Vietnam-Era Study Comments On The Effects of Bombing Villages

Posted August 23, 2007 by Michael
Categories: Iraq War, Politics, President Bush

I’m reading a study by the RAND corporation that was done during the Vietnam War, entitled “Viet Cong Motivation and Morale 1964.” I found the following to be particularly interesting, and perhaps relevant to the Bush administration’s current adventures in the Middle East.

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Jewelry Store in Japan Unveils $250,000 Gundam Statue

Posted August 23, 2007 by Michael
Categories: Japan, News

Platinum Gundam Figure
$250,000 Gundam Figure

A jewelry store in Fukuoka, Japan created a platinum Gundam figure with a .15 karat diamond in its head. The statue, reportedly worth around $250,000, was created by the famous Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka and toy maker Bandai. It will be on display in the Ginza Tanaka store in Fukuoka until Sunday.

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Alabama Dodges Mortgage Woes

Posted August 22, 2007 by Michael
Categories: Alabama, Economy, News

To this point, and despite having some of the most ruthless foreclosure laws in America, Alabama has managed to dodge the mortgage foreclosure nightmares that have plagued the rest of the country.

Some might say it’s the result of sheer irrelevancy. Unlike many other states, Alabama has not seen its housing prices skyrocket since the late 1990’s. For example, here’s some examples of Housing Price Index charts (via – TheBurstingBubble) for some other states. (Click on the charts for a closer look)

HPI Chart for NY HPI Chart for DC HPI Chart for CA
HPI – New York HPI – Washington, DC HPI – California

Notice how, in each example, there is a brief plateau in the early 1990s where housing prices stayed roughly the same, followed by a huge increase in the late 90s and early 2000s. Admittedly, these are the extreme examples in the country.

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Sessions Gets a Challenger for US Senate Seat in Alabama

Posted August 22, 2007 by Michael
Categories: 2008 Elections, Alabama, News, Politics

State Sen. Vivian Davis Figures announced today that she will challenge Sen. Jeff Sessions for his seat in the US Senate.

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Hillary Closing On Top Republicans – In Alabama!

Posted August 21, 2007 by Michael
Categories: 2008 Elections, Alabama, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Politics, Rudy Giuliani

In some recent polls, Sen. Hillary Clinton is shown to be making some impressive gains over three of the Republican frontrunners in Alabama.

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CIA Asleep at the Wheel Before 9/11

Posted August 21, 2007 by Michael
Categories: Iraq War, News

Is this even newsworthy anymore? I mean, isn’t it pretty well common knowledge that the CIA dropped the ball on Al-Qaida before 9/11? In fact, now that I think of it, it didn’t really get much better after 9/11, given its intelligence work in the lead-up to the Iraq war. Granted, much of that blame must fall on the Bush administration, but it’s still kind of late for the “CIA blew it” stories.

Apparently, some leaked documents say that the CIA knew they blew it. Great.

Michael

via – McClatchy Washington Bureau

Toilets in Japan Burst into Flames

Posted August 21, 2007 by Michael
Categories: Japan, News

On at least three separate occasions last year, toilets made by Toto, Japan’s largest toilet manufacturer, have suddenly burst into flames.

No one was injured in the incidents, although having your toilet spontaneously combust must be somewhat disconcerting.

Company spokesperson Emi Tanaka helpfully explained that the fire would have been “just under your buttocks.” Nice to know.

At least 23 other toilets were reported to have smoke coming fron the seat.

The problem was apparently in the wiring of the toilet’s heated seats, a popular feature in Japan. The affected toilets belonged to the “Z series” line of luxury toilets, which cost up to $300.

Michael

via – The Japan Times

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