Category: News

Sep 22

Rocks, Alan Greenspan and the News From Japan

This is the first in what will be a weekly look at news from Japan and occasionally Korea. One thing you’ll discover your not the only ones with strange people, weird events and idiot politicians

Tuesday September 18

He may be the underdog in the race to become prime minister, but with his love of comic books and streetwise talk of pop culture, Taro Aso has plenty of support among Japan’s disillusioned youth.
“Aso understands the youth culture,” said 16-year-old Riku Shimoda, one of those who turned out to hear the two candidates vying to replace Shinzo Abe stump for votes in the neon-infested, teeny-bopper haven of Shibuya.

If one were watch the usual campaign rally in Japan 85% of those attending are middle aged or older. So its unusual for a candidate to attract any interest from the younger generation.

WASHINGTON – Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, in his new book published Monday, blames the Japanese government for causing a decade-long economic quagmire that followed the burst of an economic bubble in the early 1990s. In “The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World,” he says Tokyo’s reluctance to take bold action to resolve the bad-loan problems at Japanese banks, such as liquidating the assets of doomed banks, was more for “cultural” reasons than “economic” ones.

I know many people admire Alan Greenspan. However anyone with a rock rolling around inside their head could have told you that the economic malaise was the fault of Japanese government policy.

Sep 21

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Most Popular, Most Recommended

1 Rather: Government influencing newsrooms
By SAMANTHA GROSS, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 21 minutes ago

NEW YORK – Dan Rather said Thursday that the undue influence of the government and large corporations over newsrooms spurred his decision to file a $70 million lawsuit against CBS and its former parent company.

“Somebody, sometime has got to take a stand and say democracy cannot survive, much less thrive with the level of big corporate and big government interference and intimidation in news,” he said on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”

“They sacrificed support for independent journalism for corporate financial gain, and in so doing, I think they undermined a lot at CBS News,” he told King.

Sep 20

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Public’s views on Iraq war barely budge
By Peter Grier, The Christain Science Monitor
Wed Sep 19, 4:00 AM ET

Washington – In Florida, retiree Robert Lacey says he believes the US military “surge” in Iraq has failed. Iraqi politicians were supposed to take advantage of increased security to settle their differences peacefully, and “that hasn’t happened,” he notes.

San Diego saleswoman Connie Howard agrees. Her father, husband, and son all have served in the military, and her son-in-law, a marine, is set for an Iraq tour, but she still judges the war a folly. “I don’t want to see any of them go,” she says of troops on their way to Iraq. “It’s enough.”

But Doug Brown, a Lockheed Martin employee from Buffalo, N.Y., says US troops need to stay the course. “If we pull out now, everything we’ve done will collapse and we’ll have to go back in again 10 years from now,” he says.

Sep 19

The Morning News

First, a public service announcement-

The Pastafarian Service Council wants to remind you that today,
September 19th, be Talk Like A Pirate Day.

As Slushy the Polar Bear says-
“Only you can prevent Global Warming.  Arrgh.”

The Morning News is an Open Thread.  Any resemblence to any other essays at any other sites is due to my inherent laziness and outstanding unoriginality.

Sep 18

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News THE TOP STORY

1 Iraq expels American security firm
By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer
13 minutes ago

BAGHDAD – The Iraqi government announced Monday it was ordering Blackwater USA, the security firm that protects U.S. diplomats, to leave the country after what it said was the fatal shooting of eight Iraqi civilians following a car bomb attack against a State Department convoy.

The order by the Interior Ministry, if carried out, would deal a severe blow to U.S. government operations in Iraq by stripping diplomats, engineers, reconstruction officials and others of their security protection.

The presence of so many visible, aggressive Western security contractors has angered many Iraqis, who consider them a mercenary force that runs roughshod over people in their own country.

Sep 18

The Morning News

First, a public service announcement-

The Pastafarian Service Council wants to remind you that today,
September 19th, be Talk Like A Pirate Day.

As Slushy the Polar Bear says-
“Only you can prevent Global Warming.  Arrgh.”

The Morning News is an Open Thread.  Any resemblence to any other essays at any other sites is due to my inherent laziness and outstanding unoriginality.

Sep 17

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Greenspan reportedly warns on rate cuts
By Mark Felsenthal, Reuters
1 hour, 48 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said his successors at the U.S. central bank should be cautious about cutting interest rates because of inflation risks, and he forecast home prices will drop further, according to interviews published on Sunday.

