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    • Another question. What would likely happen if the United States left the Middle East?

      An analogy.

      I have a daughter who on the soccer field is regularly criticised by other coaches and by parents of the other teams, and on the basketball court she is cursed at by other players under their breath and other coaches are verbally critical of her routinely. What does this mean? Should my daughter change the way she plays so her opponents will be pleased with her?

    • Out of curiousity, is Ron Paul for or against the immigration bill currently before Congress?

    • old_style_six_shooter old_style_six_shooter May 23, 2007 7:31 PM Flag

      Former Rove aide pleads the Fifth on White House contacts with convicted lobbyist Abramoff
      Michael Roston
      Published: Tuesday May 22, 2007


    • China�s New Day-Traders Look to Back �Black Horses�

      By Geoff Dyer
      Financial Times, London
      Wednesday, May 23, 2007

      SHANGHAI � The thousands of ordinary Chinese who are signing up each day to trade shares are not too concerned about the conventional ways of valuing a stock, but they need to know the difference between a ghost and a black horse.

      Chinese have combined a traditional delight in word-play with their new-found passion for stocks to create a rich supply of colloquial jargon for investing that is bandied around brokerage offices.

      �Ghost shares� are highly risky, but �black horses� have beaten expectations. Buying cheap to sell high later is known as �fighting for the hat,� while selling at a loss to avoid further losses is �meat slicing.� Investors who think a piece of news will boost prices claim to be �lifting the sedan chair.�

      When a fund manager was sacked last week for allegedly manipulating share prices, websites hummed with talk of �rat investors,� the term for insider traders.

      There is even a Chinese phrase that could define the current boom. On top of bulls and bears there is the �deer market�, when large groups of amateur, short-term speculators cause markets to move in erratic jolts.

      The jargon is being quickly learned by the long lines of new day-traders who have helped push share prices up 52 percent this year � on top of last year�s 130 percent rise � but who are making the market look increasingly overvalued.

      Despite an interest rate rise on Friday aimed at cooling the market, retail investors ignored the messages from Beijing and opened 287,000 trading accounts on Monday, 35,000 more than on Friday.

      The explosion in day-trading has created some unintended consequences in Shanghai in the form of unwashed dinner dishes, badly ironed shirts, and dusty floors. In recent weeks the city has developed a shortage of ayis, the domestic helpers who do chores in the homes of middle-class families, because some have found more gainful employment playing the market.

      Sheng Min, who runs a Shanghai agency that recruits ayis, says it started to face problems finding new domestic helpers in April because of the stock market fever and now has 50 percent fewer women on its books than usual.

      �We occasionally receive phone calls from employers complaining about their ayis,� he says. �Some of them seem to be more interested in chatting about stocks with their friends than working.�

      Zhang Wei works most weekday mornings in houses around the city, but recently she has been visiting a brokerage in Shanghai�s Hongkou district in the afternoons. �Last month I made almost half my salary from investing,� she says.

      With an eye on the new day-traders, an advertisement was placed on the Taobao auction site last week selling doctors� certificates for one month off work for 100 renminbi ($13, 9.70 euros, �6.60). It has since been removed.

      Cynics would say speculator-ayis are a sure sign of a bubble, but if everyone continues buying, prices will keep going up � even in a deer market.

    • Labor Market Figures That Are Puzzling the Fed: John M. Berry

      By John Berry

      May 22 (Bloomberg) -- Some key labor market figures simply aren't adding up these days, leaving Federal Reserve officials in doubt about what's happening in critical parts of the economy.

      In some cases, the participation of illegal immigrants in the workforce may be roiling the data. With the economy operating at or close to full employment, so-called unauthorized workers have become an important source of new hires for many businesses.

      Foreign-born workers -- an unknown proportion of whom were in the country illegally -- accounted for 45 percent of all employment growth last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

      The question is how unauthorized workers and their employers respond to the household and business establishment surveys on which the highly important employment, unemployment and payroll job figures are based. It may be that those responses have been changing over time.

      Housing-industry employment is at the top of the list of the data discrepancies.

      Housing starts have plummeted and the number of units under construction has fallen 15 percent in the year ended in April. However, the BLS's monthly survey of business establishments showed 3.3 million people still at work on residences last month, only a 4 percent drop from a year ago.

      Economists at the BLS and the Fed know that shifts in the economy often affect the employment data with a lag. This discrepancy though seems more than just a matter of a lag.

      Departures Not Reported

    • GOP Attacks On Ron
      Paul...I Told You So
      By Devvy


      Patrick Briley
      May 20, 2007

      The OKC bombing provocation, sting, and cover-up were part of a national security council (NSC) and White House operation spanning the presidencies of HW Bush and Clinton.

      See the chapters FALSE ASSERTIONS OF NATIONAL SECURITY and ORCHESTRATION OF A COVERUP in my book The Oklahoma City Bombing Case Revelations or at

      Evidence shows that the FBI, the CIA, the US State Department, the DOJ, the US military, the BATF the Secret Service all used and/or protected numerous informants and provocateurs in the OKC bombing (at least 19). See OKC Bombing: Two More of 19 Federal Provocateurs Identified? Only the White House and the National Security Council (NSC) and the NSC adviser are capable of authorizing, coordinating and carrying out and then covering up such a compartmentalized operation involving so many different federal agencies and the military.

      The White House and NSC would have had to give authorization to the US Army for the FBI to use US Army private Shawn Kenny as a provocateur to help McVeigh in bank robberies to fund the OKC bombing. See the chapter FBI AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT PROTECT THEIR PROVOCATEURS. The White House and NSC would have had to give the Secret Service authorization when the Secret Service and FBI took informant Peter K. Langan out of federal prison in 1993 to be an informant to track Midwest bank robbers like Richard Guthrie who helped McVeigh rob banks and who had threatened President HW Bush. For more on Langan see Secret Service, FBI Used Bank Robbers For OKC Bombing and my book chapters, FBI HALL OF SHAME and TYING UP LOOSE ENDS.

      Army recruiters, Marilyn Travis and Arlene Blanchard were formally threatened with courts martial by the US Army and FBI 74 hours after the bombing if they revealed the men they had seen with McVeigh in the Murrah Building. The formal military court martial threat would had to have been backed up by the White House via the military and NSC. Other military men besides Shawn Kenny may also have been provocateurs for McVeigh and if so, the NSC and White House would have had to also give the military authorization for their use. See the chapter MILITARY & CIA PROVOCATEURS FOR FREEH, POTTS AND LENZNER?

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