the falling value of the dollar, the only thing that is stopping them from switching the sale of their oil to the Euro is fear of a US attack. Guess what, with Bush's massive failure in Iraq and showing the world that we can't really successfully overthrow a country nor can we win a fight against civilians with small arms and improvised explosives, they no longer fear the threat of war. They know the US military is spread too thin to invade another country and install a new puppet government who will sell the US oil and accept US dollars for those transactions.

What this move by Iran will do is either prompt an attack by the US, especially if Republicans remain in power, or it will encourage other countries to switch to Euros as well. If that happens it will further devalue the US dollar and further increase the value of the Euro. The impact it will have in the US financial markets will be devastating if all of OPEC follows suit. Americans would also be forced to pay what the rest of the world as been paying for gas at about $5 per gallon. The bright side is that we will finally have to become energy dependent and look to other sources of power and reduce our oil and gas consumption. We won't have to worry about SUVs blocking our views of traffic or flipping over every time they slam on their breaks when they see a Starbucks. American car companies will have to invest in new technologies as will the energy sector and that could spawn a new industry and create more jobs. China will have to pin its Yuan to the Euro as opposed to the dollar and their imports will become more expensive and no longer mirror the ups and downs of the dollar. Wal-Mart may actually start buying American products again as imports and the cost of transporting those imports will increase and they will have to rely on US Manufacturers to be their main vendors. Or, we could just bomb Iran and keep things as they have always been.

And now for a little nugget of gold:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Audacity of Morons / Florida

From CNN: 4/24/08
Florida considers Christian license plate

Why is it that at least once per year I have to do a post about Florida?

So, this God-bob Florida State Rep has proposed a Christian license plate for his state. The plate would include a Christian cross and the words "I Believe" written on it is joined by an "In God We Trust" license plate in the proposal. Of course South Carolina and Indiana already have an "In God We Trust" license plate but at least those don't speak of a Christian God or have any overtly Christian symbols and somehow have remained legal as far as I know.

Thankfully, this proposal has yet to be approved as it is so blatantly a state sanction of one religion over another. If someone wants everyone to know that they believe in Jesus just buy a bumper sticker or paint a picture of the dead guy on the stick on the side of your car. There is no need for the state to sell you, profit from and then take those proceeds and donate them to a Christian cause. Every hillbilly on the planet would be up in arms if someone proposed a plate that said "I Believe" on it yet it showed a crescent moon and a star. If that's not allowed then neither is this. Even the sponsor of this bill, Edward Bullard said that he wouldn't endorse an Atheist version of the plate which would say "I don't believe". Well, that should tell you something but then again, it is Florida.

If you live in Florida, don't re-elect Edward Bullard.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Religious People Yet Again Prove They Don't Like Facts,2933,351758,00.html

Bill Maher has recently stirred up controversy over the facts he presented regarding the Catholic Church, its Pope and the child molestation scandals which were covered up by the Church. Of course Fox News can't shut up about it and are calling for HBO to cancel Real Time, Maher’s comedy based, political themed show. Fox News also reports that 6 US Senators have even written HBO demanding action be taken.

I wish I knew who these Senators were because then we would know who doesn't believe in free speech and we could vote them out of office. Bill Oreilly suggests that if these comments were made about black people or Jews or Muslims there would be outrage from every media outlet and Real Time would be cancelled. What Oreilly and Fox news don't realize is that there was nothing untrue about what Maher said. They also don't realize that when you are in power and you are the majority such as white people or Christians you are always going to be the subject of scrutiny. Saying the Catholic Church has had problems with priests molesting altar boys and then covering it up isn't the same as calling someone "nappy headed ho's". Nappy headed ho's is not a fact, child abuse in the Catholic Church is. The Pope being in the Hitler Youth when he was younger is also a fact. Sure, he called the Catholic Church a cult and maybe that was the only thing he said that could be perceived as an insult as opposed to a fact.

Here is the/a definition of a cult: 1.a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
2. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.

Now a definition of religion:
1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3.the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices

What's the difference?

My advice to Catholics and the Catholic Church is that if you don't want to be called pedophiles, stop covering up the molestation of altar boys. If you wan't for people to not call you Nazi's, don't have a Pope who used to be part of the Hitler Youth.

I would like to say that I am a huge fan of Real Time and always make a point to be home on Fridays to watch it. With maybe the exception of his support of the welfare the US gives to Israel every year I agree with almost everything Bill has said on his show. I will also be writing a letter to HBO telling them that if they cancel Real Time, I will cancel by subscription to HBO. If someone can't speak the truth on TV then we really don't have free speech. Sure we can stand on the street corner with a sign but if we are going to let the media be controlled by religious extremists who don't want to hear anything negative about their CULT, then how free are we? You know, there are several parts of the world that don't allow anyone to question or talk ill of the mainstream, dominant religion and they may even cut the heads off of the people who do. Is that the kind of world you want to live in?

I am not anti-Catholic; I am anti any theistic religion which claims it has the keys to heaven and is willing to let you have them as long as you put money in the plate and do what they say.

Anyway, here is the original comment and his follow up, I don't see what's so bad:

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Passing the Torch

Or perhaps passing the buck? Hey Olympic Torch protesters, if you want to send a message to China about their violations of civil liberties and human rights, pollution or currency manipulation, stop shopping at Wal-Mart! You can protest the torch all you want but you are still enabling China to do its thing when you buy products made in China. Protesting the torch procession is a waste of time. Put your money where your mouth is.

I guarantee every single one of those protesters were wearing shoes made in China along with probably another garment or two and their Ipods.

You're making about as much difference as the idiots who put the "Support the Troops" magnets on the back of their gas guzzling SUVs.