Greenspan, whose memoirs hit book shelves on Monday, said the Fed should be careful not to cut rates too aggressively because the risk of an “inflationary resurgence” is greater now than when he was chairman, the Financial Times reported.

The U.S. central bank meets on Tuesday and is widely expected to cut benchmark federal funds rate — currently at 5.25 percent — by at least a quarter of a percent age point to help the economy weather a housing downturn and a credit crunch.

Sep 16

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Google News U. S.

1 Episcopal Church Faces Deadline on Gay Issues
By NEELA BANERJEE, The New York Times
Published: September 16, 2007

Ever since the Episcopal Church consecrated an openly gay man as bishop of New Hampshire four years ago, forecasts of a rupture over homosexuality within the church or with the rest of the global Anglican Communion accompanied each big church meeting, only to fade.

But as the bishops of the Episcopal Church approach their semiannual meeting this week in New Orleans, the predictions are being taken very seriously.

At the top of the agenda for the Sept. 20-25 gathering will be a directive issued by the leaders of the Anglican Communion to stop consecrating openly gay and lesbian bishops and to ban blessings of same-sex unions or risk a diminished status in the communion, the world’s third-largest Christian denomination.

Sep 15

The Morning News

From Yahoo News THE TOP STORY

Top general acknowledges Iraq mistakes
By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer
4 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – The U.S. military’s top general acknowledged Friday that he made mistakes in his early Iraq war strategy but said he still has no doubt that invading the country was the right decision.

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, retiring chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and one of the war’s military architects, said he overestimated the ability of the Iraqi army to hold together after the invasion, and as a result underestimated the number of U.S. troops that would eventually be needed to fight the war.

Offering a blunt assessment of the decisions and recommendations he made back in early 2003, an introspective Pace told Pentagon reporters that with the aid of 20-20 hindsight, it’s clear he made “errors in assumption.”

Sep 14

The Morning News

Bush preserves big troop level in Iraq
By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer
1 minute ago

WASHINGTON – President Bush’s claim that progress in Iraq justifies preserving a large U.S. military presence there for at least 10 more months was shadowed by discouraging developments on the security and political fronts.

Friday morning, 12 hours after Bush’s address to the nation, the White House was to report that Iraqi leaders had gained almost no new ground in meeting U.S. benchmarks on bringing about reconciliation and stability. The report being sent to Congress by the White House underscored the difficulty of Bush’s argument that American sacrifice was creating space for political progress by Iraqis.

Other bad news hit 12 hours before Bush’s speech, when Iraqi police reported the assassination in Anbar province of a prominent figure in a local alliance with U.S. troops against al-Qaida. It was a sharp blow to Bush’s frequent celebration of military gains in that region as a model for the rest of the country.

Sep 13

The Morning News

From Yahoo News THE TOP STORY

Another powerful quake shakes Indonesia
By ANTHONY DEUTSCH, Associated Press Writer
16 minutes ago

PADANG, Indonesia – The second powerful earthquake in as many days shook western Indonesia Thursday, collapsing buildings in a coastal city and triggering tsunami alerts around the region. The latest quake was also felt in Malaysia and in Singapore where tall buildings swayed. It triggered at least one strong aftershock.

On Wednesday, a strong earthquake shook Southeast Asia, collapsing buildings, killing at least five people and injuring dozens in Indonesia. That tremor triggered a small non-destructive tsunami off the coastal city of Padang on Sumatra, the Indonesian island ravaged by the 2004 tsunami disaster. A tsunami warning was issued for wide areas of the region and nations as far away as Africa.

Thursday’s magnitude-7.8 quake rattled the same area of Sumatra.

Sep 12

The Morning News

Now With Exclusive New Content!

Japanese Prime Minister Abe will resign
By CHISAKI WATANABE, Associated Press Writer
2 minutes ago

TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Wednesday he will resign, ending a year-old government that has suffered a string of damaging scandals and a humiliating electoral defeat.

Abe, whose support rating has fallen to 30 percent, cited the ruling party’s defeat in July 29 elections for the upper house of parliament, and said he had instructed party leaders to immediately search for a new premier.

“In the present situation it is difficult to push ahead with effective policies that win the support and trust of the public,” Abe said in a nationally televised news conference. “I have decided that we need a change in this situation.”

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