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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Russia Follows U.S. Example

They're sovietizing private industry too:

In Hard Times, Russia Moves In to Reclaim Private Industries

Hey, it worked for Stalin. Why can't it work for Putin? And Barney Frank?

This Isn't Good

I rail against the mainstream press as much as anyone, but losing its cornerstone newspapers is not a healthy development for this country of ours. But lose them we may.

The latest nail in the coffin:

Tribune Co. Could Be Flirting With Bankruptcy

I once considered the Chicago Tribune to be one of the more fair and balanced newspapers in the USA (unlike the other rag in town, the leftist Sun-Times, but not so much in recent years. It's now just like all the others.

But it serves a valuable purpose. The Tribune disseminates information to a populace hungry for the latest and most current events.

Let's hope the Tribune Company finds its way.

Make that plural. Finds its way in more ways than one.

Gay Movie Receives Raves. What a Shock.

When I heard that the movie "Milk," the story of a gay city supervisor in San Francisco who was murdered back in the 70's, was coming out, I knew what the reaction would be. The critics will go absolutely gaga over it, and few human beings will ever go and see it. That's the way gay movies are always received. "Brilliant!" "Astounding!" "Breathtaking!" "Profound!"

"Fascinating" is how New York Times critic A.O. Scott describes it.

Freedom Fighter in Life Becomes Potent Symbol in Death

"Accessible." "Instructive." "An arresting, moody lyricism."

"[Its] power lies in its uncanny balancing of nuance and scale, its ability to be about nearly everything — love, death, politics, sex, modernity — without losing sight of the intimate particulars of its story."

"'Milk' ... is the best live-action mainstream American movie that I have seen this year."

Was there ever any doubt?

As for interest on the part of the general public? The movie thus far has earned almost enough - probably - to cover a portion of actor Sean Penn's paycheck.

Was there ever any doubt?

Factoid Of The Day

And a troubling one it is:
Warning on Britain's grey population
By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent, London Telegraph

Three months ago the ONS [Office for National Statistics] revealed that Britain is home to more pensioners than children for the first time in the country's history. There are 11.58 million pensioners - classed as men over 65 and women over 60 - compared with 11.52 million under-16s.

In 1971, a quarter of the nation was under 16, while 15 per cent were of pensionable age. [link]
But not to worry. The ONS also points out that the ongoing baby boom within the Muslim immigrant population is offsetting - to an extent - the decline in overall births. There'll be plenty of Muslims there to compensate.

That ought to give 'em a warm feeling inside.

This Is Funny. Or Not.

Mark Steyn:

I'm dreaming of a sincere apology

Further to my post below about Amazon's "Twelve Days Of Holiday" promotion, a reader complained to them about their decision not to use the word "Christmas" and received by way of response a canned e-mail apologizing instead for their use of the word "Christmas":

"Please accept our sincere apologies if you were offended by the use of the word 'Christmas' on our website. Our intention in referring to Christmas is to give specific ordering guidance for a specific holiday, not to exclude other faiths."

I wonder if it might be time for Amazon to crank up a computer-generated apology sincerely apologizing if you were offended by receiving the incorrect sincere apology. [link]

"Twelve Days of Holiday"? What in God's name is that?*

- - -

* Think about it.

The Left Isn't Happy

But oddly, the lefties are grumbling about a potential Senate appointment of a die-hard feminist. Named Kennedy no less.

Go figure:
Caroline Kennedy? Thanks But No Thanks
By Jane Hamsher, firedoglake

Everyone seems to be salivating because Caroline Kennedy called David Patterson and is apparently interested in the Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Clinton.

It's a truly terrible idea.

Her leadership could have been really helpful when the rest of us were trying to keep the progressive lights on and getting the stuffing beaten out of us by a very well-financed right wing for the past eight years. But when things were tough, she was nowhere to be found.

Now that the Democrats are in power, she'd like to come in at the top. We have absolutely no idea if she's qualified, or whether she can take the heat of being a Kennedy in public life. She's certainly shown no appetite for it in the past. She'll have a target on her back and if she can't take it, if she crumbles, she will become a rallying point that the right will easily organize around.

The woman has never run for office in her life. [link]
Ms. Hamsher goes on to list other complaints/worries about the possibility that Kennedy would be handed the plum job. All of which are legitimate. But they don't matter. If Caroline Kennedy wants to be a United States Senator, no one in the Democratic Party is going to tell her no.

Symbolism has always been a big driver for those people (Barack Obama's skin color and rise to the top of the plantation hierarchy being the latest), and Caroline represents so much that Democrats admire - she's a Kennedy, she has great wealth that wasn't acquired through corporate greed, she's a she, and she's right on all the important issues. Oh, and most important, she has all the right connections.

So, whine all you want. The gig is hers. Forever.

Or until Chelsea decides she wants it.

As Goes China, So Goes The World

If you're looking for a bellwether that points to a window onto the future of the global economy, you have to look to its main focal point. These days it ain't Wall Street:
1930s beggar-thy-neighbour fears as China devalues
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor, London Telegraph

China has begun to devalue the yuan for the first time in over a decade, raising fears that it will set off a 1930s-style race to the bottom and tip the global economy into an even deeper slump.

The central bank has shifted the central peg of its dollar band twice this week in a calculated move that suggests Beijing aims to offset the precipitous slide in Chinese manufacturing by trying to gain further export share abroad.

Hans Redeker, currency head at BNP Paribas, said China's policy switch could set off a dangerous chain of events. "If they play this beggar-thy-neighbour game, it will cause a deflationary shock for the whole world," he said. [link]
That's the worry now among macro-economists, that the planet will go into a serious spell of deflation. Something we haven't seen in decades.

If China is struggling to deal with it, hold onto your hats ...

NOW He Tells Us

Why is it you always hear this sort of thing after the election?

Obama: Economy to get worse before it improves

Was he saying this even five weeks ago? Odd how it just crept up on him.