Government & the Economy

I recognize that in difficult economic times, the public expect the government to act. And it would be appropriate for the government to act but clearly not all actions are beneficial.

Firstly, bailing out any commercial entities because they are "too big to fail" is just ridiculous. Spending money, even tax payer money, should be seen as an economic investment for success. Investing money in failing companies is just absurd. I understand the reason is to minimize job lost but in this is a horrible way to achieve this. When you give money to large companies, the company executives are more likely to see the money than the average worker. The government would be better off increasing the money available to unemployment than to give it to failing companies. In addition, by bailing out failing companies, their legacy actions for continued failure delay their necessary demise so that other, smaller companies with better vision and ability can rise. If anything, it should be the ascendant companies that receive federal funds (in terms of tax breaks rather than hand-outs) rather than the descendant companies.

Secondly, the best way to stimulate the economy is to get more money into the economy for circulation. I believe that this is best achieved by giving more money to the tax payers hand. This can be done as either a tax rebate or as unemployment benefits. The individuals are the one best position to decide how to spend money, not the government, and especially not failing companies that are too big to fail.

Thirdly, if the government feels that it is necessary to direct some of the spending themselves, the money would be best spent toward projects that is not likely to cause dependency. Infrastructure projects, while they may be both necessary and desirable, will require long term commitment for upkeep and maintenance. I suggest a combination of small business grants in new scientific or technology fields, as well as education grants as scholarships for students and research grants.


Obama channels W


Thank You President George W. Bush

I believe History will treat you much kinder than your contemporaries have.
Best wishes for your future.

Update: Others are doing it as well here:


Gaza: Israel vs Hamas

Israel must not relent from elimnating Hamas from Gaza. Victory is militarily possible because Gaza can be blockaded, isolated and surrounded. To allow Hamas to survive will only strengthen it in the long run. Whether Israel can and will do so remains to be seen. Powerline has addition thoughts.

Once Hamas is destroyed Israel must remain and occupy Gaza (as the US did with Iraq). Israel must help the surviving Palestinians rebuild its governmental and social infrastructure. Since The Palestinians have suffered from the inept management under Hamas, there is a sliver of a chance once Hamas is gone, and with Israeli help, Gaza can be rebuilt as a future politically and economically viable Palestinian state. Israel must not give Gaza to Fatah. Fatah is thoroughly corrupt and corruption is the death of any political society. Fortunately there aren't much Fatah left in Gaza thanks to Hamas.

The best chance for a viable Palestinian state is the eradication of Hamas from Gaza.


Surviving Horror

This is not meant as a serious post but it does not mean the contents are without application to real life. . In my household we have been on a horror movie bent of late. The perpetrators have been monsters and humans, supernatural and too natural. I have thus decided (like the book on preparing for the Zombie apocalypse) have decided to generate a survival directive for surviving horror (movies).

1. Do not deviate from the original travel plan. This is typically how you are placed within a horror situation to begin with. As a corollary to this directive is that you must travel well armed. No, bullets may not slow spirits, but there are plenty of flesh causing horrors out there that will indeed bleed.

2. Once in horror situations, be prepared to use deadly force. I am not advocating first strike/pre-emption. But if you find the body (or blood stained suggestions of one) of a travel buddy, then all restraint against the use of deadly force should be suspended immediately. Naturally, if you are armed and are at risk of becoming the first victim of the group, by all means pre-empt.

3. Stick together. United you stand, divided you will die. Stragglers will be picked off. Do not investigate anything or anywhere on your own. Do not even go to the bathroom on your own. I recommend a minimum of 3 persons per activity. Say you are going to the bathroom. One person does the business, one keep an eye out in the room, one in the doorway (leave it open) and keep an eye out in the hall/outside. You should also keep 3 for each watch sleep. Teamwork is essential for survival. This would suggest that the size of your over all team should be six, grouped into threes.

4. Believe your friends. When your friend reports seeing something too crazy to be true, take it on face value as being true. No potential threat should be dismissed, every potential intel should be considered. Your enemy cannot be underestimated. Never assume your enemy follows the same code of behaviour as you do, adhere to the same moral code as most might. A corollary of this is that if you yourself saw something too crazy to believe you must tell others of it without fear of dismissal or ridicule. Distrust breaks down the team effectiveness and cohesiveness.

5. Have a plan for actions. Do not wait to be victims. Your plan of actions should be firstly security and ensure survival of the team. Your plan of actions should be secondly about escaping from the current horror situation. This has to be the order rather than the reverse. You will die without the team, there can be no escape alone. Note that all good plans require knowing what the sequence of actions will be (stepwise progression works best) as well as alternative options. No plans, regardless of how good, will be effective without buy-ins from the team. And the combination of action plans + team require defined role for each team members.

6. Have faith. Believing in a higher power/purpose may not save you from a lunatic, but it may against un-natural forces. Even against the mundane, having faith that you will survive provides a positive goal to enact and accomplish your plan of actions. Faith cannot be under-estimated. If you don't already believe, consider starting to believe (there are no atheist in foxholes). A corollary to this is that if you do not already believe, while others do, do not dismiss their faith, instead trust them, trust their faith (see #4 above).

7. Do not believe there is a traitor among you. Doing so will tear the team apart and doom you. If there is a traitor among you then you are doomed already, but no point speeding things up by breaking up your most important resource, your fellow team members. If the evidence become incontroversial that a person is a traitor, and some team members have already died from betrayal, eliminate the traitor. Use deadly force if necessary. Under no circumstances should you continue travel with the traitor as a captive. He/she will certainly seek to escape bondage while with you and cause harm to your team. While not the best of options, leaving the traitor behind bound and silenced may be an alternative. Know though that if found by your enemy, the traitor will certainly act against you. Why is having a traitor means you are likely doomed? Because the team has already been weakened and fractured by the traitor as well as the process of rooting out the traitor. However, you can at least take solace in the fact that nobody likes a traitor, and that in all likelihood the enemy will eliminate the traitor themselves once his/her usefulness has expired.