January 18th, 2012

The crisis

Now don’t get me wrong, a lot of people are suffering badly because of the current credit crunch, created by insane money-inflaters. Still, Dutch ASML had the best year ever in it’s history. Who is ASML you say? They are the #1 supplier (together with Nikon if I’m not mistaken) to the chip producing industy. Think dozens of ASML machines (called wafer steppers) humming away in Intel’s, Toshiba’s, Samsung’s etc. factories.

And where are all those chippies going? <sarcasm>In the things we really cannot miss in our day to day struggle. Like erm, flat screen TV’s, iPad’s. Yeah we’re doing bad.</sarcasm>

I truly feel sorry for the people who find themselves stuck at the wrong end of the current issues. And for those who truly think they cannot do without the iStuff.

January 16th, 2012

Ain’t the Internets great?

Jon Stewart breath my gas. Onward Christian soldiers!

What an uplifting site.

January 15th, 2012

The publisher

Tim O’Reilly (yes the publisher; if ever you need a technical book and find one on the subject,my experience is you can buy with your eyes closed. Always top material) is an amazingly outspoken person on his Google+ account. A short excerpt from his latest post, referring to an article in the Washington Post.

“… The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company.”

Here’s a list of the issues discussed in the article:

  • Assassination of U.S. citizens
  • Indefinite detention
  • No right to a civilian trial
  • Warrantless searches
  • Secret Evidence
  • US officials have immunity from War Crimes prosecution
  • Secret courts with secret evidence
  • Immunity from Judicial review
  • Continuous monitoring of citizens
  • Extraordinary rendition

It was easy to blame Bush for introducing these new powers in the anti-terrorist mania after 9/11. What’s inexcusable is the way that President Obama’s administration has extended these powers. Change indeed. The first politician who really stands for restoring freedom would make me abandon Obama in a heartbeat. Give me a politician of any party who will make a serious commitment to restoring our nation’s commitment to freedom, and he or she will have my vote.

I am reluctant to blare from the other side of the pond, but I do think the sentiment is spreading here, for whatever it’s worth. OK, back to the crazy political climate here, sigh.

January 4th, 2012

The Withdrawal

On this side of the pond I can assure you a few people are disappointed by the withdrawal of Mrs Bachmann. I for sure had sort of enjoyed Palin II sort of scenes. Oh well, can’t have it all.

Oh come on, I know a few people sharing the same sentiment on your side :) ikoni

January 2nd, 2012

The casualties

I have no idea how “hot” Iraq is in the US after the withdrawal of the troops. Notwithstanding, IraqBodyCount published the latest data, all in interactive, informative graphs. Some data:

  • Total body count: 162.000
  • Civilian percentage: 79% those 162.000
  • Under age 18: 8.5% of deaths with obtained age record (45.779)

The number of civilian deaths in Iraq in 2011 was almost at the same level as in 2010 – there has now been no noticeable downward trend since mid-2009. As observed in IBC’s previous annual report, recent trends indicate a persistent low-level conflict in Iraq that will continue to kill civilians at a similar rate for years to come.1 While these data indicate no improvement, time will tell whether the withdrawal of US forces will have an effect on casualty levels.