From a new found comrade Mike the Marine, and it's so obvious, America is Batman.
I couldn't agree more. Although I'd say Canada used to be Alfred, and might be Alfred again, but right now is the Joker's (aka FRANCE's) mol, which is a downright dirty shame but true.
"... America IS Batman. Think about it:
-We are the richest guy in town. We run Wayne Enterprises. We have more money than everybody. We can be extravagant, buying hotels and building sometimes self-important stuff on a whim. But a lot of that is not really what we’re all about… people often forget that we’re the most philanthropic guy in town, too.
- Where do we get those wonderful toys? From a lot of places actually, but we’re the only one who has them, and we use them to kick a lot of ass.
- We’ve suffered tragedy, and it was this tragedy which spurred us to action. We have overcome our worst fears and then visited them upon evil doers. Justice is what we are after, and we will not stop until the good people of Gotham don’t need the Batsignal anymore.
The rest of the Westernized World, however, is Rachel Dawes - Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend - played by Katie Holmes. How so?
- She’s a lawyer, more interested in “the process,” and under the impression that justice and vengeance are always mutually exclusive, when in actuality we know that they sometimes – not always, but sometimes - happily coincide. ..."
1. For the most part, countries are grouped here by region - trends in population tend to be more regional than national.
2. The eye-popping figures for Bangladesh really stick out - there's no country on earth close to Bangladesh's overpopulation problem. Bangladesh squeezes half the population of the United States into a land mass smaller than Iowa.
Whoa! The density of Bangledesh is 69 times that of the United States. Simply amazing.
Sometimes it takes a while to prove there is no third way. Nor is there a second way. There is only Capitalism, and how well you do it. Apparently, Chinese Communists are not doing it well. If you've been looking for an investment opportunity, you are hereby strongly reminded investing in semi-reformed Communists is a bad idea:
According to Ernst & Young, the accounting firm, bad loans in the Chinese financial system have reached a staggering $US911 billion ($1.18 trillion), including $US225 billion in potential future NPLs in the four largest state-owned banks.
This equals 40 per cent of gross domestic product and China has already spent the equivalent of 25-30 per cent of GDP in previous bank bail-outs.
The revelation shows that half-hearted reforms have addressed merely the symptoms of China's financial fragility. Poor business practices are blamed for NPLs but the real source is political. As long as the communist party relies on state-controlled banks to maintain an unreformed core of a command economy, Chinese banks will make more bad loans.
Systemic economic waste, bank lending practices, political patronage and the survival of a one-party state are inseparably intertwined in China. ...
The World Bank estimated that in the 1990s about one-third of fixed investments made in China were wasted. The Chinese central bank reported that during 2000-01 politically directed lending accounted for 60 per cent of NPLs. Such disregard for economic efficiency has bred a culture of irresponsibility and unaccountability in Chinese banks....
Banking reform of the past few years has failed to address these flaws. Its five main features - write-off of NPLs, capital injection, flotation in Hong Kong, minority stakes for Western strategic investors and improvement of corporate governance at headquarters - do not alter the defining characteristics of China's capital allocation system.
Nearly all senior bank executives are appointed by the party, which maintains an extensive organisational network within the financial system. That is why an IMF study finds no evidence that these reforms have improved risk management and credit allocation by banks.
I sincerely hope you're not one of those Western strategic investors, but I bet I know one man who is. In the 80's he helped send a couple billion down "South of the Border" and after that tanked made eloquent arguments about why it was such a good idea. Yeah, AFTER it tanked he thought it was still smart. It's a cinch he thinks ChiCom's are golden.
Green Bay, WI - Like a pot of bratwurst left unattended at a Lambeau Field pregame party, simmering tensions in the strife-torn Midwest boiled over once again today as rioting mobs of green-and-gold clad youth and plump farm wives rampaged through Wisconsin Denny’s and IHOPs, burning Texas toast and demanding apologies and extra half-and-half.
The spark igniting the latest tailgate hibachi of unrest: a Texas newsletter's publication of caricatures of legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi.
Protestors demonstrated against the images throughout the Badger State yesterday, with violent egging and cow-tipping incidents reported in Oconomowac, Pewaukee, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Antigo, Oshkosh, Waubeno, Wauwautosa, Waunewoc, Wyocena, Waubeka, and Washawonamowackapeepee.
ANGELA MERKEL, the Chancellor of Germany, yesterday promised a free-market revolution in Europe’s biggest and most troubled economy, dismantling the mass of regulations that have been built up over recent decades.
She said that Germany must follow the economic policies of Britain, earning loud applause from the audience of leading capitalists at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Using language almost identical to that used by Margaret Thatcher when she was the British Prime Minister, the centre-right leader mapped out a U-turn in her country’s treasured social model, repeatedly emphasising that Germans must stop fearing the world, embrace freedom and learn to take responsibility for their own lives instead of looking to the State.
She said that rules introduced by previous governments to protect workers were strangling initiative, and had led to “terrifyingly high unemployment”. She declared that there would be a new type of “social market economy”....
No way. I'm sure she thinks she means what she says, but there is no way the German are volk are going to go for it.
Cavaco Silva finished well ahead of the two Socialist candidates in the Portuguese Presidential elections.
Portugal voters elect a reform-minded economist as President to help boost the stagnant economy, run by socialists. Cavaco Silva is the first center-right candidate voted into office since 1974. Silva becomes president of Western Europe's poorest country and understands he has no small task ahead of him:
The bad news is that in Portugal, the Presidency is largely symbolic.
Mr Cavaco Silva is the first centre-right politician to fill the largely ceremonial post of president since Portugal's 1974 revolution.
He told supporters after the results were announced: "The task before us is not small, the work will be long and demanding."
Mr Cavaco Silva vowed to work with the Socialist government, saying: "I know by my own experience the value of cooperation among government bodies."
Mr Soares - the Socialists' official candidate - told supporters: "The results went against my expectations. I accept this defeat with a feeling of mission accomplished." (emphasis added)
Huh? The defeated socialist accepts the defeat with a feeling of "mission accomplished"? WTF? I gueass he had to say something -- no law it had to make any sense.
It will be interesting to watch Canada & Portugal over the next decade. Both have had what is on the surface an astonishing about-face in voter policy. But both, on second glance, are quite conflicted and with very limited power. The sign of things to come or just a minor hitch in the socialist giddeeup? We'll see. World wide trends are, however, on the side of the angels (and against the socialists if you were wondering).
11:37 - It looks like the split will be 124-103 Tories, with BQ getting 51 and 29 going to the NDP. Jack Layton is congratulating the crowd. The NDP wound up increasing their representation by a half-dozen ridings, a bit fewer than we first thought, but still an impressive showing. The Tories took a six-point lead in the overall voting, a bit less than predicted, but right about what SES Research showed in its final polling. Both parties will wind up with bragging rights tonight, and the Liberals and BQ will have to ask themselves what happened. Paul Martin, the answer for the Libs, will not last much longer as leader of the Grits when that question gets answered.
Congratulations to the Tories, and to Canada, which showed how a national election should be held.
Welcome to the party, Canada. 12 years behind your big brother, but better late than never. Y'all have been very socialist for a long time, plus you've got a plague of Frenchies, so I don't really have all that much hope for you. However, a sincere good luck from me to you. Let us know if we can help. But sometimes, y'all can be hard to understand; for instance (Steyn live blogging the election):
The other story of the night looks like being the non-breakthrough of the NDP. Some of us thought that the seeping of Liberal support to the left would be as serious as the seeping to the right. In fact, insofar as the scarification strategy worked, it seems to have scared wobbling Grits out of the Dipper camp and back to Nanny.
Hummingbird Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
Flamingo! One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
Falcon! Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
Black Skimmer These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
Dead sea turtle cool, but smelly
Reddish Egret These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
Brown Pelican I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
Wood Pecker They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.